The Red-Crosse: OR, Englands Lord have mercie upon us. [...]amentable Relation of many Visitations by the Plague in times past, as well in other Countries as in the Citie of London, and the certaine causes thereof: With a true number of all those that dyed in the last great Visitation: And also the number of all those that have dyed in this present Visitation.

IT is no doubt, that the corrupti [...] of the Aire, together with uncleanly and unwholsome keeping of dwelling, where many are pestred toge­ther, as also the not-observing to have fires private and publikely made as well within houses, as without in the streets, at times when the Ayre is infected, are great occasions to increase, corrupt, and produce pestilent Diseases. Neither can it be denyed, that the over-boldnesse of many prea­sing into infected places, and the lewdnesse of others with Sores upon them, presuming into the open Ayre, some of wilfulnesse, but truly many of necessitie, contaminateth and corrupteth divers: as the Leprosie, the Poxe, and sundry such uncleane diseases doe: as by drinking, lying in company, and other such meanes, where pure complexions and cleane bloods are defiled with such as are putrified: and therefore carefully to be avoyded. But all these are accidentall, and rather effects than the cause. For it plainly appeareth in the Booke of Exodus that when it pleased the Almightie God to smite the Aegyptians, the Children of Israel were ap­pointed [...]o dip Isop in the Blood of the Paschall Lambe▪ and smite off that bloud on the outward Posts of their doores, that when the slayer came to destroy in one night all the first borne in Aegypt, he might passe over the houses of Gods children. So that it is plaine, it was an Angell then sent to smite those cruell people with the Pestilence.

Then first, this Citie of London, cannot be denyed, to have had as great blessings as ever had Jerusalem: for here God hath long time beene pre­sent by his Word and Sacraments, yet they have abounded in all iniquitie, when Jerusalem long since had not a stone left upon a stone.

Secondly, London is situated as pleasantly as Sodome, and her sister Ci­ties before they sunke, even for the same sinnes that we have committed: for the sinne of Sodome (saith the Prophet Ezechiel) was pride, fulnesse of bread, and contempt of the poore. That these sinnes raigne in London, who can deny? To them, adde fulnesse of drinke; for therein we exceed the Nation, that within these fiftie yeeres we hated for drunkennesse: and I doubt, That un-nameable sinne of Sodome is used in too many places of the Citie. Yet London stands, and so God grant with his mercie it long may.

Lastly, where in the change of Princes (especially after long peace, as London most happily enjoyed all the time of our late Soveraigne Queene Elizabeth, of worthy memory) many Cities have come to miserable spoile, if not to ruine: yet London, by our most potent Lord and King, hath in­creased in tranquillitie, blessing powring upon blessing: save only now for our negligence, God hath with his owne hand smitten us, and sent many to mourn in death after our late Soveraigne deceased, whom we had almost ungratefully forgotten in a day.

In the Citie, called the great Caire, there is a Plague once every seven yeeres, which commeth with such a fiercenesse, that the most part of the people there doe dye thereof: and divers of them that remaine alive, lose their eye-sight with the vapours and great heat which commeth from the ground.

In the yeere of Christ, 81. and in the yeere 188. there continued a great time a Plague in Rome, of which there daily dyed two thousand people.

In the yeere 254. fifteene Provinces of the Romane Empire, were in a manner consumed with the Pestilence.

In the yeere 530. there dyed in Constantinople 5000. a day, and divers times 1000. and at that time, in some other parts of Greece, there were not sufficient living men left to bury their dead.

And in the yeere 1569. there fell such a Plague in Constantinople, that there dyed in sixe months space, seven hundred thousand persons, and the yeere following fell such a famine, that a penny loafe of Bread of English mony, was worth a crowne of gold: by reason whereof, the people died as fast then of the Famine, as they did before of the Plague.

In the yeere 540. there began an universall Plague all over the world, that continued 50. yeeres with great violence.

In the yeere 1348. in Paris in France, there dyed a hundred thousand people of the Plague.

In the yeere 1359. so great a Pestilence there was in Italy, that there were scarce ten left of a thousand.

In the yeere 1521. there dyed in Rome a hundred thousand of the Pe­stilence.

In the yeeres 1576. and 77. in Millan, Padua and Venice, there fell a hundred thousand in every Citie: and in Bohemia (being but a small King­dome) there dyed 300000. the sam [...] time.

Soone after the Conquest of King William, Duke of Normandy, when the people were subdued to him, & the Knights fees rated which he had made, and himselfe placed with Crowne and Scepter▪ hee tooke number of the Acres of land in all the Realme, and of all the people, and of all the Cattell: after which fell so sore a Plague, that the people dyed in such number, that Tillage decayed, Famine ensued, with rot of Cattell, that men were faine to eate flesh of Dogs, Cats and Mice. A fearefull example for Princes.

In the Reigne of King Edward the 3. there fell a very great Pestilence in the East-Indies, among the Tartariaens, Saracens and Turkes, which lasted the space of seven yeeres: thro [...]gh the feare whereof, many of the Heathens willingly offered themselves to become Christians. And shortly after, by reason of Passengers from one Province to another, the same Pestilence was dispersed in many Christian Kingdomes, and amongst other places brought into England; where it was so forcible all over the Land that not onely Men, but also Beasts, Birds and Fishes were smitten there­with, and found dead with Botches upon them. Also among men, the num­bers that were alive, were scarcely sufficient to bury their dead. At which time, with the rest that then dyed of the Plague, Henry Duke of Lancaster, Blanch, Dutchesse of Lancaster, and the Earle of Warwicke ended their lives. So that in one yeere, in a little plot of ground of thirteene Acres compasse, then called Spittle-croft, and now the Charter-house, was bu­ried 50000 persons, besides all them that were buried in the Church-yards and divers places in the Fields.

Our Visitations, though our sinnes exceed, have been more gentle: For in the first great Plague in our memory, after the losse of New-haven from the first of January 1562. to December 1563. there dyed of the Plague, twenty thousand, one hundred, thirty six.

In the second great Visitation, from the 20. of December 1592. to the 23. of the same month, in the yeere 1593. dyed in all 25886. of the Plague in and about London, 15003. And in the yeere before, 2000.

In the third great Visitation which it pleased God to strike us with, at the comming in of King James of happy memory, there dyed from the 17. of December 1602. to the 14. of July 1603. the whole number in London and the Liberties, 4 [...]14. Whereof of the Plague, 3310.

From the 25. of August, to the 1. of September, there dyed in London and the Liberties, 3385 whereof of the Plague 3035. being the greatest number that dyed in one weeke.

From the 23. of December, 1602. unto the 22. of December 1603. there dyed of all diseases, within London and the Liberties 38244. whereof of the Plague, 30578. and the next yeere following, London was cleere of that infection, and then were all the Shires in England grievously visited. Note the worke of God.

And in the last great Plague, 1625. there dyed from the 6. of January, to the 27. of October, 53265. Whereof of the Plague, 34576.

Now those that dyed this present Visitation, 1636. are here set downe weekely, for better sa [...]isfaction to the Reader.

  • From the 31 of March to the 7. of April—209—whereof, of the Plague—2
  • From the 7 of April to the 14—213—w [...]ereof, of the Plague—4
  • From the 14 of April to the 21—244—whereof, of the Plague—14
  • From the 21 of April to the 28—259—whereof, of the Plague—17
  • From the 28 of April to the 5 of May—251—whereof, of the Plague—10
  • From the 5 of May to the 12—354—whereof, of the Plague—55
  • From the 12 of May to the 19—334—whereof, of the Plague—35
  • From the 19 of May to the 26—3 [...]0—whereof, of the Plague—62
  • This last weeke there dyed within the VValls of this Citie—3—In the out Parishes—36
  • In Stepney—22—In Newington—1.

A Preservation by way of defence, to be used in common Assemblies, and in open Aire.

WHen you goe abroad into the open aire, and amongst company, hold a piece of strong Tobacco in your hand to smell to; or the Root cal­led Angelica, to bite now and then, as occasion requireth; as for Tobacco, it hath approbation from the most learned Doctors of the Kingdome, to be a most rare Antidote and Preservative, either being smelled unto, or ta­ken fasting in the morning: provided, that presently after the taking thereof, you drinke a deepe draught of sixshillings beere, and walke af­ter it.

¶A necessary Prayer for the present time.

O God of g [...]ory, Lord of power, distributer of vengeance, and yet the favourable Physicion of sicke soules and bodies, looke downe upon thy sinfull, yet prostrate servants, the people of the Citie of London, who are every where heart-strucke with the Arrowes of thy angry Visitation: We have sinned, we have sinned, we have grievously offended, and with­out thy grace there is no helpe, being now shunned and despised, even of all the Countrie people round about us; for whom, notwithstanding, wee earnestly pray, as for our selves: beseeching thee, of thy unmeasurable goodnesse, not to looke upon them according to their deserts, but to have mercie on them and us; and stay thy heavie hand from them as well as from us. O Lord God of mercy, be good to us, and looke not upon our sinnes: for if thou weighest the offences of man, no flesh shall stand before thee. We have sinned, we confesse, O Lord, we have sinned, there is no righteousnesse in us, nor any helpe but thine. O then, let thy Angell stay his hand, as he did at thy mercifull appointment, when David offending thee, saw the Sword over Jerusalem. Let the doores of our hearts bee sprinkled with the Blood of that Immaculate Lambe, Christ Jesus, that the slayer may passe by us, as he did when the first borne in Aegypt were smitten with the Pestilence. O God, thou canst slay and restore againe, strike into sicknesse, and give health; for thou art onely a Saviour. O God, the Maker of us all, looke mercifully on thy workmanship. O God, the Saviour of us all, be an Intercessor to thy Father for us. O God the Holy Ghost, the Comforter of us all, inspire us with true repentance, that we may humbly seeke, and suddenly finde mercie from the Holy Trinitie; one God in unitie, ever to be honoured, while man hath breath, or crea­tures any being. Have mercy, O God, have mercy, O God: for to thee mercy belongeth, which all true Repentants purchase in our Redeemer Jesus: in whose Name we beseech thee to free us and our Brethren, from this fearefull Visitation: concluding these our requests with [...]hat absolute forme of Prayer, which hee himselfe hath taught us, saying, Our Father which art in Heaven, &c.

FINIS.

London, printed for H. Gosson, and are to be sold at his shop on London-Bridge. 1636.

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