STRANGE NEWS FROM THE EAST, OR, A SOBER ACCOUNT OF THE COMET, OR BLAZING-STAR That has been seen several Mornings of late.

Giving a Relation of its time of Rising, Colour, Magnitude, and other Circumstances.

With an Historical Discourse of the most emi­nent Comets that have been seen for some hundreds of years, and the Effects that followed.

By W. L. Student in Astrology.

London, Printed for B. H. in the Year, 1677.

AN ACCOUNT OF THE COMET, OR BLAZING-STAR.

THE Rumour of this Coelestial Prodigy coming to our Ear, we could not scarce at first give any credit thereunto; but being assured by Letters from able Artists of the certainty of the thing, we were willing to deny our Eyes a few hours sleep to gratifie their curiosity of beholding so rare a Phoenominon.

Some report, that in the North about York and Lin­colnshire, it was first seen about Easter-Eve in the morn­ing; but we have not met with any Spectators till the 20. or 21. of this Instant April: our self beheld it not till Monday the 23. about two in the morning, when it appeared above the Horizon towards the North, and ma­king but a small Arch, after about two hours continu­ance in view, sunk again out of this Hemisphere almost [Page 4] due East; its bigness was about a Star of the second mag­nitude to the eye, but somewhat of Saturn's Complexi­on, cloudy and obscure; and from the Body, a Stream or Tail shooting directly upwards towards the Zenith, ap­pearing to sense about a Yard or somewhat more in length, and sometimes more conspicuous than at others; its place was in the Coelestial Sign Aries, near three Stars that from their Figure are called the Triangle, having not convenient Instruments I could not take any more exact observation, nor can as yet be satisfied, whether its pro­per motion be Direct or Retrograde; but expect daily an exquisite Account of those Niceties from several Friends curious in Astronomical Studies.

As for the causes and matter of these Blazing-stars, most Philosophers conceit them to be sublunary Mete­ors, arising from the most subtile and thin breathings that ascend out of the Earth, and attracted by the Sun to a vast heighth, even above the Orb of the Moon, where compacted to a mighty Body they are set on fire, or as some will have it, not so much Inflamed as Englightned by the Sun: but these Accounts seem not to give a satisfacto­ry solution of the doubts that arise from the considerati­on of those Events, which in all Ages they have been ob­served to be Significators and Fore-runners, though not Authors or Causes of; we therefore more willingly sub­scribed to the Opinion of that profound modern Philo­sopher Paracelsus, who affirms, that a Comet is Cres­cens singulare, a Prodigy not generated of any Sperm, or produced by any Matrix, but formed and composed extraordinarily according to the good pleasure of God by Angels, who put it into such a form or shape, and give it such colour as may best represent the judgements, Muta­tions, or Accidents thereby signified unto the people, unto [Page 5] whom they are sent, or appear visible; if with diligent study they contemplate the same, that there­by they may take warning and amend their Lives, which draw down these Menaces of vengeance upon their heads.

'Tis the concurrent Vote of all Nations and Ages that Comets are Harbingers of vengeance, to some places or people, and fore runners of sad and dire Calamities — Alstedius says, Effecta Cometarum sunt bona vel Mala, &c. The effects or significations of Comets are either good or evil, the first by taking away from the Globe of Earth noxious Vapours, but for the most part they are a Token of some Divine Judgment, as may appear in the following Account.

A Brief Historical Account of the most strange and memorable Accidents, which have succeeded the Apparition of the most eminent Comets for several hundred years last past.

IN the year 1347. a Comet appeared in Taurus, which was followed by a horrible Plague throughout the whole World, in so much that Histories report that the Third part of People in Europe were therewith de­stroyed.

Anno 1350. A Comet appeared in the North, in De­cember, and it being extinct, horrible Tempests of winds ensued, and did much harm; a great Plague of Locusts [Page 6] in Poland, and the English defeat a great Fleet of Spani­ards at Winchelsea.

About three years after was another Comet, then hap­ned the extraordinary dry Summer, and a Dearth of Corn.

Anno 1375. Appeared a Comet, after which follow­ed great Calamities in Italy: An infinite number of Grass hoppers came out of the East, and did almost spoil all France.

Anno 1594. Cometa apparuit qui Veru appellatur quem pessimum putant Astrologi, It was slender, its Beard and Beams stretching upwards, and its Head downwards, a mighty Earth-quake in Switzerland, and Tamberlain the great Thunder-bolt of War.

In the Year 1400, 401, 402, and 403, Comets were seen in every Year, attended with unheard of Diseases, great Wars in Asia; and John Husse (contrary to the Emperour's Safe-Conduct) condemned and burnt to death for preaching the Gospel in Bohemia.

Anno 1433 a vast Comet was seen for three months to­gether in the East; presently happened a dearth of Corn and Famine in diverse Regions for six Years.

Anno 1444 a Comet about the Summer Solstice, after which the French Dolphin brought 30000 Armenians in Switzerland, and destroy'd the People of that Countrey in a most bloody Battel.

Anno 1460. Cometa visu terribile apparuit, a terrible Comet was seen, immediately Charles the French King dies, and a great Pestilence in Saxony.

1472 on the 13 of January appeared a Comet in Libra, very slow, but at last when hastily the whole Hemisphere between the Poles of the Zodiack and the Aequinoctial, with such celerity, that it moved in one day 40 de­grees, [Page 7] forthwith many Princes take their progress into another World, and the mighty River Danubius was so dry'd up by excessive heat, that Men passed over on foot.

Anno 1478. a Comet of a Saturnine-colour, Lewis the Eleventh King of France invades Burgundy, where he 2000 Men.

Anno 1500 a Comet of incredible bigness for 18 days in the Month of April appeared towards the North: The Tartars spoil all Russia and Poland, Plague and Famine in lost Germany.

Six Years after two Comets appeared; the first in April, its motion like the Planets was from West to East: The other in August, between North and East; the King of Spain and Emperour dye, wars between the Venetian and French, and great scarcity.

Anno 1533 a mighty Comet out of the Zodiack; This fore-went the Reformation and changes in England, by King Henry the Eight, and Birth of Queen Elizabeth.

1572. The new Star or Comet in Cassiopea; the same Year happened the Parisian Massacre, or the French Wed­ding, where there was more Protestants Blood spent than wine; Charles the Ninth of France and Selymus the Great Turk dye.

1618. for almost two Months appeared a Comet with an exceeding long Tail, presently the lamentable wars began in Germany, followed by those in Ireland, England, and where not.

1652. Another in Gemini and Taurus; The English sub­due Scotland, and beat the Dutch at Sea, Cromwell usurps the Government; The Pope and King of the Romans dye.

In 1664 and 1665. we had three Comets, and how plain their significations are since recorded as well in our Nation by Pestilence, Fire, and Forreign Wars, as [Page 8] abroad by that desolation that hath been made in many darts, cannot certainly be unreguarded or forgot. We shall conclude this Discourse, in reference to the present Comet, with that of the Prophet. Jer. 10.2. Fear not the Signs of Heaven; but rather fear GOD the Au­thor of these Signs: Let us behold and meditate on these things as Christians; and though Astrologers tender Na­tural Causes and Portents of Comets, &c. Which ap­pear in Heaven, let them not shake our Faith, but be only as so many Trumpets or Heraulds sent from the Di­vine Majesty, advertising Men that they persist not in their filthy sinful courses, acknowledging that when these Blazing-Meteors hang over our Heads, they seem as if God held his Rod over us, threatning to scourge us, or reacheth his hand to us to call us by such Signs to change our Lives, to the end that through his mercy we may obtain pardon for our sins.

[depiction of tailed comet]

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