The Black and Terrible VVARNING PIECE: OR, A SCOURGE TO Englands Rebellion.

Truly Representing, The horrible Iniquity of the Times; the dangerous Proceedings of the Ranters, and the holding of no Resur­rection by the Shakers, in Yorkshire and else­where.

With the several Judgements of the most High and Eternal Lord God, upon all Usurpers, who deny His Law, and His Truth; and the manner how 130 Chil­dren were taken away by the Devil, and ne­ver seen no more; and divers others taken, rent, torn, and cast up and down from Room to Room, by strange and dreadfull Spirits, appearing in the shapes of,

  • A Black Boar,
  • A Roaring Lyon,
  • An English Statesman,
  • And a Roman Fryer.

EXtracted out of the elaborate Works of Bishop Hall, and Sir Kenelm Digby; And published for general satisfaction, to all Christian Princes, States, and Common-wealths in Europe.

LONDON: Printed for George Horton, 1653.

The Black and Terrible WARNING PIECE

AMongst the rest of the strange and Infidel opinions, sprung up in these our tottering and staggering times, there is a genera­tion most erroniously c [...]ept within the bounds of this Nation, who hold themselves to be above Ordinances, and that they have wal­ked through all dispensations; denying the sacred Scriptures, the Resur­rection of the Saints; and like the sons of Perdition, contemn all Gos­pel promises, and Christian priviledges, saying, that there is no God▪ no Divel, no Heaven, no [...] Hell, and that the soul is mortal: denying likewise, that the Son of God commeth with recovering Grace, and discoveries and tenders of a spiritual and eternal Happinesse and Glory. But to consute them of their Errors and to evince and make forth unto the world, that there is a God, we need look no further, then Iustin Martirs Sermon ad Gentes, proving the unity of the Godhead out of the Heathens themselves, Orpheus, the Sybils, Sophocles, Homer, Plato, Pythagoras, &c. Nay further, hear what Seneca saith, if the Dev [...]ll be so diligent as to deceive men of eternal Happinesse, and bring them to unspeakable misery, then sure there is such a happinesse and misery; and the former being true, ergo the latter: for saith he, as the joys of heaven are beyond our conceiving; so also are the pains of Hell; everlasting torment is unconceivable torment. Alas! doth it not plain­ly tell us that there is a Divell, labouring to deprive man of his Happi­nesse, when men are drawn to commit such monstrous sins? Such cru­elty as the Romans used to the Jews at the taking of Jerusalem, so many thousand Christians so barbarously murthered; such bloudy acti­ons [Page 2] as those of Nero, Sylla, Calligula, Messala, Caracalla, the Ro­man Pontiffs, the French massacre, the Gun powder plot, the Spanish Inquisition, and their murthering of 50 millions of Indians in 42 years, according to the testimony of Acosta their Jesuite. Men invading their own neighbours and brethren, with an unquenchable thirst after their bloud, and meerly because of their strictnesse in the common professed Religion, as the late cruel wars in England have declared.

As touching the clear and frequent discovery of the verity of the Scriptures (though many deformed Creatures in stead of reformed Christians, in this latter Age, say, they are needless, and deny the Au­thority thereof) it is the Word of God, as great Chamier calleth i [...], who likeneth it to the Revelations made to the Prophets and Apo­stles. And, indeed, of what exceeding great necessity is it, to the sal­vation of all true Beleevers, to be soundly perswaded of the truth of Scripture? As Gods own veracity is the prime Foundation of our Faith, from which particular Axioms receive their verity: so the Scrip­ture is the principal foundation quod patefactionem, Revealing to us, what is of God, without which Revelation, it is impossible to beleeve. Therefore should not the foundation be both surely and firmly laid, the Superstructure cannot be firm, where the foundation is sandy; neither can the affections and actions of any be sound or strong, where their Beleef is unsound or infirm. Again, Learned Mr. Pemble saith, That the loose and unsetled Faith of many in these times, in denying the Scripture, and eternal Rest, proceeds from the fiery Darts and forcible Engines of Satan.

And whereas many of them deny, that the Soul of man remaineth and liveth after Death, because they see nothing go from him but his breath; it is undeniable, but that the Saints do ascend to the most Highest Throne: And this every true Beleever ought to apply unto himself implicitely, Though many in this Age are grown to that im­piety, that they laugh at all that is said of another Life, and say, that there is no such thing as a Devil, &c. But famous Zanchy affirmeth, that it is as clear as the Sun, that the Air is full of Devils; because, be­sides Gods Word, experience it self doth teach it, and sundry arguments we shall here recite to maintain it; to wit,

Luther affirmed of himself, that at Coburge he oftimes had an Ap­parition of burning Torches, the sight whereof did so affright him, that he was near swooning: Also in his own Garden the Devil appeared to him in the likenesse of a black Boar; but then hs made light of it. [Page 3] Sozomen, in his Ecclesiastical History, writes of Apelles a Smith, fa­mous in Aegypt for working Miracles, who in the night, while he was at work, was tempted to uncleanness by the Devil, appearing in the shape of a beautifull Woman. And learned Cyprian saith, that one like a glorious young man (being the Apparition of a good Angel) stood by one of his fellow Presbyters at his death, as he was afraid, and praying against death, and said to him, Are you afraid to suffer? Are you afraid to go forth? What shall I do with you? As chiding him for his lothness to suffer death for Chr [...]st. Yea, Godly, sober Melanc­ton affirms, that he had seen strange sights and Apparition, and many credible persons of his acquaintance have told him, that they have not onely seen them, but had much talk with spirits: Among the rest he mentions one of his Aunts, who sitting sad at the fire after the death of her Husband, there appeared one unto her in the likeness of her Hus­band, and another like a Franciscan Frier: The former told her, that he was her Husband, and came to tell her somewhat; which was, that she must hire some Priests to say certain Masses for him, which he ear­nestly besought her: Then he took her by the hand, promising to do her no harm; yet his hand so burned hers, that it remained black ever after, and so they vanished away.

Lavater also himself, who hath writ a book wholly of Apparitions, a Learned, Godly, Protestant Divine, tells us, That it was then an un­deniable thing, confirmed by the testimonnies of many honest and cre­dible persons, that sometime by night, and sometime by day, they have both seen and heard such things; and that some going to bed, had their cloaths plucked off them; others heard somewhat lying down in the bed with them, others heard it walking in the chamber by them; say­ing, they were the souls of such or such persons lately departed, that they were in grievous torments; and if so many Masses were but said for them, or so many Pilgrimages undertaken to the shrine of some Saint, they should be delivered; these things with many such more, saith pious Lavater, were then frequently and undoubtedly done, and that where the doors were fast locked, and the room searched, that there could be no deceit.

So Sleidan relateth the story of Crescentius the Popes Legate, fea­red into a deadly sickness by a fearfull Apparition in his Chamber. Most credible and Godly Writers tell us, That on the twentieth day of June, in the year of our Lord 1484. many Blasphemous and abomina­ble [Page 4] wretches (holding the same Tenents with the Ran­ters, Shakers, &c. of our times) met together in great numbers, both Men, Women, and Children at a Town called Hammel in Germany, where they acted the Scene of Sathan, reviling and Blaspheming, nay threatning the Almighty and Omnipotent God: And not content with this, set their Children, to the number of 130. on a high place within half a mile of the aforesaid Town, to dare and defie the Lord of all spirits. But mark the Judge­ment that befel them in a moment: while they were bel­ching forth these Diabolical Imprecations, the Lord thundred Vengeance upon them, the said 130 Children being carried away by the Devil in a flame of fire, and were never seen again. But I need say no more of this; there is enough written already, not onely by Cirogna, Delus, Paracelsus, and others of suspected credit; but also by godly and faithfull Writers, as Lavater Agricola, Moy­nus, and many others.

Zanchy thinks, it is the very substance of Devils that enters men, and that they have bodies more subtile then the Air, by which they enter. But if any doubt whether there be any such thing, credible History, and late expe­rience may sufficiently satisfie him; for in need, the Hi­story of the dispossession of the Devil out of many per­sons together, in a room in Lancashire, at the prayers of some godly Ministers, is very famous.

Luther thought that all Phrenetick persons, and Ideots, and all bereaved of their Understanding had Devils, not­withstanding Physitians might ease them by remedies. And indeed the presence of the Devil may consist with the presence of a disease, and evil humor, and with the ef­ficacy of Means. Sauls melancholy Devil would be gone when David played on the Harp. So that learned Physi­tians think, that the Devil is frequently mixed with such [Page 5] distempers, and hath a main hand in many of their symp­tomes.

Forestus mentioneth a Country man that being cast in­to melancholly through discontent at some injuries that he had received, the Divel appeared unto him in the like­nesse of a man, and perswaded him to make away himself rather then to bear such indignities; and to that end advised him to send for Arsenick to poison himself. But the Apothecary would not let him have it, except he would bring one to promise that he should not abuse it; whereupon the Divel went with him as his Voucher, and so he took a dram, but though it tormented him, yet it did not presently kill him; wherefore the Devil brought him afterward a rope, and after that a knife to have de­stroied himself; at which sight the man being affrighted was most miraculously recovered unto his right mind again.

And lastly, to prove that man hath a future happiness or misery, is drawn from the argument of the Devils compact with Witches. It cannot be onely his design, of hurting their bodies that maketh him enter into these contracts with them; for that he might procure by other means as likely. It is a childish thing to conceit that the Devil cares so much for a few drops of their bloud, is not the bloud of a beast or other creature as sweet? nei­ther can it be onely the acknowledgement of his power that he aims at; nor a meer desire of being honoured or worshipped in the world, as Porphirius and other Pagans have thought: for he is most truly served, where he is least discerned, and most abhorred, when he most ap­pears. His Apparitions are so powerfull to convince the Ranters of our times, who believe not that there is either God, or Devill, or Heaven, or Hell, that I am perswaded he would far rather keep out of sight, and that for the [Page 6] most part he is constrained by GOD to appear against his will.

So that by these attempts of Sathan, to deceive and destroy souls, it is evident, That there is an estate of Happiness or misery to every man af­ter this life. See Sir Kenelm Digby, of the Immortality of the Soul: And Mr. Ross his Philosophical Touchstone, in Answer to it. And in­deed, all those Arguments which every Common Play Book, and Phi­losopher almost can afford you, to prove the immortality of the Soul, will also serve to prove the point in hand. But many can apprehend these Arguments from sense, who cannot yet reach, and will not be con­vinced by other Demonstrations: As Temptations, Apparitions, Pos­sessions dispossessions, and Witches, are most excellent means to con­vince a Ranting Sadduce, that there are Angels and Spirits; so also by consequence, that there is a Resurrection, and eternal Life.

From whence, be pleased to observe, how long did the most learned Philosophers study, before they could know those few, rude, imperfect notions, which some of them did attain to, concerning Eternity? They were gray with age and study, before they could come to know that which a Child of seven years old may now know by the benefit of Scripture.


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