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suing bloody wars of the Grecians one with another. The forerunners of which quarrels he saith were these; earthquakes general to the greatest part of the world, and most violent withal; eclipses of the sun oftener than is reported of any former time; great droughts," &c.
If we in Europe, or many kingdoms, people, and nations herein, are hastening unto such disastrous times and accidents as our author delivers unto pos. terity then to have happened, let God be glorified, who hath not been wanting in these worst of days and times, by many signal prodigies, so opportunely seen and felt by many men in several countries, to admonish and forewarn even us English, as well as many other kingdoms and nations, what he intends suddenly to do. Very many and admirable have been the prodigies, which of late years have appeared in the dominions of the king of Spain ; as first, that never to be paralleled uproar and tumult of the people in Naples in July 1647, at what time they made Masaniello, a poor fisherman, their captain general, who for some days, had the clearest and absolutest command over the people, that ever any history mentions, as it is excellently set forth in two little treatises by the delicate pen of James Howel, esq. [Then, after mentioning a great inundation in Spain, in the year 1651, he remarks :)
These prodigious tumults, and more than ordinary
swellings of the sea-banks, and furious inundations of waters, are most assured messengers of God's wrath and anger unto mankind; we all know the universal deluge, and almost whole drowning of all mankind, did immediately succeed after the cataracts of heaven were let loose; you shall only hear the opinion of two or three learned authors, what is the natural signification of such extraordinary effluxions of waters, or other excursion of any one of the elements. [Then quoting Cardanus and Peucerus for authorities, he proceeds.] Nor have the waters or seas at any time to no purpose thus swelled or overflowed their banks, or the winds so impetuously or boisterously roared. Very few are the people or nations where such horrible and unusual eruptions have appeared, but they have learned by woful experience, that not many years after these outrageous swellings, the people of that nation where these were have miserably smarted with immediate succeeding mischiefs, viz. either the incursions of strangers’ forces, armies, or the like, into their countries, or else a great decay, consumption, or wasting of their men, together with bloodshed and other woeful calamities concomitant. Of which prodigious irruption then happening, and some aerial sights or prodigies lately seen in the State's dominions, I mean in the Hollanders', that prudential people will, I hepe, take special notice, it concerneth both Holland and Zealand so
to do) and in a greater measure, the rulers or governors of those provinces, towns, or cities therein seated : for, inundativ res est sinistra, malique ominis,
If therefore the chain of nature be unloosed, and the enclosures of waters plucked up, so that they get forth of their own proper channels or bounds, or overflow the earth or ground with a lawless mastery of violence; this is not done by fortune or chance ; but it comes to pass by divine command. That people may
be as well sensible of some fearful slaughters at hand for punishing the wretchedness of men, as of factions, intestine divisions, armies of enemies, or.plague and famine to be approaching, &c.
Our prophet seems to be surpassed by none of his predecessors in the commendable virtue of caution. His cautionary advice to the Hollanders and Zealanders is very judiciously given. This writer perhaps would not have deserved a place in the present list, had it not been to show the folly of his age.
BurstroDE WHITELOCKE, the famous lawyer, politician, and writer of memoirs, was the son of sir James Whitelocke, knight, and born 1605, in Fleet-street, London. He was initiated in grammatical learning at Merchant Taylors' school; whence he removed, in 1620, to St. John's College, Oxford, of which Laud, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, was then president.
He left college without a degree, and became a student of the Middle Temple. In the beginning of the long parliament, he was chosen a burgess for Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, and was chairman of the committee for drawing up the charge against the earl of Strafford, and one of the managers at his trial. In 1642-3, he was nominated one of the commissioners to treat of peace with the king, at Oxford; and had a similar commission in 1644.
The same year he apprised Cromwell, that the earl of Essex designed to accuse him as an incendiary; for which friendly office he obtained the favour and confidence of that usurper. The year following, he was appointed one of the commissioners of the admiralty, in which situation he was suspected of holding correspondence with the royalists; but the suspicion, it seems, was unfounded. In 1646, he was sent for by Fairfax, when laying siege to Oxford, to be one of his council of war; on which occasion he expressed great reluctance to come to extremity with the university, and proposed an accommodation with the garrison. In 1647-8, he was made one of the four commissioners of the great seal; and soon after, attorney of the duchy of Lancaster. In December of the same year, he retired to the country, that he may have no hand in the king's trial.
He was constituted, in 1643-9, keeper of the king’s library and niedals. His own account of this appointment is worth transcribing, as it shows how narrowly we escaped the entire loss of those valuable collections*.
Being informed (says he) of a design in somne to have them sold and transported beyond sea, which I
* Memorials, p. 415.