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swellings of the sea-banks, and furious inundations pf 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 pf heaven were let Ipose; you shall only hear the opinion of two or three learned authors, what is the natural signification of such extraordinary effluxions pf 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 hope, take special notice, (it concerncth both Holland and Zealand Bo to do) and in a greater measure, the rulers or gover. nors of those provinces, towns, or cities therein seated: for, inundatio res ttt sinistra, maliqvc 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 slaughi ters 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 HoU landers and Zealanders is very judiciously given. This writer perhaps would not have deserved a place in the present list, had it nqt been to show the folly of his age.
Bulstrode 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 he 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 1648-9, keeper of the king's library and medals. His own account of this appointment is worth transcribing, as it shows bow narrowly we escaped the entire loss of those valuable collections*. "Being informed (says he) of a design in some to have them sold and transported beyond sea, which I
» Memorials, p. 41*.
thought would be a dishonour and damage to our nation^ and to all scholars therein; and /earing that in other hands they might be more subject to embezzling; and being willing to preserve them for public use, I did accept of the trouble of being library keeper at St. James's, and therein was encouraged and much persuaded to it by Mr. Selden, who swore that if I did not undertake the charge of them, all those rare monuments of antiquity, those choice books and MSS. would be lost; and there were not the like of them, except only in the Vatican, in any other library in Christendom." Whitelocke afterwards went ambassador to Sweden; became one of the commissioners of the exchequer ; was chosen, in 1656, speaker of the House of Commons/m> tempore; and the year following was summoned by the protector to sit in the upper house, by the title of Bulstrode, lord Whitelocke. In )659, he was made president of the council of state, one of the committee of safety, and keeper of the great seal pro tempore. The same year, however, he withdrew to the country, from an apprehension of being sent to the Tower by the rump parliament, then newly restored, and continued there, chiefly at Chilton, in WilU