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happened to forebode a severe disease, or any other misfortune, were directed to choose a place of residence influenced by a more friendly star-or to adopt such aliment only, as being under the auspices of a propitious star, might counteract the malignant influence of its antagonist.
It was also pretty generally believed and maintained, that a sort of intimate relation or sympathy subsisted between metals and plants : hence the names of the latter were given to the former, in order to denote this supposed connexion and affinity. The corresponding metals were melted into a common mass, under a certain planet, and were formed into small medals, or coins, with the firm persuasion, that he who carried such a piece about his person, might con. fidently expect the whole favour and protection of the planet, thus represented.* Thus we perceive how easy the transition is from one degree of folly to another; and this may help to account for the shocking delusions practised in the manufacturing and wearing of metallic amulets of a peculiar mould, to which were attributed, by a sort of magic influence, the power and protection of the respective planet : these charms were thought to possess virtue sufficient to overrule the bad effects presaged by an unlucky hour of birth, to promote to places of honour and profit, and to be of potent efficacy in matters of commerce and matrimony. The German soldiers, in the dark and superstitious ages, believed that if the figure of Mars, cast and engraved under the sign of
Vide Amulets passim.
the Scorpion, were worn about the neck, it would render them invulnerable, and insure success to their military enterprises-bence the reason why amulets were then found upon every soldier, either killed in battle or taken prisoner.
We shall so far conclude these observations on the chimera of astrology and medicine with the following remarks in the words of Chamber against Knight's work,* which defends this fanciful science, if science it may
be called. It demonstrates nothing while it defends every thing. It confutes, according to
* Lilly's work,, a voluminous quarto monument of the folly of the age, was sold originally for four guineas; it is entitled “ Christian Astrology,” modestly treated, in three books, by William Lilly, student in Astrology, 2nd. edition 1659. Every p^ge is embellished with a horoscope which, sitting on the pretending tripod, he explains with the utmost facility. There is also a portrait of this arch rogue and star-gazer, an admirable illustration for Lavater.
As to Lilly's great skill in prophecy, there goes a pleasant story related by a kinsman of Dr. Case, his successor--namely, that a person wanting to consult him on a certain point coming to his house one morning, Lilly himself going to the door, saw a piece of filthy carrion which some one, who had more wit than manners, had left there : and being much offended at its unsightly appearance wished beartily he did but know who had treated him in that manner by leaving such an unwelcome legacy, as it were, in his very teeth, that he might punish them accordingly; which his customer observing when the conjurer demanded his business, “ Nothing at all,” said he, “ for I'm sure if you can't find out who has defiled your own
door, it is impossible you should discover anything relating to me," and with this caustic remark he left him.
Knight's own ideas : it alleges a few scattered facts in favour of astrological productions, which may be picked up in that immensity of fabling which disgraces history. He strenuously denies, or ridicules, what the greatest writers have said of this fanciful art, while he lays great stress on sume passages from obscure authors, or what is worse, from authors of no authority.”—The most pleasant part, however, is at the close where he defends the art from the objections of Mr. Chamber by recrimination. Chamber had enriched himself by medical practice, and when he charges the astrologers by merely aiming to gain a few beggarly pence, Sir Christopher catches fire, and shews by his quotations, that if we are to despise an art by its professors attempting to subsist, or for the objections which may be raised against its vital principles, we ought by this argument most heartily to despise the medical science, and medical men; he gives all here he can collect against physic and physicians, and from the confessions of Galen and Hippocrates, Avicenna and Agrippa, medicine is made to appear a vainer science than
even astrology itself.
Lilly's opinions, and his pretended science, were such favourites of the age, that the learned Gataker*
* The Reverend and learned Thomas Gataker, with whom Lilly was engaged in a dispute, in his Annotations on the tenth chapter of Jeremiah and 10th verse, called him a “ blind buzzard,” and Lilly reflected again on his antagonist in his Annus Tenebrosus. Mr. Gataker's reply was entitled Thomas Gataker, B. D. his Vindication of the annotation by him published upon these words, “thus saith
wrote professedly against this popular delusion. At the head of his star-expounding friends, Lilly not only formally replied to, but persecuted Gataker annually in his predictions, and even struck at his ghost, when beyond the grave. Gataker died in July 1654, and Lilly, having written in his almanack for that year, for the month of August, the following barbarous latin line
Hoc in tumbo, jacet presbyter et nebulo! Here in this tomb lies a presbyter and a knave,
had the impudence to assert, that he had predicted Gataker's death! But the truth is, it was an empty epitaph to the “ Lodgings to let :” it stood empty, reader, for the first passenger that the immortal ferryman should carry over the Styx.
But hear that arch imposter Old Patridge of more modern date whose gulleries appear to have no end. “ The practice of astrology is divided into speculative and theoretical." (Astronomy and judicial astrology). The first teaches us how to know the stars and planets, and to find their places and motions. The second directs us to the knowledge of the influence and operations of the stars and planets upon sublunary bodies, and without this last the former is of little use. Astronomy cannot direct and inform us of the secret influences and operations of the stars and planets, without the assistance of the most sublime art of astrology. For astronomy is conversant about the subject of this art, and doth furnish the astrologer with matter whereon to exercise his judgment, but astrology disposes this matter into predictions, or rational conjectures, as time and occasion require.
the Lord,” (Jer. x. 2) against the scurrilous aspersions of that grand impostor William Lilly; as also against the various expositions of two of his advocates Mr John Swan, and another by him cited but not named. Together with the Annotations themselves, wherein the pretended grounds of judiciary astrology, and the scripture proofs produced to it, are discussed and refuted. London, 1653, in 4th part
Our author making animadversions on this piece in his English Merlin, 1654 produced a third piece from Mr. Gataker, called a Discourse apologetical, wherein Lilly's lewd, and loud lies in his Merlin or Pasquil for 1654, are clearly laid open ; his shameless desertion of his own cause further discovered, his abominable slanders fully refuted, and his malicious and murtherous mind, inciting to a general massacre of God's ministers, from his own pen, evidently known, etc. London 1654.
“The practice again is subdivided into two parts, or quadripartite, as Ptolomy (lib. 2) declares : the first considers the general state of the world, and from eclipses and comets, great conjunctions, annual revolutions, quarterly ingressions and lunations, also the rising, culminating, and setting of the fixed stars, together with the configurations of the planets both to the sun and among themselves, judgment is deduced, and the astrologer doth frame his annual predictions of all sensitive and vegetative things lying in the air, earth, or water ; of plague, plenty, dearth, mutations of the air, wars, peace, and other general accidents of countries, provinces, cities, etc.
“ The second of these subdivided parts, in particular, respects only the private state of every single man and woman, which must be performed from the