Wonderful Prodigies of Judgement and Mercy

The following pages are taken from a charming little book printed in 1684, entitled Wonderful PRODIGIES of Judgement and Mercy: Discovered in Above Three Hundred Memorable Histories, Containing
I. Dreadful Judgements upon Atheists, Perjured Persons, Blasphemers, Swearers, Cursers and Scoffers.
II. The miserable Ends of Divers Magicians, Witches, Conjurers, &c. with several strange Apparitions.
III. Remarkable Presages of Approaching Death, and of Appeals to Divine Justice.
IV. The Wicked Lives, and Woful [sic] Deaths of wretched Popes, Apostates, and Desperate Persecutors.
V. Fearful Judgements upon Cruel Tyrants, Murderers, &c. with the Wonderful Discovery of Murders.
VI. Admirable Deliverances from Imminent Dangers and Deplorable Distresses at Sea and Land.
VII. Divine Goodness to Penitents, with the Dying Thoughts of several Famous men concerning a Future State after this Life.

Informally, I previously referred to this book as ‘Evil Papists.’

The author is given as “R. B.”—this is a pseudonym for Robert Burton.

There is also an entry in the Nuttall Encyclopædia for Robert Burton.

The text of this book seems to be available online at Cornell University as text and black-and-white scans. Robert Burton also wrote The Anatomy of Melancholy, of which Project Gutenberg has made a text edition.

[picture: Front Cover, Wonderful Prodigies of Judgement and Mercy]

Front Cover, Wonderful Prodigies of Judgement and Mercy

This tiny book is bound in full leather.

[picture: The Title Page and Frontispiece]

The Title Page and Frontispiece

[picture: K. Poland his wife and children devoured by rats]

K. Poland his wife and children devoured by rats

This probably refers to King Popielius, or Popiel, of Poland, who was said to have been eaten by rats along with his wife and children, in A.D. 830. [more...]

[picture: Seamen in great distress eat one another]

Seamen in great distress eat one another

These sailors have only a tattered sail on their mast, and are in a small lifeboat in a raging storm, with a sea inhabited by a strange giant fish. A sailor near the stern of the boat is about to be decapitated; another is eating a [...] [more...]

[picture: Page 140 with illustrations]

Page 140 with illustrations

A bloudy villain murders 3 children, and, A Virgin destroyed by venemous Serpants.

[picture: King Henry II whipped by the Pope's Order]

King Henry II whipped by the Pope’s Order

The text reads “K. Hen. 2. whipt by the Popes Order pa. 88” [more...]

[picture: Queen Bohemia swallowed up alive]

Queen Bohemia swallowed up alive

The chapter heading is Chap IV. The Wicked Lives, and Woful Deaths of several Popes, and likewise of Apostates, and Desperate Persecutors, but the running heads on each page say The woful Deaths of Wicked Popes, Apostates and Persecutors. [more...]

[picture: A Blasphemer turned into a black dog]

A Blasphemer turned into a black dog

The caption in the woodcut mentions page 4, and there is indeed an account there of someone being turned into a black dog.

[picture: A Woman torn in pieces by the Devil. pa. 14.]

A Woman torn in pieces by the Devil. pa. 14.

The “pa. 14.” refers to page 14, which has the following text: [more...]



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