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872 [872]

K. Edward. 4. Prophecies cause of much mischiefe.

of such Prophecies, in þe vocation of men, for somuch as many there be, which fearing, some one daunger, some an other, leaue their vocations vndone, & followe vnordinate wayes. As if one hauing a blynd Prophecie, that his destruction should be on the day, would wake and do all his busines by night and candle light: and so forth in other seuerall cases of men and women, as euery one in his owne conscience knoweth his own case best.

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Marginalia2.
The second part, how Prophecies are to be discerned.
The second thyng to be considered in these Prophecies, is rightly to discerne & vnderstand, as nere as we can, the difference betwene the Prophecies procedyng from God, and the false Prophecies coūterfeted by Satan. For Satan some tyme playeth Gods Ape, & transformeth him selfe into an Aūgell of light, bearyng such a resemblaunce and colour of truth and Religion, that vnneth a wise man is able to discerne the one from the other, and the most part is begyled. MarginaliaIn the second part iii. thinges to be considered.Concernyng Prophecies therfore, to know whiche be of God, whiche bee not, iij. thinges are to be obserued. 1. First, whether they goe simply and playnly, or whether they bee doubtfull & ambiguous: wherof þe one semeth to tast of Gods spirit, such as be þe Prophecies of the Scripture: the other to come otherwise, hauyng a double or doubtfull interpretation. Although the tyme of Gods Prophecies, as also of miracles is commonlye, and ordinarylye expired: yet if the Lorde in these dayes, nowe extraordinarilye doe shewe anye Prophecie, by the simplenes and playnes therof, partlye it may be discerned. MarginaliaThe second thing to be considered in prophesies.2. Secondly, this is to be expended, whether they be priuate, tendyng to this familie, or that familie, or publike. For as the Scriptures, so commonly the Prophecies of God haue no priuate interpretatiō, but generall: for so much as the care of Gods holy spirite is not restrained partially to one person, more then to an other, but generally & indifferently respecteth the whole church of his electe in Christ Iesus his sonne. Wherefore such Prophecyes as priuately are touchyng the armes of houses, or names of men, rysing or fallyng of priuate & particular families, are worthely to be suspected. MarginaliaThe thyrd thyng to be considered in prophesies.3. The third note and speciall argument to discry the true Prophecies of God, from the false Prophecies of Satā and his false Prophetes, is this, to consider the matter and the end therof, that is, whether they be worldly, or whether they be spirituall, or whether they tende to any glory or state of this present world, or whether they tende to the spirituall instruction, admonition, or comfort of the publike Churche.

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Marginalia3.
The. 3. part how to auoyde the daunger of sinister prophesies.
Nowe remaineth thirdly, after we know what prophecies be of God, & what not, that we be instructed next how to eschewe the feare & perill of all deuilishe Prophecies, whiche make agaynst vs. MarginaliaTwo remedies against deuilishe prophesies.Wherein. ij. speciall remedies are to be marked of euery Christen man, whereby he may bee safe and sure agaynst all daunger of the enemie. MarginaliaThe fyrst remedye.The first is that wee set the name of Christ Iesus the sonne of God against them, through a true faith in him: knowing this, that the sonne of God hath appeared, to dissolue the woorkes of the deuill. And agayne this is the victorye (sayth þe Scripture) that ouercōmeth the worlde, euen our faith. What soeuer then Satan worketh or can worke agaynst vs, bee it neuer so forceable, fayth in Christ will vanquishe it. Such a maiestie is in our faith, beleuing in þe name of the sonne of God.

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MarginaliaThe second remedye against daūgerous prophesies.The other remedy is faythfull prayer, whiche obteineth in the name of Christ, all thinges with the Lord. So that wicked feende, which had killed before. vij. husbandes of Tobias wife, could not hurt him, entryng his matrimonie with earnest prayer: so no more shall any sinister Prophecie preuaile, where prayer out of a faithfull hart, doth striue agaynst it 

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Foxe is referring to the Book of Tobit, one of the books in the Apocrypha.

. Neither am I ignoraūt, that against such temporall euils and punishementes to this life inflicted, a great remedy also lyeth in this, when Satan findeth nothyng, wherein greatly to accuse ourconscience. But because such a conscience is hard to bee founde, the next refuge is to flye to repentaunce, with emendation of lyfe. For many tymes, where sinne doth reigne in our mortall bodyes, there also the operation of Satan is strong agaynst vs, to afflicte our outward bodyes here, but as touchyng our eternall saluation, neither woorke nor merite hath any place, but onely our fayth in Christ. And thus much briefly touching the ij. speciall remedies, wherby the operation of all deuilish Prophecies may be auoyded and defeated.

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Now, many there be, which leauing these remedies aforesayd, & the safe protection which the Lord hath set vp in Christ, take other wayes of their own, MarginaliaMans policie can nothing do agaynst the deuil.seeking by their own policie, how to withstand & escape such Prophecies, either in eschuing þe place & time subtillie, or els cruelly by kylling þe partie whom they feare: wherof cōmeth iniurie, murder, & parricide, with other mischiefes in common weales vnspeakable. To whom commonly it commeth so to passe, that wherby they thinke most to saue them selues, by the same meanes they fall most into the snare, beyng subuerted and confounded in theyr owne policie: MarginaliaNo power can withstand Satan, but only Christ, and our fayth in hym.for that they trustyng to their owne deuise, and not vnto the Lorde, whiche onely can dissolue the operation of Satan, the Lord so turneth their deuise into a trappe, therby to take them, wherby they thinke most surely to escape. Examples wherof we see not onely in Astyages kyng of the Medes aforesaid, & Cyrus: but in infinite other lyke euentes, whiche the trade of the worde doth dayly offer to our eyes. So Queene Margarete thought her then cocke sure, when Duke Humfrey was made away: when nothyng els was her confusion so much, as the losse and lacke of that man. So if kyng Richard. 2. had not exercised such crueltie vpō his vncle Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, he had not receaued such wrong by kyng Henry the. 4. as he did. pag. 613. Likewise this kyng Edward. 4. if he had suffered his brother George, Duke of Clarence, to haue liued, his house had not so gone to wracke by Richard, his other brother, as it did. What befell vpon the student of Astrologie in the Vniuersitie of Basill, ye heard before, who if he had not mewed him selfe in his chamber for feare of his diuination, had escaped the stroke that fell. Now, in auoydyng such prophetical euentes, which he should not haue searched, he fell into that whiche he did feare. These few examples for instruction sake, I thought by occasion to inferre, not as though these were alone: but by these fewe to admonishe the reader of infinite other, whiche dayly come in practise of life, to the great daunger and decay, as well in priuate houses, as in weales publicke.

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MarginaliaA briefe rehearsall, of the matter of prophecies before passed.Wherfore, briefly to repete what before simplye hath bene sayde touchyng this matter, seyng that Satan through such subtile Prophecies, hath and yet doth dayly practise so manifold mischiefes in the worlde, settyng brother against brother, nephew against the vncle, house agaynst house, and realme agaynst realme, gendryng hattred, where loue was, and subuerting priuily the simplicitie of our Christian faith, MarginaliaThe deuill readye to answere in matters of diuination.therefore the firste thyng and beste is, for godly men not to busie their braynes about such phantasies, neither in delighting in thē, nor in harkenyng to them, nor in searching for them, either by southsayer, or by coniuration, or by familiar, or by Astrologer: knowyng and consideryng this, that who soeuer shalbe desirous or ready to search for them, the deuill is as ready to answere his curiositie therin. For as once in the olde tyme of Gentilitie 

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I.e., paganism.

, hee gaue his oracles by idols, and priestes of that tyme: so now the same deuill can, although he worketh not now by idols, yet he craftely can geue now aunswere by Astrologers, & coniurers in these our dayes, and in so doyng, both to say truth, and yet to deceaue mē when he hath sayd. MarginaliaCuriositie of prophecies to be auoyded.Wherfore, leauyng of such curiositie, let euery Christen man walke simplye in his present vocation, referryng hyd

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thynges,
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