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K. Ed. 4. False and deuelishe prophesies, not to be regarded, nor feared.

chieuous end, and yet for all that is but a Sathan. MarginaliaDeuelishe prophesies although they tell truth, yet are not to be followed. So the dreame of Astiages, seeing a vine to growe out of his daughter, which should couer all Asia, and fearing thereby that by his nephew he should lose his kingdome, proued ture in the sequeale thereof, and yet notwithstanding of Sathan it came, and caused cruell murther to folow, first of the shepheards child, then of the sonne of Harpagus, whome he set before his owne father to eate. Ex Iust. lib. 1. MarginaliaEx Iust. lib. 1. Likewise Cyrus was Prophetically admonished by his dreame, to take him for his guide, whome he first met the next morow. In that also his dream fell true, and yet was not of God. In the same number are to be put all the blind Oracles of the Idolatrous Gentiles, which although they proceede of a lieng spirit, yet sometime they hit the truth, to a mischieuous purpose. MarginaliaMerlines prophesies.The like iudgement also is to be giuen of Merlynes Prophecies. The Sorceresse, mentioned 1. Reg. 28. Marginalia1. Reg. 18. raising vp Samuell, told Saule the truth, yet was it not of God. In the 16. chap. of the Actes, MarginaliaAct. 16. there was a Damosell hauing the spirit of * Marginalia* A spirite of diuination which could ghesse & foredeeme thinges past, present, and to come, which knowledge God many times permitteth to the deuill. Pytho, who said truth of Paule and Sylas, calling them the messengers of the high God, and yet it was a wrong spirit. The vncleane spirits in geuing testimonie of Christ, saide the truth, yet because their testimony came not of God, Christ did not allow it.

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Paulus Diaconus MarginaliaEx Paulo Diac. recordeth of Valence the Emperour that he also had a blinde Prophecie, not much vnlike to this of king Edward, which was, that one should succeed him in the Empire, whose name should begin with xxx and xxx. Whereupon one Theodorus, trusting vpon the prophecie, began rebelliously to hope for the crowne, & for his labour felt the paines of a traitour. Notwithstanding the effect of the prophecy followed: For after Valence succeded Theodosius. Wherfore Christen Princes, and noble men, & all Christes faithfull people must beware & learne.

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MarginaliaThree thinges to be noted cōcerning false prophesies.1. First, that no man be inquisitiue or curious in searching to knowe what things be to come, or what shall happen, beside those things only which are promised, and expressed in the word.

2. Secondly, to vnderstand what differēce there is, and how to discerne þe voice of God, frō the voice of Sathan.

3. Thirdly, how to resist and auoide the daunger of false and diuelish prophecies.

Many there be, which being not cōtented with things present, curiously occupy their wittes to search what is to come, and not geuing thanks to God for their life whiche they haue, will also know, what shall bechance them, how & when their end will come, how lōg Princes shal reigne, and who after shall succeede them, and for þe same, get vnto thē southsaiers, astrologers, sorcerers, coniurers, or familiars. And these are not so much inquisitiue to search or aske, but the deuill is as ready to aunswere them: who either falsly doubleth with thē, to delude thē: or else telleth them truth, to worke them perpetuall care & sorow. Thus was Pope Siluester the sorcerer, circumuented by the diuell, who told him that he should be at Hierusalem, before he died, and so it fell. For as he was saieng his Masse, at a chappell in Rome, called Hierusalem, there he fell sicke, and within three daies after died, vide sup. pag. 167. MarginaliaVid. sup. pag. 180. To King Henry the fourth also it seemeth it was prophecied, that he should not die, before he went to Hierusalem, who being brought to the Abbots chamber of Westminster, and hearing the name of the chamber to be called Hierusalem, knew his time to be come, and dyed, pag. 557. 

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For Foxe's sources for the prophecies of Sylvester II's and Henry IV's deaths, see 1570, p. 663; 1576, p. 535; 1583, p. 557.

MarginaliaVid. sup. pag. 535.

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By such deceitfull prophecies, it can not be lamented inough to see what inconuenience both publikely and priuately groweth to the life of men, either causing thē falsly to trust where they should not, MarginaliaFalse trust by deuilish prophesies. or else wickedly to perpetrate that they woulde not: as may appeare both by this king, and also diuers moe. So was Pompeius, Crassus, and Cæsar (as writeth Cicero) deceiued by the false Chaldeis, in declaring to them, that they should not but die in their beds, and with worship, and in their olde age. Of such false trust, rising vpon false prophecies, S. Ambrose in his booke of Exameron, writeth, speaking of rayne, which being in those parties greatly desired, was promised and prophecied of one certainely to fall vpō such a day, which was at the changing of the new Moone: but (sayth S. Ambrose) there fell no such raine at all, till at the praiers of the Church, the same was obteined: geuing vs to vnderstand, that raine commeth not by the word of man, nor by the beginnings of the Moone, but by the prouidēce and mercie of our creatour. MarginaliaAmbrosius in Exameron.Ex Ambros. in Examer.

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Ioan. Picus Earle of Mirandula, in his excellent bookes written against these vaine startellers and Astrologers, Lib. 2. Marginalia

Ioan. Pic. Mirandul. contra Astrog. lib. 2. cap. 9

Experience of false prophesies.

writeth of one Ordelaphus a prince, to whom it was prognosticate by a famous cunning man in that science, called Hieronimus Manfredus, þt he shoulde enioy longcontinuance of health, and prosperous life, who notwithstanding, the selfesame yeare, and in the first yeare of his mariage, deceassed: and after diuers other examples added moreouer vpon the same, he inferreth also mention, and the name of a certaine rich matrone in Rome, named Constantia, who in like maner departed the same yeare, in which she receiued great promises by these Southsayers and Astrologers, of a long and happy life, saieng to her husband these words: behold (saith she) how true be the prognostications of these southtellers? If it were not for noting of thē, which now are gone, and whose names I would in no case to be blemished with any spot, otherwise I could recite the names of certaine, especially one 
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Foxe is referring to Sir John Cheke. Foxe is being this circumspect because Cheke was the mentor of William Cecil, Foxe's patron.

, MarginaliaThis man by false dissemblers, was taken, betrayed, and brought into England.which taking his iourney, in a certaine place, after diligent calculation, and forecasting of the successe and good speede of his iourney, was notwithstanding in the same iourney, apprehended and brought where he would not, after that neuer enioieng good day, in short time he departed 
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By 'departed' Foxe means that Cheke died. Foxe is being so guarded in his description of what happened, that a word of explanation is desirable. Cheke, who had been Edward VI's principal secretary, was in exile in Strasbourg in 1556. He journeyed to Antwerp to meet his wife and was kidnapped enroute and brought to England. There he was forced to publicly recant and affirm his belief in the real presence. Cheke died on 13 September 1557.

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. In Basill this I my selfe heard of one, which knew and was conuersant with the partie, who hauing a curious delight in these speculations of chances and euents to come, MarginaliaA perilous matter for a man to be curious, of tymes and things to come. by his calculation noted a certaine day, which he mistrusted should be fatall vnto him, by something, which at that day should fall vpon him. Whereupon he determined with himselfe, all that day to keepe him sure and safe within his chamber, where he reaching vp his hand to take downe a booke, the booke falling downe vpon his head, gaue him his deathes wounde, and shortly after he died vpon the same. Of these and such like examples, the world is full, and yet the curiousnes of mans head will not refraine, still to plucke the apple of this vnluckie and forbidden tree.

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Beside all this, what murther and parricide commeth by the feare of these prophecies, in great blouds and noble houses, I referre it vnto them, which reade and well aduise the stories, as well of our Kings heere in England, as in other kingdomes moe, both Christened, and Turkish, whereof another place shall serue as well (Christ willing) more largely to entreat, and particularly to discourse. To this perteineth also the great inconuenience & hinderance that groweth by the feare of such Prophecies, in the vocation of mē, forsomuch as many there be, which fearing some one danger, some another, leaue their vocations vndone, and follow vnordinate waies. As if one hauing a blinde 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 mē and women, as euery one in his owne conscience knoweth his owne case best.

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MarginaliaThe seconde part, how prophecies are to be discerned.The second thing to be considered in these prophecies, is rightly to discerne and vnderstand, as neare as we cā, the differēce betwene the prophecies proceeding frō God, and the false prophecies counterfeited by Sathan. For Sathan sometime plaieth Gods Ape, and transformeth himselfe into an Angell of light, bearing 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 begiled. Concerning prophecies therefore, to know which be of God, which be not, three things are to be obserued.

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MarginaliaIn the secōd part three things to be considered.1. First, whether they go simply and plainely, or whether they be doubtful and ambiguous: wherof the one seemeth to taste of Gods spirit, such as be the Prophecies of the scripture: the other to come otherwise hauing a double or doubtfull interpretation. Although þe time of Gods prophecies, as also of miracles is commonly, and ordinarily expired: yet if the Lord in these daies, now extraordinarily do shew any prophecie, by the simplenes & plainenes thereof, partly it may be discerned.

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MarginaliaThe seconde thing to be considered in prophesies.2. Secondly, this is to be expended, whether they bee priuate, tending to this familie, or that family, or publike. For as the Scriptures, so commonly the Prophecies of God haue no priuate interpretation, but generall: for so much as the care of Gods holy spirit is not restrayned partially to one person, more then to another, but generally and indifferently respecteth the whole Churche of his elect in Christ Iesus his sonne. Wherefore such Prophecies as priuately are touching the armes of houses, or names of men, rising or falling of priuate and particular families, are worthely to be suspected.

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MarginaliaThe 3. thing to be considered in prophesies.3. The third note & speciall argument to discry the true prophecies of God, from the false prophecies of Sathan, and his false Prophets, is this, to consider the matter and the end thereof, 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 tend to the spirituall instruction, admonition, or comfort of the pub-

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