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768 [744]

K. Henry. 7. Prophecies concerning the Turkes and Antichrist.

tence folowed more then a thousand yeare after Christ: besides certaine other fabulous matter conteined in the same booke. 

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The 'Master of the Sentences' is the famous theologian Peter Lombard (c. 1100-1160). Foxe is saying that, since Methodius's Revelations contain a reference to Lombard's writings, the Revelations could not have been written by a third century bishop.

Albeit because he speaketh there of many thyngs cōcernyng the state of the church vnder Antichrist, and the reformation of Religion, as seemeth rightly to come to passe, and more is lyke to follow: I thought not to defraude the Reader therof, leauyng the credite of the authour, to his arbitrement, to esteeme and iudge of him as he seeth cause. 
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Note Foxe's refusal to endorse the prophecies in pseudo-Methodius.

Among diuers other places of Methodius, Prophesieng of the latter tyme, these wordes do follow: 
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Pseudo-Methodius, Revelationes (Basel, 1515), sigs. a8v-b1r.

After that the children of Ismaell haue MarginaliaThe prophecies of Methodius, concerning the turkes. had multiplied in their generations to an infinite and innumerable multitude, in the desert aforesayd, they came out of the wildernesse of Arabie, and entred into the habitable land, & fought with the kings of the Gentiles, which were in the land of promise, and the land was filled with them. And after 70. weekes, and halfe of theyr power, wherewith they haue subdued all the kyngdome of the Gentiles, their hart was exalted, seyng them selues so to haue preuayled, and to haue conquered all thynges. &c. And afterward it followeth of the same matter in this sort. 
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Pseudo-Methodius, Revelationes (Basel, 1515), sig. b2r.

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It shall come to passe that the sayd sede of Ismaell, shal issue out and obteine the whole world, with the regions therof, in the entryng of peace, from the land of Ægypt, vnto Ethiopia: and from the floude Euphrates, vnto India: and from the riuer Tigris, to the entryng of Nabaot the kyngdome of Ionithus, the sonne of Noe: and from the North, vnto Rome and Illyricū, Ægypt, and Thessalonica, and Albania, and so forth to the sea Ponticum, which deuideth the sayd kingdomes from Germanie and Fraunce: and their yoke shall be double vpon the neckes of all nations, and gentles: neither shall there be nation or kyngdome vnder heauen, which shall be able to stand agaynst them in battaile, vntill the number of viij. weekes of yeares. &c. MarginaliaViij. wekes of yeares: counting euery weeke for a Sabbate of yeares, that is, euery day for a yeare. commeth to 56. yeares.

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Briefly, as in a grosse somme, this shal suffice, to admonish the reader, touching the meanyng and methode of Methodius Prophesies: Whiche Methodius first describyng the long and tedious afflictions of Christes Church, maketh mention of the sede of Ismaell, 

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Pseudo-Methodius, Revelationes (Basel, 1515), sigs. c2r-c4v. The Arabs were considered to be descendants of Abraham's son Ishmael, as the Jews were said to be considered to be descendants of his son Isaac.

which commyng out of the partes and desertes of Arabie, shall destroy (sayth he) and vāquish the whole earth, MarginaliaThe first state or alteration of tymes concerning the cōming of the Saracēs. So that the Christians shalbe geuen of God, to the handes of the filthy Barbarians, to be slayne, polluted, and captiued: Persia, Armenia, Capadocia, Cilicia, Syria, Ægypt, the East partes, Asia, Spayne, all Grecia, Fraunce, Germania, Agathonia, Sicilia, The Romanes also shall be slayne and put to flight: also the Ilandes of the Seas shall be brought to desolation, and to captiuitie, and put to the sword. MarginaliaChristians plagued by the Saracens. The which tribulation of the Christians shalbe without mercy or measure: the raunsome of gold and siluer and other exactions, intolerable, but especially the dwellers of Ægypt and Syria shall be most in the affliction of those tymes: And Hierusalem shall be filled with multitudes of people brought thether in captiuitie, from the foure wyndes, whiche are vnder heauen. So that beastes also, and foules and fish in the water, and the waters of the Sea shall be to them obedient. Cities and Townes, which were before full of people, shal be layd wast. Womē with child shall be rypt: their childrē sticked: infantes takē from the mothers, and cast in the streates, and none shall bury them. The rulers and sage of the people shall be slayne, and throwen out to the beastes. Churches shall be spoyled: the Priests destroyed: virgines defloured, and men compelled to sell their children, and the comming of them shall be chastisement without mercy, and with them shall go these foure plagues: captiuitie, destruction, perdition, and desolation, with much more, which for breuitie I ouerpasse. And this affliction sayth he, shall last eight weekes, or Sabbats of yeares, which I take to signifie viij. hundreth yeares. &c. 
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Foxe does not say how he arrived at this figure. One would think that eight weeks of years would be fifty-six years.

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MarginaliaThe second state or alteration of the Christians releued of their plagues and tribulations. Secondly, after these terrible plagues thus described by Methodius, vpon the Christians, which he sayth shall fall vpon thē for their wicked abhominations recited in the first & secōd chapter of S. Paul to the Romaines: MarginaliaChristians abusing Gods benefites. the said Methodius afterward, 

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Pseudo-Methodius, Revelationes (Basel, 1515), sigs. c7v-c8v. Foxe, however, omits the passages from these prophecies in which the King of the Romans would conquer the Turks and slaughter apostate Christians.

in this great distresse of the Christians, being out of all hope and comfort of reliefe, declareth & speaketh of a certaine kyng of the Grekes or Romaines, which shall restore peace agayne to the Christiās. In which peace they shall reedifie their Cities and mansions agayne: the Priestes shall be deliuered from their greuaunces, and men at that tyme shall rest from their tribulations, and then shal the kyng of the Romaines dwell in the Citie of Hierusalē a weeke or sabbate and a halfe of tymes. &c.

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MarginaliaThe third alteration by the comming of the turkes. Thirdly, duryng the tyme of this peace, the sayd Methodius sayth, that men shall fall into licentious securitie, & careles lyfe: and thē accordyng to the word of the Apostle, saying: 

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Pseudo-Methodius, Revelationes (Basel, 1515), sigs. b4r-b6r and d1r-d2v.

When they shall say, peace, peace, sodeine destruc tion shall fall vpō them: then (sayth he) shall be opened the gates of the North, and the beastly people shall breake in, which kyng Alexander the great, did close vp within two mountaines, makyng his prayer vnto the Lord God, that he would bynd vp that bestiall & execrable people, least with their filthy and detestable pollutions, they should come out and pollute the holy land. Whose intercession beyng heard, the Lord God cōmaunded them to be inclosed within two mountaines, in the North partes, to the deepenes of xij. cubites (whiche signifieth perauenture xij. hundreth yeares) so that neither by witchcraft, nor by any meanes, they could get out, or any might come vnto them, vntil the tyme of the Lord appointed, which are (sayth he) the latter tymes: And then, accordyng to the Prophecie of Ezechiell in the latter tyme of the consummation of the world, Gog and Magog out from the North, shall come forth into the land of Israell, and shall worke all this mischief agaynst the Christians, aboue recited. MarginaliaThe reigne of Christian kinges in Hierusalem lasted 88. yeares, an. 1187. And then (sayth Methodius proceding in his Prophesies) shal the kyng of Romanes, after he hath reigned in Hierusalem a Sabbate of tymes, and a halfe, that is, saith Methodius, x. yeres and a halfe, take the crowne frō his head, and yeld it vp to the Crosse in Golgotha where Christ was crucified, MarginaliaBy this resigning vp the crowne to the crucifixe in Golgotha, is signified, the ceasing of the reigne of the Christians in Hierusalem tyll the comming of Christ. and shall dye. And the crosse with the crowne shall be taken into heauen, which shal not appeare agayne before the commyng of the Lord.

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Fourthly, it foloweth then moreouer in the Prophesies of Methodius, whiche declareth, that when the weeke or sabbate and halfe weeke of tymes shall end, and when the kyng of Romanes shall geue vp his crowne in Hierusalem, and dye, 

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Pseudo-Methodius, Revelationes (Basel, 1515), sigs. d2r-d4v.

Then immediatly shal Antichrist the sonne of perditiō begyn to appeare, and be borne, in Iewrie, of the tribe of Dan, wherof also came Iudas Iscarioth, and he shall be borne (sayth Methodius) in Chorosaim, and shall be bred in Bethsaida, and shall reigne in Capernaum: MarginaliaBy this tribe of Dan. and the citie Chorosaim, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, is signified Gods great malediction vpon Antichrist. to the whiche iij. Cities, Christ the Lord gaue his 3. Væ. And when great tribulation shall increase and multiply in the dayes of this Antichrist, and all Lordshyp and dominion shall be destroyed, the Lord shall send his two faythfull and deare seruauntes, Enoch and Hely, to reproue and detect the false seducing, and lyeng forgeries of this Antichrist, openly before all men: so that the people seyng themselues falsely beguiled, and seduced by this sonne of perdition, commyng out of the Temple dissemblyngly, to the destruction of many, shall leaue and fley from him, and ioyne themselues to the sayd two holy Prophetes. Which sonne of perdition and Antichrist seyng his procedynges so to be reproued, and brought into contempt, in his fury and anger shall kill the two Prophetes of God. MarginaliaThe destruction of Antichrist. And then shall appeare (sayth Methodius) the signe of the cōmyng of the sonne of mā, and he shall come in the cloudes of heauenly glory, and shall destroy the enemy with the spirite of his mouth. &c.

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¶ Interpretation.

MarginaliaThe interpretation. To these Prophesies & testimonies of Methodius, what credite it is to be geuen, I leaue it to the Reader. 

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Note Foxe's refusal to endorse the authenticity of the prophecies attributed to Methodius.

But if the meanyng of his Prophecies go by such order of tymes, as is set & disposed in his boke: he seemeth to describe vnto vs iiij. principall states and alterations of tymes to come.

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MarginaliaThe cōming of the Saracens. The first state or alteration is by Mahumete and the Saracens, which be the ofsprynges and sonnes of Ismaell commyng out of Arabie, in the tyme of Heraclius Emperour of Constantinople, an. 630. which rebellyng agaynst Heraclius, increased and preuailed still more & more agaynst the Christians, both in Asia, and Africa, and also in many places in Europe, especially in Spayne, and Italy.

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MarginaliaThe cōming of the turks. The second state and alteration he Prophesieth to come by the Turkes, which first cōmyng out of the farre partes of Scythia, that is, out of þe North, first ouercame the Saracenes, subdued the Persians, and afterward ioynyng together with the Saracens, cōquered the kyngdome of Hierusalem, about the yeare of our Lord. 1187: then subdued Syria and most part of Asia. &c. And these be they, which Methodius seemeth to meane of, speakyng of the vyle and miserable people closed vp of the Lord God, at the intercession of Alexander the great Captaine in the North, betwen two moūtaines, the deepenes of xij. cubites, least that filthy corrupt nation should pollute the earth with their wickednes. Wherby are ment these Turkes, which commyng out frō the vttermost partes of the North, MarginaliaScythia iuxta Caucasum. that is, out of Scythia and the mountaines of Caucasus or els Imaus, were with holden and kept backe of Almighty God, for Christes cause, that they might not harme his Church a long space, during the tyme of xij. hundreth yeares: and then, the sinnes of the Christians so deseruyng, they were permitted of al-

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mighty
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