[Page] A DISCOVERSIVE PRO­BLEME concer­ning Prophesies, How far they are to be valued, or credi­ted, according to the surest rules, and directions in Diuinitie, Philoso­phie, Astrologie, and other learning:

Deuised especially in abatement of the terrible threatenings, and menaces, peremptorily denounced against the king­doms, and states of the world, this present famous yeere, 1588, supposed the Greatwoonderfull, and Fatall yeere of our Age.

By I. H. Physition.

Printed at London, by Iohn Iackson, for Richard Watkins.

1588

The disposition, or Method of the Tract following.

THE first Part, or Section, generally intreateth and discourseth of, and against all supposed oracles, pre­tended prophesies, counterfet predictions, fabu­lous traditions, forged deuises, superstitious tales, vaine rumors, idle surmizes, and all such erronious, or friuolous testimonies whatsoeuer, either fraudulently and impostu­rally, or at least conceitedly and fantastically giuen out to the world, within the terme or compasse of this last age, since which all true or credible prophesies haue surceased, and nothing vttered by way of prediction, remaineth of authoritie or credence, but onely such testimonies and iudgements, as are learnedly and skilfully grounded vpon lawfull art, or certainly and assuredly approoued by actu­all experience.

THE second Part, or Section, specially argueth and examineth the probabilitie of the speciall prophe­sie, particularly deuised, and notoriously published of the present famous yeere, 1588. with sufficient decla­ration vnto the world, that the same supposed prophesie importeth not any such matter either of necessary, or con­tingent truth, as should in any artificiall consideration, or other reasonable respect, deserue any fauourable inter­tainment, or credence with the learned, wise, or godlie: ei­ther according to the grounds and rules of Humanitie, or Diuinitie.

To the Right Honorable especiall good Lord, Sir CHRISTOPHER HATTON Knight, Lordhigh Chancelor of England.

RIght Honorable very good Lord, there is scarsly any forwarde Graduate, or student in either Vniuersitie; or any reasonable fauorer and welwiller of learning, either in citie or countrie, far or neare, through­out England; that hath not often heard sufficient report, togither with many Ho­nourable commendations as well of your good Lordships especiall regard, and con­tinuall recourse to all kinds of liberall, and fruitfull learning; as also of your bountifull, and in truth magnificent fauor to all sorts of lear­ned men, any way well reputed in their seuerall faculties, and profes­sions. The very actual euent it selfe, and so many right woorthy, and notable effects of wise and well aduised proceeding, not a yeere, or two, but euen these many yeers togither from time to time continu­ed, still and still importing so prosperous, and happy successe; declare abundantly vnto the world, that the very originall grounds, & prin­cipall foundations of so exceeding worshipfull, and honorable build­ings, were, and are, as soundly and substantially laied on your behalf, as either any good learning could aduise at first, or any good wise­dome might deuise at last. So that partly your yoonger studies at Common-law, and arts of humanitie: partly your riper studies of Ci­uil-law, the Mathematiques, Ethiques, Politiques, histories aswell forrein, as domestical, and other most notable both general & special instructions, of priuate, and publique gouernment: partly your elder and final studies about Courtly affaires, matters of State, the actu­all seruice of your Prince, & Countrey (wherin continually appeered sundry visible, and infallible proofes of your Honorable industry, and wisdome) haue finally bred that absolute perfect experience, & that deepe sound iudgement in your Lordship for all matters and occur­rences of whatsoeuer weight, or importance; that becommeth so great a Lord of the state, so high an Officer of the Realme, so deere a Counseller of hir most excellent Maiestie, and so mightie a Iudge or Praetor of this whole kingdome, and common-wealth, as now at last, thorough the gratious especial fauor of God, and Prince, you are [Page] woorthily prooued: euen as woorthily by the common voice of the people, and vniuersall assent and consent of all degrees (which some haue termed Gods owne verdict; some the very suffrage of nature; some the definitiue sentence of vertue hix selfe) as any your praede­cessors, aduanced to the same dignitie in our memory; notwithstan­ding any their especial desert, or appropriate meetnes for that place and preeminence. Insomuch, that the whole realme vniuersally; eue­ry estate particularly; and in maner euery person singularly, doth congratulate this your late so very high praeferment, and authoritie, as most woorthily conferred vpon a most woorthy person: whose ap­prooued Honorable wisdome, and assured manifold sufficiency, euen for the weilding and ordring of greatest matters, hath long sithence so euidently & fully appeered to euery cleere cie, not wilfully bleared or dimmed, that generally euery one, but specially the wiser, and dis­creeter sort deemeth your L. at all points correspondently prepared, and furnished for the best discharging and perfectest accomplishing of so weightie a function, (aswell in the Queenes most gratious and high Court of Chancerie, as otherwise, wheresoeuer, or howsoeuer the laudable administration, and execution of that most Honorable office, is required,) with vniuersall good credite, publique reputati­on, generall applause, and as it were euen a common Recognizance, or praesentment of al intier reuerence, and true honor, wherunto God hath specially framed, & inhabled your Lordship. Mine owne poore selfe, as one of the last, and least, albeit depending vpon respects, and remaining a good space in doubt, thorough due consideration of my vnwoorthines, and insufficiencie, (which regard hitherto withdrew me, from praesenting either my selfe, or any my simple doing to the view of so honorablie wise, and graue a person:) neuertheles at length resolued, not to ouerslip that small opportunitie of particular cōgratulation, which heretofore with good succes I had used, by rea­son of conuenient occasion cōpetently ministred therunto, euen with your Honorable predecessor, my very especial singlar good L. whilest he liued. I haue already mentioned your bounteous long approoued fauor toward learning, and the professors therof; neither can I for­get in generall so assured an argument, & praegnant testimony, as so many famous Dedications, Inscriptions, Praefaces, Titles, Directi­ons, & Letters missiue, extant in your Right Worshipfull, and Right Honorable most renowned name, do continually suggest & affoord: [Page] neither am I ignorant in special, what inward, and outward affection your Honor hath carried aswell to the Mathematiques, as to other the wisest, and auaileablest Ciuill faculties: wherof no man hath ei­ther gathered more worshipfull flowers, or reaped more Honorable fruits, than your considerate wisedome, euermore accompanied with sound, and effectuall iudgement: and finally, I could name euen par­ticular men, that haue been fauorably entertained and accepted of your noble Honor, in the foresaid respects, and therfore remaine ve­ry deepely, and affectionately bounden vnto your good Lordship: amongst whom namely my eldest brother hath long sithence recoun­ted himself, and will ouer acoordingly make the same most dutifull reckoning. These, and such like arguments of incouragement, haue now after some deliberation, so forcibly praeuailed with me, and so effectually imboldened me, that by meanes therof, I haue aduisedly praesumed aboue my simple qualitie, to offer vnto your woorthy L. by way of humble, & officious Dedication, my Annuall Kalender, or briefe Almanacke, for the famous praedestined yeere following; togi­ther with the Astronomicall Diarie, the compendious discourse vpon the Eclipses, and the short Astrologicall Prognostication, thereunto appending. A slender Pamphlet, and trifle in effect: yet such, as first, (not fully fiue yeeres expired) M. Iustice Meade, my verie especiall good Countryman, and right Worship­full deere friend; then (vpon the credit of his curteous recommen­dation) the late Lord Chancelor, your antecessor, my Right Ho­norable singular good Lord (the woorthy memory of both which, I am alwaies accordingly to reuerence and honor) vouchsafed to ac­cept in as fauorable maner of allowance, and defence, as my selfe in reason could wish, or in affection should desire. May it like­wise please your excellent Lordship, Right Honorable Sir, of your accustomed Noble goodnes, to deigne me like fauor, in accepting this Schollerly exercise, of long practised and still allowed vse; as I am respectiuely to esteeme of your Lordship, as of a greater, & more conspicuous person, than the better of them, (be it vttered without any note of praeiudice, or derogation to the better of them, either di­rectly or indirectly:) so I shal account my selfe more streighly char­ged, and more extraordinarily bounden in al possible duties and ser­uices vnto your magnificent good L. than euer I was vnto either of them: to whom notwithstanding I must needes in good reason; and [Page] ought alwaies in good dutie; & wil gladly in good affection, reknow­ledge my selfe very deepely, and intirely beholding. I dare not pro­fesse, nor cannot challenge any great speciall, or extraordinary skill, either Theoricall, or Practicall, either in the Mathematiques, or otherwise, in any profound science, either Contemplatiue, or Actiue: but whatsoeuer my smal habilitie is, either in matter of learning, or any other seruiceable way; or howsoeuer it may haply prooue tho­rough the gratious fauor of God, & mine own studious diligence; it is, and shal alwaies be ready in most dutiful, & carefull maner, to at­tend your most Honorable pleasure: so far as it may like, or content the same, by way of probation or otherwise, to vouchsafe me any por­tion of the fauor, as to command any my studie, industrie, trauell, or seruice, euen to the vttermost extent of my whole possibility anyway whatsoeuer. Which I must not stand to inlarge, or amplifie at this praesent, but am to refer, & (may I respectiuely be so bold, vnder cor­rection, and vpon humble petition) to recommend the entire proofe and triall of any such seruiceable dutie, to the onely consideration, and appointment of your deepe wisedome: fearing least I haue al­readie praesumed ouermuch, in troubling your L. ouerfar, and hum­bly crauing pardon for interrupting your other most serious and weightie affaires; I beseech God, long continue your good Lordship in perfect health, and stedfast honor, to the assured and inestimable vse, both of hir soueraigne Maiestie particularly, and vniuersally of the whole Realme: which neuer more, than at this instant, needed the carefull, prouident, circumspect, and intierly sound assistance of such wise trustie Counsellors, and Nobles, as hir gratious Highnes, and this peaceable gouernment haue effectually found your woor­thy Lordship; vnto whom not onely I, but infinite other of all de­grees, and estates, most hartily, and vnfainedly wish all felicitie. At Kingslynn in Norfolke: This xx. of August. 1587.

Your good Lordships most dutifull, and affectionate: IOHN HARVEY.

To the same Right Honorable very good Lord, Sir CHRISTOPHER HATTON Knight, Lord high Chancelor of England.

HAuing lately in the Epistle to my former De­dication, Right Honorable very good Sir, al­ledged sufficient causes, & incouragements of my presuming to direct that slender Pam­phlet vnto your woorthy Lordship: I sup­pose it shall not now againe seeme greatly needfull, either to repeate the same causes, or to annexe any other thereunto: albeit in modest hope of like Honorable fauour, I continue the like boldnes in presenting your Lordship with a Treatise, not much vnlike either for quantitie, or qualitie: Sauing onely, that the very present Argu­ment, as well in some generall considerations, as in regard of certaine speciall circumstances, both publique and priuate, may respectiuely mini­ster some reasonable occasion, if not of more fauorable acceptation, yet haply of more inward liking. No man either knoweth better, or can deeplier consider, than your Lordship, how notoriously and perilously the world hath continually from time to time beene abused, and in sort cose­ned with supposed prophesies, and counterfet soothsayings, deuised either for vnknowen, or for vngracious, and lewd causes: intending at least Co­micall sturs, but commonly fostering tragicall commotions. Not onely forraine histories, both old and new, in all languages, as well learned, as vulgar: but also our owne British and English Chronicles (as your Lord­ship best remembreth;) beside a number of other famous books, and ma­ny old smokie paperbookes, are very copious, and ouer plentiful in affoor­ding examples of this couenous, and imposturall kinde. Amongst which notwithstanding, no examples euer were, or are more dangerous, and ieo­perdous, than those, which daily experience both in England, and in eue­ry other state or Commonwealth of the world, eftsoones suggesteth; vp­on euery new occasion, strange accident, perilous exigence, or whatsoe­uer other notable occurrence, againe and againe reuiued, by way of fresh, and currant matter to serue present turnes, and to feede the working hu­mor of busie and tumultuous heads, continually affecting some innouati­on, or other. But of all the residue, what comparable to the terrible pre­tended prophesie, euen now notoriously in Esse, concerning the imagined mightie, and woonderfull casualties and hurliburlies of the present yeere 1588? In which respect of so vniuersall fame, I was earnestly mooued, and importuned by certaine worshipfull Gentlemen, and diuers other my fa­miliar friends, to vndertake some little trauell in examining the naturall causes, and artificiall reasons of the said supposed prophesie, so far as any my reading, or vnderstanding might extend, to furnish any such scholler­ly insight, or inquitie thereinto. Whereupon at last I was rather ouerru­led, than persuaded, to yeeld vnto that motion; partly acknowledging [Page] mine owne insufficiencie, partly considering, that I could not any way (to mine owne contentment) discusse that one particular, without some rea­sonable conference of many other semblable particulars, and euen some generall Tract vpon the whole Argument of such putatiue, and imagina­tiue Prophesies. Which very Tract being also at length by them extor­ted, and by me dispatched, as my present leisure would permit: I am now no lesse instantly requested and sollicited, not onely by the said first moti­oners, but also by certaine other of equall calling, that haue sithence had the perusall thereof in writing, to publish the same with all conuenient expedition: as a Treatise of much publique, and priuate vse at this in­stant. Which albeit my selfe am not any way to acknowledge, otherwise than in affectionate desire to worke what possible good I may, euen with the meaner and baser sort: yet in case your Right Honorable wisedome shall likewise either in whole, or in part admit thereof: I am in all dutie and reuerence, humbly to submit, and wholy to commit the same vnto your onely allowance, or disallowance, to be either published, or suppres­sed at your Honorable pleasure. A matter in it selfe nothing woorthie so noble, and graue consideration: but as per accident it may happen to stay the wisdoms of some busie, and troublesome persons, not so well disposed, or so discreetly aduised, as might in common respects be wished. Howbe­it I am also wholy to refer euery such circumstance vnto your most Hono­rable determination: whereon I finally relie, as the onely definitiue sen­tence of life, or death vnto this small Treatise. Which accordingly awai­teth your good Lordships pleasure and appointment: as also my selfe, to the vttermost of my poore abilitie, am euer to attend your Honorable commandement: euen so for this instant taking my humble leaue, with dutifull recommendation of your Lordship vnto the accustomed fauor of God, who long preserue your most Honorable estate.

At Kings Lin in Norfolke: this xiiij. of Ianuarie. 1588.

Your good Lordships most humble in all dutie, Iohn Haruey.

A DISCOVRSIVE PROBLEME, concerning Prophesies, HOW FARRE THEY ARE TO BE VA­lued, or credited according to the su­rest rules, and principles as well of Diuinitie, as of Philosophie, and other Humanitie.

The first part, or Section: discoursing in generall, of, and against supposed Pro­phesies, with all such pretended Traditions.

COnsidering that not onely the common people talketh much of many common pro­phesies, and maketh great a­dooe about the gréeuous ter­rors, perils, and calamities threatned thereby: but also euen the learneder, and wi­ser sort oftentimes discour­seth vpon such Accidents and Consequents, not without some apparance of creduli­tie, and some signification of feare: I presume it a matter neither vnprofitable to the one, nor vnacceptable vnto the other, to vtter some reasonable part of my reading, and con­ceit touching such points: especially concerning later notori­ous predictions, and supposed prophesies, whose terrible ef­fects and euents are consequently looked for, of many thou­sands in the world. With what assurance, or probabilitie, I can hardly auow, or coniecture; with what slender warrant of proofe, or likelyhood, let themselues déeme vpon further consideration, and better examination of such indifferent reasons and authorities, as the cause it selfe shall materially suggest, and any reasonable man may formally alledge. I loue not to wander at auenture, or to range at randon; the [Page 2] particulars are famously knowen, the matters often canuas­sed; sundry threatnings and terrors more vehemently, and more passionately aggrauated, than percase néedeth: the so­lemne, and autenticall word of Prophesie, and Prophesies, ouer-much vsed, and abused: liplabor ynough, and ynough: still more and more dread, suspicion, iealousie, horror, I wot not what: full much adoo, and full little helpe: great stur, to small purpose: miserable expectations of what, and what im­minent dangers and calamities? The effects are terribly feared: are the causes as certainly dreadfull? You tell me of a wofull and horrible conclusion: are the premisses vndoub­tedly necessary, and peremptory? Can so heauy Consequents procéed from so light Antecedents? Can there not be raning, and fantasticall sayings, but there must néedes follow outra­gious, and tragicall doings? Was there neuer lie found in such mouthes? Did the world, or the diuell, euer want im­postors, falsaries, coseners, hypocrites, or false prophets? Is it so difficult, or impossible a matter to cast mists before the eies of the simple sort, and ignorant people? Nay, is any de­uise easier, or any practise readier, than to forge a blinde pro­phesie, or to coine a counterfet tale, or to foist in a new found old said sawe, or to set countenance vpon some stale poeticall fragment, or other antique record, or to play vpon the aduan­tage of som old memorandum, without rime or reason; or to gloze, and iuggle with knacks of the maker, where they may passe, and repasse for currant paiment; or finally, to re­uiue some forlorne Merlin, or Pierce Plowman, or Nostra­dame, or the like supposed prophet? Alas, is this wise world so simple, to beléeue so foolish toyes, deuised to mocke apes, and delude children? Were it not more manly, and more godly wisedome, either not to be mooued at all; or else to be mooued with more effectuall arguments, and more forcible persuasions? If you credit words, or writings, or records, or prophesies, or whatsoeuer else, tell me directly why you cre­dit them, and for what weighty or likely cause? Is it not fond credulitie and simplicitie, to beléeue rashly, and without ad­uisement, or respect? Or if you know whom, and what, and how, and wherefore you beléeue; how happeneth it there [Page 3] appéereth no cléerer euidence, or sounder proofe either of the authors, or of the matters, or of other formall circumstances, or finally of the soueraigne good ends, whereunto such terri­ble caueats and forewarnings should tend? Is God, or anie godly man the author? Is the author woorth the naming being knowen, or woorth the knowing being named? May not the author commonly, and for the greater part be iustly registred, and enrolled in the famous Epistles Obscurorum virorum? I haue read many prophesies, and heard more, yet how few authors therof named? Scarcely thrée, of thréescore: and those thrée scarcely to be recounted in the catalog, either of the learneder, or of the wiser, or of the godlier sort. Set downe their names, peruse their writings, suruiew their doings, and examine their qualities; and what indifferent man will say, or can thinke otherwise than I haue said? Shal I yet deale more roundly, and plainly? Are they, or were they either good artists, or good philosophers, or good astronomers, or good physitions, or good diuines, or good prophets, or any good thing else, vpon whom such stuffe is fathered? Was it ordinarie learning, or extraordinarie inspiration, whereby they attained their maruellous and terrible knowledge? Can there any sound or substantiall reason be alledged, why either in the one, or in the other, they should surpasse, and ex­céede other notable men in all faculties, and professions, ne­uer surmizing, or dreaming vpon any such matters? Are we to conceiue, or imagine that woonderfull effects could procéed but from woonderfull efficientes? Might woodden trées bring foorth golden fruits? Was euery Saul to thrust in amongst the prophets? Must we néedes reknowledge Baalams asse, or rather Aesops asse the onely oracle of the world? I would gladly learne what excellent nature, what cunning or pro­found art, what actiue exercise, or what other generall or spe­ciall meanes of perfection should bréede in them any such pro­pheticall spirit, or appropriate habit of prediction. Were not their naturall gifts simple ynough; or did it euer appéere, that they were indued with any extraordinary, or superna­tural instinct, surmounting aboue the common capacitie, and sensible reach of other reasonable creatures? Could they [Page 4] euer challenge any personall priuilege, or soueraigne prero­gatiue of particular illumination, or speciall reuelation, or any other diuine, or humane singularitie? Dare any man once surmize, that they were either spiritually, or corporally rapt and exalted into the Empyreall, or Chrystalline hea­uens? Did the holy Ghost descend miraculously vpon them in the likenes of fire, or other visible shape? Is not the date of such diuine mysteries, and heauenly miracles expired ma­ny hundred yéeres ago? Were extraordinarie, and irregular operations euer durable? Are we still to make account of su­pernaturall, or seraphicall illuminations, and rauishments of spirit? Will either sound Diuinitie, or discreete Huma­nitie beare any such doctrine, either at these dates, or by the time of our ancestors? Are not Oracles vtterly ceased, as well by the theologicall iudgement of best Diuines, as by the philosophicall position not onely of Tullie in his second booke De Diuinatione, or of Plutarch in his discourse De Abolitione oraculorum; but also of Plinie in the thirtith booke of his Na­turall historie: of Porphirie in his Inuectiue Contra religio­nem Christianorum, and of sundry other later philosophers? Are not the préests of Vrim long ago dead? Or were not the prophetical informations by the secrét and diuine vertues of the twelue pretious stones therein comprized, altogither an­tiquated, and extinct, at least 200. yéeres before Iosephus, as himselfe auoweth in his Iudaicall Antiquities? Misticall men pretend diuers, and sundry misticall causes; but you must be faine to pardon many sensible and reasonable perso­nages, of good reckoning, and sharpe conceit, accompanied with discréet consideration and iudgement, that will not ea­sily be induced to beléeue more, than either humane reason shall probably persuade, or diuine authoritie canonically in­force. I sée not any naturall, or supernaturall excellencie: nei­ther am I so melancholique, or furious, as to attribute much vnto melancholy, or furie, howsoeuer some against Morall and Naturall reason account of these moodie, and rauing pas­sions, as Delphicall, or Sybilline properties; procéeding in truth of very bad and distempered constitutions, both of bo­die and mind; as elsewhere I am to discourse more at large [Page 5] both physically, and otherwise. But peraduenture for art they might be incomparable: for what art? Sacred, or ci­uill: philosophicall, mathematicall, or other: theoricall or practicall: lawfull or vnlawfull: white or blacke? There ne­uer wanted many professors, and vaunters of many arts; but how few perfect, or sufficient artists, actually and infallibly approoued by their excellent artificiall works? And amongst those pettyprophets, what one in maner of any singular, or especiall reckoning in any déepe and profound feate of art? The greater part, God knoweth, full silly and sorrie artists in any kinde, especially in the sound Theorie, and effectuall practise of the woorthiest, and noblest sciences, mathematical, philosōphicall, and other of like auailable effect. Lift vp your eies, and looke into the Diuinitie Schooles: were Saint Au­gustine, S. Ierom, S. Ambrose, S. Gregorie, or any notable Diuine, either ancient or moderne, coiners or fosterers of prophesies? Descend to the Mathematicall Schooles, heare you any such matter from the mouthes of Ptolomie, Coper­nicus, Rheniholdus, Iofrancus, Offusius, or any singular Mathematician? Procéede to the Philosophicall chaire: and will Aristotle, Plinie, Cardane, Scalliger, Ramus, or any ex­cellent philosopher, busie your brains with any such rauing, and senselesse conceits? You may well passe by the Physique and Law lectures: where I warrant you is some thing else to do, than to mispend their golden time, or waste their vitall breath, about idle and vaine fantasies, credulously termed prophesies. I could neuer yet learne that Galen, or Iustini­an, or any good Galenist, or Iustinianist did greatly lend his eare, or bend his mind vnto any such trifles. And as for the famous professors of other liberall sciences and faculties, how far are they from musing, or buzzing vpon those me­lancholie imaginations? Euen such, as otherwise haue béen déepliest plunged, and almost drowned in the profoundest A­croamatiques, and Metaphysiques, yea and Magiques, and Negromantiques to, yet haue little, or nothing regarded these phantastiques. Haue recourse to all ages, and consider their notablest, and woorthiest wits; and doth it not mani­festly appéere as well by histories, and chronicles in all lan­guages, [Page 6] as otherwise by other credible writings, and re­cords, that few, or none of the learned were euer addicted to the maintaining, fostering, or fauouring of any such paultry; as matters commonly repugnant and opposite to all good learning, and to the very grounds of Arte? The smaller skil, the greater credulitie: the lesser knowledge, the more passiō: Ignorance in many cases the moother of Deuction: Simpli­citie is soone perswaded, and beguiled: nothing more easie, than to blind the rude multitude: most cosenage, where least suspition: light men, light of beléefe: want of vnderstanding, causeth want of iudgement: alas, blinde men are faine of­tentimes to swallow downe flies; and poore soules make as much of homely porrage, as other do of finer, and daintier fare. It is néedles to dwell in this point, and happily their actuall experience, exercise, and practise sheweth it selfe euen as great as their learning. Most what solitary, and forlorne men: melancholy men: Saturnine men: cloystermen: pée­uish, and wayward men: méere Theoristes, and phantastes, onely delighted in themselues, and offended with all the worlde besides: vnfit for any ciuill company: and vnméete for any practicable action: whose whole action, nothing but contemplation: whose exercise, idlenes: whose practise, va­nitie: whose finall experience, what but selfe-conceite, and selfe-liking with contempt of all things else, and defiance of all men else: whose soveraigne repose, and felicitie in their owne priuate speculation, and others publique confusion: whose totall study, and trauell to cosen the world, to terrifie the credulous, to fill mens mouthes, and eares with lamen­table, and horrible rumours, to bréede continuall matters of dreadful suspicions, ielousies, vndermininges, commotions, agonies, vexations, and tribulations of all sortes. Mad com­panions and mates of strange and monstrous disposition: but such, and such hath béene the very nature, and qualitie of our common melancholique, and Saturnine prophets, wher­with the worlde hath a long space béene perilously seduced, and disguised, till now at last, it beginneth to be somewhat quicker sented, and to smell out the sophisticall and hypocri­tical practises of these terrible skar-crowes, and bul-beggers, [Page 7] that ment still, and still to play their furious parts on the stage, and like Demiapolloes, or rather like Elphes and Goblins to affright, and distraught simple creatures. Do I mistake the matter or maner of their procéedings? I speake but vnder correction of my betters, and am content to submit my slender opiniō to euery sounder iudgement: neither dare I peremptorily, or affirmatiuely auow euery part of the pre­misses, but onely assay problematically, and as our schoole­men tearme it, disputatiuely, what may therin appéere most probable. My intention is not to teach, but to learne: neither do I affect the credite of a déepe Artist, but am content to be reputed a reasonable Questionist. I would be loath to mis­use any person, or disguise any matter in tearmes: and ther­fore will not presume any farther, but to put the case, and like a tractable Peripatecian, or rather Academique, by de­maunding, and arguing, to procéede tentatiuely, and discour­siuely, as the foresaid schoolemen vse to call it. If percase your Pro weigh downe my Contra, I am soone answered; and will not greatly trauell to trouble, or entangle you with intricate replies, or reioinders: but am ready ynough to yéeld without the least obstinacie, and to confesse in all philosophical, & chri­stian humilitie, Errare possum, haereticus esse nolo. In the meane time, giue me leaue to doubt of the skilfull vnderstanding, and sincere dealing of such authors, and fautors, as haue vsu­ally from time to time scattered abroade such idle, and coun­terfet wares: which neuertheles I am not to account either idle, or counterfet, in case they euer happen to be prooued otherwise. Untill which time, may I not also partly gather the authority by the author, the testimony by the witnes, the prophesie by the prophet? Are the best of them aboue excepti­on, either for perfect science, or for vpright conscience? alas, what are the woorst? Measure, and estéeme them, on gods name, according to the rate and proportion of their woorthi­est gifts: do them iustice, but do vs no iniury: regarde them according to their best deserts, and demerits; but make not too childishly much of their painted sheathes. I cannot nowe stande vpon discussing euery particular, or in sifting euerie circumstance: and I was long sithence taught by Rodulph [Page 8] Agricola in his notable bookes, de Inuentione Dialecticae, to dispute rather ad Rem, than ad Hominem: howsoeuer Aristo­tle in his Topiques hath trained Sophisters to such Cryp­ticall shifts, and sleights other whiles. Wherein if peraduen­ture I haue already erred secundum magis, aut minùs: I craue pardon accordingly, and so consequently procéede to the mat­ters themselues. I take it néedles, and booteles to make ouer déepe, or scrupulous enquiry into euery most auncient, and obsolete antiquitie: I presuppose it sufficient to peruse, and examine the most famous, and most autentique supposed prophesies, that haue currantest passage, and repassage in most mouthes, and bookes: considering how easily euerie indifferent man may proportionably make estimation of the woorse, by the better, and ratably value the one by the other.

Is therefore any more renowned, or more credible than that great famous prophesie touching the Tripartite distinc­tion of ages, a whole continuance, or endurance of the world, Cabalistically giuen out by tradition, from one Rab­bi Elias, an odde obscure Iew in comparison, howbeit lately coequalled in a maner with the very prophet Eliah himselfe? yet how renowned, or wherefore credible? was that, or the like euer enrolled in holie Byble, or otherwise Canonically recorded? Is it consonant to any sound text in diuinitie? or warrantable by any cléere allegation, or profounde collection either out of the old, or new Testament? Nay is it not rather flatly repugnant, and cleane contradictory therunto, whilest ouer scrupulously, and presumptuously it inquireth into the déepest secretes of the diuine prouidence, and striueth to reueale the highest and most inscrutable mysteries of God himselfe, the onely wise, and incomprehensible Iehouah? Wherefore let Polycarpe, Lactantius, Hilarie, Ambrose, and Rabbi Isaac; let Melancthon, Praedyn, Pewcer, Cornel. Gemma, Leonitius, Rhaeticus, Reslyn, Postellus, or any other whether diuine, or philosopher, whether anci­ent, or moderne; yea let S. Augustine himselfe make what priuate account he listeth, of that notorious pretended oracle; let him, or them say, or write, or alleadge, what he, or they [Page 9] may, or can, indefence, and credite thereof: let them all or a­ny of them builde what, and what mysticall conclusions they may, or can deuise, vpon the foundation and ground of those Iewish premisses, and when all is most gloriously saide, or done, shall not Cretensis still remaine Cretensis, a Iew con­tinue a Iew; and a counterfet ape go for an ape, although he weareth a purple or golden coate? Doth not aswell euery error, as euery vice euer finde some patrones and fauourers, as Seneca saide? Are they all saints which haue béene regi­stred, or canonized for saints? Are all prophets, which were, or are so reputed? Nay, haue not a number of putatiue pro­phets, béene egregious seducers, fraudulent imposters, and blasphemous heretiques? Doth Barnard himselfe sée, or fore­sée all? or may not good Homer be blinded? or was not lear­ned Aristotle other whiles deceiued? Is there any point, or article either so erronious in diuinitie, or absurde in philoso­phy, or vaine in other arts of humanitie, which hath not béen maintained, and defended by some diuines, philosophers, and humanitians? Non quid Aristoteles, or if happilie you list,

Non quid Rabbi Isaac, vel quiuis dicat, eorum
Dicta nihil moror, Avero cum fortè recedant:
Magni sapè viri mendacia magna loquuntur.

Is it not the surer way, and sounder wisedome, in cases not necessarily ouerruled; Nullius addictus iurare in verba magi­stri? Were Dagon, Ashtaroth, Chemosh, Mylcom, Tame­ram, or Bell true gods, and not false diuels, bicause the Phi­listines, Sydonians, Moabytes, Ammonytes, Indians, and Babylonians estéemed them so? Shall we regard Mahomet for a right prophet, bicause the Sarracens, and Turks (a po­pulous, and puissant generation) haue rewarded them with that honourable title; auowing that he in his glorious ma­iestie (indéede counterfet, and suborned forgerie) was Sic re­splendescens apud homines, tanquàm sol in rota circuli sui, aut luna in nocte plenilunij? They beléeue, that if percase all the men in the worlde, and the diuels in hell shoulde vniuersally méete togither, and helpe one another with their mutuall consulta­tions, and conferences, towards the compiling and effecting

[...]

[Page 12] antique robes, and foreine mantles, wherewith they first were, and still are clad in the Iewish Thalmudicall booke Sanhedrin, Chap. 2. displaieng themselues, as feloweth, in the treatise or section, intituled Hauoda Zara. Cap. 1.

Accipe Iudaeûm insidias, & crimine ab vno
Disce omnes.

Sée now here their most autentique tenor of the prophe­sie it selfe, and by view of one, make estimate of the residue, according to diuine, and humane reason.

Tana abe Elihau seseth alaphim sana haue Haolam.

Sene alaphim Tohu: vsne alaphim thora: vsne alaphim iemoth hamas sihi vba hauenothema serabu iashu meon Mascias.

Which being plainly translated into latin, importeth thus much in effect: Dixerunt silij seu discipuli Heliae: 6000. Anno­rum mundus: 2000. Annis inane: 2000. Lex: 2000. dies Messiae: & propter peccata nostra quae multa sunt, praeterierunt de eis quae praeterierunt. It may simply be englished after this maner: Thus saide the sonnes, or disciples of Elias, The world consisteth of 6000. yeeres: 2000. yeeres voide: 2000. the lawe: 2000. the Messias, or Christ: but for our sinnes which are many, those yeeres of that number are ouerpassed, which are ouerpassed. Thus much the Thal­mudistes themselues: neither haue we to this day any more autenticall proofe, or certaine assurance of any other former forme or tenor of that prophesie, than these Rabynes affoord vs: from whom onely, and not otherwise (that euer I coulde hitherto vnderstande) we haue receiued the whole misterie, and knowledge thereof. Which in truth mooued me at first to misdoubt, and still perswadeth me to suspect, or rather to beléeue, that the true Canonicall Eliah is but the suppo­sed, or suborned, or pretended author of the premisses: and consequently that there is no such assured credence, or autho­ritie to be necessarily, or probably assigned therunto, as some (for the names sake onely as should appéere) haue supersti­ciously, and vainely surmised. Besides, the very letter of the text it selfe expresly declareth, that euen the Rabynes and Thalmudistes themselues deriued the matter, or subiect of [Page 13] this prediction, rather from the tradition of the famulistes, or domesticall schollers of that Elias, whatsoeuer he was; than from any other autentique, or ancient monument of proofe, or from the very prescript worde of any such prophet. But leauing this a while, let vs reasonably, and historically exa­mine the seuerall, and particular branches of the prediction it selfe, and with equall indifferency consider, whither other­wise of it selfe it deserueth any such credence, or admiration, as is yéelded thereunto by sundrie fauourers thereof: for what skilleth it to purpose, who made the medicine, so the receit be actually good, and the patient effectually recured thereby: or what matter who were the deuiser, so the worke be aduised. If the finall euent fall out correspondent to the sense of the prediction, shall a reall truth be despised, or neg­lected for the authors, or fautors sake? Doth not knowledge and Prudence hirselfe eftsoones lurke vnder a threadbare coate, or sordid cloke? May not we happily, as Virgil did out of old Ennius, Colligere aurum ex stercore Thalmudistarum? Or may not Olitor loqui opportuna, as Horace writeth, al­though not ordinarily or vsually, yet incidently, and some­times? Wherefore it remaineth that we in sort release the efficient, & conuent the matter and forme, or the effect it self thereof consisting, before the iudiciall seate, or tribunall of reason and truth: and so procéeding ab efficiente ad effectum, or ab artifice adopus ipsum, measure the name, and value of the author or agent, by the woorthines and assurance of his sai­engs, or actions. Is therefore the very chronology, or compu­tation of this prophesie vndoubtedly true in euery part, and consequently in the whole? Was the world iust 2000. yéeres voide, or vaine, or in the first infancie, and primitiue simpli­citie, or vacuitie, or without law giuen from God to man, as the Hebrue interpreters, and Chaldée paraphrastes expound it? Is the matter touched euen to the quicke? Or is all far­ther addition or substraction vtterly néedlesse touching this point? May we builde vpon it, as vpon a most infallible theoreme, or necessary axiome? Haue not the great Thal­mudistes, or Cabalistes, or both deceiued vs, and themselues, with a flieng tale of their owne surmounting and ouerrea­ching [Page 14] conceite? Is there no fallence of any artificiall, or inar­tificiall argument, no sophistication of time, or Elenchus ad­iuncti, no dregs of error, no reliques of superstition, no spice of vanity, no froth of forgery, or sent of guile in their mouths or pens?

The beginning of the law must necessarily be deriued ei­ther from the time of Abraham, or of Moyses; suppose it were from Abraham (which some holde to be the trner doc­trine, considering that the conenant of Circumcision, the very roote and ground-worke of the old law, was made ori­ginally vnto him:) are they not then sufficiently confuted by their owne best approoued chronologies, which from Adam to the Deluge, reckon but 1556. yéeres, and from the slud to Abraham 292. yéeres: by which account there are 152. yéeres deficient of their 2000. Tohu, or Vacuum? Or if per­case we draw the beginning of the law from Moyses, as in truth we ought according to the more iustifiable opinion, doth not then the infallible proofe of soundest computation, besides their owne accounts, condemne them on the other side, which from the creation of the worlde to the constituti­on, or promulgation of the law by Moyses, truely summeth or recounteth 2453. yéeres, that is, 453. yéeres more than their 2000. Tohu can amount vnto? So that whether they reckon the primitiue age of the law from Abraham, or from Moyses, their reckoning prooueth but a misreckoning in the sum: and their Chronicall arithmetique grossely faileth them. Well then, is not there likewise almost 500. yéeres difference betwéene 2000. yéeres, and the space of time from the enacting, or promulgation of the Mosaycall law vnto the natiuitie of Christ? Or doth the time of the vocation of Abra­ham vntill the time of the incarnation of Christ, iumpe with the terme of their 2000. Lex? But neither shall we here also néede to vrge any other Chronologicall compute against them than their owne; for in searching their chronicles, and ransacking their antiquities, we shall finde that themselues reckon but 3508. yéers from Adam vnto Christ: and are not then their 2000. Anni Tohu, & 2000. Lex sodainly abridged & curtailed of 492. yéeres? Now as for their last 2000. yéeres [Page 15] (vz. the distance of time from Christs first comming in the flesh, or in the humilitie of his humanitie; vnto his seconde comming in fire, or in the maiestie of his diuinitie:) which they in their Hebrew phrase terme Dies Messiae, how can we problably surmise that they shoulde so skilfully foreknow the one, which so wilfully refused to acknowledge the other? Is it likely, that the Lord of the vineyard will so fauourably en­tertaine those wicked husbandmen of his priuiest counsell, which so cruelly killed his owne déere son, and onely heire? Or is it credible that God the sonne will so manifestly re­ueale that vnto his persecutors, which he so couertly concea­leth frō his elect? Nay is it not most incredible, that the Iew­ish peruerse crew, which is lest of all nations in Gods fauor, by desert; should be made acquainted with that sacred in­scrutable mysterie, by I knowe not what instinct, which is hidden & locked vp euen from his néerest ministers, and pu­rest spirits, the blessed Angels, and Archangels of heauen?

But suppose that as well that foresaid Iewish reckoning of 3508. yéeres, as likewise that part of Elias oracle 2000. Annis dies Messiae were sound and autenticall: should not then also the world haue béen at an end aboue 80. yéeres ago, when the whole number of 2000. yéeres was fully accom­plished from the said 3508. which yéere ab orbe condito our Sauiour was borne according to the chronologies of the Iewes?

Wherfore I conceiue smal sense or reason, why we should attribute, or assigne any greater credit vnto this glozing pro­phesie, than vnto any other portion of their Thalmudical, or Cabalisticall doctrine being primarily, & principally groun­ded (so far as I could euer gather by reading) vpon that anci­ent dogmaticall decrée, and resolute supposition of the He­braicall discipline, which affirmed that by the sixe daies of Creation, mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis, 6000. yéeres of the world were mystically, and allegorically shado­wed, to be interpreted, or deciphered in such sort, that the first daies worke should import, or prefigure a certaine resem­blance, or assured type of such future matters, and euents, as were performed in the first thousand yéeres of the world; the [Page 16] second daies worke, of such as should consequently happen in the second thousand yéeres; and so foorth of the residue, euen to the accomplishment of 6000. yéeres, at which period the eternall Requies, or Sabaoth of the Lord should finally ensue, and gloriously appeere; euen as after sixe daies worke he staied, or rested at the first, and as sithence our Sabaoth (which is a reuerend figure of that great euerlasting Saba­oth) after euery sixe daies, successiuely approcheth. Now what is this, I pray you, to make the most, or best of it, but a plaine Allegoricall, or Typicall allusion to that Opus sex die­rum, as also to the words of the kingly prophet Dauid, (Psal. 90. 4.) and of the blessed Apostle Peter, (Epist. 2. Cap. 3. 8.) V­nus dies apud Dominum perinde vt 1000. anni, & 1000. anni, vt dies vnus: or what but a probable surmize, and opinitiue col­lection, coniecturally drawne from the literal pretext, of those texts? Which in my simple conceit cannot sufficiently be warranted, by any sound and cléere iudgement: but may ra­ther be déemed fantasticall.

So that whatsoeuer Moses Gerundinensis, or any other Thalmudist, or Cabalist, or Rabin, yea or S. Ierome him­selfe, or Osiander, or Melancthon, or any other later Di­uine, or Humanitian, hath hitherto published by way of sub­scription, or maintenance to this effect; I well may for ought I sée, or heare, or can learne to the contrarie, be resolutely persuaded, that this was originally deuised but as a coniec­turall fansie; and is presently to be regarded but as a méere Cabalisticall tradition, and vncertaine collection of mans inuention, without any further diuine instinct, angelicall il­lumination, or propheticall gift of foreknowledge, either me­diate, or immediate, either sensible, or intellectuall. Had it béene the prophesie of the true Séer of God Eliah the Tish­bite; as I am verily persuaded, that it would then haue fal­len out more certaine in Consequence, without any further difference in time, or difficultie of sense; so am I as vndoub­tedly assured, that we should not haue wanted some other autentique records, and testimonials therof, than from those obscure Rabines, or rather Rapines, which the blinde Thal­mudists haue fantastically set abroach, amongst other dregs, [Page 17] and lées of that superstitious brewing. And doth not their owne weary continuall expectation of the Messias e­uen to this day, as though he were not yet come into the world, too too sensibly, and palpably confute either the predic­tion it selfe, or at least confound their owne preiudiciall opi­nion, and conceit thereof? Howheit they haue also imagined a new figment, and sithence that first, haue eftsoones har­ped vpon another, and another string: but alas, what be­came of those woonderfull changes, and huge alterations, which their fained counterfet Messias should afterwarde haue wrought, Sub ducentesimo Cyolo Solari? Is not their con­ceited estimation of their said Solary Cycle, as true as the Consequent? Or hath not the finall euent héere likewise miserably frustrated their forlorne, and wretched expectati­ons? Doth there yet remaine any other great reason, or weightie authority, to mooue or persuade such, as first concei­ued so great opinion of this pettie Elias, & so resolutely im­braced his cōceit, as deuoid of al deceit, or error? If they estée­med it but as a probable collection, I would peraduenture not greatly resist; or if they regarded it onely as a sensible, or reasonable likelihood, I could haply in sort yéeld vnto them: but whiles they recount it aboue exception, and value it as most precious and infallible, where is their Canonical war­rantize, or inuincible Demonstration? This me séemeth I may auerre, that the final concordance, harmonie, and mutu­all consent, which some will néedes inforce betwéene it and holy writ (as if for sooth it were first gleaned out of that sacred field, or deriued from that pure fountaine, or at least iustifia­ble by that sure warrant) is not onely not equall and sound, but erronious, and somwhat too superstitious: for touching the last part, or clause of this prophesie, which some haue thus englished, But for our sinnes which are many, and maruel­lous, some yeeres which are wanting shall not be expired: and so comparatiuely alluded vnto those words of Christ in the 24. chapt. of Mathew, And except those daies were shortened all flesh should perish, but for the Elects sake they shall be cut off: (which words in their opinion is a sufficient establishment of that doctrine, as in maner it were if the presumed transla­tion [Page 18] were autenticall) it is a manifest cléere case, that their interpretation is not onely discrepant from the intention of the Rabines thēselues: but repugnant euen to the true letter, & legitimate sense of their Hebrew Ideome: which as it was before declared, soundeth thus, & no otherwise in our vulgar toong: But for our sinnes which are many, those yeeres are already passed, which are passed. Which sense may likewise be probably insinuated by this circumstance, that as well the Hierosoli­mitan, as Babylonian Thalmud wherein this oracle is re­corded, as also a thousand fables semblably inserted, were first intituled of the Thalmudists themselues (according to their owne supputations, compared with our Christian E­pocha) the one 300. yéeres, the other 400. yéeres after the time of Christs crucifixion, at which time, perceiuing mani­festly that their date was expired, and imagining that there came no such sauiour, or redéemer according to their expecta­tion grounded vpon this prediction; with a kind of penitent, and solemne confession after their maner they complained thereof in this clause, and imputed the mishap, or miscasual­tie vnto the multitude of their owne transgressions and tres­passes. To which construction or exposition subscribeth the most excellent philosopher, & reputed Phoenix of Europe, or at least of Italie, Ioannes Picus Mirandula, besides Pollusti­us, I. F. and sundry other of speciall reckoning in philosophie and other learning.

Lo then the authoritie and credit as well of the thing pub­lished, as of the publishers, or rather Publicans themselues. Lo the effects of such causes; and the fruits of such trées. Howbeit in truth we cannot accuse their Doctors of méere falshood, whilest they alledge for their reason and excuse, that the Messias came not bicause of their manifold offences and sinnes, for neither came he indéed vnto them which acknow­ledged him not, neither shall he be a professed Messias, or Sauiour vnto those, which confessed him not. Nay shall not his comming, and going, be as coles of consuming fire vpon their heads, which receiued not their owne, when he came and dwelt amongst them, but refused the head stone of the corner, misused and punished the innocent, and immaculate [Page 19] blood as a théefe, or murtherer, or notorious felon, and most traiterously and villanously crucified their owne king vpon the crosse? Wherefore many shall come from the east and from the west, and from all nations vnder the sunne, and sit downe with Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, in the kingdome of heauen, when the children of the kingdome shall be expulsed, and thrust out into vtter darknes, where shall be lamenta­ble wéeping, and wailing, and gnashing of téeth.

Now concerning the credit, estimation, and authoritie of the ancient fathers, and other learned Diuines at first men­tioned, which some haply may, and will no doubt cast in my dish, as mightie supporters of this Iewish monument (whose affirmatiue censures haue already persuaded diuers, and shall doubtlesse still preuaile, and passe for currant verities amongst many, without any further or déeper inquirie ei­ther into their Chronologicall reckonings, or Theologicall expositions:) albeit otherwise for their other notable lear­ning, profound iudgement, renowned works, and Christian paines woorthie eternall memorie, I must reuerence their names, and honour their spirituall gifts, yet in this one point I cannot in reason, or conscience according to science, but as well suspect their Diuinitie, as mislike their chronologie: the first being in sort as contradictorie to the prescript word of the Gospell according to Saint Marke, (Cap. 13, vers. 33.) Watch, and pray, for ye know not when the time shall be: as the other is varying, and dissonant from that account, which is now Vnanimi consensu receiued for the surest, and truest com­putation. They will néedes soueraignly allow of the prophe­sie of Elias, and what a gods name but that, or who but he? The world, this whole world must néedsly end at, or before 6000. yéeres: why man, doth not he which is not woont to lie, doth not the great prophet, doth not Elias himselfe say so? Indéed it were a sufficient argument of diuine authoritie, if they could substantially prooue that the very Canonicall E­liah had spoken or written it: but in the meane while peruse some of their owne writings, research their antiquities, compare their chronologies, examine their records and regi­sters: and shall you not find according to the historical Com­putes [Page 20] euen of sundry these fauorites, that there are alreadie passed aboue 6000. yéeres, yea and according to other some of their adherents, aboue 7000. yéeres, sithence the worlds creation to these daies wherein we liue? How such recko­nings and summings hang togither, let them consider which ascribe so much vnto antique names, and make so high ac­count of the outward superficiall barke of forged words; but what néedeth any further inuectiue, or refutation? Is not the sentence of their owne mouth a sufficient proofe against them? If the prophesie of Elias be vndoubtedly true, these reckonings must doubtlesse be false: but if these reckonings be certainly false, shall therefore the prophesie of Elias be certainly true? That followeth not by any diuine, or hu­mane rule of reasonable consequence: but therefore they are both false, bicause they as well swarue from the right com­passe of approoued allowance in humanitie: as also bicause they cannot indure the infallible touch stone of diuinitie: be­ing onely phantastically builded vpon the sandy foundation of mans conceite, whose essential substance is ignorance, and whose inseparable accident is error: Quis enim non fallitur? For who is not misaduised, or deceiued otherwhiles? Or who assuredly knoweth what shall befall him vnder the Sunne?

Then as concerning the answere of the angell Vriell vn­to that profound question, and mystical Probleme of Esdras; Whether there were more quantitie of time to come than was past, or more quantitie of time past than was to come, (which text is imagined to be a perfect proofe, and inuincible confirmation of the assertion, or position of Eliah) whereby shuld appéer that the time future after Esdras, was not like­ly to be comparable vnto that which had passed before him. As I may probably, and lawfully doubt with S. Hierome, & other notable diuines, whether the doctrine it selfe be Cano­nicall, and aboue all exception wholy irreprehensible: so I no lesse reasonably perswade my selfe that it cannot be so warrantably alleadged in maintenance of Elias tradition, as some to that purpose haue quoted it: for although it may likewise appéere thereby that the world is now in the decay­ing, [Page 21] or decrepit yéeres, and euen almost at the last cast (as they say) (which by the founder doctrine of the Euangelistes, and Apostles themselues is also ratified:) yet forsomuch as there is here a generall verdict giuen out, and that onely by way of question, and indefinite comparison; not any farther speciall sentence pronounced by way of decision, or definitiue iudgement; how shall this interrogatiue affirmation, and irresolute resolution be auerred to confirme, or determine that certaine number, and expresse continuance of 6000. yéeres? Nay if we precisely respect the iust degrée of compa­rison, and right proportion of the Analogy, which argueth as much difference, or distance betwéene the time past, and the time to come, as is betwéene a great water, and a little; or betwéene a great fire, and a little; shall we not by chronolo­gicall subduction infer a farre more discrepant conclusion, and in truth a farre greater confusion, than is yet menti­oned?

But there is also another Apocriphal reuelation touching the worlds durabilitie, which God himselfe is reported to haue declared and intimated vnto the saide Esdras out of a bush in this form, or tenor of words: The world hath lost his youth: and the times, or ages are waxen old: for the world is diuided into twelue parts, and ten parts are gone there­of already, and halfe of the tenth part also: and there re­maineth onely that which is after the halfe of the tenth part; therefore set thy house in order, and so foorth. Go to now: is there any greater concordance, or Synchronisme, betwéene the prophesie of Elias and this text, than is argued betwéene the same, and the former? Or rather shall we not finde a greater discrepance, & incongruence, if we search the matter to the quicke? Let the diuision of those twelue partes be made according to the number of the yéeres of Elias, (as it néeds must, in case that be the certaine number of the worlds age) and shall not euery part containe iust 500. yeeres? Of which if we take away ten parts, that is ten times 500. and halfe the tenth part, that is halfe 500. which is 200. & 50 shuld there not remaine from the time of that reuelation to Esdras, vnto the perfect consummation of this world, aboue [Page 22] 700. and 50. yéeres? Which being added to 3500. yéers, about which time Ab orbe condito, Esdras florished, do they produce any more in the totall sum than 4250. yéeres? At which pe­riode, the extréeme and final conflagration should haue kind­led, had this prophesie of Esdras, and that of Elias béene a­gréeably consonant, and vniforme? Wherefore the grosse, and notorious difference of 1030. yéeres, which is alreadie passed betwéene them, must of necessitie condemne the one, but vnto which the more credite is to be yéelded, let other iudge: one of the two must néedesly be granted, either that the Iewish Elias was no true prophet; or that he, who instructed Esdras was no true God. The resolution I leaue as well to the priuate consideration of euery christian conceite, as to the publike determination of the church.

Other circumstances, and appendences might be probably interlaced touching this pretended oracle: in effect nothing differing from the like imagination of Orpheus, as it is re­cited by Plato, and why not to be valued, as that heathen Poeticall Sonet? But ynough in reason, may séeme suffici­ent in proofe; and in dutifull modestie, I am to presume the lesse, bicause it is a point which hath not béene hitherto par­ticularly confuted, or specially discussed by the pen of any man, that euer yet came to my view: albeit otherwise it hath a long time passed, and repassed in the world, as being either generally liked of all, and plausibly imbraced of the most, for a certaine truth; or at least suspected of few, and reiected of none, as an vncertaine counterfet. In which consideration, notwithstanding all the premisses, with other incident ap­purtenances, I am respectiuely to conclude with this pro­testation, that if any man of the learneder sort, can alleadge more sufficient reasons, and more forcible arguments in de­fence of the same, than I haue addressed in confutation ther­of: I will willingly giue ouer my former position, and re­solue wholy on their later information, as grounded on bet­ter and surer iudgement.

What shall we now conceiue, or estéeme of other sembla­ble predictions? Do they, or any of them inforce any greater credence or assurance? Or is there any speciall instigation [Page 23] of reason to mooue, or excite vs to intertaine any those other imaginations, and forlorne conceites, touching the continu­ance, and finall destinies of the world? Is not the presump­tuous, and phantasticall tradition of Leo Haebreus like vnto the former? Or rather more vnlike the sacred truth? He iumpeth in sort with Rabbi Elias in the foresaide number of 6000. yéeres, but otherwise what is his singular opinion? Forsooth, that in the circuite of euery such seueral period (vz. 6000. yéeres) there should onely happen a vicissitudinall conuersion, or temporall transformation of the elementarie or terrestriall globe of this world: but not any finall dissolu­tion of the whole frame, and masse thereof: and so conse­quently that there should euery 7000. yéere, insue a certaine subalternall time of peaceable calmenes, and transitory rest, onely after a temporanie fashion, or intercourse, not other­wise, vntill the whole sum of 49000. yéeres fully determi­ning after this maner, the 50000. yéere of the worlde, bring on the fatall ouerthrow, and vtter subuersion as well of ce­lestiall orbs, as terrestriall bodies, and so finally accomplish the great and mightie Iubilee of eternall rest. O egregious figment, woorthy the woorthines of so profounde a Kabyne! O strange, and monstrous Metamorphosis! O queint, and fantastique inuention! O wyzardly dreame of dreames! What? From 6000. to 6. and almost halfe 6. times 6000? Marrie sir a few such leapes will soone amount In infinitum aeternum, and Infernum to, and whither not? But Lorde from whence is this od farfeiched Babylonian deuise borrowed? Is it not likewise collectiuely, and extensiuely wroong from the said Mosaicall history of the 6. daies creation, and the 7. daies rest? (Howbeit with what congruence of Analogy, or proportion let reason decide:) or at least from some other like imaginatiue speculation of that clymacterical number of 7? Euen as also Elias his Allegoricall prognosticate was, how­soeuer they strangely disagrée in circumstance of time? In­déed euery scholer in maner knoweth that Tully In Somnio Scipionis auoweth, Septimum numerum omnium ferè nodum esse: that Hippocrates supposeth, Hominum aetates septenario die­rum numero constare: that sundry as well diuines as philoso­phers, [Page 24] and other philologers, haue made very special account of this number, as a very speciall number of most notable consideration: for besides Tully, Hippocrates, Censorius, Gellius, Boaetius, Philo Iudaeus, Albertus, Macrobi­us, Marsilius Ficinus, Tritemius, Cornel. Agrippa, Syl­uius, Rauzouius, and diuers other of like note for humani­tie, and philosophy: is it not manifest, that euen the chéefe fa­thers and doctors of the church to, as S. Hierome, S. Augu­stine, S. Ambrose, Arnobius, Eusebius, Christome, Egi­dius, Remigius, and our venerable M. Beade with infi­nite other schoolemen, and modernistes, haue also made such woonderfull reckonings of the déepe mysteries thereof, that they haue not spared to terme it a holy, and sacred number; aprecious and diuine number; a typical, and mysticall num­ber? (Howsoeuer we now run altogither vpon 8. and 8. and what but 88?) The 7. day God rested, and hallowed the same: also the 7. moneth he ordeined the celebration, or so­lenmization of thrée principall feasts, vz. the feast of Trum­pets, the feast of Reconciliation, and the feast of Taberna­cles. Also euery 7. yéere he inioined the children of Israell to obserue as a Sabaoth, or yéere of repose, or rest, in the lande allotted vnto them: Noah was commanded to take into the Arke of euery cleane beast, by seauens: so Elisha willed Naa­man to wash himselfe 7. times in the riuer Iordaine, wher­vpon he was cured of his leprosie: & the apostles appointed the office of Deaconship vnto 7. chosen men of speciall méet­nes for that function. Item the 7. golden candlestickes; the 7. spirits which are before the throne: the 7. seales of the booke: the 7. hornes and the 7. eies of the lambe: the 7. an­gels, with their 7. trumpets: the 7. thunders, with their 7. voices: the 7. angels hauing the 7. last plagues: the 7. gol­den vyals full of the wrath of God, with other like notable seauens, do they not séeme to imply some extraordinary, or appropriate qualitie of that number? And what incompre­hensible mysteries appéered vnto Iohn when the said 7. seale was opened? When the seuenth angell blew his trumpet? when the seuenth angell powred out the seuenth viall into the aire? And so foorth. Which texts, with sundry like verses [Page 25] of holy scripture namely expressing that number, do they not figuratiuely containe great miracles, and déepe mysteries? But of what nature or propertie, or how they are precisely to be interpreted without further scruple, as I may modest­ly doubt, whether it resteth in the certaine intelligence, or definite skill of man to determine; so it euidently appéereth, that the abouesaid famous authors haue rather mentioned that number, with plausible terms of admiration; than mea­sured it with any sensible or intelligible rule of vnderstan­ding.

Wherfore to returne againe vnto the great Iubileal yéere 50000. (wherein the foresaid Leo Haebreus includeth the fatall destinie of the world) may it not be déemed, that euen himselfe neuer plunged into the depth of his owne conceit, or otherwise, that he was a false heretique, or Apostata? For if his prediction be fundamentally drawen from the recited mysterie of the number 7. and withall that position be presupposed true, that euery 7000. yéere should bring foorth a temporall Requiem, vntill 6. times 6000. yéeres be­ing ouerpassed, the finall 7000. should bring out the eternall Requiem: then must the 49000. yéere it selfe (which is also the great Climactericall, Hebdomaticall, Scalary, Decre­toriall yéere) consisting of 7. times 7. and amounting of the od 1000. to succéed euery 6000. yéers, be estéemed the migh­ty graund Iubileall yéere, and not the 50000. yéere, which indéede remaineth in account the first 1000. of a new rec­koning, or other 6000. yéeres. But be it granted that in the said number of 50000. yéeres he had relation vnto the Quin­quagenarie, or 50. yéere, which with the ceremonies and so­lemnities thereof is described, Leuitic. 25. and termed the yéere of Iubilee, which in the Hebrew letter signifieth as much as Buccina in Latin, quod sz. ille Annus buccina signifi­candus erat, at que gloriosè celebrandus, (the first yéere of which compute was the yéere of Ingression into the land of Chana­an, the 5. yéere of Iosue, and the 2493. yéere of the world:) doth not as well the first voice of the crier in the wildernes, as the later preachings of Peter and Paul, yea doth not the whole Euangelicall and Apostolique doctrine confute, and [Page 26] confound them both, to wit; as well the 49000. as 50000. yéeres? Is any thing more assuredly certaine in the whole sacred volume of the Bible, than that Christ was manife­sted in the flesh not in the first, or middle ages, but in the last times of the world? That his kingdome was at hand euen in those daies, or that it, cannot now be deferred, or prolon­ged any great space, although no man exactly, or precisely knoweth the very certaine period? But how may it be said, either that he came in the latter age of the world, or that his kingdome draweth nigh (according to all true Canonicall Texts, and Orthodoxall Constructions) if the same world should hold out more than 10. times so long after his com­ming, as it did before? So that we are finally to estéeme the 49000. or rather the 50000. yéers of Leo Hebreus, no truer in conclusion than the imaginarie conceit of Mahomet in his Alcaron, who there circumscribeth the extream period of the latter day or great day of iudgement within the compasse, or Terminatiō of the same space, vz. the space of 50000. yéeres.

Therefore may we not iustly affirme, that vaine, and fri­uolous, and erronious, and wicked, and in effect damnable, and diuelish are the figments and comments of mortal wits, and rauing spirits, touching this high and incomprehensible mysterie of the worlds durabilitie? Would not that woorthy Morall sentence of Socrates be againe and againe, and al­waies remembred: Quae supranos, nihil ad nos? Neither can the great composition of Ptolomie, nor the Sphaeroidica of Archimedes, nor the subtill Acroamaticall Physiques of A­ristotle, nor the diuine enigmaticall Metaphysiques of Pla­to; nor Pythagoras misticall lot, nor any manticall, or magi­call, or mathematicall Hypotheses whatsoeuer sufficiently direct, or informe vs in this supereminent point of inscruta­ble knowledge: no Geometricall, or Arithmeticall propor­tions, no Astronomicall, or philosophicall, or supernaturall Diuinations: no Opticall, or Speculatorie Theories: no Cabalisticall, or Traditionall Suppositions: no dreaming Reuelations, or Onirocriticall coniectures; no furious ra­uings, or déepe vapors of Melancholie: no liberall, or Mecha­nicall; Contemplatiue, or Actiue; lawfull, or vnlawfull ex­periments: [Page 27] nor any secret part, or particle either of Naturall or Ceremoniall Magique in one kind, or other: nor any pos­sible intelligence, or imaginatiue conceit, or extraordinarie, and Seraphicall rauishment of spirit, can definitiuely deter­mine the certaine, and sure issue of that abstruse, and vn­searchable secrecie: no Sphinx, or Oedipus, no Amphiaraus, or Mopsus, or Amphilocus; no Homericall calchas, or Liui­an Vates Martius, or Vmbrian Tomasutius; or any Mem­phiticall Oracler, howsoeuer distraught, or eleuated aboue the reach of humane capacitie; or any rauing and raging Sy­bill any thing woorth in effect, to resolue that insoluble Argu­ment, or to explicate that implicite proposition. Zohar may fantastically imagine one vniuersall consummation, Dum senarius in 1000. & in 100. & in 10. & in 1. inesse fuerit: and Plato may dream of a great, great maine yéere, when 36000 yéeres are expired, and so, and so infinite other: but when they haue all said, and written what they possibly can, is the best of their conceits or deuises, any otherwise to be valued, or regarded, than as a dreame when one awaketh? For like as the ground is appointed for the wood, and the sea for his fluds, so they that dwell vpon earth, can vnderstand nothing but that which is vpon earth: and they which are in the heauens, the things that are aboue the height of the heauens. (2. Esdras 4, 21. Isaiah 55, 8. Iohn 3, 31. 1. Cor. 2, 13.)

Will you therfore know the vaine opinions, and resoluti­ons of philosophers, and philologers, touching the consistence and continuance of the world? That thereby it may more euidently appéere, what mortall wits haue performed in the narrow seas of that intricate point, or how far the profoun­dest possible skill, & vttermost extent of humane knowledge may wade in the depth of that mistical secret of secrets? Plato in Tymaeo confesseth a certaine diuine [...], that the world had a beginning from God; but denieth that it shall euer haue any finall dissolution, or ouerthrow, otherwise then the author, and architect thereof God himselfe? Of which minde by some recordes were also Orpheus, Hesiodus, and other the most ancient diuine poets. Empedocles, and Heraclitus déemed that it was in matter, and forme so composed, and [Page 28] formed, that it should interchangeably one while decay, ano­ther while florish againe, and so interpolatis vicibus, or alterna­tim, infinïto tempore, nunc gigni nunc interire. Democritus sup­posed that as it had once a beginning like other naturall bo­dies, so after their example, and maner, it should once like­wise be vtterly destroied, and neuer be repaired, or restored againe. But Aristotle lib. 1. de caelo: lib. 1. de natura, and other his phisicall Commentaries, refelling the former opinions, introduceth a new assertion, and contendeth for life to prooue that it neither had any originall beginning at the first, nor should sustaine any finall ouerthrow at the last: but that for­sooth it is infinite, euerduring, and eternall. Of which opini­on, or rather heresie, were likewise Zenophanes, Auerroes, Pomponatius, togither with the whole Peripatecian, Ari­stotelian, and scholasticall rablement; also a greater than a­ny of them, Plinie himselfe, as appéereth Lib. 2. Cap. 1. of his Naturall Historie, where that learned writer vnlearnedly termeth the world, Numen aeternum, immensum, ne (que) genitum, neque interiturum vnquam. O ignorant, and fond conceits of so famous philosophers! O Plato what is become of thy re­nowned diuinitie? O Aristotle where is thy logical and phy­sicall Acumen? O Plinic, would God thou hadst héere staied thy wisedom, and not bewraied so palpable Atheisme either touching the Immortalitie of the world, or concerning the Mortalitie of the soule? But marke yet another pretie fan­sie; Pythagoras and with him the Stoiks affirmed, that the world was framed originally by the first Cause, and that some parts thereof may be consumed, but not the whole: to which assertion yéelded also Thales Milesius, the first wise Grecian by the oracle of Apollo: item Anaxagoras, Auicen­na, Philo Iudaeus, and some other of good reckoning in the Schooles. Lo now the sophisticall paradoxes, and absurd ima­ginations of profane philosophers? Behold how their eies dasel; how their féete slide; how their common sense faileth: nay, how their whole intelligence and vnderstanding quai­leth at the depth of this profound diuine mysterie? Is not the best, or learnedest, or wisest of them, as the blinde man that shooteth at the crowe? Or is not the veriest Idiot, or [Page 29] simpliest foole in a countrie, as déepely wise in this point as the chéefest of them? Is not this the Lords owne mightie doing, who hath reuealed that vnto the babe, and suckling of these times amongst Christians, which he concealed from the greatest Doctors, and wisest masters amongst the hea­then in former ages? Doth not he, whosoeuer ventureth to aspire, or climbe on high without the scale of direct and law­full knowledge, fall into the darke dungeon, and bottomlesse pit of grosse errors? Or doth not he, whosoeuer presumeth to passe the surging seas of diuine mysteries, without the an­chor of spirituall direction, plunge and drowne himselfe in the raging gulfe of most profane and impious heresies? Si Christum nescis, nihil est, si caetera discis: They do but raue, or at least roue, whosoeuer wéene, or striue to cast beyond the moone, in preternatural, or supernatural secrecies: The dée­pest humane science is not comparable to the diuine Alpha­bet: The philosopher in discourse of reason may propose, and ech man in heate of affection purpose, what himselfe li­keth, but it is another that in conclusion, and in effect dispo­seth and transposeth what himselfe listeth: whose mightie and woonderfull procéedings no Poligrapher can expresse, or Steganographer decipher. O the maruellous deepnes of the ri­ches and treasures both of the wisedome and knowledge of God? How vnsearchable are his iudgements, and his waies past finding out? For who hath knowen the mind of the Lord? Or who was euer intertained as his secretarie, or priuy counseller? Of whom, and through whom, and for whom all things are whatsoeuer are. Rom. 11. 33. Isaiah. 40. 13. Iob. 41. 2. But what néedeth Iob, I­saiah, or Paule confute them? Doth not the breth of their owne mouth, and the common Theorems, and Problems of their own inuention, confound them? Why should the world be euerlasting, and why should it not sustaine corruption? Bicause we cannot perceiue whether the eg or the bird were first ingendred; séeing it is impossible that an eg should be laid without a bird, or that a bird should be hatched without an eg? As some of them haue argued, and taught. O fraile conceit of naturall skill, not woorthy any serious confutation of a Christian vnderstanding? But in the meanewhile they [Page 30] presume that this point of philosophy is Scientificall: and doth it indéed Sub scientiam cadere, as they presuppose? Them­selues define Scire, to be, Rem per causas cognoscere: and how then can they deuise, or imagine a science of that, whose cau­ses are concealed, and hidden from them? Besides, they giue out for a principle, or Axiome; that there is, Nihil in intellec­tu, quod non priùs fuerit in sensu: and how then may such things as were neuer comprehended within the limits of sense, or any sensuall facultie, be deprehended within the precinct of vnderstanding, or any intellectuall power? Or if Quiduis non fit è quolibet: and Ʋeritas latet in profundo domersa, as one of themselues professed, how can any such diuine, and Meta­physicall mysterie be directly, or indirectly intimated by any naturall or artificiall intelligence? So that we may as well conclude with Democritus, Metrodorus, Lucretius, and the ridiculous Epicure that there are innumerable, or infi­nite worlds, not onely one world: as beléeue with any of the former philosophers and Sophisters, that there is but one world, howbeit the same infinite, indissoluble, and euer-du­ring.

Now (to procéede somdeale néerer vnto our present inten­tion) are their conceited phantasies, and imaginations, De anno magno, vel potius maximo, of any greater effect, or impor­tance than the premisses, or séeme they any whit more con­formable vnto the truth, than the former erronious para­doxes? Must we not account it either a part of light credulity in humanity, or a spice of some phantastical heresie in diuini­tie, to attribute any credite, or reputation either vnto the 10984. yéeres of Dion: or vnto the 100800. yéeres of He­raclitus: or vnto the 110155. yéeres of Diogenes: or the 2484. yéeres of Aristarchus: or the 5452. yéeres of Dyrrha­cinus: or Macrobius his 15000. yéeres: or the 7377. yéeres of any other? For alas, I will not say how certainly, or sure­ly, but how warrantably, or probably haue any of them pro­phesied? Yet no doubt euery one of these, and sundry like, had some proper, and selfe-bosome reasons, or motiues, to induce them to their peculiar resolutions: Sed somnia sunt, non vaticinia, phantasmata, non oracula, quae ad istum modum de [Page 31] mundi interitu concipiuntur. Which I vnderstande not onely of the foresaide sophisticall assumptions, or rather presump­tions De anno magno, but also of all other fictions, and delusi­ons whatsoeuer, and of whomsoeuer, touching the worlds dissolution. Howbeit I nothing doubt, that there was euer any opinion, or imagination inuented, or deuised so oddely fantasticall, or absurde touching this matter, which hath not soone béene intertained, and easily beléeued of some, or other. But amongst all the residue of Heathens, or Ethnickes, euen aboue the cunningest philosophers, or profoundest magici­ans, Tully in my iudgement séemeth to haue shot néerest the white, whilest In Somnio Scipionis mentioning this great ter­rible Verticall yéere, he ingenuously concludeth: In quo vix dicere andeo quàm multa saecula hominum teneantur. As for vs Christians vnto whom it hath pleased the speciall goodnes of God to reueale greater measure of his truth, by his erpresse word, & Canonicall Gospell: like as we assuredly know that the world had once his extreame [...], or watrie win­ter, at Noahes floud; so do we no lesse stedfastly beléeue that there shall once like wise be [...], whereby it shall féele as extream a fierie sommer with burning flames, and brim­stone from heauen, vtterly consuming, and wasting euerie part, and parcell thereof, as is also rather prophetically, than poetically deliuered in those serious and graue verses;

Esse quoque in fatis reminiscitur, affore tempus,
Quo mare, quo tellus, correptáque regia caeli
Ardeat, & mundi moles operosa laboret.

But in what minute, in what houre, in what day, in what wéeke, in what moneth, quarter, or yéere, this finall confla­gration, and vniuersall fireworke shall happen, no man vn­der the cope of heauen knoweth, no not the verie angels, or archangels of heauen; or if percase they do, as some in the subtiltie of their senses conceiue, or rather imagine, yet Ad reuelandum, they know not; Et sibi solis, non nobis sapiunt; be­ing a point of most vnsearchable, and inscrutable wisedome, euen aboue, and beyond the capacitie of all wisedome, saue onely diuine, and incomprehensible wisedome. Which nei­ther the obscure, and disguised amphibologies of cosening [Page 32] oraclers could euer insinuate: or the phantastique imagina­tions of melancholy Saturnistes conceiue: or the superstiti­ous inuocatiōs of spritish Exorcistes discouer: or the glosing interpretation of Ecstaticall dreamers disclose: or the subtill queint inuentions of foisting inglers, and cogging Magici­ans vnfould: or the cunningest sophistications of wizardly impostors decipher: or the misticall secrecies of the profoun­dest Cabalistes reueale: or any Mathematical, or Mantical, or Seraphicall, or Daemonicall Theories expresly intimate, either by way of Categorical demonstration, or Hypotheti­call supposition. A sensible man, soone perceiueth a sensible cause: a reasonable man, soone conceiueth a reasonable mat­ter: a cunning man, soone receiueth the cunningest forme of most things: but there is no sense so sharpe, or quicke: no reason so ripe, or sounde: nor any vnderstanding so déeply, or profoundly grounded, which is not ouermatched, confoun­ded, and astonished at the woonderfull excéeding height, and depth of that most ineffable sapience. O Lord, Lord! Who can learn, or know this thing, but he that hath not his dwelling amongst men? (Esdras 2. cap. 5. 38.) For as concerning the often reci­ted misterie of the 6. daies creation: the time, times, and halfe a time mentioned in the 7. and 12. chap. of Daniell: and in the 12. of the Apocalyps: the 1260. daies rehearsed in the 11. chap. preceding: the 70. wéekes reuealed vnto Da­niell, by the angell Gabriell: the 1290. daies, and the 1335. daies disclosed to Daniell by the man clothed in linnen which was vpon the waters of the riuer: Item the answere of the angell Vriell vnto Esdras touching things past, and things to come: and the voice out of the bush vnto the same Esdras concerning the 12. partes of the world aboue repea­ted: Item the parable of Christ himselfe touching the king­dome of heauen in the 20. chap. of Mathew: and the tokens, or signes of the ende of the worlde manifested to his disci­ples in the 24. chap. of Mathew with such like: in the small reach of my simple skill by reading, they onely imply, or pre­signifie a certain final dissolution, or generall consummation of all things, whensoeuer it happeneth: not any certaine de­monstratiue, or definite knowledge thereof, which in verie [Page 33] déede euen by diuine testimonie were not expedient, or con­uenient for mankind to be more particularly made acquain­ted withall. Esdras being very inquisitiue after a curious and scrupulous maner, to know at Gods hands, what the di­uision of times or ages should be, or when should be the ende of the first, and the beginning of it that followed: God repli­eth in this darke historicall spéech, not appliable to the pur­pose, or otherwise conceiueable without the helpe of Tropo­logicall resolution: From Abraham vnto Isaac, when Iacob and Esau were borne of him, Iacobs hande helde first the heele of Esau: for Esau is the ende of this worlde, and Iacob is the beginning of it that followed: the hande of man is betwixt the heele and the hand: other things Esdras aske thou not. Also another time, Vriell an­swered him, saieng: Thine hart hath taken too much vpon it in this worlde, and thou thinkest to comprehende the waies of the highest. And likewise another time; Hasten not to be aboue the highest, for thou laborest in vaine to be equall with him; though thou indeuour, or striue neuer so much. Againe, another time: Thine owne things, and such as are growen vp with thee, canst thou not know; How should thy vessell then be able to comprehende the waies of the highest, and now outwardly in the corrupt world, to vn­derstande the corruption, that is euident in my sight? Moreouer another time: Why disquietest thou thy selfe, seeing thou art corruptible? And Why art thou mooued seeing thou art mortall? Yea euen Daniel himselfe (who aboue all other prophets had most special, and singular reuelation of such things, and euents, as should behappen the church from the very time that it was in captiuitie, vntill the last daies of the worlde) when he had harde that which he vnderstoode not, touching these fatall matters, and hidden destinies, and therevpon saide: O Lord what shall be the ende of these things? It was an­swered him, that he should go his way, and content himself, for the words were closed vp, & fast sealed. I might accordingly alledge sundry other places of diuine authoritie, to the in­stifieng, and assuring of this conclusion: vz. that not the verie prophets of God himselfe, or the apostles of Christ, could per­fectly digest, or throughly vnderstande all such visions, reue­lations, and mysteries, as were partly opened, partly shut [Page 34] vnto them in this behalfe; and then how much lesse may we, or any bastarde prophets, or putatiue wizardes, or supposed cunning men, of whatsoeuer aspiring qualitie, presumptu­ously determine thereof? For the causes and circumstan­ces being totally hidden, and concealed, I cannot deuise, how by any sensible reason, or intelligible conceit, the effects, and consequents, may, or can be particularly reuealed, or decla­red. Howbeit I am not ignorant how the forementioned textes, and allegations of holy scriptures, haue béene diuersly canuassed by diuers, and sodenly inforced by sundrie aswell ancient, as neotericall interpreters, to the inferring, and a­uowing of their seuerall conclusions, being as they haue sée­med to imagine, easily ynough determinable, or demonstra­ble, by naturall, or artificiall skill: but in fine, both their chronologicall computations, Theologicall constructions, Cabalisticall traditions, and Mathematicall speculations fall out much alike, ambiguous, vncertaine, fallible, erroni­ous, deceitfull. I haue made some little triall my selfe in some kindes of artificial experiments, but howsoeuer I haue otherwhiles séemed fauorably addicted to some mens philo­sophicall, and astronomicall predictions, (which of the two I estéeme far more probable, and warrantable than these pro­pheticall propositions, and hereticall expositions:) I cannot yet perceiue either any assured veritie, or coniecturall proba­bilitie in any such old said sawes, as still passe, and repasse for currant in many mens, womens, and childrens mouthes, not in one, or two odde obscure corners, but thorough many, and many famous places, and in a maner euery where, vpon the smallest occasion of euery trifling occurrent, or accident, eftsoones buzzing, and dreaming of this, and that alteration, of such, & such innouation, of changes in religion, of subuersi­on of states, of destruction, or desolation of principalities, kingdomes and monarchies, of the vniuersall confusion, and dissolution of the vniuersall worlde: for besides that they are neuer grounded vpon any sensible, artificiall, or substanciall foundation, according to sound reason, or learning: do they not most-what euer procéede from some odde vaine phanta­sticall, or phreneticall braines, either strangely deluded by [Page 35] some cogging diuell, or extraordinarily possessed with rauing furie, or vnnaturally disguised with melancholy fumes, or at least wilfully disposed to seduce, and beguile the world with I knowe not what colourable, & superstitious flimflams, in­tended to the aduauncing, or atchieuing of some déepe secret diabolical purposes: which the better to countenance, and as it were to palliate the matter, they will séeme notwithstan­ding to haue borrowed euen frō the mouth of mightie loue, or the oracle of wise Apollo himselfe, or Zenocratically, and Pythagorically to haue remained for a time, Instar Sybillae cuiusdam vaticinantis, furentisque, or like Dionisius Ecstati­cus, to haue béen plunged in som déep Plotinian, Porphyrian or Metaphysicall traunce, or visibly, & miraculously to haue séene some woonderfull spirituall vision, or otherwise to haue béene either supernaturally inspired, or superartificially in­structed. But what can we make, or thinke of these light­headed, and hairebrainde prophets? Are they (notwithstan­ding their shifting, and iugling pretences) any whit better than the chaplins of Baal, or any whit cunninger indéed than Balaams asse? Are they not the schollers of Beelzebub; the disciples of Satan, and the votaries of Lucifer? Are they not quite sequestred, and dismembred from the bodie of the true Catholique, and Apostolique Church, being like Elimas the sorcerer, full of filthinesse, guile, hypocrisie, and falshood? Can we remember how the words Prophesie and Prophets are taken amongst learned men; or how they are vsed in the scripture, and not withall consider, and perceiue that there is no such extraordinarie, or miraculous gift to be expected in any man, woman, or childe at these daies? Is not true and pure diuinitie according to the diuision of some learned, and reuerent autors, either Expositiue, and Interpretatiue: or else Visionall, and Propheticall? Concerning the former branch, vnto whom doth it properly and peculiarly belong, but vnto the true Ecclesiasticall Doctors and Pastors, the sincere preachers and ministers of God? whom it specially appertaineth, to declare, lay open, and expound his sacred word according to the seuerall kinds, and manifold vses of Interpretation, wheresoeuer any Text beside the chiefe doc­trinall, [Page 36] and morall discourse, requireth either one Etymolo­gicall, or Historicall explication, or other artificiall resoluti­on, or percase otherwhiles also a Tropological, or Anagogi­call Construction: which in certaine parables, and figuratiue sentences of the Bible, must néedes be yéelded, euen by those, that otherwise are not ouer curiously or superstitiously bent to Allegorizing. As for that other branch, which either by Mediate apparance, and reuelation of some vision; or by Im­mediate infusion, and illumination from God, deliuered the very infallible word, and expresse will or Testament of his Almightie Maiestie, euen the pure diuine scripture it selfe: is it any other especiall kind or gift, but that, wherewith the ancient holy Patriarchs, and annointed Prophets of the old Testament, were miraculously and appropriately inspired? Are not they the open proclaimers, and dispensers of his Gospell? Or were not these the mysticall and typicall reuea­lers of the same, as they were primitiuely taught at the first hand? For although our Diuines are cōmonly named [...] in Gréek, of their talking with God, or at lest of God, as wel as they: yet how can we say, that they talke with him other­wise than mediately, or per accidens, as schoolemen terme it, to wit, by his worde: whereas Moyses talked with him im­mediately, and per se, or face to face: wherein appéereth a no­table difference, or distinction betwéene the one, and the other. Item euery prophet or séer was, and may iustly be cal­led an interpreter, or expositor of Gods lawe, but not è con­uerso. Item the prophets rightly deseruing that title, wers potentes in opere, & sermone, as well powerable in workes, as mightie in words; neither Intended the Lord God any notable thing, wherof he reuealed not the mysterie, or priuitie vnto his ser­uants, or secretaries the prophets. (Amos. 3, 7.) Which Ius, or interest in the participation of diuine secrecies, euen our woorthiest, or excellentest diuines may not chalenge, aut ex­pressè, aut per consimile, as some of themselues haue duely pro­fessed. Howbeit we cannot flatly denie our right diuines to be in their kinde true prophets, and that also according to the sacred phrase of the Byble: for like as Diuinitie, and di­uines are either interpretatiue, or propheticall, as is before [Page 37] distinguished: so the word Prophet in the worde of God, is generally and specially vsed after two sortes, either for a shewer, or foreteller of things to come, as Act. 11. 27. &c. Or else for a preacher, or interpreter of the scripture, as 1. Corinth. 14. &c. After which last maner may our diuines, or Theologers be termed prophets, but not otherwise. Now what I beséech you shall become of our counterfet wizardes, and bastard prophets? Are they either interpreting diuines, or diuining interpreters? May they effectually vnderly any trial of old or new Testanient to confirm their title, or iusti­fie their procéedings? What sounde preachers, or reuerend persons of Ecclesiasticall vocation do we reade to haue che­rished their mad vaine, or presumptuous humor? Or what such disguised prophets do we heare to haue imbraced the zealous, and discréete disposition of any such godly pastors? Compare their doings, and saiengs togither; oppose them after any reasonable maner of probation: and shall you not finde them far remooued from any vnderstanding in right diuinitie, farder from true prophesie, and fardest from that vpright conscience, which procéedeth both from the one, and the other diuine science. The causes, effects, signes, and testi­monies whereof, are vniuersally, and catholiquely approo­ued: vniforme, coherent, and well according togither: recei­ued and celebrated in the whole congregation, with one frée consent, and stable perseuerance; ratified with myracles, and woonders: confirmed with all kinde of godly deuotion, sinceritie of doctrine, and discipline, holines of conuersation, contempt of the worlde, christian magnanimitie, neither af­fecting life, nor dreading death, martyrdome, and all true vertues: finally insealed, and iustified with the most soue­raigne, and inuincible testimony of the most precious, and inestimable déere blood most graciously, and compassionately shed for vs. Now alas, where is any such fruit, or apparance of any christian inclination, agréement, vniformitie, con­stancie, or any other vertuous qualitie, in the runnagate base rablemont of these cosening, and shifting teltales; or foretel­lers of fortunes, and future contingentes: Which presump­tuously, and at all auentures breath out such vnlikely, vn­sauorie, [Page 38] and vaine phantasies, as are not onely repugnant vnto the former or later predictions of some other impudent practisers in like sort, but also disagréeable amongst them­selues, and in themselues, and oftentimes as contradictorie ech one, to ech other, as is possible? Which the excellent gréeke writer, and wise historian Thucydides very notably obserued in the supposed prophets, and oraclers of his time, perceiuing euery one of that marke, to vtter, or blow abroad such blastes onely at auenture, as the present quality of the humor abounding, or sodaine affection of the rauing passion suggested, without farther internall consideration, or other externall instruction any certaine way. Which might also reasonably mooue the sententious Greeke poet to say, as he saith, That directly, or certainly to foretell future haps, or contingent casualties, is the propertie of a God, not the qualitie of a man. Hap hazarde, is no sure rule in arte, or reason: and they that shoote, as the blinde man that shoot­eth at the crow, either by short-shooting, or ouer-shooting, or shooting awry, may full easily, and do most commonly misse the marke, and loose their game. The spirit of prophesie, is not like the spirit of the buttery: it is a diuine, and power­able spirit of heauenly essence, and of supernaturall nature, not imployed, or set on worke by any, but onely his omnipo­tent Creator; nor vsed vpon any occasion, but very great, and principally appertaining the glorie of his péerelesse, and ielous Deitie, when the time specially serued to worke by that extraordinarie, and miraculous meane, as the most forcible and effectuall traine to win men vnto God, and to reconcile the worlde vnto heauen, in comparison, the onely true worlde. All times, and places are not alike: neither serue all giftes, for all seasons: but certaine Excellencies haue in respect, béene appropriate to certaine ages: God one­ly is completely, and absolutely wise; and he alone best knoweth when, and where, and vpon whome, and how to distribute, or dispence his heauenly graces, and bountifull blessings, either temporally, or perpetually, as is conuenien­test for his eternall glory, and méetest for our transitory con­dition. Euery age is not an age of euery perfection: nor our [Page 39] time, a time of woonderments: the limited and néedefull terme of myracles, and myraculous operations, either by prophesie, or otherwise, many hundred yéeres ago determi­ned, as alreadie is mentioned, and may inuincibly be approo­ued. It auaileth not, to enterprize impossibilities in nature, or to attempt absurdities in reason, or to builde mountaines of hope, or feare, vpon irregularities in arte, or to experi­ment vanities, and fooleries in practise. Euery od occurrence of priuate, or publique importance, or euery ordinarie euent of doubtfull contingence, is not euery extraordinarie way to be resolued, or decided: we must be content, neither to do, or know more, than we can: our best possible stay, or repose in cases of exigence, distresse, or other accidentall casualty, alte­ration, or mortalitie, is the gracious mercy of God, and our owne discréete gouernment, according to christian wisdome, and lawfull pollicie: we must not in raging, or aspiring af­fection presume to mount aboue the cloudes in the highest region of the aire, or to pierce the vnknowen déepes of the earthly Center. It is a scrupulous, and vaine curiositie to busie our selues, or importune other about any such inquiry, as neither is lawfull in practise, nor assured in vse, but both impious in the one, and vncertaine in the other. As many other things, and namely Lawes, or Customes, eftsoones a­brogated, and repealed, so prophesie had a time of infallible effect: which being antiquated, or rather expired in the right, and lawfull, and honorable, and heauenly, and diuine kinde, or vse: alas, what auaileth apish, or spiritish imitation? What néedeth, or booteth so much adoo, and so little helpe; in the false, vnlawfull, abhominable, hellish, and diuellish kind, or abuse? As good neuer a whit, as neuer the better: I, much better neuer a whit, then much the woorse: as who is, or hath béen any whit the better, or not much the woorse, by in­tangling, or disguising himselfe with such foule, and detesta­ble vanities, good for nothing, but to acquaint them with the diuell, and hell, before the time, and to begin the lamentable Tragoedie of those dreadfull, and horrible torments so much the sooner. I must not stande to aggranate matters, or to am­plifie by way of Oratorlike persuasion: neither is that my [Page 40] facultie elsewhere, nor my purpose here. The holy prophets, in respect of the apprehensiue, and piercing operation, or effi­cacie of their cléere, and pure vnderstanding, were properly called Vidents, or Seers, pillers of diuine religion, and men of God: are any our counterfet crankes so qualified, or so il­luminate? Nay, are they not generally, as blinde, as moules, or bats, the very caterpillers of heresie, and the bonslaues or vassals of Beelzebub? We reade the sight or vision of Isaiah, the vision of Ezechiell, the vision of Ieremiah, the vision of Daniel, with other like celestiall visions, and representati­ons of powerable effect. Is it apparant or credible, that any these forgers, or coyners of adulterate prophesies, had euer any such diuine extraordinary visions, heauenly spectacles, apparitions, reuelations, and other semblable illuminations from aboue? I cannot sufficiently ynough aske this question, which hath so often béene demaunded, and not yet once an­swered. Themselues in the highest altitude of their aspiring pride, dare not arrogate, or claime any such appropriate, or singular blessing of diuine knowledge, as infused from a­boue: and as for other speciall humane learning, or artifici­all cunning, gotten by ordinary meanes, of studie, and tra­uell from beneath, therein can they much lesse challenge any peculiar interest, or prerogatiue, without shamefull and in­tollerable impudencie; considering how few, or in compari­son none of them, as is aboue touched, were euer knowen or reported to haue greatly excelled in any the notablest Arts or Sciences. What pretence therefore, or what colour can they alledge, why reasonable men, without reasonable cause of approbation or allowance, should yéeld credit or beléefe to such blind vnreasonable whimwhams, otherwhiles bot­ched vp in Balductum méeter, otherwhiles bungled togither in paultry prose; commonly void of all good rime or reason? If neither Diuine instinct, nor Humane knowledge, neither Theosophia, nor Anthroposophia, maketh for them, either Simpliciter, or Secundum quid (as God wotteth, they sauor full little either of the one, or of the other:) Good Lord blesse me from them; and good Lord defend as well all honest, and faithfull true meaning men of whatsoeuer vnskilfull condi­tion, [Page 41] or simple calling, as the learneder, and wiser sort from them; and all their lewd malitious practises; deuised onely in brauerie, or despite, as delusorie experiments, and wilie sleights to make fooles, to mocke the world, to occupie curi­ous or busie heads, and to disturbe the priuate and publique quiet of enuied families, and Commonwealths, as héereaf­ter shall more fully be declared in the more proper place. In the meane, you sée how in effect, and in the grosse summe, as well consequent, as precedent matters are to be valued: not­withstanding both for the cléerer instruction of the ignorant, and fuller satisfaction of the curious, it shall not haply be a­misse to peruse, and display certaine other notorious parti­culars of semblable choise.

I thought not to haue mentioned any Sybilline prophe­sie, partly for their greater antiquitie, far before my prefixed terme, partly bicause amongst false prophets or prophetisses, I recount them truest, as some way relying on Lactantius authoritie in that respect. Howbeit remembring the late re­uiuall of that famous oracle bearing the name of Sybilla Ti­burtina in the title, or superscription, & magnified with ma­ny glorious circumstances, as newly found by maruellous great chance, within lesse than these 70. yéeres In Heluetia in visceribus montis Tauri, solemnly presented to the Popes ho­lines, déeply consulted vpon by the College of Cardinals, ho­norably recognized, and recommended to the Emperor, and Emperial states, & suddenly after a woonderfull strange ma­ner, amazing all Italie, Spaine, and Germanie with some other principalities of Europe: I could not altogither sup­presse or ouerpasse the same, but am bréefly to examine and ventilate the principall contents, or particularities thereof. Lo therefore the verie thing it selfe, as it was artificially in­grauen in an ancient Marble stone, and cunningly deuised in a hawty Latin stile, and antique Ideome, purposely affec­ted, the more to enstrange and disguise the matter.

Orietour sydous in Europa soupra Iberos, ad magnam Septen­trionis domum; coius radij orbem terrarum ex improuiso il­loustrabunt. Hoc vero erit tempore desideratissimo, quo mor­taleis [Page 42] positeis armeis pacem onanimeis complectantor. Certa­bitor quidem varieis per dioutourni interregni occasionem studieis, coi imperij habenae tradantor. Sed vincet tandem auiti sanguinis propago, quae cousque armorum vi progredietor, do­nec fata contraria fatis obstiterint. Nam eodem ferè tempore hoc demerso sydere, coeuum quoddam eious loumen longè ar­dentioribous Mauortis ignibous exardescens, Antipodum fi­nibus occludet Imperium. At prius houic soumittet ceruices Gallia. Ad eious genoua soupplex adnatabit classibus Britan­nia: Italia aegrè ad ardua sceptra respirans, olli languentem portendet dexteram. Verum hocceiourbar antè diem ingenti mortalium desyderio se diuum noubibous condet. Quo exin­cto, post deiras & sanguinolentas Cometas, igniuomás (que) caeli facies, nihil amplious toutum, saloutareuè erit, Os (que) animanti­bous caeli firmamentum pugnantibous (que) planetieis, & contra­rieis corsibous labefactabitor; concurrent orbibous orbeis, fixae cursu anteuertent erraticas, aequabount aequora montes; Haec omnia deni (que) erunt nox, interitus, rouina, dampnatio, ac aeter­naï tenebraï.

G. S. G. Now I beséech you, what Oedipus may tho­rowly resolue vs in the consequence of this intricate Laby­rynthian monument? Or what liuing wight of whatsoeuer qualitie can infallibly pronounce what this Sybilline sy­dous, or woonderous star meaneth? First some imagined that it was most likely to be vnderstood of that Euangelicall star which extraordinarily appéered to the thrée wisemen: but how can that séeme probable, when it is expresly saide, that it should arise in Europa, and soupra Iberos? Afterwards the great philosophers of Rome, and some other courtly pa­rasites would néedes persuade the world that the emperor Carolus Quintus was the royall, and mightie personage prefigured thereby, but did not finally the reall euent as wel falsifie their exposition, as frustrate their expectation? Sithence his decease it is lately supposed by diuers Mathe­maticians, that the new strange star in Cassiopeia, which appéered, Anno 1572. was this Tyburtine sydous; but how vnequall is that paraphrase to the phrase of this prophesie? [Page 43] Or how vnlike is this description, to the manner, and effect of that new Phosphorus? Neuerthelesse I warrant you, the words themselues are so cunningly, and couertly contriued, that they will indifferently beare any such literall or allego­ricall, or any other like, either simple, or figuratiue construc­tion. Then, who can so explaine, or decipher that soupra Ibe­ros, as to make the clause annexed, with those puissant, and admirable effects, accorde sensibly there withall? By Iberos the Spaniardes may be déemed to be vnderstood, whose coun­try Spayne is of the Grecians, and from them of other au­thors termed Iberia ab Ibero fluuio as Geographers recorde. But whereto should these words ad magnam Septentrionis domum, be rightly or directly said to haue relation? Or may not the prepositions, supra, & ad, be rather thought to insinu­ate some secret Analogy, than discouer any certain determi­nate place indéede? Some haue made such a doubt, as also some haue suspected other matters; but othersome in respect of the word Iberos remember forsooth Hyberus one of Ga­thelus sonnes mentioned by Hector Boethius in his Scot­tish historie, but to what present purpose woorthy obseruati­on, I can not well perceiue. Other againe (peraduenture to shew their varietie of reading) haue called in question the inhabitants of Iberia, a region scituate in the confines of A­sia, which are reported in histories, and other writings to be a people very stout in armes, and passing expert in Martiall feates: but what coherence, or congruence is there in this glosse, or comment, considering that the aboue recited Sy­dous must arise in Europa, not in Asia, Affrica, or elswhere? The Spaniard is ouer ready to maintain, and exalt his own glory; as all the world séeth: yet what Spaniarde of value, or name, be he neuer so proud, or hauty, dareth arrogate, or assume any such mightie, and glorious illustration of the Vniuersall world? Or what other nation be it neuer so po­pulous, or valorous, may presume to intitle, or aduance it selfe vnto any such surmounting, and supereminent honor, either by Martiall conquest, or other violent intrusion, or whatsoeuer puissant meanes? Insomuch, that to my rea­ding, hearing, or other intelligence, the certaine Locall regi­on, [Page 44] or territory of that Sybilline Sydous lurketh stil vndeter­mined, yea, & vndeterminable to, in my poore conceite. Then as for the temporall period, or certain time, when that migh­tie euent should fall out, which is after a fashion described ex adiunctis, & effectis, in these words, tempore desideratissimo, quo mortaleies positeis armeis pacem onanimeies amplectantor: Is not the meaning thereof, that this goodly star should ap­péere at such a season, wherin men shal most desire to liue in peace, & imbrace publique tranquillitie, all conceit of armes, with all preparation of wars, laid apart? By which descrip­tion, who I pray you, may precisely define the assured time of any such effect? Or to what season may it be indifferent­ly, or vniuersally applied? Or if percase this be not the true, and legitimate construction thereof, how may that which in­sueth well hang togither, or séeme conformable? Certabitor quidem varieis per dioutourni interregni occasionem studieis? And who can directly discusse, or particularize the aequiuo­cation, and ouer-great generalitie of Interregni, and Auiti sanguinis propago? Or who may exactly discourse by the words folowing, when, or where, or how, the other co [...]uum quod­dam loumen should arise, or what distance of time, or other difference shall concur betwéene the first and the last, or fi­nally, when any of these maruellous things shall happen? Moreouer concerning the persons, who knoweth, or can pos­sibly learne, who shall prooue that vniuersall inuincible con­queror, whither christian prince, or Turke, or some barba­rous heathen king, or who shall liue to be partakers, or wit­nesses of such triumphant victories? For as for prius houic soummittet ceruices Gallia, notwithstanding the French league, or confederacie lately contracted by Francis the first, and his posteritie with the Turke, and God knoweth what casuall dependence, or finall issue thereof, may it otherwise appéere probable, that he should consequently prooue that martiall Coaeuum loumen, or that Brytan, and Italy should submit, and inuassall themselues vnto his dominion: or that any such barbarous fyrant should so honorably be termed, Hocce Ioubar, or decease in so plausible, and gratious fauor of the world, ingenti mortalium desyderio, or lastly, se diuum nou­bibus [Page 45] condere, which is most improbable, & to euery faithfull christian, very absurde. Item touching Antipodum finibous oc­cludet imperium, may it not be vnderstood Allegorically, as the rest, rather of such, as should be diuerse from vs in religi­on, or opposite, and contrary vnto vs in lawes, customes, rites, s [...]tes, maners, or otherwise, then of the right Antipo­des, or the inhabitants of the other side of the earth, so called bicause they walke against our féete, or mooue against our steps? In fine, is not the boysterous blast, and terrible thun­derbolt lastly denounced after so tragicall maner, as vncon­ceiueable, or inextricable, as the residue? Or is not al a vaine puffe of melancholique, or outragious winde, or rather of spiritish, and féendish furie? But what néedeth any farther inquirie, or scrupulous discouery? Who séeth not, what store and varietie of obscure metaphors, & other tropes of conti­nued Allegories, of doubtfull Amphibologies, and such like affected ambiguities is included within the bowels of this Sybilline oracle? Which in my opinion pretendeth euen as much credit, truth, and assurance, as an egge hath otemeale, according to the common prouerbe: yet such a iewell no doubt, as shall hereafter againe, and againe vpon euery light occasion, be eftsoones, and soone reuiued, as if it were still, and still to be effected: so pliable and conuertible is the nature of such pretended prophesies, and so continually practicable are the imposturall conueiances, and cheuisances of such busie cheaters, and coseners, as vsually play vpon the aduantage of these sophisticall inuentions. I might here repeate a whole Alchraon, or Legend of like stuffe: for to dismisse Sybilla Tyburtina, is not the Nazilographon of Sybilla Erythraea, Eryphila, and other traditions of Sybilla Delphica, Epyro­ta, Phrigia, Babylonica and the rest, togither with the fanta­sticall books of Brigit full fraught with such pseudoprophe­ticall woonderments? But are any of them either in cause, or in effect, any sounder, or more warrantable than the for­mer? And were it not then to little, or no purpose, to fill vp many leaues with such mysticall forgeries? When as euery poreblind eie may now visiblie espie light at a little hole, and ech sensible conceit can easilie estéeme the more, by the lesse?

[...]

[Page 48] presly named in the notorious prophesie of that Franciscan Frier, as it is reported by Lucas Lossius, Melancthon, and other, euen verbatim thus:

Dominabitur Turca in tota Italia, & Germania, Anno Do­mini, 1600.

May not also the holy inspirations of our late Cassandrae, Brygit, Hyldegardis, and I know not what french Bardists animate his faint hart, and incense his cold courage? Which with one accord flatly auow, that the Imperiall seate of the Turkish Monarchy shall one day be translated to Coleyn in Germany? Mary sir, this were merie tidings indéed, and a gallant triumph for Amurathes iij. or any his successor, if he, or they might fortune to pierce so déepe into the bowels of Christiandome? As what noble prince, or man of armes would not hazard a ioint, when such Diuinitie fauoureth him, and warranteth his luckie procéedings? Well, if this be the staffe, or scepter wherevpon he leaneth, is he not like in fine, (notwithstanding a thousand such gewgawes, vaine rumors, and frustratorie incouragements) to finde it litle stronger, or surer, than a weake réede, or rotten poste: and consequently to purchase himselfe the same déere rewarde, which befell Croesus, who fondly presuming of Apolloes oracle, peruerted the maine force of his owne treasure, euen then when he looked to haue subuerted the puissant might of his enimies? Yet might not Croesus more warrantably relie vpō the great oracle of Apollo, than this Turk, or any of that Mahometicall generation, vpon Frier Hilten, Brigit, or any like pettyprophet, or demiprophetisse? Or was not that lea­den God of golden memorie, more sacred at those daies, or at least as solemnly consecrated after their ceremonious guise, as any woodden Saint of the siluer Legend, amongst whom these holy ones are recounted? The Lord put a false, or lying spirit into the mouth of all the prophets of Ahab, and they forsooth prophesied vnto him goodly tydings, that he should conquer Ramoth Gilead, where afterward he was slaine, notwithstanding the contrarie warrantie of that presump­tuous prophesie, 1. King. 22. And is there not certaine hope, that the great Turke reposing like trust, or confidence in the [Page 49] like prophets, shall inioy the like successe that king Ahab had? There continue euen to this day, as is credibly repor­ted, and written, certaine furious creatures, or mad rauing wizardes amongst the Mahometicians, which breath out very strange blastes, and monstrously disguised in their out­ragious humor, run, or stand pratling vpon such things, as neither their Art, nor nature are able to comprehend: which distraught wights, and hellish impes, are there notwithstan­ding estéemed for Demigods, and reuerenced as true hea­uenly prophets? But alas, are they any better then such as God by Ezechiell (cap. 14. 9.) threatned to sende for the in­gratitude, and peruersitie of the people, To seduce or beguyle them that delight in the diuels lies, rather than in his truth, and so to punish sin by sin, after the dreadfull rule of his iustice? And doth it not also there follow, that he which sent, or excited them, will finally destroy aswel those vngratious prophets, themselues; as that credulous, and prophane people that be­léeueth, or trusteth them? There was a secret reuealed vnto Daniell, and Daniell conceiued the matter, and had vnder­standing of the vision: (Daniel 1. 1.) But whilest such furi­ous madbrains, and bedlames as these, raue out themselues wot not what, can other sober men descrie their outcries, or make pure diuinitie of so vnpure, and grosse humanity? Tul­ly said, that if there were any diuination, it was Animi inte­gri, and not, vitiosi corporis diuinatio: and Saint Paul himselfe said, that the spirits of the prophets were in the power of the prophets: (1. Cor. 14.) But let infidels, and miscreants, and namely the Turks applaud, and reioice in their Zidkii­ahes, (1. Kin. 22. I hope no christian kingdome, or common wealth, and namely England will not be misled, or caried away with any such wizardly impostors, to whom Mi­chaiah, and the right prophet of prophets, euen Christ him­selfe, hath expresly preached, and prophesied, saieng:

Beware of false prophets which come vnto you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly are rauenous woolues:

Yee shall know, or discerne them by their fruits: Do men gather grapes of thornes? Or figs of thistles?

So euery good tree bringeth foorth good fruit: and a corrupt tree [Page 50] bringeth foorth euill fruit.

A good tree cannot bring foorth euill fruit; neither can a cor­rupt tree bring foorth good fruite.

Euery tree that bringeth not foorth good fruit is hewen downe, and cast into the fire.

Therefore by their fruits yee shall discerne them.

Not euery one that saith vnto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of heauen, but he that performeth the will of my father, which is in heauen.

Many will say vnto me, in that day: haue we not, in, or by thy name prophesied? and by thy name cast out diuels? And by thy name done many great works?

And then will I professe vnto them: I neuer knew you, depart from me, ye that worke iniquitie. &c. (Mathew 7.)

What should we then, as is also premised, looke still, and still for more prophesies? Haue we not already Moyses, and the prophets? Nay, haue we not the Messias himselfe, and his apostles, more woorth than all the prophets of all ages, of all languages, of all countries, of all religions, or of whatsoeuer ordinary, or extraordinary qualitie in the world? Wherfore not Lazarus arising againe from death could mooue vs, if these cannot mooue vs. The eies of our harts, are, or should be opened by the cléere bright Gospell of Christ; and shall the eies of the body expect any farther sight of miracles? Must we euermore be fed like yoong children? Or continually trai­ned vp like Infidels, or Ethniques? If there be any won­ders, a wonderfull masteries wrought now adaies, are they not performed either by incantations, such as the sorcerers of Pharao vsed (which, howsoeuer they séeme glorious in the view of the world, are odious in the sight of God, & nothing lesse than wonders indéede, but the onely subtill illusions of the Diuell?) or else contriued by the deceitfull legierde­maine, and craftie conueiance of shifting iuglers, and cog­ging impostors, such as amongst infinite other of that same foisting crue, namely Scotto and Feates vsed, séeming like­wise in apparance to haue done, and vndone that, which in very truth they coulde neuer doo, or vndoo, but made sem­blance thereof by the diuels sophistry, and their owne coun­terfet [Page 51] sleights. For touching naturall Magicians, and their cunning practises, such as Archita Tarentinus, and our Ro­ger Bacon vsed, are they any better than philosophicall expe­riments, or mathematicall conclusions, and therefore no woonders, or myracles: séeing euery right woonder, such as Moises and Elisaeus vsed, were neither fained apparances, or deceptions of sight, nor any naturall, or mathematicall expe­riments, but altogither supernaturall, supermathematicall, and true myracles? Pharaos sorcerers, might incantatiuely turne their rods into serpents, as Aaron miraculously did, but of so like effects, were not the causes very vnlike, and did not finally Aarons rod deuour their rods? (Exod. 7. 12.) Or was not Pharao with his whole Aegyptian hoste, and in­chanters themselues, drowned in the midst of the sea, wher­as Moyses, and the children of Israel safely walked thorough vpon dry ground? (Exod. 14.) But to ouerpasse this point, with diuers like matters, (wherein the worshipfull gentle­man, master Reginald Scot, hath lately deserued good com­mendations, for his learned discouery of such palpable collu­sions:) and to returne againe vnto our former argument; what better account are we to make of those odde conceited predictions blowen abroad in the name of our famous Kar­marden prophet Ambrose Merlin; are they not likewise as guilfull, and fraudulent as the residue, and euen like to our Karmarden frizes now adayes? Or do they not too sensibly sauour of his good moothers condition, who voluntarily vow­ed vnto king Vortiger, that she neuer had carnall companie with mortall man? As if hir yoong sonne forsooth, had béene begotten of some demi-god, or some incarnate spirit, or In­cubus, or without corporall copulation, or after I wot not what strange, and woonderous maner. Indéede if we will be­léeue Thomas Aquinas, Danaeus, Hyperius, Monsieur Bo­dyne, with sundry other, (as ful well we may no doubt) they prooue very rare & singular fellowes, which are so begotten, (for where was there euer any such certainty knowen?) So that in this respect it was a cunning practise of Adhan (aswel to insinuate an extraordinarie opinion of hir sonne vnto the king, as otherwise to couer hir owne shame, and dishonesty, [Page 52] who euen that day went still for a virgin) to vse the preten­ded cloke of Incubus, or such like glozing blindation: but how little credite is to be assigned either to the one, or to the other, what reasonable man of any sensible capacitie deuoid of superstition, and blinde credulitie, vnderstandeth not? My selfe haue as well purposely, as incidently run ouer many prophesies fathered vpon Merlin, yea, more, I dare say, than euer that counterfet wrot, some in verse, othersome in prose; some in latin, othersome in english; some written, some im­printed: some in common letters, othersome in newfounde Alphabets, and mysticall characters; whereof amongst ma­ny of the same stampe, behold one trim Hexameter relique which a certaine vnlearned empirical imposter first shewed me, Anno 1580. for a very speciall déepe secret, and profound mathematicall monument, as he supposed, being raggedly scrawled in od disguised maner of Astrologicall characters, as insueth:

The Title, or Inscription.

♎♄☋♁♎♄♐♉♋♌ ☉♌♌♈♐♍♂.

The Prophesie it selfe.
" ♀♍♏♈♌♋ ☿♌ ♎☋♃♓♂☿ ☿♊♋ ♏♌♍♒, ♑☽♌♋
" ♑♊♌♈♂♃♌☿ ♁♓☋☿:
" ☿♐ ♉♂☋♉♊☉☽♁♓♌☿ ♏♌♍♒ ♒♉♃☿♌♋, ♏♀♈♌♀
" ☋♁♓♂☿:
" ♂♋♈♌♋ ☉♌♍♀☿♊☋: ♄♂♃♂☋♍♌♉♀♒ ♌♍♒♌♓
" ♌♋☿☽☋:
" ♐♉♌♉ ☋♌♎♌♍☿♌♍♋ ♊♀♈♌☽♂♒ ☉♁☋♒, ♀☿♑
" ☽♌ ☋♊♌♍♋
" ☿♌ ♉♁☿☉ ♎☋♁♒☿♌ ☋♍♌☿, ♍♌♉ ♏☋♍♒ ☿♊♀
" ☿♋♈♌♀ ♉♐☋♍♂☿:
" ♎♋♀ ♒♌☉☽♈♋☿♀ ☽♈♊♂☿, ♎♋♀ ♄☋♉ ♎♀♋ ☽♋♈
" ♒♀ ♎☋♁♀☿☋☽,
" ♀♋♎ ♉♈♋☉ ♍♋☉♑☽♌ ☋♊☿♐, ♏☋♀♊♂☉♌ ♑☽♌
" ♎♌♍♀ ♎♋☋♀☿♊☋.

[Page 53] A woonderfull hidden, and abstruse Hyeroglyphical myste­rie I warrant you: such a one doubtles, as no meane foole may easily be made acquainted withall: in truth amongst a capcase full of such forgeries, and mockeries, as it is one of the briefest, and someway notablest, so it séemed vnto me euen the most apert, simple, and sensible, being once stripped out of the counterfet masking liuerie: which I therefore the rather here inserted, being loth to trouble the reader, or of­fend any religious eie with the longest, or vainest comments in this bootles kind, when the shortest, and very best I doubt, may haply séeme ouertedious vnto some both learned and wise; neuertheles reputing it such an one, as ful easily might and no doubt did procéede from the fantasticall, or pragma­tical coniectures of some busy discoursing deuiser, & not from any other propheticall instinct, or farther extraordinarie in­fluence, wherewith Merlyn was déemed, and still of many is supposed to haue béene supernaturally inspired. Howbeit to the intent the thing might appéer the more autentical, & as it were radicall, abhibuit latebram obscuritatis, as Tully iesteth at one of Sibilles commeners, setting a strange counte­nance on the matter, and facing it out with a certaine lear­ned tincture, that should require as well a Steganographi­call decipherer, as a logicall, or philosophicall interpreter. O maruellous cunning! O goodly sophistication! But lo the poore sillie cosenage familiarly detected, in a few simple lat­tin verses, or rather rimes, smelling of that rude vnlearned age.

Vna ex selectissimis Prophetijs Ambrosij Merlini.

Anglia te prodit tua gens, quia quaelibet odit:
Te circumfodit gens Scotia: Gallia rodit:
Wallia minatur: Hybernicus insidiatur:
Ecce repentina validis mors atque ruina
Te cito prosternit, nec gens tua talia cernit:
Pax simulata fluet: pax haec pax falsa probatur:
Pax clam námque ruet, grauior quae poena paratur.

[Page 54] Which verses since my first view thereof, in that painted vi­zard, I haue more than once, or twise séene written in an ancient secretarie hande, but with legible vulgar letters, as is now explained: but which of them were the originall re­cord of the maker, or phantastical exemplification of the wri­ter, as it is to little purpose to know, so it néedeth not either héer to be discussed, or elsewhere determined. Of both, the ma­ner in apparance may séeme woorse than the matter it selfe, which being aduisedly, and without malice, or other fraude applied, may in some reasonable construction be supposed to containe a gentle forewarning, or friendly Caueat, to Eng­land, by way of affectionate, or compassionate admonition, to prouide and beware in time: howbeit I doubt whether the first coyner thereof had any such charitable intention, or friendly purpose: In our naturall toong (being at an idle houre by me translated, or rather paraphrased) they implie thus much in effect:

O England, thy country betraies thee, as ech other hates thee:
The Scot incrocheth: the Frenchman gapes for a vantage:
Wales threatneth kindnes: wilde Irish lurketh in ambush:
Behold thy captaines dispatched all on a sodaine:
And Ruin hudled vp, when thou thinkest lest of a mischiefe:
Peace fostred for a time, shall finally prooue to be fained
Which breaking vnawares, shall bring on greeuousser horror.

But as for the certaintie, or vanitie of this forethreate­ning, let euery man in discretion iudge, as himselfe séeth best cause: truly my selfe can no otherwise conceiue thereof in any necessarie, or probable reason, than of the residue of the same maruellous counterfet, whose religion was correspon­dent to the supposed maner of his birth: whose writings as true as his beléefe: and whose whole institution, or course of life, sutable to the disposition of his pretended Sire: name­ly, impious, monstrous, and hellish. For what a Gods name can we thinke of his other couenous, and sophisticall deui­ses, or rather diabolicall practises; wherewith he, or the di­uel in him, deluded and beguiled the simpler sort; as amongst the rest of his strange and monstrous Bore hauing an head of a white Lions hart; of his Lambe hauing féete of Lead, a head of brasse, the hart of an Otter, and a swines skin: of his [Page 55] Dragon with a Goates beard: of his Goate with siluer horns, and beard of siluer: of his Eagle with fetters of gold, and I wot not what of like, and vnlike nature? Or what reckoning is indéede to be made of his Irish Lions, hideous woolues, despituous Antilops, griphins, buls, beares, foxes, moldwarps, swans, bussards, cranes, cocks, owles, and other fierce or tame creatures; are they not méere gewgawes to delight children, and very toyish cranks to mocke Apes? Wherefore, when I sée the hot Bathes become cold as other water: when I be hold the fower chéefe riuers, or fluds in England streaming with blood, and braines: when you shew me Seuerne dried vp with dead bodies: a dead man arising out of his graue, and taking sword in hand to play the migh­tie Conqueror: trées growing in market places, and Iudi­ciall courts: or headlesse men pitching a field of victorie: or when I sée a beare blowing a trumpet: or heare a cocke crowing out of the region of the Moone; or vnderstand a white rauen talking to a greyhound; then, and in those daies will I also per buon companie begin to estéeme Mer­lin for a great prophet, and regard his writings for true prophesies. Untill which time Merlin and all Merlinists must be faine either to pardon such incredulous persons, as I am, or else to yéeld sounder proofe of their monsterous He­raldicall blazonings, than yet appéereth. Are you therefore desirous to haue likewise my opinion of such other fabulous traditions, and vaine rumors, founded and builded onely vp­on like colourable, and deceiuable prophesies? Must I not say to all, as I haue said to one? Is either,

Hic iacet Arturus, Rex quondam, Réx (que) futurus:

Or the Lion named Edward twise crowned in England, and once in Rome: or

He that before was dead, and buried twise:
To receiue his crowne againe shall truly arise:

Or the Moone bearing the sway, but at last loosing hir light for presuming aboue the Sunne: Or the Dragons head at Charing Crosse, his taile being not come to Westchester: or the Dragons taile in Ireland, his head being in Stanford: or the Dragons head in Troy, his taile being in Leicester: or

Troy vntrue shall tremble and quake:
For feare of him that many men dreads:
When a dead man shall arise and speake:
Then xxiiij. Aldermen shall loose their heads.

Or, Lincolne was: London is: Yorke shall be.

Or, Hoc magnum studium, quod nunc est ad vada Boum

Tempore venturo, celebrabitur ad vada saxi.

Or any our Chronicall, or other traditionall prophesie, any thing better? The persons are almost innumerable, and the practises almost infinite: but marke a few, and note all: be­hold (for examples sake) Robert Blake, Iohn Vprobert, Pa­trike, Edward Alauantreuor, Thomas de Guino, Banne­stur, Dauid Vpan, alias Vpanthony, William Greffit, Ed­ward Apowell, Thomas Alchin, Dauid Treuar, and Sir George Amagdauill, twelue good men and true as euer car­ried such fardels about the countrie? Lo héere some of their finest wares, and trimmest knacks: as I haue found them packed and vnpacked in the secret paper-bookes of certaine English Antiquaries:

Robert Blake. A dead man that no man saw borne, nor no man shall see buried, shall be king ouer vj. king­doms, and he shall be generated out of the sea, by the strength and nature of a dun cowe; and this Lion shall be gone where few shall find him for the space of 22. moneths, and od daies, and after 22. moneths and od daies, he shall come againe, and execute iudgement in his fathers house, and that which is darke he shal make light, and shall make a way to the holy Crosse.

Iohn Vprobert. The sonne of man shall kill his mother, and yet haue hir blessing, and the blessing of God, and of the Britaines: and he shal make glad the people that be outcast, in those daies: and he shall make labour to see the seate of the Eagle: and shall not see it, nor no man after him: and he shall make swift inquiring for the shepheards he left behind him in his first estate, and shall restore euery man vnto his owne liuing againe: [Page 57] and shall stablish his lawes throughout al Britaine, and after 1559. he shall plant true religion in kingdoms, and make an vniuersall peace, &c.

Patrike. H. shall stand vp but a small time: then the right shall not be in the right seate: A. H. A. W. and A. B. shall knit their tailes togither; and bring into pro­speritie, which shall be Muelos, she shal vndo the dore, and put out the foxe in hir parke, and make him ruler ouer hir deere, and she shall take counsell of the foxe, which she shal highly esteeme aboue all other, &c.

Edward Alauantreuor. What time 52. Sommers shall fal in one yeere, then shall not set by neither Monke, nor Frier; nor yet regular holpen by their praier. Euer ⚅ is best of the dice, when it getteth vp ⚅ is paradise: then shal the name of England spring when ⚄ and ⚀ and ⚃ shal be set aside: yet ⚂ shal rise vp, and ⚁ shal sit vnder, thē the dead man shal rise & all the world shal woonder, then red rose and the flower de-luce the fet­ter locke shall vndoo, and yet ⚅ shall beare the price, and ⚀ shal helpe to this counsel, for betweene ⚃ and ⚄ is mystical vnderstanding, many shall be vndone by sea and by land, and a blacke cow shall arise next the blood of Calwallider, a noble knight shal he be, bles­sed of God, and a true flower de-luce, &c.

Thomas de Guino. When it is 1565. then the third flud shall flow ouer England, and then all heresies shall be destroied: when you see in England men with short coates, and weapons with great pride; and breeches like vnto a beare and small in the midst, and their arses like a barrell; then after that be you sure doth begin for the faith, and the churches sake, &c.

Bannestur. R. Shall vp, and P. shall vnder, the deadman shall rise there will be great woonder, God send vs good lucke the sea shall rore, and flow vp sooner than we are ware, when the sea ruleth all the land, sarewell [Page 58] the mirth of merie England. The mare shall breake hir halter, &c.

Dauid Vpan, aliàs Vpanthony. To tell the truth many a one would woonder Charing ✚ shal be broken a sun­der: then R. shall reach: P. shall preach: S. shal stand stiffe; H. and T. shall make maidens tumble vnder; at midsommer shal be a new moone, and cuckow time shall come assoone. ⚀ shall vp, ⚅ shall vnder, ⚄ shall rise from death to life, to make a maiden tumble vnder, &c.

But pause there a while, if it pleaseth you: or were it not best to spare those that remaine, and by one or two impo­sters, to iudge of their fellowes, coueting to be reputed new Merlins, and affecting the title, or stile of prophets? Are not these thinke you goodly wizards, and mightie prophets of the right haire indéede? Knew they not as well what they said, as the grand archprophet Mahomet did, when he vow­ed, that euery day in Paradise was 1000. yéeres long, and euery yéere there as much as 40000. of our yéeres? Or could not they as certainely foresée what should be done on earth, as he could sée what was done in heauen? May you not like­wise perceiue by the learned phrase, and artificiall tenor of their stile, how profound doctors they were, as déepely cun­ning no doubt, as the great learned clarke, which cried out in an open assembly, and publique disputation, Ostende mihi qualis est corpus, qualis est corpus? And euen as full of prophe­sie as Dauid George was, when he fore told that in the third yéere after his buriall, he should arise againe: but ere two yéeres were fully finished, he was taken vp, and with his cof­fin hanged on a paire of gallowes. Was not this a trusty prophet, or was he not a notable knaue, or rather was he not a notorious heretique? And may not the residue of this cog­ging crew be rightly termed his companions, or Merlins dis­ciples, or foisting mates of that order? For mine owne part, I wil as soon beléeue that saluation came by Dauid George, which that blasphemous villaine auowed of himselfe, as I can be persuaded that he, or any such Impostor could truly, [Page 59] and infallibly diuine of any such publique future euents. Or when I sée any one of them stand their king, or other superi­or magistrate in any such stéede, as Elisha did the king of Is­rael, who reuealed and disclosed vnto him, whatsoeuer his enimie the king of Syria secretly spake, or contriued in his priuy chamber. (2. Kings. 6. 12.) Or when I can prooue that the authoritie of any such is a sufficient warrant to annoint kings: or his courage maintainable to controll, or confront the greatest princes: or when I heare any certaine report that Monarchs & mightiest gouernors haue crowched vnto him, and called themselues his sonnes and seruants, as the kings of the old Testament did reuerence and honour the prophets of Israel: then (not before) will I also say vnto such an one, as the woman of Zarephath said vnto Eliah: Now I know verily, that thou art a prophet of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth, is true. In the meane space what should I looke for heauenly mysteries in the homely ambry, and grosse presse of such rude and base vnderstanding, and vnder­mining? Or what wise man, or reasonable creature will re­gard their forged traditions and deuises, any more than vain fables, or idel rumors, or sond toyes, or lewd practises or blas­phemous heresies? What though some one runnagate (which some haply will obiect) hath once or twise chanced to hit the naile on the head, is that sufficient to inthronish him in the spirituall chaire of propheticall diuinitie? Doth not euery bungling archer somtime strike the white asunder, or doth not euery roauing Emperike ease the patient other­whiles? Quis est qui totum diem iaculans, non aliquando collimet? Neque tanta est infoelicit as aruspicum (saith Tully in his second booke De Diuinatione) vt nè casu quidem nunquam fiat, quod fu­turum illi esse dixerint? Nay, is it not the diuels vsuall policie to thrust in some one or two ambiguous truthes, amongst euery heape of forgeries and lies, to the intent that vnder that cloke, he may the more easily insinuate himselfe, and purchase the greater credit against other times? Or doth not euen the Lord himselfe somtimes cause the signe or woonder which the false prophet foretelleth, to come accordingly to passe, thereby to trie and approoue the zealous, or cold loue [Page 60] and deuotion of his people towards him, in following, or not following such a vaine vpstart? (Deut. 13. 3.) Quod in om­nibus rectè fit, omnes ad artem referunt: quod autem in vno, aut in duobus, non ad artem sed ad fortunam, aut casum; quoth Galen in his ninth book De placitis Hippocratis, & Platonis. Whose bare assertion I am to prefer aboue, and before all the contradicti­ons of such Balaam impostors. Set now your little children and yoong striplings abrode in the stréetes to mocke or flout these counterfets, I warrant you, they shal neuer be harmed, or touched with beares for that fact, wherwith the 42. chil­dren that mocked Elisha were suddenly dispatched? (2. King: 2. 24.) What speake I of gibing boies, or children? Would not euen Balaams asse, were he now liuing, not only forbid, but deride the foolish lewdnes, and lewd foolishnes of such wi­zards; prophets, without profit; wels, without water; clouds, without raine; and trées without fruit, as Saint Peter spea­keth of such hypocrites? They haue béene méetly well scof­fed, & laughed at from time to time, especially amongst the learned and wise: yet sée the notable folly of the base multi­tude, which still and still continueth to imbrace such palpable fooleries. Which alas, is the more lamentable, considering what bright and shining lights of all learning, haue lately béene kindled, to cléere the world of such grosse and foggie mists, darkened with all kind of ignorance, simplicitie, and follie. But to take my farewell, as it were, with one of their highest and déepest inuentions, marke I beséech you the Al­phabeticall deuise following, of some Glossers, or Copiers­out, intituled HEMME, of some HEMPE, a doughtie matter questionles, both woorthy the scanning, and of no small fooles coimng, I dare assure you, as may appéere by the Gréeke Ortography, and learned characters:

[...].

[Page 61] Had not this sad English prophet, this merry Gréeke, this woorthy Polygrapher learned his De profundis clamaui, think you, before he could boult out such terrible thunderclaps? Ie­su, how woonderously it lightened, when he prophesied! Lord what a cunning man was he, that could foresée, and foretell such strange casualties! Had he not, trow you, some secret conference with some such nimble intelligencer, as Cornel. Agrippa had of his spritish characteristicall cur? God kno­weth, it was a full heauie, and wofull spéech, wherewith he discharged that fiendish helhound: Abi à me perdita bestia, quae me miserum perdidisti: but is it not in a maner as pitifull, and lamentable a case, to consider how the weaker sort haue béene diuersly caried away, and some most miserably brought to their ends, by the villanous fetches, and diuelish practises of such prophesieng companions, the dogged schollers, and vassals of Agrippaes dog, and the damnable coheires of his so horrible inheritance, not vnlike, or rather sybb for all the world to Agoraeus that profane abhominable idol of Mercu­rie, out of whom the diuels, and the furies of hell raued? A­las, what fond and vaine expectation hath a long time rested in the minds not of one or two, or a few, but of great multi­tudes of the simpler sort in England about king Edward the sixt, as though they were sure either of his arising frō death, or his returne from I know not what Ierusalem, or other strange land: A mad conceit, yet whereupon grounded, but onely vpon the silly deuises of such copesmates? And what counterfet suborned marchants of base parentage, haue si­thence ranged abrode in the countrie, presuming to terme themselues by the roiall name of king Edward? Such is the rash and blind credulitie of the common people, and such is the desperate insolencie of some brainsicke presumptuous runnagates. There is not any naughtie packe, they say, which findeth not a partner: and héereby most euidently it appéereth, how facile or easie a matter it is to delude, and mistead the Comminaltie, or greater part of any Common-wealth, with a tale of the maker: They knew it full well, and ouer well, which first aduentured to publish such absurd fantasies, amongst the vulgar sort; but wo, and wo, and a­gaine [Page 62] wo vnto them, by whom the simple soules of the sons and daughters of men otherwise innocent, and well mea­ning, are thus rufully cast away. For how easily might I héer repeat almost infinite examples of villanous attempts, pernitious vprores, horrible mischéefes, slaughters, blasphe­mies, heresies, and all other indignities, and outrages, des­perately committed, and perpetrated through means of such inueterate, and new broched forgeries: but what histories, chronicles, or politique discourses are not copious, and plen­tifull in this kind?

Hinc semper Vlysses
Criminibus terrere nouis; hinc spargere voces
In vulgum ambiguas; & quaerere conscius arma:
Nec requieuit erim, donec Chalcante ministro.

The very Donec of our like Vlyssean pollicies, and the final effect of such predestined causes: wherwith the world hath continually béene so perilously incumbred, and so pestilently misused, as is vniuersally too notorious. Neither shal I ther­fore néede to ransacke Pierce Plowmans satchell; nor to de­scant vpon fortunes, newly collected out of the old shepherds Kalender: nor to tell you of a day, when a Bush in Essex shall be woorth a Castell in Kent (which percase was fulfil­led many hundred yéeres ago:) nor in regard of fresh occur­rents, to renew the like old soothsaying:

France, and Flanders shall play at the base:
And Spayne shall make enter in that space:

nor otherwise to fable of the lion of Flanders: or the red li­on of Scotland: or the lillie of France: or the blacke rauen of Wales: or the widdow of Calaber: or the rose female in the lande of the Moone: or I know not what greene Christmas, and red Haruest: or faire Winter, and blooddy Lent: nor to finde your toongs occupied with rimes dogrell of Eagles, and Beagels; Cats, and Rats: Dogs, and Hogs: Crowes, and Bowes: Stones and dead mens Bones: coun­try hobs, & lobs: clowted shoon, and midsommer moone: or such like homely, and clownish stuffe: nor to fil your eares with I wot not what popular, and kettish sermons, made forsooth vpon some reuerend theame, in méeter; or sage ditty, [Page 63] of some Scoggins, or Skeltons coining, giuen out by way of prophesie, at the least: nor to tosse and turne our Brittish, English, Irish, and Welch Chronicles, (as namely the whole fourth booke of Galfridus Monemutensis, expresly intitu­led, De Prophetijs Merlini:) the better to supply all such do­mesticall antiquities, or nouelties: nor much lesse to run thorough forren histories, either ecclesiasticall, politique, or mixt: either Iudaicall, Christian, Turkish, or Heathen; ei­ther old, new, or of a middle age: either in Hebrew, Gréeke, Latine, or other language: nor finall to range, and straie a­broad in poets, philosophers, polihistors, antiquaries, philo­logers, schoolemen, and other learned discoursers: for Apol­lines, Themides, Thetydes, Hermetes, Trismegisti; Sybillae, Magi, Chaldaei, Gymnosophistae, Druides, Hetrusci, Tyre­siae, Chalcantes, Cassandrae, Amphiarai, Amphilochi, To­masutij, Mopsi, Polibij; Promethei Aquila, Hesiodi Pan­dora, Pythagorae Mercurius, Socratis Daemonium, Stoico­rum Pronoia, Sertorij Hinnulus, Apollonij Tianaei Eudae­mon, id est, Cacodaemon, Mahometis Angelus Gabriel, Sancti Antonij Heremitae, Speculum futuri; veneficarū feles, bufones, muscae, apes; alij aliorum familiares spiritus partim Geo­mantici, partim Hydromantici, partim Aëromantici, partim deni (que) Pyromantici; or such like famous presidents, and woorthy pat­terns, of our later pseudopropheticall inuentions. Euerie age, euery country, and euery toong, howsoeuer barbarous, or ciuill, affoordeth ynough, and ynough examples, both of the learneder, and vnlearneder stampe: but of what better cre­dit, or more value, than the tales of Robin hood, or the fa­bles of Robin goodfelow, & the Fairies, or the woonderous arts of Howleglasse, or the wizardly fortunetellings of the runnagate counterfet Aegyptians, commonly termed Gyp­sies? And therefore questionles as easilie confuted by all principles, and directions both of diuine, and humane lear­ning, as they were first grounded vpon neither of them, and as certainly reprooued ex manifestis caussis, as they were euer vncertainly prooued ex dubijs effectibus, or vainely alleadged, ex corruptis affectibus. Quorum certa demonstratio non habetux, eorum non habetur certa cognitio: quoth Galen in his treatise [Page 64] de natural, facult, substantia: and His, quae non secundum ratio­nem siunt, non est fidendum, neque, vt diuturna sint, sperandum: quoth Cardane Segment. 1. aphoris. 5. As also many like reasonable sentences, rules, and axiomes are euery where interlaced in the Naturall, and Morall discourses of Plato, Aristotle, Tully, Plinny, Seneca, and all other excellent writers, in any such philosophicall subiect. Now I beséech you, are not naturall things, naturally to be examined: su­pernaturall things, supernaturally to be considered: morall things, morally to be resolued? As necessary causes, produce necessary effects: and powerable meanes haue commonly powerable issues: euen so no doubt Contingent, or Acci­dentall causes, bringe foorth Contingent, or Accidentall ef­fects? And haue not weake, and impotent meanes, as com­monly weake, and impotent issues? Can any man better foresée politique euents, or rightlier prognosticate publique casualties (matters of méere politique contingence, not of ne­cessary consequence) than a sound Politician, or wise coun­seller, of déepe insight, and prouident foresight, in such af­faires? Must we resort to wizardes, or southsaiers, or sorce­rers, or cuniurers, or witches, or gypsies, or shepheards, or any like priuate prophets of basest condition, and silliest in­telligence, in highest occurrences of state, or the sequell of publique accidentes, depending ordinarily vpon Ciuill cau­ses, circumstances, and actions, wherewith they are least ac­quainted? Or if haply we refer all vnto diuine Prouidence, (which no doubt is the predominant, and most principall ouerruling cause of causes, vsing al other whatsoeuer causes, superior, or inferior, but as seruiceable meanes, and instru­ments, attendant vpon the execution of those soueraign, and inuiolable ordinances, decréed from aboue:) what sharper or profounder inspection, can those wooful damnable creatures, and wretched caitifes haue therein, than so many other, not onely godlier, or better disposed persons, but far wiser, lear­neder, and woorthier men, in all respects of due considerati­on? What should I argue the case any farther, which is so euidently cléere: or heape vp more particularities, and spe­cialties, which are so infinitely innumerable? Enough, they [Page 65] say, is as good as a feast: and verbum sapientibus sat, or at least, multa paucis. Wherefore hitherto sufficiently for this instant, conterning the generall disauory, and discredit of such speci­all Matters; whereof notwithstanding at more leisure, I may perchance, vpon any like occasion, intreat more at large.

Now it remaineth, that I bréefely, and as it were cursori­ly touch the Maner, or Forme of the foresaid, and such other goodly matters: and then procéeding to the Scope, or End thereof, so conclude the first part, or section of my present dis­course.

Doth it not therefore manifestly appéere, as well by the view of the premisses, as by the conference of a thousand like counterfets, partly couenously, partly fantastically spread abroad in the world, how base, and barbarous a stile, these forgers vsed for the most part? Or is any thing extant more harsh, crabbed, perplexed, or intricate, than many of their cunningest fetches? Or who laugheth not at some of their balde, pelting, and curtald fragments? At their piper­ly versicles, and other beggerly trumperie? Or cannot eue­ry pettie scholler of the Uniuersitie, and in a maner euerie grammar boy of any towardnes, readily descry their Gram­mar congruities, and Rhetorique figures? Haue I not suf­ficiently mentioned some gewgawes, pricked vp in rime dogrell, and balductum méeter: some flimflams packed vp in pedlers prose: some patcheries bungled vp in an vplan­dish Ideotisme; without any good rime or reason: all, or most of all botched vp either after a rude, and dunsicall sort, or at least after a forlorne, and disguised guise? Were it not a néedles, or booteles labor, to make a special Analysis, either of their Abcedary and Alphabeticall Spels, or of their Cha­racteristicall, and Polygraphical suttelties, or of their Acro­stique, and Anagrammatistique deuises, or of their Stega­nographicall, and Hieroglyphicall mysteries, or of their hyperbolicall metaphors, phantasticall allegories, and he­raldicall illusions, or of their ambiguous aequiuocations, interdeux amphibologies, and aenigmaticall ridles, or final­ly of any their other colourable glosses, & hypocriticall subor­nations, [Page 66] in some like prestigiatory, and sophisticall beine? What more ludicrous, or ridiculous spectacle can you ima­gine, than to sée a wretched company of such woofull wights, and miserable creatures, scarsely woorth the ground they treade vpon, and hardly deseruing their daily bread: sodain­ly presented on a Theater, or comicall stage, in their thred­bare liueries, and stale gaberdines, of antique shape, and for­lorne fashion? Is not their whole habite, and gesture too no­torious? Doth not euery childe perceiue in what humor they abounde? I must not stande to paint out particulars? How were these cosening, and shifting whimwhams pro­claimed, or published, but euermore after an od, palting, and péeuish maner? Giuen out, and scattered abroad obscurely, and by stealth, either incerto authore, or for more credit, fa­thered vpon some counterfet author of some fame? Craftily hidden in some old stonie wall, or vnder some altar, or in some ancient window, or in some darke caue, or déepe dunge­on, or fabulous hils, or famous mount, or high turret, or in some like solemne place? And there forsooth casually found by some strange accident, vnlooked for? First deuised, and then laid vp, and afterward diuulged, or published, not bona fide, but dolo malo? Euen like other fraudulent impostures, and delusions in the foresaid, and such like captious circum­stances, and in euery other notable respect? Lo then the good­ly maner of such godly matter? But may we not maruell, why they should vse such darke, and close intricate procée­dings? Were they afraid of the sun, or could they not abide the cléere light of the day? Or possibly were they in Tyberi­us Caesars veine, who is reported to haue séene better in darknes, than in light? They set downe mysticall, or rather mystie positions, and articles, whereof we haue neither sci­ence in vniuersalitie, nor explanation in particularitie: such as neither of our selues we immediatly cōceiue, or haue any other mediator, or interpretor to notifie vnto vs: but must be faine to content our selues with that good plaine answer of Aristotle in his Elenches, [...], I vnderstand not your meaning, or as we commonly say: Your eloquence passeth my intelligence. An old schoole-point of Cryptical and Acro­amaticall [Page 67] Sophistrie, learned euen from Apollo himselfe, of his doubtfull and perplexed obscuritie, surnamed Loxias, or rather from the very diuell himselfe, the prince of dark­nes, and archenimie of light. But to what purpose or intent shuld they busie themselues, or trouble other with vnknow­en riddles, and inexplicable propositions? Marry forsooth bicause they fauour and tender their posteritie, they aduer­tise, or admonish them of such euents and destinies, as they cannot easily or possibly conceiue: how then do they admo­nish them? Is it not as if a Physition should counsell his pa­tient, to take that, which he neither knoweth, nor can any way come by? And what good, I pray you, shall that counsell do his patient? Should not a plaine Englishman be much edified by a Latin, or Gréeke, or Hebrew sermon? Or were it not of great effect, to tell him a long tale in a new-found language, of the speakers owne inuention? To what pur­pose had Nature made gold, siluer, yron, leade, or any other naturall mettals, or minerals, if withall she had not taught men to find out their secret veines in the earth, and how also to prepare and worke them being found? Or what benefit should the flowers, séedes, berries, fruits, gums, or other par­ture of trées or shrubs, or such other fruits of the earth haue yéelded vnto man, in case Nature, togither with Art and Ex­ercise, had not acquainted him with the vsage, tillage, and condition thereof?

Things without life which giue a sound, whether it be a pipe, or an harpe, except they make a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be knowen what is piped, or harped? quoth Saint Paule to the Corinthians.

And also if the trumpet giue out an vncertaine sound, who shall prepare himselfe to battell?

Except ye vtter words which haue signification, how shall we vnderstand what is spoken? For ye shall speake in the aire.

Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be vnto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a bar­barian vnto me.

If I pray in a strange toong, my spirit praieth, but mine vn­derstanding is without fruit.

[Page 68] The place hath béene often scanned, and is famously kno­wen. How then? May we not now iustly demand with Chrysippus, Diogenes, and Antipater; Haec si Deorum signa sunt, cur essent obscura? Or rather conclude with Christs own prouerbe; Qui malè agunt, oderunt lucem? As also with the common adage, Cessator quaerit angulos. The spirituall and deadly enimie is said in scripture to haue sowen his tares in the night time, when the aire was darkest, and the labou­rers taking their rest: and are not these close companions, these not so mysticall, as mistie prophets; the right chaplins or hirelings, of such a Sower? Compare their sayings with his doings; their doctrine with his discipline; their glosse with his text; and shall you discerne any great difference in effect? Haue they not taken the readiest and cunningest way to cosen, delude, and as it were intoxicate the weake senses of the simpler sort:

"Omnia enim stolidi magis admirantur, amánt (que)
"Inuersis quae sub verbis latitantia cernunt.

as both that poet rightly noted, and ouerlong experience of ouercredulous and superstitious conceits touching the pre­misses, hath too manifestly confirmed. The higher time now to giue ouer, and abandon such od stale fillyfollies. And thus much, or rather thus little, concerning the iolly manner, and formall circumstances of the aboue-rehearsed, and such like doughtie deuises.

Now touching the Finall why; or the generall and speci­all ends therof, were not these extrauagant prophesies, most-what inuented and published to some such great holie effect as the tales of Hobgoblin, Robin Goodfellow, Hogma­gog, Queene Grogorton, king Arthur, Beuis of South­hampton, Launcelot du Lake, Sir Tristram, Thomas of Lancaster, Iohn à Gaunt, Guy of Warwike, Orlando furi­oso, Amadis du Gaul, Robin Hood and little Iohn, Frier Tuck and maid Marian, with a thousand such Legendaries, in all languages; vz. to busie the minds of the vulgar sort, or to set their heads aworke withal, and to auert their conceits from the consideration of serious, and grauer matters, by féeding their humors, and delighting their fansies with such [Page 69] fabulous and ludicrous toyes. For was it not the graund pollicie of that age, wherein those counterfet prophesiers chéefly florished, to occupie and carry away the cōmons with od rumors, by flimflams, wily cranks, and sleightie knacks of the maker, euen with all possible indenors and vndermi­nings, fearing least they might otherwise ouermuch, or ouer déeply intend other actions, and negotiations of greaten im­portance, priuate or publike affaires of higher value, mat­ters of state or religion, politike or ecclesiasticall gouern­ment: which from time to time they kept secret and couert, as mysticall priuities, and sacred intendiments, to be méerly handled, and disposed by the cleargie, or other professed in learning; thinking therby to maintaine themselues, and vp­hold al their procéedings in the greater credit, authoritie, and admiration amongst the people? It was a trim worke in­déede, and a gay world no doubt, for some idle Cloistermen, mad merry Friers, and lustie Abbey-lubbers, when them­selues were well whitled, and their panches pretily stuffed, otherwhiles to fall a prophesieng of the wofull dearths, fa­mines, plagues, wars, and most wretched, lamentable and horrible Tragoedies of the dangerous daies imminent: other whiles when haply they had little else to do, or lesse to suffer, to tell the world a lewd tale, or some notable miracle, as namely of Saint Francis, how he turned water into wine; walked drie footed vpon the waters, forbad the swallowes to sing: and how good S. Francis made all creatures reasonable and vnreasonable to obey his deuout commandements: or of S. Margaret, how she conquered and killed the diuell with the signe of the holy ✚: how she was saluted by an Angell from heauen, in the likenes of a doue, and called by the name of Christs owne Spouse, and so foorth in the same miracu­lous veine. Lo, I beséech you (as an ancient poet said of sooth­saiers) how, Sui quaestus causafictas suscitant sententias: and to increase their owne priuate ease, libertie, and wealth, with publique reputation and reuerence; how they trouble al the world besides, and procure the perpetuall seruitude, bondage and confusion of infinite good simple soules? I wis Elisha re­fused the presents and gifts of Naaman (2. King. 5. 16.) And [Page 70] the Apostles, when Ioses the Leuite with sundry other well disposed persons, had sold their possessions, and bringing the monie tendered it, or laid it downe at their féete, did not grée­dily bag it vp, or play the wantons there withall, but distri­buted vnto euery man according to his present want. Wher­as contrariwise our wizardly Elishaes and Apostles were all for monie and maintenance; and what skilled it how other silly creatures were pinched or impouerished, so they were throughly cherished and inriched? I touch not alone any one onely calling, degrée, or qualitie: hath not euery vocation, profession and estate yéelded some such counterprophets, and pennyfathers, very gromelgainers, selflouers, libertines, epi­cures, Lucianists, perpetuall incrochers, ingrosers, and aspi­rers, publique forestallers, and regrators of al publique com­modities and honors, libellers, factioners, troublers of al wa­ters, sauing their owne, hartie friends to themselues onely, and deadly foes to all the world besides. These, euen these were the first ringleaders of so manifold mischiefs, as héere­vpon haue ensued, to all countries and states: and such, and such were the malitious intentions of their hypocriticall harts, howsoeuer cunningly dissembled, or cloked otherwise. And what were the other pettyfoggers, and hucksters after them, whereof some are aboue mentioned? Were they not the right apprentices of so vnrightful masters? And the true imps of such false rotten stocks? Or rather were they not méete chapmen, and retailers of such pretious wares, and noble merchandizes?

Non sunt enim ij, aut scientia, aut arte diuini:
Sed superstitiosivates, impudentésque harioli:
Aut inertes, aut insani, aut quibus egestas imperat:
Qui sibi semitam non sapiunt, alteri monstrant viam:
Quibus diuitias pollicentur, ab his drachmas ipsi petunt;
De his diuitijs sibi deducant drachmam, reddant caetera.

As the good old Ennius long ago vttered his affection to­wards such bribing copesinates, and incroching Bisogniers. The annointed prophets of the old testament, and apostles [Page 71] of the new; prophesied, and wrought myracles: why? To confirme the sacred will of God: to strengthen the true faith of the vpright Israelites: and to open, or mollifie the obdu­rate harts of the Aegyptians: to giue a light to lighten the Gentils: & to conuert all nations, or all people vnto Christ: now alas, haue you euer séene, or heard of any such fruits, or issues procéeding from these counterfet prophesiers, Qui re omissa, nomen tantum tenent? Or from these traiterous Iudas­ses, which sticke not to sell such kisses, and euen their owne soules, for lucre, and monie. Why then, or to what end, or ends, haue they breathed out so loude, boisterous, and trou­blefull blasts? Why, but to terrifie, and afray the world, to skar simple folke, to bring men into a fooles paradise, to raise matter of common fearfulnes, and dreadfulnes: to finde idle heads, and busie braines occupied: to kéepe the world in con­tinuall awe, and to their appropriate purposes, in good quiet order: to bréede doubts, and quandaries in other, that them­selues might onely inioy the fuller, and déeper securitie, Hy­pocriticall and Pharisaicall ends, sophisticall purposes, spe­culatiue conceits, which either being mistaken, and miscon­strued, or else too much credited and estéemed, how easily may they occasion, and ingender troublesome sturs, tumults, vp­rores, seditions, mutinies, garboiles, commotions, insurrecti­ons, rebellions, priuate myseries, common mischiefes, pub­lique calamities, and desolations? Such finall ends as com­monly ouerthrow, and destroy the best established states, and at length bring most florishing kingdomes, principali­ties, and commonwealthes to their finall endes, euen most woofull, most dolefull, and most horrible ends; such in ef­fect, and in conclusion, or rather in confusion, are the ends of such wretched, and wicked prophesies, the very prophesies of the diuell, to vndoo, and destroy the world. Which our noble, and well affected princes of England well knowing, and ac­cordingly considering haue purposely ordeined, & enacted pe­nal statutes to bridle the vnruly, & presumptuous insolencie of such inposturall prophets: (as namely 5. Elizabeth. 15.) Neither would our elder, or later lawes, and ordinances haue procéeded so peremptorily against them, had not their [Page 72] deuises béene found in triall not onely very dangerous, and perillous practises, but also very pernitious, and intolerable criminall villanies. How directly also, & resolutely haue the Ciuill and Canon lawes dealt with such cosening malefac­tors, and such vnlawful diuinations, especially in the proper titles, De Maleficis, & Mathematicis, & coeteris similibus, and de Sortilegis? I passe ouer Paulus Grillandus notable tract De sortilegijs: where notwithstanding it woulde not be forgotten, that by the ciuill law, sortilegium, sihaeresim sapiat, vt haeresis punitur, si haere sim non sapiat, imponitur poena mortis: siuè sortilegium sit ad diuinandum, siue amoris causa commissum. Nei­ther do I stand vpon the ancient Romane law of the xij. ta­bles; where neuerthelesse it was thus decréed: Qui malum carmen, incantasset: & qui fruges excantasset, and so foorth, co­ercetor: which law is more fully, and expresly declared by Balduin, a french Ciuilian, in his commentary, Ad leges xij. Tabularum. Much lesse will I vrge, or prosecute any philoso­phicall, or theoreticall law of Plato, albeit in his xj. dialogue De Legibus, he appointeth them to suffer death, or at least to indure some gréeuous arbitrary penaltie, that shall plaie the Aruspices, or interpreters of prodigia, or shall be conuicted, to haue prepared, or furnished themselues, by knots, inducti­ons, incantations, or other impoisonings, and venefices, to harme, endamage, or hurt any other. But of al lawes, I must not omit the sacred law of Moyses, or rather of God himself, wherein all such lawles, and godles impostors, malefactors, inchaunters, sorcerers, necromancers, pythonistes, southsay­ers, or whatsoeuer like diuiners, are put to perpetual silence; Quoniam eorum diuinationes, fabulae seductoriae sunt: and again, Quoniam propter has abominationes Deus eradicauit Chaldaeos à facie sua, as appéereth in the 18. chap of Deut▪ nec maleficos pati­eris viuere, as also is inioined in the 22. of Exodus. Howbe­it, in respect of breuitie, I am onely by quotation, and refe­rence, to transmit you without farther discourse, not onely to the said 22. of Exodus, or 18. of Deuteronomy; but also to the 13. and 19. of Deuteronomy: to the 13. and 22. of Eze­chiel: to the 3. of Micah: to the 23. of Ieremy: to the 3. of Zephoniah: as likewise to the 7. of Mathew: to the second [Page 73] chapter of Peters 2. Epistle: and finally to all other concor­dant places of the holy Bible: wherein the wretched, and damnable condition of such caytife prophets is notably de­scribed, togither with the due plagues, and iust vengeance of God, which accordingly awaiteth them. Neither are our new fellowes, and later wizards speciallie priuileged, or any way exempted, whatsoeuer countenance, or surface they ei­ther stoutly, or suttelly set on the matter. Vlisses in the craf­tie drift of his policie, may colourably pretende the reuerend skill of Calchas, and sophistically alledge, non causam pro cau­sa: but may not also his cunning be descried euen by a wo­man of reasonable capacitie, or doth not Andromache tende­ring the safetie of hir yoong son Astyanax, hit the naile right on the head, where she pittiously crieth out in that rufull tragedie,

O Machinator fraudis, O scelerum artifex,
Virtute cuius bellica nemo occidit:
Dolis, & astu maleficae mentis, iacent
Etiam Pelasgi: vatem, & insontes Deos praetendis?
Hoc est pectoris facinus tui
Nocturne miles, fortis in pueri necem.

I before mentioned the like Vlissean policie: and nothing doubt, but some of Achytophels mightie oracles sauored of the same humor: as more lately som of Machiauels politique resolutions, and practises haue pretily tasted, & relised ther­of. In former times, and in a simpler age, it was no difficult matter, to shift out with good plaine rude cloisterly stuffe: now lateward, sithence those frierlie skarcrowes, and moon­kish dumps began to be lesse dreaded, or regarded, there haue not wanted iolly fine pragmaticall wares, of the maker, whereby no small intendiments, or base enterprises haue béene attempted in most kingdomes, and principalities tho­row out Christiandome. Forsooth loosers must haue their words: and beggers will néedes be somewaies bulbeggers. I cannot stand to make any curious deuision; howbeit some of them would be noted for terrible Elphes, and Goblines: som other of them can be contented to insinuate themselues, like Robin goodfellows, and frier Tuckes. Amongst whom [Page 74] can we better compare the former, than vnto such pedlers, tinkers, and sturdy roges, as were woont to carie about with them their fierce mastiues, & terrible bandogs, to serue their knauish, and villanous turnes, vpon aduantage giuen? As for the rest, notwithstanding the swéete, and plausible home in their mouthes, haue they not also spitefull, and pestilent stings in their tailes? The world neuer more complained of Achitophels, Vlyssees, and Machiauels, than of late yéeres: but take away, or contemne all malitious suborning of ca­lumnies, libels, and prophesies: and shall they not hurt or preuaile much lesse, as well in publike, as in priuate, not­withstanding their other wiliest conueiances, and suttellest practises? Were it not ouer great pitie, that any such knack of knauerie, or couenous cheuisance, or hipocritical policy, or Mercuriall strategeme, either by false libelling, or false pro­phesieng, or other falsifieng of matters, & maners, should per­emptorily ouerthrow, or traiterously vndermine any well gouerned, or wel established state? God, they say, sendeth cō ­monly a curst cow short horns: and doth not the diuel, I say, in the winde-vpall, and in fine, oftner play wilie beguile him selfe, and crucifie his owne wretched lims, then atchieue his mischieuous, and malicious purposes, howsoeuer craftilie conueied, or feately packed, either in one fraudulent sort, or other? The world now wanteth not a nose, as Erasmus speaketh in Latine; but hath, or might haue, or at least shuld haue ouer sharpe a sent, to be defrauded, beguiled, or deluded with any such od prancks, and cosening tricks: verie poore shifts, God woteth, with the wiser sort, and very silly means either of publique, or priuate reuenge: whereat neuerthe­lesse many of them chéefly aime, that shoote abroad these libel­ling, and prophesieng boults: hoping thereby at last to com­passe their grand intendiments, and as wel to aduance them­selues, as to dispatch their enimies. Cunning fellows no doubt, and mightie politiques, that wéene through sophistrie to attaine tyrannie: and attempt by Comical sturs, and pri­uate vndermines, to inforce Tragicall calamities, and pub­lique ruines. Many great matters they threaten, Pro, and Contra: one while,

Shall one rise against another,
And fare as men that were wood:
And the brother kill his brother,
That the streets of Troy shall run blood.

with sundry such dreadfull battels, and terrible sights: ano­ther while,

God at the last shall vs helpe euery way,
And all shall be in godly concorde, and stay.

Mary still our happiest Comoedie must againe be tem­pered with this Tragicall Interim, or caueat.

But till these signes be seene, and these deeds donne,
Rancor shall reigne, and rule vnder the sunne.

I pretermit their excessiue and Hyperbolicall amplificati­ons on both sides, as too vnreasonably and moustrously swel­ling with huge affectation: and when they haue ouerrea­ched neuer so far, either one way or other; neither is their best felicitie, any better than a Fooles paradise: nor their woorst miserie, any woorse than a Poets purgatorie. At least haue I not reasonable cause so to persuade my selfe, though I should not altogither traine other to the same opinion? It is good, they say, to be merry and wise: and is it not as good to be cunning and honest? Hoc est nescire, sine Christo plurima sci­re: and alas, what is all science without conscience: or diui­nation without diuinitie: or the whole world without hea­uen? Wherefore séeing these abominable and diuellish for­geries are so odious in the sight of God, so vnlawfull in the view of the world, so pernitious to the practitioners them­selues, and so perilous to all other, as well friends as foes thereof: doth it not néerly behooue and concerne vs (as Saint Paule exhorted Timothie) To cast away such profane old wiues tales, or doting fables, and to exercise or practise our selues in god­lines, and more godly studies? Is it not high time? Alas, is it not more than time to giue ouer all forbidden arts, to for­sake counterfet impostures, to defie villanous practises, to abolish the memorie of iugling, cosening, libelling, fabling, prophesieng, charming, and coniuring knaueries? To aban­don whatsoeuer impious, profane, idolatrous, atheous, or a­ny way diabolicall suggestions: and contrariwise to follow [Page 76] and imbrace those onely sciences, arts, studies, experiments, and exercises, which before God and the world, according to all diuine and humane ordinances, are generally allowed, and specially approoued for lawfull, néedfull, commendable, good, and godly: and so finally to rely on that onely great and mightie prophet of prophets, whom God by his prophet Mo­ses, and the rest of his prophets (the only true and infallible prophets of the age, wherein they florished) promised to raise vp in due time: and whom we assuredly beléeue, to haue si­thence béene borne, crucified, dead, and buried for our sake, euen for our onely sake: to whome therfore we remaine in­finitely bounden for euer and euer. Cui omnis laus, omnis di­uinae sapientiae in omne aeuum: cui omnis honos omnis reconditae scientiae rerum futurarum. For it is notably said in the Text of the Canon Law, Cap. Quod autem. 26. quaest. 5. as I haue heard it expresly quoted, and verbatim alledged by some law­yers of good learning: Futura praescire solius Dei est, qui in sui contemplatione etiam Angelos praescire facit illa. vnde Esaias ait; Priora, & nouissima annunciate mihi, & dicam, quòd Dij estis.

The Conclusion, or Epilog of the former Section.

NOtwithstanding the premisses, or any like argu­ments and authorities, wheresoeuer alledged to the former scope and effect; I am to conclude with this protestation, that my meaning or intention is not to conti­nue, or inlarge Agrippaes inuectiue Declamation, De vani­tate scientiarum: or to confute, or any way disallow any lau­dable practise, or profitable exercise of any lawfull and war­rantable Art, learnedly and honestly procéeding to a proui­dent fore-sight, or fore-knowledge of future things and e­uents, inquirable by legitimate skill, or otherwise searcha­ble by assured experience. I am not ignorant; what partly may be soundly auowed, or what partly hath béene effectu­ally performed in such cases of iustifiable prouidence: nei­ther do I greatly feare either that generall obiection of ma­ny [Page 77] learned men, Ʋituperatio artis, testis est ignorantiae: or that speciall prouerbe of Salomon, Priùs intellige, & tunc increpa: As also I neither will, nor can denie, but Moises, Daniell, and some other of those most woorthie, and admirable diuine prophets, were notably instructed with the profoundest sci­ences, and whole discipline of the Aegyptians and Chaldae­ans; and thereof reaped excéeding great fruit, euen to their very best and godliest vses. Wherefore as I am in reason and conscience to reprooue that, which I find amisse, and re­prehensible in the foresaid subiect, or argument of later pro­phesies; so God forbid but I should maintaine and commend that, which I find both allowable in cause, and auailable in effect, as being either warranted by lawfull art, or approo­ued by actuall experience: and no way condemned either by the sacred word of God, or by the soueraigne lawe of man. I dare not simply defend, or altogither iustifie those famous predictions, whereby princes, or other mightie potentates, and noble personages haue béene truly admonished, and cer­tainly forewarned of their death imminent: as when So­crates foretold the death of Crito: Calanus the Indian, the death of Alexander the great: Spurina the death of Iulius Caesar: Sulla the death of Caligula: the Chaldaeans, the death of Agrippina the Emperesse by hir own sonne Nero, when he should be Emperour: Ascletarion the death of Domitian, the last of Suetonius twelue Caesars, as also his owne death: and sundry other later philosophers, mathe­maticians, astrologers, and physitions, the certaine deaths of diuers other princes and great persons: as appéereth by infinite examples of credible authoritie, in all histories both new and old. Howbeit who in learning can denie the law­ful and warrantable vse of philosophie, the mathematiques, astrologie and physique, euen in such prenotions and premo­nitions, so far, as with modest discretion, and without curi­ous search aboue their naturall, artificiall, or practicable reach, they may prouidently and reasonably foresée the con­sequence of Naturall or Morall effects, by déepe and due con­sideration of the antecedent causes, or apparent signes, either Naturall or Morall. Neither are we in modestie, or good rea­son [Page 78] so preiudicially, or peremptorily to discredit so excellent histories, as either not to beléeue any such narration, but to passe it lightly ouer, as incredible and fabulons: or by and by to affirme that vnlawfully and impiously done, which we for want of like skill, imagine to be very difficult or impossi­ble to be done, without forbidden and profane meanes: how­soeuer there reported, as done by the onely helpe and directi­on of lawfull and commendable learning. Neuertheles I am wholy to refer the determinate resolution vpon this point, concerning the certaine or vncertaine prediction of such deaths, vnto men of greater and déeper iudgement, especial­ly in soundest Diuinitie, wherunto I humbly submit what­soeuer humanitie, or other learning is alreadie, or shall héer­after be héere alledged. But he vnderstandeth litle, that knoweth not what notable Accidents haue béene foreshew­ed by the furtherance of Naturall philosophie, and sharpe in­sight in physicall causes, effects, subiects, appurtenances, and other agréeable or disagréeable simple, or comparatiue Argu­ments and instruments of nature. As for example, did not therby Anaximander foretell the Lacedaemonians of a dan­gerous and gréeuous earthquake imminent, aduising them to preuent the perill and terror thereof, by forsaking their houses, and auoiding the citie: which earthquake shortly af­ter burst out in so violent maner, that the whole citie was vtterly ruinated, & a great part of the mount Taygetus hor­ribly ouerwhelmed? Or did not therby Pherecides, Pytha­goras master, and Callisthenes the philosopher make sem­blable proofe of their artificiall prouidence, through naturall skilfulnes? Or did not thereby the prince of our physitions Hippocrates, foresée a mortall plague & pestilence amongst the Grecians? Or did not thereby Thales Milesius inrich himselfe, forespying a great scarcitie, or dearth of Oliues in the Milesian fields, and territories adiacent? Or did not thereby Democritus, and Sixtius a Roman philosopher, as Plinie testifieth, play vpon the same aduantage? Or did not thereby many other learned men in all ages prognosticate diuers strange euents, and casualties in the world, somtime è terrae motu, aut hiatu: sometime, Ex inundatione maris; aut [Page 79] puteorum aquis cruentis, aut amnium cursu inhibito: sometime, Ex armorum sonitu, & crepitu in aëre, aut ex cantu funestarum auium, vt bubonum, noctuarum, strigum: sometime, Ex apparen­tia Cometarum, aut crebrorum fulgurum, aut defectu solis: some­time from other natural signes and accidents, as might par­ticularly & plentifully be exemplified out of Plinies Naturall Historie, besides sundry Politique histories, incidently men­tioning and approouing such presentions? Looke into the Se­meioticall or presignificatiue iudgements of phisitions; into the Aëromanticall rules & directions of nauigators: into the Georgical, Meteorologicall & Astrological prognosticatiōs of good husbandmen; & cunningest tillers of the ground: or in­to many like artificiall and practicable experiments, drawen from naturall obseruation: and can you condemne, or gain­say all foreknowledge, of future consequents? I must not stay vpō particularities: haue not, or may not many strange and almost incredible conclusions, as well in the Diuinato­rie, as Prognostical kinde, as otherwise, be cunningly expe­rimented, and actually wrought by the right vse, and skilfull application either of the Mathematiques, or of méere Natu­ral Magique, as it is lawful, and allowable before God, and man, without any corruption, or mixture of demonicall, or supernaturall Magique? Schollers are not ignorant, what pretious account diuers learned men haue made of the true, & right Naturall Magique, as the supreame science, & perfect consummation of philosophy, & as the worker of many very notable, and most woorthy feats, of especial, and singular vse, vpon manifold occasions, as well publike as priuate. Which point our countriman Roger Bacon, a man déepely séene in such Magicall, and Mathematicall experiments, hath plen­tifully discoursed in his Apologeticall tract, De mirabili po­testate Artis, & Naturae: and Iohn Dee, a man sufficiently knowen for his long studie, and skill in such matters, hath effectually confirmed, in his Speculum vnitatis, and Apology of Bacons profound cunning in philosophy, as himselfe not many yéeres since professed vnto me. But what néedeth far­ther proofe, in defence, or auerment of any such foresight, by naturall philosophy; séeing as Tully saith, Sagae anus dictae, [Page 80] quia multa praescire volunt, & sagaces canes, quia acutè sentiunt: and Praesagire, which signifieth, Futura antè sentire, is not one­ly appropriate vnto man, but in sort also granted vnto beasts and creatures deuoid of reason, as by induction of examples, might largely be specified. Do not Bées Speculari aquas, & nu­bila coeli; as Virgill writeth? Nay, do they not Praediuinare ventos, & imbres, as both Pliny in his 12. booke, and Aristotle in Historia Animalium reporteth? Do not also. Corui singul­tu quodam latrantes, séque concutientes, si continuabunt, ventos: si carptim vocem resorbebunt, ventosum imbrem praenunciare, as the same Plinie witnesseth? And what fairer signe of faire weather, or serenity, or of a calme and nauigable sea, then Nidificatio Alcedonum, as likewise Plinie testifieth in more then one, or two places, but namely in his 18. booke, where is also a notable triall of Democritus Meteorologicall, and Prognosticall skill, thus expressed: Praesagia tempestatum pla­cuisse Virgilio magnoperè video; siquidē in ipsam messem saepe con­currere praelia ventorum, damnosa imperitis refert: Tradunt enim Democritum, metente fratre eius Damaso, ardentissimo aestu oras­se, vt reliquae segetiparceret, raperetque desectam sub tectum: pau­cis mox horis, saeuo imbre vaticinatione approbata: where the words of Praesagia, and Vaticinatio would not be ouerslipped without note. But to returne to the reasonable foreknow­ledge of the foresaid vnreasonable creatures, and to knit vp all in bréefe, what say you to those riming verses of doctor Record, a man famous as well for his Arithmetique, Geo­metry, and Cosmography, as for his Physicke, and Philo­sophie?

The Foxe in craftie wit exceedeth most men:
A Dog in smelling hath not his peere:
To foresight of weather if you looke then
Many beasts excell, as appeereth cleere.
The wittines of Elephants doth letters attaine:
But what cunning doth there in the Bee remaine?
The Emmet foreseeing the hardnes of winter,
Prouideth vittailes in the time of Sommer.
The Nightingall, the Linnet, the Thrush, the Larke,
In musicall harmonie passe many a clarke.
[Page 81] The Hedgehog of Astronomy seemeth to know,
And stoppeth his caue where the winde doth blow.
The Spider in weauing such Art doth shew,
None can him amend, or folow I trow.
When a house will fall, the Mice right quicke
Flee thence before: who can do the like.

May we not as lawfully attribute vnto reasonable men, foresight of weather, prouision of requisite commodities, preuention by Astronomy, & precaution by flight, or other­wise, as vnto vnreasonable beasts, Emmets, Hedghogs, Mice, or such like poore creatures? I am inforced to ouerskip many Natural experiments, furthering prediction: and must hasten to the consideration of certaine Morall and Politique presentions. Might not therfore the Asiatticall Magicians, by meanes of some probable tokens, or Politique occur­rences, easily foresée, how terrible and pernicious a péece Alexander should prooue vnto Asia? Or might not Solon in like maner as reasonably presage, what tyrannie was to as­sault the Athenian common-wealth, before either Pisistra­tus, or their other tyrants began to display the presumptu­ous banners of their aspiring crueltie? Or might not Bero­sus in like maner prouidently forewarne them of sundry pe­rils, and terrors insuing? Or might not Epimenides in like maner iustly foretell the time, and successe of the Persian, and Barbarian wars against the foresaid Athenians? Or might not Sylla, or Cato in like maner, giue out this poli­tique caueat and watchword of Caesar: Cauete àpuero malè praecincto? Or might not Aelius in like maner probably pre­coniecture, that Adrian should be crowned Emperor? Or to approch néerer our time, might not Guido Bonatus as well in like ciuill maner, as by concordance of Astrologicall iudi­cials, preconceiue the woofull calamitie, and exile, that awai­ted Symon Mestaguerre, notwithstanding his former flori­shing and princely brauery at Forliuium? Or might not the same Guido another time, preserue his saide naturall coun­try Forliuium, from the intended vsurpation, and tyrannie of Martin the fourth pope of that name, as well by his poli­tique circumspection, as by his other Mathematicall, and [Page 82] Astrologicall instructions? Examples are infinite, both of later, and elder memorie: is not Prudentia diuinatio quaedam, as Tully saith, so termed à Prouidendo, as he also noteth: and is not Prouidentia futurorum, one speciall part, or branch of Prudence? Hath not God giuen vnto man, as well Sensual, and Intellectuall, as Naturall, or Vitall powers, phantasie, cogitation, reason, vnderstanding, and a discoursiue facultie, apt to resolue, and determine in most cases, whereby he may as well in Morall, as Naturall matters, Ex certis causis, & signis, praecurrentibus certis rebus, probably aime at things thoroughly intended, and Ex praeteritis, & praesentibus, sensibly, and reasonably Praecolligere futura? Are we not still to main­taine that ancient opinion of Socrates, Zeno, Cratippus, with Democritus, Lucretius, and diuers other famous phi­losophers, as wel Academiques, and Peripatecians, as Sto­ickes, and the rest, that there alwaies were, now are, and euer shall be many prudent, or wittie presagitions, and some wise foreknowledge of future contingents, both by Morall, and Naturall meanes, discréetely, and learnedly applied? Are we not taught by visible, and daily experience, how infinite dangers and mischiefes haue from time, to time béene con­tinually preuented, & effectually withstood, by vigilant cir­cumspection, and prouident foresight, which no doubt other­wise might, and would very gréeuously, and miserably haue oppressed vs? Lord, what were states, or commonwealths, without the politique regiment of princes, the wise directi­on of counsellers, the discréet gouernment of magistrates, the cunning stratagems of captains, the militar discipline of ar­mies, and such like both Ciuill, and Martiall complements, euermore prepared, and prouided against all future occasi­ons, or whatsoeuer exigence, either of peaceable, or warly af­faires, either domesticall or forren? Yea, what were fami­lies, or priuate wealths, without Oeconomicall prouision, husbandly furniture, expert trading, thriftie frugalitie, and carefull foresight, to store vp such necessaries, as belong to houshoulders, with other requisite implements, and séemely ornaments, becomming euery ciuill house? Is it not a point of wisedome, as they say, to prouide against a déere yéere, or [Page 83] to lay vp against a hard winter? Alas, what were the no­blest, richest, or valiantest man, without forecast, and proui­dence? Is it not better counsell, and the surer way, to be ra­ther a Prometheus, than an Epimetheus? Or is it not a wiser part, to beware a wéek or a month too soone, than to complain a day, or an houre after the mischiefe? Or is it not a point of common discretion, To looke, ere you leape? Or is it not an vnaduised spéech, and one propertie of a foole, to say, Had I wist? Or is not Ciuill praecaution, or preuention, as good a figure in Policie, as an oratorie Praeoccupation in Rhe­torique? May not much good be attained, and much euill eschewed, by warie, and respectiue héedfulnes? Haue not ma­ny considerate and déepe heads, cunningly foreséene in for­mer times, what world should shortly insue, by inward ob­seruation, skilfull examination, and politique conference of the publique, and priuate maners, hauiours, vsages, guises, and humors of the age present? Can not wise men espie light at a little hole? Or doth not the least ouerture suffice a quick and pregnant conceit? Or may not the simplest of a number, easily discerne Leonem ex vnguibus, and Herculem ex claua; as is commonly said in these, & sundry like prouerbs? This were doubtles a notable Common-place, if I might accor­dingly dwell therein, especially In specie, and In specialibus ex­emplis, whereof diuers good histories, and politique discour­ses affoord rich, and goodly plentie. But all cannot be vttered in one place; and it concerneth me at this instant, to dispatch with greater spéede. Consider now, what hath béene directly alledged, and what may thereof be consequently implied, or insinuated: and then by my simple aduise, yéeld so much, & no more vnto predictions of whatsoeuer nature, or howsoeuer countenanced, and suborned, as good Reason shall admit, good Art iustifie, and good Experience approoue. He no doubt might séeme woonderfull in this prognosticall kinde, that could certainly, exactly, and infallibly expresse the right Na­turall, and Morall causes of Naturall and Morall effects: and being thoroughly acquainted with the whole state and qua­litie of superior and inferior bodies, of Heauen and Earth, and finally of Nature hir selfe, as well in euery particular fa­cultie, [Page 84] as in hir vniuersall power, could absolutely declare the whole Concordance, or Discordance of the one with the other, and as it were make a perfect Analysis, or rather a perfect Anatomy of Nature in hir true, and intire likenes. Which Tully in part séemeth to haue conceiued, in making so very speciall great account to vnderstand Certum ordinem, seriemque causarum, tanquam ex omni aeternitate fluentem veri­tatem sempiternam. But neither Tully, nor any other Latin, or Gréeke philosopher, either more sufficiently with breui­tie, or more bréefly with sufficiencie declareth my meaning, than the Poet in that famous verse: Foelix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. Without which felicitie, neither Persian Magician, nor Indian Gymnosophist, nor Aegyptian priest, nor Assyrian or Babylonian Chaldeest, nor French Druyde or Bardist, nor Sicilian Galeot, nor Athenian Mantist, nor Lacedaemonian Augurer, nor Memphiticall Oracler, nor Cabalisticall prophet, nor Hetrurian Aruspex, nor finally any Greeke philosopher, or Latin wizard, or other learned man whatsoeuer (albeit he should otherwise be reputed equall vnto Budda, or Hyarchus, or Zoroaster, or euen Hermes Trismegistus himselfe, as well in their diuinatorie faculties, as in their other profound Magique,) shall euer passe with me for a prophet. Signes, and tokens, are com­monly but accidentall, and fallible arguments; our verie soundest, and substantiallest, and most essentiall proofes, or reasons, are the very Internall, and Externall causes them­selues: wherin I would to God, either our knowledge were greater, or our presumption lesse, especially for this high matter of propheticall diuination. Something we may assu­redly foresée: and something probably coniecture: as appée­reth throughout this Conclusion: but in comparison either of diuine prophesies, or of our owne humane ignorances, and defects otherwise: alas, Hoc aliquid, nihilest. Schoolemen may phantastically dreame, or philosophically discourse of new Adams, Salomons, and diuers putatiue wisemen, euen in that omniscious, and omnisufficient veine: but I wis such blacke Swans are very rare birds: and true prophets in the rightest, purest, and diuinest kinde, euen full as rare, or per­case [Page 85] rarer, than they: as may haply be discussed more fully, and exactly, at more conuenient leisure.

Now I am instantly required, and importuned, to hasten immediately vnto that most notorious supposed prophesie, so terribly denounced against this present famous yéere, 1588. euen now the onely prophesie of the world, and great specialtie of specialties in this Prognosticall veine.

THE SECOND PART, OR SECTI­ON: specially examining and discus­sing the speciall Prophesie of this famous yeere, 1588.

HAuing hitherto summarily, and ge­nerally to speak of, but in very truth hastily, and perfunctorily declared, and reprooued the Authors, the Ma­teriall contents, the Formall stiles, and the Finall ends, that is the fow­er Causes of our later supposed pro­phesies, togither with all such pre­tended traditions, or forged rumors, (by which discourse euery sensible and reasonable man may easily perceiue what slender account we are to make of so slender reckonings, as well in the particulars, as in the total summe:) I am now at the earnest and vrgent request of certaine worshipfull Gentlemen, and diuers other my fa­miliar friends; more specially and seuerally to labour, and examine one more speciall notorious prophesie, touching this long expected woonderfull yéere, 1588. A prophesie not so seldome as once or twise termed of the said Gentlemen, the onely particularitie of particularities, and specialtie of specialties in this later propheticall kinde. I shall not néede to expresse mine owne seuerall considerations, moouing me likewise to the dutifull vndertaking of the same argument: howbeit I cannot denie, but this whole Treatise was origi­nally occasioned by that onely famous prophesie, as also ther­at it finally aimeth. God knoweth with what good successe: I assure you with good intent, as wel in publique, as priuate respects. Therefore presuming so much the more of courte­ous fauour, I hope no indifferent Reader, or reasonable man, being not disguised with a contradictorie and ouer­thwarting spirit, nor disposed to altercate, or cauill without cause, will greatly doubt of the truth, or at least the probabi­litie of the former allegations; considering there neither [Page 88] haue, nor may any better than fantasticall, vaine, or trou­blesome conclusions be inferred, or inforced from the pre­misses of such fantasticall, vaine, and troublesome oracles, or prophesies; and consequently of all other extraordinarie and irregular visions, fantasies, traunces, dreames, Anabapti­sticall reuelations, Seraphicall illuminations, Metaphysi­call extasies, Enthusiasticall furies, rauishments, and exces­ses of spirit, fascinations, inuocations, incantations, adiura­tions, exorcisines, suspensions, alligations, characters, seales, rings, pertacles, images, balmes, consecrations, periapts, amulets, sacrifices, suffumigations, purifications, lotteries, orizons, collects, ceremonies, and such like superstitious and diabolicall implements, togither with their semblable Ae­quiuocations, Amphibologies, Allegories, Anagogies, Hyperboles, Mysteries, Mystagogies, Metamorphoses, and other whatsoeuer spritish Sophistrie, or hellish Rhetorique. But touching the substance, and circumstance of the per­emptorie dismall prophesie, of 88. as in phrase and stile it sée­meth more directly simple, plaine, and sensible than the rest, and in fame surpasseth them all; being commonly handled, and canuassed euen amongst the best, in most places of Eu­rope: so it is vniuersally more feared, or at least suspected and doubted, than any of them, or than all they togither, as being more credibly, or probably grounded vpon some surer foundation of lawfull Art, or profound science, or autentique experience, or I wot not what other ancient approbation; & not to be déemed any idle fansie, vaine speculation, or forged inuention: as some euen of the learnedest sort haue not only imaginatiuely presupposed, but also resolutely beléeued: in­somuch, that therupon they haue nothing doubted to publish their censures, and like letters patents, or commendatorie Testimonials, to commit the same vnto the common view, and perusall of the world. Which censures or testimonies, how reasonable they are in effect; or how warrantable by sound and infallible grounds of lawfull art, or assured know­ledge, let vs equally and directly consider, without any par­ticular affection to any one, or priuate emulation to any other. But first, lo the very platforme it selfe, in the origi­nall [Page 89] Latine, togither with the later Dutch, and English Translations.

The famous Prophesie of 88. vulgarly fathered vpon Ioannes Regiomontanus; but woorthily suspected by some learnedermen, neuer to haue proceeded from that excellent Mathematician, or any like notable Scholler.

Post mille expletos à partu virginis annos,
Et post quingentos rursus ab orbe datos:
Octogesimus octauus mirabilis annus
Ingruet, is secum tristia fata feret.
Si non hoc Anno totus malus occidet orbis:
Si non in nihilum terra, fretúm (que)ruet:
Cuncta tamen mundi fursum ibunt atque retrorsum
Imperia, & luctus vndique grandis erit.
Note:
The Dutch Translation.
Tausent fiinffhundert achzig acht,
Das ist iar das ich betracht,
Geht inudem die meltnicht vnder
Sogschicht doch sonst grosz mercklich wunder.
Note:
My English Paraphrase.
After a thousand yeeres from Christs natiuitie accounted:
And fiue hundred more to the computation added,
The eight yeere, succeeding fowerscore, wil approch very strangely;
Afflicting mankind with wofull destinie afrighted:
If then wretched world be not vtterly wasted in horror;
If heauens, lands, and seas consume not finally to naught:
At least most kingdoms ouerhurlde with tragicall outrage,
Shall powre out dreadfull complaints, and pitifull outcries.

[Page 90] Iwis that messenger, or Nuntio, or (if haply it pleaseth you so to terme him, for honors sake) that prophet, or wizard, shall not greatly néede to hire him post horses, for spéedier de­liuerie, and dispatch of such happie newes, but may well ynough come and go soone ynough, or rather ouersoone on foote, that shall carrie such blessed tidings in his mouth, or in letters missiue, certifieng any like ioyfull occurrents. But I beséech you, what may be either the great mightie causes, in effecting; or the violent inforcements, in constraining; or the pithie reasons, in proouing; or the cunning insinuations, in persuading the necessarie sequele, or credible contingence of so great woonderfull casualties, and dreadfull terrors?

Forsooth, Helisaeus Reslyn, a mathematician and philoso­pher of good fame in our age, propounding the foresaid Ger­manical translation of Staephlerine in his Theorianouacaele­stium Meteoran, auoweth, that himselfe knoweth not any o­ther reason, cause, or ground of that famous Prognosticate, than onely this, that some recounting the Synagog of the Iewes (touching the space of time, from the egresse of the chil­dren of Israel, vnto the abolition and deuastation of the tem­ple made vnder the raigne of Vespasian by the rage of his sonne Titus) to haue continued iust so many yéeres, as are now passed sithence Christ; and withall affirming that Mo­saicall Synagog to be a true type or figure of his Church; will néedes from hence, as they imagine, probably conclude, that some great alteration, or notorious mightie Accident is now likewise imminent, whilest the same number of yéeres is againe accomplished.

Which computation, or Chronologie, how incongruous and erronious it is, as the learned nothing doubt, so I think few of the vnlearned to be so blinded in our daies, as to ap­plaude to this Iewish Cabalisticall reason, or mysticall ap­plication thereof; had the account it selfe béene found neuer so exactly, or precisely true.

But as it falleth out, if you either take the true continu­ance of the Synagog of the old Testament, (which is but 1580. yéeres by some former computes) and begin to reckon at the time of Christs passion, or comming of the holy Ghost, [Page 91] when the beginning of the primitiue Christian Church was founded; shall the said number be expired in the new Testa­ment, before the yéere 1614. or 1613. at the soonest, which is almost 30. yéeres hence? Or if you follow the newest compu­tation of the learned Cosmographer, and Chronologer, Ge­rardus Mercator, was not the same date, or terme of yéeres of the Iewish Synagog finished, Anno 1520. that is 67. yéeres agoe?

And yet this, euen this silly deuise, séemeth to be the stron­gest and forciblest argument, that a cunning Astronomer, and erpert Meteorologician could alledge in defence and maintenance of that notorious prediction.

Whereby (to begin with Reslins censure) it may partly appéere at the very first entrance, that there are no such great ordinarie or extraordinarie causes of any such vniuersal dan­gers, or generall calamities imminent, as is ouercredulously supposed, and ouertimorously misdoubted: when so suffici­ent an Artist, in this very kinde of Prognosticall knowledge, hath no more varietie of proofes, or no greater proofe of cer­taintie to inforce, or insinuate so weightie and peremptorie a resolution.

Therefore to procéede with the opinions of other: Some preferring the shadowed and imagined fantasies of Pytha­goras, Plato, Aristotle, Porphyrie, and our later Platonists, touching the excellencie and preeminence of Arithmeticall and Geometricall proportion in numbers; will néedes in­clude a déepe mystery, & high secret in the very number 5550. it selfe; (the present yéere of the world, and the 88. of Christ) and thereby euen from the onely number of yéeres, go about to inforce I know not what, and what dangerous and la­mentable confusion about that period. But is it credible that the extreame dismall fate of the world, or any vtter casualtie of so mightie consequence should in very déede depend vpon the fickle state of numbers and figures? Or may the Propor­tionable quantitie of 5. to 50. of 50. to 500. of 500. to 5000. or any such fiuefold, or tenfold, or Geometricall, or Arith­meticall concord and equalitie, by the vertue of I know not what mysticall Analogie, square out any such dreadfull dis­cords [Page 92] and inequalities, as are now beyond all number, weight and measure expected? I cannot reach so high, as ma­ny other: but in my simple knowledge there is no such mat­ter of proofe, or Demonstration. I am not ignorant, that Pla­to and Aristotle in the summitie of their Ethicall, Oecono­micall, Politique, and Metaphysicall Idees, haue displaied some such philosophicall quiddities, and in a maner panegy­rically extolled like Harmonicall resemblances; but discusse the subiect it selfe, and consider their figuratiue maner of handling, and shall you finde any more sufficient matter in them for auailable direction to anie such Superplatonicall Intelligence, or Superaristotelicall intendiment, than re­steth in Pythagoras lot, or any like Cabalisticall tradition? Howbeit neither will I, nor can I in truth denie, but that there lurketh (as it were) a kind of Hieroglyphical interpre­tation, and hidden or mysticall vnderstanding in sundrie A­rithmeticall and Geometricall Analogies: but as I can­not conceiue how, or why the finall destinie of this whole V­niuersalitie, or any other most notable change, or chance by woonderfull innouation or confusion, should be comprized therein, or comprehended thereby; (howsoeuer the heretical Arithmeticians, Marcus Magus, and Valentinus haue blas­phemously babled to like purpose) so particularly for the pre­sent yéere 5550. I am well assured there is no such exquisite Arithmeticall, or exact Geometricall proportion in the fi­gures and numbers thereof, as shall be in the yéere 5555. ap­proching 5. yéeres after; which by soundest proportion, and Harmonical equalitie of numbers (if they preuaile any whit to the effecting of such terrible and lamentable alterations) should expresse more déepe and peremptory impressions than this, in regard of any such Pythagoricall, or Arithmanticall Theorie.

Wherfore by the reason and Analogie of this reckoning, (the sounder of the two) it is the 93. not the 88. yéere of the Christian Epocha, that must prooue the dismall period, and fatall yéere of lamentations.

But to ouerpasse so slight an argument without any lon­ger stay, let such finally as builde so much vpon the preroga­tiue [Page 93] of 5550. remember by the way, that howsoeuer we estéeme the 88. yéere of Christ for that yéere of the world: there are by the Chronological reckonings of the Hebrews aboue 5000. and 600. yéeres: by the reckonings of Paulus Orosius, Beda, Eusebius, Tritemius, and their sectaries, a­boue 6000. and 700. yéeres: by the reckonings of the first fathers, and Doctors of the Church, aboue 7000. yéeres: and by the compute of the most noble Mathematician, king Al­phonsus, aboue 8000. and 500. yéeres alreadie passed, and fully complete sithence the time of the originall creation thereof. Is it therefore impossible, or vnlike that any of those should sée as far into Decretoriall numbers, or future ieoperdies, and publique casualties, as any of late memorie? Nay, were not they generally more déepely grounded, and better exercised in such mysteries, and priuities both of Na­ture, and Art, than we are now a daies? Yet can we not finde that any of them euer assigned any such efficacie, or vertue to the present equalitie of numbers; or if percase they did, is not their date long ago expired without any such euents? Why then should we misdoubt but that euen this surmised Mirabilis Annus will also passe as other yéeres haue done heretofore, and like as these famous authors, ac­cording to their chronologies, supposed this same to haue al­ready passed, without any mention of any such terrible sturs and garboils.

There are othersome which suspect this yéere the rather, bicause forsooth, as they alledge, it is A Climacterical, Criti­call, or Decretoriall yéere of the world, & therefore the liker to bring on some great manifest alteration with it, as they consequently conclude. And what now if I shuld fréely grant it to be such a Climactericall yéere indéed, (which notwith­standing they haue onely said, & cannot of likelihood prooue:) is not euery 7. yéere of the world such an one? And haue not many hundered such yéeres already determined without any such monstrous issues, or terrible calamities, as are now threatned? Or what though some of the woorthiest, and most famous men that euer liued, died in some such yéere of their age, must therefore the same yéeres of necessitie be fatall to [Page 94] the vniuersall frame of the world, which in regard of a few obseruations, are reputed dismall to particular men? Yet haue there no doubt as many, and more, and as notable per­sons euery way departed in other yéeres of their ages, as euer did in Climacterical, Enneatical, or great Climacteri­call Enneaticall yéeres, howsoeuer in respect of some Mathe­maticall considerations, and Physicall circumstances, we may otherwise attribute sundry extraordinarie contingen­ces therunto. Or if haply al the premisses were vndoubtedly certaine, why should this, in any such contemplation, be more dreaded than any other of the same note, already pas­sed, or future hereafter, as is before touched? It séemeth vn­to me that in the apparance of that reason, the yéer of Christ 87. or of the world 49. last past, should rather haue prooued so terrible a yéere, than this present, forsomuch as that was not onely a Climactericall yéere, according to their owne reputation, and computation; but also a Climacterical Heb­domaticall, or great Criticall yéere, arising of 7. times 7. as is elsewhere Obiter declared, whereunto this kinde of Cal­culators in their Empiricall obseruances, assigneth much more credit, and authoritie, than vnto any other simple yéere of that sort.

Wherfore by this reason, and this reckoning, the last yéer 87. (& that euen according to their own Empirical maximes & grounds) should haue prooued the great maine yéere wher­vpon they talke so much, and not 88. as is blowen abroad.

What then? Shall we yéelde any greater credite vnto these busie deuisers, than vnto the tales of some old supersti­tious, and some yoonger apish creatures, who estéeming eue­ry Bissextile, or leape yéere more vnluckie, and infortunate than the vsuall common yéeres, imagine that this yéere may, and is like, in the reach of their skill, to be dismall, and omi­nous, the rather euen for that cause? O ridiculous conceit, and more then rude blindnes, vnwoorthy the triall of Truths touchstone!

There are also which will haue 88. an intolerable wret­ched yéere, bicause it is the 19. yéere, ab Anno 1570: and why may it not as well be a quiet, and peaceable yéere, bicause it [Page 95] is the 20. yéere, ab Anno 69? Neither is it in truth the 19. yéere Exclusiue, or from it, as the words import; but Inclu­siue, or with it, there being but 17. yéeres interposed betwéen these 2. numbers. But lo their great impregnable frame of Argumentation, and mightie Canon of their credulous as­sertion.

When the number of the yéeres of our Redemption, doth comprehende the Golden number of the same yéere, or è conuerso (to wit Quo ad numerū digitorum) in all such yéeres so long as this agréement houldeth, and in the 19. yéere after the first equalitie (which number is the highest of the Gol­den, decemnouenall, or Lunarie circle) there shall then per Consequent fall out many woofull calamities, and horrible effects in the world:

But Anno 1570. there was such an agréement betwéene the yéeres of our Lord, and the Golden number, (for 1. 5. and 7. make 13. which was the Golden number of that yéere) and this 88. is the 19. yéere from that first concordance:

Ergo this yéere 88. there shall consequently fall out many woofull calamities, and horrible effects in the world.

A learned and profound Syllogisme, I warrant you: but albeit I sée no coherence of Art, reason, or sence in the sub­stance of the Maior proposition it selfe: yet suppose by put­ting case, I would ascribe therunto, as vnto some vnknown, and secret mysterie of Metaphysicall nature; and shall not the reall consequent of the euent sufficiently confute both this Uerball consequent, and antecedent, and their whole imaginatiue position? For what such dreadful matters came there to passe in the yéeres, 1570. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. and the rest, when the verie same agréement was most sen­sible, and euident indéede? And shall they now be feared, or must they now necessarily be dreaded in respect of a by cir­cumstance annexed to that agréement, being in truth be sides or beyond the compasse of the essentiall Sympathy, and very platforme it selfe? Qui ea profert, quae nunquā experientia liceat cōprobare, falsus est, & ambitiosus: He which vttereth such iu­dicials either in Astronomy, or any other Art, as may not vnderly the triall or verdict of experience, is a false, and [Page 96] ambitious fellow, as Cardane saith (Seg. 5. Aph. 51.) Then shall not these be registred in the Catalogue of vaine falsa­ries, and aspirers, which set abroach so causeles, and senseles conceits?

Besides the Minor proposition, or Assumption howso­euer it may of it selfe séeme true, and certain in respect of the vsuall, and common Compute, yet in case you consider the originall causes, and finall vses of the Golden number, shall you not find the said estéemed nūber of that yéere vnapliable to any such purposes, or intents, as Meton the sonne of Pau­sanias in Athens first deuised & published it? Or as it hath si­thence béene accustomably vsed in the Kalender? And how then, Ex falsis possint quae nisi falsa sequi. Of false, & counterfet simples, what will arise but false, and counterfet composi­tions? I may assure you to, that Meton himselfe neuer vn­derstood any such mysticall force, or concealed efficacie in his Golden Cycle, or Rule; as is here assigned thereunto: for would he not thinke you, for his owne speciall credite, and the generall benefit of other, haue easily reuealed so high a mysterie, and greatly triumphed therein, if himselfe had any way conceiued it?

But what néedeth any farther inuectiue against so palpa­ble a forgerie? Or what are these cunning Syllogizers, or any like Sophisticall concluders, but euen méere Cabalisti­call coiners, and impostural wringers, making at their own pleasure Quidlibet ex quolibet, numbers of cyphers, bodies of Atomes, or sun motes, something of nothing? Sibb to the fantasticall monke Rabanus, or the conceited woman Vale­ria Proba, who gleaning sundry verses out of Virgils hea­then poetry, would néeds bring togither on an heape a good­ly sheafe of heauenly Diuinity, and cunningly describe euen Christ himselfe, with his most sacred Euangelicall myste­ries, in Virgils owne Heroicks, who neuer vnderstoode, or once dreamed of any such Christian significations. A fonde worke of an idle woman: but O fonder conclusions of these phantastique, and couenous workers of mortall confusions!

Will you likewise heare the Prognosticall opinion of the old renowned Leopoldus Austriacus, slaine of the Hel­uetians, [Page 97] Ann. 1386. touching this same yéere? Which some also alledge for one doughtie argument of these pretended sturs, and imagined alterations? When the 1. Cal. of Ia­nuarie (quoth he) falleth vpon the day of the Moone (as very now it doth) the winter that yeere shall be indifferent: the spring temperate: sommer hot: there shall be mighty inundations, or ouerflowes by rage of waters in sundrie places: many infirmities shal raigne, but such as shal espe­cially sweepe away the viler and more popular sort: there shall arise much bickering, and contention amongst wo­men: the beginnings of many innouations and alterati­ons shal appeere: matrones shal moorne: kings and prin­ces shall perish: there shall be many slaughters, and massa­cres with bloody dint of sword: much icie and pruinous cold to be expected: Autumnall fruits shall be neither plentifull, nor sound: and there shall be a great death of Bees.

Is not this perpetuall Prognosticon think you, somwhat too durable, and ouer generall to be vniuersally true? Or is there any proper reason according to this common reason, why 88. should bring with it any other more terrible effects, than the yéeres 1554. 1560. 1565. 1571. 1582. &c. alreadie passed, séeing those yéeres were in the selfesame state, or did accordingly fall out euen as this doth now? Or should not e­uery 5. or 6. yéere héerafter ensuing, if the Intercalation of the Bissextile, or leape day ouerslip it not otherwhiles, be such a woonderfull yéere, by the same reckoning? O noble Leopold, thy meaning (I doubt not) was simple and good, al­though thy rule other whiles faileth? But thy corrupt inter­preters and commenters are vndoubtedly false and naught, séeking, or rather trauelling to dismay, discomfort, and disor­der the world without cause?

But behold another iolly deuise, touching the falling of Newyeeres day: When Newyeeres day (quoth they) falleth on a Munday, there insueth a winter somwhat vncomfor­table: a temperate sommer: no plentie of fruit: manie fantasies, surmizes, and fables shall that yeere be opened: Agues shall raigne: kings, princes, and many other shall [Page 98] die: marriages shall be contracted, and hudled vp in most places: and a common fall of noblemen and gentlemen shall ensue. Doubtles, these were cunning fellowes, and pe­rilous hoorsons indéede, else could they neuer haue hitten the naile so iust on the head; for when were there so many fan­sies, surmizes, and fables opened (according to their saying) as are already, and shall héereafter appéere to haue béene ope­ned of, and in this yéere? And I beséech you, did there euer a­ny yéere passe wherein agues rained not more, or lesse? Som kings, princes, nobles, gentlemen, and many other died not? Or wherein many marriages were not contracted, celebra­ted, and somtimes hudled vp? Lo then the learned resoluti­ons, and profound practises of these opinitiue and contempla­tiue masters, which notwithstanding their want of skill and experience in such negotiations, will in their kind be med­ling and intermedling in affaires of grandest consequence, as well and assoone as the wisest or déepest Politique, euen in despite of the crow, according to the prouerb, or rather euen in contempt of all good order and Ciuill discipline.

Peruse yet, for varieties sake, another of their perpetuall, euerduring, infinite, and Catholicall rules: they hold it for a Canonicall and euerlasting certaintie: that if Christmas day commeth whilest the moone decreaseth, there shall fol­low a hard and naughtie yéere: and the néerer the latter end of the moone that it commeth, the woorser and harder shall the yéere prooue, and so contrariwise.

Reioice then, O ye Coridons: Rest you merrie, O ye Colin clowtes: Clap your hands, O ye Lobilins. For lo a most plentiful and happy yéere awaiteth you: séeing this last Christmas day falleth whilest the moone increaseth, yea be­fore she reacheth to the first quarter, which is all the luckier, and merrier by your traditionall December marks? And sufficient to make 88. a prosperous and gladsome yéere, if you credit the most autenticall records of your owne curran­test soothsayings.

The good old Errans Pater, Erra Pater I should haue said, with sundry like ancient surebies, and old sokers, haue set downe many other such wholsome rules, and goodly Maxi­mes, [Page 99] in part appliable to 88. as truly no doubt, and as necessa­rily to be effected that yéere, as the strange Calabrian newes of the reuerend Astronomer and doughtie clarke, Iohn Dol­teta, Doleta I would say, were accomplished in the yéere 87 immediately preceding.

But to leaue such forlorne said sawes, and trifling gew­gawes, and to wade a little further into the profound déepes of this bottomles pit, and intricate Labyrinth: where is the sound Diuinitie, or learned Humanitie, from whence these propheticall tidings, either Theologically, or Artificially may séeme to be deriued? Or what else, what a Gods name is it, that should thus excéedingly, and monstrously disquiet, and vexe, and disguise, and plague, and crucifie, and torment the world this 88? May it be déemed either by ordinarie learning, or other extraordinarie reason, that any higher po­wer, or Secundeian godhead, or superior Intelligence, or mightie spirit, or ouerruling angell presently menaceth any such heinous mischéefes, tragicall myseries, horrible hurlie burlies, huge desolations, dreadfull, and insufferable, and hellish horrors, as are strongly imagined? Why? Are we not euen now (as verily I take it) according to the mysticall, and sound doctrine of Abbat Triteme (howsoeuer himselfe mistaketh the matter, being ouertaken with false Epochaes, and erronious Chronologies) vnder the gouernment of Anael, the milde, and amiable spirit of gentle Venus? Who began his third Regiment in the yéere of the world, 5315. the 31. day of Ianuary; and shall continue the same domini­on vntill the yéere, 5669. and foure months? Then is it like, that so louing, and swéete a spirit, as that of Venus who was neuer so deified, or rather hominified as she is now a daies, will in the flower and pride of hir brauest yéeres, and as it were in the perfect type, and highest degrée of hir soueraigne gratious préeminence ouer the world as well christned, as vnchristened; suffer hir angell so spitefully, and cruelly to destroy, or afflict hir gentle, and louely creatures in all nati­ons, euen hir very tenderest ones, and déerest darlings, and swéetest harts, and lustiest bloods, and most couragious ama­rous knights, that euer loued, or liued on earth? Or if perad­uenture [Page 100] hir angell ruleth hir, and not she hir angell, is it cre­dible that he can finde in his pure hart, to offer the swéetest hart aliue, & his daintiest charge of credit such open wrong, and egregious indignitie, as to assault hir with extréeme vio­lence, or interrupt hir with any excessiue rigor in the midst of the delicatest disports, and déepest pleasures that euer she inioied from the beginning? Tantaenè animis caelestibus irae?

Such festered rancor do Saints caelestiall harbor?

But to passeouer such pastimes, and to forget all such dal­liances, (which neuerthelesse shall neuer be forgotten in Ve­nus regiment:) suppose we would make a right serious, and earnest matter indeed of this Spirituall, or Intelligenti­all kinde of Secundeian dominion: and Ex causis praeterito­rum eadem methodo futurorum interpretari, (according to the maner of our best philosophers, and namely of Ioannes Sta­dius in his Conuersionum Chronologia) what euents may we now expect in this third gouernment of Anael, which were not by the same reason to be atchieued in his first, and second regiment? And what I pray you, or of what qualitie, and quantitie were those precedent effects? Or what notable e­uents hapned in the world, as namely in Europe, vnder those prefixed times, and periods? Lo the expresse words, or very Text, of Tritemius himselfe, vpon the first reigne, or do­minion of this angell. Secundus mundi gubernator Anael spiri­tus veneris, post Orifielem regere coepit, Anno mundi 354. Die 24 Iunij, & mundum similiter gubernauit annis 354. cum mensibus 4. vz. vsque ad annum orbis conditi 780. Sub huius regimine Ana­elis homines coeperunt esse cultiores, domusque constituere, & vr­bes, artes inuenire manuales, opus textcinum, lanificium, hisque si­milia: carnis quoque voluptatibus perampliùs indulgere, vxores­que sibi pulchras assumere: Deum obliuisci, & à naturali simplici­tate in multis recedere, ludosque & cantilenas inuenixe, cythera canere, & quicquid ad veneris pertinet rationem, & cultum exco­gitare: durauitque ista in hominibus lasciuia vitae ad diluuium, sumens argumentum prauitatis suae. That is (a litle to helpe the vnlearned sort:)

The second gouernor of the world Anael the spirit of Venus began to rule after Orifiel the angel of Saturne, in [Page 101] the yeere of the world 354. the 24. day of Iune, and did likewise rule the world 354, yeeres, and 4. moneths, name­ly vntil the yeere of the worlds creation 780. vnder the re­giment of this Anael, men began to be more neate, and gallant; to build houses, and cities: to finde out manuall artes, as spinning, weauing, clothworking, and such like. Item more freely, and sensually to imbrace the pleasures of the flesh: to take vnto them faire wiues: to forget God: & to passe their naturall simplicitie in many points: to in­uent pastimes, and songs; to play on instruments: and to deuise whatsoeuer might furnish, or increase venery: which wantonnes, and lasciuiousnes of life continued vnto the floud, a woorthy reward of such folly, and wickednes.

Do you now find any such peremptorie, or tragical Cata­strophes in the course of that first predominancy, as this pro­phesie of 88. menaceth vnder this third dominion? Yet can we not denie but the world is euen at this present affected ge­nerally, (albeit in some more glorious, and exquisite maner) as hereby should appéere it was in those daies. But beholde also the mundane affaires, actions, practises, enormities, and other contingences of the second gouernment?

Nono autem ordine mundum rursus gubernare inchoauit A­nael spiritus veneris, Die 29. Nouembris, anno creationis coeli, & terrae, 2834. & praefuit annis 354. mensibus 4. vz. vsque ad an­num mundi 3189. His temporibus, homines Deum verum obliui­oni tradentes, mortuos, & eorum statuas, pro Deocolere, & honora­re coeperunt, (qui error plusquam 2000. Annis mundum occupa­uit) introducentes curiosos corporis ornatus, & varia genera musi­calium instrumentorum, homines rursus libidinem, & voluptatem carnis nimiùm prosequuti sunt: statuas quoque & templa dijs suis homines hisce temporibus instituentes, & dicantes. Incantationes, & maleficia temporibus istis fuerunt excogitata per Zoroastrem Bactrianorum regem primum (& alios diuersos) quem Ninus rex Assyriorum in bello superauit.

In the ninth course or order, Anael the spirit of Venus began his second raigne ouer the world, the 29. day of Nouember, in the yeere from the creation of heauen and earth, 2834. and raigned 354. yeeres, and 4. moneths, to

[...]

[Page 104] now likewise haue an end in the end of the said Trigon: When also the very son of God himselfe, Iesus Christ our Lord, took vpon him our humane nature, & was incarna­ted. For 6. yeeres before his most glorious natiuitie, there was the very same kind of copulation in the extremitie of Pisces, and beginning of Aries. Neither hath the like con­gresse sithence that time happened but once, namely, du­ring the empire of Chatlemaine, in the 789. yeere of our redemption. And now the same coniunction againe insu­ing, doth out of all doubt premonstrate the second com­ming of the sonne of God and man in the maiestie of his glorie, when we must render an account of our liues, and whole conuersation. And immediately after it followeth: But vnder the gouernment or empire of Charls the great, the world could not be consummated, bicause not so much as 5000. yeeres were then expired: whereas now the in­fluence and operations of this present coniunction still continuing, the number of 6000. shall drawe on apace, which accordeth with the diuine prophesie of Elias, affir­ming that the world should persist, or endure 6000. yeeres, of which summe the sonne of God shall detract somwhat, who hath promised that the later daies should be abbreui­ated, or shortened for the elects sake. But if there remai­ned yet another such graund, or maine coniunction of the former planets to be expected, there should almost 800. yeeres more be required thereunto, which being added to the time of this congresse would produce 6000. and almost 400. yeeres, which were manifestly repugnant to that prophesie.

Hitherto Leouitius; whereby appéereth what extraordi­narie effects, and woonderfull mysterie that famous Mathe­matician ascribed to the forementioned Planeticall copula­tion.

But before we take any farther, or perfecter view of the depth, or height of his imaginatiue speculation, lo also the preiudiciall, and peremptorie censures of another or two, as renowned for their profound skill these waies as the for­mer.

[Page 105] Gul. Postellus in his philosophicall, mathematicall, and theologicall discourse of the new star 72. mentioning the 6▪ like great Coniunctions which preceded that we haue now in handling, according to his mysticall learning saith, that Enoch was a great signe, or effect of the First: Noah in the vniuersal deluge of the Second: of the Third Dardanus the founder of Dardania, as also Moises whē with 600000▪ men he departed out of Aegypt into Syria: of the Fourth, the pas­sage of the 10. tribes of Israel out of the holy land into Sama­ria, with other like: of the Fift, Christ the Messias: and of the 6. Charlmaine the emperor. But now (quoth Postell there) when the 7. Coniunction commeth, which at this present is scarcely 13. yéeres differing from the certaine peri­ode: Sabbatum profectò naturae faciet summoperè impijs formi­dandum, It shall certainly finish the Sabbaoth of nature, ex­ceedingly of the wicked to be dreaded.

A very resolute conclusion, and by his fauor, ouerrash to determine so mightie a case: besides some error, and vncer­tainty in the chronologies themselues.

Howbeit Helisaeus Reslyn remembring likewise those former coniunctions in the 24. Proposition of his new Me­teorological Theory concludeth also thus difinitiuely, or ra­ther peremptorily of this, as being in order the seauenth: Septima igitur cum nunc immineat, fiatque ex aequeo Trigono in igneum impijs formidandum, pijs autem omnibus optatum permu­tatio; iudicandum certè illud septimum, & vltimum Apocalyp­seωs tēpus instare, quo Christus gladio bicipiti, & spirituoris besti­am cum pseudopropheta interfecturus, Ecclesiam suam liberabit, & breui Sabbatum naturae facturus est. Wherefore seeing the 7. coniunction is now imminent, and that there is shortly in­suing a shifting of the watrie Trigon into the fierie, a change to be greatly feared of the impious, and imbraced of the godly: it is surely to be iudged that seauenth, and last time of the Apocalypse to be at hand, wherein Christ with the two edged sword, and spirit of his mouth, being to destroy the beast with the pseudoprophet, shall deliuer his church, and shortly dispatch, and accomplish the Sab­baoth of nature.

[Page 106] Item in the very next Proposition he addeth moreouer, that forsomuch as alwaies Analogically vnder the watrie Triangle, sects, factions, and scismes haue béene raised, as be­fore Christ that of the Iewes; and before Charlmaine that of the Sarracens: like as in the fierie Trigon the truth hath béene transplanted, and the former seminaries punished, as in the third Triplicitie from hence the Iewish kingdome de­faced, and Christs kingdome founded: in the other the Ori­entall church subuerted, and this Occidentall established: it remaineth greatly to be dreaded, that euen the Occidentall church shall now likewise, during the same cause, be wooful­ly scourged, and plagued with like terrible changes, and alte­rations, and the Gospell haply, yea happily to (as he saith) be translated into the barbarous Northeren nations, héereto­fore least acquainted therewithall.

I might furthermore alleadge diuers other semblable au­thorities, or rather opinions, touching the same point, as of Messahalah in his booke De Coniunctionibus planetarum Cap. 10. of Albumasar lib. 2. different. 9. and lib. 4. diff. 12. and lib. 6. diff. 12. De coniunctionibus magnis: Item in his Tract De flori­bus in the chapter De scientiabellorum, & guerrae: Also of Al­boazen Haly Cap. 7. Part. 7. and cap. 4. Partis 8. of Guido Bonatus Part. 4. cap. 57. of Ptolomey in the 63. Apho­risme of his Centiloquium: likewise of Regiomontanus, of Pontanus, of Stophlerinus, of Cardane, of Schonerus, of Iunctinus, of Trapezuntius, of Garcaeus, of Dasypodius, of sundry other neotericall mathematicians and modernists; in their Astrologicall works, and other philosophicall wri­tings: but to what auailable intent, or purpose should they be particularly, or expresly propounded? We néede no more such dismall wizards, I trow, or such terrible prophesieng creatures? For haue not Leouitius, Postellus, and Raeslyn said ynough, and ynough already? Nay, haue they not vtte­red too much, and threatned more a great deale than is either actually to be feared of vs, or substantially to be confirmed by themselues? Is the shifting of a Trygon so perillous, and dangerous a matter, which ordinarily falleth out euery 198 yéere, and a little more, to wit, lesse than halfe a quarter of [Page 107] one yéer, howsoeuer there are cōmonly, but erroniously 240. yéeres ascribed therunto? Or is the Coniunction of Saturne and Iupiter so hainous a méeting, which happeneth vsually euery 19. yéere, 315. daies, and 19. houres? Or to descend to the very point it selfe, is their congresse in the end of the wa­trie, and beginning of the fierie Trigon so ominous, and fa­tall, which happeneth not preternaturally, or supernatural­ly, but according to the natural course once euery 800. yéeres and somewhat lesse, and hath already Sixe times escaped, without any such vniuersall vnnaturall myseries, or imperi­all confusions?

What then were the best and soundest Astrologicall doc­trine, to follow in trauelling, and discussing the true effect of this whole matter? Is not that of Ptolomey in the 63. of his 100. Aphoristicall Sentences, or Maximes, the surest or infalliblest way, being also accordingly approoued, and ob­serued of other the cunningest dealers in this kinde? Lother­fore the expresse counsell, and direction of Ptolomey: Quum Saturnus & Iupiter coniunguntur, &c. When the planets Sa­turne and Iupiter are conioyned, looke which of them is superior at the time of that coniunction, and pronounce thereof according to the qualitie, and disposition of his nature. Of which Aphorisme, what is the very meaning, or resolution? Is it any other, than this, that if happily the for­tunate planet which is Iupiter be superior or mightier, you must in respect of that superioritie, or predominancie, pro­nounce fortunate euents; like as if the infortunate planet Saturne be superior, you must in regard of his greater puis­sance, pronounce infortunate detriments? Well, go to then. Shall not now the good sanguine Iupiter resiant in Pisces, e­uen in his own mansion, cōmand Saturn his melancholique guest, & being master, or lord of the house dispose his vngraci­ous stranger, or soiourner at his owne gracious pleasure? Or in a maner like a couragious cocke lustily crow ouer him in his owne walke or circuit? They define that in such a Cor­porall vnion he is superior who hath most essentiall prero­gatiues in the place of the Coniunction: and must not then Iupiter néeds here be extolled, and preferred aboue Saturne, [Page 108] who at that instant is Peregrine, and out of all his essentiall dignities, or royall robes? Marry peraduenture you will obiect the authoritie of Alboazen Haly, that an euill or mis­chéeuous planet when he is Peregrine is most vnhappily, and woorst of all disposed. Be it so indéede, yet Vltra posse, non est esse; and howsoeuer he is inclined or affected to do mis­chéefe, if his power be not answerable to his will, we néede not greatly recke, or care for his maleuolous intention, or af­fection. Besides the very same Haly too in another place (Cap. 4. part. 8.) affirmeth, that Iupiter coupled with Saturne as­swageth his malice, and confoundeth his rancorous disposi­tion: which although some will percase alledge to be gene­rally spoken, yet is it not euery way as particular, direct, and artificiall as the other opposed verdict?

But forsooth Haly Heben Rodoan, Trapezuntius, and Pontane in their Commentaries vpon Ptolomeis Centi­loquium, in their exposition, or declaration of the foresaid A­phorisme haue propounded another rule, and maner of pro­céeding, according all in this point, that the superioritie de­scried in that 63. sentence, should in this case be ascribed vn­to the planet, which at that moment shall be highest eleua­ted in his Epycicle, or in the néerest proximitie to the Apo­gaeon, or summitie thereof: And how then may we déeme, or iudge of this congres? That is a new question indéed, and by that interpretation we must yéeld the preeminence vnto Saturne, for was not he néerer the degrée of his Aux than Iu­piter? And consequently Secundum Augem extolled aboue him. I cannot tell, but in my simple skill, forsomuch as they likewise affirme, that a planet the nearer he approcheth vn­to the earth, the déeper are his impressions, and rages more forcible, or powerable on earth: I sée little reason why that planet in this concourse should preuaile most in operation, who is farthest remooued from the state of strongest influ­ence; and effectuall operation euen this way too, but especial­ly in the forementioned maner. Besides, is not the corporall presence it selfe of Iupiter one of the chéefe helps, and forti­tudes which Saturne hath, and shall not he which augmen­teth, or increaseth anothers might, be still the mightier, ac­cording [Page 109] to the common Axiome, Quod efficit tale? Howbeit there remaineth yet a third kind of Eleuation, or superiori­tie noted of Guido Bonatus, and many other Astrologians, yea of all most commonly obserued, and most vsually respec­ted, which is by them referred vnto the present Latitudes of the planets so conioined, after this maner; that if it fortune their Latitudes to be both Septentrionall, he whose Lati­tude is greatest, to be the chéefest, or most soueraigne: but if their Latitudes be both Meridionall, then he to be preferred whose Latitude is least of the twaine, &c. Which sort of ex­altation, Ioannes Ganiuetus séemeth onely, or at least prin­cipally to haue respected, in his booke intituled Amicus Me­dicorum, Cap. 1. different. 3. where making mention of the great Coniunction of Saturne and Iupiter in the 13. grade of Scorpio, Anno 1425. Ganiuetus affirmeth, that Saturne was then eleuated aboue Iupiter: why? Bicause as he there alledgeth:

Maior fuit illius latitudo versus Septentrionem; His latitude was greater towards the North: And shall not Iupiter now by the selfe same reason be exalted aboue Saturne, bicause his Latitude is lesser Versus Meridiem, or towards the South? Wherefore as Ganiuetus concluded, that much vnwoonted trouble, and vnaccustomed mischéefe should follow to the cleargie by that preeminence, may not we as well, and as truly by this prerogatiue pronounce on the other side, some extraordinarie prosperitie and happie successe, or gladsome ti­dings to the said Ecclesiasticall estate, or spirituall vocation? I might still alledge two or thrée other kinds of planetarie Eleuation, vsed amongst all Astrologers: but ynough in proofe, may séeme sufficient in art; and I nothing doubt, but that I may at length in regard of the premisses boldly deter­mine, that Iupiter in the prefixed copulation was far more preualent or predominant than Saturne, and consequent­ly, that the consequents thereof are principally to be deriued from him; whose nature as it is generally right bountifull, and very good, and his influence fortunate and luckie, so they are at this time specially to be so reputed and estéemed, consi­dering that himselfe is so strongly configured, and so fauou­rably [Page 110] disposed, as now all respects and circumstances truly waied, he appéereth to be. What then followeth? vz. that this Coniunction of Saturne and Iupiter is so far from working or inforcing any such horrors, as this 88. prophesie preten­deth, that of all likelihood it should séeme rather (in case it hath any notable significations at all) to presignifie much fi­nal good, and great ioy, or happines in conclusion: howsoeuer Saturne in the meane while may now, and then according to his small power, and pro suo debili posse, begin or attempt pet­tie treasons, vnderminings, trecheries, practises, and other spitefull villanies, somedeale agréeable to his pestilent, and rancorous nature.

Which iudiciall may otherwise also be verefied, and in part confirmed: for touching the other moderators of that Coniunction, had not good louing Venus as much to do therein as bad cholerique Mars? Who is as well lady of the great Orbe, as the other is Deuisor of the yéere? Or hath not she as many, or rather more essential prerogatiues in the ve­rie place of Coniunction than he hath? Wherefore, neither in this respect, can there any great euils be feared, or expec­ted, when likewise the other fortune if not ouermatcheth, at least equally matcheth, and counteruaileth the other infor­tune in strength, power, and value.

Wherefore to ouerslip this point: and to returne vnto the former censures of Leouitius, Reslyn, Postell, and their adherents: I cannot sufficiently maruell what mooued so fa­mous learned men in this facultie, to ascribe, or attribute so excéeding much vnto that silly Coniunction? As if there must necessarily insue either a finall dissolution of the world, or at least I cannot tell what strange innouation of lawes, or translation of kingdomes, as occasioned, or inforced there­by? But marke wel the argument of Leouitius, which doubt­lesse was also the principall reason that persuaded the other: If (saith he) there were yet another Coniunction like this to be expected, then the prophesie of Elias should be falsified, which vndoubtedly is most true, and infallible: Ergo the world must néeds either be vtterly dissolued, or woonderous­ly disordered, vnder the present Coniunction.

[Page 111] Which argument how artificiall it is, being barely testi­moniall, or how necessarily true, being founded vpon a falli­ble sandie ground, it may sufficiently appéere by the former section, where the said pretended prophesie of the suborned Elias, is both euidently, as I take it, detected, and as well ef­fectually, as plentifully confuted. Howbeit here by the way how apparant it is, what notable errors, vanities, forgeries, and cosenages that one authorised tradition of Elias hath wrought, and how many, yea of the learneder sort haue béen ouertaken and beguiled therewith in respect of the reuerend name, and honorable antiquitie: which hath a long time béen a continuall stumbling blocke to al Astronomicall, and Phi­losophicall coniectures: for should he not haue séemed to cast beyond the moone, that would once haue vndertaken to speake, or write any thing of a farther period than his puta­tiue Oracle prescribeth?

But to returne againe, from whence I haue a little di­gressed: touching the decay, and ruine of the Romane mo­narchie, or Occidentall empire, whereof Leouitius dream­eth, how can he make Idem causam generationis & corruptionis eiusdem? And is there not likewise another phisicall Axiome, that Quicquid corrumpitur, à contrario patitur? As also that Si­mile â simili conseruatur, & alitur? And as for the most glori­ous, and supernaturall natiuitie of Iesus Christ, which he conteining himselfe within the compasse of his profession, séemeth to make an effect of the like naturall Coniunction happening in the end of the watrie, & beginning of the fierie Trigon, about 6. yéeres before his said incarnation: as I estéeme this for a plaine superstitious assertion, and altogi­ther irreligious: so I sée as slender warrantie of reason, or authority, why his church should be translated from the East vnto the West, or his Gospell otherwise transplanted, or his second comming determined, in respect of any such astrologi­call coniecture, when the science it selfe being Humane, and Natural, hath not any ascertained intelligence, or experience of such diuine, and supernaturall vnsearchable mysteries, which being onely inrolled in the great volume of Gods owne secrets, cannot possiblie by any secundary causes, or

[...]

[Page 114] passe, remitting the studious reader in this kinde vnto his foresaid Commentaries.

Finally, such violent mutations, or mortall warres, and slaughters as Leouitius and other haue inferred, are they not the proper acts and effects of Mars rather than of Saturne, as Messahalah saith? Or is there at all any Astrologicall sci­ence, or assured prediction of such Martial sturs and garboils, which euen Cardane himselfe (a great protector otherwise of this prognosticall art) durst neuer auow? (Segment. 7. A­phor. 120.) Why then néede we feare any such sudden hurli­burlies or confusions, from this Coniunction of Saturne and Iupiter, where Mars hath little to do in respect, who must play such bloodie and deadly feats? Or if he had neuer so much to do, why should we be dismaied or discomforted thereby, when this art cannot any way determine of such militarie and Martiall euents, being in this behalfe no lesse vncertaine, Quàm ipsi incerti bellorum exitus?

What then? May it be still imagined that the Coniunc­tion of Saturne and Iupiter was originally, or may conse­quently be reputed the true foundation of this prophesie? Or that it is the liker to be true or credible, bicause that concur­reth therewith in effect? Neither is that, in any my know­ledge, expressed either by Leouitius, or any other fauourer of that threatening said sawe; so that if there were indéed any such terrible coincidents to be ascribed or imputed vnto that congresse, we haue yet no vndoubted or assured proofe, that they should take place rather in 88. the yéere of this oracle; than in 87. or in 89. or in any former or later yéere. Cardane in his Commentaries vpon Ptolomeys second Apotelesma­ticall booke, Cap. 9. Text. 54. writeth, that the effects of such a Coniunction take place, and hold out vntill another Con­iunction, or at least vntill such time as the said planets shall be in Opposition; but he maketh no certaine difference, or distinction of yéeres; and Leopoldus Austriacus affirmeth, that the yéere it selfe shall be the woorse wherein the Con­iunction appéereth: but Albumazar (2. diff. tract. 1.) auow­eth, that the significations of this Coniunction happening in the watrie Trigon, are procrastinated or prolonged vntill af­ter [Page 115] sixe Coniunctions immediately insuing. How then by any of these obseruations, or other like determinations, shall the consequents of the Coniunction 83. be appropriately and singularly reduced, or particularized to the yéere 88?

Besides, the present prophesie threateneth either an vni­uersall consummation, & finall dissolution of the world, or at least a generall subuersion and alteration of principalities, kingdoms, monarchies, & empires; wheras not the greatest Coniunction of superior, or inferior planets that euer did, or shall happen, can by any artificiall argument, or intelligible conceit, extend the force, or preuaile any farther than such places onely, and such territories as are vnder the subiection of the signe of the Copulation, or at the vttermost vnder the partition of that Quadrangle, wherof the signe of the Con­iunction is presently recounted. Wherfore neither that way can 88. be so terrible a yéere bicause of the Coniunction, as the prophesie specifieth; nor the Coniunction at any time so terrible in works, as the prophesie in words appéereth to be. Which either in respect of the Annuall Progression thereof, or the consent it hath with the Reuolutions of this yéere, or with Eclypses héerafter mentioned (which kind of naturall Accidents (Eclipses I meane) are by the sounder doctrine of Ptolomey, the principall effecters, or abrogaters of the Con­sequents of such Coniunctions) or any like present circum­stance, or coincident consideration; as it is vnlike extraordi­narily, or excessiuely to afflict this yéere, vnlesse peraduen­ture now and then with some vnaccustomed cold, and decay in the fruit of the earth; so néedeth it not (in my simple opi­nion) to be finally regarded, or commonly feared as any nota­ble, or powerable author of the pretended Martiall calami­ties thereof.

How then? Are there yet remaining any other farther causes, or artificiall likelihoods of such imminent calamities? Be there any forcible or notable Eclipses, or fierie Comets to be séene, or the sights therof being already passed, are there any such to take déepe roote, or mightie effect this yéere? To which alone, as to the most naturall causes, or most effectu­all Arguments of future horrors, Ptolomey, and with him [Page 116] the soundest Mathematicians ascribe most certaine, and ac­tuall significations? Indéede there was an Eclipse of the Moone the last yéere 87. the sixt day of September being Wednesday, about 38. Minutes after 8. a clocke at night: but what? Can that worke any such consequents, being but a Partile not a Totall Eclipse? Or are not the effects there­of alreadie in a maner consummated? Besides, who is chéefe gouernor, or disposer thereof? Was it not Iupiter? And what, I pray you, are his significations, when he so ruleth? Peruse the 8. chap. of Ptolomeys 2. Apotelesmaticall booke, and shall you not there find that Iupiter deliquij assequutus do­minium generaliter rerum omnium incrementa contribuit: sed peculiariter hominibus largitur gloriam, corporis salubritatem, a­nimorum tranquillitatem, gaudia, pacem, bonorum copiosa subsidia; with such like wished prosperities and blessings? And what may be déemed more ioifull, fortunate, or happie, than these Iouiall contributions and bounties? Howbeit some will stil obiect, that the vnluckie Mars was partaker with him in this gouernment, in respect that he was lord of the Terme and Decane, wherein the Eclipse happened: but what if he were principall gouernor too, so he hurt, or annoy vs not? And how can he hurt, or annoy vs this way, when the date of the force or operation of the Eclipse it selfe is already worne out? Or alas, how silly should the effects of any such Defect haue béene in comparison of the gréeuous and huge terrors of this prophesie; albeit Mars or Saturne himself had béene sole disposer thereof, and his most malitious, despite­full, and rancorous actions continued most part of the whole yéere? Wherefore it is not this Lunarie, or a far greater E­clipse that so mightily must do the déede, or verifie this pro­phesie. But pawse there awhile: I hope you cannot gainsay but that it may notwithstanding helpe somwhat toward the working of such a Tragedie. Neither are you yet thorough­ly entred into the very depth of the matter: for lo in the self­same yéere 88. thrée other eclypses also imminent: Yea, that which is more, you shall haue two of them in one moneth: and what is, or may rightly be said more fearfull, or tragicall than such a reckoning? The Sunne shall be eclipsed the 16. [Page 117] day of February at the change; and shortly after, at the very nextfull, namely the second day of March there shall follow a Totall Eclipse of the Moone: and doth not the famous Messahalah (Libello de coniunctionibus planetarum, & rebus Eclipsium, Cap. 7.) giue generall iudgement; Quod in Eclipsi Solis non poterit fieri quin significetur magnum aliquod accidens in mundo: That it cannot choose, but there must needs fol­low some great accident in the world after an Eclipse of the Sunne? And doth not the most ancient, and renowned Hermes Trismegistus awarde this particular peremptorie definitiue sentence, (Aphoris. Centiloquij 53) Plurima in mun­do fient incommoda, quando in vno mense accidet vtriusque lumi­naris Eclipsis? There insue manifold incombrances, or mis­chiefes in the world when the luminaries, that is the Sun, and Moone, are both eclipsed in one moneth? What say you now to these iudicials, or how dare you contradict, or gainsay such threatnings? Indéed it is very true, there are thrée Eclypses to happen in this yéere, and two of them with­in the space of one moneth: neither can I deny but Messaha­lah, and Hermes, haue written as is before specified; where­unto also accordeth Pliny in the second booke of his Naturall Historie, Cap. 30. and euen Virgill to in his Georgiques, as notably, & significantly, as any of the former, where amongst sundry other apparances, signes, or prognostications of hu­mane affaires, he reckoneth Solis defectum, for one, after this maner expresly, woorth the noting:

Sol tibi signa dabit, Solem quis dicere falsum
Audeat? Ille etiam caecos instare tumultus,
Saepe monet; fraudemque, & operta tumescere bella.

that is by my hastie translation:

The Sun yeeldeth signes: who dareth falsifie the Sun? He notes blind tumults; & foretels fraudulent attempts, With fostred garboils, before they swel to their outrage. But now pause you a while: for doth not Messahalah him­selfe in that very place aboue recited, adde moreouer, by way of distinction, Secundum quantitatem ipsius eclipsis, hoc est, vt sit ex quarta corporis solis, vel supra? That the euent of the said Solarie defect shal be but according to the quantity of the

[...]

[Page 120] euen those effects too which it shall vtter, shall not be set a­broach vntill towards the very later end of the yéere, being then, and about the beginning of the next yéere 89. especially and chéesly to preuaile; by which time the date of the woon­derfull propheste shall be welnigh determined.

Finally, to conclude this point with the saying, or rather Axiome, and principle of Cardane (Seg. 7. Apho. 121.) Nulla Eclipsis, &c. No Eclipse (howsoeuer totall or vniuersall) can portend vniuersall calamities, or threaten the whole world with generall future mischéefs: whose consequents regular­ly are alwaies to inure, or take place in such onely regions, territories, and cities, as are obnoxious, or subiect Deliquij ipsius signo, vel tetragano, vel diametro: as is generally agréed vpon, by the best Mathematicians, and cunningest Profes­sors in this facultie.

Wherefore, we must yet looke farther about vs, and in­quire after sounder proofes, for the establishing of this Ora­cle, if we would haue it allowable, and iustifiable by Scien­tificall Arguments, or any artificiall collections.

Then, to come once againe to the right Astronomicall do­ctrine of Ptolomey: he in the 98. of his 100. Aphoristicall sentences directed vnto his brother Syrus; assigneth the se­cond place of tragicall significations vnto Comets, or blazing stars: what? Are there any such sterie exhalations to be kindled this 88? Or must we be daily expectants of new Comets? Surely formine owne part, as I sée not any or­dinarie or extraordinarie, naturall or preternaturall causes, Meteorologicall or Astronomicall, concurring toward the present working, or furnishing of any such sterie apparition this yéere: nor indéede any such probable likelihoods, as might in some yéeres immediately passed, haue artificially béene al­ledged, to presume vpon such a matter: so neither is there in my knowledge by reading, or otherwise; any like Meteore already passed, still remaining to be effected: for albeit I should fauourably allow of their counsell, which haue adui­sed a continual obseruation of euery Criticall yéere from the strange new star which appéered in Cassiopeia, Anno 1572. as though in euery such yéere there were still some notable [Page 121] vnaccustomed Accidents to be expected; yet forsomuch as 88. cannot be reputed any such Criticall yéere from that star; as there is therefore no singular, or speciall note to be taken thereof, so are there not any singular, or speciall effects of any such cause to be seriously looked for therein. What? What then I beséech you, is it, or at least what may it séeme to be, that should thus, and thus maruellously disguise the world this 88? Is there no apparant naturall, or philosophicall ar­gument to confirme our affiance, or rather presumption, re­posed in this oracle? Is it credible, that it was either pri­uatly framed, without reason, or commonly published with­out warrantize of some woorthy testimonies, Diuine, or Hu­mane? But alas Diuine we can alledge none either directly, or indirectly in this behalfe, as is sufficiently declared in the former Section: why then? Must there not yet of necessitie lurke some secret abstruse physicall causes, or mathematicall inclinations, as they terme them? For, Si effectus est, & causa praecessit? As euery mans logique, and philosophy can readily tell you.

How now? Is there happely any commutation of the great Orbe? Or is there any concourse, or congresse of the 8. and 9. supernall Orbes? Or is there the shifting of any Absis from one signe into another, which are indéed of great and memorable consequence, as Cardane testifieth? Or per­haps are the superior planets conioined in the first Terme of Aries, wherof Guido Bonatus maketh so very especiall rec­koning? Or is the Sunne in his greatest, or least Excentri­citie, or is the Center of his Eccentrick come Adalterutrum quadrantem, terminúmque mediocrem, which both Ioachimus Rhaeticus, in his first Narration of Copernicus Reuoluti­ons, and Cornelius Gemma eftsoones standeth so excéeding much vpon? As if forsooth the Periods of states, monarchies, and kingdomes, yea of the whole vniuersall world it selfe, depended vpon the course of that little Circle, as the verie true, and right whéele of fortune? Or is it peraduenture to be supposed, that the Verticall, Perpendicular, or Topicall stars haue now conspired togither to desolate, or oppresse the seuerall regions which they aspect? Or what other graund [Page 122] astrologicall, natural, or supernatural consideration remain­eth? Or finally what other peremptorie iudgement, or Ne­ronian tyranny are we to vnderly? Or Quid tandem magni monstri alit, qui tam horrendas canit ambages, antraque remugit? For as for these later circumstances, obseruations, and cen­sures of Cardane, Bonatus, Rhaeticus, Gemma, and other their sectaries; as I know not any of them to enure, or to be expected; so if percase they were presently in Esse, neither could any of them, (notwithstanding all their greatnes, or mightines) worke any such great maine vniuersall terrors, as the prophesie portendeth.

And what then should we estéeme of particular Confi­gurations, or peculiar Caelestiall theames, which Ptolomey wisheth vs to obserue in Annuall Reuolutions, or at the se­uerall times of the Sunnes entrance into any Aequinocti­all, or Solstitiall point? Doth not the face of the heauens va­ry with the region, and by consequent, the significations, and prognosticates? Marry but what say you by this, that the full Moone immediately preceding the Sunnes ingresse into Aries (which Ptolomey also willeth to be obserued) is there eclipsed: doth not euen the said Ptolomey himselfe make a speciall great matter of such an Accident? I denie it not: ne­uertheles what is that to 88. it selfe, when the Eclipse ta­keth no place, as is afore shewed? Besides, we may remēber the same euent too, to haue often happened without any such strange newes, or woonderous tidings, as are now blowen abroad: as of late yéeres, Anno 1569. the third day of March there was an Vniuersal Eclipse of the Moone at the Praeuen­tion next before the Suns recourse into Aries: Item Anno 1579. (which is somwhat more dreadfull) there was a great Eclipse of the Sunne at the Change immediately going be­fore his ingredience into the said Aequinoctiall point: but what such rufull, or maruellous matters insued either of these? Wherefore it must of necessitie be a more strange and woonderfull accident than this, that should atchéeue, or bring foorth such mightie Consequents.

Well, but is there not yet a more perlous doubt behind? For is not frowning and froward Saturne lord of the yéere, [Page 123] and (which maketh all the woorse) is he not seated in a Fixed signe of the earthly Triplicitie, & direct in an Angle? Which by the opinion of the woorthy Messahalah (lib. de Reuolutione Annorum mundi, Cap. 48.) presignifieth great contention and wars, with a murrian and rot amongst cattell? Also by the censure of Almansor (Propositionum ad Sarracenorum regem, 42.) a gréeuous mortalitie amongst men, and very small in­crease or prosperitie in the fruits of the earth? What though I confes al this to be true? Is Saturn Genius localis, or Daemon Topicus omnibus gentibus? Or is he lord of the yéere vniuersal­ly ouer, or in, or throughout al countries? Or doth he work in all places alike euen where his dominion extendeth? Which dominiō or power, as it followeth in the forementioned book, and chapt. of Messahalah is onely, In ea terra, in cuius signo pro­priè fuerit: Wherefore as all his, or any other mischéeuous significations, prefigured by the present celestiall position, are wholy to be effected in such nations, territories, and cities, as are vnder the gouernment of Taurus & Aries; so euen there also shall they chéefly preuaile ouer such creatures, as are of the more popular and baser sort, amongst whom not onely penurie and dearth, but also the plague, & sundry other grée­uous infirmities may fortune to raigne; and peraduenture some péeuish, or rusticall murmurings, treasons, rebellions, and trecheries be set abroach, which notwithstanding shall be as like to procure any graund innouation, by disordering kingdoms, and turning principalities topsie turuie; as such meane obscure persons, and silly creatures are like to prooue kings, princes, lords, or honorable counsellers of roiall ma­iestie. I am not ignorant, that some ascribe the preeminence of the celestiall figure, and gouernment of this yéere vnto bloodie Mars; suppose it so indéede, at least by putting case, (albeit I sée no Astrologicall reason or authoritie of that re­solution) yet if his present state be duly considered, and his whole abilitie truly examined according to the grounds of their Iudiciall procéedings; shall you not find his violent af­fection to be brideled and qualified in such sort, that he is greatly vnlike to infect, terrifie, or astonish the world with a­ny such sanguinarie, or horrible garboiles, as other whiles he [Page 124] portendeth? Where thorough his vnluckie configuration he may cruelly play his bloodie part? I appeale to themselues, that haue at all aduentures appointed him lord of the yéere, if his woonted fiercenes and rage be not (euen according to their owne learning) so asswaged, and abated, that he cannot execute the furie of his cruell nature, or inforce his Potentiam in actum.

I might discourse vpon diuers other configurations, and sundrie constellations, vnder the Reuolutions of this yéere: but forsomuch as they are either to preuaile only in the aire, (whose vnseasonable disposition, and lamentable distempe­rature, I more suspect and feare, than fiue or ten such prophe­sies:) or to worke in other forraine nations, rather than in our countrie: or not at all to take any roote or impression this yéere; or to touch the meaner and baser sort, rather than the higher powers: or to make worke rather for physitions and chirurgians, than for soldiers or captaines; as also for sailers by sea, rather than for trauellers by land: or to bring foorth priuate suspicions, ielousies, grudgings, and murmu­rings, not publique mutinies, bickerings, skirmishes, or bat­tels: or finally, rather to raise vaine rumors, and counterfet shadowes of horrors, than any violent expeditions, or maine garboiles indéede; and therefore nothing powerable, or not halfe forcible ynough, to verifie or enact the woonderfull de­pendences of the notorious oracle; I take it best and méetest, to omit them, as no more in effect hastning, or importuning any such vniuersall, or nationall Tragedie this yéere, than those fantastique propheticall Constellations of Ambrose Merlin, as appliable in a maner to euery yéer, as to any yéer, or rather to none as to one:

Splendor Solis Electro Mercurij languebit, & erit horror inspicientibus:
Mutabit clypeum Stylbon Arcadiae: vocabit Venerem galea Martis:
Galea Martis vmbram conficiet: & transibit terminos furor Mercurij:
Nudabit ensem Orion ferreus: vexabit nubes Phoebus aequoreus:
Exibit Iupiter licitas semitas: & Venus deseres statutas lineas:
Saturni syder is liuor pluendo corruet, & falce recurua mortales perimet:
Bissenus numerus domorum syderum destebit hospites, ita transcurrere omittent:
Gemini complexus solitos & vrnam in fontes prouocabunt:
Pensa Librae obliquè pendebunt donec Aries recurua sua cornua supponat:
Cauda Scorpionis procreabit fulgura: & Cancer cum Sole litigabit:
[Page 125] Ascendet Virgo dorsum Sagittarij: & flores Virgineos offuscabit:
Currus Lunae turbabit Zodiacum: & in fletum prorumpent Pleiades:
Officio iam nulla redibunt: sed clausa ianua in crepidinibus Ariadne delitebit:
In ictu radij exurgent aequora: & puluis veterum renouabitur:
Confligent venti diro sufflamine: & sonitum inter sydera conficient.

I, but what say you now to certaine other correspondent interpretations, and déepe collections in a more Theologi­call, or rather Metaphysicall veine, namely to that of Gul. Postellus, who taking vpon him to expounde, and define the Time, Times, and halfe a Time mentioned by Daniell the prophet, and Iohn the Diuine, maketh vp the mouth of this prophesier, and fitteth his turne so iumpe with 5550. yéeres, that in case we would entertaine either the Text of the one, or the Glosse of the other as auerrable; we should conse­quently beléeue, (notwithstanding all the premisses) this ve­rie yéere to be that Fatall, yea that Finall yéere indéed, which so preiudicately it is supposed to be? Wherin can you either iustly improoue his Diuinitie, or truely falsifie his Chrono­logie?

Touching his Diuinitie, as he is no Diuine by profession, or facultie, so alas, both here and elsewhere we might haply doubt whether he deserue the reputation of an vpright, and sound christian or no? But what is his Chronology? vz. that by the Time are signified 1656. yéeres: by the two Times 1547. yéeres of the Law, and 1547. yéeres of Christ, by the halfe Time, halfe the first Time, or 800. yéeres.

Well concerning the Time, as it is, and may lawfully be called in question, whether the space of 1656. yéeres, Ab orbe condito, ad inchoationem diluuij: be the determinate, and pre­cise time of Daniels propheticall, and Iohns Apocalypticall meaning; or whether some secret period not so easily con­ceiueable, or determinable, be vnderstood: so touching the first of the two Times which he compriseth vnder the Law, containing 1547. yéeres, is it not differing or disagréeing a­boue 30. yéeres from the true Computation? And who knoweth not what yéeres are passed ouer, and aboue 1547. fithence the first Time of Grace by Christ Iesus?

Lastly, concerning the halfe Time, which Postellus term­eth halfe the first Time, as twise 800. wil not make vp 1656 [Page 126] yéeres: so if we account the said halfe Time from the Deluge to the promulgation of the Law, which is the vsual Chrono­logicall reckoning of such Paraphrasts; shall we not there too misse so much of his Compute, as will suffice to frustrate or annihilate his peremptory conclusion?

Wherefore, how vaine, and friuolous are we to repute Postels deuise? Especially being also confuted with the like Theologicall construction, or exposition of some other, in the abundance of his owne humor: which alledging the first Adam as a type, or figure of a second Adam; and withall, that Christ himselfe the great prophet of prophets foretolde in his Gospell, that the comming of the sonne of man should fall out, or be, as were the daies of Noah; conclude according to the profound formalitie, and materialitie of their mystical Theology, that when the same number of yéeres (which was from the creation of the world when Adam was made, to the vniuersall inundation of Noahs floud) should be expired af­ter the time of our redemption by Christ: then the final con­flagration, and fiery Deluge of the same world was likewise to approch: and consequently that euen as then, Anno ab or­be condito 1656. the faithfull Noah and his family were cor­porally preserued from that maine ouerflow, and outrage of waters, all the world beside being drowned: so now after the like terme, or period of yéeres from Christ, the elect and true christian generation should spiritually receiue the definitiue sentence of infinite blisse, the other being cast ouer into a re­probate sense, and damnable state, their finall iudgement of horrible, and endlesse torments. To which comparatiue ar­gument in the same kinde, if any credence be respectiuely to be yéelded, (which neuerthelesse I wholy commit to the con­sideration of sounder Diuines, than I account these) are there not yet 68. yéeres to be fulfilled after the date as well of Postels poste, as of the period of the 88. oracler?

Othersome, as wisely no doubt, and as theologically ima­gine, that looke how many vsuall yéeres Christ walked vpon earth at his first comming into the flesh, so many Iubilaeall yéeres of his spirituall, or mysficall presence in the church should likewise expire before his second comming to iudge­ment: [Page 127] recounting then according to this conceited compari­son 34. yéeres of Christs personall continuance amongst vs, as Gerardus Mercator doth, and consequently reckoning so many Iubilaeall, or triumphall yéeres sithenee his comming; shall you not finde the saide sum of Iubilaeall yéeres to extend iust vnto the yéere 1700? By which Proportion likewise there remaine yet 112. yéeres to be accomplished hereafter, contrary to the minde both of Postell, and the imposturall prophet, with the superstitious adherents, and credulous fa­uorites of both?

And when shall Sibilles lambe be generally knowen, or vniuersally imbraced? When shall there be found but one shéepheard, and one shéepefold? When shall Sauanorolaes great conquerer be conducted ouer the Alpes like vnto Cy­rus, or Hannibal, ransacking and vanquishing Italy? When shall the Iewes, Turks, Tartars, and Moores be conuerted vnto the faith, & woon vnto Christ? Doth not Florence florish still? Or is not Rome roomeful euen at this instant? And are not these with a 1000. other prophesies of semblable note, to be effected, and completed, before any finall dissolution may actiuely be achieued, or passiuely felt?

Wherefore well fare the late pope Gregory the 13. that new reformer of the Kalender: who with his Mathemati­call, and other Assistants, séemeth to haue made little, or no account of this 88. prophesie: for in case they had any thing estéemed thereof, surely they would neuer so scrupulously haue busied themselues in making the 4900. 5000. 5100. 5300. yéeres after Christ no Bissextiles: which are almost 4000. yéere hence; or so religiously haue extended their pre­supposed perpetual Canons to the 40000. yéer after Christ, which so far amounteth the date of this silly prophesy, as also of the graund Oracles of Elias, Orpheus, Hylarie, Lactanti­us, Policarpe, and the rest, that they draw on well nigh vnto Platoes maine yéere, and may peraduenture be strai­ned to ratifie the most fantasticall opinions, and heretical re­solutions of the obstinatest or desperatest Aristotelians, Pli­nians, Inlianists, Lucianists, Machiauellifts, Pagans, and A­theists in the world.

[Page 128] Lo héere how contrarily the head and féete of the same bo­dy are affected? For who euer from time to time haue béene so common publishers, or busie aduancers of this, and such like glozing pretended predictions, as some of those, or their predecessors, which begin now to write of 35000. yéeres to come? But this, euen this is the assurance, or certaintie of such goodly prophesies: and this, euen this is the maner of the iolly procéeding of such doughtie prophets, brauely dispo­sed to terrifie and skar the world with the maruellous tra­uell or parture of mountaines, which in fine bring foorth no­thing but ridiculous mise, or apish toies to make sport with­all. O mightie Politiques! O venerable and egregious Do­ctors! Or rather, O vain Phantasts, and fond Dotterels! Which make themselues the common prouerbs, and pub­lique laughing stocks of the world, whilest euery Grammar scholler may skoffingly demand of the best amongst them, as namely euen of this famous 88. oracler: Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu?

I might easily enlarge these matters, and manifoldly e­loine this particular Section, vpon 88. but their best and weightiest arguments, collections, imaginations, and what­soeuer allegations or motiues, being prooued so illusorie in­déed; so ridiculous in shew; and so absurd in both; (euen much like the shifting Elenches, and Paralogismes of Sophisters, and namely that old stale conclusion: Baculus stat in angulo, ergohospes meus est Nebulo:) what effectuall or auailable ac­count is to be made of the woorst and lightest? May not eue­ry reasonable scholler of any reckoning, with no great diffi­cultie add diuers other materiall reasons and testimonies, as well Diuine and Canonicall, as philosophicall, mathemati­call, and such like of artificiall consideration, both in generall discredit, and in particular disgrace of the said imaginatiue and fantasticall terrors? How readily might I, or any other confute this prophesie, with other prophesies, as namely by conference and examination of the circumstances of Elias owne prophesie (whence notwithstanding it séemeth primi­tiuely deriued) and no lesse specially by sundry, and almost in­finite other pretended prophesies, old said sawes, antique [Page 127] prognosticates, and shepheardly soothsayings, which are not any farther to be dreamed vpon; or any way, more or lesse, either to be hoped or feared, in one respect or other, in case this instant prophesie deserueth any héedfull, or behoouefull regard. But I take it not greatly woorth the labor either of meditation, or of writing, to wade any déeper or farther, in so néedlesse and bootlesse a fansie. For doth it not alreadie suf­ficiently appéere, what priuate or publique credit is in rea­son to be assigned vnto the saide notorious Epigram, or ra­ther poeticall Satyre, and hypocriticall Libell, in respect of a­ny naturall causes, or preternaturall speculations, or artifici­all arguments, or inartificiall authorities, or whatsoeuer co­lourable pretence of diuine or humane allowance? Of whose both generall, and speciall maintenance or patronage, it is vtterly destitute before God and man; and therefore accor­dingly to be estéemed or valued in the world, chiefly of the learneder, discréeter, or godlier sort. I shal not néed to repeat or recapitulate any proofes, or testimonies prealledged in the former part. It is actual impietie and blasphemie, to presume into Gods office, or to vsurpe any his proprietie, who alone is singularly termed in Scripture [...] as the only sear­cher of the hart and raines. Mens intentions, purposes, en­terprizes, actions, or exploits, are not so easie, or so possible to be discouered, or presignified aforehand, as the good simple creatures of the world, haue béen stoutly and resolutely born in hand: especially in so cunning, so pragmaticall, so dissem­bling, and so hypocriticall an age, as this, wherein one thing is commonly pretended, and neuertheles the cleane contrary often intended: a suttle and wilie qualitie, as it were appro­priately noted in Tiberius the Emperor. Inward drifts and Ciuill effects are not necessarily, directly, or properly to be descried, or foreséen by outward signes, or natural causes. In such Politique matters, and Morall occurrences, I denie not but the wisest, and déepest politiques may otherwhiles, euen with credible, and warrantable iudgement, giue a shrewd gesse, and go neare the marke: but neither can any man, howsoeuer prudent, or politique himselfe, therein or thereof deliuer any sure or infallible doctrine: (at least so far, as I [Page 128] can conceiue by reading Aristotles politiques, and other cor­respondent discourses:) or howsoeuer possible that may be déemed, it becommeth not one of my age, profession, experi­ence, or other qualitie, to vndertake so great a prouince, or to decide so high and doubtfull a case: namely, by requisite sur­uiew, and curious examination of the vniuersall procéedings of states, and particular dealings of princes, and their sub­iects; both amongst themselues, and with their neighbor borderers; at home, and abroad; in peace, and in their wars; for and about all affaires, and actions of publique or priuate gouernment: whereupon any such notable casualties, or woonderful confusions and ouerthrowes of Commonwelths might possibly séeme to depend, in regard either of necessa­rie assurance, or contingent probabilitie. It belongeth vnto me in good modestie and dutie, to commit the due considera­tion, and whole consequence of such politique Causes and Effects, to professed Politicians, wise Magistrates, and lear­ned Councellers, accordingly qualified, and furnished for the méete and sufficient discharge of so honorable emploiment: but chéefly vnto God himselfe, the high and mightie prince of princes, and gouernor of gouernors: by and through whom kings rule, and kingdoms florish, as contrariwise without whose gracious aide and assistance they soone perish, and come to extreame ruine. Howbeit in the meane time, and by the way, I nothing doubt but princes (of all other) and such politique personages, as they haue néerest about them, are as thoroughly prouided, and strongly furnished to main­taine the publique weale of their natiue countries, and to vphold their owne honors; as withall they are best able to answere for themselues, and to defend their owne cau­ses both in words and déedes. The world was neuer wi­ser, or more industrious to prouide, or shift for it selfe, ei­ther by policie, or force, either in procuring good, or in re­sisting euill.

It were but folly in my betters, but presumption in me, but vanitie in both; Tam memores monere. No doubt but cunc­tamundi imperia, will warily, and circumspectly ynough looke about them, and take requisite héed vnto themselues: and ac­cording [Page 129] to the Lacedaemonian prouerbe, Suam quisque spar­tam ornare: as also according to the common, but serious, and important counsell; Pugnare pro Patria. Especially hir most excellent Maiestie, whose not onely wise, and cautelous, but also rich and mightie prouision, partly for all kinde of muni­tions, partly for other necessaries, as well defensiuely, as of­fensiuely imployable against whatsoeuer forren force, or ho­stile malice; far passeth any like preparation, or fortification of hir most puissant, and royall ancestors: as expresly appée­reth in an Act of Parliament, made Anno 27. Elizab. c. 29. So that euen in such Ciuill respects, and Politique conside­rations, (to speake thereof in generall) we are not greatly to dread any such rufull or tragicall terrors, as are here more horribly threatned, than considerately denounced, or skilful­ly awarded: vnlesse peraduenture we will néeds be More afraid than hurt.

Notwithstanding, I wholy relinquish that actuall, and reall kind of confutation, as méerely appertaining vnto those of higher calling; and altogither containing my selfe within my stinted compasse, I am onely to vrge, and prosecute such arguments, and conclusions, as either Naturall, Mathema­ticall, Theologicall, or other Doctrinall principles, and ob­seruations may readily affoord. Which both seuerally, and iointly make so excéeding much against this terrible prophe­sieng libell, that as by report it was first odly found in an old stonie wall, after the disguised maner and fashion of those suborned counterfets, mentioned in the former Section, and there forsooth registred in glasse; (a fit metall for the preser­uing of such brittle, and fickle stuffe:) so it cannot iustly but séeme a woorthy monument, to be accordingly intertained and estéemed, euen no otherwise, than the foresaid suborned counterfets: which no doubt were either maliciously, and spitefully contriued; or couenously, & imposturally conueied; or at least conceitedly, and phantastically deuised, either for pleasure, or displeasure, or some by-aduantage, or other. Ni­mirum, Pictoribus atque Poëtis (as Horace saith) Quidlibet au­dendi semper fuit aequa potestas. And thus much bréefly touch­ing the threatning and odious Satyre of that terrible pro­phet, [Page 130] or rather poet, whosoeuer he was, that forged the saide vaine, and frustratorie Epigram.

The conclusion of this latter part.

WHerefore, albeit happely I should yéeld with Ori­gen, that the beautifull, and glorious face of the heauens, is as it were an open booke, and legible volume, wherein we may manifoldly read of things past, things present, and things to come: neither withall can I denie, but must in regard of certaine naturall, and artificiall directions, and circumstances of speciall note, affirmatiuely grant, that there want not some probable likelihoods indéed, and some apparant significations, or preparatiues, of a Tra­gedy insuing in the world, and that also euen such a one, and so notable a Tragedie for certaine furious, and busie parts; as hath not often béene plaied vpon this mortall stage, and fraile Theater: yet for mine owne simple opinion, I am vn­doubtedly resolued, and fully persuaded, according to good warrants of learning, that this 88. shall at the vttermost prooue but the Prologue thereof, howsoeuer in some other yéere not far hence, there may peraduenture (by physicall, and mathematical coniectures, rightly drawen from the due obseruation of certaine fearefull Eclipses, and such like Na­turall causes, hereafter following, which deserue to be accor­dingly noted, and regarded after the sounder, and truer doc­trine of Ptolomey) howsoeuer I say, not many yéeres hence, there may perhaps, some shrewd Epilogue, or at least some perillous issue of such troublesome and tragicall actes, finally be expected. Howbeit, if we considerately weigh, or respect the grounds of that Art, which awardeth such iudicials, and prognosticateth such future euents, shall they not also be ra­ther discoursiuely talked vpon, and compassionately pittied, then sensibly felt, or passiuely indured amongst vs in Eng­land? But whatsoeuer may casually happen, or shall occasi­onally befall, either here, or elsewhere, Si Deus nobiscum, quis contra nos? If God stand on our side, who shal be able to with­stand him, or preuaile against vs? What man, or diuell shal [Page 131] haue power, once to iniurie, or to hurt vs? Hitherto not one­ly the fower Elements, and seauen planets (as they say) but also Ipse aether pro nobis militauit, non contra nos; the very hea­uens themselues haue taken our part, and haue puissantly warred, or fought, not against vs, but on our side: as I be­séech God they may hereafter still, and still, euen euer & euer continue our gracious friends, and fauorable allies, both in war, and peace; in campe, and towne; in the field, and in our owne houses. He is the Lord of Hosts; and they are his vali­ant and mightie soldiers, euen his inuincible and victorious soldiers: but is not the same Lord of Hosts, also the God of Sabbaoth? And are not the same mightie soldiers, also the gentle and louing Iusticers of his peace, of his most preti­ous and soueraigne peace, which passeth all vnderstan­ding? Now let vs all entirely and zealously say Amen, and Amen vnto that peace: and shall we not assuredly and inui­olably enioy the swéete felicitie of his blessed Sabbaoth, and our owne happy repose; as the onely finall, and inuincible se­curitie of good princes, loiall subiects, and durable states? What is the conclusion of the foresaid counterfet prophets themselues? Say they not one while thus?

A treatie of Peace there shall be taine:
And after faire weather, we shall haue raine.

Another while thus after a more ioiful and constant maner?

Then truth shall come, and blow his horne:
And laugh falshood for euer to scorne.

And finally thus, as it is touched in the former Tract?

At the last, God shall vs helpe euerie way:
And all shall be in godly concord and stay.

Than which Conclusion, what better or happier can we deuise, or desire at Gods hand? Who as he hath hitherto by his singular gracious fauour, mightily preserued vs both in priuate and publique: (notwithstanding whatsoeuer hostile policies, or forces) so may it please him, continually more and more to extend the same mercifull fauour, and effectually to accomplish the said wished conclusion (if not vniuersally tho­roughout the whole Christian world, yet at least particular­ly thoroughout this whole Realme:) what néede we greatly [Page 132] care in respect of our owne securitie, or otherwise, than in common charitie, Quare, aut quomodò fremant gentes, Why, or how other nations rage togither: or why, or how other peo­ple imagine vaine things? He alone, that dwelleth in Hea­uen, is a thousand times, and incomparably mightier, than all the kings and princes that dwell vpon earth.

Eiusdem Ioannis Harueij Epiphonematicum votum, ad auertendum quoscunque euentus, Anni famosi magis, quàm mira­bilis, 1588.

ALme parens, qui cuncta regis, diuósque, hominésque,
Et caelum, & terram, & quic quid in orbe valet.
Qui nutu Antaeum, qui Gorgonis ora gubernas,
Falcigerúmque senem, luctiferúmque ducem:
Qui solus caelorum iras, vultúsque minaces,
Atque truces radios, diráque fata domas:
Aspice, sed placido vultu, pia vota Britannûm:
Nec sine terribiles inualuisse faces.
Astrorum, horrificique polifera spicula tunde:
Nec ruat in nostrum saeua procella Caput.
Siste tremiscentis terrae motúsque & hiatus:
Atque Comaetarum lurida tela preme.
Pelle procul Saturninos gemitúsque, dolósque,
Et martis rabidas, sanguine ásque cruces.
Noxia nec Scythici noceant contagia caeli:
Nec teneram inficiat pestilis aër humum.
Nec tempestatum ratio peruersa fatiget,
Peruersis quanquâm moribus aequa nimis.
O Deus, haud mores imitentur tempora nostros,
Tempora tam nullo dura ferenda modo.
Hiberna Aestatem nec turbent frigora siccam:
Nec Brumae subeat munera Veris honos.
Autumnus Veris nec vendicet aurea signa:
Ordine sed vigeant cuncta creata suo.
Sydera sunt scriptura Dei, scriptura Britannûm:
O praesint Anglis sydera fausta tuis.
O etiam, atque etiam mens sana in corpore sano
Regnet, & in quauis pax benedicta domo.
[Page 133] Sint procul hinc Turcae, procul hinc gens quae que prophana;
Haereticorum omnis turba maligna procul.
Aut si quos Galli, Scotiuè, Italiuè, Daniuè,
Hispaniuè astus, insidiásque parent:
Has, atque has absterge Deus; caelique, hominúmque,
Et furiarum Iras, & mala quaeque fuga.
Protege nos, Regnúmque tuum, regnúmque tuorum
Seruorum, & Seruae candida sceptra tuae.
Obscurata nihil noceat Tytania lampas,
Queis Euangelij lumina clara nitent.
Nec caput inuoluens tenebris Latonia Virgo
Obsit eis, quorum pectora luce micant.
Sed neque corda vrat Saturnius ignis corum,
Qui sancti feruent Pneumatis igne sacro.
Sed neque corda vrat Mauortius ignis corum,
Qui potiùs pacem, quàm coluêre facem.
Marte fremente, minásque agitante calescimus illo:
Ast Deus in nobis praelia Martis agat.
Sydera namque licet caelestia, cuncta gubernent
Inferiora, Deus solus at illa mouet.
Tu Deus illa moues, regis inferiora, per illa:
Nos saluos illis effice, qui illa moues.
Respice nos, Anglisque faue; gentémque beatam,
Ancillaeque tuae candida sceptra foue.
Horrendi fremitus, orâcla minacia cessent:
Euentu careant turbida fata truci.
Quicquid peccatum est, peccati mole grauatos
Poenitet, atque magis poenitet, atque magis.
Sis bonus O, foelixque tuis; nec sydera, nec vim,
Nec furias vllas, nec mala fata luant.
Sic te Angli aeternùm laudent, sic sydera laudent:
Sic totus laudet mundus, ouétque polus.
Sic, sic Omnipotentem extollant omnia saecla,
Horrida qui solus monstra domare potes.
Ecce opus admirandum, aeterno Carmine dignum:
Irrita fatorum quod mala reddat: Amen.

Soli sapienti Deo, sola gloria.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.