This is no doubt a strange book. An attempt to gather a meaning out of a few of the involved, crabbed, and mystical quatrains of the great seer of France, the greatest perhaps that the world has ever seen, must of necessity be strange. My treatment, too, may possibly seem to many no less strange than the subject-matter itself. I will speak specially as to this latter point towards the close of the preface. In last December treating upon Nostradamus in the Gentleman's Magazine, I had occasion to remark that every honest man of awakened powers is a kind of prophet, and has to do with the future, or eternity, as it is usually styled. Since then I have come upon the same idea in the writings of Philo Judaeus. He thinks that the Scriptures testify in some sort that every good man is a prophet: "For a prophet says nothing of his own, but everything that he says is strange, and prompted by some one else; and it is not lawful for a wicked man to be an interpreter of God, as also no wicked man can be properly said to be inspired; but this statement is only appropriate to the wise man alone, since he alone is a sounding instrument of God's voice. PHILO, Heir of Divine Things, 52, Bohn, ii. 146.
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