Chapter 2 Jacques Massard: Prophecy and the Harmony of Knowledge

In: Early Modern Prophecies in Transnational, National and Regional Contexts (3 vols.)
Authors:
Kristine Wirts
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Leslie Tuttle
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Abstract

From 1686 to 1693, Huguenot physician and iatrochemist Jaques Massard wrote and published L’ Harmonie des Prophéties anciennes avec les modernes, a serial work of apocalyptic interpretation. Massard wrote this work while in exile in Amsterdam, where he found sanctuary following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. L’ Harmonie des Prophéties anciennes avec les modernes is a work that combines various sources of knowledge to demonstrate the eschatological significance of the contemporary international political situation, especially as it related to the plight of the Huguenots. Massard held that God communicated his providential plan through nature, the Bible, and direct revelation. The correct interpretation of disasters, dreams, and prodigies would reveal God’s plan as He outlined it in the Bible. To Massard, all roads of knowledge led to the same providential truth, and all valid foreknowledge would prove to be in harmony. In composing L’ Harmonie des Prophéties anciennes avec les modernes, Massard relied on the works of Michel Nostradamus, medieval Catholic visionaries, Central European prophets, and accounts of dreams he had personally collected. For Massard, all prophetic knowledge pointed to a providential certainty—the eventual defeat of the Papal anti-Christ and triumphant resurrection of Christ and his saints.

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