Dee’s Faustian pursuit of his own interests in defiance of

[Dee’s Faustian pursuit of his own interests in defiance of convention requires justification. But fraud is the hallmark of the Devil, and Kelley – who claims to hate the whole operation – in a time of stress invokes the acid test that all Faustian seekers must demand of their demons and angels: tell me something I don’t know.]

‘Kelley was still murmuring under the mystical dealings of the angels. “Let them give me somewhat profitable to my body, or some wisdom to my mind’s behoof, and then I will believe in them,” he says. Then he protests he will confess all to the priest, and if the holy father does not allow their doings or counsel to be genuine, neither will he.

The remarkable answer that Dee gives again shows us how in advance he was of his times in matters spiritual as well as scientific. “The authority of good angels or messengers from God is greater,” says he, “than the authority of the Pope, or priests.”’

John Dee by Charlotte Fell-Smith (1909)

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