You know there is nothing that renders human counsels difficult, but the uncertainty of future time; nor that so well directs men in their deliberations, as the foresight of the sequels of their actions; prophecy being many times the principal cause of the event foretold. If, upon some prediction, the people should have been made confident that Oliver Cromwell and his army should be, upon a day to come, utterly defeated; would not every one have endeavoured to assist, and to deserve well of the party that should give him that defeat? Upon this account it was that fortune-tellers and astrologers were so often banished out of Rome.

Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth (p188 of the University of Chicago Press edition).

Premonitions of James again, almost - the will to believe affecting the outcome of events.

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