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Title: The displaying of supposed witchcraft

Wherein is affirmed that there are many sorts of deceivers and impostors, and divers persons under a passive delusion of melancholy and fancy. But that there is a corporeal league made betwixt the devil and the witch, or that he sucks on the witches body, has carnal copulation, or that witches are turned into cats, dogs, raise tempests, or the like, is utterly denied and disproved. Wherein also is handled, the existence of angels and spirits, the truth of apparitions, the nature of astral and sydereal spirits, the force of charms, and philters; with other abstruse matters

Author: John Webster

Release date: January 7, 2024 [eBook #72654]

Language: English

Original publication: London: J. M, 1676

Credits: Richard Tonsing and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber’s Note:

New original cover art included with this eBook is granted to the public domain.


July 29. 1676.

Jonas Moore Soc. Regiæ

Wherein is affirmed that there are many sorts of
Deceivers and Impostors,
Divers persons under a passive Delusion of

But that there is a Corporeal League made betwixt the
DEVIL and the WITCH,

Or that he sucks on the Witches Body, has Carnal Copulation, or that Witches are turned into Cats, Dogs, raise Tempests, or the like, is utterly denied and disproved.
Wherein also is handled,
The Existence of Angels and Spirits, the truth of Apparitions, the Nature of Astral and Sydereal Spirits, the force of Charms, and Philters; with other abstruse matters.

By John Webster, Practitioner in Physick.
Falsæ et enim opiniones Hominum præoccupantes, non solùm surdos, sed & cæcos faciunt, it à ut videre nequeant, quæ aliis perspicua apparent. Galen. lib. 8. de Comp. Med.
Printed by J. M. and are to be sold by the Book-sellers in London. 1677.

To his Worshipful and honoured Friends Thomas Parker of Braisholme, John Asheton of the Lower-Hall, William Drake of Barnolaswick-coat, William Johnson of the Grange, Henry Marsden of Gisburne Esquires, and his Majesties Justices of Peace and Quorum in the West-riding of Yorkshire.

Worshipful Gentlemen and honoured Friends,

I Do not dedicate this piece of my Labours unto you, thereby to beg protection for it, as fearing either its weakness, or the malevolent censures of the ignorant; for I very well know, and have experienced, that it is the usual property of idle and pragmatical persons to please their own malignant humors, with the condemning and scoffing at the painful lucubrations of others. And I have ever judged that nothing ought to be published, that like a Noun Substantive cannot stand by it self, without being supported by any other adjoined help. Neither is this forth of a vain confidence or an over-weening of mine own abilities, though I very well know that some are as much in love with the brood of their own brains, as others are with the fruit of their loines: Because I have for many years been as wary and vigilant, as any could be, to watch over my self, that I might both know, and keep a clear distinction, betwixt flattering Phantasie, and true and sound judgment. But I shall in brief shew you the true reasons of my presenting of this poor piece to your reading and judgments.

1. The first reason is, because you have all been Gentlemen, not only well known unto me for many years, as being my near Neighbours, but also with whom I have been freely admitted to a Noble and Generous converse, and have been trusted, and honoured by you in your Domestick concerns, wherein by my Medical Profession, I might be serviceable to you, or your Families, far beyond my poor Merit and Desert. And having been for many years a due observer of your deportments in your places of trust as Magistrates, for being but as a stander by, and looking on, may (perhaps) have noted as much, as those that are Gamesters, I was moved to present this piece of my labours unto you, by reason of that knowledge and acquaintance, rather than to others, whose abilities and integrity I did not so well understand. And (I hope) I may without suspicion of flattery (of which I am sure both your selves, and others that know me, will acquit me, that if I be any way guilty, it is rather in being too plain and open) say, that you have been, and are true Patriots to your Countrey, and not only Justices of the Peace, but true conservers of it, and Peace-makers amongst all your Neighbours; and really this is one of the chief causes why I have dedicated this Treatise unto you.

2. Another reason is, you have all fully known me, and the most of the particulars of my life, both my follies and frailties, as also my other endowments and abilities, and therefore in reference to these, I thought none more fit than your selves, to whom I might tender this laborious piece. For it is not unknown unto you, that (excepting my Physical Practice, which age and infirmities will not suffer me very much to attend) I have for many years last past lived a solitary, and sedentary life, mihi & Musis, having had more converse with the dead than the living, that is, more with Books than with Men. And therefore I present this unto you, as being better able than most others to whom I am unknown, to judge what I am like or able to perform in such a subject as this is.

3. Also it is not unknown unto you, that I have had a large portion of Trouble and Persecution in this outward world, wherein you did not like many others stand aloof off, as though you had not known me, but like persons of Justice, and true Magnanimity, durst both look upon and assist wronged innocency, though besmeered over with the envious dirt of malicious scandals, and even in that very conjuncture of time, when the whole giddy Troop of barking Dogs, and ravenous Wolves, did labour to devour me. But then, even then did put to your helping hands, and were free to declare, what you knew of mine innocency: which was so Generous, Noble and Christian a kind of just commiseration, that I should for ever account my self a wretched person, if I should not have deeply impressed in my breast and memory, which no time, nor adversity can ever obliterate. But being in a condition that I may truly say with the Apostle S. Peter, Αργύειον κ χρυσίον ὐπάρχ μος, Silver and Gold have I none (which I know you expect not) and therefore the greatest power I have is my weak pen, thereby to testifie my thankfulness for your unparallel’d kindness. And therefore I offer this Treatise as a perpetual and monumental memorial to all Posterities, of my gratitude, and your goodness.

And further, to whom can a subject of this nature be more suitably and fitly presented than to such Magistrates as your selves, who have often occasion to be cumbred and troubled with the ignorant, envious, and sometimes knavish accusations against people suspected of Witchcraft, Sorcery, Charming and Inchantment? Wherein to free the guilty, and condemn the innocent, is equally abominable to the Lord: And therefore much judgment, caution, care and diligent inspection ought to be used in the examining and determining of these matters, wherein I have used as much perspicuity and plainness as was possible to distinguish betwixt those that are Impostors, Cheaters, and active Deceivers, and those that are but under a mere passive delusion through ignorant and superstitious education, a melancholy temper and constitution, or led by the vain credulity of inefficacious Charms, Pictures, Ceremonies and the like, traditionally taught them. The one sort of which deserves to be punished for couzening of the people, and taking upon them, and pretending to bring to pass things that they have neither skill nor power to perform; but the other sort rather merit pity and information, or the Physicians help than any punishment at all. And I make bold to mind you of this one thing especially that in things of this nature great heed ought to be taken of the conditions, qualities, ends and intentions of the Complainants and Informers, who are often more worthy of punishment, than the persons accused. For many forth of a meer deluded fancy, envious mind, ignorance and superstition do attribute natural diseases, distempers, and accidents to Witches and Witchcraft, when in truth there is no such matter at all. And sometimes they counterfeit strange fits and diseases, as vomiting of preternatural and strange things, which if narrowly lookt into and examined are but Juglings, and deceitful confederacies, and yet for malice, revenge or some other base ends, do accuse others to be causers of them.

And though you should find some confidently confessing that they have made a visible and corporeal league with the Devil, and that he hath carnal copulation with them, and that he doth suck upon some parts of their Bodies, and that they are Transubstantiated into Dogs, Cats, and the like, or that they fly in the air, and raise Tempests; yet (I hope) I have sufficiently proved by the word of God, the true grounds of Theologie and sound reason, that there never hath been any such ‘Witch’ existent in rerum natura, and so you may know what credit may be given to such Fables and impossibilities.

So wishing that you may long live in Health and Happiness, to do his Majesty and your Countrey service, which is, and shall be my faithful prayer for you, I take leave subscribing my self

Your Worships
most Faithful Friend,
and Devoted Servant.
John Webster.



Knowing certainly that all writings once published, do equally undergo one fate, as to stand or fall by the common censures, judgments and opinions of Men; therefore have I affixed, no Epithete, as foreseeing this Treatise (like a Man once at Sea that is forced to hold out against all weathers) must abide the censures of all sort of persons, how various soever their minds and principles be. And though mens fancies and opinions be commonly as different as their faces, yet I shall enumerate some few general sorts, that may be sufficiently comprehensive to comprise the most of other subordinate particulars, and that in this order.

1. First, that which a Man hath found true by experience in such like cases, may very reasonably induce him to expect the like again; as after I had printed my book of the History of Metals I met with some that were no more learned than Parrots, who could not write true English, and whose greatest skill was in the several ways of debauchery, and other poor Pedanticks that were hardly masters of Grammar, and yet this crew, and the like were rash and bold enough, to censure my painful endeavours, and to scoff at it as a mere collection. And therefore in publishing of this piece, which is a dark and mysterious subject, I may very probably meet with some troops of such rash ignorants, to whom only I shall return this sharp, but suitable responsion. It is an ordinary thing for many that never could shape a shoo, to reprove and find fault with the Shoomaker: but such wise men (fit only for Gotham) may learn these two Proverbs, There is none so bold as blind Bayard, and A Fools bolt is soon shot, and their heads may be fitter for Feathers, than the Laurel, and when any of them have made such a collection as my former Book, or publisht such a piece as this, then I shall give them a better answer, and not before, Lactucas non esse dandas hisce Afinis comedendas, cum illis sufficiant cardui.

Prov. 26. 12.

2. There are another generation that seem wise in their own eyes, whose brains are like blown Bladders filled with the wind of over-weening and self-conceitedness, and these usually do huff, snuff, and puff at every thing that agrees not with their Capricious Cockscombs, when their abilities for the most part lie in the scraps they have gathered from the Theaters, or from the discourses had in Taverns and Coffee-houses, and if they can but reach some pittiful pieces of Drollery and Raillery, they think themselves fit and able to censure any thing though never read nor seen, except the Title Page. To these I have little to say, as being but such airy and frothy Vaporoso’s, as the least blast of sound reason maketh them vanish into smoak and nothing; but only with them to take into serious consideration, the saying of the Wiseman: Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a Fool than of him. And the counsel of a learned Father is proper for such vain confidents: Expedit benè timere, quam malè fidere; & utilius est, ut infirmum se homo cognoscat, ut fortis existat, quàm fortis videri velit, & infirmus emergat.

3. There are another sort that are so critically envious, that they can allow of nothing that is not their own production, and beareth not the test of their approbation, and cannot but stigmatize the labours of others how good or beneficial soever they be, because they shadow their fame, and tend not to the advancement of their own reputation: even as divers sorts of insects do feed upon the excrements of other animals, so these feed their own humours, and please their own fancies by the calumniating, and blacking the labours of others. These being guilty of peevish morosity cannot look kindly at any thing of anothers, without frowning, distast, and censuring; but we have little to say unto such as these, but shall leave them to the gall of their own breasts, and the spleen of their own minds, having neither intended our labours for any such, nor valuing their censures how sharp and bitter soever they be. For nulla fœlicitas tam magna est, ut malignitatis dentes vitare possit. And therefore it is discretion to bear that patiently for which humane prudence can find no remedy.

1 Cor. 13. 11.

4. Others there are who are grown obstinate in their minds and wills, concerning Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Inchantment, and the like, and are grown pertinacious and resolute to stick to and hold those opinions that they have imbibed through ignorant education: not considering that perseverance in a good cause, and well grounded opinion is laudable and commendable, but pertinaciousness in a bad and ill grounded tenent, is as bad and hurtful. And it is every wise mans duty to study the cultivation and improvement of the goods of the mind, and never to be ashamed to learn that of which they were ignorant before. For the minds of men are not only darkned in the fall of Adam, but also much misled, by the sucking in of errors in their younger and more unwary years, from whence they ought to endeavour with might and main to extricate and deliver themselves. But he that is wilfully setled upon the lees and dregs of former opinions, though never so erroneous, hath shut forth all further light from shining into his understanding, and so is become wilfully blind. To such as these we shall only propose the example and practice of the Apostle, who saith: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: But when I became a man, I put away childish things. And I advise them not to refuse the counsel of S. Augustine, who saith: Ad discendum quod opus est, nulla ætas sera videri potest: quia etsi senes magis decet, docere quam discere; magis tamen decet discere, quam ignorare. And they need not be ashamed to imitate Socrates, who did wax old every day learning something.

5. As we have not intended this Treatise, and Introduction for such conditioned persons as we have enumerated before, so there are others to whom we freely offer and present it, and shall shew the grounds and causes that moved us to undertake such a mysterious, and dangerous subject. And those are such as have an humble, lowly, and equal mind, that they commonly read Books to be informed, and to learn those truths of which they are ignorant, or to be confirmed in those things they partly knew before. It is to such as these only that we offer our labours, and therefore shall candidly declare unto them the causes and reasons of our undertaking which are these.

1. Though there be a numerous company of Authors that have written of Magick, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Inchantment, Spirits, and Apparitions, in sundry ages, of divers Countrys, and in various languages: yet have they for the most but borrowed one from another, or have transcribed what others had written before them. So that thereby there hath been no right progress made truly to discover the theory or ground of these dark and abstruse matters, nor no precise care taken to instance in matters of fact, that have been warrantably and sufficiently attested: But only rhapsodies, and confused heaps of stories and relations, shuffled together, when not one of an hundred of them bore the face either of verity, or truth-likeliness, whereby the understandings of Readers have remained unenlightened, their memories confounded, and their brains stuffed with Whimsies and Chimera’s. And though there be nothing more common than disputes of Witches, and Witchcraft, both in words and writing, yet not one of great multitudes that hath plainly told us, in what notion, or under what acceptation, they take the words, nor what description is agreed upon, of either of these, that their existence, or not being, their power and operations might be known and determined: But all the disputes as yet concerning them have been loose, wild, and in vagum. And therefore to remedie this, as far as such a subject would allow, and our abilities stretch, we were moved, and have attempted to clear those difficulties. And if we do not (which is epidemical to mankind) flatter and deceive ourselves, we have in some measure reasonably attained, as having plainly laid down the notion and acceptation of the words, Witches and Witchcraft, in which we grant them an existence, and in what sense and respect we grant them none, which is more (as we conceive) than yet hath been performed by any. And though our instances of matters of fact be neither, so punctual nor full as might be wished, for things of this nature are deep and hid; yet are they the best we could select or chuse; and this is one chief reason why I undertook to treat of this subject.

2. Though the gross, absurd, impious and Popish opinions of the too much magnified powers of Demons and Witches, in this Nation, were pretty well quashed and silenced by the writings of Wierus, Tandler, Mr. Scot, Mr. Ady, Mr. Wagstaff and others; and by the grave proceedings of many learned Judges, and other judicious Magistrates: yet finding that of late two persons of great learning and note, who are both (as I am informed) beneficed Ministers in the Church, to wit Dr. Casaubon, and Mr. Glanvil have afresh espoused so bad a cause, and taken the quarrel upon them; And to that purpose have newly furbished up the old Weapons, and raked up the old arguments, forth of the Popish Sink and Dunghills, and put them into a new dress, that they might appear with the greater luster, and so do with Tooth and Nail labour to maintain the old rotten assertions, the one in his Book called, A Treatise proving Spirits and Witches &c. the other in a Treatise called, A blow at modern Sadducism &c. Finding these (I say) as two new Champions giving defiance to all that are of a contrary judgment, I was stirred up to answer their supposed strong arguments, and invincible instances, which I have done (I confess) without fear, or any great regard to their Titles, Places, or Worldly Dignities, but only considering the strength or weakness of their arguments, proofs, and reason. For in this particular that I have to deal, it is not with the men, but their opinions and the grounds they would lay their foundations upon. And if I be censured for dealing too sharply and harshly with them, they must excuse me, for I profess I have no evil will at all against their persons, no more than against a non-Entity, but was justly zealous for the truth, and bitter against such opinions as they have vented, which to me seem dangerous, and in some respect impious, as (I suppose) I have fully proved. And this was another reason of my writing about this subject.

3. Another reason that made me undertake this subject, was the horrid absurdities the tenent of the common Witchmongers brings along with it, as not only tending to advance superstition and Popery, but also to be much derogatory to the Wisdom, Justice, and Providence of the Almighty, and to cry up the power of the Kingdom of darkness, to question the verity of the principal Article of the Christian Faith, concerning the Resurrection of Christ in his true numerical Body, and generally to tend to the obstruction of the practice of Godliness and Piety. These after I had seriously weighed and considered them, did move me to labour as far as the light of God’s word, the grounds of true Theology, and the clear strength of reason would guide, and direct me, to undertake the confutation of them as far as I was able, and if I have failed I humbly desire those that are more able to handle the matter more fully if possible.

If any be moved that I seem to maintain some things that are Paradoxes, I hope I may crave leave, as well to discede from the opinions of others, as others have done from those that went before them. And I desire them not so much to consider, either the novelty or strangeness of the opinions, as the weight and strength of the reasons that are laid down to support and statuminate them; for if the arguments be sound and valid, the Tenents built thereupon cannot be weak and tottering. And however I acknowledge my self to have humane frailties and so may err, yet I have no mind or will pertinaciously to persevere in an error, and these things that we have treated of lying so far from the ken of our senses, and experiments of this nature, either so rare, or uncertain, that we may rationally expect pardon, rather than reprehension.

But I shall say no more, but let the Book speak for it self, only desiring the Readers, first to peruse and seriously to consider, before they censure, that so I may have cause to bid them, Farewel.

Dated February
23. 1673.


Chap. 1. Of the false, irrational, and unchristian censures, that have been, and yet are cast upon learned Men for writing of abstruse subjects: As also for treating of Apparitions and Witchcraft, especially if they crossed the common stream of vulgar opinion. Page 1.
Chap. 2. Of the Notion, Conception, and Description of Witches and Witchcraft according to divers Authors, and in what sense they may be granted, and in what sense and respect they are denied. p. 19.
Chap. 3. The denying of such a Witch as is last described in the foregoing Chapter doth not infer the denying of Angels, or Spirits. Apparitions no warrantable ground for a christian to believe the existence of Angels, or Devils by, but the word of God. p. 37.
Chap. 4. That the Scriptures, and sound reason are the true and proper mediums to prove the actions attributed unto Witches by, and not other improper ways that many Authors have used. And of the requisites necessary truly to prove a matter of fact by. p. 43.
Chap. 5. That these things now in question, are but barely supposed, and were yet never rationally nor sufficiently proved: And that the Allegations brought to prove them by are weak, frivolous, and absolutely invalid: with a full confutation of all the four particulars. p. 63.
Chap. 6. That divers places in Scripture have been mis-translated thereby to uphold this horrid opinion of the Devils omnipotency, and the power of Witches, when there is not one word that signifieth a familiar Spirit, or a Witch in that sense that is vulgarly intended. p. 106.
Chap. 7. Of divers places in the Old Testament, that are commonly wrested, and falsly expounded, thereby to prove Apparitions, and the power of the Devil, and Witches. p. 136.
Chap. 8. Of the Woman of Endor that pretended to raise up Samuel, and of some other places in the Scriptures, not handled yet, and of some other objections. p. 165.
Chap. 9. Of Divine permission, providence and prescience. p. 183.
Chap. 10. Whether faln Angels be corporeal, or simply incorporeal, and the absurdity of the assuming of Bodies, and the like consequents. p. 197.
Chap. 11. Of the knowledge, and power of faln Angels. p. 215.
Chap. 12. If the Devils or Witches have power to perform strange things, whether they do not bring them to pass by mere natural means, or otherwise? And of Helmont’s opinion concerning the effects caused by Devils or Witches. p. 241.
Chap. 13. That the ignorance of the power of Art and Nature, and such like things, hath much advanced these foolish and impious opinions. p. 267.
Chap. 14. Of divers Impostures framed and invented to prove false and lying miracles by, and to accuse persons of Witchcraft, from late and undeniable authorities. p. 270.
Chap. 15. Of divers creatures that have a real existence in nature, and yet by reason of their wonderous properties, or seldom being seen, have been taken for Spirits and Devils. p. 279.
Chap. 16. Of Apparitions in general, and of some unquestionable stories, that seem to prove some such things. Of those Apparitions pretended to be made in Beryls and Crystals, and of the Astral or Sydereal Spirit. p. 288.
Chap. 17. Of the force and efficacy of words or charms, whether they effect any thing at all, or not, and if they do, whether it be by natural or diabolical virtue and force. p. 321.
1 Fleuron


Of the false, irrational, and unchristian Censures, that have been, and yet are, cast upon Learned men, for writing of abstruse Subjects: As also for treating of Apparitions and Witchcraft, especially if they crossed the common stream of vulgar Opinion.

Being about to treat of the mysterious and abstruse Subject of Witches and Witchcraft, I cannot but think it necessary (especially to make the things we handle more plain and evidential) to imitate Architectors, who when they intend to raise some fair Fabrick or Edifice, do not only provide themselves of good and lasting Materials, but above all take care to lay a firm and sure foundation, which they cannot well accomplish, unless the earth and rubbish be removed, that a firm ground for a foundation may be found out. So before I lay the foundation of what I intend in this Discourse, I shall labour to remove some censures and calumnies, that are usually cast upon those learned persons that labour to unmanacle imprisoned truth, and to adventure to cross the stream of vulgar Opinion, backt with seeming Authority, Antiquity, or universality of Votes, especially if they have intermeddled in Subjects occult and mysterious.

And these Censures (how unjust soever) have often deterred the 2most able and best learned from divulging their opinions, or publish their thoughts upon such difficult and intricate matters, which (I conceive) ought not to be done for these reasons.

Reas. 1.

1. Because the best part of a man, as naturally considered, is his Courage, Resolution, and Magnanimity, which should make him resolute and couragious to declare and maintain, what he upon sound and rational grounds apprehends to be truth, and not at all to fear the censure or judgment of others, who may have had no better means to inform themselves, or perhaps have been less diligent, and however are subject to the same errours and mistakes of Mankind, who must all confess the verity of that unerring Oracle, Humanum est errare. And therefore he must needs be a person of a poor, base, and low spirit, that doth conceal his own sentiments of the truth, for fear of the censure or calumnies of others.

Reas. 2.
August. de Agone Christi.

2. He that is afraid to declare his thoughts, for fear of censure or scandal, must of necessity be very weak in his Morals, as having little affection for verity, which is the chief object of the intellect, and consequently ought above all things to sway and lead the affections. And to be frighted from owning or declaring of the truth, for fear of the vain, aery, groundless, and erroneous censures of others, must needs speak a man weak in the grounds of Morality, and to have small affection for vertue, whole guide is verity. The Learned Father said exceeding well to this purpose: Qui veritatem occultat, & qui prodit mendacium, uterq; reus est. Ille quia prodesse non vult, ipse quia nocere desiderat.

Reas. 3.
Prov. 23. 23.
Gregor. Homil.
Chrysost. sup. Math.

3. He that conceals the truth that he knows, for fear of the censures of others, must needs have little of Christianity in him, for we are commanded to buy the truth, and not to sell it; but for a Christian to conceal the truth, and not to dare to declare and defend it, for fear of the vain and perishing censures of men, is to make absolute sale of the truth, and that for the worst of all prises that can be. For what a weightless and worthless prise are the judgments and opinions of vain man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and whose life is but a vapor, that a Christian should, for fear of such vain censures, be afraid to declare or defend the truth? Therefore let the subtil Politicians and Machiavillians of this Age, who have in a manner turned the truth of the Christian Religion, and the most certain Rules of Providence into Atheism, and becom’d vain Idolaters, to sacrifice to the falsely adored and deified fancies of their own craft and cunning, think or say what they please, yet the rule of pious Gregory will ever hold true: Ille veritatis defensor esse debet, qui quum rectè sentit, loqui non metuit, nec erubescit. And that of Chrysostom ought never to be forgotten by a good Christian, and one that fears God, who saith: Non solùm proditor est veritatis, qui mendacium pro veritate loquitur: sed qui non liberè pronuntiat veritatem, quam pronuntiare oportet, aut non liberè defendit veritatem, quam defendere oportet. But as there have been some that have been affrighted with the feigned 3Bugbears of malevolent mens censures and scandals; so there have been others, to whom Nature hath given greater Magnanimity, who were better principled in their Morals, and better rudimented in the Christian Religion, that have scorned and undervalued those censures as vanities and trifles, and these were those

——Quos Jupiter æquus amavit,
Et meliore luto finxit præcordia Titan.

These were those that for the advancement of Truth and Learning, and the benefit of Mankind durst undertake

Ire per excubias, & se committere Parcis.

And feared not the tempestuous storms of venemous tongues, or malicious minds, of which we shall here enumerate a competent Catalogue.

Præf. in Harvæi Exerc. Anat.
Pag. 3.

1. In the first place we need not travel far, either in regard of time or place, to find Precedents of such as have undergone no small censures and subsannations for vindicating Truth, and labouring the advancement of it, though against common and deep-rooted Opinion. So ill entertainment new Inventors and Inventions have always found amongst the present Masters of several Professions, and those that made the World believe, that they alone had gained the Monopoly of all Learning. Our learned Countryman Doctor Hackwell in his Preface to his Apology, hath sufficiently proved this particular: whose profound Piece of proving no decay in Nature (a truth now sufficiently known, and assented to) found no small opposition, both from the Learned in Theology, and other persons, and underwent many sharp censures, until men had more considerately weighed the strength and cogency of his Arguments, which carry sufficient evidence to confute rational persons. Our learned and most industrious Anatomist Dr. Harvey, who (notwithstanding the late Cavils of some) first found forth and evidenced to the World that rare and profitable discovery of the Circulation of the Blood, did undergo the like Fate: who for eighteen or twenty years together did groan under the heavy censure of all the Galenists and expert Anatomists almost in Europe, and was railed upon, and bitterly written against, not only by such as Alexander Rosse and Dr. Primrose, but by Riolanus and others, and not forborn by that famous Physician of Roterodam, Zacharias Sylvius, who ingenuously confesseth thus much: Primum mihi inventum hoc non placuit, quod & voce & scripto publicè testatus sum; sed dum postea ei resultando & explodendo vehementiùs incumbo, refutor & ipse & explodor: adeò sunt rationes ejus non persuadentes, sed cogentes: diligenter omnes examinavi, & in vivis aliquot canibus eum in finem à me dissectis, verissimum comperi. Which was a most candid and free retractation and confession of his own errours, and may be proposed as an example to all rash and unadvised Censurers. Neither could this most clear and evidential Verity (which falls under ocular Demonstration and manifest Experiments) find countenance in the World, until that Wallæus, Plempius, 4and divers other judicious and accurate Anatomists, had sound the truth of Harvey’s opinion, by their own tryals and ocular inspection: so difficult it is to overthrow an old radicated opinion. For I have known some years ago, that a person for owning or maintaining the Circulation of the blood, should have been censured and derided, as much by other Physicians, as one should be now for denying the same: so hard it is to root out an opinion (though never so false and groundless) if once setled in the brains of many, and hath had a long current of continued reputation and belief. And it is much more to consider the ignorance, stupidity, and perversness of those, that in this Age of Knowledge dare take upon them to censure (nay to condemn) that Society of persons, and their endeavours, who have a just, pious, merciful, and learned King for their Founder, and the greatest number of Nobility and Gentry, renowned both for divine and humane Knowledge, that can be chosen forth of the three Nations for their Members, and whose undertakings and level are the most high, noble, and excellent that ever yet the World was partaker of. And yet (which may be wondred at) I have not only met with many, that do censure and misjudge their vast and laudable enterprise, but even have been bold to appear in Print to censure and scandalize their proceedings, as is manifest in that Piece styled Plus ultra, written by Mr. Stubbs of Warwick, wherein he hath effected as much as Dogs do by barking at the Moon. But it is plain, that highness of place, or greatness of parts exempts no man from evil tongues, or bad censures. And to this purpose I cannot but add Dr. Casaubon, who as he had a long sickness of body, so doubtless he wanted not some distemper of mind, when in his Treatise of Credulity and Incredulity, he uttered this. “If I may speak my mind (he saith) without offence, this prodigious propensity to innovation in all kinds, but in matters of Learning particularly, which so many upon no ground, that I can see, or appearance of reason, are possessed with; I know not what we should more probably ascribe it unto, than to some sad Constellation or influence.” Alas! poor man, he was so blind, that he could see no ground or appearance of reason for the usefulness of Experimental Philosophy, nor for the Institution of the Royal Society, but must ascribe it to the Stars: it is a wonder why he ascribes it not to natural Melancholy, as he doth almost all strange Effects, in his Book of Enthusiasm or why not unto Demons or Witches, as he doth the most things in the Treatise quoted.

2. That learned and painful person Renatus des Cartes, who brought in, revived, and refined the old Doctrine of Atoms, ascribed to Democritus, and other of the Ancients, found for a long time much opposition; insomuch that when he lived at Utrecht in Holland, the Aristotelian Professors of that University became so inflamed with envy at him, that their Scholars raised the Rabble of the City at the sound of a Bell, to drive him out of Town. And 5yet this mans Philosophy hath had the luck to triumph in that University, where so much contempt was poured upon him; for Henricus Regius, the publick Professor of Physick there, hath published a Book of Natural Philosophy, agreeable to the Principles and design of Des Cartes: and is in a manner generally received and applauded; and by the honourable Mr. Boyle much made use of, and by him styled the Corpuscularian Philosophy. So was not that most learned and diligent Mathematician Galalæus imprisoned for seeing more than others could by the help of his Optick Glasses, losing (as one saith) his own liberty in Prison, for giving the Earth liberty to fetch a round about the Sun? And yet now to what great height of improvement are Telescopes arrived unto, and what credit is given to the Observations made with them? though in their birth their first Author and User so much opposed and punished; for all Inventions that are new (as well as Opinions) are in their beginnings opposed and censured, not considering, that all acquired Knowledge, and all Arts and Sciences were once new, and had their beginnings.

3. When Josephus Quercetanus and Sir Theodore Mayern did labour to introduce the practice of Chymical Physick into the City of Paris, what cruel censures and scandals did they undergo by all the rest of the Physicians of the Colledge, so that they were accounted illiterate and ignorant Fellows and dangerous Empiricks, not fit to practise in the King of France his Dominions, and so were sentenced by the Colledge, and prohibited to practise? So far did ignorance, self-interest, and blind malice prevail against these two persons, of so much Worth and Learning, insomuch that the former was made Physician to the King of France, and lived to see despised Chymistry to flourish, where it had been most contemned, himself to be honoured, and his Chymical Works to be published, and to be had in great and general esteem with all that were Lovers of Learning. The latter likewise out-lived the malice of all his enemies, and saw himself advanced to be Physician to two potent and renowned Kings of England, and to have the general practice of the most of the Nobility and Gentry of the Kingdom, and to live to a fair old age, and to dye vastly rich. So that even the bravest men, for their noble endeavors for the good of Mankind, have always found harsh usage.

Mund. subter. lib. 11. sect. 2. pag. 277.
Prov. 26. 12.
Hist. Magic. c. 14. p. 177.
De Arte Lullian. Præf.
Vide Relat. Paris. impres. Gallicè, 1631.

4. It hath fared no better with divers persons that have written of abstruse and mysterious Subjects, such as were Arnoldus de Villa Nova and Raimundus Lullius, who, because they handled that secret and sublime Art of the Transmutation of Metals, were by the ignorance and malice of Francis Pegna and the John Tredeschen of Rome, Athanasius Kircherus, with some others, branded with the name of Magicians, taken in the worst sense. Facile est reprehendere & maledicere, so apt are men through over-weening pride and self-conceitedness, as though they were ignorant of nothing, to take upon them to censure all things, when Artists only are fit to 6judge of those proper Arts, in which they are verst and bred in, and not others: For it is not sufficient for a man to be verst in many parts of Learning, but also in that very Science or Art, in which the Question is propounded: as for Example; Suppose a man to be well read in School Theology, Metaphysicks, Logick, Grammar, Rhetorick, Ethicks, and Physicks, yet for all this how unable were he to resolve one of the difficultest Propositions in Euclid? no more can any person, though never so generally learned, if he perfectly do not understand the method, terms, ground, matter, and end of the Writers in mystical Chymistry, be any competent Judge of their Art, nor of the nature of Transmutation. And this might justly have bridled Kircher, and many other rash and vain Censurers to hold back their judgment, until they perfectly understand the matter, about which they are to give judgment, and to have considered that Maxime of the wisest of men: Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. But notwithstanding these groundless slanders against Arnoldus, that he was guilty of Diabolical Magick, from which the Pen of learned Nandæus hath totally discharged him, though he otherwise (according to his petulant humor and prejudiced opinion against the Art of Transmutation, of which he was no competent Judge, for the reason foregoing) cast some unworthy reflections both upon him, and Lully, yet he confesseth (which is but the bare truth, as every learned Physician doth sufficiently know, that have heedfully read his Writings of the Art of Medicine) in these words, “That it is certain, he was the learnedest Physician of his time, equally acquainted with the Latine, Greek, and Arabian Tongues, and one whose Writings sufficiently witness his abilities in the Mathematicks, Medicine, and Philosophy, the practice whereof gained him favour and imployment about Pope Clement, and Frederick King of Sicily, who certainly would never have made use of him, if he had thought him a Conjurer or Magician, such as many judged he was.” As for Lully (notwithstanding the malevolent froth of some rash, malicious, and ignorant Writers) he was guilty of no other Magick but what was natural, lawful, and laudable, as his profound and learned Works (if his blind Adversaries had ever taken pains to have perused them, who frequently censure and condemn those things they never saw, read, or understood) do witness beyond all exception, and is all justified by the testimonies of so many learned and judicious persons, that more cannot be said to his praise and vindication. The most of his learned Works being kept in the Library at Oxford, written in an ancient hand: which would never have been done, if they had not been highly esteemed and prised. For as Zetznerus the great Stationer of Stasburgh saith: “Tantæ suo fuisse ævo authoritatis atq; æstimationis legitur, ut justissimi Arragonum Reges eum in privilegiis eidem concessis, magnum in Philosophia magistrum, & mirandarum artium & scientiarum authorem nominârint.” Lastly, one Father Pacificus in his Journey 7from Persia 1628. came into the Isle of Majorca, where Lully was born, and to his great admiration found the Statue of Lully there in Wood curiously coloured, and he honoured as a Saint (whom he had before judged an Heretick) as also a Society of Professors following the Doctrine of Lully, and called Raymundines or Lullists, and that they affirmed, that by Divine illumination he had the perfect knowledge of Nature, by which he found out the universal Medicine, by a certain Aurum potabile, by which he prolonged his life to the 145. year of his age, in which year he suffered Martyrdom. This I have produced to shew how inconsiderately and ignorantly the best learned of an Age may be, and often are wrongfully and falsely traduced and slandered, which may be a warning to all persons to take heed how they pass their censures, until they understand perfectly all that is necessary to be known about the Subject they are to give judgment of, before they utter or declare their sentence.

Lib. 1. de Script. Anglic.
Cap. 1.

5. Roger Bacon our Countryman, who was a Franciscan Fryar, and Doctor of Divinity, the greatest Chymist, Astrologer, and Mathematician of his time, yet could not escape the injurious and unchristian censure of being a Conjurer, and so hard put to it, that as Pitts saith, he was twice cited to Rome by Clement the Fourth, to purge himself of that accusation, and was forced to send his Optical and Mathematical Instruments to Rome, to satisfie the Pope and the Conclave, which he amply performed, and came off with honor and applause. To vindicate whom I need say little, because it is already performed by the Pens of those learned persons, Pitts, Leland, Selden, and Nandæus, only I shall add one Sentence forth of that most learned Treatise, De mirabili potestate artis & naturæ, & de nullitate magiæ. Where he saith thus: Quicquid autem est præter operationem naturæ vel artis, aut non est humanum, aut est fictum & fraudibus occupatum. Another of our Country-men Dr. John Dee, the greatest and ablest Philosopher, Mathematician, and Chymist that his Age (or it may be ever since) produced, could not evade the censure of the Monster-headed multitude, but even in his life time was accounted a Conjurer, of which he most sadly (and not without cause) complaineth in his most learned Preface to Euclid, Englished by Mr. Billingsley, and there strongly apologizeth for himself, with that zeal and fervency, that may satisfie any rational Christian, that he was no such wicked person, as to have visible and familiar converse (if any such thing can be nowadays) with the Devil, the known Enemy of Mankind, of which take this short passage, where he saith: “O my unkind Country-men, O unnatural Country-men, O unthankful Country-men, O brain-sick, rash, spiteful, and disdainful Country-men, why oppress you me thus violently with your slandering of me contrary to verity, and contrary to your own consciences?” Yet notwithstanding this, and his known abilities in the most parts of abstruse Learning, the great respect that he had from divers Princes, Nobles, and the 8most Learned in all Europe, could not protect him from this harsh and unjust censure. For Dr. Casaubon near fifty years after Dr. Dees death, hath in the year 1659. published a large Book in Folio of Dees conversing for many years with Spirits (wicked ones he meaneth.) But how Christian-like this was done, to wound the mans reputation so many years after his death, and with that horrid and wicked slander of having familiarity with Devils for many years in his life time, which tends to the loss both of body and soul, and to register him amongst the damned, how Christian-like this is, I leave all Christians to judge? Besides, let all the World judge in this case, that Dr. Casaubon being a sworn Witchmonger, even to the credulity of the filthiest and most impossible of their actions, cannot but allow of the Law that doth punish them for digging up the bones of the dead, to use them to Superstition or Sorcery; what may he then think the World may judge him guilty of, for uncovering the Dormitories of the deceased, not to abuse their bones, but to throw their Souls into the deepest pit of Hell? A wickedness certainly beyond the greatest wickedness, that he can believe is committed by Witches. It is manifest, that he hath not published this meerly as a true relation of the matter of fact, and so to leave it to others to judge of; but that designedly he hath laboured to represent Dee as a most infamous and wicked person, as may be plainly seen in the whole drift of his tedious Preface. But his design to make Dee a Converser with evil Spirits was not all, he had another that concerned himself more nearly. He had before run in a manner (by labouring to make all that which he called Enthusiasm, to be nothing else but imposture or melancholy and depraved phantasie, arising from natural causes) into the censure of being a Sadducee or Atheist. To wash off which he thought nothing was so prevalent, as to leap into the other end of the balance (the mean is hard to be kept) to weigh the other down, by publishing some notorious Piece that might (as he thought) in an high degree manifest the existence of Spirits good and bad, and this he thought would effect it sufficiently, or at least wipe off the former imputation that he had contracted.

But that I may not be too tedious, I shall sum up briefly some others, by which it may be made clear, that those dauntless Spirits that have adventured to cross the current of common opinion, and those that have handled abstruse Subjects, have never wanted opposition and scandal, how true or profitable soever the things were that they treated or writ of. Trithemius that Honour and Ornament of Germany for all sorts of Literature, wanted not a Bouillus to calumniate and condemn him of unlawful Magick, from which all the Learned in Europe know he is absolved, by the able and elegant Pen of him that styles himself Gustavus Silenus, and others. Cornelius Agrippa run the same Fate, by the scribling of that ignorant and envious Monk Paulus Jovius, from whose malicious slander he is totally acquitted by the irrefragable evidence of Wierus, 9Melchior Adams, Nandæus, and others. Who almost have not read or heard of the horrid and abominable false scandals laid upon that totius Germaniæ decus, Paracelsus, by the malevolent Pen of Erastus, and after swallowed up with greediness by Libanius, Conringius, Sennertus, and many others? for not only labouring to bring in a new Theory and Practice into the Art of Medicine, but also for striving to purge and purifie the ancient, natural, laudable, and lawful Magick from the filth and dregs of Imposture, Deceit, Ceremonies, and Superstitions: yet hath not wanted most strong and invincible Champions to defend him, as Dorne, Petrus Severinus, Smetius, Crollius, Bitiscius, and many others. Our Countryman Dr. Fudd, a man acquainted with all kinds of Learning, and one of the most Christian Philosophers that ever writ, yet wanted not those snarling Animals, such as Marsennus, Lanovius, Foster, and Gassendus, as also our Casaubon (as mad as any) to accuse him vainly and falsely of Diabolical Magick, from which the strength of his own Pen and Arguments did discharge him without possibility of replies. We shall now come to those that have treated of Witchcraft, and strongly opposed and confuted the many wonderful and incredible actions and power ascribed unto Witches: and these crossing the vogue of the common opinion, have not wanted their loads of unworthy and unchristian scandals cast upon them, of which we shall only name these two, Wierus a learned person, a German, and in his time Physician to the Duke of Cleve; the other our Countryman Mr. Reginald Scot, a person of competent Learning, pious, and of a good Family: what is said against them in particular, I shall recite, and give a brief responsion unto it.

1. There is a little Treatise in Latine titled Dæmonologia, fathered upon King James (how truly we shall not dispute, for some ascribe it to others) where in the Preface these two persons are intimated to be Witches, and that they writ against the common opinion, concerning the Power of Witches, the better to shelter and conceal their Diabolical skill. But indeed this groundless accusation needs no confutation, but rather scorn and derision, as having no rational ground of probability at all, that they should be such cursed Hypocrites, or dissembling Politicians, the one being a very learned and able Physician, as both his Writings do witness, and that upright and unpartial Author Melchior Adams in his life hath most amply declared: the other known (as not living so very many years ago) to be a godly, learned, and an upright man, as his Book which he calleth, The Discovery of Witchcraft, doth most largely make it appear, if his Adversaries had ever taken the pains to peruse it. So that all rational persons may plainly see, that it is but a lying invention, a malicious device, and a meer forged accusation.

2. These persons are accused to have absolutely denied the existence of Witches, which we shall demonstrate to be notoriously false, by these following reasons.

Considerat. about Witchcraft, p. 76.

101. Could ever any rational man have thought or believed, that Mr. Glanvil, a person who pretends to such high parts, would have expressed so much weakness and impudence, as to have charged Mr. Scot with the flat denial of the existence of Witches; as he doth in these words speaking of him? and pretends this to be a Confutation of the being of Witches and Apparitions; and this he intimates in divers other places, but without any quotation, to shew where or in what words Scot doth simply deny the Being of Witches, which he doth no where maintain: so confident are many to charge others with that which they neither hold nor write.

2. Mr. Scot and Wierus do not state the Question, An sint, Whether there be Witches or not, but Quomodo sint, in what manner they act. So that their Question is only, What kind of power supposed Witches have, or do act by, and what the things are that they do or can perform: so that the state of the question is not simply of the Being of Witches, or de existentia, but only de modo existendi: wherein it is plain, that every Dispute de modo existendi, doth necessarily grant and suppose the certainty of the Existence, otherwise the Dispute of the manner of their Being, Properties, Power, or Acts would have no ground or foundation at all. As if I and another should dispute about the extent, buildings, and situation of the great City Peking in China, or about the length, breadth, and height of the great Wall dividing China from Tartary; we both do take for granted, that there is such a City, and such a Wall, otherwise our Dispute would be wild, vain, and groundless: like the two Wise-men of Gotham, who strove and argued about the driving of sheep over a bridge; the one affirming he would drive his sheep over the bridge, and the other protesting against it, and so begun, one as it were to drive, and the other to stay and stop them, when there were no sheep betwixt them. And this might be a sufficient document to Mr. Glanvil, to have been more sober, than to have charged Scot so falsely. And do not the ancient Fathers differ in their opinions circa Angelorum modum existendi, some of them holding them to be corporeal, and some incorporeal? yet both these parties did firmly hold their existence: so that this is a false and improper charge, and hath no basis to stand upon at all.

3. What man of reason and judgment could have believed, that Mr. Glanvil or Dr. Casaubon, being persons that pretend to a great share of Learning, and to be exact in their ways of arguing, would have committed so pitiful and gross a fault, as is fallacia consequentis? For if I deny that a Witch cannot flye in the air, nor be transformed or transsubstantiated into a Cat, a Dog, or an Hare, or that the Witch maketh any visible Covenant with the Devil, or that he sucketh on their bodies, or that the Devil hath carnal Copulation with them; I do not thereby deny either the Being of Witches, nor other properties that they may have, for which they may be so called: no more than if I deny that a Dog hath rugibility 11(which is only proper to a Lion) doth it follow that I deny the being of a Dog, or that he hath latrability? this is meer inconsequential, and hath no connexion. So if I deny that a man cannot flye by his natural abilities in the air like a Bird, nor live continually in the Sea as a fish, nor in the earth as a Worm or Mole, this doth not at all infer that I deny the existence of man, nor his other properties of risibility, rationality, or the like. But this is the learned Logick, and the clear ways of arguing that these men use.

Pag. 76.
Of Credul. and Incredul. p. 40.

3. A third scandal Mr. Glanvil throws upon him is this, where he saith thus: “For the Author doth little but tell odd tales and silly Legends, which he confutes and laughs at, and pretends this to be a confutation of the Being of Witches and Apparitions. In all which, his reasonings are trifling and childish; and when he ventures at Philosophy, he is little better than absurd. Dr. Casaubon, though he confesseth he had never read Scots Book, but as he had found it by chance in friends houses, or Book-sellers Shops, yet doth rank him amongst the number of his illiterate Wretches, and tells us how Dr. Reynolds did censure him and some others.” To these, though they be not much material, we shall give positive and convincing answers.

1. There is no greater sign of the weakness of a mans cause, nor his inability to defend it, than when he slips over the substance of the question in hand, and begins to fall foul upon the adverse party, to throw dirt and filth upon him, and to abuse and slander him: this is a thing very usual, but exceeding base, and plainly demonstrates the badness of their cause.

2. If Mr. Scot hath done little but told odd tales and silly Legends, Mr. Glanvil might very well have born with him; for I am sure his story of the Drummer, and his other of Witchcraft are as odd and silly, as any can be told or read, and are as futilous, incredible, ludicrous, and ridiculous as any can be. And if the tales that Scot tells be odd and silly, they are the most of them taken from those pitiful lying Witchmongers, such as Delrio, Bodinus, Springerus, Remigius, and the like, the Authors that are most esteemed with Dr. Casaubon, and other Witchmongers, of whom we shall say more hereafter.

3. For Mr. Glanvil to give general accusations without particular proofs, as to say Scots reasonings are trifling and childish, and when he ventures at Philosophy, he is little better than absurd, do plainly manifest the mans malice, and discover his weakness: For dolus versatur in universalibus, and no man ought to be condemned without particular and punctual proof, as to the time, place, and all other circumstances, which Mr. Glanvil could not do, and therefore he only gives general calumniations without ground; and if Scot were little better than absurd, then he the better agrees with Mr. Glanvil, whose Platonical Whimseys are as absurd as any, as we shall sufficiently prove hereafter.

124. Dr. Casaubon must needs have been highly elevated with the desire of censuring, when he would condemn a man without reading his Book, or serious weighing the force of his arguments, this concludes him of vast weakness, and of great perversness of mind, as all rational men may judge; for in effect it is this, Scot is an illiterate Wretch, and his Book full of errors, but I never read it, but as I have looked upon it at a friends house, or a Book-sellers Shop: is not this a wretched ground whereupon to build so wretched a foundation, as thereby to judge him an illiterate Wretch? And to censure him by the report of others, is as unjust, weak, and childish as the former; and though Dr. Reynolds were a learned man, it doth not appear for what particular point or errour he censured Scot, and therefore is but a general and groundless charge, sheltred under the colour of Dr. Reynolds reputation, an evidence, in Reason and Law, of no weight or validity.

5. For Dr. Casaubon to rank him amongst illiterate Wretches, is against the very Rule of the Law of Nature, that teaches all men, that they should not do that to another, which they would not have another to do unto them. And sure Dr. Casaubon would not have another to judge and condemn him for an illiterate Wretch, and therefore, he ought not to have condemned Mr. Scot to be so. And as it is against the Law of Nature, so it is contrary to the rules of modesty and morality to give a man such stigmatizing titles: nay it is even against the rules of good manners and civil education, but that some men think that it is lawful for them to say any thing, and that nothing what they say doth misbeseem them. And lastly, how far it is against the Rules of Christianity and Piety, let all good Christians judge.

6. The falsity of this foul scandal is manifest in both the particulars therein couched. 1. For Mr. Scot was a learned and diligent person, as the whole Treatise will bear witness; he understood the Latine Tongue, and something of the Greek, and for the Hebrew, if he knew nothing of it, yet he had procured very good helps, as appeareth in his expounding the several words that are used in the Scriptures for supposed Witches and Witchcraft; as also his quoting of divers of the Fathers, the reformed Ministers, and many other Authors besides, which sufficiently prove that he was not illiterate. 2. And that he was no wretched person, is apparent, being a man of a good Family, a considerable Estate, a man of a very commendable government, and a very godly and zealous Protestant, as I have been informed by persons of worth and credit, and is sufficiently proved by his Writing.

I have not been thus tedious to accumulate these instances of men that have been censured, for opposing vulgar opinions, or writing of abstruse Subjects, as circumstantial only, or for a flourish, but meerly as they are introductive, necessary, and pertinent to the purpose I intend in this Treatise, as I shall make manifest in these Rules or Observations following, and shall add sufficient reasons to confirm the same.

Rule 1.

131. That the generality of an opinion, or the numerousness of the persons that hold and maintain it, are not a safe and warrantable ground to receive it, or to adhere unto it: nor that it is safe or rational to reject an opinion, because they are but few that do hold it, or the number but small that maintain it. And this I shall labour to make good by these sure and firm arguments following.

Exod. 13. 2.
Mat. 24. 5.
Luke 6. 26.
Lib. de vit. beat. Lactant. Duimar. Instit. l. 2. c. 3.

1. Because the Scriptures tell us thus much: Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil. And that there are many deceivers: For many shall come in my Name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. And woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you: for so did their fathers to the false Prophets. From whence it is plain, that first we are to consider and be assured, that the matter be not evil; for if it be, we are not at all to be swayed with the multitudes that follow it, or that uphold it: so if the opinion be evil, erroneous, or false, we ought not to receive it, or adhere unto it, though never so many do hold or maintain it. So that in truth and substance, we are not at all to consider, whether there be few or many that hold it, but simply, whether it be true or not. For as Plato tells us: Neq; id considerandum quid dixerit, sed utrum verè dicatur nec ne. For the multitude have been by all good Authors and Learned men always esteemed the most erroneous, as Seneca saith: Quærendum non quod vulgo placet, pessimo veritatis interpreti. And Lactantius teaches us this: Vulgus indoctum pompis inanibus gaudet, animisq; puerilibus spectat omnia, oblectatur frivolis, nec ponderare secum unamquamq; rem potest. And our Saviour gives us a proof and instance of the errour of the multitude, and that in matter of fact. Did not almost all the Jews under divers Kings Raigns applaud and approve of the doctrine and opinions of the false Prophets, though utterly erroneous? insomuch that Elijah said, that he only was left of the true Prophets, though the false ones were many and numerous. So that the Rule is proved to be true, both by the precept and example of the Scriptures.

2. If we consider the generality of Mankind, either in respect of their inclinations and dispositions, or their breeding and education, we shall not find one of an hundred, either by nature inclined, or by education fitted and qualified to search forth and understand the truth. And then if there be an hundred to one drowned in ignorance and errors, and so few fitted to understand the truth of things either divine or natural, then it must needs follow, that it is not safe to embrace or adhere to an opinion, because of the great number of those that hold or maintain it, but rather to stick to the smaller number; though neither simply ought to be regarded, but truth it self.

3. Again, if we consider those numbers, that either by nature are inclined, or by education trained up in Learning, to enable them to judge rightly betwixt truth and truth-likeliness, how few of these that prove any thing excellent in those parts of Learning 14wherein they are bred, we may easily see the verity of this Rule sufficiently proved, that it is not safe to embrace or adhere to an opinion, because the numbers are great that hold or maintain it.

4. If the multitude that hold the opinions, whether of spiritual or natural things were to be followed, meerly because of the great numbers that hold them: then if we look and consider the Writings of the best Geographers, Travellers, and Navigators, we should either be of the opinions of the Pagans, who are the most numerous part of Mankind, or the Mahumetans, which are many in respect of the paucity of Christians. And then what horrid, blasphemous, idolatrous, impious, and diabolical opinions must we receive and hold, both concerning God, Angels, the Creation, and the most of the operations that are produced by Nature? So that the arguments of Dr. Casaubon and Mr. Glanvil, drawn from the universality of the opinion, and the great multitudes of those that hold it, are vain and groundless.

5. If the comparison I use be thought too large, and the rule be put only as to the greater part of the Learned that are in Europe, yet it will hold good, that the greatest part of the Learned are not to be adhered to, because of their numerousness; nor that the rest are to be rejected, because of their paucity. For it is known sufficiently, that a Bishop of Mentz was censured and excommunicated for holding that there were Antipodes, by some hundreds of those that were accounted learned and wise: so that it is plain, that the greater number may be in the errour, and those that are few be in the right. And did not the greatest number of the Physicians in Europe altogether adhere to the Doctrine of Galen, though now in Germany, France, England, and many other Nations the most have exploded it? And was not the Aristotelian Philosophy embraced by the greatest part of all the Learned in Europe? And have not the Cartesians and others sufficiently now manifested the errours and imperfections of it, and especially the endeavors of the honourable and learned Members of the Royal Society here in England, and the like Societies beyond Seas by their continual labour and vigilancy about Experiments, made the errours and defects of it obvious to all inquisitive persons? So that multitude, as multitude, ought not to lead or sway us, but truth it self.

6. If to all this we add, that truth in it self is but one; for unum and verum are convertibles, and that errour or falsity is various and manifold, and that there may be a thousand errours about one particular thing, and yet but one truth; it will necessarily follow, the greatest number holding an opinion, cannot be safe to be followed because of their multitude, and the reason is errour, is manifold, truth but one.

Rule 2.

2. It is not safe nor rational to receive or adhere to an opinion because of its Antiquity; nor to reject one because of its Novelty. And this we shall make good from and by these following reasons.

1. Because there is no opinion (especially about created 15things) but it hath once been new; and if an opinion should be rejected meerly because of novelty, then it will follow, that either all opinions might have been rejected for that very reason, or that novelty is no safe ground only, why an opinion should be opposed or rejected.

2. Antiquity and Novelty are but relations quoad nostrum intellectum, non quoad naturam; for the truth, as it is fundamentally in things extra intellectum, cannot be accounted either old or new. And an opinion, when first found out and divulged, is as much a truth then, as when the current of hundreds or thousands of years have passed since its discovery. For it was no less a truth, when in the infancy of Philosophy it was holden, that there was generation and corruption in Nature, in respect of Individuals, than it is now: so little doth Time, Antiquity, or Novelty alter, change, confirm, or overthrow truth; for veritas est temporis filia, in regard of its discovery to us or by us, who must draw it forth è puteo Democriti. And the existence of the West-Indies was as well before the discovery made by Columbus as since, and our ignorance of it did not impeach the truth of its being, neither did the novelty of its discovery make it less verity, nor the years since make it more: so that we ought simply to examine, whether an opinion be possible or impossible, probable or improbable, true or false; and if it be false, we ought to reject it, though it seem never so venerable by the white hairs of Antiquity; nor ought we to refuse it, though it seem never so young, or near its birth. For as St. Cyprian said: Error vetustatis est vetustas erroris.

Advanc. of Learn. l. 1. c. 5.

3. In regard of Natural Philosophy, and the knowledge of the properties of created things, and the knowledge of them, we preposterously reckon former Ages, and the men that lived in them, the Ancients; which in regard of production and generation of the Individuals of their own Species are so; but in respect of knowledge and experience, this Age is to be accounted the most ancient. For as the learned Lord Bacon saith: “Indeed to speak truly, Antiquitas seculi, juventus mundi,” Antiquity of time is the youth of the World. Certainly our times are the ancient times, when the World is now ancient, and not those which we count ancient, ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from our own times; and yet so much credit hath been given to old Authors, as to invest them with the power of Dictators, that their words should stand, rather than admit them as Consuls to give advice.

Rule 3.

3. It is not safe nor rational to resolve to stick to our old imbibed opinions, nor wilfully to reject those that seem new, except we be fully satisfied, from indubitable grounds, that what we account old is certainly true, and what we reckon to be new is undoubtedly false. And this will appear to be a truth, partly from the weakness of their arguments, that seem utterly to condemn all recession from ancient opinions, as vain, foolish, and unnecessary; as also from other positive reasons.

161. Some give the reason why they will not recede from an opinion that their Predecessors held; for that their Forefathers were as wise, if not wiser than they. But this, if strictly considered, is very lame and defective; for their Predecessors were but men, and so were liable both to active and passive deception, and were not exempted from the common frailty of Mankind, who are all subject to errours. And therefore, unless they were assured that their Ancestors in former Ages, held the certain and undoubted grounds of truth, it is nothing of reason in them, but meer perversness of will, rather obstinately errare cum patribus, than to learn to follow the truth with those that are coetaneous with them, which is foolish and irrational. Further, there are more helps now, and means to attain the knowledge of Verity, than were in the days when their Ancestors lived, and it must be a kind of the greatest madness to shut their eyes, that the light of truth may not appear unto them.

2. This kind of reasoning hath no more of reason in it, than if one should say, that because his Grandfather and great Grandfather were blind or lame, therefore they will be so too: or that their Ancestors never learned the Greek or Latine Tongues, nor to write or read, neither will they learn any more than they did: or that their Predecessors were ill husbands and unthrifts, and that therefore they will continue the same courses: or that because their Forefathers followed drunkenness and luxury, therefore they will continue the same cariere of vices, as many of our debauched persons do now adays, having no better reasons to alledge for their exorbitant and vicious courses, but what the Prophet condemned, The fathers have eaten sowr grapes, and the childrens teeth are set on edge.

3. How far would they run back to state the beginning of their Ancestors? If as far as their first Originals, then they must all be Savages, Barbarians, and Heathens. And if they state it distant from their first Originals, then their Predecessors had the same reason to have continued, as those did that preceded them. But if their Ancestors varied from, and left the steps and opinions of those that went before them, then if they will do as their Ancestors did, they must leave their courses and opinions, as they had done of those that preceded them.

August. lib. de Liber. Arbitrio.

4. Some say they cannot recede from the opinions of their Predecessors, because it would be a shame and disgrace unto them. But that which we call shame and disgrace consists in the opinion of others, and we ought not to receive errour, or reject truth, by reason of the censures or opinions of others: Si de veritate scandalum sumitur, utilius permittitur nasci scandalum, quàm veritas relinquatur. And to leave an errour to entertain truth, is so far from being a shame and a disgrace, that there cannot be a greater honour or glory: for errare humanum est, sed in errore perseverare belluinum ac diabolicum est.

Rule 4.

4. Those effects that seem strange and wonderful, either in respect 17of Art or Nature, require much diligence truly to discover and find out their causes; and we ought not rashly to attribute those effects to the Devil, whose causes are latent or unknown unto us: and that for these grounds.

De Inject. mater. pag. 597.
Ibid. pag. 598.

1. It hath been common almost in all Ages, not only for the vulgar, but also for the whole rabble of Demonographers and Witchmongers to ascribe those strange and wonderful effects, whether arising from Art or Nature, unto the worst of Gods Creatures, if they did not themselves understand their causes, and to censure the Authors that writ of them, as Conjurers and Magicians, as I have made manifest in my former Instances, and might be further made good and illustrated by the effects of healing by the Weapon-salve, the Sympathetick Powder, the Curing of divers Diseases by Appensions, Amulets, or by Transplantation, and many other most admirable effects both of Art and Nature, which by these self-conceited Ignorants are all thrown upon the Devils back, and he made the Author and effector of them, as though he had a kind of omnipotent power: of which the learned Philosopher and Physician Van Helmont gives us this account: “Credo equidem cum pietate pugnare, si Diabolo tribuatur potestas naturam superans. Verum naturæ ignari præsumunt se naturæ secretarios per librorum lectionem: quicquid autem ipsos latet, vel adynaton, vel falsum, vel præstigiosum, atq; diabolicum esto.” And a little after he adds this: “Pigritiæ saltem enim immensæ inventum fuit, omnia in Diabolum retulisse quæ non capimus, nec velim Diabolum invocatum, ut nostris satisfaciat quæstionibus per temerariam potestatum attributionem.

2. Whosoever shall read Pancirollus de rebus memoralibus noviter repertis, may easily be satisfied, what strange and stupendious things Art and the Inventions of men have produced in these latter Ages. And no man can rationally doubt, but that many more as strange or far more wonderful, may in Ages to come be found out and discovered; for there is a kind of bottomless depth in Arts, whether Liberal or Mechanical, that yet hath not been founded, but lye hid and unknown unto men. And if these for their wonderfulness should (as former Ages have ignorantly done) be ascribed unto the power of Satan, and their Authors accused of Conjuring and Diabolical Magick, no greater wrong could be done unto Art and Artists, and it would be a kind of blasphemy to attribute these stupendious effects (as the Vulgar and Witchmongers use to do) unto the Devil, the worst of Gods Creatures, and the Enemy of Mankind.

Pag. 103.
Rom. 1. 20.
De Civit. Dei lib. 10.

3. The third argument I shall take from Mr. Glanvil (which is the greatest piece of truth in all his Treatise) and convert and retort it against him: and is this (he saith) We are ignorant of the extent and bounds of Natures Sphere and Possibilities. Now if we be ignorant of the extent and bounds of Natures Sphere and Possibilities, then it must needs be folly, madness, and derogative 18against Gods power in Nature, to attribute those effects to wicked, fallen, and degenerated Demons, that we do not know but are produced by the course of Nature. And to ascribe the products of Nature to such wicked Instruments is blasphemous, in depriving Nature of the honour due unto her, and robbing God of the honour and glory belonging unto him, for the wonderful power wherewith he hath endowed his Creatures, who were all made to shew forth his power and Godhead, and the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the Firmament sheweth his handy-work: and as one said very well, Natura creatrix est quædam vis & potentia divinitùs insita, alia ex aliis in suo genere producens. So that the honour that is due unto the Creator, Conserver, and Orderer of Nature ought not to be ascribed unto the Devils; for in doing this, the Witchmongers become guilty of Idolatry, and are themselves such Witches as are mentioned in the Old Testament, who by their lying Divinations led the people after them to follow Idols; therefore the effects that belong unto Nature, are to be attributed to Nature, and the effects that Devils produce, are to be ascribed unto them, and not one confounded with another. And much to this purpose the learned Father hath a very considerable passage: “Quicquid igitur mirabile fit in hoc mundo, profectò minus est quàm totus hic mundus, i. e. cœlum & terra, & omnia quæ in eis sunt, quæ certè Deus fecit: nam & omni miraculo quod fit per hominem, majus miraculum est homo. Quamvis igitur miracula visibilium naturarum videndi assiduitate vilescunt, tamen ea quum sapienter intuemur, inusitatissimis rarísq; majora sunt.

Job 1. 11. & 2. 5.
2 Pet. 2. 4.
August. super Psal.

4. Though these men should believe the power of the Devil to be great by his Creation, and not lessened by his Fall (which is doubtful or false) yet can he not exert, or put this power into execution, but when, where, as oft, and in what manner, as God doth send, order, direct, and command him: and could not enter into the herd of Swine, until that Christ had ordered and commanded him; nor to touch Job or afflict him either in his goods or body, until that God had given him licence and order with express limitation how far he should proceed, and no further. In all which there appeareth nothing at all of his power, but his malice and evil will; and what was effected, was the hand of the Lord, and he but the bare Instrument to execute and perform the command. Therefore to ascribe to the Devil the efficiency of those operations we do not clearly understand, is to allow him a kind of Omnipotency, and both to rob God and Nature of that which belongeth unto them; for the Almighty doth work whatsoever he pleases both in Heaven and Earth, and it is he that worketh all in all. And the Devil is but as Gods Executioner to fulfil his will in tempting men, and punishing the wicked, and can act nothing but as God commands him, except the acts of his wicked and depraved will; for he is with all his Angels delivered into chains of darkness to be reserved unto Judgment. To this purpose there is 19a very true and Christian saying of St. Augustine in these words: “Diabolus plerumq; vult nocere, & non potest, quia potestas ista est sub potestate: nam si tantum posset nocere Diabolus quantum vult, aliquis justorum non remaneret.

Rule 5.

5. The last Rule I shall observe is, That men, if they mean to profit by reading Controversies of this nature, they must prudently and deliberately consider the design that Authors have had in writing. For though it be the general pretence of all, that they write to confute errours, and to maintain truth, yet very few in Disputes of this nature have sincerely performed this pretended end. For some have written (as we shall hereafter make manifest in due place) upon designed purpose, thereby to establish some points in their corrupted and superstitious Religion. Some because of their own lucre and profit arising by the upholding of these opinions of the great power and performances of Witches, as did all the Inquisitors and their Adherents, having a share in the condemned Witches goods. Others have written in these Subjects meerly for ostentation and vain-glory, to get a name that they were learned and able persons: of all which the judicious Readers ought to beware of, and to consider. There is another main scandal that Witchmongers usually (especially of late) cast upon those that oppose their gross, impious, and blasphemous opinions; but I cannot seasonably give answer unto it, untill I have laid down the state of the question, upon which the substance of this Treatise is grounded, and therefore shall proceed to its Explication.


Of the Notion, Conception, and Description of Witches and Witchcraft, according to divers Authors, and in what sense they may be granted, and in what sense and respect they are denied.

Those that are Masters in Ethicks teach us, that every Vertue hath on either side one Vice in the extreme, and that Vertue only consists in the mean, which how hard that mean is to be kept in any thing, the Writings and Actions of the most Men do sufficiently inform us. This is manifest, that not many years ago the truth of Philosophy lay inchained in the Prisons of the Schools, who thought there was no proficiency to be made therein, but only in their Logical and Systematical ways: so that (in a manner) all liberty was taken away both in writing and speaking, and nothing was to be allowed of that had not the Seal of Academick Sanction. And now when Philosophy hath gotten its freedom, to expatiate through the whole Sphere of Nature, by all sorts of inquiries and 20tryals, to compleat a perfect History of Nature, some are on the other hand grown so rigid and peremptory, that they will condemn all things that have not past the test of Experiment, or conduce not directly to that very point, and so would totally demolish that part of Academick and Formal Learning that teacheth men Method and the way of Logical procedure in writing of Controversies, and handling of Disputes. Whereas what is more necessary and commendable for those that treat of any controverted point in Writing or in other Disputations, than a clear and perspicuous Method, a right and exact stating of the Question in doubt, defining or describing the terms that are or may be equivocal, and dividing the whole into its due and genuine parts, distinguishing of things one from another, limiting things that are too general, and explaining of every thing that is doubtful? Those that would totally take away this so profitable and excellent a part of Learning, are not of my judgment, nor can be excused for having run into that extreme that is extremely condemnable. Let Experimental Philosophy have its place and due honour; and let also the Logical, Methodical, and Formal ways of the Academies have its due praise and commendation, as being both exceedingly profitable, though in different respects; otherwise, in writing and arguing, nothing but disorder and confusion will bear sway.

I have premised thus much, because the most of the Authors that have treated about this knotty and thorny Subject of Witches and Witchcraft, have been as confused and immethodical as any. For whereas the learned Orator Cicero tells us, that omnis discursus à definitione debet proficisci; and that it is also true, that what is not aptly and fitly defined or described, as far as the Subject will admit of, is never perfectly understood: yet have the most of these Authors (which are numerous) laid down no perfect description of a Witch or Witchcraft, nor explained fully what they meant by that name, notion, or conception. And therefore, lest I become guilty of the same fault, I shall lay down what the most considerable Authors that have treated of this Subject, do mean or intend by this word Witch, and Witchcraft, and shall fully explain in what notion or sense I either allow or deny them, and their actions, and that in this order, and in these Particulars following.

Lib. 14. method. c. 9.
Ibid. c. 1.

1. Though an argument taken à denotatione nominis be of little weight or validity, and that the industrious and sharp-witted person Galen doth seem to make little account of words, that is, in this respect, when we would only understand the nature of things, yet in another respect he concludeth thus: “Verùm qui alterum docere volet quæ ipse tenet, huic prorsus nominibus propter res uti est opus.” Now the handling of Controversies is chiefly and principally to inform others, and teach them the truth, and to discover errours; therefore in this respect the explication and denotation of words is exceeding profitable and necessary: and so Plato in Cratylo tells us: “Nomen itaq; rerum, substantiam docendi discernendiq; 21instrumentum est.” And it being a manifest truth, that words are but the making forth of those notions that we have of things, and ought to be subjected to things, and not things to words: if our notions do not agree with the things themselves, then we have received false Idola or images of them; but if we have conceived them aright, and do not express them fitly and congruously, then we shall hardly make others understand us aright, nor can clearly open unto them the doctrine that we would teach them.

2. But to come to the signification and acceptation of the words that those Authors, who have magnified and defended the power of Witches, have used to express their notions by, we shall find them to be so far fetcht, so metaphorical, and improperly applied, that no rational or understanding man can tell us what to make of them. And if we take the notion, as they do, of a killing and murthering Witch, with the rest of the adjuncts, which they couple with it, we shall not be able to find a proper and significative word, either in the Hebrew, Greek, Latine, French, Spanish, Italian, or High-Dutch, but a multitude or a Ferrago of words, whereof not one doth properly signifie any such thing, as they would make us believe, by the notion that they maintain of a Witch: of which we shall principally note these.

Lament. 4. 3.

1. For the Hebrew words used in the Old Testament we shall not mention them here, but afterward, where we speak of the mistranslation of them, and therefore shall pursue them in the Latine, and other Languages. And first they sometimes use the word Lamia in the Latine, Λάμια in Greek, which Gesner and others tell us doth signifie a terrestrial Creature, or a voracious fish, as also a Spectrum or Phantasm. And this was supposed to be a Creature with a face like a Woman, and feet like a Horse or an Ass, such as (indeed) neither is, nor ever was in rerum natura, but was only a figment devised to affright children withal. But if we will believe Poetical Fables, the Romances of Philostratus concerning Apollonius, or the lying Diary of his Man Damis, we must take it to be a Spirit or Apparition, such as the Greeks called Empusæ, that went upon one leg, and had eyes that they could take forth, and set in, when they pleased. And such a monstrous Fable and Lye was a sufficient ground for doting Witchmongers to build their incredible stories of the power and actions of Witches upon, having no proper word for such a Witch as they falsely believe and suppose. Though there be a Text in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, that hath given occasion or colour to this vain opinion, especially as the vulgar Latine renders it, which is thus: Sed & Lamiæ nudaverunt mammam, lactaverunt catulos suos. Filia populi mei crudelis, quasi struthio in deserto. The French render it, The Dragons have made bare their breasts: and so have also the Italians in their Translation retained the words Dragon and Ostrich; and also the Septuagint render the words δράχοντες and στρουθίον. And Luther in his Translation hath kept the same words, though the Germans call Lamia 22Ein Rachtsgeist. But our own Translation hath come more near the truth: Even the Sea-monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the Daughter of my people are become cruel like the Ostriches in the wilderness. And Arias Montanus gives it thus: Etiam draco——תנין Tannin (which signifieth a Dragon, Serpent, Whale, or other Sea-creatures) solverunt mammam, lactaverunt catulos suos: Filia populi mei in crudelem, veluti ululæ in deserto. But none hath come up close to the mark but Junius and Tremellius, who render the place thus: Etiam Phocæ præbent mammam, lactant catulos suos, quomodo filia populi mei, propter crudelem inimicum, est similis ululis in deserto. And the Notes upon the place do make it plain: “Vox quidem Hebræa latè patet, significans serpentes & reptilia magna, sive terrestria sive aquatilia; sed cùm non omnium reptilium sint mammæ, neq; aquaticorum sint ii quos Propheta vocat catulos; necesse fuit hunc locum ad Phocas, id est marinos vitulos accommodari, qui à natura sint quasi Amphibii. Nam Draconibus accommodari non potest, cùm volucrium solus vespertilio mammas habeat: serpentium terrestrium nulla species mammata est, ac proinde hæc ad marinum istud genus referri debent.

Isa. 34. 14.
Gesn. de Avib. l. 3. p. 241.
Hist. Anat. Cent. 1. p. 18.

2. Another far fetcht and improperly applied name to Witches, is Strix, and so some Authors call them Striges; when as the word Strix doth properly signifie a nocturnal bird, à stridendo sic dicta, that do use to suck the dugs of Goats, and also of young children, which we shall shew hereafter to be a Truth, and no Fable, as Ovid saith,

Nocte volant, puerósq; petunt nutricis egentes,
Et vitiant cunis corpora rapta suis.
Carpere dicuntur lactentia viscera rostris,
Et plenum poto sanguine guttur habent.
Est illis strigilis nomen; sed nominis hujus
Causa, quòd horrendâ stridere nocte solent.

This is that sort of bird that Gesner calleth Caprimulgus, and the Greeks Ἀιγαθήλας, the Germans Rachtvogel or Rachtraven, the Hebrews לילית Lillith, as is said in Isaiah: Quin & ibi subitò quievit strix (seu lamia) & invenit sibi requiem. It is taken to be a kind of Owl, little bigger than an Ousel, and less than a Cuckow, they are blind upon the day, and flye abroad upon the nights, making an horrible noise, and were to be found about Rome, Helvetia, and Crete or Candy, and do certainly suck the dugs of Goats, that thereby they waste away and become blind. And that they are also sometimes found in Denmark, that learned Physician and laborious Anatomist Bartholinus doth make manifest, and that they do suck the breasts or navils of young children. Now what affinity hath this to a Witch or Witchcraft? but that Witchmongers would bring in any allusion or Metaphor, though never so impertinent or incongruous? For if it were transferred to the actions of Witches, yet as Calepine tells us: Ab hujus avis nocumento striges appellamus 23mulieres puellulos fascinantes suo contactu, & lactis mammarúmq; oblatione. So that if the assimulation were proper in any proportion or particular, those Women they do account Witches, do but hurt the little children with the virulent steams of their breath, and the effluviums that issue from their filthy and polluted bodies, and so wrought by contact and contrectation, by which the contagious poyson is conveyed, but not by Witchcraft.

Act. 1. 26.
Prov. 16. 33.

3. There is another word that they apply to Witches, as insignificant and improper as the other, and that is Sortilegus, χρησμολόγος, a Teller of Fortunes by Lots or Cuts: and Lambertus Danæus, who in other things was a judicious and learned person, yet doted extremely about this opinion, calling a Witch Sortiarius, deriving it from Sortilegus, which the French call Sorcier. Now what affinity or congruity hath casting or using of Lots with that which these men call Witchcraft? surely none at all. For though Lots may, like the best things, be abused and wrested to a vain or evil end, yet are they not altogether evil, but that a civil and lawful use may be made of them, as is manifest this day at the famous City of Venice, where their chief Officers are chosen by them. And also there hath been a godly and divine use made of them even by the Apostles themselves, in the deciding of the Election of Barsabas and Matthias, upon the latter of which the Lot fell, and so he was numbred with the eleven Apostles. And Solomon tells us, The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. And sure these men were at a loss to find a suitable word to fix upon these Creatures, to whom they ascribe such impossible and incredible actions, when they were fain to bring this appellation of Sortilegus, that hath no kinship at all with such Witches, as they mean and intend.

4. Sometimes they call them by the name Saga, which signifieth no more than a Wife and subtil Woman, being derived à sagiendo to perceive quickly, or to smell a thing quickly forth, which the Germans call Vnhold, which is no more than malevolus, or evil-willed.

5. They use the word Veneficus, venefica, and veneficium, and this in its proper signification and derivation from the Latine, doth import no more than a Poysoner, or to make poyson, venenum facere, and so might perhaps be given unto them, because by Tradition they had learned several ways to poyson secretly and strangely, as doubtless there may be divers hidden and not ordinarily known ways (as we shall shew hereafter) by which either by smelling, tasting, touching (and it may be by sight) they could kill and destroy, though the means they used, and the effects produced, were meerly natural; yet because the manner was very occult and unperceivable, it was through ignorance and want of due inspection into the matters accounted Diabolical; when there was no more of a Devil in the business, than is in a Thief or Murtherer, but only in the Use and Application, which is to steal, kill, or destroy. 24And this, though now improperly and abusively called Witchcraft, doth but signifie poysoning, and so the French call it Empoisonnement, and the Italians Veneficio or Avenenatione, and the Germans Vergifftung, which all amount to one purpose. And this Veneficium or poysoning the Greeks call Φαρμάκευσις and Φαρμακία from Φάρμακον Medicamentum v.l. Venenum; for sometimes it was taken in the better sense for a curing and healing Medicine; and sometimes in the worse for poyson that did kill or destroy. Neither can it be found in any Greek Author to signifie any more, than such men or women that used Charms and Incantations, and were believed by the Vulgar to effect strange things by them, when in truth and indeed they effected nothing at all but by natural means and secret poysons, and from thence had these names. And the Poets spoke of them to adorn and imbellish their Poems withal, according to common opinion; not that either they themselves believed the things to be so done, as the Vulgar believed, nor to give credit to such false Fables and impossibilities; but to make their Poems more delectable and welcome to the common people, who are usually taken with such fond Romantick stories and lyes. But after the year 1300. when the Spanish Inquisitors, the Popish Doctors and Writers had found the sweetness and benefit of the confiscated Goods of those that they had caused to be accused and condemned for Witches, in their sense then these words either in the Greek or Latine were wrested to signifie a Witch that made a visible and corporeal League with the Devil, when in the true sense of them they did but signifie a secret Poysoner. So that all things were hurried, though never so improper and dissonant, to be made serviceable to their filthy lucre and avaritious self-endedness. Templum venale Deúsq;.

6. Lastly, For Witchcraft they used the Latine Fascinum and Fascinatio, and so they called a Witch Fascinator and Fascinatrix, and this the Greeks called Βασκανίον, Βασκανία, Fascinum, Fascinatio, also invidia, odium, seu invidentia, ἀπὸ τοῦ Βασκανεῖν, à fascinando, seu oculis occidendo: the Germans call it Zaubery, and Verzauberung, and sometimes Hexenwerk; the French Ensorcellement and Sorcelerie; the Italians Lestrigare & amaliare, amaliamento; the Belgicks Betoovenge: the Saxons called them and it Ƿɩcce and Ƿɩcce-cꞃeeꝼꞇ, from whence we have the name Witch and Witchcraft, that signified Saga, Venefica, Lamia, and Fascinum, Magia, Incantatio, Fascinatio, Præstigium: of which (because we shall have occasion to speak more of it hereafter) we shall here only note these few things.

Vid. Alexand. Aphrod. lib. 2. Probl. 53.

1. It is taken sometimes for Envy and Malice, because those that were supposed to use Fascination, did direct it to one Creature more than another through their envious minds, as may be perceived by some few Authors: And so was accounted a kind of eye-biting whereby (as the Vulgar believed) children did wax lean, and pined away, the original whereof they referred to the crooked 25and wry looks of malicious persons, never examining the truth of the matter of fact, whether those children that pined away, had any natural disease or not, that caused that macilency or pining away; nor considered, whether or no there was any efficiency in the envy or wry looks of those malicious persons, but vainly ascribed effects to those things that had in them no causality at all to produce such effects.

Eclog. 3.

2. Sometimes this kind of Fascination was ascribed to the sore or infected eyes of those that were accounted causers of hurt thereby in others, and in this sense Virgil saith: Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos. And by this no more could be understood, but that those that had infected and sore eyes might infect others, and this was nothing but contagion, or corrupt steams issuing from one body to another, which may happen in many diseases, as is manifest by the Writings of divers learned Physicians, as in bodies infected with the Plague, French Pox, Leprosie, Ophthalmies, and such like.

Sup. Epist. D. Paul. ad Galat. c. 3.

3. Sometimes Fascination is taken for some kind of Incantation, that by virtue of Words or Charms doth perform some strange things; but concerning this there is such incertainty of the opinions of the Learned, some flatly denying that Words or Charms have in them any natural efficacy at all; others as strongly affirming it, that of this point it is very difficult to make a clear determination: and therefore we shall say but this of it here, that the Angelical Doctor did conclude well in this particular, in these words: “Ad sciendum autem quid sit fascinatio, sciendum est quòd secundùm glossam fascinatio propriè dicitur ludificatio sensus, quæ per artes magicas fieri consuevit, puta, cum hominem facit aspectibus aliorum apparere leonem, vel cornutum, & hujusmodi.”

Having been thus large in considering the names and denomination given to those persons that are esteemed Witches, and finding them to be so improper, impertinent, various, and uncertain, let us now proceed to the notion and acceptation of Witchcraft and Witches, to try if in that we can find any more certainty or consonancy, and herein we shall produce some of the chief descriptions that are given of them by several Authors; for to quote all would be tedious and superfluous. Those that are or may be accounted Witches we rank in these two orders.

1. Those that were and are active deceivers, and are both by practice and purpose notorious Impostors, though they shadow their delusive and cheating knaveries under divers and various pretences; some pretending to do their Feats by Astrology (which is a general Cheat as it is commonly used) some by a pretended gift from God, when they are notoriously drunken, debauched, and blasphemous persons, such as of very late years was the Cobler that lived upon Ellill Moor, named Richmond, and divers others that I could name, but that in modesty I would spare their reputations: some by pretending skill in Natural Magick, when indeed they can 26hardly read English truly; some by pretending a familiar Spirit, as one Thomas Bolton near Knaresborough in Yorkshire, when indeed and in truth they have no other Familiar but their own Spirit of lying and deceiving: some by pretending to reveal things in Crystal-glasses or Beryls, as was well known to be pretended by Doctor Lamb, and divers others that I have known. And some by pretending to conjure and call up Devils, or the Spirits of men departed; and some by many other ways and means that are not necessary to be named here; for errour and deceit have a numerous train of Followers and Disciples. And the existence of such kind of Witches as these (if you will needs call them by that name, and not by their proper titles, which are, that they truly are Deceivers, Cheaters, Couseners, and Impostors) I willingly acknowledge, as having been, and are to be found in all ages, and these sorts are also acknowledged by Wierus, Mr. Scot, Johannes Lazarus Gutierius, Tobias Tandlerus, Hieronymus Nymannus, Martinius Biermannus, and all the rest, that notwithstanding did with might and main oppose the gross Tenent of the common Witchmongers.

A Candle in the dark, p. 12, 13.
Object. p. 78.

And of this sort were all those several differences of Diviners, Witches, or Deceivers named in the Scriptures, as Mr. Ady hath sufficiently declared in this passage, which we shall transcribe. “A Witch is a man or woman that practiseth Devillish crafts of seducing the people for gain, from the knowledge and worship of God, and from the truth, to vain credulity (or believing of lyes) or to the worshipping of Idols”. And again he saith: “Witchcraft is a Devillish craft of seducing the people for gain, from the knowledge and worship of God, and from his truth, to vain credulity (or believing of lyes) or to the worshipping of Idols. That it is a Craft truly so called, and likewise that it is for gain, is proved Act. 16. 16, 19. The Maid that followed Paul crying, brought in her Master much gain; and that it is a Craft of perverting the people, or seducing them from God and his Truth, is proved Act. 6. 7, 8. Elimas the Sorcerer laboured to pervert Deputy from the Faith. So likewise Act. 8. 9, 10, 11. it doth more plainly prove all these words: And there was a man before in the City called Simon, which used Witchcraft, and bewitched the people of Samaria, saying, That he himself was some great man, to whom they gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God, and gave heed unto him, because that of long time he had bewitched them with Sorceries. How bewitched them with Sorceries? That is, seduced them with Devillish Crafts: (as the Greek and also Tremelius Latine Translation do more plainly illustrate.) In this sense speaketh Paul to the Galatians 3. 1. O foolish Galathians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth? And that a Witch or Witchcraft is taken in no other sense in all the Scripture, it appeareth by the whole current of the Scriptures, as you may see in this Book.” But against this Mr. Glanvil and the rest of his 27opinion will object and say, that it is hard and severe that Cheaters and Impostors should be ranked with Inchanters, and such as converse with Devils and with Idolaters, and that of this it is hard to give a reason. To this we shall give this full responsion.

Levit. 20. 10.
Deut. 22. 22, 23, 24.

1. We are to consider in what precise respect actions are in Sacred Writ called sinful and wicked, and wherefore they have such severe punishments annexed unto them, and we shall find that this is not ratione medii vel actùs, sed finis. As for instance and illustration: we shall find that the Law was peremptory in point of adultery, which saith: If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them dye. Now the act of copulation, as it is an act, is all one with a lawful wife, and with the wife of another man (that is, one generically considered) and yet the one is lawful, as agreeing with Gods Law and Ordinance, and the other is unlawful, sinful, wicked, and therefore to be punished with death, because it is an aberration from the Divine Ordinance, and contrary to the Command of God, who saith, Thou shalt not commit adultery. So though the things committed by these persons, were or might be performed by natural or artificial means, that simply in themselves were not sinful, or so severely punishable, yet were they evil in regard of the end, which was to deceive and seduce the people to Idolatry.

2 Chron. 33. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Psal. 115. 4, 5, 6, 7. ibid. Psal. 135. 17.

2. Therefore the true and punctual reason why these persons (termed Witches or Diviners) are by the Law of God so severely to be punished, is, because they drew the people to Idolatry, the thing that God most hateth, and against which he hath pronounced the most severe and terriblest judgments of all. Nay these people were the very false Prophets, especially of one sort, and the very Priests to the Idols, as is manifest in the wicked and filthy Idolatry of all sorts set up and practised by Manasses, even all the sorts (or the most of them) mentioned in the Scriptures. And God declareth himself to be a jealous God, and that he will not give his glory to another, but is the only Lord God, and him only we ought to serve; and therefore will most severely punish those that attribute that unto Idols, that is only proper unto himself: and for this cause, and upon this ground are all those terrible Comminations used in the Scriptures, and especially against this sort of people, who were the chief Instruments of promoting Idol-worship, ascribing the power of a Deity unto them, when the Prophet tells us, Their idols are silver and gold, the work of mens hands; they have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not; they have hands but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not, neither speak they through their throat; neither is there any breath in their mouths.

2 King. 1. 4.
1 King. 18.

3. That many great and abstruse things may be lawfully done by Natural Magick, is well known to the best Naturalists, and how great Feats may be performed by the Mathematicks and Mechanical 28Arts, are well known to the Learned; and that there is and may be a lawful use of Astrology, and many things may be foretold by it, few that are judicious are ignorant; that the Prognosticks in the Art of Medicine are necessary, and of much use and certainty, all learned Physicians know very well; that observing of times, and many other such like things may for divers respects be lawfully practised. But if all or any of these be used to draw people to Idolatry, and their strange effects ascribed unto dumb and dead Idols, then what horrible sin and abomination were this, and no punishment could be too heavy for it. And so it is in the case of these sort of people called Witches or Diviners, they perswaded the multitude, that their false Gods (or rather Devils) in their Idols, could foretel life or death, and so led the people a whoring after them, as Ahaziah sent to inquire of the god of Ekron, whether he should recover or not, and therefore he had that sharp judgment, That he should not come down from that bed whither he was gone up, but should surely dye. And did not the Priests of Baal (which were the same rabble named Deut. 18. 10, 11, 12, 13, &c.) obstinately labour to make Ahab and all the people believe, that the Gods (or Devils) that they worshipped in their Idols, could and would answer by fire, and pertinaciously persisted in their obstinacy, cutting themselves with knives and lancets from morning until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, and yet nothing was effected? so that they were justly guilty of that punishment which they received, which was death, for ascribing that to a dead Idol, that none could perform, but the only true God of Israel, and yet in the meantime could neither by their own skill, nor the skill of their Idols foresee that sudden death that fell upon them: which punishment fell deservedly upon them, for labouring to deceive the people, and confirm them in Idolatry, in ascribing that unto a dead stock, which was only in the power of the Almighty to perform. So if all those fine Knacks and neat Tricks that Athanasius Kircher performed at Rome by the help and means of the Loadstone, and mentioned in his Book de Arte Magnetica, had been by him ascribed unto some Saint, thereby to have drawn the people to the adoration of that Saint, and so to Idolatry, it had been active imposture, deceit, and knavery in him, and he might justly have been inrolled in the Catalogue of these Witches or Diviners, and had really been an active Impostor, as they were, and so had deserved the same punishment: when on the contrary for ascribing effects unto their true and proper causes, and clearly shewing the manner and means of producing those effects, he hath justly deserved the title of a learned and honest man. And though a common Hocus Pocus man, or one that playeth Tricks of Leger-de-main or slight of hand, to get a livelihood by, do labour to make the ignorant multitude believe that he doth his Feats by virtue of his barbarous terms or non-significant words, or by the help of some familiar Spirit; must therefore a prudent or learned person believe the same, and 29not labour to understand that those pretences are but used the better to deceive the senses of the beholders, and so that pretence but a cheat and imposture?

Isa. 44. 15, 16.
Isa. 41. 22, 23.
Dan. 22. 11.
Gen. 41. 8.
1 Sam. 28. 11.
Act. 8. 9.

4. We affirm that all these mentioned in the Scriptures (nay, and that the Priests attending all the so famoused Oracles) were but meer Cheaters and Impostors, and that for these reasons. 1. They could not be, nor were ignorant that all their numerous Idols were but the works of mens hands, and that they could not of themselves move, see, hear, smell, or breathe, much less eat and drink; and therefore were notorious Cheaters and Impostors in labouring to make the people believe the contrary. 2. They could not be ignorant but what answers were given, and what acts were done, were performed by themselves, and not by the Idols, and yet they laboured to make the people believe the contrary, as the Bramines and Priests do to this day all over the Eastern parts of Asia, and in many other places, and so must needs be notorious Knaves and Cheaters; because, as Isaiah saith, With part of the wood whereof he hath made himself an Idol, he maketh a fire and warmeth himself. 3. They could not be ignorant that their Idols could not, nor did declare any thing truly that was to come, but what Answers were given, or Divinations were uttered, were of their own devising and invention, and no other Devil in the case, but Diabolical inspirations in their minds. And this is manifest by their pitiful shuffling equivocations (especially of all the Oracles) their responsions being always ambiguous, and bearing a double sense, which caused Cardan to say: “Oracula, si non essent ambigua, non essent oracula.” And commonly (if not always) they were given in the favour of those that gave the largest gifts, which made Demosthenes say, that the Oracle at Delphos did φιλιππίζειν, because it always spoke in favour of Philip and his proceedings. And it was with the Oracles, as with the Temple of Neptune, All the Offerings of those that escaped shipwrack were preserved, and to be seen; but of those that had suffered shipwrack, there was no memorial nor knowledge of their number: so, many have noted some few Hits of the Oracles, but few have noted their Misses, which doubtless were far the greater number. For so it is here in this North Country with our Figure-flingers and pretended Conjurers, Piss-Prophets, and Water-Witches, that if they hit once, it is cryed up and told every where; but if they erre an hundred times, it is soon buried in silence and oblivion, and one fool will not take warning at anothers being cheated and deceived. And that their Idols did not, nor could declare truly what was to come, is manifest by the Prophet who saith: Let them bring them forth (that is, their Idols) and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Yet these 30miserable, cheating, dissembling Wretches that would have had the multitude to have believed, that their Idols could have foretold truly almost any thing; yet neither their Idols, nor the Gods (or Devils) they pretended to be in them, nor themselves could foretel or foresee their own destruction, as is manifest in the Prophets of Baal in the time of Elijah, who went up to Mount Carmel to advance the worship and power of their Idols, but did not foresee it should be all their destructions and deaths. Doubtless those that in the Book of Daniel are called Wise-men, Magicians, Astrologers, Sorcerers, and Chaldeans were endowed with much rare knowledge, both in respect of Nature and Art: for if their knowledge had been Diabolical, without question Daniel would hardly have interceded for them, yet could they not reveal what the Kings dream was that was gone from him, nor foresee that they run the hazard of their lives; but did conclude that none other could shew it, except the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh. 4. In matters of fact it appeareth, that they were active deceivers and deluders, as is manifest when Pharaoh had dreamed two dreams, that he called and sent for all the Magicians and Wise-men of Egypt; but they could not interpret them unto him. Junius and Tremelius render it: Omnes Magos Ægypti, & omnes Sapientes ejus. The vulgar Latine (or that which is improperly called St. Hieromes Translation) gives it: Misit ad omnes Conjectores Ægypti, cunctósq; Sapientes. And these doubtless Pharaoh would not have sent for, but that either upon his own knowledge he knew that they professed the ability of the interpretation of dreams, and (perhaps) as the sequel shewed, greater matters; or else upon common repute, or relation of others, and that must needs arise from their own profession of the knowledge of such abstruse matters: and so of necessity must have pretended greater matters, than when they came to tryal they were able to perform, and so must needs be Impostors. And the Woman at Endor (falsely called a Witch, or a Woman that had a familiar Spirit, when in the Hebrew she is only called the Mistress of the Bottle, as we shall manifest hereafter) must needs be a Deceiver and Impostor, because she pretended to bring up whomsoever Saul desired, which was a thing absolutely not in her power, as I shall undeniably prove afterwards. And notwithstanding the stories of Eusebius, and the strong endeavours of Doctor Hamond to make it good, that Simon Magus was a person that had peculiar and corporeal converse with the Devil, and by that league and converse could perform strange and wonderful things; yet was he but a notorious Impostor, as appeareth by two reasons. 1. The Text saith, that he gave out that himself was some great one, that is, that he had great skill, and was able to perform wonderful things. This sheweth his presumption and pretence, the certain badge of a Deceiver and Cheater. 2. But could do little, except some petty jugling Tricks of Leger-de-main, confederacy, and the like; because he wondred, or was amazed, beholding the Miracles 31and signs which were done, and those were, that unclean Spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: And many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. Now if he had been any great Magician, or could have performed any great things, he could not have so much wondred at those things that Philip wrought: or if he could have flown in the air, as Eusebius (or those that have foisted such incredible lyes into his Writings) pretendeth, then he need not have been so amazed at the miracles and signs that the Apostles wrought, nor to have offered to have bought the gift of bestowing the Holy Ghost, but only because he was a notorious Dissembler and Impostor. And if he had been in league with the Devil, surely he might have cast forth Devils by the power of Beelzebub the Prince of Devils: all which do plainly conclude him to be an absolute Cheater and Impostor. And the story of Bel and the Dragon (though but an Apocryphal piece, yet very ancient, and of sufficient credit as to matter of fact) doth evidently demonstrate, that these sort of people were abominable Cheaters and Impostors, and were not endowed with any supernatural power, nor had assistance of any visible Demon, but only the Devil of deceit and cousenage in their own breasts, and so were, as Cardan saith, Carnales Dæmones ipsis Dæmonibus callidiores.

Instit. p. 3. p. 45.

5. And though by the Laws of our own Nation these kind of people were to be severely punished, as appeareth by the Statute 1 Jac. cap. 12. yet had they respect in that Act, not only to the punishment in respect of what these persons could or did do, but also in regard of their being Impostors and Deceivers of the people; for so the Lord Chief Justice Sir Edward Cook, the best Expositor of Law that hath written in our Language, doth expound it in these words. The mischiefs before this part of this Act were: “That divers Impostors, men and women, would take upon them to tell or do these fine things here specified, in great deceit of the people, and cheating and cousening them of their money or other goods: therefore was this part of the Act made, wherein these words [take upon him or them] are very remarkable. For if they take upon them, &c. though in truth they do it not, yet are they in danger of this first branch.

6. And whereas in the objection Mr. Glanvil mentioneth converse with Devils, if he mean mental, internal, and spiritual converse, such as Murtherers, Adulterers, Thieves, Robbers, and all wicked persons have with Satan, we grant it; for so had the Jews and the High Priests in conspiring and acting to put our blessed Saviour to death: it was their hour, and the power of darkness. But if he mean a visible and corporeal converse, then we plainly affirm that there is not, nor can be any such, whereby any such strange things (as Witchmongers fondly and falsely believe) can be performed or effected. Therefore by way of conclusion in this particular, we grant that there are many sorts of such kind of 32Witches, as for gain and vain-glory do take upon them to declare hidden and occult things, to divine of things that are to come, and to do many wonderful matters, but that they are but Cheaters, Deceivers, and Couseners.

2. And as there are a numerous crew of active Witches, whose existence we freely acknowledge; so there are another sort, that are under a passive delusion, and know not, or at least do not observe or understand, that they are deluded or imposed upon. These are those that confidently believe that they see, do, and suffer many strange, odd, and wonderful things, which have indeed no existence at all in them, but only in their depraved fancies, and are meerly melancholiæ figmenta. And yet the confessions of these, though absurd, idle, foolish, false, and impossible, are without all ground and reason by the common Witchmongers taken to be truths, and falsely ascribed unto Demons, and that they are sufficient grounds to proceed upon to condemn the Confessors to death, when all is but passive delusion, intrinsecally wrought in the depraved imaginative faculty by these three ways or means.

1. One of the Causes that produceth this depraved and passive delusion, is evil education; they being bred up in ignorance, either of God, the Scriptures, or the true grounds of Christian Religion, nay not being taught the common Rules of Morality, or of other humane Literature; but only imbibing and sucking in, with their mothers and nurses milk, the common gross and erroneous opinions that the blockish vulgar people do hold, who are all generally inchanted and bewitched with the belief of the strange things related of Devils, Apparitions, Fayries, Hobgoblins, Ghosts, Spirits, and the like: so that thereby a most deep impression of the verity of the most gross and impossible things is instamped in their fancies, hardly ever after in their whole life time to be obliterated or washt out: so prevalent a thing is Custom and Institution from young years, though the things thus received, and pertinaciously believed, and adhered unto, are most abominable falsities and impossibilities, having no other existence but in the brains and phantasies of old, ignorant, and doting persons, and are meerly muliercularum & nutricum terriculamenta & figmenta, and therefore did Seneca say: Gravissimum est consuetudinis imperium. And that this is one main cause of this delusion, is manifest from all the best Historians, that where the light of the Gospel hath least appeared, and where there is the greatest brutish ignorance and heathenish Barbarism, there the greatest store of these deluded Witches or Melancholists are to be found, as in the North of Scotland, Norway, Lapland, and the like, as may be seen at large in Saxo Grammaticus, Olaus Magnus, Hector Boetius, and the like.

Schenck. observ. medic. lib. 1. pag. 129.

2. But when an atrabilarious Temperament, or a melancholick Complexion and Constitution doth happen to those people bred in such ignorance, and that have suckt in all the fond opinions that Custom and Tradition could teach them, then what thing can be 33imagined that is strange, wonderful, or incredible, but these people do pertinaciously believe it, and as confidently relate it to others? nay even things that are absolutely impossible, as that they are really changed into Wolves, Hares, Dogs, Cats, Squirrels, and the like; and that they flye in the Air, are present at great Feasts and Meetings, and do strange and incredible things, when all these are but the meer effects of the imaginative function depraved by the fumes of the melancholick humor, as we might shew from the Writings of the most grave and learned Physicians; but we shall content our selves with some few select ones. 1. That distemper which Physicians call Lycanthropia, is according to the judgment of Aetius and Paulus, but a certain species of Melancholy, and yet they really think and believe themselves to be Wolves, and imitate their actions: of which Johannes Fincelius in his second Book de Mirac. giveth us a relation to this purpose. “That at Padua in the year 1541. a certain Husband-man did seem to himself a Wolf, and did leap upon many in the fields, and did kill them. And that at last he was taken not without much difficulty, and did confidently affirm that he was a true Wolf, only that the difference was in the skin turned in with the hairs. And therefore that certain, having put off all humanity, and being truly truculent and voracious, did smite and cut off his legs and arms, thereby to try the truth of the matter; but the innocency of the man being known, they commit him to the Chirurgions to be cured, but that he dyed not many days after.” Which instance is sufficient to overthrow the vain opinion of those men that believe that a man or woman may be really transformed or transubstantiated into a Wolf, Dog, Cat, Squirrel, or the like, without the operation of an omnipotent power, as in Lots Wife becoming a Pillar of Salt; though St. Augustine was so weak as to seem to believe the reality of these transformations: of which we shall have occasion to speak more largely hereafter.

Observat. medic. lib. 1. cap. 18. pag. 38.

2. Another story we shall give from the Authority of that learned Physician Nicolaus Tulpius of Amsterdam to this effect. A certain famous Painter was for a long time infected with black Choler, and did falsely imagine that all the bones of his body were as soft and flexible, that they might be drawn and bended like soft wax. Which opinion being deeply imprinted in his mind, he kept himself in bed the whole Winter, fearing that if he should rise, they would not bear his weight, but would shrink together by reason of their softness. That Tulpius did not contradict him in that fancy, but said that it was a distemper that Physicians were not ignorant of, but had been long before noted by Fernelius, that the bones like wax might be softned and indurated, and that it might be easily cured, if he would be obedient: and that within three days he would make the bones firm and stable, and that within six days he would restore him to the power of walking. By which promises it was hard to declare, how much hope of recovering health it had 34raised up in him, and how obedient it made him. So that with Medicines proper to purge the atrabilarious humour within the time appointed, he was at the three days end suffered to stand upon his feet, and upon the sixth day had leave given to walk abroad: and so found himself perfectly sound afterwards; but did not perceive the deceit in his phantasie, that had made him lye a whole Winter in bed, though he was no stupid, but an ingenious person in his Art, and scarce second to any.

Cent. 1. Hist. 79. pag. 117.
Vt supr. Histor. 85. pag. 125.

3. Thomas Bartholinus the famous Anatomist, and Physician to Frederick the Third King of Denmark, tells us these things: “That it is the property of melancholy persons to fear things not to be feared, and to feign things quæ nec picta usquam sunt, nec scripta. A Plebeian (he saith) with them abounding with melancholy blood did imagine that his Nose was grown to that greatness, that he durst not go abroad, for fear it should be hurt or justled upon by those he met. And that a famous Poet at Amsterdam did believe that his Buttocks were of glass, and feared their breaking, if he should sit down. Another Old man of prime Dignity did suspect that he had swallowed a nail, which being lost, he could no where find, and thought himself much tortured by its being fixed in him. But was restored to his health, by having a Vomit given, and the Physician conveying a nail into the matter that he cast up. And that a certain man in England would not make water, for fear that all the blood in his body should have passed forth by that passage, and therefore straitly tyed the yard with a thred for some days, which swelling he was not far from death, but that his Brother by force untyed it.” The Books of Physicians are very full with such relations, and we in our Practice have met with divers as strange as these, and cured them. Also he tells us this: “A certain Student of a melancholick Constitution, distracted with grief for the death of a Sister, and wearied with lucubrations, did complain to (Bartholinus) of the Devil haunting of him: and did affirm that he felt the evil Spirit enter by his fundament with wind, and so did creep up his body until it possessed the head, lest he might attend his Prayers and Meditations with his accustomed devotion, and that it did descend and go forth the same way, when he bent himself to Prayers, and reading of Sacred Books. Before these things he used to be filled with unheard of joy from his assiduous Prayers and watching, that also he had heard a celestial kind of Musick, and therefore despising all mortal things, he had distributed all things to the poor; but that now piety waxing cold by too much appetite after meat, and his brain troubled with that wind, that he had heard a voice of one in his brain upbraiding him with Blasphemy, and that he felt hands beating, and a stink passing before his nose. By all which Bartholinus guessed, that it was Hypochondriacal Melancholy, and by good Counsel, proper Physick, merry Company, and rightly ordering of him, he was perfectly cured.”

Histor. medic. mirab. l. 2. c. 1. p. 33.

354. To these we will only add this that is related by Marcellus Donatus, Physician to the Duke of Mantua and Montferrat, to this purpose. “That he knew a Noble Countess of their City, that did most earnestly affirm, that she was made sick by the Witchery and Incantation of a certain ill-minded Woman; which was apprehended by a learned Physician to be, notwithstanding her fancy, nothing else but Hypochondriacal Melancholy, which he cured by giving her proper Medicaments to purge that humour, and ordering her Waiting-maid to put into the matter she voided Nails, Feathers, and Needles; which when with a glad countenance she had shewed to her Mistress, she presently cryed out that she had not been deceived, when she had referred the cause of her disease to Witchcraft, and afterwards did daily recover more and more.”

Relat. of Lancash. Witches.

3. And as ignorance and irreligion meeting with a melancholick Constitution, doth frame many persons to strange fancies both of fear and credulity: so when to these is added the teachings of those that are themselves under a most strong passive delusion, then of all others these become most strongly confident that they can perform admirable things. As when a person hath by education suckt in all the grossest fables and lyes of the power of Witches and familiar Devils, and therein becometh extremely confident, heightned with the fumes of black Choler, and so thinks, meditates, and dreameth of Devils, Spirits, and all the strange stories that have been related of them, and becometh maliciously stirred up against some Neighbour or other: And so in that malicious and revengeful mind seeketh unto, and inquireth for some famed and notorious Witch, of whom they believe they may learn such craft and cunning, that thereby they may be able to kill or destroy the persons or goods of those that they suppose have done them injuries. Then meeting with some that are strongly deluded, and confidently perswaded, that they have the company and assistance of a familiar Spirit, by whose help they believe they can do (almost) any thing, especially in destroying men or cattel, they are presently instructed what vain and abominable Ceremonies, Observances, Unguents, Charms, making of Pictures, and a thousand such fond, odd fopperies they are to use, by which they believe they can do strange Feats. And from this do proceed their bold and confident confessions of lyes and impossibilities, that notwithstanding have abused so many to take them for certain truths: so that according to the Proverb, Popery and Witchcraft go by Tradition: and we shall find none of these deluded Witches (if they must be so called) but they have been taught by others, that thought themselves to be such also. And this is a truth, if we may trust the confession of Alizon Denice at the Bar at Lancaster, who saith thus: “That about two years agone her Grandmother called Elizabeth Sotheres, alias Dembdike, did (sundry times in going or walking together, as they went begging) perswade and advise this Examinate 36to let a Devil or a Familiar appear to her, and that she this Examinate would let him suck at some part of her, and she might have and do what she would.”

But besides these two sorts of Witches, whose Existence we deny not, there is an acceptation of the word Witch in another sense, the Existence of which I absolutely deny, and that is this according to Mr. Perkins. “A Witch is a Magician, who either by open or secret League wittingly and willingly consenteth to use the aid and assistance of the Devil in the working of Wonders.”

But the full Description and Notion that the common Witchmongers give a Witch is this. “That a Witch is such a person to whom the Devil doth appear in some visible shape, with whom the Witch maketh a League or Covenant, sometimes by Bond signed with the Witches blood, and that thereby he doth after suck upon some part of their bodies, and that they have carnal Copulation together, and that by virtue of that League the Witch can be changed into an Hare, Dog, Cat, Wolf, or such like Creatures; that they can flye in the air, raise storms and tempests, kill men or cattel, and such like wonders.” This notion of a Witch may be gathered from the Writings of these persons, Delrio the Jesuit, Bodinus, Jacobus Springerus, Johannes Niderus, Bartholomeus Spineus, Paulus Grillandus, Lambertus Danæus, Hemmingius, Erastus, Sennertus, and many others. As also from the Writings of our own Country-men, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Bernard of Balcombe, the Author of the Book called Demonology, Mr. Gaule, Mr. Giffard, and divers others, who have from one to another lickt up the Vomit of the first Broacher of this vain and false opinion, and without due consideration have laboured to obtrude it upon others. Yet was it in a manner rejected by the most of the Learned, who had duly weighed the matter, and read the strong and convincing arguments of Wierus, Tandlerus, Nymannus, Biermannus, Gutierrius, Mr. Scot, and the like, until of late years Dr. Casaubon and Mr. Glanvil have taken up Weapons to defend these false, absurd, impossible, impious, and bloody opinions withal, against whose arguments we now principally direct our Pen, and after the answering of their groundless and unjust scandals, we shall labour to overthrow their chief Bulwarks and Fortifications.



The denying of such a Witch as is last described in the foregoing Chapter, doth not infer the denying of Angels or Spirits. Apparitions no warrantable ground for a Christian to believe the Existence of Angels or Devils by, but the Word of God.

Of Credulity and Incredulity, pag. 7.

Having declared in what sense and acceptation we allow of Witches, and in what notion we deny them, lest we be misunderstood we shall add thus much: That we do not (as the Schools speak) deny the existence of Witches absolutè & simpliciter, sed secundùm quid, and that they do not exist tali modo, that is, they do not make a visible Contract with the Devil, he doth not suck upon their bodies, they have not carnal Copulation with him, and the like recited before, and in these respects, and not otherwise, did Wierus, Gutierrius and Mr. Scot deny Witches, that is, that neither they nor their supposed Familiars could perform such things as are ascribed unto them. And that Dr. Casaubon and Mr. Glanvil should charge those that hold this opinion with Atheism or Sadducism, is to me very strange, having no ground, connexion, or rational consequence so to do: yet doth Dr. Casaubon affirm it in these words: “Now one prime foundation (saith he) of Atheism, as by many ancient and late is observed, being the not believing the existence of spiritual Essences, whether good or bad, separate, or united, subordinate to God, as to the supreme and original Cause of all; and by consequent the denying of supernatural operations: I have, I confess, applied my self, by my examples, which in this case do more than any reasoning, and (the Authority of the holy Scriptures laid aside) are almost the only convincing proof.” And Mr. Glanvil is so confident (I might justly say impudent) that he styled his Book, A Blow at modern Sadducism, which, I confess, is so weak a blow, and so blindly levell’d, and so improperly directed, that I am sure it will kill or hurt no body: and tells us this boldly and roundly. “And those that dare not bluntly say, There is no God, content themselves, (for a fair step and introduction) to deny there are Spirits or Witches. Which sort of Infidels, though they are not ordinary among the meer Vulgar, yet are they numerous in a little higher rank of understandings. And those that know any thing of the World, know that most of the looser Gentry, and the small Pretenders to Philosophy and Wit, are generally deriders of the belief of Witches and Apparitions.” And the whole design of his Book is to prove those men to be guilty of Sadducism, that deny the existence of Witches understood in his sense, and this we oppose, 38and the state of the question we lye down thus.

That the denying the existence of Angels or Spirits; or the Resurrection, doth not infer the denying of the Being of God; nor the denying of the existence of Witches (in the sense before laid down) infer the denying of Angels or Spirits; and that they do unjustly charge the Authors of this opinion with Sadducism, we shall prove with irrefragable Arguments.

Argum. 1.

1. There can be no right deduction made, nor no right consequence drawn, where there is no dependency in causality, nor no connexion of dependency. For as in the Relative and Correlative, the denying of the one necessarily destroys the other, yet fundamentum Relationis non destruitur; so a father without a child, as a father, doth neither exist nor is known, and yet the foundation of those two terms, of Paternity and Childship, which is Man, doth remain. So he that denieth Creation, doth destroy the Relative, which is Creator; yet the foundation, which is God, doth remain: and the denying of the Creation, doth not infer the necessary conclusion of denying the Being of a God, because there might be a God, though there were no Creation, because God is supposed to be, both in respect of causality and duration, before Creation. So what relation can Mr. Glanvil feign betwixt the Being of God and the Being of Angels or Spirits? For they both belong to the Predicament of Substance, and not that of Relation; and there is less relation betwixt the Being of a Witch and the Being of Spirits: so that the denying of the one doth not infer the denying of the other. And though there were relation (which Mr. Glanvil cannot shew) the foundation of that Relation (which is so necessary, that Relatives cannot subsist without it) might remain, though the Relatives were taken away: and therefore the denying of the existence of Angels or Spirits, doth not infer the denying of the Being of God; and therefore the Authors of this opinion are wrongfully and falsely charged with Atheism: and the denying of the existence of a Witch (in the sense specified) doth not infer the denying of the Being of Spirits; and therefore Scot, Osburne, and the like, are falsely and wrongfully charged with Sadducism.

Argum. 2.
Mat. 22. 23. Act. 23. 8.

2. Though it be a true Maxime, that de posse ad esse non valet argumentum; yet on the contrary, the possibility of that can never be rationally denied, that hath once been in esse. But it is apparent, that the Sadducees denied the Resurrection, and that there were either Angels or Spirits, that is, they denied that Angels or Spirits, whether good or bad, did separately exist, and that they were nothing but the good or bad motions in mens minds: yet these men were no Atheists; for though they denied the Resurrection, and held that there were no Angels or Spirits, yet they held and believed there was a God, and did allow of, and believed the five Books of Moses, else would not our Saviour have used an argument, whose only strength was drawn from a sentence in the third Chapter of Exodus, the sixth verse. So that even the denying of 39the Existence of Angels and Spirits, doth not infer the denying of a God; much less doth the denying the Existence of a Witch, infer the denial of the Being of Angels and Spirits; and therefore the charge of Atheism and Sadducism is false, injurious, and scandalous.

Argum. 3.

3. Those things that in their Beings have no dependence one upon another, the denying of the one doth not takeaway or deny the being of the other; but where the being doth meerly exist in dependency upon another superior Cause, there take away or deny the being of the first Cause, and thereby you take away and deny the being of all the rest that depends upon it. So he that denies the Being of a God, doth necessarily deny the Being of Angels or Spirits; but not on the contrary. For he that denieth the Existence of Angels and Spirits, doth not therefore necessarily take away or deny the Being of a God, because the Being of a God is independent of either Angel or Spirit, and doth exist solely by it self. And therefore if Wierus or Scot had denied the Existence of Angels and Spirits (which they did not) yet it would not have inferred that they were Atheists; and therefore are falsely accused by Dr. Casaubon and Mr. Glanvil. And though they should have denied the Existence of Witches (which they did not simpliciter, sed tali modo) yet it would not have inferred, that they were guilty of Sadducism, because Spirits or Demons have their Existence without any dependence of the being of Witches; and therefore it is but a poor fallacia consequentiæ to say, he that denies a Witch, denies a Demon or Spirit.

Argum. 4.

4. The denying of the Existence of Spirits, doth not infer the denying of the Being of a God, because in the priority of duration God was when Spirits were not, for they are not immortal à parte anté. So likewise the denying of the Existence of Witches, doth not infer the denial of the Being of Spirits, for in the priority of duration Spirits were existent before Witches; for Adam and Eve could not be ignorant that there were Spirits, both good and bad, and yet then there were no Witches. So that a Spirit having, in respect of duration, a Being before that a Witch can have any; the denying the Existence of the latter, doth not infer the denying of the Being of the former, but is meerly inconsequent, agreeable to no Rules of Logick, except that of Logger-head Colledge.

Argum. 5.

5. Many properties or proper adjuncts may be ascribed unto a substance, the denying of which adjuncts, doth not infer the denying of the being of the substance. So that to deny that a Horse hath fins like a fish, or wings like a bird, doth not infer the denying of the being of a Horse. Therefore it is injurious and scandalous in Dr. Casaubon and Mr. Glanvil, to charge Dr. Wierus and Mr. Scot with Atheism and Sadducism, when indeed (as we shall prove hereafter) their own Tenents tend to blasphemy, impiety, vanity, and uncharitableness.

Another thing that we oppose is, that Apparitions are no warrantable 40ground for a Christian to believe the Existence of Angels and Spirits by, but the Word of God, which these cogent reasons do sufficiently prove.

Argum. 1.

1. For to say that the Apparitions of Spirits, good or bad, do prove their Existence, is but petitio principii, a begging of the question, that first is in doubt, and ought to be proved. For how come we to be assured, that the Apparitions that are made, and really by unquestionable Witnesses attested for truth (not to speak of melancholy Fancies, and Fables, Knacks of Knavery and Imposture, and other ignorant and gross mistakes, which are often believed to be Apparitions, when they are no such matter) that they are made by good or bad Spirits? for that is the thing in doubt, and so is but a circular way of arguing by way of begging the question, or proving ignotum per ignotius; for Apparitions do not prove the Being of Spirits, except it be first proved, that those Apparitions be made or caused by Spirits.

Argum. 2.

2. There are many Apparitions that are produced by natural and artificial Causes, and need not be referred to supernatural ones, as are all those Idola, Images, or Species that we see in Glasses, which cannot be denied to be Apparitions, and yet arise from natural Causes. So the Apparition of Comets, new Stars, and many other sort of strange Meteors, as sometimes three Suns, the Rain-bow, Halones, and the like, that have natural Causes to produce them, and are no proof of the Being of Spirits. Nay as the best and most credible Historians have left upon Record, and hath been known to be a certain verity in divers parts of these three Kingdoms, within the space of these forty years, strange and various Sights have been seen in the Air, both of Men, and Horses, and Armies fighting one with another; and yet were these no proof of the Existence of Spirits, because they may (and doubtlesly do) proceed from other causes, and not from the operation or efficiency of Angels or Spirits, either good or bad.

Argum. 3.
Jo. Drusii Præterit. l. 7. p. 289.
De Subtil. l. 19. p. 1202, 1203.
De Nymph. lib. pag. 389.
The invisible World, sect. 6. pag. 303.

3. It is not certainly known what diversity of Creatures there may be that are mediæ naturæ betwixt Angels and Men, that may sometimes appear, and then vanish: so that if it be granted, that there be Apparitions really and truly, yet it will not necessarily follow, that these are caused by good or bad Angels, because they may be effected by Creatures of another and middle Nature; and so Apparitions no certain ground for the believing of the Existence of Angels or Spirits. For the most learned Drusius gives us this account from one of the Commentators upon the Book Aboth. “Debet homo intelligere ac scire à terra usq; ad firmamentum, quod Rakia, id est, Expansum appellant, omnia plena esse turmis & præfectis, & infrà plurimas esse creaturas lædentes & accusantes, omnésq; stare ac volare in aëre, neq; à terra usq; ad firmamentum locum esse vacuum: sed omnia plena esse præpositis, quorum alii ad pacem, alii ad bellum, alii ad bonum, alii ad malum; ad vitam & ad mortem incitant. Ob id compositum fuit canticum occursuum, 41quod incipit, Sedet in occulto Supremus.” And if this be a truth, here are orders and numbers enough of several sorts to make Apparitions, and yet be neither the good or bad Angels. And if there may any credit be given to the relation that Cardan gives of his Father Facius Cardanus, which he had from his own mouth, and also had left it in writing; then “there are mortal Demons, that are born and do die as men do, that can appear and disappear, and are of such most tenuious bodies, that they can afford us neither help nor, hurt, excepting terrors, and spectres, and knowledge”. And if there may be credit given to Plutarch (so highly magnified by Dr. Casaubon) the God Pan of the Heathens must have been one of these mortal Demons, because he tells us upon the credit of Epotherses (a Tale of hear-say) “That Thamus was by a voice thrice calling upon him, commanded that when he came to Palodes, he should tell them, that the great God Pan was dead”. And that there are such mortal Demons, is strongly asserted by Paracelsus, and by him called Nymphæ, Sylphi, Pygmæi, and Salamandræ, and that they are not of Adams Generation, and that they have wonderful power and skill. And to this opinion do the Schools both of the ancient and later Academicks wholly incline, and seems to be favoured both by Dr. Moor and Mr. Glanvil himself; and if there be any such matters, doubtless from thence did arise all the strange stories and gests that former Generations have told and believed concerning the Apparition of these kind of Creatures, which the common people call Fayries: of which the Reverend and Learned person Bishop Hall giveth us this touch: “The times are not past the ken of our memory, since the frequent (and in some part true) reports of those familiar Devils, Fayries, and Goblins, wherewith many places were commonly haunted; the rarity whereof in these latter times, is sufficient to descry the difference betwixt the state of ignorant Superstition, and the clear light of the Gospel.” And whosoever shall seriously read and consider that little Piece that was printed some few years since, though written long ago, and by some (that pretend to no small share of Learning) cryed up exceedingly for a most convincing Relation, to prove the Existence of Spirits, called, The Devil of Mascon, may easily gather, that if the thing were truly related, as to the matter of fact, that it must needs be some Creature of a middle Nature, and no evil Spirit, both because it was such a sportful and mannerly Creature, that it would leave them, and not disturb them at their devotions; as also (as far as I remember, for I have not the Book by me) because it denied that it was a Devil, and professed that it hoped to be saved by Christ.

Argum. 4.
Joh. 15. 15.
Act. 20. 27.
2 Tim. 3. 15, 16, 17.
Eph. 6. 11, 12, 13.
2 Cor. 2. 11.
2 Pet. 1. 19.
Luk. 16. 29, 30, 31.
Sup. Gen. ad lit. l. 2.
Isa. 8. 19, 20.

4. That the Scriptures contain in them all things necessary to Salvation, is so clear a truth, that none but those that are wilfully blind can deny it; for Christ taught his Disciples all things that he had learned of the Father, and the Father sending him to be the Saviour of the World, and to preach the Gospel of eternal Salvation, 42was not defective in declaring all things that were necessary to accomplish the work and end, for which he was sent forth of the Father. And the glorious Apostle St. Paul tells the Disciples and Brethren, That he had not shunned to declare unto them all the counsel of God, which must of necessity be abundantly sufficient for their Salvations. And he telleth Timothy, That he had known the Scriptures from a child, which were able to make him wise unto salvation. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Nay the Woman of Samaria had so much knowledge and faith, that she believed that when the Messias was come, he would tell them all things. Now to the obtaining of Salvation, there is nothing more necessary than to know what enemies men have to fight against in their Christian Warfare, which the Apostle tells in these words: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against Spiritual wickedness in high places: Wherefore they are to take unto them the whole armor of God, πανοπλίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, that they may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil, μεθοδείας τοῦ διαβόλου: and that made the Apostle say in another place, We are not ignorant of his devices or crafts, νοήματα. Now the Scriptures being able to make us wise to Salvation, it hath sufficiently declared the natures, powers, knowledge, and offices of both the good and bad Angels, and is a sure word of Prophecy, unto which it is good to take heed, and not unto old wives fables of Apparitions and Goblins, such as Mr. Glanvil would perswade us that they are tydings of another World, when we are taught by unerring testimony of Truth, That those that have Moses and the Prophets, and do not hear them, neither will they be perswaded, though one rose from the dead. And therefore we must be bold to tell Mr. Glanvil, that the Sacred Scriptures do with infallible certitude teach us, that both good and bad Spirits have most certainly an Existence, and therefore we need none of his feigned nor forged stories of Apparitions; which if they were certainly known to be true and real, by undeceivable matters of fact, yet he that doth not believe what is written of the Being of Spirits by Moses and the Prophets, will not believe Apparitions, no not of a man, if he came from the dead. And therefore I will conclude with that precious and pithy Sentence of St. Austin, who saith: Major est hujus Scripturæ authoritas, quàm omnis humani ingenii perspicacitas. And believe not them that say, If you would know the power of Devils and Witches, go to the Writings of Dr. Casaubon, Mr. Glanvil, and to the rest of the Demonographers and Witchmongers, that amass and heap together all the lying, vain improbable, and impossible stories that can be scraped forth of any Author, ancient, middle, or modern, when we are commanded to go to the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this 43word, it is because there is no truth in them. And so I shall shut up this Chapter, wherein (I suppose) I have sufficiently proved, that the denying of such a Witch as I have described, doth not infer the denial of the Being of Angels or Spirits, and that Apparitions are no sufficient grounds for Christians to believe the Existence of Angels and Spirits by, but the Word of God; which was the thing undertaken to be proved.


That the Scriptures and sound Reason are the true and proper Mediums to prove the Actions attributed unto Witches by, and not other improper ways that many Authors have used. And of the Requisites necessary truly to prove a matter of Fact by.

As we have in the former Chapter proved, that Apparitions (though true) are no sufficient warrant to ground our belief upon, for the Existence of Angels or Spirits, but the Word of God: so here we shall endeavour clearly to manifest, that the Sacred Scriptures are the only Medium, joyned with sound Reason, of deciding this point of the power and operation of Demons and Witches, and not other improper Mediums brought in by divers Authors, and first we shall answer the Objection of Mr. Glanvil, that runs thus.

Object. 1.
Pag. 96, 97.

“That though the New Testament had mentioned nothing of this matter, yet its silence in such cases is not argumentative. He said nothing of those large unknown Tracts of America, nor gave he any intimations of as much as the existence of that numerous people; much less did he leave instructions about their Conversion. He gives no account of the affairs and state of the other World, but only that general one of the happiness of some, and the misery of others. He made no discovery of the Magnalia of Art or Nature, no not of those whereby the propagation of the Gospel might have been much advanced, viz. the Mystery of Printing and the Magnet, and yet no one useth his silence in these instances as an argument against the being of things, which are evident objects of sense.” To which we answer.


1. He falleth into a common mistake in making the Proposition universal, and dolus versatur in universalibus, when it ought but to be particular: so for him to say, that no silence of Scripture is argumentative, is too universal; for its silence in point of Geography, as in describing America, and the people thereof, nor in discovering the Magnalia Naturæ & Artis is not argumentative; and we do not say, that all silence of Scripture is argumentative, 44but yet we affirm that some silence of Scripture is argumentative. So we cannot universally say, that nothing hath a being but what is mentioned in Scripture; but we may very well affirm, that some things have no being, or truth of existence, because not declared in Scripture.

Lib. 1. c. 1.

2. The Scriptures were not written to teach Natural Philosophy, Arts or Sciences, humane Policy, or the like; but were given, that the man of God might be perfect, furnished for every good work: and it is by them that we have the doctrine of eternal Salvation revealed unto us, and we positively affirm the sufficiency of the Scriptures unto Salvation, which thing no Orthodox Divine (we suppose) will deny, and Bellarmine himself did confess in these words: Prophetici & Apostolici libri sunt verum verbum Dei, ac stabilis regula fidei. And if it be a certain Rule of Faith, and the true Word of God, then whatsoever it is silent of, we ought not to believe, and so its silence is argumentative in that point. The Scriptures are utterly silent concerning Purgatory, and therefore it is a good argument to affirm there is no such place as Purgatory, because the Word of God is silent as concerning it; but if it had been necessary to have been believed, then there would have been mention made of it.

3. And as the Scriptures are sufficient in matters of Faith, and circa credenda, and what they are silent in, are not to be received as Articles of our Faith, but to be rejected, as having no truth of Existence: So likewise what Worship God requireth of his people, is fully revealed in his Word, and therefore I am to reject the worshipping of Mahomet with the Turks, or Images, and praying to Saints with the Papists, because I have neither precept nor president in the Word, but it is silent in such matters; nay tells us, That he is the Lord our God, and him only we ought to serve.

Pag. 87, 88. 23.
Origin. Sacr. l. 3. c. 6. p. 608.
Invisib. World, p. 112.
Joh. 17. 24.
Serm. c. 7.
Wisd. 3. 1.
Luk. 23. 43.
Concio secunda de Lazaro.
Luk. 16. 22, 23.
2 Sam. 12. 23.
Job 7. 9, 10.
Idem. 10. 20, 21.
Bellarm. Enervat. tom. 2. l. 5. p. 204.
Homil. sect. 16. pag. 484.

4. Though Mr. Glanvil say, that God hath given no account of the state of the other World, but only that general one of the happiness of some, and the misery of others; yet Am I to believe as Mr. Glanvil somewhere in his Book affirmeth, that Samuels Soul was raised up by the Woman at Endor, and that those that he feigneth to make Leagues and Contracts with Witches, are the Souls of such as had been Witches when they lived, and asketh, Who saith that happy Souls were never imployed in any ministeries here below? Or am I to believe that both the Souls of the godly and wicked, do rove up and down here upon earth, and make Apparitions, because the Popish Teachers do hold it to be so? I hope not, and therefore I shall in part give an answer here to some of these, and handle that of the Woman of Endor in another place. 1. The Word of God doth particularly teach us the state and condition of the Souls after death, that they shall be like the Angels in Heaven; and all other things necessary to move and draw us to believe the immortal Existence of Souls, as that most able and learned Divine Dr. Stillingfleet hath asserted in these words: “The Scriptures give 45the most faithful representation of the state and condition of the Soul of Man. The World (he saith) was almost lost in Disputes concerning the Nature, Condition, and Immortality of the Soul, before divine Revelation was made known to Mankind by the Gospel of Christ; but life and immortality was brought to light by the Gospel, and the future state of the soul of man not discovered in an uncertain Platonical way, but with the greatest light and evidence from that God who hath the supreme disposal of souls, and therefore best knows and understands them.” A Sentence truly pious and orthodoxal. 2. Hath not God in the holy Scriptures amply and plainly taught us the state of the other World, in describing unto us such a numerous company of Seraphims and Cherubims, Angels and Archangels, with their several Orders, Offices, Ministeries, and Imployments? and this is more than a general account, as may be seen at full in that learned and godly Piece of Bishop Halls, called The invisible World. And hath he not given us a particular account of the very Kingdom of Darkness, telling us of the Devil and his Angels, and precisely in this enumeration? For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And this is more than a general account, and we must needs say, that what he holds is very derogatory to the wisdom and goodness of God, and the sufficiency and truth of the Scriptures. 3. Must I believe him that the souls of the Saints do rove and wander here below? when as Bishop Hall saith, where he is speaking against the opinion of those that hold, that Souls do sleep until the Day of Judgment: “Indeed who can but wonder that any Christian can possibly give entertainment to so absurd a thought, whilst he hears his Saviour say, Father I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, and that (not in a safe sleep) they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me.” Sure if the Souls departed be with Christ where he is, and do behold his glory, then it is a Popish Fable of Mr. Glanvil, to feign their coming upon Messages hither. The saying of St. Bernard is remarkable in this case: Advertistis tres esse sanctarum status animarum, primum videlicet in corpore corruptibili, secundum sine corpore, tertium in corpore jam glorificato. Primum in militia, secundum in requie, tertium in beatitudine consummata. And if the second state of holy Souls be without a body, and be at peace and rest, then it must necessarily be a truth, that they do not wander here, nor run upon Errands; For the souls of the righteous are in the hands of the Lord, and there shall no torment touch them. And our Saviour told the Thief upon the Cross, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise, that is, as Dr. Hammond giveth the Paraphrase: “Immediately after thy death thou shalt go to a place of bliss, and there abide with me, a Member of that my Kingdom which thou askest for.” Now if the souls of the godly, after their death, be immediately in a place 46of bliss, and abide with Christ as Members of his Kingdom, then they do not wander up and down here, as Mr. Glanvil and the Papists vainly fancy and believe; for as Chrysostome saith upon that place of Lazarus his being carried by Angels into Abrahams bosome. “What is it then that the Devils say, I am the Soul of such a Monk? Truly I therefore believe it not, because the Devils say it, for they deceive their Auditors.” 4. Or must I believe that the souls of the wicked do wander, and make Apparitions here, because Mr. Glanvil and the Popish Writers tell me so? I hope not; for the Text telleth us plainly, that the rich man presently after his death was in Hell in torments, and could not come hither unto earth again to warn his brethren, otherwise he would not have prayed Abraham to have sent Lazarus. And whether it be taken for a real History of things done, or but a Parable, yet the spiritual meaning of our Saviour must be infallibly true, that immediately after death the souls of the godly are by Angels carried into Abrahams bosome, and the wicked go down into Hell, from whence there is no redemption; and therefore do not wander up and down here, nor make any Apparitions: for I imagine that the authority of holy King David, a Prophet and a man after Gods own heart, is to be preferred before the authority of a thousand Popish Writers, and he tells us, when the child was dead: But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. And Job tells us: As the cloud is consumed, and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave, shall come up no more, he shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. And therefore it was a vain argument of Bellarmine when he said: “Apparitiones animarum ex Purgatorio venientium idem testantur.” To which the Protestants answer: “But who shall bear witness of these Apparitions, that they were not either feigned fables, or Satanical illusions? They were men, and might be deceived, even the best of them, with whom doth rest the faith of these Narrations.” 5. And whereas he audaciously asketh, “Who saith that happy Souls were never imployed in any Ministeries here below?” I shall tell him who they are that say, that happy Souls departed are never imployed here in any Ministeries; and they are all the learned Divines of the Reformed Churches, and all those that were true Sons of the Doctrine of the Church of England, such as were Bishop Jewel, Bishop Hall, Dr. Willet, Dr. Whitaker, Mr. Perkins, and many more such, the authority and reputation of the least of which is far above the simple question of Mr. Glanvil. And therefore saith the latter Confession of Helvetia: “Now that which is recorded of the Spirits or Souls of the dead sometimes appearing to them that are alive, &c. we count those Apparitions among the delusions and deceits of the Devil.”

5. And as the Scriptures are sufficient both in respect of matters of Faith, and concerning divine Worship, that their silence in those 47two particulars are fully argumentative, to deny whatever is not contained in them, as unfit to be received to either purpose. So in respect of a Christians warfare, all things for the obtaining of a perfect and compleat victory, and for standing and perseverance, are in them fully declared, and what they mention not is to be rejected, as wanting the seal of Divine Authority, whether it be in regard of eschewing what is prohibited, or in following what is commanded. And therefore we affirm, that what the Scriptures have not revealed of the power of the Kingdom of Satan, is to be rejected, and not to be believed, and what weapons we are to use against the wiles of the Devil, we are to be furnished withal, but have need of no others but what the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures hath made known unto us, the rest are to be cast off, as fables and lyes, or humane inventions, because the Scriptures are silent of any such matter, and that for these weighty grounds and considerations.

De Doctrin. Christian.

1. We shall take the Concession of Bellarmine himself, who saith: Nullum est vitium ad quod sanandum non invenitur in Scriptura aliquod remedium. And again: Illa quæ sunt simpliciter omnibus necessaria, Apostoli consueverunt omnibus prædicare: & aliorum quæ sunt omnibus utilia. And to the same purpose is the saying of St. Austin: Titubat fides, si divinarum Scripturarum vacillet authoritas: porrò fide titubante, etiam ipsa charitas languescit. Therefore if there be no fault for which the Scripture doth not yield some remedy, then surely to make a visible League with the Devil, or to have carnal Copulation with him, either must have no verity at all in it, or that the Scripture hath provided no remedy for it, for of such things there is no mention. And if Faith must stumble, where the authority of the Scriptures is wanting, then surely the belief of all rational men must needs be staggering, to believe what these common Witchmongers affirm of the Witches visible League and carnal Copulation with the Devil, when there is no authority of Scripture at all to strengthen or countenance any such matter.

Eph. 6. 11, 12, 13.
1 Pet. 5. 8, 9.
2 Cor. 10. 4, 5.

2. The Scriptures do fully and abundantly inform us of the Devils spiritual and invisible power, and against the same declares unto us the whole Armor of God, with which we ought to be furnished, as the Apostle saith: Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. And the Apostle St. Peter telleth us: Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour; whom resist stedfast in the faith. And in another place: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to 48the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth it self against the knowledge of God. From which Scriptures we may take these remarkable observations.

2 Cor. 2. 11.
1 Tim. 3. 7.
2 Tim. 2. 26.

1. We are to consider the nature of this Warfare, that it is spiritual and against spiritual wickedness in high places, and not against flesh and blood; and the Holy Ghost could not be wanting nor defective, but superabundantly full in describing the nature of this warfare, that it is spiritual, not carnal; and therefore we are to prepare our selves against all spiritual assaults: but as for any visible, carnal, or bodily, there is not, nor can be any such, because the Apostle that declared by his Preaching and Writings the whole counsel of God, hath revealed no such thing as the visible appearing of Satan, much less of his making of a visible League with the Witches, or the sucking of their bodies, or the having carnal Copulation with them, which must of necessity be lyes and figments, because the Holy Ghost hath not warned us of any such, which we ought certainly to believe he would have done, if there had been any such matter. And the holy Apostle, who was not ignorant of the devices νοήματα, notions or intentions of Satan, would not have omitted to have warned the godly, if there had been any such matter as a visible League, sucking of their bodies, or carnal Copulation, the thing being of so great weight and concern. For as one said well: Grave est de vita & bonis periclitari, sed multò gravius insidiantem habere Satanam. And he that so often hath given us warning of the wiles, devices, and snares of the Devil, if there had been any such dangerous snare as this, would without doubt have given us notice of it.

2. We are to consider the end of this Warfare, that it is for no less than a Crown, and that not a terrestrial, but a celestial one, not a fading one, but an everlasting one, a Crown of eternal life, of immortal glory, even for an house given of God, eternal in the Heavens. Therefore this being a thing of the greatest concern that belongs to a Christian, the Apostle would not doubtlesly omit any thing that had been necessary to the obtaining of such an inestimable prize, and such an important Victory; and therefore cannot in reason have concealed or omitted such a weighty matter as a visible League, and the like, if there had been any such thing.

Eph. 6. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

3. We are to consider that this Armor prescribed for the Souldiers of Jesus Christ, is the whole armor of God, πανοπλίαν, the compleat armor of God (as Dr. Hammond renders it) perfect both for defence and offence. And therefore the Apostle describes it fully by a Metaphor, taken from such Arms as the Roman or other Nations in his time use, saying: Stand therefore, having your loyns girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness: And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet 49of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all Saints. And as it is a compleat and perfect Armor, both in respect of defence and offence; so it is a spiritual, not a carnal, corporeal, or bodily armor, because the warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places, against spiritual enemies, not against corporeal and carnal ones; for as the enemies are and the warfare, so are the armor and weapons. From whence we truly urge, that the Apostle led by the Holy Ghost, and the Wisdom of the Father, and knowing the whole counsel of God (especially in this point) hath omitted nothing that is fitting armor for a Christian either of defence or offence, whereby he may be inabled to get the victory against Satan, and all his spiritual Army. And therefore that either Satan hath not power, or doth not assault Christians after a visible, carnal, and bodily manner, or else that the Holy Ghost hath been defective in prescribing armor against such assaults, and consequently that the armor of a Souldier of Jesus Christ is not compleat, or else there is no such bodily assaults of Satan at all, as to tempt visibly, to make a corporeal League, to suck upon the Witches bodies, nor to have carnal Copulation with them. But we affirm, and that (as we conceive) with sound reason, that the Scriptures in this particular of a Christians armor, and the compleatness of it, is abundantly sufficient against all spiritual assaults whatsoever, and consequently that there is no other kind of assaults but meerly spiritual, and therefore the Word of God, the most proper Medium with sound reason, to judge of the power of Spirits and Devils by.

Gregor. sup. Ezekiel. Homil. 6.
1 Tim. 1. 17.
Heb. 12. 9.

3. That the Scriptures and sound reason are the only true and proper Medium to decide these Controversies by, is most undeniably apparent, because God is a Spirit, and the invisible God, and therefore best knows the nature and power of the spiritual and invisible World, and being the God of truth, can and doth inform us of their power and operations, better than the vain lyes and figments of the Heathen Poets, or the dreams of the Platonick School, either elder or later, nay better than all the notional and groundless speculations of the Schoolmen, of whom it may truly be said that, Rivulo divinæ Scripturæ relicto, in abyssos vanarum opinionum incidêrunt. Nay these can better inform us in this point, than the Writings of all Mortals besides, and therefore whatsoever may be said to the contrary, may receive its answer from the Father: Quod de Scripturis sacris authoritatem non habet, eâdem facilitate contemnitur, quâ probatur. Therefore he being the King eternal, immortal, invisible, and the only wise God, of none can we so truly and certainly learn these things, as of him who hath plentifully taught us in his Word all things necessary to Salvation, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished to every good work. Nay he is the Father of Spirits, and therefore truly 50knoweth, and can and doth teach us their Natures, Offices, and Operations.

Vid. Orig. sacr. l. 1. c. 1. p. 15.
Levit. 18. 22, 23, 24.

4. The Scriptures (especially the Writings of Moses) considered only as Historical, are of more antiquity, verity, and certainty both as to Doctrine, Precepts, matters of Fact, and Chronology, than all other Histories whatsoever, whether of the Phenicians, Egyptians, Chaldeans, or Grecians, as the learned person Dr. Stillingfleet hath sufficiently proved. Now if there had been such an one as a Witch, that made a visible League with the Devil, and upon whose body he suckt, and with whom he had carnal Copulation, something of that nature would doubtless have been recorded in the Scriptures, of which notwithstanding there is not the least tittle or mention. And Moses who was so perfect a Law-giver, as in a manner to omit no kind or sort of sin or evil that men possibly could commit, but to forbid it, and make a Law against it, could never have left out such an horrid, unnatural, and hellish wickedness as carnal Copulation with the fallen Angels, if there had been any such matter. For he saith, after he had forbidden all sorts of Fornications, Adulteries, and Incests: Thou shalt not lye with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lye with any beast to defile thy self therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lye down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not your selves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled, which I cast out before you. Now it cannot be rationally imagined, that Moses having named and prohibited the less sins of bestial Copulation and Sodomy, would have left out that which is the most horrid and execrable of all others, to wit, carnal Copulation with Devils, if there had been any such thing either in possibility or act. And therefore we may conclude according to the rules of sound reason, that there is no such matter, and that the Scriptures are the most fit Medium to decide these Controversies.

2 Thess. 3. 2.

5. The Scriptures and sound reason are the most fit Mediums to determine these things by, because there is nothing that any hath written upon this Subject (though the Authors be superfluously numerous) but if it agree not with the principles of right reason, and the rules of the Scriptures, they ought to be rejected. For what is not consonant to right reason, ought not to be received by any that truly are rational Creatures; and what agrees not with the Word of God, ought not to be entertained by any that are or would be accounted good or true Christians. And if all the gross fables, lyes, impossibilities, and nonsensical stories that Demonographers and Witchmongers have related and accumulated together, were brought to the test of the Scriptures and sound reason, they would soon be hissed off the Stage, and find few believers or embracers of them. But alas! all (nay few men) have the right use and exercise of their rational faculty, but men to see to are in themselves as beasts; and therefore we may all pray with the Apostle to be delivered from unreasonable men, or men without reason, or absurd 51men, that make no right use of reason, ἀτόπων ἀνθρώπων.

Dan. 4. 35.
Gal. 4. 4.
Joh. 9. 1, 2, 3.
Joh. 5. 14.
Vid. Thom. Aquin. caten. aur. in loc.
Ut supr.

6. The Scriptures and right reason have declared all things concerning Spirits either good or bad, as also all sorts of Diviners (or Witches, if you will have them called so) and the nature, power, operations, and actions of them, more than any other Book that was written before the time of our Saviours Birth (the dreams and whimsies of the Platonists only excepted) or for the space of three hundred years after, and therefore are the most fit Medium and Authority to determine these things by. 1. For first it is manifest, that all things are ordered by the wisdom of the Almighty, who hath done whatsoever he would both in Heaven, and he doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thou? And these things God doth not by a naked prescience, but by his divine will, providence, and ordination, as a learned Divine hath taught us in these words: Est hoc inprimis necessarium & salutare Christiano nôsse, quòd Deus nihil præscit contingenter, sed quòd omnia incommutabili & æternâ, infallibilíq; voluntate & providet, & præponit, & facit. So it was only his will, decree, and determination, that Christ should not be born, or assume humane nature visibly, but at that precise time that he had appointed, according to the evidence of the Apostle. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law. And when that fulness of time was come that he sent him, then did the divine Wisdom and Providence ordain all means, objects and occasions, whereby the fulness of the Godhead that dwelt in him bodily, might be made manifest, by working of miracles, both by himself and his Apostles, therefore were there so many several sorts of Demoniacks, blind, lame, dumb, deaf, and diseased, not by chance, but by the providence of the Father, and only and chiefly that the work of God might be manifest in them, for the Evangelist tells us: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his Disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. Upon which place Dr. Hammond doth give this clear Paraphrase: “And some of his followers asked him, saying, Sir, was it any sin of his own, when his soul was in another body, or was it some sin of his parents at the time of his conception, which caused this blindness in him? Neither his own, nor his parents sins were the cause of this blindness of his, but Gods secret wisdom, who meant by this means to shew forth in me his miraculous power among you.” And though the Doctor would bring in the opinion of Pythagoras of the Transmigration of Souls (of which vain traditional fancies he is almost every where guilty) as received and imbibed in by some of the Jews that then followed him: yet it appeareth plainly, that it was not interrogated by the Jews, but by his Disciples, 52ὁι Μαθηλαὶ, and therefore it is a wonder the Doctor should be so grosly mistaken; and Theophylact tells us thus much plainly: Neq; enim Apostoli Gentiles nugas receperunt, quo anima ante corpus in alio mundo versans peccet, ac deinde pœnam quandam recipiat in corpus descendens. Piscatores cùm essent, neq; audiverant tale quiddam, quia hæc Philosophorum dogmata erant. And so declareth, that the Disciples having seen Christ heal the man that had thirty eight years been impotent and lame, and had said unto him, Behold thou art made whole, sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee, did conceive, that this man being born blind, it had been a punishment upon him, either for his own sins, or the sins of his parents, and so doubting asked the question. And so also do St. Austin and Chrysostome expound the place, which is both sound and rational. And of our Saviours responsion, That neither had this man sinned, nor his parents, the learned Father giveth a satisfactory answer, saying: Nunquid vel ipse sine originali peccato natus erat, vel vivendo nihil addiderat? Habebant ergo peccatum, & ipse & parentes ejus, sed non ipso peccato factum est ut cæcus nasceretur. Ipse autem causam dicit quare cæcus sit natus, cùm subdit: sed ut manifestentur opera Dei in illo. And to the same purpose Gregory hath this notable passage: Alia itaq; est percussio, quâ peccator percutitur, ut sine retractatione puniatur: Alia quâ peccator percutitur, ut corrigatur: Alia quâ quisq; percutitur, non ut præterita corrigat, sed ne ventura committat: Alia per quam nec præterita culpa corrigitur, nec futura prohibetur. Sed dum inopinata salus percussionem sequitur, salvantis virtus cognita ardentiùs amatur. From whence it is manifest, that as the Father in the fulness of time, by his Decree and Providence sent out the Son, in whom dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily, with a purpose to manifest the same by his great and wonderful Miracles: so in his divine Wisdom he had ordered fit subjects and objects upon whom that power might be made manifest. And therefore were there such strange diseases offered, especially in Demoniacks, that can hardly be parallel’d in any one Country of that small compass, and in so short a time, and all that the works of God might be manifest by that ever-blessed Saviour of Mankind, Jesus Christ. And though there were so many persons, so many several ways perplexed and afflicted both in their minds and bodies, as some made deaf and dumb, some torn and contorted in their members, some thrown on the ground, some into the fire, some driven to live amongst the graves and monuments, and yet all these cured by our blessed Saviour: Yet is there no mention made of any that had made a visible League with the Devil, nor upon whose bodies he suckt, nor with whom he had carnal Copulation, nor whom he had transubstantiated into Wolves, Dogs, Hares, Cats, or Squirrels; to have cured which would have been as great a miracle as any of the rest, but there were no such matters; and therefore we may safely conclude, there never were, are, or can be any such matters, whatsoever may be said to the contrary.

Act. 8. 9, 10, 11.
Act. 13. 8.
Ibid. 16. 16, 18.
Act. 19. 13, 16.
2 Thess. 2. 9.
Chrysost. in loc.

532. In the New Testament there is mention made of several sorts of deceiving Impostors, Diviners, or Witches, who were all discovered and conquered by that power that Christ had given unto the Apostles; as for instance: Simon, which before-time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched μαγεύων κὶ ἐξισῶν the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one. To whom they gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries; τῶς μαγείαις ἐξεσακέναι αὐτὺς, seducebat populum suis magicis præstigiis, saith Tremellius; and Beza, Exercuerat artem magicam, & gentem Samariæ obstupefecerat; who when he would have bought the gift of the Holy Ghost with money, was rejected by Peter as an Impostor and Counterfeit, and declared, that he was in the gall of bitterness. Such another was Elymas the Sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) ὁ μάγος who was stricken blind by St. Paul. Such an one was the Damsel that was possessed with a Spirit of Divination, which St. Paul cast forth. And such were the Jewish Exorcists, that took upon them to call over them which had evil Spirits, the Name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. But the man in whom the evil spirit was, leapt on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. But amongst these several sorts of Diviners, Impostors, or Witches, there were none that had made a visible League with the Devil, nor upon whose bodies he suckt, nor that had carnal Copulation with him, nor were changed into Cats, Dogs, or Wolves: but if the Devil had had any such power, or had there been any such sort of Witches, the divine Wisdom and Providence would have ordained some of them then to have been made apparent, that his power by Christ and the Apostles, might have been shewed as well in the greater as in the less: and that for the more full manifestation of the Works of God, as for a more triumphant declaration of the power of Christ in conquering him and his Kingdom, and for a more ample warning and instruction to the Children of God to avoid the snares and wiles of the Devil; but there being no such, then we must rationally conclude, that there now is not, nor ever was, or can be any such matter, but the vain believing of such figments and forgeries, is only the cunning and delusion of Satan, who works by lying and deceiving wonders τέρασι ψεύδοις, of which St. Chrysostome saith thus: Hoc est, omnem ostentabit potentiam, sed nihil veri, verùm omnia ad seductionem. Et prodigiis, inquit, mendacii. Aut ementitis ac ludificantibus, aut ad mendacium inducentibus.

Pag. 9.

Having now sufficiently proved, that the Scriptures and sound Reason are the proper Mediums to decide these difficulties by, we shall in the next place shew the invalidity of some ways used by the most Authors, to prove and defend these Tenents, and ab uno disce omnes, take Mr. Glanvil for all, in his own words: “That 54this being matter of fact, is only capable of the evidence of authority and sense: and by both these, the being of Witches and Diabolical Contracts, is most abundantly confirmed.” To which we shall give this smart Reply. Not to make the Proposition universal, generally to deny the evidence of authority and sense; no, far be it from me to run into that wild and senseless absurdity, which were in a manner to destroy the credibility of all humane testimony: But we shall here speak of the evidence of authority and sense with this restriction and limitation, to these Particulars. 1. Those Authors that write of Apparitions and Spirits. 2. Those that treat of Diabolical Leagues and Contracts. 3. Those that mention the Devil sucking of the Witches body, carnal Copulation with them, their being changed into Hares, Dogs, Cats, and Wolves, and the like. These Authors we say are to be read with caution, and their relations not to be credited, except better proof be given to evidence the matters of fact, than hitherto hath been brought by any, and that for these especial reasons and necessary cautions.

Epist. lib. 7. pag. 252.
De defect. oracul. p. mihi 700.
Plutarch. in vit. Marc. Brut. pag. 361.

1. The Authors that have recorded stories of this nature, are to be seriously considered, whether they have related the matter of fact by their own proper knowledge, as eye and ear-witnesses of it, or have taken it up by hear-say, common fame, or the relation of others: and if what they relate, were not of their own certain knowledge or αὐτοψία, then is it of little or no credit at all; for the other that relates it, might be guilty either of active or passive deception and delusion, or might have heard it from another, or by common report: of all which there is no certainty, but leaveth sufficient grounds for dubitation, and is sufficient to caution a prudent person altogether to suspend his assent, until better proof can be brought. There is a story related by Plinius Cæcilius to his friend Sura, of a House in Athens that was haunted by a Spirit in so terrible and frightful a manner, that it was left utterly forsaken, and none would inhabit in it, until that Athenodorus the Philosopher adventured upon it, and abode the coming of the Apparition or Phantasm, and upon its signs followed it to a place below, and then it vanished: he marked the place, and went to the Magistrate, and caused the place to be digged up, and found the bones of a person inchained or fettered, and caused the bones to be buried, and so the House remained free afterwards. It is a wonder to think how many Authors have swallowed this relation (nay even Philip Camerarius himself, who though a very Learned man, yet in things of this nature too extremely credulous) and urged it for proof, as a matter of great credit and authority, when we cannot discern that it affords any credible ground to a rational man to believe it, not only because the very matter it self, and the circumstances of it, do yield sufficient grounds of the suspicion of its verity; but chiefly because Pliny doth but relate it by hear-say, exponam ut accepi, and of it and the rest he desires the opinion of his Friend Sura, from whom we do not find any answer. The story taken 55from Plutarch (a grave Author, if he be considered as an Heathen and a Moralist) yet of no authority to decide such points as these are of the voice that called upon Thamus, and commanded him to declare when he came at Palodes, that the great God Pan was dead, which he performed, and that thereupon followed a great lamentation of many: the story at large is related by many, and urged as a matter of great weight and credibility, when indeed there is no ground sufficient to perswade any that it was true. For if it had been related by Plutarch as an ear-witness of it, yet was he but an Heathen, that we know believed many fond, lying, and impossible things, especially of their Gods; and therefore in this case to a considerate Christian could be of no great authority. And if his authority had been great, or of weight in such matters as these, yet was he but singularis testis, which is not sufficient in these things to be relied upon. And lastly (to our present purpose here) he doth not record it as a thing of his own certain knowledge, but of hear-say from Epitherses, who was but a single Relator, and a man of no certain veracity; and therefore we can have no rational ground to believe the truth of the story, but it may be rejected with more reason, than it can be affirmed by. Of no greater credit can his story be of Brutus his malus Genius appearing unto him, because he received this by meer Tradition and hear-say, neither could it have any other rise, but from the relation of Brutus himself, whose guilty confidence, and troubled brain, fancied such vain things; for those that were near Brutus neither saw nor heard any such matter, and therefore must have been a deception of Phansie, and no real Apparition ad extra.

The invisible World, p. 245, 246, 247.
Jo. à Jesu Mar. lib. 5. de Vit. Theres. cap. 3.
The invisible World, p. 305.
Ibid. p. 284.

2. And as evidence of the matter of fact recorded from the relation of others, is of no validity to a judicious person: so if the matter of fact be witnessed but by one single testimony (though an eye or an ear-witness) it is not sufficient, because one single person may be imperfect in some senses, or under some distemper, and so be no proper Judge of what it sees or hears; and the Word of Truth tells us, That in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established; and therefore we are not (especially in such abstruse matters as these) to trust the evidence of one single testimony. To make clear this Particular, we shall relate a story or two from the credit of the Reverend and Learned Bishop Hall, joyned with his judgment of such weak and feigned Tales, one of which runs thus: “Johannes à Jesu Maria, a modern Carmelite, writing the Life of Theresia (Sainted lately by Gregory XV.) tells us, that as she was a vigilant Overseer of her Votaries in her life, so in and after death she would not be drawn away from her care and attendance: For (saith he) if any of her Sisters did but talk in the set hours of their silence, she was wont by three knocks at the door of the Cell, to put them in mind of their enjoyned taciturnity. And on a time appearing (as she did often) in a lightsome brightness to a certain Carmelite, is said thus to bespeak 56him; Nos cœlestes, ac vos exules amore ac puritate fœderati esse debemus, &c. We Citizens of Heaven, and ye exiled Pilgrims on earth, ought to be linked in a League of love and purity, &c. Methinks the Reporter (saith the Bishop) should fear this to be too much good fellowship for a Saint; I am sure neither Divine nor Ancient story had wont to afford such familiarity: and many have misdoubted the agency of worse, where have appeared less causes of suspicion. That this was (if any thing) an ill Spirit under that face, I am justly confident; neither can any man doubt, that looking further into the relation, finds him to come with a lye in his mouth. For thus he goes on; [We Celestial ones behold the Deity, ye banished ones worship the Eucharist, which ye ought to worship with the same affection wherewith we adore the Deity] such perfume doth this holy Devil leave behind him. The like might be instanced in a thousand Apparitions of this kind, all worthy of the same entertainment.” This is a story from one single person, a lying Carmelite, one that for interest, and upholding of Superstition and Idolatry, had feigned and forged it; for in it self it appeareth to be a meer falsity and figment, as any rational man may easily discern, and so are a thousand stories of this kind worthy of the like entertainment, that is, to be condemned for most horrid lyes. Another he tells us: “Amongst such fastidious choice of whole dry-fats of voluminous relations, I cannot forbear to single out that one famous of Magdalen de la Croix, in the year of our Lord Christ 1545, &c.” The third from the mouth of another lying Fryar named Jacobus de Pozali, in his Sermon, “That St. Macarius once went about to make peace betwixt God and Satan, &c.” Now whatsoever credit this Learned man (who in things of this kind appeareth to be as vainly credulous as any) doth seem to give unto these, or what use soever he would make of them, it is undeniably manifest to all impartial judgments, that they were but absolute forgeries and knacks of Imposture and Knavery, and (according to his own opinion) may justly be ranked amongst those thousand Apparitions of this kind, all worthy of the same entertainment, that is, to be rejected for abominable lyes or forgeries, and that for these reasons. 1. Because they are not attested by any sincere and uncorrupt ear and eye-witnesses, but by reports and relations, and that of those that were corrupt and partial, or Accomplices to bring to pass the fraud and imposture. 2. If they be run up to their first Author or Venter of the Tale, he will but be found a single Witness, which is utterly insufficient in evidencing truly a matter of fact. 3. The Relaters of them did publish them for interest sake, and upon design to advance false Doctrine, Worship, Superstition, and Idolatry, and therefore are not of validity and credit. 4. In themselves (if strictly considered) they will appear to be lying, ridiculous, contradictory in themselves, and contrary to the authority of Divine Writ, and dissonant to sound and right reason, and therefore ought 57to have no other entertainment, but as abominable lyes and forgeries.

Of Credul. and Incredul. pag. 159.
A serious Disswasive from Popery, pag. 38, 39.

3. But if matters of fact be witnessed and attested by many or divers persons that were ear and eye-witnesses, yet may their testimony bear no weight in the balance of Justice or right Reason, because they may be corrupt in point of interest, and so have their judgments mis-guided and biassed by the corruption of their desires and affections, or relate things out of spleen, envy, and malice; and so may not in these mysterious matters be fit authority to rely upon, nor competent evidence in these particulars, as Dr. Casaubon is forced to confess in these words: “In the relation of strange things, whether natural or supernatural, to know the temper of the Relator, if it can be known: and what interest he had, or might probably be supposed to have had, in the relation, to have it believed. And again, whether he profess to have seen it himself, or taken it upon the credit of others. And whether a man by his profession in a capacity probable to judge of the truth of those things, to which he doth bear witness.” Every one of these particulars would require a particular consideration. For if there be interest in point of Religion, then all authorities, all colour of reason is drawn in to make good this interest, and verity is commonly stifled in this contest for selfness and interest, and the adverse parties stigmatized with all the filthy lyes and enormous crimes that can be invented, as is most manifest in these instances. The Popish party finding themselves hindred and opposed in point of the highest interest, have forged a thousand false stories and tales to make good the interest of their Party, and have left no dirt and dung unscraped up to throw in the faces of their Opponents; and so have each Party done against other, where religious interest was the quarrel, as Bishop Hall hath truly observed in this passage, where he is shewing the abominable corruptions of the Church of Rome: “A Religion that cares not by what wilful falshoods it maintains a part; as Wickliffs blasphemy, Luthers advice from the Devil, Tindals Community, Calvins feigned Miracle, and blasphemous death, Bucers neck broken, Beza’s Revolt, the blasting of Huguenots, Englands want of Churches, and Christendom, Queen Elizabeths unwomanliness, her Episcopal Jurisdiction, her secret fruitfulness, English Catholicks cast in Bears skins to Dogs, Plesses shameful overthrow, Garnats straw, the Lutherans obscene Night-Revels, Scories drunken Ordination in a Tavern, the Edict of our gracious King James (An. 87.) for the establishment of Popery, our casting the crusts of our Sacrament to Dogs, and ten thousand of this nature, maliciously raised against knowledge and conscience, for the disgrace of those whom they would have hated, e’re known.”

The rise of this opinion that we are disputing against, that the Devil makes a visible and corporeal League with the Witches, that he sucks upon their bodies, hath carnal Copulation with them, 58and that they are changed into Hares, Dogs, Cats, or Wolves, and the like, was soon after the thirteenth hundred year of Christ, when as Frederick the Second had made a Law temporal, for the burning of Hereticks. And not long after that, was the Inquisition set up in Rome and Spain, and then did the Inquisitors and their Adherents, draw in from the Heathen Poets, and all other Authors, whatsoever might carry any colour of authority or reason, the better to countenance their bloody and unjust proceedings, where they drew thousands of people into the snare of the Inquisition for pretended Witchcraft, which they made to be Heresie. And whatsoever these have written concerning these things, such as Delrio, Bodinus, Remigius, Springerus, Niderus, Spineus, Grillandus, and a whole rabble besides not necessary to be named, are nothing but lyes and forgeries, and deserve no credit at all for these reasons. 1. Because as many of them as either were Inquisitors themselves, or those that had any dependence upon them, or received benefit by their proceedings, are all unjust and corrupt Authors and Witnesses, as writing and bearing witness for their own ends, interest, and profit, having a share in the Goods and Estates of all that were convicted and condemned: and the Wolf and Raven will be sure to give judgment on the Serpents side, that he may devour the man, though never so innocent, because they hope to have a share of his flesh, or at least to pick the bones. 2. These Authors that were the first Broachers of these monstrous stories of Apparitions and Witches, and are so frequently quoted by others, (that ought to have been more wary, and might have seen reason enough to have rejected all their feigned lyes and delusions) were not only sharers in the spoil of the Goods of the condemned (who were judged per fas & nefas) but also had another base end and interest, to wit, to advance the opinion of Purgatory, praying for the dead, setting up the vain Superstitions of the virtue of the sign of the Cross, holy Water, and the like. And therefore they did forge so many stories of Apparitions, and Souls coming forth of Purgatory, and recorded so many false, lying, and impossible things from the forced, extorted, and pretended confessions of the Witches themselves, which were nothing else but an Hotch-potch of horrid and abominable lyes, not to be credited, because the Authors only invented them, to promote their own base ends and wretched interests.

Lib. 2. de præstig. Dæmon. cap. 5.
Vit. Germ. medic. pag. 16.
Anim. mag. præf.

Again, where Authors are engaged for interest sake, they fall into heat, passion, malice, and envy, and what they cannot make out by strength of arguments, they labour to make good by lyes and scandals, as is most apparent in this one Example we shall here give. Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, a person in his time well known to most of the Learned in Europe, and admired for his general and universal skill in all kind of Learning, having published a Piece which he styled, A Declaration of the incertitude and vanity of Sciences and Arts, and the excellency of the Word of God: wherein amongst 59other things he had sharply taxed the Monks and Fryars, and other Orders, of their ignorance, idleness, and many other crimes and misdemeanors, whereby certain Theologasters of Lovain (netled with their own guilt) did in bitter malice draw up certain Articles against him, therein accusing him of Errour, Impiety, and Heresie, and had so far incensed Charles the Fifth then Emperour against him, that he had commanded Agrippa unheard to make a Recantation. But he writing a strong, polite, and pithy Apology, gave them such a responsion, that afterwards they did never reply; by which, and the mediation of divers learned Friends, who gave Cæsar a right information of the end and drift of that Book, and of the things therein contained, He was pacified, and brought to a better understanding of the matter. Yet this could not protect Agrippa from the virulent malice of the Popish Witchmongers, but that they forged most abominable lyes and scandals against him, especially that wretched and ignorant Monk Paulus Jovius, that was not ashamed to record in his Book intituled, De Elogiis doctorum Virorum, that Agrippa carried a Cacodemon about with him, in the likeness of a black Dog, and that he died at Lyons, when it is certain he died at Gratianople. From all which horrid aspersions and lying scandals he is sufficiently acquitted by the famous Physician Johannes Wierus, one that was educated under him, and lived familiarly with him; and therefore was best able to testifie the whole truth of these particulars. But any that are so perversly and wilfully blinded as to have a sinister opinion of this person, (who ab ineunte ætate in literis educatus esset, quâ fuit ingenii fælicitate, in omni artium ac disciplinarum genere ita versatus est, ut excelluerit) may have most ample satisfaction from the modest and impartial Pen of Melchior Adams, who hath written his Life: as also from something that our Countryman, who called himself Eugenius Philalethes, hath clearly delivered: so that none can be ignorant of this particular, but such as wilfully refuse to be informed of the truth.

Inquir. into vulgar Errours, pag. 34.
Vid. vit. Germ. medic. pag. 29.

Nay where interest hath a share, truth can hardly be expected, though it be but in more trivial things, as even but for aery fame and vain-glory, as may be manifest in Hierome Cardan, who was a man of prodigious pride and vain-glory, which led him (as the learned Dr. Brown hath noted) into no small errours, being a great Amasser of strange and incredible stories, led to relate them by his meer ambition of hunting after fame and the reputation of an universal Scholar. And of no less pride and vain-glorious ambition was his Antagonist Julius Cæsar Scaliger guilty, of whom it may truly be said, that he was of the nature of those of the Ottoman Family, that do not think they can ever raign safely, unless they strangle all their Brethren; so he did not think that he could aspire to the Throne of being the Monarch of general Learning, without stifling the fame and reputation of Cardan and others, against whom he hath been most fell, and impetuously bitter. But when 60men fall out about professional interest, then the stories that through malice they invent and forge one against another, are incredible, as is manifest in many Examples; but we shall but give one for all, which is this. When Paracelsus, returning from his Peregrination of ten years and above, was called to be Physical Lecturer at Basil, where he continued three years, and more, having by his strange and wonderful Cures drawn the most part of Germany, and the adjacent Countries into admiration; so that he was, and might (notwithstanding the envy and ignorance of all his enemies) justly be styled, Totius Germaniæ decus & gloria: yet this was not sufficient to quiet the violent and virulent mind of Thomas Erastus, who coming to be setled at Basil, and finding that he could not outgo nor equal Paracelsus in point of Medicinal Practice, and being strongly grounded in the Aristotelian Philosophy, and the Galenical Physick, did with all poyson and bitterness labour to confute the Principles of Chymical Physick that Paracelsus had introduced; and lest his arguments might be too weak, he backt them with most horrible lyes and scandals, thinking that many and strong accusations (though never so false) would not be easily answered, nor totally washt off: which after were greedily swallowed down by Libanius, Conringius, Sennertus, and many others: so apt are men to invent, and suck in scandals against others, never considering how false and groundless they are, or may be: for that he wrongfully and falsely accused him in many things, will be manifest to any unbiassed person, that will but take pains to read his Life, written by that equitable Judge Melchior Adams, and that large Preface the learned Physician Fredericus Bitiskius hath prefixed to his Works printed at Geneva 1648.

History 1.
Vid. Resp. Rob. Flud. ad Foster.
History 2.

4. But if the Authors that report matters of fact in reference to these four particulars that we have named, were ear and eye-witnesses, and not single, but a greater number, and were not swayed by any corrupt or self-interest whatsoever; yet all this is not sufficient to give evidence in these matters, except they be rightly qualified in other things, that are necessarily requisite to capacitate a person rightly to judge of these nice and difficult matters, some of the chief of which we shall here enumerate. 1. The persons that are fit to give a perfect judgment of these matters, ought to be perfect in the organs of their senses, otherwise they may easily be deceived, and think the things otherwise than indeed they are; so some defects or distempers in the ears, eyes, or the rest of the sensories, may hinder the true perception of things acted or done. 2. They ought to be of a sound judgment, and not of a vitiated or distempered Phantasie, nor of a melancholick Temper or Constitution; for such will be full of fears, and strange imaginations, taking things as acted and wrought without, when they are but only represented within. These will take a bush to be a Boggard, and a black sheep to be a Demon; the noise of the wild Swans flying high upon the nights, to be Spirits, or (as 61they call them here in the North) Gabriel Ratchets, the calling of a Daker-hen in the Meadow to be the Whistlers, the howling of the female Fox in a Gill, or a Clough for the male, when they are for copulation, to be the cry of young Children, or such Creatures, as the common people call Fayries, and many such like fancies and mistakes. 3. They ought to be clear and free from those imbibed notions of Spirits, Hobgoblins, and Witches, which have been instamped upon their Phantasies from their very young years, through ignorant and superstitious education, wherewith generally all mankind is infected, and but very few that get themselves extricated from those delusive Labyrinths, that parents and ignorance have instilled into them. From hence it is, that not only the stolid and stupid Vulgar, but even persons otherwise rational enough, do commonly attribute those sleights and tricks that our common Jugglers play, unto the Devil, when they are only performed by Leger-de-main, or sleight of hand, Boxes, and Instruments aptly fitted; and will not stick to believe, and strongly to affirm to others, that they have seen the Jugglers Familiar or Devil, when it was but a poor Squirrels skin stuffed with hair or moss, and nimbly agitated by the hands of the Juggler: which makes me call to mind a very lepid and pertinent Accident that once in my younger years happened in Burrow-bridge upon a great Fayr holden there upon St. Barnabas day: I being in Company with divers Gentlemen, whereof two were Masters of Arts, and walking in the Horse-Fayr, we espyed a great crowd and ring of people, and drawing near, there was a person commonly known through most of the Northern parts of Yorkshire by the name of John Gypsie, being as black as any of that Tribe, with a Feather in his Hat, a silk slasht Doublet, upon a fair Holland Half-shirt, counterfeiting himself half drunk, and reeling to and fro, with a fine Tape or Incle-string tyed fast together at the two ends, and throwing it, (as it were) carelesly two or three times about a smooth Rod, that another man held by both ends, and then putting the bout of the Tape upon the one end of the Rod, and then crying, It is now fast for five shillings; but no sooner reeling and looking aside, the man that held the Rod did put off the bout of the Tape again, and still John Gypsie, would cry and bet that it was fast, then would there come two or three, and bet with him, and win, and go away (as it were) laughing him to scorn, yet still he would continue, and pray the Fellow that held the stick not to deceive him, and plainly shew the people, that it would be fast when the bout was put on, then would the Fellow that held the stick, still put off the bout when John Gypsie looked away, whereby the people believed that he was in drink, and so deceived by him that held the Rod, and so many would come and bet with him, and lose: so that he used to win much money, though the bout was put off every time, and none could discern any alteration in the string. This strange Feat (which I confess, as he handled and acted it, was one of the neatest that 62ever I saw in all my life) did so surprize all my Companions, and in part himself, that some of them were of opinion, that he had some stone in the Ring upon his finger, by virtue of which he performed the Trick. But the most part concluded, that it could not be done but by the power and help of the Devil, and resolved to come no more near John Gypsie, as a man that was a Witch, and had familiarity with the Devil. But I that then was much guilty of curiosity, and loth to be imposed upon in a thing of that nature, then also knowing the way and manner how all the common Jugglers about Cambridge and London (who make a Trade of it) did perform their Tricks, I slipt away from my Company, and went to the place again where I found him still playing; and thrusting in, I desired to hold the stick, which he refused not; and so in a short time I perceived how it was done, and so returned to my Company, and shewed them the sleight and mystery of it, which made them very much ashamed of their folly and ignorance. They may deride this story that list, and yet it may serve for instruction to the wisest, and there are hundreds yet living that knew this person, and where he was born, which was at Bolton-bridge near Skipton in Craven, and have seen him play this trick of fast and loose, as I have related it: so that if a man meet with a crafty cunning Fellow, he commonly by way of Proverb calls him John Gypsie. 4. They ought to be free in their judgments as in æquilibrio, and not to be radicated nor habituated in the belief of those things; for then they will hardly be disswaded from their opinions, but pertinaciously adhere unto them, though never so absurd, and will be apt to ascribe all effects, that they understand not, unto Devils and Witches, as is manifest in the Jesuit Roberti Foster, Sennertus, and many others, who attributed the effects of the Hoplocrism or Weapon-salve, and the Sympathetick Powder unto the operation of the Devil and Witchcraft, when they are but meerly natural. Which makes me call to mind a pretty story that happened when I was but a young Boy. For where I once learned at the School, there was one who was Rector of the Church, who was a very godly man, a good and constant Preacher, accounted very learned, and Bachelor of Divinity: this person being informed, that I and some other Boys could play some odd Feats of sleight of hand, especially to put a Ring upon our Cheek, and to throw it unto a staff holden fast by both the ends; this he by no means did believe could be done but by Diabolical means, and did advise and threaten us to desist from such practices, as devillish and damnable. So ready even the otherwise Learned may be, when once setled in these fond and absurd opinions of the too great power of Demons and Witches, to ascribe that unto them, which is performed by Nature and lawful Art.



That these things now in question are but barely supposed, and were yet never rationally nor sufficiently proved: And that the Allegations brought to prove them by are weak, frivolous, and absolutely invalid. With a full Confutation of all the four Particulars.

Pag. 5, 6.
Bodin. Dæmonoman. ubiq; of evil Spirits, pag. 304.

Having in the preceding Chapter proved that the Scriptures and sound Reason, are the proper Mediums to decide these difficulties by, and also laid down the necessary qualifications requisite in an Author or Witness that would evidence these things as matters of fact: We shall here once again repeat the four Particulars, which we are about to confute, which are these. 1. That the Devil doth not make a visible or corporeal League and Covenant with the supposed Witches. 2. That he doth not suck upon their bodies. 3. That he hath not carnal Copulation with them. 4. That they are not really changed into Cats, Dogs, Wolves, or the like. And these four Particulars we affirm were never matters of fact, nor ever had a being, except only in the fancy as meer Chimera’s, nor that they ever were or can be proved to have been brought to pass or acted; and de non apparentibus, & non existentibus eadem est ratio, saith the great Maxime of our Law. But in the first place let us hear what the Patrons of this wretched and execrable opinion have to say to prove that they are matters of fact, or were ever acted or performed. And first we have Mr. Glanvil arguing at this rate: “All Histories are full of the exploits of those instruments of darkness; and the testimony of all ages, not only of the rude and barbarous, but of the most civilized and polisht World, brings tidings of their strange performances. We have the attestation of thousands of eye and ear-witnesses, and those not of the easily deceivable vulgar only, but of grave and wise discerners; and that when no interest could oblige them to agree together in a common lye: I say we have the light of all these circumstances to confirm us in the belief of things done by persons of despicable power and knowledge, beyond the reach of Art and ordinary Nature. Standing publick Records have been kept of these well attested Relations, and Epocha’s made of those unwonted events. Laws in many Nations have been enacted against those vile practices; those among the Jews and our own are notorious; such Cases have been often determined near us, by wise and reverend Judges, upon clear convictive Evidence, and thousands in our own Nation have suffered death for their vile compacts with Apostate Spirits.” And a little after he saith: “And I think those that can believe all Histories are Romances; 64that all the wiser World have agreed together to juggle Mankind into a common belief of ungrounded Fables; that the sound senses of multitudes together may deceive them, and Laws are built upon Chimera’s; that the gravest and wisest Judges have been Murderers, and the sagest persons Fools or designing Impostors.” Bishop Hall maketh the like Objection, saying: “Neither can I make question of the authentick Records of the Examinations and Confessions of Witches and Sorcerers in several Regions of the World, agreeing in the truth of their horrible pacts with Satan, of their set Meetings with evil Spirits, their beastly Homages and Conversations. I should hate to be guilty of so much incredulity, as to charge so many grave Judges and credible Historians with lyes.”

These Objections at the first view seem very plausible, and to carry with them a great splendour and weight of truth and reason; but if they be looked into, and narrowly weighed in the balance of sound reason, and unbiassed judgment, they will be found too light, and will soon vanish into Rhetorical fumes and frothy vapours: which that it may be more clearly performed, we shall rank them into the number of three, in which all their seeming strength lyes, and these are they.

1. They pretend that these things are sufficiently proved by Historians of unquestionable credit and reputation.

2. That the Confessions of Witches themselves, in divers Regions, at several times and places, who have all acknowledged these particulars, are sufficient evidence of the truth of these performances.

3. That so many wise and grave Judges and honest Juries could not have been deceived, to put to death such great numbers of these kind of people, called or accounted Witches, without sufficient proof of the matters of fact. To all which we shall give a full response, in respect of the four particulars, mentioned in the beginning of this Chapter, and shall commix and adjoyn such positive Arguments as will be cogent to all rational persons, whose corrupt wills have not perverted their judgments.

1. It is much to be admired, that Mr. Glanvil (but especially Bishop Hall, a very Reverend and Learned person) should lye any great stress upon such a weak foundation: For there is none of these three Objections that will amount to a necessary Proposition, but only to a contingent one, which will infer no certain and necessary Conclusion, nor bring forth any certitude or science, but only bare opinion and probability. Propositio contingens est, quæ sic vera est, ut falsa esse possit: and at the best the strength of all these are but testimonia humana, which are but weak, and no sufficient ground for a rational man to believe them to be true, because humanum est errare. And the weight of these matters is not a contention de lana caprina, vel de umbra asini, sed de pelle humana, for the lives and estates of many poor Creatures, and they 65professed Christians too, and therefore doth require stronger Arguments than contingent Propositions, to establish a firm ground for the belief of this opinion.

Prov. 12. 22.

2. It is one thing barely to affirm, and another thing to prove sufficiently and fully: For though they boldly alledge, that these things are sufficiently proved by Authors of unquestionable credit and verity, we must return a flat negative, and that for these reasons. 1. Let them shew us any one Author of credible veracity, that ever was ear or eye-witness of the Devils making of a visible and corporeal League or Bargain with the Witches, or that he ever suckt upon their bodies, or that he had carnal Copulation with them, or that by the experience of his senses ever certainly knew a man really transubstantiated and transformed into a Wolf, or a Wolf into a man, and we will yield the whole Cause. But we must assert and truly affirm, that this pretence of theirs, that these things are sufficiently proved by Historians of good credit, is a meer falsity, and a lying flourish of vain words. There are (we confess) a multitude of vain and lying stories, amassed up together in the Writings of Demonographers and Witchmongers of strange and odd Apparitions, Feats, Confessions, and such like; but never any one positive proof of any of these four particulars by any Authors of credit and reputation: and this we dare boldly aver to the world. 2. Let them produce any two Witnesses that were of honesty and integrity, sound understandings and ability, that ever were present, and ear and eye-witnesses of a visible, vocal, and corporeal League made betwixt the Devil and the Witch; or let them tell us who was by, and watched, and really and truly saw the Devil suck upon some part of the Witches body; or who were the Chamberlains, Pimps or Panders, when the Devil and the Witch committed carnal Copulation; or who were ever present when a Witch was changed into a Cat, a Dog, an Hare, or a Wolf. If they can but bring forth any two credible Witnesses to prove these things by, then we shall believe them, but we must assert that never any such two could be produced yet: and therefore cannot but wonder at the shameless impudence of such persons, that dare affirm these things that never were, nor can be proved, and yet have not blushed to vent and trumpet forth such execrable and abominable lyes to the World. Mr. Glanvil confidently affirms these things to be matters of fact, and affirmanti incumbit probatio, let him produce his Witnesses, and if they be persons of judgment, veracity, and impartiality, then we shall accept their proof; but it is not figments, supposals, weak presumptions, or apparent falsities that will perform it; for that which never was acted, can never truly be proved, and things that appear not, are as though they were not; therefore he must produce his testimonies, or lose both his cause and credit, and must be taken for an Assertor of never-proved Fables. Lying lips are abomination unto the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.

66Now we know they use to do in this case, as Souldiers use, who when they are beaten forth of some Out-work or Trench, they then retreat into another that they think more strong and safe. And being driven from their weak Hold of a bare affirmation without proof, that these things are verified to have been matters of fact, and really performed, both by authority and the evidence of sense, which are both utterly false, then they flye to this assertion: That the Confessions of so many Witches in all Ages, in several Countries, at divers times and places, all agreeing in these particulars, are sufficient evidence of the truth of these matters. To which we shall rejoyn, that the Confessions of Witches, however considered, are not of credit and validity to prove these things; but are in themselves null and void, as false, impossible, and forged lyes, which we shall make good by these following Reasons.

Reas. 1.

1. The Witch must be taken to be either a person insanæ, vel sanæ mentis; and if they be insanæ mentis, their Confessions are no sufficient evidence, nor worthy of any credit; because there is neither Reason, Law, nor Equity that allows the testimony or confession of an Idiot, Lunatick, mad or doting person, because they are not of a right and sound understanding, and are not to be accounted as compotes mentis, nor governed by rationability. For as by the Civil Law mad Folks, Idiots, and Old men childish, Bond-slaves, and Villains are not capable of making a Will to dispose of Goods, Lands, or Chattels: so much more are all these sorts of persons excepted for giving evidence by confessions, or otherwise in matters concerning life and death, which are of far greater weight and concernment. And that these persons are of unsound understandings, is manifest in all the points that they confess, and therefore are no proof, nor ought to be credited: and that for these reasons. 1. Because the things they confess are not attested by any other persons of integrity and sound judgment, and they must of necessity be lyars, because the Bond-slaves of the Devil, whose works they will do, and he was a lyar from the beginning. 2. Because they confess things that are impossible (as we shall prove anon) and confiteri impossibilia insanientis est. 3. There is no good end wherefore they make these Confessions, neither do they receive any benefit by them, either spiritual or temporal, internal nor external. And this doth sufficiently shew, that they are deluded, melancholy, and mad persons, and so their Confessions of no credit, truth, or validity.

Reas. 2.
2 Thess. 2. 10, 11, 12.
2 Tim. 2. 26.
Joh. 8. 44.

2. Their Confessions will be found null and false, if we consider the impulsive cause that moves them to make them, and the end wherefore they declare such false and lying matters, and that in these particulars. 1. The moving cause is not, nor can be the Spirit of God, which is a Spirit of truth and righteousness, nor any motion of true remorse for their sins, or any thing flowing from repentant hearts, because they are persons forsaken of God and his Grace, and given over to reprobate minds and senses, and therefore 67the truth of the Word of God is fulfilled in them: Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, therefore God shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lye. That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2. Neither is the end for the glory of God, or their own Salvation, because they are the Vassals and Bond-slaves of Satan, being kept Captive at his will, and are Rebels and Traitors against God and Christ, his Church and Truth, having renounced the Faith, and become Apostata’s to the truth. 3. The impulsive cause and chief end wherefore they make these and such like confessions, is sometimes, and in some persons meerly to eschew torture and bodily pains, and sometimes the quite contrary solely to escape the present miseries of a poor, wretched, and troublesom life; and therefore these confessions not at all to be credited, as being vain and feigned. 4. Sometimes they are by force, waking, craft, and cunning, in hope of pardon and life, to make such confessions as the base ends and corrupt intentions of the Inquisitors themselves, or their Agents, have infused into them, for the advancement of false Doctrine, Superstition, and Idolatry: such were the most (if not all) recorded by Delrio Bodinus, and the rest of the Witchmongers, to which no credit can be given at all. 5. But the chief end that Satan hath (who is the Forger, Contriver, and Deviser of these Confessions, if voluntarily and freely made, the principal Agent in all these matters) is to set forth the power and glory of his own Kingdom, thereby to lead men into, and continue them in lyes and errors; for when he speaketh a lye, he speaketh of his own, for he is a lyar, and the father of it, and the Witches are his Children, and the works of their Father the Devil they will do, and he was, and is a Murtherer and Lyar from the beginning. And thus far we acknowledge a spiritual and mental League betwixt the Witch and the Devil, by virtue of which they confess these horrible and abominable lyes, of the glory of him and his Kingdom; but other League or Covenant there is none, neither is there any the least spark of truth in all that they say or confess, because their sole end in making of these confessions, is to advance the credit and power of Satan. 6. The impulsive cause that often makes them to utter such confessions of strange and impossible things, is the strong passive delusion, that they lye under, contracted by ignorant, unchristian, and superstitious education, which they have suckt in with their milk, heightned with an atrabilarious temper and constitution, and confirmed by the wicked lyes, and teaching of others, which makes them confess these execrable things, which they in their depraved and vitiated imaginations, do think and believe they have done and suffered, when there was never truly acted any such matter ad extrà, but only in their mad and deluded Phantasies: and so no more credit to be given to them, than to the maddest Melancholist that ever was read or heard of.

Reas. 3.
Lib. 1. of Prognost.
Hist. meditat. lib. 4. cap. 13. pag. 280.
History 1.
Hist. nat. l. 7. c. 52. pag. 103.
Doctor. Epist. pag. 641.
History 2.
Histor. Animal. lib. 8. cap. 24.

683. That there is not any jot of truth in these Confessions, is manifest, if we consider the subjective matter of them, as is plain by these ensuing grounds. 1. For the most of them are not credible, by reason of their obscenity and filthiness; for chast ears would tingle to hear such bawdy and immodest lyes; and what pure and sober minds would not nauseate and startle to understand such unclean stories, as of the carnal Copulation of the Devil with a Witch, or of his sucking the Teat or Wart of an old stinking and rotten Carkass? surely even the impurity of it may be sufficient to overthrow the credibility of it, especially amongst Christians. 2. There are many things that have no verity in them at all, that notwithstanding have verisimilitude; but these are not only void of truth, but also of truth-likeliness: for it is neither truth, nor hath any likelihood of it, to believe it for a truth, that the Devil should carry an old Witch in the Air into foraign Regions, that can hardly crawl with a staff, to dancing and banqueting, and yet to return with an empty belly, and the next day to be forced, like old Dembdike or Elizabeth Sothernes, and Alizon Denice, to go a begging with the sowr-milk Can: is this either probable or likely? would it not much more have advantaged the Devils interest and his Kingdom, to have furnished them with good and true meat and drink, and not with such imaginary Cates, which would neither fill the stomach, nor satisfie the appetite? Had it not been more for the Devils benefit to have furnished them with plenty of gold and silver, than to let them go ragged and tattered, begging their bread from door to door? 3. As these confessions have no truth-likeliness in them, so they are things that are simply impossible to be performed by any created power, and therefore must needs be false and fictitious relations; for no Creature can perform any thing but that for which by Creation it was ordered and designed to; but the Devils by Creation have no generative power given them, nor members or organs to perform the act of copulation withal; and therefore their having carnal copulation with the Witches, is a most monstrous fiction, and an absolute impossibility, and can have nothing in it more than the stirring up of the imaginative faculty, and thereby to move titillation in the members fitted for the act of generation, which is a thing that happens to many both men and women, that are of hot constitutions, and abound with seed, which we call nocturnæ prolutiones, of which the Divines and Casuists make that great question, An nocturnæ prolutiones sint peccatum? And it is as simply impossible for either the Devil or Witches to change or alter the course that God hath set in Nature, as to transubstantiate a man or woman into a Cat, a Dog, or a Wolf; and therefore are these confessions meer impossibilities and monstrous lyes. 4. There can in sound and right reason no credit at all be given to these confessions, because divers of them have been proved to be utterly false, as is plain in the man that did confidently affirm, that he was a true Wolf, and that he had hair under his skin, 69the woful tryal of which was his death, though a pregnant and undeniable proof, that the delusion was in the Phantasie, and that there was no real change of the mans body into a Wolf; and therefore doth flatly overthrow the credibility of these vain and lying confessions. To the same purpose is the story related by Camerarius from Johannes Baptista Porta, a great Naturalist, and a person of competent veracity, which is this. “Once (saith he) I met an old Witch, one of those that are said to enter houses in the night time, and there to suck the blood of little children lying in their Cradles. Having asked her a question of something, she promised forthwith, that within a while she would give me answer. She puts forth of her Chamber all those that went in with me to be witnesses of that which should pass. Having shut us out, she strips her self stark naked, and rubs over all her body with a certain Oyntment, which we saw through the chinks of the door. The operation of the soporiferous juyces, whereof this Oyntment was compounded, made her fall to the ground, and brought her into a deep sleep. Upon this we open the door, and some of us begin to strike and knock her well-favour’dly; but she was so soundly asleep, that to strike her body and a stone, it was all one. Forth we go again, in the mean time the Oyntment had ended his working, and the old Trot being awaked, and having put on her cloaths, begins to tell tales of Robin Hood, saying, That she had passed over Seas and Mountains, and then gives us false answers. We tell her, that her body had never stir’d out of the Chamber; she maintains the contrary: we shew her the blows we had given her, she persisteth the more stifly in her opinion.” By the testimony of this Author, who was an ear and eye-witness of this passage, and other persons with him, which manifests it to be good and sufficient evidence, it appeareth, that the Witches are under a melancholy and passive delusion, promoted by the help of soporiforous Oyntments, whereby they fancy and think they are carried into far remote places, where they hear and see strange things, and do and suffer that which is not at all performed, but only as in a dream, their bodies in the mean time lying immoveable, and so do but relate falsities and lyes, which is an unanswerable proof of the absolute falsity of their confessions, the thing that here we undertook to make good. And some late Learned men (with Mr. Glanvil himself) giving too much credit to the things related by the Witches in their confessions, to be true stories of things really performed at a great distance, have been forced to revive that old Platonical Whimsie, of the Souls real egression forth of the body into far distant places, and its return again, with the certain knowledge of things there done or said, according to the relation that Pliny gives us in these words: Reperimus (inquit) interempla, Hermotimi Clazomenii animam relicto corpore errare solitam, vagámq; è longinquo multa annuntiare, quæ nisi à præsenti nosci non possent, corpore interim semianimi: donec cremato 70eo inimici (qui Cantharidæ vocabantur) remeanti animæ velut vaginam ademerint. To which notwithstanding he doth not seem to give credence. But these Relations of the Witches are meer lyes and forgeries, and are but taught them by the spiritual craft of the Devil, thereby to pretend to imitate the true Visions that the Prophets had from God. And though there may be some peculiar persons that have the way to fall into ecstasies, (as Helmont witnesseth of himself) and may thereby understand many mystical matters, yet in it there is no real egression of the Soul forth of the body, but a freeing or withdrawing of it from the Phantasie and Senses, and then (as the Cabbalists and mystical Authors say) it is joyned to the intelligible World, and beholds things as present, and though there may be something of truth in it, yet few Authors of credit and veracity, have attested it upon their own experience, and there may be much fallacy and danger in it, and therefore we leave it to further search and inquiry. Another apparent ground of the nullity of the truth or credit of these confessions, is that which a learned Divine in his Letter to Dr. Wierus gives us, the substance of which we shall give in English, which is this: “I have known (he saith) the year foregoing (he writ his Epistle Anno 1565.) many foolish things from the private confession of a certain old Woman, an Inchanter, who when she had heard in my Sermon the place in the 19. Chapter of the Acts explained, That many of the Ephesians, being of those who had exercised curious Arts, had brought their Books, and burned them openly, &c. She forthwith (he saith) came unto me with a mind plainly troubled; and with tears pouring forth into my bosom the secrets of her breast, did receive Christian instruction; and when she had understood, by the blessing of God, the vanity of Diabolical Impostures, and perceived them with opened eyes, she was easily converted to the light of truth, the smoak of lyes being laid aside. She, truth being once received, hath most constantly confessed, that it did appear to her more clear than the light at noon day, that Satan did only deceive and blind the eyes of his Vassals, and that there was nothing done in verity, and this she declared with a detestation of her Diabolical Art.” And so concludes it in these words: Vno verbo dicam, me satis experientiâ didicisse, bonam partem incantationum mera esse insomnia. And whosoever shall read, and seriously consider the Epistle of that excellent and learned Divine, will find the most of those vain illusions laid open and confuted: so that in all (or the most) of the things attributed unto Witches, we shall find no more of Diabolical operation in them, than an internal, mental, and spiritual delusion, in making the Witches to believe, and to draw on others to the same opinion that the Devil hath a kind omnipotent Power and Soveraignty. Therefore did Aristotle well conclude: Incantamenta esse muliercularum figmenta.

Reas. 4.
Joh. 8. 44.
1 Joh. 3. 8.
Psal. 62. 4.

4. A fourth Reason of the meer falsity and incredibility of these 71Confessions is this: Is it possibly credible to a rational and unbiassed judgment, that the Witches (though never so many, at several times and places) having made themselves the Slaves and Vassals of the Devil, both in soul and body, and being led by his lying and deceitful Spirit (though making large and voluntary confessions) can be conceived to have any touch of truth in them at all? Surely no more truth in these confessions, than there is in the Devil, who was a Lyar from the beginning; and therefore we argue thus. Such kind of will, affections and inclinations as are in the Devil himself, such kind are in his Children. But the will and affections of the Devil are against God, his Truth, and against all Gods people, and his inclinations tend to continual lying. Therefore the will, affections, and inclinations of his Children (such as the Witches are, and are granted to be) are against God, his Truth, and against all Gods people, and their inclinations tend to continual lying. The proof of the major and minor Proposition is the plain words of our Saviour, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father the devil ye will do, θέλετε ποιεῖν, and he was a murtherer from the beginnings and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lye, he speaketh of his own: for he is a lyar, and the father of it. And again St. John tells us: He that committeth sin, is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. So that it may truly be said of them, They delight in lyes, and their confessions are nothing but lyes. And if they object and say, that here we confess a League with the Devil and the Witch, otherwise the Witches could not be his Children, Vassals, and Bond-slaves, which elsewhere we deny; we answer, it is a gross mistake, in not observing the distinction we make betwixt a mental and spiritual League, such as the Devil and Judas made, and such as all wicked men make with him, and under this League we acknowledge all Witches to be; but a visible and corporeal League we positively deny, and so the objection is of no validity. And thus we suppose we have sufficiently proved, that there ought no credit at all to be given to the Confessions of Witches, no more than to Devils, who are all lyars.

Now let us proceed to their third main Objection: That so many wise and grave Judges and honest Juries could not have been deceived, to put to death such great numbers of those kind of people, without sufficient proof of the matters of fact. Against which we oppose these following Reasons.

Reas. 1.

1. It is but an Argument at the best to drive the other Party into an absurdity, which is not of any such dangerous consequence, as may be supposed; for it would but conclude, that many grave and wise Judges and Juries have been imposed upon, and deceived, which is but argumentum ad homines, and doubtless many might, and have been. And do not we Christians hold, that the gravest and wisest Judges amongst the Turks and Persians have been, and are deceived, and have done unjustly in persecuting and 72putting Christians to death, because they would not submit to the Religion of Mahomet, and yet we account it no absurdity or injustice to pass that censure upon them? And do not the Idolaters in all those large Empires and Kingdoms of Tartary, China, the Moguls Country, and the rest of those Countries in the East of Asia persecute and put many to death, for not worshipping their Idols, or embracing their Religion; and do we think it absurd to censure and condemn them of injustice, though in their own Countries they be accounted grave and wise Judges? Surely we do not, and there is the parity of reason in both the Arguments, for all are but men, and so may erre.

Reas. 2.

2. But as for the grave, learned, and wise Judges, and understanding and honest Juries within His Majesties Dominions, we affirm they are clear and innocent from these imputations, and that for divers and sundry sound reasons. 1. Our Judges and Juries have no such sinister and corrupt ends, to wrest the Laws, or wring forth and extort feigned and false Confessions, because they have no such ends as to uphold and maintain idolatrous and superstitious Tenents, as praying to Saints, magnifying of Holy water, or setting up of Purgatory, as had the Popish Inquisitors, and the Demonographers, and Witchmongers that writ for those ends. And therefore it is no absurdity to say or think, that they dealt unjustly in their proceedings, which our learned and pious Judges are not, nor can be guilty of. 2. The Inquisitors and their Agents had benefit by the death of Witches, having a share in their Goods, and therefore no absurdity to conclude, that their proceedings were unjust, partial, and corrupt, of which our judges and Juries are clear, as having no profit at all by the death of these wretched and deluded people. 3. Our Judges are but sworn to the due execution of the Laws made, and the Juries sworn to bring in their Verdicts according to their best evidence: now if the Witnesses forth of malice, envy, ignorance, or mistake swear to matters of fact, for which death or other punishments are allotted by the Law, both the Judges and the Jury are absolutely excusable; and if there be any guilt in the Witnesses, or falsity in their Evidences, it lyes at their own doors, and upon their own consciences, and the Judges and Jurors are clear, and not to be blamed, for no humane prudence can altogether prevent, that Witnesses may not erre or swear falsely.

Reas. 3.

3. Have there not been many thousands of true and faithful Martyrs, that have suffered and been condemned in many Ages, in many and several Countries, at many different and distinct times? And some of these have been condemned by such as were called and accounted General Councils, Parliaments, High-Courts of Justice, and other places of great Judicature, before Judges that were accounted wise, grave, and learned, and by Juries of honesty and understanding: were there therefore no true Martyrs, and were they all justly condemned and put to death? or is it absurd to be guilty of such incredulity, as to think and hold, that so many grave 73and wise Judges, and knowing Juries were deceived, and did unjustly? Let Mr. Glanvil or any other solve this Argument; and carry the cause; or else we must necessarily conclude, that opinio quæ à se non propellit absurda, per absurda non premit adversarium.

Now having given a full and satisfactory Answer to their main and strongest Objections, and defeated the whole force of their first and most furious Charge, we shall proceed to overthrow their main Battel, in proving the four Particulars mentioned in the beginning of the Chapter, to be false and impossible. And in doing of this, we shall handle the three first promiscuously and all together, and the fourth about Transubstantiations or Change of Witches into Cats, Hares, Dogs, Wolves, or the like, we shall handle by it self.

Eph. 2. 2.
2 Thess. 2. 4.
Luk. 22. 2.
Chrys. in Luc. 22. 3.
Joh. 13. 2.

1. And first we acknowledge an internal, mental, and spiritual League or Covenant betwixt the Devil and all wicked persons, such as are Thieves, Robbers, Murtherers, Impostors, and the like, whereby the temptations, suggestions, and allurements of Satan, spiritually darted, and cast into the mind, the persons so wrought upon, and prevailed withal, do assent and consent unto the motions and counsels of the evil Spirit, and so do make a League and Covenant with the said evil Spirit, as saith the Text: According to the Prince of the power of the air, that now worketh in the children of disobedience. He doth not only rule over them, but also worketh in them; for men are either the Temples of God, or the Temples of Satan and Antichrist, who sitteth in the Temple of God, and opposeth and exalteth himself above all that it called God or worshipped. Such a spiritual League or Covenant as this did Judas make with the Devil, whereby he agreed to betray his Master Christ. Then entred Satan into Judas: not that essentially or personally he entred into Judas, but that he put it into his heart, βεβληκότος, to betray him: which wrought so effectively in him in a spiritual manner, that he took up that Diabolical resolution to betray his innocent Master: and this was entring into a spiritual League with the Devil. For as Theophylact saith upon the place. Hoc enim significat, spospondit, hoc est, perfectam promissionem & pactum fecit. And another saith: In Judam Satanas intravit, non impellens, sed patulum inveniens ostium: nam oblitus omnium quæ viderat, ad solam avaritiam dirigebat intuitum. And again: Missio ista spiritualis suggestio est, & non fit per aurem, sed per cogitationem: diabolicæ enim suggestiones immittuntur, & humanis cogitationibus immiscentur.

2. We acknowledge that this spiritual League in some respects and in some persons may be, and is an explicit League, that is, the persons that enter into it, are or may be conscious of it, and know it to be so; for when a person resolves to murther, he cannot but know that he then maketh a League with the Devil, who was a Murtherer from the beginning. And it is manifest, that in this 74League, and in no other, were all the Priests that belonged to the Oracles, who knew well enough that the Idols or false Gods they worshipped, did give no answers at all, but the responsions given were only of their own devising and framing, to uphold their credit; and more colourably to cozen and deceive the people, they did pretend that they had answers from their Gods or Idols, and thus far the Devil was in all their impostures and jugglings. And so all the several sorts of the Diviners or Witches mentioned in the Old Testament, were under a spiritual League with the Devil, and did very well know, that what they did, was not by the finger of God, but either by the help of Art, Nature, Leger-de-main, Confederacy, or such like impostures and cheats: and yet they pretended, as did Simon Magus, and gave out that they were some great men, thereby to deceive others, when explicitly they plainly knew that themselves were but dissemblers and lyars, and that for gain, credit, and vain-glory they pretended to do those things, which they could never truly perform. And under this spiritual League, explicitly considered, are all our Figure-flingers contained, who take upon them (far beyond the Rules of the true Art) to declare where stollen Goods are, and to cause them to be brought back again, and many other such vain and lying matters, which they well know they have no power to perform, but that they willingly and knowingly take upon them to pretend to do these things for vain-glory and filthy lucre sake. And of this sort are all our pretending Conjurers, Diviners, Wizards, and those that take upon them to reveal things by looking in Crystals, Beryls, and the like, (of which we may perhaps speak more largely hereafter) that indeed know well enough they do but deceive and cheat others: of all which we could recite very lepid and apposite stories, certainly known unto us, or discovered by us; but Mr. Glanvil would account them but silly Legends and old Wives Fables, and therefore we shall supersede here, and leave them to a fitter place.

Isa. 8. 19, 20.
Calvin in loc.

3. There are others that are under this spiritual League, though implicitly, as are all those that we have granted to be passively deluded Witches, those that by ignorant and irreligious education, joyned with a melancholy temper and disposition, to which they have added Charms, Pictures, and other superstitious Ceremonies, which they learned by Tradition. By all which they become so deluded and besotted in their Phantasies, that they believe the Devil doth visibly appear unto them, suck upon them, have carnal copulation with them, that they are carried in the Air to feastings, dancings, and such like Night-revellings; and that they can raise tempests, kill men or beasts, and an hundred such like fopperies and impossibilities, when they do nor suffer any thing at all, but in their depraved and deceived imaginations. And so do blindly and implicitly believe that the Devil doth perform all these things for them, when indeed and truth he doth nothing but dart and cast in these filthy and fond cogitations into their minds agreeable to 75their wicked wills and corrupted desires, and so are fast bound in this spiritual and implicit League. And under this spiritual implicit League are also comprehended all those that are Witchmongers, and believe the verity and performance of these things, and think that the Devil can both hurt and also help, and that there is a bad and a good Witch, or with Mr. Perkins, a black and a white one, by which wicked opinion, the seeking unto Witches, Wizards, Mutterers, Murmurers, Charmers, South-sayers, Conjurers, Cunning-men and women (as we speak here in the North) and such like, is still upholden by the Authors and Favourers of this opinion, contrary to the direct counsel of the Holy Ghost, who saith: And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar Spirits, and unto Wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. And therefore saith one: Admonet etiam, nos adversus impios cultus & superstitiones tutos fore, si in lege Domini acquiescamus. The League or Covenant betwixt the Devil and the Witch, is that which is visible and corporeal, where he is supposed to appear in some bodily shape unto the Witch, and to have oral and audible conference with him or her, and so to make a League or Covenant; and this is the thing that we deny, and the consequents thereof, that he doth not suck upon their bodies, nor hath carnal copulation with them, nor carries them in the Air, nor for them, nor by them doth destroy or kill man or beast, raise tempests, or change them into Cats, Hares, Wolves, Dogs, or the like; and this we oppose with these following Reasons.

Reas. 1.
2 Pet. 5. 8, 9.
Rev. 12. 9.
2 Cor. 2. 11.
Eph. 6. 11.
Mat. 24. 24.
2 Tim. 2. 25, 26.

1. Whatsoever the Devil worketh, it is to bring advantage to his own Kingdom, or otherwise he should act in vain. But whatsoever he worketh by a visible Covenant, is not for the advantage of his own Kingdom: and therefore it is in vain. The major is plain from the Text: Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, whom resist stedfast in the faith. The minor is manifest in these two particulars. 1. Satan is that old Serpent, that was, and is more subtile than any beast of the field, which the Lord God hath created: which notwithstanding the vain Cavils, and seeming Arguments of Pererius, must be understood of Satan the Adversary of Mankind, and not of the natural Serpent, which is not the most subtile beast that God hath created, there being many others more subtile than the Serpent; and the Scripture tells us of his cunning and wiliness: for the Apostle saith, We are not ignorant of his wiles or devices νοήματα. And the Apostle in another place calls them μεθοδείας, his wiles, which are so great, that if it were possible, they might deceive the very elect. So that he wants no cunning nor subtilty to know how to bring a sinner into his snare, and to hold him fast, and when he is fast, he knows he need do no more, 76and therefore acts not in vain. 2. Before he need attempt a visible apparition to the Witch (if any such thing could be) he knows that the Witch is sure and fast in his snare by a spiritual Covenant already entred into, and therefore knows he need do no more, and he is too cunning to act to no purpose, and therefore doth St. Paul warn Timothy, That a Bishop must have a good report, lest he fall into the snare of the devil, all sins being the snares of the Devil, and when men are fast taken in them, they are in Satans fetters, and he labours no more but to keep them there. And so the same Apostle speaketh of those that oppose the Gospel, that they must be instructed in meekness, that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. So that sins keep men in the spiritual snare of the Devil, and so are all those that are accounted Witches, in that spiritual snare, holden fast enough by their own consents and corrupt wills, and need no bodily apparition to make them surer: and so this visible League falls to the ground, as having no ground nor end why it should be made. And for the Devil to appear like a Dog or a Cat, and speak, would sure not only fright and startle an old Witch, but even the boldest and most stout-hearted person.

Reas. 2.

2. The Witches by visible apparitions of the Devil (if any such thing could be) in any shape, could have no more assurance of Satans performances, than they have already, by mental perswasion, and the dominion of him in their hearts, who is the Prince of the air, and worketh in the children of disobedience, because by that visible appearance there is not brought any Hostages or Witnesses, which are absolutely necessary to confirm such a League or Covenant. And these representations being made in their imaginations and fancies, wherein they think they see, do, and suffer these delusive Visions, they are most firmly and pertinaciously confirmed in the belief of them, that any Apparition externally must needs be vain and superfluous.

Reas. 3.

3. If the Witches be not superlatively mad (and if so, then so to be judged of, and all that in this point is believed of them either in doing, suffering, or otherwise, must be judged extreme folly and madness) they will not make a League with the Devil, knowing him to be the Devil, because they cannot but know that he was and is a Lyar and a Murtherer from the beginning, and hath deceived many before them, that were of the same way and profession. And a visible appearance can afford them no certain security, but that he may and will deceive them still, and that he continueth a lyar and a deceiver. But while the delusion is internal, and the imagination depraved, and led by the suggestions and motions of Satan, they then are so blinded, that they see not, nor understand the danger they run into, nor the certainty of the deceit they lye under, which a visible Apparition would sooner shake and overthrow, than any way confirm, and therefore is false and needless.

Reas. 4.

4. But how come the Witches certainly to know that the Devil 77can perform such things as they would have done? Surely by no means, but either by traditional hear-say or inward delusion; the one they know not, but that it is a lye, and the other concludeth their passive delusion, to neither of which a visible Apparition like a Cat or a Dog, and speaking unto them, can bring any confirmation, except the Devil should bring them good store of gold or silver, or work some strange feat before their eyes, as to kill some men or beasts, or the like; but none of these things are ever proved to be performed. And therefore it is not rational to believe that Witches do make a visible and corporeal League with the Devil, because by it they can have no certain knowledge, that he either can or will accomplish such things for them, as they desire.

Reas. 5.
1 Sam. 16. 14.
Mat. 8. 31, 32.
Job 1. 10, 11.
1 Pet. 5. 8.
2 Pet. 2. 4.
Jude 6.
Aug. super Psal.
Of evil Aug. sect. 3. pag. 279, 280.

5. The Devil cannot by his own power or will, either appear visibly in what shape he please, neither can he when he will, nor as he will, perform these strange tricks, because he is under restraint, and can act nothing but as the will of God orders and determines: so God sent an evil Spirit upon Saul, otherwise he could not have troubled him; and the Devils could not enter into the herd of Swine, until leave was given them by our Saviour; neither could he afflict Job, until that Gods hand was laid upon him, and God ordered him to be an instrument in that affliction. And though the Devil be said to walk about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, yet must that walking about be only understood (and is so taken by all sound Expositors) of the evil and wicked intention of his will, according to which he is always ready seeking whom he may devour, if he be so ordered or permitted of God (ordering and permission in this point, being but all one act of the divine Will and Providence) and not in regard of his power or liberty to act or execute what he please, and when and as he lift; for the same Apostle and also St. Jude telleth us, that he is kept in chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment, and by those chains he is kept, that he cannot hurt or destroy, when and where he list, but as he is sent and appointed of God, either to tempt or afflict the godly, or to punish the wicked; and therefore the sentence of St. Austin is much to be weighed and considered, who saith: Diabolus plerumq; vult nocere, & non potest, quia potestas ista est sub potestate: nam si tantum posset nocere Diabolus quantum vult, aliquis justorum non remaneret. And therefore I cannot but transcribe here the opinion of that pious and learned person Bishop Hall upon this very particular, which is this: “Could Samson have been firmly bound hand and foot by the Philistine cords, so as he could not have stirred those mighty limbs of his, what Boy or Girl of Gath or Ascalon would have feared to draw near and spurn that awed Champion? No other is the condition of our dreadful enemies, they are fast bound up with the adamantine chains of Gods most merciful and inviolable Decree, and forcibly restrained from their desired mischief. Who can be afraid of a muzled and tyed up Mastive? what woman or child cannot make faces at a 78fierce Lyon, or a bloody Bajazet lockt up fast in an Iron Grate? Were it not for this strong and strait curb of divine Providence, what good man could breathe one minute upon earth? The Demoniack in the Gospel could break his iron fetters in pieces, through the help of his Legion; those Devils that possessed him could not break theirs; they are fain to sue for leave to enter into Swine, neither had obtained it (in all likelihood) but for a just punishment to those Gaderene owners: How sure may we then be, that this just hand of Omnipotence will not suffer these evil ones to tyrannize over his chosen Vessels for their hurt? How safe are we, since their power is limited, our protection infinite?” So that if the Devil be thus chained and restrained by the omnipotent Decree and Providence, that he cannot execute any evil, but as he is ordered of God, and that God doth not let him loose but for just causes and reasons; then can it not be that the Devil doth visibly appear and make Leagues with Witches, nor work such strange things for them, because there is no just or reasonable end that can be assigned, why God should order him to do these things; and therefore a visible League with Witches is meerly false and fraudulent.

Reas. 6.

6. This pretended League must needs be a lye and a figment, because of the effects that are feigned to follow, as to have carnal copulation with the Devil, to raise storms and tempests, to flye in the air, and to kill men and beasts. For if these things be done, they are either performed by the Witches own natural power, or by the Devils. If by the Witches natural power, or the force of her resuscitated imagination and strength of will to work ad nutum (as Van Helmont seems to hold) then the Devil operateth nothing, but in playing the Impostor, and deceiving the Witch, and that he may easily do by internal and mental delusion, and needs no visible League to bring it to pass. And if the Witch kill men or beasts, or perform any of the fore-cited Feats by natural means or Agents, then where is the Devils power, or wherein is the Witchcraft or Fascination, or where is the effect of the League? And if the Witch kill by natural means, then the natural Agent is not simply evil, but in the use and application. As a Sword is a natural and lawful instrument for an honest man to use, to defend his life withal, in using of it with his natural power and skill; but if a Thief or a Robber, with his natural power and skill, use a Sword to kill and murther an honest man withal, it is wickedness in the use and end, but not in the agency of the Thief, nor in the effect of the Sword. So if the Witch by any natural means (though never so secret) do kill a man or child, it is murther; but wherein lyes the Witchcraft? Is it any thing else but Veneficium (as both the Greek and Latine words do import) to kill by some secret way of poysoning? Shew what Witchcraft there is in it besides. If the Devil by his own power kill a man, or perform the Witches carrying in the air, and the like, let us know how, or by what 79means he performeth the same? If what the Devil performeth in natural and corporeal matter, be (as the Fathers, Schoolmen, and Divines most generally hold) by applying natural Agents, to fit passives, then the effect is natural, and so in killing any person, it is only wicked and diabolical, in regard of the end, which is murther, but what Witchcraft is there in the means and operation? And therefore Guiterrius strongly concludeth thus. “If there be no natural Fascination, there can be no diabolical; but there is no natural Fascination (as he thinketh he hath sufficiently proved) therefore he concludeth there is no diabolical Fascination at all.” There is no way to solve this Argument, but either in denying that the Devil worketh these things by natural means, and then it crosseth the opinion of all the Learned in general, ancient, middle, and modern, or by proving that there is natural Fascination, and then diabolical is but in vain and needless.

Reas 7.

7. How can the Witches (if not maniacal in the highest degree) believe, that the Devil who is a Lyar, and the Father of lyes, and whom they cannot but know hath in the like cases deceived many, that have (in their opinion) made contracts with him, will prove true in the performance of his promise? Or that he who is the enemy of all truth and goodness, and laboureth to deceive all Mankind, will be faithful to perform his promise, or to do them any good, either real or apparent? Or (if the Witches be not incredibly mad) can they believe that he will perform without Hostages, Bonds-men, or Sureties? when we find that the weakest and maddest of Mortals, if he make a Covenant with another of known loosness and deceit, though for a thing of a far less value, than either soul or body, will he not require sufficient Bonds-men and Security? Now what Bonds-men or Security can the Witches have?

Reas. 8.

8. And if the Witches be not beyond measure deluded and mad, must they not rationally know, that if the Devil deceive them (as he is sure to do) there is no recompence to be had, nor any that can compel him to perform bargains? Before what Judicature, before what Judges, by what Law must they call him to an account, or have him punished? So that in all reason and sound judgment we must conclude the Witches to be absolutely mad, and then all these things also madness, lyes and folly, or that there is not, nor ever was any such League or Covenant.

Reas. 9.
See the Arraignment of Witches in Lancast. Ann. 10. Jacobi.

9. But if all this were granted, yet who are the Witnesses to this visible League or Covenant, can the Witches name or find any? The things that cannot be proved by sufficient Witnesses, are never to be believed, and we have proved the nullity, impossibility, and falsity of the pretended Confessions of Witches themselves, and therefore that no credit at all ought to be given unto them, and however no Law nor Equity ought to allow the Evidence of a Party, as in these cases all Witches are. And though some few of them have been so exceedingly mad to make such false and absurd 80Confessions, yet if the Records of all Ages and Courts were sought, it will be found that many hundreds of them have suffered that never confessed the least tittle of any such matter; and the supposed Witches of Salmesbury in the County of Lancaster, the tenth year of the Raign of King James, were so far from this confession, that they were cleared, and the accusation found to be false, and all acted by the imposture of one Thompson, or Christopher Southworth. And I my self have known two supposed Witches to have been put to death at Lancaster within these eighteen years, that did utterly deny any such League, or ever to have seen any visible Devil at all: and may not the confession of these (who both dyed penitently) be as well credited, as the confessions of those that were brought to such confessions by force, fraud, or cunning perswasion, and allurements? But if there be any such League or Covenant betwixt the Witches and the Devil, how cometh the truth of this matter of fact (if ever there were or could be any such thing) to be certainly known and revealed? Have any of the Pen-men of the holy Scriptures recorded, that there ever was, is, or can be any such League or Contract? Or was it ever attested by any honest rational men, that were ear or eye-witnesses of such a bargain and contract? Therefore we must once again conclude: De non apparentibus & non existentibus eadem est ratio.

Reas. 10.

10. As for the Witches either Males or Females, having carnal Copulation with Devils, either as an Incubus or Succubus, and their stealing of seed from a man, and conveying it into the vessels of the woman, it is in it self so horrid, monstrous, and incredible, that I cannot well believe him to be a rational person, or sanæ mentis, that believes it as a truth, and therefore cannot but think the rehearsal of it a sufficient confutation. Also herein I do appeal to all learned Physicians, who do know the way that Nature breeds humane seed, the causes that make it prolifical, and the members fit for its generation and reception, who (I doubt not) will deride this Tenent, and condemn it, as false and abominable. Moreover, the horrid absurdity of it hath been sufficiently demonstrated by Wierus, Dr. Tandlerus, Mr. Scot, Mr. Wagstaff, and others: and therefore all we shall say is this: “That Devils, whether conceived to be corporeal or incorporeal, and to assume bodies (for the one it must of necessity be) were not created of God to generate, neither have they, nor can have any seed, or members fit for generation; and therefore to copulate or generate is derogatory from the glory of Nature, and blasphemous against God and his Power.” As for the Devils sucking the Teats, Warts, or such like excrescences of the Witches bodies, we should have passed it over as easily as the former, but only that Mr. Glanvil hath taken up the Cudgels to defend it: to confute which, we shall give these satisfactory Reasons.

Reas. 1.
Pag. 18.

1. There can be no rational end assigned, why the Devil should perform this action, for we must tell Mr. Glanvil that supposals are 81no proofs, and ex suppositis supposita consequuntur, and in a thing of this nature, arguments to prove it probable are insufficient. And if (as he confesseth) for their being suckt by the Familiar, I say, (he saith) “We know so little of the Nature of Demons and Spirits, that ’tis no wonder we cannot certainly divine the reason of so strange an action”: Now if he knew so little of their Nature, it must needs be vanity and arrogance to take upon him to declare so much: and if he could not certainly divine the reason of so strange an act, it was extreme folly and pride in him to bring in idle and vain conjectures and probability, where verity and certainty are expected. One while he supposeth them corporeal, which if granted, will not prove that they are recreated by the reeks and vapours of humane blood, because their bodies are of a more pure Nature, than to be nourished with gross, and sometimes (especially in melancholick old men and women) corrupted blood; for if every thing be nourished by its like, then they cannot be fed with humane blood, for they have no flesh nor bones such as ours, that have need to be nourished with blood. And for his next, perhaps, and may be, that it is a diabolical Sacrament, we shall believe it when he proves it, and not before. But he hath a third supposal, which to him seemeth most probable, viz. “That the Familiar doth not only suck the Witch, but in the action infuseth some poysonous ferment into her”. If this had been most probable, why did he bring in the other two, that are less probable? surely he might have known that, frustra fit per plura, quod fieri potest per pauciora. And is his sucking now come to infusion and injection? surely these will not accord: but enough of supposals.

Reas. 2.

2. But we must know of Mr. Glanvil, how he comes to know that the Devils sucking of the Witches bodies is a truth, or ever was proved to be matter of fact, who were by and present that were ear or eye-witnesses of it? A thing that never was proved ought never to be believed; and if he recur to the Witches confessions, that is fully overthrown before, and we are sure that in these late years that are past, when so many pretended Witch-finders were set abroad in Scotland and Northumberland, they never manifested, nor could verifie any such thing, but were found and discovered to be notorious Impostors and Knaves, pretending to discover Witches by putting sharp Needles or Pins into the Warts and hollow Excrescences of divers persons, when the persons so dealt withal, did not see nor know; and if the persons did not feel nor complain of pain, then (forsooth) they must be taken for Witches, and be burnt. So of many persons they got money and bribes, that they might not be searcht or stript naked, and of others for finding Excrescences upon them that were hollow and fistulous, and therefore when the Pin was thrust into the fistulous cavity, that was skinned within, and so indolent, they were then accounted guilty, and were either forced to compound with these notorious pretended Witch-finders, or to be prosecuted for their 82lives. By which wicked means and unchristian practices divers innocent persons, both men and women lost their lives; and these wicked Rogues wanted not greater persons (even of the Ministry too) that did authorize and incourage them in these Diabolical courses, as though this had been some way prescribed by God or his Word to discover Witches by, when it was an Hellish device of the Devil to delude Witchmongers, and bring poor innocent people to danger and death. Yet it had prevailed further, if some more wise Heads and Christian Hearts had not interposed, by whom the Villany was detected, and the Impostors severely punished; and that this is a most certain truth, hundreds yet living can witness and testifie. And the like in my time and remembrance happened here in Lancashire, where divers both men and women were accused for supposed Witchcraft, and were so unchristianly, unwomenly, and inhumanely handled, as to be stript stark naked, and to be laid upon Tables and Beds to be searched (nay even in their most privy parts) for these their supposed Witch-marks: so barbarous and cruel acts doth diabolical instigation, working upon ignorance and superstition, produce.

Reas. 3.

3. But as this was never really proved de facto, that the Devil did suck upon the body of a supposed Witch, so the possibility of it likewise can never be demonstrated. For whether a Spirit be taken to be corporeal, or to assume a body, yet it neither hath nor can have such a body as our Saviour did appear in after his Resurrection, which was the same real and numerical body that he suffered in, and was by the sense of seeing and feeling distinguished from any bodies that Spirits can have and appear in, especially in solidity and tangibility; for a Spirit hath not flesh and bones, as he was felt and seen to have. And where there is no flesh and bones, there cannot be any animal sucking, and we speak not here of artificial sucking or attraction, of which there is a great question, whether any such thing be at all or not; but however the Spirits have no power to suck, because they have not flesh and bones.

Reas. 4.

4. That there are divers Nodes, Knots, Protuberances, Warts, and Excrescences that grow upon the bodies of men and women, is sufficiently known to learned Physicians and experienced Chirurgions. Some have them from their mothers wombs, some grow afterwards, some proceed from internal causes, some from external hurts, some are soft, some hard, some pendulous, some not, some fistulous, and issue matter, some hollow and indolent, and many other ways. And these are more frequent in some persons, by reason of their Complexion and Constitution, in others by reason of their Age, Sex, and other accidents and circumstances, especially in Women that are old, and their accustomed purgations staid, or by reason of Child-birth, and the like. Now if all these were Witch-marks, then few would go free, especially those that are of the poorer sort, that have the worst diet, and are but nastily kept. And for their being indolent, it doth argue nothing but ignorance; 83for many sorts of Tumors and Excrescences are without pain, as well as fistulous and hollow Warts. And it is a woful errour, to make that a sign and mark of a diabolical Contract, that hath natural causes for its production. And it is a strange kind of Logick to argue or conclude, that men or women are Witches, and have made a Contract with the Devil, because they have such Warts or Excrescences that are indolent when pricked into: where is the coherence, connexion, or just consequence? Let all wise men judge.

Psycholog. par. 2. pag. 53. &c.
Dialog. Discours. pag. 149, &c.
Discovery of Witchcraft, l. 5. c. 1, &c.

As for that vain opinion, that Witches are, or can be really and essentially transformed into Dogs, Cats, Hares, and the like, or men transubstantiated into Wolves, it is largely by numerous positive arguments, confuted by Casmannus, and by the Authors of that learned Treatise of Spirits and Devils, written in the Raign of Queen Elizabeth, as also by Wierus, Mr. Scot, and others; so that we shall not bring all that others have written about this point, but note such things as are most material, and have been less handled or regarded by others, and that in these Particulars.

De Civit. Dei, lib. 18. cap. 18. pag. 583.
De Spirit. anim. cap. 26.
Hist. nat. l. 8. c. 22. p. 114.

1. It is taken to be a great matter with some, because St. Augustin seemeth to favour this opinion of transformation, and tells us this: Si enim dixerimus ea non esse credenda, non desunt etiam nunc, qui ejusmodi quædam, vel certissima audisse, vel etiam expertos se esse asseverent. And then saith: “And we, when we were in Italy, did hear such things of a certain Region of those parts, where certain Women that kept Inns, being skilled in these Arts (they did say) were wont to give in Cheese to Travellers that they could get to take it, whence forthwith they were turned into Juments, and carried necessary burdens, and when they had done, did again return unto themselves, but that while they had not a bestial, but rational and humane understanding.” And yet concludeth: Hæc vel falsa sunt, vel tam inusitata, ut meritò non credantur. To which we shall return these short answers. 1. Though St. Austin were in many things a very Learned man; yet being but a man, might and did erre, not only in this point, but in many others. 2. His Reasons to prove it by are weak and groundless. 3. He speaketh nothing of his certain and peculiar knowledge, but by common fame and hear-say; and therefore the matters alledged to be done, are not credible. 4. He confesseth that they are either false, or so unusual, that they are not worthy to be believed. 5. And when he hath said all he can, he concludeth these Transformations (if any such were) to be but phantastical, that is, to seem so, but not really to be so, and what he meaneth by a phantastical appearance, is not easie to judge, whether it were a delusion of the Phantasie within, or of the senses without. 6. But in another place he telleth us this: Non est credendum, humanum corpus Dæmonum arte vel potestate in bestialia lineamenta converti posse; so that here is St. Austin contradicting himself, or else he concludeth nothing. 7. But his learned Commentator Ludovicus Vives doth 84not give credit to those vain and lying Fables, but confuteth them by the Authority of Pliny (who might have given St. Austin satisfaction, if he had read him) who tells us roundly: Homines in lupos verti, rursumq; restitui sibi, falsum esse confidenter existimare debemus, aut credere omnia quæ fabulosa tot seculis comperimus. And further saith: Mirum est, quò procedat Græcia credulitas. Nullum tam impudens mendacium est, ut teste careat.

Gen. 19. 26.
Antiq. Judaic. l. 1. c. 12. p. 17.
Exod. 4. 3, 4.
Exod. 7. 9, 10, 20.
Exod. 7. 20, 21.
Job. 2. 9.

2. For essential Transformations we have examples in the Sacred Scriptures, but these not wrought but by a divine Hand and an omnipotent Power. And such was that of Lots Wife, who looking back contrary to command, was turned into a Pillar of Salt, & fuit in statuam salis, as Arias Montanus renders it, which accordeth with the Hebrew exactly, the vulgar Latine and others say, versa est in statuam salis: and this by the divine finger was a real transubstantiation, especially in respect of her body, the substance of which was really changed into an absolute Pillar of Salt, without regression or returning back to what it was before, but remained so still, and was standing in the days of Josephus, if credit may be given to what he writeth. Another example we have in Moses his Rod, which God commanded him to cast upon the ground, and he cast it upon the ground, and it became a Serpent, and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand. This Rod afterwards Aaron threw down before Pharaoh, and it became a Serpent, and swallowed up the rods of the Wise-men and Sorcerers, and it afterwards became a rod again, and Aaron used it in working some of the rest of the Miracles. So that this was so true a transformation, that Moses himself was afraid when he saw the Rod a Serpent, that he fled from before it; and that it was a real change, appeared in that it swallowed up the Rods of the Magicians, and still afterwards became a Rod again. So likewise all the Waters in Egypt were really changed into blood: And our Saviour did really change the Water into Wine at the Marriage in Cana of Galilee. And all these were true and real transubstantiations, which neither Devils nor Witches can perform, as appeareth by these unanswerable Arguments.

1. All real Transubstantiations are wrought and performed by a divine and omnipotent Power: but Devils and Witches have no divine nor omnipotent Power. Therefore Devils or Witches cannot work or perform any real Transubstantiations.

2. All Beings that work real Transubstantiations, must work contrary and different from that order and course that God hath established in Nature: but Devils and Witches cannot work contrary and different from that order and course that God hath established in Nature. Therefore Devils and Witches cannot work any real transubstantiations at all. Let all the Witchmongers in the World answer these Arguments, if they be able.

Mat. 17. 2.
Mar. 9. 2, 3.
Luk. 9. 28.
Rom. 12. 2.
2 Cor. 3. 18.
Luk. 9. 29.
Exod. 34. 33, 34, 35.

853. We find also external Transfiguration, as of Christ in the Mountain; for the Text saith, in St. Matthews Gospel: And he was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the Sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And Mark saith: And he was transfigured before them, and his raiment became shining exceeding white as snow: so as no fuller on earth can white them. And St. Luke saith: And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glittering. The word used in those places for the transfiguring or altering of his face by St. Matthew and St. Mark is μετεμορφώθη, from μετὰ trans, and μορφὴ forma, figura, the outward form, shape, figure, or lineaments; and this word is also used for the change or transforming of the mind, will, desires, and affections: For so the Apostle saith: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. And again he saith: We behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord with open face: and are transformed into the same image from glory to glory. But St. Luke instead of this word expresseth it thus: τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον. Tremellius renders it: Transformatus est aspectus vultûs ejus. And Beza: Species vultûs ejus alia, which is nearest the Greek. So Moses face, when he had been with the Lord upon the Mount, the skin of it did shine, so that he put a veil upon it, when he spoke to the people, and put it off when he went in to speak unto the Lord. So that these were external alterations of both Christs and Moses face, by appearing glorious, resplendent, and shining like the Sun, and this was wrought by a divine hand and power. From whence we may note,

1. That though Christ was thus gloriously transformed (for so the word doth bear) yet we are not to imagine, that Christ was essentially changed into some other substance or nature; no, but that he was rather made there most resplendent in glory.

2. And where the Apostle wisheth the Romans to be transformed: Is it to be essentially transformed into any other substance or natural thing? Nay not so, but effectively into some other more sacred qualities, by the renovation of their inward mind. And again where he saith: And are transformed into the same image from glory to glory. His meaning is not, that we are essentially transformed into the very image of God; for so should he very shrewdly confirm that foolish opinion of some, who hold that men are deified in God, and that God also is hominified in men: But his purpose is, that we (by the operation of the holy Spirit) should proceed and grow (by degrees) from glory to glory, until we be truly conformed unto the similitude of that same glorious Image of God wherein we were first created; and so intendeth no essential transformation at all.

Observ. medic. pag. 80, &c. Id. pag. 129.

3. We are here to note the difference betwixt this Transfiguration, and that which may proceed from natural causes, as passions, affections, or diseases; and also from artificial or counterfeited Transfigurations. For it is wonderful to behold, how anger and 86rage doth alter the faces and countenances of some, and so grief, sorrow, despair, and the like, in others, causeth horrible changes all over the external parts both of the face and body. Neither is any passion more prevalent than deep-rooted fear mixed with despair, as hath been manifested in some, that in a short time, nay even in the space of one night have had their hair, that formerly was black, turned into gray or white, as is testified by Authors of unquestionable veracity. And for diseases, it is almost incredible to think, what strange alterations Madness, Frenzy, the bitings of a mad Dog, Melancholies (especially that kind which Physicians call Lycanthropia, which is so wonderful, that it hath made many dotingly believe, they were really transformed) will produce and bring forth. Examples of which at large may be seen in Schenckius; of which we shall speak more fully anon, as also of artificial and counterfeited Transfigurations: and that Devils nor Witches can perform no such Transfigurations as this of Christ and Moses, is manifest by the Arguments laid down before, because these were brought to pass by a divine Hand and an omnipotent Power, which Devils and Witches have not, and therefore cannot operate any such things.

2 Cor. 11. 13, 14, 15.
1 Cor. 7. 31.

4. Moreover in the Scripture there is mention of counterfeit, simulated, and hypocritical transformation, such the Apostle mentioneth in these words, speaking of the false Apostles: For such are false Apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an Angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing, if his Ministers also be transformed as the Ministers of Righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works. The word there thrice used is from μετασχηματίζω, which cometh from ἕχω habeo, possideo, teneo, and from thence σχῆμα habitus: so that the compound Verb properly signifieth effingo, assimulo, and so of necessity must signifie in these three places. So the Apostle saith in another place: The form of this world, σχῆμα, passeth away, that is, the fashion, condition, custom, or usage of the world passeth away. This place of Scripture concerning Satans transforming of himself into an Angel of light (though plain in it self) hath been and still is most usually alledged by Witchmongers, to prove the Apparitions of Devils by: For thus they commonly argue; “If Satan can transform himself into an Angel of Light; much more (arguing à majore ad minus) into any other shape, and so may easily appear in the form of a Cat, Dog, or in any other shape whatsoever”, and this they think to be an invincible Argument. This way of argument were of force, if the Apostle in this place had meant or intended any real or essential transformation; but that this is not the meaning of the Text, we shall prove by these following Reasons.

Reas. 1.
Joh. 12. 5, 6.

1. The very signification of the word here, doth not bear nor intend any essential transformation; but only feigning, pretending, 87and assimulating, as when Judas pretended charity and love to the poor, when he said: Why was not this oyntment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor: but because he was a thief and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Though Judas Iscariot hypocritically feigned and pretended this charity to, and care for the poor, yet was he not really a charitable man, or a lover of the poor, but a thief, and a most covetous wretch. So these false Apostles did pretend much zeal and piety to preach and promote the Gospel, but therefore were they not really transformed and changed into true Apostles, but were Deceivers, Dissemblers, and Hypocrites. So Satan often pretendeth heavenly, angelical, and divine things, and to do as the holy Angels do; but it is in deceit, cozenage, falsity, and hypocrisie, and so he is by counterfeiting and dissembling said to be transformed into an Angel of Light, and not otherwise by any essential transformation at all.

Reas. 2.

2. The Text it self doth plainly manifest, that they were not transformed into true Apostles, for then St. Paul had had no cause to have written so bitterly against them; but that notwithstanding that shew, form, or pretence that they held forth, and though outwardly they seemed to personate the true Apostles of Christ, yet that was but an external and hypocritical simulation; for really and truly they were false Apostles, ψευδαπόστολοι, and deceitful workers, ἐργάται δόλιοι. And so Satan may make what shews or pretences he will of goodness, piety, and of heavenly things, and so may counterfeit, dissemble and lye, yet still he remaineth a very accursed Devil, and is never really changed from his damned and diabolical Nature.

Reas. 3.
Dialog. Disc. of Spirits and Devils, p. 234.

3. Satan is so transformed into an Angel of Light, as his Ministers are transformed into the Apostles of Christ. But Satans Ministers are not essentially transformed into the Apostles of Christ. Therefore neither is Satan essentially transformed into an Angel of Light. For though Satans Ministers may pretend never so much piety and zeal, and labour to personate and imitate the true Ministers of Christ, yet notwithstanding that pretended transformation, they still really and essentially remain as they were, that is, Deceivers and Hypocrites. And Satan for all his seeming and apparent personating and imitating the Angels of Light, he still remaineth in his essence and nature an Angel of Darkness, and a lying and accursed Wretch.

Reas. 4.
August. de Civ. Dei, l. 2. c. 26.

4. The Devil is never nor can be really and essentially transubstantiated into an Angel of Light, for then he could (indeed and in truth) be no longer a Devil, but his diabolical Nature would of necessity cease. But all his transformation is, when he intendeth most deeply to circumvent and deceive the sons of men, then he pretendeth the most religious and the holiest shews of all. Pretending in all outward appearance the holy affections, sincerity, and zeal of the holiest Angels of Light. For as St. Austin saith: “Unless 88the malignity of Satan be sleightly and cunningly covered, his deceivable purpose is seldom or never effected.”

Reas. 5.
Chrysost. in loc.

5. The best and most sound Expositors, both ancient, middle, and modern do expound the place as we have urged it, of which we shall name only two or three. St. Chrysostom tells us this: Operarii dolosi: nam operantur quidem, sed revellunt ea quæ sunt plantata: nam quoniam sciunt se aliter non posse esse acceptos, personâ veritatis sumptâ, erroris actum simulantes peragunt. And a little after he saith thus: Et multos Diabolus sic decipit, personâ in se acceptâ, & non factus Angelus lucis: sic illi personam Apostolorum circumferunt, non ipsam potentiam, neq; fortes sunt. Dr. Hammond gives the Paraphrase of this place thus: “For the truth is (he saith) these men that come to infuse false Doctrines into you, behave themselves as cunningly as they can, and do labour to imitate, and seem to do those very things, that we true Apostles do. And ’tis no unusual matter for Deceivers and Seducers to do so; for Satan himself pretends to do those things that the good Angels do, makes as if he meant you all kindness, when he comes to destroy you. And therefore ’tis not any thing strange, if seducing Hereticks, imployed by him, do imitate the actions of the Apostles of Christ; but according to the hypocrisie of their actions, so shall their ends be.” See Theophylact and Calvin upon the place. So that we positively conclude, that from this place of Scripture no real or essential transformations of Devils can be proved at all.

Philosophical Transactions, numb. 64.
Vid. Barthol. Cent. 2. Hist. 100. pag. 319. Microgr. obser. 17. pag. 107.

6. There are natural Transformations by progression to perfection, as is manifest in Insects, which at the first to our view do appear to be Worms, Maggots, Creepers, or Caterpillers, and yet afterwards do become several sorts of winged Creatures, as Butterflies of many and various kinds, Flies, and the like; as that Creature, which here in the North Fishers do call a May-Fly, is first but a little Creeper inclosed in an Hull, as of pieces of straws, or the like: and so that which they call a Cod-bait, is like a yellow Maggot with a black head inclosed in a sandy crustaceous Husk, and yet towards the middle of August, or the beginning of September becometh a fine yellowish Fly, which the Fishers use to bait withal, and these are but gradual progressions towards the perfection of the Animalcle, as the learned Author Johannes Swammerdanus hath declared in these words, as we find it laid down in the Philosophical Transactions: “First it lays down the ground of all natural changes in Insects; declaring, that by the word Change, is nothing else to be understood but a gradual and natural evolution and growth of the parts, not any Metamorphosis or Transformation of them, and a great deal more of notable observations concerning the most sorts of Insects, as may be seen in the piece quoted in the Margent.” So likewise there are very many strange transformations wrought by petrifactions both of Vegetables and Animals, or their parts, as may be seen by the Writings of many learned Authors, especially those noted in the Margent, to whom 89we refer the curious Inquirer. These being natural Transfigurations (for so they may be properly called) we cannot rationally suppose that any man of judgment will imagine, that any such can be produced by Devils or Witches, because they are brought forth by natural Principles and Agents, which Devils or Witches cannot overrule, alter, nor hinder, else the whole and certain course that the Creator hath set in the order of the production and generation of natural things, might be suspended, which is not possible to be performed without an omnipotent Power, which the Devils and Witches have not. Besides the most of these require a suitable time for their production and perfection, which must only be performed by the internal operation of Nature, or by Art accelerating the works of Nature, which Devils and Witches cannot bring to pass.

Exod. 4. 6, 7.
2 King. 5. 27.
1 Sam. 21. 13.
De Monst. l. 24. c. 18. p. 565.

7. There are divers other Transformations (at least so accounted and called) which because they are not absolutely pertinent to our purpose, we shall only mention slightly. 1. External changes of the body in respect of diseases, and some by an extraordinary power, as that of Moses, to whom the Lord said: Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: And when he took it out: behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again: And he put his hand into his bosom again, and plucked it out of his bosom, and behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. Here we see that the same hand was made leprous white as snow, and was again restored as his other flesh. And this was done by a divine Power, such as neither Devils nor Witches can perform. So Gehazi of whom it is said: The leprosie therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow. And here the judgment was permanent, and no restauration, and was a great Miracle, which Devils and Witches cannot perform. 2. There is feigned, and artificial transfigurations. So of David, of whom it is said: And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrambled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. And all this he prudently feigned, that he might escape from Achish the King of Gath, of whom he was sore afraid: So many Persons of Worth have disguised themselves strangely, that they might escape the hands of their enemies, or not fall into their power, and yet these were not done by the Devils Art, nor by Witchcraft. So a Stage-player transfigureth himself, sometimes to personate one person, and sometimes another; and though his outward habit, speech, and action be changed, yet he remaineth the same in Nature and Person that he was before those changes, and so maketh nothing for Witchcraft at all. 3. There are knavish Transfigurations and Counterfeiting for deceitful and wicked ends, as in those we call Gypsies, that discolour their faces and skins, to be more fit to cheat and cozen. So likewise do many other vile and wicked persons 90counterfeit Sores, Ulcers, Leprosie, Dropsie, and such like diseases, as may be seen at large in Ambrose Paræus Book of Monsters, and we have seen and detected divers; and all this done only to deceive and abuse mens goodness and charity: But no more of Devil in any of these, but the wickedness of the mind, and the evil of the end and intention. Of a more wicked grain and temper are those, that for wicked and devilish ends counterfeit themselves to be possessed, and labour to make the World believe, that the Devil doth move in divers parts of their bodies, and doth speak in them, when it is nothing but only their own devilish cunning in lying and counterfeiting, as we shall have occasion to shew more fully hereafter. 4. There are also divers kinds of sportive and delusive Transformations, performed by those that use the Art of Leger-de-main or Juggling, wherein they pretend and seem to transubstantiate one thing into another, when by the agility of their hands, and the gesture of their face and body, they do but draw your eyes and attention another way, while they do but nimbly convey another thing in its place. And he that taketh these for Conjurers or Witches, and their Tricks for diabolical or Witchcraft, are surely under a devilish delusion, and are most strangely bewitched. And as for the changes wrought by Pharaohs Magicians, we shall particularly handle it in another place.

Rom. 12. 2.
2 Thess. 2. 9, 10, 11, 12.
1 Sam. 18. 10.
Dan. 4. 32, 33, 34, 36.
Ibid. vers. 16.

8. There are other Transformations mentioned in the Scripture, of which we shall now speak. 1. That transformation that the Grace and Spirit of God doth work inwardly in the minds and hearts of the Godly, which is not by changing their Nature or Persons, but by transforming their minds, and altering their wills and affections from sinful and earthly things, to those that are holy and heavenly: so the Apostle willeth the Romans, that they be transformed by the renewing of their minds, and so they come to be changed from glory to glory, and this were blasphemy to say, that either Devil or Witch could perform it. 2. There is a transformation wrought in the minds of the wicked by the just judgment of God; for the Text saith, speaking of Antichrist: Revealing even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lye. That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. So in the case of Saul the Text saith: And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil Spirit from God came upon Saul. These therefore are inward judgments for wickedness, sent by God by the ministry of Satan, of which we shall speak more hereafter. 3. We lastly come to the main point, that is, concerning the transformation of Nebuchadnezzar, which the Witchmongers hold to be a real and an essential transubstantiation, therefore let us hear the words as they run in our English Translation, 91which are this: And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, they shall make thee eat grass as oxen. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar, and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like Eagles feathers, and his nails like birds claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lift up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me. At the same time my reason returned unto me. And a little before: Let his heart be changed from mans, and let a beasts heart be given unto him. From this place they commonly frame an argument to this purpose. That Nebuchadnezzar being really and essentially changed from a man to a beast or an ox, much more may Satan essentially transform himself into the shape of any Creature, and consequently that he may really change the Witches into Hares, Dogs, Cats, and the like. But we shall unanswerably prove that the assumption is false, that Nebuchadnezzar was not transubstantiated, or essentially transformed at all: And if he had been really so, yet that the consequence is invalid, and of no force, and that by these Arguments.

Argum. 1.
Hist. medic. l. 4. c. 5. p. 239.

1. Because that being driven into the field, and eating grass as oxen, and having his body (it was his body, not the body of an oxe, and therefore no corporeal nor real change) wet with the dew of Heaven, do not at all conclude or infer, that his body was really and essentially changed, nor in the external figure of it altered from what it was before; for he might go upon all four, and eat grass, and yet that doth argue no real change of his bodily shape at all; for so have divers persons done, that being young, have been lost in Woods and Desarts, and have been brought up with Bears or Wolves. To which purpose take one story for all from Philip Camerarius, that learned Counsellor of Norimberg, a man of great credit and reputation, in these words. “In the year 1543. there was in the parts of Hesse a Lad taken, who (as he reported afterwards, and so it was found true) when he was but three years old, was taken away, and afterwards nourished and brought up by Wolves. These Wolves, when they got any prey, would always bring the best of it to a Tree, and give it to the Child, which did eat it: in Winter and time of cold, they would dig a pit, and strew it with grass and leaves of trees, and thereupon lay the Child, and lying round about it, preserve him from the injury of the weather: after they would make him go upon all four, and run with him, till by use and length of time, he could skip and run like a Wolf; being taken, he was compelled by little and little to go only upon his feet. He would often say, that if it had been in his power, he could have taken more delight to have conversed among Wolves, than among men: he was carried to the Court of Henry Lantgrave of Hesse to be seen.” And in the same Chapter he relateth another story to the same purpose of one that he himself had known and seen, that was of 92admirable agility, and more to the same end. Now must we conclude, that because this Boy did live and lye in the open air, was fed with raw flesh, and went upon all four, that therefore he was really and essentially charged into a Wolf? no, that would be inconsequent and ridiculous; and so would it be, if because Nebuchadnezzar lay in the open field, was wet with the rain and dew, and did eat grass as an ox, to conclude, that therefore he was really changed into a beast; the absurdities are both alike. This is as mad a kind of inference, as if we should say, Conies and Geese do eat grass like an Ox, therefore they are Oxen or Asses, when notwithstanding they still retain their essential beings and shapes, without any essential transformations at all.

Argum. 2.

2. Because the hairs of his head (as the Text saith) were grown like to an Eagles feathers, and for that also the very nails of his hands and feet were like the claws of a bird: yet it doth not prove that he was really changed into a beast, and that for these Reasons. 1. Because it would be more consonant to conclude, that he was rather transformed into some bird, having feathers and claws, than into a beast that hath horns and hoofs, though there was in him no corporeal transformation at all, but only a changed mind. 2. The Text is not according to the Hebrew Phrase used when there is real transubstantiation, as in Lots Wife; Et fuit statua salis; but as Tremellius renders it: Usquedum pili ejus ut Aquilarum plumæ crevissent, & ungues ejus ut avium. And Arias Montanus thus: Donec capillus ejus sicut Aquilarum crevit, & ungues ejus sicut avium: which is exactly agreeable to the Hebrew. So that the assertion is not, that his hairs were changed into Eagles feathers, nor his nails into birds claws, but that they were sicut as the feathers of Eagles, and as the claws of birds; the hairs by being grown ruffled, squalid, and rugged, and the nails by being grown long, hard, and crooked for want of cutting, dressing, combing, and ordering; and more change than this the words or sense do not bear. 3. There was no other change, but what was by natural growth; for the Hebrew word רָבָה doth properly signifie multus fuit, succrevit in multitudinem: so that the hairs were increased naturally in multitude and length, and the nails in magnitude and length, and so there was no essential change at all, but only an excessive augmentation of them both, he having lost the use of reason, whereby he could not use means to cut, cleanse, and order them. So that they did but grow squalid and ill-favour’d for want of using means to order and make them comely, even as many that have been lost, or left in Desarts, and desolate places, have after some length of time been found to be overgrown with hairs and ugly nails, that they have scarce been taken for men, but have appeared as savage and feral Monsters.

Argum. 3.
Dan. 4. 34, 36.
Avenar. Diction. pag. 313.
Palon. in loc.

3. His restauration doth plainly testifie what kind of change it was; for that which was restored unto him, did bring him into the same condition that he was in, before this transformation; and 93that was his knowledge or understanding. Now therefore if his knowledge or understanding did reduce him to the right use of reason, and brought those conditions and qualities that he had before: Then it is most plain, that it was only his knowledge or understanding that was taken away or changed; and so there was no other transformation, but what was internal in the mind, judgment, or imagination, by altering his will, desires, cogitations, condition, and qualities, and so no essential transformation at all, nor no change of his external shape, but what grew naturally in regard of his hair and nails or skin, for want of due ordering and decent dressing. And that this is an unanswerable truth, the words in the Text do sufficiently testifie, which are in our English: And mine understanding returned unto me, and at the same time my reason returned unto me; therefore it was only his understanding and reason, that had for a time been turned from him, and at his restauration they returned, or came again. Tremellius renders the former Verse: Et mente meâ ad me reversâ Excelso benedixi. And in the latter: Mente meâ reversâ in me. In both Verses Arias Montanus renders it: Cognitio mea super me reversa est; for the Hebrew word there used יָדַע scivit, restituit, cognovit, agnovit, propriè est mentis & intellectûs, as Avenarius saith. And the Septuagint in both the Verses do agree with the Hebrew, αἱ φρένες μου ἐπ’ ἐμὲ ἐπεσρόφησαν. And to this purpose doth the French, Italian, and Luthers Translation render it, only the vulgar Latine gives it by the word sensus, & figura mea reversa est, which is altogether vicious. So that from hence we may safely conclude, that this transformation was only internal and mental, and no essential change at all: of which a most learned Divine tells us thus much: Sunt nonnulli, inter quos est Johannes Bodinus, qui putant humanam figuram reverà fuisse ei ademptam. Ac sanè Deus pro sua omnipotentia miraculum hoc in rege isto impio facere, & humanam ejus naturam in bruti animalis essentiam mutare potuit: sed verisimilius est regem alienatum mente, vel etiam maniacum factum, ademptâ ei divinitùs mente, ut patet, ex sequente vers. 34. & in furorem versum, sive per iram, sive per dolorem, ob acceptam ignominiam, quòd regiâ dignitate esset orbatus. Sic Ericus Rex Sueciæ in furorem est actus per iram & dolorem, quòd regno esset dejectus, Anno 1568.

Argum. 4.
Obser. medic. p. 57, 58.
History 1.
History 2.
De Hydrop. l. 1. c. 12. p. 99.
Sennert. de Hydrop. pag. 417.
De medend. morb. c. 9. p. 97.
History 3.
Obser. medic. l. 10. p. 440.
History 4.
Vid. Polan. Rolloc. & alios in Dan. c. 4. v. 16.
The World surveyed, part. 2. c. 19. p. 270. History.

4. That this was only a mental and internal transformation, as are many sorts of Melancholy, especially that which Physicians call Lycanthropia, or Melancholia lupina, Rabies canina, and the like, is most manifest by comparing it with some of these that we have named; of which (though we have related some before) we shall give some few, from Authors of credit and veracity. 1. And first concerning the effects of that Madness caused by the biting of a mad Dog, we have a most sad and deplorable story recited by Philip Salmuth, that experienced Physician of Anhalt, which we shall here give in English: “Many (he saith) do verily think that the force of this poyson will break out, and appear within a few 94months or years. But experience doth altogether testifie the contrary. As certain learned Authors do commemorate, that it hath laid hid in some the space of seven years, but in others it hath broke forth in the twelfth. Guainerius also mentioneth a certain person, to whom the Hydrophobia did happen the 18. year after he was bitten by the mad Dog. Moreover (he continueth) a most Noble person of Hagen hath told me, that a certain Noble man was bitten in the face by a little pretty Dog, which he much delighted in, and that the seeds of that poyson, as it were nourished in his bosom for a long time, at the last did suddenly break forth. For after that for some years feeling no molestation nor trouble from that bite, he addressing himself to a Virgin did marry. And the nuptial Supper being ended, and the Bride brought to the Marriage-bed, her Kinsfolks a little after do hear her complaining and lamenting. At which they laughed and jested, thinking it but to be the Venereal sport. But that howling continuing late, they by force do break the barred doors of the Chamber, and enter, and find that the Bridegroom had bitten with his teeth, plainly after the manner of a Dog, the face of the Bride, and also the shoulders and arms, and the fleshy places, and still did not give over the same sort of biting. Being much astonished with this sad spectacle and cruel wickedness, they with an ireful and provoked mind do forthwith slay him: and the new Bride also died the same day.” Though this he had but by relation, yet it was from a person of great quality; and if he had not been reasonably assured of the truth of it, he would never have writ it down amongst his Medical Observations. But this is also attested by other Authors of sufficient credit, of divers of this sort of persons, that have both barked and bitten like Dogs, and this is testified by Scribonius Largus and Rhases, as Baptista Codronchus hath cited them; and learned Sennertus tells us this: “That some (if bitten with Dogs) do bark like Dogs, and flye at whomsoever they meet, and that against or besides their will. For (he saith) Gentilis relateth in his Comment upon Avicen, that a certain young man troubled with this rabiousness, did exhort his Mother, that she should not come near him, for he could not contain himself but bite those that came near him.” 2. As concerning Wolf-melancholy, we shall only give a short relation or two, the first from Donatus ab alto mari, who confesseth that he had seen two: of the one of which he saith: “This person (he saith) having formerly known me, did one day meet me when he was holden with this distemper; but I truly fearing went aside, and he looking at me a little went away. There was with him a multitude of men, and he did bear upon his shoulders a whole thigh and a leg of a dead man: At last being cured he was well, who afterwards when he met me again, did ask me, if I had not been afraid, when he found me in such a place when he was mad: by which it is manifest, that in him the memory was not vitiated.” 95Another take from that able Physician of Delfe Petrus Forestus in English thus: “A certain Countryman was in the Spring-time seen at Alemaria with an horrid look, and mad, to stay about the Church-yard, and after to enter the Church, and did leap upon a Seat or Plank (as we have seen him) only climbing upwards, and another while downwards with great fury, and never resting in one place. He carried a long staff in his hand, but did strike no body, but did with it beat off the Dogs; for he had his thighs and legs black and ulcered with black cruds or scurff by the biting of Dogs. His whole body did appear squalid, very black, and melancholick, but pale in the face, and his eyes exceeding hollow. From the foresaid signs (he saith) I did judge the man affected with the Lycanthropia or wolfish Melancholy. He never used any Physician that I know of.” And this both this Author, Schenckius and Sennertus do sufficiently confirm from Paulus, Aetius, Avicen, and the like. From all which it is clear and manifest, that Nebuchadnezzars distemper was but as some kind of Melancholy, whereby the imagination was corrupted, and the use of reason and right understanding for the time taken quite away, as saith the Text: Let his heart be changed from mans, and let a beasts heart be given unto him. That is, let his thoughts, desires, and affections be made brutish; for by the heart in Scriptures the cogitations, will, and affections are understood, as, my son give me thy heart, that is, the love and affections of thy soul and heart. So that when it is said, Let a beasts heart be given him, that is, let his mind, thoughts, and affections be made bestial; and so there was a change of the conditions and qualities of his mind and heart, but no real or essential change of his natural heart at all. And in this sense Tremellius doth take it, saying: obbrutescat, nihil humanum sapiat, and so doth Polanus, Rollock, and others understand it; for Polanus saith: Debuisse animum ejus prorsus obbrutescere, & mentem judiciúmq; animi humani amittere: non enim intelligendum hoc de metamorphosi aliqua in corpore facta, sed de animo tantùm obbrutescente. So that from these examples it appeareth, that many persons, by reason of Melancholy in its several kinds, have been mentally and internally (as they thought, being depraved in their imaginations) changed into Wolves and other kind of Creatures, and have acted their parts, as though they had been really so, when the change was only in the qualities and conditions of the mind, and not otherwise. And so only was the change of Nebuchadnezzar, which notwithstanding Bodinus, the Popish Writers, and Witchmongers have falsely and ignorantly taken it to be a real transubstantiation, when it was only mental: so apt are men to mistake and urge things amiss, when it lyes for their own gain or interest. But if these persons that thought themselves really changed into Wolves, had been covered with a Wolfes skin fitted to their bodies, and gone upon all four, and so have acted the parts of Wolves, then it might in all likelihood have more strongly induced 96them to have believed a real transmutation indeed, though that way neither had there been any change of substance, but only a counterfeit and cunning disguisement: of which we shall here insert (for diversion sake) a pleasant story from the Pen of Vincent le Blanc of Marseilles, and leave it to be judged of according to the credit of the Author, which runs thus: “As concerning the Anthropolychi, I have not heard (he saith) of any thing so strange, as that the Governor of Bagaris, related once to me. He told me, that going with some of his Company from Lionac to Montpelier, they overtook an old man with a Sack on his shoulders, going a great pace towards the same Town, a Gentleman of the Company out of charity told him, if he would, one of his Servants, to ease him, should carry his burden for him: at first he seemed unwilling to be troublesom; but at length accepted the offer, and a Servant of the Commanders Chamber called Nicholas took the burden, and being late, every one doubled his pace, that they might get in in good time, telling the good old man, they would go before, and he should find them at the White Horse. The Servant of the Chamber coming in with the first, had a curiosity to see what was in the Sack, where he found a Wolfes skin, so properly accommodated for the purpose, that he had a strong fancy to disguise himself in it: whereupon he got it upon his back, and put his head within the Head-piece of the Skin, as ’twere to shew his Masters a Masquerade; but immediately a fury seized him, that in the Hall where they supped, he made straight to the Company at Table, and falling on them with teeth and nails, made a dangerous rude havock, and hurt two or three of them, so as the Servants and others fled to their Swords, and so plyed the Wolf with wounds, that they laid him on the ground, and hurt in several places. But as they looked upon him, they were amazed when they saw under the Skin a poor Youth wallowing in blood. They were fain to lay him presently on a Bed, taking order for his wounds and hurts, whereof he was recovered; and was long before he could be cured: But this cured him of the like curiosity against another time. The Company by this means had but a bad seasoned Supper, and many of them were sick either of hurt or apprehension. For the old man Wolf, ’twas not known what became of him; but ’tis probable, that hearing of this tidy accident, he was cautious to appear.” Now if this relation be true, as there is nothing in it that seems either impossible or improbable, but that it might, then from it we may observe these two things. 1. To consider for what end the skin of the Wolf was so fitted and prepared, which might be to act some part of a Tragedy or Comedy in, or in sport to fright some persons withal; but then it is not likely, but that the old man would have appeared and sought for it again, which he might have done without fear or danger. But I rather conjecture it was for some more pernicious purpose, as in that disguise to fright Travellers and Passengers, 97that thereby they might (for without doubt the old man had other Companions) more securely rob them, and so escape, and not be discovered or apprehended, which might make him afraid to be seen, or to seek it again. 2. We may note the curiosity of the young man, and the strength of his fancy, being moved to see himself, so fitly to appearance, to be so like a Wolf, and not to the steams flowing from the Wolfes skin to work upon his imagination, which we leave to the inquisition of Naturalists, that live in Countries where Wolves are, to make tryal of.

So having sufficiently disproved their supposition or assumption, that Nebuchadnezzar was essentially transformed into a beast, we shall also shew the consequence that (if it had been true) they would draw from it, to wit, that if Nebuchadnezzar were really transformed into a beast, much more may the Devil transform himself into the shape of any Creature, and may change Witches into Cats, Dogs, Hares, and the like, which can by no true Rules of Argument be good, because it stands upon divers, or rather contrary efficients, namely God and the Devil. The one having of himself an absolute and indeterminate power, and therefore of himself able to work what he will, where, when, and howsoever best pleaseth himself. And so by consequence he might (if it had so seemed good in his wisdom) have essentially transformed Nebuchadnezzar into an ox. The other (the Devil I mean) he hath only a finite and limited power, and therefore utterly unable of himself to accomplish any one work beyond the bounds of that power: and so by consequence he cannot possibly transform himself essentially into any Creature whatsoever, without a special power from God. Lastly we shall conclude all with this binding Argument: what transubstantiations soever are wrought, the thing transformed ceases to be what it was before, both in nature, and properties, as Lots Wife being transubstantiated into a Pillar of Salt, did cease to be flesh, blood, and bones, as she was before, and lost all the properties of humane Nature. So if Devils or Witches be transubstantiated into other Creatures, they cease to be what they were before both in Nature and Properties. And then by consequence the Devil should cease to be a Devil in Nature and Properties, and the Witches should cease to have humane Nature and Properties in them.

Having laid down these positive Arguments, we shall in the next place shew the horrid absurdities of these Tenents, to wit, of holding a visible Contract, that the Devil sucks upon the Witches bodies, that they have carnal Copulation together, or that they are essentially changed into Cats, Dogs, or Hares, or that they can flye in the air, or raise storms or tempests, and kill men or Cattel, and the like, and that in this order.

Absurd. 1.
2 Pet. 2. 4.
Jude 6.
Mat. 8. 31, 32.
Mar. 5. 9. to 14.
Job 1. 11, 12. 2. 5. 6.
Joh. 19. 11.
Rolloc. in loc.
Isa. 38. 29.

1. These Tenents do derogate from the Wisdom and Power of God in his Government of the World by divine Providence, because by these it is supposed that the Devils and Witches do operate 98what, when, and howsoever it pleaseth them, and so the life and estate of all Creatures should be in their power to afflict, torment, or to destroy when they please, which is both false and blasphemous. For the Devils and wicked men are enemies and rebels against God, but yet conquered, and imprisoned, and chained close up by his Almighty Power, that they are not able to act any thing at all (except the evil of their own wills) nor put that into execution, but as far as God doth license and order them, which we shall make plain in these two particulars. 1. The Devils are kept, in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day, that is, though their wills be corrupt, wicked, and evil, and that they have a continual desire, like a roaring lion, to seek whom they may devour; yet are they restrained from acting this evil, by the mighty Power of God, and can execute nothing at all, but only as far as God doth order and command them: so the Devils could not by their own power enter into the herd of Swine, until Christ gave to them leave: neither could Satan hurt Job either in his goods or body (though he strongly and earnestly desired it) until he had leave and commission given him from God. No more can Devils or Witches perform these things that are pretended; for it can never be proved that ever God did, or will give them order or leave to perform any such filthy or wicked thing, for which there can be no reason or end assigned why God should order such things to be done, so far different and opposite to the rules of his Justice, Wisdom, and Providence. 2. Nor can wicked persons act what they please, but God doth bridle and restrain them as he pleaseth; for though Pilate proudly thought and boasted that he had power to condemn Christ, or to let him loose, yet our Saviour tells him: Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. Upon which place learned Dr. Hammond saith thus: “So that thou hast neither right nor power to inflict any punishment on me, were it not that God, who is my Father, hath in his great Wisdom and divine Counsels, for most glorious ends, for the good of the World, determined to deliver me up into thy power to suffer death under thee.” Of which another saith thus: Verba hæc duobus modis accipi possunt: partim quia omnis potestas est à Deo, & divinâ ordinatione; partim quia qui cum potestate est, nihil planè potest, nisi ex Dei efficaci dispensatione ac providentia. So this is manifest in the excessive pride and boasting of Sennacherib of his own power, and taking no notice of Gods inevitable Decree in his Providence, that it was he, even the Lord of Hosts that had done it, and of ancient times had formed it, without which Sennacherib could have done nothing; but because he despised Gods Power and Providence, therefore saith the Lord: Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back, by the way by which thou camest, which was performed by the slaughter of his Army, and the sending him back into his own Country: so little do mens purposes 99and counsels prevail, when the Lords will and purpose are against them.

Absurd. 2.

2. These Tenents do divert and obstruct the power and practice of Godliness: For while the Saints of God are taught, that they are to fight the good fight of Faith; and if they intend to be crowned, they must fight stoutly, and gain the victory, knowing, that they fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places, and that therefore they are to take unto them the whole Armour of God: Therefore they knowing that this warfare is spiritual, and against spiritual enemies, and that the weapons both offensive and defensive are also spiritual; therefore they ought always spiritually to watch and stand upon their guard, lest their subtile and cruel enemy the Devil take them unawares, or by his Stratagems surprize them. For he is that old crafty Serpent, that hath innumerable wiles, and while he intendeth one thing, he pretendeth another; and like a cunning Enemy, gives a false Alarm at the one side of the Camp, while he assaulteth another, or making false fires or shews he seemeth to march away, when in the dark of the night he intendeth to fall on. So lest the Christian should be watchful and prevail, he laboureth by false Teachers, which are the Magicians and Sorcerers in the Mystery, to draw them from their vigilancy, by possessing their minds with these lying Tenents, that the Devil comes in the shape of a Cat or a Dog to a Witch, and bargains with her, and the rest, that whilst they are set at gaze to look for him in a bodily shape, they are made negligent in their spiritual watch, and so are diverted from the spiritual combate, and thereby the power and practice of Godliness is diverted and obstructed. Therefore we are to give heed unto the counsel of the Holy Ghost; to resist the Devil in his spiritual assaults with the spiritual weapons that God bestows upon us, and not to give heed to old Wives Fables, or the false Doctrine of Witchmongers, that make us watch for the Devil where he is not, and in the mean time not to resist him where he is, and that is within effectively in a spiritual manner, for he worketh in the children of disobedience, and therefore a Devil within us is more to be feared, than a Devil without us.

Absurd. 3.
Considerat. about Witchcraft, pag. 95, 96.

3. These Tenents do uphold that horrid, lying, and blasphemous opinion, that our blessed Saviour did cast out Devils by Beelzebub the Prince of Devils: For when they could not deny, nor disprove the plain and open matters of fact, that our Saviour did really cast out Devils, then they devilishly invented and vented, that though he did so, yet it was but by the help of the Prince of Devils, with whom he had a compact, and so wrought by the greater power to over-power the less. Concerning which Mr. Glanvil is pleased to tell us this: “In his return to which he denies not the supposition or possibility of the thing in general, but clears himself by an appeal to the actions of their own children, whom they would not tax so severely.” But by Mr. Glanvils leave we must affirm, that 100though it be a bold assertion, yet it is not true; for our Saviour doth absolutely confute the supposition both in the general, and also in reference to himself, by shewing the absurdities of it, and that by these Arguments.

Vid. Dr. Hammond in Math. 12. 25, &c.
Vid. loc. citat.

1. They supposed that the Devils had a Prince or a Ruler that was able to cast out Devils that were his Subjects, and inferior unto him, to which his answer is: Every Kingdom divided against it self is brought to desolation, and every City or house divided against it self cannot stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, how shall then his Kingdom stand? Upon which a most learned Author doth thus paraphrase: “If any King mean to uphold his Kingdom, he will not quarrel and fall out with his own Subjects, and cast them out, which are doing him service; such divisions and civil dissentions as these will soon destroy his Kingdom, and therefore cannot probably be affirmed of any prudent Ruler or Prince. And Satans casting out Devils which are about his business (possessing those he would have possest) would be such a civil dissention as this, and a breach.” From whence he necessarily concludeth, that either Satan doth not cast out Satan, or else that his Kingdom is divided, and cannot stand, but come to desolation. But Satans Kingdom is not destroyed nor brought to desolation; therefore it is not divided against it self, and consequently Satan doth not cast out Satan. Of this passage Theophylact saith: Quomodo enim Dæmones seipsos ejiciunt, quum magis inter se conveniant? Satan autem dicitur adversarius. And to the same purpose is that of S. Chrysostom: Si divisus est, imbecillior factus est, & perit: si autem perit, qualiter potest alium projicere?

Vid. Hieron. in loc.

2. Our Saviour saith further: And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? For as the fore-cited Author saith: “Why may not I cast out Devils by the Power and in the Name of God, as well as your Disciples and Country-men, the Jews among you (who being evil are therefore more obnoxious to suspicion of holding correspondence with Satans Kingdom) do, at least pretend to do. When they in the Name of God go about to cast them out, you affirm it to be the Power of God, and so do I. Why should you not believe that of me, which you affirm of your own?” Si expulsio (saith S. Hierom) Dæemonum in filiis vestris Deo, non Dæmonibus deputatur, quare in me idem opus non eandem habeat & causam?

3. Christ further urgeth: But if I cast out Devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come upon you or unto you. “But if it be indeed by the Power of God, that I do all this, then it is clear, that although you were not aware of it, yet this is the time of the Messias, whose Mission God hath testified with these Miracles, and would not have done so, if it had been a false Christ.” So that he seemeth to conclude thus: “You Scribes and Pharisees seem to acknowledge, that there are real possessions by Devils, and 101that they may be thrown out, either by the Power of God or the power of Satan. But I have shewed the absurdity, that Satan doth not cast out the Devils his obedient Subjects that are doing his service; and therefore that what I do must be by the finger of God, and that must certainly denote unto you, that his Kingdom is come, and that I am the Messias.”

Chrysost. in loc.

4. He proceedeth: Or else how can one enter into a strong mans house, and spoil his goods? except he first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house. “My dispossessing Satan of his goods, and turning him out of those whom he possesses, is an argument that I have mastered him, and so that I do not use his power, but that mine is greater than his, and imployed most against his will, and to his damage.” Quòd enim (as saith a learned Father) non potest Satanas Satanam ejicere, manifestum ex dictis est: sed quoniam neq; alius potest eum ejicere, nisi priùs eum superaverit, omnibus est manifestum: Constituitur ergo quod & anteà, cum manifestiori abundantia. Dicit enim: Tantum absisto ab hoc quòd utar Diabolo Coadjutore, quòd prælior cum eo, & ligo eum: Et hujus conjectura est, quòd vasa ejus diripio. Et sic contrarium ejus quod illi tentabant dicere, demonstrat. Illi enim volebant ostendere, quòd non propriâ virtute ejecit Dæmones. Ipse autem ostendit, quòd non solùm Dæmones, sed & eorum Principem ligavit: quod manifestum est ab his quæ facta sunt. Qualiter enim Principe non victo, hi qui subjacent Dæmones direpti sunt?

5. Lastly he concludeth: He that is not with me, is against me: And he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad. “And it’s proverbially known” (saith Dr. Hammond) “that he that is not on ones side, that brings Forces into the field, and is not for a mans assistance, he is certainly for his Enemy, engages against him, doth him hurt; and consequently my casting out Devils, shews that I am Satans declared Enemy.” By all which arguments he flatly overthrows the false supposition of the Pharisees.

Absurd. 4.

4. These Tenents do overthrow the chief Articles of the Christian Faith, to wit, the rational and infallible evidence of the Resurrection of Christ in the same individual and numerical body in which he suffered: and this we shall elucidate in these particular Considerations.

1 Cor. 15. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

1. The whole strength of the Christian Religion consists in the certainty of Christs Resurrection in his true and individual body. For as the Apostle argueth: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: yea and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God, that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ risen. And if Christ be not risen, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins. Then also they which are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. So that all these sad consequences must needs follow, and the whole Christian 102Religion be found a lye, if Christ be not truly risen from the dead.

2. And though the Apostle do enumerate sufficient Witnesses of his Resurrection and appearance after death, and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the Twelve, after that he was seen of above five hundred Brethren at once, then of James, then of all the Apostles, and lastly of himself: Yet all this Cloud of Witnesses will prove little, but dissolve into vapour, if there were or are either Angels or Spirits, that in their own or assumed bodies, may appear in his form, shape, and likeness, and to sight and tangibility be in all properties as his body was, to have flesh and bones, the print of the nails in the hands and feet, and to eat and drink.

Mar. 6. 49.
Mat. 27. 51.
Mar. 15. 38.
Mat. 28.6, 9.
Mar. 16. 1.
Joh. 20. 1.
Luk. 24. 37.
Joh. 20. 19, 26.
Vid. Rolloc. in Joh. 20.

3. That the Apostles held the opinion, that there was Apparitions and Spirits that did shew themselves in any form or likeness, is most plain and evident; for when they saw Christ walking upon the Sea, they supposed it had been a Spirit or Apparition, for the Greek is φάντασμα, and cryed out. That is, either being cruelly affrighted and amazed, their Phantasies did represent strange thoughts in their minds: or else (which doubtless was the truth) seeing Christ walking upon the Sea, which they thought was not possible for a man to do without sinking or drowning, they in great fear cryed out, and forgetting his former Miracles, did vainly suppose it some Spirit that had made an apparition in his likeness. But it is most strange, that the Disciples that had seen and been eye-witnesses of so many Miracles wrought by him during his life, and those that accompanied him at his death, as the renting of the veil of the Temple from the top to the bottom, and the Earth-quake, and the renting of the Rocks, and the Darkness that was over the Land from the sixth hour unto the ninth; and that after his Resurrection the Graves were opened, and many bodies of Saints that slept arose, and came out of the Graves, and went into the holy City, and appeared unto many, of which they could not be ignorant; It is (I say) most wondrous strange, that after all these they could doubt of the verity of his Resurrection, and imagine that it was a Spirit in his form and likeness. And most especially, considering that his Sepulchre was made sure, the stone sealed, and a Watch set to attend it, of which they could not be ignorant; and likewise the certain affirmation and evidence of the two Maries, from the mouth of the Angel, and their own sight who worshipped him, and held him by the feet, and Peters finding the Sepulchre empty, and his appearing to the two Disciples that went to Emmaus, and yet for all this at his next appearance, not to be satisfied, but to be terrified and affrighted, and to suppose they had seen a Spirit, is beyond all wonder, but that doubtless the heavenly Father had so ordained it in his inscrutable Wisdom, that the infallible certainty of his Resurrection might be more evidently and punctually proved. For at his next appearing, when they were all together, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace 103be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed they had seen a Spirit, there the word is πνεῦμα. Now the cause of this supposing that they had seen a Spirit, doubtless was because as St. John tells us, That Jesus twice had stood in the midst of them, the doors being shut, because of the Jews, and therefore they could not possibly imagine, that he could have a body that could make penetration of dimensions, not considering that he had an omnipotent Power, and therefore nothing could be impossible unto him. Though it may well be conceived to be done without penetration of dimensions, because by his Almighty Power he might imperceptibly both open and shut the doors, and so enter, and suddenly stand in the midst of them, and no humane sense be able to discern it. But however it was, the Disciples did not then believe that it was Christ with his individual body in which he suffered, but either (as some of the Fathers believed) that it was his very Spirit that he yielded up upon the Cross, that appeared in his figure or shape, that was so pure, fine, and penetrable, that it could pass through any Medium, though never so dense or solid: or some other Spirit that assumed his form and shape, which is far more probable and sound. But howsoever it was, they did believe that it was some Spirit in his likeness, and not he himself, in that very numerical body in which he suffered, as may be apparently gathered from the words of Thomas called Didymus, who strongly affirmed, saying: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my fingers into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Rolloc. ubi supr.
Vid. Caten. Aur. Tho. Aquin. in locum.

4. To the grounds of all these doubts our Saviour gives a demonstrative and infallible solution, which we shall explain in these particulars. 1. He doth not at all deny the existence or beings of Spirits; neither that Spirits do not, or cannot make visible apparitions: but doth grant both. 2. But he restrains these apparitions to those inseparable properties that belong to Bodies and Spirits, that is, a body (that is to say an humane body) hath flesh and bones, but a Spirit hath neither, as Christs or humane bodies have; and therefore saith a learned Person upon the place: Docet se non esse Spiritum hoc modo: Spiritus, inquit, non habet carnem & ossa. Ego verò, ut conspicitis, habeo carnem & ossa: Ergo ego non sum Spiritus. Vide igitur ex sensu & sensibilibus: sensu nimirum visus; sensu tactus: ex visibilibus & tractabilibus se corpus esse non autem Spiritum edocet. Per sensum enim fides & gignitur & confirmatur. So that whether Spirits be taken to be corporeal (and so appear in their own bodies) or to be incorporeal (and so to appear in assumed bodies) yet are they both to sight, and especially to feeling, not as humane bodies are that have flesh and bones. So that however they do, may or can appear (for it must be considered in that latitude, else our Saviours argument would not be irrefragable and convincing) they to the resistibility of touching cannot be as flesh and bones are, for they to the sense of touching do resist, and 104are solid, but so the bodies of Spirits in what appearance soever have not, nor can have, otherwise our Saviours argument falls to the ground, and proves nothing. 3. He confirmeth this by the Disciples own proof of feeling and touching the prints or scars of the nails in his hands, and the print of the wound in his side, and thereby manifesteth that it was he himself, and the very same individual body in which he suffered, by which Thomas his great unbelief and doubting was unanswerably satisfied, by putting his fingers into or upon the very prints of the nails, and by putting his hand into or upon the wound or scar upon his side. And therefore though the same power that raised him from the dead, and rouled the sealed stone from the Sepulchre, could have perfected his body to be without prints or scars of the wounds; yet did the divine Wisdom reserve them, thereby to cure the infidelity of his Disciples, and undeniably to confirm the truth of his Resurrection; to which purpose one said well: Ibi ad dubitantium corda sananda, vulnerum sunt servata vestigia. And the further to establish and settle their Faith, he took a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, and eat before them; all which concluded him to have a true body, and that he was not a Spirit: from whence we draw these conclusions.

1. That howsoever Spirits do or may appear, they have not, or can have such a body, that in respect of tangibility, is as flesh and bones. For flesh and bones are dense, solid, and make sensible resistance to the touch; but the bodies of Spirits in their apparitions are not, nor can be so. For as we deny not but there are and may be apparitions in any figure or shape, yet they can but be as the figures and shapes in the Clouds, which are often seen, and cause much wonder, though (we suppose) many of them may be rather attributed to the assimilation made in mens fancies, than to their real existence in those forms or shapes. So they may be as shadows, or the species of bodies that we see near or afar off, or as the images that we behold of our selves and other things in Mirrours or Looking-glasses: which though without doubt they be not non-entities, for nullius entis nulla est operatio, but these affect the senses, which is an operation or action; yet do they all easily yield to the touch, and have no firmness nor solidity, as flesh and bones have; and this is all that can be justly deduced from our Saviours argumentation.

2. Either we must believe that our Saviours argument is of no force and validity, which is blasphemous and horrid to affirm or imagine, he being the way, the truth, and the life, and in whose mouth there was found no guile, and thereby overthrow the whole foundation of the Christian Religion: or else we must for certain believe that Spirits whensoever they appear have no such solidity or resistibility as to touch, as flesh and bones have. And consequently that what strange things soever we may by sight and touch take to be the apparitions of Spirits, that to touch have the solidity of flesh and 105bones, we must conclude that they are not Spirits, but must be some other kind of Creatures, of whose nature and properties we are to inquire; for doubtless (as we shall manifest hereafter) there are many strange Creatures, that for their rarity or strange qualities, have been and are mistaken for the apparition of Spirits. For the Disciples doubts must still have remained unsatisfied, if Spirits could appear to have bodies to touch, of that solidity that flesh and bones are of, and then the truth of our Saviours Resurrection falls to the ground, and the Christian Faith is vain.

3. Therefore that Demons do appear in the shape of Dogs, Cats, and the like, and do carry the heavy bodies of Witches in the air, do suck upon their bodies, and have carnal copulation with them, must suppose them to have bodies as solid and tangible as flesh and bones: and so overthrow the main proof of our Saviours Resurrection, and consequently the very foundation of the Christian Religion; For if Christ be not risen our faith is vain, we are yet in our sins, and are of all men most miserable, as having only hope in this life, and no further. And this is sufficient to shew the horrid and execrable absurdity of these opinions; which objection Mr. Glanvil calls spiteful and mischievous, but durst not undertake the solution, but with a plain shuffle leaves and over-runs it, as indeed being too hard a morsel for his tender teeth.

Gen. 18. 1, 4, 8.

And if any do object (as we have heard some do) that three Angels did appear unto Abraham in the Plains of Mamre, as he sate in the Tent-door, and did eat and drink, and washed their feet, and therefore that they had flesh and bones; to that we return this responsion.

1. It is a very froward and perverse way of arguing, to make one place of Scripture to clash with another, when they ought all to be expounded according to the Analogy of faith, and it is a perfect Harmony which we ought to labour to find out and rejoyce in.

Heb. 1. 1, 2.

2. It is no perfect way of arguing from the Dispensations in the time of the Patriarchs and Prophets, to those that God useth now in the time of the Gospel; for so they might argue that God should answer by Urim and Thummim, because he did so in the time of the Levitical Priesthood, but that is now ceased, and the Apostle tells us: God at sundry times, and in divers manners spake in times past unto the Fathers by the Prophets: But in these last days he hath spoken by his Son unto us. So though God did then vouchsafe to make himself manifest unto the Patriarchs by the visible appearance of Angels: yet it is no rational consequence that he doth so now in these days.

Ibid. v. 17.

3. It is manifest, that though they were in number three, yet it is true that it was Jehovah that appeared unto Abraham, and Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do. Now we do not find that the word Jehovah is communicable to any Creature, but only to God himself; and therefore the best Expositors 106do understand (notwithstanding what Pererius doth say to the contrary) that one of them was Christ the second Person in the Trinity, who after was to take humane nature upon him, and therefore did so appear.

4. However these Angels had with them the assistance of a divine and omnipotent Power, which cannot rationally be affirmed of the common and ordinary apparitions of Demons to Witches, and therefore doth conclude nothing against what we have laid down before.


That divers places in Scripture have been mis-translated thereby to uphold this horrid Opinion of the Devils Omnipotency, and the Power of Witches, when there is not one word that signifieth a familiar Spirit or a Witch in that sense that is vulgarly intended.

Wier. l. 2. p. 89.
A Candle in the dark, p. 10.
The Question of Witchcraft debated, p. 1. &c.

Concerning the words in the Hebrew and Greek, that are commonly alledged to prove these things, they have been wrested and drawn to uphold these Tenents by those Translators that had imbibed these Opinions, and so instead of following the true and genuine signification of the words, they haled them to make good a preconceived Opinion, and did not simply and plainly render them as they ought to have been. Which hath been observed by divers, especially by Wierus, who got the learned Masius (a great Hebrician) to interpret them, of which he hath given a full account, which was followed by Mr. Scot. As also Mr. Ady, who hath perfectly rendred them according to the Translation of Junius and Tremellius, and likewise Mr. Wagstaff hath prettily opened the most of them. So that our attempt here might seem to be superfluous and unnecessary, and may be condemned of arrogance and vain confidence. To which we reply, That it is far from us to compare our selves with those Learned men that were Masters of the Hebrew and Greek Tongues, being in comparison but a Smatterer in those Languages, yet have in our younger years both studied and taught them to others, and as far as we undertake, we hope we need not fear the censure of the most rigid Critick; intending to note some things that others have omitted, and to handle them to the full, which others have but done briefly. And this we shall prosecute in this order.

Deut. 18. 10.

1. We shall take the words in the same order as they are recited in Deuteronomy, and the first mentioned is in these words: There shall not be found among you that maketh his son or his daughter to 107pass through the fire. Now here we shall not enter upon that great Dispute, whether they really burned and sacrificed by burning their children unto Moloch, or that they only dedicated them to that Idol, by making them pass through the fire; but examine the reasons, why those that practised this kind of Idolatry are ranked amongst the Diviners or Witches, and were to have the same punishment, seeing it is no where mentioned, that these used any kind of Divination at all, and these we conceive to be the chief.

Reas. 1.
Vers. 14, 15.

1. The Lord had promised his People to raise them up a Prophet from amongst their Brethren like unto Moses, and that therefore they should hear him, and not go after other Gods or Idols. And therefore he sent them many and divers Prophets, of whom they were to inquire: so likewise they gave the Priest order to inquire by Urim and Thummim, by which he gave answers, and therefore they were to hearken to his Ordinances, and not to follow after other strange Gods: For the Nations that he cast out had hearkened unto Observers of times and Diviners, but they were not to do so. And though these that caused their children to pass through the fire unto Moloch, used not Divinations, yet it was a wicked and abominable Ceremony, and the use and end of it to lead the people to Idolatry, and therefore is reckoned amongst the rest.

Reas. 2.
Prov. 16. 10.
Isa. 3. 2.
Exod. 22. 20.

2. They are solely condemned, because the end of all their Divinations and their other Feats, were only to draw and lead the people to Idolatry, and to serve other Gods. For it is manifest, that all ways and sorts of Divination were not in themselves evil and unlawful, for else Astronomy it self, that foretels the Entrance of the Sun and Moon into such Signs, and when Eclipses will happen, and the like, should be forbidden too, but they were not: so that the chief reason why they were condemned, was sub ratione finis, non medii, in regard of the end, and not of the means used, because all their Divinations, and other Arts, Crafts, or Feats, whether performed by natural or artificial means, or otherwise, had still for their chief and principal end the leading of the people unto Idolatry, and the serving of other Gods, which was above all things abominable and hateful unto God, who is a jealous God, and will not give his glory to graven Images. And therefore all Idol-Priests, or those that lead the people to Idolatry, are in the Scripture-sense Witches, Diviners, and the like. And that all Divinations were not forbidden, is most clear from that of Solomon, as Arias Montanus translates it: Divinatio super labiis regis: and that of Isaiah, where the Lord threateneth to take away the staff and stay of Jerusalem, that is, the mighty man, and the man of war, the Judge, the Prophet, and the prudent, Divinum, sive Sagacem. For it is the same word, and from the same root קָסַם Divinavit: For as Avenarius, Schindler, and others say, Est verbum medium, nam modò in bonam, modò in malam partem accipitur, of which Tremellius saith this: Sagacitas, id est, consultissima prudentia in rebus dijudicandis, præcavendis, & veluti addivinandis: nam vox 108Hebræa media est sive anceps, quæ non tantùm in malam partem accipitur, sed etiam in bonam. Therefore was the Law so strict, that if any sacrificed unto any other God, save unto the Lord only, he was utterly to be destroyed, much more those that lead and incited the people to serve and sacrifice unto other strange Gods, were to be rooted out.

2. Is the word we have named before, to wit, קֹסֵם קְסָמִים, Kosem Kesamim, Divinans divinationes: which, as we have shewed before, was taken in bonam & malam partem, and is by the Septuagint fitly rendred μαντευόμενος μαντειαν vaticinans vaticinium, and is almost with all Translators rendred in that sense and propriety: so that we need not complain, that it is one of them that is mis-translated; but concerning it, we may note these things.

1 Sam. 6. 1, 2. 3, 7, 8, 9.
Hos. 4. 12. Ezek. 21. 21.

1. That there were and are almost innumerable ways, whereby men have undertaken to Divine and foretel things to come, some of which were by lawful means and ways, as all prudent, sagacious, and experienced men have done, and may do. Some by vain, trivial, foolish, and groundless ways, as by the flying of birds, their noise and motion, and so of beasts, by casting lots, dice, and the like, which have no causality or efficiency in them at all to declare things to come, but were meerly vain and superstitious, with which the Heathen World doth still abound, and they are not yet totally eradicated from amongst Christians. The most foolish of which was this, That when the Philistins had kept the Ark of the Lord seven months, they called the Priests and the Diviners, to know what to do with it, and they advised them not to send it away empty, but to send five golden Emerods and five golden Mice, and to take a new Cart and two Milch-kine, upon which there had com’d no yoke, and to tye them to the Cart, and to bring their Calves home from them, and to lay the Ark in the Cart, and the Jewels of Gold to be put in a Coffer by, thinking that if they went up towards Beth-shemesh that was the Israelites Coast, that if they did so, then it was he that smote them, otherwise that it was but a chance that happened unto them. And this in respect of the Priests and Diviners was only a casual conjecture at Random, though God in his Providence did order it according to his Divine Wisdom for the best. Like unto this was that mentioned by the Prophet, a Consulter with his staff, as also that of Ezekiel: For the King of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, (Teraphim) he looked in the liver. And besides these there were others that pretended Visions and Revelations from their Gods or Idols; but how far either Idols, or Devils, or their Priests could truly foretel things to come, is very doubtful and hard to determine, of which we shall have occasion to speak hereafter.

2. We are to note, that though there were never so many ways of Divination used, and whether the means used to predict by, 109were natural or supernatural, lawful or unlawful, frivolous and superstitious, or taken upon sound and rational grounds, yet were they all wicked and abominable, because they were used to withdraw the people from those Ordinances that God had appointed to give answers by, and to lead the people to inquire of vain and lying Idols, and their Priests, and thereby to commit Idolatry; and so whatsoever the means were, the end was wicked and damnable.

Psal. 115. 4, &c.
Jer. 14. 14.
1 Cor. 8. 4.
Vid. Dr. Hammond. in loc.
Isa. 41. 23.
Jer. 10. 5.

3. Moreover, what answers soever the Priests forged and gave (for it is manifest, that the Idols gave none at all; for they had mouths and spake not, ears and heard not, eyes and saw not, feet and walked not, neither was there breath in their nostrils) were nothing but lyes and conjectures of their own devising, and there an Idol in the Hebrew is sometimes styled אֱלִיל nihilum, and therefore saith the Prophet: The Prophets prophesie lyes in my Name, I sent them not, neither have I commanded them. They prophesie unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Unto which the Apostle alludeth, when he saith: We know that an Idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. That is, that an Idol taken abstractively, without regard to the matter of which it was made, as gold, silver, stone, wood, or the like, which were natural substances, or respect to the figure or shape which was artificial, and the work of the Work-man, it was plainly nothing, and had no real existence as a God or Idol, but only in the Phantasies and minds of the blinded Worshippers; for it neither could truly foretel, nor act any thing of it self, but all that was done, was the lyes and inventions of the Priests that served them, and got their living by that villanous and lying trade. For God by the mouth of his Prophet doth set down the true difference of the true God, that could infallibly foretel and declare things that were to come, from the false Gods and Idols, and doth challenge them in this manner: Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are Gods: yea do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. From whence it is plain, that the only κριτήριον to distinguish betwixt the Divinations that are given forth by the Spirit of God in his Prophets or Apostles is, that they are plain, certain, and infallible, and the event never faileth to answer the Prediction, but those that are given forth by Satan and his juggling and lying Ministers, are always ambiguous, doubtful, and perplex, and evermore deceive such as trust in them, as was manifest in Ahab, when all the false Prophets bade him go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper, yet there was he slain. And as they never truly foretel things to come, so neither can the Idols do good or evil: all that is, or ever was done, was performed only by the cunning, confederacy, and juggling of the knavish and deceitful Priests; and therefore the Prophet admonisheth Gods people not to be afraid of them; For they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3.

1104. We are to note, that if a Sign or Wonder foretold do come to pass, we have no Warrant to ascribe the bringing of it to pass either to Devil or Witch, for the Lord telleth us this: If there arise among you a Prophet or a Dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder. And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee, saying; Let us go after other Gods (which thou hast not known) and let us serve them: Thou shalt not hearken to the words of that Prophet or that Dreamer of dreams: For the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul. So that what Divinations or Predictions soever be foretold by any, or what signs or wonders soever be brought to pass, if the persons that work or foretel them, perswade us to serve other Gods, or go to seduce us to Idolatry, we are not to follow them, but are to know that by them the Lord doth prove us, to try if we love him with all our heart, or not. And if there were no other means to distinguish a true Miracle from a false, yet were this infallibly sufficient to instruct and direct us.

5. We may note, that of all the several sorts of Divinations pretended, and of all the acceptations of this Hebrew word in all the Bible, there is nothing that doth imply any such kind of killing Witch, as is commonly imagined, nor none such as make a visible League with the Devil, nor upon whose bodies he sucketh, or hath carnal copulation with them, nor no such as are really changed into Cats, Hares, Wolves, or Dogs; which was the thing we undertook to prove.

3. The next word we are to consider, is עֹנֵן, which Avenarius, Schindlerus, Buxtorsius, and Mr. Goodwin do derive from עֹנֵן obnubilavit, nubem obduxit, item præstigiis usus est. From whence we may note these things.

Vid. Polyglot. in loc.

1. That the most of all the Translators do some render it by one word, and some by another, that no certainty can be gathered from them at all, as though it did signifie divers and many sorts of these kinds of Augury, Divinations, or juggling Feats, when in reason we cannot but suppose that it only comprehended some one sort, and not so many as the Translators do ascribe to it. The Septuagint render it for the most part κληδονιζόμενος, sometimes αποφθεγγόμενος, and sometimes ὀρνιθοσκοπήσεθε, which are all of different derivations and significations; some others render it other ways, as, neq; auspicabimini, neq; observabitis horas, ne vaticinemini, ne ominemini, nec observet somnia & auguria, nec qui exercet Astrologiam, &c. Now from such a diversity no man is able to draw a positive certainty.

2. They do not keep to one word appropriate to the Hebrew, which if they had not forgotten themselves, they would have done, and not left it uncertain. For Arias Montanus in the 19. of Leviticus, vers. 26. renders it, neq; præstigiabamini, and in the 2. of Isaiah, vers. 6. translates it, augures sicut Philistim. In Isa. 57. 3. 111he calleth them Filii Auguratricis. And in the 27. of Jeremiah, v. 9. Et ad Augures vestros. Also Micah 5. 11. he renders it Præstigiatores. Now what great difference there is betwixt any sort of Augury, and Juggling, or Leger-de-main, is known to any of indifferent reading. And the rest of the Translators are far more wild, and more wide. And Junius and Tremellius, who of all others, one might have thought would have been more circumspect, yet fall into the same incertitude; for in Deut. 18. 10. he renders it Planetarius, but in the place before-cited in Leviticus, they render it, neq; utemini præstigiis, though in the Margent they mend it, with this note, neq; ex nubibus conjicite, vel ne temporis observationi plus æquo tribuite. And Isa. 2. 6. Et præstigiatores sunt ut Polischtæi.

Vid. Jo. Wier. de mag. Jus. c. 1. p. 91.
Of Divin. lib. 4. cap. 10. p. 183.

3. But if there be any certainty in adhering to the primitive signification of the Hebrew root, that plainly intendeth obnubilavit, that it is without question most safe and genuine to translate it Planetarius, to which the most learned Andreas Masius (as he is quoted by Wierus) doth incline in these words: Veteres Hebræorum dicunt id verbum ad eos propriè pertinere, qui temporum momenta superstitiosè observant, atq; alia fausta rebus gerendis, alia infausta præscribunt. To which agreeth Mr. Thomas Goodwin, saying: “But of all I approve those who derive it from עִנֵּן a Cloud, as if the Original signified properly a Planetary, or Stargazer.”

4. But however thus far there is no word found, that signifieth a Witch in the sense we have laid down, nor any such person that hath a real familiar Spirit, either in them, or attending upon them, ready visibly to appear at their beck, this is not yet to be found out.

5. The next is וּמְנַחֵשׁ from the root נִחֵשׁ, nichesch, auguratus est, observavit, augurium fecit, which our English Translators have erroneously rendred an Inchanter, which it no way signifieth, nor hath any relation unto, having in the next verse named a Charmer, as though Enchanter and Charmer were not all one, when the word plainly (as Mr. Goodwin and the learned Masius do confess) importeth an Augur or Sooth-sayer: That is, such an one, who out of his own experience draweth observations of good or evil to come: of which we may note these things.

1. The most of all the Translations given us in the Polyglot, do render the Hebrew word by auguratus est, and so understand it to be an Augur or Sooth-sayer, a Conjecturer, or an Observer, from whatsoever it be that he taketh his observations, as from the flying noise or motion of birds or beasts, looking into their entrails, and the like, and from thence taking upon them to foretel good or evil to come, or what was hidden and secret.

2. The Hebrew word, is by the Septuagint rendred οἰώνισμα, Augurium, Auspicium, that is, an Augur, an Observer, or a Conjecturer, which Luther translateth: eyn de vp Voegell geschrey achte. 112And in the Low Dutch Bible it is rendred agreeable thereto; and the French render it aux Oiseaux, from the word Oiseau, Avis, Volucris; and the Italians render it Auguropista, which are all to one purpose, and no difference at all, and so the gross mistake of our English Translators is most apparent, that make it to be an Inchanter or Charmer, to which it hath no relation at all.

Gen. 30. 27.
Gen. 44. 5, 15.

3. This Hebrew word is taken in bonam partem, heedfully to consider, mark, or observe, as Laban said, when he laboured to stay Jacob from going from him: I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. So that though Laban’s heart was not upright toward Jacob, nor he a sincere Worshipper of the God of the Jews; yet so far had the Lord convinced him, by the faithful and industrious service of Jacob that he had experienced, and by tryal found that the Lord had blessed him for Jacob’s sake. And the same word is used, when Joseph said: Is not this the cup wherein my Lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth, or maketh tryal? And again: Know ye not, that such a man as I can certainly divine, or make tryal? And though Pererius hath made a large Dispute about this matter, and reciteth the Opinions of many Authors concerning it; yet it is manifest, that Joseph knew his Brethren before, and had caused the Cup to be put into Benjamins Sack, and that all this was but done in a just and prudent way, the better to prepare his Brethren for his revealing of himself unto them, and so had reference to no unlawful conjecturing at all, though it was plain, that he had the special gift from God of interpreting of Dreams, and foretelling of things that were to come.

4. It is too hard a task to enumerate all the several ways that the Heathens used, by observation to foretel things to come, and more difficult so declare all the subjects from whence they gathered the signs of their Predictions. The chiefest that the old Romans used, were Augurium quasi Avigerium dictum, vel Avigarium, ab avium scilicet garritu quem auspicantes observabant: And so Auspicium, quasi Avispecium, ab avibus spectandis. And these observations were taken, either from the feeding, flying, or noise of the birds. So they had their Haruspices, Harioli, and Haruspicina, which was derived ab haruga, hostia, ab hara in qua concluditur & servatur.

Matth. 16. 2, 3.
Luke 12. 54.

5. But all these sorts of Observations, Guessings, and Conjectures may be considered these three ways. 1. Some of them are natural, rational, and legal; as is the Prognostick part of the Art of Medicine, Political Predictions of the change, fall, and ruine of Kingdoms, States, and Empires. Some Civil taken from the course and carriage of men, as when one seeth a rich young Heir that followeth nothing but vice, luxury, and all sorts of debauchery, it is easie to foretel that his end will be beggery and misery. Some from the due observation of beasts and fowls, which live sub dio, may easily conjecture the alteration of the weather. And so by observing 113the change, or colour of the Stars and Planets, the Clouds and Elements, may easily foretel the change of weather. And we find that these predictions from the Signs gathered from natural causes, are not condemned by our Blessed Saviour, who saith: When it is evening, ye say it will be fair weather, for the skie is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather to day, for the skie is red, and lowring. And again: When ye see a cloud rise out of the West, straightway ye say, there cometh a showre, and so it is. And when ye see the South wind blow, ye say, there will be heat, and it cometh to pass. 2. There are some conjectures that are false, groundless, and superstitious, as were, and are all the predictions taken from the feeding, flying or noise of Fowls, or the signs appearing in the intrails of Beasts; for in all such like, there is no connexion betwixt the cause and effect, and they therefore are false and vain, and this was one of the reasons why they were forbidden amongst the Jews. 3. There were some that in regard of their use and end were wicked and Idolatrous, and in this respect all divinations and predictions are wicked and unlawful, if they be used (as was and is yet among the Heathen) to lead the people unto, or confirm them in, the worship of Idols, and false Gods. And from all this it appeareth, that yet we can find no proper or fit word for such a kind of Witch whose existence we have denied and are disproving.

5. The next word in this place of Deuteronomy is וּמְכַשֵּׁף Umechascheph, which our Translators render a Witch, but in what sense or propriety, I think few can conjecture, for it comes from the Hebrew root, כֹּשֵּׁף Coscheph, which Avenarius rendreth, Fascinavit, effascinavit, but Schindlerus translates it, Præstigias, maleficia aut magiam exercuit, mutavit aliquid naturale ad aspectum oculi, ut aliud appareat quàm est. And by Buxtorsius it is rendred, Præstigiæ, and the derivations from it through the whole Old Testament, which is the most certain propriety of the word, as these following considerations will make manifest.

Chap. 7. 11, 22.
Chron. 2. 33. 6.
2 Kings 9. 22.

1. That the most of the Translators in rendering this word whether in this place, or in others, have been very inconstant, and one place not agreeing with another, as Arias Montanus in this place gives it maleficus, but in Exodus he makes it, Præstigiatores, and in the 22 and 16 of the same Book he makes it Præstigiatricem; and in another place where the very same word is used in the Hebrew, he saith of Manásseh, & Præstigiis vacabat. And yet in another place, he rendereth the very same word veneficia. So uncertain was this learned Man, and so inconsiderate in his versions, wherein he ought to have had a more special care. Now Tremellius in all the places named before, doth use the words Præstigiatorem, and the words from the same derivation in the Latine, which sheweth certainty and constancy.

2. The most of all the translations in the Polyglott, do render this word doubtful and various: As maleficus, magus, præstigias faciens, Incantator, and the like, which are all dubious, and various, 114and no certainty can be produced from them. Only those we call the Septuagint do keep close to words of the same signification, deducted all from φάρμακον, which properly doth signifie no more than venenum, poison, though the circumstances do manifest that they were but Jugling and Imposture. And the High-Dutch, Low-Dutch, French and Italian translations do all render it with the same uncertainty, so that nothing sure can be drawn from them.

Moses and Aaron l. 4. c. 10. p. 191.
Com. upon Exod. c. 7. p. 72.

3. But to leave these uncertainties, it is manifest that this word doth signifie as Buxtorsius and Schindlerus do render it, for they are best to be trusted, because they are not guilty of contradiction as the most of the others are; That is, a Jugler, or one that by himself, or the help of his Confederates, doth by sleight of hand, and such like conveyances perform strange things to the astonishment of the beholders. “And therefore doth Mr. Goodwyn tell us this: A Witch, properly a Jugler. The original (he saith) signifieth such a kind of Sorcerer, who bewitcheth the senses and minds of men, by changing the forms of things, making them appear otherwise than indeed they are. And these Dr. Willet saith (speaking of Pharaohs Magicians) were Præstigiatores, whom we call Juglers, which deceived mens senses. And though learned Masius (speaking of those that Nebuchadnezzar called to interpret his dream) doth make this objection, that if this word be translated Præstigiatores, he doth not see, quid illi ad explicandum somnium adferre suâ arte potuissent, quæ tota fallax & delusoria est:” Yet is this of little or no force at all, for the rest that were called, were as well Impostors as these if not more, and the King and those with him knew not certainly (as the event shewed) that they could perform any such matter, but was ignorant of the manner of their delusions and cheats, and was only led by common rumour and belief, grounded upon the vain and lying boasts that such sort of people are apt to give out of themselves, and the wonders they pretend to perform. So that from his and his Courtiers opinions of either the matter, or manner, of what they pretended to do, will no consequence be drawn, from what they truly could do, because belief and action are two different things as might be manifested by the vain credulity of the vulgar, that those kind of deceivers can do strange things, but in trial and experiment they are found to be Cheaters and Impostors.

Chap. 7. 11.

4. But that this word doth bear this signification is manifest from the things they performed, for in Exodus they are called כַשְּׁפִים, and they in like manner cast down every man his rod and they became serpents: not that their rods were really transubstantiated into true serpents as Aarons was, for that could not be done but by an Omnipotent and Divine power, which they had not; It was only done as Juglers, do seemingly, by sleight and cunning, and so had an appearance of true serpents, but were not so indeed; or else in making a shew to throw down their rods, they secretly conveyed them away and threw down serpents in their stead, as 115might easily be done by sleight of hand, as we shall shew more fully hereafter.

2 Kings 9. 22.
Chap. 21. 8. 22. 51. 9. 21. 18. 23.
Chap. 5. 20.

5. That this is the genuine meaning of this word is manifest from the circumstances of some other places duly weighed, and compared together: for one text saith as our English Translators have rendered it, And it came to pass when Joram saw Jehu that he said, Is it peace Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts are so many? Now why they should translate it witchcrafts, cannot well be imagined, except it were to draw the Scriptures to speak according to their preconceived opinions, for the word used there is the same we speak of, to wit, וּכְשָׁפֶיהָ, which though Arias Montanus rendereth, & veneficia ejus, that according to the Latine signification is but poysonings, or poyson making, which doth not intimate Witchcraft in that sense that is vulgarly understood, which Tremellius properly renders, & præstigæ ejus: and Luther renders it by the words Toeverye, and so doth the Low-Dutch: Though the proper High-Dutch word for præstigiator, a Jugler, be Baucsler, which is as Calepin tells us, that Præstigæ sunt incantationes, delusiones, cujusmodi sunt, quæ manuum quadam dexteritate alia apparent quam reverâ sunt. Now what whoredoms or fornications had Jezebel committed? Spiritual whoredoms, and not Carnal ones; for she had her self gone a whoring after Idols, and strange gods, and as much as in her lay drew the people of Israel into the same whoredoms, and for this it was that so fearful a judgment fell upon her. And what Witchcrafts (if they must be so called) had she practised or followed? Was it any other than in setting up, maintaining, and defending the Priests of Baal and of the groves, who practised several sorts of divination, jugling, impostures, and delusions, whereby they were seduced and blinded to follow and worship the false god and Idols? And from this it is plain that all her Witchcrafts were only impostures and delusions whereby the people were led unto idolatry: and so the true signification of this word is a deceiver and an impostor, and intendeth no other kind of Witchcraft at all. And in the same sense must the word given by those we call the Septuagint which is τὰ φάρμακα ἀυτῆς, Pharmaca vel venena sua, her poysons, that is her deceits and delusions that she set up by the lying Divinations, Juglings, and Impostures of the Priests, by which the people were seduced, and blinded, and poysoned with the filthy Doctrine and practice of Idol-worship. And in the same sense must the words be taken in the Revelation where the words φαρμακεία, φαρμακεὺς, φάρμακος are used. For the Text saith: And a mighty Angel took up a stone like a great milstone, and cast it into the sea, saying; Thus with violence shall that great City Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And after: For thy merchants were the great men of the earth: For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. These words are spoken mystically of spiritual Babylon, in which Antichrist ruleth, who (as the Apostle 116saith) sitteth in the temple of God, and exalteth him self against all that is called god; and this is he whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders. So that it is plain that his working being by lying wonders, his Merchants must needs be lyers and deceivers, and it is these Sorceries, impostures and delusions by which all Nations are deceived, and caused to err: and so is no other Witchcraft but meer lying, delusion and imposture. And to this purpose doth Dr. Hammond Paraphrase it in these words; speaking of the destruction of Babylon: “And three eminent causes (he saith) there are of this; First, Luxury which inriched so many Merchants, and made them so great. Secondly, seducing other people to their Idolatries and abominable courses by all arts of insinuation. And thirdly, the persecuting and slaying of the Apostles and other Christians.” And in the same sense must this word also be taken in the Galathians, which though translated Witchcraft, must needs mean imposture, deceit and delusion by which people are led from the true Doctrine and Worship of Christ, to vain and lying Superstition and Idolatry, and not bodily poysoning.

1 Sam. 15. 23.

6. Thus far we can find no such Hebrew word as signifieth any such kind of a Witch as Dr. Casaubon, or Mr. Glanvill intend, or labour to prove, and therefore we may proceed to the next. Only we cannot but take notice of one other text, that our English Translators have erroneously rendered, and that is this: where Samuel is rebuking Saul for sparing Agag and the best of the spoil, he saith, For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry: Which Tremellius renders thus: Quin sicut peccatum divinationis est rebellio: & sicut superstitio & Idola est repugnantia. And Arias Montanus gives it thus: Quia peccatum divinationis est rebellio, & mendacium vel Idolum, & Teraphim transgredi, which both are agreeable to the Hebrew word קֶסֶם which signifieth properly Divination. So that this place noteth, not rebellion against an earthly or temporal King, but against the King of Heaven; and to disobey his command, and to follow our own wills and judgments, and to persevere therein, is as odious and detestable, as to set up lying Divinations thereby to follow Idols and false gods: for the following the fancies of our own brains, is to follow the divinations of our own counsel, and to make an Idol, and a Teraphim of our own frail, weak and blind judgments, and to forsake the pure and perfect Law of the Lord, which ought to be a lantern to our feet, and a light unto our paths, and is spiritual rebellion, even as the divinations of Idol-priests and Idol-worship were.

7. The next Word in this place of Deuteronomy is וְחֹבֵר חָבֶר utens incantatione, vel incantans incantatione, aut jungens junctiones, from the root חָבַר Sociatus est, junctus fuit alteri, copulatus est, for so Avenarius renders it. And Schindlerus saith, Incantator vel qui consortium habet cum Dæmonibus, conjurator, qui incantationibus 117multa animalia in unum locum consociat vel congregat, vel ne lædant associat. From whence we may note thus much:

Chap. 14. 3.
Exod. 36. 10.

1. That it primarily signifieth to joyn together, as in that of Genesis speaking of the Kings that went to War, All these were joyned together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. And in another place, And he coupled the five curtains together; and in the same sense in diverse other places: by all which it appeareth, that when it is used for incantation or charming, it is because of some conjunction or coupling together.

2. It is very remarkable that in all the translations in the Polyglot, there is no variance, neither do Arias Montanus, Buxtorsius, or Tremellius differ at all, and the Greek Translators do agree with them, who render it, ἐπαείδων ἐπαοιδὴν, and the Germane, Low-dutch, French, and Italian Translators do accord herewithal, and it is likewise so rendered in Isa. 47. 9, 12. and in other places. So that it is plain it signifieth such as took upon them by strange words and charms to prevent venemous beasts to hurt, bite or sting, and many other wonderful things; but what they brought to pass, or effected, besides deluding and deceiving of the people and leading of them to Idolatry, is hard to determine, of which we shall speak in another place.

3. There are divers opinions concerning this incantation or charming, why it should be accounted conjunction, or association; and some, as Schindlerus and Bithner, do judge it is because they associate or bring together many Serpents or noysom Creatures into one place, and then destroy them. But this is but a conjecture, for it is by the best learned strongly disputed on both sides, whether charms and inchantments can really and truly perform any such effects, and divers instances and examples brought both ways, some for the affirmative, some for the negative, so that the matter of fact is not certainly known or granted. Others by association do understand, the league or compact made betwixt the Charmer and the Devil, by virtue of which such strange things are brought to pass by them, and of this opinion was Mr. Perkins (if that Book of Witchcraft, that goeth under his name, be truly his) who strengthening his conceit with that verse in the 58 Psalm thought that he had found out an invincible argument to prove the Compact betwixt Witches and Devils, and therefore it is necessary and expedient to examine that text to the bottom to sift out the true translation, and sense of that place, which we shall do at large as followeth in these particulars.

1. Our English Translators render it thus, speaking of the deaf Adder or Asp; Which will not hearken to the voice of the charmers, charming never so wisely; and in the margent, or be the Charmer never so cunning, where they take no notice of the conjoyning of conjunctions, and consequently none of such a league or compact.

2. Tremellius gives it thus: Quæ non auscultat voci mussitantium, 118utentis incantationibus peritissimi, which piece of Latine were very difficult to put into perfect Grammatical construction, because mussitantium is the plural number, but utentis and peritissimi are of the singular, which we shall leave to the censure of Criticks, and give the marginal note that is there added. Surdæ id est, calidè agentis adversus incantamenta, ut sequentia exponunt, nam aurem utramq; ab ea obturari, &c. Of the deaf Adder “That is to say, that acteth craftily against the incantations, as the following words do expound: For she stoppeth both her ears, by fixing one to the earth, and covering, and stopping the other with her tail;” and that Hierome, Augustine, Cassiodorus, and others do so expound the place. Whether this be true of the Asp or not is much to be doubted, for I find no Author of credit that doth averr it of his own knowledge, and the thing is very difficult to bring to experiment, and the Psalmist might speak according to vulgar opinion, of which there was no necessity that it should be literally and certainly true. Further he goes on and saith, mussitantium “That is to say, pronouncing their incantations to charm her, whispering and very low; which study of charming, lest any should think that David doth approve of them in this place, he learnedly useth the very words of the prohibition, which God laid down Deut. 18. 11. For (he saith) these fascinators in the Hebrew appellation are said to consociate society, because they apply the society of the Devil to their arts.”

3. Those we call the Septuagint do render it thus: Ἥτις οὐκ εἰσκούσεται φωνὴν επᾳδόντων, φαρμάκου τε φαρμακευομένου παρὰ σοφοῦ. And that which is ascribed to Hierome in the eight Tome of his works printed at Basil 1525, gives two Latine versions to this, the one answering to the Septuagint which is this: Quæ non exaudiet vocem incantantium & venefici incantantis sapienter. The other according to the Hebrew thus, Ut non audiat vocem murmurantium, nec incantatoris incantationes callidas. So that this maketh the meaning to be, that the deaf Asp is so cunning in stopping of her ear, that she doth not hear the voice of those that murmur, and mutter charms, though it be a Charmer that uttereth the most cunning and powerful charms: So that here is no regard had to conjoyning or associating either of Serpents together, or of the society of the Charmer and the Devil.

4. Luthers Translation of this place is remarkable, which is this, Dass sie nicht hoere die stimme dess Zauberers, dess Beschwerers der wol besch weren kan. Which in English runs thus, That doth not hear the voice of the Magicians or Charmers, the Conjurors or Exorcists, that well conjure can. And agreeable to this is the translation of the Low-Dutch. So that the sense is, that the deaf Asp stoppeth her ear against the voice of the Charmers, those that have sworn together (it may be that common error and opinion had prevailed so far with learned Luther, as doth appear by his exposition upon the third Chapter to the Galathians, that he believed that 119the Witch, and the Devil were in compact, and sworn together) and that were most cunning in that art. But this doth but in a manner beg the question, not prove it, for all will but amount to this, that the Asp cannot be charmed, no not by those that have the greatest skill in the matter of incantation.

5. The French Translators render it thus: Lequel n’écoute point la voix des enchanteurs, ni du charmeur fort expert en charmes, Which will in no point hear the voice of the inchanter, nor of the Charmer that is expert in charms. And this proveth nothing at all of joyning societies, nor of compacts. The Italian version giveth it thus, Accioche non oda la voce de glivoce incantatori, del venefico incantante incantationi di dotto. In English thus, Which doth not hear the voice of the inchanter, of the Witch (if that be the signification of the word venefico, a poysoner) inchanting with the incantation of the learned: And this is most near the Hebrew of all the rest, and beareth thus much, That the Asp doth not hearken to the voice of the inchanter, of the Charmer which useth the charms that were framed and conjoyned by a learned Clerk: so that if associating be comprised, it must be understood of the framing and joyning of the charms, which doubtless was the composure of those that were very learned, especially if they work by a natural operation, of which we shall discourse hereafter.

6. But now we come to the Hebrew itself, which Arias Montanus renders thus, Quæ non audiet ad vocem mussitantium: jungentis conjunctiones docti. And in the margent thus, Quæ non obtemperabit voce incantantium, incantantis incantationes sapienter. Which we may thus English, Which hearkeneth not to the voice of the mutterers, of the learned joyner of conjunctions. And the other thus; Which obeyeth not the voice of the Charmers, of the person charming charms wisely. So that it may mean, that the Asp hearkeneth not to the voice of those that mutter or mussitate the charms of the Charmer that doth wisely use them, or of him that is a wise Charmer. But it is needless and improper to make an half period at mussitantium, for then there will be no coherence in Grammatical construction betwixt the former and latter part of the verse: and therefore according to the order of Grammar, it should be rendered thus: Quæ non audiet ad vocem mussitantium incantationes, docti incantantis. And so the meaning is plainly this, that the Asp doth not hearken to the voice of those that mutter the charms of a learned Charmer. And so there is no intimation of association or compact either one way or another, but it doth meerly imply that the Asp doth resist and frustrate the charms of the mutterers that use them, though they be wise in the using of them, which doubtless is the most genuine rendring, and the true meaning of the place: or else it may be thus aptly translated: Quæ non audiet ad vocem mussitantium conjunctiones jungentis docti; That is thus, Which hearkeneth not to the voice of those that mutter the Conjunctions of a learned Joyner. So this way the sense will be, that 120she resisteth the Charms, or Conjunctions of the learned Joyner or Framer of them, and consequently that it hath not respect, either to the associating or gathering of the Asps into one place, or an association or compact betwixt the Charmer and the Devil, which are both beg’d, and too far fetcht, and cannot be intended properly in this Metaphor. But it (if thus Translated according to Arias Montanus) referreth punctually and properly to the cunning and wise composure of the letters and words used in the Charm, that if they had been never so cunningly contrived, or joyned together by those that had the greatest skill of all others in framing and composing of charms; yet were they utterly inefficacious against this kind of Serpent. And so we conclude this, having as yet found no such Hebrew word as signifieth a Witch in the vulgar sense and common acceptation.

7. Another word that followeth in this place of Deuteronomy is וְשֹׁאֵל אוֹב requirens Pythonem, which what it meaneth is more obscured, and erroneously translated, than any of the rest. And this our English Translators have ignorantly or wilfully, but however erroneously rendered in all the places where it is used, to be one that hath a familiar spirit. From whence note these things.

Job 32.19.

1. This word, as Buxtorsius, Schindlerus, and Avenarius observe, hath two significations, the one is, uter vel lagena, the other Python, and so saith learned Masius, significat vero vox Ob utrem vel lagenam; “From whence the Jewish Nation did call those Devils which did give answers forth of the parts of Men and Womens Bodies, Ob, and in the plural number Oboth; As it is only once for bottles used in that of Job, Behold, my belly is as wine that hath no vent, it is ready to burst like new bottles.” And to the same purpose speaketh Schindlerus in these words: “From thence it seemeth to be called אוב Pytho, because those that had it, or were possessed with it, being puft up with wind, did swell like blown bladders, and the unclean spirit being interrogated did forth of their bellies give answers of things past, present, and to come, from whence also they were called ἐγγαστρίμυθος, ventriloqui, speakers in the belly, or out of the belly.” So that in the sense of these men, it was a Devil or Spirit that spoke in them, as though they had been essentially and substantially possest with a Demon; so prone were they to ascribe all things (almost) unto the Devils power, not considering that they had no other Devil, but that of Imposture and Delusion, as we shall shew anon with unanswerable arguments.

Ovid. Metam. lib. 1.
Mytholog. l. 4. c. 10. p. 36. 362.

2. The most or all the translations in the Polyglott do render it Pythonem, vel spiritum Pythonis in this place of Deuteronomy, and other places: But what is to be understood by Python, or the Spirit of Python is as difficult to find out, as the meaning of the Hebrew word Ob, because it must be digged forth of the rubbish of Grecian lies: For some will have it to be derived from the word απὸ τοῦ πυνθάνεσθαι, à consulendi & interrogandi usu. But that they were called so rather from the Epithete given to Apollo, who (as 121the Poets fabled) did soon after Deucalions flood slay the Dragon Python, πύθων, so called a πύθεσθαι quod est putrescere, because he was said to be bred of the putrefaction of the Earth; and so he was called Apollo Pythius, and those that kept the Oracle at Delphos, and gave answers, were called Pythii vates, and the Oracles Oracula Pythia: as may be seen in Plutarch, Thucydides, and Lucian: and Suidas and Hesychius say, Πύθων dicebatur etiam Dæmonium cujus afflatu futura prædicebant, & ὁι πύθωνες, è ventre hariolantes: From whence Pythius Apollo came because of slaying the Dragon, nam πύθεσθαι putrescere significat, ut est in his carminibus.

——Ὁ δ’ ἐπήυξατο φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων,
Ἐνταυθοῖ νῦν πύθεν ἐπὶ χθονὶ βωτιανείρη.
——Sic inde precatus Apollo est:
Putrescas tellure jacens campoq; feraci.

And from hence were the Pythian Games instituted:

Neve operis famam posset delere vetustas,
Instituit sacros celebri certamine ludos
Pythia perdomitæ serpentis nomine dictos.

Though, if we will believe Natalis Comes and some others, it was not a Serpent or Dragon that Apollo slew, but a man whose name was Python, and his sirname Draco, and from that Victory Apollo was called Pythius, and those that kept his Oracle at Delphos were called Pythios vates, Pythian Priests, or Diviners of Python. So that all that can be gathered from hence is, that to have the Spirit of Python, was to undertake such Divinations, as the Priests used at the Pythian Oracle at Delphos, and that was no more in truth and effect, but Cheaters and Impostors.

De defect. Oracul. mihi. p. 691.
In Præfat. de defect. Oracul.

3. Those that we call the Septuagint expressing the manner of the performance of this kind of Imposture do (as Masius confesseth, and is true) constantly call them by the name of ἐγγαστριμύθους, because they did speak forth of their Breasts or Bellies, that was by turning their voices backwards down their Throats, which some of the Latines imitating the Greek word have not unfitly called them ventriloquos, that is, speaking in their Bellies. And that there were such in ancient times is witnessed by Plutarch, who saith, speaking of the ceasing of Oracles, thus: “That it is alike foolish and childish to judge that God himself, as the Engastrimuthoi, (that is to say, the Genii hariolating forth of the Belly) which in times past they did call Eurycleas, now Pythonas, hiding himself in the Bodies of the Prophets, and using their mouth and voice as instruments, should speak.” From whence we may note these things. 1. That in Plutarch time who lived in the Reign of Trajan, there were of these persons that could speak (as it were) forth of their Bellies. 2. That though Plutarch was a very learned, sagacious person, yet he either knew not, or else concealed the manner how these ventriloquists performed this speaking, in their Breasts or Bellies, it being nothing but a cheat and artificial imposture, as we shall shew anon, of whom his learned Translator Adrianus 122Turnebus, and of these vanities speaketh thus. “Therefore (he saith) we condemn all sorts of Divinations which are not received from the sacred writings, and do judge them to have been found out, either by the craftiness of men or the wickedness of Devils; but we rejoice to our selves that being Divinely taught, we here see far more than the most learned Plutarch did, who beheld but little light in this his disputation of the defect of Oracles.” 3. We may note that these words (that is to say, the Genii hariolating forth of the Belly) which we have inclosed in a Parenthesis, are not found in the Greek written by Plutarch, but are only added as the conjecture of Turnebus. 4. Plutarch doth hold it childish to believe that God doth hide himself and speak in the belly of these couzening Diviners, and therein though an Heathen was wiser than many that profess Christianity now, who believe it to be some Spirit, when it is nothing but the cunning Imposture of those persons, that by use have learned that artifice of turning their voices back into their Throats and Breasts. 5. As to matter of fact it is manifest that in the time of Plutarch there were those that practised this cunning trick thereby to get credit or money by the pretence of Predictions and Divinations, and such an one doubtless was the Woman at Endor, and the Maid mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, of which we shall speak presently.

Antiq. lect. 8. 10.

Also Tertullian a grave Author, affirmeth that he had seen such Women that were Ventriloquists, from whole secret parts a small voice was heard as they sate, and did give answers to things asked. And so Cælius Rhodiginus doth write that he often saw a Woman Ventriloquist at Rhodes, and in a City of Italy his own Country, from whose secrets he had often heard a very slender voice of an unclean Spirit, but very intelligible, tell strangely of things past or present, but of things to come for the most part uncertain, and also often vain and lying; which doth plainly demonstrate that it was but an humane artifice, and a designed Imposture.

Hist. 1.
De Mag. Infam.

c. 14. p. 141.

“But most notable is that story related by Wierus from the mouth of his Sons who had it from the mouth of Adrianus Turnebus, who did openly profess that before-time he had seen at Paris a crafty fellow very like Euricles mentioned by Aristophanes, who was called Petrus Brabantius, who as oft as he would, could speak from the lower part of his Body, his Mouth being open, but his Lips not moved, and that he did deceive many all over by this cunning, which whether it be to be called an art, or exercitation, or the imposture of the Devil is to be doubted. And further relateth that at Paris he deceived a Widow Woman and got her to give him her Daughter in Marriage, who had a great Portion; by counterfeiting that his so speaking in his Breast, or Belly, was the voice of her deceased Husband, who was in Purgatory, and could not be loosed thence, except she gave her Daughter in Marriage unto him: By which deceitful knavery he got her, and about six Months after, when he had spent all 123her Portion, the Wife and Mother-in-law being left, he fled to Lions: And there hearing that a very rich Merchant was dead, who was accounted living a very wicked man, who had gotten his riches by right and wrong; this Brabantius goeth to his Son called Cornutus, who was walking in a Grove or Orchard behind the Church-yard, and intimateth that he was sent to teach him what was fit for him to do. But while that he telleth him that he ought rather to think of the Soul of his Father, than of his Fame, or Death; upon the suddain while they speak together a voice is heard—imitating his Father’s: Which voice although Brabantius did give out of his Belly, yet he did in a wonderful manner counterfeit to tremble: But Cornutus was admonished by this voice, into what state his Father was faln by his injustice, and with what great torments he was tortured in Purgatory, both for his own, and his Sons cause, for that he had left him the Heir of so much ill gotten goods, and that he could be freed by no means, unless by a just expiation made by the Son, and some considerable part of his goods distributed to charitable uses unto those that stood most need, such as were Christians made Captives with the Turks. Whereupon he gave credit to Brabantius, with whom he discoursed, as a Man that was to be sent by Godly persons to Constantinople to redeem the prisoners, and that he was sent unto him by Divine Power for the same purpose. But Cornutus, though a Man no way evil; and although having heard these things, he understood not the deceit: yet notwithstanding because of the word, that he should part with so much money, made answer that he would consider of it, and willeth Brabantius to repair the day following to the same place. In the mean time being staggered in his thoughts he did much doubt, in respect of the place, where he had heard the voice, because it was shadowy, and dark, and subject to the crafty treacheries of Men, and to the Eccho. Therefore the next day he leadeth Brabantius into another open plain place, neither troubled with shadows nor bushes. Where notwithstanding the same tale was repeated, during their discourse, that he had heard before: This also being added, that forthwith six thousand Franks should be given to Brabantius, that three Masses might be said every day, to redeem his Father forth of Purgatory; otherwayes that there could be no redemption for him. And thereupon the Son obliged both by conscience and religion, although unwillingly, delivers so many to the trust of Brabantius; all lawful evidence of the agreement and performance being utterly neglected. The Father freed from the fire and torments afterwards hath rested quiet, and by speaking did not trouble the Son any more. But the wretched Cornutus, after Brabantius was gone, being one time more pleasant than wonted, which made his Table-companions much to wonder; and forthwith opening the cause to them inquiring it, he was forthwith so derided of all, because that in his judgment he 124had been so beguiled, and cheated of his money besides, that within few days after he died for plain grief, and so followed his Father to know the truth of that thing of him.”

Hist. 2.

But to make this more plain and certain, we shall add a Story of a notable Impostor, or Ventriloquist, from the testimony of Mr. Ady; which we have had confirmed from the mouth of some Courtiers that both saw and knew him, and is this: “It hath been (saith he) credibly reported, that there was a Man in the Court, in King James his days, that could act this imposture so lively, that he could call the King by name, and cause the King to look round about him wondering who it was that called him, whereas he that called him stood before him in his presence, with his face towards him: but after this Imposture was known, the King in his merriment would sometimes take occasion by this Impostor to make sport upon some of his Courtiers, as for instance; There was a Knight belonging to the Court, whom the King caused to come before him in his private room (where no Man was but the King, and this Knight, and the Impostor) and feigned some occasion of serious discourse with the Knight; but when the King began to speak, and the Knight bending his attention to the King, suddenly there came a voice as out of another room, calling the Knight by name, Sir John, Sir John, come away Sir John; at which the King began to frown that any Man should be so unmannerly as to molest the King and him: And still listning to the Kings discourse, the voice came again, Sir John, Sir John, come away, and drink off your Sack; at that Sir John began to swell with anger, and looked into the next rooms to see who it was that dared to call him so importunately, and could not find out who it was, and having chid with whomsoever he found he returned again to the King. The King had no sooner begun to speak as formerly, but the voice came again, Sir John, come away, your Sack stayeth for you. At that Sir John began to stamp with madness, and looked out, and returned several times to the King, but could not be quiet in his discourse with the King, because of the voice that so often troubled him, till the King had sported enough.”

Hist. 3.

I my self also have seen a young man about 16 or 17 years of age, who having learned at School, and having no great mind to his Book, fell into an Ague; in the declination of which he seemed to be taken with convulsion-fits, and afterwards to fall into Trances, and at the last to speak (as with another small voice) in his Breast or Throat, and pretended to declare unto those that were by, what sinful and knavish tricks they had formerly acted, or what others were doing in remote places and rooms. So that presently his Father and the Family with the neighbourhood were perswaded that he was possest, and that it was a spirit that spoke in him, which was soon heightned by Popish reports all over the Countrey. But there being a Gentleman of great note and understanding his Kinsman caused him to be sent over unto me, to have mine opinion whether 125it were a natural distemper or not. The Father and the Boy with an old cunning Woman (the made creature to cry up the certainty of his possession, and the verity of a spirit speaking in him) came unto me, who all appeared to my judgment and best reason fit persons to act any designed Imposture. The Father having been one that had lived profusely, and spent the most of his means, being sufficiently prophane and irreligious: The Boy by his face appearing to be of a melancholy complexion, and of a subtile and crafty disposition; the Woman cunning, who would have forced me to believe whatsoever he related, thinking to impose upon me as she had done upon others. I presently judged it to be neither natural disease, nor supernatural distemper, but only knavery and Imposture, and so made the Woman silent, and told her she was a cheater, and deserved due punishment, and that what she told, were the most of them lies of her own inventing; and told the Father and the Son that I could soon cast forth all the Devils that he was possessed with; but then I must have him in mine own custody, and none of them to come near him nor to speak with him. A long time I expected to have seen him in one of his fits, but his Devil was too timerous of my stern countenance and rough carriage. Well after they three had consulted together, the Lad by no means could be gotten to stay with me, no not for that night, nor be prevailed with again to be brought into my presence; but away they went the Lad riding behind his Father, and when about a quarter of a mile from the Town the Father turned the Horse to come back again unto me, the Lad leapt from off the Horse, and run away crying from the Townwards as fast as he could. They went that night to a Popish House where were concourse of people sufficient, and many tales told of the Divinations of the spirit in the Boy, but not one word either of me or against me. Soon after the Gentleman that was of kin to the Boy came over, and I gave him satisfaction that it was a contrived cheat, and after he returned, he would have prevailed with them to have sent the Boy to me, but by no means could effect it; and so he never after gave any regard unto them, and soon after it vanished to nothing.

Hist. 4.

I my self also knew a person, in the West-riding of Yorkshire, who about some forty years or above, to have made sport, would have put a Coverlet upon him, and then would have made any believe (that knew not the truth) that he had a child with him, he would so lively have discoursed with two voices, and have imitated crying and the like. And also the said person under a Coverlet, and coming upon all four would so exceeding aptly, even to the life, have acted a skirmish betwixt two Mastiffs, both by grinning, snarling and all other motions and noise, that divers understanding persons have been deceived and verily believed that there were two Mastiffs under the Coverlet, until their eyes have convinced them of their error: So delusive may art or cunning be, being seconded by use and agility.

Hist. 5.

126I also have sometimes seen a person that lived in Southwark near London, who holding his lips together, and making no sound or noise at all, would notwithstanding have, by the motion of the muscles of his face, and the agitation of his head and hands and other gesticulations of his Body, made any of the beholders understand, what tune he had modulated in his fancy, which was very strange and pleasant to behold, and that which I could not have believed if I had not seen it.

Stow p. 864.
Hist. 6.

We might hereunto add the Story of the pretended sleeping preacher, who had drawn many into admiration and belief that he did it either by Divine inspiration or vision, and yet was but a voluntary cheat and a delusive Imposture, as may be seen at large in Stowes Chronicle. We have been thus tedious in giving these examples, that it may appear how improperly Men fly to supernatural causes to solve effects by, that are and may be performed by natural means; and that Men need neither fetch a Devil from Hell nor a Soul from Heaven to solve these effects that mens cunning, art and craft are able to perform.

Acts 16. 16.
Not. in Act. Apost. in loc.
Vid. Beza not. in loc.
A Candle in the dark, p. 67, 68.
Luke 7. 47. 8. 2.

4. Next the more fully to explain this we may consider the place in the Acts which is rendred thus, Παιδίσκην τινὰ ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα Πύθωνος of which the learned and judicious Isaac Casaubon saith thus: “An ancient interpreter readeth Πόθωνα, and the Syrian version rendereth spiritum divinationis. It may be quere’d, seeing Apollo is understood, why S. Luke doth use the Epithete of him rather than the proper name: And the reason is because the ancients did call the Ventriloquists Πύθωνες Pythonists.” And it is plain that it was Divination, that was telling of secret things, whether past, present or to come, that the Maid pretended and undertook: for the text saith, Which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying; μαντευομένη, that is, by Vaticination. Beza in his Latine translation saith in his Marginal Notes, “That that Spirit of Oracling, was only an expression alluding to the Idol Apollo, which was called Python, and gave answers unto them that asked, namely, by the Priests that belonged unto it, of which Idol the Poets feigned many things; so that they that had the Imposture of Divination were said by the Heathen to be inspired by the spirit of Apollo. And in this place of the Acts, S. Luke speaketh after the common Phrase of the Heathen, because he delivereth the error of the common people, but not by what instinct the Maid gave Divinations; for it is certain that under the Mask of that Idol, the Devil plaid his deluding pranks, and this spirit of Apollo was nothing, but as much as to say, an Imposture, or deluding trick of the Devil practised by the Priests of Apollo.” So much saith Beza, who plainly expoundeth, “That that Spirit of Divination or Oracling, was only a Devilish deluding Imposture, and not a familiar Devil as many do fondly imagine: And whereas it is said in the verse following, that S. Paul did cast that Spirit out of the Maid, it was, that he by the power of the Gospel of Jesus rebuked 127her wickedness: so that her Conscience being terrified, she was either converted, or else at the least dared not to follow that deluding craft of Divination any longer: as when Christ did cast out seven Devils out of Mary Magdalen, it is to be understood that he did convert her from many devilish sinful courses in which she had walked.” Thus far learned Beza and Mr. Ady, who both seem to understand no other Demon in the case than only a crafty and devilish Imposture and Cheat, and most certainly it could be nothing else.

2 Kings 10. 18, to 26.

5. But to come to the stress of the business, these things are to be considered. 1. Some thought that they were really, and essentially possessed with an evil spirit that did speak in them and gave forth answers, and this is the most common, though most false opinion: which if it were true, it maketh nothing for those familiars that are ascribed to our Witches, for by that they mean a visible Devil without them in the shape of a Dog, a Cat or the like, and both these are equally absurd and false, as we shall shew anon. 2. Some thought that an evil spirit ab extra did but work upon their minds, and so inspired them with these Divinations, and this seems to have been the opinion of Plutarch and some others of the Heathen. 3. But others (which is that which we affirm) did hold that they were but counterfeiting deluding Impostors, and what they did was only by Ventriloquy, Jugling and confederacy, and that all their pretended Divinations and predictions, were nothing but lying conjectures and ambiguous equivocations. But to open it fully we must conceive that they did pretend and take upon them to foretel and declare things to come, which notwithstanding were but false forgeries and lies: for if they had really had any certain foreknowledge of things to come, then when Jehu was made King, and in subtilty pretended to sacrifice to Baal, and so got together all the Priests to sacrifice, if these base, lying, cheating Impostors had really had any skill in Divination, then they might have known, that their calling together was not truly to advance their Idolatry, but to take away their lives; and it may safely be concluded that those that could not foresee the danger threatning their own lives, could not truly foretel contingent effects to others; and though the Scripture give us many such examples as these, yet to eschew prolixity this may suffice to evince that all their pretended predictions were nothing but conjectures, or lying forgeries.

And as they did take upon them to foretel things to come, so this Woman of Endor, and in likelihood the rest, did pretend to do it by raising up, or causing to ascend those that were dead to give answers of the things demanded.

Now therefore the state of the question will be, whether this Woman had really a familiar or supernatural spirit that gave her answers, or that she raised such an one, or that only she was a deceiver and Impostor that could cast her self into a Trance, and so 128speak in her Breast, or that she had a place contrived for the purpose (as they had at the Oracle at Delphos) by which means she could speak, as in a Bottle or hollow cavity, and had other Confederates sutably fitted to accomplish her design. Here we shall only speak as to the significancy of the words relating to this matter, and shall handle the History of the matter of fact elsewhere: And in the first place we allow and grant that she had the cooperating power of the Devil, in her mind and will, leading her to take upon her to foretel things to come, of which she was utterly ignorant: so that we grant her under a spiritual league with the Devil, as all wicked persons are, but we deny that she had any other familiar spirit, but only the spirit of delusion and Imposture, as we shall make good by these arguments.

1 Sam. 28. 9.
Isai. 29. 4.

1. Because the word sometimes signifieth the persons pretending to be skilful in this sort of Divinations; for so the Woman saith unto Saul: Behold thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off הָאבוֹת Pythones, that is, the persons that pretended, and practised that kind of Divination. And so again in that of Isaiah: And thy voice shall be כְּאוֹב sicut Pythonis as the voice of one that useth this kind of Divination. So that it is clear that the act is ascribed unto, and was performed by the persons practising this couzening craft, and not unto a familiar or Devil.

2. Sometimes it is taken for the means that they pretended they performed it by, as in Sauls deluded and despairing sense; for he saith, Divina quæso mihi כְּאוֹב in Pythone, vel per Pythonem, and cause to ascend whom I shall name unto thee. So that he vainly thought that she could call up, and make to ascend whomsoever he should name, so blind and deluded was he when the spirit of the Lord was departed from him, and was justly delivered up to believe lies, because he had not received the love of the truth.

Nahum 3. 4.

3. It doth not appear that she had any familiar spirit, or called up any; for the name that is there given her is בַּעֲלַת אוֹב Dominam Pythonis vel utris; the Mistriss of the Bottle, or of the Oracle, for Saul saith, seek me a Woman that is Mistriss of the Bottle, or of the Oracle, for so it must signifie, if it be genuinely and fitly translated; and his servants tell him, that at Endor there is a Woman that was Mistriss of Ob, the Bottle or Oracle. For though some translate it mulier habens Pythonem, or as Tremellius, mulier prædita Pythone, it will but reach thus much, that she was possessed of or had in her power, this Ob, Bottle, or Oracle, that could be nothing but the fit contrived place to give answers, as they did at the Oracle. For if they meant that she had a familiar spirit in her Belly, then it was possest of her, more than she could be said to be possest of it. But there is another Text that doth fully agree with this, and will help to explicate it, and is this, speaking of the destruction of Nineveh or the Jewish Nation, and the causes of it: Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the welfavoured harlot, the Mistriss of Witchcrafts, בַּעֲלַת כְּשָׁפִים, Domina vel patrona, the Mistriss, or 129Patroness of Juglings and delusions. So that in propriety of language she of Endor is called the Mistriss of Python or Oracle, because she could play the couzening feats that belonged unto it.

2 Chron. 33.6.
Gen. 6. 14. 16.
Psal. 115. 3.
Id. 136. 4.

4. Amongst all the several ways of Idolatry that Manasseh set up, or caused to be set up, this is one וְעָשָׂה אוֹב, & fecit Pythonem, or fecissetq; Pythonem, he made Ob, or Pytho; and though Translators have been much perplexed, and hard put to it, to give a signification agreeable to their preconceived opinion, yet have they, were it right or wrong, brought it to their minds, though it be utterly false and erroneous; for Tremellius renders it, instituitq; Pythonem, which though pretty near, yet is altogether short of the propriety, and the most of the rest have run quite Counter; but our English Translators the worst of all others, who give it, and dealt with a familiar spirit. When it is plain that this word must be taken in this place, as it is in the third verse of this Chapter, he made groves, fecitq; lucos, because the words are both from the same root which is עָשָׂה fecit, confecit, perfecit, and so it is, and must be taken in other places; and is especially manifest in these. God said to Noah, make thee an Ark of Gopher wood, and after, a window shalt thou make to the Ark. The Psalmist saith: But our God is in heaven, he hath done whatsoever he pleased, and again, To him who alone doth great wonders. We might add forty places more, where the word is used that cometh from this root and hath the same punctual signification; so that from hence we may conclude, 1. That Manasseh could not make a Devil nor a Spirit, and therefore that the word Ob doth not intend nor bear forth any such matter in true and genuine signification. 2. That he could not make a Man or Woman, and therefore the word properly doth signifie neither. 3. That he only could make, and cause to be contrived the Groves, in such an order, as the Idol-Priests might direct, as most fit for them to play their couzening and Jugling feats and delusions in. So he might make or cause to be contrived the μαντείον or place for the Oracle, and prepare those knacks and implements, wherewith and in which place the Diviner might either by him, or her self, or with the help of confederates bring to pass strange things, which they made the blind and ignorant people believe were performed by the God worshipped in and by those Idols, or by Demons and Spirits, or the calling up of the dead. When in truth there was nothing at all performed, but either in raptures, feigned and forced Furies, Trances; and thereby lying predictions and ambiguous equivocations were uttered, whereby the people were deluded and drawn unto Idolatry: or by giving dark and obscure responsions by Ventriloquy, speaking in Bottles, or through hollow Pipes and cavities, whereby they did peep and mutter; or lastly by having knavish confederates hidden in secret, and cunningly contrived places, and suitably habited to personate those that were desired to be raised up, as is most probable in this Woman of Endor and the forged and pretended Samuel: So 130that there was no Devil nor familiar but a couzening Knave or a Quean, more crafty than the Demons themselves.

Isai. 8. 19.
Id. 29. 4.
Calvin in loc.

5. That they had no familiar Spirit is manifest, if we consider the manner how they carried themselves in these cheating actions and performances, for the Prophet tells us thus: And when they shall say unto you, seek unto הָאֹבוֹת ad Pythones, unto Oraclers, and unto Wizards that peep, and mutter; If they had a familiar Spirit or Demon, what need they chirp, peep, or mutter? could it not speak loud and plain enough? Yea doubtless it could if they had any such, but it is to conceal their own deceit and knavery, lest it should be found forth and discovered: And without such chirping and muttering they could neither perform their Jugling delusions, nor keep them from being known, and derided. Tremellius his note upon this place is very remarkable: “The Prophet (saith he) aggravateth the heinous crime of those Witches from the vanity of those Divinations, which the very manner of them betrayeth: those seducers have not so much wit, that they dare speak to the people the thing they pretend to speak in plain and open terms, with an audible clear voice, as they that are Gods Prophets, who speak the word of God as loud as may be, and as plain as they can to the people; but they chirp in their Bellies, and very low in their Throats, like Chickens half out of the shells in their hatching.” And this doth plainly declare their knavery and cheating Juglings. The same Prophet in another place speaking of the destruction, and bringing low of Jerusalem he saith: And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust. And thy voice shall be as of a Pythonist, Ob, or as of an Oracler, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper, peep or chirp out of the dust. The word there, and in the former place used is from the root, צַפְצֵף garrivit more avium, he hath peeped or chirped like a Bird. Now this doth plainly allude to these kind of Pythonists, or Oraclers, who in giving their Oracles, or Divinations, did speak out of the ground, that was from hollow Vaults and Caves contrived on purpose for them to perform their tricks in, and such a place as this, called in the Hebrew Ob, did Manasseh make and prepare, And thy speech shall be low out of the dust, like these deceivers who fall into Trances, and lie upon their faces the better to conceal and hide their Impostures, and so do change their voice, and mutter as it were out of the dust, thereby to make the people believe that it is the Demon’s or Spirit’s voice that speaketh in them, when it is nothing but their own counterfeiting. And thy voice shall be like one of these Oraclers, out of a low and hollow place, to whisper and chirp like a Chicken coming forth of the shell, the more to make them believe that it is the voice of a Spirit, and not their own, by craft and cunning altered and changed. Upon which place learned and judicious Calvin saith thus much: “For the voice of them, who before were so lofty and cruel, he compareth to the speech of Pythonists, 131who when they did utter the Oracles, did give forth I know not what kind of murmur, from some low and dark place under the earth.”

8. The next word that followeth in this place of Deuteronomy is יִדְּעֹנִי from the root יָדַע novit, sivit, proprie est (ut Avenarius inquit) mentis & intellectus. Which word our Translators (contrary to their usual custom) have kept a constancy in, and alwaies have rendered a Wizard, a name (as we conjecture) not improper, for we, in the North of England, call such as take upon them to foretel where things are that have been stoln, or to take upon them to help Men or Goods, that the vain credulity of the common people have thought to be bewitched, we (I say) call them Wise Men, or Wise Women, without regard had to the way or means by which they undertook to perform these things. Divers others do render it sciolus, which is proper and consonant to the former. The other Translations that we have either seen, or were able to understand, are so uncertain, various, wide and wilde, that it were lost labour to examine or recite them; and the word Wizard (though a general one) is the most proper that we can find. But we must conclude, that hitherto we find no such word as signifieth a Witch in that sense we have allowed, and endeavoured to confute.

9. The last word mentioned in this Text of Deuteronomy, is a Necromancer, or one that consulteth with the dead. Now whether this were some special kind of Divination, or but a comprehension of all the kinds, being but in all their several sorts, a leading of the people to inquire of dumb and dead Idols, may be a great and material question. And though no Interpreter or Commentator that we have seen, read, or do remember, do hint at any such, matter, but still strike upon the common string, that it should be some kind of Magick, whereby they could make the dead appear, and consult with them: yet notwithstanding all this we cannot but propose our doubts in these reasons following.

1. Moses in this Text doubtlesly did not set down all the particular sorts of Divinations and Impostures used amongst the Heathen, for that had hardly been possible, but the chiefest kinds of them. And this is not rationally probable that he would do it by a Tautology, or repetition of the same thing twice. For inquiring of the dead, or consulting with them, was intended in the word Ob, and the Woman of Endor said; Whom shall I raise up, or cause to ascend unto thee? Whereby it appeareth that she pretended (and also Saul vainly believed, who said; Divine unto me in or by Ob) that she could cause the dead to ascend, and to have answers from them of things to come, as is manifest in the Story of the pretended apparition and prediction of Samuel. And so this thing should be twice repeated in this place, which is not probable that Moses would have done.

Isai. 44. 19.

2. He doth not forbid these several sorts of Divination only because they were evil and unlawful in themselves (for some of them 132might be lawful, and performed by natural or artificial means) but because of the thing they all centred in, and the end they all tended to, which was to lead and draw the people to inquire of and to serve deaf, dumb and dead Idols. For though the Idols were Silver and Gold, the work of Mens hands, and had eyes and saw not, ears and heard not, feet and walked not, mouths and spoke not, neither was there breath in their Nostrils: And though the common people could not but know this, for as Isaiah saith they were so blinded that, None considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge or understanding to say, I have burnt part of it in the fire; yea also I have baked bread with the coals thereof, I have roasted flesh and eaten it, and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? Yet notwithstanding were they so deluded by the crafty Impostures, and subtile Divinations of all the several sorts of these Jugling Priests, that they ran to ask counsel at these dead Idols, who (as they falsly perswaded the people) did inspire them, and gave them answers, when the Idols were all dead things, and gave no answers at all. And this is that consulting with the dead, that all these couzening Priests did draw the people unto, and therefore in general is here forbidden.

Isai. 8. 19.

3. The words of the Prophet, where he saith [And when they shall say unto you, seek unto them that are Ob or Oraclers, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?] do fully prove as much; for the sense must be this: That the people of God ought to seek unto their own God, who was and is a true and a living God, and to his Law & Testimonies, and not to those peepers and mutterers that seek counsel of the dead Idols only; and doubtless this is the true meaning of consulting the dead.

4. This exposition includeth no absurdity, nor bringeth any inconvenience, and is genuine, and not wrested; whereas the other doth hurry in a whole heap of most absurd doubts, questions and opinions. But if in this exposition we be Heterodoxal, we crave pardon, and referr it to the judgment of those that are learned, of what perswasion soever they be.

In Dan. c. 1. v. 20. p. 87.

10. Another word that is used in divers places of Scripture is חַרְטֻמִּים, which though Avenarius doth derive from חֶרֶט stilus & אָטַם clausit, yet the learned person Masius saith, Est autem aliarum nationum vocabulum, ab Hebræa lingua alienum & peregrinum, usurpatum tamen ab Hebræis. And also the judicious Polanus is of the same opinion, that it is a word strange and foreign from the Hebrew language. The Translators are all so various about the proper derivation and signification of it, that it were but lost time and labour to recite them: But it is manifest that it was a general word for one that was skilful in all, or divers sorts of these Divinations, and might best be constantly rendred magos, and that for these reasons.

A Candle in the dark, p. 11.

1331. It is the opinion of Masius and Mr. Ady that it is a general word, and signifieth one that hath skill in many of these kind of arts, (if they may be so called) the latter of which saith thus: “It is taken in the general sense for magus a Magician; that hath one, or all these crafts or Impostures.” And the former quoting the sentence of Rabbi Isaac Natar, saith: Hoc nomine vocatos esse ab Hebræis quosvis, qui inter gentes singularem profitebantur sapientiam; præsertim cùm ea ad superstitionem pertineret.

2. Because that in Exodus 7. 13. those that there are called Hachamim and Mechassephim, that is sapientes & præstigiatores, as Tremellius renders it, which is most proper and genuine, are there called Hartummim Mezeraim, that is Magos Ægypti, the Magicians of Ægypt; by which it appeareth plainly that it is a general name, and may most properly be rendered a Magician.

3. It may most properly be taken for a Magician, because those that acted before Pharaoh are called by that name, and excepting their opposing of Moses, and their superstition, it doth not appear that they dealt with unlawful Magick, as we shall prove undeniably hereafter.

2 Sam. 12. 19.
Psal. 41. 7.
Isai. 26. 16.

11. There is also another word which is used in divers places, which is לָחַשׁ mussitavit, he hath muttered, or murmured, and is taken generally for any kind of murmuring for any cause whatsoever, as in this place, But when David saw that his servants whispered. And again, All that hate me, whisper together against me. And in another place: Fuderunt submissam orationem, a low whispering prayer. In which places it is taken for any kind of low speaking, whispering or muttering. Of this we may observe these things.

1. Sometimes by a Metonymie it is taken for a low and modest speech, the art of Oratory, or Eloquence, as Isaiah 3. 3. & intelligentem vel peritum eloquentiæ, and sometime for an ear-ring inauris, as in the 20. verse of the same Chapter.

Psal. 58. 6.

2. It is also ascribed unto Charmers or Inchanters as in the Psalm, That doth not hearken unto the voice of the charmers: Where it is plain that all Charmers were whisperers and mutterers, but not on the contrary, that all whisperers or mutterers are Charmers.

Eccles. 10. 11.

3. And whereas our English translation readeth it, Surely the serpent will bite without inchantment, and a babler is no better; It may as well be read, as Arias Montanus translates it, Si mordeat serpens in non susurro, vel absq: susurro, If the Serpent bite without hissing, or sibilation. And Schindlerus to the same purpose: Si mordebit serpens absq; incantatione, vel murmure, id est sibilo. And so Avenarius: Si mordeat serpens absq; susurratione, id est absq; sibilo. And though Tremellius, and the whole troop of Translators do render it, as our English Translators do, yet that will not make sense: for it would inferr that as a Serpent will bite except it be charmed, so will a babler do also. But who ever heard of a bablers being charmed? So that truly considered that cannot be the sense of the place.

134But if it be taken exactly according to the Hebrew, then the sense runs thus, If the Serpent bite without, or in not hissing, and excellency is not to him that hath a tongue; that is, The Serpent doth hurt with his biting, without making a noise with his tongue; but a babler doth make a noise, but effecteth nothing, or speaketh to no purpose.

Jerem. 8. 17.

4. There is another Text in Jeremy which is commonly rendered thus: For behold I will send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord. But it may be as fitly read, To whom there is no hissing, and they shall bite you. And whether way soever it be read, the sense is good; that is, their enemies shall be so fierce and cruel, that no words can stay or appease their fury; or that they shall be so sly and cunning, that they shall destroy you, before they speak, or give you warning: And whether way soever it be, there is a pronoun in the Hebrew which is superfluous, a thing that is usual in that language.

5. But if in both places it be taken for charming, yet will it not prove the being and existence of such a kind of Witch, as we have denied and confuted; nor doth it shew any fit appellation for such a one.

Psal. 104. 4.
Malach. 4. 1.

12. Moreover there is another word as much mistaken, and as falsly translated as any of the rest, and that is לָהַט, Inflammatus est, flammescebat, and is understood a shining brightness, as in the Psalm: Who maketh his Angels spirits: his ministers flaming fire. And in another place, & inflammabit eos dies veniens; The day cometh that shall burn as an oven. From whence we may note these things.

Gen. 3. 24.
Nahum 3. 3.

1. From this root doth come לַהַט Flamma, Metaphorically (as Schindlerus saith) a polished and shining piece of Metal, as a Sword or the like. But Avenarius tells us, it is, Flamma rutilans, lamina fulgens & vibrans; as, And he placed at the East of the garden of Eden, Cherubims, and a flaming or bright shining sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. And in another place, The horseman lifteth up the bright sword, and the glittering spear. Both places plainly shewing that it signifieth Metal so polished, that when it is shaken in the light, or shining of the Sun, and moved quickly, it doth then glitter like a red and shining flame.

2. There is also the word לאט Involvit, velavit, arcanum, and the like which the vulgar Latin do attribute to Pharaohs Magicians, when our translation saith, And they did in like manner with their inchantments: It is & fecerunt similiter per sua arcana, thinking the word there had been derived from לאט arcanum, when it is from לַהַט, Flamma, lamina; a polisht and bright piece of Metal.

3. In all the places of Exodus where mention is made of the Magicians, that they did in like manner with their inchantments, the word is בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶם which if truly rendered, is this: And they did in like 135manner with their bright, glittering lamens, or plates of Metal. And how the Translators could hale it by head and shoulder to signifie Inchantment, cannot be conjectured; but because the Magicians are there called, sapientes & præstigiatores, Wise Men and Juglers, they vainly thought that they wrought by a secret compact with the Devil, and so all must be done by their imaginary Witchcraft and inchantment, when it is plain that what they did was by natural Magick, and sleight of hand, and not by Diabolical Magick at all. But let them shew us any one place in all the Old Testament, where any of the derivatives from this root, are translated Inchantments, but only in these places of Exodus, and we will yield the whole cause.

Isai. 19. 3.

13. There is also another Text which we have omitted of purpose until now, which our English Translators do, according to their usual manner, thus render: And they shall seek to the Idols, and to the Charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the Wizards: In which there is a word not used in that sense in all the Old Testament besides; of which place we may note these things.

1. The word there in doubt is אָט, Lenis, lenitas, and it oft becometh an Adverb, leniter, pedetentim. The root אָטַט, leniter incessit, Avenarius saith it is not used in the plural number, and signifieth Inchanters or Diviners, and is הָאִטִּים which he rendereth Incantatores; because as some think they do easily and gentilely pronounce their charms.

2. But Tremellius doth translate it thus: Consulent sua Idola, & præstigiatores Pythonesq; & ariolos: And giveth this note, Their Idols, that is to say Devils, that give them answers, especially the Idol of Latona in the Town called Butun over against the Sebenitick mouth of Nilus, of which Herodotus speaketh: where he expoundeth also divers consultations of these Idols. But how or in what sense he holdeth that the Devils gave answers, except by the lying Impostures of the Priests, he doth not shew, nor Herodotus his Author neither.

3. But this place according to Arias Montanus is rendered thus: And they shall seek unto their vain things or Idols, and to their Diviners (that is this word Haattim) and to the Pythonists, or Oraclers, and to Wizards. But those we call the Septuagint do render this place very odly, as they seldom do elsewhere, which is this: Καὶ ἐπερωτήσουσι τοὺς θεοὺς αὐτων, καὶ τὰ ἀγάλματα αὐτῶν, καὶ τοὺς ἐκ τῆς γῆς φωνοῦντας, καὶ τοὺς ἐγγαστριμύθους, that is, And they shall ask their gods, and their images, or painted statues, and those that give their voice forth of the earth, and those that speak in their breasts or bellies.

Strab. Geograph. l. 16.

14. There is also another word which is אַשָּׁף, and signifieth (as Avenarius saith) Sophus, sapiens in Astrologia & in auspiciis, augur, aruspex. Rabbi Abraham thinketh it signifieth a Physician, who knoweth the alteration of the body, by the pulse of the arm, or by the urine. And Schindlerus translateth it, a Philosopher, an Astronomer and a Physician, and saith that such were 136Astronomers and Physicians amongst the Chaldeans, of whom Strabo saith: “There was a certain habitation appointed in Babylon for their home-bred Philosophers, who were much conversant about Philosophy, and were called Chaldeans.” And further, “that they were Physicians that could judge of the passions of the Body, which dreams did imitate, by the Pulse and urine.” And Polanus tells us that it is a Chaldee word because it is found no where else but in Daniel.

1 Kings 4. 30.

15. Lastly there is one word we shall touch more, and that is חָכְמָה, sapientia, the wisdom of Divine and Humane things, Magick or skil in naturall things; and cometh from the root חָכַם, sapuit mente, sapiens fuit, sapientia præditus est. And this is that wisdom that is ascribed to Solomon, of whom it is said: And Solomons wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the East countrey, and all the wisdom of Ægypt.

So have we run over all the words in the Old Testament, that can any way concern this subject, and yet amongst them all there is not one that properly and genuinely, without stretching, wresting or mistranslating, doth, or can signifie any such Witch or Diviner, that can kill or destroy Men or Beasts, or that maketh a visible compact with a Devil, or on whose Body he sucketh, or that they have Carnal Copulation together; or such a Witch as is or can be really changed into a Cat, Dog, or such like, which was the task we undertook in this Chapter. And for the words that are in the New Testament, we shall handle them when we answer the objections made from thence. And therefore we would admonish Mr. Glanvil, and all other candid, and sober persons to beware of false or mistranslations, and not to labour to establish dangerous and erroneous tenents upon such slippery and sandy foundations: For one falsity once supposed or taken for good, doth bring a numerous train of absurdities at the heels of it.


Of divers places in the Old Testament that are commonly wrested, and falsly expounded, thereby to prove apparitions, and the power of the Devil and Witches.

Thus far we conceive that we have sufficiently proved, that there is no word in the Old Testament, that in the original Hebrew, can genuinely and truly be translated, that doth signifie such a kind of Witch, whose existence we have denied. And now we shall proceed to answer those places in the Old Testament, that commonly are produced, to prove the Devils or the Witches 137power in those particulars that we have oppugned. And because the whole stress lyeth upon the true interpretation of those places pretended to prove such matters by, we think it convenient and much conducible to the business in hand, to lay down those rules of interpretation, that the most learned Divines have declared and assigned; and that in these particulars.

James 1. 5, 17.
Luke 24. 45.

1. That truly to understand the Scriptures according to the mind of the Holy Ghost that gave them forth, and by whose inspiration they were indited, it is most necessary that we implore the help of that blessed Spirit, that did reveal them to those that penned them; because, as S. James saith: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. For every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom if no variableness, neither shadow of turning. And it is said of the Disciples of Christ: Then opened he their understandings, that they might understand the Scriptures. So that all Men whether wise or unwise, learned or unlearned, have need of the teaching and spirit of Christ to open their understandings to understand the Scriptures; and therefore have all men need of faithful and fervent Prayers, that God may enlighten their minds in the understanding of them; otherwayes, they are but as blind Men, that go without a guide, and so must needs fall into the Ditch of ignorance and error.

2. That a most due and diligent collation and comparison be made of the several versions, with the Fountains and Originals themselves, that so the truth of the translations may be ascertained. For if an error in this point be committed, all the expositions and deductions drawn from thence, must needs be erroneous and vitious.

3. That there be a due comparing of the Antecedents and Consequents in the context, that the purpose, scope, theme, arguments, disposition and method, may be perfectly and maturely considered: otherwise the sleighting or omitting any one of these particular points, the whole place may be mistaken, and an error easily faln into.

4. There must a due and serious consideration be had of the Phrases and manner of speaking; especially in regard of that language it was first written in: For every several language hath its peculiar Phrases and forms of speaking, which may not be proper in another tongue, the not regarding of which may sooner lead into a great deviation from the genuine sense of the place.

5. That there be a most diligent comparing of the place of the Scripture to be explicated, with others of the same similitude or dissimilitude, For oftentimes one Scripture doth unfold and open another, and one Text doth enucleate and make plain another: Which for want of a due comparison one with another, may occasion the mistaking of the true sense of the place that is to be expounded.

1386. And chiefly in explicating any place, regard must be had to the Analogy of faith: Because the Scriptures do not contradict one another, especially in the Articles of faith, and the chief points necessary to be believed.

2 Pet. 1. 20.
Rom. 8. 7.
Isai. 29. 14.
1 Cor. 1. 19, 20.

7. There ought a due comparison be made with the judgments and sentiments of other Interpreters, according as the Apostle saith: That no Prophecie of Scripture is of any private interpretation: Which ought to be rendered as learned Beza and Dr. Hammond give it: “No Prophecie of Scripture is propriæ incitationis, of a Mans own or proper incitation, motion, or loosing forth;” for so the Greek is, ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως οὐ γίνεται. Of which Beza gives this learned note. “The Prophets truly are to be read, but so that the gift of interpretation be begged of God, that the same God may be the Author and Interpreter of the Prophetical writings.” For though a Man have by nature never so great endowments, of understanding, judgment and reason, or have never so large and ample acquirements, or presume never so highly to be assisted with the Spirit; yet his own single judgment ought not to be relyed upon in the exposition of the Scriptures; but he ought to call in to his aid, and to consider the sentiment and opinion of others. For it is obvious into what dangerous errors the Arrians, Pelagians and Antitrinitarians of old, and the Socinians and Arminians of later years have faln, by making their innate notions and the strength of natural reason to be the chief and principal rules for interpreting of the Scriptures by. And there is hardly any one thing that the Scriptures are more against, or do more condemn, than the too much extolling and idolizing of Humane and Carnal reason. Because the carnal mind τὸ φρόνημα τῆς σαρκὸς, is enmity against God, and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; of which Beza saith: Probatio cur intelligentia carnis sit mors, quia, inquit, Dei est hostis. And again, the Text saith: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, τὴν σοφίαν τών σοφῶν, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent; τὴν σύνεσιν των συνετων. And again, Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? σοφίαν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου. And the words of the Hebrew in that place of Isaiah do signifie all that height of wisdom or understanding, that Men either have by Nature, or acquire by Art and Industry. Neither is it safe for a Man to rely upon his own single acquired parts, be they never so vast or great; because in the most ages, the most pestilent Errors and damnable Heresies have been vented and maintained by Men that were of the greatest acquired endowments. And that it is often as vain to presume upon having the guidance of the Spirit, as are the other two, is manifest in the late times of Rebellion and Confusion; where every Man pretending the Spirit, made such wild and extravagant expositions of the Scriptures, as few ages have known before; and is still kept up by the giddy troop of Fanatical Quakers, and the like.

There is another rule which the learned do use, in expounding of 139the Scriptures, which is often either too far extended, or not rightly limited and applied, which is this; That Men in interpreting of the Scriptures should keep close to the literal sense, if it include not an absolute absurdity. Whereby Allegorical, Metaphorical, Mystical and Parabolical Expositions are not only cried down, but by some even abhorred and detested, which thing ought not absolutely and simply to be approved of; and therefore we shall make it plain in some few particulars.

John 9. 6, 7.

1. In Historical relations of matters of fact, we ought to keep close to the literal meaning, and not to deviate a jot from it, otherwise we should overthrow the best part of the Christian Faith, and destroy the chief foundation of Scripture truths. But notwithstanding this, though we ought to hold to the literal sense in respect of the matter of fact, yet we are not always to be bound to the bare letter in the mood, means or manner of the performance. As may be plain in these examples. 1. It is apparent that our Saviour Christ cured the Man that was born blind, and the means and manner is described: He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore and washed, and came seeing. Now as to the matter of fact, that the Man born blind was cured and had his sight restored, is a truth according to the sense of the letter; and that the manner, which was by spittle and earth made into Clay, and his eyes covered or anointed with it, and washing in the pool of Siloam, was also literally true, is manifest. But it were absurd so far to stick to the letter, as to believe that clay, and spittle, and washing in the poole Siloam, were true and real natural means to produce that effect; no, that were absurd, and therein the literal sense is not to be followed.

1 Kings 22. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.
Jerem. 23. 24.
1 Kings 8. 27.
Rom. 16. 27.

2. Again concerning Ahab, thus much is literally true in matter of fact that he was perswaded to go up to Ramoth Gilead by his false Prophets in whose mouths there was a lying Spirit. But the manner there declared of sending the lying Spirit into their Mouths, cannot rationally be presumed to be true in a literal sense, but in a Metaphorical; for that the Lord was set on his Throne, and all the Host of Heaven standing by him, on the right hand and on the left, must needs be a Metaphor taken from an Emperour or a King that sits on his Throne, and all his Counsellors, Princes, Estates and Officers about him, to deliberate and consult what is to be done. And this is the highest and most apt Metaphor that the supream Majesty of Heaven and Earth can be represented by; not that in the literal sense it must be believed to be acted just in that mood and manner, but as the most apposite Metaphor that can be found to express the proceedings of the Heavenly Majesty by, and that for these reasons. 1. God is Infinite and is every where by his Power, Essence and Presence, and therefore cannot literally be said to be comprehended in any 140locality, but after a Metaphorical sense and expression. For the Prophet saith: Do not I fill Heaven and Earth, saith the Lord? And as Solomon confesseth: But will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee: how much less this house that I have builded? 2. God who is only wise, and before whose eyes all things lie open, and naked, cannot litterally be said to consult or deliberate, or to ask his creatures how a thing shall be done or brought to pass, because his wisdom is, like himself, Infinite, and need ask counsel of none, and therefore must the manner of the performance of the deceiving of Ahabs Prophets needs be Metaphorically understood, and not literally, which is the thing that we would demonstrate.

1 John 1. 5.
1 Tim. 6. 16.

3. Further concerning Satans afflicting of Job in his Goods, Cattels, Children, Servants, and in his own Body, is a real truth literally so taken as to the matter of fact; but the manner of Satans appearing before God, with the Sons of God, cannot without manifest absurdity be understood in a literal sense but in a Metaphorical, that God who is Omnipotent, did command, order, send and limit him, what and how far he was to act. For otherwise God is light in whom there is no darkness at all, dwelling in the light which no Man can approach unto; but Satan is bound in chains of everlasting darkness, and therefore cannot be said literally to appear in person before God, but by way of a Metaphor. So when the Angel telleth the Virgin Mary, that the should conceive in her womb, and she not understanding how that should come to pass, because she had not known Man, the Angel answered, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee. Though the matter of fact be an undoubted truth, and an Article of faith, literally so taken; yet the manner of the Holy Ghosts coming upon her, and the power of the highest overshadowing her, cannot be understood in a literal sense, as though it were by that natural and humane way that Men and Women do beget and conceive Children by, for that were horrid and absurd (as some late prophane, wretched and debauched Atheists have spattered forth) but after a Metaphorical sense, and a most mystical meaning. So that it is plain that where a matter of fact may be literally and Historically true, yet the manner how that matter of fact is brought to pass may be, nay must be Metaphorical, or else an absurdity will follow, which was the thing undertaken to be proved.

4. There is nothing more common and usual in Scripture than Metaphors, as when Christ saith, I am a vine, I am the door of the sheep, I am the living bread that came down from heaven: Though they be Metaphors, yet the things signified and intended by them are as really and certainly true, as are the Metaphors themselves, and sometimes more true; because sometime the Metaphor is not used for the verity of its existence, but according to the common use and opinion, as O foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you? doth 141intend no more but an allusion to vulgar opinion, that held that men might be bewitched and inchanted. And so Christ in the true mystical and spiritual meaning is as really a spiritual vine, door and bread, as there are any of such things in nature, or being. But as that which is Literally and Historically true in matter of fact, or meaning, is not to be deceeded from; so that which is a Metaphor ought not to be turned into a literal thing, nor on the contrary, the literal sense ought not to be made Metaphorical.

Matth. 7. 24, 25, 26, 27.

5. Parables are Similitudes taken from things that may have been done, or that are supposed to have been done, and so the thing to which the comparison is made, or from whence the Similitude is taken, need not always be a thing that hath been performed in all the circumstances and manner thereof; it is sufficient that the thing was possible, or rationally probable to have been acted, or at least supposed so to have been. As for instance in that Parable, where our Saviour saith: That those that hear his words and do them are like a wise man that built his house upon a rock; and he that heareth them, and doth them not, is like a foolish man, that built his house upon the sand: now it is not necessary that there should be two such men, that in matter of fact did after that manner (though there might have been many men before the time of our Saviour that might have done so) but it was sufficient that the thing from which the comparison was made, was possible, rational and probable. But the thing intended by the Parable or Similitude, is alwayes a spiritual truth and certainty. Concerning which learned Beza upon the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus doth give us this remarkable Marginal note: “Although Christ doth relate an History, notwithstanding he writeth spiritual things under Figures, which he knew were suitable to our sense. For neither are Souls endowed with Fingers and Eyes, neither do they suffer thirst, neither have they mutual conference one with another. Therefore the sum is, that faithful Souls after they be departed from their Bodies, do lead a pleasant and blessed life without the World: And that most horrible torments are prepared for the reprobates, which can no more be conceived by our minds, than the immense Glory of Heaven.”

De Civitat. Dei lib. 13. c. 21. p. 404.
Ut supra l. 15. c. 27. p. 475.

6. As for an Allegory, which is a continuation of a Metaphor, and properly signifies a figure expressing one thing by another, from ἄλλος, and ἀγορέω, enuntio, and this is very frequently used in the Scriptures, as when the Apostle speaking of the two Sons of Abraham, the one from Hagar a bond-woman, the other from Sarah a free woman, saith: These things are an Allegorie, ἅτενα ἀλληγορόυμενα, which things do express one thing by another; From whence we may note, 1. That Allegories that tend to edification, keeping the Analogie of Faith, and not perverting or overthrowing the literal sense, ought not to be so much cried down nor condemned, as some have done both against Origen and others. “For the Apostle here, as Beza hath noted, made it manifest, that he had followed the footsteps of the 142Prophet Isaiah, who did foretel that the Church was to be constituted of the Children of Sarah that was barren, that is to say of those who meerly and spiritually were by Faith to be made the Sons of Abraham, rather than of Hagar that was fruitful, even then foretelling the rejection of the Jews, and the vocation of the Gentiles.” 2. Allegories may be used, and the literal sense nevertheless preserved also for the History is literally true that Sarah and Hagar were two living Women, the one Abrahams Wife a free Woman, the other his Servant, and a bond-woman, and yet this did not hinder but that thereby an Allegory might be used, and they might, and did signifie and express another thing than what was meerly contained in the letter. 3. We cannot here but add the grave and learned opinion of S. Augustin upon this very point, who rejecting the tenent of some that made Paradise and the things therein contained, meerly corporal, and of some that made it only spiritual and intelligible, doth run a middle course betwixt these two extreams, saying thus: “As though Paradise could not be corporal, because also it might be understood to be spiritual: As though therefore there were not two Women Agar and Sarah, and of them two Sons of Abraham, one of the bond-woman, the other of the free woman, because the Apostle saith that the two Testaments were prefigured in them; or therefore that water had flowed from no rock Moses smiting, because there by a figurative signification Christ also may be understood, the Apostle saying, and the rock was Christ.” And after concludeth thus: “These and some others may be spoken of understanding Paradise spiritually, and may be spoken without contradiction, while notwithstanding the most faithful verity of that History may be believed in the commendable narration of the things done or performed.” This same opinion this learned Father doth maintain in another place, where he is speaking of the Ark of Noah.

Having premised these rules for the right expounding of the Scriptures, we shall now come to the main things that we purpose to handle in this Chapter. And those that would uphold a kind of omnipotency in Devils, and maintain their great power in Elementary and Sublunary things, the better to defend the great power of Witches, do alledge divers places of Scripture, and expound them in favour of their gross tenents, which now we shall examine and confute in order as they lie.

1. The first colourable argument that they produce, is from the Devils or the Serpents tempting and seducing of Eve, where labouring to prove the Devils power, and his visible apparition to Witches, and making a compact with them, they pretend that in the seducing of Eve he did visibly appear unto her and vocally discourse with her, and to that purpose that he essentially entred into the Body of the Serpent, and spoke through its Organs, or that he assumed the visible and corporeal shape of a Serpent, and so discoursed, and had collocution with her. To answer which (that 143we may proceed methodically,) we shall lay down and labour to prove these two positions. 1. That if it were granted that he did it either way, it would be no advantage, thereby to prove the ordinary power of Devils or Witches.

2. That that place of Scripture, if rightly weighed and considered, will no way make it rationally appear, that the Devil performed that temptation any other way but only mentally; and that the History there in the manner and circumstances of it, is only to be Allegorically and Metaphorically expounded. And as to the first, if it were granted it proves nothing to the purpose, for the power of Devils or Witches, as these two Arguments will sufficiently evince.

Argum. 1.

1. From no single instance or particular proposition, can ever a general conclusion be rightly drawn by any known and certain rules of Reason or Logick; for Syllogizari non est ex particulari, is known to any Tyronist in that Art. But if Satan for that once should have entred into the natural Serpent, or assumed his shape, it is a deceivable and vitious way of arguing, that therefore he hath such a power over all Bodies at all times when he pleaseth, or that he can assume what shape he please, and therefore it certainly and rationally concludeth nothing of validity.

Argum. 2.
1 Cor. 10. 13.

2. In the temptation of Eve, there was something more extraordinary than can be assigned in any other temptation whatsoever, except that of Christ. And therefore was there a more peculiar and extraordinary dispensation from God in that case than can be shewed in any others but that of Christ. For now it pleaseth God in his merciful providence, so to order and overrule the malice of his hellish will, and to restrain and bridle his envious nature, that though his will be never so wicked, yet is he kept in his chains of darkness, and God will not suffer his people to be tempted, above what they are able, but will with the temptation also make way to escape that they may be able to bear it. Now Adam and Eve were in an extraordinary condition in respect of the Saints of God in this life, or of any other persons, and there was a more high and greater end in the providence of God in ordering and permitting of that temptation than there is or can be in any others, but that of Christ: And therefore from what the Lord permitted, and ordered to do in that temptation, or the liberty that he might grant him to exert his own power then, will no argument rationally follow that he can commonly and at his pleasure perform as much, and so maketh no firm conclusion.

Vid. Pererii Comment. in locum.

And as concerning that place of Scripture in the third of Genesis the great and learned Jesuit Pererius doth undertake with tooth and nail to prove that it is to be literally interpreted, and that Satan did really enter into the Body of the natural Serpent, and spoke in him, or through his Organs; and laboureth (though in vain) to enervate and overthrow the strong arguments of his Brother in Religion, the most learned Cardinal Cajetan, Where he rejecteth the opinion of those that hold that the Devil did assume a Body in 144the shape of a Serpent; because (he saith) that Satan presently after the temptation ended must have deposited and put off the assumed body, but that the Serpent was after in Paradise, and therefore that he did not act it in an assumed Body. Therefore we shall also pass by that opinion of assuming of Bodies, as being a meer groundless figment invented by the dreaming Schoolmen, as we shall demonstrate hereafter. But to proceed in order, We shall first shew that the place must of necessity admit of an Allegory or Metaphor. And secondly, we shall lay down positive Arguments to shew the absurdity and impossibility of the Devils speaking in the Serpent, or by his Organs. And thirdly, we shall answer all objections that are material, and that in these particulars.

1. The thing that in that History is to be taken literally, is that Eve was tempted and seduced; but the instrument by which it was done, the manner and circumstances, must of necessity have an Allegorical or Metaphorical interpretation, otherwise no sense rationally can be made of the place at all.

Vid. Dialog. Discourses of Spirits and Devils. Dialog. 4. p. 110.

2. “There can no blame of the action be imputed to Satan himself, if neither absolutely, nor properly, nor Historically, nor Allegorically, nor Metaphorically, nor no ways else he be named in that very History of Evahs tentation, wherein the action it self with the several circumstances is fully and plainly expressed. For the action especially being so weighty a matter, was necessary to be known in every point: And therefore it is not to be doubted, but that the History concerning the same is so exactly set forth, with every circumstance, as that any Man may be able to judge of the principal Actors therein at the least. So then, although the Devil in that History, be neither absolutely, nor Historically, nor properly expressed by name; yet must we acknowledge him to be therein Allegorically and Metaphorically set forth at the least, or otherways impose no blame upon him at all concerning the action.” And therefore must Pererius needs confess a Metaphor in the place, or else the Devil cannot be made an actor in the business.

3. It was no natural Serpent but the Devil himself Metaphorically set forth by the name of a Serpent, who gave the onset upon Evah in that tentation. For by Allegories and Metaphors there is evermore some other thing meant than that which is literally expressed. And that this is so, is thus proved. If in that action the Devil himself be not Historically and properly, but Allegorically and Metaphorically, called a Serpent, because he is most crafty and subtile; then undoubtedly the objection of a natural Serpent to be used in that action is very inconvenient: But the antecedent is true, and therefore also the consequent.

Apoc. 12. 3, 4, 5.
Id. 20. 2.

4. The antecedent to that Hypothetical Argument foregoing is easily thus proved: It is an accustomed thing in the Sacred Scriptures to use the names of other creatures in setting forth to our sense the Intellectual Creatures themselves. Hereupon it is that in 145the Apocalypse the Devil (by a perpetual Allegory) is called a Dragon or Serpent: And therefore in this History of Evahs tentation, by the like perpetual Allegory he is also called a Serpent. For no Man can be so absurd and foolish to think that the Devil literally and properly (in that of the Revelation) can be called a Dragon or Serpent; but only in a Metaphorical and Mystical sense, and therefore must in right reason be taken so in that place of Genesis; for one part of Scripture is alwaies best interpreted by another.

Gen. 49. 9.
Revel. 5. 5.
Matth. 3. 7.

5. Again how can Judah literally be a lions whelp, or Christ called the lion of the tribe of Judah? must it needs be understood that Christ either assumed the shape of a natural Lion, or that he entred into the Body of a natural Lion? Surely not, that were most absurd to think or believe. Even so must it be accounted most absurd and abominable for Pererius, or any other to fancy that the Devil may not properly enough in an Allegory, or Mystical sense be called a Serpent in that action of tempting of Evah, without either assuming the shape of a Serpent, or entring into the Body of a natural one. I appeal to all rational Men to judge if the absurdities of both be not alike, if barely and literally taken. But this being one of Cajetans Arguments, was too hard a morsel for the teeth of Pererius; and therefore he past it over without an answer. Further when our Saviour called the Pharisees, and Sadducees a generation of vipers, must any Man be so extreamly mad as to believe that naturally and literally they were generated by vipers? Must it not be understood that they were called so from their poysonous and wicked minds, by way of Metaphor? Yes surely: and so is the Devil called a Serpent by a Metaphor, or else literally so taken, both appellations are equally absurd. And let Pererius or any other unloose this knot.

John 8. 44.

6. How can the Devil be a very murtherer from the beginning, (which he is Mystically so considered) if he had no hand in the destroying of Evah and Adam both in Souls and Bodies? But if by the Serpent the Devil was not understood, then he stands acquitted, and was not guilty of the murdering Adam and Evah both in Souls and Bodies. But we must affirm that all learned and rational Divines, whether antient, middle or modern, that have expounded or commented upon that place, do by the words of our Saviour calling Satan a murderer from the beginning, understand the murdering of Adam and Evah both in Souls and Bodies; And we dare referr all those that have taken, or will take pains to examine them upon that piece of Scripture, that they shall be found as we have averred.

2 Cor. 11. 3.

7. Moses (in that action) doth purposely intitle the Devil by the name of a Serpent, because (by his effectual creeping into the interiour senses, as also by infecting Mens minds with venomous perswasions) he doth very lively represent the nature, disposition and qualities of the venemous Serpent. And in this same sense was the Apostle jealous over the Corinthians, left as that Serpent ὁ ὄφις, 146(which must necessarily be understood of Satan by a Metaphor of that Serpent) beguiled Evah through his subtilty, so they might by the cunning of Satan in his false Apostles have their minds corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

8. The Serpent that tempted Evah in Paradise, is there said to be more subtile than every beast of the field, the which (if the writing of such as have observed and described the nature of all sorts of animals be true) cannot be avouched truly of the natural Serpent. For there are many other creatures more subtil than the Serpent. And therefore it must needs be understood of the spiritual Serpent, that is, Satan who is (indeed) the old Serpent.

Judg. 9. 7, 8, 9, 10, &c.

9. Moses doth therefore purposely attribute speech to the Serpent which tempted Evah, to the end we (knowing by experience that speech cannot properly accord with a natural Serpent) might the rather be induced to believe that the same must metaphorically be understood of the spiritual Serpent. For we may with like absurdity imagine that the olive, the fig, the Vine-trees and the Bramble did vocally and articulately speak one to another; as to suppose that either the Serpent, or the Devil in the Serpent did use an articulate voice and discourse unto Evah; they are both alike credible, and both alike absurd.

10. The punishment inflicted by God, hath no conveniency at all with the natural, but with the spiritual and mystical Serpent, which is the Devil. For neither can the going upon her belly, nor the eating of dust be any punishment at all to the natural Serpent, because (before the tentation) both those properties were peculiarly allotted unto her, she taking her name from her creeping condition, for Serpens is derived à serpendo, and in the Hebrew she is called רֶמֶשׂ reptile à רָמַשׂ, reptavit, serpsit. Neither yet may we imagine that the said Serpent being of some better form before the tentation, was then (by the just judgment of God) transformed into a viler proportion, property or shape, she being in the History of the Creation accompted amongst the creeping Creatures.

Exod. 4. 3.
Aug. ad Gen. lib. 11. cap. 1.
Greg. in Moràl.
Pet. Martyr in Gen. 3. 1.

11. Moses maketh no mention at all of the Serpents coming to Evah about that business, nor of her departure after the action, nor of any one special property whereby she might be essentially discerned to be (indeed) a true natural Serpent, nor of any manner of amaze, or suddain fear in Evah at her suddain approach and extraordinary speech: whereas yet Moses himself was afterwards horribly afraid at the only sight of a Serpent. And where it is said, Thou art cursed above all the beasts in the field; there the very bruit beasts (to the horrible confusion of Satan) are preferred before him; not in absolute power, but in an especial regard of that happy continuance and timely conservation of their original nature. For, the beasts of the field, they do not forgo any heavenly happiness, which they never yet had: But they continue forth their course in that self same primary estate they took at the first. But Satan is accursed because he kept not his first estate, 147but fell from it, and therefore is worse than the beasts of the field. Neither is this way of expounding the Scriptures metaphorically, where the literal sense includeth an apparent absurdity, either singular or novel, for both Antients and Moderns have allowed the same course, for S. Augustine saith: “When any thing is found in the Scriptures which cannot (without an absurdity) be possibly interpreted literally, That thing without doubt is spoken figuratively, and must receive some other signification, than the bare letter doth seem to import.” And Gregory saith: “When the order of the History becometh defective of it self in the literal sense, then some mystical sense as it were with wide open doors doth offer it self: yea and that mystical sense must be received instead of the literal sense it self.” And therefore (saith Peter Martyr) “that malediction or curse which the Lord did cast on the Serpent, must be Allegorically understood of the Devil, and those things which seem properly to accord to the Serpent indeed, must metaphorically be transferred to Satan understood in the Serpent.” So then, by all the premises it is very apparent, that it was the Devil himself, and no natural Serpent, who set upon Evah in that tentation, he being only metaphorically set forth by the name of a Serpent: And therefore had no need in that action essentially to assume to himself the Body of a natural Serpent, for the better accomplishment of the intended business.

The next is to lay down positive Arguments to prove that the Devil did not essentially enter into the body of the Serpent and if he did, that yet neither he by himself, nor the Serpent, and he joyned, could thereby make any articulate sound or discourse. Which if the Devil in the Serpent be supposed (as it is) to perform any such matter, it must be either by considering him as an incorporeal or as a corporeal creature, but we affirm he could perform neither way, and that for these reasons.

Reas. 1.

1. If the Devil be considered as an incorporeal creature simply and absolutely, then it will follow, that he cannot act upon any corporeal matter, because an incorporeal substance can make no contact upon a body, unless it were it self corporeal; for, quicquid agit, agit per contactum, vel mediatum, vel immediatum. But both those are caused by the touch of one body upon another, as when ones hand by touching a straw doth immediately move it forth of its place, or else by blowing doth remove it, which is by the mediation of the air; but that which is meerly incorporeal can perform neither: Because that which is meerly incorporeal hath no superficies, whereby to touch the body to be removed; and therefore can make no motion of it at all; and where there is no motion, there can be no alteration, and consequently no speech nor articulation at all. And therefore the Devil (if incorporeal) could not, move the Organs of the Serpent at all, and so could not speak in the Serpent nor move his organs, if they had been fit for articulate prolation, which they were not. Which was the thing required to be proved.

Reas. 2.

1482. The Serpent by the ordinance of God in the Creation was specificated to an inarticulate sound, not to an articulate: but the Devil neither hath, nor ever had any power to change and overturn the course of Gods ordination in nature, and therefore hath not power, nor never had to make the Serpent speak articulately; for that were to overthrow the inviolable order of God set in the Creation, which no man of sound judgment did ever aver that the Devil could do.

Reas. 3.

3. I take it to be one of the most firm maximes that ever the Schools had, that, immateriale non agit in materiale, nisi eminenter ut Deus: Therefore that the Devil being incorporeal and immaterial cannot act upon that which is material, as was the body of the Serpent, unless he had had a super-eminent and omnipotent power, which were blasphemous to attribute unto him, therefore could he not articulately speak in the Serpent unto Evah, because immaterial, and had no omnipotent power.

Reas. 4.

4. And if he be conceived to be corporeal, then he could either of himself speak articulately and audibly, or else not. And if he could do so of himself, then to enter into the Serpent was needless and superfluous. And if he could not, then the entring into the Serpent would not have contributed that faculty unto him, and so neither way he could have performed it; For a Frog creeping into the body of a Man, will not cause the Frog to speak, though it may make some noise or croaking.

Reas. 5.

5. Though the Devil being corporeal should have entred into the body of the Serpent, yet by no motion that could be made with or upon her organs, could they have been framed to have uttered an articulate sound, because they were not fitted for that purpose, but only to have made a sibilation or hissing. For in Instruments that are artificial, the several sounds and tunes made by them, are but agreeable to the diversity of their parts and their several compactions; so an Harp cannot (when made) be ordered to give forth a sound like a Trumpet, nor the noise of a pair of Organs; nor on the contrary: and if any of their parts be wanting, defective or broken, then the orderly sound and Musick is spoyled. And though a Parret or Paraquet may by vocal and external teaching be brought to learn and speak some words; yet it is not by the teachers entring into her belly, but by his outward, vocal teaching, whereby her senses and phantasie are audibly wrought upon, and not otherwise. But in this action ascribed unto Satan, he is not supposed to be able to speak articulately, nor to have taught the Serpent vocally and audibly, which if he could have done, yet were not her organs capable of any such matter; and therefore it had been more subtilty in the Devil rather to have chosen a Parret than a serpent.

The only objection worth taking notice of that Pererius bringeth against the sound and reasonable opinion of learned Cajetan, is this: That Adam and Evah being in the state of innocency could not be 149wrought upon by an interiour tentation, because that neither the sensitive appetite nor the phantasie were corrupted; and therefore Satan could not internally work upon them, and therefore that the whole tentation must be extrinsecal. To which we return this sufficient reply.

Reas. 1.

1. It is but a bare assertion without any proof at all, and he doth but only shelter it under the authority of S. Austin and Gregory, whose authority in many other matters he doth often reject when they agree not with his humour, end and interest. But however they are but testimonia humana; and we are not to regard what the Men are that do speak, so much as to consider the weight and reason of what they do speak.

Reas. 2.

2. He proceeds upon false supposition, that the sensitive appetite and consequently the Phantasie could not be wrought upon nor drawn, but by a sensible and exteriour object, when it is manifest that the sight of the Serpent alone could not have stirred the sensitive appetite; for it is rationally to be supposed as a certainty that Evah had seen the Serpent before that time. Neither could it be the discourse with the Serpent, barely considered as discourse, that could have moved it; for it is certain she had heard, and had had audible, vocal and articulate discourse with her Husband before this time of the temptation. Neither could it be the beholding of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for by the discourse it appeareth that she had before seen it, and it is probable that the tentation was in the view of it, and its species that appeared to her eye of the said tree was the same that it was before. So that it will be as most manifest that the tentation took effect from the strong lie that Satan told her, that their eyes should be opened and they should be as Gods knowing good and evil, and so her deception was first made in her mind and understanding, and thereby the will was drawn, and the sensitive appetite moved, whereupon she took of the fruit of the tree, and did eat. And this may far more reasonably be thought to be brought to pass by a mental discourse and internal motions, than by external collocution, which must first work upon the mind, before that the Phantasie or sensitive appetite could at all be moved or drawn.

Reas. 3.
Vid. Is. Piscar. in locum.

3. If the tentation had been this way that Pererius supposeth it, our first parents could not have been seduced; for Satans argument lay not to perswade Evah, that it was pleasant for the taste or good for the Stomach thereby to have drawn the sensitive appetite and the Phantasie, but that it was good and profitable to make them wise, and to be like Gods, whereby he insnared her understanding with a fallacious and lying argument, thus framed, as learned Piscator lays it down: “That thing which will bring you Divine Wisdom and Felicity, that thing ye ought to make use of. But the eating of this fruit can bring you Divine Wisdom and Felicity: Therefore the eating of the fruit of this tree, ye ought to make use of.” And so the seduction was not at all by the sensitive appetite 150(that could receive no more benefit by it than by the other fruits in the Garden) but by her understanding being blinded with a specious shew of an apparent (not a real) benefit, and thereby her will drawn and led to put forth her hand, and to eat. And therefore consequently there was no need at all of an extrinsecal tentation, which might and was brought to pass by an intrinsick discourse, working upon her understanding.

Reas. 4.
Tom. 3. l. 3. c. 19. p. 156.
Hieronym. in Job. c. 24.
Tom. 7. p. 187.
2 Cor. 2. 11.

4. Surely if Pererius had been aware of the many inconveniences that this opinion of his doth hurry along with it, he would never have plunged himself into a Labyrinth of such perplexities; some of which we shall here enumerate and so conclude. 1. If this opinion were true, that Evah by reason of her perfection in the state of innocency could not be tempted nor seduced, but only by an external way and means: Then how could it come to pass that the Angels in their Primitive Estate, which was as perfect (if not more) than that of Evahs, were without a tempter or any external means drawn unto that defection, who left their estate and station, and abode not in the truth? 2. How could the defection have been so general (for multitudes of them fell) if they had not had some way or means to have communicated their cogitations and intentions one to another? For though we are not able to apprehend the manner how they discourse or commune one with another, yet it must be taken for a truth that they have a way and means to manifest their cogitations one to another, which is some way Analogous to that which we call speech or discourse. Therefore concerning this point doth learned and judicious Zanchy thus conclude. “Therefore (he saith) that which we do by a sensible voice, the same thing the Angels and blessed Souls in Heaven, yea the Devils in the infernal pit, and in the air, do perform, but without voice, in a spiritual manner.” 3. If this opinion were true, then the blessed Souls, being divested from their Bodies, should not have a communion one with another, nor should jointly praise and glorifie God together, which were false and absurd; and therefore the learned Father said well: “It is to be holden stedfastly that the offices of the Heavenly Hoast are by no means performed in silence; seeing, we may read that the Angelical powers before the Throne of the Lord, do sound forth his praise with unwearied voices.” 4. The sleights and subtil machinations (for he hath his Νοήματα or devices) of Satans Kingdom could not be carried on, if he had not a way and means to communicate them to the rest of the Crew of his inferiour Fiends, and therefore doth plainly prove that there is a way of hidden, Mystical and Spiritual discourse, which the Devil might, and did represent to the mind and understanding of Evah, whereby she was seduced, and that there was no need of a vocal and audible interlocution; and so much in answer to his objection.

The next place of Scripture that is commonly brought and urged thereby to prove the great power of Devils and Witches, is that 151of Pharaohs Magicians, from whence they argue thus: If the Magicians of Pharaoh were able by the power and assistance of the Devil to change their Rods into Serpents, the Water into Blood, and to produce Frogs; Why may not Witches, by the power and assistance of the Devil, change themselves and other things into strange and several shapes, and do the rest of the feats that are ascribed unto them?

But though this be but petitio principii, a begging of the question, that by the assistance of the Devil they did these things, which is neither supposed nor granted, but ought first to have been proved; And though in the case of hardening Pharaohs heart, there might be (and was) a peculiar dispensation from God at that time: yet it will not follow that God doth always dispense with, and give the Devil leave to operate the like things; and so nothing firmly can be concluded from hence. Yet (I say) though these be so, we shall pretermit them, and come to the full opening and discussion of the matter; and that in these two particulars. 1. How far the Devils power and assistance did concurr with the actions and performances. 2. And wherein he did not concurr nor act at all.

Ephes. 2. 2.
2 Tim. 3. 8.

1. We shall grant that Pharaoh and the Magicians being Idolaters, and worshippers of false gods, their ends were principally to magnifie the power of their Idols, and to manifest that their supposed gods could work, and bring to pass as strange miracles or wonders as Moses and Aaron could perform by the assistance of the God of the Hebrews; and in respect of this end they had all the assistance that Satan and his dark kingdom of Angels could afford them in a spiritual and hellish way; for he is the Prince of the power of the air that worketh in the children of disobedience, for such were both Pharaoh and his Magicians. And to this purpose doth the Apostle tell us, speaking of false and seducing teachers: That they were like Jannes, and Jambres that withstood Moses, in their resisting of the truth: so that the Magicians of Pharaoh were condemned for resisting the truth of that message that Moses and Aaron brought, and of those real miracles that they performed; and so in respect of the wicked end they aimed at, they were assisted with the power and concurrence of the Devil, and in that respect only were his servants and instruments.

But as for the second particular, namely, the efficient causes and means of the producing of those things that the Magicians did, we affirm they were performed by the power of nature and art, and that the Devil was no efficient cause of their production, and that by these irrefragable arguments.

Argum. 1.

1. Those that affirm that the Devil did or can produce such strange effects, do also acknowledge, that what he performeth in natural and elementary Bodies, is done by applying natural agents to natural and fit patients, which do truly bring to pass such strange effects, and that he doth no more, but only make the local application of 152them. From whence it must necessarily follow that the effects flow from natural agents, and so no causality at all can be ascribed unto him, except that fictitious one of being causa sine qua non, which is as much as no cause. And besides that, there is no proof that he maketh this local application; for if he be incorporeal, then it is simply impossible that he should perform any such matter; and however, a man by natural power and means, if he know the fit and apt actives and passives, may perform them himself, and so his assistance is needless; and we have never yet met with any argument that bore any convincing force that might induce us to believe that he is so great a Naturalist.

Argum. 2.
De secret. oper. Art. & natur. c. 5.
Gen. 30. 37, 38, 39. &c.

2. There are many persons that think themselves no mean sharers in the most sorts of learning, and others that are very strait laced in their pretended zeal for godliness, and in detesting the works of Satan, that even startle and shew an abhorrency at the word Magick, if it be but once named, as though there were no Magick but what is diabolical, or that which they call diabolical were any other way evil but only in the end and use: for there are many plants and minerals, that though poysonous, are yet notwithstanding good in respect of their Creation, and the good uses that may be made of them, as to kill noxious animals that are hurtful unto man. But if any force of malice and wickedness should use them to poyson and destroy Men and Women, it were wicked and diabolical in the end and use, yet were the means lawful and natural. So whatsoever the Devil may do by wicked Men, his instruments, in leading and drawing them to make use of the great magnalia naturæ, to work strange wonders by, thereby to confirm Idolatry and Superstition, or to resist the truth and such devilish ends, though the end and use may be wicked and diabolical, yet the efficient cause is natural and lawful. And therefore we can find no other ground or reason of dividing Magick into natural and Diabolical, but only that they differ in the end and use: for otherwise they both work by a natural agency and means, seeing the Devil can do nothing above or contrary to that course that God hath set in nature. Therefore may men do without the aid of Devils whatsoever they can do, seeing they have no advantage over us, but operate only by applying active things to passive, like as Men do: And therefore said that most learned Philosopher, Chymist and Mathematician, our Countreyman Roger Bacon, excellent well in these words: non igitur oportet nos uti magicis illusionibus cum potestas Philosophiæ doceat operari quod sufficit. Therefore are those men that came from the East to worship Christ called Magicians, not because that great knowledge they had in the secrets of Nature was Diabolical or unlawful; for the name of a Magician was honourable and laudable, until Knaves and Impostors made use of it to cheat and couzen withal, and for wicked and ungodly ends; but because they had made use of it for the glory of God, and the good of mankind, therefore were they Magicians in the genuine, and best sense, as working by lawful and natural 153means, and to a good end: when the Magicians of Pharaoh may be called Cacomagicians, because they used the good and excellent causes and agents of nature to a wicked and Diabolical end, namely to resist the truth: and so the only difference of Magick is from the end and uses, and not from the causes or agents, that are both natural. So what these Magicians of Pharaoh did, though it were strange and wonderful, yet was it meerly by natural means and causes; and yet being for a wicked end was therefore Diabolical. So Jacob when he set the pilled rods with white streakes in them, before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs, that when the Rams and the Sheep came up to drink, and coupled together, they might conceive and bring forth ring-streaked, speckled and spotted young ones; It came so to pass, and is confessed by Pererius himself, and the most of learned Expositors upon that place, to be from natural causes, and was a strange feat of natural Magick; but not evil because not directed to a wicked end: but that of Pharaohs though wrought likewise by a natural causes (for so it was whether ascribed to the Devil, that can but work by natural means, or not) was wicked and Diabolical; because they did it to resist Moses and Aaron the messengers of the Lord Jehovah.

Argum. 3.

3. The most or all the learned Expositors that have Commented upon this place of Exodus (as may be seen in Dr. Willets Hexapla and divers other learned Authors) though they attribute these things done by the Magicians to the power and assistance of Satan, yet in the manner they do acknowledge them not to be done really and in truth, but only in shew and appearance. But what they mean by shew and appearance is not so easie to find out and determine; for if by it they mean, that they did it as Juglers and those that use the Art of Leger-de-main do, that is, by shewing one thing, and then by nimble sleight and agility convey it away, and suddainly and unperceiveably substitute another thing in its place, which they perform by leading the Eyes and attentions of the spectators another way with staring and using of strange and insignificant words, then we should be soon accorded, for so they might probably and easily have been performed as we shall prove anon, but this is not the thing they mean or intend. But some do mean that the Devil did only deceive the Phantasie and imagination of the beholders, in causing them to imagine and believe that the rods were changed into Serpents, when they were not changed at all, but only their imaginations deceived in thinking them to be Serpents when they were but only rods, as melancholy persons, Men in Feavers, Phrensies and Maniacal distempers do often think and affirm that they see strange things when they see no such things externally, but the Phantasie is only deceived with the species and images of those things within. This might be granted if Pharaoh and all the Spectators could be proved to be Men under those forenamed distempers and the like, though yet that might (and doth often) come to pass from meer natural causes, where the Devil hath 154nothing to do at all. But the beholders of these actions of the Magicians are neither proved, nor can rationally be supposed to be Men under any such distempers; but must be understood to be Men of several constitutions, tempers, and of sound health, and therefore not any way capable of any such illusions, neither could the Devil in a moment have so vitiated their imaginations, which we affirm he can no ways do, except the humours, fumes and spirits in the Body be first altered by natural causes, which cannot be done instantaneously, and if it could, then it would follow that no Man could certainly tell, when he were deceived in his imagination, when not: neither could it be, (as some imagine,) by casting a mist before their Eyes; for though Christ did hold the two Disciples Eyes going from Emaus, that they did not know him, it were blasphemous to think that Satan could do so also. And a mist casting before their Eyes might make them to see more dimly and confusedly, and cause things to appear greater than they were, but not to make one thing seem a quite contrary. But it never was yet proved that Satan could do such a thing, and what was never proved, may safely and rationally be denied. Some do suppose that the Devil did cloath or cover the Magicians rods with some such vestment of an airy substance, as might make the rods appear to the eye like Serpents; but this is as groundless a whimsey as any of the rest, and as it hath no proof, so it needs no confutation.

Argum. 4.
Hist. 1.

4. But to come more close to the matter, it is most plain and perspicuous that what they did was meerly by Art, or by Art and Nature joined with it; for if we may trust any thing to propriety of the words (as we have proved sufficiently before) they are called mechassephim, præstigiatores, that is Juglers, such as by sleight of hand, and nimble conveyance, could perform strange and wonderful things, and after they are called Hartummin, that is, Magicians, such as had skill in natural things, and by knowing their causes, and making due and timely application of them to passives that were suitable, could produce wonderful effects. And if we seriously consider the few things that they performed, they might easily be brought to pass by Leger-de-main alone. For, as for holding a rod in their hands, and seeming to throw it down upon the ground, how soon might they throw down an artificial Serpent in its stead, and immediately and unperceivedly make conveyance of the rod? And if it be thought difficult or impossible, I shall unriddle the mystery, as I have sometimes seen it performed, and is but thus. The Jugler that is to perform this feat is usually provided before-hand with a wiar so twined and wrested, that it may be pressed together with the little finger in the ball of the hand, and when let loose it will extend it self, like a spring, and make a pretty motion upon a Table, this is fitted with a suitable head, and a piece of neatly painted linnen, perfectly resembling a Serpent, with Eyes and all. This thus fitted he holdeth in his right hand betwixt his little finger, and the ball of his hand, then with his left 155hand he taketh up a little white rod that he hath upon the Table, with which he maketh people believe he performeth all his feats: And then telling them a Story to amuse them, that he will like Moses and Aaron, transform that rod into a Serpent, then he presently beginneth to stare about him, and to utter some strange and nonsensical words, as though he were invoking some Spirit or Goblin, and so immediately conveyeth the rod either into his lap (if sitting) or into his sleeve (if standing) and then lets loose the Serpent forth of his right hand with pushing it forward, that what with the wiar, and the nimble motion of his hand, he maketh it to move a pretty space upon the Table, which he continueth, while offering with the one hand to catch it by the neck, he nimbly with the other puts it forward, and turneth it by touching the tail, and the mean while hisseth so cunningly, that the by-standers think it is the Serpent it self, and presently whips it up and conveys it into his pocket. And such a trick as this well acted might make Pharaoh and the beholders believe there was as much done, as Moses and Aaron did, but only that Aarons rod swallowed up their Serpents, or his Serpent theirs, which they might easily excuse. As for the changing water into blood, and the producing of Frogs, they were so easy to be done after the same manner, that they need not any particular explication, for by this the manner of their performance may most easily be understood. Though I once saw a Gentleman that was much delighted with these kind of tricks, and did himself play them admirable well, who performed it with a living Snake, that he had got for one of his Children to keep in a box; for in this North Countrey they are plentiful, and are also innoxious; and it might have deceived a very wary person. So that it is very foolish and absurd to bring in a Demon from Hell, or an Angel from Heaven, or a Soul from above, to solve a thing that seems strange and uncouth by, when the craft and cunning of Men (if duely considered and examined) are sufficient to perform the same, and much more.

Argum. 5.

5. And in this place of Exodus where our Translators say: and the Magicians did so or in like manner with their inchantments, the word being Belahatehem ought to have been rendered, suis laminis (as we have proved before) that is, with their bright plates of metal, for the word doth not signifie Inchantments in any one place in all the Old Testament. And if truth and reason may bear any sway at all, it must be understood that they were deeply skilled in natural and lawful Magick (as generally the Ægyptians and the Eastern Nations were) though they did use and apply it to an evil end, namely the resisting the power of Gods miracles wrought by Moses and Aaron: and so by this word suis laminis, with their plates of Metal must be understood, Metalline bright plates framed under certain fit constellations, and insculped with certain figures, by which naturally (without any Diabolical assistance) they did perform strange things, and made the shapes of some things appear to the 156eye. And though we may be derided and laughed to scorn by the ignorant, or hardly taxed and censured by the greatest part of Cynical Criticks, yet we cannot so far stifle the knowledge of our own brains, nor be so cowardly in maintaining the truth, but we must assert, That anciently there hath been a certain lawful art, whereby some sorts of metals might be mixed together under a due constellation, and after ingraven in like fit Planetary times with sundry figures, that would naturally work strange things; And this piece of learning though it may justly be numbred amongst the Desiderata, and might very well have been placed in the Catalogue of the Deperdita of Pancirollus; yet was it well known unto the ancient Magicians, and by them often with happy success put into practise; And amongst those many noble attempts of that most learned and experienced (though much condemned) person Paracelsus, this part of learning was not the least, that he laboured to restore. The truth of which we thus prove.

Argum. 1.
Exerc. 196. 6. p. 637.
Hist. 1.
Cap. 2.
Hist. 2.
Vid. Gaffarel Unheard of curiosities, p. 165. &c.
Epist. ad Vazet.
Hist. 3.
Hist. 4.
Ut supra p. 164.

1. That there have been formerly in the World many such like planetary Sigills or Talismans, (as the Persians called them) is manifest from the authority of divers Authors of good credit and account. For the learned and most acute Julius Scaliger relateth this saying: “The novelty of this History also may sharpen the wits of the studious. In the Books of the Arabick Ægyptians (he saith) it is thus written. That Hameth Ben Thaulon the Governour of Ægypt for the Arabians did command that a certain leaden Image or Picture of a Crocodile, which was found in the ground-work of a certain Temple, should be melted in the fire. From which time the inhabitants did complain, that those Countreys were more infested with Crocodiles than before, against whose mischief that Image had been framed, and buried there by the more ancient Wise-men or Magicians. Junctin, upon the Sphear of Sacrobosco, affirms that his Master who was a Carmelite, named Julianus Ristorius à Prato, one that was not any whit superstitious, was intreated by a Friend of his to make one of these Images for the cure of the Cramp, which he was very much subject to. This learned Man resenting his Friends sufferings, taught him the manner how to make one: so that he, not content to make only one, made divers of them when the Moon was in the Sign Cancer; and that with so good success, and with such certainty, as that he immediately found the benefit of it. Confecit (saith he) plures imagines, pro se, & amicis suis: quibus effectis, unam pro se accepit, & liberatus est. The same he reports of a certain Florentine, a very Pious Man, who made one of these Talismans, for to drive away the Gnats, which he did with good success. Nicolaus Florentinus, (saith he) Vir religiosus fecit in una constellatione annulum ad expellendum culices, quas vulgo Zanzaras dicimus, sub certis & determinatis imaginibus; & usus fuit constellatione Saturni infortunati, & expulit culices.” Another Story take from an Arabick Cosmographer, cited by Joseph Scaliger thus: 157“This Talisman (he saith) is to be seen in the Countrey of Hamptz, in a City bearing the same name; and it is only the Figure of a Scorpion graved upon one of the Stones in a certain Tower; which is of so great virtue, as that it suffers not any, either Serpent or Scorpion to come within the City. And if any one, for experiment sake, bring one of these out of the field into the City, it is no sooner at the Gate, but that it dies suddenly. This Figure hath this virtue besides; that when any one is stung with a Scorpion, or bitten by any other Serpent, they need but take the Image of the Stone with a little clay, and apply it to the wound, and it is instantly healed.” Unto which Mr. Gaffarel addeth this: “If any one doubt (saith he) of the credit of this Cosmographer, he may yet adventure to believe Mr. de Breves, as having been an eye-witness of the like experiment: who says in his Travels, that at Tripoli a City of Syria, within a Wall that reacheth from the Sea-side to the Gate of the City, there is a certain inchanted stone; on which is figured, in Relief, or by way of Imbossment, the Figure of a Scorpion, which was there placed by a Magician, for to drive away Venomous Beasts, which infested this Province, as the Serpent of Brass in the Hippodromus at Constantinople did. And a little above the City, there is a certain Cave, which is full of the Carkasses and Bones of Serpents, which died at that time.” And further Gaffarel saith: “Now whereas he calls this an inchanted Stone, and says that it was placed there by a Magician, you must note, that he there speaks according to the sense of the inhabitants, who knew not how to give any other account of the thing, as not understanding any thing at all of the natural reason of it.”

Argum. 2.
Observat. Communicat. 7. p. 329.
Hist. 5.
De simpl. medic. facul. p. 1076.
Pharm. med. Chym. c. 9. p. 24.
Deut. 33. 13, 14.

2. And that the election of fit times according to the Configuration of the Stars and Planets, is of great efficacy and virtue, is sufficiently known to Husbandmen and Sailers, and of no small power both in respect of natural and artificial things, as we shall shew in this instance. Lazarus Riverius who was Counsellor and Physician to the French King, a person of extraordinary learning and experience in the Medical profession, both in the Galenical and Chymical way, doth give us this relation saying: “I have not seldom experienced, and I have many witnesses of this thing, that Peony gathered under its proper Constellation, to wit, the Moon inclining (inclinante) being in Aries, doth loose the Epilepsie, by application alone: for the middle and chief root divided by the greater Longitude, I have (he saith) compassed about the neck and the armes of a certain Virgin in the Hospital, of eighteen years of age, who had been afflicted with this Disease from her childhood, and had the Paroxysmes every day; but from that day seemed altogether to be cured. From whence it is manifest how greatly the observation of the Stars is to be esteemed of in the Art of Medicine.” Agreeable unto which is the judgment of that Industrious person Galen, who affirmeth that Peony by appension 158doth cure the Epilepsie, though he declare not the fit time for its collection. From whence it is most clear that the careful and precise observation of the Heavenly influences is most necessary to a Physician, and to all others that would produce strange and desired effects. Therefore doth learned Schroderus tell us this concerning the power and efficacy of those influences, saying: “The influences of the Stars are effluvia, or Steams endowed with peculiar faculties, by which they make strong (if they be in their strength and vigour) things that are familiar to them, and do prosper and promote their virtues; but on the contrary they debilitate, hinder and make worse things that are not agreeable to them.” And this is that which Moses fully mentioneth in these words, as they are fitly rendred by Arias Montanus. Et ad Joseph dixit, Benedicta Domini terra ejus, de delicia Cœlorum, de rore, & de voragine cubante deorsum: & de delicia proventuum Solis, & de delicia ejectionis lunarum. Which our Translation gives thus: And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath; And for the precious fruits brought forth by the Sun, and for the precious things put forth by the Moon. The full evidence of the truth of these influences of the Stars, and necessity and utility for due and proper seasons for the collection of Flowers, Fruits, Roots and Plants, may be seen in that learned piece that Bartholomæus Carichterus Chief Physician to Maximilian the Second, writ and dedicated to his Master in the German Tongue. As also, what is written in the same Language by those learned Germans, Johannes Pharamundus Rhumelius, and Israel Hebueras that learned Mathematician, in a Treatise which he calleth, Mysterium Sigillorum herbarum & lapidum, which do compleatly verifie the certain efficacy and virtue of Planetary Seals, Images or Figures.

Argum. 3.
Usefulness of Exper. Phil. c. 10. p. 207.
De Lapid. & Gemm. l. 2. c. 11.
Hist. 6.
De Gemm. & Lapid. l. 1. c. 23.
De Lapid. & Gemm. l. 2. p. 102.
Mod. Intrand. p. 604.

3. These things are confirmed by the effects of appensions of many natural things which produce strange and wonderful effects, some of which we shall give in the words of that honourable person Mr. Boyl, who saith: “That great cures may be done by bare outward applications, you will scarce deny if you disbelieve not the relations which are made us by learned men concerning the efficacy of the Lapis Nephriticus, only bound upon the Pulses of the wrists (chiefly that of the left hand) against that stubborn and Anomalous disease the Stone. And that which gives the more credit to these relations is; That not only the judicious Anselmus Boetius de Boot seems to prize it, but the famous Monardes professeth himself, not to write by hear-say of the great virtues of this Indian Stone, but to have made tryal of it himself upon persons of very high quality: And that which is related by Monardes is much less strange than those almost incredible things which are with many circumstances delivered of that Stone, by the learned Chymist Vutzerus. And although it must be acknowledged that some Stones that go under that name have been ineffectually applied 159in Nephritick Distempers. Yet the accurate Johannes de Laet himself furnisheth us with an answer to that objection, informing us that many of those Nephritick Stones (which differ much in colour, though the best are wont to be greenish) although not at all counterfeited or sophisticated are of little or no virtue. But that yet there are some others of them which can scarce be distinguished from the former, but by tryal upon Nephriticks, which are of wonderful efficacy, as he himself hath more than once tryed in his own Wife. Garcias ab orta mentions a Stone found in Balagat, called Alaqueca; of which he tells us, that though it be cheap: Hujus tamen virtus (to use his own words) reliquarum Gemmarum facultates exuperat, quippe qui sanguinem undequaq; fluentem illico sistat. Monardes (cap. 35.) relates the great virtues of a Stone against Hysterical suffocations, and concludes; Cum uteri suffocationem imminentem præsentiunt, adhibito lapide subitò levantur, & si eum perpetuò gestant (Hysterici) nunquam simili morbo corripiuntur: exempla hujusmodi faciunt ut his rebus fidem adhibeam. The same Author in the next Chapter, treating of the Lapis Sanguinaris or Blood-stone, found in New Spain (having told us, that the Indians do most confidently believe, that if the flesh of any bleeding part be touched with this Stone, the bleeding will thereby be stanched) adds this memorable observation of his own: Vidimus nonnullos hæmorrhoidum fluxu afflictos remedium sensisse, annulos ex hoc lapide confectos in digito continue gestando; nec non & menstruum fluxum sisti. And to these for brevity sake, we shall only mention the virtues of the Jasper, which is blood-red throughout the whole body of the Stone, which Boetius de Boot of his own experience doth avouch in several trials to have stopped Fluxes of Blood, only by bare appension: As also the child of a famous Chymical writer, who had his child (supposed to be bewitched) cured by hanging a piece of that Noble Mineral by Paracelsus called electrum minerale immaturum, of which Helmont tells us this: Imprimis electrum minerale immaturum Paracelsi, collo appensum, liberat, quos spiritus immundus persequitur, quod ipse vidi. Illius potum verò plures à veneficiis solvisse, memini. Nemo autem, qui appenso illo simplici, non præcaverit, ne injecta intromittantur: vel ab importunis ligationibus confestim non solvatur.” All which do manifest the great and wonderful virtues, that God hath endowed Stones, Minerals, Plants and Roots withal, that the Devil need not be brought in to be an adjutant or operator in their effects.

Argum. 4.
Ut supra. 209.
Helm. de Febr. c. 2.
Paracels. in Archidox. mag. l. 6 p. 714.

4. And it is also manifest that Metals may be so artificially in fit Constellations commixed together, that their effects will be rare and stupendious, as the aforesaid honourable person doth transcribe and relate to us in these words: “What Monardes, (he saith) mentions of the virtue of the Lapis Sanguinaris to cure Hemorrhoidal Fluxes, puts me in mind of a yet much stranger thing, which Helmont affirms, namely, That he could make a metal, 160of which if a Ring were worn, the pain of the Hæmorrhoids would be taken away, in the little time requisite to recite the Lords Prayer; and within twenty four hours the Hæmorrhoids themselves, as well internal as external, how protuberant soever, would vanish, and the restagnant blood would (as he speaks) be received again into favour, and be restored to a good condition. The same Ring he also commends in the suffocation and irregular motion of the Womb, and divers other Diseases: But if Paracelsus be in any case to be credited in an unlikely matter, we may think by his very solemn protestations that he speaks upon his own experience, that he had a Ring made of a metalline substance, by him called electrum, (which by his description seems to be a mixture of all the metals joined together under certain constellations) which was of far greater virtue than this of Helmont, For, hoc loco (says he) non possum non indicare admirandas quasdam vires virtutesq; electri nostri, quas fieri his nostris oculis vidimus, adeoq; cum bona veritatis conscientiâ præferre attestariq; possumus. Vidimus enim hujus generis annulos, quos qui induit, hunc nec spasmus convulsit, nec Paralysis corripuit, nec dolor ullus torsit, similiter nec Apoplexia, nec Epilepsia invasit. Et si annulus hujusmodi Epileptici digito annulari, etiam in Paroxysmo sævissimo, insertus fuit, remittente illicò Paroxysmo, æger à lapsu illico resurrexit, &c.” And though Mr. Boyle a person of a perspicuous judgment, and of a great understanding, doth seem to question his authority with a kind of dubitation, being in probability staggered by the groundless censures of his greatest adversaries; yet we must affirm that it is very hard that his veracity and experience (which was as great as any Mans) should be undervalued, by reason of the ignorance and idleness of those that judge him: who were never able in regard of their ignorance to understand the meaning of his mystical and dark way of writing, nor because of their supine negligence had ever made trial of those things he treateth of, with that curious diligence and care that is requisite to accomplish such occult effects withal; not considering that, Dii sua bona laboribus vendunt. But notwithstanding this, and the monstrous lies and horrid calumnies of that pitiful Rapsodist Athanasius Kircherus, we shall add one testimony more from the same Author, which in English runs thus: “Also (he saith) I cannot here pass over one great wonder, which I saw performed in Spain of a great Negromancer, who had a Bell not exceeding the weight of two pounds which as oft as he did Ring, he could allure and stir up many and various Apparitions and Visions of Spirits. For when he lift he did describe certain words and characters in the inward superficies of the Bell: After if he did beat and ring it, forthwith the Spirits (for shapes) did come forth or appear of what form or shape soever he desired. He could also by the sound of the same Bell, either draw unto him or drive from him many other Visions and Spirits, as also Men and Beasts, as I have seen many of these performed 161by him with mine own eyes. But whensoever he did begin any new thing, so oft he did renew the words and Characters also. But notwithstanding he would not reveal (he saith) unto me, those secrets of the words and characters, until I my self more deeply weighing and considering the matter, at last by chance found them forth. Which notwithstanding, and the examples of which I here studiously do conceal. But it is not obscurely to be noted here, that there was more of moment in the Bell, than in the words: For this Bell was certainly and altogether compounded or made of this our Electrum.”

Argum. 5.
In Verb. Herb. & lapid. mag. vis est. p. 579.
Vid. lib. de Doctr. promisc. c. 24. p. 187.
De secret. oper. artis & natur. c. 2.
Paracels. Archidox. magic. lib. 1.

5. And that there are great and hidden virtues both in Plants and Minerals, especially in Metals and Precious Stones as they are by Nature produced by Mystical Chymistry prepared and exalted, or commixed and insculped in their due and fit constellations, may not only be proved by the instances foregoing, but also by the reasons and authorities of persons of great judgment and experience in the secrets of nature, of which we shall here recite some few. And first that learned and observant person Baptista van Helmont tells us thus much: “But this one thing (he saith) I willingly admit: To wit, that metals do by many degrees surpass Plants and Minerals in the art of healing. And therefore that metals are certain shining glasses, not by reason of the brightness; but rather that as often as they are opened, and their virtues set at liberty, they act by a dotal light, and a vital contact. Therefore metals do operate, by a manner attributed to the Stars, to wit by aspect, and the attraction of an alterative biass or motion. For the metals themselves are glasses, I say the best off-spring of the inferiour Globe, upon which the whole central force, by some former ages, hath prodigally poured out its treasure, that it might espouse most richly, this liquor, this sweat, and this off-spring of Divine Providence, unto those ends which the weakness of nature did require. But (he saith) I call them shining glasses, which have the power of penetrating and illuminating the Archeus, from its errors, furies and defects.” Neither are those arguments of that learned person Galeottus Martius, for defending the natural and lawful effects of Planetary Sigills, when prepared forth of agreeable matter, and made in their due constellations, of such small weight as some insipid ignorants have pretended, but are convincing to any considerate and rational person, as this one may manifest, where he is speaking of the Figure of a Lion ingraven in a Golden Plate in these words: “The Figure of a Lion (he saith) insculped in the fit hours, in a right constellation, doth not act, but doth bring the beginning of the action, as S. Thomas and Albertus magnus do testifie: not as a Figure and Image impressed Mathematically, but that it may effect this or that preparation in the thing figured: which may in divers moods receive the Celestial action without difficulty: Because if the Image of a Dog, or an Horse, or some other Animal were insculped in a Golden Plate, there would not be that disposition of the matter, which 162doth accompany the Image of a Lion &c. From whence (he saith) we conclude, that this aptitude to draw in the Celestial virtue in the Figure, is not as Figure, but as the Gold is formed more dense or thin, by the condition of the Image. For even in looking-glasses, the variety of the Figure, doth bring a most vast difference. For how much a Concave doth differ from a gibbous Looking-glass, is even known unto old Wives.” Of these things also our learned Countreyman Roger Bacon, who was second to none in the secrets of Art and Nature, doth teach us thus much: “But they who know in fit constellations, to do their works according to the configurations of the Heavens; they may not only dispose Characters, but all their operations, both of Art and Nature, agreeable to the Celestial virtues. But because it is difficult in these things to know the certitude of Celestials; therefore in these there is much error with many; and there are few that know to order any thing profitably and truly.” But we shall shut up this particular with that memorable and irrefragable responsion of Paracelsus to the common objection, which in English runs thus: “But (he saith) they will thus urge; how comes it to pass, I pray thee, that Metals, with their assigned Characters, Letters and Names, should perform such things, unless they be prepared and made by Magical and Diabolical power intervening? But (he saith) to these I return this answer. Therefore thou believest (as I hear) that if such things be made by the help of the Devil, then they may have their force and operations. But should not thou rather believe this? that also the Creator of Nature, God who dwelleth in the Heavens, is so powerful, that he in like manner can give and confer these virtues and operations to Metals, Roots, Herbs, Stones and such like things? As though forsooth the Devil were more strong, more wise, more omnipotent, and more powerful than the only Eternal, Omnipotent and Merciful God, who hath created and exalted their degrees, even of all these aforesaid Metals, Stones, Herbs, Roots and all other such like things that are above, or within the Earth, and do live and vegetate in the Water or Air, for the health and commodity of Man?”

This argument we desire that any of the Witchmongers or Demonographers should answer, ere they conclude so strongly for the power of Devils and Witches.

Exod. 8. 19.

So we conceive we have sufficiently proved that what Pharaohs Magicians did perform, might rationally, and probably be brought to pass by Natural Magick or confederacy, and sleight of hand, without any other Diabolical assistance than what was mental and spiritual in regard of the end, which was the resisting of Moses. And by all they did, as in changing their Rods, bringing in of Frogs and changing Water into Blood, it doth not rationally appear, that they had any supernatural assistance, for then they could not have been so amazed at the miracle of turning the Dust into Lice; for what skill did the Devil want that he could not perform this? 163If by his power the former things were brought to pass, could there be more difficulty in doing of this, than in the bringing of Frogs? Neither could their Legierdemain have failed them but that they were surprized, and taken unawares, being not provided to play all kind of tricks, but only some few for which they had made provision. And so to excuse their own inability, they cryed out, this is the finger of God; a pitiful shift to excuse their own knavery, and couzenage, for there could be no more of the finger of God in this than the former, but only a shift to put off their own shame.

Another place from whence they would draw arguments to maintain the power of the Devil and Witches, is the Story of Balaam in the Book of Numbers, from whence in the first place they would conclude that he used wicked and Diabolical Divinations, and that by words he could either bless or curse. In answer to which we shall give these pressive reasons.

Reas. 1.
Numb. 22. 6.
Numb. 23. 8, 23.

1. Though it might be granted that he used Divinations that were not lawful, yet what is that to a killing and murthering Witch? Surely nothing at all. And though Balak believed that whosoever he blessed were blessed, and whosoever he cursed, were cursed, and therefore fetched him so far, yet there is nothing apparent to prove that Balaam could do any such matter, and from Balaks belief to Balaams performances proceedeth no argument, for his belief that he could either bless or curse, did not confer any power to Balaam to produce such effects withall. And Balaams blessings, or cursings might be intentional, and declarative, but could not be effective, for he confesseth a great piece of truth: How should he curse, whom God had not cursed, or how should he defie, whom the Lord had not defied? He might have done it verbally, but it would have been frustrate, and to no effect, and therefore he concluded: Surely there was no inchantment against Jacob, nor no Divination against Israel.

Reas. 2.
Chap. 24. 1.

2. And though it be said, that he went not as at other times, to meet Auguries (for as we have before shewed, the word doth properly signifie that) It must be understood, and is manifest that at the former times he went to attend solitarily what the Lord would say unto him, and those two times that he went before was only to meet the Lord, to hear and receive what he would say unto him. But here he did not, nor had need to go, for the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he took up his Parable, and prophesied. Where though his going to meet the Lord, be called to meet Divinations, yet it cannot be taken in the worse sense, for unlawful Divinations, but for such as were sent him and taught him by God, by Visions, Angels, Trances, or other such like wayes as God in those times used to reveal his Will to his Prophets by: For from first to last, it appeareth that he neither professed, nor did (in this case) utter any thing but what the Lord commanded him, and so was no false Prophet.

Reas. 3.
Numb. 22. 18.
Ibid c. 24. 4, 16.
Vid. Caten. Aur. Tho. Aquin. p. 10.

3. He was no false Prophet, that is, he had, nor used any Divinations, 164but what he had from God, is most clear from these particulars. 1. When Balak first sent messengers unto him, his responsion was: If Balak would give me his house full of Silver and Gold I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. “Whereby it is apparent that he feared the Lord Jehovah, and calls him his God, thereby shewing the confidence that he had in him, and that he acknowledged him for his only God. 2. In the whole transaction of the business betwixt him and Balak, he never took upon him to declare any thing, but what the Lord would say unto him, neither did he at all vary from the same in the least tittle.” 3. He confesseth all along, that he had his eyes opened, and that he heard the words of God, and had seen the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open. And these were things that were not peculiar to any, but such as were the true Prophets of the Lord Jehovah. 4. The truth of his Prophecie, which was of the Kingdom of Christ, and the Glory and Dominion of it, with the prosperity of his people, doth plainly evince that he was a true Prophet of the Lord, and that his Divinations came from the Almighty. And this caused S. Hierome, and some other of the Fathers believe, that by this Prophecie of Balaam, the Magi or Wise men were directed, to come to Hierusalem to seek and worship Christ the Saviour of the World.

Reas. 4.
2 Pet. 2. 15, 16.
Jude 11.
Revel. 2. 14.
Jonah 1. 3. & 4. 1.
1 Kings 13.

4. Though this Prophet fell into hainous crimes, and enormous sins, as tempting of God, who when the first Messengers came from Balak unto him, was positively commanded not to go with them, and yet as though God would change his mind entertained them again, whereby Gods anger was kindled against him. And though he was drawn to love the wages of unrighteousness, and so was rebuked by the dumb Ass, and though he taught Balak to lay a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, and therefore had that judgment to be slain among the Midianites: Yet none of these do conclude at all, that therefore he used Diabolical Divinations, or had not what he declared from Divine Revelation, no more than the flying of Jonah to Tarshish, when he was commanded to go to preach against Nineveh, or his repining at Gods mercy shewed to that great City, manifested him to be a lying Prophet, or to use devilish Divination. Neither the Prophets being seduced, that cried against the altar at Bethel, before Jeroboam, by the old Prophet, and his being slain in the way by a lion, & his carkase left there, did at all argue that his Prophecie was false, or that he had not his message from God, but they only shew, that even those that have been truly inspired by God and been truly taught by him, have notwithstanding often disobeyed him, and have had therefore fearful temporal judgments faln upon them, and yet no argument that they used unlawful Divinations.

From hence also the Witchmongers use to urge a frivolous and groundless argument which is this; that the Angel did speak in Balaams Ass, and therefore the Devil may speak in a Dog, or a 165Cat to a Witch, but this is confuted by these reasons.

Reas. 1.

1. What the Angel did there was by command and commission from God, but we never read, nor can it be proved that the Devil is sent upon such idle, and ordinary errands, to work a miracle, to speak in a Dog, or a Cat, to a Witch; for God doth not work wonders for any such wicked and abominable ends. And if he be not sent of God, he cannot of himself perform any such matter, who could not enter into the Swine, without Christs leave and order; but is kept in chains of everlasting darkness, from whence he is not loosed, but when God sends him as an instrument to accomplish his will, which is always for good and just ends, and not for such execrable and wicked purposes.

Numb. 22. 26, 27.
Verse 28.

2. They take up a false supposition, for the Angel was not in the Ass either essentially, or effectively, for at the very instant that the Ass spoke, the Angel was standing in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left, and then seeing the Angel of the Lord she fell down under Balaam, and spoke, and the Angel could not both stand in the narrow way and likewise be in the Ass, in the same moment of time, except we should grant that absurdity that a creature may be in two distinct places at one and the self same time, which was never yet allowed to any created being. But they openly belie, and falsifie the words of the Text, for it doth not say that the Angel spoke in the Ass, but that the Lord, (the word is Jehovah) opened the mouth of the Ass. So that (we suppose) here is enough demonstrated that from none of the places of Scriptures hitherto enumerated, any colourable grounds can be drawn to uphold those particulars that we have laboured to confute, and therefore we shall pass to another Chapter.


Of the Woman of Endor that pretended to raise up Samuel, and of some other places in the Scriptures, not handled yet, and of some other objections.

Concerning the Woman of Endor, that our English and many other Translators have falsly rendered a Witch, or a Woman that had a familiar Spirit, we have spoken sufficiently, where we treated of the signification of the word Ob. And there have shewed plainly, that she is only called the Mistriss of the bottle, or of the Oracle, and that what she there did, or pretended to do, was only by Ventriloquy, or casting her self into a feigned Trance lay groveling upon the earth with her face downwards, and so changing her voice did 166mutter and murmur, and peep and chirp like a bird coming forth of the shell, or that she spake in some hollow Cave or Vault, through some Pipe, or in a Bottle, and so amused and deceived poor timerous and despairing Saul, or had a confederate apparelled like Samuel to play his part, and that it was neither Samuels Body, Soul, nor no Ghost or Devil, but only the cunning and Imposture of the Woman alone, or assisted with a confederate. And though this might be amply satisfactory to all sound and serious judgments, especially if hereunto be added what Mr. Scot, Mr. Ady, Mr. Wagstaff, and the learned Authors of the Dialogue of Spirits and Devils have written upon this subject: yet because we have promised before to speak something of the History and matter of fact, and that Mr. Glanvil a Minister of our English Church hath of late espoused the quarrel, we shall confute his arguments and clear the case as fully as in reason can be required, and that in these particulars following.

1 Sam. 3. 19. Id. c. 7. v. 13.
Confid. about Witchcraft, p. 8.

1. The certain and infallible prophecies of Samuel so punctually coming to pass according as he foretold them, for it is said: And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground; were manifestly known to all Israel, as in the case of the destruction of Eli, and his house, and by the overthrow of the Philistines at Eben-ezer, and in the anointing of Saul to be King, and in the case of sending Thunder and Lightning in Harvest time, and such like. And as these were publickly known unto all Israel, and they had seen, and tryed what infallible certainty followed upon them, so it was as generally known, that Samuel had told Saul that God had rejected him from being King over Israel, and that he had anointed David to be King in his stead; and therefore any rational Man, that knew these things, and also saw that David prospered in all things that he did, and that it was quite otherwise with Saul, might certainly know that the Kingdome would be transferred from him unto David, and so there needed neither spirit nor Devil be fetched up to predict this, being sufficiently known unto all, of which also the Woman at Endor could not be ignorant as a thing of concern to her, especially in the point of her practise which was meer couzenage and Imposture. And therefore Mr. Glanvils argument concludes nothing, where he saith: “And this Samuel truly foretold his approaching fate, viz. That Israel should be delivered with him into the hands of the Philistines, and that on the morrow he, and his Sons should be in the state of the dead, which doubtless is meant by the expression that [they should be with him:] which contingent particulars, how could the couzener, and her confederate foretel, if there were nothing in it extraordinary and preternatural?” To answer which we say, that there was no contingent particular that was foretold, but Mr. Glanvil might have foretold it, if he had been there, and known but that which was publickly divulged in Israel, without incurring the danger of being reputed a Witch or a Diviner.

Isa. 63. 16.

1671. Because Samuels prophecies were certainly known to come to pass, and he had openly declared, that the Kingdom should be rent from Saul, and given to David. 2. She or her confederate might have guessed as much, because of the extream fear and consternation that Saul was in, for heartless and fearful Generals seldom or never win Battels. 3. Because that he confessed that God had forsaken him, and when he saw the hoast of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart greatly trembled, and those that God doth forsake cannot prosper. 4. The word to morrow in the Hebrew doth not precisely denote the day following, but the time to come, so that how true soever Mr. Glanvil may think it, there was but a piece of ambiguous Equivocation in it, for it cannot be made out that it was fought the very next day, neither were all Sauls Sons slain with him, at that very time. 5. And if nothing must be supplied but meerly what is totidem verbis in the Text (as he urgeth against Mr. Scot) then how will it be proved, that the Phrase (to morrow thou and thy Sons shall be with me) is to be understood of the state of the dead, seeing the words (if literally to be taken) do imply a locality, not a state or condition? 6, But if it be supposed to be the Devil, how comes he to know contingencies so certainly? It is a thing that is easily affirmed, but was never yet sufficiently proved. For if it be said he gathered it from the Prophecie of Samuel, so might the Witch have done without any assistance of a Devil. 7. And if he take it to be Samuels Soul (as he seems to hold) how come departed Souls to know, and foresee what contingent effects are to fall out here below? Where reads he or finds any such Divinity except in Popish Authors? But he may consult the Text: Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not.

1 Sam. 9. 2. & 10. 23.

2. That this Woman was a meer dissembling and lying cheater, and used nothing but Imposture, is manifest from these reasons. 1. Because that she was but of the same Crew and Stamp that Manasseh, and Ahab set up, is most plain, but they were meer Impostors and deceivers pretending to divine for other persons, and in other matters, but could not foresee their own destruction, and therefore in probability she was of the same practice. 2. Because she falsly faigned that she knew not Saul, of whom she could not be ignorant, he being so publickly known, and seen, and was taller by the head and shoulders than any man in Israel. 3. If she had not known that it had been Saul, when he came to her at the first, she would never have relyed upon his oath when he swore by Jehovah, for there was none but the King that could protect her from destruction. 4. She must needs be a most notorious dissembling cheater, because she pretended to call up any, for she said: whom shall I bring up unto thee? which is most certainly false, she had no such universal power, no nor all the Devils in Hell, if they had all assisted her. 5. She did plainly dissemble, for the Text saith, and when the woman saw Samuel she cried out with a loud voice; now if 168she saw Samuel (whom he could not but know) why did she answer to Saul, when he asked, what sawest thou? She answered, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. Let Mr. Glanvil, and all men judge if this be not gross and palpable lying, Gods is plural, but Samuel was but one.

1 Sam. 16. 14.
1 Sam. 15. 23, 27.
1 Sam. 28. 6.

3. As it is manifest that this Woman was an active deceiver, and one that intended to cheat and couzen, so it is as plain that Saul was in a condition fit to be deluded, and imposed upon, even by those that had been less cunning and skilful than she was in the craft of cheating, which is apparent from these reasons. 1. The Spirit of the Lord was departed from him, and consequently, Wisdom, Prudence and Discretion, and so that which should have guided his Will, Affections and Actions in the right way, had totally left him. And when these are gone, what is man, but a fit instrument to undergo and suffer even the worst and lowest of delusions and abuses? 2. The Spirit of the Lord had not only left him, but an evil Spirit from the Lord was come upon him that vexed and terrified him. And to what madness, folly and wickedness is not he subject to, who is led by the Spirit of lies and darkness? 3. The Lord had openly declared, that because he had rejected the word of the Lord, therefore the Lord had rejected him from being King over Israel, and that the Kingdom should be rent from him, and given to one more worthy than him. Now what despondency of mind, what torture and vexation of Spirit must needs be in him, that having been a King, is thus threatned to have his Kingdom rent from him and given to another, is easy to be imagined. 4. He must needs be under a most fearful consternation of mind not only because of these things named, but especially having before in his dangers and straights received counsel and advice from the Lord, though he now inquired of the Lord, yet the Lord answered him neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by Prophets. The Lord answered him not by dreams; for the union and converse that had been betwixt him and the Lord before, was now broken by reason of his Sins and Rebellion. Neither did the Lord answer him by Urim, for the Urim was not in the possession then of Saul, but of David, Chap. 23. 6, 9. Neither did the Lord answer him by Prophets, for Samuel had left him, after his last denouncing judgment against him, and came no more at him until his death. 5. He must needs be in a most fearful case, and a fit subject for the most weak and simple Imposture of the World, because the Philistines were upon him with a potent and numerous Army, and he able to gather but few and weak forces, the best and most of the people being revolted from him, and were in their affections, or persons with and for David. And from hence may easily be collected, how facile a thing it was to delude, and deceive Saul, even by those that had far less craft than this Woman, who doubtless was devilish cunning in her couzening tricks.

4. There is much question who was the Penman of this first Book 169of Samuel, but whosoever it was (for we cannot determine it) it cannot be rationally supposed that he had the Story of this transaction betwixt Saul and the Woman from Divine Revelation, for then doubtless it would not have been left so ambiguous and doubtful, but the whole truth, both of the matter, manner and circumstances, would in all probability have been fully set down: and have been declared whether it were a miracle wrought by God, a delusive apparition of Satan, the Soul of Samuel, or the Imposture of the Woman, the certainty of which had been mainly profitable and expedient for the people of God and his Church to have known. And if the Penman had it from the relation of Saul or either or both of his Servants, then it must needs have been according to their deluded imaginations and their deceived apprehensions, as is most rational to believe that it was; or if he had it from the Woman, or those of her family, (which is not rationally probable) then it is sure to have been represented for the most advantage, and credit of the Womans skill and cunning. But the most learned persons do judge it to be related, meerly according to the deceived opinion and apprehension of Saul.

Consid. about Witchcraft, p. 86.

5. But to come more near the stress of the business, though Mr. Glanvil confidently say, that Mr. Scots Tenent, that the Woman was in one room and Saul in another, when the feat was acted, is but a pretty knack and contrivance, and but an invention without ground, and not as much as intimated in the History: Yet we must soberly averr, that nothing is more plain in the Text, than either that they were in diverse rooms, or that Saul saw nothing at all, but what he had was from her relation, or the acting of a confederate, and this we shall prove by these undeniable reasons. 1. After Saul had pacified the pretended fears of the Woman, who falsly counterfeited that she knew not Saul, who was taller by the head and shoulders than any man in Israel, the next thing we hear of in the Text is, and when the Woman saw Samuel: Now if they were both in the same room, and Samuel a visible object, how comes it to pass that Saul saw him not? for if they were both in one room, and Samuel visible, how is it that he did not or could not see him? were his corporal eyes as blind, as the eyes of his understanding? surely not. What fiction or invention must salve this? surely Mr. Glanvil must pump to find it out. 2. The next thing is, that when the Woman saw (for blind Saul saw nothing) Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, magna voce, or (as the Hebrew hath it) in magna voce. And (I pray you) if they had been both in one room, or near together, what need she to have cried with a great voice, might not an ordinary tone have made him to have heard her? What was he deaf as well as blind? Or it might be it was the more to amuse and amaze the wretched and deluded King, or to shew the wonderfulness of the apparition she feigned that astonishment, the more to magnifie her skill and cunning. Well, admit these were so, yet however it is manifest, notwithstanding her great voice, that 170as yet Saul saw nothing, but stood waiting like a drown’d Puppet to hear what would be the issue, for all he understood was from her cunning and lying relation. And so either thus far it is manifest that they were in distinct rooms, or there was nothing that he could see. 3. The next thing is, he saith, be not afraid, what sawest thou? that is, though I be Saul, yet be not afraid, I have sworn, and thou shalt receive no harm, but what sawest thou? As who should say, I see nothing as yet at all, but I suppose thou hast seen something; for otherwise his question doth not agree with the words the Woman spake before. But however it is manifest that as yet he saw nothing, and therefore rationally it must be supposed that they were in distinct rooms, or that there was nothing visible, that he could see. Further, his question is not in the present tense but of the time past, what sawest thou? or what hast thou seen? which could not be congruously spoken, if they had been both in one room, but however do undeniably conclude that as yet he saw nothing at all. 4. The next is the Womans lying and forged answer, thereby to magnifie her own craft, and the more to amuse and astonish poor deluded Saul, saying; Behold I saw gods ascending out of the earth. Well, it is still apparent that as Saul could not before see Samuel, now he neither seeth these Gods she telleth him of, nor any such thing: So that all that he apprehended was from her forged Stories, for he saw nothing as yet, either because he was not in the same room with her, or that there was no visible apparition. 5. Then he maketh another absurd question, like a distracted Man in the house of Bethlem, saying, what form is he of? when his question should have been, what forms are they of? for she spoke of Gods which are plural, and more than one, but he asketh in the singular, what form is he of. By all which it is manifest, that he yet saw nothing at all. For when we plainly see a thing, we do not usually ask others what form it is of, because our eyes can inform us of that. So that he saw nothing, either because he was not in the same room, or that there appeared nothing that was visible. 6. Now after all these ambiguous lies, and delatory cheats, the crafty quean doth begin to come more near, to give satisfaction to the blinded expectation of Saul, who all this while stood gaping to see the appearance of Samuel, and so she tells him (who was fit to believe any thing, though never so absurd, or impossible) behold an old man comes up, and he is covered with a mantle. In the beginning of the action, the Text saith, and when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out, then she said, she saw gods ascending out of the earth, and now after all this discourse and expence of time Samuel is but coming up, all was lies and delayes the more to blind and delude the poor credulous King. But yet thus far it is plain that Saul saw nothing at all, and so must needs all this while, either be in another room, or else for certain there was no apparition visible, and all the satisfaction that he had, was from the lying stories the Woman 171told him. Now let Mr. Glanvil consider and answer, whether it be not only intimated, but clearly holden forth in the Text that either they were in two distinct rooms, or that nothing visible did appear before Saul. 7. Now after all this the Text saith, and Saul perceived that it was Samuel, the Hebrew word doth signifie to know or to perceive, and relates to the understanding: but how did he know, or perceive that it was Samuel? not by the sight of his eyes, for we have made it plain that he was either in another room, or that no visible apparition presented it self before his eyes, but he only perceived it by the description of the crafty Woman, who knew well enough what habit or garments Samuel wore in his life time, as one that was the most publickly known Man in Israel: and therefore the subtil and crafty quean, knowing that Saul only required Samuel to be brought up and no other, doth at the last frame her tale agreeable to Sauls desire, and so describes him an old Man, covered with a mantle, and such an one Saul had known him to be, while he was living. But if Saul had seen any such thing as the shape or form of Samuel, then the Hebrew Verb thrice used in that action, that properly signifieth to see with the eyes, would have been used in this place (as well as when it relateth what she saw) and not the verb for knowing or perceiving that relateth to the mind, and Samuel he saw not, but only believed the lies she told him. For otherwise it would have been, And Saul saw Samuel, and not, Saul perceived that it was Samuel, which he could not do but only by her relation, and forged tales. 8. The last thing in this action, is, that Saul stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself: now to what did he stoop and bow, seeing he had seen nothing with his own eyes, neither knew any thing that appeared, but as the Woman told him? Could it be to any thing but to an imaginary Samuel and such an one as she had described, whom he conceited in his Phantasie to be Samuel himself? Surely in rational consequence it could be nothing else. For all that she had done and said before, being undeniably lies and cheats, this also in just and right reason, must be judged to be so also. So that it was either the Woman, that being in another room, did change and alter her voice, and so plaid the part of Samuel, or else that she had a confederate knave, whom she turned out to act the part of dead Samuel.

6. The last thing that we shall handle concerning this controverted subject, is the examination of the grounds and reasons of those that are of a different judgment, which may be comprised in these three several heads. 1. Some do conceive that it was the Body of Samuel that was raised up, and acted by his soul or by Satan. 2. Some hold that it was Samuels Soul that appeared in the shape and habit, that he had living. 3. Others do positively affirm that it was the Devil that assumed the shape of Samuel, and so acted the whole business, by a compact betwixt him and the Woman. These we shall confute in order.

Philipp. 3. 21.
Matth. 27. 52, 53.
Caten. Aur. Tho. Aquin. in Matth. 27.
Revel. 14. 13.

1721. That it was not the Body of Samuel that was raised up, nor the Soul joyned with it, that acted Samuels part, is manifest from these reasons. 1. Because Samuels Body had lain too long in the grave, for some account it near two years, and therefore must needs in a great part be corrupted, wasted and disfigured, that none could have certainly known that it was Samuel. 2. It must have been so putrified and stinking, that none could have endured near it, for the noisome and horrible smell. 3. Who should have covered it with the mantle, which had it been buried with him, must in so long a time, have been rotten and consumed? Surely there were no Taylors in the Grave, to make him a new one, but (in reason and likelihood) if it had been his Body, it should have appeared in Linnen, or a winding-sheet, if that had not been rotten likewise. 4. To raise a Body, so long dead, must needs have required an omnipotent power, for it is the Almighty power of Christ alone, that raiseth up the vile Bodies of his Saints, and maketh them like his glorious Body. And therefore neither the woman with all her Divinations, nor all the Devils in Hell, nor any created power, but the Lord Almighty, could have wrought this miracle, who would never have done it, to gratifie the humour, or to magnifie the cheating craft of an idolatrous, wicked and couzening Witch. And if the Devil or any created power could raise up the Body of a departed Saint, then the rising out of the Graves of many Bodies of Saints, that had slept, and their coming into the holy City, and appearing unto many, after Christ was risen from the dead, had been no certain, or convincing argument, of the undoubted truth of the Divinity and Resurrection of our most Blessed Saviour. But they were most infallible evidences of them both, as saith the Father S. Hierome in these words, Sic multa corpora sanctorum resurrexerunt, ut dominum ostenderent resurgentem, & tamen cum monumenta aperta sunt, non ante resurrexerunt quàm resurgeret dominus, ut esset primogenitus resurrectionis à mortuis. 5. That it was not Samuels Soul joyned with the Body, that acted this, we thus argue: That Tenent that is flatly contrary to the plain Doctrine of the Scripture, must needs be false. But this tenent of Samuels Soul acting in the Body after death, is flatly contrary to the plain Doctrine of the Scripture, ergo it is false. The major (we suppose) no Orthodox Christian can justly deny; and the minor is proved thus. The Scripture doth assure us, that those that die in the Lord (as without all doubt Samuel did) are blessed, and rest from their labours. Therefore must this Tenent be abominably false: for if the Soul of Samuel, after his death had been brought again to act in the Body, then he had not rested from his labours, but had been disquieted, and brought to new trouble, to have been vexed to have seen Saul committing more wickedness than before, in taking counsel from a cursed Idolatrous Woman, such as the Lord had commanded to be destroyed. And there is no one point in all this transaction of Saul with the Witch, that speaketh her Imposture more apparently than 173where this counterfeit Samuel saith, Why hast thou disquieted me? As though the Saints of God after death could be disquieted by a Devil, or a Witch, who (according to Gods infallible truth) are blessed, and rest from their labours, and are in the hands of the Lord, where no Torments can touch them. And therefore none would have spoken those lying words, but a devilish cheating quean, or a damnable suborned confederate.

6. If Samuels Soul was again joined to his body so long after separation, and so performed vital actions, who was the author of this conjunction or union? could the Witch or the Devil or any created power effect that union? Surely not, none but the almighty power of Jehovah, who breathed into Adam the breath of life. And therefore we are bold to assert (with all the company of learned Christians) that this opinion is erroneous, impious and blasphemous.

1 Sam. 15. 33.
Verse 29.

2. The second opinion, that it was Samuels Soul that appeared in his wonted shape and habit, that he wore while he lived, hath been strenuously maintained by the Popish party, and as strongly confuted by the reformed Divines. But we shall not trouble our selves and our readers with them all, but only urge two or three that are most cogent, thereby to answer Mr. Glanvils fopperies, and they are these. 1. If it were Samuels Soul that appeared, it cannot be supposed to come contrary, or whether God would or not, for hardly any rational Man (we believe) will affirm that, because God doth whatsoever he will, both in Heaven and Earth, and who hath resisted his will? 2. And it cannot be rationally thought that Samuel, who whilst he lived, was so punctually careful to do nothing (especially in his prophetick office) but what he was commanded of God, would after his death run an errand without his consent or licence. 3. And that his Soul did not come by the command of God is most certain: Though Mr. Glanvil ask the question, who saith that happy departed Souls were never imployed in any ministeries here below? To which (though we have answered it before) we now again reply, that all learned Divines of the reformed Churches have said, and maintained it, and so do we both say and affirm, that they never were nor are imployed in ministeries here below, because never created, nor ordained of God, for any such end or purpose, but there are legions of Angels, that are ordained to be ministring Spirits, and not the Souls of the Saints departed this life. But Mr. Glanvil goeth further, and saith, that Samuel was not raised by the power of the Witches inchantments, but came on that occasion on a Divine errand. And though we have before unanswerably proved in the general, that no Souls of those that are dead do after death appear, or wander here below, nor come such sleveless errands, as he supposeth: yet we shall add one or two here in particular, to prove that Samuels Soul came not on a Divine errand as sent by God, without which mission it could not have come at all. 4. For fourthly, if Mr. Glanvil had proved by any argument, or colour of reason, that his Soul had come upon such a 174Divine errand it had been something, but he hath only laid down an affirmation, without either proof, reason or authority, and we may with as good reason deny it, as he affirm it, for bare affirmations prove nothing at all. 5. It is manifest that God in all his ordinances of providence, especially in the order of his miracles, doth work chiefly to confirm and witness truth, for that (as the worthy and learned Stillingfleet hath observed) is the most proper criterium of a miracle; and to send a Soul from the dead must needs be miraculous. Now if the chief end in Gods working of miracles (for none else but he can work them) be to establish truth, and settle his own Divine and pure worship, then it cannot be to uphold lies and Idolatrous courses. But if God should have sent Samuels Soul on a Divine errand, when the Witch was practising her Diabolical Divinations and cheating tricks, it had been to have countenanced and confirmed both Saul, and the Witch, in their wicked wayes, and to have contradicted his own law and command, which did positively order, that all that used Divinations should be put to death, and all those that sought for counsel from them to be severely punished. Now let Mr. Glanvil, or any other prove, that God orders that to be done by the dead, which he forbad to be done by the living. 6. If it had been the true Samuel that appeared, it is not rational, nor credible to imagine, that he would neither rebuke Saul for consulting with a Woman that practised those things, that were forbidden by the law upon pain of death; nor that he would either reprove, or punish so wicked a Woman, finding her in the very act. We say it is not credible, unless we suppose Samuel less zealous for the law and commands of God, being dead, than he was for them being living. Surely he that living hewed Agag in pieces, only because God had commanded he should be slain, would (if it had been the true Samuel, which without all question it was not) have done as much or worse, to the cursed and Idolatrous cheating Witch, though after his death, if he had come upon a Divine errand. 7. God should have shewed himself very mutable, if he had answered Saul in a miraculous way by a dead Prophet, that had refused to answer him by one living. And Samuel while living knew certainly that the Lord had rejected Saul from being King over Israel, and had testified unto him, that the strength of Israel would not lie, and that he was not like a man that he should repent. But if it had been the true Samuel that had been sent to speak to Saul, he knowing both by his own knowledge and relation of Saul himself, that God had refused to answer him by Prophets, must in that conference both have made God a liar, and mutable, and also himself, who living had testified the contrary, and therefore it could not be either the true Samuel nor his Soul. 8. It is manifest that the Lord had before withdrawn his good Spirit from Saul, and an evil one from the Lord was come upon him, and therefore it was no way probable, that the Lord would in a miraculous manner answer such a wicked person, whom 175he had utterly rejected as a reprobate. Neither is it like that God would shew him an extraordinary favour by a dead Prophet, that would not vouchsafe him his Spirit in an ordinary way. And Samuel that came not at him for a long time (though but a little distance asunder) while he lived, was not like to make so long a journey in a Divine errand to visit him after his death. 9. And if Abraham at the request of the rich Man would not send Lazarus to warn his brethren, lest they should come into that place of torment, which bore with it a fair shew both of Charity and Piety; much less would God give way (or Samuel be desirous to come) to send a blessed Soul from its rest for such a frivolous matter, and in no wise to connive at the wickedness of both Saul and the Witch, and never move either of them to the amendment of their lives. 10. Where doth Mr. Glanvil find it mentioned in any part of Scripture? or where is it recorded in the writings of any reformed or Orthodoxal Divines? or where in any of their works is it declared, that ever any blessed Soul after death, was either sent, or did come upon a Divine errand to any here below? Is it not monstrous confidence (not to say impudence) to utter such groundless assertions, without any proof, reason, or authority at all? Let all learned and judicious persons consider and judge.

3. That the Devil assumed the shape of Samuel, and acted the whole business, is the opinion of all, or the most of the learned Divines of the reformed Churches, of whom we shall crave pardon, if we dissent from them, it being no fundamental of Religion, nor any Article of the Faith. And this we profess is not done out of the spirit of contradiction, nor for singularity, but only because (as we conceive) the Tenent hath no sufficient grounds neither from Scripture nor sound reason, to support it, and therefore we shall labour its confutation, by these ensuing arguments.

1. Because this opinion, that the Devil should perform this apparition, doth beg two suppositions, never yet sufficiently proved, and that have in them no certain truth. For first they take for an Hypothesis, that Devils are meerly and simply incorporeal Spirits, which we shall prove hereafter to be false. Secondly they take for another Hypothesis, that Spirits and Devils can assume what bodies they please, and appear in any figure or shape, which is a meer figment invented by the doating Schoolmen, as we shall sufficiently make good hereafter.

2. We are not of their opinion, that think, that the Devils do move, and rove up and down in this elementary world at their pleasure, to act what they list, and appear when, how and in what shapes they please, for then the World would be full of nothing almost but apparitions, and every corner replenished with their ludicrous tricks, as formerly in the times of blind Popery and ignorance, there was no discourse almost, but of Fairies, Hobgoblins, apparitions, Spirits, Devils and Souls, ranting in every house, and playing feats in every Town and Village, when it was nothing but the 176superstitious credulity, and ignorant fancies of the people, joined with the Impostures of the Priests and Monks. And if this were true, then how should Men know a true natural substance or body, from these fictitious apparitions? Nay how could a Man have known his Father or Mother, his Brethren or Sisters, his Kinsmen or Neighbours? might they not as well have believed them to be Phantasms, and assumed bodies, as real and true creatures?

1 Kings 22.
Isa. 37.

3. But though faln Angels in respect of their malice, wicked wills, and envious desires whereby they seek (as much as in them lies) the ruine of all mankind both in Soul and Body, may in that particular end and regard, be said to be like roaring Lions going about and seeking whom they may devour, and compassing the earth and walking to and fro in it: yet we must affirm that in respect of executing their wicked, envious and malicious wills and desires, they are restrained, nay kept in the chains of everlasting darkness, from which fetters and chains they go not out, but when and so far as they are sent, ordered, licensed (or as some would have it worded) permitted, by the purpose and decree of the Divine and Almighties providence. So that it is most certain, that the faln Spirits cannot go forth of their chains, when they list, to act what mischief they would, contrary to the will of the Almighty, who hath fettered, and still keeps them in those chains: but when they are at any time let loose, it is only by the will, decree, licence and order of Jehovah, who sends them forth to accomplish his will, either for punishment to the wicked to inflict upon them his just judgments, for which they are the appointed ministers and executioners, and in the performance of these offices of his wrath, they are limited and bounded how far they shall proceed, and no further; or else they are sent forth to tempt, or afflict the godly for the trial of their faith, and herein they are so restrained and bounded by the power of the Almighty as they cannot act one jot beyond the limit of his commands or Commissions, as is manifest in the case of David, who was tempted by Satan to number the people, and in the affliction of Job, wherein he was bounded how far he should act, and no further. And when the evil Angels are thus sent forth, and limited by God, what, and how far they shall act, it is always for just and righteous ends, as in the case of Ahab, when a lying Spirit was sent by God into the mouths of his Prophets, that he might be persuaded to go up to Ramath Gilead that he might be slain there, or as it was for a judgment and destruction upon Sennacheribs Army, that Jerusalem might be saved and freed, and he sent back with shame and confusion into his own countrey, or it is to manifest his glory, goodness and mercy to his Saints, so David was moved to number the people, that falling under that temptation, and he and the people therefore plagued, might be brought to a greater degree of repentance, and to know that their defence stood not in the multitude of men, but in the benignity of Jehovah, who was their strength and their defender, 177and so Job was so sore afflicted, that his Faith and Patience might be made manifest, and remain for an example to all succeeding posterities. But it is utterly irrational and incredible that God would send the Devil (without whose mission he could not have done it) to appear in the shape of Samuel, either to magnifie the skil, or practice of a lewd, wicked, and Idolatrous Woman, which thing he had forbidden by his plain and open law, nor to gratifie the curiosity of a wretched Reprobate, such as was Saul, whom he had denied to answer by living Prophets, and therefore would not answer him by the apparition of a Devil, to have committed a counterfeit Imposture, in the shape of holy Samuel. And therefore we conclude, that it was no apparition of the Devil, but meerly the Imposture of the Woman, either alone, or with a Confederate.

There is also a fourth opinion concerning the transaction of this Woman of Endor, that holds, that it was neither the Body, or Soul of Samuel that was raised up, neither the Devil that appeared in his shape, nor that it was the Imposture of the Witch alone, or with a Confederate, but that it was the Sydereal, or Astral Spirit (as they are pleased to term it) of Samuel that was made to appear, and speak by the art and skill of the Woman. But because this Tenent is not of much Antiquity, nor hath many assertors of it, as also because it taketh that for an Hypothesis, to wit, that there are three parts in Man, the Body, Soul, and Spirit; and that the Soul goeth immediately after death either to Heaven or Hell, the Body to the grave, and that the Spirit doth for a certain time after death wander in the air, and may be (by a certain kind of art) brought to appear visibly, and to give answers of all things that it knew living, which as yet hath never been sufficiently proved, therefore we shall pass it over here, having (perhaps) occasion to speak of it more largely hereafter.

We shall now come to mention some places in the New Testament that are produced by some, thereby to prove the great power of Devils and Witches in transferring and carrying bodies in the air, as is that of our Saviours temptation, where it is said that the Devil took him into an exceeding high Mountain, and that he set him upon the pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, from whence they thus argue: That if the Devil had power to carry our most blessed Saviour in the air into an high mountain, and to set him upon the pinnacle of the Temple, that much more hath he power to carry the bodies of Witches who are his sworn vassals in the air, whither he pleaseth, or they desire. To annul the force of which objection we give these reasons.

Reas. 1.
Matth. 3. 16.
Luke 3. 22.
Judg. 15. 15.

1. If it were granted that the Devil did transport our Saviour in the air, yet it will not follow that he can at any time when he pleaseth carry the Bodies of Men or Women so likewise, for no particular proposition will, according to the rules of art, infer a general or universal conclusion, nor one example or instance inductively prove a general practice; one Swallow doth not make a 178Summer. For though once when our blessed Saviour was baptized, the Holy Ghost did descend like a Dove, and light upon him, it will not follow, that in all other of his actions of preaching, or working of miracles, the holy Spirit should appear also in the form of a Dove, nor when other Saints are Baptized will it follow that it doth, or should alwaies appear in the same form. And though Samson did once slay a thousand of the Philistines with the jawbone of an Ass, it doth not follow, that either he did so in like manner in every battel, or that every Man may do the like.

Reas. 2.

2. If it were granted that the Devil did carry Christs Body in the air, it will not follow that he can do so at any other times, when he pleaseth, because in the temptation of Christ there was an extraordinary dispensation of God for the same, which cannot be presupposed in the ordinary transportation of Witches, and therefore the argument falls quite to the ground.

Reas. 3.

3. In the actions of Satan (especially in elementary things, for we speak not of the acts of his will) the will, order and licence of God is chiefly to be considered, because his power (in respect of execution) is under the power of the Almighty, so that he can do nothing in this respect but what he is ordered and commanded to do. And therefore the end of the action is principally to be regarded; for if God should have given way that Christ should be carried by Satan in the air, it was for a glorious and good end, that the obedience of his will to the Father might be shown, and that his victory over the Devil might be made manifest: but in carrying the Bodies of Witches in the air, there can be no good, just or pious end wherefore the Devil should be licensed, or permitted to carry them in the air, except it were to promote filthiness and abominable wickedness, which were absurd and blasphemous to imagine. And therefore we may rationally and plainly conclude, that the carrying of the Bodies of Witches in the air, by the power of the Devil, is a false, wicked and impious opinion.

Reas. 4.
Ezek. 8. 3.
Beza in Luc. 4. 5.
Matth. 4. 1.
Mark 1. 12.
Luke 4. 1.
Caten. Aur. Tho. Aquin. in Luke 4.

4. Some are of opinion that this whole transaction was visible, sensible and corporeal, as Theophylact, and many others. Some are of opinion that it was wholly in a Vision. And some take a middle way that it was partly sensible and visible, and partly mental, and by way of vision. Of which opinion the great Cameron seems to be, who compares it with that of Ezekiel who saith: And the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem: And sheweth that the word Ἀνήχθη doth agree with the Hebrew word נשא, which is as applicable to lifting up or carrying in a vision, as to bodily transportation. And that it was either altogether, or partly in a vision, the learned Beza gives us this note: Hoc videtur satis ostendere hæc omnia per visionem quandam, non corporali transvectione & ostensione esse gesta, quomodo nempe humanitus videre potuisset omnia regna orbis, & gloriam eorum in momento? But though it be the more sound and rational opinion that the whole transaction was mental, 179and in a vision, yet we shall not altogether stand upon that, but if it be granted that it was corporeal and visible, yet it doth not appear that our Saviour was in his Body carried by the power of the Devil in the air, either to the top of an high mountain, nor set upon the pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, and that for these reasons. 1. Our Saviour did not go to undertake this combat with Satan unwillingly, that he need be constrained, or carried to try the utmost power and malice of the Devil, but readily and willingly by the conduct and leading of the holy Spirit, for the Text saith in Matthew; Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the Devil: And S. Mark saith; And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And S. Luke saith: He was led by the spirit into the wilderness. Beza saith, subductus fuit in desertum, and Tremellius saith, ductus fuit, upon the place in S. Matthews Gospel. And in S. Luke Tremellius saith; Et duxit eum spiritus in desertum, and Beza, actus est ab eodem spiritu in desertum. And in S. Mark Tremellius saith, deduxit eum spiritus in desertum, and Beza rendreth it, expellit eum spiritus in desertum. And because of the Greek word which is there ἐκβάλλει, he addeth this note, Non significatur expulsio violenta, sed vis divina, quæ Christum, (qui ad illud usq; tempus ut privatus vixerat) nova persona induit, ac luctæ proximæ & ministerio præparatur. Therefore saith Origen: Sequebatur planè quasi athleta ad tentationem sponte proficiscens, & quodammodo loquebatur: Duc quo vis, & invenies me in omnibus fortiorem. So that it is most plain that he was no otherwise led or carried by Satan, but as he was led by the Holy Ghost, so that he went whithersoever Satan would desire him of his own mind and accord, and needed not to be carried by the Devil, for S. Luke useth the same Greek word both for the Holy Spirit leading of him, and Satans leading of him, so that Satan did not carry his body in the air, as Men vainly conceive. 2. Though S. Matthew use the word παραλαμβάνει, which may signifie assumpsit, he took him, and set him upon a pinnacle of the Temple, and took him into an high mountain; yet it cannot be understood thereby that he took him, and carried his Body, but that he went before, and led Christ to those places, that he thought most fit for him to prevail in his temptations, to which places Christ went not by an unwilling constraint or hurried and carried in the air, but by a ready willingness, as one that certainly knew, and was assured, that he should win the Victory where ever, or how great soever the combat and temptations were. And therefore S. Luke useth the same word from ἄγω, duco, both for the Spirits, and Satans leading, as signifying no more, but to go before, and lead the way, or to draw one to such or such a place by persuasion and desire, and not to be carried in the air, which appeareth to be a vain and forged interpretation, and not the true meaning of the places.

Acts 8. 9.

Concerning Simon Magus we have before in this Treatise sufficiently proved that he was only a deceiver and Impostor, and what 180strange feats he had done to astonish, and stupifie the Samaritanes, were only jugling knacks, or deceits by confederacy, and no supernatural things, so that here we will say no more, but only add: That though our English translation say that he bewitched the people of Samaria with sorceries, and that he himself, when he beheld the miracles and signs that were done, wondered; yet the word that they translate in the one place bewitching, and in the other wondered, are both from one Thema which is Ἠξίστημι, de statu mentis dejicio, facio ut aliquis mente non constet, perterrefacio, obstupefacio. And therefore either it ought to be that the Samaritanes were astonisht at the feats that Simon wrought, and that he himself was astonisht at the miracles of Philip, or that they were both bewitched, for they were both under the same amazement, and there is no reason at all to give it one sense in one place, and a different one in the other.

Acts 13. 10.
Acts 19. 13, 16.

We need not here say any thing of Elymas who is stiled a Magician, because it is manifest that he was a false Prophet, full of all subtilty, and all mischief, a Child of the Devil, and an enemy of all righteousness: which character truly given to him by the unerring sentence of S. Paul, may be really ascribed to the whole tribe and profession of such kind of seducers and deceivers. Like unto whom were those seven Sons of Sceva a Jew, who are called exorcists, that took upon them to call over them that had evil spirits, the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth, but were soundly beaten for their pains, a fit reward for such vagabonds; And if all that profess or practise such wicked, vain and lying things were duely punished, the poor ignorant people would not be so much abused as they are.

The other places in the New Testament we have handled, and answered, and also have touched upon that Text in the Galathians where we spoke of Fascination, but lest it be not sufficient, we shall handle it fully here. The words are, O foolish Galathians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth? From whence they use thus to argue: If Witchcraft in the Apostles time had not been known, and practised, he would not have made use of that Phrase then; concerning which we return these responsions.

Delrio. l. 3. q. 4. sect. 1. Concl. 2.

1. If we consider natural Fascination was by the Philosophers and Poets only taken to be contagious steams flowing from the eyes, or breaths of malevolent and envious persons, that had some infectious diseases, as we see in the Plague, Small-pox, Lues Venerea, soreness of Eyes, Tinea’s, and the like, which are contagious to others that lie with them, or converse near them, the infected atomes or steams issuing in a certain Sphear of activity, are received by the pores, or mouths of the sound persons, by which they come to be infected also. And this the Poet witnessed: Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos. Now this being the common opinion, the Apostle taketh the metaphor from thence, as who should say, who with their virulent and poysonous opinions have infected 181you, that you should not obey the truth. And this is the genuine meaning of that metaphorical phrase, and no other sense can rationally and congruously be put upon the place, and this conduceth nothing to that opinion of Witchcraft that we oppose. For Philosophica seu Physica fascinatio non nisi impropriè dici potest fascinatio, propriè verò est contagio, seu infectio. And therefore did the learned Vallesius to the same purpose speak this. Sed neq; si quis pestilenti affectus febri, aut etiam sine febre deferens secum seminaria pestis alium intuens intuentem inficiat, dicetur fascinasse, sed peste affecisse.

Vid. Jo. Lazar. Guttier. de fascino.

2. Some of the fathers (which may be offered for an objection) do seem to hold that S. Paul here meant of diabolical fascination, and so Tertullian in English thus: For there is also something amongst the Gentiles to be feared, which they call fascination, being a more unfortunate event of praise, and great glory: this we sometimes interpret of the Devil. And S. Hierome saith upon this place: Fascination is when some things by Magical illusions are shewed to the eyes of Men, otherwise than they are. Also Fascination is vulgarly called that, which doth hurt Children, for the eyes of certain persons are said to burn with looking, and this act of theirs is called Fascination, and it may be that the Devils are subservient to this Sin. And Thomas Aquinas saith: And this also may be done by Devils, who have power of moving false imaginations, and bringing them to the principles of the Senses, by changing the Senses themselves. From whence we may note these things. 1. That Tertullian saith that they sometimes interpret this of the Devil, but how truly or upon what grounds he sheweth not, and it seemeth that sometimes they did interpret it of something else, for so his words must needs imply. 2. Secondly, S. Hierome sometime calleth fascination Magical illusions, and sometime that which doth hurt Children, by the burning of some eyes; and then comes in with a may be that the Devils are subservient to this sin. So that he is not certain in his opinion, nor truly knows what fascination is, but according to vulgar opinion, or blind conjectures. 3. And all that the Angelical Doctor saith, doth but amount to the delusion of the Senses, by false imaginations, so that here is no proof either of the Devil, or his instruments, to cause any real fascination.

Vid. Guttier. passim.
Galen. de Incantat.

3. Those that hold that Paul did allude unto natural, or diabolick fascination, do but mean magical illusions, whereby the senses are abused and deceived, to take things to be that which really they are not, and so are but cheating Incantations and delusory Juglings, for as Galen (if that piece be truly his) saith: Incantationes verba sunt decipientia rationales animas secundum spei inceptionem, aut secundum timoris incisionem. So that though S. Paul had taken the metaphor from that which was commonly accounted fascination, there is no necessity, that therefore the metaphor must in all points be true: it is sufficient that the common opinion was so, from whose usage of such terms the Apostle useth the word, 182to fascinate, or inchant. And of this opinion was S. Hierome himself who saith thus much: Dignè Paulum, qui etsi imperitus est sermone non tamen & scientia, debemus exponere non quod scierit esse fascinum, qui vulgò putatur nocere, sed usus sermone sit trivii, & ut in cætero, ita & in hoc quoq; loco verbum quotidianæ sermocinationis assumpserit. So that from hence it is most evident, that the using of the word fascination by the Apostle, doth not inferr the being of the thing, but only the opinion of the vulgar, that believed things that were not. And of the same judgment is Thomas Aquinas in these words: Propriè dicit Apostolus, quis vos fascinavit? quasi dicat, vos estis sicut homo ludificatus qui res manifestas aliter accipit quàm sint in rei veritate. Therefore we shall conclude this point with the sentiment of S. Hierome: Nunc illud in causa est, quod ex opinione vulgi sumptum putamus exemplum, ut quomodo tenera ætas noceri dicitur fascino, sic etiam Galatæ in Christi fide nuper nati, & nutriti lacte, & solido cibo velut quodam fascinante sunt nociti.

Vid. Valles. de sacr. Philosoph.
Galen l. 8. de compos. medic.

4. But howsoever fascination might be understood, yet it is plain, that except the Effluvia or steams of Bodies that had contagious diseases, entring into other sound Bodies, and thereby infecting them with their noysome vapours, or Atomes, there is nothing, but what was vain belief and credulous superstition, as the learned Vallesius tells us in these words, thus rendered in English: “But if this be the way or reason of fascination, any one may easily understand, that fascination is a certain superstitious fear, arising from foolish credulity, of which sort are many other things in the life of Man, as for argument, that this opinion is more approved of by Women than by Men, and far more of the unlearned than of the learned. Although (he saith) I also see that there are those amongst the learned that are rather lovers of subtilty than verity, who take care to defend those things that the vulgar do admire. By which they would be accounted judicious magical Juglers, and Men skilful of secrets.” And therefore he thus concludeth: “Therefore the name of fascination is ancient, and according to the ancient signification, it doth not signifie any natural disease, but a vain superstition, arising from vulgar opinion, and therefore neither Hippocrates, nor Galen, nor any of the ancient Physicians, that I know of do mention fascination, neither amongst the differences nor causes of Diseases. From whence again is taken no small argument of its vanity.” Therefore we shall conclude this point with that remarkable saying of Galen. “Falsæ etenim opiniones animas hominum præoccupantes, non solum surdos, sed & cæcos faciunt, ita ut videre nequeant, quæ aliis conspicua apparent.

5. The Angelical Doctor with the consent of the most part of all the learned do affirm that the Devil by his own power cannot change corporeal matter, unless he apply proportionate actives to fit passives, to produce those effects he intendeth; As for instance, he can cause burning, because there is a combustive agent in nature; 183but if that were awanting, or if there were no combustible matter, how should he cause any ignition? But if he be supposed to work diabolical fascination, for which there is no agent in nature, it being but an imaginary thing in the heads of the deluded vulgar; then it will necessarily follow, that he can work no fascination at all, and so the whole opinion of the Witchmongers falls to the ground. For it is manifest that there is contagion, by the infected Effluvia or steams issuing from a diseased Body to another by which it may be contaminated, but otherwise there is no natural fascination, nor any agent in nature to produce that effect, and therefore there can be no Diabolical fascination at all.


Of Divine permission, providence and prescience.

There is no one thing that hath more promoted this false and wicked Tenent of a kind of omnipotency in Devils, and the exorbitant power ascribed to Witches, than the misunderstanding of the true and right Doctrine of Divine Providence, and the admitting of a bare permission in God as different and distinct from his providence. From whence it cometh to pass that not only the vulgar, but such as tread in the steps of Arminius, do hold a meer bare permission, and that God sits as a quiet beholder by his Prescience from the event of things to see what will be effected by Devils and wicked Men, who in the mean time run and rove about, acting what, when and how they please, and that God hath neither hook in their nostrils, nor bridle in their mouths, neither keeps them in any restraint, order or government, and so we must needs have a mad rule in this World, during this permission and naked inspection.

But that we may proceed in such order, as may be clear and intelligible to the Readers, we shall here propose the state of the matter that we undertake to confute, which is this: That there is not in God a nude, passive permission, separate from the positive and active decree, order and will of his Divine Providence and Government, but that he doth rule all things according to the power and determination of his own positive and actual will. And this we shall prosecute in this following order and particulars.

Those that deny that there is in God a passive permission separate from his decretive and actual will in his providence are accused by others, thereby to infer the absurdity, that God is the author or efficient cause of sin; which pretended absurdity, in truth and reason cannot be any, because it is a simple and absolute impossibility, that 184God should be the author of sin as these arguments do sufficiently testifie.

Argum. 1.
James 1. 13.
Psal. 5. 4.
Deut. 32. 3.

1. That of necessity must be false, which the Scriptures do declare to be so, in open and plain terms. But that God should be the author of sin or evil, the Scriptures do deny in open and plain terms, as where the Text saith: God cannot be tempted with evil: where both the act, and the possibility of it is absolutely denied. Again: For thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with thee. Therefore it is false that God is, or can be the author of sin; and so by consequence the supposed absurdity is a meer impossibility; and an absurdity urged that is impossible, is most of all absurd.

Argum. 2.

2. He is ens summè perfectum, & quicquid est in Deo, est Deus; but sin howsoever understood, or accepted, is an imperfection, defect and an aberration from a just and perfect rule, and therefore it is simply impossible that God can be the cause of any thing that is imperfect, sinful or evil, if sin be considered as malum culpæ.

Argum. 3.
Rom. 4. 15.

3. God is not under any binding law given to him by some other, for then he should cease to be supream, independent and omnipotent: Now to whom there is no law given to observe, there can be no transgression, for the Apostle saith, where there is no law, there is no transgression; and therefore it is simply impossible that God should be the author, or causer of sin, or evil, because there is no law that he can transgress against.

Argum. 4.
De Civitat. Dei, l. 2. c. 7.

4. God prohibiteth and hateth sin, as the Scriptures do every where testifie, but God is the cause of nothing but that which he loveth, and therefore cannot be the cause of the evil of sin. And to speak properly sin hath no efficient cause, but a deficient, such as is the will of faln Angels, and wicked Men, whose irregularity of will, from the command of God, is all the cause that sin and evil hath or can have. An efficient cause is only of those things that are good, because every efficient cause doth by working put something in being: But privations (of which sort are sins) do put nothing in being, but do truly note the absence of beings. Therefore did S. Augustine say well: Mali causa efficiens nulla est, sed tantùm deficiens.

Argum. 5.
Gen. 1. 3.
John 8. 44.
1 John 3. 8.

5. That which properly hath an efficient cause, hath also an end properly so called: But sin hath not an end properly so called, because the end is being, and therefore good, and the perfection of the thing. But the Scripture doth declare that all things that God created were exceeding good; and that the cause of sin was Man, and the Devil; for the text saith, that the Devil was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth: And again, He that committeth sin, is of the Devil, for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. Therefore from hence it is clear, that God neither is nor can be the author or causer of sin.

Argum. 6.
Vid. Schar. de miser. hom. stat. sub peccato, c. 3.
Fulgent. lib. 1. ad Monim

6. That which God is the author of, doth not make Man worse. 185but sin doth make Man worse, therefore God is not the author of it. And all sin is perpetrated, because thereby it receeded from the order that respecteth God, as the ultimate end of all things; but God doth incline all things unto himself, as to the ultimate end, neither doth he turn them from himself, because he is summum bonum. And further as Fulgentius saith: Deus non est ejus rei autor, cujus est ultor. At Deus est peccati ultor, ergo non autor. And therefore we conclude, that this is a vain pretence of an absurdity, because it is impossible that God should be the author or causer of sin.

Job 13. 7.

This plausible pretence to seem to be zealous, not to make God the author of sin, we commend as allowable; but it is but like the zeal of the Scribes and Pharisees, which was without knowledge, because they pretend that for an absurdity, that is a simple impossibility. And they ought to remember the argument of Job, which is this: will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him? For as we ought not to suppose, or imply him to be the author of sin; so we ought not to rob him of his Glory, by detracting from his power and providence, nor in ascribing that unto Creatures, that is only due unto the Creator; as those do that hold a nude passive permission in him separate from his will and decree in his providence. Neither doth the denying of this any way imply that he is the author of sin, for a providential permission we allow as the act of his will and decree, as we shall shew hereafter.

Now concerning permission in God, being a suspension of his efficiency in regard of some acts permitted to the creatures, and that for just and good ends, the definition of it and its affections or properties are so darkly handled even by those that make most ado about it, that it would serve rather to divert Men from the right way than to guide them in it, or unto it. Therefore here we shall only note these three things, and pursue it more fully hereafter. 1. There must be the person or power permitting that hath ability, right and authority so to do. 2. There must be the person or power permitted that hath ability to perform the thing permitted, otherwise it would be in vain, and to no purpose. 3. There must be the thing or action that is permitted to be done, or brought to pass, by the person permitted to act, and that must not be impossible.

1. Before the Creation it is meerly improper to attribute permission unto God, because there was no person, nor power besides himself that could act any thing, and therefore could not be permitted, and so the correlative being awanting, both the relative and the relation betwixt them must necessarily fall to the ground, as having no existence; and so it is impossible that permission should be in God when there was no Creature to be permitted, and so could not be attributed unto him before the Creation.

Heb. 1. 3.
Job 34. 14, 15.
Vid. Chrysost. in Loc.
Psal. 104. 19.
Verse 9.
Psal. 107. 25.
Job 38. 11.
Jerem. 5. 22.
De Caus. Dei, l. 1. c. 2. p. 165.
Isai. 38. 8.
Exod. 14. 21, 22, 23.
Id. v. 17.
Jonah 1. 4.
Id. 2. 10.
Psal. 119. 91.
Greg. 16. mor. 4.
Thom. de Christ. Religion. 133.
De Caus. Dei, p. 171.

2. It is as improper to attribute permission unto God in respect of the Physical agency of second causes, because he not only worketh all in all, and by his Divine concourse and conservative power 186sustaineth all things by the word of his power, and Job tells us: If he gather unto himself his spirit and breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again into dust. Upon which place of the Hebrews S. Chrysostome saith thus: Feratq; inquit omnia, hoc est, gubernet omnia. Siquidem cadentia, & ad nihilum tendentia continet. Non enim minus est continere mundum quàm fecisse: Sed si oportet aliquid quod admireris dicere, adhuc amplius est. Nam in faciendo quidem, ex nullis extantibus rerum essentiæ productæ sunt: in continendo verò, ea quæ facta sunt, ne ad nihilum redeant continentur. Hæc ergo dum reguntur, & ad invicem sibi repugnantia coaptantur, magnum & valdè mirabile, plurimæq; virtutis judicium declaratur: But also because he hath set all natural things their bounds, and ordered, decreed and determined their ends in acting. Now what he hath appointed, ordered and decreed to be the agency of every creature, and determinated its end in acting, cannot properly be called permission, but his will, ordination and providence. As if one should say he suffereth and permitteth the Sun and Moon to run their course, it is an improper expression and injurious to his wisdom and power in his providential government of the creatures, seeing that it is a certain truth, Deus operatur in omni operante: And he hath appointed the Moon for seasons, and the sun knoweth his going down. And it is absurd to say he suffereth the Sea to Ebb and Flow, when he hath set it a bound that it cannot pass over. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. And said, hitherto shalt thou come and no further: And here shall thy proud waves be staid. And again, Will ye not tremble at my presence saith the Lord, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree that it cannot pass it, and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it. And therefore we may conclude that the whole Creation in respect of Physical agency is ruled according to those orders, and not by a fortuitous chance, or a bare passive permission. 1. For first all creatures have their Physical agency, and the affections and properties thereof ordained by God in the Creation, and according to this they constantly act, except they be turned, altered, or suspended by the Creator himself, and he doth immediately act in them all, and they cannot properly be said to be permitted. 2. They are upholden, sustained and conserved in their several conditions, by the word of his mighty power, his continual concourse and divine emanation, which if it should but cease one minute, the whole Creation would fall into that nothing, from whence his Eternal and Omnipotent Fiat did raise and call them forth, so that we dare affirm with profound Bradwardine, Quod necesse est Deum servare quamlibet Creaturam immediatiùs quacunq; causa creata. 3. When he pleaseth he doth suspend the effects and agency of natural causes, as in making the Sun stand still in the victory of Joshua, and of the three Children in the fiery Furnace. Sometimes he causeth them to act contrary to 187their innate powers and qualities, as in making the shaddow go ten degrees back in Ahaz sun-dial: and in causing the waters of the red sea, contrary to their natures, which are to tend downwards, to be divided, and to go backward, and to be as a wall on the right hand, and on the left, until Moses, and the children of Israel were passed through. And by many other wayes and means doth he alter and change the course of natural agents, to serve his will and good pleasure in his mercy, or in his justice, and yet here is no bare or passive permission. 4. Besides these he ordereth all the particular acts of natural agents, to be subservient unto his will: So when Jonah fled to Tarshish, the Lord sent forth a great wind into the sea, and raised a mighty tempest to overtake Jonah; and when he was cast into the Sea, the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow him up, and also the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited up Jonah upon the dry land. Now the wind was not carried nor the storm raised, by a permissive power, but by the will and order of the Lord Jehovah, who sent them, and directed them either by his immediate power, or by the ministry of his Angels; and though they wrought according to their natural agency, yet the special ordering as to the particular act was not by permission, but by the will and appointment of his providence. Neither did the great fish come by chance or permission, but God in his merciful providence had prepared him for the preservation of Jonah, and caused him to be vomited on the dry land; so that all creatures do not only continue according to his ordinances, but also all elementary, and irrational creatures do praise the Lord by fulfilling his word, will and providence. And lest we be either censured to wrest the Scriptures, or to be single in this opinion, take the judgment of some few others. S. Gregory (as he is quoted by learned Bradwardine) tells us thus much: Quis de Deo ista vel desipiens suspicetur, qui nimirùm dum sit semper omnipotens, sic intendit omnibus, ut assit singulis; sic adest singulis, ut simul omnibus nunquam desit; sic itaq; exteriora circundat, ut interiora impleat; sic interiora implet, ut exteriora circundet; sic summa regit, ut ima non deserat; sic imis præsens est, ut à superioribus non recedat. And Thomas Aquinas their great Schoolman (as the same author cites him) saith: Quòd Deus immediatè ordinat omnes effectus per seipsum, licet per causas medias exequatur, sed in ipsâ executione quodammodò immediatè se habet ad omnes effectus, in quantum omnes causæ mediæ agunt in virtute causæ primæ, ut quodammodo ipse in omnibus agere videatur, & omnia opera secundarum causarum ei possunt attribui, sicut artifici attribuitur opus instrumenti. Therefore we will conclude this with that of S. Augustine: Proculdubio nullus est locùs ab ejus præsentia absens; super omnem creaturam quippè præsidet regendo, subtus est omnia sustinendo, non pondere laboris, sed infatigabili virtute, quoniam nulla creatura ab eo condita per se subsistere valet, nisi ab illo sustentetur, qui eam creavit. Extra omnia est, sed non exclusus, intra omnia, sed non conclusus. And these places need no 188fiction of an Hebraism to expound them, nor no device of a verb of an active termination, and a permissive signification to evade the pressure of this truth. And therefore in respect of Physical agency we are bold with Bradwardine to assert these three Corollaries.

Quod nulla res potest aliquid facere, sine Deo.
Quod nulla res potest aliquid facere, nisi Deus per se & immediate facit illud idem.
Quod nulla res potest facere aliquid, nisi Deus faciat illud idem immediatiùs quolibet alio faciente.
Amos 3. 6.

4. So that however permission may be understood, it must properly relate to intellectual and rational creatures, and that only and especially in respect of those actions which we call moral, that is, in regard of sin, evil or malum culpæ; for whatsoever is malum pœnæ, God is the author, causer and inflicter of, according to the Text: Shall there be evil in a City, and the Lord hath not done it? To understand aright the nature of permission, we are to consider the affections, properties and adjuncts of it, both in regard of the person permitting, the creature permitted to act, and the thing permitted to be done, with all the circumstances about them, and these we shall take from their Ring-leader and great Champion Arminius himself in these points.

Vid. Twisse Vindic. grat. de permiss. p. 341.

5. And first in respect of the person permitting (he saith) it is necessary that he know, what, to whom, and the ability of performance, that is to be granted, or used, by the person permitted, and that the person permitting have power to permit and to impede, and also that he have the right and authority of permitting. 2. In the person permitted, it is necessarily requisite, that he have sufficient power to effect and perform the thing permitted, if not hindered; for otherwise it would be nonsense to say, that a person is permitted to do an act that he hath no power to perform. 3. If the person permitted have sufficiency of power to perform the act permitted, yet there is also required a propension and disposition in the person permitted, to perform the thing permitted, otherwise the permission as to that act would be without a certain end, and so would be in vagum, inconstant and not to be performed, and therefore he concludeth thus: Imò nec rectè dici potest quod alicui actus permittatur, qui actus illos præstandi affectu nullo tenetur.

De permiss. p. 342.
Eccles. 7. 29.

6. We shall omit the exceptions that the learned and subtile Dr. Twisse hath made against diverse particulars in these passages, and shall only fix upon one that is manifestly false (if he mean of permission in general which he confesseth.) For in the Angels and Adam before their falling and committing of sin, there was not any propension or disposition to sin, and therefore to this we shall give the most acute answer of Dr. Twisse in these words: Nam licèt insit homini propensio ad peccandum (scilicet post lapsum) per modum dispositionis, quæ præcedanea sit permissioni actus peccaminosi; At in Adamo (ante lapsum) nulla inerat hujusmodi dispositio, aut ad 189peccandum propensio, ante peccatum ejus primum. Sed neq; in Angelis, qui à statu suo ceciderunt. Secundo, ut ut dispositio, sive habitus insit qui inclinet ad agendum, non est ex natura dispositionis sive habitus cujuscunq; ut faciat hominem propendere ad actum aliquem particularem, cujus vel solius ratione dicitur permissio. And though it be granted that God did create the Angels, and Adam in statu labili, wherein they had a sufficiency of power or grace not to have sinned, or faln, and though that power or grace was not withdrawn from them, and that there was no coaction upon their wills to inforce them to sin; for if it had been so, their falls would have been no sin: so neither did God supply them with more assisting grace to have upholden them, for then their estate had not been labile, nor they in a possibility to sin. But it is manifest that they in their Creation were set in æquilibrio, and had equal power of freedom of will either to sin or not to sin, and so had no propension or disposition at all to commit that sin, to which they were left by a free permission: and so propension and disposition to the act permitted (if permission be understood generally) had no place in the Angels nor Adam before their first sinning, according to the Text, God made man upright, that is like a straight or right line that falling perpendicularly upon another right line, doth incline to neither end of the line upon which it falls, so Adam was made upright without any propension or inclination to sin at all. And if this propension and disposition be understood, and applied to Angels in their condition after their fall, then it is true they have not only an inclination but a most strong will and desire to commit more evil and mischief than God in his goodness permits them to perform, for the Devil goeth about like a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour, and it was Satan that not only had a disposition, but desired to sift Peter as wheat. And it is manifest that wicked Men have a strong will and desire to commit mischief; but that God hath an hook in their Nostrils, and a Bridle in their Jawes wherewith he curbs and restrains them, that they cannot act out all the mischief that they intend, as is manifest in the example of Sennacherib and many others.

Twisse de Permiss. ut supra.
Fran. Jun. de peccat. prim. Adam. p. 111, 114.
August. Enchir. 75, 76.

7. Permission must be referred and reduced to the will of God, for nolition is an act of his will as well as volition: and to speak properly and truly, permission is but an act of the Divine Will not to impede such or such particular actions of the creatures; and therefore the same things will follow from his volition or his will non impediendi, as from his volition to the acts of a free agent, seeing neither do put coaction upon the will of the Creature that is to act. And that permission is an act of the Divine will, and to be reduced unto it Arminius confesseth in these words: Permissionem ad genus actionis pertinere ex ipsa vocis flexione est notum, sive per se sive reductive, ut in Scholis loquuntur. Cessatio enim ab actu, ad actum quoq; est reducenda: causam autem proximam & immediatam habet voluntatem, non scientiam, non potentiam, non potestatem, licet 190& ista in permittente requirantur. And when he defineth permission, he saith: Permissio Dei, est actus voluntatis Divinæ; than which nothing can be more clear. And not much different from this is the definition of permission, that is given by learned Junius thus: Est autem permissio actus voluntatis, quo is penes quem est alienas actiones inhibere, eas non inhibet, sed agentis voluntati permittit earum modum. And again he saith: Apud Deum verò Opt. Max. nulla est omnino permissio, nisi voluntaria: quandoquidem omnis divina permissio à principio interno est, id est, à voluntate ipsius, & movetur ad finem quem voluntas præfinivit ejus. But we will conclude this with that of S. Augustin thus Englished: “Not any thing cometh to pass, unless the Omnipotent will have it to be done, either that it may be done by his suffering, or by his Volition. Neither is it to be doubted that God doth well, even by suffering those things to be done, that are done evilly; For he doth not permit but by a just judgment, and verily every thing is good that is just. Although therefore those things that are evil, in as much as they are evil, they are not good; notwithstanding, as they are not only good, but also as they are evil, it is good. For unless this were good that there should be evils, they would by no means be permitted of the omnipotent good, to whom without all doubt it is always as easy to do that which he would, as it is easy not to suffer that which he would not have to be.” By all which it is plain that his permission is the act of his Divine Will, and if he would not have it done he would not permit it, and so the same consequences will follow from Nolition, that follow from Volition, in respect as they are both acts of the Divine Will.

Twisse ut supra. 346.
Prov. 16. 4.

8. It is a certain truth that all moral actions are performed by a physical power in respect of the sustentation of the will in its natural being while it acteth, and that the creature is conserved even in the act as it is natural, though there be obliquity in the will of the creature acting in reference to the law given, or made known unto it. And this Arminius acknowledgeth in these words: Necesse itaq; est, ut cum Deus potentiæ creaturæ actum aliquem permittit, creatura illa conservetur, ut sit, & vivat, potentia ejusdem permaneat, idonea ad actum producendum, nulla major vel æqualis potentia opponatur, objectum deniq; offeratur, & potentia permittatur. From whence therefore to instance in the first sin of the Angels and Adam, besides the equal power and liberty of will that they had to sin or not to sin, it is manifest that God willed and determined not to withdraw his conservative power from them, but that they might be and live in the very act of their sinning. Neither did he withdraw that power they had, nor opposed a greater, or equal power to impede them, much less did he create or infuse any evil into their natures, nor put upon them any coaction of will, to inforce them to sin, but solely left them to the power and liberty of their own free wills. And though by his prescience he certainly knew that they would sin and fall, yet he determined in his purpose not to hinder them, but by his providential decree did set 191down how to guide and order that fall and defection the most advantagiously for his glory both in his Mercy and Justice. So that even in this there was no bare passive permission, separate and distinct from his will and decree in his providence, but only permission to the moral act of their wills, which by his wisdom, decree and providence, he ordered for his own glory, according to the Text: The Lord hath made (or wrought) all things for himself, yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. The Hebrew word hath wrought, doth properly signifie, to work by polishing, trimming, or framing and fitting, so that the wicked (who have made themselves so by the acts of their own wills) God by his decree and providence doth polish, fit and order for the setting forth of his own glory in framing the wicked for the day of evil, the evil of punishment and judgment.

9. Further it is necessary that the creature acting a moral act (especially in this case of the Angels and Adam before their fall) have the liberty and freedom of will, and that the will at the instant of the act, be not restrained nor under a coactive power, for otherwise malum culpæ or sin would cease to be evil, and so there could be no sin at all. And thus far, and in this peculiar respect only, the Angels and Adam before their acting of sin, and in the very instant of the act it self, were permitted, that is, God willed and determined not to impede them, but for the ordering of that sin and fall, the permission was conjoined with his will and providence, and not separate from it, or a nude permission.

Rom. 7. 8, 11.

10. That malum culpæ, or sin doth arise by the occasion of a law; for where no law is, there can be no sin, and therefore the Apostle saith: But sin taking occasion by the Commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. So that sin considered as it is sin, is an Aberration or Deviation of the Will of the creature from the revealed law of the Creator, and hath simply and absolutely no other causality, but only the deficiency and ἀταξία of the Creature to produce it, especially in these cases of the Angels and Adam in their first acts of sin.

Psal. 73. 18.
Psal. 37. 10.
Psal. 75. 6, 7.

11. Now we will come to the application of this unto wicked Men as they are under original and actual sins, and that in these few examples. 1. It is not by a bare permissive power, but by his will and order in his providence, for he setteth up the wicked in slippery places, and yet a little while and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. So Cain was suffered to slay his Brother Abel, but by and by he was sent from the presence of the Lord into the land of Nod: So he set up Saul to be King over Israel, and soon after rejected him, and also destroyed him: these were by providence, not only bare permission. 2. For promotion cometh neither from the East nor the West, nor from the South: But God is the judge, he pulleth down one, and setteth up another. So wicked Haman was set up to be the highest in the Kingdom next Ahasuerus, and got a decree to have all the Jewes put 192to death, and had set up a pair of Gallows to hang Mordecai upon, and yet see the providence of God, who quickly brought him to be hanged upon them himself: and this will be further made out where we speak of providence.

Resp. Fludan. ad Lanov. p. 18.

12. Though those that ascribe so large a power unto Devils and Witches, do take it for granted that they are only under a bare passive permission, and that the faln Angels do act, what, when, where and how they list, yet is it a meer falsity, for they are under the rule of Gods Divine Will, decree and providence, and do act nothing, but as and so far as they are licensed, ordered and limited by his will and providence, and are under a punctual restraint, nay kept in the chains of everlasting darkness unto the judgment of the great day, as we shall prove at full in that Chapter where we handle the knowledge and power of faln Angels. And therefore here we shall only say this, that if Devils could do as much mischief as they would, and were under no restraint or chains, then none of the godly would be left alive. But it is manifest that Devils do act nothing (excepting the obliquity and evil of their own wills) but meerly as instruments of the Divine Will and Providence, for as the Christian Philosopher saith: Illa est impietas; nimirum ea falso attribuere creaturis, quæ radicaliter Deo soli sunt propria, & inter cætera, actum aliquem peculiarem in diabolo esse existimare, qui non est originaliter à Deo, & consequenter immediatè, cum essentialis Dei actus sit per se sine divisione in omni re.

Greg. in Dialog.
Isai. 42. 9.
Acts 15. 18.
August. de. Trinit. l. 15. c. 7.
Ephes. 1. 11.
Psal. 115. 3.
Psal. 33. 13, 14, 15.
Vid. Rivet. de Provid. Disput. 1.
August. de lib. arbitr. l. 3.

Concerning Divine prescience, which is as S. Gregory saith, Præscientia est unamquamq; rem antequam veniat, videre, & id quod futurum est priusquam præsens sit prævidere, we may only note this, That it is certain and infallible, as saith the Lord by the Prophet: Behold the former things are come to paß, and new things do I declare, before they spring forth I tell you of them: Also, known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the World. “So that his prescience is that infallible vision, by which he comprehendeth all what he knows by one eternal, immutable and ineffable vision.” But this prescience in God doth not flow from the things that are to come to pass, but from his decree, by which all future things are determined, who doth all things according to the counsel of his own will, for God is in heaven, he hath done whatsoever he pleased. But this prescience is not to be considered only by it self, as a bare vision, or inspection, but as it is coupled and joined with his providence, For the Lord looketh from heaven, he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Forming (or framing) likewise their hearts, and considering all their works. And this prescience considered solely by it self, is not the cause of the things that come to pass, for as the Father saith well: Sicut tu memoria tuâ non cogis facta esse quæ præterierunt, sic Deus præscientia suâ non cogit facienda quæ sunt futura. So that we conclude that God by a naked prescience doth not only behold infallibly the things that are to come, and so 193is only a spectator of what Devils and wicked Men will do, but also that he doth order, rule and predesign all their works and actions.

Andr. Rivet. disputat. Thes. 1. p. 4.
De provid. Trac. p. 9.
Isagog. Christ. c. 32. p. 52.

1. As touching Gods Government and Administration of the World by his Divine providence, we shall in the first place lay down some of the definitions of it from the most sound and learned Divines of the Reformed Churches, and that in English, after this order. The acute and learned Rivet describes it thus: “Providence is an ineffable force and virtue of the Divine Sapience and Potency, by which God doth conserve and govern to his own Glory all his Works according to his eternal, most wise, and most free decree, and directing every thing in time unto its end.” Johannes de Spina defines it thus: “Providence is the prescience and counsel of God eternal, most free, immutable, most just, most wise; most good, whereby God worketh and determineth all good things in all, but doth only permit evil things, and doth dispose and direct all things to his own Glory and the Salvation of his elect.” And much to the same purpose doth Lambertus Danæus speak in these words: “Providence is a most free and most powerful action of God, by which he not only stirreth up and governeth universals, but also singulars, in every one of their single actions. And (he saith) it is called a most free and most powerful act, because it can neither be hindered nor overcome by any law.” And to these for substance do agree Calvin, Musculus, Beza, Zanchius, and the rest of all Orthodox Divines.

Exeges. Loc. 6. p. 143, 144. &c.

2. But we shall chiefly insist on that definition that is given by learned Piscator in these words: “The providence of God is his eternal, most wise, most just and immutable counsel or decree, whereby he doth most freely govern all things by him created to the glory of himself, and the Salvation of his elect.” To which he giveth this explication: “That it doth consist of a Genus and three differences. The Genus is the word Decretum which is illustrated by four adjuncts; Eternity, Sapience, Justice and Immutability. The first difference is taken from the objects; which are all created things. The second from the ends, which are two, the Glory of God, and the Salvation of the elect. The third from the effect, which is the government of things created, which Gubernation is illustrated by the adjunct which is liberty.”

Acts 2. 23.
Acts 4. 27, 28.
Heb. 1. 3.
Matth. 10. 29, 30, 31.
Deut. 19. 4, 5.
Gen. 45. 5.
Prov. 16. 33.
Prov. 16. 4.
Rom. 9. 22, 23.
Rom. 8. 28, 30.
Psal. 115. 3.
Rom. 9. 15, 18.
Job 34. 13.

3. The parts of this definition are thus proved. 1. That the providence of God is his counsel and decree, appeareth most plainly from these Scriptures: Peter in his Sermon to the Jews upon the day of Pentecost saith: Him (that was Jesus) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (τῇ ὡρισμένῃ βουλῇ καὶ προγνώσει Θεοῦ) ye have taken, and by wicked hand have crucified and slain. And again the Church at Jerusalem in their prayers say thus: Of a truth against thy holy Child Jesus whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and people of Israel were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel 194determined (ἡ χείρ σου καὶ ἡ βουλή σου προώρισε γενέσθα) before to be done. 2. That all things created (nay also those things which do seem to happen fortuitously, or to be by permission, as sinful actions) are governed and ordered by the providence of God, as these Scriptures will sufficiently demonstrate. Christ Jesus the son of God, doth uphold (or sustain) all things by the word of his power. And doth not our Saviour tell us: Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your father? But the very hairs of your heads are all numbred. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. That place concerning the Cities of refuge, and the fleeing of the ignorant man-slayer thither is most remarkable, and is this. And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in times past, as when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroak with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slipeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour that he die, he shall flee unto one of those Cities, and live. And was not the action of Josephs brethren, sin and sinful in selling of him to the Ismaelites, and yet he acknowledgeth, that God sent him before them to preserve life. So that God brought good forth of evil, and doth order even the sins of the wicked to just and good ends by his Divine Providence. Again: The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. So when the Men in the Ship with Jonah did cast lots, by the Lords disposing the lot fell upon Jonah who was justly guilty, and so by providence pointed out. 3. That God doth govern all things to his own glory is manifest by these Texts: The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea even the wicked for the day of evil. And, what if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory? And that he governeth all things for the Salvation of his elect, is plain: And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. So that if God be for the Elect, who can be against them? 4. That God doth govern all things most freely is clear, because he is omnipotent and supream, and there is no power that can either impede, or constrain him, For he hath done whatsoever he would, both in Heaven and Earth. And the Apostle saith; I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. For who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?

Gen. 37. 18, 19, 20, 26, 27.
Id. 45. 5. & 50. 20.
Prov. 21. 1.
Exod. 7. 3.
Id. 9. 16, 17.
Rom. 9. 17.
Psal. 105. 25.
Rom. 8. 14.
Matth. 4. 1.
Mark 1. 12.
Luke 4. 1.
Gen. 9. 27.
2 Sam. 24. 1.
1 Chron. 21. 1.
1 Kings 22. 22.
Judges 9. 23, 56, 57.
Psal. 81. 11, 12.
Acts 14. 16.
Rom. 1. 24.
Gen. 20. 6.

4. The several ways that God useth in governing the creatures in the world whether good or bad, may be comprised in these four ways. 1. He ruleth and ordereth them, by bending, inclining and turning of their wills and intentions, to serve and fullfil his decree 195and pleasure. So when the Brethren of Joseph were fully resolved to murther him, God by the means of Reuben and Judah, so wrought upon their minds and wills, that they were contented to sell him to the Ismaelites, that so the determinate counsel of God might be fulfilled; for though they intended it for evil, that he might never return to his Father, nor to have his dream fulfilled that they might bow down before him, yet God intended it for good, and so brought it to pass. And this he did not by changing or taking away their natures, nor by putting a coactive power upon their wills; but by inclining and bending them to his own purpose, so that the act was the act of their own wills, but the moving of their wills to spare his life was from the Lord: for as he that made the eye must needs see, so he that made the will must needs have a power to move, incline and turn it. And therefore the Father said well, Certum est, nos velle cum velimus, sed Deus facit, ut velimus bonum. And it is apparent that the hearts of all men are in the hands of the Lord, and he turneth and inclineth them according to his will and purpose, as saith Solomon, The Kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Upon which the note of Tremellius and Junius is this: Est quidem animus omnium hominum gubernaculum, quo velut naves in mediis aquis reguntur corpora & actiones nostræ: tamen ne ipsorum quidem regum animus ex seipso permovetur, impellitur, inhibeturque, sed Deus in singulorum animis, veluti clavum tenet. And concerning the wicked God saith: I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and multiply my signes and wonders in the land of Ægypt. And again: And indeed for this cause, have I raised (made thee stand, feci ut existeres, as Beza notes) thee up, for to shew in thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. And as yet exaltest thou thy self against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? And further the Text saith: He turned their hearts, to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants. 2. God also ruleth and ordereth his creatures by leading, drawing, inciting and moving their wills to his own ends and purposes, as sometimes to good, as in his own people: For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God. And so was our Saviour led, or driven (ἐκβάλλει, ἤγετο, ἀνήχθη) into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. To this agreeth the blessing and prophecie of Noah: God shall perswade, or allure Japhet, to dwell in the tents of Shem. Sometimes God inciteth the creatures to evil by the ministery of Satan, as is manifest in these examples. For the Text saith, And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, to say, Go number Israel and Judah. And another place saith: And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number the people. Whereby it is plain that Satan was the instrument, as sent and ordered of God to move David to number the people, that thereby the King and people might be punished, and the King thereby brought to a deeper sight of his sins, repentance, and a closer 196trusting and adhering to his God. So when the Lord intended to have Ahab to go up to Ramoth Gilead that he might be slain, he sent forth an evil Angel, to be a lying spirit in all Ahabs Prophets, and said unto him, Thou shalt perswade him, and prevail also: Go forth and do so. So that what God orders, Satan doth but execute. So when God intended to punish and destroy Abimelech, and the Men of Shechem, he sent an evil spirit between them to divide them, and so accomplisht his will upon both parties, as saith the Text: Thus God rendred the wickedness of Abimelech which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren. And all the evil of the men of Shechem, did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. 3. God ruleth his creatures by permission, or his will of not impeding them to act according to their wills and power, as in these cases. For God speaking of his people of Israel saith: But my people would not hearken unto my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts lusts, and they walked in their own counsels. Agreeable to which is that in the Acts: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways: which is as Beza notes: Ex arbitrio suo vivere, nulla ipsis præscripta ratione religionis. And in this sense, and to this purpose it is that God gave (παρέδωκεν) them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts; because of that horrible Idolatry that formerly they were guilty of. 4. God ruleth his creatures by his providence, sometimes by repressing, prohibiting and impeding the execution of their wicked wills, as is clear in the case of Abimelech King of Gerar, who took Sarah Abrahams Wife intending to have had carnal knowledge of her, but God plagued him and his Family, and said; For I also withheld thee from sinning against me; therefore I suffered thee not to touch her.

Now we shall come to consider how the faln Angels are under the rule and restraint of this Divine and all-governing providence, wherein we shall make it appear, that they act nothing in this elementary and sublunary World, after any corporeal manner, but as they are ordered, licensed and limited by the will and decree of the Almighty, and so do not wander and rove at their own pleasures to act in corporeal things, what, when and how they list, as the Witchmongers vainly suppose, and this we shall clear in these particulars.

1. It cannot rationally be supposed that God is less wise, in ruling and ordering the Prince of darkness, the Prince of Devils, and the head of all Rebellion and Rebels, than he is in ruling his Subjects and Servants, which are all wicked men; but all these he ruleth with a rod of Iron, and breaketh them in sunder like a Potters vessel: And therefore much more hath he a restraint upon, and a rule over the faln Angels who kept not their first estates, and therefore are reserved in chains in darkness until the judgment of the great day.

Matth. 25. 41.
Luke 8. 31.

1972. As he is the Prince and Ring-leader of all Sin and Rebellion against God, though he yet have not his final punishment, unto which he is reserved for the judgment of the great day, and though he be not yet thrust into the abysse or great depth, nor into that everlasting fire that is prepared for him and his Angels; yet is he kept in chains and darkness, and can act nothing but as he is licensed, ordered and limited by the Almighty.

Thom. Aquin. Caten. aur. in Luc. 8. p. 200.

3. And though he compass the earth to and fro, and walk about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, yet is that but according to the malice and purpose of his wicked will, for in punishing or afflicting of the godly he must have licence from God first, or else he can do nothing in this Elementary World, as is most manifest in the affliction of Job, neither could he enter into the herd of Swine, but by Christs leave and order, nor deceive Ahabs Prophets but by order from the Lord. And therefore an ancient Father said well: Quod si super porcos potestatem non habent, multò magis nullam habent Dæmones contra homines factos ad imaginem Dei; oportet ergo Deum solum timere, contemnere autem illos.

Therefore we shall conclude this briefly here, having occasion to handle it more fully hereafter, to wit, that the Witchmongers can have no shelter for their opinion from the Doctrine of Gods permission (if rightly understood) because God doth neither order, nor permit faln Angels to act any thing (especially in corporeal things) but what is for just, good, and wise ends, which cannot be shewed in these actions attributed to Witches.


Whether faln Angels be Corporeal or simply Incorporeal, and the absurdity of the assuming of Bodies, and the like consequents.

I am not insensible what great censure I may incurr for entring upon such a ticklish and nice point as the corporeity or incorporeity of Angels, seeing it hath exercised and crucified the wits of the most learned in all ages, especially being but an obscure person, and not heightned with those lofty titles that usually elevate Mens fames, more by those attributes than by the weight and strength of their arguments. Yet it being no necessary Article of the Christian Faith, but that a Man may lawfully defend either, it cannot rationally be judged by understanding Readers either to be pride or just offence for me to handle this subject. For seeing that most of the Christian and Learned Fathers for the space of four hundred years after Christ, were of the opinion that they were corporeal, 198it can be no novelty in me to revive or assert that opinion, and therefore I shall labour to make it manifest in this ensuing order.

The immort. of the Soul, p. 7, 8.
Nov. Organ. lib. 1. p. 49.
Ibid. p. 21.

1. There is a late way of arguing taken up by Dr. Moore and others, that they will undertake to prove a thing to be so or so, or else to make Man to deny his own faculties. And so the said Doctor doth undertake to prove the existence of immaterial and incorporeal beings, or else he thinketh he bringeth Men to deny their own faculties: And these faculties he maketh to be, common notions, external sense, and evident and undeniable deductions of reason. And concludeth that, what is not consonant to all or some of these is meer fancy, and is of no moment for the evincing of truth or falshood, by either its vigour or perplexiveness. But this will not accomplish the business he intends, for these reasons. 1. Because there is not the common notion of a spiritual and immaterial being in all or any Man, neither is it (to use his own words) true at first sight to all men in their wits upon a clear perception of the terms, without any further discourse or reasoning, but is only a bare supposition without any proof or evidence at all. 2. The being of an immaterial and spiritual substance can no way incurr into the senses nor affect them, because it is manifest (as Des Cartes hath sufficiently proved) that all sensation is procured by corporeal contact, and not otherwise. And though we deny not that there have been, are and may be apparitions, that cannot be rationally supposed to be the ordinary Phænomena of corporeal matter, yet affecting the senses, there must be something in them that performeth that effect, that is corporeal, or else the senses could not be wrought upon, for immateriale non agit in materiale, nisi eminenter ut Deus. 3. No right deductions can possibly be drawn from the highest power of ratiocination, where the understanding hath no cognoscibility of the things that reason would draw its conclusions from, for as the same Doctor frameth his Axiome which is this: Whatsoever things are in themselves, they are nothing to us, but so far forth as they become known to our faculties or cognitive powers. But we assert (which we shall make good anon) that our faculties or cognitive powers (how far soever some would vainly magnifie and extol them) have not the power of understanding beings that are simply and absolutely immaterial and incorporeal. 4. There is nothing that is more undoubtedly true than what the Lord Verulam hath told us in these words: Causa vero & radix ferè omnium malorum in scientiis ea una est: quod dum mentis humanæ vires falso miramur & extollimus, vera ejus auxilia non quæramus. And again: Subtilitas naturæ subtilitatem sensûs & intellectûs multis partibus superat, the which may be proved from many undeniable instances, which need not here be mentioned, only we shall add what the aforesaid learned Lord speaks to the same purpose which is this: “The fault of sense is twofold: For it either forsaketh or deceiveth us. For first there are many things that escape the sense, though rightly disposed, and no way impeded either by the subtilty of the whole body or by the minuteness of the 199parts, or by the distance of place, or tardity and velocity of motion, or by the familiarity of the object, or by reason of other causes. Neither again, where the sense doth apprehend the thing, are those apprehensions sufficiently firm. For the testimony and information of sense is always from the Analogie of Man, not from the Analogie of the Universe.” And it is altogether asserted with great error, that sense is the measure of things. Neither can these notions the Doctor would make so clear, be had or gathered, without some intimation from some of the senses.

An Antidot. &c. p. 12.
Immortal. p. 21.

2. Further the Doctor tells us that the Idea of a Spirit is as easie a notion, as of any other substance whatsoever. And he also saith: “Nevertheless I shall not at all stick to affirm, that his Idea or notion (speaking of God) is as easy as any notion else whatsoever, and that we may know as much of him as of any thing else in the World.” This later he speaketh concerning God. But that these assertions are unsound, these following reasons will sufficiently evince.

Reas. 1.

1. He doth define a Spirit thus: A Spirit is a substance penetrable and indiscerpible. Now if it be true that he affirms before, that, “the subject, or naked essence, or substance of a thing is utterly unconceiveable to any of our faculties, and that if we take away aptitudes, operations, properties and modifications from a subject, that then the conception vanisheth into nothing, but into the Idea of a meer undiversificated substance, so that one substance is not then distinguishable from another, but only from accidents or modes, to which properly belongs no subsistence.” So then if we take away penetrability and indiscerpibility, which are but the modes and properties of a Spirit, whose genus he maketh substance to be, then it vanisheth into an indistinguishable notion, and so his definition comes to nothing.

Reas. 2.

2. For if substances be known by their properties and modifications, as we grant they are, the modifications and properties must of necessity be some ways known unto us: but there are no ways either by common notions, evidence of the senses, or sound deductions of reason that can certainly inform us of these properties or modifications of penetrability and indiscerpibility, and the Doctor yet never proved either; but is only a bare supposition, and a melancholy figment.

Reas. 3.
The Immort. p. 68.
De Inject. p. 598.
De Natur. Subst. Energ. p. 406.

3. He tells us that all substance has dimensions, that is, length, breadth and depth, but all has not impenetrability, and boldly saith: It is not the Characteristical of a body to have dimensions, but to be impenetrable; to which we answer. It is strongly asserted by learned Helmont, that by the ultimate strength of nature, bodies do sometimes penetrate themselves and one another, and to that purpose he giveth convincing examples, and concludeth thus from them. Invenio equidem, naturæ contiguam dimensionum penetrationem, licet non ordinariam. And after saith thus: Quibus constat corpora solida, satis magna, penetrasse stomachum, intestina, uterum, 200omentum, abdomen, pleuram, vesicam, membranas inquam, tanti vulneris impatientes. Id est, absq; vulnere cultros per istas membranas transmissos. Quod æquivalet penetrationi dimensionum, factæ in natura, absq; ope Diaboli. And to the same purpose that most acute person, Dr. Glisson, handling this very point saith: Verum enimverò, si sola quantitas actualis sit causa impenetrabilitatis corporum (ut ex supra dictis liquet,) eaq; sit naturaliter mutabilis; quid impedit ne substantia materialis aliam substantiam, mutatâ quantitate, novâq; simul assumptâ utrisq; communi, penetret? And therefore we may as confidently deny his assumption, that Impenetrability is the Characteristical of body, as he affirm it without proof, and must with all the whole company of the learned, assign Extension to be the true and Genuine Character of Body. And further he granting that substance hath length, breadth, and depth, we must of necessity conclude, that whatsoever hath those properties must needs be material and corporeal, and so that which he would make to be Spirit is meerly Body.

Reas. 4.
Nov. organ. p. 18.

4. Whereas he saith that the notion of Spirit is as easy a notion, as any other whatsoever, it is granted, but is not at all to the purpose: for our inquiry need not be of the facility of a notion, but of the verity of it, that is, of the congruity and adequation of the notion and the thing from whence it is taken; otherwise though the notion be easy, yet without an adequate congruity to the thing it is meerly false. As for instance, when a melancholy person doth verily imagine himself to be changed into a Wolf or Dog, it is not only an easy notion, but also it is truly a notion, and yet a false notion, because there is no true congruity betwixt it and the thing from whence it is taken, the Body of the person so conceiving, being not at all changed into Wolf or Dog, but still retaining its humane shape and figure. And therefore the Lord Verulam doth to this point speak truly and clearly in these words: Itaq; si notiones ipsæ mentis (quæ verborum quasi anima sunt, & totius hujusmodi structuræ ac fabricæ basis) malè ac temere à rebus abstractæ, & vagæ, nec satis definitæ & circumscriptæ, deniq; multis modis vitiosæ fuerint, omnia ruunt. And therefore the Doctor might very well have considered, whether these his new notions had been fitly and rightly drawn from the things, to which he doth so confidently affix them, before he had so boldly asserted them, which though they be truly his notions, that is, that he did think, conceive, and frame them, yet they are not truly abstracted from the things: And so he may be rather judged to be led by speculative and Philosophick Enthusiasm, than by the clear light of a sound understanding.

Reas. 5.
Job 11. 12.
1 Kings 8. 27.

5. And concerning his Tenent that the Idea or Notion of God is as easy as the notion of any thing else whatsoever, that the notion may be easy we grant; but whether it be true and adequate, there lies the question. For those old Hereticks that held that God had Eyes, Ears, Head, Hands and Feet and the like, had an easie notion 201of it, conceiving him to have humane members, but I hope the Doctor will not say that this notion of theirs was a notion truly drawn from the nature and being of God, because there is no corporeity in him at all. And it is and hath been the Tenent of all Orthodox Divines, Ancient, Middle and Modern, that God in his own nature and being is infinite and incomprehensible, and therefore there can no true and adequate notion of him, as being so, be duly and rightly gathered in the understanding of creatures; and so the Doctors position or notion must needs be Phantastry and imaginary Enthusiasm. For as there are many things in nature that in themselves are finite and comprehensible, that as he grants of naked essence or substance are utterly unconceivable to any of our faculties; much more must the being of God that is infinite and incomprehensible, which are attributes that are incommunicable, be utterly unconceivable to any of our faculties. And it is but the vain pride of Mans Head and Heart, thereby to magnifie his own abilities, whereas the Text doth pronounce this of him, For vain man would be wise; though he be born like a wild ass colt; that lifts him up to conceit that he can fathom and comprehend the Infinite and Almighty, whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain, and therefore cannot frame a true notion of him, whom perfectly he doth not understand nor comprehend, and the attributes of God are matters of Faith and not the weak deductions of humane reason.

Origin. sacr. l. 2. c. 8. p. 233, 234.

3. Those that seem to idolize humane abilities and carnal reason, have not only applied those so much magnified Engines to the discovery of created things, wherein they have effected so little, that sufficiently proclaims the invalidity of the instruments or the inauspicious application of them, or both, all the several sorts of Natural Philosophy hitherto found out, or used, being examined, coming far short of solving the Phænomena of nature, when even the least animal or vegetable affords matter enough to puzzle and nonplus the greatest Philosopher, so that we may justly complain with Seneca, that the greatest part of those things we know are the least part of those things we know not; These engines (I say) though proving ineffectual to find out the true notions and knowledge of natural things, have also (like the fiction of the Gyants) notwithstanding invaded Heaven, and taken upon them to discover and determine of Celestials, wherein it is in a manner totally blind, or sees but with an Owl-like vision. For indeed the deciding of this point must be taken from the Divine authority of the Scriptures, and the clear deductions that may be drawn from thence; for this is that clear light, that we ought to follow, and not the Dark-lanthorn of Mans blind, frail and weak reason, for it is a sure word of Prophecie whereunto it is good to take heed, and not to vain Philosophy, old Wives Fables, or opposition of Sciences falsly so called. And therefore we shall conclude this point here concerning the corporeity or incorporeity of Angels with that Christian and learned position of Dr. Stillingfleet in these words: “But although 202Christianity be a Religion which comes in the highest way of credibility to the minds of Men, although we are not bound to believe any thing but what we have sufficient reason to make it appear that it is revealed by God, yet that any thing should be questioned whether it be of Divine revelation, meerly because our reason is to seek, as to the full and adequate conception of it, is a most absurd and unreasonable pretence.”

Gen. 2. 7.
Eccles. 3. 21.

4. In handling this point of the corporeity or incorporeity of Angels, we do here once for all exclude and except forth of our discourse and arguments the humane and rational Soul as not at all to be comprised in these limits, and that especially for these reasons. 1. Because the humane Soul had a peculiar kind of Creation differing from the Creation of other things, as appeareth in the words of the Text. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Upon which the note of Tremellius and Junius is, anima verò hominis spiritale quiddam est, & divinum. 2. Because I find Solomon the wisest of Men making this question: who knoweth the spirit of man, that goeth upward: and the spirit of the beast, that goeth downward to the earth? 3. Because it is safer to believe the nature of the Soul to be according to the Analogy of Faith, and the concurrent opinion of the learned, than to sift such a deep question by our weak understanding and reason. So having premised these things, and left this as a general exception and caution, we shall proceed to the matter intended in this order.

John 4. 24.
2 Cor. 3. 17.

1. We lay it down for a most certain and granted truth, that God simply and absolutely is only a most simple spirit, in whom there is no corporeity or composition at all, and what other things soever that are called or accounted spirits are but so in a relative and respective consideration, and not in a simple and absolute acceptation. And this is the unanimous Tenent of the Fathers, Schoolmen and all other Orthodox Divines, agreeing with the plain and clear words of the Scripture, as, God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. And again: Now the Lord is that spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Therefore we shall lay down this following proposition.

2. That Angels being created substances, are not simply and absolutely incorporeal, but if they be by any called or accounted spirits, it can but be in a relative and respective sense, but that really and truly they are corporeal. And this we shall labour to make good not only by shewing the absurdities of that opinion of their being simply spiritual, but in laying open the unintelligibility of that opinion, and by answering the most material objections.

Argum. 1.

1. And first to begin at the lowest step, Body is a thing that affecteth the senses most plainly and feelingly; for though many bodies are so pure, as the air, æther, steams of the Loadstone, and many other steams of bodies, that they escape the sight of our eyes, yet 203are they either manifest to our feeling, or otherwise made manifest by some sensible effect, operation, or the like; yet for all this, the intrinsick nature of body as such is utterly unknown unto us, for when we speak of the extension of body, as its Characteristical property, we do but conceive of its superficial dimensions, its internal nature quatenus Corpus, being utterly unknown unto us; it being a certain truth, that Quidditates rerum, non sunt cognoscibiles; and as Dr Moore granteth, the naked essence or substance of a thing is utterly unconceiveable to any of our faculties. From whence we argue, à minori ad majus, that if the substance of a body, whose affections and modifications do fully incur into, and work upon our senses, be utterly unconceiveable to any of our senses, much more of necessity must the substance of a Created spirit, conceived as immaterial and incorporeal, be utterly unconceiveable to any of our faculties, because it hath no effects, operations, or modifications that can or do operate upon our senses.

Argum. 2.

2. And as we know not the intrinsick nature of body, so also we are ignorant of the highest degree of the purity and spiritualness of bodies, nor do we know where they end, and therefore cannot tell where to fix the beginning of a meer spiritual and immaterial being. For there are of Created bodies in the Universe, so great a diversity, and of so many sorts and degrees of purity and fineness, one exceeding another, that we cannot assign which of them cometh nearest to incorporeity, or the nature of spirit. And many of these being compared with other more gross and palpable bodies, may be and are called and accounted spirits, though notwithstanding they be all Corporeal, and but under a gradual difference. So the vital part in the bodies of men are by Physicians called Spirits in relation to the bones, ligaments, musculous flesh and the like; nay even in respect of the blood, lymphatick humor, lacteal juyce, or the succus nutritius nervosus, and yet still are contained within the limits of body, and are as really Corporeal as any of the rest, and so are the air and æther. And those visible species of other bodies that are carried in the air and represented unto our Eyes, by which we distinguish the shape, colour, site and similitude of one body from another, though by the Schools passed over with that sleight title of qualities, as though they were either simply nothing, or incorporeal things, are notwithstanding really Corporeal, else they could not incur into, nor affect the visive sensories: And these do in the air intersect and pass through one another (as may be optically demonstrated) without Confusion, Commixion, or discerpsion, and may comparatively be accounted spirital and incorporeal, though really they be not so. But what shall we say to that wonderful body, Image or Idolum of our selves, and other things that we behold in a mirrour or looking-glass? must this be a meer nothing, or an absolute incorporeal thing? surely not. For it is as really a body as any in the Universe, though of the greatest purity and fineness of any that we know; and how near it 204approaches to the nature of spirit, is very difficult (if not impossible) to determine; for if it did exist when the body or subject from whence it floweth were removed, it might rationally be taken for a Spirit, and with far more probable ground than many things else that have been vainly supposed to be Spirits. And that these visible shapes of things, and this Image in the glass, are not meerly imaginary nothings, but Corporeal Figures and steams, is most manifest, because they vanish when the body or subject is removed, because that nullius entis nulla est operatio, & Incorporeum non incurrit in sensus, and because they would pass through the glass, but only for the foil or Bractea laid on the otherside, by which the Image is reflected. So that if we have bodies of so great purity, and near approach unto the nature of spirit, we cannot tell where spirit must begin, because we know not where the purest bodies end.

Argum. 3.
The Immortal. of the Soul. Axiom. 2. p. 6.
De natura substant. Energetic. c. 27. p. 379.

3. Dr Moore maketh substance to be the genus, and spirit and body to be the two species, so that body and spirit are of one generical Identity, and so there must of necessity some certain specific difference betwixt them be assigned and proved, or else the division is vitious, and the property of spirit not proved, and so their opinion of spirit falls totally to the ground. For we affirm (and shall prove) that though a difference be imagined and supposed, yet it was never yet sufficiently proved, for omnia supposita, non sunt vera, otherwise all the impossible figments and vain Chimæras of melancholy and doting persons might pass for true Oracles: but it is one thing truly to understand, and another thing to imagine and fancy what indeed is not, nor ever was. And though the supposition seem never so probable and like, yet it will but at the best infer the possibility of such an imagined difference, but not prove it really to be so, and therefore here we shall retort the Doctors Axiom against him, which is this: “Whatsoever is unknown to us, or is known but as meerly possible, is not to move us or determine us any way, or make us undetermined; but we are to rest in the present light and plain determination of our own faculties.” Now that a spirit is penetrable and indiscerpible, may be imagined as possible to the fancies of some, but cannot be clearly intelligible to any sober mind; for to imagine, and to understand, are faculties that are very different, and however if such a difference be conceived as possible (which cannot enter the narrow gate of my Intellect) yet the difference of being penetrable and indiscerpible, is not to move us to determine that a spirit hath those distinct properties from bodies, because they are but known to us as meerly possible. And therefore that these two differences of penetrability and indiscerpibility assigned by Dr Moore, are not sufficiently proved to be so, we shall give these reasons. 1. If bodies in the ultimate act of nature can penetrate themselves and one another, as Helmont and Dr Glisson do strongly labour to prove, then penetrability is not the proper difference of spirit from body, because then common 205to them both. 2. But if it be taken for a truth (and the one of necessity must be true) that bodies do not, or can possibly penetrate themselves or one another, as the common tenent holdeth, and seemeth most agreeable to verity, for it is simply unintelligible and impossible to conceive, that two Cubes (suppose of Marble or Metal) should penetrate one another, and yet but to have the dimensions of one, and to possess no greater space than the one did formerly fill: And if this be impossible and unintelligible in respect of bodies, whose properties, aptitudes, affections and modifications are apparent to our senses, then must it be more impossible and unintelligible in substances supposed to be meerly incorporeal, because they must needs be more pure and perfect, and therefore less subject to such unconceiveable affections; and however, it can be no wayes known to our faculties or cognitive powers, that they have any such specifical property or affection. 3. As it is not any way manifest to any of our senses, nor can be proved by any sound deductions of reason, so it cannot be manifested to be any innate notion shining from the Intellect it self, and we ought not to take adventitious ones instead of those that are innate, nor fictitious ones for either, but to make a due distinction of each of them one from another. 4. Neither is indiscerpibility a proper difference of a spiritual substance from a corporeal one, because the visible species of things do in the air intersect one another, and suffer not discerpibility: and that these are bodies is manifest, because they affect the senses; and therefore that which is a property of some bodies cannot be the proper difference to distinguish a spirit from a body. 5. This is only an arbitrary and feigned supposition, and cannot be proved either by the testimony of any of the senses, by sound reason, or innate notions; and what is or cannot be proved by some of these (according to his own position) ought to be rejected. And therefore as indiscerpibility is no proper difference of a spirit from a body, no more is penetrability, which can no more be in a spiritual substance, than either in discreet quantity one can be two, or two one, or in continuate quantity one inch can be two, or two can become one. Dr Glisson from his much admired Suarius the great Weaver of fruitless Cobwebs, hath devised another difference of spirit from body which he thus layeth down, as we give it in this English. “I assign (he saith) a twofold difference betwixt the substance of matter and that of spirits. The first is taken from the substantial (à substantiali materiæ mole) heap or weight of the matter. For I (he saith) besides the actual and accidental extension, do attribute to the matter this substantial heap or weight which is denied to spirits. But the sign of this heap or weight is, that if the matter in the same space be duplicated, triplicated, or centuplicated, that it will be made more dense twofold, threefold, or an hundred fold. And concludeth thus: I answer (he saith) that matter and spirit in this do agree betwixt themselves, that they both are finite, and from thence that they have this common, 206that neither of them can reduce themselves into a littleness that is infinite, or into an infinite magnitude. Therefore the difference betwixt them doth not consist in this; but in this, that a spirit whether it be contracted or dilated, is not made more dense or rare; but on the contrary, matter, whether it be contracted or expanded, is made more dense, or more rare.” To which we return this responsion. 1. It is usual with men, when by their wills and fancies they would maintain an opinion that is weak and groundless, finding they cannot clearly perform it, to bring in some strange, obscure or equivocal word, thereby to make a flourish, though they prove nothing: So here this learned person to make a shew to prove the difference of spirit doth assign moles substantialis as peculiar to body, but not to spirit; but what is to be understood by moles, he might know his own meaning, but I am sure there are few others that do or can understand it, and therefore is but a devised subterfuge to stumble and blind mens intellects, and not to prove the thing intended. 2. If by the word moles he intend weight or gravity (and what else it can signifie is not intelligible) then it will not be a difference betwixt body and spirit, because gravity and levity are differences of bodies in respect of one another, and therefore can be none as he assignes it. 3. To assert that a spirit when contracted or dilated is not made more dense or more rare, but that matter whether it be contracted or expanded, is made more dense or more rare, is easily spoken, but not so easily proved: and rude assertions without sound proof, are of no validity, and may with as good reason be denied and rejected, as affirmed or received. 4. We have no density in bodies but in respect of the paucity and parvity of the pores, so that less of another body is contained in them, and that is accounted rare that hath many or greater, and so containeth more of another body in them, and are qualities or modifications that only belong unto bodies, and not at all unto spirits, and is but precariously taken up by the Doctor without any proof or demonstration at all. 5. If spirits cannot expand themselves into an infinite space, nor contract themselves into an infinite littleness, then where are bounds and limits of this contraction and expansion, or how is it proved that they can do either? seeing they are properties and affections of bodies and matter, and never were proved to be peculiar to spirits.

Argum. 4.

4. Those that are much affected to and zealous for experimental Philosophie, do often run into that extream, as utterly to condemn and throw away all the ancient Scholastick Learning, as though there were nothing in it of verity or worth: But this is too severe and dissonant from truth, as might be made manifest in many of their Maximes; but we shall only instance in one as pertinent to our present purpose, which is this: Imaginatio non transcendit Continuum. And this if we perpend it seriously, is a most certain and transcendant truth; for when we come to cogitate and conceive of a thing, we cannot apprehend it otherwise than as continuate and corporeal; for what other notions soever we make of things, 207they are but adventitious, arbitrary, and fictitious, for even non entia ad modum entium concipiuntur. And therefore those that pretend that Angels are meerly incorporeal, must needs err, and put force upon their own faculties, which cannot conceive a thing that is not continuate and corporeal: But if they will trust their own Cogitations and faculties rightly disposed, and not vitiated, then they must believe that Angels are Corporeal, and not meerly and simply spirits, for absolutely nothing is so but God only.

Argum. 5.
Vid. Rob. Fludd. utri. Cosm. Hist. Tract. 1. l. 4. c. 2. p. 110.

5. If the Angelical nature were simply and absolutely spiritual and incorporeal, then they would be of the same essential Identity with God, which is simply impossible. For the Angels were not Created forth of any part of Gods Essence, for then he should be divisible, which he is not, nor can be, his Essence being simplicity, unity, and Identity it self, and therefore the Angels must of necessity be of an essence of Alterity, and different from the essence of God. Now God being a simple, pure, and absolute spirit in the Identity of his essence, if the Angels were simply and absolutely spiritual and incorporeal, then they must be of the same essence with him, which is absurd and impossible; and therefore they have Alterity in them, and so of necessity must be Corporeal, and not simply and meerly spiritual. And that as much as we contend for here is granted by Dr Moore in these words: “For (he saith) I look upon Angels to be as truly a compound Being consisting of soul and body, as that of men and brutes.” Whereby he plainly asserteth their Composition, and so their Alterity, and therefore that they must needs have an Internum and externum, as the learned and Christian Philosopher Dr Fludd doth affirm in these words: Certum est igitur inesse ipsis (scilicet Angelis) aliud, quod agit, aliud autem, quod patitur; nec verò illud secundùm quod agunt, aliud quam actus esse poterit, qui forma dicitur; neq; etiam illud secundum quod patiuntur, est quicquam præter potentiam, hæc autem materia appellatur.

Argum. 6.
Serm. 6 sup. Cantic. p. 505.
Lib. 5.

6. Therefore to conclude, these arguments do sufficiently and evidently prove that Angels are either Corporeal, or have bodies united unto them, which is all one to our purpose whether way soever it be taken. To which only we shall add these authorities; and first S. Bernard tells us thus much rendered into English. “Therefore (he saith) as we render unto God alone true immortality, so also incorporeity, because he alone doth so far transcend the universal Corporeal nature of spirits, that he doth not stand need of any body whatsoever, in any operation whatsoever, being content with only a spiritual nodd (or motion) when he will, to perform whatsoever he pleaseth. Therefore only that majesty of his, is that, which neither for himself, nor for another, hath need of the help of a Corporeal instrument, by which omnipotent will he is immediately present at every work.” And that of Damascen is full to the purpose, which is this: “That Angels quantum ad nos, are said to be incorporeal and immaterial: but 208compared to God, are found to be Corporeal and material.” And of this opinion besides were Tertullian, S. Augustin, Nazianzen, Beda, and many others, as may be seen in the learned Writings of Zanchy upon this subject: with whose words we shall shut up this particular: Certum enim est, ex iis quæ scripturæ tradunt de Angelis, probabiliorem esse Patrum sententiam, quàm Scholasticorum: utram tamen sequaris, non multum peccaveris, nec proptereà inter Hæreticos haberi poteris.

And on the otherside, if they be holden to be simply and absolutely incorporeal, then these absurdities must of necessity follow.

1. If Angels be simply incorporeal, then they can cause no Physical or local motion at all, because nothing can be moved but by contact, and that must either be by immediate or virtual contact, for the Maxime is certain, Quicquid agit, agit vel mediatione suppositi, as when ones hand doth immediately touch a thing and so move it; vel mediatione virtutis, as when a man with a rod or a line, doth draw a thing forth of the water, both of these do require a Corporeal contact, that is, that the superficies of the body moving or drawing, must either mediately or immediately touch the superficies of the body to be moved or drawn. But that which is absolutely incorporeal hath no superficies at all, and therefore can make no contact either mediate or immediate; and therefore Angels if simply incorporeal, can cause no Physical or local motion at all.

The Immortal. l. 1. c. 10. p. 72.
Princip. Phil. Part. 2. p. 40.

2. If Angels be absolutely incorporeal, then they cannot be contained or circumscribed in place, and consequently can perform no operation in Physical things. To which if they answer with Thomas Aquinas: Quod circumscribi terminis localibus est proprium Corporum, sed circumscribi terminis essentialibus, est commune cuilibet Creaturæ, tam corporali, quam spirituali; This aiery distinction might have taken place, if Aquinas had shewed us what essential terms and limitations are, but of this we have no proof at all, and what was never proved may justly be denied. For what a definitive place is, was never yet defined, neither can we possibly conceive an Idea or notion of any such thing, but only as we may make a Chimæra or figment of that which never was nor is. For though we may apprehend that they are not circumscribed in place, as gross bodies are, yet it is not to be doubted, but that they move from place to place, and do so consist in some place, that they occupy a certain space of place, and this is most certain, if we believe (as we ought) those things which the Scriptures do declare concerning the mission and motion of Angels. And therefore notwithstanding this frivolous and feigned distinction, we may conclude with Theodoret, Angelorum naturam esse finitam, & circumscriptam, eóq; opus habere loco. Neither doth that avail to solve the business, and make this a good distinction, which is brought by Dr Moore, to wit, that there are two acceptions of place, the one being imaginary space, 209the other that place is the concave superficies of one body immediately environing another body, and that therefore there being these two acceptions of place (he concludeth) that the distinction of being there Circumscriptive & definitive, is an allowable distinction. But by the Doctors leave we must affirm, that what he saith is not allowable, and that for these reasons. 1. Because imaginary space hath no existence in nature, but only in the fancy of the Imaginant, & entia rationalia, non sunt entia naturalia ex parte rerum existentia. 2. Because it is a certain truth which Des Cartes hath taught us, to wit: That the names of place or space, do not signifie any thing different from a body that is said to be in a place, but only do design the magnitude, figure and site of it amongst other bodies. And that this site may be determined, we ought to have respect unto some other bodies, which we may consider as immoveable. And as we respect divers bodies, we may say that the same thing at the same time doth change place and not change place. As when a Ship is carried in the Sea, he who sitteth in the Ship doth alwayes remain in one place, if respect be had to the parts of the Ship, betwixt which parts he keepeth the same site: And the same person doth continually change place, if respect be had to the shores, because he continually receedeth from some shores, and cometh more near unto other. 3. Neither is this distinction good, because as the same Author tells us: Non etiam in re differunt spatium, sive locus internus, substantia corporea in eo contenta, sed tantum in modo, quo à nobis concipi soleat. 4. Dr Moore granteth that spirits are substances and have extension, and we affirm that nothing can be so but what is Corporeal, and consequently must be in place circumscriptively, and therefore the fancy of a definitive place, is meerly a fictitious foppery, without ground or reason.

Object. 1.
1 Timoth. 6. 16.
Hebr. 1. 3.
1 Tim. 6. 13.
Job 34. 14, 15.
De Lithias. l. c. 8. p. 70.

And now let us examine the objections that are usually brought against this opinion, the strongest of which is to this purpose; that if Angels be Corporeal, then of necessity they must be mortal, alterable and destructible; to which I answer. 1. Because no Creaturely nature is or can be immortal, per se & ab intrinsecâ & propriâ naturâ, for God only is so as saith the Text, ὁ μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν, Who only hath immortality; Therefore the Angels whether corporeal or incorporeal, are not immortal, neither by themselves or their intrinsick nature, either (as the Schools speak) à parte ante, vel à parte post, because God only is so, exclusively considered in regard of any Creature, and so the objection is of no force. 2. The Corporeity of Angels doth not at all hinder their immortality à parte post, for as God is only immortal in respect of Essence, Eternity, Infinity and Independency, so Angels nor any Creatures, are immortal in that point or respect, but only in regard of their dependency upon God, who by his conservative power doth keep them by Christ, that for the time or duration to come, they shall not die, perish, or be annihilated; and this he can and doth as well perform 210if they be corporeal as spiritual, even as he doth preserve and conserve the bodies of the Saints in their Graves until the general Resurrection, and in the World to come doth keep them in immortality; though they be changed and made spiritual bodies, yet they remain bodies still. For it is he that sustaineth all things by the power of his word; And it is he that doth vivifie or quicken all things: and if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. So that the objection is of no validity, because no Creature is kept in perpetual duration, à parte post, ab intrinsecâ naturâ, sed ex causis conservantibus, which is the goodwill, benignity, and blessed influence of Jehovah, and not from any internal creaturely power. 3. Every spiritual and incorporeal substance that is created, is as annihilable by the prime power that created it, as is a Corporeal created substance. And on the contrary, a Corporeal or material substance is no more capable of annihilation by any power or efficiency of second Causes, than an incorporeal and spiritual substance is; and therefore whether Angels be simply incorporeal, or that they be Corporeal, it neither maketh for nor against their immortality, which consists only in the benign emanation of the Divine conservative power of the Almighty: And therefore doth profound Bradwardine draw that invincible, and undeniable Corollary of verity, Quod necesse est Deum servare quamlibet Creaturam immediatiùs quacunq; causa creata. 4. Though the most of the bodies that are known unto us be divisible, alterable and discerpible, or dissipable in respect of our conceptions of them, yet actually we may find many bodies in nature that are not, nor ever were dissipated or dissevered secundum totum, though there may be alteration in their superficial parts, as the Earth, the Sun, Moon, the rest of the Planets, and those great and glorious bodies that we call Stars; so that for the duration of bodies à parte post we can conclude little of certainty. And as there are bodies that secundum suum totum, are not severed or dissipated, so there are some bodies that though they may suffer division and dissipation into smaller parts, yet do those parts though most minute, suffer no real transmutation, but remain of the same Homogeneous nature they were before, as is most manifest in Silver dissolved in Aqua fortis, wherein though it be so severed and dispersed, that it appear not at all unto the eye, yet may it be from thence recovered and redintegrated into its own nature as it was before. And also the Masters of the more abstruse Philosophy affirm to us upon their own certain experience, that though metallick Mercury may be divided into insensible and invisible Atomes, yet still it retains the nature of metallic Mercury, and that thus Helmont tells us: Si non vidissem argentum vivum eludere quamcunq; artificum operam, adeò, quod aut totum avolet adhuc integrum, aut totum in igne permaneat, atq; utrolibet modo, servet impermutabilem sui ac primitivam identitatem, identitatisq; homogeneitatem anaticam: dicerem artem non esse veram, quæ vera est, 211sine mendacio, atq; longè verissima. So also there are bodies which although they suffer division and separation by some other bodies dissevering of them, yet by motion of coition they soon close and redintegrate themselves, having thereby suffered no detriment at all, as is most apparent in the pure body of the Æther, the visible species of things, the images in a Looking-glass and in shadows, which are all bodies. So that seeing bodies, no more than Spirits to be annihilable by second causes, and that there are some bodies that are not dissipated secundum totum, and that there are others that though they are separable into more minute particles, yet do they remain in Analytical and Homogeneous Identity, and that there are others that though they be actually for a small moment divided, yet they do instantaneously coalesce, and by coition unite themselves; yet we may therefore rationally conclude, that corporeity, quatenus such, doth not at all take away immortality à parte post, because bodies as well as spirits may be kept in immortality by the conservative concourse of Divine Power, and so the objection utterly falls to the ground.

Object. 2.
Psal. 104. 4.
Heb. 1. 7.

2. There is only another argument that the persons of the other opinion have urged, such as Aquinas, and the rest of the Scholastick rabble, to wit, the Text in the Psalm, which is this: Who maketh his Angels spirits: his ministers a flaming fire. From whence they would positively conclude that they are spirits, and absolutely incorporeal; but fail of their purpose for these clear reasons. 1. The Text there cannot be rationally understood of their creation, or of their creaturely nature, but of their offices and administrations, because the word used there is not from בָּרָא to create, or form forth of nothing, but from עָשָא fecit, that is by ordering them in their offices and ministrations. And again the word רוּחַ doth not alwaies or of necessity signifie an incorporeal thing but that which is a body, as the winds, and so doth Luther and diverse others render it, and it is commonly attributed to beasts as well as Men, as in that of Solomon, Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Where the word spirit, which is all one in the Hebrew, is attributed to beasts as well as to men, but no man (I suppose) will believe that the spirit of a beast is simply incorporeal, and therefore by the word spirit in the Psalm cannot necessarily be understood a simple incorporeal substance, and therefore the consequence is not necessary.

Metaphys. l. 2. c. 4. p. 222.
Vid. August.
Tom. 2. l. de spir. & an. c. 8.

But the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews must needs be taken for the best Expositor of these words of the Psalmist, who doth quote them only for this purpose, to prove that Christ in dignity and office is far above the Angels who are all ordered to serve and obey him, and are by their offices all but ministring spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of Salvation. By which it is manifest that this place is to be understood of their ministration and offices, and not of their nature or substances. 2. They can no more be meerly and literally said to be spirits, understanding 212spirit to intend an absolute incorporeal substance, than his ministers can be literally understood to be flaming fire, they must either be both literally true, which is absolutely absurd, or else those words must have a metaphorical interpretation, as they may and must have, and there is no inconvenience in that exposition. For as the winds, which is but a strong motion of the air, and the shining or flaming fire, are two of the most quick, agile and operative agents that are known unto us in nature, so the Angels and Christs Ministers are strong, quick and most nimble and powerful in performing their offices and administrations. Therefore we shall conclude this as Scheibler doth from S. Augustine: Nihil enim invisibile & incorporeum naturâ credendum est, præter solum Deum, qui ex eo incorporeus & invisibilis dicitur, quia infinitus, & incircumscriptus est, & simplex, & sibi omnibus modis sufficiens se ipso, & per seipsum: omnis verò rationalis creatura corporea est, Angeli & omnes Virtutes corporeæ sunt, licet non subsistunt in carne.

Judges 13. 20.
Dan. 3. 24, 25.
Luke 24. 39.

Now though we have sufficiently proved that they are corporeal, that is, that they have bodies naturally united unto them, and so have an internum, or moving power, and an externum, or a part moved, that is, as Dr. Moore confesseth, a spiritual and incorporeal part, and a corporeal part or vehicle, yet to assign what kind of bodies they have, or what proper difference there is betwixt their substance and other corporeal substances is no easie matter to determine. Only we shall give two differences whereby they are distinguished from other substances that are corporeal, and that as the Scripture holdeth them forth unto us. 1. The first differential distinction is, that their bodies do not suffer, or are altered or dissipated, by the most strong, and operative sublunary agent that is known unto us: Amongst which we have none of greater force and activity than our culinary fire, yet it is manifest that that Element did not work upon nor burn the Angel that appeared to Manoah and his Wife, who ascended in the flame of the altar, and was not touched, or altered at all, which plainly sheweth that his body was not to be wrought upon by the fierce flame of sublunary fire, and he is there called the Angel of Jehovah. This also is confirmed by that which Nebuchadnezzar saw, and confessed, that though there were three men only cast into the fiery furnace, yet he saw a fourth (which by all the learned is judged to be an Angel) and they had no hurt upon them, that is, the fire did not work upon their bodies to burn, alter, or consume them. So that in this the bodies of Angels differ from the most of other bodies, because they do not suffer by sublunary fire, the most violent agent that we know. And this must needs rationally be taken to be proper unto Angels in regard of their created natures, and not as superadded by a Divine and Almighty Power, as in some other cases it may be granted. 2. A second difference is, that what bodies soever spirits or Angels have, or appear in, they have not flesh and bones such as Christ had in his true and numerical body in which he did appear after his 213resurrection, which was the same individual body which he had before he was crucified. But though they have bodies, yet to feeling and tangibility they have not flesh and bones as humane bodies have, which have a renitency and resistibility to our touch, which their bodies have not, being as it were ethereal, airy and shadowy; and yielding and giving way to the touch, and though to be divided and separated, yet, maybe, do as soon close by counition, and so suffer nothing at all by that division.

Saints Everlast. rest, c. 7. part 2. p. 255.
Sup. Cantic. p. 504.

Concerning the properties of their bodies it seems to have been the opinion of Tertullian (as I find him quoted by Mr. Baxter) that they had thin pure and aereal bodies which they could dilate and expand, condense and contract at their pleasures, and so frame them into diverse and sundry shapes; his words are these: Dæmones sua hæc corpora contrahunt, & dilatant, ut volunt: sicut etiam lumbrici, & alia quædam insecta. So we see that some worms and insects will extend themselves into a vast length and smallness, that they can pass through a very small hole, or passage, and again contract themselves into a great bulk, drawing in the length, and increasing the breadth and thickness, which though it still be the same corporeal substance, and in general doth, in what figure soever it be brought into, but retain the same dimensions in respect of place, yet in regard of accidental shape or figure it may change the dimensions in respect of one another, as one while to be more in longitude, and less in breadth and depth, and sometimes more in breadth and depth, and less in length. So may the bodies of Angels by contraction and dilatation, sundry wayes alter their dimensions, and consequently their shapes and figures, and all this according to the motion and act of their own wills, so that still there must be limits to these acts of distention and contraction, that they can do neither in an infinite degree as either to become an insensible and indivisible prick, nor to be infinitely expanded or dilated, and this opinion hath sufficiency of rationality and intelligibility in it. Of this very point S. Bernard speaketh thus modestly: Videntur Patres de hujusmodi diversa sensisse, nec mihi perspicuum est undè alterutrum doceam: & nescire me fateor. And though we cannot punctually enumerate, nor assign the certain properties of their bodies, yet we may rationally conclude thus much. 1. That they being creatures ordained for high and noble ends must needs have their bodies and organs fitted and suitably proportioned to fulfil and accomplish those ends, as doth most manifestly appear by the bodies and organs of all other creatures, which are most wisely and fitly framed by the Almighty, according to the several ends and uses they were created and ordained for. 2. It is most probable that considering there are creatures that as their wills are moved by their passions and affections can alter the colours and figures of their own bodies, as is manifest in worms, and in the colours of the Chameleon, as it is asserted by the experience of the learned Physician Dominicus Panarolus, so from the less to the more, that Angels have bodies of 214far more excellency to perform their ministrations in, than those gross and terrestrial bodies have that are here below. And it is no small wonder to observe our ordinary Gallus Turcicus vel Gallopavus, how quiet and demissly sometimes he goes, and then again upon the suddain by some emotion of spirit, how will his train be advanced and extended, his barbles swelled and puffed up, and the appendicle that comes over the bill or rostrum, be extended or contracted at the pleasure of the animal: And much more to consider the quick and suddain change of the colours of both those parts, as sometimes to a whitishness, or an ash-colour, sometimes purple, sometimes blewish, and sometimes pure red, so quick a motion that creature can give to the spirits and blood, that they can so quickly alter and change, not only the colours, but also the magnitude. And much more may we rationally believe that Angels can alter and change the figure and colour of their bodies according to the ministrations they are imployed about.

Mark 12. 25.
1 Cor. 15. 44.

3. The Scripture informeth us that in or at the resurrection, the bodies of men shall be as the Angels that are in heaven, sicut Angeli: Now this Analogy, comparison, or assimilation, would be altogether false if Angels had no bodies at all, but were meerly incorporeal; then it would follow, that the bodies after the resurrection were made meer Spirits, and so ceased to be bodies, which is false according to the doctrine of S. Paul, who sheweth us plainly that after the resurrection they are changed in qualities into σώματα πνευματικὰ spiritual bodies, for there is a natural Soul or Animal body, and so likewise, there is a spiritual body. From whence we necessarily conclude that Angels have Bodies, and that they are pure spiritual ones.

Now we shall come to the other point intended in this Chapter, that is to shew that the opinion of Angels assuming bodies of the Elements here below, is a meer figment, as must of necessity follow if this be a truth that we have proved, to wit, that they have bodies; for then assuming of other bodies must needs be in vain and to no purpose: but we shall also shew the weakness and folly of that Tenent by these positive reasons following.

1. Those that maintain the assumption of bodies dare not affirm that they are so invested with those bodies, as are humane souls with their bodies: for then there must be vital union, which cannot be but by Divine Ordination: But it doth not any where either by Scripture, or sound rational consequence, appear that either God appointed, or gave power to Angels to assume to themselves bodies of what shape they pleased, or that he ordained a vital union, betwixt the Angels and those bodies they are supposed to assume either by Creation, or Generation, and therefore if they did assume any such bodies it must but be as we put on and off our Garments, or as Players put on and off their Perukes, Vizards and Garments according to the several things or persons they intend to represent and personate.

2152. But the great question will be, who are the Taylors that shape and frame them these vestments? what! must it be themselves that shape and figurate these bodies, as snails are supposed to frame and make their shells and houses? Surely not, because if they be simply incorporeal, then they can make no contact with corporeal matter, and without a corporeal contact there can be no alteration nor organization of matter, and consequently, they cannot frame or shape themselves such vestments; neither can any other actor or agent be assigned that can frame them, and therefore the Tenent is a most ridiculous figment. And again if they should have such solid bodies framed of the inferior Elements, as the body of a Serpent, as the Witchmongers do suppose the Devil assumed when he deceived Evah, and such bodies as Demons are vainly supposed to assume to carry the heavy bodies of Men and Women in the air, then those bodies must needs be of that solidity and compactness that they cannot suddainly be wasted and dissipated, and then doubtlesly we should find them sometimes, as we do the sloughs, Exuvias, or skins of Snakes, for they could not be consumed in a moment. And it were horrid to suppose that God should instantaneously create them, and as suddainly dissipate and waste them. So that in verity there is nothing of certitude, but it may be looked at as a Chimera and a Poetical Fable.

3. And if the Angels had not such bodily organs wherein they could move, walk, speak, and perform other such actions withal, before they assumed or crept into such vestments, their being inclosed and invested with them and in them would no more fit and inable them to walk or speak in them, than would an hollow Image inable a lame Man to walk, or a dumb Man to speak that were inclosed in them. Therefore (suppose) as the Witchmongers hold, that the Devil should appear to a Witch in the assumed shape of a Cat, Dog, Foal or such like, and walk and talk with him or her, if before that assumption of such a shape, the Devil could not walk and speak, the having crept into such a vestment would no more inable him to speak, than a dead Cat in an empty hogshead, or wind pent in an empty bladder.


Of the Knowledge, and Power of faln Angels.

These evil Angels of which we treat, did doubtless, before they left their habitation and did not keep their first estate, participate of the same knowledge and power, that those Angels still retain that did not fall into that defection and rebellion; so that our disquisition must be, what knowledge and power they 216have lost, and what they still do retain, and this we may consider in these particulars. 1. That there are many things of which they are totally ignorant and nescient. 2. The knowledge that they have is dark and confused.

1 Cor. 2. 11.
2 Chron. 6. 30.
Jer. 17. 9, 10.
Isai. 41. 21, 22, 23.
Matth. 2. 13.

1. Concerning the first, this must of necessity be a certain rule that what the holy and elect Angels do not know, the evil and faln Angels must much more ignore, except the knowledge of evil and guilt, from which the good Angels are free; and these may be reduced to these few points. 1. We here may consider that the knowledge of Angels, is to be restrained into these three ranks; first either their innate and congenerate knowledge, or secondly their infused or revealed knowledge by God in his Son Jesus Christ, or thirdly their experimental knowledge that they gain by observation and experience, and it is of the first only that we speak in this Paragraph, and the rest we shall handle anon. 2. That our cogitations, desires and affections are not known to the Angels, unless they manifest themselves either by external signs, or effects, or be revealed from God; And these ways they may be known, but not otherwise; for it is manifest that Satan had darted it, or put it into the mind of Judas to betray Christ, yet had he so cunningly carried himself, that neither by any effect nor sign did the Disciples know it until our Saviour did reveal it unto them. So that the Scriptures do plainly inform us of the truth in this particular, as, For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? For this is only proper to God to search the heart, and to understand the cogitations, as saith the Text: For thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men, he only knoweth them, and neither Angels nor men: and though the heart be deceitful and desperately wicked, yet God doth search the heart, and try the reins. So that if the good Angels do not know the cogitations, desires and affections of Mens hearts, except God either reveal them unto them, or they be made manifest by signs and effects, much less must the bad Angels know or understand them. 3. Those things that are meerly contingent, and those which depend upon free will, cannot be known of the Angels, unless they be revealed by God, as is manifest by the Text. Produce your cause, saith the Lord, bring forth your strong Idols, or Diviners, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things what they be, that we may consider them, and know the later end of them, or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are Gods: yea, do good, or evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. And as the good Angels know not contingent things, or those that depend upon free will, much less do the faln Angels understand them, as is manifest in these examples. The Angel that was sent of God to warn Joseph to take the child Jesus, and fly into Ægypt, did not of his own innate knowledge, either in it self, or in its cause (as the Schoolmen speak) know that Herod would seek 217the child to destroy him, because it was truly a contingent thing, and did only depend upon the free act of Herods will, and therefore by Divine Goodness and Providence it was revealed to the Angel, thereby to preserve the life of the child, and to fulfil the Scriptures. Neither do the faln Angels know future events that are contingent, or depend upon the free will of men, as is manifest in Satans tempting and afflicting of Job, which he intended to have been his destruction, and therefore did falsly divine and foretel that Job would curse God to his face, but the event was not according to his lying conjecture, but to the manifestation of Jobs Faith and Patience, and produced his glorious restoration. So the lying spirit in the mouth of Ahabs Prophets, did not know that Ahab would go up to Ramoth Gilead, or that he should be slain there, but that God did reveal it unto him, and sent him forth with a powerful commission to prevail. So that all the predictions and Divinations of the Devil or his Angels are nothing but lying guesses and uncertain conjectures; for what can be expected from him who was a liar from the beginning, and the father of lies? Neither were his Idol-priests, Wizzards, Diviners or Prophets any better but meer conjecturers and lyars, as was most manifest in all those Oracles that were amongst the Grecians, which uttered nothing but cheats, lies, equivocations and ambiguous responsions. And those amongst the Jews were no better, who took upon them to foretel and divine for others, but could not or did not foresee their own destruction, as is manifest in Ahabs Prophets slain by Elijah, and the Priests of Baal slain by Jehu, and therefore must all those needs be deceived that run to Divining Witches and Wizzards, of which sort of couzeners we have too many.


And if against this it be objected that the Devils did know and confess that Jesus was the Son of God, and therefore if they could tell this that was so great a mystery, much more easily may they know other inferior things, and so may foretel future contingencies, to which we give this responsion.

1. We only affirm that Devils did not know Christ by their innate or inbred knowledge, but they might know him by the revelation of the Father, and by the things that were written of him by the Prophets, and by the observation of those things that were manifested at his birth, and shewed and done in his life time.

Matth. 8. 29.
Luke 8. 31.

2. And it is manifest that God did not altogether intend to have him hidden from the knowledge of Devils, because he ordered that the spirit should lead him into the wilderness, that he might be tempted, that his power and victory might be shown over the Prince of darkness. And the end that the wisdom of God had in this, was that the Devils to their greater terror and horror might know their Conquerour, and by whose power they should be tormented and thrown into the Abyss or bottomless pit, and this made them cry out saying, Art thou come to torment us before the time, and also force us not into the Abyss or deep.

Luk. 2. 11.
Math. 3. 17.

2183. The Devils might know this because the Angels had proclaimed his birth to the Shepherds, and told them, that unto them was born that day, in the City of David, a Saviour which was Christ the Lord: And they might know it from the appearing of the Holy Ghost in the form of a Dove, and resting upon him, and by the voice which said from Heaven, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. And they might know it by the conquest that Christ had over the Devil, and by their daily being cast out by the power of his word, and command, as by the finger of God.

1 Cor. 2. 11.

4. The mysteries of Salvation cannot be known unto the good Angels, but by Divine Revelation, much less unto the bad ones, as witnesseth the Text: For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God. The mysteries therefore of Salvation, as they have been decreed by himself in his eternal counsel, are not known unto the Angels, but by the revelation of the spirit of God and the complement and fulfilling of his promises. So concerning the restauration or precise day and hour of the coming of Christ, do not the Angels in Heaven know, though their knowledge be vast and great, and therefore much less those faln and rebellious Angels that are chained in everlasting darkness, untill the judgment of the great day.

Math. 18. 10.
Revel. 12. 9.
2 Pet. 2. 4.
Heb. 1. 14.
Josh. 5. 13.
Acts 12. 7.

5. And as that which is not understood of the blessed and elect Angels must needs be unknown unto the faln Angels, so likewise there are many things known to the good Angels, that are hidden or but conjectured at by the bad ones, as may be manifest in these instances. 1. The blessed Angels know and see the face of the Father in beatifical vision, as saith the Text: Take heed that ye offend not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their Angels do alwayes behold the face of my father, which is in heaven. Upon which Beza hath this note: Loquitur more seculi hujus, ubi consistere in conspectu regis faciemq; ejus perpetuò videre posse, signum est domesticæ intimæq; familiaritatis. But the faln Angels are totally deprived of this blessed Vision, being cast forth of Heaven, as saith the Text. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old Serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the world: he was cast out into the earth, and his Angels were cast out with him. And S. Peter tells us, that God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness. 2. And as they have lost the vision and fruition of the mercies of God, so they have utterly lost the knowledge of his will, concerning his Covenant of Grace and mercy to the elect, for they are only ministring spirits sent forth to tempt to sin, to afflict and punish, and have still enough for the advancing of the Kingdom of darkness, but have no knowledge of saving grace nor the mysteries of the Gospel, but are all enemies and adversaries to God and the Kingdom of Christ, and goeth about seeking continually whom he may devour. But it is the blessed elect Angels that are ministring 219spirits, sent forth for to minister to them, who shall be heirs of Salvation. 3. The good Angels have the blessed messages revealed unto them for the assisting and delivering of the godly. So an Angel did comfort Joshua, and another warned Joseph to take the child Jesus, and to fly into Ægypt, thereby to preserve the childs life; and an Angel delivered the Apostles forth of prison, and many such happy errands are made manifest unto them, and they imployed about them, of all which the faln Angels are utterly ignorant, and they are concealed from them.

6. There are some things that the evil Angels know of, which the blessed ones have no sensibility of, that is the knowledge of their own guilt, and the experimental sense of the loss of Gods Favour, Love, Grace and Mercy.

Jude 6.
De Civitat. Dei, l. 9.

2. The second thing that we proposed to handle, is, that the knowledge that the faln Angels have is dark and confused, which is plain because they are reserved in chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. Now those that are kept or reserved in darkness, must of necessity have their knowledge dark, and consequently confused; and he also that is the Prince of darkness, and the Father and Author of the works of darkness, must needs like his children have his understanding darkned also. And therefore we will conclude this point with the opinion of S. Augustine who speaking both of the Angels that stood, and those that fell, saith thus: Ante peccatum autem tam isti quam illi perfectè omnia intelligebant. Accessit igitur istis propter peccatum aliquid tenebrarum. Proindè etiam tenebræ appellantur, & in tenebris esse dicuntur, cœlesti illa luce destituti, & in locum caliginosum præcipitati. Ut indè intelligamus nonnihil tenebrarum naturali etiam illorum menti accessisse, in pœnam admissi peccati in Deum, Deiq; filium. But we shall only here speak of their knowledge in reference to things acted in this elementary and sublunary world, and that in these particulars.

1. Though they retain the same faculty of understanding that they had before their fall, of the generation, motion and mutation of natural things here below, yet is it much darkned, and far inferior to the knowledge of the good Angels in natural things, the one sort living and abiding in light, and the other being shut up in darkness.

2. What knowledge soever they have by their natural faculties, or that they may be supposed to gain by acquisition, is by them gotten or learned for no other end, but for the hurt and destruction of mankind, and not as the good Angels who make use of theirs for the benefit of those that shall be heirs of Salvation. For as a good Physician labours and studies to know the nature and virtues of Animals, Vegetables and Minerals, and their parts and products, for the good and benefit of mankind, but a Witch or poysoner laboureth to know their virtues thereby to destroy and kill; even so do the evil Angels, and not otherwise.

John 8.44.
2 Thes. 2. 9, 10, 11.

3. The knowledge of Devils whether natural or acquisitive is spurious, erroneous, fallacious, deceitful and delusive; both in 220respect of themselves and others, for as saith the Scripture: He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Therefore saith learned Rollock upon this very place: Hoc est loqui ex ingenio suo, quod naturale est sibi facere; suum enim & quod ex sese deprompsit, non autem quod aliundè accepit, profert. For as all the endeavours of the faln Angels tend to the seduction and delusion of others, so are they, and were they the deceivers and deluders of themselves: For it is most manifest that their minds are so obcæcated and covered over with darkness, that although they be not altogether in general destitute of the knowledge of that which is just and unjust, good and evil, pious and impious, yet they do not acknowledge their own sin, as they ought, for they are so pertinacious in their sin and wickedness, that they do not attentively perpend and consider their own evil, and therefore are not truely sensible, or do understand that it is evil, and therefore are by the just judgment of God so absolutely obcæcated that they cannot acknowledge their own evil and sin. And as that knowledge they have is so darkned that they have deluded and deceived themselves, so all their knowledge in respect of others is erroneous, fallacious and lying, as the Text witnesseth of Antichrist: Even he whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders: And with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness, in them that perish. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie.

4. In regard of the words, intentions and actions of wicked Men they both know and may foretel much, because they are the Authors and devisers of those evils and wicked thoughts; as it was the Devil that pushed on the Scribes and Pharisees to accuse and put Christ to death, for it was their hour and the power of darkness, and it was Satan that had darted it into the mind of Judas Iscariot to betray his Master: And therefore the Devils might probably (if not certainly) know that his death would be brought to pass; so that they may easily foretel what themselves have projected and prepared instruments to accomplish.

5. The acquired knowledge of the faln Angels must needs be great in regard of their vast multitudes and their being dispersed in this caliginous air or Atmosphere, for the Devil is called the Prince of the air (if that be literally to be understood) and he compasseth the earth and walketh to and fro in it, and goeth about, seeking whom he may devour, and therefore by their agility of body and celerity of motion may easily know what is done and spoken, and may so very quickly convey it one to another, and so may most readily communicate things that are acted or spoken at an incredible distance one from another; but yet all this no further than Divine Providence will permit and allow of.

De ver. influ. rer. l. p. 425.

6. The Witchmongers and others do attribute a kind of omnisciency 221to Devils in respect of their acquired knowledge, which we by no means can allow them, and that for these reasons. 1. Though it be granted that they do grow and increase in the knowlege of sin, evil, and wickedness, therewith to hurt, devour and destroy, or gain more skill and craft to lie, cheat, delude and deceive; yet that they either gain or gather any knowlege that is good, or for any good end, is absolutely false, for they abode not in the truth, neither are they lovers of truth, but are utter Enemies to all good knowledge and verity. 2. That they may be Masters of all the arts or wayes of deceit, lying, cheating and delusion, is no way to be denied; but that they should (as many suppose) by reason of their longevity and duration, learn and be perfect in any or all of the good Arts or Sciences, is to me utterly incredible, because they are the Corruptors of all, but the perfectors of none, else should they be the greatest Philosophers in the World, which is false. And therefore most Christian and pious was that Sentence of that unjustly censured Person Paracelsus in these words: Et licèt Diabolus quidem plurima machinetur: hoc tamen cum omnibus suis legionibus præstare minimè potest, ut vel abjectam ollam frangat, nedum eandem faciat: multò is minùs quenquam occidere, aut jugulare potest, nisi id mandato, permissu jussuq; ac vi divina faciat.

The other main point that we undertake to handle in this Chapter, is, touching the power of the faln Angels, and that is to be considered in these three particulars: 1. In general in respect of their power, either in spiritual and moral things, or in things natural. 2. Or in respect of spiritual and moral things in particular. 3. Or in respect of Physical and sublunary things.

John 12. 31.
Ephes. 2. 2.
Rom. 14. 17.
Ephes. 6. 12.
Heb. 2. 14.
Vid. Caten. Aur. Tho. Aquin.
Psal. 119. 89.
Psal. 147. 8. 16, 17, 18.
Psal. 148. 8.
Ephes. 6. 12.
Homil. 22. p. 257.
Jo. 8.

1. And for the first it must of necessity be granted, that their power since their fall is much diminished, or at least restrained and chained and fettered up. For they becoming Rebels against the Almighty, and not keeping their first Estate, but having left their own habitation, it was most agreeable to the wisdom and justice of God to take away from them the greatest part of that power and authority that he formerly had given them, and so to imprison and chain them up, that they might never be able to attempt or perform the like Rebellion again; otherwise the Almighty should not have used that wisdom that is ordinary with earthly Princes, who haveing overcome those that rebelled against them, do not only disarm them, but also confine or imprison them. And to this very thing do the Scriptures allude, when they say, that they are delivered into chains of darkness, and that they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. So that though the Devils still retain their cruel, wicked and devouring will and mind; yet they are but like the Lyon within the Bars of Iron, or Bajazet in the Cage of Iron led about by Tamberlan, and so though they be never so cruelly bent to do mischief, yet they are under the Chains and cooped up in the Grates of Darkness, and kept in Everlasting Chains that they are never able to break or unloose. 222And though he be called the God of this World and the Prince of it, yet that is not to be understood, that he is the Prince and Ruler of the Creatures of the World, or that he giveth riches, health, honour or the like, for those are the gift of God only and not of the Devil; but he is the God and Prince of the evil and wickedness that is in the World, for in that, and by that, he reigneth and ruleth; and to this purpose saith Rollock: Damnatio est Satanæ, qui peccati author est. Nam vita hujus mundi est secundum principem cui potestas est aeris, &c. Dicitur autem Princeps hujus mundi, quia per peccatum, & mortem regnat in mundo: ut enim teste Paulo, Regnum Dei positum est in justitiâ, & pace, & gaudio per spiritum sanctum, sic regnum Satanæ positum est in injustitia, & morte. Vnde ipse propter peccatum per quod regnat, dicitur rector tenebrarum. Propter mortem per quam regnat, dicitur imperium mortis habere. And upon this place St. Augustin saith thus: Nunc Princeps hujus mundi ejicietur foras, absit ut Diabolum principem mundi ita dictum existimemus, ut eum Cœli & terræ dominari posse credamus: sed mundus appellatur in malis hominibus, qui toto orbe terrarum diffusi sunt. Sic ergò dictum est: Princeps hujus mundi, id est princeps malorum hominum qui habitant in mundo. Appellatur etiam mundus in bonis, qui similiter per totum orbem terrarum diffusi sunt: Ideò dicit Apostolus, Deus erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi: Hi sunt ex quorum cordibus principes mundi ejicientur foras. And whereas also Satan is called the Prince of the power of the air, that worketh in the Children of disobedience, it is not literally so to be understood, as though he had the natural power of ruling the air, and causing of winds, hail, snow, frost, rain, thunder and lightning, for these are all ordered according to the will of divine providence and the causes that he hath established in the Elements: So David speaking of the Heavens, the Earth, and the Elements, doth conclude thus; They continue this day according to thine ordinances, for all thy servants: And it is he that ordereth all these, as saith the Text: Who covereth the Heavens with Clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth snow like wool, he scattereth the hoary frost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: Who can stand before his Cold? He sendeth forth his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. And all these fulfil the will and command of God, and not the will of the faln Angels; for the Text saith: Fire and hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind fulfilling his word; so that if they have any thing to do in the sublunary changes or motions of Meteors, it is but only as instrumental and organical Causes, working meerly as they are ordered and acted by the first cause that worketh all in all, as the Christian Philosopher Doctor Fludd hath most learnedly proved in his Treatise of Cosmical Meteors, which I seriously commend to those that desire full satisfaction in this particular. But the Devil is chiefly called the Prince of the power of the air, because he is the proud, high, airy and 223spiritual Prince and Ruler of wickedness in high or super-cœlestial places, by which proud, airy, and spiritual wickedness, he worketh in the Children of disobedience. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις. Upon which learned Beza saith thus: Homines quorum fragilis & caduca est natura, cui opponuntur versutiæ spirituales, infinitis partibus potentiores. And again, Ista nomina tribuit Angelis malis, propter effectus, non quod eos suâ vi possint præstare, sed quia illis Deus laxat habenas. And therefore S. Chrysostom upon this place saith thus: Mundi verò dominos eos vocat, non quod mundum gubernent, sed solet scriptura malos actus hunc mundum vocare, ut quando Christus dicit, vos non estis ex hoc mundo quemadmodum ego non sum ex mundo.

De operib. Dei l. 4. c. 6. p. 175.
Jo. 17.

2. To consider their power in spiritual and moral things particularly, we shall find they have no power in some things, but by their fall have utterly lost it, as is apparent in these few points. 1. They have lost that freedom of will that they had by Creation, and were partakers of before they fell, and agreeable to this is the Thesis of learned Zanchy, which is this: “That all Devils have so far their wills made obstinate in sins, the hatred of God, Christ, and of Mankind, that from this evil they cannot will to repent, and thereby be saved;” and this he thus proveth. 1. Because in the Scriptures they are called, πονυροὺς κατ’ ἐξοχὴν, for they are now become such, that they cannot be changed from their malice and wickedness; because it is become natural unto them. 2. From whence it is manifest, that the whole time since their fall, never yet any of them hath given any sign of resipiscence. 3. If they could repent and believe in Christ, then for them and their sins Christ also should have died; for he saith, that he prayed for those that were to believe in him; but they neither believe in him, neither did he die for them. 4. But the chief cause of their impenitency is the just judgment of God, that hath given them up to hardness of heart, because they sinned knowingly and wilfully against the truth. And this point is sufficiently proved by Thomas Aquinas, the rest of the Schoolmen and many others. 2. So that as they have lost freedom of will, so they cannot at all will or act to be saved, or to repent. 3. And as they cannot will or act to repent or be saved, so the whole acts of their wills are evil, malicious and wicked, being liars and murtherers from the beginning.

3. The third is to consider their power in sublunary and elementary things which is the most pertinent to our present purpose, it being the thing that some have magnified even to a kind of omnipotency, and therefore we must the more narrowly ventilate and examine it, which we shall do in this order.

1. How great soever the power of the faln Angels may be supposed to be, yet neither in knowlege can they be deemed to be omniscient, or in power to be omnipotent, because they are created 224Beings, circumscribed, limited and finite, and consequently can perform no act that necessarily must require an omnipotent power, and so can neither create things de novo, annihilate or transubstantiate any Creature or substance, or pervert or put forth of order, the things that God by Creation, Decree and Providence hath set into their certain orders of Generation, alteration and corruption.

Ut supra.

2. How great soever their power may be supposed to be, yet rationally it must be taken for a truth, that they have not the same power that they had before their fall. For as Zanchy saith: Certum est enim in universum, & in genere, hac etiam in parte illos punitos fuisse, ut non possint quicquid poterant, cum boni essent, nec etiam quicquid nunc velint. Because the Holy Ghost beareth witness, that they are bound in Chains, and that Satan begged leave of God to invade Job, that they fought with the good Angels, but were overcome, and that they may be so resisted of believing men that they may be overthrown. Ac væ nobis, nisi potentia Dæmonum infirmata esset, & à Domino comprimeretur, & compesceretur.

Zanch. de op. Dei ut supra.

3. And what power soever be granted to the faln Angels, yet it is by the opinion of all the learned, restrained only to these sublunary and inferior bodies, and that they have neither power by Creation or Ordination, to work upon, move, or alter things that are Angelical, Celestial, Ethereal and Superior, but only are chained in this Caliginous Atmosphere, and impure air. For it is manifest, that superior bodies work upon those that are inferior, but not on the contrary, neither have we any examples that can prove that they do operate upon Celestial bodies, and so their power (how great soever some may suppose it to be) is only restrained to these inferior sublunary things.

Gen. 19. 24.
Isai. 37. 36.

4. The operations and actions performed by the faln Angels, may be considered, either in the simple respect of their natural and created power, and this how great soever it was before their fall, is not only lessened, but that which remains, is limited and restrained with the Adamantine Chains of the decree of divine providence: or in respect of what power they may have superadded by God, when they are Commissionated and sent by God to effect some particular actions, as for example, Moses and Aaron had but the ordinary strength and power that was common to other men, before they were sent upon the message to Pharaoh, and made Instruments to deliver the Israelites, for then were they armed and indowed with the power of working great and stupendious Miracles. So it cannot rationally be imagined that the two Angels that were sent as Instruments to destroy Sodom and Gomorrha, did or could of their own proper, individual and created power, bring down Fire and Brimstone from Heaven to burn those two Cities, but that it was brought to pass by the Power of the Almighty, as granted and given to them for that judgment only, and not by that ordinary power that they could always exercise, for the Text saith: 225Then the Lord rained upon Sodom, and upon Gomorrha brimstone and fire from the Lord forth of heaven. Neither can it rationally be supposed that one Angel hath by his created power, that ability, that he can slay in one night an hundred fourscore, and five thousand, as it is written the Angel did in the camp of the Assyrians, but that it was brought to pass by the power of Jehovah superadded unto him, to work the great deliverance of Hezekiah and his people. Upon which place the learned Expositor John Calvin saith thus: Solus quidem dominus satis per se potest, ac certè solus nos servat: Angeli enim, manus quodammodo sunt ipsius: Unde etiam Virtutes & Potestates vocantur. Interim hæc vis soli Deo tribuenda, cujus organa tantummodo sunt Angeli, ne in superstitionem incidamus. From whence we may note these two things. 1. That even Devils are but the organs and instruments by which God accomplisheth his will, and executeth his wrath and justice, and so are but as tormenters and executioners to act no more than what they are appointed and commanded to do. 2. We may observe that in times past they had large Commissions given and great power superadded to perform great wonders for the destruction of the wicked, which was done for great and extraordinary ends, such as in these days the Lord doth seldom or never use, and therefore there can be no reason now shewed why Devils should have any extraordinary power added unto them in working strange feats for Witches and Sorcerers.

De op. Dei l. 4. c. 4. p. 174.
2 Pet. 2. 4.
Jude 6.
Loc. Com. p. 12.
Matth. 25. 41.

5. It will much conduce to the clearing of this point of the power of Devils to examine into what place they are faln, or since their rebellion into what Prison they are shut, and this we shall give in the Thesis of learned Zanchy who saith thus: “All the evil Angels were thrust down from Heaven, into places that are below the Celestial Orbs, to wit into this air, and below, as it were into a caliginous Prison, where they are reserved unto the Universal Judgment as bound with chains.” And this is plain from the words of S. Peter, who saith: For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment. To which accordeth that of Jude: And the Angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. For as learned Musculus tells us: Decet Christianum hominem ea modestia, & cautio, ut nihil affirmet, nec si quis alius affirmaverit, inconsideratè recipiat, quod non certo veritatis testimonio è sacris literis desumpto, confirmari queat. To this we shall only add what the acute and learned Theologue Amesius notes upon this place of Peter, which in English is this: “In general (he saith) we are taught, that they did not keep their first estate, that is, they did forsake righteousness and that station in which they were placed of God, and afterwards they have exercised from the beginning, envy, lies and murther against Men. Also (he saith) we are taught, that they were a great number that were partakers of 226this defection, and therefore the Apostle speaketh in the plural number. 1. They are said to be thrust down in Tartarum into Hell by reason of the commutation of estate and condition, because that from a most high condition, which they received by creation, they were cast down to an estate most low. 2. By reason of commutation of place, because they were thrust down from a place of beatitude, where they were conversant about the Throne of God with the rest of the Angels, into an inferiour place subject to sin and misery. But that this place is in the lowest parts of the earth, as the Papists do hold, cannot be made forth from the Scriptures, but rather the contrary, for they are said to be conversant, and to rule in the air, and to walk to and fro in the earth seeking the subversion of Men. This at the least is manifest from the Scriptures, and ought to satisfie those that are not too curious. 1. That they suffer a great change of estate and condition. 2. That they are excluded and shut out from their first habitation. 3. That they are in such a place where they suffer both the pain of loss and of sense. They are said to be delivered over to darkness, partly in respect of sin, and partly in respect of misery; for darkness in Scripture doth denote both: and they are said to be delivered in chains, by a metaphor taken from facinorous persons, that are condemned and kept bound in prison with chains, and the chains are these. 1. Obfirmation or obduration in sins. 2. An utter despair of any freedom or deliverance. 3. A terrible, expectation of extream misery, and an horrid fear of being cast into the abysse or deep. 4. The Providence of God which continually watches over their custody, imprisonment, and punishment. They are said to be reserved to damnation, because they are so bound up in these evils and miseries, that they never can escape; and yet these are but the beginnings only of their miseries, for they are hereafter to go into that everlasting fire, that is prepared for the Devil, and his Angels.”

Job 1. 7.
1 Pet. 5. 8.
1 Kings 22. 22.

6. Though the Devils be said to be reserved in everlasting chains of darkness, yet are they said sometimes to be loosed, and to go to and fro in the earth, and to walk up and down in it, and that Satan doth like a roaring lion walk about seeking whom he may devour. Which must be understood (as we have shewed before) that in respect of his evil will, malice and envy, he seeketh and desireth the overthrow of all mankind, but yet is so restrained that he doth but act, what, where, when and so far only as God doth limit and order him. For though it be usually said that God doth permit him, yet it cannot be understood as a bare and nude permission, as though God should suffer him to go so loose and at liberty, that he may exert and exercise his power to the uttermost, for then all the godly should be destroyed both in Souls and Bodies, and God should only sit by as a bare spectator, not as an Orderer, Ruler and Governour, even as though an hungry fierce Lion that had been chained up in a grate, should be let loose to rage and run where he would, 227and to kill and devour what he could, and thus the Witchmongers do suppose of him, which is false and contrary to the testimony of Gods word. But when the Almighty maketh use of Satan or his Angels, they are only so let loose that he hath a hook in their Nostrils, and their Necks in a chain, that they can act no more nor no further than he ordereth, and gives them leave to accomplish, and thus are they limited not only by his irresistible will and decree, but they are also watched over and ruled by the good Angels that are as it were their keepers and overseers. So when the Devil is used as an instrument to afflict Holy Job, he is first let loose to afflict him in his Children and Goods, but not to touch his Body; and the second time he hath leave and power given him to lay his hand upon Jobs Body, but not to take away his life: which do plainly shew, that he is not only and barely suffered to do what he will, but hath his limits set how far he shall act, and no farther. And when God maketh use of him for the punishment of the wicked, he giveth him power, and ordereth him how far to act or prevail. As in the case of the lying spirit in the mouth of Ahabs Prophets, the evil spirit is sent forth with this commission, And God said thou shalt perswade him and prevail also: go forth and do so. By which it is manifest that he prevaileth more by the virtue of Gods command and commission, than by his own proper created power.

Vid. Lambert. Dan. Isagog. c. 24. p. 68.
1 Cor. 10. 13.
Exages. Aphor. 14. p. 133.

7. It is manifest that as the good Angels are the Ministers of God for the Salvation of mankind, so the evil Angels are ministring spirits only seeking the destruction and damnation of Men; and though God doth use the Ministry of these that are evil and have an evil will, yet he useth them well, and to good ends, that is, as the executioners of his justice to chasten the godly, and to restrain, or destroy the wicked. Therefore God and the Devil do not afflict, tempt or do any other thing for the same ends; for God acteth to prove, preserve, and stir up to goodness, but the Devil acteth to bring into sin and evil, to destroy and to bring to despair, as is manifest in the History of Job. And therefore here we may consider the several ways wherein God useth the evil Angels as his instruments, and that is in these particulars. 1. God useth him generally for temptation both of the good and the bad; so he tempted David, Christ and the Disciples, for Satan had desired to sift them as wheat, and therefore he is called ὁ πειρόζων, the tempter: and these temptations are internal and spiritual, for we fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. And in these as far as concerneth the faithful, he acteth but only as God permitteth or ordereth him, as is plain in the case of David, where one Text saith, Jehovah moved David to number the people, and in another place, and Satan stood up, and moved David to number the people: where it is to be noted that God did it as the director and orderer, and Satan performed it as his instrument and servant. And the Apostle telleth us; that God is faithful, and would not suffer the believing Corinthians to be tempted above what they were 228able, but would with the temptation also make a way to escape, that they might be able to bear it. 2. God maketh use of him for the chastisement and affliction of the godly, as is most manifest in that of Job; but this only so far as he is limited, ordered and commanded from God and no further. 3. When Satan as a tormenting or punishing instrument is used of God, he hath his commission given him how far only he shall act and proceed, beyond which he cannot go one hairs breadth, as is manifest in the case of Ahab and the Gadarens Swine, so that we may conclude this with the learned Aphorism of Piscator in these words: Etsi autem Satan seu Diabolus cum suis Angelis Deo et filiis Dei adversatur quantum in ipso est, nimirùm voluntate et conatu: non tamen effectu; ita nimirum ut vel fidelibus perniciem afferre, vel quicquam efficere possit quod Deus nolit. Deus enim illum potentiæ suæ fræno vinctum constrictumq tenet: ut ea modò exequatur quæ ei divinitùs mandata, aut concessa fuerint.

8. Lastly, we shall now examine the particulars wherein learned Zanchy doth acknowledge the faln Angels to have power over our and other sublunary bodies, and they are principally these.

De oper. Dei. l. 4. c. 10. p. 186.
Acts 8. 39, 40.

1. Upon the supposition granted that the faln Angels have permission, he holdeth that by their own proper created natural power, they can as they please move in place: as to lift a Body up from the earth on high, and then to let it fall or throw it down to the earth; that they can transfer or carry a body from one City to another in a very short space of time: Lastly, that they can move and agitate bodies with every kind of local motion that none can resist them. And that therefore all those strange transportations of Witches in the air into forraign and far distant places (he holdeth) need not be thought strange or impossible, and that they may be done with great celerity, and in a short time. And this he thinketh he proveth by the example of Philip, who when he had instructed the Eunuch in the faith and baptized him, was caught away by the spirit of the Lord, that the Eunuch saw him no more, and that he was found at Azotus. Upon which we must make these animadversions. 1. That upon the supposition or ground that faln Angels are simply and meerly incorporeal, this must be false, for then they cannot move in place, nor agitate any bodies, as we have sufficiently proved before. 2. And though upon the supposition that they are corporeal, they may move in place, and may move and agitate other bodies, yet that must be understood in a proportionable measure, according to their power and strength, and not in an infinite, or indefinite respect; for though one Devil may be supposed to move or lift up that which would load an Horse, yet it will not follow that he can move or lift up as much as would load a Ship of a thousand Tun; and though one Devil might remove a Millstone by his own created power, yet it will not follow that he can remove the greatest mountain that is to be found. 3. And whatsoever motion Devils may have here in the air, or power to remove 229and agitate bodies, yet the least of these cannot be performed but by licence and permission from God, which licence and permission is always for ends agreeable to his Wisdom and Justice; but for God to license or permit Devils to appear to Witches in the shape of Cats, Dogs, Squirrels or the like, to the end to suck upon their bodies or to have carnal copulation with them, or to transport them in the air to places far distant, to dance, revel, feast and to do homage to the Devil (as the Witchmongers alledge) is for so impure, filthy, horrid and abominable ends, as can no way agree with the Wisdom or Justice of the Almighty, and therefore must needs be false and frivolous. 4. And that which the faln Angels are in the Scriptures recorded to have performed, may be considered, whether they accomplished those things by their own created power, or by the power of God granted to them when they are sent forth to perform such or such an act: For as it may not be rationally granted that the two Angels that were instruments for the destroying of Sodom and Gomorrha did bring down fire and brimstone from Heaven by their own created power, nor that the destroying Angel in Egypt did in one night kill all the first-born by his own power, but by the power of the Almighty granted unto him in that mission, so it is not rational to suppose, that although Satan might by internal motions and spiritual temptations prevail with the Sabæans and Chaldæans who were his Vassals, wherein he could work what he would, to take away the Oxen, Asses and Camels of Job, and to slay his Servants: though (I say) he might do this by his created power; yet that he should bring fire from Heaven to destroy the sheep, or that he by his created power could raise such a wind, as could blow down the house in which the Sons and Daughters of Job were, and slay them, is not probable, but that it was performed by that assisting power that was granted him of God, to effect that affliction upon Job, that God had determined for the trial and manifestation of his Faith and Patience, which cannot in any reason be said to be done by Devils in their transactions with Witches, and therefore must needs be Fables and Chimeras. 5. And whereas he addeth that the Devils can perform all kind of motions with natural bodies, and that none can resist them, it is too large by far; for by that rule they might shake and remove the earth, which they cannot do, for it abideth firm according to Gods appointment in the creation: And it is absurd to think that the superior and good Angels cannot resist them, who have far greater force and might than the faln Angels have. 6. And whereas he would prove the power of Devils by that of the spirit of the Lord conveying of Philip from the Ethiopian Eunuch, which supposing it to be a good Angel, it must likewise be granted to be furnished from God to have that power to carry him away, and doth not necessarily conclude that the Angel did it by its proper created power: neither is the consequence good, to argue that what a good Angel may do, that therefore a bad one may do the 230same or the like, for their powers and strength are not equal, the one retaining what he had by creation, the other losing much by reason of his rebellion and fall; as an outlawed person hath not in a civil respect the same power that another person hath that is under a legal capacity, and as a prisoner that is loaden with chains, gives and fetters, can neither walk, leap, or run so fast, as he that hath none, no more can the fettered Devils move with that agility and celerity that the good Angels can do that have no fetters nor chains at all.

Apoc. 7. 2.
2 Sam. 24. 16.
Acts 12. 23.

2. A second kind of actions that he assigneth unto Devils is, that they cannot only move bodies locally, but also can alter them diverse and sundry ways, as to make hot things of cold, and so on the contrary, white things of black, and black of white, and can make of fair things deformed ones, and so on the contrary, and can make sound bodies sick, and sick bodies sound, affecting them with various qualities. But these particulars he leaves altogether without proof, except one Text in these words: And he cried with a loud voice unto the four Angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the seas. From whence we shall observe these things. 1. It is granted that God doth make use of evil Angels to punish the wicked, and to chastise and afflict the godly, and in the effecting of these things that they have a power given them to hurt the earth and the Sea and things therein, as to bring tempests, thunder, lightning, plague, dearth, drought and the like; but that in the effecting these things, they have a dative power above what they had in Creation, and that they are commissioned and sent by God upon purpose to fulfil and effect these things, and so are as the organs and instruments to perform the will of God in his justice, and are always for such ends as tend to the Glory of the Creator: But for Devils to be sent to play such ludicrous, filthy and wicked tricks with Witches, as is commonly affirmed, suits not at all with the Wisdom and Justice or Glory of God, neither have we any such examples in holy Writ, no further, but that Devils only are Gods Executioners or Hangmen. 2. It doth no where appear that the Devils can alter, or change the shape or qualities of things at his own will and pleasure, but the contrary is manifest in the Priests of Baal in the time of Elijah upon the Mount Carmel, where their Idols or Gods were to shew their power by firing the Sacrifice, a thing which if Satan could have done for them with all his power, it had been most advantagious for his Kingdom; but it is evident that he neither did nor could procure as much fire as would burn the Sacrifice, though earnestly called upon by his best Servants the Idolatrous Priests. But thou wilt say, his power was then restrained and withholden at that time from effecting any such thing. Well, grant it were so, what was the end that God used that restriction upon him at that time for? was it not because God would not contribute to magnifie the Devils Kingdom? nor to suffer him any longer to deceive his people? But to discover the weakness 231of his power, who is not able of his own created power, to bring forth fire where there is none, not able to break a paper window, unless he have leave and power given him from God. And therefore much less can, for the magnifying of his own power, and to dishonour the Creator, appear as a Cat, Dog, Squirrel or the like to Witches, suck upon their bodies, have carnal copulation with them, or transport them in the air, for this were to advance his credit too much, and utterly derogatory to the Glory of God. 3. Concerning Satans being an instrument and means to bring and cause diseases, it may be considered these two ways. 1. In an ordinary way he seduceth and draweth men to gluttony and drunkenness, by which way of ingurgitation and excess they draw and contract to themselves diverse Diseases, as Coughs, Catarrhs, Dropsies, Scorbutick Distempers and the like. Others he draweth to insatiable lust and concupiscence, that thereby they fall into the Lues Venerea, and the whole troop of those dire and horrid Symptomes that accompany it, whereby Men and Women undergo great misery, pains, sickness, and sometimes death. Sometimes he pusheth Men on so far in malice, wrath, choler and passion, and many other such like ways, that they wound, lame and sometimes kill one another; and in this sense he may be said to cause diseases diverse ways. 2. But there is another way more extraordinary wherein as an instrument he may be said to cause diseases and sometimes death, as in that case of Davids numbring of the people, where there died of the Pestilence seventy thousand, and though this Pestilence was sent by Jehovah, yet was a destroying Angel the instrument and minister in the execution of it, for the Text saith: And when the Angel of the Lord stretched forth his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the Angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: now stay thy hand. And Herod for assuming to himself that honour that was only proper to God, was immediately smitten by the Angel of the Lord, and was eaten up of worms, and gave up the Ghost. And the Psalmist saith: He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, indignation and trouble by sending evil Angels among them, the Hebrew giveth it, the emission or sending out of evil Angels. From whence it is manifest that evil Angels are the organs and instruments of Gods wrath, and as Ministers cause Plague, Pestilence and other diseases. 3. Thirdly, there is another great question whether or not the Devil by his vassals, to wit, Sorcerers and Witches doth not cause diseases and death, as is believed by those vomiting up of strange things exceeding the bigness of the Gullet to get either up or down, of which we shall speak largely where we handle the opinion of Van Helmont concerning the actions of Witches: Here only we shall say thus much, that the Devil is author and causer of that hatred, malice, revenge and envy, that is often abounding in those that are accounted Witches, which desire of revenge doth stimulate them to seek for all means by which they may accomplish their intended 232wickedness, and so they learn all the wicked and secret wayes of hurting, poysoning & killing, but yet we affirm, that what evil soever they perform, it is by causes and means that work naturally, and so the evil is only in the use and application, and not in the efficients or means.

1 Cor. 12. 8, 9.
Psal. 107. 18, 20.
Isai. 54. 16.
De inject. material. p. 598.

And whereas he holdeth that Devils as they can cause Diseases, so they can cure them and take them away, we must crave to be excused if we cannot subscribe to his opinion, and that for these reasons. 1. Because of their causing of Diseases we have sufficient evidence in the Scriptures, but of their curing of any, we have not any mention at all; and though some will think this but weak because it is negative, yet it is not probable, but as it expresseth the one fully, so it would have given some hint of the other, if there had been any such matter. 2. But the Scriptures do inform us, that the gift of healing or curing Diseases, is not in the power of Devils by their Creation, much less since as a gift bestowed upon them, but floweth solely from God by the Ministry of good Angels, of whom Raphael (that is, the Medicine or health of God) is the chief. And that it is reckoned amongst the gifts of the Holy Ghost is most plain: For to one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same spirit. To another faith by the same spirit: to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit; but these gifts of healing are not given to Devils, but to the chosen ones of God. And the Psalmist where he is speaking how God afflicted and brought low the people of Israel by reason of their sins, saith: Their soul abhorred all manner of meat, and they drew near unto the gates of death, but he sent his word and healed them. And God declareth, that if his people Israel would keep his Statutes, he would bring none of those Diseases upon them that he had threatned, for (he saith) I am the Lord that healeth thee, and this he doth by the ministry of good Angels, or by natural means, and not by Devils. 3. That Devils are no causers or instruments in curing Diseases is manifest, because that were to make him act contrary to his original destination after his fall, wherein in his own propriety, he is a murderer from the beginning, and that both of souls and bodies, and never did, nor doth any good to mankind, either spiritual or natural, either real or apparent; for that were to act contrary to his will, nature and disposition, and contrary to the Ordinance and appointment of God who hath Created the destroyer to destroy. Therefore Satan after his fall was not ordained of God to be an healer, preserver, or sanator of diseases, but to be a destroyer, a wounder and murderer; for his nature is become so wicked and malignant, that his whole endeavour is the destruction of mankind, both in souls and bodies, and so no healer, no not of the least infirmity. 4. But he is that grand Impostor, that by lying, cheating and delusion, laboureth to make his Vassals and others believe that he can cure and heal Diseases, when he can do no such thing, and therefore hath and still doth amongst the Pagans, by the wicked Priests his Slaves, make the people believe, 233that if the sick persons be brought before their Idols, and there worship and pray, that they shall be Cured, when there is not any jot performed in the way of sanation, but what is by natural means, fancy, and imagination, or what is pretended to be done so, by cheating, counterfeiting and imposture. And the very same thing is practised by the Papists unto this day, in the pretence of their false and lying Miracles, fathered upon their Saints and Images, which are nothing else but lying cheats and Impostures, as we shall fully make manifest hereafter. 5. The Devil internally deludeth the minds of men, in making them believe, that Pictures, Charms, Amulets, and such other inefficacious and ridiculous means, have power to Cure these and these Diseases, when indeed they are meerly inoperative, and effect nothing at all; but yet the Witchmongers will needs have them to be media operativa, when they are utterly inefficacious, and are only means of seduction and delusion, to alter, change, or fortifie the imagination, by which alone the Cures (if any such be effected) are brought to pass, and not by any power of the Devil at all; and he operateth nothing at all in them, except a mental and internal delusion, in making the Witchmongers and others believe, that those things are wrought by a Diabolical Power, which are only performed by the force of imagination, and a natural agency and virtue. 6. Again, where there are many occult and wonderful effects wrought by natural causes and agents, as by appensions of vegetables, animals, or their parts, and minerals, by magnetism, as the Hoplochrism, Sympathetic Powder, by Transplantation and many other very abstruse and secret wayes and means, the Devil laboureth to take away the glory of these sanative effects, both from God and his Instrument which is Nature, and to have it ascribed unto himself; and in this the Witchmongers do him no small service, in giving that power and honour unto the most wicked and wretched of all Gods Creatures, that is only due to the Creator, and to his instrument Nature. And to conclude this, I cannot but repeat that excellent and Christian Sentence of Helmont: Pigritiæ saltem enim immensæ inventum fuit, omnia in Diabolum retulisse quæ non capimus.

3. A third kind of power that he ascribeth unto Devils, is their changing and transmuting of bodies, which is either in regard of substantial transformations, or of those that are but in the external figure or shape, or in the qualities, accidents and adjuncts only. Of real transubstantiations, after a long dispute, he granteth, that they cannot be brought to pass but by a Divine and Omnipotent Power, which we have sufficiently proved before, and therefore shall forbear to say any further of it here. And for what other portents, prodigies, or lying wonders he can perform, we shall here examine and discuss them to the full in this order.

Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3, 5.
Deut. 18. 20, 21, 22.

1. We shall pass by what may be thought of the strange feats the Magicians of Pharaoh, or Simon Magus did perform, as fully examined and concluded before, and shall give those Texts of Scripture 234that mention the signs and wonders that Antichrist and false prophets, that are Satans Instruments, can or do work, and they are these. If there arise among you a Prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign, or a wonder: And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods (which thou hast not known) and let us serve them: Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that Prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul. And that Prophet, or dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God.—Another place is this: But the Prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that Prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a Prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the Prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. From whence we may take these Observations.

Observ. 1.
Jonah 3. 4.
Orig. Sacr. l. 2. c. 6. p. 193.

1. That we may know he is a false Prophet, that speaketh a thing in the name of the Lord, if the thing do not come to pass: But yet this must be understood with limitation, where God sendeth a Message by a true Prophet, where the thing is spoken positively, but the condition is concealed, and not expressed, as in the Message of Jonah to Nineveh: yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown: which was intended if they repented not, but implicitely was understood (as the event shewed) if they did repent, the Lord would spare them: of which Learned Dr Stillingfleet hath this Proposition: “Comminations of judgments to come do not in themselves speak the absolute futurity of the event, but do only declare what the persons to whom they are made are to expect, and what shall certainly come to pass, unless God by his mercy interpose between the threatning and the event. So that Comminations do speak only the debitum pœnæ, and the necessary obligation to punishment; but therein God doth not bind up himself as he doth in absolute promises; the reason is, because Comminations confer no right to any, which absolute promises do, and therefore God is not bound to necessary performance of what he threatens.”

Observ. 2.

2. That there are those that do foretel, or shew signs and wonders, that do come to pass, and yet those that foretel them are false Prophets, because sometimes God sendeth false Prophets with power to work signs and wonders, thereby to try his people, whether or no they will cleave unto him with all their hearts and souls, or turn to other strange gods, or Idols; and this is ordered by the Providence of God for the trial of the faithful, as was in the Case of Job. But though these may be great signs and wonders to amaze 235and amuse men, and likewise come to pass, yet are they no true miracles, but are distinguished in this, that true miracles are alwayes for the establishing and confirmation of the true Doctrine and Worship of Christ, but the other are lying wonders, wrought only to try the godly, or for the deluding and punishing of those that received not the knowledge of the truth. And though there are, and may be signs and wonders that are wrought by Antichrist and false Prophets, by and in the power of Satan, yet these are all ordered by the Wisdom and Providence of the Almighty, and Satan is no more but an organ and instrument in the performance of them.

Matth. 24. 24.
2 Thess. 2. 9, 10, 11, 12.

There are two other remarkable places of Scripture concerning the Devils power in working signs and wonders, the first of which is this: For there shall arise false Christs and false Prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that (if it were possible) they shall deceive the very elect. The other is this: Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders: And with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness, in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. From whence we may take these remarkable observations.

Observ. 1.

1. Though there arise false Christs, and false Prophets, and even the Antichrist himself, working after the power of Satan, with signs and lying wonders; yet though Satan be the organ and instrument in performing these lying wonders, God is the Author and efficient cause that doth inflict them, because they are mala pœnæ, and come not by a bare permissive power, but are inflicted by him as punishments upon the wicked, even those that received not the love of the truth, and therefore these lying wonders cannot possibly deceive the elect, but prove all deceiveableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; and the reason why they are thus punished with the deceits and delusions of Satan, is because they received not the love of the truth, and therefore God doth send such strong delusion, that they might believe a lie, and this he doth rightly and justly, that as Beza notes, Ita tamen ut soli increduli sint illius fraude perituri. Upon which place learned Rollock tells us this: “We are (he saith) to observe that Antichrist is nothing else, but Gods Executioner by whom he punisheth those, by his just judgment, who have not received the love of the truth, but have contemned the Gospel: which is so far forth true, that if there had not been, and now were a contempt of the truth, then altogether Antichrist had not been, that is, the Executioner had not been, whom God sendeth to execute his just judgment upon those that despise the truth of his Gospel. So that it is manifest that God doth make a just, and good use of the very malice, and lying nature of Devils, in punishing those 236that did not receive the love of the truth, but deceiving them by strong delusions that they might believe a lie; and this he doth as sent and commanded of God, and so cannot go one jot further than his Commission, or as far as he is limited by God.”

Observ. 2.

2. We may observe that how great soever these signs and wonders be, yet they are but lying ones, both in regard of the end for which they are done, and in respect of their substance. And therefore how great soever the signs and wonders be that evil Angels do perform, yet they are totally different from true miracles, those being alwayes wrought for the confirming of the true Doctrine and Worship of God, but these have their end only to establish false doctrine, lies and erroneous opinions, or Idolatrous Worships. So they differ in their substance, for those miracles that God sheweth for the confirmation of his truth, are alwayes true and real, being against and above the whole power and course of nature, but those wonders wrought by Satan are but delusions, cheats, juglings and impostures, which though they may seem strange to those that are ignorant of their causes, yet do but all arise from natural causes, or from artificial cunning, confederacy and the like. And therefore we may conclude that what miracles soever are wrought by a Divine Power, tend to the overthrow of Satans power in the world, but all false miracles are wrought to uphold the power of Satans Kingdom in the world, and following delusions, lies and false doctrines.

Observ. 3.
Oreg. Sacr. l. 2. c. 8. p. 253.
Psal. 72. 18.
Id. 77. 14.
Rom. 4. 17.

3. Therefore what signs and wonders soever Satan doth work, they are no real and true miracles, for as Dr. Stillingfleet saith: “God alone can really alter the course of nature. I speak not (he saith) of such things which are apt to raise admiration in us, because of our unacquaintedness with the causes of them, or manner of their production, which are thence called Wonders; much less of meer juggles and impostures, whereby the eyes of Men are deceived; but I speak of such things as are in themselves either contrary to, or above the course of nature, i. e. that order which is established in the universe.” And this cannot be altered by any diabolical power, but only by that which is Divine and Omnipotent, which never doth it but for considerable ends and important causes, as may be manifest from these unshaken grounds. 1. That Devils can work no true miracles is manifest from the definition of a miracle which is this: Verum miraculum est opus, quod fit præter, et contra naturam et secundas causas, cujus nulla Physica ratio potest reddi. But Satan cannot alter or change the order and course of nature. Therefore Satan cannot work or effect a true miracle. The proposition may be illustrated by an induction made of many great miracles, of which there is mention made in the Old and New Testament, all which are of that sort, that are repugnant to the order and course of nature, and of which no natural or physical reason can be rendered and given. Such were the taking of Enoch and Elias into Heaven, the conserving of Noah and his Family 237in the Ark, the confusion of tongues at the building of Babel, the fecundity of Sarah being old and barren, the passage of the children of Israel over the red Sea and over Jordan, the standing still of the Sun in the battel of Joshuah, its going back in the dial of Ahaz, its eclipse at our Saviours suffering, the preservation of Daniel in the Den of the Lions, and of the three companions of Daniel in the fiery furnace, the preserving Jonas in the belly of the Whale, the raising up of the dead, and the curing of the Man born blind, and all the rest of those most true and wonderful miracles wrought by our blessed Saviour and his Apostles. 2. The assumption of the Syllogism is thus proved. It is the part of the same power to change the order of nature, and to create things that were not existent, and so the mutation of the order of nature is a certain kind of new creation. But Satan hath not power, by which he can create things that as yet had no existence, as all persons of reason must needs confess. From whence it must follow that Satan hath not power to change the order of nature, and consequently that he cannot work true and real miracles. 3. The working of true miracles is only a proper attribute of God, and incommunicable to any creaturely power, for the Text saith: Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And again, thou art the God that dost wonders. And these two things the changing of the order of nature, and creation S. Paul attributeth to God as only proper to him: God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things that be not, as though they were. Upon which Beza gives this note: Eo qui vitæ restituit. Apud quem jam sint quæ alioqui reipsa non sunt, ut qui vel uno verbo quidvis possit ex nihilo efficere.

Vid. Rolloc. in Thess. 2.

But if it be objected that though Satan and his Angels of themselves, and by their own proper power, do not work true miracles, yet may not God work real miracles by them, as he did by the Prophets, Apostles and his Ministers? It is answered: That the wonders which are wrought by Satan, do tend to that end, that they might confirm lies against God and his glory. But God doth not accommodate his power, to confirm lies, contrary to his glory, and against himself. Therefore Satan by the power of God, as his Minister, doth not work true miracles, for God doth use the faln Angels as executioners of his wrath and judgments, for the afflicting and punishing of men, but when God worketh any thing for the good of mankind, either in Soul or Body, he doth not use Devils as his Ministers, but the good and blessed Angels, who are ministring spirits sent forth for the good of those that shall be heirs of Salvation.

And if it be queried, what things and of what sort and kind, are those wonders that are wrought by Satan and Antichrist? I answer, that either they are indeed nothing but prestigious juglings and illusions: or if they be any thing, they are not brought to pass contrary to the order of nature and second causes, although they may 238seem so to us, who do not know the causes that are in nature, so well as that old serpent: neither do we apprehend the manner by which he worketh and acteth his tricks. From which ignorance it proceedeth, that those wonders, that in themselves are no true miracles, nor done contrary to the order of nature, are by us taken to be true miracles.

De Oper. Dei, l. 4 c. 12. p. 191.

But we will draw towards a conclusion of this point, with that definition and corollaries that learned Zanchy gives us in these particulars. Miraculum (ait) igitur est externum & visibile, verum & simpliciter mirabile factum, ad optimos fines atq; imprimis ad salutem hominum, & ad Dei gloriam promovendam editum. From whence these points are to be observed.

1. That a Miracle is external and made visible. For so (he saith) are all those things that we read of in Scripture that are taken to be true miracles: And therefore that the pretended invisible miracle of Transubstantiation (as they call it) in the ordinance of the Lords Supper, is a meer figment, because no such thing was ever made visible, or truely witnessed. But let us press this his argument a little further. If it be (as indeed it must be) a certain property of a true miracle that it be external and visible, that there may be witnesses of it, otherwise that which none ever saw or knew may be the property of a miracle: Then those great wonders that Witchmongers do affirm that the Devil worketh with and for Witches, as having carnal copulation with them, sucking upon their bodies, making a corporeal and oral league with them, carrying them in the air, changing them into Cats or Dogs, must of necessity be a meer figment and an impossibility: Because never yet seen, witnessed, or proved by any that were of sound judgment, right understanding or of clear reason, but are meerly the works of darkness, having existence no where, but in the minds and brains of the Witchmongers, who are ruled by the Prince of darkness.

2. A miracle ought to be really and truly done, that is, that indeed it be such a thing as it appeareth, as the water that Christ changed into Wine, was really such, that is, it was truely Wine to the sight and taste of all those that drank of it. Therefore those things that are brought to pass by the prestigious juglings of Devils and Magicians, are indeed no true miracles. And to apply this to our present purpose, it is manifest that those things that Witchmongers do believe that the Witches do or suffer, as to fly in the air, to be present at dancings and banqueting, and yet to remain empty and hungry, and the like, are but meer delusory dreams and cheating fancies in their brains, and if any thing be done ad extra, it is but meerly as Juglers do by drawing the eyes from observing the manner of their conveyances, by substituting one thing in the stead of another, and the like. So that at the best Satan in respect of what he performeth in these aforesaid actions, is but as a chief Hocus Pocus fellow, or Jugler, and one that acteth to a worse end, than our common Juglers do, who act but to move 239sport and delight, and thereby to get something to be a livelihood, but Satan works his tricks to blind and delude the Soul, and to lead it to error and destruction.

3. A true miracle ought to be simply miraculous and wonderful, that is with and unto all. And such are those miracles, whose causes are hid from all, and therefore are those things that are done contrary to the order of nature, by the only virtue and power of the Almighty God. Therefore those things that are done by natural causes, though occult to many, as are oftentimes done by Devils, are no true miracles. From whence therefore we may conclude, that whatsoever is performed in Physical actions, by natural causes, (and it is the general Tenent of all, that Devils in these cases can work nothing but by natural causes,) are no miracles, and that as they are agents, are not evil, but only become so in the use and application.

4. Every true miracle is wrought above all for most good ends, and especially for the Salvation of Men, and the true Glory of God. By this particular therefore all those signs and wonders that are wrought by Devils, are excluded from the name of true miracles, because they are all wrought for evil ends, and contrary to the Glory of God, and for the deceiving and perdition of Men. And therefore all prodigies wrought by Devils, are called lies.

4. The fourth and last particular that he setteth down, that the Devils have power in, and operate here below, is, that they can insinuate themselves into and penetrate our bodies, and so move Men diverse ways, driving them into the solitary places and Monuments, and by throwing them into the fire or water, by strange tearing and tormenting of them, and by many other ways, of which we shall only note these few things.

1. It is manifest that in the times of our Saviours being here upon earth, and his Disciples, that there were many Demoniacks or Men possessed with Devils, or Men that were devillished, or over whom the Devil exercised an effective and ruling power, and the reason was plain and manifest, for our blessed Saviour being to establish the Doctrine of the Gospel, by great and true miracles, it was necessary that there might be fitting subjects for the effecting of such stupendious miracles in and by, and therefore the Father in his providence had prepared and provided Lunaticks, Demoniacks, those that were born blind, and other strange Diseases that the power of Christ and his Apostles might be manifest in their miraculous cures. But whether or no that Devils have at all times the same power over mens bodies is much to be doubted, there being not the same causes or ends for permitting the same now that was at that season, as we perhaps shall shew hereafter.

2. The manner of the Devils possessing of the minds and bodies of Men, he laboureth to prove, to be essential and personal, and not virtual and effective, which he thinketh he sufficiently proveth by the words to enter, and to dwell, of which we shall only say this.

2401. That upon the supposition that Devils are corporeal and have thin, pure and etherial bodies, it may be granted that they may really and substantially enter into bodies, for he saith: Dæmones autem habent corpora aerea, et aere etiam subtiliora et tenuiora. Deindè, ut Tertullianus ait, Dæmones sua hæc corpora contrahunt, et dilatant, ut volunt, sicut etiam lumbrici, et alia quædam insecta. Ita difficile illis non est penetrare in nostra corpora.

Vid. Dialog. disc. of Spir. and Devils, Dialog. 2. p. 34. &c.

2. But secondly, there is none of those places that he citeth, nor any other that signifieth a local, or personal possession, or any such local inherency in the bodies of Men, but only a spiritual rule, he (that is Satan) worketh in the children of disobedience, or an effective dominion over them, by which he doth actually afflict, vex and torment Men sundry and diverse ways. Neither is the word Dæmonizomenos translated or understood by learned Men of an essential, or personal possession of Devils to be inherently in men, but only of an effective dominion in afflicting and tormenting of them.

Ephes. 3. 17.
John 13. 2. 27.
Acts 5. 3.
Luke 8. 33.
Mark 5. 13.
Matth. 8. 32.

3. And this is most manifest, that as the Text saith, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by Faith, where it were absurd to understand by Christs dwelling in the hearts of the faithful, a personal, essential or substantial dwelling, but only an effective one, because he worketh effectually in them by his spirit: Even so were it absurd to take the other places of entring into, and dwelling there, in so gross, and literal a sense, as personally to inhabite, but only effective by his power and dominion. For though the Text saith; that after the sop, Satan entred into Judas, yet in the same Chapter the Evangelist expoundeth what manner of entrance it was; not a personal one, but an effective one by putting, or darting it, βεβληκότος, into Judas heart to betray his Master. And whereas it is said that Satan had filled the heart of Ananias to lie to the Holy Ghost, no man can rationally understand it of a personal and essential repletion, but only of an effective one, having by his power seduced the heart of Ananias, and filled it with deceit by his effectual operation, and not otherwise. And whereas it is said by S. Luke and S. Mark, of the legion of Devils that our Saviour did cast out, that they entred into the swine, εἰ σῆλθεν εὶς τοὺς χοίθους S. Matthew makes it clear, saying, they went into the herd of swine, εὶς τιὼ ἀγέλιω τῶν χοίρων, in gregem, or as Tremellius renders it ad gregem porcorum, by which it is manifest that they did go amongst, or into the herd of Swine, and put them into such a fright or fury, by an effective power working upon them, that they ran down a steep place into the Sea, and perished in the waters; but not that they did personally and essentially enter into the bodies of the Swine, for that were absurd and needless, for the Swineherd can with his Horn and Whip drive them without creeping into their bellies, and much more might the Devils drive them into the Sea (according to the Proverb, They must needs run whom the Devil drives) without a personal and local being in their bellies 241as though a Piper cannot effectively play several tunes upon his Pipes, except he creep into them.


If the Devil, or Witches have power to perform strange things, whether they do not bring them to pass by meer natural means, or otherwise. And of Helmonts opinion concerning the effects caused by Devils or Witches.

Having handled the knowledge and power of the faln Angels as far forth as there is any thing manifested in the Scriptures, or that may be deducted from thence by sound reason, and finding their knowledge and power to be much less in these inferior bodies and elements than is commonly supposed; we are now to proceed to examine what they do simply of their own power, and what they perform by natural means. And first it cannot be denyed but that they can of themselves dart in evil thoughts, suggestions and temptations into the minds of Men immediately of their own power, as also to allure Men to sin by the irritation of external objects presented to the senses, as also by means of the phantasie, and especially by the melancholy humour which is Balneum Diaboli. But secondly the great question is, what they work in elemental and corporeal things, and whether it be not only by natural means, as the applying of fit actives to agreeable passives, whereby the acts ascribed unto them are performed, or not? Which we affirm from these grounds.

Vid. Gutter. de Fascino dub. 5. p. 125.

1. Because it is the common and unanimous opinion of Philosophers, Theologues and Physicians, that what the Devils operate in sublunary bodies, or in causing diseases in humane bodies, is by the applying fit actives to convenient passives, by which the effects are brought to pass. And this is an argument sufficiently pressive, and convincing, if there be any force in arguments brought from humane authority, especially considering that no other causes besides what are natural, could ever yet be assigned, much less proved.

De inject. material. p. 597.

2. And this is more plain if we consider what the Author quoted last in the Margent saith to the same purpose, Dæmon propria virtute nequit transmutare materiam corpoream, nisi adhibeat illi activa proportionata effectibus quos intendit. As for example, the Devil may cause burning, by reason that there is a combustible subject, as also a fiery and burning agent in nature, and this agent being fire, being applyed to combustible matter would produce that effect which we call cremation, or burning: But if there were 242no combustible matter in nature, or that there were no igneous agent, then it is plain, the Devils could produce no burning at all; and so where there is no agent and patient in nature, to produce the effect intended, (as in pretended fascination there is neither) there such an effect could not possibly be produced: so that from hence it must necessarily follow, that Devils can operate nothing in corporeal matter, but by applying fit agents to convenient patients, and therefore Helmont said well: Quasi Satanas supra naturam esset, operareturq; naturæ impossibilia. Dono quidem, modum operando exoticum: at sane ad intra naturam coerceri oportet.

Obs. Medic. Cent. 1. c. 70. p. 45.
Hist. 1.
De Pestil. Tract. 2. p. 388.
Observ. Medic. 83. p. 99.
Histor. 1.

3. And that many strange things that are vomited up by such as are supposed to be bewitched do proceed from natural causes, and that the Devil worketh no more in them but by instigation, to move wicked persons (such as are commonly those that are accounted Witches) to give and administer strange things, Philters, or secret poisons, to such as they would kill, torment, make mad, or draw to unlawful love, or rather lust, as may be made manifest from the testimonies of persons of unquestionable veracity and judgment, some few of which we shall here relate. Philip Salmuth chief Physician to the Prince of Anhalt recordeth this which we shall give in English: “The Daughter of a certain Inkeeper was desperately in love with a principal Nobleman. To whom going away she offers a most beautiful apple. This he suspecteth and throweth into a Basket. After three days he remembers it, and looks at it; and then it altogether appeared blackned. He expecteth for the space of other three days, and then findeth abundance of little Frogs there. Therefore he returneth into that Inn, where the Maid lived, and doth counterfeit sickness and huge torments. The Maid willeth him to use warm milk. That he poureth upon the Frogs, who take it greedily, and by little and little do increase. But he every day feigneth greater pains, whereupon the Maid pitying him doth will him to take the urine of a Mare newly made and warm. This he also poureth upon the Frogs, whereupon they die. After some time the servant of another Nobleman is afflicted with miserable torments, and there is suspicion of a Philter given by a person of quality. They exhibite Mares urine, and she vomiteth up two Lizards, and two Frogs.” By which it is manifest that such strange vomitings up of Frogs, Lizards, Askers and the like, though attributed to Witchcraft, and the operation of Satan, do but proceed from natural causes. And doubtless the sperme, or ova ranarum, were but conveyed into the Apple, that so by the heat of the Stomach, and the Chylus, (that is like warm milk) they might grow and increase. And this kind of witching, or secret poysoning, we grant to be too frequent and common, because those persons commonly accounted Witches are extreamly malicious and envious, and do secretly and by tradition learn strange poysons, philters and receipts whereby they do much hurt and mischief. Which most strange wayes of 243poysoning, tormenting, and breeding of unwonted things in the stomach and bellies of people, have not been unknown unto many learned men and Philosophers, but they respecting the good of mankind, and the multitude of evil minded persons, have altogether forborn openly to mention such dangerous receipts in their writings, or at the best so to publish them, that not one of a thousand could understand what they intended, and so these secrets of mischief are for the most part kept in obscurity, amongst old women, superstitious, ignorant, and melancholy persons, and by them delivered over from hand to hand, and commonly one learns it of another according to the Proverb, Popery and Witchcraft go by Tradition. And to this very purpose I cannot but insert that remarkable passage of Paracelsus in these words. Possem equidem (ait) peculiarem de ipsis tractatum edere, ut artes ac machinæ illarum manifestarentur. Sed propter malitiosos ista talia pennâ seu calamo minimè evulganda sunt, multa enim flagitiosa simul induci possent: quæ satius est reticeri. And that strange productions may be brought to pass, and stupendious effects brought into action, from secret and hidden natural causes, that are better known to those malicious persons that are accounted Witches, than others, may be made manifest by another observation set down by the forementioned Salmuth, and is this: “Galen and others have recorded, that the saliva, or spittle of a mad dog, if it touch an human body, and be not forthwith washed off, may cause madness. But in the Hydrophobia, there is so great force of the poyson, that the persons that are bitten do also piss or void by urine, little whelps, or pieces of flesh like them, as Avicenna lib. 3. Fen. 6. tr. 4. c. 7. hath delivered, though doubted of by others. But (he saith) I certainly know notwithstanding that of such saliva or spittle only left in the Garment, after biting, have Worms been breed, plainly resembling little Whelps with their heads. For a mad Dog did meet a Servant Maid of an honest Matrons going to the Market, and flies furiously and violently at her feet. She that she might avoid the danger, inclineth her self, and a little bendeth her knees, whereupon the Dog doth with his teeth catch hold of her Garment, and especially the seam or low selvidge, and did bark a little while, and forthwith ran away. Which being done the Maid remained terrified, and at the first doubted whether the Dog was mad or not, but having recollected her self, she suspecteth his rabiousness, because he had been very familiar, even almost domestick with her. Therefore she returneth home, and hangeth the torn Garment upon a piece of wood in the House. But afterwards upon the fourth day she goeth to it, with an intent to mend it. But oh a wonderful thing, she findeth Worms altogether like little Whelps in the head, to be bred in those places of the hem in which the Dog had fastned his teeth, and those as a new Miracle (as they did call it) were shewed unto certain of the Neighbours being called together.”

Quercet. Rediv. Tom. 3. p. 38.
Histor. 1.
Syl. Syl. Cent. 10. 564.
De Præstig. Dæm. lib. 3. c. 36. p. 265.
Histor. 2.
De Pestil. lib. Tract. 2. p. 388.
Histor. 3.

2444. Another instance to prove the strange effects that may be produced by natural Causes, and yet are so occult, stupendious, and unusual, that they are commonly fathered upon Devils, when they have no more at all to do in or about them, but only the mental perswading of the persons to use them to wicked and destructive ends, as those wonderful compositions that produce the Plague and such like grievous Diseases and Symptoms; For this kind of veneficium (call it Witchcraft if you please) is and hath been often practised by most horrible, malevolent, and wicked persons, who by an art more than Diabolical (especially in respect of the end and use) have so framed, and prepared, and commixed things naturally, that in the form of unguents have produced the Plague and divers other most pernicious and venefical Diseases, which may be confirmed by undeniable examples, of which we shall give some few. Josephus Quercetanus, that famous Chymist and Physician to Henry the Fourth of France, tells us thus much: “The Contagion of the Plague is not only contracted by the mediation of the air and water, things in a manner universal, or from other things more particular, as vestments, linnen, and other moveable things inquinated by the attraction of pestiferous Atomes: But also by the detestable Crafts, and Diabolical Arts of certain most wicked persons, which we call poysoners, or witches, by means of which they contemperate and mix certain poysons into the form of an unguent, and use to rub some of it upon the handle of doors, so that those that do but lightly touch them, are forthwith infected with the Plague, this subtile poison forthwith creeping by the pores of the skin into the extremities of the veins, is quickly communicated to the heart, to which human industry can hardly administer any remedy.” Unto which the Lord Verulam gives this cautious attestation: Pestem quoq; excitavit januarum, rimarum, aliorumq; inunctio, non tam ex contactu, quam quod homini in more positum, si quid humidi adhærescat digitis, naso illud admovere. Moneri se patientur, apud quos ea inolevit consuetudo, ut præcaveant. Johannes Wierus a learned Physician, and a person of credit and veracity, reciteth this History from Antonius Sabellicus, Ennead. 4. lib. 4. This strange venefice or witchcraft, was practis’d at Casal in the City of Salassia, a Region of Italy, in the year of our Lord God 1536. “About forty persons men and women, amongst whom there was one Hangman, had combined and sworn together, That seeing the Plague had ceased that before did rage, they would compound an unguent, with which the handles of the doors being besmeared, they should be infected that touched those handles. They did also prepare a Powder which being secretly sprinkled in the Garments, should produce the Plague. The Villany lay hid for some certain time, and many were taken away of such as were joined in blood or affinity: Also money was given (as was said) to the Poysoners, instead of inheritance. But when they had murthered the Brother and only Son of one Necus, and that scarcely 245others than the Masters of Families themselves, or their Sons, did perish: And that also they had marked, that into what Houses those Conspirators had insinuated themselves, that those for the most part did perish into whose Houses they entred: but the Conspiracy being found out, they were all put to death with most exquisite torments. They also confessed, that they had determined to kill all the Citizens upon a Festival day, by anointing the Seats, and to that purpose they had prepared twenty Pots full of that pernicious and hellish Ointment. And Paracelsus tells us, that at St. Vitum and Villacum, certain of the Poyson-makers in the time of a Plague, did take the Earth and Dust from the Graves of those that had been buried, and did so prepare it with their Magical Art, that they raised up a most cruel and raging Plague, whereby many thousands of men were infected and slain.” But that the manner of that preparation is by no means to be revealed. Those that desire more satisfaction in this particular may have recourse to that learned Treatise, de Peste, written by the learned and industrious Matthias Untzerus.

Stow. Annal. p. 681.
Histor. 4.

5. But there is no where a more strange accident written, than what is recorded in our own Annals in the year 1579. the nineteenth year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, in these words: “The 4, 5, and 6. days of July, were the Assises holden at Oxford, where was arraigned and condemned one Rouland Jenkes for his Seditious Tongue, at which time there arose such a damp, that almost all were smothered, very few escaped that were not taken at that instant: The Jurors died presently: Shortly after died Sir Robert Bell, Lord Chief Baron, Sir Robert de Olie, Sir William Babington, Mr Weneman, Mr De Olie, High Sheriff Mr Davers, Mr Farcurt, Mr Kirle, Mr Pheteplace, Mr Greenwood, Mr Foster, Serjeant Baram, Mr Stevens, &c. There died in Oxford 300. persons, and sickned there but died in other places 200. and odd, from the sixth of July to the twelfth of August, after which day died not one of that sickness, for one of them infected not another, nor any one Woman or Child died thereof.” This is the punctual relation according to our English Annals, which relate nothing of what should be the cause of the arising of such a damp, just at the Conjuncture of time when Jenkes was Condemned, there being none before, and so it could not be a Prison Infection, for that would have manifested it self by smell or by operating sooner. But to take away all scruple, and to assign the true Cause, it was thus: It fortuned that a Manuscript fell into my hands, collected by an antient Gentleman of York, who was a great observer and gatherer of strange things and facts, who lived about the time of this accident happening at Oxford, wherein it is related thus: “That Rouland Jenkes being imprisoned for treasonable words spoken against the Queen, and being a Popish Recusant, had notwithstanding during the time of his restraint, liberty sometimes to walk abroad with a Keeper, and that one day he came to an Apothecary, 246and shewed him a receipt which he desired him to make up; but the Apothecary upon the view of it told him, that it was a strong and dangerous receipt, and required some time to prepare it, but also asked him to what use he would apply it? he answered to kill the Rats that since his Imprisonment spoiled his Books; so being satisfied he promised to make it ready. After a certain time he cometh to know if it were ready, but the Apothecary said the ingredients were so hard to procure that he had not done it, and so gave him the receipt again, of which he had taken a Copy, which mine Author had there precisely written down, but did seem so horribly poysonous, that I cut it forth lest it might fall into the hands of wicked persons. But after it seems he had got it prepared, and against the day of his tryal had made a week or wick of it (for so is the word, that is, so fitted, that like a Candle it might be fired) which as soon as ever he was Condemned he lighted, having provided himself a Tinder-box and Steel to strike fire. And whosoever should know the ingredients of that Wick or Candle, and the manner of the Composition, will easily be perswaded of the virulency and venenous effects of it, and this in him in regard of the use and end was meerly Diabolical, though the agency and effects were meer natural.”

De morb. venefic. l. 3. c. 5.
Histor. 5.
De fascino lib. 6. Part 9. c. 5. p. 680.
Syl. Syl. Cent. 9.
Exper. 888.
Ibid. Cent. 10. 959.
Obs. Medic. Cent. 2. p. 96.
Hist. 6.

6. It is very strange to consider what learned and grave Authors have left recorded of the Ligation or binding of Husbands that they might not be viripotent, or be able to have to do with their Wives for a longer or a shorter time; nay some even have proceded so far as to write it, and seem also to believe it; that by venifice or Witchcraft, the virile members may be quite taken away; as is related by Codronchius, of a certain young man that had his members quite taken away by a Woman Witch, which notwithstanding she restored again, by beating and putting her in the fear of death. And of this incredible story, Sennertus a professed maintainer of the impossible power of Witches, doth notwithstanding give this censure. “The Devil doth often delude men by prestigious and jugling deceits, and perswadeth them that he hath brought such Diseases as indeed are none at all, as this taking away the virile member, related by Baptista Codronchius. For although some be of that opinion, that the genital members may really be taken away and restored by the Devil: notwithstanding (he saith) I had rather hold with those that believe such things are meer juglings and delusions; seeing it is not in the power of the Devil to restore unto man a member lost or taken away. The most learned Lord Bacon doth affirm, that this kind of Ligation or binding, to make men impotent for Coition, is frequent in Santonne and Gascoigne, and is used to be done upon the Marriage day, and that it is often performed by the Mothers to prevent that incantation by others, and that they may loose it when they please. And doth think it no light matter because punishable by their laws. And saith after, If it exceed not nature it hath its force from the Imagination of the binder of 247the virile member,” and adds: Putem ego illud ab incantatione alienum esse, quia non à certis personis tantum (quales incantatores) sed à quolibet fieri potest. But that which puts it forth of all doubt that it is nothing but melancholy, and the abuse of the fancy, is manifest from the observation of perspicacious Salmuth, which is this: “I have known two (he saith) who did imagine themselves impotent to the act of Venery, and thought themselves maleficiated or bewitched, when as before they had afforded themselves sufficiently strenuous in that warfar also with their Wives. But both being (he saith), handled and cured by me, as persons melancholick and Hypochondriacal, have afterwards sufficiently laughed at themselves. But I did conjecture them to be melancholick by this, because they did complain, that about that act they were overwhelmed with an heap of Cogitations. From whence it is manifest from what cause that effect did proceed. And therefore it is deservedly doubted of Wierus, whether or no there be any true impotency at all, but what is from natural Causes.”

Curat. Emp. Cent. 91. p. 222.
Hist. 7.

7. That the most of those vomitings of strange things is only caused from natural Causes, as poysonous Potions, Philters and the like, is manifest by another example given us by that famous Chymist and learned Physician of Frisuiga in Bavaria, Martinus Rulandus, which is this: “David Held Student in the Arts about the twentieth year of his Age did receive from a wicked Woman Cakes, which he did eat, and departing from her forthwith in the way he began to doat, and being brought home he began to rage more, and fell into madness. And to help this madness the Students came unto me and declare the insanity, the Philter that he had taken, and his being infected or brought into that madness by it, and desire some help against it. To oppose which (he saith) I gave six Ounces of my Aqua Benedicta, which I commanded straightway to be given him in the name of Jesus. And this being taken soon after by vomiting he cast up the Philter, or invenomed Cakes that he had swallowed, which being cast upon the Earth, they did with the admiration of the by-standers begin to wax hot and to boil, as meat with the fire doth grow hot and boil. So that this poison being cast up as a thing unhoped for, soon after the insanity is driven away, and within two days his understanding was perfectly restored, and by the power of the Almighty did totally recover.” So that it is manifest that these kind of people that are commonly called Witches, are indeed (as both the Greek and Latin names do signifie) Poysoners, and in respect of their Hellish intentions are Diabolical, but the effects they procure flow from natural Causes. If any require more ample satisfaction in this point, they may find divers Histories recorded in Schenkins his Observations, lib. 7. de venenis, to verifie this particular.

Injaculat. mod. intrand. p. 603, 604.

8. There is no one Argument that doth more confirm, that what 248effects soever Devils, or those called Witches do bring to pass in humane bodies, are wrought by natural means, and proceed from natural causes: Because what diseases soever are cured by natural causes and agents, must of necessity be brought into humane bodies by natural means. But many diseases attributed to the Devil, or Witches as instruments, have been cured by natural means and applications, as we shall prove both by authorities and matters of fact. And therefore those diseases must of necessity grow and arise from natural causes. And for authority we find Helmont affirming thus much: “And also partly the curing of these diseases is to be had by certain Simples, to which the omnipotent goodness hath given a gift from the beginning of the Creation, of resisting, preventing and correcting of Veneficia, Witchcrafts, or poysonings, and of bringing forth things injected. For (he saith) certain Simples do drive away evil spirits (a miserable company of Men, who give worship to Gods, that are not able to resist the natural efficacy of Simples) and reckons some that take away the penetration of the formal light tied to the excrements. Some do hinder the touch, entrance or application. And that there are many such like, that do correct the poysons, and kill them. And chiefly he commendeth the Electrum minerale immaturum of Paracelsus, the Phu of Dioscorides, being a kind of Valerian with purple flowers, and likewise there commemorateth diverse others.

Useful of Exper. Philos. p. 214.
Hist. 8.
Ut supra p. 217.
Hist. 9.

To confirm this assertion of Helmonts, we shall transcribe what the Honourable person Mr. Boyle hath set down to this purpose. “Since the beginning of this Essay (he saith) I saw a lusty, and very sprightful Boy, child to a famous Chymical Writer, (I judge it to be Joachimus Poleman) who as his Father assured me and others, being by some enemies of this Physicians, when he was yet an infant, so bewitcht that he constantly lay in miserable torment, and still refusing the breast, was reduced by pain and want of food, to a desperate condition, the experienced relator of the story remembring that Helmont attributes to the Electrum minerale immaturum Paracelsi, the virtue of relieving those, whose distempers come from Witchcraft, did according to Helmonts prescription hang a piece of this noble mineral about the infants neck, so that it might touch the pit of the Stomach; whereupon presently the child, that could not rest in I know not how many dayes and nights before, fell for a while asleep, and waking well cried for the Teat, which he greedily suckt, from thenceforth hastily recovering, to the great wonder both of the Parents, and several others that were astonisht at so great and quick a change. And though I am not forward (he saith) to impute all those diseases to Witchcraft, which even learned Men father upon it; yet it’s considerable in our present case, that whatsoever were the cause of the disease, the distemper was very great, and almost hopeless, and the cure suddenly performed by an outward 249application, and that of a Mineral, in which compacted sort of bodies the finer parts are thought to be lockt up.” Another example he giveth us in these words: “The same Henricus ab Heer among his freshly commended observations, hath another of a little Lady, whom he concludes to have been cast into the strange and terrible distemper, which he there particularly records, by Witchcraft. Upon so severe an examination of the Symptomes made by himself in his own house, that if, notwithstanding his solemn professions of veracity, he mis-relate them not, I cannot wonder he should confidently impute so prodigious a disease to some supernatural cause. But though the observation, with its various circumstances, be very well worth your perusing; yet that, for which I here take notice of it is, what he adds about the end of it, concerning his having cured her, after he had in despair of her recovery sent her back to her Parents, by an outward medicine, namely, an Oyntment which he found extolled against pains produced by Witchcraft, in a Dutch book of Carrichter’s (where also I remember I met with it set down a little differently from what he delivers.)”

Observ. Medic. 34. p. 127.
Hist. 10.

But to conclude this tedious particular, I shall only add one observation more from learned Salmuth, which is this: “The servant Maid (he saith) of Cæsars à Breitenbach was taken with a most intense pain of her left arm, which when it did not at all remit or abate, but that the dolour was augmented more and more, and that no tumour, nor any other preternatural thing did outwardly appear, the beholders did fear some sort of venefice or Witchcraft. Therefore they apply a well tryed medicine, which in such a case is said to be much approved, to wit red Corals well beaten with the leaves of Oak, and with Rose-water brought into the form of a Cataplasm, and leave it on for the space of 24 hours. In which space of time the place is brought to suppuration, and within as many more hours, the same remedy being applyed again, the abscess is broken, and in it needles, hairs and burnt coals are found. All these together with the Amulet they put into an hole made with an Augur or Gimlet in the root of an Oak, towards the East, in the morning before the Sun rise, and they stopped up the same hole with a wedge or pin, made of the wood of the same Tree. The pain thereupon plainly ceaseth, and the place is with other medicaments brought to Cicatrization. But some deriding such things, and thinking them to be prestigious delusions, do pull them forth of the hole again. Hereupon forthwith that miserable servant was again afflicted with cruel pains, more raging than the former. Therefore they repeat the former medicaments, and more copious matter doth issue forth, which being taken together with the Amulet, and put in the former place in the Oak, all the pains did forthwith vanish, and she afterwards lived altogether sound.” And so I conceive that by these reasons, authorities and instances of matters of fact, 250it is sufficiently proved, that what Devils or Witches work in humane bodies or in corporeal matter, is by applying fit actives to suitable passives, and so the effects are only produced by natural causes and means, which was the thing I undertook to make good.

The next thing that in this Chapter we have to consider and examine is the opinion of Johannes Baptista van Helmont, that great Physician, Philosopher and Chymist, which we shall open in these particulars.

1. He reciteth a large Catalogue of things, that are in a most strange manner brought or injected into the bodies of Men and Women, as darts, thorn-pricks, or pins, chaff, hairs, dust of wood that hath been sawed, little stones, egg-shels and pieces of pots, hulls and husks or swads, insects, things of linen, needles and the instruments of artificers, which have been injected insensibly, and entred altogether in an invisible manner, but were detained and ejected with direful pains and tortures. And that sometimes they are greater than the holes or passages by which they are intromitted.

Hist. 1.
Hist. 2.

2. And to confirm this assertion he bringeth instances of matters of fact, as these following. “For (he saith) of late there was a part of an Oxe hide injected by the pores of the skin, it being intire, which the Chirurgeon did draw forth with a pair of Forceps, it being of the magnitude of the ball of a Mans hand, the Apostume first being ripened. And a Witch burned at Bruges, did confess, that she had injected that hide into the good man. So (he saith) we have in times past seen at Lira the children of Orphans to have cast up by vomit an artificial Horse and Cart, drawn forth by the hands of the by-standers; to wit a four footed board accompanied with its ropes, and wheel. And what way soever it were placed, it was easily greater than the double throat. Further he saith, I have seen at Antwerp in the year 1622. a young Maid, who had vomited, perhaps two thousand pins conglomerated together, and with them hairs and filth. Another Maid (he saith) at Mechlin in the year 1631, who we being present, did vomit up shavings of wood or chips, cut off in plaining with the Hatchet, with much slimy stuff, to the magnitude of two fists. It is (he saith) a frequent thing every where admitted by learned Men.” Upon which we will only give these Animadversions.

Anim. 1.
Pract. l. 7. c. 25.
Hist. 3.
Hist. Rar. Anat. Cen. 1. Hist. 52. p. 73.
Hist. 4.

1. That things as strange as these, that Helmont seems to avouch of his own sight and knowledge, are also attested by other persons of great learning and credit, as, besides what we have immediately before shewed from Salmuth, of the needles, hairs and burnt coals that came forth of the Maids arm, these examples may ratifie. We will pass by Sprenger, Bodin, Remigius and Del Rio as Pontificial Authors, and therefore partial and interested, only in the first place we shall give this from Alexander Benedictus, who telleth this: “That he saw two Women his neighbours upon one day, being infected 251by potions of evil medicaments, who afterwards were wonderfully tormented with strange vomitings: That the one cast up with great strainings an head bodkin very great bended like an hook, with a great lump of Womens hair, wrapped with the pairing of nails, who died the day following. The other vomited up a Womans Quoif, pieces of glass, with three dried pieces of a Dogs tail that was hairy, so that she had voided by vomiting as much, (if set together,) as would have equalized the quantity of the whole tail. But the most strange story that possibly can be read is recorded by Thomas Bartholinus who was Physician to Frederick the third King of Denmark, of Anna Erici, who vomited up at several times a piece of sharp wood, great store of black blood, an hem or fring of silk or linen cloath of a blew colour, sowed with a green thred, in which were hid three pieces of lead, two pieces of glass, three Almonds, three pieces of a Tobacco-pipe, and white stones or flints: And afterwards many other horrid, strange and incredible things that may be read in the place quoted in the Margent.

Anim. 2.

2. It would seem a point of strange Scepticism or infidelity to distrust and reject these relations as lies and fictions, seeing the Authors that recite them do for the most part attest them upon their own view or knowledge, or at least from unquestionable eye-witnesses, and that they were Men of great Reputation and Credit, that lived in several Countrys, and in different times, and therefore could not conspire in a lie.

Anim. 3.

3. But notwithstanding all this, we find persons of great learning and sober judgments, to use much hesitation about these things, and either to suspend their belief of them, as having never seen any such things themselves, and therefore may well conclude as many Wise Men do, that he that hath seen a thing may better believe it than he that hath not seen it, or else are utterly diffident and believe no such matters of fact at all. And indeed there is no greater folly than to be very inquisitive and laborious to find out the causes of such a Phenomenon, as never had any existence, and therefore Men ought to be cautious and be fully assured of the truth of the effect, before they adventure to explicate the cause. And I find both my Lord Bacon, and that honourable and learned person Mr. Boyle, when they have occasion to mention these things, do it with extream caution, and always with an If or some other note of signal dubitation, and also the Lord Mountaigue in his Essays, and our Countreyman Mr. Osburne (no contemptible persons) in his writings seem utterly diffident of any such matter.

Anim. 4.

4. Again if we consider how easy a thing it is, for the most vigilant, attentive and wisest person either to impose upon himself, being drawn by those overruling notions that he suckt in from his childhood, whereby the will and affections being never so little byassed the judgment will be presently swayed that way: or how subject the most wary and perspicacious person is to be imposed 252upon by the cunning craftiness or confederacy of others, or drawn to believe a meer impossibility, by the perseverant asseverations of what others have seen and known, may certainly induce us, though not utterly to reject all relations of this nature, yet to stand like Janus in this field of doubtful perplexity.

Anim. 5.

5. If to this we add the consideration, how rare and seldome these things happen, and how long (though it argue but negatively) many Physicians have practised, and yet have never met with any such strange accidents: and withal that many of these vomitings of strange stuff, and the like have been meer counterfeit juglings and Impostures, as was manifest in the Boy of Bilson Sommers of Nottingham and diverse others: besides, I that have practised Physick above forty years could never find any such thing in truth and reality, but have known many that have counterfeited these strange vomitings, and the like, which we and others have plainly laid open and detected. So that though we shall not simply deny the verity of these relations, so we cannot but believe, that some of them have been cheats and delusions, and others meer mistakes of ignorance and vain credulity, and in the belief of any of them, that we ought to proceed with much cautiousness and careful foresight.

3. The next thing that Helmont lies down (after he thinketh that he hath proved the matters of fact sufficiently) is the assigning of the true cause (as he thinketh) of the bringing to pass these wondrous effects; And these he maketh twofold, first the Devil, by reason of the league with the Witch, doth bring and convey the things to be injected to the place, or near the object; and makes them invisible by his spiritual power: Secondly that the Witch by the strength of her imagination and the motion of her free will, (which he holds to be the only peculiar prerogative of mankind, and to remain both with Men and Women after the fall, namely a power by their free wills and force of imagination, to create or frame seminal and efficacious Ideas to work as it were ad nutum) doth convey or inject these strange things into the bodies of those they would hurt or torment, and that in this case as the ultimate attempt of nature, there is and may be a penetration of dimensions, and these things he attempteth to prove after this manner, which we shall first amply lay down and relate, and afterwards we shall give some notes and observations upon them, as things of great weight and consideration.

Reas. 1.

“1. He granteth that the evil spirit hath a power motive, yet therewith cannot hurt the innocent as he pleaseth. And further he tells us that these injected things do enter invisibly. And that this one thing is meerly Diabolical. For the most miserable scoffer (he saith) seeing he hath nothing that is real left to his liberty, yet he hath vain appearances: Because he is the Father of lies, he feigneth those things and maketh them to appear falsly, or otherwise than they are, from the beginning of the World. And in 253these juglings the Man that is the Devils bondslave worketh nothing at all. But by what manner the Devil maketh things visible in themselves to be invisible, or how he involves them in his invisible spirit, he confesseth that he is not a sedulous searcher of the works of Satan, that belong unto him in propriety. And therefore that the Devil doth transfer the things to be injected, being made invisible, unto the object, the Idea of humane desire directing. And because it is not permitted to the Devil, to enter into Man, much less that he may hurt him, and least of all with an invisible burden; therefore he useth the free motive power of the Man bound unto him. The Man doth therefore impress his free motive Blas into the body made invisible, but the Devil doth carry it unto the Man, into whom it is to be injected. And as a knife by the desire and consent of the person wounding is fixed into the flesh of him that is wounded: So this body made invisible by the Devil, is injected into the body of the person to be inchanted, by the Idea of the motive power of the Witch: Satan conspiring to this because of the purposed direction of hurting the person.

Reas. 2.

2. Truly I believe (he saith) that it doth fight with Piety, if a power exceeding nature be attributed to the Devil. As though Satan should be above nature, and should operate things impossible to nature. I grant that the manner is exotick and strange, but yet notwithstanding it ought to be contained within the limits of nature. And if it be said: the manner is unknown by which nature should do it. The manner is also equally unknown by what means Satan should do it. Therefore they gain nothing who refer the work of nature unto the Devil. But whether they offend or not, let others look to it. For at least it is an invention of immense sloathfulness, to refer all things to the Devil that we do not understand. Neither would I (saith he) have the Devil called upon to satisfie our questions by a temerarious attribution of power.

Reas. 3.
Hist. 1.
Hist. 2.
Hist. 3.
Hist. 4.
Hist. 5.
Hist. 6.
Hist. 7.

3. “Therefore (he saith) I will shew, that the aid of Satan is not at all needful, that some solid body may be drawn without the comminution of it self, by a passage far less than it self. For the evil spirit, though he have a motive Blas; yet notwithstanding it is against piety, that he can hurt the innocent at his pleasure. Which certainly should come to pass, if every where he could inject these things, according to his nefarious will, for (he saith) I have seen these things happen to innocent children, to Virgins that were pious and devoted to God after a singular manner. And to prove this point he giveth these instances. Cornelius Gemma de Cosmocriticis doth recite that he had seen a piece of three pounds or 48. ounces weight, of a brass Cannon, which a Maid the Daughter of a Cooper had voided by stool, with its characters or letters, together with an Eele wrapt in its secundines. But it is impossible to nature to melt powdered metal in 254us, and to be detained so many months in its pristine figure in the Intestines, or that the Eele should so often be made into small powder and to arise again from death. And that pieces of wood and leather should so often be turned into small powder, and again restored into their former condition. For (he saith) I have seen at Bruxells in the year 1599. that an Oxe having taken three Herbs did vomit a Dragon with a tail like an Eele, a body as of leather, a Serpentine Head, and not less than a Partridge. There is (he saith) an History of a Polonish Countryman, seen lately of the Son of the Lord Ericius Puteanus. A certain rustick did attempt himself to cut the Squinsie that he had in his throat with a short Knife, which at unawares he swallowed, and that at the length he did void the same at the right side of the Abdomen, or lower belly, with much rotten matter after great tortures, and survived in health. Also at Vilvordia in the year 1636. a Countryman known unto me (he saith) intending to feed a Cow, did daily give her a bowl, in which he had boiled Pot-Herbs with bran. At last she waxeth leaner more and more every day, and begun to halt upon the right thigh: The Cow being killed, the short Knife of his Wives bended back into the haft of Box, is found hid betwixt the ribs and the shoulder blade: For the Country Woman in cutting the rape root, had left her Knife amongst the Pot-Herbs, and the Cow by drinking had swallowed it. Also (he saith) Ambrosius Paræus relateth a story of a certain man whom Thieves had compelled to swallow a Knife, which he afterwards being sound did void by an Apostume of the side. Alexander Benedictus (he saith) doth mention another, to whom an Arrow had penetrated into his back, the hook of which of the breadth of three fingers he did void by stool without hurt. The same Author relateth of a certain Girl of Venice who had swallowed a Needle, and that after two years she voided it by urine, crusted over with a stony substance. Also (he saith) Antonius Benevenius doth relate, that an Hetruscan Woman had swallowed a Copper Needle or Pin, which three years after she voided at the Navil, and was sound. Valesius de Taranta (he saith) mentioneth a Girl of Venice (perhaps the same) who voided by urine a Pin of three fingers long. A certain Capucine at Eburum called Bullonius, by Sirname Hamptean, did with much aversion of mind drink up an huge living Spider, which he had seen fall into the Chalice in the time of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Within a few days he had a Phlegmon or bile that did arise in his right thigh, and with much rotten matter from thence he voided the whole Spider, but being dead. A young Merchant of Antwerp being playing at Venice in his mouth with an unripe Ear of Barley, did swallow the same with an huge fear of suffocation: From thence after three Weeks in the left side above the Girdle, an Apostume appeared, and at the length with the rotten matter the same Ear of a yellow colour is extracted whole. And he escaped sound. 255With Fernelius a Student is related to be cured by him who had voided an Ear of Corn by the ribs. Also Writers do commemorate, that the young one sometimes dead and wasted in the Womb, hath voided the bones through the Womb, the belly, by the navil, and sometimes by the fundament. More things of this nature do every where occur amongst Authors worthy of credit.”

Reas. 4.

4. From which matters of fact he thus concludeth: “By which (he saith) it is manifest, that solid bodies sufficiently great, have penetrated the Stomach, the Bowels, the Womb, the Caul, the lower Belly, the skin upon the inside of the Ribs, the Bladder, Membranes (he saith) impatient of so great a wound. That is to say, that Knives have been transmitted through these Membranes without wound, which is equivalent to the penetration of dimensions made in nature without the help of the Devil. And that an human body may be drawn through a small hole, through which a Cat might only pass, but not through a Wall. Verily that the Devil cannot break a paper Window without the consent of his Master, is (he saith) manifest by the process and arrest of Ludovicus Godfredus the Witch, pronounced at Aix in Narbona, the last of April 1611. I pray you where have the three pounds of brass, of the Cannon of War, marked with its letters, laid hid? how for so many months hath the dross shined, in what part was the piece of brass greater than the intestine contained? While I was (he saith) shewing a necessary vacuity in the air, I promised that I would declare, that although the penetration of bodies by the primary law of nature, and by the common way of Artificers be forbidden: notwithstanding that while a body doth totally pass over into the dominion of the spirit, and is carried over, and is by that as it were weakened; then bodies do naturally and mutually penetrate one another, at least in that part that is porous: Because that the spirit then doth inclose the body under it self, and therefore as it were taketh away the dimensions.”

Reas. 5.
Hist. 1.

5. And to confirm and open this point more fully, he saith: “I will premise some things. The desire of eating Muscles did invade a Woman with Child. And she eateth some of them so very hastily, that she did devour the raw shells, twice or thrice broken with her teeth. Thereupon by and by within an hour, she bringeth forth a sound and adult Child, with the same half-chewed shells, and wounded in the belly. Therefore the shells without the aperture of the membranes, had forthwith penetrated the Stomach, Womb and Secundines: or else there were new shells generated upon the young Child. Neither could this later be true. For they were the true fragments of the Muscles, and not figuratively framed to the imitation of them. Furthermore, the appetite is not carried to a thing unknown: Therefore the appetite of eating the Muscles was not of the Child, but of the Woman. Therefore it was not necessary that new Muscles should be generated about the Child; for they were desired by the Mother that they might 256become nutriment to her, not the Child. Otherwise by the same argument of Identity, what things soever should by the appetite be desired, should be generated about the young Child; of whom when they could not be digested, they should be always either left remaining about the Child, or should there putrefie. Which is false both ways: for if it should putrefie, that which is desired would cause abortion; or if it were conserved there, it would be found regularly. For the Child is only nourished by the Navil: Therefore those external Muscles could neither be wished by the Child, nor could be profitable unto it, and by consequence, were neither for an end made anew, but sent to the young one by reason that it was an uterine appetite. The appetite is always directed from the end; but the Woman with Child desired the Muscles not the shells, neither that the Muscle being a living animal might remain in its former state, in which it was unprofitable to the Mother, nor could satisfie her appetite; and therefore much less hath had occasion of generating new and unprofitable shells about the young one. But however it be taken, the appetite was not to the shells twice or thrice broken. For if the Fishes had been taken forth of the shells, she had eaten the fish the shells being left. Therefore the concomitance and concision of the shells were accidental to the appetite. I suppose truly (he saith) that as the desire, terrour, &c. do generate seminal Idea’s, which the hand of the Woman with Child doth send down to the young one, and doth depinge or figurate it in a set time: So the joy of finding that which the appetite did desire, doth bring that very thing to the Child. So verily the heaviness of heart of him that swallowed the Knife, the horror of having drunk the Spider, and of the Ear of Barley devoured, did repel or drive back those things beyond the membranes not able to suffer a wound without death. And these things (he saith) of things injected, entring by the ordinary power of nature, without the suspicion of Diabolical cooperation.”

Reas. 6.
Hist. 1.
Hist. 2.
Hist. 3.

6. Now he proceedeth to prove penetration of dimensions by natural power in another way. “Something like to these (he saith) appeareth in things that from within are to without taken away, which I will dispatch (he saith) in one or two examples. The Wife of a Taylor of Mechlinia, seeth a Souldier before the doors to lose his hand in a conflict: Forthwith being stricken with horror, she brought forth a Daughter with one hand, the other awanting, with the stump all bloody, which hand of hers could not be found, and the flux of blood killed the Child. The Wife of Marke de Vogeler, a Merchant of Antwerpe in the year 1602. seeing a Souldier begging whose right Arm an Iron Bullet in the Siege of Ostend had taken away, and which he carried about as yet bloody; by and by after that she brought forth a Daughter wanting an Arm, and that the right one too, the shoulder of whom being yet bloody the Chirurgion ought to consolidate. She hath 257Married to a Merchant of Amsterdam, by name Hoochcamer; and is yet living this year 1638. But the right Arm was no where to be found, neither the bones or any corruption did appear, into which the Arm might be wasted in a little hour. But the Souldier not being seen, the Child had two Arms, neither could the Arm that was torn off be annihilated. Therefore the Womb being shut the Arm was taken away. But who tore it away naturally, and whither was it taken? certainly trivial reasons do not square or agree in so great a portent or Paradox. I am not he that will say these things. I will say this at the least: That the Arm was not taken away or torn off by Satan. Furthermore it was of less weight to carry away elsewhere the Arm torn off, than to have torn the Arm from the whole body without death. The Wife of a Merchant (he saith) known unto us, as soon as she heard that thirteen were to be beheaded (it happened at Antwerpe in the time of the Duke of Alva) and Women with Child are led with inordinate appetites, she determined to see the decollations. Thereupon she ascends the Chamber of a Widdow that was a familiar friend to her that lived in the Market-place. And the spectacle being seen, forthwith the pain of Child-birth took her, and she brought forth a full grown infant with a bloody neck, whose head did no where appear.”

Reas. 7.

7. From these most stupendious and almost incredible stories, he draweth these conclusions. “I do not find (he saith) that human nature doth abominate the penetration of dimensions, seeing it is most frequent to the seeds of things. For in the seeds of things, that primevous Energie of penetrating bodies, doth yet consist, but not subject to force, art or human arbitrement. For there are many bodies many times more ponderous than the matter of which they are framed. It is necessary (he saith) that more than fifteen parts of water do fall in together into one, that one part of gold may from thence be made. For weight is not made of nothing: but argueth the ponderating matter in the ballance. Therefore water doth naturally penetrate its body so often as the gold doth overweigh the water. Therefore the domestick and daily progress of seeds in Generations, doth require that the body doth penetrate it self by condensation, which is altogether impossible to an Artificer. We grant (he saith) that there are pores in the water, these notwithstanding cannot contain so much as fourteen times the quantity of its whole. Therefore it is ordinary, that some parts of the water do penetrate themselves into one place.”

Reas. 8.

8. And to illustrate this going before he saith: “By an example, Aqua fortis doth by its spirit make Brass, Iron or Silver remaining opacous in their natures so transparent that they cannot be seen, and doth pass the metal thorough filtring paper, which otherwise will not transmit, no not the most small powder, which metal doth essentially remain still a metal in specie or kind. But not that the similitude of penetration of dimensions doth uniformly 258square with the propounded example of the metal. Because reasons do not agree to so great a Paradox, wherein (he saith) I willingly acknowledge the manner to be indemonstrable à priori.” Even as no man can know by what means the Idea impressed in the seeds doth figurate, direct, and dispose the things that it hath framed. And therefore we are forced to hunt forth the same à posteriori.

Reas. 9.

9. From all which he draweth this Conclusion. “There is therefore another far different power of incantation, besides the Devils. And therefore natural and free. He hath no Dominion over the just. But if the power of inchanting were free to the Devil, also it would be equally free to him to kill by a Knife or a Maul. And so none should be free. Therefore the Witch (he saith) doth, per ens naturale, form imaginatively a free Idea, which is natural and noxious. Which Idea Satan cannot form. Because that the formation of Idea’s do require the Image of God and a free power: And therefore the Witches do operate by a natural force, no less against the just and innocent, than against wicked men. Seeing that inchantments do more easily infect Children than those of ripe age, sooner Women than stout Men: A certain natural power is signified to be limited to the inchantment, to which it is easily resisted by a stout and couragious mind. The Devil therefore offereth filth and poysons to his Clients, that he may knit fermentally Idea’s formed in the Imagination of the Witches unto them. And he preserveth that Ideal poyson, that it may not be blown away with the wind, or being covered in the earth, it be not destroyed by putrefaction. But he carrieth that poison locally near to the object, to be inchanted: But to apply it, or carry it into the man, he by no means is able. And therefore the Witch doth also send forth another executive medium, or mean emanative and commanding, which mean is the Idea of a strong desire. For it is inseparable to the desire to be carried about things wished for. To all which the Devil as a Spectator doth assist in the conduction.”

Reas. 10.

10. “For (he saith) in truth, I have demonstrated already, that operative means are solely in the power of man. For only God is the most chiefly glorious Creator, to be infinitely praised, who hath Created the Universe forth of nothing. But man as far forth as he is the Image of God doth forth of nothing create certain Entia rationis, or non-Entities in their beginning, and that in the proper gift of the Phantastical virtue. Which are notwithstanding something more than meerly a privative or negative being. For first of all while these conceived Idea’s do at length cloath themselves in the species or shape fabricated by the Imagination, they become Entities now subsisting in the middest of that Vestment, to which by the whole they are equally in them. And thus far they are made seminal and operative Entities: of which, to wit their assumed subjects are forthwith totally directed. But this 259power is given to man alone. Otherwise a seminal power to propagate, is given to the Earth, to Bruits, Plants, &c. Also the Dog by his madness can transfer or change his spittle or saliva into poyson, because it is peculiar to his kind or species. Which also is obvious in divers poysons of animals. But to form Idea’s abstracted from their species and adjacent proprieties, that is given to none but man.”

Having thus far at large traced his footsteps in these abstruse and mysterious matters, we shall come now to examine them and make some observations upon them. And although we may be sharply censured for taking upon us to question the things that he hath asserted, having been suo gradu an Adeptist, a person of profound judgment, great experience, general learning, high reputation, and now generally followed as the Chief Standard-bearer for Philosophy, Physick and Chymistry, that many esteem it no small glory to be called and accounted an Helmontian. Yet notwithstanding this we shall note some observations in this order.

Observ. 1.
De Incant. p. 677.

1. He holdeth that the Devil doth only make the things invisible, or hides them by his spirit, and brings them near to the object into which they are to be injected, and that the Witch by the seminal Idea of her imagination, and the strength of her desire as the agent, or efficient cause, doth inject or thrust them into the body of the person, intended to be hurt or tormented; whereby he necessarily supposes a league or contract betwixt the Devil and the Witch, and therefore he calls them the Devils clients and those that are bound unto him. But what kind of contract this should be, explicite or implicite, internal and mental, or corporeal and visible, he tells us not; the latter of which we utterly deny, that it is in the power of the Devil to practise when he pleaseth, as we have before with sufficient arguments demonstrated at large. And for an implicite or mental league, we grant that all thieves, murderers, these kind of malicious and poysoning Witches and all other wicked persons are bound in a spiritual contract unto him: For he is the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience. And what wickedness soever he hath tempted and drawn them unto, to be willing to commit, he prompteth and pusheth them on with all his skill and power to perpetrate and execute the same. But still this is to be understood only of his spiritual and invisible assistance, and not of any visible or corporeal aid, for else (as this Author confesseth) he might as well kill with a knife or a maul. And therefore we cannot here pass by the bold and groundless (if not impious) assertion of Sennertus, who though a very learned person in diverse parts of humane literature, yet drawn with the sway of popular opinion, did most miserably lapse in affirming that although Witches do purpose to hurt men, yet “that they neither do nor can effect those things, but that the Witches being cast into a profound sleep, the Devil in the mean time acteth those things by himself; and thinks he proves this sufficiently by a fabulous 260and lying story feigned to be told of a Witch, that being in a deep sleep, when she waked, told that she had been transformed into a Wolf, and had torn in pieces a Cow and a Sheep,” which were found to be so, and therefore the Devil must needs have done it. But in this he neither nameth the place, time, nor Author to avouch it, and therefore all reasonable Men may judge how palpable a falsity it is, for then if true it would follow that none could be safe, and that the Devil might kill immediately with swords or knives, which he cannot do.

Observ. 2.
De Lithias. c. 8. p. 75.

2. Whereas he holdeth that the Devil doth bring or convey the things to be injected near unto the place, and that he offereth filth and poysons to his clients, that thereby he may fermentally conjoin the Ideas of these formed in the imaginative faculty with these. If the Devil be taken to be meerly and simply incorporeal, then he cannot remove matter (as we have before proved) and so cannot convey the things near to the object; and if he be taken to be corporeal (as we have asserted) his help is needless, because the Witches may do it themselves, as we find sufficient stories of their hideing of strange and poysonous things under the thresholds of houses and Churches; and to this purpose this same Author telleth us this story: “A certain person (he saith) did by custome use to make water in a corner of the Court, whereupon he was afflicted with a bloody and cruel Strangury. And all the remedy of the Physicians proved in vain, except that as often as he did drink of Birch-Ale he did find a signal ease: But as oft as he rose and walked, and made water in the same place, so often his pains did return. At the last a pin of old black Oak-wood is espied to be fixed in the place where he used to make water. Which being pulled forth and burned he remained free from the bloody Strangury, by drinking Ale of Birchen-twiggs. Also (he saith) that he remembred, that Karichterus had written that he had loosed such kind of inchantments by only pissing through Beesomes of Birch.” Now from hence it is plain that this making water constantly upon this pin of old black Oak-wood did cause his bloody Strangury, and that the pulling of it up and burning of it, was with the help of the Birchen Ale the cure; but it can no wayes be judged necessary that the Devil should fix the Oak pin there, but that the Witch might do it himself. Neither can it be thought to be any power given by the Devil to the Oaken pin, that it had not by nature, for in probability it will constantly by a natural power produce the same effect; only thus far the Devil had a hand in the action, to draw some wicked person to fix the pin there where the Man was accustomed to make water, thereby to hurt and torture him, and so was only evil in respect of the end.

Observ. 3.

3. We observe and affirm that whatsoever effects are brought to pass by that which is commonly called and accounted Witchcraft, if they be not brought to pass by jugling, confederacy, delusion and imposture (as the most of them are, if not all) then 261they are performed either by meer natural causes, or the strength of the Witches fancy, and most vehement desire of doing of mischief to those she hateth, or by both joined together, and that Satan is no further an author or actor, but as he leadeth and draweth the minds of the Witches to do such mischievous actions, and pusheth on to seek about to learn of others such secret poysons, charms, images and other hidden things, that being used so or so, may produce such destructive ends as their wicked and diabolical purposes are led to, and in this sense they are his clients, and bounden vassals, and not otherwise.

Observ. 4.

4. The stories that he relateth are either all to be taken to be true, or none of them; and if they be all alike equally to be credited, then it will undeniably follow, that they were all alike produced by natural causes, and so no need at all of the Devils assistance in performing of them, no more than by working upon the minds of such as used those natural means to a wicked and mischievous end. For first he giveth these instances of things that were very strange that were voided either by vomit or stool, by the ordinary power of nature, without suspicion of diabolical cooperation, as the voiding of the piece of the brass Cannon with its letters, with the Eele wrapped in its secundines: The Dragon that the Oxe voided by taking three herbs, with a tail like an Eele, a body like or of leather, with a Serpentine head, and not less than a Partridge: The knife that the Thieves forced a man to swallow, which he voided by an Apostume in the side, and was after sound: also the arrow head of three fingers broad strucken into the back, and after voided by stool, with diverse such which we recited before. And that these being solid bodies should have penetrated and passed through parts that are impatient of wounds, and in which a wound is mortal, must of necessity be very wonderful, and might as soon and upon as rational grounds be taken to be diabolical, as those that he enumerateth to be so: For from these it is manifest that either nature put to her last pinch doth make penetration of dimensions, or else so inlarge the pores, that those solid bodies may pass without wound, which (if seriously considered) is a stupendious operation and effect. And as there needeth no cooperation of a diabolical power, for the performing of these, no more needeth there any concurrence of Devils to the others, that to that purpose he relateth. Only here is all the difference: these are wrought by the ultimate endeavour of the Archæus to save life; without the concurrence of external causes; the others (that are therefore called diabolical) are commonly wrought for a bad end, namely to hurt or to take away life, and have an external cause, to wit, the force of the Witches imagination and strong desire of doing of mischief, which is stirred up to that end by Satan, and therefore in regard of the end are devilish, though they be both wrought by the agency of nature, the one in the body of the imaginant, the other in the body that the Witch intendeth to hurt by the force of her 262imagination and vehement desire, whereby a seminal Idea is created or formed, which is sufficiently operative to accomplish the end intended.

Observ. 5.
Syl. Syl. Cent. 10. p. 556.

5. The arguments that he bringeth to prove penetration of dimensions to be in nature, or something equivalent thereunto, seem to be strong and convincing. For in the generation of things, whosoever shall seriously and strictly mark, shall find (as he alledgeth) that the spirit of the Archeus (though not altogether incorporeal) doth in the seeds of things penetrate it self, and their parts one another, which he further maketh good by the instance of Gold generated of water; for it must of necessity be, that more than fifteen parts of water must fall in or penetrate one another, that from thence one part of Gold may be made, for weight is not of nothing, but argueth the matter ponderous in the Ballance. Therefore naturally the water must so oft penetrate its body as the Gold doth preponderate the water. And though it be granted that the water hath pores, yet notwithstanding it cannot contain so much as fourteen times, it whole. And therefore he irrefragably concludeth: Est ergo ordinarium in natura, quod aliquæ partes aquæ se penetrent in unicum locum. And this he backs with an unanswerable story of a Woman that longing for Muscles, did in greediness eat some of them with the shells twice or thrice broken with her teeth, and that she brought forth a child with the same half eaten shells, and a wound in the belly; therefore those shells had penetrated the stomach, womb and secundines, or otherwise the force of the Archeus had opened the pores and letten them pass in an unconceiveable manner. So that if these things be granted to be true (and we confess we know not how they can be answered) then there need no diabolical power be brought to solve the injecting of strange things into mens bodies, seeing nature is sufficient of it self, and therefore we can allow no power at all unto Devils in effecting these things (if they be truly done, and be not delusions) but only in drawing the minds of the Witches to these wicked and mischievous courses; and therefore the Lord Bacon said profoundly and wisely these words: Ut in operationibus illis earumq; causis error cavendus est, ita quoq; danda vel imprimis opera est, ne effecta nobis imponant, temere judicantibus talia esse, quæ eousq; nondum processerunt. Sic prudentes judices, præscripta velut norma, fidem haberi temere nolunt confessionibus sagarum, nec etiam factorum contra illas probationi. Sagas enim turbat imaginationis vertigo, ut putent se illud facere, quod non faciunt, populumq; hîc ludit credulitas, ut naturæ opera imputent fascino.

Observ. 6.

6. And to confirm this point he addeth far more stupendious matters of fact than the former, of things that were within, being taken to without or invisibly conveyed away, as the woman at Mechlin that saw the Souldier in a conflict lose his hand, and forthwith brought forth a Daughter wanting an hand, which was never found, and the wench died of the Hæmorrhage. Another 263at Antwerpe seeing a Souldier begging with his right arm shot off and bloody, forthwith brought forth a Daughter wanting the right arm whose bloody shoulder the Chirurgeon cured, and she was married after; and that the arm was never found, neither did there appear any bones or putrefied matter into which the arm might waste. Also another Woman going to see the Decollation of thirteen men; did soon after bring forth a mature Child with a bloody neck, the head no where appearing. I confess it would rack the judgment even of the most credulous to the highest pitch to believe these unparallel’d Stories; but the Author relating them as of his own knowledge, and being a person of unquestionable veracity, I cannot conceive how they can rationally be denied, especially finding Mr Boyle to affirm, that in those experiments (much more relations of matters of fact) that Helmont avouched upon his own knowledge, he durst be his Compurgator. Who would not believe but that these things could never have been done, but by a supernatural and Diabolical power, but that this Author (to which all judicious persons in reason may adhere) doth utterly deny, that the arm was either pull’d away or conveyed none can tell whither, by Satan, and therefore that in such a strange Paradox, trivial reasons are not to be allowed; and it were too much sloathfulness to ascribe all effects unto Satan, of which we are ignorant. And therefore if an hand, an arm, nay an whole head, could be separated from the rest of the body, and conveyed forth of the Womb by the Archeus or natural spirit, thereunto excited by the impression of horror and terror in the Women: In like manner by the same power of the natural spirit of man or woman, excited by a vehement and fierce imagination to revenge and to do mischief, may strange things be injected (if there can be any sound proof of such a matter of fact) into the bodies of such men or women as the Witches intend to do hurt unto, and yet Satan hath no more hand in it, but only as a spiritual agent to move the wills of those wicked and malicious people to do mischief unto those that they hate, though without cause. And the great secret of that which may be called Witching, is the learning of others, who likewise have had it by tradition, the great force of imagination, and the natural spirit with the ways and means how to excite it and exalt it; herein stands the mystery of all Magick, and it becomes only evil in the use and application, and they are to be condemned that use it to such devillish ends, even as those that use those good Creatures that nature doth produce to poysonous, wicked, and destructive purposes. And lastly, here we may note, that if things or bodies that are without may be injected into the bodies of others, by the force of exalted, imagination and a vehement desire, then the same power that doth inject them through skin, flesh and bones, must also be able to bring them near to the place, and need not at all the assistance of Satan, because it is far easier to carry them near the place, than to thrust them into the body; and so this Author hath here introduced the 264Devils aid to bring them to the place to no purpose, and never yet proved either by reason or matter of fact, that ever Satan did any such thing, and so is a meer supposition without proof.

Observ. 7.
De occult. nat. mirac. l. 2. c. 40. p. 325.
De Tumor. l. 6. c. 19. p. 158.

7. The other matters of fact that he relateth are prodigious, and are brought to prove that Satan is an actor to convey these strange things into the bodies of men, and are these. A piece of an Oxe Hide taken forth of a mans Arm, so also that Equuleum, a Wood-Horse, or a four-footed board with a wheel and ropes twice as broad as the gullet. Another that vomited up perhaps two thousand pins conglomerated together, with filth and hairs; another that vomited up, he being present, wooden Chips that had been cut off with the Hatchet in smoothing of wood, with much slime to the bigness of two fists, of which we shall note these Conclusions. 1. It doth no way appear (if these things be granted to be true, both for matter and manner) neither doth he offer to prove it, that these are any more than the former Diabolical, but only in the end, because they are for the hurt and destruction of mankind and not otherwise; and there being no proof of the Devils Cooperation any further but in working upon the minds of those that are agents and instruments to bring these things to pass, we may very well reject those things that are supposed, but not proved. 2. The ejecting or voiding of such strange things as here he hath related, doth not necessarily suppose their injection or thrusting in, because they may be bred there by natural Causes, so Worms of many sorts and strange Figures, also Frogs, Dracunculos and Askers have been voided, and doubtlesly bred there by natural causes, and were not injected or thrust in, and for proof of this I refer the Reader to the relations of learned Schenchius lib. 3. p. 363. of those strange sorts of Worms and other Creatures that he from divers Authors sheweth have been vomited up, which without all scruple, were not injected, but bred there. To confirm this and to prove what strange things are sometimes bred in Apostumes and Tumors, we shall translate a passage or two, and first take this from Levinus Lemnius that learned and famous Physician of Zeland, who writeth thus: “Also forth of sordid Ulcers and Impostures (he saith) we have known that the fragments of nails, hairs, shells, little bones and stones have been taken forth; which were concreted and grown together forth of putrid humours: As also little creatures, worms with tails, and little beasts of an unaccustomed form, cast up by vomiting, especially in those who were oppressed with contagious diseases, in whose urines I have often discerned to swim little Animalcles like to Pismires, or to those creatures we observe in the estival months to move in the celestial dew here in England we call it Woodsoar, or Cuckow-spittle.” Take another from that learned and expert Chirurgeon Ambrosius Paræus where he is speaking of strange tumors, in these words: “Also in these tumors being opened thou maist see bodies of all kinds, and far differing from the common matter of Tumors, 265as stones, chalk, sand, coals, cockles, ears of corn, hay, horn, hairs, flesh as well hard as spongious, grisles, bones and whole Animalcles, as well living as dead. The generation of which things (by the corruption and alteration of the humors) will not much astonish us, if we consider, that even as nature hath framed Man as a Microcosm forth of all the seeds and elements of the whole great world, that he might be as it were the lively image of that great world: So in that Microcosm, nature hath willed, that all the species of all motions and actions might be manifest, nature being never idle in us, as long as matter is not a wanting to work upon.” So that it is most plain that these strange things may be bred within, and so the opinion of injecting them, is but a meer figment. 3. Neither can the vomiting up of such strange things as he relateth, conclude necessarily that they were injected either by the power of Satan or the Witch, because they may be performed by jugling, sleight of hand, confederacy and the like, as was manifest in the Boy of Bilson, and diverse that we have known, that had made some numbers of others to believe that they had voided strange things, as pins, needles, crooked-knitting-pricks, moss, nails, and the like; but upon a strickt search, have but proved delusions and sleight, such as our common Hocus Pocus Men use, when they make the people believe they swallow a long pudding of white tinn, and again pull it forth of their mouths, or in pulling ribbins, or laces of diverse colours forth of their throats. 4. And again the most of these relations are but commonly taken upon trust from the affirmations of the by-standers who might be confederate parties, or ignorant persons, and so easily deceived; and it appeareth not that Helmont was by at the very instant when the children vomited up the wooden horse, or four-footed board, but that it was the by-standers that drew it forth, who might be parties to the cheat, or be themselves deluded, and so aver it pertinaciously to others. For I have in my practice known a young Wench about 9 or 10 years old, who that she might be pittied and have an idle life, had made her Father and Mother believe that quick worms came forth at her ear, and also I taking her into mine own house she had perswaded all the family that it was true, and did often open her head-cloaths, and holding down her ear a quick worm would drop forth of the hair, who notwithstanding by diligent watching, was found out to get them privately from under stones or wood, and so did cunningly convey them into her hair, but being discovered, was by due correction reclaimed, and so the wonder ceased. And it is as common to mistake things, either by absolute judging them to be such a thing indeed, when it hath but some slender resemblance of it, or by judging a thing to be really so, because of such a name but metaphorically given unto it; so it is usual to call a Carcinoma in the highest degree Lupus or a Wolf, because as a Wolf is a most voracious creature, so this ulcer is the most devouring of all others; and 266therefore have we known after that such have been by incision eradicated by our selves and others, and exposed to the view of the vulgar people, they would presently most earnestly affirm to others that they had seen it, and that it was a living creature, and had mouth, eyes and ears; so far will ignorant mistake induce credulity.

Observ. 8.
Syl. Syl. Cent. 10. p. 583.

8. That the force of imagination accompanied with the passions of horror, fear, envy, malice, earnest, desire of revenge, and the like, is great upon the body imaginant, as also upon the fœtus in the womb, is acknowledged by all. But that it can at distance work upon another body, though denied by Fienus and the whole rabble of the Schoolmen, yet is strongly proved by this learned Author, and allowed of by all others that truly understood the operations of nature, which we also take to be a certain truth, and do assert that if those people that are esteemed Witches, do really and truly (of which we utterly doubt) inject any of these strange things into the bodies of men, that they are brought to pass meerly by the imagination of the Witch, and the Devil acteth nothing in it at all, but the setting of his will upon that mischief. As for the handling the dispute concerning the manner of the injecting of these strange things, so strongly pursued by this Author, Sennertus and others, we shall totally supersede and suspend our judgment, until the ὅτι be sufficiently proved (which yet lies under water, and unseen) and then it will be time enough to dispute the manner, when the matter is certainly made evident. Therefore we will shut up this with that modest and grave advice of the Lord Bacon in these words: Ideo cogemur in hac inquisitione ad nova experimenta confugere; ubi directiones tantùm eorum præscribi possunt, non ulla positiva in medium adferri. Si quis putet subsistendum nobis fuisse, donec tentamentis res penitus innotuisset, (ut fecisse nos ubiq; probant alii tituli) sciat dubia nos fide amplecti quæcunq; imaginationis effecta circumferuntur, animum tamen esse illa per otium exigere ad Lydium veritatis lapidem, id est, experimentorum lucem.



That the ignorance of the power of Art and Nature and such like things, hath much advanced these foolish and impious opinions.

The opinions that we reject as foolish and impious are those we have often named before, to wit, that those that are vulgarly accounted Witches, make a visible and corporeal contract with the Devil, that he sucks upon their bodies, that he hath carnal copulation with them, that they are transubstantiated into Cats, Dogs, Squirrels, and the like, or that they raise tempests, and fly in the air. Other powers we grant unto them, to operate and effect whatsoever the force of natural imagination joyned with envy, malice and vehement desire of revenge, can perform or perpetrate, or whatsoever hurt may be done by secret poysons and such like wayes that work by meer natural means.

And here we are to shew the chief causes that do and have advanced these opinions, and this principally we ascribe to mens ignorance of the power of Nature and Art, as we shall manifest in these following particulars.

1. There is nothing more certain than, that how great soever the knowledge of Men be taken to be, yet the ultimate Sphere of natures activity or ability is not perfectly known, which is made most manifest in this, that every day there are made new discoveries of her secrets, which prove plainly that her store is not yet totally exhausted, nor her utmost efficiency known. And therefore those Men must needs be precipicious, and build upon a sandy foundation, that will ascribe corporeal effects unto Devils, and yet know not the extent of nature, for no Man can rationally assign a beginning for supernatural agents and actions, that does not certainly know where the power and operation of nature ends.

2. And as it is thus in general, so in many particulars, as especially in being ignorant of many natural agents that do work at a great distance, and very occultly, both to help, and to hurt, as in the weapon salve, the Sympathetick powder, the curing of diseases by mumial applications, by Amulets, Appensions and Transplantions, which all have been, and commonly are ascribed unto Satan, when they are truly wrought by natural operations. And so (as we have sufficiently manifested before) by many strange, and secret poysons both natural and artificial, that have no bewitching power in them at all, but work naturally, and only may be hurtful in their use through the devilishness of some persons that use them to diverse evil ends.

3. There is nothing that doth more clearly manifest our scanted 268knowledge in the secret operations of nature, and the effects that she produceth, than the late discoveries of the workings of nature, both in the vegetable, animal and mineral Kingdoms, brought dayly to light by the pains and labours of industrious persons: As is most evident in those many elucubrations, and continued discoveries of those learned and indefatigable persons that are of the Royal Society, which do plainly evince that hitherto we have been ignorant of almost all the true causes of things, and therefore through blindness have usually attributed those things to the operation of Cacodemons that were truely wrought by nature, and thereby not smally augmented and advanced this gross and absurd opinion of the power of Witches.

De occult. Philos. l. 1. c. 2.

4. Another great means in advancing these Tenents hath been Mens supine negligence in not searching into and experimenting the power of natural agents, but resting satisfied in the sleepy notions of general rules, and speculative Philosophy. By which means a prejudice hath been raised against the most occult operations of nature, and natural magick (which is (as Agrippa truly said) “The comprizer of great power, full of most high mysteries, and containeth the most profound contemplation, nature, power, quality, substance and virtue of most secret things, and the knowledge of all nature) to be condemned, as the work of the Devil and hellish fiends, which is the handmaid and instrument of the Almighty.” And from this diabolical pit of the ignorance of the power of nature (especially when assisted by art) have sprung up those black and horrid lies in the mouths of Erastus, Conringius and above all of Kircherus, denying the possibility of the transmutation of metals, by the power of Art and Nature, and ascribing the performance thereof by Paracelsus, Lullius, Sendinogius and others to the Devil; so malevolent do men grow when they are led by nescience and ignorance.

Vid. Theatr. Chym. Vol. 5. p. 943.

5. The ignorance of the strange and wonderful things that Art can bring to pass hath been no less a cause, why the most admirable things that Art bringeth to pass by it are through blind ignorance ascribed unto Devils, for so have many brave learned Artists, and Mechanicians been accused for Conjurers, as happened to Roger Bacon, Dr. Dee, Trithemius, Cornelius Agrippa, and many others, when what they performed was by lawful and laudable art. The strange things that the Mathematicks and Mechanicks can perform are hardly to be enumerated, of which were those most wonderful catoptrical glasses mentioned by Nicero, Aquilonius, Baptista Porta and many others, those wonderful engines in the shape of Birds, Men, Beasts, and Fishes that do move, sing, hiss and many such like things mentioned by Heron of Alexandria, and our Countryman Dr. Fludd; and those that would have more ample satisfaction concerning the stupendious things that are produced by art, may receive most large satisfaction in reading that most learned and elaborate Epistle written as a preface before the Book of 269Johannes Ernestus Burgravius called Biolychnium vel de lampade vitæ et mortis, by Marcellus Vranckheim Doctor of both laws, as also in reading that profound and mysterious piece written by Roger Bacon, de admirabili potestate artis et naturæ, et de nullitate magiæ, with the learned notes of Dr. Dee upon it, of which he saith this: Ut videatur quod omnis potestas magica sit inferior his operibus et indigna. And therefore there can be nothing more unworthy, than for any man, that pretendeth to any portion of reason, so far to dote, or suffer himself to be led with ignorance and rashness, as to ascribe those strange things that Nature and Art, or both joined together do produce, unto Devils: And yet there is nothing that is more common not only by the blind vulgar, but even by those that otherwise would be accounted learned, and wise enough; pride and folly attendeth the most of the Sons of Men.


6. Another gross mistake there is, in supposing those strange things that are performed by vaulters, tumblers, dancers upon ropes, and such like, not possible to be done but by the assistance of the Devil, when they are altogether brought to pass and effected by use, custome, exercise, nimbleness and agility of body. And yet we have known some not only of the popular rank, but many that thought themselves both wise, learned and religious that have been so blind as to father these things upon Devils and seriously to seem to believe, that the actors of these things had made a league and compact with the Devil, by whose help they performed them. And I do remember that a pretty active young man, within these few years went about in this North Countrey with a neat Bay Mare for money to shew tricks, which were very odd and strange, for if she had been blindfolded, and several pieces of money taken from several persons, and wrapped in a cloath, the Mare would have given every one their own piece of money; and this and many other feats she plaid, were not only by the common people, but by others that should have been more wise, judged to be performed by no other means but by the Devil, and some were so stark mad as to believe and affirm that the Mare was not a natural one, but that it was the Devil that plaid those strange tricks in the shape of a Mare: when more sober judgments knew that they were performed by the masters eye, and rod directing the Mare. Error & credulitas multum in hominibus possunt.

7. In like manner are often both those that are learned, as well as the vulgar most wofully imposed upon by the odd and strange feats performed by Legierdemain, sleight of hand, and by wonderful things brought to pass by subtile and cunning Impostors that act by confederacy, and the like, of which we have given some instances before in this treatise. And it was no evil piece of service, that Master Scot did in his book of the discovery of Witchcraft, when he laid open all the several tricks of Legierdemain and sleight of hand, thereby to undeceive the ignorant multitude; and that 270is no less praise-worthy that is performed by the Author of that little treatise called Hocus Pocus junior, where all the feats are set forth in their proper colours, so that the most ignorant may see how they are done, and that they are miracles unknown, and but bables being discovered, which treatise I could commend to be read of all Witchmongers and vain credulous persons, that thereby their ignorance may be laid open, and they convinced of their errors.

8. The ignorance or mistaking of these things, joyned with the notions Men have imbibed from their infancy, together with irreligious education, are the true and proper causes, that make so many ascribe that power to Devils and Witches, that they neither have, or ever had, or can ever bring into act. And therefore it behoveth all that would judge aright of these abstruse matters, to labour to understand the secret operations of nature, and the strange works of art, to divest themselves of their false imbibed notions, and truely and rightly to understand the Articles of the Christian Faith, to be daily conversant in reading the Scriptures, they will then be more fit to judge of these things, and not to call light darkness, nor darkness light.


Of diverse Impostures framed and invented to prove false and lying miracles by, and to accuse persons of Witchcraft, from late and undeniable authorities.

In the treatise preceeding we have often made mention of delusions and Impostures, which we shall largely handle in this place: and though Mr. Glanvil, and others do object, that though many pretended possessions or Witchcrafts have been proved to be meer couzenings and impostures, yet therefore it will not follow that all are so. To which we shall render these answers.

1. If it do not necessarily conclude, that they are all impostures, yet it gives a most shrewd cause of dubitation that they may be so. And the objection depends not upon a necessary connexion betwixt the subject and predicate, for some being direct and palpable Impostures, it is not of necessity, but by contingency or accident that the others are not so, and ought first to have been proved, which never yet was performed.

2. But we affirm that a general conclusion drawn from an inductive argument is good and sound, where no instance can be clearly made out to the contrary. But as yet no true instance, really and faithfully attested, hath ever been brought to prove that any 271of these things that we deny, were ever effected by diabolical power. For who were ever by and present, that were persons of sincerity and sound judgment, that could truly testifie and averr that the Devil in a visible and corporeal shape made a contract with the Witch, or that he suckt upon his, or her body, or that he had carnal copulation with them, or that saw when the Witch was really changed into a Dog or a Cat, or that they flew or were carried in the air? Seeing no instance can be given to prove any of these to be undoubted truths, it must needs follow that they are meer figments, or at the best all but absolute Impostures. And again it is but precarious, and petitio principii, to imagine that any persons have vomited up or voided strange things that saw or knew that they were injected by Devils, for they were either naturally bred there, or else were meer Impostures and delusive Juglings.

And therefore we shall propose some Histories of strange and prodigious cheats and Impostures from late and unquestionable authorities, whereby all the rest may be judged and discerned; of which take this for one.

Hist. 1.
Vid. Stat. Pulton, 25. year Henr. 8. c. 12.
Vid Chron. Hollingshead. Stow An. Hen. 8. 25. p. 1013.
The Pope.

“1. Elizabeth Barton of Kent (by those that laboured to cry up her horrible cheats for miracles, otherwise called the holy Maid of Kent) and others were in the twenty fifth year of King Henry the Eighth attainted of High Treason, for that under colour of hypocrisie, Revelations and false Miracles practised by the said Elizabeth, they conspired to impugne and slander the divorce between the King and Queen Katherine his first Wife, and the last Marriage between him and Queen Anne his second Wife, to destroy the King, and to deprive him of his Crown.” Her false and feigned miracles, and the subtile and cunning contrivances that were brought to pass by the help of her confederate accomplices, and her and the others open confession of them may be found at large in Hollingshead, Stow, and the writings of Mr. Lambert, whither for brevities sake I remit my reader, and shall only give it here in the words of Speed, which are these: “The Romanists (he saith) much fearing that Babel would down, if Queen Anne might be heard against wicked Haman, sought to underprop the foundations thereof with certain devices of their own: and that the same might pass without note of suspicion, they laid their forgery even upon Heaven it self; whose pretended oracle Elizabeth Barton (commonly called the holy Maid of Kent) was made to be; and the pillars of this godless Fabrick were Edward Bocking a Monk by profession, and Doctor of Divinity, Richard Masters Parson of Aldington, the Town wherein she dwelt; Richard Deering a Monk, Hugh Rich a Friar, John Adestone and Thomas Abell Priests, put to their helping hands; and Henry Gould Batchelor of Divinity, with John Fisher the reverend Father of Rochester imployed their pains to dawb these downfalling walls with their untempered morter. The Scribes that set their pens for her miracles, were Edward Thwaites Gentleman, 272and Thomas Lawrence Register, besides Haukherst a Monk, who writ a letter that was forged to be sent her from Heaven; And Richard Risby and Thomas Gould were the men that dispersed her miracles abroad to the world. This holy Maid Elizabeth made a Votaress in Canterbury, was taught by Bocking her Ghostly Father, and suspected Paramour, to counterfeit many feigned trances, and in the same to utter many virtuous words for the rebuke of sin, under which more freely she was heard against Luthers doctrine, and the Scriptures translation, then desired of many: neither so only, but that she gave forth from God and his Saints by sundry suggestive Revelations, that if the King proceeded in his Divorce, and second Marriage, he should not raign in his Realm one month after, nor rest in Gods favour the space of an hour. But the truth discovered by Gods true Ministers, this oracle gave place as all other such did, when Christ by his death stopped their lying mouths: For her self and seven of her disciples were executed for Treason at Tiburn, and the other six put to their fines and imprisonment.” To which he subjoineth this story of the like nature. “With the like counterfeit Revelations and feigned predictions this generation of hypocrites had brought Edward Lord Stafford Duke of Buckingham, unto his unhappy end, by the working of John de la Court his own Confessor, together with Nicholas Hopkins a Monk of the Carthusian Order in the Priory of Henton in Somersetshire, who by his visions from Heaven forsooth, heartned him for the Crown; But before his own Coronet could aspire to that top, he worthily lost both head and all upon Tower-hill for his Treason, Anno Domini 1521. Unto such sins the world was then subject, and into such conceits their reputed holiness had brought them, not only among the simple and unlettered, but even with them that seemed to be learned indeed: For by certain predictions foreshewing a great deluge, Prior Bolton of S. Bartholomews in London, was so fearful that he built himself a house upon the height of Harrowhill, storing it with provisions necessary to keep himself from drowning in Anno Dom. 1524.

Hist. 2.
Stow’s Chron. p. 678.

2. And that we may be certified how frequent and common these counterfeited Impostures have been, and yet are practised, take this other from undoubted authority. “The 15 of August being Sunday in the 16 of the raign of Queen Elizabeth, Agnes Bridges a Maid about the age of 20 years, and Rachel Pinder a Wench about the age of 11 or 12 years, who both of them had counterfeited to be possessed by the Devil (whereby they had not only marvellously deluded many people both Men and Women, but also diverse such persons, as otherwise seemed of good wit and understanding) stood before the Preacher at Pauls-cross; where they acknowledged their hypocritical counterfeiting with penitent behaviours, requiring forgiveness of God and the world, and the people to pray for them. Also their several examinations 273and Confessions were there openly read by the Preacher, and afterwards published in print, for posterity hereafter to beware of the like deceivers.” From whence we may take these two Observations.

Observ. 1.

1. We may from hence note, how subject the nature of man is both to deceive and to be deceived, and that not only the common people, but also the wiser and more learned heads may most easily be imposed upon. And, that therefore in things of this nature, and the like, we cannot use too much circumspection, nor use too much diligence to discover them.

Observ. 2.

2. We may note, that when such strange Impostures or false Miracles are pretended, there is commonly some sinister and corrupt end aimed at, under the colour of Religion, and that those that are most ready to publish such things as true Miracles and Divine Revelations, are generally those that did complot and devise them. And therefore the greater number they be that cry them up, and the more esteem the persons are of that blow abroad such things, the greater suspicion we ought to have of the falsity and forgery of them. Always remembring that the greater the fame and number of the persons are that conspire and confederate together, the greater things they may bring to pass, and be more able to deceive, as was manifest by the Priests attending the Oracles; who, though they laboured to father their predictions upon some Deity, yet it was manifest that it was nothing else, but their own Confederacy, Impostures and Juglings.

Hist. 3.
Vid. A Book called, A discovery of fraudulent practices concerning pretended possessions.
Vid. ibid. Dialog. 11. p. 352.

3. But these Diabolical Counterfeitings of possessions, and the maintaining of the power of dispossession and casting forth of Devils, was not only upheld and maintained by the Papists to advance their superstitious courses; but also in the said time of Queen Elizabeth, there were divers Non-Conformists, to gain credit and repute to their way, that did by publick writing labour to prove the continuation of real possessions by Devils, and that they had power by fasting and Prayer to cast them out. Of which number were one Mr Darrell and his Accomplices, who not only writ divers Pamphlets in the positive defence of that opinion, but also published certain Narrations of several persons, that they pretended were really possessed with Devils, which were cast forth by their means in using Fasting and Prayer. Which writings were answered by Mr Harsnet and others, and their Theory not only overthrown, but their practice discovered to be counterfeiting and Imposture. Whereupon there were divers persons suborned to feign and counterfeit possessions, as William Sommers of Nottingham, who by the Exorcists was reported to have strange fits, passions and actions; which are at large described and set forth in that learned Treatise, Dialogical Discourses of Spirits and Devils, written about the same time by John Deacon and John Waller, Ministers, and of divers other persons who likewise pretended the same counterfeit possessions. And though the said forged and feigned possessions were strongly maintained by their Abettors, and the matters of fact audaciously 274asserted to be true; yet after the said Darrell and his Accomplices were examined by the Queens Commissioners, all was made apparent to be notorious counterfeiting, cheating and imposture, both by the confession of Sommers himself, and by the Oaths of several Deponents. Neither was that discourse containing the certain possession of seven persons in one Family in Lancashire, at Cheworth in the Parish of Leigh, in the Year 1594. (though believed by many for a truth, because of the streight tale told by the said Darrell in that Narrative) of any better grain, but full of untruths, impossibilities, absurdities and contradictions.

Hist. 4.
Vid. The cunning of the Boy of Bilson, p. 55.

4. Our next instance shall be a most strange imposture acted in the time of King James, and in a manner known unto the whole Nation; that is of the Boy of Bilson in Staffordshire, in the year 1620. by name William Perry, whose condition as he had been taught, and so left by the Popish Priests, take as followeth. “This Boy being about thirteen years old (but for wit and subtilty far exceeding his age) was thought by divers to be possessed of the Devil, and bewitched, by reason of many strange fits and much distemper, wherewith he seemed to have been extreamly affected. In those fits he appeared both deaf and blind, writhing his mouth aside, continually groaning and panting, and (although often pinched with mens fingers, pricked with Needles, tickled on his sides, and once whipped with a Rod, besides other the like extremities) yet could he not be discerned by either shrieking or shrinking to bewray the least passion or feeling. Out of his fits he took (as might be thought) no sustenance which he could digest, but together with it, did void and cast out of his mouth, rags, thred, straw, crooked pins, &c. Both in and out of his fits his belly (by wilful and continual abstinence defrauding his own Guts) was almost as flat as his back, besides, his throat was swoln and hard, his tongue stiff and rolled up towards the roof of his mouth, insomuch that he seemed always dumb, save that he would speak once in a Fortnight or three Weeks, and that but in very few words.

“Two things there were which gave most just cause of presumption that he was possessed and bewitched; one was that he could still discern when that Woman (which was supposed to have bewitched him) to wit Jone Cocke was brought in to any room where he was, although she were secretly conveyed thither, as was one time tryed before the Grand Jury at Stafford: The second, that though he would abide other passages of Scripture, yet he could not indure the repeating of that Text, viz. In the beginning was the word, &c. Jo. 1. ver. 1. but instantly rolling his eyes and shaking his head, as one distracted, he would fall into his usual fits of groaning, panting, distraction, &c. In which plight he continued many months, to the great wonder and astonishment of thousands, who from divers parts came to see him.” Thus much of his cunning.

275Yet notwithstanding, this most devillish and cunningly contrived counterfeiting and dissimulation was discovered and fully detected by the sagacity of that pious and learned person, Dr Thomas Morton then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield: To whose memory I cannot but owe and make manifest all due respect, because he was well known unto me, and by the imposition of whose hands I was ordained Presbyter when he was Bishop of Durham, and also knew his then Secretary, Mr Richard Baddeley, who was the Notary, and writ the examination of this crafty Boy. The manner how such a doubtful and intricate piece of Imposture was found out and discovered, you may read at large in the Treatise called a Discourse concerning Popish Exorcising. And his publick Confession we shall give in the Authors own words: “He was finally brought again to the Summer Assizes held at Stafford, the 26. of July, Anno 1621. where before Sir Peter Warburton and Sir Humfrey Winch Knights, his Majesties Justices of Assize, and the face of the County and Country there assembled, the Boy craved pardon first of Almighty God, then desired the Woman there also present to forgive him; and lastly, requested the whole Country whom he had so notoriously and wickedly scandalized, to admit of that his so hearty Confession for their satisfaction.

“And thus it pleased God (he saith) to open the eyes of this Boy (that I may so say) luto with the Clay of the Romish Priests lewd Impostures, and sputo with the spittle of his own infamy, to see his errors and to glorifie the God of truth. And though many such Impostures as this have in several ages been hudled up in darkness and recorded for true stories, by those that were Partisans to them and Confederates with them, yet doubtless were but of the same stamp with this, and might all as well have been discovered, if the like care, skill and industry had been used.

Hist. 5.
Vid. The arraignment and tryal of Witches at Lancaster, 1612.

5. No less villanous, bloody and Diabolical, was the design of Thompson alias Southworth, Priest or Jesuit, against Jennet Bierley, Jane Southworth, and Ellen Bierly of Samesbury in the County of Lancaster, in the year 1612. the sum of which is this. “The said Jennet Bierley, Ellen Bierley, and Jane Southworth, were Indicted at the Assizes holden at Lancaster upon Wednesday the nineteenth of August, in the year abovesaid, for that they and every of them had practised, exercised, and used divers devillish and wicked Arts, called Witchcrafts, Inchantments, Charms and Sorceries, in and upon one Grace Sowerbutts. And the chief witness to prove this was Grace Sowerbutts her self, who said that they did draw her by the hair of the head, and take her sense and memory from her, did throw her upon the Hen-roost and Hay-mow; did appear to her sometimes in their own likeness, sometimes like a black Dog with two feet, that they carried her where they met black things like men that danced with them, and did abuse their bodies; and that they brought her to one Thomas Walsham’s House in the night, and there they killed his Child by putting a nail into the 276Navil, and after took it forth of the Grave, and did boil it, and eat some of it, and made Oyl of the bones, and such like horrid lies.” But there appearing sufficient grounds of suspicion that it was practised knavery, the said Grace Sowerbutts was by the wisdom, and care of Sir Edward Bromley Knight, one of his Majesties Justices of Assize at Lancaster, appointed to be examined by William Leigh and Edward Chisnal Esquires, two of his Majesties Justices of peace in the same County, and so thereupon made this free confession. Being demanded “whether the accusation she laid upon her Grandmother, Jennet Bierley, Ellen Bierley and Jane Southworth, of Witchcraft, viz. of the killing of the child of Thomas Walshman, with a nail in the Navil, the boyling, eating and oyling, thereby to transform themselves into divers shapes, was true? She doth utterly deny the same, or that ever she saw any such practises done by them. She further saith, that one Mr. Thompson, which she taketh to be Mr. Christopher Southworth, to whom she was sent to say her prayers, did perswade, counsel and advise her, to deal as formerly hath been said against her said Grandmother, Aunt and Southworths Wife.

“And further she confesseth, and saith, that she never did know, or saw any Devils, nor any other visions, as formerly hath been alledged and informed.

“Also she confesseth, and saith, that she was not thrown, or cast upon the Hen-roust, and Hay-mow in the Barn, but that she went up upon the Mow by the wall side. Being further demanded whether she ever was at the Church, she saith, she was not, but promised hereafter to go to Church, and that very willingly; of which the author of the relation gives this judgment.

“How well (he saith) this project, to take away the lives of three innocent poor creatures by practice and villany, to induce a young Scholar to commit perjury, to accuse her own Grandmother, Aunt, &c. agrees either with the title of a Jesuit, or the duty of a religious Priest who should rather profess sincerity and innocency, than practise treachery! But this was lawful, for they are Hereticks accursed, to leave the company of Priests, to frequent Churches, hear the word of God preached, and profess religion sincerely.”

Hist. 6.

6. But we shall shut up the relating of these prodigious and hellish stories, of these kind of couzening and cheating delusions and impostures, with one instance more that is no less notorious than these that we have rehearsed. About the year 1634 (for having lost our notes of the same, we cannot be so exact as we should) there was a great pretended meeting of many supposed Witches at a new house or barn, in Pendle Forest in Lancashire, then not inhabited, where (as the accusation pretended) some of them by pulling by a rope of Straw or Hay, did bring Milk, Butter, Cheese, and the like, and were carried away upon Dogs, Cats or Squirrels. The informer was one Edmund Robinson (yet 277living at the writing hereof, and commonly known by the name of Ned of Roughs) whose Father was by trade a Waller, and but a poor Man, and they finding that they were believed and had incouragement by the adjoyning Magistrates, and the persons being committed to prison or bound over to the next Assizes, the boy, his Father and some others besides did make a practice to go from Church to Church that the Boy might reveal and discover Witches, pretending that there was a great number at the pretended meeting, whose faces he could know; and by that means they got a good living, that in a short space the Father bought a Cow or two, when he had none before. And it came to pass that this said Boy was brought into the Church of Kildwick a large parish Church, where I (being then Curate there) was preaching in the afternoon, and was set upon a stall (he being but about ten or eleven years old) to look about him, which moved some little disturbance in the Congregation for a while. And after prayers I inquiring what the matter was, the people told me that it was the Boy that discovered Witches, upon which I went to the house where he was to stay all night, where I found him, and two very unlikely persons that did conduct him, and manage the business; I desired to have some discourse with the Boy in private, but that they utterly refused; then in the presence of a great many people, I took the Boy near me, and said: Good Boy tell me truly, and in earnest, did thou see and hear such strange things of the meeting of Witches; as is reported by many that thou dost relate, or did not some person teach thee to say such things of thy self? But the two men not giving the Boy leave to answer, did pluck him from me, and said he had been examined by two able Justices of the Peace, and they did never ask him such a question, to whom I replied, the persons accused had therefore the more wrong. But the Assizes following at Lancaster there were seventeen found guilty by the Jury, yet by the prudent discretion of the Judge, who was not satisfied with the evidence, they were reprieved, and his Majesty and his Council being informed by the Judge of the matter, the Bishop of Chester was appointed to examine them, and to certifie what he thought of them, which he did; and thereupon four of them; to wit Margaret Johnson, Francis Dicconson, Mary Spenser, and Hargrieves Wife, were sent for up to London, and were viewed and examined by his Majesties Physicians and Chirurgeons, and after by his Majesty and the Council, and no cause of guilt appearing but great presumptions of the boys being suborned to accuse them falsely. Therefore it was resolved to separate the Boy from his Father, they having both followed the women up to London, they were both taken and put into several prisons asunder. Whereupon shortly after the Boy confessed that he was taught and suborned to devise, and feign those things against them, and had persevered in that wickedness by the counsel of his Father, and some others, whom envy, revenge and hope of gain had prompted on to that devillish 278design and villany; and he also confessed, that upon that day when he said that they met at the aforesaid house or barn, he was that very day a mile off, getting Plums in his Neighbours Orchard. And that this is a most certain truth, there are many persons yet living, of sufficient reputation and integrity, that can avouch and testifie the same; and besides, what I write is the most of it true, upon my own knowledge, and the whole I have had from his own mouth more than once.

Thus having brought these unquestionable Histories to manifest the horrid cheats and impostures that are practised for base, wicked and devillish ends, we must conclude in opposing that objection proposed in the beginning of this Chapter, which is this: That though some be discovered to be counterfeitings and impostures, yet all are not so, to which we further answer.

Reas. 1.

1. That all those things that are now adayes supposed to be done by Demoniacks or those that pretend possessions, as also all those strange feats pretended to be brought to pass by Witches or Witchcraft, are all either performed by meer natural causes (for it is granted upon all sides that Devils in corporeal matter can perform nothing but by applying fit actives to agreeable passives.) And miracles being long since ceased, it must needs follow, that Devils do nothing but only draw the minds of Men and Women unto sin and wickedness, and thereby they become deceivers, cheats and notorious impostours: so that we may rationally conclude that all other strange feats and delusions, must of necessity be no better, or of any other kind, than these we have recited, except they can shew that they are brought to pass by natural means. Must not all persons that are of sound understanding judge and believe that all those strange tricks related by Mr. Glanvil of his Drummer at Mr. Mompessons house, whom he calls the Demon of Tedworth, were abominable cheats and impostures (as I am informed from persons of good quality they were discovered to be) for I am sure Mr. Glanvil can shew no agents in nature, that the Demon applying them to fit patients, could produce any such effects by, and therefore we must conclude all such to be impostures.

Reas. 2.

2. It is no sound way of reasoning, from the principles of knowing, either thereby to prove the existence of things, or the modes of such existence, because the principle of being is the cause of the principle of knowing, and not on the contrary, and therefore our not discovering of all Impostures that are or have been acted, doth not at all conclude the rest that pass undiscovered, are diabolical or wrought by a supernatural power; for it ought first to be demonstrated that there are now in these days some things wrought by the power of Devils, that are supernatural, in elementary and corporeal matter, which never was nor can be, as from the testimonies of all the learned we have shewed before. And therefore a man might as well argue that there are no more thieves in a Nation, but those that are known, and brought to condign 279punishment, when there may be, and doubtless are many more; so likewise there are many hundreds of impostures, that pass and are never discovered, but that will not at all rationally conclude that those must be diabolical that are not made known.


Of divers Creatures that have a real existence in Nature, and yet by reason of their wonderous properties, or seldom being seen, have been taken for Spirits, and Devils.

Hist. 1.

Before we come to speak of Apparitions in general, we shall premise some few things by way of caution, because there is not one subject (that we know of) in the World that is liable to so many mistakes, by reason of the prepossessed fancies of men, in adhering to those fictions of Spirits, Fairies, Hobgoblins, and many such like, which are continually heightned by ignorant education, and vain melancholy fears. We shall not mention those many apparitions that are frequently practised by forgery and confederacy, for base ends and interests, as have been commonly used in the time of Popery, and attempted in our dayes, though with little success. As also by other persons for base lucre or worse intents, of which we have known some notorious ones that have been discovered. Neither shall we speak of those feigned ones that have been practised to hide thievery and roguery, as we once knew that certain persons who stole mens sheep in the night, did carry them away upon a thing made like a Bier covered with a white sheet, by which means those that saw them took it to be an apparition, and so durst not come near them, and so the most part of the people of 3 or 4 Villages were terrified, and the report was far spred that it was a walking spirit, and yet at last discovered to be a cunning piece of knavery to hide their theft withal. Neither shall we say any thing of those ludicrous apparitions that are often practised to terrifie, abuse, and affright others. But we shall here give the relation of some strange creatures, that seldom being seen or found, have induced more ignorant persons to take them for Demons, and these we shall enumerate in this order.

Hist. 2.
Centur. 1. Hist. 9. p. 18.

1. It hath been, and still is a strong opinion amongst the vulgars and Witchmongers also, that Witches transforming themselves into diverse shapes, did in the night time enter into peoples houses, and then and there suck the breasts or navils of infants in their Beds or Cradles, that thereby they were weakned or consumed away; which inveterate opinion was the more firmly believed, because children that at night were very well, in the morning 280were found to be very ill, and to have been sucked in the places aforesaid. To clear which point take this Observation from the learned pen of Thomas Bartholinus that was Physician to Frederick King of Denmark, in English thus. “Three infants (he saith) of the Pastor Fionens at Lyckisholm, which is a noble Mannor belonging to the very illustrious Lord Christian Thomæus Sehsted, the Kings Chancellor, Eques Auratus, and a most renowned Senator of Denmark, my Mecænas, that were sleeping in their accustomed Chamber, were not long after troubled with an unwonted bewailing and inquietude, that they felt themselves to be sucked or milked of something. The nipples of their breasts being diligently handled by the Parents did confirm the Childrens suspicion, because they did hang out like a Womans that did give suck. And to prevent this fascination, the nipples of the breasts were anointed with preservatives against poyson and other bitter things. Hereupon their Navils were so worn with vehement suction, that not only they were prominent or did hang out, but also did as it were shew the greatness of the mouth that had sucked by the impression remaining. But the Infants being carried forth of the Chamber, did from thenceforth rest free from any suction, especially being carried in peoples arms. And this Caprimulgus or Goat-milker, is by Bellonius said to be in Crete of the bigness of a Cuckow, being very hurtful to the Goats, insomuch that it sucketh milk from their dugs on the nights.” By which we may plainly understand, how Creatures that are but seldom seen, or whose properties are unknown, may easily effect those things that ignorant heads may impute unto Witchcraft.

De quadr. l. 1. p. 862.
Isai. 34. 14.
Isai. 13. 21.
Levit. 17. 7.
Deut. 32. 17.
Psal. 106. 37.
2 Chron. 11. 15.

2. It is no less believed by many, that those kind of Creatures which are called Satyres are but a kind of Demons; for learned Gesner reckoning them to be a kind of Apes, doth tell us this: “Even as (he saith) the Apes Cynocephali, or with Dogs-heads, have given the occasion of the Fable, that some have thought such to be men: So Satyrs being also a rare kind of Apes, and of greater admiration, some have believed them to be Devils: also of some men deluded by the Poets and Painters, as also Statuaries, who have feigned that they had Goats feet and horns, the more to augment the admiration and superstition, they have been thought Devils: when in Ape-Satyres there is no such thing to be seen.” And this opinion hath been the more strengthened because the most of the Translators have in the Old Testament rendered the word שָׂעִיר (which properly signifieth an happy man or beast) a Goat, a Satyre, (as Gen. 27. ver. 11. Esau my Brother is a hairy man; where the very same word is used) Demon, or Devil. But it is plain that it did and doth signifie no more but only Satyrs, as will appear by these reasons. 1. First, as our English Translators have truly rendred it in that of Isaiah, And the Satyre shall cry unto his fellow: for it is certainly related, both by ancient and modern Navigators, that in those desolate Islands where there are store of them, they 281will upon the nights make great shouting and crying, and calling one unto another. And in another place of the same Prophet it is said by the same Translators, and Satyres shall dance there; dancing being one of the properties of that hairy Creature, as a thing it is much delighted with, and so are but Satyres that are natural Creatures and not Devils. 2. And though the same Translators have rendred the plural of the same word, by the name Devils, yet it there properly signifieth also Satyres; for though in another place it be said; they sacrificed to devils, not to God, and so again by the Psalmist, for they sacrificed their sons and daughters unto devils; where in both places the word is שֵדִים vastatoribus, to the destroyers or to Devils; because in those Idols the Devils were worshipped, and thereby destroyed the souls of men: 3. Yet it is manifest that their Idols were formed in the shape of Satyres, in a most terrible manner; for the late and most credible travellers that have been in those parts of Asia, where those Idolatries are still upholden, do unanimously relate that they make their Images or Idols that they worship, as terrible and frightful as they can devise, as may be seen in the relations of the Travels of Vincent le Blanc, Mandelslo, and Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, and Mr Herbert our Countryman gives us the Idol of the Bannyans in the ugly shape of a monstrous Satyre. 4. So that though this worshipping and sacrificing, in respect of its abominableness, filthiness and Idolatrousness, was yielded to Devils, which spiritually and invisibly ruled in these Children of disobedience, and was the Author of all those delusions and impostures; yet it doth no where appear, that it was Demons in the corporeal shape of Satyres (as many have erroneously supposed) no more than the golden Calves that Jeroboam made, were real Devils: but these Idols were made in the figure or shape of Satyrs or hairy Creatures, as saith the Text: And he ordained him Priests for the high places, and for the hairy Idols or Satyres, and for the Calves that he had made. It is the same Hebrew word here that our English Translators render Devils, that in the two former places of Isaiah they translate Satyres; and as the Calves are not rendred Devils, why should the Images that were like Satyres be translated so? Surely the Devil was as much in the Calves, and as much worshipped in those dumb Idols as he was in the dumb and dead Idols or Images of the Satyres, and so no more reason to call the one Devils than the other. But that which totally overthrows the conceit that they should be real Devils in corporeal shapes and figures, is this, that both the Calves and the Images of these Satyres were made by Jeroboam: now it is manifest that he could not make a real Devil, but only Images of Calves and Satyres, wherein and whereby the Devils might be worshipped in those Idolatrous ways.

Hist. 3.
Observ. Medic. lib. 3. c. 56. p. 283.

So that it is most apparent, that these Satyres being seldom seen and of strange qualities, have made many to believe that they were Demons; nay it seems their Images and Pictures have been taken for Devils, and yet are but meer natural Creatures, and by learned men 282accounted a kind of Apes, which we shall now prove by an undeniable instance or two; and first this from the pen of that learned Physician Nicholaus Tulpius, who saith thus: “In our remembrance (he saith) there was an Indian Satyre brought from Angola; and presented as a gift to Frederick Henry Prince of Aurange. This Satyre was four-footed and from the humane shape which it seems to bear, it is called of the Indians Orang antang, homo silvestris, a wild man, and of the Africans Quoias morron, expressing in longitude a Child of three years old, and in crassitude, one of six years. It was of body neither fat nor lean, but square, most able and very swift. And of its joints so firm, and the Muscles so large, that it durst undertake and could do any thing; on the foreparts altogether smooth, and rough behind, and covered with black hairs. Its face did resemble a man, but the nose broad and crooked downwards, rugged and a toothless female. But the ears were not different from humane shape. As neither the breast, adorned on both sides with a swelling dug (for it was of the feminine Sex) the belly had a very deep navil; and the joints, both those above and those below, had such an exact similitude with man, that one egg doth not seem more like another. Neither was there awanting a requisite commissure to the arm, nor the order of fingers to the hands, nor an humane shape to the thumb, or a prop of the legs to the thighs, or of the heel to the foot. Which fit and decent form of the members, was the cause that for most part it did go upright: neither did it lift up any kind of weight less heavily than remove it easily.

When it was about to drink it would hold the handle of the Kan with the one hand, and put the other under the bottom of the Cup, then would it wipe off the moysture left upon its lips, not less neatly than thou shouldest see the most delicate Courtier. Which same dexterity it did observe when it went to bed. For lying her head upon the Pillow, and fitly covering her body with the Cloaths, it did hide it self no otherwise, than if the most delicate person had laid there.

Hist. 4.

Moreover the King of Samback (he saith) did one time tell our Kinsman Samuel Blomart, that these kind of Satyres, especially the Males in the Iland of Borneo, have so great boldness of mind and such a strong compaction of Muscles, that they have often forceably set upon armed men; and not only upon the weak sex of Women and Girls; with the flagrant desire of which they are so inflamed, that catching them often they abuse them. For they are highly prone to lust (which is common to these, with the lustful Satyres of the ancients) yea sometimes so keen and salacious, that therefore the Indian Women do eschew the Woods and Groves as worse than a Dog or a Snake; in which these impudent animals do lie hid. And that this lascivious animal is found in the Eastern Mountains of India; as also in Africa, between Sierra, Liona, and the Promontory of the Mountain, where (perhaps) were 283those places where Plinius lib. 5. cap. 5. affirmeth that upon the nights there was seen to shine frequent Fires of the Ægipanes, and to abound with the lasciviousness of the Satyres, who do love craggy Dens and Caves, and shun the society of mankind, being a salacious, hairy, four-footed Creature, with human shape and a crooked nose. But that the foot of this Creature neither hath hoofs nor the body every where hairs, but only the head, shoulders and back. The rest of the parts are smooth, and the Ears are not sharp.”

Enq. into vulg. err. l. 5. p. 271.

So that from hence it is undeniably true, that there are such Creatures existent in nature, and have been either taken for Devils or the Apparitions of Demons in this shape of Satyres, as Doctor Brown hath well observed in these words: “A conceit there is (he saith) that the Devil commonly appeareth with a cloven foot or hoof, wherein although it seem excessively ridiculous, there may be somewhat of truth; and the ground thereof at first might be his frequent appearing in the shape of a Goat, which answers that description. This was the opinion of ancient Christians concerning the Apparitions of Pans, Fauns and Satyres, and in this form we read of one that appeared unto Antony in the Wilderness. The same is also confirmed from expositions of holy Scripture; for whereas it is said; Thou shalt not offer unto Devils, the original word is Sehhirim, that is rough and hairy Goats, because in that shape the Devil most often appeared, as is expounded by the Rabbins, as Tremellius hath also explained.”

But saving the reputation of learned Saint Hierome and Dr Brown, it is but a supposition unproved that ever the Devil appeared in the shape of a Goat, the rise of the opinion was only because the Devil was worshipped in an Idol made in the shape of a Goat.

Enquir. into vulg. errors. l. 4. c. 11. p. 207.
Mund. Subter. l. 8 Sect. 4. c. 4. p. 101.
Idea Idear. operatr. c. 6.
Hist. 5.
Demonstr. Thes. p. 679.

3. In a few ages past when Popish ignorance did abound, there was no discourse more common (which yet is continued amongst the vulgar people) than of the apparition of certain Creatures which they called Fayries, that were of very little stature, and being seen would soon vanish and disappear. And these were generally believed to be some kind of Spirits or Demons, and Paracelsus held them to be a kind of middle Creatures, and called them non-Adamicks, as not being of the race of Adam; but there are Authors of great credit and veracity, that affirm, there have been Nations of such people called Pygmies. And though Doctor Brown hath learnedly and elegantly handled the question, “Whether there have been or are any such dwarfish race of mankind, as but of three spans, not considering them singly but nationally, or not, and hath brought the most probable arguments that well can be, to prove that there are not nor have been any such race of people called Pygmies, yet doth he moderately conclude in these words. There being thus (he saith) no sufficient confirmation of their verity, some doubt may arise concerning their possibility; wherein, since it is not defined in what dimensions the soul may exercise 284her faculties, we shall not conclude impossibility, or that there might not be a race of Pygmies, as there is sometimes of Giants, and so may take in the opinion of Austine, and his Commentator Ludovicus Vives. And though Kircherus with his wonted impudence do conclude in these words:” Fabulosa itaq; sunt omnia, quæ de hujusmodi Pygmæis veteres Geographi à simplici populo sola relatione descripta tradiderunt: Yet (I say) notwithstanding these negative arguments, I give the relation of others (that are of as great or greater credit) in the affirmative. And thus much is affirmed by that most sagacious and learned person Marcus Marci, a late Physician of no mean judgment, who saith thus: Quicquid tamen sit de his, Pygmæos & olim fuisse, & nunc esse affirmamus. And besides the testimony of Aristotle, Solinus, Pomponius Mela, and Ælian, he relateth these. “But those (he saith) that have in our age viewed the World, the same do testifie also, that there are yet Pygmies in the Island of Aruchet, one of the Moluccas, and in the Isle Cophi, and such Pigasetta affirmeth that he saw.” And though Doctor Brown seem to sleight it, yet (according to the Proverb) one eye-witness is more to be credited than ten that have it but by the ear. Odericus in his History of India doth report also, “that there are such people of about three spans high,” which also is confirmed by the later Odericus. And to these affirmative proofs we shall add that of the learned Philosopher and Physician Baptista Van Helmont, in English thus. “A Wine Merchant (he saith) of our Country, a very honest man, sailing sometimes to the Canaries or Fortunate Islands, being asked of me his serious opinion and judgment upon certain Creatures, which there the Children as oft as they would did bring home, and did name them Tudesquillos, or Germanulos, that is little men; (the Germans call them Eard-Manlins) for they were dead Carkases dried almost three foot long, which any one of the Boys did easily carry in one hand, and were of an human shape: But the whole dead Carkase was transparent like Parchment, and the bones were flexible as grisles. Also the bowels and intestines were to be seen, holden against the sun, which, when after I knew to be a certain truth, from the Spaniards born there, I considered, that in these days the off-spring of the Pygmies were there destroyed.”

From whence all understanding and unpartial judgments may clearly perceive, that these kind of Creatures have been really existent in the World and are and may be so still in Islands and Mountains that are uninhabited, and that they are no real Demons, or non-Adamick Creatures, that can appear and become invisible when they please, as Paracelsus thinketh. But that either they were truly of human race endowed with the use of reason and speech (which is most probable) or at least that they were some little kind of Apes or Satyres, that having their secret recesse