A Treatise of Witchcraft
by Alexander Roberts
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A Treatise of Witchcraft.

Wherein sundry Propositions are laid downe, plainely discouering the wickednesse of that damnable Art, with diuerse other speciall points annexed, not impertinent to the same, such as ought diligently of euery Christian to be considered.

With a true Narration of the Witch-crafts which Mary Smith, wife of Henry Smith Glouer, did practise: Of her contract vocally made between the Deuill and her, in solemne termes, by whose meanes she hurt sundry persons whom she enuied: Which is confirmed by her owne confession, and also from the publique Records of the Examination of diuerse vpon their oathes: And lastly, of her death and execution, for the same; which was on the twelfth day of Ianuarie last past.

By ALEXANDER ROBERTS B.D. and Preacher of Gods Word at Kings-Linne in Norffolke.

EXOD. 22. 18. Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to liue.

Impium est a nos illis esse Remissos, quos c[oe]lestis Pietas, Non Patitur impunitos: Alarus Rex apud Cassiodorum.


Printed by N.O. for SAMVEL MAN, and are to be sold at his Shop in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Ball. 1616.

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To the right Worshipful Maister Iohn Atkin Maior, the Recorder and Aldermen, and to the Common Counsaile, Burgesses and Inhabitants of Kings Linne in Norffolke, Grace and Peace.

Right Worshipfull:

In these last dayes, and perillous times, among the rest of those dreadfull euills, which are fore-told should abound[a] in them, a close & disguised contempt of religion may be iustly accounted as chiefe, which causeth and bringeth vpon men all disastrous effects, when although it be shadowed with a beautifull Maske of holines, faire tongued: yet false-harted,[b] professing they know God, but in works deny him. And among these there be two especiall sorts; the one, who entertaining a stubborne, and curious rash boldnes, striue by the iudgemẽt of reason, to search ouer-deeply into the knowledge of those things which are farre aboue the reach of any humane capacitie. And so making shipwracke in this deep and vnfoundable Sea, ouerwhelme themselues in the gulfe thereof. The other kind is more sottish, dull, and of a slow wit, and therefore ouer-credulous, beleeuing euerie thing, especially when they be carried by the violent tempest of their desires, and other vngouerned affections; and among these the diuell vsually spreadeth his netts, as assured of a prey, wayting closely if hee can espie any, who either grow discontented and desperate, through want and pouerty, or be exasperated with a wrathfull and vnruly passion of reuenge, or transported by vnsatiable loue to obtaine some thing they desire; and these hee taking aduantage, assaulteth with golden and glorious promises, to performe vnto them the wishes of their owne hearts; the drift whereof is (hee being as at the first incased in a subtile Serpents skinne) onely to enthrall and invassall them slaues to himselfe. The first of these mentioned, are slie and masked Atheists, who ouer-shadow their secret impiety, loose and dissolute behauiour with some outward conformitie and shew of religion, snatching (as they thinke) a sufficient warrantize thereof from those disorders they obserue among men, and therfore passe vncensured, hauing a ciuill, but dissembled carriage. The second be Sorcerers, Wisards, Witches, and the rest of that ranke and kindred: no small multitude swarming now in the world, yet supposed of many, rather worthy pitty then punishment, as deluded by fantasies, and mis-led, not effecting those harmes wherewith they bee charged, or themselues acknowledge. But considering they be ioyned and linked together with Satan in a league (the common and professed enemy of mankinde) and by his helpe performe many subtile mischieuous actions, and hurtfull designes, it is strange that from so great a smoake arising, they neither descrie nor feare some fire. And therefore, in respect of these, I haue at your appointment and request (for whom I am most willing to bestow my best labours and euer shall be) penned this small Treatise, occasioned by the detection of a late witch among you, whose irreligious care, and vnwearied industry, is not to be defrauded of deserued commendation, and by mature deliberation, and descreete search, found out her irreligious and impious demeanour, and also discouered sundry her vnnaturall and inhumane mischiefes done to others, whereof being conuicted, she was accordingly sentenced, and did vndergoe the penalty iustly appointed, and due by Law vnto malefactors of that kinde. After all which, you kindled with a holy zeale of the aduauncement of Gods glorie, and giuing satisfaction to euery one howsoeuer affected, intermitted no meanes, vsing therein the labour of your carefull Ministers (willingly offering themselues in this holy seruice) whereby she might be broght (as one conuerted in the last houre) to the sight & acknowledgement of her heinous sins in generall, & particularly of that of witchcraft, confessing the same, & by true repentance, and embracing of the tender mercies of God in Christ Iesus saue her soule (who refuseth no true and vnfained conuert at any time.) And hee gratiously blessing these religious endeuors of yours, vouchsafed to second the same with a happy and wished for euent, which (as I hope) shall appeare manifestly in the following Treatise vnto all those who are not fondly, & without cause, too much wedded to their owne conceits: And thus, desiring GOD most humbly to confirme and strengthen you in his truth, which euer you haue loued, and is your due praise, and shall be at the last an honour vnto you: I rest

Your Worships in all Christian duty to be commaunded,


[Footnote a: 2 Timoth. 3. 5.]

[Footnote b: Titus 1. 16.]

To the Reader.

Christian Reader, I haue vpon occasion penned this short discourse, and that of such a subject wherewith not being well acquainted, am enforced to craue some direction from those, whose names you shall finde remembred in the same: (that I be not vnthankefull vnto those from whom I receiue instruction) and haue in former time, and latter dayes, taken paines in searching out, both the speculatiue, and practique parts of this damnable Art of Witchcraft, a dangerous and seducing inuention of Sathan, who from the Arcenals, and Magisins store-houses of his ancient and mischieuous furniture, hath not spared to affoord all helpe, and the best Engines for the subuerting of soules, pliable to his allurements: and to this end, beside a plaine narration of fact in this case committed and confessed, (least the Treatise should be too bare and naked) I haue added thereunto a few Propositions, agreeing to such a subiect matter, manifesting some speciall poynts not altogether impertinent in my opinion, nor vnworthy of due consideration: I know mine owne wants, and do as willingly acknowledge them: One more experienced, and of greater leasure, and better health, had beene fitter for the opening and discouering of so deepe a mystery, and hidden secret of Iniquity, as this is; and haply hereafter may be willing to take that taske in hand: yet herein thou shalt finde something not vsuall: A manifest contract made with the Diuell, and by the solemne tearmes of a league, which is the ground of all the pernitious actions proceeding from those sorts of people, who are, haue beene, and shall be practioners in that cursed and hellish Art. And yet no more then she, that Witch of whom in this relation we do speake, hath of her owne accord, and voluntarily acknowledged after conference had with me, and sundry learned and reuerend Diuines, who both prayed for her conuersion, carefully instructed her in the way to saluation, and hopefully rescued her from the Diuell, (to whom she was deuoted, and by him seduced) and regained her to God, from whom she was departed by Apostacie. And in this so Christian and holy action were the continuall paines of

{ Thomas Howes. { Thomas Hares. Maister { Iohn Man. { William Leedes. { Robert Burward. { William Armitage.

And of these in the day of execution (which she in no wise would condiscend vnto should be deferred, though offered repriuall vpon hope that more might haue beene acknowledged) being very distemperate, neuerthelesse some accompanied her to the place, and were both eye and eare-witnesses of her behauiour there, seeing and hearing how she did then particularly confesse her confederacy with the Diuell, cursing, banning, and enuy towards her neighbours, and hurts done to then, expressing euery one by name, so many as be in the following discourse, nominated, and how she craued mercy of God, and pardon for her offences, with other more specialties afterward expressed. And thus I end, taking my leaue, and commending thee to the gracious guidance and preseruation of our good God in our blessed Sauiour Christ Iesus.

Thine euer in the Lord,


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A TREATISE OF THE CONFESSION AND EXECVTION OF MARY SMITH, CONVICTED OF WITCHCRAFT, and condemned for the same: of her contract vocally & in solemne tearmes made with the Diuell; by whose meanes she hurt sundry persons whom she enuied, with some necessary Propositions added thereunto, discouering the wickednesse of that damnable Art, and diuers other speciall poynts, not impertinent vnto the same, such as ought diligently of euery Christian to bee considered.

There is some diuersitie of iudgement among the learned, who should be the first Author and Inuenter of Magicall and curious Arts. The most generall occurrence of opinion is, that they fetch their pedigree from the [a]Persians, who searching more deeply into the secrets of Nature then others, and not contented to bound themselues within the limits thereof, fell foule of the Diuell, and were insnared in his nets.

[Footnote a: Augustinus de diuinatione Daemonum: & de Ciuitate Dei. lib. 7. cap. 35. Plinius historia naturalis lib. 30. cap. 1.]

And among these, the publisher vnto the world was Zoroaster, who so soone as he by birth[b] entred the world, contrary to the vsuall condition of other men, laughed (whereas the beginning of our life is a sob, the end a sigh) and this was ominous to himselfe, no warrantise for the enioying of the pleasures of this life, ouercome in battell by Ninus[c] King of the Assirians, and ending his dayes by the stroake of a thunder-bolt, and could not, though a famous Sorcerer, either fore-see, or preuent his owne destinie. And because he writ many bookes of this damnable Art, and left them to posterity, may well be accounted a chiefe maister of the same. But the Diuell[d] must haue the precedencie, whose schollers both he and the rest were, who followed treading in his steps. For he taught them South-saying, Auguration, Necromancie, and the rest, meere delusions, aiming therein at no other marke, then to with draw men from the true worshipping of God. And all these pernitious practises are fast tied together by the tailes, though their faces looke sundry wayes; and therefore the Professors thereof are stiled by sundry names, as Magitians, Necromancers, Inchanters, Wisards, Hagges, Fortune-tellers, Diuiners, Witches, Cunning Men, and Women, &c. Whose Art is such a hidden mystery of[e] wickednesse, and so vnsearchable a depth of Sathan, that neither the secrets of the one can be discouered, nor the bottome of the other further sounded, then either the practisers thereof themselues by their owne voluntary confessions made, or procured by order of Iustice (according to the manner of that Countrey where they be questioned) haue acknowledged, or is manifested by the sundry mischiefes done of them vnto others, proued by impartiall testimonies vpon oath, and by vehement presumptions confirmed, or else communicated vnto vs in the learned Treatises, and discourses of ancient and late Writers gathered from the same grounds. And[f] although this Hellish Art be not now so frequent as heretofore, since the Pagans haue beene conuerted vnto Christianity, and the thick fogges of Popery ouer-mantling the bright shining beames of the Gospel of Iesus Christ (who came to dissolue the workes of the Diuell .1. Ioh. 3. 8.) and were by the sincere and powerfull preaching therof dispersed; yet considering these bee the last times, dayes euill & dangerous, fore-told that should come, 2. Tim. 3. 1. in which iniquity must abound, Mat. 24. 12. and as a raging deluge ouer-runne all, so that Faith shall scarce be found vpon earth, Luk. 18. 8. and the Diuell loosed from his thousand yeares imprisonment, [g]Reuel. 20. 3. enraged with great wrath walketh about, and seeketh whom he may deuoure .1. Pet. 5. 8. Because he knoweth hee hath but a short time, Reu. 12. 12. Before I enter into the particularity of the narration intended, it shall be materiall to set downe some generall propositions, as a handfull of gleanings gathered in the plentifull haruest of such learned men, who haue written of this argument, whereby the erronious may be recalled, the weake strengthened, the ignorant informed, and such as iudge aright already, confirmed: and among many other these as chiefe, all which you shall see exemplified in the following Discourse.

[Footnote b: Augustinus de Ciuitate Dei. lib. 21. cap. 14.]

[Footnote c: Iustinus in Epitome Trogi Pompeij. lib. 1.]

[Footnote d: Lactantius de origine erroris. lib. 2. cap. 17. And citeth the testimony of Sibilla Erithraea for proofe hereof. Gratianus Decretorum part. 2. causa 26 quaest. 2. Canone sine saluatore, & inuentas esse has artes pros ap..en eleeinon anthropon ton rhadios hupokleptomenon eis tauta hupo tou diabolou. affirmat Cedrenus in historiae compendio.]

[Footnote e: Probationes ex quibus legitimũ est Iudicia fieri, tres necessariae plane dici & indubitatae possunt 1 veritas notorij & permanentia facti. 2 confessio voluntaria eius qui reus factus est, atque peractus. 3 certorum testium firmorumque testimonium: his & 4 addi potest violentae praesumptiones de Rodinus de Dȩmonomania lib. 4. cap. 2.3.4.]

[Footnote f: The Oracles of the Pagans in all places of the world, whẽ CHRIST was borne, were silenced, and the Diuell became mute: so that Augustus Cȩsar demanding of Apollo by his messengers, sent to Delphos, had this answer returned, pais hebraios keletai &c. in sence thus much, An Hebrue Childe commandeth me to leaue this place, and returne againe to hell. From hence therefore you must depart from our Altars, without resolution of any questions propounded. Eusebius de praeparatione Euangelica, lib. 5. cap. 8. Theodoretus de Graecorum affectionum curatione qui est de oraculis meta ten tou soteros hemon epiphaneian apedrasan hoi tende ten exapaten tois anthropois prospherontes, Vide & Suidam in Augusto, & Athanasium de incarnatione verbi.]

[Footnote g: De hac ligatione & solutione Diaboli plenissime August. de Ciuitate Dei, lib. 20 cap. 8.]

The first Proposition.

It is a Quaere, though needlesse, whether there be any Witches: for they[a] haue some Proctors who plead a nullitie in this case, perswade themselues, and would induce others to be of the same minde, that there be no Witches at all: but a sort of melancholique, aged, and ignorant Women, deluded in their imagination; and acknowledge such things to be effected by them, which are vnpossible, vnlikely, and they neuer did; and therefore Magistrates who inflict any punishment vpon them, be vnmercifull and cruell Butchers. Yet by the way, and their good leaue, who take vpon them this Apology, all who are conuented vpon these vnlawfull action, are not strucken in yeares; but some euen in the flower of their youth be nuzled vp in the same, and convicted to be practisers thereof; neither be they ouerflowed with a blacke melancholique humor, dazeling the phantasie, but haue their vnderstandings cleere, and wits as quicke as other: Neither yet be they all women, though for the most part that sexe be inclinable thereunto: (as shall afterward be shewed, and the causes thereof) but men also on whose behalfe no exception can be laid, why any should demurre either of their offence or punishment for the same. Wherefore for this point, and confirmation of the affirmatiue, wee haue sundry pregnant and euident proofes.

[Footnote a: Wierus de magorũ infamium p[oe]nis lib 6. cap. 17.18 19 20 21 22 23 24 &. 27. & de Lamijs lib 3. cap 7. & de lamiarum impotentia. But this position commeth from another as dangerous, euen Infidelity denying that there be any Diuel, but in opinion; which was the doctrine of Aristotle, and the Peripatetique Philpsophers. Pomponatius de incarnationibus Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum]

First testimonies Diuine and Humane: Diuine of God himselfe in his word,[b] left for our instruction in all dogmaticall truth, reproofe and confutation of falshood in opinions, correction for the reforming of misdemeaners in conuersation, doctrine for the guidance of euery estate Politicall, Ecclesiasticall, Oeconomicall. 2. Timoth. 3. 16. Therefore expressely, Thou shalt not suffer a Witch, to liue, Exod. 22. 18.[c] but to bee executed in the same day wherein she is conuicted, and this was a custome obserued by the ancient Fathers. And Deuteronomy 18. 10.11. there is a blacke Bill set downe[d], and registred of sundry kinds of these slaues of Sathan, all condemned, and God addeth in the same place the reasons of this his seuere and sharpe iudgement against them. First, because they are an abhomination vnto him. Secondly, he determineth vtterly to destroy all such, and giueth his people the Israelites an example thereof in the Canaanites, whom their Land spewed out. Thirdly, for that he requireth all who belong vnto him, to be pure, vndefiled and holy, not stained with impieties, for they are bound vnto him by couenant in obedience. Fourthly such were the Heathen, strangers from God, blinded in their dark vnderstanding, without sauing knowledge, with whom the Israelites, a chosen and peculiar nation, enioying his lawes and statutes, must haue no familiarity. Further, the woman of Endor acknowledgeth herselfe to be one of the rank. 1. Sam. 28. 9. And Iesabel, mother of Iehoram, is in plaine tearmes stiled a Witch. 2. King. 9. 22. who is [e]supposed to haue brought this Art, and the Professors thereof into Samaria, which there continued for the space of sixe hundred yeares. Insomuch that it was rife in common speech, when any would reproach another, to doe the same in this forme; Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a Diuell (a familiar spirit) which the malicious Iewes, not abiding his heauenly and gracious doctrine, obiected to Christ Iesus our blessed Sauiour, Ioh. 8. 48. The holy Apostle reprouing the Galathians for their sudden Apostasie and back-sliding from the Gospell so powerfully preached vnto them and with so great euidence of the spirit, as though Christ had bin crucified before their eyes, doth it in no other termes than these, Who hath bewitched you? Gal. 3. 1. And afterward, Cap. 5. 20. marshalleth Witch-craft among the workes of the flesh: In both which places the names are taken from the seducements and illusions of Inchanters, who astonish the mindes, and deceiue the senses of men, and all that by vertue of a contract passed betwene them and the Diuell. Other like proofes may be added to these alledged, Leuit. 20. 6. Micah 5. 12. Nahum 3. 4. Now then when God affirmeth there be such, whose words are truth, shall man dare once to open his mouth, and contradict the most righteous?

[Footnote b: Didaskalia elenchos epanorthosis paideia.]

[Footnote c: Philo in libro de legibus specialibus.]

[Footnote d: Vide Paulum Phagium in annotationibus, & Chaldaicam Paraphrasin in cap. 18. & 19. Leuitici.]

[Footnote e: Bodinus in confutatione opinionum Wieri.]

Concerning humane witnesses, they be almost infinite; and therefore it shall be sufficient to produce some few, choyce, and selected: [f] The second Councell of Constantinople held and gathered together in the Imperiall palace, of two hundred seuen and twenty learned and reuerent Bishops, nameth sundry sorts of such Sorcerers, and censureth their actions to be the damned practises of the Pagans, and decreeth all the Agents therein excommunicated from the Church and society of Christian people, adding the motiue reason of this their determined sentence, from the Apostle, 2. Cor. 6. 14. For righteousnesse hath no fellowship with vnrighteousnesse, neither is there communion of light with darknesse, nor concord with Christ and Belial, nor the beleeuer can haue part with an Infidell. And [g]Chrysostome sharply reproueth all such, and those who aduise with them vpon any occasion, confuting the reasons which they take to be sufficient warantise of their doings. As among the rest they will pretend, Shee was a Christian woman who doth thus charme or inchant; and taketh no other but the name of God in her mouth, vseth the words of sacred Scripture. To this that holy Father replieth, Therefore she is the more to be hated, because shee hath abused and taken in vaine that great and glorious name, and professing herselfe a Christian, yet practiseth the [h]damnable Arts of miscreant and vnbeleeuing Heathen. For the Diuels could speake the name of God, and neuerthelesse were still Diuels; and when they said vnto Christ, they knew who he was, the holy one of God, &c. Mar. 1. 24.25. their mouthes were stopped, he would no such witnesse, that wee should learne, not to beleeue them when they say the truth: for this is but a bait, that wee might afterward follow their lies. There is much mention made of these, both in the Ciuill and [i]Canon Lawes, and diuersitie of punishment alotted out for them; so that none can doubt but that there hath beene, and are such. I might remember vnto you the authority of Clemens Romanus in his Recognitions, and those Constitutions which are fathered vpon the Apostles; but their credit is not so great, that they may without exception be impannelled vpon this Iury, for they haue long since been chalenged of [k]insufficiencie.

[Footnote f: Cap 61. congregata est hac synodus sib Iustiniano qui vocatus est rhinotmetes, in qua erant Episcopi, 227. Balsamon in suis ad eum Commentarijs, & vocata est synodus in Trullo erat autem ho trullos Secretarium palatij quia in eo fuit celebrata, eam autẽ penteken vocat Balsamon quasi Quintisexta dicas quia quod quinte & sexta synodis deerat (septem enim recipiunt Graeci) haec expleuit, Nomenclator Graecorum dictionum quae apud Harmenopulum occurrunt in sui iuris Promptuario.]

[Footnote g: This testimony of Chrysostome is cited by Balsamon, in his exposition vpon that Chapter of the Councell before alleaged, to which may be added other of the same holy Bishop in his 9 Homily vpon the Epistle to the Colossians, & his 6 Sermon against the Iewes.]

[Footnote h: Superstitio tato peior est quato plura miscentur bona, quonia vnde debeat honorari Deus honoratur Diabolus. Ioh. Gerson in Trilogio Astrologiae Theologisatae propositione 21.]

[Footnote i: Vide Phothiũ Patriarcha Constantinopolitanũ in nono Canone titulo 13. cap. 19]

[Footnote k: Ierome in his Apology against Ruffinus. and Eusebius alloweth but one only Epistle of his, Histor. Ecclesiast. 2. cap. 16. Gratianus distinct. 15. Epiphanius contra Audianos.]

Among the Gentiles, when these so qualitied persons did swarme, and were accounted of high esteeme, there be reckoned vp whole troopes of this blacke guard of the Diuell; As [l]Circe whom Homer reporteth to haue turned Vlysses Companions into Wolues, Lyons, Swine, &c. by her Inchantments, insauaging and making them beast-like and furious. Medea[m] famous in this kinde, for she murthered by Witch-craft Glauca in the day of her marriage, who enioyed Iason her loue. And[n] the Mortars of these two, wherein they stamped their Magicall drugges, were for a long time kept in a certaine mountaine, and shewed as strange monuments to those who desired a sight of them. For[o] the Diuel furnisheth such with powders, oyntments, hearbes, and like receipts, whereby they procure sicknesse, death, health, or worke other supernaturall effects. Of the same profession were [p]Simotha, [q]Erictho, [r]Canidia, and infinite others beside, whose damnable memory deserueth to be buried in euerlasting obliuion.

[Footnote l: Homer. odissea 10, pharmakois alliose Eustathius.]

[Footnote m: Euripides in Medea. Ouidius Metamorph. lib. 7. Pindarus Pythonum Idillio 4. Apollonius Argonauticorum lib. 4.]

[Footnote n: Scholiastes Theocriti Idil 2 en to selenaio orei deiknuousi tous medeias kai Kirkes hormous en hois ekopten ta phrarmaka.]

[Footnote o: Remigius demonolatriae lib. 1. cap 2.]

[Footnote p: Theocritus in pharmakeutria Idil. 2.]

[Footnote q: Lucan. Pharsalibus lib. 6.]

[Footnote r: Horatius Erodo lib. 5.]

But because the reports of these may seeme to carry small credit, for that they come from Poets, who are stained with the note of licentious [s]faining, and so put off as vaine fictions; yet seeing they deliuer nothing herein but that which was well knowne and vsuall in those times wherein they liued, they are not slightly, and vpon an imagined conceit, to be reiected: for they affirme no more then is manifest in the records of most approued Histories, whose essence is and must be [t]truth, [u]as straightnesse of a rule, or else deserue not that title. In which wee reade of [x]Martiana, [y]Locusta, [z]Martha, [aa]Pamphilia, [bb]Aruna, &c. And not to insist vpon particulars, there bee infinite numbers ouerflowing euen in these our[cc] dayes, since the sinceritie of Christian Profession hath decreased, and beene in a sort ecclipsed in the hearts of men: for the period of the continuance thereof (after it be once imbraced) in his first integrity, either for zeale of affection, or strictnesse of discipline, hath beene by some learned Diuines[dd] obserued, to bee confined within the compass of twenty yeares; and then afterward by degrees, the one waxed cold, and the other dissolute: which being so, it is not to be maruelled though the Diuell now begin to shew himselfe in these his instruments, as heretofore, though he cannot in the same measure, in respect of those sparkes of light which yet shine amongst vs. But of this so much now, because I shall haue afterward occasion further to enlarge this poynt.

[Footnote s: Pictoribus atque Poetis quidlibet audiendi semper fuit aequa potestas.]

[Footnote t: kathaper empsuchou somatos ton spheon exairetheison akreionas to holon: houtos ex historias ean ares ten aletheian, to kataloipomenon autes, anateles gignetai diegema Polib. historiarum lib. 12.]

[Footnote u: Timaus Kaionos idiotes eutheia.]

[Footnote x: Tacitus Annal. lib. 2.]

[Footnote y: Idem annal. lib. 12 & 13 & Suetonius in Claudio c. 33.]

[Footnote z: Plutarchus in Mario.]

[Footnote aa: Apuleius.]

[Footnote bb: Munsterus Cosmographiae lib. 2.]

[Footnote cc: Remigius, a iudge in these cases reporteth of 900 executed in Lorayne for this offence of Witch-craft in the time of his gouernement.]

[Footnote dd: Lutherus in Genesin.]

Againe, the policie of all States[ee] haue prouided for the rooting out of these poysonfull Weedes, and cutting of these rotten and infected members; and therefore infallibly prouing their existence and being: for all[ff] penall lawes looke to matters of fact and are made to punish for the present, and preuent in future, some wicked actions already committed. And therefore Solon the Athenian making statutes for the setling of that Common-wealth, when a defect was found, that he omitted to prouide a cautelous restraint, and appoint[gg] answerable punishmẽt for such who had killed their parents, answered, He neuer suspected there were or would be any such. Wherefore to confirme the position set downe, God doth not threaten to cast away his people for murther, incest, tyranny, &c. But Sorcery, Leuit. 20. 6. And Samuel willing to shew Saul the grieuousnesse of his disobedience, compareth it to witch-craft, 1. Sam. 15. 23. The Holy Ghost also manifesting how highly God was displeased with Manasses, maketh this the reason, because hee gaue himselfe to Witch-craft, and to Charming, and to Sorcery, and vsed them who had familiar spirits, and did much euill in the sight of the Lord to anger him, 2. Chro. 33. 6. And for this offence were the ten tribes of Israell led into captiuitie, 2. King. 17. 17. [hh]The twelue Tables of the Romans (the ancientest law they haue) by a solemne Embassage (sent for that purpose) obtained from Athens, & accounted as a Library of knowledge, do both make mention of such malefactors, & decree a penaltie to be inflicted vpon them. [ii]Constantius and Constantinus thinke them worthy of some vnusuall death, as enemies of mankinde, strangers from nature: [kk]and Iulius Paulus distinguishing the punishment according to the different qualitie of the offenders, pronounceth out of the then receiued opinions, that the better sort found guilty, were to dye (not determining the manner) those of meaner condition either to bee crucified, or deuoured of wilde beasts.

[Footnote ee: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum, calleth this reason a most strong & conuincing argument.]

[Footnote ff: Ex malis moribus bonae nascuntur leges.]

[Footnote gg: Diogenes Laertius lib. 1. de vitis Philosophorum in Solone. Cicero in Oratione pro Roscio Amerino.]

[Footnote hh: Of these 12. Tables Liuie in the 3 booke of his first Decad. Dionysius Halicarnasseus 10 Booke of his History, & Iohannes Rosimus most fully in the 6 chapter of his 8 booke of Roman antiquities. Liuius. Plinius lib. 34. cap. 5. Cicero de legibus, lib. 2. & de orato primo.]

[Footnote ii: Cod. lib. 9. titul. 18. lege multi magicis actibus.]

[Footnote kk: Sententiarum receptarum lib. 5. cap. 25. ad legem Corneliam de sicarijs & maleficis. Paulus Iurisconsultus.]

Our ancient Saxon Kings before the [ll]Conquest, haue in their municipall Lawes apparantly demonstrated what they conceiued of these so dangerous and diuellish persons. Alucidus keepeth the expresse words of God; F[oe]minas sagas ne sinite viuere. Suffer not women Witches to liue. Gunthrunus and Canutus will haue them, being once apprehended (that the rest of the people might bee pure and vndefiled) sent into banishment, or if they abide in the kingdome (continuing their lewd practises) executed according to desert. So Athelstane, if they be conuicted to haue killed any, &c. And how the present estate standeth affected toward them, the sundry strict statutes in this case prouided, may giue any, not wedded to his owne stubbornenesse, sufficient and full satisfaction. Wherefore not to erect a Tabernacle, and dwell longer in perswading an vndeniable truth, that there bee Sorcerers and Witches, I leaue these Hellish Infidels, and proceede.

[Footnote ll: In archaionomia siue de priscis Anglorum legibus Guilielmus Lambertus.]

The second Proposition.

The second Proposition: [a]Who those be, and of what quality, that are thus ensnared of the Diuell, and vndermined by his fraudes. For resolution whereof, this may suffice. Those who either maliciously reiect the Gospell offered vnto them: or receiuing and vnderstanding the same, do but coldly respect, and carelessly taste it, without making any due estimation, or hauing any reuerent regard therof. In both which is a manifest and open contempt of God. For as he purposing to honour the first comming of his Sonne into the World, cloathed in the cloud of our flesh, which he assumed then, suffered many to be really possessed of Diuels, to bee lunatique, deafe, dumbe, blinde, &c. whom he might deliuer from these torments, and so make apparant his glory, and shew by these his miracles wrought, that hee was the promised Messias, Esay 35. 5.6. And therfore Christ referreth those Disciples whom Iohn sent vnto him (doubting in respect of that base forme which he tooke, and demanding whether it was he that should come, or another to be looked for) vnto his Doctrine and Workes; and by them to bee instructed, whereof they were then both hearers and beholders, Math. 11. 3.4.5. So now comming in the dew of his grace, and hauing restored the light of the Gospell, and bestowed that vpon mankinde, as an especiall and vnvaluable blessing, in his iustice giueth ouer the despisers thereof vnto the power of Sathan, whereby both others who contemne the same, might by their dreadfull example bee terrified, and the faithfull stirred vp to a respectiue thankfulnesse, for so great a mercy vouchsafed vnto them, and acknowledge their happinesse in being made partakers thereof, and by especiall fauour deliuered out of the tyranny of the Diuell: For this is one of the fearefull iudgements of God, and hidden from vs (as all are a great depth, Psal. 36. 6.) that those who receiued not the truth that they might be saued, should haue strong delusions sent vnto them, and bee giuen ouer to belieue Sathan and his lying signes, and false wonders, 2. Thess. 2. 10. And thus consenting vnto sinne, and his suggestions, they are depriued of the [b]helpe and assistance of God, and so disabled to resist all violent rushing temptations: for one offence, not being truely repented of, bringeth another, and at last throweth head-long downe into hell: and by this meanes man despising God his creator & redeemer, and obeying the Diuell a professed enemy, and irreconciliable aduersary, not easie to be confronted, becommeth his seruant: for of whomsoeuer any is ouercome, euen of the same is hee brought into bondage, 2. Pet. 2. 19. And the Apostle giueth as the reason why the heathen were so sottish Idolaters, and defiled themselues with many detestable and loathsome sinnes, [c]because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankfull, therefore God gaue them ouer to a reprobate sence, and vile affections to doe those things which were not conuenient, full of all vnrighteousnesse, Rom 1. 24.25. &. 29 So these being enthralled, and deuoting themselues to the Diuell by a mutuall league (either expresse or secret) he brandeth with his mark for his [d]owne, as in ancient time was an vse with Bondslaues and [e]Captiues, and these bee ezogremenoi, taken aliue in his snare, 2. Tim. 2. 26. and that in some part of the body, least either suspected or perceiued by vs (for hee is a cunning concealer) as vnder the eye-lids, or in the palat of the mouth, or other secret places: Wherefore some Iudges cause them, once being called into question, and accused, to be shauen all the body[f] ouer. And for the manner of impression, or branding, it is after this sort. The Diuell when hee hath once made the contract betweene himselfe and the Witch, and agreed vpon the conditions, what they shall doe, the one for the other, giueth her some scratch[g], which remaineth ful of paine & anguish vntill his return againe: at which time hee doth so benumme the same, that though it be pierced with any sharpe instrument, yet is without any sence of feeling, and will not yeeld one droppe of bloud at all: a matter knowne by iust, often, and due triall.

[Footnote a: Danaeus de sortiarijs. cap. 20]

[Footnote b: Iaquerius in flagello Hereticorum, cap. 18.]

[Footnote c: Peccatum si citius paenitendo non tergitur, iusto Iudicio omnipotens Deus obligatam peccantis mentem, etiam in culpam alteram permittit cadere, vt qui flendo & corrigendo noluit mundare quod fecit, peccatum incipiat peccato cumulare, Greg. Hom. 11. in Ezech. Augustinus lib. 83. questionum questione 97. & Aquinas 1. 2. quaest. 79. artic. 3 & quaest. 87. artic. 2.]

[Footnote d: Zanchius de operibus creationis, part. 1 lib. 4. cap. 15. Danaeus de sortiarijs cap. 4. & Erastus de Lamijs.]

[Footnote e: De hoc more Alexander ab Alexandro. Dierum genialium lib. 5. cap. 18. Suetonius in Caligula, cap. 27. Cicero de officijs lib. 2. Caelius Rhodinginus Antiquarum lectionum lib. 7. cap. 31. & olim militiae Tyrones stigmatiai erant & in cute signati Vegetius lib. 1. cap. 8. & 2. cap. 5. Prudentius peri stephanon Hymno 10. & huius moris meminit, Ambrosius in funebri oratione pro Valentiniano.]

[Footnote f: Et insigne exemplum apud Gildemannum de Lamijs lib. 3. cap. 10. sectione 38.]

[Footnote g: Remigius in Daemonolatria lib. 1. cap. 5. and citeth the confession of eight seuerall persons, acknowledging both to haue receiued the marke and in what part of the body.]

And for the most part, hee bringeth these his slaues and vassailes obliged to him as his owne, to some desperate, Tragicall,[h] and disastrous end; and that either by the execution of Iustice for their demerits, or by laying violent hands vpon themselues, or else God powreth vpon them some strange and extraordinary vengeance, or their Grand-maister whom they haue serued, dispatcheth them in such manner, as they become dreadfull and terrible spectacles to the beholders, whereof Histories will furnish vs with [i]varietie and plenty of examples: For the Diuell is a murthering spirit, desirous to doe mischiefe, swelling in pride, malitious in hatred, spitefull in enuy, subtill in craft; and therefore it behoueth euery one resolutely to withstand his assaults, Ephes. 4. 27. and cautelously to decline his subtilties, and cunning ambushments [Sidenote: methodeiai] from whence he inuadeth vs, Eph. 6. 11.[k] For this aduersary against whom we fight, is an old beaten enemy, sixe thousand yeares are fully compleat since the first time hee began to assault mankinde. But if any keepe the Commandements of God, and constantly, by a liuely faith, cleaue fast vnto Christ, he shall ouercome: for our Lord is inuincible.[l] The Diuels indeed doe willingly offer themselues to be seene of those who are not gouerned by the Holy Ghost; and that either to win themselues some estimation, or to intangle and deceiue men, vailing their treacheries vnder a smiling countenance, whom they deadly hate, for if it lay in their possibilitie, they would ouerthrow and destroy heauen it selfe. Now vnable to do this, they endeuour to worke vpon a more weake subiect and matter; and therefore hee that will not bee subdued of them, must auoid all occasions whereby he may take any aduantage, and couered with the Breast-plate of Righteousnesse, and defended with the Shield of Faith, quench all his fiery Darts. Ephes. 6. 14.

[Footnote h: Peucerus de praecipuis diuinationum generibus titulo de Magia.]

[Footnote i: Philippus Camerarius in Historicis medicationibus part. 1. cap. 70. & 72.]

[Footnote k: Cyprianus in pro[oe]mio libri de exhortatione ad Martyrium.]

[Footnote l: Tatianus oratione contra Gentes.]

The third Proposition.

Except God do by his especial grace and ouerruling power, restraine the malice of these Witches and preserue his Children, they are permissiuely able,[a] through the helpe of the Diuell their maister, to hurt Men and Beasts, and trouble the elements, by vertue of that contract & agreement which they haue made with him. For man they endamage both in body & mind: In body, for [b]Daneus reporteth of his owne knowledge, as an eye-witnesse thereof, that he hath seene the breasts of Nurces (onely touched by their hands) those sacred fountaines of humane nourishment so dried vp that they could yeeld no milke; some suddenly tormented with extreame and intolerable paine of the Cholicke, others[c] oppressed with the Palsie, Leprosie, Gout, Apoplexie, &c. And thus disabled from the performance of any action, many tortured with lingring consumptions,[d] and not a few afflicted with such diseases, which neither they themselues who wrought that euill, could afterward helpe; nor be cured thereof by the Art and diligent attendance of most skilfull Physitians. I willingly let passe other mischiefes wrought by them, of which many things are deliuered in the Canon and Ciuill Lawes, in the Schoole-men, and Diuines both ancient and moderne.

[Footnote a: Damascenus Orthodox. fidei lib. 2. cap. 4. exousian echei kai eschon kata tinos oikonomikos, Iaquerius flagelli Hereticorum fascinariorum, cap. 25.]

[Footnote b: Vberae matris fontes sanctissimos humani generis educatores vocat Phauorinus apud A. Gellium noct. Atticarum lib. 12. cap. 1. Aretius problematum parte 2. Loco 144. de Magia.]

[Footnote c: Godlemanus de veneficis lib. 1 cap. 25.26.&c.]

[Footnote d: Exempla omnem fidem superantia Florentinae mulieris & vlrici cuiusdam Neucesseri refert Langius epist. Medicinalium lib. 2. Epist. 38. e cuius ventriculo lignum teres & quatuor cultri execti sunt: eorum & formam & iusta longitudinem ponit. Lycosthenes lib. de prodigijs & ostentis quo modo huiusmodi in corporibus humanis inueniantur & qua ratione ingenerentur, aut eijciantur & an tribuenda hac maleficijs & diabolica arti Binfeldius in commentario ad titulum Codicis de maleficis & Mathematicis pag. 510.]

In minde, stirring vp men to lust, to hatred, to loue, and the like[e] passions, and that by altering the inward and outward sences, either in forming some new obiect, or offering the same to the eye or eare, or stirring the humors: for there being a neere coniunction betweene the sensitiue and rationall faculties of the soule, if the one bee affected, the other (though indirectly) must of necessity be also moued. As for example, when they would prouoke any to loue or hatred, they propound an obiect vnder the shew and appearance of that which is good and beautifull, so that it may be desired and embraced: or else by representation of that which is euill & infamous, procure dislike and detestation. Neither is this any strange position, or improbable, but may bee warranted by sufficient authority; and therefore [f]Constantius the Emperour doth expressely determine, all those iustly punishable who sollicite by enchantments chaste mindes to vncleannesse: And Saint [g]Ierome attributeth vnto them this power, that they can enforce men to hate those things they should loue, and affect that which they ought to auoyd: and the ground hereof hath his strength from the holy Scriptures: for the Diuell is able to enflame wanton[h] lust in the heart, and therfore is named, the Spirit of Fornication, Osea 4. 12. and vncleane, Math. 12. 43.

[Footnote e: Gratianus in decretis, Caietanus in summula titulo de maleficio. Iaquerius in flagello fascinariorum, cap. 11. 12. Ioh. Nider in praeceptorio, praecepto 1. cap. 11. Bodinus in Daemonomania, lib. 2 cap. *]

[Footnote f: Cod. Lib. 9. titulo 18. Lege est scientia, hanc legem sugillat. Weirus de praestigijs daemonum lib. 3. cap. 38.]

[Footnote g: In 3. Caput prophetȩ Nahũni, vide & Nazianzenum in aporetais, siue de arcanis vel principijs non procul a fine, & eius paraphrasten Nicetam.]

[Footnote h: Cassianus Collat. 7. cap. 32.]

There is a very remarkeable example mentioned by Ierome[i], of a maiden in Gaza whom a yong man louing, and not obtaining, went to Memphis in Egypt, and at the yeares end in his returne, being there instructed by a Priest of Aesculapius, and furnished with Magicall Coniurations, graued in a plate of brasse, strange charming words, and pictures which he buried vnder the threshold of the doore where the virgin dwelt: by which meanes she fell into a fury, pulled off the attire of her head, flung about her haire, gnashed with her teeth, and continually called vpon the name of her louer.

[Footnote i: In vita Hilarionis.]

The like doth [k]Nazianzene report of Cyprian before his conuersion (though some thinke it [l]was not he whose learned and religions writings are extant, and for the profession of his faith and doctrine was crowned with Martyrdome) but another of that name, toward Iustina, whom hee lasciuiously[m] courted, and vnlawfully lusted after. It were easie for me to instance this in many, and to adde more testimonies, but my intended purpose was, to set downe onely some few propositions, whereby the iudicious reader might be stirred vp to a deeper search, and further consideration of these things: for often they driue men to a madnesse, and other such desperate passions, that they become murtherers of themselues. But this alwayes must be kept in minde, as a granted and infallible truth, [n]That whatsoeuer the Witch doth, it receiueth his force from that society which she hath with the Diuell, who serueth her turne in effecting what she purposeth, and so they worke together as [o]associates.

[Footnote k: Oratione in laudẽ Cypriani eandem historia refert Nicephorus Calustus lib. 5 cap. 27.]

[Footnote l: Prudentius peri stephanon de passione Cypriani, vnus erat iuvenum doctis. artibus sinistris, fraude pudititia perstringere. & c]

[Footnote m: Ouid. lib. 2. de art. amand. philtra nocent animis, vimq; fauoris habent. Propertius lib. 4. in laenam quandam consuluitq; striges nostro de sanguine & in me, hippomenes faetae semina legit equae. Vide de his Aristotelem de natura animaliũ lib. 6. cap. 22. Pliniũ l. 8. c. 42.]

[Footnote n: Aug. de doctr. Christ. l. 2. c. 22. & 23.]

[Footnote o: Iaquerius in flagello hereticorũ fascinariorũ, cap. 6. Martinus de Arles, p. 436.]

Now concerning beasts they doe oftentimes kill them out-right, and that in sundry manner, or pine and waste them by little and little, till they be consumed.

For [p]the Elements, it is an agreeing consent of all, that they can corrupt and infect them, procure tempests, to stirre vp thunder & lightning, moue violent winds, destroy the fruits of the earth: for God hath a thousand wayes to chasten disobedient man, and whole treasures full of vengeance by his Angels, Diuels, Men, Beasts. For the whole nature of things is ready to reuenge the wrong done vnto the creator.

[Footnote p: Ioh. Gerson in Trialogio Astrologiae Theologisatae propos. 16. Palanus in Syntagmate, l. 5. c. 13]

It were but fruitlesse labour, and ill spent, to bestow long time in confirming this so manifest a truth, and not much better then set vp a candle to giue the Sunnelight when it shineth brightest in mid-heauen: yet to satisfie those who doubt here-of, I will giue a small touch of an example or two.

[q]Curius Sidius the Roman Generall in a battell against Salebus, Captaine of the Moores, in want of water, obtained such abundance of raine from Heauen by Magicall inchantments, that it not onely sufficed the thirst of his distressed Souldiers, but terrified the enemies in such sort, (supposing that God had sent helpe) as of their owne accord, they sought for conditions of peace, and left the field.

[Footnote q: Dion. Cassius Romana Historiae, lib. 60. in Claudio.]

The narration of Olaus[r] Magnus which he maketh of his Northerne Wisards and Witches, would seeme to be meere fictions, and altogether incredible, as of Ericus, who had the winde at command, to blow alwayes from that quarter to which he would set his hat. Or Hagbert, who could shew herselfe in any shape, higher or lower, as she pleased, at one time so great as a Giant, at another as little as a Dwarfe: by whose Diabolicall practises mighty Armies haue beene dicomfited, and sundry others, except the truth hereof were without contradiction approued: by the experience of our owne Nauigators, who trade in Finland, Denmarke, Lapland, Ward-house, Norway, and other Countries of that Climate, and haue obtained of the inhabitants thereof, a certaine winde for twenty dayes together, or the like fixed period of time, according to the distance of place and strings tied with three knots, so that if one were loosed, they should haue a pleasant gale: if the second, a more vehement blast: if the third, such hideous & raging tempests that the Mariners were not able once to looke out, to stand vpon the hatches, to handle their tackle, or to guide the helme with all their strength; and are somtimes violently carried back to the place from whence they first loosed to sea; and many (more hardy then wise) haue bought their triall full deere, opening those knots, and neglecting admonition giuen to the contrary. Apuleius ascribeth to Pamphile, a Witch of Thessalia, little lesse then diuine power to effect strange wonders in heauen, in earth, in hell; to darken the starres, stay the course of riuers, dissolue mountains, and raise vp spirits, this opinion went for currant and vncontrouled. And without all question the Diuell[s] can do this and much more, when God letteth him loose. For he is stiled, The Prince of the world, Ioh. 12. 31. A strong man armed, Luke 11. 21, Principality, a ruler of darknesse, spirituall wickednesse in high places, Ephes. 6. 12.

[Footnote r: Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, lib. 3. cap.]

[Footnote s: De potestate Dȩmonum Aquinas in Summa parte 1, quest 110. Binfeldius in titulum codicis de maleficis & mathematicis. Zanchius de operibus creationis, part. 1. lib. 4. cap. 10.11.12. Danaus in Isagoge, parte 2. de Angelis bonis & malis.]

Thus he dismaied the heart of Saul (when he had broken the Commandement of God) with dreadfull feare, and enraged his minde with bloudy fury, 1. Sam. 16. 14. Entred into Iudas, prouoked him to betray his maister, dispaire and hang himselfe, Math. 27. 3. filled the heart of Ananias and Saphira with dissimulation,Act. 5. 3. possessed the bodies of many really, as is manifest in the History of the Gospell. Our Sauiour Christ assureth vs, that a daughter of Abraham was bound for 18 yeares by Sathan, with such a spirit of infirmitie, as bowed together, shee could in no wise lift vp herselfe, Luk. 13. 11.16. He spake out of the Pythonesse, Act. 16. 17. brought downe fire from heauen, and consumed Iobs sheepe 7000. and his seruants, raised a storme, strooke the house wherein his sonnes and daughters feasted with their elder brother, smote the foure corners of it, with the ruine whereof they all were destroyed, and perished: and ouerspread the body of that holy Saint their father with botches[t] and biles from the sole of his foot to the crowne of his head.[u] And hee wil haue his seruants Wisards & Witches, coadiutors with him, and maketh them fit instruments to the performance of all wicked exploits, and this is when God pleaseth (of which I shall haue occasion to speake more afterward) to giue leaue, for his wil is the first supreme and principal cause of all things: and nothing can be done visibly in this Common-wealth here below of the creatures, but is decreed and determined so to be first in the high Court of Heauen, according to his vnsearchable wisedome and iustice, disposing punishments and rewards as seemeth good vnto himselfe. So Pharaohs[x] Magitians could turne water into bloud, their roddes into serpents, produce frogges, &c. But when it came to the base vermine, to make lice, they were pusled, and acknowledged their imbecillity, confessing, Digitus Dei est,[u] Gods finger is here, Exod. 18. 19. For if they could effect and bring to passe all mischieuous designements without his sufferance, it would inferre a weakenesse, and conclude a defect of[z] power in him, as not sufficient to oppose their strength, supplant their force, and auoid their stratagems. And we must not imagine that the practioners of these damnable Arts of which sexe soeuer, be they men or women, do performe those mischifes which they effect, by their owne skills or such meanes as they vse, of which sort bee the bones of dead mens skuls, Toades, Characters, Images, &c. But through the cooperation of the Diuell, who is by nature subtile, by long experience instructed, swift to produceth strange works, & to humane vnderstanding admirable. Yet[aa] he will haue those his vassals perswaded of some great benefit bestowed vpon them, whereby they are inabled to helpe and hurt, whom, how, and when they list; and all to indeere them, & by making them partakers in his villany, being strongly bound in his seruice, & stedfastly continued in the same, might more grieuously offend God, and bring iust condemnation vpon themselues. And for the greater, and more forceable inticing allurement hereunto, hee promiseth to giue and doe many things for their sakes, and reueale to them hidden secrets, and future euents, such[bb] as he himselfe purposeth to doe, or knoweth by naturall signes shall come to passe. So then to conclude, in[cc] euery Magicall action, there must be a concurrence of these three. First, the permitting will of God. Secondly, the suggestion of the Diuell, and his power cooperating. Thirdly, the desire and consent of the Sorcerer; and if[dd] any of these be wanting, no trick of witch-craft can be performed. For if God did not suffer it, neither the Diuell, nor the Witch could preuaile to do any thing, no not so much as to hurt one[ee] bristle of a Swine. And if the Diuell had not seduced the minde of the wicked woman, no such matter would haue beene attempted. And againe, if hee had not the Witch to bee his instrument, the Diuell were debarred of his purpose.

[Footnote t: Vlcus pessimũ extensiue quia per totum corpus diffusum, & intensiue, quia in eo omnis morbi & doloris comprehensio vide Mercerum in cap. 2. Iobi.]

[Footnote u: Regula Theologorum Quecunque possunt Dȩmones possunt etiam magi & malefici eius opera, hinc & illi tempestates exitant Virgilius Ecologa 4. Carmina vel c[oe]lo possunt deducere Lunam: Carminibus Circe socios mutauit Vlyssis, Frigidus in pratis cantando rumpitur Anguis, &c. Et de se Iactans Medea apud Ouidium Lib. 7. Metamorphose+o+n. Cum volui ripis ipsis mirantibus; amnes In fontes rediere suos, concussaque sisto, Stantia concutio cantu freta, nubila pello, Nubilaque iudico. Apud Virgilium Dido Annam sororem alloquitur. —Mihi Massilae gentis monstrata sacerdos, Haec se carminibus promittit soluere mentes Sistere aquam fluvijs, & flumina vertere retro. Et Brachmanius Nonnus Dionysiacon, lib. 36. ouranothen katagontes epharmaxanto Selenen, astatheos phaethontes anestesanto pareien De Marco heretico & mago stupenda referunt Irenaeus contra hereses. lib. * cap. 9. & Epiphanius 3. tom. lib. 1.]

[Footnote x: Iannes, Iambres, 2. Timot. 3.]

[Footnote y: Vide Nicolaum Lyranum in & additionem Burgensis, & replicam correctorij contra Burgensem.]

[Footnote z: Diabolus Deo perpetuo aduersatur voluntate & actu non semper effectu: id est, Intentio semper est mala, etsi non semper ex animi sui sententia maium perficere possit Deo illud vertente in bonum. Aug de Ciuit. Dei, lib. * cap. 35 & de trinitate lib. 3. cap. 8.]

[Footnote aa: Iaquerius in flagello hereticorum fafcinariorum, cap. 15.]

[Footnote bb: Augustinus de diuinatione Daemonum.]

[Footnote cc: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum vnde magorum operationes vim suam habent plenissimam. Aquinas Summa contra gentes, lib. 3. cap. 105. & eius in eum locum commentator Franciscus de siluestris.]

[Footnote dd: Tritemius in libro responsionum ad quȩstiones Maximiliani Imperatoris quȩstione. Cyrillus Catechismo 4 ad illuminatos, Arbitrium incitare potest Diabolus cogere omnino preter voluntatem non potest.]

[Footnote ee: Tertul. de fuga in Persecutione.]

And as these euill spirits are in themselues different in power, vnderstanding, and subtiltie: so can their seruants do more or lesse through their meanes.

I conclude with that memorable speech of a most noble and learned man,[ff] The Diuell is the Author and principall of all that euill which the Witch or Wisard committeth, not thereby to make them more powerfull, but to deceiue them by credulity and ouer-light beliefe, and to get himselfe a companion of his impiety, cruelty, and hatred, which he beareth both to God and man; and also of eternall damnation: for indeed it is his worke, which the foolish and doating wisards coniecture is brought to passe by the words and inchantments which they vtter: and is very busie thus to colour his proceedings, which neuer come abroad in their owne likenesse, because he enuieth the blessed estate of man, and his eternall saluation purchased by the perfect obedience of Christ the Redeemer, and hateth that Image of God which hee beholdeth in him; much like the Panther,[gg] who when hee cannot get hold of the man himselfe, is so inflamed with rage, that he teareth his picture in peeces violently which is cast vpon the ground to hinder his pursuit of the hunter who hath carried away his whelpes. And [hh]so as Lactantius speaketh, these vncleane spirits cast from heauen, wander vp and downe the earth, compasse land and sea, seeking to bring men to destruction as a consort of their owne desperate and irrecouerable estate.

[Footnote ff: Iulius Scaliger de subtilitate, ad Cardanum, exercitatione 349. an venefici credulitas vim addat malefice.]

[Footnote gg: Basilius Homilia 21. in diuersos Scriptura locos sermone habito in non procul a fine.]

[Footnote hh: Lib. 2. qui est de origine erroris cap. 15.]

The fourth Proposition.

Hauing shewed before, that the pracise of Witches receiueth the being and perfection from that[a] agreement which is made betweene them and Diuell, it now followeth necessarily, that we do enquire whether it bee possible that there may be any such agreement and league betweene them. The cause of doubt ariseth from the diuersity or disparity of their natures, the one being a corporall substance, the other spirituall, vpon which ground some[b] haue supposed that no such contract can passe: But we are to hold the contrary affirmatiue, both de esse, and de posse, that there may be, and is, notwithstanding this difference of essence, a mutuall contract of the one with the other: for we read of sundry leagues between God & his people, and some with great solemnitie of ceremonies vsed in the same, a[c] Genesis 15. 9.17. and Deut. 5. 2. and in many other like places, yet is hee a simple essence,[d] free from all diuision, multiplication, composition, accidents, incorporeall, spirituall, and inuisible. But in Angelicall creatures, though there be no Physicall composition of matter and forme, or a soule and a body; yet is there a metaphysicall, being substances consisting of an act and possibility, subiect and accidents. And furthcr, betweene a spirit and a man, there is communication of the vnderstanding and will, the faculties and actions whereof must concurre in euery couenant, which is nothing else but the consent of two or more persons about the thing.

[Footnote a: Nauarrus in Manuali confessarior. cap. 11 in primum decalogi praeceptum.]

[Footnote b: Ioh. Wierus, totum hoc fictitium putat & fondus imaginarimum, & impossibile putat, idque passim in suis libris praecipue autem de Lamijs, cap. 7. 8. & 23. & de prȩstigijs Daemonũ, lib. 6. c. 27, & c. Hunc refutant erudite. Binfeldo confessionibus maleficorum, & Thomas Erastus de Lamijs.]

[Footnote c: De his ceremonijs similiae, Ier. cap. 34. 18. & multa Cyrillus contra Iulianum & Procopius Gazaeus in hunc locum & Augustinus.]

[Footnote d: Palanus Syntagmatis Theologie, l. 2. cap. 8.]

And when the Diuell durst in expresse tearmes tender a contract to our blessed Sauiour, tempting him in the wildernesse, shewing him the kingdomes of the world, and the glory thereof, offered them with this condition, All these will I giue thee, if thou wilt fall downe and worship me, Mat. 4. 9. How much more then will hee aduenture vpon man, weake, wicked, and easie to be seduced? And who[e] can doubt but that these bee the solemne and formall words of a bargaine, Do vt des, do vt facias, I giue this for to haue that giuen, I bestow this, to haue such, or such a thing done for me.

[Footnote e: Brissonius de formulis, lib. 6. Solemnia pactorum sine obligatione verba sunt: spondes? spondeo. promittis? promitto dabis? dabo vt facias, faciam. Iustinianus in institutionibus, lib. 3. titulo 16.]

Now this couenant is of two sorts, secret or manifest; secret, when one indeuoureth or intendeth to do any thing by such meanes, which neither in nature, nor by institution haue power to produce the purposed effects, or be conioyned as neccessary with other, which can bring the same to passe. Expresse, wherein consent is giuen either by writing, and words, or making such signes, whereby they renounce God, and deuote themselues slaues and vassals vnto the Diuell, hee promising, that vpon such condition they shall doe wonders, know future euents, helpe and hurt at their pleasure, and others like vnto these.

An example whereof wee may obserue in[f] Siluester the second, one of the holy Fathers of Rome, who did homage to the Diuell his Lord, and made fidelity to liue at his will and appoyntment, vpon condition to obtaine what he desired, by which meanes he got first the Bishopricke of Rhemes, after of Rauenna, and at the last the Papacie of Rome. Which Sea, though it will yeeld good plenty of such like presidents, and we may finde them in authenticall records of Histories, yet I content my selfe with this one.

[Footnote f: Hic Monachus Floriacensis Caenobij diabolo suadente, & enormiter instigante si eius ob*quijs & arti magica obligauit in tantum quod Diabolo fecit Homagium cum pacto vt ei omnia ad nutum succederent, & c. Holcot. in cap. 17. lib. sapientiae lectione 190. Platina in illius vita. Vide & Balerum de Romanorum pontificum actis in lib. 5. in Syluestro secundo, & Robertum Barnes. de vitis pontificum Romanorum.]

[g]The formall tearmes of this couenant, as they bee set downe by some, are most dreadfull: and the seuerall poynts these.

[Footnote g: Godelmannus de magia tacita & illicita, lib. 1. cap. 2. x.8.9.10 &c.]

To renounce God his Creator, and that promise made in Baptisme.

To deny Iesus Christ, and refuse the benefites of his obedience, yea to blaspheme his glorious and holy name.

To worship the Deuill, & repose all confidence and trust in him.

To execute his commaundements.

To vse things created of God for no end, but to the hurt and destruction of others.

And lastly, to giue himselfe soule and body to that deceitfull and infernall spirit, who on the other part appeareth to them in the shape of a man (which is most common) or some other creature, conferreth familiarly, and bindeth himselfe by many promises, that at all times called for, he will presently come, giue counsell, further their desires, answer any demaund, deliuer from prison, and out of all dangers, bestow riches, wealth, pleasure, and what not? and all without any labour and paines-taking, in a word to become seruiceable to their will, & accomplish all their requests. And this is that which the Prophet Esay speaketh, chap. 28. 15. to make a couenant with death, and an agreement with hell. The consent of the ancient Fathers, if there were any doubt, might be added to the further clearing of this conclusion. For [h]Cyprian directly affirmeth, that all those who vse magicall Arts, make a couenant with the Diuell, yea he himselfe, while he practized the same (before his calling to the light and true knowledge of God) was bound vnto him by an especiall[i] writing, whereunto some subscribe with their owne bloud, which was a vse among diuers nations, and a most sure bond of constant friendship, and [k]inuiolable consociation. But herein these seduced wretches are deceiued: for these promises which he makes, are treacherous, and the obseruances whereunto he enioyneth and perswadeth them, as powerfull in producing such or such effects, meere deceipts, and haue no qualitie in them to that purpose, but respecteth his owne ends, which are one of these foure.

[Footnote h: Siue illius sit, siue alterius esto liber. De duplici Martyrio. Aquinas 2. 2a. quest. 96. Ioh. Gerson in Trilogio astrologiae Theologisatae propositione 21. & de erroribus circa artem magicam, Dicto 2.]

[Footnote i: Camerarius meditationum historiarum, lib. 1. cap. 6. Bodinus exampla ponit Dȩmonomanias. lib. 2. & 4. Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum.]

[Footnote k: Simile de Catilina refert Salustius. cum ad ius iurandum populares scelerius sui adigeret, humani corporis sanguinem vina permixtum in pateris circumtulisse, inde cum post execrationẽ omnes degustauissent, sicut in solemnibus sacris fieri consueuit aperuisse consiliũ suum, atque eo dictitant fecisse, quo inter se magis fidi forent.]

First, to the mouing of them to the breaking of Gods law.

Secondly, to adore him with diuine worship and sacred rites.

Thirdly, to weaken their hope and faith in God.

Fourthly, to couer his owne fraud and treachery, that it may not be perceiued.

And when they finde this Impostor failing in the performance of his vowed promises, then he wanteth not his shifts: as that these defects are not to be imputed to him, or the weakenesse of the Art, but their owne negligence or ignorance, who haue not exactly obserued such directions, and in that manner they were deliuered: or mistooke his meaning, which is commonly deliuered in[l] ambiguous tearmes, such as will admit a double construction: and herein appeareth the lamentable and woefull blindnesse of man, who is contented to swallow vp, and excuse many of his lies by one truth fore-told; which hath casually come to passe, whereas in other matters they make light account of, yea cotemne infinit truths, if they shall finde by long search and diligent inquiry, but one falshood. Wherefore it behooueth vs to be carefull Centinels ouer our selues, for that our grand[m] aduersary, proud, enuious, and not standing in the truth, reposeth all his possibility of victory in lies, and out of this poysoned sinke, deuiseth all kinde of deceits, that so hee might depriue man of that happy and blessed estate which he lost by pride, and draw him into the society of his owne damnation: therefore it is a needfull caueat giuen by one of the ancient Fathers: Our enemy is old against whom wee fight, sixe [n]thousand yeares fully compleat are passed since he began to oppose himself against vs; but if wee obserue the commandements of God, and continue steadfast in faith, apprehending Iesus Christ, then shall we be able to withstand all his violent assaults, and ouer-come him because Christ in whom we trust, is inuincible.

[Footnote l: As that to Pope Siluester the second, his demand; who asked how long he should liue and enioy the Popedome? answered, vntil hee should say masse in Ierusalem; and not long after, celebrating the same in a Chappell of the Church dedicated to the holy Crosse in Rome, called Ierusalem, knew how he was ouer-reached, for there hee dyed. And an other paralell to this, may be that of a certaine Bishop, much addicted to these vanities, hauing many enemies, and fearing them, asked the Diuell whether he should fly or not: who answered, Non, sta secure, venient inimici tui suauiter, & subdentur tibi. But being surprized, and taken by his aduersaries, and his castle set on fire, expostulating with him that hee had deceiued him in his distresse, returned answere, that he said true, if his speech had been rightly vnderstood: for he aduised, Non sta secure [id est fugias] venient inimici tui suauiter, & subdentur, [id est ignem tibi]. Such were the Oracles which he gaue, and whereof all histories do testifie. Holcot vpon the booke of Wisedome, and the rest before mentioned with him.]

[Footnote m: Leo de collectis Serm. 40. & natiuitate Domini, Serm. 7.]

[Footnote n: In proemio, lib de exhortaions ad Martyrium Cyprianus.]

The fifth Proposition.

The Diuell can assume to himself[a] a body, and frame a voyce to speake with, and further instruct and giue satisfaction to those who haue submitted themselues vnto him, and are bound to his seruice. For he lost not by his transgression and fall, his naturall[b] endowments, but they continued in him whole[c] and perfect, as in the good Angels, who abide in that obedience and holiness wherein they were created, from whence a reason confirmatiue may bee thus framed, Good Angels can take vnto themselues bodies, as Genes. 18. 2. Iudg. 13. 3.6. therefore the euill also. Thus the Diuell hath appeared to some in the forme of a [d]Man, cloathed in purple, & wearing a crowne vpon his head: to others in the likenesse of a [e]Childe: sometime he sheweth himselfe in the forme of foure-footed beastes, foules, creeping things, [f]roaring as a Lyon, skipping like a Goat, barking after the manner of a dogge, and the like. But[g] it is obserued by some, that he cannot take the shape of a Sheepe, or Doue, though of an Angell of light: 2. Cor. 11. 14. And further, [h]most of the learned doe hold, that those bodies wherein they doe appeare, are fashioned of the[i] aire, (though it is not to be denied, but they can enter into other, as the Diuell did into the Serpent, deceiuing Eue, Gen. 3. 1.) which if it continuing pure and in the owne nature,[k] hath neither colour nor figure, yet condensed receiueth both, as wee may behold in the clouds, which resemble sometime one, sometime another shape, and so in them is seene the representation of Armies fighting, of beasts and Birds, houses, Cities, and sundry other kinds of apparations.

[Footnote a: Augustinus in Enchiridio, cap .59. & 60. & Lambertus Daneusin suis comentarijs: ad eundem.]

[Footnote b: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum. Aquinas, Summa part. 1. quest. 51, art. 3. & 4]

[Footnote c: In Dȩmonibus angelikas doreas ou mepote alloi osthas phamen, alloi eisi holokleroi kai pamphaneis, Dionisius Areopagita, de diuinis nominibus cap. 4. & si vacat licebit consulere in eundem Pachemerae Paraphrasin & maximi scholia. Isidorus Hispalensis de summo bono. lib. 1. cap. 12.]

[Footnote d: Sulpitius Seuerus in vita beati Martini. Multa exemplȩ habet Bodinus in prȩfatione ad Dȩmonomaniam.]

[Footnote e: Hieronimus in vita Hilarianis.]

[Footnote f: Psellus de dȩmonum natura.]

[Footnote g: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum.]

[Footnote h: Petrus Martyr in 28. caput. lib. 2. Samuelis. Aquinas in Summa parte 1. quest 51. articul. 2. Hyperius locerũ Theolog. lib.]

[Footnote i: Hesiodus ergon kai hemeron lib. 1. Dȩmonas ait esse aera essamenous. proclus interpretatur quia sunt corpora aerea.]

[Footnote k: Iulius Scaliger de subtilitate ad Cardanum exercitatione 359. sectione 13.]

Histories of all can witnesse of the Diuels appearance in human[l] shape: thus a Pseudo-Moses, or Messias in Crete, perswaded the Iewes that it was he who brought their Fathers the Israelites out of Egypt, and led them through the Red Sea, and would conduct them also out of that land vpon the waters into Iudea. But many following his counsell, perished: the rest admonished by that destruction, turned back, accusing their folly; and when they made enquiry for this guide, to haue rewarded him according to his desert, was no where to be found, whereof they conceiued hee was a Diuell in Mans likenesse. And such an one [m]was that merry (but malicious) spirit, who walked for a long time in Saxony, and was very seruiceable, clothed in country apparrell, with a cappe on his head, delighted to conuerse and talke with the people, to demaund questions, and answer what he was asked, hurting none, except iniured before, and then declared himselfe a right diuell in reuenge.

[Footnote l: Socrates Historiȩ ecclesiast. lib. 7. cap. 38. & historia Tripar. lib. 12. cap. 9.]

[Footnote m: Chronicon Hirsangiense.]

[n]The late Discoueries and Nauigations made into the west Indies, can furnish vs with abundant testimonies hereof, in which the mindes of the inhabitants are both terrified & their bodies massacred by his visible sight, and cruell tortures; yet (which is the opinion of many learned) he cannot so perfectly represent the fashion of a mans body, but that there is some sensible deformity, by which hee bewrayeth himselfe; as his [o]feete like those of an Ox, a Horse, or some other beasts, clouen houed, his hands crooked, armed with clawes, or talants like a vulture: or some one misshapen part, wherein (though hee delight in the shape of man, as most fitting for company and conference) is demonstrated, the great and tender loue of God toward vs, who hath so branded this deceiuer, that hee may bee discerned euen of those who are but of meane capacity, and so consequently auoyded. And as in his body assumed, so in his speech there is a defect, for it is weake, small, whispering, imperfect.

[Footnote n: Vide nauigationẽ Monsieur de Monts, ad nouam Franciam, lib. 2. cap. 5.]

[Footnote o: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum. Alexander ab Alexandro dierum Genialium, lib. 1. cap. 19. Remigius de Dȩmonolatria, lib. 1. cap. 7. & apud Rhodingium antiquarum lectionum lib. 29. cap. 5. est exemplum dignum admiratione.]

And thus it is [p]reported of Hermolaus Barbarus, who inquiring of a spirite, the signification and meaning of a difficult [q]word in Aristotle, he hard a low hissing, and murmuring voyce giuing answere.

[Footnote p: Remigius dȩmonolatrias lib. 1. cap. 8 & simile commemorat de Appione Grammatico Plinius naturalis histor, lib. 30. cap. 2. Nicephorus lib. 5. sub finem.]

[Footnote q: entelecheia]

And this hee doth of set purpose, that so his sophisticall & doubtfull words might be the lesse perceiued.

Neither can this seeme strange to any, that the Diuell should speake, who brought a voyce from Trees to salute[r] Apollonius, and inspired that talkatiue Oke in Dodona, famous for the Oracles vttered there in Heroicall verse, to the Grecians, and to euery nation in his owne language, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Armenians, and other people who were led by him, and depended vpon his resolution.

[Footnote r: Philostratus de vita Apollonius lib. 6. cap. 13.]

And thus the [s]Image of Memnon, when the Sunne did shine vpon it, and his beames touched the lips thereof, (which was at the arising in the East) speake vnto them who were present.

[Footnote s: Sophocles in Trachinijs vocat drun poluglosson, quia ut eius Scholiastes interpretatur etoi polla manteuomenos, kai dia touto polla phthengomenos, e tes diaphorais dialektais chresmodeses kai kata ten hekasta ton manteuomenon glossan. Et hinc Argo Lycophron in Alexandra sua laletrin kissan nominat quae ex Didones quercu malum habuisse traditur quae aliqoties locuta est vt apud Apollonium Argonautic+o+n quarto ideo & eulalon Argos Orpheus appelat, vide plura apud Strabonem lib. 17. & eius de hoc sono iudicium perpende. Pausanias in descriptione decem regionum veteris Graeciae, libro primo in Atticis. Iuuenalis Satyro 15. Psellus de Daemonum natura. Tacitus libro secundo Annalium.]

And considering, as hath beene mentioned before, that there passeth betweene the Witch and her Diuell, a compact, as with a Maister and a Seruant, it must therefore consist vppon prescript tearmes of commaunding, and obeying; and then of necessity is required a conuersing together; and conference whereby the same couenant may be ratified.

The sixt Proposition.

God giueth, both the diuell, and his seruants the witches, power sometimes to trouble his owne children; so [a]Christ our blessed Sauiour, was by Sathan carryed from place to place, Math. 4. 5. Iob[b] in strange manner afflicted, and his children slaine, through his power, whom none can conceiue but were Gods seruants, religiously brought vp in his feare: and their father hath an honourable testimonie from the mouth of God himselfe, Iob 1. ver. 8. Dauid, a man according to Gods owne heart, Acts 13. 22. is by Sathan stirred vp to number the people, 1. Chron. 21. 1. and that incuriosity and the pride of his heart, onelie to know the multitude of his subiects, 2. Sam. 24. 2.

[Footnote a: Iaquerius in flagello hereticorum fascinariorum, cap. 19 & 20.]

[Footnote b: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum.]

Whereas the Law appoynteth another end, Exod. 30. 12. which hee had [c]now forgotten, the maintenance of the Ministerie and worshippe of God. And a daughter of Abraham is bound of the diuell eighteene whole yeeres, had a spirit of Infirmity, was bowed together, and could in no wise lift vp herselfe, Lu. 13. 11.16. a grieuous calamity in respect of the author, the continuance, and the effect. But to handle this poynt a little more distinctly; It shall not be amisse to open first some reasons, why God doth giue this power to the diuel ouer the righteous his children sometimes, as also vpon the wicked and disobedient to his will: And in the second place, why Witches haue the like leaue graunted vnto them. Therefore for his children.

[Footnote c: Iosephus archaiologias lib. 7. sectione siue capite iuxta Graecam editionem 10.]

The first reason of his permission is his inscrutable[d] wisedome, who out of euill bringeth good; so Paul had a minister of Sathan to buffet him, to keepe him in humility, that hee might not waxe proude and high-minded, in regard of those great mysteries which were reuealed when hee was taken into the third heauen, 2. Corint. 12. 4. Thus his tentation was a medicine preseruatiue preuenting the disease of his soule, which otherwise hee might haue falne into, [e]for both himselfe, and the rest of the Apostles, though they were chosen vessells, yet were they also fraile and brittle, wandring yet in the flesh vpon earth, not triumphing securely in heauen.

[Footnote d: Zanchius de operibus creationis, part. 1. lib. 4. cap. 13. apud quem etiam plura inuenies. Tertul. de fuga in persecutione has causas ponit permissionis diuinae, aut ex causa probationis conceditur diabolo vis tentationis prouocato, vel prouocanti, aut ex causa reprobationis traditur ei peccator aut ex causa cohibitionis, vt Apostolus refert sibi datum angelum Satanae.]

[Footnote e: Beda in collectaneis ex Augustino ad Epistolas Pauli.]

Second, It is[f] proceeding from his mercy and goodnes, for the trial of faith, obedience and constancy in such as belong to God: whereof there is an excellent patterne, and vnparaleld in Iob 1. 13.14. &c. for by this triall is made a proofe to examine whether wee doe continue firme vpon our square, and vnshaken, or no; and be not remoued, eyther by the [g]seeming wonders of the diuell, or of his seruants and associats. And therefore the Apostle pronounceth him blessed, who endureth temptation, for when hee is tryed hee shall receiue the crowne of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that loue him, Iames 1. 12. for he is faithfull, and wil not suffer vs to be tempted aboue that we are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape, &c. 1. Cor. 10. 13.

[Footnote f: Iaquerius in flagello hereticarum fascinariorum, cap. 20.]

[Footnote g: Ceolcenus dokimazetai he hemetera orthodoxos pistis ei hedraia esti kai page prosmenousa to kurio, kai me huposuromene hupo tou echthrou, dia ton phantasiodon teraton kai satanikon ergon, ton prattomenon hupo ton doulon kai hupereton kakias.]

Third, Wee are admonished alwayes to stand in a readines, and be armed for to fight, prepared to withstand the diuell, knowing that God doth oftentimes giue him leaue to assault vs. Therefore we haue need to be furnished in all points, for we wrastle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkenesse of this world, against spirituall wickednesses in high places, Ephes. 6. 11.12. And 1. Pet. 5. 8.9. be sober and vigilant, because your aduersary the diuell as a roaring Lyon walketh about, seeking whom he may deuoure. He [h]is no weake assaylant, and therefore heere by the Apostle are noted in him foure things: First, his power (a Lyon): Second, his hatred, and wrath in the word (roaring): Third, his subtilty (walking about) obseruing euery oportunity and occasion to hurt vs: Fourth, his cruelty (deuoure) no contentment but in our ruine and vtter destruction.

[Footnote h: Strigelius in explicatione locorum Theologicorum Melanthonis parte 3. titulo de cruce & calamitatibus.]

Fourth, God would haue vs get the victorie against Sathan, and take knowledge, that Christ on our side fighteth for vs, through whom we triumph, and so are made more vndoubtedly assured of our saluation; and this is that which hee promised, The [i]Seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the Serpent, Gen. 3. 15. And the Apostle confirmeth, God shall tread down Sathan vnder your feete, Rom. 16. 20.

[Footnote i: Augustinus de Genesi ad literam, l. 11. c. 22.]

God suffereth the diuell to preuaile against the wicked, yet in the most Holy there is no iniustice 2. Chron. 19. 7. But First, [k]Herein is the declaration of his iustice, whereby hee punisheth obstinate sinners, & those who prouoke him to wrath, and will not repent: And thus it is sayd of the Aegiptians, whom no plagues could soften, that hee cast vpon them the fiercenes of his anger, and indignation, and trouble, by sending euill Angels among them, [l]Psalm 78. 49. And when Saul had neglected the commandement of God, an euill spirit from the Lord troubled him, 1. Sam. 16. 14. Thus Ahab seduced by his false prophets descendeth into the battaile, and is slaine (contemning the words of Michaiah) in[m] whose mouthes the diuell was a lying spirit, who sent of the Lord, perswaded him and preuailed, 1. Kin. 22. 22.23.24.

[Footnote k: Hyperius in locis Theolog. lib. 2.]

[Footnote l: Augustinus in locuus consulatur.]

[Footnote m: Vide Iaquerium in flagello hereticorum fascinariorum, cap. 23.]

Second, By affliction in the body or goodes, God[n] would quicken them vp to seeke the saluation of their soules. And so Paul gaue ouer a scandalous and incestuous person vnto the diuell, that he might be induced to forsake his sin, liue chastely heereafter, and be an edifying example to those whom he had offended: and this kinde of discipline was more soueraigne, then any other could haue beene, because mans nature abhorreth Sathan, and trembleth with feare once to conceiue that he should fall into his power and hands, and this is that which he writeth, aduising the Corinthians to deliuer him vnto Sathan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saued in the day of the Lord Iesus, 1. Cor 5. 5. And in this sort he speaketh of two other deceiuers and blasphemers, Hymenaus and Alexander, I haue deliuered them vnto Sathan, that they may learne not to blaspheme, 1. Timothie 1. 20. therfore this giuing ouer, was not to destruction, but for correction.

[Footnote n: Idem cap. 21.]

The last poynt propounded, was, That witches haue power granted to vex Gods owne children aswell as others, and preuaile ouer them; and that we doe enquire (so farre as we may, and is iustifiable) of the causes thereof, which may be these.

First, [o]This is permitted vnto them for the experience of their faith and integrity, so that by this meanes their loue towards God which lay hidden in the heart, is now made manifest. To be quiet and patient in prosperity, when we may enioy benefites at our owne pleasure, is a matter easily to be performed: But to endure the fire of Tribulation, that is the proofe of a stedfast Christian, and in losses and sickenesse procured by such to bee silent, and submit our selues, this is the note of a faithfull man, & to choose rather obeying the law of God, to beare the infirmity of the body, then to ouer-flow in riches, and enioying health and strength offend the Lord.

[Footnote o: Trithemius in libel. 8 quȩstionum quas illi dissoluendas proposuit Maximilianus Imperator, quȩst 7.]

Second, this maketh a difference betweene the wicked and the godly: for thus the holy Apostle speaketh of the righteous, that by many afflictions they must enter into the kingdome of heauen, Act. 14. 22. And all that will liue godly in Christ Iesus suffer tribulations, 2. Timoth. 3. 12. for whom the Lord loueth, he doth chasten, Prouer. 3. 12. It is a Christians glory to vndergoe for Gods cause, any vexation whatsoeuer, whether wrought by the diuell, or brought to passe by wicked men his [p]instruments; for when he is tryed, hee shall receiue the crowne of life, which God hath promised to those who loue him, Iames 1. 12. But wee reade contrary of the wicked, they become olde, yea, are mighty in power, their seede is established in their sight with them, and their of-spring before their eyes, their houses are safe from feare, neyther is the rod of God vpon them, &c. they spend their dayes in wealth, and in a moment go downe into the graue, Iob 21. 7.8.9. &c. Yet surely they are set in slippery places, sodainely destroyed and perished, & horribly consumed as a dreame when one awaketh: O Lord, thou shalt make their Image despised, &c. Psal. 73. 18.19.20.

[Footnote p: Potestatis diabolo concessȩ has causas ponit Iohannes Gerson de erroribus circa artem magicam, in dicto secundo. 1. Obstinatorum damnationem. 2. Peccatorum purgationem, & punitionem. 3. Ad fidelium probationem, & exercitationem. 4 Ad gloriae dei manifestationem]

The seuenth Proposition.

More women in a farre different proportion prooue Witches then men, by a hundred to one; therefore the Lawe of God noteth that Sex, as more subiect to that sinne, Exodus 22. 18. It is a common speach amongst the Iewish Rabbins, [a]many women, many Witches: And it should seeme that this was a generally receiued opinion, for so it is noted by Pliny, Quintilian, and others, neyther doth this proceede (as some haue thought) from their frailtie and imbecillity, for in many of them there is stronger resolution, to vndergoe any torment then can bee found in man, as was made apparant in that conspiracy of Piso against Nero,[b] who commaunded that Epicharis, knowne to bee of the same faction, should first presently be set vpon the racke, [Sidenote: Muliebre corpus impar dolori.] imagining that being a woman, she would neuer bee able to ouercome the paine: But all the tortures that he or his could deuise, were not able to draw from her the least confession of any thing that was then obiected against her. The first dayes question shee so vtterly contemned, that the very Chaire in which they conueied her from the place, did seeme as a Chariot wherein shee rid, triumphing ouer the barbarous vsage of their inhumane cruelty. The morrow following brought thither againe, after many rough incounters, remained so vnshaken, that wrath it selfe grew madde, to see the strokes of an obstinate and relenting fury fall so in vaine vpon the softer temper of a Woman: and at the last tooke a scarfe from about her necke, and by it knits vp within her bosome the knowledge shee had of that fact, together with that little remainder of spirit, whereof by force and violence they laboured to depriue her.

[Footnote a: In Perkei ababboth. Bodinus in confutatione opinionis Wieri. Plinius in hist. natural. Quintilianus Institutionum oratoriarium lib. 5. cap. 10.]

[Footnote b: Tacit. Annal. lib. 15.]

[c]Former ages haue likewise produced Leena, an exemplary president of this sort, to all posterity, who when Armodius and Aristogiton hauing failed of the execution of their enterprise against Hipparchus a tyrant, had beene put to death, she was brought to the torture to be enforced to declare what other complices there were of the conspiracie. But rather then shee should bee compelled thereunto, bit her tongue asunder, and spit it in the face of the tyrant, that though she would, yet could not now disclose them. In remembrance whereof the Athenians caused a Lyon of Brasse to bee erected, shewing her inuincible courage by the generosity of that beast, and her perseuerance in secrecie, in that they made it without a tongue. Therefore the learned haue searched out other causes thereof, and among the rest, obserued these as the most probable.

[Footnote c: Tertul. in Apologet. Crinitus de doctrina Christiana lib. 9. cap. 8.]

First, they are by nature credulous, wanting experience, and therfore more easily deceiued.

Secondly, [d]they harbour in their breast a curious and inquisitiue desire to know such things as be not fitting and conuenient, and so are oftentimes intangled with the bare shew and visard of goodnesse. As the Lady of Rome, who was importune, and vehemently instant vpon her husband, to know what was debated of that day at the Councell Table. And when he could not be at rest, answered, The Priests had seene a Larke flying in the aire with a golden Helmet on his head, and holding a speare in his foot. Scarce she had this, but presently she told it to one of her maids: she to another of her fellowes, so that report was spread through the whole Citie, and went for currant vntill it receiued a checke: But all are not of this mould.

[Footnote d: Binfeldius de confessionibus maleficorum. Peucerus de prȩcipius diuinationum generibus in titulo de theomanteia Martinus de Arles.]

Thirdly, their complection is softer, and from hence more easily receiue the impressions offered by the Diuell; as when they be instructed and gouerned by good Angels, they proue exceeding religious, and extraordinarily deuout; so consenting to the suggestions of euill spirits, become notoriously wicked, so that there is no mischiefe aboue that of a woman, Eccles. 25. 13. &c.

Fourthly, in them is a greater facility to fall, and therefore the Diuell at the first took that aduantage, and set vpon Eue in Adams absence, Genes. 3. 3.

Fifthly, this sex, when it conceiueth wrath or hatred against any, is vnplacable, possessed with vnsatiable desire of reuenge, and transported with appetite to right (as they thinke) the wrongs offered vnto them: and when their power herein answereth not their will, and are meditating with themselues how to effect their mischieuous proiects and designes, the Diuell[e] taketh the occasion, who knoweth in what manner to content exulcerated mindes, windeth himselfe into their hearts, offereth to teach them the meanes by which they may bring to passe that rancor which was nourished in their breasts, and offereth his helpe and furtherance herein.

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