King James VI of Scotland, I of England


Bodleian Library, Oxford
Originally printed Edinburgh 1597


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THE PREFACE to the Reader.

The fearefull aboundinge at this time in this countrie, of these detestable slaves of the Devill, the Witches or enchanters, hath moved me (beloved reader) to dispatch in post, this following treatise of mine, not in any way (as I protest) to serve for a shew of my learning and ingine, but onely (mooved of conscience) to preasse thereby, so farre as I can, to resolve the doubting harts of many; both that such assaultes of Sathan are most certainly practized, and that the instrumentes thereof, merits most severely to be punished: against the damnable opinions of two principally in our age, whereof the one called SCOT an Englishman, is not ashamed in publike print to deny, that ther can be such a thing as Witch-craft: and so mainteines the old error of the Sadducees, in denying of spirits. The other called WIERUS, a German Phisition, sets out a publick apologie for all these crafts-folks, wherby, procuring for their impunitie, he plainely bewrayes himselfe to have bene one of that profession.

And for to make this treatise the more pleasant and facill, I have put it in forme of dialogue, which I have divided into three bookes: The first speaking of Magie in general, and Necromancie in special. The second of Sorcerie and Witch-craft: and the thirde, conteines a discourse of all these kindes of spirits, and Spectres that appeares and trobles persones: together with a conclusion of the whol work.

My intention in this labour, is only to prove two things, as I have already said: the one, that such divelish artes have bene and are. The other, what exact triale and severe punishment they merite: and therefore reason , what kinde of things are possible to be performed in these arts, and by what naturall causes they may be, not that I touch every particular thing of the Devil's power, for that wer infinite: but onelie, to speak scholasticklie, (since this can not bee spoken in our language) I reason upon kind (genius) leaving appearance (species), and differences (differentia) to be comprehended therein.

As for example, speaking of the power of Magiciens, in the first book and sixt Chapter: I say, that they can suddenly be brought unto them, al kindes of daintie disshes, by their familiar spirit: Since as a thiefe he delightes to steale and as a spirite, he can subtilie and suddenlie inough transport the same. Now under this kind (genus), may be comprehended al particulars, depending thereupon. Such as the bringing Wine out of the Wall, (as we have heard oft to have bene practised) and such others; which particulars, are sufficientlie proved by the reasons of the general. And such like in the second booke of Witch-craft in speciall, and fift Chap. I say and prove by diverse arguments, that Witches can, by the power of their Master, cur or cast on disseases: Now by these same reasones, that proves their power by the Devil of disseases in generall, is aswell proved their power in speciall: as of weakening the nature of some men, to make them unable for women: and making it to abound in others, more then the ordinary course of nature would permit. And such like in all other particular sicknesses; But one thing I wil pray thee to observe in all these places, where I reason upon the devils power, which is the different ends and scopes, that God as the first cause, and the Devill as his instrument and second cause shootes at in all these actiones of the Devil, (as Gods hang-man:) For where the devilles intention in them is ever to perish, either the soule or the body, or both of them, that he is so permitted to deale with: God by the contraries, drawes ever out of the eville glory to hmselfe, either by the wracke of the wicked in his justice, or by the tryall of the patient and amendment of the faithfull, being wakened up with that rod of correction.

Having thus declared unto thee then, my full intention in this Treatise, thou wilt easelie excuse, I doubt not, as well my pretermitting, to declare the whole particular rites and secrets of these unlawfull artes: as also their infinite and wounderfull practices, as being neither of them pertinent to my purpose: the reason whereof, is given in the hinder ende of the first Chapter of the thirde booke: and who likes to be curious in these thinges, he may reade, if he will here of their practices, BODINUS Daemonomanie, collected with greater diligence, then written with judgement, together with their confessions, that have bene at this time apprehened. If he would know what hath bene the opinion of the Auncientes, concerning their power: he shall see it wel descrybed by HYPERIUS, and HEMMINGIUE, two late Germain writers: Besides innumerable other neoterick Theologues, that writes largelie upon that subject: And if he woulde knowe what are the particuler rites, and curiousities of these black arts (which is both unnecessaries and perilous,) he will finde it in the fourth book of CORNELIUS Agrippa, and in VIERUS, whomof I spak.

And so wishing my pains in this Treatise (beloved Reader) to be effectual, in arming al them that reades the same, against thes above mentioned erroures, and recommending my good will to thy friendly acceptation, I bid thee hartely fare-well.



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The exord of the whole. The description of Magie in special.


Proven by the Scripture, that these unlawfull artes of this sort (in genere), have bene and may be put in practise. PHILOMATHES AND EPISTEMON reason the matter.

Philomathes. I am surely verie glad to have mette with you this daye, for I am of opinion, that ye can better resolve me of some thing, whereof I stand in great doubt, nor anie other whom with I could have mette.

Epistemon. In what I can, that ye like to speir at me I will willinglie and freelie tell my opinion, and if I prove it not sufficiently, I am heartely content that a better reason carie it away then.

Philomathes. What thinke yee of these strange newes, which now onelie furnishes purpose to al men at their meeting: I meane of these Witches:

Epistemon. Surely they are wonderfulle: and I think so cleare and plaine confessions in that purpose, have never fallen out in anie age or countrey.

Philomathes. No question if they be true, but thereof the Doctours doubtes.

Epistemon. What part of it doubt ye of:

Philomathes. Even of all, for ought I can yet perceave: and namelie, that ther is such a thing as Witch-craft or Witches, and I would pray you to resolve me thereof if ye may: for I have reasoned with sundrie in that matter, and yet could never be satisfied therein.

Epistemon. I shall with good will doe the best I can: But I thinke it the difficulter, since ye denie the thing it selfe in generall: for as it is said in the logick schools, Do not try to prove a negative (Contra negantem principia non est disputandum). Alwaies for that part, that witchcraft, and Witches have bene, and are, the former part is clearelie proved by the Scriptures, and the last by dailie experience and confessions.

Philomathes. I know yee will alleadge me Saules Pythonisse: but that as appeares will not make much for you.

Epistemon. Not onlie that place, but divers others: But I marvel why that should not make much for me.

Philomathes. The reasones are these, first ye may consider, that Saul being troubled in spirit, and having fasted long before, as the text testifieth, and being (1) come to a woman that was bruted to have such knowledge, and that to inquire so important news, he having so guiltie a conscience for his hainous offences, and specially, for that same unlawful curiousitie, and horrible defection: and then the woman crying out upon the suddaine in great admiration, for the uncouth sight that she alledged to have sene discovering him to be the King, though diguysed, and denied by him before: it was no wounder I say, that his sense being thus distracted, he could not perceave hir faining of hir voice, hee being himselfe in an other chalmer, and seeing nothing. next what could be, or was raised? The spirit of Samuel? Prophane and against all Theologie: the Divell in his likenes? As unappeirant, that either God wold permit him to come in the shape of his Saintes (for then could never the Prophets in those daies have bene sure, what Spirit spake to them in their visiones) or then that he could fore-tell what was to come there after; for Prophecie proceedeth onelie of GOD: and the Devill hath no knowledge of things to come.

Epistemon. Yet if yee will marke the wordes of the text, ye will finde clearly, that Saul saw that apparition: for giving you that Saul was in an other Chalmer, at the making of the circles and conjurationes, needeful for that purpose (as none of that craft will permit any uthers to behold at that time) yet it is evident by the text, that how some that once that unclean spirit was fully risen, shee called in upon Saul. For it is saide in the text, that Saule knew him to be Samuel, which coulde not have bene, by the hearing tell onely of an olde man with an mantil, since there was many mo old men dead in Israel nor Samuel: And the common weid of that whole Cuntry was mantils. as to the next, that it was not the spirit of Samuel, I grant: In the proving whereof ye neede not to insist, since all Christians of whatso-ever Religion agrees upon that: and none but either mere ignorants, or Necromanciers or Witches doubtes thereof. And that the Divel is permitted at som-times to put himself in the likness of the Saintes, it is plaine in the Scriptures, where it is said, that (2)Sathan can trans-forme himselfe into an Angell of light. Neither could that bring any inconvenient with the visiones of the Prophets, since it is most certaine, that God will not permit him so to deceive his own: but only such as wilfully deceives them-selves, by running unto him, whome God then suffers to fall in their owne snares, and justlie permittes them to be illuded with great efficacy of deceit, because they would not beleeve the trueth (as Paul sayeth). And as to the divelles foretelling of things to come, it is true that he knowes not all things future, but yet that he knowes parte, the Tragicall event of this histories declares it, (which the wit of woman could never have fore-spoken) not that he hath any prescience, which is only proper to God: or yet knows anie thing by loking upon God, as in a mirrour (as the good Angels doe) he being for ever debarred from the favorable presence and countenance of his creator, but only by one of these two meanes, either as being worldlie wise, and taught by an continuall experience, ever since creation, judges by likelie-hood of thinges t come, according to the like that hath passed before, and the naturall causes, in respect of the vicissitude of all thinges worldly: Or else by Gods employing of him in turne, and so foreseene thereof: as appeares to have bin in this, whereof we finde the verie like in Micheas propheticque discourse to King Achab. But to proove this my first proposition, that there (3) can be such a thing as witch-craft, and witches, there are manie mo places in the Scriptures then this (as I said before). As first in the law of god, it is (4) plainely prohibited: But certaine it is, that the Law of God speakes nothing in vaine, nether doth it lay curses, or injoyne punishmentes upon shaddowes, condemning that to be il, which is not in essence or being as we call it. Secondlie it is plaine, where wicked Pharaohs wise-men imitated a number of Moses miracles, (5) to harden the tyrants heart there by. Thirdly, said not Samuell to Saull, that disobedience is as the sinne of Witch-craft? To compare to a thing that were not, it were too too absurd. Fourthlie, was not Simon Magus, a man of that craft. And fiftlie, what was she that had the spirit (6)of Python? beside innumerable other places that were irkesom to recite.



What kynde of sin the practizers of these unlawfull artes committes. The division of these artes. And quhat are the meanes that allures any to practize them.

Philomathes. But I think it very strange, that God should permit anie man-kynde (since they beare his owne Image) to fall in so grosse and filthie a defection.

Epistemon. Although man in his Creation was made to the Image of the Creator, yet (7)through his fall having once lost it, it is but restored againe in part by grace onelie to the elect: So all the rest falling away from God, are given over in the handes of the Devill that enemie, to beare his Image: and being once so given over, the greatest and the grossest impietie, is the pleasantest, and most delytefull unto them.

Philomathes. But may it not suffice him to have indirectly the rule, and procure the perdition of so manie soules by alluring them to vices, and to the following of their own appetities, suppose he abuse not so many simple soules, in making them directlie acknowledge him for their maister.

Epistemon. No surelie, for hee uses everie man, whom of he hath the rule, according to their complexion and knowledge: And so whome he findes most simple, he plaineliest discovers himselfe unto them. for hee beeing the enemie of mans Salvation, uses al the meanes he can to entrappe them so farre in his snares, as it may be unable to them thereafter (suppose they would) to rid themselves out of the same.

Philomathes. Then this sinne is a sinne against the holie Ghost.

Epistemon. It is in some, but not in all.

Philomathes. How that? Are not all these that runnes directlie to the Devill in one Categorie.

Epistemon. God forbid, for the sin against the holie Ghost hath two branches: The one a falling backe from the whole service of GOD, and a refusall of all his preceptes. The other is the doing of the first with knowledge, knowing that they doe wrong against their own conscience, and the testimonie of the holie Spirit, having once had a tast of the sweetness of Gods mercies. Now in the (8) first of these two, all sortes of Necromancers, Enchanters or Witches, ar comprehended: but in the last, none but such as erres with this knowledge that I have spoken of.

Philomathes. Then it appeares that there are more sortes nor one, that are directlie professors of his service: and if so be, I pray you tell me how manie, and what are they?

Epistemon. There are principallie two sortes, whereunto all the parties of that unhappie arte are redacted; whereof the one is called Magie or Necromancie, the other Sorcerie or Witch-Craft.

Philomathes. What I pray you? and how manie are the names, whereby the Devill allures persones in anie of these snares?

Epistemon. Even by these three passiones that are within our selves: Curiousitie in great imagines: thrift of revenge, for some tortes deeply apprehended: or greedie appetitie of geare, caused through great poverty. As to the first of these, Curiousity, it is onelie the inticement of Magiciens, or Necromanciers: and the other two are the allureres of the Sorcerers, or Witches, for that olde and craftie Serpent, being a spirite, hee easilie payes our affections, and so conformes himselfe thereto, do deceave us to our wracke.


The significations and Etymologies of the words of Magie and Necromancie. The difference betwixt Necromancie and Witch-Craft: What are the entressis, and beginninges, that brings anie to the knowledge thereof.

Philomathes. I would gladlie first heare, what thing is it that ye call magie or Necromancie.

Epistemon. This worde Magie in the Persian toung, importes as much as to be ane contemplator or Interpretour of Divine and heavenlie sciences: which being first used amongs the Chaldees, through their ignorance of the true divinite, was esteemed and reputed amongst them, as a principall vertue: And therefore, was named unjustlie with an honorable stile, which name the Greekes imitated, generall importing all thes kindes of unlawfull artes. And this world Necromancie is a Greek word, compounded of (nekron) and (manteia), which is to say the Prophecie by the dead. This last name is given, to this black and unlawful science by the figure Synecdoche, because it is a principal part of that art, to serve them selves with dead carcages in their divinations.

Philomathes. What difference is there betwixt this arte, and Witch-craft.

Epistemon. Surelie, the difference vulgare put betwixt them, is verrie merrie, and in a maner true, for they say, that the Witches ar servantes onelie, and slaves to the Devil; but the Necromanciers are his maisters and commanders.

Philomathes. How can that be true? any men being specially adicted to this service, can be his comanders?

Epistemon. Yea, they may be: but it is onlie secondary (secundum quid): For it is not by anie power that they can have over him, but only as he grants it (ex pacto) allanerlie: whereby he obliges himself in some trifles to them, that he may on the other part obteine the fruition of their body and soule, which is the onlie thing he huntes for.

Philomathes. An verie in-aequitable contract forsooth: But I pray you discourse unto mee, what is the effect and secrets of that arte?

Epistemon. That is over large an fielde ye give mee: yet I shall doe good-will, the most summarlies that I can, to runne through the principal points thereof. As there are two sorts of folkes, that may be entysed t this arte, to wit, learned or unlearned: so is there two meanes, which are the first steerers up and feeders of their curiousitie, thereby to make them to give themselves over to the same: Which two meanes, I call Divels schoole, and his rudiments. The learned have their curiosities weakened uppe; and fedde by that which I call his schoole: this is the Astrologie judiciar. For divers men having attained to a great perfection learning, and yet remaining overbare (alas) of the spirit of regeneration and frutes thereof: finding all naturall thinges common, aswell to the stupide pedants as unto them, they assaie to vendicate unto them a greater name, by not onlie knowing the course of things heavenlie, but likewise to clim to the knowledge of things to come therby. Which, at the first face appearing lawfull unto them, in respect the ground therof seemeth to proceed of naturall causes onelie: they are so allured thereby, that finding their practize to proove true in sundry things, they studie to know the cause thereof: and so mounting from degree to degree, upon the slipperie and and uncertaine scale of curiousitie; they are at last entised, that where lawfull artes of sciences failes, to satisfie their restless mindes, even to seeke to that black and unlawfull science of Magie. Where, finding at the first, that such divers formes of circles and conjurations rightlie joyned thereunto, will raise such divers formes of spirites, to resolve them of their doubts: and attributing the doing thereof, to the power inseparablie tyed, or inherent in the circles: and manie words of God, confusedlie wrapped in; they blindlie glorie of themselves, as if they and by their quicknes of ingine, made a conquest of Plutoes dominion, and were become Emperours over the Stygian habitacles. Where, in the meane time (miserable wretches) they are become in verie deede, bond-slaves to their mortall enemie: and their knowledge, for all that they presume thereof, is nothing increased, except in knowing evill, and the horrors of Hell for punishment thereof, as Adams was by the eating of the forbidden tree. (9)


The Description of the Rudiments and Schoole, which are the entresses to the arte of Magie: And in speciall the differences betwixt Astronomie and Astrologie: Division of Astrologie in divers partes.

Philomathes. But I pray you likewise forget not to tell what are the Devilles rudiementes.

Epistemon. His rudimentes, I call first in generall, all that which is called vulgarly the vertue of wordes, herbe, and stone: which is used by unlawful charmes, without naturall causes. As likewise all kinde of practicques, freites, or other like extraordinaries actiones, which cannot abide the true touche of naturall reason.

Philomathes. I would have you to make that playner, by some particular examples;
for your proposition is verie generall.

Epistemon. I meane either by such kinde of Charmes as commonlie dafte wives uses, for healing of forspoken goodes, for preserving them from evill eyes, by knitting roun trees, or sundriest kinde of herbes, to the haire or tailes of he goodes: By curing the Worme, by stemming of blood, by healing of Horse-crookes, by turning of ht riddle, or doing of such like innumerable things by wordes, without applying anie thing, meete to the part offended, as Mediciners doe; Or else by staying maried folkes, to have naturallie adoe with other, (by knitting so manie knottes upon a poynt at the time of their mariage) And such like things, which men uses to practise in their merrinesse. For fra unleaned men (being naturallie curious, and lacking the true knowledge of God) findes these practises to proove true, as sundrie of them will doe, by the power of the Devill for deceaving men, and not by anie inherent vertue in these vaine wordes and freites; and being desirous to winne a reputation to themselves in such-like turnes, they either (if they be of the shamefaster sorte) seeke to be learned by some that are experimented in that Arte, (not knowing it to be evill at the first) or else being of the grosser sorte, runnes directlies to the Devill for ambition of desire of gaine, and plainelie contractes with him thereupon.

Philomathes. But me thinkes these meanes which yee call the Schoole and rudimentes of the Devill, are thinges lawfull, and have bene approved for such in all times and ages: As in special, this science of Astrologie, which is one of the speciall members of the Mathematicques.

Epistemon. There are two thinges which the learned have observed from the beginning, in the science of the Heavenlie Creatures, the Planets, Starres, and such like: The one is their course and ordinary motiones, which for that cause is called Astronomia: Which word is a compound of (nomos) and (asteron) that is to say, the law of the Starres: And this arte indeed is one of the members of the Mathematicques, and not onlie lawful, but most necessaries and commendable. The other is called Astrologia, being compounded of (asteron) and (logos) which is to say, the word, and preaching of the starres: Which is devided in two partes: The first by knowing thereby the powers of simples, and sickenesses, the course of the seasons and the weather, being ruled by their influence: which part depending upon the former, although it be not of it selfe a parte of Mathematicques: yet it is not unlawful, being moderatlie used, suppose not so necessarie and commendable as the former. The second part is to truste so much to their influences, as thereby to fore-tell what common-weales shall florish or decay: what persones shall be fortunate or unfortunate: what side shall winne in anie battell: What man shall obteine victories at singular combate: What way, and of what age shall men die: What horse shall winne at matche-running; and diverse others have more curiouslie then profitably written at large. Of this roote last spoken of, springs innumerable branches; such as the knowledge by the nativities; the Cheiromancie, Geomantie, Hydromantie, Arithmantie, Physiognomie: and a thousand others: which were much practised, and holden in great reverence by the Gentles of olde. And this last part of Astrologie whereof I have spoken, which is the root of their branches, was called by them luck (pars fortunae). This parte now is utterlie unlawful to be trusted in, or practized amongst christians, as leaning to no ground of natural reason: and it is this part which I called before the devils schole.

Philomathes. But yet manie of the learned are of the contrarie opinion.

Epistemon. I grant, yet I could give my reasons to fortifie and maintaine my opinion, if to enter into this disputation it wold not draw me quite off the ground of our discours; besides the mis-spending of the whole daie thereupon: One word onely I will answer to them, and that in the Scriptures (which must be an infallible true ground to all true Christians) That in the Prophet Jeremie it is plainelie forbidden, to believe or hearken unto them that Prophecies and fore-speakes by the course of the Planets and Starres. (10)


How farre the using of Charmes is lawfull or unlawfull: The description of the formes of Circkles and Coniurantiones. And what causeth the Magicianes themselves to wearie thereof.

Philomathes. Wel, ye have said far inough in that argument. But how proove ye now that these charmes or unnaturall practices are unlawfull: For so, many honest and merrie men and women have publicklie practized some of them, that I thinke if ye wold accuse them al of Witch-craft, ye would affirmee more nor ye will be beleeved in.

Epistemon. I see if you had teken good tent (to the nature of that word, whereby I named it,) ye would not have bene in this doubt, nor mistaken me, so farre as ye have done: For although, as none can be schollers in a schole, and not be subject to the master thereof: so none can studie and put in practize (for studie the alone, and knowledge, is more perilous nor offensive; and it is the practise only that makes the greatnes of the offence.) The cirkles and art of Magie, without committing an horrible defection from God: And yet as they that reades and learnes their rudiments, are not the more subject to anie schoole-master, if it please not their parentes to put them to the schoole thereafter; So they who ignorantly proves these practicques, which I cal the devilles rudiments, unknowing them to be baites, casten out by him, for trapping such as God will permit to fall in his hands: This kinde of folkes I saie, no doubt, ar to be judged the best of, in respect they use no invocation nor help of him (by their knowledge at least) in these turnes, and so have never entred themselves in Sathans service; Yet to speake truely for my owne part (I speak but for my selfe) I desire not to make so neere riding: For in my opinion our enemie is over craftie, and we over weake (except the greater grace of God) to assay such hazards, wherein he preases to trap us.

Philomathes. Ye have reason forsooth; for as the common Proverbe saith: They that suppe keile with the Devill, have need of long spoones. But now I praie you goe forwarde in the describing of this arte of Magie.

Epistemon. Fra they bee come once unto this perfection in evill, in having any knowledge (whether learned or unlearned) of this black art: they then beginne to be wearie of the raising of their Maister, by conjured circkles; being both so difficile and perilous, and so commeth plainelie to a contract with him, wherein is speciallie conteined formes and effectes.

Philomathes. But I praye you or ever you goe further, discourse with me some-what of their circkles and conjurationes; And what should be the cause of their wearying thereof: For it should seeme that that forme should be the cause of their wearying thereof: For it should seeme that that forme should be lesse fearefull yet, than the direct haunting and societie, with that foule and uncleane Spirite.

Epistemon. I thinke ye take me to be a Witch my selfe, or at the least would faine sweare your selfe prentise to that craft: Alwaise as I may, I shall shortlie satisfie you, in that kinde of conjurations, which are conteined in such bookes, which I call the Devilles Schoole: There are foure principall partes; the persons of the conjurations, which are conteined in such bookes, which I call the Devilles Schoole: There are foure principall parties; the persons of the conjurers; the action of the conjuration; the wordes and rites used to that effect; and the Spirites that are conjured. Ye must first remember to laye the ground, that I tould you before: which is, that it is no power inherent in the circles, or in the holines of the names of God blasphemouslie used: nor in whatsoever rites or ceremonies at that time used, that either can raise any infernall spirit, or yet limitat him perforce within or without these circles. For it is he onelie, the father of all lyes, who having first of all prescribed that forme of doing, feining himselfe to be comanded and restreined thereby, wil be loath to passe the boundes of thes injunctiones; aswell thereby to make them glory in the impiring over him (as I saide before:) As likewise t make himselfe so to be trusted in these little things, that he may have the better commoditie thereafter, to deceive them in the end with a trickle once for all; I meane the everlasting perdition of their soul and body. Then laying this ground, as I have said, these conjurationes must have few or mo in number of the persones conjurers (alwaies passing the singuler number) according tot he qualitie of the circle, and forme of apparition. Two principall thinges cannot well in that errand be wanted: holie-water (whereby the Devill mockes the Papistes) and some present of a living thing unto him. There ar likewise certaine seasons, dayes and houres, that they observe in this purpose: These things being all readie, and prepared, circles are made triangular, quadrangular, round, double or single, according to the forme of apparition that they crave. But to speake of the diverse forms of the circles, of the innumerable characters and crosses that are within and without, and out-through the same, of the divers formes of apparitiones, that that craftie spirit illudes them with, and of all such particulars in that action, I remit it to over-manie that have busied their heades in describing of the same; as being but curious, and altogether unprofitable. And this farre onelie I touch, that when the conjured Spirit appeares, which will not be while after manie circumstances, long praiers, and much muttring and murmuring of the conjurers; like a Papist priest, dispatching a hunting Masse: how sone I say, he appeares, if they have missed one iote of all their rites; or if any of their feete once slyd over the circle through terror of his feareful apparition, he payes himselfe at that time in his owne hand, of that due debt which they ought him; and other-wise would have delayed longer to have payed him: I meane hee carries them with him bodie and soule. If this be not now a just cause to make them wearie of thes formes of conjuration, I leave it to you to judge upon; considering the long-somenesse of the labour, the precise keeping of dayes and houres (as I have said) The terriblenesse of apparition, and the present perrell that they stand in, in missing the least circumstance or freite, that they ought to observe: And on the other parte, the Devil is glad to moove them to a plaine and square dealing with him as I said before.


The Devilles contract with the Magicians: The division thereof in two partes: What is the difference betwixt Gods miracles and the Devils.

Philomathes. Indeede there is cause inough, but rather the leave him at all, then to runne more plainlie to him, if they wer wise he delt with. But goe forwarde now I pray you to these turnes, fra they become once deacons in this craft.

Epistemon. From time that they once plainelie begin to contract with him: The effect of their contract consistes in two thinges; in formes and effectes, as I began to tell alreadie, were it not yee interrupted me (for although the contract be mutuall; I speake first of that part, wherein the Devill oblishes himselfe to them) by formes, I meane in what shape or fashion he shall come unto them, when they call upon him. And by effectes, I understand, in what special sorts of services he bindes himselfe to be subject unto them. The qualitie of these formes and effectes, is less or greater, according to the skil and art of the Magician. For as to the formes, to some of the baser sorte of them he oblishes him selfe to appeare at their calling upon him, by such a proper name which he shewes unto them, either in likenes of a dog, a Catte, and Ape, or such-like other beast; or else to answere by a voyce onlie. The effects are to answere to such demands, as concernes curing of disseases, their own particular menagery: or such othere base things as they require of him. But to the most curious sorte, in the formes he will oblish him selfe, to enter in a dead bodie, and there out of to give such answers, of the event of battels, of maters concerning the estate of commonwelths, and such like other greate questions: yea to some he will be a continuall attender, in forme of a Page: He will permit himselfe to be conjured, for the space of so many yeres, either in a tablet or a ring, or such like thing, which they may easely carrie about with them: He gives them power to sel such wares to others, whereof some will be dearer, and some better cheape; according to the lying or true speaking of the Spirit that is conjured therin. Not but that in verie deede, all Devils must be lyars; but so they abuse the simplicitie of these wretches, that becomes their schollers, that they make them beleeve, that at the fall of Lucifer, some Spirites fell in the air, some in the fire, some in the water, some in the lande: In which Elementes they still remaine. Whereupon they build, that such as fell in the fire, or in the aire, are truer then they, who fell in the water or in the land, which is al but meare trattles, and forged be the author of al deceit. For the fel not be weight, as a solid substance, to stick in any one parte: But the principall part of their fal, consisting in qualitie, by the falling from the grace of God wherein they were created, they continued still thereafter, and shal do while the latter daie, in wandring through the worlde, as Gods hang-men, to execute such turnes as he employes them in. And when anie of them are not occupyed in that, returne they must to their prison in hel (as it is plaine in the miracle that CHRIST wrought at Gennezareth) (11) therein at the latter daie to be all enclosed for ever: and as they deceive their schollers in this, so do they in imprinting in them the opinion that there are so manie Princes, Dukes, and Kinges amongst them, everie one commanding fewer or mo Legions, and impyring in divers artes, and quarters of the earth. For though that I will not denie that there be a forme of ordour amonges the Angels in Heaven, and consequentlie, was amonges them before their fall; yet, eithere that hey bruike the same sensine; or that God will permit us to know by damned Devils, such heavenlie mysteries of his, which he would not reveale to us neither by Scripture no Prophets, I thinke no Christiane will once thinke it. But by the contrarie of all such mysteries contented with an humble ignorance, they being thinges not necessarie for our salvation. But to return to the purpose, as these formes, wherein Sathan oblishes himselfe to the greatest of the Magicians, are wonderfull curious; so are the effectes correspondent unto the same: For he will oblish himselfe to teach them artes and sciences, which he may easelie doe, being so learned a knave as he is: To carrie them newes from anie parte of the worlde, which the agilitie of a Spiritie may easilie perform: to reveale to them the secretes of anie persons, so being they bee once spoken, for the thought none knowes but GOD; except so far as yee may ghesse by their countenance, as one who is doubtleslie learned inough in the Physiognomie: Yea, he will make his schollers to creepe in credite with Princes, by fore-telling them manie greate thinges; parte true, parte false: for if all were false, he would tyne credite at all handes; but alwaies doubtsome, as his Oracles were. And he will also make them to please Princes, by faire banquets and daintie dishes, carryed in short space from the farthest part of the world. For no man doubts but he is a thiefe, and his agilitie (as I spake before) makes him to come such speede. Such-like, he will guard his schollers with faire armies of horse-men and foote-men in appearance, castles and fortes: Which all are but impressiones in the air, easelie gathered by a spirite, drawing so neare to that substance himselfe: As in like maner he will learne them manie juglarie trickes at Cardes, dice, and such like, to deceive mennes senses thereby: and such innumerable false practicques; which are proven by over-manie in this age: As they who ar acquainted with that Italian called SCOTO yet living, can reporte. And yet are all these thinges but deluding of the senses, and no waies true in substance, as were the false miracles wrought by King Pharaoes Magicians, for counterfeiting Moyses: For that is the difference betwixt Gods myracles and the Devils, God is a creator, what he makes appeare in miracle, it is so in effect. As Moyses rod being casten downe, was no doubt turned in a natural Serpent: where as the Devill (as Gods Ape) counterfeiting that by common proofe, that simple juglars will make an hundreth thinges seeme both to our eies and eares otherwaies then they are. Now as to the Magicians parte of the contract, it is in a word that thing, which I said before, the Devill hunts for in all men.

Philomathes. Surely ye have said much to me in this arte, if all that you have said be as true as wounderfull.

Epistemon. for the trueth in these actiones, it will be easelie confirmed, to anie that pleases to take paine upon the reading of diverse authenticque histories, and the inquiring of daily experiences. And as for the truth of the possibilitie, that they may be, and in what maner, I trust I have alleaged nothing whereunto I have not joyned such probable reasons, as I leave to your discretion: to waie and consider: One word onlie I omitted; concerning the forme of making of this contract, which is either written with the Magicians owne bloud: or else being agreed upon (in termes his schole-master) touches him in some parte, thought peradventure no marke remain: as it doth will all Witches.


The reason why the arte of Magie is unlawfull. What punishment they merite: And who may be accounted guiltte of that crime.

Philomathes. Surelie Ye have made this arte to appeare very monstrous and detestable. But what I pray you shall be said to such as mainteines this art to be lawfull, for as evill as you have made it?

Epistemon. I say, they favour of the panne them selves, or at least little better, And yet I wold be glad to heare their reasons.

Philomathes. There are two principallie, that ever I heard used; beside that which is founded upon the comon Proverb (that the Necromancers commands the Devill, which ye have already refuted) The one is grounded upon a received custome, we see that diverse Christian Princes and Magistrates severe punishers of Witches, will not onelie over-see Magicians to live within their dominions; but even some-times delight to see them proove some of their practicques. The other reason is, that Moyses being brought up (as it is expreslie said in the Scriptures) in all the sciences of the AEgyptians; whereof no doubt, this was one of the principalles. And he notwithstanding of this arte, pleasing God, as he did, consequentlie that art professed by so godlie a man, coulde not be unlawfull.

Epistemon. As to the first of your reasones, grounded upon custome: I saie, and evill custome can never be accepted for a good law, for the overgreat ignorance of the worde in some Princes and Magistrates, and the contempt thereof in others, moves them to sinne heavelie against their office in that poynt. As to the other reasone, which seemes to be of greater weight, if it were formed in a Syllogisme; it behooved to be in manie termes, and full of fallacies (to speake in termes of Logicque) for first, that that generall proposition; affirming Moyses to be taught in Magie, I see no necessity. For we must understand that the spirit of God there, speaking of sciences, understandes them that are lawfull; for except they be lawfull, they are but abusive called sciences, and are but ignorances indeed: The picture is not the thing. (Nam homo pictus, non est homo.) Secondlie, giving that he had bene taught in it, there is great difference, betwixt knowledge and practising of a thing (as I said before) For God knoweth all thinges, being alwaies good, and of our sinne and our infirmitie proceedeth our ignorance. Thirdlie, giving that he had both studied and practised the same (which is more nor maonstrouse to be beleeved by any Christian) yet we know well inough, that before that ever the spirite of God began to call Moyses, he was fled out of AEgypt, being fourtie yeares of age, for the slaughter of an AEgyptian, and in his good-father Iethroes lande, first called at the firie bushe, having remained there other fourtie yeares in exile: so that suppose he had beene the wickeddest man in the world before, he then became a changed and regenerat man, and very litle of olde Moyses remained in him. Abraham was an Idolater in Ur of Chaldea, before he was called: And Paule being called Saule, was a most sharp persecutor of the Saintes of God, while that name was changed.

Philomathes. What punishment then thinke ye merits these Magicians and Necromancers.

Epistemon. The like no doubt, that Sorcerers and Witches merites; and rather so much greater, as their error proceedes of the greater knowledge, and so drawes nerer to the sin against the holy Ghost. And as I saye of them, so say I the like of all such as consults, enquires, entertaines, and oversees them, which is seene by the miserable endes of many that askes councell of them: for the Devill hath never better tydings to tell to any, then he tolde to Saule: neither is it lawfull to use so unlawfull instruments, were it never for so good a purpose: for that axiome in Theologie is most certaine and infallible:

Evil is never to be done; thus good may happen.

(Nunquam faciendum est malum ut bonum inde eveniat.) Ast 3.



1. I Sam. 28.

2. 2.Cor.11.14.

3. I Kings 22

4. Exod. 22.

5. Exod. and I. Sam. 15.

6. Acts. 8. Acts. 10.

7. Gen. 1

8. Heb. 6.10.

9. Gen. 3.

10. Jerem. 10.

11. Mat. 8.



A R G U M E N T.
The description of Sorcerie and Witch-
craft in Speciall.





Proved by the Scripture, that such a thing can be: And the reasons refuted of all such as would call it but an imagination and Melancholicque humor.

Philomathes. Now Since yee have satisfied me nowe so fullie, concerning Magie or Necromancie I will pray you to do the like in Sorcerie or Witchcraft.

Epistemon. That fielde is likewise verie large: and althought in the mouthes and pennes of manie, yet fewe knowes the trueth thereof, so


wel as they beleeve themselves, as I shall so shortely as I can, make you (God willing) as easelie to perceive.

Philomathes. But I pray you before ye goe further, let mee interrupt you here with a shorte disgression: which is, that manie can scarely beleeve that there is such a thing as Witch-craft. Whose reasons I will shortely alleage unto you, that ye may satisfie me as well in that, as ye have done in the rest. For first, whereas the Scripture seemes to proove Witch-craft to be, by diverse examples, and speciallie by sundrie of the same, which ye have alleaged; it is thought by some, that these places speakes of Magicians and Necromancers onlie, & not of Witches. As in special, these wise men of Pharaohs, that counterfeited Moyses miracles, were Magicians say they, & not Witches: As likewise that Pythonisse that Saul consulted with: And so was Simon Magus in the new Testament, as that very stile importes. Secondlie, where ye would oppone the dailie practicque, & confession of so manie, that is thought likewise to be but verie melancholicque imaginations of simple raving creatures. Thirdly, if Witches had such power of Witching of folkes to death, (as they say they have) there had bene none left alive long sence in the world, but they: at the least, no good or godlie person of whatsoever estate, could have escaped their devilrie.

Epistemon. Your three reasons as I take, ar grounded the first of them negative upon the Scripture: The second affirmative upon Physicke: and the thirde


upon the certaine proofe of experience. As to your first, it is most true indeede, that all these wise men of Pharaoh were Magicians of art: As likewise it appeares wel that the Pythonisse, with whom Saul consulted, was of that same profession: & so was Simon Magus. But yee omitted to speake of the Lawe of God, wherein are all Magicians, Divines, Enchanters, Sorcerers, Witches, & whatsoever of that kinde that consultes with the Devill, plainelie prohibited, and alike threatned against. And besides that, she who had the Spirite of Python, in the Actes [Act. 16], whose Spirite was put to silence by the Apostle, coulde be no other thing but a verie Sorcerer or Witch, if ye admit the vulgare distinction, to be in a maner true, whereof I spake in the beginning of our conference. For that spirit whereby she conquested such gaine to her Master, was not at her raising or commanding, as she pleased to appoynt, but spake by her toung, aswel publicklie, as privatelie: Whereby she seemed to draw nearer to the fort of Demoniakes or possessed, if that conjunction betwixt them, had not bene of her owne consent: as it appeared by her, not being tormented therewith: And by her conquesting of such gaine to her masters (as I have alreadie said.) As to your second reason grounded upon Physick, in attributing their consessiones or apprehensiones, to a naturall melancholicque humour: Anie that pleases Physicallie to consider upon the naturall humour of melancholie, according to all the Physicians, that ever write thereupon , they sall find that that will be


over short a cloak to cover their knavery with: For as the humor of Melancholie in the selfe is blacke, heavie and terrene, so are the symptomes thereof, in any personses that are subject thereunto, leannes, palenes, desire of solitude: and if they come to the highest degree thereof, mere folie and manie: where as by the contrarie, a great nomber of them thatever have bene convict or confessors of Witchcraft, as may be presently seene by manie that have at this time confessed: they are by the contrarie, I say, some of them rich and worldly-wise, some of them fatte or corpulent in their bodies, and most part of them altogether given over to the pleasures of the flesh, continual haunting of companie, and all kind of merrines, both lawfull and unlawfull, which are thinges directly contrary to the symptomes of Melancholie, whereof I spake, and further experience daylie proves how loath they are to confesse without torture, which witnesseth their guiltines, where by the contrary, the Melancholicques never spares to bewray themselves, by their continuall discourses, feeding therby their humor in that which they thinke no crime. As to your third reason, it scarelie merites an answere. For if the devill their master were not bridled, as the scriptures teacheth us, suppose there were no men nor women to be his instrumentes, he could finde waies inough without anie helpe of others to wrack al mankinde: whereunto he employes his whole study, and goeth about like a roaring lyon (as PETER saith) [I. Pet.5.] to that effect, but the limites of his power were set down before the


foundations of the world were laid, which he hath not power in the least jote to transgresse. But beside all this, there is over greate a certainty to prove that they are, by the daily experience of the harmes that they do, both to men, and whatsoever thing men possesses, whome God will permit them to be the instrumentes, so to trouble or visite, as in my discourse of that arte, yee shall heare clearlie proved.



The Etymologie and signification of that word of Sorcerie. The first entresse and prentishippe of them that gives themselves to that craft.

Philomathes. Come on then I pray you, and returne where ye left.

Epistemon. This word of Sorcerie is a Latine worde, which is taken from casting of the lot, & therefore he that useth it, is called Sortiarius a sorte. As to the word of Witchcraft, it is nothing but a proper name given in our language. The cause wherefore they were called sortiary, proceeded of their practicques seeming to come of lot or chance: Such as the turning of the riddle: the knowing of the forme of prayers, or such like tokens: If a person diseased would live or dye. And in generall, that name was given them for using of such charmes, and freites, as that Crafte teacheth them. Manie poynts of their craft and practicques are common


betuixt the Magicians and them: for they serve both one Master, althought in diverse fashions. And as I devided the Necromancers, into two sorts, learned and unlearned; so must I devie them in other two, riche and of better accompt, poore and of basser degree. These two degrees now of persones, that practises this craft, answers to the passions in them, which (I told you before) the Devil used as meanes to intyse them to his service, for such of them as are in great miserie and povertie, he allures to follow him, by promising unto them greate riches, and worldlie commoditie. Such as though riche, yet burnes in a desperat desire of revenge, hee allures them by promises, to get their turne satisfied to their hartes contentment. It is to be noted nowe, that that olde and craftie enemie of ours, assailes none, though touched with any of these two extremities, except he first finde an entresse reddy for him, either by the great ignorance of the person he deales with, joyned with an evill life, ore else by their carelesnes and contempt of God: And finding them in an utter despair, for one of these two former causes that I have spoken of; he prepares the way by feeding them craftely in their humour, and filling them further and further with despaire, while he finde the time proper to discover himself unto them. At which time, either upon their walking solitarie in the fieldes, or else lying pansing in their bed; but alwaies without the company of any other, he either by a voyce, or in likenesse of a man inquires of them, what troubles them: and promi-


seth them, a suddaine and certaine waie of remedie, upon condition on the other parte, that they follow his advise; and do such thinges as he will require of them: Their mindes being prepared beforehand, as I have alreadie spoken, they easelie agreed unto that demande of his: And syne settes another tryist, where they may meete againe. At which time, before he proceede any further with them, he first perswades them to addict themselves to his service: which being easely obteined, he then discovers what he is unto them: makes them to renunce their God and Baptisme directlie, and gives them his marke upon some secret place of their bodie, which remaines soare unhealed, while his next meeting with them, and thereafter ever insensible, how soever it be nipped or pricked by any, as is dailie proved, to give them a proofe thereby, that as in that doing, hee could hurte and heale them; so all their ill and well doing thereafter, must depende upon him. And besides that, the intollerable dolour that they feele in that place, where he hath marked them, serves to waken them, and not to let them rest, while their next meeting againe: fearing least otherwaies they might either forget him, being as new Prentise, and not well inough founded yet, in that fiendlie follie: or else remembring of that horrible promise they made him, at their last meeting, they might skunner at the same, and preasse to call it back. At their thirde meeting, he makes a shew to be carefull to performe his promises, either by teaching them waies how to get


themselves revenged, if they be of that sort: Or els by teaching them lessons, how by moste vilde and unlawfull means, they may obtaine gaine, and worldlie commoditie, if they be of the other sorte.


The Witches actiones divided in two partes. The actiones proper to their owne persones. Their actiones toward others. The forme of their conventiones, and adoring of their Master.

Philomathes. Ye have said now inough of their intiating in that ordour. It restes then that ye discourse upon their practicies, fra they be passed Prentises: for I would faine heare what is possible to them to performe in verie deede. Although they serve a common Master with the Necromancers, (as I have before saide) yet serve they him in an other forme. For as the meanes are diverse, which allures them to the unlawfull artes of serving of the Devill; so by diverse waies use they their practices, answering to these meanes, which first the Devill, used as instrumentes in them; though al tending to one end: To wit, the enlargeing of Sathans tyrannie, and crossing of the propogation of the Kingdome of Christ, so farre as lyeth in the possibilitie, either of the one or other sorte, or of the Devill their Master. For where the Magicians, as allured by curiositie, in the most parte of their practices, seekes principalle the satisfying of the same, and to winne to themselves a popular honoure and estimation:


These Witches on the other parte, being intised ether for the desire of revenge, or of worldly riches, their whole practices are either to hurte men and their gudes, or what they possesse, for satisfying of their cruell mindes in the former, or else by the wracke in quhatsoever sorte, of anie whome God will permitte them to have power off, to satisfie their greedie desire in the last poynt.

Epistemon. In two partes their actiones may be divided; the actiones of their owne persones, and the actiones proceeding from them towardes anie other. And this division being wel understood, will easilie resolve you, what is possible to them to doe. For although all that they confesse is no lie upon their parte, yet doubtlesly in my opinion, a part of it is not indeede, according as they take it to be: And in this I meane by the actiones of their owne persones. For as I said before, speaking of Magie that the Devill illudes the senses of these schollers of his, in manie thinges, so saye I the like of these Witches.

Philomathes. Then I pray you, first to speake of that part of their owne persons, and syne ye may come next to their actiones towardes others.

Epistemon. To the effect that they may performe such services of their false Master, as he employes them in, the devill as Gods Ape, counterfeites in his servants this service & forme of adoration, that God prescribed and made his servants to practice. For as the servants of GOD, publicklie uses to conveene for serving of him, so makes he them in great


numbers to conveene (though publickly they dare not) for his service. As none conveenes to the adoration and worshipping of God, except they be marked with his seale, the Sacrament of Baptisme: So none serves Sathan, and conveenes to the adoring of him, that are not marked with that marke, whereof I alredy spake. As the Minister sent by God teacheth plainely at the time of their publick conventions, how to serve him in spirit & truth: so that uncleane spirite, in his own person teacheth his Disciples, at the time of their conveening, how to work all kinde of mischiefe: And craves compt of all their horrible and detestable proceedinges passed, for advancement of his service. Yea, that he may the more viuelie counterfeit and scorne God, he oft times make his slaves to conveene in these verie places, which are definate and ordeined for the conveening of the serving of God (I meane by Churches) But this farre, which I have yet said, I not onelie take it to be true in their opiniones, but even so to be indeede. For the forme that he used in counterfeiting God amongst the Gentiles makes me so to thinke: As God spake by his Oracles, spake he not so by his? As GOD had aswell bloudie Sacrifices, as others without bloud, had not he the like? As God had Churches sanctified to his service, with Altars, Priests, Sacrifices, Ceremonies and Prayers; had he not the like polluted to his service? As God gave responses by Vrim and Thummim, gave he not his responses by the intralls of beastes, by the singing of Fowles, and by their


actiones in the aire? As God by visiones, dreames, and extases reveiled what was to come, and what was his will unto his servantes; used he not the like meanes to forwarne his slaves of things to come? Yea, even as God loved cleannes, hated vice, and impuritie, & appoynted punishmentes therefore: used he not the like (though falselie I grant, but in eschewing the lesse inconvenient, to draw them upon a greater) yet dissimuled he not I say, so farre as to appoynt his Priestes to keepe their bodies cleaned and undefiled, before their asking responses of him? And feyned he not God to be a protectour of everie vertue, and a just revenger of the contrarie? This reason then moves me, that as he is that same Devill; and as craftie nowe as he was then; so wil hee not spare as pertelie in these actiones that I have spoken of, concerning the witches persones: But further, Witches ofttimes confesses not only his conveening in the Church with them, but his occupying of the Pulpit: Yea, their forme of adoration, to be the kissing of his hinder partes. Which though it seeme ridiculous, yet may it likewise be true, seeing we reade that in Calicute, he appearing in forme of a Goate-bucke, hath publicklie that un-honest homage done unto him, by everie one of the people: So ambitious is he, and greedie of honour (which procured his fall) that he will even imitate God in that parte, where it is said, that Moyses could see but the hinder parts of God for the brightness of his glorie [Exo. 33]: And yet that speache is spoken but [Greek characters here]



What are the waies possible, whereby the witches may transport themselves to places far distant. And what ar impossible & mere illusiones of Sathan. And the reasons thereof.

Philomathes. But what way say they or thinke ye it possible that they can com to these unlawful coventios?

Epistemon. There is the thing which I esteeme their senses to be deluded in, and though they lye not in confessing of it, because they thinke it to be true, yet not to be so in substance or effect: for they saie, that by diverse meanes they may convenned, either to the adoring of their Master, or to the putting in practice any service of his, committed unto their charge: one way is natural, which is natural riding, going or sayling, at what hour their Master comes and advertises them. And this way may be easilie beleved: another way is some-what more strange: and yet it is possible to be true: which is being carryed by the force of the Spirite which is their conducter, either above the earth or above the Sea swiftlie, to the place where they are to meet: which I am perswaded to be likewaies possible, in respect that as Habakkuk was carryed by the Angell in that forme to the denne where Daniell laie [Apocrypha of Bell and the Dragon.]; so thinke I, the Devill will be reddie to imitate God, as well in that as in other thinges: which is much more possible to him to doe, being a Spirite, then to a mighty winde, being but a naturall meteore, to transporte from one place to an other a solide bodie, as is commonlie and dailie seene in practise: But in this vio-


lent forme they cannot be carryed, but a short boundes, agreeing with the space that they may reteine their breath: for if it were longer, their breath could not remain unextinguished, their bodie being carryed in such a violent & forceable maner, as be example: If one fall off an small height, his life is but in perrell, according to the harde or soft lighting: but if one fall from an high and stay rock, his breath wil be forceablie banished from the bodie, before he can win to the earth, as if oft seen by experience. And in this transporting they say themselves, that they are invisible to anie other, except amongst themselves; which may also be possible in my opinion. For if the devil may forme what kind of impressions he pleases in the aire, as I have said before, speaking of Magie, why may he not far easilier thicken & obscure so the air, that is next about them by contracting it strait together, that the beames of any other mans eyes, cannot pearce thorow the same, to see them? But the third way of their comming to their conventions, is, that where in I think them deluded: for some of them sayeth, that being transformed in the likeness of a little beast or foule, they will come and pearce through whatsoever house or Church, though all ordinarie passages be closed, by whatsoever open, the aire may enter in at. And some sayeth, that their bodies lying stil as in an extasy, their spirits wil be ravished out of their bodies, & caried to such places. And for verefying thereof, wil give evident tokes, as wel by witnesses that have seen their body lying senseles


in the meane time, as by naming persones, whom-with they mette, and giving tokens quhat purpose was amonst them, whome otherwaies they could not have knowen: for this forme of journeing, they affirme to use most, when they are transported from one Countrie to another.

Philomathes. Surelie I long to hear your owne opinion of this: for they are like old wives trattles about the fire. The reasons that moves me to thinke that these are meere illusions, are these. First for them that are transformed in likenes of beastes or foules, can enter through so narrow passages, although I may easelie beleeve that the Devill could by his woorkemanshippe upon the aire, make them appeare to be in such formes, either to themselves or to others: Yet how he can contract a solide bodie within so little roome, I thinke it is directlie contrarie to it selfe, for to be made so little, and yet not diminished: To be so straitlie drawen together, and yet feele no paine; I think it is so contrarie to the qualitie of a naturall bodie, and so like to the little transbustantiate god in the Papistes Masse, that I can never beleeve it. So to have aquantitie, is so proper to a solide bodie, that as all Philosophers concludes, it cannot be any more without one, then a spirite can have one. For when PETER came out of the prison [Act. 12.], and the doores all locked: It was not by any contracting his bodie in so little roome: but the giving place of the dore, though un-espyed by the Gaylors. And yet is there no comparison when this is done, betwixt the power of God, and


of the Devill. As to their forme of extasie and spirituall transporting, it is certaine the soules going out of the bodie, is the onely difinition of naturall death: and who are once dead, God forbid wee should thinke that it should lie in the power of all the Devils in Hell, to restore them to their life againe: Although he can put his owne spirite in a dead bodie, which the Necromancers commonlie practise, as yee have harde. For that is the office properly belonging to God; and besides that, the soule once parting from the bodie, cannot wander anie longer in the worlde, but to the owne resting place must it goe immediatelie, abiding the conjuction of the bodie againe, at the latter daie. And what CHRIST or the Prophets did miraculouslie in this case, it cannot in no Christian mans opinion be maid common with the Devill. As for anie tokens that they give for prooving this, it is verie possible to the Devils craft, to perswade them to these meanes. For he being a spirite, may hee not so ravishe their thoughtes, and dull their senses, that their bodie lying as dead, hee may object to their spirites as it were in a dreame, & (as the Poets write of Morpheus) represent such formes of persones, of places, and other circumstances, as he pleases to illude them with? Yea, that he maie deceive them with the greater efficacie, may hee not at that same instant, by fellow angelles of his, illude such other persones so in that same fashion, whome with he makes them to beleeve that they mette; that all their reportes and tokens, though


severallie examined, may every one agree with an other. And that whatsoever actiones, either in hurting men or beasts: or whatsoever other thing that they falslie imagine, at that time to have done, may by himselfe or his marrowes, at that same time be done indeede; so as if they would give for a token of their being ravished at the death of such a person within so short space thereafter, whom they beleeve to have poysoned, or witched at that instante, might hee not at that same houre, have smitten that same person by the permission of G O D, to the farther deceiving of them, and to moove others to beleeve them? And this is surelie the likeliest way, and most according to reason, which my judgement can finde out in this, and whatsoever uther unnaturall poyntes of their confession. And by these meanes shall we faill surelie, betwixt Charybdis and Scylla, in eschewing the not beleeving of them altogether on the one part, least that drawe us to the errour that there is no Witches: and on the other parte in beleeving of it, make us to eschew the falling into innumerable absurdities, both monstrouslie against all Theologie divine, and Philosophie humaine.


Witches actiones towardes others. Why there are more women of that craft nor men? What thinges are possible to them to effectuate by the power of their master. The reasons thereof. What is the surest remedie of the harmes done by them.


Philomathes. Forsooth your opinion in this, seemes to carrie most reason with it, and sense yee have ended, then the actions belonging properly to their owne persones: say forwarde now to their actions used towardes others.

Epistemon. In their actions used towardes others, three things ought to be considered. First the manner of their consulting thereupon: Next their part as instrumentes: And last their masters parte, who puts the same in execution. As to their consultationes thereupon, they use them oftest in the Churches, where they conveene for adoring: at what time their master enquiring at them what they would beat: everie one of them propones unto, what wicked turne they would have done, either for obteining of riches, or for revenging them upon anie whome they have malice at: who granting their demande, as no doubt willinglie he wil, since it is to doe evill, he teacheth them the means, wherby they may do the same. As for little trifling turnes that women have ado with, he causeth them to joynt dead corpses, & to make powders thereof, mixing such other things there amongst, as he give unto them.

Philomathes. But before yee goe further, permit mee I pray you to interrupt you one worde, which yee have put me in memorie of, by speaking of Women. What can be the cause that there are twentie women given to that craft, where ther is one man?

Epistemon. The reason is easie, for as that sexe


is frailer then man is, so is it easier to be intrapped in these grosse snares of the Devill, as was over well proved to be true, by the Serpents deceiving of Eva at the beginning, which makes him the homelier with that sexe sinsine.

Philomathes. Returne now where ye left.

Epistemon. To some others at these times hee teacheth, how to make Pictures of waxe or clay: That by the rosting thereof, the persones that they beare the name of, may be continuallie melted or dryed awaie by continuall sicknesse. To some hee gives such stones or poulders, as will helpe to cure or cast on diseases: And to some he teacheth kindes of uncouthe poysons, which Mediciners understandes not (for he is farre cunningner then man in the knowlege of all the occult proprieties of nature) not that anie of these meanes which hee teacheth them (except the poysons which are composed of thinges naturall) can of themselves helpe anything to these turnes, that they are employed, but onelie being Gods Ape, as well in that, as in all other thinges. Even as God by his Sacramentes which are earthlie of themselves workes a heavenlie effect, though no waies by any cooperation in them: And as CHRIST by clay & spettle wrought together, opened the eies of the blynd man [John. 9.], suppose there was no vertue in that which he outwardlie applyed, so the Devill will have his out-warde meanes to be shewes as it were of his doing, which hath no part of cooperation in his turnes with him, how farr that ever the ignorantes be abused


in the contrarie. And as to the effectes of these two former partes, to wit, the consultationes and the outward meanes, they are so wounderfull as I dare not allege anie of them, without joyning a sufficient reason of the possibilitie thereof. For leaving all the small trifles among wives, and to speake of the principall poyntes of their craft. For the common trifles thereof, they can do without conversing well inough by themselves: These principall poyntes I say are these: They can make men or women to love or hate other, which may be verie possible to the Devil to effectuate, seing he being a subtile spirite, knowes well inough how to perswade the corrupted affection of them whom God will permit him so to deale with: They can lay the sikness of one upon an other, which likewise is verie possible unto him: For since by Gods permission, he layed sikness upon Job, why may he not farre easilier lay it upon any other: For as an old practisian, he knowes well inough what humor domines most in anie of us, and as a spirit hee can subtillie walken up the same, making it peccant, or to abounde, as he thinkes meete for troubling of us, when God will so permit him. And for the taking off of it, no doubt he will be glad to relieve such of present paine, as he may thinke by these meanes to perswade to bee catched in his everlasting snares and fetters. They can be-witch and take the life of men or women, by rosting of the Pictures, as I spake of before, which likewise is verie possible to their Master to performe, for although, (as I saide


before) that instrumente of waxe have not vertue in that turne doing, yet may hee not verie well even by that same measure that his conjured slaves meltes that waxe at the fire, may he not I say at these same times, subtile as a spirite so weaken and scatter the spirites of life of the the patient, as may make him on th' one part, for faintnesse to sweate out the humour of his bodie: And on the other parte, for not the concurrence of these spirites, which causes his digestion, so debilitat his stomak, that his humour radicall continually, sweating out on the one parte, and no new good luck being put in the place thereof, for lack of digestion on the other, hee at last shall vanish awaie, even as his picture will doe at the fire. And that knavish and cunning woorkeman, by troubling him onely at some times, makes a proportion so neare betwixt the woorking of the one and the other, that both shall ende as it were at one time. They can rayse stormes and tempestes in the aire, either upon Sea or land, though not universally, but in such a particular place and prescribed boundes, as God will permitte them so to trouble: Which likewise is verie easie to be discerned from anie other naturall tempestes that are meteores, in respect of the suddaine and violent raising thereof, together with the short induring of the same. And this is likewise verie possible to their master to do, he having such affinitie with the aire as being a spirite, and having such power of the forming and mooving thereof, as ye have heard me alreadie declare: For



in the Scripture, that stile of the Prince of the aire [Ephes. 2] is given unto him. They can make folkes to becom phrenticque or Maniacque, which likewise is very possible to their master to do, sence they are but naturall sicknesses: and so he may lay on these kindes, as well as anie others. They can make spirites either to follow and trouble persones, or haunt certaine houses, and affraie oftentimes the inhabitantes: as hath bene knowen to be done by our Witches at this time. And likewise they can make some to be possessed with spirites, & so to become verie Daemoniacques: and this last sorte is verie possible likewise to the Devill their Master to do, since he may easilie send his owne angells to trouble in what forme he pleases, any whom God wil permit him so to use.

Philomathes. But will God permit these wicked instrumentes by the power of the Devill their master, to trouble anie of these meanes, anie that beleeves in him?

Epistemon. No doubt, for there are three kinde of folkes whom God will permit so to be tempted or troubled; the wicked for their horrible sinnes, to punish them in the like measure; The godlie that are sleeping in anie great sinnes or infirmities and weakenesse in faith, to waken them up the faster by such an uncouth forme: and even some of the best, that their patience may bee tryed before the world, as Jobs was. For why may not God use anie kinde of extraordinarie punishment, when it pleases him; as well as the ordinarie roddes of sicknesse or other adversities.


Philomathes. Who then may be free from these Devilish practises?

Epistemon. No man ought to presume so far as to promise anie impunitie to himselfe: for God hath before all beginninges preordinated as well the particular sortes of Plagues as of benefites for every man, which in the owne time he ordaines them to be visited with, & yet ought we not to be the more affrayde for that, of any thing that the Devill and his wicked instrumentes can do against us: For we dailie fight against the Devill in a hundreth other waies: And therefore as a valiant Captaine, affraies no more being at the combat, nor stayes from his purpose for the rummishing shot of a Cannon, nor the small clack of a pistolet: suppose he be not certaine what may light upon him; Even so ought we boldlie to goe forwarde in fighting against the Devill without anie greater terrour, for these his rarest weapons, nor for the ordinarie whereof wee have daily the proofe.

Philomathes. Is it not lawfull then by the helpe of some other Witche to cure the disease that is casten on by that craft?

Epistemon. No waies lawfull: For I gave you the reason thereof in that axiome of Theologie, which was the last wordes I spake of Magie.

Philomathes. How then may these diseases be lawfullie cured?

Epistemon. Onelie by earnest prayer to G O D, by amendment of their lives, and by sharp persewing everie one, according to his calling of these instru-


mentes of Sathan, whose punishment to the death will be a salutarie sacrifice for the patient. And this is not onely the lawfull way, but likewise the most sure: For by the Devils meanes, can never the Devill be casten out, as Christ sayeth [Mark. 3]. And when such a cure is used, it may wel serve for a shorte time, but at the last, it will doubtleslie tend to the utter perdition of the patient, both in bodie and soule.


What sorte of folkes are least or most subject to receive harme by Witchcraft. What power they have to harme the Magistrate, and upon what respectes they have any power in prison: And to what end may or will the Devill appeare to them therein. Upon what respectes the Devill appeires in sundry shapes to sundry of them at anytime

Philomathes. But who dare take upon him to punish them, if no man can be sure to be free from their unnaturall invasions?

Epistemon. We ought not the more of that restraine from vertue, that the way whereby we climbe thereunto be straight and perrilous. But besides that, as there is no kinde of persones to subject to receive harme of them, as these that are of infirme and weake faith (which is the best buckler against such invasions:) so have they so smal power over none, as over such as zealouslie and earnestlie persewes


them, without sparing for anie worldlie respect.

Philomathes. Then they are like the Pest, which smites these sickarest, that flies it farthest, and apprehends deepliest the perrell thereof.

Epistemon. It is even so with them: For neither is it able to them to use anie false cure upon a patient, except the patient first beleeve in their power, and so hazard the tinsell of his owne soule, nor yet can they have lesse power to hurte anie, nor such as contemnes most their doinges, so being it come of faith, and not of anie vaine arrogancie in themselves.

Philomathes. But what is their power against the Magistrate?

Epistemon. Lesse or greater, according as he deales with them. For if he be slouthfull towardes them, God is verie able to make them instrumentes to waken & punish his slouth. But if he be the contrarie, he according to the just law of God, and allowable law of all Nationes, will be diligent in examining and punishing of them: G O D will not permit their master to trouble or hinder so good a worke.

Philomathes. But fra they be once in handes and firmance, have they anie further power in their craft?

Epistemon. That is according to the forme of their detention. If they be but apprehended and deteined by anie private person, upon other private respectes, their power no doubt either in escaping or in doing hurte, is no lesse nor ever it was be-


fore. But if on the other parte, their apprehending and detention be by the lawfull Magistrate, upon the just respectes of their guiltinesse in that craft, their power is then no greater than before that ever they medled with their master. For where God beginnes justlie to strike by his lawfull Lieutennentes, it is not in the Devilles power to defraude or bereave him of the office, or effect of his powerfull and revenging Scepter.

Philomathes. But will never their master come to visite them, fra they be once apprehended and put in firmance?

Epistemon. That is according to the estaite that these miserable wretches are in: For if they be obstinate in still denying, he will not spare, when he findes time to speake with them, either if he finde them in anie comfort, to fill them more and more with the vaine hope of some maner of reliefe: or else if he finde them in a deepe dispaire, by all meanes to augment the same, and to perswade them by some extraordinarie meanes to put themselves downe, which verie commonlie they doe. But if they be penitent and confesse, God will not permit him to trouble them anie more with his presence and allurementes.

Philomathes. It is not good using his counsell I see then. But I woulde earnestlie know when he appeares to them in Prison, what formes uses he then to take?

Epistemon. Divers formes, even as he uses to do at other times unto them. For as I told you, speking of Magie,


he appeares to that kinde of craftes-men ordinarily in an forme, according as they agree upon it amongst themselves: Or if they be but prentises, according to the qualitie of their circles or conjurationes: Yet to these capped creatures, he appeares as he pleases, and as he findes meetest for their humors. For even at their publick conventiones, he appeares to divers of them in divers formes, as we have found by the difference of their confessiones in that point: For he deluding them with vaine impressiones in the aire, makes himselfe to seeme more terrible to the grosser sorte, that they maie thereby be moved to feare and reverence him the more: And les monstrous and uncouthlike againe to the craftier sorte, least otherwaies they might sturre and skunner at his uglinesse.

Philomathes. How can he then be felt, as they confesse they have done him, if his bodie be but of aire?

Epistemon. I heare little of that amongst their confessiones, yet may he make himselfe palpable, either by assuming any dead bodie, and using the ministrie thereof, or else by deluding as wel their sence of feeling as seeing; which is not impossible to him to doe, since all our senses, as we are so weake, and even by ordinarie sicknesses will be often times deluded.

Philomathes. But I would speere one worde further yet, concerning his appearing to them in prison, which is this. May any other that chances to be present at that time in the prison, see him as well as they.


Epistemon. Some-times they will, and some-times not, as it pleases God.


Two formes of the devils visible conversing in the earth, with the reasones wherefore the one of them was communest in the time of Papistrie: And the other sensine. Those that denies the power of the Devill, denies the power of God, and are guiltie of the errour of the Sadduces.

Philomathes. Hath the Devill then power to appeare to any other, except to such as are his sworne disciples: especially since al Oracles, & such like kinds of illusiones were taken awaie and abolished by the cumming of C H R I S T?

Epistemon. Although it be true indeede, that the brightnesse of the Gospell at his cumming, scaled the cloudes of all these grosse errors in the Gentilisme: yet that these abusing spirites, ceases not sensine at sometimes to appeare, dailie experience teaches us. Indeede this difference is to be marked betwixt the formes of Sathans conversing visiblie in the world. For of two different formes thereof, the one of them by the spreading of the Evangell, and conquest of the white horse, in the sixt Chapter of the Revelation, is much hindred and become rarer there through. This his appearing to any Christians, troubling of them outwardly, or possessing of them constraynedly. The other of them is be-


come communer and more used sensine, I meane by their unlawfull artes, whereupon our whole purpose hath bene. This we finde by experience in this Ile to be true. For we know, moe Ghostes and spirites were seene, nor tongue can tell, in the time of blinde Papistrie in these Countries, where now by the contrarie, a man shall scarcely all his time here once of such things. And yet were these unlawfull artes farre rarer at that time: and never were so much harde of, nor so rife as they are now.

Philomathes. What should be the cause of that?

Epistemon. The diverse nature of our sinnes procures at the Justice of God, diverse sortes of punishments answering thereunto. And therefore as in the time of Papistrie, our fathers erring grosselie, & through ignorance, that mist of errours overshaddowed the Devill to walke the more familiarlie amongst them: And as it were by barnelie and affraying terroures, to mocke and accuse their barnelie erroures. By the contrarie, we now being sounde of Religion, and in our life rebelling to our profession, God justlie by that sinne of rebellion, as Samuel calleth it, accuseth our life so wilfullie fighting against our profession.

Philomathes. Since yee are entred now to speake of the appearing of spirites: I would be glad to heare your opinion in that matter. For manie denies that anie such spirites can appeare in these daies as I have said.

Epistemon. Doubtleslie who denyeth the power of


the Devill, woulde likewise denie the power of God, if they could for shame. For since the Devill is the verie contrarie opposite to God, there can be no better way to know God, then by the contrarie; as by the ones power (though a creature) to admire the power of the great Creator: by the falshood of the one to considder the trueth of the other, by the injustice of the one, to considder the justice of the other: And by the cruelty of the one, to considder the mercifulnesse of the other: And so foorth in all the rest of the essence of God, and qualities of the Devill. But I feare indeede, there be over many Sadduces in this worlde, that denies all kindes of spirites: For convicting of whose errour, there is cause inough if there were no more, that God should permit at sometimes spirits visiblie to kyith.


A R G U M E N T.
The description of all these kindes of Spirites that troubles men or wo-
men. The conclusion of the whole





The division of spirites in foure principall kindes. The description of the first kinde of them, called Spectra & umbrae mortuorum. What is the best way to be free of their trouble.

Philomathes. Pray you now then go forward in telling what ye thinke fabulous, or may be trowed in that case.

Epistemon. That kinde of the Devils conversing in the earth, may be divided in foure different kindes, whereby he affrayeth and troubleth the bodies of men: For of the abusing of the soule,


I have spoken alreadie. The first is, where spirites troubles some houses or solitarie places: The second, where spirites followes upon certaine persones, and at divers houres troubles them: The thirde, when they enter within them and possesse them: The fourth is the kind of spirities that are called vulgarie the Fayrie. Of the three former kindes, ye harde alreadie, how they may artificallie be made by Witch-craft to trouble folke: Now it restes to speake of their naturall comming as it were, and not raysed by Witch-craft. But generally I must fore-warne you of one thing before I enter in this purpose: that is, that although in my discourseing of them, I devyde them in divers kindes, yee must notwithstanding there of note my Phrase of speaking in that: For doubtleslie they are in effect, but all one kinde of spirites, who for abusing the more of mankinde, takes on these sundrie shapes, and uses diverse formes of out-ward actiones, as if some were of nature better then other. Nowe I returne to my purpose: As to the first kinde of these spirites, that were called by the auncients by divers names, according as their actions were. For if they were spirites that haunted houses, by appearing in divers and horrible formes, and making greate dinne: they were called Lemures or Spectra. If they appeared in likeness of anie defunct to some friends of his, they were called umbra mortuorum: And so innumerable stiles they got, according to their actiones, as Ihave said alreadie. As we see by experience, how manie stiles they have gi-


ven them in our language in the likemaner: Of the appearing of these spirites, wee are certified by the Scriptures, where the Prophet Esay 13. and 34. cap. [Esay.13, Jere.50] threatning the destruction of Babell and Edom: declares, that it shal not onlie be wracked, but shall become so greate a solitude, as it shall be the habitackle of Howlettes, and of Ziim and Iim, which are the proper Hebrewe names for these Spirites. The cause whie they haunte solitarie places, it is by reson, that they may affraie and brangle the more the faith of suche as them alone hauntes such places. For our nature is such, as in companies wee are not so soone mooved to anie such kinde of feare, as being solitare, which the Devill knowing well inough, hee will not therefore assaile us but when we are weake: And besides that, G O D will not permit him so to dishonour the societies and companies of Christians, as in publicke times and places to walke visiblie amongst them. On the other parte, when he troubles certaine houses that are dwelt in, it is a sure token either of grosse ignorance, or of some grosse and slanderous sinnes amongst the inhabitantes thereof: which God by that extraordinarie rod punishes.

Philomathes. But by what way or passage can these Spirites enter in these houses, seeith they alledge that they will enter, Doore and Window being steiked?

Epistemon. They will choose the passage for their entresse, according to the forme that theya re in at


that time. For if they have assumed a deade bodie, whereinto they lodge themselves, they can easely inough open without dinne anie Doore or Window, and enter in thereat. And if they enter as a spirite onelie, anie place where the aire may come in at, is large inough an entrie for them: For as I said before, a spirite can occupie no quantitie.

Philomathes. And will God then permit these wicked spirites to trouble the reste of a dead bodie, before the resurrection thereof? Or if he sill so, I thinke it should be of the reprobate onely.

Epistemon. What more is the reste troubled of a dead bodie, when the Devill carryes it out of the Grave to serve his turne for a space, nor when the Witches takes it up and joyntes it, or when as Swine wortes uppe the graves? The rest of them that the Scripture speakes of, is not meaned by a locall remaining continuallie in one place, but by their resting from their travelles and miseries of this worlde, while their latter conjunction againe with the soule at that time to receave full glorie in both. And that the Devill may use aswell the ministrie of the bodies of the faithfull in these cases, as of the un-faithfull, there is no inconvenient; for his haunting with their bodies after theya re deade, can no waise defyle them: In respect of the soules absence. And for anie dishonour it can be unto them, by what reason can it be greater, then the hanging, heading, or many such shameful deaths, that good men will suffer


for there is nothing in the bodies of the faithfull, more worthie of honour, or freer from corruption by nature, nor in these of the unfaithful, while time they be purged and glorified in the latter daie, as is dailie seene by the vilde diseases and corruptions, that the bodies of the faythfull are subject unto, as yee will see clearelie proved, when I speake of the possessed and Daemoniacques.

Philomathes. Yet there are sundrie that affirmes to have haunted such places, where these spirites are alleaged to be: And could never heare nor see anie thing.

Epistemon. I thinke well: For that is onelie reserved to the secreete knowledge of God, whom he wil permit to see such thinges, and whome not.

Philomathes. But where these spirites hauntes and troubles anie houses, what is the best waie to banishe them?

Epistemon. By two meanes may onelie the remeid of such things be procured: The one is ardent prayer to God, both of these persones that are troubled with them, and of that Church whereof they are. The other is the purging of themselves by amendement of life from such sinnes, as have procured that extraordinare plague.

Philomathes. And what meanes then these kindes of spirites, when they appeare in the shaddow of a person newlie dead, or to die, to his friends?

Epistemon. When they appeare upon that occasion, they are called Wraithes in our language. Amongst the Gentiles the Devill used that much, to make


them beleeve that it was some good spirite that appeared to them then, ether to forewarne them of the death of their friend; or else to discover unto them, the will of the defunct, or what was the say of his slauchter, as is written in the booke of the histories Prodigious. And this way hee easelie deceived the Gentiles, because they knew not God: And to that same effect is it, that he now appeares in that maner tosome ignorant Christians. For he dare not so illude anie that knoweth that, neither can the spirite of the defunct returne to his friend, or yet an Angell use such formes.

Philomathes. And are not our war-woolfes one sorte of these spirits also, that hauntes and troubles some houses or dwelling places?

Epistemon. There hath indeede bene an old opinion of such like thinges; For by the Greekes they were call [Greek characters here] which signifieth men-woolfes. But to tell you simplie my opinion in this, if anie such thing hath bene, I take it to have proceeded but of a naturall super- abundance of Melancholie, which as we reade, that it hath made some think themselves Pitchers, and some horses, and some one kinde of beast or other: So suppose I that it hath so viciat the imagination and memorie of some, as per lucida interualla, it hath so highlie occupyed them, that they have thought themselves verrie Woolfes indeede at these times: and so have counterfeited their actiones in goeing on their hands andfeete, preassing to devoure women and barnes, fighting and snatching with all the towne


dogges, and in using such like other bruitish actiones, and so to become eastes by a strong apprehension, as Nebucad netzar was seven yeares [Dan. 4.]: but as to their having and hyding of their hard & schellie sloughes, I take that to be but eiked, by uncertaine report, the author of all lyes.


[T]he description of the next two kindes of Spirites, whereof the one followes outwardlie, the other possesses inwardlie the persones that they trouble. That since all Prophecies and visiones are nowe ceased, all spirites that appeares in these formes are evill.

Philomathes. Come forward now to the reste of the these kindes of spirites.

Epistemon. As to the next two kindes,that is, either these that outwardlie troubles and followes some persones, or else inwardlie possesses them: I will conjoyne them in one, because aswell the causes ar alike in the persons that they are permitted to trouble: as also the waies whereby they may be remedied and cured.

Philomathes. What kinde of persones are they that uses to be troubled?

Epistemon. Two kindes in speciall: Either such as being guiltie of greevous offences, God punishes


by that horrible kinde of scourdge, or else being persones of the beste nature peradventure, that yee shall finde in all the Countrie about them, G O D permittes them to be troubled in that sort, for the tryall of their patience, and wakening up of their zeale, for admonishing of the beholders, not to truste over much in themselves, since they are made of no better stuffe, and peradventure blotted with no smaller sinnes (as C H R I S T saide, speaking of them upon whome the Towre in Siloam fell:) And for giving likewise to the spectatators, matter to prayse G O D, that they meriting no better are yet spared from being corrected in that fearefull forme.

Philomathes. These are good seasones for the parte of G O D, which apparantlie mooves him so to permit the Devill to trouble such persones. But since the Devill hath ever a contrarie respecte in all the actiones that G O D employes him in: which is I pray you the end and mark he shoots at in this turne?

Epistemon. It is to obtaine one of two thinges thereby, if he may: The one is the tinsell of their life, by inducing them to such perrilous places at such time as he either followes or possesses them, which may procure the same: And such like, so farre as G O D will permit him, by tormenting them to weaken their bodie, and caste them in incurable diseases. The other thinge that hee preasses to obteine by troubling of them, is the tinsell of their soule, by intising them to mistruste


and blaspheme God: Either for the intollerablenesse of their tormentes, as he assayed to have done with J O B [Job 1]; or else for his promising unto them to leave the troubling of them, incase they would so do, as is knowen by experience at this same time by the confession of a young one that was so troubled.

Philomathes. Since ye have spoken now of both these kindes of spirites comprehending them in one: I must nowe goe backe againe in speering some questiones of everie one of these kindes in speciall. And first for these that followes certaine persones, yee know that there are two sortes of them: One sorte that troubles and tormentes the persones that they haunt with: An other sort that are serviceable unto them in all kinde of their necessaries, and omittes never to forwarne them of anie suddaine perrell that they are to be in. And so in this case, I would understande whither both these sortes be but wicked and damned spirites: Or if the last sorte be rather Angells, (as should appeare by their actiones) sent by God to assist such as he speciallie favoures. For it is written in the Scriptures, that God sendes Legions of Angells to guarde and watch over his elect. [Gen.32. 1.Kin.6 Psal.34.].

Epistemon. I know well inough where fra that errour which ye alleage hath proceeded: For it was the ignorant Gentiles that were the fountaine thereof. Who for that they knew not God, they forged in their owne imaginationes, every man to be still accompanied with two spirites, wherof they called


the one genius bonus, the other genius malies: the Greekes called them [greek characters] & [greek characters]: wherof the former they saide, perswaded him to all the good he did: the other entised him to all the evill. But praised God we that are christians, & walks not amongst the Cymmerian conjectures of man, knowes well inough, that it is the good spirite of God onely, who is the fountain of all goodnes, that perswads us to the thinking or doing of any good: and that it is our corrupted fleshe and Sathan, that intiseth us to the contrarie. And yet the Devill for confirming in the heades of ignorant Christians, that errour first mainteined among the Gentiles, he whiles among the first kinde of spirites that I speak of, appeared in the time of Papistrie and blindness, and haunted divers houses, without doing any evill, but doing as it were necessarie turnes up and down the house: and this pirit they called Brownie in our language, who appeared like a rough-man: yea, some were so blinded, as to beleeve that their house was all the sonsier, as they called it, that such spirites resorted there.

Philomathes. But since the Devils intention in all his actions, is ever to do evill, what evill was there in that forme of doing, since their actions outwardly were good.

Epistemon. Was it not evill inough to deceive simple ignorantes, in making them to take him for an Angell of light, and so to account of Gods enemie, as of their particular friend: where by the contrarie, all we that are Christians, ought assuredly to know


that since the comming of Christ in the flesh, and establishing of his Church by the Apostles, all miracles, visions, prophecies, & appearances of Angels or good spirites are ceased. Which served onely for the first sowing of faith, & planting of the Church. Where now the Church being established, and the white Horse whereof I spake before,having made his conqueste,the Lawe and Prophets are thought sufficient to serve us, or make us inexcusable, as Christ saith in his parable of Lazarus and the riche man. [Luk.16.]


The description of a particular sort of that kind of following spirites, called Incubi and Succubi: And what is the reason wherefore these kindes of spirites hauntes most the Northerne and barbarous partes of the world.

Philomathes. The next question that I would speere, is likewise concerning this first of these two kindes of spirites that ye have conjoyned: and it is this; ye knowe how it is commonly written and reported, that amongst the rest of the sortes of spirites that followes certaine persons, there is one more monstrous nor al the rest: in respect as it is alleaged, they converse naturally with them whom they trouble and hauntes with: and therefore I would knowe in two thinges your opinion herein: First if suche a thing can be: and next if it be: whether there be a difference of sexes amongst these spirites or not.

Epistemon. That abhominable kinde of the Devills


abusing of men or women, was called of old, Incubi and Succubi, according to the difference of the sexes that they conversed with. By two meanes this great kinde of abuse might possibly be performed: The one, when the Devill onelie as a spirite, and stealing out the sperme of a dead bodie, abuses them that way, they not graithlie seeing anie shape or feeling anie thing, but that which he so convayes in that part: As we reade of a Monasterie of Nunnes which were burnt for their being that way abused. The other meane is when he borrowes a dead bodie and so visiblie, and as it seemes unto them naturallie as a man converses with them. But it is to be noted, that in whatsoever way he useth it, that sperme seemes intollerably cold to the person abused. For if he steale out the nature of a quick person, it cannot be so quicklie carryed, but it will both tine the strength and heate by the way, which it could never have had for lacke of agitation, which in the time of procreation is the procurer & wakener up of these two natural qualities. And if he occupying the dead bodie as his lodging expell the same out thereof in the dewe time, it must likewise be colde by the participation with the qualities of the dead bodie whereout of it comes. And whereas yee inquire if these spirites be divided in sexes or not, I thinke the rules of Philosophie may easelie resolve a man of the contrarie: For it is a sure principle of that arte, that nothing can be divided in sexes, except such living bodies as must have a naturall seede to ge-


nere by. But we know spirites hath no seede proper to themselves, nor yet can they gender one with an other.

Philomathes. How is it then that they say sundrie monsters have bene gotten by that way.

Epistemon. These tales are nothing but Aniles fabula. For that they have no nature of their owne, I have shewed you alreadie. And that the cold nature of a dead bodie, can woorke nothing in generation, it is more nor plaine, as being already dead of it selfe as well as the rest of the bodie is, wanting the naturall heate, and such other naturall operation, as is necessarie for woorking that effect, and incase such a thing were possible (which were all utterly against all the rules of nature) it would bread no monster, but onely such a naturall of-spring, as would have cummed betwixt that man or woman and that other abused person, in-case they both being alive had had a doe with other. For the Devilles parte therein, is but the naked carrying or expelling of that substance: and so it coulde not participate with no qualitie of the same. Indeede, it is possible to the craft of the Devill to make a womans bellie to swel after he hath that way abused her, which he may do, either by steiring up her own humor, or by herbs, as we see beggars daily doe. And when the time of her delivery should come to make her thoil great doloures, like unto that naturall course, and then subtillie to slippe in the Mid-wives handes, stockes, stones, or some monstrous barne brought from some other place, but this is more reported


and gessed at by others, nor beleeved by me.

Philomathes. But what is the cause that this kinde of abuse is thought to be most common in such wild partes of the world, as Lap-land, and Fin-land, or in our North Iles of Orknay and Schet- land.

Epistemon. Because where the Devill findes greatest ignorance and barbaritie, there assayles he grosseliest, as I gave you the reason wherefore there was moe Witches of women kinde nor men.

Philomathes. Can anie be so unhappie as to give their willing consent to the Devilles vilde abusing them in this forme.

Epistemon. Yea, some of the Witches have confessed, that he hath perswaded them to give their willing consent thereunto, that he may thereby have them feltred the sikarer in his snares; But as the othr compelled sorte is to be pittied and prayed for, so is this most highlie to be punished and detested.

Philomathes. Is it not the thing which we cal the Mare, which takes folkes sleeping in their bedds, a kinde of these spirites, whereof ye are speaking?

Epistemon. No, that is but a naturall sicknes, which the Mediciners hath given that name of Incubus unto ab incubando, because it being a thick fleume(?), falling into our breast upon the harte, while we are sleeping, intercludes so our vitall spirites, and takes all power from us, as maks us think that there were some unnaturall burden or spirite, lying upon us and holding us downe.



The description of the Damoniackes & possessed. By what reason the Papistes may have power to cure them.

Philomathes. Wel, I have told you now all my doubts, and ye have satisfied me therein, concerning the first of these two kindes of spirites that ye have conjoyned. Now I am to inquire onely two thinges at you concerning the last kinde, I meane the Daemoniackes. The first is, whereby shal these possessed folks be discerned fra them that are trubled with a natural Phrensie or Manie. The next is, how can it be that they can be remedied by the Papistes Church, whom wee counting as Hereticques, it should appeare that one Devill should not cast out an other, for then would his kingdome be divided in it selfe, as C H R I S T said [Mat. 12, Mark.3].

Epistemon. As to your first question; there are divers symptomes, whereby that heavie trouble may be discerned from a naturall sickenesse, and speciallie three, omitting the divers vaine signes that the Papistes attributes to it: such as the raging at holie water, their fleeing a back from the Croce, their not abiding the hearing of God named, and innumerable such like vaine thinges that were alike fashious and feckles to recite. But to come to these three symptomes then, whereof I spake, I account the one of them to be the incredible strength of the possessed creature, which will farre exceede the strength of six of the wightest and wodest of any other men that are not so troubled. The next is the


boldning up so far of the patients breast and bellie, with such an unnaturall sturring and vehement agitation within them: And such an ironie hardnes of his sinnowes so stiffelie bended out, that it were not possible to prick out as it were the skinne of anie other person so far: so mightely works the Devil in all the members and senses of his body, he being locallie within the same, suppose of his soule and affectiones thereof, he have no more power then of any other mans. The last is, the speaking of sundrie languages, which the patient is knowen by them that were acquainte with him never to have learned, and that with an uncouth and hollowe voice, and al the time of his speaking, a greater motion being in his breast then in his mouth. But fra this last symptome is excepted such, as are altogether in the time of their possessing bereft of al their senses being possessed with a dumme and blynde spirite, whereof Christ releived one, in the 12 of Mathew. And as to your next demande, it is first to be doubted if the Papistes or anie not professing the the [sic] onelie true Religion, can relieve anie of that trouble. And next, in-case they can, upon what respectes it is possible unto them. As to the former upon two reasons, it is grounded: first that it is knowen of manie of them to bee counterfite, which wyle the Clergie inventes for confirming of their rotten Religion. The next is, that by experience we find that few, who are possessed indeede, are fullie cured by them: but rather the Devill is content to release the bodelie hurting of them, for a


shorte space, thereby to obteine the perpetual hurt of the soules of so many that by these false miracles may be induced or confirmed in the profession of that erroneous Religion: even as I told you before that he doth in the false cures, or casting out of diseases by Witches. As to the other part of the argument in-case they can, which rather (with reverence of the learned thinking otherwaies) I am inducedto beleeve, by reason of the faithfull report that men found of religion, have made according to their fight thereof, I think if so be, I say these may be the respectes, whereupon the Papistes may have that power. C H R I S T gave a commission and power to his Apostles to cast out Devilles, which they according thereunto put in execution: The rules he bad them observe in that action, was fasting and praier: the action it selfe to be done in his name. This power of theirs proceeded not then of anie vertue in them, but onely in him who directed them. As was clearly proved by Judas his having as greate power in that commission, as anie of the reste. It is easie then to be understand that the casting out of Devilles, is by the vertue of fasting and prayer, and in-calling of the name of God, suppose manie imperfectiones be in the person that is the instrumente, as C H R I S T him selfe teacheth us [Mat.7.] of the power that false Prophets sall have to caste out Devils. It is no wonder then, these respects of this action being considered, that it may be possible to the Papistes, though erring in sundrie points of Religion to accomplish this, if they use the right


forme prescribed by C H R I S T herein. For what the worse is that action that they erre in other thinges, more then their Baptisme is the worse that they erre in the other Sacrament, and have eiked many vaine freittes to the Baptisme it selfe.

Philomathes. Surelie it is no little wonder that God should permit the bodie of anie of the faithful to be so dishonoured, as to be a dwelling place to that uncleane spirite.

Epistemon. There is it which I told right now, would proove and strengthen my argument of the devils entring in the dead bodies of the faithfull. For if he is permitted to enter in their living bodies, even when they are joyned with the soule: how much more will God permit him to enter in their dead carions, which is no more man, but the filthie and corruptible caise of man. For as C H R I S T sayth, It is not any thing that enters within man that defiles him, but onely that which proceedes and commeth out of him [Mark.7.].


The description of the fourth kinde of Spirites called the Phairie: What is possible therein, and what is but illusiones. How far this Dialogue entreates of all these thinges, and to what end.

Philomathes. Now I pray you come on to that fourth kinde of spirites.

Epistemon. That fourth kinde of spirites, which by the Gentiles was called Diana, and her wandring court, and amongst us was called the Phairie (as I


tould you) or our good neighboures, was one of the sortes of illusiones that was risest in the time of Papistrie: for although it was holden odious to Prophesie by the devill, yet whome these kinde of Spirites carryed awaie, and informed, they were thought to be sonsiest and of best life. To speake of the many vaine trattles founded upon that illusion: How there was a King and Queene of Phairie, of such a jolly court & train as they had, how they had a teynd, & dutie, as it were, eate and drank, and did all other actiones like naturall men and women: I thinke it liker V I R G I L S Campi Elysy, or anie thing that ought to be beleeved by Christians, except in generall, that as I spake sundrie time before, the devil illuded the senses of sundry simple creatures, in making them beleeve that they saw and harde such thinges as were nothing so indeed.

Philomathes. But how can it be then, that sundrie Witches have gone to death with that confession, that they have ben transported with the Phairie to such a hill, which opening, they went in, and there saw a faire Queen, who being now lighter, gave them a stone that had sundrie vertues, which at sundrie times hath bene produced in judgement?

Epistemon. I say that, even as I said before of that imaginar ravishing of the spirite foorth of the bodie. For may not the devil object to their fantasie, their senses being dulled, and as it were a sleepe, such hilles & houses within them, such glitering courtes and traines, and whatsoever such like wherewith he pleaseth to delude them. And in the meane


time their bodies being senselesse, to convay in their hande any stone or such like thing, which he makes them to imagine to have received in such a place.

Philomathes. But what say ye to their fore-telling the death of sundrie persones, whome they alleage to have seene in these places? That is, a sooth-dreame (as they say) since they see it walking.

Epistemon. I thinke that either they have not bene sharply inough examined, that gave so blunt a reason for their Prophesie, or otherwaies, I thinke it likewise as possible that the Devill may prophesie to them when he deceives their imaginationes in that sorte, as well as when he plainely speakes unto them at other times for their prophesying, is but by a kinde of vision, as it were, wherein he commonly counterfeits God among the Ethnicks, as I told you before.

Philomathes. I would know now whether these kindes of spirites may only appeare to Witches, or if they may also appeare to anie other.

Epistemon. They may do to both, to the innocent sort, either to affraie them, or to seeme to be a better sorte of folkes nor uncleane spirites are, and to the Witches, to be a cullour of safetie for them, that ignorant magistrates may not punish them for it, as I told even now. But as the one sorte, for being perforce troubled withthem ought to be pittied, so ought the other sorte (who may bee discerned by their taking uppon them to Prophesie by them,) That sort I say, ought as severely to be punished as any other Witches, and rather the more, that


that [sic] they goe dissemblingly to woorke.

Philomathes. And what makes the spirites have so different names from others.

Epistemon. Even the knaverie of that same devil; who as hee illudes the Necromancers with innumerable feyned names for him and his angels, as in special, making Sathan, Beelzebub, & Lucifer, to be three sundry spirites, where we finde the two former, but divers names given to the Prince of all the rebelling angels by the Scripture. As by C H R I S T, the Prince of all the Devilles is called, Beelzebub in that place, which I alleaged against the power of any hereticques to cast out Devils. By John in the Revelation, the old tempter is called, Sathan the Prince of all the evill angels. And the last, to wit, Lucifer, is but by allegorie taken from the day Starre (so named in divers places of the Scriptures) because of his excellencie (I meane the Prince of them) in creation before his fall: Even so I say he deceaves the Witches, by attributing to himselfe divers names: as if every divers shape that he trans formes himselfe in, were a divers kinde of spirit.

Philomathes. But I have hard many moe strange tales of this Phairie, nor ye have yet told me.

Epistemon. As well I do in that, as I did in all the rest of my discourse. For because the ground of this conference of ours, proceeded of your speering at me at our meeting, if there was such a thing as Witches or spirites: And if they had any power: I therefore have framed my whole discours, only to prove that such things are and may be, by such number of examples as I show to be possible by reason: & keepes


me from dipping any further in playing the part of a Dictionarie, to tell what ever I have read or harde in that purpose, which both would exceede fayth, and, and rather would seeme to teach such unlawfull artes, nor to disallow and condemne them, as it is the duetie of all Christians to do.


Of the tryall and punishment of Witches. What sorte of accusation ought to be admitted against them. What is the cause of the increasing so far of their number in this age.

Philomathes. Then to make an ende of our conference, since I see it drawes late, what forme of punishment thinke ye merites these Magicians and Witches? for I see that ye account them to be all alike guiltie?

Epistemon. They ought to be put to death according to the Law of God, the civill and imperial law, and municipall law of all Christian nations.

Philomathes. But what kinde of death I pray you?

Epistemon. It is commonly used by fire, but that is an indifferent thing to be used in every cuntrie, according to the Law or custome thereof.

Philomathes. But ought no sexe, age nor ranck to be exempted?

Epistemon. None at al (being so used by the lawful Magistrate) for it is the highest poynt of Idolatrie, wherein no exception is admitted by the law of God.

Philomathes. Then bairnes may not be spared?

Epistemon. Yea, not a haire the lesse of my conclusion.


For they are not that capable of reason as to practice such thinges. And for any being in company and not reveiling thereof, their lesse and ignorant age willno doubt excuse them.

Philomathes. I see ye condemne them all that are of the counsell of such craftes.

Epistemon. No doubt, for as I said, speaking of Magie, the consulters,trusters in, over-seers, interteiners or sturrers up of these craftes-folkes, are equallie guiltie with themselves that are the practicers.

Philomathes. Whether may the Prince then, or supreame magistrate, spare or over-see any that are guiltie of that craft? upon som great respects knowen to him?

Epistemon. The Prince Magistrate for further tryals cause, may continue the punishing of them such a certaine space as he thinkes convenient: But in the end to spare the life, and not to strike when God bids strike, and so feverelie punish in so odious a fault & treason against God, it is not only unlawful, but doubtlesse no lesse sinne in that Magistrate, nor it was in S A V L E S sparing of AGAG. And so comparable to the sin of Witch-craft it selfe, as S A M U E E L alleaged at that time [I.Sam.15.].

Philomathes. Surely then, I think since this crime ought to be so severely punished. Judges ought to beware to condemne any, but such as they are sure are guiltie, neither should the clattering reporte of a carling serve in so weightie a case.

Epistemon. Judges ought indeede to beware whome they condemue: For it is as great a crime (as SALOMON sayeth,) To condemne the innocent, as to let the guiltie escape free [Pro. 17.]; neither ought the report of any


one infamous person, be admitted for a sufficient proofe, which can stand of no law.

Philomathes. And what may a number of guilty persons confessions, woork against one that is accused?

Epistemon. The assise must serve for interpretour of our law in that respect. But in my opinion, since in a mater of treason against the Prince, barnes or wives, or never so diffamed persons, may of our law serve for sufficient witnesses and proofes. I think surely that by a far greater reason, such witnesses may be sufficient in matters of high treason against God: For who but Witches can be prooves, and so witnesses of the doings of Witches.

Philomathes. Indeed, I trow they wil be leath to put any honest man upon their counsell. But what if they accuse folke to have bene present at their Imaginar conventiones in the spirite, when their bodies lyes sencelesse, as ye have said.

Epistemon. I think they are not a haire the lesse guiltie: For the Devill durst never have borrowed their shaddow or similitude to that turne, if their consent had not bene at it: And the consent in these turnes is death of the law.

Philomathes. Then Samuel was a Witch: For the Devill resembled his shape, and played his person in gluing response to S A V L E.

Epistemon. SAMUEL was dead as well before that; and so none could slander him with medling in that unlawfull arte. for the cause why, as I take it, that God will not permit Sathan to use the shapes or similitudes of any innocent persones at such unlawful times, is that God wil not permit that nay inno-


cent persons shalbe slandered with that vile defection: for then the devil would ifnd waies anew, to calumniate the best. And this we have in proofe by them that are carryed with the Phairie, who never see the shaddowes of any in that courte, but of them that thereafter are tryed to have been brethren and sisters of that craft. And this was likewise proved by the cofession of a young Lasse, troubled with spirites, laide on her by Witchcraft. That although shee saw the shapes of diverse men & women troubling her, and naming the persons whom these shaddowes represents: yet never one of them are found to be innocent, but al clearely tried to be most guilty, & the most part of them confessing the same. And besides that, I think it hath ben seldome harde tell of, that any whom persones guiltie of that crime accused, as having knowen them to be their marrowes by eye-sight, and not by hear-say, but such as were so accused of Witch-craft, could not be clearely tryed upon them, were at the least publickly knowen to be of a very evil life & reputation: so jealous is God I say, of the fame of them that are innocent in such causes. And besides that, there are two other good helpes that may be used for their trial: the one is the finding of theri marke, and the trying the insensiblenes thereof. The other is their fleeting on the water: for as in a secret murther, if the deade carcase be at any time thereafter handled by the murtherer, it wil gush out of bloud, as if the blud wer crying to the heaven for revenge of the murtherer, God having appoynted that secret super-naturall signe, for tryall of that secrete


unnaturall crime, so it appeares that God hath appoynted (for a super-naturall signe of the monstruous impietie of the Witches) that the water shal refuse to receive them in her bosom, that have shaken off them the sacred Water of Baptisme, and wilfullie refused the benefite thereof: No not so much as their eye are able to shed teares (thretten and torture them as ye please) while first they repent (God not permitting them to dissemble their obstinacie in so horrible a crime) albeit the women kinde especially, be able other-waies to shed teares at every light occasion when they will, yea, although it were dissemblingly like the Crocodiles.

Philomathes. Well, wee have made this conference to last as long as leasure would permit: and to conclude then, since I am to take my leave of you, I pray God to purge this Cuntrie of these divellishe practices: for they were never so rife in these partes, as they are now.

Epistemon. I pray God tha so be to. But the causes ar over manifest, that makes them to so so rife. For the greate wickednesse of the people on the one parte, procures this horrible defection, whereby God justlie punisheth sinne, by a greater iniquitie. And on the other part, the consummation of the worlde, and our deliverance drawing neare, makes Sathan to rage the more in his instruments, knowing his kingdome to be so neare an ende [Revel. 12.]. And so fare-well for this time.

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