Obrázky na stránke

dels, but atheists. Those that, to confute their incredulity, desire to see apparitions, shall, questionless, never behold any, nor have the power to be so much as witches.? The devil hath made them already in a heresy as capital as witchcraft; and to appear to them were but to convert them. Of all the delusions wherewith he deceives mortality, there is not any that puzzleth me more than the legerdemain of changelings.3 I do not credit those transformations of reasonable creatures into beasts, or that the devil hath a power to transpeciate a man into a horse, who tempted Christ (as a trial of his divinity) to convert but stones into bread. I could believe that spirits use with man the act of carnality; and that in both sexes." I conceive they may assume, steal, or contrive a body, wherein there may be action enough to content decrepit lust, or passion to satisfy more active veneries; yet, in both, without a possibility of generation: and therefore that opinion, that Antichrist should be born of the tribe of Dan, by conjunction with the devil, is ridiculous, and a conceit fitter for a rabbin than a Christian. I hold that the devil doth really possess some men; the spirit of melancholy others; the spirit of delusion others: that, as the devil is concealed and denied by some, so God and good angels are pretended by others, whereof the late defection of the maid of Germany* hath left a pregnant example.

That lived, without meat, on the smell of a rose.

MS. W.


2 nor have the power &c.] See tribus suos infantes et illos supponit. Sæpe Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. iii, cap. 1.-K. etiam infantes falso pro supposititiis

the legerdemain of changelings.] habentur.-M. “ The word (changeling) arises from an 4.... transpeciate] So also MS. R.; odd superstitious opinion, that the fairies Edts. 1642 and Ms. W. read, transsteal away children, and put others that plant.Ed. are ugly and stupid in their places." 5 I could believe &c.] Vide S. ChrysoJohnson.

stom. in Hom. 22, in Gen.-Idem Cyrill. And her base elfin brood there for thee Jeft:

lib. ix, contra Jul. Lactanct. lib. ii, « Sach men do changelings call, so changed by fairies' theft."

Spencer. cap. 15.-Joseph. Antiq. lib. i, cap. 4.Our author seems scarcely to question Justin Martyr. Apol. ii.-M. the existence of these fairy exchanges :

6... that Antichrist &c.] Vide de and the hypothesis on which his German hoc Augustin. in libro De Antichristo. editor proposes to account for them is too Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. 15.-M. curious to be omitted :--Ed.

See Augustin. in Levit. Aquin. Forsan potest diabolus ex semine i. ii. De Qu. 73, art. ad 2.Justin Maret sanguine corpus quoddam in utero sagæ tyr. Apol. i.-K. conflare, ex eo, postquam saga illud pe


denied] So MS. W.; Edts. perit, sugere vel potius lac maternum 1642 read, deemed.-Ed. furari, loqui, et alia infantum munia

whereof the late defection] præstare. Furatur et interdum aliis ma- MS. W. reads, detection.-Ed.


Sect. XXXI.-Again, I believe that all that use sorceries, incantations, and spells, are not witches, or, as we term them, magicians. I conceive there is a traditional magick, not learn! ed immediately from the devil, but at second hand from his scholars, who, having once the secret betrayed, are able and do empirically practise without his advice; they both proceeding upon the principles of nature; where actives, aptly conjoined to disposed passives, will, under any master, produce their effects. Thus, I think, at first, a great part of philosophy was witchcraft; which, being afterward derived to one another, proved but philosophy, and was indeed no more than the honest effects of nature :—what invented by us, is philosophy; learned from him, is magick. We do surely owe the discovery of many secrets to the discovery of good and bad angels. I could never pass that sentence of Paracelsus without an asterisk, or annotation: ascendens* constellatum multa revelat quærentibus magnalia' naturæ, i. e. opera Dei. I do think that many mysteries ascribed to our own inventions have been the courteous revelations of spirits ;s for those noble essences in heaven bear a friendly regard unto their fellownatures on earth; and therefore believe that those many prodigies and ominous prognosticks, which forerun the ruins of states, princes, and private persons, are the charitable premonitions of good angels, which more careless inquiries term but the effects of chance and nature.

* Thereby is meant our good angel, appointed us from our nativity.

9.... where actives, aptly] In Edts. summon various classes of writers to take 1642, " their actives, actively.Ed. their several proper shares; and what re

1.... magnalia] animalia in Edts. mained of pure revelation, expounded by 1642 and MS. W.-Ed.

just reasoning, should be my taith on this ..... Dei.] on peut trouver ces pa- article. Pedantic superstition, in the perroles de Paracelsus en son Traité des son of James I, would load away sorcery, Images.-Fr. Tr.

witchcraft, contracts, devils by wholesale. 3.... have been fc.] Quod etiam do- Pagan presumption would ship off hierocent Platonici. Vide lamblichum De glyphics, astrology, magic, manicheism, Mysteriis, p. 52, 53, 54, 55. Lugduni &c. Popery would claim a large share 1577; et Procl. Lib.De Anima et Dæmon. of angelography. Vulgar popular observ--Porphyr. I. 2. De Divinis atque Dæmon. ation of effects, and ignorance of causes, Apulei.--De Deo Socratis, p. 331. Ed. would claim a very large proportion of Amstelodam. Vide et Geminam Dissertat. small talk on these occult powers. Fancy, Marimi Tyrii De Deo Socratis.

in rhetorical guise, would reduce a volVide Lactant. I. 2, c. 15, et Augustin. ume of well-set words to a page of meanin Soliloqu. c. 27, and Sermon. 46. ad ing: the volume must be hers, the page Fratres in Eremo. Vide Augustin. in mine. Politicians would take off a large Psalm. 62.--Auctor in Tractat. De Dili- stock of the tutelar tribe. Sound reasongendo Deo.Porphyrius in Libro De ers on demonology would represent the Philosophia Oraculor. Docet, Deos ho- demoniacs of the New Testament as disminibus indicare quibus capiantur ac eased people, of whom the good physigaudeant rebus et quæ vitanda habeant. cian, Jesus, spoke in popular style. These -M.

would claim many a text from the sub“ Were I inclined to amuse myself ject, and I could not rationally refuse with this controversy," says a sensible their claim. Bright and black wings, and writer, “I would collect all writings, sa- rays, horns, and cloven feet, would fall cred and prophane, on this subject, and to artists. I should, perhaps, at last find, * Spiritus Domini incubabat aquis. Gen. i. MS. W.

Sect. XXXII.—Now, besides these particular and divided spirits, there may be (for aught I know) a universal and common spirit to the whole world. It was the opinion of Plato, and it is yet of the hermetical philosophers. If there be a common nature, that unites and ties the scattered and divided individuals into one species, why may there not be one that unites them all? However, I am sure there is a common spirit, that plays within us, yet makes no part of us; and that is, the spirit of God; the fire and scintillation of that noble and mighty essence, which is the life and radical heat of spirits, and those essences that know not the virtue of the sun; a fire quite contrary to the fire of hell. This is that gentle heat that brooded on the waters,* and in six days hatched the world: this is that irradiation that dispels the mists of hell, the clouds of horrour, fear, sorrow, despair; and preserves the region of the mind in serenity. Whosoever feels not the warm gale and gentle ventilation of this spirit, (though I feel his pulse) I dare not say he lives; for truly without this, to me, there is no heat under the tropick; nor any light, though I dwelt in the body of the sun.

that the best guardian angel was a good he said, “ Though I do not think it auconscience, and the most formidable de- thorized, it appears to me that the vils my own depraved passions."-Col- communion of saints' in the Creed means let's Relics of Literature, p. 302.

the communion with the saints in heathe charitable premonitions of ven, as connected with · The holy cagood angels,] Here again we are remind- tholic church.'” He admitted the influed of Dr. Johnson's coincidence in feeling ence of evil spirits upon our minds, and with our Author on questions connected said, “ Nobody who believes the New with the immaterial world. The follow- Testament can deny it." "-Vol. 4. p. 317. ing passage from Boswell's Life,-though 3 It was the opinion of Plato,] Vide not so much, perhaps, in reference to what Platon. in Parmenide et Timæo et Procl. Browne calls “ good angels," as to the in Platon. Theol. I. 1, c. 15. —l'irgil. I. 6, angels” of good men, is yet sufficient Aeneid. Vide plura apud Portam, l. 1, ly illustrative of our position ; that these Mag. Natur. c. 6. Veteres Sinenses fere two great men thought, as well as wrote, idem crediderunt. Vide Trigaut. lib. 1, alike. “ As to the invocation of saints, c. 10, de Exped. Christ. apud Sinas.-M.

As when the labouring Sun hath wrought his track
Up to the top of lofty Cancer's back,
The icy ocean cracks, the frozen pole
Thaws with the heat of the celestial coal ;
So when thy absent beams begin t' impart
Again a solstice on my frozen heart,
My winter 's o'er, my drooping spirits sing,
And every part revives into a spring.
But if thy quickening beams awhile decline,
And with their light bless not this orb of mine,
A chilly frost surpriseth every member,
And in the midst of June I feel December, 6
Oh how this earthly temper doth debase
The noble soul, in this her humble7 place!
Whose wingy nature ever doth aspire
To reach that place whence first it took its fire.
These flames I feel, which in my heart do dwell,
Are not thy beams, but take their fire from hell.
O quench them all! and let thy Light divine
Be as the sun to this poor orb of mine!
And to thy sacred Spirit convert those fires,
Whose earthly fumes choke my devout aspires !

SECT. XXXIII.— Therefore, for spirits, I am so far from denying their existence, that I could easily believe, that not only whole countries, but particular persons, have their tutelary and guardian angels. It is not a new opinion of the church of Rome, but an old one of Pythagoras and Plato:9 there is no heresy in it: and if not manifestly defined in Scripture, yet it is an opinion of a good and wholesome use in the course and actions of a man's life ; and would serve as an hypothesis to salve many doubts, whereof common philosophy affordeth no solution. Now, if you demand my opinion and metaphysicks of their natures, I confess them very shallow; most of them in a negative way, like that of God; or in a comparative, between ourselves and fellow-creatures: for there is in this universe a stair, or manifest scale, of creatures, rising not disorderly, or in confusion, but with a comely method and proportion. Between creatures of mere existence and things of life there is a large dispro

'Tis not

6. ... December.] Insert, from Edts. are omitted in MSS. W. f. R.-Ed. 1642 and MSS. W. & R., these lines : 9 It is not a new opinion of the church

of Rome, fc.] This appears by Apuleius, Keep s'ili in my Horizon, for, to me,

day, but thee!-- Ed.

a Platonist, in his book De Deo Socra

tis, and elsewhere. See Mede's Apos7.... humble] Edts. 1642 and MSS. tasie of the Latter Times; where, out of W. & R. read, heavenly.Ed.

this and other authors, you shall see ....

but an old one] These words collected all the learning de Geniis.-Ks

Sun, that makes


portion of nature: between plants and animals,' or creatures of sense, a wider difference: between them and man, a far greater: and if the proportion hold on, between man and angels there should be yet a greater. We do not comprehend their natures, who retain the first definition of Porphyry;* and distinguish them from ourselves by immortality: for, before his fall, man also was immortal : yet must we needs affirm that he had a different essence from the angels. Having, therefore, no certain knowledge of their nature, 't is no bad method of the schools, whatsoever perfection we find obscurely in ourselves, in a more complete and absolute way to ascribe unto them. I believe they have an extemporary knowledge, and, upon the first motion of their reason, do what we cannot without study or deliberation: that they know things by their forms, and define, by specifical difference, what we describe by accidents and properties: and therefore probabilities to us may be demonstrations unto them: that they have knowledge not only of the specifical, but numerical, forms of individuals, and understand by what reserved difference each single hypostatis (besides the relation to its species) becomes its numerical self: that, as the soul hath a power to move the body it informs, so there 's a faculty to move any, though inform none: ours upon restraint of time, place, and distance : but that invisible hand that conveyed Habakkuk to the lion's den, or Philip to Azotus, infringeth this rule, and hath a secret conveyance, wherewith mortality is not acquainted. If they have that intuitive knowledge, whereby, as in reflection, they behold the thoughts of one another, I cannot peremptorily deny but they know a great part of ours. They that, to refute the invocation of saints, have denied that they have any knowledge of our affairs below, have proceeded too far, and must pardon my opinion, till I can thoroughly answer that piece of Scripture, " At the conversion of a sinner, the angels in heaven rejoice.” I cannot,

[ocr errors]

• Essentiæ rationalis immortalis. MS. W.


plants and animals,] So the MSS. W. & R.; Edts. 1642 read, “two plant-animals.”- Ed.

W. and Edls. 1642 read, natural.- Ed.


2.... numerical,] So MS. R.; MS.

that conveyed Habakkuk to the lion's den,] See Bel and The Dragon, ver. 36, &c.-Ed.

« PredošláPokračovať »