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nity; and that is, God himself; who, though he be styled the Ancient of Days, cannot receive the adjunct of antiquity, who was before the world, and shall be after it, yet is not older than it: for, in his years there is no climacter: his duration is eternity; and far more venerable than antiquity.

Sect. xxix.-But, above all things, I wonder how the curiosity of wiser heads could pass that great and indisputable miracle, the cessation of oracles;' and in what swoon their reasons lay, to content themselves, and sit down with such a far-fetched and ridiculous reason as Plutarch allegeth for it.* The Jews, that can believe the supernatural solstice of the sun in the days of Joshua, have yet the impudence to deny the eclipse, which every pagan confessed, at his death: but for this, it is evident beyond all contradiction: the devil himself confessed it.* Certainly it is not a warrantable curiosity, to examine the verity of Scripture by the concordance of human

In his oracle to Augustus.

is this :

s... I wonder how the curiosity of wiser contemptius ?" Sir H. Blount, in his Leheads could pass that great and indisput- vantine Voyage, saith, he saw the Statua ahle miracle, the cessation of oracles;] of Memnon, so famous of old; he saith it There are three opinions touching the was hollow at top, and that he was told manner how the predictions of these ora- by the Egyptians and Jews there with cles were performed : some say, by va- him, that they had seen some enter there, pour; some, by the intelligences or influ- and come out at the pyramid, two bowsences of the heavens; and others say, by shoot off; then (saith he) I soon believed the assistance of the devils. Now, the in- the oracle, and believe all the rest to have disputable miracle the author speaks of been such; which, indeed, is much easier is, that they ceased upon the coming of to imagine, than that it was performed Christ; and it is generally so believed: by any of the three ways before menand the oracle of Delphos, delivered to tioned.-K. Augustus, mentioned by the author in On the subject of oracles, see our author's this section, is brought to prove it; which Tract; of which we have been so fortun

ate as to find, in the British Museum, a Me pner Hebræus divos Dens ipse gobernans

much more copious MS. than that from Cedere sede jabei, tristemque ridire suborcun. Aris ergo dehinc tacitus discedito nostris.

which Archbishop Tennison printed. See But yet, it is so far from being true, that also Pseud. Epid. lib. vii, cap. xii.--Ed. their cessation was miraculous, that the

4.... such a far-fetched &c.] It was truth is, there never were any predictions thought that oracles were nourished by given by those oracles at all.

exhalations from the earth ; and that, That their cessation was not upon the when those ceased, the oracles famished coming of Christ, we have luculent testi- and died for want of sustenance. This mony out of Tully, in his 2d lib. De Divi- was Plutarch's reason; but not devised by nat., which he writ many years before bim; for Cicero scoffs at it: “De vino aut Christ was born ; who tells us, that they salsamento putes loqui, quæ evanescunt were silent (and, indeed, he never thought vetustate." De Divinatione.-K. they were otherwise,) long before that

5. ... which every pagan confessed,] time, insomuch that thy were come into Vid. Euseb. Chron. ad. An. xv Tiberii ; et contempt : “cur isto modo jam oracula Origen adv. Celsum, lib. ii.- Tertull. Delphis non eduntur, non modo nostra Apol. cap. 21. — Augustinus De Civitate, ætate; sed jamdiu jam ut nihil possit esse

Dei. lib. 3, cap. 15.-M.

Prome defuds
spent &
welche as

history; or seek to confirm the chronicle of Hester or Daniel by the authority of Megasthenesø or Herodotus. I confess, I have had an unhappy curiosity this way, till I laughed myself out of it with a piece of Justin, where he delivers that the children of Israel, for being scabbed, were banished out of Egypt.? And truly, since I have understood the occurrences of the world, and know in what counterfeiting shapes and deceitful vizards times present represent on the stage things past, I do believe them little more than things to come. Some have been of my own opinion, and endeavoured to write the history of their own lives; wherein Moses hath outgone them all, and left not only the story of his life, but, as some will have it, of his death also.

Sect. xxx.-It is a riddle to me, how this story of oracles hath not wormed out of the world that doubtful conceit of spirits and witches; how so many learned heads should so far creatures, as to question the existence of spirits : for my part, necessarily forget their metaphysicks, and destroy the ladder and scale of I have ever believed, and do now know, that there are witches. They that doubt of these do not only deny them, but spirits: and are obliquely, and upon consequence, a sort, not of infi- Andar Alip

6. ... Megasthenes] Est liber suppo- 9.... as some will have it,] These sititius ab anno Viterbiensi in lucem da- words are wanting in Edts. 1642, and tus. Megasthenes fuit Rerum Indicarum MSS. W. & R.-Ed. scriptor, et sæpe a Plinio, Strabone, Soli- 1.... and do now know, that there no, Josepho citatur. Sed nullus hujus are witches.] Has (sagas) esse probat Megasthenis De Rebus Persicis scribentis quotidiana experientia. Vide Bodini Dememinit.-M.

monoman.Jac. Angliæ Regis Dæmono7. ... Justin, where he delivers &c.] log.-Mart. Delrio Disquisitiones MagiSee Justin, Hist. lib. 36. Also Tacitus, cas.

:-Wiër. De Præstigiis Dæm.-M. Hist. lib. v.-K.

On the subject of witchcraft, in 8.... little more &c.] Ce que té- which our author believed, in common moigne Carolovitius est digne d'être re- with Bacon, Sir Matthew Hale, Bishop marqué, lequel ayant été lui-même en Hall, Richard Baxter, Dr. Henry More, personne dans la plupart des assem- Dr. Willis, Glanville, Lavater, &c., a blées des Royaumes, et après venant à very amusing Essay, by Dr. Ferriar, aplire l'histoire de Johannes Sleydanus, peared in the 3d vol. of the Manchester touchant ces affaires, et voyant que cet Memoirs. Dr. Hutchinson's Historical homme écrivoit autrement qu'il n'étoit Essay on Witchcraft supplies a list of en vérité dit ; les écrits de Johannes Sley- writers on the subject, and a good chrodanus font, que j'ai de la peine à croire nological view of the progress of opinion aucun des anciens écrivains, ou histo- relative to it. On the authority of this riographes : un certain honnête bour- writer has been related, in the Life of geois de Leyden ayant lu presque tous Sir Thomas Browne, a remarkable opinceux qui avoient écrit des guerres des ion which he gave in court, on a trial of Pays-Bas, disoit, qu'il ne sçavoit ce qu'il witches, before Sir M. Hale. en diroit; à cause que pas un de tous MS. R. reads, “.... that there are ne s'accorde.-Fr. Tr.

now witches.”Ed.

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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. 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.


fairies' theft."

? .... 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

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 left:

lib. ix, contra Jul.- Lactanct. lib. ü, "Such me do changelings call, so changed by

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 :


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. confare, ex eo, postquam saga illud pe- 7 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. H. 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 learned 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, aptly9 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' natura, i. e. opera Dei.? I do think that many mysteries ascribed to our own inventions have been the courteous revelations of spirits ;3 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 M& W.-Ed. w

just reasoning, should be my faith on this 2.... 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. have been &c.] 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 Damon. of angelography. Vulgar popular obsery--Porphyr. I. 2. De Divinis atque Dæmon. ation of etfects, 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 T'yrii 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 capiantiir 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. xxx11.—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 5 It was the opinion of Plato,] Vide not so much, perlaps, 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.-Virgil. 1. 6, “ angels” of good men, is yet suficient- 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. I, alike. “As to the invocation of saints, c. 10, de Exped. Christ. apud Sinas.-M.

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