The following is from Daemonologie by James VI of Scotland:
Argvment: The exord of the whole. The description of Magie in speciall.
Argvment: Proven by the Scripture, that these vnlawfull artes in genere, hauebene and may be put in practise.
PHILOMATHES and EPISTEMON reason the matter.
Philomathes: I am surely verie glad to haue mette with you this daye, for I am of opinion, that ye can better resolue me of some thing, wherof I stand in great doubt, nor anie other whom-with I could haue mette.
Epi: In what I can, that ye like to speir at me, I will willinglie and freelie tell my opinion, and if I proue it not sufficiently, I am heartely content that a better reason carie it away then.
Phi: What thinke yee of these strange newes, which now onelie furnishes purpose to al men at their meeting: I meane of these Witches?
Epi: Surelie they are wonderfull: And I think so cleare and plaine confessions in that purpose, haue neuer fallen out in anie age or cuntrey.
Phi: No question if they be true, but thereof the Doctours doubtes.
Epi: What part of it doubt ye of?
Phi: Even of all, for ought I can yet perceaue: and namelie, that there is such a thing as Witch-craft or Witches, and I would pray you to resolue me thereof if ye may: for I haue reasoned with sundrie in that matter, and yet could never be satisfied therein.
Epi: I shall with good will doe the best I can: But I thinke it the difficiller, since ye denie the thing it selfe in generall: for as it is said in the logick schools, Contra negantem principia non est disputandum. Alwaies for that part, that witchcraft, and Witches haue bene, and are, the former part is clearelie proved by the Scriptures, and the last by dailie experience and confessions.
Phi: I know yee will alleadge me Saules Pythonisse: but that as appears will not make much for you.
Epi: Not onlie that place, but divers others: But I marvel why that should not make much for me?
Phi: The reasones are these, first yee may consider, that Saul being troubled in spirit, and having fasted long before, as the text testifieth, and being 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 vnlawful curiositie, and horrible defection: and then the woman crying out vpon the suddaine in great admiration, for the vncouth sicht that she alledged to haue sene, discovering him to be the King, thogh disguysed, & denied by him before: it was no wounder I say, that his senses being thus distracted, he could not perceaue 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 Diuell in his likenes? as vnappeirant, that either God would permit him to come in the shape of his Saintes (for then could neuer the Prophets in those daies haue 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.
Epi: Yet if yee will marke the wordes of the text, ye will finde clearely, that Saul saw that apparition: for giving you that Saul was in an other Chalmer, at the making of the circles & conjurationes, needeful for that purpose (as none of that craft will permit any vthers to behold at that time) yet it is evident by the text, that how sone that once that vnclean spirit was fully risen, shee called in vpon Saul. For it is saide in the text, that Saule knew him to be Samuel, which coulde not haue 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 Cuntrey 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 vpon that: and none but either mere ignorants, or Necromanciers or Witches doubtes thereof. And that the Diuel is permitted at som-times to put himself in the liknes of the Saintes, it is plaine in the Scriptures, where it is said, that 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 deceiue his own: but only such, as first wilfully deceiues them-selves, by running vnto 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 beleeue the trueth (as Paul sayth). And as to the diuelles 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 historie declares it, (which the wit of woman could never haue fore-spoken) not that he hath any prescience, which is only proper to God: or yet knows anie thing by loking vpon God, as in a mirrour (as the good Angels doe) he being for euer debarred from the fauorable presence & 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 the creation, judges by likelie-hood of thinges to 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 a turne, and so foreseene thereof: as appeares to haue bin in this, whereof we finde the verie like in Micheas propheticque discourse to King Achab. But to prooue this my first proposition, that there can be such a thing as witch-craft, & witches, there are manie mo places in the Scriptures then this (as I said before). As first in the law of God, it is plainely prohibited: But certaine it is, that the Law of God speakes nothing in vaine, nether doth it lay curses, or injoyne punishmentes vpon 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 ane number of Moses miracles, 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 of Python? beside innumerable other places that were irkesom to recite.
Argvment: What kynde of sin the practizers of these vnlawfull artes committes. The division of these artes. And what are the meanes that allures any to practize them.
Philomathes: Bvt I thinke 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.
Epi: Although man in his Creation was made to the Image of the Creator, yet through his fall having once lost it, it is but restored againe in a 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 vnto them.
Phi: But may it not suffice him to haue indirectly the rule, and procure the perdition of so manie soules by alluring them to vices, and to the following of their own appetites, suppose he abuse not so many simple soules, in making them directlie acknowledge him for their maister.
Epi: No surelie, for hee vses 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 vnto them. For hee beeing the enemie of mans Salvation, vses al the meanes he can to entrappe them so farre in his snares, as it may be vnable to them thereafter (suppose they would) to rid themselues out of the same.
Phi: Then this sinne is a sinne against the holie Ghost.
Epi: It is in some, but not in all.
Phi: How that? Are not all these that runnes directlie to the Devill in one Categorie.
Epi: 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 sweetnes of Gods mercies. Now in the 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 haue spoken of.
Phi: 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?
Epi: There are principallie two sortes, wherevnto all the partes of that vnhappie arte are redacted; whereof the one is called Magie or Necromancie, the other Sorcerie or Witch-craft.
Phi: What I pray you? and how manie are the meanes, whereby the Devill allures persones in anie of these snares?
Epi: Even by these three passiones that are within our selues: Curiositie in great ingines: thrist of revenge, for some tortes deeply apprehended: or greedie appetite of geare, caused through great pouerty. As to the first of these, Curiosity, 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 spyes our affections, and so conformes himselfe thereto, to deceaue vs to our wracke.
Argvment: The significations and Etymologies of the words of Magie and Necromancie. The difference betuixt 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.
Epi: This worde Magie in the Persian toung, importes as muche as to be ane contemplator or Interpretour of Divine and heavenlie sciences: which being first vsed amongs the Chaldees, through their ignorance of the true divinitie, was esteemed and reputed amongst them, as a principall vertue: And therefore, was named vnjustlie with an honorable stile, which name the Greekes imitated, generally importing all these kindes of vnlawfull artes.
And this word Necromancie is a Greek word, compounded of Νεκρων & μαντεια, which is to say, the Prophecie by the dead. This last name is given, to this black & vnlawfull science by the figure Synedoche, because it is a principal part of that art, to serue them selues with dead carcages in their diuinations.
Phi: What difference is there betwixt this arte, and Witch-craft.
Epi: 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 slaues to the Devil; but the Necromanciers are his maisters and commanders.
Phi: How can that be true, yt any men being specially adicted to his service, can be his commanders?
Epi: Yea, they may be: but it is onelie secundum quid: For it is not by anie power that they can haue over him, but ex pacto allanerlie: whereby he oblices himself in some trifles to them, that he may on the other part obteine the fruition of their body & soule, which is the onlie thing he huntes for.
Phi: An verie in-æquitable contract forsooth: But I pray you discourse vnto mee, what is the effect and secreets of that arte?
Epi: That is over large an fielde ye giue mee: yet I shall doe good-will, the most summarlie that I can, to runne through the principal points thereof. As there are two sorts of folkes, that may be entysed to this arte, to wit, learned or vnlearned: so is there two meanes, which are the first steerers vp & feeders of their curiositie, thereby to make them to giue themselves over to the same: Which two meanes, I call the Divels schoole, and his rudimentes. The learned haue their curiositie wakened vppe; and fedde by that which I call his schoole: this is the Astrologie judiciar. For divers men having attained to a great perfection in learning, & yet remaining overbare (alas) of the spirit of regeneration and frutes thereof: finding all naturall thinges common, aswell to the stupide pedants as vnto them, they assaie to vendicate vnto them a greater name, by not onlie knowing the course of things heavenlie, but likewise to cling to the knowledge of things to come thereby. Which, at the first face appearing lawfull vnto them, in respect the ground therof seemeth to proceed of naturall causes onelie: they are so allured thereby, that finding their practize to prooue true in sundry things, they studie to know the cause thereof: and so mounting from degree to degree, vpon the slipperie and vncertaine scale of curiositie; they are at last entised, that where lawfull artes or sciences failes, to satisfie their restles mindes, even to seeke to that black and vnlawfull science of Magie. Where, finding at the first, that such diuers formes of circles & conjurations rightlie joyned thereunto, will raise such divers formes of spirites, to resolue 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 had 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-slaues 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.
Argvment: 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: Diuision of Astrologie in diuers partes.
Philomathes: Bvt I pray you likewise forget not to tell what are the Deuilles rudimentes.
Epi: His rudimentes, I call first in generall, all that which is called vulgarly the vertue of worde, herbe, & stone: which is vsed by vnlawful charmes, without naturall causes. As likewise all kinde of practicques, freites, or other like extraordinarie actiones, which cannot abide the true toutche of naturall reason.
Phi: I would haue you to make that playner, by some particular examples; for your proposition is verie generall.
Epi: I meane either by such kinde of Charmes as commonlie dafte wiues vses, for healing of forspoken goodes, for preseruing them from euill eyes, by knitting roun-trees, or sundriest kinde of herbes, to the haire or tailes of the goodes: By curing the Worme, by stemming of blood, by healing of Horse-crookes, by turning of the 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 haue naturallie adoe with other, (by knitting so manie knottes vpon a poynt at the time of their mariage). And such-like things, which men vses to practise in their merrinesse: For fra vnlearned men (being naturallie curious, and lacking the true knowledge of God) findes these practises to prooue true, as sundrie of them will doe, by the power of the Devill for deceauing men, and not by anie inherent vertue in these vaine wordes and freites; & being desirous to winne a reputation to themselues in such-like turnes, they either (if they be of the shamefaster sorte) seeke to bee learned by some that are experimented in that Arte, (not knowing it to be euill at the first) or else being of the grosser sorte, runnes directlie to the Deuill for ambition or desire of gaine, and plainelie contractes with him thereupon.
Phi: But me thinkes these meanes which yee call the Schoole and rudiments of the Deuill, are thinges lawfull, and haue bene approoued for such in all times and ages: As in special, this science of Astrologie, which is one of the speciall members of the Mathematicques.
Epi: There are two thinges which the learned haue obserued from the beginning, in the science of the Heauenlie 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 νομος & αστερων that is to say, the law of the Starres: And this arte indeed is one of the members of the Mathematicques, & not onelie lawful, but most necessarie and commendable. The other is called Astrologia, being compounded of αστερων & λογος which is to say, the word, and preaching of the starres: Which is deuided 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 vpon the former, although it be not of it selfe a parte of Mathematicques: yet it is not vnlawful, being moderatlie vsed, 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 vnfortunate: what side shall winne in anie battell: What man shall obteine victorie at singular combate: What way, and of what age shall men die: What horse shall winne at matche-running; and diuerse such like incredible things, wherein Cardanus, Cornelius Agrippa, and diuerse others haue more curiouslie then profitably written at large. Of this roote last spoken of, springs innumerable branches; such as the knowledge by the natiuities; the Cheiromancie, Geomantie, Hydromantie, Arithmantie, Physiognomie: & a thousand others: which were much practised, & holden in great reuerence by the Gentles of olde. And this last part of Astrologie whereof I haue spoken, which is the root of their branches, was called by them pars fortunæ. This parte now is vtterlie vnlawful to be trusted in, or practized amongst christians, as leaning to no ground of natural reason: & it is this part which I called before the deuils schole.
Phi: But yet manie of the learned are of the contrarie opinion.
Epi: I grant, yet I could giue my reasons to fortifie & 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 answet to them, & that in the Scriptures (which must be an infallible ground to all true Christians) That in the Prophet Ieremie it is plainelie forbidden, to beleeue or hearken vnto them that Prophecies & fore-speakes by the course of the Planets & Starres.
Argvment: How farre the vsing of Charmes is lawfull or vnlawfull: The description of the formes of Circkles and Coniurationes. And what causeth the Magicianes themselues to wearie thereof.
Philomathes: Wel, Ye haue said far inough in that argument. But how prooue ye now that these charmes or vnnaturall practicques are vnlawfull: For so, many honest & merrie men & women haue publicklie practized some of them, that I thinke if ye would accuse them al of Witch-craft, ye would affirme more nor ye will be beleeued in.
Epi: I see if you had taken good tent (to the nature of that word, whereby I named it,) ye would not haue bene in this doubt, nor mistaken me, so farre as ye haue done: For although, as none can be schollers in a schole, & 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 offensiue; 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 proues these practicques, which I cal the deuilles rudiments, vnknowing 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 vse no invocation nor help of him (by their knowledge at least) in these turnes, and so haue neuer entred themselues in Sathans seruice; Yet to speake truely for my owne part (I speake but for my selfe) I desire not to make so neere riding: For in my opinion our enemie is ouer craftie, and we ouer weake (except the greater grace of God) to assay such hazards, wherein he preases to trap vs.
Phi: Ye haue reason forsooth; for as the common Prouerbe saith: They that suppe keile with the Deuill, haue neede of long spoones. But now I praie you goe forwarde in the describing of this arte of Magie.
Epi: Fra they bee come once vnto this perfection in euill, in hauing any knowledge (whether learned or vnlearned) 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.
Phi: But I praye you or euer you goe further, discourse 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 lesse fearefull yet, than the direct haunting and societie, with that foule and vncleane Spirite.
Epi: I thinke ye take me to be a Witch my selfe, or at the least would faine sweare your selfe prentise to that craft: Alwaies as I may, I shall shortlie satisfie you, in that kinde of conjurations, which are conteined in such bookes, which I call the Deuilles Schoole: There are foure principall partes; the persons of the conjurers; the action of the conjuration; the wordes and rites vsed 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 vsed: nor in whatsoeuer rites or ceremonies at that time vsed, 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 hauing first of all prescribed that forme of doing, feining himselfe to be commanded & restreined thereby, wil be loath to passe the boundes of these injunctiones; aswell thereby to make them glory in the impiring ouer him (as I saide before:) As likewise to make himselfe so to be trusted in these little thinges, that he may haue the better commoditie thereafter, to deceiue them in the end with a tricke once for all; I meane the euerlasting perdition of their soul & body. Then laying this ground, as I haue said, these conjurationes must haue few or mo in number of the persones conjurers (alwaies passing the singuler number) according to the qualitie of the circle, and forme of apparition. Two principall thinges cannot well in that errand be wanted: holie-water (whereby the Deuill mockes the Papistes) and some present of a liuing thing vnto him. There ar likewise certaine seasons, dayes and houres, that they obserue 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 craue. But to speake of the diuerse formes of the circles, of the innumerable characters and crosses that are within and without, and out-through the same, of the diuers formes of apparitiones, that that craftie spirit illudes them with, and or all such particulars in that action, I remit it to ouer-manie that haue busied their heades in describing of the same; as being but curious, and altogether vnprofitable. 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 haue missed one iote of all their rites; or if any of their feete once slyd ouer the circle through terror of his feareful apparition, he payes himselfe at that time in his owne hande, of that due debt which they ought him; and other-wise would haue delayed longer to haue 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 these formes of conjuration, I leaue it to you to judge vpon; considering the long-somenesse of the labour, the precise keeping of dayes and houres (as I haue said), the terriblenesse of apparition, and the present perrell that they stande in, in missing the least circumstance or freite, that they ought to obserue: And on the other parte, the Deuil is glad to mooue them to a plaine and square dealing with him as I said before.
Argvment: The Deuilles contract with the Magicians: The diuision thereof in two partes: What is the difference betwixt Gods miracles and the Deuils.
Philomathes: Indeede there is cause inough, but rather to leaue him at all, then to runne more plainlie to him, if they were wise he delt with. But goe forwards now I pray you to these turnes, fra they become once deacons in this craft.
Epi: 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 Deuill oblishes himselfe to them) by formes, I meane in what shape or fashion he shall come vnto them, when they call vpon him. And by effectes, I vnderstand, in what special sorts of seruices he bindes himselfe to be subject vnto them. The qualitie of these formes and effectes, is lesse 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 vpon him, by such a proper name which he shewes vnto them, either in likenes of a dog, a Catte, an 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 other base things as they require of him.
But to the most curious sorte, in the formes he will oblish himselfe, to enter in a dead bodie, and there out of to giue such answers, of the euent of battels, of maters concerning the estate of commonwelths, and such like other great 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, ether in a tablet or a ring, or such like thing, which they may easely carrie about with them: He giues them power to sel such wares to others, whereof some will bee dearer, and some better cheape; according to the lying or true speaking of the Spirit that is conjured therein. 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 beleeue, that at the fall of Lucifer, some Spirites fell in the aire, 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, & forged by the author of al deceit. For they fel not be weight, as a solide 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) therein at the latter daie to be all enclosed for euer: and as they deceiue their schollers in this, so do they, in imprinting in them the opinion that there are so manie Princes, Dukes, and Kinges amongst them, euerie one commanding fewer or mo Legions, and impyring in diuers artes, and quarters of the earth. For though that I will not denie that there be a forme of ordour amongst the Angels in Heauen, and consequentlie, was amongst them before their fall; yet, either that they bruike the same sensine; or that God will permit vs to know by damned Deuils, such heauenlie mysteries of his, which he would not reueale to vs neither by Scripture nor Prophets, I thinke no Christiane will once thinke it. But by the contrarie of all such mysteries, as he hath closed vp with his seale of secrecie; it becommeth vs to be contented with an humble ignorance, they being thinges not necessarie for our saluation. But to returne to the purpose, as these formes, wherein Sathan oblishes himselfe to the greatest of the Magicians, are wounderfull curious; so are the effectes correspondent vnto the same: For he will oblish himselfe to teach them artes and sciences, which he may easelie doe, being so learned a knaue as he is: To carrie them newes from anie parte of the worlde, which the agilitie of a Spirite may easelie performe: to reueale 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 fra the farthest part of the worlde. For no man doubts but he is a thiefe, and his agilitie (as I spake before) makes him to come suche 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 aire, easelie gathered by a spirite, drawing so neare to that substance himselfe: As in like maner he will learne them manie juglarie trickes at Gardes, dice, & such like, to deceiue mennes senses thereby: and such innumerable false practicques; which are prouen by ouer-manie in this age: As they who ar acquainted with that Italian called SCOTO yet liuing, 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 betuixt Gods myracles and the Deuils, 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 Deuill (as Gods Ape) counterfetting that by his Magicians, maid their wandes to appeare so, onelie to mennes outward senses: as kythed in effect by their being deuoured by the other. For it is no wonder, that the Deuill may delude our senses, since we see 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 Deuill hunts for in all men.
Phi: Surelie ye haue said much to me in this arte, if all that ye haue said be as true as wounderfull.
Epi: For the trueth in these actiones, it will be easelie confirmed, to anie that pleases to take paine vpon the reading of diuerse authenticque histories, and the inquiring of daily experiences. And as for the trueth of their possibilitie, that they may be, and in what maner, I trust I haue alleaged nothing whereunto I haue not joyned such probable reasons, as I leaue 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 vpon (in termes his schole-master) touches him in some parte, though peraduenture no marke remaine: as it doth with all Witches.
Argvment: The reason why the art of Magie is unlawfull. What punishment they
merite: And who may be accounted guiltie of that crime.
Philomathes: Svrelie Ye haue made this arte to appeare verie monstruous & detestable. But what I pray you shall be said to such as mainteines this art to be lawfull, for as euill as you haue made it?
Epi: I say, they sauour of the panne them selues, or at least little better, And yet I would be glad to heare their reasons.
Phi: There are two principallie, that euer I heard vsed; beside that which is founded vpon the common Prouerb (that the Necromancers commands the Deuill, which ye haue already refuted). The one is grounded vpon a receiued custome: The other vpon an authoritie, which some thinkes infallible. Vpon custome, we see that diuerse Christian Princes and Magistrates seuere punishers of Witches, will not onelie ouer-see Magicians to liue within their dominions; but euen some-times delight to see them prooue some of their practicques. The other reason is, that Moyses being brought vp (as it is expreslie said in the Scriptures) in all the sciences of the Ægyptians; 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 vnlawfull.
Epi: As to the first of your reasones, grounded vpon custome: I saie, an euill custome can neuer be accepted for a good law, for the ouer great ignorance of the worde in some Princes and Magistrates, and the contempt thereof in others, moues 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 behooued 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 all the sciences of the Ægyptians, should conclude that he was taught in Magie, I see no necessity. For we must vnderstand that the spirit of God there, speaking of sciences, vnderstandes them that are lawfull; for except they be lawfull, they are but abusiuè called sciences, & are but ignorances indeede: Nam homo pictus, non est homo. Secondlie, giuing 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 & our infirmitie proceedeth our ignorance. Thirdlie, giuing that he had both studied and practised the same (which is more nor monstruous to be beleeued by any Christian) yet we know well inough, that before that euer the spirite of God began to call Moyses, he was fled out of Ægypt, being fourtie yeares of age, for the slaughter of an Ægyptian, and in his good-father Iethroes lande, first called at the firie bushe, hauing remained there other fourtie yeares in exile: so that suppose he had beene the wickeddest man in the worlde before, he then became a changed and regenerat man, and very litle of olde Moyses remained in him. Abraham was an Idolater in Vr of ChaldÃ¦æa, before he was called: And Paule being called Saule, was a most sharp persecutor of the Saintes of God, while that name was changed.
Phi: What punishment then thinke ye merites these Magicians and Necromancers?
Epi: 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 saye I the like of all such as consults, enquires, entertaines, & ouersees them, which is seene by the miserable endes of many that askes councell of them: For the Deuill hath neuer better tydings to tell to any, then he tolde to Saule: neither is it lawfull to vse so vnlawfull instrumentes, were it neuer for so good a purpose: for that axiome in Theologie is most certaine and infallible: Nunquam faciendum est malum vt bonum inde eueniat.