CHAP. I. Of the necessity, power, and profit of Religion.
NOw it is time to turn our pen to higher matters, and to that part of Magick which teacheth us to know and perfectly understand the rules-of Religion, and how we ought to obtain the truth by Divine Religion, and how rightly to pre∣pare our mind and spirit, by which only we can comprehend the truth; for it is a common opinion of the Magicians, that unless the mind and spirit be in good case, the body cannot be in good health: But Page 346 then a man to be truly sound when body and soul are so cou∣pled, and agree together, that the firmness of the mind and spirit be not inferior to the powers of the body; But a firm and stout mind (saith Hermes) can we not otherwise obtain, than by integrity of life, by piety, and last of all, by Divine Religion: for holy Religion purgeth the mind, and maketh it Divine, it helpeth nature, and strengtheneth naturall powers, as a Physitian helpeth the health of the body, and a Husband∣man the strength of the earth. Whosoever therefore (Religion being laid aside,) do confide only in naturall things, are wont very oft to be deceived by evill spirits; but from the knowledge of Religion, the contempt and cure of vices ariseth, and a safe∣guard against evil spirits; To conclude, nothing is more plea∣sant and acceptable to God, than a man perfectly pious, and truly Religious, who so far excelleth other men, as he himself is distant from the Immortall gods; Therefore we ought, being first purged, to offer and commend our selves to divine piety and Religion; and then our senses being asleep, with a quiet mind to expect that Divine Ambrosian Nectar (Nectar I say, which Zachary the prophet calleth Wine making maids merry) praising and adoring that supercelestiall Bacchus, the chiefest ruler of the gods and priests, the author of regeneration, whom the old poets sang was twice born, from whom rivers most Di∣vine flow into our hearts.