Three books of occult philosophy written by Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim ... ; translated out of the Latin into the English tongue by J.F.
Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius, 1486?-1535., French, John, 1616-1657.

CHAP. III. What dignification is required, that one may be a true Magician and a worker of miracles.

ABout the beginning of the first book of this work, we have spoken what manner of person a Magician ought to be; but now we will declare a mysticall and secret matter, ne∣cessary for every one who desireth to practize this art, which is both the beginning, perfection and key of all Magicall opera∣tions, and it is the dignifying of men to this so sublime vertue and power; for this faculty requireth in man a wonderfull dig∣nification, for that the understanding which is in us the highest faculty of the soul, is the only worker of wonders, which when it is overwhelmed by too much commerce with the flesh, and busied about the sensible soul of the body, is not worthy of the command of Divine substances; therefore many prosecute this art in vain; Therefore it is meet that we who endeavor to attain to so great a height should especially meditate of two things; first how we should leave carnall affections, fraile sense, and materiall passions. Secondly, by what way and means we may ascend to an intellect pure & conjoyned with the powers of the gods, without which we shall never happily ascend to the scrutiny of secret things, and to the power of wonder∣full workings, or miracles; for in these dignification consists wholly, which, nature, desert, and a certain religious art do make up; naturall dignity is the best disposition of the body and its Organs, not obscuring the soul with any grosseness, and being without al distemper, and this proceedeth from the situa∣tion, motion, light, and influence of the Celestiall bodies and spirits which are conversant in the generation of every one, as are those whose ninth house is fortunate by Saturn, Sol, and Mercury; Mars also in the ninth house commandeth the Page  351 spirits; but concerning these things we have largely treated in the books of the Stars: But who so is not such a one, it is ne∣cessary that he recompense the defect of nature by education, and the best ordering and prosperous use of naturall things untill he become compleat in all intrinsecall and extrinsecall perfections. Hence so great care is taken in the law of Moses concerning the priest, that he be not polluted by a dead car∣case, or by a woman a widow, or menstruous, that he be free from leprosie, flux of blood, burstness, and be perfect in all his members, not blind, nor lame, nor crook-backed, or with an illfavored nose. And Apuleius saith in his Apology, that the youth to be initiated to divination by magick spels, ought to be chosen, sound without sickness, ingenious, comely, perfect in his members, of a quick spirit, eloquent in speech, that in him the divine power might be conversant as in the good houses; That the mind of the youth having quickly attained experience, may be restored to its divinity. But the meritorious dignity is per∣fected by two things; namely learning and practice. The end of learning is to know the truth; it is meet therefore, as is spoken in the beginning of the first book, that he be learned and skilful in those three faculties; then all impediments being removed, wholly to apply his soul to contemplation & to con∣vert it self into it self; for there is even in our own selves the ap∣prehension and power of all things; but we are prohibited, so as that we little enjoy these things, by passions opposing us even from our birth, and vain imaginations and immoderate af∣fections, which being expelled, the divine knowledge and pow∣er presently takes place; but the Religious operation obtains no less efficacy which ofttimes of it self alone is sufficiently powerfull for us to obtain this deifying vertue, so great is the vertue of holy duties rightly exhibited and performed, that though they be not understood, yet piously and perfectly ob∣served, and with a firm faith believed, they have no less effica∣cy then to adorn us with a divine power; But what dignity s acquired by the art of Religion, is perfected by certain Re∣ligious Ceremonies, expiations, consecrations, and holy rites, Page  352 proceeding from him whose spirit the publike Religi∣on hath consecrated, who hath power of imposition of hands, and of initiating with Sacramentall power, by which the Cha∣racter of the divine vertue and power is stampt on us which they call the divine consent, by which a man supported with the divine nature, and made as it were a companion of the Angels beareth the ingrafted power of God; & this rite is referred to the Ecclesiastical mysteries: If therefore now thou shalt be a man perfect in the sacred understanding of Religion, and piously and most constantly meditatest on it, and without doubting be∣lievest, and art such an one on whom the authority of holy rites and nature hath conferred dignity above others, and one, whom the divine powers contemn not, thou shalt be able by praying, consecrating, sacrificeing, invocating, to attract spiri∣tual and Celestial powers, and to imprint them on those things thou pleasest, and by it to vivifie every magicall work; But who∣soever beyond the authority of his office, without the merit of Sanctity and Learning, beyond the dignity of nature and edu∣cation, shall presume to work any thing in Magick, shall work in vain, and deceive both himself and those that believe on him, and with danger incur the displeasure of the Divine powers.