CHAP. VII. That the knowledge of the true God is necessary for a Magician, and what the old Magicians and Philosophers have thought conceruing God.
SEeing that the being and operation of all things, depend on the most high God Creator of all things, from thence also on the other divine powers, to whom also is gran∣ted a power of fashioning and creating, not principally indeed, but instrumentally by vertue of the first Creator (for the be∣ginning of every thing is the first cause, but what is produced by the second causes, is much more produced by the first, which is the producer of the second causes; which therefore we call secondary gods) It is necessary therefore that every Magitian know that very God, which is the first cause, and Creator of all things; And also the other gods, or divine powers (which we call the second causes) and not to be ignorant, with what adoration, reverence, holy rites conformable to the condition of every one, they are to be worshipped: Whosoever therefore invocates the gods, and doth not confer on them their due ho∣nor,
rightly distribute to them what belongs to them, shall neither enjoy their presence, nor any successefull effect from them. As in Harmony, if one string be broken, the whole musick jars, and sometimes incurs the hazard of punish∣ment, as it is written of the Assyrians, whom Salmanasar planted in Samaria, because they knew not the customes of the God of the Land, the Lord did send Lyons amongst them, who slew them, because they were ignorant of the rights of the god of the Land. Now therefore let us see, what the old Magicians and Philosophers thought concerning God; for we read that Nicocreonte, a tyrant of Cyprus, long since asking, who was the greatest God, the Serapian Oracle answered him, That he was to be accounted the greatest God, whose head was the Heavens, the Seas his Belly, the Earth his feet, his ears placed in the sky, his eyes the light of the glorious Sun; not much unlike to this, Orphens sang in these verses,
The Heaven's Joves Royall Palace, he's King,
Fountain vertue and God of every thing;
He is Omnipotent, and in his breast
Earth, water, fire and aire do take their rest.
Both night and day, true wisdom with sweet Love,
Are all contain'd in this vast bulk of Jove.
His neck and glorious head if you would see,
Behold the Heavens high, and majesty;
The glorious rayes of Stars do represent
His golden locks, and's heads adornament.
Bright Phebus and the Moon, are the two eyes
Of this great Jove by which all things he spies;
His head which predicts All, is plac'd i'th skie,
From which no noise can whisper secretly.
It pierceth all; his body vast extends,
Both far and wide, and knows no bounds nor ends.
Page 360The spacious Air's his breast, his wings the wind,
By which he flies far swifter then the mind.
His belly is our mother earth, who swels
Into huge mountains, whom the Ocean fils
And circles; his feet are the rocks and stones
Which of this Globe are the foundations.
This Jove, under the earth conceals all things,
And from the depth into the light them brings.
Therefore they thought the whole world to be Jupiter,
and truly he hath produced the soul of this world, which contain∣eth the world in it self. Hence Sophocles
saith, in truth there is but one onely God, who hath made this heaven and this spa∣cious earth; and Euripides
saith, Behold the most high, who every where embraceth in his Arms the immensurable hea∣ven and earth; believe that he is Jupiter,
account him God; and Ennius
the Poet sings,
Behold this bright sublime shining, whom all
Therefore the whole world is Jupiter,
saith, a crea∣ture made of all creatures, and a God constituted of all gods; but Jupiter
is, so far as we can understand, from whence all things are produced, creating all things by his wisdom. Hence Orpheus
sings concerning the Holy word;
There is one God, who all things hath created,
Preserves, and over all is elevated.
He only by our mind is comprehended,
And to poor mortals He ne'r ill intended.
Besides whom, there no other is—
And a little after,
He himself is the beginning middle and end, as the ancient Prophets have taught us, to whom God long since delivered these things in two tables; and he calleth him in the same verse the only great Creator, and immortall. Zoroastes
his sacred History of the Persians defineth God thus, God is the first of all those things which suffer neither decay nor cor∣ruption, unbegot, never dying, without parts, and most like himself, The author and promoter of all good things, the fa∣ther of all, most bountifull and wise, the sacred light of justice, the absolutest perfection of nature, the contriver, and wisedom thereof. Apuleius
also describs him to be a King, the cause, foun∣dation and original beginning of all nature, the supreme beget∣ter of spirits, eternal, the preserver of living creatures, a Father with propagation, not to be comprehended by time, place or any other circumstance, and therefore imaginable to a few, ut∣terable to none; from hence therefore Euripides
commanded the highest God to be cal'd Jupiter,
through whose head Orphe∣us
sang all things came into this light, but the other powers he supposeth to be subservient, viz.
which are without God, and separated from him, and are by the Philosophers called the Mi∣nisters or Angels of God, and separated intelligences; therefore they say Religious worship to be due to this most high Jupiter
and to him only, but to the other Divine powers not to be due unless for his sake.