only on particular Men, Women, and Children; but even on whole Towns, and Countries; many of which have been miserably Afflicted, and some even totally destroyed by Tempests, Fires, Pestilences, and other strange Accidents, whereof no cause in Nature could ap∣pear. And this hath been Attested not by one or two private, or Ignorant Men, but Transmitted from one Generation to another as the Opinion of the most Authentick Historians, Physicians, and Divines, grounded on the best, and strict∣est Enquiries of such who have taken Indefatigable pains to sift and search out the truth of what they have Rela∣ted: Nor have we alone the Authority of such, but the consent of whole Courts of Judicature, and the most Learned Assemblies of States-Men, and Divines; who in all Ages by their Publick & So∣lemn Sanctions have declared their belief, & Detestation of such Cursed Practices. Besides the undeniable Testimony of the sacred Scriptures, (before mention∣ed) to whose Unerring Suffrage we ought to submit our belief; and not by our fidelity Contradict the Authority of the Almighty; and take upon us to be the Patrons and Champions of those Hellish Practises we seem to disbelieve.
Page 27By Charmers, in a strict sense, may be understood such as by some spell, or form of Words employ their Familiar Spirits to bring at their call such Creatures as they shall demand, rendering Venomous Creatures disarmed of their Noxious Quality during their pleasure; and the most Ferose and Wild Brutes, to become Tractable, and Couchant. Such were they who could suscitate, or call together great numbers of Snakes or Serpents, and cause them to go of their own ac∣cord into the Fire, which was inclosed within a Magical Circle of which Dr. Casaubon, of Credulity and Incredulity, gives an account at large, page. 103. some have Charmed Flyes, and Grashoppers, when the Fields have been Infested with them, and the fruits of the Earth in dan∣ger. And of this sort of Operators the Psalmist seems to speak, Ps. 58. v. 4. Which will not hearken to the voice of the Charmer, Charming never so wise∣ly. So Ecclesiastes ch. 10.11. v. surely the Serpent will bite without Enchant∣ment, and the 8. of the Prophet Jerem. 17. v. I will send Serpents, Cockatrices amongst you, which will not be Charm∣ed, and they shall bite you, &c.
Southsayers, were such, as by Inspe∣ction into the Entrails of Beasts, or the Page 28 flying of Birds, were wont to prognosti∣cate of Weather, what Tempests, or o∣ther seasons, were like to ensue, they gave their Opinions too with relation to other Contingencies, as Events of Battle, the fatality of Seasons, or Attempts; This they foretold by some certain Omens, for which the Heathen Priests were wont to Inspect the Bowels of their Sacrifices, according to that in the Poet.
These Weather-Gagers, were antient∣ly applyed to, to secure Corn, Ground, Vineyards, and Cattle, as well as Towns, and Houses from Storms and Tempests; mentioned by Seneca in his Fourth Book of Natural Questions. They were depu∣ted to a certain Office, to observe, & give notice to the People when a Storm was coming; who upon such warning hasten∣ed to kill a Lamb, or a Chick, or some young thing or other; or if they had none of these to offer, they were to prick their Finger, and that blood was accep∣ted and the Storm ceased or was preven∣ted. This was indeed a strange kind of Oblation, and one might well conclude with Seneca, that the Clouds have little Affinity with blood, or a Prickt Finger: Page 29 but what will not the great Enemy of Souls do, if he can but abuse and delude poor Men into a belief that by some outward means Tempests may be diver∣ted, that they may have the less suspicion of themselves, and be less suspected by o∣thers; whilst in the mean time they are hereby ensnared into a Diabolical Ido∣latry.
By Sorcerers, such may be understood, who (having Contracted a Familiarity, and entred into a Confederacy with the Devil, or some of his Infernal Spirits) consult, and advise with their Hellish Confederates about the affairs in which they are employed, and make their de∣terminations according to the advice of their Familiars. Nay many Extraordina∣ry things which seem to be done by the Sorcerer, are really done by the Spirit, so, that they seem to Exchange forms one with the other; the Daemon some∣times appears in the shape and resem∣blance of the Sorcerer, & at another time the Sorcerer shall haunt ye in semblance of the Daemon. Of this more will appear, when we come to particular Instances in the subsequent discourse.
Magician is a name which imports the esteem the Ancients had for such as could perform feats above the reach Page 30 and Conception of Ordinary men, whe∣ther by that which is called Natural Magick, or some stricter Familiarity with the Inhabitants of the lower world: they were by them esteemed Wise-Men, for so the word Magi Signifies; and that is the name which the Turks give to their Conjurers, and such as deal in those forbidden Arts at this day. Such were those whom the hardened Pharaoh called for, by their Magical Operations to per∣form things semblable, in some sort, and like those wrought by Holy Moses, by a Divine Command and power, for the wicked King saw them turn Water into Blood, Rods into Serpents, and with Multitudes of Frogs to cover the face of the Earth. Nor is it Improbable that the evil Angels were permitted by an Extra∣ordinary providence thus to exert and shew their power, by the hand of their evil Ministers, in a Judicial way, for the hardening of that seared King: so that seeing the seeming miracles wrought by his Magicians, he might be the more confirmed in his obstinacy against the Counsel of God by his Servant Moses. For the sacred Text assures us that he was raised up in an Extraordinary man∣ner, to be to future Ages, an Example of the Righteous Judgment of God upon Page 31 hardened, self-deluded, and deluding In∣fidels. And some we read of are given up to strong delusions, that they might believe a Lie.
By a Witch, is Commonly understood a Femal Agent, or Patient, who is be∣come in Covenant with the Devil; ha∣ving in a literal sense sold her self to work Wickedness, such whose chief Negotia∣tion tends to the spoiling their Neigh∣bours persons, or goods. They have Commonly certain Excrescencies like Teats, or Nipples in private parts of their Bodies, which their Familiars often suck. Sometimes personally, and some∣times in a Dream, or Trance they Re∣vel with the evil Spirit in nightly Cabals and Consults. Those particularly intend∣ed here, are such as are Commonly cal∣led Black Witches; there is besides ano∣ther sort termed White Witches; These by a Diabolical Complaisance, or good-nature, are to uncharm and give ease to those the other have afflicted: but sometimes it so happens that one or other of the Witches dyes by force of the Counter-charm. Both these are con∣demned to death by the Divine Law Exod. 22.18. The Suasion of such hath been sometimes sought unto, and used to entice young Maids to unclean folly Page 32 But Witches are themselves Imposed upon as well as they Impose on others; The Grand Impostor the Devil decei∣veth, them, as they deceive those that seek unto them: and the Cures which by these Imps are performed on the Bodies of their deluded Patients tend to the Tainting and Infection of the Soul. There are divers other General names for the Students of this Infernal Art, as En∣chanters, Wizzards, Dreamers, Observers of times, of divers of which there will be Instances in the following Collection of Relations; But these being mostly In∣cluded under the definitions herein spe∣cified, being much of the same Import and Signification, it will be Superfluous to mention in this place; but the further Notion of those Black Scholars will be better discerned, as we come to give Relation of their several ways, and Me∣thods of their Operations, as they ap∣pear in the subsequent Chapters.
Having thus displayed the various de∣grees and kinds of those Confederates with the Lower World, we shall now enter upon the proofs that the Heathen Priests of Old and the Idolatrous Papists of later date, have been, and are the Great promoters of this Infernal and ac∣cursed defection from the Eternal Foun∣tain Page 33 of happiness; and the great encoura∣gers of Daemonolatry, as well as Idolatry (that is to say of Devil-Worship) which is the highest Homage he expects from his Infatuated Vassals, and on the Ac∣count of which he (principally) instructs them in the dark and devilish Mysteries of Hell-Craft and Fascination.
It was alwaies the Custom of the Nations to seek unto their Gods for Counsel, in the case of War, and other Extremities: and as the holy one Com∣manded his People to seek his face, and call upon his name, and expresly in the first Table forbids the making any sem∣blance or likeness of any Image, in Hea∣ven, in Earth, or in the Waters under the Earth; thereby strictly forbidding all manner of Idolatry: so the wicked An∣gel hath at all times been seducing and alienating the hearts of Men from their Obedience to the Righteous Command, by setting up false Gods. And as the Prophets and Holy Men of God spake as they were Inspired by the Holy Ghost; So the Idol Priests and Pytho∣nists delivered the Devils Oracles to the People: They were enquired of, and sought unto, in relation to future events and Contingencies. Nay so far had these Infernal Priests Imposed upon the Big∣gotted Page 34 World, that their Daemons, or Familiars for their Deities were no better) obtained Divine Adoration, and want∣ed not their High-places, Groves, and Altars; so this Devil-Worship was Promoted under the Notion of Religi∣on, and their Services abounded with the Ostentatious Pomps of Devilish Rites and Ceremonies.
And as the offering of Bullocks, Lambs, Doves, and such like were or∣dained by the Divine Command to be offered in the time of the Ceremonial Law, when the Priest entered into the Holy of Holies, and that not without Blood, as the Apostle of the Gentiles notes: So were the Altars of the Ethnic Idols steeped in Blood, and that not only of Beasts; But they Reek't with Humane Gore: So we read that they caused their Children to pass through the fire to that Canibal Moloch and often in the Hi∣story of these deluded Oriental Nations, we read they Sacrificed sometimes a Youth, sometimes a young Damsel, to pacify their Incensed Deities. In the 18. Chapter of the 1. Book of Kings, in that mighty defeat of the Priests of Baal, when they contended with the Prophet of the Lord, in the 28. verse they cut themselves with Knives, and Lancers, Page 35 after their manner, 'till the Blood Gushed out upon them. By which it appears that it was Customary for those Biggotted Wretches to Implore the aid of their detestable Mock-Deities. Nor can any one that reads the Modern Histories of Witch-Craft and Sorceries, be Ignorant, that the Compacts and Confederacies of those deluded ones are confirmed with their Blood, either by making their mark with it on certain Cov'nants drawn between them; or by permitting their Familiar to draw their Blood at those Bestial Teats (which for that pur∣pose) the Succubus draws in the parts of their Bodies.
What were the Pythones, or Pythonici so much resorted to of Old? But because by the predictions they uttered by the Assistance of the Black Angel, they had got the estimation of Prophets, and Pro∣phetesses. This made King Saul in the 1. Sam. 28. Chap. 7. vers. enquire for one that had a Familiar Spirit, or a Pythonem as the Latain translation hath it: And this was it which caused the King of Moab thrice to send his princes and Ser∣vants to the Son of Behor; for they had in their hand the reward of Divination, Numb. 22. vers. 7. So that if they had not believed him to have had such a Familiar Page 36 or Spirit, for what reason should they car∣ry that reward with them? Besides they apprehended that he had the power of Blessing and Cursing, ver. 6. As the Big∣gotted Papists at this day Impute to their Pythonic Priest the Pope; tho it be the Command of our great High Priest to his Disciples, that they bless, and Curse not. It is farther Observable that Balak took Balaam to the High places of the Idol Baal, from one place to another, where they used to offer Sacrifices, and Expect the answer of their Diabolical Gods, by the mouth of the Priest, who used to Divine unto the People. They Imputed a great virtue and power to those places where their lying Spirits used to Confer with them; therefore when the Prophet could not Curse Israel from one of the High Places, the King takes him to another, and to a third, with a peradventure thou mayst have a power to curse them from thence: But the Prophet being Commanded by God, was compelled to declare to him, in chap. 23. ver. 23. Surely there is no In∣chantment against Jacob, neither is there any Divination against Israel. It is evi∣dent to any one who hath read the Histo∣ries and Classick Authors of former Ages that the great Apollyon, and Abaddon hath Page 37 uttered his Oracles, Riddles and sayings not only out of the Bodies, & part of the Bodies of Humane kind, (as he spake out of the Demoniac in the Gospel; and Mornaeus de veritate Religionis, chap. 23. quotes it out of Diodorus, that Oracles were Edit a per Pudenda Puellae; and there were too your 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(i. e.) ventri∣loqui, or such as were heard to have dis∣course or words uttered and pronounced in their Bellies:) But this Spirit hath spo∣ken sometimes out of Trees, as in Dodo∣nos Oak, out of Statues, as that of Mem∣noe, and many others, of which more will be said hereafter; The Caves of the Earth, and Sometimes the open Air have resounded with voices, sentences, and noises of this Infernal Daemon, some∣times assuming the Vehicle of one Shape, sometimes of another; and at other times not at all exposing himself in any visible form. It is almost incredible how Antient Authors abound with Re∣lations of this kind, how frequently they mention the feigned Gods, and God∣desses of the Field, of Woods, of Houses, of Mountains, Rivers, Desarts, & Springs, and such like; offering themselves to Men and People, at some times in one Shape, at other times in other forms; requiring Worship, Ceremonies, and Page 38 Rites after divers manners and fashions; now and then accosting People with pleasant and diverting Encounters and sometimes affrighting them with furious Shapes, Gestures, and Menaces. Of these Plato in his Epominede speaks very large∣ly, treating of the force and Powers of the defunct Heroes which the Latins nam∣ed Lemures & Houshold Gods, also Manes Ghosts, and Genij, and Demons diversly sorting themselves in the Air, Earth and divers Regions of the World, distinguish∣ed by several offices, and affairs to which they sometimes apropriated them∣selves.
They had multitudes of other names conferred on them, as Fauns, Satyrs, Nymphs, Hamadriades, and a great Number of others. The Learned Anti∣quary Mr. Cambden in his Britannia, a∣mong the Antiquities of the Romans which he records to have been found in this Island, makes mention of Divers Altars to the Diis Manibus and other Loci Genij, &c. And the Apostle Paul mentioneth many Altars Erected by the Athenians to these kind of Deities, a∣mongst which he found one Inscribed to the unknown God.
But those to whom the Gospel of truth hath been Preached have been Page 39 taught to believe that there is but one only true God, and therefore may be well assured that these were evil Spirits, and Diabolical delusions; and that pay∣ing Adoration to their Impious Shrines, or teaching others so to do, is a Doctrine of Devils. And that such have been and are still by many Barbarous Nations ac∣knowledged is evidently confirmed by the universal agreement of all Histories, Records, and times; and that they were manifestly seen, known, and familiarly discerned by the outward senses; can∣not by any Rational and Candid Reader be denyed, haveing been so fully pro∣ved by Testimonies both Divine and Moral.
In the next place we shall Compare the Idolatries of the Roman Church with those of the Ancients, and prove by Natural Consequence, that Idol Wor∣ship is a Confederacy with Devils, and a practice necessarily promoting that de∣testable sin of Witch-craft.
'Tis very true that the Catholick Do∣ctors (as they call themselves) affirm that they do not teach Images to be Worshipped; but certainly when we have enquired into the Doctrines, as well as practices of their Church we shall find that such like Evasions are but Page 40 Jesuitical Shams, and pious frauds with which they would wipe off the Odium of their gross Superstitions amongst the Ignorant and Credulous. For their Je∣suites, and Fathers generally maintain that Images are to be honoured with the same Worship that is due to the Origi∣nal, or Prototype: So that the Images of God, and of the Trinity (for such they are not ashamed to make, as will be seen by and by) and of our Lord Jesus Christ must be adored with the highest Divine Worship that any Creature is Capable to pay: and if any have come short herein, and have not preached up this excess of Devotion, the Constant practice of the Popish Church runs coun∣ter to their Doctrine. They set up Images every where in their Churches, and enjoin their People to Worship them, and the more they Cringe and Creep, the more devout Catholicks they are accounted.
And as their Predecessors the Priests of Baal, and the Gentile Idolaters pro∣strated themselves, and cryed, and Ma∣cerated their Bodies before their Idols; so the Popelings bow before their Idols, Pray unto them, smoke their Nostrils with perfumes, and erect abundance of Wax-Lights about them, and in Loud Page 41 Quires Chant the Praises of their Idol Saint, And when this Rotten God hap∣pens to fall into repair, and to be patcht and mended, happy is he that can get one of the Consecrated Chips, & present it to some Biggotted Lady, or Noble∣man to sanctify their closets. And to con∣vince the world that it is certainly the Image that they Worship & Adore, and not the Virtues, or Remembrance of the Original, they pay a great deal more Superstitious homage to a Graven Image than to a painted one, though they repre∣sent the same Person; besides the same Image, hath much more Reverence in one place than in another, as their Lady of Loretto, and St. James of Compostella, &c. To which you shall have them trot a hundred Leagues, or more, in Pilgri∣mage, when perhaps they have the Image of the same Saint altogether as decent, and as like at home in their own Parish Church. But all this can be supposed for no other but that they might keep close to the Copy of the Heathen Ido∣laters, who though they had many Groves to Moloch, and Astoreth &c. Yet they had their Capital high places; where (in case the Petit Country Deities could not give them redress) they appealed as to a higher Court, and with vast pre∣sents, Page 42 and Chargeable Pilgrimages sought to obtain an answer to their Petitions. So the Oracle of Apollo at Delphos had more veneration than any other of his Shrines, though many others were ere∣cted to him; But however it happen'd, other Climates did not so well suit with the Temper, or Constitution of that Deity; perhaps they might be too cold, or hot, the catering of the Scullion Priests, not so agreeable to his Pallate as the Del∣phick Ragousts and entertainments: cer∣tain it was, the God was more sullen, and seemed to be tongue-tyed in other places, or spoke in some Language which the Priest did not understand; whereas those at Delphos soon resolved the doubts, and answered the Petitions of their Suppliants.
At Nants and Tours, and some other places they erected a Monstrous Image to our Lord which they call St. Saviours about 10. or 12. foot high, now this Saint, distinguishable from their Petty Saints by his large bulk and stature, is Worshipped by them for the preserva∣tion of Corn, and of their Vines, from Cold, Frost, and Tempest, for curing their Horses of the Staggers, keeping Sheep from the Rot, Bees from dying, and for defending their Lambs from Page 43 Wolves. Therefore on his Festival where these great Images are erected, you may see an Infinite Number of Pilgrims of all Ages, and Conditions, bringing their Gifts to those Statues. Some bring one thing, some another, according to their Qualities, or Capacities; for the Idol or rather the Priest, are not so squea∣mish but any thing will go down with them for Advantage, and their Temples (like Parsonage Barns) will entertain any sort of Grain. There you might see vast Quantities of Wool, Corn, Thred, Butter, Bacon, Hony, Sucking Piggs, Grapes; all brought Mony, or some other good thing as valuable, and none came without wax Tapers, to burn all the while that Masses were say∣ing at the Altar: So that besides Chests full of the fore-recited materials, Tables Loaden with great pieces of meat, and a Number of all sorts of Provisions: there have been gathered up, in five hours time, of short ends of Candles, full three∣score and ten pounds of wax, by the Light of which you may certainly see the dreadful Idolatry of the Romish Church. De la Mot, Sermon at the Savoy, 1675. page. 68.
It was, and is the Doctrine, and ought to be the belief of every true Son of the Page 44 Church of England, that the Church of Rome is an Idolatrous Church; see 35. Article of the Church of England; and then see the 2d part of the Homily for Whitsuntide, pa. 213. where you have these words.
And for that Idolatry standeth chief∣ly in the mind, it shall in this part first be proved that our Image-maintainers Page 45 have had, and have the same Opinions and Judgments of Saints, whose Images they have made and Worshipped, as the Gentiles Idolaters had of their Gods, and afterwards shall be declared, that our Image maintainers and Wor∣shippers, have used, and use the same outward Rites of honouring and wor∣shipping their Images, as the Gentiles did use before their Idols; and there∣fore that they Commit Idolatry as well Inwardly and Outwardly as did the wicked Gentiles Idolaters.
And concerning the first part of the Idolatrous Opinions of our Image-main∣tainers. What I pray you be such Saints with us to whom we attribute the de∣fence of certain Countries, spoiling God of his due honour herein, but Dii Tute∣lares of the Gentiles Idolaters, such as were Belus to the Babylonians and Assy∣rians, Osiris and Isis to the Egyptians, Vulcane to the Lemnians, and to such other? What be such Saints to whom the safe guard of certain Cities are ap∣pointed, but Dij Presides with the Gen∣tiles Idolaters: such as were at Delphos, Appollo; at Athens, Minerva; at Car∣thage, Juno; at Rome Quirinus, &c. What be such Saints to whom, contrary to the use of the primitive Church, Temples, and Churches be builded, and Page 46 Altars erected but Dij Patroni, of the Gentiles Idolaters: such as were in the Capitol, Jupiter; in Paphos Temple, Ve∣nus; in Ephesus Temple Diana; and such like. Alass we seem in our thus think∣ing and doing to have learn'd our Reli∣gion not out of Gods Word, but out of the Pagan Poets, who say, Excessere omnes adytis, Arisque relictis, Dij quibus Imperium hoc Steterat, &c. That is to say, all the Gods, by whose defence this Empire stood, are gone out of the Temples, & have forsaken their Altars. And where one Saint hath Images in divers places, the same Saint hath divers names thereof, most like to the Gentiles. When you hear of our Lady of Walsing∣ham, our Lady of Ipswich, our Lady of Wilsdon and such other: What is it but an Imitation of the Gentiles Idola∣ters, Diana Agrotera, Diana Coriphea, Diana Ephesia, &c. Venus Cypria, Venus Paphia, Venus Guidia. Wherein is evidently meant, that the Saint for the Image sake, should in those places, yea, in the Images themselves have a dwelling; which is the ground of their Idolatry; for where no Images be, they have no such means. Terentius Varro, sheweth that there were three hundred Jupiters in his time, there, were no few∣er Veneres, and Dianae, we had no fewer Page 47Christophers, Ladies, Mary Magdalens, and other Saints. Oenomaus, and Hesi∣odus shew, that in their time there were thirty thousand Gods. I think we had no fewer Saints, to whom we gave the honour due to God. And they have not only spoiled the true living God of his due honour in Temples, Countries, Ci∣ties, and Lands, by such devices, and Inventions, as the Gentiles Idolaters have done before them: But the Sea & waters, have as well special Saints with them as they had Gods with the Gen∣tiles, Neptune, Triton, Nereus, Castor and Pollux, Venus, and such other. In whose places be come St. Christopher, Saint Cle∣ment, and divers others; especially our Lady, to whom Ship-Men sing, Ave Maris Stella. Neither hath the fire scap∣ed their Idolatrous Inventions; for in∣stead of Vulcane & V•sta, the Gentiles Gods of the Fire, our Men have placed Saint Agatha, and make letters on her day to quench Fire with. Every Artificer, and Profession hath his special Saint, as a peculiar God: As for Example, Scholars have Saint Nicholas, and Saint Gregory; Painters St. Luke; neither lack Souldiers their Mars, nor Lovers their Venus, amongst Christians. All diseases have their special Saints, as Page 48 Gods the Curers of them. The Pox, St. Roche; The falling evil St. Cornelis; The Toothake, St. Apollin, &c. Nei∣ther do Beasts and Cattle lack their Gods with us, for Saint Loy is the Horse-leech, and St. Anthony the Swine-herd, &c. Where is Gods Providence, and due Honour in the mean season? who saith the Heavens be mine, and the Earth is mine, &c. But we have left him nei∣ther Heaven, nor Earth, nor Water, nor Country, nor City, nor Peace, nor War, to Rule and Govern, neither Men nor Beasts, for their diseases to cure: That a godly man might justly for zealous Indignation cry out, O Hea∣ven! O Earth! and Seas! what madness and wickedness against God are Men fallen into? What dishonour do the Creatures to their Creator and maker? And if we remember God sometimes, yet because we doubt of his Ability, or will to help, we join to him another helper, as if he were a Noun Adjective, using these sayings; such as learn, God and St. Nicholas be my speed, such as neese, God help and St. John: to the Horse God and St. Loy save thee; thus are we become like Horses and Mules, which have no understanding. For is there not one God only, who by his Page 49 Power and Wisdom made all things, and by his Providence governeth the same, and by his Goodness maintaineth and saveth them? Be not all things of him, by him, and through him? Why dost thou turn from the Creator to the Creature? This is the manner of the Gentiles Idolaters: But thou art a Chri∣stian; and therefore by Christ alone hast access to God the Father & help of him only. These things are not written to any reproach of the Saints themselves, who were the true Servants of God, & did give all Honour to him, taking none unto themselves, and are Blessed Souls with God: But against our foolishness and wickedness, making of the true Servants of God, false Gods, by attribu∣ting to them the Power, and Honour which is due to God only.
And, pa. 48. It is further added,
Great pitty it is that so useful, and pi∣ous a detection of the Idolatries of the Page 51 Roman Church, should be neglected to be read in such a time, when they have the Impudence to face us down with their bold and false denyals of their Ethnick Doctrines, and practises. Hereby we see what Opinion the Reformed Church of England hath of their dete∣stable Polytheism, or making a plura∣lity of Gods; In this they act exactly as the Holy Scriptures speak of the work∣ings of Antichrist, with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness: and teach up the very Doctrines of Devils.
That the Original of this Saint and Angel Worship was from the Heathen, is plain from Nicephorus, a very Credible Author, in his Church History, book the 15. cap. 28. Where he informs us that one Peter Gnapheus, an Heretical Bishop of Antioch, in the fifth Century (which was before the year 500) was the first that Instituted the Worship of the Virgin Mary, and that her name should be called upon in the publick Prayers of the Church; which is like∣wise testifyed by the Historians of Mag∣deburg, cent. 5. chap. 10. and this may fairly be reckoned as the first publick entrance and establishment of Saint-Worship in General; since 'tis proba∣ble the Blessed Mary obtained the Ho∣nour Page 52 (or rather Dishonour) of their Misdirected Devotions, as soon as any other meaner Saint: yet true it is that some private men, Transported with blind zeal, and a little Tinctured with Pla∣toes Notions, did before begin to hanker after some such thing, and some of the Fathers, now & then, seemed to give too much encouragement thereto, by un∣wary Panegyricks; and flashes of Rheto∣rick on departed Martyrs; amongst the rest St. Jerom was much addicted there∣unto, and for the same justly opposed by Vigilantius, in a Treatise wrote on that very occasion.
The Worshiping of Angels had no better ground, for that practise was an∣ciently Introduced by certain Hereticks, thence called Angelici, as St. Augustin witnesseth, Ad Quod vult Deum, cap. 39. and indeed these seem to have infested the Church in the Apostles days, occa∣sioning that Caution of St. Paul, Coloss. 2.19. Let no Man beguile you in a volun∣tary humility, and Worshiping of Angels, not holding the head, &c. Which the Greek Scholiast, pa. 697. thus inter∣prets. There were (says he) divers, that under pretence of modesty, forbad them to go to Christ by themselves, but that the favour of Angels must be Intreated Page 53 to Introduce us to God, So Theodoret on the same text, p. 766. Useing pretence of Humility, they gave Counsel to pray to Angels; saying, we could neither see, nor comprehend, nor come to God; and therefore must Conciliate his favour by Mediation of Angels.
It is evident this Saint and Angel Wor∣ship is a piece of revived Paganisme. For the Gentiles besides their Dii Superi, which they owned to be Gods by Nature, had their Daemons, and their Hero's the Spirits of brave Men departed, whom they Worshipt (just as our Papists do,) not simply and absolutely, but as Inter∣cessours for them to the Superiour Dei∣ties. Hence Tully in his book de Legibus, Deos, &c. Let the Gods be Worship∣ed, as well those of the upper house, who were always counted Celestial, as those whom their own Merits have called into Heav'n. And again he says, Deorum mani∣um jura sancta sunto, hos letho datos, Divos habento; Let the rights of the Ghost-Gods be kept inviolable, and let them after death be Worshiped as second-rate Deities, by which is evident how exactly our Catholick Romans have renewed the Idolatrous Laws of their Heathen Ancestours. The Gentiles Attributed the same offices to their Page 54 Demons, which our Papists expect from their Saints; to be Mediators, Factors, or Agents for them, so Plato in Synopsi. All intercourse between Gods, and Men is performed by Demons; they are the Carriers of Mens Prayers to the Gods, and they bring back rewards of Devoti∣on to mortals, so Apuleius in his Demon Son. Cuncta Coelestium voluntate, Numine, & Authoritate fiunt, sed Demonum Obsequio, operì & Ministerio. All things (says he) are done by the Will, Power, and Autho∣rity of the Celestial Gods, but by the means dispatch, and Ministration of Demons. By which they did not ascribe an absolute, but only an Intercessive Po∣wer to them.
It is certain that the Papist can no far∣ther prove their setting up, and Wor∣shiping of Images to be Lawful, and not of Heathenish Original; then the Israelites could the setting up their Calves at Dan and Bethel, or Solomon and the succeeding Kings Justify their setting up the Altars of Baal, and Moloch, and the rest of their Abominations, which are reckoned amongst the highest provocati∣ons against the Almighty, who always by his Prophets warned them against that detestable and crying sin, & denoun∣ced the Wrath of God against them; Page 55 which ever follow'd them with severe Judgments for those horrid Impieties, in Psal. 106.35, to 43, There the Idols of the Heathen are called Devils, to which they Sacrificed Innocent Blood, so that 'tis said in, vers. 40. The wrath of the Lord was kindled against his Peo∣ple, insomuch that he abhorred his own Inheritance.
One of the first Images that ever we read of, that was set up purposly to be Worshiped, was that consecrated to Be∣lus the Successor of Ninus amongst the Assyrians who were Paynimas; and Eu∣sebius testifieth in his, Eccl. Hist. l. 7. cap. 17. Or in the Greek 18. The Men of old out of a Heathenish Custom were wont after that manner to honour those they called Hero's or Saviours. And in the year of our Redemption 606. Boni∣face the fourth Pope of Rome caused a Heathen Temple called Pantheon, be∣cause built to the honour of all the Gods, to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and all Saints: and likewise Instituted that Festival called all Saints day, wherein the Pope himself must read service.
Diverse also of the Images which the Pagans had Worshipped, were dipt into the name of Saints, and under that notion are still Worshipped. Upon the whole then Page 56 here is a bare Exchange of Pagan Gods, for Popish Idols, and Heathenish Heroes, for modern Saints. So that it may be said of them, they have Changed their Gods, but not their Religion. But they are still stocks, and stones, and the work of mens hands, by what names or Titles soever they Dignify and Distinguish them, & are guilty of as much, yea much more Idolatry and Blasphemy than their Predecessors the Heathen Romans, for they knew not the Evangelical Rule, and could not be reckoned such willful, obstinate, & incor∣rigible opposers of the Divine Com∣mand. So that what Lamech said to his two wives, may with some Alteration be applyed in this case. If the Pagan be avenged seven fold surely the Papist se∣venty and seven fold.
They pay the same Adoration to their Images, as they do to God the Father, for him they represent by (sometimes) the Image of an old man with a Globe in his hand, and a reverend beard. Some∣times they figure the Trinity as the Hea∣then Poets did Cerberus, by an Image with three heads, and faces, &c. With a Solemn pace they pass before them, and fall down to the ground on their mar∣row bones, they go Pilgrimage to them, Page 57 present them Lamps, and Candles, and offer up Incense, and Gold: whilst some pretending strange Miracles and lying Wonders, hang up Crutches, Chains, Legs, Arms, and whole men of War at their Shrines; as if by them they had been delivered from Lameness, Sickness, Cap∣tivity, or Ship-wrack, some of these they pretend have more vertue, and holi∣ness in them, than others: such a one (say they) was sent from Heaven, like the Palladium, or Diana of the Ephesians; another was brought by Angels, a Third came it self from East to West, as Dame fortune fled to Rome. With a∣bundance of such Fopperies, wherein they not only act over all the Fictions, and Fables of the Heathenish Poets, but vastly transcend them. They Invo∣cate their Images as Gods, bestowing Divine Attributes upon them; taking them to be at the same time in all parts of the world, giving Audience both in this and the Lower Hemisphere, at millions of distant places, at once, as well as their privy Chambers, as Loretto, Com∣postella, Canterbury, &c. They Solicit them for pardon of sin, and Conferring the graces of the Spirit, and to bring them into a State of Glory after this Life. For all which they apply them∣selves Page 58 to Saints, and Angels, as well as to God the Father; which is plain by the words of their Prayers, in their seve∣ral Offices,
By all which it evidently appears, that these Bigotted wretches seek unto Devils, instead of God, for the Saints, cannot, dare not hear them; And they Worship they know not what; nor can it be doubted that they who seek to the Devil in forbidden Images and Idols, will be ready to entertain him in a strict∣er Confederacy, and that Religion that teaches them to sense and smoak his Statues, and Altars, will Embolden, if not lead them into nearer familiarities and Acquaintance. Therefore I hope the Reader will Pardon me that I have been thus long exposing their Damna∣ble Idolatry; it being from thence, as the fountain that all other their Delusions, & wicked practises naturally flow. And those whom the Devil can draw away to the Worship of false Gods, he may easily Impose upon to set up a Shrine to his Infernal Deity, and enter into all the Mysteries of those Black and Diabo∣lical Arts and Confederacies, which are the subject of the ensuing Narrations. Some of which will give an account of the Proficiency of Divers Popes, and Page 59 Fathers in that Hellish Science of Sorcery Necromancy, and Witchcraft.
Considerations, and Arguments Pro∣ving the being of Witchcraft, and Witches, with a Refutation of the Incredulity of some who deny the being of such.
IN an Age Productive of Prodigies and Wonders, it doth not seem to be the least to men of sound Judg∣ment, and accurate Scrutiny; That a sort of Witty and (otherwise) Ingenious, Persons should openly, and with great zeal profess a disbeleif of the Exi∣stence of Daemons, and Witches: As if thereby they intended to declare, that the best and most Authentick Hi∣storians of former times, the most Learned and strict Divines; yea, the unerring Wisdom of God himself, had all conspired to impose upon them a belief of things purely fabulous, and mere Chimerical Fantoms. Thus whilst Page 60 they assume to themselves an arro∣gant Confidence to deny the Divine Ve∣rity, and the Power of the Omnipotent; Arraigning the Equity of the Prece∣ding Ages, the Justice of the most Solemn Judicatories, and that of all Times, and Nations; and deride the wisdom of the most learned Councils, which hath still run counter to their fancies. Themselves seem to be a proof of what they deny; and are perfect de∣monstrations of the power of Fascina∣tion, and a prevailing Daemon.
For 'tis hardly to be supposed, that any thing less should render men Im∣penetrable to the most convincing rea∣sons, and repeated proofs of that which they contend against: Notwithstanding all which, they oppose their simple Ipse dixit, against the most unquestio∣nable Testimonies, of persons of the greatest Integrity and Generosity, amongst whom they converse, per∣sons of that caution and candour, that any disinterested and ingenuous man could not possibly imagin to have any design to impose upon others, what themselves had not with the greatest investi∣gation of circumstances, been convinced to be beyond a possibility of Doubt∣ing.
Page 61Yet such was the bold confidence of some of these Witch Advocates that they durst Effront that Relation of the Daemon of Tedworth, published by the Ingenious Mr. Glanvil, and At∣tested by Mr. Mompesson, a Gentleman, and a Divine, who (to all that knew them) were never over fond of cre∣diting stories of that kind; Yet (I say) had some of this sort of men the im∣pudence to declare to the World that that whole Relation was but a Figment, or Forgery, and that Mr. Mompesson, and Mr. Glanvill had retracted, what∣ever they had published touching that Transaction. This notorious falsi∣ty they had the misfortune to disperse, when Mr. Glanvils sheets were scarce dry from the Press, and the noise of the drum hardly out of the Ears of the Neigbourhood at Todworth.
So that we see in the second Edi∣tion of Saduceismus triumphatus, both Mr. Glanvil, and Mr. Mompesson, again renew, and confirm the Truth of their former Testimony, thereby giving the world a just Occasion to detest the base Artifices of such bold Impostors,
Besides a peremptory and staring confidence, which must Huff and swag∣ger Page 62 down all the most undeniable proofs; I have not met with any Ar∣gument of theirs which hath not been sufficiently refuted and baffled, by those Learned and Ingenious Pens who have still made it their business to Vindicate and Rescue substantial Truth, from the Attacques of Atheists, and Scepticks.
All that seems to remain unconquered of these Incredulous, is a fleering sort of sham-stories, and Mock-Relations; in the recital of which, it is pleasant to observe with what Elevation they make their foolish Triumphs over those Truths, one of which is enough to vanquish a thousand of their little Fig∣ments. These small Pickierers deserve commiseration; haveing deluded them∣selves & endeavouring to delude others into an opinion, that because there is such a thing in the World as a Lye; therefore it is impossible there should be any Truth. They might with as much reason af∣firm, that because there is a Night, therefore there can be no Day; or because there is such a Quality as heat, therefore there can be no cold.
Another sort there are, who ha∣ving had their Education in a Christian Kingdom, are loth to seem Incredu∣lous Page 63 of the Holy Scriptures, which the Church in which they have been bapt•zed Commands them Religious∣ly to submit unto, and not to dispute the Truth therein delivered; These will acknowledg that they ought to believe whatsoever is therein contained, and therefore will not question that there has been such a thing in the world as a Witch, because in the sacred pages mention is made of the Witch of Endor; whom they are bold to affirm to be the only Pythoness that ever was in being, & presuming to declare, that she was raised up, or permitted, for that very end, to delude the credulity of Saul; and that besides her there hath been no other.
Which opinion (if they will not allow it to proceed from incredulity) appears to be the effect of rank igno∣rance; For who that hath read the Holy Bible discerns not, that Saul be∣fore this time, had cut off those that had Familiar Spirits, and the Wizzards out of the Land, 1 Sam. 28. ch. ver. the 9. So that it appears there were many, before the Witch of Endor, even in the days of Saul, besides what hath been ment•oned before of the King of Moab, who sent his servants to Ba∣laam,Page 64 with the Reward of Divination▪ neither can any one that considereth the story of Saul at Endor, imagine that the woman there, was permitted but in the Case of Saul only. For the ser∣vants of Saul knew her to have a Fami∣liar Spirit, before the Kings intention of Enquiring of her was supposed, verse 7th. Besides, it seems evident that the Samuel there raised up, was not by the power of the Witch? for she was affrighted when she saw Samuel, and cryed out, like one in a surprise, and under a Disappointment of what she Ex∣pected: This was none of her Fami∣liars that appeared, for then we may conclude she had not been transported with such a fear; Her Confederates were tyed up, and could not answer her: but it is most probable to be the Prophet Samuel raised by the power of God to pronounce the Sentence of death upon Saul and his Sons, for his Disobedience, which the Holy man had told him was as the sin of Witchcraft; and for Violating the Righteous Com∣mand, in applying himself to the Witch of Endor contrary to the declared will of God. Not unlike to this was that dreadful Judgment of Fire from Hea∣ven, which (at the prayer of Eliiah) Page 65 fell upon the two Captains and their Fifty's, when Ahaziah King of Samaria had sent his servants to Enquire of Baal∣zebub, the Idol, or Daemon of Ekron. in 1. chap. 2 Book of Kings.
But how many more of this kind are mentioned in Scripture, besides the Witch of Endor, will appear, if we read what is recorded of Manasseh, Jesebell, Simon Magus, and Elimas the Sorcerer, with many other Instan∣ces of the same kind, whereof the New Testament, as well as the Old, hath divers extraordinary Relations, but of that the passage in the Prophesie of Isaiah chap. 2. ver. 6. they are southsayers, like the Philistines. And it is evident by the 19. verse of the 18. chap. of the same Prophesie; that the Jewish Nation were in a great measure given up to the Sata∣nicall delusion of enquiring after Wit∣ches, and Sorcerers, and such as divined to them by Pythons; so that they for∣sook the holy Oracles of the Divine Law; and in their difficulties they coun∣selled one another to apply themselves to those forbidden abominations. There∣fore it must proceed from a Neglect, or careless Perusal of the Sacred Books, that any one should be ignorant of other instances of Witches, besides that Page 66 of the Pythoness of Endor. Suidas has a most considerable proof of the Dae∣mons answering the Heathens by Ora∣cles; where speaking of Augustus Cae∣sar's enquiring at an Oracle who should be his Successor, the Oracle returned him this answer.
The Emperour at his return, com∣manded an Altar to be Erected in the Capital, having this Inscription: Haec est Ara Primogeniti Dei. This is the Al∣tar of the first-born of God. Now it is plain that our Saviour was born dure∣ing the Reign of this Augustus, for in the second chap. of St. Luke we find, that Joseph and Mary, went up to Judea to be taxed, at that time when Augustus had imposed a General Tax upon the World and that during their abode at Page 67Bethlehem, the blessed Nativity happe∣ned: of which the Eastern Sages had no∣tice by his Star; and that the Roman Cesar had some such apprehension (or Im∣pression at least) the words upon the Altar do plainly manifest. And if this relation of Suidas obtain credit, it may easily be Evinced that they were Dae∣mons, or Crafty Spirits which answe∣red at the Oracles of the Heathens: for if we admit that many answers were given by the Cunning, and Jugling of their Priests; Yet it could not make for their interest to discredit their Ora∣cle, nor for the Credit of their Deity. But the almighty power of the Son of God forced those Infatuating Spirits to acknowledge his Soveraign Divinity as the unclean Spirit in the 8. chap. of Luke, verse 28. What have I to do with thee Je∣sus, thou Son of the most High God. Thus at the arising of the Son of Righteous∣ness, did the Dark Oracles vanish, as the shadows of the night are chased away, by the Appearing of the Sun beames. To which may be added what Plutarch relates in his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. He tells yee, that a certain company sailing from Greece towards Italy, happened of a sudden to be be∣calmed, and one Thamus, an Egyptian,Page 68 who was of the Ships Crew, was called three times, at the third call he made answer Here am I; whereupon the voice bad him, when he came to the Palodes (certain Shelves in the Ionian Sea) that then he should publish that the great Pan was dead. And then the Ship was dis∣charged of her restraint and went for∣ward, so that wh•n they came to the place appointed, Thamus from the Poop of the Ship, published what he had been commanded; whereupon followed a great noise of shrieking and lamenting together, so that the Sea resounded with the lamentation. The Emperour Tiberius having been made acquainted with this passage, demanded of his wise men; who this great God Pan might be? But the best answer they could give him, was, that he was the Son of Mercury and Penelope.
But this circumstance happening just at the time when our Saviour was cru∣cified, it was concluded by more in∣telligent and considerate men, that by the Great God Pan was meant the Bles∣sed Redeemer of Mankind; who by his Death on the cross, Overthrew the Kingdom, and power of Satan; so that the Devils were now to Quit those Oracles by which they had so long de∣ceived Page 69 the World: and on this account those Spirits might be thought to make that great and dismall lamentation. For from that time they soon ran into decay, and the Delphi Oracula cessant, which Juvenal records, makes it plain that they were but of short continuance, af∣ter the fatal blow given them on the Cross, when our blessed Saviour gave up the Ghost with an It is Finished.
Now had these Oracles been managed only by the subtilty and artifice of the Priest, it is very improbable but they might have been of longer continuance, for the Priests continue to be as Crafty and Covetous as ever, and as dexte∣rous at all the feats of Juggling and Le∣gerdemain. But it is plain the time of their delusions was expired, and it is no small Argument of the power of the Gospel of Truth, that those van∣quished Spirits flye before it; they re∣tire, with the molten, and Carved Images to the Owls and to the Batts, not being able to endure the splendour of the Tidings of Salvation.
Hence it is that in those Countries where there is least Idolatry, and where the sincere preaching of the Word of Power is countenanced, there it is very rare, comparatively to meet with Page 70 instances of the Satanical craft and power; his strong holds are beaten down; tho some small forts he still retains amongst the ignorant, and superstitious: but in countries where Idolatry, and Paganism prevail, he Governs, as among the Children of disobedience; Here he hath his Groves, his Cells, and Hermitages, and Altars; He passes for a God, receiveth publick adoration; whilst every Priest hath his Familiar, and the Doctrine of Devils passes for saving Truth. In Countries more Barbarous, he is Worshiped for Fear, (as amongst the Indians) and there he often shews himself to them in mon∣strous shapes, Dreadful to behold, to affright them into their damnable sacri∣fices, and idolatries. In Countries where Humane Learning hath obtained, a pretended Antiquity, and Doctrine of the Ancients is that by which they Justi∣fy their superstitions; whilst a blind Obedience, and misguided Zeal, tum∣bles whole Nations down the dreadful precipices of Blasphemy and Devil-worship. And to these the Grand Im∣postor appears in shapes, and figures Divine and Angelical (for the most part) sweetning them in their Heathe∣nish Apostacy and Idolatry, by glorious Page 71 Apparitions and Revelations, sometimes to one Saint sometimes to another; and this in order to the promulgation of some Doctrine that may advance his dark Empire, and Designs; which must be confirmed by seeming Miracles and Lying Wonders, the more to Infatuate the minds of their deluded Bigots, and confirm in them a belief of their dia∣bolical Impostures.
And tho some perhaps may Imagin that what hath been said, signifies little to the proof of the existence of Witches; they may by weighing, and comparing the Argument, find an evident demon∣stration thereof: For what less than the Sorceries of their Priests, and the pre∣vailing influence of evil Angels, could possibly shut up so many Nations, and that from the first Ages, under such gross, and stupendious Blasphemy, Idola∣try, and Atheism? So that if the Question were put, which the Apostle Paul demands of the Galatians, chap. 3 vers. 1. O Foolish Galatians, who hath Bewitched you, that you should not obey the Truth? It might truly be answered, that the Devil with the assistance and confederacy of their Idol Priests hath done it. This Indeed, is the most deplorable kind of Fascination, Page 72 whereby mens Souls and Faculties are Captivated to their spiritual Enemy, and their minds and consciences are de∣filed. It is impossible almost to relieve men in this kind of delusion, because the whole Current of their misguided De∣votion, runs Diametrically opposite to the means of their Cure. But of this more will be said in a following Chap∣ter, where the Witchcraft of Idolatrous, and Popish Priests, will be particularly Treated of.
Others there are amongst the Devils Advocates, that would fain insinuate, that because some particular Men have Endeavoured to attain this Hellish Art, and could not arrive to it; others have gone a little way in Magical perfor∣mances, but could never do any great Exploits, or shew any Extraordinary feats in that profound Science, that there∣fore such acquirements are not at all Attainable, but above the reach of the Black Mysteries; such was Nero, who because his pursuit of that Infernal stu∣dy was not attended with any Fatal proficiency, he is said to have contem∣ned the Magicall Art, as pretending to such performances, as it could ne∣ver attain to and therefore he sate down a Despiser of such as boasted their Page 73 knowledg in those Mysteries: But it is no wonder that the Devil complyed not with his studies in that School, Since Nero of his own Nature was so much a Devil, that had he been furthe∣red with any of those more subtil Assi∣stances, it is probable he might have Attempted such things as should have Exceeded all that went before him, and have put his drudging Spirits upon such performances as (tho they might not Exceed the fierceness of their disposi∣tions, yet) might surmount their Power. But, from hence to argue that there are no Witches, seems as incongruous, as if I should say there is no such thing as a Lyon, or a Wolf, which kill and devour the Herds, and Flocks, because I have a little Dog at home that cannot do it.
Nor ought it to be attributed to a Mi∣raculous power, that Daemons and Wit∣ches present themselves in various shapes, somtimes Humane, somtimes Bestial, at other times Monstrous, and now and then in their proper forms: for as we cannot understand the pro∣found knowledge that subtil and spiri∣tual beings have of Natural Causes above the stretch of our Enquiry; so can we much less Limit their free and unconfined agencies, to Qualities and Page 74 reasons within our comprehensions for as they have the advantage of a Lar∣ger Intelligence, they can from time to time Impart things strange and fo∣reign to us: And their Airy substances are capable of putting on diversities of figures, and they can assume such a Vehi∣cle as may represent any resemblance they please; that it is much easier for us to conceive they may borrow the re∣semblance of Lower shapes, than the Garb and Mien of the Angels of Light.
And if at any time they Cloath their Daemoniac Confederates in representa∣tions different from their proper Exi∣stencies, it is to be attributed to that knowledge they have of Occult Quali∣ties, which is above the Investigation of our Scrutinies. By the following Rela∣tions, it will appear that at the same time a Cat or other Creature hath been cut, or wounded; the Hurt hath manifestly appeared upon the body of the Witch, in that very part where the other Assu∣med Resemblance hath to apearance re∣ceived the blow given. Nor would we have the reader Imagin that the Autho∣rity of the bare following Relations is all that we insist upon as a proof of what is here Asserted; but these are publi∣shed as a farther Confirmation of Mat∣ter Page 75 of Fact which to the Judgment of all Ingenious and Unprejudiced Persons, are already sufficiently proved, not on∣ly by the Histories of all former Ages, and that not barely of the Rude and Bar∣barous, but even of the most Civilized and Polite Times; besides the Exquisite pens of the most Learned and sober Writers of our Age, which have given ample and undeniable Attestation of the Existence of Witches, and Diabolical Contracts.
To those that Object the Improbabi∣lity of such Transactions, and that the stories of Witches Transmuting of shapes, Flying in the Air, and such like, are impossible to Natural reason: So much hath already been said in their Re∣futation, that it would be preposterous to add any thing more. Onely this may be added, that the more unaccountable these things seem to be in themselves (The real matter of Fact being proved) it ought the more to prevail towards a belief of those extraordinary Agencies; for such as endeavour to impose strange Fictions upon the Credulous, use to adapt them as near as they can to a sup∣posal of Truth in the management; tho attended with very strange, and see∣mingly Prodigious circumstances: And Page 76 if they would have them to appear to be Imaginary Fictions; yet it is strange that People of all sorts, in all Ages, should agree to publish to the World the same Exploded conceits.
And for those that say they cannot conceive how such things can be done; That is no small Argument of the weak∣ness of the Conceptions, Apprehensions, and Knowledg of such, who are apt to dispute the certainty of any thing that is above their Sphere; and it will not be found at all available against the Possibility of such performances, no more than a Mans doubting how it is possible that the Sea doth Ebb and Flow, should be an Argument that there were no such thing in Nature. We cannot conceive how from such small, and various Seeds, such different species of Plants and Trees receive their Formation; or how the Extream distant Natures and Com∣positions of Soul and Body are United: but Yet notwithstanding our Ignorance, these things are very Obvious to our sense; tho beyond the Comprehension of our Reasons: and therefore it is no wonder if we are strangers to the Con∣stitutions, and Powers of Creatures that do not appear to us.
Therefore the best Judgment we can Page 77 make of such extraordinary things is by the Evidence, and not the Measure of our Fancies. For by this we are cer∣tainly convinced that such things are really so, tho by reason of our confined Circumstances we are not able to penetrate into the Rationality of their Contingencies.
Propositions or Assertions concerning Witches and Witchcraft. The Cha∣racter of a Witch. Same Considera∣tions of the Original of their power.
THE last Chapter having designed that Idol Worship (as the Devil is therein proposed Objectively to be Adored) Is not only a great Counte∣nancer, but Tends vastly to the pro∣motion of Diabolical Confederacies. Before we proceed to a particular and Historical Account of Ancient and Mo∣dern Witches, it may be necessary a little farther to explain what we mean by a Witch; and how far the power of such a one may be understood And this being a nice and difficult de∣termination; Page 78 The Candid Reader shall find very little new Asserted Notions either in Relation to their persons or practices; but we shall chuse to lay down what the most Unprejudiced, Learned, and Sober Writers of things relating to Matters of this Nature have upon their best search and Enquiry determined.
And first it is agreed that it is very difficult to prove such, or such a one to be a Witch, and it ought to be done with the greatest Caution and Tenderness Imaginable: The loss being greater on the part of a false Testimony, than on that of a Supposed Criminal; Infernal Contracts are not supposed to be made in the pre∣sence of Witnesses; being as hath been said, against the Law of God and Man; So that the Devil out of a seeming regard to the safety and Immunity of his Prostitute may omit the Ceremony of Testes; the black pupil acting with greater security when she apprehends none knows of, or is privy to the Confederation.
Yet is there no doubt but the Devil is as secure of his prey as if the whole world had subscribed a Teste to the In∣denture; for by the consent of the party, he hath Seisin of her as his Pro∣perty; which he will be sure never to part with, unless Ejected by a stronger Page 79 than He. Those Hellish Compacts there∣fore, are Managed like the filthy Intri∣gues betwixt a Fornicator and his Strum∣pet, where it may be no Eye sees them that may Expose them to the penalties of Humane Laws; and it is difficult to prove matter of fact between them; but at last a Spurious off-spring, or a more Nauseous Rotteness unveils them to the world, and they linger out to a more In∣famous Death, than if the Law had Chastised them; The Rotteness of their bones giving them more severe pains and Twinges than the Rod of Justice could have done: Not unlike this do some of these Infernal Prostitutes Escape the hand of the publick Justice until at last their loath'd and miserable Lives are seized as forfeitures to the Devil; and they are found (like Faustus) with broken Necks, or with some other wrack upon their Nauseous Bodies, that Evidently discovers their souls to have been Extorted from them, and that they have been forcibly Ejected upon for∣feiture of their Lease.
Some too, may have been unjustly accused for Witches; either by an Igno∣rance of Causes meerly Natural, or misapplying Causes that in themselves are supernatural: So that the very same Page 80 operations which to Intelligent, and Enquiring Philosophers, are meerly the product of Natural Sympathies, or Antipa∣thies of Heat, or Cold, or the like, to the unskilful shall appear, as done by Art Magical, or Diabolical▪ So the Freezing a cup of snow-water to a Stool by the fireside, looks to some weak persons, with an Aspect very strange and unaccountable, whilst to those that consider and know the restringent Quality of the Salt, the others Admiration becomes almost Ridiculous.
It is acknowledged by all Naturalists that the power of Imagination hath had, and may have strange Effects, especially upon tender and Irrational Bodies, such as Children, Chickens, Lambs &c. according to that of Virgil,
And very strange performances may be effected by an Exalted and Fixed Imagi∣nation, the Intention of which vastly con∣tributes towards the Effecting things seemingly Impossible. The formation of the Child in the Mothers Womb▪ which if good Authority may be Credited) hath been Imputed to the force of an Ima∣gination strongly possessed with such, or such a belief. And to this purpose, it is very remarkable what is by a learned Page 81 pen related of a Lady, who being used to wear patches, and that during the time she was with child, a Gentleman told her that her child would have such a patch in its forehead; and accordingly at the birth of the Child, such a spot was discerned in the place described, and still remained in that same part of the Ladies Face, as a Testimony of the Impression a power∣ful Imagination may have on tender Bodies. Infinite more are the Experi∣ments that might be mentioned of this kind, but if I should Enumerate ne∣ver so many, it would nevertheless appear that the Feats, and performances of Infernal Confederacies vastly surpass whatsoever can be thought attainable in this kind; and this will be so Evi∣dent, by matters of Fact related in the following Collection that it would be needless to speak any thing more to it in this place.
Besides, if it be supposed that some have been suspected for Witches, bare∣ly for having deformed Bodies, Ill Aspects, or Melancholy Constitutions doth it any ways appear from hence, that there is really no such thing as a Witch? Or may it not with as much reason be alledged, that because some for having Arms found about them, Page 82 have been wrongfully accused for being Robbers; that therefore there is no such thing as a High-way man. Such allegations as these, do not at all dis∣prove the Existence of such Haggs.
Tho I must confess that there is no reason that any person (by reason of those deformities which may be only the Effects of old Age, or the product of some disease) should be presently In∣dicted and trust up for a Witch; nor can I Imagine that ever such a thing hath been in a Civilized Nation, without the concomitant circumstances of some other proofs: That would be a hard case indeed! But I think it will not be difficult to prove that there have been some whose Insides have been blackned with as foul and damnable Confederacies as others; who have notwithstanding appeared with Faces very Charming, and Angelical. For we have no account of any very Nauseous deformity that sate on the forehead of Jesabel, Joan of Arc, or Joan Queen of Naples. And perhaps the Attempts of these Hellish Agents may pass with less Suspicion, when un∣der the plausible disguise of a handsom Face: For from Objects Nasty and de∣formed, men Naturally turn away, with a kind of Innate Aversion and Con∣tempt; Page 83 whilst under the Charming Attra∣ction of a fair Face, the Magical Enchant∣ment Insensibly Steals upon men. Nor is the Devil at any time more dangerous, than when he appears as an Angel of Light.
Spotswood in his History of the Church of Scotland, book the 6th. page 383. Reports that there was one Agnes Sampson amongst the Witches and Sor∣cerers of that Kingdom, who was co∣monly called the Wise Wife of Keith, who was very remarkable; being (as he says) a Woman not of the sordid and base sort of Witches, in outward ap∣pearance, but of a Matron like, and grave Mein, settled, and seemingly Judicious in her answers; who upon her Examination declared, That she had a Familiar Spirit, which upon her Invo∣cation usually appeared to her in a Visi∣ble form, & resolved her of doubtful Matters, especially concerning Matters relating to the Life or Death of per∣sons lying sick, and that he had taught her, when she called him, to use the word Holla Master. Upon which he usually appeared to her. See Wanly's Wonders of the little World. lib. 5. chap. 20. So that Deformity alone is no more an Argument of a Witch, than Beauty may be said to be an Evidence of a Whore.
Page 84Somtimes, it is Objected, that some have come in and given Evidence against themselves; and being brought before Magistrates, have (it may be thought) causlesly accused themselves, by Con∣fessing themselves to be Witches, and relating divers things by them done (as they have supposed) by the help of the Devil. And all this may be the Effect of a Deep Melancholy, or some Terrour that they may have been under: or per∣haps an Argument that themselves have at the same time been under the Power of Witchcraft; or at least in some kind of Delirium of Phancy. So some Lunaticks have fancied themselves to be Kings, or Queens, and it hath been beyond the Power of the most Ratio∣nal Arguments, and Demonstrations to convince them of the contrary: But the Self-accusations of such is as little to be credited, as the Self-Compur∣gations, and Applauses of others; without some more substantial Testi∣mony.
It is Observable that Witches are commonly of the Female Sex, and some there are that confine that Term wholly to them: And ever since the prevalence of the First Temptation up∣on the first Woman; it is no wonder Page 85 if the subtil Adversary still offer his Baits to such palats as are most desirous to taste Fruits forbidden; and more negligent in Enquiring into the Na∣ture of what they Swallow. It was an Observation of Fulgentius, Nescio quid habet Muliebre Nomen semper cum Sa∣cris. And it has been a long time ob∣served of them, that if they incline to Virtue and Piety, few go beyond them; but if they take up with Su∣perstitious and evil courses, none surpass them in Heights of Wickedness and mischief.
Tho these wretched Artists are com∣monly distinguished into those of the Black, and White orders; they are cer∣tainly the same, and cannot be said to differ in deeds of darkness, which admit of no difference of Colour, They are certainly both alike guilty in Compounding with the Devil. The black are those which are looked upon to do the most Mischief, because they commonly Torment mens bodies, or Injure them in their Estates; and the White, are reckoned to be such as restore people to health, and to goods lost: So that accordingly they have acquired the Names of Good and Evil Women. But what Fellowship hath Light Page 86 with Darkness, or what Communion hath Christ with Belial. Both these deal in the same forbidden Arts, and Equally bring Clients to their Hellish Master. They may be said to be like the Glasiers boys about the Town, who Employ themselves to break the Neighbours windows, that their Masters may have the profit of mending them again.
Some Ancient Arts and Mysteries are said to be lost, but we have reason to believe that the Father of Mischeif will not let fall any of those Trades by which he brings Souls to perdition, as long as he can have Scholars, and Servants to carry on his purposes.
So that we need not doubt the Con∣tinuance of that Ancient Devil-Craft, and Infernal Combination, as long as a Sordid Ignorance, Revengeful Malice, or Blind Superstition remain in the World. The Ignorant resort to it as to a School of Instruction, where they proceed and graduate themselves in the Cursed Mathematicks, and Mysteries of the Lower World. The Malicious apply themselves for Revenge, to wreak their spleens upon those they have Ani∣mosity against: and they are all the better part of Mankind: For if once they become in League with the Devil, they must Page 87 be supposed to have espoused his Interest so far, as to stretch out their Malice answerable to his Enmity, which is against all Mankind in general, but particularly against those of the greatest Integrity: as is evident in the case of our First Parents, Job, our Blessed Saviour and his Holy Apostles. And in the Revelation of St. John, the Angel tells the Church of Smyrna, that the Devil should cast some of them into prison that they might be Tryed. And Luke 22. chap. 31. vers. He tells Peter that Satan had desired to winnow him, as they do wheat, but our Lord had prayed for him, &c. And this must be Imputed to that Enmity which was put between the seed of the Woman, and that of the Serpent; So that ever since the Apostate Angel hath by him∣self, and his wicked Agents, conti∣nually been Attempting to wreak his Revenge upon them.
The Superstitious are with as much ease, as any, drawn into the Fatal snare, for they often become Witches, by endeavouring to defend themselves against Witchcraft. These doubting that some Witch might have power to hurt them, arm themselves with the Devil's Shield against the Devil's Sword: Putting on the Armour of Charms, and Spells piecemeal Page 88 by degrees; until at length they come to be Devil-fenc'd cap-a-pie: and so at first they are drawn into a League Defensive; until at last it comes to be declared Offensive too. That Art is quickly learnt; which wants nothing but Credulity and practice to attain it; and where the Devil once finds an Invitation, he ever after Haunts.
Of these Proficients in the Black My∣steries, there are some who at first begin with Feats rather diverting, than Hurtful; for they are sometimes enter∣tained by Ludicrous and gamesom Spi∣rits, who (to appearance) do things seemingly pleasant: but this pastime costs them dear in the End; for they play so long on the brink of Hell, until at length they tumble in, and sport with the devouring Lyon, until they are seized by his griping Paw; from whence They never after have power to Extricate themselves.
Others there are that are prevail'd with by none of these considerations; but take up the use of Magical Forms, and Simples by Tradition: Those that were their Pre∣decessors deriving down to them the use of some Mystical words, or Ceremonies upon the recital of which, they acquire the knowledge of many strange, and Page 89 remote secrets; and are Assisted in the performance of things much above the reach of a power meerly Humane. We have no reason to think it Improbable that the Apostate Spirit may have Obli∣ged himself, upon the bare naming, or repeating such or such set forms of words (by himself, perhaps Appointed) to attend upon those that make use of them. And upon this account it is that Balaam and the Wisemen of Nebuchad∣nezar (mentioned in the book of Da∣niel) are acquitted by Learned men, from having a particular Covenant with the Devil, or acting by the Rules of the greater Sorcery.
And here I cannot omit relating a passage which was told me when I was a Shool-boy in the house of a Learned and Religious Divine in the Country, That there formerly Lived in the same house a Parson, who likewise taught the Latin tongue, and having several Lads under his care; they (one day when he was at Dinner at a Gentlemans house about a mile from the place) happened to go into his Study, and (whether out of Cu∣riosity, or by accident, is uncertain) were reading in a book of his, re∣lating to that forbidden Art; the Page 90 Lads continued reading, 'till divers Spirits came into the Room to them (as I remember) I was told in the Shape of boys, which seemed with a nimble motion to caper and play about them: Their Master, who was then at such a distance from them, and at dinner, had some Notice of what was doing at home, and immediatly rose from table, and repaired to them, where he found them very perplexed at their new company, but knew not how to be rid of them but upon the co∣ming in of their Master, they were soon discharged.
Not unlike to this may be the case of some, who having by them books of Conjuration, may perhaps ignorantly, and undesignedly peruse them, without any previous Compact; until at length their Inquisitive Inclinations are so wrought upon, as to make use of the more Interdicted means for their Information. Nor is it Improbable, but that some Stu∣dents in Astrology, may (in their first Addresses to that Science) aim no far∣ther than the satisfaction of their Cu∣riosity, in the Knowledge of Hidden and remote Questions; and Future Events; Whilst those Mischievous Spirits (who like Beasts of prey) watch∣ing Page 91 all Occasions to entrap and get them into their Envious reach: may work upon their overcurious and inquisitive Genius's to search after the more pro∣hibited means of satisfying their sin∣ful Curiosity. So that Judicial Astrology may well be lookt upon, as a fair Intro∣duction to the Diabolical Art. And it seems not Improbable, but it might at first be set on foot as a Lure to draw the Over-curious into those snares that lye beyond it.
And whosoever but seriously Con∣siders the Nature of those Questions, which the pretenders to that Art under∣take to resolve, will find reason to think that they step somwhat beyond those bounds which are set to their Enquiries.
And it is too much to be doubted, that those who take upon them to Pre∣dict and Calculate of such Occult Con∣tingencies, and Futurities; are not always free from Inticements and solicitations to the more dangerous Correspondencies.
Tho all this while it is not denyed but that there may be an Observation of Sydereal and Planetical Motions, which falls not under the black Cha∣racter of those Interdicted Arts; but if kept within the modest directions of Natural Speculation, may not only Page 92 be Lawful, but of Good use, to Excite in us an Admiration and Adoration of him that stretched out the Heavens like a Courtain, and bindeth up the sweet In∣fluences of the Pleiades, Causing the Stars in their Courses to fight against such as Op∣pugn his Righteous purposes. As we read in the Sacred pages.
Nor would we be thought to include all manner of Intimation of Future Events under the Notion of unlawful Divination; since it is very apparent, that as the practitioners of the For∣bidden Study do by the Indication of the Devil and his wicked Angels, arrive to a Dear-bought Knowlegde of things to come: So oftentimes it pleaseth God (by the blessed Guardians of his Saints, and) by the Ministry of Holy Spirits, to Impart to such as truly fear him, and call upon his Name, some certain Intimations of his Divine pleasure in relation to Mundane affairs, and the Changes that may happen either to his Church in general, or to parti∣cular Countries, Families, or Persons. Many Instances of this kind might be produced, of which, for proof some few shall be mentioned. Such was the Dream of Nebuchadnezar, Interpreted by the Prophet Daniel, and mentioned Page 93 in the 4. chap. of that Prophesie and such may that Voice which was heard in the Temple before the destru∣ction of Jerusalem, be well thought to be: When by a Migremus Hinc, an Alarm was given to the Jews to remove before the Storm of that dreadful War came upon them, which Occasioned the destruction of their City and Temple.
The late Reverend and Learned Bishop Ʋsher, as is written in his Life, predicted the Massacre in Ireland, many Years before the bloody Execution of it. And King James, strangely discovered the horrid Powder Treason, by that letter to the Lord Mont-Eagle; which can hardly be imputed to any thing less than the Courteous Intima∣tion, or Impulse of some good Genius. Nor is it at all unlikely that we are beholden to those Watchful Admo∣nishers of us, for the seasonable Hints of approaching Calamities, which of∣ten shew themselves to us Either in Aerial, or other Prodigies. For these by the most Considerate men of all Ages have been acknowledged to be the Prodroms of great Calamities, or Catastrophies.
So our Blessed Saviour tells us that there Page 94 shall be Signs in the Heavens, and Signs in the Earth, before that great and terrible day of the Lord. And who knows, but these Indexes may be through the Care of those good and tender Guardians; who out of tender∣ness of our Welfare may give us those Cautions, and Admonitions to provide our selves against a day of Tryal. The dreadful desolations that happened in Germany, and England, in the Late unnatural Warrs (which whether or no they were presaged by them, yet cer∣tainly had many Tremendous Appari∣tions in the Air, and on the Earth &c. before those Calamities broke forth amongst them;) I say these are dismal Testimonies of the consequence of such Presages.
But these Kind of Predictions, as they are the effects of the Benevolence of Heaven, to us sinful Mortals, so they generally startle and awaken a secure and sinful World to meet God in the way of his Judgments: or if they have not that good effect on the sensual and Disobedient; they are at least Messengers of Joy, and Har∣bingers of Grace to those who apply themselves to Study the Voice of God in his Providences.
Page 95Whilst we are foretold in the Holy Scripture that Wicked men and seducers shall wax worse & worse, deceiving, and being deceived. For the Spirit of Delusion to which they adhere, shall betray them into gross mistakes, and palpable devia∣tions; such are Generally Impenetrable by the Warning of Heaven, they are Judicially Blinded, and Infatuated, that they should not come to the knowledge of the Truth. Thus the Prophet Ezekiel tells us of a Spirit of Lying, which en∣tered into the False Prophets, and they cryed Peace, Peace; when a sudden de∣solation, and destruction from the Lord was coming upon them. And this will be the dreadful case of those miserable Wretches who have given themselves up to the Conduct of the Father of Lyes; Who either out of a belief that they have no souls, have given themselves over to work Wickedness; Or else despising the Glories of a Blessed Eternity, have Listed themselves under the Banner of Satan, to Fight against the Power of the Omnipotent. And that Atheism, Idolatry, Sensuality, and Debauchery, have a Natural Tendence to promote this Impious and Diabolical Confede∣racy, hath been hinted in the forgo∣ing Pages. Which being so Regulary, Page 96 Learnedly, and Largely Treated of by the Excellent pens of Dr. H. M. and Mr. J. G. before mentioned, in the second part of Saducismus Trium∣phatus; I shall presume to Wade no further in the Argumentative, and Philosophical part; but proceed now, to give an Account of the most Atest∣ed Relations of Ancient Witches; and thence descend to some very remarka∣ble, and Credible Modern Relations, most of which have happened in these Few years, and will be attested by persons of Unquestionable Worth and Reputation now alive amongst us.
Examples of Witchcraft, and Famili∣arity with Devils amongst the An∣tient Druids, Sybils, Vestal Vir∣gins, and Heathen Priests.
IT is one of the Black Marks which the Apostle of the Gentiles gives us of Antichrist, That he shall sit in the Temple of God, and shew himself to be worshipped as God. And if we consider the Temples, Groves, Altars, Sacrifices and Priests that the Antients in the days of their Blindness, and stupid Idolatry Erected, and Consecrated to their In∣fernal Deities, we shall find that this Exaction of Worship and Adoration which Antichrist lays claim to, was in the former Ages paid unto the Devil himself; and that the Apostate Church of Rome usurped to her Revolted Head those Sacred Rites in conformity to those Sacrifices which their Idolatrous Ancestors paid unto the Revolted and Apostate Angels.
This Chapter therefore shall be Page 98 filled with an Enumeration of some of the first Proficients in the Black Infer∣nal Mysteries, that we may make way to parallel them with an Account of the Proficience of divers Popes and Orders among the Idolatrous Romanists in the same dark and Diabolical Arts, in some of the following Pages.
But what Astonishment may it well raise in us, if we but remark, that not only those Barbarous Nations that ne∣ver knew the true God, nor had the Advantages of his Law, and his Pro∣phets, amongst them, should follow the foul Abomination: But even the cho∣sen Israelites, to whom (as the Psalmist elegantly expresses) the Almighty arose Early, and sent his Prophets, who saw his wonders in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the Wilderness, who saw the Lightnings, heard the Thunders, and the solemn noise of Trumpets, when their Captain Moses receiv'd the Law from the mouth of the Most High on Mount Sinai, and had there that First, Positive and Repeated Command against Idol-worship, which (by the dreadful and amazing Judgments inflicted on them for that provoking sin) can be thought to be understood no otherwise than Devil-worship. See Exod. 20.23. Yet Page 99 notwithstanding, that this Israel should forsake the God that bought them, and marked them by special favours from all the Nations of the Earth! This you'l say is stupendious Ingratitude, and tre∣mendous Apostacy.
What can be thought of that Biggot∣ted Ahab, who is said to have Taught Israel to sin? He had been nurst up un∣der a Whorish, Idolatrous Mother, the Patroness of the Priests of Baal: And he makes little less than a challenge to the Almighty to contend with his Ado∣red Baalim. See 1 Kings 18. They were then so besotted, that they thought Baal to be a greater God, that he who laid the Foundations of the Earth, and whose Thunders their Rebellous Fathers had heard on the Sacred Mountain.
Was it possible that those Infernal Priests should expect an answer by Fire from their detestable Idol, unless they had at some time or other by some Voice, or Motion, or by some Success of their Im∣pious Adorations been deluded into an Opinion that there was something Sa∣cred in that which they reared their Shrines unto? It is (I think) indubi∣table, that the Devil, the Father of Lyes and Blasphemies, had some way or other gull'd them into that oppro∣brious Page 100 Worship. They skipt up and down upon his Altars, and lanced them∣selves until the blood gushed out; with their Devils Littany, O Baal, hear us, or, We beseech thee to hear us, O Baal. What can this be but an Invocation of the De∣vil? and bears so near a Resemblance un∣to Witchcraft, as if it were the Original of it. Do the False Prophets call upon the Devil in their Idol? So do the Witches call upon their Familiar: Do they offer Sacrifice to their Gods? So do these to their Goblins: They allure them with Incense and Perfumes; they eat and drink by way of Oblation to them, as the Priests used to do in their Idol-Temples: And as the Hellish Priests of∣fered their own Blood to Baal; so do these Infernal Haggs in their Contracts with Beelzebub.
So that having now cleared the way by explaining the foul Conformity and Analogy betwixt Idolatry and Witch∣craft, it may well be expected that I should assume the premised Method, and give some Instances of Antient Examples to make good the Thesis.
Therefore not to look back upon those dreadful Examples, which the Sacred Writings afford us of the har∣dened Israelites, I shall proceed with Page 101 some Remarks upon the Antient, and much Celebrated Sybils.
And that it was the usual Compella∣tion the Ignorant Antients gave to their Familiars, Spirits, or Genii, to call them Gods, none need doubt who have read what is related of the Pythoness of En∣dor in the Book of Samuel, where she replies to King Saul, I see Gods coming up out of the Earth. So in 1 Kings 20.21. The Syrians speak of the Gods of the Hills, add of the Valleys, by which it is evident they reckon'd those Daemons which used to shew themselves unto them in those places to be Gods; nay, the Idolatrous Gentiles paid an Ado∣ration to them.
No wonder then if the Sybils obtain∣ed their name from an apprehension that they had Communion and Con∣verse with the Gods; for so it is thought the words Sios and Beel do import. It always hath been, and still is, the Cu∣stom of all Nations to affix something of a sacred and venerable Title or Cha∣racter on persons they have esteemed to be Inspired, or in favour with their Gods, and that even amongst the most uncultivated Scythians and Indians.
That the Sybils did generally by their Raptures and Enthusiasms promote and Page 102 encourage an Affiance in, and Depen∣dance upon the Heathen Oracles and Idols, none need doubt who have seen the Account Zozimus gives of them; who particularly relates many of their Verses full of Superstitions and Tradi∣tion, having no affinity at all with the holy Religion, but tending to advance the Credit of their Pagan Shrines.
The Learned Wierius in his Book de Praestigiis Daemonum, lib. 1. cap. 7. reckons most of the Sybils to be no better than Futhusiastae, and Pythonistae, and amongst the number of such against whom the mighty Prophet Moses made a Law, that those who resorted to them, should be stoned; and he is farther of Opinion, that through their Writings the Frantick Romans were drawn into many of their Extatick and Superstitious pursuits of their multiplied Deities. And although some extraordinary Prophecies relating to the Birth of the Glorious Messiah, are to be found in some of their Wri∣tings, yet will not those excuse the gross Daemonolatry of the rest, any more than that Praediction of the Delphick Oracle before cited can be supposed to Atone for the wretched Derelictions of the True and Holy God, occasioned by the Libidinous quest of the Nations Page 103 after that Idol. Besides, we have no mention made so much as of one of them in the Holy Register, tho their Writings had a Date long before the Records of the Blessed Evangelists and Apostles. Nor need it be thought strange that an Elogy in praise of our Saviour, should come from the Pen of a Pagan▪Prophetess, more than that an Ac∣knowledgment that he was the Son of God, should be proclaimed by the mouth of the Father of Lies, and the promoter of false Gods himself; who hath been compelled by the irresistible power of Divine Truth to pay that Acknowledg∣ment to the Soveraign of all. Or, whe∣ther those Divine Praedictions attribu∣ted to them, were properly their own, or the Works of others of later Date, and pretended to be theirs, shall not be my task here to determine. They were generally Priests Consecrated to Apollo, or the Delphick, or some other Oracle; and in furious Raptures pro∣nounced their Prophecies. Plato was of opinion that they were Inspired by the Gods, or some Spirit. And Jambli∣cus tells us, that the Sybil of Delphos two several ways received her Inspirations, either by a soft breath which came up∣on her whilst she was, or seemed to be Page 104 in a Trance or Extasie; or else by sitting on a Tripod of Brass, before the mouth of a Cave, from whence proceeded Fire, or a whispering Voice, upon which she either resolved the questions demanded of her, or uttered her Pro∣phecies. See Heywoods Hist. of Women, p. 78.
To these resorted the great Captains, to know the Fate of their Wars; the Country-man to enquire of the Fertility of the ensuing Season; and others sought their direction in Emergent cases. They appointed where Temples and Altars should be reared, and when their Sacri∣fices were to be observed: And altho according to the Language of those times, all Females (as there were then many) that were rapt with this Pro∣phetick Fury were called Sybils; yet our Modern Authors have reduc'd the num∣ber to ten, or twelve, because to them peculiarly are attributed those prae∣dictions concerning the Evangelical times. They are thus named Sybilla Per∣sica, called Antiquissima Vaticinantium; She is said to have divided the term of years until the coming of Christ into seven Ages, reckoning the first from Adam to Noah 1556 years, and from the Flood to Abraham 292; from the Page 105 time of Abraham to the Children of Israels coming from Egypt 503. from that time to the building the Temple by King Solomon 481; and from thence to the Babylonish Captivity 1800 years; and from thence to the Birth of our Saviour the number of 614 years; which being added together, with the number of years, since the Redemption by the suf∣ferings of the Immaculate High Priest, makes the number of Six thousand nine hundred and thirty years, which comes within 48 years of the Roman Account; whereas by the Scripture reckoning it will amount to but Five thousand six hundred thirty and three years. So that upon the whole we see the Ro∣man Priest keeps a nearer touch with the Priest of Apollo, than the Sacred Chronicle.
2. Was called Sybilla Lybica; and a great dispute there is whether she or the forenamed were the more Antient.
3. Was Sybilla Delphica, she is said to have prophesied of the Trojan War.
This by some is affirmed to be that Daphne whom Ovid feigns in his Metamorphosis, to be changed into a Laurel, to avoid the embraces of A∣pollo; and if we can credit their Wri∣tings, we shall find the Delphick Page 106 Deity mightily enamoured on his Fe∣male Priests.
4. Is said to be Sybilla Cumaea; of whom it is reported, that being one of the Branchidae, or Priests of Apollo, that attended an Old Altar in the Milesian Fields, near the City of Cuma, when Pactias the Persian had fled for refuge to the Inhabitants thereof, and was by Mazares their great General com∣manded to be delivered into his hand; the Cumaeans thereupon consulted their Old Oracle, and were commanded by the Sybil to deliver him up; but one Aristodicus, who was a person of note among them, loth to deliver one who had committed the protection of his Life into their hands, delayed going out of the Temple, and espying about the place some Nests of young Spar∣rows, was about to carry them away; when sudddenly he heard a voice from the Altar, speaking thus to him;
O thou most wicked of Men, what arro∣gant boldness hath so far possest thee, that thou presumest to take hence my Suppliants and such as I have taken to my protection? Upon which, Aristodicus returned this bold and free answer; Dost thou O King, succour and protect thy Suppliants, and commandest us to betray the life of Pactias to the Persians?
Page 1075. Is reckoned to be Sybilla Samia, because born in the Island of Samos, a place notoriously famous for Idolatry; and where the Neiades, a sort of old fashioned Goblins are first reported to have shewed themselves, and entred into a converse with Mortals.
6. Sybilla Cumana, called likewise Amalthea; of her are devised abun∣dance of Fabulous Stories, she hath likewise ascribed to her a Prophecy of Christs Incarnation.
7. Sybilla Hellespontica; she is said to be descended from the Trojans, and to have written of the Wars between the Greeks, and that City.
8. Sybilla Phrygia, called besides Vates Ancyrae. It is said of her, that she was to have prostituted her self to Apollo, to obtain the Spirit of Divination, which she refused, after he had inspired her, so that afterward, in Revenge, he so ordered it, that no one gave Credit to her Predictions. She is likewise said to have Prophesied of the destru∣ction of Troy, and of the coming of Christ.
9. They say was Sybilla Europea; lit∣tle is said of her, only a Prophecy as∣signed to her concerning the coming of the blessed day of our Redemption.
Page 10810. Is accounted Sybilla Tyburtina, or Italica, being born near the River Ty∣ber. She is reckoned to have lived in the time of Augustus Caesar; and that upon account of her Devotion, Hea∣ven opened, and shewed the B. V. with her glorious Infant to the Emperour, at such time as the Romans were asking the Oracle about Deifying of Augustus: And that at the same time a voice was heard in the Air, Haec est Ara Primogeni∣ti Dei, which they say is since dedica∣ted to the Blessed Virgin; who in time perhaps may give his Holiness thanks for it.
11, 12. Are named Sybilla Egyptia, and Sybilla Erithrea, to both which are assigned certain Prophetick verses rela∣ting to our Saviour, and to the last a clause in commendation of St. Peter▪ which makes it seem to me as if inser∣ted by some of those who pretended to have been his Successors.
Besides these, there have been recko∣ned abundance more Sybills, who never pretended to exceed the Order of the Bacchidae, who still attended the Groves, and Altars of the Heathen Oracles, and thence returned such answers as their Daemon inspired them withal, by hi••h it is demonstrable to whom they Page 109 did belong, by the Office assigned them. Tibullus in his second Book makes men∣tion of some of them.
Besides these, there were another sort of Votaries to the Goddess Vesta, who were tied by their order to the strictest Virginity for thirty years; and upon conviction of any lapse in that kind, they were immured, whil'st alive. Their Office was to keep the fire always burning on the Altar of Vesta, they were under the Discipline of the Flamen, or High Priest, who instructed them in the Ceremonies, and had the charge of punishing their Delinquencies.
This Order seems to have been of Page 110 great Antiquity and Veneration a∣mongst the Trojans, by whom it was brought into Italy in those early days, before the building of the City Lavi∣num. As Virgil records in his Aeneids, lib. 2.
Dr. Cotta in his discovery of Witch∣craft, makes a quotation out of Livy, of one of this Ancient Order, named Claudia, who (unassisted by any hu∣mane help) did (only with a small string fastened thereunto) draw a mighty Ship along the River of Tyber; which by reason of its vast weight and greatness, could not be moved by the force of many strong Men, assisted by Cattle that were used to draw heavy burthens, which with good reason he concludes she could not have performed without the co-operation of some evil Spirit. He likewise mentions Tuccia, another of that Sister-hood, who by muttering some Invocation, or Inchantment, could take up water in a Sieve, and carry it at a good distance from the River Tyber, without spilling a drop.
Page 111Besides, he takes notice out of Ca∣rion, quoted by Melancthon, of a Druid amongst the Nation of the Tungri, who did foretel to Dioclesian, That after he had killed a Boar, he should be Emperour of Rome. Which came to pass after he had killed one Aper, who was at that time an Usurper, and whose name in the Latin Tongue, signifies a Boar. Heywood reports in page 100. That A∣lexander the great went to the Oracle of Delphos to demand the success of his Expedition against Darius; after many Importunities, was answered by the Prophetess with an Invictus •ris O A∣lexander. By which his great Victo∣ries, and Triumphs were foretold, al∣though had he met with contrary mis∣fortune, the subtle Devil could have salved the reputation of the Oracle, by construing the words with relation to himself: So that if Alexander had been vanquished by Darius, yet had he remained Invictus, because by his Im∣portunities, he overcame the Oracle.
It would be endless, should I go •∣bout to enumerate the many Instances, with which Histories do abound in this kind; nor do I desire to tire the Rea∣der with a tedious transcript of Relati∣ons so common amongst Authors: That Page 112 which is here represented, will be suf∣ficient to evince, that Idol Priest-Craft, and Devil-Worship, are inseparable de∣pendants one upon the other: That the Devils Empire hath been supported, and promoted by the Collusion of his Priests, and the Reputation of the Priest hath been acquired by his converse, and in∣tercourse with the Devil and his Ora∣cles.
The Apostate Angel was not con∣tented to have his Altars advanced, his Oracles sought unto, his Idols Adored, his Priests had in Admiration among the Great and Pompous Eastern, and Western Monarchies: But he hath stai∣ned the remote Indians with his foul and contagious Worship; and with the help of his more Pagan Priests, and Brach∣mans, enslaved those Barbarous Nati∣ons to a Diabolical Adoration of his horrid Shrines. Sometimes they Sa∣crifice, and supplicate unto his Image in the most foul and monstrous Figure; sometimes he personally appears unto them, and frights them into a Panick Adoration of his Tremendous Deity: Oftentimes he scares them with dread∣ful Apparitions in the Air, which he rends with violent Tempests, and de∣vouring fire, and frequently mischiefs Page 113 them, not only in their Fields, but in their persons too, which occasions their supplicating him to avert his Terrours from them. The Histories of America give a large account of the many slave∣ries they are drawn into by this their Infernal Deity, who seems to have ob∣tained a Personal Empire, and Domini∣on amongst them.
The History of Persia gives a large Relation of the many monstrous Idols, and Pagods, to which that People pay Divine Worship, and Adoration, to some of which they offer their Chil∣dren by way of Immolation, as the Idola∣trous Israelites of old did unto their Monster Moloch. To some of their Idols they prostitute their Daughters, whom they reckon not fit for the Nup∣tial Rites, until they have permitted a penetration of their Bodies, by the wanton Member of their Beastly Idol: Or rather some sordid and lascivious Spirit, that sometimes actuates it from within. See Herberts Travels, which I take it, gives a particular, and distinct account of these, and divers other Abomina∣tions among them.
Nor have the Inhabitants of China, and the Eastern India, escaped the pollu∣tion of this Devil-Worship. For Ferdi∣nand Page 114 Mendez Pinto, a Portuguize, who Travelled many years amongst them, hath very largely set forth the many Idolatries and Superstitions of that people: They have amongst them a vast number of Priests, which they have in high veneration; and a prodi∣gious accumulation of Rites and Cere∣monies. And though the Turks in their extended Empire do forbid the use of Idols, yet we find in Knowles his Histo∣ry of them, that they have amongst their Priests abundance of Conjurers, which they call Wise, or Cunning Men, by which they maintain a Correspon∣dence with the black Inhabitants of the Infernal World: So that, tho they do not permit the use of the more lawful and liberal Studies, they yet give them∣selves up to be Scholars, and Disciples to the most interdicted Mysteries.
In Lappland they maintain such an ordinary Correspondence with the ex∣pulsed Spirits, that a Lappland Witch is almost grown to a Proverb with us: And though it be common amongst the Inhabitants to Converse, and Revel with their Daemons, and Familiars; yet the Priests among them generally acquire a dexterity in the Art above what the rest can pretend to: So that they do as Page 115 ordinarily train up their people in those Black Arts, as we do ours in Trades, and liberal Sciences.
There was in the year 1677. or 78. a Book printed, Intituled, The History of Lappland, which gives a full re∣lation of their many Methods of raising their Spirits; and of divers forms and shapes, in which they ordina∣rily shewed themselves to their Invo∣cators, and conversed with them, some∣times like a Satyr, sometimes in the likeness of a Man: and there is amongst them such a kind of Familiarity main∣tained, as if they were of the same Country, and Descent. Amongst the many ways they have to call the Spirits to their Attendance, none is more in use then that of a Magical Drum they have, and in great esteem amongst them; they are very well described in the Book above mentioned, and I have lately seen one of those Drums in Gresham Colledge; it is all over marked upon the vellam with a sort of Necro∣mantick Characters, somewhat like the Arabick letters; but doubtless a sort of Orthography, taught by the Black Master of the Infernal Science. When one of these Drums is beaten (with the addition of some Diabolical Ceremo∣nies, Page 116 and Incantations,) the Spirit pre∣sently attends, and either answers to what is demanded, out of the Drum, or else appears in some form in a place assigned him, and there resolves the mat∣ter for which he was invocated. It is no∣torious, amongst all Historians, that the people of Lappland sell Winds to Merchants for certain Voyages; by which they much enrich themselves. But I fear I have stretched this Chap∣ter beyond its due length, though I have used all possible brevity to con∣tract it. I shall therefore here put a period to this, and hasten to the seventh Chapter.
Confederacy of several Popes, and Roman Priests with the Devil. Such the principal Incouragers and promoters of Idolatry in the Church.
HAving as succinctly as I could, gi∣ven an account of the Gentiles, and Jewish Idolatry, with the mischie∣vous Consequences thereof, in the for∣mer Chapters: My Method now leads me to relate in this Chapter how fatal Idol-Adoration hath been, and must still be to those that continue it, tho under a different denomination: So that Rome Antichristian, will appear not to come short of, if not to exceed, the Daemonolatry of Rome Pagan. I shall therefore first begin with a list of some of their Popes, as I find them Registred by the Learned and Ingenious Mr. Wan∣ly, in his Wonders of the little World, page 473. where, (out of their own Authors, and particularly their Cele∣brated Platina,) he gives a Catalogue Page 118 of divers of them, who stand Recor∣ded for Conjurers, and such as have had Familiarity with the Devil. And here it ought not to pass without good Observation, that in the first Centu∣ries, before their Bishops had made a defection from the humility, and puri∣ty of the Evangelical Doctrine, we find none of them branded with that blackest of Characters; but after the Apostacy from the Primitive Simplici∣ty had gradually obtained among them, then came they to fall off from the Worship of God himself, to a down-right contracting with, if not Wor∣shipping of the Devil.
We will first observe by what de∣grees this defection obtained upon them: For,
- 1. Alexander the first introduced that which they call Holy Water, mixed with Salt, and ordered it to be used.
- 2. Sixtus the first ordered, that Priests should Minister in linnen Sur∣plices.
- 3. Faelix the first appointed yearly Sacrifices in memory of the Martyrs.
- 4. Marcus the first brought in the singing of the Nicene Creed, and the giving the Pal to the Bishop of Ostia.
- Page 1195. Zosimus brought the use of Ta∣pers into the Church.
- 6. Boniface the third obtained of Phocas, a Murtherer of his Lord, that Popish Supremacy, which to this day is so much stood upon, and was the first that Usurped the proud Title of Uni∣versal Bishop.
- 7. Boniface the fourth instituted All-hallow day, and dedicated the Temple of Pantheon, (an Idol Temple) to the Virgin Mary.
- 8. Martin the first, ordered Priests to shave their Polls, and to keep them∣selves single.
- 9. Vitalianus the first, first brought Organs in use in the Church of Rome. He sent Theodorus, and Hadrian into England, to introduce the Latin service.
- 10. Leo the second, Ratifyed the sixth Synod, to confirm the Mass, and brought in the kissing of the Pax.
- 11. John the seventh, noted for buil∣ding Churches, and erecting Images.
- 12. Gregory the second Excommuni∣cates the Emperour Leo Isaurus, for standing against Images.
- 13. Gregory the third Excommuni∣cates the Emperour upon the quarrel about Images.
- 14. Paul the first Excommunicates Page 120 the Emperour Constantine Capronimus upon the same Quarrel, upon which, it was well worth noting that the Empe∣rours, who were descended from Idola∣ters, and Persecutors, withstood Ima∣ges, being convinced of the dangerous consequences of them; when those who pretended to be the Successors of the Apostles, were the Introdu∣cers of Heathenish Idolatry into the Church of God.
- 15. Stephen the third brought in Wor∣shipping, and Censing of Images. So the point was gained.
- 16. Martin the second, his Father Palumbus was acknowledged to be a Conjurer: by which Arts it is said he sought the Papacy.
- 17. Christopher the first is Recorded to have got into the Chair by the a∣foresaid evil Arts: and was therefore deposed, and thrust into a Monastery.
- 18. Sergius the third ordained the bearing of Candles in the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.
- 19. John the thirteenth, a man from his Youth polluted with all kind of villany and dishonesty, deposed in Council by the Emperour Otho, slain in the Act of Adultery.
- Page 12120. John the fourteenth began to Baptize Bells, and give them Names.
- 21. Silvester the second was a Magi∣cian, and contracted with the Devil for the Papacy.
- 22. John the nineteenth given to Magick; he took off the Election of the Pope from the People; and appoin∣ted the Feast of All-Souls.
- 23. Benedict the ninth, a Conjurer, wont with Laurence and Gratian (two Conjurers) whom he made Cardinals, to wander in the Woods, to invocate Devils, and bewitch Women to follow them.
- 24. Nicholaus the second, a great contender for Transubstantiation.
- 25. Innocent the third brought in the Doctrine of Transubstantiation.
- 26. Sixtus the fourth brought in Beads into the Divine Worship.
- 27. Alexander the sixth, Incestuous with his own Daughter, and gave him∣self to the Devil.
By this short, yet dreadful List, it may appear by what degrees, first Superstiti∣on, then Idolatry, and after that Daemo∣nolatry, or a Correspondence, if not a Confederacy with the Prince of Darkness, crept into the world; nay, that part of it that claims the name of an Apostolick Church: Tho nothing more contrary, or Page 122 rather Diametrically opposite to the Doctrine and Faith established by the Holy Jesus, and his blessed Apostles. The Heathen Oracles had been struck dumb by the coming of the Eternal Redeemer, and the Divine Miracles wrought by him in Confirmation of the everlasting Gospel; the Magicians, and Sorcerers confounded by the Sacred Authority derived to the constituted Apostles, as we find recorded in their Acts, in the cases of Simon Magus, and Elimas the Sorcerer, with divers others of that kind: But after the Christian Doctrine had been confirmed by so many, and unquestionable Divine Mira∣cles, so that there wanted nothing that might assure the World of the mighty hand of God that accompa∣nied his Ministers in their first planting the Gospel of Salvation: Then again do we find the Arch-Enemy of our Souls unchained, and we may well calculate his losing from the time of Stephen the third, which was that fatal period that again spread the foul Contagion over the Apostate Church: For now the mystery of Iniquity shewed itself in the Tem∣ple of God, and the old Serpent began again to be Worshipped as God, and 〈◊…〉 his Altars in the obnoxious Tem•••…
Page 123And here I cannot omit that which is irrefragably urged upon this Argu∣ment by the learned Doctor Brevint, in his Book, intituled, Saul and Samuel at Endor; a Treatise, that perhaps gives some of the clearest demonstrations of the defection of the Roman Church, of any thing yet extant: though many of our Reverend and Learned Divines have acquitted themselves with singu∣lar Honour upon that occasion, to whose Memories Posterity will be obliged to pay the most grateful acknowledgments: But this Gentleman had the opportuni∣ty of a long co-habitation amongst their Fathers beyond the Seas, and the ad∣vantage of making such discoveries, and observations, as cannot fall under the cognizance of others. I shall therefore make bold to cite some passa∣ges out of the fore-named book of that excellent Authors, in refutation of the pretended Roman Miracles.
I shall begin with p. 45. where he makes a quotation out of St. August. de Civit. l. 10. c. 16.
to be tryed by the true Church, as we find it in the Scriptures: and not the Church by these Miracles.
Bring Roman Miracles to this Rule, you may divide them into three Ranks; for some of them are but meer Tales; some are counterfeit Impostures, and Artificial tricks of Juglers: others have a real Being, but the Question is, whence they have it.
As for the first sort of Miracles: The Papists have by little and little, heaped them to such an extravagancy, that divers of their Communion, who have some Modesty left them, can scarce forbear blushing at the Re∣lation. Gregory of Tours, and Gregory the first Bishop of Rome, (if the four Books of Dialogues be truly his) did begin pretty well to tell stories: but these are nothing to the advances made by other Prelates, and great Roman Doctors, in the following Ages: And I may say confidently that these Ro∣manists are not much short of the most extravagant Romancers. There you shall read of Constantine the Great be∣ing a Leper, and transferring his Ro∣man Empire upon that Pope that made him clean, of Wolves, and Lyons bringing back Lambs, and restoring Page 125 them out of their Entrails, after they had torn them to pieces; of Birds flocking about to hear Sermons; and of Asses becoming Roman Catho∣licks, at least kneeling to adore the Mass-Sacrament, &c. They cannot conceive any great man to be a Saint, unless he hath an extraordinary gift for the working of such Miracles. How true they be, you may best learn of the very Saints, who deny them: As for Example, S. Bernard, S. Chrysostom, and St. Gregory, and yet they are for∣ced upon them: And you can hardly pass for a true Catholick, unless you believe that St. Bernard was saluted, and suckled several times by our Lady in her Image; that St. Chrysostom did Raise the dead, did cure all sorts of in∣curable diseases; and had every night St. Paul himself whispering in his Ear, what he did write on his Epistles. And as to St. Gregory the Great, he had no meaner whisperer then the Holy Ghost in Person, under the shape of a Pigeon sitting quietly upon his head, and sometimes stretching down her Bill into his Mouth, when he was Prea∣ching. And we know that the Grand Impostor, Mahomet, pretended some∣what the like about the same time. Page 126 Now you may be sure all these things are Fabulous, since disowned by the very men who are pretended to have had them, and who therefore knew best the truth of all these works, and assistances.
Much like to these are the Miracles of Ignatius Loyola, when he cures Wo∣men in their Travail, if you but set his Seal, or Signet on their Belly; when he makes the house where he happens to be, horribly shake; and when himself grows as hot, and as terrible as Mount Aetna, by the fierce motion of that Spirit, which from a debauch'd Soldier, made him a holy Jesuit: or when he sees the Soul of his dearest Friend Hosius mounting up into the Sky, far more gorgeous then the Soul of any other: or when he works greater Miracles with his own name in a little piece of paper, Cum nomine suo Chartae inscripto, then Moses and the Apostles did in Gods name. We cannot deny (says the Bishop of Canaries) but sometimes very grave men write, and leave to posterity such reports about Saints Miracles, humouring hereby both them∣selves and the people, whom they perceive both prone to believe, and importunate to have them do so.
Page 127For the Authority of the above cited Fables, that worthy Divine quotes their own various Authors, citing the seve∣ral Books, and Pages, where they are related; for confirmation of which, I must refer you to the 45th p. of his Book before mentioned. And is it not here∣by evident to all that will not wilfully blind themselves to their own delusion, that these Stories, if true, are no other than Diabolical Cheats; being such, as in no wise can be imagined to confirm the Evangelical Doctrine, but rather the Superstitions and Orders by the Ro∣manists, imposed upon the world: Or if they are not true, then may we con∣clude them to fall within the number of those lying Wonders foretold of in the Scripture, by which Antichrist shall en∣deavour to establish his Blasphemies a∣mongst a Credulous, and Bigotted Gene∣ration. And what can their Fathers, that report those sottish Legends, be thought to be, but such a sort of peo∣ple as are marked out by the Prophet Ezekiel, when he says, The Prophets Prophesy Lies, and the Priests bear Rule by their means, and my people love to have it so, and what will you do in the end there∣of? O Depraved, and Adulterous Church, that imposeth on her Prose∣lytes Page 128 the Credit of such Fictions, that thereby she may procure a reverence, and belief of those Superstitions, and Idola∣tries, which her tainted Doctors teach.
Let us now go on to the second sort of Miracles mentioned by Dr. Brevint, which are such as are made up all of Artifice, and Imposture.
But the third and last sort of Roman Miracles reckoned up by the foremen∣tioned Learned Author, are those that indeed come nearest to our purpose, and do unquestionably prove, that as the Heathens of old under the Images of Serapis, Molech, Baalim, and Apollo, &c. worshipped base and infernal Spirits; so the Romanists now adays, (though they have new dressed and inscribed their Idols) do no less than pay an Adora∣tion to the Apostate Angels, and delu∣sive Spirits, which Act in, and Actuate those Interdicted Images.
For my part (says he) when I do read in grave and famous Roman Writers, that a Consecrated Host will flie and flutter in the Air sometimes, till a Mass-Priest holds up his Pix to receive it; that shapes of Flesh and Young Children have appeared upon their Altars, at the Elevation of the said Host; that by many good Expe∣riences, Horses, and Mules, and Page 131 Cows, have been cured of their Di∣seases, when some Masses were sung for them to the honour of S. Barbara; that S. Dominick did write Books, which upon several Tryals no Fire could ever burn; that once he was seen perfectly in the shape of a Cru∣cifix, with the five wounds in his Bo∣dy, and a Crown of Thorns on his Head, That at the Consecration at Mass, something like Christ was seen hard by him, with the same signs of his cruel Passion, dropping out of his own wounds some of his own dear Blood on this dear Saint; that the B. Virgin beheld all this, and of her own accord plaid the Mass-priest, and ad∣ministred the very Body of her Son, in one moity of a Consecrated Wafer to this same Saint in token of special friendship; and all this averred, and sworn as true, by a formal Oath in the name of the Blessed Trinity, and under pain of all kinds of Gods Curses, in case of a lie or a mistake, with five hundred such and greater Marvels: I think it a kinder, and safer part in me to take them for something, then for meer Tales.
But for my pains of believing so, let me, who by Gods Grace am a Page 132 Protestant, have the liberty which the Papists allow themselves, when they controul what is done by Pagans; to say, as perhaps it is true, that when the Emperour Vespasian once cured a Blind and Lame man, It was the Devil, who hindring the sight of the one, and the motion of the other, seemed really to heal both, when really he did but cease from hurting and anoying them. Some∣times Papists will come so far, as to suspect their own Miracles, and to take them but for sportings of un∣happy and wicked Spirits; and for this he quotes Biel in Canon. lect. 51. Those ordinary shews of a young Child, or of a Man of compleat sta∣ture, that appear sometimes, as they say, among their holiest Mysteries, and upon the Fists of their best Priests. They might as well, if their Interest would suffer it, find the like flaws in all the rest, and you may easily do it, if you compare their own Roman, with all averred Christian Miracles.
I fear there may be some will think I have been too long in this transcript; but if they consider the consistence of the Argument, and upon what great Autho∣rity it is deduced, will find no reason to complain: And I could heartily wish that Page 133 every English Papist had before him those Books to peruse of the Roman Wri∣ters, out of which our Author makes his Citations; I should think it impossible but the Opinion, and Authority of those of their own Religion, must certainly prevail with some of them, that are In∣genuous, at least not to pin their Faith upon the Traditions of some of their over-superstitious Fathers, but I must again return, and go on with our Excellent Author, to observe how the Roman Miracles distinguish themselves from those of our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles: And here he admirably di∣stinguishes,
- 1. The Works in themselves.
- 2. The tendency and design of them.
- 3. The Time, or period of their Ope∣ration. Whenas the so much-boasted Popish Miracles have in them,
- 1. An Intrinsical Impertinence, and frivolousness.
- 2. A general Aptitude and Tenden∣cy to confirm any trifling piece of Su∣perstition; rather than any fundamen∣tal, solid point of Religion.
- 3. An appearing, and exerting them∣selves in the latter times; and even those marked out by our Saviour for times of a general defection, and delu∣sion,Page 134 and are branded for false Miracles, such as Antichrist at his coming should enchant men with, 2 Thess. 2. Rev. 13.13.
At another time (they say) she came to Church (having it seems often be∣fore chid Ʋdo the then Bishop for ly∣ing with her Nuns, Thou hast had, (says she) sport enough, do so no more;) not∣withstanding afterwards she found him a Bed with no meaner Miss than the Mother Abbess her self: At which she calls her Son (it is not to be supposed to be the second Person in the Trinity) and caused their Angels to pluck him off the Bed, where they beat him till at every blow he vomited up one of those Hosts which he had Consecrated whilst in that sin: And because of her Page 136 Sons dirty lying (if there be such a thing as Transubstantiation, it must be so) she held the Chalice to take both the Wafers and her Son in it. Then the Queen of Heaven, says the Historian, takes up these vomited Wafers, and washes them clean with great care, and lays them up reverently on the Al∣tar.
Abundance more of Feats he rec∣kons up reported in the Roman Histo∣rians, and Authors of the same Spirit, which they would perswade their blinded Bigots to be the Virgin Mary; as her going to Orleance with a Box of Ointment, to dress the back of a Dean; giving special Pills to a Monk to purge his Choler; feeding S. Albert, with a sort of Bread, after which he resolv'd to feed on nought but Herbs and Roots: Coming (they say) down from Hea∣ven, but more likely from the power of the Air, to uncover her breasts, and put her Paps into the Mouth of S. Hub∣bert, and S. Bernard; then they make her to woo Sweet-hearts, and give them Rings of her own Hair, as to S. Alan, and S. Harman, to both which they say she was married, and that in the presence of all her Saints, (Spirits like her self relating a thousand other ridi∣culous, Page 137 if not blasphemous stories of her, too tedious here to mention.
Then they bring down (whom they would impose upon us to be the Eter∣nal Son of the Father) lying as if dead under the hand of a Mass-priest, or shewing tricks of Activity, like a young Child among the Novices, in their Churches and Covents:
One says, he hath seen this little Child creeping out at the mouth of a Crucifix ('tis all a Sparrow could do, but the Devil can do much more) and thence jump into the Lap of an Image, thence fly∣ing up again the way that he came. Another says S. Ida had him, and kis∣sed, and embraced him, ut sponsa spon∣sum; then he must hang about her Neck whilst she sings an Anthem; S. Agnes had him too, whilst she stole a little Cross out of his bosom: They say he was brought by his own Mother, to be kissed by S. Catharine, of the order of Clara upon a Christmas Eve; and that the same Dame brought him to Bed to S. Boniface, in swadling Cloths. They will have it, that S. Lucia of the order of S. Dominick had him three Days and three Nights, during which time the Image of the Virgin had no Baby on its left Arm; after that, they Page 138 marry him to her, when he looked as if he had been but seven years old. S. Hostradus and others took this illusion for a real appearance of the Holy In∣fant, and thereupon offered him as we do Children, something to eat; some would dandle him on their Knees, and others play with him, and S. John, who was his companion at it.
Thus, with grief, may pious Souls see according to the Prophesies, Jeru∣salem trodden and danced upon by ugly Owls and wild Satyrs. Isa. 13.21. So the Roman Church is become a Stage for vile Spirits to act upon; for where are the good Saints or Angels that will re∣present, much less act Christ and the Blessed Virgin, under such shameful personages?
Then as for S. Francis, you have Sheep and Asses running to hear his Sermons; Swine falling dead under his curse, for having hurt a poor Lamb; all sorts of Cattel recover with the Water he washt his Feet in; Women eased of their Travel by applying to them some of the Hay his Mule used to eat of.
Again, you may find S. Dominick at Mass, hanging in the Air like a Bird; or at the Bed-side of a sick Woman Page 139 Transubstantiating Worms into Pearls; or by the Water side, raising the River into a Flood; or at his Devotions, forcing the Devil to hold Candle to him, 'till the poor pugg burn his own Fingers in the Service: Or, sometimes you may find him changing the sex of a young Girl unto a Boy.
Nor did the Women come behind hand for extraordinary feasts; for if you read but the Life of S. Christina, you will find that she rose from the dead twice, before she died for good and all, and so died thrice. She had a mighty knack at Miracles all her life long; for to save Souls from the pains of Purgatory, she loved to throw her self into all the hottest Ovens, and burn∣ing Fires she could find, that she might endure here what they suffered there; and to atone for Gluttons, she resolv'd to starve her self, till finding the pains of a sharp hunger, she had Milk came into her Paps, so allayed the cravings of her Stomach, by sucking her self; she expiated for proud Souls, by apply∣ing her self to the worst way of com∣mon begging; she could distinguish too between the honesty and dishonesty of those which gave her alms, for the Bread that came from good hands tast∣ed Page 140 like Bread, but that which came from wicked hands tasted like Toads-flesh. To satisfy for all Sorts of sins contracted by those which used much company keeping, she resolv'd to for∣sake mankind, and to come near none but Beasts; at last that she might be safe from all contagion of Flesh and Blood, she parched her self on the tops of Trees; there her thin body being made thinner, both by continual fast∣ing, and great fervency of Spirit, she did at her prayer contract her self into a round form, much like that of a Hedg-hog. She could climb up the highest Trees like a Squirrel, and swim in Rivers like a Fish; till her Friends, barbarous, it seems, and not believing all these Miracles, put her in Chains as a Mad Woman; and there she miserably lacerated her poor body with struggling hard to free her self; and this violence in Prison gave occasi∣on to more Miracles, for the Milk in her Breasts turned into Oyl, where∣with she did anoint her sores, and some∣times too, she used it as Butter to sweeten her Bread. Cardinals and whole Towns can aver these extra∣vagancies, and therewith we shall con∣clude the first kind of Roman Mi∣racles; Page 141 omitting what might be said of S. Brigit, S. Julia, S. Clara, S. Ʋr∣sula, with hundreds more known and famous in that Church, with whose stories their Voluminous Legends do crawl all over. In the mean time it will not be amiss for satisfaction of the curious, to insert the names of those Authors our Reverend Doctor hath made use of in this Section.
- Alan. Rediv. part 2. c. 4.
- Jul. •omer in vita Ildeph. ap Sur. 23. Jan.
- Chronick Deipar. an. 985.
- Leander in vita Reginald.
- Robert. Archid. in vita S. Albert. ap. Sur. 7. Apr.
- Chronic. Deip. an. 598.
- Histor. Eccl. Carnot. an. 1020.
- Chronic. Deip. an. 1152.
- Ibid. an. 1476.
- Ibid. an. 1235.
- Matth. Paris in vita S. Godric.
- Menol. Cisters. 29. Octob.
- Bov. 14. anal. an. 1317. n. 2.
- Flamin. in vita S Catharin.
- Henriques Fascicul. S. S.
- Chronic. ord. praedict.
- Henriques 3. Jam
- Chronic. Deip. an 1285.
- Ibid. an. 1235.
- S. Bonavent in vit. S. Fran.
- Page 142Job. Garg. in vita S. Dominic.
- Tho. Cantapr. in vita S. Christinae ap. Sur. Jun. an. 1160.
- Jacob de Vitriaco, in vita S. Mariae Ocig∣niar.
A further evidence of the Confedera∣cy of Roman Priests with evil Spirits.
THE Argument that we are now upon, having already taken up too much Paper for one Section, I have thought it proper to continue it in the following Chapter, lest, those who are ig∣norant of Satans devices, and of the Arti∣fices of his Priests, should want so con∣vincing a Demonstration of the danger of Communion with them, as is laid be∣fore them in the subsequent lines. I must therefore resume the Discourse as it is continued in the forecited Book of the Reverend Dr. Brevint; and ha∣ving already transcribed the sum of what he speaks upon the first Head, namely, That the Miracles of the Roman Page 143 Church, are ordinary, such trifling, and Ludicrous pranks, as cannot possibly seem to hold any proportion with those solid and Divine Operations, which attested the Truth and Excellency of the Doctrine of the Holy Gospel: The Second Evidence that he mentions is, the Tendency and Design of the Popish Miracles; which look quite another way from those wrought by our Blessed Saviour, and his Apostles: For whereas those last confirmed the Faith, and Doctrine of the first Preachers of the Doctrine of Salvation; and those which anciently were wrought at the Sepulchres of the Primitive Martyrs, cannot be thought to justify or assert any other Faith, or Doctrine than what was Taught, Belie∣ved, and Practised by those Holy Men; Aug. de Civit. l. 22. c. 9. says, What is it that these Miracles will attest but the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ? St. Paul tells us, that they taught nothing, but what was concluded within the Law and the Prophets; and it cannot be supposed that the extraordinary things done by them should confirm any other Doctrine than what they Taught. So at this day, tho all sorts of Opera∣tions were to be seen at the Sepul∣chre of St. Paul; they could not be Page 144 presumed to confirm the Popes Bulls, or the Innovations of the Roman Church, but those truths which were contained in his Preachings, and his Epistles. But as for Roman Miracles, they follow their Novel Doctrines, which some∣times are contrary to, and always quite different from the true Christian Gos∣pel. How many Volumes would be required to contain all the revelations, and the strange wonders, that encou∣rage, and excite men in general to the Worship of the Virgin Mary. As ma∣ny more are bestowed upon the doing it by special ways, and at her particu∣lar Feasts; for upon that score great Indulgences are promised to her Ado∣rers; or else what mean those swarms of Monks that lie hid under her Coats, or the Ladders whited with her Milk, from which no body (that takes that way to Heaven) can ever tumble down? Or those Quires of supposed Angels heard in the bottom of a deep Well to sing her praises? What can be thought of those Images that bleed, or speak, or fly as light as Feathers, unless it be to bring mankind to the Wor∣shipping of Wood, or Stone, or some∣thing more sordid and abominable, which seems to give motion to those Page 145 inanimate Stocks? What all those thousands of sad Souls to ramble up and down the World, since the time of Pope Gregory, but to reveal Purga∣tory, and recommend Masses for the dead? What abundance of strange Feats have been done by St. Francis, and St. Dominic, on purpose to confirm their new orders, and ways? What can signify those heaps of excommunicated Flies; and a poor Raven pining to death under the same Curse, for ha∣ving fled away with a Bishops Ring, but to shew the Terrour of the Roman Keys? And those multitude of small and great Toads crawling in and out of mens mouths, when they do observe well or ill the rules of Auricular Con∣fession, but to justify that jugling piece of Priest-Craft? Or the many little Children standing upon consecrated Wafers, but to maintain the Doctrine of Transubstantiation? What can the many pretended Miracles wrought by the five wounds in the body of St. Fran∣cis, or the Rope about his Loyns signify, but to keep up an Opinion of the Sancti∣ty of that Order? Then the Doctor asks your Opinion of the following Miracle, which he thus relates.
Page 146A Bishop moved with passion against a Covent of Franciscans, was resolved to turn them out of his City, and to do it the next day: The night before, behold their Sacrist sees in a vision the Image of St. Paul, and the Image of St. Francis, both painted in the Church window, talking earnestly one with the other. He hears St. Paul extream∣ly blaming St. Francis for no better defending his own Order; and St. Fran∣cis answering to him, What shall I do? says he, I have but a Cross, and that is no defensive Weapon; but had I a sword, as you have (for commonly they represent them so) perhaps I might do somewhat more. The man being awak'd, starts out of his bed, and his imagination being full of this, runs to the Church, finds the two Pictures had exchanged their Arms: Paul in the window had the Cross, and St. Francis had the Sword.
This amaz'd the whole Covent; but that which is more then all the rest, St. Francis had not St. Pauls Sword in vain, for that same night the Bishop had his throat cut. What Evangelical Doctrine can be confirmed by these three Wonders? Pictures that can speak and move; St. Paul, that exhorts Page 147 to revenge; and a Saint, who during his life, made Conscience, as they say, to kill a Louse, now can cut his Bishops throat: What can be infer•d from this, unless it be this wholsome Doctrine, that Bishops are not Jure Divino, but Friers are? All these, and whole Mil∣lions of other such Roman Miracles, are not fit for Christs Calendar, because they never were accommodated for persuading men of the truth of Christs Gospel, and upon that account must needs proceed from any other than his Spirit. Authors quoted for proof of this second mark are.
- S. Anth. 3. part Hist. l. 23. c. 3. Ser. 1.
- Chron. Diep. an. 1231.
- Hist. Carnat. an. 1116.
- Archiev. Buburg. in fraud. an. 1383.
- Menol. Cistere. 28. April.
- Leand. in vita Hyacinthi ap. Sur. 16. August.
- Gregor. in Dialog. passim.
- Specul. Exemp. Tit. Excommunicatio Exemp. 5.
- Ibid. Exemp. 4.
- Ibid. Tit. Confessio Exemp. 22.
- Ibid. Tit. Eucharistia.
- S. Bonav. in vita Franc.
- Hieron. Platus de bono statu Relig. l. 5. c. 33.
Page 148The third foul mark he mentions of Roman Miracles, and which will put it beyond all doubt, that they are the effect of Diabolical Confederacies, and Impostures, is, that besides the evil tendency of them, they appear, and shew themselves unto the world in such suspicious times, as may justly discre∣dit, and call in question even true, and real Miracles. The gift of Miracles being unto Teachers, what credential Letters, and Royal Colours are unto publick Officers, which signify much un∣to good Subjects, whilst they know them granted to none but such as the King doth really send; but very little, after they see those in the hands, these on the backs of every dirty Carrier, who hath a mind for his own ends to Counterfeit them, and rant with them. No man takes for good payment what∣soever hath Caesars Image, after he hears of false Coiners, who have dispersed vast sums abroad, and marked them with the same stamp We are not now in the priviledged days either of Moses, or Elias, or of Jesus Christ, or his Apo∣stles; when neither all the Magicians could make one Louse; nor all the Baalims light fire on one Altar; nor all the workers of false wonders open Page 149 their mouth against the Son of God. We live in such times, when the De∣vils in all mens account, are let loose from such a restraint, and the Church left unguarded of such a protection: When false Prophets may arise with such Prophesies, and false Christs with such Miracles, as, if it were possible, might deceive the very Elect.
Now the Mirabilarians, as St. Au∣gustine calls them, are abroad, against whom, saies he, Cautum me fecit Domi∣nus. The Lord himself, and his Apo∣stles after him, have given us all suffi∣cient warning; so that it would be a great folly in us to take notice, or run after such, as have a permitted power of Counterfeiting true Miracles, there∣with to amuse the simple. The glori∣ous work of our Blessed Saviour, his Disciples, and other Apostolical Fa∣thers, were done in such clear days, as dissipated, and scattered all suspicions, and imaginable Clouds of Imposture; the Devils had not so much as the li∣berty to preach the Truth, Mark 1.25. If either Simon Magus, or Elimas, tho Sorcerers of the highest rank, did but offer to play their old Game, and shew their devilish Feats, you read in the Acts, how they were kept in. Thus Page 150 this mighty restraining hand, rather than the intrinsecal greatness of the work, was an infallible Evidence, which in those days shined about all true Miracles; whereas the Revelati∣ons, and Feats of the Romanists must needs be full of suspicion, and noted for such by all good Christians, since they came forth, when all false Christs, and false Prophets have the liberty to work them. Then come up the Ap∣paritions of sad Souls, by thousands, to acquaint their Friends with their con∣dition underneath: and what neither Moses, nor the Prophets, nor Jesus Christ himself, nor his Apostles ever thought to mind us of; distressed groaning Spirits make it their principal business to throng about, craving for help, for Pilgrimages, and Masses. Then come Images to bleed, or sing or mourn, as occasion requires: and the Conse∣crated Elements, the better to justify what they are not, appear with blood, with flesh, and even sometimes with whole Children. It passes all under∣standing, how the Virgin Mary, who kept her self so long above, would not come down among us Mortals, either sooner, or in less suspected times, or on more serious Errands. Five hun∣dred Page 151 years may be accounted, when all good Authors will justify that she con∣tinued as quiet above; and that she, after so long rest and abode in the blessed Mansions, should take such an unlucky, and obnoxious time to come down, and shew her self to men, when the Devil, and his foul Spirits are per∣mitted to play their pranks; this in∣deed is very admirable! It can hardly be imagined, that she who never did appear to any of the Primitive Holy Fathers, in a less suspected juncture, should in these last and Branded times, shew her self to a dirty Monk. Did not St. Austin, before he died, being besieged by Barbarians, deserve as well her protection, and a guard of her ar∣med Angels, as St. Dominick did, whi∣lest he held a poor pitiful Heretick a∣bout the neck with his Rosary? where∣fore had none of these holy men, St. Athanasius, St. Hillary, St. Cyprian as well the comfort of a kiss, or an em∣brace, as Loyola, Stephen the Minime, and a thousand more less deserving it? Or how comes she, who never was known to take notice of any trouble, disease, or imprisonment of true Saints, as the Head-ach of St. Chrysostom, the sickli∣ness of St. Basil, the infirm body of St. Page 152Gregory Nazianzen, the Prisons, and Tortures of all the Martyrs; now to be running up and down to relieve all sorts of persons: to cure a Jesuit with her Child, whom she laid by him in his bed: to cure whole Countries of purple Feavers; and to free several Rogues, that had well deserved hang∣ing, from the Gallows, from Dunge∣ons, and from all imaginable sorts of dangers? How comes this fancy to take her so late of bringing down out of Heaven, Crosses, Hoods, Books, Robes, Holy Water, and such other Utensils, which the Fathers in former times ne∣ver had, nor expected from her? The truth is, these kind of Apparitions and Miracles were most advisedly re∣served until such times, as these latter are, dark, and confused, and more pro∣pitious to Imposture; and these strange new transactions have another reason be∣sides, which I wish Roman-Catholicks would seriously consider, and it is this.
As long as the Blessed Virgin had no more honour in the Church, then what became a Creature, and was allowed to her by the Fathers, to be Honoured, not Adored; no Antient Author will tell you that she ever appeared among men. But as soon as the latter times brought Page 153 in publick Services to pray with unto her, and Images to pray to her by; then she (or rather some other Spirit under her name) began first to bestir her self: then she, and a multitude of other Saints with her, seem to come down, and appear at the voice of these new Prayers, just as the Soul of Samuel did, (or rather seemed to) come up at the Mysteries of Endor. Ever after the pretended Queen was seen in the Ro∣man Church, as in her Heavenly Palace: and she had more Angels to wait on her in the least of her ordinary Progresses, then our Blessed Saviour himself had in any of his most solemn appearings: But as when the Devils will look like Angels, you may still, they say, either perceive a Cloven Foot, or smell a stinking vapour, that betrays the pretended glorious appearance, so Roman Miracles, and Visions, have com∣monly some black mark, which may convince any sober man, that they are not really what they seem to be. Con∣sider in the Holy Scriptures what the true Saints and Angels of God have done, whenever they met with more Honour then was their due: or ask St. Austin what those Spirits are, who take it when it is given, or call for it Page 154 when it is not: No Saint, nor Angel, says the good Father, will take of others what they know to be due only to God: as it appeared by Paul and Barnabas, who tore their cloaths, when the people offered to worship them, to shew they were meer men: And by that Angel who rejected Adoration. They are unclean Spirits that are for Worship, and tho they care little for flesh; yet they pride themselves in Sacrifices, because God, under the Law, appointed them for his own service▪ And in another place he says, Good Angels are for this one thing, that with them we may serve God, in whose contemplation they are happy: but they who invite us to serve themselves, are like proud men, &c. only the serving of proud Devils is more hurtful. And in another place he says, Coelestial, and happy Spirits will have us Sacrifice (not unto themselves, but) unto God, whose Ob∣lation they are, as well as we; and there∣fore, all Revelations, and Miracles that invite us to serve more than one God, are such seductions of Devils, as any pious, and prudent men must needs throw off; for this is their proud Malice, who by that To∣ken are noted, neither to be good Angels themselves, nor the Angels of a good God. For the good Angels love us so well, that Page 155 they will not have us to serve them, but the true God only.
This was the Opinion of St. Austin in his time, by which it appears what his thoughts were of Saint, and Idol-Adoration. Let us now bring to these Christian Rules, most of the Roman Miracles, and Apparitions. Let us see when ever this humble Spirit did (with the good Angel) reject one Worship∣ping, or devout Adoration; shew, wherever she once tore her cloaths at the hearing of Te Deum, and the whole Psalter of David sung, and applied most Blasphemously from God to her. Cer∣tain it is, that for several Centuries of years, the steps of another Spirit are to be found in her ways, seeking con∣tinually for more honour. We may behold one who strokes, and kisses pious men, because they both begin and end their best devotions with her prai∣ses: who teaches in what godly form they must pray to her for all Blessings: who calls them into brakes of Thorns, and Nettles, and sometimes into holes under ground, to find, and Adore her Images: one who can put on the shape of a Stag, or a Pigeon, or a great Queen, purposely to shew the place, and stone where she must needs have an Altar, or Page 156 a Chappel, or a great Church that there she may be served and Worshipped to the worlds end; and there walk, and delight her self; one who in all these Churches, brags among Men, as if she were the Mother of Compassions, the Lady of the House of Prayer, and the Fountain of all Blessings: Lastly, one who spreads forth about her a great Mantle, therewith to betoken the largeness of her Mercies and Favours; which she says, she denies to none that will come to her with faith. And now let St▪ Austin, or any good Christi∣an judge what kind of Creatures these Spirits are; and what great difference there is between those which among the Pagans did perpetually labour for Sacrifices, and these, which now among the Papists, are all for Masses, and the greatest oblations that can be set on Romes Altars. Mean while we may be confident, that none but God alone can own Sacrifices, Altars, and Churches to be served with; none but Devils ever owned Images to speak, move, or any wise to work in; such Spirits as these may be the Authors of all the boasted Miracles, Apparitions, and Revelations among the Romanists; and such appea∣rances, and delusive Operations are Page 157 very fit for such Spirits: and both fore∣told, and reserved for the last times? And so it may be guess'd what that Church is that hath her proper estab∣lishment both from such Wonders, and such Saints.
For proof of what is spoken upon this third head, relating to the timing of Popish Miracles, see the following Authors.
- Aug. in Joh. Trac. 13. sub fin. ibid.
- Specul. Exemp. Tit. Ros. Exemp. 1.
- Attich. Cron. Ord. Minim. an 1612.
- Chron. Diep. an. 1561.
- Oliver L. Mirac. Mar. Montis.
- Albert. de viris Illust. Ord. Praedic.
- Epiphan. Contr. Haeres. l. 3. adv. Colly∣rid.
- August. contr. Faust. l. 20. c. 21, 22.
- Idem de vera Relig. c. 25.
- Idem de Civit. l. 10. c. 7. Ibid. c. 16.
- Ibid. c. 7. item l. 9. c. 23.
- Caesarius l. 7. Hist. c. 25.
- Leander. de viris Illust. Chron. Diep. an. 1372.
- Chron. Diep. an. 1178.
- Franc. Hierasc. in vita Henr. Silice.
- Odo Gisseus Hist. virg. Aniciensis.
- In vita Manaveriap. sur. 5. Jun.
- Page 58Arch. Gian. cent. 3. Annal. l. 4. c. 9.
- Od. Gissaeus supra.
- Niceph. Eccl. Hist. l. 15. c. 25.
- Blosius in Monili.
- Menol. Cisterc. 22. Dec.
- Chron. Diep. an. 1467.
- Tho. Malvenda Tom. 1.
- Annal. Ord. Praed. an. 1221.
Much more doth the learned Doctor urge, to prove that what the Papists offer to the Shrine of that which they call the Blessed Virgin, can be nothing less than giving Divine Honour and Adoration to an unclean Spirit; but I fear I have been tedious in transcribing this; tho it were to be wished that all professed Christians were truly convin∣ced of the danger, and damnableness of this Roman Doctrine. For, if
That which was never commanded by God in his Word, ought not to be introduced into his Worship: If,
Whatsoever pretended Saint or An∣gel claims a Religious Adoration, be to be reputed Diabolical, and unclean; Then what can be concluded of those Worshippers, and these Saints in the Roman Church, unless it be this, that they have not introduced only the Doctrine,Page 159 but the down-right Worshipping of Devils.
It is not for nothing that the Holy Spirit of God doth in the Sacred Wri∣tings, by his inspired Pen-men so often warn, and call off his People from I∣dolatry; it is not for nothing that the Eternal Fountain of Blessedness ex∣presses such an inflamed Jealousy against the Israelites for departing after strange Gods; and that the Divine Vengeance always followed that Impious Abomina∣tion with such tremendous, and smoak∣ing Judgments: For when once the profligated Spirits can obtain for Dei∣ties in their Temples and Altars; it is not to be expected that the true, and Eternal God should have any place in the heart of such a People. Therefore the Scripture calls Idolatry a departing from the Holy One, a going a Whoring from him. The Samaritans had that Opinion of the works which Simon the Sorcerer performed by Witchcraft, and a Diabolical Confederacy, that they called him the mighty power of God, in the 8th Chap. of the Acts. But by the verse preceding, it appears that he had fascinated their minds, and laid his Charms on their understandings, that Page 160 they were in such a condition as Paul terms the Galatians, they were bewitch∣ed, that they should not Obey the Truth. And it cannot be supposed that any thing short of some forcible Enchant∣ment could prevail with those of the Roman Communion, to give faith to those lying Wonders, and Divine Wor∣ship to those eluding Spirits, which upon that account, have the Shrines erected amongst them.
By what hath been said, it is evident, that those Ghosts, or Spirits which re∣quire Temples, and Worship, are no other then some of the Tainted, Expul∣sed Legions; and that the strange Mira∣cles performed by the Images, or at the Shrines of these Deities, are the old delusions continued; whereby they drew the Antient Pagans after their Oracles, Groves, and Pythons, &c. and the Papists now a days into an Adora∣tion of Images, Altars, and Relicks. Still the old Confederacy is kept up, tho under new Forms, and Notions. And perhaps it is none of the smallest Poli∣cies of the Agents of that Communi∣on, to impose upon their Credulous Ones the belief that there is no such thing as a Witch; that so their perfor∣mances Page 161 of that kind may the better pass under the notion of a Miracle. But by the following discourse, any one that will not wilfully blind himself, may discern the strange, and vast power that the Deceiver of the Nations still main∣tains amongst the degenerate race of men. And so I have put an end to the first Part.