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tp\Vmll" P^y 00 (R)« ms trew law of free mo* works. narchy i

James was aparaphrast, to these meditations; but the connexion between that annexed to that book, and the rest, I hope will be deemed a sufficient excuse.

(r) His Djemonologie.] This was printed at Edinburgh, cum privil. reg. 4to. 1597. It is in form of a dialogue, divided into three books. The occasion and end of this piece, to do James justice, I shall give in his h-is own words. '' The searsul abounding (fays he). ^* at this time, in this country, of these detestable slaves "of the devil, the witches or enchanters, hath moved f me, beloved reader, to dispatch in post this following "treatise of mine, not in any wise (as I protest) to, "serve for a shew of my learning and ingene, but only f' (moved of conscience) to press thereby so far as I '' can, to resolve the doubting hearts of many; both 1' that such assaults of Satan are most certainly prac•" tised, and that the instrument thereof merits most

V severely to be punished, against the damnable opini"ons of two principally in our age, whereof the one ?' called Scot, an Englishman, is not ashamed in pub"lick print to deny, that there can be such a thing as

V witchcraft; and so maintains the old errors of the '' Sadducees in denying of spirits} the other called ?* IVierus, a German physician, sets out a public apology "for all these crafts-folks, whereby, procuring for their "impunity, he plainly bewrays himself to have been one

V of that profession. And for to make this treatise U the more pleasant and facile, I have put it in form **' of a dialogue, which I have divided into three books; ',' the first speaking of magic in general, and necro*' mancie in special: the second of sorcerie and witch"craft: and the third contains a discourse of all these "kinds of spirits, and spectres that appear and trouble "persons: together with a conclusion of the whole

U) Works, " work." (<?.) From this account'tis plain James bep*9*' lieved that there were witches, $cc. and that they

deserved

deserved a most severe punishment. And afterwards he tells us, " that witches ought to be put to death ac*' cording to the law of God, the civil and imperial law, '* and the municipal law of all christian nations. Yea, "he declares, that to spare the lise, and not to strike "when God bids strike, and so severely punish in so '' odious a fault and treason against God, it is not only '' unlawsul, but doubtless no less fin in the magistrate, "nor it was in SauPs sparing Agag." (b) Yea, so zeal- (£) Workt, ous was he for punishing these poor wretches, that hep- J34« declares it to be his opinion " that barnes or wives, or *' never so defamed persons, may serve for sufficient c' witnesses against them." (c) Busiest innocent personsW li- p* '' should be accused, and suffer falsely, he tells us there135' « are two good helps that may be used for their trial: the "one is the finding of their mark, and the trying the *' insensibleness thereof: the other is their fleeting on the *' water: for, as in a secret murther, if the dead car"kass be at any time thereafter handled by the mur*' therer, it will gush out of blood, as if the blood '* were crying to the heaven for revenge of the mur"therer : God having appointed that secret supernatu"ral sign, for trial of that secret unnatural crime: so "that it appears that God hath appointed (for a super"natural sign of the monstrous Impiety of witches) "that the water shall resuse to receive them in her bo"som, that have shaken off them the facred water of '' baptism, and wilsully resused the benefit thereof: no, *( not so much as their eyes are able to ihed tears "(threaten and torture them as you please) while first "they repent (God not permitting them to differ '' "their obstinacie in so horrible a crime). Albei '.? "women-kind especially, be able otherwise to shed "tears at every light occasion when they will, yea, al"though it were dissembling like the crocodiles." (d) rj\ id. p.' James, we see, was well qualified for a witch-finder; 13*. he knew their marks, and could discover them by swimming, and refraining tears. And accordingly, he permitted persons to be executed who were found guilty thereof. In 1597, " there was a great business in the V trial of witches; amongst others, one Margaret AtI) 4 «* kin?,

*' HitSf being apprehended upon suspicion, and. threats' "ened with torture, did consess herself guilty. Being "examined concerning her associates in that trade, she "named a few, and finding she gained credit, made "ofFi.r to detect all of that sort, and to purge the "country of them, so she might have her lise granted. "For the reason of her knowledge, she faid, that they "had a secret mark, all of that sort, in their eye*, "whereby she could surely tell, how soon she looked "upon any, whether they were witches or not. In this "(he was so readily believed, that for the space of three "or four months she was carried from town to town, "to make discoveries in that kind. She accused many, "and many innocent women were put to death. In ft) Spots' "tne end she was found to be a mere deceiver.-' (e) wood, p. "And most of the winter of the year 1591, was spent 448« "in the discovery and examination of witches and

"sorcerers.'' "In this year the famous Agnes Samson "(commonly called the wife wise of Keith) was exa"mined, who consessed she had a familiar spirit, * "who had no power over the king, but faid, as she

tf) u. p. "took the words to be, il eji homme de Dieu." (f) 3^3. This speech, I doubt not, flattered James's vanity, and

made him the more stedfast in the belief of the doctrine of witches. For believe it, I suppose, he did, or otherwise he would not have passed such a bloody statute, formed out of compliment (as has been well con(g) Hutch- jectured) (g) to him, by both houses of parliament, soon toricaulsi after nis acceffion to the English throne. By this statute concerning it was enacted, " that if any person or persons shall use, •wit'hcr^t, "* practise, or exercise any invocation, or conjuration p.iSo.Lond. ti Q( evjj and wjcjcej spirit, or shall consult, co

2710, 3V0. J 1 r 1 1

"venant with, entertain, employ, feed or reward any
"evil and wicked spirit, to or for any intent and pur-
"pose: or take up any dead man, woman, or child,
"out of his, her, or their grave, or any other place
"where the dead body resteth, or the skin, bone, or
"any part of any dead person, to be employed or used
"in any manner of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or in-
"chantment; or shall use, practise, or exerciTe any
*• witchcraft, inchantment, charm or sorcery, where-
'•-..••». "by

** by any person shall be killed, destroyed, wasted, con

"sumed, pined or lamed in his or her body, or any

"part thereof; that then every such offender or of

?' senders, their aiders, abettors, and counsellors, being

"of any the faid offences duly and lawsully convicted

f' and attainted, shall suffer pains of death as a selon or

"selons; and shall lose the privilege and benefit of

"clergy «nd fanctuary." (h) Upon this statute great (j) stat. «.

numbers have been condemned and executed, to the no primo j»

reproach of common sense and humanity. And even cob,/Ts'^"

r t i t. t i - n J »» 12. sect. 2.

great and good men have been the initruments hereby of condemning miserable innocent creatures.

A caution to law-makers this, not (in order to please a prince) to enact statutes, especially on the penalty of death, unless upon the most solid, weighty reasons.— For though the general opinion then was, that there were witches, and that they did much hurt and damage, yet ought the parliament to have weighed well the foundation on which it was built, and the consequences of it. Whereas they took the opinion on trust, and enacted a most dreadsul punishment for an imaginary crime. James tells us, " that witches ought

"to be put to death, according to the municipal law "of all christian nations." He spoke as he knew; but had his learning been as univerfal as it was proclaimed, he couid not with truth have faid so. For Dr. Hutchinsen assures us, that 'tis so far from being true, that all nations have always had such laws as ours, that he had some reason to doubt, whether any nation in the world hath, unless it be Scotland (i). And with great ,.,„.. . .

i/- T/-ji . ,, 'i .-,.9. (i) Historical

pleasure 1 find that there " was a law in btctopia, diseobrse of "which prohibited the people to believe that there is witchcraft, "any such thing as witches; the belief whereof, they p' ls8' "fay, is founded upon the error of the Manichees, "that there are two independent gods, a good one, "and a bad one." (i) But I will leave this subject, (*) Geddcs after having observed that we have reason to be thank- church hisful to almishty God, and to acknowledge the wisdomtory*:Ethland goodness or our government, for repea.uigthe ita- 8vo. Lond. tute aforefaid, and " enacting, that no prosecution, »696J' suit, or proceeding (hall be commenced, or carried

"on

narchy (s) ; but especially his piece so highly extolled, entitled BASIAIKON AXIPON (t),

for

"on against any person or persons for witchcraft, for'' eery, inchantment, or conjuration, in any court (') *TM-TMnZ" whatsoever in Great Britain." (/) This is a statute as ^."cps,0?" much in honour to our legislators as any ever enacted, 5. sea. 3. and will transmit their fame down to posterity; it being founded on reason and justice, and productive of the fasety of the people, whose welfare is the end of all government. I have faid above, that I supposed James did believe the doctrine of witches. But, in justice to his character, I must here add, that after his being in England, having met with a number of forgeries and cheats, they wrought such an alteration upon his judgment, that at first he grew diffident of, and then flatly (m)Fuller's denied the workings of witches and devils («).

church hist. ,.'*,.

cent. 17. (s) His trew law of free monarchy.] This was

^°°kld'oi printed in September 1598, without his name. "The bin's "" bent os if' favs Calderwood, was directed against the works,p. "course of God's work, in the reformation of our f Vcald "k'rk' and e,sewnere» as rebellious to kings." (a) And wood'* "5t muft be consessed, if the doctrine contained in this church hist, treatise is true, the Scotch and many other of the res' Vb formers, will with difficulty be cleared from rebellion. For he asserts the regal power strongly; allows resistance ox disobedience to it upon no account whatsoever; and reflects on the " seditious preachers of whatsoever «' religion, either in Scotland or in France, that had '.* busied themselves most to stir up rebellion under cloke {*) James's "of religion." (A) In short, he plainly fays, " the TMkS'p' "kinS 1S above the law> *P& that, he is not bound ."' "thereto, but of his good will, and for good example

(r)H.p. "giving to his subjects.",/) This is the doctrine ?°5' contained in the law of free monarchy, than which

nothing can be more vile and abominable.

(t) Basiaikon anpoN.] This book is dedicated to his dearest son and natural successor, prince Henry.

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