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a rare piece for many precepts and experiments
and consult the welfare of his people. This was his proper business; the other was out of his province, and answered no end, either to himself or others. Indeed, if Montague is right, these reflections are ill founded. He tells us " kings have a kind of interest in this book "[the Revelations] beyond any other; for as the exe"cution of the most part of the prophecies of that book "is committed unto them, so it may be, that the in*' terpretation of it may more happily be made by them; "and since they are the principal instruments that God "hath described in that book to destroy the kingdom of "antichrist, to consume his state and city j I see not "but it may stand with the wisdom of God to inspire
If Tames" "their ,ieartS t0 expound 1'•" (d) This is admirable!
workTM" S antl weP worthy of a court chaplain who had still hopes , of preserment. But, with this bishop's good leave, I will take on me to affirm, that James's work is far enough from being a proof that the Revelations may be more happily interpreted by kings than by others; or that God puts it into their royal hearts at any time to expound it. For to speak in the softest manner of this performance, it must be faid to be poor, low, and mean, and incapable of bringing any honour to the composer. Subjoined to this paraphrase is a " fruitful meditation, 41 containing a plain and easy exposition, or laying "open of the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth verses "of the twentieth chapter, of the Revelation, in form *' and manner of a sermon." Here he plainly intimates his opinion that the church of Rome is Antiohiist. When this was first printed at Edinburgh it had
this title. "Ane fruitful meditation containing ane
"plaine and facile exposition of the 7, 8, 9 and 10 "verses of the XX. chap, of the revelation in forme . "of ane sermone. Set down by the maist christiane "king and syncier prosesibur and cheif desender of the "faith, James the 6th king of Scottis. 2 Thess. i. 6, "7, 8, For it is ane righteous thing with God. Im
ments in divinity and natural philosophy;
** premitat Edinburgh be Henrie Charteris, 1588." (e) (() Le»is'*
James was fond of meditations on select portions history of of scripture. After the destruction of the Spanish ar- ^l^om mado in 1588, he wrote a " meditation upon the 25, of the bible, "26, 27, 28 and 29th verses of the xvth chapter of the P. 296* "sirst book of Chronicles of the kings:" in which he compares the protestant* to the " Israelites, and the "catholicks to the Philistines, adorers of legions of *' gods, and ruled by the foolish traditions of men." (f) (/) Jim.s's And long afterwards  he wrote a " meditation "ork,, P. "on the Lord's Prayer, of which I mail speak more 7" "hereafter; and a meditation upon the 27, 28, 29th "verses of the xxviith chapter of St. Matthew, or a "pattern for a king's inauguration." This was dedicated to prince Charles. Among several other things we have the following passage, ** telling Buckingham "my intention, [of writing this meditation] and that "I thought you the sittest person to whom I could de"dicate it, for divers reasons following, he humbly *' and earnestly desired me, that he might have the ho"notir to be my amanuenjis in this work. First, be"cause it would free me from the pain of writing, by "sparing the labour both of mine eyes and hands \ and "next, that he might do you some piece of service *' thereby; protesting that his natural obligation to you ** (next me) is redoubled by the many favours that you *' daily heap upon him. And indeed I must ingenu"oufly confess to my comfort, that in making your *• affections to follow and second thus your fathers, you "shew what reverent love you carry towards me in *' your heart. And indeed my granting this request to "Buckingham bath much eased my labour, considering "the slowness, illness, and uncorrectness of my hand." (g) Many of my readers, I doubt nor, will be pleased 'g)U. f. with such like passages as this ; for they shew the man more thari any thing besides. However, I must ask pardon for running away from the Revelations, of which 'D 3 James
to jfmw" 00 (R)' treW ^W °f ^"ree m0"
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 Dæmonologie.] This was printed at Edinburgh, cum privil. reg. 410. 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 his own words. "The fearful abounding> (fays he) *' at this time, in this country, of these detestable flaves "of the devil, the witches or enchanters, hath moved , *' 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 *< (moved of conscience) to press thereby so far as I *' can, to resolve the doubting hearts of many; both "that such assaults of Satan are most certainly prac*' tised, and that the instrument thereof merits most "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 -*' witchcraft; and so maintains the old errors of the' ** Sadducees in denying of spirits; the other called fVierus, 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 "of that profession. And for to make this treatise "the more pleasant and facile, I have put it in form *' of a dialogue, which I have divided into three books; *' the sirst 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 (*) Works, * ' woik." (a.) From this account'tis plain James bep' 9'' lieved that there were witches, &c. 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 life, 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 "unlawful, but doubtless no less sin in the magistrate, "nor it was in Saul's sparing Agag." (b) Yea, so zeal- (&) Works, ous was he for punishing these poor wretches, that heP- '3*. declares it to be his opinion " that barnes or wives, or "never so defamed persons, may serve for sufficient "witnesses against them." (c) But lest innocent personsW u- P> "should be accused, and suffer falsely, he tells us there'35' "are two good helps that may be used for their trial: the "one is the sinding of their mark, and the trying the "infensibleness thereof: the other is their fleetingon the "water: for, as in a secret murther, if the dead car** kafs 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 refuse to receive them in her bo"som, that have shaken off them the facred water of "baptism, and wilfully refused the benesit thereof: no, "not so much as their eyes are able to shed tears (threaten and torture them as you please) while sirst "they repent (God not permitting them to dissemble "their obstinacie in so horrible a crime). Albeit the "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)(j) ij.p/ James, we fee, was well qualisied for a witch-sinder; 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 AtD 4 ** Has,
"kins, being apprehended upon suspicion, and threat*' enetl with torture, did consess herself guilty. Being "examined concerning her associates in that trade, she "named a few, and finding she gained credit, made "offer to detect all of that sort, and to purge the "country of them, so (he 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 eyes, *' whereby she could surely tell, how soon^she looktd *' upon any, whether they were witches or not. In thi$ "she was io 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 'f the end (lie was found to be a mere deceiver." (e) '.' And mofi: of the winter of the year 1591, was spent "in the discovery and examination of witches and "sorcerers.'' " In this year the famous Agnes Samson "(commonly called the wile wise of Keith) was exa"mined, who consessed she had a familiar spirit, '* who had no power over the king, but faid, as she "took the words to be, // eft bommt de Dieu." (/) 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 conjectured) (#) to him, by both houses 0/ parliament, soon alter his accession to the English throne. By this statute ft, was enacted," that if any person or persons shall use, "practise,1 or exercise any invocation, or conjuration V of any evil and wicked spirit, or shall consult, co"venant wiih, entertain, empiov, seed or reward any t; 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 perion, to b-; employed or used "in any manner of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or in"chanrmem; or shall use, practise, or exercise any "witchcraft, inchantment, charm or sorcery, where
(') Spotswood, p.
fe) Hutchjn'on's his torical essay concerning wir hcr*tt, p. 180. Lund 1718, 8vo.