Mr. I. [Increase] Mather, in his Cases of Conscience, tells of a bewitched eye, and that such can see more than others. They were certainly bewitched eyes, that could see as well shut as open, and that could see what never was; that could see the prisoners upon the afflicted, harming them, when those whose eyes were not bewitched could have sworn that they did not stir from the bar. The accusers are said to have suffered much by biting, and the prints of just such a set of teeth, as those they accused had, would be seen on their flesh; but such as had not such bewitched eyes have seen the accusers bite themselves, and then complain of the accused. It has been seen, when the accused, instead of having just such a set of teeth, has not had one in his head. They were such bewitched eyes, that could see the poisonous powder (brought by specters) and that could see in the ashes the print of the band, there invisibly heating the torment the pretended sufferers with, etc. . . .
The way whereby these people are believed to arrive at a power to afflict their neighbors is by a compact with the Devil, and that they have a power to commission him to those evils. However, irrational, or bewitched: to have a spell cast over afflicted: one in great distress commission: having the power to order someone into service irrational: does not make sense
More Wonders of the Invisible World
unscriptural: not based on the Scriptures of the Bible covenanting: one who enters into a binding agreement commissioning: one with the authority to initiate a binding agreement with another prerogative: to have a right to consequently: as a result inadvertency: a mistake unscriptural, such assertions are, yet they seem a necessary part of the faith of such as maintain the belief of such a sort of witches.
As the Scriptures know nothing of a covenanting or commissioning witch, so reason cannot conceive how mortals should by their wickedness arrive at a power to commission angels, fallen angels, against their innocent neighbors. But the Scriptures are full in it, and the instances numerous, that the Almighty Divine Being has this prerogative, to make use of what instruments he pleaseth, in afflicting any, and consequently to commission devils: and though this word, commissioning, in the author's former books, might be thought to be inadvertency, yet now, after he hath been cautioned of it, still to persist in it seems highly criminal.
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