The rules and lawes of popish Exorcists and other conjurors all one with a confutation of their whole power how S Martine conjured the divell

THE papists you see, have their certeine generall rules and lawes, as to absteine from sinne, and to fast, as also otherwise to be cleane from all pollusions, &c: and even so likewise have the other conjurors. Some will saie that papists use divine service, and praiers; even so doo common conjurors as you see) even in the same papisticall forme, no whit swarving from theirs in aith and doctrine, nor yet in ungodlie and unreasonable kinds of petitions. Me thinks it may be a sufficient argument, to overthrow the calling up and miraculous works of spirits, that it is written; God onelie knoweth and searcheth the harts, and onelie worketh great woonders. The which argument being prosecuted to the end, can never be answered: insomuch as that divine power is required in that action. [I. Sam. 16, 7. I. Reg. 8, 39. Jere. 17, 10. Psal. 44, 21. Psal. 72, 18.]

And if it be said, that in this conjuration we speake to the spirits, and they heare us, & therefore need not know our thoughts and imaginations: I first aske them whether king Baell, or Amoimon, which are spirits reigning in the furthest regions of the east (as they saie) may heare a conjurors voice, which calleth for them, being in the extreamest parts of the west, there being such noises interposed, where perhaps also they may be busie, and set to worke on the like affaires. Secondlie, whether those spirits be of the same power that God is, who is everiewhere, filling all places, and able to heare all men at one instant, &c. Thirdlie, whence commeth the force of such words as raise the dead, and command divels. If sound doo it, then may it be doone by a taber and a pipe, or any other instrument that hath no life. If the voice doo it, then may it be doone by any beasts or birds. If words, then a parret may doo it. If in mans words onlie, where is the force, in the first, second, or third syllable? If in syllables, then not in words. If in imaginations, then the divell knoweth our thoughts. But all this stuffe is vaine and fabulous.

It is written [Sap. 1. 14. Ecclesi. 9. Gen. 1.]; All the generations of the earth were healthfull and there is no poison of destruction in them. Why then doo they conjure holsome creatures; as salt, water, &c: where no divels are? God looked upon all his works, and sawe they were all good. What effect (I praie you) had the 7. sonnes of Sceva [Act. 19.]; which is the great objection of witchmongers? They would needs take upon them to conjure divels out of the possessed. But what brought they to passe? Yet that was in the time, whilest God suffered miracles commonlie to be wrought. By that you may see what conjurors can doo.

Where is such a promise to conjurors or witches, as is made in the Gospell [Mark 16.17.] to the faithfull? where it is written; In my name they shall cast out divels, speake with new toongs: if they shall drinke any deadlie thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall take awaie serpents, they shall laie hands on the sicke, and they shall recover. According to the promise, this grant of miraculous working was performed in the primitive church, for the confirmation of Christs doctrine, and the establishing of the Gospell.

But as in another p]ace I have prooved, the gift thereof was but for a time, and is now ceased; neither was it ever made to papist, witch, or conjuror. They take upon them to call up and cast out divels; and to undoo with one divell, that which another divell hath doone. If one divell could cast out another, it were a kingdome divided, and could not stand. Which argument Christ himselfe maketh: and therfore I maie the more boldlie saie even with Christ, that they have no such power. For besides him, there is no saviour, none can deliver out of his hand. Who but hee can declare, set in order, appoint, and tell what is to come? He destroieth the tokens of soothsaiers, and maketh the conjecturers fooles, &c. He declareth things to come, and so cannot witches. [Isai. 43. 11. verse. 13. cap. 44. verse. 7. verse. 25.]

There is no helpe in inchanters and soothsaiers, and other such vaine sciences. For divels are cast out by the finger of God, which Matthew calleth the spirit of God, which is the mightie power of God, and not by the vertue of the bare name onelie, being spoken or pronounced: for then might everie wicked man doo it. And Simon Magus needed not then to have proffered monie to have bought the power to doo miracles and woonders:for he could speake and pronounce the name of God, as well as the apostles. Indeed they maic soone throwe out all the divels that are in frankincense, and such like creatures, wherein no divels are: but neither they, nor all their holie water can indeed cure a man possessed with a divell, either in bodie or mind; as Christ did. Naie, why doo they not cast out the divell that possesseth their owne soules? [Isai. 46. 10. cap. 47. vers. 12. 13, &c. Luke, 11. 20. Matt. 12. 28. Acts, 8. 19.]

Let me heare anie of them all speake with new toongs, let them drinke but one dramme of a potion which I will prepare for them, let them cure the sicke by laieng on of hands (though witches take it upon them, and witchmongers beleeve it) and then I will subscribe unto them. But if they, which repose such certeintie in the actions of witches and conjurors, would diligentlie note their deceipt, and how the scope whereat they shoote is monie (I meane not such witches as are falselie accused, but such as take upon them to give answers, &c: as mother Bungie did) they should apparentlie see the cousenage. For they are abused, as are manie beholders of jugglers, which suppose they doo miraculouslie, that which is doone by slight and subtiltie.

But in this matter of witchcrafts and conjurations, if men would rather trust their owne eies, than old wives tales and lies, I dare undertake this matter would soone be at a perfect point; as being easier to be perceived than juggling. But I must needs confesse, that it is no great marvell, though the simple be abused therein, when such lies concerning those matters are mainteined by such persons of account, and thrust into their divine service. As for example: It is written that S. Martine thrust his fingers into ones mouth that had a divell within him, and used to bite folke; and then did bid him devoure them if he could. And bicause the divell could not get out at his mouth, being stopt with S. Martins fingers, he was fame to run out at his fundament. O stinking lie!

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