Of Divination Sorcery The Black-art Pawawing And Such Like Pretenders To Devilism And How Far The Devil Is Or Is Not Concern'd

Tho' I am writing the History of the Devil, I have not undertaken to

do the like of all the Kinds of People, Male or Female, who set up for

Devils in the World: This would be a Task for the Devil indeed, and

fit only for him to undertake, for their Number is and has been

prodigious great, and may, with his other Legions be rank'd among the


What a World do we inhabit! where there is not only w
th us a great

Roaring-Lyon-Devil daily seeking whom of us he may devour, and

innumerable Millions of lesser Devils hovering in the whole Atmosphere

over us, nay, and for ought we know, other Millions always invisibly

moving about us, and perhaps in us, or at least in many of us; but that

have, besides all these, a vast many counterfeit Hocus Pocus Devils;

human Devils, who are visible among us, of our own Species and

Fraternity, conversing with us upon all Occasions; who like Mountebanks

set up their Stages in every Town, chat with us at every Tea-Table,

converse with us in every Coffee-House, and impudently tell us to our

Faces that they are Devils, boast of it, and use a thousand Tricks and

Arts to make us believe it too, and that too often with Success.

It must be confess'd there is a strong Propensity in Man's Nature,

especially the more ignorant part of Mankind, to resolve every strange

Thing, or whether really strange or no, if it be but strange to us, into

Devilism, and to say every Thing is the Devil, that they can give no

Account of.

Thus the famous Doctors of the Faculty at Paris, when John Faustus

brought the first printed Books that had then been seen in the World, or

at least seen there, into the City, and sold them for Manuscripts: They

were surpriz'd at the Performance, and question'd Faustus about it;

but he affirming they were Manuscripts, and that he kept a great many

Clarks employ'd to write them, they were satisfied for a while.

But looking farther into the Work, they observ'd the exact Agreement of

every Book, one with another, that every Line stood in the same Place,

every Page a like Number of Lines, every Line a like Number of Words; if

a Word was mis-spelt in one, it was mis-spelt also in all, nay, that if

there was a Blot in one, it was alike in all; they began again to muse,

how this should be? in a Word, the learned Divines not being able to

comprehend the Thing (and that was always sufficient) concluded it must

be the Devil, that it was done by Magick and Witchcraft, and that in

short, poor Faustus (who was indeed nothing but a meer Printer) dealt

with the Devil.

N. B. John Faustus was Servant, or Journeyman, or Compositor, or

what you please to call it, to Koster of Harlem, the first

inventor of Printing; and having printed the Psalter, sold them at

Paris as Manuscripts; because as such they yielded a better


But the learned Doctors not being able to understand how the Work was

perform'd, concluded as above, it was all the Devil, and that the Man

was a Witch; accordingly they took him up for a Magician and a

Conjurer, and one that work'd by the Black Art, that is to say, by

the help of the Devil; and in a Word, they threaten'd to hang him for

a Witch, and in order to it, commenc'd a Process against him in their

criminal Courts, which made such a Noise in the World as rais'd the Fame

of poor John Faustus to a frightful Height, till at last he was

oblig'd, for fear of the Gallows, to discover the whole Secret to them.

N. B. This is the true original of the famous Dr. Faustus or

Foster, of whom we have believ'd such strange Things, as that it

is become a Proverb, as great as the Devil and Dr. Foster:

Whereas poor Faustus was no Doctor, and knew no more of the

Devil than another Body.

Thus the Magistrates of Bern and Switzerland, finding a Gang of

French Actors of Puppet-shew open'd their Stage in the Town, upon

hearing the surprizing Accounts which the People gave of their wonderful

Puppets, how they made them speak, answer Questions, and discourse,

appear and disappear in a Moment, pop up here, as if they rise out of

the Earth, and down there, as if they vanish'd, and Abundance more Feats

of Art, censur'd them as Demons; and if they had not pack'd up their

Trinkets, and disappeared almost as dextrously as their Puppets, they

had certainly condemn'd the poor Puppets to the Flames for Devils, and

censur'd, if not otherwise punished their Masters. See the Count de

Rochfort's Memoirs, p. 179.

Wonderful Operations astonish the Mind, especially where the Head is not

over-burthen'd with Brains; and Custom has made it so natural to give

the Devil either the Honour or Scandal of every Thing, that we cannot

otherwise Account for, that it is not possible to put the People out of

the Road of it.

The Magicians were, in the Chaldean Monarchy, call'd the Wisemen;

and tho' they are joined with the Sorcerers and Astrologers in the same

Place, Dan. ii. 4. yet they were generally so understood among those

People; but in our Language we understand them to be People that have an

Art to reveal Secrets, interpret Dreams, foretel Events, &c. and that

use Enchantments and Sorceries, by all which we understand the same

Thing; which now in a more vulgar Way we express by one general coarse

Expression, Dealing with the DEVIL.

The Scripture speaks of a Spirit of Divination, Acts xvi. 16. and a

Wench that was possess'd by this Spirit brought her Master much Gain by

Southsaying, that is to say, according to the Learned, by Oracling or

answering Questions; whence you will see in the Margin, that this

southsaying Devil is there call'd Python, that is, Apollo, who is

often call'd Python, and who at the Oracle of Delphos gave out such

Answers and double Entendres, as this Wench possibly did; and hence

all those Spirits which were call'd Spirits of Divination, were in

another Sense call'd Pythons.

Now when the Apostle St. Paul came to see this Creature, this Spirit

takes upon it to declare that those Men, meaning St. Paul and

Timotheus, were the Servants of the most high God, which shew'd unto

them the Way of Salvation; this was a good turn of the Devil, to

preserve his Authority in the possess'd Girl; she brought them Gain by

Southsaying, that is to say, resolving difficult Questions, answering

Doubts, interpreting Dreams, &c. Among these Doubts, he makes her give

Testimony to Paul and Timotheus, to wheedle in with the new

Christians, and perhaps (tho' very ignorantly) even with Paul and

Timotheus themselves, so to give a Kind of Credit and Respect to her

for speaking.

But the Devil, who never speaks Truth, but with some sinister End, was

discover'd here and detected; his flattering Recognition not accepted,

and he himself unkennel'd as he deserv'd; there the Devil was

over-shot in his own Bow again.

Here now was a real Possession, and the evil Spirits who possess'd her,

did stoop to sundry little Acts of Servitude, that we could give little

or no Reason for, only that the Girl's Master might get Money by her;

but perhaps this was a particular Case, and, prepar'd to honour the

Authority and Power the Apostles had over evil Spirits.

But we find these Things carried a great Way farther in many Cases, that

is to say, where the Parties are thus really possess'd; namely, the

Devil makes Agents of the possess'd Parties to do many Things for the

propagating his Interest and Kingdom, and particularly for the carrying

on his Dominion in the World: But I am for the present not so much upon

the real Possession as the pretended, and particularly we have had many

that have believed themselves possess'd, when the Devil never believed

it of them, and perhaps knew them better; some of these are really poor

Devils to be pitied, and are what I call Diables Imaginaire; these

have notwithstanding done the Devil good Service, and brought their

Masters good Gain by Southsaying.

We find Possessions acknowledg'd in Scripture to be really and

personally the Devil, or according to the Text, Legions of Devils in

the Plural. The Devil or Devils rather, which possessed the Man

among the Tombs, is positively affirm'd to be the Devil in the

Scripture; all the Evangelists agree in calling him so, and his very

Works shew it; namely, the Mischief he did, as well to the poor Creature

among the Tombs, who was made so fierce, that he was the Terror of all

the Country, as to the Herd of Swine and to the Country in the Loss of


I might preach you a Lecture here of the Devil's Terror upon the

Approach of our Saviour, the Dread of his Government, and how he

acknowledg'd that there was a Time for his Torment, which was not yet

come: Art thou come to torment us before our Time? It is evident the

Devil apprehended that Christ would chain them up before the Day of

Judgment; and therefore some think the Devil here, being, as it were,

caught out of his due Bounds, possessing the poor Man in such a furious

manner, was afraid, and petition'd Christ not to chain him up for it,

and as the Text says, They besought him to suffer them to go away, &c.

that is to say, when they say, art thou come to torment us before the

Time? the Meaning is, they begg'd he would not cast them into Torment

before the Time, which was already fix'd; but that if he would cast them

out of the Man, he would let them go away, &c.

The Evangelist St. Luke says, the Devil besought him that he would

not command them to go out into the Deep: Our learned Annotators think

that part is not rightly render'd; adding, that they do not believe the

Devil fears drowning; but with Submission, I believe the meaning is,

that they would not be confin'd to the vast Ocean, where no Inhabitants

being to be seen, they would be effectually imprison'd and tied down

from doing Mischief, which would be a Hell to them; as to their going

into the Swine, that might afford us some Allegory; but I am not

disposed to jest with the Scripture, no nor with the Devil neither,

farther than needs must.

It is evident the Devil makes Use of very mean Instruments sometimes,

such as the Damsel possess'd with a Spirit of Divination, and several


I remember a Story, how true I know not, of a weak Creature next Door to

an Ideot, who was establish'd in the Country for an Oracle, and would

tell People strange Things that should be, long before they came to

pass; when People were sick, would tell them whether they should live or

die; if People were married, tell how many Children they should have;

and a hundred such Things as fill'd the People with Admiration, and they

were the easier brought to believe that the Girl was possess'd; but then

they were divided about her too, and that was the finest spun Thread

the Devil could work, for he carried a great Point in it; some said she

had a good Spirit, and some a bad, some said she was a Prophetess, and

some that she was the Devil.

Now had I been there to decide the Question, I should certainly have

given it for the latter; if it were only upon this Account, namely, that

the Devil has often found Fools very necessary Agents for the

propagating his Interest and Kingdom, but we never knew the good Spirits

do so; on the other Hand, it does not seem likely that Heaven should

deprive a poor Creature of its Senses, and as it were take her Soul from

her, and then make her an Instrument of Instruction to others, and an

Oracle to declare his Decrees by; this does not seem to be rational.

But as far as this kind of Divination is in Use in our Days, yet I do

not find room to charge the Devil with making any great Use of Fools,

unless it be such as he has particularly qualified for his Work, for as

to Ideots and Naturals, they are perfectly useless to him; but a

sort of Fools call'd the Magi, indeed, we have some Reason to think he

often works with.

We are not arriv'd to a certainty yet, in the settling this great Point,

namely, what Magick is? whether a diabolical Art or a Branch of the

Mathematicks? Our most learned Lexicon Technicum is of the latter

Opinion, and gives the Magic Square and the Magic Lantern, two Terms

of Art.

The Magic Square is when Numbers in Arithmetical Proportion are

dispos'd into such Parallels or equal Ranks, as that the Sums of each

Row as well Diagonally as Laterally shall be all equal; for Example,

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Place these Nine in a Square of three, they

will directly and diagonally make 18. Thus,


5 10 3


4 6 8


9 2 7


This he calls the Magic Square, but gives no Reason for the Term, nor

any Account of what infernal Operations are wrought by this Concurrence

of the Numbers; neither do I see that there can be any such Use made of


The Magic Lantern is an optic Machine, by the Means of which are

represented, on a Wall in the Dark, many Phantasms and terrible

Appearances, but no Devil in all this, only that they are taken for

the Effects of Magic, by those that are not acquainted with the Secret.

All this is done by the help of several little painted Pieces of Glass,

only so and so situated, plac'd in certain Oppositions to one another,

and painted with different Figures, the most formidable being plac'd

foremost, and such as are most capable of terrifying the Spectators; and

by this all the Figures may be represented upon the opposite Wall, in

the largest Size.

I cannot but take Notice, that this very Piece of optic Delusion seems

too much akin to the mock Possessions and infernal Accomplishments,

which most of the Possessionists of this Age pretend to, so that they

are most of them meer Phantasms and Appearances, and no more; Nor is the

Spirit of Divination, the Magic, the Necromancing, and other Arts which

were call'd Diabolical, found to be of any Use in modern Practice, at

least, in these Parts of the World; but the Devil seems to do most of

his Work himself, and by shorter Methods; for he has so compleat an

Influence among those that he now Lists in his Service, that he brings

all the common Affairs of Mankind into a narrower Compass in his

Management, with a Dexterity particular to himself, and by which he

carries on his Interest silently and surely, much more to the Detriment

of Virtue and good Government, and consequently much more to his

Satisfaction, than ever he did before.

There is a Kind of Magic or Sorcery, or what else you may please to

call it, which, tho' unknown to us, is yet, it seems, still very much

encourag'd by the Devil; but this is a great Way off, and in Countries

where the politer Instruments, which he finds here, are not to be had;

namely, among the Indians of North-America; This is call'd

Pawawing, and they have their Divines, which they call Pawaws or

Witches, who use strange Gestures, Distortions, horrid Smokes, Burnings,

and Scents, and several such Things which the Sorcerers and Witches in

ancient Times are said to use in casting Nativities, in Philtres, and in

determining, or as they pretended, directing the Fate of Persons; by

burning such and such Herbs and Roots, such as Helebore, Wormwood,

Storax, Devilwort, Mandrake, Nightshade, and Abundance more

such, which are call'd noxious Plants, or the Product of noxious Plants;

also melting such and such Minerals, Gums, and poisonous Things, and by

several hellish Mutterings and Markings over them, the like do these

Pawaws; and the Devil is pleased, it seems, (or is permitted) to

fall in with these Things, and as some People think, appears often to

them for their Assistance upon those Occasions.

But be that as it will, he is eas'd of all that Trouble here; he can

Pawaw here himself, without their aid, and having laid them all aside,

he negotiates much of his Business without Ambassadors; he is his own

Plenipotentiary, for he finds Man so easy to come at, and so easy when

he is come at, that he stands in no need of secret Emissaries, or at

least not so much as he used to do.

Upon the whole, as the World, within the Compass of a few pass'd Years

is advanc'd in all Kinds of Knowledge and Arts, and every useful Branch

of what they knew before improv'd, and innumerable useful Parts of

Knowledge, which were conceal'd before are discover'd; why should we

think the Devil alone should stand at a stay, has taken no Steps to

his farther Accomplishment, and made no useful Discoveries in his Way?

That he alone should stand at a Stay, and be just the same unimprov'd

Devil that he was before? No, no, as the World is improv'd every Day,

and every Age is grown wiser and wiser than their Fathers; so, no doubt,

he has bestirr'd himself too, in order to an encrease of Knowledge and

Discovery, and that he finds every Day a nearer Way to go to work with

Mankind than he had before.

Besides, as Men in general seem to have alter'd their manner, and that

they move in a higher and more exalted Sphere, especially as to Vice and

Virtue; so the Devil may have been obliged to change his Measures, and

alter his Way of working; particularly, those Things which would take in

former Times, and which a stupid Age would come easily into, won't go

down with us now: As the taste of Vice and Virtue alters, the Devil is

forc'd to bait his Hook with new Compositions; the very Thing call'd

Temptation is alter'd in its Nature, and that which serv'd to delude our

Ancestors, whose gross Conceptions of Things caused them to be

manageable with less Art, will not do now; the Case is quite alter'd; in

some Things, perhaps, as I hinted above, we come into Crime with ease,

and may be led by a Finger; but when we come to a more refin'd Way of

sinning, which our Ancestors never understood, other and more refin'd

Politics must be made Use of, and the Devil has been put upon many

useful Projects and Inventions, to make many new Discoveries and

Experiments to carry on his Affairs; and to speak impartially, he is

strangely improv'd either in Knowledge or Experiment, within these few

Years; he has found out a great many new Inventions to shorten his own

Labour, and carry on his Business in the World currently, which he never

was master of before, or at least we never knew he was.

No wonder then that he has chang'd Hands too, and that he has left of

pawawing in these Parts of the World; that we don't find our Houses

disturb'd as they used to be, and the Stools and Chairs walking about

out of one Room into another, as formerly; that Children don't vomit

crooked Pins and rusty stub Nails, as of old, the Air is not full of

Noises, nor the Church-Yard full of Hobgoblins; Ghosts don't walk about

in Winding-Sheets, and the good old scolding Wives visit and plague

their Husbands after they are dead, as they did when they were alive.

The Age is grown too wise to be agitated by these dull scare-crow Things

which their Fore-Fathers were tickled with; Satan has been obliged to

lay by his Puppet-shews and his Tumblers, those things are grown stale;

his morrice-dancing Devils, his mountebanking and quacking won't do now;

those Things, as they may be supposed to be very troublesome to him,

(and but that he has Servants enough would be chargeable too) are now of

no great Use in the new Management of his Affairs.

In a Word, Men are too much Devils themselves, in the Sense that I

have call'd them so, to be frighted with such little low priz'd

Appearances as these; they are better acquainted with the old

Arch-Angel than so, and they seem to tell him they must be treated after

another manner, and that then, as they are good-natur'd and tractable,

he may deal with them upon better Terms.

Hence the Devil goes to work with Mankind a much shorter Way; for

instead of the Art of Wheedling and Whining, together with the laborious

Part of Tricking and Sharping, Hurrying and Driving, Frighting and

Terrifying, all which the Devil was put to the Trouble of before; in

short, he acts the GRAND MANNER as the Architects call it (I don't know

whether our Free-Masons may understand the Word) and therefore I may

hereafter explain it, as it is to be Diabolically as well as

mathematically understood.

At present my meaning is, he acts with them immediately and personally

by a magnificent Transformation, making them meer Devils to

themselves, upon all needful Occasions, and Devils to one another too,

whenever he (Satan), has Need of their Service.

This Way of embarking Mankind in the Devil's particular Engagement, is

really very modern; and tho' the Devil himself may have been long

acquainted with the Method, and as I have heard, began to practise it

towards the Close of the Roman Empire, when Men began to act upon very

polite Principles, and were capable of the most refin'd Wickedness, and

afterwards with some Popes, who likewise were a kind of Church Devils,

such as Satan himself could hardly expect to find in the World; yet I do

not find that he was ever able to bring it into Practice, at least, not

so universally as he does now: But now the Case is alter'd, and Men

being generally more expert in Wickedness than they were formerly; they

suffer the smaller Alteration of the Species, in being transmigrated;

in a Word, they turn into Devils, with no trouble at all hardly,

either to the Devil or to themselves.

This Particular would want much the less Explanation, could I obtain a

License from Sir Hellebore Wormwood, Bart. or from my Lord

Thwartover, Baron of Scoundrel Hall in the Kingdom of Ireland, to

write the true History of their own Conduct; and how early, and above

all, how easily they commenc'd Devils, without the least Impeachment

of their Characters, as wise Men, and without any Diminution of that

Part of their Denomination which establish'd them for Fools.

How many mad Fellows appear among us every Day in the critical Juncture

of their Transmigration, just when they have so much of the Man left as

to be known by their Names, and enough of the Devil taken up to settle

their Characters? This Easiness of the Devil's access to these People,

and the great Convenience it is to him in his general Business, is a

Proof to me that he has no more Occasion of Diviners, Magicians,

Sorcerers, and whatever else we please to call those People who were

formerly so great with him; for what Occasion has he to employ Devils

and Wizards to confound Mankind, when he is arriv'd to such a Perfection

of Art as to bring Men, at least in these Parts of the World, to do it

all themselves; upon this Account we do not find any of the old

Sorcerers and Diviners, Magicians or Witches appear among us; not that

the Devil might not be as well able to employ such People as formerly,

and qualify them for the Employment too, but that really there is no

need of them hereabout, the Devil having a shorter Way, and Mankind

being much more easily possess'd; not the old Herd of Swine were

sooner agitated, tho' there was full 2000 of them together; Nature has

open'd the Door, and the Devil has egress and regress at Pleasure, so

that Witches and Diviners are quite out of the Question.

Nor let any Man be alarm'd at this Alteration, in the Case as it stands

between Mankind and the Devil, and think the Devil having gain'd so

much Ground, may in time, by Encroachment, come to a general Possession

of the whole Race, and so we should all come to be Devils incarnate; I

say, let us not be alarm'd, for Satan does not get these Advantages by

Encroachment, and by his infernal Power or Art, no not at all; but 'tis

the Man himself does it by his Indolence and Negligence on one Hand, and

his Complaisance to the Devil on the other; and both Ways he, as it

were, opens the Door to him, beckons him with his very Hand to come in,

and the Devil has nothing to do but enter and take Possession: Now if it

be so, and Man is so frank to him; you know the Devil is no Fool not

to take the Advantage when 'tis offer'd him, and therefore 'tis no

wonder if the Consequences which I have been just now naming follow.

But let no Man be discourag'd by this, from reaffirming his natural and

religious Powers, and venturing to shut the Devil out; for the Case is

plain he may be shut out; the Soul is a strong Castle, and has a good

Garrison plac'd within to defend it; if the Garrison behave well, and do

their Duty, it is impregnable, and the cowardly Devil must raise his

Siege and be gone; nay, he must fly, or, as we call it, make his Escape,

lest he be laid by the Heels, that is, lest his Weakness be exposed, and

all his Lurking, lying in Wait, ambuscade-Tricks; this Part would bear a

great Enlargement, but I have not room to be witty upon him, so you must

take it in the Gross, the DEVIL lies at Blye Bush, as our Country

People call it, to watch your coming out of your Hold; and if you happen

to go abroad unarm'd he seizes upon and masters you with ease.

Unarm'd, you'll say, what Arms should I take? what Fence against a

Flail? What Weapons can a Man take to fight the Devil? I could tell

you what to fight him with, and what you might fright him with, for the

Devil is to be frighted with several Things besides Holy Water; but

'tis too serious for you, and you'll tell me I am a preaching and a

canting, and the like; so I must let the Devil manage you rather than

displease you with talking Scripture and Religion.

Well, but may not the Devil be fought with some of his own Weapons? Is

there no dealing with him in a Way of human Nature? This would require a

long answer, and some Philosophy might be acted, or at least imitated,

and some Magic, perhaps; for they tells us there are Spells to draw away

even the Devil himself; as in some Places they nail Horse-Shoes upon the

Threshold of the Door, to keep him out; in other Places old pieces of

Flint, with so many Holes and so many Corners, and the like: But I must

answer in the Negative, I don't know what Satan might be scar'd at in

those Days, but he is either grown cunninger since or bolder, for he

values none of those Things now; I question much whether he would value

St. Dunstan and his red hot Tongs, if he was to meet him now, or St.

Francis or any of the Saints, no not the Host itself in full

Procession; and therefore, tho' you don't care I should preach, yet in

short, if you are afraid he should charge upon you and attack you, if

you won't make Use of those Scripture Weapons I should have mention'd,

and which you may hear of, if you enquire at Eph. vi. 16. you must

look for better where you think you can find them.

But to go on with my Work, the Devil, I say, is not to be fear'd with

Maukins, nor does he employ his old Instruments, but does much of his

Work himself without Instruments.

And yet I must enter a Caveat here too, against being misunderstood in

my saying the Devil stands in no need of Agents; for when I speak so, I

am to be taken in a limited Sense; I don't say he needs them no where,

but only that he does not need them in those polite Parts of the World

which I have been speaking of, and perhaps not much here; but in many

remote Countries 'tis otherwise still; the Indians of America are

particularly said to have Witches among them, as well in those Countries

where the Spaniards and the English and other Nations have planted

themselves, as amongst those where the European Nations seldom come:

for Example, the People of Canada, that is, of the Countries under

the French Government of Quebeck, the Equimeaux, and other Northern

Climates, have Magicians, Wizards and Witches, who they call Pilloatas

or Pillotoas; these pretend they speak intimately and familiarly with

the Devil, and receive from him the Knowledge of Things to come; all

which, by the Way, I take to be little more than this; that these

Fellows being a little more cunning than the rest, think, that by

pretending to something more than human, they shall make the stronger

Impressions on the ignorant People; as Mahomet amus'd the World with

his Pigeon, using it to pick Peas out of his Ear, and persuaded the

People it brought him superior Revelations and Inspirations from


Thus these Pillotoas gaining an Opinion among the People, behave like

so many Mountebanks of Hell, pretending to understand dark Things, cure

Diseases, practise Surgery, Physick and Necromancy altogether; I will

not say, but Satan may pick out such Tools to work with, and I believe

does in those Parts, but I think he has found a nearer Way to the Wood

with us, and that is sufficient to my present Purpose.

Some would persuade me the Devil had a great Hand in the late

religious Breaches in France, among the Clergy, (viz.) about the

Pope's Constitution Unigenitus, and that he made a fair Attempt to set

the Pope and the Gallican Church together by the Ears, for they were

all just upon the Point or breaking out into a Church War, that for

ought we knew might have gone farther than the Devil himself car'd it

should; now I am of the quite contrary Opinion, I believe the Devil

really did not make the Breach, but rather heal'd it, for fear it should

have gone so far among them as to have set them all in a Flame, and have

open'd the Door to the Return of the Hugonots again, which it was in a

fair Way to have done.

But be it one Way or t'other, the historical Part seems to be a little

against me; for 'tis certain, the Devil both wanted and made Use of

Legions of Agents, as well human as infernal, visible and invisible in

that great and important Affair, and we cannot doubt but he has

innumerable Instruments still at work about it.

Like as in Poland, I make no Question but the Devil has thousands of

his Banditti at work at this Time, and in another Country not far from

it, perhaps, preparing Matters for the next General Diet, taking care to

prevent giving any Relaxation to the Protestants, and to justify the

moderate Executions at Thorn, to excite a Nation to quarrel with every

Body who are able to fight with no body; to erect the Apostate Race of

S----y upon a Throne which they have no Title to, and turn an elective

Throne into an hereditary, in favour of Popery.

I might anticipate all your Objections, by granting the busy Devil at

this Time employing all his Agents and Instruments (for I never told you

they were idle and useless) in striving to enflame the Christian World,

and bring a new War to overspread Europe; I might, perhaps, point out

to you some of the Measures he takes, the Provocatives which his State

Physicians administer to the Courts and Counsellors of Princes, to

foment and ferment the Spirits, and Members of Nations, Kingdoms,

Empires and States in the World, in order to bring these glorious Ends

of Blood and War to pass; for you cannot think but he that knows so much

of the Devil's Affairs, as to write his History, must know something

of all these Matters more than those that do not know so much as he.

But all this is remote to the present Case, for this is no Impeachment

of Satan's new Methods with Mankind, in this Part of the World, and in

his private and separate Capacity; all this only signifies that in his

more general and national Affairs, the Devil acts still by his old

Methods; and when he is to seduce or embroil Nations, he, like other

Conquerors, subdues them by Armies, employs mighty Squadrons of

Devils, and sends out strong Detachments, with Generals and

Generalissimos to lead them, some to one Part of the World, some to

another; some to influence one Nation, some to manage and direct

another, according as Business presents, and his Occasions require, that

his Affairs may be carried on currently, and to his Satisfaction.

If it were not thus, but that the Devil by his new and exquisite

Management, of which I have said so much, had brought Mankind in general

to be the Agents of their own Mischiefs, and that the World were so at

his Beck, that he need but command them to go and fight, declare War,

raise Armies, destroy Cities, Kingdoms, Countries and People; the World

would be a Field of Blood indeed, and all Things would run into

Confusion presently.

But this is not the Case at all, Heaven has not let go the Government of

the Creation to his subdu'd Enemy, the Devil; that would overturn the

whole System of God, and give Satan more Power, than ever he was or will

be vested with; when, therefore, I speak of a few forward Wretches in

our Day, who are so warm in their Wickedness, that they anticipate the

Devil, save him the Trouble to tempt, turn Devils to themselves, and

gallop Hellward faster than he drives; I speak of them as single

Persons, and acting in their own personal and private Capacity, but when

I speak of Nations and Kingdoms, there the Devil is oblig'd to go on in

the old Road, and act by Stratagem, by his proper Machinery, and to make

use of all his Arts, and all his Agents, just as he has done in all

Ages, from the beginning of his politic Government to this Day.

And if it was not thus too, what would become of all his numberless

Legions, of which all Ages have heard so much, and all Parts of the

World have had so much fatal Experience? They would seem to be quite out

of Employment, and be render'd useless in the World of Spirits, where it

is to be supposed they reside; not the Devil himself could find any

Business for them, which by the Way, to busy and mischievous Spirits, as

they are, would be a Hell to them, even before their Time; they would

be, as it were, doom'd to a State of Inactivity, which we may suppose

was one Part of their Expulsion from Blessedness and the Creation of

Man; or as they were for the surprising Interval between the Destruction

of Mankind by the Deluge and Noah's coming out of the Ark, when

indeed they might be said to have nothing at all to do.

But this is not Satan's Case, and therefore let me tell you too, that

you may not think I treat the Case with more Levity than I really do,

and than I am sure I intend to do; tho' it is too true that our modern

and modish Sinners have arrived to more exquisite Ways of being wicked,

than their Fathers, and really seem, as I have said, to need no Devil to

tempt them; nay, that they do Satan's Work for him as to others also,

and make themselves Devils to their Neighbours, tempting others to crime

even faster than the Devil desires them, running before they are sent,

and going of the Devil's Errands gratis; by which Means Satan's Work

is, as to them, done to his Hand, and they may be said to save him a

great deal of Trouble; yet after all, the Devil has still a great deal

of Business upon his Hands, and as well himself as all his Legions, find

themselves a full Employment in disturbing the World, and opposing the

Glory and Kingdom of their great Superior, whose Kingdom it is their

whole Business, however vain in its End, to overthrow and destroy, if

they were able, or at least to endeavour it.

This being the Case, it follows of course that the general Mischiefs of

Mankind, as well national and public, as family Mischiefs, and even

personal, (except as before excepted) lie all still at the Devil's

Door, as much as ever, let his Advocates bring him off of it if they

can; and this brings us back again to the manner of the Devil's

Management, and the Way of his working by human Agents, or if you will,

the Way of human Devils, working in Affairs of low Life, such as we call

Divination, Sorcery, Black-Art, Necromancy, and the like; all which I

take to consist of two material Parts, and both very necessary for us to

be rightly inform'd of.

1. The Part which Satan by himself or his inferior Devils

empowers such People to do, as he is in Confederacy with here on

Earth; to whom he may be said, like the Master of an Opera or

Comedy, to give their Parts to act, and to qualify them to act it;

whether he obliges them to a Rehearsal in his Presence, to try

their Talents, and see that they are capable of performing, that

indeed I have not enquir'd into.

2. That Part which these empower'd People do voluntier or beyond

their Commission, to shew their Diligence in the Service of their

new Master, and either (1.) to bring Grist to their own Mill, and

make their Market of their Employment in the best manner they can;

or (2.) to gain Applause, be admir'd, wonder'd at, and applauded,

as if they were ten Times more Devils than really they are.

In a Word, the Matter consists of what the Devil does by the Help of

these People, and what they do in his Name without him; the Devil is

sometimes cheated in his own Business; there are Pretenders to

Witchcraft and Black-Art, who Satan never made any Bargain with, but who

he connives at, because at least they do his Cause no harm, tho' their

Business is rather to get Money, than to render him any Service, of

which I gave you a remarkable Instance before.

But to go back to his real Agents, of which I reckon two.

1. Those who act by Direction and Confederacy, as I have said

already many do.

2. Those whom he acts in and by, and they (perhaps) know it not, of

which Sort History gives us plenty of Examples, from Machiavel's

first Disciple ---- to the famous Cardinal Alberoni, and even to

some more modern than his Eminence, of whom I can say no more till

farther Occasion offers.

1. Those who act by immediate Direction of the Devil, and in Confederacy

with him; these are such as I mention'd in the beginning of this

Chapter, whose Arts are truly black, because really infernal; it will be

very hard to decide the Dispute between those who really act thus in

Confederacy with the Devil, and those who only pretend to it; so I

shall leave that Dispute where I find it; but that there are, or at

least have been, a Set of People in the World, who really are of his

Acquaintance, and very intimate with him; and tho', as I have said, he

has much alter'd his Schemes and chang'd Hands of late; yet that there

are such People, perhaps of all Sorts; and that the Devil keeps up his

Correspondence with them; I must not venture to deny that Part, lest I

bring upon me the whole Posse of the conjuring and bewitching Crew, Male

and Female, and they should mob me for pretending to deny them the

Honour of dealing with the Devil, which they are so exceeding willing

to have the Fame of.

Not that I am hereby oblig'd to believe all the strange Things the

Witches and Wizards, who have been allow'd to be such, nay, who have

been hang'd for it, have said of themselves; nay, that they have

confess'd of themselves, even at the Gallows; and if I come to have an

Occasion to speak freely of the Matter, I may perhaps convince you that

the Devil's possessing Power is much lessen'd of late, and that he

either is limited, and his Fetter shortened more than it has been, or

that he does not find the old Way (as I said before) so fit for his

Purpose as he did formerly, and therefore takes other Measures, but I

must adjourn that to a Time and Place by itself: But we are told that

there are another Sort of People, and, perhaps, a great many of them

too, in whom and by whom the Devil really acts, and they know it not.

It would take up a great deal of Time and Room, too much for this Place,

so near the Close of this Work, to describe and mark out the involuntary

Devils which there are in the World; of whom it may be truly said,

that really the Devil is in them, and they know it not: Now, tho' the

Devil is cunning and managing, and can be very silent where he finds

it for his Interest not to be known; yet it is very hard for him to

conceal himself, and to give so little Disturbance in the House, as that

the Family should not know who lodged in it; yet, I say, the Devil is so

subtle and so mischievous an Agent, that he uses all manner of Methods

and Craft to reside in such People as he finds for his Purpose, whether

they will or no, and which is more, whether they know it or no.

And let none of my Readers be angry or think themselves ill used, when I

tell them the Devil may be in them, and may act them, and by them, and

they not know it; for I must add, it may, perhaps, be one of the

greatest Pieces of human Wisdom in the World, for a Man to know when the

Devil is in him, and when not; when he is a Tool and Agent of Hell, and

when he is not; in a Word, when he is doing the Devil's Work, and under

his Direction, and when not.

It is true, this is a very weighty Point, and might deserve to be

handled in a more serious Way than I seem to be talking in all this

Book; but give me leave to talk of Things my own way, and withall, to

tell you, that there is no Part of this Work so seemingly ludicrous, but

a grave and well weigh'd Mind may make a serious and solid Application

of it, if they please; nor is there any Part of this Work, in which a

clear Sight and a good Sense may not see that the Author's Design is,

that they should do so; and as I am now so near the End of my Book, I

thought it was meet to tell you so, and lead you to it as far as I can.

I say, 'tis a great Part of human Wisdom to know when the Devil is

acting in us and by us, and when not; the next and still greatest Part

would be to prevent him, put a Stop to his Progress, bid him go about

his Business, and let him know he should carry on his Designs no farther

in that manner; that we will be his Tools no longer; in short, to turn

him out of Doors, and bring a stronger Power to take Possession; but

this, indeed, is too solid a Subject, and too great to begin with here.

But now, as to the bare knowing when he is at work with us, I say this,

tho' it is considerable, may be done, nor is it so very difficult; for

Example, you have no more to do but look a little into the Microcosm of

the Soul, and see there how the Passions which are the Blood, and the

Affections which are the Spirit, move in their particular Vessels; how

they circulate, and in what Temper the Pulse beats there, and you may

easily see who turns the Wheel; if a perfect Calm possesses the Soul; if

Peace and Temper prevail, and the Mind feels no Tempests rising; if the

Affections are regular and exalted to vertuous and sublime Objects, the

Spirits cool, and the Mind sedate, the Man is in a general Rectitude of

Mind, he may be truly said to be his own Man; Heaven shines upon his

Soul with its benign Influences, and he is out of the Reach of the evil

Spirit; for the divine Spirit is an Influence of Peace, all calm and

bright, happy and sweet like it self, and tending to every Thing that is

good both present and future.

But on the other Hand, if at any Time the Mind is ruffled, if Vapours

rise, Clouds gather, if Passions swell the Breast, if Anger, Envy,

Revenge, Hatred, Wrath, Strife; if these, or any of these hover over

you, much more if you feel them within you; if the Affections are

possess'd, and the Soul hurried down the Stream to embrace low and base

Objects; if those Spirits, which are the Life and enlivening Powers of

the Soul, are drawn off to Parties, and to be engag'd in a vicious and

corrupt manner, shooting out wild and wicked Desires, and running the

Man headlong into Crime, the Case is easily resolv'd, the Man is

possess'd, the Devil is in him; and having taken the Fort, or at least

the Counterscarp and Out-Works, is making his Lodgment to cover and

secure himself in his Hold, that he may not be dispossess'd.

Nor can he be easily dispossess'd when he has got such hold as this; and

'tis no wonder, that being lodg'd thus upon the Out-Works of the Soul he

continues to sap the Foundation of the rest, and by his incessant and

furious Assaults, reduces the Man at last to a Surrender.

If the Allegory be not as just and apposite as you would have it be, you

may, however, see by it in a full View, the State of the Man, and how

the Devil carries on his Designs; nothing is more common, and I

believe there are few thinking Minds but may reflect upon it in their

own Compass, than for our Passions and Affections to flow out of the

ordinary Channel; the Spirits and Blood of the Soul to be extravasated,

the Passions grow violent and outragious, the Affections impetuous,

corrupt and violently vicious: Whence does all this proceed? from Heaven

we can't pretend it comes; if we must not say 'tis the Devil, whose

Door must it lie at? Pride swells the Passions; Avarice moves the

Affections; and what is Pride, and what is Avarice, but the Devil in

the Inside of the Man? ay, as personally and really as ever he was in

the Herd of Swine.

Let not any Man then, who is a Slave to his Passions, or who is chain'd

down to his Covetousness, pretend to take it ill, when I say he has the

Devil in him, or that he is a Devil: What else can it be, and how

comes it to pass that Passion and Revenge so often dispossess the Man of

himself, as to lead him to commit Murther, to lay Plots and Snares for

the Life of his Enemies, and so to thirst for Blood? How comes this but

by the Devil's putting those Spirits of the Soul into so violent a

Ferment, into a Fever? that the Circulation is precipitated to that

Degree, and that the Man too is precipitated into Mischief, and at last

into Ruin; 'tis all the Devil, tho' the Man does not know it.

In like manner Avarice leads him to rob, plunder and destroy for Money,

and to commit sometimes the worst of Violences to obtain the wicked

Reward. How many have had their Throats cut for their Money, have been

murther'd on the Highway, or in their Beds, for the Desire of what they

had? It is the same Thing in other Articles, every Vice is the Devil in

a Man; Lust of Rule is the Devil of great Men, and that Ambition is

their Devil as much as whoring is Father ------'s Devil, one has a

Devil of one Class acting him, one another, and every Man's reigning

Vice is a Devil to him.

Thus the Devil has his involuntary Instruments, as well as those who

act in Confederacy with him; he has a very great Share in many of us,

and acts us, and in us, unknown to our selves tho' we know nothing of

it, and indeed tho' we may not suspect it of our selves; like Hazael

the Assyrian, who when the Prophet told him how he would act the

Devil upon the poor Israelites, answer'd with Detestation, is thy

Servant a Dog that he should do this Thing, and yet he was that Dog,

and did all those cruel Things for all that; the Devil acting him, or

acting in him, to make him wickeder than ever he thought it was possible

for him to be.