How far the power of spirits and devils doth extend, and whether they can cause this, or any other disease, is a serious question, and worthy to be considered: for the better understanding of which, I will make a brief digression of the nature of spirits. And although the question be very obscure, according to Postellus, "full of controversy and ambiguity," beyond the reach of human capacity, fateor excedere vires intentionis meæ, saith Austin, I confess I am not able to understand it, finitum de infinito non potest statuere, we can sooner determine with Tully de nat. deorum, quid non sint quam quid sint, our subtle schoolmen, Cardans, Scaligers, profound Thomists, Fracastoriana and Ferneliana acies, are weak, dry, obscure, defective in these mysteries, and all our quickest wits, as an owl's eyes at the sun's light, wax dull, and are not sufficient to apprehend them; yet, as in the rest, I will adventure to say something to this point. In former times, as we read Acts xxiii, the Sadducees denied that there were any such spirits, devils, or angels. So did Galen the physician, the Peripatetics, even Aristotle himself as Pomponatius stoutly maintains,and Scaliger in some sort grants. Though Dandinus the Jesuit, com. in lib. 2. de anima, stiffly denies it; substantiæ separatæ and intelligences, are the same which Christians call angels, and Platonists devils, for they name all the spirits, dæmones, be they good or bad angels, as Julius Pollux Onomasticon, lib. 1. cap. 1. observes. Epicures and atheists are of the same mind in general, because they never saw them. Plato, Plotinus, Porphyrius, Jamblichus, Proclus, insisting in the steps of Trismegistus, Pythagoras and Socrates, make no doubt of it: nor Stoics, but that there are such spirits, though much erring from the truth. Concerning the first beginning of them, the Talmudists say that Adam had a wife called Lilis, before he married Eve, and of her he begat nothing but devils. The Turks' Alcoran is altogether as absurd and ridiculous in this point: but the Scripture informs us Christians, how Lucifer, the chief of them, with his associates, fell from heaven for his pride and ambition; created of God, placed in heaven, and sometimes an angel of light, now cast down into the lower aerial sublunary parts, or into hell, "and delivered into chains of darkness (2 Pet. ii. 4.), to be kept unto damnation."
Nature of Devils.] There is a foolish opinion which some hold, that they are the souls of men departed, good and more noble were deified, the baser grovelled on the ground, or in the lower parts, and were devils, the which with Tertullian, Porphyrius the philosopher, M. Tyrius ser. 27 maintains. "These spirits," he saith, "which we call angels and devils, are nought but souls of men departed, which either through love and pity of their friends yet living, help and assist them, or else persecute their enemies, whom they hated," as Dido threatened to persecute Æneas:
Omnibus umbra locis adebo: dabis, improbe, púnas."
"My angry ghost arising from the deep,
Shall haunt thee waking, and disturb thy sleep;
At least my shade thy punishment shall know,
And Fame shall spread the pleasing news below."
They are (as others suppose) appointed by those higher powers to keep men from their nativity, and to protect or punish them as they see cause: and are called boni et mali Genii by the Romans. Heroes, lares, if good, lemures or larvæ if bad, by the Stoics, governors of countries, men, cities, saith Apuleius, Deos appellant qui ex hominum numero justa ac prudenter vitæ curriculo gubernato, pro numine, postea ab hominibus praediti fanis et ceremoniis vulgo admittuntur, ut in Ægypto Osyris, &c. (All those mortals are called gods, who, the course of life being prudently guided and governed, are honoured by men with temples and sacrifices, as Osiris in Ægypt, &c.) Præstites, Capella calls them, "which protected particular men as well as princes," Socrates had his Dæmonium Saturninum et ignium, which of all spirits is best, ad sublimes cogitationes animum erigentem, as the Platonists supposed; Plotinus his, and we Christians our assisting angel, as Andreas Victorellus, a copious writer of this subject, Lodovicus de La-Cerda, the Jesuit, in his voluminous tract de Angelo Custode, Zanchius, and some divines think. But this absurd tenet of Tyreus, Proclus confutes at large in his book de Anima et dæemone.
Psellus, a Christian, and sometimes tutor (saith Cuspinian) to Michael Parapinatius, Emperor of Greece, a great observer of the nature of devils, holds they are corporeal, and have "aerial bodies, that they are mortal, live and die," (which Martianus Capella likewise maintains, but our christian philosophers explode) "that they are nourished and have excrements, they feel pain if they be hurt (which Cardan confirms, and Scaliger justly laughs him to scorn for; Si pascantur ære, cur non pugnant ob puriorem æra? &c.) or stroken:" and if their bodies be cut, with admirable celerity they come together again. Austin, in Gen. lib. iii. lib. arbit, approves as much, mutata casu corpora in deteriorem qualitatem æris spissioris, so doth Hierome. Comment. in epist. ad Ephes. cap. 3, Origen, Tertullian, Lactantius, and many ancient fathers of the Church: that in their fall their bodies were changed into a more aerial and gross substance. Bodine, lib. 4, Theatri Naturaæ, and David Crusius, Hermeticæ Philosophæ, lib. 1. cap. 4, by several arguments proves angels and spirits to be corporeal: quicquid continetur in loco Corporeus est; At spiritus continetur in loco, ergo. Si spiritus sunt quanti, erunt Corporei: At sunt quanti, ergo. Sunt finiti, ergo quanti, &c. (Whatever occupies space is corporeal:-- spirit occupies space, therefore, &c. &c.) Bodine goes farther yet, and will have these, Animæ separatæ genii, spirits, angels, devils, and so likewise souls of men departed, if corporeal (which he most eagerly contends) to be of some shape, and that absolutely round, like Sun and Moon, because that is the most perfect form, quæ nihil habet asperitatis, nihil angulis incisum, nihil anfractibus involutum, nihil eminens, sed inter corpora perfecta est perfectissimum; (Which has no roughness, angles, fractures, prominences, but is the most perfect amongst perfect bodies.) Therefore all spirits are corporeal he concludes, and in their proper shapes round. That they can assume other aerial bodies, all manner of shapes at their pleasures, appear in what likeness they will themselves, that they are most swift in motion, can pass many miles in an instant, and so likewise transform bodies of others into what shape they please, and with admirable celerity remove them from place to place (as the Angel did Habakkuk to Daniel, and as Philip the deacon was carried away by the Spirit, when he had baptised the eunuch; so did Pythagoras and Apollonius remove themselves and others with many such feats); that they can represent castles in the air, palaces, armies, spectrums, prodigies, and such strange objects to mortal men's eyes, cause smells, savours, &c., deceive all the senses; most writers of this subject credibly believe; and that they can foretel future events, and do many strange miracles. Juno's image spake to Camillus, and Fortune's statue to the Roman matrons, with many such. Zanchius, Bodine, Spondanus, and others, are of opinion that they cause a true metamorphosis, as Nebuchadnezzar was really translated into a beast, Lot's wife into a pillar of salt; Ulysses' companions into hogs and dogs, by Circe's charms; turn themselves and others, as they do witches into cats, dogs, hares, crows, &c. Strozzius Cicogna hath many examples, lib. iii. omnif. mag. cap. 4 and 5, which he there confutes, as Austin likewise doth, de civ. Dei lib. xviii. That they can be seen when and in what shape, and to whom they will, saith Psellus, Taletsi nil tale viderim, nec optem videre, though he himself never saw them nor desired it; and use sometimes carnal copulation (as elsewhere I shall prove more at large) with women and men. Many will not believe they can be seen, and if any man shall say, swear, and stiffly maintain, though he be discreet and wise, judicious and learned, that he hath seen them, they account him a timorous fool, a melancholy dizzard, a weak fellow, a dreamer, a sick or a mad man, they contemn him, laugh him to scorn, and yet Marcus of his credit told Psellus that he had often seen them. And Leo Suavius, a Frenchman, c. 8, in Commentar. l. 1. Paracelsus de vita longa, out of some Platonists, will have the air to be as full of them as snow falling in the skies, and that they may be seen, and withal sets down the means how men may see them; Si irreverberatis oculis sole splendente versus cúlum continuaverint obtutus, &c. (By gazing steadfastly on the sun illuminated with his brightest rays.), and saith moreover he tried it, præmissorum feci experimentum, and it was true, that the Platonists said. Paracelsus confesseth that he saw them divers times, and conferred with them, and so doth Alexander ab Alexandro, "that he so found it by experience, when as before he doubted of it." Many deny it, saith Lavater de spectris, part i. c. 2, and part ii. c. 11, "because they never saw them themselves;" but as he reports at large all over his book, especially c. 19, part l. they are often seen and heard, and familiarly converse with men, as Lod. Vives assureth us, innumerable records, histories, and testimonies evince in all ages, times, places, and all travellers besides; in the West Indies and our northern climes, Nihil familiarus quam in agris et urbibus spiritus videre, audire qui vetent, jubeant, &c. Hieronymus vita Pauli, Basil ser. 40, Nidephorus, Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomenus, Jacobus Boissardus in his tract de spirituum apparitionibus, Petrus Loyerus 1. de spectris, Wierus 1. 1. have infinite variety of such examples of apparitions of spirits, for him to read that farther doubts, to his ample satisfaction. One alone I will briefly insert. A nobleman in Germany was sent ambassador to the King of Sweden (for his name, the time, and such circumstances, I refer you to Boissardus, mine author). After he had done his business, he sailed to Livonia, on set purpose to see those familiar spirits, which are there said to be conversant with men, and do their drudgery works. Amongst other matters, one of them told him where his wife was, in what room, in what clothes, what doing, and brought him a ring from her, which, at his return, non sine omnium admiratione, he found to be true; and so believed that ever after, which before he doubted of. Cardan l. 19. de subtil. relates of his father, Facius Cardan, that after the accustomed solemnities, An. 1491, 13 August, he conjured up seven devils, in Greek apparel, about forty years of age, some ruddy of complexion, and some pale, as he thought; he asked them many questions, and they made ready answer, that they were aerial devils, that they lived and died as men did, save that they were far longer lived (700 or 800 years); they did as much excel men in dignity as we do juments, and were as far excelled again of those that were above them; our governors and keepers they are moreover, which Plato in Critias delivered of old, and subordinate to one another, Ut enim homo homini, sic dæmon dæmoni dominatur, they rule themselves as well as us, and the spirits of the meaner sort had commonly such offices, as we make horse-keepers, neat-herds, and the basest of us, overseers of our cattle; and that we can no more apprehend their natures and functions, than a horse a man's. They knew all things, but might not reveal them to man; and ruled and domineered over us, as we do over our horses; the best kings among us, and the most generous spirits, were not comparable to the basest of them. Sometimes they did instruct men, and communicate their skill, reward and cherish, and sometimes, again, terrify and punish, to keep them in awe, as they thought fit, Nihil magis cupientes (saith Lysius, Phis. Stoicorum) quam adorationem homininum (coveting nothing more than the admiration of mankind.) The same Author, Cardan, in his Hyperchen, out of the doctrine of Stoics, will have some of these Genii (for so he calls them) to be desirous of men's company, very affable and familiar with them, as dogs are; others, again, to abhor as serpents, and care not for them. The same belike Tritemius calls Ignios et sublunares, qui nunquam demergunt ad inferiora, aut vix ullum habbent in terris commercium: Generally they far excel men in worth, as a man the meanest worm; though some of them are inferior to those of their own rank in worth, as the blackguard in a prince's court, and to men again, as some degenerate, base, rational creatures, are excelled of brute beasts."
That they are mortal, besides these testimonies of Cardan, Martianus, &c., many other divines and philosophers hold, post prolixum tempus moriuntur omnes; The Platonists, and some Rabbins, Porphyrius and Plutarch, as appears by that relation of Thamus: "The great god Pan is dead;" Apollo Pythius ceased; and so the rest. St. Hierome, in the life of Paul the Hermit, tells a story how one of them appeared to St. Anthony in the wilderness, and told him as much. Paracelsus of our late writers stiffly maintains that they are mortal, live and die as other creatures do. Zozimus, 1.2, further adds, that religion and policy dies and alters with them. The Gentiles' gods, he saith, were expelled by Constantine, and together with them, Imperii Romani majestas, et fortuna interiit, et profligata est; The fortune and majesty of the Roman Empire decayed and vanished, as that heathen in Minutius formerly bragged when the Jews were overcome by the Romans, the Jews' God was likewise captivated by that of Rome; and Rabsakeh to the Israelite; no God should deliver them out of the hands of the Assyrians. But these paradoxes of their power, corporeity, mortality, taking of shapes, transposing bodies, and carnal copulations, are sufficiently confuted by Zanch. c. 10, l. 4. Pererius in his comment, and Tostatus questions on the 6th of Gen. Th. Aquin., St. Austin, Wierus, Th. Erastus, Delrio, tom. 2, l. 2, quæst. 29; Sebastian Michaelis, c. 2, de spiritibus, D. Reinolds Lect. 47. They may deceive the eyes of men, yet not take true bodies, or make a real metamorphosis; but as Cicogna proves at large, they are Illusoriæ et præstigiatrices tranformationes, omnif. mag. lib. 4, cap. 4, mere illusions and cozenings, like that tale of Pasetis obulus in Suidas, or that of Autolicus, Mercury's son, that dwelt in Parnassus, who got so much treasure by cozenage and stealth. His father Mercury, because he could leave him no wealth, taught him many fine tricks to get means, for he could drive away men's cattle, and if any pursued him, turn them into what shapes he would, and so did mightily enrich himself, hoc astu maximam prædam est adsecutus. This, no doubt, is as true as the rest; yet thus much in general. Thomas, Durand, and others, grant that they have understanding far beyond men, can probably conjecture and foretel many things; they can cause and cure most diseases, deceive our senses; they have excellent skill in all Arts aid Sciences; and that the most illiterate devil is Quovis homine scientior (more knowing than any man), as Cicogna maintains out of others. They know the virtues of herbs, plants, stones, minerals, &c.; of all creatures, birds, beasts, the four elements, stars, planets, can aptly apply and make use of them as they see good; perceiving the causes of all meteors, ad the like: Dant se coloribus (as Austin hath it) accommodant se figuris, adhærent sonis, subjiciunt se odoribus, infundunt se saporibus, omnes sensus etiam ipsam inteligentiam dæmones fallunt, they deceive all our senses, even our understanding itself at once. They can produce miraculous alterations in the air, and most wonderful effects, conquer armies, give victories, help, further, hurt, cross and alter human attempts and projects (Dei permissu) as they see good themselves. When Charles the Great intended to make a channel betwixt the Rhine and the Danube, look what his workmen did in the day, these spirits flung down in the night, Ut conatu Rex desisteret, pervicere. Such feats can they do. But that which Bodine, 1.4, Theat. nat. thinks (following Tyrius belike, and the Platonists,) they can tell the secrets of a man's heart, aut cogitationes hominum, is most false; his reasons are weak, and sufficiently confuted by Zanch. lib. 4, cap. 9. Hierom. lib. 2, com. in Mat. ad cap. 15, Athanasius quæst. 27, and Antiochum Principem, and others.
Orders.] As for those orders of good and bad Devils, which the Platonists hold, is altogether erroneous, and those Ethnics boni et mali Genii, are to be exploded: these heathen writers agree not in this point among themselves, as Dandinus notes, An sint mali non conveniunt, some will have all spirits good or bad to us by a mistake, as if an Ox or Horse could discourse, he would say the Butcher was his enemy because he killed him, the Grazier his friend because he fed him; a Hunter preserves and yet kills his game, and is hated nevertheless of his game; nec piscatorem piscis amare potest, &c. But Jamblichus, Psellus, Plutarch, and most Platonists acknowledge bad, et ab eorum malificiis cavendum, and we should beware of their wickedness, for they are enemies of mankind, and this Plato learned in Egypt, that they quarrelled with Jupiter, and were driven by him down to hell. That which Apuleius, Xenophon, and Plato contend of Socrates' Dæmonium, is most absurd: That which Plotinus of his, that he had likewise Deum pro Dæmonio; and that which Porphiry concludes of them all in general, if they be neglected in their sacrifice they are angry; nay more, as Cardan in his Hyperchen will, they feed on men's souls, Elementa sunt plantis elementum, animalibus plantæ, hominibus animalia, erunt et homines aliis, non autem diis, nimis enim remota est eorum natura a nostrs, quapropter dæmonibus: and so belike that we have so many battles fought in all ages, countries, is to make them a feast, and their sole delight: but to return to that I said before, if displeased they fret and chafe (for they feed belike on the souls of beasts, as we do on their bodies), and send many plagues amongst us; but if pleased, then they do much good; is as vain as the rest and confuted by Austin, l. 9. c. 8. de Civ. Dei. Euseb. l.4. præpar. Evang. c. 6. and others. Yet thus much I find, that our school-men and other Divines make nine kinds of bad spirits, as Dionysius hath done of Angels. In the first rank are those false gods of the Gentiles, which were adored heretofore in several Idols, and gave Oracles at Delphos, and elsewhere; whose Prince is Beelzebub. The second rank is of Liars and Æquivocators, as Apollo Pythius, and the like. The third are those vessels of anger, inventors of all mischief; as that Theutus in Plato; Esay calls them vessels of fury; their Prince is Belial. The fourth are malicious revenging Devils; and their Prince is Asmodæus. The fifth kind are cozeners, such as belong to Magicians and Witches; their Prince is Satan. The sixth are those aerial devils that corrupt the air and cause plagues, thunders, fires, &c.; spoken of in the Apocalypse, and Paul to the Ephesians names them the Princes of the air; Meresin is their Prince. The seventh is a destroyer, Captain of the Furies, causing wars, tumults, combustions, uproars, mentioned in the Apocalypse; and called Abaddon. The eighth is that accusing or calumniating Devil, whom the Greeks call Διαβολος [Diabolos], that drives men to despair. The ninth are those tempters in several kinds, and their Prince is Mammon. Psellus makes six kinds, yet none above the Moon: Wierus in his Pseudomonarchia Dæmonis, out of an old book, makes many more divisions and subordinations, with their several names, numbers, offices, &c., but Gazæus cited by Lipsius will have all places full of Angels, Spirits, and Devils, above and beneath the Moon, ætherial and aerial, which Austin cites out of Varro l. vii. de Civ. Dei, c. 6. "The celestial Devils above, and aerial beneath," or, as some will, gods above, Semidei or half gods beneath, Lares, Heroes, Genii, which climb higher, if they lived well, as the Stoics held; but grovel on the ground as they were baser in their lives, nearer to the earth: and are Manes, Lemures, Lamiæ, &c. They will have no place but all full of Spirits, Devils, or some other inhabitants; Plenum Cúlum, aer, aqua, terra, et omnia sub terra, saith Gazæus; though Anthony Rusca in his book de Inferno, lib. v. cap. 7. would confine them to the middle Region, yet they will have them everywhere. "Not so much as a hair-breadth empty in heaven, earth, or waters, above or under the earth." The air is not so full of flies in summer, as it is at all times of invisible devils: this Paracelsus stiffly maintains, and that they have every one their several Chaos, others will have infinite worlds, and each world his peculiar Spirits, Gods, Angels, and Devils to govern and punish it.
"Singula nonnulli credunt quoque sidera posse
Dici orbes, terramque appellant sidus opacum,
Cui minimus divum præsit."--
"Some persons believe each star to be a world, and this earth an opaque star, on which the least of the gods presides."
Gregorius Tholsanus makes seven kinds of ætherial Spirits or Angels, according to the number of the seven Planets, Saturnine, Jovial, Martial, of which Cardan discourseth lib. xx. de subtil. he calls them substantias primas, Olympicos dæmones Tritemius, qui præsunt Zodiaco, &c., and will have them to be good Angels above, Devils beneath the Moon, their several names and offices he there sets down, and which Dionysius of Angels, will have several spirits for several countries, men, offices, &c., which live about them, and as so many assisting powers cause their operations, will have in a word, innumerable, as many of them as there be Stars in the Skies. Marcilius Ficinus seems to second this opinion, out of Plato, or from himself I know not, (still ruling their inferiors, as they do those under them again, all subordinate, and the nearest to the earth rule us, whom we subdivide into good and bad angels, call gods or devils, as they help or hurt us, and so adore, love or hate) but it is most likely from Plato, for he relying wholly on Socrates, quem mori potius quam mentiri voluisse scribit, whom he says would rather die than tell a falsehood out of Socrates' authority alone, made nine kinds of them: which opinion belike Socrates took from Pythagoras, and he from Trismegistus, he from Zoroastes, first God, second idea, 3. Intelligences, 4. Arch-Angels, 5. Angels, 6. Devils, 7. Heroes, 8. Principalities, 9. Princes: of which some were absolutely good, as gods, some bad, some indifferent inter deos et homimines, as heroes and demons, which ruled men, and were called genii, or as Proclus and Jamblichus will, the middle betwixt God and men. Principalities and Princes, which commanded and swayed Kings and countries; and had several places in the Spheres perhaps, for as every sphere is higher, so hath it more excellent inhabitants: which belike is that Galilæus a Galileo and Kepler aims at in his Nuncio Syderio, when he will have Saturnine and Jovial inhabitants: and which Tycho Brahe doth in some sort touch or insinuate in one of his Epistles: but these things Zanchius justly explodes, cap. 3. lib. 4. P. Martyr. in 4. Sam. 28.
So that according to these men the number of ætherial spirits must needs be infinite: for if that be true that some of our mathematicians say: if a stone could fall from the starry heaven, or eighth sphere, and should pass every hour an hundred miles, it would be 65 years, or more, before it would come to ground, by reason of the great distance of heaven from earth, which contains as some say 110 millions 803 miles, besides those other heavens, whether they be crystalline or watery which Maginus adds, which peradventure holds as much more, how many such spirits may it contain? And yet for all this Thomas Albertus, and most hold that there be far more angels than devils.
Sublunary devils, and their kinds.] But be they more or less, Quod supra nos nihil ad nos (what is beyond our comprehension does not concern us). Howsoever as Martianus foolishly supposeth, Ætherii dæmones non curant res humanas, they care not for us, do not attend our actions, or look for us, those ætherial spirits have other worlds to reign in belike or business to follow. We are only now to speak in brief of these sublunary spirits or devils: for the rest, our divines determine that the Devil had no power over stars, or heavens; Carminibus cúlo possunt deducere lunam, &c. (by their charms (verses) they can seduce the moon from the heavens). Those are poetical fictions, and that they can sistere aquam fluviis, et vertere sidera retro, &c., (stop rivers and turn the stars backwards in their courses) as Canadia in Horace, 'tis all false. They are confined until the day of judgment to this sublunary world, and can work no farther than the four elements, and as God permits them. Wherefore of these sublunary devils, though others divide them otherwise according to their several places and offices, Psellus makes six kinds, fiery, aerial, terrestrial, watery, and subterranean devils, besides those fairies, satyrs, nymphs, &c.
Fiery spirits or devils are such as commonly work by blazing stars, fire-drakes, or ignes fatui; which lead men often in flumina aut præcipitia, saith Bodine, lib. 2. Theat. naturæ, fol. 221. Quos inquit arcere si volunt viatores, clara voce Deum appelare, aut pronam facie terram contingente adorare oportet, et hoc amuletum majoribus nostris acceptum ferre debemus, &c., (whom if travellers wish to keep off they must pronounce the name of God with a clear voice, or adore him with their faces in contact with the ground, &c.); likewise they counterfeit suns and moons, stars oftentimes, and sit on ship masts: In navigiorum summitatibus visuntur; and are called dioscuri, as Eusebius 1. contra Philosophos, c. xlviii. informeth us, out of the authority of Zenophanes; or little clouds, ad motum nescio quem volantes; which never appear, saith Cardan, but they signify some mischief or other to come unto men, though some again will have them to pretend good, and victory to that side they come towards in sea fights, St. Elmo's fires they commonly call them, and they do likely appear after a sea storm; Radzivillius, the Polonian duke, calls this apparition, Sancti Germani sidus; and saith moreover that he saw the same after a storm as he was sailing, 1582, from Alexandria to Rhodes. Our stories are full of such apparations in all kinds. Some think they keep their residence in that Hecla, a mountain in Iceland, Ætna in Sicily, Lipari, Vesuvius, &c. These devils were worshipped heretofore by that superstitious Πυρομαντεια (Pyromanteia)(fire-worship, or divination by fire) and the like.
Aerial spirits or devils, are such as keep quarter most part in the air, cause many tempests, thunder, and lightnings, tear oaks, fire steeples, houses, strike men and beasts, make it rain stones, as in Livy's time, wool, frogs, &c. Counterfeit armies in the air, strange noises, swords, &c., as at Vienna before the coming of the Turks, and many times in Rome, as Scheretzius l. de spect. c. 1. part. 1. Lavater de spect. part. 1. c. 17. Julius Obsequens, an old Roman; in his book of prodigies, ab urb. cond. 505. Machiavel hath illustrated by many examples, and Josephus, in his book de bello Judaico, before the destruction of Jerusalem. All which Guil. Postellus, in his first book, c. 7, de orbis concordia, useth as an effectual argument (as indeed it is) to persuade them that will not believe there be spirits or devils. They cause whirlwinds on a sudden, and tempestuous storms; which though our meteorologists generally refer to natural causes, yet I am of Bodine's mind, Theat. Nat. 1.2. they are more often caused by those aerial devils, in their several quarters; for Tempestatibus se ingerunt, saith Rich. Argentine; as when a desperate man makes away with himself; which by hanging or drowning they frequently do, as Kornmannus observes, de mirac. mort. part. 1, c. 76. tripudium agentes, dancing and rejoicing at the death of a sinner. These can corrupt the air, and cause plagues, sickness, storms, shipwrecks, fires, inundations. At Mons Draconis in Italy, there is a most memorable example in Jovianus Pontanus: and nothing so familiar (if we may believe those relations of Saxo Grammaticus, Olaus Magnus, Damianus A. Goes) as for witches and sorcerers, in Lapland, Lithuania, and all over Scandia, to sell winds to mariners, and cause tempests, which Marcus Paulus the Venetian relates likewise of the Tartars. These kind of devils are much delighted in sacrifices (saith Porphiry), held all the world in awe, and had several names, idols, sacrifices, in Rome, Greece, Egypt, and at this day tyrannise over, and deceive those Ethnics and Indians, being adored and worshipped for gods. For the Gentiles' gods were devils (as Trismegistus confesseth in his Asclepius), and he himself could make them come to their images by magic spells: and are now as much "respected by our papists (saith Pictorius) under the name of saints." These are they which Cardan thinks desire so much carnal copulation with witches(Incubi and Succubi), transform bodies, and are so very cold if they be touched; and that serve magicians. His father had one of them (as he is not ashamed to relate), an aerial devil, bound to him for twenty and eight years. As Agrippa's dog had a devil tied to his collar; some think that Paracelsus (or else Erastus belies him) had one confined to his sword pummel; others wear them in rings, &c. Jannes and Jambres did many things of old by their help; Simon Magus, Cinops, Apollothus Tianeus, Jamblichus, and Tritemius of late, that showed Maximilian the emperor his wife, after she was dead; Et verrucam in collo ejus (saith Godolman) so much as the wart in her neck. Delrio, lib. ii. hath divers examples of their feats: Cicogna, lib. iii. cap. 3. and Wierus in his book de præstig. dæmonum. Boissardus de magis et veneficis.
Water-devils are those Naiads or water nymphs which have been heretofore conversant about waters and rivers. The water (as Paracelsus thinks) is their chaos, wherein they live; some call them fairies, and say that Habundia is their queen; these cause inundations, many times shipwrecks, and deceive men divers ways, as Succuba, or otherwise, appearing most part (saith Tritemius) in women's shapes. Paracelsus hath several stories of them that have lived and been married to mortal men, and so continued for certain years with them, and after, upon some dislike, have forsaken them. Such a one was Ægeria, with whom Numa was so familiar, Diana, Ceres, &c. Olaus Magnus hath a long narration of one Hotherus, a king of Sweden, that having lost his company, as he was hunting one day, met with these water nymphs or fairies, and was feasted by them; and Hector Boethius, of Macbeth, and Banquo, two Scottish lords, that as they were wandering in the woods, had their fortunes told them by three strange women. To these, heretofore, they did use to sacrifice, by that υδρομαντεια (hydromanteia) or divination by waters.
Terrestrial devils are those lares, Genii, Fauns, Satyrs, Wood-nymphs, Foliots, Fairies, Robin Goodfellows, Trulli, &c., which as they are most conversant with men, so they do them most harm. Some think it was they alone that kept the heathen people in awe of old, and had so many idols and temples erected to them. Of this range was Dagon amongst the Philistines, Bel amongst the Babylonians, Astartea amongst the Sidonians, Baal amongst the Samaritans, Isis and Osiris amongst the Egyptians, &c.; some put our fairies into this rank, which have been in former times adored with much superstition, with sweeping their houses, and setting of a pail of clean water, good victuals, and the like, and then they should not be pinched, but find money in their shoes, and be fortunate in their enterprises. These are they that dance on heaths and greens, as Lavater thinks with Tritemius, and as Olaus Magnus adds, leave that green circle, which we commonly find in plain fields, which others hold to proceed from a meteor falling, or some accidental rankness of the ground, so nature sports herself; they are sometimes seen by old women and children. Hierom. Pauli, in his description of the city of Bercino in Spain, relates how they have been familiarly seen near that town, about fountains and hills; Nonnunquam (saith Tritemius) in sua latibula montium simpliciores homines ducant, stupenda mirantibus ostendentes miracula, nolarum sonitus, spectacula, &c. (Sometimes they seduce too simple men into tneir mountain retreats, where they exhibit wonderful sights to their marvelling eyes, and astonish their ears by the sound of bells, &c.) Giraldus Cambrensis gives instance in a monk of Wales that was so deluded. Paracelsus reckons up many places in Germany, where they do usually walk in little coats, some two feet long. A bigger kind there is of them called with us hobgoblins, and Robin Goodfellows, that would in those superstitious times grind corn for a mess of milk, cut wood, or do any manner of drudgery work. They would mend old irons in those Æolian isles of Lipari, in former ages, and have been often seen and heard. Tholosanus calls them Trullos and Getulos, and saith, that in his days they were common in many places of France. Dithmarus Bleskenius, in his description of Iceland, reports for a certainty, that almost in every family they have yet some such familiar spirits; and Fúlix Malleolus, in his book de crudel. dæmon. affirms as much, that these Trolli or Telchines are very common in Norway, "and seen to do drudgery work;" to draw water, saith Wierus, lib. i. cap. 22. dress meat, or any such thing. Another sort of these there are, which frequent forlorn houses, which the Italians call foliots, most part innoxious, Cardan holds; "They will make strange noises in the night, howl sometimes pitifully, and then laugh again, cause great flame and sudden lights, fling stones, rattle chains, shave men, open doors and shut them, fling down platters, stools, chests, sometimes appear in the likeness of hares, crows, black dogs, &c." of which read Pet. Thyræis the Jesuit, in his Tract. de locis infestis, part. 1. et cap. 4, who will have them to be devils or the souls of damned men that seek revenge, or else souls out of purgatory that seek ease; for such examples peruses Sigismundus Scheretzius, lib. de spectris, part 1. c. 1. which he saith he took out of Luther most part; there be many instances. Plinius Secundus remembers such a house at Athens, which Athenodorus the philosopher hired, which no man durst inhabit for fear of devils. Austin, de Civ. Dei, lib. 22, cap. 1. relates as much of Hesperius the Tribune's house, at Zubeda, near their city of Hippos, vexed with evil spirits, to his great hindrance, Cum afflictione animalium et servorum suorum. Many such instances are to be read in Niderius Formicar, lib. 5. cap. xii. 3. &c. Whether I may call these Zim and Ochim, which Isaiah, cap. xiii. 21. speaks of, I make a doubt. See more of these in the said Scheretz. lib. 1. de spect. cap. 4. he is full of examples. These kinds of devils many times appear to men, and affright them out of their wits, sometimes walking at noon-day, sometimes at nights, counterfeiting dead men's ghosts, as that of Caligula, which (saith Suetonius) was seen to walk in Lavinia's garden, where his body was buried, spirits hanuted, and the house where he died, Nulla nox sine terrore transacti, donec incendio consumpta; every night this happened, there was no quietness, till the house was burned. About Hecla, in Iceland, ghosts commonly walk, animas mortuorum simulantes, saith Joh. Anan. lib. 3. de nat. dæm. Olaus, lib. 2. cap. 2. Natal. Tallopid. lib. de apparit. spir. Kornmannus de mirac. mort. part. 1. cap. 44. such sights are frequently seen circa sepulchra et monasteria, saith Lavat. lib. 1. cap. 19. in monasteries and about churchyards, loca paludinosa, ampla ædificata, solitari, et cæde hominum notata, &c. (marshes, great buildings, solitary places, or remarkable as the scene of some murder). Thyreus adds, ubi gravius peccatum est commissum, impii pauperum oppressores et nequiter insignes habitat (where some very heinous crime was committed, there the impious and infamous generally dwell). These spirits often foretel men's deaths by several signs, as knockings, groanings, &c., though Rich. Argentine, c. 18. præstigiis dæmonum, will ascribe these predictions to good angels, out of the authority of Ficinus and others; prodigia in obitu principum sæpius contingunt, &c. (prodigies frequently occur at the deaths of illustrious men), as in the Lateran church in Rome, the popes' deaths are foretold by Sylvester's tomb. Near Rupes Nova in Finland, in the kingdom of Sweden, there is a lake, in which, before the governor of the castle dies, a spectrum, in the habit of Arion with his harp, appears, and makes excellent music, like those blocks in Cheshire, which (they say) presage death to the master of the family; or that oak in Lanthadran park in Cornwall, which foreshows as much. Many families in Europe are so put in mind of their last by such predictions, and many men are forewarned (if we may believeParacelsus) by familiar spirits in divers shapes, as cocks, crows, owls, which often hover about sick men's chambers, vel quia morientium fúditatem sentiunt, as Baracellus conjectures, et ideo super tectum infirmorum crocitant, because they smell a corse; or for that (as Bernardinus de Bustis thinketh) God permits the devil to appear in the form of crows, and such like creatures, to scare such as live wickedly here on earth. A little before Tully's death (saith Plutarch) the crows made a mighty noise about him, tumultuose perstrepentes, they pulled the pillow from under his head. Rob. Gaguinus hist. Franc. lib. 8, telleth such another wonderful story at the death of Johannes de Monteforti, a French lord, anno 1345, tanta corvorum multitudo ædibus morientis insedit, quantam esse in Gallia nemo judicasset (a multitude of crows alighted on the house of the dying man, such as no one imagined existed in France). Such prodigies are very frequent in authors. See more of these in the said Lavater, Thyreus de locii infestis, part 3, cap. 58. Pictorius, Delrio, Cicogna, lib. 3, cap. 9. Necromancers take upon them to raise and lay them at their pleasures: and so likewise those which Mizaldus calls Ambulones, that walk about midnight on great heaths and desert places, which (saith Lavater) "draw men out of the way, and lead them all night a bye-way, or quite bar them of their way;" these have several names in several places; we commonly call them Pucks. In the deserts of Lop, in Asia, such illusions of walking spirits are often perceived, as you may read in M. Paulus, the Venetian his travels; if one lose his company by chance, these devils will call him by his name, and counterfeit voices of his companions to seduce him. Hieronym. Pauli, in his book of the hills of Spain, relates of a great mount in Cantabria, where such spectrums are to be seen; Lavater and Cicogna have variety of examples of spirits and walking devils in this kind. Sometimes they sit by the highway side, to give men falls, and make their horses stumble and start as they ride (if you will believe the relation of that holy man Ketellus in Nubrigensis, that had an especial grace to see devils, Gratiam divinitus collatam, and talk with them, Et impavidus cum spiritibus sermonem miscere, without offence, and if a man curse or spur his horse for stumbling, they do heartily rejoice at it; with many such pretty feats.
Subterranean devils are as common as the rest, and do as much harm. Olaus Magnus, lib. 6, cap. 19, makes six kinds of them; some bigger, some less. These (saith Munster) are commonly seen about mines of metals, and are some of them noxious; some again do no harm. The metal-men in many places account it good luck, a sign of treasure and rich ore when they see them. Georgius Agricola in his book de subterraneis animantibus, cap. 31, reckons two more notable kinds of them, which he calls Getuli and Cobali, both "are clothed after the manner of metal-men, and will many times imitate their works." Their office, as Pictorius and Paracelsus think, is to keep treasure in the earth, that it be not all at once revealed; and besides, Cicogna avers that they are the frequent causes of those horrible earthquakes "which often swallow up, not only houses, but whole islands and cities;" in his third book, cap. 11, he gives many instances.
The last are conversant about the centre of the earth to torture the souls of damned men to the day of judgment; their egress and regress some suppose to be about Ætna, Lipari, Mons Hecla in Iceland, Vesuvius, Terra del Fuego, &c., because many shrieks and fearful cries are continually heard thereabouts, and familiar apparitions of dead men, ghosts and goblins.
Their Offices, Operations, Study.] Thus the devil reigns, and in a thousand several shapes, "as a roaring lion still seeks whom he may devour," 1 Pet. v., by earth, sea, land, air, as yet unconfined, though some will have his proper place the air; all that space between us and the moon for them that transgressed least, and hell for the wickedest of them, Hic velut in carcere ad finem mundi, tunc in locum funestiorem trudendi, as Austin holds de Civit. Dei, c. 22, lib. 14, cap. 3 et 23; but be where he will, he rageth while he may to comfort himself, as Lactantius thinks, with other men's falls, he labours all he can to bring them into the same pit of perdition with him. "For men's miseries, calamities, and ruins are the devil's banqueting dishes." By many temptations and several engines, he seeks to captivate our souls. The Lord of Lies, saith Austin, "As he was deceived himself, he seeks to deceive others, the ringleader to all naughtiness, as he did by Eve and Cain, Sodom and Gomorrah, so would he do by all the world. Sometimes he tempts by covetousness, drunkenness, pleasure, pride, &c., errs, dejects, saves, kills, protects, and rides some men, as they do their horses. He studies our overthrow, and generally seeks our destruction;" and although he pretend many times human good, and vindicate himself for a god by curing of several diseases, ægris sanitatem, et cæcis luminis usum restituendo, as Austin declares, lib. 10, de Civit. Dei, cap. 6, as Apollo, Æsculapius, Isis, of old have done; divert plagues, assist them in wars, pretend their happiness, yet nihil his impurius, scelestius, nihil humano geberi infestius, nothing so impure, nothing so pernicious, as may well appear by their tyrannical and bloody sacrifices of men to Saturn and Moloch, which are still in use among those barbarous Indians, their several deceits and cozenings to keep men in obedience, their false oracles, sacrifices, their superstitious impositions of fasts, penury, &c. Heresies, superstitions observations of meats, times, &c., by which they crucify the souls of mortal men, as shall be showed in our Treatise of Religious Melancholy. Modico adhuc tempore sinitur malignari, as Bernard expresseth it, by God's permission he rageth a while, hereafter to be confined to hell and darkness, "which is prepared for him and his angels," Mat. xxv.
How far their power doth extend it is hard to determine; what the ancients held of their effects, force and operations, I will briefly show you: Plato in Critias, and after him his followers, gave out that these spirits or devils, "were men's governors and keepers, our lords and masters, as we are of our cattle." "They govern provinces and kingdoms by oracles, auguries, dreams, rewards" and punishments, prophecies, inspirations, sacrifices, and religious superstitions, varied in as many forms as there be diversity of spirits; they send wars, plagues, peace, sickness, health, dearth, plenty, Adstantes hic jam nobis, spectantes, et arbitrantes, &c. as appears by those histories of Thucydides, Livius, Dionysius Halicarnassus, with many others that are full of their wonderful stratagems, and were therefore by those Roman and Greek commonwealths adored and worshipped for gods with prayers and sacrifices, &c. In a word, Nihil magis quærunt quam metum et admirationem hominum (They seek nothing more earnestly than the fear and admiration of men); and as another hath it, Dici non potest, quam impotenti ardore in homines dominium, et Divinos cultis maligni spiritus affectent (It is scarcely possible to describe the impotent ardour with which these malignant spirits aspire to the honour of being divinely worshipped). Tritemius in his book de septem secundis, assigns names to such angels as are governors of particular provinces, by what authority I know not, and gives them several jurisdictions. Asclepiades a Grecian, Rabbi Achiba the Jew, Abraham Avenezra, and Rabbi Azariel, Arabians, (as I find them cited by Cicogna) farther add, that they are not our governors only, sed ex eorum concordia et discordia, boni et mali affectus promanant, but as they agree, so do we and our prince; or disagree; stand or fall. Juno was a bitter enemy to Troy, Apollo a good friend, Jupiter indifferent, Æqua Venus Teucris, Pallas iniqua fuit; some are for us still, some against us, Premente Deo, fert Deus alter opem. Religion, policy, public and private quarrels, wars are procured by them, and they are delighted perhaps to see men fight, as men are with cocks, bulls, and dogs, bears, &c., plagues, dearths depend on them, our bene and male esse, and almost all our other peculiar actions, for (as Anthony Rusca contends lib. 5, cap. 18, every man hath a good and a bad angel attending on him in particular, all his life long, which Jamblichus calls dæmonem,) preferments, losses, weddings, deaths, rewards and pnnishments, and as Proclus will, all offices whatsoever, alii genetricem, alii opificem potestatem habent, &c., and several names they give them according to their offices, as Lares Indegites, Præstites, &c. When the Arcades in that battle at Cheronæ, which was fought against King Philip for the liberty of Greece, had deceitfully carried themselves, long after, in the very same place, Diis Græciæ ultoribus (saith mine author) they were miserably slain by Metellus the Roman: so likewise, in smaller matters, they will have things fall out, as these boni and mali genii favour or dislike us: Saturni non conveniunt Jovialibus, &c. He that is Saturninus shall never likely be preferred. That base fellows are often advanced, undeserving Gnathoes, and vicious parasites, whereas discreet, wise, virtuous and worthy men are neglected and unrewarded; they refer to those domineering spirits, or subordinate Genii; as they are inclined, or favour men, so they thrive, are ruled and overcome; for as Libanius supposeth in our ordinary conflicts and contentions, Genius Genio cedit et obtemperat, one genius yields and is overcome by another. All particular events almost they refer to these private spirits; and (as Paracelsus adds) they direct, teach, inspire, and instruct men. Never was any man extraordinary famous in any art, action, or great commander, that had not familiarem dæmonem to inform him, as Numa, Socrates, and many such, as Cardan illustrates, cap. 128, Arcanis prudentiæ civilis, Speciali siquidem gratia, si a Deo donari asserunt magi, a Geniis cúlestibus instrui, ab iis doceri. But these are most erroneous paradoxes, ineptæ et fabulosæ nugæ, rejected by our divines and Christian churches. 'Tis true they have, by God's permission, power over us, and we find by experience, that they can hurt not our fields only, cattle, goods, but our bodies and minds. At Hammel in Saxony, An. 1484, 20 Junii, the devil, in likeness of a pied piper, carried away 130 children that were never after seen. Many times men are affrighted out of their wits, carried away quite, as Scheretzius illustrates, lib. i. c. iv., and severally molested by his means, Plotinus the Platonist, lib. 14, advers. Gnos. laughs them to scorn, that hold the devil or spirits can cause any such diseases. Many think he can work upon the body, but not upon the mind. But experience pronounceth otherwise, that he can work both upon body and mind. Tertullian is of this opinion, c. 22. "That he can cause both sickness and health," and that secretly. Taurellus adds "by clancular poisons he can infect the bodies, and hinder the operations of the bowels, though we perceive it not, closely creeping into them," saith Lipsius, and so crucify our souls: Et nociva melancholia furiosos efficit. For being a spiritual body, he struggles with our spirits, saith Rogers, and suggests (according to Cardan, verba sine voce, species sine visu, envy, lust, anger, &c.) as he sees men inclined.
The manner how he performs it, Biarmannus in his Oration against Bodine, sufficiently declares. He begins first with the phantasy, and moves that so strongly, that no reason is able to resist. Now the phantasy he moves by mediation of humours; although many physicians are of opinion, that the devil can alter the mind, and produce this disease of himself: Quibusdam medicorum visum, saith Avicenna, quod Melancholia contingat a dæmonio. Of the same mind is Psellus and Rhasis the Arab. lib. 1. Tract. 9. Cont. "That this disease proceeds especially from the devil, and from him alone." Arculanus cap. 6. in 9. Rhasis, Ælianus Montaltus in his 9. cap. Daniel Sennertus lib. 1. part 2. cap. 11. confirm as much, that the devil can cause this disease; by reason many times that the parties affected prophesy, speak strange language, but non sine interventu humoris, not without the humour, as he interprets himself; no more doth Avicenna, si contingat a dæmonio, suffiicit nobis ut convertat complexionem ad choleram nigram, et sit causa ejus propinqua cholera nigra; the immediate cause is choler adust, which Pomponatius likewise labours to make good: Galgerandus of Mantua, a famous Physician, so cured a dæmoniacal woman in his time, that spake all languages, by purging black choler, and thereupon belike this humour of Melancholy is called Balneum Diaboli, the Devil's Bath; the devil spying his opportunity of such humours drives them many times to despair, fury, rage, &c., mingling himself amongst these humours. This is that which Tertullian avers, Corporibus inflingunt acerbos casus, animæque repentimos, numbra distorquent, occulte repentes, &c. and which Lemnius goes about to prove, Immiscent se mali Genii pravis humoribus, atque atræ bili, &c. And Jason Pratensis, "that the devil, being a slender incomprehensible spirit, can easily insinuate and wind himself into human bodies, and cunningly couched in our bowels vitiate our healths, terrify our souls with fearful dreams, and shake our mind with furies." And in another place, "These unclean spirits settled in our bodies, and now mixed with our melancholy humours, do triumph as it were, and sport themselves as in another heaven." Thus he argues, and that they go in and out of our bodies, as bees do in a hive, and so provoke and tempt us as they perceive our temperature inclined of itself; and most apt to be deluded. Agrippa and Lavater are persuaded, that this humour invites the devil to it, wheresoever it is in extremity, and of all other, melancholy persons are most subject to diabolical temptations and illusion; and most apt to entertain them, and the Devil best able to work upon them. But whether by obsession, or possession, or otherwise, I will not determine; 'tis a difficult question. Delrio the Jesuit, Tom. 3. lib. 6. Springer und his colleague, mall. malef. Pet. Thyreus the Jesuit, lib. de dæmoniacis, de locis infestis, de Terrificationibus nocturnis, Hieronimus Mengus Flagel. dæm. and others of that rank of pontifical writers, it seems, by their exorcisms and conjurations approve of it, having forged many stories to that purpose. A nun did eat a lettuce without grace, or signing it with the sign of the cross, and was instantly possessed. Durand. lib. 6. Rationall. c. 86. numb. 8. relates that he saw a wench possessed in Bononia with two devils, by eating an unhallowed pomegranate, as she did afterwards confess, when she was cured by exorcisms. And therefore our Papists do sign themselves so often with the sign of the cross, ne dæmon ingredi ausit, and exorcise all manner of meats, as being unclean or accursed otherwise, as Bellarmine defends. Many such stories I find amongst pontifical writers, to prove their assertions, let them free their own credits; some few will recite in this kind out of most approved physicians. Cornelius Gemma lib. 2. de nat. mirac. c.4. relates of a young maid, called Katherine Gualter, a cooper's daughter, An. 1571, that had such strange passions and convulsions, three men could not sometimes hold her; she purged a live eel, which he saw a foot and a half long, and touched it himself; but the eel afterwards vanished; she vomited some twenty-four pounds of fulsome stuff of all colours, twice a day for fourteen days; and after that she voided great balls of hair, pieces of wood, pigeons' dung, parchment, goose dung, coals; and after them two pounds of pure blood, and then again coals and stones, of which some had inscriptions bigger than a walnut, some of them pieces of glass, brass, &c. besides paroxysms of laughing, weeping and ecstasies, &c. Et hoc (inquit) cum horrore vide, this I saw with horror. They could do no good on her by physic but left her to the clergy. Marcellus Donatus lib. 2 i. 1 de med. mirab. hath such another story of a country fellow, that had four knives in his belly, Instar serræ dentatos, indented like a saw, every one a span long, and a wreath of hair like a globe, with much baggage of like sort, wonderful to behold: how it should come into his guts, he concludes, Certe non alio quam dæmonis astutia et dolo (could assuredly only have been through the artifice of the devil). Langius Epist. med.lib. 1. Epist. 38 hath many relations to this effect, and so hath Christopherus a Vega: Wierus, Skenkius, Sribonius, all agree that they are done by the subtilty and illusion of the devil. If you shall ask a reason of this, 'tis to exercise our patience; for as Tertullian holds, Virtus non est virtus, niso comparet habet aliquem, in quo superando vim suam ostendat, 'tis to try us and our faith, 'tis for our offences, and for the punishment of our sins, by God's permission they do it, Carnifices vindictæ justæ Dei, as Tolosanus styles them, Executioners of his will; or rather as David, Ps. 78. ver 49. "He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger,indignation, wrath, and vexation, by sending out of evil angels:" so did he afflict Job, Saul, the Lunatics and dæmoniacal persons whom Christ cured, Mat. iv. 8. Luke iv. 11. Luke xiii. Mark ix. Tobit viii. 3. &c. This, I say, happeneth for a punishment of sin, for their want of faith, incredulity, weakness, distrust, &c.