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A Digression of the nature of Spirits, bad Angels, or Devils,
and how they cause Melancholy. OW 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 controversie and ambiguity, beyond the reach of humane 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 owle's eyes at the sun's light, wax dull, and are not sufficient to apprehend them; yet, as in the rest, Í will adventure to say something to this point. In former times, as we reade Acts 23. the Sadduces denied that there were any such Spirits, Devils, or Angels. So did Galen the Physitian, the Peripateticks, even Aristotle himself, as Pomponatius stoutly maintains, and Scaliger in some sort grants. Though Dandinus the Jesuit, com. in lib. 2. de anima, stifly denies it; substantiæ separate and intelligences, are the same which Christians call Angels, and Platonists Devils, for they name all the Spirits, demones, be they good or bad Angels, as Julius Pollux Onomasticon, lib. 1. cap. 1. observes. Epicures and Atheists are of the same minde in general, because they never saw them. Plato, Plotinus, Porphyrius, Jamblicus, Proclus, insisting in the steps of Trismegistus, Pythagoras and Socrates, make no doubt of it: Nor Stoicks, but that there are such spi. rits, though much erring from the truth. Concerning the first beginning of them, the • Thalınudists say that Adam had a wife called Lilis, before he marryed Eve, and of her he begat nothing but Devils. The Turks P Alcoran is altogether as absurd and ridiculous in this point: but the Scripture informs us
* Lib. I. c.7. de orhis concordia. In nulla re major fuit altercatio, major obscuritas, minor opinionum concordia, quàm de dæmonibus & substantiis separalis. * Lib. 3. de Trinit. cap. 1. • Pererius in Genesin. lib. 4. in cap. 3. v. 23.
p Sce Strozzius Cicogna omnifariæ. Mag. lib. 2. Aubanus, Bredenbachius.
q Voi, I.
Christians, how Lucifer the chief of them with his associates 9 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 aeriall sublunary parts, or into Hell, “ and delivered into chains of darkness (2 Pet. 2. 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 groveled on the ground, or in the lower parts, and were devils, the which with Tertullian, Porphyrius the Philosopher, M. Tyrius ser. 27. maintaines. « 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 threatned to persecute Æneas:
“ Omnibus umbra locis adero: dabis improbe pænas." 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 & mali Geniž by the Romans. Heroes, Lares, if good, Lemures or Larvæ if bad, by the Stoicks, governours of Countries, Men, Cities, saith * Apuleius, Deos appellant qui ex hominum numero justè ac prudentèr vite curriculo gubernato, pro numine, postea aú hominibus præditi fanis & ceremoniis vulgò admittuntur, ut in Ægypto Osyris, &c. Præstites, Capella calls them, “ which protected particular men as well as Princes,” Socrates had his Dæmonium Saturninum & 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 Tenent of Tyreus, Proclus confutes at large in his book de Animá & demone.
* Psellus, a Christian, and sometimes Tutor (saith Cuspinian) to Michael Parapinatius, Emperour of Greece, a great observer of the nature of Devils, holds they are corporeall, and have “ aeriall bodies, that they are mortall, live and dye,”. (which Martianus Capella likewise maintaines, but our Christian Phi
4 Angelus per superbiam separatus à Deo, qui in veritate non stetit. Austin. * Nihil aliud sunt Dæmones quã nudæ animæ quæ corpore deposito priorem miserati vitam, cognatis succurrunt commoti misericordia, &c. * De Deo Socratis, * He lived 500 years since. * Apuleius : spiritus animalia sunt animo passibilia, mente rationalia, corpore aeria, tempore sempiterna.
losophers explode) “ that they are nourished and have excrements, they feele paine if they be hurt (which Cardan confirmes, and Scaliger justly laughs him to scorne for; Si pascantur aere, cur non pugnant ob puriorem aera ? &c.) or stroken :” and if their bodyes be cut, with admirable celerity they come together again. Austin in Gen. lib. 3. lib. arbit. approves as much, mutata casu corpora in deteriorem qualitatem aëris spissioris, so doth Hierome, Comment. in epist. ad Ephes. cap. 3. Origen, Tertullian, Lactantius, and inany ancient Fathers of the Church: That in their fall their bodyes were changed into a more aerial and gross substance. Bodine lib. 4. Theatri Naturæ, and David Crusius Hermeticæ Philosophiæ, lib. 1. cap. 4. by several arguments proves Angels and Spirits to be Corporeal : quicquid continetur in loco Corporeum est : At spiritus continetur in loco. ergo. Si Spiritus sunt quanti, erunt Corporei: 11t sunt quanti, ergo. Sunt finiti, ergo quanti, &c. + Bodine goes farther yet, and will have these, Animæ separate genii, Spirits, Angels, Devils, and so likewise soules of men departed, if Corporeal (which he most eagerly contends) to be of some shape, and that absolutely round, like Sun and Moone, because that is the most perfect forme, que nihil habet asperitatis, nihil angulis incisum, nihil unfractibus involutum, nihil eminens, sed inter corpora perfecta est perfectissimum; therefore al spirits are cor poreal 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 wil 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 Habacuck to Daniel, and as Philip the Deacon was carried away by the Spirit, when he had baptized the Eunuch; so did Pythagoras and Apollonius remove themselves and others, with many such feats) that they can represent castles in the ayre, pallaces, armies, spectrums, prodigies, and such strange objects to mortal men's eyes, cause smels, savors, &c. deceive all the senses; most Writers of this subject credibly believe; and that they can foretell future events, and do many strange miracles. Juno's
• Nutriuntur, et excrementa habent, quod pulsata doleant solido percussa corpore. + 4. Lib. 4. Theol. nat. fol. 535. Cyprianus in Epist. montes etiam et animalia transferri possunt: as the devill did Christ to the top of the Pinacle; and Witches are often translated. See more in Strozzius Cicogna. lib. 3. cap. 4. omnif. mag. Per aera subducere & in sublime corpora ferre possunt, Biarmanus. Percussi dolent et uruntur in conspicuos cineres, Agrippa, lib. 3. cap. de ocul. Philos. * Agrippa de occult. Philos. lib. 3. cap. 18. N2
image spake to Camillus, and Fortune's statue to the Romane matrons, with many such. Zanchius, Bodine, Spondanus and others are of opinion that they cause a true Metamorphosis, as Nabuchadnezer was really translated into a beast, Lot's wife into a pillar of Salt ; Ulysses companions into Hogs and Dogs, by Circe's charmes ; Turn themselves and others, as they do Witches into Cats, Dogs, Hares, Crowes, &c. Strozzius Cicogna hath many examples lib. 3. omnif. mag. cap. 4. and 5. which he there confutes, as Austin likewise doth de civ. Dei lib. 18. That they can be seen when and in what shape, and to whom they will, saith Psellus, Tametsi 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 inen. Many will not believe they can be seene, and if any man shall say, sweare, and stifly maintain, though he be discreet and wise, judicious and learned, that he hath scen them, they accompt him a timorous foole, a melancholy dizard, a weak fellow, a dreamer, a sick or a mad man, they contemn him, laugh him to scorne, and yet Marcus of his credit told Psellus that he had often seen them. And Leo Suavius, a Frenchman, c. 8. in Commentar. I. 1. Paracelsi de vita longá, out of some Platonists, will have the ayre 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 cælum continuaverint obtutus, &c. and saith moreover he tryed 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 1. c. 2. and part 2. c. 11. “because they never saw them themselves;” But as he reports at large all over his book, especially c. 19. part. 1. they are often seen and heard, and familiarly converse with men, as Lod. Vives assureth us, innumerablé Records, Histories, and testimonies evince in all ages, times, places, and 2 all travellers besides; in the West Indies and our Northerne climes, Nihil familiarius quam in agris & urbibus spiritus videre, audire qui vetent, jubeant, &c. Hieronimus vita Pauli, Basil ser. 40. Nicephorus, Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomenus, * Jacobus Boissardus in his tract de spirituum apparitionibus, Petrus
* Part. 3. sect. 2. Mem. 1. Sub. 1. Love Melancholy. y Genial. dierū. Ita sibi visum et compertum quum prius an essent ambigeret Fidem suam liberet. 2 Li. 1. de verit. Fidei. Benzo. &c. * Lib. de Divinatione et magiâ.
Loyerus l. de spectris, Wierus l. 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 noble man in Germany was sent Embassador to the King of Sueden (for his name, the time, and such circumstances, I refer you to Boissardus mine a 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 roome, in what cloathes, 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 7. Devils in Greek apparel, about 40. 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 liv'd, (7. or 800. ”yeares) 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 demoni 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, then an horse a man's. They knew all things, but might not reveal them to men; and ruled and domineered over us, as we do over our horses; the best Kings amongst us, and the most generous spirits, were not comparable to the basest of them. Sometimes they did instruct men, and communicate their skil, reward and cherish, and sometimes again terrifie and punish, to keep them in awe, as they thought fit, Nihil magis cupientes (saith Lysius, Phis. Stoicorum :) quam adorationem hominü. The same Author Cardan in his Hyperchen, out of the doctrine of Stoicks, wil have some of these Genii (for so he cals them) to be a desirous of men's company, very affable, and familiar
Sic Hesi• Cap. 8. Transportavit in Livoniam cupiditate videndi, &c.
* Cusodus de Nymphis vivere dicit. 10. ætates phænicum vcl. 9. 7. 20. todes hominum & provinciarum, &c. tanto meliores hominibus, quanto hi brutis animantibus. * Præsides Pastores, Gubernatores hominum, et illi animalium. • Natura familiares ut canes hominibus, multi aversantur & abhorrent. N 3