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A26476 A candle in the dark shewing the divine cause of the distractions of the whole nation of England and of the Christian world ... / by Thomas Ady ... Ady, Thomas. 1655 (1655) Wing A673; ESTC R17625 123,739 172

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A Candle in the Dark SHEWING The Divine Cause of the distractions of the whole Nation of ENGLAND and of the Christian WORLD That is the Lord doth Avenge the blood of the Innocent upon the Inhabitants of the Earth Iustitia Thronam firmat The King that faithfully judgeth the poor his Throne shall be established Prov. 29.14 This Book is profitable to bee read by all Iudges of Assizes before they passe the sentence of Condemnation against poor People who are accused for Witchcraft It is also profitable for all sorts of people to read who desire Knowledge By THOMAS ADY M. A. LONDON Printed for Robert Ibb'tson dwelling in Smithfield neer Hosier Lane End 1655. The Reason of the Book THe Grand Errour of these latter Ages is ascribing power to Witches and by foolish imagination of mens brains without grounds in the Scriptures wrongfull killing of the innocent under the name of Witches unto which Idolatry and bloud-guiltiness being as bad or worse than the Idolatry of the ancient Heathen men are led as violently by fond imagination as were the Ephesians to the worshipping of Diana and of the Image which as they blindly thought fell down from Jupiter Acts 19.35 It is reported by Travellers that some People in America do worship for a day the first living Creature they see in the morning be it but a Bird or a Worm this Idolatry is like the Idolatry of this part of the World who when they are afflicted in Body or Goods by Gods hand they have an eye to some Mouse or Bugg or Frog or other living Creature saying It is some Witches Impe that is sent to afflict them ascribing the Work of God to a Witch or any mean Creature rather than to God Mr. Scot published a Book called his Discovery of Witchcraft in the beginning of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth for the instruction of all Iudges and Iustices of those times which Book did for a time take great impression in the Magistracy and also in the Clergy but since that time England hath shamefully fallen from the Truth which they began to receive wherefore here is again a necessary and illustrious discourse for the Magistracy and other People of this Age where I intreat all to take notice that many do falsly report of Mr. Scot that he held an Opinion that Witches are not for it was neither his Tenent neither is it mine but that Witches are not such as are commonly executed for Witches A Candle in the Dark The First Book shewing what Witches are in the Scripture-sence throughout the Old and New Testament The Second Book shewing how grosly the Scriptures have been mis-interpreted by Antichrist concerning Witches by which interpretation he hath made the Nations go astray With a confutation of those Errours The Third Book touching some erroneous English Writers who have upheld the same Errours which Antichrist hath broa●hed to the world Also the Works of a Scotch-man called The VVorks of King Iames. With an addition of fifteen Causes also a reference to Scot and also the opinion of Luther concerning Devils Also an instruction to Lawyers Errata PAge 11. line 3. for Magnus read Magus p. 15. 1. 2● for 6 Chron. r. 2 Chro. p 22. 1. 1. for Proph●ts r. Prophet●ss p 28. 1. 23 for magis r. magi p. 30. 1. 11. for inch●ntation r. incantation p. 38 1. 15. for little r. li●he 1. 19. for tax r. tap thrice in the same page in p 48. 1. 8. for Charms ● Charmer p. 76. 1. 33. for equivoc●ely r equivocally p. 77. 1. 8. for Scopula r. Scapula over p 79. for Oracle giver r. ●outh sayer so over p. 87. Necromancer should not be The Second Book Pag. 92. 1. 5. for drew r. grew p. 96. 1. 10 for inquisitions r. inquisitors p. 106. 1. 8. tor superstitions r. suspicions p. 122. 1. 35 for quem r. quum p. 124. 1. 15. for an r. and p 129 1. 15. or prete●natual r preternatural p. 136. 1. 28. for any sort r. every other sort p. 145 1. 30 for discovered r. discoursed p. 146. 1. 36. for and by them cast on c●n cure r. and by them can cast on or inflict and cure diseases p. 147. 1. 4. for send r. teach p. 170. 1 17 for endicat r. indicat Reader take notice that most of these faults are mended with Pen and Inke already TO THE Prince of the Kings of the Earth IT is the manner of men O heavenly King to dedicate their Books to some great men thereby to have their Works protected and countenanced among men but thou only art able by thy holy Spirit of Truth to defend thy Truth and to make it take impression in the heart and understanding of men Unto thee alone do I dedicate this Work intreating thy most High Majesty to grant That whoever shall open this Book thy holy Spirit may so possess their understanding as that the spirit of errour may depart from them and that they may read and try thy Truth by the touchstone of thy Truth the holy Scriptures and finding that Truth may embrace it and forsake these darksome inventions of Antichrist that have deluded and defiled the Nations now and in former Ages Enlighten the World thou that art the Light of the World and let Darkness be no more in the World now or in any future Age but make all people to walk as Children of the Light for ever and destroy Antichrist that hath deceived the Nations and save us the residue by thy self alone and let not Satan any more delude us for the Truth is thine for ever To the Reader SIR IF you be a courteous Reader I intreat you that what weaknesse and imperfections you shall think you espie in this Book from the Author thereof you passe them by for the Truths sake whereupon this Book treateth Secondly if you be so discourteous as to carp and censure then I intreat you to carp only at me and not at the Truth lest you resist the truth Thirdly I intreat you to Read my Book thorow before you cast it by for otherwise Sir it may argue weaknesse in your self to slight the Book before you see the Argument It is one of the vanities of the World to write many Books and when a man hath taken pains to write few men will take the pains to read which Solomon intimateth Eccle. 12.12 but Sir if you find no leasure to read and consider then I pray find no leasure to gainsay or to argue against Fourthly for all places of Scripture alledged in this Book if you shall search our English Translations and not find them to carry the sense which I drive at in my discourse I intreat you either to search the Originall or else to look upon the Latin Translations of Iunius and Tremellius which carry the true sense of the Originall as it was written by the Spirit of God Your Friend T. A. Non quis sed quid To the more Iudicious and Wise and Discreet part
Inquisitions before mentioned sent out by the Pope have for the confirmation of their villanous Doctrins Inventions set forth great Volumes of horrible lyes and impossibilities and also for the hiding of their unparalleled cruelty from the ears of the world of which sort are Iames Sprenger Henry Institor in malleo maleficarum also Nider and Cumanus Daneus Hyperius Hemingius but most of all Bod●nus and Bartholomae●● Spineus I do not say that all these dyed Papists and lest their authority should fail in deceiving the world in this Doctrin of Devils some great Scholars of the Popish rout have approved and affirmed the matter to be true in some causes writing of fascination and of that sort are Thomas Aquinas and Suares In which Authors although they were learned men whosoever readeth their discourse of this subject shall finde nothing at all proved either by Scripture or Philosophical argument but they take it for granted and undoubted truth confirmed by tradition that Fascination or Witchcraft is an Art of killing and afflicting Men and Cattel and upon this Hypothesis they take in hand to dispute upon it not whether it be true or not but how it may be done as they conceive for say they E● si agens non potest diffundere actionem suam usque ad rem distantem fit tamen ut aer proximus inficiatur usque ad certam distantiam perveniat sic noceat alteri if this subject the force of fascination had been first proved by them then this their reason had had some seeming force in it but because it can no way be proved by firm Argument they quote History for it and so pass on to their hypothetical disputes about the reason of it and that they may make the matter seem true one quotes anothers authority for it and Suarez quoteth Thomas Aquinas and Pliny and Pliny citeth Hogonus and Niphodorus and Apollonides for his Authors that among the Triballians and Illyrians and Scythians there be certain Women that can kill with their eye-sight whom they look wishfully upon mark but how first things are reported by Travellers who may lye by authority then Pliny gathereth their several reports into the Volume of his Natural History whom all men may see was abused by being too credulous of other mens reports and yet Suarez is forced to use Plinies Pen to prove that which cannot be proved or defended by reason and having no better Argument he saith further Sunt qui negant illam vim fascinationis sed non est cur experientiam à Philosophis medicis comprobatam feré communi sensu receptam negemus by which Argument a man may as well prove that Idols were gods because they were approved in their time by men of all Arts and Sciences Et ferè communi sensu recepta and further according to Plinies report he saith that these women do kill but by some poysonous quality of their Natural complexion and inward humours of their bodies communicated to the vital spirits and by the action of the minde brought to the eye-sight and from thence infecting the party whom they look upon and this he saith expresly cometh naturally to pass and of inbred natural causes in the Witches bodies but mark how this fellow although notable for learning hath wildered himself in searching out the reason of a meer vain supposition and erroneous tradition that Witches can kill by looks for whereas he giveth this reason that Witches have inward natural poyson whereby they naturally kill others what an absurdity is this to say that any Creature can by its natural quality be contrary or destructive to its own species for a Viper cannot poyson a Viper nor a Toad cannot poyson a Toad for their nature is one and not contrary to its own species Secondly whereas he reasoneth that this poyson is communicated from the humours to the vital spirits and by the action of the minde brought to the eye-sight It is most absurd in Philosophy for what Physician or Philosopher doth not acknowledge that the vital spirits once poysoned do suffocate the Heart the fountain of Life as is often seen in the Pestilence whereby the Witch her self must needs perish and is also often seen in those who having but the Natural humours of their own bodies corrupt the vital spirits are debilitated and cannot operate but the party decayeth and soon perisheth because the heart cannot abide any corrupt poyson or contrary temperature to its own nature Thirdly whereas he saith this poyson is sent from the Witch by the force of seeing this also is an absurdity in Philosophy for all sound Philosophers do acknowledge that Oculus non vidit emittendo vim suam videndi ad objectum visibile sed recipiendo species visibiles ab objecto how then can the sight if it were poyson hurt any way the party upon whom it only looketh Fourthly whereas he saith that Witches do kill by their natural complexion and inward humour being naturally poyson what an absurdity ariseth from hence in Divinity To conceive that God should make men and women naturally poyson and destructive to others and yet should make a Law that such should be put to death yea cruel death for being such as God made them in their nature and complexion Surely if man had stood in the manner in which he was made God had not punished him with death Now after he hath thus intrapped himself in his Discourse by seeking out a reason of that which is not but only conceived to be by credulous people he falleth off from his own weak reasons to the reason that Thomas Aquinas giveth and that is That sometimes this Fascination is wrought by a secret compact with the Devil but how can these Reasons accord one with the other for if it be natural to the Witch to bewitch others what needeth she then to seek help of the Devil to do that which she can do by nature For Deus est author Naturae and sure the Devil cannot make more perfect or forceable that which God hath made but such is the nature of all these Popish Writers that when they cannot strongly enough maintain a Lye they father their Lyes upon their Master the Father of Lyes and are forced after all their vain argumentation to use his name to uphold a Lye and although they were great Scholars have rather intangled themselves with folly in reasoning and with so manifest errour whereby they have exposed themselves to the lash of common Censure than to forsake their Popish darkness which they are ingaged to defend What shall not be done to bring the Popes ends to pass what Lyes what foolish Fictions what impossibilities can the Heart of man devise that these together have not affirmed for truth unto the World to infect the Nations with Heresie or Atheism whereby to destroy the Christian Church And for further confirmation of the matter they have devised among other Tortures to make people confess that they