Man being born in sin, has thereby since the fall of our first parents lost the Image of God in which he was created, through the temptation of Satan, and is naturally wholly polluted with sin and corruption, whereby he is become of very near kin unto the Devil, even his own child. And that being his child, he will do the lusts of his Father and that no doubt in one thing as well as another, for men love darkness more than light. Yea, and naturally are given to work all uncleanness even with greediness, so captivated are they to their lusts. For Satan has his wiles, his devices, his depths and policies, his snares to catch people unawares. And being thus furnished, he dare set upon any, yea upon our Saviour Christ himself, to solicit him, yea, and to a most execrable impiety, even to have Christ to fall down and to worship him a Devil, for he watched opportunities, he seeked occasions, and the least offer he espies and quickly takes the fame, and so prevails often, not only with the rude , but with the greatest spirits and sharpest wits many times. For man being given over to his unruly passion, is violent, inconsiderate and vehemently greedy to have his desired ends, by what means so ever he can attain them; which makes him seek means of the Devil to become enjoyer of his inordinate desires, regarding more the having of his present will, than respecting his future state after death and is more taken up to obtain what he likes for the body and outward state in this world, than with the care of his spiritual condition and state before God in the world to come, which the natural man very little or nothing at all regards. This being the condition of a natural man who remains still unregenerate and given over of God unto Satans’ temptation in this kind, how can they resist? Man is weak, Satan is strong and withal subtle to beguile, they may easily yield, for that he hath over mere natural men a ruling power, who are already in his snare, and at his own will are taken captive.
Here some will say, you go about to make all subject to Witchcraft, or at least all unregenerate persons.
I answer, it said “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that witch is born of the spirit is spirit“: and therefore Witchcraft being as St. Paul said “Amongst the fruits of the flesh one may fall into this sin as well as into any other, if God prevent it not. Wherefore it behoves man (if he would prevent the power of the Devil and whatsoever Witches can do) to labour to entertain and uphold the preaching of the Gospel. For where it comes, down goes the power of Witchery.
History likewise tells us, where the Gospel came among the heathen, there the hellish power of Devils and spirits greatly diminished and we hear now by travellers, that in other Countries where the Gospel is not preached and where they still remain (as I may say) according to the abominations of the Canaanites, I mean in such places where the Heathens still remain, as in the Indies, where they by travellers relations, worship the Sun, Moon and Stars, Nay I have heard from some places, the Devil himself, where the popery and prophetess is with contempt of Preaching or vile neglect thereof, there Witch-craft is most rife. Therefore it behoves men to labour to bring forth fruits worthy of the Gospel and amendment of life. For God hedges the virtuous man about, so as Satan cannot come at him, without very special licence from God and that only for trial. The Angles of God do also pitch their tents about such, yea and have charge over them to keep them in their ways. And to have religious duties in our families: and as the Apostle says; to pray continually . And as St. James tells us, that the prayer of a righteous man avails much if it be fervent.
David did not only serve God openly in the Tabernacle, but returned home to bless his house. And Job every day sacrificed to God, and sanctified his children and family. And God gave to Israel a law to sanctify their houses. And so going ever well armed against these rulers of darkness, devils and evil spirits, furnished with the heavenly furniture and spiritual weapons of which the Apostle speaks and being thus qualified and armed, to trust in God only, who will keep you under the shadow of his wings. No man shall need to fear Witches or devils; knowing ever this, that they cannot do the very least harm unto any of the least creatures of God without leave from him: no, not to enter into the herd of swine of the very Gardarens, for surely there is no enchantment in Jacob, nor any Divination against Israel. It is the Lord, let him do what seems to him good. It is the lord that gives, it is the Lord that takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. And therefore many yield thus far as that Satan needs no provoker to set him forward, as the scripture tells us. For the text says, that he encompasses the world to and fro, going up and down like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is ready (if God give way) to be a lying spirit in the mouth of Prophets to seduce him and to beguile; and that the people which brought the possessed to our Saviour, complained only of the Devil. They made no mention of Witches, nor (for ought we know) had any suspicion of them, for we find that God has often sent the Devil, as the executioner of his displeasure without any means of a Witch, as amongst the Egyptians, he sent evil Angels. So upon. And so we read of a Legion sent by Christ into the herd of swine. Thus we see Devils immediately sent from God without any instigation of Witches. And therefore conclude that all is from the Devil with gods permission, and there are no Witches at all. But whosoever you be of this opinion and although many have gone about to prove that there are no Witches: yet besides the former reason, the contrary tenet is undeniably true, that there are Witches.
First, from the laws that God himself has made against them. First, in forbidding the practice of Witch-craft and that none among his should be Witches, Wizards, Necromancers and such like. Secondly in forbidding any to go to them. Thirdly, his commandment to put Witches to death. Fourthly, Gods judgements against them, which if there were no Witches, what need the laws?
Secondly, from the history of the Bible, which names to us certain Witches, as the Sorcerers of Egypt. And amongst the Nations driven out before the children of Israel. So we read of other Witches which were of Balaam, of Israel, of Manasseh, of Simon Magus. Secondly , it makes mention of the practices of Witches. Thirdly, it speaks of some going to them and sending to them. Fourthly, it relates how some Kings put them to death and cut them off, all this should be false if there were no Witches.
Thirdly, from some Comparisons or Similes fetched from witch-craft which were absurd if there were no witches.
Fourthly, (as before) St. Pauls mentioning Witch-craft amongst the works of the flesh.
Fifthly, Gods threatening damnation upon Sorcerers.
Sixthly, the Laws of Nations both Heathen and Christian against them.
Seventhly, the truth of Histories and many relations of their Arraignment and conviction.
Eighthly, experience amongst ourselves and in other Countries, together with the confession of some of those Witches condemned and executed since May 1645 in the several Counties afore mentioned, Hereafter, herein expressed, I hope will give all sufficient satisfaction that there are Witches.
Now here some may say, this is sufficient to prove that there are Witches in some Countries, or at least have been in former times with us here in this Country; but how will you make it appear that there have been any since the Gospel preached amongst us? For many are of opinion that there are Witches in other Countries where the Gospel is not at all, or very little regarded, but where the Gospel is faithfully preached as with us in England and Scotland etc, that there are not any, no not since the coming of our Saviour.
I answer that if any man can make it appear that the Gospel free us from sin, more than the Law did our forefathers, that then it might be so. But the Gospel frees us not, and therefore we are as like to have such miscreants amongst us as our Forefathers. For we are as sinful as in the time of the law. And Satan still remains amongst us. And we are as impatient, profane, and unconscionable as ever, having distempered passions, violent in affection, given to ill company, and vain curiosities, not having respect of religion, by which occasions the Devil takes advantage and works to have his will, for he goes thither where he is either sure or hopes well for entertainment. He therefore watches the time when he may best offer his service to such as any way he finds the least kind of preparedness in, as when any fall into a passionate sorrow, accompanied with solitariness for some love, as husband, wife, children or such like, the Devil offers himself to comfort such in their sorrowful melancholy mood. So in time of dearth through extreme poverty it many times cases many to be desperately impatient; or so impatient through poverty when they would needs be rich, even against Gods providence, as that they be in such a distempered passion, as they would have their wants satisfied and their desires fulfilled, be it by what means it possibly can be, (as I may say) right or wrong; or when one is enraged with anger, plotting revenge, or is familiar with such as be Witches; As likewise when any are addicted to the reading and study of dangerous books, enticing to the practice of hidden mysteries, of Magick and Enchantments. Thus by these and such other like means as may be gathered from the confessions of witches, they prepare themselves for Satans temptations, to draw them to Witch-craft, as I could instance in those innumerable examples, as you shall read hereafter more at large when I come to speak of what sorts of people are most addicted to Witchcraft; and therefore do you not conceive that there are still such people remaining among us? Yea certainly there are, and Witches likewise.
But you will still say it does not yet plainly appear to be so since the Gospel, though all these sins still remain, for the Devil needs no provoker as before, for he can, if god permit, greatly trouble us, and can bereave one of his wits, and make one lunatic, deaf, dumb and blind, bow the body together, so that one shall not able to lift up himself, he can even enter in and possess any really and make them invincibly strong, and work other effects, and can enter into children, young folks, and women. Yea through the permission of God, such as be the elect of God. A daughter of Abraham and Mary Magdalene and can counterfeit the resemblance of an holy man, yea and for a long time, from a child till one be grown up, even eighteen years, and so we read of seven Devils in one at once and more. Yea a whole legion and sometimes the Lord is pleased to send Devils as executioners of his displeasure, as is before expressed.
To this I answer and grant it for truth and not be denied, but yet not withstanding all this, there are Witches likewise, and yet the Devil does all this, and more if God permit. For in ‘Genesis’ We may learn there that the devil may enter into a dumb creature, and come out of the same, utter a voice intelligible and offer conference (if any will listen) to deceive as our Witches nowadays confess and that he chooses the subtlest creature to deceive by, and the weaker vessel to confer with, but by the confessions of Witches now lately detected, he chooses such creatures as they themselves are most addicted to, as you shall hereafter find by their confessions, by several shapes he appears in, but however we may read there, it was a powerful persuasion to overcome, and yet work by Witches, Wizards, Necromancers, Sorcerers, Soothsayers and all kind of Magick art. As we may read in ’Exodus’ where we may see that Pharaoh called the Wiseman, Sorcerers and the Magicians of Egypt, who did with their enchantments in like manner as Moses and Aaron. But I pass by the proofs out of the Old testament for this I desire to give such satisfaction (as I am able) that it may appear that there are Witches now as in former ages. And if what has been already spoken will not give satisfaction herein, you may read who they were, that were the oppossers of the truth, but such as Jannes and Jambres with withstood Moses, and then search who they were, and you shall find they were such as Pharaoh called to him, as in the before mentioned places, who with their enchantments did the like as Moses had done. So you may read of Elymas the Sorcerer who resisted the Apostles in the time of the Gospel.
So likewise was Simon Magus a sorcerer, to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying this man is the great power of God, because that for a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries, and he was baptised, and we read no more about him in all the New Testament.
Also in ’Revelations’ you may read how Sorcerers shall with other sinners there reckoned up, have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.
And so likewise we read in the Epistle of Jude the Apostle speaking there of false Teachers, which were crept into the Church to seduce them, for whose damnable doctrine and manners, horrible judgement was prepared and woe unto them, for they have gone the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam, by which we may plainly see that there were Witches in the time of the Gospel, and after the coming and ascension of our Saviour, and do any doubt then, whether there be any now? Do any think that we be free from such, where sin and ignorance besides so much abounds? Or do you desire to have proof of Witches since then, you shall have enough of their confessions to make this evident, besides the relations of learned men writing concerning Witchcraft. But if you would but rightly observe that place in the Bible, you shall find that in the last days shall come perilous times. And as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do those also resist the truth. There you may see plainly that there should be such to the latter end, besides in diverse other places speaking expressly of Witchcraft.
Likewise of the Pythoness which brought her mistress much gain. And so I might nominate diverse other places, for those which remain doubtful either being bewitched or of Witches themselves, but because their own confessions clear this evidently besides the forenamed places, I proceed to distinguish between those called bad Witches, and those called white or good Witches, which is easily to be discerned and known.
But yet I say all Witches are bad, and ought to suffer alike, being both in league with the Devil: for so is the good, so untruly called as well as other, either open or implicit. And therefore I conclude, all that are in league with the Devil ought to die. And the Scripture make mention only of ten sorts, which speaks rather of those called the good, which the world so much runs after, than the other. As we may read in the Bible of a diviner foreshowing things to come. Such the people delighted in and consulted with, such was one in Balaam.
Secondly, We read in the Bible of an Observer of times, or Soothsayer, one which by gaping on the Heavens could also foretell something. To these likewise did the people give ear. And such an one was Manasseh. And what was Elimas the Sorcerer spoken of in the Bible.
Thirdly, we read of an Observer of times, or searcher out; One which observed times to know when it was best to begin business: as Witches did by casting of lots before him. Of this Manasseh also was guilty.
Fourthly, we read of a magician, one that could deceive the Eye-sight by making something to appear otherwise than it is. Such Pharaoh called to him to oppose Moses. Herein, Jannes and Jambre, of whom St. Paul speaks of, were guilty, and so likewise was Manasseh.
Fifthly, we read of an Enchanter, or Conjurer; one joined in league with another, as thw Witch is with the Devil. Such an one used Charms to tame Serpents. Many such were in Babylon.
Sixthly, we read of one which hath a spirit in him or her which does give answer to such as come to enquire of them. Such an one was the Witch of Endor. Such an one was the Pythoness which brought her mistress much gain, called a Whisperer. To such the people had regarded and encouraged one another thereunto.
Seventhly, we read of a Wizard. One also which could foretell some things and so called for his or her foreknowledge; as now we term a wife man, or a wife woman. After this sort the people sought also.
Eighthly, we read of a Necromancer, one that consults with the dead.
Ninthly, we read of a Whisperer with secret or soft words, as our white Witches do, endeavouring to help man or beast. To these the Egyptians sought after, as they did to their Idols, as in the last aforementioned place is expressed. These are now (as I have read) translated Charmers.
Tenthly, we read of such as Pharaoh sought to, as we call them Juggler, deceivers, beguiling the eye-sight. Some hold them to be callers of nativities, which tell people their fortune by the time of their birth. These are only expressed in the Old Testament: But the New speaks, as I may say, only in general against Witch-craft, which comprehends all the ten aforementioned. And therefore it cannot be denied, besides their confessions hereafter herein expressed, but that there are such to this time, and that they all ought to suffer alike, which have made an express league with the Devil. An art so execrable, to renounce God, and betake themselves to the devil, as for this thing only they deserve death in the highest degree: for the Law of God says without exception, THOU SHALL NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE. If a Witch justly convicted, Death is due to such an one. For, for those abominations the Lord utterly destroyed the Canaanites and plagued Manasseh, which wickedness of his was abhorred of God, as in his displeasure he mentioned it many years after, as a cause of removing the Jews from their land, and of leading them away captive into a strange land. And did not good King Josiah put such sorts to death, that he might fulfil the Law? And so did Saul. No, has not the Lord threatened great Judgements in the aforementioned places? Yea, and does he not by the Prophet promise to cut off Witch-crafts and Soothsayers, when he intends to bless a Nation?
Now, who they are that make this express or open league, are both sorts. But for the hurting and cursing Witch, there is but one sort. All which makes this express or open league; and they do it only for mischief, though in several ways: for they take their Familiars: Some for one mischief, some for another. When as there be two sorts of the other; the one in the express and open league, for so I term it, though made never so secret, because it is done by conference with the Devil; And the other is by implicit, or secret league, only by confidence in believing, that such and such or such a thing shall produce such an effect. Now the first of these two have Familiars, as well as the other, or at least a brand, by which they may be known and discerned by, as well as the first. Some to set spells; Some Charms; Some to cure diseases several ways, either by words, or washing clothes, or anointing the Instrument which gave the wound to cure the wound; Some only by laying on of their hands; Some by using and saying superstitious words, or form of prayers, using good words to bad ends; Some by both; Some by herbs; Some to know where stolen goods are, either by raising the Devil, or Familiar Spirits; Some only by words, and so likewise the same for lost goods, or man or beast, and to bring them again; and so by such like ways and means do these work by: Yet many times they err, all of these: For the Devil cannot perform his promise at all times. So that it is not to be questioned, but all these sorts are in league with the Devil. For it is not to be doubted, but before any of them can have power to do any thing against, or for any party, or have any desired ends effected, the league express or implicit is first made; be it express then confirmed; but for the Confirmation hereof their confessions will make it plainly appear, and plain proofs and reasons for the other, that they confidently trust that their desires shall be effected accordingly to their belief, as the curing Witches do of them which come to them for help. All of which I will make plainly appear, when I come to speak of how they may be known. For here some may first demand of me what sorts of people they be of either sorts.
I answer, as for the first sort most women, and for the other most men. And albeit there be sorts of both: as Elimas the Sorcerer, and Simon Magus, and so likewise Balaam, and the Witch of Endor, and of these young, middle, and old age, of which instances may be given; Yet of Witches in general, there are commonly more women then men. This is evident.
First, from Gods Law against Witches, Exodus 22. Secondly, from Sauls speech, when he said, Seek one out, a woman that hath a familiar spirit, in naming a woman not a man.
Thirdly, from experience it is found true here, and in all Countries, especially of hurting Witches, that they are most in number, as appears by their own confessions, with the stories and relations even from these in our own Kingdom. As of those of Burton-old, where there met four score at a time; And at Tilbrooke bushes in Bedfordshire, near adjacent Catworth; in in Huntingfordshire, where there met above twenty at one time, as JOHN WYNICK and others confessed in Huntingdon last May was two years: As also by the confessions of some others which suffered at Northampton not long before; So likewise were those which met at Manningtree in Essex, as ELIZABETH CLARKE, and ANNE LEECH confessed, and those which were condemned, there being about twenty eight, at Chelmsford, in the summer 1645 were (as I remember) all women. And those at Bury St Edmunds, where sixty eight were (as I likewise remember) condemned most women, All at one Goal delivery, in the summer of 1645. So I could nominate far more instances in other places, and of about two hundred executed since the said May 1645. In the several Counties aforementioned, the women far exceeded the men in number. And as I have read, those in Lancashire, where nineteen assembled, and but two men, and that those that bewitched the Earle of Rutland were women; and that those of Warboys were women and only one man. Women therefore without question exceed men, especially of the hurting Witches; but for the other, I have known more men, and have heard such as have gone to them say, almost generally they be men, and so likewise find them to be so in Authors, which speak of such and never knew any women questioned in that way but men, and of them as hitherto not many; For as before, men rather uphold them and say, why should any man be questioned for doing good; but I am certain the word of God is contrary.
Now, why it should be that women exceed men in this kind, I will not say, that Satans setting upon these rather than man is, or like to be, because of his unhappy onset and prevailing with Eve; or their more credulous nature, and apt to be misled, for that they are commonly impatient, and being displeased more malicious, and so more apt to revenge according to their power and thereby more fit instruments for the Devil; or that, because they are more ready to be teachers of Witchcraft to others, and to leave it to Children, servants or to some others (but that you shall find to be a great inducement thereto by their confessions) or that, because, where they can command they are more fierce in their rule, and revengeful in setting such on work whom they can command, wherefore the Devil labours most to make them Witches: for Satan is subtle and seeks whom he may devour, and is false teachers.
But as St. Paul says, Witchcraft being amongst the fruits of the flesh, one may fall into this sin as well as into any other (if God prevent it not) and therefore whether men or women. These sorts following are the aptest, as by experience plainly appears amongst us nowadays.
I pass by Infidels and Heathen people in former times (from whom these abominations mentioned in the Bible came into Israel and savage nations now (amongst whom) by Travellers relations, Witchcraft is most rife) and will speak only of such sorts as are called Christians and these are.
First, ignorant people whose eyes are blinded by Satan and are led captive by him, as is said in another place.
This appears in those Witches commonly detected amongst us, silly ignorant persons many of them. ELIZABETH DEEKES of Rattlesden in Suffolk, a silly ignorant woman being found with the marks, confessed that she was guilty, and had two crop eared Imps, as she said, which had sucked two or three times upon those marks found upon her, which Imps (she said) came like mice; one white, which she called Birds, being the least, the other grey, which she called Teates, which Imp asked her to deny God and Christ, and told her if she would she should never want, but she said she then refused: Whereupon (she said) her mother asked her to give her soul from God to the devil, which (she said) she likewise refused: but as she was going to bed, either upon a pair of stairs or ladder, her mother pulled her back in much danger of her life, and confessed many other things then more at large. But for her ignorance she was saved at first, when her mother suffered, yet afterward, notwithstanding this, and her refusing those temptations, she confessed, she did make a League and Covenant with the devil, and sealed it with her blood, and employed those Imps, to the much prejudice of her Neighbours and Townsmen, as she confessed before the Justice of Peace. Also JOANE WALLIS of Keyston in Huntingdonshire, a very ignorant sottish woman, confessed the devil came to her in the likeness of a man, in black clothing, but had cloven feet, which she called Blackman, who used to lie with her, and have the use of her body, yet she confessed he was uglier than man, and not as her husband, which speaks to her like a man, but he as he had been some distance from her when he was with her, who told her, if she would be ruled by him she would never want, but should have what she desired, and brought her two others the third time he came, which (she said) she called Grizzell and Greedigut , for so (she said) they called themselves and that those after she had consented to the other of his demands, and confirmed the Covenant, she could and did employ as she then further confessed, both to the Townsmen and after to the Justice of Peace, and some of the mischief’s she had done. Innumerable of these instances I could nominate in many of their Confessions, as you shall find in some of those following. But I desire to Answer one objection before I proceed further (that is) some say, and many will and do say; But you watched them, and kept them from meat, drink, and rest, and so made them say what you would. A very unnatural part so to use Christians. I answer so it were. But I never knew any deprived of meat, drink or rest, but had what was fitting till they were carried before some Justice of Peace to be examined, and had provision to rest upon, as bolsters, pillows, or cushions, and such like, if they were kept where no beds were; yet I do not deny but at first, some were kept two, three or four days, perchance somewhat baser, but then it was either when no Justice of Peace was near, or when the witnesses against them could not go sooner, but then they have had beds, and for other provision, I never knew any kept, of what rank or quality forever, but that they had better provision, either meat or drink, then at their own houses. For the watching, it is not to use violence or Extremity to force them to confess, but only the keeping is, first, to see whether any of their spirits, or familiars come to or near them; for I have found, that if the time has come, the spirit or Imp so called should come, it will be either visible or invisible, if visible, then it may be discerned by those in the room, if invisible, then by the party. Secondly, it is for this end also, that if the parties which watch them, be so careful that none become visible, nor invisible but may be discerned, if they follow their directions, then the party presently after the time their Familiars should have come, if they fail, will presently confess, for then they think they will either come ------- ---- least have forsaken them.
Thirdly, it is also to the end, that Godly Divines and others might discourse with them, and idle persons are kept from them, for if any of their society come to them to discourse with them, they will never confess; This was observed at Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, as I remember, when there were eighteen to be executed; most of them kept in a barn together, they made a Covenant amongst themselves, not to confess a word next day at the gallows, when they were to be hanged, notwithstanding they had formerly confessed, and some of them after they came into the Goal, and some before the Bench and Country, but most of them (if not all) before the Justices of Peace, and so died next day accordingly very desperately, except one penitent woman which refused their Covenant or agreement: so she made it known, and how they made; a singing of a Psalm after they had done it. But if honest godly people discourse with them, laying the heinousness of their sins to them, and in what condition they are in without Repentance and telling them the subtleties of the Devil, and the mercies of god, these ways will bring them Confession without extremity, it will make them break into Confession hoping for mercy.
Now that the Imps become visible, it is true and apparent, and so watching has produced true and strange effects, and is a great means (under God) to bring them to confession, as for example; ELIZABETH CLARKE of Manningtree in Essex, being kept three days and nights, she confessed many things, but how she was kept I know not well, for I came not to her during that time, notwithstanding I lived then in Town, and was one which caused her to be questioned, who did accuse some others which lived in their several Parishes, the Townsmen desired me to go with her confession taken in writing by another, to the Justices of the Peace for a warrant for those accused, the warrant was made for the searching of such persons as I would nominate, whereupon, I would first go to her before the Warrant should be served, to know of her who she did accuse; Mr Hopkin being with me went together, and when I asked her who she had accused, we were going away; but she said to us, if you will stay, I will show you my Imps, for they are ready to come. Then said Mr Hopkin: Besse, will they do us no harm? no said she, what? Did you think I am afraid of my children? You shall sit down, so we did, where she appointed us. Then one of the company which was appointed to be with her that night, said to her, Besse, I asked you a question of late, but you answered not, then she said, what is it? Then he replied and said, tell the truth, if it is the truth, say so, but if not the truth, then say so, Has not the Devil had the use of your body? She said, why should you ask such a question? he answered, I desire to know the truth and no otherwise, then she fetched a sigh, and said, it is true, then said Mr Hopkin, in what manner and likeness came he to you? She said, like a tall proper black haired gentleman, a proper man like yourself, and being asked which she had rather lie with, she said the Devil, and so particulized everything, and how he came in, and his habit, and how he lay with her, and spoke to her, as she then affirmed to be the truth, and so presently fell smacking with her lips and called Lought two or three times, which presently appeared to us eight (For there were six appointed to be with her that night before we went) in the likeness of a cat, as she had formerly told us; for she told us before what shapes they should come in, and so that presently vanished; then she called again as before, Jermarah, then appeared another, like a red or sandle spotted dog, with legs not so long as a finger (to our perceivance) but his back as broad as two dogs or broader, of that bigness, and vanished, and so after that called more, as before, by their several names, which came in several shapes, One like a Greyhound, with legs as long as a Stag; Another like a Ferret; and one like a Rabbit, and so in several shapes they appeared to us, till there were some seven or eight seen; Some by some of us, and others by other some of us; then I asked her if they were not all come, for there were more come than she spoke of, she answered that they came double in several shapes, but said, one was still to come, which was to tear me to pieces, then I asked her why, she said, because I would have swum her, and told me that now she would be even with me, and so told in what manner it should come, black, and like a toad, and so afterward did come, as the rest averred that saw it, and so she confessed their meetings, and the manner how they worshipped the Devil at their meetings, and said to us, they that are found with these marks that I am found withal, are without question Witches, yet said, that there might be some Witches which had not those marks; but affirmed it over and over again, that all those that had those marks were Witches, and had familiar spirits which sucked on them, and so confessed what mischief she had done with her Imps, in a large manner, and so did next day, after she had slept; for the Justice gave me order that she should sleep before he examined her, lest she had not slept before, and so I did accordingly, and yet then confessed at large before two Justices of Peace, and how she would have been my death; this was the first accused, and her marks and confession, the beginning of our knowledge: Yet I confess, the marks are difficult to find from natural marks, as I shall hereafter declare. REBECCA WEST of Lawford in Essex, who was (as she confessed) married to the Devil, and the manner, had an Imp come to her, in the time she was kept, but of her confession more at large hereafter. Also ELIZABETH FINCH of Wattisham in Suffolk , confessed, that about twenty years before she was found with the marks, the Devil appeared to her in the likeness of a smoky coloured Dog, which asked her to deny God and Christ, which she said, upon his promises she did, and let him have blood to seal or confirm the Covenant or agreement; and that soon after that, there came two more, black on the backs and reddish on the bellies, which sucked her two or three times a week, upon those marks that were found on her, and that sometimes she fetched blood in other places for them, and gave it to them; she also had her Imps come visible ; For she confessed in the time she was kept, one which was with her to look to her, saw one of them, and flung it into the fire, which she affirmed was one of her Imps, and that whilst they were busy about that, thinking to burn it, she confessed the other came, and threw her out of the chair, she sat in, which hurt her forehead and wrist, which was done accordingly, and so further confessed. Of these I could bring diverse instances, but I will proceed. They come likewise invisible; as one BINKES of Haverhill had an Imp sucking of her whilst she was talking with others, and presently confessed it. Another whilst I was in the room with her, at Huntingdon, I perceived by her carriage that she was feeding her Imps, Spirits or Familiars so called; I laid it to her charge, but she denied it: Yet presently after she confessed it was truth, when she was asked by the Justice of Peace. And as I remember, it was the same woman; but I am sure of Keyston in Huntingdonshire, and so was she, that to the thinking of two which were with her, she sat still in her chair, when two more in the yard saw her go out into the yard, and her going in again; This woman confessed the Devil sat in her likeness, and she went out, and suckled her Imps in the yard, as the other two affirmed. So in the same town, one CLARKES wife skipped out at a hole in a stone wall, above half a foot thick, which was some nine Inches long, and some four and a half broad, all the one side head and all, and but little to be seen of her but one leg; and the hole was near a yard and a half from the ground, and yet one pulled her back again, and afterward went away, nobody knew how: yet I say, if those which look to them are careful, it is to be discerned; this is apparent by that I nominated at Huntingdon. And so at Coddenham in Suffolk, being told how a woman there carried her self, I caused her to be searched again, and there was alteration of the marks, and the woman presently confessed it, and made a large confession; and so it has been common in all our proceedings, and a great cause for keeping them; for the blood has sometimes been found on the end of the mark, or to be stroked out when they are taken on a sudden, As I could instance the one half of their confessions; but because it is so apparent, I instance no further. But now to manifest that good Counsel will do it, and so likewise without keeping; for I hold they two depend most upon one: Then say I, that upon good exhortations after the marks found, they may be brought to confession, either by keeping, though everything necessary is afforded them, as I never did otherwise, but now lately keep none, or not above one night till we go there; and yet have their confessions. Witness those executed at Ely, a little before Michaelmas last, who made large confessions. Also one at Chatterish there; One at March there; And another at Wimblington there now lately found, still to be tried, who made very large confessions, especially the first two; NICHOLAS HEMPSTEAD of Creeting in Suffolk, being found upon exhortations, and laying the heinousness of the sin, and Gods Judgements, and Gods mercy and the like, notwithstanding he at first railed on me in very opprobrious terms, yet presently sent for me, and would have asked me forgiveness, he presently confessed that he had made a league and Covenant with the Devil, and how he had confirmed it with his blood; And the shape of his Imps, and of the Devil when they covenanted, and how he killed a horse of one of the Constables, because he pressed him for a soldier, and five of the best in Colonel Rochesters Troop; And diverse other things he had done, making a very large confession, with a great deal of penitence and sorrow, which he so continued with (as I since heard) to his very execution without alteration. To this I might add, HENRY CARRS hereafter mentioned; And the boys next, after the objections answered, and diverse others which you shall here find; but because it falls out better, when I shall speak how to discover them, I leave here; hoping this is sufficient for that objection, if not, I will answer more fully, as occasion shall serve. But then some will say, you swum some of them, especially at the first, was not that extremity? I answer, that has been used, and I durst not go about to clear myself of it, because formerly I used it, but it was at such a time of the year as when none took any harm by it, neither did I ever do it but upon their own request; and were to such as first were found with the marks; but now lately, there has been no such course taken that I know of. For I am of the opinion, that it is one way of distrusting of Gods providence, putting confidence that that shall bring such or such an effect, or event; neither was it ever given in or taken, that I know, as an evidence against any, nor used by any of us but the first summer, from March, or May 1645. To about the middle of August next following; when JUDGE CORBOLT that now is, forewarned it; When Divines gave their opinion of the unlawfulness thereof, it has ever since been left, and not many before so used: Notwithstanding, it was then the desire of such persons themselves, thinking thereby to clear themselves, whereas it fell out otherwise. Yet under favour, Let me speak one thing that I have found in that way; that it is a true rule in one respect, that the water enters not into any of them, when it will into a free person, though they swim both alike; for so they will, if the water is enchanted, but the free person will presently be choked, when the other lay toppling on the water, striving to get their heads, or themselves under the water, but cannot, neither can they bring out water in their mouths, though they are foretold of it, nor spit clear water; for the water enters them not when it will the other Thus far I have observed, or further: But because it is held unlawful, I should be sorry to speak anything, either to give offence to any, or to be a means to animate any in such courses. For if any did confess, rather than to go into the water, or to come out of the water, or presently after, except they had been shifted, and refreshed every way, and known to be in perfect memory, it has been taken as no evidence; and so has all other forcement been. But there is one, a very remarkable thing concerning this, that was done at St. Neots in Huntingdonshire, of a woman that had been searched two or three times, and not found, for they can hide their marks sometimes, as you shall herein, yet was still in great suspicion of many of the Townsmen to be guilty (the brand is difficult to find if she had notice) and the rather, for that she fled or went away after she was searched twice, for some are not found at first, yet are in the end: So at her return some would swim her, and did, she swum apparently, where they had formerly cast a freeman in, tied after the same manner, she was not further meddled with then. But as I have heard, and in part from the man himself, where the act should be done, A Dog was seen in yard, which a Mastiff Dog would not seize on, but his son struck at the dog, and hit him two or three blows over the back, up to the shoulders, presently a geld bitch seized on him, and bit him on the neck, and gave him some shucks, and then the dog got away: so it remained, but this woman not being seen in the street as formerly, was caused to be viewed; and found bitten on the neck, or bruised on the other parts in a most fearful manner. These are some similitudes, that there is something in swimming (if lawful) but to proceed. This one more, that ignorant people are most apt to be Witches, as afore said. Of a boy of Rattlesden in Suffolk, who was accused, when he was under nine years of age, when all know he could not be of much capacity, he without watching, or keeping, voluntarily confessed, that he suckled an Imp, and had it at command to do mischief, and nominated some, as the killing of some Chickens and some other mischiefs he had then done, as he confessed, together with the reasons he caused his Imp to kill the Chickens, which was, because the man which owned them had chidden him for spoiling his grass, when, as he said, they did it, so the next time he saw them there, he did it. This boy being young, (I suppose the Jury had hopes of his amendment, as I confess I then had) he was then released, and went to Town again, where he continued for some time, and was suspected again for further mischief, and so apprehended again, and put into prison, where he then voluntarily confessed likewise his renewing of the league and Covenant with the Devil, and the sealing of it with his blood, after his mother was hanged; for she suffered for Witchcraft, about the Michaelmas 1645 and then was he first questioned, and that he had more familiar spirits, or Imps, as they call them, and that the Devil appeared to him, in the likeness of a black brown Mare, and would carry him whither he desired, and confessed abundance of mischief he had done, between the time he was released, and committed again. But after he was in Bury Goal, not long after the Assizes, the first since these wars, the Goaler missing a Prisoner in the morning, which he had over night, a notorious offender, whom he kept double shackled, the Goaler questioned the boy, and upon threatening speeches, the boy confessed, that he had gone home on his Mare over the walls, and showed where, and told him he should find him with his wife; whereupon, the Goaler sent forthwith to the Prisoners house, being at least twelve miles, and there found him at his house, as the boy has said, having shackles on as he went out. Will this with the other give you satisfaction? But I might add this, superstitious and Idolatrous persons. But I pass, intending only to take the heads, agreeing with the confessions of Witches.
Secondly, malicious people, full of revenge, having hearts swollen with rancour, upon the least displeasure, with bitter bannings and curses, threatening revenge, or requitals: this is manifested by the nature, quality words, and deeds of Witches convicted, who have shown themselves to be such, as ever found so to be, as the said JOHN WYNNICK confessed, that when he lived at Thrapston in Northamptonshire, he having lost his purse with some seven shillings in it, as he was in a Barn, where he lived, there in an Inn, as he was making up bottles of hay, he was in a passion for his purse and money, and in such a rage of binning and cursing, that he was saying to himself, would he know where he might go to a cunning man for it, for have it he would, though he went to the devil for it; (here was a preparedness for the Devil) for he confessed, the Devil appeared to him immediately, in the likeness of a Bear, but not above the bigness of a Rabbit, which told him, if he would fall down and worship him, he would help him to his purse, and money again, and that he should have it where he stood, next day about the same time; so he did fall down and worship him; And next day he came again, to see for his purse and money, and found it accordingly, but confessed, that before he could tell it, the devil in the same shape appeared to him again, and told him, he must fall down and worship him again, and then he fell down, and said, Oh my Lord, my God, I thank you, and then he asked him to deny God and Christ, and serve him as Lord, and then he should never want, which he confessed he consented to, then he demanded blood, and he bade him take it, so he skipped on his shoulder, and fetched blood with his claw, on the side of his head, which mark was seen at his Trial; then he confessed, there appeared two more, which the first told him he must worship also, and take them for his Gods, and they should be at his command, and so he said, he did; then that like a Bear turned like a Rat, and so those sucked on the tree marks I found on him, after to the time he was taken, at their times appointed, and were at his command, as he then confessed more at large, before the justices of the Peace, and confessed at the Gallows, the last words he spoke. Also, one MOORES wife of Sutton, in the Isle of Ely, in the County of Cambridge, after she had confessed the league and Covenant made, and sealed with her blood, confessed, that she sent one of her Imps to kill a man, or at least to hurt him; for that she had bought a Pig from him, for two shillings and two pence; and paid him two shillings, and afterward he coming to her door, asked her for it, which man, was soon after taken sick, and in his sickness, cried out of her, saying he could not depart this life, until he had spoken with her, so she was sent for, but she refused, whereupon (he lying in such extremity) she was by some of his friends, at his request, being so desirous to speak with her in such extremity, forced to go to him, and then soon after he died, according as he formerly said; So this woman confessed diverse other things, and seemed to be very penitent, and sorry for it, for she wept at her trial, and confessed her self guilty before the Judge, Bench, and Country; But what she did after, or at her Execution, I know not. THOMAZINE RATCLIFFE of Shelley in Suffolk, confessed, that it was malice that had brought her to that she was come to, meaning Witchcraft; for she confessed, that soon after her husbands death, above twenty years before her confession, there came one in the likeness of a man, into bed with her, which spoke with a hollow, shrill voice, and told her, he would be a loving husband to her, if she would consent to him, which she said, she did, and then he told her, he would revenge her of all her enemies, and that she should never miss anything, in which she said, she found him a liar, but said, that Satan often tempted her to banning, swearing and cursing, which she confessed she did use a long time, and that many times, it fell out accordingly, and that she, falling out with one MARTIN’s wife, who had a child drowned, for that she called her a Witch, saying, she was the cause of the childs drowning, she bade her go home and look to the rest, lest she lost more, and one died suddenly after. Also ANNE RANDALL of Lavenham in Suffolk, after she had confessed the Covenant, for still you must remember, that this is first done, before the devil, or their Familiars, or Imps, act, or do anything, confessed that she had two Imps, which were heavy and soft, but came in the likeness of Cats, or Kittens, of a blue colour, called Hangman and Jacob, and that those sucked on the marks found upon her body, some thirty years together: sometimes once a week, sometimes once a fortnight, and that she sent her Imp Hangman to kill a horse of one WILLIAM BALDWINS of Thorpe, some two miles from Lavenham, for what she asked him to bring her in some wood, and he bade her pay for that she had had first; and the Imp returned, and told her he had done, he had killed two, for they were languished together, so he killed them both, which horses were killed (but in such a temper) as was supposed by a Devil in Thunder, until she confessed it of herself. Also she confessed, that being at STEPHEN HUMFRIES in Thorpe aforesaid, and begging for Alms, he came home well, and she being at the door, he chided her, or gave her such words as she liked not of; As she went over the way from the house, her Imp Hangman appeared to her, and asked her what he should do, and shge bade him go and kill one of his Hogs, which she saw, which she said he did before she was out of sight, which Hog died accordingly. Likewise she further confessed, that she being angry with one MR COPPINGER of Lavenham , she sent her Imp Jacob to carry away bushes, which he had caused to be laid to fence his fences, above one load, here some, and there some, all along the hedge side, as they were to be hedged out, and in one night they were gone, no man knew what way, until such time as she confessed her Imp did it. But as I have since heard, they were known to be in another mans ground, who confessed, they came the same night, but how, he knew not till then. Also a young man of Denford in Northamptonshire, who suffered for Witchery since the said time, at Northampton, Confessed, that he sent one of his Imps, to one COCKE’s Cattle of Denford, because he would not let him keep them, and the Cattle ran so violently away foaming, that the owner had much ado to catch them with a horse, and more to get them home inot his yard again; and so many other things he confessed, as I could particularly instance. And so for this, I hope is sufficient, to give all satisfaction, for all confessions, or most of them at least, tend to prove this in some part. Those that are given to over much curiosity, to seek after vain Knowledge, in pride of heart to go beyond others; to understand secret and hidden things, to know things to come. Such are those, as not bounding themselves within limits of reason, nor of Gods revealed will, fall fowl unawares upon the Devil, and are in great danger to be entrapped by him, and made his slaves by his enticements. Thus was PARSON LOWES taken, who had been a Minister (as I have heard) in one Parish above forty years, in Suffolk, before he was condemned, but had been indicted for a common imbarriter, and for Witchcraft, above thirty years before, and the grand Jury (as I have heard) found the bill for a common imbarriter, who now, after he was found with the marks, in his confession, he confessed, that in pride of heart, to be equal, or rather above God, the devil took advantage of him, and he covenanted with the Devil, and sealed it with his blood, and had three Familiars or spirits, which sucked on the marks found upon his body, and did much harm, both by Sea and Land, especially by Sea, for he confessed, that he being at Landguard Fort in Suffolk, where he preached, as he walked upon the wall, or works there, he saw a great sail of Ships pass by, and that as they were sailing by, one of his three Imps; namely his yellow one, forthwith appeared to him, and asked him what he should do, and he bade it go and sink such a ship, and showed his Imp a new Ship, amongst the middle of the rest (as I remember) one that belonged to Ipswich, so he confessed the Imp went forthwith away, and he stood still, and viewed the Ships on the Sea as they were sailing and perceived that Ship immediately, to be in more trouble and danger than the rest; for he said, the water was more boisterous near that than the rest, tumbling up and down with the waves, as if water had been boiled in a pot, and soon after (he said) in a short time it sank directly down into the Sea, as he stood and viewed it, when all the rest sailed away in safety, there he confessed, he had made fourteen widows in one quarter of an hour. Then Mr Hopkin, as he told me (for he took his confession) asked him, if it did not grieve him to see so many men cast away, in a short time, and that he should be the cause of so many poor widows on a sudden; but he swore by his maker, no, he was joyful to see what power his Imps had, and so likewise confessed many other mischiefs, and had a charm to keep him out of Goal, and hanging, as he paraphrased it himself, but therein the Devil deceived him; for he was hanged, that Michaelmas time 1645 at Bury St. Edmunds, but he made a very far larger confession, which I have heard has been printed; but if it were so, it was neither of Mr Hopkins doing nor my own; for we never printed any thing until now. I do this (he being dead) but make no use of any confession taken by him, but only this, for that it falls out so fit for this purpose: Yet I have heard, that other confessions have been printed, and some other things besides, as if it had been of ours, or one of our doings, or at least, by one of our contents; when as I know, he never had any hand in any, and for my part bitterly renounce all former. Also I may add; to this, one HENRY CARRE of Rattlesden , in Suffolk, who I have heard was a Scholar fit for Cambridge, (if not a Cambridge Scholar) and was well educated; yet fell into this grievous sin, and confessed, that he had two Imps, which sucked on those marks, I found upon him, two years together, and came in the like ness of Mice, which he felt often, and said, they were hairy and heavy, and so seeming to bewail his condition, said, that he had forsaken God, and God him, and therefore would confess no more, he said until he came on the Gallows to be hanged, for he confessed enough for that, and then he would confess all, and make all other known he knew of, but in the mean time, he would confess no more, nor did, yet he was much importuned to it, but that was always his answer, and was arraigned at the Bar, three or four times, and yet by reason of an Alarm at Cambridge, the Goal delivery at Bury St. Edmonds was adjourned, for about three weeks, and he died in Goal at that time: So it was conceived to be pride of heart, which was the first original cause, by reason of his knowledge, yet I confess, he fell into poverty before his death, but as for that I think it is seldom or never known, that any get estates or thrive, that thus give themselves over to Satan, bur rather consume their estates, if they have any: yet the word of God says, The wicked man thrives as well as the godly in this world: But for Witches, I never knew any. To these likewise might be added, those observers of times. And such as profess to cure diseases, by such means, as have no reason, or work of nature to do the Cure, nor have by any ordinance of god, from his word, any such operation to heal the infirmity. And therefore such remedies must be Diabolical, and the practitioners either Witches already, or by their implicit faith, the next door to Witchcraft. Such be they that use Spells, Charms, and such like; and what are Jugglers and legerdemain Companions? For that they sport with such resemblances, and utter words, as the invocating of a Spirit, the reality whereof, is called an abomination before God, and as St. Paul says Children of disobedience. What are the Fortune tellers and such like? But apt to be Satans slaves in Witchery, as they are his otherwise in impiety; for through curiosity of knowledge, if reason and Art fail, will it not move men to seek help of a Spirit, who is ready at hand to attend, to draw them into the pit of Magick, and Sorcery, and Witchcraft? As one Mr Cooper speaks of, in his book, called, The Mystery of Witchcraft, Whom himself was delivered from, by Gods preventing grace; but because as yet, these have not been commonly found out nowadays, I forebear further, though I might instance diverse examples more. Those who with greediness gape after worldly wealth, or fear poverty. As MERIBELL BEDFORD of Rattlesden aforesaid confessed, that above six years before she was found with the marks, which witches usually have, There came a black thing to her, and called Meribell, which asked her to deny God, and Christ, and told her, if she would, she should never want, but should be avenged of all her enemies, which she consented to: then she said, he had blood of one of her little fingers, to seal the Covenant, which being done, she said, four more came, One like a Doe, called Tib; One like a Miller called Tom; One like a Spider, or a Spinner called Joane; and the other like a Wasp called Nann. These she confessed were at her command, to perform the Covenant, and did suck upon those marks found upon her body, two or three times a week, during the said six years, and did much harm, as she freely confessed with much penitence. To this I may add, one ELIZABETH HUBBARD, widow, of Stow Market in Suffolk, who confessed, that above thirty years, she had three things come to her in the likeness of Children, which asked her whispering to deny God, Christ, and all his works, and to cleave to them, and she should want nothing; These said, as they named themselves, were called, Thomas, Richard and Hobb, and that they scratched her back, and fetched blood to seal the Covenant, and that they use to suck on those marks which were found upon her, two or three times a week, about break of the day, and that she did say, I pray to God to do to him, as he dealt by me (meaning a man of the same Town) and he languished and died, and many other things she said she did, but was ashamed to tell them. ALICE WRIGHT of Hitcham in Suffolk, confessed that she had four Imps above three score years; two like little Boys; one like a Lamb, and the fourth like a grey Buzzard, and that the biggest boy spoke to her with a great hoarse voice, as if he had been grieved, and asked her to go into the field, and she should have money, and should never miss or want anything, and asked her to deny God and Christ, and to curse God two or three times, that she took her older brother with her, and went into the field, but when they came to the place where they appointed her to go, they found none, and that she uses often to be in pain and trouble, after they had nipped or sucked her, where her marks were found, sometimes once a week, sometimes once a fortnight, and that she felt on them, and that they were soft, and that they came sometimes severally, sometimes altogether, and that they often asked her to go and do mischief, which she confessed, to some Cattle of her Neighbours, and said, that she was much troubled, and tormented, and in extreme pain, which they have put her to for denying their demands. Furthermore, JOANE RUCE ulver of Polstead in Suffolk, confessed that in the field called Horsecrost or Hog-Marsh, there appeared in a bush like Chickens, about five or six, and that she caught three of them and the rest ran away, and that she carried three home, which soon after turned to the likeness of Mice, whose names she called Touch, pluck, and Take, which spoke to her with a great hollow voice, and asked her to deny God, and Christ, and told her, if she would, she should never want meat, drink, or clothes, or money, but she said she told them, that if she denied God and Christ, she should lose her fowl, but she said, they told her again, they were more able to save her soul than God, and that they would do more for her than she thought for, if she would consent to them, which then she confessed she did, and then they demanded blood, and she nipped her forefinger, and they pricked her finger with a pin, and there dropped six drops of blood, which they caught, and so had it again after the same manner thrice, and that she did agree to give them her fowl; Then I asked her whether they brought her any money or no, and she said, sometimes four shillings at a time, and sometimes six shillings at a time, but that is but seldom, and I never knew any that had any money before, except of CLARKE’s wife of Manningtree, who confessed the same, and showed some which the said Imp brought her, which was perfect money: But this RUCE, further confessed the sucking of her marks, and how she sent her Imp Touch to kill a Bullock, and that he came back again, and told her he had struck it on the right side, and it dies accordingly, and so many other things, and said she was stopped and could not confess when she would, but after had ease. Here you may observe, that if he cannot prevail for want, then he promises to free them of hells torments, and to delude them that way. As he did ELLEN GREENLIEFE OF Barton in Suffolk, who confessed that three things came to her; one like a Rat, cold and ragged, as she felt on him; The next like a Mole, soft and cold; The third like a Mouse; and that Mole spoke to her with a great hollow voice, and asked her to give her soul and body to him, for he could save her, and bade her not be afraid of him, for he could perform what he promised, whereupon she consented, then he told her she should never want, but be avenged of all her enemies, and so should continue her lifetime, if she did not betray him, for if she did he would have the upper hand of her, and confessed that her wishes came to pass; as for example: she wished one GOODMAN GARNEHAM might be lame, and so he was, and that MASTER LOCKWEED might have Lice, because he formerly accused her for sending, or causing him to have some when she did it not, and so he had, and that her Imps used to suck her two or three times a week, for nineteen years together; And that the Mole said she should be questioned in some short time, but advised her to stand out and not to confess, for if she did he would cause her to drown herself, or put herself to death, and then he should have her soul, and after when she was kept, before she went to the Justices of Peace, her Imp in the shape of a Mole came to her, when those which were with her saw it not, and tore her as she confessed, as if he would have torn her to pieces, because she had confessed. This woman also confessed, that when she prayed she prayed to the Devil and not to God, and that she had her Imps from her mother in Law, who she said spoiled her; And further confessed that the Devil had use of her body, and used to come to bed her, but was soft, cold, and heavier, so heavy as she could not speak, And that her Imp like a Rat went upon her, wishing to lame RALPH LOGGARD’s Horse or Mare, because he said he would go for the Searchers, and so it was. Besides the former marks know this, that it is more easier to find them on the breast than in any other place, for that the breast is all shrunk up, and the Teat thereof extended longer than any womans that gives suck, be it on man or woman, with a Circle round about it as if it were sucked, and insensible as aforesaid, and if on a woman that gives suck, that breast is dry, for where the Imps suck there will come no milk, but the teat will stick out longer there than the other, and is nothing but skin, and will be much extended as aforesaid, and easily to be discerned by feeling of it. I should think this should give all satisfaction; that gain, Revenge, fear of want, or poverty, or fearfulness of hell torments, or ill parents, or company, yea and lust also, or any one may be a means to draw one to Witchcraft.
As for ill company, bad and wicked parents, and such as are over-much given to lust, I will put them together, and instance some few more examples; As one BUSH of Barton aforesaid widow, confessed that about three weeks after her husbands decease, being above fifteen years before she was questioned, the Devil appeared to her in the shape of a young black man, standing by her bed side, which spoke to her with a hollow voice, and came into bed with her, and had the use of her body, and asked her to deny God and Christ, and serve him, and then she should never want, but should be avenged of all her enemies, which she consented to, then she said he kissed her and asked her for blood, which he drew out of her mouth, and it dropped on a paper, and that he used to have the use of her body two or three times a week, and then used to kiss her, and at no other time but as beforesaid, but she said he was colder than a man, heavier, and could not perform nature as a man, and that soon after she had consented to the Covenant and given her blood, there came two things more like Mice, which used to suck her about twice a week during that time, and confessed how she sent an Imp to torment a Maiden, who she thought was against her having relief at her Masters, which was done, but afterward this Maiden went to her and scratched her till she got blood of her, and then she confessed she had no further power over her (but this is not always true, nor to be observed, though it took effect there) But she confessed the killing of three and twenty Turkeys at one time, and Cows, and how her Imps returned and told her it was done, and other things then at large. One more which I should think should be warnings to others, to have a care to bring their Children up in the nurture and fear of God. Of one ANNE CRICKE of Hitcham aforesaid widow, that she had three Imps about seven years together; The one in the likeness of a Sparrow called Harrie; the other two in the likeness of reddish dun Mice, called Jack, and Will, and they sucked her twice a week severally, all in one night, and the Devil fetched blood on her left Arm to seal the Covenant, which was to deny God and Christ, and to serve him, which she said she promised faintly, but confessed the promise was first made by her, before the devil had her blood; Then I asked her if she did grieve for it after she had done it, she answered, when it was done it was too late to repent; then I asked her why she did it, she said she was left weak, and the Devil got the upper hand of her for want of faith, through want and otherwise, she also confessed the Devil had use of her body, but she said she could not tell whether he performed nature or not, and said she could not confess before much company, but said the Devil spoke in a hollow voice, and confessed the employment of her Imps, as the sending of her Imp Harry to JOHN LEVERISHES of the same Town, to kill him a Hog, because she was denied Eggs and such like things, and they burnt his ears, and she could not keep from going, it being asked her why she went, she said they must needs go the Devil drives, and so many such like things. Also SUSAN SCOT of Lavenham aforesaid, complained of one SWEETING coming to her with one GOLDING, who confessed the Devil used to have the use of her body, and spoke to her with a great easy voice, and that she had two Imps like Cats and Dogs, which sucked on those marks found upon her, and how she was the Death of THOMAZINE, the daughter of one Mr. COPPINGER there, and divers other things. Also one RICHMOND, a woman which lived in Brampford, confessed the Devil appeared to her in the likeness of a man, called DANIEL THE PROPHET, who bade her not to be afraid of him, for he was so, and took her by the hand, and bade her trust in him and he would avenge her of all her enemies, and he should miss nothing, for he would curse her enemies, and that after falling out with her neighbour, cursed her and bade the Devil take her, and she died after she had lain some eight weeks, as she said, by her means, because the Devil promised her revenge; she confessed her Covenant was to deny God, Christ and his Ministers, and to serve him, she said the devil, for she said so he was that she called DANIEL THE PROPHET, none shall need question it; and she confessed she had three more, One like a rough red brindled Dog with cloven feet, One like a Hog called Jack, and another like a Dog called James, and confessed the Devil desired her to use cursing, and whatever she desired should come to her, and so confessed many things she did. Also ANNE GOODFELLOW of Woodford, in Northamptonshire, widow, confessed that soon after her Aunts decease, about three years before she was questioned, the Devil in the shape of a white Cat appeared to her, and spoke to her with a low voice, and bade her not to be afraid of it, for it was her Aunts spirit, and asked her to deny god, Christ and her Baptism, which she said she did, for he promised her that she should be saved, and would do for her what she desired, and then asked her for blood to seal the Covenant, and she further confessed that he bit her on the second finger, and got blood into his mouth, but what he did with all she knew not, but said amongst other things that she found him a liar, for she often wanted after. Also, ELIZABETH GURREY of Rifden in Bedfordshire Widow, confessed that the Devil had the use of her body, and lay heavy on her, and that through her wilfulness, and poverty, with desire or revenge, she denied God, and Christ, and sealed it with her blood, about five or seven years before she was found with the marks, and confessed what she had done to one WILLIAM DICKENS, and another there, and the manner how, but afterward I heard she made a very large confession. ANNE HAMMER near Needham in Suffolk, of Creeting there (as I remember) confessed that soon after her mothers decease, which was above twenty years before she was questioned, there came two Imps to her, which she called Tom, Robbin, and Tom like a Mole, and Robbin like a Dog, which she sent to kill MR. CAMPE’s child, which she said (very like to be true) for MASTER CAMPE averred that a Mole to their thinking was seen in the house, going towards the room where the child lay, and that they had much ado to keep it out, nor could tell what became of it in the end, and that they used to suck her twice a fortnight on those marks found upon her, during that time, and that the Devil in the likeness of a Calf asked her to deny God, and Christ, abd to serve him as Lord, and told her that if she would he would free her of hell torments, and that she should never want anything, but be saved, and she consented, then he told her he would avenge her of her enemies, but she said the Devil never performed anything but revenge, and that the Devil in the likeness of a black man used to come in at the keyhole, and to bed to her, and have the use of her body, but was heavier and colder, and lay all over her as man, and used not to speak but only to ask to lay with her, and as she thought performed nature; But if I should go to pen all of these sorts, then I should have no end, or at least too big a volume, and therefore but this one more; that ANNE BOREHAM of Sudbury, in the County of Suffolk widow, confessed that as she awoke out of a dream she saw ugly men (as she thought) a fighting, and asked them why they fought, who answered that they would fight for all of her, and then one vanished away, and then came to her into bed and had the use of her body, but said he was heavier and colder than man, and lay only on part of her, and that man asked her to deny God and Christ, and to serve him, but she said she told him she was a poor widow, and then he said if she would serve him, she should never want, but have her desire, and then she consented, for he promised her to free her of hell torments, yet she said he told her she must go to hell, but should not be tormented (a fearful and subtle delusion) for I have been with some who have confessed the same, and that he promised them that they should only walk to and fro the earth as their Imps did, and never suffer or feel torments. Now some may say, if all these sorts be Witches, then most parts of the world be so. I answer no, for honest persons may be given to these, and yet be free from Witchcraft; But this is only to show when any are given to be extreme in any of these, then is the Devil busy to work upon them, for he does not upon all that are given to these ways, but upon such as he finds some kind of preparedness in, as for example, Was there not a preparedness in BONEHAM, and MR. PARSON LOWIS, and so if you do but truly observe little or more in all their confessions, as take but this last when she saw that fight of fighting (as she thought) would not a good Christian have had her thoughts upon God, rather than to have suffered one to come to bed with her, which she knew could be no less but the Devil, and no man, for then he could not have come into the room, for Satan appears not to them in any shape until he find some preparedness, and then as you have heard by these confessions past he appears in several shapes, and then makes the league, and confirms it with blood, and then sends them Familiars more or less, and so proceeds by degrees: So you may find as I said before, extreme poverty, passionate sorrow accompanied with solitariness, to much enraged with anger and desire of revenge, those of such parents, and all that I have formerly reckoned: you see by their confessions, that the extreme makes a preparedness, and I have heard of some scholars want of Learning, to be learned have grown to it, and some through overmuch, as is instanced before. Likewise JOHN SCARFE of Rattlesden aforesaid, confessed that about three years before he was accused to be searched, there came a thing into his house of a grey colour, of the bigness of a great Rat, of about a quarter of an ell long, which he took up and put into a box, and kept it some certain time there, and then took it out, and laid it down on his belly, and put it to the place where the marks were found, where he said it sucked half an hour; (Did he prepare himself, or was he desirous to be one?) I conceive he did desire to be one, for he was a heathenish man, and so the agreement past; but to show his willingness to put it to the place, for in his confession more at large, he confessed that within a fortnight after there came two more, of a whitish dun colour, and less than the other, which he called Tom, and Will; but the first he called Harrie, and so proceeded. Now I will procede to prove that Witches may be found out.
First, from God in giving of his Law against Witches. Thou shall not suffer a Witch to live, which implies a Discovery of them, else it could never be put in execution, and so should be a Law of no purpose.
Secondly from the History, First Divine. For it is said Saul found out Witches, and executed the Law upon them, or put them to death, and so good King Josiah.
Secondly, we have Chronicles, and many relations made of the evident discourse of Witches.
Thirdly, the many Trials in our own Country at many Assizes: So it is clear that Witches may be discovered, though it cannot be denied but that there is some difficulty therein, because the secrecy of the grounds of Witchcraft, is so close and hidden, as being one of the greatest works of darkness committed this day under the Sun: for that natural causes may arise very strong, and many may cunningly counterfeit outward appearances, and Witnesses may fake their accusations out of malice, being transported with rage and uncharitableness, and desire of revenge, because of the strange imagination they have through many seeming probabilities; Some for words, or deeds, taken in the worst sense; Some upon some sudden sight of some creature ; and so likewise upon burning anything of the party suspected to be bewitched, if any shall come (though peradventure accidentally) and so sometimes something else, as thatch over the door or such like of the parties suspected to be a Witch, and so I could reckon diverse instances of several ways, which many times have produced strange and sometimes true effects, which means have partly been the cause of the questioning of many, who have found no less than Witches, and have suffered since aforementioned time: bit I forebear to speak any further of those ways, for I conceive them to be unlawful altogether, and not ot be used, fir it cannot be conceived and less than a distrust in Gods providence, in putting confidence that such means will make the Witch known, and effect their desires: Yet to proceed as I have said, I cannot deny but those may be just grounds of suspicion, and cause of questioning them, but not always certain, besides the unlawfulness held by Divines. But these cannot be denied to be just grounds as aforesaid. As when one shall be given to cursing and banning, with imprecations upon slight occasion, and withal use threatening to be revenged, and thereupon evil to happen. As CHERRIE of Thrapston, in Northamptonshire, a very aged man, who upon a small occasion of falling out with one of his Neighbours in the field, where they kept Cattle, one of the two (I do not now well remember which) scared some Cattle off the ground, where the Cattle the other kept was to go, with a Dog; the said CHERRIE and the other fell at odds and words, whereupon CHERRIE wished that his tongue might rot out of his head, the man was soon after strangely taken, and his tongue did come out of his mouth, hanging only by the roots thereof within his mouth, but could not be kept all in his mouth, and so continued to his death, and died in miserable condition. This CHERRIE confessed himself, and that he was his death, only upon that occasion. After which Confession, that it came to be known, many of the townsmen of Thrapston aforesaid averred that he died with his tongue out, and that in a manner it rotted. A fearful thing to be thought of, what a miserable condition the poor man died in.
CHERRIE likewise confessed the death of two more, which by his confession, and those that knew their deaths, died in a strange and miserable condition, through his wicked cursing (as he confessed) and so confessed many other notorious facts he had done. And being asked whether he did not do SIR JOHN WASHINGTON, a Knight which lived in the same town, any harm in his cattle or otherwise, for that he had suffered strange losses, he confessed he did, and particularized the death of much cattle; saying, when he had reckoned up as many as he could well remember, That he had been the death of so many of his, that he could not reckon them all.
Then it was demanded of him, why he would offer it to SIR JOHN who had been so loving to him, in affording him relief constantly. He answered; The more he gave him, the more power he had over him to do mischief: for he said his Imps must be employed, else they would not let him be quiet, but torment him.
This CHERRIE also confessed diverse other things and harms he had done, and the sealing of the Covenant with the Devil with his blood, to deny God and Christ, and to serve him the devil for revenge, with promise of freedom from hell-torments: and that his Imps, the last time they sucked him, not long before he was searched, told him they would not suck him any more at that time, because he was an old man, and had little blood.
This CHERRIE confessed presently after he was searched, who died at Northampton in the Gaol there, the same day he should have been tried, much about the time the Grand Jury had found the Bill of Indictment against him, Billa vera, as it was reported, miserably. A just judgement of God: for it was reported that a night or two before, his coat was all rent right down on the back, and his mouth stopped full: and when it was pulled out, he confessed that he had been at a bridge going into Thrapston town, and had a cord found about his neck.
To this I might add the aforenamed THOMAZINE RATCLIFF who upon the falling out with another woman about the death of a child, bade her go home and look to the rest, lest she lost more. And one died suddenly after, as before expressed.
Of these kinds I could nominate diverse more, as you may observe in many of their confessions, and might add implicit confessions: As, when a question is asked the suspected party, If he or she were not the cause of such or such a thing; answer is made, He or she might have let me alone, or not done so and so; or such like. As for example, you may observe in most of their Confessions, they did it because they had not, such things as they desired, or used to have: as ANNE LEECH of Lawford in Essex confessed in her Confession, besides the death of two or three, the laming of as child of one TURNERS. It being asked her why she did it, she answered, Her mother might have paid her for work she had done. Likewise one ANNE PARKER, being asked why she did one PRYER mischief; she answered, He might have given her money upon Thanksgiving-day, as well as he gave to others; but would not give her any, because she was not at Church: whereupon she sent her spirit to him who did accordingly. And so confessed how the devil in the likeness of a dun Dog, had three drops of blood under her tongue, to seal the Covenant; and had a piece of paper in his hand, and wrote her name thereon with her consent, and so promised her money, and that she should never want, but should be avenged of her enemies, according as is expressed in others.
Hereto I might add such as said they have such things as Familiars suck on them, but cannot help it. ALEXANDER SUSSUMS of Melford in Suffolk, confessed that he had things which did draw those marks I found upon him; but said he could not help it, for that all his kindred were nought. Then I asked him how it was possible they could suck without his consent. He said he did consent to that. Then I asked him again why he should do it, when as God was so merciful towards him, as I then told him of, being a man whom I had formerly acquainted withal, as having lived in Town. He answered again, He could not help it, for that all his generation was naught; and so told me his mother and aunt were hanged, his grandmother burnt for Witchcraft, and some others of them questioned and hanged. This man is yet living, notwithstanding he confessed the sucking of such things above sixteen years together, but was suspected for doing mischief, yet never questioned, but as he came into a house accidentally where I was, and so proffered himself to be searched, and presently confessed these particulars, and so by that means brought to trial, but freed, and living aforesaid.
Likewise I may add, When the party suspected makes enquiry after the party taken sick, or desires to visit the party, or the party the suspected: For many have confessed that after they have done a thing, they are sorry for it, but cannot help it; as KING of Acton in Suffolk confessed, to a woman whom he had bewitched, in the time she was in her extremity, long before he was questioned: but this woman desired him to undo what he had done; and he told her he could not undo what he had done, but told her he was sorry for it, and told her of another that could, as he said, and as she affirmed, that was one, as we untruly call them, White or good Witches, and one that was then suspected, who accordingly did it
To confirm this, I can tell you of a very remarkable example much tending to this particular, of one at Hedenham in the Isle of Ely in the County of Cambridge, where a child suspected to be bewitched, was carried to the Justice of Peace in his house, where the party suspected was to be carried to be examined. This child being very sick, was sat in a chair, and held in it; but as soon as the party who was suspected came in, on a sudden it arose of itself, and got hold of her face to scratch her, as its strength would afford, she not stirring. Here you may observe the former Confessions, where the Witch confessed, that after she was scratched, she had no further power over that party; for this woman stood still: and so you may perceive that many of them, after they had done mischiefs, are sorry for it, and cannot help it: (This it is renounce God and Christ) for this woman presently confessed, that it was she that had hurt the child, through her diabolical practice, and told him what Imp she had sent to hurt the child, and the occasion why she did it; and how she had sent one of her Imps a little before she was accused, (for she had been searched, and found with the marks) to destroy or spoil a whole field of corn in that Parish; and so made a very large Confession, with the suckling of her Imps upon those marks upon her, and the Covenant sealed with her blood, (as aforesaid in other Confessions) besides other mischiefs which she did. May not Spell-setters and Charmers be also added? For I cannot conceive any less, when the shall say that by words they can charm, set Spells, and help or cure mad Dogs, or any bitten by them, and such-like; though it be by their implicit league, (as some of them do) yet it is distrust of Gods providence, putting their confidence in their words, rather than in the living God, who’s faith it is an abomination to him. And I have heard some of these, not long since, boast of Their doings therein, saying they had it from their parents, and were not their parents good Christians? And they do but use the words for good ends. So likewise of those born of ill parents, if their carriage be not otherwise; as I have instanced enough of those, else I could instance more, as the aforenamed REBECCA WEST, who was drawn to it by her mother, (as she confessed) after a strange manner, as she said: for her mother asked her to go to Manningtree with her, which was about a mile, and bade her to work hard so that she might go: and as they went, she told her she must not say anything whatsoever she saw, but consent to them, and do as they did, and then she should be a happy woman; or such-like enticements. But when she came there, at the house where her mother went, there where her confederates met; then, before she could be entertained, her mother was asked whether her daughter was acquainted with the matter in hand; who answered She was. Then she was entertained; and as she confessed, the devil appeared, and first kissed the woman of the house, and so one after another, and at last herself; and so she was asked then if she was willing to be entered into their society; who said, She was. Then appeared Familiars, which she confessed, also the sucking of her body on the marks, and the sealing of the Covenant with her blood. This young woman confessed the naming of their Imps, and the manner, which I am ashamed to express; and the initiation of a Witch, and every particular thing at large; especially, she confessed how the devil took her by the hand, and the manner and words were used at her Marriage, when she was married to the devil (as she confessed): a fearful thing to declare. But one thing observe, That the devil imitates God in all things as he can , much after the book of Common prayer. Then in his outward Worship. She likewise confessed that her mother prayed constantly (and, as the world thought, very seriously) but she said it was to the devil, using these words, Oh my God, my God, meaning him, and not the LORD. This I put in the rather, because you may take notice, where such meetings are, there are just grounds of suspicion: for they cannot always do their mischiefs according to their desires, without their meetings, and the help one of another.
I might add the apparition of the party suspected to the party sick, and could nominate some Instances thereof, as in Northamptonshire, and elsewhere: but because apparitions may proceed from the fantasy of such as the party used to fear, or at least suspect, I forbear, because I would not that any should be accused, but where there are just grounds of suspicion. But those called Wise-men, or Wise-woman, called your White Witches, which will show the other in glasses, or undo what the other have done, (if proved) is not sufficient?
But I hope there are none so ignorant or blind, as to think or believe it is lawful for any to go or send to such, much less to put any confidence or trust in them, who require faith to believe they can cure, before they will undertake it; feeling by the Law of God they ought to die, as well as the other. And the holy Scripture utterly forbids any going to them, where it is said, that he will set his face against such as shall seek after those that have familiar spirits, and will cut them off from amongst his people; much more than such as should be guilty themselves.
Then some will say, How shall they be known one from another, or how shall they be found out, if these difficulties be? For it cannot be denied but that many of them have made great shows of Religion.
I answer, It is truth: as the devil can transform himself into an Angel of light, so have many of these Witches made outward shows, as if they had been Saints on earth, and so were taken by some; as one of Catworth in Huntingdonshire, who made as large a Confession, in a manner, as ever any did, & confessed at the gallows before her death, in my hearing. Likewise one LENDALL of Cambridge, who suffered also, carried herself as if she had been no less: and so did the mother of the said REBECCA WEST, and many others, which by their carriage seemed to be very religious people, and would constantly repair to all Sermons near them: yet notwithstanding all their shows of religion, there appeared some of these probabilities, whereby they were suspected, and so searched, and so by that means discovered and made known. For if you do not observe these and such-like other reasons as may be thereby gathered, together with their Confessions, you shall find that they prepare themselves in some kind or other, and that by their outward carriage, either by ill company keeping, maliciousness, revengeful persons, or such born of such parents, or go under a general suspicion of Witchcraft, or one way or other as aforesaid, there will appear just grounds of suspicion, either by words or deeds, whereby they may be brought to be questioned, whereby it may appear there is a league made with the devil: for notwithstanding all former reasons, to convict or prove one guilty of Witchcraft, is to prove a League made with the devil: in this one act, stands the very reality of a Witch; without which (notwithstanding great shows of probabilities) I know not, nor cannot conceive how any can be properly said to be Witches: For the devil (through Gods permission) may hurt mens bodies, and kill their cattle; and ill perhaps may fall out upon his or her cursing, and but grounds to make enquiry and search, which must be for this League; which though never so secretly made, yet it is to be discerned, seeing it is that which makes a Witch, and not some of their own society: For besides the former reasons, it is an heathenish practice to seek to such. Now we should not be like the abominable heathen in any evil, much less in these abominations. And they which seek to them, are commonly wicked and evil people, haunted themselves by an evil spirit, who suggests this course unto them. Yea, such as esteem of these, and think they work in Gods name, and by his power, are bewitched in so thinking . For it is found true by daily experience amongst our selves, that those which most use them, as I might instance; but only I desire to prove the League, which is to be proved: for they that make this League, is express as before, have a familiar or spirit, more or less: For as soon as the League is made, the Spirit or familiar, one or more, is familiar, as was before sufficiently proved by Saul and Josiah in the aforementioned places, when Witches were known to have Familiars, besides the Confessions of Witches lately executed herein expressed, and so they have nowadays; by which, after their League made, they work their mischief, as is likewise proved by their Confessions; as the said ELIZABETH CLARK confessed who averred that all were Witches who had such marks as she was found with, and had familiar spirits more or less; and that there were some which had none; which I have found to be true; for they have only the brand, or devils mark, as I may so call it; but for the other, you may observe it as a general rule in all their Confessions; as JOHN BYSACK, alias GLEEDE, of Waldingfield in the County of Suffolk, confessed that the devil came in at his window in the shape of a rugged sandy-coloured dog, which asked him to deny God, Christ, and his Baptism, which he spoke with a great hollow voice; and he consented. Then he said Satan asked him for blood to seal and confirm the covenant or agreement; and he bade him take it; and that Satan with his consent had, in the shape of such a coloured dog, through his leather doublet, with his claw. Then I asked him where away Satan had it: and he said, From his heart; and that Satan promised to free him of hell-torments, and that he would send him other things which he must let suck his blood, and they should avenge him of all his enemies. All which he said he consented to, and was willing withal; and then soon after those came, which he called his Imps, and sucked on those marks or teats which I found on his body, near twenty years altogether, sometimes once a week, sometimes once a fortnight, which he confessed came in the likeness of Snails, only they differed one from another in colour and bigness. Then I asked him how they could suck on that part of his body I found the marks on: and he said he used to lay down on his right side to let them suck, and was willing withal: for he confessed he oftentimes arose out of his bed, and made a fire, and lay down by it to let them suck his blood; which rising out of his bed, and fire making, his wife averred to be the truth; yet she said she never knew or thought him to be such a manner of person; for she said he used to tell her he was sick, and used to be troubled with a disease which he could not help himself better for to ease himself of this pain he used to be in, then by that means, and could not endure his bed, his pain was troublesome. But to clear all suspicion which after might fall on her thereby, she was searched and found clear, and no less thought to be by her neighbours before and since, as I have heard. He likewise confessed his Imps names were Sydrake, Jeffrey, Peter, Ayleward, Sacar, and Pyman; for he had six by his confession, and no less by the number of his marks. The first was to kill all manner of fowls, which was the first he confessed he employed. The second was to kill sheep and such-like cattle. The third, hogs, and such-like. The fourth Cows, and such-like beasts. The fifth, all manner of horses. And the sixth, Christians: and so particularized many mischiefs he had done.
So they have their Familiars, some for one thing, and some for another; some to help them at their needs, (though many times therein they fail them) and others to work their mischiefs and revenge, as the aforesaid JOHN WYNNICKE and many others have confessed. But I only instance their Confessions in short, and but in part only, tending to that I quote them for as near as I can. For I could add diverse more to this, but many of the other in effect tend to prove this; so do most of the Confessions little or more depend one upon another: so that I do but instance part of them, and of the effect of them, and not the third part of those I have; for if I should, I have many larger Confessions, which perchance might give better satisfaction to some: but I only aim at the principal heads, and th clear and make it appear, that what has been done, has been in a legal way, and not unjustly, as many have surmised, but for the good of the Common-wealth, and I doubt not but agreeable to the Word of God. And that all that are thus in league, (as express or open league as aforesaid) are to be found out and known by these evidences, be they of either sort, bad, or white or good Witches so called; -----, by Witches marks, which are most commonly upon those baser sorts called the bad and cursing Witch; and so upon the other called the good or white Witch, though not so easily found, (if but only the brand, or devils mark, as it may well be termed) but the other, which the spirits suck of, are easily to be distinguished and known from all the other marks, but yet have as before (if an express league.)
This is not to be doubted of; it is the devils custom to mark his: God will have his mark for his, the Beast will have his mark. So the devil himself will have his mark, as you may see as well by the relations and confessions of Witches, as also the witnesses of many learned men, writing of Witches and Witchcraft. Therefore, where this mark is, there is a league and familiar spirits more or less; which marks are to be found by searching.
Now some will say, How shall they be discerned from natural marks ?
In answer: First, as for the mark which comes by the sucking or by the drawing of the spirit or familiar, more or less, which is most commonly upon the baser sort called the bad witch, and so many times upon the other so untruly called the good or white witch, for all witches are bad indeed, though peradventure for the most part they have not commonly so many Familiars as the other, yet I say most of them work by Familiars as well as the other, and suckle them likewise, though not commonly above one. They are to be known by these tokens, as by the insensibleness of them, sometimes like a little teat or big, that is when it remains as the Imp or Familiar sucks thereof: if outward, then nothing to be discerned but as a little bit of skin, which may be extended and drawn out, and wrung, much like the finger of a glove, and is very limber, and has no substance in it, except when their Imps have newly sucked them, and then it may be there may be a little waterish blood perceived, but may be known from natural marks several ways; for it has no sear, but at the very top a little hole, where the blood comes out. But if it is inward, then it is beyond all natural marks, or where no such-like (if natural) could possibly be, and remains but as a little red spot, much like, or little differing from a flea-bite; only it is out of the flesh above it, when as the other is flat, but this as I say is out above it, with a whitish end at the top, and may be jnown both of them by a circle above them, much like the circle of a womans breast which has been sucked, and one may discern the place where the blood comes out: and many times it falls out, if new sucked, the waterish blood may be stroked out, especially in the time they are kept, if the watchers are careful to discern when they are in most trouble, though their Familiars come never so insensible: and therein (as before) watching has done good (though not deprived of anything necessary, as before). And the skin may be pulled one side from the other, and differs from the other parts in colour, and remains as if it was a dead place, and so it is insensible of pricking and other usage, if it be done in a direct manner; and so may be easily discerned from any natural mark other-wise, if this were not sufficient, which I doubt not but it will, as I could otherwise express, if it were neither for giving offence to some, nor a means to give some of such persons insight so far, as thereby they might grow more experienced to make away their marks, for that has been too common amongst them already; for which I could instance many examples: but you find by their Confessions, that all of them tend to manifest, that their Familiars suck upon those marks which we first find, which are before expressed, and therefore I forbear to instance any to that particular.
Sometimes they are like a blue spot, that is, when they make them away, and then no more to be discerned besides the insensibleness thereof; but will grow or be drawn again by the sucking of their Imps or Familiars more or less, for they cannot hide them always: as one MARSH a woman of Bramford confessed, who had been searched two or three times one after another, and no other marks could be found upon her: at length, she being accused by another of the same town, was forthwith before she had any knowledge thereof, or thought (as I suppose) of being searched again, taken by the Constables there in the streets, as she was coming homeward to her own house, and brought to be searched again, upon the others accusation: but as she came by her own house, she desired to go in, (as she said) to shift herself, for that she was very unwilling (as she pretended) to go to the women to be searched with a foul shift on her back: but the Constable having had notice of it formerly, not to suffer her to go to do it, it being known she did it before her former searching, brought her forthwith away to the place where she was to be searched; and when she was searched, she was presently found to have the marks very apparent, and a clean shift on her back. But not long after, in her Confession, amongst other things, she confessed that if she had been let go home to have shifted herself, she had not been found with the marks, for that she had a shift so dressed, that her marks could not have been found at present, and that she thereby so escaped by the same means the former searches; yet she was searched by those which were the first that ever to my knowledge found any of those marks; and so confessed that she had made a covenant with the devil, and sealed it with her blood, and set around O to the paper the devil brought her, and confessed her Familiars, with the sucking of them, and the mischief she had done by her Witchcraft, or at least part of them, as she then further confessed, and suffered for the same. Here you may observe, that the diligentness of searching is a great matter, and one of the chiefest points of their discovery: For I have observed this one thing in my proceedings herein, that if all their marks, though in several places, be not found, they will hardly confess: but when all are found, and the just number of them more or less laid to their charge, according as they have, it is a great inducement to bring them to confession; and that has made me careful when apparent marks have not been seen at first, that a second or third search be made: for it is a matter of concernment of life and death; and therefore, as I conceive, it were fitting that those which search, and those with them, they having some intelligence of the marks first given them, were sworn before searching, that diligent search might be made in all places of such as be suspected in such a case of life and death, for the detection of so great a height of sin and impiety, that none that be guilty might escape the punishment due according to their deserts here; and so those likewise that wrongfully go under that aspersion, be freed thereof. To which end, it was fitting that such as did it might be such as know what belongs to an Oath, and who make conscience to perform the same likewise; and such as be at the searching, able people, of discretion and good carriage; for I fear that money has swayed some, and want of knowledge others.
Sometimes the flesh is sunk in a hollow, that is, when they pull them off, and pull them out with their nails, or otherwise cause them to be pulled off; as one of Over in Cambridge-shire confessed, it being found and laid to her charge, that she heard of our coming to town, and plucked her marks off the night before, because she would not have been found, as she confessed before a Justice of Peace of the same town at large, both of the Covenant and her Imps, and the harms she did both to him and others by her Imps.
But some will say, It is strange they should know when they should be searched, if it is kept private.
I answer, Let it be kept never so private, it has been common, and as common as any other thing, as they themselves have confessed: for so did they of Fen-Drayton in Cambridge-shire, who made very large Confessions, as, that the devil told them of our coming to town, but withal told them they should be searched, but should not be found; wherein they said they found him a liar; and so they said they did in his promising them they should never want, which they did: and so likewise that is usual with others; but those made very large Confessions.
Also sometimes there is nothing to be discerned but red spots, as if the skin were perished (and so it is) for that is when they only cut them off, and apply no medicine at all to it; yet the blood will appear all round within the circle, as afore is expressed. And of these I have found diverse; but for the most part, those have been left for a second search, or a third, as occasion or grounds sufficient required. And of these though I have found diverse, yet I have but one example by confession, and that is of one CLARKE of Keyston in Huntington-shire, a young man, who was so found, and set at liberty, expecting to have been searched another time, when he should not know of it; but he soon after confessed he had cut off his marks, saying they were fools that were found with the marks, for he had made sure he could not be found with them, for he had cut off his two or three days before I searched him. But I perceived the blood, and showed it to the townsmen, and told them that I thought he was nought, and guilty of that sin, and doubted not thereof, but would not take an oath, unless the marks had been apparently seen upon him.
Now some will say, notwithstanding all this that is said, There may be and are natural marks like all these afore spoken of.
I answer, For natural marks, as I conceive, there are Wens of diverse sorts; but view these well, and next adjacent to the flesh they are very final, and hang like a thread, but from thence like a teat or big; but feel of it, and it is fleshy, and will not extend as the other will do.
But some will say, It may be a rent, and so a piece of skin may hang.
I answer, This, though it is nothing but as a skin, yet it comes firmly out of the flesh, and sticks out like a big or teat, and not hang down, when I conceive rents will either hang, or lie flat; but if hang, then I believe a scar is to be seen, and feel flesh like besides: but these have no scar, only as it were a little hole on the top, where the blood comes out, which is easily to be discerned, for I have nipped blood out. And then likewise they are insensible, when the other is not: But I confess, if these are not pricked the right way, they will feel it likewise. Some have Warts: but I answer, They are out of the flesh as well as the other, but they are flat and fleshy, and sensible, and will not any way extend: but so far unlike the other, as I will not speak further of them. Some have Mouls; it is truth, I believe most men have, though they are of several colours; but those are flat to the flesh always, which is nothing like the other, nor will extend, but it is sensible.
But some will say, It may be like a brand.
I answer, No: for it differs as well in colour, as also it has no circle about it, but is as the rest of the skin is on the other parts of the body, only differs sometimes in colour, but not like the other, and is sensible: neither for the most part have any of the marks of those which have suffered been found, where there were either Warts, Wens, or Mouls, or commonly rents, especially of the men.
But then some will say, There are Emrod-marks, and piles.
I answer, True, but the Emrod-marks are upon the veins, though they issue out, and are to be discerned either by the colour, or by the lying up of the veins; but if the veins are down, still, the colour remains in part, and are to be known that way: But however, they will not extend th be srawn out and twisted, as the other will; if at all, I am sure not so much; and if a little, then it is pain, and the other none: fore therein in insensibleness clears this expressly; for it cannot be conceived that any should be Insensible upon their veins, and the other are merely out of the flesh; for I conceive if they were upon the veins, they would bleed after they were sucked, and would not easily be stenched again; neither are they so inward as the Emrods marks, except the inward marks, which are beyond them, and no natural cause can be of that colour, and insensible. And as for Piles, I think this is a sufficient answer for that likewise; for they are out of the veins, and are sensible without question, and are flat, and will not be extended as the other will.
And then some others will say, But women have rents and other miscarriages by child-bearing.
I answer partly as before, and grant it for a truth; but yet if that way will neither fear appear, nor will it feel fleshy, but will it be extended as the other; admit all this were truth, I will affirm the colour differs, and that there will be no circle about it, nor twisted, no nor have a hole as the other have, and be insensible likewise, and otherwise, as I could further explain more at large, if it was fitting: for, All things (as the proverb is) ought not be spoken at all times, much less printed.
But if any shall hereafter make any Objections against me (as I expect they will) I will then explain myself (through permission) as far as by experience I have found, or by reading or otherwise my knowledge shall extend to. For I am confident, and my conscience tells me, that those who shall be found with these marks, are expressly quilty of that diabolical art or practice of Witchcraft, whether they have done mischief or not, but only for that they have renounced God and Christ, and betaken themselves to the devil, the utter enemy of God, and all the world. And I had rather be an instrument (if any such thing ought to be) to save one who should confess and humble himself, than any of those who, being found with the marks upon them, shall deny: but I shall forbear herein, where it nothing concerns me, but those in authority; for I would not give offence to any, only desire to clear myself, in giving satisfaction to the world that my conscience is, that none of these sorts ought to live amongst us; for by the Laws of God and the Realm, they ought to die, as it is said in the Bible. And then remember this one place, where it is said, that when God intends to bless a Nation, he will cut off or root out all Witchcrafts and Enchantments: which I should think should give all sufficient satisfaction, that those which have these marks, are in league and covenant with the devil, and that it is not to be doubted but that there are Witches, and that those which have the brand are also guilty as aforesaid, be they of either sort, and are to be found as well as the other, by searching also; yet I confess that is very difficult to be known, and very few ever attained to the discovery thereof: but it is to be known by the insensibleness thereof, and otherwise, being drawn or shrunk up so with a circle about it, as if the skin were stretched to that place, or shrunk up about it; but very little by the colur, for that is as if it were or had been some natural cause, or where some issue had been, when as the skin was never perished, as may be easily discerned; only it shows in the middle thereof, for the most part, as if a little hole had been, except it is such as the places where, the blood is fetched to seal the Covenant, which is only like a natural mark, either long or otherwise, as natural marks are; only it seems to be deader and harder, and so it is, and not so tender as other places are, or where plasters have been used: but the other is for the most part round, but however, it has a little circle about it, just adjacent to it, as if it were sunk in all the circle about, and then within that, next adjacent to the circle, somewhat higher than the flesh, and harder; and in the middle thereof, a little hole or pit somewhat sunk. This brand or mark, if it comes to be tried for the insensibleness, will soon be felt, if greater care is not had in the pricking of it; for though it is insensible a little way, yet it is not so deep into the flesh as others are, but shows dead-like, much like as if it had been seared with a hot iron, and is firmly upon the body, and in no secret place, as the other is, but differs a little in colour, as a seared place does from another; as I might somewhat enlarge, but I will not presume too far, lest others should unadvisedly and rashly proceed in the discovery of such persons wrongfully, and then fault me for the insight; as has been formerly done by some, who when they have done that they are not able to give an account of, or render a reason for, or perchance say those are guilty, where they find some other evidence may be given that they are guilty, or where money will be largely given that they are guilty, when as if they come to be further questioned, they can only say they are such marks as such a one told me; and so likewise can say, I have seen some have such marks in the Jail, of his finding out, or some who have confessed: when as they themselves cannot distinguish between natural marks, and those, neither indeed know them asunder, but however, know but one sort of the marks, and so let many escape, and I fear wrongfully thereby, or for lucre, accuse; a fearful thing to be considered of: And therefore I conceive it were fitting, that when such come to their trials in this kind, it might be done by those of knowledge and discretion, and upon good grounds, and not by every light-carriaged housewife, who regards more her own ends than the life of a Christian; who can render no other reason, but that they do what they have learned some insight in, & so go where they are sent for, or else they would not do it; indeed for money, and not the Common-wealths good, as may be seen by their want of knowledge therein: For, as I said, it had need be done by able, discreet, honest persons, especially for these last mentioned, and upon good grounds, and other clear evidences concurring with them. Yet I affirm that all that have these, or any of these marks, are guilty of witchcraft, if plainly made appear: for I could have been spoken somewhat more, both of wrongfully accusing, and excusing, only I know it will then be judged that I do it take off all others, and that none, or but such as I like of, where fitting to do it, and so thereby take all upon my self; which I know many in the world will be ready enough to censure of me: But for my part, where one has the least insight herein, I wish there were hundreds in all Countries which had the whole, and more than any now have; but only that such as be idle, or unconscionable of their ways, and careless of men and womens lives, or at least unskilful in these ways, might not be suffered to meddle; in such a business of concernment of life and death, as this is. As for this, and the lucre of money, I shall more fully clear in the last Objection in the close hereof, to acquit myself thereof.
Now for the implicit or secret League, if it is asked what these are which work by Satan.
I answer, in some sort, by way of similitude, from the direction of that place in the Bible. For Satan will be Gods ape in all things whatsoever he can, and therefore will he also imitate Christ herein. They are such as invocate the devil by certain superstitious forms of words, and prayers, believing that these means can effect what they have offered them for, and do withal earnestly desire to have them effectual. Now the devil herein consents, and affords his power, at the utterance of the words, to bring the thing to pass which is desired. Here therefore is a Covenant and mutual consent on both sides: for if a man or woman is content to use superstitious forms of invocation for help in time of need, and in using them desires in heart to have a thing effected; if the devil work the feat, there is a secret compact: for they have desired, and he has consented. They are such as do know, that neither by Gods work in nature, nor by Gods ordination from his word, the things they do are warrantable, (but rather hear such things forbidden) and that they also are absurd to common reason, and yet will do them, because they find an effect answerable to their expectation.
Hereto I might add the healing of a wound by anointing the instrument which gave the wound, Spell-setters, and Charmers, and such-like, who many of them are in express league as aforesaid: for the devil contents himself sometimes, to wit, there where he well perceives the party will not be brought to the other, and lets them please themselves with hope of Gods mercy, employing them only about seeming-good things, for that in so doing they suppose they in not, nor are in danger of the devil, nor under Gods wrath, as the others are, because they fall not so foully into the pit of destruction by express league, as the others do, and make an outward show of Religion as well as others.
For what can be said of those who only cure by laying on their hands, and using certain words or forms of prayers? Is it not done by this secret Compact, though ignorantly they think otherwise? For if the remedy is not natural, then it is supernatural, then either from God, and so has warrant from his Word, and is ordinary, not miraculous; for that work of God has ceased long since: or else is from the devil, as works wrought by Spells and Charms, and such-like, forbidden by God. Yet these sorts of persons, finding their practices successful, are not against Satan, nor can lightly speak ill of his working power, because of their secret and implicit league they have with him, and especially because of the profit they find come to them thereby. And herein also does the devil imitate Christ, who allowed some, which openly as yet did not follow him, to have power to call out devils, who were not, as he said, against him, nor could lightly speak ill of him, nor of his power, by reason of their secret and implicit faith, and covenant with Christ; yet did it, because they found success in it.
So, likewise in the Scripture is found the cutting of hair, and burning it, the writing of words, and the blotting of them out again, and to give them unto one. Also the giving of a portion. So Satan teaches his to cut off hair and burn it; as the White-Witch will do to such as come to them, advising them to cut hair, or such-like, off the beast they suspect to be bewitched, and to write a Charm, and to blot it out, and then give it one; also to use potions; thus seeming, by their imitations, to have Scripture for their warrant. And so after this manner I might reckon up several other ways: as, the Lord had some which by cursing and threatening procured evil upon others, so Satan has such, which by cursing and threats procure mischiefs upon others, as you may plainly see by their Confessions.
Also the lord tied his to certain Rules and Ordinances in his Service, and sometimes to a certain number. So Satan ties his Witches to certain words and deeds in going about his service, and to observe numbers, and to do a thing so and so often, three times, seven times, or such like, as the White Witches do: and so imitate Christ in many things, as his Assemblies and Sabbaths, Baptism and Covenants; so Satan has all his, after his manner, as REBECCA WEST and ELIZABETH CLARKE confessed, as well in these as in other particulars, as you may find as well by theirs and others Confessions, as also by the Writings of learned men who have writ concerning the same.
And further, as the lord had such as cured diseases by words, by prayers, and did anoint the party infirm; as by something brought them from the sick, and carried to the sick again. So has Satan such as seem by words to cure diseases by forms of prayers, and by oils; and also by bringing something from the sick party, and carrying the same back again.
So the Lord by his servants raised some from the dead, so likewise Satan makes show by his servants to raise up the dead.
And as the Lord makes some to be his, either by his immediate inspiration, and speaking to them, or winning them to him by his instruments: so Satan makes some Witches by inward suggestions, and his speaking to them, or by using other Witches to gain them to him; as you may find also by their Confessions. And that as the Lord spoke by a beast unto the Witch, so Satan speaks to Witches, sometimes in one shape, and sometimes in another.
So likewise, as the Lord ordained Sacrifices to be offered to him, Satan has taught his to do so too.
And as the lord promised earthly blessings, to stir up people to serve him; so Satan, as you may find, as very large in his promises to such as will serve him.
And so it is in many other particulars, as might well be observed, if you do but rightly observe their Confessions, with their carriages, and Satans doings.
But here some will say, Is there no other way to find them out, but only by searching?
I answer, That is both the most ready and certain way, and such a way, as that, if they which undertake it are careful, there can be no mistake, especially in those who shall be found to have the marks; and for the other, if in express league, then by the brand; if implicit, then by aforesaid reasons, and by their carriages. Yet they may be found by Witches words also, as when he or she has been heard to call upon their spirits, or to speak to them, or talk of them to any, enticing them to receive such Familiars. As some of those of Rattlesden confessed that they had their Familiars from OLD MOTHER ORVIS; so had ELIZABETH CLARKE from ANNE WEST, and so had her daughter from her, ANNE CLARKE from her mother, and her mother from another; so in many other particulars. As also, when they have been heard telling of killing of some man or beast, or of the hurting of them; or when they have not only threatened revenge upon any of their cattle, but have told particularly what shall happen to such a one, and the same found true; and their boasting afterward thereof. Furthermore, if they have been heard to speak of their transportation from home to certain places of their meetings with others there, as was at Manningtree, Burton, Old, Tilbrook-bushes, and other places.
These and such like, as you may find by their Confessions, prove a league and familiarity with the devil.
So also by Witches deeds, as when any have seen them with their spirits, or seen to feed some creatures secretly; or where the Witch has put such, which may be known by the smell of the place; for they will stink detestably, which we have often found true in the time they have been kept, if their Imps or Familiars came to suck in the mean time, as you may find they often have. Also when it can be found that they have made pictures; as I have credibly heard of one of Yarmouth, who since the aforementioned time suffered there, and confessed that she had made a picture of wax or clay, I do not well remember which, of the proportion of a child which she was intended to work her mischief against, and had thrust a nail in the head thereof, and so had buried it in a place, which she then confessed; and that as that consumed, so should the child, and did, a long time, as I was told by MASTER HOPKINS, who was there, and took her Confession, and went to look for the picture; and that the child ( as I have heard) did soon after mend, and grew lusty again. A hellish invention.
And so many such Witchery-tricks, both of this kind and otherwise, have thus been lately found out: as, the giving any thing to any man or other creature, which immediately caused either pains or death; as was at Bramford and other places, as you may also find by their confessions. So likewise by laying on their hands, or by some one or more fellow-Witches confessing their own Witchcraft, and bearing witness against others, so as they can make good the truth of their witness, and give sufficient proof thereof, as, that they have seen them with their spirits, or that they have received their spirits from them, as beforesaid; or that they can tell when they used their Witchery-tricks to do harm, or joined with them; as those of Manningtree and other places at their meetings used to do: or that they told them what harm they had done, or that they can show the mark upon them, or such-like; or by the Witches confessing of giving their souls to the devil, and of the spirits which they have, and how they come by them, and the suckling of them, and such other like ways, as you may gather by their Confessions.
All which, notwithstanding, principally depends upon searching, which is the readiest way to bring them to these Confessions.
Also some witness of god himself happening upon the execrable curses of Witches upon themselves, praying God to show some token, if they are guilty: who by bitter curses upon themselves, think thereby to clear themselves: as one BINKES of Haverhill in Suffolk, who confessed to me that he was guilty, and amongst other things told me, that the Fly which was seen to fly about the chamber, was one of her Imps; but desired to speak with one MASTER FAIRECLOTH, who lived not above two miles, or thereabouts, from the Town, being an able Orthodox Divine; who was immediately sent for, and came. This woman, notwithstanding her confessing to me, denied all to him, wishing and desiring withal, that if she were such a manner of person, that the Lord would show an example upon her; and that if she had any Imps, they would come whilst he was there: presently after, she cries out, A just judgement of God, they are come indeed, said she. This Imp, in the same shape it was seen formerly flying in the room, was seen fastened upon another place of her body, not far from the other marks, but not upon them, and so remained above half a quarter of an hour, till some women came near a quarter of a mile, who saw it fastened on her body, she only crying out to have it pulled off, which at first they were fearful to do; but at length they wiped it off, as they say, with a cloth; and what became of it after, they knew not; but it had drawn a new mark, like the other.
Was this woman fit to live, this evidence, with others, being against her, by credible witnesses? I am sure she was living not long since, and acquitted upon her trial: for she never confessed any more, but denied what she had formerly confessed.
Here you may take notice, first, that if they have their Familiars come to them either before or after confession, they will not confess till another time, or deny, and therein watching is of some consequence, till they are examined by a Justice of Peace, or else they must expect but few confessions. This was observed as well by those at Bury, as indeed for the most part of all those now lately detected. And secondly, the extreme pain they put them to, especially when they first draw their marks, as most of them generally confess.
And I have observed in the time they have been kept, that if their Imps are a sucking, it is easy to be discerned and known; for then they will either covet to ruck or sit down upon the ground, or will lay shrinking up all of a heap, making sour faces, as if they were in extreme pain: so that they may be easily discerned by their carriage and gestures, whether any thing come to them, or not, while they are kept.
Also I have read that a Witch, in some cases, has been brought to a dead party, who has been suspected to have been bewitched by that Witch, to touch the dead corpse; which was no sooner touched by the Witch, but the corpse bled fresh blood.
These and such-like evidence may sometimes, though per-adventure not always be given from God, when he is pleased to detect such malefactors guilty of blood, as well as in other cases of murder.
And thus you may plainly see that Witches may be discovered, albeit there is some difficulty therein, and may likewise be brought to confess their Witchcraft; as also, that there are Witches in these out says, nay I rather think more frequently than formerly: for if Satan is such a powerful deceiver and seducer, who can make an Eve in Paradise (being in the state of perfection) to believe him, the devil, before God; can he not seduce now? Yes certainly, more desperately, to manifest his bloody malice in these later times against mankind, and therefore he has nowadays stirred up such cruel Witches as are wholly set upon revenge, tormenting men and women, and their cattle, and making a trade of killing and murdering: of which sort the Scripture hardly gives an instance, except it is in Balaam, hired to curse Gods people.
Let us therefore learn to follow the Lord, and hate Witches, Wizards, Magicians, Soothsayers, Fortune-tellers, Enchanters, juggling companions, and all others that deal in Sorcery and Witchcraft, beholding in them a spectacle of mans misery, as being left of God unto the power of the devil, and so be moved with compassion towards them, and pray for their conversions. Yet consider, though they are left of God for a time, yet not all so left, nor dreadfully caught by Satan, but that they may, through the mercy of god, be his servants, and converted, as none can deny but Manasseh was; and so put a difference between their fearful sin and their persons; hate the one, but not the other; hate the one in conscience to Gods commandment, utterly forbidding to regard such, for it is spiritual whoredom and defilement, because such as used them were Heathens, as the Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Caldeans. Such as in Israel followed the Heathenish customs, were wicked and ungodly; as Saul, who was a murderer, a profane neglecter of Gods Worship, and one whom God had forsaken, and taken his Spirit from, an evil spirit likewise was upon him, neither did God vouchsafe him any answer by sacred means, and therefore he fell to Witches.
And what was Manasseh, but an idolater and an observer of times, and so fell to Witchery, and to such had Familiars? And the reople which delighted in these, were haters of true Teachers, and believed false Prophets, Dreamers, and Diviners, and with us, what are they, but vain loose livers, superstitious Neutrals, and such-like? But let them remember, that it will be but bitterness in the end.
Let Saul and Manasseh be a warning to all of this kind, besides examples abroad, and in histories, with those amongst our selves, which may serve to terrify all good Christians from seeking unto or regarding such: for it is plainly said, The Lord sets his face against such, to cut them off. And if God is against them, what may they look for in the end, seeing the least of these do entice people from God, in requiring faith of them, and do cause the people to run a whoring after them? As Moses speaks.
Being therefore in league with Satan and Abominable idolaters, enticing people from their faith in God, they are therein worthy to die, or at least to receive punishment according to the Statutes: for many of them are hurting Witches, as well as curing, and certainly to be discovered and known, with far less difficulty than the other; for they are to be discerned by their practices here, working openly by their cures, etc, when as the other work only secretly and in darkness. And surely let no man doubt but that the finding out of such miscreants is an acceptable service before God, else why should the lord have given such command to the children of Israel, and to have driven out the Nations from before them for those abominations, and to cause his own people to be led into captivity for those sins, threatening judgements upon them, and likewise against those who should suffer any such abominations amongst them; as in diverse places both in the Prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah, besides many other places of Scriptures both in the Old and New Testament, aforementioned. Nay, there are threatenings against such as shall but resort unto them, and so in diverse other places before mentioned.
And does not the Lord by the prophet Micah promise to cut off Witchcraft out of the land, and that they should have no more Soothsayers, in the time that he intended to bless a Nation?
And in truth, was there no alteration in England at the beginning and continuance of the suppression of this sin, and in some Counties more than others? And who are they that have been against the prosecution of, or been partakers with such, but only such as (without offence I may speak it) are enemies to the Church of God? I dare not instance, not only for fear of offence, but also for suits of Law.
For was there not above forty in Essex, (as I take it) all in Tendring-hundred, there where some were discovered, illegally outlawed, contrary to the law of this realm, upon a Writ of Conspiracy (as I have been credibly informed) I being one of the number, as I was likewise informed by some which were my neighbours when I lived there, by the means of one who is reported to have been one of the greatest agents in Colchester-business, within the Town; when as there was never any notice given to any upon the Proclamations, as ought, I am sure? This man, with another who is likewise reported to have been fellow-agent with him in that business, and the two chiefest in it, was the cause that some were not questioned in that town: but for his part, I saw him labour and endeavour all he could to keep this woman, whom he so much held withal from her legal Trial, and likewise heard him threaten both me and all that had given evidence against her, or informed what manner of woman she had been in her life and conversation, to their knowledge, or as they had heard: Yea, as I since have heard, she was condemned at that Assize, and by his procurement reprieved. Since which time, on her behalf, this has been done.
Was not this an animation to all such people in those parts, when so many Gentlemen and Yeomen thereabouts should be thus questioned for testifying their knowledge? And was it not a fit object for the devil, to work upon others? Let the world judge. For I have heard many of them say, that the devil has enticed them to Witchcraft by some Sermons they have heard preached; as when Ministers will preach of the power of the devil, and his tormenting the wicked, and such -like: as I have heard some say (I will not say, in the place where I now live) that the devil will sit and laugh at such and such offenders when he torments them, and will jeer at them in tormenting them, when he has got them. A fearful thing! When as the devil is tormented himself, and torments none; for it id the wrath of God for sins committed, and the judgements of God for his mercies abused.
These and such-like speeches, I have heard them say, the devil has made use of to persuade them to Witchery; coming to them, and asking them, How do you think to be saved? For your sins are so and so, (as he can set them out large enough) and you heard the Minister say that I will torment you: Give me your soul, and agree with me, and I will free you of hell-torments. Ignorant people have been thus seduced. Therefore it behoves all to be careful in giving the devil the least advantage, and to put a difference between their fearful sin and their persons, hating the one, but not the other, for that by corrupt nature we are no less apt to be misled by him than them, walking in sins and trespasses.
But in obedience to the Law of God, and accomplishment of all things in the Scripture contained, such ought not to live amongst us, lest the Lord should deal with us as he did with others for the same abominations; much less should any harbour such thought, as that there are not any: for did not the Lord leave some of the nations, to try and prove Israel? And does not St. John say, O generation, of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Do not they, when they covenant with the devil to free them of hell-torments, who cannot free himself of them, flee (as much as in them lies) from the wrath to come?
As for you that are of such an opinion, surely, if neither all the threatening and judgements of God against such, besides their own Confessions, will not prevail with you, me-thinks the mercies of God should. In that filth of Micah, for it is undeniably true, that there was, is, and shall be Witches, till Christs conquest, there spoken of, agreeable with that in Revelations, which as yet cannot be: for without doubt the devil is busy in deceiving of Nations, and that not only such as know not Christ, but others also; which could not be, if he were bound; nor the Jews or other Nations still to come: but other places of Scripture, would be contradicted. And therefore every one must conclude with me, that (as yet) of witchcraft there is no end.
Now whosoever thou be that thinks I ever made such gain of the way, or favoured any, and persecuted others, or took bribes, I call God to witness, that considering the charge of going to several places, and Assizes, and Gaol-deliveries, and the time I expended thereabouts, I never, one time with another, got so much as I did by my Calling and Practice, towards the maintenance of my family. And as for taking any money or other thing, by way of bribe or gift, I never did, to the value of one penny, neither one way nor other, but what I openly took the view of the Townsmen where I came; and that in many places I never received penny as yet, nor any am like, notwithstanding I have hands for satisfaction, except I should sue; but many rather fall upon me for what has been received: but I hope such suits will be disannulled, and that where I have been out moneys for Towns in charges and otherwise, such course will be taken, that I may be satisfied and paid with reason. And for ever accusing one wrongfully, my conscience is clear before the Almighty: and I ever desired equal punishment to all that were guilty, or at least, if any favour, that it might be to those who confessed: but those still suffered, and others, though never so guilty, escaped. The reason why I did thus, was, because I desired so to satisfy the world in this particular, that it must needs be a great error to save such, and not to question others at all, as before mentioned, they being all guilty alike.
And in truth, concerning him who is dead, who likewise was an agent in the business, for my part, I never knew that he either unjustly favoured any, or received bribes, or used such extremity as was reported of him; only at first, before he or I ever went, many Towns used extremity of themselves, which after was laid against us. And I do not deny but at first he might watch some; but to my knowledge, he soon left it, or at least in such a way as not to make them incapable: but if he ever did at first, evidence was not taken till after they rested. And for my part, I never watched any at first, so as any way at all to disturb them in their brains; but when some have been watched before I have come to them, I have caused them to take their rest, before I would ever question with them: but now lately, and ever since the Michaelmas after the first beginning, I never used any but as aforesaid, with consent of the Justices, and not otherwise, nor ever did. But to my knowledge, we have been both much injured in words, and he since his death: but I am certain (notwithstanding whatsoever has been said of him) he died peaceably at Manningtree, after a long sickness of a Consumption, as many of his generation had done before him, without any trouble of conscience for what he had done, as was falsely reported of him. And though many of these things may seem very strange, and hardly to be believed, yet this is the very truth; and that he was the son of a godly Minister, and therefore without doubt within the Covenant. Therefore let no man take upon him either to speak or write more than he knows to be the truth; for this I am able to manifest and prove to be truth.
And so I leave myself to the censure of the world, yet desire it might be left to the Almighty, who knows the secrets of all hearts: For, blessed are they that do his commandments.