|About the Book|
Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live. EXOD. 22. 18. This Text containeth one of the Judiciall Lawes of Moses touching the punishment of Witchcraft: which argument I have chosen to entreat of, for these causes: First, because Witchcraft is a rifeMoreThou shalt not suffer a Witch to live. EXOD. 22. 18. This Text containeth one of the Judiciall Lawes of Moses touching the punishment of Witchcraft: which argument I have chosen to entreat of, for these causes: First, because Witchcraft is a rife and common sinne in these our daies, and very many are intangled with it, beeing either practitioners thereof in their owne persons, or at the least, yeelding to seeke for helpe and counsell of such as practise it. Againe, there be sundry men who receive it for a truth, that Witchcraft is nothing else but a meere illusion, and Witches nothing but persons deluded by the devil: and this opinion takes place not onely with the ignorant, but is holden and maintained by such as are learned, who doe avouch it by word and writing, that there be no Witches, but as I said before. Upon these and such like considerations, I have been moved to undertake the interpretation of this Judiciall Law, as a sufficient ground of the doctrine which shall be delivered. In handling whereof, two things are distinctly to be considered. The first what is a Witch. The second, what is her due and deserved punishment. And both these beeing opened and handled, the whole meaning of the law will the better appeare. For the first. To give the true description of a Witch, is a matter of great difficulties, because there be many differences and diversities of opinions touching this point: and therefore that we may properly, and truely define a Witch, we must first pause a while in opening the nature of Witchcraft, so farre forth as it is delivered in the bookes of the Olde and New Testament, and may be gathered out of the true experience of learned and godly men. Touching Witchcraft therefore I will consider three points. I. What Witchcraft is. II. What is the ground of the whole practise thereof. III. How many kinds and differences there be of it.