Thus I have given my reader a brief and true account of those fearful and amazing operations and intrigues of the Prince of Darkness: and I must call them so; for, let some persons be as incredulous as they please about the powerful and malicious influence of evil angels upon the minds and bodies of mankind, sure I am none that observed those things above mentioned could refer them to any other head than the sovereign permission of the holy God, and the malicious operations of his and our implacable enemy. I have here related nothing more than what was acknowledged to be true by the judges that sat on the bench, and other credible persons there, which I have without prejudice or partiality represented.
I therefore close all with my uncessant prayers, that the great and everlasting Jehovah would, for the sake of his blessed Son, our most glorious intercessor, rebuke Satan, and so vanquish him, from time to time, that his power may be more and more every day suppressed, his kingdom destroyed; and that all his malicious and accursed instruments in those spiritual wickednesses may gnash their teeth, melt away, and be ashamed in their secret places, till they come to be judged and condemned unto the place of everlasting burnings prepared for the Devil and his angels, that they may there be tormented with him for ever and ever.
SALISBURY, Aug. 9, 1692.
HONORED SIR,—According as in my former to you I hinted that I held myself obliged to give you some farther account of my rude though solemn thoughts of that great case now before you, the happy management whereof do so much conduce to the glory of God, the safety and tranquillity of the country, besides what I have said in my former and the enclosed, I further humbly present to consideration the doubtfulness and unsafety of admitting spectre testimony against the life of any that are of blameless conversation, and plead innocent, from the uncertainty of them and the incredulity of them; for as for diabolical visions, apparitions, or representations, they are more commonly false and delusive than real, and cannot be known when they are real and when feigned, but by the Devil’s report; and then not to be believed, because he is the father of lies.
1. Either the organ of the eye is abused and the senses deluded, so as to think they do see or hear some thing or person, when indeed they do not, and this is frequent with common jugglers.
2. The Devil himself appears in the shape and likeness of a person or thing, when it is not the person or thing itself; so he did in the shape of Samuel.