1.. Conjuration, or Invocation of any evil Spirit, for any intent, &c. or to be counselling, or aiding thereto, is Felony without benefit of Clergy. See Exod. 22.18 Deut. 18.11 et Levit. 20.27.
2. To consult, convenant with, entertain, imploy, feed, or reward any evil Spirit, to or for any intent or purpose, is Felony in such offendors, their aiders and counsellors.
3. To take up any dead body, or any part thereof, to be imployed or used in any manner of Witchcraft, is Felony in such offendors, their aiders and counsellors.
4. Also to use or practice Witchcrafts, Enchantment, Charm, or Sorcery, whereby any person shall be killed, pined, or lamed in any part of their body, or to be counselling or ayding thereto, is Felony: By the ancient common law such offendors were to be burned. Fit. 269.b. See the Law of God against Witches, Exod. 22.18, And against such as seek to Witches and Wizards, Levit. 19.31. & 20.6.
5. Also the second time to practice Witch-craft, &c. thereby to declare where any Treasure may be found, is Felony.
6. Or where any Goods lost, or stolne, may be found.
7. Or whereby any Cattel or Goods shall be destroyed or impaired.
8. Or to the intent to provoke any person to love.
9. Or to the intent to hurt any person in their body, though it be not effected: All these are Felony, fc. the second offense; and without benefit of Clergy.
Now against these Witches, (being the most cruel, revengeful, and bloody of all the rest) the Justices of Peace may not alwayes expect direct evidence, seeing all their works are the works of darkness, and no witnesses present with them to accuse them; & therefore for their better discovery, I thought good here to insert certain observations, partly out of the Book of discovery of the Witches that were arraigned at Lancaster, Anno 1612. before Sir James Altham, & Sir Ed: Bromley, Judges of Assise there; and partly out of M. Bernards Guide to Grand-Jurymen.
1 These Witches have ordinarily a Familiar or Spirit, which appeareth to them; sometimes in one shape, sometimes in another; as in the shape of a Man, Woman, Boy, Dogge, Cat, Foale, Fowle, Hare, Rat, Toad, &c. And to these their Spirits they give names, and they meet together to christen them (as they speak) Ber. 107.113.
2 Their sayd Familiar hath some big or little teat upon their body, and in some secret place, where he sucketh them. And besides their sucking, the Devil leaveth other marks upon their body, sometimes like a blew spot, or red spot, like a flea-biting; sometimes the flesh sunk in and hollow (all which for a time may be covered, yea taken away, but will come again, to their old form.) And these the Devils marks be insensible, & being pricked will not bleed, & be often in their secretest parts, and therefore require diligent and careful search. Ber. 112, 219.
These first two are main points to discover and convict these Witches; for they prove fully that those Witches have a Familiar, and made a League with the Devil. Ber. 60.
So likewise if the suspected be proved to have been heard to call upon their Spirit, or to talk to them, or of them, or have offered them to others.
So if they have been seen with their Spirit, or seen to feed some thing secretly; these are proofs they have a Familiar, &c.
3 They have often Pictures of Clay or Wax (like a Man, &c. made of such as they would bewitch) found in their House, or which they roast, or bury in the Earth, that as the Picture consumes, so may the parties bewitched consume.
4 Other presumptions against these Witches; as, if they be given to usuall cursing and bitter imprecations, and withall use threatnings to be revenged, and their imprecations, or some other michief presently followeth. Ber. 61.205.
5 Their implicite Confession; as when any man shall accuse them for hurting them or their Cattel, they shall answer, You should have let me alone then; or, I have not hurt you as yet: these and the like speeches are in a manner of a Confession of their power of hurting. Ber. 206.
6 Their diligent inquiry after the sick party, or comming to visit him or her, unsent for; but especially being forbidden the house.
7 Their apparition to the sick party in his fits.
8 The sick party in his fits naming the parties suspected; and where they be or have been, or what they do, if truly.
9 The common report of their Neighbors, especially if the party suspected be of kin, or Servant to, or familiar with a convicted Witch.
10 The Testimony of other Witches, confessing their own Witch-crafts, and witnessing against the suspected, that they have Spirits or Marks; that they have been at their meetings; that they have told them what harm they have done, &c. Ber. 212.223.
11 If the dead body bleed upon the Witches touching it.
12 The testimony of the person hurt, upon his death.
13 The Examination and Confession of the Children (able & fit to answer) or Servants of the Witch, especially concerning these six observations, fc. If the party suspected have a Familiar, or any Teat, or Pictures; her threatnings & cursings of the sick party; her enquiry after the sick party; her boasting or rejoycing at the sick parties trouble: Also whether they have seen her call upon, speak to, or feed any Spirit, or such like, or have heard her foretel of this mishap, or speak of her power to hurt, or of her transportation to this or that place, &c.
14. Their own voluntary Confession, (which exceeds all other evidence,) fc. of the hurt they have done, or of the giving of their souls to the Devil, and of the Spirits which they have, how many, how they call them, and how they came by them.
15 Besides, upon the apprehension of any suspected, to search also their houses diligently, for Pictures of clay, or wax, &c. hair cut, bones, Powders, Books of Witchcrafts, Charms, and for pots or places where their Spirits may be kept, the smel of which place will stink detestably.
Now to shew you further some signes, to know whether the sick party be bewitched.
1 When a healthful body shall be suddenly taken, &c. without probable reason, or natural cause appearing, &c. Ber. 169.
2 When two or moe, are taken in the like strange fits, in many things.
3 When the afflicted party in his fits doth tell truly many things, what the Witch, or other persons absent are doing or saying, and the like.
4 When the parties shall do many things strangely, or speak many things to purpose, and yet out of their fits know not any thing thereof.
5 When there is a strength supernatural, as that a strong man or two, shall not be able to keep down a Child, or weak person, upon a bed.
6 When the party doth vomit up crooked pins, needles, nails, coals, lead, straw, hair, or the like.
7 When the party shall see visibly some Apparition, and shortly after some mischief shall befall him. Ber. 173.
But withall, observe with Mr. Bernard ca. 2. that divers strange diseases may happen only from natural causes, where he sheweth 8 such several diseases: therefore unless the compact with the Devil, be proved, or evinced by evident marks or tokens as abovesaid, it is not to be supposed that the Devil is the Agent.
And note, for the better riddance of these Witches, being duly proved to be such, there must good care be had, as well in their examinations taken by the Justices, as also in the drawing of their Indictments, That the same be both of them set down directly in the material points, &c.
That the Witch (or party suspected) hath used Invocation of some Spirit.
Or, That they have consulted or covenanted with their Spirit.
Or, That they imployed their Spirit, &c.
Or, That they have fed or rewarded their Spirit.
Or, That they have killed, or lamed, &c. some person,&c.
And not to indict them generally for being Witches, &c.
The difference between Conjuration, Witchcraft, and Inchantment, &c. is this, fc. Conjurers and Witches have personal conference with the Devil, or evil Spirit, to effect their purpose, See I Sam. 28.7. &c. The Conjurers believe by certain terrible words, that they can raise the Devil, and make him to tremble; and by impaling themselves in a circle (which, as one saith, cannot keep out a mouse) they believe that they are therein insconsed, & safe from the Devil whom they are about to raise; and having raised the Devil, hey seem by prayers, and invocation of Gods powerful Names, to compel the Devil to say, or do what the Conjurer commandeth him.
The Witch dealeth rather by a friendly and voluntary conference, or agreement between him (or her) and the Devil or Familiar, to have his or her turn served, and in lieu thereof, the Witch giveth (or offereth) his or her soul, bloud, or other gift unto the Devil.
Also the Conjurer compacts for curiosity, to know secrets, or work miracles: and the Witch of meer malice to do mischief, and to be revenged.
The Inchanter, Charmer, or Sorcerer, these have no personal conference with the Devil, but (without any apparition) work and perform things (seemingly at the least) by certain superstitious and ceremoniall forms of words (called Charms) by them pronounced: or by Medicines, Herbs, or other things applied, above the course of nature, and by the Devils help, and Covenants made with him.
Of this last sort likewise are Soothsayers, or Wisards, which divine and foretell things to come, by the flying, singing, or feeding of Birds, and unto such questions as be demanded of them, they do answer by the Devil (or by his help) fc. they do either answer by voice, or else do set before their eyes in glasses, Chrystal stones, or Rings, the Pictures or Images of the persons or things sought for.