ARBATEL of MAGICK: or, The spiritual Wisdom of the Ancients, as well Wise-men of the people of God, as MAGI of the Gentiles: for the illustration of the glory of God, and his love to Mankinde. [NOOK Book]
s'm'hw' Of the Magic of the Ancients, The greatest Studie of Wisdom.
In all things, ask counsel of the Lord; and do not thou think, speak, or do any thing, wherein God is not thy counsellor.
He that walketh fraudulently, revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit, concealeth the matter.
Arbatel of Magick
Translated by Robert Turner, 1655
Converted to Acrobat format by Benjamin Rowe August, 1999
ARBATEL of MAGICK: or, The spiritual Wisdom of the Ancients, as well Wise-men of the people of God, as MAGI of the Gentiles: for the illustration of the glory of God, and his love to Mankinde.
Now first of all produced out of darkness into the light, against all caco-Magicians, and contemners of the gifts of God; for the profit and delectation of all those, who do truely and piously love the creatures of God, and do use them with thanksgiving, to the honour of God, and profit of themselves and their neighbours.
Translated into English by Robert Turner, London 1655.
To the unprejudiced Reader
As the fall of man made himself and all other creatures subject to vanity; so, by reason thereof, the most noble arid excellent Arts wherewith the Rational soul was indued, are by the rusty canker of Time brought unto Corruption. For Magick itself, which the ancients did so divinely contemplate, is scandalized with bearing the badge of all diabolical sorceries: which Art (saith Mirandula) Pauci intelligunt, multi reprehendunt, & sicut canes ignotos semper allatrant: Few understood, many reprehend, and as dogges barke at those they know not: so doe many condemn and hate the things they understand not. Many men there are, that abhor the very name and word Magus, because of Simon Magus, who being not Magus, but Goes, that is, familiar with evil Spirits, usurped that Title. But Magicke and Witchcraft are far differing Sciences; whereof Pliny1 being ignorant, scoffeth thereat: for Nero (saith Pliny) who had the most excellent Magicians of the East sent to him by Tyridates king of Armenia, who held that kingdom by him, found the Art after long study and labour altogether ridiculous. Now Witchcraft and Sorcery, are works done merely by the devil, which with respect unto some covenant made with man, he acteth by men his instruments, to accomplish his evil ends: of these, the histories of all ages, people and countries, as also the holy Scriptures, afford us sundry examples.
But Magus is a Persian word primitively, whereby is expressed such a one as is altogether conversant in things divine; as Plato affirmeth, the Art of Magick is the art of worshipping God: and the Persians call their gods , hence Apollonius saith, that Magus is either [illegible Greek]2 or [illegible Greek]3, that is, that Magus is a name sometime of him that is a god by nature, & sometimes of him that is in the service of God: in which latter sense it is taken in Matt., 2.1,2. when the wise men came to worship Jesus, and this is the first and highest kind, which is called divine Magick; and these the Latins did entitle sapientes, or wise men: for the feare and worship of God, is the beginning of knowledge. These wise men the Greeks call Philosophers; and amongst the Egyptians they were termed Priests; the Hebrews termed them Cabalistos, Prophets, Scribes and Pharisees; and amongst the Babylonians they were differenced by the name of Caldeans; & by the Persians they were called Magicians: and one speaking of Sosthenes, one of the ancient Magicians, useth these words: Et verum Deum merita majestate prosequitur, & angelos ministros Dei, sed veri ejus venerationi novit assistere; idem dæmonas prodit terrenos, Vagos, humanitatis inimicos; Sosthenes ascribeth the due Majesty to the true God, & acknowledgeth that his Angels are
1. Plin. lib. 30. Nat. Hist. -- R.T.
2. The handwritten Greek of Turner:
ministers and messengers which attend the worship of the true God; he also hath delivered, that there are devils earthly and wandering, and enemies to mankind.
So that the word Magus of itself imports a Contemplator of divine & heavenly Sciences; but under the name Magick, are all unlawful Arts comprehended; as Necromancy and Witchcraft, and such Arts which are effected by combination with the devil, and whereof he is a party.
These Witches and Necromancers are also called Malefici or venefici; sorcerers or poisoners; of which names witches are rightly called, who without the Art of Magick do indeed use the help of the devil himself to do mischief; practising to mix the powder of dead bodies with other things by the help of the devil prepared; and at other times to make pictures of wax, clay, or otherwise (as it were Sacramentaliter) to effect those things which the devil by other means bringeth to pass.
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