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INTRODUCTION The subject of Witches and Witchcraft has always suffered from the biassed opinions of the commentators, both contemporary and of later date. On the one hand are the writers who, having heard the evidence at first hand, believe implicitly in the facts and place upon them the unwarranted construction that those facts were due to supernatural power; on the other hand are the writers who, taking the evidence on hearsay and disbelieving... more...

A TREATISE OF THECONFESSION AND EXECVTION OF MARY SMITH,CONVICTED OF WITCHCRAFT, and condemned for the same: of her contract vo-cally & in solemne tearmes made with the Diuell;by whose meanes she hurt sundry persons whom she enuied, with some necessary Propositions addedthereunto, discouering the wickednesse of that dam-nable Art, and diuers other speciall poynts, notimpertinent vnto the same, such as oughtdiligently of euery Christian... more...

INTRODUCTION. Were not every chapter of the history of the human mind too precious an inheritance to be willingly relinquished,—for appalling as its contents may be, the value of the materials it may furnish may be inestimable,—we might otherwise be tempted to wish that the miserable record in which the excesses occasioned by the witch mania are narrated, could be struck out of its pages, and for ever cancelled. Most assuredly, he,... more...

Before the dawn of history mankind was engaged in the study of dreaming. The wise man among the ancients was preëminently the interpreter of dreams. The ability to interpret successfully or plausibly was the quickest road to royal favor, as Joseph and Daniel found it to be; failure to give satisfaction in this respect led to banishment from court or death. When a scholar laboriously translates a cuneiform tablet dug up from a Babylonian... more...

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God." "And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory full of grace and truth." Ever since the birth of the human race there have been health and disease. Everywhere we find those who live at levels of comprehension that cannot express in flesh the perfect power of the word and these must by natural law take on the form of whatever they have power... more...


PREFACE.   The interesting events narrated in this book which occurred at Hydesville, in the house of the Fox Family, are those by which Modern Spiritualism made its advent into this world as a new revelation in spiritual matters. History is not without its reliable records of similar phenomena, but, just as many scientific men have experimented and stopped short of the gateway of the actual discovery of Nature's secrets, so, many who... more...

INTRODUCTION. Sir Walter Scott's "Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft" were his contribution to a series of books, published by John Murray, which appeared between the years 1829 and 1847, and formed a collection of eighty volumes known as "Murray's Family Library." The series was planned to secure a wide diffusion of good literature in cheap five-shilling volumes, and Scott's "Letters," written and published in 1830, formed one of the earlier... more...

The main purpose of this book is to exhibit a fair delineation of the credulity of the human mind. Such an exhibition cannot fail to be productive of the most salutary lessons. One view of the subject will teach us a useful pride in the abundance of our faculties. Without pride man is in reality of little value. It is pride that stimulates us to all our great undertakings. Without pride, and the secret persuasion of extraordinary talents, what... more...

PREFACE In laying before the public this deeply affecting and romantic trial, which I have not without reason called on the title-page the most interesting of all trials for witchcraft ever known, I will first give some account of the history of the manuscript. At Coserow, in the Island of Usedom, my former cure, the same which was held by our worthy author some two hundred years ago, there existed under a seat in the choir of the church a sort... more...

Introduction The last thirty years, though as dates go this is only an approximation, have witnessed a marked development of religious cults and movements largely outside the lines of historic Catholicism and Protestantism. One of these cults is strongly organized and has for twenty years grown more rapidly in proportion than most of the Christian communions. The influence of others, more loosely organized, is far reaching. Some of them attempt... more...