THE ADMIRABLE HISTOR …

THE ADMIRABLE HISTORY OF THE POSSESSION AND CONVERSI­on of a Penitent woman.

SEDVCED BY A MAGICIAN THAT MADE her to become a Witch, and the Princesse of Sorcerers in the Country of Prouince, who was brought to S. Baume to bee ex­orcised, in the yeere 1610. in the moneth of Nouember, by the authority of the Reuerend father, and Frier, Sebastian Michaëlis, Priour of the Couent Royall of S. Magdalene at Saint Maximin, and also of the said place of Saint Baume.

WHO APPOINTED THE REVEREND FATHER, Frier Francis Domptius, Doctor of Diuinity, in the Vniuersity of Lo­uaine, by birth a Fleming, and residing in the said Couent of Saint Maximin, vnder the regular discipline and reformation of the order of preaching Friers, for the Exorcismes and recollection of the Acts. All faithfully set downe, and fully verified.

WHEREVNTO IS ANNEXED A PNEVMOLOGY, OR DIS­course of Spirits made by the said Father Michaëlis, and by him renewed, corrected, and enlarged: Together with an explanatory Apology of the many difficulties touching this History and the Annotations.

Erubescant impij, & deducantur in infernum, muta fiant labia dolosa.

Psalm. 30.
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Translated into English by W. B.

AT LONDON, Imprinted for VVilliam Aspley.

AA


TO THE QVEENE REGENT.

MADAME,

The History comprized within this Booke, doth for sundry reasons apper­taine vnto you. First, because those things which in themselues are great, rare, or admirable, doe properly belong to great perso­nages, and your Maiesty is the greatest Queene and Princesse of our age. Secondly, for that your name seated in the highest place of the entry of this History, may occasion Princes, Lords, and Gentlemen, to take the paines to reade ouer the same, which will aduan­tage and profit them as much, as any booke that hath been published these many yeeres. The third reason (which is grounded vpon the two former) is, that our little King your sonne will proue another Iosias, who was crowned and made King of Israel at eight yeeres of age, yet neuerthelesse became the most pious King that euer was in Israel: who did parallel Dauid him­selfe in sanctity, crushed all manner of Idolatry that for so long space was hatched amongst the people, broake downe their Idols, and put to death all Magicians and worshippers of Baal. Neither doe I slenderly con­iecture this, because that since his raigne euen at the very first entrance vnto his Crowne, there hath been [Page] made an admirable discouery of Magicians and of the kingdome of Satan, by the extraordinary proui­dence of God. Henry the Great his deceased father and our so much desired King, gaue the first light and life thereof vnto him, who would rather die then giue credence vnto Mag [...]cians: cleane opposite to Saul, who did affect rather to make his addresse to such men, then to hazard himselfe any way to danger. To which may bee added that our present King gaue the first grace and pardon vnto her, who by seducements be­came the Princesse of Magicians: God hauing through his mercy touched her heart, and conuerted her vnto him, as he will doe all those, that of their owne accord doe make acknowledgement of their impieties: which is the most proper remedy to bring the said kingdome of Satan to vtter confusion, and to attract and winne in his adherents and complices to the true knowledge of God; Neither can hee better assure his state and kingdome then by this meanes.1. King. 23. 4. King. 21. & 23. King Saul was dis-inuested thereof, because he went to a Witch. And God was stirred vp to wrath against King Manasses, in that hee countenanced Magicians and Sorcerers. Vpon the like occasion was the great City of Babylon ruined,Esa. 47. Ezek. 28. as it is written by the Prophets, Esaias and Ezechiel. Contrariwise the good Iosias, although God was much prouoked, and as it were challenged by their former offences, yet raigned religiously and peaceably one and thirty yeeres in Ierusalem.The Acts of the 23. of De­cember. pag. 219. The fourth and last reason is, because that in this History, our late King Henry the great is mentioned not with­out grert Attributes of honour and praise; God ha­uing accepted of his piety and good desires as a sacri­fice, [Page] and his death as a kind of Martyrdome. To con­clude, I am not ignorant, that some will heere alleage, that it is not expedient to beleeue all that is written in this History, and that it was not so fitly managed, to put this booke in print, by reason of the inconuenien­ces which may arise thereupon. But to these two points I will answere in the following Epistle, which I make to the Reader; fearing (Madame) least I proue bur­thensome to your Maiesty, who am, and alwaies will remaine

Your most humble and obedient subiect and seruant, F. SEBASTIAN MICHAELIS Prior of your Couent Royall of S. Magdalene at S. Maximin.

TO THE READER.

FRiendly Reader, When first I made men­tion to put this History in Print, I found two sorts of men, that were of a contra­ry opinion. The first had the faire cloak and couerture of Scripture, saying that wee must not beleeue nor giue credence to the Diuell, vpon which (say they) all this History is founded. The second as more eagle-sighted then the former, alleage, that it is vnsitting to put it forth, to auoid thereby the scandall of many (especially of those that are strayed from the Catholicke faith) which they will take at the publishing of this booke, when they shall vnderstand that these things were done by a Priest. To these two points I answere, that as touching the former, Iesus Christ himselfe doth giue vs the resolution thereof, when speaking of the Diuell he saith, that of a certainty there was no truth in him from the beginning of his fall; but hee giueth a restriction and limitation to his Axiome,Iohn 8. adding immediately these words, Cum ex pro­prijs loquitur, mendax est, that is to say, when he speaketh from himselfe, and of his owne accord, it is most cer­taine, he is alwaies a liar, euer endeauouring to worke mans preiudice and destruction; but the case is altered, when being inforced and adiured in the efficacy of the name of God, hee speaketh and answereth to exorcis­mes.Marc. 5. This wee see verified in the Gospell, when Iesus Christ would vse his authority ouer the Diuels; as when they cried with a loud voice worshipping him,Nemo poterat cum domare, ca­tenas disrumpe­bat, & compe­des diminuebat & videns le­sum à longè cucurrit & pro­cidens. Matth. 8. Adorauit eum & clamans vo­ce magna dixit. Quid mihi & tibi Iesu fili Dei altissimi? What haue wee to doe with thee Iesus the Sonne of the high [Page] God? I charge thee by the same God (said one of them) that thou doe not torment me; and earnestly besought him not to cast him out of that region, nor into the bottomlesse pit of hell, but to suffer them all to enter into the heard of swine. And Iesus Christ demanding the Diuell that spake and was the chiefe of them what his name was; he answered, my name is Legion, for wee are many. In which we may obserue two remarkeable points; first that Christ Iesus being adiured by the name of God, although it was done by a Diuell, yet from the respect and reuerence which hee did beare to God his father, condescended vnto the request of this Diuell and all his companions: as in the like occasion, being semblably charged by Caiphas to declare whether hee were the Sonne of God or no, hee then answered more cleerely and amply then at any time before, although hee well knew, that Caiphas was vncapable of that my­sterie, and would not make his aduantage of the same? What ought we then to cōceiue of Diuels, being adiu­red in the power of the name of God?Vid, Acta. 16. Decemb. pag. Marc. 5. Luc. 8. Matth. 8. shall they not deliuer the truth, when by the vertue of the same name, they are compelled to relinquish and abandon the bo­dies of those, whom formerly they did possesse? The se­cond point to be noted is, that vpon the interrogatories of Iesus Christ, they haue spoken and answered truely, and consequently they doe somtimes tell truth, not of their owne accord or motion, but vpon constraint and that of him who is powerfull to constraine them, to wit, Christ Iesus, and his Lieue-tenants that are endo­wed with this power: to whom hee saith; I haue giuen you power to tread on Serpents and Scorpions,Dedivobis po­testatem calcan­di supr a serpen­tes, &c. Luc. 10. Et in nomine meo daemonia eijcient. Marc. 16. and o­uer all the power of the enemy: And in another place he saith to the successors of the Apostles, that they shall cast out Diuels in his name. If then the answeres of Di­uels are inserted in the Gospell, why may not the like answeres be now written and published to the world? The old Testament doth not stick to say, that the euill [Page] Spirit of God hauing possessed Saul, 1. Sam. 19. besides tormen­ting him, did prophesie also, that is to say, hee spake af­ter the manner of Prophets, of things absent and hidden from the vnderstanding of men. Saint Chrysostome in the 13. Homily vpon Saint Matthew, giueth vs his reso­lution of this pointe, inueighing against Atheists who deny the paines of bell. They are taught by the Deuils (saith he) who being full of pride will not confesse that they indure any torments, and being replenished with malice, would disswade vs from beleeuing it: yet are they oftentimes compelled (besides the confessions made by them in the Gospell) to say and confesse pub­lickly the great torments which they suffer; and are constrained thereunto by the omnipotency of God, and the excessiuenesse of the torments wherewith they are punished: as a malefactor that is questioned extraordi­narily, doth by the force of the tortures that are presen­ted vnto him, confesse the truth. If then the Atheists will not beleeue the Scriptures, God maketh the De­uils themselues to confesse it, and those (saith hee) that will not then beleeue are worse then Deuils.

For answere vnto the second, wee will make remon­strance vnto them, that by their reckoning the Scrip­ture should net haue laid before vs the History of the yong Preists that were the sonnes of Hely:1. Reg. 2. who did snatch the flesh from the pots that belonged to the sa­crifice, and did deflower the deuout women, that came into the Temple to watch there at night. Neither should the narration of the sinnes of Dauid who was a Prophet and father of the future Messias be set downe; much lesse should the Euangelists mention the treason of Iudas: which are so farre from ministring occasion of scandall vnto the people, that on the contrary, many wholesome doctrines tending much to edification may be drawne from thence. This is declared by Saint Paul, 2. ad Timoth. 2. when hauing spoken of Hymeneus and Philetus that did scandalize the Church, hee addeth, The foundation of [Page] God remaineth sure, and hath his seale on those that are his. Notwithstanding (saith he) is it not true, that in the house of a great Lord, there bee vessels of gold and vessels of siluer, vessels of wood and vessels of earth, destinated vnto diuers vses? If therefore any man purge himselfe frō the ordures which are in the contemptible vessels, the same shall be a vessel of honour in the house of God. True it is that the vessels of greatest contempt and dishonour, are the wicked Preists: as for example Iudas in the Colledge of Christ Iesus, and Diacrus Ni­colaus in the society of the Apostles; and the reasons thereof are apparent. First because of their great ingra­titude,Rom. 1. which maketh the grace of God to depart farre from them, and consequently they are the more blinded by the working of the Deuill, Ingrati, scelesti; saith S. Paul. Another reason is, because they are more igno­minious to Christ Iesus, as appeareth by Magicians. The third reason is, for that the corruption of those things that are excellent, is worse then the corruption of things lesse excellent, as the putrification of the blood is more pernicious then of any of the other humours. And this would Ieremy haue said in the vision of the two baskets of figges; the one being full of figges not onely good, but excellently good, and the other full of figges not onely naught, but extreamely naught, in por­ta templi. And this is amply declared by Saint Augustine, Epist. 117. in an Epistle which he wrote vpon a suggestion against a Preist of his, who was accused of some soule crime. In the house of Adam (saith hee) there was Abel and Cain, A thorne in a garden cannot blemish the roses or the garden; but that a man may still say. Behold a faire garden. in the Arke of Noah liuing creatures both cleane and vncleane, and in his house one Cham with Sem and Iaphet. In the house of Abraham, Ismael with Isaac: in the house of Isaac, Esau with Iacob; in the house of Iacob, incestuous Rubin with chaste Ioseph: in the house of Dauid, Absolon with Salomon: And how be it God himselfe had twice talked with Salomon, and had be­stowed on him so many indowments of his grace in [Page] the house of his father; yea although himselfe was a Prophet and the author of some of the sacred and Cano­nicall writtes, yet did not the Deuill cease to gaine vpon him, and to cause him to present vnto him the sacrifices that were appointed for God. Finally Saint Augustine bringeth in the example of Iudas, and concludes, I haue by long experiences learned, that as there are not on the earth better Christians then good Preists, so on the contrary I neuer knew a Christian so euill as a wicked Preist.Hiero. contra vigil. To the same purpose speaketh Saint Ierome, no man did euer disesteeme the Colledge of the Apostles, because Iudas plaid the villaine among them: no man euer misconceiued of the Quires of Angels, by reason of Lucifer and his confederates: but rather by their vn­happy end we should learne to do well, and be strength­ned the more in the Christian faith, when it commeth into our consideration, that the Deuill paineth not himselfe to draw a Minister to make his supper in a Sy­nagogue, nor a Rabbin of the Iewes, nor a Musulman of the Turkes; for from hence can redound no ignomi­ny vnto Christ Iesus, neither can he by this gaine in any thing in his pretensions, as he would by the assistance of a wicked Preist that doth consecrate the body of Christ Iesus. Neither doth God suffer such execrable villanies to passe without great and maruellous wonders (as shall be seene in this History) but discouereth all by the ex­traordinary meanes, of his vnbounded power, and doth inforce the Deuils themselues to make discouery and proclaime the same, to their vtter ruine and confusion. And from hence he ministreth matter and occasion vnto Hereticks to make acknowledgement of their Heresies: vnto Magicians to abiure and abandon their abomina­tions; vnto Catholicks to implant and establish them­selues with better assurance in their faith. I haue made some Annotations in the margent vpon the pointes of greatest difficulty, because I would giue contentment vnto euery one. I must intreate the courteous reader of [Page] this History to excuse mee, if in the second part heereof I haue bin constrained to make mention o [...]tentimes of my selfe, and those that were with me; there was a ne­cessity for the doing of it, for the more ample verificati­on of the History. Moreouer the courteous reader shall do wel to take heed, that in this History he do not there­fore giue credit to the Deuill, in that hee speaketh naught that is contrary to the Gospell and doctrine of the Church; but to giue credit to him then, when hee would set on foote some new and contrary doctrine. Besides he may obserue, that this tendeth not any way to the ouerthrow of the company of the Virgines of Saint Vrsula, for there is many times mention and repe­tition made in this History, that God hath made special election of them to confound and crush in peeces all magicke, and the abhorred villanies thereof, and that for compensation of the same, they shall be extolled be­fore God and before men. Furthermore the freindly reader will hold me excused for the rude and vnpollish­ed phrase of this booke, I hauing a regard in a businesse of this nature to write rather truely then elegantly: hee may remember that the French Dialects are different, as it was in Greece when it most flourished; and that Aristotle with his harsh kind of writing was no lesse profitable, then Demosthenes with his Atticke phrase was pleasing: and the stile of the Gospell and of Saint Paul is more powerfull with vs, then all the oratory of the world. Besides those that are possessed ordinarily spake their mother tongue, so that it was expedient for the more faithfull relation of the whole, to follow their vaine of speaking word for word. Hence it commeth, that the phrases of the natiue French tongue could not be alwayes obserued. The scope of this History is, the feare of God and his iudgements, the detestation of vice whereby the Maiesty of God is prouoked, and the auoiding of the paines of hell; more particularly, to cause in vs a loathing of that abominable sinne of Ido­latry, [Page] which is perpetually committed in practising of Magick, and in the Schoole of Satan. In the recolle­ction of all, there hath beene vsed great faithfulnesse, without any additions whatsoeuer; and the diligence that hath beene employed heerein may bee seene in the page of the actes of the eighth of Ianuary, and in the following page.

I haue suppressed this History for the space of a yeere and more, and made no account to haue had it publi­shed; but the zeale of the Catholicke faith hath indu­ced me thereunto, after I had once seene a letter missiue of Monsieur du Vic, wherein he aduertised, that the ad­uersaries of our faith did triumph in Rochel, when the depositions of the Magician, now in question, were put forth in print, where it is said, that the said Magician did celebrate Masse in the Synagogue. And thereupon they make an inference, that the Masse is a diabolicall thing, but doe not withall consider, that the Diuels aime is to vsurpe vpon the glory of God, and to inuade (as much as in him lyeth) the honour of his diuinity, that in conclusion hee may cause himselfe to bee adored as a God. For hee shamed not to demand it of Christ Iesus himselfe, saying vnto him, I will giue vnto thee all the kingdomes of the earth,Matth 4. if thou wilt worship me, that is to say, if thou wilt acknowledge mee to be the onely God and Creator of all things, as Saint Chrysostome doth interpret it: as also hee dared to abuse the sacred Scripture it selfe in the presence of Christ Iesus. To which purpose speaketh Saint Augustine: shewing that sacrifice appertaineth to God alone;August, lib. 20. contra Fau­stum Manich. c. 21. as in the old Te­stament (saith he) the sacrifice of the law, in the new Te­stament the sacrifice of the true flesh of Christ on the Crosse: and after his ascension, the sacrifice made in the Sacrament, which is in commemoration of his death and passion; hee goeth on and saith. These are things which those proud spirits the Diuell and his Angels do openly chalenge and demand. And in the 4. booke of [Page] the Trinity, chapter 13. about the end of the chapter hee saith, Non intelligunt ne ipsos quidem superbissimos spiritus honoribus sacrificiorum gaudere potuisse, nisi vni vero Deo, pro quo coli volunt, verum sacrificium debe­retur. That is, Idolaters doe not vnderstand that these haughty spirits could not be so pleased with the honour of sacrifices, were it not that truesacrifice were due to the only true God, in whose steed they would be serued and honoured. Another inducement wherewith I was much mooued, was a booke in Latine lately printed in Paris, intituled Mimyca daemonum, compiled by Henry de Montaigne a gentleman of Languedoc L. of S. Iohn de la Coste, where in his precursory epistle he giueth to vnder­stand, that the occasion that gaue life and birth vnto this book (which doth intend to shew that in al ages the Di­uel hath bin Gods ape, and vsurpes vpon his glory) is to beat flat that shallow, yet dangerous conclusion which the Ministers of Languedoc held touching the deposi­tions of the said Gaufridy; adding these words, Nouato­res in re tam leui insistunt, & libellum confessionis praedicti Gaufridij à suis curant [...]mi, & venundari, vt rudi plebe­culae, quam decipiunt, quasi horrorem sacerdotum ineuti­ant. But the truth of this History will cleerely demon­strate, that God was grieuously offended with such im­piety, and that for to bring confusion on the same, hee vsed a maruellous and vnusual meanes, making the Di­uels themselues to be the discouerers of this Magician, who was afterwards burnt. Neither could it be other­wise detected; for the truth of this could not sinke into their apprehensions that knew him, hee being after a strange manner by the aide and conuention of the Di­uell growne a couert and close hypocrite, and was after a stranger manner dis-masked and layd open by the omnipotency of God, whom the Diuels themselues are constrained to obey, when it is his good pleasure. The streame of this History runneth mainly on this point, to shew, that al tendeth to ampliate the glory of God vnto [Page] vs, and to confirme our holy Catholick faith. Whence the courteous reader may also note, what regard God had of our Priest hood, when to conuert one Priest that had so strangely gone astray, hee did draw it on with such long and admirable solemnities. For matter of fact in this History, there is nothing to bee wondered at, which hath not beene obserued and published vpon o­ther occurrences by three Inquisitours of Spaine in the yeere 1610.Printed by Iohn de Mon­gastonat Lon. grond. which was the very yeere that this History was acted; and at the heeles of that followed another booke of the same nature, made by Monsieur d' Ancre, one of the Kings Counsell in the Parliament of Borde­aux.The 6. booke and 3. discours pag. 459. But the wonders were done in the person of him, who named himselfe and indeed was the Prince of all the rest in France, Spaine and Turky: and Monsieur d' Ancre doth write, that he found by the depositions of the Sorcerers of Biscaye, that one Lewes came & taught them to accuse those that were innocent, to excuse the nocent, and to inueagle in as many sonnes and ser­uants to Satan as they could. So that the prouidence of God, hath been the true meanes to put to rout al the ar­my of Satan in this kinde, in that his Standard is ouer­throwne, and the very master of his campe trampled and troden vnder foote. Moreouer hee that will more narrowly consider the History of Balaam the Magi­cian,Numb. 22. rehearsed in the booke of Numbers, will not think it strange which by assiduall experiments is verified of the Magicians and Witches of our time. For it is there said, that King Baelac being conscious to himselfe of his weakenesse to resist the army of Israel, sent to seek out Balaam as the greatest Magician of that Countrey, to charme and chaine vp the armes of the Israelits, and so to come to his purpose by this meanes. It is also recited in that History, that to make his charmes and maledi­ctions the more potent and effectuall, he caused seauen Altars to be built, and this was to sacrifice and inuocate the seauen Princes of the euill Spirits, which bare sway [Page] in the kingdome of Lucifer: Apoc. 1. D. Thom. 1. partic. quest. 113. art 2. wherein he doth by way of limitation endeauour to make himselfe like to God in his Maiesty, who hath seauen principall Angels to as­sist him. Of whom S. Thomas as also S. Denis doe say, that the seauen superiour orders do command and send forth, and the two inferiour are commanded and sent; and hence it is that these first are properly stiled Princes. Yet are we not to say, that the superiours doe not come vnto vs when they are sent from God, for S. Michael and S. Gabriel in the 10. of Daniel, Tob. 12. and in the 1. of Luke, and Raphael himselfe who is said to be one of the seauen Assistants before God, were sent by him And in the 10 of Daniel, Michael who is one of the chiefest is come to aide me. And in our very History,The second part pag. 311. act of the 11. of Ian. and the 6. act of the 12. Decem. pag. 39 6. Book 2 dis­cours pag. 414. after Cardan and Strozzi. Math 12. as­sumpsit 7. spiri­ritus nequiores se. Marc. 16. De qua eiece­rat 7. demonia. See Dr. Maldo­nat vpon the pastages which he literally ma­keth of the seauen Diuels. mention is made of seauen principall commanders amongst the other Di­uels, and the same is auerred in the late History of Mon­sieur d' Ancre touching the countrey of Biscaye. These Altars were built to sacrifice a Bull and a sheepe vpon euery of them to these seauen Diuels (which was the very manner of sacrificing to God in the Law) and by these meanes to obteine of them that which he desired, Dabo sicadens adoraueris me. And because they sought to worke against the honour of God, and the publicke good of the Church by him that was the Prince of all the Magicians of the East, it is said, that God to disco­couer and giue stoppage vnto such impiety against his Maiesty, and villany against his Church, did shew great and vnusuall wonders; to wit, that a good Angell did visibly appeare highly displeased, and exceedingly dreadfull, brandishing a sword in his hand, that an asse spake by as great a miracle, that the Sorcerer himselfe became a Prophet, God putting that into his mouth which was not in his heart, and he speaking oppositely vnto that which hee had determined, whereby Magick was by the Magician himselfe defeated and put to con­fusion: to the end (saith S. Ambrose) that the perfidi­ousnesse of those that beleeued not in God, might by [Page] their owne South-faier and Sorcerer bee reprehended. We are further to hope, that this History will be no lesse profitable and vsefull vnto France, then that of Lion printed in French in the yeere 1566.Bartholomaeus Fayus praeses. Parisiensis in Energumenico Hadrian. Hof­stadius ser. 52. de Eucharistia. Ioan. Lorinus in acta apost. c. 5. vers. 16. which greatly con­firmed the Catholicke faith, and conuerted many he­reticks, that heard the Diuell which possessed a Virgin to say diuers times in a high voice, that these Hereticks were his friends and confederates; and that the reality of Christs body was in the Sacrament, because in it there was Hoc. To this purpose speaketh S. Augustine in the 1. booke of the Concordance of the Euangelists chap. 15. that in his time the Paynims durst not blas­pheme Iesus Christ, because their Oracles were con­strained by the power of God to speake well of him: and thereupon the Paynims began to blaspheme the A­postles; but (saith hee, speaking to the Paynims) que­stion your Oracles touching the sanctity of life of the Apostles, and you shall cleerly see, that they will be en­forced to speake well of them also. If they could not haue had a power to speake a truth, S. Augustine had made these other more obstinate in their vnbeleese. S. Thomas in his Opusculum 17. cap. 10. answering to the fourth obiection of those that said, it was vnlawfull to receiue children into the orders of Religion, because that sometimes it proceedeth from the temptation of the Diuell, hee saith, that there is no danger to follow that which perhaps may be a temptation of the Diuell, so that it bee to a good end, with this prouision, that if the Diuell would afterwards wreath and wrest this to an euill purpose, as to scandalize or corrupt others, they doe not consent vnto the euill; otherwise the Diuell by this scruple may diuert vs from all goodnesse. Thus did S. Anthony practise who was well versed in this arte,Anthanas. in vit. Anthonii. Ioan. Lorin in act. Apost, c. 16. vers. 17. as Athanasius obserueth. And for resolution of all scrupu­lous doubts, a late Doctor of Prouince of the society of Iesus, called father Iohn Lorin hath prettily collected, that the Diuell may speake truth foure severall waies: [Page] first to beguile those that are vnbeleeuers and faithlesse, because they may say, this is not true, for the Diuell saith it; as S. Chrysostome and Oecumenius haue noted vpon the 16. chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, where it is said, that Paul being with his associats in the city of Philippi, a maid hauing an euill Spirit vpon her, cryed after them and said, These men are the seruants of the high God, and doe shew vnto you the way of saluation. Saint Paul for a while suffered her to say this, thinking that it might bee auaileable vnto some; but when shee still continued on for many daies, hee grew angry, and conceiuing that this might be hurtfull vnto others, hee commanded him to come out of the maiden in the name of Christ Iesus, which he presently did. Secondly to flatter and collogue with the Exorcist, that he would cease to torment him, or to cast him out: which reason is also alleaged by S. Chrysostome vpon the same passage saying,Marc. 5. that hee behaueth himselfe heerein as a guilty person before his Iudge, and a boy before his Schoole­master, holding the rodde with his hands for feare of being scourged.The discours of the history which is faith­fully gathered shall giue you to vnderstand that the Diuell spake after this manner. After this manner did a Diuell flatter Christ Iesus, saying, I pray thee torment me not Iesus, thou Sonne of God; in which hee spake the pure truth. Thirdly, (which is the most ordinary fashion) when they are enforced thereunto in despite of themselues, by the diuine and hidden prouidence of God, or in the vertue of his name by exorcismes; which reason is al­leaged by the sweet and religious Poet Arator, in his Poems vpon the Acts of the Apostles, as also by vene­rable Bede, and many others. Fourthly, hee speaketh truth to gaine thereby an opportunity to accuse and giue attestation against vnbeleeuing and impenitent men, before the throne of Gods iudgement. Where­vpon Saint Anthony rehearseth the history of a Diuell, that hauing taken on him the shape and habite of a Preacher, made a very good sharpe sermon, and in the end declared before them all, that hee was a wicked [Page] Spirit permitted by God to accuse vnbeleeuing and vnrepentent persons before the tribunall of Gods iudg­ments. The friendly Reader may be pleased to haue re­gard vnto two things; first that this is a History making a bare declaration of a fact, & is no foundation where­upon to build our faith, though it may serue very fitly to stirre vs vp to ponder vpon the iudgements of God. The other is, that hee take not in ill part the frequent repetition of things, for that it was expedient to ex­presse and fashion this History to the truth: although those very repetitions were so varied and expressed with such vehemence, that they were neither vnfruitfull nor superfluous to the standers by, but did raise in them such passions, that they cast forth many sighes and teares, God for his goodnesse touch and make tender all our hearts by those many meanes and remedies, which he hath bestowed vpon vs.

A TABLE OF THE DIFFI­culties that are propounded touching this History.

  • 1. WHether it be lawfull for a woman to dis­course and reason in a Church?
  • 2. Whether it behooues vs to beleeue all the Diuell saith?
  • 3. He saith that Antichrist is borne. Whereupon it were good to be prepared least we should be surprised, as those in the time of the Deluge.
  • 4. Whether Salomon be damned, and Nabuchodo­nosor saued?
  • 5. The Diuell seemeth to command the Exorcist.
  • 6. Whether Henry the great, the fourth of that name be saued? See the discourse of S. Hierome vpon the first chapter of the Prophet Nahum.
  • 7. That the blessed Sacrament hath been trodden vn­der foot.
  • 8. Whether it be lawfull to write letters vnto Saints in Paradise?
  • 9. Whether the Diuell may pray to God for to saue sinners?
  • 10. The Diuell saith, that God did promise him a di­minution of his torments.
  • 11. Whether there bee not heere an appearance of ambition.

THE REPORT AND EXPLICATION OF the passage of S. Ierome, vpon the 1. chap­ter of the Prophet Nahum, where it is said:

WHat doe you imagine against God? hee will make an vtter destruction (that is to say, he will bring all things to an end) afflicti­on shall not rise vp the second time: or ac­cording to the Septuagints, Hee will not take vengeance twice vpon the same subiect in affliction.

Hereupon S. Ierome discourseth against the Marcio­nites, and other ancient Heretickes, who accused God in the old Testament of cruelty, and alleaged the exam­ples of those that perished in the flood, of those that were stricken with lightning from heauen, in Sodome and the neighbouring townes: of the Egyptians that were drowned in the red sea, and of a great multitude of people that died in the desert.

To which he answereth, that in all this there is more mercy then iustice, for he afflicted them with some tem­porall punishment, that they might not bee eternally damned. This is cleer in the Prophet, who saith plainly, that God will not take vengeance twice on the same subiect.

Then (saith he) those that haue been once punished, shall not bee punished afterwards; otherwise it might occasion men to say that the Scripture is not true, out subiect to lies. Wee are then to say (addeth Saint Ierome) that these receper [...]nt mala in vita sua, and con­sequently not in the other world. Hee groundeth this vpon the saying of S. Peter, that many at the time of [Page] the flood repented them of their sinnes, and went not immediately into hell fire, but were put into a prison, from which Christ Iesus deliuered them when hee des­cended into hell. The same also must bee vnderstood of the others aboue named. After all this Saint Ierome ma­keth a very apposite question, saying: What shall wee then iudge of a Christian, whom another findeth in a­dultery and cutteth off his head? To this hee answereth in another manner, and saith: No man can preuent or anticipate the sentence of God our righteous Iudge, thereby to giue impeachment vnto the course of his vengeance, which hee inflicteth according to the mea­sure of those punishments, that are by him decreed for our great offences.

He meaneth, that if a man should pretend to delude God, and say, I will hinder God from condemning of this sinner, and will punish him my selfe in this world, he would much deceiue himselfe. For the reason why God doth not punish in the other world, doth presup­pose that God himselfe in his prouidence hath punished it, and that he who receiueth castigation in this world, doth whiles his affliction is vpon him repent him of his sinnes, and semblable vnto the good theese, aske par­don in his punishment. On the other side, if a Christian be beheaded in the very act of adultery, he hath no lei­sure to make an acknowledgment, and craue pardon of God; which is another case, and not comprized in the sentence of the Prophet Nahum. Better it is (saith S. Ie­rome) that the transgressor bee punished in this world; as he who cursed the people of Israel, or hee that gathe­red wood on the Sabbath day, for they had time to ac­knowledge their sinnes, which yet were much more pardonable then the sinne of adultery.

From this discourse of S. Ieromes, some schoole di­uines haue drawne this conc [...]sion, that if a malefactor that is condemned to die, receiueth his death willingly because hee hath offended God, and in hope of the re­mission [Page] of his sinnes, hee is not to endure further paine in the other world: because there can bee no greater loue in the world, then freely and willingly to die for God, for the remission and satisfaction of the offence committed against his Maiesty.

AN EXTRACT OF THE Kings Priuiledge.

BY the permission and priuiledge of the King, it is granted to Charles Chastellaine, sworne Printer in the vniuersity of Paris, to print or cause to be printed, to sell and to disperse this present booke, intituled, The admirable History of the possession and conuersion of a peni­tent woman, seduced by a Magician, compiled and disgested into order by the Reuerend Father, Michaelis, Doctor of Diuinity, and Preacher. Wee doe therefore sorbid all Stationers, Printers, and all others of what estate, qua­lity, or condition soeuer they bee, to print, or cause to be printed the said booke, or to sell and vent the same during the tearme of six yeeres, vpon paine of confis­cation of the said Copies, and an arbitrary amersement besides: as is more lagely declared in the Letters Pa­tents.

By the King in his Counsell.
DV FOS.

AN APOLOGIE VNTO THE DOVBTS that are proposed touching this admirable History of the possession and conuersion of a Penitent woman, &c.
AN ADVERTISEMENT TO THE Reader.

This booke is a bare History, that maketh true declara­tion of all the passages which happened in the disco­uery of a Magician, and conuersion of a seduced sinner.

THe wicked Spirit that was the instrument of this discouery, called himselfe Verrine, and declared that himselfe was a Diuell, dam­ned eternall, without hope or redemption. This he well shewed by his deeds, for from the moneth of December vntill the end of Aprill, he did what in him lay to stoppe and hinder Louyse, whom he pos­sessed from making an end of her confession, and from recei­uing the blessed Sacrament: the like did Belzebub by Magdalene.

God (saith he) is not my redeemer, but my seuere Iudge. And addeth, that it is a wonder extraordinarily rare, that he is thus constrained to speake the truth; yea it is more (saith he) then to create the world, in that the Diuels in this constraint, resist as much they are able, and enter into dispute with God. He also said, I was not sent by God to preach the Gospell, I should lye to say it; but said that God had permitted him to enter into this body for his glory, and for the conuersion of many soules, especially of these two.

[Page]Both the Deuils did discouer and declare, all the enor­mous and grosse villanies that these Magicians committed in their cursed Synagogue. Verrine further said, I speake vnto you things tending to your saluation: take and make vse of that which is good (as if a wicked Preist should giue you good exhortations) and if you will not, I tell you, you shall not be constrained vnto it.

These particulars with many others of a semblable na­ture, will giue an easie checke to those apprehensions, that should misconceiue them to be Angels of light: for they do plainly appeare what they are, to wit true Deuils. And con­sequently, in this regard there is no danger of being abused, by those which speake in persons possessed, because we know they are very Deuils, which in these cases we must alwaies presuppose as a foundation. The strange torments and gestures which do appeare beyond the strength of man in the bodies of those that are possessed, do prooue also the same vn­to vs.

This being presupposed, it remaineth now to cleere vp some difficulties that were propounded since the impression of this booke: which not withstanding consistunt in facto tantum, and not in any points of our faith. And although I had for the most part breefly swept away these doubts in my Annotations in the margent, yet because I will giue no disrellish vnto any, I will make a longer explication of the same: alwayes supposing that which I haue noted in the 260. page vpon the day of Saint Iohn the Euangelist, that tou­ching the predictions to come, time will make the truth or false-hood thereof to appeare haereafter, and touching those things that are abstruse and hidden, wee must in the meane time hold vs to that, which is decreed and taught by the Church.

THE DOVBTS BY SOME PROPOVNDED TOV­ching the History comprized in this booke.

THE I. DOVBT.

Whether it bee lawfull that a woman should speake and preach in the Church, since that Saint Paul forbiddeth a woman to speake there?

THE ANSWERE.

THat a woman possessed should speake in the Church, or rather the Deuill by her mouth, during the time of Exorcismes, is no new thing in the Church of God; and the fresh remembrance of the woman of Laon that was possessed in the face of the whole Court, and of diuerse Prelates, doth giue ample attestation of the same,Boleze, 1566. Bartholomaeus Fayus praeses Paristensis in energumenico. Hadrianus Ho [...]tadius serm. 52. de Eucharistia. Iohannes Lo­rinus in Acta Apost. cap. 5. & 16. which History was word for word so largely written, that it ariseth to a iust volume; and many graue personages haue alleaged the same, so that diuerse Prea­chers made no scruple to make mention thereof in the Pulpit as of a great miracle, sent from God, to confirme the Catholicke faith, which began then to fluctuate and wauer in many, and also to conuert Heretickes vnto the truth. This booke hath bin seene and receiued in all the quarters of Christendome, as some haue obserued: yet neither Bishops, nor the Sorbone, nor any Vniuersity did euer shew any disgust they tooke in the publication of the same, nay it hath bin found, that it hath wrought good effect in the propagation and aduancement of the [Page] faith.Hieron in vita Hilarions. Saint Ierome thought it no scorne to write the History of a woman possessed through witch-craft, to­gether with the manner thereof, and the questions of the Exorcist Saint Hilarion, and the answeres made by the Deuill. And in our time a Nunne of Millane that was possessed,Ioan. Lorin. in Act. Apostol. cap. 16. did in like manner discourse out of the Scripture, as ours do in this History.

As for the matter of preaching which some may heere conceiue, the History it selfe will thwart all such imagi­nations; for she neuer went into the Pulpit, and the Deuill himselfe did oftentimes protest that hee was no Preacher, saying that if God should command him to go into the Pulpit to declare who this Magician is, hee must haue taken vpon him the shape and semblance of a man, because it would not befitt a woman to do it.

THE II. DOVBT.

Whether we are to beleeue all the Deuill saith?

THE ANSWERE.

IT is a note worthy of obseruation, that he neuer said it was necessary to beleeue him, but when hee spake out of the Gospe [...]l and the Scripture, and then he sharp­ly rebuked all Hereticks and vnbeleeuers: but when he speaketh otherwise, he plainly saith that he constraineth and tyeth none to beleeue him as appeareth in the 249. page, about the end of the Act taken vpon Christmas day.

THE III. DOVBT.

He saith that Antichrist is borne.

ANSWERE.

THis hath bin said many times by the Doctors, as by Saint Gregory and others;In registro, and about 200. yeares [Page] after,D. Antonius in Historia. Saint Vincent Ferrier did say it, and preach it, and doth assure vs of the same in the Treatise hee made De Antichristo, which was verified in Iohn Husse burned at the Councell of Constance, vntill which time the said Saint Vincent liued: And this Iohn Husse was the first o­riginall and sourse of heresies both of the age past and of this now present. Quoniam Antichristi multi sunt, & Antichristus i [...]m venit, saith Saint Iohn. And who know­eth what God prepareth and storeth vp for the hainous transgressions of our age.

THE IIII. DOVBT.

Whether Salomon bee damned, and Nabuchodonosor saued?

ANSWERE.

THe Annotation which I haue made in the margent, doth make knowne that this is a Probleme in the Church, yet Saint Augustine holdeth he is damned vpon the 126. Psalme, and in many other passages, as Bellar­mine noteth 1. tom. lib. 1. Controuers. cap. 5. who is of the same opinion, together with Lyra vpon the second of Kinges the 7. Chapter.In Decretis de Poenitentia. Touching Nabuchodonosor Saint Augustine doth oppose him directly against Pha­raoh, and magnifies the iustice of God in Pharaohs re­probation, and his mercy in Nabuchodonosors saluation, although both (saith he) were equall in condition and dignity, and in the greatnesse of their sinnes. The repen­tance of the latter appeareth in the Scripture: And Epi­phanius reporteth that Nabuchodonosor after he recoue­red his witts,Lib. de interitu Prophetarum, in Danielem. in all his life after did neuer eate flesh nor drinke wine; and was aduised to do this by the Prophet Daniel.

THE V. DOVBT.

The Deuill seemeth to command the Exorcist, saying to him, take the stole and exorcise mee.

THE ANSWERE.

HEere is to be noted, that immediatly after it is said, command mee; and hee doth oftentimes protest, that he neither can, nor will do any thing without his command. In which hee sheweth, that he speaketh not after the manner of one that commandeth, but of one that desireth and would bee commanded. Example heereof we haue in the Gospell, where it is said: Sieijcis nos hinc, mitte nos in gregem porcorum: & ait Iesus, Ite, Matth. 8. & Marc. 5. where it is cleere, thaty word Mitte is not imperatiue­ly spoken, but by way of deprecation.Athanas [...]n vita Anthonij. Saint Athanasi­us reporteth, that when the Deuil perswaded S. Anthony to pray to God, hee prayed vnto him, not because the Deuil said it, but because it was his duty, and that the Deuill therein did speake agreeable vnto the word of God.

THE VI. DOVBT.

Whether Henry the great, the fourth of that name bee saued?

THE ANSWERE.

THe Diuell doth say it, and repeat it three seuerall times in diuers places. And whereas it may be ob­iected, that this may bring in a bad example, the an­swere is cleere, that contrariwise it is a maruellous ex­ample vnto vs against Sorcerers, since that God doth so freely and largely pardon those, who are not hasty to [Page] giue credit vnto their abominations.

Nolite iudi­care, &c. Dijs non detra­hes, Principi populitui non maledices.And because it is said, that it was likely that his death was a kinde of Martyrdome; we are to interpret all doubtfull and indifferent things to the best, as wee are commanded in the Gospell, especially in behalfe of our Kings and Princes. Wee must suppose that before his Assassinate, a Germane Astrologian did [...]oretell the day of his death, and he was afterwards aduertised thereof by others. We must also suppose, that by the excellency of his iudgement, and through the great faith which he had in God, and by the instructions of his ghostly fathers, he had this faith and knowledge, as to thinke it a greeuous sin to beleeue iudiciarie Astro­logers, or Magicians. All this being by vs supposed, as euery true French-man and indeed euery good Catho­licke ought, it is easy to resolue this difficulty, that his death was a kinde of Martyrdome; since is a man shall suffer death for any vertue be it morall or diuine, with faith, it is alwayes a Martyrdome. Beati qui persecutio­nem patiuntur propter iustiriam, quoniam ipsorum est reg­num calorum. As for example, if some or other had fore­told Ioseph, that vnlesse he gaue consent vnto the lasci­uious desires of his Mistres, he should as he went out of the house be murthered. If this had happened, Ioseph had bin a true Martyr, because he rather made election to expose his life to danger, then to offend God through incontinencie. Much more, when such a mischeefe as this befalls a man, because he would not transgresse the first commandement of the Law, which is the waighti­est and of most importance amongst them all;Hoc maximum est & primum mandatum. the obser­uation of which is most frequently commanded in the law, and the transgression the most seuerely threatned and auenged. This doctrine is the decision of Saint Thomas, 2.2. quaest. 124. art. 5. who concludes that if a man suffer death for a­ny vertue whatsoeuer, it is a true Martyrdome, And he all eageth the example of Saint Iohn Baptist, who was a true Martyr, in that hee did defend continency against [Page] the incestuousnesse of Herode. Apud Theodore­tum, in hist. Ecclesi [...]st. In like manner was that good Monke declared by a Councell to be a Martyr, be­cause in running betwixt two fencers to part them, hee was slaine by them.Chrysost. Hom. 3. in 1. ad Thessal. Saint Chrysostome doth precisely say, that he which may be healed of some malady by in­chantments, and refuseth all such helpe, least he might offend God, and had rather dye, then haue the vse of the same, in this case (saith he) he is a Martyr. Further­more Cardinall Caietane commenting vpon the aboue­cited article of Saint Thomas, saith, that if a man bee slaine to auoid a veniall sinne, that death is a Martyr­dome; for it chanced vnto him, because he would not offend God, and because hee desired to support vertue. Those that would play the Philosophers and say; the deceased King called not on the name of God in the last period of his life, let them know that he might do that so suddenly and secretly, that none about him might perceiue it, much lesse vnderstand it. How easily might he lift vp his heart and inward parts vnto God, and that in a moment of time, especially for that his precedent desire might minister quicke assistance heereunto; be­cause that day hee powred out his prayers vnto God, more particularly and for a longer space, then he ac­customed to do. Besides, that honorable company which were with him in his Caroche, do shew that hee went not surcharged with any wicked proiect or pur­pose.

THE VII. DOVBT.

It tendeth litle to edification, where it is said, that the blessed Sacrament was troden vnder feet.

ANSWERE.

I Haue cleered this very largely in the Epistle to the Reader. Besides the myracle which followed there­upon [Page] did much condemne Sorcerers, and tended to the edification of good Christians. It was further necessary to touch vpon this pointe, as well for the integrity of this History, as also because the said prophanation was already published, and all the hereticke ministers of Xaintogne and Languedoc made their best aduantages from the same, as may be seene in the said Epistle. The But and aime of this History is, to declare how much God is offended with such vnhallowed and sacrilegi­ous persons, as will appeare through the whole frame and body of this History. I should desire, that the histo­rians in such cases would imitate the sacred Scripture, which neuer sets before vs any prophanation of those things that are sanctified, but it presently subioynes a miracle, as may be seene in the History of the sonnes of Heli, and of their death; of the Philistins prophaning the Arke, and their plagues: of the Bethsamites who were too curious to behold it, and the fire that fell from heauen vpon them: of the two sonnes of Aaron, Nabad and Abiud, and the fire that went out from their Cen­sers and destroied them: of Choran and Dathan taking their Censers, and the earth opening vnder them: of king Ozias offering incense on the Altar, and of the le­prosie where with hee was stricken. In the new Testa­ment, of the prophaners of the Temple, and the whippes wherewith they were chased away,Hieron, in Matth. which Saint Ierome taketh to be a great miracle: of Ananias and Saphira, and of their sudden death: and to come neerer to our purpose, of Iudas prophaning the blessed Eucharist, and of his death the morrow after, with his belly breaking asunder in the middle. Saint Paul was well practised in this, who when he had told the Corinthians of this pro­phanation, he presently sets before their consideration those, that for this cause were dead, sick, and feeble, by the vengeance of the iust iudgement of God. And it is a cleere truth, that at sundry other times things sacred haue beene made prophane, which the holy Ghost pas­seth [Page] ouer in silence, because there insued no miracle [...]hereupon: which when it happeneth may edifie as much or more, then the prophanation can giue occasion of scandall. The same is held by S. Cyprian, and S. Gre­ [...]ory in his Dialogues.Cyprian. Serm. de lapsis. To this purpose may bee alleaged [...]he example of the Donatists, that gaue the blessed Sa­ [...]rament vnto doggs, who running presently mad, tur­ [...]ed vpon them and tore them in peeces. As also of him [...]ho came in to the city of Be [...]ith, recited in the workes of S. Athanasius: and of him of Paris, whose markes [...]re yet in the Church of Bulliettes, in Latine, Ecclesia Do­ [...]ini Bullientis, the blessed Sacrament being throwne [...]to a boyling cauldron. Another miracle is to be seene [...] the holy Chapel at Diion. Besides the blessed Eucha­ [...]st is more prophaned, when it entereth into a soule [...]at is polluted with the infections of sinne, then it can [...]e said to be in this place.

THE VIII. DOVBT.

How and for what reason did Magdalene by the aduice of her Confessour, write one letter to the blessed Virgin, and another to the glorious S. Magdalene?

ANSWERE.

IT is a very profitable way which our spirituall fathers [...] do vse, to instruct & inure those that haue any know­ [...]edge, to holy exercises and meditations; and by this [...]eans they become ready & expert therein. As a schole- [...]aster cōmandeth his scholar to write letters to his fa­ [...]her or mother, to the King or to the Pope, not that he would haue the letters sent, but that his scholar should [...]y this gaine some skil and ability: for it is one thing to write, and another thing to send a letter. So many in our [...]ge haue with great deuotion dedicated the epistles of [...]heir books to the blessed Virgin, not with an intent to [Page] send them, but to giue contentment to their deuotion. As for example the Epistle of the Booke touching ca­ses of conscience made by Frier Benedictus, and of the Booke of Euangelical demonstrations vpon the 3. Ma­ries, made by another Frier. The same was also practi­sed by the Emperour Theodosius, who wrote a letter to S. Chrysostome, Lib. 14. Eccles hist. cap. 43. that was dead more then 30. yeeres be­fore: which letter is to be seene in Nicephorus.

Touching the correction of this letter which was made by the Diuell, we are to conceiue, that he was in­forced by God, to busy himselfe in the conuersion of Magdalene, as is by experience verified vnto vs. There is no difficulty of this, for it is apparant, that a spirit is more sharpe-sighted and peircing, and more particular­ly familiar with mens faults and imperfections then any man can be either with his owne, or with others.

THE IX. DOVBT.

How the Diuell could pray to God for the conuersion of the Magician, presenting to God the Father the merits of the death and passion of his Sonne, of the blessed Virgine, and of all the Saints of Paradise?

ANSWERE.

WHen a good or bad Spirit doth put motions in­to a man,S. Thom. 1.2. quaest. 1. art. 1. if hee yeeld his consent and doth o­perate with them, then is the action said to be the mans and not the Spirits; because a voluntary action procee­ding from free-will, is an action appertaining to a man. When it is said, that a Spirit did aske of God to bee a Spirit of lies in the mouths of the Prophets of Achab, although this lying spirit,3. Reg. 22. did speake by the mouth of Zedekias and other false Prophets, yet the action of prophesying falsly, is attributed to Zedechias and his companions. In like manner, when the wicked Spirit [Page] came to Saul, and made him throw his speare at Dauid, 1. Reg. 18. [...]his action is Sauls and not the wicked Spirits, because Saul did consent and worke with him.Inuasit spiritus Dei malus Saul & prophetabat in medio do­mus suae, tene­batque lanceá & misit eam, &c. So when the good Angell came vpon Sampson, by whose force and [...]ower he slew a thousand Philistins with the iaw-bone of an asse, the Scripture doth appropriate this victori­ [...]us action vnto Sampson holding the iaw-bone in his [...]and. When the same good spirit made Elizabeth to declare the praises of the Virgin, the Gospel doth make the action to be blessed Elizabeths, exclamauit & dixit. The same may be said of S. Iohn Baptist, who leapt for [...]oy in his mothers belly, because he did co-operate and [...]eeld his consent thereunto, by his precedent free-will, [...]s many of the fathers haue obserued. In the same sense [...]oth Saint Augustine and others interprete that sen­ [...]ence of S. Paul, Spiritus postulat pro vobis gemitibus in­ [...]enarrabilibus, postulare nos facit & gemere. For they are the actions of the man, not of the holy Spirit, but as he inspireth him. And when it is said that God hardened Pharaohs heart, the interpretation heereof is two fold. First that it was God himselfe immediatly that did it, by withdrawing his grace: secondly, that it was by Gods permission, who suffered Satan to tempt him euen to obduratnesse of heart, without controule or hindrance. Howsoeuer it bee, all the euill actions of Pharaoh that proceeded from this hardnesse of heart, and euen that too, are attributed to Pharaoh, Indurauit Pharaoh cor suum, saith the Scripture; and the reason heereof is, be­cause he delighted and gaue his consent vnto this hard­nesse of heart.

Thus fared it with the Diuell that possessed Louyse, when God by his absolute power (as the Diuell him­selfe said, and often repeated that it was a very great miracle) constrained the Diuell to moo [...]e the tongue of Louyse, and to imprint in her imagination all which she should say, Louyse giuing her consent vnto it, out of a longing shee had to conuert the Magician and [Page] Magdalene. All these prayers were the actions of Louyse and not of the Diuell but as an inftigatour. Peraduen­ture God would haue it so, to demonstrate the more how greeuous the offence of the said Magdalene was; shee at that time sending forth hideous yell's and cries with all the force she had for the space of an houre, till shee had lost her voyce; as also to shew how much prayer and merit must be imployed in the conuersion of a miserable man, so farre banished from the presence of God. And although the wicked Spirit did sometimes speake by Parenthesis in his owne person, to declare that he was the author and moouer of this discourse, yet this lets not, but that those other actions might bee humane, shee working with them, and not these Pa­rentheses. And as wee haue noted vpon the passage in the 292. page, the act of the second of Ianuary and the 275. page in the act of the 29. of December, she after­ward said, that she did labour and consent vnto all those prayers, as if it had proceeded from her owne proper and first motion. Which being so, there is no doubt but she might present the oblation of Iesus Christ to God his Father, as all Christians that are present at Masse do or ought to doe. Pro quibus tibi offerimus, vel qui tibi offerunt hoc sacrificium laudis pro se suisque omnibus, &c. Heereunto I adde, that of S. Thomas cited before in our Epistle, who saith, that when a young man is tempted by the Diuell to enter into the orders of religion, who hopes by this meanes either to ouerthrow him, or by him to spoyle others, and that this young man doth then pray to God to giue him grace to bee receiued, this action is meritorious and good, as being a humane action, proceeding from a good intention, although the Diuell bee the author thereof. And if when the Diuell straineth to put his first designe in execution, hee doe yet resist him, then gaineth hee a double conquest vpon his enemy. The same may bee said of all other good workes, as giuing of Almes, or hearing the [Page] word of God. Actiones sunt suppositorum.

THE X. DOVBT.

The Diuell saith, that God promised him a diminution of his paines.

ANSWERE.

THe essentiall torment of the Diuels, which is the depriuation of the sight of God, and is the grea­test of all others, together with the punishment allotted vnto them from the beginning, and proportionable vn­ [...]o their first sinne, cannot bee subiect to augmentation or diminution, as may those accidentall paines bee, which are often written and mentioned in Exorcismes, Augeo tibi poenas. The doctours of Saint Ieromes time were of opinion,Hierom super 5. cap. Matth. that euill spirits haue new punishments [...]nflicted on them, as oft as they offended God, & these punishments are temporall: as parallell heereunto, there is an accidentall ioy in the good Angels at the conuersion of a sinner, which is lost againe, when hee [...]eturneth and falles into a relapse, but their essential ioy [...]emaineth for euer. Besides God at the last iudgement will augment their paines. Vt, Marc. 5. Matth. 8.2. Pet. 2. quid venisti ante tempus [...]orquere nos? & tradidit cruciandos in iudicium reser­ [...]ari: although there should bee nothing else done vnto [...]em, then the shutting and penning of them vp in hel, being now at more liberty in the aire. And when a [...]ood Angell binds a wicked Spirit (as in Tobias and in [...]e Reuelation) then is his paine increased,Tob. 8. Apoc. 20. and when [...] is loosed, then is it diminished and taken away. So [...]all Lucifer be serued at the end of the world, Soluetur athanas iam alligatus. There is heere no doubt then, if [...]e attribute this vnto the vnlimited power of God, by [...]hich he is able to do all things, and of this power doth [...] Diuel expressely speake, as we haue before obserued.

THE XI. DOVBT.

There is a shew and semblance of ambition, by reason cer­taine praises are bestowed in common, and some giuen more particularly: which might well be spared.

ANSWERE.

Touching this point, there are two fortes of learned men, which haue said their opinions of it. The first being led by the direction of their knowledge, an­swere candidely in three words, which for this purpose are as good as a thousand. It is a History. The others not regarding their knowledge (by which they might ea­sily vnderstand, that in the composure of a History, the truth must be purely told and written, and must neither wrappe vp in silence, reprehensions nor praises, vices nor vertues) conclude, that it had beene better to haue spared them. Notwithstanding Moses in his bookes, ha­uing regard vnto the rules of a History, did otherwise, euen when he spake of his owne person. The same doth Dauid in his Psalmes, Iob in his History, Saint Paul in his Epistles. Truth it is, that I would haue pared this off from the History, but those that were there present did withstand it, protesting that they would then declare o­penly, that the History was not syncere and full: which yet I wrote not, neither was I present at all these acts. The History was giuen mee in Latine and French, and may word for word be iustified; yet did I qualifie and moderate this in the margent, and said, that this might seeme to sent of flattery: and for feare least it should be misconceiued,Act. of the 27. of Decem. pag. 260. that this was supposititiall. I after­wards subioyned, Notwithstanding this hath beene said. Concerning the Trinity which hee speaketh of, him­selfe maketh explanation of it in these words. When the creatures doe conforme their wills vnto the will of God, then [Page] haue they not but one will with God. And this is agreeable to Saint Paul, who faith, Qui adhaeret Deo vnus spiritus est cum eo. And Christ himselfe witnesseth the same whē speaking generally of all Christians he saith Iohn 17. Vt ipsi in nobis vnum sint. But neither my selfe nor any of ours doe arrogate or lay claime to this, especially I who am a poore and miserable sinner before God. Men may iudge whether or no I haue beeue ambitious of mine owne glory, when in the Annotation which I haue set downe on that pointe, where the Diuell doth mention father Lawrent, and father Michaelis for prea­chers, without speaking word of others that were very famous in that kind, I haue added these words. He spea­keth vnto the capacity of the simple people that were there present, because that these two did preach much in the cities of Prouince. Many will beare mee witnesse, that I for­bad all Odes and Epigrammes to be inserted in the be­ginning of the Booke,Ribadeneira in her life and workes. Ioachin Ab­bas in Hiere­miam. and I know not how the Printer was wonne vnto it, vn [...]esse through the importunacy of some. As for that which concerneth the religious or­ders in common, the mother Therrese and the Abbot Ioachim haue foretold as much, saying, that about the end of the world two orders should be reformed in the Church, before the comming of Antichrist, and all the other orders should follow, Postea omnes ordines refor­mabuntur. Touching particular men (one of them being father Romillon Priest of the Doctrine) they are 66. yeeres of age, and this other not much short of it, so that it may be hence euinced, that their best rely is now on God, and that both their age and condition of cal­ling will free them from any touch of worldly vanity: [...]nd God he knowes, that this History was meerly pub­ [...]ished for his glory, for the supportation of the Catho­ [...]ick Church, and for to stoppe the mouths of Hereticks, who wrested and abused the depositions of the Magi­cian, that to our great disgust were put forth in print; which if it should passe vncheckt, it might adde obsti­nacy [Page] to the one, and bee a meanes to seduce the others. Therefore it was needfull to vnderstand the course of this History, which is the true antidote against those cursed depositions. Those that doe yet obiect, that He­reticks will take their aduantage thereof, let them read with diligence my Epistle to the Reader, and they shall perceiue that nothing makes for them. To conclude, this History is true, to which nothing hath been added, and in which nothing is contained, either against saith or manners: against the authority of Church or State; no more then is in the collection of the Exorcismes of the woman of Laon.

The reason why God hath permitted this wonder, may be on the one part the vnbeleefe of men, and on the other part the wrath of God for their vnbeleefe. Saint Chrysostome inferreth this conclusion against the A­thiests of his time,Homil. 13. in Matth. vpon the confessions which the Di­uils made, and their rehearsal of the tortures which they suffered in hell. This proceeded not (saith hee) from their owne accord, for their pride that alwaies swelleth and neuer abateth, is too repugnant thereunto; but it is God that constraineth them to doe this, for the further conuiction of Athiests, who beleeue not the word of God preached, nor yet the Scriptures. Wee are likewise taught by the Scripture, that when God is wroth with vs, he maketh men to vnderstand his indignation, foure seuerall waies. First when hee sendeth them cruell and tyrannous Princes: as in the 13. of O see it is said, I will giue thee Kings in my displeasure, and Rulers in my indig­nation. The second (which is an argument of greater auger) is, when hee suffereth euill and corrupt Pastours to instruct the people either in doctrine (by permitting them to beleeue lies, because they would not hearken vnto the truth) or in manners, as he doth threaten them in the 14. of Ezechiel, and in other places. So Caiphas by prophesying amongst the Scribes and Pharisies, and inducing them to crucifie Christ Iesus, gaue as it were [Page] [...] signall of their ensucing ruine. The third (which is a greater demonstration of wrath then the former) is, when the people are taught by Magicians and Sorce­ [...]ers. Thus did Balaam prophesie amongst the Moabites, [...]nd concluded that they should be totally [...]destroied. Et [...]onteret duces Moab. The fourth (which is the greatest [...]f them all) is, when the Diuell is permitted to giue in­tructions vnto men, not by an immediate operation of is owne (for he is an inuisible spirit) but by the bodies of those that he doth possesse. And in this manner (saith S. Chrysostome) God doth conuict and threaten the A­ [...]heists, who will not beleeue hell fire. And thus did the Diuels cry against the Pharisies and vnbeleeuing Iewes, [...]hat Christ Iesus was the Sonne of God.

So that from this History we may draw three obser­ [...]able points: the conuersion of a sinner, by whom o­ [...]hers of like condition may take example: the dete­ [...]tion of a cursed Magician; and the iust wrath of God [...]gainst those, who will not beleeue or follow that which is taught them by their Pastours and Preachers. But hee that will make vse of the foure signes aboue mentioned, shal thereby escape the displeasure of God, and shall acquire a full measure of reward before him. If then wee doe thus conceiue of this History, it can not chuse but minister much edification vnto our con­ [...]ciences.

We are further to consider, that God as the Creator [...]nd soueraigne Lord o [...] all, doth imploy both good and [...]ad Angels, about any thing that may tend to his glory [...]nd the execution of his good pleasure, be it by meanes [...]rdinary or extraordinary. Of this second wee haue an [...]xample in the Scripture; It is certaine, that the least [...]ngell in Paradise, is more potent then the greatest Diuell in hell; as the Diuell himselfe doth precisely con­ [...]esse in this History: yet did God suffer the Diuell to re­ [...]ist and stand in affront with Michael the Prince of Angels, about the burying of the body of Moses. And [Page] being not able to stoppe and vanquish him, hee had no other remedy but to flye to God, and to pray him to lay [...]is command on Satan. Imperet tib [...] Deus, increpet te Deus, Satan: especially in matter of iustice, whereof the Diuels are the executioners. Thus when God would trye Iob in his iustice, and cause all his cattell to be taken from him, all his children to be destroied, his houses to be throwne to the ground, and fire to de­scend from heauen and consume all his substance, then spake hee friendly to Satan, as is written at large in the booke of Iob. And when hee would declare his iustice vpon Achab, and had decreed to let him perish in bat­tell for his transgressions, hee spake vnto a wicked Spi­rit, and commanded him to goe and execute his plea­sure. Now because this History is an act of his iustice a­gainst one of the most impious and cursed Magicians that euer was, as appeared in his end, and that it was not a woman that divulged this, but the Diuell himselfe called Verrine, who published the same in her: and fur­ther, in regarde that God would shew an act of iustice vpon the conuerted sinner, as the vnsufferable torments (wherewith for the space of fix moneths shee was in all mens sight miserably afflicted) doe very well testifie; it is not to bee wondered at, if heerein hee imployed two executioners of his iustice. Let vs then giue God leaue to doe whatsoeuer seemeth best vnto him, and not dispute thus against his powerfulnesse, and manifest good pleasure.

CONCLVSION.

We ought not to beleeue the Diuell; yet when hee is compelled to discourse and relate a truth, then wee should seare and tremble, for it is a token of the wrath of God.

ERRATA.

Pag. re. line 13. read, The Dominican father. p. 11. l. 21. read, refractaric. p. 12. 27. read, contentations. p. 18. 1. 24. them, read, it. p. 38. l. 30. read, ouuert. p. 82. 2. it not so, r. it is not so. p. 87. l. 16. in margine, from any, r. from him. p. 96. l. vlt. or them, r. him. p. 97. l. 15. leaue out (and further) p. 103. l. 3. for them, r. him, 105. l. 19. for the, r. thy. p. 116. l. 10. for part, r. heart. p. 137. l. 27. r. to the blessed. 143. l. 6. for these, r. thes. p. ibid. l. 30. r, things. p. ibid. l. 36. r. store. p. 146. l. 5. r. [...]0000. p. 152. l. 12. r. in a good way. p. 169. l. 18. as like, r. like. p. 172. l. 11. r. seared. 174. l. 32. leaue, r. liue. p. 189. l. 26. r. equall. p. 198. l. 8. redresse, r. addresse. p. 216. [...]4, r. [...]auourably. p. 219. l. 18. in margine, for this Saint, r. the same. p. 223. l. 13. or his, r.this. p. 235. l. 32. forwhom, r. which, p. 245. l. 34. questioned, r. question ▪ 246. l. 1. r. domini. p. 252. l. 31. r. follow. p. 257. l. 17. r. lessoned. p. 285. l. 35. ascent. p. 355. l. 2. r. [...]nuisibly. p. 361. l. 13. r. Thrones. p. 387. l. 15. the portment, deportment.

Errata in the discourse of Spirits.

Pag. 12. line r. erant, read, erant. p. 17. l. 5. this, r. his. Ibid. p. 25. leaue out, [...]t. p. 50. l. 9. Spiritum, r. Spirituum. p. 78. l. 24. do, r. did.

AA


THE ADMIRABLE HISTORIE OF A PENITENT woman conuerted, who was seduced by a Magician in the Country of Prouince in France: and of the end of the said Magician.

The end of the first part.

THE ACTS THAT WERE COLLECTED AND DIGESTED INTO ORDER BY FA­ther Michaelis Priour of the Couent Roy­all of S. Maximin, and of S. Baume; who came thither after Christmas, in the yeere 1611. Returning from Preaching his Aduent Sermons in the towne of Aix in Prouince.