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Witchcraft and Demonology In Modern English, A Guide to Grand Jury Men - Richard Bernard

Witchcraft and Demonology In Modern English, A Guide to Grand Jury Men - Richard Bernard

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During the mid 16th century, England was plagued by an overwhelming number of deaths and strange sicknesses that affected both men and their cattle. Instances of the demonically possessed caused fear as sightings of spiritual apparitions affected local villages. People tried many methods to cure themselves, some by prayer, by treatments of superstitious rituals or with the help of good witches, healers, and divination.

Accusations of witchcraft were increasingly common and a reformation of witch-trial procedure was underway. This volume was advisement on how Grand-Jury Men should conduct themselves in cases of witchcraft, along with details on their responsibilities and expected conduct in criminal witch-trials as they examined suspected witches and analyzed instances of bewitchment and maladies that surrounded them. It was first published in 1627 and was influenced by many works and witch-trials from antiquity.

The work cites a variety of dissertations and provides a grand historical perspective on the subjects of poison, disease, murders and death believed to have been the cause of witch-craft in the minds of the most learned men of that era but also warns against the punishment of the innocent as many could negligently be falsely accused of witchcraft while explaining how one might know if a suspected witch is truly in league with the devil or just plain trickery.

Outlined in this treatise are several topics on magic, witchcraft and demonology: The difference between real magic by use of demons and counterfeit magic or trickery; Medical evaluations of various diseases with methods on determining whether certain diseases could truly be caused by witchcraft; the signs of bewitchment versus the sufferings of natural disease; the power of Satan, the analysis of the witch's mark and how an individual may come to league with a demonic entity; the differences between bad and good witches; the methods a witch or demons is able to bewitch and curse others; the methods used by those who think themselves bewitched; discussion on the trials, persecution, conviction and punishment of bad witches. It also discusses demonology and the history of magic, necromancy and various forms of witchcraft.

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