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which hitherto attended the persecution of witches, and
had forbidden them to he ])ra(tised in the future.

iiniwtcntiii (impotonoo of tlio dovils). 3. De vonoficio et magia (poisoning
and manic). 4. De disparitato di>inonum (disparity of tlic devils). 5. De
substantia incorporois (incorporeal substances). 6. De assumptione cor-
poruni (assumption of bodies). For the rest of the book we have only the
headings of chapters : Lib. iii. 1, De apparitione spiritura (appearance of
spirits). 2. Do infostationc locorum (haunting of places). 3. De ex-
pulsione demonum (casting out devils). 4. De operatione demonum
(operations of devils). 5. De spcctris et visionibus (spectres and visions,
possibly followed Ijy another chapter on •• the bodies of the dead '). 6. De
divcrsis circa nia'jiam (various points regarding magic). 7. De causis magie
(causes of magic). 8. Do demone comite (on attendant devils). 9. De
officiis demonum (functions of devils). 10. De operibus mirabilibus
(miraculous works). IL De transmutatione rerum (the transmutation of
things). Book iv. contains three sections : L De congressu demonum (con-
gress of devils). 2. De operibus magorum (deeds of magicians). 3. De
transportatione corporura (transportation of bodies). The whole was to be
concluded by an epilogue. The method was the scholastic one in vogue and
every point was established by citations from the Bible or from the theo-
logical authorities. Only now and then does Loos's indignation seethe
over into eloquence, as where, in speaking of the imaginary compact, he
bursts forth : " All, I feel my pen insufficient to express the emptiness of
the matter, and far less to set forth its indignity. Nay, what pen were
adequate ! One can but exclaim, O Christian Religion, how long shalt thou
be vexed with this direst of superstitions ! " And not content with this,
he has added on the margin : *' Let the rulers of the Christian State weigh
these things within themselves." Weyer is several times alluded to. In
one place he is spoken of as '• an author of our own day, eminent in medicine
and a man of much and varied reading." And in another is added the pious
wish, ''And would that he were a CathoUc Clu-istian ! " The arguments of
Binsfeld are taken up in detail, though not in the order of his own treatment.
There is frequent allusion both to the Bishop and to Treves, but names are
^arefuUy excluded. Once or twice Loos alludes to the sad fate of Flade,
once intimating that he was the victim of malice, and ascribing his con-
fessions to the torture ; but a fuller discussion of this subject is reserved
for that portion of the volume which is still missing. This book of Loos
has also been dealt with by Keysser in the Zentralblatt fiir Biblioihektcesen,
1888, p. 455 ff. Keysser speaks of a fragment of it which was found in the
Cologne town library. On the whole there are to hand six fascicules in 8o. ; in
chapter liii. the text breaks off in the middle of a sentence. Keysser thinks
that the fragment in our possession is all that was ever printed. The MS.
used by Burr contains the text of only two books, but an index of all four.'


Far more numerous than the followers and co-
fighters of John Weyer, who exhibited soundness of
mind and human feehng in deahng with the witch
question, were those who either entered the hsts directly
against Weyer or else, without regard to his work,
defended the witch-superstition in their writings,
encouraged persecution of witches, and with the utmost
vehemence urged on rulers and people to keep it


In the same year, 1563, in which Weyer first published
his work, there appeared at Frankfort-on-the-^Iaine the
* Zauberteufel ' of the preacher Ludwig Mihchius, a
popular handbook on ' Magic, fortune- telling, exorcism,
blessing, superstition, and witchcraft.' The book
enjoyed great popularity among the Protestants, was
reprinted in the years 1564 and 1566, and embodied
in the different editions of the 'Theatrum Diabolorum,' '
Milichius here discussed all the arts of demonology and
witchcraft and emphatically recommended that the
people should be instructed in these matters from the
pulpit. ' Some short-sighted preachers,' he said, ' insist
that sorcery should not be much preached about, for it
is not necessary and nobody knows if there is really
any such thing, or what it is, and preaching about it
might lead some people to take too much interest in it
and to give themselves up to it. To this I answer
that it is verily extremely necessary to preach about
it in some places. And in these places preachers
ought diligently to explain sorcery in all its varieties

' Goedeke, Grundriis, ii. 481-482 ; see our stateuunt, vol. xii.
323 ff.

;')()2 HISTORY of tiik (ikrmax people

and t(iiulitii)ns, so tluit the people may learn, if they
do not already know, what sorcery is and how mani-
fold it is, and how greatly God is sinned against by
it.' ' \\'hen>as in the German langnage nearly all
tlie wortls by wliieh works of sorcery are called
contain something more in them than appears out-
wardly, it is indeed the duty of preachers not to leave
these words unnoticed, but to give instruction to the
people about them as often as it can conveniently be
done.' Milichius then prescribed on what Sundays
sermons were to be preached on the devil's allies,
necromancers, exorcists, sorcerers, witches, milk-stealers,
weather-makers and so forth, and on what others, sooth-
saying, superstition and so forth, were to be the subjects
of pulpit instruction. ' Punishment by death,' he
insisted, ' was to be inflicted on all persons who had
compacts with the devil, whether men or women, and
who called themselves magicians, necromancers, exorcists,
fortune-tellers, witches, and what not.' ' As to the way
in which they are to be got rid of,' he adds, ' the rulers
are not bound by any definite law ; secular judges
must act in this matter according to the exigencies and
circumstances of the different cases.' But the ruhng
authorities must see to it that they themselves neither
use nor allow the use of any sorcery, so that they may
not promote the abomination which it is their duty to
prevent. Thus Mihchius reckons it a ' sorcerous allure-
ment ' even to allow ' witches ' without application of
some torture, to confess all. ' When this takes place,
tell me, I pray, who will believe the confessions that
are made ? Who will declare that the devil, whom
Christ Himself calls the father of lies, is hkely to reveal
the truth ? ' For this the rack is necessary. ' Therefor

wrrcH-PERSECuTiox 363

they must be examined mider torture like other evil-
doers.' ^

A still firmer advocate on this side than the Lutheran
Mihchius was the Calvinist theologian Lambert Danaeus,
who, in a French pamphlet pubhshed in 1574 and
translated into German, Latin, and English, gave
expression to the most miquahfied behef in witchcraft,
and pleaded for the extermination of witches. In some
districts, he said, ' the witches are so defiant and
audacious that they say openly, if only thev had a
distinguished and renowned man for their captain they
should become so strong and numerous that they
could march against a powerful king in open battle
and easily vanquish him with the help of their arts.'
To the argument against the journeys of the witches that
' their bodies had often been seen lying in bed at the
very time when they said they had been elsewhere,'
Danaeus answered : These supposed bodies were only
masks and false bodies laid there in the meantime
by Satan in place of the sorceresses. This is why many
people think that sorcerers are not personally or corpo-
really present at their gatherings, for they are sure they
had seen them themselves elsewhere ; these people have
been deceived by the devil's macks and counterfeits,
and their opinion thus goes for nothing. Danaeus
inveighed against those ' weak rulers and judges who
give such evil counsel to the human race that people arc
afraid to root these terrible beasts, the sorcerers, out of
the land, and when they come under their hands will
not punish them. They show l)y their negligence that

' In the Thealrum Diaholorum, i. 1G6-1G8 ; of. DL-f.-nUadi. :{(»2-303.
Roskoff, ii. 404 and Lanj^in, 223, in discussing tlic Zaubeii(uf(i leave
out the important passage about torture.


tlu'v do not make nmcli account of God their Lord, and
tliov are also traitors to this service and lionoiir, since
they lielp to foster His sworn and deckired enemies
and let them hve on unpunislied.' '

The famous Zwinghan theologian Henry Bullinger
also vindicated the actuahty of all those arts which the
devil, by permission of God and as His executioner,
carried out by means of sorcerers, witches and other
godless, cruel, desperate and accursed people. Accord-
ing to divine commandment such people ought not to
be allowed to hve, and also he said, ' imperial law
decreed that they must be put to death. Therefore
let those men consider what they are doing, who dispute
against these laws and decide that witches who deal
only in dreams and hallucinations should not be burnt
or put to death : however mistaken the papist writers
may have been in their doctrines, they nevertheless
condemned all these arts and enjoined on the ministers
of the Church to expel from the Church all those who
meddled with them.' ~

' Dialogus de veneficis, quos olim Sortilegos, nunc autem vidgo Sortiarios
vacant, Coloniae, 1575 ; several times translated (cf. Grasse, 53) and
' newly "teutsched " and corrected ' in the Theairum de veneficis, 14-53 ;
the passages quoted by us are in this edition, pp. 15, 39, 47-48. Cf. Soldan-
Heppe, ii. 15, where Danaeus, ' the actual father of reformed moral theology
as an independent theological department ' is mentioned. In the witch-
book of Lambert Danaeus (so says Bekker, i. 117-119), ' devil's leagues and
the works of sorcerers and sorceresses are described in full detail, especially
the former, and more circumstantially than I have ever before seen in
papist \\Titers.' ** Cf. Paul de Felice, Lambert Daneau (Paris, 1881),
p. 158 ss., and Paulus, ' Lambert Daneau et la sorcellerie,' in Studes hist, et
relig. du diocese de Bayonne, 1895, p. 573 ss.

- Theatrum de veneficis, 304, 305. ** From the pamphlet : In Acta Aposto-
lorum Commentarii, Ub. vi. (Tiguri, 1535), in cap. 19. The famous Calvinist
theologian Petrus Martyr Vermigli, Professor at Strasbm-g and Ziirich, also
stood for the most extreme belief in witches. Cf. his Loci communes


The admonitiou of the preacher Liidwig Mihchiiis
that witchcraft and sorcery should be earnestly dealt
with from the pulpit was faithfully attended to by
numbers of his brothers in office — The people hstening
to such sermons on devils and witches ' with great
avidity because, nowadays/ so says a sermon of this sort
preached^ in 1509, ' almost all the world is full of devil
and witch works.' ^

This eagerness of the people to hear sermons on
witchcraft, &c., was testified to also by James Graeter,
Dean at Schwiibisch Hall. A\Tien in 1589 he announced
as the subject on which he was going to preach : ' How
much the devil and his brides, the witches, can do and
how far their power extends,' the church was quite full.
* See,' he said, ' how artful these bad fairies are, to be
able to bring so many people to church on an ordinary

(TigTiri, 1580), p. 30sqq. : ' De maleficis.' Petrus Martjnr Vermigli WTitos here
exhaustively on the question of alliances between the witches and the
devil, of incuhi, succubi, of compact with the devil and so forth. Precisely
similar opinions were expressed by Hieronymus Zanchi, Professor at Straa-
burg and Heidelberg. Cf. especially in his Opera omnia theologica (Geneva,
1619), vol. iii. 199 sqq., the chapter 'Demagicis artibus.' Zanchi says here
emphatically : Wlioever practises these arts must be punished ( ' plectendi
sunt qui ea exercent' ), God commands the magistrates ' ut cos tollant.'
Zanchi believed, Uke Luther (see above, p. 270), in the existence of devil's
children ; although it is no sin not to believe in them, nevertheless people
should not stubbornly deny their existence if they do not wish to expose
themselves to the reproach of presumptuousness {I.e. 203 sqq.) in the
section ' De incubis et succul)is,' the thesis : ' Diabolos, assumptis hominum
corporibus, cum verLs muiieribus coire posse et ex illis liberos suscipere.'
' Etsi peccatum non est, si quis hoc credere nolit, non tamen sine nota im-
pudentiae pertinaciter negari posse.' See also vol. iv. 513, Zanchi on the
compact with the devil. The Zurich preacher Ludw. Lavater (De caritate
annonae ac fame condones Ires, Tiguri, 1587) says indeed : Witches, with
the help of the devil, can certainly do a great deal of harm, but they cannot
make hail, or raise storms ; j'ct he adds (p. 18) : ' Quae non in cam partem
a me dicta accipi velim, quasi nerjem comfjurendos csse.^

' Ein Predig vom Icidigen Ttufel und seinen Werckzeuge7i (l.%9), p. 3.


feast-day.' ' (Jraoter rejected many aspects of witch-
craft as apisliness and dovil's work, and lamented that
ill ' this wicked, porverso world almost all old women
wcri^ accused of witchcraft ' ; ~ at the same time he
insisted emphatically on the punishment of witches.
* To lay down laws and regulations concerning this
pmiishment was not the business of ministers of the
Church ; but it does behove us to say that wicked
people, as avowed enemies of the human race, and above
all as deniers of God their Creator, should not be spared,
seeing that after the manner of their master the devil,
they desire nothing else than to work injury, misery, and
disaster.' 'For this further reason also they must be
punished, because, as Dr. Luther writes, they strengthen
the devil with his churches and his sacraments against
Christ.' ^

One of the most merciless of witch-preachers was
David Meder, Protestant pastor at Nebra in Thuringia.
In 1605 he pubhshed ' Acht Hexenpredigten,' which he
had previously delivered, ' von des Teufels Morclkindern,
der Hexen und Unholden erschrecklichen Abfall,
Lastern und XTbeltaten.' * He dedicated the volume to
the chancellor of the Saxon elector, Bernhard von
Polnitz, on account of the latter's ' special inborn
humanity and his friendliness to theologians and
preachers.' It was incumbent, he said, on all preachers
in virtue of their ofhce, to assume towards all sins
an attitude of teaching, warning, and punishing, and this
more especially towards the sin of witchcraft. ' The

> Graeter, Bl. C 3. - Bl. A 4^

•' Bl. D2; cf. Diefenbach, 321. ** A catalogue of Protestant witch-
sermons of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is given by Diefenbach
in Der Zauberghube des IGten Jahrhunderts, p. 204 ff.

^ Leipzig, 1605. See Diefenbach, 304-305.


devil has escaped again from the pit of hell.' ' This is
not only shown by the terrible, blasphemous teaching
of Mahomet, the Pope and other heretics, but also by
the frightful and multitudinous sins and vices in all
classes. Most especially, however, is this plainly shown
by the raging devil's troop of witches and evil spirits,
who are the devil's most faithful servants, and who help
to carry out his murderous deeds against human beings
and cattle. He daily misleads such multitudes of them
that their number cannot be counted.' At * a well-
known place ' the devil caused it to be proclaimed that
* however many witches were burnt, he would neverthe-
less every Sunday double their number.' Meder drew
an appalling picture of all the misdeeds of the witches,
and gave fuller details from the pulpit of their immorahty
with the devil. ' The witches are obHged to recognise
the devil as their god and are baptised in his name —
some of them indeed in the name of the all devils, and the
other witches bring water and vessels for the ceremony,
which is performed either by the devil himself or by one of
the witches. A fresh name is given to the baptised witch,
and the newly-enrolled member of the devil's kingdom
is provided with a special devil-paramour.' Therefore,
all pious Christians ' must help in every way to root them
out from the earth, let them be persons of as high condi-
tion and rank as they may. No husband shall intreat
for his wife, no child for father or mother, but all must
give their help to procure the punishment of those who are
apostates from God, as God Himself has connnanded.' '
No one must let himself be deceived ; even if the witches
pose as God-fearing people, read the Bible, attend
sermons, go to the Sacrament, still they arc (himnaljlc

' Bl. 42''-4.% 48 ff., 64, Ti-in, 90", 01.


witches and iiuirdoresscs ; ' liow many examples could
1 not l)ring forward, if it were not already known to
evcrybodv.' ' He told all sorts of witch stories; for
instance, once when a witch whom the devil visited in
prison wanted to turn to God ' the devil flew out through
the liole and squeaked like a young pig ; the pastor
of the place himself told me this story/ -

If Mcder put the ' blasphemous teaching of the Pope '
on the same level as that of Mahomet, he also used his
sermons in other ways for odious sectarian ends. * Two
monks of the diocese of Treves,' he says, ' a few years ago
issued a printed publication in which they said that they
had inquired of women in the confessional whether they
were involved in this work (sorcery) ; and if they found
any that were they instructed them still further in
sorcery.' ' By tw^o priests at Cologne it was stated
in writing that they had baptised as many as 300 children
in the devil's name ; and they were able to do this
because they performed the service in Latin.' ^

Meder desired particularly in his sermons, as he
says in the preface, to assure the assessors in court
that they need not let it weigh on their consciences that
they had condemned this devil's murder-crew to be
burnt to death. * The patrons ' of witches were
'nothing else than devil's advocates and pleaders.'"*
The entire nation, and especially the rulers, were
bound by God's commandment to root out and destroy
the whole of the diabohcal crew. Those rulers who
did not dihgently search and track out witches and
give information against suspicious persons were under
the divine curse, for the Scripture says : ' Cursed is he
that doth the work of the Lord remissly.' ^

' Bl. 58. - Ibid. 36". ■' Ibid. 46. ' Preface and Bl. 48. ' Bl. 18, 60-61.


Quite as fiercely as Meder did the Henueberg
Superintendent-General Joacliim Zelnier, as pastor
at Schleusingen in 1612, urge unrelenting persecution
of witches. In the followmg year he pubhshed his
pulpit discourses under the title ' Five sermons about
witches ; their beginning, middle and end.' ^ In
Schleusingen itself, he told his congregation, they had
had pubhc exj)erience of the witches' works. ' When
carrying off his faithful ones, the fork-riders and such-
like wizard crew, the devil starts all sorts of fireworks
in the air and raises a boisterous storm-wind so that it
seems, as we experienced some days ago in this place
in broad noonday, as if earth, mountain, forests, and
everytliing were being torn and riven with a tremendous
crashing, so that all the world must needs hear that
another devil's bride has been fetched away. Those
who persist in exonerating and defending such terrible
abominations, give us to understand that they also
belong to the number of these devil's ssociates.' -
' The rulers must not allow the lawyers to conduct the
witch-trials in such a way as to let the culprits off
with Hfe, to go and do more harm. For, for all the
wickedness which these " devil's brides " practise, rulers
of this sort and honourable advocates will have one
day to answer before the presence of God and the
judgment-seat of Christ.' ^ The judges ' may sit by
with a good conscience and fulfil an office which is not
only not in opposition to God but, on the contrary,
redounds to His honour and is specially well-pleasing
to Him.' Delays and dally ings in the trials were not
necessary, for God Himself has already pronounced the
final sentence on witches ; there is no need, therefore,

1 Leipzig, 1G13. - Bl. 90. •' ZcIiik r, 49-50 ; cf. 87.



to wait lor the iliH-ision of universities and benches
of justices. ' Oftentimes the evil-doers regard it as
a piece of good fortune wlien tlieir confessions are
sent up to the luuversities, Avhere they are not in the
habit of practising such sharp justice, but are rather
inchned to levity, having an interest in the business.' ^

The proof that the devil ensnared women by pre-
ference lay for Zehner in the fact that ' invariably there
were ten or twenty more women than men burnt." ^

In addition to sermons there apjjeared all sorts of
instructional writings for the people on magic and
witchcraft, which were altogether in disagreement
with the opinion of Weyer and his hke-minded associates.

To these writings belonged the ' Hexenbiichlein,'
pubhshed in 1576 by the Protestant Doctor Jakob
Wecker, or ' Wahre Entdeckung und Erklarung aller
fiirnehmsten Artikel von Zauberei, auch der Hexen-
handel etwan durch Jakob Freiherrn von Lichtenberg

1 Pp. 37-38.

- P. 7. The fiercest opponent of witches and the patrons of witches
was, later on, the Lutheran deacon John Ellinger. In his Hexen-Coppel,
he trots out, as it were, ' on the general market-place of Germany ' ' twelve
gangs of old, used-up, hideous, revolting, scurvy, scabby hags,' full of zeal
against the ' witch patrons ' who were of opinion that ' there was too much
done in this witch business, and that many people were wronged.' ' If,'
he said, ' these witch patrons and witch admirers are listened to, as, alas,
God forgive, it has happened much too much hitherto, if we do not, on the
contrary, promptly dish them up with fii-e, wood, and straw and send them
up in smoke to the nightmares' heaven, we shall soon see here, there and
everywhere, schools of magic cropping up shamelessly, schools in which the
devil himself would instruct and derive profit, whilst the fiendish rabble
would march through the world with drums, fifes and banners. Such
witch patrons, Weyer insisted, should be handed over to the torture-
master, who would very quickly settle and answer their expostulations and
arguments with his rack, thumbscrews, &c.' Hexen-Coppel- that is, a book
on the primal origin and great league of the unholy witches, d:c. (Frankfort-
on-the-Maine, 1629), Preface and pp. 42-43.


aus ihrer Gefangnuss erfahren/ ' When the devil/
we read here among other things, ' through his beadles
summons a General Comicil of all the witches from
all places and all nations of the earth, the novices are
introduced, and, having taken their places in the
ranks, are numbered, and, like the others, have the
sign stamped upon them.' They are then taught
by the devil how to make thunder, hail, hoar-frost,
snow, storms and wind, how to enchant and bewitch,
how to change into cats, wolves, goats, donkeys, geese,
birds, how to ride on sticks and forks and travel from
one place to another, how to make people lame, and
how, generally, to play the deuce with the Wild Huntsman
and his train/ The object of changing into animals
is that ' the witches may be unknown to people and
so be able to work more evil in the world : for cats chmb
on to roofs, creep into houses, hide in rooms and steal,
bewitch and hurt children, and wolves can do great
harm to the cattle ; for nobody is aware that they are
witches.' Wecker also deals with the amorous con-
nexions between the witches and the devils, and with
the changeling children, which the devil puts in the
place of children he has stolen. These the witches take
and boil in cauldrons ; the fat which they get from them
they make into a salve with which they grease their
forks, and then, with the help of the devil, they escape
through the chimney, and fly on ' till they come to
the trysting-place ; when there they see nothing, but
only feel, nor may tliey even speak, for such is the
bargain with the devil, the Spirit being unwilling
to be disturbed by human speech. It also frequently
happens that the devil carries off through the air and
over the roofs pious folk who haj^pen to be asleep,

372 HIS TDK V OF 'nil-: German people

iu)r (lt>i's aiiv liann ionic to them so long as the person

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