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Some Account of Dr. Balthasar Bekker sées sur la Comète. * He defended the

and of the Mennonite Baptists. system of Descartes in a treatise, De {We have received the following Philosophia Curtesiana Admonitio, and valuable communication from a vene

though little was yet wanting to entitle rable foreign correspondent. The

him to the name of a Naturalist-man reader will have the goodness to bear Atheist, he ventured on the bold step in mind that English is not the writer's of driving the devil from his long native language. We have taken some

usurped empire in this world. He pains to give names and titles of books exposed his rich armory in his En. correctly; but we may have fallen chanted World, a work of great learninto some errors, which, should any ing and ingenuity, which, although of our readers discover, we shall be its manner was coufused, and its lanhappy to correct. A friend into whose guage unharmonious, throws much hands the M.S. fell, has added a few light on this subject, and anticipated notes. Ed.]

many of H. Farmer's principal arguOldenbarneveld,

ments,
State of New York, America,

A host of antagonists rose against
SIR,
March 4th, 1817.

him, among whom the foremost were IN Na letter of August 26, 1816, con

Jo. Wayen, Petr. Mastricht, Melch. taining an extract from Robert Leydekker, Jo. Marck, Ever. Vanden Robinson's Works, by Flower, Vol. I. Hooght, Henr. Groenewegen, Simon de p. 79, in your Repository, October, Vries, P. Hulsing and Petr. Poiret. I 1816, p. 594, is desired some farther Not one dared to approve his doctrine information about Dr. Bekker and before Chr. Thsma Suis, not one durthe Mennonite Baptists. I shall being his life, so afraid were clergymen gratified if the little wbich I can

and lay men to incur the devil's discommunicate on these subjects is ac

pleasure. See Fred. Spanheim Elench. ceptable.

Controv. p. 673. Weisman. Hist. Eccles. Balthasar BEKKER, D.D., was a minister of the Reformed Christian Bayle's Work, entitled “Miscellaneous

There is an English translation of Church at Amsterdam, and possessed Reflections, occasioned by the late Comet, of a vast erudition and an undaunted which appeared in December 1680, chiefly spirit, and made the best use of his tending to explode popular superstitions ; talents, in every way, to enlighten written to a Doctor of the Sorbonne." 850. his fellow-christians.

His task was

1708. the more arduous, and its execution † Professor of Divinity at Utrecht, who the more daring, as the prejudices died in 1721, aged 69. of his contemporaries were strong,

Who died at Rhinesberg, in Holland, and the belief in witchcraft and sor

in 1719, aged 73. He had, by his inter: cery was deep-rooted in the minds

course with Madam Bourignon, become a of the vulgar, learned and unlearned, cations, attributed to this learned divine, was

zealous Mystic. The first of the six publiin the latter part of the seventeenth in Latin, and entitled Rational Thoughts century,

on God, the Soul and Evil. The last was He published a work on comets, on an edition of Madam Bourignon's Works, occasion of the appearance of that in in 19 vols. 8vo., with her Life, and several 1680 and 1681, about the same time pieces, by Madam Guyon. See Nov. Dict, im which P. Bayle published his Pen. Hist, Paris, 1772, Article, Poiret,

VOL. X11.

SM

sec. xvi. p. 952, 3. Buddei Isag. p. Amst. 1687, in 12mo., and upon this
281, and lastly, Sam. Mursinna Comp. performance, J. Le Clere. Bibl. Hist.
Th. Dogmat. p. 192, well deserving Univ. tom. VII. p. 339.
an English translation.

B. Daillon, Dæmonologia, or a Trea-
Often had Dr. Bekker been perse. tise on Spirits. Lond. 1725, 8vo.
cuted by his brethren, but without Jo. Camp. Stede, Diss. Philos. de
success, though their inveterate malice Angelis, Groningæ, 1772.
was not assuaged. They laid only on Jac. Odè, Comm. de Angelis, Traj.
their oars, well persuaded that his ar- ad. Rhen., 1739, 4to. with several
dent lofty mind ere long would pro. Others mentioned in Sam. Mursinna's
cure them a new handle, by which Comp. Th. Dogmat, p. 137-
they might cut down this tree, if they I subjoin the contents of the books
could not destroy it, roots and all. and chapters of Dr. Bekker's volu-
They succeeded, when he published minous work. It appeared under the
bis Enchanted World, so far, that be following title:-
was removed from the ministry, or Enchanted World: being a thorough
rather suspended; he was not per- inquiry into the common opinion, with
mitted to preach, but he continued to regard to Spirits, their nature and
wear his clerical garments, occupied power, government and action : as
his seat in the minister's pew, and re- also into what men by their energy
ceived, (as in our days, the Rev. and communion may operate; in four
Damm, at Berlin,) his salary through books, by Balthasar Bekker, D. D.,
the Magistracy of Amsterdam, not and minister in the Reformed Christian
priest-ridden enough to be intimidated Church at Amsterdam, by Dan. Van-
by the vociferations of embittered der Dalla, 1691, in 4to. It has been
clergymen. I suppose the admirers translated into German and French. *
of H. Farmer cannot be displeased to First BookIn which the senti-
throw here a glance on the principal ments and opinions, which all nations
works published on this subject, before have at any time embraced of God and
and since that period.

Spirits, or yet embrace, are developed. Jac. Basnage, Antiq. Jud. vol. II. Dedication, Preface-Explaining his chap. 8.

motives of writing and the nature of J. Le Clerc, Bibl. Chois. tom. XIII. his work, and mentioning a curious,

though not a singular example of ecThe Doctrine of Devils, Lond. 1676,* clesiastical decisions : viz. that one of and upon this treatise Des Maizeaux, his works, on the Catechism, was in in not. ad Epist. P. Baylii, tom. II. Friesland condemned unanimously, al

though not one of two hundred clergyBenj. de Daillon, Examen de l'op- men could give a reason why it was .pression des Reformés en France. condemned, and afterwards again

unanimously twice approved, without * " The Doctrine of Devils proved to be any alteration having been made with the grand A postacy of these later Times. regard to contested points of doctrine. + An Essay tending to rectify those undue No. tions and Apprehensions Men have about Dæmons and Evil Spirits," 12mo. The * The French translation, from the anonymous author appears to have been a Dutch original, was made under the Aumember of the Church of England, from thor's inspection, and published in 1694, soine unfriendly expressions respecting the at Amsterdam, with the title of Le Monde Nonconformists. He speaks with great Enchanté, &c. in 4 vols. 12mo. The disapprobation of Socinians, and zealously Author's portrait is prefixed to the first advocates the Godhead of Christ, yet re- volume. Each volume has a dedication, garding a belief in diabolical agency, with the signature, Balthasar Bekker, appa. expressed by admitting the reality of pos- rently an autograph. Before the first book sessions, and of the temptation as the is an abridgment of the whole work. See greatest of heresies. To this work may be Bekker, in the catalogue of printed books, added one, which this Author defended, British Museum. This French translation, entitled “ The Question of Witchcraft de- or, at least, the first volume, including the bated, or a Discourse against their Opinion abridgment, was rendered into English, that affirin Witches." 12mo. 1669, by and published in 1695, under the title of Wagstaff. See Mon. Repos, VII. 554, 617 The World Bewitthed, &c. 12ino. and 649.

t Bekker adds, " This has conärmed

p. 219.

p. 435.

1

First Chapter. Introduction.-Im- Preface-Chap. 1. State of the quesportance of the subject; its necessity tion; how far Reason or Scripture and usefulness.

must have the precedence; and in 2. Sentiments of the Heathens, from what sense the words Spirit and Body Greek and Roman Authors.

are to be understood. 3. Origin of Divinations.

2. The knowledge of our Soul and 4. Origin of Witchcraft.

Body leads us to the kpowledge of 5. On similar Artifices by the Na. God, whose perfections prove, that he tions of Heathens in our time.

is but one. 6. Remains of Ethnicism in the 3. No plausible reason for the exNorth of Europe.

istence of Dæmons, Demi-Gods, or 7. Remains of Ethuicism in Asia. inferior Deities. 8. On Witchcraft

4. Existence of Spirits argued from 9. Manners and Prejudices of the the Human Soul; its Immortality. Africans congenial with these.

5. Arguments from Reason. 10. America and West Indies; South 6. Angels' existence, not demonand North America.

strable out of the Scriptures. 11. Comparison of the Sentiments 7. No mention in the Scriptures of and Solemn Rites of numerous Heathen the nature and origin of Angels. Nations.

8. The origin of Evil Spirits and 12. Examination of the Sentiments their state in the Scriptures. of the Jews.

9, 10. On the Attributes and Ope18. On Witchcraft.

rations given in the Scriptures to 14. Opinions of the Mahommedans. Angels.

15. The first Christians adopted 11. Their ranks not distinctly stated. very soon many opinions of the Hea- 12. Of their influence on human thens.

Actions, principally of the good An10. Witchcraft, how far counte- gels. nanced even by the Orthodox.

13. History of the Intercourse of 17. Comparison of the Doctrine and feigned Angels with Abraham and Opinions of Jews, Mahommedans and Lot. Christians.

14. Consideration of the Presence of 18. The opinion of the Manicheans Angels at the Sinaitic Legislation, and is a mixture of all these, and the spring the conducting the Israelites through of the opinions of the day.

the Wilderness. 19. The Papists brought all these 15. Guardian Angels of Menor in unison, amending and strengthen- Nations, not mentioned iu the Scriping them.

tures. 20. Their doctrine on Apparitions

16, 17 and 18. What is understood of Spirits, and how they torment by Satan or Devil in the Scriptures. Mankind.

19. Examination whether the story 21. Applications of Remedies.

of the Fall, Gen. iii. (interesting and 22. Protestants; Slight Modifica- ingenious discussion), is an Allegory. tion.

20. Temptation of Jesus Christ in 23. Comparison between the opi- the Wilderness, a Vision, confirmed nion of Papists and Protestants. from Hos. i. 2-8.

24. Why the Protestants attribute 21. I Chron. xxi. 1, comp. with such great power to the Devil. (An 2 Sam. xxiv. I. interesting chapter.)

22 Jude's Ep. ver. 9, the Devil's Book 11. In wbich there is an In Struggle with Michael. quiry into the Doctrine of Spirits; 23. af Sooth-saying Spirits, in the their Power and Influence, particu. Scriptures. larly that of the Devil, from heason 24. If Job or Paul were tormented and Scripture.

by the Devil

, me in the persuasion, that a true Christian, ô qw.ovia. especially a Doctor of Divinity, ought

26. Men, possessed by Dæmons, groundedly himself to inquire into things,

were subiected to several diseases, without resting upon the judgment of others, that he may obtain a tall certainty δαιμων δαίμονιζειν, δαιμονιζομενοι. of the object of his faith and the matter

(This chapter is an excellent per. of his precepts.” The World Bewitched. formance.) Vol. I. Pref.

27. Continuation of the Subject;

,Sherim שערים Schedim שרים .25

how Jesus adapted his Discourses to are reprobated in the Scriptures, and his hearers, without intending to in- on what ground punished by civil struct them in wordly knowledge, or Jaws. remove their innocent prejudices; what 18. Whether the Devil have power he taught of himself, that he was a to perplex the mind of a good Man. inan, sent from God, mentioning not 19. Conclusion; R. Scot; his even a word of Atonement, Election, Works burved in England; answered Hereditary Sin, &c. (John. ix 2,3, on by the king;* G. Voetius' Positions the hypothesis of the μετεμψύχωσις,) examined. not even of his own person, Luke xxiv. 20. The common prejudice is coti19.; not of the existence of Angels, trary to the doctrine of the Reformed Acts xxiij. 8 ; Matt. xii. 27, comp. Church and its Formularies. with x. 25; not of our Planetary Sys.

21. It is contrary to Piety. tem, Matt. v. 44.

22. It is a mere Fiction. 28, 29. Examination of different 23. The refutation of Errors proPassages of the Scriptures of the Ex. motes Piety. pulsion of Dæmons by Jesus, of Matt. Bouk IV. Examination of the Proofs xvii. 14–21. Mark ix. 17—29. Luke from experience. ix. 37–43.

Preface-Chap. 1. Evidences of 30. Passages of the Scriptures ap- Mau's own Experience; its Requisites, plied to the Devil, to be explained of without prejudice, without terror. bad men.

2. It requires to be well acquainted 31. The Devil has no power to with the Laws of Nature and their make Apparitions, or to appear in limits. dreams.

3. Distinction between Realities and 32, 33. Fresh proofs of the annihila- Phantoms. tion of the mastership and power of

4. Attention paid, whether no Art the Devil and his imaginary realm.

or Artifices could have been em34 and 35. Conclusion. It is re- ployed. pugnant with the Christian Creed. It 5. Besides above-mentioned Requiis injurious to real Piety.

sites, other means, opportunity, diliAdditional Remark,

gence are required. Book III. Continuation of the Sub. 6. Examination of Possessed and ject.

Bewitched. Preface--Relating the Persecutions 7. Examination of Sir Wm. Temagainst the Doctor for the two pre- ple's account of a Story related to him ceding volumes.

by Count Mauritz, of Nassau, in his Chap. 1. Necessity of an accurate Mem. Tom. II. + understanding of the words and definitions, tu agree on the poiot in ques- * This first Work, published in the tion.

English language, against the common 2. Intercourse with Spirits, princi- potions of diabolical agency, was printed pally bad, is repugnant to reason. in 1584, in black letter, 4t0., and entitled

3. So too any compact of Sorcerers The Discorerie of Witchcraft, &c.; to with them; Proofs and Arguments which is added, " A Treatise upon the of Glanville and Danæus examined;

nature of Spirits and Divels, &c., all lately

This those of Hornmau, Carpzovius, Re- written by Reginald Scot, Esq." migius.

was reprinted with additions and some va. 4–7. Examination of passages of Scot Reynolde, in the catalogue of printed

riation in the title page, in 1665, folio. See the Scriptures with regard to Sor. books, British Museum. Reginald Scot

was a gentleman of Kent, who had been 8 and 9. Jewish Laws relating to educated at Oxford, and of whom Wond them.

gives some account. He died in 1599. 10 and 11. Warnings against Sor- King James wrote against him in his Decery and Witchcraft in the Scriptures. monology, first printed at Edinburgh in

12. The possibility of such an in- 1597. See Athen. Oxon. I. 257. Voetius, tercourse is contradictory to God's Disput. Theolog: III 564, says that his intentions to save Mar.

book was burned. On this circumstance 13-16. Further examination of

Wood is silent. passages in the Scriptures.

+ “Memoires, &c., from 1672 to 3679." 17. In what consists the mischief of Ch. xxvii.. S. 8.' This is the story of the

1692, 8vo., p. 57, or Locke's Essay, B. II. pretended Sorcerers, and why they Parrot supposed to be possessed.

cerers.

8. Persons, who believe themselves Demonologia; that of Tedword, in Possessed, or are reputed so, are sus. England, from Glanville and More; picious evidences.

that of Anneberg, in Saxony; and 9 and 10. Examination of two par. another in Switzerland. ticular events, both of pretended 23 On the Divinatory Rod, to disWitchcraft, at Fraueker, in Friesland, cover Mines, Springs, Murderers ; and Campen, in Overyssel.

Vallemont, La Phisique Occulte. 11 Examination of the case of Ur. 21–26. Judicial Proceedings no bain Grandier and the Ursulines at solid proofs for the existence of SorLoudun, in France.

cerers and Witches. 12. Precautions in judging on Facts, 27. Continuation of the Suhject; attributed to Witchcraft or the Devil. Judicial Proceedings in the Nether

13. Application of these warnings lands against Witchcraft about the to pretended Facts, mentioned in the Reformation ; Cruelty. first book, with relation to the Hea- 28. In Denmark. thens.

29. In Sweden. 14. The same with regard to modern 30. Examination of the discovered Heathen Nations.

Witchcraft in England, Nov. 1689. 15. To Jews and Mahommedans. William Spicer and Mary Hill. 16. To Roman Catholics.

31 and 32. Examination of Judicial 17. To Protestants; Drinking Horn Proceedings in Harlingen, in Friesof the Counts of Oldenburg; Horn in land. the possession of the King of Denmark, 33. Conclusion; there do not exist with its engraving.

in the world Apparitions or Witch18. Observations on the Northern craft. Nations in Europe; Magicians; un- 34. Superintendents in Churches, guentum armarinn, &c.

Schools and all Magistrates, ought to 19 and 20. Fabella Hamelensis, † oppose all such erroneous opinions and another mentioned in Systh. Hist. practices. Chron. Ecclesiarum Sclavonicarum, 35. Peroration, 1 Tim. iv. 7. by Adr. Regenvolcius, Ultraj. 1652 ; It is not strictly correct, though examine another, said to have hap- true in part, that the Mennonite Bappened in Bolswaerd, Friesland. tists are Unitariaus, with the addition

21 and 22. The vexing Devi] of of an austere discipline in the church. Mascon, I in France, from Perraud's The best knowledge of their numerous

congregations and various divisions Urbain Grandier, Curé of Loudun, may be collected, besides what is rewhere he was burnt, Aug. 18, 1634, with corded by Jablonski, and his continucircumstances of great c uelty, under' a ator, D. Stosch, D. D. in Hist. Christ. charge of Magic, but really ou account of Eccles. tom. 11. and II. sec. xviii. an ott'ence given to Richelieu. There was

lect. xiii p. 409, and may be gathered published å full account of the intrigues from a concise but accurate account of against Grandier, which ended so tragically. Sre “ Cruels Effets de la Ven the Liberal Baptists, in the Encyclogeance du Cardinal Richelieu, ou Histoire pedia of Yverdun, from H. Schyn Hist. des Diables De Loudon, De la Possession Mennonitarum, in three vols. 8vo. if des Religieuses Ursulines, et de la condem- my memory does not deceive me. nation et du snplice D'Urbain Grandier, Curé de la même Ville." 12mo. Amst. and published at Oxford, 1669, 12mo. See 1716. A large account of Grandier was Birch's Life of Boyle, 8vo p. 202. There given a few years since in the Looker-On. is some account of the Devil of Mascon in

+ The story of the pied-coated piper of Mon. Repos. IX. 114, &c. Hamelen, in Brunswick, who was said to * It appears that on Nov. 29, 1689, have decoyed, by his pipe, and miracy. Bekker received a book from England, lously destroyed, 130 children, the 22d entitled " A Relation of the Discovery of July, 1376, as the date was preserved in some Witchcrafs." This he immediately the records of that town, according to translated into Dutch, " adding some reVerstegan's Restitution, &c., 8vo., 1653, marks fit to open the eyes of the reader, p. 69. Howell has repeated the story in by discovering the groupds on which such bis Letters, 11tb Ed. p 287. Dr. H. More, relations are laid ; that he might not thereby On Atheism, credited this story.

be in danger of being contirmed in the | The Devil of Mascon, &c., was trans- vulgar error." Preface to World Be. lated from the French by Dr. Du Moulin, witched. Vol. I.

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