|James Mason||A Master of the Arts and the author of "The Anatomy of Sorcery," a text published in 1612 in London that discusses "the wicked impietie of charmers, inchanters, and such like."(i-ii)||THou maiest maruaile (gentle reader) what hath moooued mee (after so many zealous and learned Diuines) to take in hand this treatise against sorcery. Wherfore I haue thought it good to certifie thee (in some measure) of my meaning herein. It was my chance to fall into communication with a notable supporter of those wicked vanities, which are spoken against in this booke: who not contented to practise the same himselfe, went about to perswade others thereunto: and to that end had framed reasons and arguments to vphold his assertion. Which when I heard, and vnderstood, considering that he was a man of place, and some learning, and therefore might preuaile the more in this mischieuous deuise: I determined to search out what authors had written concerning that matter. But finding them all that I could hit vpon to be more occupied in making inuectiues against sorcerie in generall; then in particular setting downe what it was, or wherein it consisted: thereby leauing a dare open to these vaine and wicked men to creepe out at: by reason the chiefe grounds were not taken away, whereon they stand. Therefore I resolued to make some treatise of mine own. And because I thought I should haue thereby fit occasion, both to answer his arguments, and also to speake of other matters very meete and necessarie in this case: I made choice of this text in the Actes of the Apostles: and so much the rather, for that it was a place alleadged by the aforesaid partie himselfe: that so I might (as it were,) vna fidelia duos parietes dealbare. That is (as we say) stoppe two gappes with one bush; both answering to the aduersaries reasons, and likewise opening the meaning of the said place, to all such simple and true meaning Christians, as should heare or reade the same. Howbeit at the first I had no such purpose, as to make it common to all; but onely to such of my friends and acquaintance, to whom I meant to commit it, and my selfe should thinke good. Notwithstanding, afterward at my aforesaid friends request, who did beare me in hand, that it would be profitable to the Church of God (if it should come abroad into the open view of the world,) at the last I yielded, as thou seest. God graunt that it may worke that effect which I wish for: the which if I shall perceiue, it shall encourage me to imploy my studies hereafter, for thy further benefit. In the meane while I commit thee to the tuition of him, who is able to doe more then we can wish, or desire. And so I bid thee heartily farewell.
Iames Mason. ()|