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able to see the Devil in whatever shape he is pleased to appear in, is not really qualified to live in this world, no, not in the quality of a
But the mistake lies chiefly here, that we either will allow no apparition at all, or will have every apparition be the Devil; as if none of the inhabitants of the world above, were able to show themselves here, or had any business among us, but the Devil, who I am of the opinion has really less business here than
of them all ; nay, we have some reason to believe he has indeed no business here at all, but that of a roaring lion, &c., and therefore if you meet him, and had courage for it, the properest question you could ask him would be, not, In the name of God, what art thou ? but, In the name of God, what business hast thou here? Bid him be gone to his den, and tell him
will to chain him up else : I dare say he would turn tail at such an attack seriously made; and it would be the best way in the world to ged rid of him.
That we may then be perfectly easy about this undetermined thing called apparition, I have endeavoured here to bring the thing into a narrow compass, and to set it in a true light. I have first given you several specimens of real apparitions well attested, and the truth of them so affirmed, that they may be depended upon : if in any of them I am not so well assured of the fact, though they may be as certain, yet I have frankly told you so, and adhered to the moral only: but all together may
pray to God
convince the reader of the reason and reality of the
On the other hand, I have given you specimens of those amusements and delusions which have been put upon the world for apparitions; and you may see the difference is so notorious, (whether the cheat be political or whimsical, magical or imaginary,) that no man can be easily deceived, that will but make use of the eyes of his understanding, as well as of those in his head.
If, after all, you will give up your reason to your fancy, which at best is but a distemper, and that you will call every shadow an apparition, and every apparition a Devil, you must be content to be the subject of constant delusion; for he that will imagine he sees the Devil always about him, whether Satan is really near him or no, shall never want walking shadows to amuse him, till he really calls up the Devil he fears, and bespeaks the mischief he was before in danger of.