Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (London: William Brome, 1584. Great Britain: John Rodker, 1930) 8.

  
  BOOKE I.                              The Discoverie                               Credulity
  
   
        The art alwaies presupposeth the power; so as, if they saie they can doo this or
   that, they must shew how and by what meanes they doo it; as neither the
   witches, nor the witchmoongers are able to doo. For to everie action is required
   the facultie and abilitie of the agent or dooer; the aptnes of the patient or sub-
   ject; and a convenient and possible application. Now the witches are mortall,
   and their power dependeth upon the analogie and consonancie of their minds
   and bodies; but with their minds they can but will and understand; and with
   their bodies they can doo no more, but as the bounds and ends of terrene*
   will suffer*: and therefore their power extendeth not to doo such miracles, as
   surmounteth their owne sense, and the understanding of others which are wiser
   than they; so as here wanteth* the vertue* and power of the efficient.* And in
   reason, there can be no more vertue in the thing caused, than in the cause, or that
   which proceedeth of or from the benefit of the cause. And we see, that ignorant
   and impotent women, or witches, are the causes of incantations and charmes;
   wherein we shall perceive there is none effect, if we will credit our owne experi-
Aristot. de  ence and sense unabused, the rules of philosophie, or the word of God. For alas!
anima. lib. 2.  What an unapt instrument is a toothles, old, impotent, and unweldie woman to
Acts. 8.  flie in the aier? Truelie, the divell little needs such instruments to bring his
   purposes to passe.
Why shuld       It is strange, that we should suppose, that such persons can worke such feates:
not the divell  and it is more strange, that we will imagine that to be possible to be doone by a
be as readie  witch, which to nature and sense is impossible; speciallie when our neighbours
to helpe a  life dependeth upon our credulitie therein; and when we may see the defect of
theefe reallie  abilitie, which alwaies is an impediment both to the act, and also to the pre-
as a witch?  sumption thereof. And bicause there is nothing possible in lawe, that in nature
   is impossible; therefore the judge dooth not attend or regard what the accused
   man saith; or yet would doo: but, what is prooved to have beene committed, and
   naturallie falleth in mans power and will to doo. For the lawe saith, that To
   will a thing unpossible, is a signe of a mad man, or of a foole, upon whom no
   sentence or judgement taketh hold. Furthermore, what jurie will condemne, or
   what judge will give sentence or judgement against one for killing a man at
   Berwicke; when they themselves, and manie other sawe that man at London, that
   verie daie, wherein the murther was committed; yea though the partie con-
   fesse himself guiltie therein, and twentie witnesses depose the same? But in this
   case also I saie the judge is not to weigh their testimonie, which is weakened by
   lawe; and the judges authoritie is to supplie the imperfection of the case, and to
   mainteine the right and equitie of the same.
        Seeing therefore that some other things might naturallie be the occasion and
   cause of such calamities as witches are supposed to bring; let not us that professe
   the Gospell and knowledge of Christ, be bewitched to beleeve that they doo such
An objection  things, as are in nature impossible, and in sense and reason incredible. If they
answered.  saie it is doone through the divels helpe, who can work miracles; whie doo not
   theeves bring their busines to passe miraculouslie, with whom the divell is as
   conversant as with the other? Such mischeefes as are imputed to witches, hap-
   en where no witches are; yea and continue when witches are hanged and
   burnt: whie then should we attribute such effect to that cause, which being
   taken awaie, happeneth neverthelesse?
   
  
   
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