CHAP. 1. (1.)—THE ORIGIN OF THE MAGIC ART.
IN former parts of this work, I have had occasion more than.
once, when the subject demanded it, to refute the impostures
of the magic art, and it is now my intention to continue still
further my exposure thereof. Indeed, there are few subjects
on which more might be profitably said, were it only that,
being, as it is, the most deceptive of all known arts, it has
exercised the greatest influence in every country and in nearly
every age. And no one can be surprised at the extent of its
influence and authority, when he reflects that by its own energies it has embraced, and thoroughly amalgamated with itself;
the three other sciences1
which hold the greatest sway upon
the mind of man.
That it first originated in medicine, no one entertains a
or that, under the plausible guise of promoting health,
it insinuated itself among mankind, as a higher and more holy
branch of the medical art. Then, in the next place, to promises the most seductive and the most flattering, it has added
all the resources of religion, a subject upon which, at the present day, man is still entirely in the dark. Last of all, to
complete its universal sway, it has incorporated with itself the
there being no man who is not desirous to
know his future destiny, or who is not ready to believe that
this knowledge may with the greatest certainty be obtained,
by observing the face of the heavens. The senses of men
being thus enthralled by a three-fold bond, the art of magic
has attained an influence so mighty, that at the present day
even, it holds sway throughout a great part of the world, and
rules the kings4
of kings in the East.