WEBSTER, John. The Displaying of supposed Witchcraft Wherein is affirmed that there are many sorts of Deceivers and Impostors . . . But that there is a corporeal league made betwixt the Devil and the Witch . . .
London, Jonas More, 1677.
FIRST EDITION. Quarto, pp. (16) 346 (4). Roman letter with italic. Slight tear to corner of Bb1 with no text loss, hole Cc4 with minor text loss, still a good clean copy, bound in brown calf, red gilt title piece, slightly worn. Ex libris Spottiswoode, 1900.
Dedicating the work to neighbours in Yorkshire as a placatory text to halt spurious rumours and misunderstanding concerning devilish matters, Webster provides an overview of censure concerning the treatment of apparitions and witchcraft and describes witches and their deeds. He adopts a rational approach and insists that all evidence in support of sorcery should be subjected to the same scientific scrutiny as employed by the likes of Newton and Locke. After all, what need was there to suspect the handiwork of the devil in any miracle, when ‘Mr Boyle’ . . . was able . . . ‘to manifest the great and wonderful virtues that God had endowed stones, minerals, plants and roots withal’.
Wing W 1230.