isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter ii (sorcery)

“The book of Dr. W. G. Soldan, of Stuttgart, has become as famous in Germany, as Bodin’s book on Demonomania in France. It is the most complete German treatise on witchcraft of the sixteenth century. One interested to learn the secret machinery underlying these thousands of legal murders, perpetrated by a clergy who pretended to believe in him, will find it divulged in the above-mentioned work.

The true origin of the daily accusations and death-sentences for sorcery are cleverly traced to personal and political enmities, and, above all, to the hatred of the Catholics toward the Protestants. The crafty work of the Jesuits is seen at every page of the bloody tragedies; and it is in Bamberg and Wurzburg, where these worthy sons of Loyola were most powerful at that time, that the cases of witchcraft were most numerous. On the next page we give a curious list of some victims, many of whom were children between the ages of seven and eight years, and Protestants.

“Of the multitudes of persons who perished at the stake in Germany during the first half of the seventeenth century for sorcery, the crime of many was their attachment to the religion of Luther”, says T. Wright, “…and the petty princes were not unwilling to seize upon any pretense to fill their coffers…the persons most persecuted being those whose property was a matter of consideration. At Bamberg, as well as at Wurzburg, the bishop was a sovereign prince in his dominions. The Prince-Bishop, John George II, who ruled Bamberg…after several unsuccessful attempts to root out Lutheranism, distinguished his reign by a series of sanguinary witch trials, which disgrace the annals of that city. We may form some notion of the proceedings of his worthy agent, from the statement of the most authentic historians, that between 1625 and 1630, not less than 900 trials took place in the two courts of Bamberg and Zeil; and a pamphlet published at Bamberg by authority, in 1659, states the number of persons whom Bishop John George had caused to be burned for sorcery, to have been 600.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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