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of explaining these phenomena, Kircher has also much in common with Mesmer; and he speaks of the streaming of all things together. “ Præterea cum omnes res agant effluxum quendam,” etc.
Kircher treats of the magnetism of the imaginative power, and amongst other subjects he particularly introduces pregnant women:
“ The Arabs,” he says, « and particularly Avicenna and his disciples, believe in such a power of the imagination, that it not only has influence over the body, but can move and change external substances without any intermediate body. Even the animals possess more or less of this power, and, indeed, the more they have of it, the nobler they appear. Truly a strong and very striking power of imagination does not belong to all. The influence of a strong will on others is so much the stronger when the three following circumstances combine:-1st. Nobility of soul; 2nd. Strong motive power of the imagination; and 3rdly. The absence of a resistant power (subjectum non repugnans.) In this manner some cure the least healable of diseases, and are cognizant of future and absent events. I have already quoted the passage where he says that a free mind destitute of all worldly sensuality arrives at the clearest vision of all things. But that the imagination can do something may be seen in those persons who, whenever they think of the fire and punishment of hell, fall into a violent perspiration. In women, too, the power of the imagination is greater than in men, and especially when they are pregnant.'
Finally, the magnetism of love is the originator and maintainer of all things under God. Arts and sciences emanate from it, The artist knows it, as well as the athlete, the landsman, the musician, the astrologer, the diviner, and the theologian. Love in its ordinary sense, he says, is a kind of fever: “Amor febris species.'
His opinions respecting the magnetism of the earth, of plants, and stars, are very interesting, as well as on the accordance and mutual movements of the heaven and the earth, the latter of which, however, he imagines to stand still, and the sun to go round it. He says that the earlier philosophers never denied this accordance, but have perceived that the sun binds all things to himself, and also imparts
this uniting power to other things, which probably no one except the stone-blind will deny.
Finally, what Kircher says of the antidotes against poisonous animals, and which he corroborates from his own experience, deserves to be quoted. The sting or bite of a venomous creature can be most effectually cured by an application of part of the very animal from which the mischief has proceeded. For instance, the bite of a viper is cured by eating the flesh of the viper. The scorpion cures the bite of the scorpion, as he had himself witnessed in Germany. The great poisonous toad cured the plague-boil, being previously dried in the sun, and then laid upon it.
. From this it follows, of course, that the true antidote of hydrophobia is in the animal whose bite produces the disease, which Lemnius also asserts (Levinus Lemnius de occultis naturæ miraculis), who recommends to take some hairs, or to eat some part of the same animal. Some years ago a Swiss physician tried it, and especially recommended drinking the blood of the mad dog.
Tenzel Wirdig was a professor of Rastock, and in 1673 published a book which created a great sensation—“Tenzelius Wirdig, Nova medicina spirituum.” He went farther than all his predecessors, asserting that in nature and in bodies there was more life, movement, and magnetism, than men had hitherto commonly supposed. With great address, and great learning, he demonstrated that the whole of nature was ensouled, and extended the theory of Kepler still wider than he had done himself, though he asserted the earth to be a large animal.
There is, according to him, an accordance between the souls of all the bodies on the earth, in the stars of heaven, and, where they are of congenial nature, an attraction, and a repugnance and a constant strife between those which are of an opposite nature. “Out of this relationship of sympathy and antipathy arises a constant movement in the
whole world, and in all its parts, and an uninterrupted communion between heaven and earth, which produces
universal harmony. The stars whose emanations consist merely of fire and spirits, have an undeniable influence on earthly bodies; and their influence on man demonstrates itself by life, movement, and warmth, those things without which he cannot live. The influence of the stars is the strongest at birth. The new-born child inhales this influence, and on whose first breath frequently his whole constitution depends, nay even his whole life.”
The relation between spirits of sympathy and antipathy, whether they be of the earth or of heaven, is what Wirdig calls magnetism : “Magnetism is the accordance of spirits.
As the whole world is ensouled, so is it also subjected to magnetism; for everything approximates to its like, and removes from that which is unlike, as the magnet does. Everything lives and exists through magnetism, and everything perishes through magnetism. He extends this sympathy into all things ; speaks of the sympathy amongst men in general; between persons of the same sex ; between the mother and child ; of the sympathy of the different parts of the body ; of the blood, etc. He gives an instance of one person influencing another at a great distance whence illness was produced. This in modern times has frequently been confirmed, and is stated by Hufeland in his work on magic, published in Berlin in 1817. He also gives the account of à nose which had been cut from the back of a porter, but which when the porter died, died too, and fell off from its artificial position,-a relation confirmed by Van Helmont, Campanella, and Servius. A piece of skin taken from a living head had the hair turn grey at the same time as that on the head from which it was taken.
Of the many learned men of whom more might be said here, I must at least give the names.
Amongst the most distinguished disciples of Paracelsus, the defenders of a magico-theosophical science were in France, -Jacob Gohory, Joseph du Chesne, and especially the learned philosopher Peter Poiret Naudé, in his Apologie pour tous les grandes personages qui ont été faussement soupçonnés de magie, Haye, 1679. Gaffarel, Rueil Phara
mond; Ernst Burggraf (Balneum Dianæ magnet. prescorphilos. claris. Logduni 1600.) Bartholin, Sir Kelham Digby, Santanelli (Philosophia recondita, Coloniæ, 1723.) Edward Medeira in “ Novæ philosoph. et medic. qualit. occult. Ulyssipone, 1650.) Thomas Bartholin, in his treatise on the transference of diseases; Andreas Tenzel (Medicina diastatica), or the art of healing which operates at a distance magnetic-sympathetic cures of many diseases, in which man may use magically, animals, plants, and metals. Leipsic and Hoff, 1753. Kräutermann, the curious and simple magical physician, who taught and demonstrated how man not only ex triplici regno may prepare remarkable medicines, but also by sympathy and antipathy, by transference, by amulets, and natural magic, can happily cure diseases, or in other words by reputed witchcraft, with excellent recipes, which have been published four different times. Arnstadt, 1737.
To these must be added the theosophist Rosicrucians, Oswald, Croll, Gerhard Dorn, Michael Toxites, Heinrich Kunnath, Ægid Guthmann, Julius Sperber, Valentine Weigel, etc., who may all be found in Brucker's Critical History of Philosophy, vol. iv. p. 644, 750. It is known, too, that Henry More was also a defender of the Cabbalistic philosophy. Opposed to these stand a multitude of antagonists; amongst whom Libavius and Jennert are the most distinguished. The opinions of other philosophers who have treated of magic and magnetism belong also to this place; particularly De Loques, who wrote a treatise on the magnetic power of the blood, 1664. Farther, the great Descartes was a teacher of the magnetic doctrine. For he asserted that all space is filled with a fluid matter, which he held to be elementary, and the foundation and fountain of all life, which encloses all globes and keeps them in motion. The Cartesian vortexes are well known, and have more in common with the magnet streams of Mesmer than people suppose who have not carefully examined the subject.
Even Newton, whom men are accustomed to call the light of the world, belongs to the catalogue of magnetic teachers. Preeminently is his doctrine of attraction and of universal space, which he, and still more his defender, Samuel Clarke, termed the Divine sensorium, a magnetic doctrine. But
this is still more seen in the third book of his Fundamental Principles of Natural Philosophy, where it is said—“Here the question is of a very subtle spirit which penetrates through all, even the hardest bodies, and which is concealed in their substance. Through the strength and activity of this spirit, bodies attract each other, and adhere together when brought into contact. Through it electrical bodies operate at the remotest distances, as well as near at hand, attracting and repelling; through this spirit the light also flows and is refracted and reflected, and warms bodies. All senses are excited by this spirit, and through it the animals move their limbs. But these things cannot be explained in few words, and we have not yet sufficient experience to determine fully the laws by which this universal spirit operates.”
These magnetic doctrines struck, as we have seen, deep root in many countries after Paracelsus; deeper in France, and deepest, perhaps, of all, in Germany. But in general in the last century people began to give up their faith in them. There came a pause till about the year seventy, when they became again vigorously agitated. Gassner, Cagliostro, and Swedenborg, diffused afresh, by their conjurations and their spirit-seeing, a panic-terror, and Mesmer, who indeed had little to do with spirits, by his discovery of the cure of diseases by animal magnetism, completely turned people's heads.
Gassner, a clergyman from the country of Bludenz, in Vorarlberg, healed many diseases through exorcism. In the year 1758 he was the clergyman of Klösterle, where, by his exorcisms, he became so celebrated, that he drew a vast number of people to him. The flocking of the sick from Switzerland, the Tyrol, and Swabia, is said to have been so great, that the number of invalids was frequently more than a thousand, and they were, many of them, obliged to live under tents. The Austrian government gave its assistance, and Gassner now went under the patronage of the Bishop to Regensburg, where he continued to work wonders, till, finally, Mesmer, on being asked by the Elector of Bavaria, declared that Gassner's cures and crises, which he so rapidly, and wholly to the astonishment of the spectators, produced, consisted in nothing more than in magnetic-spiritual excitement, of which he gave convincing proofs in the presence of