This book gives a history of the magical arts and overviews of various magicians. If anyone reads this book looking for rules or instructions on how to practice magic, they will be disappointed. Instead, this book gives a history of magical practices from ancient times to Defoe's day. In Defoe's view, all magic involves varying degrees of demonic influence, and the book examines various ways magic practitioners entreat the devil's aid. A Compleat System of Magick: or, the History of the Black-Art. Shewing, I. The Original of Magicians; and how some of them were made Kings, as Zoroaster, Cadmus, and many others. II. How the ancient Magi, who studied Philosophy, Astronomy, &c. were induc'd to turn Wizards and Sorcerers, and deal with the Devil; and how their Conversation began. III. The different Shapes assum'd by the Devil in his first Appearances to Magicians; and whether he is, or has been, allow'd to assume a Human-Shape. IV. Who first practised Magick as a Diabolical Art, and its Progress among the Egyptians and Phoenicians; by whom it was first openly encourag'd, and of its present State. V. What the Black-Art, really is, the various Manner of its Practice in different Parts of the World, and of the Doctrine of Spirits. VI. How far it may be suppos'd there can be an Intercourse between Superiour and Infernal Beings, and whether the Magick-Art now subsists. VII. How far the Devil may be raised by Magical Operations; and whether it is by their own Power, or by mutual Concert with the Devil. The Whole Compiled from the best Authorities Ancient and Modern
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