Of God and His Creatures

It would be superfluous to translate this chapter. The one point of interest which it contains is the enumeration of wonders ascribed to magicians in the thirteenth century. Such wonders are answers given about the whereabouts of things stolen, about buried treasures, about future events, also about points of science: speaking apparitions: statues that move and speak: locks opening on a person's mere approach: people becoming invisible. St Thomas writes: "If any one says that such apparitions are not in the external sense but are simply imaginary, that explanation has its difficulties: for no one takes imaginary forms for true ones except in cases of alienation of the mind from exterior impressions: only when the natural judgement of sense is impaired can phantoms be attended to as though they were realities: but these conversations and apparitions occur to men who have the full use of their external senses." He mentions "statues made by the necromantic art," but does not explicitly refer to that evocation of the spirits of the departed, which is the pretence of modern spiritualism.

Of God and His Creatures: 3.104