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Reference: Magic, Divination, And Sorcery


Magic, divination, sorcery, and witchcraft are all connected with belief in superhuman powers, and are methods whereby men endeavour to obtain from these powers knowledge of the future, or assistance in the affairs of life. Belief in magic and divination is most prevalent in the lower stages of civilization and religion. The arts of the magician and the diviner were founded upon the same logical processes as have issued in the development of modern science; but the limits within which deduction would be valid were disregarded, and the data were frequently imperfect. Accidental coincidence was often confused with causal sequence. (See Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, art. 'Divination'). Magic and divination were derived from attempts at reasoning which were very often erroneous; but from such crude beginnings science has slowly grown.

In their beginning these arts were associated with religion; and diviners and magicians were those thought to be most intimately connected with the Deity, and, owing to their superior knowledge of Him and His ways, best able to learn His secrets or secure His aid. Among the Arabs the priest was originally also the soothsayer; the Heb. k

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