The first decisive blow which the doctrines of the inquisitors received in Germany was from the publication of the 'Cautio Criminalis/ in 1631. In the sixteenth century, it is true that Ponzonibius, Wierus, Pietro d'Apone, and Reginald Scott had published works which went to impugn their whole proceedings ; but the works of the foreigners were almost unknown in Germany, and that of Wierus was nearly as absurd and superstitious as the doctrines he combated. It is little to the credit of the Reformers that the first work in which the matter was treated in a philosophical, humane, and common-sense view should have been the production of a Catholic Jesuit, Frederick Spee, the descendant of a noble family in Westphalia. So strongly did this exposure of the horrors of the witch trials operate on the mind of John Philip Schonbrunn, Bishop of Wurtzburg, and finally Archbishop and Elector of Mentz, that his first care on assuming the Electoral dignity was to abolish the process entirely within his dominions -an example which was soon after followed by the Duke of Brunswick and others of the German princes. Shortly after this the darkness begins to break up, and the dawning of better views to appear, though still liable to partial and temporary obscurations,-the evil apparently shifting further north, and re-appearing in Sweden and Denmark in the shape of the trials at Mora and Fiogc Reichard"* has published a rescript of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, bearing date the 4th of November, 1654, addressed to the judges in reference to the case of Ann of Ellerbroke, enjoining that the prisoner should be allowed to be heard in defence, before any torture was resorted to (a principle directly the reverse of those maintained by the inquisitorial courts), and expressly reprobating the proof by water as an unjust and deceitful test, to which no credit was to be given. Even where a conviction takes place, as in the Neuendorf trial of Catherine Sempels, we find the sentence of death first passed upon her by the provincial judges, commuted into imprisonment for life by the Electoral Chamber in 1671,-a degree of lenity which never could have taken place during the height of the mania.