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216 § 193. DEMoni Acs possessed witH A Devil.
VII. Demoniacs knew, what madmen, insane persons, epileptics, and melancholy men could not of themselves know, viz. That Jesus was the SoN of God, the Messiah, the SoN of DAvid, Etc. Mark 1: 24. 5: 7. Matt. 8:29. Luke 4: 34. VIII. Jesus speaks to the demons and asks them their name; and we find, that they answer him. He also threatens them, commands them to be silent, to depart, and not to return, Mark 1:25. 5: 8, 9; 25. Matt. 8:29–31. Luke 4: 35. 8:30–32. IX. When the seventy disciples returned from their labours, one prominent cause of their joy was, that the devils, when the name of Christ was pronounced, obeyed them. Jesus answered them, as follows, in Luke 10: 18; “I beheld SATAN, as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you; notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” X. When the Saviour was accused by the Pharisees of casting out devils by the aid of Beelzebub, he replied, that the kingdom, the city, or the family, in which were dissensions and discords, would of itself perish; and that, consequently, if there were such discords in the kingdom of Satan, as to induce one devil to exert his power in the expulsion of another, it could not long exist. To these things, he immediately adds; “If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out 2 Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the spirit of God, (by divine power or a miracle,) then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man 2 and then he will spoil his house,” Matt. 12:25, 28. Mark 3: 23–25. Luke 11: 17–19. XI. Jesus makes the following remarks in respect to demons or evil spirits in Matt. 12:43, and in Luke 11:24, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest but finding none. He saith, I will return to my house, whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished; then goeth he and taketh seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in and duell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” It is very clear, that a person would not naturally understand expressions of this kind in respect to a disease.
§ 194. The opposite ARGUMENT. 217
XII. The woman in Luke 13: 11, who was bowed down with the spirit of infirmity, is said by the Saviour in the sixteenth verse, to have been bound by Satan. The Apostle Peter, in like manner, asserts in Acts 10:38, that all, who had been oppressed with the devil, zal advvaarsvouévows into row 8taffolov, were healed by Jesus of Nazareth, the anointed of God.
XIII. The wonderful miracles of Jesus will appear of but comparatively little importance and little worth, if it should be admitted, that he did not actually cast out devils, but merely healed diseases. The Church Fathers, accordingly, embraced, without any dissenting voice, the opinion, that the persons, of whom we have been speaking, were really possessed with demons, and the Church itself, in accordance with this opinion, instituted an order of persons, called exorcists.
§ 194. GENERAL view of the opposite ARGUMENT.
Those who maintain, that demoniacs were epileptic, melancholy, insane, or mad persons, commence their arguments, with referring back to a very early period. They endeavour to prove by induction from various instances, which they conceive to be to the point, and by a multitude of quotations from Greek, Roman and Jewish writers, that the demons, to whom diseases are attributed as the agents, are not the 6 Juddolog of the New Testament, (the evil spirit in an emphatic and peculiar sense ;) but that they are the spirits of dead men, who had died by a violent death, particularly of such, as were known to have sustained bad characters while living. Demoniacs, therefore, according to the hypothesis of these persons, were men, who were afflicted with some disease mental or bodily, but who were generally supposed by the people to be possessed and agitated by these spirits, the same as if they had been haunted by furies; compare the large German edition of this Work, P.I. V. II. § 227—229, p. 411–454. They take the ground, therefore, that Jesus, the apostles, and the writers of the New Testament, if they wished to be understood by those, for whom their writings were intended, were under the necessity of attaching the same meaning to the word demons, which was attached to it by their contemporaries.
218 § 195. symptoms IN DEMoniacs.
Having taken this position, they endeavour to confirm their sentiments by saying further,
I. That the symptoms, exhibited by demoniacs, as stated in the New Testament, are the same with those, which are exhibited by men in epilepsy, hypochondria, insanity, and madness.
II. That the sacred writers give intimations in various places, that they use the words demon and demons, solely because they were in common circulation at that period; and are, accordingly, to be considered, as merely accommodating themselves to the language in common use, and not as professedly teaching or denying the agency attributed to evil spirits.
III. That the real operation of departed spirits upon living men is inconsistent with the doctrine of Christ and his apostles; and of course they could not mean, by the phrases and passages in question, such operations.
These three points, they endeavour to illustrate and confirm by various arguments, of which we shall proceed to give an enumeration.
§ 195. SYMptoms IN DEMoniacs the same with Those IN DisEAs ED PERsons.
The opposers of the doctrine of the real agency of evil spirits in the case of demoniacs proceed to state, in the first place, that, in the time of Christ, demoniacs in other countries were frequently restored by a resort to medical prescriptions. It is not at all rational to suppose, that demoniacs thus restored were actually possessed with the spirits of the dead, in as much as such spirits could not have been expelled by mere medical art. They were, therefore, merely diseased or sick persons in the ordinary sense of the words. The symptoms in these men were the same with those of the persons mentioned in the New Testament, viz. the ordinary symptoms of epilepsy, insanity, and hypochondria. The demoniacs, consequently, of the New Testament, as we have the utmost ground for inferring, were no other than sick men, since the symptoms they actually exhibited are such, as they would have exhibited, in case they had been afflicted with the diseases abovementioned, and nothing more. And these diseases, let it be remembered, are attributed to spirits or demons so called, merely on account of the prevailing opinions and belief of the people.
§ 195. symptoms IN DEMoniacs. 219
I. The two Gadarenes, Matt. 8:28, et seq. of whom only the more conspicuous and celebrated one, (viz. the one, who after his recovery prayed Christ, “that he might be with him,” i. e. might be his follower or disciple,) is mentioned in Mark 5: 2. and Luke 8: 27. were deranged persons or madmen, who were impressed with the idea, that there were within them innumerable spirits of dead men. They, accordingly, dwelt amid the sepulchres of the buried, went naked, were ungovernable, cried aloud, beat themselves, and attacked those who passed by. Such things are characteristic of madmen. The great power which one of them possessed, and which enabled him to burst asunder bonds and chains, is not unfrequently witnessed in persons, who have lost their reason. Both Mark (chap. 5:15,) and Luke (chap. 8:35,) mention that the Gadarenes found this demoniac after he had been restored by Jesus, ooq govovvra, i. e. in his right mind; which is a clear intimation, that he was previously destitute of reason.
It is true, these men address Jesus as the SoN of God, i. e. the Messiah, and ask him not to torment them ; but this circumstance can be accounted for on the supposition, that they had heard, as they undoubtedly had, in those lucid intervals, which are granted to many insane persons, that Jesus, whose fame, (Matt. 4; 24.) had already extended as far as Syria, was regarded as the Messiah.
They evidently betray their insanity by saying, they were devils without number, and by beseeching Jesus not to drive them into the sea, but to permit them to enter into the swine, which were feeding near. Certainly none but the professed advocates of real demoniacal possession would suppose, that an actual demon or devil would select such an habitation, as that. It is admitted, that Jesus, (Mark 5: 8.) commands the unclean spirit to depart. But does this prove any thing The spirit was called unclean, because it was supposed to be the spirit of one dead, and was unclean of course. It was commanded to depart, merely that the attention of the people present might be excited, and that they might have ample opportunity to notice the miracle, wrought in favour of the unfortunate maniac. It was not the demons, but, as in Acts 19: 16. the madmen themselves, who impetuously attacked the herd 220 § 195. SYMptoms IN DEMoniacs.
of swine, and drove them down the steep into lake Gennesareth. Mark and Luke, in conformity with the common mode of speech, represent the demons, as going from the madmen, and entering into the swine; for it was the custom to attribute to the agency of the supposed demons, whatever was done by the demoniacs themselves; comp. Matt. 9: 32. Luke 11: 14. 13: 11, see also the large German edition of this Work, P.I. Vol. II. § 231. p. 464. That the swine, being a fearful animal, and running with great speed, as they naturally would, before pursuers of such a peculiar character, should have plunged in considerable numbers into the lake and perished, is by no means strange or incredible. We say in considerable numbers, because the expressions which are used, leave us at liberty to suppose, that some of the herd escaped. The meaning is, that the expressions are not to be too literally interpreted, (ad vivum resecandum.) Nor is it, moreover, anything very extraordinary, that these men paid a sort of homage and reverence to the Redeemer, of whose miracles and greatness they had heard; since there are not wanting instances of madmen, who both fear and exhibit a degree of respect to certain persons. II. The dumb man, mentioned in Matt. 9: 32, and in Luke 11: 14. and the man, who was both dumb and blind in Matt. 12: 22. were likewise insane, or at least melancholy persons. It is proper to remark here, in explanation of our thus coupling together these two classes of mental diseases, that insanity, and melanchely or hypochondria, as the experience of physicians sufficiently proves, are nearly allied to, and often accompany each other. That the first mentioned of these persons was afflicted with one of these maladies, which in that age were attributed to the agency of demons, appears from the fact, that Luke, (chap. 11: 14,) calls the devil a dumb one, while the parallel passage in Matt. 9: 32. represents the man himself as dumb. III. The youth, who in Matt. 17: 15. is called a lunatic
from his childhood, and who in Luke 9: 38–40. was seized and
torn, while uttering cries of woe, by an evil spirit of such persevering cruelty, as to be unwilling to suspend the exercise of his vengeance even after the victim had already severely and cruelly suffered, and who, furthermore, is said in Mark 6: 17, to have had an unclean spirit, to have fallen with great outcries, sometimes upon the earth, sometimes into water, and sometimes into fire, to