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do not at all disagree with that idea of a demoniac, which we before endeavoured to establish, which is that of a perfon under an alienation of mind, or disorder of understanding, proceeding, or originally thought to proceed, from the pofsession of demons... i
The learned writer farther appeals to paralytical cafes, in support of his hypothesis. But paralytics are never spoken of in the Gospel as demoniacs. Nay, the Gospel expresly distinguishes palfies from pofseflions'. Dr. Lardner" likewise preffes into the service two passages
above, p. 107, 108, 109. He had a spirit that was
which have been already explained“; that which speaks of a woman whom Satan bound; and that which describes all difeased persons as oppressed by the devil. With regard to both these passages, it has been shewn, that a distinction should be made between disorders which the Jews considered as inflicted by evil spirits, and such as they ascribed to evil spirits poffeling mankind. Diseased persons in general were thought to suffer under the power of evil spirits ; but those only were thought to be poffeffed, whom evil spirits entered and actuated, occupying the feat of the human soul, and performing its various functions. If possession was common to all the diseased, it could not have been employed, in the manner it is in the New Testament, to distinguish one sort of diseased persons from another. . . - We have now examined all Dr. Lardner's objections to the account we have
given of the Gospel demoniacs. 'And if he (who was so well acquainted with the subject) did not think it liable to any other, we may presume no other can be raised against it. tit. . ..
;' I fall close this section with observing, "1. That what hath been here offered, confirms what was before advanced to prove, that demoniacs laboured under real and violent disorders. Such, it will be allowed, epilepfies and madness are.' 3.2. From the foregoing account of the Gospel demoniacs, it also appears, upon what grounds poffeffions might be distin. guished from diseases in general, and from lunacies in particular. :
It hath been thewn!, that, on several occasions, the New Testament includes poffeffions under the general terms, ficknesses and diseases; and consequently confiders them as one particular species of them.
I Sect. iv,
At other times, it distinguishes poffeffions from diseases in general, in conformity to the popular language, which it adopted on this subject, for reasons that will be explained hereafter h. Those who first introduced this language confidered -pos: feffions as distinct from every kind of diseases ; for, while the latter implied some disorder in the corporeal system, the former, in their opinion, supposed the corporeal system, however sound in itself, to be actuated and over-ruled by a supe. rior agent. ;; ; . . But to some it seems strange, that pofsessions, if they import madness, should be distinguished from lunacies. That the New Testament doth distinguish between them, I readily allow'; and it is not without reason, that a learned writer k blames
See below, chap. II. sect. iii. i Matt. iv. 24. * Dr.Warburton, Serm.vol.iii.p. 224, 225. Some expressions of Dr. Sykes, against whom the bishop's fèrmon is particularly levelled, seem to have given occasion to the censure of this learned writer.
those who confound them together. But the anti-demonist is under no necessity of doing this. In order to understand this matter, it is necessary to examine the sentiments of antiquity concerning it; for the evangelists have not delivered any new fystem of phyfics, but on such subjects followed the modes of speaking then-in use. Now it was the general opinion of antiquity, that some diseases are owing to the influence of the celestial bodies; and that the paroxysms and periods of others are regulated by the moon in particular!. This was the cafe more especially with respect to epileptic diseases, the fits of which, it was affirmed, constantly returned every new and full moon. Galen says, the moon governs the periods of epileptic cafes i and others referred the diseafe
'Dr. Mead's Treatise concerning the Influence of the Sun and Moon upon human Bodies, and the Piseases thereby produced, p. 1, 2, . , , De Diębus criticis, !. iii. cited by Mead, p. 38.