Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Some of the epithets given by the evangelists to the spirits ejected by Christ, seem rather best to agree with the fuppofition of their being of an immoral nature ; for they, are called evil: and unclean". It is not however certain, whether these epithets were given them to express their personal dispositions, or only those effects they were supposed to produce. The word, evil', might be applied to a' dethe words which' answer to demons, are said to be taken in an ill sense, '

? Luke vii. 21, ch..8. 2. .: Mat, x. I. Mark i. 23. ch, v, 2, 8, 13: Luke iv, 33, 36. Acts v, 16. ch. viii. 7. Mre Mede is of opinion, that St. Luke knew the word demon to be ambiguous, and therefore, to distinguilh it once for all, doth the first time he uses it, do it with an explication : There was, a mun in the synagogue having the spirit (daouquís aixadá pre ) of an unclean demon, Works, p. 636. 1, nb Ilovneo's, fignifies in felix or miser, as well as improbus or malus. The xoćnos dainws in Homer may denote an adverse, and not a wicked, demong and be equivalent to suyspo's dxipows, Odyff. lib. v. V.396. Compare the passage from Plutarch de Qrac, defect. p. 438, cited below.

mong

mon, on account of the pain and mifery he was thought to create. And it is possible, that demons might be called vinclean because persons under that melancholy and maniacal disorder, of which they were the reputed authors, avoided the society of men, and were continually defiling themselves with objects esteemed by the Jews unclean. This was the case of the man who lived amongst the tombs ‘i by which he contracted the greatest pollution. Demons are called dumb" spirits, and deaf and dumb spirits. Were thefe demons thought to be themfelves deaf and dumb? Or only to make men fo? Would not the latter opinion be a fufficient reason for giving them thefe titles ?

. See Beaufobre and Lenfant on Mat. x. 1. In Zechariah xiii. 2. God promises, to cause the prophets, and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. Here, as these learned writers observe, the fpirit of the false prophets is called unclean, because these prophets or necromancers were supposed to receive their inspiration at fepulchres. I add, that it apo pears from the Talmud, that the Jews, when they were corrupted by the superstition of the Heathens, resorted to fepulchres, where the fouls of the departed were thought to remain, that an unclean spirit might deseend upon them The demons themselves, it was imagined, delighted in desolate places, Rev. xviii. 2. Compare Lightfoot's Hor. Hebraic, on Luke xiii. ii, Works, v. ii, p. 442.

greatest

In the controversy concerning the Gorpel demoniacs, between Dr. Sykes and his opponents, it seemed to be taken for granted by both parties, that if demons were evil spirits, they must of neceffity be fallen angels. But if we allow, that demons were considered as evil spirits, it will by no means follow, that they were regarded as beings originally of a higher order than mankind; as we have elsewhere shewn. The Fathers of the church generally understood demon in

* Mark ix, 17. I have brought unto thee my song which hath a dumb spirit.

Thou dumb and deaf Spirit, I tharge theo come out of him, v. 25.

Disert, on Mir. p. 204pm

an,

an ill sense, and thought it was to be so taken in the scriptures.

; SECT. IV. Prop. IV. Those persons who are spoken of

as having demons, Juffered real, and very violent disorders, from whatever cause

these disorders proceeded. . W HETHER reputed demoniacs

" were possessed by demons or not, they are ranked in the New Testament amongst those who suffered the most grievous distempers. St. Mathew h have ing said in general terms, they brought to Jesus all fick people, that were taken with DIVERS diseases and torments; then

V

8 St. Austin de Civ. Dei, lib. ix, c. 19. Tertullian as cited there, p. 548. Origen, contar Celf. p. 234. Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. iv. c. 5.

: Ch. iv. 24. IIÓutas Ty's xaxūs š xoutas, Josxiλαις νόσους και βασάνους συνεχoμένες, και δαιμονιζοMéves, xai oranua Soméves, kał w upadutixós.

• specifies then specifies the following particular cases; even those who were polesed with demons, and those who were lunatic, and those who had the pally. Here possessed persons, lunatics, and paralytics, though contra-distinguished from each other, are all equally comprehended under the fick people, that were taken with divers diseajes and torments. On another occafion, the same evangelist says, They brought unto him many that were porefjed with demons: and he cast out the Spirits with his word, and healed all that were. fick ; that it might be fulfilled which was Spoken by Esaias the prophet, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our fickneses'. This prophecy concerning Christ's taking our infirmities, and bearing our ficknesses, was accomplished in part by the cure of demoniacs; and therefore possessions, are comprehended under infirmities and Mat, viii, 16, 17. If. liii. 4. .. : F .

fick

« PoprzedniaDalej »