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X'lDÆMONIAC, n.s. [from dtmin.] a ran being whose volition and other mental fasitel arc overpowered and restrained, and his •"'f possessed and actuated, by some created spi"3=! brmj; of superior power. Such scerris to be & deter*irate fense of the word; but it is disP=W •rhrther any of mankind ever were in this fifortnnate condition.
II.) D.EMDNIACS, ANCIFHT OPINIONS RE
"ectug. It is generally agreed, that neither swd nor evil spirits are known to exert such aulJ*"f * present over the human race: but in V* Œcent heathen world, and among the Jews, RiKukrly jn the day* of our Saviour, evil spirits, *rtf, are thought by many to have been more ^it'ome. The Greeks and Romans imaginTMi 'fet their deities., to reveal suture events, fre'i,afy catered into the prophet or prophetess *•»»*• consulted, overpowered their faculties, "TM Wcred responses with their organs of speech. "Pfowis believed toenter into the Pythoness,and "•"fee the prophetic answers received by those *•> o«tsnlltd her. Other oracles befii'es that of lwf*i were supposed to unfold futurity by the ** Mdiintrry And in various other cafes, ei'^ F,iiiraant>dxmons or benevolent deities were *HlK to enter into arid to actuate human be°- The Ljm^hatici, the Cerriti, the Lat-vati, *t» Romans, were all of this description ; and
* Greet-, by th use of the word iautw^pAut, w»fta thcy referred to this cause the origin of ?J*^ Among the ancient heathens, there"^happears to have been a.generally received
IBa, that superior beings entered occaiionally
* ■en, overpowered the faculties of their ***• and actuated their bodily organs. They
** SMgmc that this happened in instances in **-!<ie effects were owing to the operation of
J~"» cause ; but an opinion so generally pre^s kni surely some plausible foundation. The £"»too, both frem the sac-ed writings and Joy*v, appear to have believed in daemoriiacal W«fc». The cafe of Saul may be recollected "'* arnmg many in which superior created bc,"P "rre believed by the Jews to exert in this at^r their influence over human life. The ge*"«t«or of their history and language, and their ^j^enDceminggood and evil spirit»,prgve the
FM.ru. I>Ag.r I.
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opinion of dæmoniacal possession to hive been we known and generally received among them.
(3O DÆMON1ACS, ARGUMF STS ACiAlNST THS
ESisTkNCE Of. Those who ?re unwilling to allow that angels or devils have ever interfiled'ik-d. vfrith the concerns of human life, urge a nuuibur. of specious arguments. The Greeks and R<>'h;'->s, of old, fay they, did believe in the reality of demoniacal possession. They supposed that spiritual beings did at times enter into the sons or daughters' of riien, and distinguish then-.Mves in that si-' tuatiort by capricious freaks, deeds of win'in,' mischief*, or prophetic enunciations Eut in the instances in which they supposed this to happen, it is evident that no siu-h thing took place. Their accounts of the state and conduct of those persons whom they believed to be possessed in this supernatural manner, show plainly that what they ascribed to the influence of dæmons were merely, the effects of natural diseases. What ever she? relate concerning the larvnti, the cerriti, and the Ijmpbatici, shows that these were merely people disordered in mind, in the same unfortunate situation with those madmen and idiots and melancholly persons whom we have among ourselves, Festus describes the Lervati as beingy«r;'&/7r/ menUmoti. Plato, in his Timttus, fays, *5u; yua i».our t<*WJi<nu (uulxtii t.luux, *\v,hui. Lucian describes dærnoniacs as lunatic, and as staring with their' eyes, foaming at the mouth, and being speechless. It appears still more evidently, that all the person* spoken of as possessed with devik in the New Testament, were either mad or epileptic, and precisely in the same condition with the madmen and epileptics of modern times. The Jews, among othcr reproaches which they threw out against our Saviour, said, He bath a devil, ar.d it mad; <whj hear ye him? The expressions ke hnth a devil, and is mad, were certainly used on this occasion as synonymous. With all their virulence, they would not surely ascribe to him at once two thing* that were inconsistent and contradictory. Those who thought more favourably of the character of Jesus, asserted concerning his discourses, in replyto his adversaries, These are not the <wordt of him that hath a d.tmon; meaning, no doubt, that he spoke in a more rational manner than a madman could be expected to speak. The Jews appear to>