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Some of the epithets given by the evangelifts to the fpirits ejected by Chrift, feem rather best to agree with the fuppofition of their being of an immoral nature;
for they are called evil and unclean3. It is not however certain, whether thefe, epithets were given them to express their perfonal difpofitions, or only those effects. they were supposed to produce. The word, evil, might be applied to a de
the words which answer to demons, are faid to be taken in an ill sense,
z Luke vii. 21, ch. 8. 2.
ch. v. 2, 8, 13.
Mat. x 1. Mark i. 23. Luke iv. 33, 36. Acts v. 16. ch. viii. 7. Mr. Mede is of opinion, that St. Luke knew the word demon to be ambiguous, and therefore, to diftinguish it once for all, doth the first time he uses.
it, do it with an explication: There was a mun in the fynagogue having the Spirit (dapovís ánaðágts) of an unclean demon, Works, p. 636. 1
bongo's fignifies infelix or mifer, as well as improbus or malus. The xanos dair in Homer may denote an adverfe, and not a wicked, demon, and be equivalent to suyspo's daiwv, Odyff. lib. v. v. 396. Compare the paffage from Plutarch de Qrac. defect. p. 438, cited below.
mon, on account of the pain and mifery he was thought to create. And it is poffible, that demons might be called unclean, because perfons under that melancholy and maniacal disorder, of which they were the reputed authors, avoided the fociety of men, and were continually defiling themselves with objects esteemed by the Jews unclean. This was the cafe of the man who lived amongst the tombs by which he contracted the
See Beaufobre and Lenfant on Mat. x. 1. In Zechariah xiii. 2. God promises, to cause the prophets, and the unclean fpirit to pass out of the land. Here, as thefe learned writers obferve, the fpirit of the falfe prophets is called unclean, because these prophets or necromancers were fuppofed to receive their inspiration at fepulchres. I add, that it appears from the Talmud, that the Jews, when they were corrupted by the fuperftition of the Heathens, reforted to fepulchres, where the fouls of the departed were thought to remain, that an unclean spirit might defeend upon them The demons themselves, it was imagined, delighted in defolate places, Rev. xviii. 2. Compare Lightfoot's Hor. Hebraic, on Luke xiii. 11. Works, v. ii. p. 442.
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 reafon for giving them thefe titles?
In the controverfy concerning the Gofpel demoniacs, between Dr. Sykes and his opponents, it seemed to be taken for granted by both parties, that if demons were evil spirits, they muft of neceffity be fallen angels. But if we allow, that demons were confidered 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 fhewn. The Fathers of the church generally understood demon in
Mark ix. 17. I have brought unto thee my fon which hath a dumb spirit.
• Thou dumb and deaf Spirit, I tharge ther come out of him, v. 25.
Differt, on Mir. p. 204
an ill fenfe, and thought it was to be fo taken in the fcriptures
Prop. IV. Those persons who are spoken of as having demons, fuffered real, and very violent diforders, from whatever cause thefe diforders proceeded.
WHETHER reputed demoniacs
were poffeffed by demons or not, they are ranked in the New Testament amongst those who fuffered the moft grievous diftempers. St. Mathew having faid in general terms, they brought to Jefus all fick people, that were taken with DIVERS difeafes and torments; then
St. Auftin de Civ. Dei, lib. ix. c. 19. Tertullian as cited there, P. 548. Origen, contar Celf. p. 234. Euseb, Præp, Evang, lib. iv.
n Ch. iv. 24. Πάντας τες κακῶς ἔχοντας, ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ βασάνοις συνεχομένες, και και δαιμονιζομένος, καὶ σεληνιαζομένες, καὶ παραλυτικός.
then specifies the following particular
cales; even those who were possessed with
demons, and those who were lunatic, and
thofe who had the palfy. Here poffeffed perfons, lunatics, and paralytics, though contra-distinguished from each other, are all equally comprehended under the fick people, that were taken with divers difeafes and torments. On another occafion, the fame evangelift fays, They brought unto him many that were poffeffed with demons: and he caft out the Spirits with his word, and healed all that were fick; that it might be fulfilled which was Spoken by Efaias the prophet, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our ficknesses. This prophecy concerning Chrift's taking our infirmities, and bearing our ficknesses, was accomplished in part by the cure of demoniacs; and therefore poffeffions, are comprehended under infirmities and
Mat. viii, 16, 17. If. liii.. 4.