NATURAL AND DEMONIACAL SICKNESS.
If death came into the world through Satan, who tempted the first created man, all sickness goes back to him who has the power of death (Heb. ii. 14), as its ultimate cause, but it is well to be noted, its ultimate cause within the range of created things; for the final super-creative cause of death and of sickness is God, who manifestly (Isa. xlv. 7) is as well creator of the darkness as former of the light, as well the maker of peace as the creator of evil (jTJ 8^3), i.e. not certainly of evil in the sense of what is done, which comss into existence from the freely-choosing created will and only from this, but perhaps of the possibility of evil, and of the self-punishment of evil, and generally of the evil that comes in the form of punishment. Satan is the first who established the possibility of evil, that was implied in created freedom, on the ground of actuality, and thereby became the object of the divine anger, and the material of the divine vengeance of fire, which expresses itself in him, as a power to destroy his purely spiritual nature, and in the spirit-embodied man as a power of death. This power of death is God's, and it is only Satan's so far as everything which has not become absolutely free from his dominion, succumbs to this power of death set free by him: for the presence in the world of divine wrath is centralized in this spirit of wrathful fire, who was first a spirit of the light of love; and when he gave up his glorious position in the principle of love, he became a prince in the principle of wrath. But we should greatly err, if we thought that all death and all sickness, without exception, is only in a various manner the operation of Satan, or of other evil spiritual natures.1 I find no such thought as this established in Scripture. The one final cause of all evil is the divine wrath that follows as the selfpunishment of sin,—a wrath which certainly Satan has kindled in God's creation, and especially in humanity, but without thereby becoming also the mediator of all individual operations of the wrath of God, as God indeed makes even good angels mediators of the same; as, e.g., the plague (2 Chron. xxi.) had its occasion in a satanic temptation of David (ver. 1), but in itself appears'as the divine agency of the angel of Jehovah (ver. 15). Moreover, as there are sicknesses and deaths that are the divine operations of good angels (Isa. xxxvii. 36; Acts xii. 23), so there are also such as are immediately decreed by God, as e.g. is expressly said of the leprosy of Uzziah (2 Chron. xxvi. 20), and of the blindness of Elymas (Actsxiii. 11). Such sicknesses as do not evince any concursus specialis of divine interference, we call natural. As there are fleshly and satanic temptations, so also there are natural and demoniacal sicknesses. Scripture, indeed, expressly distinguishes in Matt. iv. 24, viii. 16, Mark iii. 15, and in many other passages, between these two kinds of sickness. The former have, as their immediate cause, the principle of wrath which rules over the present world, together with the principle of love; the latter, on the other hand, are effected mediately by Satan and other spiritual natures. For there is beyond and beneath Satan an entire and large kingdom of super-terrestrial natures, which, in self-exaltation against God, have extinguished in themselves the divine light of love, and have become wholly and absolutely vessels of divine wrath. This is the kingdom of CHE?; in Greek, of the Sai'fioves or Saifiovia.2 That these can exercise upon man a destructive influence, not merely of an ethical, but also of a magical kind,
1 See Hofmann, Schriftbeweisj i. 446, oomp. 857; Hahn, Theologie d. N. T. i. 804, 374; Philippi, Glaubenskhre, iii. 322.
2 The definition (which sounds Swedenborgian) of Josephus, Bell. vii. 6, 3, rat iaifio»ia ntovntut iari» tLvipuiro» irniftara, is false ; yet there appear credibly attested experiences to affirm that the demoniacal kingdom, in its destructive influences upon men, is strengthened by the psychical spirits of those who have died in sin. Thus also judges v. Rudloff, Lehre vom Menschen, pp. 176, 280. But there is no Scripture testimony at hand which would be favourable to it.
is to be accounted for from the fact of the relation of bondage and affinity into which the human race has fallen to this invisible kingdom of darkness since the primal sin. The power of wrath of this kingdom over men, however, only reaches so far as God permits it; and this permission is measured according to His holy will of righteousness and grace, which makes all created powers, whether of wrath or of love, minister to Himself.
We first of all present to ourselves only symptomatically the demoniacal sicknesses that Scripture places before our eyes, in order that we may then form thereupon, so far as they come within the range of our purpose, a psychological judgment.
Demoniacal sicknesses consist partly in physical, partly in phvsico-psychical constraint. Most of the cases of demoniacal sickness of which Scripture makes mention, are (and this is not commonly sufficiently considered) of the former kind. The elephantiasis of Job which the prologue of the book makes to proceed from Satan by God's permission, is a purely physical disease; for the high spiritual disturbances which are associated therewith, even if in the meaning of the book they are to be regarded as satanic, are still no special manifestations of psychical disease. Of a like purely physical kind, is the crooked spinal complaint of a woman for eighteen years, mentioned in Luke xiii. 11; where, moreover, irvevfia aadeveia<;, without having a personal sense, indicates the hidden power of disease :1 for the cure in this case was only the result of the laying on of hands, and was not effected by means of exorcism. Even the periodic attacks of disease, in which Paul is given to feel the buffets of the messenger of Satan, were only a bodily evil; for he calls it a thorn in the flesh, by which God would keep him in humility (2 Cor. xii. 7). A special kind of such demoniacal
1 For Luke expressly distinguishes between vnvfixtK -rompx and ttaitnuxi (viii. 2, conip. v. 15). On this impersonal use of ni1, see Bucher's Magic and Magical Modes of Healing in the Talmud, p. 177. One says, riTIV m"i, spirit of spasm; IVttn m"i, spirit of a malignant attack (see my Commentary on the Hebrews, p. 896, obs.), and the like; just as, on the other hand, sicknesses are certainly personified as demons, e.g. DlpTlpi x.xpiixxi; (Gittin, 676). To the impersonal pathologic use of xmvfix is allied the moral use of wtvfix, to indicate an overmastering power of a spiritual kind, as Thvbi t^rfKuotuf, iropulx;, *7ieeMj««;. Vid. v. Zczschwitz, Profangriicitiit u. bibl. Sprachgeist, p. 70.
bodily diseases is the magical binding of organs that in themselves are healthy, as in the case of the dumb man (Matt. ix. 32), and the man who was at once blind and dumb (Matt, xii. 22-24). The Lord heals them both by driving out the demons. For demons have taken partial possession of their corporeity, and have insinuated themselves therein. From this possession and settlement the Lord drives them forth. The narrative gives us no right to regard the dumbness as dumbness arising from idiocy, or idiotic dulness; for on one occasion it is associated with blindness. Just so, moreover, the form of disease of the afX^j/ta^o^evo?, who had been dumb from childhood, whom the Lord healed on coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, is without any special psychical feature. The symptoms consist in convulsive movements, contortions, extensions, and the like (Luke ix. 39-42); painful crying out (Luke ix. 39), foaming at the mouth, gnashing with his teeth (Mark ix. 18), wallowing on the ground (Mark ix. 20), helpless falling down at the risk of life (Matt. xvii. 15), consequent pining away (Mark ix. 18, if fypaiveodai does not here mean rather numbness or rigidity). These are all symptoms of that which, in ancient medicine, is called morbus comitialis, or (in Hippocrates and Celsus) morbus sacer,1—of that incurable evil8 with which are frequently associated also mental disturbances. But those morbid phenomena of the demoniacs are still not merely epileptic. For the boy is, moreover, deaf and dumb; and the Lord cures him by driving out "the deaf and dumb spirit" (Mark ix. 25), i.e. the demon who stood in relation to the deafness and dumbness as cause for the effect. The question whether, according to the biblical view, the epilepsy in itself is in every case a demoniacal agency, is rather to be answered in the negative than the affirmative. The aejvia%6fievoi, at least (Matt. iv. 24), are expressly distinguished from the Saifiovityfievoi. The characteristics that are otherwise peculiar to epilepsy and lunacy, accompany, in the case of that boy, only the deafness and dumbness in which the Lord recognises the distinctive feature of the disease, and the abode of the
1 Vid. Winer, R.W. ii. 163.
1 The ancients used for it even beasts1 and man's blood; vid. Th. Bartholinus, De Sanguine vetito (1673), p. 8. Even still, at the present day, there is a superstition that the blood of an executed criminal is a means of healing.
The demoniacal sickness does not become perfect possession until it announces itself not merely in physical, but at the same time in expressed psychical phenomena. We have such an illustration of the specially possessed (Saifiovt^ofievoi, Saifioviadevre<;, Saifioviov e^owe?, in the narrower sense1) in the demoniacs of Gadara. We discern in them the following symptoms: they roar frightfully (Mark v. 5); they rend asunder, with unnatural strength, the bonds with which they are bound (Mark v. 3); will bear no clothes (Luke viii. 27); they rage violently against themselves (Mark v. 5); they do not stay at home, but sojourn day and night in burying-places and mountains (Matt. viii. 28; Mark v. 5), and furiously attack those who approach them (Matt. viii. 28, comp. Acts xix. 16).
1 There are other designations in Luke vi. 18, Acta v. 16, viii. 7, x. 88. The later ecclesiastical designation was tnpytifumi, Guericke, K.G. i. 166 (ed. 8). The name " Possessed " is not used in the New Testament; but in Joseph us, Ant. vi. 11, 2, it is said of Saul, rev wS vompev %nifun«; Kx'i tut lxifiovluv iyxxh^ottinuv. Singular, that in the Talmuds, which are crammed full of demonologic principles, there is no word for possession; and the very idea is wanting. It is said that an evil spirit abides in one, or takes hold of one, hurries one abroad, and the like; but not that it enters into one and possesses him. J. Therumoth 406, the DtDE' (the madman) is
described in a similar manner to the two Gadarenes, but there is nowhere formed an adjective from or with it? which corresponds to the New Testament lttifiom^ofnno;,—a proof how defectively the Talmuds reflect the position of Judaism at the time of Christ. In the language of Christendom, and also of Islam, "Possession" became the customary expression. In Arabic, the possessed is called mascun, malbCs, triamur, scil. li-l-'ginn (of a genius, i.e. demon). The language of the church distinguished possessio from obsessio as a lower degree.
These symptoms correspond to that which, as a natural disease, is called intermitting insanity.1 By the inclination to graves and desert places, this unsteadiness betrays at once its demoniacal character; but the morbid type of one specially possessed is first completed in the fact that the demon, or the demons, with entire supplanting of the man's self-control, either mediately, availing themselves of the human organs, or immediately, speak out of him.2 Thus we hear them speak out of the Gadarene possessed (Matt. viii. 29, 31); out of the one in the synagogue at Capernaum (Luke iv. 34), from whom the demon issues, crying with a loud voice (Mark i. 26) ; from the one in Ephesus (Acts xix. 15). Thus they spoke out of those many whom Jesus healed, when He as the Christ constrained them to be silent (Luke iv. 41, and the parallel in Mark); thus they must also have spoken out of Mary Magdalene, as their number is specified (Luke viii. 2, comp. viii. 30). That these were spirits who spoke out of such sick people, is shown by the fact, that what was uttered betrayed a clear-sighted vision of the person and work of Jesus, which transcended the degree of knowledge of the men of that time; and that they were evil and impure spirits, is manifest from this, that they would have nothing to do with Jesus, and that His proximity enhanced the furiousness of the possessed one', so that he himself is afraid of the access of pain that approached with the accomplishment of the cure (Mark v. 7). In all these cases the Lord performed the cure by exorcism, once by working from a distance (Mark vii. 30).8 The demons of the two possessed men at Gadara pray
1 V. Spielmann, Diagnostik der Geisteskrankheiten, 1855, pp. 42-45.
8 Even the declarations of the diseased man, that he harbours the devil in him, are not yet sufficient. These declarations may, as I myself have had opportunity of observing in a sick man, depend upon delusion. The denionomaniacs, so called in the later psychiatry, are not all possessed as well; and, at all events, the possessed ones depicted in the New Testament are rather of the predominating melancholic than of the frenzied type of possession. Of the writings of the old school, compare especially, Christ. Scriver, Das verlorene und wiedergefundene Schttflein, 1672, etc.; and of the writings of the later school, Blumhardt's Vertheidigungs-schrifl gegen de Volenti, 1850.
3 How altogether different is the proceeding of the Jewish exorcists! According to Josephus, Bell. vii. 6, 3, there grew in Jerusalem, in the valley of Baipu;, bounding the north, a fire-coloured plant of the same name, of which he relates fabulous things. This only needs the demoniac to be brought near, and it drives out the demons. Eleazar, whom he himself,
Jesus, in whom they recognise God's Son, their future Judge, that they may be allowed to go into a herd of swine; for, concealing themselves in bodies, and venting their rage on bodily creations, the demons find an alleviation of the sense of wrath with which their merely spiritual nature is seized and pervaded. The Lord grants to them that which they ask for, that for the two possessed men their wonderful deliverance might be all the more convincing; but the swine, feeling themselves laid hold upon by a foreign power, plunge into the sea.1
Having thus stated the fact, the task is imposed upon us to make it psychologically clear to ourselves as far as it is possible. In doing so, we proceed from a treatise that introduces us into the centre of the matter by Dieringer,2 the same Roman Catholic theologian who, in his work entitled A System of Divine Facts (1841), so learnedly brought together the testimonies of the ancients on the continuance of the gift of casting out of demons, and of other miraculous gifts in the first Christian centuries. Humanity ensnared in sin by the fall, as such, says he, finds itself in an inward affinity with the fallen spirits, which exposes it to the seducing and tormenting influence of these; but how far this power may prove itself in the individual man, depends not only on his moral self-attestation, but generally on the kind and manner of the interest
in the presence of Vespasian and his son, saw make proof of his power over the demons (Ant. viii. 2, 5), held a ring, in which a root specified by Solomon as of healing virtue was enclosed, under the sick man's nose, and by conjuration and rehearsing of Solomon's formulas drew forth the demon. In order to convince those present of the reality of the occurrence, he placed a vessel full of water, or a foot-bath, on the ground, and bade the demon to overturn it, in order to certify the spectators of the fact that he had left the man. Thus was the art of exorcism practised also among the heathen: ivuixu.oust xttl xxTtilfafioic, see Martin's Dial. c. 85. In respect of such a circumstance, and of Acts xix. 13, what the Lord opposes to the Pharisees (Matt. xii. 27), is only an argumentatio ad hominem: if they attribute what their exorcists perform to divine power, it can certainly not be demoniacal powers by which He, Jesus, overcomes the demons in such strength and such extent as no other can.
1 Let the Manichaeans explain, says Jerome on this point, if the souls of men and of beasts are of the same nature and of the same origin, why two thousand swine are drowned for the sake of delivering one or two men.
* Art. "Beseasenheit," in Aschbach's AUgem. Kirchen-Lexikon.
which the individual, according to the inscrutable decree of Providence, is to have in the common misery of the whole race: for although all sickness is a consequence and punishment of sin, still in the general, the personal guilt of a man is not to be measured according to the share which has fallen to him in the physical sufferings and privations of the race (John ix. 1-3, and book of Job). Possession is, besides, only gradually distinguished from the influence which the hostile powers strive to exercise more or less over every man; and it has its fearful aspect only in its appearances that strike the eye, while other modes of operation of fallen spirits withdraw themselves from external perception, but on that account may become all the more destructive to the souls of those who have given them admission. Judas was not a possessed man, and yet Satan entered into him, and seduced him into a blacker deed than ever demoniac could accomplish (John xiii. 27). After determining hereupon the preliminary degrees of possession,—the temptations and seductions (tentationes), the snares (insidice), the besieging (circumsessio), and the blockade (obsessio),—Dieringer seeks to establish the distinction of the actual possession (j>ossessio) from these four degrees, and finds it in the fact, that in the possession, the juxtaposition which still finds place in the obsessio of the corporeally effected self-attestation of the demon on the one hand, and on the other of the human soul, has ceased, inasmuch as the demoniac force has entirely appropriated to itself the use of the bodily organs, or at least has deprived the soul of their use, in such a way that the soul appears as if in bondage; but is, in fact, only thrown back upon its own internal nature, and remains remote from the destructive influence of the evil one, so long as it does not voluntarily acquiesce in it. Seldom, moreover, is this bondage a total one in such a sense as that the soul should not stiH at times come forward as an active principle; so that the conditions of possession and obsession frequently alternate one with another. How such a state of things is formed, is one of the hardest of problems. Thus much is certain, that a demon can never substantially take up its abode in the human soul, and make this a mere instrumental agency, nor become, in place of the soul, the inner living principle of the body; for, in the former case, the freedom of the soul would be abrogated; in the latter, the living unity of the two natures of man would be rent asunder. And yet this influence of the demon is not to be thought of as merely virtual, which would on the one hand be opposed to unequivocal Scripture language, on the other, to the nature of the case itself. Probably, therefore, we shall speak most correctly, with J. von Gorres, in saying, "that while the soul from within outward is sheltered under all its capacities, the demon from without inward endeavours to shelter himself under them; and when he has attained with this inward pressure to a certain point, the state of possession begins." In actual possession, therefore, there is found a sway over the capacities and domains of the soul, which is effected by external intrusion, on which account also there may be several of the demons who seize possession. The natural precedent condition may be found in a responsible or irresponsible bodily psychical and moral predisposition.
Thus the case actually stands. Nevertheless, we cannot concur in the view, that in possession culminates the same demoniac influence upon man, which begins at the lowest point with demoniacal temptations and seductions. Between such ethical influences and possession there subsists not merely a gradual but a specific difference,1 as may be gathered from the fact that the Lord does not exercise a moral influence upon the demoniacs, as if they were corrupted, and so become preeminently evil, but regards them as only peculiarly diseased, who are to be healed first of all by loosing the ban which oppresses them.2 In these points the explanation has our entire assent. Firstly, it proceeds rightly on the supposition, that the soul is no absolutely simple monad, but a compact abstract of manifold powers. Secondly, it rightly asserts an actual irruption of the demoniac force into the region of these powers. It is not sufficient that the ancient dogmatists make the soul to be only sympathetically affected in the so-called bodily occupation.3 Demoniac power, in the bodily occupation not less than in the so-called spiritual, takes prisoner the soul, and even the spirit; yet with the distinction, that in the spiritual occupation the will of man is slavishly forced by the evil spirit,
1 Thus quite correctly, v. Rudloff, Lehre vom MenscJien, p. 274.
* Vid. A. Zeller, art. "Irre," in Ersch u. Gruber's Ally. Encyklopadie.
8 Qucnstedt, Systema, i. 650.
without its ceasing to be actually free, and thus accountable ;l whereas in the bodily occupation, all impulse and act of man is the involuntary result of a magical compulsion. Thirdly, it is true that the demoniacal violation takes its course from without inwards, and indeed through the corporeity. It is impossible that Satan should bind the man's freedom of action by immediate agency upon his spirit. Such a demoniacal bondage could not become possible, except by the man, as a spiritembodied nature, coming into bodily conditions which would result in confusion, weakening, and paralyzing of his psychical and spiritual powers.
In conformity with this, the specific character of possession consists in this, that demons intrude themselves between the corporeity—more strictly, the nervous body—and the soul of man, and forcibly fetter the soul together with the spirit, but make the bodily organs a means of their own self-attestation, and a source of affliction to men. Possession—as Eschenmeyer2 defines it on the ground of special observations—is that unnatural effect, in which one or more impure spirits through any sort of agency intrude into a human body, make themselves masters of the instruments of sensation, of movement, and of speech; attach the power of the soul to them, and in shorter or longer paroxysms make themselves manifest in strange sounds, gestures, and movements, for the most part of a mocking, licentious, and violent kind. In the same manner, also, Ebrard3 conceives of possession as the binding and affecting of the bodily-psychical life by a foreign influence proceeding from without: "The soul finds itself no longer in possession of its body; a strange something has forced itself between it and its body, and exerts a disturbing and hindering influence upon the bodily organs of the psychical life." And in harmony with Ebrard, v. Rudloff,4 although opposing it, explains that which is expressed in the first edition of this our system: "The soul of man is not that which is possessed, but absolutely only his
1 Therefore Gerhard says, in his Isagoge: The obsessio corporalis is more terrible because it is manifest to the senses, but the obsessio spirilualis is worse and more perilous.
2 Geschichte Besessener neuerer Zeit, p. 136.
3 Art. "Damonische," in Heraog's Real-Encyklopiidie. * Lehre vom Menschcn, pp. 27-1-277.
bodily organism; for the soul, it is a mere obsessio, not a possessio. The soul of the possessed person is not even an instrument of the demon's; in his impulses it is wholly unconcerned with its self-attestation: in what the demon says or does by means of the bodily organs of the possessed person, it is not in the least decree active."
The view that the demon has established himself substantially in the soul of the possessed person, is, as I now understand, to be given up; for that a created spiritual being could transplant itself substantially into the spirit and soul of man, is at variance with the limitation drawn by the Creator round all created individual life, and with the power which belongs to the Creator alone, substantially to permeate and pervade every created thing, and even spirits,1 without their own nature being decomposed, and ceasing to be itself thereby. The locality of possession is the human corporeity. In this—and, indeed, just where the soul exerts an influence upon it by means of the nervous system, and receives reacting influences from it—the demon establishes himself, but from here outwardly exercises a forcible influence, extending itself to soul and spirit: to the soul at once, so far as he makes the corporeity, e.g. the instrument of speech, a means of his self-manifestation, and thereby dislodges the soul from its relation of power to the body that it vitalizes; to the spirit, inasmuch as he degrades the will to a mere potentiality, and places it in fetters that cannot be broken. He thus affects the nature of man even to its very foundation. Even to the will, and thus even to the root of the soul, and of the spirit, his influence penetrates. He binds the will in a magical manner, and makes it subservient to himself, and thus deprives the entire man of independence, and of all further power over himself. Not as though he made himself the internally efficient principle of the human spirit, and this spirit his instrument; but from the boundary at which bodily life and psychical life are connected, he declares over the powers of the soul, especially the imaginative faculty, his urgent influence,8
1 Augustin, de spir. el anima, c. 26, compared with de eccles. dogm. ch. 83, is right: Illabi menti illi soli possibile est qui creavit, qui natura subsisted incorporeus capabilis est su« factura.
* "Diabolus," says Gisbert Voet (in Ebrard, I.e. p. 253), "nonillabitur in men tern aut voluntatem, nec intra eas operator, ut physica actions faciat
and thence places the spirit as in a state of siege, so that it is incapable of resistance in any attack. The power of freedom may in flashes of light break through the dark ban, for the freedom is restrained in its manifestation without being annihilated in its nature. But, in general, the demoniac ban, with its restraint of free agency, its darkening of the consciousness, its perversion and distraction, is established over spirit and soul and body, in all their powers, from that extreme background, the will of the spirit, outwards.
Nothing makes the condition of demoniacal possession so intelligible as the magnetic rapport in favourably produced magnetic states. The magnetized person there appears as the absolutely will-less instrument of the magnetizer; and the contents of the consciousness of the magnetizer are reflected in the consciousness of the person magnetized, so that the individuality of the one is, as it were, merged in that of the other. Pinch the patient, lie does not feel it; pinch the operator, the patient feels it as if he had been pinched, and complains of the injury to the part affected. Put rhubarb in the patient's mouth, he has no taste of it; put rhubarb in the operator's mouth, and the patient tastes and names this drug under the impression that he has it in his own mouth. Placed on his legs, he stands as if nailed to the ground; but following the movements of the magnetizer's hands, he is put into visibly involuntary and uneasy motion. This sympathetic unity of will is raised even into sympathetic unity of consciousness. The patient understands even the unexpressed thoughts of the operator, and acquiesces in them; or he speaks as if from himself, but in such a way that it is the manner of thought and the thought of the operator transferred to him which he reproduces. That which is here exhibited to us is an intoxication, a bondage, a possession of one Psyche by the other, accompanied by an extra-natural enhancement of the powers by the intrusive co-operation of evil, or even of good, influences of the spiritual world. From this dynamical possession of one human soul by the other, we may
eas quidquam intelligere aut velle, led in phantasiam et in reliquas facilitates sensitivas aliquid potest;" and Burmann, "Inanimam quamquam immediate illabi eamque intime affari et quibuscunque velit formis ac ideis implere non posait, phantasiam tamen ope ac per externos sensus valide earn quatere ac multis medis teutare potest."
form to ourselves an idea of the substantial possession of a human soul by a demon. In the former case, the possession is only dynamical, because the human soul is linked to its body; in the latter case it is substantial, although not local, because the demon, by virtue of his purely spiritual nature, can penetrate into the substantial condition of the man, without disintegrating its living unity. But, in both cases, the powers of the soul have reached even to the spiritual roots of the internal life under the unnatural pressure of a foreign power, and have become involuntary forms of a substantial existence obtruded upon them.1
We have been compelled to limit ourselves to the New Testament in characterizing the true possession; for the Old Testament has neither a name for, nor gives an illustration of, this demoniacal condition. It speaks of sickness and the doom of death, which come, by the agency of Satan and angels of destruction, upon men; but we nowhere meet with such demoniacally diseased persons as Jesus healed in Gadara and elsewhere. When Josephus (Ant. vi. 8, 2) says of Saul after the war of the Amalekites, that irdd-q riva Kal Saifiovia, irvir/fiov< ; avrw KaX orparfyaXa< ; ivKpepovra had attacked him, and when (Ant. vi. 11, 2) he makes Jonathan say to his father that Tov irovrjpov irvevfiaTo<; Kcu T&v &mf>loviuiv eyKadifyfievwv,—David has driven them out, and procured him peace of soul,—he is carrying back, here as elsewhere, a mode of view and of expression belonging to his own time, into the antiquity of the Old Testament; for the historical records of the Old Testament themselves everywhere designate the melancholy of Saul, passing from time to time into frenzy, the immediate operation of God. This opera
1 Vid. Fr. Fischer, Der Somnambulismus, 1839; Ge. Barth, Der Lebensmagnetismus, seine Erscheinungen und seine Praxis, 1852; and the work of Joseph W. Haddock, Somnolism and Psychism, 1852. Without losing sight "of the fact, that involuntary dependence and phantastical delusions throw their dark shadows even into spontaneous somnambulism (vid. Sec. XVII.), 'we have purposely spoken above only of that which is actively produced. That this latter has become a trade of the most unprincipled charlatanism, Mabru has lately disclosed in his work entitled Les Magnetiseurs juges par eux mimes, 1860; who, after the example of Burdin, offers to the somnambulist who proves herself veritablement lucide a reward of 8000 francs. In view of this work, we must regret that we did not rather leave magnetic phenomena altogether unconsidered; but this one authority is still not of weight enough to supersede the others, which we follow.
tion of God is absolutely designated, as well in itself as in reference to its results, just as much as that which Saul underwent in Gibeah (comp. 1 Sam. xviii. 10 with x. 10) : it is in both cases God's Spirit who suddenly and forcibly overcomes him (n^V); and the consequence is, in both cases, a speaking and demeanour beside himself, removed beyond the region of the natural and customary (£a3nn). But the one time it is the Spirit of God (njTP. rn"i) which comes upon him, the other time an evil spirit . from God (run Q>nb« nn, 1 Sam. xvi. 15, or njn rnrn nn, 1 Sam. xix. 9),—a designation which we would not venture to take upon our lips, if the Scripture did not so directly make use of it. The one time it is the Spirit of God which pertains to God's holy nature, and acts according to that nature of light and love; the other time it is a spiritual agency of God, which brings to bear upon Saul the dark and fiery powers of divine wrath which he has aroused by his sin. Scripture throughout makes no mention in this case of demoniacal agency; and this need not appear strange, since the position that all diseases of the spirit are demoniacal, is neither agreeable to Scripture nor to experience.
Are we, then, perchance to say that it is a mere chance, that the form of demoniacal disease that characterizes real possession is nowhere mentioned in the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament? Impossible! The Thora, and the Old Testament generally, mentions, on the one hand (as we shall see in the subsequent section), all kinds of magic; on the other hand, all forms of divinely caused disease, so designedly, that such a chance as this is not to be thought of. Or are we to say, that among the Old Testament Israelites, although possession might have occurred, yet it was not recognised, because the satanic background of evil and of pain was at that time still hidden from their knowledge? Even this mode of explanation is not valid, true though it is that the knowledge of the kingdom of" darkness only gradually dawns in the Old Testament, and only attains to full clearness through the decisive struggle of Christ. For that there are human sufferings of which Satan is the mediate cause, is assumed by the poet of the book of Job in the time of Solomon, in such a manner that it must be regarded as a view long current among the writer's people;1 and besides, 1 Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, i. 433.
possession is a disease which exhibits its demoniacal character so palpably, that, especially from the point of view familiar to the people of Israel, it could not be mistaken. The only true explanation is found in the fact, that as there are climatic characters of disease, so also there are some special to the history of the time; and as there are diseases peculiar to the country, so also there are some peculiar to the period.1 This is especially true of spiritual sickness or mental disorders. That insanity is distinctively developed according to the colour of the popular character, the degree of cultivation, and the relations of the period, is an acknowledged and generally familiar fact in psychiatry, from which, however, we in no way deduce the result, that even possession without objective reality rests only upon delusions which, favoured by the prevailing laxity of the spiritual life, the want of internal vigour, or the attraction towards a false passivity, may have been only the reflex of the then dominant superstition.2 No, the kind and manner of the assertion which Satan makes of his dominion over humanity, is actually different according to times and circumstances. In the Old Testament it was idolatry, which even there, according to its true nature, stands for the worshipping of demons (QV]S?', LXX. Saifiovia), together with the manifold kinds of witchcraft, mania, and divination associated therewith, by which Satan held in subjection whole peoples, and even Israel before the exile, rebellions from God. In this his dominion over great masses, he did not need to manifest his power in individuals, as was the case in the special possession. But when the wholesome disciplinary sufferings of the exile had given the death-blow to idolatry in Israel for ever, the spiritual and spirit-embodied power of destruction which characterized the kingdom of darkness assumed another form; and there began close to the other those sporadic manifestations of bodily, or rather spirit-embodied possession, which in the time of Jesus Christ had increased with such terrible vigour in intensity and number, because the kingdom of darkness summoned all its powers to resist its vanquisher at His entry into history, and to
1 It is an acknowledged fact, that not only does the geographical latitude of the situation favour different diseases, but, moreover, gives to every disease a prevailing form.
* Thus even Neander, K.G. i. 25.
contend with Him for men to be redeemed. But this was God's ordering: the kingdom of God that came in and with Christ was to announce itself unmistakeably by the visible overcoming of demons (Luke xi. 20).
Nevertheless, that prevalence of demoniacal disorders, and especially of possession, had also certainly a deep psychological reason in the superstition of that day, in virtue of which it was mingled with all kinds of magic (Acts viii. 9, xiii. 6, xix. 19). Superstition is not absolutely a mere subjective guiltless delusion; and, moreover, it is not a complication which is dissolved by truly scientific illumination into a mere nothing.1 It opens the human soul to demoniacal influences, just as much as faith does to divine. And witchcraft is no empty guiltless legerdemain, and neither is it an empty fraud, disclosing itself to intelligent cultivation: it is, in its often sufficiently undeniable reality, the fearful opposite of the sacred miracle, which from God sets in movement created powers.