an essay on the demoniacs of the new testament

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Section n. Prop. n. By demons, whenever the word occurs in reference to possessions, either in the Scriptures or other antient writings, we are to understand, not fallen angels, but the pagan deities, such of them as had once been men. "WE have elsewhere examined the meaning of demons, when applied to the objects of popular worship in the heathen world ; and shewn from the united testimony of Pagans and Jews, from the authors of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, and from the writers of the New, that we are hereby to understand such human spirits as superstition deified. We are now to inquire whether the word be not used in the same sense by all the antients, when they speak upon the subject of Possessions. I. With regard to the heathens, it is well known that they advanced human spirits to the rank of gods and demons; and that they judged them capable of entering the bodies of mankind, and of producing phrensy and distraction ; which, as will be shewn below, was regarded as the most usual effect of demoniacal possession. Prophesying amongst the heathens was attended with rage and madness f. Almost all their oracles belonged to that species of divination Dissertation on Miracles, ch. iii. sect. 2. J- Not only the Pylhia at Delphi, but iheSityh also, swelled with rage, and were beside themselves. See Virgil. JEn. vi. 77. Quid vero habet auctoritatis furor iste quem divinum vocatis, ut, qux sa- jrieni non videat, ea videat insanus; et is, qui humanos sensus amise- riti divinos assecutus sit ? Cicer. de Divioat . lib. ii. cap. 54. whichwhich was )jfury, such as was imputed to the power and presence of their gods. And that these gods were deified men, appears from the oracles of Jupiter, the chief of all the prophetic divinities ; of Apollo, who, next to J... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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