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• This, as we say, must have been the case in diabolic possessions, where the Body only was thus supernaturally affected. Yet in those, where the mind alone, or equally with the body, suffered by these disorders, I confess, we might expect some extraordinary marks or symptoins of supernatural Agency, when it was for the purpose of the EVIL SPIRIT to display his Power. Here the immaterial principle within us affords larger room, and more conveniences to be acted upon, by an exterior agent: although the irregular efforts of the mind itself are so wonderful as to be frequently mistaken for a foreign agency.
Yet this notwithstanding, there are, in these mental disorders, powers exhibited, that can never be mistaken, by a careful observer, for its own.
Some of which, are, in fact, recorded to have been exerted; in order, as it were, to confute these learned men, who seem to think we ought to reject all diabolic possessions but such as are ascertained by Symptoms supernatural.
An instance of such we have in* the Damsel possessed with the Spirit of DIVINATION, who brought her Master much gain by SOOTHSAYING. This Woman, Paul dispossessed, and so spoiled her Master's trade; who theres upon raised a fierce persecution against the Apostle.
The symptoms of Divination and Soothsaying, that is, telling of things absent, and foretelling things future, were certainly supernatural; and, for such, must be acknowledged by the Objectors; who I hope will not yet forget the Personages, they have assumed, of Believers : against whom only this reasoning on the Demoniacs is directed and addressed.
Having now seen what these learned Writers have to oppose to my System of the Gospel-Demoniacs :
I crave leave, in the next place, to bespeak their attention to what I have to urge against theirs. Enough hath been said to shew that this is no trifling or unimporant Question.
The untoward consequences being these, which unavoidably follow the Concession, that Jesus and his Dis.
Acts xvi. 16, & seq.
ciples did only accommodate themselves to the fanciful and superstitious opinions of the times, in placing natural distempers in the visionary Class of Supernatural.
1. Unbelievers may conclude (and by too many they will be supposed not to conclude amiss) that much advaniage is hereby gained over the Evidences of our Faith.-While it is believed, from the testimony of the Evangelists, that Jesus cast out Devils, and healed such as were possessed with them, that plausible subterfuge against his miraculous cures, which pretends that the relief afforded *
* See Sermon On the Fall of Satan, (vol. x. of this Edit.) which completes this Note.
Ko The Reader will pleuse to observe, that to the fole lowing INDEX, is-"subjoined un. Alphabetical List of AUTHORS, &c. quoted in The Divine LEGATION; which quotations are not referred to in the Inder.
vol. iv. p. 88
them in the case of Abrahain
- iv. 229
enquiry into the nature of the poem of the Æneid, ibid.
notwithstanding their barbarisın
nicating to his mother the secrets of the myste-
the lodies desigoed to aggrandize him - iv. 228
Job, and the Ode of Horace, “ O Navis referunt,” v. 447
argument deduced from the general passion for, vi. 101
: iy. 162