this voice, as the voice of many waters; ... by his words, 'I am living, who was dead; and behold, I live forever and ever; and I have the keys of death and of hell,' I say unto you. Depart, O angels that show the way to eternal perdition!
"By the door which John saw open in heaven; by the twenty-four thrones and the twenty-four elders, ... and by the lightnings and thunders and voices which proceeded out from the throne; ... by the sea which he saw, as it were of glass mingled with fire, ... and by the four living beings full of eyes before and behind; ... by the words which they incessantly did say, 'Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty, that was, and that is, and that is to come'; ... by the angel who cried out, 'Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals?' ... by the Lamb, as it were slain; ... by the harps and by the vials of gold, full of perfumes, I charge ye, O angels of death, to flee quickly out of this creature!"
Besides these, were long litanies of billingsgate, cursing, and threatening. One of these "scourging" exorcisms runs partly as follows:
"May Agyos strike thee, as he did Egypt, with frogs! ... May all the devils that are thy foes rush forth upon thee, and drag thee down to hell! ... May ... Tetragrammaton ... drive thee forth and stone thee, as Israel did to Achan! ... May the holy one trample on thee and hang thee up in an infernal fork, as was done to the five kings of the Amorites! ... May God set a nail to your skull, and pound it in with a hammer, as Jael did unto Sisera! ... May ... Sother ... break thy head and cut off thy hands, as was done to the cursed Dagon! ... May God hang thee in a hellish yoke, as seven men were hung by the sons of Saul!" And so on, through five pages of close-printed Latin curses.
Occasionally the demon is reasoned with, as follows: "O obstinate, accursed, fly! ... why do you stop and hold back when you know that your strength is lost on Christ? For it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks; and, verily, the longer it takes you to go, the worse it will go with you. Begone, then, take flight, thou venomous hisser, thou lying worm, thou begetter of vipers!"
And this procedure and its results were recognized as among the glories of the Church. As typical, we may mention an exorcism directed by a certain Bishop of Beauvais, which was so effective that five devils gave up possession of a sufferer and signed their names, each for himself and his subordinate imps, to an agreement that the possessed should be molested no more. So, too, the Jesuit fathers at Vienna, in 1583, gloried in the fact that
- "Thesaurus Exorcismorum," 812-817.
- Ibid., 859.