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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/167

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NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

Satan "attacks lunatics at the full moon, when their brains are full of humors;" that in other cases of illness he "stirs the black bile," and that in cases of blindness and deafness he "clogs the eyes and ears." By the close of the century this compromise was evidently found untenable, and one of a very different sort was attempted in England.

In the third edition of the "Encyclopædia Britannica," published in 1797, under the article "Dæmoniacs," the orthodox view was presented in the following words: "The reality of demoniacal possession stands upon the same evidence with the gospel system in general."

This statement, though necessary to satisfy the older theological sentiment, was clearly found too dangerous to be sent out into the modern skeptical world without some qualification. Another view was therefore suggested, namely, that the personages of the New Testament "adopted the vulgar language in speaking of those unfortunate persons who were generally imagined to be possessed with demons." Two or three editions contained this curious compromise; but, as we come to the middle of the present century, the whole discussion is quietly dropped.

But science, declining to trouble itself with any of these views, pressed on, and toward the end of the century we see Dr. Rhodes at Lyons curing a very serious case of possession by the use of a powerful emetic; yet myth-making came in here also, and it was stated that, when the emetic produced its effect, people had seen multitudes of green and yellow devils cast forth from the mouth of the possessed.

The last great demonstration of the old belief in England was made in 1788. In the city of Bristol at that time lived a drunken epileptic, George Lukins. In asking alms he insisted that he was "possessed," and proved it by jumping, screaming, barking, and treating the company to a parody of the "Te Deum."

He was solemnly brought into the Temple Church, and seven clergymen united in the effort to exorcise the evil spirit. Upon their adjuring Satan, he swore "by his infernal den" that he would not come out of the man—"an oath," says the chronicler, "nowhere to be found but in Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress,' from which Lukins probably got it."

But the seven clergymen were at last successful, and seven devils were cast out, after which Lukins retired, and appears to have been supported during the remainder of his life as a monument of mercy.

With this great effort the old theory in England seemed practically exhausted.

Science had evidently carried the stronghold. In 1876, at a little town near Amiens, in France, a young woman was brought