Demon possession and allied themes - PDF book by John Livingston Nevius

Demon possession and allied themes 

Demon possession and allied themes

Whatever theory we may adopt by way of explaining these mysterious phenomena, the idea of intentional fraud on the part either of the afflicted or of the Christian witnesses and sympathizers is excluded. The absence of all motive to deceive, the great number of instances, the well-tried character of the witnesses, and all the circumstances connected with their minute and consistent narratives, establish beyond reasonable doubt their entire sincerity. 

Whatever the world at large may think the native Christians of Shantung are as fully convinced both of the reality of demoniacal possessions, and of the available power of Jesus to remedy them, as were the disciples in the apostolic church. And the number of coincidences that Dr Nevius has pointed out be- tween these cases and those described in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles is certainly remarkable. 

In regard to them, each reader of the book must form his own conclusions. The author does not insist upon any particular interpretation or any final conclusion. He is evidently impressed with the gravity of his subject and the possibility of erroneous speculations. But in his extended researches, he has found such speculations already rife, and he has considered them briefly in some of the later chapters of his book.

A belief in demoniacal possession has existed in. many lands and throughout the ages, and many and conflicting theories of explanation have been advanced by anthropologists and writers on psychology, hypnotism, etc. Some of these Dr Nevius has answered, and, as I think, successfully; and on the whole, his mind seems inclined to the view that as yet no theory has been advanced which so well accords with the facts as the simple and unquestioning conclusion so universally held by the Christians of Shantung, viz: that evil spirits do in many instances possess or control the mind and will of human beings.

Hypnotism, making due allowance for a thousand extravagances which have attended it, does seem to show that one strong and magnetic human will may so control the mind and will of its subject as by a mere silent volition to direct his words and acts. Who shall say then that a disembodied spirit may not do the same? 

Professor Shaler of Harvard in his Interpretation of Nature has pointed out the fact of a strong reaction against the materialism which seemed confident of dominion a few years ago. Certain biological investigators, flushed with the success of their researches, were very confident that if they had not been able to discover the human soul with the microscope, they had at least identified it very closely with the substance of the brain and nerves. But now, as the professor shows, science is beginning to discover realms of spirit lying beyond the physical, and of which we have as yet but the barest glimpses of knowledge. Evidently, human research has not yet finished its work and is not ready to rest its case upon any dogmatic verdict.

Some contents:

Introductory Note| By Rev. F. F. Ellinwood, D. D. . iii
Author's Preface ix
Note of Explanation, By Henry W. Rankin ... 3
First Impressions and Experiences 9
Experiences in Central Shantung 17
Further Experiences in Central Shantung ... 30
Circular Letter and Responses 41
Responses to Circular Continued 60
More Responses to Circular 73
Other Communications from Various Sources in China. 84
Demon Possession in India, Japan, and Other Lands . . 95
Demon Possession in Christian Countries . . . Ill
The character of the Evidence Presented and Facts Established
by It 134
Explanations: Evolution and Other Theories, . 146
The Pathological Theory . . 175
The Psychological Theory  207
The Biblical Theory 243
Teachings of the Sacred Scriptures Continued . . 263
Historical Sketch of Demonism . . , . . .291
Spiritualism 304

The book details :
  • Author: John Livingston Nevius
  • Publication date: 1895
  • Company: Chicago: F. H. Revell company

  • Download 13.5 MB - 518 pages
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