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davidstarcher

Puritan understanding of demon/devil possession

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davidstarcher

In the Men's Bible study at my church we are going through "The Secret Key to Heaven: The Vital Importance Of Private Prayer" by Thomas Brooks. On page 43 of the Puritan Paperback edition we came across this paragraph 

 

" Mr. Dod(1) reports that when many good people had often sought the Lord in the behalf of a woman that was possessed with the devil, and yet could not prevail, at last they appointed a day for fasting and prayer; at which time there came a poor woman to the chamber door where the exercise was begun and craved entrance, but she being poor they would not admit her in; upon that, the poor woman kneeled down behind the door and sought God by prayer. But she had not prayed long before the evil spirit raged, roared, and cried out in the possessed woman, 'take away the old woman behind the door, for I must be gone; take away the old woman behind the door. for I must be gone.' And so by the old woman's prayer behind the door he was cast out."

(1)John Dod (c. 1555-1645), an early Puritan minister.

 

One brother remarked that he had never heard of a puritan exorcism and was wondering if they actually had a practice or theology about it. Did they actually write much on the subject of devil or demon possession; what actually was their view on the subject. Nobody really had any idea. Perhaps somebody more read on the subject is familiar with this.

 

Another brother raised the question of whether any of us actually met someone who was possessed by demons and how would we even know it. I said possibly but didn't elaborate. Someone said that they heard it was common enough for missionaries to run across demon possession when dealing with those who worshiped their traditional tribal religions. Someone else stated that if you visited a mental institution you might find some after all we categorize things differently today. At this point the Deacon who was overseeing the book study decided it was time to end the book study session before we went completely off the rail in our wandering discussion. So here are the questions:

 

1) Does anyone have any knowledge of the Puritans view of demon/devil possession or exorcism?

 

2) Is there still demoniacs in the modern world and If you met one how would you know it?  

 

 

 

 

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