Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/595

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THE

 

POPULAR SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY.



MARCH, 1889.




NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

By ANDREW DICKSON WHITE, LL.D., L.H.D.,

FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

"DEMONIACAL POSSESSION" AND INSANITY.

PART II.

IN the foregoing chapter we have seen the culmination of the old procedure regarding insanity, as it was developed under theology and enforced by ecclesiasticism; and we have noted how, under the influence of Luther and Calvin, the Reformation rather deepened than weakened the faith in the malice and power of a personal devil. Nor was this in the reformed churches, any more than in the old, mere matter of theory. As, in the early centuries of Christianity, it was to their power over the enemy of mankind in the bodies of men that the priests of the new faith especially appealed in proof of its divine origin and nature, so now the clergy of the rival creeds eagerly sought opportunities to establish the truth of their own doctrines and the falsehood of their opponents' by the visible casting out of devils. True, their methods somewhat differed: where the Catholic used holy water and consecrated wax, the Protestant was content with texts of Scripture and importunate prayer; but the supplementary physical annoyance of the indwelling demon did not greatly vary. Sharp was the competition for the unhappy objects of treatment. Each side, of course, stoutly denied all efficacy to its adversaries' efforts, urging that any seeming victory over Satan was due not to the defeat but to the collusion of the fiend. As, according to the Master himself, "no man can by Beelzebub cast out devils," the patient was now in greater need of relief than before; and more