Demons in Augustine of Hippo, part 9

Herein we continue, from part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6,
Herein we continue, from
part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8,considering info on Demons in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD). The fuller complete result consists of quotations of those sections within the text that refer to Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Devil, Satan, demons, serpent and dragon. The point is not to elucidate these references but to provide relevant partial quotations and citations. See my section on Angels here, Cherubim and Seraphim here, Satan here and Demons here.

Demons in Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God, Books XI and XVIII.

Book XI
Chapter 14 But when he had said, “I have called,” then, as if some one were seeking proof of this, he demonstrates the effectual earnestness of his prayer by the effect of God’s hearing it; as if he had said, The proof that I have prayed is that You have heard me.

Book XVIII
Chapter 5 Yet it was no great thing for the demons, in order to deceive them, to show to a cow when she was conceiving and pregnant the image of such a bull, which she alone could see, and by it attract the breeding passion of the mother, so that it might appear in a bodily shape in her young, just as Jacob so managed with the spotted rods that the sheep and goats were born spotted. For what men can do with real colors and substances, the demons can very easily do by showing unreal forms to breeding animals.

Chapter 9 Then Neptune, being enraged, laid waste the lands of the Athenians, by casting up the waves of the sea; for the demons have no difficulty in scattering any waters more widely…Thus that city, the mother and nurse of liberal doctrines, and of so many and so great philosophers, than whom Greece had nothing more famous and noble, by the mockery of demons about the strife of their gods, a male and female, and from the victory of the female one through the women, received the name of Athens; and, on being damaged by the vanquished god, was compelled to punish the very victory of the victress, fearing the waters of Neptune more than the arms of Minerva.

Chapter 12 Let the one in books that speak the truth edify religious men, and the other in lying fables delight impure demons.

Chapter 13 Some, indeed, write that this Liber was both conquered and bound and some that he was slain in Persia, even telling where he was buried; and yet in his name, as that of a god, the unclean demons have instituted the sacred, or rather the sacrilegious, Bacchanalia, of the outrageous vileness of which the senate, after many years, became so much ashamed as to prohibit them in the city of Rome.

Chapter 15 During those times the kingdom of Argos came to an end; being transferred to Mycene, from which Agamemnon came, and the kingdom of Laurentum arose, of which Picus son of Saturn was the first king, when the woman Deborah judged the Hebrews; but it was the Spirit of God who used her as His agent, for she was also a prophetess, although her prophecy is so obscure that we could not demonstrate, without a long discussion, that it was uttered concerning Christ.

Chapter 18 Perhaps our readers expect us to say something about this so great delusion wrought by the demons; and what shall we say but that men must fly out of the midst of Babylon?…the greater we see the power of the demons to be in these depths, so much the more tenaciously must we cleave to the Mediator through whom we ascend from these lowest to the highest places…it is to be most firmly believed that Almighty God can do whatever He pleases, whether in punishing or favoring, and that the demons can accomplish nothing by their natural power (for their created being is itself Angelic, although made malign by their own fault), except what He may permit, whose judgments are often hidden, but never unrighteous. And indeed the demons, if they really do such things as these…
I cannot therefore believe that even the body, much less the mind, can really be changed into bestial forms and lineaments by any reason, art, or power of the demons; but the phantasm of a man which even in thought or dreams goes through innumerable changes may, when the man’s senses are laid asleep or overpowered, be presented to the senses of others in a corporeal form, in some indescribable way unknown to me, so that men’s bodies themselves may lie somewhere, alive, indeed, yet with their senses locked up much more heavily and firmly than by sleep, while that phantasm, as it were embodied in the shape of some animal, may appear to the senses of others, and may even seem to the man himself to be changed, just as he may seem to himself in sleep to be so changed, and to bear burdens; and these burdens, if they are real substances, are borne by the demons, that men may be deceived by beholding at the same time the real substance of the burdens and the simulated bodies of the beasts of burden…
Therefore what men say and have committed to writing about the Arcadians being often changed into wolves by the Arcadian gods, or demons rather, and what is told in song about Circe transforming the companions of Ulysses, if they were really done, may, in my opinion, have been done in the way I have said…For juggleries of this kind could not be difficult for the demons if permitted by the judgment of God; and since that virgin was afterwards, found alive it is easy to see that a hind had been slyly substituted for her…But that they bring water in their beaks and sprinkle it on the temple of Diomede, and that they fawn on men of Greek race and persecute aliens, is no wonderful thing to be done by the inward influence of the demons, whose interest it is to persuade men that Diomede was made a god, and thus to beguile them into worshipping many false gods, to the great dishonor of the true God; and to serve dead men, who even in their lifetime did not truly live, with temples, altars, sacrifices, and priests, all which, when of the right kind, are due only to the one living and true God.

Chapter 24 But although the later times did not deify dead men, still they did not cease to hold and worship as gods those deified of old; nay, by images, which the ancients never had, they even increased the allurements of vain and impious superstition, the unclean demons effecting this in their heart, and also deceiving them by lying oracles, so that even the fabulous crimes of the gods, which were not once imagined by a more polite age, were yet basely acted in the plays in honor of these same false deities.

Chapter 41 But what author of any sect is so approved in this demon-worshipping city, that the rest who have differed from or opposed him in opinion have been disapproved?

Chapter 51 But the devil, seeing the temples of the demons deserted, and the human race running to the name of the liberating Mediator, has moved the heretics under the Christian name to resist the Christian doctrine, as if they could be kept in the city of God indifferently without any correction, just as the city of confusion indifferently held the philosophers who were of diverse and adverse opinions.

Chapter 53 But because this sentence is in the Gospel, it is no wonder that the worshippers of the many and false gods have been none the less restrained from feigning that by the responses of the demons, whom they worship as gods, it has been fixed how long the Christian religion is to last…For those verses say that Peter bound, not any demon, but a god to do these things. Such a god have they who have not Christ.

Chapter 54 Now, in the following year, in the consulate of Mallius Theodorus, when, according to that oracle of the demons or figment of men, there ought already to have been no Christian religion, it was not necessary to inquire, what perchance was done in other parts of the Earth.

In the next segment, we will consider more on Demons in Augustine of Hippo.

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