Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: About the Demon that Dwelt in the Woman.
About the Demon that Dwelt in the Woman.
And the apostle went into the city, all the multitude accompanying him; and he thought of going to the parents of the young man whom, when killed by the dragon, he had brought to life; for they earnestly entreated him to come to them, and to enter into their house.
And a certain woman, exceedingly beautiful, suddenly uttered a loud cry, saying: O apostle of the new God, who hast come into India, and servant of that holy and only good God—for through thee he is proclaimed the Saviour of the souls that come unto him, and through thee he heals the bodies of those that are punished by the enemy, and thou hast become the cause of life to all who turn to him—order me to be brought before thee, that I may declare to thee what has happened to me, and that perhaps there may be hope to me from thee and those p. 545 who stand beside thee may have more and more hope in the God whom thou proclaimest. For I am not a little tormented by the adversary, who has assailed me for now a period of five years. As a woman, I formerly sat down in peace, and peace encompassed me on all sides and I had nothing to trouble me, for of nothing else 2362 had I a care. And it happened on one of the days as I was coming forth from the bath, there met me one like a man troubled and disturbed; and his voice and utterance seemed to me to be indistinct and very weak. And he said, standing over against me, Thou and I shall be in one love, and we shall have intercourse with each other, as a man is coupled with his wife. And I answered him, saying, To my betrothed I consented not, entreating him not to marry me; and to thee, wishing to have intercourse with me as it were in adultery, how shall I give myself up? And having thus spoken, I went away from him. And to my maid I said, Hast thou seen the young man and his shamelessness, how shamelessly and boldly he talks to me? And she said to me, It was an old man I saw talking with thee. And when I was in my own house, and had supped, my mind suggested to me some suspicion, and especially because he had appeared to me in two forms. I fell asleep, having this same thing in my thoughts. And he came that night, and made me share in his filthy commerce. And I saw him when it was day, and fled from him; but, according to his wont, he came at night and abused me. And now, as thou seest me, I have been tormented by him five years, and he has not departed from me. But I know and am persuaded that even demons, and spirits, and avenging deities, are subject to thee, and tremble at thy prayer. Pray, then, for me, and drive away from me the demon that torments me, that I also may become free, and may be brought to my former nature, and I shall receive the gift 2363 that has been granted to my kindred.
And the apostle said: O irrepressible wickedness! O the shamelessness of the enemy! O the sorcerer that is never at rest! O the ill-favoured one, bring to subjection the well-favoured! O the many-formed one! He appears just as he may wish, but his essence cannot be changed. O offspring of the crafty and insatiable one! O bitter tree, which also his fruits are like! O thou who art of the devil, who fights over those who do not belong to him! O thou who art of the deceit that uses shamelessness! O thou who art of the wickedness that creeps like a serpent, and art thyself his kindred! And when the apostle had thus spoken the fiend stood before him, no one seeing him but the woman and the apostle, and with a very loud voice he said in the hearing of all: What have we to do with thee, O apostle of the Most High? What have we to do with thee, O servant of Jesus Christ? What have we to do with thee, O thou that sittest in council with the Holy Spirit. Wherefore dost thou wish to destroy us, when our time has not yet come? On what account dost thou wish to take away our power? for until the present hour we have had hope and time left us. 2364 What have we to do with thee? Thou hast power over thine own, and we over our own. Why dost thou wish to use tyranny against us, and especially thou who teachest others not to use tyranny? Why dost thou want those who do not belong to thee, as if thou wert not satisfied with thine own? Why dost thou liken thyself to the Son of God, who has done us hurt? For thou art like him altogether, just as if thou hadst been brought forth by him. For we thought to bring him also under the yoke, like the rest; but he turned, and held us under his hand. For we did not know him; but he deceived us by the form which he had put on, and his poverty and his want; for when we saw him such, we thought him to be a man clothed with flesh, not knowing that it was he who makes men live. And he gave us power over our own, and, in the time in which we live, not to let our own go, but to employ ourselves about them. But thou wishest to get more than is necessary, or than has been given thee, and to overpower us.
And having thus spoken, the demon wept, saying: I let thee go, my most lovely yoke-fellow, 2365 whom I found long ago and was at rest; I leave thee, my beloved and trusty sister, in whom I was well pleased. What I shall do I know not, or whom I shall call upon to hear me and protect me. I know what I shall do. I shall go to some place where the fame of this man has not been heard, and perhaps I shall call thee, my beloved, by a new name. 2366 And lifting up his voice, he said: Abide in peace, having received an asylum with a greater than I; but I, as I have said, will go away and seek thy like, and if I find her not I shall again return to thee: for I know that when thou art beside this man, thou hast an asylum in him; but when he has gone away, thou shalt be as thou wast before he made his appearance, and him indeed wilt thou forget, and to me there will again be opportunity and boldness; but now I am afraid of the name of him who has delivered thee. And having thus said, the demon disappeared. And just when he had disappeared, fire and smoke were seen there, and all there present were struck with amazement.
p. 546 And the apostle seeing this, said to them: Nothing strange or unusual has that demon shown, but his own nature, in which also he shall be burnt up; for the fire shall consume him, and the smoke of him shall be scattered abroad. And he began to say: O Jesus Christ, the secret mystery which has been revealed to us, Thou art He who disclosest to us all manner of mysteries, who hast set me apart from all my companions, and who hast told me three words with which I am set on fire, and I cannot tell them to others; O Jesus, man slain, dead, buried; Jesus, God of God, and Saviour who bringest the dead to life, and healest those who are diseased; O Jesus, who appearest to be in want, and savest as if in want of nothing, catching the fishes for the morning and the evening meal, and establishing all in abundance with a little bread; Jesus, who didst rest from the toil of the journey as a man, and walk upon the waves as God; 2367 Jesus Most High, voice arising from perfect compassion, Saviour of all, the right hand of the light overthrowing him that is wicked in his own kind, and bringing all his kind into one place; Thou who art only begotten, the first-born of many brethren, 2368 God of God Most High, man despised until now; Jesus Christ, who overlookest us not when we call upon Thee; who hast been shown forth to all in Thy human life; who for our sakes hast been judged and kept in prison, and freest all that are in bonds; who hast been called a deceiver, 2369 and who deliverest Thine own from deception: I entreat Thee in behalf of those standing and entreating Thee, and those that believe in Thee; for they pray to obtain Thy gifts, being of good hope in Thine aid, occupying Thy place of refuge in Thy majesty; they give audience, so as to hear from us the words that have been spoken to them. Let Thy peace come and dwell in them, that they may be purified from their former deeds, and may put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new now declared to them by me. 2370
And having laid his hands on them, he blessed them, saying: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you for ever! 2371 And they said, Amen. And the woman begged of him, saying: Apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, that that foe may not come back upon me again. Then he made her come near him; and putting his hand upon her, he sealed her in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. And many others also were sealed along with her. And the apostle ordered his servant 2372 to set out a table; and they set out a bench 2373 which they found there. And having spread a linen cloth upon it, he put on it the bread of the blessing. And the apostle standing by it, said: Jesus Christ, Son of God, who hast deemed us worthy to communicate of the Eucharist of Thy sacred body and honourable blood, behold, we are emboldened by the thanksgiving 2374 and invocation of Thy sacred name; come now, and communicate with us. And he began to say: Come, perfect compassion; come, communion with mankind; come, Thou that knowest the mysteries of the chosen one; come, Thou that communicatest in all the combats 2375 of the noble combatant; come, peace that revealest the great things of all greatness; come, Thou that disclosest secrets, and makest manifest things not to be spoken; the sacred dove which has brought forth twin young; come, thou secret mother; come, Thou who art manifest in Thy deeds, and givest joy and rest to those who are united to Thee; come and communicate with us in this Eucharist, which we make in Thy name, and in the love 2376 in which we are united in calling upon Thee. 2377 And having thus said, he made the sign of the cross upon the bread, and broke it, and began to distribute it. And first he gave it to the woman, saying: This shall be to thee for remission of sins, and the ransom of everlasting transgressions. And after her, he gave also to all the others who had received the seal.
Or, no one else.545:2363
Comp. Matt. viii. 29.545:2365
i.e., get another instead of thee, my beloved.546:2367
Matt. 14:17, John 21:11, John 4:6, Matt. 14:25.546:2368
Rom. viii. 29.546:2369
Matt. xxvii. 63.546:2370
Col. iii. 9.546:2371
Rom. xvi. 20.546:2372
συμψέλλιον, which is not Greek, is obviously the Latin subsellium.546:2374
Or, in Thy calling.
Next: About the Young Man Who Killed the Maiden.
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