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8. Of Energumens, or, Demoniacs

Antiquities of the Christian Church
CHAPTER II. Names and classes of christians

8. Of Energumens, or, Demoniacs

Mention is often made in the ancient church, of persons possessed of an evil spirit. The regulations of the church bestow upon them special care. They constitute a distinct class of Christians, bearing some relation both to the catechumens and the faithful; but differing from both in this, that they were under the special oversight and direction of Exorcists, while they took part in some of the religious exercises of both classes.

Catechumens who, during their probationary exercises became demoniacs, were never baptized until thoroughly healed, except in case of extreme sickness. Believers who became demoniacs, in the worst stages of their disease, like the weeping penitents, were not permitted to enter the church; but were retained under close inspection in the outer porch. From this circumstance they were denominated*, or hyemanies*. When partially recovered they were permitted, with the audientes, to join in public worship, but they were not permitted to partake of the sacrament until wholly restored, except in the immediate prospect of death. In general, the energumens were subject to the same rules as the penitents. 

Concil. Illiberit. c. 37. Arausic. i. c. 14.

Suicer, Bingham and Du Fresne derive it from the agitations to which they were subject, like a ship in a storm. – TR.

Pellicia, De ch. eccl. polit. tom. i. ed. Ritter. p. 504 et seq.

(* denotes Greek text in Rev. Lyman Coleman's translation.)


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