It's a trap!

Sheng Mo 勝魔

From the biography of Xi Sheng Mo, the sad tale of a Chinese demoniac in the late 1800s:

There was no mistaking the excitement and confusion that prevailed on their arrival. The girl was in one of her terrible seizures, and had to be held down by half-a-dozen neighbours to prevent injury to herself and those around her. Calling the family together, Hsi briefly explained that he, like themselves, could do nothing, but that the God he worshipped was the living God, who could perfectly heal and deliver. They listened with apparent interest while he told the wonderful story of the Saviour’s love, and were willing to take down their idols then and there, if only he would pray for them that their trouble might be removed and their sins forgiven.

After public prayer for God’s blessing, Hsi was taken to the room from which the cries and confusion proceeded. Immediately he entered there was a lull. The girl saw him, ceased struggling, and in a quiet, respectful way asked him to take a seat.

Astonished, the onlookers cried at once that the spirits had left her.

“No,” answered Hsi, who could tell from her eyes that something was wrong,” she is as yet no better. The devil is merely trying to deceive us.”

The girl was still friendly, and tried to make the polite remarks usually addressed to strangers; but Hsi went over, and laying his hands on her head, simply and earnestly prayed in the name of Jesus, and commanded the evil spirits at once to come out of her.

Suddenly, while he was still praying, she sprang to her feet with a terrible cry, rushed out into the courtyard, and fell to the ground unconscious and to all appearances dying.

“Alas, she is dead! You have killed her now!” cried the startled friends.

But Hsi quietly raised her. “Do not be alarmed,” he said. “The spirits are gone. She will soon be all right.”

Recovering in a little while from what seemed like a heavy swoon, the young woman came to herself, and was soon restored to a perfectly normal condition.

For some time the husband, full of gratitude, attended the services at the mission chapel and made a half-hearted profession of Christianity; but sad to say it was not the real thing with him or any of the family. As long as Hsi remained he went now and again to see him, carrying some little present to express indebtedness and thanks.

At last one morning he returned from such a visit bringing with him a packet of confectionery that was meant for Hsi.

“Why have you brought back the present?” cried his wife as he entered the courtyard.

“The scholar has left the city,” he replied, “and is on his way home to the south of the province.”

Scarcely were the words spoken when the poor girl relapsed into the old condition. In the midst of most terrible convulsions, foul language and blasphemies streamed from her lips. She seemed possessed by a more fearful power of evil than before.

“He is gone; he is gone!” she cried. “Now I fear no one! Let them bring their Jesus. I defy them all. They will never drive us out again, never!”

This continued for a few terrible days, until, exhausted by the strain, she died.

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