36. Jesus was accused by the Pharisees of exorcising demons by demons. Even the good he did was, according to them, the work of Satan. They did not reflect that it would make no sense for the Devil to expel his own self. It is well known that the Pharisees of that time already considered all transcendental faculties as supernatural and consequently, as the work of the devil. According to them, Jesus himself received from the Devil such powers. This same doctrine is that which the Church upholds today against spiritual manifestations. *
* All theologians are far from professing absolute opinions upon the subject of demons. Here is that of an ecclesiastic, the value of which the clergy would not know how to call into question. The following passage is found in Conferences upon Religion, by Monseigneur Freyssinous, Bishop of Hermopolis, vol. II. p. 341. Paris, 1825: “If Jesus had employed evil spirits to cast out demons, the latter would then have been working to destroy their own empire, and Satan would have been employing power against himself. It is certain that a demon who would seek to destroy the reign of vice in order to establish that of virtue must be a strange demon. That is why Jesus replied to the absurd accusation of the Jews, ‘If I perform mighty works in the name of the demons, his kingdom must then be divided against itself!’ — an answer which admits of no reply.” This is precisely the argument which the Spiritists oppose to those who attribute to the evil spirits the good counsels which they receive. The demon would act like a professional thief who would return all that which he had stolen, and engage other thieves to become honest men.