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In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes:
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.
Alexander Pope. 1688-1744

Every man hath a good and a bad angel attending on him in particular, all his life long.
Robert Burton. 1576-1640


Belief in spiritual beings inferior to the gods and capable of influencing human affairs is common to many religions and civilizations. Some such spirits were regarded as neither good nor evil; often a distinction was made between good spirits or angels and evil spirits or demons.

Ancient Babylonia and Assyrian religious beliefs included numerous demons and priests preformed incantations to protect the people from these evil spirits. Zoroastrians in Persia believed in a constant warfare between good and evil spirits.

Chinese folk religion included a large number of devils to be placated or avoided.

Many demons in folk beliefs are connected with dangerous or unfavorable aspects of nature and are regarded by anthropologists as related to animistic belief.

The Old Testament mentions demons comparatively briefly and rarely. Later Judaism included accounts of a great number of demons, including the fallen dieties of other peoples, fallen angels and the spirits of the wicked dead. These invisible spirits, whose leader was satan, were everywhere and responsible for human ills.

In the New Testament demons are presented as personal spirits that beset men and even possess them.

According to Scripture demons are the angels that fell from heaven with satan when he chose to rebel against God. Revelations 12:9 states 'And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, which deceiveth the world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels with him.'


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