OF THE TONGUE OF ANGELS, AND OF THEIR SPEAKING AMONGST THEMSELVES AND WITH US.
WE might doubt whether angels or demons, since they are pure spirits, use any vocal speech or tongue among themselves or to us; but that Paul, in some place says, "if I speak with the tongue of men or angels;"--but what their speech or tongue is, is much doubted by many. For many think that if they use any idiom, it is Hebrew, because that was first of all, and came from heaven, and was before the confusion of languages in Babylon, in which the law was given by God the Father, and the gospel was preached by Christ the Son, and so many oracles were given to the prophets by the Holy Ghost; and seeing all tongues have and do undergo various mutations and corruptions, this alone does always continue inviolated. Moreover, an evident sign of this opinion is, that though this demon and intelligence do use the speech of those nations with whom they do inhabit, yet, to them who understand it, they never speak in any idiom but in this alone, viz. Hebrew. But now, how angels speak, it is hid from us, as they themselves are. Now, to us, that we may speak, a tongue is necessary with other instruments; as the jaws, palate, lips, teeth, throat, lungs, the aspera artertia, and muscles of the breast, which have the beginning of motion from the soul. But if I speak at a distance to another, he
must use a louder voice; but, if near, he whispers in my ear, as if he should be coupled to the hearer, without any noise, as an image in the eye or glass. So souls going out of the body, so angels, so demons speak; and what man does with a sensible voice, they do by impressing the conception of the speech in those to whom they speak after a better manner than if they should express it in an audible voice. So the Platonist says, that Socrates perceived his demon by sense, indeed, but not of this body, but by the sense of the etherial body concealed in this; after which manner. Avicen believes the angels were wont to be seen and heard by the prophets. That instrument, whatsoever the virtue be, by which one spirit makes known to another spirit what things are in his mind, is called by the apostle Paul, the tongue of angels. Yet oftentimes they send forth an audible voice, as they that cried at the ascension of the Lord, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing unto the heaven? And in the old law they spake with divers of the fathers with a sensible voice; but this never but when they assumed bodies. But with what senses these spirits and demons hear our invocations and prayers, and see our ceremonies, we are altogether ignorant.
For there is a spiritual body, of demons every where sensible by nature, so that it touches, sees, hears without any medium, and nothing can be an impediment to it; yet they do not perceive after the same manner as we do, with different organs, but haply as sponges drink in water, so do they all sensible things with their body or some other way unknown to us; neither are all animals endowed with those organs, for we know that many want ears, yet we know they perceive a sound, but after what manner we know not.