And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
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Augustine of Hippo
I see no objection to saying that each mind has another body [sōma pneumatikos] when it leaves this solid one, and so the mind always has a body to animate, and in it crosses over, if there is any place to which necessity compels it to go, since, indeed, the angels themselves cannot be enumerated if they are not counted by bodies, as truth itself says in the Gospel: “I could ask my Father to send me twelve legions of angels”; and also since it is evident that Samuel was seen in the body when he was raised by the incantation of Saul, and since it is clear, according to the Gospel, that Moses, whose body was buried, came to the Lord on the mount when they stood together. - "Letter 158"
Why, then, did the rich man in hell crave for the drop of water? Why did holy Samuel appear after his death (as you have yourself noticed) clothed in his usual garments? Did the one wish to repair the ruins of the soul, as of the flesh, by the aliment of water? Did the other quit life with his clothes on him? Now in the former case there was a real suffering, which tormented the soul, but not a real body, such as required food. The latter might have seemed to be clothed, not as being a true body but a soul only, having the semblance of a body with clothing. For although the soul extends and contracts itself to suit the members of the body, it does not similarly adapt itself to the clothes, so as to fit its form to them. - "On the Soul and Its Origin 4.29"
Understood that it was Samuel. It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed; and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Ecclesiasticus xlvi. 23. (Challoner)
The passage is decisive; (Tirinus) he slept and he made known to the king, and showed him the end of his life, and he lifted up his voice from the earth, in prophecy Those who have called in question the reality of Samuel's apparition, seem not to have remembered this passage. (Haydock)
Yet his soul was not united to his body, (Salien) nor was he adduced by the power of the devil, but (Du Hamel) by a just judgment of God, to denounce destruction to the wicked king. (St. Augustine) (Tirinus)
The woman, beholding Samuel, fled out of the place, to Saul's com...
The question is raised, whether Samuel rose by the hand of the sorceress or not. And if, indeed, we were to allow that he did rise, we should be propounding what is false. For how could a demon call back the soul, I say not of a righteous man merely, but of any one whatever, when it had gone, and was tarrying one knew not where? But he says, how then was the woman dismayed, and how did she see in an extraordinary way men ascending? For if her vision had not been of an extraordinary kind, she would not have said, I see gods ascending out of the earth. She invoked one, and how did there ascend many? What then? Shall we say that the souls of all who appeared ascended, and those, too, not invoked by the woman; or that what was seen was merely phantasms of them? Even this, however, will not suffice. How, he urges further, did Saul recognise (what appeared), and do obeisance? Well, Saul did not actually see, but only, on being told by the woman that the figure of one of those who ascended wa...
That souls survive I have shown to you from the fact that the soul of Samuel was called up by the witch, as Saul demanded. It appears also that all the souls of similar righteous people and prophets fell under the dominion of such powers, which is certainly to be inferred from the very facts in the case of that witch. For this reason God, by his Son, also teaches us—for whose sake these things seem to have been done—always to strive earnestly and at death to pray that our souls may not fall into the hands of any such power. - "Dialogue with Trypho 105"
And, therefore, if we inquire regarding the “tongue,” and the “finger,” and “Abraham’s bosom,” and the reclining there, it may perhaps be that the soul receives a form similar in appearance to its earthly body in the change. If, then, any one of those who have fallen asleep is recorded as having reappeared, he is seen in the same way and in the form that he had when he was in the flesh. Besides, when Samuel appeared, it is clear that, being seen, he was clothed in a body; and this must especially be admitted, if we are pressed by arguments which prove that the essence of the soul is incorporeal and is manifested by itself. - "On the Resurrection 3.2.19"
Understood that it was Samuel: It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed: and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Eccli. 46. 23.
Why, even now the followers of Simon [Magus] are so confident of their art that they undertake to bring back the souls of the prophets from hell. And this, I believe, because their power lies in their ability to deceive. This power was actually granted to the witch of Endor, who brought back the soul of Samuel after Saul had consulted God in vain. Apart from that case, God forbid we should believe that any soul, much less a prophet, could be called forth by a demon. We are told that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light”—and more easily into a man of light—and that at the end he will work marvelous signs and show himself as God, so much so that, “if possible, he will deceive even the elect.” He hardly hesitated to declare to Saul that he was the prophet [Samuel] in whom the devil was then dwelling.
So, you must not think that the spirit which created the apparition was different from the one who made Saul believe in it; but, the same spirit was in the witch of Endor and ...