When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
Read Chapter 12
Hilary of Poitiers
The law which was given later intervened, casting out the unclean spirit dwelling in the hearts of the elect people. It kept that spirit away as if it were surrounding the people with its protective power. Going out from there, the spirit wandered among the nations in the deserts and arid places, leaving behind its old home, so that it might rest in these places until the day of judgment and not in a troubled dwelling [as Israel provided]. But when God’s grace was imparted afresh to the nations, flowing as a living fountain through the cleansing water [of baptism], there was no place for the spirit to continue living among them, and indeed he had no rest with them. After reconsidering its present situation, the spirit believed the best thing to do was to return to the house from which it had come. That house, having been cleaned out through the law, decorated with the proclamation of the prophets and finally prepared by the coming of Christ, was found to be vacant. The custodian of the law had left—because the whole law [was valid] until John—and those living there did not receive Christ. Also, there was no inhabitant in the dwelling, and it had been left unguarded. Because of the concern of those who were living there before, the place had been kept clean and adorned for the incoming dweller. Then seven spirits even more evil entered in—as many as there were the gifts of grace offered by Christ which God’s allembracing wisdom had placed there with a sevenfold glory. In this way the possession of wicked spirits was as great as the possession of grace would have been. Thus “the last state of that man becomes worse than the first,” because the unclean spirit left the house for fear of the law but now returns with a vengeance because of the grace that was rejected. :.