BUCK'S THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY

Contents of “A”

  1. ABBA
  2. ABBE
  3. ABBESS
  4. ABBEY
  5. ABBOT
  6. ABELIANS
  7. ABESTA
  8. ABILITY
  9. ABLUTION
  10. ABRAHAMITES
  11. ABSOLUTION
  12. ABSTEMII
  13. ABSTINENCE
  14. ABSTINENTS
  15. ABYSS
  16. ABYSSINIAN CHURCH
  17. ACACIANS
  18. ACADEMICS
  19. ACCLAMATIONS
  20. ACCOMMODATION OF SCRIPTURE
  21. ACCURSED
  22. ACEPHALI
  23. ACOEMETAE
  24. ACOLYTHI
  25. ACT OF FAITH
  26. ACTION FOR THE PULPIT
  27. ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
  28. ACTS OF PILATE
  29. ADAMITES
  30. ADESSENARIANS
  31. ADIAPHORISTS
  32. ADMIRATION
  33. ADMONITION
  34. ADONAI
  35. ADONISTS
  36. ADOPTIONISTS
  37. ADOPTION
  38. ADORATION
  39. ADVERSARY
  40. ADVERSITY
  41. ADULTERY
  42. AERIANS
  43. AETIANS
  44. AFFECTION
  45. AFFLICTION
  46. AGAP AE
  47. AGAPET AE
  48. AGENDA
  49. AGENT
  50. AGENTS
  51. AGNOET AE
  52. AGNUSDEI
  53. AGONISTICI
  54. AGONYCLIT AE
  55. AGYNIANI
  56. ALASCANI
  57. ALBANENSES
  58. ALBANOIS
  59. ALBIGENSES
  60. ALEXANDRIAN MANUSCRIPT
  61. ALKORAN
  62. ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF GOD
  63. ALMARICIANS
  64. ALMONER
  65. ALMS
  66. ALOGIANS
  67. ALTAR
  68. AMAURITES
  69. AMAZEMENT
  70. AMBITION
  71. AMEDIANS
  72. AMEN
  73. AMMONIANS
  74. AMSDORFIANS
  75. AMYRALDISM
  76. ANABAPTISTS
  77. ANALOGY OF FAITH
  78. ANACHORETS
  79. ANAGOGICAL
  80. ANATHEMA
  81. ANDRONA
  82. ANGEL
  83. ANGELICS
  84. ANGELITES
  85. ANGER
  86. ANGER OF GOD
  87. ANGLO-CALVINISTS
  88. ANNIHILATION
  89. ANNUNCIATION
  90. ANOMOEANS
  91. ANTEDILUVIANS
  92. ANTHEM
  93. ANTHROPOMORPHITES
  94. ANTHROPOPATHY
  95. ANTIBURGHERS
  96. ANTICHRIST
  97. ANTIDORON
  98. ANTINOMIANS
  99. ANTIPATHY
  100. ANTIP AE DOBAPTISTS
  101. ANTIQUITIES
  102. ANTISABBATARIANS
  103. ANTITACT AE
  104. ANTITRINITARIANS
  105. ANTITYPE
  106. ANTOSIANDRIANS
  107. APATHY
  108. APELLEANS
  109. APHTHARTODOCITES
  110. APOCARIT AES
  111. APOCHRYPHA
  112. APOLLINARIANS
  113. APOSTACY
  114. APOSTLE
  115. APOSTLES' CREED
  116. APOSTOLATE
  117. APOSTOLIC
  118. APOSTOLIC
  119. APOSTOLICAL CONSTITUTIONS
  120. APOSTOLIC FATHERS
  121. APOSTOLICI
  122. APOTACTIT AE
  123. APPLICATION
  124. APPROBATION
  125. APPROPRIATION
  126. AQUARIANS
  127. ARABICI
  128. ARCHANGEL
  129. ARCHIBISHOP
  130. ARCHDEACON
  131. ARCHONTICS
  132. ARCH-PRESBYTER
  133. ARRHABONARII
  134. ARIANS
  135. ARISTOTELIANS
  136. ARK
  137. ARK OF THE COVENANT
  138. ARMENIANS
  139. ARMINIANS
  140. ARNOLDISTS
  141. ARTEMONTES
  142. ARTICLE OF FAITH
  143. ARTICLES OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
  144. ARTICLES, LAMBETH
  145. ARPOTYRITES
  146. ASCENSION OF CHRIST
  147. ASCETIC
  148. ASCODROGITES
  149. ASCOODRUTES
  150. ASSEMBLIES OF THE CLERGY
  151. ASSENT
  152. ASSURANCE
  153. ASSURITANS
  154. ASTONISHMENT
  155. ATHANASIANS
  156. ATHEIST
  157. ATONEMENT
  158. ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
  159. ATTRITION
  160. AVARICE
  161. AVERSION
  162. AUDIENTES
  163. AUGSBURGH OR AUGUSTAN CONFESSION
  164. AUGUSTINS
  165. AUSTERITY
  166. AUTOCEPHALI BISHOPS

1. ABBA

 A Syriac word, signifying Father. It is more particularly used in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic churches, as a title given to the bishops. The bishops themselves bestowed the title ABBA more eminently on the bishop of Alexandria, which occasioned the people to give him the title of Baba or Papa; that is, Grandfather: a title which he bore before the bishop of Rome. It is a Jewish title of honour given to certain Rabbins called Tanaites: it is also used by some writers of the middle age for the superior of a monastery. St. Mark and St. Paul use this word in their Greek, Mark xiv. 36. Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6. because it was then commonly known in the synagogues and the primitive assemblies of the Christians. It is thought by Selden, Witsius, Doddridge, and others, that Saint Paul alluded to a law among the Jews which forbade servants or slaves to call their master Abba, or Father; and that the apostle meant to convey the idea that those who believed in Christ were no longer slaves to sin; but being brought into a state of holy freedom, might consequently address God as their Father.

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2. ABBE

  The same with Abbot,which see. Also the name of curious popular characters in France; who are persons who have not yet obtained any precise or fixed settlement in church or state, but most heartily wish for and would accept of either, just as it may happen. In the mean while their privileges are many. In college they are the instructors of youth, and in private families the tutors of young gentlemen.

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3. ABBESS

 The superior of an abbey or convent of nuns. The abbess has the same rights and authority over her nuns that the abbots regular have over their monks. The sex, indeed, does not allow her to perform the spiritual functions annexed to the priesthood, wherewith the abbot is usually invested; but there are instances of some abbesses who have a right, or rather a privilege, to commission a priest to act for them. They have even a kind of episcopal jurisdiction, as well as some abbots who are exempted from the visitation of their diocesan.

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4. ABBEY

 A monastery, governed by a superior under the title of Abbot or Abbess. Monasteries were at first nothing more than religious houses, whither persons retired from the bustle of the world to spend their time in solitude and devotion: but they soon degenerated from their original institution, and procured large privileges, exemptions, and riches. They prevailed greatly in Britain before the reformation, particularly in England; and as they increased in riches, so the state became poor, for the lands which these regulars possessed could never revert to the lords who gave them. These places were wholly abolished by Henry VIII. He first appointed visitors to inspect into the lives of the monks and nuns, which were found in some places very disorderly; upon which the abbots, perceiving their dissolution unavoidable, were induced to resign their houses to the king, who by that means became invested with the abbey lands; these were afterwards granted to different persons, whose descendants enjoy them at this day: they were then valued at 2,853,000/.per annum; an immense sum in those days.--Though the suppression of these houses, considered in a religious and political light, was a great benefit to the nation, yet it must be owned, that, at the time they flourished, they were not entirely useless. Abbeys were then the repositories as well as the seminaries of learning: many valuable books and national records have been preserved in their libraries; the only places wherein they could have been safely lodged in those turbulent times. Indeed, the historians of this country are chiefly beholden to the monks for the knowledge they have of former national events. Thus a kind Providence overruled even the institutions of superstition for good. See MONASTERY.

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5. ABBOT

  The chief ruler of a monastery or abbey. At first they were lay-men, and subject to the bishop and ordinary pastors. Their monasteries being remote from cities, and built in the farthest solitudes, they had no share in ecclesiastical affairs; but, there being among them several persons of learning, they were called out of their deserts by the bishops, and fixed in the suburbs of the cities; and at length in the cities themselves. From that time they degenerated, and, learning to be ambitious, aspired to be independent of the bishops, which occasioned some severe laws to be made against them. At length whoever, the abbots carried their point, and obtained the title of lord, with other badges of the episcopate, particularly the mitre. Hence arose new distinctions among them. Those were termed mitred abbots who were privileged to wear the mitre, and exercise episcopal authority within their respective precincts, being exempted from the jurisdiction of the bishop. Others were called crosiered abbots, from their bearing the crosier, or pastoral staff. Others were styled aecumenical or universal abbots, in imitation of the patriarch of Constantinople, while others were termed cardinal abbots, from their superiority over all other abbots. At present, in the Roman catholic countries, the chief distinctions are those of regular and commendatory. The former take the vow and wear the habit of their order; whereas the latter are seculars, though they are obliged by their bulls to take orders when of proper age.

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6. ABELIANS

  Or ABELONIANS, a sect which arose in the diocese of Hippoo in Africa, and is supposed to have begun in the reign of Arcadius, and ended in that of Theodosius. Indeed, it was not calculated for being of any long continuance. They regulated marriage after the example of Abel, who, they pretended, was married, but lived in a state of continence: they therefore allowed each man to marry one woman, but enjoined them to live in the same state. To keep up the sect, when a man and woman entered into this society, they adopted a boy and a girl, who were to inherit their goods, and to marry upon the same terms of not having children, but of adopting two of different sexes.

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7. ABESTA

  The name of one of the sacred books of the Persian Magi, which they ascribe to their great founder Zoroaster. The Abesta is a commentary on two others of their religious books, called Zend and Pazend; the three together including the whole system of the Ignicold, or worshippers of fire.

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8. ABILITY

  See INABILITY.

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9. ABLUTION

  A ceremony in use among the ancients, and still practised in several parts of the world. It consisted in washing the body, which was always done before sacrificing, or even entering their houses. Ablutions appear to be as old as any ceremonies, and external worship itself. Moses enjoined them, the heathens adopted them, and Mahomet and his followers have continued them. The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, all had them. The ancient Christians had their ablutions before communion, which the Romish church still retain before their mass, and sometimes after. The Syrians, Copts, & c. have their solemn washings on Good Friday; the Turks also have their ablutions, their Ghast, their Wodou, Aman,& c.

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10. ABRAHAMITES

  An order of monks exterminated for idolatry by Theophilus, in the ninth century. Also the name of another sect of heretics who had adopted the errors of Paulus. See PAULICIANS.

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11. ABSOLUTION

  Signifies acquittal. It is taken also from that act whereby the priest declares the sins of such as are penitent remitted. The Romanists hold absolution a part of the sacrament of penance: and the council of Trent and that of Florence declare the form or essence of the sacrament to lie in the words of absolution. "I absolve thee "of thy sins." According to this, no one can receive absolution without the privity, consent and declaration of the priest; except, therefore, the priest be willing, God himself cannot pardon any man. This is a doctrine as blasphemous as it is ridiculous. The chief passage on which they ground their power of absolution is that in John xx. 23: "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." But this is not to the purpose; since this was a special commission to the apostles themselves, and the first preachers of the Gospel, and most probably referred to the power he gave them of discerning spirits. By virtue of this power, Peter struck Ananias and Sapphira dead, and Paul struck Elimas blind. But supposing the passage in question to apply to the successors of the apostles, and to ministers in general, it can only import that their office is to preach pardon to the penitent, assuring those who believe that their sins are forgiven through the merits of Jesus Christ; and that those who remain in unbelief are in a state of condemnation. Any idea of authority given to fallible, uninspired men to absolve sinners, different from this, is unscriptural; nor can I see much utility in the terms ministerial or declarative absolution, as adopted by some divines, since absolution is wholly the prerogative of God; and the terms above-mentioned, may, to say the least, have no good influence on the minds of the ignorant and superstitious.

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12. ABSTEMII

  A name given to such persons as could not partake of the cup of the eucharist, on account of their natural aversion to wine.

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13. ABSTINENCE

  In a general sense, is the act of refraining from something which we have a propension to or find pleasure in. It is more particularly used for fasting or forbearing of necessary food. Among the Jews, various kinds of abstinence were ordained by their law. Among the primitive Christians, some denied themselves the use of such meats as were prohibited by that law; others looked upon this abstinence with contempt; as to which Paul gives his opinion, Rom. xiv. 1,3. The council of Jerusalem, which was held by the apostles, enjoined the Christian converts to abstain from meats strangled, from blood, from fornication, and from idolatry, Acts xv. Upon this passage, Dr. Doddridge observes, "that though neither things sacrificed to idols, nor the flesh of strangled animals, nor blood, have or can have any moral evil in them, which should make the eating of them absolutely and universally unlawful; yet they were forbidden to the Gentile converts, because the Jews had such an aversion to them, that they could not converse freely with any who used them. This is plainly the reason which James assigns in the very next words, the 21st verse, and it is abundantly sufficient. This reason is now ceased, and the obligation to abstain from eating these things ceases with it. But were we in like circumstances again, Christian charity would surely require us to lay ourselves under the same restraint."--The spiritual monarchy of the western world introduced another sort of abstinence, which may be called ritual, and consists in abstaining from particular meats at certain times and seasons, the rules of which are called rogations. If I mistake not, the impropriety of this kind of abstinence is clearly pointed out in 1 Tim. iv. 3.--In England, abstinence from flesh has been enjoined by statute, even since the reformation; particularly on Fridays and Saturdays, on vigils.and on all days commonly called fish days. The like injunctions were renewed under queen Elizabeth; but at the same time it was declared that this was done not out of motives of religion, as if there were any difference in meats, but in favour of the consumption of fish, and to mariners, as well as to spare the stock of sheep. See FASTING.

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14. ABSTINENTS

  A set of heretics that appeared in France and Spain about the end of the third century. They are supposed to have borrowed part of their opinions from the Gnostics and Manichaeans, because they opposed marriage, condemned the use of flesh meat, and placed the Holy Ghost in the class of created beings.

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15. ABYSS

  In a general sense, denotes something profound; in its literal sense it signifies without a bottom; in a more particular sense it denotes a deep mass or fund of waters. In this last sense the word is used in the Septuagint for the water which God created at the beginning with the earth, which our translators render by deep. Thus it is that darkness is said to have been on the face of the abyss, Gen. i. 2. Abyss is also used for an immense cavern in the earth wherein God is supposed to have collected all those waters on the third day, which in our version is rendered the seas, and elsewhere the great deep. Abyss is likewise used to denote the grave or common receptacle of the dead, Rom. x. 7: also hell, or the bottomless pit, Luke viii. 31. Rev. ix. 1. Rev. xi. 7. See DELUGE.

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16. ABYSSINIAN CHURCH

  That which is established in the empire of Abyssinia. They are a branch of the Copts, with whom they agree in admitting only one nature in Jesus Christ, and rejecting the council of Chalcedon; whence they are also called Monophysites and Eutychians, which see. The Abyssinian church is governed by a bishop styled abuna. They have canons also, and monks. The emperor has a kind of supremacy in ecclesiastical matters. The Abyssinians have at divers times expressed an inclination to be reconciled to the see of Rome; but rather from interested views than any other motive. They practise circumcision on females as well as males. They eat no meats prohibited by the law of Moses. They observe both Saturday and Sunday sabbaths. Women are obliged to the legal purifications, Brothers marry brothers' wives, & c. On the other hand, they celebrate the Epiphany with peculiar festivity; have four Lents; pray for the dead; and invoke angels. Images in painting they venerate; but abhor all those in relievo, except the cross. They admit the apocryphal books, and the canons of the apostles, as well as the apostolical constitutions, for genuine. They allow of divorce, which is easily granted among them, and by the civil judge; nor do their civil laws prohibit polygamy.--They have, at least, as many miracles and legends of saints as the Romish church. They hold that the soul of man is not created; because, say they, God finished all his works on the sixth day. Thus we see that the doctrines and ritual of this sect form a strange compound of Judaism and Christianity, ignorance and superstition. Some, indeed, have been at a loss to know whether they are most Christians or Jews: it is to be feared, however, that there is little beside the name of Christianity among them. Should the reader be desirous to know more of this sect, he may consult Father Lobo's Voyage to Abyssinia; Bruce's Travels; Ludolph's Hist. of Ethiopia; and Dict. of Arts and Sciences, vol. i. p 15.

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17. ACACIANS

  A sect of heretics in the 4th century; so named from Acacius, bishop of Caesarea, who denied the Son to be of the same substance with the Father, though some of them allowed that he was of a similar substance. Also the name of another sect, named after Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in the fifth century, who favoured the opinions of Eutychus. See EUTYCHIANS.

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18. ACADEMICS

  A denomination given to the cultivators of a species of philosophy originally derived from Socrates, and afterwards illustrated and enforced by Plato. The contradictory systems which had been successively urged upon the world were become so numerous, that, from a view of the variety and uncertainty of human opinions, many were let to conclude that truth lay beyond the reach of our comprehension. The consequence of this conclusion was absolute scepticism: hence the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the preferableness of virtue to vice, were all held as uncertain. This sect, with that of the Epicureans, were the two chief that were in vogue at the time of Christ's appearance, and were embraced and supported by persons of high rank and wealth. A consideration of the principles of these two sects (see EPICUREANS) will lead us to form an idea of the deplorable state of the world at the time of Christ's birth; and the necessity there was of some divine teacher to convey to the mind true and certain principles of religion and wisdom. Jesus Christ, therefore, is with great propriety called the Day Spring from on High, the Sun of Righteousness, that arose upon a benighted world to dispel the clouds of ignorance and error, and discover to lost man the path of happiness and heaven. But, as we do not mean to enlarge much upon these and some other sects, which belong rather to philosophy than theology, we shall refer the reader to Buddeus's Introduction to the History of Philosophy; Stanley' Lives; Brucker's History of Philosophy; or (which is more modern) Enfield's Abridgment.

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19. ACCLAMATIONS

  Ecclesiastical, were shouts of joy which the people expressed by way of approbation of their preachers. It hardly seems credible to us that practices of this kind should ever have found their way into the church, where all ought to be reverence and solemnity. Yet so it was in the fourth century. The people were not only permitted, but sometimes even exhorted, by the preacher himself, to approve his talents by clapping of hands, and loud acclamations of praise. The usual words they made us of were, "Orthodox," "Third apostle," & c. These acclamations being carried to excess, and often misplaced, were frequently prohibited by the ancient doctors, and at length abrogated. Even as late, however, as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we find practices that were not very decorous; such as loud humming, frequent groaning, strange gestures of the body, &c. See articles DANCERS,SHAKERS.

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20. ACCOMMODATION OF SCRIPTURE

  Is the application of it, not to its literal meaning, but to something analogous to it. Thus a prophecy is said to be fulfilled properly when a thing foretold comes to pass; and, by way of accommodation, when an event happens to any place or people similar to what fell out some time before to another. Thus the words of Isaiah, spoken to those of his own time, are said to be fulfilled in those who lived in our Saviour's,--"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy," &c: which same words St. Paul afterwards accommodates to the Jews of his time, Is. xxxix. 14. Mat. xv. 8. Acts xiii. 41. Great care, however, should be taken by preachers who are fond of accommodating texts, that they first clearly state the literal sense of the passage.

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21. ACCURSED

  Something that lies under a curse or sentence of excommunication. In the Jewish idiom, accursed and crucified were synonymous among them, every one was accounted accursed who died on a tree. This serves to explain the difficult passage in Rom. ix. 2, where the apostle wishes himself accursed after the manner of Christ; i.e. crucified, if happily he might by such a death save his countrymen. The preposition ano here is made use of is used in the same sense, 2 Tim. i. 3. where it obviously signifies after the manner of.

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22. ACEPHALI

  Such bishops as were exempt from the discipline and jurisdiction of their ordinary bishop or patriarch. It was also the denomination of certain sects; 1. of those who, in the affair of the council of Ephesus, refused to follow either St. Cyril or John of Antioch; 2. of certain heretics in the fifth century, who, at first, followed Peter Mongus, but afterwards abandoned him, upon his subscribing to the council of Chalcedon, they themselves adhering to the Eutychian heresy; and, 3. of the followers of Severus of Antioch, and of all, in general, who held out against the council of Chalcedon.

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23. ACOEMETAE

  Or ACOMETI, an order of monks at Constantinople in the fifth century, whom the writers of that and the following ages called Watchers, because they performed divine service day and night without intermission. They divided themselves into three classes, who alternately succeeded one another, so that they kept up a perpetual course of worship. This practice the founded upon that passage--"pray without ceasing," 1 Thess. v. 17.

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24. ACOLYTHI

  Or ACOLUTHI, young people who, in the primitive times, aspired to the ministry, and for that purpose continually attended the bishop. In the Romish church, Acolytni were of longer continuance; but their functions were different from those of their first institution. Their business was to light the tapers, carry the candlesticks and the incense pot, and prepare the wine and water. At Rome there were three kinds; 1. those who waited on the pope; 2. those who served in the churches; 3. and others, who, together with the deacons, officiated in other parts of the city.

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25. ACT OF FAITH

  (Auto da Fe,) in the Romish church, is a solemn day held by the Inquisition for the punishment of heretics, and the absolution of the innocent accused. They usually contrive the Auto to fall on some great festival, that the execution may pass with the more awe; and it is always on a Sunday. The Auto da Fe may be called the last act of the Inquisitorial tragedy: it is a kind of gaol-delivery, appointed as often as a competent number of prisoners in the Inquisition are convicted of heresy, either by their own voluntary or extorted confession, or on the evidence of certain witnesses. The process is this:--In the morning they are brought into a great hall, where they have certain habits put on, which they are to wear in the procession, and by which, they know their doom. The procession is led up by Dominican friars, after which come the penitents, being all in black coats without sleeves, and barefooted, with a wax candle in their hands. These are followed by the penitents who have narrowly escaped being burnt, who over their black coats have flames painted, with their points turned downwards. Next come the negative and relapsed, who are to be burnt, having flames on their habits pointing upwards. After these come such as profess doctrines contrary to the faith of Rome, who, besides flames pointing upwards, have their picture painted on their breasts, with dogs, serpents, and devils, all open-mouthed, about it. Each prisoner is attended with a familiar of the Inquisition; and those to be burnt have also a Jesuit on each hand, who are continually preaching to them to abjure. After the prisoners, comes a troop of familiars on horseback; and after them the Inquisitors, and other officers of the court, on mules: last of all, the Inquisitor-general on a white horse, led by two men with black hats and green hat-bands. A scaffold is erected beg enough for two or three thousand people; at one end of which are the prisoners, at the other the Inquisitors. After a sermon made up of encomiums of the Inquisition, and invectives against heretics, a priest ascends a desk near the scaffold, and, having taken the abjuration of the penitent recites the final sentence of those who are to be put to death, and delivers them to the secular arm, earnestly beseeching at the same time the secular power not to touch their blood, or put their lives in danger!!! The prisoners, being thus in the hands of the civil magistrate, are presently loaded with chains, and carried first to the secular gaol, and from thence, in an hour or two, brought before the civil judge; who, after asking in what religion they intend to die, pronounces sentence on such as declare they die in the communion of the church of Rome, that they shall be first strangled, and then burnt to ashes; or such as die in any other faith, that they be burnt alive. Both are immediately carried to the Ribera, the place of execution, where there are as many stakes set up as there are prisoners to be burnt, with a quantity of dry furze about them. The stakes of the professed, that is, such as persist in the heresy, are about four yards high, having a small board towards the top for the prisoner to be seated on. The negative and relapsed being first strangled and burnt, the professed mount their stakes by a ladder, and Jesuits, after several repeated exhortations to be reconciled to the church, part with them; telling them that they leave them to the devil, who is standing at their elbow, to receive their souls, and carry them with him to the flames of hell. On this a great shout is raised; and the cry is, "Let the dogs' beards be made!" which is done by thrusting flaming furzes fastened to long poles against their faces, till their faces are burnt to a coal, which is accompanied with the loudest acclamations of joy. At last, fire is set to the furze at the bottom of the stake, over which the professed are chained so high, that the top of the flame seldom reaches higher than the seat they sit on, so that they rather seem roasted than burnt. There cannot be a more lamentable spectacle: the sufferers continually cry out, while they are able, "Pity, for the love of God!" Yet it is beheld, by all sexes and ages, with transports of joy and satisfaction--O merciful God! is this the benign, humane religion thou hast given to men? Surely not. If such were the genius of Christianity, then it would be no honour to be a Christian. Let us however, rejoice that the time is coming when the demon of Persecution shall be banished out of this our world, and the true spirit of benevolence and candour pervade the universe; when none shall hurt or destroy, but the earth be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea! See INQUISITION.

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26. ACTION FOR THE PULPIT

  See DECLAMATION.

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27. ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

  One of the sacred books of the New Testament containing the history of the infant church during the space of twenty-nine or thirty years from the ascension of our Lord to the year of Christ 63. It was written by Luke, and addressed to Theophilus, the person to whom the evangelist had before dedicated his gospel. The style of this work, which was originally composed in Greek, is much purer than that of the other canonical writers. For the contents of this book we refer the reader to the book itself.
     There have been several acts of the apostles, such as the acts of Abdias, of Peter, of Paul, St. John the Evangelist, St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Phillip and St. Matthias; but they have been all proved to be spurious.

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28. ACTS OF PILATE

  A relation sent by Pilate to the Emperor Tiberius, concerning Jesus Christ, his death, resurrection, ascension, and the crimes of which he was convicted before him. It was a custom among the Romans, that the pro-consuls and governors of provinces should draw up acts or memoirs of what happened in the course of their government, and send them to the emperor and senate. The genuine acts of Pilate were sent by him to Tiberius who reported them to the senate; but they were rejected by that assembly, because not immediately addressed to them; as is testified by Tertullian, in his Apol. cap. 5, and 20,21. The heretics forged acts in imitation of them; but both are genuine and the spurious are now lost.

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29. ADAMITES

  A sect that sprang up in the second century. Epiphanius tells us, that they were called Adamites, from their pretending to be re-established in the state of innocence, such as Adam was at the moment of his creation, whence they ought to imitate him in going naked. They detested marriage; maintaining that the conjugal union would never have taken place upon earth, had sin been unknown. This obscure and ridiculous sect did not last long. It was, however, revived with additional absurdities in the twelfth century. About the beginning of the fifteenth century, these errors spread in Germany and Bohemia: it found also some partisans in Poland, Holland, and England. They assembled in the night; and it is said, one of the fundamental maxims of their society was contained in the following verse:
    Jura, perjura, secretum prodere noli.
    Swear, forswear, and reveal not the secret.

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30. ADESSENARIANS

  A branch of the Sacramentarians; so called from the Latin Adesse, to be present, because they believed the presence of Christ's body in the eucharist, though in a manner different from the Romanists.

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31. ADIAPHORISTS

  A name given in the sixteenth century to the moderate Lutherans who adhered to the sentiments of Melancthon; and afterwards to those who subscribed the interim of Charles V. (See INTERIM.) The word is of Greek origin and signifies indifference or lukewarmness.

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32. ADMIRATION

  Is that passion of the mind which is excited by the discovery of any great excellence in an object. It has by some writers been used as synonymous with surprise and wonder; but it is evident they are not the same. Surprise refers to something unexpected; wonder, to something great or strange; but admiration includes the idea of high esteem or respect. Thus, we say we admire a man's excellencies, but we do not say that we are surprised at them. We wonder at an extraordinary object or event, but we do not always admire it.

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33. ADMONITION

  Denotes a hint or advice given to another, whereby we reprove him for his fault, or remind him of his duty. Admonition was a part of the discipline much used in the ancient church: it was the first act or step towards the punishment or expulsion of delinquents. In case of private offences, it was performed according to the evangelical rule, privately; in case of public offence, openly before the church. If either of these sufficed for the recovery of the fallen person, all further proceedings,in a way of censure, ceased; if they did not, recourse was had to excommunication.--Tit. iii. 10. Thess. v. 14. Eph. vi. 4.

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34. ADONAI

  One of the names of the Supreme Being in the Scriptures. The proper meaning of the word is "my Lords," in the plural number; as Adoni is my Lord, in the singular. The Jews, who either out of respect or superstition do not pronounce the name of Jehovah, read Adonai in the room of it, as often as they meet with Jehovah in the Hebrew text. But the ancient Jews were not so scrupulous; nor is there any law which forbids them to pronounce the name of God.

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35. ADONISTS

  A party among divines and critics, who maintain that the Hebrew points ordinarily annexed to the consonants of the word Jehovah are not the natural points belonging to that word, nor express the true pronunciation of it; but are the vowel points belonging to the words Adonai and Elohim, applied to the consonants of the ineffable name Jehovah, to warn the readers, that instead of the word Jehovah, which the Jews were forbid to pronounce, and the true pronunciation of which had long been unknown to them, they are always to read Adonai. They are opposed to Jehovists, of whom the principal are Drusius, Capellus, Buxtorf, Alting, and Reland.

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36. ADOPTIONISTS

  The followers of Felix of Urgil and Epiland of Toledo, who, towards the end of the eighth century, advanced the notion that Jesus Christ in his human nature is the Son of God, not by nature, but by adoption.

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37. ADOPTION

  An act whereby any person receives another into his family, owns him for his son, and appoints him his heir. 2. Spiritual adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.--3. Glorious, is that in which the saints, being raised from the dead, are at the last day solemnly owned to be the children of God, and enter into the full possession of that inheritance provided for them, Rom. vii. 19, 23. Adoption is a word taken from the civil law, and was much in use among the Romans in the apostles' time; when it was a custom for persons who had no children of their own, and were possessed of an estate, to prevent its being divided, or descending to strangers, to make choice of such who were agreeable to them, and beloved by them, whom they took into this political relation of children; obliging them to take their name upon them, and to pay respect to them as though they were their natural parents, and engaging to deal with them as though they had been so; and accordingly to give them a right to their estates, as an inheritance. This new relation, founded in a mutual consent, is a bond of affection; and the privilege arising from thence is, that he who is in this sense a father, takes care of and provides for the person whom he adopts, as though he were his son by nature; and therefore civilian call it an act of legitimation, imitating nature, or supplying the place of it.
     It is easy, then, to conceive the propriety of the term as used by the apostle in reference to this act, though it must be confessed there is some difference between civil and spiritual adoption. Civil adoption was allowed of and provided for the relief and comfort of those who had no children; but in spiritual adoption this reason does not appear. The Almighty was under no obligation to do this; for he had innumerable spirits whom he had created, besides his own Son, who had all the perfections of the divine nature, who was the object of his delight, and who is styled the heir of all things, Heb. i. 3. When men adopt, it is on account of some excellency in the persons who are adopted; thus Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses because he was exceeding fair, Acts vii. 20,21; and Mordecai adopted Esther because she was his uncle's daughter, and exceeding fair, Est. ii. 7: but man has nothing in him that merits the divine act, Ezek. xvi. 5. In civil adoption, though the name of a son be given, the nature of a son may not; this relation may not necessarily be attended with any change of disposition or temper. But in spiritual adoption we are made partakers of the divine nature, and a temper or disposition given us becoming the relationship we bear, Jer. iii. 19.
     Much has been said as to the time of adoption. Some place it before regeneration, because it is supposed that we must be in the family before we can be partakers of the blessings of it. But it is difficult to conceive of one before the other; for although adoption may seem to precede regeneration in order of nature, yet not of time; they may be distinguished, but cannot be separated. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," John i. 12. There is no adoption, says the great Charnock, without regeneration. "Adoption," says the same author, "is not a mere relation; the privilege and the image of the sons of God go together. A state of adoption is never without a separation from defilement, 2 Cor. vi. 17,18. The new name in adoption is never given till the new creature be formed. 'As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, Rom. viii. 14. Yet these are to be distinguished. Regeneration, as a physical act, gives us a likeness to God in our nature; adoption, as a legal act, gives us a right to an inheritance. Regeneration makes us formally his sons, by conveying a principle, 1 Pet. i. 23; adoption makes us relatively his sons, by conveying a power, John i. 12. By the one we are instated in the divine affection; by the other we are partakers of the divine nature."
     The privileges of adoption are every way great and extensive. 1. It implies great honour. They have God's name put upon them, and are described as "his people, called by his name," 2 Chron. vii. 24. Eph. iii. 15. They are no longer slaves to sin and the world; but, emancipated from its dreadful bondage, are raised to dignity and honour, Gal. iv. 7: 1 John iii. 1,2.--2. Inexhaustible provision and riches. They inherit all things, Rev. xxi. 7. All the blessings of a temporal kind that are for their good shall be given them. Psalm lxxxiv. 11. All the blessings of grace are treasured up in Jesus Christ for them, Eph. i. 3. All the blessings of glory shall be enjoyed by them, Col. i. 27. "All things are yours," says the apostle, "whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours," 1 Cor. iii. 22--3. Divine protection. "In the fear of the Lord in strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge," Prov. xiv. 26. As the master of a family is engaged to defend and secure all under his roof, and committed to his care, so Jesus Christ is engaged to protect and defend his people. "They shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings and quiet resting places," Isa. xxxii. 18. Heb. i.14--4. Unspeakable felicity. They enjoy the most intimate communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. They have access to his throne at all times, and under all circumstances. They see divine wisdom regulating every affair, and rendering every thing subservient to their good. Heb. xii. 6-11. The laws, the liberties, the privileges, the relations, the provisions, and the security of this family are all sources of happiness; but especially the presence, the approbation, and the goodness of God, as the governor thereof, afford joy unspeakable and full of glory, 1 Pet. i. 8. Prov. iii. 17; Heb. iv. 16--5. Eternal glory. In some cases, civil adoption might be made null and void, as among the Romans, when against the right of the pontifex, and without the decree of the college; but spiritual adoption, as it is divine as to its origin, so it is perpetual as to its duration. "the Son abideth in the house for ever," John viii. 35. "The inheritance of the saints is incorruptible, undefiled, and never fadeth away," 1 Pet. i. 4. "Now are ye the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is," 1 John iii. 2. In the present state we are as children at school; but in heaven we shall be as children at home, where we shall always behold the face of our heavenly Father, for ever celebrating his praises, admiring his perfections, and enjoying his presence. "So shall we be ever with the Lord." 1 Thess. iv. 17.
     The evidences of adoption are, 1. Renunciation of all former dependencies. When a child is adopted, he relinquishes the object of his past confidence, and submits himself to the will and pleasure of the adopter; so they who are brought into the family of God, will evidence it by giving up every other object so far as it interferes with the will and glory of their heavenly Father. "Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?" Hos. xiv. 8. "Other lords have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name." Is. xxvi. 13. Matt. xiii. 45,46. Phil. iii. 8.--2. Affection. This may not always apply to civil adoption, but it always does to spiritual. The children of God feel a regard for him above every other object. His own excellency, his unspeakable goodness to them, his promises of future blessings, are all grounds of the strongest love. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee." Psalm lxxiii. 25. "Thou art my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in thee." Lam. iii. 24. Luke vii. 47. Ps. xviii. 1.--3. Access to God with a holy boldness. They who are the children by adoption are supposed to have the same liberty of access as those who are partakers of the blessings of spiritual adoption will prove it, by a reverential, yet familiar address to the Father of spirits: they will confess their unworthiness, acknowledge their dependence, and implore the mercy and favour of God. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Gal. iv. 6. "Through Jesus Christ we have access by one Spirit unto the Father." Eph. ii. 18. Having such a privilege, they "come boldly to the throne of grace, that they may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. iv. 16.--4. Obedience. Those who are adopted into a family must obey the laws of that family; so believers prove themselves adopted by their obedience to the word and ordinances of God. "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John xv. 14. "Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked." 1 John ii. 4,5.--5. Patient yet joyful expectation of the inheritance. In civil adoption, indeed, an inheritance is not always certain; but in spiritual adoption it is. "To them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life." Rom. ii. 7. "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Cor. iv. 18. Rom. vi. 23. Heb. xi. 26,27. From the consideration of the whole of this doctrine, we may learn that adoption is an act of free grace through Jesus Christ. Eph. i. 5. Applied to believers by the Holy Spirit, Gal. iv. 6. Rom. viii. 15,16. A blessing of the greatest importance, 1 John iii. 1, and lays us under an inviolable obligation of submission. Heb. xii. 9; imitation, Eph. v. 1; and dependence, Mat. vi. 32. See Ridgley's and Gill's Body of Div. art. Adoption; Charnock's Works, vol. ii. p. 32-72; Flavel's Works, vol. ii. p. 601; Brown's System of Nat. and Rev. Religion, p. 442; Witsii Econ. Fed, o, 165,

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38. ADORATION

  The act of rendering divine honours, including in it reverence, esteem, and love: this is called supreme, or absolute. The word is compounded or absolute. The word is compounded, of ad, "to," and os oris, "mouth;" and literally signifies to apply the hand to the mouth, "to kiss the hand;" this being in the eastern countries, one of the great marks of respect and submission. See Job xxxi. 26,27. The attitude of adoration, however, we find has not been confined to this mode; standing, kneeling, uncovering the head, prostration, bowing, lifting up the eyes to heaven, or sometimes fixing them upon the earth with the body bending forward; sitting with the under parts of the thighs resting on the heels, have all been used, as expressive of veneration and esteem. Whatever be the form, however, it must be remembered, that adoration, as an act of worship, is due to God alone, Matt. iv. 10. Acts x. 25,26. Rev. xix. 10. There is, 2. what may be called adoration human, or paying homage or respect to persons of great rank and dignity. This has been performed by bowing, bending the knee, falling on the face. The practice of adoration may be said to be still subsisting in England, in the ceremony of kissing the king's or queen's hand, and in serving them at table, both being performed kneeling on one knee. There is also 3. adoration relative, which consists in worship paid to an object as belonging to or representative of another. In this sense the Romanists profess to adore the cross not simply or immediately, but in respect of Jesus Christ, whom they suppose to be on it. This is generally, however, considered by protestants, as coming little short of idolatry. See IDOLATRY.

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39. ADVERSARY

  One who sets himself in opposition to another: one of the names of Satan. See SATAN.

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40. ADVERSITY

  A state which is opposite to our wishes, and the cause of sorrow. It stands opposed to prosperity. See AFFLICTION.

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41. ADULTERY

  An unlawful commerce between one married person and another, or between a married and an unmarried person.--2. It is also used in Scripture for idolatry, or departing from the true God. Jer. iii. 9.--3. Also for any species of impurity or crime against the virtue of chastity. Matt. v. 28.--4. It is also used in ecclesiastical writer's for a person's invading or intruding into a bishoprick during the former bishop's life.--5. The word is also used in ancient customs for the punishment or fine imposed for that offence, or the privilege of prosecuting for it.--Although adultery is prohibited by the law of God, yet some have endeavoured to explain away the moral turpitude of it; but it is evident, observes Paley, that, on the part of the man who solicits the chastity of a married woman, it certainly includes the crime of seduction, and is attended with mischief still more extensive and complicated: it creates a new sufferer, the injured husband, upon whose affection is inflicted a wound the most painful and incurable that human nature knows. The infidelity of the woman is aggravated by cruelty to her children, who are generally involved in their parents' shame, and always made unhappy by their quarrel. The marriage vow is witnessed before God, and accompanied with circumstances of solemnity and religion, which approach to the nature of an oath. The married offender, therefore, incurs a crime little short of perjury, and the seduction of a married woman is little less than subornation of perjury. But the strongest apology for adultery is, the prior transgression of the other party; and so far, indeed, as the bad effects of adultery are anticipated by the conduct of the husband or wife who offends first, the guilt of the second offender is extenuated. But this can never amount to a justification, unless it could be shown that the obligation of the marriage vow depends upon the condition of reciprocal fidelity; a construction which appears founded neither in expediency, nor in terms of the vow, nor in the design of the legislature, which prescribed the marriage rite. To consider the offence upon the footing of provocation, therefore, can by no means vindicate retaliation. "Thou shalt not commit adultery," it must ever be remembered, was an interdict delivered by God himself. This crime has been punished in almost all ages and nations. By the Jewish law it was punished with death in both parties, where either the woman was married, or both. Among the Egyptians, adultery in the man was punished by a thousand lashes with rods, and in the woman by the loss of her nose. The Greeks put out the eyes of the adulterers. Among the Romans, it was punished by banishment, cutting off the ears, noses, and by sewing the adulterers into sacks, and throwing them into the sea, scourging, burning, &c. In Spain and Poland they were almost as severe. The Saxons formerly burnt the adulteress, and over her ashes erected a gibbet, whereon the adulterer was hanged. King Edmund in this kingdom, ordered adultery to be punished in the same manner as homicide. Canute ordered the man to be banished, and the woman to have her nose and ears cut off. Modern punishments, in different nations, do not seem to be so severe. In Britain it is reckoned a spiritual offence, and is cognizable by the spiritual courts, where it is punished by fine and penance. See Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy, p. 309, vol. i. 12th edition.

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42. AERIANS

  A branch of Arians in the reign of Constantine, who held that there was no difference between bishops and priests; a doctrine maintained by many modern divines, particularly of the presbyterian and reformed churches. The sect received its denomination from Aerius, who founded his doctrine on 1 Tim. iv. 14. See EPISCOPACY.

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43. AETIANS

  Those who maintained that the Son and Holy Ghost were in all things dissimilar to the Father. They received their name, from Aetius, one of the most zealous defenders of Arianism, who was born in Syria, and flourished about the year 336. Besides the opinions which the Aetians held in common with the Arians, they maintained that faith without works was sufficient to salvation; and that no sin however grievous, would be imputed to the faithful. Aetius, moreover, affirmed that what God had concealed from the apostles, he had revealed to him.

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44. AFFECTION

  In a philosophical sense, refers to the manner in which we are affected by any thing for a continuance, whether painful or pleasant: but in the most common sense, it may be defined to be a settled bent of mind towards a particular being or thing. It holds a middle place between disposition on the one hand, and passion on the other. It is distinguishable from disposition, which being a branch of one's nature originally, must exist before there can be an opportunity to exert it upon any particular object; whereas affection can never be original, because having a special relation to a particular object, it cannot exist till the object have once, at least, been presented. It is also distinguishable from passion, which, depending on the real or ideal presence of its object, vanishes with its object; whereas affection is a lasting connexion, and, like other connexions, subsists, even when we do not think of the objects. (See DISPOSITION and PASSION.) The affections, as they respect religion, deserve in this a little attention. They may be defined to be the "vigorous and sensible exercises of the inclination and will of the soul towards religious objects." Whatever extremes stoics or enthusiasts have run into, it is evident that the exercise of the affections is essential to the existence of true religion. It is true, indeed, "that all affectionate devotion is not wise and rational; but it is no less true, that all wise and rational devotion must be affectionate." The affections are the springs of action: they belong to our nature, so that with the highest perceptions of truth and religion, we should be inactive without them. They have considerable influence on men in the common concerns of life; how much more, then, should they operate in those important objects that relate to the Divine Being, the immortality of the soul, and the happiness or misery of a future state! The religion of the most eminent saints has always consisted in the exercise of holy affections. Jesus Christ himself affords us an example of the most lively and vigorous affections; and we have every reason to believe that the employment of heaven consists in the exercise of them. In addition to all which the scriptures of truth teach us, that religion is nothing, if it occupy not the affections. Deut. vi. 4,5,. Deut. xxx. 6. Rom. xii. 11. 1 Cor. xiii. 13. Ps. xxvii. 14.
     A distinction however, must be made between what may be merely natural, and what is truly spiritual. The affections may be excited in a natural way under ordinances by a natural impression, Ezek. xxxiii. 32; by a natural sympathy, or by the natural temperament of our constitution. It is no sign that our affections are spiritual because they are raised very high; produce great effects on the body; excite us to be very zealous in externals; to be always conversing about ourselves, &c. These things are often found in those who are only mere professors of religion, Matt. vii. 21,22.
     Now, in order to ascertain whether our affections are excited in a spiritual manner, we must enquire whether that which moves our affections be truly spiritual, whether our consciences be alarmed, and our hearts impressed; whether the judgment be enlightened, and we have a perception of the moral excellency of divine things; and lastly, whether our affections have a holy tendency and produce the happy effects of obedience to God, humility in ourselves, and justice to our fellow creatures. As this is a subject worthy of close attention, the reader may commit. Lord Kaim's Elements of Criticism, vol. ii. p.517; Edwards on the Affections; Pike and Hayward's Cases of Conscience; Watts' Use and Abuse of the Passions; M'Laurin's Essays, sect. 5 and 6, where this subject is masterly handled.

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45. AFFLICTION

  That which causes a sensation of pain. Calamity or distress of any kind. The afflictions of the saints are represented in the scripture, as appointed, 1 Thess. iii. 3. Job v. 6,7; numerous,Ps. xxxiv. 19; transient, 2 Cor. iv. 17. Feb. x. 37; and when sanctified, beneficial, 1 Pet. i. 6. As. cxix. 67, 71. They wean from the world; work submission; produce humility; excite to diligence; stir up to prayer; and conform us to the divine image. To bear them with patience, we should consider our own unworthiness; the design of God in sending them; the promises of support under them; and the real good they are productive of. The afflictions of a good man, says an elegant writer, never befall without a cause, nor are sent but upon a proper errand. These storms are never allowed to rise but in order to dispel some noxious vapours, and restore salubrity to the moral atmosphere. Who that for the first time beheld the earth in the midst of winter, bound up with frost, or drenched in floods of rain, or covered with snow, would have imagined that Nature, in this dreary and torpid state, was working towards its own renovation in the spring? Yet we by experience know that those vicissitudes of winter are necessary for fertilizing the earth; and that under wintry rains and snows lies concealed the seeds of those roses that are to blossom in the spring; of those fruits that are to ripen in the summer; and of the corn and wine which are in harvest to make glad the heart of man. It would be more agreeable to us to be always entertained with a fair and clear atmosphere, with cloudless skies, and perpetual sunshine: yet in such climates as we have most knowledge of, the earth, were it always to remain in such a state, would refuse to yield its fruits; and, in the midst of our imagined scenes of beauty, the starved inhabitants would perish for want of food. Let us, therefore, quietly submit to Providence. Let us conceive this life to be the winter of our existence. Now the rains must fall, and the winds must roar around us; but, sheltering ourselves under him who is the "covert from the tempest," let us wait with patience till the storms of life shall terminate in an everlasting calm. Blair's Ser. vol. v. ser. 5; Vincent Case and Addington, on Affliction; Willison's Afflicted Man's Companion.

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46. AGAP AE

  Or Love feasts (from "love,") feasts of charity among the ancient christians, when liberal contributions were made by the rich to the poor. St. Chrysostom gives the following account of this feast, which he derives from the apostolic practice. He says, "The first Christians had all things in common, as we read in the Acts of the apostles; but when that equality of possessions ceased, as it did even in the apostles' time, the Agape or love feast was substituted in the room of it. Upon certain days, after partaking of the Lord's supper, they met at a common feast; the rich bringing provisions, and the poor, who had nothing, being invited." It was always attended with receiving the holy sacrament; but there is some difference between the ancient and modern interpreters, as to the circumstance of time; viz. whether this feast was held before or after the communion. St. Chrysostom is of the latter opinion; the learned Dr. Cave of the former. These love feasts, during the first three centuries, were held in the church without scandal or offence; but in after-times the heathens began to tax them with impurity. This gave occasion to a reformation of these Agapes. The kiss of charity, with which the ceremony used to end, was no longer given between different sexes; and it was expressly forbidden to have any beds or couches for the conveniency of those who should be disposed to eat more at their ease. Notwithstanding these precautions, the abuses committed in them became so notorious, that the holding them (in churches at least) was solemnly condemned at the council of Carthage, in the year 397. Attempts have been made of late years, to revive these feasts; but in a different manner from the primitive custom, and, perhaps, with little edification. They are, however, not very general.

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47. AGAPET AE

  A name given to certain virgins and widows, who in the ancient church associated themselves with and attended on ecclesiastics, out of a motive of piety and charity. See DEACONESSES.

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48. AGENDA

  Among divines and philosophers, signifies the duties which a man lies under an obligation to perform: thus we meet with the agenda of a christian, or the duties he ought to perform, in opposition to the credenda, or the things he is to believe. It is also applied to the service or office of the church, and to church books compiled by public authority, prescribing the order to be observed; and amounts to the same as ritual, formulary, directory, missal, &c.

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49. AGENT

  That which acts: opposed to patient, or that which is acted upon.

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50. AGENTS

  Moral. See MORAL AGENT.

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51. AGNOET AE

  (from "to be ignorant of,") a sect which appeared about 370. They called in question the omniscience of God; alleging that he knew things past only by memory, and things future only by an uncertain prescience. There arose another sect of the same name in the sixth century, who followed Themistius, deacon of Alexandria. They maintained that Christ was ignorant of certain things, and particularly of the time of the day of judgment. It is supposed they built their hypothesis on that passage in Mark xiii. 32.--"Of that day and that hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." The meaning of which, most probably, is, that this was not known to the Messiah himself in his human nature, or by virtue of his unction, as any part of the mysteries he was to reveal; for, considering him as God, he could not be ignorant of any thing.

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52. AGNUSDEI

  In the church of Rome, a cake of was, stamped with the figure of a lamb supporting the banner of the cross. The name literally signifies "Lamb of God." Those cakes being consecrated by the pope with great solemnity, and distributed among the people, are supposed to have great virtues. They cover them with a piece of stuff cut in the form of a heart, and carry them very devoutly in their processions. The Romish priests and religious derive considerable pecuniary advantage from selling them to some, and presenting them to others.

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53. AGONISTICI

  A name given by Donatus to such of his disciples as he sent to fairs, markets, and other public places, to propagate his doctrine. They were called Agonistici from the Greek "combat," because they were sent, as it were, to fight and subdue the people to their opinions. See DONATIST.

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54. AGONYCLIT AE

  A sect of Christians in the seventh century, who prayed always standing, as thinking it unlawful to kneel.

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55. AGYNIANI

  A sect which appeared about 694. They condemned all use of flesh and marriage as not instituted by God, but introduced at the instigation of the devil.

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56. ALASCANI

A sect of Anti-lutherans in the sixteenth century, whose distinguished tenet, besides their denying baptism, is said to have been this, that the words, "This is my body," in the institution of the eucharist, are not to be understood of the bread, but of the whole action or celebration of the supper.

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57. ALBANENSES

  A denomination which commenced about the year 796. They held with the Gnostics and Manicheans, two principles, the one of good and the other of evil. They denied the divinity, and even the humanity of Jesus Christ, asserting that he was not truly man, did not suffer on the cross, die, rise again, nor really ascend into heaven. They rejected the doctrine of the resurrection, affirmed that the general judgment was past, and that hell torments were no other than the evils we feel and suffer in this life. They denied free will, did not admit original sin, and never administered baptism to infants. They held that a man can give the Holy Spirit of himself, and that it is unlawful for a Christian to take an oath.
     This denomination derived their name from the place where their spiritual ruler resided. See MANICHEANS and CATHERIST.

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58. ALBANOIS

  A denomination which sprung up in the eighth century, and renewed the greatest part of the Manichean principles. They also maintained that the world was from eternity. See MANICHEANS.

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59. ALBIGENSES

  A party of reformers about Toulouse and the Albigeois in Languedec, who sprung up in the twelfth century, and distinguished themselves by their opposition to the church of Rome. They were charged with many errors by the monks of those days; but from these charges they are generally acquitted by the Protestants, who consider them only as the inventions of the Romish church to blacken their character. The Albigenses grew so formidable, that the Catholics agreed upon a holy league or crusade against them. Pope Innocent III. desirous to put a stop to their progress, stirred up the great men of the kingdom to make war upon them. After suffering from their persecutors, they dwindled by little and little, till the time of the reformation; when such of them as were left, fell in with the Vandois, and conformed to the doctrine of Zuinglius, and the disciples of Geneva. The Albigenses have been frequently confounded with the Waldenses; from whom it is said they differ in many respects, both as being prior to them in point of time, as having their origin in a different country, and as being charged with divers heresies, particularly Manicheism, from which the Waldenses were exempt. See WALDENSES.

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60. ALEXANDRIAN MANUSCRIPT

  A famous copy of the Scriptures, in four volumes quarto. It contains the whole bible in Greek, including the Old and New Testament, with the Apocrypha, and some smaller pieces, but not quite complete. It is preserved in the British Museum: it was sent as a present to king Charles I. from Cyrillus Lucaris, patriarch of Constantinople, by Sir Thomas Rowe, ambassador from England to the grand Seignior, about the year 1628. Cyrillus brought it with him from Alexandria, where probably it was written. In a schedule annexed to it, he gives this account:--That it was written as tradition informed them, by Thecla, a noble Egyptian lady, about 1300 years ago, not long after the council of Nice. But this high antiquity, and the authority of the tradition to which the patriarch refers, have been disputed; nor are the most accurate biblical writers agreed about its age. Grabe thinks that it might have been written before the end of the fourth century; others are of opinion that it was not written till near the end of the fifth century, or somewhat later. See Dr. Woide's edition of it.

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61. ALKORAN

  See KORAN.

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62. ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF GOD

  Is that power or attribute of his nature whereby he is able to communicate as much blessedness to his creatures as he is pleased to make them capable of receiving. As his self-sufficiency is that whereby he has enough in himself to denominate him completely blessed, as a God of infinite perfection; so his all-sufficiency is that by which he hath enough in himself to satisfy the most enlarged desires of his creatures, and to make them completely blessed. We practically deny this perfection, when we are discontented with our present condition, and desire more than God has allotted for us, Gen. iii. 5. Prov. xix. 3.--2. When we seek blessings of what kind soever in an indirect way, as though God were not able to bestow them upon us in his own way, or in the use of lawful means, Gen. xxvii. 35.--3. When we use unlawful means to escape imminent dangers, 1 Sam. xxi. 13. Gen. xx. and xxvi.--4. When we distrust his providence, though we had large experience of his appearing for us in various instances, 1 Sam. xxvii. 1. Ps. lxxviii. 19. 2 Chron. xvi. 8. 2 Chron xiv. 9,13. Josh. vii. 7,9.--5. When we doubt of the truth or certain accomplishment of the promises, Gen. xviii. 12. Ps. lxxvii. 74. Isa. xlix. 14.--6. When we decline great services though called to them by God, under a pretence of our unfitness for them, Jer. i. 6,8.
     The consideration of this doctrine should lead us, 1. To seek happiness in God alone, and not in human things, Jer. ii. 13.--2. To commit all our wants and trials to him, 1 Sam. xxx. 6. Heb. xi. 19. 2 Cor. xii. 8,9.--3. To be courageous in the midst of danger and opposition, Ps. xxvii. 1.--4. To be satisfied with his dispensations, Rom. viii. 28.--5. To persevere in the path of duty, however difficult, Gen. xvii. 1. Ridgley's Body of Div. ques. 17. Saurin's Ser. ser. 5. vol. i.; BARROW'S WORKS, vol. ii. ser. 11.

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63. ALMARICIANS

  A denomination that arose in the thirteenth century. They derived their origin from Almaric, professor of logic and theology at Paris. His adversaries charged him with having taught that every Christian was obliged to believe himself a member of Jesus Christ, and that without this belief none could be saved. His followers asserted that the power of the Father had continued only during the Mosaic dispensation, that of the Son twelve hundred years after his entrance upon earth; and that in the thirteenth century the age of the Holy Spirit commenced, in which the sacraments and all external worship were to be abolished; and that every one was to be saved by the internal operations of the Holy Spirit alone, without any external act of religion.

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64. ALMONER

  A person employed by another, in the distribution on charity. In its primitive sense it denoted an officer in religious houses, to whom belonged the management and distribution of the alms of the house.

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65. ALMS

  What is given gratuitously for the relief of the poor, and in repairing the churches. That alms-giving is a duty is every way evident from the variety of passages which enjoin it in the sacred scriptures. It is observable, however, what a number of excuses are made by those who are not found in the exercise of the duty: 1. That they have nothing to spare; 2. That charity begins at home; 3. That charity does not consist in giving money, but in benevolence, love to all mankind, &c. 4. That giving to the poor is not mentioned in St. Paul's description of charity, 1 Cor. xiii. 5. That they pay the poor rates; 6. That they employ many poor persons; 7. That the poor do not suffer so much as we imagine; 8. That these people, give them what you will, will never by thankful; 9. That we are liable to be imposed upon; 10. That they should apply to their parishes; 11. That giving money encourages idleness; 12. That we have too many objects of charity at home, O the love of money how fruitful is it in apologies for a contracted mercenary spirit! In giving of alms, however, the following rules should be observed: first, They should be given with justice; only our own, to which we have a just right, should be given. 2. With cheerfulness, Deut. xv. 10. 2 Cor. ix. 7. 3. With simplicity and sincerity, Rom. xii. Matt. vi. 3. 4. With compassion and affection, Isa. lviii. 10. 1 John iii. 17. 5. Seasonably, Gal. vi. 10. Prov. iv. 27. 6. Bountifully, Deut. xviii. 11. 1 Tim. vi. 18. 7. Prudently, according to every one's need, 1 Tim. v.8. Acts iv. 35. See Dr. Barrow's admirable Sermon on Bounty to the Poor, which took him up to three hours and a half in preaching; Saurin's Ser. vol. iv. Eng. Trans. ser. 9. Paley's Mor. Phil. ch. 5. vol. i.

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66. ALOGIANS

  A sect of ancient heretics who denied that Jesus Christ was the Logos, and consequently rejected the Gospel of St. John. The word is compounded of the primitive Greek; q. d. without Logos, or word. They made their appearance toward the close of the second century.

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67. ALTAR

  A kind of table or raised place whereon the ancient sacrifices were offered. 2. The table, in Christian churches, where the Lord's supper is administered. Altars are, doubtless, of great antiquity; some suppose they were as early as Adam; but there is no mention made of them till after the flood, when Noah built one, and offered burnt offerings on it. The Jews had two altars in and about their temple; 1. The altar of burnt offerings; 2. The altar of incense; some also call the table for shew bread an altar, but improperly, Exod. xx. 24,25. 1 Kings xviii, 30. Exod. xxv. xxvii. and xxx. Heb. ix.

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68. AMAURITES

  The followers of Amauri, a clergyman of Bonne, in the thirteenth century. He acknowledged the divine Three, to whom he attributed the empire of the world. But according to him, religion had three epochas, which bore a similitude to the reign of the three persons in the Trinity. The reign of God had existed as long as the law of Moses. The reign of the Son would not always last. A time would come when the sacraments should cease, and then the religion of the Holy Ghost would begin, when men would render a spiritual worship to the Supreme Being. This reign Amauri thought would succeed to the Christian religion, as the Christian had succeeded to that of Moses.

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69. AMAZEMENT

  A term sometimes employed to express our wonder; but it is rather to be considered as a medium between wonder and astonishment. It is manifestly borrowed from the extensive and complicated intricacies of a labyrinth, in which there are endless mazes, without the discovery of a clue. Hence an idea is conveyed of more than simple wonder; the mind is lost in wonder. See WONDER.

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70. AMBITION

  A desire of excelling, or at least of being thought to excel, our neighbours in any thing. It is generally used in a bad sense for an immoderate or illegal pursuit of power or honour. See PRAISE.

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71. AMEDIANS

  A congregation of religious in Italy; so called from their professing themselves amantes Deum, "lovers of God;" or rather amata Deo, "Beloved of God." They wore a grey habit and wooden shoes, had no breeches, and girt themselves with a cord. They had twenty-eight convents, and were united by Pope Pius V. partly with the Bistercian order, and partly with that of the Socolanti, or wooden shoe wearers.

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72. AMEN

  A Hebrew word, which, when prefixed to an assertion, signifies assuredly, certainly, or emphatically, so it is; but when it concludes a prayer, so be it, or so let it be, is its manifest import. In the former case, it is assertive, or assures of a truth or a fact; and is an asseveration, and is properly translated verily, John iii. 3. In the latter case, it is petitionary, and, as it were, epitomises all the requests with which it stands connected, Numb. v. 25. Rev. xxii. 20. This emphatical term was not used among the Hebrews by detached individuals only, but on certain occasions, by an assembly at large, Deut. xxvii. 14, 20. It was adopted also, in the public worship of the primitive churches, as appears by that passage, 1 Cor. xiv. 16. and was continued among the Christians in following times; yea, such was the extreme into which many run, that Jerome informs us, that, in his time, at the conclusion of every public prayer, the united amen of the people sounded like the fall of water, or the noise of thunder. Nor is the practice of some professors in our own time to be commended, who, with a low though audible voice, add their amen to almost every sentence, as it proceeds from the lips of him who is praying. As this has a tendency to interrupt the devotion of those that are near them, and may disconcert the thoughts of him who leads the worship, it would be better omitted, and a mental amen is sufficient. The term, as used at the end of our prayers, suggests that we should pray with understanding,faith, fervour, and expectation. See Mr. Booth's Amen to social prayer.

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73. AMMONIANS

  See NEW PLATONICS.

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74. AMSDORFIANS

   A sect, in the sixteenth century, who took their name from Amsdorf, their leader. They maintained that good works were not only unprofitable, but were obstacles to salvation.

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75. AMYRALDISM

  A name given by some writers to the doctrine of universal grace, as explained and asserted by Amyraldus or Moses. Amyrault, and others, his followers, among the reformed in France, towards the middle of the seventeenth century. This doctrine principally consisted of the following particulars, viz. that God desires the happiness of all men, and none are excluded by a divine decree; that none can obtain salvation without faith in Christ; that God refuses to none the power of believing, though he does not grant to all his assistance that they may improve this power to saving purposes; and that they may perish through their own fault. Those who embraced this doctrine were called Universalists; though it is evident they rendered grace universal in words, but partial in reality. See CAMERONITES.

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76. ANABAPTISTS

  Those who maintain that baptism ought always to be performed by immersion. The word is compounded of "new," and "a Baptist," signifying that those who have been baptized in their infancy, ought to be baptized anew. It is a word which has been indiscriminately applied to Christians of very different principles and practices. The English and Dutch Baptists do not consider the word as at all applicable to their sect; because those persons whom they baptize they consider as never having been baptized before, although they have undergone what they term the ceremony of sprinkling in their infancy.
     The Anabaptists of Germany, besides their notions concerning baptism, depended much upon certain ideas which they entertained concerning a perfect church establishment, pure in its members, and free from the institutions of human policy. The most prudent part of them considered it possible, by human industry and vigilance, to purify the church; and seeing the attempts of Luther to be successful, they hoped that the period was arrived in which the church was to be restored to this purity. Others, not satisfied with Luther's plan of reformation, undertook, a more perfect plan, or more properly, a visionary enterprise, to found a new church entirely spiritual and divine.
     This sect was soon joined by great numbers, whose characters and capacities were very different. Their progress was rapid; for in a very short space of time, their discourses, visions, and predictions, excited great commotions in a great part of Europe. The most pernicious faction of all those which composed this motley multitude, was that which pretended that the founders of this new and perfect church were under a divine impulse, and were armed against all opposition by the power of working miracles. It was this faction, that, in the year 1521, began their fanatical work under the guidance of Munzer, Stubner, Storick, &c. These men taught that, among Christians, who had the precepts of the gospel to direct, and the Spirit of God to guide them, the office of magistracy was not only unnecessary, but an unlawful encroachment on their spiritual liberty; that the distinctions occasioned by birth, ran, or wealth should be abolished; that all Christians, throwing their possessions into one stock, should live together in that state of equality which becomes members of the same family; that, as neither the laws of nature, nor the precepts of the New Testament, had prohibited polygamy, they should use the same liberty as the patriarchs did in this respect.
     They employed, at first, the various arts of persuasion, in order to propagate their doctrines, and related a number of visions and revelations, with which they pretended to have been favoured from above: but when they found that this would not avail, and that the ministry of Luther and other reformers was detrimental to their cause, they then madly attempted to propagate their sentiments by force of arms. Munzer and his associates, in the year 1525 put themselves at the head of a numerous army, and declared war against all laws, governments, and magistrates of every kind, under the chimerical pretext, that Christ himself was now to take the reins of all government into his hands: but this seditious crowd was routed and dispersed by the elector of Saxony and other princes, and Munzer, their leader, put to death.
     Many of his followers, however, survived, and propagated their opinions through Germany, Switzerland, and Holland. In 1533, a party of them settled at Munster, under two leaders of the names of Matthias and Bockholdt. Having made themselves masters of the city, they deposed the magistrates, confiscated the estates of such as had escaped, and deposited the wealth in a public treasury for common use. They made preparations for the defence of the city; invited the Anabaptists in the low countries to assemble at Munster, which they called Mount Sion, that from thence they might reduce all the nations of the earth under their dominion. Matthias was soon cut off by the bishop of Munster's army, and was succeeded by Bockholdt, who was proclaimed by a special designation of heaven, as the pretended king of Sion, and invested with legislative powers like those of Moses. The city of Munster, however, was taken, after a long siege, and Bockholdt was punished with death.
     It must be acknowledged that the true rise of the insurrections of this period ought not to be attributed to religious opinions. The first insurgents groaned under severe oppressions, and took up arms in defence of their civil liberties; and of these commotions the Anabaptists seem rather to have availed themselves, than to have been the prime movers. That a great part were Anabaptists, seems indisputable; at the same time it appears from history, that a great part also were Roman catholics, and a still greater part of those who had scarcely any religious principles at all. Indeed, when we read of the vast numbers that were concerned in these insurrections, of whom it is reported that 1000,000 fell by the sword, it appears reasonable to conclude that they were not all Anabaptists.
     It is but justice to observe also, that the Baptists in England and Holland are to be considered in a different light from those above-mentioned: they profess an equal aversion to all principles of rebellion on the one hand, and to enthusiasm on the other. See Robertson's Hist. of Charles V.; Enc. Brit. vol. i. p. 644; and articles BAPTISTS and MENNONITES.

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77. ANALOGY OF FAITH

  Is the proportion that the doctrines of the gospel bear to each other, or the close connexion between the truths of revealed religion, Rom. xii. 6. This is considered as a grand rule for understanding the true sense of scripture. It is evident that the Almighty doth not act without a design in the system of Christianity any more than he does in the works of nature. Now this design must be uniform; for as in the system of the universe every part is proportioned to the whole, and made subservient to it, so in the system of the Gospel all the various truths, doctrines, declarations, precepts, and promises, must correspond with and tend to the end designed. For instance, supposing the glory of God in the salvation of man by free grace be the grand design; then, whatever doctrine assertion, or hypothesis, agree not with this, it is to be considered as false.--Great care, however, must be taken in making use of this method, that the enquirer previously understand the whole scheme, and that he harbour not a predilection only for a part; without attention to this we shall be liable to error. If we come to the scriptures with any pre-conceived opinions, and are more desirous to put that sense upon the text which quadrates with our sentiments rather than the truth, it becomes then the analogy of our faith, rather than that of the whole system. This was the source of the error of the Jews, in our Saviour's time. They searched the scriptures: but, such were their favourite opinions, that they could not or would not discover that the sacred volume testified of Christ. And the reason was evident, for their great rule of interpretation was what they might call the analogy of faith; i. e. the system of the Pharisean scribes, the doctrine then in vogue, and in the profound veneration of which they had been educated. Perhaps there is hardly any sect but what has more or less been guilty in this respect. It may, however, be of use to the serious and candid enquirer; for, as some texts may seem to contradict each other, and difficulties present themselves, by keeping the analogy of faith in view, he will the more easily resolve those difficulties, and collect the true sense of the sacred oracles. What "the aphorisms of Hippocrates are to a physician, the axioms in geometry to a mathematician, the adjudged cases in law to a counsellor, or the maxims or war to a general, such is the analogy of faith to a Christian." Of the analogy of religion to the constitution and course of nature, we must refer our readers to bishop Butler's excellent treatise on that subject.

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78. ANACHORETS

  Or ANCHORITES, a sort of monks in the primitive church, who retired from the society of mankind into some desert, with a view to avoid the temptations of the world, and to be more at leisure for prayer, meditation, &c. Such were Paul, Anthony, and Hilarion, the first founders of monastic life in Egypt and Palestine.

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79. ANAGOGICAL

  Signifies mysterious, transporting; and is used to express whatever elevates the mind, not only to the knowledge of divine things, but of divine things in the next life. The word is seldom used, but with regard to the different senses of Scripture. The anagogical sense is when the sacred text is explained with regard to eternal life, the point which Christians should have in view; for example, the rest of the sabbath, in the anagogical sense, signifies the repose of everlasting happiness.

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80. ANATHEMA

  Imports whatever is set apart, separated, or divided; but is most usually meant to express the cutting off of a person from the communion of the faithful. It was practised in the primitive church against notorious offenders. Several councils also have pronounced anathemas against such as they thought corrupted the purity of the faith. Anathema Maranatha, mentioned by Paul, (1 Cor. iv.22,) imports that he who loves not the Lord Jesus will be accursed at his coming. Anathema signifies a thing devoted to destruction, and Maranatha is a Syriac word, signifying the Lord comes. It is probable in this passage there is an allusion to the form of the Jews, who when unable to inflict so great a punishment as the crime deserved, devoted the culprit to the immediate vindictive retribution of divine vengeance, both in this life and in a future state.

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81. ANDRONA

  A term used for that part in churches which was destined for the men. Anciently it was the custom for the men and women to have separate apartments in places of worship, where they performed their devotions asunder, which method is still religiously observed in the Greek church.

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82. ANGEL

  A spiritual intelligent substance, the first in rank and dignity among created beings. The word angel is Greek, and signifies a messenger. The Hebrew word signifies the same. Angels, therefore in the proper signification of the word, do not import the nature of any being, but only the office to which they are appointed especially by way of message or intercourse between God and his creatures. Hence the word is used differently in various parts of the scripture, and signifies, 1. Human messengers, or agents for other, 2 Sam. ii. 5. "David sent Messengers (Heb. angels) to Jabesh Gilead, Prov. xiii. 17. Mark i.2. James ii. 25.--2. Officers of the churches, whether prophets or ordinary ministers, Hag. i. 13. Rev. i. 20.--3. Jesus Christ, Mal. iii. 1. Isa. lxiii. 9.--4. Some add the dispensations of God's providence, either beneficial or calamitous, Gen. xxiv. 7. Ps. xxxiv. 7. Acts xii. 23. 1 Sam. xiv. 14; but I must confess, that, though I do not at all see the impropriety of considering the providences of God as his angels or messengers for good or for evil, yet the passages generally adduced under this head do not prove to me that the providences of God are meant in distinction from created angels.--5. Created intelligences, both good and bad, Heb. i. 14. Jude 6. the subject of the present article.--As to the time when the angels were created, much has been said by the learned. Some wonder that Moses, in his account of the creation, should pass over this in silence. Others suppose that he did this because of the proneness of the Gentile world, and even the Jews, to idolatry; but a better reason has been assigned by others, viz. that this first history was purposely and principally written for information concerning the visible world; the invisible, of which we know but in part, being reserved for a better life. Some think that the idea of God's not creating them before this world was made, is very contracted. To suppose, say they, that no creatures whatever, neither angels nor other worlds, had been created previous to the creation of our world, is to suppose that a Being of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, had remained totally inactive from all eternity, and had permitted the infinity of space to continue a perfect vacuum till within these 6000 years; that such an idea only tends to discredit revelation, instead of serving it. On the other hand it is alleged, that they must have been created within the six days; because it is said, that within this space God made heaven and earth, and all things that are therein. It is, however, a needless speculation, and we dare not indulge a spirit of conjecture. It is our happiness to know that they are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who are heirs of salvation. As to the nature of these beings, we are told that they are spirits; but whether pure spirits divested of all matter, or united to some thin bodies, or corporeal vehicles, has been a controversy of long standing: the more general opinion is, that they are substances entirely spiritual, though they can at any time assume bodies, and appear in human shape, Gen. xviii. and xix. Gen. xxxii. Matt. xxviii. Luke i. &c. The scriptures represent them as endued with extraordinary wisdom and power, 2 Sam. xiv. 20. Ps. ciii. 20; holy and regular in their inclinations; zealous in their employ, and completely happy in their minds, Job xxxviii. 7. Heb. i. 7. Matt. xviii. 10. Their number seems to be great, Ps. lxviii. 17. Heb. xii. 22; and perhaps have distinct orders, Col. i. 16, 17. 1 Pet. iii. 22. 1 Thess. iv. 16. Dan. x. 13. They are delighted with the grand scheme of redemption, and the conversion of sinners to God, Luke ii. 12. 1 Pet. i. 12. Luke xv. 10. They not only worship God, and execute his commands at large, but are attendant on the saints of God while here below, Ps. xci. 11,12. Heb. i. 13. Luke xvi 22. Some conjecture that every good man has his particular guardian angel, Matt. xviii. 10. Acts xii. 15; but this is easier to be supposed than to be proved; nor is it a matter on consequence to know. "What need we dispute," says Henry, "whether every particular saint has a guardian angel, when we are sure he has a guard of angels about him?" They will gather the elect in the last day, attend the final judgment, Matt. xxv. 31. Rev. xiv. 18. Matt. xiii. 39, and live for ever in the world of glory, Luke xx. 36.
     Although the angels were originally created perfect, yet they were mutable: some of them sinned, and kept not their first estate; and so, of the most blessed and glorious, became the most vile and miserable of all God's creatures. They were expelled the regions of light, and with heaven lost their heavenly disposition, and fell into a settled rancour against God, and malice against men. What their offence was is difficult to determine, the scripture being silent about it. Some think envy, others unbelief; but most suppose it was pride. As to the time of their fall, we are certain it could not be before the sixth day of the creation, because on that day it is said, "God saw every thing that he had mad, and behold it was very good;" but that it was not long after, is very probable, as it must have preceded the fall of our first parents. The number of the fallen angels seems to be great, and, like the holy angels, perhaps have various orders among them, Matt. xii. 24. Eph ii. 2. Eph. vi. 12. Col. ii. 15. Rev. xii. 7. Their constant employ is not only doing evil themselves, but endeavouring by all arts to seduce and pervert mankind, 1 Pet. v. 8. Job i. 6. It is supposed they will be restrained during the millennium, Rev. xx. 2, but afterwards again, for a short time, deceive the nations, Rev. xx. 8, and then be finally punished, Matt. xxv. 41. The authors who have written on this subject have been very numerous; we shall only refer to a few: Reynolds's Enquiry into the State and Economy of the Angelical World; Doddridge's Lect. p.10. lect. 210. to 214; Milton's Paradise Lost; Bp. Newton's Works, vol. iii. p. 538, 568; Shepherd of Angels; Gilpin on Temptations; Casmanni Angelographia; Gill and Ridgeley's Bodies of Divinity.

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83. ANGELICS

  An ancient sect, supposed by some to have got this appellation from their excessive veneration of angels, and by others from maintaining that the world was created by angels.

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84. ANGELITES

  A sect in the reign of the emperor Anastasius, about the year 494; so called from Angelium, a place in the city of Alexandria, where they held their first meetings. They were called likewise Severites, from Severus, who was the head of their sect; as also Theodosians, from one Theodosius, whom they made pope at Alexandria. They held that the persons of the trinity are not the same; that none of them exists of himself, and of his own nature; but that there is a common God or Deity existing in them all, and that each is God by a participation of his Deity.

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85. ANGER

  A violent passion of the mind, arising from the receipt, or supposed receipt, of any injury, with a present purpose of revenge. All anger is by no means sinful; it was designed by the Author of our nature for self-defence; nor is it altogether a selfish passion, since it is excited by injuries offered to others as well as ourselves, and sometimes prompts us to reclaim offenders from sin and danger, Eph. iv. 26; but it becomes sinful when conceived upon trivial occasions or inadequate provocations; when it breaks forth into outrageous actions; vents itself in reviling language, or is concealed in our thoughts to the degree of hatred. To suppress this passion the following reflections of arch-deacon Paley, may not be unsuitable: "We should consider the possibility of mistaking the motives from which the conduct that offends us proceeded; how often our offences have been the effect of inadvertency, when they were construed into indications of malice; the inducement which prompted our adversary to act as he did, and how powerfully the same inducement has, at one time or other, operated upon ourselves; that he is suffering, perhaps, under a contrition, which he is ashamed or wants opportunity to confess; and how ungenerous it is to triumph by coldness or insult over a spirit already humbled in secret; that the returns of kindness are sweet, and that there is neither honour, nor virtue, nor use, in resisting them; for some persons think themselves bound to cherish and keep alive their indignation, when they find it dying away of itself. We may remember that others have their passions, their prejudices, their favourite aims, their fears, their caution, their interests , their sudden impulses, their varieties of apprehension, as well as we: we may recollect what hath sometimes passed in our own minds when we have got on the wrong side of a quarrel, and imagine the same to be passing in our adversary's mind now: when we became sensible of our misbehaviour, what palliations we perceived in it, and expected others to perceive; how we were affected by the kindness, and felt the superiority of a generous reception, and ready forgiveness; how persecution revived our spirits with our enmity, and seemed to justify the conduct in ourselves, which we before blamed. Add to this the indecency of extravagant anger; how it renders us while it lasts, the scorn and sport of all about us, of which it leaves us, when it ceases, sensible and ashamed; the inconveniences and irretrievable misconduct into which our irascibility has sometimes betrayed us; the friendships it has lost us; the distresses and embarrassments in which we have been involved by it; and the repentance which, on one account or other, it always costs us. But the reflection calculated above all others to allay that haughtiness of temper which is ever finding out provocations, and which renders anger so impetuous, is, that which the Gospel proposes; namely, that we ourselves are, or shortly shall be, suppliants for mercy and pardon at the judgment seat of God. Imagine our secret sins all disclosed and brought to light; imagine us thus humbled and exposed; trembling under the hand of God; casting ourselves on his compassion; crying out for mercy; imagine such a creature to talk of satisfaction and revenge; refusing to be entreated, disdaining to forgive; extreme to mark and to resent what is done amiss; imagine, I say, this, and you can hardly feign to yourself an instance of more impious and unnatural arrogance." Paley's Mor. Phil. ch.7. vol i.; Fawcett's excellent Treatise on Anger; Seed's Posth. Ser. ser.11.

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86. ANGER OF GOD

  See WRATH.

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87. ANGLO-CALVINISTS

  A name given by some writers to the members of the church of England, as agreeing with the other Calvinists in most points, excepting church government.

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88. ANNIHILATION

  The act of reducing any created being into nothing. The sentiments of mankind have differed widely as to the possibility and impossibility of annihilation. According to some, nothing is so difficult; it requires the infinite power of God to effect it: according to others, nothing so easy. Existence, say they, is a state of violence; all things are continually endeavouring to return to their primitive nothing: it requires no power at all; it will do it itself: nay, more, it requires an infinite power to prevent it. With respect to human beings, it appears probable from reason; but it is confirmed by Scripture that they will not be annihilated, but exist in a future state, Matt. x. 28. Ecc. xii. 7. John v. 24. 1 Thess. v. 10. Matt. xxv. 34,41. Luke xvi. 22,28. Luke xx. 37,38. 1 Cor. xv. See 158, &c. vol. i. Massilon's Ser. Eng. Trans.; No. 129, Guardian; Blair's Ser. vol. i. p. 461; and articles DESTRUCTIONISTS, RESURRECTION, SOUL.

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89. ANNUNCIATION

  The tidings brought by the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary of the incarnation of Christ. It is also used to denote a festival kept by the church on the 25th of March, in commemoration of these tidings.

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90. ANOMOEANS

  The name by which the pure Arians were called in the fourth century, in contradistinction to the Semi-arians. The word is formed from the Greek, different. See ARIANS and SEMI-ARIANS.

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91. ANTEDILUVIANS

  A general name for all mankind who lived before the flood, including the whole human race from the creation to the deluge. For the history of the Antediluvians, see Book of Genesis. Whiston's Josephus, Cockburn's Treatise on the Deluge, and article DELUGE.

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92. ANTHEM

  A church song performed in cathedral service by choristers who sung alternately. It was used to denote both psalms and hymns, when performed in this manner; but, at present, anthem is used in a more confined sense, being applied to certain passages taken out of the scriptures, and adapted to a particular solemnity. Anthems were first introduced in the reformed service of the English church, in the beginning or the reign of queen Elizabeth.

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93. ANTHROPOMORPHITES

  A sect of ancient heretics, who, taking every thing spoken of God in the scripture in a literal sense, particularly that passage of Genesis in which it is said, "God made man after his own image," maintained that God had a human shape.

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94. ANTHROPOPATHY

  A figure, expression, or discourse, whereby some passion is attributed to God which properly belongs only to man. Anthropopathy is frequently used promiscuously with anthropology; yet in strictness they ought to be distinguished, as the genus from the species. Anthropology may be understood of any thing human attributed to God, as eyes, hands, &c. but anthropopathy only of human affections and passions, as joy, grief. We have frequent instances of the use of these figures in holy scripture.

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95. ANTIBURGHERS

  A numerous and respectable body of dissenters from the church of Scotland, who differ from the established church chiefly in matters of church government; and who differ, also, from the Burgher seceders, with whom they were originally united, chiefly, if not solely, respecting the lawfulness of taking the Burgess oath. For an account of their origin and principles, see SECEDERS.

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96. ANTICHRIST

  An adversary to Jesus Christ. There have been various opinions concerning the Antichrist mentioned in the Scripture, 1 John ii. 18. Some have held that the Jews are to be reputed as Antichrist; others Caligula; others Mahomet; others Simon Magus; others infidelity; and others, that the devil himself is the Antichrist. Most authors agree, however, that it applies to the church of Rome. Grotius, Hammond, Bossuet, and others, supposed Rome pagan to be designed; but Rome Christian seems more evident, for John "saw the beast rise up out of the sea," Rev. xiii. 1. Now, as heathen Rome had risen and been established long before his time, this could not refer to the Roman empire then subsisting, but to a form of government afterwards to arise. As, therefore, none did arise, after Rome was broken to pieces by the barbarians, but that of the papal power, it must be considered as applying to that. The descriptions also, of the beast as the great apostacy, the man of sin, the mystery of iniquity, and the son of perdition, will apply only to Christian Rome. See Daniel vii. 2 Thess ii. and Rev. xiii. Besides the time allowed for the continuance of the beast will not apply to heathen Rome; for power was given to the beast for 1260 years, whereas heathen Rome did not last 400 years after this prophecy was delivered. Authors have differed as to the time when Antichrist arose. Some suppose that his reign did not commence till he became a temporal prince, in the year 756, when Pepin wrested the exarchate of Ravenna from the Lombards, and made it over to the pope and his successors. Others think that it was in 727, when Rome and the Roman dukedom came from the Greeks to the Roman pontiff. Mede dates this rise in the year 456; but others, and I think with the greatest reason, place it in the year 606. Now, it is generally agreed that the reign of Antichrist is 1260 years; consequently, if his rise is not to be reckoned till he was possessed of secular authority, then his fall must be when this power is taken away. According to the first opinion, he must have possessed his temporal power till the year 2016; according to the second, he must have possessed it till the year 1987. If this rise began, according to Mede, in 456, then he must have fallen in 1716. Now that these dates were wrong, circumstances have proved; the first and second being too late, and the third too early. As these hypotheses, therefore, must fall to the ground, it remains for us to consider why the last mentioned is the more probable. It was about the year 606 that pope Boniface III. by flattering Phocas, the emperor of Constantinople, one of the worst of tyrants, procured for himself the title of Universal Bishop. The bishops of Rome and Constantinople had long been struggling for this honour; at last, it was decided in favour of the bishop of Rome; and from this time he was raised above all others, and his supremacy established by imperial authority: it was now, also, that the most profound ignorance, debauchery, and superstition, reigned. From this time the popes exerted all their power in promoting the idolatrous worship of images, saints, reliques, and angels. The church was truly deplorable; all the clergy were given up to the most flagrant and abominable acts of licentiousness. Places of worship resembled the temples of heathens more than the churches of Christians; in fine, nothing could exceed the avarice, pride, and vanity of all the bishops, presbyters, deacons, and even the cloistered monks! All this fully answered the description St. Paul gave of Antichrist, 2 Thess. ii. It is necessary also to observe, that this epoch agrees best with the time when, according to prophecy, he was to be revealed. The rise of Antichrist was to be preceded by the dissolution of the Roman empire, the establishment of a different form of government in Italy, and the division of the empire into ten kingdoms; all these events taking place, make it very probable that the year 606 was the time of his rise. Nor have the events of the last century made it less probable. The power of the pope was never so much shaken as within a few years: "his dominion is, in a great measure, taken from him;" and every thing seems to be going on gradually to terminate his authority; so that, by the time this 1260 years shall be concluded, we may suppose that Antichrist shall be finally destroyed.
     As to the cruelties of Antichrist, the persecutions that have been carried on, and the miseries to which mankind have been subject, by the power of the beast, the reader ma consult the articles INQUISITION and PERSECUTION. In this we have to rejoice, that, however various, the opinions of the learned may be as to the time when Antichrist rose, it is evident to all that he is fast declining, and will certainly fall, Rev. xviii. 1,5. What means the Almighty may farther use, the exact time when, and the manner how, all shall be accomplished, we must leave to him who ordereth all things after the counsel of his own will See Bp. Newton on the Prophesies; Simpson's Key to ditto; Moseley's Ser. on Fall of Babylon; Ward's Three Discourses of Prophecy and books under that article.

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97. ANTIDORON

  A name given by the Greeks to the consecrated bread; out of which the middle part, marked with the cross, wherein the consecration resides, being taken away by the priest, the remainder is distributed after mass to the poor.

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98. ANTINOMIANS

  Those who maintain that the law is of no use or obligation under the gospel dispensation, or who hold doctrines that clearly supersede the necessity of good works. The Antinomians took their origin from John Agricola, about the year 1538, who taught that the law is no way necessary under the Gospel; that good works do not promote our salvation, nor ill one's hinder it; that repentance is not to be preached from the decalogue, but only from the Gospel. This sect sprang up in England during the protectorate of Cromwell, and extended their system of libertinism much farther than Agricola did. Some of them it is said, maintained, that, if they should commit any kind of sin, it would do them no hurt, nor in the least affect their eternal state; and that it is one of the distinguishing characters of the elect that they cannot do any thing displeasing to God. It is necessary, however, to observe here, and candour obliges us to confess that there have been others, who have been styled Antinomians, who cannot, strictly speaking, be ranked with these men: nevertheless, the unguarded expressions they have advanced, the bold positions they have laid down, and the double construction which might so easily be put upon many of their sentences, have led some to charge them with Antinomian principles. For instance; when they have asserted justification to be eternal, without distinguishing between the secret determination of God in eternity, and the execution of it in time; when they have spoken lightly of good works, or asserted that believers have nothing to do with the law of God, without fully explaining what they mean: when they assert that God is not angry with his people for their sins, nor in any sense punishes them for them, without distinguishing between fatherly corrections and vindictive punishment: these things, whatever be the private sentiments of those who advance them, have a tendency to injure the minds of many. It has been alleged, that the principal thing they have had in view, was, to counteract those legal doctrines which have so much abounded among the self-righteous; but, granting this to be true, there is no occasion to run from one extreme to another. Had many of those writers proceeded with more caution, been less dogmatical, more explicit in the explanation of their sentiments, and possessed more candour towards those who differed from them, they would have been more serviceable to the cause of truth and religion. Some of the chief of those who have been charged as favouring the above sentiments are, Crisp, Richardson, Saltmarsh, Hussey, Eatom, Town, &c. These have been answered by Gataker, Sedgwick, Witsius, Bull, Williams, Ridgley, Beart, De Fleury, &c. See also Bellamy's Letters and Dialogues between Theron, Paulinus, and Aspasio; with his Essay on the Nature and Glory of the Gospel; Edwards' Chrispianism, unmasked.

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99. ANTIPATHY

  Hatred, aversion, repugnancy, Hatred is entertained against persons,, aversion and antipathy against persons or things, and repugnancy against actions alone. Hatred is more voluntary that aversion, antipathy, or repugnancy: These last have greater affinity with the animal constitution. The causes of antipathy are less know than those of aversion. Repugnancy is less permanent that either the one or the other. We hate a vicious character, we feel an aversion to its exertions. We are affected with antipathy for certain persons at first sight: there are some affairs which we transact with repugnancy. Hatred calumniates, aversion keeps us at a distance from certain persons. Antipathy makes us detest them; repugnancy hinders us from imitating them.

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100. ANTIP AE DOBAPTISTS

  (from "against," and "child," and "baptize,") is a distinguishing denomination given to those who object to the baptism of infants. See BAPTISM.

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101. ANTIQUITIES

  A term implying all testimonies or authentic accounts that have come down to us of ancient nations. As the study of antiquity may be useful both to the enquiring Christian, as well as to those who are employed in, or are candidates for the Gospel ministry, we shall here subjoin a list of those which are esteemed the most valuable.--Fabricii Bibliographia Antiquaria; Sense be Legibus Heb. Ritualibus; Godwyn's Moses and Aaron; Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church; Brown's Antiquities of the Jews; Potter's and Harwood's Greek and Kennett's and Adam's Roman Antiquities; Preface to the Prussian Testament, published by L'Enfant and Beausobre; Prideaux and Shuckford's Connections; Jones's Asiatic Researches; and Maurice's Indian Antiquities.

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102. ANTISABBATARIANS

  A modern religious sect, who deny the necessity of observing the Sabbath Day. Their chief arguments are, 1. That the Jewish Sabbath was only of ceremonial, not of moral obligation; and consequently, is abolished by the coming of Christ.--2. That no other Sabbath was appointed to be observed by Christ or his apostles.--3. That there is not a word of Sabbath-breaking in all the New Testament.--4. That no command was given to Adam or Noah to keep any Sabbath.--And, 5. That, therefore, although Christians are commanded "not to forsake the assembling of themselves together," they ought not to hold one day more holy than another. See article SABBATH.

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103. ANTITACT AE

  A branch of Gnostics, who held that God was good and just, but that a creature had created evil; and, consequently, that it is our duty to oppose this author of evil, in order to avenge God of his adversary.

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104. ANTITRINITARIANS

  Those who deny the Trinity, and teach that there are not three persons in the Godhead. See TRINITY.

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105. ANTITYPE

  A greek word, properly signifying a type or figure corresponding to some other type.
     The word antitype occurs twice in the New Testament, viz. in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. ix. v. 24, and in the 1 Epistle of St. Peter chap. iii. v. 21. where its genuine import has been much controverted. The former says, that Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures or antitypes of the true--now to appear in the presence of God. Now the Greek signifies the pattern by which another thing is made; and as Moses was obliged to make the tabernacle, and all things in it, according to the pattern shown him in the Mount, the tabernacle so formed was the antitype of what was shown to Moses: any thing, therefore, formed according to a model or pattern, is an antitype. In the latter passage, the apostle, speaking of Noah's flood, and the deliverance only of eight persons in the ark from it, says, Baptism being an antitype to that, now saves us; not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, &c. The meaning is, that righteousness, or the answer of a good conscience towards God, now saves us, by means of the resurrection of Christ, as formerly righteousness saved these eight persons by means of the ark during the flood. The word antitype, therefore, here signifies a general similitude of circumstances; and the particle whereunto, refers not to the immediate antecedent water, but to all that precedes.

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106. ANTOSIANDRIANS

  A sect of rigid Lutherans who opposed the doctrine of Osiander relating to justification. These are otherwise denominated Osiandromastiges. The Antosiandrians deny that man is made just, with that justice wherewith God himself is just; that is, they assert that he is not made essentially but only imputatively just; or that he is not really made just, but only pronounced so.

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107. APATHY

  Among the ancient philosophers, implied an utter privation of passion, and an insensibility of pain. The word is compounded of priv. and affection. The Stoics affected an entire apathy; they considered it as the highest wisdom to enjoy a perfect calmness or tranquility of mind, incapable of being ruffled by either pleasure or pain. In the first ages of the church, the Christians adopted the term apathy to express a contempt of all earthly concerns; a state of mortification such as the Gospel prescribes. Clemens Alexandrinus, in particular, brought it exceedingly in vogue, thinking hereby to draw such philosophers to Christianity who aspired after such a sublime pitch of virtue.

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108. APELLEANS

  So called from Apelles, in the second century. They affirmed that Christ, when he came down from heaven, received a body not from the substance of his mother, but from the four elements, which at his death he rendered back to the world, and so ascended into heaven without a body.

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109. APHTHARTODOCITES

  A denomination in the sixth century; so called from the Greek incorruptible, and to judge; because they held that the body of Jesus Christ was incorruptible, and not subject to death. They were a branch of the Eutychians.

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110. APOCARIT AES

  A denomination, in the third century, which sprang from the Manicheans. They held that the soul of man was of the substance of God.

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111. APOCHRYPHA

  Books not admitted into the canon of scripture, being either spurious, or at least not acknowledged as divine. The word is Greek, and derived from "from," and " to hide or conceal." They seem most of them to have been composed by Jews. None of the writers of the New Testament mention them; neither Philo nor Josephus speak of them. The Christian church was for some ages a stranger to them. Origen, Athanasius, Hilary, Cyril of Jerusalem, and all the orthodox writers who have given catalogues of the canonical books of scripture, unanimously concur in rejecting these out of the canon. The Protestants acknowledge such books of scripture only to be canonical as were esteemed to be so in the first ages of the church; such as are cited by the earliest writers among the Christians as of divine authority, and after the most diligent enquiry were received and judged to be so by the council of Laodicea. They were written after the days of Malachi, in whom, according to the universal testimony of the Jews, the spirit of prophecy ceased, Mal. iv, 4-6. Not one of the writers in direct terms advances a claim to inspiration. They contain fables, lies, and contradictions. 1 Macc. vi. 4.16. 2 Macc. i 13, 16. 2 Macc. ix. 28. The apocryphal books are in general believed to be canonical by the church of Rome; and, even by the sixth article of the church of England, they are ordered to be read for example of life and instruction of manners, though it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine. Other reformed churches do not so much as make even this use of them. See Prideaux's Connexion, vol. i. p. 36-42: Lee's Dis on Esdras; Dick on Inspiration, p. 344.

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112. APOLLINARIANS

  Were ancient heretics, who denied the proper humanity of Christ, and maintained that the body which he assumed was endowed with a sensitive and not a rational soul: but that the divine nature supplied the place of the intellectual principle in man. This sect derived its name from Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea. Their doctrine was first condemned by a council at Alexandria in 362, and afterwards in a more formal manner by a council at Rome in 375, and by another council in 378, which deposed Apollinaris from his bishopric. This, with other laws enacted against them, reduced them to a very small number; so that at last they dwindled away.

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113. APOSTACY

  A forsaking or renouncing our religion, either by an open declaration in words, or a virtual declaration of it by our actions. The primitive Christian church distinguished several kinds of apostacy; the first, of those who went entirely from Christianity to Judaism; the second, of those who complied so far with the Jews, as to communicate with them in many of their unlawful practices, without making a formal profession of their religion; thirdly, of those who mingled Judaism and Christianity together; and, fourthly, of those who voluntarily relapsed into paganism. Apostacy may be farther considered as, 1. Original, in which we have all participated, Rom. iii. 23;--2. National, when a kingdom relinquishes the profession of Christianity;--3. Personal, when an individual backslides from God, Heb. x. 38;--4. Final, when men are given up the judicial hardness of heart, as Judas. See BACKSLIDING.

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114. APOSTLE

  Properly signifies a messenger or person sent by another upon some business. It is particularly applied to them whom our Saviour deputed to preach.--2. Apostle, in the Greek liturgy, is used for a book containing the epistles of St. Paul, printed in the order wherein they are to be read in churches through the course of the year.--3. The appellation was also given to the ordinary travelling ministers of the church, Rom. xvi. 7. Phil. ii. 25. though in our translation the last is rendered messenger.--4. It is likewise given to those persons who first planted the Christian faith in any place. Thus Dionysius of Corinth is called the Apostle of France, Xavier the Apostle of the Indies, &c.

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115. APOSTLES' CREED

  See CREED.

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116. APOSTOLATE

  In a general sense, is used for mission; but it more properly denotes the dignity or office of an apostle of Christ. It is also used in ancient writers for the office of a bishop. But as the title apostolicus has been appropriated to the pope, so that of apostolate became at length restrained to the sole dignity of the popedom.

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117. APOSTOLIC

  Apostolical; something that relates to the apostles, or descends from them. Thus we say the apostolican age, apostolical doctrine, apostolical character, constitution, traditions,&c

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118. APOSTOLIC

  In the primitive church, was an appellation given to all such churches as were founded by the apostles; and even to the bishops of those churches, as being the reputed successors of the apostles. These were confined to four, viz. Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. In after times, the other churches assumed the same quality, on account, principally, of the conformity of their doctrine with that of the churches which were apostolical by foundation, and because all bishops held themselves successors of the apostles, or acted in their dioceses with the authority of apostles.
     The first time the term apostolical is attributed to bishops, as such, is in a letter of Clovis to the council of Orleans, held in 511, though that king does not there expressly denominate them apostolical, but (apostolica sede dignissimi) highly worthy of the apostolical see. In 581, Guntram calls the bishops met at the council of Macon, apostolical pontiffs, apostolici pontifices.
     In progress of time, the bishop of Rome growing in power above the rest, and the three patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, falling into the hands of the Saracens, the title apostolical was restrained to the pope and his church alone; though some of the popes, and St. Gregory the Great, not contented to hold the title by this tenure, began at length to insist that it belonged to them by another and peculiar right, as being the successors of St. Peter. The country of Rheims, in 1049, declared that the pope was the sole apostolical primate of the universal church. And hence a great number of apostolicals; apostolical see, apostolical nuncio, apostolical notary, apostolical brief, apostolical chamber, apostolical vicar, &c.

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119. APOSTOLICAL CONSTITUTIONS

  A collection of regulations attributed to the apostles, and supposed to have been collected by St. Clement, whose name they likewise bear. It is the general opinion, however, that they are spurious, and that St. Clement had no hand in them. They appeared first in the fourth century, but have been much changed and corrupted since. There are so many things in them different from and even contrary to the genius and design of the New Testament writers, that no wise man would believe, without the most convincing and irresistible proof, that both could come from the same hand. Grabe's Answer to Whiston; Saurin's Ser. vol. ii. p. 185; Lardner's Cred. vol. iii. p. 11. ch. ult; Doddridge's Lect. lec. 119.

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120. APOSTOLIC FATHERS

  An appellation usually given to the writers of the first century, who employed their pens in the cause of Christianity. Of these writers, Cotelerius, and after him Le Clerc, have published a collection in two volumes, accompanied both with their own annotations, and the remarks of other learned men. See also the genuine epistles of the apostolic fathers be Abp. Wake.

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121. APOSTOLICI

  Or APOSTOLICS, a name assumed by different sects on account of their pretending to imitate the practice of the apostles.

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122. APOTACTIT AE

  An ancient sect, who affected to follow the examples of the apostles, and renounced all their effects and possessions. It does not appear that they held any errors at first; but afterwards they taught that the renouncing of all riches was not only a matter of counsel and advice, but of precept and necessity.

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123. APPLICATION

  Is used for the act whereby our Saviour transfers or makes over to us what he had earned or purchased by his holy life and death. Accordingly it is by this application of the merits of Christ that we are to be justified and entitled to grace and glory.
     Application is also used for that part of a sermon in which the preacher brings home of applies the truth of religion to the consciences of his hearers. See SERMON.

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124. APPROBATION

  A state or disposition of the mind, wherein we put a value upon, or become pleased with, some person or thing. Moralists are divided on the principle of approbation, or the motive which determines us to approve or disapprove. The Epicureans will have it to be only self-interest: according to them, that which determines any agent to approve his own action, is its apparent tendency to his private happiness; and even the approbation of another's action flows from no other cause but an opinion of its tendency to the happiness of the approver, either immediately or remotely. Others resolve approbation into a moral sense, or a principle of benevolence, by which we are determined to approve every kind affection either in ourselves or others, and all publicly useful actions which we imagine to flow from such affections, without any view therein to our own private happiness.
     But may we not, add, that a true Christian's approbation arises from his perception of the will of God? See OBLIGATION.

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125. APPROPRIATION

  The annexing a benefice to the proper and perpetual use of some religious house. It is a term also often used in the religious world as referring to that act of the mind by which we apply the blessings of the Gospel to ourselves. This appropriation is real when we are enabled to believe in, feel, and obey the truth; but merely nominal and delusive when there are no fruits of righteousness and true holiness. See ASSURANCE.

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126. AQUARIANS

  Those who consecrated water in the eucharist instead of wine. Another branch of them approved of wine at the sacrament, when received in the evening: they likewise mixed water with the wine.

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127. ARABICI

  Erroneous Christians, in the third century, who thought that the soul and body died together, and rose again. It is said that Origen convinced them of their error, and that they then abjured it.

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128. ARCHANGEL

  According to some divines, means an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestial hierarchy; but others, not without reason, reckon it a title only applicable to our Saviour. Compare Jude 9. with Daniel xii.1. 1 Thess. iv. 16.

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129. ARCHIBISHOP

  The chief or metropolitan bishop, who has several suffragans under him. Archbishops were not known in the East till about the year 320; and though there were some soon after this who had the title, yet that was only a personal honour, by which the bishops of considerable cities were distinguished. It was not till of late that archbishops became metropolitians, and had suffragans under them. The ecclesiastical government of England is divided into two provinces, viz. Canterbury and York. The first archbishop of Canterbury was Austin, appointed by king Ethelbert, on his conversion to Christianity, about the year 598. His grace of Canterbury is the first peer of England, and the next to the royal family, having precedence of all dukes, and all great officers of the crown. It is his privilege, by custom, to crown the kings and queens of this kingdom. The archbishop of York has precedence of all dukes not of the royal blood, and of all officers of state except the lord high chancellor. The first archbishop of York was Paulinus, appointed by pope Gregory about the year 622.

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130. ARCHDEACON

  A priest invested with authority or jurisdiction over the clergy and laity, next to the bishop, either through the whole diocese, or only a part of it. There are sixty in England, who visit every two years in three, when they inquire into the reparations and moveables belonging to churches; reform abuses; suspend; excommunicate; in some places prove wills; and induct all clerks into benefices within their respective jurisdictions.

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131. ARCHONTICS

  A sect about the year 160 or 203. Among many other extravagant notions, they held that the world was created by archangels; they also denied the resurrection of the body.

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132. ARCH-PRESBYTER

  Or ARCH-PRIEST, a priest established in some dioceses with a superiority over the rest. He was anciently chosen out of the college of presbyters, at the pleasure of the bishop. The arch-presbyters were much of the same nature with our deans in cathedral churches.

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133. ARRHABONARII

  A sect who held that the Eucharist is neither the real flesh or blood of Christ, nor yet the sign of them, but only the pledge or earnest thereof. See Stuart's Letters to Channing pg. 125.

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134. ARIANS

  Followers of Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, about 315, who maintained that the Son of God was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of those beings whom God had created--the instrument, by whose subordinate operation he formed the universe; and therefore, inferior to the Father both in nature and dignity: also that the Holy Ghost was not God, but created by the power of the Son. The Arians owned that the Son was the Word; but denied that word to have been eternal. They held that Christ had nothing of man in him but the flesh, to which the word, was joined, which was the same as the soul in us.--The Arians were first condemned and anathematised by a council at Alexandria, in 320, under Alexander, bishop of that city, who accused Arius of impiety, and caused him to be expelled from the communion of the church; and afterwards by 380 fathers in the general council of Nice, assembled by Constantine, in 325. His doctrine, however, was not extinguished; on the contrary, it became the reigning religion, especially in the East. Arius was recalled from banishment by Constantine in two or three years after the council of Nice, and the laws that had been enacted against him were repealed. Notwithstanding this, Athanasius, then bishop of Alexandria, refused to admit him and his followers to communion. This so enraged them, that, by their interest at court, they procured that prelate to be deposed and banished; but the church of Alexandria still refusing to admit Arius into their communion, the emperor sent for him to Constantinople; where upon delivering in a fresh confession of his faith in terms less offensive, the emperor commanded him to be received into their communion; but that very evening, it is said, Arius died as his friends were conducting him in triumph to the great church of Constantinople. Arius, pressed by a natural want, stepped aside, but expired on the spot, his bowels gushing out. The Arian party, however, found a protector in Constantius, who succeeded his father in the East. They underwent various revolutions and persecutions under succeeding emperors; till, at length, Theodosius the Great exerted every effort to suppress them. Their doctrine was carried, in the fifth century, into Africa, under the Candals; and into Asia under the Goths.--Italy, Gaul and Spain, were also deeply infected with it; and towards the commencement of the sixth century, it was triumphant in many parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe; but it sunk almost at once when the Vandals were driven out of Africa, and the Goths out of Italy, by the arms of Justinian. However, it revived again in Italy, under the protection of the Lombards, in the seventh century, and was not extinguished till about the end of the eighth. Arianism was again revived in the West by Servetus, in 1531, for which he suffered death. After this the doctrine got footing in Geneva, and in Poland; but at length degenerated in a great measure into Socinianism. Erasmus, it is thought, aimed at reviving it, in his commentaries on the New Testament: and the learned Grotius seems to lean that way. Mr. Whiston was one of the first divines who revived this controversy in the eighteenth century. He was followed by Dr. Clarke, who was chiefly opposed by Dr. Waterland. Those who hold the doctrine which is usually called Low Arianism, say that Christ pre-existed; but not as the eternal Logos of the Father, or as the being by whom he made the worlds, and had intercourse with the patriarchs, or as having any certain rank or employment whatever in the divine dispensations. In modern times, the term Arian is indiscriminately applied to those who consider Jesus simply subordinate to the Father. Some of them believe Christ to have been the creator of the world; but they all maintain that he existed previously to his incarnation, though in his pre-existent state they assign him different degrees of dignity. Hence the terms High and Low Arian. See PRE-EXISTENCE. Some of the more recent vindicators of Arianism have been H. Taylor in his Apology of Ben Mordecai to his Friends for embracing Christianity; Dr Harwood, in his Five Dissertations; Dr. Price, in his Sermons on the Christian Doctrine. See also the 4th vol. of the Theological Repository, p. 153-163, and Cornish's Tract on the Pre-existence of Christ.
     On the opposite side, Bogue and Bennett's Hist of Dissenters, vol. iii. Abbadie, Waterland, Guyse, Hey, Robinson, Eveleigh, Hawker on the Divinity of Christ;--Calamy, Taylor, Gill, Jones, Pike, and Simpson, on the Trinity.

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135. ARISTOTELIANS

  The followers of Aristotle. They believed in the eternity of the world, and represented the Deity as somewhat similar to a principle of power giving motion to a machine; and as happy in the contemplation of himself, but regardless of human affairs. They were uncertain as to the immortality of the soul.--As this was rather a philosophical than religious sect, we shall not enlarge on it.

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136. ARK

  Or NOAH'S ARK, a floating vessel built by Noah for the preservation of his family, and the several species of animals, during the deluge. The form of the Ark was an oblong, with a flat bottom, and a sloped roof, raised to a cubit in the middle; it had neither sails nor rudder; nor was it sharp at the ends for cutting the water. This form was admirably calculated to make it lie steady on the water, without rolling, which might have endangered the lives of the animals within.
     The length of this ark was 300 cubits, which according to Dr. Arbuthnot's calculation, amount to a little more than 547 feet; its breadth, 50 cubits, or 54-72 feet; and its solid contents 2,730-782 solid feet, sufficient for a carriage for 81,062 ton. It consisted of three stories, each of which, abating the thickness of the floors, might be about 18 feet high, and no doubt was partitioned into a great many rooms or apartments. This vessel was doubtless so contrived, as to admit the air and the light on all, though the particular construction of the windows be not mentioned.

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137. ARK OF THE COVENANT

  A small chest of coffer, three feet nine inches in length, two feet three inches in breadth, and two feet three inches in height, in which were contained the golden pot that had manna, Aaron's rod, and the tables of the covenant. The ark was reposited in the holiest place of the tabernacle. It was taken by the Philistines, and detained twenty (some say forty) years at Kirjath-jearim; but, the people being afflicted with emerods on account of it, returned it with divers presents. It was afterwards placed in the temple.
     The lid or covering of the ark was called the propitiatory or mercy-seat; over which two figures were placed, called cherubims, with expanded wings of a peculiar form. Here the Shechinah rested both in the tabernacle and temple in a visible cloud; hence were issued the Divine oracles by an audible voice; and the high priest appeared before the mercy-seat once every year on the great day of expiation; and the Jews, wherever they worshipped, turned their faces towards the place where the ark stood.
     In the second temple there was also an ark, made of the same shape and dimensions with the first, and put in the same place, but without any of its contents and peculiar honours. It was used as a representative of the former on the day of expiation, and a repository of the original copy of the holy Scriptures, collected by Ezra and the men of the great synagogue after the captivity; and, in imitation of this, the Jews, to this day, have a kind of ark in their synagogues, wherein their sacred books are kept.

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138. ARMENIANS

  The inhabitants of Armenia, whose religion is the Christian, of the Eutychian sect; that is, they hold but one nature in Jesus Christ. See EUTYCHIANS. They assert also the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father only. They believe that Christ at his descent into hell freed the souls of the damned from thence, and reprieved them to the end of the world, when they shall be remanded to eternal flames. They believe that the souls of the righteous shall not be admitted to the beatific vision till after the resurrection, notwithstanding which they pray to departed saints, adore their pictures, and burn lamps before them. The Armenian clergy consist of patriarchs, archbishops, doctors, secular priests, and monks. The Armenian monks are of the order of St. Basil; and every Wednesday and Friday they eat neither fish, nor eggs, nor oil, nor any thing made of milk; and during Lent they live upon nothing but roots. They have seven sacraments; baptism, confirmation, penance, and eucharist, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony.--They admit infants to the communion at two or three months old. They seem to place the chief part of their religion in fastings and abstinences; and, among the clergy, the higher the degree, the lower they must live; insomuch that it is said the archbishops live on nothing but pulse. They consecrate holy water but once a year; at which time every one fills a pot, and carries it home, which brings in a considerable revenue to the church.

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139. ARMINIANS

  Persons who follow the doctrines of Arminius, who was pastor at Amsterdam, and afterwards professor of divinity at Leyden. Arminius had been educated in the opinions of Calvin; but, thinking the doctrine of that great man with regard to free will, predestination, and grace, too severe, he began to express his doubts concerning them in the year 1591; and, upon farther enquiry, adopted the sentiments of those whose religious system extends the love of the Supreme Being and the merits of Jesus Christ to all mankind. The Arminians are also called Remonstrants, because, in 1611, they presented a remonstrance to the states-general, wherein they state their grievances, and pray for relief.
     The distinguishing tenets of the Arminians may be comprised in the five following articles relative to predestination, universal redemption, the corruption of man, conversion, and perseverance, viz.
     I. That God, from all eternity, determined to bestow salvation on those who he foresaw would persevere unto the end; and to inflict everlasting punishments on those who should continue in their unbelief, and resist his divine succours; so that election was conditional, and reprobation in like manner the result of foreseen infidelity and persevering wickedness.
     II. That Jesus Christ by his sufferings and death, made an atonement for the sins of all mankind in general, and of every individual in particular; that, however, none but those who believe in him can be partakers of divine benefits.
     III. That true faith cannot proceed from the exercise of our natural faculties and powers, nor from the force and operation of free will; since man, in consequence of his natural corruption, is incapable either of thinking or doing any good thing; and that, therefore, it is necessary, in order to his conversion and salvation, that he be regenerated and renewed by the operation of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God through Jesus Christ.
     IV. That this divine grace, or energy of the Holy Ghost, begins and perfects every thing that can be called good in man, and, consequently, all good works are to be attributed to God alone; that, nevertheless, this grace is offered to all, and does not force men to act against their inclinations, but may be resisted and rendered ineffectual by the perverse will of the impenitent sinner. Some modern Arminians interpret this and the last article with a greater latitude.
     V. That God gives to the truly faithful who are regenerated by his grace, the means of preserving themselves in this state. The first Arminians, indeed, had some doubt with respect to the closing part of this article; but their followers uniformly maintain "that the regenerate may lose true justifying faith, fall from a state of grace, and die in their sins."
     After the appointment of Arminius to the theological chair at Leyden, he thought it his duty to avow and vindicate the principles which he had embraced; and the freedom with which he published and defended them, exposed him to the resentment of those that adhered to the theological system of Geneva, which then prevailed in Holland; but his principal opponent was Gomar, his colleague. The controversy which was thus begun became more general after the death of Arminius in the year 1609, and threatened to involve the United Provinces in civil discord. The Arminian tenets gained ground under the mild and favourable treatment of the magistrates of Holland, and were adopted by several persons of merit and distinction. The Calvinists or Gomarists, as they were now called, appealed to a national synod; accordingly, the synod of Dort was convened, by order of the states-general, 1618; and was composed of ecclesiastic deputies from the United Provinces as well as from the reformed churches of England, Hessia, Bremen, Switzerland, and the Palatinate. The principal advocate in favour of the Arminians was Episcopius, who at that time was professor of divinity at Leyden. It was first proposed to discuss the principal subjects in dispute, that the Arminians should be allowed to state and vindicate the grounds on which their opinions were founded; but, some difference arising as to the proper mode of conducting the debate, the Arminians were excluded from the assembly, their case was tried in their absence, and they were pronounced guilty of pestilential errors, and condemned as corrupters of the true religion. A curious account of the proceedings of the above synod may be seen in a series of letters written by Mr. John Hales, who was present on the occasion.
     In consequence of the above-mentioned decision, the Arminians were considered as enemies to their country, and its established religion, and were much persecuted. They were treated with great severity, and deprived of all their posts and employments; their ministers were silenced, and their congregations were suppressed. The great Barneveldt was beheaded on a scaffold; and the learned Grotius being condemned to perpetual imprisonment, fled, and took refuge in Franc.
     After the death of prince Maurice, who had been a violent partizan in favour of the Gomarists, in the year 1625, the Arminian exiles were restored to their former reputation and tranquility; and, under the toleration of the state, they erected churches and founded a college at Amsterdam, appointing Episcopius the first theological professor. The Arminian system has very much prevailed in England since the time of Archbishop Laud, and its votaries in other countries are very numerous. It is generally supposed that a majority of the clergy in both the established churches of Great Britain favour the Arminian system, notwithstanding their articles are strictly Calvinistic. The name of Mr. John Wesley hardly need be mentioned here. Every one knows what an advocate he was for the tenets of Arminius, and the success he met with. See METHODISTS.
     Some of the principal writers on the side of the Arminians have been Arminius, Episcopius, Vorstius, Grotius, Curcellaeus, Limborch, Le Clerc. Wetstein, Goodwin, Whitby, Taylor, Fletcher,&c
     Some of the principal writers on the other side have been Polhill in his Book on the Decrees; John Edwards in his Veritas Redux, Cole in his Sovereignty of God; Edwards on the Will, and Original Sin; Dr. Owen in his Display of Arminianism, and on particular Redemption; Gill in his Cause of God and Truth; and Toplady, an almost all his works.

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140. ARNOLDISTS

  The followers of Arnold, of Brescia, in the twelfth century, who was a great declaimer against the wealth and vices of the clergy. He is also charged with preaching against baptism and the eucharist. He was burnt at Rome in 1155, and his ashes cast into the Tiber.

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141. ARTEMONTES

  A denomination in the second century; so called from Artemon, who taught that, at the birth of the man Christ, a certain divine energy or portion of the divine nature, united itself to him.

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142. ARTICLE OF FAITH

  Is, by some, defined a point of Christian doctrine, which we are obliged to believe, as having been revealed by God himself, and allowed and established as such by the church. See CONFESSIONS.

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143. ARTICLES OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

  See CHURCH OF ENGLAND.

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144. ARTICLES, LAMBETH

  The Lambeth articles were so called, because drawn up at Lambeth palace, under the eye and with the assistance of archbishop Whitgift, bishop Bancroft, bishop Vaughan, and other eminent dignitaries of the Church. That the reader may judge how Calvinistic the clergy were under the reign of queen Elizabeth, we shall here insert them. "1. God hath from eternity predestinated certain persons to life, and hath reprobated certain persons unto death. 2. The moving or efficient cause of predestination unto life is not the foresight of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing that is in the persons predestinated; but the alone will of God's good pleasure. 3. The predestinati are pre-determined and certain number which can neither be lessened nor increased. 4. Such as are not predestinated to salvation shall inevitably be condemned on account of their sins. 5. The true, lively, and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God justifying, is not extinguished, doth not utterly fail, doth not vanish away in the elect, either finally or totally. 6. A true believer, that is, one who is endued with justifying faith, is certified by the full assurance of faith that his sins are forgiven, and that he shall be everlastingly saved by Christ. 7. Saving grace is not allowed, is not imparted, is not granted to all men, by which they may be saved, if they will. 8. No man is able to come to Christ, unless it be given him; and unless the Father draw him; and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may cone to his Son. 9. It is not in the will or power of every man to be saved." What gave occasion to the framing these articles was this:--Some persons had distinguished themselves at the university of Cambridge by opposing predestination. Alarmed at the opinions that were vented, the above-mentioned archbishop, with others, composed these articles, to prevent the belief of a contrary doctrine. These, when completed, were sent down to Cambridge, to which the scholars were strictly enjoined to conform.

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145. ARPOTYRITES

  A Christian sect in the primitive church, who celebrated the eucharist with bread and cheese. The word is derived from "bread" and "cheese." The Artotyrites admitted women, to the priesthood and episcopacy; and Epiphanius tells us that it was a common thing to see seven girls at once enter into their church robed in white, and holding a torch in their hands; where they wept and bewailed the wretchedness of human nature, and the miseries of this life.

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146. ASCENSION OF CHRIST

  His visible elevation to heaven. The ascension of Jesus Christ was not only presignified by many Scripture types, but also by many remarkable Scripture prophesies. Ps. xlvii. 5. Ps. cx. 1. Dan. vii. 13,14. Mic. ii. 13. Ps. lxviii. 18.
     The evidences of his ascension were numerous. The disciples saw him ascend, Acts i. 9, 10. Two angels testified that he did ascent, Acts i. 11. Stephen, Paul, and John saw him in his ascended state, Acts vii. 55,56. Acts ix. Rev. i. The marvellous descent of the Holy Ghost demonstrated it, John xvi. 7, 14. Acts ii. 33. The terrible overthrow and dispersion of the Jewish nation is a standing proof of it, John viii. 21. Matt. xxvi 64.
     The time of his ascension. It was forty days after his resurrection. He continued so many days on earth, that he might give many repeated proofs of his resurrection, Acts i. 3; that he might instruct his followers in every thing which pertained to the abolishment of the Jewish ceremonies, Acts i. 3; and that he might open to them the Scriptures concerning himself, and renew their commission to preach the Gospel, Acts i. 5,6. Mark xvi. 15.
     The manner of his ascension. It was from Mount Olivet to heaven, Acts i. 12; not in appearance only, but in reality and truth; visibly and locally; a real motion of his human nature; sudden, swift, glorious, and in a triumphant manner. He was parted from his disciples while he was solemnly blessing them; and multitudes of angels attended him with shouts of praise, Ps. lxviii. 17. xlvii. 5,6.
     The effects or ends of Christ's ascension were, 1. To fulfil the prophecies and types concerning it. 2. To take upon him more openly the exercise of his kingly office. 3. To receive gifts for men both ordinary and extraordinary, Ps. lxvii. 18. 4. To open the way into heaven for his people, Heb. x. 19, 20. 5. To assure the saints of their ascension also, John xiv. 1,2.

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147. ASCETIC

  One who retires from the world for the purpose of devotion and mortification. When the monks came in fashion, this title was bestowed upon them, especially such as lived in solitude. It was also the title of several books of spiritual exercises, as the Ascetics, or devout exercises of St. Basil, &c.

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148. ASCODROGITES

  A denomination which arose about the year 181. They brought into their churches bags or skins filled with new wine, to represent the new bottles filled with new wine, mentioned by Christ. They danced round these bags or skins, and, it is said, intoxicated themselves with the wine.

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149. ASCOODRUTES

  A sect, in the second century, who rejected the use of all symbols and sacraments on this principle, that incorporeal things cannot be communicated by things corporeal, nor divine mysteries by any thing visible.

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150. ASSEMBLIES OF THE CLERGY

  Are called convocations, synods, councils. The annual meeting of the church of Scotland is called a general assembly. In this assembly his majesty is represented by his commissioners, who dissolves one meeting and calls another in the name of the king, while the moderator does the same in the name of Jesus Christ. See CONVOCATION, PRESBYTERIANS.

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151. ASSENT

  That act of the mind whereby it takes or acknowledges any proposition to be true or false. There are three degrees of assent:--conjecture, opinion, and belief. Conjecture is but a slight and weak inclination to assent to the thing proposed, by reason of the weighty objections that lie against it. Opinion is a more steady and fixed assent; when a man is almost certain, though yet some fear of the contrary remains with him. Belief is a more full and assured assent to the truth. See BELIEF.

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152. ASSURANCE

  Is the firm persuasion we have of the certainty of any thing, or a certain expectation of something future.
     Assurance of the Understanding is a well-grounded knowledge of divine things founded on God's word. Col. ii. 2.--Assurance of Faith does not relate to our personal interest in Christ, but consists in a firm belief of the revelation that God has given us of Christ in his word, with an entire dependence on him. Heb. x. 22.--Assurance of Hope is a firm expectation that God will grant us the complete enjoyment of what he has promised. Heb. vi. 11.
     The doctrine of assurance, i. e. the belief that we have an interest in the divine favour, has afforded matter for dispute among divines. Some have asserted that it is not to be obtained in the present state, allowing that persons may be in a hopeful way to salvation, but that they have no real or absolute assurance of it: but this is clearly refuted by facts as well as by Scripture. That it is to be obtained is evident, for we have reason to believe many persons have actually obtained it. Job xix. 25. Ps. xvii.15. 2 Tim. i. 12. The Scriptures exhort us to obtain it, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. Heb. vi. 11. 1 Thess. v. 21. The Holy Spirit is said to bear witness of it, Rom. viii. 16. The exercise of the Christian graces is considered as a proof of it, 1 John iii. 14. 1 John ii. 3. We must, however, guard against presumption; for a mere persuasion that Christ is ours is no proof that he is so. We must have evidence before we can have genuine assurance. It is necessary to observe also, that it is not a duty imposed upon all mankind, so that every one, in whatsoever state he may be, ought to be fully persuaded of his salvation. "We do not affirm," says Saurin,"that Christians of whose sincerity there may be some doubt have a right to assurance; that backsliders, as such, ought to persuade themselves that they shall be saved; nor do we say that Christians who have arrived to the highest degree of holiness, can be persuaded of the certainty of their salvation in every period of their lives; nor, if left to their own efforts can they enjoy it; but believers, supported by the Divine aid, who walk in all good conscience before him, these only have ground to expect this privilege."
     Some divines have maintained that assurance is included in the very essence of faith, so that a man cannot have faith without assurance; but we must distinguish between assurance and justifying faith. The apostle, indeed, speaks of the full assurance of faith; but then this is a full and firm persuasion of what the Gospel reveals; whereas the assurance we are speaking of relates to our personal interest in Christ, and is an effect of this faith, and not faith itself. Faith in Christ certainly includes some idea of assurance; for, except we be assured that he is the Saviour, we shall never go to or rely upon him as such: but faith in Christ does not imply an assurance of our interest in him; for there may be faith long before the assurance of personal interest commences. The confounding of these ideas has been the cause of presumption on the one hand, and despair on the other. When men have been taught that faith consists in believing that Christ died for them, and been assured that, if they can only believe so, all is well; and that then they are immediately pardoned and justified, the consequence has been, that the bold and self-conceited have soon wrought themselves up to such a persuasion, without any ground for it, to their own deception; whilst the dejected, humble, and poor in spirit, not being able to work themselves to such a pitch of confidence, have concluded that they have not the faith of God's elect, and must inevitably be lost.
     The means to attain assurance are not those of an extraordinary kind, as some people imagine; such as are ordinary; self-examination, humble and constant prayer, consulting the sacred oracles, Christian communication, attendance on the divine ordinances, and perseverance in the path of duty; without which all our assurance is but presumption, and our profession but hypocrisy.
     Assurance may be lost for a season through bodily diseases which depress the spirits, unwatchfulness, falling into sin, manifold temptations, worldy cares, and neglect of private duty. He, therefore, who would wish to enjoy this privilege, let him cultivate communion with God, exercise a watchful spirit against God, exercise a watchful spirit against his spiritual enemies, and give himself unreservedly to Him whose he is, and whom he professes to serve. See Saurin's Ser. vol. iii. ser. 10. Eng. edition; Case's Sermons, ser. 13; Lambert's Sermon John ix. 35; Hervey's Theron and Aspasia, dialogue 17; Howe's Works, vol. i. p. 342, 348; Brooks Burgess, Roberts, Baxter, Polhill, and Davye on Assurance; Horae Sol. vol. ii. p. 269.

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153. ASSURITANS

  A branch of the Donatists, who held that the Son was inferior to the Father, and the Holy Ghost to the Son. See DONATISTS.

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154. ASTONISHMENT

  A kind or degree of wonder introduced by surprise. This emotion always relates to things of the highest importance; to things which appear too vast and extensive for the grasp of intellect, rather than to any thing of an intricate nature. The body marks in a striking manner the singular state of the mind under this emotion. The eyes are firmly fixed, without being directed to any particular object; the character of countenance, which was formed by the habitual influence of some predominant affection, is for a time effaced; and a suspension of every other expression, a certain vacuity, strongly notes this state of mind.

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155. ATHANASIANS

  Those who profess the sentiments held in the Athanasian Creed. See CREED.

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156. ATHEIST

  One who denies the existence of God:--this is called speculative atheism. Professing to believe in God, and yet acting contrary to this belief, is called practical atheism. Absurd and irrational as atheism is, it has had its votaries and martyrs. In the seventeenth century, Spinosa, a foreigner, was its noted defender. Lucilio Vanini, a native of Naples, also publicly taught atheism in France; and, being convicted of it at Toulouse, was condemned and executed in 1619. It has been questioned, however, whether any man ever seriously adopted such a principle. The pretensions to it have been generally founded on pride or affectation. The open avowal of atheism by several of the leading members of the French convention seems to have been an extraordinary moral phenomenon. This, however, as we have seen, was too vague and uncomfortable a principle to last long. Archbishop Tillotson justly observes, that speculative atheism is unreasonable upon five accounts. 1. Because it gives no tolerable account of the existence of the world.--2. It does not give any reasonable account of the universal consent of mankind in this apprehension, that there is a God.--3. It requires more evidence for things than they are capable of giving.--4. The atheist pretends to know that which no man can know.--5. Atheism contradicts itself. Under the first of these he thus argues.--"I appeal to any man of reason whether any thing can be more unreasonable than obstinately to impute an effect to chance, which carries in the very face of it all the arguments and characters of a wise design and contrivance. Was ever any considerable work, in which there was required a great variety of parts, and a regular and orderly disposition of those parts, done by chance! Will chance fit means to ends, and that in ten thousand instances, and not fail in any one? How often might a man, after he had jumbled a set of letters in a bag, fling them out upon the ground, before they would fall into an exact poem; yea, or so much as make a good discourse in prose? And may not a little book be as easily made by chance as the great volume of the world? How long might a man be in sprinkling colours upon canvass with a careless hand, before they would happen to make the exact picture of a man? And is a man easier made by chance than his picture? How long might twenty thousand blind men, who should be sent out from several remote parts of England, wander up and down before they would all meet upon Salisbury plain, and fall into rank and file in the exact order of an army? And, yet, this is much more easy to be imagined than how the innumerable blind parts of matter should rendezvous themselves into a world. A man that sees Henry the Seventh's chapel at Westminster might with as good reason maintain (yea, with much better, considering the vast difference betwixt that little structure and the huge fabric of the world) that it was never contrived or built by any means, but that the stones did by chance grow into those curious figures into which they seem to have been cut and graven; and that upon a time (as tales usually begin) the materials of that building, the stone, mortar, timber, iron, lead, and glass, happily met together, and very fortunately ranged themselves into that delicate order in which we see them now, so close compacted, that it must be a very great chance that parts them again. What would the world think of a man that should advance such an opinion as this, and write a book for it? If they would do him right, they ought to look upon him as mad; but yet with a little more reason than any man can have to say, that the world was made by chance, or that the first men grew up out of the earth as plants do now. For, can any thing be more ridiculous, and against all reason, than to ascribe the production of men to the first fruitfulness of the earth, without, so much as one instance and experiment, in any age or history, to countenance so monstrous a supposition? The thing is, at first sight, so gross and palpable, that no discourse about it can make it more apparent. And yet, these shameful beggars of principles give this precarious account of the original of things; assume to themselves to be the men of reason, the great wits of the world, the only cautious and wary persons that hate to be imposed upon, that must have convincing evidence for every thing, and can admit of nothing, without a clear demonstration of it" See EXISTENCE OF GOD.
     Some of the principal writers on the existence of a Deity have been Newton, Boyle, Cheyne, Locke, Nieuwentyt, Derham, Bentley, Ray, Cudworth, Samuel and John Clarke, Albernethy, Balguy, Baxter, Fenelon, &c,&c. Tillotson's sermon on the subject as quoted above, has been considered as one of the best in the English language. See ser. i. vol. 1.

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157. ATONEMENT

  Is the satisfying Divine Justice by Jesus Christ giving himself a ransom for us, undergoing the penalty due to our sins, and thereby releasing us from that punishment which God might justly inflict upon us, Rom. v. 11. The Hebrew word signifies covering, and intimates that our offences are, by a proper atonement, covered from the avenging justice of God. In order to understand the manner wherein Christ becomes an atonement, "we should," says Dr. Watts, "consider the following propositions, 1. The great God having made man, appointed to govern him by a wise and righteous law, wherein glory and honour, life and immortality, are the designed rewards for perfect obedience; but tribulation and wrath, pain and death, are the appointed recompense to those who violate this law, Gen. iii. Rom. ii. 6, 16. Rom. i. 32.--2. All mankind have broken this law, Rom. iii. 23. Rom. v. 12.--3. God, in his infinite wisdom, did not think fit to pardon sinful man, without some compensation for his broken law; for,1. If the great Ruler of the world had pardoned the sins of men without any satisfaction, then his laws might have seemed not worth the vindicating.-2. Men would have been tempted to persist in the rebellion, and to repeat their old offences. -3. His forms of government among his creatures might have appeared as a matter of small importance.--4. God had a mind to make a very illustrious display both of his justice and of his grace among mankind; on these accounts he would not pardon sin without a satisfaction.--5. Man, sinful man, is not able to make any satisfaction to God for his own sins, neither by his labours, nor by his sufferings, Eph. ii. 1,8,9.--6. Though man be incapable to satisfy for his own violation of the law, yet God would not suffer all mankind to perish.--7. Because God intended to make a full display of the terrors of his justice, and his divine resentment for the violation of his law, therefore he appointed his own Son to satisfy for the breach of it, by becoming a proper sacrifice of expiation or atonement, Gal. iii. 10,13--8. The Son of God being immortal, could not sustain all these penalties of the law which man had broken, without taking the mortal nature of man upon him, without assuming flesh and blood. Heb. ii. 13,14.--9. The Divine Being having received such ample satisfaction for sin by the sufferings of his own Son, can honourably forgive his creature man, who was the transgressor, Rom. iii. 25,26. Now that this doctrine is true, will appear, if we consider, 1.That an atonement for sin, or an effectual method to answer the demands of an offended God, is the first great blessing guilty man stood in need of, Mic. vi. 6,7.-2.The very first discoveries of grace which were made to man after his fall implied in them something of an atonement for sin, and pointed to the propitiation Christ has now made, Gen. iii. 15.-3.The train of ceremonies which were appointed by God in the Jewish church are plain signification of such an atonement, 2 Cor. iii. Col. ii. 7,8,9. Heb. x.-4.Some of the prophesies confirm and explain the first promise, and show that Christ was to die as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of men, Dan. ix. 24-26. Is. liii.-5.Our Saviour himself taught us the doctrine of the atonement for sin by his death, Matt. xx. 28. John vi. 51. Luke xxii. 19.-6.The terrors of soul, the consternation and inward agonies which our blessed Lord sustained a little before his death, were a sufficient proof that he endured punishment in his soul which were due to sin, Mark xiv. 33. Heb. v. 7.-7.This doctrine is declared, and confirmed, and explained at large, by the apostles in their writings, 1 Cor. xv. 3. Eph. i. 7. 1 John ii. 2, &c.&c.-8.This was the doctrine that was witnessed to the world by the amazing gifts of the Holy Ghost, which attended the Gospel.(See the Acts of the Apostles.) The inferences and uses to be derived from this doctrine are these: 1. How vain are all the labours and pretences of mankind to seek or hope for any better religion than that which is contained in the Gospel of Christ. It is here alone that we can find the solid and rational principle of reconciliation to an offended God, Heb. iv. 14.--2. How strange and unreasonable is the doctrine of the Popish church, who, while they profess to believe the religion of Christ, yet introduce many other methods of atonement for sin, besides the sufferings of the Son of God. (See above.)--3. Here is a solid foundation, on which the greatest of sinners may hope for acceptance with God. 1 Tim. i. 15.--4. This doctrine should be used as a powerful motive to excite repentance, Acts v. 31.--5. We should use this atonement of Christ as our constant way of access to God in all our prayers, Heb. x. 19, 22.--6. Also as a divine guard against sin, Rom. vi. 1,2. 1 Pet. i. 15,19.--7. As an argument of prevailing force to be used in prayer, Rom. viii. 32.--8. As a spring of love to God, and to his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John iv. 10.--9. As a strong persuasive to that love and pity which we should show on all occasions to our fellow creatures, 1 John iv. 11.--10. It should excite patience and holy joy under afflictions and earthly sorrows, Rom. v. 1 to 3.--11. We should consider it as an invitation to the Lord's supper, where Christ is set forth to us in the memorials of his propitiation.--12. As a most effectual defence against the terrors of dying, and as our joyful hope of a blessed resurrection, 1 Cor. xv. 50.--13. Lastly, as a divine allurement to the upper world." See Watt's Sermons, ser. 34,35,36,37; Evans on the Atonement; Dr Owen on the Satisfaction of Christ; West's Scripture Doctrine of the Atonement; Hervey's Theron and Apasio, dialogue 3; Dr. Magee's Discourses on the Atonement; Jerram's Letters on ditto.

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158. ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

  Are the several qualities or perfections of the Divine nature. Some distinguish them into the negative, and positive or affirmative. The negative are such as remove from him whatever is imperfect in creatures: such are infinity, immutability, immortality, &c. The positive are such as assert some perfection in God, which is in and of himself, and which in the creatures, in any measure, is from him. This distinction is now mostly discarded. Some distinguish them into absolute and relative: absolute ones are such as agree with the essence of God; as Jehovah, Jah, &c.; relative ones are such as agree with him in time, with some respect to his creatures, as Creator, Governor, Preserver, Redeemer, &c. But the more commonly received distinction of the attributes of God, is into communicable and incommunicable ones. The communicable ones are those of which there is some resemblance in men; as goodness, holiness, wisdom, &c: the incommunicable ones are such as there is no appearance or shadow of in men; as independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. See those different articles in this work; and Bates, Charnock, Abernethy, and Saurin on the Divine Perfections.

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159. ATTRITION

  The casuists of the church of Rome have made a distinction between a perfect and an imperfect contrition. The latter they call attrition; which is the lowest degree of repentance, or a sorrow for sin arising from a sense of shame, or any temporal inconvenience attending the commission of it, or merely from fear of the punishment due to it, without any resolution to sin no more: in consequence of which doctrine, they teach that, after a wicked and flagitious course of life, a man may be reconciled to God, and his sins forgiven on his death-bed, by confessing them to the priest with this imperfect degree of sorrow and repentance. This distinction was settled by the council of Trent. It might, however, be easily shown that the mere sorrow for sin because of its consequences, and not on account of its evil nature, is no more acceptable to God than hypocrisy itself can be.

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160. AVARICE

  Is an immoderate love to and desire after riches, attended with extreme diffidence of future events, making a person rob himself of the necessary comforts of life, for fear of diminishing his riches. See COVETOUSNESS and MISER.

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161. AVERSION

  Hatred or dislike.--Dr. Watts and others oppose aversion to desire. When we look, say they, upon an object as good, it excites desire; but when we look upon an object as evil, it awakens what we call aversion or avoidance. But Lord Kaims observes that aversion is opposed to affection, and not to desire. We have an affection to one person; we have an aversion to another: the former disposes us to do good, the latter to do ill.

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162. AUDIENTES

  An order of catechumens in the primitive Christian church. They were so called from their being admitted to hear sermons and the Scriptures read in the church; but they were not allowed to be present at the prayers.

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163. AUGSBURGH OR AUGUSTAN CONFESSION

  A celebrated confession of faith drawn up by Luther and Melancthon on behalf of themselves and other ancient reformers, and presented in 1550 to the emperor Charles V, at the diet of Augusta, or Augsburgh, in the name of the evangelic body. This confession contains twenty-eight chapters, of which the greatest part is employed in representing with perspicuity and truth the religious opinions of the Protestants, and the rest in pointing out the errors and abuses that occasioned their separation from the church of Rome. The leading doctrines of this confession are, the true and essential divinity of the Son of God; his substitution, and vicarious sacrifice; and the necessity, freedom, and efficacy of Divine grace. A civil was followed this diet that lasted upwards of twenty years, but which only spread the new opinions, instead of extirpating them.

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164. AUGUSTINS

  A religious order, who observed the rule of St. Augustin, prescribed them by pope Alexander IV. in 1256. This rule was to have all things in common; the rich who enter among them to sell their possessions, and give them to the poor; to employ the first part of the morning in labouring with their hands, and the rest in reading: when they go abroad, to go always two in company; never to eat but in their monastery, &c.

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165. AUSTERITY

  A state of rigid mortification. It is distinguished from severity and rigour thus: Austerity relates to the manner of living; severity to the manner of thinking; rigour to the manner of punishing. To austerity is opposed effeminacy; to severity, relaxation; to rigour, clemency. A hermit is austere in his life; a casuist severe in his application of religion or law; a judge rigorous in his sentences.

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166. AUTOCEPHALI BISHOPS

  This denomination was given to such bishops in the primitive church as were exempted from the jurisdiction of others.

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