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See DETRACTION and SLANDER.
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The act of turning from the path of duty. It may
be considered as partial when applied to true believers, who do not backslide
with the whole bent of their will; as voluntary, when applied to those who,
after professing to know the truth, wilfully turn from it, and live in the
practice of sin; as final, when the mind is given up to judicial hardness, as
in the case of Judas. Partial backsliding must be distinguished from hypocrisy,
as the former may exist where there are gracious intentions on the whole; but
the latter is a studied profession of appearing to be what we are not.
The causes of backsliding are--the cares of the world; improper connexions; inattention to secret or closet duties; self-conceit, and dependence; indulgence; listening to and parleying with temptations. A backsliding state is manifested by indifference to prayer and self-examination; trifling or unprofitable conversation; neglect of public ordinances; shunning the people of God; associating with the world; thinking lightly of sin; neglect of the Bible; and often by gross immorality. The consequences of this awful state are--loss of character; loss of comfort; loss of usefulness; and, as long as any remain in this state, a loss of a well-grounded hope of future happiness. To avoid this state or recover from it, we should beware of the first appearance of sin; be much in prayer; attend the ordinances; and unite with the people of God. We should consider the awful instances of apostacy, as Saul, Judas, Demas, &c; the many warnings we have of it, Matt. xxiv. 13. Heb. x. 38. Luke ix. 62.; how it grieves the Holy Spirit; and how wretched it makes us; above all things, our dependence should be on God, that we may always be directed by his Spirit, and kept by his power. See APOSTACY.
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So called from Bangor, or the bishop thereof. Bishop Hoadley, the bishop of that diocese, preaching before George I. asserted the supreme authority of Christ, as king in his own kingdom; and that he had not delegated his power, like temporal lawgivers, during their absence from their kingdom, to any persons, as his vicegerents or deputies. This important sermon may be seen reprinted in the Liverpool Theological Repository, vol. 5. p. 301. In 1717, he also published his Preservative, in which he advanced some position contrary to temporal and spiritual tyranny, and in behalf of the civil an religious liberties of mankind: upon which he was violently opposed, accused, and persecuted, by the advocates for church power: but he was defended and supported by the civil powers, and his abilities and meekness gained him the audits of many.
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A religious sect in the empire of the Mogul, who believe a Metempsychosis; and will therefore eat no living creature, nor kill even noxious animals, but endeavour to release them when in the hands of others. The name Banian is sometimes extended to all the idolaters of India, as contradistinguished from the Mahometans.
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The ceremony of washing, or the application of water to a
person, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, by which he is
initiated into the visible church. Baptism exhibits to us the blessings of
pardon, salvation through Jesus Christ, union to and communion with him, the
out-pouring of the Spirit, regeneration, and sanctification. From baptism
results the obligation of repentance, love to Christ, and perpetual devotedness
to his praise. Baptism does not constitute a visible subject, but only
recognizes one. Ministers only have a right to administer it; and have a
negative voice in opposition to all claims. It is an ordinance binding on all
who have been given up to God in it; and to be perpetuated to the end of the
world. It is not, however, essential to salvation; for mere participation of
sacraments cannot qualify men for heaven: many have real grace, consequently in
a salvable state, before they were baptized: besides, to suppose it essential,
is to put it in the place of that which it signifies.
Baptism has been supposed by many learned persons to have had its origin from the Jewish church; in which, they maintain, it was the practice, long before Christ's time, to baptize proselytes or converts to their faith, as part of the ceremony of their admission. "It is strange to me," says Dr. Doddridge, "that any should doubt of this, when it is plain, from express passages in the Jewish law, that no Jew who had lived like a Gentile for one day could be restored to the communion of this church without it. Compare Num. xix.19 and 20. and many other precepts relating to ceremonial pollutions, in which may be seen, that the Jews were rendered incapable of appearing before God in the tabernacle or temple, till they were washed either by bathing or sprinkling." Others, however, insist, that the Jewish proselyte baptism is not by far so ancient; and that John the Baptist was the first administrator of baptism among the Jews.
The baptism of John, and that of our Saviour and his apostles, have been supposed to be the same; because they agree, it is said in their subjects, form, and end. But it must be observed, that though there be an agreement in some particulars, yet there is not in all. The immediate institutor of John's baptism was God the Father, John i. 33; but the immediate institutor of the Christian baptism was Christ, Matt. xxviii. 19. John's baptism was a preparatory rite, referring the subjects to Christ, who was about to confer on them spiritual blessings, Matt. iii. 11. John's baptism was confined to the Jews; but the Christian was common to Jews and Gentiles, Matt. iii. 5,7. Matt. xxviii. 19. It does not appear that John had any formula of administration; but the Christian baptism has, viz. "in the name," &c. The baptism of John was the concluding scene of the legal dispensation, and, in fact, part of it; and to be considered as one of those "divers washings" among the Jews; for he did not attempt to make any alteration in the Jewish religion, nor did the persons he baptized cease to be members of the Jewish church on the account of their baptism; but Christian baptism is the regular entrance into, and is a part of, the evangelical dispensation, Gal. iii. 27. It does not appear from the inspired narrative (however probable from inferential reasoning) that any but John himself was engaged as operator in his baptism; whereas Christ himself baptized none; but his disciples, by his authority, and in his name, John iv. 2.
Baptism has been the subject of long and sharp controversy, both as it respects the subject and the mode. To state all that has been said on both sides, would be impossible in a work of this kind. An abstract, however, of the chief arguments, I think it my duty to present to the reader, in order that he may judge for himself.
As to the subject.
The ANTIPAEDOBAPTISTS hold that believing
adults only are proper subjects, because Christ's commission to baptize appears
to them to restrict this ordinance to such only as are taught, or made
disciples; and that consequently, infants, who cannot be thus taught, are to be
excluded. It does not appear, say they, that the apostles, in executing
Christ's commission ever baptized any but those who were first instructed in
the Christian faith, and professed their belief of it. They content that
infants can receive no benefit from it, and are not capable of faith and
repentance, which are to be considered as pre-requisites.
As to the mode.
They observe that the meaning of the word in Greek signifies immersion, or dipping only; that John baptized in Jordan; that he chose a place where there was much water; that Jesus came up out of the water; that Phillip and the eunuch went down both into the water. That the terms washing, purifying, burying in baptism, so often mentioned in Scripture, alludes to this mode; that immersion only was the practice of the apostles and the first Christians; and that is was only laid aside from the love of novelty, and the coldness of our climate. These positions, they think, are so clear from Scripture, and the history of the church, that they stand in need of but little argument to support them. Farther, they also insist that all positive institutions depend entirely upon the will and declaration of the institutor, and that, therefore, reasoning by analogy from previous abrogated rites, is to be rejected, and the express command of Christ respecting baptism ought to be our rule.
The Paedobaptists, however, are of a different
opinion. As to the subject, they believe that qualified adults who have not
been baptized before, are certainly proper subjects; but, then, they think also
that infants are not to be excluded. They believe that, as the Abrahamic and
the Christian covenants are the same, Gen. xvii. 7. Heb. viii 12; that as
children were admitted under the former; and that as baptism is now a seal,
sign, or confirmation of this covenant, infants have as great a right to it as
the children had a right to the seal of circumcision under the law. Acts ii.
39. Rom. iv. 11. That if children are not to be baptized because there is no
positive command for it, for the same reason women should not come to the
Lord's supper; we should not keep the first day of the week, nor attend public
worship, for none of these are expressly commanded; that if infant baptism had
been a human invention, how would it have been so universal in the first 3000
years, and yet no record left when it was introduced, nor any dispute or
controversy about it? Some bring it to these two ideas: 1. That God did
constitute in his church the membership of infants, and admitted them to it by
a religious ordinance, Gen. xvii. Gal. iii. 14,17.--2. That this right of
infants to church membership was never taken away. This being the case, infants
must be received, because God has instituted it; and since infants must be
received, it must be either without baptism or with it; but none must be
received without baptism, therefore infants must of necessity be baptized.
Hence, it is clear, that, under the Gospel, infants are still continued exactly
in the same relation to God and his church, in which they were originally
placed under the former dispensation.
That infants are to be received into the church, and as such baptized, is also inferred from the following passages of Scripture: Gen. xvii. Is. xliv.3. Matt. xix. 13. Luke ix. 47,48. Mark ix. 14. Acts ii. 38,39. Rom. xi. 17,21. 1 Cor. vii. 14.
Though there are no express examples in the New Testament of Christ and his apostles baptizing infants, yet this is no proof that they were excluded. Jesus Christ actually blessed little children; and it would be hard to believe that such received his blessing, and yet were not to be members of the Gospel church. If Christ received them, and would have us receive them in his name, how can it be reconciled to keep them out of the visible church? Besides, if children were not to be baptized, it would have been expressly forbidden. None of the Jews had any apprehension of the rejection of infants, which they must have had, if infants had been rejected. As whole households were baptized, it is probable there were children among them. From the year 400 to 1150, no society of men in all that period of 750 years, ever pretended to say it was unlawful to baptize infants; and still nearer the time of our Saviour there appears to have been scarcely any one that so much as advised the delay of infant baptism. Irenxus, who lived in the second century, and was well acquainted with Polycarp, who was John's disciple, declares expressly that the church learned from the apostles to baptize children. Origen, in the third century, affirmed that the custom of baptizing infants was received from Christ and his apostles. Cyprian, and a council of ministers (held about the year 254) no less than sixty-six in number, unanimously agreed that children might be baptized as soon as they were born. Ambrose, who wrote about 274 years from the apostles, declares that the baptism of infants had been the practice of the apostles themselves, and of the church, till that time. The catholic church every where declared, says Chrysostom, in the fifth century, that infants should be baptized; and Augustin affirmed that he never heard nor read of any Christian, catholic, or sectarian, but who always held that infants were to be baptized. They farther believe, that there needed no mention in the New Testament of receiving infants into the church, as it had been once appointed, and never repealed. The dictates of nature, also, in parental feelings; the verdict of reason in favour of privileges; the evidence in favour of children being sharers of the seals of grace, in common with their parents, for the space of 4000 years; and especially the language of prophecy, in reference to the children of the Gospel church, make it very probable that they were not to be rejected. So far from confining it to adults, it must be remembered that there is not a single instance recorded in the New Testament in which the descendants of Christian parents were baptized in adult years
That infants are not proper subjects for baptism, because they cannot profess faith and repentance, they deny. This objection falls with as much weight upon the institution of circumcision as infant baptism; since they are as capable, or are as fit subjects for the one as the other. It is generally acknowledged, that, if infants die (and a great part of the human race do die in infancy,) they are saved: if this be the case, then, why refuse them the sign in infancy, if they are capable of enjoying the thing signified? "Why," says Dr. Owen, "is it the will of God that unbelievers should not be baptized? It is because, not granting them the grace, he will not grant them the sign. If God, therefore, denies the sign to the infant seed of believers, it must be because he denies them the grace of it; and then all the children of believing parents (upon these principles)dying in their infancy, must, without hope, be eternally damned. I do not say that all must be so whom God would not have baptized." Something is said of baptism, it is observed, that cannot agree to infants: faith goes before baptism; and as adults are capable of believing, so no others are capable of baptism; but it is replied, if infants must not be baptized because something is said of baptism that does not agree to infants, Mark xvi. 16. then infants must not be saved, because something is said of salvation that does not agree to infants, Mark xvi. 16. As none but adults are capable of believing, so, by the argument of the Baptists, none but adults are capable of salvation: for he that believeth not shall be damned. But Christ, it is said, set an example of adult baptism. True; but he was baptized in honour to John's ministry, and to conform himself to what he appointed to his followers; for which last reason he drank of the sacramental cup: but this is rather an argument for the Paedobaptists than against them; since it, plainly shows, as Doddridge observes, that baptism may be administered to those who are not capable of all the purposes for which it was designed; could not be capable of that faith and repentance which are said to be necessary to this ordinance.
As to the mode.
They believe that the word in Greek signifies
to dip or to plunge; but that the Greek term, which is only derivative of
another Greek term, and consequently must be somewhat less in its
signification, should be invariably used in the New Testament to express
plunging, is not so clear. It is therefore doubted whether dipping be the only
meaning, and whether Christ absolutely enjoined immersion, and that it is his
positive will that no other should be used. As the word in Greek is used for
the various ablutions among the Jews, such as sprinkling, pouring, &c. Heb.
ix. 10; for the custom of washing before meals, and the washing of household
furniture, pots, &c; it is evident from hence that it does not express the
manner of doing, only the thing done; that is, washing, or the application of
water in one form or other. Dr. Owen observes, that it no where signifies to
dip, but as denoting a mode or, and in order to washing or cleansing: and,
according to others, the mode of use is only the ceremonial part of a positive
institute; just as in the supper of the Lord, the time of the day, the number
and posture of communicants, the quality and quantity of bread and wine, are
circumstances not accounted essential by any party of Christians. As to the
Hebrew word Tabal, it is considered as a generic term; that its radical,
primary, and proper meaning is, to tinge, to dye, or wet, or the like: which
primary design is effected by different modes of application. If in baptism
also there is an expressive emblem of the descending influence of the Spirit,
pouring must be the mode of administration; for that is the Scriptural term
most commonly and properly used for the communication of divine influences.
There is no object whatever in all the New Testament so frequently and so
explicitly signified by baptism as these divine influences, Matt. iii.11. Mark
i. 8,10. Luke iii. 16 to 22. John i. 33, Acts i.5. Acts ii. 38,39. Acts viii.
12,17. Acts xi. 15,16. The term sprinkling, also, is made use of in reference
to the act of purifying, Is. lii. 15. Heb. ix. 13,14. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, and
therefore cannot be inapplicable to baptismal purification. But it is observed
that John baptized in Jordan: to this it is replied, to infer always a plunging
of the whole body in water from this word, would, in many instances, be false
and absurd: the same Greek preposition is used when it is said they should be
baptized with fire; while few will assert that they should be plunged into it.
The apostle, speaking of Christ, says, he came not by water only, but by water and
blood. There the same wore is translated by, and with justice and propriety,
for we know no good sense in which we could say he came in water. It has been
remarked, that this Greek word is more than a hundred times in the New
Testament, rendered "at" and in a hundred and fifty others, it is
translated with. If it be rendered so here, "John baptized at Jordan, or
with the water of Jordan, there is no proof from thence that he plunged his
disciples in it.
It is urged that John's choosing a place where there was much water is a certain proof of immersion. To which it is answered, that as there went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, that by choosing a place where there were many streams or rivulets, it would be much more expeditiously performed by pouring; and that it seems in the nature of things highly improbable that John would have baptized this vast multitude by immersion, to say nothing of the indecency of both sexes being baptized together.
Jesus, it is said, came up out of the water; but this is said to be no proof of his being immersed, as the Greek term often signifies from; for instance, "Who hath warned you to flee from, not out of, the wrath to come." with many others which might be mentioned.
Again: it is said that Phillip and the eunuch went down both into the water. To this it is answered, that here is no proof of immersion; for if the expression of their going down into the water necessarily includes dipping, then Phillip was dipped as well as the eunuch. The Greek preposition translated into, often signifies no more than to or unto. See Matt. xv. 24. Rom. x. 10. Acts xxviii. 14. Matt. xvii. 27. Matt. iii. 11. So that, from all these circumstances, it cannot be conclude that there was a single person of all the baptized who went into the water ankle deep. As to the apostle's expression, "buried with him in baptism," they think it has no force; and that it does not allude to any custom of dipping, any more than our baptismal crucifixion and death has any such reference. It is not the sign but the thing signified that is here alluded to. As Christ was buried and rose again to a heavenly life, so we by baptism signifying that we are cut off from the life of sin, that we may rise again to a new life of faith and love.
To conclude this article, it is observed against the mode of immersion, that, as it carries with it too much of the appearance of a burdensome rite for the Gospel dispensation; that as it is too indecent for so solemn an ordinance; as it has a tendency to agitate the spirits, often rendering the subject unfit for the exercise of proper thought and affections, and indeed utterly incapable of them; as in many cases the immersion of the body would in all probability be instant death; as in other situations it would be impracticable for want of a sufficient quantity of water, it cannot be considered as necessary to the ordinance of baptism.
See Gale, Robinson, Stennett, Gill, and Booth, on Antipaedobaptism; and Wall, Henry, Bradbury, Bostwick, Towgood, Addington, Williams, Edwards, Miller, Evans,&c. on the other side.
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A custom which anciently prevailed among some people in Africa, of giving baptism to the dead. The third council of Carthage speaks of it as a thing that ignorant Christians were fond of : Gregory Nazianzin also takes notice of the same superstitious opinion. The practice seems to be grounded on a vain idea, that, when men had neglected to receive baptism in their life-time, some compensation might be made for this default by receiving it after death.
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A practice formerly in use, when a person dying
without baptism, another was baptized in his stead; thus supposing that God
would accept the baptism of the proxy, as though it had been administered to
the principal. Chrysostom says, this was practised among the Marcionites with a
great deal of ridiculous ceremony, which he thus describes:--After any
catechumen was dead, they hid a living man under the bed of the deceased; then,
coming to the dead man, they asked him whether he would receive baptism; and he
making no answer, the other answered for him, and said he would be baptized in
his stead; and so they baptized the living for the dead. If it can be proved
(as some think it can) that this practice was as early as the days of the
apostle Paul, it might probably form a solution of those remarkable words in 1
Cor. xv. 29: "If the dead rise not at all, what shall they do who are
baptized for the dead?" The allusion of the apostle to this practice,
however, is rejected by some, and especially by Fr. Doddridge, who thinks it
too early: he thus paraphrases the passage: "Such are our views and hopes
as Christians; else, if it were not so, what should they do who are baptized in
token of their embracing the Christian faith, in the room of the dead, who are
just fallen in the cause of Christ, but are yet supported by a succession of
new converts, who immediately offer themselves to fill up their places, as
ranks of soldiers that advance to the combat in the rooms of their companions
who have just been slain in their sight?"
Lay baptism we find to have been permitted by both the common prayer books of king Edward and queen Elizabeth, when an infant was in immediate danger of death, and a lawful minister could not be had. This was founded on a mistaken notion of the impossibility of salvation without the sacrament of baptism; but afterwards, when they came to have clearer notions of the sacraments, it was unanimously resolved in a convocation held in 1575, that even private baptism in a case of necessity was only to be administered by a lawful minister.
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In Scripture the term Baptism is used as referring to the work of the Spirit on the heart, Matt. iii. 11; also to the sufferings of Christ, Matt. xx. 22; and to so much of the Gospel as John the Baptist taught his disciples, Acts xviii. 25.
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A denomination of Christians who maintain that
baptism is to be administered by immersion, and not by sprinkling. See BAPTISM.
Although there were several Baptists among the Albigenses, Waldenses, and the followers of Wickliffe, it does not appear that they were formed into any stability until the time of Menno, about the year 1536. See ANABAPTISTS and MENNONITES. About 1644 they began to make a considerable figure in England, and spread themselves into several separate congregations. They separated from the Independents about the year 1638, and set up for themselves under the pastoral care of Mr. Jesse; and, having renounced their former baptism, they sent over one of their number to be immersed by one of the Dutch Anabaptists of Amsterdam, that he might be qualified to baptize his friends in England after the same manner.
The Baptists subsist under two denominations, viz. the Particular or Calvinistical, and the General or Arminian. Their modes of church government and worship are the same as the Independents; in the exercise of which they are protected, in common with other dissenters, by the act of toleration. Some of both denominations allow of mixed communion; by which it is understood that those who have not been baptized by immersion, on the profession of their faith, may sit down at the Lord's table with those who have been thus baptized. Others, however, disallow it, supposing that such have not been actually baptized at all. See FREE COMMUNION.
Some of them observe the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, apprehending the law that enjoined it not to have been repealed by Christ.
Some of the General Baptists have, it is said, gone into Socinianism, or Arianism; on account of which, several of their ministers and churches who disapprove of these principles, have within the last forty years formed themselves into a distinct connexion, called the New Association. The churches in this union keep up a friendly acquaintance, in some outward things, with those from whom they have separated; but in things more essential disclaim any connexion with them, particularly as to changing ministers, and the admission of members. The General Baptists have, in some of their churches, three distinct orders separately ordained, viz.--messengers, elders, and deacons. Their general assembly is held annually in Worship Street, London, of the Tuesday in the Whitsun week.
The Baptists have two exhibitions for students to be educated at one of the universities of Scotland, given them by Dr. Ward, of Gresham College. There is likewise an academy at Bristol for students, generally known by the name of the Bristol Education Society. The Baptists in America and in the East and West Indies are chiefly Calvinists, and hold occasional fellowship with the Particular Baptist churches in England. Those in Scotland, having imbibed a considerable part of the principles of Messrs. Glass and Sandeman, have no communion with the other. They have liberally contributed, however, towards the translation of the Scriptures into the Bengalee language, which some of the Baptist brethren are now accomplishing in the East. See Rippon's Baptist Register, vol. i. p. 172-175; Adams's View of Religions, article Baptists; Evans's Sketch of Religious Denominations.
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The place in which the ceremony of baptism is performed. In the ancient church, it is said, it was generally a building separate, and distinct from the church. It consisted of an ante-room, where the adult persons to be baptized made their confession of faith; and an inner room, where the ceremony of baptism was performed. Thus it continued to the sixth century, when the baptisteries began to be taken into the church.
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A sect so denominated from their leader Bardesanes, a Syrian, of Edessa, in Mesopotamia, who lived in the second century. They believed that the actions of men depended altogether on fate, and that God himself is subject to necessity.--They denied the resurrection of the body, and the incarnation and death of our Saviour.
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The followers of Barlaam, in the fourteenth century, who was a very zealous champion in behalf of the Greek against the Latin church. It is said that he adopted the sentiments and precepts of the Stoics, with respect to the obligations of morality and the duties of life; and digested them into a work of his, which is known by the title of Ethica ex Stoicis.
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An Apocryphal work ascribed to St. Barnabas. It was first published in Greek, from a copy of father Hugh Menaed, a monk. Vossius published it, in 1656, with the epistles of Ignatius.--The Gospel of Barnabas is another apocryphal work ascribed to Barnabas, wherein the history of Jesus Christ is given in a different manner from that of the evangelists.
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A religious order, founded in the sixteenth century, by three Italian gentleman, who had been advised by a famous preacher of those days to read carefully the epistles of St. Paul. Hence they were called Clerks of St. Paul; and Barnabites, because they performed their first exercise in a church of St. Barnabas at Milan. Their habit is black; and their office is to instruct, catechise, and serve in mission.
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St. (the 24th August) is a day distinguished in history, as the anniversary of the horrid and atrocious sacrifice of human blood called the Parisian Massacre. See PERSECUTION.
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A religious order founded at Geneva in 1307; but, the monks leading irregular lives, it was suppressed in 1650, and their effects confiscated. In the church of the monastery of this order at Geneva is preserved the image, which, it is pretended, Christ sent to king Abgarus.
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Religious, of the order of St. Basil, in the fourth century, who, having retired into a desert in the province of Pontus, founded a monastery, and drew up rules, to the amount of some hundreds, for his disciples. This new society soon spread all over the East; nor was it long before it passed into the West. Some pretend that St. Basil saw himself the spiritual father of more than 90,000 monks in the East only; but this order, which flourished for more than three centuries, was considerably diminished by heresy, schism, and a change of empire. The historians of this order say that it has produced 14 popes, 1805 bishops, 3010 abbots, and 11,085 martyrs, besides an infinite number of confessors and virgins. This order likewise boasts of several emperors, kings, and princes, who have embraced its rule.
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A denomination, in the second century, from
Basilides, chief of the Egyptian Gnostics. He acknowledged the existence of one
Supreme God, perfect in goodness and wisdom, who produced from his own
substance seven beings, or aions, of a most excellent nature. Two of these
aions, called Dynamis and Sephiz (i.e. power and wisdom,) engendered the angels
of the highest order. These angels formed a heaven for their habitation, and
brought forth other angelic beings of a nature somewhat inferior to their own.
Many other generations of angels followed these. New heavens were also created,
until the number of angelic orders, and of their respective heavens, amounted
to three hundred and sixty-five, and thus equalled the days of the year. All
these are under the empire of an omnipotent Lord, whom Basilides called
The inhabitants of the lowest heavens, which touched upon the borders of the eternal, malignant, and self-animated matter, conceived the design of forming a world from that confused mass, and of creating an order of beings to people it. This design was carried into execution, and was approved by the Supreme God, who to the animal life, with which only the inhabitants of this new world were at first endowed, added a reasonable soul, giving at the same time to the angels the empire over them.
These angelic beings, advanced to the government of the world which they had created, fell by degrees from their original purity, and soon manifested the fatal marks of their depravity and corruption. They not only endeavoured to efface in the minds of men their knowledge of the Supreme Being, that they might be worshipped in his stead, but also began to war against each other, with an ambitious view to enlarge every one the bounds of his respective dominion. The most arrogant ant turbulent of all these angelic spirits was that which presided over the Jewish nation.--Hence, the Supreme God, beholding with compassion the miserable state of rational beings, who groaned under the contest of these jarring powers, sent from heaven his son Nus, or Christ, the chief of the aions, that, joined in a substantial union with the man Jesus, he might restore the knowledge of the Supreme God, destroy the empire of those angelic natures which presided over the world, and particularly that of the arrogant leader of the Jewish people. The god of the Jews alarmed at this, sent forth his ministers to seize the man Jesus, and put him to death. They executed his commands: but their cruelty could not extend to Christ, against whom their efforts were vain. Those souls who obey the precepts of the Son of God, shall, after the dissolution of their mortal frame, ascend to the Father while their bodies return to the corrupt mass of matter whence they were formed. Disobedient spirits, on the contrary, shall pass successively into other bodies.
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Or ASSASSINS; a famous heretical sect of
murderers among the Mahometans, who settled in Persia about 1090. Their head
and chief seems to have been Hassan Sabah, who made fanatical slaves of his
subjects. Their religion was a compound of that of the Magi, the Jews, the
Christians, and the Mahometans. They believed the Holy Ghost resided in their
chief; that the orders proceeded from God himself, and were real declaration of
This chief, from his exalted residence on Mount Lebanon, was called the old man of the mountain; who, like a vindictive deity, with the thunderbolt in his hand, sent inevitable death to all quarters, so that even kings trembled at his sanguinary power. His subjects would prostrate themselves at the foot of his throne, requesting to die by his hand or order, as a favour by which they were sure of passing into paradise. "Are your subjects," said the old man of the mountain to the son-in-law of Amoury, king of Jerusalem, "as ready in their submission as mine?" and without staying for an answer, made a sign with his hand, when ten young men in white, who were standing on an adjacent tower, instantly threw themselves down. To one of his guards he said,"Draw your dagger, and plunge it into your breast;" which was no sooner said than obeyed. At the command of their chief, they made no difficulty of stabbing any prince, even on his throne; and for that purpose conformed to the dress and religion of the country that they might be less suspected. To animate them on such attempts, the Scheik previously indulged them with a foretaste of the delights of paradise. Delicious soporific drinks were given them; and while they lay asleep, they were carried into beautiful gardens, where, awaking as it were in paradise, and inflamed with views of perpetual enjoyments, they sallied forth to perform assassinations of the blackest dye.
It is said, they once thought of embracing the Christian religion; and some have thought the Druses a remnant of this singular race of barbarians.
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(i.e. the daughter of a voice,) an oracle among the Jews, frequently mentioned in their books, especially the Talmud. It was a fantastical way of divination invented by the Jews, though called by them a revelation from God's will, which he made to his chosen people after all verbal prophesies had ceased in Israel.
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So called from the learned and pious Mr. Richard
Baxter, who was born in the year 1615. His design was to reconcile Calvin and
Arminius: for this purpose he formed a middle scheme between their systems. He
taught that God had elected some, whom he is determined to save, without any
foresight of their good works; and that others to whom the Gospel is preached
have common grace, which if they improve, they shall obtain saving grace,
according to the doctrine of Arminius. This denomination own, with Calvin, that
the merits of Christ's death are to be applied to believers only; but they also
assert that all men are in a state capable of salvation.
Mr. Baxter maintains that there may be a certainty of perseverance here, and yet he cannot tell whether a man may not have so weak a degree of saving grace as to lose it again.
In order to prove that the death of Christ has put all in a state capable of salvation, the following arguments are alleged by this learned author. 1. It was the nature of all mankind which Christ assumed at his incarnation, and the sins of all mankind were the occasion of his suffering.--2. It was to Adam, as the common father of lapsed mankind, that God made the promise, (Gen. iii. 15.) The conditional new covenant does equally give Christ, pardon, and life to all mankind, on condition of acceptance. The conditional grant is universal: Whosoever believeth shall be saved.--3. It is not to the elect only, but to all mankind, that Christ has commanded his ministers to proclaim his Gospel, and offer the benefits of his procuring.
There are, Mr. Baxter allows, certain fruits of Christ's death which are proper to the elect only: 1. Grace eventually worketh in them true faith, repentance, conversion, and union with Christ as his living members.--2. The actual forgiveness of sin as to the spiritual and eternal punishment.--3. Our reconciliation with God, and adoption and right to the heavenly inheritance.--4. The Spirit of Christ to dwell in us, and sanctify us, by a habit of divine love, Rom. viii. 9-13. Gal. v. 6.--5. Employment in holy, acceptable service, and access in prayer, with a promise of being heard through Christ, Heb. ii. 5,6. John xiv. 13.--6. Well grounded hopes of salvation, peace of conscience, and spiritual communion with the church mystical in heaven and earth, Rom. v. 12. Heb. xii. 22.--7. A special interest in Christ, and intercession with the Father, Rom. viii. 32,33.--8. Resurrection unto life, and justification in judgment; glorification of the soul at death, and of the body at the resurrection, Phil. iii. 20,21. 2 Cor. v. 1,2,3.
Christ has made a conditional deed of gift of these benefits to all mankind; but the elect only accept and possess them. Hence he infers, that though Christ never absolutely intended or decreed that his death should eventually put all men in possession of those benefits, yet he did intend and decree that all men should have a conditional gift of them by his death.
Baxter, it is said, wrote 120 books, and had 60 written against him, 20,000 of his Call to the Unconverted were sold in one year. He told a friend, that six brothers were converted by reading that Call. The eminent Mr. Elliott, of New England, translated this tract into the Indian tongue. A young Indian prince was so taken with it, that he read it with tears, and died with it in his hand. Calamy's Life of Baxter; Baxter's Catholic Theology, p. 51-53; Baxter's End of Doctrinal controversy, p. 154,155.
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In the Romish church, the act whereby the pope declares a person happy after death. See CANONIZATION.
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Imports the highest degree of happiness human nature can arrive to, the fruition of God in a future life to all eternity. It is also used when speaking of the theses contained in Christ's Sermon on the Mount, whereby he pronounces the several characters there mentioned blessed.
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Or BEGUARDS, a sect that arose in Germany in the thirteenth century, and took St. Begghe for their patroness. They employed themselves in making linen cloth, each supporting himself by his labour, and were united only by the bonds of charity without having any particular rule; but when pope Nicholas IV. had confirmed that the third order of St. Francis in 1289, they embraced it the year following.
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A congregation of nuns founded either by St. Begghe or by Lambert le Begue. They were established, first at Leige, and afterwards at Neville, in 1207; and from this last settlement sprang the great number of Beguinages which are spread over all Flanders, and which have passed from Flanders into Germany. In the latter country some of them fell into extravagant errors, persuading themselves that is was possible in the present life to arrive to the highest perfection, even to impeccability, and a clear view of God; in short, to so eminent a degree of contemplation, that there was no necessity, after this, to submit to the laws of mortal men, civil or ecclesiastical. The council of Vienna, in 1113, condemned these errors; permitting, nevertheless, those among them who continued in the true faith to live in charity and penitence, either with or without vows. There still subsists, or at least subsisted till lately, many communities of them in Flanders. What changes the late revolutions may have effected upon these nurseries of superstition we have yet to learn.
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A name given to those mystics who adopt the
explications of the mysteries of nature and grace, as given by Jacob Behmen. This
writer was born in the year 1575, at Old Seidenburg, near Gorlitz, in upper
Lusatia: he was a shoemaker by trade. He is described as having been thoughtful
and religious from his youth up, taking peculiar pleasure in frequenting public
worship. At length, seriously considering within himself that speech of our
Saviour, My Father which is in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to them that
ask him, he was thereby thoroughly awakened in himself, and set forward to
desire that promised Comforter; and, continuing in that earnestness, he was at
last, to us his own expression, "surrounded with a divine light for seven
days, and stood in the highest contemplation and kingdom of joys!" After
this, about the year 1600, he was again surrounded by the divine light, and
replenished with the heavenly knowledge; insomuch as, going abroad into the
fields, and viewing the herbs and grass, by his inward light he saw into their
essences, use, and properties, which were discovered to him by their
lineaments, figures, and signatures. In the year 1610, he had a third special
illumination, wherein still farther mysteries were revealed to him. It was not
till the year 1612 that Behmen committed these revelations to writing. His
first treatise is entitled Aurora, which was seized on and withheld from him by
the senate of Gorlitz (who persecuted him at the instigation of the primate of
that place before it was finished, and he never afterwards proceeded with it
farther than by adding some explanatory notes. The next production of his pen
is called The Three Principles. In this work he more fully illustrates the
subjects treated of in the former, and supplies what is wanting in that work.
The contents of these two treatises may be divided as follow: 1. How all things
came from a working will of the holy triune incomprehensible God, manifesting
himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, through an outward perceptible working
triune power of fire, light, and spirit, in the kingdom of heaven.--2. How and
what angels and men were in their creation; that they are in and from God, his
real offspring; that their life begun in and from this divine fire which is the
Father of light, generating a birth of light in the Holy Spirit, or breath of
divine love in the triune creature, as it does in the triune Creator.--3. How
some angels, and all men, are fallen from God, and their first state of a
divine triune life in him; what they are in their fallen state, and the
difference between the fall of angels and that of man.--4. How the earth,
stars, and elements, were created in consequence of the fallen angels.--5.
Whence there is good and evil in all this temporal world, in all its creatures,
animate and inanimate; and what is meant by the curse that dwells every where
in it.--6. Of the kingdom of Christ; how it is set in opposition to the fights
and strives against the kingdom of hell.--7. How man, through faith in Christ,
is able to overcome the kingdom of hell, and triumph over it in the divine
power, and thereby obtain eternal salvation; also how, through working in the
hellish quantity of principle, he casts himself into perdition.--8. How and why
sin and misery, wrath, and death, shall only reign for a time, till the love,
the wisdom, and the power of God shall in a supernatural way (the mystery of God
made man) triumph over sin, misery, and death; and make fallen man rise to the
glory of angels, and this material system shake off its curse, and enter into
an everlasting union with that heaven from whence it fell.
The year after he wrote his Three Principles, by which are to be understood--the dark world, or hell, in which the devils live--the light world, or heaven, in which the angels live--the external or visible world, which has proceeded from the internal and spiritual worlds, in which man, as to his bodily life, lives; Behmen produced this Three fold Life of Man, according to the Three Principles. In this work he treats more largely of the state of man in this world: 1. That he has that immortal spark of life which is common to angels and devils.--2. That divine life of the light and Spirit of God, which makes the essential difference between an angel and a devil, the last having extinguished this divine life in himself; but that man can only attain unto this heavenly life of the second principle through the new birth in Christ Jesus.--3. The life of the third principle, or of this external and visible world. Thus the life of the first and third principles is common to all men; but the life of the second principle only to a true Christian or child of God.
Behmen wrote several other treatises, besides the three already enumerated; but these three being, as it were, the basis of all his other writings, it was thought proper to notice them particularly. His conceptions are often clothed under allegorical symbols; and in his latter works he had frequently adopted chemical and Latin phrases to express his ideas, which phrases he borrowed from conversation with learned men, the education he had received being too illiterate to furnish him with them: but as to the matter contained in his writings, he disclaimed having borrowed it either from men or books. He died in the year 1624. His last words were, "Now I go hence into Paradise."
Some of Behmen's principles were adopted by the late ingenious and pious William Law, who has clothed them in a more modern dress, and in a less obscure style. See Behmen's Works; Okely's Memoire of Behmen.
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In its general and natural sense, denotes a persuasion or an assent of the mind to the truth of any proposition. In this sense belief has no relation to any particular kind of means or arguments, but may be produced by any means whatever: thus we are said to believe our senses, to believe our reason, to believe a witness. Belief, in its more restrained sense, denotes that kind of assent which is grounded only on the authority or testimony of some person. In this sense belief stands opposed to knowledge and science. We do not say that we believe snow is white, but we know it to be so. But when a thing is propounded to us, of which we ourselves have no knowledge, but which appears to us to be true from the testimony given to it by another, this is what we call belief. See FAITH.
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An appellation given, toward the close of the first century, to those Christians who had been admitted into the church by baptism, and instructed in all the mysteries of religion. They were thus called in contradistinction to the catechumens who had not been baptized, and were debarred from those privileges. Among us it is often used synonymously with Christian. See CHRISTIAN.
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An order of monks who professed to follow the rules of St. Benedict. They were obliged to perform their devotions seven times in twenty-four hours. They were obliged always to go two and two together. Every day in Lent they fasted till six in the evening, and abated of their usual time in sleeping, eating, &c.--Every monk had two coats, two cowls, a table-book, a knife, a needle, and a handkerchief; and the furniture of his bed was a mat, a blanket, a rug, and a pillow. The time when this order came into England is well known, for to it the English owe their conversion from idolatry. They founded the metropolitan church of Canterbury, and all the cathedrals that were afterwards erected. the order has produced a vast number of eminent men.--Their Alcuinus formed the university of Paris; their Dionysius Exiguus perfected the ecclesiastical computation; their Guido invented the scale of music; and their Sylvester the organ.
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In a general sense the act of blessing, or
giving, praise to God, or returning thanks for his favours. The Jews, it is
said, are obliged to rehearse a hundred benedictions per day, of which eighty
are to be spoken in the morning. It was usual to give a benediction to travellers
on their taking leave; a practice which is still preserved among the monks.
Benedictions were likewise given among the ancient Jews as well as Christians,
by imposition of hands. And when at length the primitive simplicity of the
Christian worship began to give way to ceremony, they added the sign of the
cross, which was made with the same hand as before, only elevated or extended.
Hence benediction in the modern Romish church is used, in a more particular
manner, to denote the sign of the cross made by a bishop or prelate as
conferring some grace on the people.
Benediction is also used for an ecclesiastical ceremony, whereby a thing is rendered sacred or venerable. In this sense benediction differs from consecration, as in the latter, unction is applied, which is not in the former: thus the chalice is consecrated, and the pix blessed; as the former, not the latter, is anointed, though in the common usage these two words are applied promiscuously. The spirit of piety, or rather of superstition, has introduced into the Romish church benedictions for almost every thing: we read of forms of benedictions for wax candles, for boughs for ashes, for church vessels, for ornaments, for flags, or ensigns, arms, first fruits, houses, ships, paschal eggs, cilicium, or the hair-cloth of penitents, church-yards, &c. In general, these benedictions are performed by aspersions of holy water, signs of the cross, and prayers suitable to the nature of the ceremony. The forms of these benedictions are found in the Roman pontifical, in the Roman missal, in the book of ecclesiastical ceremonies, printed in Pope Leo X.'s time, and in the rituals and ceremonies of the different churches, which are found collected in father Martene's work on the rites and discipline of the church.
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The practice of doing good; active goodness.--Next to justice, the most prominent virtue in the system of morality, is beneficence. Power makes us to be feared, riches to be flattered, learning to be admired; but beneficence renders us amiable and useful in the scale of society. Some qualifications are solitary, and centre mostly in ourselves; but this is social, diffusive, and kind. The objects of our beneficence are all those who are in the sphere of our influence and action, without respect to party or sect. Toward superiors, beneficence expresseth itself in respect, honour, submission, and service; toward inferiors, in liberality, condescension, protection, and support; toward equals, in all the offices of love their cases require, and which they have ability for. It includes all the kind exertions on the behalf of the poor, the sick, the fatherless, the widow, the distressed, &c. and especially those "who are of the household of faith," Gal. vi. 10. The means of beneficence are--communication of temporal supplies, Gal. vi. 6; prayer, James v. 16; sympathy, Rom. xii. 15; appropriate advice and conversation, Col. iii. 16.--Obligations to beneficence arise from the law of nature, Acts xvii. 26; the law of revelation, Heb. xiii. 16; the relations we stand in to each other, Gal. vi. 1,2; the example of Christ and illustrious character, Acts x. 38; the resemblance we herein bear to the best of Beings, Acts xiv. 17; and the pleasure we receive and give in so noble an employ. See BENEVOLENCE, CHARITY, LOVE.
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The love of mankind in general, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness. It is distinguished from beneficence, that being the practice, benevolence the desire of doing good. Benevolence must be universal, reaching to every man without exception; but beneficence cannot be so universal, for it is necessarily confined by several considerations; such as our knowledge of objects, and their different circumstances, as well as our own abilities and opportunities of exercising them. Benevolence or good will to others does not imply that we are to neglect our own interests. Our salvation, health, prosperity, and reputation should all be objects of concern: nor will this clash with the affection we may bear to others; on the contrary, experiencing the importance of these blessings ourselves, we shall be anxious for others to possess them also. The duties of benevolence include those we owe to men, purely on the ground of their being of the same species with ourselves; such as sympathy, relief, & c; those we owe to our country, desiring its honour, safety, prosperity; those we owe to the church of God, as love, zeal, &c.; those we owe to families and individuals, as affection, care, provision, justice, forbearance, &c. Benevolence manifests itself by being pleased with the share of good every creature enjoys; in a disposition to increase it; in feeling an uneasiness at their sufferings; and in the abhorrence of cruelty under every disguise or pretext. The desire of doing good unconnected with any idea of advantage to ourselves is called disinterested benevolence, though some doubt, whether, strictly speaking, there be any such thing; as benevolence is always attended with a pleasure to ourselves, which forms a kind of mental interest. So far, however, as we are able to prefer the good of others to our own, and sacrifice our own comfort for the welfare of any about us, so far it may be said to be disinterested. See Hutcheson on the Passions, p. 13-26; Doddridge's Lect. 65; Beattie's Elements of Moral Science, vol.i. p. 244-249; Brown's Second Essay on Shaftesbury's Characteristics; and articles LOVE and SELF-LOVE.
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A sect of protestant dissenters from the church
of Scotland, who take their title from and profess to follow the example of the
ancient Bereans, in building their system of faith and practice upon the
Scriptures alone, without regard to any human authority whatever.
As to the origin of this sect, we find that the Bereans first assembled as a separate society of Christians, in the city of Edinburgh, in the autumn of 1773, and soon after in the Parish of Fettercairn. The opponents of the Berean doctrines allege that this new system of faith would never have been heard of, had not Mr. Barclay, the founder of it, been disappointed of a settlement in the church of Scotland. But the Bereans in answer to this charge appeal not only to Mr. Barclay's doctrine, uniformly preached in the church of Fettercairn, and many other places in that neighbourhood, for fourteen years before that benefice became vacant, but likewise to two different treatises, containing the same doctrines, published by him about ten or twelve years before that period. They admit, indeed, that previous to May 1773, when the general assembly, by sustaining the king's presentation in favour of Mr. Foote, excluded Mr. Barclay from succeeding to the church of Fettercairn (notwithstanding the almost unanimous desire of the parishioners) the Bereans had not left the established church, or attempted to erect themselves into a distinct society; but they add, that this was by no means necessary on their part, until by the assembly's decision they were in danger of being not only deprived of his instructions, but of being scattered as sheep without a shepherd. And they add, that it was Mr. Barclay's open and public avowal, both from the pulpit and the press, of those peculiar sentiments, which now distinguish the Berean, that was the first and principal, if not the only cause of the opposition set on foot against his settlement in Fettercairn.
The Bereans agree with the great majority of Christians respecting the doctrine of the Trinity, which they hold as a fundamental article; and they also agree in a great measure with the professed principles of both our established churches respecting predestination and election, though they allege that these doctrines are not consistently taught in either church. But they differ from the majority of all sects of Christians in various other important particulars, such as, 1. Respecting our knowledge of the Deity. Upon this subject they say, the majority of professed Christians stumble at the very threshold of revelation; and, by admitting the doctrine of natural religion, natural conscience, natural notices, &c. not founded upon revelation, or derived from it by tradition, they give up the cause of Christianity at once to the infidels; who may justly argue, as Mr. Paine in fact does in his Age of Reason, that there is no occasion for any revelation or word of God, if man can discover his nature and perfections from his works alone. But this the Bereans argue is beyond the natural powers of human reason; and therefore our knowledge of God is from revelation alone, and that without revelation man would never have entertained an idea of his existence.--2. With regard to faith in Christ, and assurance of salvation through his merits, they differ from almost all other sects whatsoever. These they reckon inseparable, or rather the same, because (say they) "God hath expressly declared, he that believeth shall be saved; and therefore it is not only absurd but impious, and in a manner calling God a liar, for a man to say I believe the Gospel, but have doubts, nevertheless, of my own salvation." With regard to the various distinctions and definitions that have been given of different kinds of faith, they argue that there is nothing incomprehensible or obscure in the meaning of this word as used in Scripture; but that as faith, when applied to human testimony, signifies neither more nor less than the mere simple belief of that testimony as true, upon the authority of the testifier, so, when applied to the testimony of God, it signifies precisely "the belief of his testimony, and resting upon his veracity alone, without any kind of collateral support from concurrence of any other evidence or testimony whatever." And they insist that, as this faith is the gift of God alone, so the person to whom it is given is as conscious of possessing it as the being to whom God gives life is of being alive: and therefore he entertains no doubts either of his faith or his consequent salvation through the merits of Christ, who died and rose again for that purpose. In a word, they argue that the Gospel would not be what it is held forth to be, glad tidings of great joy, if it did not bring full personal assurance of eternal salvation to the believer; which assurance, they insist, is the present infallible privilege and portion of every individual believer of the Gospel.--3. Consistently with the above definition of faith, they say that the sin against the Holy Ghost, which has alarmed and puzzled so many in all ages, is nothing else but unbelief; and that the expression--"it shall not be forgiven neither in this world nor that which is to come." means only that a person dying in infidelity would not be forgiven neither under the former dispensation by Moses (the then present dispensation, kingdom, or government of God,) nor under the Gospel dispensation, which, in respect of the Mosaic, was a kind of future world or kingdom to come.--4. The Bereans interpret a great part of the Old Testament prophecies, and in particular the whole of the Psalms, excepting such as are merely historical or laudatory, to be typical or prophetical of Jesus Christ, his sufferings, atonement, mediation and kingdom; and they esteem it a gross perversion of these psalms and prophecies to apply them to the experiences of private Christians. In proof of this, they not only urge the words of the apostle, that no prophecy is of any private interpretation, but they insist that the whole of the quotations from the ancient prophecies in the New Testament, and particularly those from the Psalms, are expressly applied to Christ. In this opinion many other classes of protestants agree with them.--5. Of the absolute all-superintending sovereignty of the Almighty, the Bereans entertain the highest idea, as well as of the uninterrupted exertion thereof over all his works, in heaven, earth, and hell, however unsearchable by his creatures. A God without election, they argue, or choice in all his works, is a God without existence, a mere idol, a nonentity. And to deny God's election, purpose, and express will in all his works is to make him inferior to ourselves.
As to their practice and discipline, they consider infant baptism as a divine ordinance, instituted in the room of circumcision; and think it absurd to suppose that infants, who all agree are admissible to the kingdom of God in heaven, should, nevertheless, be incapable of being admitted into his visible church on earth. They commemorate the Lord's supper generally once a month; but as the words of the institution fix no particular period, they sometimes celebrate it oftener, and sometimes at more distant periods, as it may suit their general convenience. They meet every Lord's day for the purpose of preaching, praying, and exhorting to love and good works. With regard to admission and exclusion of members, their method is very simple: when any person, after hearing the Berean doctrines, professes his belief and assurance of the truths of the Gospel, and desires to be admitted the Gospel, and desires to be admitted into their communion, he is cheerfully received upon his profession, whatever may have been his former manner of life. But is such a one should afterwards draw back from his good profession or practice, they first admonish him, and, if that has no effect, they leave him to himself. They do not think that they have any power to deliver a backsliding brother to Satan; that text, and other similar passages, such as, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," &c. they consider as restricted to the apostles, and to the inspired testimony alone, and not to be extended to any church on earth, or any number of churches or of Christians, whether decided by a majority of votes, or by unanimous voices. Neither do they think themselves authorized, as a Christian church, to enquire into each other's political opinions, any more than to examine into each other's notions of philosophy. They both recommend and practise, as a Christian duty, submission for lawful authority; but they do not think that a man by becoming a Christian, or joining their society, is under any obligation by the rules of the Gospel to renounce his right of private judgment upon matters of public or private importance. Upon all such subjects they allow each other to think and act as each may see it his duty; and they require nothing more of the members than a uniform and steady profession of the apostolic faith, and a suitable walk and conversation.
It is said that their doctrine has found converts in various places of Scotland, England, and America; and that they have congregations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, Stirling, Crieff, Dundee, Arbroath, Montrose, Fettercairn, Aberdeen, and other towns in Scotland, as well as in London, and various places in England.
For farther particulars of the doctrines of this sect, see the works of Messrs. Barclay, Nicol, Brooksbank, and M'Rae. See also Mr. A. M'Lean's Treatise on the Commission, first edition, p. 88. in which Mr. Barclay's notion of assurance is combated.
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A denomination, in the eleventh century, which adhered to the opinions of Berengarius, who asserted that the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper are not really and essentially, but figuratively changed into the body and blood of Christ. His followers were divided in opinion as to the eucharist. Some allowed them to be changed in effect; others admitted a change in part; and others an entire change, with this restriction, that, to those who communicated unworthily, the elements were changed back again.
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So called from Berylius, an Arabian, bishop of Bozarth, who flourished in the third century. He taught that Christ did not exist before Mary; but that a spirit issuing from God himself, and therefore superior to all human souls, as being a portion of the divine nature, was united to him at the time of his birth.
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A sect called also Star-bearers, because they were distinguished by a red star having five rays, which they wore on their breast, in memory of the star which appeared to the wise men. Several authors have mentioned this order, but none of them have told us their origin, nor where their convents were situated; if we except Matthew Paris, who says that, in 1257, they obtained a settlement in England, which was at Cambridge, in Trumpington-street.
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The name applied by Christians by way of
eminence, to the collection of sacred writings, or the holy Scriptures of the
Old and New Testaments.
I. Bible, ancient Divisions and Order of. After the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity. Ezra collected as many copies as he could of the sacred writings, and out of them all prepared a correct edition, arranging the several books in their proper order. These books he divided into three parts. I. The law. II. The prophets. III. The Hagiographia, i.e. the holy writings. I. The law, contains--1,Genesis;-2,Exodus;-3,Leviticus;-4,Numbers;-5, Deuteronomy. II. The writings of the prophets are-1, Joshua;-2, Judges, with Ruth;-3, Samuel;-4, Kings;-5, Isaiah;-6, Jeremiah, with his Lamentations;-7, Ezekiel;-8, Daniel;-9, The twelve minor prophets;-10,Job;-11, Ezra;-12, Nehemiah;-13, Esther. III. The Hagiographia consists of -1, The Psalms;-2, The Proverbs;-3, Ecclesiastes;-4,The song of Solomon. This division was made for the sake of reducing the number of the sacred books to the number of the letters in their alphabet, which amount to twenty-two. Afterwards the Jews reckoned twenty-four books in their canon of scripture; in disposing of which the law stood as in the former division, and the prophets were distributed into former and latter: the former prophets are Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings; the latter prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. And the Hagiographia consists of the Psalms, the Proverbs, Job, the Song of Solomon, Ruth, the Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, the Chronicles. Under the name of Ezra they comprehend Nehemiah: this order hath not always been observed, but the variations from it are of no moment. The five books of the law are divided into forty-five sections. This division many of the Jews hold to have been appointed by Moses himself; but others, with more probability, ascribe it to Ezra. The design of this division was that one of these sections might be read in their synagogues every sabbath day: the number was fifty-four, because, in their intercalated years, a month being then added, there were fifty-four sabbaths: in other years they reduced them to fifty-two, by twice joining together two short sections. Till the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, they read only the law; but, the reading of it being then prohibited, they substituted in the room of it fifty-four sections out of the prophets; and when the reading of the law was restored by the Maccabees, the section which was read every sabbath out of the law served for their first lesson, and the section out of the prophets for their second. These sections were divided into verses; of which division, if Ezra was not the author, it was introduced not long after him, and seems to have been designed for the use of the Targumists, or Chaldee interpreters; for after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, when the Hebrew language ceased to be their mother tongue, and the Chaldee grew into use instead of it, the custom was, that the law should be first read in the original Hebrew, and then interpreted to the people in the Chaldee language; for which purpose these shorter sections were very convenient.
II. Bible, History of. It is thought that Ezra published the Scriptures in the Chaldee character, for, that language being generally used among the Jews, he thought proper to change the old Hebrew character for it, which hath since that time been retained only by the Samaritans, among whom it is preserved to this day. Prideaux is of opinion that Ezra made additions in several parts of the Bible, where any thing appeared necessary for illustrating, connecting, or completing the work; in which he appears to have been assisted by the same Spirit in which they were first written. Among such additions are to be reckoned the last chapter of Deuteronomy, wherein Moses seems to give an account of his own death and burial, and the succession of Joshua after him. To the same cause our learned author thinks are to be attributed many other interpolations in the Bible, which created difficulties and objections to the authenticity of the sacred text, no ways to be solved without allowing them. Ezra changed the names of several places which were grown obsolete, and, instead of them, put their new names by which they were then called in the text. Thus it is that Abraham is said to have pursued the kings who carried Lot away captive as far as Dan; whereas that place in Moses' time was called Laish, the name Dan being unknown till the Danites, long after the death of Moses, possessed themselves of it. The Jewish canon of Scripture was then settled by Ezra, yet not so but that several variations have been made in it. Malaachi, for instance, could not be put in the Bible by him, since that prophet is allowed to have lived after Ezra; nor could Nehemiah be there, since that book mentions (chap. xii. v. 22) Jaddua as high priest, and Darius Codomanus as king of Persia, who were at least a hundred years later than Ezra. It may be added, that, in the first book of Chronicles, the genealogy of the sons of Zerubbabel is carried down for so many generations as must necessarily bring it to the time of Alexander; and consequently this book, or at least this part of it, could not be in the canon in Ezra's days. It is probable the two books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, and Malachi, were adopted into the Bible in the time of Simon the Just, the last of the men of the great synagogue. The Jews, at first, were very reserved in communicating their Scriptures to strangers; despising and shunning the Gentiles, they would not disclose to them any of the treasures concealed in the Bible. We may add, that the people bordering on the Jews, as the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Arabs, &c. were not very curious to know the laws or history of a people, whom in their turn they hated and despised. Their first acquaintance with these books was not till after the several captivities of the Jews, when the singularity of the Hebrew laws and ceremonies induced several to desire a more particular knowledge of them. Josephus seems surprised to find such slight footsteps of the Scripture history interspersed in the Egyptian, Chaldean, Phoenician, and Grecian history, and accounts for it hence; that the sacred books were not as yet translated into Greek, or other languages, and consequently not known to the writers of those nations. The first version of the Bible was that of the Septuagint into Greek, by order of that patron of literature, Ptolemy Philadelphus; though some maintain that the whole was not then translated, but only the Pentateuch; between which and the other books in the Septuagint version, the critics find a great diversity in point of style and expression, as well as of accuracy.
III. Bible, modern Divisions of. The division of the Scriptures into chapters, as we at present have them, is of modern date. Some attribute it to Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, in the reigns of John and Henry III. But the true author of the invention was Hugo de Sancto Caro, commonly called Hugo Cardinalis, because he was the first Dominican that ever was raised to the degree of cardinal. This Hugo flourished about A.D. 1240: he wrote a comment on the Scriptures, and projected the first concordance, which is that of the vulgar Latin Bible. The aim of this work being for the more easy finding out any word or passage in the Scriptures, he found it necessary to divide the book into sections, and the sections into subdivisions; for till that time the vulgar Latin Bibles were without any division at all. These sections are the chapters into which the Bible hath ever since been divided; but the subdivision of the chapters was not then into verses, as it is now. Hugo's method of subdividing them was by the letters A,B,C,D,E,F,G, placed in the margin, at an equal distance from each other, according to the length of the chapters. The subdivision of the chapters into verses, as they now stand in our Bibles, had its original from a famous Jewish Rabbi, named Mordecai Nathan, about 1445. This rabbi, in imitation of Hugo Cardinalis, drew up a concordance to the Hebrew Bible, for the use of the Jews. But though he followed Hugo in his division of the books into chapters, he refined upon his inventions as to the subdivision, and contrived that by verses: this being found to be a much more convenient method, it has been every since followed. And thus, as the Jews borrowed the division of the books of the Holy Scriptures into chapters from the Christians, in like manner the Christians borrowed that of the chapters into verses from the Jews. The present order of the several books is almost the same (the Apocrypha excepted) as that made by the council of Trent.
IV. Bible, rejected Books of. The apocryphal books of the Old Testament, according to the Romanists, are the book of Enoch (see Jude 14,) the third and fourth books of Esdras, the third and fourth books of Maccabees, the prayer of Manasseh, the Testament of the twelve Patriarchs, the Psalter of Solomon, and some other pieces of this nature. The apocryphal books of the New Testament are the epistle of St. Barnabas, the pretended epistle of St.Paul to the Laodiceans, several spurious Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Revelations; the book of Hermas, entitled the Shepherd; Jesus Christ's letter to Abgarus; the epistles of St.Paul to Senecca, and several other pieces of the like nature; as may be seen in the collection of the apocryphal writings of the New Testament made by Fabricius. Protestants, while they agree with the Roman Catholics in rejecting all those as uncanonical, have also justly rejected the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and 1st and 2nd Maccabees.
V. Bible, Translations of. We have already mentioned the first translation of the Old Testament by the LXX (# 2.) Both Old and New Testaments were afterwards translated into Latin by the primitive Christians; and while the Roman empire subsisted in Europe, the reading of the Scriptures in the Latin tongue, which was the universal language of that empire, prevailed every where; but since the face of affairs in Europe has been changed and so many different monarchies erected upon the ruins of the Roman empire, the Latin tongue has be degrees grown into disuse; whence has arisen a necessity of translating the Bible into the respective languages of each people; and this has produced as many different versions of the Scriptures in the modern languages as there are different nations professing the Christian religion. Of the principal of these, as well as of some other ancient translation, and the earliest and most elegant printed editions, we shall now take notice in their order.
1. Bible, Armenian. There is a very ancient Armenian version of the whole Bible, done from the Greek of the LXX. by some of their doctors, about the time of Chrysostom. This was first printed entire, 1664, by one of their bishops at Amsterdam, in quarto, with the New Testament in octavo.
2. Bible, Bohemian. The Bohemians have a Bible translated by eight of their doctors, whom they had sent to the schools of Wirtemberg, and Basil on purpose to study the original languages: it was printed in Moravia in 1539.
3. Bible, Croatian. A translation of the New Testament into the Croatian language was published by Faber Creim, and others, in 1562 and 1563.
4. Bible Gaelic. A few years ago, a version of the Bible in the Gaelic or Ersc language was published at Edinburgh, where the Gospel is preached regularly in that language in two chapels, for the benefit of the natives of the Highlands.
5. Bible, Georgian. The inhabitants of Georgia, in Asia, have long had a translation of the Bible in their ancient language; but that language having now become almost obsolete, and the Georgians in general being very ignorant, few of them can either read or understand it.
6. Bible, Gothic. It is generally said that Ulphilas, a Gothic bishop, who lived in the fourth century, made a version of the whole Bible, except the book of Kings, for the use of his countrymen; that book he omitted, because of the frequent mention of the wars therein, as fearing to inspire too much of the military genius into that people. We have nothing remaining of this version but the four Evangelists, printed in quarto, at Dort, in 1665, from a very ancient manuscript.
7. Bible, Grison. A translation of the Bible into the language of the Grisons, in Italy, was completed by Coir, and published in 1720.
8. Bible Icelandic. The inhabitants of Iceland have a version of the Bible in their language, which was translated by Thoriak, and published in 1584.
9. Bible, Indian. A Translation of the Bible into the North America Indian language, by Elliot, was published in quarto, at Cambridge, in 1685.
10. Bible, Irish. About the middle of the sixteenth century, Bedell, bishop of Kilmore, set on foot a translation of the Old Testament into the Irish language, the New Testament and the Liturgy having been before translated into that language: the bishop appointed one King to execute this work, who, not understanding the oriental languages, was obliged to translate it from the English. This work was received by Bedell, who, after having compared the Irish with the English translation, compared the latter with the Hebrew, the LXX. and the Italian version of Diodati. When it was finished, the bishop would have been himself at the charge of the impression; but his design was stopped, upon advice given to the lord lieutenant and archbishop of Canterbury, that it would seem a shameful thing for a nation to publish a Bible translated by such a despicable hand as King: however, the manuscript was not lose, for it went to press in 1685, and was afterwards published.
11. Bible, King Jame's. See No. 24.
12. Bible, Malabrian. In 1711, Messers. Ziegenbald and Grindler, two Danish missionaries, published a translation of the New Testament in the Malabrian language, after which they proceeded to translate the Old Testament.
13. Bible, Malayan. About 1670, Sir Robert Boyle procured a translation of the New Testament into the Malayan language, which he printed, and sent the whole impression to the East Indies.
14. Bible, Rhemish. See No. 23.
15. Bible, Samaritan. At the head of the oriental versions of the Bible must be placed the Samaritan, as being the most ancient of all (though neither its age nor author have been yet ascertained,) and admitting no more for the Holy Scripture but the five books of Moses. This translation is made from the Samaritan Hebrew text, which is a little different from the Hebrew text of the Jews: this version has never been printed alone, nor any where but in the Polyglots of London and Paris.
16. Bible, Swedish. In 1534, Olaus and Laurence published a Swedish Bible from the German version of Martin Luther: it was revised in 1617 by order of king Gustavus Adolphus, and was afterwards almost universally received.
17. Bible, Anglo-Saxon.--If we enquire into the versions of the Bible of our own country, we shall find that Adelm, bishop of Sherburn, who lived in 709, made an English Saxon version of the Psalms; and that Edfrid, or Ecbert, bishop of Lindisferne, who lived about 730, translated several of the books of Scripture into the same language. It is said, likewise, the venerable Bede, who died in 785, translated the whole Bible into Saxon.--But Cuthbert, Bede's disciple, in the enumeration of his master's works, speaks only of his translation of the Gospel, and says nothing of the rest of the Bible. Some say that king Alfred, who lived about 890, translated a great part of the Scriptures. We find an old version in the Anglo Saxon of several books of the Bible, made by Elfric, abbot of Maimesbury: it was published at Oxford in 1699. There is an old Anglo Saxon version of the four Gospels, published by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1571, the author whereof is unknown. Mr. Mill observes, that this version was made from a Latin copy of the old Vulgate. The whole Scripture is said by some to have been translated into the Anglo-Saxon by Bede, about 701, though others contend he only translated the Gospels. We have certain books or parts of the Bible b several other translators; as, first, the Psalms, by Adeim, bishop of Sherburn, cotemporary with Bede, though by others this version is attributed to king Alfred, who lived two hundred years later. Another version of the Psalms, in Anglo-Saxon, was published by Spelman in 1640.--2. The evangelists, still extant, done from the ancient Vulgate, before it was revised by St. Jerome, by an author unknown, and published by Matthew Parker in 1571. An old Saxon version of several books of the Bible made by Elfric, abbot of Malmesbury, several fragments of which were published by Will. Lilly, 1638; the genuine copy by Edm. Thwaites, in 1699, at Oxford.
18. Bibles, Arabic. In 1516, Aug. Justinian, bishop of Nebio, printed at Genoa an Arabic version of the Psalter, with the Hebrew text and Chaldee paraphrase, adding Latin interpretations: there are also Arabic versions of the whole Scripture in the Polyglots of London and Paris; and we have an edition of the Old Testament entire, printed at Rome, in 1671, by order of the congregation de propaganda fide; but it is of little esteem, as having been altered agreeably to the Vulgate edition. The Arabic Bibles among us are not the same with those used with the Christians in the East. Some learned men take the Arabic version of the Old Testament printed in the Polyglots to be that of Saadias's, who lived about A.D. 900: their reason is, that dias, quotes some passages of his version, which are the same with those in the Arabic version of the Polyglots; yet others are of opinion that Saadias's version is not extant. In 1622, Erpenius printed an Arabic Pentateuch called also the Pentateuch of Mauritania, as being made by the Jews of Barbary, and for their use. This version is very literal, and esteemed very exact. The four evangelists have also been published in Arabic, with a Latin version, at Rome, in 1591, folio. These have been since reprinted in the Polyglots of London and Paris, with some little alteration of Gabriel Sionita. Expenius published an Arabic New Testament entire, as he found it in his manuscript copy, at Leyden, 1616. There are some other Arabic versions of later date mentioned by Walton in his Prolegomena, particularly a version of the Psalms, preserved at Sion College, Loudon, and another of the prophets at Oxford; neither of which have been published. Proposals were issued for printing a new edition of the Arabic Bible, by Mr. Carlyle, chancellor of the diocese of Carlisle, and professor of Arabic in the university of Cambridge; but I am sorry to add that he has been called away by death, without finishing it.
19. Bibles, Chaldee, are only the losses or expositions made by the Jews at the time when they spoke the Chaldee tongue: these they call by the name of targumim, or paraphrases, as not being any strict version of the Scripture. They have been inserted entire in the large Hebrew Bibles of Venice and Basil; but are read more commodiously in the Polyglots, being there attended with a Latin translation.
20. Bibles, Coptic. There are several manuscript copies of the Coptic Bible in some of the great libraries, especially in that of the late French king. Dr. Wilkins published the Coptic New Testament, in quarto, in 1716; and the Pentateuch also in quarto, in 1731, with Latin translations. He reckons these versions to have been made in the end of the second or the beginning of the third century.
21. Bibles, Danish. The first Danish Bible was published by Peter Palladus, Olaus Chrysostom, John Synningius, and John Maccabxus, in 1550, in which they followed Luther's first German version. There are two other versions, the one by John Paul Resenius, bishop of Zealand, in 1605; the other of the New Testament only, by John Michel, in 1524.
22. Bibles, Dutch. See No. 26.
23. Bibles, East Indian. See No. 12,13,44.
24. Bibles, English. The first English Bible we read of was that translated by J. Wickliffe, about the year 1360, but never printed,though there are manuscript copies of it in several of the public libraries. A translation, however, of the New Testament by Wickliffe was printed by Mr. Lewis, about 1731. J. de Trevisa, who died about 1398, is also said to have translated the whole Bible; but whether any copies of it are remaining does not appear. The first printed Bible in our language was that translated by W. Tindal, assisted by Miles Coverdale, printed abroad in 1526; but most of the copies were bought up and burnt by bishop Tunstal and Sir Thomas More. It only contained the New Testament, and was revised and republished by the same person in 1530. The prologues and prefaces added to it, reflect on the bishops and clergy; but this edition was also suppressed, and the copies burnt. In 1532, Tindal and his associates finished the whole Bible, except the Apocrypha, and printed it abroad: but, while he was afterwards preparing a second edition, he was taken up and burnt for heresy in Flanders. On Tindal's death, his work was carried on by Coverdale, and John Rogers, superintendant of an English church in Germany, and the first Martyr, in the reign of queen Mary, who translated the Apocrypha, and revised Tindal's translation, comparing it with the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German, and adding prefaces and notes from Luther's Bible. He dedicated the whole to Henry VIII, in 1537, under the borrowed name of Thomas Matthews; whence this has been usually called Matthew's Bible. It was printed at Hamburgh, and license obtained for publishing it in England, by the favour of archbishop Cranmer, and the bishops Latimer and Shaxton. The first Bible printed by authority in England, and publicly set up in churches, was the same Tindal's version, revised and compared with the Hebrew, and in many places amended by Miles Coverdale, afterwards bishop of Exeter; and examined after him by archbishop Cranmer, who added a preface to it; whence this was called Cranmer's Bible. It was printed by Grafton, of the largest volume, and published in 1540; and, by a royal proclamation, every parish was obliged to set one of the copies in their church, under the penalty of forty shillings a month; yet, two years after, the popish bishops obtained its suppression by the king. It was restored under Edward VI., suppressed again under queen Mary's reign, and restored again in the first year of queen Elizabeth, and a new edition of it given in 1562. Some English exiles at Geneva, in queen Mary's reign, viz. Coverdale, Goodman, Gilbie, Sampson, Cole, Wittingham, and Knox, made a new translation, printed there in 1560, the New Testament having been printed in 1557; hence called the Geneva Bible, containing the variations of readings, marginal annotations, &c. on account of which it was much valued by the purital party in that and the following reigns. Abp. Parker resolved on a new translation for the public use of the church; and engaged the bishops, and other learned men, to take each a share or portion: these, being afterwards joined together and printed, with short annotations, in 1568, in large folio, made what was afterwards called the Great English Bible, and commonly the Bishops' Bible. In 1589, it was also published in octavo, in a small but fine black letter; and here the chapters were divided into verses, but without any breaks for them, in which the method of the Geneva Bible was followed, which was the first English Bible where any distinction of verses was made. It was afterwards printed in large folio, with corrections, and several prolegomena in 1572: this is called Matthew Parker's Bible. The initial letters of each translator's name were put at the end of his part; e. gr. at the end of the Pentateuch, W.E. for William Exon; that is, William, bishop of Exeter, whose allotment ended there: at the end of Samuel,R. M. for Richard Menevensis; or bishop of St. David's, to whom the second allotment fell: and the like of the rest. The archbishop oversaw, directed, examined, and finished the whole. This translation was used in the churches for forty years, though the Geneva Bible was more read in private houses, being printed above twenty times in as many years. King James bore it an inveterate hatred, on account of the notes, which, at the Hampton Court conference, he charged as partial, untrue, seditious, &c. The Bishops' Bible, too, had its faults. The king frankly owned that he had seen no good translation of the Bible in English; but he thought that of Geneva the worst of all. After the translation of the Bible by the bishops, two of the New Testament; the first by Laurence Thompson, from Beza's Latin edition, with the notes of Beza, published in 1582, in quarto, and afterwards in 1589, varying very little from the Geneva Bible; the second by the Papists at Rheims, in 1584, called the Rhemish Bible, or Rhemish translation. These, finding it impossible to keep the people from having the Scriptures in their vulgar tongue, resolved to give a version of their own, as favourable to their cause as might be. It was printed on a large paper, with a fair letter and margin: one complaint against it was, its retaining a multitude of Hebrew and Greek words untranslated, for want, as the editors express it, of proper and adequate terms in the English to render them by; as the words azymes, tunike, holocaust, prepuce, pasche, &c..: however, many of the copies were seized by the queen's searchers, and confiscated; and Thomas Cartwright was solicited by secretary Walsingham to refute it; but, after a good progress made therein, archbishop Whitgift prohibited his further proceeding, as judging it improper that the doctrine of the church of England should be committed to the defence of a puritan; and appointed Dr. Fulke in his place, who refuted the Rhemists with great spirit and learning. Cartwright's refutation was also afterwards published in 1618, under archbishop Abbot. About thirty years after their New Testament, the Roman Catholics published a translation of the Old at Douay, 1609, and 1610, from the Vulgate, with annotations, so that the English Roman Catholics have now the whole Bible in their mother tongue; though, it is to be observed, they are forbidden to read it without a license from their superiors. the last English Bible was that which proceeded from the Hampton Court conference, in 1603; where, many exceptions being made to the Bishops' Bible, king James gave order for a new one; not, as the preface expresses it, for a translation altogether new, nor yet to make a good one better; or, of many good ones, one best. Fifty-four learned men were appointed to this office by the king, as appears by his letter to the archbishop, dated 1604; which being three years before the translation was entered upon, it is probable seven of them were either dead, or had declined the task; since Fuller's list of the translators makes but forty-seven, who, being ranged under six divisions, entered on their province in 1607. It was published in 1613, with a dedication to James, and a learned preface; and is commonly called king James' Bible. After this all the other versions dropped, and fell into disuse, except the epistles and Gospels in the Common Prayer Book, which were still continued according to the Bishops' translation till the alteration of the liturgy, in 1661, and the psalms and hymns, which are to this day continued as in the old version. The judicious Selden, in his Tabletalk, speaking of the Bible, says, "The best translation in the world, and renders the sense of the original best; taking in for the English translation the Bishops' Bible, as well as king James's. The translators in king James's time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given to him who was most excellent in such a tongue (as the Apocrypha to Andrew Downs:) and then they met together, and one read the translation, the rest holding in their hands some Bible, either of the learned tongues, or French, or Spanish, or Italian, &c. If they found any fault, they spoke; if not, he read on." (King James's Bible is that now read by authority in all the churches in Britain.) Notwithstanding, however, the excellency of this translation, it must be acknowledged that our increasing acquaintance with oriental customs and manners, and the changes our language has undergone since king James's time, are very powerful arguments for a new translation, or at least a correction of the old one. There have been various English Bibles with marginal references by Canne, Hayes, Barker, Scattergood, Field, Tennison, Lloyd, Blayney, Wilson, &c.; but the best we have, perhaps, of this kind, are Brown's and Scott's.
25. Bibles, Ethiopic. The Ethiopians have also translated the Bible into their language. There have been printed separately the Psalms, Canticles, some chapters of Genesis, Ruth, Joel, Jonah, Zephaniah, Malachi, and the New Testament, all which have been since reprinted in the Polyglot of London. As to the Ethiopic New Testament, which was first printed at Rome in 1548, it is a very inaccurate work, and is reprinted in the English Polyglot with all its faults.
26. Bibles, Flemish. The Flemish Bibles of the Romanists are very numerous, and for the most part have no author's name prefixed to them, till that of Nicholas Vinck, printed at Louvain in 1548. The Flemish versions made use of by the Calvinists till 1637, were copied principally from that of Luther. But the Synod of Dort having, in 1618, appointed a new translation of the Bible into Flemish, deputies were named for the work, which was not finished till 1637.
27. Bibles, French. The oldest French Bible we hear of is the version of Peter di Vaux, chief of the Waldenses, who lived about the year 1160. Raoul de Preste translated the Bible into French in the reign of king Charles V. of France, about A.D. 1383. Besides these, there are several old French translations of particular parts of the Scripture. The doctors of Louvain published the Bible in French at Louvain, by order of the emperor Charles V. in 1550. There is a version by Isaac leMaitre de Sacy, published in 1672, with explanations of the literal and spiritual meaning of the text; which was received with wonderful applause, and has often been reprinted. Of the New Testaments in French, which have been printed separately, one of the most remarkable is that of F. Amelotte, of the Oratory, composed by the direction of some French prelates, and printed with annotations in 1666, 1667, and 1670. The author pretends he had searched all the libraries in Europe, and collated the oldest manuscripts: but, in examining his work, it appears that he has produced no considerable various readings which had not before been taken notice of either in the London Polyglot, or elsewhere. The New Testament on Mons, printed in 1665, with the archbishop of Cambray's permission, and the king of Spain's license, made great noise in the world. It was condemned by pope Clement IX, in 1668; by pope Innocent XI, in 1669; and in several bishoprics of France at several times. The New Testament, published at Trevoux, in 1702, by M. Simon, with literal and critical annotations upon difficult passages, was condemned by the bishops of Paris and Meaux in 1702. F. Bohours, a Jesuit, with the assistance of F.F. Michael Tellier and Peter Bernier, Jesuits, likewise published a translation of the New Testament in 1697; but this translation is for the most part harsh and obscure, which was owing to the author's adhering to strictly to the Latin text. There are likewise French translations published by Protestant authors; one by Robert Peter Olivetan, printed in 1535, and often reprinted with the corrections of John Calvin and others; another by Sebastian Castalio, remarkable for particular ways of expression never used by good judges of the language. John Diodati likewise published a French Bible at Geneva in 1644; but some find fault with his method, in that he rather paraphrases the text than translates it. Faber Stapalenis translated the New Testament into French, which was revised and accommodated to the use of the reformed churches in Piedmont, and printed in 1534. Lastly, John le Clerc published a New Testament in French at Amsterdam, in 1703, with annotations taken chiefly from Grotius and Hammond; but the use of this version was prohibited by order of the states-general, as tending to revive the errors of Sabellius and Socinus.
28. Bibles, German. The first and most ancient translation of the Bible in the German language is that of Ulphilas, bishop of the Goths, in the year 360. An imperfect manuscript of this version was found in the abbey of Verden, near Cologne, written in letters of silver, for which reason it is called Codex Argenteus; and it was published by Francis Junius in 1665. The oldest German printed Bible extant is that of Nuremburg, in 1447; but who was the author of it is uncertain. John Emzer, chaplain to George duke of Saxony, published a version of the New Testament in opposition to Luther. There is a German Bible of John Ekeus in 1537, with Emzer's New Testament added to it; and one by Ulemburgius of Westphalia, procured by Ferdinand duke of Bavaria, and printed in 1630. Martin Luther having employed eleven years intranslating the Old and New Testaments, published the Pentateuch and the New Testament in 1522, the historical books and the Psalms in 1524, the books of Solomon in 1527, Isaiah in 1529, the Prophets in 1531, and the other books in 1530. The learned agree that his language is pure, and the version clear and free from intricacies. It was revised by several persons of quality; who were masters of all the delicacies of the German language. The German Bibles which have been printed at Saxony, Switzerland, and elsewhere, are, for the most part, the same as that of Luther, with little variation. In 1604, John Piscator published a version of the Bible in German taken from that of Junius and Tremellius; but his turn of expression is purely Latin, and not at all agreeable to the genius of the German language. The Anabaptists have a German Bible printed at Worms in 1529. John Crellius published his version of the New Testament at Racovia in 1630, and Felbinger his at Amsterdam in 1660.
29. Bibles, Greek. There are many editions of the Bible in Greek, but they may be all reduced to three or four principal ones; viz. that of Complutum, or Alcala de Henares; that of Venice, that of Rome, and that of Oxford. The first was published in 1515 by cardinal Ximenes, and inserted in the Polyglot Bible, usually called the Complutension Bible: this edition is not just, the Greek of the LXX being altered in many places according to the Hebrew text. It has, however, been reprinted in the Polyglot Bible of Antwerp, in that of Paris, and in the quarto Bible commonly called Vatablus's Bible. The second Greek Bible is that of Venice, printed by Aldus in 1518. Here the Greek text of the Septuagint is reprinted just as it stood in the manuscript, full of faults of the copyists, but easily amended. This edition was reprinted at Strasburg in 1526, at Basil in 1545, at Frankfort in 1597, and other places, with some alterations, to bring it nearer the Hebrew. The most commodious is that of Frankfort, there being added to this little scholia, which shew the different interpretations of the old Greek translators. The author of this collection has not added his name, but it is commonly ascribed to Junius. The third Greek Bible is that of Rome, or the Vatican, in 1587, with Greek scholia, collected from the manuscripts in the Roman libraries by Peter Morin. It was first set on foot by cardinal Montalbo, afterwards pope Sixtus V. This fine edition has been reprinted at Paris in 1628, by J. Morin, priest of the Oratory, who has added the Latin translation, which in the Roman was printed separately with scholia. The Greek edition of Rome has been printed in the Polyglot Bible of London, to which are added at the bottom the various readings of the Alexandrian manuscript. This has been also reprinted in England, in 4to. and 12mo. with some alterations. It was again published at Franeker, in 1709, by Bos, who has added all the various readings he could find. The fourth Greek Bible is that done from the Alexandrian manuscript begun at Oxford by Grabe in 1707. In this the Alexandrian manuscript is not printed such as it is, but such as it was thought it should be, i.e. it is altered wherever there appeared any fault of the copyists, or any word inserted from any particular dialect: this some think an excellence, but others a fault, urging that the manuscript should have been given absolutely and entirely of itself, and all conjectures as to the readings should have been thrown into the notes. We have many editions of the Greek Testament by Eramus, Stephens, Beza; that in the Complutensian Polyglot, the Elzevirs, &c.; and with various readings by Mill, Bengelius, Wetstein, &c. Those of Wetstein and Griesbach, are thought by some to exceed all the rest.
30. Bibles, Hebrew, are either manuscript or printed. The best manuscript Bibles are those copied by the Jews of Spain: those copied by the Jews of Germany are less exact, but more common. The two kinds are easily distinguished from each other; the former being in beautiful characters, like the Hebrew Bibles of Bomberg, Stevens, and Plantin: the latter in characters like those of Munster and Gryphius. F. Simon observes that the oldest manuscript Hebrew Bibles are not above six or seven hundred years old; nor does Rabbi Menaham, who quotes a vast number of them, pretend that any one of them exceeds 600 years. Dr. Kennicott, in his Dissertatio Generalis, prefixed to his Hebrew Bible, p. 21, observes, that the most ancient manuscripts were written between the years 900 and 1100; but though those that are the most ancient are not more than 800 or 900 years old, they were transcribed from others of a much more ancient date. The manuscript preserved in the Bodleian Library is not less than 800 years old. Another manuscript not less ancient, is preserved in the Caesarian Library at Vienna. The most ancient printed Hebrew Bibles are those published by the Jews of Italy, especially of Pesaro and Bresse. Those of Portugal also printed some parts of the Bible at Lisbon before their expulsion. This may be observed in general, that the best Hebrew Bibles are those printed under the inspection of the Jews; there being so many minutae to be observed in the Hebrew language, that it is scarcely possible for any other to succeed in it. In the beginning of the 16th century, Dan. Bomberg printed several Hebrew Bibles in folio and quarto at Venice, most of which were esteemed both by the Jews and Christians: the first in 1517, which is the least exact, and generally goes by the name of Felix Pratensis, the person who revised it: this edition contains the Hebrew text, the Targum, and the commentaries of several rabbins. In 1528, Bomberg printed the folio Bible of rabbi Benchajim, with his preface, the masoretical divisions, a preface of Aben Ezra, a double masora, and several various readings. The third edition was printed, 1618; which, though there are many faults in it, is more correct than any of the former. In 1623, appeared at Venice a new edition of the rabbinical Bible, by Leo of Modena, a rabbin of that city, who pretended to have corrected a great number of faults in the former edition; but, besides that, it is much inferior to the other Hebrew Bibles of Venice, with regard to paper and print: it has passed through the hands of the Inquisitors, who have altered many passages in the commentaries of the Rabbins. Of Hebrew Bibles in quarto, that of R. Stephens is esteemed for the beauty of the characters: but it is very incorrect. Plantin also printed several beautiful Hebrew Bibles at Antwerp; one in eight columns, with a preface by Arius Montanus, in 1571, which far exceeds the Complutensian in paper, print, and contents: this is called the Royal Bible, because it was printed at the expense of Philip II. king of Spain: another at Geneva, 1619, besides many more of different sizes, with and without points. Manasseh Ben Israel, a learned Portuguese Jew, published two editions of the Hebrew Bible at Amsterdam; one in quarto, in 1635; the other in octavo, in 1639: the first has two columns, and for that reason is more commodious for the reader. In 1639, R. Jac. Lombroso published a new edition in quarto at Venice, with small literal notes at the bottom of each page, where he explains the Hebrew words by Spanish words. This Bible is much esteemed by the Jews at Constantinople: in the text they have distinguished between words where the point camets is to be read with a camets katuph; that is, by o, and not an a. Of all the editions of the Hebrew Bible in octavo, the most beautiful and correct are the two of J. Athias, a Jew, of Amsterdam. The first, of 1661, is the best paper; but that of 1667 is the most exact. That, however, published since at Amsterdam, by Vander Hooght, in 1705, is preferable to both. After Athias, three Hebraizing Protestants engaged in revising and publishing the Hebrew Bible, viz. Clodius, Jablonski, and Opitius. Clodius's edition was published at Frankfort, in 1677, in quarto: at the bottom of the pages it has the various readings of the former editions; but the author does not appear sufficiently versed in the accenting, especially in the poetical books; besides, as it was not published under his eye, many faults have crept in. That of Jablonski, in 1699, in quarto, at Berlin, is very beautiful as to letter and print; but, though the editor pretends he made use of the editions of Athias and Clodius, some critics find it scarcely in any thing different from the quarto edition of Bomberg. That of Opitius is also in quarto, at Keil, in 1709: the character is large and good, but the paper bad: it is done with a great deal of care; but the editor made use of no manuscripts but those of the German libraries, neglecting the French ones, which is an omission common to all the three. They have this advantage, however, that, besides the divisions used by the Jews, both general and particular, into paraskes and pesukim, they have also those of the Christians, or of the Latin Bibles, into chapters and verses; the keri ketib, or various readings, Latin summaries, &c. which made them of considerable use with respect to the Latin editions and the concordances. The little Bible of R. Stevens, in 16mo. is very much prized for the beauty of the character. Care, however, must be taken, there being another edition of Geneva exceedingly like it, excepting that the print is worse, and the text less correct. To these may be added some other Hebrew Bibles without points, in 8vo. and 24mo. which are much coveted by the Jews; not that they are more exact, but more portable than the rest,and are used in their synagogues and schools. Of these there are two beautiful editions; the one of Plantin, in 8vo. with two columns, and the other in 24mo. reprinted by Raphalengius, at Leyden, in 1610. There is also an edition of them by Laurens, at Amsterdam, in 1631, in a larger character; and another in 12mo. at Frankfort, in 1694, full of faults, with a preface of Mr. Leusden at the head of it. Houbigant published an elegant edition of the Hebrew Bible at Paris, in 1753, in 4 vols. folio: the text is that of Vander Hooght, without points; to which he has added marginal notes, supplying the variations of the Samaritan copy. Dr. Kennicott, after almost twenty years laborious collation of near 600 copies, manuscripts and printed, either of the whole or particular parts of the Bible, published the Hebrew Bible in 2 vols. folio: the text is that of Everard Vander Hooght, already mentioned, differing from it only in the disposition of the poetical parts, which Dr. Kennicott has printed in hemistichs, into which they naturally divide themselves; however, the words follow one another in the same order as they do in the edition of Vander Hooght. This edition is printed on an excellent type: the Samaritan text, according to the copy in the London Polyglot, is exhibited in a column parallel with the Hebrew text; those parts of it only being introduced in which it differs from the Hebrew. The numerous variations, both of the Samaritan manuscript from the printed copy of the Samaritan texts, and of the Hebrew manuscripts from the printed text of Vander Hooght, are placed separately at the bottom of the page, and marked with numbers referring to the copies from which they are taken. Four quarto volumes of various readings have also been published by De Rossi, of Parma, from more than 400 manuscripts (some of which are said to be of the seventh or eighth century,) as well as from a considerable number of rare and unnoticed editions. An edition of Reineccius's Hebrew Bible, with readings from Kennicott and De Rossi, has been published by Dodderlein, and will be found a useful work to the Hebrew student.
31. Bibles, Italian. The first Italian Bible published by the Romanists is that of Nicholas Malerne, a Benedictine monk, printed at Venice in 1471. It was translated from the Vulgate. The version of Anthony Brucioli, published at Venice in 1532, was prohibited by the council of Trent. The Calvinists likewise have their Italian Bibles. There is one of John Diodati in 1607 and 1641; and another of Maximus Theophilus, in 1551, dedicated to Francis de Medicis, duke of Tuscany. The Jews of Italy have no entire version of the Bible in Italian; the Inquisition constantly refusing to allow them the liberty of printing one.
32. Bibles, Latin, however numerous, may be all reduced to three classes; the ancient Vulgate, called also Italica, translated from the Greek Septuagint; the modern Vulgate, the greatest part of which is done from the Hebrew text; and the new Latin translations, done also from the Hebrew text, in the sixteenth century. We have nothing remaining of the ancient Vulgate, used in the primitive times in the western churches, but the Psalms, Wisdom, and Ecclesiastes. Nobilius was endeavoured to retrieve it from the works of the ancient Latin fathers; but it was impossible to do it exactly, because most of the fathers did not keep close to it in their citations. As to the modern Vulgate, there are a vast number of editions very different from each other. Cardinal Ximenes has inserted one in the Bible of Complutum, corrected and altered in many places. R. Stevens, and the doctors of Louvain, have taken great pains in correcting the modern Vulgate. The best edition of Stevens's Latin Bible is that of 1540, reprinted 1545, in which are added on the margin the various readings of several Latin manuscripts which he had consulted. The doctors of Louvain revised the modern Vulgate after R. Stevens, and added the various readings of several Latin manuscripts. The best of the Louvain editions are those in which are added the critical notes of Francis Lucas, of Bruges. All these reformations of the Latin Bible were made before the time of pope Sixtus V. and Clement VIII.; since which people have not presumed to make any alterations, excepting the comments and separate notes. The correction of Clement VIII, in 1592, is now the standard throughout all the Romish churches: that pontiff made two reformations; but it is the first of them that is followed. From this the Bibles of Plantin were done, and from those of Plantin all the rest; so that the common Bibles have none of the after-corrections of the same Clement VIII. It is a heavy charge that lies on the editions of pope Clement, viz. that they have some new texts added, and many old ones altered, to countenance and confirm what they call the catholic doctrine. There are a great number of Latin Bibles of the third class, comprehending the versions from the originals of the sacred books made with these 200 years. The first is that of Santes Pagninus, a Dominican, under the patronage of Leo X. printed at Lyons, in quarto, in 1527, much exteemed by the Jews. This the author improved in a second edition. In 1542 there was a beautiful edition of the same at Lyons, in folio, with scholia published under the name of Michael Villanovanus, i.e. Michal Servetus, author of the scholia. Those of Zurich, have likewise published an edition of Pagninus's Bible in quarto; and R. Stevens reprinted it in folio, with the Vulgate, in 1557, pretending to give it more correct than in the former editions. There is also another edition of 1586, in four columns, under the name of Vatablus; and we find it again, in the Hamburg edition of the Bible, in four languages. In the number of Latin Bibles is also usually ranked the version of the same Pagninus, corrected or rather rendered literal, by Arias Montanus; which correction being approved of by the doctors of Louvain, &c. was inserted in the Polyglot Bible of Philip II. and since in that of London. There have been various editions of this in folio, quarto, and octavo; to which have been added the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and the Greek of the New. The best of them all is the first, which is in folio, 1571. Since the reformation, there have been several Latin versions of the Bible from the originals by Protestants. The most esteemed are those of Munster, Leo Juda, Castalio, and Tremellius; the three last of which have been reprinted various times. Munster published his version at Basil in 1534, which he afterwards revised: he published a correct edition in 1546. Castalio's fine Latin pleases most people; but there are some who think it affected: the best edition is that in 1573. Leo Juda's version, altered a little by the divines of Salamanca, was added to the ancient Latin editions, as published by R. Stevens, with notes, under the name of Vatablus's Bible, in 1545. It was condemned by the Parisian divines, but printed, with some alterations, by the Spanish divines of Salamanca. Those of Junius, Tremellius, and Beza, are considerably exact, and have undergone a great number of editions. We may add a fourth class of Latin Bibles, comprehending the Vulgate edition, corrected from the originals. The Bible of Isidorus Clarus is of this number; that author, not contented with restoring the ancient Latin copy, has corrected the translator in a great number of places which he thought ill rendered. Some Protestants have followed the same method; and, among others, Andrew and Luke Osiander, who have each published a new edition of the Vulgate, corrected from the originals.
33. Bibles, Muscovite. See Nos. 38 and 39.
34. Bibles, Oriental. See Nos 12, 13,15,19,20,23,35,41,42.
35. Bibles, Persian. Some of the fathers seem to say that all the Scripture was formerly translated into the language of the Persians; but we have nothing now remaining of the ancient version, which was certainly done from the Septuagint. The Persian Pentateuch, printed in the London Polglot, is without doubt, the work of rabbi Jacob, a Persian Jew. It was published by the Jews at Constantinople in 1551. In the same Polyglot we have likewise the four evangelists in Persian, with a Latin translation; but this appears very modern, incorrect, and of little use. Walton says, this version was written above four hundred years ago. Another version of the Gospels was published at Cambridge by Wheloc, in the seventeenth century. There are also two Persian versions of the Psalms made from the vulgar Latin.
36. Bibles, Polish. The first Polish version of the Bible, it is said, was that composed by Hadewich, wife of Jagellon, duke of Lithuania, who embraced Christianity in the year 1390. In 1599 there was a Polish translation of the Bible published at Cracow, which was the work of several divines of that nation, and in which James Wieck, a Sesuit, had a principal share. The Protestants, in 1596, published a Polish Bible from Luther's German version, and dedicated it to Uladislaus, fourth king of Poland.
37. Bibles, Polyglot. See Nos. 29,31.
38. Bibles, Russian; or,
39. Bibles, Sclavonian. The Russians or Muscovites, published the Bible in their language in 1581. It was translated from the Greek by St. Cyril, the apostle of the Sclavonians: but this old version being too obscure, Ernest Gliik, who had been carried prisoner to Moscow after the taking of Narva, undertook a new translation of the Bible into Sclavonian; who dying in 1705, the Czar Peter appointed some particular divines to finish the translation; but whether it was ever printed we cannot say.
40. Bibles, Spanish. The first Spanish Bible that we hear of, is that mentioned by Cyprian de Valera, which he says was published about 1500. The epistles and Gospels were published in that language by Ambrose de Montesian in 1512; the whole Bible by Cassiodore de Reyna, a Calvinist, in 1569; and the New Testament dedicated to the emperor Charles V., by Francis Enzina, otherwise called Driander, in 1543. The first Bible which was printed in Spanish for the use of the Jews was that printed at Ferrara in 1553, in Gothic characters, and dedicated to Hercules D'Este, duke of Ferrara. This version is very ancient, and was probably in use among the Jews of Spain before Ferdinand and Isabella expelled them out of their dominions in 1492. After very violent opposition from the catholic clergy, the court of Spain ordered Spanish Bibles to be printed by royal authority in 1796, and put into the hands of people of all ranks, as well as to be used in public worship.
41. Bibles, Syriac. There are extant two versions of the Old Testament in the Syriac language; one from the Septuagint, which is ancient, and made probably about the time of Constantine: the other called antiqua et simplex, made from the Hebrew, as some suppose, about the time of the apostles. This version is printed in the Polyglots of London and Paris. In 1562, Wedmanstadius printed the whole New Testament in Syriac, at Vienna, in a beautiful character: and since his time there have been several other editions. Gabriel Sionita published a beautiful Syriac edition of the Psalms at Paris in 1526, with a Latin interpretation. There is a Syriac copy of the Bible written in the Estrangelo character, and was brought from the Christians of Travancore, being a present from Mar Dionysius, the resident bishop at Cadenatte to Dr. Buchanan. The size is large folio in parchment: the pages are written in three columns, each column containing sixty lines. It is supposed to have been written about the seventh century. Dr. White, it is said, has for some time been engaged in reprinting the Syriac Old Testament.
42. Bibles, Turkish. In 1666 a Turkish New Testament was printed in London to be dispersed in the East. In 1721, it is said, the grand Seignor ordered an impression of Bibles at Constantinople, that they might be contrasted with Mahomet's oracle, the Alcoran. The modern Greeks in Turkey have also a translation of the Bible in their language.
43. Bibles, Welch. There was a Welch translation of the Bible made from the original in the time of queen Elizabeth, in consequence of a bill brought into the House of Commons for this purpose in 1563: it was printed in folio in 1588. Another version, which is the standard translation for that language, was printed in 1620: it is called Parry's Bible. An impression of this was printed in 1690, called Bishop Lloyd's Bible: these were in folio. The first octavo impression of the Welch Bible was made in 1630.
44. Bibles, Bengalee. It is with pleasure we add to all the above accounts, that a translation of the New Testament into the Shanscrit, and the last volume of the Bengalee Bible are now completed, by the missionaries resident in that part.
Much has been done by the British and Foreign Bible Society, in printing new editions of the Scriptures in various languages. The reader will find much pleasing information of the subject, in the Annual Reports of that Society.
See Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra; Wolfii Bibliotheca Hebraea, vol. ii. p. 338; Johnson's Historical Account of English Translations of the Bible; Lewis's Hist. of the Translations of the Bible into English; Newcome's Historical view of English Translations; Butler's Horae Biblicae; and the article Bible in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Perthensis.
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A kind of divination performed by means of the Bible. It consisted in taking passages of Scripture at hazard, and drawing indications thence concerning things future. It was much used at the consecration of bishops. F. J. Davidius, a Jesuit, has published a bibliomancy under the borrowed name of Veridic Christian. It has been affirmed that some well-meaning people practise a kind of bibliomancy with respect to the future state of their souls; and, when they have happened to fix on a text of an awful nature, it has almost driven them to despair. It certainly is not the way to know the mind of God by choosing detached parts of Scripture, or by drawing a card on which a passage may be written, the sense of which is to be gathered only from the context.
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So called from John Biddle, who in the year 1644
formed an independent congregation in London. He taught that Jesus Christ, to
the intent that he might be our brother, and have a fellow-feeling of our
infirmities, and so become the more ready to help us, hath no other than a
human nature; and therefore in this very nature is not only a person, since
none but a human person can be our brother, but also our Lord and God.
Biddle, as well as Socinus and other Unitarians before and since, made no scruple of calling Christ God, though he believed him to be a human creature only, on account of the divine sovereignty with which he was invested.
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It was part of the office of the deacons in the primitive church to be monitors and directors of the people in their public devotions in the church. To this end they made use of certain known forms of words, to give notice when each part of the service began. Agreeable to this ancient practice is the form "Let us pray," repeated before several of the prayers in the English liturgy. Bishop Burnet, in his History of the Reformation, vol. ii. p. 20, has preserved the form as it was in use before the reformation, which was this:--After the preacher had named and opened his text, he called on the people to go to their prayers, telling them what they were to pray for: Ye shall pray, says he, for the king, the pope,&c. After which, all the people said their beads in a general silence, and the minister kneeled down likewise, and said his: they were to say a paternoster, ave maria, &c. and then the sermon proceeded.
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Consists in being obstinately and perversely attached to our own opinions; or, as some have defined it, "a tenacious adherence to a system adopted without investigation, and defended without argument, accompanied with a malignant intolerant spirit towards all who differ." It must be distinguished from love to truth, which influences a man to embrace it wherever he finds it; and from true zeal, which is an ardour of mind exciting its possessor to defend and propagate the principles he maintains. Bigotry is a kind of prejudice combined with a certain degree of malignity. It is thus exemplified and distinguished by a sensible writer. "When Jesus preached, prejudice cried, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Crucify him, crucify him, said bigotry. Why? what evil hath he done? replied candour." Bigotry is mostly prevalent with those who are ignorant; who have taken up principles without due examination and who are naturally of a morose and contracted disposition. It is often manifested more in unimportant sentiments, or the circumstantials of religion, than the essentials of it. Simple bigotry is the spirit of persecution without the power; perscution is bigotry armed with power, and carrying its will into act. As it is the effect of ignorance, so it is the nurse of it, because it precludes free enquiry, and is an enemy to truth: it cuts also the very sinews of charity, and destroys moderation and mutual good will. If we consider the different makes of men's minds, our own ignorance, the liberty that all men have to think for themselves, the admirable example our Lord has set us of a contrary spirit, and the baneful effects of this disposition, we must at once be convinced of its impropriety. How contradictory is it to sound reason, and how inimical to the peaceful religion we profess to maintain as Christians!--See PERSECUTION, and books under that article.
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Religious, or the lives of illustrious and pious
men, are well worthy of perusing. The advantages of religious biography are too
well known to need a recital in this place. We shall only, therefore, point out
some of the best pieces, which the reader may peruse at his leisure:--
Hunter's Sacred Biography; Robinson's Scripture Characters; Hunter's History of Christ; J. Taylor's Life of Christ; Cave's Lives of the Apostles; Cave's Lives of the Fathers; Fox's Lives of the Martyrs; Melchior Adam's Lives; Fuller's and Clark's Lives; Gilpin's Lives of Wickliffe, Cranmer, Latimer, &c.; Walton's Lives by Zouch; Baxter's Narrative of the most remarkable Passages of his Life and Times, by Silvester; Palmer's Nonconformist Memorial; Lives of P. and M. Henry; Life of Halyburton; Orton's Memoirs of Doddridge; Gillies' Life of Whitfield; Doddridge's Life of Gardner; Life of Wesley by Hampson, Coke, More, and Whitehead; Middleton's Biographia Evangelica; Edward's Life of D. Brainerd; Gibbon's Life of Watts; Brown's Life of Hervey; Fawcett's Life of Heywood; Brown's Lives in his Student and Pastor; Burnet's Life of Rochester; Hayley's Life of Cowper; Benson's Life of Fletcher; Jay's Life of Winter; Cecil's Life of Newton; Priestley's Chart of Biography, with a Book describing it, 12mo.; Haweis's Life of Romaine; Fuller's Life of Pearce.
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A prelate consecrated for the spiritual government of a diocese. The word comes from the Saxon bishop, and that from the Greek meaning an overseer, or inspector. It is a long time since bishops have been distinguished from mere priests, or presbyters; but whether that distinction be of divine or human right; whether it was settled in the apostolic age, or introduced since, is much controverted. Churchmen in general plead for the divine right; while the Dissenters suppose that the word no where signifies more than a pastor or presbyter; the very same persons being called bishops and elders, or prebyters, Acts xx. 17, 28. 1 Pet. v. 1,3. Tit. i. 5,7. Phil. i. 1. See EPISCOPACY. All the bishops of England are peers of the realm, except the bishop of Man; and as such sit and vote in the house of lords. Besides two archbishops, there are twenty-four bishops in England, exclusive of the bishop of Sodor and Man. The bishops of London, Durham, and Winchester, take the precedence of the other bishops, who rank after them according to their seniority of consecration. See EPISCOPACY.
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From the Greek according to Dr. Campbell, properly denotes calumny, detraction, reproachful or abusive language, against whomsoever it be vented. It is in Scripture applied to reproaches not aimed against God only, but man also, Rom. iii. 8. Rom. xiv. 16. I Pet. iv. 4. Gr. It is, however, more peculiarly restrained to evil or reproachful words offered to God. According to Linwood, blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him what is not agreeable to his nature. "Three things," says a divine, "are essential to this crime; 1. God must be the object.--2. The words spoken or written, independent of consequences which others may derive from them, must be injurious in their nature.--And, 3. He who commits the crime must do it knowingly. This is real blasphemy; but there is a relative blasphemy, as when a man may be guilty ignorantly by propagating opinions which dishonour God, the tendency of which he does not perceive. A man may be guilty of this constructively: for if he speak freely against received errors , it will be construed into blasphemy." By the English laws, blasphemies of God, as denying his being or providence, and all contumelious reproaches of Jesus Christ, &c. are offences by the common law, and punishable by fine, imprisonment, and pillory; and, by the statute law, he that denies one of the persons in the Trinity, or asserts that there are more than one God, or denies Christianity to be true, for the first offence is rendered incapable of any office; for the second, adjudged incapable of suing, being executor or guardian, receiving any gift or legacy, and to be imprisoned for years. According to the law of Scotland, blasphemy is punished with death: these laws, however, in the present age, are not enforced; the legislature thinking,perhaps, that spiritual offences should be left to be punished by the Deity rather than by human statutes. Campbell's Prel. Dess. vol. i. p. 395; Robinson's Script. Plea, p. 58.
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See UNPARDONABLE SIN.
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Or BOGARMITE, a sect of heretics which arose about the year 1179. They held that the use of churches, of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, and all prayer except the Lord's prayer, ought to be abolished; that the baptism of Catholics is imperfect; that the persons of the Trinity are unequal, and that they often made themselves visible to those of their sect.
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A sect of Christian reformers which sprung up in
Bohemia in the year 1467. They treated the pope and cardinals as antichrist,
and the church of Rome as the whore spoken of in the Revelations. They rejected
the sacraments of the Romish church, and chose laymen for their ministers. They
held the Scriptures to be the only rule of faith, and rejected the popish
ceremonies in the celebration of the mass; nor did they make use of any other
prayer than the Lord's prayer. They consecrated leavened bread. They allowed no
adoration but of Jesus Christ in the communion. The rebaptized all such as
joined themselves to their congregation. They abhorred the worship of saints
and images, prayers for the dead, celibacies, vows, and fasts; and kept none of
the festivals but Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide.
In 1503 they were accused by the Catholics to king Ladislaus II., who published an edict against them, forbidding them to hold any meetings, either privately or publicly. When Luther declared himself against the church of Rome, the Bohemian brethren endeavoured to join his party. At first, that reformer showed a great aversion to them; but, the Bohemians sending their deputies to him in 1535, with a full account of their doctrines, he acknowledged that they were a society of Christians whose doctrine came nearest to the purity of the Gospel. This sect published another confession of faith in 1535, in which they renounced anabaptism, which they at first practised: upon which a union was concluded with the Lutherans, and afterwards with the Zuinglians, whose opinions from thenceforth they continued to follow.
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A Christian sect in Holland, so named from their founder Borrel, a man of great learning in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin tongues. They reject the use of the sacraments, public prayer, and all other external acts of worship. They assert that all the Christian churches of the world have degenerated from the pure apostolic doctrines, because they have suffered the word of God, which is infallible, to be expounded, or rather corrupted, by doctors who are fallible. They lead a very austere life, and employ a great part of their goods in alms.
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The followers of Antoinette Bourignon, a lady in France, who pretended to particular inspirations. She was born at Lisle in 1616. At her birth she was so deformed, that it was debated some days in the family whether it was not proper to stifle her as a monster; but, her deformity diminishing, she was spared: and afterwards obtained such a degree of beauty, that she had her admirers. From her childhood to her old age she had an extraordinary turn of mind. She set up for a reformer, and published a great number of books filled with very singular notions; the most remarkable of which are entitled. The Light of the World, and The Testimony of Truth. In her confession of faith, she professes her belief in the Scriptures, the divinity and atonement of Christ. She believed also that man is perfectly free to resist or receive divine grace; that God is ever unchangeable love towards all his creatures, and does not inflict any arbitrary punishment; but that the evils they suffer are the natural consequence of sin; that religion consists not in outward forms of worship nor systems of faith, but in an entire resignation to the will of God. She held many extravagant notions, among which, it is said, she asserted that Adam, before the fall, possessed the principles of both sexes; that in an ecstacy, God represented Adam to her mind in his original state; as also the beauty of the first world, and how he had drawn from it the chaos; and that every thing was bright, transparent, and darted forth life and ineffable glory with a number of other wild ideas. She dressed like a hermit, and travelled through France, Holland, England, and Scotland. She died at Fanekir, in the province of Frise, October 30, 1680. Her works have been printed in 18 vols. 8vo.
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A course of eight sermons, preached annually; set on foot by the honourable R. Boyle, by a codicil annexed to his will, in 1691, whose design, as expressed by the institutor, is to prove the truth of the Christian religion against infidels, without descending to any controversies among Christians, and to answer new difficulties, scruples, &c. For the support of this lecture he assigned the rent of his house in Crooked Lane to some learned divine within the bills of mortality, to be elected for a term not exceeding three years. But, the fund proving precarious, the salary was ill paid; to remedy which inconvenience, archbishop Tennison procured a yearly stipend of 50l. for ever, to be paid quarterly, charged on a farm in the parish of Brill, in the county of Bucks. To the appointment we are indebted for many excellent defences of natural and revealed religion.
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confession of. A formulary or confession of faith, drawn up in the city of Brandenburg by order of the elector, with a view to reconcile the tenets of Luther with those of Calvin, and to put an end to the disputes occasioned by the confession of Augsburgh. See AUGSBURGH CONFESSION.
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An appellation assumed by a sect which sprung up towards the close of the thirteenth century, and gained many adherents in Italy, France, and Germany. They took their denomination from the words of St. Paul, Rom. viii. 2,14. and maintained that the true children of God were invested with perfect freedom from the jurisdiction of the law. They held that all things flowed by emanation from God; that rational souls were portions of the Deity; that the universe was God; and that by the power of contemplation they were united to the Deity, and acquired hereby a glorious and sublime liberty, both from the sinful lusts and the common instincts of nature, with a variety of other enthusiastic notions. Many edicts were published against them; but they continued till about the middle of the fifteenth century.
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A denomination assumed by a religious fraternity towards the end of the fifteenth century. They lived under the rule of St. Augustin, and were said to be eminently useful in promoting the cause of religion and learning.
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Were the followers of a priest from the Alps about the beginning of the fifteenth century. They and their leader were arrayed in white garments. Their leader carried about a cross like a standard. His apparent sanctity and devotion drew together a number of followers. This deluded enthusiast practised many acts of mortification and penance, and endeavoured to persuade the Europeans to renew the holy war. Boniface IX. ordered him to be apprehended, and committed to the flames; upon which his followers dispersed.
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The book containing the daily service of the church of Rome.
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Or BRIGITTINS, an order denominated from St. Bridgit, or Birgit, a Swedish lady, in the fourteenth century. Their rule is nearly that of Augustin. The Brigittins profess great mortification, poverty, and self-denial; and they are not to possess any thing they can call their own, not so much as an halfpenny; nor even to touch money on any account. This order spread much through Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands. In England we read of but one monastery of Brigittins, and this built by Henry V. in 1415, opposite to Richmond, now called Sion House; the ancient inhabitants of which, since the dissolution, are settled at Lisbon.
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(apostolical) are letters which the pope dispatches to princes and other magistrates concerning any public affair.
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Lay, among the Romanists, are illiterate persons, who devote themselves in some convent to the service of the religious.
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A sect that arose among the puritans towards the
close of the sixteenth century; so named from their leader, Robert Brown. He
was educated at Cambridge, and was a man of good parts and some learning. He
began to inveigh openly against the ceremonies of the church, at Norwich, in
1580; but, being much opposed by the bishops, he with his congregation left
England, and settled at Middleburgh, in Zealand, where they obtained leave to
worship God in their own way, and form a church according to their own model.
They soon, however, began to differ among themselves; so that Brown, growing
weary of his office, returned to England in 1589, renounced his principles of
separation, and was preferred to the rectory of a church in Northamptonshire.
He died in prison in 1630. The revolt of Brown was attended with the
dissolution of the church at Middleburgh; but the seeds on Brownism which he
had sown in England were so far from being destroyed, that Sir Walter Raleigh,
in a speech in 1592, computes no less than 20,000 of this sect.
The articles of their faith seem to be nearly the same as those of the church of England. The occasion of their separation was not, therefore, any fault they found with the faith, but only with the discipline and form of government of the churches in England. They equally charged corruption on the episcopal and presbyterian forms; nor would they join with any other reformed church, because they were not assured of the sanctity and regeneration of the members that composed it. They condemned the solemn celebration of marriages in the church, maintaining that matrimony being a political contract, the confirmation thereof ought to come from the civil magistrate; an opinion in which they are not singular. They would not allow the children of such as were not members of the Church to be baptized. They rejected all forms of prayer, and held that the Lord's prayer was not to be recited as a prayer, being only given for a rule or model whereon all our prayers are to be formed. Their form of church government was nearly as follows. When a church was to be gathered, such as desired to be members of it made a confession of their faith in the presence of each other, and signed a covenant, by which they obliged themselves to walk together in the order of the Gospel. The whole power of admitting and excluding members, with the decision of all controversies, was lodged in the brotherhood. Their church officers were chosen from among themselves, and separated to their several offices by fasting, prayer, and imposition of hands. But they did not allow the priesthood to be any distinct order. As the vote of the brethren made a man a minister, so the same power could discharge him from his office, and reduce him to a mere layman again; and as they maintained the bounds of a church to be no greater than what could meet together in one place, and join in one communion, so the power of these officers was prescribed within the same limits.--The minister of one church could not administer the Lord's supper to another, nor baptize the children of any but those of his own society. Any lay brother was allowed the liberty of giving a word of exhortation to the people; and it was usual for some of them after sermon to ask questions, and reason upon the doctrines that had been preached. In a word, every church on their model is a body corporate, having full power to do every thing in themselves, without being accountable to any class, synod, convocation, or other jurisdiction whatever. The reader will judge how near the Independent churches are allied to this form of government. See INDEPENDENTS.--The laws were executed with great severity on the Brownists; their books were prohibited by queen Elizabeth, their persons imprisoned, and some hanged. Brown himself declared on his death-bed that he had been in thirty-two different prisons, in some of which he could not see his hand at noon-day. They were so much persecuted, that they resolved at last to quit the country. Accordingly many retired and settled at Amsterdam, where they formed a church, and chose Mr. Johnson their pastor, and after him Mr. Ainsworth, author of the learned Commentary on the Pentateuch. Their church flourished near 100 years. Among the Brownists, too, were the famous John Robinson, a part of whose congregation from Leyden in Holland, made the first permanent settlement in North America; and the laborious Canne, the author of the marginal reference to the Bible.
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A sect of enthusiasts who sprung up in the west of Scotland about 1783, and took their name from a Mrs. Buchan, of Glasgow, who gave herself out to be the woman spoken of in the Revelations; and that all who believed in her should be taken up to heaven without tasting death, as the end of the world was near. They never increased much; and the death of their leader within a year or two afterwards, occasioned their dispersion, by putting an end to their hopes of reaching the New Jerusalem without death.
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A sect in Poland, who disclaimed the worship of Christ, and run into many wild hypotheses. Budnaeus, the founder, was publicly excommunicated in 1584, with all his disciples, but afterwards he was admitted to the communion of the Socinian sect.
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Popish, are letters called apostolic by the Canonists, strengthened with a leaden seal, and containing in them the decrees and commandments of the pope.
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A numerous and respectable class of dissenters from the church of Scotland who were originally connected with the associate presbytery; but, some difference of sentiment arising about the lawfulness of taking the Burgess oath, a separation ensued in 1739; in consequence of which, those who pleaded for the affirmative obtained the appellation of Burgher, and their opponents that of Antiburgher Seceders. See SECEDERS.
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The interment of a deceased person. The rites of burial have been looked upon in all countries as a debt so sacred, that such as neglected to discharge them were thought accursed. Among the Jews, the privilege of burial was denied only to self-murderers, who were thrown out to putrefy upon the ground. In the Christian church, though good men always desired the privilege of interment, yet they were not, like the heathens, so concerned for their bodies, as to think it any detriment to them if either the barbarity of an enemy, or some other accident, deprived them of this privilege. The primitive church denied the more solemn rites of burial only to unbaptized persons, self-murderers, and excommunicated persons, who continued obstinate and impenitent in a manifest contempt of the church's censures. The place of burial among the Jews was never particularly determined. We find they had graves in the town and country, upon the highway or gardens, and upon mountains. Among the Greeks, the temples were made repositories for the dead, in the primitive ages; yet, in the latter ages, the Greeks as well as the Romans buried the dead without the cities, and chiefly by the highways. Among the primitive Christians, burying in cities was not allowed for the first three hundred years, nor in churches for many ages after; the dead bodies being first deposited in the atrium or church-yard, and porches and porticos of the church: hereditary burying-places were forbidden till the twelfth century. See FUNERAL RITES. As to burying in churches, we find a difference of opinion: some have thought it improper that dead bodies should be interred in the church. Sir Matthew Hale used to say, that churches were for the living, and church-yards for the dead. In the famous Bishop Hall's will we find this passage: after desiring a private funeral, he says, "I do not hold God's house a meet repository for the dead bodies of the greatest saints." Mr. Hervey, on the contrary, defends it, and supposes that it tends to render our assembles more awful; and that, as the bodies of the saints are the Lord's property, they should be reposed in his house.
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