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Were so called from their founder, John Labadie, a native of France. He was originally in the Romish communion; but leaving that, he became a member of the reformed church, and performed with reputation the ministerial functions in France, Switzerland, and Holland. He at length erected a new community, which resided successively at Middleburg, in Zealand, Amsterdam, Hervorden, and at Altona, where he died about 1674. After his death, his followers removed their wandering community to Wiewert, in the district of North Holland, where it soon fell into oblivion. If we are to judge of the Labadists by their own account, they did not differ from the reformed church so much in their tenets and doctrines as in their manners and rules of discipline; yet it seems that Labadie had some strange notions. Among other things, he maintained that God might and did, on certain occasions, deceive men; that the faithful ought to have all things in common; that there is no subordination or distinction of rank in the true church; that in reading the Scriptures greater attention should be paid to the internal inspiration of the Holy Spirit than to the words of the text; that the observation of Sunday was a matter of indifference; that the contemplative life is a state of grace and union with God, and the very height of perfection.
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The people as distinguished from the clergy. See CLERGY.
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A name given to the sovereign pontiff or high
priest of the Thibetian Tartars, who resides at Patoli, a vast palace on a
mountain near the banks of Barampooter, about seven miles from Lahassa. The
foot of this mountain is inhabited by twenty thousand lamas, or priests, who
have their separate apartments round about the mountain, and according to their
respective quality are placed nearer or at a greater distance from the
sovereign pontiff. he is not only worshipped by the Thibetians, but also is the
great object of adoration for the various tribes of heathen Tartars who roam
through the vast tract of continent which stretches from the banks of the Wolga
to Correa, on the sea of Japan. He is not only the sovereign pontiff, the
vicegerent of the Deity on earth, but the more remote Tartars are said to
absolutely regard him as the Deity himself, and call him God, the everlasting
Father of heaven. They believe him to be immortal, and endowed with all
knowledge and virtue. Every year they come up from different parts to worship,
and make rich offerings at his shrine: even the emperor of China, who is a
mauchon Tartar, does not fail in acknowledgments to him in his religious
capacity; and actually entertains at a great expense, in the palace of Pekin,
an inferior lama, deputed as his nuncio from Thibet. The grand lama, it has
been said, is never to be seen but in a secret place of his palace, amidst a
great number of lamps, sitting cross-legged on a cushion, and decked all over
with gold and precious stones, where at a distance the people prostrate
themselves before him, it not being lawful for any, so much as to kiss his
feet. He returns not the least sign of respect, nor ever speaks even to the
greatest princes; but only lays his hand upon their heads, and they are fully
persuaded they receive from thence a full forgiveness of all their sins.
The Sunniasses, or Indian pilgrims, often visit Thibet as a holy place; and the lama always entertains a body of two or three hundred in his pay. Besides his religious influence and authority, the grand lama is possessed of unlimited power throughout his dominions, which are very extensive. The inferior lamas, who form the most numerous as well as the most powerful body in the state, have the priesthood entirely in their hands; and besides fill up many monastic orders which are held in great veneration among them. The whole country, like Italy, abounds with priests; and they entirely subsist on the great number of rich presents which are sent them from the utmost extent of Tartary, from the empire of the Great Mogul, and from almost all parts of the Indies.
The opinion of those who are reputed the most orthodox among the Thibetians is, that when the grand lama seems to die, either of old age or infirmity, his soul, in fact, only quits a crazy habitation to look for another younger or better; and is discovered again in the body of some child by certain tokens, known only to the lamas or priests, in which order he always appears.
Almost all nations of the east, except the Mahometans, believe the metempsychosis as the most important article of their faith; especially the inhabitants of Thibet and Ava, the Peguans, Siamese, the greatest part of the Chinese and Japanese, and the Monguls and Kalmucks, who changed the religion of Schamanism for the worship of the grand lama. According to the doctrine of this metempsychosis, the soul is always in action, and never at rest; for no sooner does she leave her old habitation, than she enters a new one. The dalai lama, being a divine person, can find no better lodging than the body of his successor; or the Foe, residing in the dalai lama, which passes to his successor: and this being a god, to whom all things are known, the dalai lama is therefore acquainted with every thing which happened during his residence in his former body.
This religion is said to have been of three thousand years standing; and neither time nor the influence of men, has had the power of shaking the authority of the grand lama. This theocracy extends as fully to temporal as to spiritual concerns.
Though in the grand sovereignty of the lamas, the temporal power has been occasionally separated from the spiritual by slight revolutions, they have always been united again after a time; so that in Thibet the whole constitution rests on the imperial pontificate in a manner else where unknown. For as the Thibetians suppose that the grand lama in animated by the god Shaka, or Foe, who at the decease of one lama transmigrates into the next, and consecrates him an image of the divinity, the descending chain of lamas is continued down from him in fixed degrees of sanctity; so that a more firmly established sacerdotal government, in doctrine, customs, and institutions, than actually reigns over this country, cannot be conceived. The supreme manager of temporal affairs is no more than the viceroy of the sovereign priest, who, conformable to the dictates of his religion, dwells in divine tranquillity in a building that is both temple and palace. If some of his votaries in modern times have dispensed with the adoration of his person, still certain real modifications of the Shaka religion is the only faith they follow. The state of sanctity which that religion inculcates, consists in monastic continence, absence of thought, and the perfect repose of nonentity.
It has been observed that the religion of Thibet is the counterpart of the Roman Catholic, since the inhabitants of that country use holy water and a singing service; they also offer alms, prayers, and sacrifices for the dead. They have a vast number of convents filled with monks and friars, amounting to thirty thousand; who, besides the three vows of poverty, obedience, and charity, make several others. They have their confessors, who are chosen by their superiors, and have licences from their lamas, without which they cannot hear confessions or impose penances. They make use of beads. They wear the mitre and cap like the bishops: and their dalai lama is nearly the same among them as the sovereign pontiff is among the Romanists.
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A denomination in the seventeenth century, the followers of Lampetius, a Syrian monk. He pretended that as man is born free, a Christian, in order to please God, ought to do nothing by necessity; and that it is, therefore, unlawful to make vows, even those of obedience. To this system he added the doctrines of the Arians, Carpocratians, and other denominations.
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In general, denotes those articulate sounds by which men express their thoughts. Much has been said respecting the invention of language. On the one side it is observed, that it is altogether a human invention, and that the progress of the mind, in the invention and improvement of language, is, by certain natural gradations, plainly discernible in the composition of words. But on the other side it is alleged, that we are indebted to divine revelation for the origin of it. Without supposing this, we see not how our first parents could so early hold converse with God, or the man with his wife. Admitting, however, that it is of divine original, we cannot suppose that a perfect system of it was all at once given to man. It is much more natural to think that God taught our first parents only such language as suited their present occasion, leaving them, as he did in other things, to enlarge and improve it, as their future necessities should require. Without attempting, however, to decide this controversy, we may consider language as one of the greatest blessings belonging to mankind. Destitute of this we should make but small advancements in science, be lost to all social enjoyments, and religion itself would feel the want of such a power. Our wise Creator, therefore, has conferred upon us this inestimable privilege: let us then be cautious that our tongues be not the vehicle of vain and useless matter, but used for the great end of glorifying him, and doing good to mankind. What was the first language taught man, is matter of dispute among the learned, but most, think it was the Hebrew. But as this subject, and the article in general, belongs more to philology than divinity, we refer the reader to Dr. Adam Smith's Dissertation on the Formation of Languages; Harris's Hermes; Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, vol. iii. Traite de la Formation Mechanique des Langues, par le President de Brosses; Blair's Rhetoric, vol. i. lect. vi. Gregory's Essays, ess. 6. Lord Monboddo on the Origin and Progress of Language.
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A person not conforming to any particular opinion or standard, but of such moderation as to suppose that people will be admitted into heaven, although of different persuasions. The term was more especially applied to those pacific doctors in the seventeenth century, who offered themselves as mediators between the more violent Episcopalians, and the rigid Presbyterians and Independents, respecting the forms of church government, public worship, and certain religious tenets, more especially those that were debated between the Arminians and Calvinists. The chief leaders of these Latitudinarians were Hales and Chillingworth; but More, Cudworth, Gale, Witchcot, and Tillotson, were also among the number. These men, although firmly attached to the church of England, did not go so far as to look upon it as of divine institution; and hence they maintained, that those who followed other forms of government and worship, were not on that account to be excluded from their communion. As to the doctrinal part of religion, they took the system of Episcopius for their model, and, like him, reduced the fundamental doctrines of Christianity to a few points; and by this manner of proceeding they endeavoured to show the contending parties, that they had no reason to oppose each other with such animosity and bitterness, since the subjects of their debates were matters of an indifferent nature with respect to salvation. They met, however, with opposition for their pains, and were branded as Atheists and Deists by some, and as Socinians by others; but upon the restoration of Charles II. they were raised to the first dignities of the church, and were held in considerable esteem. See Burnet's History of his own Times, vol. i. b. 11. p. 188; Mosheim's Ecc. Hist. vol. ii. p. 501. quarto edit.
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In church history, a name given to a collection of little cells at some distance from each other, in which the hermits of ancient times lived together in a wilderness. These hermits did not live in community, but each monk provided for himself in his distinct cell. the most celebrated lauras mentioned in ecclesiastical history were in Palestine; as the laura of St. Euthymus, St. Saba, the laura of the towers, &c.
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A rule of action; a precept or command coming
from a superior authority, which an inferior is bound to obey. The manner in
which God governs rational creatures is by a law, as the rule of their
obedience to him, and which is what we call God's moral government of the
world. He gave a law to angels, which some of them kept, and have been
confirmed in a state of obedience to it; but which others broke, and thereby
plunged themselves into destruction and misery. He gave, also, a law to Adam,
and which was in the form of a covenant, and in which Adam stood as a covenant
head to all his posterity, Rom. v. Gen. ii. But our first parents soon violated
that law, and fell from a state of innocence to a state of sin and misery, Hos.
vi.7. Gen. iii. See FALL.
Positive laws, are precepts which are not founded upon any reasons known to those to whom they are given. Thus in the state of innocence God gave the law of the Sabbath; or abstinence from the fruit of the tree of knowledge, &c.
Law of nature is the will of God relating to human actions, grounded in the moral differences of things, and, because discoverable by natural light, obligatory upon all mankind, Rom. i. 20. ii. 14,15. This law is coeval with the human race, binding all over the globe, and at all times; yet, through the corruption of reason, it is insufficient to lead us to happiness, and utterly unable to acquaint us how sin is to be forgiven, without the assistance of revelation.
Ceremonial law is that which prescribed the rites of worship used under the Old Testament. These rites were typical of Christ, and were obligatory only till Christ had finished his work, and began to erect his Gospel church, Heb. vii. 9,11. Heb. x. 1. Eph. ii. 16. Col. ii. 14. Gal. v. 2,3.
Judicial law was that which directed the policy of the Jewish nation, as under the peculiar dominion of God as their Supreme magistrate, and never, except in things relative to moral equity, was binding on any but the Hebrew nation.
Moral law is that declaration of God's will which directs and binds all men, in every age and place, to their whole duty to him. It was most solemnly proclaimed by God himself at Sinai, to confirm the original law of nature, and correct men's mistakes concerning the demands of it. It is denominated perfect, Psal xix. 7. perpetual, Matt. v. 17,18. holy, Rom. vii. 12. good, Rom. vii. 12. spiritual, Rom. vii. 14. exceeding broad, Psal. cxix. 96. Some deny that it is a rule of conduct to believers under the Gospel dispensation; but it is easy to see the futility of such an idea; for as a transcript of the mind of God, it must be the criterion of moral good and evil. It is also given for that very purpose, that we may see our duty, and abstain from every thing derogatory to the divine glory. It affords us grand ideas of the holiness and purity of God: without attention to it, we can have no knowledge of sin. Christ himself came not to destroy, but to fulfil it; and though we cannot do as he did, yet we are commanded to follow his example. Love to God is the end of the moral law, as well as the end of the Gospel. By the law, also, we are led to see the nature of holiness, and our own depravity, and learn to be humbled under a sense of our imperfection. We are not under it, however, as a covenant of works, Gal. iii. 13. or as a source of terror, Rom. viii. 1. although we must abide by it, together with the whole preceptive word of God, as the rule of our conduct, Rom. iii. 31. vii.
Laws, directive, are laws without any punishment annexed to them.
Laws, penal, such as have some penalty to enforce them. All the laws of God are and cannot but be penal, because every breach of his law is sin, and meritorious of punishment.
Law of honour is a system of rules constructed by people of fashion, and calculated to facilitate their intercourse with one another, and for no other purpose. Consequently nothing is adverted to by the law of honour but what tends to incommode this intercourse. Hence this law only prescribes and regulates the duties betwixt equals, omitting such as relate to the Supreme Being, as well as those which we owe to our inferiors.
In fact, this law of honour, in most instances, is favourable to the licentious indulgence of the natural passions. Thus it allows of fornication, adultery, drunkenness, prodigality, duelling, and of revenge in the extreme, and lays no stress upon the virtues opposite to these.
Laws, remedial, a fancied law, which some believe in, who hold that God, in mercy to mankind, has abolished that rigorous constitution or law that they were under originally, and instead of it has introduced a more mild constitution, and put us under a new law, which requires no more than imperfect sincere obedience, in compliance with our poor, infirm, impotent circumstances since the fall. I call this a fancied law, because it exists no where except in the imagination of those who hold it. See NEONOMIANS, and JUSTIFICATION.
Laws of nations, are those rules which by a tacit consent are agreed upon among all communities, at least among those who are reckoned the polite and humanized part of mankind. Gill's Body of Div. vol. i. p. 454, oct. 425, vol. iii. ditto; Paley's Mor. Phil. vol. i. p. 2; Cumberland's Law of Nature; Grove's Mor. Phil. vol. ii. p. 117. Booth's Death of Legal Hope; Inglish and Burder's Pieces on the Moral Law; Watts's Works, vol. i. ser. 49. 8vo. edition, and vol. ii. p. 443. &c. Scott's Essays.
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Among the Romanists, illiterate persons, who devote themselves at some convent to the service of the religious. They wear a different habit from that of the religious, but never enter into the choir, nor are present at the chapters; nor do they make any other vow than that of constancy and obedience.
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One who follows a secular employment, and is not in orders: opposed to a clergyman.
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Skill in any science, or that improvement of the
mind which we gain by study, instruction, observation, &c. An attentive
examination of ecclesiastical history will lead us to see how greatly learning
is indebted to Christianity, and that Christianity, in its turn, has been much
served by learning. "All the useful learning," says Dr. Jortin,
"which is now to be found in the world, is in a great measure owing to the
Gospel. The Christians, who had a great veneration for the Old Testament, have
contributed more than the Jews themselves to secure and explain those books.
The Christians in ancient times collected and preserved the Greek versions of
the Scriptures, particularly the Septuagint, and translated the originals into
Latin. To Christians were due the old Hexapla; and in later times Christians have
published the Polyglots and the Samaritan Pentateuch. It was the study of the
Holy Scriptures which excited Christians from early times to study chronology,
sacred and secular; and here much knowledge of history, and some skill in
astronomy, were needful. The New Testament, being written in Greek, caused
Christians to apply themselves also to the study of that language. As the
Christians were opposed by the Pagans and the Jews, they were excited to the
study of Pagan and Jewish literature, in order to expose the absurdities of the
Jewish traditions, the weakness of Paganism, and the imperfections and
insufficiency of philosophy. The first fathers, till the third century, were
generally Greek writers. In the third century the Latin language was much upon the
decline, but the Christians preserved it from sinking into absolute barbarism.
Monkery, indeed, produced many sad effects; but Providence here also brought
good out of evil; for the monks were employed in the transcribing of books, and
many valuable authors would have perished if it had not been for the
monasteries. In the ninth century, the Saracens were very studious, and
contributed much to the restoration of letters. But, whatever was good in the
Mahometan religion, it is in no small measure indebted to Christianity for it,
since Mahometanism is made up for the most part of Judaism and Christianity. If
Christianity had been suppressed at its first appearance, it is extremely
probable that the Latin and Greek tongues would have been lost in the revolution
of empires, and the irruptions of barbarians in the east and in the west; for
the old inhabitants would have had no conscientious and religious motives to
keep up their language; and then, together with the Latin and Greek tongues,
the knowledge of antiquities and the ancient writers would have been destroyed.
To whom, then, are we indebted for the knowledge of antiquity, for everything
that is called philosophy, or the literae humaniores?--to Christians. To whom
for grammars and dictionaries of the learned languages?--to Christians. To whom
for chronology, and the continuation of history through many centuries?--to
Christians. To whom for rational systems of morality, and improvements in
natural philosophy, and for the applications of these discoveries to religious
purposes?--to Christians. To whom for metaphysical researches, carried as far
as the subject will permit?--to Christians. To whom for the moral rules to be
observed by nations in war and peace?--to Christians. To whom for
jurisprudence, and for political knowledge, and for settling the rights of
subjects, both civil and religious, upon a proper foundation?--to Christians.
To whom for the reformation?--to Christians.
"As religion hath been the chief preserver of erudition, so erudition hath not been ungrateful to her patroness, but hath contributed largely to the support of religion. The useful expositions of the Scriptures, the sober and sensible defences of revelation, the faithful representations of pure and undefiled Christianity; these have been the works of learned, judicious, and industrious men." Nothing, however, is more common than to hear the ignorant decry all human learning as entirely useless in religion; and what is still more remarkable, even some, who call themselves preachers, entertain the same sentiments. But to such we can only say what a judicious preacher observed upon a public occasion, that if all men had been as unlearned as themselves, they never would have had a text on which to have displayed their ignorance. Dr. Jortin's Sermons, vol. vii. charge 1; Mrs. H. More's Hints to a Young Princess, vol. i. p. 64; Cook's Miss. Ser. on Matt. vi. 3; Dr. Stennett's Ser. on Acts xxvi. 24,25.
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Are discourses or sermons delivered by ministers on any subject in theology. Beside lectures on the sabbath day, many think proper to preach on week days; sometimes at five in the morning, before people go to work, and at seven in the evening, after they have done. In London there is preaching almost every forenoon and evening in the week, at some place or other. It may be objected, however, against week-day preaching, that it has a tendency to take people from their business, and that the number of places open on a sabbath day supersedes the necessity of it. But in answer to this may it not be observed, 1. That people stand in need at all times of religious instruction, exhortation, and comfort?--2. That there is a probability of converting sinners then as well as at other times?--3. That ministers are commanded to be instant in season and out of season?--And, 4. It gives ministers an opportunity of hearing one another, which is of great utility. After all, it must be remarked, that he who can hear the truth on a sabbath day does not act consistently to neglect his family or business to be always present at week-day lectures; nor is he altogether wise who has an opportunity of receiving instruction, yet altogether neglects it.
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A course of eight sermons preached annually at the university of Oxford, set on foot by the Reverend John Bampton, canon of Salisbury.--According to the directions in his will they are to be preached upon either of the following subjects:--To confirm and establish the Christian faith, and to confute all heretics and schismatics; upon the divine authority of the holy Scriptures; upon the authority of the writings of the primitive fathers, as to the faith and practice of the primitive church; upon the divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; upon the divinity of the Holy Ghost; upon the articles of the Christian faith as comprehended in the Apostles' and Nicene creeds. For the support of this lecture, he bequeathed his lands and estates to the chancellor, masters, and scholars of the University of Oxford for ever, upon trust that the vice-chancellor for the time being take and receive all the rents and profits thereof; and, after all taxes, reparations, and necessary deductions made, to pay all the remainder to the endowment of these divinity lecture sermons. He also directs in his will, that no person shall be qualified to preach these lectures unless he have taken the degree of master of arts, at least in one of the two universities of Oxford or Cambridge, and that the same person shall never preach the same sermon twice. A number of excellent sermons preached at this lecture are now before the public. A more enlarged account of this lecture may be seen in the Christian Observer for May, 1809.
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See BOYLE'S LECTURES.
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A lecture set up in the year 1672 by the Presbyterians and Independents, to show their agreement among themselves, as well as to support the doctrines of the Reformation against the prevailing errors of Popery, Socinianism, and Infidelity. The principal ministers for learning and popularity were chosen as lecturers; such as Dr. Bates, Dr. Manton, Dr. Owen, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Collins Jenkins, Mead, and afterwards Mr. Alsop, How, Cole, and others. It was encouraged and supported by some of the principal merchants and tradesmen of the city. Some misunderstanding taking place, the Presbyterians removed to Salter's-hall, and the Independents remained at Pinner's-hall, and each party filled up their numbers out of their respective denominations. This lecture is kept up to the present day, and is, we believe, now held at Broad-street Meeting every Tuesday morning.
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Certain casuistical lectures, which were preached by some of the most able divines in London. The occasion of these lectures seems to be this: During the troublesome time of Charles I. most of the citizens having some near relation or friend in the army of the earl of Essex, so many bills were sent up to the pulpit every Lord's Day for their preservation, that the minister had neither time to read them, nor to recommend their cases to God in prayer; it was, therefore, agreed by some London divines to separate an hour for this purpose every morning, one half to be spent in prayer, and the other in a suitable exhortation to the people. When the heat of the war was over, it became a casuistical lecture, and was carried on till the restoration of Charles II. These sermons were afterwards published in several volumes quarto, under the title of the morning exercises. The authors were the most eminent preachers of the day: Mr. (afterwards archbishop) Tillotson was one of them. It appears that these lectures were held every morning for one month only; and from the preface to the volume, dated 1689, the time was afterwards contracted to a fortnight. Most of these were delivered at Cripplegate church, some at St. Giles's, and a volume against popery in Southwark. Mr. Neale observes, that this lecture was afterwards revived in a different form, and continued in his day. It was kept up long afterwards at several places in the summer, a week at each place; but latterly the time was exchanged for the evening.
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See MOYER'S LECTURES.
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A lecture founded by bishop Warburton to prove the truth of revealed religion in general, and the Christian in particular, from the completion of the prophecies in the Old and New Testament which relate to the Christian church, especially to the apostacy of papal Rome. To this foundation we owe the admirable discourses of Hurd, Halifax, Bagot, and many others.
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The church of England, are an order of preachers distinct from the rector, vicar, and curate. They are chosen by the vestry, or chief inhabitants of the parish, supported by voluntary subscriptions and legacies, and are usually the afternoon preachers, and sometimes officiate on some stated day in the week. Where there are lectures founded by the donations of pious persons, the lecturers are appointed by the founders, without any interposition or consent of rectors of churches, &c. though with the leave and approbation of the bishop; such as that of Lady Moyer's at St. Paul's. But the lecturer is not entitled to the pulpit without the consent of the rector or vicar, who is possessed of the freehold of the church.
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Strictly speaking, is one who acts according to or consistent with the law; but in general the term is made use of to denote one who expects salvation by his own works. We may farther consider a legalist as one who has no proper conviction of the evil of sin; who, although he pretends to abide by the law, yet has not a just idea of its spirituality and demands. He is ignorant of the grand scheme of salvation by free grace: proud of his own fancied righteousness, he submits not to the righteousness of God; he derogates from the honour of Christ, by mixing his own works with his; and, in fact, denies the necessity of the work of the Spirit, by supposing that he has ability in himself to perform all those duties which God has required. Such is the character of the legalist; a character diametrically opposite to that of the true Christian, whose sentiment corresponds with that of the apostle, who justly observes, "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. ii. 8,9.
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A cardinal, or bishop whom the pope sends as his ambassador to sovereign princes.
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Originally a book, in the Romish church, containing the lessons that were to be read in divine service: from hence the word was applied to the histories of the lives of saints, because chapters were read out of them at matins; but as the golden legend, compiled by James de Varase, about the year 1290, contained in it several ridiculous and romantic stories, the word is now used by Protestants to signify any in credible or inauthentic narrative. Hence, as Dr. Jortin observes, we have false legends concerning the miracles of Christ, of his apostles, and of ancient Christians; and the writers of these fables had, in all probability, as good natural abilities as the disciples of Christ, and some of them wanted neither learning nor craft; and yet they betray themselves by faults against chronology, against history, against manners and customs, against morality, and against probability. A liar of this kind can never pass undiscovered; but an honest relater of truth and matter of fact is safe: he wants no artifice, and fears no examination.
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A name given, in the time of Dioclesian, to a whole legion of Christians, consisting of more than six thousand men, who were said to have suffered martyrdom by the order of Maximian. Though this story had never wanted patrons, yet it is disbelieved by many. Dr. Jortin, in his usual facetious way, says, that it stands upon the authority of one Eucherius, bishop of Lyons, and a writer of the fifth century, who had it from the Theodorus, another bishop who had the honour and felicity to find the reliques of these martyrs by revelation, and perhaps by the smell of the bones!
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A name given to those Christians who served in the Roman army of Marcus Antoninus, in the second century. The occasion of it was this:--When that emperor was at war with the Marcomanni, his army was enclosed by the enemy, and reduced to the most deplorable condition by the thirst under which they languished in a parched desert. Just at this time they were remarkably relieved by a sudden and unexpected rain. This event was attributed to the Christians, who were supposed to have effected this by their prayers; and the name of the thundering legion was given to them, on account of the thunder and lightning that destroyed the enemy, while the shower revived the fainting Romans. Whether this was really miraculous or not, has been disputed among learned men. They who wish to see what has been said on both sides, may consult Witsius Dissertat. de Legione Fulminatrice, which is subjoined to his AEgyptiaca, in defence of this miracle; as also, what is alleged against it by Dan Lauroque, in a discourse upon that subject subjoined to the Adversaria Sucra of Matt. Lauroque, his father. The controversy between Sir Peter King and Mr. Moyle upon this subject is also worthy of attention.
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A solemn time of fasting in the Christian church, observed as a time of humiliation before Easter. The Romish church, and some of the Protestant communion, maintain, that it was always a fast of forty days, and, as such, of apostolical institution. Others think that it was of ecclesiastical institution, and that it was variously observed in different churches, and grew by degrees from a fast of forty hours to a fast of forty days. This is the sentiment of Morton, bishop Taylor, Du Moulin, Daille, and others. Anciently the manner of observing Lent among those who were piously disposed, was to abstain from food till evening: their only refreshment was a supper, and it was indifferent whether it was flesh or any other food, provided it was used with sobriety and moderation. Lent was thought the proper time for exercising more abundantly every species of charity: thus what they spared of their own bodies by abridging them of a meal, was usually given to the poor: they employed their vacant hours in visiting the sick and those that were in prison; in entertaining strangers, and reconciling differences. The Imperial laws forbade all prosecution of men in criminal actions that might bring them to corporal punishment and torture during the whole season. This was a time of more than ordinary strictness and devotion, and therefore, in many of the great churches, they had religious assemblies for prayer and preaching every day. All public games and stage plays were prohibited at this season, and also the celebration of all festivals, birthdays, and marriages. The Christians of the Greek church observe four Lents; the first commences on the fifteenth of November: the second is the same with our Lent: the third begins the week after Whitsuntide, and continues till the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul; and the fourth commences on the first of August, and lasts no longer than till the fifteenth. These Lents are observed with great strictness and austerity, but on Saturdays and Sundays, they indulge themselves in drinking wine and using oil, which are prohibited on other days.
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Among ecclesiastical writers, are portions of the holy Scriptures read in churches at the time of divine service. In the ancient church, reading the Scripture was one part of the service of the catechumen, at which all persons were allowed to be present in order to obtain instruction. The church of England, in the choice of lessons, proceeds as follows:--for all the first lessons on ordinary days, she directs to begin at the beginning of the year with Genesis, and so continue till the books of the Old Testament are read over, only omitting Chronicles, which are for the most part the same with the books of Samuel and Kings; and other particular chapters in other books, either because they contain the names of persons, places, or other matters less profitable to ordinary readers. The course of the first lessons for Sundays is regulated after a different manner: from Advent to Septuagesima Sunday, some particular chapters of Isaiah are appointed to be read, because that book contains the clearest prophecies concerning Christ. Upon Septuagesima Sunday, Genesis is begun; because that book, which treats of the fall of man, and the severe judgment of God inflicted on the world for sin, best suits with a time of repentance and mortification. After Genesis follow chapters out of the books of the Old Testament, as they lie in order; only on festival Sundays, such as Easter, Whitsunday, &c., the particular history relating to that day is appointed to be read; and on the saints days the church appoints lessons out of the moral books, such as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, &c., as containing excellent instructions for the conduct of life. As to the second lessons, the church observes the same course both on Sundays and week-days; reading the Gospel and Acts of the Apostles in the morning, and the Epistles in the evening, in the order they stand in the New Testament; excepting on saints' days and holy days, when such lessons are appointed as either explain the mystery, relate the history, or apply the example to us.
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The name of a fanatical sect which sprang up in the Greek and eastern churches towards the close of the twelfth century: they professed to believe in a double trinity, rejected wedlock, abstained from flesh, treated with the utmost contempt the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper, and all the various branches of external worship: placed the essence of religion in internal prayer alone; and maintained, as it is said, that an evil being or genius dwelt in the breast of every mortal, and could be expelled from thence by no other method than by perpetual supplication to the Supreme Being. The founder of this sect is said to have been a person called Leucopetrus, and his chief disciple Tychicus, who corrupted by fanatical interpretations several books of Scripture, and particularly St. Matthew's Gospel.
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Lightness of spirit, in opposition to gravity. Nothing can be more proper than for a Christian to wear an air of cheerfulness, and to watch against a morose and gloomy disposition. But though it be his privilege to rejoice, yet he must be cautious of that volatility of spirit which characterises the unthinking, and marks the vain professor. To be cheerful without levity, and grave without austerity, form both a happy and dignified character.
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The act of pouring wine on the ground in divine worship. Sometimes other liquids have been used, as oil, milk, water, honey, but mostly wine. Amongst the Greeks and Romans it was an essential part of solemn sacrifices. Libations were also in use among the Hebrews, who poured a hin of wine on the victim after it was killed, and the several pieces of the sacrifice were laid on the altar ready to be consumed in the flames.
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Bounty; a generous disposition of mind, exerting itself in giving largely. It is thus distinguished from generosity and bounty:--Liberality implies acts of mere giving or spending; generosity, acts of greatness; bounty, acts of kindness. Liberality is a natural disposition; generosity proceeds from elevation of sentiment; bounty, from religious motives. Liberality denotes freedom of spirit; generosity, greatness of soul, bounty, openness of heart.
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A generous disposition a man feels towards
another who is of a different opinion from himself; or, as one defines it,
"that generous expansion of mind which enables it to look beyond all petty
distinctions of party and system, and, in the estimate of men and things, to
rise superior to narrow prejudices." As liberality of sentiment is often a
cover for error and scepticism on the one hand, and as it is too little
attended to by the ignorant and bigoted on the other, we shall here lay before
our readers a view of it by a masterly writer. "A man of liberal
sentiments must be distinguished from him who hath no religious sentiments at
all. He is one who hath seriously and effectually investigated, both in his
Bible and on his knees, in public assemblies and in private conversations, the
important articles of religion. He hath laid down principles, he hath inferred
consequences; in a word, he hath adopted sentiments of his own.
"He must be distinguished also from that tame undiscerning domestic among good people, who, though he has sentiments of his own, yet has not judgment to estimate the worth and value of one sentiment beyond another.
"Now a generous believer of the Christian religion is one who will never allow himself to try to propagate his sentiments by the commission of sin. No collusion, no bitterness, no wrath, no undue influence of any kind, will he apply to make his sentiments receivable; and no living thing will be less happy for his being a Christian. He will exercise his liberality by allowing those who differ from him as much virtue and integrity as he possibly can.
"There are, among a multitude of arguments to enforce such a disposition, the following worthy our attention.
"First, We should exercise liberality in union with sentiment, because of the different capacities, advantages, and tasks of mankind. Religion employs the capacities of mankind, just as the air employs their lungs and their organs of speech. The fancy of one is lively, of another dull. The judgment of one is elastic; of another feeble, a damaged spring. The memory on one is retentive; that of another is treacherous as the wind. The passion of this man are lofty, vigorous, rapid; those of that man crawl, and hum, and buz, and, when on wing, sail only round the circumference of a tulip. Is it conceivable that capability, so different in every thing else, should be all alike in religion? The advantages of mankind differ. How should he who hath no parents, no books, no tutor, no companions, equal him whom Providence hath gratified with them all; who, when he looks over the treasures of his own knowledge, can say, this I had of a Greek, that I learned of a Roman; this information I acquired of my tutor, that was a present of my father: a friend gave me this branch of knowledge, an acquaintance bequeathed me that? The tasks of mankind differ; so I call the employments and exercises of life. In my opinion, circumstances make great men; and if we have not Caesars in the state, and Pauls in the church, it is because neither church nor state are in the circumstances in which they were in the days of those great men. Push a dull man into a river, and endanger his life, and suddenly he will discover invention, and make efforts beyond himself. The world is a fine school of instruction. Poverty, sickness, pain, loss of children, treachery of friends, malice of enemies, and a thousand other things, drive the man of sentiment to his Bible, and, so to speak, bring him home to a repast with his benefactor, God. Is it conceivable that he, whose young and tender heart is yet unpractised in trials of this kind, can have ascertained and tasted so many religious truths as the sufferer has?
"We should believe the Christian religion with liberality, in the second place, because every part of the Christian religion inculcates generosity. Christianity gives us a character of God; but my God! what a character does it give! God is LOVE. Christianity teaches the doctrine of Providence; but what a providence! Upon whom doth not its light arise! Is there an animalcule so little, or a wretch so forlorn, as to be forsaken and forgotten of his God? Christianity teaches the doctrine of redemption: but the redemption of whom?--of all tongues, kindred, nations, and people: of the infant of a span, and the sinner of a hundred years old: a redemption generous in its principle, generous in its price, generous in its effects; fixed sentiments of Divine magnificence, and revealed with a liberality for which we have no name. In a word, the illiberal Christian always acts contrary to the spirit of his religion; the liberal man alone thoroughly understands it.
"Thirdly, We should be liberal, because no other spirit is exemplified in the infallible guides whom we profess to follow. I set one Paul against a whole army of uninspired men: 'Some preach Christ of good will, and some of envy and strife. What then? Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. One eateth all things, another eateth herbs; but why dost THOU judge thy brother? We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.' We often inquire, What was the doctrine of Christ, and what was the practice of Christ; suppose we were to institute a third question, Of what TEMPER was Christ?
"Once more: We should be liberal as well as orthodox, because truth, especially the truths of Christianity, do not want any support from our illiberality. Let the little bee guard its little honey with its little sting; perhaps its little life may depend a little while on that little nourishment. Let the fierce bull shake his head, and nod his horn, and threaten his enemy, who seeks to eat his flesh, and wear his coat, and live by his death: poor fellow! his life is in danger; I forgive his bellowing and his rage. But the Christian religion,--is that in danger? and what human efforts can render that true which is false, that odious which is lovely? Christianity is in no danger, and therefore it gives its professors life and breath, and all things, except a power of injuring others.
"In fine, liberality in the profession of religion is a wise and innocent policy. The bigot lives at home; a reptile he crawled into existence, and there in his hole he lurks a reptile still. A generous Christian goes out of his own party, associates with others and gains improvement by all. It is a Persian proverb, A liberal hand is better than a strong arm. The dignity of Christianity is better supported by acts of liberality than by accuracy of reasoning: but when both go together, when a man of sentiment can clearly state and ably defend his religious principles, and when his heart is an generous as his principles are inflexible, he possesses strength and beauty in an eminent degree." See Theol. Misc. vol. i. p. 39.
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One who acts without restraint, and pays no regard to the precepts of religion.
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According to some, were such Jews as were free citizens of Rome: they had a separate synagogue at Jerusalem, and sundry of them concurred in the persecution of Stephen, Acts vi. 9. Dr. Guyse supposes that those who had obtained this privilege by gift were called liberti (free men,) and those who had obtained it by purchase, libertini (made free,) in distinction from original native free-men. Dr. Doddridge thinks that they were called Libertines as having been the children of freed men, that is, of emancipated captives of slaves. See Doddridge and Guyse on Acts vi. 9.
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A religious sect which arose in the year 1525,
whose principal tenets were, that the Deity was the sole operating cause in the
mind of man, and the immediate author of all human actions; that, consequently,
the distinctions of good and evil, which had been established with regard to
those actions, were false and groundless, and that men could not, properly
speaking, commit sin; that religion consisted in the union of the spirit, or
rational soul, with the Supreme Being; that all those who had attained this
happy union, by sublime contemplation and elevation of mind, were then allowed
to indulge, without exception or restraint, their appetites or passions; that
all their actions and pursuits were then perfectly innocent; and that, after
the death of the body, they were to be united to the Deity. They likewise said
that Jesus Christ was nothing but a mere je ne scai quoi, composed of the
spirit of God and the opinion of men. These maxims occasioned their being
called Libertines, and the word has been used in an ill sense ever since. This
sect spread principally in Holland and Brabant. Their leaders were one Quintin,
a Picard, Pockesius, Ruffius, and another, called Chopin, who joined with
Quintin, and became his disciple. They obtained footing in France through the
favour and protection of Margaret, queen of Navarre, and sister to Francis I.
and found patrons in several of the reformed churches.
Libertines of Geneva were a cabal of rakes rather than of fanatics; for they made no pretence to any religious system, but pleaded only for the liberty of leading voluptuous and immoral lives. This cabal was composed of a certain number of licentious citizens, who could not bear the severe discipline of Calvin. There were also among them several who were not only notorious for their dissolute and scandalous manner of living, but also for their atheistical impiety and contempt of all religion. To this odious class belonged one Gruet, who denied the divinity of the Christian religion, the immortality of the soul, the difference between moral good and evil, and rejected with disdain the doctrines that are held most sacred among Christians; for which impieties he was at last brought before the civil tribunal in the year 1550, and condemned to death.
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Denotes a state of freedom, in contradistinction to slavery or restraint.--1. Natural liberty, or liberty of choice, is that in which our volitions are not determined by any foreign cause or consideration whatever offered to it, but by its own pleasure.--2. External liberty, or liberty of action, is opposed to a constraint laid on the executive powers; and consists in a power of rendering our volitions effectual.--3. Philosophical liberty consists in a prevailing disposition to act according to the dictates of reason, i. e. in such a manner as shall, all things considered, most effectually promote our happiness.--4. Moral liberty is said to be that in which there is no interposition of the will of a superior being to prohibit or determine our actions in any particular under consideration. See NECESSITY, WILL.--5. Liberty of conscience is freedom from restraint in our choice of, and judgment about matters of religion.--6. Spiritual liberty consists in freedom from the curse of the moral law; from the servitude of the ritual; from the love, power, and guilt of sin; from the dominion of Satan; from the corruptions of the world; from the fear of death, and the wrath to come; Rom. vi. 14. Rom. viii. 1. Gal. iii. 13. John viii. 36. Rom. viii. 21. Gal. v. 1. 1 Thess. i. 10. See articles MATERIALISTS, PREDESTINATION, and Doddridge's Lec. p. 50, vol. i. oct. Watts's Phil. Ess. sec. v. p. 283; Jon. Edwards on the Will; Locke on Und. Grove's Mor. Phil. sec. 18,19. J. Palmer on Liberty of Man; Martin's Queries and Rem. on Human Liberty; Charnock's Works, p. 175, &c. vol. ii.; Saurin's Sermons, vol. iii. ser. 4.
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A state of active existence.--1. Human life is the continuance or duration of our present state, and which the Scriptures represent as short and vain, Job xiv. 1,2. Jam. iv. 14.--2. Spiritual life consists in our being in the favour of God, influenced by a principle of grace. God, influenced by a principle of grace, and living dependent on him. It is considered as of divine origin, Col. iii. 4. hidden, Col. iii. 3. peaceful, Rom. viii. 6. secure, John x. 28.--3. Eternal life is that never-ending state of existence which the saints shall enjoy in heaven, and is glorious, col. iii. 4. holy, Rev. xxi. 27. and blissful, 1 Pet. i. 4. 2 Cor. iv. 17. See HEAVEN.
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See KNOWLEDGE, RELIGION.
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A general supplication used in public worship to appease the wrath of the Deity, and to request those blessings a person wants. The word comes from the Greek "supplication," of "I beseech." At first, the use of litanies was not fixed to any stated time, but were only employed as exigencies required. They were observed, in imitation of the Ninevites, with ardent supplications and fastings, to avert the threatened judgments of fire, earthquake, inundations, or hostile invasions. About the year 400, litanies began to be used in processions, the people walking barefoot, and repeating them with great devotion: and it is pretended that by this means several countries were delivered from great calamities. The days on which they were used were called Rogation days; these were appointed by the canons of different councils, till it was decreed by the council of Toledo, that they should be used every month throughout the year; and thus, by degrees, they came to be used weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays, the ancient stationary days for fasting. To these days the rubric of the church of England has added Sundays, as being the greatest day for assembling at divine service. Before the last review of the common prayer, the litany was a distinct service by itself, and used sometimes after the morning prayer was over; at present it is made one office with the morning service, being ordered to be read after the third collect for grace, instead of the intercessional prayers in the daily service.
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Denotes all the ceremonies in general belonging to divine service. The word comes from the Greek "service, public ministry," formed of "public," and "work." In a more restrained signification, liturgy is used among the Romanists to signify the mass, and among us the common prayer. All who have written on liturgies agree, that, in primitive days, divine service was exceedingly simple, clogged with a very few ceremonies, and consisted of but a small number of prayers; but, by degrees, they increased the number of ceremonies, and added new prayers, to make the office look more awful and venerable to the people. At length, things were carried to such a pitch, that a regulation became necessary; and it was found necessary to put the service and the manner of performing it into writing, and this was what they called a liturgy. Liturgies have been different at different times and in different countries. We have the liturgy of St. Chrysostom, of St. Peter, the Armenian liturgy, Gallican liturgy, &c.&c. "The properties required in a public liturgy," says Paley, "are these: it must be compendious; express just conceptions of the divine attributes; recite such wants as a congregation are likely to feel, and no other; and contain as few controverted propositions as possible." The liturgy of the church of England was composed in the year 1547, and established in the second year of king Edward VI. In the fifth year of this king it was reviewed, because some things were contained in that liturgy which shewed a compliance with the superstition of those times, and some exceptions were taken against it by some learned men at home, and by Calvin abroad. Some alterations were made in it, which consisted in adding the general confession and absolution, and the communion to begin with the ten commandments. The use of oil in confirmation and extreme unction was left out, and also prayers for souls departed, and what related to a belief of Christ's real presence in the eucharist. This liturgy, so reformed, was established by this acts of the 5th and 6th Edward VI. cap. 1. However, it was abolished by queen Mary, who enacted, that the service should stand as it was most commonly used in the last year of the reign of king Henry VIII.--That of Edward VI. was re-established, with some alterations, by Elizabeth. Some farther alterations were introduced, in consequence of the review of the common prayer book, by order of king James, in the first year of his reign, particularly in the office of private baptism, in several rubrics, and other passages, with the addition of five or six new prayers and thanksgivings, and all that part of the catechism which contains the doctrine of the sacraments. The book of common prayer, so altered, remained in force from the first year of king James to the fourteenth of Charles II. The last review of the liturgy was in the year 1661. Many supplications have been since made for a review, but without success. Bingham's Orig. Eccl. b. 13; Broughton's Dict. Bennett, Robinson, and Clarkson, on Liturg. passim; A Letter to a Dissenting Minister on the Expediency of Forms, and Brekell's Answer; Rogers's Lectures on the Liturgy of the Church of England; Biddulph's Essays on the Liturgy: Orton's Letters, vol. i. p. 16-24.
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A liturgy so called from its first publication at Liverpool. It was composed by some of the Presbyterians, who, growing weary of extempore prayer, thought a form more desirable. It made its appearance in 1752. Mr. Ortin says of it, "It is scarcely a Christian liturgy. In the collect the name of Christ is hardly mentioned; and the Spirit is quite banished from it." It was little better than a deistical composition. Orton's Letters, vol. i. p. 80,81. Bogue and Bennett's Hist. of Diss. vol. iii. p. 342.
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A religious sect, differing in many points from
the church of Rome, which arose in Germany about the beginning of the
fourteenth century; so called, as many writers have imagined, from Walter
Lollard, who began to dogmatize in 1315, and was burnt at Cologne; though
others think that Lollard was no surname, but merely a term of reproach applied
to all heretics who concealed the poison of error under the appearance of
The monk of Canterbury derives the origin of the word lollard among us from lolium, "a tare," as if the Lollards were the tares sown in Christ's vineyard. Abelly says, that the word signifies "praising God," from the German loben "to praise," and herr, "lord;" because the Lollards employed themselves in travelling about from place to place, singing psalms and hymns. Others, much to the same purpose, derive lollhard, lullhard, or lollert, lullert, as it was written by the ancient Germans, from the old German word lullen, lollen, or lallen, and the termination hard, with which many of the high Dutch words end. Lollen signifies "to sing with a low voice," and therefore lollard is a singer, or one who frequently sings; and in the vulgar tongue of the Germans it denotes a person who is continually praising God with a song, or singing hymns to his honour.
The Alexians or Cellites were called Lollard, because they were public singers, who made it their business to inter the bodies of those who died of the plague, and sang a dirge over them, in a mournful and indistinct tone, as they carried them to the grave. The name was afterwards assumed by persons that dishonoured it, for we find among those Lollard who made extraordinary pretences to religion, and spent the greatest part of their time in meditation, prayer, and such acts of piety, there were many abominable hypocrites, who entertained the most ridiculous opinions, and concealed the most enormous vices under the specious mark of this extra-ordinary profession. Many injurious aspersions were therefore propagated against those who assumed this name by the priests and monks; so that, by degrees, any persons who covered heresies or crimes under the appearance of piety was called a Lollard. Thus the name was not used to denote any one particular sect, but was formerly common to all persons or sects who were supposed to be guilty of impiety towards God or the church, under an external profession of great piety. However, many societies, consisting both of men and women, under the name of Lollards, were formed in most parts of Germany and Flanders, and were supported partly by their manual labours, and partly by the charitable donations of pious persons. The magistrates and inhabitants of the towns where these brethren and sisters resided gave them particular marks of favour and protection, on account of their great usefulness to the sick and needy. They were thus supported against their malignant rivals, and obtained many papal constitutions, by which their institute was confirmed, their persons exempted from the cognizance of the inquisitor, and subjected entirely to the jurisdiction of the bishops; but as these measures were insufficient to secure them from molestation, Charles duke of Burgundy, in the year 1472, obtained a solemn bull from Sextus IV. ordering that the Cellites, or Lollards, should be ranked among the religious orders, and delivered from the jurisdiction of the bishops. And pope Julius II. granted them still greater privileges, in the year 1506. Mosheim informs us, that many societies of this kind are still subsisting at Cologne, and in the cities of Flanders, though they have evidently departed from their ancient rules.
Lollard and his followers rejected the sacrifice of the mass, extreme unction, and penances for sin; arguing that Christ's sufferings were sufficient. He is likewise said to have set aside baptism, as a thing of no effect; and repentance as not absolutely necessary, &c. In England, the followers of Wickliffe were called, by way of reproach, Lollards, from the supposition that there was some affinity between some of their tenets; though others are of opinion that the English Lollards came from Germany. See WICKLIFFITES.
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See PATIENCE OF GOD.
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A term properly denoting one who has dominion. Applied to God, the supreme governor and disposer of all things. See GOD.
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Consists, first, in using it lightly or rashly,
in exclamations, adjurations, and appeals in common conversation.--2.
Hypocritically, in our prayers, thanksgiving, &c.--3. Superstitiously, as
when the Israelites carried the ark to the field of battle, to render them
successful against the Philistines, 1 Sam. iv. 3,4.--4. Wantonly, in swearing
by him, or creatures in his stead, Matt. v. 34,37.--5. Angrily, or sportfully
cursing, and devoting ourselves or others to mischief and damnation.--6.
Perjuring ourselves, attesting that which is false, Mal. iii. 5.--7.
Blasphemously reviling God, or causing others to do so, Rom. ii. 24. Perhaps
there is no sin more common as to the practice, and less thought of as to the
guilt of it, than this. Nor is it thus common with the vulgar only, but with
those who call themselves wise, humane, and moral. They tremble at the idea of
murder, theft, adultery, & c. while they forget that the same law which
prohibits the commission of these crimes, does, with equal force, forbid that
of profaning his name. No man, therefore, whatever his sense, abilities, or
profession may be, can be held guiltless, or be exonerated from the charge of
being a wicked man, while he lives in the habitual violation of this part of
God's sacred law. A very celebrated female writer justly observes, that
"It is utterly INEXCUSABLE; it has none of the palliatives of temptation
which other vices plead, and in that respect stands distinguished from all
others both in its nature and degree of guilt. Like many other sins, however,
it is at once cause and effect; it proceeds from want of love and reverence to
the best of Beings, and causes the want of that love both in themselves and
others. This species of profaneness is not only swearing, but, perhaps, in some
respects, swearing of the worst sort; as it is a direct breach of an express
command, and offends against the very letter of that law which says, in so many
words,"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." It
offends against politeness and good breeding, for these who commit it little
think of the pain they are inflicting of the sober mind, which is deeply
wounded when it hears the holy name it loves dishonoured; and it is as contrary
to good breeding to give pain, as it is to true piety to be profane. It is
astonishing that the refined and elegant should not reprobate this practice for
its coarseness and vulgarity, as much as the pious abhor it for its sinfulness.
"I would endeavour to give some faint idea of the grossness of this offence by an analogy, (oh! how inadequate!) with which the feeling heart, even though not seasoned with religion, may yet be touched. To such I would earnestly say--Suppose you had some beloved friend,--to put the case still more strongly, a departed friend,--a revered parent, perhaps,--whose image never occurs without awakening in your bosom sentiments of tender love and lively gratitude; how would you feel if you heard this honoured name bandied about with unfeeling familiarity and indecent levity; or, at best, thrust into every pause of speech as a vulgar expletive?--Does not your affectionate heart recoil at the thought? And yet the hallowed name of your truest Benefactor, your heavenly Father, your best Friend, to whom you are indebted for all you enjoy; who gives you those very friends in whom you so much delight, those very talents with which you dishonour him, those very organs of speech with which you blaspheme him, is treated with an irreverence, a contempt, a wantonness, with which you cannot bear the very thought or mention of treating a human friend. His name is impiously, is unfeelingly, is ungratefully singled out as the object of decided irreverence, or systematic contempt, of thoughtless levity. His sacred name is used indiscriminately to express anger, joy, grief, surprise, impatience; and, what is almost still more unpardonable than all, it is wantonly used as a mere unmeaning expletive, which, being excited by no temptation, can have nothing to extenuate it; which, causing no emotion, can have nothing to recommend it, unless it be the pleasure of the sin." Mrs. More on Education, vol. ii. p. 87; Gill's Body of Div. vol. iii. p. 427; Brown's System of Relig. p. 526.
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Is that which our Lord gave to his disciples on the Mount. According to what is said in the sixth chapter of Matthew, it was given as a directory; but from Luke xi. 1. some argue that it was given as a form. Some have urged that the second and fourth petition of that prayer could be intended only for a temporary use; but it is answered, that such a sense may be put upon those petitions as shall suit all Christians in all ages; for it is always our duty to pray that Christ's kingdom may be advanced in the world, and to profess our daily dependence on God's providential care. Nevertheless, there is no reason to believe that Christ meant that his people should always use this as a set form; for, if that had been the case, it would not have been varied as it is by the two evangelists, Matt. vi. Luke xi. It is true, indeed, that they both agree in the main, as to the sense, yet not in the express words; and the doxology which Matthew gives at large is wholly left out in Luke. And, besides, we do not find that the disciples ever used it as a form. It is, however, a most excellent summary of prayer, for its brevity, order, and matter; and it is very lawful and laudable to make use of any single petition, or the whole of it, provided a formal and superstitious use of it be avoided.--That great zeal, as one observes, which is to be found in some Christians either for or against it, is to be lamented as a weakness; and it will become us to do all that we can to promote on each side more moderate sentiments concerning the use of it. See Doddridge's Lectures, lec. 194; Barrow's Works, vol. i. p. 48; Archbishop Leighton's Explanation of it; West on the Lord's Prayer; Gill's Body of Divinity, vol. iii. p. 362, 8vo. Fordyce on Edification of Public Instruction, p. 11,12; Mendlam's Exposition of the Lord's Prayer.
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Is an ordinance which our Saviour instituted as
a commemoration of his death and sufferings. 1. It is called a sacrament, that
it, a sign and an oath. An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual
grace; an oath, by which we bind our souls with a bond unto the Lord. Some,
however, reject this term as not being scriptural; as likewise the idea of
swearing or vowing to the Lord. See VOW.--2. It is called the Lord's Supper,
because it was first instituted in the evening, and at the close of the
Passover supper; and because we therein feed upon Christ, the bread of life,
Rom. iii. 20. 1 Cor. xi.--3. It is called the communion, as here in we have
communion with Christ, and with his people, 1 Cor. xii. 13. x. 17.--4. It is
called the eucharist, a thanksgiving, because Christ, in the institution of it,
gave thanks, 1 Cor. xii. 24, and because we, in the participation of it, must
give thanks likewise.--5. It is called a feast, and by some a feast upon a
sacrifice (though not a sacrifice itself,) in allusion to the custom of the
Jews feasting upon their sacrifices, 1 Cor. x. 18.
As to the nature of this ordinance, we may observe, that, in participating of the bread and wine, we do not consider it as expiatory, but, 1. As a commemorating ordinance. We are here to remember the person, love, and death of Christ, 1 Cor. xi. 24.--2. A confessing ordinance. We hereby profess our esteem for Christ, and dependence upon him.--3. A communicating ordinance: blessings of grace are here commuicated to us.--4. A covenanting ordinance. God, in and by this ordinance, as it were, declares that he is ours, and we by it declare to be his.--5. A standing ordinance, for it is to be observed to the end of time, 1 Cor. xi. 26. It seems to be quite an indifferent thing, what bread is used in this ordinance, or what coloured wine, for Christ took that which was readiest. The eating of the bread and drinking of the wine being always connected in Christ's example, they ought never to be separated: wherever one is given, the other should not be withheld. This bread and wine are not changed into the real body and blood of Christ, but are only emblems thereof. See TRANSUBSTANTIATION.
The subjects of this ordinance should be such as make a credible profession of the Gospel: the ignorant, and those whose lives are immoral, have no right to it; nor should it ever be administered as a test of civil obedience, for this is perverting the design of it. None but true believers can approach it with profit; yet we cannot exclude any who make a credible profession, for God only is the judge of the heart, while we can only act according to outward appearances.
Much has been said respecting, the time of administering it. Some plead for the morning, others the afternoon, and some for the evening; which latter, indeed, was the time of the first celebration of it, and is most suitable to a supper. How often it is to be observed, cannot be precisely ascertained from Scripture. Some have been for keeping it every day in the week; others four times a week; some every Lord's day, which many think is nearest the apostolic practice, Acts xx. 7. Others have kept it three times a year, and some one a year; but the most common is once a month. It evidently appears, however, both from Scripture, 1 Cor. xi. 26. and from the nature of the ordinance, that it ought to be frequent.
As to the posture: Dr. Doddridge justly observes, that it is greatly to be lamented that Christians have perverted an ordinance, intended as a pledge and means of their mutual union, into an occasion of discord and contention, by laying such a disproportionate stress on the manner in which it is to be administered, and the posture in which it is to be received. As to the latter, a table posture seems most eligible, as having been used by Christ and his apostles, and being peculiarly suitable to the notion of a sacred feast; and kneeling, which was never introduced into the church till transubstantiation was received, may prove an occasion of superstition. Nevertheless, provided it be not absolutely imposed as a term of communion, it will be the part of Christian candour to acquiesce in the use of it in others by whom it is preferred. It appears that standing was at least frequently used in the Christian church, viz. always on the Lord's day, and between Easter and Whitsuntide. The manner in which this ordinance is administered, both in the church of England, and among Protestant Dissenters, is so well known, that we need say nothing of it here.
We will only subjoin a few directions in what frame of mind we should attend upon this ordinance. It should be with sorrow for our past sins, and easiness and calmness of affection, free from the disorders and ruffles of passion; with a holy awe and reverence of the Divine Majesty, yet with a gracious confidence and earnest desires toward God; with raised expectations; prayer, joy, and thanksgiving, and love to all men. When coming from it, we should admire the condescensions of divine grace; watch against the snares of Satan, and the allurements of the world; rejoice in the finished work of Christ, depend upon the gracious influence of the Spirit, that we may keep up a sense of the divine favour, and be longing for heaven, where we hope at last to join the general assembly of the first-born.
The advantages arising from the participation of the Lord's supper are numerous. 1. It is a mean of strengthening our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.--2. It affords great consolation and joy.--3. It increases love.--4. It has a tendency to enlighten our minds in the mystery of godliness.--5. It gives us an utter aversion to all kinds of sin, and occasions a hearty grief for it.--6. It has a tendency to excite and strengthen all holy desires in us.--7. It renews our obligations to our Lord and Master.--8. It binds the souls of Christians one to another. See Cast's Sermons, ser. 7; and Henry Earle, Doolittle, Grove, and Robertson, on the Lord's Supper; Dr. Owen's, Charnock's Dr. Cudworth's, Mr. Willet's, Dr. Worthington's, Dr. Watts's, Bishop Warburton's, Bishop Cleaver's, and Dr. Bell's Pieces on the Subject. A variety of other treatises, explanatory of the nature and design of the Lord's supper, may be seen in almost any catalogue.
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Is a mutual agreement to determine an uncertain event, no other ways determinable, by an appeal to the providence of God, on casting or throwing something. This is a decisory lot, Prov. xvi. 33. xviii. 18. The matter, therefore, to be determined, in order to avoid guilt, should be important, and no other possible way left to determine it; and the manner of making the appeal solemn and grave, if we would escape the guilt of taking the name of God in vain. Wantonly, without necessity, and in a ludicrous manner, to make this appeal, must be therefore highly blameable. And if thus the decisory lot, when wantonly and unneccessarity employed, be criminal, equally, if not more so, must the divinatory lot be, which is employed for discovering the will of God: this being no mean of God's appointment, must be superstitious, and the height of presumption.
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Consists in approbation of, and inclination towards an object that appears to us as good. It has been distinguished into, 1. Love of esteem, which arises from the mere consideration of some excellency in an object, and belongs either to persons or things.--2. Love of benevolence, which is an inclination to seek the happiness or welfare of any thing.--3. Love of complacence, which arises from the consideration of any object agreeable to us, and calculated to afford us pleasure.
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Is a divine principle implanted in the mind by
the Holy Spirit, whereby we reverence, esteem, desire, and delight in Him as
the chief good. It includes a knowledge of his natural excellences, Ps. viii.
1. and a consideration of his goodness to us, 1 John iv. 19. Nor can these two
ideas, I think, be well separated; for, however some may argue that genuine
love to God should arise only from a sense of his amiableness, yet I think it
will be difficult to conceive how it can exist, abstracted from the idea of his
relative goodness. The passage last referred to is to the point, and the
representations given us of the praises of the saints in heaven accord with the
same sentiment: "Thou art worthy, for thou hast redeemed us by thy blood,"
Rev. v. 9. See SELF-LOVE. "Love to God is a subject," says bishop
Porteus, "which concerns us to inquire carefully into the true nature of.
And it concerns us the more, because it has been unhappily brought into
disrepute by the extravagant conceits of a few devout enthusiasts concerning
it. Of these, some have treated the love of God in so refined a way, and
carried it to such heights of seraphic ecstacy and rapture, that common minds
must for ever despair of either following or understanding them; whilst others
have described it in such warm and indelicate terms as are much better suited
to the grossness of earthly passion than the purity of spiritual affection.
"But the accidental excesses of this holy sentiment can be no just argument against its general excellence and utility.
"We know that even friendship itself has sometimes been abused to the most unworthy purposes, and led men to the commission of the most atrocious crimes. Shall we, therefore, utterly discard that generous passion, and consider it as nothing more than the unnatural fervour of a romantic imagination? Every heart revolts against so wild a thought! and why, then, must we suffer the lover of God to be banished out of the world, because it has been sometimes improperly represented or indiscreetly exercised? It is not either from the visionary mystic, the sensual fanatic, or the frantic zealot, but from the plain word of God, that we are to take our ideas of this divine sentiment. There we find it described in all its native purity and simplicity. The marks by which it is there distinguished contain nothing enthusiastic or extravagant." It may be considered, 1. As sincere, Matt. xxii. 36,38.--2. Constant, Rom. viii.--3. Universal of all his attributes, commandments, ordinances, &c.--4. Progressive, 1 Thess. v. 12. 2 Thess. i. 3. Eph. iii. 19.--5. Superlative, Lam. iii. 24.--6. Eternal, Rom. viii. This love manifests itself, 1. In a desire to be like God.--2. In making his glory the supreme end of our actions, 1 Cor. xi. 31.--3. In delighting in communion with him, 1 John i. 3.--4. In grief under the hidings of his face, Job, xxiii. 2.--5. In relinquishing all that stands in opposition to his will, Phil. iii. 8.--6. In regard to his house, worship and ordinances, Ps. lxxxiv.--7. In love for his truth and people, Ps. cxix. John xiii. 35.--8. By confidence in his promises, Ps. lxxi. 1.--And, lastly, by obedience to his word, John xiv. 15. 1 John ii. 3. Gill's Body of Div. p. 94. vol. iii. 8vo. Watts's Discourses on Love to God; Scott's Serm. ser. 14; Bellamy on Religion, p. 2. and Signs of Counterfeit Love, p. 82; Bp. Porteus's Sermons, vol. i. ser. 1.
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Is affection to our neighbours, and especially to the saints, prompting us to every act of kindness toward them. It does not indeed, consist merely in pity to and relief of others, 1 Cor. xiii. in love to our benefactors only, and those who are related to us, Matt. v. 46,47. It must flow from love to God, and extend to all mankind; yea, we are required by the highest authority to love even our enemies, Matt. v. 44. not so as to countenance them in their evil actions, but to forgive the injuries they have done to us. Love to good men, also, must be particularly cultivated, for it is the command of Christ, John xiii. 34; they belong to the same Father and family, Gal. vi. 10; we hereby give proof of our discipleship, John xiii. 35. The example of Christ should allure us to it, 1 John iii. 16. It is creative of a variety of pleasing sensations, and prevents a thousand evils: it is the greatest of all graces, 1 Cor. xiii. 13.--It answers the end of the law, 1 Tim. i. 5; resembles the inhabitants of a better world, and without it every other attainment is of no avail, 1 Cor. xiii. This love should show itself by praying for our brethren, Eph. vi. 18; bearing one another's burdens, by assisting and relieving each other, Gal. vi. 2. By forbearing with one another, Col. iii. 13. By reproving and admonishing in the spirit of meekness, Prov. xxvii. 5,6. By establishing each other in the truth; by conversation, exhortation, and stirring up one another to the several duties of religion, both public and private, Jude 20, 21. Heb. x. 24, 25. See CHARITY.
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Is either his natural delight in that which is good, Is. lxi. 8. or that especial affection he bears to his people, 1 John iv. 19. Not that he possesses the passion of love as we do; but it implies his absolute purpose and will to deliver, bless, and save his people. The love of God to his people appears in his all-wise designs and plans for their happiness, Eph. iii. 10.--2. In the choice of them and determination to sanctify and glorify them, 2 Thess. ii. 13.--3. In the gift of his Son to die for them, and redeem them from sin, death, and hell, Rom. v. 9. John iii. 16.--4. In the revelation of his will, and the declaration of his promises to them, 2 Pet. i. 4.--5. In the awful punishment of their enemies, Ex. xix. 4.--6. In his actual conduct towards them; in supporting them in life, blessing them in death, and bringing them to glory, Rom. viii. 30, &c. Rom. vi. 23. The properties of this love may be considered as, 1. Everlasting, Jer. xxxi. 3. Eph. i. 4.--2. Immutable, Mal. iii. 6. Zeph. iii. 17.--3. Free, neither the sufferings of Christ nor the merits of men are the cause, but his own good pleasure, John iii. 16.--4. Great and unspeakable, Eph. ii. 4,6. iii. 19. Psal. xxxvi. 7.
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A sect that arose in Holland, in the sixteenth century, founded by Henry Nicholas, a Westphalian. He maintained that he had a commission from heaven to teach men that the essence of religion consisted in the feelings of divine love; that all other theological tenets, whether they related to objects of faith or modes of worship, were of no sort of moment; and, consequently, that it was a matter of the most perfect indifference what opinions Christians entertained concerning the divine nature, provided their hearts burned with the pure and sacred flame of piety and love.
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Those who disapproved of the schism made in the church by the non-jurors, and who distinguished themselves by their moderation towards Dissenters, and were less ardent in extending the limits of ecclesiastical authority. See HIGH CHURCHMEN.
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Or LUCANISTS, a sect so called from Lucianus, or
Lucanus, a heretic of the second century, being a disciple of Marcion, whose
errors he followed, adding some new ones to them. Epiphanius says he abandoned
Marcion, teaching that people ought not to marry, for fear of enriching the
Creator: and yet other authors mention that he held this error in common with
Marcion and other Gnostics. He denied the immortality of the soul, asserting it
to be material.
There was another sect of Lucianists, who appeared some time after the Arians. They taught, that the Father had been a Father always, and that he had the name even before he begot the Son, as having in him the power and faculty of generation; and in this manner they accounted for the eternity of the Son.
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A sect who adhered to the schism of Lucifer, bishop of Cagliara, in the fourth century, who was banished by the emperor Constantius, for having defended the Nicene doctrine concerning the three persons in the Godhead. It is said, also, that they believed the soul to be corporeal, and to be transmitted from the father to the children. The Luciferians were numerous in Gaul, Spain, Egypt, &c. The occasion of this schism was, that Lucifer would not allow any acts he had done to be abolished. There were but two Luciferian bishops, but a great number of priests and deacons. The Luciferians bore a great aversion to the Arians.
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Applied to the affections, indifference, or want
of ardor. In respect to religion, hardly any thing can be more culpable than
this spirit.--If there be a God possessed of unspeakable rectitude in his own
nature, and unbounded goodness towards his creatures, what can be more
inconsistent and unbecoming than to be frigid and indifferent in our devotions
to him? Atheism, in some respects, cannot be worse than lukewarmness. The
Atheist disbelieves the existence of a God, and therefore cannot worship him at
all; the lukewarm owns the existence, sovereignty, and goodness of the Supreme Being,
but denies him that fervour of affection, that devotedness of heart, and
activity of service, which the excellency of his nature demands, and the
authority of his word requires. Such a character, therefore, is represented as
absolutely loathsome to God, and obnoxious to his wrath, Rev. iii. 15,16.
The general signs of a lukewarm spirit are such as these: Neglect of private prayer; a preference of worldly to religious company; a lax attendance on public ordinances; omission or careless perusal of God's word; a zeal for some appendages of religion, while languid about religion itself; a backwardness to promote the cause of God in the world, and a rashness of spirit in censuring those who are desirous to be useful.
If we inquire the causes of such a spirit, we shall find them to be--worldly prosperity; the influence of carnal relatives and acquaintances: indulgence of secret sins; the fear of man; and sitting under an unfaithful ministry.
The inconsistency of it appears if we consider, that it is highly unreasonable; dishonourable to God; incompatible with the genius of the Gospel; a barrier to improvement; a death-blow to usefulness; a direct opposition to the commands of Scripture; and tends to the greatest misery.
To overcome such a state of mind, we should consider how offensive it is to God: how incongruous with the very idea and nature of true religion; how injurious to peace and felicity of mind; how ungrateful to Jesus Christ, whose whole life was labour for us and our salvation; how grievous to the Holy Spirit; how dreadful an example to those who have no religion; how unlike the saints of old, and even to our enemies in the worst of causes; how dangerous to our immortal souls, since it is indicative of our want of love to God, and exposes us to just condemnation, Amos vi. 1.
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Those Christians who follow the opinions of
Martin Luther, the celebrated reformer of the church, in the sixteenth century.
In order that we may trace the rise and progress of Lutheranism, we must here
refer to the life of Luther himself. Luther was a native of Eisleben, in
Saxony, and born in 1483. Though his parents were poor, he received a learned
education, during the progress of which he gave many indications of uncommon
vigour and acuteness of genius. As his mind was naturally susceptible of
serious impressions, and tinctured with somewhat of that religious melancholy
which delights in the solitude and devotion of a monastic life, he retired into
a convent of Augustian friars; where he acquired great reputation not only for
piety, but for love of knowledge, and unwearied application to study. The cause
of this retirement is said to have been, that he was once struck by lightning,
and his companion killed by his side by the same flash. He had been taught the
scholastic philosophy which was in vogue in those days, and made considerable
progress it ; but happening to find a copy of the Bible which lay neglected in
the library of his monastery, he applied himself to the study of it with such
eagerness and assiduity, as quite astonished the monks; and increased his
reputation for sanctity so much, that he was chosen professor first of
philosophy, and afterwards of theology, in Wittemburg, on the Elbe, where
Frederic, elector of Saxony, had founded an university.
While Luther continued to enjoy the highest reputation for sanctity and learning, Tetzel, a Dominican friar came to Wittemburg in order to publish indulgences. Luther beheld his success with great concern; and having first inveighed against indulgences from the pulpit, he afterwards published ninety-five theses, containing his sentiments on that subject. These he proposed not as points fully established, but as subjects of inquiry and disputation. He appointed a day on which the learned were invited to impugn them, either in person or by writing; and to the whole he subjoined solemn protestations of his high respect for the apostolic see, and of his implicit submission to its authority. No opponent appeared at the time prefixed: the theses spread over Germany with astonishing rapidity, and were read with the greatest eagerness.
Though Luther met with no opposition for some little time after he began to publish his new doctrines, it was not long before many zealous champions arose to defend those opinions with which the wealth and power of the clergy were so strictly connected. There cause, however, was by no means promoted by these endeavors: the people began to call in question even the authority on the canon law, and of the pope himself. The court of Rome at first despised these new doctrines and disputes; but at last the attention of the pope being raised by the great success of the reformer, and the complaints of his adversaries, Luther was summoned, in the month of July, 1518, to appear at Rome, within sixty days, before the auditor of the chamber. One of Luther's adversaries, named Prierius, who had written against him, was appointed to examine his doctrines, and to decide concerning them. the pope wrote at the same time to the elector of Saxony, beseeching him not to protect a man whose heretical and profane tenets were so shocking to pious ears; and enjoined the provincial of the Augustinians to check, by his authority, the rashness of an arrogant monk, which brought disgrace upon their order, and gave offence and disturbance to the whole church.
From these letters, and the appointment of his open enemy Prierius to be his judge, Luther easily saw what sentence he might expect at Rome; and therefore discovered the utmost solicitude to have his cause tried in Germany, and before a less suspected tribunal. He wrote a submissive letter to the pope, in which he promised an unreserved obedience to his will, for as yet he entertained no doubt of the divine original of the pope's authority; and, by the intercession of the other professors. Cajetan, the pope's legate in Germany, was appointed to hear and determine the cause. Luther appeared before him without hesitation; but Cajetan thought it below his dignity to dispute the point with a person so much his inferior in rank; and therefore required him, by virtue of the apostolic powers with which he was clothed, to retract the errors which he had uttered with regard to indulgences and the nature of faith, and to abstain for the future from the publication of new and dangerous opinions; and, at the last, forbade him to appear in his presence, unless he promised to comply with what had been required of him.
This haughty and violent manner of proceeding, together with some other circumstances, gave Luther's friends such strong reasons to suspect that even the imperial safe-conduct would not be able to protect him from the legate's power and resentment, that they prevailed on him secretly to withdraw from Augsburg, where he had attended the legate, and to return to his own country. But before his departure, according to a form of which there had been some examples, he prepared a solemn appeal from the legate, ill-informed at that time concerning his cause, to the pope, when he should receive more full intimation with respect to it. Cajetan enraged at Luther's abrupt retreat, and at the publication of his appeal, wrote to the elector of Saxony, complaining of both; and requiring him, as he regarded the peace of the church, or the authority of its head, either to send that seditious monk a prisoner to Rome, or to banish him out of his territories. Frederic had hitherto, from political motives, protected Luther, as thinking he might be of use in checking the enormous power of the see of Rome; and though all Germany resounded with his fame, the elector had never yet admitted him into his presence. But upon this demand made by the cardinal, it became necessary to throw off some of his former reserve. He had been at great expense, and bestowed much attention on founding a new university, an object of considerable importance to every German prince; and foreseeing how fatal a blow the removal of Luther would be to its reputation, he not only declined complying with either of the pope's requests, but openly discovered great concern for Luther's safety.
The situation of our reformer, in the mean time, became daily more and more alarming. He knew very well what were the motives which induced the elector to afford him protection, and that he could by no means depend on a continuance of his friendship. If he should be obliged to quit Saxony, he had no other asylum, and must stand exposed to whatever punishment the rage or bigotry of his enemies could inflict; and so ready were his adversaries to condemn him, that he had been declared a heretic at Rome before the expiration of the sixty days allowed him in the citation for making his appearance. Notwithstanding all this, however, he discovered no symptoms of timidity or remissness; but continued to vindicate his own conduct and opinions, and to inveigh against those of his adversaries with more vehemence than ever. Being convinced therefore, that the pope would soon proceed to the most violent measures against him, he appealed to a general council, which he affirmed to be the representative of the Catholic church, and superior in power to the pope, who, being a fallible man, might err, as St. Peter, the most perfect of his predecessors had done.
The court of Rome was equally assiduous, in the mean time, to crush the author of these new doctrines, which gave them so much uneasiness. A bull was issued by the pope, of a date prior to Luther's appeal, in which he magnified the virtues of indulgences, and subjected to the heaviest ecclesiastical censures all who presumed to teach a contrary doctrine. Such a clear decision of the sovereign pontiff against him might have been very fatal to Luther's cause, had not the death of the emperor Maximillan, which happened on January 17, 1519, contributed to give matters a different turn. Both the principles and interest of Maximillian had prompted him to support the authority of the see of Rome; but, in consequence of his death, the vicariate of that party of Germany which is governed by the Saxon laws devolved to the elector of Saxony; and, under the shelter of his friendly administration, Luther himself enjoyed tranquillity; and his opinions took such root in different places, that they could never afterwards be eradicated. At the same time, as the election of an emperor was a point more interesting to the pope (Leo X.) than a theological controversy which he did not understand, and of which he could not foresee the consequences, he was so extremely solicitous not to irritate a prince of such considerable influence in the electoral college as Frederic, that he discovered a great unwillingness to pronounce the sentence of excommunication against Luther, which his adversaries continually demanded with the most clamorous importunity.
From the reason just now given, and Leo's natural aversion to severe measures, a suspension of proceeding against Luther took place for eighteen months, though perpetual negotiations were carried on during this interval, in order to bring the matter to an amicable issue. The manner in which these were conducted having given our reformer many opportunities of observing the corruption of the court of Rome, its obstinacy in adhering to established errors, and its indifference about truth, however clearly proposed or strongly proved, he began, in 1520, to utter some doubts with regard to the divine original of the papal authority, which he publicly disputed with Eccius, one of his most learned and formidable antagonists. The dispute was indecisive, both parties claimed the victory; but is must have been very mortifying to the partizans of the Romish church to hear such an essential point of their doctrine publicly attacked.
The papal authority being once suspected, Luther proceeded to push on his inquiries and attacks from one doctrine to another, till at last he began to shake the firmest foundations on which the wealth and power of the church were established. Leo then began to perceive that there were no hopes of reclaiming such an incorrigible heretic, and therefore prepared to pronounce the sentence of excommunication against him. The college of cardinals was often assembled, in order to prepare the sentence with due deliberation; and the ablest canonists were consulted how it might be expressed with unexceptionable formality. At last it was issued on the 15th of June, 1520. Forty-one propositions, extracted out of Luther's works, were therein condemned as heretical, scandalous, and offensive to pious ears; all persons were forbidden to read his writings, upon pain of excommunication; such as had any of them in their custody were commanded to commit them to the flames; he himself, if he did not within sixty days publicly recant his errors, and burn his books, was pronounced an obstinate heretic, excommunicated, and delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh; and all secular princes were required, under pain of incurring the same censure, to seize his person, that he might be punished as his crimes deserved.
Luther was not in the least disconcerted by this sentence, which he had for some time expected. He renewed his appeal to this general council; declared the pope to be that antichrist or man of sin whose appearance is foretold in the New Testament; declaimed against his tyranny with greater vehemence than ever; and at last, by way of retaliation, having assembled all the professors and students in the university of Wittemburg, with great pomp, and in the presence of a vast multitude of spectators, he cast the volumes of the canon law, together with the bull of excommunication, into the flames. The manner in which this action was justified, gave still more offence than the action itself. Having collected from the canon law some of the most extravagant propositions with regard to the plentitude and omnipotence of the pope's power, as well as the subordination of all secular jurisdiction to his authority, he published these with a commentary, pointing out the impiety of such tenets, and their evident tendency to subvert all civil government.
On the accession of Charles V. to the empire, Luther found himself in a very dangerous situation. Charles, in order to secure the pope's friendship, had determined to treat him with great severity. His eagerness to gain this point rendered him not averse to gratify the papal legates in Germany, who insisted, that, without any delay, or formal deliberation, the diet then sitting at Worms ought to condemn a man whom the pope had already excommunicated as an incorrigible heretic. Such an abrupt manner of proceeding, however, being deemed unprecendented and unjust by the members of the diet, they made a point of Luther's appearing in person, and declaring whether he adhered or not to those opinions which had drawn upon him the censures of the church. Not only the emperor, but all the princes through whose territories he had to pass, granted him a safe-conduct; and Charles wrote to him at the same time, requiring his immediate attendance on the diet, and renewing his promises of protection from any injury or violence. Luther did not hesitate one moment about yielding obedience; and set out for Worms, attended by the herald who had brought the emperor's letter and safe-conduct. While on his journey, many of his friends, whom the fate of Huss under similiar circumstances, and notwithstanding the same security of an imperial safe-conduct, filled with solicitude, advised and entreated him not to rush wantonly into the midst of danger. But Luther, superior to such terrors, silenced them with this reply: "I am lawfully called," said he, "to appear in that city: and thither I will go, in the name of the Lord, though as many devils as there are tiles on the houses were there combined against me."
The reception which he met with at Worms was such as might have been reckoned a full reward of all his labours, if vanity and the love of applause had been the principles by which he was influenced. Greater crowds assembled to behold him than had appeared at the emperor's public entry; his apartments were daily filled with princes and personages of the highest rank; and he was treated with an homage more sincere, as well as more flattering, than any which pre-eminence in birth or condition can command. At his appearance before the diet he behaved with great decency and with equal firmness. He readily acknowledged an excess of acrimony and vehemence in his controversial writings; but refused to retract his opinions, unless he were convinced of their falsehood, or to consent to their being tried by any other rule than the word of God. When neither threats nor entreaties could prevail on him to depart from this resolution, some of the ecclesiastics proposed to imitate the example of the council of Constance; and, by punishing the author of this pestilent heresy, who was now in their power, to deliver the church at once from such an evil. But the members of the diet refusing to expose the German integrity to fresh reproach by a second violation of public faith, and Charles being no less unwilling to bring a stain upon the beginning of his administration by such an ignominious action, Luther was permitted to depart in safety. A few days after he left the city, a severe edict was published in the emperor's name, and by authority of the diet, depriving him, as an obstinate and excomunicated criminal, of all the privileges which he enjoyed as a subject of the empire; forbidding any prince to harbour or protect him; and requiring all to seize his person as soon as the term specified in his protection should be expired.
But this rigorous decree had no considerable effect; the execution of it being prevented partly by the multiplicity of occupations which the commotions in Spain, together with the wars in Italy and the Low Countries, created to the emperor; and partly by a prudent precaution employed by the elector of Saxony, Luther's faithful patron. As Luther, on his return from Worms, was passing near Altenstrain, in Thuringia, a number of horsemen, in masks, rushed suddenly out of a wood, where the elector had appointed them to lie in wait for him and, surrounding his company, carried him, after dismissing all his attendants, to Wortburg, a strong castle, not far distant. There the elector ordered him to be supplied with every thing necessary or agreeable; but the place of his retreat was carefully concealed, until the fury of the present storm against him began to abate, upon a change in the political system of Europe. In this solitude, where he remained nine months, and which he frequently called his Patmos, after the name of that island to which the apostle John was banished, he exerted his usual vigour and industry in defence of his doctrines, or in confutation of his adversaries; publishing several treatises, which revived the spirit of his followers, astonished to a great degree, and disheartened at the sudden disappearance of their leader.
Luther, weary at length of his retirement, appeared publicly again at Wittemburg, upon the 6th of March, 1522. He appeared, indeed, without the elector's leave; but immediately wrote him a letter to prevent him taking it ill. The edict of Charles V. severe as it was had little or no check to Luther's doctrine; for the emperor was no sooner gone into Flanders, than his edict was neglected and despised, and the doctrine seemed to spread even faster than before. Carolostadius, in Luther's absence, had pushed things on faster than his leader, and had attempted to abolish the use of mass, to remove images out of the churches, to set aside auricular confession, invocation of saints, the abstaining from meats; had allowed the monks to leave the monasteries, to neglect their vows, and to marry; in short, had quite changed the doctrine and discipline of the church at Wittemburg, all which, though not against Luther's sentiments, was yet blamed by him, as being rashly and unseasonably done. Lutheranism was still confined to Germany; it was not to go to France; and Henry VIII. of England made the most rigorous acts to hinder it from invading his realm. Nay, he did something more: to show his zeal for religion and the holy see, and perhaps his skill in theological learning, he wrote a treatise Of the Seven Sacraments, against Luther's book Of the Captivity of Babylon, which he presented to Leo X. in October, 1521. The pope received it very favourably, and was so well pleased with the king of England, that he complimented him with the title of Defender of the Faith. Luther, however, paid no regard to his kingship, but answered him with great sharpness, treating both his person and performance in the most contemptuous manner. Henry complained of Luther's rude usage of him to the princes of Saxony: and Fisher, bishop of Rochester, replied to his answer, in behalf of Henry's treatise; but neither the king's complaint, nor the bishop's reply, were attended with any visible effects.
Luther, though he had put a stop to the violent proceedings of Carolostadius, now made open war on the pope and bishops; and, that he might make the people despise their authority as much as possible, he wrote one book against the pope's bull, and another against the order falsely called the Order of Bishops. The same year, 1522, he wrote a letter, dated July the 29th, to the assembly of the states of Bohemia; in which he assured them that he was labouring to establish their doctrine in Germany, and exhorted them not to return to the communion of the church of Rome; and he published also this year a translation of the New Testament in the German tongue, which was afterwards corrected by himself and Melancthon. This translation having been printed several times, and being in every body's hands, Ferdinand, archduke of Austria, the emperor's brother, made a very severe edict, to hinder the farther publication of it; and forbade all the subjects of his Imperial Majesty to have any copies of it, or of Luther's other books. Some other princes followed his example; and Luther was so angry at it, that he wrote a treatise Of the Secular Power, in which he accuses them of tyranny and impiety. The diet of the empire was held at Nuremberg, at the end of the year to which Hadrian VI. sent his brief, dated November the 25th; for Leo X. died upon the 2d of December, 1521, and Hadrian had been elected pope upon the 9th of January following. In his brief, among other things, he observes to the diet how he had heard, with grief, that Martin Luther after the sentence of Leo X. which was ordered to be executed by the edict of Worms, continued to teach the same errors, and daily to publish books full of heresies, that it appeared strange to him that so large and so religious a nation could be seduced by a wretched apostate friar; that nothing, however, could be more pernicious to Christendom; and that, therefore, he exhorts them to use their utmost endeavours to make Luther, and the authors of those tumults, return to their duty; or, if they refuse, and continue obstinate, to proceed against them according to the laws of the empire, and the severity of the last edict.
The resolution of this diet was published in the form of an edict, upon the 6th of March, 1523; but it had no effect in checking the Lutherans, who still went on in the same triumphant manner. This year Luther wrote a great many pieces; among the rest, one upon the dignity and office of the supreme magistrate; which Frederick, elector of Saxony, is said to have been highly pleased with. He sent, about the same time, a writing in the German language to the Waldenses, or Pickards, in Bohemia and Moravia, who had applied to him "about worshipping the body of Christ in the eucharist," He wrote, also, another book, which he dedicated to the senate and people of Prague, "about the institution of ministers of the church." He drew up a form of saying mass. He wrote a piece, entitled, An Example of popish Doctrine and Divinity; which Dupin calls a satire against nuns, and those who profess a monastic life. He wrote also against the vows of virginity, in his preface to his commentary on 1 Cor. viii. and his exhortations here were it seems, followed with effect; for, soon after, nine nuns, among whom was Catherine de Bore, eloped from the nunnery at Nimptschen, and were brought, by the assistance of Leonard Coppen, a burgess of Torgau, to Wittemburg. Whatever offence this proceeding might give to the Papists, it was highly extolled by Luther; who, in a book written in the German language, compares the deliverance of these nuns from the slavery of monastic life to that of the souls which Jesus Christ has delivered by his death. this year Luther had occasion to canonize two of his followers, who, as Melchior Adam relates, were burnt at Brussels, in the beginning of July, and were the first who suffered martyrdom for his doctrine. He wrote also a consolatory letter to three noble ladies at Misnia, who were banished from the duke of Saxony's court at Friburg, for reading his books.
In the beginning of the year 1524, Clement VII. sent a legate into Germany to the diet which was to be held at Nuremberg. Hadrian VI. died in October 1523, and was succeeded by Clement upon the 19th of November. A little before his death, he canonized Benno, who was bishop of Meissen, in the time of Gregory VII. and one of the most zealous defenders of the holy see. Luther, imagining that this was done directly to oppose him, drew up a piece with this title, Against the new idol and old devil set up at Meissen, in which, he treats the memory of Gregory with great freedom, and does not spare even Hadrian. Clement VII's legate represented to the diet of Nuremberg the necessity of enforcing the execution of the edict of Worms, which had been strangely neglected by the princes of the empire; but, notwithstanding the legate's solicitations, which were very pressing, the decrees of that diet were thought so ineffectual, that they were condemned at Rome, and rejected by the emperor.
In October, 1524, Luther flung off the monastic habit; which, though not premeditated and designed, was yet a very proper preparative to a step he took the year after: we mean his marriage with Catherine de Bore.
His marriage, however, did not retard his activity and diligence in the work of reformation. He revised the Augsburg confession of faith, and apology for the Protestants, when the Protestant religion was first established on a firm basis. See PROTESTANTS and REFORMATION.
After this, Luther had little else to do than to sit down and contemplate the mighty work he had finished; for that a single monk should be able to give the church so rude a shock, that there needed but such another entirely to overturn it, may very well seem a mighty work. He did indeed, little else; for the remainder of his life was spent in exhorting princes, states, and universities, to confirm the reformation which had been brought about through him; and publishing from time to time such writings as might encourage, direct and aid them in doing it. The emperor threatened temporal punishment with armies, and the pope eternal with bulls and anathemas; but Luther cared for none of their threats.
In the year 1533, Luther wrote a consolatory epistle to the citizens of Oschatz, who had suffered some hardships for adhering to the Augsburg confession of faith; in which, among other things, he says, "The devil is the host, and the world is his inn; so that wherever you come, you will be sure to find this ugly host." He had also about this time a terrible controversy with George duke of Saxony, who had such an aversion to Luther's doctrine, that he obliged his subjects to take an oath that they would never embrace it. However, sixty or seventy citizens of Leipsic were found to have deviated a little from the Catholic way in some point or other, and they were known previously to have consulted Luther about it; upon which George complained to the elector John, that Luther had not only abused his person, but also preached up rebellion among his subjects. The elector ordered Luther to be acquainted with this; and to be told, at the same time, that if he did not acquit himself of this charge, he could not possibly escape punishment. But Luther easily refuted the accusation, by proving, that he had been so far from stirring up his subjects against him on the score of religion, that, on the contrary, he had exhorted them rather to undergo the greatest hardships, and even suffer themselves to be banished.
In the year 1534, the Bible, translated by him into German, was first printed, as the old privilege, dated Bibliopolis, under the elector's hand, shows; and it was published the same year. He also published this year a book against masses, and the consecration of priest, in which he relates a conference he had with the devil upon those points; for it is remarkable in Luther's whole history, that he never had any conflicts of any kind within, but the devil was always his antagonist. In February, 1537, an assembly was held at Smalkald about matters of religion, to which Luther and Melanethon were called. At this meeting Luther was seized with so grievous an illness, that there were no hopes of his recovery. He was afflicted with the stone, and had a stoppage of urine for eleven days. In this terrible condition he would needs undertake to travel, notwithstanding all that his friends could say or do to prevent him: his resolution, however, was attended with a good effect; for the night after his departure he began to be better. As he was carried along he made his will, in which he bequeathed his detestation of popery to his friends and brethren; agreeably to what he used to say: Pestis eram vivus, moriens ero mors tua, papa; that is, "I was the plague of popery in my life, and shall continue to be so in my death."
This year the pope and the court of Rome, finding it impossible to deal with the Protestants by force, began to have recourse to stratagem. They affected, therefore, to think, that though Luther had, indeed, carried things on with a high hand, and to a violent extreme, yet what he had pleaded in defence of these measures was not entirely without foundation. They talked with a seeming show of moderation; and Pius III. who succeeded Clement VII. proposed a reformation first among themselves, and even went so far as to fix a place for a council to meet at for that purpose. But Luther treated this farce as it deserved to be treated; unmasked and detected it immediately; and, to ridicule it the more strongly, caused a picture to be drawn, in which was represented the pope seated on high upon a throne, some cardinals about him with foxes' tails on, and seeming to evacuate upwards and downwards, (sursum deorsum repurgare, as Melchior Sdam expresses it.) This was fixed over against the titlepage, to let the reader see at once the scope and design of the book; which was to expose that cunning and artifice with which these subtle politicians affected to cleanse and purify themselves from their errors and superstitions. Luther published, about the same time, a confutation of the pretended grant of Constantine to Sylvester, bishop of Rome; and also some letters of John Huss, written from his prison at Constance to the Bohemians. In this manner was Luther employed till his death, which happened in the year 1546.
A thousand lies were invented by the Papists about Luther's death. Some said that he died suddenly; others, that he killed himself; others, that the devil strangled him: others, that his corpse stunk so abominably, that they were forced to leave it in the way, as it was carried to be interred. Nay, lies were invented about his death, even while he was yet alive. Luther, however, to give the most effectual refutation of this account of his death, put forth an advertisement of his being alive; and, to be even with the Papists for the malice they had shown in this lie, wrote a book at the same time to prove, that "the papacy was founded by the devil."
Lutheranism has undergone some alterations since the time of its founder. Luther rejected the epistle of St. James as inconsistent with the doctrine of St. Paul in relation to justification; he also set aside the Apocalypse: both of which are now received as canonical in the Lutheran church.
Luther reduced the number of sacraments to two, viz. baptism and the eucharist; but he believed the impanation, or consubstantiation; that is, that the matter of the bread and wine remain with the body and blood of Christ; and it is in this article that the main difference between the Lutheran and the English churches consists.
Luther maintained the mass to be no sacrifice: exploded the adoration of the host, auricular confession, meritorious works, indulgences, purgatory, and worship of images, &c. which had been introduced in the corrupt times of the Romish church. He also opposed the doctrine of free will, maintained predestination, and asserted our justification to be solely by the imputation of the merits and satisfaction of Christ. He also opposed the fastings of the Romish church, monastical vows, the celibate of the clergy, &c.
The Lutherans, however, of all Protestants, are said to differ least from the Romish church; as they affirm that the body and blood of Christ are materially present in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, though in an incomprehensible manner; and likewise to represent some religious rites and institutions, as the use of images in churches, the distinguishing vestments of the clergy, the private confession of sins, the use of wafers in the administration of the Lord's supper, the form of exorcism in the celebration of baptism, and other ceremonies of the like nature, as tolerable, and some of them as useful. The Lutherans maintain with regard to the divine decrees, that they respect the salvation or misery of men, in consequence of a previous knowledge of their sentiments and characters, and not as free and uncontinual, and as founded on the mere will of God. Towards the close of the seventeenth century, the Lutherans began to entertain a greater liberality of sentiment than they had before adopted; though in many places they persevered longer in severe and despotic principles than other Protestant churches. Their public teachers now enjoy an unbounded liberty of dissenting from the decisions of those symbols or creeds which were once deemed almost infallible rules of faith and practice, and of declaring their dissent in the manner they judge the most expedient. Mosheim attributes this change in their sentiments to the maxims which they generally adopted, that Christians were accountable to God alone for their religious opinions; and that no individual could be justly punished by the magistrate for his erroneous opinions, while he conducted himself like a virtuous and obedient subject, and made no attempts to disturb the peace and order of civil society. In Sweden the Lutheran church is episcopal: in Norway the same. In Denmark, under the name of superintendent, all episcopal authority is retained; whilst through Germany the superior power is vested in a consistory, over which there is a president, with a distinction of rank and privileges, and a subordination of inferior clergy to their superiors, different from the parity of Presbyterianism. Mosheim's Eccles. History; Life of Luther: Hawies's Ch. Hist. vol. ii. p. 454; Enc. Brit. Robertson's Hist. of Charles V. vol. ii. p. 42; Luther on the Galatians.
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A disposition of mind addicted to pleasure, riot, and superfluities. Luxury implies a giving one's self up to pleasure; volupiuousness, and indulgence in the same to excess. Luxury may be farther considered as consisting in 1. Vain and useless expenses.--2. In a parade beyond what people can afford.--3. In affecting to be above our own rank.--4. In living in a splendour that does not agree with the public good. In order to avoid it, we should consider that it is ridiculous, troublesome, sinful, and ruinous. Robinson's Claude, vol. i. p. 332; Ferguson on Society, part. vi. sec. 2.
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Speaking falsehoods wilfully, with an intent to deceive. Thus, by Grove, "A lie is an affirmation or denial by words, or any other signs to which a certain determinate meaning is affixed, of something contrary to our real thoughts and intentions." Thus, by Paley, "a lie is a breach of promise; for whoever seriously addresses his discourse to another, tacitly promises to speak the truth, because he knows that the truth is expected." There are various kinds of lies. 1. The pernicious lie, uttered for the hurt or disadvantage of our neighbour.--2. The officious lie, uttered for our own or our neighbour's advantage.--3. The Ludicrous and jocose lie, uttered by way of jest, and only for mirth's sake in common converse.--4. Pious frauds as they are improperly called, pretended inspirations, forged books, counterfeit miracles, are species of lies.--5. Lies of the conduct, for a lie may be told in gestures as well as in words; as when a tradesman shuts up his windows to induce his creditors to believe that he is abroad.--6. Lies of omission, as when an author wilfully omits what ought to be related: and may we not add,--7. That all equivocation and mental reservation come under the guilt of lying. The evil and injustice of lying appear, 1. From its being a breach of the natural and universal right of mankind to truth in the intercourse of speech.--2. From its being a violation of God's sacred law, Phil. iv. 8. Lev. xix. 11. Col. iii. 9.--3. The faculty of speech was bestowed as an instrument of knowledge, not of deceit; to communicate our thoughts, not to hide them.--4. It is esteemed a reproach of so heinous and hateful a nature for a man to be called a liar, that sometimes the life and blood of the slanderer have paid for it.--5. It has a tendency to dissolve all society, and to indispose the mind to religious impressions.--6. The punishment of it is considerable: the loss of credit, the hatred of those whom we have deceived, and an eternal separation from God in the world to come, Rev. xxi. 8. Rev. xxii. 15. Psalm ci. 7. See EQUIVOCATION.--Grove's Mor. Phil. vol. i. ch. 11; Paley's Moral Phil. vol. i. ch. 15; Doddridge's Lect. lect. 68; Watts's Serm. vol. i. ser. 22; Evans's Serm. vol. ii. ser. 13; South's Serm. vol. i. ser. 12; Dr. Lamont's Serm. vol. i. ser. 11 and 12.
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