« PrécédentContinuer »
It is almost needless here to say, that I have availed myself of all the writings of the best and most eminent authors I could obtain. Whatever has struck me as important in ecclesiastical history; whatever good and accurate in definition; whatever just views of the passions of the human mind; whatever terms used in the religious world; and whatever instructive and impressive in the systems of divinity and moral philosophy, I have endeavoured to incorporate in this work. And in order to prevent its being a dry detail of terms and of dates, I have given the substance of what has been generally advanced on each subject, and occasionally selected some of the most interesting and practical passages from our best and celebrated sermons. I trust, therefore, It will not only be of use to inform the mind, but impress the heart; and thus promote the real good of the reader. The Critic, however, may be disposed to be severe ; and it will, perhaps, be easy for him to observe imperfections. But be this as it may : I can assure him I feel myself happy in the idea that the work is not intended to serve a party, to encourage bigotry, or strengthen prejudice, but “ for the service of Truth, by one who would be glad to attend and grace her triumphs; as her soldier, if he has had the honour to serve successfully under her banner; or as a captive tied to her chariot wheels, if he has, though undesignedly, committed any offence against her.” After all, however, what a learned author said of another work I say of this—“ If it have merit it will go down to posterity ; if it have none, the sooner it dies and is forgot, the better."
A BB ABBA, a a Syriac word, signifying Father il from the bustle of the world to spend their It is more particularly used in the Syriac, time in solitude and devotion : but they soon Coptic, and Ethiopic churches, as a title | degenerated from their original institution, given to the bishops. The bishops them- || and procured large privileges, exemptions, selves bestowed the title' Abba more emi- and riches. They prevailed greatly in Brinently on the bishop of Alexandria, which tain before the reformation, particularly in occasioned the people to give him the title England; and as they increased in riches, of Baba or Papa ; that is, Grandfather: a so the state became poor, for the lands title which he bore before the bishop of which these regulars possessed could never Rome. It is a Jewish title of honour given revert to the lords who gave them. These to certain Rabbins cailed Tanaites: it is also places were wholly abolished by Henry VIII. used by some writers of the middle age for He first appointed visitors to inspect into the superior of a monastery. Saint Mark and the lives of the monks and nuns, which Saint Paul use this word in their Greek, were found in some places very disorderly; Mark xiv. 36. Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6. be- upon which the abbots, perceiving their cause it was then commonly known in the dissolution unavoidable, were induced to synagogues and the primitive assemblies of resign their houses to the king, who by the Christians. It is thought by Selden, that means became invested with the abWitsius, Doddridge, and others, that Saint beys land ; these were afterwards granted Paul alluded to a law among the Jews which to different persons, whose descendants enforbade servants or slaves to call their mas-joy them at this day: they were then valuter Abba, or Father; and that the apostle ed at 2,853,0001. per annum; an immense meant to convey the idea that those who sum in those days. Though the suppression believed in Christ were no longer slaves to of these houses, considered in a religious sin; but being brought into a state of holy and political light, was a great benefit to freedom, might consequently address God | the nation, yet it must be owned, that, at as their Father.
the time they flourished, they were not ABBE. The same with ABBOT, which entirely useless. Abbeys were then the resee. Also the name of curious popular positories as well as the seminaries of learncharacters in France ; who are persons who ing: many valuable books and national rehave not yet obtained any precise or fixed cords have been preserved in their librasettlement in church or state, but most | ries; the only places wherein they could heartily wish for and would accept of either, have been safely lodged in those turbulent just as it may happen. In the mean while times. Indeed, the historians of this countheir privileges are many. In college they try are chiefly beholden to the monks for are the instructors of youth, and in private | the knowledge they have of former nafamilies the tutors of young gentlemen. tional events. Thus a kind Providence
ABBESS, the superior of an abbey or con- overruled even the institutions of superstivent of nuns. The abbess has the same tion for good. See MONASTERY. rights and authority over her nuns that the ABBÓT, the chief ruler of a monastery or abbots regular have over their monks. The abbey. At first they were laymen, and subsex, indeed, does not allow her to perform ject to the bishop and ordinary pastors. the spiritual functions annexed to the Their monasteries being remote from cities, priesthood, wherewith the abbot is usually and built in the farthest solitudes, they had invested; but there are instances of some no share in ecclesiastical affairs; but, there abbesses who have a right, or rather a pri- being among them several persons of learnvilege, to commission a priest to act for ing, they were called out of their deserts by them. They have even a kind of episcopal the bishops, and fixed in the suburbs of the jurisdiction, as well as some abbots who cities; and at length in the cities themare exempted from the visitation of their selves. From that time they degenerated, diocesan.
and, learning to be ambitious, aspired to be ABBEY, a monastery, governed by a su- independent of the bishops, which occasionperior under the title of Abbot or Abbessed some severe laws to be made against Monasteries were at first nothing more than them. At length, however, the abbits carreligious houses, whither persons retired ried their point, and obtained the title of lord, with other badges of the episcopate, || taken also from that act whereby the priest particularly the mitre. Hence arose new | declares the sins of such as are penitent redistinctions among them. Those were term-mitted. The Romanists hold absolution a ed mitred aboots who were privileged to part of the sacrament of penance; and the wear the mitre, and exercise episcopal au- | council of Trent and that of Florence dethority within their respective precincts, be-clare the form or essence of the sacrament ing exempted from the jurisdiction of the lo lie in the words of absolution. “I absolve bishop. Others were called crosiered abbots, || “thee of thy sins." According to this, no from their bearing the crosier, or pastoral || one can receive absolution without the pristaff. Others were styled æcumenical or uni-vity, consent, and declaration of the priest; versal abbots, in imitation of the patriarch | except, therefore, the priest be willing, God of Constantinople ; while others were term-l himself cannot pardon any man. This is a ed cardinal abbots, from their superiority doctrine as blasphemous as it is ridiculous. over all other abbots. At present, in the The chief passaye on which they ground Roman catholic countries, the chief distinc- their power of absolution is that in Johın xx. tions are those of regular and commenda- | 23—"Whose soever sins ye remit, they are tory. The former take the vow and wear remitted unto them, and whose snever sins ye the habit of their order; whereas the latter retain, they are retained.” But this is not to are secular, though they are obliged by their the purpose ; since this was a special combulls to take orders when of proper age. mission to the apostles themselves, and the
ABELIANS, or ABELONIANS, a sect first preachers of the Gospel, and most prowhich arose in the diocese of Hippou in bably referred to the power he gave them Africa, and is supposed to have begun in of discerning spirits By virtue of this powthe reiga of Arcadius, and ended in that ofer, Perer struck Ananias and Sapphira dead, Theodosius. Indeed, it was not calculated and Paul struck Eimas blind. But supposfor being of any long continuance. They | ing the passage it: question to apply to the regulated marriage after the example of successors of the apostles, and to ministers Abel, who, they pr tended, was married, but in general, it can only import that their lived in a state of continence : they there-office is to preach pardon to the penitent, fore allowed each man to marry one woman, I assuring those who believe that their sins are but enjoined them to live in the same state. forgiven through the merits of Jesus Christ; To keep up the sect, when a man and and that those who remain in unbelief are in woman entered into this society, they adopt-|| a state of condemnation Any idea of authored a boy and a girl, who were to inheritlity given to fallible, uninspired men to abtheir goods, and to marry upon the same solve sinners, different from this, is unscripterms of not having chi!dren, but of adopt-tural; nor can I see much utility in the ing two of different sexes.
terms ministerial or declarative absolution, ABESTA, the name of one of the sacred as adopted by some divines, since absolution books of the Persian Magi, which they as- j is wholly the prerogative of God; and the cribe to their great founder Z roaster. The terms above-inentioned, may, to say the Abesta is a commentary on two others of least, have no good influence on the minds of their religious books, called Zend and Pathe ignorant and superstitious. zend; the three together including the whole ABSTEMII, a name given to such persystem of the Ignicold, or worshippers of fire. | sons as could not partake of the cup of the ABILITY. See INABILITY.
eucharist, on account of their natural averABLUTION, a ceremony in use amongsion to wine. the ancients, and still practised in several ABSTINENCE, in a general sense, is parts of the world. It consisted in washing the act of refraining from something which the body, which was always done before we have a propension to or find pleasure in. sacrificing, or even entering their houses It is more particularly used for fasting or Ablutions appear to be as old as any cere-| forbearing of necessary food. Among the monies, and external worship itself. Moses Jews, various kinds of abstinence were orenjoined them, the leathens adopted them, | dained by their law. Among the primitive and Mahomet and his followers have con- Christians, some denied themselves the rise tinued them. The Egypt ans, the Greeks, of such meats as were prohibited by that law; the Romans, the Jews, all had them. The others looked upon this abstinence with conancient Christians had the r ablutions before tempt; as to which Paul gives his opinion, communion, which the Romish church still Rom. xiv. 1. 3. The council of Jerusalem, retain before their mass, and sometimes which was held by the apostles, enjoined the after. The Syrians, Copis, &c. have their Christian converts to abstain from meats solemn washings on Good Friday; the Turks strangled, from blood, from fornication, and also have their ablutions, their Ghast, their from idulatry, Acts xv. Upon this passage, Wodou, Aman, &c.
Dr. D ddridge observes, "that though neiABRAHAMITES, an order of monks ther things sacrificed to idols, nor the flesh exterm nated for idolatry by Theophilus, in of strangied animals, nor blod, hare or can the ninth century. Also the name of another have any moral evil in them, which should sect of heretics who had adopted the errors make the eating of them absclutely and of Paulus. See PAULICANS.
universally unlawful; yet they were forbidABSOLUTION signifies acquittal. It is de: to the Gentile converts, because the Jews
had such an aversion to them, that they | Abyssinians have at divers times expressed could not converse freely with any who used an inclination to be reconciled to the see of them. This is plainly the reason which Rome; but rather from interested views James assigns in the very next words, the than any other motive. They practice cir21st verse, and it is abundantly sufficient. cumcision on females as well as males. This reason is now ceased, and the obliga- | They eat no meats prohibited by the law of tion to abstain from eating these things Moses. They observe both Saturday and ceases with it.
we in like Sunday sabbaths. Women are obliged to circumstances again, Christian charity would the legal purifications. Brothers marry surely require us to lay ourselves under brothers' wives, &c. On the other hand, the same restraint.”—The spiritual mo they celebrate the Epiphany with peculiar narchy of the western world introduced festivity: have four Lents i pray for the another sort of abstinence, which may be dead; and invoke angels. Images in paintcalled ritual, and consists in abstaining from ing they venerate ; but abhor all those in particularmeats at certain times and seasons, relievo, except the cross. They admit the the rules of which are called rogations. If apocryphal books and the canons of the I mistake not, the impropriety of this kind apostles, as well as the apostolical constituof abstinence is clearly pointed out in 1 Tim. tions, for genuine. They allow of divorce, iv. 3 - In England, abstinence from flesh has which is easily granted among them, and by been enjoined by statute, even since the re. the civil judge; nor do their civil laws proformation ; particularly on Fridays and Sa. bibit polygamy — They have, at least, as turdays, on vigils, and on all days commonly many miracles and legends of saints as the called fish days. The like injunctions were Romish church. They hold that the soul of reneved under queen Elizabeth ; but at the man is not created ; because, say they, God same time it was declared, that this was finished all his works on the sixth day. Thus done not out of motives of religion, as if there we see that the doctrines and ritual of this was any difference in meats, but in favour sect form a strange compound of Judaism of the consumption of fish, and to multiply || and Christianity, ignorance and superstition. the number of fishermen and mariners, as Some, indeed, have been at a loss to know well as to spare the stock of sheep. See whether they are most Christians or Jews : FASTING.
it is to be feared, however, that there is little ABSTINENTS, a set of heretics that beside the name of Christianity among them. appeared in France and Spain about the end Should the reader be desirous to know more of the third century. They are supposed to of this sect, he may consult Father Lobo's have borrowed part of their opinions from Yoyage to Abyssinia ; Bruce's Travels ; the Gnostics and Manichæans, because they | Ludolph's Hist. of Ethiopia ; and Dici. of opposed marriage, condemned the use of Arts and Sciences, vol. i. p. 15. flesh meat, and placed the Holy Ghost in the ACACIANS, a sect of heretics in the 4th class of created beings.
century ; so named from Acacius, bishop of ABYSS in a general sense, denotes some. Cæsarea, who denied the Son to be of the thing profound; in its literal sense it signifies || same substance with the Father, though without a bottom; in a more particular sense, some of them allowed that he was of a it denotes a deep mass or fund of waters. similar substance. Also the name of anoIn this last sense the word is used in the ther sect, named after Acacius, patriarch Septuagint for the water which God created | of Constantinople, in the fifth century, who at the beginning with the earth, which our favoured the opinions of Eutychus. See translators render by deep. Thus it is that EUTYCHIANS. darkness is said to have been on the face of ACADEMICS, a denomination given to the abyss, Gen. i. 2. Abyss is also used for an the cultivator's of a species of philosophy immense cavern in the earth, wherein God originally derived from Socrates, and afteris supposed to have collected all those waters wards illustrated and enforced by Plato. on the third day, which in our version is | The contradictory systems which had been rendered the seas, and elsewhere the great successively urged upon the world were bedeep. Abyss is likewise used to denote the come so numerous, that, from a view of the grave or common receptacle of the dead, variety and uncertainty of human opinions, Rom x. 7; also hell, or the bottomless pit, many were led to conclude that truth lay Luke viii. 31. Rev. ix. 1. Rev. xi. 7. See beyond the reach of our comprehension. DELUGE.
The consequence of this conclusion was abABYSSINIAN CHURCH, that which solute scepticism : hence the existence of is established in the empire of Abyssinia. God, the immortality of the soul, the preThey are a branch of the Copts, with whom | ferableness of virtue to vice, were all held they agree in admitting only one nature in as uncertain. This sect, with that of the Jesus Christ, and rejecting the council of Epicurearis, were the two chief that were Chalcedon; whence they are also called in vogue at the time of Christ's appearance, Monophysites and Eutychians, which see. and were embraced and supported by perThe Abyssinian cliurch is governed by a sons of high rank and wealth. A considebishop styled abuna. They have canons ration of the principles of these two sects also, and monks. The emperor has a kind (see EPICUREANS) will lead us to form an of supremacy in ecclesiastical matters. The idea of the deplorable state of the world at the time of Christ's birth; and the necessity | same sense, 2 Tim. i. 3. where it obviously there was of some divine teacher to convey | signifies after the manner of. to the mind true and certain principles of °ACEPÉALI, such bishops as were exreligion and wisdom. Jesus Christ, there-empt from the discipline and jurisdiction of fore, is with great propriety called the Day their ordinary bishop or patriarch. It was Spring from on High, the Sun of Righteous- also the denomination of certain sects; 1, of ness, that arose upon a benighted world to those who, in the affair of the council of dispel the clouds of ignorance and error, Ephesus, refused to follow either St Cyril or and discover to lost man the path of happi- John of Antioch ; 2. of certain heretics in ness and heaven. But, as we do not mean the fifth century, who, at first, followed Pe. to enlarge much upon these and some other ter Mongus, but afterwards abandoned him, sects, which belong rather to philosophy | upon his subscribing to the council of Chalthan theology, we shall refer the reader to cedon, they themselves adhering to the EuBuddeu's Introduction to the History of tychian heresy; and, S. of the followers of Philosophy ; Stanley's Lives ; Brucker's Severus of Autioch, and of all, in general, History of Philosophy; or (which is more who held out against the council of Chalce modern) Enfield's Abridgment.
don. ACCLAMATIONS, ecclesiastical, were
ACOEMET Æ, or Acoemeti, an order shouts of joy which the people expressed by of monks at Constantinople in the fifth cenway of approbation of their preachers. It tury, whom the writers of that and the folhardly seems credible to us that practices of lowing ages called Axolueati; that is, this kind should ever have found their way | Watchers, because they performed divine into the church, where all ought to be reve-service day and night without intermission. rence and solemnity. Yet so it was in the They divided themselves into three classes, fourth century. The people were not only who alternately succeeded one another, so permitted, but sometimes even exhorted, by that they kept up a perpetual course of the preacher himself, to approve his talents worship. This practice they founded upon by clapping of hands, and loud acclamations that passage—" pray without ceasing," } of praise. The unusual words they made | Thess. v. 17. use of were, “Orthodox," "Third apostle," ACOLYTHI, or ACOLUTHI, young peo&e. These acclamations being carried to ple who, in the primitive times, aspired to excess, and often misplaced, were frequently the ministry, and for that purpose contingprohibited by the ancient doctors, and at ally attended the bishop. In the Romish length abrogated. Even as late, however, church, Acolythi were of longer continuance; as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but their functions were different from those we find practices that were not very deco of their first institution. Their business was rous ; such as loud humming, frequent groan- to light the tapers, carry the candlesticks ing, strange gestures of the body, &c. See and the incense pot, and prepare the wine articles DANCERS, SHAKERS.
and water. At Rome there were three kinds; ACCOMMODATION of SCRIPTURE 1. those who waited on the pope ; 2. those is the application of it, not to its literal who served in the churches; 3. and others, meaning, but to something analagous to it. who, together with the deacons, officiated Thus a prophecy is said to be fulfilled pro- in other parts of the city perly when a thing foretold comes to pass ; ACT OF FAITH (Auto da Fe.) in the and, by way of accommodation, when an Romish church, is a solemn day held by the event happens to any place or people similar Inquisition for the punishment of heretics, to what fell out some time before to another. and the absolution of the innocent accused. Thus the words of Isaiah, spoken to those They usually contrive the Auto to fall on of his own time, are said to be fulfilled in some great festival, that the execution may those who lived in our Saviour's—“ Ye hy-pass with the more awe; and it is always pocrites, well did Esias prophesy, &c: which on a Sunday. The Auto da Fe may be same words St. Paul afterwards accommo called the last act of the Inquisitorial tragedates to the Jews of his time. Is. xxix. 14. dy: it is a kind of goal-delivery, appointed Matt. xv 8. Acts xiii. 41. Great care, how- as often as a competent number of prisoners ever, should be taken by preachers who are in the Inquisition are convicted of heresy, fond of accommodating texts, that they first either by their own voluntary or extorted clearly state the literal sense of the passage. confession, or on the evidence of certain wita
ACCURSED, something that lies under nesses. The process is this :- In the morna curse or sentence of excommunication. In ing they are brought into a great hall; where the Jewish idiom, accursed and crucified they have certain habits put on, which they were synonymous: among them, every one are to wear in the procession, and by which was accounted accursed who died on a tree they know their doom. The procession is This serves to explain the difficult passage led up by Dominican friars, after which come in Rom. ix. 3. where the apostle wishes the penitents, being all in black coats withhimself accursed after the manner of Christ; out sleeves, and barefooted, with a wax cani. e. crucified, if happily he might by such | dle in their hands. These are followed by a death save his country men.. The prepo- | the penitents who have narrowly escaped sition ets here made use of is used in the being burnt, who over their black coats lave