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District of Pennsylvania, to wit : BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fifteenth day of February, in the thirty-eighth year if the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1814. William W. WOODWARD, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the Title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following to wit :

“ A Theological Dictionary, containing definitions of all religious terms; a comprehen“ sive view of every article in the system of Divinity, an impartial account of all the prin“ cipal Denominations which have subsisted in the religious world, from the birth of Christ “ to the present day : Together with an accurate statement of the most remarkable trans“ actions and events recorded in Ecclesiastical History. By Charles Buck,—two vol“ umes in one. Fourth American, from the third London Edition, with additions. Also “ an account of the Cumberland Presbyterians in the United States.”

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.” And also to the Act, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to An Act, entitled “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,” and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the District of Pennsylvania.


KNOWLEDGE, in a great measure, forms the true dignity and happiness of man : It is that by which he holds an honourable rank in the scale of being, and by which he is rendered capable of adding to the felicity of his fellow

Every attempt, therefore, to enlarge its boundaries, and facilitate its acquisition, must be considered as worthy of our attention and regard. The present work is designed to promote these valuable and important ends.

The plan of conveying knowledge by dictionaries has been long established, and well received in the republic of letters. A dictionary, however, of a religious and ecclesiastical nature was still a desideratum in the religious world; for although we have had dictionaries which explained scripture terms, yet it is evident these could not embrace the history of the church since the sacred canon was concluded, nor explain the numerous terms which have been used ; nor, indeed, point out the various sects and deDominations which have subsisted since that time. I do not mean, by these remarks, to depreciate the valuable works above referred to: I am sensible of their excellencies, and I have no wish to undervalue them in order to exalt my own. This work, however, is of a different nature, as the reader will easily see, if he take the trouble to compare and examine.

There may, doubtless, be defects in this publication which may have escaped my attention : but whoever considers the various books that must have been consulted ; the discriminations that were necessary to be made ; the patient investigation required ; and the toil of selecting, transcribing, and composing, must be convinced that it has been attended with no small difficulty. The advantages, however, which my own mind derived from the work, and the probability of its being useful to others, greatly encouraged me in its prosecution. Besides, to be active, to be useful, to do something for the good of mankind, I have always considered as the honour of an intelligent being. It is not the student, wrapped up in metaphysical subtilties ; it is not the recluse living in perpetual solitude ; it is not the miser who is continuaily amassing wealth, that can be considered as the greatest ornaments or the greatest blessings to human society :-It is rather the useful than the shining talent that is to be coveted.

Perhaps it may be said, the work is tinctured too much with my own sentiments, and that the theology is too antiquated to please the liberal, philosophizing, and refined age. In answer to this, I observe, that I could do no other, as an hon st man, than communicate what I believed to be the truth. It is a false liberality to acquiesce with every man's opinion, to fall in with every man's scheme, to trifle with error, or imagine there is no difference between one sentiment and another; yet, notwithstanding this declaration, I trust the features of bigotry are not easily discernible in this work ; and that, while I have endeavoured to carry the torch of Truth in my hand, I have not forgotten to walk in the path of Candour.

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

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 done, the sooner it dies and is forgot, the better."

C. B.



ABB ABBA, a Syriac word, signifying Father 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 Saintbeys 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 freedoin, might cousequently 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 fixedcords 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, I 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 abhots 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, where with the abbot is usually and built in the farthest solitudes, they had invested ; but there are instances of some 10 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 foring, 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 abbots 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 abbots 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 to 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 pastoralone can receive absolution without the pristaff. Others were styled ecumenical 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-|| 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 passage on which they ground Roman catholic countries, the chief distinc- | their power of absolution is that in John 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 soever 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 také orders when of proper age. mission to the apostles themselves, and the

ABELIANS, or ABELONIANS, à 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 pow. the reign of Arcadius, and ended in that of er, Peter struck Ananias and Sapphira dead, Theodosius. Indeed, it was not calculated and Paul struck Elimas blind. But supposfor being of any long continuance. Theying the passage in 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, 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 inherit ity given to fallible, uninspired men to abtheir goods, and to marry upon the same solve sinners, different from this, is unscripterms of not having children, 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-is wholly the prerogative of God; and the cribe to their great founder Zoroaster. "The terms above-mentioned, may, to say the Abesta is a commentary on two others of least, have no good influence on the minds of their religious buoks, 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. sops 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. Ainong the monies, and external worship itself. Moses | Jews,, various kinds of abstinence were orenjoined them, the heathens adopted them, | dained by their law. Among the primitive and Mahomet and his followers have con- Christians, some denied themselves the use tinued them. The Egyptians, 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 their ablutions before tempt; as to which Paul gives his opivion, 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 apestles, enjoined the after. The Syrians, Copts, &c. have their Christian converts to abstain from meats soleinn washings on Good Friday; the Turks strangled, from blood, froin fornication, and also have their ablutions, their Ghast, their from idolatry, Acts xv. Upon this passage, Wodou, Aman, &c.

Dr. Doddridge 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, have 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 absolutely and of Paulus. See PAULIGANS.

universally unlawful; yet they were forbidABSOLUTION signifies acquittal. It is "deu to the Gentile converts, because the Jews'

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