Page images
PDF
EPUB

A

THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY.

A.

ABB

ABB

A ,

BBA, a Syriac word, signifying Fa- 1 mission a priest to act for them. They in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopiction, as well as some abbots who are churches, as a title given to the bishops. I exempted from the visitation of their The bishops themselves bestowed the diocesan. title Abba more eminently on the bishop ABBEY, a monastery, governed by a of Alexandria, which occasioned the superior under the title of Abbot or people to give him the title of Baba or Abbess. Monasteries were at first noPapa ; that is, Grandfather: a title thing more than religious houses, whiwhich he bore before the bishop of ther persons retired from the bustle of Rome. It is a Jewish title of honour the world to spend their time in solitude given to certain Rabbins called Tana- and devotion : but they soon degenerated ites: it is also used by some writers of from their original institution, and prothe middle age for the superior of a cured large privileges, exemptions, and monastery. St. Mark and St. Paul use riches. They prevailed greatly in Brithis word in their Greek, Mark xiv. 36. tain before the reformation, particularRom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6. because it was | ly in England; and as they increased in then commonly known in the syna- riches, so the state became poor, for gogues and the primitive assemblies of the lands which these regulars possessthe Christians. It is thought by Selden,ed could never revert to the lords who Witsius, Doddridge, and others, that gave them. These places were wholly Saint Paul alluded to a law among the abolished by Henry VIII. He first apJews which forbade servants or slaves | pointed visitors to inspect into the lives to call their master Abba, or Father; of the monks and nuns, which were and that the apostle meant to convey found in some places very disorderly; the idea that those who believed in upon which the abbots, perceiving their Christ were no longer slaves to sin; but dissolution unavoidable, were induced being brought into a state of holy free- || to resign their houses to the king, who dom, might consequently address God || by that means became invested with the as their Father.

abbey lands; these were afterwards ABBE. The same with ABBOT, granted to different persons, whose dewhich see. Also the name of curious scendants enjoy them at this day: they popular characters in France; who are were then valued at 2,853,0001. per persons who have not yet obtained any | annum; an immense sum in those days. precise or fixed settlement in church or -Though the suppression of these state, but most heartily wish for and houses, considered in a religious and would accept of either, just as it may | political light, was a great benefit to happen. In the mean while their pri- || the nation, yet it must be owned, that, vileges are many. In college they are at the time they flourished, they were the instructors of youth, and in pri- | not entirely useless. Abbeys were then vate families the tutors of young gen- | the repositaries as well as the seminatlemen.

ries of learning: many valuable books ABBESS, the superior of an abbey or

and national records have been preconvent of nuns. The abbess has the || served in their libraries; the only same rights and authority over her nuns places wherein they could have been that the abbots regular have over their safely lodged in those turbulent times. monks. The sex, indeed, does not allow | Indeed, the historians of this country her to perform the spiritual functions are chiefly beholden to the monks for annexed to the priesthood, where with the knowledge they have of former nathe abbot is usually invested; but there tional events. Thus a kind Providence are instances of some abbesses who have overruled even the institutions of supera right, or rather a privilege, to com- stition for good. See MONASTERY,

ABBOT, the chief ruler of a monas- ther including the whole system of the tery or abbey. At first they were lay-|| Ignicold, or worshippers of fire. men, and subject to the bishop and ABILITY. See INABILITY. ordinary pastors. Their monasteries ABLUTION, a ceremony in use being remote from cities, and built in among the ancients, and still practised the farthest solitudes, they had no share in several parts of the world. It conin ecclesiastical affairs; but, there being sisted in washing the body, which was among them several persons of learning, always done before sacrificing, or even they were called out of their deserts by entering their houses. Ablutions appear the bishops, and fixed in the suburbs of to be as old as any ceremonies, and exthe cities, and at length in the cities | ternal worship itself. Moses enjoined themselves. From that time they de-them, the heathens adopted them, and generated, and, learning to be ambitious, | Mahomet and his followers have conaspired to be independent of the bishops, tinued them. The Egyptians, the which occasioned some severe laws to Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, all had be made against them. At length, how. || them. The ancient Christians had their ever, the abbots carried their point, and ablutions before communion, which the obtained the title of lord, with other Romish church still retain before their badges of the episcopate, particularly mass, and sometimes after. The Sythe mitre. Hence arose new distinctions rians Copts, &c. have their solemn among them. i'hose were termed mitred washings on Good Friday; the Turks abbots who were privileged to wear the also have their ablutions, their Ghast, mitre, and exercise episcopal authority their Wodou, Aman, &c. within their respective precincts, being ABRAHAMITES, an order of monks exempted from the jurisdiction of the exterminated for idolatry by Theophibishop. Others were called crosieredlus, in the ninth century. Also the name abbots, from their bearing the crosirr, of another sect of heretics who had or pastoral staff. Others were styled adopted the errors of Paulus. See ecumenical or universal abbots. in imi- Paulicians. tation of the patriarch of Constantino- ABSOLUTION signifies acquittal. It ple, while others were termed cardi-is taken also from that act whereby the nal abbots, from their superiority overpriest declares the sins of such as are all other abbots.

At present, in the penitent remitted. The Romanists hold Roman catholic countries, the chief | absolution a part of the sacrament of distinctions are those of regular and penance: and the council of Trent and commendatory. The former take the that of Florence deciare the form or vow and wear the habit of their order;ll essence of the sacrament to lie in the whereas the latter are seculars, though words of absolution. “I absolve thee they are obliged by their bulls to take

“of thy sins.” According to this, no orders when of proper age.

one can receive absolution without the ABELIANS, or ABELONIANS, a sect privity, consent and declaration of the which arose in the diocese of Hippoo priest; except, therefore, the priest be in Africa, and is supposed to have be- willing, God himself cannot pardon any guin in the reign of Arcadius, and ended This is a doctrine as blasphein that of Theodosius. Indeed, it was mous as it is ridiculous. The chief pasnot calculated for being of any long con- | sage on which they ground their power tinuance. They regulated marriage of absolution is that in John XX. 23: after the example of Abel, who, they “ Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are pretended, was married, but lived in a remitted unto them, and whosesoever state of continence: they therefore al- | sins ye retain, they are retained.” But lowed each man to marry one woman, this is not to the purpose ; since this but enjoined them to live in the same was a special commission to the apostles state. To keep up the sect, when a man themselves, and the first preachers of and woman entered into this society, the Gospel, and most probably referred they adopted a boy and a girl, who to the power he gave them of discern

to inherit their goods, and to ing spirits. By virtue of this power, marry upon the same terms of not || Peter struck Ananias and Saphira dead, having children but of adopting two of and Paul struck Elias blind. But, different sexes.

supposing tie passage in question to ABESTA, the name of one of the sa. | apply to the successors of the apostles, cred books of the Persian Magi, which and to ministers in general, it can only they ascribe to their great founder Zoro import that their office is to preach aster. The Abesta is a commentary on pardon to the penitent, assuring those two others of their religious books, call-who believe that their sins are forgiven od Zend and Pazend; the three toge-" through the merits of Jesus Christ; and

man

were

that those who remain in unbelief are in on all days commonly called fish days. a state of condemnation. Any idea of. The like injuncions were renewed unauthority given to fallible, uninspired der queen Elizabeth; but at the same men to absolve sinners, different from time it was declared, that this was done this, is unscriptural; nor can I see much not out of motives of religion, as if there utility in the terms ministerial or decla- || were any difference in meats, but in farative absolution, as adopted by some || vour of the consumption of fish, and to divines, since absolution is wholly the multiply the number of fishermen and prerogative of God; and the terms mariners, as well as to spare the stock above-mentioned, may, to say the least, of sheep. See Fasting. have no good influence on the minds of ABSTINENTS, a set of heretics that the ignorant and superstitious.

appeared in France and Spain about the ABSTEMII, a name given to such end of the third century. 'l hey are suppersons as could not partake of the cupposed to have borrowed part of their of the eucharist, on account of their na- opinions from the Gnostics and Manitural a version to wine.

chæans, because they opposed marriage, ABSTINENCE, in a general sense, condemned the use of Aesh meat, and is the act of refraining from something placed the Holy Ghost in the class of which we have a propension to or find created beings. pleasure in. It is more particularly ABYSS, in a general sense, denotes used for fasting or forbearing of neces- something profound ; in its literal sense sary food. Among the Jews, various it signifies without a bottom; in a more kinds of abstinence were ordained by particular sense it denotes a deep mass their law. Among the primitive Chris- or fund of waters. In this last sense the tians, some denied themselves the use of word is used in the Septuagint for the such meats as were prohibited by that water which God created at the beginlaw; others looked upon this abstinence | ning with the earth, which our translawith contempt; as to which Paul givestors render by deep. Thus it is that his opinion, Rom. xiv. 1. 3. The council | darkness is said to have been on the face of Jerusalem. which was held by the of the abyss, Gen. i. 2. Abyss is also apostles, enjoined the Christian converts used for an immense cavern in the earth, to abstain from meats strangled, from wherein God is supposed to have colblood, from fornication, and from idola- | lected all those waters on the third day, try, Acts xv. Upon this passage, Dr. | which in our version is rendered the Doddridge observes, that though nei- || seas, and elsewhere the great deep. ther things sacrificed to idols, nor the Aby88 is likewise used to denote the flesh of strangled animals, nor blood, grave or common receptacle of the have or can have any moral evil in dead, Rom. x. 7: also hell, or the botthem, which should make the eating of tomless pit, Luke viii. 31. Rev. ix. 1. them absolutely and universally unlaw- || Rev. xi. 7. See DeLUGE. ful, yet they were forbidden to the Gen- ABYSSINIAN CHURCH, that tile converts, because the Jews had such which is established in the empire of an aversion to them, that they could not || Abyssinia. They are a branch of the converse freely with any who used them. Copts, with whom they agree in adThis is plainly the reason which James mitting only one nature in Jesus Christ, assigns in the very next words, the 21st and rejecting the council of Chalcedon; verse, and it is abundantly sufficient. whence they are also called MonophyThis reason is now ceased, and the sites and Eutychians, which see. The obligation to abstain from eating these Abyssinian church is governed by a things ceases with it. But were we in || bishop styled abuna. They have calike circumstances again, Christian cha- | nons also, and monks. The emperor rity would surely require us to lay our- has a kind of supremacy in ecclesiastical selves under the same restraint." -The matters. The Abyssinians have at divers spiritual monarchy of the western world times expressed an inclination to be reintroduced another sort of abstinence, || conciled to the see of Rome; but rather which may be called ritual, and consists from interested views than any other in abstaining from particular meats ar motive. They practise circumcision on certain times and seasons, the rules of females as well as males. They eat no which are called rogations. If I mis- meats prohibited by the law of Moses. take not, the impropriety of this kind they observe both Saturday and Sunof abstinence is clearly pointed out in 1 day sabbaths. Women are obliged to Tim iv. 3.- In England, abstinence from the legal purifications. Brothers marry flesh has been enjoined by statute, even | brothers' wives, &c. On the other hand, since the reformation; particularly on they celebrate the Epiphany with pecuFridays and Saturdays, on vigils, and liar festivity; have four Lents; pray for

the dead; and invoke angels. Iinages in || principles of religion and wisdom. Jepainting they venerate; but abhor all sus Christ, therefore, is with great prothose in relievo, except the cross. They priety called the Day Spring from on admit the apocryphal books and the High, the Sun of Righteousness, that canons of the apostles, as well as the arose upon a benighted world to dispel apostolical constitutions, for genuine. the clouds of ignorance and error, and They allow of divorce, which is easily discover to lost man the path of happigranted among them, and by the civilness and heaven. But, as we do not judge; nor do their civil laws prohibit mean to enlarge much upon these and polygamy.-They have, at least, as some other sects, which belong rather many miracles and legends of saints as to philosophy than theology, we shall the Romish church. They hold that the refer the reader to Buddeus's Introsoul of man is not created; because, say duction to the History of Philosophy ; they, God finished all his works on the Stanley's Lives; Brucker': History of sixth day. Thus we see that the doc- Philosophy; or (which is more modern) trines and ritual of this sect form a | Enfield's Abridgment. strange compound of Judaism and Chris- ACCLAMATIONS, ecclesiastical, tianity, ignorance and superstition. Some, I were shouts of joy which the people exindeed, have been at a loss to know whe-pressed by way of approbation of their ther they are most Christians or Jews: || preachers. It hardly seems credible to it is to be feared, however, that there is us that practices of this kind should ever little beside the name of Christianity have found their way into the church, among them. Should the reader be de- where all ought to be reverence and sosirous to know more of this sect, he may lemnity. Yet so it was in the fourth cenconsult Father Lobo's Voyage to Abys- | tury. The people were not only permitsinia ; Bruce's Travels ; Ludolph's || ted, but sometimes even exhorted, by Hist. of Ethiopia ; and Dict. of Arts the preacher himself, to approve his taand Sciences, vol. i. p. 15.

lents by clapping of hands, and loud acACACIANS, a sect of heretics in the clamations of praise. The usual words 4th century; so named from Acacius, they made use of were,

“ Orthodox," bishop of Cæsarea, who denied the Son “ Third apostle,” &c. These acclamato be of the same substance with the tions being carried to excess, and often Father, though some of them allowed | misplaced, were frequently prohibited that he was of a similar substance. Also by the ancient doctors, and at length abthe name of another sect, named after rogated. Even as late, however, as the Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the fifth century, who favoured the opi- we find practices that were not very denions of Eutychus. See EUTYCHIANS. corous; such as loud humming, frequent

ACADEMICS, a denomination given | groaning, strange gestures of the body, to the cultivators of a species of philo- . &c. See articles DANCERS, SHAKERS. sophy originally derived from Socrates, ACCOMMODATION OF SCRIPand afterwards illustrated and enforcedTURE is the application of it, not to its by Plato. The contradictory systems | literal meaning, but to something anawhich had been successively urged upon || lagous to it. Thus a prophecy is said to the world were become so numerous, || be fulfilled properly when a thing forethat, from a view of the variety and un- told comes to pass; and, by way of accertainty of human opinions, many were commodation, when an event happens led to conclude that truth lay beyond to any place or people similar to what the reach of our comprehension. The fell out some time before to another. consequence of this conclusion was ab- || Thus the words of Isaiah, spoken to solute scepticism: hence the existence those of his own time, are said to be fulof God, the immortality of the soul, the filled in those who lived in our Saviour's, preferableness of virtue to vice, were —“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias proall held as uncertain. This sect, with phesy,"&c.: which same words St. Paul that of the Epicureans, were the two afterwards accommodates to the Jews chief that were in vogue at the time of of his time, Is. xxxix. 14. Matt. xv. 8. Christ's appearance, and were em- Acts xiii. 41. Great care, however, braced and supported by persons of high should be taken by preachers who are rank and wealth. A consideration of the fond of accommodating texts, that they principles of these two sects (see Epi- first clearly state the literal sense of the CUREANS) will lead us to form an idea passage. of the deplorable state of the world at ACCURSED, something that lies unthe time of Christ's birth ; and the ne- der a curse or sentence of excommunicessity there was of some divine teacher cation. In the Jewish idiom, accursed to convey to the mind true and certain and crucified were synonymous: among

« PreviousContinue »