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ty. The Romanists have a great deal of foppery in the ceremonies of consecration, »inch they bestow on almost every thing; as bells, candles, books, water, oil, ashes, palms, swords, banners, pictures, crosses, agnus deis. roses, 8cc. In England, churches have been always consecrated with particular ceremonies, the form of which was left to the discretion of the bishop. That observed by Abp.Laud.in consecrating Saint Catherine Cree church in London, gave great offence, and well it might. Itwasenough, as one observes, to have made even a popish cardinal blush, and which no Protestant can read but with indignant concern. "The bishop came attended •with several of the high commission, and some civilians At his approach to the west door of the church which was shut, and guarded by halberdeers, some that were appoint td for that purpose cried with a loud voice—Often, often, ye everlasting doom, that the King of Glory may come in! Presently the doors were opened,and the bishop, with some doctors and principal men, entered. As soon as they were wiihin the place, his lords/. :/i fell down upon his knees. and, with his eyes lifted up, and his arms spread abroad, said, This place in holy; the ground is holy: in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I pronounce it holy. Then, walking up the middle aisle towards the chancel, he took up some of the dust, and threw it into the air several times. When he approached near the rail of the communion table, he bowed towards it five or six times; and, returning, went round the church, with his attendants in procession; saying first the hundredth and then the nineteenth Psalm, as prescribed in the Roman Pontifical. He then read several collects, in one of which hefirays God to accept of that beautiful building, and concludes thus: We consecrate this church, and separate it unto thee as Italy Ground, not to be profaned any more to common use. In another he prays—That ALL ivho should hereafter be buried within the circuit of this holy and sacred place, may rest in their sepulchres in peace, till Christ's coming to judgment, and may then rise to eternal life and happiness, then \\xz bishop, sitting under a cloth of state in the aisle of the chancel, near the communion table, took a written book in his hand, and pronounced curses upon those who | should hereafter p i ofane that holy place by musters of soldiers, or keeping profane law courts, or carrying burdens through it; and at the end of every corse he bowed to the east, and said,
Let all the people say, Amen. When the curses were ended which were about twenty, he pronounced a like number of bltssings upon ALL that had any hand in framing and building that sacred and beautiful church; and on those that had given, or should hereafter give, any chalices, plate, ornaments, or other utensils: and, at the end of every blessing, he bowed to the east, and said, Lit all the people say, Amen. After this came the sermon, then the sacrament, which the bishop consecrated and administered in the following manner:— As he approached the altar, he made five or six low bows; and coming up to the side of it, where the bread and itiine were covered, he bowed seven times. Then, after reading mam prayers, he came near the bread, anil, gently lifting up the corner of the napkin, beheld it; and immediately letting fall the napkin, he retreated hastily a step or two, and made 'hwfelow obeisances: hislordship then advanced, and, having uncovered the bread, bowed three times as before. Then he laid his hand on the cup, which was full of wine, with a cover upon it; which having let go, he steppetl back, and bowed three times towards it; then he came near again, and lifting up the cover of the cup, looked in it; and seeing the wine, let fall the cover again, retired back, and bowed as before. Then the elements were consecrated; and the bishop, having first received, gave it to some principal men in their surplices, hoods, and tippets; after which, many prayers being said, the solemnity of the consecration ended."
CONSISTENTES, a kind of penitents, who were allowed to assist at prayers, but who could not be admitted to receive the sacrament.
CONSISTORY, a word commonlyused for a council- house of ecclesiastical persons, or place of justice in the spiritual court: a session or assembly of prelates. Everv archbishop and bishop of every diocese hath a consistory court, held before his chancellor or commissary, in his cathedral church, or other convenient place of his diocese for ecclesiastical causes. The bishop's chancellor is the judge of this court, supposed to be skilled in the civil and canon law; and in places of the diocese far remote from the bishop's consistory, the bishop appoints a commissary to judge in all causes within a certain district, and a register to enter his decrees, &c. Consistory at Rome, denotes the college of cardinals, or the pope's senate and council, before whom judiciary causes are pleaded. Consistory is also used among the reformed for a council or assembly of ministers and elders to regulate their affairs, discipline, &c.
CONSTANCY, in a general sense, denotes immutability, or invariableness. When applied to the human mind, it is a steady adherence to those schemes and resolutions which have been maturely formed: the effect of which is, that a man never drops a good design out of fear, and is consistent with himself in all his words and actions.
Constancy is more particularly required of us.—1. In our devotions, Luke Xviii. 1. 1 Thess. v. 17, 18.—2. Under our sufferings. Matt. v. 12,13. 1 Pet. iv 12, 13.—J. In our profession and character, Heb. x. 23—4. In our beneficence, Gal. vi. 9.—5. In our friendships, Prov. xxvii. 10.
- CONSUBSTANTIAL, a term of like import with co-essential, denoting something of the same substance with another. Thus we say that Christ is consubstantial with the Father. The term opewricc, consubstantial, was first adopted by the fathers of the councils of Antioch and Nice, to express the orthodox doctrine the more precisely, and to serve as a barrier and precaution against the errors and subtleties of the Arians, who owned every thing except the consubstantiality. The Arians allowed that the word was God, as having been made God; but they denied that he was the same God. and of the same substance with the Father: accordingly they exerted themselves to the utmost to abolish the use of the word. The emperor Constantine used all his authority with the bishops to have it expunged out of the symbols; but it was retained, and is at this day, as it was then, the distinguishing criterion between an Athanasian and an Arian. See articles Arians, and Jesus Christ.
CONSUBSTANTIATION, a tenet of the Lutheran church, with regard to the manner of the change made in the bread and wine in the eucharist. The divines of that profession maintain that, after consecration, the body and blood of our Saviour are substantially present, together with the substance ofthe bread and wine, which is called consubstantiation, or impanation. See Transub
CONTEMPLATION, studious thought on any subject; continued attention. "Monks and mystics consider contemplation as the highest degree of moral excellence; and with them a silent spectator is a divine man:" but it is evident we are not placed here only to think. There is something to be done
as well as to contemplate. There arc duties to be performed, offices to be discharged: and if we wish to be happy in ourselves, and useful toothers, we must be active as well as thoughtful.
CONTENTMENT is a disposition of mind in which our desires are confined to what we enjoy, without murmuring at our lot, or wishing ardently for more. It stands opposed to envy, James iii. 16. to avarice, Heb. xiii. 5. to pride and ambition, Prov. xiii. 10. to anxiety of mind. Matt. vi. 25, 34. to murmuring* and repinings, 1 Cor. x. 10. Contentment does not imply unconcern about our welfare, or that we should not have a sense of any thing uneasy or distressing; nor does it give any countenance to idleness, or prevent diligent endeavours to improve our circumstances. It implies, however that our desires of worldly good be moderate; that we do not indulge unnecessary care, or use unlawful efforts to better ourselves; but that we acquiesce with and make the best of our condition, whatever it be. Contentment arises not from a man's outward condition, but from his inward disposition, and is the genuine offspring of humility, attended with a fixed habitual sense of God's particular providence, the recollection of past mercies, and a just estimate of the true nature of all earthlv things. Motives to contentment arise from the consideration of the rectitude of the Divine government, Ps. xcvii. 1, 2. the benignity of the Divine providence, Ps. cxlv. the greatness of the Divine promises, 2 Pet. l. 4. our own unworthiness, Gen. xxxii. 10. the punishments we deserve. Lam. iii. 39, 40. the reward which contentment itself brings with it, 1 Tim. vi. 6. the speedy termination of all our troubles here, and the prospect of eternal felicity in a future state, Rom. v. 2. Barrows Workt, vol. iii. ser. 5, 6,7, 8, 9; Burroughs on Contentment; Watson's Art of ditto j Hale's Con. p. 59; Mason's Christian Morals, vol. i. ser. 2.
CONTINENCY is that moral virtue by which we restrain concupiscence. There is this distinction between chastity and continence :—Chastity requires no effort, because it may result from constitution; whereas continency appears to be the consequence of a victory gained over ourselves. The term is most usually applied to men; as chastity is to women. See Chastitt.
CONTINGENT, any thing that happens without a fore-known cause; commonly called accidental. An event not come to pass is said to be contingent, which either may or may not be: what is already done, is said to have been contingent, if it might or might not have been. What is contingent or casual to us is not so with God. As effects stand related to a second cause, they are many times contingent; but as they stand related to the hrst cause, they are acts of God's counsel, and directed by his wisdom.
CONTRITE: this word signifies beaten or bruised, as with hard blows, or an heavy burden; and so jn Scripture language imports one whose heart is broken and wounded for sin, in opposition to the heart of stone, Is. lxvi. 2. Ps. li. 17. Ps. lvii. 15.
The evidences of a broken and contrite spirit are, 1. Deep conviction of the evil of sin.—2. Humiliation under asense of it, Job xlii. 5,6.—3. Pungent sorrow for it, Zech. xii. 10.—4. Ingenuous confession of it, 1 John i. 9.—5. Prayer for deliverance from it. Ps. li. 10. Luke xviii. 13.—6. Susceptibility of good impressions, Ezek. xi 19.
CONTROVERSIAL DIVINITY. See Disputation.
CONVENT. See Abbey, MonasTery, Monk.
CONVENTICLE, a diminutive of convent, denoting properly a cabal, or secret assembly of a part of the monks of a convent, to make a party in the election of an abbot. The term conventicle is said by some to have been first applied in England to the schools of Wickliffe, and has been since used in a •way of reproach for those assemblies which dissent from the established church.
In 1664 what was called the conventicle act was passed, decreeing that if any person above 16 years of age, was present at any meeting for worship, different from the church of England, where there should be five person* more than the household, they should for the first offence, suffer three months imprisonment, or pay Si. for the second the punishment is doubled, and for the third they were to be banished to America, or pay 100/. and if they returned to suffer death. This act having expired, it was revived in 1669, for bv 22 Car. II, cap. litis enacted, That if any persons of the age of sixteen years, subjects of this kingdom, shall be present at anv conventicle where there are five or more assembled, they shall be fined five shillings for the first offence, and ten shillings for the second: and persons preaching, incur a penalty of twenty pounds. Also suffering a meeiing to be held in a house is twenty pounds penalty : justices of peace have power to en
ter such houses, and seize persons assembled: and if they neglect theirduty, they forfeit 100/. And if any constable, &c. know of such proceedings, and do not inform a justice of peace or chief magistrate, he shall forfeit 5/. But the 1st of William and Mary, cap. 18. ordains that Protestant dissenters shall be exempted from these penalties; though if they meet in a house with the doors locked, barred, or bolted, such dissenters shall have no benefit from the 1st of William and Mary. Officers of the government, &c. present at any conventicle at which there shall be ten persons, if the royal family be not prayed for in express words, shall forfeit 40/. and be disabled, Stat. 10 Anne, cap. 2.
CONVERSATION, or discourse, signifies an interlocution between two or more persons, with this distinction, that conversation is used for any general intercourse of sentiments whatever, whereas a discourse means a conversation limited to some particular subject.
To render conversation at all times agreeable, the following rules have been laid down, 1. The parties should meet together with a determined resolution to please and to be pleased.—2. No one should be eager to interrupt others, or be uneasy at Being interrupted.—3. All should have leave to speak in turn— 4. Inattention shouldbe carefully avoided.—5. Private concerns should never be mentioned, unless particularly enquired into, and even then as briefly as possible.—6. Each person should, as far as propriety will admit, be afforded an opportunity of discoursing on the subject with which he is best acquainted
7. Stories should be avoided, unless short, pointed, and quite a Jiroftos.—
8. Each person should speak often, but not long. Har.mguing in private company is insupportable.—9. If the majority of the company be naturally silent or reserved, the conversation will flag, unless it be often renewed by one who can start new subjects.—10. It is improper to laugh at one's own wit and humour; this should be left to the company.—11. When the conversation is flowing in a serious and useful channel, never'interrupt it by an ill-timed jest.— 12. It is at all times extremely indelicate to whisper io one's next neighbour: this is in some degree a fraud, conversation being a kind of common property.—13 In speaking of absent people, the infallible rule is. to say no more than we should say if they were present. "I resolve," said bishop Beveridge, "never to speak of a man's virtues to his face, nor of his faults behind his back." A golden rule! the observation of which would at once banish flattery and defamation from the world.
CONVERSION, a change from one state to another. Conversion may be
1. Merely external, or that which consists only in an outward reformation.—
2. Doctrinal, or a change of sentiments. —3. Saving, which consists in the renovation of the heart and life, or a turning from the power of sin and Satan unto God, Acts xxvi. 18. and is produced by the influence of Divine grace on the soul.—4. Sometimes it is put for restoration, as in the case of Peter, Luke xxii. 32. The instrumental cause of conversion is usually the ministry of the word ; though sometimes it is produced by reading, by serious and appropriate conversation, sanctified afflictions, &c. "Conversion," says the great Charnock, "is to be distinguished from regeneration thus.—Regeneration is a spiritual change; conversion is a spiritual motion: in regeneration there is a power conferred; conversion is the exercise of this power: in regeneration there is given us a principle to turn ; conversion is our actual turning. In the covenant, God s putting his Spirit into us is distinguished from our walking in his statutes from the first step we take in the way of God, and is set down as the cause of our motion, Ezek. xxxvi. 27. In renewing us, God gives us a power; in converting us, he excites that power. Men are naturally dead, and have a stone upon them: regeneration is a rolling away the stone from the heart, and a raising to newness of life, and then conversion is as natural to a regenerate man as motion is to a lively body. A principle of activity will produce action. In regeneration, man is wholly passive; in conversion, he is active. The first reviving us is wholly the act of God, without any concurrence of the creature , but after we are revived we do actively and voluntarily live in his sight. Regeneration is the motion of God in the creature; conversion is the motion of the creature to God, by virtue of that first principle: from this principle all the acts of believing, repenting, mortifying, quickening, do spring. In all these a man is active in the other he is merely passive." Conversion evidences itself by ardent love to God, Ps. lxxiii. 25. delight in his people, lohn xiii. 35. attendance on his ordinances, Ps. xxvii. 4. confidence in his promises, Ps. ix. 10. abhorrence of self, and renunciation of the world, Job xlii. 5. James iv. 4. submission to his authority, and uniform obedience to his
word, Matt. vii. 20. See Calling, ReGeneration.
CONVERT, a person who is converted. In a monastic sense, converts are lay friars, or brothers admitted for the service of the house, without orders, and not allowed to sing in the choir.
CONVICTION, in general, is the assurance of the truth of any proposition. In a religious sense, it is the first degree of repentance, and implies an affecting sense that we are guilty before God; that we can do nothing of ourselves to' gain his forfeited favour; that we deserve and are exposed to the wrath of God; that sin is very odious and hateful, yea, the greatest of evils. There is a natural conviction which arises from natural conscience, fear of punishment, moral suasion, or alarming providences, but which is not of a permanent nature. Saving conviction is the work of the Spirit, as the cause; though the law, the conscience, the Gospel, or affliction, may be the means, John xvi. 8, 9. Convictions of sin differ very much in their degree in different persons. It has been observed that those who suffer the most agonizing sensations are such as never before enjoyed the external call of the Gospel, or were not favoured with the tuition of religious parents, but have neglected or notoriously abused the means of grace. To these, conviction is often sudden, and produces that horror and shame which are not soon overcome; whereas those who have sat under the Gospel from their infancy have not had such alarming convictions, because they have already some notion of these things, and have so much acquaintance with the Gospel as administers immediate comfort. As if. is not, therefore, the constant method of the Spirit to convince in one way, it is improper for any to distress themselves because they are not, or have not been tormented almost to despair: they should be rather thankful that the Spirit of God has dealt tenderly with them, and opened to them the source of consolation. It is necessary however to observe, that, in order to repentance and conversion to God there must be real and lasting conviction, which, though it may not be the same in degree, is the same in nature. Evangelical conviction differs from legal conviction thus : legal arises from a consideration of God'sjustice, power, or omniscience: evangelical from God's goodness and holiness, and from a disaffection to sin : legal conviction still conceits there is some remaining good , but exmngelical is sensible Vhere is no good at all: legal wishes. freedom from pain; evangelical from sin: legal hardens the heart; evangelical softens it: legal is only temporary , evangrlical lasting.
CONVOCATION, an assembly of persons for the worship of God. Lev. xxiii. Numb, xxviii. Exod. xii. 16. An assembly of the clergy for consultation upon matters ecclesiastical.
As the parliament consists of two distinct houses, so does this convocation The one called the upper house, where the archbishops and bishops sit severally by themselves; the other the lower house, where all the rest of the clergy
are represented by their deputies
The inferior clergy are represented by their proctors; consisting of all the deans and archdeacons; of one proctor for every chapter, and two for the clergy, of every diocese— in all, one hundred and forty-three divines, viz. twenty-two deans, fifty-three archdeacons, twenty-four prebendaries, and forty-four proctors of the diocesan clergy. The lower house chooses its prolocutor, who is to take care that the members attend, to collect their debates and votes, and to carry their resolutions to the upper house. The convocations is summoned by the king's writ, directed to the archbishop of each province, requiring him to summon all bishops, deans, archdeacons', &c The power of the convocation is limited by a statute of Henry VIII. They are riot to make any canons, or ecclesiastical laws, without the king's licence ; nor, when permitted, can they put them in execution but under several restrictions.— I'he» have the examining and censuring all heretical and schismatical books and persons, Sec. ; but there lies an appeal to the king in chancery, or to his delegates The clergy in convocation, and their servants, have the same privileges as members of parliament. In 1665, the convocation of the clergv gave up the privilege of taxing themselves to the house of commons, in consideration of their being allowed to vote at the election of members for that house. Since that period they have been seldom allowed to do any business; and are generally prorogued from time to time till dissolved, a new convocation being generally called along with a new parliament.
COPHTI, CopHT.orCoPTi, a name given to the Christians of Egypt who are of the sect of the Jacobites. See JaCobites. The Cophts have a patriarch, who resides at Cairo; but he takes his title from Alexandria. He has no archbishop under him, but eleven or
twelve bishops. The rest of the clergy, wheher secular or regular, are composed of the orders of St. Anthony, St. Paul, St. Macarius, who have each their monasteries. Besides the orders of priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, the Cophts have, likewise, archimandrites, or abbots; the dignity whereof they confer with all the prayers and ceremonies of a strict ordination. By a custom of six hundred years standing, if a priest elected bishop be not already archimandrite, that dignity must be conferred on him before episcopal ordination. The second per-on among the clergy after the patriarch is the titular patriarch of Jerusalem, who also resides at Cairo. To him belongs the government of the Cophtic church during the vacancy of the patriarchal see. To be elected patriarch, it is necessary the person have lited all his life in continence. To be elected bishop, the person must be in the celibate; or if he have been married, it must not be above once. The priests and inferior ministers are allowed to be married before ordination ; but not forced to it, as some have observed. They have a great number of deacons, and even confer the dignity frequently on their children None but the lowest rank among the people commence ecclesiastics: whence arises that excessive ignorance found among them , yet the respect of the laity towards the clergyis very extraordinary. The monastic life is in great esteem among them: to be admitted into it, there is always required the consent of the bishop. The religious Cophts, it is said, make a vow of perpetual chastity; renounce the world, and live with great austerity in deserts: they are obliged to sleep in their clothes and their girdle, on a mat stretched on the ground; and to prostrate themselves every evening one hundred and fifty times with their face and breast on the ground. They are all, both men and women, of the lowest class of the people, and live on alms. The nunneries are properly hospitals, and few enter but widows reduced to beggary.
CORB ^N, in Jewish antiquity, were those offerings which had life ; in opposition to the minchab, or those which had not. It is derived from the word karab, which signifies, "to approach;" because the victims were brought to the door of the tabernacle. The corban were always looked upon as the most sacred offerings. The Jews are reproached with defeating, by means of the corban, the precept of the fifth commandment, which enjoins the respect