« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
men for the corruption then in the world. Let us be satisfied with the sources which Moses gives us, namely, the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven opened; that is, the waters rushed out from the hidden abyss of the bowels of the earth, and the clouds poured down their rain incessantly. Let it suffice us to know, that all the elements are under God's power; that he can do with them as he pleases, and frequently in wavs we are ignoiant of, in order to accomplish his own purposes.
The principal writers on this subject have been IVoodyard, Cockburn, Bryant, Burnet, WhUton, Stillingfleet, King, Catcott, and Tytler.
DEPRAVITY, corruption, a change from perfection to imperfection. See Fall, Sin.
DEPRECATORY, a term applied to the manner of performing some ceremonies in the form of prayer. The form of absolution in the Greek church is deprecative, thus expressed—May God absolve you; whereas in the Latin <;hu: r.h it is declarative—I absolve you
DESCENT of Christ into Hell. See Hell.
DESERTION, a term made use ot to denote an unhappy state of mind, occasioned by the sensible influences of •the divine favour being withdrawn. Some of the best men in all ages have suffered a temporary -uspension of divine enjoyments. Job xxix. 2. Ps li Is. xlix. 14. Lam. iii. I. Is. i. 10. The causes of this must not be attributed to the Almighty, since he is alway the same, but must arise from ourselves. Neglect of duty, improper views of Providence, self-confidence, a worldly spirit, lukewarmness of mind, inattention to the means of grace, or open transgression, may be considered as leading to this state. As all things, however, are under the divine controul, so e\en desertion, or, as it is sometimes expressed in Scripture, "the hidings of God's face," may be useful to excite humility, exercise faith and patience, detach us from the world, prompt to more vigorous action, bring us to look more to God as the fountain of happiness, conform us to his word, and increase our desires for that state of blessedness *hich is to come. Hervey's Ther. and Asfi. dial, xix.; tVatts's Medit. on Job, xxiii. 3.: iMmbert's Ser. vol. i. ser. 16.; FtaveCs Works, vol. i.p. 167. folio.
DESIRE is an eagerness to obtain or enjoy an object which we suppose to be good. Those desires, says Dr. Watts, that arise without any express ideas of
the goodness or agreeableness of their ouject to the mind beforehand, such as hunger, thirst, &c.; are called appetites. Those which arise from our perception or opinion of an object as gooa or agreeable, are most properly called passions. Sometimes both these are united. If our desire to do or receive good be not violent, it is called a simple inclination or propensity. When it rises high, it is termed longing: when our desires set our active powers at work to obtain the very same good, or the same sort of good, which another desires, it is called emulation. Desire of pleasures of sense, is called sensuality; of honour, is called ambition; of riches, covetousness The objects of a good man's desires are, that God may be glorified, his sins forgiven and subdued,his affections enlivened and placed on God as the supreme object of love, his afflictions sanctified, and his life devoted Io the service of God, Prow xi. 23 Ps. cv. 19.
DESPAIR! the loss of hope; that state ot mind in which a person loses his confidence in the divine mercy.
Some of the best antidotes against despai-, savs one, mav be taken from the consideration, 1 Of the nature of God, his goodness, mercy, 8cc —I. The testimony of God: he hath said, he de•■ireth not the death of the sinner—3. From the work-, of God: he hath given his Son to die.—4. From his promises, Hib. xiii 5.—5. From his command: he h.ith commanded us to confide in his mercy.—6. From his expostulations, 8cc. Baxter on Religious M lancholy; Claude's Essays, p. 388, Robinson's edit.: Gisborne's Sermon on Religious Despondency.
DES1 RUCTIONISTS, those who believe thai the final punishment threatened in the Gospel to the wicked and impenitent consists not in an eternal preservation in misery and torment, but in a total extinction of being, and that the sentence of annihilation shall be executed with more or less torment, preceding or attending the final period, in proportion to the greater or less guilt of the criminal.
The name assumed by this denomination, like those of many others, takes for granted the question in dispute, viz. that the Scripture word destruction means annihilation: in strict propriety of speech, they should be called Annihilationists. The doctrine is largely maintained in the sermons of Mr. Samuel Bourn, of Birmingham; it was held also by Mr.J.N. Scott j Mr. John Taylor, of Norwich; Mr. Marsom; and manyothers.
In defence of the system, Mr. Bourn | argues as follows: There are many passages of Scripture in which the ultimate punishment to which wicked mm shall be adjudged is defined, in the most precise and intelligible terms, to be an everlasting destruction from the power of God, which is equally able to destroy as to preserve. So when our Saviour is fortifying the minds of his disciple" against the power of men, by an awe of the far greater power of God, and the punishment of his justice, he expresseth himself thus: Fear not them thai kilt the body, and after that have no more that they can do ;fear him who in able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Here he plainly proposes the destruction of the soul (not its endless pain and misery) as the ultimate objrct of the divine displeasure, and the greatest object of our fear. And *hen he says, These shall go away into everlasting punishment, out the righteous into life eternal, it appears evident that by that eternal punishment which is set in opposition to eternal life, is not meant any kind of life, however miserable, but the same which the apostle expresses by everlasting destruction from the presence and power of the Lord. The very term, death, is most frequently made use of to signify the end of wicked men in another world, or the final effect of divine justice in their punishment. The wages of sin (saith the apostle) is death; but eternal life is the gift of God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. See also Rom. viii. 6.
To imagine that by the term death is meant an eternal life, though in a condition of extreme misery, seems, according to him, to be confounding all propriety and meaning of words. Death when applied to the end of wicked men in a future state, he says properly de notes a total extinction of life and being. It may contribute, he adds, to fix this meaning, if we observe that the state to which temporal death reduces men is usually termed by our Saviour and his apostles, sleep ; because from this death the soul shall be raised to life again: but from the other, which is fully and pro
eerly death, and of which the former is ut an image or shadow, there is no recovery; it is an eternal death, an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.
He next proceeds to the figures by which the eternal punishment of wicked men is described, and finds them perfectly agreeing to establish the same doctrine. One figure or comparison, often used, is that of combustible mate
rials thrown into a fire, which will consequently be entirely consumed, if the fire be not quenched. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,prepared for the devil and his angels. The meaning is, a total, irrevocable destruction : for, as the tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire, and is destroyed; as the Uieless chaff, when separated from the good grain, is set on fire, and, if the fire be not quenched, is consumed; so, he thinks, it plainly appears, that the image of unquenchable or everlasting fire is not intended to signify the degree or duration of torment, but the absolute certainty of destruction, beyond all possibility of recovery. So the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are said to have suffered the vengeance of an eternal fire; that is, they were so effectually consumed, or destroyed, that they could never be rebuilt; the phrase, eternal fire, signifying the irrevocable destruction of those cities, not the degree or duration of the misery of the inhabitants who perished.
The images of the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched, used in Mark ix. 43, are set in opposition to entering into life, and intended to denote a period of life and existence.
Our Saviour expressly assigns different degrees of future misery, in proportion to men's respective degrees of guilt, Luke xii. 47, 48. But if all wicked men shall suffer torments without end, how can any of them be said to suffer but a few stripes r All degrees and distinctions of punishment seem swallowed up in the notion of never-ending or infinite misery.
Finally, death and eternal destruction, or annihilation, is properly styled in the New Testament an everlasting punishment, as it is irrevocable and unalterable forever; and it is most strictly and literally styled, an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his flower.
Dr. Edwards, in his answer to Dr. Chauncey, on the salvation of alt men, says that this scheme was provisionally retained by Dr. C: i. e. in case the scheme of universal salvation should fail him: and therefore Dr. E, in his examination of that work, appropriates a chapter to the consideration of it. Among other reasonings against it are the following:
1. The different degrees of punishment which the wicked will suffer according to their works, proves tha^ it does not consist in annihilation, which admits of no degrees. T
2. If it be said that the punishment of the wicked, though it will end in annihilation, yet shall be preceded by torment, and that this will be of different degrees according to the degrees of sin; it may be replied, this is making it to be compounded partly of torment, and partly of annihilation. The latter also appears to be but a small part of future punishment, for that alone will be inflicted on the least sinner, and on account of the least sin; and that all punishment which will be inflicted on any person above that which is due to the least sin, is to consist in torment. Nay, if we can form any idea in the present state of what would be dreadful or desirable in another, instead of its being any punishment to be annihilated after a long aeries of torment, it must be a deliverance, to which the sinner would look forward with anxious desire. And is it credible that this was the termination of torment that our Lord held up to his disciples as an object of dread r Can this be the destruction of body and soul in hell r Is it credible that everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, should constitute only a part, and a small part, of future punishment; and such too, as, after a series of torment, must, next to being made happy, be the most acceptable thing that could befal them? Can this be the object threatened by such language, as recompensing tribulation, and taking vengeance in flaming fire? 2 Thess. i. Is it possible that God should threaten them with putting an end to their miseries? Moreover, this destruction is not described as the conclusion of a succession of torments, but as taking place immediately after the last judgment. When Christ shall come to be glorified in his saints, then shall the wicked be destroyed.
3. Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his ftower, cannot mean annihilation, lor that would be no exertion of divine power, but merely the suspension of it: for let the upholding power of God be withheld for one moment, and the whole creation would sink into nothing.
4. The punishment of wicked men will be the same as that of wicked angels, Matt. xxv. 41. Depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. But the punishment of wicked angels consists not in annihilaticn, but torment. Such is their present punishment in a degree, and such in a greater degree will be their punishment hereafter. They are " cast
down to hell;" they " believe and tremble ;" they are reserved in chains under darkness, to the judgment of the great day; they cried, saying, "What nave we to do with thee? Art thou come to torment us before our time?" Could the devils but persuade themselves they should be annihilated, they would believe and be at ease rather than tremble.
5. The Scriptures explain their own meaning in the use of such terms as death, destruction, 8cc. The second death is expressly said to consist in being cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and as having a part in that lake. Rev. xx. 14. xxi. 8: which does not describe annihilation, nor can it be made to consist with it. The phrase cut him asunder, Matt. xxiv. 51. is as strong as those of death, or destruction; yet that is made to consist of having their portion •with hypocrites, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
6. The happiness of the righteous does not consist in eternal being, but in eternal well-being; and as the punishment of the wicked stands every where opposed to it, it must consist not in the loss of being, but of well-being, and in suffering the contrary.
The great Dr. Watts may be considered, in some measure, a destructionist; since it was his opinion that the children of ungodly parents who die in infancy are annihilated. See AnnihiLation, II*.Ll ; Bourn's Sermons; Dr. Edwards on the Salvation of alt Men strictly examined; Adams's View of Religions.
DETRACTION, in the native importance of the word, signifies the withdrawing or taking off from a thing; and as it is applied to the reputation, it denotes the impairing or lessening a man in point of fame, rendering him less valued and esteemed by others. Dr. Barrow observes (Works, vol. i. ser. 19,) that it differs from slander, which involves an imputation of falsehood; from reviling, which includes bitter and foul language; and from censuring, which is of a more general purport, extending indifferently to all kinds of persons, qualities, and actions; but detraction especially respects worthy persons, good qualities, and laudable actions, the reputation of which it aimeth to destroy. It is a fault opposed to candour.
Nothing can be more incongruous with the spirit of the Gospel, the example of Christ, the command of God, ana the love of mankind, than a spirit of detraction; and yet there are many who never seem happy but when they are employed in this work: they feed and live upon the supposed infirmities of others; they allow excellence to none; they depreciate every thing that is praise-worthy; and, possessed oinogood themselves, they think all others are like them. "O! my soul, come thou not into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour be not thou united."
DEVIL, Amcjxoc, calumniator, or slanderer; a fallen angel, especially the chief of them. He is called Abaddon in Hebrew, Apollyon in Greek, that is, destroyer.—Angel of the bottomless pit, Rev. ix. 11.—Prince of the world, John xii. 31.—Prince of darkness, Kph. vi. 12. —A roaring lion, and an adversary, 1st Pet.v.8.—A sinner from the beginning,
1 John iii. 8.—Beelzebub, Matt. xii. 24.— Accuser, Rev. xii. 10.—Belial, 2 Cor. vi. IS.—Deceiver, Rev. xx. 10.—Dragon, Rev. xii.3.—Liar, John viii.44.—Leviathan, Is. xxvii. 1 Lucifer, Is.xiv. 12.—
Murderer, John viii. 44.—Serpent, Is. xxvii. 1.—Satan, Job ii. 6.—Tormentor, Matt, xviii. 34.—The god of this world,
2 Cor. iv. 4. See Satan. DEVOTEE, in the primary sense of
the word, means a person wholly given up to acts of piety and devotion; but it is usually understood, in a bad sense, to denote a bigot, or superstitious person.
DEVOTION, a religious ana fervent exercise of some public act of religion, or a temper and disposition of the mind rightly affected with such exercises. It is also taken for certain religious practices which a person makes it a rule to discharge regularly. "Wherever the vital ana unadulterated spirit of Christian devotion prevails, its immediate objects will be to adore the perfections of God; to entertain with reverence and complacence the various intimations of his pleasure, especially those contained in holy writ; to acknowledge our absolute dependence on and infinite obligations to him ; to confess and lament the disorders of our nature, and the transgressions of our lives; to implore his grace and mercy through Jesus Christ; to intercede for our brethren of mankind; to pray for the propagation and establishment of truth, righteousness, and peace, on earth; in fine, to lopg for a more entire conformity to th« will of God, and to breathe after the everlasting enjoyment of his friendship. The effects of such a spirit habitually cherished, and feelingly expressed before him must surely be important and happy. Among these may be reckoned a profound humility in the sight of God, a high veneration for his presence and attributes, an ardent zeal for his worship and honour, a constant imitation of
our Saviour's divine example, a diffusive charity for men of all denominations, a generous and unwearied self-denial, a total resignation to Providence, an increasing esteem for the Gospel, with clearer and firmer hopes of that immortal life which it has brought to light."
DEUTEROCANONICAL, in th« school theology, an appellation given to certain books of holy Scripture, which were added to the canon after the rest, either by reason they were not wrote till after the compilation of the canon, or by reason of some dispute as to their canonicity. The word is Greek, being compounded of AuTijof, second; and narcrauc, canonical.
The Jews, it is certain, acknowledged several books in their canon,which were put there later than the rest. They say that under Esdras, a great assembly of their doctors, which they call, by way of eminence, the great synagogue, made the collection of the sacred hooks which we now have in the Hebrew Old Testament; and they agree that they put books therein which had not been so before the Babylonish captivity; such as those of Daniel, Ezekiel, Haggai, 8tc. and those of Esdras and Nenemiah. And the Romish church has since added others to the canon, that were not, and could not be, in the canon of the Jews, by reason some of them were not composed till after: such as the book of Ecclesiasticus, with several of the apocryphal books, as the Maccabees, Wisdom, See, Others were added still later, by reason their canonicity had not been yet examined; and till such examen and judgment they might be set aside at pleasure. But since thot church has pronounced as to the canonicity of those books, there is no more room now for her members to doubt of them, than there was for tfle Jews to doubt of those of the cane of Esdras. And the deuterocanorfcal books are with them as canonical as the proto-canonical; the onlv difference between them consisting iv this, that the canonicity of the one was not generally known, examined, and settled, as soon as that of the others. The deuterocanonical books in the modern canon are, the book of Esther, either the whole, or at least the seven last chapters thereof; the epistle to the Hebrews; that of James, and that of Jude; the second of St. Peter, the second and third of St. John, and the Revelation. The deuterocanonical parts of books are, the hymn of the three children; the prayer of Azariah; the histories of Susannah, of Bel and the Dragon ; the last chapter of St. Mark; th« bloody sweat: and the appearance of the angel related in St. Luke chap, xxii. and the history of the adulterous woman in St. John, chap. viii. See Canon.
DIET, an assembly of the states of Germany. We shall only take notice, in this place of the more remarkable of those which have been held on the affairs of religion. 1. The diet of Augsburgh, in the year 1530, wai assembled to re-unite the princes of the empire, in relation to some religiou« matters. The emperor himself presided in this assembly with the greatest magnificence imaginable. The elector of Saxony, followed by several princes, presented the confession of faith, called the confession of Augsburgh. The emperor ended the diet with a decree, that no alteration should be made in the doctrines and ce remonies of the Romish church till the council should order it otherwise.—2. The diet of Augsburgh, in 1547, was held on account of the electors being divided concerning the decisions of the council of Trent. The emperor demanded that the management of that affair should be referred to him; and it ■was resolved, that every one should conform to the decisions of the council.— 3. The diet of Augsburgh, in 1.548, was assembled to examine some memorials relating to the confession of faith; but, the commissioners not agreeing together, the emperor named three divines, who drew the design of this famous interim, so well known in Germany and elsewhere. See Intehim.—4. The diet of Augsburgh, in 1530. In this assembly, the emperor complained that the interim was not observed, and demanded that all shoold submit to the council, ■which they wtre going to renew at Trent; which submission was resolved
upon bv a plurality i* votes 5. The
diet of Nuremberg, in 1*53. Here pope Adrian Vlth's nuncio demanded the execution of Leo Xth's bull, and Charles Vth's edict against Luther. But vhe assembly drew up a list of grievances, which were reduced to an hundred articles, some whereof aimed at the destruction of the pope's authority, and the discipline of the Romish church; however, they consented that the Lu therans should be commanded not to ■write against the Koman Catholics.— 6. The diet of Nuremberg, in 1524. In this assembly, the Lutherans having the advantage, it was decreed that the pope should call a council in Germany . but that, in the mean time, an assembly should be held at Spire, to determine what was to be believed and practised;
but Charles V. prohibited the holding this assembly.—7. The diet of Rstisbon, in 1541, was held for re-uniting the Protestants with the Roman Catholics. The emperor named three Roman Catholics and three Protestant divines, to agree upon articles. The Roman Catholics were, Julius Phlug, John Gropper, and John Eckius; the Protestants were, Philip Melancthon, Martin Bucer, and John Pistorius; but, after a whole month's consultation, they could agree upon no more than five or six articles; whirh the emperor consented the Protestant" should retain, forbidding them to solicit any bodv to change the ancient religion.—8 The die' ofRatisbon, in 1546, decreed that the council of Trent was to be followed, which was opposed by the Protestant deputies and this caused a war against them.—9. The diet of Ratisbon, in 1557, demanded a conference between some famous doctors of both pat ties; which conference was held at Worms, in September, between twelve Roman Catholic and twelve Lutheran divines; but was soon dissolved by the Lutherans being divided among themselves.—10. The diet of Spire, in 15.'6. In this assembly (wherein presided the archduke Ferdinand) the duke of Saxony, and the landgrave of Hesse, demanded'the free exercise of the Lutheran religion: upon which it was decreed, that the emperor should be desired to call a general, or national, council in Germanv within a year, and that, in the mean time, every one should have liberty of conscience.—11. The diet of Spire, in 1529, decreed, that in the countries which had embraced the new religion, it should be lawful to continue in it till the next council; but that no Roman Catholic should be allowed to turn Lutheran. Against this decree six Lutheran princes, viz. the elector of Saxony, the marquis of Brandenburg, the two dukes of Lunenburg, the landgrave of Hesse, and the prince of Anhalt, with the deputies of fourteen imperial towns, protested in writing; from which solemn protestation came the famous name of Protestants, which the Lutherans presently after took—12. The diet of Worms, in 1521. In this assembly, Luther, being charged by the pope's nuncio with heresy, and refusing to recant, tht emperor, by his edict of May 26, before all the princes of Germany, publicly outlawed him.
DIFFlDENCE.distvust, want of confidence in ourselves. Diffidence, says Dr. Johnson, may check resolution and obstruct performance, but compensates its embarrassment by more important