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advantages; it conciliates the proud, and softens the severe, averts envy from excellence, and censure from miscarriage.
DIGGERS, a denomination which sprung up in Germany, in the fifteenth century; so called because thev dug their assemblies under ground in caves and forests. '! hey derided the church, its ministers and sacraments.
DILIGENCE, Christian, is constancy in the performance of all those duties enjoined us in God's sacred word It includes activity and vigour—watchfulness against in. aiding objects—firmness and resolution—patience and perseverance. The shortness of our time . the importance of our work ; the pleasure which arises from discharging duty; the uncertainty of the time of our dissolution ; the conciousness we do not labour in vain ; together with the example of Christ and all good men. should excite us to the most unwearied diligence in the cause of God, of truth, and our own souls.
D1MISSORY LETTER, a letter given by a bishop to a candidate for holy orders, having a title in bis diocese, directed to some other bishop, and giving leave for the bearer to be ordained by him.
DIOCESE, the circuit of every bishop's jurisdiction. It is formed from the Greek tuuurit, government.
DIRECTORY, a kind of regulation for the performance of religious worship, drawn up by the assembl) of divines in England, at the instance of the parliament, in 1644. It was designed to supply the place of the Liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer, the use of which they hd abolished. It consisted of some general heads, which were to be managed and filled up at discretion; for it prescribed no form of prayer, or circumstances of external worship, nor obliged the people to any responses, ex cepting Amen. The substance of it is as follows:—It forbids all salutations and civil ceremony in the churches;— the reading the scriptures in the congregation is declared to be part of the pastoral office ;—all the canonical books of the old and New Testament (but noi of the Apocrypha) are to be publicly read in the vulgar tongue: how large a portion is to be read at once, is left to the minister, who has likewise the liberty of expounding, when he judges it necessary. It prescribes heads for the prayer before sermon; it delivers rules for preaching the word; the introduction to the text must be short and clear, drawn from the words or context, or
some parallel place of Scripture. In dividing the text, the minister is to regard ihe order of the matter more than ttiat of the words: he is not to burden the memo! y of his audience with too many divisions, nor perplex their understanding with logical phrases and terms of arts he is not to start unnecessary objections; and he is to be very sparing in citations from ecclesiastical or other human writers, ancient or modern, &c. Ihe Directory recommends the use of the Lord's Prayer, as the most perfect model of devotion; it forbids private or lay persons to administer baptism, and enjoins i' to be performed in the face of the congregation- it orders the communion table at the Lord's supper to be so placed, that the communicants may sit about it li also orders, that the sabba- h be kept with the greatest strictness, both publicly and privately . that marriage be solemnized by a lawful minister of the word, who is to j^ive counsel to, and pray for the parties that the sick be vi-ited by the minister under whose charge they are; the dead to be buried without any prayers or religious ceremonies; that days of fasting are to be observed when the judgments of God are abroad, or when some important blessings are desired; that days of thanksgiving for mercies received be also observed, and, lastly, that singing of Psalms together in the congregation is the duty of Christians, In an appendix to this Directory it is ordered, thai all festivals, vulgarly called holy days, are to be abolished that no day is to be kept but the Lord's day; and that as no place is capable of any holiness under pi etence of consecration, so neither is it subject to pollution by any supers'ition formerly used; and therefore it is held requisite, that the places of public worship now used should still Ik- continued and employed. Should the reader be desirous of perusing this Directory at large, he may find it at the end of Ncatc'a History of the Puritans.
DISCIPLE, a scholar or one who attends the lectures, and professes the tenets of another. A discifile of Christ is one who believes his doctrines, imbibes his spirit, and follows his example. See Christian.
DISCIPLINE, Church, consists in putting church laws in execution, and inflicting the penalties enjoined. See
C* II IT I* f" H
DISCIPLINE, Book of, in the history of the church of Scotland, is a common order drawn up by the assembly of ministers in 1650, for the reformation and uniformity to be observed in the discipline and policy of the Church. In this book the government of the church by prelates is set aside ; kirk sessions are established; the superstitious observation of fast days and saint days is condemned, and other regulations for the government of the church are determined. This book was approved by the privy council, and is called the first book of discipline.
DISCONTENT, uneasiness at our present state.
Man never appears in a worse light than when he gives way to this disposition. It is at once the strongest proof of his pride, ignorance, unbelief, and rebellion against God. Let such remember, that discontent is a reflection on God's government; that it cannot alter the state of things, or make them better; that it is the source of the greatest misery; that it is an absolute violation of God's law, Heb. xiii. 5 . and that God has often punished it with the most signal judgments, Numb. xi. Ps. cvii. See Contentment.
DISCRETION, prudent behaviour, arising from a knowledge of and acting agreeable to the difference of things "There are," says Addison, No. 225, Spect. " many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion: it is this, indeed, which gives a value to all the rest; which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness: the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice.
"Discretion is a very different thing from cunning: cunning is only an accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them; cunning has only private selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them succeed. Discretion has large and extended views, and, like a well formed eye, commands a whole horizon; cunning is a kind of shortsightedness that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion, the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it; cunning, when it is once detected, loses its iorce, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done,
had he passed only for a plan man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life; cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good understandings; cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same manner as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom." See Prudence.
DISDAIN, contempt, as unworthy of one's choice. It is distinguished from haughtiness thus: Haughtiness is founded on the high opinion we have of ourselves; disdain on the low opinion we have of others.
DISINTERESTED LOVE. See Self-love.
DISPENSATION, the act of dealing out any thing. The two different methods of revealing the truths of the Gospel before and after Christ's death are called the Old and New Testament Dispensation. The dealing of God with his creatures in his providence is called a dispensation. The state of supernatural or revealed theology may also be divided into six dispensations. 1. From the fall of Adam to the flood—2. From Noah to the giving the law.—3. From that time to the time of David and the prophets.—t. From David to the Babylonish captivity.—5. The period from that, to the time of Christ, finishes the Old Testament dispensation.—6. From Christ to the end of time, the Gospel dispensation. The superiority of the last dispensation, as Dr. Watts observes, appears, if we consider that it contains the fairest and fullest representation of the moral law; and which is more particularly explained here than in any of the former dispensations.—2. In this dispensation the Gospel or covenant of grace is revealed more perfectly and plainly than ever before; not in obscure expressions, in types and carnal metaphors, but in its own proper form and language.—3. The rites and ceremonies under this dispensation are preferable to those in former times, and that in this respect: they are fewer, clearer, and much more easy.—4. The Son of God, who was the real mediator through all former dispensations, has condescended to become the visible mediator of this dispensation.—5. This dispensation is not confined to one family, or to one nation, or to a few ages of men, but it spreads through all the nations of the earth, and reaches to the end of time.— 6. The encouragements and persuasive helps which Christianity gives us to fulfil the duties of the covenant, are much superior to those which were enjoyed under any of the former dispensations. Watts's Works, vol. i. ser. 47.8vo. Gill's Body of Div. Introd. Robinson's Sermons, p. 147. Hidgley's Div. qu. 35.
DISPERSION of mankind was occasioned by the confusion of tongues at the overthrow of Babel, Gen. xi. 9. As to the manner of the dispersion of the posterity of Noah from the plain ofShinar, it was undoubtedly conducted with the utmost regularity and order. The sacred historian informs us, that they were divided in their lands: every one, according to his tongue, according to his family, and according to his nation, Gen. x. 5, 20, 31. The ends ofitesdisfiersion were to populate the earth, to prevent idolatry, and to display the divine wisdom and power. See Confusion Of Tongues.
DISPOSITION.that temper of mind, which any person possesses.
In every man, says lord Kaims, there is something original that serves to distinguish him from others, that tendsto form a character, and to make him meek or fiery, candid or deceitful, resolute or timorous, cheerful or morose. This original bent, termed disposition, must be distinguished from a principle: the latter signifying a law of human nature makes part of the common nature of man; the former makes part of the nature of this or that man.
DISPUTATION, Religious, is the agitation of any religious question, in order to obtain clear and adequate ideas of it. The propriety of religious disputation or controversial divinity has been a matter of doubt with many. Some artfully decry, it, in order to destroy free inquiry. Some hate it, because they do not like to be contradicted. Others declaim against it, to save themselves the disgrace of exposing their ignorance, or the labour of examining and defending their own theses. There are others who avoid it, not because they are convinced of the impropriety of the thing itself, but because of the evil temper with which it is generally conducted.
The propriety of it, however, will appear, it we consider that every article of religion is denied by some, and cannot well be believed without examination, by any. Religion empowers us to investigate, debate, and controvert each article, in order to ascertain the evidence of its truth. The divine writings, many of them, are controversial; the
book of Job, and Paul's epistles, especially. The ministry of our Lord was a perpetual controversy, and the apostles came at truth by much disputing, Acts xv. 7. xvii. 17. xix. 8. To attend, however, to religious controversy with advantage, the following rules should be observed; 1. The question should be cleared from all doubtful terms and needless additions.—2. The precise point of enquiry should be fixed—3. That the object aimed at be truth, and not the mere love of victory.—4. Beware of a dogmatical spirit, and a supposition that you are always right.—5. Let a strict rein be kept on the passions when you are hard pushed. Vide Robinson's Claude, p. 245, vol. ii; Watts on the Mind, chap. 10.; Beattie on Truth, 347, 8cc; Locke on the Understanding,ch&p. 10. vol. iii.
DISSENTERS, those who separate from the established church. The number of dissenters in this kingdom is very considerable. They are divided into several parties; the chief of which are the Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Quakers, and Methodists. Sec those articles,asalsoNoNcoNFORMisTS and Puritans.
DISSIDENTS, a denomination applied in Poland to those of the Lutheran, Calvinistic, and Greek profession. The king of Poland engages by the pacta conventa to tolerate them in the free exercise of their religion, but they have often had reason to complain of the violation of these promises.
DISSIMULATION, the act of dissembling. It has been distinguished from simulation thus: Simulation is making a thing appear which does not exist; dissimulation is keeping that which exists from appearing. Moralists have observed that all dissimulation is not hypocrisy. A vicious man, who endeavours to throw a veil over his bad conduct, that he may escape the notice of men, is not in the strictest sense of the word a hypocrite, since a man is no more obliged to proclaim his secret vices than any other of his secrets. The hypocrite is one who dissembles for a bad end, and hides the snare that he may be more sure of his prey; and, not content with a negative virtue, or not appearing the ill man he Is, makes a show of positive virtue, and appears the man he is not. See Hypocrisy.
DISSOLUTION, death, or the separation of the body and soul. The dissolution of the world is an awful event, which we have reason to believe, both from the Old Testament and the New, will certainly take place. 1. It is not an incredible thing, since nothing of a material nature is formed for perpetual duration.—2. It will doubtless be under the direction of the Supreme Being, as its creation was.—3. The soul of man will remain unhurt amidst this general desolation.—t. It will be an introduction to a greater and nobler system in the government of God, 2 ret. iii. 13.—5. The consideration of it ought to have a great influence on us while in the present state. 2 Pet iii. 11,12. See Conflagration.
DIVERSION, something that unbends the mind, by turning it off from care. It seems to bCsomething lighter than amusement, and less forcible than pleasure. It is an old simile, and a very just one, that a bow kept always bent will grow feeble, and lose its force. The alternate succession of business and diversion preserve the body and soul in the happiest temper. Diversions must, however, be lawful and good. The play-house, the gaming-table, the masquerade, and midnight assemblies, must be considered as inimical to the morals and true happiness of man. The most rational diversions are conversation, reading, singing, music, riding, &c. They must be moderate as to the time spent in them, and expense of them . seasonable, when we have (as Cicero observes) dispatched our serious and important affairs. See Grove'* Regulation of Diversions; Watts's Imfirovfment of the Mind, vol. ii. sec. 9. Blair's Sermons, vol. ii. p. 17. Burder's Sermon on Amusements; Friend's Evening Amusements.
DIVINATION, is a conjecture or surmise formed concerning some future event from something which is supposed to be a presage of it; but between whichthere is no real connection, only what the imagination of the diviner is pleased to assign in order to deceive.
Divination of all kinds being the offspring of credulity, nursed by imposture, and strengthened by superstition, was necessarily an occult science, retained in the hands of the priests and priestesses, the magi, the soothsayers, the augurs, the visionaries, the priests of the oracles, the false prophets, and other like professoys, till the coming of Jesus Christ, when the light of the Gospel dissipated much of this darkness. The vogue for these pretended sciences and arts is nearly past, at least in the enlightened parts of the world. There are nine different kinds of divination mentioned in Scripture. These are, 1. Those whom Moses calls Meonen of Anan, a cloud, Deut. xviii. 10.—2. Those
whom the prophet calls, in the same place, Menacheseh, which the Vulgate *nd generality of interpreters render Augur.—3. Those who in the same place are called Mecaschefih, which the Septuagint and Vulgate translate "a man given to ill practices."—4. Those whom in the same chapter, ver. 11. he calls Hhiber.—S- Those who consult the spirits, called Python.—6. Witches, or magicians, called Judroni. —7. Necromancers, who consult the dead.—8 Such as consult staves, Hosea, iv. 12 called by some Bhabdomancy.— 9 Hefiatoscofiy, or the consideration of the liver.
Different kinds of divination which have passed for sciences, we have had:
1. Aeromancy, divining by the air.—
2. Astrology, b> the heavens.—3. Aueury, bi the Right and singing of birds, ccc.—4. Chiromancy, by inspecting the hand.—5. Geomancy, by oo-erving of cracks or clefts in the earth.—6. Haruspicy, by inspecting the bowels of animals.—7. Horoscopy, a branch of astrology, marking the position of the heavens when a man is born.—8. Hydromancy, by water.—9. Phisiognomy, by the countenance. (This, however, is considered by some as of a different nature, and worthv of being rescued from the rubbish of superstition, and placed among the useful sciences. Lavater has written a celebrated treatise on it.)— 10. Pyromancy, a divination made by fire. Thus we see what arts have been practised to deceive, and how designing men have made use of all the four elements to impose upon weak minds.
DIVINE, something: relating to God. The word is also used figuratively for any thing that is excellent, extraordinarv, and that seems to go beyond the power of nature and the capacity of man. It also signifies a minister, or clergyman. See Minister.
D1V1NI TY, the science of theology. See Theology.
DIVISIONS, ECCLESIASTICAL. See Schism.
DIVORCE, is the dissolution of marriage, or separation of man and wife. Divorce a mensa et thoro, i e. from bed and board.—in this case the wife has a suitable maintenance allowed her out of her husband's effects. Divorce a vinculo matrimonii, i. e. from the bonds of matrimony, is strictly and properly divorce. I his happens either in consequence of criminality, as in the case of adultery, or through some essential impediment; as consanguinity, or affinity wMiin the degrees forbidden, pre-contract, iropotency, 8cc. of which impediments the canon law allows no less than 14. In these cases the woman receives again only what she brought. Sentences which release the parties a ■vinculo matrimonii, on account of iropubcrty, frigidity, consanguinity within the prohibited degrees, prior marriage, or want of the requisite consent of parents or guardians, are not properly dissolutions of the marriage contract, but judicial declarations that there never was any marriage; such impediment subsisting at the time as rendered the celebration of the marriage rite a mere nullity. And the rite itself contains an exception of these impediments.
The law of Moses, says Dr. Paley, for reasons of local expediency, permitted the Jewish husband to put away his wife; but whether for every cause, or for what cause, appears to have been controverted amongst the interpreters of those times. Christ, the precepts of ■whose religion were calculated for more general use and observation, revokes his permission as given to the Jews for their hardness of heart, and promulges a law which was thenceforward to confine divorces to the single cause of adultery in the wife, Matt. xix. 9. Inferior causes may justify the separation of husband and wile, although they will not authorize such a dissolution of the marriage contract as would leave either at liberty to marry again; for it is that liberty in which the danger and mischief of divorces principally consist. The law of this country, in conformity to our Saviour's injunction, confines the dissolution of the marriage contract to the single case of adultery in the wife; and a divorce even in that case can only be brought about by an act of parliament, founded upon a previous sentiment in the spiritual court, and a verdict against the adulterer at common law; which proceedings taken together, compose as complete an investigation of the complaint as a cause can receive. See PaUt/s Mar. and Pol. Philosophy, p. 273; Doddridge's Lectures, lect. 73.
DOCET-ffi, the followers of Julius Cassianus, one of the Valentinian sect, towards the close of the second century. They believed and taught that the actions and sufferings of Jesus Christ •were not in reality, but only in appearance.
DOCTRINE, the principles or positions of any sect or master. As the doctrines of the Bible are the first principles and the foundation of religion, they should be carefully examined and well understood The Scriptures pre
sent us with a copious fund of evangelic, truth, which, though it has not thetorm of a regular system, yet its parts arc such, that, when united, make the most complete body of doctrine that we can possibly have. Every Christian, but divines especially, should make this their study, because all the various doctrines should be insisted on in public, and explained to the people. It is not, however, as some suppose, to fill up every part of a minister's sermon, but considered as the basis upon which the practical part is to be built. Some of the divines in the last century overcharged their discourses with doctrine, especially Dr. Owen and Dr. Goodwin. It was common in that day to make thirty or forty remarks before the immediate consideration of the text, each of which wasjust introduced, and which, if enlarged on, would have afforded matter enough for a whole sermon. A wise preacher will join doctrine and practice together.
Doctrines, though abused by some, yet, properly considered, will influence the heart and life. Thus the idea of God's sovereignty excites submission; hispowerand justice promote fear, his holiness, humility and purity; his goodness, a ground of hope; his love excites joy; the obscurity of his providence requires patience; his faithfulness, confidence, &c.
DOMINICANS, a religious order; in some places called Jacobins, and in others Predicants, or preaching friars. The Dominicans take their name from their founder, Dominic de Guzman, a Spaniard, born in 1170, at Calaroga, in Old Castile: he was first canon and archdeacon of Ossuna; and afterwards preached with great zeal and vehemence against the Albigenses in Langucdoc, where he laid the first foundation of his order. It was approved of in 1215 by Innocent III. and confirmed in 1216, by a bull of HonoriusIII. under the title of St. Augustin; to which Dominic added several austere precepts and observances, obliging the brethren to take a vow of absolute poverty, and also the title of preaching friars, because public instruction was the main end of their institution, and to abandon entirely all their revenues and possessions. The first convent was founded at Thoulouse, by the bishop thereof and Simon de Montfort. Two years afterwards they had another at Paris, near the bishop s house; and some time after, a third in the Rue St. Jaaues (St. James's street,) whence the denomination of Jacobins. Just before his death,