« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
between one married person and another, or between a married and an unmarried person.—2. It is also used in Scripture for idolatry, or departingfrom the true God Jer. lii. 9.—3. Also for any species of impurity or crime against
the virtue of chastity. Matt. v. 28 *.
It is also used in ecclesiastical writers for a person's invading or intruding into a bishoprick during the former bishop's life.—5. The word is also used in ancient customs for the punishment or fine imposed for that offence, or the privilege of prosecuting for it.—Although adultery is prohibited by the law of God, yet some have endeavoured to explain iway the moral turpitude of it; but it is evident, observes raley, that, on the part of the man who solicits the chastity of a married woman, it certainly includes the crime of seduction, and is attended with mischief still more extensive and complicated: it creates a new sufferer, the injured husband, upon whose affection is inflicted a wound the most painful and incurable that human nature knows. The infidelity of the woman is aggravated by cruelty to her children, who are generally involved in their parents' shame, and always made unhappy by their quarrel. The marriage vow is witnessed before God. and accompanied with circumstances of solemnity and religion, which approach to the nature of an oath The married offender, therefore, incurs a crime little short of perjury, and the seduction of a married woman is little less than subornation of perjury. But the strongest apology for adultery is, the prior transgression of the other party ; and so far, indeed, as the bad effects of adultery are anticipated by the conduct of the husband or wife who offends first, the guilt of the second offender isextenuated. But this can never amount to a justification, unless it could be shown that the obligation of the marriage vow depends upon the condition of reciprocal fidelity; a construction which appears founded neither in expediency, nor in terms of the vow, nor in the design of the legislature, which prescribed the marriage rite. To consider the offence upon the footing of provocation, therefore, can by no means vindicate retaliation. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." it must ever be remembered, was an interdict delivered by God himself. This crime has been punished in almost all ages and nations. By the Jewish law it was punished with death in both parties, where either the woman was married, or both. Among the Egyptians, adultery in the man was punished by a thousand lashes with rods,
and in the woman by the loss of her nose. The Greeks put out the eyes of the adulterers. Among the Romans, it was punished by banishment, cutting off the ears, noses, and by sewing the adulterers j into sacks, and throwing them into the i sea, scourging burning, &c In Spain and Poland they were almost as severe. The Saxons formerly burnt the adulteress, and over her ashes erected a gibbet, whereon the adulterer w ashang! ed. King Edmund in this kingdom, ordered adulter* to be punished in the same manner as homicide. Canute ordered the man to be banished, and the woman to have her nose and cat s cut off. Modern punishments, in different nations, do not seem to be so severe. In Britain it is reckoned a spiritual offence, and is cognizable by the spiritual courts, where it is punished by fine and penance. See Paley'a and Moral Political Philosophy, p. 309, vol i. 12th edition. AERIANS, a branch of Arians in the reign of Constantine, who held that there was no difference between bishops and priests ; a doctrine maintained by many modern divines, particularlyof the presbyterian and reformed churches. The sect received its denomination from Aerius, who founded his doctrine on 1 Tim. iv. 14. See Episcopacy.
AETIANS, those who maintained that the Son and Holy Ghost were in all things dissimilar to the Father. They received their name from Aetius, one of the most zealous defenders of Arianism, who was born in Syria, and flourished about the year 336. Besides the opinions which the Aetains held in common with the Arians, they maintained that faith without works was sufficient to salvation; and that no sin however, grievous, would be imputed to the faithtul. Aetius, moreover, affirmed that what God had concealed from the apostles, he had revealed to him.
AFFECTION, in a philosophical sense, refers to the manner in which we are affected by any thing for a continuance, whether painful or pleasant: but in the most common sense, it may be defined to be a settled bent of mind towards a particular being or thing. It holds a middle place between disposition on the one hand, and passion on the other. It is distinguishable from disposition, which being a branch of one's nature originally. must exist before there can be an opportunity to exert it upon any particular object; whereas affection can never be original, because having a special relation to a particular object, it cannot exist tifl the object have I once, at least, been presented. It is also distinguishable from passion, which, depending on the real or ideal presence of its object, vanishes with its object; whereas affection is a lasting connexion, and, like other connexions, subsists, even when we do not think of the objects. [See Disposition and Passion.] The affections, as they respect religion, deserve in this place a little attention. They may be defined to be the "vigorous and sensible exercises of the inclination and will of the soul towards religious objects" Whatever extremes stoics or enthusiasts have run into, it is evident that the exercise of the affections is essential to the existence of true religion. It is true, indeed, '* that all affectionate devotion is not wise and rational but it is no less true, that all wise and rational devotion must be affectionate." The affections are the springs of action; they belong to our nature, so that with the highest perceptions of truth and religion, we should be inactive without them. They have considerable influence on men in the common concerns of life; how much more, then, should they operate in those important objects that relate to the Divine Being, the im mortality of the soul, and the happiness or misery of a future state! The religion of the most eminent saints has always consisted in the exercise of holy affections. Jesus Christ himself affords us an example of the most lively and vigorous affections ; and we have every reason to believe that the employment of heaven consists in the exercise of them. In addition to all which the scriptures of truth teach us, that religion is nothing, if it occupy not -he affections, lleut. vi. 4, 5. Deut. xxx. 6. Rom. xii. 11.1 Cor. xiii. 13. Ps. xxvii. 14.
A distinction however, must be made between what may be merely natural, and what is truly spiritual. The affections may be excited in a natural wav under ordinances by a natural impression, Ezek.xxxiii.32;byaM<j!ura/«wmpathy. or by the natural temperament of our constitution. It is no sign that our affections are spiritual because they are raised very high ; produce great effects on the body ; excite us to be very zealous in externals; to be always conversingaboutoui>elves,8cc. These things are often found in those who are only mere professors of religion, Matt. vii. 21. 11.
Now, in order to ascertain whether our affections are excited in a spiritual manner, we must enquire whether that ■which moves our affections be truly spiritual, whether our consciences be alarmed, and our hearts impressed; •whether the judgment be enlightened,
and we have a perception of the moral excellency of divine things; and lastly, whether our afftctions have a holy tendency and produce the happy effects of obedience to God, humility in ourselves, and justice to our fellow creatures. As this is a subject worthy of close attention, the reader may consult Lord Kaim's Elements qfCri'icism, vol ii. p. 517; Edwards on the Affections ; Pike and Hayward's Cases of Coascitnce; Watts' Use and Abuse of the Passwns; M'Laurin's Essay*,stct.5 i:nd6,\vhere this subject is masterly handled.
AFFLIC HON, that which causes a sensation of pain. Calamity or distress of any kind. The afflictions of the saints are represented in the scripture, as appointed, 1 Thes. iii. J. Job v. 6, 7; numerous, Ps. xxxiv. 19; transient, 2 Cor. iv. 17. Heb x. 37; and, w hen sanctified, beneficial, 1 Pet. i. 6 Ps. cxix. 67, 71. They wean from the wot Id work submission; pvoduce humility; excite to diligence. stir uptoprayer; atidcon'nrm us to the divine image. To bear them with patience, we should consider our own unworthiness; the design of God in sending them. the promise* of support under them ; and the real good the\ are productive of The afflictions of a good man, says an elegant wr iter, never befal without a cause, nor are sen but upon a proper errand. 1 hese storms are never allowed to rise but in order to dispel some noxious vapours, and restore salubrity to the moral atmosphere. Who that for the first time beheld the earth in the midst of winter, bound up with frost, or drenched in floods of rain, or covered with snow, would have imagined that Nature, in this dreary and torpid state, was working towards its own renovation in the spring? Yet we by experience know that those vicissitudes of winter are necessarv for feitilizing the earth ; and that under winir. rains and snows lie concealed the seeds of those roses that are to blossom in the spring; of those fruits that are to ripen in the summer; and of the corn and wine which are in harvest to make glad the heart of man. It would be more agreeable to us to be always entertained with a fair and clear atmosphere, with cloudless skies, and perpetual sunshine; tfet in such climates as we have most knowlegeof, the earth, were it always 'o remain in such a state, would refuse to yield its fruits; and, in the midst of our imagined scenes of beauty, the starved inhabitants would perish for want of food. Let us, therefore, quietly submit to Providence. Let us conceive this life to be the winter of our existence. Now the rains must fall, and the winds must roar around us, but, shelteringourselves under him who is the " covert from the tempest," let us wait with patience till the storms of life shall terminate in an everlasting calm. Blair's Ser. vol. v. ser. 5; Vincent, Cane, and Addinglon. on Affliction; Willison's Afflicted Man's Companion.
AGAP/E, or Love Feasts (from ayam, "love,") feasts of charity among the ancient christians, when liberal contributions were made by the rich to the poor. St. Chrysostom gives the following account of this feast, whirh he derives from the apostolic practice. He says," Thefirst Christians had all things in common, as we read in the Acts of the apostles; but when that equality of possessions ceased, as it did e\en in the apo>tles' time, the Agape or love feast was substituted in the room of it. Upon certain days, after partaking of the Lord's supper, they met at a common feast; the rich bringing provisions, and the poor, who had nothing, being invited. It was always attended with receiving the holy sacrament; but there is some difference between the ancient and modern interpreters, as to the circumstance of time; viz. whether this feast was held before or after the communion. St. Chrysostom is of the latter opinion; the learned Dr. Cave of the former. These love feasts, during the first three centuries, were held in the church without scandal or offence ; but in after-times the heathens began to tax them with impurity. This gave occasion to a reformation of these Agapes. The kiss of charity, with which the ceTemony used to end. was no longer given between different sexes ; and it was expressly forbidden to have any beds or couches for the conveniency of those who should be disposed to eat more at their ease. Notwithstanding these p: ecautions. the abuses committed in them became so notorious, that the holding them (in churches at least) was solemnly condemned at the council of Carthage, in the year 397. Attempts have been made of late vears, to revive these feasts; but in a different manner from the primitive custom, and, perhaps, with little edification. They are, however, not very general.'
Agapetje, a name given to certain virgins and widows, who in the ancient church associated themselves with and attended on ecclesiastics, out of a motive of piety and charity. See DeaConesses.
AGENDA among divines and philosophers, signifies the duties which a
man lies under an obligation to perform: thus we meet with the agenda of a christian, or the duties he ought to perfoi m, in opposition to the errdenda, or the things he is to believe. It is also applied to the service or office of the church, and to church books compiled by public authority, prescribing the order to be observed . and amounts to the same as ritual, formulary, directory, missal, 8tc.
AGENT, that which acts: opposed to/iatient, or that which is acted upon.
AGENTS, moral. See Moral Agent.
Agnoetje, (from «>*>«» "to be ignorantof,") a sect which appeared about 370. They called in question the omniscience of God; alleging that he knew things past only by memory, and things future only by an uncertain prescience. There arose another sect of the -arae name in the sixth century, who followed Themistius, deacon of Alexandria. They maintained that Christ was ignorant of certain things, and particularly of the time of the day of judgment. It is supposed they built their hvpothesi- on that passage in Mark xiii.32.—" Of that day and that hour knoweth no man ; no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." The meaning of which, most probably, is, that this was not known to the Messiah himself in his human nature, or by virtue of his unction, as any part of the mysteries he was to reveal; for, considering him as God. he could not be ignorant of any thing.
AGNUSDEl.in the church of Rome, a cake ot wax, stamped with the figure of a lamb supporting the banner ot the cross. The name literally signifies "Lamb of God." Those cakes being consecrated by the pope with great solemnity, and distributed among the people are supposed to have great virtues. They cover them with a piece of stuff cut in the form of a heart, and carry them very devoutly in their processions. The Romish priests and religiou« derive considerable pecuniary advantage fiom selling them to some, and presenting them to others.
AGONIST1CI, a name given by Donatus to such of his disciples as he sent to fairs, markets, and other public places, to propagate his doctrine. 1 Tiey were called Agonistici from the Greek nyttt," combat," because they were sent, as it were, to fight and subdue the people to their opinions. SeeDoNATisT.
\GONYCLlTJE, a sect of Christians in the seventh century, who prayed always standing, as thinking it unlawful to kneel.
AGYNIANI, a sect which appeared about 694. They condemned all use of flesh and marriage as not instituted by God, but introduced at the instigation of the devil.
ALASCANJ.asectofAnti-Iutherans in the sixteenth century, whose distinguished tenet, besides their denying baptism, is said to have been this, that the words, '• This is my body," in the institution, of the eucharist, are not to be understood of the bread, but of the whole action or celebration of the supper.
ALBANENSES, a denomination which commenced about the year 796. They held with the Gnostics and Manicheans, two principles, the one of good and the other of evil. They denied the divinity, and even the humanity of Jesus Christ, asserting that he was not truly man, did not suffer on the cross, die, rise again, nor really ascend into heaven. They rejected the doctrine of the resurrection, affirmed that the general judgment was past, a,nd that hell tormtnts were no other that* the evils *»e feel and suffer in this life. They denied free will, did not admit original sin, and never administered baptism to infants. They held that a man can give the Holy Spirit of himself, and that it is unlawful for a Christian to take an oath.
Thisdenomination derived their name from the place where their spiritual ruler resided. See Manicheans and CaTherist.
ALBANOIS, a denomination which sprung up in the eighth century, and renewed the greatest part of the Manichean principles. They also maintained that the world was from eternity. See Manicheans.
ALBIGENSES, a party of reformers about Toulouse and the Albigeois in Languedoc, whosprungupin thetwelfth century, and distinguished themselves by their opposition to the church of Home. They were charged with many errors by the monks of those days; but from these charges they are generally acquitted by the Protestants, who consider them only as the inventions of the Romish church to blacken their character. The Albigenses, grew so formidable, that the Catholics agreed upon a holy league or crusade against them. Pope Innocent III. desirous to put a stop to their progress, stirred up the great men of the kingdom to make war upon them. After suffering from their persecutors, they dwindled by little ana little, till the time of the reformation; when such of them as were left, fell in with the Vaudois, and conformed to the doctrine of Zumglius, and the disciples
of Geneva. The Albigenses have been frequently confoundea with the Waldenses ; from whom it is said they differ in many respects, both as being prior to them in point of time, as having their origin in a different country.and as being charged with divers heresies, particularly Manicheism, from which the VValdenses were exempt. See Waldex
ALEXANDRIAN MANUSCRIPT, a famous copy of the Scriptures, in four volumes quarto. It contains the whole bible in Greek, including the Old and New Testament, with the Apocrypha, and some smaller pieces, but not quite complete. It is preserved in the British Museum: it was sent as a present to king Charles I. from Cyrillu-; Lucaris, patriarch of Constantinople, by Sir Thomas Rowe, ambassador from England to the grand Seignior, about the year 1628. Cyrillus brought it with him from Alexandria, where probably it was written. In a schedule annexed to it, he I gives this account:—That it was written, as tradition informed them, by Thecla, a noble Egyptian lady, about 1300 years ago, not long after the council of Nice. But this high antiquity, and the authority of the traditjon to which the patriarch refers, have been disputed; nor are the most accurate biblical writers agreed about its age. Grabe thinks that it might have been written before the end of the fourth century; others are of opinion that it was not written till near the end of the fifth century, or somewhat later. See Dr. Woide a edition of it.
ALKORAN. See Koran.
ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF GOD, is that power or attribute of his nature whereby he is able to communicate as much blessedness to his creatures as he is pleased to make them capable of receiving. As his aelf-sufficiency is that whereby he has enough in him-elf to denominate him completely blessed, as a God of infinite perfection; so his atisufficiency is that by which he hath enough in himself to satisfy the most enlarged desires of his creatures, and to make them completely blessed. We practically deny this perfection, when we are discontented with our present condition, and desire more than God has allotted for us. Gen. iii. 5. Prov xix. 3. —2. When we seek blessings of what kind soever in an indirect way, as though God were not able to bestow them upon us in his own way, or in the use of lawful means, Gen. xxvii. 35.—3. When we use unlawful meant, to escape imminent dangers, 1 Sam. xxi. 13. Gen. %x. and C ^ xxvi.—4. When we distrust his providence, though we had large experience of his appearing for us in various instances, 1 Sam. xxvii. 1. Ps. lxxviii. 19. 2 Chron. xvi. 8. 2Chron. xiv. 9. 13. Josh, vii. 7. 9.-5. When we doubt of the truth or oertain accomplishment of the promises, Gen. xviii. 12. Ps. lxxvii. 74. Isa. xlix. 14.—6. When we decline great services, though called to them by God, under a pretence of our unfitness for them, Jer. i. 6, 8.
The consideration of this doctrine should lead us, 1. To seek happiness in God alone, and not in human things, Jer. ii. 13.—2. To commit all our wants and trials to him, 1 Sam. xxx. 6. Heb. xi. 19. 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9.-3. Tobe courageous in the midst of danger and opposition, Ps. xxvii. 1.—4. To be satisfied with his dispensations, Rom viii. 28.— 5. To persevere in the path of duty, however difficult, Gen. xvii. 1. Ridgley'a Body of Div. ques. 17. Saurtn's Ser. ser. 5. vol. i; Barrow's Works, vol. ii. ser. 11.
ALMARICIANS, a denomination that arose in the thirteenth century. They derived their origin from Almaric, professor of logic and theology at Paris. Hisadversaiieschargedhim with having taught that every Christian was obliged to believe himself a member <>t Jesus Christ, and that without this belief none could be saved. His followers asserted that the power of the Father had continued only during the Mosaic dispensation, that of the Son twelve hundred years after his entrance upon earth; and that in the thirteenth century the age of the Holy Spirit commenced, in which the sacraments and all external worship were to be abolished; and that every one was to be saved by the internal operations of the Holy Spirit alone, without any external act of religion.
ALMONER, a person employed by another, in the distribution of charity. In its primitive sense it denoted an officer in religious houses, to whom belonged the management and distribution of the alms oi the house.
ALMS, what is given gratuitously for the relief of the poor, and in repairing thechurches. That alms-giving is a duty is every wav evident from the variety of passages which enjoin it in the sacred scriptures. It is observable, however, what a number of excuses are made by those who are not found in the exercise of the duty: 1. That they have nothing to spare; 2. That charity begins at home; 3. That charity does not consist in giving money, but in benevolence,
love to all mankind, 8cc. 4. That giving to the poor is not mentioned in St Paul's description of charity, 1 Cor. xiii. 5. That they pay the poor rates; 6. That they employ many poor persons; 7. That the poor do not suffer so much as we imagine; 8. That these people, give them whatyou will, willneverbethankful , 9. That we are liable to be imposed upon; 10. That they should apply to their parishes; 11.'1 hat giving money encourages idleness; 12. That we have too many objects of charity at home. O the love of money, how fruitful is it in apologies for a contracted mercenary spirit! In giving of alms, however, the following rules should be observed: first, They should be given with justice; only our own. to which we have a just right, should be given. 2. With cheerfulness, Deut. xv. 10. J Cor. ix. 7. 3. With simplicity and sincerity, Rom. xii. Matt. vi. 3. 4. With compassion and affection. Isa. lviii. 10. 1 John iii. 17. 5. Seasonably, Gal. vi. 10. Prov. iv. 27. 6. Bountifully. Tieut. xviii. 11. 1 Tim. vi. 18. 7. Prudently, according to every one's need, 1 Tim. v. 8. Acts iv. 35. See Dr. Barrow's admirable Sermon on Bounty to the Poor, which took him u/i three hours and a half in preaching; Saurtn's Ser. vol. iv. Ent*. Trans, ser. 9. Paley's Mor. Phil, ch."5. vol. i.
ALOGIANS, a sect of ancientheretics who denied that Jesus Christ was the Logos, and consequently rejected the Gospel of St. John. The word is compounded of the primitive a. and *.o>«; q. d. without logos,or word. They made their appearance toward the close of the second century.
ALTAR, a kind of table or raised place whereon the ancient sacrifices were offered. 2. The table, in Christian churches, where the Lord's supper is administered. Altars are. doubtless, of great antiquity; some suppose they were as early as Adam; but there is no mention made of them till after the flood, when Noah built one, and offered burnt offerings on it. The Jews had two altars in and about their temple; 1. The altar of burnt offerings; 2. the altar of incense; some also call the table for shew bread an altar, but improperly, Exod. xx. -'4, 25. 1 Kings xviii. 30. Exod. xxv. xxvii. and xxx. Heb. ix.
AMAURI1ES, the followers of Amauri, a clergyman of Bonne, in the thirteenth century. He acknowledged the divine Three, to whom he attributed the empire of the world. But according to him, religion had three epochas, which bore a similitude to the reign of the three persons in the Trinity. The