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many examples recorded in Scripture. -Xl. By plain and undeniable inferences from Scripture, Matt, vi. 16.—3. From divine commands given on some occasions, though there are no commands which prescribe it as a constant duty.— A. It may be argued from its utility. The end or uses of it are these.—1. A natural expression of our sorrow.—2. A help to devotional exercises.—3. Keeping the body in subjection.—4. May be rendered subservient to charity. How far or how long a person should abstain from food, depends on circumstances. The great end to be kept in view is, humiliation for, and abstinence from sin. "If," says Marshall, "abstinence divert our minds, by reason of a gnawing appetite, then you had better eat sparingly, as Daniel in his greatest fast," Dan. x. 2, 3. They, however, who in times of public distress, when the judgments of God are in the earth, and when his providence seems to call for humiliation, will not relinquish any of their sensual enjoyments, nor deny themselves in the least, cannot be justified; since good men in all ages, more or less, have humbled themselves on such occasions; and reason as well as Scripture evidently prove it to be our duty, Matt. ix. 15. 1 Cor. vii. 5. Bennet a Christ. Orat. vol. ii. p. 18, 25; Tillolaon'a Sermons, sev. 39; Simfiaon's F.ssay on Feasting; Marshall on Sane. p. 273, 274.

FATE (Jatum) denotes an inevitable necessity depending upon a superior cause. The word is formed afando, "from speaking," and primarily implies the same with effatum, viz. a word or decree pronounced by God, or a fixed sentence whereby the Deity has prescribed the order of things, and allotted to every person what shall befal him. The Greeks called it Ii,«»{«iv», as it were a chain or necessary series of things indissolubly linked together. It is also used to express a certain unavoidable designation of things, by which all agents, both necessary and voluntary, are swayed and directed to their ends. Fate is divided into physical and divine. 1. Physical fate is an order and series of natural causes, appropriated to their effects: as, that fire warms; bodies communicate motion to each other, 8cc." and the effects of it are all the events and phenomena of nature— 2. Divine fate is what is more usually called providence. See Providence, Necessity.

FATHERS, a term applied to ancient authors who have preserved in their writings traditions of the church.

Thus St. Chrysostom, St. Basil, 8cc. are called Greek fathers, and St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, Latin fathers. No author who wrote later than the twelfth century is dignified with the title of father.

Some suppose that the study of the fathers is barren and unimproving; that though there are some excellent things interspersed in their writings, yet the instruction to be derived from them will hardly repay the toil of breaking up the ground; that a life-time would hardly suffice to read them with care, and digest them completely. Others have such an high opinion of the fathers, as to be almost afraid of interpreting Scripture against their decision. They suppose, that as some of them were companions, disciples, or successively followers of the apostles, it is highly probable that they must have been well informed, that their sentiments must be strongly illustrative of the doctrines of the New Testament; and that as controversies have increased, and dogmas received since their time, they must be much less entangled with did-ions merely human than more recent commentators. Perhaps it is best to steer between these two opinions. If a person have ability, inclination, and opportunity to wade through them, let him: but if not, referring to them occasionally may suffice. One caution, however, is necessary, which is this; that though the judgment of antiquity in some disputable points certainly may be useful, yet we ought never to put them on the same footing as the Scriptures. In many cases they may be considered as competent witnesses; but we must not confide in their verdict as judges. Jortin'a Works, vol. vii. chap. 2; Kelt's Serm. at Bramfiton Lee. ser. 1; Warburtcn's Julian; Sim/ison's Strictures on Religious O/iinions. latter end; Daille'a Use of the Fathers, p. 167; Law's Theory; Dr. Clarke's View of the Succeaaion of Sacred Literature, p. 312.

FAULT, a slight defect or crime which subjects a person to blame, but not to punishment; a deviation from, or transgression of a rule in some trifling circumstance.


FEAR is that uneasiness of mind which arises from an apprehension of danger, attended with a desire of avoiding it. "Fear," says Dr. Watt9, "shows itself by paleness of the cheeks, sinking of the spirits, trembling of the limbs, hurry and confusion of the mind and thoughts, agonies of nature, and fainting. Many a person has died with fear. Sometimes it rouses all nature to exert itself in speedy flight, or other methods to avoid the approaching evil; sudden terror has perlormed some almost incredibles of this kind."

Fear is of different kinds: 1. There is an idolatrous and sufierslitious fear. which is called fwrifxifjtova, a fear of daemons, which the city of Athens was greatly addicted to. "I perceive," says tne apostle Paul. "that in all things ye are too superstitious," or given to the fear and worship of false deities.—2. There is an external fear of God, an outward show and profession of it, •which is taught by the precepts of men: as in the men of Samaria, who pretended to fear the Lord, as the priest instructed them, and yet served their own gods; and such an external fear of God, Job's friends supposed was all that he had, and that even he had cast that off.—3. There is an hyftocritical fear, when men make a profession of religion; but only serve him for some sinister end and selfish view, which Satan insinuated was Job's case. "Doth Job fear God for nought r" Job i. 9.— 4. There is a servile fear, which they possess who serve God from fear of punishment, and not from love to him. —5. There is a. filial fear, such as that of a son to his father. Fear is sinful when—1. Itproceeds from unbelief or distrust of God: 2. When it ascribes more to the creature than is due; or when we fear our enemies without considering they are under God: 3. When we fear that in God that is not in him, or that he will break his promise, 8cc. 4. When our fear is immoderate, so as to distract us in duty. See next article.

FEAR OF GOD, is that holy disposition or gracious habit formed in the soul by the Holy Spirit, whereby we are inclined to obey all God's commands; and evidences itself. 1. By a dread of his displeasure.—2. Desire of his favour—3. Regard for his excellencies.—4 Submission to his will.—5. Gratitude for his benefits.—6. Sincerity in his worship.—7. Conscientious obedience to his commands, Prov. viii. 13. Job xxviii. 28. Bates's Works, page 913; Gill's Body of Divinity, vol. ni. book i.


FEARS. See Doubts.

FEAST, in a religious sense is a ceremony of feasting and thanksgiving.

The principal feasts of the Jews were the feasts of trumpets, of expiation, of tabernacles, of the dedication, of the passover, of Pentecost, and that of pu

rification. Feasts, and the ceremonies thereof, have made great part of the religion of almost all nations and sects; hence the Greeks, the Romans, Mahometans, and Christians, have not been without them.

Feasts, among us, are either immoveable or moveable. Immoveable feasts are those constantly celebrated on the same day of the year. The principal of these are Christmas-day, Circumcise.I, Epiphany, Candlemas or Purification; Lady-day, or the annunciation, called also the incarnation and conception; All Saints and All Souls; besides the days of the several apostles, as St. Thomas, St. Paul. Moveable feasts are those which are not confined to the same day of the year. Of these the principal is Easter, which gives law to all the rest, all of them following and keeping their proper distances from it. Such are Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Ash Wednesday, Sexagesima, Ascension-day, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday.

Besides these feasts, which are general, and enjoined by the church, there are others local and occasional, enjoined by the magistrate, or voluntarily set on foot by the people; such are the days of thanksgiving for delivery from war, plagues, &c.; such also are the vigils or wakes in commemoration of the dedication of particular churches.

The prodigious increase of feast-days in the Christian church, commenced towards the close of the fourth century, occasioned by the discovery that was made of the remains of martyrs, and other holy men, for the commemoration of whom they were established. These, instead of being set apart for pious exercises, were abused in indolence, voluptuousness, and criminal practices. Many of them were instituted on a pagan model, and perverted to similar purposes. See Holy Day.

FEAST OF ASSES. This was a festival in the Romish church, and was celebrated at Beauvais. They chose a young woman, the handsomest in the town; made her ride on an ass richly harnessed, and placed in her arms a pretty infant. In this state, followed by the bishop and clergy, she marched in. procession from the cathedral to the church of St. Stephen; entered into the sanctuary, placed herself near the altar, and then celebrated mass; not forgetting to explain the fine qualities of the animal, and exhorting nim to make a devout genuflection, with a variety of other fooleries.


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sensations or emotions of the mind produced by the views we have of religion. While some enthusia>ts boast of, depend fin, and talk much of their feelings, there are others who are led to discard the term, and almost to abandon the idea of religious feeling; but it is evident, that however many have been misguided and deceived by their feelings, yet there is no such thing as religion without this. For instance; relig'on consists in contrition, repentance, and devotion: now, what is contrition but a feeling of sorrow for sin ? what is repentance but a feeling of hatred to it, with a relinquishing of it? what is devotion but a feeling of love to God and his ways? Who can separate the idea of feeling from any of these acts? The fact is this; religious feelings, like every thing else, have been abused; and men, to avoid the imputation of fanaticism have run into the opposite evil of lukewarmness and been content with a system without feeling its energy. See Affection, Enthusiasm, ExPerience.

FELLOWSHIP, joint interest, or the having one common stock. The fellowship of the saints is twofold: 1. With God, 1 John i. 3. 1 Cor. i. 9. 1 Cor. xiii. 14.—2. With one another, 1 John i. 7.

Felloivs/ii/t with God, consists in knowledge of his will, Job xxii. 21. John xvii. 3. Agreement, Amos iii. 2. Strength of affection, Rom. viii. 38, 39. Enjoyment of his presence, Ps. iv. 6. Conformity to his image, 1 John ii. 6. 1 John i. 6.

J'ellowshifi of the saints, may be considered as a fellowship of duties, Rom. xii. 6. 1 Cor. xii. 1. 1 Thess. v. 17, 18. James v. 16. Of ordinances, Heb. x. 24. Acts ii. 46. Of graces, love, joy, &c. Heb. x. 24. Mai. iii. 16. 2 Cor. viii. 4. Of interest spiritual, and sometimes temporal, Rom. xii. 4.13. Heb. xiii. 16. Of sufferings, Rom. xv. 1,2. Gal. vi. 1,2. Rom. xii. 15. Of eternal glory, Rev. vii. 9. See Communion.

FIDELITY, faithfulness, or the conscientious discharge of those duties of a religious, personal, and relative nature, which we are bound to perform. See an excellent sermon on the subject in Dr. JErskine's Sermons, vol. ii. p. 304.

FIFTH MONARCHY MEN, were a set of enthusiasts, in the time of Cromwell, who expected the sudden appearance of Christ to establish on earth a new monarchy or kingdom. In consequence of this illusion, some of them aimed at the subversion of all human government. In ancient history we

read of four great monarchies, the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, and the Roman; and these men, believing that this new spiritual kingdom of Christ was to be the fifth, came to bear the name by which they were called. Their leader was Thomas Venner, a Wine cooper, who, in his little conventicle in Coleman-street, warmed his admirers with passionate expectations of a fifth universal monarchy, under the personal reign of King Jesus upon earth, and that the saints were to take the kingdom to themselves. To introduce this imaginary kingdom, they marched out of their meeting-house, towards St. Paul's church-yard, on Sunday, Jan. 6th, 1660, to the number of about fifty men, well armed and with a resolution to subvert the present government, or to die in the attempt. They published a declaration of the design of their rising, and {>laced sentinels at proper places. The ord mayor sent the trained bands to disperse them, whom they quickly routed, but in the evening retired to Cane Wood, between Highgate and Hampstead. On Wednesday morning they returned and dispersed a party of the king's soldiers in Thread-needle-street. In Wood-street they repelled the trained bands, and some of the horse guards; but Venner himself was knocked down, and some of his company slain; from hence the remainder retreated toCripplegate, and took possession of a house, which they threatened to defend with a desperate resolution; but nobody appearing to countenance their frenzy, they surrendered after they had lost about half their number. Venner, and one of his officers, were hanged before their meeting house door in Colemanstreet, Jan. 19th . and a few days after nine more were executed in divers parts of the city.

FILIAL PIETY, is the affectionate attachment of children to their parents, including in it love, reverence, obedience, and relief. Justly has it been observed, that these great duties are prompted equally by nature and by gratitude, independent of the injunctions of religion; for where shall we find the person who hath received from any one benefits so great, or so many, as children from their parents? And it may be truly said th'tt if persons are undutiful to their parents, they seldom prove good to any other relation. See article Children.




FIRST FRUITS, among the Hebrews, were oblations of part of the fruits of the harvest, offered to God as an acknowledgment of his sovereign dominion. There was another sort of first fruits which was paid to God. When bread was kneaded in a family, a portion of it was set apart, and given to the priest or Levite who dwelt in the place. If there were no priest or Levite there, it was cast into the oven, and consumed by the fire. These offerings made a considerable part of the revenues of the priesthood, Lev. xxiii. Ex. xxii. 39. Chron. xxiii. 19. Numb. xv. 19, 20.

Thefrstfruit* of the Sfiiril, are such communications of his grace on earth, as fully assure us of the full enjoyment of God in heaven, Rom. viii. 23. Christ is called the first fruits of them that slept; for as the first fruits were earnests to the Jews of the succeeding harvest, so Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection, or the earnest of a future resurrection; that as he rose, so shall believers also rise to happiness and life. 1 Cor. xv. 20.

First fruit* are mentioned in ancient 'writers as one part of the church revenue.

Firstfruit*, in the church of England, are the profits of every spiritual tjeneficc for the first year, according to the valuation thereof in the king's book.

FIVE POIN1S, are the five doctrines controverted between the Arminians and Calvinists See Calvinists.

FLACIANS. the followers of Matthias Flacius lllyricus, who flourished in the sixteenth century. He taught that original sin is the very substance of human nature; and that the fall of man was an event which extinguished in the human mind every virtuous tendency, every noble faculty, and left nothing behind it but universal darkness and corruption.



FLATTERY, a servile and fawning behaviour, attended with servile compliances and obsequiousness, in order to gain a person's favour.

FLEMINGIANS. or Flandrians, a sect of rigid Anabaptists, who acquired this name in the sixteenth century, because most of them were natives of Flanders, by way of distinction from the Waterlandians. See Water


FOLLY, according to Mr. Locke, consists in the drawing of false conclusions from just principles, by which it is distinguished from madness, which

draws just conclusions from false principles. But this seems too confined a definition. Folly, in its most general acceptation, denotes a weakness of intellect or apprehension, or some partial absurdity in sentiment or conduct. Sec Evil, Sin.

FOOL, one who has not the us« of reason or judgment. In Scripture, wicked persons are often called fools, or foolish, because such act contrary to reason, trust to their own hearts, violate ihe laws of God, and prefer things vile, trifling, and temporal, to such as are important, diviner and eternal.

FOOLISH SPEAKING, such kind of conversation, as includes folly, and can no ways be profitable and interesting, Eph. v. 4. Facctiousncss, indeed, is allowable, when it ministers to harmless divcrtisement, and delight to conversation; when it is used for the purpose of exposing things which are base and vile; when it hus for its aim the reformation of others; when used by way of defence under unjust reproach. But all such kind cf speaking as includes profane jesting, loose, wanton, scurrilous, injurious, unseasonable, vain-glorious talk, is strictly forbidden. See Barrow's excellent Sermon on this Subject in Ms Works, vol i. ser. 14.

FORBEARANCE, is the act of patiently enduring provocation or offence. The following may be considered as the most powerful incentives to the exercise of this disposition:—1. The consideration 'hat we ourselves often stand in need of it from others, Gal. vi. 1.— 2. The express command of Scripture, Eph. iv. 2. Col. iii. 13.—3. The felicity of this disposition. It is sure to bring happiness at last, while resentment only increases our own misery.—4. That it is one of the strongest evidences we can give of the reality of our religion, John xiii. 35.-5. The beautiful example of Christ, Heb. xii. 3. 1 Pet. ii. 21—23.

FORBEARANCE OF GOD. See Patience Of God.

FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD, is his foresight or knowledge of every thing that is to come to pass, Acts ii. 23. This foreknowledge, says Charnock, was from eternity. Seeing he knows things possible in his power, and things future in his will, if his power and resolves were from eternity, his knowledge must be so too; or else wc must make him ignorant of his own power, and ignorant of his own will from eternity, and consequently not from eternity blessed and perfect, His knowledge of possible things roust run parallel with his will. If he willed from eternity, he knew from eternity what he willed; but that he did will from eternity we must grant, unless we would render him changeable, and conceive him to be made in time of not willing, willing. The knowledge God hath in time was always one and the same, because his understanding is his proper essence, as perfect as his essence, and of an immutable nature.

"To deny this is, (says Saurin,) to degrade the Almighty; for what, pray, is a God who created beings, and who could not foresee what would result from their existence? A God, who formed spirits united to bodies by certain laws, and who did not know how to combine these laws so as to foresee the effects they ' would produce? A God forced to suspend his judgment f A God who every day learns something new, and who doth not know to-day what will happen to-morrow? A God ■who cannot tell whether peace will be concluded or war continue to ravage the world; whether religion will be received in a certain kingdom, or whether it will be banished; whether the right heir will succeed to the crown, or whether the crown will be set on the head of an usurper? For according to the different determinations of the wills of men, of king, or people, the prince will make peace, or declare war; religion will be banished or admitted; the tyrant or the lawful king will occupy the throne: for if God cannot foresee how the volitions of men will be determined, lie cannot foresee any of these events. What is this but to degrade God from his Deity, and to make the most perfect of all intelligences a being involved in darkness and uncertainty like ourselves?" See Omniscience.

FORGIVENESS the pardon of an} offence committed against us. This is a virtue which our Lord expressly inculcates, not as extending to our friends only, but to our enemies. "Ye have heard," saith he, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and. hate thine enemy; hut I say unto you, love your enemies," &c. •■ This," says an ingenious writer, " was a lesson so new, and utterly unknown, till taught by his doctrines and enforced by his example, that the wisest moralists of the wisest nations and ages represented the desire of revenge as a mark of a noble mind . but how much more magnanimous, how much more beneficial to mankind, is forgiveness! It is more magnanimous, because every generous and exalted disposition of the human mind is requisite to the practice

of it; and it is the most beneficial, because it puts an end to an e'ernal succession of injuries and retaliations." Let us, therefore, learn to cherish this noble disposition; let the bitterest enemy we have be softened by its effects;let us consider also how friendly it is to our own happiness, and how much it prevents the unhappiness of others. "The feuds and animosities, in families, and between neighbours, which disturb the intercourse of human life, and collectively compose half the misery of it, have their foundation in the want of a forgiving temper, and can never cease but by the exercise of this virtue on one side, or on both." Paley's Mor. Phil. vol. i. p. 271; Soame Jenyns's Int. Evid. p. 67,68; Clarke's Sermons, ser. 2. vol. x; TUlotson's Ser. vol. viii. p. 254.


FORMALIST, one who places too much dependence on outward ceremonies of religion, or who is more tenacious of the form of religion than the power of it.

F O R M S O F P R A Y E R. See Prayer

FORNICATION, whoredom, or the act of incontinency between single persons; for if either of the parties be married, it is adultery. While the Scriptures give no sanction to those austerities which have been imposed on men under the idea of religion, so on the other hand, they give no libeny for the indulgence of any propensity that would either militate against our own interest or that of others. It is in vain to argue the innocency of fornication from the natural passions implanted in us, since "marriage is honourable in all," and wisely appointed for the prevention of those evils which would otherwise ensue; and, besides the existence of any natural propensity in us, is no proof that it is to be gratified without any restriction. That fornication is both unlawful and unreasonable, may be easily inferred, if we consider, 1. That our Saviour expressly declares this to be a crime, Mark vii. 21—23— 2. That the Scriptures declare that fornicators cannot inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. vi. 9. Heb. xii. 16. Gal. v. 19—22.—3. Fornication sinks into a mere brutal commerce, a gratification which was designed to be the cement of a sacred, generous, and tender friendship.—4. It leaves the maintenance and education of children, as to the father at least, utterly unsecured.—5. It strongly tempts the guilty mother to guard

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