Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors][merged small]

laston's Religion of Nature delineated A and usually performed in the staiidin"

! posture ; and as to the manner of pro-
! nunciation, the plain song was some-
Itimes used, being a gentle irrfk-ction if
! the voice, not much different f; Otd. read-
i in);, like the chant in cathedrals; at
| other times more artificial compositions
j were used, like our anthems.

As to the persons concerned in siting, sometimes a single person sunt; alone; sometimes the whole assem5:y joined together, which was the most ancient and general practice. At other times,tbe psalms were sung alternately, the congregation dividing themselves into two parts, and singing verse abou!, in their turns. There was also a fourth way of singing, pretty common in the fourth century, which was, when a single person began the verse, and the ptople joined with him in the close: this was often used for variety in the same service with alternate psalmody. See Singing.

PSAT YR1ANS. a sect of Arians w!-.o in the council of Antioch, hrld in the year 360. maintained that the Sen was uot like the Father as to will; that he was taken from nothing, or made of nothin . ; and that in God generation was not to be distinguished from creation.

PURGATORY is a place in which the just who depart out of this life are

sec. 5; Thomson's Seasons, Winter, conclusion.

PRUDENCE is the act of suiting words and actions according to the ciicumstance of things, or rules of right reason: Cicero thus defines it: "Est rerum expeteudarum fugiendarum scier.tia."—" The knowledge of what is to be desired or avoided." Grove thus: "Prudence is an ability of judging what is best in the choice both of ends and means." Mason thus: Prudence is a conformity to the rules of reason, truth, and decency, a,t all times, and in all circumstances. It differs from wisdom (inly in degree; wisdom being nothing but a more consummate habit of prudence; and prudence a lowtr degree or weaker habit of wisdom." It is divided into, 1. Christian prudence, which directs to the pursuit of that \ blessedness which the Gospel discovers but the use of Gospel means.—2. Moral prudence has for its end peace and sa- I tisfaclion of mind in this world, and the greatest happiness after death.—3. Civil prudence is the knowledge of what ought to be done in order to secure the outward happiness of life, consisting in prosperity, liberty, &c.—4. Monastic, relating to any circumstances in which a man is not charged with the care of others.—5. (Economical prudence re

gards the condact of a family.-MJ. Po-\ supposed to expiate certain offences

litical refers to the good government of a state.

The idea of prudence, says one, includes wfatiML, or due consultation : that is, concerning such things as demand consultation in a right manner, and for a competent time, that the resolution taken up may be neither too precipitate nor too slow ; and <rww«, or a faculty of discerning proper means when they occur. To the perfection of prudence these three things are farther required, viz. cftm,7/ic,ora natural sagacity. A^/rux, presence of mind, or a ready turn of thought; andEjusrujn, or experience.

Plato styles prudence the leading virtue ; and Cicero observes. " that not one of the virtues can want prudence." which is certainly most true, since without prudence to guide thern, piety would degenerate into superstition, zeal into bigotry, temperance into austerity, courage into rashness, and justice itself into folly. See Watt's Ser. ser. 28; Grove's

which do not merit eternal damnation. Broughton has endeavoured to prove that this notion has been held by Pagans, Jews, and Mahometans as well as by Christians; and that, in the days of the Maccabees, the Jews believed that sin might be expiated by sacrifice after the death of the sinner. The arguments advanced by the Papists for i purgatory are these: 1. Every sin, how slight soever, though no more than an idle word, as it is an offence to God, deserves punishment from him, and win be punished by him hereafter, if not cancelled by repentance here.—2. Such small sins do nat deserve eternal punishment.—3 Few depart this life so pure as to be totally exempt from spots of this nature, and from every kind of debt due to God's justice.—4. Therefore few will escape without suffering something from his justice for such debts as they have carried with them out of this world, according to that mie

tff dkvine justice by which he treats every soul hereafter according to its own works, and according to the state in which he finds it in death. From these propositions, which the Papist considers as so many self-evident truths, he infers that there must be some third place of punishment; for since the infinite goodness of God can admit nothing into heaven which is not clean and pure from all sin both great and small, and his infinite justice can permit none to receive the reward of bliss who as yet are not out of debt, but have something in justice to suffer, there must of necessity, be some place or state, where souls departing this life, pardoned as to the external guilt or pain, yet obnoxious to some temporal penalty, or with the guilt of some venial faults, are purged and purified before their admittance into heaven. And this is what he is taught concerning purgatory, which, though he know not where it is, of what nature the pains are, or how long each soul is detained there, yet he believes that those who are in this place are relieved by the prayers df their fellow members here on earth, as also by alms and masses offered up to God for their souls. And as for such as have no relations or friends to pray for them, or give alms or procure masses for their relief, they are not neglected by the church, whicli makes a general commemoration of all the faithful departed in every mass, and in every one of the canonical hours of the divine office. Besides the above arguments, the following passages are alleged as proofs: 2 Maccabees, xii. 43, 44, 45. Matt. xii. 31, 32. 1 Cor. Hi. 15. 1 Pet. iii. 19. But it may be observed, 1. That the books of Maccabees have no evidence of inspiration,therefore quotations from them are not to be regarded.—2. If they were, the texts referred to would rather prove that there is no such place as purgatory, since Judas did not expect the souls departed to reap any benefit from his sin-offering till the resurrection. The texts quoted from the Scriptures have no reference to this doctrine, as may be seen by consulting the context, and any just commentator thereon—3. Scripture, in general, speaks of departed souls going immediately at death to a fixed state of happiness or misery, and gives us no idea of purgatory, Isa. lvii. 2. Rev. xiv. 13. Luke, xvi. 22. 2 Cor. v. 8.—4. It is derogatory from the doctrine of Christ's satisfaction. If Christ died for us, and redeemed us from sin and hell, as the Scripture speaks, (hen the idea of farther merito

rious suffering detracts from the per* fection of Christ's work, and places merit still in the creature; a doctrine exactly opposite to. Scripture. See Doddridge's Lee. lee. 270; Limborch'a Theol. 1, 6, ch. 10, § 10, 22; Earl's Ser. mon, in the Sermons against Pojicry, vol. ii. No. 1; Burnett on the Art. 22 ;. Fleury's Catechism, vol. ii. p. 250.

PURIFICATION, a ceremonywhich consists in cleansing any thing from pollution or defilement. Purifications are common to Jews, Pagans, and Mahometans. See Impurity.

PURITANS, a name given in the primitive church to the Novatians, because they would never admit to communion any one, who from dread of death, had apostatized from the faith; but the word has been chiefly applied to those who were professed favourers of a farther degree of reformation and purity in the church before the act of uniformity, in 1662. After this period, the term Nonconformists became common, to which succeeds the appellation Dissenter.

"During the reign of queen Elizalieth, in which the royal prerogative was carried to its utmost limits, there were found many daring spirits who questioned the right of the sovereign to prescribe and dictate to her subjects what principles of religion they should profess, and what forms they ought to adhere to. The ornaments and habits worn by the clergy in the preceding reign, when the Romish religion and rites were triumphant, Elizabeth was desirous of preserving in the Protestant service. This was the cause of great discontent among a large body of her subjects: multitudes refused to attend at those churches where the habits and ceremonies were used; the conforming clergy they treated with contumely; and from the superior purity and simplicity of the modes of worship to which they adhsred. they obtained the name of Puritans. The qneen made many attempts to repress every thing that appeared to her as an innovation in the religion established by her authority, but without success: by her almost unlimited authority she readily checked open and avowed opposition but she could not extinguish the principles of the Puritans, 'by whom alone, according to Mr. Hume, 'the precious spark of liberty had been kindled and was preserved, and to whom the En£lish owe the whole freedom of their constitution.' Some secret attempts that had been made by them to establish a separate congregation and discipline, had been carefully repressed by the strict hand which Elizabeth held over all her subjects. The most, therefore, that they could effect was, to assemble in private houses, for the purpose of worshipping God according to the dictates of their own-consciences. These practices were at first connived at, but afterwards every mean was taken to suppress them, and the most cruel methods were made use of to discover persons who were disobedient to the royal pleasure."

The severe persecutions carried on against the Puritans during the reigns of Elizabeth and the Stuarts, served to lay the foundation of a new empire in the western world. Thither as into a wilderness they fled from the face of their persecutors, and, being protected in the free exercise of their religion, continued to increase, till in about a century and a half they became an independent nation. The different principles, however, on which they had originally divided from the church establishment at home, operated in a way that might have been expected when they came to the possession of the civil power abroad. Those who formed the colony of Massachusetts Bay, having never relinquished the principles of a national church, and of the power of the civil magistrate in matters of faith and worship, were less tolerant than those who settled at New Plymouth.at Rhode Island, and at Providence Plantations. The very men (and they were good men too) who had just escaped the persecutions of the English prelates, now in their turn persecuted others who dissented from them, till at length the liberal system of toleration established in the parent country at the revolution, extending to the colonies, in a good measure put an end to these proceedings.

Neither the Puritar.ts before the passing of the Bartholomew act in 1662, nor the Nonconformists after it, appear to have disapproved of the articles of the established church in matters of doctrine. The number of them who did so however, was very small. While the great body of the bishops and clergy had from the days of archbishop Laud abandoned their own articles in favour of Arminianism, they were attached to the principles of the first reformers:

and by their labours and sufferings tiie spirit of the reformation was kept alive in the land. But after the revolution, one part cf the Protestant Dissenters, chiefly Presbyterians, first veered towards Arminianism, then revived the Arian controversy, and by degrees many of them settled in Socinianism. At the same time another part of them, chiefly Independents and Bapthts, earnest!)' contending tor the dectnnes of grace, and conceiving as it would seem, that the dagger of erring lay entirely on one side, first veered towards high Calvinism, then forbcte the unregtnerate to repent, believe, rr do any thing practically good, and by degrees many of them, it is said, settled in Antinomianism.

Such are the principles which have found place amongst the descendants of the Puritans. At the same time, however, it must be acknowledged that a goodly number of each of the three denominations have adhered to the doctrine and spirit of their forefathers: and have proved the efficacy of their principles by their concern to be holy in all manner of conversation. See articles Brownists, Independents, and Nonconformists, in this work. See also list of books under the last-mentioned article.

PURITY, the freedom of any thing from foreign admixture : but more particularly it signifies the temper directlyopposite to criminal sensualities, or the ascendency of irregular passions. [See Chastity.]

Purity implies, 1. A fixed habitual abhorrence of all forbidden indulgences of the flesh.—2. All past impurities, either of heart or life, will be reflected on with shame and sorrow.—3. The heart will be freed, in a great measure, from impure and irregular desires.—4. It will discover itself'by a cautious fear of the least degree of impurity.—5. It implies a careful and habitual guard against every thing which tends to pollute the mind. See Jivans's Sermon* on the Christian Temper, ser. ~3; and Watt's Sermons, sen 27.

PURPOSE OF GOD. SeeDKCREE.

PUSILLANIMITY is a feebleness of mind, by which it is terrified at mere trifles or imaginary dangers, unauthorised bv the most distant probabilitv.

PYRRHONISTS. See Sceptics.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

QUAKERS, a sect which took its rise in England about the middle of the seventeenth century, and rapidly found its way into other countries in Europe, and into the English settlements in North America. The members of this society, we believe, called themselves at first Seekers, from their seeking the truth; but after the society was formed, they assumed the appellation of Friends. The name of Quakers was given to them by their enemies, and though an epithet of reproach, seems to be stamped upon them indelibly. George Fox is supposed to be their first founder; but, after the restoration, Penn and Barclay gave to their principles a more regular form.

The doctrines of the society have been variously represented; and some have thought and taken pains to prove them favourable to Socinianism. But, according to Penn, they believe in the Holy Three, or the triuity of the Father, Word, and Spirit, agreeable to the Scripture. In reply to the charge that they deny Christ to be God, Penn, says, *' that it is a most untrue and uncharitable censure—that they truly and expressly own him to be so according to the Scripture." To the objection that they deny the human nature of Christ, he answers, "We never taught, said, or hrld so gross a thing, but believe him to be truly and properly man like us, sin only excepted." The doctrines of the fall and of the redemption by Christ are, according to him, believed firmly by them; and he declares " that they own Jesus Christ as their sacrifice, atonement, and propitiation.

But we shall here state a further account of their principles and discipline, as extracted from a summary transmitted to me from one of their most respectable members.

They tell us, that, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, a number of men, dissatisfied with all the modes of religious worship then known in the world, withdrew from the communion of every visible church tu seek the Lord in retircmeut. Among these was their honourable elder, Gcurgc Fox, who, being quickened by the immediate touches of divine love, could nut satisfy his apprehensions of duty to God without directing the people where to find

the like consolation and instruction. In the course of his travels, he met with many seeking persons In circumstances similar to his own, and these readily received Ins testimony. They then give us a short account of their sufferings and different settlements; they also vindicate Charles II. from the character of a persecutor; acknowledging that, though they suffered much during his reign, he gave as little countenance as he Could to the severities of the legislature. They even tell us that he exerted his influence to rescue their friends from the unprovoked and cruel persecutions they met with in New England; and they speak with becoming gratitude of the different acts passed in their favour during the reigns of William and Mary, and George I. They then proceed to give us the following account of their doctrine.

"We agree with other professors of the Christian name, in the belief of one eternal God, the Creator and Preserver of the universe; and in Jesus Christ his Son, the Messiah and mediator of the new covenant, Heb. xii. 24.

"When we speak of the gracious display of the love of God to mankind, in the miraculous conception, birth, life, miracles, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Saviour, we prefer the use of such terms as we find in Scripture; and contented with that knowledge which divine wisdom hath seen meet to reveal, we attempt not to explain those mysteries which remain under the veil; nevertheless we acknowledge and assert the divinity of Christ, who is the wisdom and power of God unto salvation, 1 Cor. i. 24.

"To Christ alone we give the title of the Word of God, John, i. 1. and not to the Scriptures, although we highly esteem these sacred writings, in subordination to the Spirit (2 Pet. i. 21.) from which they were given forth; and we hold with the apostle Paul, that they are able to make wise unto salvation, t!irough faith, which is in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. iii. 15.

"We reverence those most excellent precepts which are recorded in Scripture to have bee:i delivered by our great Lord ; and we firmly believe that they are practicable, and binding on every Christian; ami that in the life to come

[ocr errors]

every man will be rewarded according to his works. Matt. xvi. 27. And further; it is our belief, that in order to enable mankind to put in practice these sacred precepts, many of which are contradictory to the unregenerate ■will of man, John, i. 9. every man coming into the world is endued with a measure of the light, grace, or good Spirit of Christ; by which, as it is attended to, he is enabled to distinguish good from evil, and to correct the disorderly passions and corropt propensities of his nature, which mere reason is altogether insufficient to overcome. For all that belongs to man is fallible, and within the reach of temptation; but this divine grace, which comes by him ■who hath overcome the world, John, xvi. 33. is, to those who humbly and sincerely seek it, an all sufficient and present help in time of need. By this the snares of the enemy arc detected, his allurements avoided, and deliverance is experienced through faith in its effectual operation; whereby the soul is translated out of the kingdom of darkness, and from under the power of Satan, unto the marvellous light and kingdom of the Son of God.

"Being thus persuaded that man, ■without the Spirit of Christ inwardly revealed, can do nothing to the glory of God, or to effect his own salvation, we think, this influence especially necessary to the performance of the highest act of which the human mind is capable; ■even the worship of the Father of lights and of spirits, in spirit and in truth: therefore we consider as obstructions to pure woFship.allformswhich divert the attention of the mind from the secret influence of this unction from the Holy One, 1 John, ii. 20, 2-7. Yet, although true worship is not confined to time and place, we think it incumbent on Christians to meet often together, Heb. x. 25. in testimony of their dependence on the heavenly Father, and for a renewal of their spiritual strength : nevertheless, in the performance of worship, we dare not depend for our acc«ptance with him on a formal repetition of the words and experiences of others; but wc believe it to I* our duty to lay aside the activity of the imagination, and to wait in silence to have a true sight of our condition bestowed upon us; believing even a single sigh (ltom. vii. 24.) arising from such a sense of our infirmities, "and of the need we have of divine help, to be more acceptable to God than any performances, however specious, which originate in the will of man.

"From what has been said respect

ing worship, it follows that the ministry We approve must have its origin front the same source; for that which is needful for man's own direction, and for his acceptance with God, Jer. xxiii. 30, to 32, must be eminently so to enable him to be helpful to others. Accord, ingly we believe that the'renewed assistance of the light and power of Christ is indispensably necessary for all true ministry; and that this holy influence is not at our command, or to' be procured by study, but is the free gift of God to chosen and devoted servants. Hence arises oor testimony against preaching for hire, in contradiction to Christ's positive command, 'Freely ye have received, freely give,' Matt. x. 8. and hence our conscientious refusal to support such ministry by tithes, or other means.

"As wo dare not encourage any ministry but that which we believe to spring from the influence of the Holy Spirit, so neither dare we attempt to restrain this influence to persons of any condition in life, or to the male sex alone -, but, as male and female are one in Christ, we allow such of the female sex as we believe to be endued with a right qualification for the ministry, to exercise their gifts for the general edification of the church; and this liberty we esteem a peculiar mark of the Gospel dispensation, as foretold by the prophet Joel, Joel, ii. 28, 29. and noticed by the apostle Peter, Acts, ii 16, 17.

"There are two ceremonies in use among most professors of the Christian name—water-baptism, and - what is termed the Lord's supper. The first of these is generally esteemed the essential means of initiation into the church of Christ; and the latter of maintaining communion with him. But as we have been convinced that nothing short of his redeeming power, invariably revealed, can set the soul free from the thraldom of sin, by this power alone we believe salvation to be affected. We hold, that, as there is one Lord and one faith, Eph. iv. 5. so his baptism is one, in nature and operation; that nothing short of it can make us living members of his mystical body; and that the baptism with water; administered by his forerunner John, belonged, as the latter confessed, to an inferior dispensation, John, iii. 30.

"With respect to the other rite, we believe that communion between Christ and his church is not maintained by that, nor any other external performance, but only by a real participation of his divine nature (1 Pet. ii. 4.)through faith, that this is the supper alluded to

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »