« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
ii. ser. 2. Blair's Sermons, ser. ix. vol. i. Bates's Rural Philosofihy ; Brewster's Recluse; Zimmerman on Solitude.
REVELATION, the act of revealing or making a thing public that was before unknown; it is also used for the discoveries made by God to his pro phets, and by them to die world ; and more particularly for the books of the Old and New leslament. A revelation is, in the first place, possible. God may, for any thing we can certainly tell, think proper to make some discovery to his creatures which they knew not before. As he is a being of infinite power, we may be assured he cannot be at a loss for means to communicate his will, and that in such a manner as will sufficiently mark it his own.—2. It is desirable. For, whatever the light of nature could do for man before reason was depraved, it is evident that it has done little for man since. Though reason be necessary to examine the authority of divine revelation, yet, in the present state, it is incapable of giving us proper discoveries of God, the way of salvation, or of bringing us into a state of communion with God. It therefore follows.—3. That it is necessary. Without it we can attain to no certain knowledge of God, of Christ, of the Holy Ghost, of pardon, of justifies tion, ot sanctification, of happiness, of a future state of rewards and punishments.—*. No revelation, as Mr. Brown observes, relative to the redemption of mankind could answer its respective ends, unless it were sufficiently marked with internal and external evidences. That the Bible hath internal evidence, is evident from the ideas it gives us oi God's perfections, of the law of nature, of redemption, of the state of man. See. As to its external evidence, it is easily seen by the characters of the men who composed it, the miracles wrought, its success, the fulfilment of its predictions, Sec. [See Scripture.] 5. The contents of revelation are agreeable to reason. It is true there are some things above the reach of reason ; but a revelation containing such things is no contradiction, as long as it is not against reason; for if every thing be rejected which cannot be exactly comprehended, we must become unbelievers at once of almost every thing around us. The doctrines, the institutions, the threatenings, the precepts, the promises, of the Bible, are every way reasonable. The matter, form, and exhibition of revelation are consonant with reason—6. The revelation contained in our Bible is perfectly credible It is an address to the reason,
judgment, and affections of men. The Old Testament abounds with the finest specimens of history, subUmiiy, and interesting scenes of Providence. The facts of the New Testament are supported by undoubted evidence from enemies and friends. The attestations to the early existence of Christianity are numerous from Ignatius, Pulycarp, Irenxus, Justin Martyr, and Taiiati, who were Christians; and by Tacitus, Sueton, Serenus, Pliny, &c. who were Heathens. [See Christianity.]—7. The revelations contained in our Bible are divintty ins/iired. The matter, the manner, the scope, the predictions, miracles, preservation, See. &c. all prove this. [See Inspiration]—8. Revelation is intended for universal benefit. It \ is a common objection to it, that hitherto it has been confined to few, and therefore could not come from God who is so benevolent; but this mode of arguing will equally hold good against the permission of sin, the inequalities (if Providence, the dreadful evils and miseries of mankind which God coald ! have prevented. It must be farther observed, mat none deserve a revelation; that men have despised and abused the i early revelations he gave to his peopie. This revelation, we have reason to believe, shall be made known to mankind. Already it is spreading its genuine influence. In the cold regions of tUe north, in the burning regions of the south, the Bible begins to be known; and, from the predictions it contains, we believe the glorious sun of revelaj tion shall shine aud illuminate the whole \ globe.—9. The effects of revelation which have already taken place in the world have been astonishing. In proportion as the Bible has been known, arts and sciences have been cultivated, peace and liberty have been diffused, civil and moral obligation have been attended to. Nations have emerged from ignorance and barbarity, whole communities have been morally reformed, unnatural practices abolished, and wise laws instituted. Its spiritual eftVcts have been wonderful. Kings and peasants, conquerors and philosophers, the wise and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, have been brought to the foot a' the cross; yea, millions have been enlightened, improved, reformed, and made happy by its influences. Let any one deny this, and he must be a hardened, ignorant infidel, indeed. Great is the truth, and must prevail. See Dr. Leland's Necessity of Revelation. "This work," says Mr. Ryland, "has had no answer, and I am persuaded it
Yiever will meet with a solid confutation. Halyburton against the Deiata; Iceland's View of Deiatkal Writers; Drown a Compendium of Natural and Revealed Religion ; Stiltingjleet's Origines Sacra, is, perhaps, one of the ablest defences of revealed religion ever written. Delany's Revelation examined with Candour i Arch- Campbell on. Revelation; Ellis on Divine Things; Gale's Court of the Gentiles REVENGE means the return of injury for injury, or the infliction of pain on another in consequence of an injury received from him, farther than the just ends of reparation or punishment require. Revenge differs materially from resentment, which rises in the mind immediately on being injured; but revenge is a cool and deliberatewickedness, and is often executed years after the offence is given. By some it is considered as a perversion of anger. Anger, it is said is a passion given to man for wise and proper purposes, but revenge is the currupfion of ang^r: is unnatural, and therefore ought to be suppressed It is observable that the proper object of anger is vice; but the object in general of revenge is man. It transfers the hatred due to the vice to the man, to whom it is not due. It is forbidden by the Scriptures, and is unbecoming the character and spirit of a peaceful follower of Jesus Christ. See Anger.
REVEREND, venerable ; deserving awe and respect. It is a title of respect given to ecclesiastics. The religious abroad are called t everendfaihers ; and abbesses, prioresses, 8cc. reverend mothers. In England, bishops are right reverend, and archbishops mast reverend; private clergymen, reverend. In France, before the revolution, their bishops, archbishops, and abbots, were all alike, mo.it reverend In Scotland, the clergy individually are, reverend; a synod is, very reverend; and the general assembly is, venerable. The Dissenters, also, in England have the title of reverend ; though some of them suppose the term implies too much to be given to a mere creature, and that of Gnd only it may be said with propriety, "Holy and reverend is his name," Psalm cxi. 4.
REVERENCE, awful regard ; an act of obeisance; a submissive and humble deportment. See Lord'sname Taken In Vain.
RIGHTEOUSNESS, justice, holiness. The righteousness of God is the .absolute and essential perfections of his nature; sometimes it is put for his jus tice. The righteousness of Christ de
notes not only his absolute perfections,
RITE, a solemn act of religion; an
RITUAL, a book directing the order and manner to be observed in performing divine service in a particular church, diocese, or the like.
ROGEREENS, so called from John Rogers ther chief leader. They appeared in New England about 1677. The principal distinguishing tenet of this denomination was, that worship performed the first day of the week was a species of idolatry which they ought to oppose. In consequence of this, they used a variety of measures to disturb those who were assembled for public worship on the lord's day.
ROMISH CHURCH. See Church, and Popery. m
ROSARY, a bunch or string of beads on which the Roman Catholics count their prayers.
ROSICRUCIANS, a name assumed by a sect or cabal of hermetical philosophers, who arose, as it has been said, or at least became first taken notice of in Germany, in the beginning of the fourteenth century. They bound their.
selves together by a solemn secret,, which they all swore inviolably to preserve; and obliged themselves, at their admission into the order, to a strict observance of certain established rules. They pretended to know all sciences, and chiefly medicine; whereof they published themselves the restorers. They pretended to be masters of abundance of important secrets, and among others, that of the philosopher's stone; all which they affirmed to have received by tradition from the ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, the Magi, and Gymnosophists. They have been distinguished by several names, accommodated to the several branches of their doctrine. liecause they pretend to protract the pe
riod of human life by means of certain nostrums, and even to restore youth; they were called Immortalet, as they pretended to know all things, they have been called Illummati; and, because they have made no appearance for several years, unless the sect of Illuminated which lately started up on the continent derives its origin from them, they have been called the Invisible Brotheri. Their society is frequently signed by the letters F. R. C. which some among them interpret Fratres Rorit Cocti; ic being pretended that the matter of toe philosopher's stone is dew concocted, exalted, 8cc.
RUSSIAN CHURCH. Sec Grebk Church.
SABBATARIANS, those who keep the seventh day as the sabbulh. They are to be found principally, if not wholly among the Baptists. They object to the reasons which are generally alleged for keeping the first day ; and assert, that the change from the seventh to the first was affected by Constantine on his con version to Christianity. The three following propositions contain a summary of their principles as to this article of the sabbath, by which they stand distinguished. 1. That God hath required! the observation of the seventh, or last day of every week, to be observed by mankind universally for the weekly, sabbath.—2. That this command of God is perpetually binding on man till time shall be no more.—And, 3. Thut! this s;icred rest of the seventh-day s;ibbath is not (by divine authority) chang-j * ed from the seventh and last to the first; day of the week, or that the Scripture diith no where require the observation I of any other day of the week for the I weekly sabbath, but the seventh day only. They hold, in common with other •Christians, the distinguishing doctrines of Christianity. There are two congregations of the Sabbatarians in London; one among the general Baptists, meet ing in Mill Yard ; the other among the particular Baptists, in Cripplegate. There are, also, a few to be found in different parts of the kingdom,and som-it is said, in America. A tract, in sup port of this doctrine, was published by Mr. Cornthwaite. in 1740. See JEvann't Sketch of the Denominatio>isoftheChri» iian HV'rf,ii:nl books under n-xt article
SABBATH, in the Hebrew language, signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week : a day appointed for religious duties.and a total cessation fromwork.in commemoration of God's resting on the seventh day; and likewise in memorial of the redemption of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.
Concerning the time when the sabbath was first instituted there have been different opinions. Some have maintained that the sanctification of the seventh day mentioned in Gen. ii. is only there spoken of tii ^ou^mk, or by anticipation; and is to be understood of the sabbath afterwards enjoined in the wilderness; and that the historian, writing after it was instituted, there gives the reason of its institution ; and this is supposed to be the case, as it is never mentioned during the patriarchal age. But against this sentiment it is urged, 1. That it cannot be easily supposed that the inspired penman would have mentioned the sanctification of the seventh day among the primaeval transactions, if such sanctification had nrt taken place until 2500 years afterwards. —2. That considering Adam was restored to favour through a Mediator, and a religiftus service instituted, which | man was required to observe, in tesn] moiiy not only of his dependence on the Creator, but also of his faith and hope | in the promise, it seems reasonable that an institution so grand and solemn, and : so necessary to the observance of tha ! service, should be then existent.—5. j That it is no proof agsinst its eaistence ■ because it is not mentioned in the patr.rivchical age.no more than it is against its existence from Moses to the tnd of David's reign, which was near 440 years.—4. That the Sabbath was mentioned as a well known solemnity before the promulgation of the law, Exodus, xvi. 23- For the manner in which the Jews kept it,and the awful consequences of neglecting it, we refer the reader to the Old Testament, Lev. xxvi. 3t, 35. Neh. xiii. 16, 18. Jer. xvii. 21. Ezek. xx. 16, 17. Numb. xv. 23—36.
Under the Christian dispensation, the sabbath is altered from the seventh to the first day of the week. The. arguments for the change are these: 1. As the seventh day was observed by the Jewish church in memory of the rest of God after the works of the creation, and their deliverance from Pharaoh's tyranny, so the first day of the week has ulvmys been observed by the Christian church in memory of Christ's resurrection.—2. Christ made repeated visits to his disciples on that day.—3. It is called the Lord's day, Hev. i. 10—4. On this clay the apostles were assembled, when the Holy Ghost came down so visibly upon them, to qualify them lor the conversion of the world.—5. On this day we find St. Paul preaching at Troas, when the disciples came to break bread —6. The directions the apostles give to the Christians plainly allude to their religious assemblies on the first day.—7. Pliny bears witness of the first day of the week being kept as a festival, in honour of the resurrection of Christ: and the primitive Christians kept it in the most solemn manner,
These arguments, however, are not satisfactory to some, and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day. However, it may be observed that it is not so much the precise time that is universally binding, as that one day out of seven is to be regarded. "As it is impossible," says Dr. Doddridge, "certainly to determine which is the seventh day from the creation •, and as, in consequence of the spherical form of the earth, and the absurdity of the scheme which supposes it one preat plain, the change of place will necessarily occasion some alteration in the time of the beginning and ending of any day in question, it being always at the same time, somewhere or other, sunrising and sun-setting, noon and midnight, it seems very unreasonable to lay such a stress upon the particular day as some do. It seems abundantly sufficient that there be six days of labour and one of religious rest, which there will be
upon the Christian and the Jewish scheme."
As the sabbath is of divine institution, so it is to be kept holy unto the Lord. Numerous have been the days appointed by men for religious services; but these are not binding because of human institution. Not so the sabbath. Hence the fourth commandment is ushered in with a peculiar emphasis.—"Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day." This institution is vjise as to its ends: That God may be worshipped; man instructed; nations benefited ; and families devoted to the service of God. It is lasting as to its duration. The abolition of it would be unreasonable; unscriptural, Exnd. xxxi. 13; and every way disadvantageous to the body, to society, to the soul, and even to the brute creation. It is, however, awfully violated by visiting, feasting, indolence, buying and selling, working, worldly amusements, and travelling. *' Look into the streets," says bishop Porteus, "on the Lord's day, and see whether they convey the idea of a day of rest. Do nc t our servants and our cattle seem to be almost as fully occupied on that day ns on any other? And, as if this was not a sufficient infringement of their rights, we contrive by needless entertainments at home, and neidless journeys abroad, which are often by choice and inclination reserved for this very day, to take up all the little remaining part of their leisure time. A sabbath day's journey was among the Jews a proverbial expression for a very st-ovt one; among us it can have no such meaning affixed to it. That day seems to be considered by too many as set apart, by divine and human authority, for the purpose not of rest, but of its direct opposite, the labour of travelling, thus adding one day more of torment to those generous but wretched animals whose services they hire ; and who, being generally strained beyond their strength the oth*r six day9 of the week, have, of t\\ creatux es under heaven, the best and most equitable claim to suspension of labour on the seventh."
These are evils greatly to be lamented ; they are an insult to God, an injury to ourselves, and an awful example to our servants, cur children, and our j friends. To sanctify this day, we should consider it, 1. A day of rest; not indeed, to exclude works of mercy and charity, but a cessation from all labour and care.—2. As a day of remembrance; of creation, preservation, redemption. —3. As a day of meditation and prayer in whir.1t we should cultivate commu
nion with God, Rev. i. 10.--4. As a day liment be just which is giveo by the of public worship, Acts, xx. 7. John, church of England. By that church, XX. 19-5. As a day of joy, Is. lvi. 2. the meaning of the word sacrament is Ps. cxviii. 24.-6. As a day of praise, I declared to be an outward and visible Ps. cxvi. 12.-14.-7. As a day of anri. sign of an inward and spiritual grace cipation; looking forward to that holy, I given unto us, ordained by Christ himhappy,and eternal sabbath, that remains | sell, as a means whereby we receive for the people of God.
the same, and a pledge to assure us See Chandler's two Sermons on the thereof."-Accrding to this definitical, Sabbath ; Wright on the Sabbath ; baptism and the Lord's supper are cer Wars's Hol. of Times and Places ; Or. 1 tainly sacraments, for each consists of ton's six Disc. on the Lord's Day ; || an outward and visible sign of what is Kennicott's Ser. and Dial on the Sab- believed to be an inward and spiritual bath ; Bp. Porieus's Sermone, ser. 9. grace, both were ordained by Chris vol. 1; Watia's Sermons, ser. 57. vol. i. hims:lf, and in the reception of each S. Palmer's Apology for the Christian does the Christian solemnly devote binSabbath ; Kennicoti on the oblations of sell to the service of his divine Naster Cain and Abel, p. 184, 185.
[See BAPTISM, and Lord's SOPPER) SABELLIANS, a sect in the third The Romanists, however, add to this century that embraced the opinions of number eonfirmation, penance, come Sabellius, a philosopher of Egypt, who unction, ordination, and marriage, hoidopenly taught that ihere is but one per ing in all seven sacraments (See son in the Godhead.
POPERY.] Numerous, however, as the The Sabellians maintained that the sacraments of the Romish church are, Word and the Holy Spirit are only vir-la sect of Christians sprung up in Eng tues, emanations, or functions of the land, early in the last century, who isDeity; and held that he who is in hea.creased their number. The founder of ven is the Father of all things; that he | this sect was a Dr. Deacon. According descended into the Virgin, became a to these men, every rile and every child, and was born of her as a son ; phrase, in the book called the hosts. and that, having accomplished the mys. | licul Constitutions, were certainly in tery of cur salvation, he diffused him use among the apostles themselves. selt on the apostles in tongues of fire, Still, however, they make a distinction and was then denominated the Holy between the greater and the lesser sa. Ghost. This they explained by re craments The greater sacraments are sembling God to the sun; the illumina- only two, baptism and the Lord's sup ted virtue or quality of which was the per. 'The lesser are no fewer than teni, Word, and its warming virtue the Holy | viz. five belonging to baptism, erorctapi, Spirit. The Word, they taught, was anointing with oil, the white garmet., a darted, like a divine ray, to accomplish | taste of milk and honey, and anointing the work of redemption; and that, be. with chrism, or ointment. The other ing reacccpiled to hcaven, the influences five are, the sign of the cro88, ipsos of the Father were communicated after || 110n of hands, unction of the sick. hold a like inunner to the apostles.
orders and matrimony. This sect, hos. SACO:-HORI, a denomination in ever, it not extinguished, is supposed to the fourth century, so called, because be in its last wane. Its founder publishthey always went clothed in sackcloth, led, in 1748, his full, true, and compre and affected a grrat deal of austerity hensive view of Christianity, in two and penance.
catechisms, octavo. SACRAMENT is derived from the SACRAMENTARIANS, a general Latin word sacramentum, which signi- name given for all such as have helt fies an oath, particularly the "oatlı taken lerroneous opinions respecting the Lord's by soldiers to be true to their country || supper. The term is chiefly applied and general.-The word was adopted among Cath: lics, by way ut reproach by rise writers of the Latin church, to to the Lutherans, Calvinists, and other denote those ordinances of religion by Protestants. which Christians came under an obli- ! SACRIFICE, an offering made to gation of obedience to God, and which | Grd on an altar, by means of a regular obligation, they supposed, was equally minister : as an acknowledgment of his sacred with that of an oath. (Soe Vow] || power, and a payment of homage Sa. Of sacraments, in this sense of the word, I cr fices (though the term is sometimes Protestant churches admit of but two.; || used to comprehend all the offerings and it is not easy to conceive how a made to God, or in any way devoted to greater number can be made out from his service and honour) differ from miere Scripture, if the definition of a sacra." oblations in this, that in a sacrifice there