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and perpetually, Jer. x. 6, 7. Rom. xi. || ing that they were in being in the days 33.-5. This knowledge is peculiar to of Julian, commonly called the apostate, himself, Mark xii. 32. Job xxxvi. 4. I and that this emperor himself consulted and not communicable to any creature. them; nay, farther, say they, history -6. It is incomprehensible to us how makes mention of several laws publishGod knows all things, yet it is evidented by the Christian emperors, Theodothat he does; for to suppose otherwise sius, Gratian, and Valentinian, to punish · is to suppose him an imperfect being, persons who interrogated them, even in and directly contrary to the revelation their days; and that the Epicureans he has given of himself, 1 John iii

. 20. were the first who made a jest of this Job xxviii. 24. Job xxi. 22. See Char-superstition, and exposed the roguery nock's Works, vol. i. p. 271; Abernethy's of its priests to the people. Sermons, vol. i. p. 290, 306; Howe's But on the other side it is observed, Works, vol. i. p. 102, 103; Gill's Div. 1. That the question, properly stated, is vol. i. p. 85, oct.

not. Whether oracles becaine extinct OPHITÉS. See SERPENTINIANS. immediately upon the birth of Christ, or

OPINION is that judgment which from the very moment he was borni; the mind forms of any proposition, for || but, Whether they fell gradually into the truth or falsehood of which there is disesteem, and ceased as Christ and his not sufficient evidence to produce abso-Gospel became known to mankind? lute belief.

And that they did so is most certain ORACLE, among the Heathens, was from the concurrent testimonies of the the answer which the gods were sup- fathers, which whoever would endeaposed to give to those who consulted vour to invalidate, may equally give up them upon any affair of importance. I the most respectable traditions and reIt is also used for the god who was | lations of every kind. thought to give the answer, and for 2dly, But did not Julian the apostate the space where it was given. Learn- consult these oracles! We answer in ed men are much divided as to the source the negative: he had, indeed, recourse of these oracles. Some suppose that to magical operations, but it was because they were only the invention of priests; oracles had already ceased; for he bewhile others conceive that there was a wailed the loss of them, and assigned diabolical agency employed in the busi- | pitiful reasons for it; which St. Cyril ness. There are, as one observes, se has vigorously refuted, saying, that he veral circumstances leading to the for- | never could have offered such, but from mer hypothesis: such as the gloomy so an unwillingness to acknowledge, that, lemnity with which many of them were | when the world had received the light of delivered in caves and subterraneous Christ, the dominion of the devil was at caverns : the numerous and disagreea- an end. ble ceremonies enjoined, as sometimes 3dly, The Christian emperors do, insleeping in the skins of beasts, bathing, deed, seem to condemn the superstition and expensive sacrifices; the ambigu- || and idolatry of those who were still for ous and unsatisfactory, answers fre-consulting 'oracles; but the edicts of quently returned: these look very much those princes do not prove that oracles like the contrivances of artful priests to actually existed in their times, any disguise their villany; the medium of more than that they ceased in consepriests, speaking images, vocal groves

, quence of their laws. It is certain that &c. seem much to confirm it. On the they were for the most part extinct beother hand, if we may credit the rela-fore the conversion of Constantine. tion of ancient writers, either among 4thly, Some Epicureans might make Heathens or Christians, this hypothesis a jest of this superstition ; however

, the will hardly account for many of the in- || Epicurean philosopher Celsus, in the stances they mention. And since it can- second century of the church, was for not be proved either in-possible or un- crying up the excellency of several ora. scriptural, is it not probable that God cles, as appears at large from Origen's sometimes permits an intercourse with seventh book against him. infernal spirits, with a design, in the Among the Jews there were several end, to turn this and every other cir- sorts of real oracles. They had, first, cumstance to his own glory?

oracles that were delivered viva voce ; Respecting the cessation of these ora as when God spake to Moses face to cles, there have been a variety of opi- | face, and as one friend speaks to anonions. It has been generally held, in-ther, Numb. xii. 8. Secondly, Prophedeed, that oracles ceased at the birth of tical dreams sent by God; as the dreams Jesus Christ : yet some have endeavour-|| which God sent to Joseph, and which ed to maintain the contrary, by show- || foretold his future greatness. Gen. xxvii



5, 6. Thirdly, Visions; as when a pro- || could inspire the false prophets, sorcer phet in an ecstacy, being neither proper-ers, and magicians, and make them de ly asleep nor awake, had supernatural liver false oracles. See Vandale and revelations, Gen. xv. 1. Gen. xlvi. 2. Fontenelle's Hist. de Orac; Potter's Fourthly, The oracle of the Urim and Greek Antiquities, vol. i. b. 2. ch. 7; Thummim, which was accompanied | Edwards’s Hist. Of Red. P. Far. with the ephod, or the pectoral worn bymer on Mir. p. 281, 285; Enc. Brit. the high priest, and which God had en article ORACLE. dued with the gift of foretelling things ORAL, delivered by the mouth, not to come, Numb. xii. 6. Joel. ii. 28. This written. See Tradition. manner of inquiring of the Lord was of ORATORY, a name given by Christen made use of, from Joshua's time to tians to certain places of religious wor. the erection of the temple at Jerusa- || ship. lem. Fifthly, After the building of the In ecclesiastical antiquity, the term temple, they generally consulted the 01x01 Euxing101, houses of prayer, or oraprophets, who were frequent in the tories, is frequently given to churches kingdoms of Judah and Israel. From | in general, of which there are innumeraHaggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who | ble instances in ancient Christian writers. are the last of the propliets that have But in some canons the name oratory any of their writings remaining, the seems contined to private chapels or Jews pretend that God gave them what places of worship set up for the convethey call Bathkol, the Daughter of nience of private families, yet still dethe Voice, which was a supernatural pending on the parochial churches, and manifestation of the will of God, which differing from them in this, that they was performed either by a strong in- | were only places of prayer, but not for spiration or internal voice, or else by a celebrating the communion ; for if that sensible and external voice, which was were at any time allowed to private faheard by a number of persons sufficient milies, yet, at least, upon the great and to bear' testimony of it. For example, solemn festivals, they were to resort for such was the voice that was heard at the communion to the parish churches. baptism of Jesus Christ, saying, This is Oratory is used among the Romanists my beloved Son, &c. Matt. iii. 17. for a closet, or little apartment near a

The scripture affords us examples bed-chamber, furnished with a little allikewise of profane oracles. Balaam, at tar, crucifix, &c. for private devotion. the instigation of his own spirit, and Oratory, Priests of the. There were urged on by his avarice, fearing to lose two congregations of religious, one in the recompence that he was promised Italy, the other in France, which were by Balak, king of the Moabites, suggests called by his name. a diabolical expedient to this prince of The Priests of the Oratory in Italy making the Israelites fall into idolatry had for their founder, St. Philip de Neri, and fornication, (Numb. xxiv. 14. Numb. a native of Florence, who, in the year xxxi. 16.) by which he assures him of a 1548, founded at Rome the Confratercertain victory, or at least of considera-nity of the Holy Trinity. This Society ble advantage against the people of originally consisted of but fifteen poor God.

persons, who assembled in the church Micaiah, the son of Imlah, a prophet of St. Saviour, in campo, every first of the Lord, says (1 Kings xxii. 20, Sunday in the month, to practise the ex&c.) that he saw the Almighty, sittingercises of piety described by the holy upon his throne, and all the host of hea- | founder. Afterwards their number inven round about him; and the Lord said, creasing by the addition of several perWho shall tempt Ahab, king of Israel, || sons of distinction to the society, St. that he may go to war with Ramoth | Philip proceeded to establish a hospital Gilead, and fall in the battle? One an- for the reception of poor pilgrims, who, swered after one manner, and another coming to Rome to visit the tombs of in another. At the same time an evil | St. Peter and St. Paul, were obliged, for spirit presented himself before the Lord, want of a lodging, to lie in the streets, and said, I will seduce him. And the and at the doors of churches. For this Lork asked him, How? To which Sa- charitable purpose, pope Paul IV. gave tan answered, I will go and be a lying to the society the parochial church of spirit in the mouth of his prophets. And St. Benedict, close by which was built the Lord said, Go, and thou shalt pre- a hospital, so large, that in the Jubilee vail. This dialogue clearly proves these year 1600, it received 444,500 men, and two things; first, that the devil could do 25,500 women, who came in pilgrimage nothing by his own power; and, second- to Rome. ly, that, with the permission of God, hel The Priests of the Oratory in France

Were established on the model of those || numerous. “The observance of it,” says in Italy, and owe their rise to cardinal | Dr. Blair, “serves to correct that negliBerulle, a native of Champagne, who | gence which makes us omit some dutes, resolved upon this foundation in order to and that hurry and precipitancy which revive the splendour of the ecclesiastical makes us perform others imperfectly. state, which was greatly sunk through || Our attention is thereby directed to its the miseries of the civil wars, the in- proper objects. We follow the stragt crease of heresies, and a general cor- path which Providence has pointed on ruption of manners. To this end he as to us; in the course of which all the dif. sembled a community of ecclesiastics, | ferent business of life presents itself rein 1611, in the suburb of St. James. gularly to us on every side. Ser. voi They obtained the king's letter patent p. 23. for their establishment; and, in 1613,

ORDERS, by way of eminener, a pope Paul V. approved this congrega- || holy orders, denote a character peculiar tion, under the title of the Oratory of to ecclesiastics, whereby they are set Jesus.

apart for the ministry. This the RoThis congregation consisted of two manists make their sixth sacrament. In sorts of persons; the one, as it were, in- no reformed church are there more than corporated; the other only associates: three orders, viz. bishops, priests, and the former governed the houses of this deacons. In the Romish church there institute; the latter were only employed are seven, exclusive of the episcopate ; in forming themselves to the life and all which the council of Trent en manners of ecclesiastics. And this was to be received and beliered on paio di the true spirit of this congregation, in anathema. They are distinguished iro which they taught neither human learn- | petty or secular orders, and major or ing nor theology, but only the virtues of sacred orders. Orders, the petty or mithe ecclesiastical life.

nor, are four, viz. those of door-kere ORDER, method; the established ers, exorcist, reader, and acolyth. samanner of performing a thing. Nothing cred, or major, are deacon, priest, and can be more beautiful in religion and bishop. morals than order. The neglect of it

ORDERS, RELIGIOUS, are conexposes us to the inroads of vice, and gregations or societies of monasterios often brings upon us the most perplex- | living under the same superior, in the ing events. Whether we consider it in same manner, and wearing the same reference to ourselves, our families, or habit. Religious orders may be reduced the church, it is of the greatest impor- to five kinds, viz. monks, canons, knights, tance. As to the first, order should be mendicants, and regular clerks. I hite attended to as it respects our principles, | order denotes the order of regular Heb. xiii. 9. James i. 8: our tempers, canons, of St. Augustine. Black cruer Prov. xvii. 14. Eph. iv. 31; our con-| denotes the order of St. Benedict. Or versation, Col. iv. 6; our business, Prov. ders religious military are those instixxi. 29; our time, Ps. xc. 12. Eccl. iii. tuted in defence of the faith, and pri1; our recreations; and our general | vileged to say mass, and who are proconduct, Phil. i. 27. 2 Pet. i. 5, &c.—hibited marriage, &c. Of this kind are 2. As it regards our families, there | the knights of Malta, or of St. Jiun of should be order; as to the economy or Jerusalem. Such also were the knights management of its concerns, Matt. xii. templars, the knights of Calatrare, of 25; as to devotion, and the time of it, St. Lazarus, Teutonic knights, &c. Jos. xxiv. 15; as to the instruction ORDINANCES OF THE GOSthereof, Eph. vi. 1. Gen. xvii. 19. 2 || PEL, are institutions of divine authority Tim. i. 5.-3. In respect to the church, relating to the worship of God; sech order should be observed as to the ad as baptism, Matt. xxvUi. 19.-2. The mission of members, 2 Cor. vi. 15; as Lord's supper, 1 Cor. xi. 24, &cto the administration of its ordinances, 3. Public ministry, or preaching and 1 Cor. xiv. 33, 40; as to the attendance reading the word, Rom. X. 15. Eph. iv. on its worship, Ps. xxvii. 4; as to our 15. Mark, xvi. 15.-4. Hearing the Gosbehaviour therein, Col. i. 10. Matt. v. pel, Mark, iv. 24. Rom. x. 17.–5. Pub16. To excite us to the practice of this lic prayer, 1 Cor. xvi. 15, 19. Matt vi duty, we should consider that God is a 6. Psal. v. 1, 7.–6. Singing of psalms God of order, 1 Cor. xiv. 33; his works Col. iii. 16. Eph. v. 19.—7. Fasting, James are all in the exactest order, Eph. i. 11. iv. 9. Matt. ix. 15. Joel ii. 12.-8. SoPsalm. civ. 25. Eccl. ii. 11; heaven is a | lemn thanksgiving, Ps. I. 14. 1 Thess v. place of order, Rev. vii. 9. Jesus Christ || 18.–See these different articles; also was a most beautiful example

of regu- MEANS OF GRACE. larity. The advantages of order are ORDINATION, the act of confer

ring holy orders, or of initiating a person | nisters. Among the Independents and into the priesthood by prayer and the Baptists, the power of ordination lies in laying on of hands. Among the Dissen- the suffrage of the people. The qualiters, ordination is the public setting apart | fications of the candidates are first of a minister to his work, or over the known, tried, and approved by the people whose call he has accepted. In church. After which trial, the church the church of England, ordination has proceeds to give him a call to be their always been esteemed the principal minister; which he accepting, the pubprerogative of bishops, and they still re- | lic acknowledgment thereof is signified tain the function as a mark of their spi- by ordination, the mode of which is so ritual sovereignty in their diocess. With-well known, as not to need recital here. out ordination no person can receive any Though the Dissenters practice ordibenefice, parsonage, vicarage, &c. A nation, we find they are not agreed reperson must be twenty-three years of specting it. Some contend for the power age, or near it, before he can be ordain- of ordination as belonging to the people; ed deacon, or have any share in the mi- the exercise of which right by them con nistry; and full twenty-four before he stitutes a minister, and confers validity can be ordained priest, and by that on his public ministrations. Others supmeans be permitted to adininister the || pose it belongs to those who are already holy communion. A bishop, on the or- in office. Without pretending to deterdination of clergymen, is to examine mine the question, we shall here give an them in the presence of the ministers, | outline of the arguments on both sides. who in the ordination of priests, but not According to the former opinion, it is of deacons, assist him at the imposition argued that the word ordain was oriof hands; but this is only done as a mark | ginally equal to choose or appoint; so of assent, not because it is thought ne- that if twenty Christians nominated a cessary. In case any crime, as drunken- | man to instruct them once, the man was ness, perjury, forgery, &c. is alleged appointed or ordained a preacher for against any one that is to be ordained the time. The essence of ordination either priest or deacon, the bishop ought lies in the voluntary choice and call of to desist from ordaining him. The per- the people, and in the voluntary accepson to be ordained is to bring a testímo- tance of that call by the person chosen nial of his life and doctrine to the bi- || and called; for this affair must be by shop, and to give account of his faith in mutual consent and agreement, which Latin; and both priests and deacons are joins them together as pastor and peoobliged to subscribe to the thirty-nine ple. And this is to be done among themarticles. In the ancient discipline there | selves; and public ordination, so called, was no such thing as a vague and abso- | is no other than a declaration of that. lute ordination; but every one was to Election and ordination are spoken of as have a church, whereof' he was to be the same; the latter is expressed and ordained clerk or priest. In the twelfth explained by the former. It is said of century they grew more remiss, and or- Christ, that he ordained twelve, Mark dained without any title or benefice. | iii. 14. that is, he chose them to the ofThe council of Trent, however, re- | fice of apostleship, as he himself exstored the ancient discipline, and ap- || plains it, John vi. 70. Paul and Barnapointed that none should be ordained || bas are said to ordain elders in every but those who were provided with a be-church (Acts xiv. 23.) or to choose nefice; which practice still obtains in them; that is, they gave orders and diEngland. The times of ordination are rections to every church as to the choice the four Sundays immediately following of elders over them: for sometimes perthe Ember weeks; being the second sons are said to do that which they give Sunday in Lent, Trinity Sunday, and the orders and directions for doing; as MoSundays following the first Wednesday ses and Solomon, with respect to buildafter September 14 and December 13. ing the tabernacle and temple, though

These are the stated times; but ordi- | done by others; and Moses particularly nation may take place at any other time, is said to choose the judges, Exod. xviii. according to the discretion of the bi- || 25. the choice being made under his dishop, or circumstances of the case. rection and guidance. The word that Among Seceders or Dissen!ers, ordina- | is used in Acts xiv. 23. is translated tions vary. In the establishment of chosen in Cor. ii. 8, 19. where the aposScotland, where there are no bishops, | tle speaks of a brother, xeigotovndeis. who the power of ordination is lodged in the | was chosen of the churches to travel presbytery. Among the Calvinistic Me- with us, and is so rendered when ascribed thodists, ordination is performed by the to God, Acts X. 41. This choice and sanction and assistance of their own mi- || ordination, in primitive times was made


two ways; by casting lots and giving || to put one in rule, or to give him auvotes, signified by stretching out of thority. Now did this power lodge in hands. Matthias was chosen and or the people, how happens it that in all dained to be an apostle in the room of the epistles, not a single word is to be Judas by casting lots: that being an ex found giving them any directions about traordinary office, required an imme- constituting ministers? On the other diate interposition of the Divine Being, hand, in the epistles to Timothy and a lot being nothing more nor less than an Titus, who were persons in office, we appeal to God for the decision of an af- find particular instructions given them fair. But ordinary officers, as elders to lay bands suddenly on no man, to exand pastors of churches, were chosen amine his qualifications before they orand ordained by the votes of the peo- | dain him, and to take care that they ple, expressed by stretching out their commit the office only to faithful men, hands; thus it is said of the apostles, Acts who shall be able to teach others also, xiv. 23. When they had ordained them | Titus i. 5. 2.Tim. iv. 14. Acts xiv. 23. elders in every church, XEICOTIVNI AUTES, Besides, it is said, the primitive Chrisby taking the suffrages and votes of the tians evidently viewed this matter in the members of the churches, shown by the same light. There is scarcely a single stretching out of their hands, as the ecclesiastical writer that does not exword signifies; and which they direct- | pressly mention ordination as the work ed them to, and upon it declared the of the elders, and as being regarded as a elders duly elected and ordained. distinct thing from the choice of the

Some, however, on this side of the people, and subsequent to it. question, do not go so far as to say, that Most of the foregoing remarks apply the essence of ordination lies in the chiefly to the supposition, that a person choice of the people, but in the solemn || cannot be ordained in any other way and public separation to office by prayer: than as a pastor over a church. But still, however, they think that ordina- | here, also, we find a difference of tion by either bishops, presbyters, or any opinion. On the one side it is said, that superior character, cannot be necessary there is no Scripture authority whatto make a minister or ordain a pastor in ever for a person being ordained withany particular church; for Jesus Christ, out being chosen or nominated to the say they, would never leave the sub- office of a minister by a church. Elders sistence of his churches, or the efficacy and bishops were ordained in every of his word and sacraments, to depend church, not without any church. To on the uninterrupted succession of any ordain man originally, says Dr. office or officer: for then it would be Campbell, was nothing else but in a impossible for any church to know solemn manner to assign him a pastoral whether they ever have had any au- | charge. To give him no charge, and thentic minister; for we could never be not to ordain him, were perfectly idenassured that such ordinations had been tical. On the other side it is conrightly transmitted through 1700 years. I tended, that from these words, “Go ye A whole nation might be corrupted, and into all the world, and preach the Gosevery bishop and elder therein might || pel to every creature; and, lo, I am have apostatized from the faith, as it with you always, even unto the end of was in England in the days of popery. the world,” it is evident that missionaTo say, therefore, that the right of or ries and itinerants must be employed in daining lies in men who are already in the important work of the ministry; office, would drive us to hold the above- || that, as such cannot be ordained over mentioned untenable position of uninter- | any particular church, there cannot be rupted succession.

the least impropriety in ordaining them On the other side it is observed, that, for the church universal. Allowing although Christians have the liberty of that they have all those talents

, gifts

, choosing their own pastor, yet they have and grace, that constitute a minister in no power or right to confer the office it- | the sight of God, who will dare say self. Scripture represents ordination to they should not be designated by their be the setting apart of a person to the brethren for the administration of those holy ministry, by the authority of Jesus ordinances Christ has appointed in the himself acting by the medium of men in church ?-Without allowing this, how office; and this solemn investing act is many thousands would be destitute of necessary to his being lawfully account these ordinances? Besides, these are the ed a minister of Christ. The original very men whom God in general honours word, Acts vi. 3. is xatagintwury, which as the first instruments in raising according to Scapula, and the best churches, over which stated pastors are writers on the sacred language, signifies | afterwards fixed. The separation of


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