« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
John, attributing them to Cerinthus. -
One Theodore of Byzantium, by trade a currier, was the head of this denomination.*
AMMONIANS, so called from Ammonius Saccas, who taught with the highest applause in the Alexandrian school, about the conclusion of the second century. This learned man attempted a general reconciliation of all sects, whether philosophical or religious. He maintained that the great principles of all philosophical and religious truth. were to be found equally in all sects, and that they differed from each other only in their method of expressing them, and in some opinions of little or no importance; and that by a proper interpretation of their
integrity conformable to this ancient philosophy; but it unfortunately happened that the symbols and fictions under which, according to the eastern' manner, the ancients delivered their precepts and doctrines,” were in process of time erroneously understood, both by priests and people, in a literal sense ; that in consequence of this, the invisible beings and demons whom the supreme Deity had placed in the different parts of the universe as the ministers of his providence, were by the suggestions of superstition converted into gods, and worshipped with a multiplicity of vain ceremonies. He therefore insisted that all the religions of all nations should. be restored to their primitive standard; viz. The ancient’ philosophy of the “east: and he asserted that his project’ was agreeable to the intentions of Jesus Christ, whom he acknowledged to be a most excellent man, the friend of God; and affirmed that his sole view in descending on earth was to set bounds to the reigning superstition, to remove the errors which had crept into the religion of all nations, but not to abolish the ancient theology from which they were derived. Taking these principles for granted, Ammonius associated
Broughton, vol. i. p. 33.
the sentiments of the Egyptians with the doctrines of Plato; and to finish this conciliatory scheme, he so interpreted the doctrines of the other philosophical and religious sects, by art, invention, and allegory, that they seemed to bear some resemblance to the Egyptian and Platonic systems.” With regard to moral discipline, Ammonius permitted the people to live according to the law of their country, and the dictates bf nature: but a more sublime rule was laid down for the wise. They were to raise above all terrestrial things, by the towering efforts of holy contemplation, those souls whose origin was celestial and divine. They were ordered to extenuate by hunger, thirst, and other mortifications, the sluggish body, which restrains the liberty of the immortal spirit, that in this life they might enjoy communion with the supreme Being, and ascend after death, active and unincumbered, to the universal Parent, to live in his presence for ever.4. AMSDORFIANS, a denomination of protestants in the sixteenth century, who took their name from Amsdorf,
own nature ; and that there is a common Deity existing in them all; and that each is God by a participation of this Deity. ANOMCEANS, a name by which the pure Arians were distinguished in the fourteenth century, in contradistinction to the Semi-Arians. The word is taken from Avouoso;, different, dissimilar. See Arians. ANTHROPOMORPHITES, a denomination in the tenth century; so denominated
* Ammonius left nothing behind him in writing; nay, he imposed a law upon his disciples not to divulge his doctrines among the multitude, which law, however, they made no scruple to neglect and violate.
from aropowoc, man, and gopon, shape. In the district of Vicenza, a considerable number, not only of the illiterate vulgar, but also of the sacerdotal order, fell into the notion that the Deity was clothed with a human form, and seated like an earthly monarch upon a throne of gold; and that his angelic ministers were men arrayed in white garments, and furnished with wings, to render them more expeditious in executing their Sovereign's orders. They take every thing spoken of God in scripture in aliteral sense, particularly that passage in Genesis, in which it is said that Gad made man after his own Image.” " ANTINOMIANS. [They derive their name from arri, against, and yopos, law, as being against the moral law; not merely as a medium of life, but also as a rule of co duct to believers. In the sixteenth century, while LUTHER was eagerly employed in censuring and refuting the popish doctors, who mixed the law and gospel together, and represented eternal happiness as the fruit of legal obedience, a new teacher arose whose name was John Agricola, a native of Isleben, and an eminent doctor in the Lutheran church. His fame began to spread in the year fifteen hun
dred and thirty-eight, when from the doctrine of Luther, now mentioned, he took occasion to advance sentiments, which drew upon him the animadversions of that reforRober. The doctrine of Agricola was in itself obscure, and is thought to have been represented worse than it really was by Luther, who wrote against him with acrimony, and first styled him and his followers Antinomians. Agricola defended himself, and complained that opinions were imputed to him which he did not hold. The writings of Dr. Crisp in the seventeenth century have been generally considered as favourable to antinomianism, though he acknowledges that “in respect of the rules of righteousness, or the matter of obedience, we are under the law still, or else (as he adds) we are lawless, to live every man as seems good in his own eyes, which no true christian dares so much as think.”t The following sentiments, however, among others, appear to be taught in his sermons. The law is cruel and tyrannical, requiring what is naturally impossible. (pp. 116 —119.) The sins of the elect were so imputed to Christ, as that though he did not commit them, yet they became ac.
"Broughton, vol. i. p. 55. Mosheim, vol. ii. p. 227, t Sermons, vol. iv, p.93.
tually his transgressions, and ceased to be theirs. (269,270.) The feelings of conscience, which tell them that sin is theirs, arise from a want of knowing the truth. (ibid.) It is but the voice of a lying spirit in the hearts of believers that saith they have yet sin wasting their consciences, and lying as a burden too heavy for them to bear. (298.) Christ's righteousness is so imputed to the elect, that they, ceasing to be sinners, are as righteous as he was, and all that he was. (270.) An elect person is not in a condemned state while an unbeliever; and should he happen to die before God call him to believe, he would not be lost. (363.) Allsigns and marks of grace are doubtful evidences of heaven: it is the voice of the Spirit of God to a man's own spirit, speaking particularly in the heart of a person, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee, that is the great and only evidence which can determine the question. (466.) The whole essence of faith is nothing else but the echo of the heart, answering the foregoing voice of the Spirit and word of grace; the former declaring, Thy sins are forgiven thee; the latter answering, My sins are forgiven me. (493.) God sces no sin in believers, nor doth he afflict them on this account. (15, 19,
170.) God doth no longer stand offended nor displeased though a béliever, after he is a believer, do sin often. (15.) God is not displeased with the believer on account of his sin, nor pleased on account of his obedience: he is neither the worse for the one, nor the better for the other. (429.) Sin doth the believer no hurt, and righteousness doth him no good, nor must he pursue it to this end. (150, 510, 51.1.) Repentance and confession of sin are not necessary to forgiveness. A believer may certainly conclude before confession, yea, as soon as he hath committed sin, the interest he hath in Christ, and the love of Christ embracing him. (213.) Some of the principal passages of scripture from whence these sentiments were defended, were the following: He was made sin for us, who knew no sin, —JWho shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect—Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more—All things work together for good to them that love God. 2 Cor. v. 21. Rom. viii. 33. Heb. viii. 12. Rom. viii. 28. Many of those who in the present day adopt these principles, reject the moral law as a rule of conduct to believers, disown personal and progressive sanctification, and hold it inconsistent for a believer to pray for the forgiveness of his sins. These are properly Antinomians. There are others who renounce these notions, and many of those advanced by Dr. Crisp, who yet have been denominated by their opponents Antinomians. Indeed it has been too common in controversies concerning the doctrines of grace, even where the difference has been far from extreme, for one side to call their opponents Antinomians, and the other Arminians. Each may hold principles the consequences of which may be thought to lead, or may really lead in theory, to the alleged issue: but though it be just to point out the legitimate consequences of a principle with a view.to evince the true nature of it, yet candour forbids the ascribing of any thing to a person beyond what he perceives or a WOWS. Some of the chief of those whose writings have been considered as favouring Antinomianism are,Crisp, Richardson, Saltmarsh, Eaton, Town, Hussey, &c. These have been answered by Gataker, Sedgwick, Bull, Williams, Beart, &c. To which may be added, “Bellamy's Letters and Dialogues between Theron, Paulinus, and Aspasio,” with his “Essay on
the Nature and Glory of the Gospel;" and, though not written in a controversial way, “Edwards on Religious Affections.”] ANTITACTAE,of Ayrırarrow, to oppose, a branch of the Gnostics, who held that God, the creator of the universe, was good and just ; but that
one of his creatures had cre--.
ated evil, and engaged mankind to follow it in opposition to God; and that it is the duty of mankind to oppose this author of evil, in order to avenge God of his enemy,” ANTITRINITARIANS, a general name given to all those who deny the doctrine of the Trinity, and particularly to the Arians and Socinians.# APELLAPANS, a denomination in the second century, so called from Apelles, a disciple of Marcion. They affirmed that Christ, when he came down from heaven, received a body, not from the substance of his mother, but from the four elements; which at his death he rendered back to the world, and so ascended into heaven without a body. With the Gnostics and Manichees, they held two principles ; a good and a bad God. They asserted that the prophets contradicted each other, and denied the resurrection of
* Bailey's Dictionary, vol. ii. See Antitactae. * Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, vol. i. p. 167.