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BY THE REV. GEORGE BUSH, A. M. With an Appendix : containing impartial and elaborate Histories of, 1. The Methodist Episcopal

Church in America; 2. The Presbyterian Church in the United States; 3. The Methodist Protestant Church; 4. The Baptists of the United Slates; and, 5. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States: the four latter written erpressly for this work.

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Entered according to the act of congress, in the year 1836, by J. J. Woodward, in the clerk's office of the district court of the United States in and for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

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KNOWLEDGE, in a great measure, forms the true dignity and happiness of man: it s that by which he holds an honourable rank in the scale of being, and by which he is rendered capable of adding to the felicity of his fellow-creatures. Every attempt, therefore, to enlarge its boundaries, and facilitate its acquisition, must be considered as worthy of our attention and regard. The present work is designed to promote these valuable and important ends.

The plan of conveying knowledge by dictionaries has been long established, and well received in the republic of letters. A dictionary, however, of a religious and ecclesiastical nature was still a desideratum in the religious world; for although we have had dictionaries which explained Scripture terms, yet it is evident these could not embrace the history of the church since the sacred canon was concluded, nor explain the numerous terms which have been used; nor, indeed, point out the various sects and denominations which have subsisted since that time. I do not mean, by these remarks, to depreciate the va luable works above referred to: I am sensible of their excellences, and I have no wish to undervalue them in order to exalt my own. This work, however, is of a different nature, as the reader will easily see, if he takes the trouble to compare and examine.

There may, doubtless, be defects in this publication which may have escaped my attention; but whoever considers the various books that must have been consulted; the discriminations that were necessary to be made; the patient investigation required; and the toil of selecting, transcribing, and composing, must be convinced that it has been attended with no small difficulty. The advantages, however, which my own mind derived from the work, and the probability of its being useful to others, greatly encouraged me in its prosecution. Besides, to be active, to be useful, to do something for the good of mankind, I have always considered as the honour of an intelligent being. It is not the student wrapt up in metaphysical subtilties; it is not the recluse living in perpetual solitude; it is not the miser who is continually amassing wealth, that can be considered as the greatest ornaments or the greatest blessings to human society :—it is rather the useful than the shining talent that is to be coveted.

Perhaps it may be said, the work is tinctured too much with my own sentiments, and that the theology is too antiquated to please a liberal, philosophising, and refined age. In answer to this, I observe, that I could do no other, as an honest man, than communi. cate what I believe to be the truth. It is a false liberality to acquiesce with every man's opinion, to fall in with every man's scheme, to trifle with error, or imagine there is no difference between one sentiment and another: yet, notwithstanding this declaration, I trust the features of bigotry are not easily discernible in this work; and that, while I have endeavoured to carry the torch of Truth in my hand, I have not forgotten to walk in the path of Candour.

It is almost needless here to say, that I have availed myself of all the writings of the best and most eminent authors I could obtain. Whatever has struck me as important in ecclesiastical history; whatever goal and accurate in definition; whatever just views of the passions of the human mind; whatever terms used in the religious world; and whatever instructive and impressive in the systems of divinity and moral philosophy, I have endeavoured to incorporate in this work. And in order to prevent its being a dry detail of terms and of dates, I have given the substance of what has been generally advanced on each subject, and occasionally selected some of the most interesting practical passages from our best and celebrated sermons. I trust, therefore, it will not only be of use to inform the mind, but impress the heart; and thus promote the real good of the reader. The critic, however, may be disposed to be severe; and it will, perhaps, be easy for him to observe imperfections. But be this as it may: I can assure him I feel myself happy in the idea that the work is not intended to serve a party, to encourage bigotry, nor strengthen prejudice, but " for the service of Truth, by one who ould be glad to attend and grace her triumphs; as her soldier, if he has had the honour to serve successfully under her banner; or as a captive tied to her chariot wheels, if he has, though undesignedly, committed any offence against her.” After all, however, what a learned author said of another work I say of this :-“If it have merit, it will go down to posterity; if it have none, the sooner it dies and is forgot the better."


'The numerous and extensive editions of Buck's Theological Dictionary published both ir England and in this country since its first appearance, together with the continued and increasing demand, sufficiently attest the estimate in which the work is held by the Christian public. The judgment, industry, candour, and impartiality evinced by the Author in the selection and compilation of the articles, embracing, as they do, the wide field of Theology, didactic and polemic, Ecclesiastical Polity, Church History, Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy, and Biblical Literature, together with a copious list of references to the most valuable authorities in each department, are universally acknowledged. So far as the merit of sterling utility can entitle any book to favourable acceptance, the Dictionary of Mr. Buck presents claims which will not be contested. As a theological and ecclesiastical manual, embodying a vast amount of useful information in a moderate compass, and clearly and judiciously arranged, it would not be easy to designate its superior.

Yet while this tribute of deserved commendation is readily bestowed, it must still be admitted, that the work hitherto has not been altogether adapted to the circumstances of our own country, or the wants of the present day. Considered in this view the Theological Dictionary labours under manifold defects, which it would be as easy to specify as it is obvious to perceive. As might have been expected, its local bearings and allusions are to the state of things in England, and not in this country. But a work of this nature is needed, which shall be suited to the state of religious opinion in the Christian community of the United States. Moreover, since the first publication of Mr. Buck's work, great changes have occurred in the religious world; great advances have been made in theological as well as in natural science; a fresh impulse has been given to the investigation of revealed truth; new sects, especially in our own country, have risen up, and with them new controversies, or new forms of old ones; the ever varying field of religious discussion, while it has been contracted in some of its limits, has been widened in others; besides which, nearly every department treated in the Theological Dictionary has been enriched with new treasures from the writings of modern divines, to which ihe reader will look in vain for any references in the previous editions. While therefore the active spirit of progress and improvement is urging its way in the province of Theological inquiry as well as every other, while modern researches are shed. ding light upon numberless points of Christian and Jewish antiquities, upon Ecclesiastis cal institutions, and Biblical criticism, it is doubtless desirable that a Theological Dictionary should be prepared, fitted to meet, in some good degree, the exigences of the present period.

With this view the present edition of Buck has been undertaken. In the prosecution of the plan, the steady aim has been to increase the amount of new and valuable matter, at the same time that the accession should not swell the size, nor enhance the price of the volume. The whole work therefore has undergone a careful revisionSome few articles of trivial moment have been expunged to make way for others of more consequence-Several have been abridged-Several in whole or in part re-written: But the principal feature of the present edition is the addition of a large mass of new matter under the following headls : Abyss, ACCOMMODATION of ScripTURE, ANNIHILATION, ANTICHRIST, ANTICHRISTIANISM, ATONEMENT, Church, COMMENTARY, CONGREGATIONALISTS, EPISCOPALIAN, GLASSITES, NEW INDEPENDENTS, NEOLOGY, PRESBYTERIANS, UNITARIANS, besides many others, which will be pointed out to the reader, wherever they occur, by the letter B. being annexed to them. Notices of all or nearly all the existing religious denominations in the United States are given, accompanied with historical sketches and ecclesiastical statistics. In this department of the work the Editor acknowledges his obligations to the very valuable Quarterly Register and Journal of the American Education Society, for February, by means of which, and from other sources, he has been enabled to bring down the records of the various denominations to a very late period.

In the earnest hope that the attempted improvements of the present edition may be found to be a benefit, and not a bar, to its general reception, it is submitted to the candour of the public.




ABBOT ABBA, a Syriac word of Hebrew origin, sig- state became poor, for the lands which these re. nifying Father. It is more particularly used in gulars possessed could never revert to the lords the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic churches, as a who gave them. These places were wholly title given to the bishops. The bishops them- abolished by Henry VIII. He first appointed selves bestowed the title Abba more eminently on visitors to inspect into the lives of the monks and the bishop of Alexandria, which occasioned the nuns, which were found in some places very dispeople to give him the title of Baba, or Papa; orderly; upon which the abbots, perceiving their that is Grandfather: a title which he bore before dissolution unavoidable, were induced to resign the bishop of Rome. It is a Jewish title of honour their houses to the king, who by that means begiven to certain Rabbins called Tanaites: it is came invested with the abbey lands: these were also used by some writers of the middle age for the afterwards granted to different persons, whose superior of a monastery: Saint Mark and Saint descendants enjoy them at this day : they were Paul use this word in their Greek, Mark xiv. 36. then valued at 2,833,0001. per annum; an ini Rom. viii. 15. Gal. vi, 6. because it was then mense sum in those days. Though the

suppresminmonly known in the synagogues and the sion of these houses, considered in a religious and primitive assemblies of the Christians. It is political light, was a great benefit to the nation, thought by Selden, Witsius, Doddridge, and yet it must be owned, that at the time they flour others that Saint Paul alluded to a law among rished, they were not entirely useless. Abbeys the Jews which forbade servants or slaves to call were then the repositories as well as the semina their master Abba, or Father; and that the ries of learning: many valuable books and naapstle meant to convey the idea that those who tional records have been preserved in their librar thlieved in Christ were no longer slaves to sin; ries; the only places wherein they could have but, being brought into a state of holy freedom, been safely luiged in those turbulent times. Inmight consequently address God as their Father. deed the historians of this country are chiefly

ABBE, the same with A3B0T, which see. beholden to the monks for the knowledge they Also the name of curious popular characters in have of former national events. Thus a kind Fralke; who are persons who have not yet ob- Providence overruled even the institutions of si tained any precise or fixed settlement in church or perstition for good. See MONASTERY, sate, but most heartily wish for and would accept ABBOT, the chief ruler of a monastery or of either, just as it may happen. In the mean- abbey. At first they were laymen, ard subject to while their privileges are many. In college, they the bishop and ordinary pastors. Their monas are the instructors of youth, and in private fami- teries being remote from cities, and built in the hes the tutors of young gentleinen.

farthest solitudes, they had no share in ecclesiasABBESS, the superior of an abbey or convent tical aflairs; but, there being among them several of nuns. The abbézs has the same rights and persons of learning, they were called out of their authority over her nuns that the abbots regular deserts by the bishops, and fixed in the suburbs have over their monks. The sex, indeed, does of the cities; and at length in the cities then not allow her to perform the spiritual functions selves. From that time they degenerated, and, annexed to the priesthood, wherewith the abbot is learning to be ambitious aspired to be independsually invested; but there are instances of some ent of the bishops, which occasioned some severe aulasies who have a right, or rather a privilege, laws to be made against them. At length, howto commission a priest to act for them. They ever, the abbots carried their point, and obtained have even a kind of episcopal jurisdiction, as well the title of lord, with other badges of the episco25 some abbots who are exempted from the visi- pate, particularly the mitre. Hence arose new Lation of their diocesan.

distinctions among them. Those were termed ABBEY, a monastery, governed by a superior mitred abbots who were privileged to wear the ander the title of Abbol or Abbess. Monasteries initre, and exercise episcopal authority within were at first nothing more than religious houses, their respective precincis, being exempted froin whither persons retired from the bustle of the the jurisdiction of the bisliop. Others were called world to spend their time in solitude and devotion; crosicred abbots, from their bearing the crosier, il they soon degenerated from their original in- or pastoral stall. Others were styled æcumenical stitution, and procured large privileges, exempor universal abbots, in imitation of the patriarch tims, and riches. They prevailed greatly in of Constantinople; while others were termed Britain before the Reformation, particularly in cardinal abbots from their superiority over all England: and as they increased in riches, so the other abbuts. At present, in the Roman Catho

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