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AN ACCURATE STATEMENT OF THE MOST REMARKABLE TRANSACTIONS AND EVENTS
THE FIELD OF THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE,
BY THE LATE REV. CHARLES BUCK.
a new and greatly improved Edition ;
BY THE REV. E. HENDERSON, D.D., PH.D.
THEOLOGICAL TUTOR OF HIGHBURY COLLEGE.
R. GRIFFIN AND CO., GLASGOW ; TEGG AND CO., DUBLIN ; AND J. AND
S. A. TEGG, SYDNEY AND HOBART TOWN.
The Work, a new edition of which is here presented to the public, formed quite a desideratum at the time of its original publication. There had, indeed, long existed dictionaries, having for their object the explanation of the various terms, doctrines, ordinances, customs, &c. which are found in the sacred oracles, and their character was more or less in accordance with this very important and laudable object. They were exclusively Biblical. But the multifarious names, phrases, opinions, sects, parties, heresies, &c., which have been introduced since the close of the sacred canon, and which properly appertain to the department of Theological History, were either left uncollected, or, at least, existed in such forms, and were exhibited on such a plan, as were little, if at all calculated to facilitate the acquisition, or promote the extension of religious knowledge.
To supply this deficiency, the respected author applied himself with commendable diligence and extensive research ; incorporating into his Work whatever he considered to be important in ecclesiastical history, good and accurate in definition, valuable in theological science, interesting in the reli. gious world, and likely to advance the piety, as well as to gratify the curiosity of his readers. That he succeeded in .no ordinary degree, may fairly be concluded from the number o£ impressions through which the dictionary has gone, and the great extent of its circulation. In the United States of America upwards of 50,000 copies have been circulated.
Since the Work first appeared, other publications, constructed on a similar principle, have been, more or less, brought into competition with it; but instead of displacing it from the position which it has deservedly held in the libraries of the evangelical portion of the community, the demand for copies has been constantly on the increase. With a view to render it still more extensively useful, the Proprietors have resolved to issue a new and improved edition, in which any inaccuracies which might have escaped the author should be corrected, such articles inserted as he had omitted, and the whole, as much as possible, brought down to the present time. In endeavouring to fulfil their wishes, the present Editor has considerably altered several of the original articles, especially such as related to foreign divinity; the circumstances connected with the different religious establishments in Christendom; the history, views, and usages of the different parties that have seceded from these establishments; the literature of theology; and other subjects of a kindred nature. Several that appeared to be of minor importance he has omitted, in order to make room for the insertion of others, of higher and more general interest. The number of additional articles in the present edition amounts to nearly Five HUNDRED.
One totally new feature of the Work, as it now appears, is its Biographical department. Readers who have not the command of biographical dictionaries, are frequently at a loss in regard to dates, places, and other circumstances connected with the history of divines and others, to whom reference is currently made, both in conversation and in books on religious subjects. Yet, to supply this want within a reasonable compass has been found to be a matter of no small difficulty. The selection has been regulated by a regard to the prominent station, the literary eminence, or the celebrated character of the individual; and those writers only have been made the subject of biographical notice, who have exerted, to a considerable extent, a decided influence over the religious opinions and practices of certain sections or communities, in the age in which they lived, and in after times. See the articles, AUGUSTINE, BARCLAY, CALVIN, EDWARDS, Knox, SANDEMAN, WESLEY, WHITEFIELD, &c.
In preparing the additional articles, the Editor has availed himself of various sources which were not in existence in Mr. Buck's time, or to which he could not obtain access ; and he flatters himself that the extent to which he has carried the improvements will meet with the approbation of general readers.
The volume will be found to contain a melancholy exhibition of the multiform corruptions of the Christian faith ; of the unhappy influence which pride of intellect, an unbridled imagination, vain speculation, and selfish passions, have had in multiplying the diversity of religious opinion, and in giving rise to interminable disputes. The wide distance at which the various sections of the Christian family still stand from the simplicity and purity of Biblical Christianity, is powerfully adapted to inspire the reader with a practical distrust of himself, an ever wakeful suspicion with respect to the exercise of human authority in matters of religion, an unrelaxing application to the study of the Holy Scriptures, as the only infallible source and standard of Divine Truth, and a constant scriptural dependence on the promised instruction of that Sacred Teacher, one of whose offices it is to “guide into all truth." But while the Work necessarily presents error in almost all the diversity of its modifications, it will also be found to furnish sound, consistent, practical, and consolatory views of all the leading subjects of Revelation ; views calculated to afford instruction to the ignorant, relief to the perplexed, confirmation to the wavering, and conviction to gainsayers.
E. H. January 4th, 1833.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE PRESENT EDITION.
In this Edition a considerable number of new articles have been inserted ; some statements which had been made on incorrect data, have either been rectified, or altogether withdrawn ; every point has been determined according to the latest sources of information ; and the entire work has been rendered as complete as its object and extent would allow.
ABBA, a Syriac word, signifying Father. It! ABBE'S COMMENDATAIRES.—The king of is used in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic France had formerly the right of appointing churches, as a title given to the bishops. The abbots over 225 monasteries. These abbots bishops themselves bestowed the title Abba enjoyed a third part of the revenues of the more eminently on the bishop of Alexandria, monastery, hut had no authority over it, the which occasioned the people to give him the charge of superintendence being committed title of Baba, or Papa , that is, Grandfather : to a prieur claustral. According to rule, every a title which he bore before the bishop of abbot ought to receive ordination in the course Rome. It is a Jewish title of honour given of a year, but the pope dispensed with the to certain Rabbins called Tanaites : it is also rule, and the abbé spent his income (from 1200 used by some writers of the middle age for to 150,000 French livres) wherever he pleased. the superior of a monastery. St. Mark and This shocking abuse excited the indignation St. Paul use this word, Mark xiv, 36; Rom. of the people, and was one of the causes of viii. 15; Gal. vi. 6, because it was then com- the Revolution. The lower sinecures of this monly known in the synagogues and the kind, the abbayes des savans, were used as primitive assemblies of the Christians. Sel- pensions for learned men ; the richer to proden has brought a very pertinent quotation vide for the younger sons of the nobility. from the Babylonian Gemara, to prove that ABBESS, the superior of an abbey or conit was not allowed to slaves to use the title of vent of nuns. The abbess has the same rights Abba in addressing the master of the family and authority over her nuns, that the abbots-, to which they belonged, or the correspondent regular have over their monks. The sex, title of Imma, “ Mother," when speaking to | indeed, does not allow her to perform the the mistress of it.—De Succ. in bona Def. spiritual functions annexed to the priesthood, cap. 4.
wherewith the abbot is usually invested ; but ABBE', before the French Revolution, was there are instances of some abbesses who the title of all those Frenchmen who devoted | have a right, or rather a privilege, to comthemselves to divinity, or had at least par mission a priest to act for them. They have sued a course of study in a theological semi- even a kind of episcopal jurisdiction, as well nary, in the hope that the king would confer as some abbots, who are exempted from the on them a real abbey, i.e. a certain part of the visitation of their diocesan. revenues of a monastery. Ordained clergy ABBEY, a monastery, governed by a superior men, were those only who devoted themselves | under the title of Abbot or Abbess. Monasteries entirely to the performance of clerical duty; were at first, nothing more than religious the others were engaged in every kind of houses, whither persons retired from the bustle literary occupation. There were so many of of the world, to spend their time in solitude and them, poor and rich, men of quality and men of devotion; but they soon degenerated from their low birth, that they formed a particular class original institution, and procured large priviin society, and exerted an important influence leges, exemptions, and riches. They preover its character. They were seen every- | vailed greatly in Britain before the Reformawhere; at court, in the halls of justice, in the tion, particularly in England; and as they theatres, the coffee-houses, &c. In almost increased in riches, so the state became poor, every wealthy family was an abbé, occupying for the lands which these regulars possessed the post of familiar friend and spiritual ad- could never revert to the lords who gave viser, and not seldom, that of the gallant of them. These places were wholly abolished the lady. They corresponded, in a certain by Henry VIII. He first appointed visitors degree, to the philosophers who lived in the to inspect into the lives of the monks and houses of the wealthy Rcmans in the time of nuns, which were found in some places very the emperors.
disorderly; upon which the abbots, perceiving