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ABBOT, the chief ruler of a monas- | gether including the whole system of tery or abbey: At first they were lay- the Ignicold, or worshippers of fire. men, and subject to the bishop and ABILITY. See INABILITY. ordinary pastors. Their monasteries ABLUTION, a ceremony in use being remote from cities, and built in among the ancients, and still practised the farthest solitudes, they had no share in several parts of the world." It conin ecclesiastical affairs; but, there being | sisted in washing the body, which was among them several persons of learning, always done before sacrificing, or even they were called out of their deserts by entering their houses. Ablutions apthe bishops, and fixed in the suburbs of pear to be as old as any ceremonies, the cities; and at length in the cities and external worship itself

. Moses enthemselves. From that time they de- joined them, the heathens adopted them, generated, and, learning to be ambitious, and Mahomet and his followers have aspired to be independent of the bishops, continued them. The Egyptians, the which occasioned some severe laws to Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, all had be made against them. At length, how them. The ancient Christians had their ever, the abbots carried their point, and ablutions before communion, which the obtained the title of lord, with other | Romish church still retain before their badges of the episcopate, particularly mass, and sometimes after. The Sythe mitre. Hence arose new distinctions | rians, Copts, &c. have their solemn among them. Those were termed mitred washings on Good Friday; the Turks abbots who were privileged to wear the also have their ablutions, their Ghast, mitre, and exercise episcopal authority their Wodou, Aman, &c. within their respective precincts, being ABRAHAMITES, an order of monks exempted from the jurisdiction of the exterminated for idolatry by Theophibishop. Others were called crosiered lus, in the ninth century. Also the name abbots, from their bearing the crosier, of another sect of heretics who had or pastoral staff. Others were styled adopted the errors of Paulus. See æcumenical or universal abbots, in imi- PAULICIANS. tation of the patriarch of Constantino- ABSOLUTION signifies acquittal. ple, while others were termed cardinal It is taken also from that act whereby abbots, from their superiority over all the priest declares the sins of such as other abbots. At present, in the Roman are penitent remitted. The Romanists catholic countries, the chief distinctions hold absolution a part of the sacrament are those of regular and commendato- of penance: and the council of Trent and ry. The former take the vow and wear that of Florence declare the form or the habit of their order; whereas the essence of the sacrament to lie in the latter are seculars, though they are words of absolution. “I absolve thee obliged by their bulls to take orders of thy sins.” According to this, no one when of proper age,

can receive absolution without the priABELIANS, or ABELONIANS, a sect vity, consent and declaration of the which arose in the diocese of Hippoo priest; except, therefore, the priest be in Africa, and is supposed to have be willing, God himself cannot pardon any gun in the reign of Arcadius, and ended man. This is a doctrine as blasphein that of Theodosius. Indeed, it was mous as it is ridiculous. The chief pasnot calculated for being of any long con- sage on which they ground their power tinuance. They regulated marriage af- of absolution is that in John xx. 23: ter the example of Abel, who, they “Whosesoeversins yeremit, they are repretended, was married, but lived in a mitted unto them, and whosescever sins state of continence: they therefore al- ye retain, they are retained.”. But this lowed each man to marry one woman, is not to the purpose; since this was a but enjoined them to live in the same special commission to the apostles themstate. To keep up the sect, when a selves, and the first preachers of the man and woman entered into this socie-Gospel, and most probably referred to ty, they adopted a boy and a girl, who the power he gave them of discerning were to inherit their goods, and to mar-spirits. By virtue of this power, Peter ry upon the same terms of not having struck Ananias and Sapphira dead, and children, but of adopting two of differ- Paul struck Elimas blind. But, sup,

posing the passage in question to apply ABESTA, the name of one of the sa- to the successors of the apostles, and to cred books of the Persian Magi, which ministers in general, it can only import they ascribe to their great founder Zo- that their office is to preach pardon to roaster. The Abesta is a commentary the penitent, assuring those who believe on two others of their religious books, that their sins are forgiven through the called Zend and Pazend; the three to- merits of Jesus Christ; and that those

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ent sexes.

who remain in unbelief are in a state of || on all days commonly called fish days. condemnation. Any idea of authority The like injunctions were renewed ungiven to fallible, uninspired men to ab- || der queen Elizabeth; but at the same solve sinners, different from this, is un- time it was declared, that this was done scriptural; nor can I see much utility not out of motives of religion, as if there in the terms ministerial or declarative were any difference in meats, but in faabsolution, as adopted by some divines, vour of the consumption of fish, and to since absolution is wholly the preroga-| multiply the number of fishermen and tive of God; and the terms above-men- | mariners, as well as to spare the stock tioned, may, to say the least, have no of sheep. See FASTING. good influence on the minds of the igno- ABSTINENTS, a set of heretics that rant and superstitious.

appeared in France and Spain about the ABSTEMII

, a name given to such | end of the third century. They are suppersons as could not partake of the cupposed to have borrowed part of their of the eucharist, on account of their opinions from the Gnostics and Maninatural aversion to wine.

chæans, because they opposed marriage, ABSTINENCE, in a general sense, condemned the use of Hesh meat, and is the act of refraining from something placed the Holy Ghost in the class of which we have a propension to or find created beings. pleasure in. It is more particularly ABYSS, in a general serse, denotes used for fasting or forbearing of neces- something profound; in its literal sense sary food. Among the Jews, various it signifies without a bottom; in a more kinds of abstinence were ordained by particular sense it denotes a deep mass their law. Among the primitive Chris- or fund of waters. In this last sense the tians, some denicd themselves the use word is used in the Septuagint for the of such meats as were prohibited by that water which God created at the beginlaw; others looked upon this abstinence ning with the earth, which our translawith contempt; as to which Paul givestors render by deep. Thus it is that his opinion, Rom. xiv. 1. 3. The coun- darkness is said to have been on the face cil of Jerusalem, which was held by the of the abyss, Gen. i. 2. Abyss is also apostles, enjoined the Christian converts used for an immense cavern in the earth, to abstain from meats strangled, from wherein God is supposed to have colblood, from fornication, and from idola- lected all those waters on the third day, try, Acts xv. Upon this passage, Dr. which in our version is rendered the Doddridge observes, that though nei- seas, and elsewhere the great deep. ther things sacrificed to idols, nor the Abyss is likewise used to denote the flesh of strangled animals, nor blood, grave or common receptacle of the dead, have or can have any moral evil in Rom. x. 7: also hell, or the bottomless them, which should make the eating of ipit, Luke viii. 31. Rev. ix. 1. Rev. xi. 7. them absolute y and universally unlaw- || See DELUGE. ful; yet they were forbidden to the Gen- ABYSSINIAN CHURCH, that tile converts, because the Jews had such which is established in the empire of an aversion to them, that they could not Abyssinia. They are a branch of the converse freely with any who used them. Copts, with whom they agree in adThis is plainly the reason which James mitting only one nature in Jesus Christ, assigns in the very next words, the 21st and rejecting the council of Chalcedon; verse, and it is abundantly sufficient. whence they are also called MonophyThis reason is now ceased, and the ob- sites and Eutychians, which see. The ligation to abstain from eating these Abyssinian church is governed by a things ceases with it. But were we in bishop styled abuna. They have calike circumstances again, Chrisean cha- || nons also, and monks. The emperor rity would surely require us to lay our- has a kind of supremacy in ecclesiastical selves under the same restraint.”--The matters. The Abyssinians have at dispiritual monarchy of the western world vers times expressed an inclination to introduced another sort of abstinence, || be reconciled to the see of Rome; but which may be called ritual, and consists rather from interested views than any in abstaining from particular meats at other motive. They practise circumcicertain times and seasons, the rules of sion on females as well as males. They which are called rogations. If I mis- eat no meats prohibited by the law of take not, the impropriety of this kind Moses. They observe both Saturday of abstinence is clearly pointed out in 1 || and Sunday sabbaths. Women are obliTim.iv.3.-In England, abstinence from iged to the legal purifications. Brothers flesh has been enjoined by statute, even | marry brothers' wives, &c. On the other since the reformation; particularly on hand, they celebrate the Epiphany with Fridays and Saturdays, oni vigils, and peculiar festivity; have four Lents; pray

for the dead; and ivoke angels. ima- || principles of religion and wisdom. Jeges in painting they venerate; but abhor sus Christ, therefore, is with great proall those in relievo, except the cross. priety called the Day Spring from on They admit the apocryphal books and High, the Sun of Righteousness, that the canons of the apostles, as well as arose upon a benighted world to dispel the apostolical constitutions, for genuine. the clouds of ignorance and error, and They allow of divorce, which is easily discover to lost man the path of happigranted among them, and by the civil ness and heaven. But, as we do not judge; nor do their civil laws prohibit mean to enlarge much upon these and polygamy-They have, at least, as some other sects, which belong rather many miracles and legends of saints as to philosophy than theology, we shall the Romish church. They hold that the refer the reader to Buddeus's Intrasoul of man is not created; because, duction to the History of Philosophy; say they, God finished all his works on Stanley's Lives; Brucker's History of the sixth day. Thus we see that the Philosophy; or (which is more modern) doctrines and ritual of this sect form Enfield's Abridgment. a strange compound of Judaism and ACCLAMATIONS, ecclesiastical, Christianity, ignorance and superstition. were shouts of joy which the people exSome, indeed, have been at a loss to pressed by way of approbation of their know whether they are most Christians preachers. It hardly seems credible to or Jews: it is to be feared, however, that us that practices of this kind should ever there is little beside the name of Chris- have found their way into the church, tianity among them. Should the reader where all ought to be reverence and sobe desirous to know more of this sect, he || lemnity. Yet so it was in the fourth cenmay consult Father Lobo's Voyage to tury. The people were not only permitAbyssinia; Bruce's Travels; Ludolfih's ted, but sometimes even exhorted, by Hist. of Ethiopia; and Dict. of Arts and the preacher himself, to approve his taSciences, vol. i. p. 15.

lents by clapping of hands, and loud acACACIANS, a sect of heretics in the clamations of praise. The usual words 4th century; so named from Acacius, they made use of were, “Orthodox," bishop of Cæsarea, who denied the Son - Third apostle,”? &c. These acclamato be of the same substance with the tions being carried to excess, and often Father, though some of them allowed misplaced, were frequently prohibited that he was of a similar substance. Also by the ancient doctors, and at length abthe name of another sect, named after rogated. Even as late, however, as the Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the fifth century, who favoured the opi- we find practices that were not very denions of Eutychus. See EUTYCHIANS. corous; such as loud humming, frequent

ACADEMICS, a denomination given i groaning, strange gestures of the body, to the cultivators of a species of philo- &c. See articles Dancers, SHAKERS. sophy originally derived from Socrates, ACCOMMODATION OF SCRIPand afterwards illustrated and enforced TURE is the application of it, not to its by Plato. The contradictory systems | literal meaning, but to something anawhich had been successively urged upon i logous to it.. Thus a prophecy is said to the world were become so numerous, be fulfilled properly when a thing forethat, from a view of the variety and un- told comes to pass; and, by way of accertainty of human opinions, many were commodation, when an event happens led to conclude that truth lay beyond to any place or people similar to what the reach of our comprehension. "The fell out some time before to another. consequence of this conclusion was ab- Thus the words of Isaiah, spoken to solute scepticism: hence the existence those of his own time, are said to be fulof God, the immortality of the soul, the filled in those who lived in our Saviour's, preferableness of virtue to vice, were -“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias proall held as uncertain. This sect, with phesy,” &c.: which same words St. Paul that of the Epicureans, were the two atterwards accommodates to the Jews chief that were in vogue at the time of of his time, Is. xxxix. 14. Matt. xv. 8. Christ's appearance, and were embra- || Acts xii. 41. Great care, however, ced and supported by persons of high should be taken by preachers who are rank and wealth. A consideration of the fond of accommodating texts, that they principles of these two sects (see Epi- first clearly state the literal sense of the CUREANS] will lead us to forin an idea passage. of the deplorable state of the world at ACCURSED, something that lies unthe time of Christ's birth; and the ne-de a curse or sentence of excon nunicessity there was of some divine teacher cation. In the Jewish idiom, accursed to convey to the mind true and certainl and crucified were synonymous. ainong

them, every one was accounted accursed || of gaol-delivery, appointed as often as a who died on a tree. This serves to ex-competent number of prisoners in the plain the difficult passage in Rom. ix. 2, Inquisition are convicted of heresy, eiwhere the apostle wishes himself ac-ther by their own voluntary or extorted cursed after the manner of Christ; i. e. confession, or on the evidence of certain crucified, if happily he might by such a witnesses. The process is this:- In the death save his countrymen. The prepo- morning they are brought into a great sition and here made use of is used in the hall, where they have certain habits same sense, 2 Tim. i. 3. where it obvi- put on, which they are to wear in the cusly signifies after the manner of. procession, and by which they know

ACEPHALI, such bishops as were their doom. The procession is led up exempt from the discipline and jurisdic-by Dominican friars, after which come tion of their ordinary bishop or patri- the penitents, being all in black coats arch. It was also the denomination of without sleeves, and barefooted, with a certain sects; 1. of those who, in the af- wax candle in their hands. These are fair of the council of Ephesus, refused followed by the penitents who have narto follow either St. Cyris or John of An- rowly escaped being burnt, who over tioch; 2. of certain heretics in the fifth their black coats have flames painted, century, who, at first, followed Peter with their points turned downwards. Mongus, but afterwards abandoned him, Next come the negative and relapsed, upon his subscribing to the council of who are to be bumt, having flames on Chalcedon, they themselves adhering to their habits pointing upwards. After the Eutychian heresy; and, 3. of the fol- these come such as profess doctrines lowers of Severus of Antioch, and of all, contrary to the faith of Rome, who, in general, who held out against the besides flames pointing upwards, have council of Chalcedon.

their picture painted on their breasts, ACOEMETÆ, or ACOMETI, an or- with dogs, serpents, and devils, all opender of monks at Constantinople in the mouthed, about it. Each prisoner is atfifth century, whom the writers of that tended with a familiar of the Inquisition; and the following ages called Axoimistel; and those to be burnt have also a Jesuit that is, Watchers, because they per on each hand, who are continually formed divine service day and night preaching to them to abjure. After the without internission. They divided prisoners, comes a troop of familiars on themselves into three classes, who al-horseback; and after them the Inquisiternately succeeded one another, so that tors, and other officers of the court, on they kept up a perpetual course of wor- mules: last of all, the Inquisitor-general ship. This practice they founded upon on a white horse, led by two men with that passage—“pray without ceasing,” black hats and green hat-bands. A 1 Thess. v. 17.

scaffold is erected big enough for two or ACOLYTHI, or ACOLUTHI, young | three thousand people; at one end of people who, in the primitive times, as- which are the prisoners, at the other the pired to the ministry, and for that pur- Inquisitors. After a sermon made up of pose continually attended the bishop: encomiums of the Inquisition, and inIn the Romish church, Acolythi were of vectives against heretics, a priest aslonger continuance; but their functions cends a desk near the scaffold, and, havwere different from those of their first ing taken the abjuration of the penitents, institution. Their business was to light recites the final sentence of those who the tapers, carry the candlesticks and are to be put to death, and delivers them the incense pot, and prepare the wine to the secular arm, earnestly beseechand water. At Rome there were three ing at the same time the secular power kinds; 1. those who waited on the pope; not to touch their blood, or put their 2. those who served in the churches; | lives in danger!!! The prisoners, be3. and others, who, together with the ing thus in the hands of the civil magisdeacons, officiated in other parts of the trate, are presently loaded with chains, city.

and carried first to the secular gaol, and ACT OF FAITH (Auto da Fe,) in from thence, in an hour or two, brought the Romish church, is a solemn day held before the civil judge; who, after askby the Inquisition for the punishment of ing in what religion they intend to die, heretics, and the absolution of the inno- pronounces sentence on such as decent accused. They usually contrive the clare they die in the communion of the Auto to fall on some great festival, that church of Rome, that they shall be first the execution may pass with the more strangled, and then burnt to ashes; awe; and it is always on a Sunday. The or such as die in any other faith, that Auto da Fe may be called the last act they be burnt alive. Both are immeof the Inquisitorial tragedy: it is a kind || diately carried to the Ribera, the place


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of execution, where there are as many | apostles, such as the acts of Abdias, of stakes set up as there are prisoners to Peter, of Paul, St. John the Evangelist, be burnt, with a quantity of dry furze St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Philip, and about them. The stakes of the profess- St. Matthias; but they have been all td, that is, such as persist in the heresy, proved to be spurious. are about four yards high, having a ACTS OF PILATE, a relation sent small board towards the top for the by Pilate to the

Emperor Tiberius, conprisoner to be seated on. The negative cerning Jesus Christ, his death, resurand relapsed being first strangled and rection, ascension, and the crimes of burnt, the professed mount their stakes which he was convicted before him. It by a ladder, and the Jesuits, after seve- was a custom among the Romans, that ral repeated exhortations to be recon- the pro-consuls and governors of prociled to the church, part with them; vinces should draw up acts or memoirs telling them that they leave them to of what happened in the course of their the devil, who is standing at their elbow, government, and send them to the emto receive their souls, and carry them peror and senate. The genuine acts with him to the flames of hell. On this of Pilate were sent by him to Tiberius, a great shout is raised; and the cry is, who reported them to the senate; but Let the dogs' beards be made !which they were rejected by that assembly, is done by thrusting flaming furzes fast- because not immediately addressed to ened to long poles against their faces, them; as is testified by Tertullian, in till their faces are burnt to a coal, which his Apol. cap. 5, and 20, 21. The hereis accompanied with the loudest accla- tics forged acts in imitation of them; mations of joy. At last, fire is set to but both the genuine and the spurious the furze at the bottom of the stake, | are now lost. over which the professed are chained so ADAMITES, a sect that sprang up high, that the top of the fiame seldom in the second century. Epiphanius tells reaches higher than the seat they sit on; // us, that they were called Adamites, from so that they rather seem roasted than their pretending to be re-established in burnt. There cannot be a more lament- the state of 'innocence, such as Adam able spectacle: the sufferers continually was at the moment of his creation, cry out, while they are able, “Pity, for whence they ought to imitate him in the love of God!" Yet it is beleid, by going naked. They detested marriage; all sexes and ages, with transports of maintaining that the conjugal union joy and satisfactio- merciful God! would never have taken place upon is this the benign, humane religion thou earth, had sin been unknown. This obhast given to men? Surely not. If such scure and ridiculous sect did not last were the genius of Christianity, tiren it long. It was, however, revived with adwould be no honour to be a Christiari, ditional absurdities in the twelfth cenLet us however, rejoice that the time tury. About the beginning of the fifis coming when the demon of: Persecu- teenth century, these errors spread in tion shall be banished out of this our | Germany and Bohemia: it found also world, and the true spirit of benevolence some partisans in Poland, Holland, and and candour pervade the universe; England. They assembled in the night;D when none shall hurt or destroy', but and it is said, one of the fundamental the earth be filled with the knowledge maxims of their society was contained of the Lord, as the waters cover the in the following verse: sea! See INQUISITION.

Jura, perjura, secretum prodere noli. ACTION FOR THE PULPIT- Swear, forswear, and reveal not the secret. See DECLAMATION.

ADESSENARIANS, a branch of the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, one | Sacramentarians; so called from the of the sacred books of the New Testa- Latin Adesse, to be present, because ment containing the history of the infant they believed the presence of Christ's church during the space of twenty-nine body in the eucrarist, though in a manor thirty years from the ascension of ner different from the Romanists. our Lord to the year of Christ 63. It ADIAPHORISTS, a name given in was written by Luke, and addressed to the sixteenth century to the moderate Theophilus, the person to whom the Lutherans who arlhered to the sentievangelist bacl beforegled cited his gos-ments of Melancthon; and afterwards pel. The style of this work, which was to those who subscribed the interim of originally composed in Greek, is much Charles V. [Ste INTERIM.] The word purer than that of the other canonical is of Greek origin (zdizouges) and signiwriters. For thie contents of this book ties inclifference or lukewariness. we refer the reader to the book itseli. ADMIRATION is that passion of

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