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Suicer's Thesaurus; Vitringa De Synagoga vetere; Lord King's Enquiry; Durandus, Rationale Divinorum Officiorum-translated by Neale and Webb; Durant, De Ritibus Ecclesiæ Catholica; Hospinian, Historia Sacramentaria, Tiguri, 1598, 1602; Sanches De Sacramento Matrimonia; Dodwell De Origine Episcoporum; Rabanus Maurus De Institutione Clericorum; Du Cange, Glossarium; Renaudot, Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio; Goar, Exodóysov, sive Rituale Græcorum; Daniel, Thesaurus Hymnologicus; Maskell's Monumenta Ritualia; Clichtoveus, Elucidatorium Ecclesiasticum; Palmer's Origines Liturgica; Rock's Hierurgia; Spelman on Tithes; Selden on Tithes; Bingham's Origines Ecclesiastica; or, the Antiquities of the Christian Church, London, 1843, in nine volumes; Augusti, Denkwürdigkeiten aus der Christlichen Archäologie, 1817-31, twelve vols.; and Handbuch der Christlichen Archäologie; Siegel, Handbuch der Christlich-kirklichen Alterthümer, vols., Leipzig, 1836; Coleman's Antiquities of the Christian Church; Rheinwald, Die Kirkliche Archäologie; Münter, Sinnbilder und Kunstvorstellungen der alten Christen, 1825; Didon's Iconographie Chretienne, Paris, 1843; Riddle's Manual of Christian Antiquities; Bates's College Lectures on Christian Antiquities. On the Catholic side, Ritter and Braun's edition of Peluccia's Politia; Mammachius, Originum et Antiquitatum Christianarum libri xx., Romæ, 1749-55; Grancolas, L'Ancien Sacramentaire, and his Les Anciennes Liturgies; Johnson's Unbloody Sacrifice; Thorndike's Works; Guericke, Lehrbuch des Christlich-kirklichen Archäologie; Moreri's Grand Dictionnaire Historique; and the Dictionaries of Broughton, Hook, Buck, Eden, and Gardner, referred to in the Preface.


In Systematic Theology-the Loci Communes of Melanchthon and Musculus; the Systems of Turretine, Mastricht, Pictet, Quenstedt, Stapfer and Muntinghe; of Dick, Hill, Wardlaw, and Woods; the Dogmatik respectively of Twesten, Ebrard, Martensen, Hofmann; Hahn, Lehrbuch der Christlichen Glauben; Hey's Lectures on Divinity; Calvin's Institutes; Arminiï Opera, translated by Nichols; Limborch, Theologia Christiana; Richard Watson's Theological Institutes; Whitby on the Five Points. Canons and Catechism of the Council of Trent, translated by Buckley; Petavius, Opus de Theologicis Dogmatibus; Lingard's Anglo-Saxon Church; James's Bellum Papale; Pearson on the Creed; Burnet and Harold Browne on the Thirty-nine Articles; Bower's History of the Popes; Mendham's Literary Policy of the Church of Rome and other works; Möhler's Symbolik, and Nitzsch's Beantwortung, or reply; Bullarium Romanum; Bishop Gibson's Preservative against Popery; A. Butler's Lives of the Saints; C. Butler's Book of the Roman Catholic Church and his Vindication; Edgar's Variations of Popery; Stavely's Horse Leech; M'Crie's Works; Greenwood's Cathedra Petri. Barclay's Apology; Clarkson's Portraiture of Quakerism. Wall's History of Infant Baptism; Carson on Baptism. Oxford Tracts for the Times; Goode's Rule of Faith. Catechismus Racoviensis; Priestley's Institutes; Newman's Arians. Hagenbach, History of Doctrines; Hall's Harmony of Confessions; Dunlop's Collection; Müller, Die Symbolichen Bücher der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche; Niemeyer, Collectio Confessionum; Winer, Comparative Darstellung des Lehrbegriffs der verschiedenen Kirchen-parteien; Vater, Synchronistische Tafeln der Kirchengeschichte; Swedenborg's True Christian Religion.


Galland's Bibliotheca veterum Patrum, &c., fourteen vols., folio; Cave's Historia Literaria; Lives of the Fathers; Primitive Christianity, &c.; Du Pin's Nouvelle Bibliothèque, forty-three vols., octavo, translated in sixteen volumes, folio; Acta Sanctorum, fifty-five volumes, folio, begun in 1643, and still in progress; D'Achery's Spicilegium; Corpus Juris Canonici; Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum; Fosbrooke's British Monachism; Archdall's Monasticon Hibernicum; Le Quien's Oriens Christianus; Godolphin's Repertorium Canonicum; Ceillier's Histoire Générale des auteurs sacrés et Ecclésiastique; Adam's Religious World; Marsden's Churches.



A and ♪ (Alpha and Omega), the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Revelation i. 8, xxi. 6, xxii. 13, this title is three times applied by Christ to himself, and is explained as meaning "the beginning and the ending," "the first and the last." The idea, under a different form of expression, is found in the Old Testament. There is no doubt that, in the Apocalypse, the title asserts the Lord's supreme divinity, His eternity and immutability, His creative and all-embracing presence and energy. Various ingenious comments-some of them very trifling-have been made upon the letters; and, inwoven with the figure of the cross -alpha being placed on the one side, and omega on the other they formed a frequent symbol in the early Church.

Abata (äßara), that portion of the interior of ancient churches within which the people were not permitted to worship, hence its name äßara, or áßaros, or áðuroy scilicet, ßμx "inadmissible." It was separated from the body of the edifice by wooden rails, called cancelli, whence our word chancel; and as it was exclusively devoted to the priesthood, the altar, oblation table, bishop's throne, and seats for the presbyters were placed inside its precincts. The jealousy of the clergy in the time of St. Ambrose to preserve their prerogative to the exclusive occupation of the abata, was so intense, that when the Emperor Theodosius came to present his offering, he was barely suffered to enter that he might lay it upon the oblation table; the privilege of communicating within the rails being resolutely denied even to his imperial majesty. This stern discipline, however, relaxed a little in subsequent times; for we find that permission to communicate at the altar was granted to the faithful in the sixth century; and the second council of Tours ordained that the "holy of holies" should be open both for men and women to pray and communicate in at the time of the oblation. With this exception, however, the original discipline was maintained during the performance of other religious services.-Coleman, p. 83; Bingham, vol. ii., p. 433.-See CHANCEL.



Abba, Abbat, Abbot, ♫ (Father), titles of honour and authority, first derived from the literal signification of the word. Abba occurs three times in the New Testament, having in each place the explanation attached to it. The Jews are said to have forbidden their slaves to use this title to their masters, while it was commonly adopted among themselves as expressive both of honour and affection. In the Eastern Churches it was given at a very early date to their bishops, and is still retained in the Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopic Churches. The title is pre-eminently borne by the Bishop of Alexandria. Baba, Papa, Pope, had their origin from the same root. Abbat, or Abbot, in the fourth and fifth centuries, was gradually, and at last distinctively, applied to the heads of those religious orders who then began to exclude themselves from the world. The power they exercised within their own circle was all but absolute, and rarely, if ever, was it disputed by those who had given themselves up to their spiritual guidance. They inflicted corporeal as well as spiritual punishments upon offenders-whipping constituting the former, while the latter comprised suspension from the privileges of office, exclusion from the Eucharist, severer devotional exercises, expulsion from the abbey, and excommunication. They were endowed with such opulence, and were so famed for their sanctity, that bishops were frequently chosen from their number; for, in the first instance, they assumed to themselves no active share in the government of the Church, and were considered as the humblest of laymen. At length the abbot, or archimandrite (chief of the sheepfold), became the priest of the house; and, from the decrees of the councils held in the fifth century, abbots were evidently at that time adopted among the clergy, and subject to the bishops and councils alone. They cultivated learning with considerable success, and gradually engrossed within their different establishments its most important documents. In the seventh century they were made independent of episcopal jurisdiction, assumed the mitre, and bore the pastoral staff. Through the whole of the dark ages riches and

immunities were heaped upon them. Kings, and dukes, and counts, abandoned their thrones and honours to submit to their sway; or themselves assumed the title of abbot, as among the highest civil distinctions. Hugh Capet, the founder of the third French dynasty, was styled Hugh l'Abbé, or Hugh the Abbot. Many offices in the state were now aspired after by the abbots: we find them performing the functions of ambassadors and ministers, and occasionally adorning with their talents the highest stations. To their watchfulness over the manuscripts and other monuments of antiquity, now almost wholly in their hands, it is but just to record that the whole Christian world became indebted. Their ambition, however, and their vices knew no bounds. Gregory VII., who was eagerly bent upon humbling the bishops, and transferring their privileges to the Roman see, granted them exemptions both from the temporal authority of their sovereigns and all other spiritual jurisdiction, besides that of Rome, before unknown. They assumed the titles of universal abbots, abbots-sovereign, abbots-general, &c., and twenty-six lords-abbots sat in the English Parliament.

Abbe', a kind of secular clergymen, once popular in France, and amongst whom arose several men of great literary merit. They enjoyed certain privileges in the Church, but no fixed station, being considered as professed scholars and academics, and principally occupied in public and private tuition. Some of them have risen to eminence in the state.

Abbess, the superior of an abbey or convent of nuns, over whom she exercises nearly the same rights and authority as the abbots-regular over their monks. Their powers were formerly very extensive; they are said to have assisted at ecclesiastical councils, and even to have been sometimes called to the English Wittenagemote, before the conquest. Some abbesses have had the right of commissioning a priest to act for them in those spiritual functions which their sex would not permit them to exercise; they have Occasionally confessed their own nuns; and are allowed, by St. Basil, always to be present when the priest shall confess them. In the Russian Church, the abbess is called Hegumina. A secular priest performs divine service in the chapel of the house, but the nuns read the lessons and sing the hymns. "The nunneries in Russia, at present," says Mr. Pinkerton, "are properly nothing but asylums for aged and unfortunate females, who thus spend the remainder of their days in retirement, most of them usefully employed; and it were altogether inconsistent with truth and justice to consider them as belonging to those retreats of licentiousness and vice, of which we have so many shocking accounts in ecclesiastical history."-Present State of the Greek Church-See MONACHISM.

Abbey, sometimes written Abbathey or

Abbacy, a religious house, governed by a superior, under the title of abbot or abbess. The jurisdiction of abbeys was first confined to the immediate lands and buildings in possession of the house. As these establishments increased in importance, and were brought into the neighbourhood of cities and populous towns, they exercised extensive powers over their respective neighbourhoods, and in some cases issued coins, and became courts of criminal justice. In other instances they gave birth to towns and cities. Abbeys, priories, and monasteries, differ principally in the extent of their particular powers and jurisdiction. All these establishments, in the Greek Church, follow the rule of St. Basil. The Russian abbeys and nunneries have been an object of peculiar attention in the policy of that government since the time of Peter the Great, who brought the whole discipline of them under such peculiar restrictions as have effectually remedied their grosser inconveniences. The rage for entering into these retreats no longer exists; and as all the higher ranks of the Russian clergy are taken from amongst them, it is a matter of just anxiety with the government that such men only should be suffered to enter the order as may afterwards prove worthy of their important designation. Both the male and female establishments are divided into three classes: Stauropegia, Canobia, and Laura. The first two are directly under the government of the holy synod, and the last under that of the archbishops and bishops of their respective dioceses. The abbeys in England, before the time of the Reformation, were numerous and wealthy, and enjoyed many important privileges. Their lands were valued, at the time of their confiscation by Henry VIII., at the immense sum of £2,850,000, an enormous sum, by our present currency.-See MONASTERY.

Abbot is also a title given to bishops whose sees were formerly abbeys; and sometimes to the superiors or generals of some congregations of regular canons, as that of St. Genevieve at Paris, and of Montreal in Sicily. It was likewise usual, about the time of Charlemagne, for several lords to assume the title of count-abbots, abbacommites, as superintendents of certain abbeys. In the Evangelical Church of Germany the title is still sometimes given to such clergy as possess the revenues of former abbeys.

Abbots in Commendam, seculars who have received tonsure, but are obliged by their bulls to take orders when of proper age.

Abbots-Regular, those who take the vow, and wear the habit of their order.

Abbreviators, secretaries connected with the court of Rome, first appointed about the early part of the fourteenth century, to record bulls and other papal ordinances. The office has been held by some eminent men.

Abcedary, Abcedarian, or Abbecedarian, A, B, C, D, E, &c., a term applied to those compositions whose parts are disposed in alpha

betical order, as some chapters of the book of Lamentations, and some Psalms, as xxv., xxxiv., cxix., &c. This is the most obvious indication of verse in the Hebrew poetical books, and was no doubt intended for the assistance of the memory. St. Augustine, it is said, composed a psalm against the Donatists, for the special use of the laity, which he divided into as many parts as there are letters in the alphabet, in imitation of the 119th Psalm. The same term is also applied to a teacher of the rudiments of learning.

fies the water used to wash the hands of the priest who consecrated it.

Abracadabra and Abraxas, words found inscribed on some of the amulets supposed to have been used by the Basilidians.-See BASILIDIANS.

Abrahamites, or Abrahamians. - See PAULICIANS.-A sect who derived their appellation from Abraham, a native of Antioch, or, as the Arabs called him, Ibrahim. The Emperor Theophilus, who united in his own character the apparent zeal of a Christian with the fury of a persecutor, exterminated the Abrahamites, on a vague charge of idolatry, in the ninth century. -A more modern sect of this name sprang up in Bohemia under the Act of Toleration, published by the Emperor Joseph II., in 1782. They re

Abelians, Abeolites, or Abelonians, heretics who appeared about the reign of Arcadius, in the diocese of Hippo, in Africa, and disappeared in the reign of Theodosius. This sect pretended that Abel was married, but died without having known his wife. Their peculiarity was derived from this doctrine, which they carried into prac-jected all distinctive Christian doctrine, acknowtice, by enjoining men and women, upon entering into the matrimonial state, to entire continence. They, moreover, adopted a boy and a girl, who were to inherit their possessions, and to marry upon the same obligation and profession.

Abeyance, a term denoting that which is in expectancy-thus, if an incumbent die, the fee of houses and lands belonging to the rectory is in abeyance till a successor be formally inducted.

Abjuration, a form by which in ancient times, in England, a criminal who had taken refuge in a church might save his life by abjuring the realm, or taking an oath to leave or renounce his country for ever. Also a form by which Popery is renounced, and formal admission to the Protestant Church obtained. Oath of abjuration, in a civil sense, signifies the oath by which a person obliges himself to acknowledge no right in the Pretender to the throne.-See OATH.

ledging one God, and receiving nothing of Scripture but the Decalogue and the Lord's Prayer. They derived their name from their professing to hold the faith of Abraham before he was circumcised. Severe means were employed against them; they were draughted into the army, and sent to the borders of the empire. Few of them, however, recanted; but the sect soon died out.

Absolution, in canon law, a juridical act, by which the priest, or minister, remits the sins of such as are penitent.-This is supposed to be done by the Roman Catholic priests more directly and immediately, by virtue of their holy office; and by the clergy of the Established Church of England, by "a power and authority given to Christ's ministers to declare and pronounce forgiveness" to the truly penitent. In the Greek Church absolution is deprecatory, as she lays no claim to the infallible powers of the Roman hierarchy. Baptism was known among the ancients as the sacrament of absolution, or indulgence, a general pardon of sins being conveyed to every true disciple at his entrance with the "mystical body of Christ by the laver of regeneration." In like manner the Eucharist was esteemed an absolving ordinance: "When we drink the blood of the Lord," says St. Cyprian, "our sorrowful and heavy heart, which before was pressed with the anguish of our sins, is now absolved or set at liberty by the joyfulness of the Divine indulgence or pardon." But the most distinguishing feature of the indulgence granted through a participation of the Eucharist was this-that "it resolved the bonds of excommunication, without any other formality or cere

Ablution, a religious ceremony of ancient and modern times, which consisted in certain purifications of men or things, accompanied with washing them either wholly or partially. The Egyptians appear to have practised it from the earliest antiquity; the Greeks adopted it under various forms; and the Romans are said to have been scrupulous in their use of it before they performed a sacrifice. It was more or less partial according to the occasion; but at the entrance of the Roman temples convenient vessels were placed for this sacred washing. Several ceremonies of the Mosaic law may be called ablutions; and the early Christians appear to have practised it before partaking of the communion; in imitation of whom Roman Catholics still occa-mony." It was usually granted during Passion sionally practise it before and after mass. The Syrians, Copts, &c., have their annual solemn washings; the Turks, their greater and lesser ablutions. All the Oriental religions abound with this ceremony, which Mahomet very naturally adopted into his code of observances.

Ablution, in the Romish Church, is also used for a sup of wine and water, anciently taken after the host, to wash it down. Sometimes it signi

week (hebdomas indulgentia). Absolution was also pronounced during the ministration of the Word; it was administered in a precatory manner, accompanied by the imposition of hands; and, finally, it was judicially exercised when penitents, after their performance of the canonical penance imposed upon them for their sins, were publicly and solemnly received at the altar, where, pardon being pronounced, they were de

clared free to the full communion of the church. | therein for the ministers of the Anglican Church. The first and second of these absolving pro- By not a few of the clergy and laity the meaning cesses were called "Sacramental Absolution;" of the term is confined to an official declaration the third, "Declaratory Absolution;" the fourth, of God's forgiveness of sin. There are many, "Precatory Absolution;" and the fifth, “Judicial however, who plead for a stronger sense. WheatAbsolution."-See INDULGENCE. ly, in his observations on the seasonable use of the form of absolution in the Morning and Evening Prayer, takes the higher ground, by contending "that since the priest has the ministry of reconciliation committed to him by God, and hath power and commandment to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins, therefore, when he does declare and pronounce such absolution, those in the congregation that truly repent and unfeignedly believe, have their pardon conveyed and sealed to them at that very instant through his ministration." In reply to Dr. Bennett, who maintained that the form was only declaratory, and that a mere deacon had as much authority to pronounce the form of absolution as to preach a sermon, Wheatly adds: "This form is expressly called by the Rubric, the Absolution or Remission of Sins. It is not called a Declaration of Absolution, as one would think it should have been, if it had been designed for no more." With reference to the form of indicative absolution in the Service for the Sick-"I absolve thee"it is held by many that remission of church censures and forgiveness of offences against the clergy and members of the church are all that is intended, for proof of which the collect immediately following is quoted, in which the penitent is represented as earnestly desiring God's pardon and forgiveness, an idea utterly inconsistent with the notion that his offences against God had just been remitted. On this view nearly all the standard writers on the Liturgy and Articles of the English Church are agreed, the differences that exist being generally of a verbal characterapparent rather than real. We conclude in the words of Bishop Burnet :-"Upon a repentance sincerely begun and honestly pursued, we do in general, as the heralds of God's mercy and the ministers of his Gospel, pronounce to his people daily the offers that are made us of mercy and pardon in Christ Jesus. We do, also, as we are a body that may be offended with the sins of others, forgive the scandals committed against the church; and that such as we think die in a state of repentance, may die in the full peace of the church, we join both absolutions in one: in the last office, likewise praying to our Saviour that he would forgive them; and then we, as the officers of the church, authorized for that end, do forgive all the offences and scandals committed by them against the whole body. This is our doctrine."

The form that Tetzel used in vending the indulgences which first awoke the indignation and resistance of Luther has been often quoted, but is said by Catholics to be unauthentic. They have thus stated their opinions upon this subject: "Every Catholic is obliged to believe that when a sinner repenteth him of his sins from the bottom of his heart, and acknowledgeth his transgression to God and his ministers-the dispensers of the mysteries of Christ-resolving to turn from his evil ways, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance, there is then, and not otherwise, an authority left by Christ to absolve such a penitent sinner from his sins; which authority Christ gave to his apostles and their successors, the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church, in these words, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven unto them, and whose sins ye retain, they are retained."" Penitents in the Church of Rome coming for public absolution, are enjoined to appear at the church door on the day and at the hour appointed, kneeling, each bearing an unlighted taper in his hand. Notice being given to the congregation by the officiating clergyman that he is about to receive the penitents to the consolations of the church, he falls prostrate before the altar, and utters some prayers for the occasion, to which the people respond, according to the prescribed form. The priest having risen, advances from the altar to the church door, where he exhorts the penitents, and then taking them by the hand, leads them into the midst of the congregation. Absolution is then pronounced. In the admission of one who had been excommunicated the following ceremonies are observed:-The priest sits down before him at the church door and repeats the Miserere-the penitent being at the time prostrate, the congregation kneeling, and the clergy standing. At the commencement of each verse of the Miserere, the priest strikes the penitent, who is stripped to his shirt as far as his waist, with a short stick or whip made of cords. At the conclusion of the Miserere the penitent❘ is absolved in the usual way. Penitent women must be veiled during the ceremony which restores them to the bosom of the church. After absolution is pronounced, the following prayer is read:"The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the blessed Virgin and all the saints, and all the good that thou hast done, and the evil that thou hast suffered, be to thee for the remission of sins, the increase of grace, and the reward of eternal life."

The form of absolution in the Book of Common Prayer has given rise to great controversy respecting "the power and authority" claimed

Abstinence, a term nearly synonymous with fasting, in the sense in which fasting is most commonly used. The Church of England makes no distinction between them, but the Church of Rome distinguishes between days

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