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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 BA


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 Abelians, Abeolites, or Abelonians, here- the apparent zeal of a Christian with the fury of tics who appeared about the reign of Arcadius, a persecutor, exterminated the Abrahamites, on in the diocese of Hippo, in Africa, and disappeared a vague charge of idolatry, in the ninth century. in the reign of Theodosius. This sect pretended-A more modern sect of this name sprang up in that Abel was married, but died without having Bohemia under the Act of Toleration, published known his wife. Their peculiarity was derived by the Emperor Joseph II., in 1782. They refrom 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 cere-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 ceremony." It was usually granted during Passion 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

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 monies 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 occasionally 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

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

of fasting and days of abstinence.-See FASTING. If we take this term to express the abstaining from particular kinds of food or refreshment, we may observe that the law of Moses contains several precepts on the subject; and, moreover, that some of the primitive Christians denied themselves the use of particular meats, though others regarded this abstinence with contempt. Asceticism began early in the Church, and was severely reprobated by the apostle of the Gentiles, as in Coloss. ii. (see Rom. xiv.) The council at Jerusalem, which was held by the apostles, enjoined the Christian converts from among the Gentiles to abstain from meats strangled, and from blood (see Acts xv.) Some contend for the perpetual obligation of this injunction; whereas the majority of Christians maintain that it was only of temporary duration. The common argument against its perpetuity runs thus:Though blood and things strangled could have no moral evil in them, they were forbidden to the Gentile converts, because their brethren converted from the Jewish faith still felt so strong a repugnance to their use that they could not converse with any who used them. This reason having now ceased, the obligation to abstinence ceases with it. It must, however, be observed, that the Christian churches generally, for several centuries, abstained from blood as an article of food; but in the time of St. Augustine much laxity prevailed, especially in the African Church, on this subject, the opinion then becoming popular that the injunction, being one of expediency, was only of a temporary nature.

Abstinents or Abstinentes, a sect of heretics, of the third century, which originated in France and Spain. They opposed marriage, and hence have been called Continentes, and condemned the use of flesh and wine. In what doctrinal error their heresy consisted it is difficult to ascertain.

Abuna, the title given by the Christian Arabs to the archbishop or metropolitan of Abyssinia, who is rarely, if ever, a native of that country. The title denotes our Father, and is variously written. The abuna, who resides at Cairo, is selected by the Patriarch of Alexandria, whose appreciation of the person best fitted for the office is generally influenced by the douceur he may be enabled to give. After his election he is held responsible by the Patriarch of Alexandria for the due administration of the duties pertaining to his office. He is chosen usually from the Coptic priests, between whom and the Abyssinians a friendly intercourse is maintained at Cairo.

Abusive, in ecclesiastical law, is applied to a permutation of benefices without the consent of the bishop, which is consequently null.

Abyssinian Church, that section of the Christian Church established in Abyssinia, the country denominated by the ancients Ethiopia. The conversion of the Abyssinians to the Christian faith is ascribed to Frumentius, who

visited that country about the year 333. They are described as a branch of the Copts, or Jacobites, with whom they agree in admitting but one nature in Jesus Christ, and rejecting the council of Chalcedon; on which account they are also called Eutychians and Monophysites. The term Copt properly applies only to those Christians who live in Egypt, Nubia, and the countries adjacent. The Abyssinian Church is governed by a bishop or metropolitan, styled abuna, who is appointed by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, residing at Cairo. The abuna being a foreigner, and generally ignorant of the language and manners of the country, is not permitted to meddle with the affairs of the government: his principal employment is the ordination of priests, deacons, and monks. Next in dignity is the komos, or hegumenos, a kind of arch-presbyter, who has the inferior priests and deacons, with the secular affairs of the parish, under his inspection. The deacons occupy the lowest rank of priesthood. They have canons also, and monks; the former of whom marry; the latter, at theit admission, vow celibacy, but with a reservation, making a promise aloud before their superior to keep chastity, but adding, in a low voice or whisper, "as you keep it." The debtarahs, a set of chanters who assist in the musical parts of the service, are in general estimation even more so than the komos, though the latter be superior in rank. The emperor alone takes cognizance of all ecclesiastical causes, except a few smaller ones reserved to the judges; and confers all benefices, except that of abuna.

The monks are divided into two classes-those of Debra Libanos, and those of St. Eustathius. They have not, properly speaking, any convents, but inhabit separate houses erected round their church. Their ignorance is extreme. The superior of the monks of Mahebar Selassé, in the northwest part of Abyssinia, is the itchegué, who is of greater consequence in turbulent times than the abuna. He is ordained by two chief priests holding a white cloth or veil over his head, and a third repeating a prayer; after which they all lay their hands on his head, and join together in singing psalms. The churches are very numerous, owing to the prevalence of an opinion among the great, that whoever leaves a fund to build a church, or has erected one during his life, makes a sufficient atonement for all his sins. They are usually erected on eminences in the vicinity of running water, for the purpose of affording facilities to the purifications and ablutions which they practise according to the Levitical law. The churches are surrounded with rows of Virginia cedar, and being circular, with conical summits and thatched roofs, and encompassed on the outside with pillars of cedar, to which the roof, projecting eight feet beyond the wall, is fixed, furnish an agreeable walk in the hot or rainy season, and diversify the scenery. The internal partition and arrangement of the

church is that prescribed by the Mosaic law; and many of the ceremonies and observances in their mode of worship are obviously derived from the ceremonial rites of the Jewish religion.

Academy.—The name was originally that of a garden or grove where Plato taught at Athens. The word usually signifies now a society of learned men, associated for the advancement of science and art, and these are numerous in the various countries of Europe. The term is also applied to the literary and theological seminaries of the English dissenters, such as those for the Baptists at Bristol and Bradford, and those for Independents at Rotherham and Cheshunt, and formerly at Homerton and Highbury. Some of the more recent academies, as at St. John's Wood, London; Springhill, Birmingham; Regent Park, London; and the one at Manchester, take the more ambitious name of colleges. The plan of educating students for the ministry, in the majority of these seminaries, is vastly more expensive than in Scotland.


Acatholici (not Catholic), a term ployed in Roman Catholic countries to denote Protestant and other professing Christians who are not members of the so-called Catholic Church. Acceptants.-The term arose from the famous Jansenist controversy and the Bull Unigenitus of Clement XI., 1713, many in France opposing it, and therefore named appellants, while others receiving it were naturally called acceptants. This division of parties subsisted till the middle of last century.

The religion of Abyssinia is, in reality, a strange compound of Judaism, Christianity, and superstition. Judaism appears to predominate. They practise circumcision, and extend it to both sexes. They observe both Saturday and Sunday as Sabbaths; they eat no meats prohibited by the law of Moses; women are obliged to the legal purifications; and brothers marry their brothers' wives. Their festivals and saints are numberless. As they celebrate the epiphany with peculiar festivity, in commemoration of Christ's baptism, and sport in ponds and rivers, some have supposed they undergo baptism every year. One of their saints' days is consecrated to Balaam's ass; another to Pilate and his wife, because Pilate washed his hands before he pronounced sentence on Christ, and his wife desired him to have nothing to do with the blood of that just person. They have four seasons of Lent: the great Lent commences ten days earlier than in England, and is observed with so much severity that many abstain even from fish, because St. Paul says there is one kind of flesh of men, and another of fishes. They at least equal the Church of Rome in miracles and legends of saints, which occasioned no inconsiderable embarrassment to the Jesuits, whom they presented with such accounts of miracles wrought by their saints, in proof of their religion, and those well circumstantiated and attested that the missionaries thought themselves obliged to deny miracles to be any evidence of the truth of a religion. Prayers for the dead are common, and invocations of saints and angels; and such is their veneration for the Virgin that they charged the Jesuits with deficiency in this respect. While images in painting decorate their churches, and excite their reverential regard, they at the same time abhor all images in relievo, except They maintain that the soul of man is not created, because, say they, God finished all his works on the sixth day. They admit the apocryphal books, and the canons of the apostles, as well as the apostolical constitutions, to be Accommodation, the analogical applicagenuine; but Solomon's Song they consider tion of one thing to another. In theology, the term merely as a love poem in honour of Pharaoh's is used to signify the application of Scripture to daughter. It is uncertain whether they believe something resembling or analogous to its original in the doctrine of transubstantiation. Ludolph purport. A prophecy is said to be fulfilled proand Bruce differ on this question; but the latter perly when what is foretold comes to pass; or by affirms that they are now, with regard to doc-way of accommodation, when anything occurs to trine, as great heretics, and, with respect to morals, as corrupt as the Jesuits have represented them. Attempts have been recently made to found evangelical missions in Abyssynia.

the cross.

Acclamation.-It was a common custom in the fourth century to testify esteem for the preacher, admiration of his eloquence, or approsobation of his doctrine by public applause and acclamations in the church. We are told that they sometimes applauded Chrysostom's sermons by tossing their thin garments, waving their plumes or their handkerchiefs, and crying out"Thou art the thirteenth apostle; " "thou art worthy of the priesthood," &c. Jerome alludes in one of his letters to a sermon of his on the resurrection, which caused Vigilantius to start up, clapping his hands and stamping with his feet, and shouting, "Orthodox." Such a custom, derived originally from the theatres, was soon found productive of evil effects in the preachers as well as their hearers; and Chrysostom frequently expressed his dislike to it.

Acacians, the followers of Acacius, Bishop of Cæsarea, who flourished in the fourth century, and was at one time an associate of Aëtius, but afterwards deserted him, and subscribed the Nicean doctrine.-See AETIANS.

a place or people similar to what at some previous period took place with regard to another.

There is considerable difficulty in the proper application of this mode of interpreting Scripture; because it is obvious that if a passage relating indubitably to one event may be arbitrarily applied to another, merely because of some supposed or traceable resemblance, ingenious persons who have no general comprehension of truth, nor

any regard to its interests, may employ as many modes of interpretation as they have particular and subordinate purposes to serve. But an apostle may use a passage of the Old Testament for the mere sake of illustration, and without adding the formula, "that it might be fulfilled." Thus, in Rom. x. 18, Paul quotes Ps. xix. 4, as illustrating the diffusion of the Gospel, but without saying that it was a fulfilled prediction. This is very different from the kind of accommodation introduced by Semler and the earlier German rationalists, and applied not only to the interpretation of prophecy, but to the teachings of Christ and his apostles with regard to angels or devils, or the atonement itself. On their theory, the statements avowing those doctrines are only convenient falsehoods, suited to the character and prejudices of the age. On such a hypothesis, where shall we find truth in Scripture, and what shall we say to the veracity of those who wrote it? For example, Jesus speaks of evil spirits dwelling in some; nay, speaks to the demon, and charges him to "come out." What, then, shall we say to his honesty, if he did not believe in the reality of demoniacal possession, but only spoke to humour the errors and ignorance of his contemporaries?

Accomplishment, in theology, is a term used in speaking of events predicted by the Jewish prophets in the Old Testament, and fulfilled under the New. Those prophecies in which the Jews find an accomplishment about the period when they were first uttered, are often called Jewish; those which Christians apply to Christ or his dispensation, derive a distinctive epithet from this circumstance. Unaccomplished prophecy is ever a difficult subject of study.

Accursed.-See ANATHEMA.

Acephali, or Acephalita (from xipaλos, headless), the title of the stricter Monophysites in the fifth century, who had been deprived of their chief, Mongus, by his submission to the council of Chalcedon. It seems that the name had been before applied to the persons who refused to follow either John of Antioch or St. Cyril, in a dispute that happened in the council of Ephesus in 431. This epithet was also given to those bishops who were exempt from the jurisdiction and discipline of their patriarch.

In the reign of King Henry I. the levellers received this distinctive appellation because they were not believed to possess even a tenement to entitle them to have the right of acknowledging a superior lord. In our ancient law books it is used for persons who held nothing in fee.

Achaia Presbyteri, or the Presbyters of Achaia, were those who were present at the martyrdom of St. Andrew the apostle, A.D. 59, and are said to have written an epistle in relation to it. Bellarmin and several other eminent writers in the Church of Rome allow it to be genuine; while Du Pin, with many others, with good reason reject it.


the ancient name of certain miraculous pictures of Christ and the Virgin, supposed to have been made without hands. The most celebrated of these is the picture of Christ, in the church of St. John de Lateran at Rome, said to have been begun by St. Luke, but finished by angels. The name is a Greek compound.

Acametæ (noμáw, watchers), the name of an order of monks in the fifth century, who performed a sort of chanting service night and day, dividing themselves into three classes, so that one might succeed another at a stated hour, and thus their devotions might be sustained without any intromission. In vindication of their practice, they appealed to the apostolic precept, which requires us to "pray without ceasing." There is a kind of acœmetæ now subsisting in the Romish Church.

Acoluthi, an order of ecclesiastics in the early Latin Church, whose office was in some respect subordinate to that of the subdeacon. The archdeacon, at their ordination, put into their hands a candlestick with a taper-hence called accensores-to intimate that they were appointed to light the candles of the church, and an empty pitcher, to denote that they were to furnish wine for the sacramental festival. Imposition of hands was not deemed necessary in the public appointment of the acoluthi.

Act, in the universities, a thesis publicly maintained by a candidate for a degree, or to show a student's proficiency. At Oxford, the time when masters or doctors complete their degrees is also called the "act," which is held with great solemnity. At Cambridge, they call it the "commencement."

"ACT" is also a collegiate appellation for the person who proposes questions that are the subjects of disputation in the exercises of the university schools.

Act, a common name for certain statutes in connection with the religious history of this country. Among the most famous are:

Act of Uniformity, passed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, establishing Protestantism as the national religion of England, and binding all her subjects to the order and form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. Also, a statute of the reign of Charles II., 1662, enjoining all ministers in England to declare their unfeigned assent and consent to the entire Book of Common Prayer. The royal assent was given to this act on the 19th May, and on Bartholomew's Day, August 24, the same year, more than two thousand ministers were ejected from their livings, because they conscientiously refused to subscribe.

Act, Conventicle, passed in 1664. It enacted that only five persons above sixteen years of age, besides the family, were to meet for worship.

Act, Corporation, a statute of 13 Charles II., chap. i., in which it is enacted, "That no person shall be chosen into any office of magistracy, or other employment relating to corporations, who

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