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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

164 terms and definitions for "A"

  • Abbe

    The same with Abbot, which see. Also the name of curious popular characters in France; who are persons who have not yet obtained any precise or fixed settlement in church or state, but most heartily w...

  • Abbess

    The superior of an abbey or convent of nuns. The abbess has the same rights and authority over her nuns that the abbots regular have over their monks. The sex, indeed, does not allow her to perform th...

  • Abbey

    A monastery, governed by a superior under the title of Abbot or Abbess. Monasteries were at first nothing more than religious houses, whither persons retired from the bustle of the world to spend thei...

  • Abbot

    The chief ruler of a monastery or abbey. At first they were lay-men, and subject to the bishop and ordinary pastors. Their monasteries being remote from cities, and built in the farthest solitudes, th...

  • Abelians

    Or ABELONIANS, a sect which arose in the diocese of Hippoo in Africa, and is supposed to have begun in the reign of Arcadius, and ended in that of Theodosius. Indeed, it was not calculated for being o...

  • Abesta

    The name of one of the sacred books of the Persian Magi, which they ascribe to their great founder Zoroaster. The Abesta is a commentary on two others of their religious books, called Zend and Pazend;...

  • Ability

    See INABILITY. ...

  • Ablution

    A ceremony in use among the ancients, and still practised in several parts of the world. It consisted in washing the body, which was always done before sacrificing, or even entering their houses. Ablu...

  • Abrahamites

    An order of monks exterminated for idolatry by Theophilus, in the ninth century. Also the name of another sect of heretics who had adopted the errors of Paulus. See PAULICIANS. ...

  • Absolution

    Signifies acquittal. It is taken also from that act whereby the priest declares the sins of such as are penitent remitted. The Romanists hold absolution a part of the sacrament of penance: and the cou...

  • Abstemii

    A name given to such persons as could not partake of the cup of the Eucharist, on account of their natural aversion to wine. ...

  • Abstinence

    In a general sense, is the act of refraining from something which we have a propensity to or find pleasure in. It is more particularly used for fasting or forbearing of necessary food. Among the Jews,...

  • Abstinents

    A set of heretics that appeared in France and Spain about the end of the third century. They are supposed to have borrowed part of their opinions from the Gnostics and Manichaeans, because they oppose...

  • Abyss

    In a general sense, denotes something profound; in its literal sense it signifies without a bottom; in a more particular sense it denotes a deep mass or fund of waters. In this last sense the word is ...

  • Abyssinian Church

    That which is established in the empire of Abyssinia. They are a branch of the Copts, with whom they agree in admitting only one nature in Jesus Christ, and rejecting the council of Chalcedon; whence ...

  • Acacians

    A sect of heretics in the 4th century; so named from Acacius, bishop of Caesarea, who denied the Son to be of the same substance with the Father, though some of them allowed that he was of a similar s...

  • Academics

    A denomination given to the cultivators of a species of philosophy originally derived from Socrates, and afterwards illustrated and enforced by Plato. The contradictory systems which had been successi...

  • Acclamations

    Ecclesiastical, were shouts of joy which the people expressed by way of approbation of their preachers. It hardly seems credible to us that practices of this kind should ever have found their way into...

  • Accommodation of Scripture

    Is the application of it, not to its literal meaning, but to something analogous to it. Thus a prophecy is said to be fulfilled properly when a thing foretold comes to pass; and, by way of accommodati...

  • Accursed

    Something that lies under a curse or sentence of excommunication. In the Jewish idiom, accursed and crucified were synonymous among them, every one was accounted accursed who died on a tree. This serv...

  • Acephali

    Such bishops as were exempt from the discipline and jurisdiction of their ordinary bishop or patriarch. It was also the denomination of certain sects; 1. of those who, in the affair of the council of ...

  • Acoemetae

    Or ACOMETI, an order of monks at Constantinople in the fifth century, whom the writers of that and the following ages called Watchers, because they performed divine service day and night without inter...

  • Acolythi

    Or ACOLUTHI, young people who, in the primitive times, aspired to the ministry, and for that purpose continually attended the bishop. In the Romish church, Acolytni were of longer continuance; but the...

  • Act of Faith

    (Auto da Fe, ) in the Romish church, is a solemn day held by the Inquisition for the punishment of heretics, and the absolution of the innocent accused. They usually contrive the Auto to fall on some ...

  • Action for the Pulpit

    See DECLAMATION. ...

  • Acts of Pilate

    A relation sent by Pilate to the Emperor Tiberius, concerning Jesus Christ, his death, resurrection, ascension, and the crimes of which he was convicted before him. It was a custom among the Romans, t...

  • Acts of the Apostles

    One of the sacred books of the New Testament containing the history of the infant church during the space of twenty-nine or thirty years from the ascension of our Lord to the year of Christ 63. It was...

  • Adamites

    A sect that sprang up in the second century. Epiphanius tells us, that they were called Adamites, from their pretending to be re-established in the state of innocence, such as Adam was at the moment o...

  • Adessenarians

    A branch of the Sacramentarians; so called from the Latin Adesse, to be present, because they believed the presence of Christ's body in the Eucharist, though in a manner different from the Romanists. ...

  • Adiaphorists

    A name given in the sixteenth century to the moderate Lutherans who adhered to the sentiments of Melancthon; and afterwards to those who subscribed the interim of Charles V. ( See INTERIM.) The word ...

  • Admiration

    Is that passion of the mind which is excited by the discovery of any great excellence in an object. It has by some writers been used as synonymous with surprise and wonder; but it is evident they are ...

  • Admonition

    Denotes a hint or advice given to another, whereby we reprove him for his fault, or remind him of his duty. Admonition was a part of the discipline much used in the ancient church: it was the first ac...

  • Adonai

    One of the names of the Supreme Being in the Scriptures. The proper meaning of the word is "my Lords, " in the plural number; as Adoni is my Lord, in the singular. The Jews, who either out o...

  • Adonists

    A party among divines and critics, who maintain that the Hebrew points ordinarily annexed to the consonants of the word Jehovah are not the natural points belonging to that word, nor express the true ...

  • Adoption

    1. An act whereby any person receives another into his family, owns him for his son, and appoints him his heir. 2. Spiritual adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the ...

  • Adoptionists

    The followers of Felix of Urgil and Epiland of Toledo, who, towards the end of the eighth century, advanced the notion that Jesus Christ in his human nature is the Son of God, not by nature, but by ad...

  • Adoration

    The act of rendering divine honors, including in it reverence, esteem, and love: this is called supreme, or absolute. The word is compounded or absolute. The word is compounded, of ad, "to,"...

  • Adultery

    1. An unlawful commerce between one married person and another, or between a married and an unmarried person. 2. It is also used in Scripture for idolatry, or departing from the true God. Jeremiah 3:...

  • Adversary

    One who sets himself in opposition to another: one of the names of Satan. See SATAN. ...

  • Adversity

    A state which is opposite to our wishes, and the cause of sorrow. It stands opposed to prosperity. See AFFLICTION. ...

  • Aerians

    A branch of Arians in the reign of Constantine, who held that there was no difference between bishops and priests; a doctrine maintained by many modern divines, particularly of the Presbyterian and re...

  • Aetians

    Those who maintained that the Son and Holy Ghost were in all things dissimilar to the Father. They received their name, from Aetius, one of the most zealous defenders of Arianism, who was born in Syri...

  • Affection

    In a philosophical sense, refers to the manner in which we are affected by any thing for a continuance, whether painful or pleasant: but in the most common sense, it may be defined to be a settled ben...

  • Affliction

    That which causes a sensation of pain. Calamity or distress of any kind. The afflictions of the saints are represented in the scripture, as appointed, 1 Thessalonians 3:3 . Job 5:6-7; numerous, Psalms...

  • Agapae

    Or Love feasts (from "love,") feasts of charity among the ancient Christians, when liberal contributions were made by the rich to the poor. St. Chrysostom gives the following account of this...

  • Agapet Ae

    A name given to certain virgins and widows, who in the ancient church associated themselves with and attended on ecclesiastics, out of a motive of piety and charity. See DEACONESSES. ...

  • Agenda

    Among divines and philosophers, signifies the duties which a man lies under an obligation to perform: thus we meet with the agenda of a Christian, or the duties he ought to perform, in opposition to t...

  • Agent

    That which acts: opposed to patient, or that which is acted upon. ...

  • Agents

    Moral. See MORAL AGENT. ...

  • Agnoet Ae

    (from "to be ignorant of, ") a sect which appeared about 370. They called in question the omniscience of God; alleging that he knew things past only by memory, and things future only by an u...

  • Agnusdei

    In the church of Rome, a cake of was, stamped with the figure of a lamb supporting the banner of the cross. The name literally signifies "Lamb of God." Those cakes being consecrated by the p...

  • Agonistici

    A name given by Donatus to such of his disciples as he sent to fairs, markets, and other public places, to propagate his doctrine. They were called Agonistici from the Greek "combat, " becau...

  • Agonyclit Ae

    A sect of Christians in the seventh century, who prayed always standing, as thinking it unlawful to kneel. ...

  • Agyniani

    A sect which appeared about 694. They condemned all use of flesh and marriage as not instituted by God, but introduced at the instigation of the devil. ...

  • Alascani

    A sect of Anti-Lutherans in the sixteenth century, whose distinguished tenet, besides their denying baptism, is said to have been this, that the words, "This is my body, " in the institution...

  • Albanenses

    A denomination which commenced about the year 796. They held with the Gnostics and Manicheans, two principles, the one of good and the other of evil. They denied the divinity, and even the humanity of...

  • Albanois

    A denomination which sprung up in the eighth century, and renewed the greatest part of the Manichean principles. They also maintained that the world was from eternity. See MANICHEANS. ...

  • Albigenses

    A party of reformers about Toulouse and the Albigeois in Languedec, who sprung up in the twelfth century, and distinguished themselves by their opposition to the church of Rome. They were charged with...

  • Alexandrian Manuscript

    A famous copy of the Scriptures, in four volumes quarto. It contains the whole bible in Greek, including the Old and New Testament, with the Apocrypha, and some smaller pieces, but not quite complete....

  • Alkoran

    See KORAN. ...

  • All-Sufficiency of God

    Is that power or attribute of his nature whereby he is able to communicate as much blessedness to his creatures as he is pleased to make them capable of receiving. As his self-sufficiency is that wher...

  • Almaricians

    A denomination that arose in the thirteenth century. They derived their origin from Almaric, professor of logic and theology at Paris. His adversaries charged him with having taught that every Christi...

  • Almoner

    A person employed by another, in the distribution on charity. In its primitive sense it denoted an officer in religious houses, to whom belonged the management and distribution of the alms of the hous...

  • Alms

    What is given gratuitously for the relief of the poor, and in repairing the churches. That alms-giving is a duty is every way evident from the variety of passages which enjoin it in the sacred scriptu...

  • Alogians

    A sect of ancient heretics who denied that Jesus Christ was the Logos, and consequently rejected the Gospel of St. John. The word is compounded of the primitive Greek; q. d. without Logos, or word. Th...

  • Altar

    A kind of table or raised place whereon the ancient sacrifices were offered. 2. The table, in Christian churches, where the Lord's supper is administered. Altars are, doubtless, of great antiquity; so...

  • Amaurites

    The followers of Amauri, a clergyman of Bonne, in the thirteenth century. He acknowledged the divine Three, to whom he attributed the empire of the world. But according to him, religion had three epoc...

  • Amazement

    A term sometimes employed to express our wonder; but it is rather to be considered as a medium between wonder and astonishment. It is manifestly borrowed from the extensive and complicated intricacies...

  • Ambition

    A desire of excelling, or at least of being thought to excel, our neighbours in any thing. It is generally used in a bad sense for an immoderate or illegal pursuit of power or honour. See PRAISE. ...

  • Amedians

    A congregation of religious in Italy; so called from their professing themselves amantes Deum, "lovers of God;" or rather amata Deo, "Beloved of God." They wore a grey habit and wo...

  • Amen

    A Hebrew word, which, when prefixed to an assertion, signifies assuredly, certainly, or emphatically, so it is; but when it concludes a prayer, so be it, or so let it be, is its manifest import. In th...

  • Ammonians

    See NEW PLATONICS. ...

  • Amsdorfians

    A sect, in the sixteenth century, who took their name from Amsdorf, their leader. They maintained that good works were not only unprofitable, but were obstacles to salvation. ...

  • Amyraldism

    A name given by some writers to the doctrine of universal grace, as explained and asserted by Amyraldus or Moses. Amyrault, and others, his followers, among the reformed in France, towards the middle ...

  • Anabaptists

    Those who maintain that baptism ought always to be performed by immersion. The word is compounded of "new, " and "a Baptist, " signifying that those who have been baptized in their...

  • Anachorets

    Or ANCHORITES, a sort of monks in the primitive church, who retired from the society of mankind into some desert, with a view to avoid the temptations of the world, and to be more at leisure for praye...

  • Anagogical

    Signifies mysterious, transporting; and is used to express whatever elevates the mind, not only to the knowledge of divine things, but of divine things in the next life. The word is seldom used, but w...

  • Analogy of Faith

    Is the proportion that the doctrines of the gospel bear to each other, or the close connection between the truths of revealed religion, Romans 12:6 . This is considered as a grand rule for understandi...

  • Anathema

    Imports whatever is set apart, separated, or divided; but is most usually meant to express the cutting off of a person from the communion of the faithful. It was practiced in the primitive church agai...

  • Androna

    A term used for that part in churches which was destined for the men. Anciently it was the custom for the men and women to have separate apartments in places of worship, where they performed their dev...

  • Angel

    A spiritual intelligent substance, the first in rank and dignity among created beings. The word angel is Greek, and signifies a messenger. The Hebrew word signifies the same. Angels, therefore in the ...

  • Angelics

    An ancient sect, supposed by some to have got this appellation from their excessive veneration of angels, and by others from maintaining that the world was created by angels. ...

  • Angelites

    A sect in the reign of the emperor Anastasius, about the year 494; so called from Angelium, a place in the city of Alexandria, where they held their first meetings. They were called likewise Severites...

  • Anger

    A violent passion of the mind, arising from the receipt, or supposed receipt, of any injury, with a present purpose of revenge. All anger is by no means sinful; it was designed by the Author of our na...

  • Anger of God

    See WRATH. ...

  • Anglo-Calvinists

    A name given by some writers to the members of the church of England, as agreeing with the other Calvinists in most points, excepting church government. ...

  • Annihilation

    The act of reducing any created being into nothing. The sentiments of mankind have differed widely as to the possibility and impossibility of annihilation. According to some, nothing is so difficult; ...

  • Annunciation

    The tidings brought by the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary of the incarnation of Christ. It is also used to denote a festival kept by the church on the 25th of March, in commemoration of these tiding...

  • Anomoeans

    The name by which the pure Arians were called in the fourth century, in contradistinction to the Semi- arians. The word is formed from the Greek, different. See ARIANS and SEMI-ARIANS. ...

  • Antediluvians

    A general name for all mankind who lived before the flood, including the whole human race from the creation to the deluge. For the history of the Antediluvians, see Book of Genesis. Whiston's Josephus...

  • Anthem

    A church song performed in cathedral service by choristers who sung alternately. It was used to denote both psalms and hymns, when performed in this manner; but, at present, anthem is used in a more c...

  • Anthropomorphites

    A sect of ancient heretics, who, taking every thing spoken of God in the scripture in a literal sense, particularly that passage of Genesis in which it is said, "God made man after his own image,...

  • Anthropopathy

    A figure, expression, or discourse, whereby some passion is attributed to God which properly belongs only to man. Anthropopathy is frequently used promiscuously with anthropology; yet in strictness th...

  • Anti-Paedobaptists

    (from "against, " and "child, " and "baptize, ") is a distinguishing denomination given to those who object to the baptism of infants. See BAPTISM. ...

  • Anti-Sabbatarians

    A modern religious sect, who deny the necessity of observing the Sabbath Day. Their chief arguments are, 1. That the Jewish Sabbath was only of ceremonial, not of moral obligation; and consequently,...

  • Anti-Tactae

    A branch of Gnostics, who held that God was good and just, but that a creature had created evil; and, consequently, that it is our duty to oppose this author of evil, in order to avenge God of his adv...

  • Anti-Trinitarians

    Those who deny the Trinity, and teach that there are not three persons in the Godhead. See TRINITY. ...

  • Antiburghers

    A numerous and respectable body of dissenters from the church of Scotland, who differ from the established church chiefly in matters of church government; and who differ, also, from the Burgher secede...

  • Antichrist

    An adversary to Jesus Christ. There have been various opinions concerning the Antichrist mentioned in the Scripture, 1 John 2:18 . Some have held that the Jews are to be reputed as Antichrist; others ...

  • Antidoron

    A name given by the Greeks to the consecrated bread; out of which the middle part, marked with the cross, wherein the consecration resides, being taken away by the priest, the remainder is distributed...

  • Antinomians

    Those who maintain that the law is of no use or obligation under the gospel dispensation, or who hold doctrines that clearly supersede the necessity of good works. The Antinomians took their origin fr...

  • Antipathy

    Hatred, aversion, repugnancy, Hatred is entertained against persons, , aversion and antipathy against persons or things, and repugnancy against actions alone. Hatred is more voluntary that aversion, a...

  • Antiquities

    A term implying all testimonies or authentic accounts that have come down to us of ancient nations. As the study of antiquity may be useful both to the enquiring Christian, as well as to those who are...

  • Antitype

    A Greek word, properly signifying a type or figure corresponding to some other type. The word antitype occurs twice in the New Testament, viz. in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. 9: 5: 24, and in the...

  • Antosiandrians

    A sect of rigid Lutherans who opposed the doctrine of Osiander relating to justification. These are otherwise denominated Osiandromastiges. The Antosiandrians deny that man is made just, with that jus...

  • Apathy

    Among the ancient philosophers, implied an utter privation of passion, and an insensibility of pain. The word is compounded of priv. and affection. The Stoics affected an entire apathy; they considere...

  • Apelleans

    So called from Apelles, in the second century. They affirmed that Christ, when he came down from heaven, received a body not from the substance of his mother, but from the four elements, which at his ...

  • Aphthartodocites

    A denomination in the sixth century; so called from the Greek incorruptible, and to judge; because they held that the body of Jesus Christ was incorruptible, and not subject to death. They were a bran...

  • Apocarit Aes

    A denomination, in the third century, which sprang from the Manicheans. They held that the soul of man was of the substance of God. ...

  • Apochrypha

    Books not admitted into the canon of scripture, being either spurious, or at least not acknowledged as divine. The word is Greek, and derived from "from, " and " to hide or conceal.&quo...

  • Apollinarians

    Were ancient heretics, who denied the proper humanity of Christ, and maintained that the body which he assumed was endowed with a sensitive and not a rational soul: but that the divine nature supplied...

  • Apostasy

    A forsaking or renouncing our religion, either by an open declaration in words, or a virtual declaration of it by our actions. The primitive Christian church distinguished several kinds of apostacy; t...

  • Apostle

    Properly signifies a messenger or person sent by another upon some business. 1. It is particularly applied to them whom our Savior deputed to preach. 2. Apostle, in the Greek liturgy, is used for a...

  • Apostolate

    In a general sense, is used for mission; but it more properly denotes the dignity or office of an apostle of Christ. It is also used in ancient writers for the office of a bishop. But as the title apo...

  • Apostolic

    In the primitive church, was an appellation given to all such churches as were founded by the apostles; and even to the bishops of those churches, as being the reputed successors of the apostles. Thes...

  • Apostolic Fathers

    An appellation usually given to the writers of the first century, who employed their pens in the cause of Christianity. Of these writers, Cotelerius, and after him Le Clerc, have published a collectio...

  • Apostolical

    Apostolical; something that relates to the apostles, or descends from them. Thus we say the apostolican age, apostolical doctrine, apostolical character, constitution, traditions, &c ...

  • Apostolical Constitutions

    A collection of regulations attributed to the apostles, and supposed to have been collected by St. Clement, whose name they likewise bear. It is the general opinion, however, that they are spurious, a...

  • Apostolici

    Or APOSTOLICS, a name assumed by different sects on account of their pretending to imitate the practice of the apostles. ...

  • Apotactit Ae

    An ancient sect, who affected to follow the examples of the apostles, and renounced all their effects and possessions. It does not appear that they held any errors at first; but afterwards they taught...

  • Application

    Is used for the act whereby our Saviour transfers or makes over to us what he had earned or purchased by his holy life and death. Accordingly it is by this application of the merits of Christ that we ...

  • Approbation

    A state or disposition of the mind, wherein we put a value upon, or become pleased with, some person or thing. Moralists are divided on the principle of approbation, or the motive which determines us ...

  • Appropriation

    The annexing a benefice to the proper and perpetual use of some religious house. It is a term also often used in the religious world as referring to that act of the mind by which we apply the blessing...

  • Aquarians

    Those who consecrated water in the Eucharist instead of wine. Another branch of them approved of wine at the sacrament, when received in the evening: they likewise mixed water with the wine. ...

  • Arabici

    Erroneous Christians, in the third century, who thought that the soul and body died together, and rose again. It is said that Origen convinced them of their error, and that they then abjured it. ...

  • Arch-Presbyter

    Or ARCH-PRIEST, a priest established in some dioceses with a superiority over the rest. He was anciently chosen out of the college of presbyters, at the pleasure of the bishop. The arch-presbyters wer...

  • Archangel

    According to some divines, means an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestial hierarchy; but others, not without reason, reckon it a title only applicable to our Saviour. Compare Judges 1:9 . w...

  • Archdeacon

    A priest invested with authority or jurisdiction over the clergy and laity, next to the bishop, either through the whole diocese, or only a part of it. There are sixty in England, who visit every two ...

  • Archibishop

    The chief or metropolitan bishop, who has several suffragans under him. Archbishops were not known in the East till about the year 320; and though there were some soon after this who had the title, ye...

  • Archontics

    A sect about the year 160 or 203. Among many other extravagant notions, they held that the world was created by archangels; they also denied the resurrection of the body. ...

  • Arians

    Followers of Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, about 315, who maintained that the Son of God was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of th...

  • Aristotelians

    The followers of Aristotle. They believed in the eternity of the world, and represented the Deity as somewhat similar to a principle of power giving motion to a machine; and as happy in the contemplat...

  • Ark

    Or NOAH'S ARK, a floating vessel built by Noah for the preservation of his family, and the several species of animals, during the deluge. The form of the Ark was an oblong, with a flat bottom, and a s...

  • Ark of the Covenant

    A small chest of coffer, three feet nine inches in length, two feet three inches in breadth, and two feet three inches in height, in which were contained the golden pot that had manna, Aaron's rod, an...

  • Armenians

    The inhabitants of Armenia, whose religion is the Christian, of the Eutychian sect; that is, they hold but one nature in Jesus Christ. See EUTYCHIANS. They assert also the procession of the Holy Gho...

  • Arminians

    Persons who follow the doctrines of Arminius, who was pastor at Amsterdam, and afterwards professor of divinity at Leyden. Arminius had been educated in the opinions of Calvin; but, thinking the doctr...

  • Arnoldists

    The followers of Arnold, of Brescia, in the twelfth century, who was a great declaimer against the wealth and vices of the clergy. He is also charged with preaching against baptism and the Eucharist. ...

  • Arpotyrites

    A Christian sect in the primitive church, who celebrated the Eucharist with bread and cheese. The word is derived from "bread" and "cheese." The Artotyrites admitted women, to the ...

  • Arrhabonarii

    A sect who held that the Eucharist is neither the real flesh or blood of Christ, nor yet the sign of them, but only the pledge or earnest thereof. See Stuart's Letters to Channing pg. 125. ...

  • Artemontes

    A denomination in the second century; so called from Artemon, who taught that, at the birth of the man Christ, a certain divine energy or portion of the divine nature, united itself to him. ...

  • Article of Faith

    Is, by some, defined a point of Christian doctrine, which we are obliged to believe, as having been revealed by God himself, and allowed and established as such by the church. See CONFESSIONS. ...

  • Articles of the Church of England

    See CHURCH OF ENGLAND. ...

  • Articles, Lambeth

    The Lambeth articles were so called, because drawn up at Lambeth palace, under the eye and with the assistance of archbishop Whitgift, bishop Bancroft, bishop Vaughan, and other eminent dignitaries of...

  • Ascension of Christ

    His visible elevation to heaven. The ascension of Jesus Christ was not only presignified by many Scripture types, but also by many remarkable Scripture prophesies. Psalms 47:5 . Psalms 110:1 . Daniel ...

  • Ascetic

    One who retires from the world for the purpose of devotion and mortification. When the monks came in fashion, this title was bestowed upon them, especially such as lived in solitude. It was also the t...

  • Ascodrogites

    A denomination which arose about the year 181. They brought into their churches bags or skins filled with new wine, to represent the new bottles filled with new wine, mentioned by Christ. They danced ...

  • Ascoodrutes

    A sect, in the second century, who rejected the use of all symbols and sacraments on this principle, that incorporeal things cannot be communicated by things corporeal, nor divine mysteries by any thi...

  • Assemblies of the Clergy

    Are called convocations, synods, councils. The annual meeting of the church of Scotland is called a general assembly. In this assembly his majesty is represented by his commissioners, who dissolves on...

  • Assent

    That act of the mind whereby it takes or acknowledges any proposition to be true or false. There are three degrees of assent: conjecture, opinion, and belief. Conjecture is but a slight and weak incli...

  • Assurance

    Is the firm persuasion we have of the certainty of any thing, or a certain expectation of something future. Assurance of the Understanding is a well-grounded knowledge of divine things founded on God'...

  • Assuritans

    A branch of the Donatists, who held that the Son was inferior to the Father, and the Holy Ghost to the Son. See DONATISTS. ...

  • Astonishment

    A kind or degree of wonder introduced by surprise. This emotion always relates to things of the highest importance; to things which appear too vast and extensive for the grasp of intellect, rather tha...

  • Athanasians

    Those who profess the sentiments held in the Athanasian Creed. See CREED. ...

  • Atheist

    One who denies the existence of God: this is called speculative atheism. Professing to believe in God, and yet acting contrary to this belief, is called practical atheism. Absurd and irrational as at...

  • Atonement

    Is the satisfying Divine Justice by Jesus Christ giving himself a ransom for us, undergoing the penalty due to our sins, and thereby releasing us from that punishment which God might justly inflict up...

  • Attributes of God

    Are the several qualities or perfections of the Divine nature. Some distinguish them into the negative, and positive or affirmative. The negative are such as remove from him whatever is imperfect in c...

  • Attrition

    The casuists of the church of Rome have made a distinction between a perfect and an imperfect contrition. The latter they call attrition; which is the lowest degree of repentance, or a sorrow for sin ...

  • Audientes

    An order of catechumens in the primitive Christian church. They were so called from their being admitted to hear sermons and the Scriptures read in the church; but they were not allowed to be present ...

  • Augsburgh or Augustan Confession

    A celebrated confession of faith drawn up by Luther and Melancthon on behalf of themselves and other ancient reformers, and presented in 1550 to the emperor Charles V, at the diet of Augusta, or Augsb...

  • Augustins

    A religious order, who observed the rule of St. Augustin, prescribed them by pope Alexander IV. in 1256. This rule was to have all things in common; the rich who enter among them to sell their possess...

  • Austerity

    A state of rigid mortification. It is distinguished from severity and rigour thus: Austerity relates to the manner of living; severity to the manner of thinking; rigour to the manner of punishing. To ...

  • Autocephali Bishops

    This denomination was given to such bishops in the primitive church as were exempted from the jurisdiction of others. ...

  • Avarice

    Is an immoderate love to and desire after riches, attended with extreme diffidence of future events, making a person rob himself of the necessary comforts of life, for fear of diminishing his riches. ...

  • Aversion

    Hatred or dislike. Dr. Watts and others oppose aversion to desire. When we look, say they, upon an object as good, it excites desire; but when we look upon an object as evil, it awakens what we call ...