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An Exposition

ΛΙΜ’ΗΝ ἐϛιν ἀκύμαντος, καὶ τειχος ἀρραγὲς, καὶ ϖύργος ἄσειστος, καὶ δόξα ἀναφαίρετος, καὶ ὅ πλα ἄτρωτα, καὶ εὐθυμία ἀμάραντος, καὶ ἡδονὴ διηνεκὴς, καὶ ϖάντα οσα ἄν ἔιποι τὶς καλὰ, τῶν θεῖων γραφῶν ἡ συνȣσία.--Chrysostom.

[An intimate acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures is a secure haven, and an impregnable bulwark, and an immovable tower, and imperishable glory, and impenetrable armour, and unfading joy, and perpetual delight, and whatever other excellence can be uttered.]


J. Collord, Printer.

“Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by B. Waugh and T. Mason, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York.”


In the following Dictionary, compiled from the best sources ancient and modern, with the addition of many original articles, the selections have been made with reference to what was thought most useful; and thus many things of minor importance, usually found in similar works, have been excluded. Every article too, taken from preceding Dictionaries, has been carefully weighed, and in a great number of instances modified, corrected, or enlarged; and numerous other writings variously illustrative of the Holy Scriptures have been made to contribute a portion of their information under different heads. This general acknowledgment renders a particular reference to the works made use of unnecessary. The fact is, that many of the most valuable of them are compilations from preceding compilations, and so have no title to be referred to as original authorities; while in other instances the articles in this Dictionary have been collected from several sources, and so altered, or combined with original corrections or enlargements, that it would be difficult to assign each portion to its proper original. Where, however, any particulars of fact or history required confirmation, the authority has been given.

It will be observed that all the places and persons mentioned in the Bible have not been noticed, for this would only have made the same unprofitable display of proper names which is seen in several other Dictionaries; but those have been selected on which any thing important for the right understanding of the Scriptures seemed, more or less, to depend. The same rule has been observed as to the natural history of the Bible, on which department great light has been thrown by Dr. Harris, whose learned work has been rather freely used. The leading sects and heresies, ancient and modern, have also been introduced; but with no design to embody a complete account of religious opinions: those only, therefore, have been inserted with which it is most necessary that the theological student should have a general acquaintance.

All that is important in those useful modern works which have been published upon the manners and customs of the east will be found embodied under different heads so far as it tends to elucidate the sacred volume; and many interesting extracts are given from the most intelligent of our modern travellers in Palestine, and neighbouring countries, pointing out the present condition of places celebrated in sacred geography, and especially when the account illustrates and renders remarkable the fulfilment of prophecy.

At the close of the whole, a complete alphabetical list of proper names occurring in the Bible, with their significations and right pronunciation, is appended.

London, August 20, 1831.


No other improvements have been attempted in this edition of Mr. Watson’s Biblical and Theological Dictionary, than adding a few notes in relation to some matters existing in this country, which had escaped the attention of the author, and rendering those passages and phrases into English which had been left untranslated. Such translations are included in brackets. It may be proper to remark, that only that part of the work from the eight hundred and forty second page has been printed under the superintendence of the present editor; the former part having passed through the press previous to the last general conference.

It is not necessary to say any thing in commendation of this work. Whatever merit, however, may be attached to others of a similar character which have preceded it, we think it will be conceded by all, that Mr. Watson, by furnishing this Dictionary, has supplied a desideratum, in the department of Biblical and Theological literature, which had long been felt, and for doing which the religious community will not be backward in acknowledging its obligations.

N. Bangs.

New-York, Sept. 25, 1832.

as Peopled by
Shewing the Countries possessed by
and their posterity


1AARON, the son of Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi. Aaron was three years older than his brother Moses; and when God appeared in the burning bush, Moses having excused himself from the undertaking committed to him, by urging that he was slow of speech, Aaron, who was an eloquent man, was made his interpreter and spokesman; and in effecting the deliverance of the Hebrews we therefore find them constantly associated. During the march of the children of Israel through the wilderness, Aaron and his sons were appointed by God to exercise for ever the office of priests in the tabernacle.

Moses having ascended the mountain to receive the law from God, Aaron, his sons, and seventy elders, followed him, Exod. xxiv, 1, 2, 9–11; not indeed to the summit, but “afar off,” “and they saw the God of Israel,” that is, the glory in which he appeared, “as it were the paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven for clearness;”--a clear and dazzling azure, a pure, unmingled splendour like that of the heavens. “And upon the nobles of Israel,” Aaron, his sons, and the seventy elders, “he laid not his hand,”--they were not destroyed by a sight which must have overwhelmed the weakness of mortal men had they not been strengthened to bear it; “and they did eat and drink,”--they joyfully and devoutly feasted before the Lord, as a religious act, upon the sacrifices they offered. After this they departed, and Moses remained with God on the very summit of the mount forty days.

During this period, the people, grown impatient at the long absence of Moses, addressed themselves to Aaron in a tumultuous manner, saying, “Make us gods which shall go before us: for, as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” Aaron sinfully yielded to the importunities of the people; and having ordered them to bring the pendants and the ear-rings of their wives and children, he melted them down, and then made a golden calf, probably in imitation of the Egyptian Apis, an ox or calf dedicated to Osiris. In this instance the image was dedicated to Jehovah the true God; but the guilt consisted in an attempt to establish image worship, which, when even ultimately referring to God, he has forbidden. Neither are images to be worshipped, nor the true God by images;--this is the standing unrepealed law of Heaven. The calf was called a golden calf, as being highly ornamented with gold. Having finished the idol, the people placed it on a pedestal, and danced around it, saying, “These be thy gods, O Israel;” or, as it is expressed in Nehemiah, “This is thy God,” the image or symbol of thy God, “which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Moses, having hastened from the mount by the command of God, testified to the people, by breaking the tables of the law in their presence, that the covenant between God and them was now rendered of none effect through their offence. He also indignantly reproved Aaron, whose sin indeed had kindled against him the anger of the Lord, so that he would “have destroyed him but that Moses prayed for him.”

After the tabernacle was built, Moses consecrated Aaron to the high priesthood with the holy oil, and invested him with his priestly robes,--his garments “of glory and beauty;” but Aaron’s weakness was again manifested in concurring with Miriam, his sister, to censure and oppose Moses, through envy. Aaron, as being the elder brother, could not perhaps brook his superiority. What the motive of Miriam might be does not appear; but she being struck with leprosy, this punishment, as being immediately from God, opened Aaron’s eyes; he acknowledged his fault, and asked forgiveness of Moses both for himself and his sister.

Aaron himself became also the object of jealousy; but two miraculous interpositions confirmed him in his office of high priest, as of Divine appointment. The first was the destruction of Korah, who sought that office for himself, and of the two hundred and fifty Levites who supported his pretensions, Num. xvi. The second was the blossoming of Aaron’s rod, which was designed “to cause the murmurings of the Israelites against him to cease,” by showing that he was chosen of God. Moses having, at the command of God, taken twelve rods of an almond tree from the princes of the twelve tribes, and Aaron’s separately, he placed them in the tabernacle before the sanctuary, after having written upon each the name of the tribe which it represented, and upon the rod of Aaron the name of Aaron. The day following, when the rods were taken out, that of Aaron “was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” This rod therefore was laid up by the ark, to perpetuate the remembrance of the miracle, and to be a token of Aaron’s right to his office.

Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah, by whom he had four sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Exodus vi, 23. The two first were 2killed by fire from heaven, as a punishment for presuming to offer incense with strange fire in their censers, Lev. x, 1, 2. From the two others the succession of high priests was continued in Israel.

The account of the death of Aaron is peculiarly solemn and affecting. As he and Moses, in striking the rock at Meribah, Num. xvi, had not honoured God by a perfect obedience and faith, he in his wrath declared unto them that they should not enter into the promised land. Soon after, the Lord commanded Moses, “Take Aaron, and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to mount Hor; and strip Aaron of his garments,”--his splendid pontifical vestments,--“and put them upon Eleazar, his son; and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.” This command was carried into effect in the presence of all Israel, who were encamped at the foot of the mountain; and his son being invested with the father’s priestly dress, Aaron died, and all the people mourned for him thirty days. His sepulchre was left unmarked and unknown, perhaps to prevent the superstitious reverence of future ages. In Deuteronomy it is said that Aaron died at Mosera; because that was the name of the district in which mount Hor was situated.

2. The PRIESTHOOD being established in Aaron and his family, the nature of this office among the Israelites, and the distinction between the high priest and the other priests, require here to be pointed out.

Before the promulgation of the law by Moses, the fathers of every family, and the princes of every tribe, were priests. This was the case both before and after the flood; for Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Job, Abimelech, Laban, Isaac, and Jacob, themselves offered their own sacrifices. But after the Lord had chosen the family of Aaron, and annexed the priesthood to that line, then the right of sacrificing to God was reserved to that family only. The high priesthood was confined to the first-born in succession; and the rest of his posterity were priests simply so called, or priests of the second order. Both in the high priest and the second or inferior priests, two things deserve notice,--their consecration and their office. In some things they differed, and in others agreed. In their consecration they differed thus: the high priest had the chrism, or sacred ointment, poured upon his head, so as to run down to his beard, and the skirts of his garment, Exod. xxx, 23; Lev. viii, 12; Psa. cxxxiii, 2. But the second priests were only sprinkled with this oil, mixed with the blood of the sacrifice, Lev. viii, 30. They differed also in their robes, which were a necessary adjunct to consecration. The high priest wore at the ordinary times of his ministration in the temple, eight garments;--linen drawers--a coat of fine linen close to his skin--an embroidered girdle of fine linen, blue and scarlet, to surround the coat--a robe all of blue with seventy-two bells, and as many embroidered pomegranates upon the skirts of it; this was put over the coat and girdle--an ephod of gold, and of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, curiously wrought, on the shoulders of which were two stones engraved with the names of the twelve tribes; this was put over the robe, and girt with a curious girdle of the same--a breastplate, about a span square, wrought with gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, and fastened upon the ephod by golden chains and rings; in this breastplate were placed the urim and thummim, also twelve several stones, containing the names of the twelve tribes--a mitre of fine linen, sixteen cubits long, to wrap round his head--and lastly, a plate of gold, or holy crown, two fingers broad, whereon was engraved, “Holiness to the Lord;” this was tied with blue lace upon the front of the mitre. Beside these garments, which he wore in his ordinary ministration, there were four others, which he wore only upon extraordinary occasions, viz. on the day of expiation, when he went into the holy of holies, which was once a year. These were: linen drawers--a linen coat--a linen girdle--a linen mitre, all white, Exod. xxviii; Lev. xvi, 4. But the inferior priests had only four garments: linen drawers--a linen coat--a linen girdle--a linen bonnet. The priest and high priest differed also in their marriage restrictions; for the high priest might not marry a widow, nor a divorced woman, nor a harlot, but a virgin only; whereas the other priests might lawfully marry a widow, Lev. xxi, 7.

In the following particulars the high priest and inferior priests agreed in their consecration: both were to be void of bodily blemish--both were to be presented to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle--both were to be washed with water--both were to be consecrated by offering up certain sacrifices--both were to have the blood of a ram put upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot, Exod. xxix, 20. In the time of consecration, certain pieces of the sacrifice were put into the priest’s hand, which was called “filling his hand;” hence the Hebrew phrase, “to fill the hand,” signifies consecration.

In the discharge of their offices, the high priest differed from the other priests in these particulars: the high priest only, and that but once a year, might enter into the holy of holies--the high priest might not mourn for his nearest relations by uncovering his head, or tearing any part of his garments, except the skirt; whereas the priest was allowed to mourn for these six,--father, mother, son, daughter, brother, and sister if she had no husband, Lev. xxi, 2, 10, 11; but they agreed in these respects: they both burnt incense and offered sacrifices--they both sounded the trumpet, either as an alarm in war, or to assemble the people and their rulers--they both slew the sacrifices--both instructed the people--and both judged of leprosy.

For the more orderly performance of these offices, the high priest had his sagan, who, in case of the high priest’s pollution, performed his duty. The high priest and his sagan resembled our bishop and his suffragan.

3. Aaron was a TYPE of Christ, not personally, but as the high priest of the Jewish church. All the priests, as offering gifts and sacrifices, 3were in their office types of Christ; but Aaron especially, 1. As the high priest. 2. In entering into the holy place on the great day of atonement, and reconciling the people to God; in making intercession for them, and pronouncing upon them the blessing of Jehovah, at the termination of solemn services. 3. In being anointed with the holy oil by effusion, which was prefigurative of the Holy Spirit with which our Lord was endowed. 4. In bearing the names of all the tribes of Israel upon his breast and upon his shoulders, thus presenting them always before God, and representing them to him. 5. In being the medium of their inquiring of God by urim and thummim; and of the communication of his will to them. But though the offices of Aaron were typical, the priesthood of Christ is of a different and higher ORDER than his, namely, that of Melchizedeck. See Calf, Priest, Type, Ephod, Breastplate, Urim.

AB, in the Hebrew chronology, the eleventh month of the civil year, and the fifth of the ecclesiastical year, which began with Nisan. This month answered to the moon of July, comprehending part of July and of August, and contained thirty days.

The first day of this month is observed as a fast by the Jews, in memory of Aaron’s death; and the ninth, in commemoration of the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, in the year before Christ 587. Josephus observes, that the burning of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar happened on the same day of the year on which it was afterward burned by Titus. The same day was remarkable for Adrian’s edict, which prohibited the Jews to continue in Judea, or to look toward Jerusalem and lament its desolation. The eighteenth day is also kept as a fast, because the sacred lamp was extinguished on that night, in the reign of Ahaz. On the twenty-first, or, according to Scaliger, the twenty-second day, was a feast called Xylophoria, from their laying up the necessary wood in the temple: and on the twenty-fourth, a feast in commemoration of the abolishing of a law by the Asmoneans, or Maccabees, which had been introduced by the Sadducees, and which enacted, that both sons and daughters should alike inherit the estate of their parents.

ABADDON, Heb. corresponding to Apollyon, Gr. that is, Destroyer, is represented, Rev. ix, 11, as king of the locusts, and the angel of the bottomless pit. Le Clerc and Dr. Hammond understand by the locusts in this passage, the zealots and robbers who infested and desolated Judea before Jerusalem was taken by the Romans; and by Abaddon, John of Gischala, who having treacherously left that town before it was surrendered to Titus, came to Jerusalem and headed those of the zealots who acknowledged him as their king, and involved the Jews in many grievous calamities. The learned Grotius concurs in opinion, that the locusts are designed to represent the sect of the zealots, who appeared among the Jews during the siege, and at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. But Mr. Mede remarks, that the title Abaddon alludes to Obodas, the common name of the ancient monarchs of that part of Arabia from which Mohammed came; and considers the passage as descriptive of the inundation of the Saracens. Mr. Lowman adopts and confirms this interpretation. He shows that the rise and progress of the Mohammedan religion and empire exhibit a signal accomplishment of this prophecy. All the circumstances here recited correspond to the character of the Arabians, and the history of the period that extended from A. D. 568 to A. D. 675. In conformity to this opinion, Abaddon may be understood to denote either Mohammed, who issued from the abyss, or the cave of Hera, to propagate his pretended revelations, or, more generally, the Saracen power. Mr. Bryant supposes Abaddon to have been the name of the Ophite deity, the worship of whom prevailed very anciently and very generally.

ABANA. Naaman, the leper, on being directed to wash in the river Jordan, says, 2 Kings v, 12, “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?” Probably the Abana is a branch of the Barrady, or Chrysorrhoas, which derives its source from the foot of mount Libanus, eastward; runs round and through Damascus, and continues its course till lost in the wilderness, four or five leagues south of the city. Benjamin of Tudela will have that part of Barrady which runs through Damascus to be the Abana, and the streams which water the gardens without the city, to be Pharpar; but perhaps the Pharpar is the same with Orontes, the most noted river of Syria, which, taking its rise a little to the north or north-east of Damascus, glides through a delightful plain, till, after passing Antioch, and running about two hundred miles to the north-west, it loses itself in the Mediterranean sea, 2 Kings v, 12.

ABBA, a Syriac word, which signifies father. The learned Mr. Selden, from the Babylonian Gemara, has proved that slaves were not allowed to use the title abba in addressing the master of the family to which they belonged. This may serve to illustrate Rom. viii, 15, and Gal. iv, 6, as it shows that through faith in Christ all true Christians pass into the relation of sons; are permitted to address God with filial confidence in prayer; and to regard themselves as heirs of the heavenly inheritance. This adoption into the family of God, inseparably follows our justification; and the power to call God our Father, in this special and appropriative sense, results from the inward testimony given to our forgiveness by the Holy Spirit. St. Paul and St. Mark use the Syriac word abba, a term which was understood in the synagogues and primitive assemblies of Christians; but added to it when writing to foreigners the explanation, father. Figuratively, abba means also a superior, in respect of age, dignity, or affection. It is more particularly used in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic churches as a title given to their bishops. The bishops themselves bestow the title abba more eminently upon the bishop of Alexandria, which occasioned the people to give him the title of baba, or papa, that is, grandfather; a title which he bore before the bishop of Rome.

ABEDNEGO, the Chaldee name given by 4the king of Babylon’s officer to Azariah, one of Daniel’s companions, Dan. i, 7. This name imports the servant of Nago, or Nego, which is supposed to signify the sun, or morning star, so called from its brightness. Abednego was thrown into a fiery furnace, at Babylon, with his two companions Shadrach and Meshach, for refusing to adore the statue erected by the command of Nebuchadnezzar. God suffered them not to be injured by the flames; but made the whole to redound to his own glory, and the shame of the idols of Babylon. One like unto the Son of God, or a Divine person, probably the Angel of the Divine presence himself, appeared in the midst of them; and they came out of the furnace, which had been heated seven times hotter than usual, so completely preserved from the power of the flames, that not even “the smell of fire had passed upon them.” This was an illustrious instance of the courageous and hallowed spirit of martyrdom; and the interposition was no doubt designed to encourage the Jews while in captivity, living among idolaters, to hold fast their religion. It is an instance also of those gracious visitations to the old Heathen world, by which it was loudly called from its idolatries, and aroused to the acknowledgment of the true and only Jehovah, who, in various ways, “left not himself without witness” among them. A great temporary effect was produced by this and other miracles related in the book of Daniel; but the people relapsed again into idolatry, and justly brought upon themselves all those wasting judgments which in succession swept over the mightiest and most ancient states.

ABEL. He was the second son of Adam and Eve, and born probably in the second or third year of the world; though some will have it that he and Cain were twins. His name signifies vapour, vanity, and might be given either because our first parents now began so to feel the emptiness and vanity of all earthly things, that the birth of another son reminded them painfully of it, although in itself a matter of joy; or it was imposed under prophetic impulse, and obscurely referred to his premature death. His employment was that of a shepherd; Cain followed the occupation of his father, and was a tiller of the ground. Whether they remained in their father’s family at the time when they brought their offerings to the Lord, or had establishments separate from that of Adam, does not clearly appear. Abel was probably unmarried, or had no children; but Cain’s wife is mentioned. “At the end of the days,”--which is a more literal rendering than “in process of time,” as in our translation, that is, on the Sabbath,--both brothers brought an offering to the Lord. Cain “brought of the fruit of the ground;” Abel “the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof.” “And the Lord had respect to Abel and to his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect.” As Cain afterward complains that “he should be hid from the face or presence of the Lord,” it is probable that the worship of the first family was performed before some visible manifestation of the glory of God, which thus consecrated a particular place for their services. Some have thought that this was at the east gate of Eden, where “Cherubim and a flaming sword were placed;” but this was a vengeful manifestation, and could only have inspired a dread of God inconsistent with the confidence and hope with which men through the promise of redemption were now encouraged to draw nigh to him. The respect which God was pleased to show to Abel’s offering, appears from the account to have been sensibly declared; for Cain must have known by some token that the sacrifice of Abel was accepted, the absence of which sign, as to his own offering, showed that it was rejected. Whether this was by fire going forth from “the presence of the Lord,” to consume the sacrifice, as in later instances recorded in the Old Testament, or in some other way, it is in vain to inquire;--that the token of acceptance was a sensible one is however an almost certain inference. The effect of this upon Cain was not to humble him before God, but to excite anger against his brother; and, being in the field with him, or, as the old versions have it, having said to him, “Let us go out into the field,” “he rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him;” and for that crime, by which the first blood of man was shed by man upon the earth,--a murder aggravated by the relationship and the “righteous” character of the sufferer, and having in it also the nature of religious persecution,--he was pronounced by the Lord “cursed from the earth.”

2. As the sacrifice of Abel is the first on record, and has given rise to some controversy, it demands particular attention. It was offered, says St. Paul, “in faith,” and it was “a more excellent sacrifice” than that of Cain. Both these expressions intimate that it was EXPIATORY and PREFIGURATIVE.

As to the matter of the sacrifice, it was an animal offering. “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground; and Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof;” or, more literally, “the fat of them,” that is, according to the Hebrew idiom, the fattest or best of his flock; and in this circumstance consisted its specific character as an act of faith. This is supported by the import of the phrase, ϖλείονα θυσίαν, used by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, when speaking of the sacrifice of Abel. Our translators have rendered it, “a more excellent sacrifice.” Wickliffe translates it, as Archbishop Magee observes, uncouthly, but in the full sense of the original, “a much more sacrifice;” and the controversy which has arisen on this point is, whether this epithet of “much more,” or “fuller,” refers to quantity or quality; whether it is to be understood in the sense of a more abundant, or of a better, a more excellent sacrifice. Dr. Kennicott takes it in the sense of measure and quantity, as well as quality; and supposes that Abel brought a double offering of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fruit of the ground also. His criticism has been very satisfactorily refuted by Archbishop Magee. The sacrifice of Abel was that of animal victims, and it was indicative not of gratitude but of “faith:” a quality not to be made manifest by the quantity 5of an offering, for the one has no relation to the other.

3. This will more fully appear if we consider the import of the words of the Apostle,--“By FAITH Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained WITNESS that he was RIGHTEOUS, God testifying of his gifts; and by it, he, being dead, yet speaketh.” Now what is the meaning of the Apostle, when he says that it was witnessed or testified to Abel that he was righteous? His doctrine is, that men are sinners; that all, consequently, need pardon; and to be declared, witnessed, and accounted righteous, are, according to his style of writing, the same as “to be justified, pardoned, and dealt with as righteous.” Thus he argues that Abraham believed God, “and it was accounted to him for righteousness,”--“that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness,”--“that he received the sign of circumcision, a seal,” a visible confirmatory, declaratory, and witnessing mark “of the righteousness which he had by faith.” In these cases we have a similarity so striking, that they can scarcely fail to explain each other. In both, sinful men are placed in the condition of righteous men; the instrument, in both cases, is faith; and the transaction is, in both cases also, publicly and sensibly witnessed,--as to Abraham, by the sign of circumcision; as to Abel, by a visible acceptance of his sacrifice, and the rejection of that of Cain.

Abel had faith, and he expressed that faith by the kind of sacrifice he offered. It was in this way that his faith “pleased God;” it pleased him as a principle, and by the act to which it led, which act was the offering of a sacrifice to God different from that of Cain. Cain had not this faith, whatever might be its object; and Cain, accordingly, did not bring an offering to which God had “respect.” That which vitiated the offering of Cain was the want of this faith; for his offering was not significant of faith: that which “pleased God,” in the case of Abel, was his faith; and he had “respect” to his offering, because it was the expression of that faith; and upon his faith so expressing itself, God witnessed to him “that he was righteous.” So forcibly do the words of St. Paul, when commenting upon this transaction, show, that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted, because of its immediate connection with his faith, for by faith he is said to have offered it; and whatever it might be, which made Abel’s offering differ from that of Cain, whether abundance, or kind, or both, this was the result of his faith. So evident also is it from the Apostle, that Abel was witnessed to be “righteous,” not with reference to any previous “habit of a religious life,” as some say, but with reference to his faith; and to this faith as expressing itself by his offering “a more excellent sacrifice.”

4. If, then, the faith of Abel had an immediate connection with his sacrifice, and both with his being accepted as “righteous,”--that is, justified, in St. Paul’s use of the term,--to what had his faith respect? The particular object of the faith of the elders, celebrated in Hebrews xi, is to be deduced from the circumstances mentioned as illustrative of the existence and operation of this great principle, and by which it manifested itself in them. Let us explain this, and then ascertain the object of Abel’s faith also from the manner of its manifestation,--from the acts in which it embodied and rendered itself conspicuous.

Faith, in this chapter, is taken in the sense of affiance in God, and, as such, it can only be exercised toward God, as to all its particular acts, in those respects in which we have some warrant to confide in him. This supposes revelation, and, in particular, promises or declarations on his part, as the ground of every act of affiance. When, therefore, it is said that “by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death,” it must be supposed that he had some promise or intimation to this effect, on which, improbable as the event was, he nobly relied; and in the result God honoured his faith in the sight of all men. The faith of Noah had immediate respect to the threatened flood, and to the promise of God to preserve him in the ark which he was commanded to prepare. The chapter is filled with other instances, expressed or implied; and from the whole, as well as from the nature of things, it will appear, that, when the Apostle speaks of the faith of the elders in its particular acts, he represents it as having respect to some promise, declaration, or revelation of God.

This revelation was necessarily antecedent to the faith; but it is also to be observed, that the acts by which the faith was represented, whenever it was represented by particular acts, and when the case admitted it, had a natural and striking conformity and correspondence to the previous revelation. So Noah built the ark, which indicated that he had heard the threat of the world’s destruction by water, and had received the promise of his own preservation, and that of his family, as well as that of a part of the beasts of the earth. When Abraham went into Canaan at the command of God, and upon the promise that that country should become the inheritance of his decendants, he showed his faith by taking possession of it for them in anticipation, and his residence there indicated the kind of promise which he had received. Thus these instances show, that when the faith which the Apostle commends exhibited itself in some particular act, that act had a correspondency to the previous promise or revelation which was the ground of faith. We must therefore interpret the acts of Abel’s faith so as to make them also correspond with an antecedent revelation. His faith had respect to some previous revelation, and the nature of the revelation is to be collected from the significant manner in which he declared his faith in it.

Now that which Abel did “by faith,” was, generally, to perform an act of solemn worship, in the confidence that it would be acceptable to God. This supposes a revelation, immediate or by tradition, that such acts of worship were acceptable to God, or his faith could have had no warrant, and would not have been faith, but fancy. But the case must be considered more particularly. His faith led him to offer “a more excellent sacrifice” than that of Cain; but this 6as necessarily implies, that there was some antecedent revelation to which his faith, as thus expressed, had respect, and on which that peculiarity of his offering, which distinguished it from the offering of Cain, was founded; a revelation which indicated that the way in which God would be approached acceptably, in solemn worship, was by animal sacrifices. Without this, the faith to which his offering, which was an offering of the firstlings of his flock, had a special fitness and adaptation, could have had no warrant in Divine authority. But this revelation must have included, in order to its being the ground of faith, as “the substance of things hoped for,” a promise of a benefit to be conferred, in which promise Abel might confide. But if so, then this promise must have been connected, not with the worship of God in general, or performed in any way whatever indifferently, but with his worship by animal oblations; for it was in this way that the faith of Abel specially and distinctively indicated itself. The antecedent revelation was, therefore, a promise of a benefit to be conferred, by means of animal sacrifice; and we are taught what this benefit was, by that which was actually received by the offerer,--“He obtained witness that he was righteous;” which must be interpreted in the sense of a declaration of his personal justification, and acceptance as righteous, by the forgiveness of his sins. The reason of Abel’s acceptance and of Cain’s rejection is hereby made manifest; the one, in seeking the Divine favour, conformed to his established and appointed method of being approached by guilty men, and the other not only neglected this, but profanely and presumptuously substituted his own inventions.

5. It is impossible, then, to allow the sacrifice of Abel, in this instance, to have been an act of FAITH, without supposing that it had respect to a previous revelation, which agreed with all the parts of that sacrificial action by which he expressed his faith in it. Had Abel’s sacrifice been eucharistic merely, it would have expressed gratitude, but not faith; or if faith in the general sense of confidence in God that he would receive an act of grateful worship, and reward the worshippers, it did not more express faith than the offering of Cain, who surely believed these two points, or he would not have brought an offering of any kind. The offering of Abel expressed a faith which Cain had not; and the doctrinal principles which Abel’s faith respected were such as his sacrifice visibly embodied. If it was not an eucharistic sacrifice, it was an expiatory one; and, in fact, it is only in a sacrifice of this kind, that it is possible to see that faith exhibited which Abel had, and Cain had not. If then we refer to the subsequent sacrifices of expiation appointed by Divine authority, and their explanation in the New Testament, it will be obvious to what doctrines and principles of an antecedent revelation the faith of Abel had respect, and which his sacrifice, the exhibition of his faith, proclaimed: confession of the fact of being a sinner,--acknowledgment that the demerit and penalty of sin is death,--submission to an appointed mode of expiation,--animal sacrifice offered vicariously, but in itself a mere type of a better sacrifice, “the Seed of the woman,” appointed to be offered at some future period,--and the efficacy of this appointed method of expiation to obtain forgiveness, and to admit the guilty into the Divine favour.

“Abel,” Dr. Magee justly says, “in firm reliance on the promise of God, and in obedience to his command, offered that sacrifice which had been enjoined as the religious expression of his faith; whilst Cain, disregarding the gracious assurances that had been vouchsafed, or at least disdaining to adopt the prescribed mode of manifesting his belief, possibly as not appearing to his reason to possess any efficacy or natural fitness, thought he had sufficiently acquitted himself of his duty in acknowledging the general superintendence of God, and expressing his gratitude to the Supreme Benefactor, by presenting some of those good things which he thereby confessed to have been derived from his bounty. In short, Cain, the first-born of the fall, exhibits the first fruits of his parents’ disobedience, in the arrogance and self-sufficiency of reason rejecting the aids of revelation, because they fell not within its apprehension of right. He takes the first place in the annals of Deism, and displays, in his proud rejection of the ordinance of sacrifice, the same spirit which, in later days, has actuated his enlightened followers, in rejecting the sacrifice of Christ.”

Abel was killed about the year of the world, 130.

ABEL-MISRAIM, the floor of Atad, beyond the river Jordan, where Joseph, his brethren, and the Egyptians mourned for the death of Jacob, Gen. l, 11. On this occasion the funeral procession was, at the command of Joseph, attended by “all the elders of Egypt, and all the servants of Pharaoh, and all his house, and the house of his brethren, chariots and horsemen, a very great company;” an affecting proof, as it has been remarked, of Joseph’s simplicity and singleness of heart, which allowed him to give to the great men of Egypt, over whom he bore absolute rule, an opportunity of observing his own comparatively humble origin, by leading them in attendance upon his father’s corpse to the valleys of Canaan, the modest cradle of his race, and to their simple burial places.

ABEL-SHITTIM, a city situate in the plains of Moab, beyond Jordan, opposite to Jericho, Num. xxv, 1, &c; xxiii, 49; Joshua xi, 1. Eusebius says it stood in the neighbourhood of mount Peor. Moses encamped at Abel-Shittim some time before the Hebrew army passed the Jordan. Here the Israelites fell into idolatry, and worshipped Baal-peor, for which God punished them by the destruction of twenty-four thousand persons in one day.

ABIAH, the second son of the prophet Samuel, and brother of Joel. Samuel having entrusted to his sons the administration of public justice, and admitted them to a share in the government, they behaved so ill, that the people demanded a king, 1 Sam. viii, 2. A. M. 2909.

ABIATHAR, the son of Ahimelech, and the tenth high priest among the Jews, and fourth 7in descent from Eli, 2 Sam. viii, 17; 1 Chron. xviii, 16. When Saul sent to Nob to murder all the priests, Abiathar escaped the massacre, and fled to David in the wilderness. There he continued in the quality of high priest; but Saul, out of aversion to Ahimelech, whom he imagined to have betrayed his interests, transferred the dignity of the high priesthood from Ithamar’s family into that of Eleazar, by conferring this office upon Zadok. Thus there were, at the same time, two high priests in Israel, Abiathar with David, and Zadok with Saul. In this state things continued, until the reign of Solomon, when Abiathar, being attached to the party of Adonijah, was, by Solomon, divested of his priesthood, A. M. 2989; and the race of Zadok alone performed the functions of that office during the reign of Solomon, to the exclusion of the family of Ithamar, according to the word of the Lord to Eli, 1 Sam. ii, 30, &c.

ABIB, the name of the first Hebrew sacred month, Exod. xiii, 4. This month was afterward called Nisan; it contained thirty days, and answered to part of our March and April. Abib signifies green ears of corn, or fresh fruits, according to Jerom’s translation, Exod. xiii, 4, and to the LXX. It was so named because corn, particularly barley, was in ear at that time. It was an early custom to give names to months, from the appearances of nature; and the custom is still in force among many nations. The year among the Jews commenced in September, and consequently their jubilees and other civil matters were regulated in this way, Lev. xxv, 8–10; but their sacred year began in Abib. This change took place at the redemption of Israel from Egypt, Exod. xii, 2, “This shall be to you the beginning of months.” Ravanelli observes, that as this deliverance from Egypt was a figure of the redemption of the church of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again in this month, it was made the “beginning of months,” to lead the church to expect the acceptable year of the Lord. On the tenth day of this month the paschal lamb was taken; and on the fourteenth they ate the passover. On the seven succeeding days they celebrated the feast of unleavened bread, on the last of which days they held a solemn convocation, Exod. xii, xiii. On the fifteenth they gathered the sheaf of the barley first fruits, and on the following day presented an offering of it to the Lord, which having done they might begin their harvest, Lev. xxiii.

ABIHU, the son of Aaron, the high priest, was consumed, together with his brother Nadab, by fire sent from God, because he had offered incense with strange fire, instead of taking it from the altar, Lev. x, 1, 2. This calamity happened A. M. 2514; within eight days after the consecration of Aaron and his sons. Some commentators believe that this fire proceeded from the altar of burnt offerings; others, that it came from the altar of incense. Several interpreters, as the Rabbins, Lyra, Cajetan, and others, are of opinion, that Nadab and Abihu were overtaken with wine, and so forgot to take the sacred fire in their censers. This conjecture is founded on the command of God delivered immediately afterward to the priests, forbidding them the use of wine during the time they should be employed in the service of the temple. Another class allege, that there was nothing so heinous in their transgression, but it was awfully punished, to teach ministers fidelity and exactness in discharging their office. It had a vastly more important meaning,--this instance of vengeance is a standing example of that divine wrath which shall consume all who pretend to serve God, except with incense kindled from the one altar and offering by which he for ever perfects them that are sanctified.

ABIJAH, the son of Jeroboam, the first king of the ten tribes, who died very young, 1 Kings xiv, 1, &c, A. M. 3046.--2. The son of Rehoboam, king of Judah, and of Maachah, the daughter of Uriel, who succeeded his father, A. M. 3046, 2 Chron. xi, 20; xiii, 2, &c. The Rabbins reproach this monarch with neglecting to destroy the profane altar which Jeroboam had erected at Bethel; and with not suppressing the worship of the golden calves there after his victory over that prince.

ABILENE, a small province in Cœlo Syria, between Lebanon and Antilibanus. Of this place Lysanias was governor in the fifteenth year of Tiberius, Luke iii, 1. Abela, or Abila, the capital, was north of Damascus, and south of Heliopolis.

ABIMELECH. This seems to have been the title of the kings of Philistia, as Cæsar was of the Roman emperors, and Pharaoh of the sovereigns of Egypt. It was the name also of one of the sons of Gideon, who became a judge of Israel, Judges ix; and of the Jewish high priest, who gave Goliath’s sword, which had been deposited in the tabernacle, and part of the shew bread, to David, at the time this prince was flying from Saul, 1 Sam. xxi, 1.

ABIRAM, the eldest son of Hiel, the Bethelite. Joshua having destroyed the city of Jericho, pronounced this curse: “Cursed be the man, before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city, Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it,” Joshua vi, 26. Hiel of Bethel, about five hundred and thirty-seven years after this imprecation, having undertaken to rebuild Jericho, whilst he was laying the foundation of it, lost his eldest son, Abiram, 1 Kings xvi, 34; and Segub, the youngest, when they set up the gates of it: a remarkable instance of a prophetic denunciation fulfilled, perhaps on a person who would not credit the tradition, or the truth of the prediction. So true is the word of the Lord; so minutely are the most distant contingencies foreseen by him; and so exact is the accomplishment of Divine prophecy!

2. Abiram, the son of Eliab, of the tribe of Reuben, was one of those who conspired with Korah and Dathan against Moses in the wilderness, and was swallowed up alive, with his companions, by the earth, which opened to receive them, Num. xvi.

ABISHAG, a young woman, a native of 8Shunam, in the tribe of Issachar. David, at the age of seventy, finding no warmth in his bed, was advised by his physicians to procure some young person, who might communicate the heat required. To this end Abishag was presented to him, who was one of the most beautiful women in Israel, 1 Kings i, 3; and the king made her his wife. After his death, Adonijah requested her in marriage, for which he lost his life; Solomon perceiving in this a design upon the crown also. Adonijah was his elder brother, an intriguing man, and had aspired to be king before the death of David, and had had his life spared only upon the condition of his peaceable conduct. By this request he convinced Solomon, that he was still actuated by political views, and this brought upon him the punishment of treason.

ABISHAI, the son of Zeruiah, David’s sister, who was one of the most valiant men of his time, and one of the principal generals in David’s armies.

ABLUTION, purification by washing the body, either in whole or part. Ablutions appear to be almost as ancient as external worship itself. Moses enjoined them; the Heathens adopted them; and Mohammed and his followers have continued them: thus they have been introduced among most nations, and make a considerable part of all superstitious religions. The Egyptian priests had their diurnal and nocturnal ablutions; the Grecians, their sprinklings; the Romans, their lustrations and lavations; the Jews, their washings of hands and feet, beside their baptisms; the ancient Christians used ablution before communion, which the Romish church still retains before the mass, sometimes after; the Syrians, Copts, &c, have their solemn washings on Good Friday; the Turks their greater and less ablutions, &c.

Lustration, among the Romans, was a solemn ceremony by which they purified their cities, fields, armies, or people, after any crime or impurity. Lustrations might be performed by fire, by sulphur, by water, and by air; the last was applied by ventilation, or fanning the thing to be purified. All sorts of people, slaves excepted, might perform some kind of lustration. When a person died the house was to be swept in a particular manner; new married persons were sprinkled by the priest with water. People sometimes, by way of purification, ran several times naked through the streets. There was scarcely any action performed, at the beginning and end of which some ceremony was not required to purify themselves and appease the gods.

ABNER was the uncle of king Saul, and the general of his army. After Saul’s death, he made Ishbosheth king; and for seven years supported the family of Saul, in opposition to David; but in most of his skirmishes came off with loss. While Ishbosheth’s and David’s troops lay near each other, hard by Gibeon, Abner challenged Joab to select twelve of David’s warriors to fight with an equal number of his. Joab consented: the twenty-four engaged; and fell together on the spot. A fierce battle ensued, in which Abner and his troops were routed. Abner himself was hotly pursued by Asahel, whom he killed by a back stroke of his spear. Still he was followed by Joab and Abishai, till he, who in the morning sported with murder, was obliged at even to entreat that Joab would stay his troops from the effusion of blood, 2 Sam. ii.

Not long after, Abner, taking it highly amiss for Ishbosheth to charge him with lewd behaviour toward Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, vowed that he would quickly transfer the whole kingdom into the hands of David. He therefore commenced a correspondence with David, and had an interview with him at Hebron. Abner had just left the feast at which David had entertained him, when Joab, informed of the matter, warmly remonstrated, asserting, that Abner had come as a spy. On his own authority he sent a messenger to invite him back, to have some farther communication with the king; and when Abner was come into Joab’s presence, the latter, partly from jealousy lest Abner might become his superior, and partly to revenge his brother Asahel’s death, mortally stabbed him in the act of salutation. David, to show how heartily he detested the act, honoured Abner with a splendid funeral, and composed an elegy on his death, 2 Sam. iii.

ABOMINATION. This term was used with regard to the Hebrews, who, being shepherds, are said to have been an abomination to the Egyptians; because they sacrificed the animals held sacred by that people, as oxen, goats, sheep, &c, which the Egyptians esteemed unlawful. This word is also applied in the sacred writings to idolatry and idols, not only because the worship of idols is in itself an abominable thing, but likewise because the ceremonies of idolaters were almost always of an infamous and licentious nature. For this reason, Chrysostom affirms, that every idol, and every image of a man, was called an abomination among the Jews. The “abomination of desolation” foretold by the Prophet Daniel, x, 27, xi, 31, is supposed by some interpreters to denote the statue of Jupiter Olympius, which Antiochus Epiphanes caused to be erected in the temple of Jerusalem. The second of the passages above cited may probably refer to this circumstance, as the statue of Jupiter did, in fact, “make desolate,” by banishing the true worship of God, and those who performed it, from the temple. But the former passage, considered in its whole connection, bears more immediate reference to that which the evangelists have denominated the “abomination of desolation,” Matt. xxiv, 15, 16; Mark xiii, 14. This, without doubt, signifies the ensigns of the Roman armies under the command of Titus, during the last siege of Jerusalem. The images of their gods and emperors were delineated on these ensigns; and the ensigns themselves, especially the eagles, which were carried at the heads of the legions, were objects of worship; and, according to the usual style of Scripture, they were therefore an abomination. Those ensigns were placed upon the ruins of the temple after it was taken and demolished; and, as Josephus informs us, the Romans sacrificed 9to them there. The horror with which the Jews regarded them, sufficiently appears from the account which Josephus gives of Pilate’s introducing them into the city, when he sent his army from Cæsarea into winter quarters at Jerusalem, and of Vitellius’s proposing to march through Judea, after he had received orders from Tiberius to attack Aretas, king of Petra. The people supplicated and remonstrated, and induced Pilate to remove the army, and Vitellius to march his troops another way. The Jews applied the above passage of Daniel to the Romans, as we are informed by Jerome. The learned Mr. Mede concurs in the same opinion. Sir Isaac Newton, Obs. on Daniel ix, xii, observes, that in the sixteenth year of the emperor Adrian, B. C. 132, the Romans accomplished the prediction of Daniel by building a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, where the temple of God in Jerusalem had stood. Upon this occasion the Jews, under the conduct of Barchochab, rose up in arms against the Romans, and in the war had fifty cities demolished, nine hundred and eighty-five of their best towns destroyed, and five hundred and eighty thousand men slain by the sword; and in the end of the war, B. C. 136, they were banished from Judea upon pain of death; and thenceforth the land remained desolate of its old inhabitants. Others again have applied the prediction of Daniel to the invasion and desolation of Christendom by the Mohammedans, and to their conversion of the churches into mosques. From this interpretation they infer, that the religion of Mohammed will prevail in the east one thousand two hundred and sixty years, and be succeeded by the restoration of the Jews, the destruction of antichrist, the full conversion of the Gentiles to the church of Christ, and the commencement of the millennium.

In general, whatever is morally or ceremonially impure, or leads to sin, is designated an abomination to God. Thus lying lips are said to be an abomination to the Lord. Every thing in doctrine or practice which tended to corrupt the simplicity of the Gospel is also in Scripture called abominable; hence Babylon is represented, Rev. xvii, 4, as holding in her hand a cup “full of abominations.” In this view, to “work abomination,” is to introduce idolatry, or any other great corruption, into the church and worship of God, 1 Kings xi, 7.

ABRAM, אברם, a high father; and ABRAHAM, אבררם, father of a great multitude, the son of Terah, born at Ur, a city of Chaldea, A. M. 2008. The account of this eminent patriarch occupies so large a part of the book of Genesis, and stands so intimately connected with both the Jewish and Christian dispensations,--with the one by a political and religious, and with the other by a mystical, relation,--that his history demands particular notice. Our account may be divided into his personal history, and his typical, and mystic character.

I. Abraham’s PERSONAL history.

1. Chaldea, the native country of Abraham, was inhabited by a pastoral people, who were almost irresistibly invited to the study of the motions of the heavenly bodies, by the peculiar serenity of the heavens in that climate, and their habit of spending their nights in the open air in tending their flocks. The first rudiments of astronomy, as a science, is traced to this region; and here, too, one of the earliest forms of idolatry, the worship of the host of heaven, usually called Tsabaism, first began to prevail. During the three hundred and fifty years which elapsed between the deluge and the birth of Abraham, this and other idolatrous superstitions had greatly corrupted the human race, perverted the simple forms of the patriarchal religion, and beclouded the import of its typical rites. The family of Abraham was idolatrous, for his “fathers served other gods beyond the flood,” that is, the great river Euphrates; but whether he himself was in the early period of his life an idolater, we are not informed by Moses. The Arabian and Jewish legends speak of his early idolatry, his conversion from it, and of his zeal in breaking the images in his father’s house; but these are little to be depended upon. Before his call he was certainly a worshipper of the true God; and that not in form only, but “in spirit and in truth.” Whilst Abraham was still sojourning in Ur, “the God of glory” appeared to him, and said unto him, “Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and go into the land which I shall show thee;” and so firm was his faith in the providence and care of God, that although the place of his future abode was not indicated, nor any information given of the nature of the country, or the character of its inhabitants, he nevertheless promptly obeyed, and “went out, not knowing whither he went.” Terah his father, Nahor his brother, and Lot his nephew, the son of Haran his deceased brother, accompanied him; a circumstance which indicates that if the family had formerly been idolatrous it had now received the faith of Abraham. They first migrated to Haran, or Charran, in Mesopotamia, a flat, barren region westward of Ur; and after a residence there of a few years, during which Terah had died, Abraham left Haran to go into Palestine, taking with him Sarah his wife, who had no child, and Lot, with his paternal property. Nahor appears to have been left in Haran. To this second migration he was incited also by a Divine command, accompanied by the promises of a numerous issue, that his seed should become a great nation, and, above all, that “in him all the families of the earth should be blessed;” in other words, that the Messiah, known among the patriarchs as the promised “seed of the woman,” should be born in his line. Palestine was then inhabited by the Canaanites, from whom it was called Canaan. Abraham, leading his tribe, first settled at Sechem, a valley between the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, where God appeared to him and promised to give him the land of Canaan, and where, as in other places in which he remained any time, he built an altar to the Lord. He then removed to a hilly region on the north of Jericho; and as the pastures were exhausted, migrated southward, till a famine drove him into Egypt, probably the earliest, certainly the most productive, corn country of the ancient world.

102. Here it may be observed, that the migrations of Abraham and his sons show the manner in which the earth was gradually covered with people. In those ages some cities had been built, and the country to some extent about them cultivated; but wide spaces of unoccupied land lay between them. A part of society following therefore the pastoral life, led forth their flocks, and, in large family tribes, of which the parent was the head, uniting both the sovereign power and the priesthood in himself, and with a train of servants attached to the tribe by hereditary ties, pitched their camps wherever a fertile and unappropriated district offered them pasture. A few of these nomadic tribes appear to have made the circuit of the same region, seldom going far from their native seats; which would probably have been the case with Abraham, had he not received the call of God to depart to a distant country. Others, more bold, followed the track of rivers, and the sweep of fertile valleys, and at length some built cities and formed settlements in those distant regions; whilst others, either from attachment to their former mode of life, or from necessity, continued in their pastoral occupations, and followed the supplies afforded for their flocks by the still expanding regions of the fertile earth. Wars and violences, droughts, famines, and the constant increase of population, continued to impel these innumerable, but at first, small streams of men into parts still more remote. Those who settled on the sea coast began to use that element, both for supplying themselves with a new species of food, and as a medium of communication by vessels with other countries for the interchange of such commodities as their own lands afforded with those offered by maritime states, more or less distant. Thus were laid the foundations of commerce, and thus the maritime cities were gradually rendered opulent and powerful. Colonies were in time transported from them by means of their ships, and settled on the coasts of still more distant and fertile countries. Thus the migrations of the three primitive families proceeded from the central regions of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria; and in succession they established numerous communities,--the Phenicians, Arabians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Lybians southward;--the Persians, Indians, and Chinese eastward;--the Scythians, Celts, and Tartars northward;--and the Goths, Greeks, and Latins westward, even as far as the Peruvians and Mexicans of South America, and the Indians of North America.

3. Abraham, knowing the dissolute character of the Egyptians, directed Sarah to call herself his sister, which she was, although by another mother; fearing that if they knew her to be his wife, they would not only seize her, but kill him. This circumstance indicates the vicious state of morals and government in Egypt at this early period. In this affair Abraham has been blamed for want of faith in God; but it was perhaps no more than an act of common prudence, as the seraglio of the Egyptian monarch was supplied by any means, however violent and lawless. Sarah, upon the report of her beauty, was seized and taken into his harem; and God sent great plagues upon his house, which, from their extraordinary character, he concluded to be divine judgments. This led to inquiry, and on discovering that he was detaining another man’s wife by violence, he sent her back, and dismissed Abraham laden with presents.

4. After the famine Abraham returned to Canaan, and pitched his tents between Bethel and Hai, where he had previously raised an altar. Here, as his flocks and herds, and those of Lot, had greatly increased, and strifes had arisen between their herdsmen as to pasturage and water, they peaceably separated. Lot returning to the plain of the Jordan, which before the destruction of Sodom was as “the garden of God,” and Abraham to Mamre, near Hebron, after receiving a renewal of the promise, that God would give him the whole land for a possession. The separation of Abraham and Lot still farther secured the unmingled descent of the Abrahamitic family. The territories of the kings of the cities of the plain were a few years afterward invaded by a confederacy of the petty kings of the Euphrates and the neighbouring countries, and Lot and his family were taken prisoners. This intelligence being brought to Abraham, he collected the men of his tribe, three hundred and eighteen, and falling upon the kings by night, near the fountains of Jericho, he defeated them, retook the spoil, and recovered Lot. On his return, passing near Salem, supposed to be the city afterward called Jerusalem, he was blessed by its king Melchizedec, who was priest of the most high God; so that the knowledge and worship of Jehovah had not quite departed at that time from the Canaanitish nations. To him Abraham gave a tithe of the spoil. The rest he generously restored to the king of Sodom, refusing, in a noble spirit of independence, to retain so much as a “shoe lachet,” except the portion which, by usage of war, fell to the young native sheiks, Aner, Eschal, and Mamre, who had joined him in the expedition.

5. After this he had another encouraging vision of God, Gen. xv, 1; and to his complaint that he was still childless, and that his name and property would descend to the stranger Eliezer, who held the next rank in his tribe, the promise was given, that he himself should have a son, and that his seed should be countless as the stars of heaven. And it is emphatically added, “He believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” He was then fully assured, that he stood before God, a pardoned and accepted man, “whose iniquities were forgiven,” and to whom “the Lord did not impute sin.” Still the fulfilment of the promise of a son was delayed; and Sarah, perhaps despairing that it would be accomplished in her person, and the revelation which had been made merely stating that this son should be the fruit of Abraham’s body, without any reference to her, she gave to him, according to the custom of those times, one of her handmaids, an Egyptian, to be his secondary wife, who brought forth Ishmael. Children born in 11this manner had the privileges of legitimacy; but fourteen years afterward, when Abraham was a hundred years old, and Sarah ninety, the Lord appeared to him again, established his covenant with him and with his seed, changed his name to Abraham, “the father of many nations,” promised that Sarah herself should bring forth the son to whom the preceding promises had referred; instituted circumcision as the sign of the covenant; and changed the name of his wife from Sarai, my princess, to Sarah, the princess, that is, of many people to descend from her.

6. At this time Abraham occupied his former encampment near Hebron. Here, as he sat in the door of his tent, three mysterious strangers appeared. Abraham, with true Arabian hospitality, received and entertained them. The chief of the three renewed the promise of a son to be born from Sarah, a promise which she received with a laugh of incredulity, for which she was mildly reproved. As Abraham accompanied them toward the valley of the Jordan, the same divine person, for so he manifestly appears, announced the dreadful ruin impending over the licentious cities among which Lot had taken up his abode. No passage, even in the sacred writings, exhibits a more exalted view of the divine condescension than that in which Abraham is seen expostulating on the apparent injustice of involving the innocent in the ruin of the guilty: “Shall the city perish, if fifty, if forty-five, if forty, if thirty, if twenty, if ten righteous men be found within its walls?” “Ten righteous men shall avert its doom.” Such was the promise of the celestial visitant; but the guilt was universal, the ruin inevitable; and the violation of the sacred laws of hospitality and nature, which Lot in his horror attempted to avert by the most revolting expedient, confirmed the justice of the divine sentence.

7. Sarah having conceived, according to the divine promise, Abraham left the plain of Mamre, and went south to Gerar, where Abimelech reigned; and again fearing lest Sarah should be forced from him, and himself be put to death, her beauty having been, it would appear, preternaturally continued, notwithstanding her age, he here called her, as he had done in Egypt, his sister. Abimelech took her to his house, designing to marry her; but God having, in a dream, informed him that she was Abraham’s wife, he returned her to him with great presents. This year Sarah was delivered of Isaac; and Abraham circumcised him, according to the covenant stipulation; and when he was weaned, made a great entertainment. Sarah, having observed Ishmael, son of Hagar, mocking her son Isaac, said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for Ishmael shall not be heir with Isaac.” After great reluctance, Abraham complied; God having informed him that this was according to the appointments of his providence, with respect to future ages. About the same time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his general, to conclude an alliance with Abraham, who made that prince a present of seven ewe lambs out of his flock, in confirmation that a well he had opened should be his own property; and they called the place Beer-sheba, or “the well of swearing,” because of the covenant there ratified with oaths. Here Abraham planted a grove, built an altar, and for some time resided, Gen. xx, xxi.

8. More than twenty years after this, (A. M. 2133,) God, for the final trial and illustration of Abraham’s faith, directed him to offer up his son Isaac. Abraham took his son, and two servants, and went toward mount Moriah. When within sight of the mountain, Abraham left his servants, and ascended it with his son only; and there having bound him, he prepared for the affecting sacrifice; but when he was about to give the blow, an angel from heaven cried out to him, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing to him. Now I know that thou fearest God, since thou hast not withheld thine only son from me.” Abraham, turning, saw a ram entangled in the bush by his horns; and he offered this animal as a burnt offering, instead of his son Isaac. This memorable place he called by the prophetic name, Jehovah-jireh, or the Lord will see--or provide, Gen. xxii, 1–14, having respect, no doubt, to the true sacrifice which, in the fulness of time, was to be offered for the whole world upon the same mountain.

9. Twelve years afterward, Sarah, wife of Abraham, died in Hebron. Abraham came to mourn and to perform the funeral offices for her. He addressed the people at the city gate, entreating them to allow him to bury his wife among them; for, being a stranger, and having no land of his own, he could claim no right of interment in any sepulchre of that country. He, therefore, bought of Ephron, one of the inhabitants, the field of Machpelah, with the cave and sepulchre in it, at the price of four hundred shekels of silver, about forty-five pounds sterling. And here Abraham buried Sarah, with due solemnities, according to the custom of the country, Gen. xxiii. This whole transaction impressively illustrates the dignity, courtesy, and honour of these ancient chiefs; and wholly disproves the notion that theirs was a rude and unpolished age.

10. Abraham, having grown old, sent Eliezer, his steward, into Mesopotamia, with directions to obtain a young woman of his own family, as a wife for his son Isaac. Eliezer executed his commission with fidelity, and brought back Rebecca, daughter of Bethuel, grand-daughter of Nahor, and, consequently, Abraham’s niece, whom Isaac married. Abraham afterward married Keturah; by whom he had six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah; who became heads of different people, which dwelt in Arabia, and around it. He died, aged a hundred and seventy-five years, and was buried, with Sarah his wife, in the cave of Machpelah, which he had purchased of Ephron, Gen. xxiv, xxv, A. M. 2183, before Christ 1821.

II. From the personal history of Abraham we may now proceed to the consideration of the TYPICAL circumstances which were connected with it.

121. Abraham himself with his family may be regarded as a type of the church of God in future ages. They indeed constituted God’s ancient church. Not that many scattered patriarchal and family churches did not remain: such was that of Melchizedec; and such probably was that of Nahor, whom Abraham left behind in Mesopotamia. But a visible church relation was established between Abraham’s family and the Most High, signified by the visible and distinguishing sacrament of circumcision, and followed by new and enlarged revelations of truth. Two purposes were to be answered by this,--the preservation of the true doctrine of salvation in the world, which is the great and solemn duty of every branch of the church of God,--and the manifestation of that truth to others. Both were done by Abraham. Wherever he sojourned he built his altars to the true God, and publicly celebrated his worship; and, as we learn from St. Paul, he lived in tents in preference to settling in the land of Canaan, though it had been given to him for a possession, in order that he might thus proclaim his faith in the eternal inheritance of which Canaan was a type; and in bearing this testimony, his example was followed by Isaac and Jacob, the “heirs with him of the same promise,” who also thus “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims,” and that “they looked” for a continuing and eternal city in heaven. So also now is the same doctrine of immortality committed to the church of Christ; and by deadness to the world ought its members to declare the reality of their own faith in it.

2. The numerous natural posterity promised to Abraham was also a type of the spiritual seed, the true members of the church of Christ, springing from the Messiah, of whom Isaac was the symbol. Thus St. Paul expressly distinguishes between the fleshly and the spiritual seed of Abraham; to the latter of which, in their ultimate and highest sense, the promises of increase as the stars of heaven, and the sands of the sea shore, are to be referred, as also the promise of the heavenly Canaan.

3. The intentional offering up Isaac, with its result, was probably that transaction in which Abraham, more clearly than in any other, “saw the day of Christ, and was glad.” He received Isaac from the dead, says St. Paul, “in a figure.” This could be a figure of nothing but the resurrection of our Lord; and, if so, Isaac’s being laid upon the altar was a figure of his sacrificial death, scenically and most impressively represented to Abraham. The place, the same ridge of hills on which our Lord was crucified; the person, an only son, to die for no offence of his own; the sacrificer, a father; the receiving back, as it were, from death to life; the name impressed upon the place, importing, “the Lord will provide,” in allusion to Abraham’s own words to Isaac, “the Lord will provide a lamb for a burnt offering;” all indicate a mystery which lay deep beneath this transaction, and which Abraham, as the reward of his obedience, was permitted to behold. “The day” of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation was thus opened to him; and served to keep the great truth in mind, that the true burnt offering and sacrifice for sin was to be something higher than the immolation of lambs and bulls and goats,--nay, something more than what was merely human.

4. The transaction of the expulsion of Hagar was also a type. It was an allegory in action, by which St. Paul teaches us to understand that the son of the bondwoman represented those who are under the law; and the child of the freewoman those who by faith in Christ are supernaturally begotten into the family of God. The bondwoman and her son being cast out, represented also the expulsion of the unbelieving Jews from the church of God, which was to be composed of true believers of all nations, all of whom, whether Jews or Gentiles, were to become “fellow heirs.”

III. But Abraham appears before us invested with a MYSTIC character, which it is of great importance rightly to understand.

1. He is to be regarded as standing in a federal or covenant relation, not only to his natural seed, but specially and eminently to all believers. “The Gospel,” we are told by St. Paul, “was preached to Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” “Abraham believed in God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness;” in other words, he was justified. A covenant of gratuitous justification through faith was made with him and his believing descendants; and the rite of circumcision, which was not confined to his posterity by Sarah, but appointed in every branch of his family, was the sign or sacrament of this covenant of grace, and so remained till it was displaced by the sacraments appointed by Christ. Wherever that sign was it declared the doctrine, and offered the grace, of this covenant--free justification by faith, and its glorious results--to all the tribes that proceeded from Abraham. This same grace is offered to us by the Gospel, who become “Abraham’s seed,” his spiritual children with whom the covenant is established, through the same faith, and are thus made “the heirs with him of the same promise.”

2. Abraham is also exhibited to us as the representative of true believers; and in this especially, that the true nature of faith was exhibited in him. This great principle was marked in Abraham with the following characters:--An entire unhesitating belief in the word of God;--an unfaltering trust in all his promises;--a steady regard to his almighty power, leading him to overlook all apparent difficulties and impossibilities in every case where God had explicitly promised;--and habitual and cheerful and entire obedience. The Apostle has described faith in Heb. xi, 1; and that faith is seen living and acting in all its energy in Abraham.

A few miscellaneous remarks are suggested by some of the circumstances of Abraham’s history:--

1. The ancient method of ratifying a covenant by sacrifice is illustrated in the account given in Gen. xv, 9, 10. The beasts were slain 13and divided in the midst, and the persons covenanting passed between the parts. Hence, after Abraham had performed this part of the ceremony, the symbol of the Almighty’s presence, “a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp, passed between the pieces,” verse 18, and so both parties ratified the covenant.

2. As the beauty of Sarah, which she retained so long as quite to conceal her real age from observers, attracted so much notice as to lead to her forcible seizure, once by Pharaoh in Egypt, and again by Abimelech in Palestine, it may appear strange, that, as in the east women are generally kept in seclusion, and seldom appear without veils, she exposed herself to observation. But to this day the Arab women do not wear veils at home in their tents; and Sarah’s countenance might have been seen in the tent by some of the officers of Pharaoh and Abimelech, who reported her beauty to their masters.

3. The intentional offering up of Isaac is not to be supposed as viewed by Abraham as an act sanctioned by the Pagan practice of human sacrifice. The immolation of human victims, particularly of that which was most precious, the favourite, the first-born child, appears to have been a common usage among many early nations, more especially the tribes by which Abraham was surrounded. It was the distinguishing rite among the worshippers of Moloch; at a later period of the Jewish history, it was practised by a king of Moab; and it was undoubtedly derived by the Carthaginians from their Phenecian ancestors on the shores of Syria. Where it was an ordinary usage, as in the worship of Moloch, it was in unison with the character of the religion, and of its deity. It was the last act of a dark and sanguinary superstition, which rose by regular gradation to this complete triumph over human nature. The god, who was propitiated by these offerings, had been satiated with more cheap and vulgar victims; he had been glutted to the full with human suffering and with human blood. In general it was the final mark of the subjugation of the national mind to an inhuman and domineering priesthood. But the Mosaic religion held human sacrifices in abhorrence; and the God of the Abrahamitic family, uniformly beneficent, had imposed no duties which entailed human suffering, had demanded no offerings which were repugnant to the better feelings of our nature. The command to offer Isaac as “a burnt offering,” was for these reasons a trial the more severe to Abraham’s faith. He must therefore have been fully assured of the divine command; and he left the mystery to be explained by God himself. His was a simple act of unhesitating obedience to the command of God; the last proof of perfect reliance on the certain accomplishment of the divine promises. Isaac, so miraculously bestowed, could be as miraculously restored; Abraham, such is the comment of the Christian Apostle, “believed that God could even raise him up from the dead.”

4. The wide and deep impression made by the character of Abraham upon the ancient world is proved by the reverence which people of almost all nations and countries have paid to him, and the manner in which the events of his life have been interwoven in their mythology, and their religious traditions. Jews, Magians, Sabians, Indians, and Mohammedans have claimed him as the great patriarch and founder of their several sects; and his history has been embellished with a variety of fictions. One of the most pleasing of these is the following, but it proceeds upon the supposition that he was educated in idolatry: “As Abraham was walking by night from the grotto where he was born, to the city of Babylon, he gazed on the stars of heaven, and among them on the beautiful planet Venus. ‘Behold,’ said he within himself, ‘the God and Lord of the universe!’ but the star set and disappeared, and Abraham felt that the Lord of the universe could not thus be liable to change. Shortly after, he beheld the moon at the full: ‘Lo,’ he cried, ‘the Divine Creator, the manifest Deity!’ but the moon sank below the horizon, and Abraham made the same reflection as at the setting of the evening star. All the rest of the night he passed in profound rumination; at sunrise he stood before the gates of Babylon, and saw the whole people prostrate in adoration. ‘Wondrous orb,‘ he exclaimed, ‘thou surely art the Creator and Ruler of all nature! but thou, too, hastest like the rest to thy setting!--neither then art thou my Creator, my Lord, or my God!’”

ABRAHAMITES, reported heretical sects of the eighth and ninth centuries, charged with the Paulician errors, and some of them with idolatry. For these charges we have, however, only the word of their persecutors. Also the name of a sect in Bohemia, as late as 1782, who professed the religion of Abraham before his circumcision, and admitted no scriptures but the decalogue and the Lord’s prayer. As these were persecuted, they too were probably misrepresented, and especially as their conduct is allowed to have been good, even by their enemies.

ABSALOM, the son of David by Maachah, daughter of the king of Geshur; distinguished for his fine person, his vices, and his unnatural rebellion. Of his open revolt, his conduct in Jerusalem, his pursuit of the king his father, his defeat and death, see 2 Sam. xvi-xviii, at large.

ABSOLUTION, in the church of Rome, is a sacrament, in which the priests assume the power of forgiving sins. The rite of absolution in the church of England is acknowledged to be declarative only--“Almighty God hath given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins: He pardoneth,” &c. In this view it is innocent; and although any private Christian has a right to declare and pronounce the same doctrine to his neighbour, the official publication of the grace of the Gospel is the public duty of its ministers in the congregation, since they are Christ’s “ambassadors.”

ABSTINENCE, forbearance of any thing 14It is generally used with reference to forbearance from food under a religious motive. The Jewish law ordained that the priests should abstain from the use of wine during the whole time of their being employed in the service of the temple, Lev. x, 9. The same abstinence was enjoined upon the Nazarites, during the time of their Nazariteship, or separation, Num. vi, 3. The Jews were commanded to abstain from several sorts of animals. See Animal.

The fat of all sorts of animals that were sacrificed was forbidden to be eaten, Lev. iii, 17; vii, 23; and the blood of every animal, in general, was prohibited under pain of death. Indeed blood was forbidden by the Creator, from the time of the grant of the flesh of beasts to man for food; this prohibition was continued under the Jewish economy, and transmitted to the Christian church by Apostolic authority, Acts xv, 28, 29. (See Blood.) The Jews also abstained from the sinew which is upon the hollow of the thigh, Gen. xxxii, 25; because of the shrinking of the sinew of Jacob’s thigh when touched by the angel, as though by that the part had been made sacred.

Among the primitive Christians, some denied themselves the use of such meats as were prohibited by the law; others treated this abstinence with contempt. St. Paul has given his decision on these questions in his epistles, 1 Cor. viii, 7–10; Rom. xiv, 1–3. The council of Jerusalem, which was held by the Apostles, enjoined the Christian converts to abstain from meats strangled, from blood, from fornication, and from idolatry, Acts xv, 20.

The spiritual monarchy of the western world introduced another sort of abstinence which may be termed ritual, and which consists in abstaining from particular meats at certain times and seasons, the rules of which are called rogations. The ancient Lent was observed only a few days before Easter. In the course of the third century, it extended at Rome to three weeks; and before the middle of the succeeding age, it was prolonged to six weeks, and began to be called quadragesima, or the forty days’ fast.

ABYSS, or DEEP, ἄβυσσος, without bottom. The chaos; the deepest parts of the sea; and, in the New Testament, the place of the dead, Rom. x, 7; a deep place of punishment. The devils besought Jesus that he would not send them into the abyss, a place they evidently dreaded, Luke viii, 31; where it seems to mean that part of Hades in which wicked spirits are in torment. See Hell.

In the opinion of the ancient Hebrews, and of the generality of eastern people at this day, the abyss, the sea, or waters, encompassed the whole earth. This was supposed to float upon the abyss, of which it covered a small part. According to the same notion, the earth was founded on the waters, or at least its foundations were on the abyss beneath, Psalm xxiv, 2; cxxxvi, 6. Under these waters, and at the bottom of this abyss, they represented the wicked as groaning, and suffering the punishment of their sin. The Rephaim were confined there, those old giants, who, whilst living, caused surrounding nations to tremble, Prov. ix, 18; xxi, 16, &c. Lastly, in these dark dungeons the kings of Tyre, Babylon, and Egypt are described by the Prophets as suffering the punishment of their pride and cruelty, Isaiah xxvi, 14; Ezek. xxviii, 10, &c.

These depths are figuratively represented as the abodes of evil spirits, and powers opposed to God: “I saw,” says St. John, “a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of it, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit,” Rev. ix, 1, 2, 11. In another place, the beast is represented as ascending out of the bottomless pit, and waging war against the two witnesses of God, Rev. xi, 7. Lastly, St. John says, “I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season,” Rev. xx, 1–3.

ABYSSINIAN CHURCH, a branch of the Coptic church, in Upper Ethiopia. The Abyssinians, by the most authentic accounts, were converted to the Christian faith about the year 330; when Frumentius, being providentially raised to a high office, under the patronage of the queen of Ethiopia, and ordained bishop of that country by Athanasius, patriarch of Alexandria, established Christianity, built churches, and ordained a regular clergy to officiate in them. The Abyssinian Christians themselves, indeed, claim a much higher antiquity, having a tradition, that the doctrine of Christ was first introduced among them by Queen Candace, Acts viii, 27; or even preached there by the Apostles Matthew and Bartholomew; but the former is supported by no collateral evidence, and the latter is in opposition to high authority. Some of them claim relation to the Israelites, through the queen of Sheba, so far back as the reign of Solomon.

The Abyssinian Christians have always received their abuna, or patriarch, from Alexandria, whence they sprang, and consequently their creed is Monophysite, or Eutychian; maintaining one nature only in the person of Christ, namely, the divine, in which they considered all the properties of the humanity to be absorbed; in opposition to the Nestorians.

On the power of the Saracens prevailing in the east, all communication being nearly cut off between the eastern and western churches, the Abyssinian church remained unknown in Europe till nearly the close of the fifteenth century, when John II, of Portugal, accidentally hearing of the existence of such a church, sent to make inquiry. This led to a correspondence 15between the Abyssinians and the church of Rome; and Bermudes, a Portuguese, was consecrated by the pope patriarch of Ethiopia, and the Abyssinians were required to receive the Roman Catholic faith, in return for some military assistance afforded to the emperor. Instead of this, however, the emperor sent for a new patriarch from Alexandria, imprisoned Bermudes, and declared the pope a heretic.

About the middle of the sixteenth century, the Jesuits attempted a mission to Abyssinia, in the hope of reducing it to the pope’s authority; but without success. In 1588 a second mission was attempted, and so far succeeded as to introduce a system of persecution, which cost many lives, and caused many troubles to the empire. In the following century, however, the Jesuits were all expelled, Abyssinia returned to its ancient faith, and nothing more was heard of the church of Abyssinia, till the latter part of the last century.

After the expulsion of the Jesuits, all Europeans were interdicted; nor does it appear that any one dared to attempt an entrance until the celebrated Mr. Bruce, by the report of his medical skill, contrived to introduce himself to the court, where he even obtained military promotion; and was in such repute, that it was with great difficulty he obtained leave to return to England.

Encouraged, perhaps, by this circumstance, the Moravian brethren attempted a mission to this country, but in vain. They were compelled to retreat to Grand Cairo, from whence, by leave of the patriarch, they visited the Copts at Behrusser, and formed a small society; but in 1783, they were driven thence, and compelled to return to Europe. More recently, however, the late king of Abyssinia (Itsa Takley Gorges) addressed a letter to Mr. Salt, the British consul in Egypt, and requested copies of some parts of both the Old and New Testaments. Copies of the Psalms, in Ethiopic, as printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society, were also sent to him.

ACADEMICS, a name given to such philosophers as adopted the doctrines of Plato. They were so called from the Academia, a grove near Athens, where they frequently indulged their contemplations. Academia is said to derive its name from one Academus, a god or hero so called. Thus Horace,--

Atque inter sylvas Academi quærere verum.
[And in the groves of Academus to search for truth.]

The academics are divided into those of the first academy, who taught the doctrines of Plato in their original purity; those of the second or middle academy, who differed materially from the first, and inclined to skepticism; and those of the new academy. The middle school laid it down as a principle, that neither our senses, nor our reason, are to be trusted; but that in common affairs we are to conform to received opinions. The new academy maintained that we have no means of distinguishing truth, and that the most evident appearances may lead us into error; they granted the wise man opinion, but denied him certainty. They held, however, that it was best to follow the greatest probability, which was sufficient for all the useful purposes of life, and laid down rules for the attainment of felicity. The difference betwixt the middle academy and the new seems to have been this, that though they agreed in the imbecility of human nature, yet the first denied that probabilities were of any use in the pursuit of happiness; and the latter held them to be of service in such a design: the former recommended a conformity with received opinions, and the latter allowed men an opinion of their own. In the first academy, Speusippus filled the chair; in the second, Arcesilaus; and in the new or third academy, Carneades.

ACCAD, one of the four cities built by Nimrod, the founder of the Assyrian empire. (See Nimrod.) “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar,” Gen. x, 10. Thus it appears that Accad was contemporary with Babylon, and was one of the first four great cities of the world.

It would scarcely be expected that any thing should now remain to guide us in our search for this ancient city, seeing that Babylon itself, with which it was coeval, is reduced to heaps; and that it is not mentioned under its ancient name by any profane author. But the discoveries of modern travellers may be brought to aid us in our inquiry. At the distance of about six miles from the modern town of Bagdad, is found a mound, surmounted by a tower-shaped ruin, called by the Arabs Tell Nimrood, and by the Turks Nemrood Tepasse; both terms implying the Hill of Nimrod. This gigantic mass rises in an irregularly pyramidal or turreted shape, according to the view in which it is taken, one hundred and twenty-five or one hundred and thirty feet above the gently inclined elevation on which it stands. Its circumference, at the bottom, is three hundred feet. The mound which constitutes its foundation is composed of a collection of rubbish, formed from the decay of the superstructure; and consists of sandy earth, fragments of burnt brick, pottery, and hard clay, partially vitrified. In the remains of the tower, the different layers of sun-dried brick, of which it is composed, may be traced with great precision. These bricks, cemented together by slime, and divided into courses varying from twelve to twenty feet in height, are separated from one another by a stratum of reeds, similar to those now growing in the marshy parts of the plain, and in a wonderful state of preservation. The resemblance of this mode of building to that in some of the structures at Babylon, cannot escape observation; and we may reasonably conclude it to be the workmanship of the same architects. The solidity and the loftiness of this pile, unfashioned to any other purpose, bespeak it to be one of those enormous pyramidal towers which were consecrated to the Sabian worship; which, as essential to their religious rites, were probably erected in all the early cities of the Cuthites; and, like their prototype at Babylon, answered the double purpose of altars and observatories. 16Here then was the site of one of these early cities. It was not Babylon; it was not Erech; it was not Calneh. It might be too much to say that therefore it must be Accad; but the inference is at least warrantable; which is farther strengthened by the name of the place, Akarkouff; which bears a greater affinity to that of Accad than many others which are forced into the support of geographical speculations, especially when it is recollected that the Syrian name of the city was Achar.

ACCESS, free admission, open entrance. Our access to God is by Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, Rom. v, 2; Eph. ii, 18. Under the law, the high priest alone had access into the holiest of all; but when the veil of the temple was rent in twain, at the death of Christ, it was declared that a new and living way of access was laid open through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. By his death, also, the middle wall of partition was broken down, and Jew and Gentile had both free access to God; whereas, before, the Gentiles had no nearer access in the temple worship than to the gate of the court of Israel. Thus the saving grace and lofty privileges of the Gospel are equally bestowed upon true believers of all nations.

ACCHO, afterward called Ptolemais, and now Akka by the Arabs, and Acre by the Turks. It was given to the tribe of Asher, Judges i, 31. Christianity was planted here at an early period, and here St. Paul visited the saints in his way to Jerusalem, Acts xxi, 7. It is a seaport of Palestine, thirty miles south of Tyre, and, in the first partition of the holy land, belonged to the tribe of Asher; but this was one of the places out of which the Israelites could not drive the primitive inhabitants. In succeeding times it was enlarged by the first Ptolemy, to whose lot it fell, and who named it after himself, Ptolemais.

This city, now called Acre, which, from the convenience of its port, is one of the most considerable on the Syrian coast, was, during almost two centuries, the principal theatre of the holy wars, and the frequent scene of the perfidies and treacheries of the crusaders.

Among its antiquities, Dr. E. D. Clarke describes the remains of a very considerable edifice, exhibiting a conspicuous appearance among the buildings on the north side of the city. “In this structure the style of the architecture is of the kind we call Gothic. Perhaps it has on that account borne among our countrymen the appellation of ‘King Richard’s Palace,’ although, in the period to which the tradition refers, the English were hardly capable of erecting palaces, or any other buildings of equal magnificence. Two lofty arches, and part of the cornice, are all that now remain to attest the former greatness of the superstructure. The cornice, ornamented with enormous stone busts, exhibiting a series of hideous distorted countenances, whose features are in no instances alike, may either have served as allusions to the decapitation of St. John, or were intended for a representation of the heads of Saracens suspended as trophies upon the walls.” Maundrell and Pococke consider this building to have been the church of St. Andrew; but Dr. E. D. Clarke thinks it was that of St. John, erected by the Knights of Jerusalem, whence the city changed its name of Ptolemais for that of St. John d’Acre. He also considers the style of architecture to be in some degree the original of our ornamented Gothic, before its translation from the holy land to Italy, France, and England.

Mr. Buckingham, who visited Acre in 1816, says, “Of the Canaanitish Accho it would be thought idle perhaps to seek for remains; yet some presented themselves to my observation so peculiar in form and materials, and of such high antiquity, as to leave no doubt in my own mind of their being the fragments of buildings constructed in the earliest ages.

“Of the splendour of Ptolemais, no perfect monument remains; but throughout the town are seen shafts of red and grey granite, and marble pillars. The Saracenic remains are only to be partially traced in the inner walls of the town; which have themselves been so broken down and repaired, as to leave little visible of the original work; and all the mosques, fountains, bazaars, and other public buildings, are in a style rather Turkish than Arabic, excepting only an old, but regular and well-built khan or caravanserai, which might perhaps be attributed to the Saracen age. The Christian ruins are altogether gone, scarcely leaving a trace of the spot on which they stood.”

Acre has been rendered famous in our own times by the successful resistance made by our countryman Sir Sydney Smith, aided by the celebrated Djezzar Pasha, to the progress of the French under Buonaparte. Since this period, the fortifications have been considerably increased; and although to the eye of an engineer they may still be very defective, Acre may be considered as the strongest place in Palestine.

Mr. Conner says, on the authority of the English consul, that there are about ten thousand inhabitants in Acre, of whom three thousand are Turks, and the remainder Christians, chiefly Catholics.

ACCUBATION, the posture used at table by the ancients. The old Romans sat at meat as we do, till the Grecian luxury and softness had corrupted them. The same custom, of lying upon couches at their entertainments, prevailed among the Jews also in our Saviour’s time; for having been lately conquered by Pompey, they conformed in this, and in many other respects, to the example of their masters. The manner of lying at meat among the Romans, Greeks, and more modern Jews, was the same in all respects. The table was placed in the middle of the room, around which stood three couches covered with cloth or tapestry, according to the quality of the master of the house; upon these they lay, inclining the superior part of their bodies upon their left arms, the lower part being stretched out at full length, or a little bent. Their heads were supported and raised with pillows. The first man lay at the head of the couch; the next man lay with his head toward the feet of the other, from 17which he was defended by the bolster that supported his own back, commonly reaching over to the middle of the first man; and the rest after the same manner. The most honourable place was the middle couch--and the middle of that. Favourites commonly lay in the bosom of their friends; that is, they were placed next below them: see John xiii, 23, where St. John is said to have lain in our Saviour’s bosom. The ancient Greeks sat at the table; for Homer observes that when Ulysses arrived at the palace of Alcinous, the king dispatched his son Laodamas to seat Ulysses in a magnificent chair. The Egyptians sat at table anciently, as well as the Romans, till toward the end of the Punic war, when they began to recline at table.

ACCURSED, in the Scriptures, signifies that which is separated or devoted. With regard to persons, it denotes the cutting off or separating any one from the communion of the church, the number of the living, or the privileges of society; and also the devoting an animal, city, or other thing to destruction. Anathema was a species of excommunication among the Jews, and was often practised after they had lost the power of life and death, against those persons who, according to the Mosaic law, ought to have been executed. A criminal, after the sentence of excommunication was pronounced, became anathema: and they had a full persuasion that the sentence would not be in vain; but that God would interfere to punish the offender in a manner similar to the penalty of the law of Moses: a man, for instance, whom the law condemned to be stoned, would, they believed, be killed by the falling of a stone upon him; a man to be hanged, would be choked; and one whom the law sentenced to the flames, would be burnt in his house, &c. Maranatha, a Syriac word, signifying the Lord cometh, was added to the sentence, to express their persuasion that the Lord God would come to take vengeance upon that guilt which they, circumstanced as they were, had not the power to punish, 1 Cor. xvi, 22.

According to the idiom of the Hebrew language, accursed and crucified were synonymous terms. By the Jews every one who died upon a tree was reckoned accursed, Deut. xxi, 23.

Excommunication is a kind of anathema also among some Christians; and by it the offender is deprived, not only of communicating in prayers and other holy offices, but of admittance to the church, and of conversation with the faithful. The spirit of Judaism, rather than that of the Gospel, has in this been imitated; for among the Hebrews, they who were excommunicated could not perform any public duty of their employments; could be neither judges nor witnesses; neither be present at funerals, nor circumcise their own sons, nor sit down in the company of other men, nearer than within the distance of four cubits. If they died under excommunication, they were denied the rites of burial; and a large stone was left on their graves, or a heap of stones was thrown over them, as over Achan, Joshua vii, 26. The Apostolical excommunication was simply to deny to the offender, after admonition, the right of partaking of the Lord’s Supper, which was excision from the church of Christ.

ACELDAMA, a piece of ground without the south wall of Jerusalem, on the other side of the brook Siloam. It was called the Potter’s Field, because an earth or clay was dug in it, of which pottery was made. It was likewise called the Fuller’s Field, because cloth was dried in it. But it having been afterward bought with the money by which the high priest and rulers of the Jews purchased the blood of Jesus, it was called Aceldama, or the Field of Blood.

ACHAIA. This name is used to denote the whole of Greece, as it existed as a Roman province; or Achaia Proper, a district in the northern part of the Peloponnesus, on the bay of Corinth, and in which the city of that name stood. It appears to have been used in the former sense in 2 Cor. xi, 10; and in the latter, in Acts xix, 21.

ACHAN, the son of Carmi, of the tribe of Judah, who having taken a part of the spoils of Jericho, against the injunction of God, who had accursed or devoted the whole city, was, upon being taken by lot, doomed to be stoned to death. The whole history is recorded, Joshua vii. It would appear that Achan’s family were also stoned; for they were led out with him, and all his property, “And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” Some of the critics have made efforts to confine the stoning to Achan, and the burning to his goods; but not without violence to the text. It is probable, therefore, that his family were privy to the theft, seeing he hid the accursed things which he had stolen in the earth, in his tent. By concealment they therefore became partakers of his crime, and so the sentence was justified.

ACHMETHA. See Ecbatana.

ACHOR, Valley of, between Jericho and Ai. So called from the trouble brought upon the Israelites by the sin of Achan; Achor in the Hebrew denoting trouble.

ACHZIB, a city on the coast of the Mediterranean, in the tribe of Asher, and one of the cities out of which that tribe did not expel the inhabitants, Judges i, 31. It was called Ecdippa by the Greeks, and is at present termed Zib. It is situated about ten miles north of Accho, or Ptolemais. Mr. Buckingham, who passed by this place, says that it is small, and situated on a hill near the sea; having a few palm trees rearing themselves above its dwellings.

ACRA, Ἄκρα. This Greek word signifies, in general, a citadel. The Syrians and Chaldeans use הקרא, in the same sense. King Antiochus gave orders for building a citadel at Jerusalem, north of the temple, on an eminence, which commanded the holy place; and for that reason was called Acra. Josephus says, that this eminence was semicircular, and that Simon Maccabæus, having expelled the Syrians, who had seized Acra, demolished it, and spent three years in levelling the mountain on which it stood; that no situation in future should command the temple. On mount Acra were afterward built, the palace of Helena; Agrippa’s palace, the place where the public records were 18lodged; and that where the magistrates of Jerusalem assembled.

ACRABATENE, a district of Judæa, extending between Shechem (now Napolose) and Jericho, inclining east. It was about twelve miles in length. The Acrabatene had its name from a place called Akrabbim, about nine miles from Shechem, eastward. This was also the name of another district of Judea on the frontier of Idumea, toward the northern extremity of the Dead Sea.

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. This book, in the very beginning, professes itself to be a continuation of the Gospel of St. Luke; and its style bespeaks it to be written by the same person. The external evidence is also very satisfactory; for besides allusions in earlier authors, and particularly in Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Justin Martyr, the Acts of the Apostles are not only quoted by Irenæus, as written by Luke the evangelist, but there are few things recorded in this book which are not mentioned by that ancient father. This strong testimony in favour of the genuineness of the Acts of the Apostles is supported by Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Jerome, Eusebius, Theodoret, and most of the later fathers. It may be added, that the name of St. Luke is prefixed to this book in several ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, and also in the old Syriac version.

2. This is the only inspired work which gives us any historical account of the progress of Christianity after our Saviour’s ascension. It comprehends a period of about thirty years, but it by no means contains a general history of the church during that time. The principal facts recorded in it are, the choice of Matthias to be an Apostle in the room of the traitor Judas; the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of pentecost; the preaching, miracles, and sufferings of the Apostles at Jerusalem; the death of Stephen, the first martyr; the persecution and dispersion of the Christians; the preaching of the Gospel in different parts of Palestine, especially in Samaria; the conversion of St. Paul; the call of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert; the persecution of the Christians by Herod Agrippa; the preaching of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles, by the express command of the Holy Ghost; the decree made at Jerusalem, declaring that circumcision, and a conformity to other Jewish rites and ceremonies, were not necessary in Gentile converts; and the latter part of the book is confined to the history of St. Paul, of whom St. Luke was the constant companion for several years.

3. As this account of St. Paul is not continued beyond his two years’ imprisonment at Rome, it is probable that this book was written soon after his release, which happened in the year 63; we may therefore consider the Acts of the Apostles as written about the year 64.

4. The place of its publication is more doubtful. The probability appears to be in favour of Greece, though some contend for Alexandria in Egypt. This latter opinion rests upon the subscriptions at the end of some Greek manuscripts, and of the copies of the Syriac version; but the best critics think, that these subscriptions, which are also affixed to other books of the New Testament, deserve but little weight; and in this case they are not supported by any ancient authority.

5. It must have been of the utmost importance in the early times of the Gospel, and certainly not of less importance to every subsequent age, to have an authentic account of the promised descent of the Holy Ghost, and of the success which attended the first preachers of the Gospel both among the Jews and Gentiles. These great events completed the evidence of the divine mission of Christ, established the truth of the religion which he taught, and pointed out in the clearest manner the comprehensive nature of the redemption which he purchased by his death.

Œcumenius calls the Acts, the “Gospel of the Holy Ghost;” and St. Chrysostom, the “Gospel of our Saviour’s resurrection,” or the Gospel of Jesus Christ risen from the dead. Here, in the lives and preaching of the Apostles, we have the most miraculous instances of the power of the Holy Ghost; and in the account of those who were the first believers, we have received the most excellent pattern of the true Christian life.

ADAM, the name given to man in general, both male and female in the Hebrew Scriptures, Gen. i, 26, 27; v, 1, 2; xi, 5; Josh. xiv, 15; 2 Sam. vii, 19; Eccl. iii, 21; Jer. xxxii, 20; Hosea vi, 7; Zech. xiii, 7: in all which places mankind is understood; but particularly it is the name of the first man and father of the human race, created by God himself out of the dust of the earth. Josephus thinks that he was called Adam by reason of the reddish colour of the earth out of which he was formed, for Adam in Hebrew signifies red. God having made man out of the dust of the earth, breathed into him the breath of life, and gave him dominion over all the creatures of this world, Gen. i, 26, 27; ii, 7. He created him after his own image and resemblance; and having blessed him, he placed him in a delicious garden, in Eden, that he might cultivate it, and feed upon its fruits, Gen. ii, 8; but under the following injunction: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” The first thing that Adam did after his introduction into paradise, was to give names to all the beasts and birds which presented themselves before him, Gen. ii, 19, 20.

But man was without a fellow creature of his own species; wherefore God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept, he took one of his ribs, “and closed up the flesh instead thereof;” and of that substance which he took from man made he a woman, whom he presented to him. Then said Adam, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man,” Gen. ii, 21, &c.

The woman was seduced by the tempter; 19and she seduced her husband to eat of the forbidden fruit. When called to judgment for this transgression before God, Adam attempted to cast the blame upon his wife, and the woman upon the serpent tempter. But God declared them all guilty, and punished the serpent by degradation; the woman by painful childbearing and subjection; and the man by agricultural labour and toil; of which punishments every day witnesses the fulfilment. As their natural passions now became irregular, and their exposure to accidents was great, God made a covering of skins for Adam and for his wife; and expelled them from the garden, to the country without; placing at the east of the garden cherubims and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. It is not known how long Adam and his wife continued in paradise: some say, many years; others, not many days; others, not many hours. Adam called his wife’s name Eve, which signifies “the mother of all living.” Shortly after, Eve brought forth Cain, Gen. iv, 1, 2. It is believed that she had a girl at the time, and that, generally, she had twins. The Scriptures notice only three sons of Adam: Cain, Abel, and Seth; and omits daughters; except that Moses tells us, “Adam begat sons and daughters;” no doubt many. He died, aged nine hundred and thirty, B. C. 3074.

Upon this history, so interesting to all Adam’s descendants, some remarks may be offered.

1. It is disputed whether the name Adam is derived from red earth. Sir W. Jones thinks it may be from Adim, which in Sanscrit signifies, the first. The Persians, however, denominate him Adamah, which signifies, according to Sale, red earth. The term for woman is Aisha, the feminine of Aish, man, and signifies, therefore, maness or female man.

2. The manner in which the creation of Adam is narrated indicates something peculiar and eminent in the being to be formed. Among the heavenly bodies the earth, and above all the various productions of its surface, vegetable and animal, however perfect in their kinds, and beautiful and excellent in their respective natures, not one being was found to whom the rest could minister instruction; inspire with moral delight; or lead up to the Creator himself. There was, properly speaking, no intellectual being; none to whom the whole frame and furniture of material nature could minister knowledge; no one who could employ upon them the generalizing faculty, and make them the basis of inductive knowledge. If, then, it was not wholly for himself that the world was created by God; and if angels were not so immediately connected with this system, as to lead us to suppose that it was made for them; a rational inhabitant was obviously still wanting to complete the work, and to constitute a perfect whole. The formation of such a being was marked, therefore, by a manner of proceeding which serves to impress us with a sense of the greatness of the work. Not that it could be a matter of more difficulty to Omnipotence to create man than any thing beside; but principally, it is probable, because he was to be the lord of the whole and therefore himself accountable to the original proprietor; and was to be the subject of another species of government, a moral administration; and to be constituted an image of the intellectual and moral perfections, and of the immortality, of the common Maker. Every thing therefore, as to man’s creation, is given in a solemn and deliberative form, and contains also an intimation of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, all equally possessed of creative power, and therefore Divine, to each of whom man was to stand in relations the most sacred and intimate:--“And God said, Let US make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion,” &c.

3. It may be next inquired in what that image of God in which man was made consists.

It is manifest from the history of Moses, that human nature has two essential constituent parts, the BODY formed out of preëxisting matter, the earth; and a LIVING SOUL, breathed into the body by an inspiration from God. “And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils (or face) the breath of life, (lives,) and man became a living soul.” Whatever was thus imparted to the body of man, already “formed,” and perfectly finished in all its parts, was the only cause of life; and the whole tenor of Scripture shows that this was the rational spirit itself, which, by a law of its Creator, was incapable of death, even after the body had fallen under that penalty.

The “image” or likeness of God in which man was made has, by some, been assigned to the body; by others, to the soul. It has, also, been placed in the circumstance of his having “dominion” over the other creatures. As to the body, it is not necessary to prove that in no sense can it bear the image of God; that is, be “like” God. An upright form has no more likeness to God than a prone or reptile one; God is incorporeal, and cannot be the antitype of any thing material.

Equally unfounded is the notion that the image of God in man consisted in the “dominion” which was granted to him over this lower world. Limited dominion may, it is true, be an image of large and absolute dominion; but man is not said to have been made in the image of God’s dominion, which is an accident merely, for, before creatures existed, God himself could have no dominion:--he was made in the image and likeness of God himself. Still farther, it is evident that man, according to the history, was made in the image of God in order to his having dominion, as the Hebrew particle imports; and, therefore, his dominion was consequent upon his formation in the “image” and “likeness” of God, and could not be that image itself.

The notion that the original resemblance of man to God must be placed in some one essential quality, is not consistent with holy writ, from which alone we can derive our information on this subject. We shall, it is true, find that the Bible partly places it in what is essential to human nature; but that it should comprehend nothing else, or consist in one quality only, has 20no proof or reason; and we are, in fact, taught that it comprises also what is so far from being essential that it may be both lost and regained. When God is called “the Father of spirits,” a likeness is suggested between man and God in the spirituality of their nature. This is also implied in the striking argument of St. Paul with the Athenians: “Forasmuch, then, as we are the OFFSPRING of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device;”--plainly referring to the idolatrous statues by which God was represented among Heathens. If likeness to God in man consisted in bodily shape, this would not have been an argument against human representations of the Deity; but it imports, as Howe well expresses it, that “we are to understand that our resemblance to him, as we are his offspring, lies in some higher, more noble, and more excellent thing, of which there can be no figure; as who can tell how to give the figure or image of a thought, or of the mind or thinking power?” In spirituality, and, consequently, immateriality, this image of God in man, then, in the first instance, consists. Nor is it any valid objection to say, that “immateriality is not peculiar to the soul of man; for we have reason to believe that the inferior animals are actuated by an immaterial principle.” This is as certain as analogy can make it: but though we allow a spiritual principle to animals, its kind is obviously inferior; for that spirit which is incapable of induction and moral knowledge, must be of an inferior order to the spirit which possesses these capabilities; and this is the kind of spirit which is peculiar to man.

The sentiment expressed in Wisdom ii, 23, is an evidence that, in the opinion of the ancient Jews, the image of God in man comprised immortality also. “For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity:” and though other creatures were made capable of immortality, and at least the material human frame, whatever we may think of the case of animals, would have escaped death, had not sin entered the world; yet, without admitting the absurdity of the “natural immortality” of the human soul, that essence must have been constituted immortal in a high and peculiar sense which has ever retained its prerogative of continued duration amidst the universal death not only of animals, but of the bodies of all human beings. There appears also a manifest allusion to man’s immortality, as being included in the image of God, in the reason which is given in Genesis for the law which inflicts death on murderers: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” The essence of the crime of homicide is not confined here to the putting to death the mere animal part of man; and it must, therefore, lie in the peculiar value of life to an immortal being, accountable in another state for the actions done in this, and whose life ought to be specially guarded for this very reason, that death introduces him into changeless and eternal relations, which were not to be left to the mercy of human passions.

To these we are to add the intellectual powers, and we have what divines, in perfect accordance with the Scriptures, have called, “the NATURAL image of God in his creatures,” which is essential and ineffaceable. Man was made capable of knowledge, and he was endowed with liberty of will.

This natural image of God was the foundation of that MORAL image by which also man was distinguished. Unless he had been a spiritual, knowing, and willing being, he would have been wholly incapable of moral qualities. That he had such qualities eminently, and that in them consisted the image of God, as well as in the natural attributes just stated, we have also the express testimony of Scripture: “Lo this only have I found, that God made man UPRIGHT; but they have sought out many inventions.” There is also an express allusion to the moral image of God, in which man was at first created, in Colossians iii, 10: “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created him;” and in Ephesians iv, 24: “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” In these passages the Apostle represents the change produced in true Christians by the Gospel, as a “renewal of the image of God in man; as a new or second creation in that image;” and he explicitly declares, that that image consists in “knowledge,” in “righteousness,” and in “true holiness.”

This also may be finally argued from the satisfaction with which the historian of the creation represents the Creator as viewing the works of his hands as “very good,” which was pronounced with reference to each of them individually, as well as to the whole: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good.” But, as to man, this goodness must necessarily imply moral as well as physical qualities. Without them he would have been imperfect as man; and had they, in their first exercises, been perverted and sinful, he must have been an exception, and could not have been pronounced “very good.” The goodness of man, as a rational being, must lie in devotedness and consecration to God; consequently, man was at first holy. A rational creature, as such, is capable of knowing, loving, serving, and living in communion with the Most Holy One. Adam, at first, did or did not exert this capacity; if he did not, he was not very good,--not good at all.

4. On the intellectual and moral endowments of the progenitor of the human race, erring views appear to have been taken on both sides.

In knowledge, some have thought him little inferior to the angels; others, as furnished with but the simple elements of science and of language. The truth seems to be that, as to capacity, his intellect must have been vigorous beyond that of any of his fallen descendants; which itself gives us very high views of the strength of his understanding, although we should allow him to have been created “lower than the angels.” As to his actual knowledge, 21that would depend upon the time and opportunity he had for observing the nature and laws of the objects around him; and the degree in which he was favoured with revelations from God on moral and religious subjects.

On the degree of moral excellence also in the first man, much license has been given to a warm imagination, and to rhetorical embellishment; and Adam’s perfection has sometimes been fixed at an elevation which renders it exceedingly difficult to conceive how he could fall into sin at all. On the other hand, those who either deny or hold very slightly the doctrine of our hereditary depravity, delight to represent Adam as little superior in moral perfection and capability to his descendants. But, if we attend to the passages of holy writ above quoted, we shall be able, on this subject, to ascertain, if not the exact degree of his moral endowments, yet that there is a certain standard below which they cannot be placed.--Generally, he was made in the image of God, which, we have already proved, is to be understood morally as well as naturally. Now, however the image of any thing may be limited in extent, it must still be an accurate representation as far as it goes. Every thing good in the creation must always be a miniature representation of the excellence of the Creator; but, in this case, the “goodness,” that is, the perfection, of every creature, according to the part it was designed to act in the general assemblage of beings collected into our system, wholly forbids us to suppose that the image of God’s moral perfections in man was a blurred and dim representation. To whatever extent it went, it necessarily excluded all that from man which did not resemble God; it was a likeness to God in “righteousness and true holiness,” whatever the degree of each might be, and excluded all admixture of unrighteousness and unholiness. Man, therefore, in his original state, was sinless, both in act and in principle. Hence it is said that “God made man UPRIGHT.” That this signifies moral rectitude cannot be doubted; but the import of the word is very extensive. It expresses, by an easy figure, the exactness of truth, justice, and obedience; and it comprehends the state and habit both of the heart and the life. Such, then, was the condition of primitive man; there was no obliquity in his moral principles, his mind, or affections; none in his conduct. He was perfectly sincere and exactly just, rendering from the heart all that was due to God and to the creature. Tried by the exactest plummet, he was upright; by the most perfect rule, he was straight.

The “knowledge” in which the Apostle Paul, in the passage quoted above from Colossians iii, 10, places “the image of God” after which man was created, does not merely imply the faculty of understanding, which is a part of the natural image of God; but that which might be lost, because it is that in which we may be “renewed.” It is, therefore, to be understood of the faculty of knowledge in right exercise; and of that willing reception, and firm retaining, and hearty approval, of religious truth, in which knowledge, when spoken of morally, is always understood in the Scriptures. We may not be disposed to allow, with some, that Adam understood the deep philosophy of nature, and could comprehend and explain the sublime mysteries of religion. The circumstance of his giving names to the animals, is certainly no sufficient proof of his having attained to a philosophical acquaintance with their qualities and distinguishing habits, although we should allow their names to be still retained in the Hebrew, and to be as expressive of their peculiarities as some expositors have stated. Sufficient time appears not to have been afforded him for the study of the properties of animals, as this event took place previous to the formation of Eve; and as for the notion of his acquiring knowledge by intuition, this is contradicted by the revealed fact, that angels themselves acquire their knowledge by observation and study, though no doubt, with great rapidity and certainty. The whole of this transaction was supernatural; the beasts were “brought” to Adam, and it is probable that he named them under a Divine suggestion. He has been also supposed to be the inventor of language, but his history shows that he was never without speech. From the first he was able to converse with God; and we may, therefore, infer that language was in him a supernatural and miraculous endowment. That his understanding was, as to its capacity, deep and large beyond any of his posterity, must follow from the perfection in which he was created; and his acquisitions of knowledge would, therefore, be rapid and easy. It was, however, in moral and religious truth, as being of the first concern to him, that we are to suppose the excellency of his knowledge to have consisted. “His reason would be clear, his judgment uncorrupted, and his conscience upright and sensible.” The best knowledge would, in him, be placed first, and that of every other kind be made subservient to it, according to its relation to that. The Apostle adds to knowledge, “righteousness and true holiness;” terms which express, not merely freedom from sin, but positive and active virtue.

Sober as these views of man’s primitive state are, it is not, perhaps, possible for us fully to conceive of so exalted a condition as even this. Below this standard it could not fall; and that it implied a glory, and dignity, and moral greatness of a very exalted kind, is made sufficiently apparent from the degree of guilt charged upon Adam when he fell: for the aggravating circumstances of his offence may well be deduced from the tremendous consequences which followed.

5. The salvation of Adam has been disputed; for what reason does not appear, except that the silence of Scripture, as to his after life, has given bold men occasion to obtrude their speculations upon a subject which called for no such expression of opinion. As nothing to the contrary appears, the charitable inference is, that as he was the first to receive the promise of redemption, so he was the first to prove its virtue. It is another presumption, that as Adam and Eve were clothed with skins of beasts, which 22could not have been slain for food, these were the skins of their sacrifices; and as the offering of animal sacrifice was an expression of faith in the appointed propitiation, to that refuge we may conclude they resorted, and through its merits were accepted.

6. The Rabbinical and Mohammedan traditions and fables respecting the first man are as absurd as they are numerous. Some of them indeed are monstrous, unless we suppose them to be allegories in the exaggerated style of the orientals. Some say that he was nine hundred cubits high; whilst others, not satisfied with this, affirm that his head touched the heavens. The Jews think that he wrote the ninety-first Psalm, invented the Hebrew letters, and composed several treatises; the Arabians, that he preserved twenty books which fell from heaven; and the Musselmen, that he himself wrote ten volumes.

7. That Adam was a type of Christ, is plainly affirmed by St. Paul, who calls him “the figure of him who was to come.” Hence our Lord is sometimes called, not inaptly, the Second Adam. This typical relation stands sometimes in SIMILITUDE, sometimes in CONTRAST. Adam was formed immediately by God, as was the humanity of Christ. In each the nature was spotless, and richly endowed with knowledge and true holiness. Both are seen invested with dominion over the earth and all its creatures; and this may explain the eighth Psalm, where David seems to make the sovereignty of the first man over the whole earth in its pristine glory, the prophetic symbol of the dominion of Christ over the world restored. Beyond these particulars fancy must not carry us; and the typical CONTRAST must also be limited to that which is stated in Scripture, or supported by its allusions. Adam and Christ were each a public person, a federal head to the whole race of mankind; but the one was the fountain of sin and death, the other of righteousness and life. By Adam’s transgression “many were made sinners,” Rom. v, 14–19. Through him, “death passed upon all men, because all have sinned” in him. But he thus prefigured that one man, by whose righteousness the “free gift comes upon all men to justification of life.” The first man communicated a living soul to all his posterity; the other is a quickening Spirit, to restore them to newness of life now, and to raise them up at the last day. By the imputation of the first Adam’s sin, and the communication of his fallen, depraved nature, death reigned over those who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression; and through the righteousness of the Second Adam, and the communication of a divine nature by the Holy Spirit, favour and grace shall much more abound in Christ’s true followers unto eternal life. See Redemption.

ADAMA, one of the five cities which were destroyed by fire from heaven, and buried under the waters of the Dead Sea, Gen. xiv, 2; Deut. xxix, 23. It was the most easterly of all those which were swallowed up; and there is some probability that it was not entirely sunk under the waters; or that the inhabitants of the country built a new city of the same name upon the eastern shore of the Dead Sea: for Isaiah, according to the Septuagint, says, “God will destroy the Moabites, the city of Ar, and the remnant of Adama.”

ADAMANT, שמיר, Ἀδάμας, Ecclus. xvi, 16. A stone of impenetrable hardness. Sometimes this name is given to the diamond; and so it is rendered, Jer. xvii, 1. But the Hebrew word rather means a very hard kind of stone, probably the smiris, which was also used for cutting, engraving, and polishing other hard stones and crystals. The word occurs also in Ezek. iii, 9, and Zech. vii, 12. In the former place the Lord says to the Prophet, “I have made thy forehead as an adamant, firmer than a rock;” that is, endued thee with undaunted courage. In the latter, the hearts of wicked men are declared to be as adamant; neither broken by the threatenings and judgments of God, nor penetrated by his promises, invitations, and mercies. See Diamond.

ADAMITES, sects reputed to have professed the attainment of a perfect innocence, so that they wore no clothes in their assemblies. But Lardner doubts their existence in ancient, and Beausobre in modern, times.

ADAR, the twelfth month of the ecclesiastical, and the sixth of the civil, year among the Hebrews. It contains but twenty-nine days, and answers to our February, and sometimes enters into March, according to the course of the moon, by which they regulated their seasons.

ADARCONIM, אדרכונים, a sort of money, mentioned 1 Chron. xxix, 7, and Ezra viii, 27. The Vulgate translates it, golden pence, the LXX, pieces of gold. They were darics, a gold coin, which some value at twenty drachms of silver.

ADER. Jerom observes, that the place where the angels declared the birth of Jesus Christ to the shepherds, was called by this name, Luke ii, 8, 9. The empress Helena built a church on this spot, the remains of which are still visible.

ADDER, a venomous serpent, more usually called the viper. In our translation of the Bible we find the word adder five times; but without sufficient authority from the original.

שפיפון, in Gen. xlix, 17, is probably the cerastes; a serpent of the viper kind, of a light brown colour, which lurks in the sand and the tracks of wheels in the road, and unexpectedly bites not only the unwary traveller, but the legs of horses and other beasts. By comparing the Danites to this artful reptile, the patriarch intimated that by stratagem, more than by open bravery, they should avenge themselves of their enemies and extend their conquests.--פתן, in Psalm lviii, 4; xci, 13, signifies an asp. We may perhaps trace to this the Python of the Greeks, and its derivatives. (See Asp.)--עכשוב, עכשוב found only in Psalm cxl, 3, is derived from a verb which signifies to bend back on itself. The Chaldee Paraphrasts render it עכביש, which we translate elsewhere, spider: they may therefore have understood it to have been the tarantula. It is rendered asp by the Septuagint and Vulgate, and is so taken, Rom. iii, 13. The name is from the Arabic achasa. But there are several serpents which coil themselves previously 23to darting on their enemy; if this be a character of the asp, it is not peculiar to that reptile.--צפע, or צפעני, Prov. xxiii, 32; Isaiah xi, 8; xiv, 29; lix, 5; and Jer. viii, 17, is that deadly serpent called the basilisk, said to kill with its very breath. See Cockatrice.

In Psalm lviii, 5, reference is made to the effect of musical sounds upon serpents. That they might be rendered tame and harmless by certain charms, or soft and sweet sounds, and trained to delight in music, was an opinion which prevailed very early and universally.

Many ancient authors mention this effect; Virgil speaks of it particularly, Æn. vii, v, 750.

Quin et Marrubia venit de gente sacerdos,
Fronde super galeam et felici comptus oliva,
Archippi regis missu fortissimus Umbro;
Vipereo generi, et graviter spirantibus hydris
Spargere qui somnos cantuque manuque solebat,
Mulcebatque iras, et morsus arte levabat.
“Umbro, the brave Marrubian priest, was there,
Sent by the Marsian monarch to the war.
The smiling olive with her verdant boughs
Shades his bright helmet and adorns his brows;
His charms in peace the furious serpent keep;
And lull the envenom’d viper’s race to sleep:
His healing hand allay’d the raging pain,
And at his touch the poisons fled again.”

Mr. Boyle quotes the following passage from Sir H. Blunt’s Voyage into the Levant:--

“Many rarities of living creatures I saw in Grand Cairo; but the most ingenious was a nest of serpents, of two feet long, black and ugly, kept by a Frenchman, who, when he came to handle them, would not endure him, but ran and hid in their hole. Then he would take his cittern and play upon it. They, hearing his music, came all crawling to his feet, and began to climb up him, till he gave over playing, then away they ran.”

The wonderful effect which music produces on the serpent tribes, is confirmed by the testimony of several respectable moderns. Adders swell at the sound of a flute, raising themselves up on the one half of their body, turning themselves round, beating proper time, and following the instrument. Their head, naturally round and long like an eel, becomes broad and flat like a fan. The tame serpents, many of which the orientals keep in their houses, are known to leave their holes in hot weather, at the sound of a musical instrument, and run upon the performer. Dr. Shaw had an opportunity of seeing a number of serpents keep exact time with the Dervishes in their circulatory dances, running over their heads and arms, turning when they turned, and stopping when they stopped. The rattlesnake acknowledges the power of music as much as any of his family; of which the following instance is a decisive proof: When Chateaubriand was in Canada, a snake of that species entered their encampment; a young Canadian, one of the party, who could play on the flute, to divert his associates, advanced against the serpent with his new species of weapon: on the approach of his enemy, the haughty reptile curled himself into a spiral line, flattened his head, inflated his cheeks, contracted his lips, displayed his envenomed fangs, and his bloody throat, his double tongue glowed like two flames of fire; his eyes were burning coals; his body, swollen with rage, rose and fell like the bellows of a forge; his dilated skin assumed a dull and scaly appearance; and his tail, which sounded the denunciation of death, vibrated with so great rapidity as to resemble a light vapour. The Canadian now began to play upon his flute, the serpent started with surprise, and drew back his head. In proportion as he was struck with the magic effect, his eyes lost their fierceness, the oscillations of his tail became slower, and the sound which it emitted became weaker, and gradually died away. Less perpendicular upon their spiral line, the rings of the fascinated serpent were by degrees expanded, and sunk one after another upon the ground, in concentric circles. The shades of azure, green, white, and gold, recovered their brilliancy on his quivering skin, and slightly turning his head, he remained motionless, in the attitude of attention and pleasure. At this moment, the Canadian advanced a few steps, producing with his flute sweet and simple notes. The reptile, inclining his variegated neck, opened a passage with his head through the high grass, and began to creep after the musician, stopping when he stopped, and beginning to follow him again, as soon as he moved forward. In this manner he was led out of their camp, attended by a great number of spectators, both savages and Europeans, who could scarcely believe their eyes, when they beheld this wonderful effect of harmony. The assembly unanimously decreed, that the serpent which had so highly entertained them, should be permitted to escape. Many of them are carried in baskets through Hindostan, and procure a maintenance for a set of people who play a few simple notes on the flute, with which the snakes seem much delighted, and keep time by a graceful motion of the head, erecting about half their length from the ground, and following the music with gentle curves, like the undulating lines of a swan’s neck.

But on some serpents, these charms seem to have no power; and it appears from Scripture, that the adder sometimes takes precautions to prevent the fascination which he sees preparing for him: “for the deaf adder shutteth her ear, and will not hear the voice of the most skilful charmer.” The threatening of the Prophet Jeremiah proceeds upon the same fact: “I will send serpents” (cockatrices) “among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you.” In all these quotations, the sacred writers, while they take it for granted that many serpents are disarmed by charming, plainly admit that the powers of the charmer are in vain exerted upon others.

It is the opinion of some interpreters, that the word שחל, which in some parts of Scripture denotes a lion, in others means an adder, or some other kind of serpent. Thus, in the ninety-first Psalm, they render it the basilisk: “Thou shalt tread upon the adder and the basilisk, the young lion and the dragon thou 24shalt trample under foot.” Indeed, all the ancient expositors agree, that some species of serpent is meant, although they cannot determine what particular serpent the sacred writer had in view. The learned Bochart thinks it extremely probable that the holy Psalmist in this verse treats of serpents only; and, by consequence, that both the terms שחל and כפיר mean some kind of snakes, as well as פתן and תנין; because the coherence of the verse is by this view better preserved, than by mingling lions and serpents together, as our translators and other interpreters have commonly done; nor is it easy to imagine what can be meant by treading upon the lion, and trampling the young lion under foot; for it is not possible in walking to tread upon the lion, as upon the adder, the basilisk, and other serpents.

To ADJURE, to bind by oath, as under the penalty of a fearful curse, Joshua vi, 26; Mark v, 7. 2. To charge solemnly, as by the authority, and under pain, of the displeasure of God, Matt. xxvi, 63; Acts xix, 13.

ADONAI, one of the names of God. This word in the plural number signifies my Lords. The Jews, who either out of respect or superstition, do not pronounce the name of Jehovah, read Adonai in the room of it, as often as they meet with Jehovah in the Hebrew text. But the ancient Jews were not so scrupulous. Neither is there any law which forbids them to pronounce any name of God.

ADONIS. The text of the Vulgate in Ezek. viii, 14, says, that the Prophet saw women sitting in the temple, and weeping for Adonis; but according to the reading of the Hebrew text, they are said to weep for Thamuz, or Tammuz, the hidden one. Among the Egyptians Adonis was adored under the name of Osiris, the husband of Isis. But he was sometimes called by the name of Ammuz, or Tammuz, the concealed, probably to denote his death or burial. The Hebrews, in derision, sometimes call him the dead, Psalm cvi, 28; Lev. xix, 28; because they wept for him, and represented him as dead in his coffin; and at other times they denominate him the image of jealousy, Ezek. viii, 3, 5, because he was the object of the jealousy of Mars. The Syrians, Phœnicians, and Cyprians, called him Adonis; and Calmet is of opinion that the Ammonites and Moabites designated him by the name of Baal-peor.

The manner in which they celebrated the festival of this false deity was as follows: They represented him as lying dead in his coffin, wept for him, bemoaned themselves, and sought for him with great eagerness and inquietude. After this, they pretended that they had found him again, and that he was still living. At this good news they exhibited marks of the most extravagant joy, and were guilty of a thousand lewd practices, to convince Venus how much they congratulated her on the return and revival of her favourite, as they had before condoled with her on his death. The Hebrew women, of whom the Prophet Ezekiel speaks, celebrated the feasts of Tammuz, or Adonis, in Jerusalem; and God showed the Prophet these women weeping for this infamous god, even in his temple.

Fabulous history gives the following account of Adonis: He was a beautiful young shepherd, the son of Cyniras, king of Cyprus, by his own daughter Myrrha. The goddess Venus fell in love with this youth, and frequently met him on mount Libanus. Mars, who envied this rival, transformed himself into a wild boar, and, as Adonis was hunting, struck him in the groin and killed him. Venus lamented the death of Adonis in an inconsolable manner. The eastern people, in imitation of her mourning, generally established some solemn days for the bewailing of Adonis. After his death, Venus went to the shades, and obtained from Proserpine, that Adonis might be with her six months in the year, and continue the other six in the infernal regions. Upon this were founded those public rejoicings, which succeeded the lamentations of his death. Some say that Adonis was a native of Syria; some, of Cyprus; and others, of Egypt.

ADOPTION. An act by which one takes another into his family, owns him for his son, and appoints him his heir. The Greeks and Romans had many regulations concerning adoption. It does not appear that adoption, properly so called, was formerly in use among the Jews. Moses makes no mention of it in his laws; and the case of Jacob’s two grandsons, Gen. xlviii, 14, seems rather a substitution.

2. Adoption in a theological sense is that act of God’s free grace by which, upon our being justified by faith in Christ, we are received into the family of God, and entitled to the inheritance of heaven. This appears not so much a distinct act of God, as involved in, and necessarily flowing from, our justification; so that, at least the one always implies the other. Nor is there any good ground to suppose that in the New Testament the term adoption is used with any reference to the civil practice of adoption by the Greeks, Romans, or other Heathens, and therefore it is not judicious to illustrate the texts in which the word occurs by their formalities. The Apostles in using the term appear to have had before them the simple view, that our sins had deprived us of our sonship, the favour of God, and the right to the inheritance of eternal life; but that, upon our return to God, and reconciliation with him, our forfeited privileges were not only restored, but greatly heightened through the paternal kindness of God. They could scarcely be forgetful of the affecting parable of the prodigal son; and it is under the same view that St. Paul quotes from the Old Testament, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Adoption, then, is that act by which we who were alienated, and enemies, and disinherited, are made the sons of God, and heirs of his eternal glory. “If children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ;” where it is to be remarked, that it is not in our own 25right, nor in the right of any work done in us, or which we ourselves do, though it should be an evangelical work, that we become heirs; but jointly with Christ, and in his right.

3. To this state belong, freedom from a servile spirit, for we are not servants but sons; the special love and care of God our heavenly Father; a filial confidence in him; free access to him at all times and in all circumstances; a title to the heavenly inheritance; and the Spirit of adoption, or the witness of the Holy Spirit to our adoption, which is the foundation of all the comfort we can derive from those privileges, as it is the only means by which we can know that they are ours.

4. The last mentioned great privilege of adoption merits special attention. It consists in the inward witness or testimony of the Holy Spirit to the sonship of believers, from which flows a comfortable persuasion or conviction of our present acceptance with God, and the hope of our future and eternal glory. This is taught in several passages of Scripture:--

Rom. viii, 15, 16, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” In this passage it is to be remarked, 1. That the Holy Spirit takes away “fear,” a servile dread of God as offended. 2. That the “Spirit of God” here mentioned, is not the personified spirit or genius of the Gospel, as some would have it, but “the Spirit itself,” or himself, and hence he is called in the Galatians, “the Spirit of his Son,” which cannot mean the genius of the Gospel. 3. That he inspires a filial confidence in God, as our Father, which is opposed to “the fear” produced by the “spirit of bondage.” 4. That he excites this filial confidence, and enables us to call God our Father, by witnessing, bearing testimony with our spirit, “that we are the children of God.”

Gal. iv, 4–6, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Here also are to be noted, 1. The means of our redemption from under (the curse of) the law,--the incarnation and sufferings of Christ. 2. That the adoption of sons follows upon our actual redemption from that curse, or, in other words, upon our pardon. 3. That upon our being pardoned, the “Spirit of the Son” is “sent forth into our hearts,” producing the same effect as that mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, viz. filial confidence in God,--“crying, Abba, Father.” To these texts are to be added all those passages, so numerous in the New Testament, which express the confidence and the joy of Christians; their friendship with God; their confident access to him as their God; their entire union and delightful intercourse with him in spirit.

This has been generally termed the doctrine of assurance, and, perhaps, the expressions of St. Paul, “the full assurance of faith,” and “the full assurance of hope,” may warrant the use of the word. But as there is a current and generally understood sense of this term, implying that the assurance of our present acceptance and sonship implies an assurance of our final perseverance, and of an indefeasible title to heaven; the phrase, a comfortable persuasion, or conviction of our justification and adoption, arising out of the Spirit’s inward and direct testimony, is to be preferred.

There is, also, another reason for the sparing and cautious use of the term assurance, which is, that it seems to imply, though not necessarily, the absence of all doubt, and shuts out all those lower degrees of persuasion which may exist in the experience of Christians. For, our faith may not at first, or at all times, be equally strong, and the testimony of the Spirit may have its degrees of clearness. Nevertheless, the fulness of this attainment is to be pressed upon every one: “Let us draw near,” says St. Paul to all Christians, “with full assurance of faith.”

It may serve, also, to remove an objection sometimes made to the doctrine, and to correct an error which sometimes pervades the statement of it, to observe that this assurance, persuasion, or conviction, whichever term be adopted, is not of the essence of justifying faith; that is, justifying faith does not consist in the assurance that I am now forgiven, through Christ. This would be obviously contradictory. For we must believe before we can be justified; much more before we can be assured, in any degree, that we are justified:--this persuasion, therefore, follows justification, and is one of its results. But though we must not only distinguish, but separate, this persuasion of our acceptance from the faith which justifies, we must not separate it, but only distinguish it, from justification itself. With that come in as concomitants, adoption, the “Spirit of adoption,” and regeneration.

ADORATION, the act of rendering divine honours; or of addressing God or any other being as supposing it to be God. (See Worship.) The word is compounded of ad, “to,” and os, “mouth;” and literally signifies to apply the hand to the mouth; manum ad os admovere, “to kiss the hand;” this being in eastern countries one of the great marks of respect and submission. To this mode of idolatrous worship Job refers, xxxi, 26, 27. See also 1 Kings xix, 18.

The Jewish manner of adoration was by prostration, bowing, and kneeling. The Christians adopted the Grecian, rather than the Roman, method, and always adored uncovered. The ordinary posture of the ancient Christians was kneeling; but on Sundays, standing.

Adoration is also used for certain extraordinary acts of civil honour, which resemble those paid to the Deity, yet are given to men.

We read of adorations paid to kings, princes, emperors, popes, bishops, abbots, &c, by kneeling, falling prostrate, kissing the feet, hands, garments, &c.

The Persian manner of adoration, introduced by Cyrus, was by bending the knee, and falling 26on the face at the prince’s feet, striking the earth with the forehead, and kissing the ground. This was an indispensable condition on the part of foreign ministers and ambassadors, as well as the king’s own vassals, of being admitted to audience, and of obtaining any favour. This token of reverence was ordered to be paid to their favourites as well as to themselves, as we learn from the history of Haman and Mordecai, in the book of Esther; and even to their statues and images; for Philostratus informs us that, in the time of Apollonius, a golden statue of the king was exposed to all who entered Babylon, and none but those who adored it were admitted within the gates. The ceremony, which the Greeks called ϖροσκυνεῖν, Conon refused to perform to Artaxerxes, and Callisthenes to Alexander the Great, as reputing it impious and unlawful.

The adoration performed to the Roman and Grecian emperors consisted in bowing or kneeling at the prince’s feet, laying hold of his purple robe, and then bringing the hand to the lips. Some attribute the origin of this practice to Constantius. They were only persons of rank or dignity that were entitled to the honour. Bare kneeling before the emperor to deliver a petition, was also called adoration.

It is particularly said of Dioclesian, that he had gems fastened to his shoes, that divine honours might be more willingly paid him, by kissing his feet. And this mode of adoration was continued till the last age of the Greek monarchy. When any one pays his respects to the king of Achen in Sumatra, he first takes off his shoes and stockings, and leaves them at the door.

The practice of adoration may be said to be still subsisting in England, in the custom of kissing the king’s or queen’s hand.

Adoration is also used in the court of Rome, in the ceremony of kissing the pope’s feet. It is not certain at what period this practice was introduced into the church: but it was probably borrowed from the Byzantine court, and accompanied the temporal power. Dr. Maclaine, in the chronological table which he has subjoined to his translation of Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, places its introduction in the eighth century, immediately after the grant of Pepin and Charlemagne. Baronius traces it to a much higher antiquity, and pretends that examples of this homage to the vicars of Christ occur so early as the year 204. These prelates finding a vehement disposition in the people to fall down before them, and kiss their feet, procured crucifixes to be fastened on their slippers; by which stratagem, the adoration intended for the pope’s person is supposed to be transferred to Christ. Divers acts of this adoration we find offered even by princes to the pope; and Gregory XIII, claims this act of homage as a duty.

Adoration properly is paid only to the pope when placed on the altar, in which posture the cardinals, conclavists, alone are admitted to kiss his feet. The people are afterward admitted to do the like at St. Peter’s church; the ceremony is described at large by Guicciardin.

Adoration is more particularly used for kissing one’s hand in presence of another as a token of reverence. The Jews adored by kissing their hands, and bowing down their heads; whence in their language kissing is properly used for adoration. This illustrates a passage in Psalm ii, “Kiss the Son lest he be angry;”--that is, pay him homage and worship.

It was the practice among the Greek Christians to worship with the head uncovered, 1 Cor. xi; but in the east the ancient custom of worshipping with the head covered was retained.

ADRAMMELECH, the son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria. The king returning to Nineveh, after his unhappy expedition made into Judea against king Hezekiah, was killed by his two sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, whilst at his devotions in the temple of his god Nisroch, Isaiah xxxvii, 38; 2 Kings xix. It is not known what prompted these two princes to commit this parricide; but after they had committed the murder, they fled for safety to the mountains of Armenia, and their brother, Esarhaddon, succeeded to the crown.

Adrammelech was also one of the gods adored by the inhabitants of Sepharvaim, who were settled in the country of Samaria, in the room of the Israelites, who were carried beyond the Euphrates. The Sepharvaites made their children pass through the fire in honour of this idol, and another, called Anammelech, 2 Kings xvii, 31. The Rabbins say, that Adrammelech was represented under the form of a mule; but there is much more reason to believe that Adrammelech meant the sun, and Anammelech the moon; the first signifying the magnificent king, the second the gentle king,--many eastern nations adoring the moon as a god, not as a goddess.

ADRAMYTTIUM, a city on the west coast of Mysia, in Lesser Asia, over against the isle of Lesbos. It was in a ship belonging to this place, that St. Paul sailed from Cesarea to proceed to Rome as a prisoner, Acts xxvii, 2. It is now called Edremit.

ADRIA. This name, which occurs in Acts xxvii, 27, is now confined to the gulf lying between Italy on the one side, and the coasts of Dalmatia and Albania on the other. But in St. Paul’s time it was extended to all that portion of the Mediterranean between Crete and Sicily. Thus Ptolemy says that Sicily was bounded on the east by the Adriatic, and Crete in a similar manner on the west; and Strabo says that the Ionian Gulf was a part of what, in his time, was called the Adriatic Sea.

ADULLAM, a city in the tribe of Judah, to the west of Hebron, whose king was slain by Joshua, Josh. xii, 15. It is frequently mentioned in the history of Saul and David; and is chiefly memorable from the cave in its neighbourhood, where David retired from Achish, king of Gath, when he was joined by the distressed and discontented, to the number of four hundred, over whom he became captain, 1 Sam. xxii, 1. Judas Maccabeus encamped in the plain of Adullam, where he passed the Sabbath day, 2 Mac. xii, 38. Eusebius says that, in his time, Adullam was a very great town, ten miles to the east of Eleutheropolis.

27ADULTERY, the violation of the marriage bed. The law of Moses punished with death both the man and the woman who were guilty of this crime, Lev. xx, 10. If a woman was betrothed to a man, and was guilty of this infamous crime before the marriage was completed, she was, in this case, along with her paramour, to be stoned, Deut. xxii, 22–24.

When any man among the Jews, prompted by jealousy, suspected his wife of the crime of adultery, he brought her first before the judges, and informed them that, in consequence of his suspicions, he had privately admonished her, but that she was regardless of his admonitions. If before the judges she asserted her innocency, he required that she should drink the waters of jealousy, that God might by these means discover what she attempted to conceal, Num. v, 12, &c. The man then produced his witnesses, and they were heard. After this, both the man and the woman were conveyed to Jerusalem, and placed before the sanhedrim; the judges of which, by threats and other means, endeavoured to confound the woman, and make her confess. If she persisted in denying the fact, she was led to the eastern gate of the court of Israel, stripped of her own clothes, and dressed in black, before great numbers of her own sex. The priest then told her, that if she was really innocent, she had nothing to fear; but if guilty, she might expect to suffer all that the law had denounced against her, to which she answered, “Amen, amen.” The priest then wrote the terms of the law in this form:--“If a strange man hath not come near you, and you are not polluted by forsaking the bed of your husband, these bitter waters, which I have cursed, will not hurt you: but if you have polluted yourself by coming near to another man, and gone astray from your husband,--may you be accursed of the Lord, and become an example for all his people; may your thigh rot, and your belly swell till it burst; may these cursed waters enter into your belly, and being swelled therewith, may your thighs putrefy.“

After this, the priest filled a pitcher out of the brazen vessel, near the altar of burnt offerings, cast some dust of the pavement into it, mingled something with it as bitter as wormwood, and then read the curses, and received her answer of Amen. Another priest, in the meantime, tore off her clothes as low as her bosom--made her head bare--untied the tresses of her hair--fastened her clothes, which were thus torn, with a girdle under her breasts, and then presented her with the tenth part of an ephah, or about three pints, of barley meal. The other priest then gave her the waters of jealousy, or bitterness, to drink; and as soon as the woman had swallowed them, he gave her the meal in a vessel like a frying-pan into her hand. This was stirred before the Lord, and part of it thrown into the fire of the altar. If the wife was innocent, she returned with her husband, and the waters, so far from injuring her, increased her health, and made her more fruitful; but if she was guilty, she grew pale immediately, her eyes swelled; and, lest she should pollute the temple, she was instantly carried out, with these symptoms upon her, and died instantly, with all the ignominious circumstances related in the curses.

On this law of Moses, Michaëlis has the following remarks:--

“This oath was, perhaps, a relic of some more severe and barbarous consuetudinary laws, whose rigours Moses mitigated; as he did in many other cases, where an established usage could not be conveniently abolished altogether. Among ourselves, in barbarous times, the ordeal, or trial by fire, was, notwithstanding the parity of our married people, in common use; and this, in point of equity, was much the same in effect, as if the husband had had the right to insist on his wife submitting to the hazardous trial of her purity, by drinking a poisoned potion; which, according to an ancient superstition, could never hurt her if she was innocent. And, in fact, such a right is not altogether unexampled; for, according to Oldendorp’s History of the Mission of the Evangelical Brethren, in the Caribbee Islands, it is actually in use among some of the savage nations in the interior parts of Western Africa.

“Now, when in place of a poisoned potion like this, which very few husbands can be very willing to have administered to their wives, we see, as among the Hebrews, an imprecation-drink, whose avenger God himself promises to become, we cannot but be struck with the contrast of wisdom and clemency which such a contrivance manifests. In the one case, (and herein consists their great distinction,) innocence can only be preserved by a miracle; while, on the other, guilt only is revealed and punished by the hand of God himself.

“By one of the clauses of the oath of purgation, (and had not the legislator been perfectly assured of his divine mission, the insertion of any such clause would have been a very bold step indeed,) a visible and corporeal punishment was specified, which the person swearing imprecated on herself, and which God himself was understood as engaging to execute. To have given so accurate a definition of the punishment that God meant to inflict, and still more one that consisted of such a rare disease, would have been a step of incomprehensible boldness in a legislator who pretended to have a divine mission, if he was not, with the most assured conviction, conscious of its reality.

“Seldom, however, very seldom, was it likely that Providence would have an opportunity of inflicting the punishment in question. For the oath was so regulated, that a woman of the utmost effrontery could scarcely have taken it without changing colour to such a degree as to betray herself.

“In the first place, it was not administered to the woman in her own house, but she was under the necessity of going to that place of the land where God in a special manner had his abode, and took it there. Now, the solemnity of the place, unfamiliarized to her by daily business or resort, would have a great effect upon her mind. In the next place, there was offered unto God what was termed an execration offering, not in order to propitiate his 28mercy, but to invoke his vengeance on the guilty. Here the process was extremely slow, which gave her more time for reflection than to a guilty person could be acceptable, and that, too, amidst a multitude of unusual ceremonies. For the priest conducted her to the front of the sanctuary, and took holy water, that is, water out of the priests’ laver, which stood before it, together with some earth off its floor, which was likewise deemed holy; and having put the earth in the water, he then proceeded to uncover the woman’s head, that her face might be seen, and every change on her countenance during the administration of the oath accurately observed: and this was a circumstance which, in the east, where the women are always veiled, must have had a great effect; because a woman, accustomed to wear a veil, could, on so extraordinary an occasion, have had far less command of her eyes and her countenance than a European adulteress, who is generally a perfect mistress in all the arts of dissimulation, would display. To render the scene still more awful, the tresses of her hair were loosened, and then the execration offering was put into her hand, while the priest held in his the imprecation water. This is commonly termed the bitter water; but we must not understand this as if the water had really been bitter; for how could it have been so? The earth of the floor of the tabernacle could not make it bitter. Among the Hebrews, and other oriental nations, the word bitter was rather used for curse: and, strictly speaking, the phrase does not mean bitter water, but the water of bitternesses, that is, of curses. The priest now pronounced the oath, which was in all points so framed that it could excite no terrors in the breast of an innocent woman; for it expressly consisted in this, that the imprecation water should not harm her if she was innocent. It would seem as if the priest here made a stop, and again left the woman some time to consider whether she would proceed with the oath. This I infer from the circumstance of his speech not being directly continued in verse 21st, which is rather the apodosis of what goes before; and from the detail proceeding anew in the words of the historian, Then shall the priest pronounce the rest of the oath and the curses to the woman; and proceed thus.--After this stop he pronounced the curses, and the woman was obliged to declare her acquiescence in them by a repeated Amen. Nor was the solemn scene yet altogether at an end; but rather, as it were commenced anew. For the priest had yet to write the curses in a book, which I suppose he did at great deliberation; having done so, he washed them out again in the very imprecation water, which the woman had now to drink; and this water being now presented to her, she was obliged to drink it, with this warning and assurance, in the name of God, that if she was guilty, it would prove within her an absolute curse. Now, what must have been her feelings, while drinking, if not conscious of purity? In my opinion she must have conceived that she already felt an alteration in the state of her body, and the germ, as it were, of the disease springing within her. Conscience and imagination would conspire together, and render it almost impossible for her to drink it out. Finally, the execration offering was taken out of her hand, and burnt upon the altar. I cannot but think that, under the sanction of such a purgatorium, perjury must have been a very rare occurrence indeed. If it happened but once in an age, God had bound himself to punish it; and if this took place but once, (if but one woman who had taken the oath was attacked with that rare disease which it threatened,) it was quite enough to serve as a determent to all others for at least one generation.”

This procedure had also the effect of keeping in mind, among the Jews, God’s high displeasure against this violation of his law; and though some lax moralists have been found, in modern times, to palliate it, yet the Christian will always remember the solemn denunciations of the New Testament against a crime so aggravated, whether considered in its effects upon the domestic relations, upon the moral character of the guilty parties, or upon society at large,--“Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Adultery, in the prophetic scriptures, is often metaphorically taken, and signifies idolatry, and apostasy from God, by which men basely defile themselves, and wickedly violate their ecclesiastical and covenant relation to God, Hos. ii, 2; Ezek. xvi.

ADVOCATE, Παράκλητος, a patron, one who pleads the cause of any one before another. In this sense the term is applied to Christ our intercessor, 1 John ii, 1. It signifies also a comforter, and an instructer; and is used of the Holy Spirit, John xiv, 16, and xv, 26.

ADYTUM is a Greek word, signifying inaccessible, by which is understood the most retired and secret place of the Heathen temples, into which none but the priests were allowed to enter. The adytum of the Greeks and Romans answered to the sanctum sanctorum of the Jews, and was the place from whence oracles were delivered.

ÆRA, a series of years, commencing from a certain point of time called an epocha: thus we say, the Christian æra; that is, the number of years elapsed since the birth of Christ. The generality of authors use the terms æra and epocha in a synonymous sense; that is, for the point of time from which any computation begins.

The ancient Jews made use of several æras in their computation; sometimes they reckoned from the deluge, sometimes from the division of tongues; sometimes from their departure out of Egypt; and at other times from the building of the temple; and sometimes from the restoration after the Babylonish captivity: but their vulgar æra was from the creation of the world, which falls in with the year of the Julian period 953; and consequently they supposed the world created 294 years sooner than according to our computation. But when the Jews became subject to the Syro-Macedonian kings, they were obliged to make use of the æra of the Seleucidæ in all their contracts, which from 29thence was called the æra of contracts. This æra begins with the year of the world 3692, of the Julian period 4402, and before Christ 312. The æra in general use among the Christians is that from the birth of Jesus Christ, concerning the true time of which chronologers differ; some place it two years, others four, and again others five, before the vulgar æra, which is fixed for the year of the world 4004: but Archbishop Usher, and after him the generality of modern chronologers, place it in the year of the world 4000.

The ancient Heathens used several æras:

1. The æra of the first olympiad is placed in the year of the world 3228, and before the vulgar æra of Jesus Christ 776. 2. The taking of Troy by the Greeks, in the year of the world 2820, and before Jesus Christ 1884. 3. The voyage undertaken for the purpose of bringing away the golden fleece, in the year of the world 2760. 4. The foundation of Rome, in 2856. 5. The æra of Nabonassar, in 3257. 6. The æra of Alexander the Great, or his last victory over Darius, in 3674, and before Jesus Christ 330.

AERIANS, a sect which arose about the middle of the fourth century, being the followers of Aërius, (who must be distinguished from Arius and Aëtius,) a monk and a presbyter of Sebastia, in Pontus. He is charged with being an Arian, or Semi-Arian; but the heaviest accusation against him is an attempt to reform the church; and, by rejecting prayers for the dead, with certain fasts and festivals then superstitiously observed, to reduce Christianity as nearly as possible “to its primitive simplicity; a purpose, indeed, laudable and noble,” says Dr. Mosheim, “when considered in itself: though the principles from whence it springs, and the means by which it is executed, are sometimes, in many respects, worthy of censure, and may have been so in the case of this reformer.” This gentle rebuke probably refers to a report that the zeal of Aërius originated in his being disappointed of the bishopric of Sebastia, (conferred on Eustathius,) which led him to affirm that the Scriptures make no distinction between a presbyter and a bishop, which he founded chiefly on 1 Tim. iv, 14. Hence he is considered by many, as the father of the modern Presbyterians.--“For this opinion, chiefly,” says Dr. Turner, “he is ranked among the heretics, by Epiphanius, his contemporary, who calls it a notion full of folly and madness. His followers were driven from the churches, and out of all the towns and villages, and were obliged to assemble in the woods, caverns, and open defiles.”

AETIANS, another branch (as it is said) of Arians, so called from Aëtius, bishop of Antioch, who is also charged with maintaining “faith without works,” as “sufficient to salvation,” or rather justification; and with maintaining “that sin is not imputed to believers.” It is added, that he taught God had revealed to him things which he had “concealed from the Apostles;” which, perhaps, is only a misrepresentation of what he taught on the doctrine of divine influences.

AFFINITY. There are several degrees of affinity, wherein marriage was prohibited by the law of Moses: thus the son could not marry his mother, nor his father’s wife, Lev. xviii, 7, &c. The brother could not marry his sister, whether she were so by the father only, or only by the mother, and much less if she were his sister both by the same father and mother. The grandfather could not marry his granddaughter, either by his son or daughter. No one could marry the daughter of his father’s wife; nor the sister of his father or mother; nor the uncle, his niece; nor the aunt, her nephew; nor the nephew, the wife of his uncle by the father’s side. The father-in-law could not marry his daughter-in-law; nor the brother the wife of his brother, while living; nor even after the death of his brother, if he left children. If he left no children, the surviving brother was to raise up children to his deceased brother by marrying his widow. It was forbidden to marry the mother and the daughter at one time, or the daughter of the mother’s son, or the daughter of her daughter, or two sisters, together.

It is true the patriarchs, before the law, married their sisters, as Abraham married Sarah, who was his father’s daughter by another mother; and two sisters together, as Jacob married Rachel and Leah; and their own sisters, both by father and mother, as Seth and Cain. But these cases are not to be proposed as examples; because in some they were authorized by necessity; in others, by custom; and the law as yet was not in being. If some other examples may be found, either before or since the law, the Scripture expressly disapproves of them; as Reuben’s incest with Balah, his father’s concubine; and the action of Amnon with his sister Tamar; and that of Herod Antipas, who married Herodias, his sister-in-law, his brother Philip’s wife, while her husband was yet living; and that which St. Paul reproves and punishes among the Corinthians, 1 Cor. v, 1.

AGABUS, a prophet, and as the Greeks say, one of the seventy disciples of our Saviour. He foretold that there would be a great famine over all the earth; which came to pass accordingly, under the emperor Claudius, in the fourth year of his reign, A. D. 44, Acts xi, 28.

Ten years after this, as St. Paul was going to Jerusalem, and had already landed at Cæsarea, in Palestine, the same prophet, Agabus, arrived there, and coming to visit St. Paul and his company, he took this Apostle’s girdle, and binding himself hand and feet, he said, “Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles,” Acts xxi, 10. We know no other particulars of the life of Agabus. The Greeks say that he suffered martyrdom at Antioch.

AGAG. This seems to have been a common name of the princes of Amalek, one of whom was very powerful as early as the time of Moses, Num. xxiv, 7. On account of the cruelties exercised by this king and his army against the Israelites, as they returned from Egypt, a bloody and long contested battle took place between Joshua and the Amalekites, in which the former was victorious, Exod. xvii, 8–13. At the same time, God protested with an oath to destroy Amalek, verses 14–16; Deut. xxv, 17–19, A. M. 302513. About four hundred years after this, the Lord remembered the cruel treatment of his people, and his own oath; and he commanded Saul, by the mouth of Samuel, to destroy the Amalekites. Saul mustered his army, and found it two hundred thousand strong, 1 Sam. xv, 1, &c. Having entered into their country, he cut in pieces all he could meet with from Havilah to Shur. Agag their king, and the best of their cattle, were however spared, an act of disobedience on the part of Saul, probably dictated by covetousness. But Agag did not long enjoy this reprieve; for Samuel no sooner heard that he was alive, than he sent for him; and notwithstanding his insinuating address, and the vain hopes with which he flattered himself that the bitterness of death was past, he caused him to be hewed to pieces in Gilgal before the Lord, saying, “As, כאשר, in the same identical mode as, thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.” This savage chieftain had hewed many prisoners to death; and, therefore, by command of the Judge of the whole earth, he was visited with the same punishment which he had inflicted upon others.

AGAPÆ. See Love Feast.

AGAR, mount Sinai, so called, Gal. iv, 24, 25. But this reading is doubtful, many MSS. having the verse, “for this Sinai is a mountain of Arabia.” Some critics however contend for the reading of the received text, and urge that Agar, which signifies “a rocky mountain,” is the Arabic name for Sinai.

AGATE, שבו, Exod. xxviii, 19; xxxix, 12. In the Septuagint ἀχάτης, and Vulgate, achates. A precious stone, semi-pellucid. Its variegations are sometimes most beautifully disposed, representing plants, trees, rivers, clouds, &c. Its Hebrew name is, perhaps, derived from the country whence the Jews imported it; for the merchants of Sheba brought to the market of Tyre all kinds of precious stones, Ezek. xxvii, 22. The agate was the second stone in the third row of the pectoral of the high priest, Exod. xxviii, 19, and xxxix, 12.

AGE, in the most general sense of the term, denotes the duration of any substance, animate or inanimate; and is applied either to the whole period of its existence, or to that portion of it which precedes the time to which the description of it refers. In this sense it is used to signify either the whole natural duration of the LIFE of man, or any interval of it that has elapsed before the period of which we speak. When age is understood of a certain portion of the life of man, its whole duration is divided into four different ages, viz. infancy, youth, manhood, and old age: the first extending to the fourteenth year; the second, denominated youth, adolescence, or the age of puberty, commencing at fourteen, and terminating at about twenty-five; manhood, or the virile age, concluding at fifty; and the last ending at the close of life. Some divide the first period into infancy and childhood; and the last likewise into two stages, calling that which succeeds the age of seventy-five, decrepit old age. Age is applicable to the duration of things inanimate or factitious; and in this use of the term we speak of the age of a house, of a country, of a state or kingdom, &c.

Age, in chronology, is used for a century, or a period of one hundred years: in which sense it is the same with seculum, and differs from generation. It is also used in speaking of the times past since the creation of the world. The several ages of the world may be reduced to three grand epochas, viz. the age of the law of nature, called by the Jews the void age, from Adam to Moses. The age of the Jewish law, from Moses to Christ, called by the Jews the present age. And the age of grace, from Christ to the present year. The Jews call the third age, the age to come, or the future age; denoting by it the time from the advent of the Messiah to the end of the world. The Romans distinguished the time that preceded them into three ages: the obscure or uncertain age, which reached down as low as Ogyges king of Attica, in whose reign the deluge happened in Greece; the fabulous or heroic age, which ended at the first olympiad; and the historical age, which commenced at the building of Rome. Among the poets, the four ages of the world are, the golden, the silver, the brazen, and the iron age.

Age is sometimes used among the ancient poets in the same sense as generation, or a period of thirty years. Thus Nestor is said to have lived three ages, when he was ninety years old.

The period preceding the birth of Jesus Christ has been generally divided into six ages. The first extends from the creation to the deluge, and comprehends 1656 years. The second age, from the deluge to Abraham’s entering the land of promise, A. M. 2082, comprehends 426 years. The third age from Abraham’s entrance into the promised land to the Exodus, A. M. 2512, includes 430 years. The fourth age, from the Exodus to the building of the temple by Solomon, A. M. 2992, contains 480 years. The fifth age from the foundation of Solomon’s temple to the Babylonish captivity, A. M. 3416, comprehends 424 years. The sixth age, from the Babylonish captivity to the birth of Jesus Christ, A. M. 4000, the fourth year before the vulgar æra, includes 584 years. Those who follow the Septuagint, or Greek version, divide this period into seven ages, viz. 1. From the creation to the deluge, 2262 years. 2. From the deluge to the confusion of tongues, 738 years. 3. From this confusion to the calling of Abraham, 460 years. 4. From this period to Jacob’s descent into Egypt, 215 years; and from this event to the Exodus, 430 years, making the whole 645 years. 5. From the Exodus to Saul, 774 years. 6. From Saul to Cyrus, 583 years. 7. From Cyrus to the vulgar æra of Christians, 538 years; the whole period from the creation to this period containing 6000 years.

AGRIPPA, surnamed Herod, the son of Aristobulus and Mariamne, and grandson of Herod the Great, was born A. M. 3997, three years before the birth of our Saviour, and seven years before the vulgar æra. After the death of his father Aristobulus, Josephus informs us that Herod, his grandfather, took care of his education, and sent him to Rome to make his 31court to Tiberius. Agrippa, having a great inclination for Caius, the son of Germanicus, and grandson of Antonia, chose to attach himself to this prince, as if he had some prophetic views of the future elevation of Caius, who at that time was beloved by all the world. The great assiduity and agreeable behaviour of Agrippa so far won upon this prince, that he was unable to live without him. Agrippa, being one day in conversation with Caius, was overheard by one Eutychus, a slave whom Agrippa had emancipated, to say that he should be glad to see the old emperor take his departure for the other world and leave Caius master of this, without meeting with any obstacle from the emperor’s grandson, Tiberius Nero. Eutychus, some time after this, thinking he had reason to be dissatisfied with Agrippa, communicated the conversation to the emperor; whereupon Agrippa was loaded with fetters, and committed to the custody of an officer. Soon after this, Tiberius dying, and Caius Caligula succeeding him, the new emperor heaped many favours and much wealth upon Agrippa, changed his iron fetters into a chain of gold, set a royal diadem on his head, and gave him the tetrarchy which Philip, the son of Herod the Great, had been possessed of, that is, Batanæa and Trachonitis. To this he added that of Lysanias; and Agrippa returned very soon into Judea, to take possession of his new kingdom. The emperor Caius, desiring to be adored as a god, commanded to have his statue set up in the temple of Jerusalem. But the Jews opposed this design with so much resolution, that Petronius was forced to suspend his proceedings in this affair, and to represent, in a letter to the emperor, the resistance he met with from the Jews. Agrippa, who was then at Rome, coming to the emperor at the very time he was reading the letter, Caius told him that the Jews were the only people of all mankind who refused to own him for a deity; and that they had taken arms to oppose his resolution. At these words Agrippa fainted away, and, being carried home to his house, continued in that state for a long time. As soon as he was somewhat recovered, he wrote a long letter to Caius, wherein he endeavoured to soften him; and his arguments made such an impression upon the emperor’s mind, that he desisted, in appearance, from the design which he had formed of setting up his statue in the temple. Caius being killed in the beginning of the following year, A. D. 41, Agrippa, who was then at Rome, contributed much by his advice to maintain Claudius in possession of the imperial dignity, to which he had been advanced by the army. The emperor, as an acknowledgment for his kind offices, gave him all Judea, and the kingdom of Chalcis, which had been possessed by Herod his brother. Thus Agrippa became of a sudden one of the greatest princes of the east, and was possessed of as much, if not more territory, than had been held by Herod the Great, his grandfather. He returned to Judea, and governed it to the great satisfaction of the Jews. But the desire of pleasing them, and a mistaken zeal for their religion, induced him to put to death the Apostle James, and to cast Peter into prison with the same design; and, but for a miraculous interposition, which, however, produced no effect upon the mind of the tyrant, his hands would have been imbrued in the blood of two Apostles, the memory whereof is preserved in Scripture. At Cæsarea, he had games performed in honour of Claudius. Here the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon waited on him to sue for peace. Agrippa being come early in the morning into the theatre, with a design to give them audience, seated himself on his throne, dressed in a robe of silver tissue, worked in the most admirable manner. The rising sun darted his golden beams thereon, and gave it such a lustre as dazzled the eyes of the spectators; and when the king began his speech to the Tyrians and Sidonians, the parasites around him began to say, it was “the voice of a god and not of man.” Instead of rejecting these impious flatteries, Agrippa received them with an air of complacency; and the angel of the Lord smote him because he did not give God the glory. Being therefore carried home to his palace, he died, at the end of five days, racked with tormenting pains in his bowels, and devoured with worms. Such was the death of Herod Agrippa, A. D. 44, after a reign of seven years. He left a son of the same name, and three daughters--Bernice, who was married to her uncle Herod, her father’s brother; Mariamne, betrothed to Julius Archelaus; and Drusilla, promised to Epiphanius, the son of Archelaus, the son of Comagena.

AGRIPPA, son of the former Agrippa, was at Rome with the emperor Claudius when his father died. The emperor, we are told by Josephus, was inclined to give him all the dominions that had been possessed by his father, but was dissuaded from it, Agrippa being only seventeen years of age; and he kept him therefore at his court four years.

Three years after this, Herod, king of Chalcis, and uncle to young Agrippa, dying, the emperor gave his dominions to this prince, who, notwithstanding, did not go into Judea till four years after, A. D. 53; when, Claudius taking from him the kingdom of Chalcis, gave him the provinces of Gaulonitis, Trachonitis, Batanæa, Paneas, and Abylene, which formerly had been in the possession of Lysanias. After the death of Claudius, his successor, Nero, who had a great affection for Agrippa, to his other dominions added Julias in Peræa, and that part of Galilee to which Tarichæa and Tiberias belonged. Festus governor of Judea, coming to his government, A. D. 60, king Agrippa and Bernice, his sister, went as far as Cæsarea to salute him; and as they continued there for some time, Festus talked with the king concerning the affair of St. Paul, who had been seized in the temple about two years before, and within a few days previous to his visit had appealed to the emperor. Agrippa wishing to hear Paul, that Apostle delivered that noble address in his presence which is recorded, Acts xxvi.

AGUR. The thirtieth chapter of Proverbs begins with this title: “The words of Agur, 32the son of Jakeh;” and the thirty-first, with “the words of king Lemuel;” with respect to which some conjecture that Solomon describes himself under these appellations; others, that these chapters are the productions of persons whose real names are prefixed. Scripture history, indeed, affords us no information respecting their situation and character; but there must have been sufficient reason for regarding their works in the light of inspired productions, or they would not have been admitted into the sacred canon.

They are called Massa, a term frequently applied to the undoubted productions of the prophetic Spirit; and it is not improbable that the authors meant, by the adoption of this term, to lay claim to the character of inspiration. A succession of virtuous and eminent men, favoured with divine illuminations, flourished in Judea till the final completion of the sacred code; and, most likely, many more than those whose writings have been preserved. Agur may then have been one of those prophets whom Divine providence raised up to comfort or admonish his chosen people; and Lemuel may have been some neighbouring prince, the son of a Jewish woman, by whom he was taught the Massa contained in the thirty-first chapter. These, of course, can only be considered as mere conjectures; for, in the absence of historic evidence, who can venture to pronounce with certainty? The opinion, however, that Agur and Lemuel are appellations of Solomon, is sanctioned by so many and such respectable writers, that it demands a more particular examination.

The knowledge of names was anciently regarded as a matter of the highest importance, in order to understand the nature of the persons or things which they designate; and, in the opinion of the rabbins, was preferable even to the study of the written law. The Heathens paid considerable attention to it, as appears from the Cratylus of Plato; and some of the Christian fathers entertained very favourable notions of such knowledge. The Jewish doctors, it is true, refined upon the subject with an amazing degree of subtilty, grounding upon it many ridiculous ideas and absurd fancies; yet it is unquestionable that many of the proper names in Scripture are significant and characteristic. Thus the names Eve, Cain, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Israel, &c, were imposed by reason of their being expressive of the several characters of the persons whom they represent. Reasoning from analogy, we may infer that all the proper names in the Old Testament, at their original imposition, were intended to denote some quality or circumstance in the person or thing to which they belong; and though many, from transference, have ceased to be personally characteristic, yet are they all significative.

As the custom of imposing descriptive names prevailed in the primitive ages, it is not impossible that Agur and Lemuel may be appropriated to Solomon, and Jakeh to David as mystic appellations significative of their respective characters. It is even some confirmation of this opinion, that Solomon is denominated Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord) by the Prophet Nathan; and that in the book of Ecclesiastes, he styles himself Koheleth, or the Preacher. Nevertheless, this hypothesis does not appear to rest upon a firm foundation. It is foreign to the simplicity of the sacred penmen, and contrary to their custom in similar cases, to adopt a mystic name, without either explaining it, or alleging the reasons for its adoption. In the names Eve, Cain, Seth, Noah, &c, before alluded to; in the appellation Nabal; in the enigmatical names in the first chapter of Hosea; in the descriptive names given to places, as Beersheba, Jehovah-jireh, Peniel, Bethel, Gilgal; and in many other instances, the meaning of the terms is either explained, or the circumstances are mentioned which led to their selection. When Solomon is called Jedidiah, it is added that it was “because of the Lord;” and when he styles himself Koheleth, an explanatory clause is annexed, describing himself “the son of David, the king of Jerusalem.” But if Solomon be meant by the titles Agur and Lemuel, he is so called without any statement of the reasons for their application, and without any explanation of their import; a circumstance unusual with the sacred writers, and the reverse to what is practised in the book of Proverbs, where his proper name, Solomon, is attributed to him in three different places. Nor is anything characteristic of the Jewish monarchs discoverable in the terms themselves. Jakeh, which denotes obedient, is no more applicable to David than to Nathan, or any other personage of eminent worth and piety among the Israelites. The name of Agur is not of easy explanation; some giving it the sense of recollectus, that is, recovered from his errors, and become penitent; an explanation more applicable to David than to Solomon. Simon, in his lexicon, says it may perhaps denote “him who applies to the study of wisdom;” an interpretation very suitable to the royal philosopher, but not supported by adequate authority; and in his Onomasticon he explains it in a different manner. Others suppose that it means collector; though it has been argued, that, as it has a passive form, it cannot have an active sense. But this is not a valid objection, as several examples may be produced from the Bible of a similar form with an active signification. If such be its meaning, it is suitable to Solomon, who was not the collector or compiler, but the author, of the Proverbs. With respect to the name Lemuel, it signifies one that is for God, or devoted to God; and is not, therefore, peculiarly descriptive of Solomon. It appears, then, that nothing can be inferred from the signification of the names Agur and Lemuel in support of the conjecture, that they are appellations of Solomon. The contents, likewise, of the two chapters in question strongly militate against this hypothesis.

When all these circumstances are taken into consideration, together with the extreme improbability that Solomon should be denominated three times by his proper name, and afterward, in the same work, by two different enigmatical 33names, we are fully warranted in rejecting the notion, that the wise monarch is designed by the appellations Agur and Lemuel. And it seems most reasonable to consider them as denoting real persons.

AHAB, the son and successor of Omri. He began his reign over Israel, A. M. 3086, and reigned 22 years. In impiety he far exceeded all the kings of Israel. He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Zidon, who introduced the whole abominations and idols of her country, Baal and Ashtaroth.

2. Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, were two false prophets, who, about A. M. 3406, seduced the Jewish captives at Babylon with hopes of a speedy deliverance, and stirred them up against Jeremiah. The Lord threatened them with a public and ignominious death, before such as they had deceived; and that their names should become a curse; men wishing that their foes might be made like Ahab and Zedekiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon roasted in the fire, Jer. xxix, 21, 22.

AHASUERUS was the king of Persia, who advanced Esther to be queen, and at her request delivered the Jews from the destruction plotted for them by Haman. Archbishop Usher is of opinion that this Ahasuerus was Darius Hystaspes; and that Atossa was the Vashti, and Artystona the Esther, of the Scriptures. But, according to Herodotus, the latter was the daughter of Cyrus, and therefore could not be Esther; and the former had four sons by Darius, besides daughters, born to him after he was king; and therefore she could not be the queen Vashti, divorced from her husband in the third year of his reign, nor he the Ahasuerus who divorced her. Besides, Atossa retained her influence over Darius to his death, and obtained the succession of the crown for his son, Xerxes; whereas Vashti was removed from the presence of Ahasuerus by an irrevocable decree, Esther i, 19. Joseph Scaliger maintains that Xerxes was the Ahasuerus, and Hamestris his queen, the Esther, of Scripture. The opinion is founded on the similitude of names, but contradicted by the dissimilitude of the characters of Hamestris and Esther. Besides, Herodotus says that Xerxes had a son by Hamestris that was marriageable in the seventh year of his reign; and therefore she could not be Esther. The Ahasuerus of Scripture, according to Dr. Prideaux, was Artaxerxes Longimanus. Josephus positively says that this was the person. The Septuagint, through the whole book of Esther, uses Artaxerxes for the Hebrew Ahasuerus wherever the appellation occurs; and the apocryphal additions to that book every where call the husband of Esther Artaxerxes; and he could be no other than Artaxerxes Longimanus. The extraordinary favour shown to the Jews by this king, first in sending Ezra, and afterward Nehemiah, to relieve this people, and restore them to their ancient prosperity, affords strong presumptive evidence that they had near his person and high in his regard such an advocate as Esther. Ahasuerus is also a name given in Scripture, Ezra iv, 6, to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus; and to Astyages, king of the Medes, Dan. ix, 1.

AHAVA. The name of a river of Babylonia, or rather of Assyria, where Ezra assembled those captives whom he afterward brought into Judea, Ezra viii, 15. The river Ahava is thought to be that which ran along the Adabene, where a river Diava, or Adiava, is mentioned, and on which Ptolemy places the city Abane or Aavane. This is probably the country called Ava, whence the kings of Assyria translated the people called Avites into Palestine, and where they settled some of the captive Israelites, 2 Kings xvii, 24; xviii, 34; xix, 13; xvii, 31. Ezra, intending to collect as many Israelites as he could, who might return to Judea, halted in the country of Ava, or Aahava, whence he sent agents into the Caspian mountains, to invite such Jews as were willing to join him, Ezra viii, 16. The history of Izates, king of the Adiabenians, and of his mother Helena, who became converts to Judaism some years after the death of Jesus Christ, sufficiently proves that there were many Jews still settled in that country.

AHAZ succeeded his father Jotham, as king of Israel, at the age of twenty years, reigned till the year before Christ, 726, and addicted himself to the practice of idolatry. After the customs of the Heathen, he made his children to pass through fire; he shut up the temple, and destroyed its vessels. He became tributary to Tiglath-pileser, whose assistance he supplicated against the kings of Syria and Israel. Such was his impiety, that he was not allowed burial in the sepulchres of the kings of Israel, 2 Kings xvi; 2 Chron. xxviii.

AHAZIAH, the son of Ahab, king of Israel. Ahaziah reigned two years, partly alone, and partly with his father Ahab, who appointed him his associate in the kingdom a year before his death. Ahaziah imitated his father’s impieties, 1 Kings xxii, 52, &c, and paid his adorations to Baal and Ashtaroth, the worship of whom had been introduced into Israel by Jezebel his mother. The Moabites, who had been always obedient to the kings of the ten tribes, ever since their separation from the kingdom of Judah, revolted after the death of Ahab, and refused to pay the ordinary tribute. Ahaziah had not leisure or power to reduce them, 2 Kings i, 1, 2, &c, for, about the same time, having fallen through a lattice from the top of his house, he was considerably injured, and sent messengers to Ekron to consult Baalzebub, the god of that place, whether he should recover, 2 Kings i, 1–17. Elijah met the messengers, and informed them he should certainly die; and he died accordingly.

2. Ahaziah, king of Judah, the son of Jehoram and Athaliah. He succeeded his father in the kingdom of Judah, A. M. 3119; being in the twenty-second year of his age, 2 Kings viii, 26, &c; and he reigned one year only in Jerusalem. He walked in the ways of Ahab’s house, to which he was related, his mother being of that family. Joram, king of Israel, 2 Kings viii, going to attack Ramoth Gilead, which the kings of Syria had taken from his 34predecessors, was there dangerously wounded, and carried by his own appointment to Jezreel, for the purpose of surgical assistance. Ahaziah, Joram’s friend and relation, accompanied him in this war, and came afterward to visit him at Jezreel. In the meantime, Jehu, the son of Nimshi, whom Joram had left besieging the fortress of Ramoth, rebelled against his master, and set out with a design of extirpating the house of Ahab, according to the commandment of the Lord, 2 Kings ix. Joram and Ahaziah, who knew nothing of his intentions, went to meet him. Jehu killed Joram dead upon the spot: Ahaziah fled, but Jehu’s people overtook him at the going up of Gur, and mortally wounded him; notwithstanding which, he had strength enough to reach Megiddo, where he died. His servants, having laid him in his chariot, carried him to Jerusalem, where he was buried with his fathers, in the city of David.

AHIJAH, the prophet of the Lord, who dwelt in Shiloh. He is thought to be the person who spoke twice to Solomon from God, once while he was building the temple, 1 Kings vi, 11, at which time he promised him the divine protection; and again, 1 Kings xi, 11, after his falling into his irregularities, with great threatenings and reproaches. Ahijah was one of those who wrote the history or annals of this prince, 2 Chron. ix, 29. The same prophet declared to Jeroboam, that he would usurp the kingdom, 1 Kings xi, 29, &c; and, about the end of Jeroboam’s reign, he also predicted the death of Abijah, the only pious son of that prince, as is recorded 1 Kings xiv, 2, &c. Ahijah, in all probability, did not long survive the delivery of this last prophecy; but we are not informed of the time and manner of his death.

AHIKAM, the son of Shaphan, and father of Gedaliah. He was sent by Josiah, king of Judah, to Huldah the prophetess, 2 Kings xxii, 12, to consult her concerning the book of the law, which had been found in the temple.

AHIMAAZ, the son of Zadok, the high priest. Ahimaaz succeeded his father under the reign of Solomon. He performed a very important piece of service for David during the war with Absalom. While his father Zadok was in Jerusalem, 2 Sam. xv, 29, Ahimaaz and Jonathan continued without the city, xvii, 17, near En-Rogel, or the fountain of Rogel; thither a maid servant came to tell them the resolution which had been taken in Absalom’s council: whereupon they immediately departed to give the king intelligence. But being discovered by a young lad who gave information concerning them to Absalom, that prince sent orders to pursue them: Ahimaaz and Jonathan, fearing to be taken, retired to a man’s house at Baharim, in whose court-yard there was a well, wherein they concealed themselves. After the battle, in which Absalom was overcome and slain, xviii, Ahimaaz desired leave of Joab to carry the news thereof to David. But instead of him Joab sent Cushi to carry the news, and told Ahimaaz that he would send him to the king upon some other occasion; but soon after Cushi was departed, Ahimaaz applied again to Joab, praying to be permitted to run after Cushi; and, having obtained leave, he ran by the way of the plain, and outran Cushi. He was succeeded in the priesthood by his son Azariah.

AHIMELECH. He was the son of Ahitub, and brother of Ahia, whom he succeeded in the high priesthood. He is called Abiathar, Mark ii, 26. During his priesthood the tabernacle was at Nob, where Ahimelech, with other priests, had their habitation. David, being informed by his friend Jonathan that Saul was determined to destroy him, thought it prudent to retire. He therefore went to Nob, to the high priest Ahimelech, who gave him the shew bread, and the sword of Goliath. One day, when Saul was complaining of his officers, that no one was affected with his misfortunes, or gave him any intelligence of what was carrying on against him, 1 Sam. xxii, 9, &c, Doeg related to him what had occurred when David came to Ahimelech the high priest. On this information, Saul convened the priests, and having charged them with the crime of treason, ordered his guards to slay them, which they refusing to do, Doeg, who had been their accuser, at the king’s command became their executioner, and with his sacrilegious hand massacred no less than eighty-five of them; the Septuagint and Syriac versions make the number of priests slain by Doeg three hundred and five. Nor did Saul stop here; but, sending a party to Nob, he commanded them to slay men, women, and children, and even cattle, with the edge of the sword. Only one son of Ahimelech, named Abiathar, escaped the carnage and fled to David.

AHITHOPHEL, a native of Giloh, who, after having been David’s counsellor, joined in the rebellion of Absalom, and assisted him with his advice. Hushai, the friend of David, was employed to counteract the counsels of Ahithophel, and to deprive Absalom, under a pretence of serving him, of the advantage that was likely to result from the measures which he proposed. One of these measures was calculated to render David irreconcilable, and was immediately adopted; and the other to secure, or to slay him. Before the last counsel was followed, Hushai’s advice was desired; and he recommended their assembling together the whole force of Israel, putting Absalom at their head, and overwhelming David by their number. The treacherous counsel of Hushai was preferred to that of Ahithophel; with which the latter being disgusted he hastened to his house at Giloh, where he put an end to his life. He probably foresaw Absalom’s defeat, and dreaded the punishment which would be inflicted on himself as a traitor, when David was resettled on the throne. A. M. 2981. B. C. 1023. 2 Sam. xv, xvii.

AHOLIBAH. This and Aholah are two feigned names made use of by Ezekiel, xxiii, 4, to denote the two kingdoms of Judah and Samaria. Aholah and Aholibah are represented as two sisters of Egyptian extraction. Aholah stands for Samaria, and Aholibah for Jerusalem. The first signifies a tent, and the second, 35my tent is in her. They both prostituted themselves to the Egyptians and Assyrians, in imitating their abominations and idolatries; for which reason the Lord abandoned them to those very people for whose evil practices they had shown so passionate an affection. They were carried into captivity, and reduced to the severest servitude.

AI, called by the LXX, Gai, by Josephus Aina, and by others Ajah, a town of Palestine, situate west of Bethel, and at a small distance north-west of Jericho. The three thousand men, first sent by Joshua to reduce this city, were repulsed, on account of the sin of Achan, who had violated the anathema pronounced against Jericho, by appropriating a part of the spoil. After the expiation of this offence, the whole army of Israel marched against Ai, with orders to treat that city as Jericho had been treated, with this difference, that the plunder was to be given to the army. Joshua, having appointed an ambush of thirty thousand men, marched against the city, and by a feigned retreat, drew out the king of Ai with his troops; and upon a signal given by elevating his shield on the top of a pike, the men in ambush entered the city and set fire to it. Thus the soldiers of Ai, placed between two divisions of Joshua’s army, were all destroyed; the king alone being preserved for a more ignominious death on a gibbet, where he hung till sunset. The spoil of the place was afterward divided among the Israelites. The men appointed for ambush are, in one place, said to be thirty thousand, and in another five thousand. For reconciling this apparent contradiction, most commentators have generally supposed, that there were two bodies placed in ambuscade between Bethel and Ai, one of twenty-five thousand and the other of five thousand men; the latter being probably a detachment from the thirty thousand first sent, and ordered to lie as near to the city as possible. Masius allows only five thousand men for the ambuscade, and twenty-five thousand for the attack.

AICHMALOTARCH, Ἀιχμαλοτάρχης signifies the prince of the captivity, or chief of the captives. The Jews pretend that this was the title of him who had the government of their people during the captivity of Babylon; and they believe these princes or governors to have been constantly of the tribe of Judah, and family of David. But they give no satisfactory proof of the real existence of these Aichmalotarchs. There was no prince of the captivity before the end of the second century, from which period the office continued till the eleventh century. The princes of the captivity resided at Babylon, where they were installed with great ceremony, held courts of justice, &c, and were set over the eastern Jews, or those settled in Babylon, Chaldæa, Assyria, and Persia. Thus they affected to restore the splendour of their ancient monarchy, and in this view the following account may be amusing. The ceremonial of the installation is thus described: The spiritual heads of the people, the masters of the learned schools, the elders, and the people, assembled in great multitudes within a stately chamber, adorned with rich curtains, in Babylon, where, during his days of splendour, the Resch-Glutha fixed his residence. The prince was seated on a lofty throne. The heads of the schools of Sura and Pumbeditha on his right hand and left. These chiefs of the learned men then delivered an address, exhorting the new monarch not to abuse his power; and reminded him that he was called to slavery rather than to sovereignty, for he was prince of a captive people. On the next Thursday he was inaugurated by the laying on of hands, and the sound of trumpets, and acclamations. He was escorted to his palace with great pomp, and received magnificent presents from all his subjects. On the Sabbath all the principal people being assembled before his house, he placed himself at their head, and, with his face covered with a silken veil, proceeded to the synagogue. Benedictions and hymns of thanksgiving announced his entrance. They then brought him the book of the law, out of which he read the first line, afterward he addressed the assembly, with his eyes closed out of respect. He exhorted them to charity, and set the example by offering liberal alms to the poor. The ceremony closed with new acclamations, and prayers to God that, under the new prince, he would be pleased to put an end to their calamities. The prince gave his blessing to the people, and prayed for each province, that it might be preserved from war and famine. He concluded his orisons in a low voice, lest his prayer should be repeated to the jealous ears of the native monarchs, for he prayed for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, which could not rise but on the ruins of their empire. The prince returned to his palace, where he gave a splendid banquet to the chief persons of the community. After that day he lived in a sort of stately oriental seclusion, never quitting his palace, except to go to the schools of the learned, where, as he entered, the whole assembly rose and continued standing, till he took his seat. He sometimes paid a visit to the native sovereign in Babylon (Bagdad.) This probably refers to a somewhat later period. On these great occasions his imperial host sent his own chariot for his guest; but the prince of the captivity dared not accept the invidious distinction, he walked in humble and submissive modesty behind the chariot. Yet his own state was by no means wanting in splendour: he was arrayed in cloth of gold; fifty guards marched before him; all the Jews who met him on the way paid their homage, and fell behind into his train. He was received by the eunuchs, who conducted him to the throne, while one of his officers, as he marched slowly along, distributed gold and silver on all sides. As the prince approached the imperial throne, he prostrated himself on the ground, in token of vassalage. The eunuchs raised him and placed him on the left hand of the sovereign. After the first salutation, the prince represented the grievances, or discussed the affairs, of his people.

The court of the Resch-Glutha is described as splendid. In imitation of his Persian master, 36he had his officers, counsellors, and cup-bearers; and rabbins were appointed as satraps over the different communities. This state, it is probable, was maintained by a tribute raised from the body of the people, and substituted for that which, in ancient times was paid for the temple in Jerusalem. His subjects in Babylonia were many of them wealthy.

AIJALON, a city of the Canaanites; the valley adjoining to which is memorable in sacred history from the miracle of Joshua, in arresting the course of the sun and moon, that the Israelites might have sufficient light to pursue their enemies, Joshua x, 12, 13. Aijalon was afterward a Levitical city, and belonged to the tribe of Dan; who did not, however, drive out the Amorite inhabitants, Judges i, 35.

AIR, that thin, fluid, elastic, transparent, ponderous, compressible body which surrounds the terraqueous globe to a considerable height. In Scripture it is sometimes used for heaven; as, “the birds of the air;” “the birds of heaven.” To “beat the air,” and “to speak to the air,” 1 Cor. ix, 26, signify to fatigue ourselves in vain, and to speak to no purpose. “The prince of the power of the air” is the head and chief of the evil spirits, with which both Jews and Heathens thought the air was filled.

ALABASTER, Ἀλάβαϛρον, the name of a genus of fossils nearly allied to marble. It is a bright elegant stone, sometimes of a snowy whiteness. It may be cut freely, and is capable of a fine polish; and, being of a soft nature, it is wrought into any form or figure with ease. Vases or cruises were anciently made of it, wherein to preserve odoriferous liquors and ointments. Pliny and others represent it as peculiarly proper for this purpose; and the druggists in Egypt have, at this day, vessels made of it, in which they keep their medicines and perfumes.

In Matt. xxvi, 6, 7, we read that Jesus being at table in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came thither and poured an alabaster box of ointment on his head. St. Mark adds, “She brake the box,” which merely refers to the seal upon the vase which closed it, and kept the perfume from evaporating. This had never been removed, but was on this occasion broken, that is, first opened.

ALBIGENSES. See Waldenses.

ALEPH, א, the name of the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, from which the alpha of the Syrians and Greeks was formed. This word signifies, prince, chief, or thousand, expressing, as it were, a leading number.

ALEXANDER, commonly called the Great, son and successor of Philip, king of Macedon, is denoted in the prophecies of Daniel by a leopard with four wings, signifying his great strength, and the unusual rapidity of his conquests, Dan. vii, 6; and by a one-horned he-goat running over the earth so swiftly as not to touch it, attacking a ram with two horns, overthrowing him, and trampling him under foot, without any being able to rescue him, Dan. viii, 4–7. The he-goat prefigured Alexander; the ram, Darius Codomannus, the last of the Persian kings. In the statue beheld by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, Dan. ii, 39, the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander. He was appointed by God to destroy the Persian empire, and to substitute in its room the Grecian monarchy.

Alexander succeeded his father Philip, A. M. 3668, and B. C. 336. He was chosen, by the Greeks, general of their troops against the Persians, and entered Asia at the head of thirty-four thousand men, A. M. 3670. In one campaign, he subdued almost all Asia Minor; and afterward defeated, in the narrow passes which led from Syria to Cilicia, the army of Darius, which consisted of four hundred thousand foot, and one hundred thousand horse. Darius fled, and left in the hands of the conqueror, his camp, baggage, children, wife, and mother.

After subduing Syria, Alexander came to Tyre; and the Tyrians refusing him entrance into their city, he besieged it. At the same time he wrote to Jaddus, high priest of the Jews, that he expected to be acknowledged by him, and to receive from him the same submission which had hitherto been paid to the king of Persia. Jaddus refusing to comply under the plea of having sworn fidelity to Darius, Alexander resolved to march against Jerusalem, when he had reduced Tyre. After a long siege, this city was taken and sacked; and Alexander entered Palestine, A. M. 3672, and subjected it to his obedience. As he was marching against Jerusalem, the Jews became greatly alarmed, and had recourse to prayers and sacrifices. The Lord, in a dream, commanded Jaddus to open the gates to the conqueror, and, at the head of his people, dressed in his pontifical ornaments, and attended by the priests in their robes, to advance and meet the Macedonian king. Jaddus obeyed; and Alexander perceiving this company approaching, hastened toward the high priest, whom he saluted. He then adored God, whose name was engraven on a thin plate of gold, worn by the high priest upon his forehead. The kings of Syria who accompanied him, and the great officers about Alexander, could not comprehend the meaning of his conduct. Parmenio alone ventured to ask him why he adored the Jewish high priest; Alexander replied, that he paid this respect to God, and not to the high priest. “For,” added he, “whilst I was yet in Macedonia, I saw the God of the Jews, who appeared to me in the same form and dress as the high priest at present, and who encouraged me and commanded me to march boldly into Asia, promising that he would be my guide, and give me the empire of the Persians. As soon, therefore, as I perceived this habit, I recollected the vision, and understood that my undertaking was favoured by God, and that under his protection I might expect prosperity.”

Having said this, Alexander accompanied Jaddus to Jerusalem, where he offered sacrifices in the temple according to the directions of the high priest. Jaddus is said to have showed him the prophecies of Daniel, in which the destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander is declared. The king was therefore confirmed in his opinion, that God had chosen him to execute this great work. At his departure, Alexander bade the Jews ask of him what they 37would. The high priest desired only the liberty of living under his government according to their own laws, and an exemption from tribute every seventh year, because in that year the Jews neither tilled their grounds, nor reaped their fruits. With this request Alexander readily complied.

Having left Jerusalem, Alexander visited other cities of Palestine, and was every where received with great testimonies of friendship and submission. The Samaritans who dwelt at Sichem, and were apostates from the Jewish religion, observing how kindly Alexander had treated the Jews, resolved to say that they also were by religion Jews. For it was their practice, when they saw the affairs of the Jews in a prosperous state, to boast that they were descended from Manasseh and Ephraim; but when they thought it their interest to say the contrary, they failed not to affirm, and even to swear, that they were not related to the Jews. They came, therefore, with many demonstrations of joy, to meet Alexander, as far almost as the territories of Jerusalem. Alexander commended their zeal; and the Sichemites entreated him to visit their temple and city. Alexander promised this at his return; but as they petitioned him for the same privileges as the Jews, he asked them if they were Jews. They replied, they were Hebrews, and were called by the Phœnicians, Sichemites. Alexander said that he had granted this exemption only to the Jews, but that at his return he would inquire into the affair, and do them justice.

This prince having conquered Egypt, and regulated it, gave orders for the building of the city of Alexandria, and departed thence, about spring, in pursuit of Darius. Passing through Palestine, he was informed that the Samaritans, in a general insurrection, had killed Andromachus, governor of Syria and Palestine, who had come to Samaria to regulate some affairs. This action greatly incensed Alexander, who loved Andromachus. He therefore commanded all those who were concerned in his murder to be put to death, and the rest to be banished from Samaria; and settled a colony of Macedonians in their room. What remained of their lands he gave to the Jews, and exempted them from the payment of tribute. The Samaritans who escaped this calamity, retired to Sichem, at the foot of mount Gerizim, which afterward became their capital. Lest the eight thousand men of this nation, who were in the service of Alexander, and had accompanied him since the siege of Tyre, if permitted to return to their own country, should renew the spirit of rebellion, he sent them into Thebais, the most remote southern province of Egypt, where he assigned them lands.

Alexander, after defeating Darius in a pitched battle, and subduing all Asia and the Indies with incredible rapidity, gave himself up to intemperance. Having drunk to excess, he fell sick and died, after he had obliged “all the world to be quiet before him,” 1 Macc. i, 3. Being sensible that his end was near, he sent for the grandees of his court, and declared that “he gave the empire to the most deserving.” Some affirm that he regulated the succession by a will. The author of the first book of Maccabees says, that he divided his kingdom among his generals while he was living, 1 Macc. i, 7. This he might do; or he might express his foresight of what actually took place after his death. It is certain, that a partition was made of Alexander’s dominions among the four principal officers of his army, and that the empire which he founded in Asia subsisted for many ages. Alexander died, A. M. 3684, and B. C. 323, in the thirty-third year of his age, and the twelfth of his reign. The above particulars of Alexander are here introduced because, from his invasion of Palestine, the intercourse of the Jews with the Greeks became intimate, and influenced many events of their subsequent history.

On the account above given of the interview between Alexander and the Jewish high priest, by Josephus, many doubts have been cast by critics. But the sudden change of his feelings toward them, and the favour with which the nation was treated by him, render the story not improbable.

ALEXANDRIA, a famous city of Egypt, and, during the reign of the Ptolemies, the regal capital of that kingdom. It was founded by Alexander the Great: who being struck with the advantageous situation of the spot where the city afterward stood, ordered its immediate erection; drew the plan of the city himself, and peopled it with colonies of Greeks and Jews: to which latter people, in particular, he gave great encouragement. They were, in fact, made free citizens, and had all the privileges of Macedonians granted to them; which liberal policy contributed much to the rise and prosperity of the new city; for this enterprising and commercial people knew much better than either the Greeks or the Egyptians how to turn the happy situation of Alexandria to the best account. The fall of Tyre happening about the same time, the trade of that city was soon drawn to Alexandria, which became the centre of commercial intercourse between the east and the west; and in process of time grew to such an extent, in magnitude and wealth, as to be second in point of population and magnificence to none but Rome itself.

Alexandria owed much of its celebrity as well as its population to the Ptolemies. Ptolemy Soter, one of Alexander’s captains, who, after the death of this monarch, was first governor of Egypt, and afterward assumed the title of king, made this city the place of his residence, about B. C. 304. This prince founded an academy, called the Museum, in which a society of learned men devoted themselves to philosophical studies, and the improvement of all the other sciences; and he also gave them a library, which was prodigiously increased by his successors. He likewise induced the merchants of Syria and Greece to reside in this city, and to make it a principal mart of their commerce. His son and successor, Ptolemy Philadelphus, pursued the designs of his father.

In the hands of the Romans, the successors of the Macedonians in the government of Egypt, the trade of Alexandria continued to 38flourish, until luxury and licentiousness paved the way, as in every similar instance, for its overthrow.

Alexandria, together with the rest of Egypt, passed from the dominion of the Romans to that of the Saracens. With this event, the sun of Alexandria may be said to have set: the blighting hand of Islamism was laid on it; and although the genius and the resources of such a city could not be immediately destroyed, it continued to languish until the passage by the Cape of Good Hope, in the fifteenth century, gave a new channel to the trade which for so many centuries had been its support; and at this day, Alexandria, like most eastern cities, presents a mixed spectacle of ruins and wretchedness,--of fallen greatness and enslaved human beings.

Some idea may be formed of the extent and grandeur of Alexandria, by the boast made by Amrou: “I have taken,” said he, “the great city of the west. It is impossible for me to enumerate the variety of its riches and beauty. I shall content myself with observing, that it contains four thousand palaces, four thousand baths, four hundred theatres or places of amusement, twelve thousand shops for the sale of vegetable foods, and forty thousand tributary Jews.”

It was in Alexandria chiefly that the Grecian philosophy was engrafted upon the stock of ancient oriental wisdom. The Egyptian method of teaching by allegory was peculiarly favourable to such a union: and we may well suppose that when Alexander, in order to preserve by the arts of peace that extensive empire which he had obtained by the force of arms, endeavoured to incorporate the customs of the Greeks with those of the Persian, Indian, and other eastern nations, the opinions as well as the manners of this feeble and obsequious race would, in a great measure, be accommodated to those of their conquerors. This influence of the Grecian upon the oriental philosophy continued long after the time of Alexander, and was one principal occasion of the confusion of opinions which occurs in the history of the Alexandrian and Christian schools. Alexander, when he built the city of Alexandria, with a determination to make it the seat of his empire, and peopled it with emigrants from various countries, opened a new mart of philosophy, which emulated the fame of Athens itself. A general indulgence was granted to the promiscuous crowd assembled in this rising city, whether Egyptians, Grecians, Jews, or others, to profess their respective systems of philosophy without molestation. The consequence was, that Egypt was soon filled with religious and philosophical sectaries of every kind; and particularly, that almost every Grecian sect found an advocate and professor in Alexandria. The family of the Ptolemies, as we have seen, who after Alexander obtained the government of Egypt, from motives of policy encouraged this new establishment. Ptolemy Lagus, who had obtained the crown of Egypt by usurpation, was particularly careful to secure the interest of the Greeks in his favour, and with this view invited people from every part of Greece to settle in Egypt, and removed the schools of Athens to Alexandria. This enlightened prince spared no pains to raise the literary, as well as the civil, military, and commercial credit of his country. Under the patronage first of the Egyptian princes, and afterward of the Roman emperors, Alexandria long continued to enjoy great celebrity as the seat of learning, and to send forth eminent philosophers of every sect to distant countries. It remained a school of learning, as well as a commercial emporium, till it was taken, and plundered of its literary treasures by the Saracens. Philosophy, during this period, suffered a grievous corruption from the attempt which was made by philosophers of different sects and countries, Grecian, Egyptian, and oriental, who were assembled in Alexandria, to frame, from their different tenets, one general system of opinions. The respect which had long been universally paid to the schools of Greece, and the honours with which they were now adorned by the Egyptian princes, induced other wise men, and even the Egyptian priests and philosophers themselves, to submit to this innovation. Hence arose a heterogeneous mass of opinions, under the name of the Eclectic philosophy, and which was the foundation of endless confusion, error, and absurdity, not only in the Alexandrian school, but among Jews and Christians; producing among the former that specious kind of philosophy, which they called their Cabala, and among the latter innumerable corruptions of the Christian faith.

At Alexandria there was, in a very early period of the Christian æra, a Christian school of considerable eminence. St. Jerome says, the school at Alexandria had been in being from the time of St. Mark. Pantænus, placed by Lardner at the year 192, presided in it. St. Clement of Alexandria succeeded Pantænus in this school about the year 190; and he was succeeded by Origen. The extensive commerce of Alexandria, and its proximity to Palestine, gave an easy entrance to the new religion, and when Adrian visited Egypt, he found a church composed of Jews and Greeks, sufficiently important to attract the notice of that inquisitive prince. The theological system of Plato was introduced into both the philosophical and Christian schools of Alexandria; and of course many of his sentiments and expressions were blended with the opinions and language of the professors and teachers of Christianity.

Alexandria was the source, and for some time the principal stronghold, of Arianism; which had its name from its founder, Arius, a presbyter of the church of this city, about the year 315. His doctrines were condemned by a council held here in the year 320; and afterward by a general council of three hundred and eighty fathers, held at Nice, by order of Constantine, in 325. These doctrines, however, which suited the reigning taste for disputative theology, and the pride and self-sufficiency of nominal Christians, better than the unsophisticated simplicity of the Gospel, spread 39widely and rapidly notwithstanding. Arius was steadfastly opposed by the celebrated Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the intrepid champion of the catholic faith, who was raised to the archiepiscopal throne of Alexandria in 326.

This city was, in 415, distinguished by a fierce persecution of the Jews by the patriarch Cyril. They who had enjoyed the rights of citizens, and the freedom of religious worship, for seven hundred years, ever since the foundation of the city, incurred the hatred of this ecclesiastic; who, in his zeal for the extermination of heretics of every kind, pulled down their synagogues, plundered their property, and expelled them, to the number of forty thousand, from the city.

It was in a ship belonging to the port of Alexandria, that St. Paul sailed from Myra, a city of Lycia, on his way to Rome, Acts xxvii, 5, 6. Alexandria was also the native place of Apollos.

ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY. This celebrated collection of books was first founded by Ptolemy Soter, for the use of the academy, or society of learned men, which he had founded at Alexandria. Beside the books which he procured, his son, Ptolemy Philadelphus, added many more, and left in this library at his death a hundred thousand volumes; and the succeeding princes of this race enlarged it still more, till at length the books lodged in it amounted to the number of seven hundred thousand volumes. The method by which they are said to have collected these books was this: they seized all the books that were brought by the Greeks or other foreigners into Egypt, and sent them to the academy, or museum, where they were transcribed by persons employed for that purpose. The transcripts were then delivered to the proprietors, and the originals laid up in the library. Ptolemy Euergetes, for instance, borrowed of the Athenians the works of Sophocles, Euripides, and Æschylus, and only returned them the copies, which he caused to be transcribed in as beautiful a manner as possible; the originals he retained for his own library, presenting the Athenians with fifteen talents for the exchange, that is, with three thousand pounds sterling and upwards. As the museum was at first in the quarter of the city called Bruchion, the library was placed there; but when the number of books amounted to four hundred thousand volumes, another library, within the Serapeum, was erected by way of supplement to it, and, on that account, called the daughter of the former. The books lodged in this increased to the number of three hundred thousand volumes; and these two made up the number of seven hundred thousand volumes, of which the royal libraries of the Ptolemies were said to consist. In the war which Julius Cæsar waged with the inhabitants of Alexandria, the library of Bruchion was accidentally, but unfortunately, burnt. But the library in Serapeum still remained, and there Cleopatra deposited the two hundred thousand volumes of the Pergamean library with which she was presented by Marc Antony. These, and others added to them from time to time, rendered the new library more numerous and considerable than the former; and though it was plundered more than once during the revolutions which happened in the Roman empire, yet it was as frequently supplied with the same number of books, and continued, for many ages, to be of great fame and use, till it was burnt by the Saracens, A. D. 642. Abulpharagius, in his history of the tenth dynasty, gives the following account of this catastrophe: John Philoponus, surnamed the Grammarian, a famous Peripatetic philosopher, being at Alexandria when the city was taken by the Saracens, was admitted to familiar intercourse with Amrou, the Arabian general, and presumed to solicit a gift, inestimable in his opinion, but contemptible in that of the barbarians; and this was the royal library. Amrou was inclined to gratify his wish, but his rigid integrity scrupled to alienate the least object without the consent of the caliph. He accordingly wrote to Omar, whose well known answer was dictated by the ignorance of a fanatic: “If these writings of the Greeks agree with the Koran, or book of God, they are useless, and need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed.” The sentence of destruction was executed with blind obedience: the volumes of paper or parchment were distributed to the four thousand baths of the city; and such was their number, that six months were barely sufficient for the consumption of this precious fuel.

ALGUM, אלגם or אלגומים, 1 Kings x, 11, 12. This is the name of a kind of wood, or tree, large quantities of which were brought by the fleet of Solomon from Ophir, of which he made pillars for the house of the Lord, and for his own palace; also musical instruments. See Almug.

ALLEGORY, a figure in rhetoric, whereby we make use of terms which, in their proper signification, mean something else than what they are brought to denote; or it is a figure whereby we say one thing, expecting it shall be understood of another, to which it alludes; or which, under the literal sense of the words, conceals a foreign or distant meaning. An allegory is, properly, a continued metaphor, or a series of several metaphors in one or more sentences. Such is that beautiful allegory in Horace, lib. i, Od. 14.

O navis, referent in mare te novi
Fluctus,” &c.

[O ship, shall new billows drive thee again to sea, &c.]

Where the ship is usually held to stand for the republic; waves, for civil war; port, for peace and concord; oars, for soldiers; and mariners for magistrates. Thus, also, in Prior’s Henry and Emma, Emma describes her constancy to Henry in the following allegorical manner:--

“Did I but purpose to embark with thee
On the smooth surface of a summer’s sea,
While gentle zephyrs play with prosperous gales,
And fortune’s favour fills the swelling sails;
But would forsake the ship, and make the shore,
When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar?”

Cicero, likewise, speaking of himself, in Pison. c. 9, tom. vi, p. 187, uses this allegorical language: 40“Nor was I so timorous, that, after I had steered the ship of the state through the greatest storms and waves, and brought her safe into port, I should fear the cloud of your forehead, or your colleague’s pestilential breath. I saw other winds, I perceived other storms, I did not withdraw from other impending tempests; but I exposed myself singly to them for the common safety.” Here the state is compared to a ship, and all the things said of it under that image, are expressed in metaphors made use of to denote the dangers with which it had been threatened. We have also a very fine example of an allegory in Psalm lxxx; in which the people of Israel are represented under the image of a vine, and the figure is supported throughout with great correctness and beauty. Whereas, if, instead of describing the vine as wasted by the boar from the wood, and devoured by the wild beasts of the field, the Psalmist had said, it was afflicted by Heathens, or overcome by enemies, which is the real meaning, the figurative and the literal meaning would have been blended, and the allegory ruined. The learned Bishop Lowth, De Sacrâ Poesi Hebræorum, Præl. 10, 11, has specified three forms of allegory that occur in sacred poetry. The first is that which rhetoricians call a continued metaphor. When several metaphors succeed each other, they alter the form of the composition; and this succession has very properly, in reference to the etymology of the word, been denominated by the Greeks αλληγορια, an allegory; although Aristotle, instead of considering it as a new species of figure, has referred it to the class of metaphors. The principle of allegory in this sense of the term, and of the simple metaphor, is the same; nor is it an easy matter to restrict each to its proper limit, and to mark the precise termination of the one, and the commencement of the other. This eminently judicious critic observes, that when the Hebrew poets use the congenial figures of metaphor, allegory, and comparison, particularly in the prophetic poetry, they adopt a peculiar mode of doing it, and seldom regulate the imagery which they introduce by any fixed principle or standard. Not satisfied with a simple metaphor, they often run it into an allegory, or blend with it a direct comparison. The allegory sometimes follows, and sometimes precedes the simile: to this is added a frequent change of imagery, as well as of persons and tenses; and thus are displayed an energy and boldness, both of expression and meaning, which are unconfined by any stated rules, and which mark the discriminating genius of the Hebrew poetry. Thus, in Gen. xlix, 9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp;” this metaphor is immediately drawn out into an allegory, with a change of person: “From the prey, my son, thou art gone up,” that is, to the mountains, which is understood; and in the succeeding sentences the person is again changed, the image is gradually advanced, and the metaphor is joined with a comparison that is repeated.

“He stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion;
And as a lioness; who shall rouse him?”

A similar instance occurs in the prophecy, recorded in Psalm cx, 3, which explicitly foretels the abundant increase of the Gospel on its first promulgation. This kind of allegory, however, sometimes assumes a more regular and perfect form, and then occupies the whole subject and compass of the discourse. An example of this kind occurs in Solomon’s well known allegory, Eccles. xii, 2–6, in which old age is so admirably depicted. There is also, in Isaiah xxviii, 24–29, an allegory, which, with no less elegance of imagery, is more simple and regular, as well as more just and complete, both in the form and the method of treating it. Another kind of allegory is that which, in the proper and more restricted sense, may be called a parable; and consists of a continued narration of some fictitious event, accommodated, by way of similitude, to the illustration of some important truth. The Greeks call these allegories αινοι or apologues, and the Latins fabulæ, or fables. (See Parable.) The third species of allegory, which often occurs in the prophetic poetry, is that in which a double meaning is couched under the same words, or when the same discourse, differently interpreted, designates different events, dissimilar in their nature, and remote as to time. These different relations are denominated the literal and mystical senses. This kind of allegory, which the learned prelate calls mystical, seems to derive its origin from the principles of the Jewish religion; and it differs from the two former species in a variety of respects. In these allegories the writer may adopt any imagery that is most suitable to his fancy or inclination; but the only proper materials for this allegory must be supplied from the sacred rites of the Hebrews themselves; and it can only be introduced in relation to such things as are immediately connected with the Jewish religion, or their immediate opposites. The former kinds partake of the common privileges of poetry; but the mystical allegory has its foundation in the nature of the Jewish economy, and is adapted solely to the poetry of the Hebrews. Besides, in the other forms of allegory, the exterior or ostensible imagery is mere fiction, and the truth lies altogether in the interior or remote sense; but in this allegory each idea is equally agreeable to truth. The exterior or ostensible image is itself a reality; and although it sustains another character, it does not wholly lay aside its own. There is also a great variety in the use and conduct of the mystical allegory; in the modes in which the corresponding images are arranged, and in which they are obscured or eclipsed by one another. Sometimes the obvious or literal sense is so prominent and conspicuous, both in the words and sentiments, that the remote or figurative sense is scarcely permitted to glimmer through it. On the other hand, the figurative sense is more frequently found to beam forth with so much perspicuity and lustre, that the literal sense is quite cast into the shade, or becomes indiscernible. Sometimes the principal or figurative idea is exhibited to the attentive eye with a constant and equal light; and sometimes it unexpectedly glares upon us, and breaks forth with sudden 41and astonishing coruscations, like a flash of lightning bursting from the clouds. But the mode or form of this figure which possesses the chief beauty and elegance, is, when the two images, equally conspicuous, run, as it were, parallel throughout the whole poem, mutually illustrating and correspondent to each other. The learned author has illustrated these observations by instances selected from Psalms ii, and lxxii. He adds, that the mystical allegory is, on account of the obscurity resulting from the nature of the figure, and the style of the composition, so agreeable to the nature of the prophecy, that it is the form which it generally, and indeed lawfully, assumes, as best adapted to the prediction of future events. It describes events in a manner exactly conformable to the intention of prophecy; that is, in a dark, disguised, and intricate manner, sketching out, in a general way, their form and outline; and seldom descending to a minuteness of description and exactness of detail.

ALLELUIA, or Hallelu-jah, הללו־יה, praise the Lord; or, praise to the Lord: compounded of הללו, praise ye, and יה, the Lord. This word occurs at the beginning, or at the end, of many Psalms. Alleluia was sung on solemn days of rejoicing: “And all her streets shall sing Alleluia,” says Tobit, speaking of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, Tob. xiii, 18. St. John, in the Revelation, xix, 1, 3, 4, 6, says, “I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, who cried, Alleluia; and the four living creatures fell down, and worshipped God, saying, Alleluia.” This expression of joy and praise was transferred from the synagogue to the church. At the funeral of Fabiola, “several psalms were sung with loud alleluias,” says Jerom, in Epitaphio Paulæ, “The monks of Palestine were awaked at their midnight watchings, with the singing of alleluias.” It is still occasionally used in devotional psalmody.

ALMAH, עלמה, a Hebrew word signifying properly a virgin, a young woman unacquainted with man. In this sense it occurs in the famous passage of Isaiah, vii, 14: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” The Hebrew has no term that more properly signifies a virgin than almah. St. Jerom, in his commentary on this passage, observes, that the Prophet declined using the word bethaul which signifies any young woman, or young person, but employed the term almah, which denotes a virgin never seen by man. This is the import of the word almah, which is derived from a root which signifies to conceal. It is very well known, that young women in the east do not appear in public, but are shut up in their houses, and their mothers’ apartments, like nuns. The Chaldee paraphrast and the Septuagint translate almah “a virgin;” and Akiba, the famous rabbin, who was a great enemy to Christ and Christians, and lived in the second century, understands it in the same manner. The Apostles and Evangelists, and the Jews of our Saviour’s time, explained it in the same sense, and expected a Messiah born of a virgin.

The Jews, that they may obscure this plain text, and weaken this proof of the truth of the Christian religion, pretend that the Hebrew word signifies a young woman, and not a virgin. But this corrupt translation is easily confuted. 1. Because this word constantly denotes a virgin in all other passages of Scripture in which it is used. 2. From the intent of the passage, which was to confirm their faith by a strange and wonderful sign. It surely could be no wonder, that a young woman should conceive a child; but it was a very extraordinary circumstance that a virgin should conceive and bear a son.

ALMIGHTY, an attribute of the Deity, Gen. xvii, 1. The Hebrew name, שדי, Shaddai, signifies also all-sufficient, or all-bountiful. See Gen. xxviii, 3; xxxv, 11; xliii, 14; xlix, 25. Of the omnipotence of God, we have a most ample revelation in the Scriptures, expressed in the most sublime language. From the annunciation by Moses of a divine existence who was “in the beginning,” before all things, the very first step is to the display of his almighty power in the creation out of nothing, and the immediate arrangement in order and perfection, of the “heaven and the earth;” by which is meant, not this globe only with its atmosphere, or even with its own celestial system, but the universe itself; for “he made the stars also.” We are thus at once placed in the presence of an agent of unbounded power; for we must all feel that a being which could create such a world as this, must, beyond all comparison, possess a power greater than any which we experience in ourselves, than any which we observe in other visible agents, and to which we are not authorized by our observation or knowledge to assign any limits of space or duration.

2. That the sacred writers should so frequently dwell upon the omnipotence of God, has important reasons which arise out of the very design of the revelation which they were the means of communicating to mankind. Men were to be reminded of their obligations to obedience; and God is therefore constantly exhibited as the Creator, the Preserver, and Lord of all things. His solemn worship and fear were to be enjoined upon them; and, by the manifestation of his works, the veil was withdrawn from his glory and majesty. Idolatry was to be checked and reproved, and the true God was therefore placed in contrast with the limited and powerless gods of the Heathen: “Among the gods of the nations, is there no god like unto thee; neither are there any works like thy works.” Finally, he is exhibited as the object of trust to creatures constantly reminded by experience of their own infirmity and dependence; and to them it is essential to know, that his power is absolute, unlimited, and irresistible, and that, in a word, he is “mighty to save.”

3. In a revelation which was thus designed to awe and control the wicked, and to afford strength of mind and consolation to good men under all circumstances, the omnipotence of God is therefore placed in a great variety of impressive views, and connected with the most striking illustrations.

It is declared by the fact of creation, the 42creation of beings out of nothing; which itself, though it had been confined to a single object, however minute, exceeds finite comprehension, and overwhelms the faculties. This with God required no effort: “He spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast.” The vastness and variety of his works enlarge the conception: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work.” “He spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea; he maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south; he doeth great things, past finding out, yea, and wonders without number. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in the thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them; he hath compassed the waters with bounds until the day and night come to an end.” The ease with which he sustains, orders, and controls the most powerful and unruly of the elements, arrays his omnipotence with an aspect of ineffable dignity and majesty: “By him all things consist.” “He brake up for the sea a decreed place, and set bars and doors, and said, Hitherto shalt thou come and no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” “He looketh to the end of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven, to make the weight for the winds, to weigh the waters by measure, to make a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder.” “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, meted out heaven with a span, comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.” The descriptions of the divine power are often terrible: “The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at his reproof; he divideth the sea by his power.” “He removeth the mountains, and they know it not; he overturneth them in his anger; he shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble; he commandeth the sun and it riseth not, and sealeth up the stars.” The same absolute subjection of creatures to his dominion is seen among the intelligent inhabitants of the material universe; and angels, mortals the most exalted, and evil spirits, are swayed with as much ease as the most passive elements: “He maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” They veil their faces before his throne, and acknowledge themselves his servants: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers,” “as the dust of the balance, less than nothing and vanity.” “He bringeth princes to nothing.” “He setteth up one and putteth down another;” “for the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he is governor among the nations.” “The angels that sinned he cast down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” The closing scenes of this world complete these transcendent conceptions of the majesty and power of God. The dead of all ages rise from their graves at his voice: and the sea gives up the dead which are in it. Before his face heaven and earth fly away; the stars fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven are shaken. The dead, small and great, stand before God, and are divided as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats. The wicked go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.

4. Of these amazing views of the omnipotence of God, spread almost through every page of the Scriptures, the power lies in their truth. They are not eastern exaggerations, mistaken for sublimity. Every thing in nature answers to them, and renews from age to age the energy of the impression which they cannot but make on the reflecting mind. The order of the astral revolutions indicates the constant presence of an invisible but incomprehensible power. The seas hurl the weight of their billows upon the rising shores, but every where find a “bound fixed by a perpetual decree.” The tides reach their height; if they flowed on for a few hours, the earth would change places with the bed of the sea; but, under an invisible control, they become refluent. The expression, “He toucheth the mountains and they smoke,” is not mere imagery:--every volcano is a testimony of its truth; and earthquakes proclaim, that, before him, “the pillars of the world tremble.” Men collected into armies, or populous nations, give us vast ideas of human power; but let an army be placed amidst the sand storms and burning winds of the desert, as, in the east; or, before “his frost,” as in our own day in Russia, where one of the mightiest armaments was seen retreating before, or perishing under, an unexpected visitation of snow and storm; or let the utterly helpless state of a populous country which has been visited by famine, or by a resistless pestilential disease, be reflected upon; and we feel that it is scarcely a figure of speech to say, that “all nations before him are less than nothing and vanity.”

5. Nor, in reviewing this doctrine of Scripture, ought the great practical uses made of the omnipotence of God, by the sacred writers, to be overlooked. By them nothing is said for the mere display of knowledge, as in Heathen writers; and we have no speculations without a subservient moral. To excite and keep alive in man the fear and worship of God, and to bring him to a felicitous confidence in that almighty power which pervades and controls all things, are the noble ends of those ample displays of the omnipotence of God, which roll through the sacred volume with a sublimity that inspiration only could supply. “Declare his glory among the Heathen, his marvellous works among all nations; for great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.--Glory and honour are in his presence, and strength and gladness in his place.--Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength; give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name.--The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?--The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? If God be for us, who then can be against us? Our help standeth in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.--What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”--Thus, as one observes, 43“our natural fears, of which we must have many, remit us to God, and remind us, since we know what God is, to lay hold on his almighty power.”

6. Ample, however, as are these views of the power of God, the subject is not exhausted. As, when the Scriptures speak of the eternity of God, they declare it so as to give us a mere glimpse of that fearful peculiarity of the divine nature, that God is the fountain of being to himself, and that he is eternal, because he is the “I am;” so we are taught not to measure God’s omnipotence by the actual displays of it which we see around us. These are the manifestations of the fact, but not the measure of the attribute; and should we resort to the discoveries of modern philosophy, which, by the help of instruments, has so greatly enlarged the known boundaries of the visible universe, and add to the stars which are visible to the naked eye, those new exhibitions of the divine power in the nebulous appearances of the heavens which are resolvable into myriads of distinct celestial luminaries, whose immense distances commingle their light before it reaches our eyes; we thus almost infinitely expand the circle of created existence, and enter upon a formerly unknown and overwhelming range of divine operation. But still we are only reminded, that his power is truly almighty and measureless--“Lo, all these are parts of his ways; but how little a portion is known of him, and the thunder of his power who can understand?” It is a mighty conception that we form of a power from which all other power is derived, and to which it is subordinate; which nothing can oppose; which can beat down and annihilate all other power whatever; which operates in the most perfect manner, at once, in an instant, with the utmost ease; but the Scriptures lead us to the contemplation of greater and even unfathomable depths. The omnipotence of God is inconceivable and boundless. It arises from the infinite perfection of God, that his power can never be actually exhausted; and, in every imaginable instant in eternity, that inexhaustible power of God can, if it please him, be adding either more creatures to those in existence, or greater perfection to them; since “it belongs to self-existent being, to be always full and communicative, and, to the communicated contingent being, to be ever empty and craving.”

7. One limitation of the divine power it is true we can conceive, but it detracts nothing from its perfection. Where things in themselves imply a contradiction, as that a body may be extended and not extended, in a certain place and not in it, at the same time; such things cannot be done by God, because contradictions are impossible in their own nature. Nor is it any derogation from the divine power to say, they cannot be done; for as the object of the understanding, of the eye, and the ear, is that which is intelligible, visible, and audible; so the object of power must be that which is possible; and as it is no prejudice to the most perfect understanding, or sight, or hearing, that it does not understand what is not intelligible, or see what is not visible, or hear what is not audible; so neither is it any diminution to the most perfect power, that it does not do what is not possible. In like manner, God cannot do any thing that is repugnant to his other perfections: he cannot lie, nor deceive, nor deny himself; for this would be injurious to his truth. He cannot love sin, nor punish innocence; for this would destroy his holiness and goodness: and therefore to ascribe a power to him that is inconsistent with the rectitude of his nature, is not to magnify but debase him; for all unrighteousness is weakness, a defection from right reason, a deviation from the perfect rule of action, and arises from a want of goodness and power. In a word, since all the attributes of God are essentially the same, a power in him which tends to destroy any other attribute of the divine nature, must be a power destructive of itself. Well, therefore, may we conclude him absolutely omnipotent, who, by being able to effect all things consistent with his perfections, showeth infinite ability, and, by not being able to do any thing repugnant to the same perfections, demonstrates himself subject to no infirmity.

8. Nothing certainly in the finest writings of antiquity, were all their best thoughts collected as to the majesty and power of God, can bear any comparison with the views thus presented to us by divine revelation. Were we to forget, for a moment, what is the fact, that their noblest notions stand connected with fancies and vain speculations which deprive them of their force, still their thoughts never rise so high; the current is broken, the round of lofty conception is not completed, and, unconnected as their views of divine power were with the eternal destiny of man, and the very reason of creation, we never hear in them, as in the Scriptures, “the THUNDER of his power.”

ALMOND TREE, לוז. Arabic, lauz. Translated hazel, Gen. xxx, 37; שקד, rendered almond, Gen. xliii, 11; Exod. xxv, 33, 34; xxxvii, 19, 20; Num. xvii, 8; Eccles. xii, 5; and Jer. i, 11. The first name may be that of the tree; the other, that of the fruit, or nut.

A tree resembling the peach tree in its leaves and blossoms, but the fruit is longer and more compressed, the outer green coat is thinner and drier when ripe, and the shell of the stone is not so rugged. This stone, or nut, contains a kernel, which is the only esculent part. The whole arrives at maturity in September, when the outer tough cover splits open and discharges the nut. From the circumstance of its blossoming the earliest of any of the trees, beginning as soon as the rigour of winter is past, and before it is in leaf, it has its Hebrew name shakad, which comes from a verb signifying to make haste, to be in a hurry, or to awake early. To the forwardness of the almond tree there seems to be a reference in Jeremiah: “The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it;” or rather, “I am hastening, or watching over my word to fulfil it,” Jer. i, 11, 12. In this manner it is rendered by the Seventy; 44and by the Vulgate, Vigilabo ego super verbum meum. [I will watch over my word.] This is the first vision with which the Prophet was honoured; and his attention is roused by a very significant emblem of that severe correction with which the Most High was hastening to visit his people for their iniquity; and from the species of tree to which the rod belonged, he is warned of its near approach. The idea which the appearance of the almond rod suggested to his mind, is confirmed by the exposition of God himself: “I am watching over, or on account of, my word to fulfil it;” and this double mode of instruction, first by emblem, and then by exposition, was certainly intended to make a deeper impression on the mind both of Jeremiah and of the people to whom he was sent.

It is probable that the rods which the princes of Israel bore, were scions of the almond tree, at once the ensign of their office, and the emblem of their vigilance. Such, we know from the testimony of Scripture, was the rod of Aaron; which renders it exceedingly probable, that the rods of the other chiefs were from the same tree.

The hoary head is beautifully compared by Solomon to the almond tree, covered in the earliest days of spring with its snow white flowers, before a single leaf has budded: “The almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail,” Eccl. xii, 5. Man has existed in this world but a few days, when old age begins to appear, sheds its snows upon his head, prematurely nips his hopes, darkens his earthly prospects, and hurries him into the grave.

ALMUG TREE, a certain kind of wood, mentioned 1 Kings, x, 11; 2 Chron. ii, 8; ix, 10, 11. Jerom and the Vulgate render it, ligna thyina, and the Septuagint ξύλα ϖελεκητὰ, wrought wood. Several critics understand it to mean gummy wood; but a wood abounding in resin must be very unfit for the uses to which this is said to be applied. Celsus queries if it be not the sandal; but Michaelis thinks the particular species of wood to be wholly unknown to us. Dr. Shaw supposes that the almug tree was the cypress; and he observes that the wood of this tree is still used in Italy and other places for violins, harpsichords, and other stringed instruments.

ALOE, עלר, a plant with broad leaves, nearly two inches thick, prickly and serrated. It grows about two feet high. A very bitter gum is extracted from it, used for medicinal purposes, and anciently for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus is said, John xix, 39, to have brought one hundred pounds’ weight of myrrh and aloes to embalm the body of Jesus. The quantity has been exclaimed against by certain Jews, as being enough for fifty bodies. But instead of ἑκατὸν it might originally have been written δέκατον, ten pounds’ weight. However, at the funeral of Herod there were five hundred ἀρωματόφορους, spice bearers; and at that of R. Gamaliel, eighty pounds of opobalsamum were used.

The wood which God showed Moses, that with it he might sweeten the waters of Marah, is called alvah, Exod. xv, 25. The word has some relation to aloe; and some interpreters are of opinion that Moses used a bitter sort of wood, that so the power of God might be the more remarkable. Mr. Bruce mentions a town, or large village, by the name of Elvah. It is thickly planted with trees; is the oasis parva of the ancients; and the last inhabited place to the west that is under the jurisdiction of Egypt. He also observes that the Arabs call a shrub or tree, not unlike our hawthorn, either in wood or flower, by the name of elvah. “It was this,” say they, “with which Moses sweetened the waters of Marah; and with this, too, did Kalib Ibn el Walid sweeten those of Elvah, once bitter, and give the place the name of this circumstance.” It may be that God directed Moses to the very wood proper for the purpose. M. Neibuhr, when in these parts, inquired after wood capable of this effect, but could gain no information of any such. It will not, however, from hence follow that Moses really used a bitter wood; but, as Providence usually works by the proper and fit means to accomplish its ends, it seems likely that the wood he made use of was, in some degree at least, corrective of that quality which abounded in the water, and so rendered it potable. This seems to have been the opinion of the author of Ecclesiasticus, xxxviii, 5. That other water, also, requires some correction, and that such a correction is applied to it, appears from the custom in Egypt in respect to that of the Nile, which, though somewhat muddy, is rendered pure and salutary by being put into jars, the inside of which is rubbed with a paste made of bitter almonds. The first discoverers of the Floridas are said to have corrected the stagnant and fetid water they found there, by infusing in it branches of sassafras; and it is understood that the first inducement of the Chinese to the general use of tea, was to correct the water of their ponds and rivers.

The Lign-Aloe, or agallochum, Num. xxiv, 6; Psalm xlv, 9; and Cantic. iv, 14. אהלת, masculine, אהל, whose plural is אהלים, is a small tree about eight or ten feet high. That the flower of this plant yielded a fragrance, is assured to us in the following extract from Swinburne’s Travels, letter xii: “This morning, like many of the foregoing ones, was delicious. The sun rose gloriously out of the sea, and all the air around was perfumed with the effluvia of the aloe, as its rays sucked up the dew from the leaves.” This extremely bitter plant contains under the bark three sorts of wood. The first is black, solid, and weighty; the second is of a tawny colour, of a light spongy texture, very porous, and filled with a resin extremely fragrant and agreeable; the third kind of wood, which is the heart, has a strong aromatic odour, and is esteemed in the east more precious than gold itself. It is used for perfuming habits and apartments, and is administered as a cordial in fainting and epileptic fits. These pieces, called calunbac, are carefully preserved in pewter boxes, to prevent their drying. When they are used they are ground upon a marble with such liquids as are best suited to the purpose for which they are intended. This wood, mentioned Cantic. iv, 14, in conjunction with several other odoriferous plants there referred to, was 45in high esteem among the Hebrews for its exquisite exhalations.

The scented aloe, and each shrub that showers
Gum from its veins, and odours from its flowers.

Thus the son of Sirach, Ecclesiasticus xxiv, 15: “I gave a sweet smell like the cinnamon and aspalathus. I yielded a pleasant odour like the best myrrh; like galbanum and onyx, and fragrant storax, and like the fume of frankincense in the tabernacle.” It may not be amiss to observe that the Persian translator renders ahalim, sandal wood; and the same was the opinion of a certain Jew in Arabia who was consulted by Neibuhr.

ALPHA, the first letter of the Greek alphabet; Omega being the last letter. Hence Alpha and Omega is a title which Christ appropriates to himself, Rev. i, 8; xxi, 6; xxii, 13; as signifying the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and thus properly denoting his perfection and eternity.

ALPHEUS, father of James the less, Matt. x, 3; Luke vi, 15. Alpheus was the husband of Mary, believed to have been sister to the mother of Christ; for which reason, James is called the Lord’s brother; but the term brother is too general in its application to fix their relation, though the fact is probable. Many are of opinion that Cleopas, mentioned Luke xxiv, 18, is the same as Alpheus; Alpheus being his Greek name, and Cleopas his Hebrew, or Syriac name, according to the custom of this province, (or of the time,) where men often had two names; by one of which they were known to their friends and countrymen, by the other to the Romans or strangers.

2. Alpheus, father of Levi, or Matthew, whom Jesus took to be an Apostle and Evangelist, Mark ii, 14.

ALTAR. Sacrifices are nearly as ancient as worship, and altars are of almost equal antiquity. Scripture speaks of altars, erected by the patriarchs, without describing their form, or the materials of which they were composed. The altar which Jacob set up at Bethel, was the stone which had served him for a pillow; Gideon sacrificed on the rock before his house. The first altars which God commanded Moses to raise, were of earth or rough stones; and it was declared that if iron were used in constructing them they would become impure, Exod. xx, 24, 25. The altar which Moses enjoined Joshua to build on Mount Ebal, was to be of unpolished stones, Deut. xxvii, 5; Josh. viii, 31; and it is very probable that such were those built by Samuel, Saul, and David. The altar which Solomon erected in the temple was of brass, but filled, it is believed, with rough stones, 2 Chron. iv, 1–3. It was twenty cubits long, twenty wide, and ten high. That built at Jerusalem, by Zerubbabel, after the return from Babylon, was of rough stones; as was that of Maccabees. Josephus says that the altar which in his time was in the temple was of rough stones, fifteen cubits high, forty long, and forty wide.

Among the Romans altars were of two kinds, the higher and the lower; the higher were intended for the celestial gods, and were called altaria, from altus; the lower were for the terrestrial and infernal gods, and were called aræ. Those dedicated to the heavenly gods were raised a great height above the surface of the earth; those of the terrestrial gods were almost even with the surface; and those for the infernal deities were only holes dug in the ground called scrobiculi.

Before temples were in use the altars were placed in the groves, highways, or on tops of mountains, inscribed with the names, ensigns, or characters of the respective gods to whom they belonged. The great temples at Rome generally contained three altars; the first in the sanctuary, at the foot of the statue, for incense and libations; the second before the gate of the temple, for the sacrifices of victims; and the third was a portable one for the offerings and sacred vestments or vessels to lie upon. The ancients used to swear upon the altars upon solemn occasions, such as confirming alliances, treaties of peace, &c. They were also places of refuge, and served as an asylum and sanctuary to all who fled to them, whatever their crimes were.

The principal altars among the Jews were those of incense, of burnt-offering, and the altar or table for the shew bread. The altar of incense was a small table of shittim wood covered with plates of gold. It was a cubit long, a cubit broad, and two cubits high. At the four corners were four horns. The priest, whose turn it was to officiate, burnt incense on this altar, at the time of the morning sacrifice between the sprinkling of the blood and the laying of the pieces of the victim on the altar of burnt-offering. He did the same also in the evening, between the laying of the pieces on the altar and the drink-offering. At the same time the people prayed in silence, and their prayers were offered up by the priests. The altar of burnt-offering was of shittim wood also, and carried upon the shoulders of the priests, by staves of the same wood overlaid with brass. In Moses’s days it was five cubits square, and three high: but it was greatly enlarged in the days of Solomon, being twenty cubits square, and ten in height. It was covered with brass, and had a horn at each corner to which the sacrifice was tied. This altar was placed in the open air, that the smoke might not sully the inside of the tabernacle or temple. On this altar the holy fire was renewed from time to time, and kept constantly burning. Hereon, likewise, the sacrifices of lambs and bullocks were burnt, especially a lamb every morning at the third hour, or nine of the clock, and a lamb every afternoon at three, Exod. xx, 24, 25; xxvii, 1, 2, 4; xxxviii, 1. The altar of burnt-offering had the privilege of being a sanctuary or place of refuge. The wilful murderer, indeed, sought protection there in vain; for by the express command of God he might be dragged to justice, even from the altar. The altar or table of shew bread was of shittim wood also, covered with plates of gold, and had a border round it adorned with sculpture. It was two cubits long, one wide, and one and a half in height. This table stood in 46the sanctum sanctorum, [holy of holies,] and upon it were placed the loaves of shew bread. After the return of the Jews from their captivity, and the building of the second temple, the form and size of the altars were somewhat changed.

Sacrifices according to the laws of Moses, could not be offered except by the priests; and at any other place than on the altar of the tabernacle or the temple. Furthermore, they were not to be offered to idols, nor with any superstitious rites. See Lev. xvii, 1–7; Deut. xii, 15, 16. Without these precautionary measures, the true religion would hardly have been secure. If a different arrangement had been adopted, if the priests had been scattered about to various altars, without being subjected to the salutary restraint which would result from a mutual observation of each other, they would no doubt some of them have willingly consented to the worship of idols; and others, in their separate situation, would not have been in a condition to resist the wishes of the multitude, had those wishes been wrong. The necessity of sacrificing at one altar, (that of the tabernacle or temple,) is frequently and emphatically insisted on, Deut. xii, 13, 14; and all other altars are disapproved, Lev. xxvi, 30, compare Joshua xxii, 9–34. Notwithstanding this, it appears that, subsequently to the time of Moses, especially in the days of the kings, altars were multiplied; but they fell under suspicions, although some of them were perhaps sacred to the worship of the true God. It is, nevertheless, true, that prophets, whose characters were above all suspicion, sacrificed, in some instances, in other places than the one designated by the laws, 1 Sam. xiii, 3–14; xvi, 1–5; 1 Kings xviii, 21–40.

AMALEKITES, a people whose country adjoined the southern border of the land of Canaan, in the north-western part of Arabia Petræa. They are generally supposed to have been the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, and grandson of Esau. But Moses speaks of the Amalekites long before this Amalek was born; namely in the days of Abraham, when Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, devastated their country, Gen. xiv, 7; from which it may be inferred that there was some other and more ancient Amalek, from whom this people sprang. The Arabians have a tradition that this Amalek was a son of Ham; and when we consider that so early as the march from Egypt the Amalekites were a people powerful enough to attack the Israelites, it is far more probable that they should derive their ancestry from Ham, than from the then recent stock of the grandson of Esau. It may also be said, that the character and fate of this people were more consonant with the dealings of Providence toward the families of the former. This more early origin of the Amalekites will likewise explain why Balaam called them the “first of the nations.”

They are supposed by some to have been a party or tribe of the shepherds who invaded Egypt, and kept it in subjection for two hundred years. This will agree with the Arabian tradition as to their descent. It also agrees with their pastoral and martial habits, as well as with their geographical position; which was perhaps made choice of on their retiring from Egypt, adjoining that of their countrymen the Philistines, whose history is very similar. It also furnishes a motive for their hostility to the Jews, and their treacherous attempt to destroy them in the desert. The ground of this hostility has been very generally supposed to have been founded in the remembrance of Jacob’s depriving their progenitor of his birthright. But we do not find that the Edomites, who had this ground for a hatred to the Jews, made any attempt to molest them, nor that Moses ever reproaches the Amalekites for attacking the Israelites as their brethren; nor do we ever find in Scripture that the Amalekites joined with the Edomites, but always with the Canaanites and the Philistines. These considerations would be sufficient, had we no other reasons for believing them not to be of the stock of Esau. They may, however, be deduced from a higher origin; and viewing them as Cuthite shepherds and warriors, we have an adequate explanation both of their imperious and warlike character, and of the motive of their hostility to the Jews in particular. If expelled with the rest of their race from Egypt, they could not but recollect the fatal overthrow at the Red Sea; and if not participators in that catastrophe, still, as members of the same family, they must bear this event in remembrance with bitter feelings of revenge. But an additional motive is not wanting for this hostility, especially for its first act. The Amalekites probably knew that the Israelites were advancing to take possession of the land of Canaan, and resolved to frustrate the purposes of God in this respect. Hence they did not wait for their near approach to that country, but came down from their settlements, on its southern borders, to attack them unawares at Rephidim. Be this as it may, the Amalekites came on the Israelites, when encamped at that place, little expecting such an assault. Moses commanded Joshua, with a chosen band, to attack the Amalekites; while he, with Aaron and Hur, went up the mountain Horeb. During the engagement, Moses held up his hands to heaven; and so long as they were maintained in this attitude, the Israelites prevailed, but when through weariness they fell, the Amalekites prevailed. Aaron and Hur, seeing this, held up his hands till the latter were entirely defeated with great slaughter, Exod. xvii.

The Amalekites were indeed the earliest and the most bitter enemies the Jews had to encounter. They attacked them in the desert; and sought every opportunity afterward of molesting them. Under the judges, the Amalekites, in conjunction with the Midianites, invaded the land of Israel; when they were defeated by Gideon, Judges vi, vii. But God, for their first act of treachery, had declared that he would “utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven;” a denunciation which was not long after accomplished. Saul destroyed their entire army, 47with the exception of Agag their king; for sparing whom, and permitting the Israelites to take the spoil of their foes, he incurred the displeasure of the Lord, who took the sceptre from him. Agag was immediately afterward hewn in pieces by Samuel, 1 Sam. xv. It is remarkable, that most authors make Saul’s pursuit of the Amalekites to commence from the lower Euphrates, instead of from the southern border of the land of Canaan. (See Havilah.) David a few years after, defeated another of their armies; of whom only four hundred men escaped on camels, 1 Sam. xxx; after which event, the Amalekites appear to have been obliterated as a nation.

AMASA, the son of Ithra and Abigail, David’s sister, whom Absalom, when he rebelled against his father, appointed general of his army, 2 Sam. xvii, 25. Amasa having thus received the command of Absalom’s troops, engaged his cousin Joab, general of David’s army, and was worsted. But, after the defeat of Absalom’s party, David, being angry at Joab for killing Absalom, pardoned Amasa, and gave him the command of his own army. Upon the revolt of Sheba, the son of Bichri, David gave orders to Amasa to assemble all Judah and march against Sheba. Amasa not being able to form his army in the time prescribed, David directed Abishai to pursue Sheba with the guards. Joab, with his people, accompanied him; and these troops were scarcely got as far as the great stone in Gibeon, before Amasa came and joined them with his forces. Then said Joab to Amasa, “Art thou in health, my brother?” and took him by the beard with his right hand to kiss him; and treacherously smote him under the fifth rib, so that he expired.

AMAZIAH, one of the kings of Judah, 2 Chron. xxiv, 27, son of Joash, succeeded his father A. M. 3165, B. C. 839. He was twenty-five years of age when he began to reign, and reigned twenty-nine years at Jerusalem. “He did good in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.” When settled in his kingdom, he put to death the murderers of his father, but avoided a barbarous practice then too common, to destroy also their children; in which he had respect to the precept, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin,” Deut. xxiv, 16; 2 Chron. xxv, 1–3.

In the muster which Amaziah made of his people, he found three hundred thousand men able to bear arms. He hired, besides, one hundred thousand men of Israel; for which he paid the king of Israel a hundred talents, about thirty-four thousand pounds English. His design was to employ these troops against Edom, which had revolted from Judah, in the reign of Joram, about fifty-four years before, 2 Kings, viii, 20. But a prophet of the Lord came to him, and said, “O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel.” Amaziah, hereupon, sent back those troops; and they returning, strongly irritated against Amaziah, dispersed themselves over the cities of Judah, from Bethoron to Samaria, killed three thousand men, and carried off a great booty, to make themselves amends for the loss of the plunder of Edom. Amaziah, with his own forces gave battle to the Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and defeated them; but having thus punished Edom, and taken their idols, he adored them as his own deities. This provoked the Lord, who permitted Amaziah to be so blinded as to believe himself invincible. He therefore sent to defy the king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.” The motive of this challenge was probably to oblige Joash, king of Israel, to repair the ravages which his troops had committed on their return homewards. Joash answered him by the fable of the cedar of Lebanon, and the thistle trodden down by a beast, 2 Kings xiv, 8, 9. But Amaziah, deaf to these reasonings, advanced to Bethshemesh, and was defeated and taken prisoner there, by Joash, who carried him to Jerusalem. Joash ordered the demolition of four hundred cubits of the city wall, carried to Samaria all the gold and silver, the rich vessels of the house of God, the treasuries of the royal palace, and the sons of those among his own people who had been hostages there. Amaziah reigned after this, fifteen or sixteen years at Jerusalem, but returned not to the Lord. He endeavoured to escape from a conspiracy to Lachish; but was assassinated. He was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and Uzziah, or Azariah, his son, about sixteen years of age, succeeded him.

AMBASSADOR, a messenger sent by a sovereign, to transact affairs of great moment. Ministers of the Gospel are called ambassadors, because, in the name of Jesus Christ the King of kings, they declare his will to men, and propose the terms of their reconciliation to God, 2 Cor. v, 20; Eph. vi, 20. Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah, the servants of king Hezekiah, were called “ambassadors of peace.” In their master’s name they earnestly solicited a peace from the Assyrian monarch, but were made “to weep bitterly” with the disappointment and refusal, Isaiah xxxiii, 7.

AMBER, השמל, Ezek. i, 4, 27; viii, 2. The amber is a hard inflammable bitumen. When rubbed it is highly endowed with that remarkable property called electricity, a word which the moderns have formed from its Greek name ἠλέκτρον. But the ancients had also a mixed metal of fine copper and silver, resembling the amber in colour, and called by the same name. From the version of Ezekiel i, 4, by the LXX, Καὶ ἐν τῷ μέσω ἀυτου ὡς ὅρασις ἠλεκτρȣ ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ ϖυρὸς, “And in the midst of it as the appearance of electrum in the midst of the fire,” it appears that those translators by ἠλέκτρον, could not mean amber, which grows dim as soon as it feels the fire, and quickly dissolves into a resinous or pitchy substance; but the mixed metal above mentioned, which is much celebrated by the ancients for its beautiful lustre, and which, when exposed to the fire like other metals, grows more bright and shining. St. Jerom, Theodoret, St. Gregory and Origen think, that, in the above cited passages from Ezekiel, a precious and highly polished metal is meant.

48AMEN. אמן, in Hebrew, signifies true, faithful, certain. It is used likewise in affirmation; and was often thus employed by our Saviour: “Amen, amen,” that is, “Verily, verily.” It is also understood as expressing a wish, “Amen! so be it!” or an affirmation, “Amen, yes, I believe it:” Num. v, 22. She shall answer, “Amen! Amen!” Deut. xxvii, 15, 16, 17, &c. “All the people shall answer, Amen! Amen!” 1 Cor. xiv, 16. “How shall he who occupieth the place of the unlearned, say, Amen! at thy giving of thanks? seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest.” “The promises of God are Amen in Christ;” that is, certain, confirmed, granted, 2 Cor. i, 20. The Hebrews end the five books of Psalms, according to their distribution of them, with “Amen, amen;” which the Septuagint translate, Γένοιτο, γένοιτο, and the Latins, Fiat, fiat. The Gospels, &c, are ended with AMEN. The Greek, Latin, and other churches, preserve this word in their prayers, as well as alleluia and hosanna. At the conclusion of the public prayers, the people anciently answered with a loud voice, “Amen!” and Jerom says, that, at Rome, when the people answered, “Amen!” the sound was like a clap of thunder, in similitudinem cœlestis tonitrui Amen reboat. [Amen rings again like a peal of thunder.] The Jews assert that the gates of heaven are opened to him who answers, “Amen!” with all his might.

The Jewish doctors give three rules for pronouncing the word: 1. That it be not pronounced too hastily and rapidly, but with a grave and distinct voice. 2. That it be not louder than the tone of him that blesses. 3. That it be expressed in faith, with a certain persuasion that God would bless them, and hear their prayers.

Amen is a title of our Lord, “The Amen, the true and faithful witness,” Rev. i, 14.

AMETHYST. אחלמה, Exod. xxviii, 19; and xxix, 12; and once in the New Testament, Rev. XXI, 20, ἀμέθυϛος.

A transparent gem, of a colour which seems composed of a strong blue and deep red; and, according as either prevails, affords different tinges of purple, sometimes approaching to violet, and sometimes even fading to a rose colour. The stone called amethyst by the ancients was evidently the same with that now generally known by this name; which is far from being the case with regard to some other gems. The oriental is the hardest, scarcest, and most valuable. It was the ninth stone in the pectoral of the high priest, and is mentioned as the twelfth in the foundations of the New Jerusalem.

AMMINADAB, or ABINADAB, a Levite, and an inhabitant of Kirjath-jearim, with whom the ark was deposited after it was brought back from the land of the Philistines, 1 Sam. vii. This Amminadab dwelt in Gibeath, that is to say, in the highest part of the city of Kirjath-jearim.

2. The chariots of Amminadab are mentioned, Canticles vi, 12, as being extremely light. He is thought to have been some celebrated charioteer, whose horses were singularly swift.

AMMON, or HAMMON, or JUPITER-AMMON, an epithet given to Jupiter in Lybia, where was a celebrated temple of that deity under the denomination of Jupiter Ammon, which was visited by Alexander the Great.

The word Amoun, which imports “shining,” according to Jablonski, denoted the effects produced by the sun on attaining the equator, such as the increase of the days; a more splendid light; and, above all, the fortunate presage of the inundation of the Nile, and its consequent abundance.

Ammon is by others derived from Ham, the son of Noah, who first peopled Egypt and Lybia, after the flood; and, when idolatry began to gain ground soon after this period, became the chief deity of those two countries, in which his descendants continued. A temple, it is said, was built to his honour, in the midst of the sandy deserts of Lybia, upon a spot of good ground, about two leagues broad, which formed a kind of island or oasis in a sea of sand. He was esteemed the Zeus of Greece, and the Jupiter of Latium, as well as the Ammon of the Egyptians. In process of time, these two names were joined; and he was called Jupiter Ammon. For this reason the city of Ammon, No-ammon, or the city of Ham, was called by the Greeks Diospolis, or the city of Jupiter. Plutarch says, that of all the Egyptian deities which seemed to have any correspondence with the Zeus of Greece, Amon or Ammon was the most peculiar and appropriate. From Egypt his name and worship were brought into Greece; as indeed were almost all the names of all the deities that were there worshipped. Jupiter Ammon, or the Egyptian Jupiter, was usually represented under the figure of a ram; though in some medals he appears of a human shape, having only two ram’s horns growing out beneath his ears. The Egyptians, says Proclus, in the Timæus of Plato, had a singular veneration for the ram, because the image of Ammon bore its head, and because this first sign of the zodiac was the presage of the fruits of the earth. Eusebius adds, that this symbol marked the conjunction of the sun and moon in the sign of the ram.

2. Ammon, or Ben-Ammi, the son of Lot, by his youngest daughter, Gen. xix, 38. He was the father of the Ammonites, and dwelt on the east side of the Dead Sea, in the mountains of Gilead.

AMMONIANS, the disciples of Ammonius Saccas, of the Alexandrian school. His character was so equivocal, that it is disputed whether he was a Heathen or a Christian. Mr. Milner calls him “a Pagan Christian,” who imagined “that all religions, vulgar and philosophical, Grecian and barbarous, Jewish and Gentile, meant the same thing in substance. He undertook, by allegorizing and subtilizing various fables and systems, to make up a coalition of all sects and religions; and from his labours, continued by his disciples,--some of whose works still remain,--his followers were taught to look on Jew, philosopher, vulgar, Pagan, and Christian, as all of the same creed,” and worshippers of the same God, whether denominated “Jehovah, Jove, or Lord.”

AMMONITES, the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot. They took possession of the country called by their name, after having 49driven out the Zamzummims, who were its ancient inhabitants. The precise period at which this expulsion took place is not ascertained. The Ammonites had kings, and were uncircumcised, Jer. ix, 25, 26, and seem to have been principally addicted to husbandry. They, as well as the Moabites, were among the nations whose peace or prosperity the Israelites were forbidden to disturb, Deut. ii, 19, &c. However, neither the one nor the other were to be admitted into the congregation to the tenth generation, because they did not come out to relieve them in the wilderness, and were implicated in hiring Balaam to curse them. Their chief and peculiar deity is, in Scripture, called Moloch. Chemosh was also a god of the Ammonites. Before the Israelites entered Canaan, the Amorites conquered a great part of the country belonging to the Ammonites and Moabites; but it was retaken by Moses, and divided between the tribes of Gad and Reuben. Previous to the time of Jephthah, B. C. 1188, the Ammonites engaged as principals in a war, under a king whose name is not given, against the Israelites. This prince, determining to recover the ancient country of the Ammonites, made a sudden irruption into it, reduced the land, and kept the inhabitants in subjection for eighteen years. He afterward crossed Jordan with a design of falling upon the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. The Israelites resisted the invader; and, assembling at Mizpeh, chose Jephthah for their general, and sent an expostulatory message to the king of the Ammonites, Judges x, xi. The king replied, that those lands belonged to the Ammonites, who had been unjustly dispossessed of them by the Israelites, when they came out of Egypt, and exhorted Jephthah to restore them peaceably to the lawful owners. Jephthah remonstrated on the injustice of his claim; but finding a war inevitable, he fell upon the Ammonites near Aroer, and defeated them with great slaughter. On this occasion the Ammonites lost twenty cities; and thus an end was put, after eighteen years’ bondage, to the tyranny of Ammon over the Israelites beyond Jordan. In the days of Saul, 1 Sam. xi, B. C. 1095, the old claim of the Ammonites was revived by Nahash their king, and they laid siege to the city of Jabesh. The inhabitants were inclined to acknowledge Nahash as their sovereign; but he would accept their submission only on condition that every one of them should consent to lose his right eye, and that thus he might fix a lasting reproach upon Israel: but from this humiliating and severe requisition they were delivered by Saul, who vanquished and dispersed the army of Nahash. Upon the death of Nahash, David sent ambassadors to his son and successor Hanun, to congratulate him on his accession; but these ambassadors were treated as spies, and dismissed in a very reproachful manner, 2 Sam. x. This indignity was punished by David with rigour. Rabbah, the capital of Hanun, and the other cities of Ammon, which resisted the progress of the conqueror, were destroyed and razed to the ground; and the inhabitants were put to death or reduced to servitude. In the reign of Jehoshaphat the Ammonites united with their brethren, the Moabites, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir, against the king of Judah; but they were completely routed. They were afterward overthrown by Uzziah, king of Judah, and made tributary, 2 Chron. xxvi, 8; and rebelling in the reign of his son Jotham, they were reduced to the necessity of purchasing peace at a very dear rate. After the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, were carried into captivity by Tiglath Pileser, B. C. 740, the Ammonites and Moabites took possession of the cities belonging to these tribes, and were reproached for it by Jeremiah, xlix, 1. Their ambassadors were exhorted to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, and threatened, on their refusal, with captivity and slavery, Jer. xxvii, 2, 3, 4. The Prophet Ezekiel, xxv, 4–10, denounces their entire destruction, and informs them, that God would deliver them up to the people of the east; and that the Ammonites should no more be mentioned among the nations: and this punishment they were to suffer for insulting the Israelites on account of their calamities, and the destruction of their temple by the Chaldeans. This malediction began to be inflicted upon them in the fifth year after the taking of Jerusalem, when Nebuchadnezzar made war against all the people around Judea, A. M. 3420 or 3421, B. C. 583. It is probable that Cyrus granted to the Ammonites and Moabites liberty to return into their own country, whence they had been removed by Nebuchadnezzar; for they were exposed to the revolutions that were common to the people of Syria and Palestine, and were subject sometimes to the kings of Egypt, and sometimes to the kings of Syria. Polybius informs us, that Antiochus the Great took Rabboth, or Philadelphia, the capital of the Ammonites, demolished the walls, and put a garrison into it, A. M. 3806, B. C. 198. During the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Ammonites manifested their hatred to the Jews, and exercised great cruelties against such of them as lived in their parts. At length their city Jaser, and the neighbouring town, fell a prey to the Jews, who smote the men, carried their wives and children into captivity, and plundered and burned the city. Thus ended their last conflict with the descendants of Israel. Ammon was, however, a highly productive and populous country when the Romans became masters of all the provinces of Syria; and several of the ten allied cities, which gave name to the celebrated Decapolis, were included within its boundaries. Even when first invaded by the Saracens, this country, including Moab, was enriched by the various benefits of trade, covered with a line of forts, and possessed some strong and populous cities. Volney bears witness, “that in the immense plains of the Hauran, ruins are continually to be met with, and that what is said of its actual fertility perfectly corresponds with the idea given of it in the Hebrew writings.” The fact of its natural fertility is corroborated by every traveller who has visited it. And “it is evident,” says Burckhardt, 50“that the whole country must have been extremely well cultivated in order to have afforded subsistence to the inhabitants of so many towns,” as are now visible only in their ruins. While the fruitfulness of the land of Ammon, and the high degree of prosperity and power in which it subsisted long prior and long subsequent to the date of the predictions, are thus indisputably established by historical evidence and by existing proofs, the researches of recent travellers (who were actuated by the mere desire of exploring these regions and obtaining geographical information) have made known its present aspect; and testimony the most clear, unexceptionable, and conclusive, has been borne to the state of dire desolation to which it is and has long been reduced.

It was prophesied concerning Ammon, “Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them. I will make Rabbah of the Ammonites a stable for camels and a couching place for flocks. Behold, I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and deliver thee for a spoil to the Heathen; I will cut thee off from the people, and cause thee to perish out of the countries; I will destroy thee. The Ammonites shall not be remembered among the nations. Rabbah” (the chief city) “of the Ammonites shall be a desolate heap. Ammon shall be a perpetual desolation,” Ezek. xxv, 2, 5, 7, 10; xxi, 32; Jer. xlix, 2; Zeph. ii, 9.

Ammon was to be delivered to be a spoil to the Heathen--to be destroyed, and to be a perpetual desolation. “All this country, formerly so populous and flourishing, is now changed into a vast desert.” (Seetzen’s Travels.) Ruins are seen in every direction. The country is divided between the Turks and the Arabs, but chiefly possessed by the latter. The extortions of the one, and the depredations of the other, keep it in “perpetual desolation,” and make it “a spoil to the Heathen.” “The far greater part of the country is uninhabited, being abandoned to the wandering Arabs, and the towns and villages are in a state of total ruin.” (Ibid.) “At every step are to be found the vestiges of ancient cities, the remains of many temples, public edifices, and Greek churches.” (Burckhardt’s Travels.) The cities are left desolate. “Many of the ruins present no objects of any interest. They consist of a few walls of dwelling houses, heaps of stones, the foundations of some public edifices, and a few cisterns filled up; there is nothing entire, though it appears that the mode of building was very solid, all the remains being formed of large stones. In the vicinity of Ammon there is a fertile plain interspersed with low hills, which for the greater part are covered with ruins.” (Burckhardt’s Travels in Syria.) While the country is thus despoiled and desolate, there are valleys and tracts throughout it which “are covered with a fine coat of verdant pasture, and are places of resort to the Bedouins, where they pasture their camels and their sheep.” (Buckingham’s Travels in Palestine.) “The whole way we traversed,” says Seetzen, “we saw villages in ruins, and met numbers of Arabs with their camels,” &c. Mr. Buckingham describes a building among the ruins of Ammon, “the masonry of which was evidently constructed of materials gathered from the ruins of other and older buildings on the spot. On entering it at the south end,” he adds, “we came to an open square court, with arched recesses on each side, the sides nearly facing the cardinal points. The recesses in the northern and southern wall were originally open passages, and had arched door ways facing each other; but the first of these was found wholly closed up, and the last was partially filled up, leaving only a narrow passage, just sufficient for the entrance of one man and of the goats, which the Arab keepers drive in here occasionally for shelter during the night.” He relates that he lay down among “flocks of sheep and goats,” close beside the ruins of Ammon; and particularly remarks that, during the night, he “was almost entirely prevented from sleeping by the bleating of flocks.” So literally true is it, although Seetzen, and Burckhardt, and Buckingham, who relate the facts, make no reference or allusion whatever to any of the prophecies, and travelled for a different object than the elucidation of the Scriptures,--that “the chief city of the Ammonites is a stable for camels, and a couching place for flocks.”

“The Ammonites shall not be remembered among the nations.” While the Jews, who were long their hereditary enemies, continue as distinct a people as ever, though dispersed among all nations, no trace of the Ammonites remains; none are now designated by their name, nor do any claim descent from them. They did exist, however, long after the time when the eventual annihilation of their race was foretold; for they retained their name, and continued a great multitude until the second century of the Christian æra. (Justin Martyr.) “Yet they are cut off from the people. Ammon has perished out of the countries; it is destroyed.” No people is attached to its soil; none regard it as their country and adopt its name: “And the Ammonites are not remembered among the nations.”

“Rabbah” (Rabbah Ammon, the chief city of Ammon) “shall be a desolate heap.” Situated, as it was, on each side of the borders of a plentiful stream, encircled by a fruitful region, strong by nature and fortified by art, nothing could have justified the suspicion, or warranted the conjecture in the mind of an uninspired mortal, that the royal city of Ammon, whatever disasters might possibly befal it in the fate of war or change of masters, would ever undergo so total a transmutation as to become a desolate heap. But although, in addition to such tokens of its continuance as a city, more than a thousand years had given uninterrupted experience of its stability, ere the prophets of Israel denounced its fate; yet a period of equal length has now marked it out, as it exists to this day, a desolate heap, a perpetual or permanent desolation. Its ancient name is still preserved by the Arabs, and its site is now “covered with the ruins of private buildings--nothing of them remaining except the foundations and some of the door posts. The buildings, 51exposed to the atmosphere, are all in decay,” (Burckhardt’s Travels in Syria,) so that they may be said literally to form a desolate heap. The public edifices, which once strengthened or adorned the city, after a long resistance to decay, are now also desolate; and the remains of the most entire among them, subjected as they are to the abuse and spoliation of the wild Arabs, can be adapted to no better object than “a stable for camels.” Yet these broken walls and ruined palaces, says Mr. Keith, which attest the ancient splendour of Ammon, can now be made subservient, by means of a single act of reflection, to a far nobler purpose than the most magnificent edifices on earth can be, when they are contemplated as monuments on which the historic and prophetic truth of Scripture is blended in one bright inscription.

AMORITES, the descendants of Amori, or Hæmorri, or Amorrhæus, Gen. x, 16, the fourth son of Canaan, whose first possessions were in the mountains of Judea, among the other families of Canaan: but, growing strong above their fellows, and impatient of confinement within the narrow boundaries of their native district, they passed the Jordan, and extended their conquests over the finest provinces of Moab and Ammon; seizing and maintaining possession of that extensive and almost insulated portion of country included between the rivers Jordan, Jabbok, and Arnon. This was the kingdom, and Heshbon the capital, of the Amorites, under Sihon their king, when the Israelites, in their way from Egypt, requested a passage through their country. This request, however, Sihon refused; and came out against them with all his force, when he was slain, his people extirpated, and his kingdom taken possession of by the Israelites. It was subsequently divided between the tribes of Reuben and Gad, Num. xiii, 29; xxi, 13, 25; Joshua v, 1; xi, 3; Judges xi, 19, 22.

AMOS, the fourth of the minor prophets, who in his youth had been a herdsman in Tekoa, a small town about four leagues southward of Jerusalem. He was sent to the people of Samaria, to bring them back to God by repentance, and reformation of manners. Hence it is natural to suppose that he must have been born within the territories of Israel, and that he only retired to Tekoa, on being expelled from Bethel by Amaziah, the priest of the calves at Bethel. He frequently complains of the violence offered him by those who endeavoured to impose silence on him. He boldly inveighs against the crying sins of the Israelites, such as idolatry, oppression, wantonness, and obstinacy. Nor does he spare the sins of Judah, such as their carnal security, sensuality, and injustice. He utters frequent threatenings against them both, and predicts their ruin. It is observable in this prophecy, that, as it begins with denunciations of judgment and destruction against the Syrians, Philistines, Tyrians, and other enemies of the Jews, so it concludes with comfortable promises of the restoration of the tabernacle of David, and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. Amos was called to the prophetic office in the time of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel.

Some writers, in adverting to the condition of Amos, have, with a minute affectation of criticism, pretended to discover a certain rudeness and vulgarity in his style; and even Jerom is of opinion that he is deficient in magnificence and sublimity. He applies to him the words which St. Paul speaks of himself, that he was rude in speech, though not in knowledge; and his authority, says Bishop Lowth, “has influenced many commentators to represent him as entirely rude, and void of elegance; whereas it requires but little attention to be convinced that he is not a whit behind the very chiefest of the prophets;” equal to the greatest in loftiness of sentiment, and scarcely inferior to any in the splendour of his diction, and in the elegance of his composition. Mr. Locke has observed, that his comparisons are chiefly drawn from lions, and other animals, because he lived among, and was conversant with, such objects. But, indeed, the finest images and allusions, which adorn the poetical parts of Scripture, in general are drawn from scenes of nature, and from the grand objects that range in her walks; and true genius ever delights in considering these as the real sources of beauty and magnificence. The whole book of Amos is animated with a fine and masculine eloquence.

AMULET, a charm or supposed preservative against diseases, witchcraft, or any other mischief. They were very frequent among the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans, and were made of stone, metal, animal substances, or, in short, any thing which a weak imagination suggested. The Jews were very superstitious in the use of amulets, but the Mishna forbids them, unless received from some person of whose cures, at least, three instances could be produced. The phylacteries worn by the Pharisees and others of the Jewish nation were a sort of amulets.

Amulets among the Greeks were called, φυλακτήρια, περιάπτα, ἀποτέλεσματα, περιάμματα, βρήβια, and εξκόλπια. The Latins called them amuleta, appensa, pentacula, &c. Remains of this superstition continue among ignorant people even in this country, which ought to be strongly discountenanced as weak or wicked. The word amulet is probably derived from amula, a small vessel with lustral water in it, anciently carried in the pocket for the sake of purification and expiation.

AMYRALDISM, a name given by some writers to the doctrine of universal grace, as explained and asserted by Amyraldus, or Moses Amyraut, and his followers, among the reformed in France, toward the middle of the seventeenth century. This doctrine principally consisted of the following particulars, viz. that God desires the happiness of all men, from which none are excluded by a divine decree; that none can obtain salvation without faith in Christ; that God refuses to none the power of believing, though he does not grant to all his assistance, that they may improve 52this power to saving purposes; and that many perish through their own fault. Those who embraced this doctrine were called Universalists, although, it is evident that they rendered grace universal in words, but partial in reality, and are chargeable with greater inconsistencies than the Supralapsarians. Amyraldus is said to have formed his system with a view of producing a reconciliation between the Lutherans and Calvinists. This theory was supported in England by Baxter. See Baxterianism.

ANABAPTISTS, a name given to those Christians who maintain that baptism ought always to be performed by immersion; that it ought not to be administered to children before the age of discretion; and that at this age it ought to be readministered to those who have been baptized in their infancy. They affirm that the administration of this sacrament is neither valid nor useful, if it be done by sprinkling only, and not by immersion; or if the persons who receive it be not in a condition to give the reasons of their belief. The Anabaptists of Germany brought the name into great odium by their turbulent conduct; but by the people of this persuasion generally, the conduct of these fanatics was at all times condemned. In England they form a most respectable, though not a very numerous body.

The word Anabaptist is compounded of ἀνὰ, new, and βαπτιϛὴς, a baptist; and has been indiscriminately applied to people of very different principles. Many of them object to the name, because the baptism of infants by sprinkling is, in their opinion, no baptism; and others hold nothing in common excepting some one or other of the above mentioned opinions concerning baptism. See Baptism.

ANAGOGICAL. This is one of the four senses in which Scripture may be interpreted, viz. the literal, allegorical, anagogical, and tropological. The anagogical sense is given when the text is explained with regard to the end which Christians should have in view, that is, eternal life: for example, the rest of the Sabbath, in the anagogical sense, corresponds to the repose of everlasting blessedness.

ANAK, ANAKIM, famous giants in Palestine. Anak, father of the Anakim, was son of Arba, who gave his name to Kirjath-Arba, or Hebron. Anak had three sons, Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, whose descendants were terrible for their fierceness and stature. The Hebrew spies reported that in comparison of those monstrous men, they themselves were but grasshoppers. Some have thought that the name Phœnician, given to the Canaanites, and particularly to the Sidonians, was originally from Bene-Anak, sons of Anak. Caleb, assisted by the tribe of Judah, took Kirjath-Arba, and destroyed the Anakim, A. M. 2559. Josh. xv, 14; Judg. i, 20.

ANALOGY OF FAITH. This has been often and largely descanted upon as an important rule for interpreting Scripture, founded, as it is said, upon Rom. xii, 6, “Let us prophesy according to the proportion” (analogy) “of faith.”

The principle of this rule has been thus stated: It is evident the Almighty doth not act without a design in the system of Christianity, any more than in the works of nature. Now this design must be uniform; for as in the system of the universe every part is proportioned to the whole, and made subservient to it,--so, in the system of the Gospel, all the various truths, doctrines, declarations, precepts, and promises must correspond with, and tend to, the end designed. For instance, supposing the glory of God in the salvation of sinners by free grace be the grand design,--then, whatever doctrine, assertion, or hypothesis agrees not with this, it is to be considered as false. The effect however of this view of the case appears to be often delusive. If nothing more be meant than that, what is obscure in a revelation should be interpreted by that which is plain, the same rule applies to all sober interpretations of any book whatever; but if we call our opinions, perhaps hastily taken up, or admitted on some authority without examination by the light of Scripture, “the analogy of faith,” we shall greatly err. On this subject Dr. Campbell remarks:--

“In vain do we search the Scriptures for their testimony concerning Christ, if, independently of these Scriptures, we have received a testimony from another quarter, and are determined to admit nothing as the testimony of Scripture which will not perfectly quadrate with that formerly received. This was the very source of the blindness of the Jews in our Saviour’s time. They searched the Scriptures as much as we do; but, in the disposition they were in, they would never have discovered what that sacred volume testifies of Christ. Why? because their great rule of interpretation was the analogy of the faith; or, in other words, the system of the Pharisean scribes, the doctrine then in vogue, and in the profound veneration of which they had been educated. This is that veil by which the understandings of that people were darkened, even in reading the law, and of which the Apostle observed, that it remained unremoved in his day, and of which we ourselves have occasion to observe, that it remains unremoved in ours. And is it not precisely in the same way that the phrase is used by every sect of Christians, for the particular system or digest of tenets for which they themselves have the greatest reverence? The Latin church, and even the Greek, are explicit in their declarations on this article. With each, the analogy of the faith is their own system alone. And that different parties of Protestants, though more reserved in their manner of speaking, aim at the same thing, is undeniable; the same, I mean, considered relatively to the speakers; for, absolutely considered, every party means a different thing. ‘But,’ say some, ‘is not this mode of interpretation warranted by Apostolical authority? Does not Paul, Rom. xii, 6, in speaking of the exercise of the spiritual gifts, enjoin the prophets to prophesy κατὰ τὴν ἀναλογίαν τῆς ϖίϛεως, according to the proportion of faith, as our translators render it, but as some critics explain it, according to the analogy of the faith?’ Though this exposition has been admitted into 53some versions, and adopted by Hammond and other commentators, and may be called literal, it is suited neither to the ordinary meaning of the words, nor to the tenor of the context. The word ἀναλογία strictly denotes proportion, measure, rate, but by no means that complex notion conveyed in the aforesaid phrase by the term analogy, which has been well observed by Whitby to be particularly unsuitable in this place, where the Apostle treats of those who speak by inspiration, not of those who explain what has been thus spoken by others. The context manifestly leads us to understand ἀναλογία ϖίϛεως, verse 6, as equivalent to μέτρον ϖίστεως, verse 3. And for the better understanding of this phrase, the measure of faith, it may be proper to observe, 1. That a strong conviction of any tenet, from whatever cause it arises, is in Scripture sometimes termed faith. Thus in the same epistle, Rom. xiv, 22, the Apostle says, ‘Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.’ The scope of his reasoning shows that nothing is there meant by faith, but a conviction of the truth in regard to the article of which he had been treating, namely, the equality of days and meats, in point of sanctity, under the Gospel dispensation. The same is evidently the meaning of the word, verse 23, ‘Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin;’ where, without regard to the morality of an action abstractly considered, that is concluded to be sin which is done by one who doubts of its lawfulness. 2. As to spiritual gifts, prophecy and inspiration in particular, they appear to have been accompanied with such a faith or conviction that they came from the Spirit, as left no room for hesitation. And indeed it is easy to perceive that something of this kind was absolutely necessary to enable the inspired person to distinguish what proceeded from the Spirit of God, from what was the creature of his own imagination. The prophets of God were not acted upon like machines in delivering their predictions, as the diviners were supposed to be among the Heathen, but had then, as at other times, the free use of their faculties, both of body and mind.” This caution is therefore with great propriety given them by the Apostle, to induce them to be attentive in prophesying, not to exceed the precise measure allowed them, (for different measures of the same gift were committed to different persons,) and not to mingle aught of their own with the things of God’s Spirit. Let him prophesy according to the proportion in which he has received this gift, which is in proportion to his faith. Though a sense somewhat different has been given to the words by some ancient Greek expositors, none of them seems to have formed a conception of that sense, which, as was observed above, has been given by some moderns. This has, nevertheless, a sound and sober principle included in it, although capable of great abuse. Undoubtedly there is a class of great and leading truths in the Scriptures so clearly revealed as to afford principles of interpretation in doubtful passages, and these are so obvious that persons of sound minds and hearts will not need those formal rules for the application of the analogy of faith to interpretation, which have been drawn up by several writers, and which when not misleading, are generally superfluous.

ANANIAS was the son of Nebedæus, high priest of the Jews. According to Josephus, he succeeded Joseph, the son of Camith, in the forty-seventh year of the Christian æra; and was himself succeeded by Ishmael, the son of Tabæus, in the year 63. Quadratus, governor of Syria, coming into Judæa, on the rumours which prevailed among the Samaritans and Jews, sent the high priest Ananias to Rome, to vindicate his conduct to the emperor. The high priest justified himself, was acquitted, and returned. St. Paul being apprehended at Jerusalem by the tribune of the Roman troops that guarded the temple, declared to him that he was a citizen of Rome. This obliged the officer to treat him with some regard. As he was ignorant of what the Jews accused him, the next day he convened the priests, and placed St. Paul in the midst of them, that he might justify himself. St. Paul began as follows: “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” He had scarcely spoken this, when the high priest, Ananias, commanded those who were near him to smite him on the face. The Apostle immediately replied, “God shall judge thee, thou whited wall; for, sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?” They that stood by said, “Revilest thou God’s high priest?” And Paul answered, “I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people,” Acts xxii, 23, 24; xxiii, 1–5; by which words many suppose that the Apostle spake in bitter irony; or at least that he considered Ananias as a usurper of the office of the priesthood.

After this, the assembly being divided in opinion, St. Paul was sent by the tribune to Cæsarea, that Felix, governor of the province, might take cognizance of the affair. When it was known that the Apostle had arrived at Cæsarea, Ananias the high priest, and other Jews, went thither to accuse him; but the affair was adjourned, and St. Paul continued two years in prison in that city, Acts xxiv.

The Apostle’s prediction that God would smite Ananias, was thus accomplished: Albinus, governor of Judæa, being come into that country, Ananias found means to gain him by presents; and Ananias, by reason of this patronage, was considered as the first man of his nation. However, there were in his party some violent persons, who plundered the country, and seized the tithes of the priests; and this they did with impunity, on account of the great credit of Ananias. At the same time, several companies of assassins infested Judæa, and committed great ravages. When any of their companions fell into the hands of the governors of the province, and were about to be executed, they failed not to seize some domestic or relation of the high priest Ananias, that he might procure the liberty of their associates, in exchange for those whom they detained. 54Having taken Eleazer, one of Ananias’s sons, they did not release him till ten of their companions were liberated. By this means their number considerably increased, and the country was exposed to their ravages. At length, Eleazer, the son of Ananias, heading a party of mutineers, seized the temple, and forbade any sacrifices for the emperor. Being joined by the assassins, he pulled down the house of his father Ananias, with his brother, hid himself in the aqueducts belonging to the royal palace, but was soon discovered, and both of them were killed. Thus God smote this whited wall, in the very beginning of the Jewish wars.

2. Ananias, one of the first Christians of Jerusalem, who being converted, with his wife Sapphira, sold his estate; (as did the other Christians at Jerusalem, under a temporary regulation that they were to have all things in common;) but privately reserved a part of the purchase money to himself. Having brought the remainder to St. Peter, as the whole price of the inheritance sold, the Apostle, to whom the Holy Ghost had revealed this falsehood, rebuked him severely, as having lied not unto men but unto God, Acts v. At that instant, Ananias, being struck dead, fell down at the Apostle’s feet; and in the course of three hours after, his wife suffered a similar punishment. This happened, A. D. 33, or 34. It is evident, that in this and similar events, the spectators and civil magistrates must have been convinced that some extraordinary power was exerted; for if Peter had himself slain Ananias, he would have been amenable to the laws as a murderer. But, if by forewarning him that he should immediately die, and the prediction came to pass, it is evident that the power which attended this word of Peter was not from Peter, but from God. This was made the more certain by the death of two persons, in the same manner, and under the same circumstances, which could not be attributed to accident.

3. Ananias, a disciple of Christ, at Damascus, whom the Lord directed to visit Paul, then lately converted. Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and how he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.” But the Lord said unto him, “Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me.” Ananias, therefore, went to the house in which God had revealed unto him that Paul was, and putting his hands on him, said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared unto thee in the way, hath sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost,” Acts ix, 10–12, &c. We are not informed of any other circumstance of the life of Ananias.

ANATHEMA, from ἀνατίθημι, signifies something set apart, separated, or devoted, Mic. iv, 13, or the formula by which this is effected. To anathematize is generally understood to denote the cutting off or separating any one from the communion of the faithful, the number of the living, or the privileges of society; or the devoting of an animal, city, or other thing, to destruction. See Accursed.

ANATHEMA MARANATHA. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” 1 Cor. xvi, 22. Why these two words, one Greek and the other Syriac, were not translated, is not obvious. They are the words with which the Jews began their greater excommunication, whereby they not only excluded sinners from their society, but delivered them up to the divine cherem, or anathema, that is, to misery in this life, and perdition in the life to come. “Let him be Anathema” is, “Let him be accursed.” Maranatha signifies, “The Lord cometh,” or, “will come;” that is, to take vengeance. See See Accursed.

ANDREW, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, a native of Bethsaida, and the brother of Peter. He was at first a disciple of John the Baptist, whom he left to follow our Saviour, after the testimony of John, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” John i, 29, and was the first disciple received by our Saviour. Andrew then introduced his brother Simon, and they went with him to the marriage in Cana, but afterward returned to their ordinary occupation, not expecting, perhaps, to be farther employed in his service. However, some months after, Jesus meeting them, while fishing together, called them to a regular attendance upon him, and promised to make them fishers of men, Matt. iv, 19.

After our Saviour’s ascension, tradition states that Andrew was appointed to preach in Scythia and the neighbouring countries. According to Eusebius, after this Apostle had planted the Gospel in several places, he came to Patræ, in Achaia, where, endeavouring to convert the pro-consul Ægeas, he was, by that governor’s orders, first scourged, and then crucified. The time of his suffering martyrdom is not known; but all the ancient and modern martyrologies of the Greeks and Latins agree in celebrating his festival on the 30th of November. His body was embalmed, and decently interred at Patræ, by Maximilla, a lady of great quality and estate. It was afterward removed to Constantinople, by Constantine the Great, who buried it in the great church which he had built to the honour of the Apostles. It is not known for what reason painters represent St. Andrew’s cross like an X. Peter Chrysologus says that he was crucified upon a tree; and the spurious Hippolytus assures us that it was an olive tree. Nevertheless, the tradition which describes him to have been nailed to a cross is very ancient.

ANGEL, a spiritual, intelligent substance, the first in rank and dignity among created beings. The word angel, ἀγγέλος, is not properly a denomination of nature but of office; denoting as much as nuncius, messenger, a person employed to carry one’s orders, or declare his will. Thus it is St. Paul represents angels, Heb. i, 14, where he calls them “ministering spirits;” and yet custom has prevailed so much, that angel is now commonly taken for the denomination of a particular order of spiritual beings, of great understanding and power, superior to the souls or spirits of men. Some of these are spoken of in Scripture in 55such a manner as plainly to signify that they are real beings, of a spiritual nature, of high power, perfection, dignity, and happiness. Others of them are distinguished as not having kept their first station, Jude 6. These are represented as evil spirits, enemies of God, and intent on mischief. The devil as the head of them, and they as his angels, are represented as the rulers of the darkness of this world, or spiritual wickednesses, or wicked spirits, τὰ ϖνευματικὰ τῆς ϖονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπȣρανίοις, Eph. vi, 12; which may not be unfitly rendered, “the spiritual managers of opposition to the kingdom of God.”

The existence of angels is supposed in all religions, though it is incapable of being proved a priori. Indeed, the ancient Sadducees are represented as denying all spirits; and yet the Samaritans, and Caraites, who are reputed Sadducees, openly allowed them: witness Abusaid, the author of an Arabic version of the Pentateuch; and Aaron, a Caraite Jew, in his comment on the Pentateuch; both extant in manuscript in the king of France’s library. In the Alcoran we find frequent mention of angels. The Mussulmen believe them of different orders or degrees, and to be destined for different employments both in heaven and on earth. They attribute exceedingly great power to the angel Gabriel, as that he is able to descend in the space of an hour from heaven to earth; to overturn a mountain with a single feather of his wing, &c. The angel Asrael, they suppose, is appointed to take the souls of such as die; and another angel, named Esraphil, they tell us, stands with a trumpet ready in his mouth to proclaim the day of judgment.

The Heathen philosophers and poets were also agreed as to the existence of intelligent beings, superior to man; as is shown by St. Cyprian in his treatise of the vanity of idols; from the testimonies of Plato, Socrates, Trismegistus, &c. They were acknowledged under different appellations; the Greeks calling them dæmons, and the Romans genii, or lares. Epicurus seems to have been the only one among the old philosophers who absolutely rejected them.

Authors are not so unanimous about the nature as about the existence of angels. Clemens Alexandrinus believed they had bodies; which was also the opinion of Origen, Cæsarius, Tertullian, and several others. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nicene, St. Cyril, St. Chrysostom, &c, held them to be mere spirits. It has been the more current opinion, especially in later times, that they are substances entirely spiritual, who can, at any time, assume bodies, and appear in human or other shapes. Ecclesiastical writers make a hierarchy of nine orders of angels. Others have distributed angels into nine orders, according to the names by which they are called in Scripture, and reduced these orders into three hierarchies; to the first of which belong seraphim, cherubim, and thrones; to the second, dominions, virtues, and powers; and to the third, principalities, archangels, and angels. The Jews reckon four orders or companies of angels, each headed by an archangel; the first order being that of Michael; the second, of Gabriel; the third, of Uriel; and the fourth, of Raphael. Following the Scripture account, we shall find mention made of different orders of these superior beings; for such a distinction of orders seems intimated in the names given to different classes. Thus we have thrones, dominions, principalities, or princedoms, powers, authorities, living ones, cherubim, and seraphim. That some of these titles may indicate the same class of angels is probable; but that they all should be but different appellations of one common and equal order is improbable. We learn also from Scripture, that they dwell in the immediate presence of God; that they “excel in strength;” that they are immortal; and that they are the agents through which God very often accomplishes his special purposes of judgment and mercy. Nothing is more frequent in Scripture than the missions and appearances of good and bad angels, whom God employed to declare his will; to correct, teach, reprove, and comfort. God gave the law to Moses, and appeared to the old patriarchs, by the mediation of angels, who represented him, and spoke in his name, Acts vii, 30, 35; Gal. iii, 19; Heb. xiii, 2.

Though the Jews, in general, believed the existence of angels, there was a sect among them, namely, the Sadducees, who denied the existence of all spirits whatever, God only excepted, Acts xxiii, 8. Before the Babylonish captivity, the Hebrews seem not to have known the names of any angel. The Talmudists say they brought the names of angels from Babylon. Tobit, who is thought to have resided in Nineveh some time before the captivity, mentions the angel Raphael, Tob. iii, 17; xi, 2, 7; and Daniel, who lived at Babylon some time after Tobit, has taught us the names of Michael and Gabriel, Dan. viii, 16; ix, 21; x, 21. In the New Testament, we find only the two latter mentioned by name.

There are various opinions as to the time when the angels were created. Some think this took place when our heavens and the earth were made. For this opinion, however, there is no just foundation in the Mosaic account. Others think that angels existed long before the formation of our solar system; and Scripture seems to favour this opinion, Job xxxviii, 4, 7, where God says, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?--and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Though it be a universal opinion that angels are of a spiritual and incorporeal nature, yet some of the fathers, misled by a passage in Gen. vi, 2, where it is said, “The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose,” imagined them to be corporeal, and capable of sensual pleasures. But, without noticing all the wild reveries which have been propagated by bold or ignorant persons, let it suffice to observe, that by “the sons of God” we are evidently to understand the descendants of Seth, who, for the great piety wherein they continued for some time, were so called; and that “the daughters of men” were the progeny of wicked Cain.

56As to the doctrine of tutelary or guarding angels, presiding over the affairs of empires, nations, provinces, and particular persons, though received by the later Jews, it appears to be wholly Pagan in its origin, and to have no countenance in the Scriptures. The passages in Daniel brought to favour this notion are capable of a much better explanation; and when our Lord declares that the “angels” of little children “do always behold the face of God,” he either speaks of children as being the objects of the general ministry of angels, or, still more probably, by angels he there means the disembodied spirits of children; for that the Jews called disembodied spirits by the name of angels, appears from Acts xii, 15.

On this question of guardian angels, Bishop Horsley observes: “That the holy angels are often employed by God in his government of this sublunary world, is indeed to be clearly proved by holy writ. That they have power over the matter of the universe, analogous to the powers over it which men possess, greater in extent, but still limited, is a thing which might reasonably be supposed, if it were not declared. But it seems to be confirmed by many passages of holy writ; from which it seems also evident that they are occasionally, for certain specific purposes, commissioned to exercise those powers to a prescribed extent. That the evil angels possessed before their fall the like powers, which they are still occasionally permitted to exercise for the punishment of wicked nations, seems also evident. That they have a power over the human sensory, which they are occasionally permitted to exercise, and by means of which they may inflict diseases, suggest evil thoughts, and be the instruments of temptation, must also be admitted. But all this amounts not to any thing of a discretional authority placed in the hands of tutelar angels, or to an authority to advise the Lord God with respect to the measures of his government. Confidently I deny that a single text is to be found in holy writ, which, rightly understood, gives the least countenance to the abominable doctrine of such a participation of the holy angels in God’s government of the world. In what manner then, it may be asked, are the holy angels made at all subservient to the purposes of God’s government? This question is answered by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews, in the last verse of the first chapter; and this is the only passage in the whole Bible in which we have any thing explicit upon the office and employment of angels: ‘Are they not all,’ saith he, ‘ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them that shall be heirs of salvation?’ They are all, however high in rank and order, nothing more than ‘ministering spirits,’ or, literally, ‘serving spirits;’ not invested with authority of their own, but ‘sent forth,’ occasionally sent forth, to do such service as may be required of them, ‘for them that shall be heirs of salvation.’”

The exact number of angels is no where mentioned in Scripture; but it is always represented as very great. Daniel, vii, 10, says of the Ancient of Days, “A fiery stream came from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” Jesus Christ says, that his heavenly Father could have given him more than twelve legions of angels, that is, more than seventy-two thousand, Matt. xxvi, 53; and the Psalmist declares, that the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels, lxviii, 17, These are all intended not to express any exact number, but indefinitely a very large one.

Though all the angels were created alike good, yet Jude informs us, verse 6, that some of them “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation,” and these God hath “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.” Speculations on the cause and occasion of their fall are all vain and trifling. Milton is to be read on this subject, as on others, not as a divine, but as a poet. All we know, is, that they are not in their first “estate,” or in their original place; that this was their own fault, for “they left their own habitation;” that they are in chains, yet with liberty to tempt; and that they are reserved to the general judgment.

Dr. Prideaux observes, that the minister of the synagogue, who officiated in offering the public prayers, being the mouth of the congregation, delegated by them, as their representative, messenger, or angel, to address God in prayer for them, was in Hebrew called sheliack-zibbor, that is, the angel of the church; and that from hence the chief ministers of the seven churches of Asia are in the Revelation, by a name borrowed from the synagogue, called angels of those churches.

THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, or the Angel Jehovah, a title given to Christ in his different appearances to the patriarchs and others in the Old Testament.

When the Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness, “she called the name of Jehovah that spake to her, Thou God seest me.”--Jehovah appeared unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and three men, three persons in human form, “stood by him.” One of the three is called Jehovah. And Jehovah said, “Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do?” Appearances of the same personage occur to Isaac and to Jacob under the name of “the God of Abraham, and of Isaac.” After one of these manifestations, Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face;” and at another, “Surely the Lord (Jehovah) is in this place.” The same Jehovah was made visible to Moses, and gave him his commission; and God said, “I am that I am; thou shalt say to the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.” The same Jehovah went before the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire; and by Him the law was given amidst terrible displays of power and majesty from Mount Sinai. “I am the Lord (Jehovah) thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” &c. The collation of a few passages, or of the different parts of the 57same passages, of Scripture, will show that Jehovah, and “the Angel of the Lord,” when used in this eminent sense, are the same person. Jacob says of Bethel, where he had exclaimed, “Surely Jehovah is in this place;” “The Angel of God appeared to me in a dream, saying, I am the God of Bethel.” Upon his death bed he gives the names of God and Angel to this same person: “The God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads.” So in Hosea xii, 2, 5, it is said, “By his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed.” “We found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us, even the Lord God of Hosts; the Lord is his memorial.” Here the same person has the names, God, Angel, and Lord God of Hosts. “The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, (Jehovah,) that, since thou hast done this thing, in blessing will I bless thee.” The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire; but this same Angel “called to him out of the bush, and said, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” To omit many other passages, St. Stephen, in alluding to this part of the history of Moses, in his speech before the council, says, “There appeared to Moses in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire,” showing that that phraseology was in use among the Jews in his day, and that this Angel and Jehovah were regarded as the same being; for he adds, “Moses was in the church in the wilderness with the Angel which spoke unto him in Mount Sinai.” There is one part of the history of the Jews in the wilderness, which so fully shows that they distinguished this Angel of Jehovah from all created angels, as to deserve particular attention. In Exodus xxiii, 20, God makes this promise to Moses and the Israelites: “Behold, I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him.” Of this Angel let it be observed, that he is here represented as the guide and protector of the Israelites; to him they were to owe their conquests and their settlement in the promised land, which are in other places often attributed to the immediate agency of God; that they are cautioned to “beware of him,” to reverence and stand in dread of him; that the pardoning of transgressions belongs to him; finally, “that the name of God was in him.” This name must be understood of God’s own peculiar name, Jehovah, I am, which he assumed as his distinctive appellation at his first appearing to Moses; and as the names of God are indicative of his nature, he who had a right to bear the peculiar name of God, must also have his essence. This view is put beyond all doubt by the fact, that Moses and the Jews so understood the matter; for afterward when their sins had provoked God to threaten not to go up with them himself, but to commit them to “an angel who should drive out the Canaanite,” &c, the people mourned over this as a great calamity, and Moses betook himself to special intercession, and rested not until he obtained the repeal of the threat, and the renewed promise, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” Nothing, therefore, can be more clear than that Moses and the Israelites considered the promise of the Angel, in whom was “the name of God,” as a promise that God himself would go with them. With this uncreated Angel, this presence of the Lord, they were satisfied, but not with “an angel” indefinitely, who was by nature of that order of beings usually so called, and therefore a created being; for at the news of God’s determination not to go up with them, Moses hastens to the tabernacle to make his intercessions, and refuses an inferior conductor:--“If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”

The Jews held this Word, or Angel of the Lord, to be the future Messiah, as appears from the writings of their older rabbins. So that he appears as the Jehovah of all the three dispensations, and yet is invariably described as a separate person from the unseen Jehovah who sends him. He was then the Word to be made flesh, and to dwell for a time among us, to open the way to God by his sacrifice, and to rescue the race, whose nature he should assume, from sin and death. This he has now actually effected; and the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian religions are thus founded upon the same great principles,--the fall and misery of mankind, and their deliverance by a Divine Redeemer.

ANGELICS, worshippers of angels. Those who consider this as a sect of the Apostolic age, think St. Paul, Coloss. ii, 18, cautions Christians against a superstitious reverence of these celestial agents of the Deity, which they conceive to have been borrowed from the idolatrous reverence paid by the Heathen to genii and demons. The Jews of that time are also accused of worshipping angels, and probably this superstition might through them influence the Judaizing members of some of the Apostolic churches. This idolatry may now be too justly charged upon the Romish and some other corrupt churches.

ANGER, a resentful emotion of the mind, arising upon the receipt, or supposed receipt, of an affront or injury; and also simple feeling of strong displacency at that which is in itself evil, or base, or injurious to others. In the latter sense it is not only innocent but commendable. Strong displeasure against evil doers, provided it be free from hatred and malice, and interferes not with a just placableness, is also blameless, Eph. iv, 26. When it is vindictive against the person of our neighbour, or against the innocent creatures of God, it is wicked, Matt. v, 22. When anger, hatred, wrath, and fury, are ascribed to God, they denote no tumultuous passion, but merely his holy and just displeasure with sin and sinners; 58and the evidence of it in his terrible threatenings, or righteous judgments, Psalm vi, 1, and vii, 11. We must, however, take care that we refine not too much. These are Scriptural terms, and are often used of God; and though they express not a tumultuous, much less an unjust, passion, there is something in God which answers to them. In him they are principles arising out of his holy and just nature; and for this reason they are more steady and uniform, and more terrible, than if they were emotions, or as we say passions. Nor can we rightly regard the severity of the judgments which God has so often executed upon sin without standing in awe of him, “as a consuming fire” to the ungodly.

ANIMAL, is an organized and living body, endowed with sensation. Minerals are said to grow or increase, plants to grow and live, and animals alone to have sensation. The Hebrews distinguished animals into pure and impure, clean and unclean; or those which might be eaten and offered, and those whose use was prohibited. The sacrifices which they offered, were, 1. Of the beeve kind; a cow, bull, or calf. The ox could not be offered, because it was mutilated; and when it is said oxen were sacrificed, we are to understand bulls, Lev. xxii, 18, 19. Calmet thinks, that the mutilation of animals was neither permitted, nor used, among the Israelites. 2. Of the goat kind; a he-goat, a she-goat, or kid, Lev. xxii, 24. 3. Of the sheep kind; a ewe, ram, or lamb. When it is said sheep are offered, rams are chiefly meant, especially in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin; for as to peace-offerings, or sacrifices of pure devotion, a female might be sometimes offered, provided it was pure, and without blemish, Lev. iii, 1.

Besides these three sorts of animals, used in sacrifices, many others might be eaten, wild or tame; as the stag, the roe-buck, and in general all that have cloven feet, or that chew the cud, Lev. ix, 2, 3, &c. All that have not cloven hoofs, and do not chew the cud, were esteemed impure, and could neither be offered nor eaten. The fat of all sorts of animals sacrificed was forbidden to be eaten. The blood of all kinds of animals generally, and in all cases, was prohibited on pain of death, Lev. iii, 17; vii, 23–27. Neither did the Israelites eat animals which had been taken and touched by a devouring or impure beast, as a dog, a wolf, a boar, &c, Exodus xxii, 3; nor of any animal that died of itself. Whoever touched its carcass was impure until the evening; and till that time, and before he had washed his clothes, he did not return to the company of other Jews, Lev. xi, 39, 40; xvii, 15; xxii, 8. Fish that had neither fins nor scales were unclean, Lev. xi, 20. Birds which walk on the ground with four feet, as bats, and flies that have many feet, were impure. The law, however, excepts locusts, which have their hind feet higher than those before, and rather leap than walk. These were clean, and might be eaten, Lev. xi, 21, 22, as they still are in Palestine. The distinction between clean and unclean animals has been variously accounted for. Some have thought it symbolical, intended to teach the avoidance of those evil qualities for which the unclean animals were remarkable; others, that, in order that the Hebrews might be preserved from idolatry, they were commanded to kill and eat many animals which were sacred among the Egyptians, and were taught to look with abhorrence upon others which they reverenced. Others have found a reason in the unwholesomeness of the flesh of the creatures pronounced by the law to be unclean, so that they resolve the whole into a sanative regulation. But it is not to be forgotten that this division of animals into clean and unclean existed both before the law of Moses, and even prior to the flood. The foundation of it was therefore clearly sacrificial; for before the deluge it could not have reference to health, since animal food was not allowed to man prior to the deluge; and as no other ground for the distinction appears, except that of sacrifice, it must therefore have had reference to the selection of victims to be solemnly offered to God, as a part of worship, and as the means of drawing near to him by expiatory rites for the forgiveness of sins. Some it is true, have regarded this distinction of clean and unclean beasts as used by Moses by way of prolepsis, or anticipation,--a notion which, if it could not be refuted by the context, would be perfectly arbitrary. Not only are the beasts, which Noah was to receive, spoken of as clean and unclean; but it will be noticed, that, in the command to take them into the ark, a difference is made in the number to be preserved--the clean being to be received by sevens, and the unclean by two of a kind. This shows that this distinction among beasts had been established in the time of Noah; and thus the assumption of a prolepsis is refuted. The critical attempts which have been made to show that animals were allowed to man for food, previous to the flood, have wholly failed.

A second argument is furnished by the prohibition of blood for food, after animals had been granted to man for his sustenance along with the “herb of the field.” This prohibition is repeated by Moses to the Israelites, with this explanation:--“I have given it upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls.” From this it has indeed been argued, that the doctrine of the atoning power of blood was new, and was then, for the first time, announced by Moses, or the same reason for the prohibition would have been given to Noah. To this we may reply, 1. That unless the same be supposed as the ground of the prohibition of blood to Noah, as that given by Moses to the Jews, no reason at all can be conceived for this restraint being put upon the appetite of mankind from Noah to Moses. 2. That it is a mistake to suppose, that the declaration of Moses to the Jews, that God had “given them the blood for an atonement,” is an additional reason for the interdict, not to be found in the original prohibition to Noah. The whole passage in Lev. xvii, is, “And thou shalt say to them, Whatsoever man there be of the house 59of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood, I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and I will cut him off from among his people: FOR THE LIFE of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it upon the altar, to make atonement for your souls: for it is the BLOOD (or LIFE) that maketh atonement for the soul.” The great reason, then, of the prohibition of blood is, that it is the LIFE; and what follows respecting atonement is exegetical of this reason; the life is in the blood, and the blood or life is given as an atonement. Now, by turning to the original prohibition in Genesis, we find that precisely the same reason is given: “But the flesh with the blood, which is the life thereof, shall ye not eat.” The reason, then, being the same, the question is, whether the exegesis added by Moses must not necessarily be understood in the general reason given for the restraint to Noah. Blood is prohibited for this cause, that it is the life; and Moses adds, that it is “the blood,” or life, “which makes atonement.” Let any one attempt to discover any cause for the prohibition of blood to Noah, in the mere circumstance that it is “the life,” and he will find it impossible. It is no reason at all, moral or instituted, except that as it was life substituted for life, the life of the animal in sacrifice for the life of man, and that it had a sacred appropriation. The manner, too, in which Moses introduces the subject is indicative that, although he was renewing a prohibition, he was not publishing a “new doctrine;” he does not teach his people that God had then given, or appointed, blood to make atonement; but he prohibits them from eating it, because he had made this appointment, without reference to time, and as a subject with which they were familiar. Because the blood was the life, it was sprinkled upon, and poured out at, the altar: and we have in the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, and the sprinkling of its blood, a sufficient proof, that, before the giving of the law, not only was blood not eaten, but was appropriated to a sacred sacrificial purpose. Nor was this confined to the Jews; it was customary with the Romans and Greeks, who, in like manner, poured out and sprinkled the blood of victims at their altars, a rite derived, probably, from the Egyptians, as they derived it, not from Moses, but from the sons of Noah. The notion, indeed, that the blood of the victims was peculiarly sacred to the gods, is impressed upon all ancient Pagan mythology.

If, therefore, the distinction of animals into clean and unclean existed before the flood, and was founded upon the practice of animal sacrifice, we have not only a proof of the antiquity of that practice, but that it was of divine institution and appointment, since almighty God gave laws for its right and acceptable performance. Still farther, if animal sacrifice was of divine appointment, it must be concluded to be typical only, and designed to teach the great doctrine of moral atonement, and to direct faith to the only true sacrifice which could take away the sins of men;--“the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,”--the victim “without spot,” who suffered the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. See Sacrifices.

ANISE, an annual umbeliferous plant, the seeds of which have an aromatic smell, a pleasant warm taste, and a carminative quality. But by ἄνηθον, Matt. xxiii, 23, the dill is meant. Our translators seem to have been first misled by a resemblance of the sound. No other versions have fallen into the mistake. The Greek of anise is ἄνισον; but of dill, ἄνηθον.

ANNA, the daughter of Phanuel, a prophetess and widow, of the tribe of Asher, Luke ii, 36, 37. She was married early, and had lived only seven years with her husband. Being then disengaged from the ties of marriage, she thought only of pleasing the Lord; and continued without ceasing in the temple, serving God night and day, with fasting and prayer, as the Evangelist expresses it. However, her serving God at the temple night and day, says Dr. Prideaux, is to be understood no otherwise than that she constantly attended the morning and evening sacrifice at the temple; and then with great devotion offered up her prayers to God; the time of morning and evening sacrifice being the most solemn time of prayer among the Jews, and the temple the most solemn place for this devotion. Anna was fourscore years of age when the holy virgin came to present Jesus in the temple; and entering accidentally, while Simeon was pronouncing his thanksgiving, she likewise began to praise God, and to speak of the Messiah to all those who waited for redemption in Jerusalem. We know nothing more either of the life or death of this holy woman.

ANNAS, or ANANUS, as Josephus calls him, was the son of Seth, and high priest of the Jews. He succeeded Joazar, the son of Simon, enjoyed the high priesthood eleven years, and was succeeded by Ishmael, the son of Phabi. After he was deposed, he still preserved the title of high priest, and had a great share in the management of public affairs. He is called high priest in conjunction with Caiaphas, when John the Baptist entered upon the exercise of his mission; though Calmet thinks that at that time he did not, strictly speaking, possess or officiate in that character, Luke iii, 2. On the contrary, Macknight and some others are of opinion, that at this time Caiaphas was only the deputy of Annas. He was father-in-law to Caiaphas; and Jesus Christ was carried before him, directly after his seizure in the garden of Olives, John xviii, 13. Josephus remarks, that Annas was considered as one of the happiest men of his nation, for five of his sons were high priests, and he himself possessed that great dignity many years. This was an instance of good fortune which, till that time, had happened to no person.

ANOINT, to pour oil upon, Gen. xxviii, 18; xxxi, 13. The setting up of a stone and anointing it by Jacob, as here recorded, in grateful memory of his celestial vision, probably became the occasion of idolatry in succeeding ages, and gave rise to the erection of temples 60composed of shapeless masses of unhewn stone, of which so many astonishing remains are scattered up and down the Asiatic and the European world.

Under the law persons and things set apart for sacred purposes were anointed with the holy oil; which appears to have been a typical representation of the communication of the Holy Ghost to Christ and to his church. See Exod. xxviii, xxix. Hence the Holy Spirit is called an unction or anointing, 1 John ii, 20, 27; and our Lord is called the “Messiah,” or “Anointed One,” to denote his being called to the offices of mediator, prophet, priest, and king, to all of which he was consecrated by the anointing of the Holy Ghost, Matt. iii, 16, 17.

When we hear of the anointing of the Jewish kings, we are to understand by it the same as their inauguration; inasmuch as anointing was the principal ceremony on such an occasion, 2 Sam. ii, 4; v, 3. As far as we are informed, however, unction, as a sign of investiture with the royal authority, was bestowed only upon Saul and David, and subsequently upon Solomon and Joash, who ascended the throne under such circumstances, that there was danger of their right to the succession being forcibly disputed, 1 Sam. x, 24; 2 Sam. ii, 4; v, 1–3; 1 Chron. xi, 1, 2; 2 Kings xi, 12–20; 2 Chron. xxiii, 1–21. The ceremony of regal anointing needed not to be repeated in every instance of succession to the throne, because the unction which the first one who held the sceptre in any particular line of princes had received was supposed to suffice for the succeeding incumbents in the same descent.

In the kingdom of Israel, those who were inducted into the royal office appear to have been inaugurated with some additional ceremonies, 2 Kings ix, 13. The private anointings which we learn to have been performed by the prophets, 2 Kings ix, 3, comp. 1 Sam. x, 1; xvi, 1–13, were only prophetic symbols or intimations that the persons who were thus anointed should eventually receive the kingdom.

The holy anointing oil which was made by Moses, Exod. xxx, 22–33, for the maintaining and consecrating of the king, the high priest, and all the sacred vessels made use of in the house of God, was one of those things, as Dr. Prideaux observes, which was wanting in the second temple. The oil made and consecrated for this use was commanded to be kept by the children of Israel, throughout their generations, and therefore it was laid up in the most holy place of the tabernacle and the first temple.

ANOMŒANS, 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 ἀνόμοιος, different. For the pure Arians asserted, that the Son was of a nature different from, and in nothing like, that of the Father; whereas the Semi-Arians acknowledged a likeness of nature in the Son, at the same time that they denied, with the pure Arians, the consubstantiality of the Word. The Semi-Arians condemned the Anomœans in the council of Seleucia; and the Anomœans, in their turn, condemned the Semi-Arians in the councils of Constantinople and Antioch, erasing the word like out of the formula of Rimini and Constantinople.

ANSWER. Beside the common usage of this word, in the sense of a reply, it has other significations. Moses, having composed a thanksgiving, after the passage of the Red Sea, Miriam, it is said, answered, “Sing ye to the Lord” &c,--meaning, that Moses, with the men on one side, and Miriam, with the women on the other side, sung the same song, as it were, in two choruses, or divisions; of which one answered the other. Num. xxi, 17, “Then Israel sung this song, Spring up, O well, answer unto it;” that is, sing responsively, one side (or choir) singing first, and then the other. 1 Sam. xxix, 5, “Is not this David of whom they sung one to another in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?” They sung this song to his honour in distinct choruses.

This word is taken likewise for, to accuse or to defend any one, judicially. Gen. xxx, 33, “My righteousness shall answer for me;” it shall be my advocate before thee. Deut. xxxi, 21, “The song which thou shalt compose and teach them shall testify (answer) against them as a witness.” Isaiah says, “The show of their countenance will testify (answer) against them;” their impudence will be like a witness and an accuser. Hosea, v, 5, “The pride of Israel doth testify (answer) to his face.”

To answer, is likewise taken in a bad sense; as when it is said that a son answers his father insolently, or a servant his master. Rom. ix, 20, “Who art thou that repliest against God?” that is, to contest or debate with him. John xviii, 22, “Answerest thou the high priest so?” St. Paul declares that he “had in himself the answer (or sentence) of death;” 2 Cor. i, 9; like a man who has had notice of condemnation, he had a certain assurance of dying.

To answer is also used in Scripture for the commencement of a discourse, when no reply to any question or objection is intended. This mode of speaking is often used by the evangelists, “And Jesus answered and said.” It is a Hebrew idiom.

ANT, נמלה, in the Turkish and Arabic, neml, Prov. vi, 6; xxx, 25. It is a little insect, famous from all antiquity for its social habits, its economy, unwearied industry, and prudent foresight. It has afforded a pattern of commendable frugality to the profuse, and of unceasing diligence to the slothful. Solomon calls the ants “exceeding wise; for though a race not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” He therefore sends the sluggard to these little creatures, to learn wisdom, foresight, care, and diligence.

“Go to the ant; learn of its ways, be wise;
It early heaps its stores, lest want surprise.
Skill’d in the various year, the prescient sage
Beholds the summer chill’d in winter’s rage.
Survey its arts; in each partition’d cell
Economy and plenty deign to dwell.”

That the ant hoarded up grains of corn against winter for its sustenance, was very generally believed by the ancients, though 61modern naturalists seem to question the fact. Thus Horace says,

Parvula (nam exemplo est) magni formica laboris
Ore trahit quodcunque potest, atque addit acervo
Quem struit, haud ignara ac non incauta futuri;
Quæ, simul inversum contristat aquarius annum,
Non usquam prorepit, et illis utitur ante
Quæsitis sapiens.
Sat. i, l. i, v. 33.
“For thus the little ant (to human lore
No mean example) forms her frugal store,
Gather’d with mighty toil on every side,
Nor ignorant nor careless to provide
For future want; yet, when the stars appear
That darkly sadden the declining year,
No more she comes abroad, but wisely lives
On the fair stores industrious summer gives.”

The learned Bochart, in his Hierozoicon, has displayed his vast reading on this subject, and has cited passages from Pliny, Lucian, Ælian, Zoroaster, Origen, Basil, and Epiphanius, the Jewish rabbins and Arabian naturalists, all concurring in opinion that ants cut off the heads of grain, to prevent their germinating; and it is observable that the Hebrew name of the insect is derived from the verb נמל, which signifies to cut off, and is used for cutting off ears of corn, Job xxiv, 24.

The following remarks are from “the Introduction to Entomology,” by Kirby and Spence:

“Till the manners of exotic ants are more accurately explored, it would be rash to affirm that no ants have magazines of provisions; for, although, during the cold of our winters in this country, they remain in a state of torpidity, and have no need of food, yet in warmer regions, during the rainy seasons, when they are probably confined to their nests, a store of provisions may be necessary for them. Even in northern climates, against wet seasons, they may provide in this way for their sustenance and that of the young brood, which, as Mr. Smeatham observes, are very voracious, and cannot bear to be long deprived of their food; else why do ants carry worms, living insects, and many other such things, into their nests? Solomon’s lesson to the sluggard has been generally adduced as a strong confirmation of the ancient opinion: it can, however, only relate to the species of a warm climate, the habits of which are probably different from those of a cold one; so that his words, as commonly interpreted, may be perfectly correct and consistent with nature, and yet be not at all applicable to the species that are indigenous to Europe.”

The ant, according to the royal preacher, is one of those things which are little upon the earth, but exceeding wise. The superior wisdom of the ant has been recognised by many writers. Horace in the passage from which the preceding quotation is taken, praises its sagacity; Virgil celebrates its foresight, in providing for the wants and infirmities of old age, while it is young and vigorous:--

----atque inopi metuens formica senectæ.
[And the ant dreading a destitute old age.]

And we learn from Hesiod, that among the earliest Greeks it was called Idris, that is, wise, because it foresaw the coming storm, and the inauspicious day, and collected her store. Cicero believed that the ant is not only furnished with senses, but also with mind, reason and memory:--In formica non modo sensus sed etiam mens, ratio, memoria. [The ant possesses not only senses, but also mind, reason, memory.] The union of so many noble qualities in so small a corpuscle, is indeed one of the most remarkable phenomena in the works of nature.

ANTHROPOMORPHITES, a sect of ancient heretics, who were so denominated from two Greek words ἄνθρωπος, man, and μόρφη, shape. They understood every thing spoken in Scripture in a literal sense, and particularly that passage of Genesis in which it is said, “God made man after his own image.” Hence they maintained, that God had a human shape.

ANTHROPOPATHY, a metaphor by which things belonging to creatures and especially to man are ascribed to God. Instances of this abound in the Scriptures, by which they adapt themselves to human modes of speaking, and to the limited capacities of men. These anthropopathies we must however interpret in a manner suitable to the majesty of the divine nature. Thus, when the members of a human body are ascribed to God, we must understand by them those perfections of which such members in us are the instruments. The eye, for instance, represents God’s knowledge and watchful care; the arm, his power and strength; the ears, the regard he pays to prayer and to the cry of oppression and misery, &c. Farther, when human affections are attributed to God, we must so interpret them as to imply no imperfection, such as perturbed feeling in him. When God is said to repent, the antecedent, by a frequent figure of speech, is put for the consequent; and in this case we are to understand an altered mode of proceeding on the part of God, which in man is the effect of repenting.

ANTICHRIST, compounded of ἀντὶ, contra, against, and Χριϛὸς, Christ, in a general sense, denotes an adversary of Christ, or one who denies that the Messiah is come. In this sense, Jews, infidels, &c, may be said to be antichrists. The epithet, in the general sense of it, is also applicable to any power or person acting in direct opposition to Christ or his doctrine. Its particular meaning is to be collected from those passages of Scripture in which it occurs. Accordingly, it may either signify one who assumes the place and office of Christ, or one who maintains a direct enmity and opposition to him. The Fathers all speak of antichrist as a single man; though they also assure us, that he is to have divers precursors, or forerunners. Yet many Protestant writers apply to the Romish church, and the pope who is at the head of it, the several marks and signatures of antichrist enumerated in the Apocalypse, which would imply antichrist to be, not a single person, but a corrupt society, or a long series of persecuting pontiffs, or rather, a certain power and government, that may be held for many generations, by a number of individuals succeeding one another. The antichrist mentioned by the Apostle John, first Epistle ii, 18, and more particularly described in the book 62of Revelation, seems evidently to be the same with the man of sin, &c, characterized by St. Paul in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, chap. ii; and the whole description literally applies to the Papal power. A late writer, after collecting the principal prophecies relating to antichrist, infers from them that a power, sometimes represented as the little horn, the man of sin, the antichrist, the beast, the harlot, the star falling from heaven, the false prophet, the dragon, or as the operation of false teachers, was to be expected to arise in the Christian world to persecute and oppress, and delude the disciples of Christ, corrupt the doctrine of the primitive church, enact new laws, and establish its dominion over the minds of mankind. He then proceeds to show, from the application of prophecy to history, and to the remarkable train of events that are now passing in the world, how exactly Popery, Mohammedanism, and Infidelity, correspond with the character given in Scripture of the power of antichrist, which was to prevail a certain time for the especial trial and punishment of the corrupted church of Christ. Upon this system, the different opinions of the Protestants and Papists, concerning the power of antichrist, derived from partial views of the subject, are not wholly incompatible with each other. With respect to the commonly received opinion, that the church of Rome is antichrist, Mede and Newton, Daubuz and Clarke, Lowman and Hurd, Jurieu, Vitringa, and many other members of the Protestant churches who have written upon the subject, concur in maintaining, that the prophecies of Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John, point directly to this church. This was likewise the opinion of the first reformers; and it was the prevalent opinion of Christians, in the earliest ages, that antichrist would appear soon after the fall of the Roman empire. Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, applied the prophecies concerning the beast in the Revelation, the man of sin, and the apostasy from the faith mentioned by St. Paul, to him who should presume to claim the title of universal priest, or universal bishop, in the Christian church; and yet his immediate successor, Boniface III, received from the tyrant Phocas the precise title which Gregory had thus censured. At the synod of Rheims, held in the tenth century, Arnulphus, bishop of Orleans, appealed to the whole council, whether the bishop of Rome was not the antichrist of St. Paul, “sitting in the temple of God,” and perfectly corresponding with the description of him given by St. Paul. In the eleventh century, all the characters of antichrist seemed to be so united in the person of Pope Hildebrand, who took the name of Gregory VII, that Johannes Aventinus, a Romish historian, speaks of it as a subject in which the generality of fair, candid, and ingenuous writers agreed, that at that time began the reign of antichrist. And the Albigenses and Waldenses, who may be called the Protestants of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, expressly asserted in their declarations of faith, that the church of Rome was the whore of Babylon. The Papists imagine they view in the prophetical picture of antichrist, imperial Rome, elated by her victories, exulting in her sensuality and her spoils, polluted by idolatry, persecuting the people of God, and finally falling like the first Babylon; whilst a new and holy city, represented by their own communion, filled with the spotless votaries of the Christian faith, rises out of its ruins, and the victory of the cross is completed over the temples of Paganism. This scheme has had its able advocates, at the head of whom may be placed Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, Grotius, and Hammond. Some writers have maintained, that Caligula was antichrist; and others have asserted the same of Nero. But in order to establish the resemblance, they violate the order of time, disregard the opinions of the primitive Christians, and overlook the appropriate descriptions of the Apostles. After the point had been maturely debated at the council of Gap, held in 1603, a resolution was taken thereupon to insert an article in the confession of faith, whereby the Pope is formally declared to be antichrist. Pope Clement VIII was stung with this decision; and even king Henry IV, of France was not a little mortified, to be thus declared, as he said, an imp of antichrist.

In the book of Daniel it is foretold, that this power should exercise dominion until a time and times, and the dividing of time, Dan. vii, 25. This expression is generally admitted to denote 1260 years. The Papal power was completely established in the year 755, when it obtained the exarchate of Ravenna. Some, however, date the rise of antichrist in the year of Christ 606; and Mede places it in 456. If the rise of antichrist be not reckoned till he was possessed of secular authority, his fall will happen when this power shall be taken away. If his rise began, according to Mede in 456, he must have fallen in 1716; if in 606, it must be in 1866; if in 755, in 2015. If, however, we use prophetical years, consisting of three hundred and sixty days, and date the rise of antichrist in the year 755, his fall will happen in the year of Christ 2000. Every thing however in the state of the world betokens a speedy overthrow of the Papal and Mohammedan powers, both of which have indeed been already greatly weakened.

ANTI-LIBANUS. The Greeks give this name to that chain of mountains east of Libanus, which, properly speaking, forms, together with Libanus, but one ridge of mountains, extending from north to south, and afterward from south to north, in the shape almost of a horse shoe, for the space of about fourscore leagues. The western part of these mountains was called Libanus; the eastern was called Antilibanus; the former reached along the Mediterranean, from Sidon, almost to Arada, or Symira. The Hebrew text never mentions Antilibanus; but uses the general name Libanus: and the coins struck at Laodicea and Hierapolis, have the inscription, “cities of Libanus,” though they belong rather to Antilibanus. The Septuagint, on the contrary, puts Antilibanus often instead of Libanus. The valley which 63separates Libanus from Antilibanus is very fruitful: it was formerly, on the side of Syria, inclosed with a wall, whereof there are now no traces. Strabo says, that the name of Cœlo-Syria, or “the hollow Syria,” belongs principally to the valley between Libanus and Antilibanus.

ANTINOMIANS are 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 and a virtuous life. The Antinomians took their origin from John Agricola, about the year 1538, who taught that the law was in no wise necessary under the Gospel; that good works do not promote our salvation, nor ill ones hinder it; that repentance is not to be preached from the decalogue, but only from the Gospel. This sect sprung up in England during the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell; and extended their system of libertinism much farther than Agricola, the disciple of Luther. Some of their teachers expressly maintained, that as the elect cannot fall from grace nor forfeit the divine favour, the wicked actions they commit are not really sinful, nor are to be considered as instances of their violation of the divine law; and that consequently they have no occasion either to confess their sins, or to break them off by repentance. According to them, it is one of the essential and distinctive characters of the elect, that they cannot do any thing which is displeasing to God. Luther, Rutherford, Schlusselburgh, Sedgwick, Gataker, Witsius, Bull, Williams, &c, have written refutations; Crisp, Richardson, Saltmarsh, &c, defences, of the Antinomians; Wigandus, a comparison between ancient and modern Antinomians.

The doctrine of Agricola was in itself obscure, and is thought to have been represented worse than it really was by Luther, who wrote against him with acrimony, and first styled him and his followers Antinomians. Agricola, in defending himself, complained that opinions were imputed to him which he did not hold. The writings of Dr. Crisp in the seventeenth century are considered as highly favourable to Antinomianism, though he acknowledges that, “in respect of the rules of righteousness, or the matter of obedience, we are under the law still, or else,” as he adds, “we are lawless, to live every man as seems good in his own eyes, which no true Christian dares so much as think of.” The following sentiments, however, among others, are taught in his sermons: “The law is cruel and tyrannical, requiring what is naturally impossible.” “The sins of the elect were so imputed to Christ, as that though he did not commit them, yet they became actually his transgressions, and ceased to be theirs.” “The feelings of conscience, which tell them that sin is theirs, arise from a want of knowing the truth.” “It is but the voice of a lying spirit in the hearts of believers, that saith they have yet sin wasting their consciences, and lying as a burden too heavy for them to bear.” “Christ’s righteousness is so imputed to the elect, that they, ceasing to be sinners, are as righteous as he was, and all that he was.” “An elect person is not in a condemned state while an unbeliever; and should he happen to die before God call him to believe, he would not be lost.” “Repentance and confession of sin are not necessary to forgiveness. A believer may certainly conclude before confession, yea, as soon as he hath committed sin, the interest he hath in Christ, and the love of Christ embracing him.” These dangerous sentiments, and others of a similar bearing, have been fully answered by many writers; but by none more ably than by the Rev. John Fletcher, in his “Checks to Antinomianism.”

ANTIOCH, a city of Upper Syria, on the river Orontes, about twenty miles from the place where it discharges itself into the Mediterranean. It was built by Seleucus Nicanor, about three hundred years before Christ; and became the seat of empire of the Syrian kings of the Macedonian race, and afterward of the Roman governors of the eastern provinces; being very centrally and commodiously situated midway between Constantinople and Alexandria, about seven hundred miles from each, in 37° 17´ north latitude, and 36° 45´ east longitude. No city perhaps, Jerusalem excepted, has experienced more frequent revolutions, or suffered more numerous and dire calamities, than Antioch; as, besides the common plagues of eastern cities, pestilence, famine, fire, and sword, it has several times been entirely overthrown by earthquakes.

In 362, the emperor Julian spent some months at Antioch; which were chiefly occupied in his favourite object of reviving the mythology of Paganism. The grove at Daphne, planted by Seleucus, which, with its temple and oracle, presented, during the reigns of the Macedonian kings of Syria, the most splendid and fashionable place of resort for Pagan worship in the east, had sunk into neglect since the establishment of Christianity. The altar of the god was deserted, the oracle was silenced, and the sacred grove itself defiled by the interment of Christians. Julian undertook to restore the ancient honours and usages of the place; but it was first necessary to take away the pollution occasioned by the dead bodies of the Christians, which were disinterred and removed! Among these was that of Babylas, a bishop of Antioch, who died in prison in the persecution of Decius, and after resting near a century in his grave within the walls of Antioch, had been removed by order of Gallus into the midst of the grove of Daphne, where a church was built over him; the remains of the Christian saint effectually supplanting the former divinity of the place, whose temple and statue, however, though neglected, remained uninjured. The Christians of Antioch, undaunted by the conspiracy against their religion, or the presence of the emperor himself, conveyed the relics of their former bishop in triumph back to their ancient repository within the city. The immense multitude who joined in the procession, chanted forth their execrations against idols and idolaters; and on the same night the image and the temple of the Heathen god were consumed by the flames. A dreadful vengeance might be expected to have followed these scenes; but the real or affected 64clemency of Julian contented itself with shutting up the cathedral, and confiscating its wealth. Many Christians, indeed, suffered from the zeal of the Pagans; but, as it would appear, without the sanction of the emperor.

In 1268, Antioch was taken by Bibars, or Bondocdar, sultan of Egypt. The slaughter of seventeen thousand, and the captivity of one hundred thousand of its inhabitants, mark the final siege and fall of Antioch; which, while they close the long catalogue of its public woes, attest its extent and population. From this time it remained in a ruinous and nearly deserted condition, till, with the rest of Syria, it passed into the hands of the Ottoman Turks, with whose empire it has ever since been incorporated.

To distinguish it from other cities of the same name, the capital of Syria was called Antiochia apud Daphnem, or Antioch near Daphne, a village in the neighbourhood, where was a temple dedicated to the goddess of that name; though, in truth, the chief deity of the place was Apollo, under the fable of his amorous pursuit of the nymph Daphne; and the worship was worthy of its object. The temple stood in the midst of a grove of laurels and cypresses, where every thing was assembled which could minister to the senses; and in whose recesses the juvenile devotee wanted not the countenance of a libertine god to abandon himself to voluptuousness. Even those of riper years and graver morals could not with safety breathe the atmosphere of a place where pleasure, assuming the character of religion, roused the dormant passions, and subdued the firmness of virtuous resolution. Such being the source, the stream could scarcely be expected to be more pure; in fact, the citizens of Antioch were distinguished only for their luxury in life and licentiousness in manners. This was an unpromising soil for Christianity to take root in. But here, nevertheless, it was planted at an early period, and flourished vigorously. It should be observed, that the inhabitants of Antioch were partly Syrians, and partly Greeks; chiefly, perhaps, the latter, who were invited to the new city by Seleucus. To these Greeks, in particular, certain Cypriot and Cyrenian converts, who had fled from the persecution which followed the death of Stephen, addressed themselves; “and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” When the heads of the church at Jerusalem were informed of this success, they sent Barnabas to Antioch, who encouraged the new disciples, and added many to their number; and finding how great were both the field and the harvest, went to Tarsus to solicit the assistance of Paul. Both this Apostle and Barnabas then taught conjointly at Antioch; and great numbers were, by their labours during a whole year, added to the rising church, Acts xi, 19–26; xv, 22–35. Here they were also joined by Peter, who was reproved by Paul for his dissimulation, and his concession to the Jews respecting the observance of the law, Gal. ii, 11–14.

Antioch was the birthplace of St. Luke and Theophilus, and the see of the martyr Ignatius. In this city the followers of Christ had first the name of Christians given them. We have the testimony of Chrysostom, both of the vast increase of this illustrious church in the fourth century, and of the spirit of charity which continued to actuate it. It consisted at this time of not less than a hundred thousand persons, three thousand of whom were supported out of the public donations. It is painful to trace the progress of declension in such a church as this. But the period now referred to, namely, the age of Chrysostom, toward the close of the fourth century, may be considered as the brightest of its history subsequent to the Apostolic age, and that from which the church at Antioch may date its fall. It continued, indeed, outwardly prosperous; but superstition, secular ambition, the pride of life; pomp and formality in the service of God, in place of humility and sincere devotion; the growth of faction, and the decay of charity; showed that real religion was fast disappearing, and that the foundations were laid of that great apostasy which, in two centuries from this time, overspread the whole Christian world, led to the entire extinction of the church in the east, and still holds dominion over the fairest portions of the west.

Antioch, under its modern name of Antakia, is now but little known to the western nations. It occupies, or rather did till lately occupy, a remote corner of the ancient enclosure of its walls. Its splendid buildings were reduced to hovels; and its population of half a million, to ten thousand wretched beings, living in the usual debasement and insecurity of Turkish subjects. Such was nearly its condition when visited by Pocock about the year 1738, and again by Kinneir in 1813. But its ancient subterranean enemy, which, since its destruction in 587, never long together withheld its assaults, has again triumphed over it: the earthquake of the 13th of August, 1822, laid it once more in ruins; and every thing relating to Antioch is past.

ANTIOCH, of Pisidia. Beside the Syrian capital, there was another Antioch visited by St. Paul when in Asia, and called, for the sake of distinction, Antiochia ad Pisidiam, as belonging to that province, of which it was the capital. Here Paul and Barnabas preached; but the Jews, jealous, as usual, of the reception of the Gospel by the Gentiles, raised a sedition against them, and obliged them to leave the city, Acts xiii, 14, to the end. There were several other cities of the same name, sixteen in number, in Syria and Asia Minor, built by the Seleucidæ, the successors of Alexander in these countries; but the above two are the only ones which it is necessary to describe as occurring in Scripture.

ANTIOCHUS. There were many kings of this name in Syria, much celebrated in the Greek, Roman, and Jewish histories, after the time of Seleucus Nicanor, the father of Antiochus Soter, and reckoned the first king of Syria, after Alexander the Great.

1. Antiochus Soter was the son of Seleucus Nicanor, and obtained the surname of Soter, or Saviour, from having hindered the invasion 65of Asia by the Gauls. Some think that it was on the following occasion: The Galatians having marched to attack the Jews in Babylon, whose army consisted only of eight thousand men, reinforced with four thousand Macedonians, the Jews defended themselves with so much bravery, that they killed one hundred and twenty thousand men, 2 Mac. viii, 20. It was perhaps, too, on this occasion, that Antiochus Soter made the Jews of Asia free of the cities belonging to the Gentiles, and permitted them to live according to their own laws.

2. Antiochus Theos, or, the God, was the son and successor of Antiochus Soter. He married Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt. Laodice, his first wife, seeing herself despised, poisoned Antiochus, Berenice, and their son, who was intended to succeed in the kingdom. After this, Laodice procured Seleucus Callinicus, her son by Antiochus, to be acknowledged king of Syria. These events were foretold by Daniel: “And in the end of years,” the king of Egypt, or of the south, and the king of Syria, or of the north, “shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times,” Dan. xi, 6.

3. Antiochus the Great was the son of Seleucus Callinicus, and brother to Seleucus Ceraunus, whom he succeeded in the year of the world 3781, and before Jesus Christ 223. He made war against Ptolemy Philopator, king of Egypt, but was defeated near Raphia, 3 Mac. i. Thirteen years after, Ptolemy Philopator being dead, Antiochus resolved to become master of Egypt. He immediately seized Cœlo-Syria, Phenicia, and Judea; but Scopas, general of the Egyptian army, entered Judea while Antiochus was occupied by the war against Attalus, and retook those places. However, he soon lost them again to Antiochus. On this occasion happened what Josephus relates of this prince’s journey to Jerusalem. After a victory which he had obtained over Scopas, near the springs of Jordan, he became master of the strong places in Cœlo-Syria and Samaria; and the Jews submitted freely to him, received him into their city and furnished his army plentifully with provisions. In reward for their affection, Antiochus granted them, according to Josephus, twenty thousand pieces of silver, to purchase beasts for sacrifice, one thousand four hundred and sixty measures of meal, and three hundred and seventy-five measures of salt to be offered with the sacrifices, and timber to rebuild the porches of the Lord’s house. He exempted the senators, scribes, and singing men of the temple, from the capitation tax; and he permitted the Jews to live according to their own laws in every part of his dominions. He also remitted the third part of their tribute, to indemnify them for their losses in the war; he forbade the Heathens to enter the temple without being purified, and to bring into the city the flesh of mules, asses, and horses to sell, under a severe penalty.

In the year of the world 3815, Antiochus was overcome by the Romans, and obliged to cede all his possessions beyond Mount Taurus, to give twenty hostages, among whom was his own son Antiochus, afterward surnamed Epiphanes, and to pay a tribute of twelve thousand Euboic talents, each fourteen Roman pounds in weight. To defray these charges, he resolved to seize the treasures of the temple of Belus, at Elymais; but the people of that country, informed of his design, surprised and destroyed him, with all his army, in the year of the world 3817, and before Jesus Christ 187. He left two sons, Seleucus Philopator, and Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded him.

4. Antiochus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus the Great, having continued a hostage at Rome fourteen years, his brother Seleucus resolved to procure his return to Syria, and sent his own son Demetrius to Rome in the place of Antiochus. Whilst Antiochus was on his journey to Syria, Seleucus died, in the year of the world 3829. When, therefore, Antiochus landed, the people received him as some propitious deity come to assume the government, and to oppose the enterprises of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, who threatened to invade Syria. For this reason Antiochus obtained the surname of Epiphanes, the illustrious, or of one appearing like a god.

Antiochus quickly turned his attention to the possession of Egypt, which was then enjoyed by Ptolemy Philometor, his nephew, son to his sister Cleopatra, whom Antiochus the Great had married to Ptolemy Epiphanes, king of Egypt. He sent Apollonius, one of his officers, into Egypt, apparently to honour Ptolemy’s coronation, but in reality to obtain intelligence whether the great men of the kingdom were inclined to place the government of Egypt in his hands during the minority of the king his nephew, 2 Mac. iv, 21, &c. Apollonius, however, found them not disposed to favour his master; and this obliged Antiochus to make war against Philometor. He came to Jerusalem in 3831, and was received there by Jason, to whom he had sold the high priesthood. He designed to attack Egypt, but returned without effecting any thing. The ambition of those Jews who sought the high priesthood, and bought it of Antiochus, was the beginning of those calamities which overwhelmed their nation under this prince. Jason procured himself to be constituted in this dignity in the stead of Onias III; but Menelaus offering a greater price, Jason was deprived, and Menelaus appointed in his place. These usurpers of the high priesthood, to gratify the Syrians, assumed the manners of the Greeks, their games and exercises, and neglected the worship of the Lord, and the temple service.

War broke out between Antiochus Epiphanes and Ptolemy Philometor. Antiochus entered Egypt in the year of the world 3833, and reduced almost the whole of it to his obedience, 2 Mac. v, 3–5. The next year he returned; and whilst he was engaged in the siege of 66Alexandria, a false report was spread of his death. The inhabitants of Jerusalem testifying their joy at this news, Antiochus, when returning from Egypt, entered this city by force, treated the Jews as rebels, and commanded his troops to slay all they met. Eighty thousand were killed, made captives, or sold on this occasion. Antiochus, conducted by the corrupt high priest Menelaus, entered into the holy of holies, whence he took and carried off the most precious vessels of that holy place, to the value of one thousand eight hundred talents. In the year 3835, Antiochus made a third expedition against Egypt, which he entirely subdued. The year following, he sent Apollonius into Judea, with an army of twenty-two thousand men, and commanded him to kill all the Jews who were of full age, and to sell the women and young men, 2 Mac. v, 24, 25. These orders were too punctually executed. It was on this occasion that Judas Maccabæus retired into the wilderness with his father and his brethren, 2 Mac. v, 29. These misfortunes were only preludes of what they were to suffer; for Antiochus, apprehending that the Jews would never be constant in their obedience to him, unless he obliged them to change their religion, and to embrace that of the Greeks, issued an edict, enjoining them to conform to the laws of other nations, and forbidding their usual sacrifices in the temple, their festivals, and their Sabbath. The statue of Jupiter Olympus was placed upon the altar of the temple, and thus the abomination of desolation was seen in the temple of God. Many corrupt Jews complied with these orders; but others resisted them. Mattathias and his sons retired to the mountains. Old Eleazar, and the seven brethren, suffered death with great courage at Antioch, 2 Mac. vii. Mattathias being dead, Judas Maccabæus headed those Jews who continued faithful, and opposed with success the generals whom king Antiochus sent into Judea. The king, informed of the valour and resistance of Judas, sent new forces; and, finding his treasures exhausted, he resolved to go into Persia to levy tributes, and to collect large sums which he had agreed to pay to the Romans, 1 Mac. iii, 5–31; 2 Mac. ix, 1, &c; 1 Mac. vi, 1, &c. Knowing that very great riches were lodged in the temple of Elymaïs, he determined to carry it off; but the inhabitants of the country made so vigorous a resistance, that he was forced to retreat toward Babylonia. When he was come to Ecbatana, he was informed of the defeat of Nicanor and Timotheus, and that Judas Maccabæus had retaken the temple of Jerusalem, and restored the worship of the Lord, and the usual sacrifices. On receiving this intelligence, the king was transported with indignation; and, threatening to make Jerusalem a grave for the Jews, commanded the driver of his chariot to urge the horses forward, and to hasten his journey. However, divine vengeance soon overtook him: he fell from his chariot, and bruised all his limbs. He was also tormented with such pains in his bowels, as allowed him no rest; and his disease was aggravated by grief and vexation. In this condition he wrote to the Jews very humbly, promised them many things, and engaged even to turn Jew, if God would restore him to health. He earnestly recommended to them his son Antiochus, who was to succeed him, and entreated them to favour the young prince, and to continue faithful to him. He died, overwhelmed with pain and grief, in the mountains of Paratacene, in the little town of Tabes, in the year of the world 3840, and before Jesus Christ 164.

5. Antiochus Eupator, son of Antiochus Epiphanes, was only nine years old when his father died and left him the kingdom of Syria. Lysias, who governed the kingdom in the name of the young prince, led against Judea an army of one hundred thousand foot, twenty thousand horse, and thirty elephants, 1 Mac. vi; 2 Mac. xiii. He besieged and took the fortress of Bethsura, and thence marched against Jerusalem. The city was ready to fall into his hands when Lysias received the news that Philip, whom Antiochus Epiphanes had entrusted with the regency of the kingdom, had come to Antioch to take the government, according to the disposition of the late king. He therefore proposed an accommodation with the Jews, that he might return speedily to Antioch and oppose Philip. After concluding a peace, he immediately returned into Syria, with the young king and his army.

In the meantime, Demetrius Soter, son of Seleucus Philopator, and nephew to Antiochus Epiphanes, to whom by right the kingdom belonged, having escaped from Rome, came into Syria. Finding the people disposed for revolt, Demetrius headed an army, and marched directly to Antioch, against Antiochus and Lysias. However, the inhabitants did not wait till he besieged the city; but opened the gates, and delivered to him Lysias and the young king Antiochus Eupator, whom Demetrius caused to be put to death, without suffering them to appear in his presence. Antiochus Eupator reigned only two years, and died in the year of the world 3842, and before Jesus Christ 162.

6. Antiochus Theos, or the Divine, the son of Alexander Balas, king of Syria, was brought up by the Arabian prince Elmachuel, or, as he is called in the Greek, Simalcue, 1 Mac. xi, 39, 40, &c. Demetrius Nicanor, king of Syria, having rendered himself odious to his troops, one Diodotus, otherwise called Tryphon, came to Zabdiel, a king in Arabia, and desired him to entrust him with young Antiochus, whom he promised to place on the throne of Syria, which was then possessed by Demetrius Nicanor. After some hesitation, Zabdiel complied with the request; and Tryphon carried Antiochus into Syria, and put the crown on his head. The troops dismissed by Demetrius, came and joined Tryphon, who, having formed a powerful army, defeated Demetrius, and forced him to retreat to Seleucia. Tryphon seized his elephants, and rendered himself master of Antioch, in the year of the world 3859, and before Jesus Christ 145. Antiochus Theos, to strengthen himself in his new acquisition, sent letters to Jonathan Maccabæus, 67high priest and prince of the Jews, confirming him in the high priesthood, and granting him four toparchies, or four considerable places, in Judea. He also received Jonathan into the number of his friends, sent him vessels of gold, permitted him to use a gold cup, to wear purple, and a golden buckle; and he gave his brother, Simon Maccabæus, the command of all his troops on the coast of the Mediterranean, from Tyre to Egypt. Jonathan, engaged by so many favours, declared resolutely for Antiochus, or rather for Tryphon, who reigned under the name of this young prince; and on several occasions, he attacked the generals of Demetrius, who still possessed many places beyond Jordan and in Galilee, 1 Macc. xi, 63, &c; xii, 24, 34. Tryphon, seeing young Antiochus in peaceable possession of the kingdom of Syria, resolved to usurp his crown. He thought it necessary, in the first place, to secure Jonathan Maccabæus who was one of the most powerful supporters of Antiochus’s throne. He came, therefore, with troops into Judea, invited Jonathan to Ptolemais, and there, on frivolous pretences, made him prisoner. However, Simon, Jonathan’s brother, headed the troops of Judea, and opposed Tryphon, who intended to take Jerusalem. Tryphon, being disappointed, put Jonathan to death at Bassa or Bascama, and returned into Syria, where, without delay, he executed his design of killing Antiochus. He corrupted the royal physicians, who, having published that Antiochus was tormented with the stone, murdered him, by cutting him without any necessity. Thus Tryphon was left master of Syria, in the year of the world 3861, and before Jesus Christ 143.

7. Antiochus Sidetes, or Soter the Saviour, or Eusebes the pious, was the son of Demetrius Soter, and brother to Demetrius Nicanor. Tryphon, the usurper of the kingdom of Syria, having rendered himself odious to his troops, they deserted him, and offered their services to Cleopatra, the wife of Demetrius Nicanor. She lived in the city of Seleucia, shut up with her children, while her husband Demetrius was a prisoner in Persia, where he had married Rodeguna, the daughter of Arsaces king of Persia. Cleopatra, therefore sent to Antiochus Sidetes, her brother-in-law, and offered him the crown of Syria, if he would marry her; to which Antiochus consented. This prince was then at Cnidus, where his father, Demetrius Soter had placed him with one of his friends. He came into Syria, and wrote to Simon Maccabæus, to engage him against Tryphon, 1 Macc. xv, 1, 2, 3, &c. He confirmed the privileges which the kings of Syria had granted to Simon, permitted him to coin money with his own stamp, declared Jerusalem and the temple exempt from royal jurisdiction, and promised other favours as soon as he should obtain peaceable possession of the kingdom which had belonged to his ancestors. Antiochus Sidetes having married his sister-in-law, Cleopatra, in the year of the world 3865, the troops of Tryphon resorted to him in crowds. Tryphon, thus abandoned, retired to Dora, in Phœnicia, whither Antiochus pursued him with an army of 120,000 foot, 800 horse, and a powerful fleet. Simon Maccabæus sent Antiochus two thousand chosen men, but the latter refused them and revoked all his promises. He also sent Athenobius to Jerusalem to oblige Simon to restore to him Gazara and Joppa, with the citadel of Jerusalem; and to demand of him five hundred talents more, as reparation for injuries the king had suffered, and as tribute for his own cities. At the same time he threatened to make war upon him, if he did not comply. Simon showed Athenobius all the lustre of his wealth and power, told him he had in his possession no place which belonged to Antiochus, and said that the cities of Gazara and Joppa had greatly injured his people, and he would give the king for the property of them one hundred talents. Athenobius returned with great indignation to Antiochus, who was extremely offended at Simon’s answer. In the meantime, Tryphon having escaped privately from Dora, embarked in a vessel and fled. Antiochus pursued him, and sent Cendebeus with troops into the maritime parts of Palestine, and commanded him to rebuild Cedron, and fight the Jews. John Hircanus, son of Simon Maccabæus, was then at Gaza, and gave notice to his father of the coming of Cendebeus. Simon furnished his sons, John Hircanus and Judas with troops, and sent them against Cendebeus, whom they routed in the plain and pursued to Azotus.

Antiochus followed Tryphon, till he forced him to kill himself in the year of the world 3869. After this, Antiochus thought only of reducing to his obedience those cities which, in the beginning of his father’s reign, had shaken off their subjection. Simon Maccabæus, prince and high priest of the Jews, being treacherously murdered by Ptolemy, his son-in-law, in the castle of Docus, near Jericho, the murderer immediately sent to Antiochus Sidetes to demand troops, that he might recover for him the country and cities of the Jews. Antiochus came in person with an army, and besieged Jerusalem, which was bravely defended by John Hircanus. The siege was long protracted; and the king divided his army into seven parts, and guarded all the avenues of the city. It being the time for celebrating the feast of tabernacles, the Jews desired of Antiochus a truce for seven days. The king not only granted this request, but sent them bulls with gilded horns, and vessels of gold and silver filled with incense, to be offered in the temple. He also ordered such provisions as they wanted, to be given to the Jewish soldiers. This courtesy of the king so won the hearts of the Jews, that they sent ambassadors to treat of peace, and to desire that they might live according to their own laws. Antiochus required that they should surrender their arms, demolish the city walls, pay tribute for Joppa and the other cities they possessed out of Judea, and receive a garrison into Jerusalem. To these conditions, except the last, the Jews consented; for they could not be induced to see an army of strangers in their capital, and chose rather to give hostages and five hundred talents of silver. The king 68entered the city, beat down the breast work above the walls, and returned to Syria, in the year of the world 3870, and before Jesus Christ 134. Three years after, Antiochus marched against the Persians, or Parthians, and demanded the liberty of his brother Demetrius Nicanor, who had been made prisoner long before by Arsaces, and was detained for the purpose of being employed in exciting a war against Antiochus. This war, therefore, Antiochus thought proper to prevent. With an army of eighty thousand, or, as Orosius says, of one hundred thousand men, he marched toward Persia, and no sooner appeared on the frontiers of that country, than several eastern princes, detesting the pride and avarice of the Persians, came and surrendered. Antiochus defeated his enemies in three engagements, and took Babylon. He was accompanied in these expeditions by John Hircanus, high priest of the Jews, who, it is supposed, obtained the surname of Hircanus from some gallant action which he performed.

As the army of Antiochus was too numerous to continue assembled in any one place, he was obliged to divide it, to put it into winter quarters. These troops behaved with so much insolence, that they alienated the minds of all men. The cities in which they were, privately surrendered to the Persians; and all resolved to attack, in one day, the garrisons they contained, that the troops being separated might not assist each other. Antiochus at Babylon obtained intelligence of this design, and, with the few soldiers about him, endeavoured to succour his people. He was attacked in the way by Phraates, king of Persia, whom he fought with great bravery; but being at length deserted by his own forces, according to the generality of historians, he was overpowered and killed by the Persians or Parthians. Appian, however, says that he killed himself, and Ælian, that he threw himself headlong from a precipice. This event took place in the year of the world 3874, and before Jesus Christ 130. After the death of Sidetes, Demetrius Nicanor, or Nicetor, reascended the throne of Syria.

ANTIPÆDOBAPTISTS, a denomination given to those who object to the baptism of infants. The word is derived from ἀντὶ, against, ϖᾶις, ϖαιδὸς, a child, βαπτίζω, I baptize. See Baptism.

ANTIPAS, Antipas-Herod, or Herod-Antipas, was the son of Herod the Great, and Cleopatra of Jerusalem. Herod the Great, in his first will, declared him his successor in the kingdom; but he afterward named his son Archelaus king of Judea, and gave to Antipas only the title of tetrarch of Galilee and Peræa. Archelaus going to Rome, to persuade the emperor to confirm his father’s will, Antipas also went thither. The emperor bestowed on Archelaus one moity of what had been assigned him by Herod, with the quality of ethnarch, and promised to grant him the title of king when he had shown himself deserving of it by his virtues. To Antipas, Augustus gave Galilee and Peræa; and to Philip, Herod’s other son, the Batanæa, Trachonitis, and Auranitis, with some other places.

Antipas, returning to Judea, took great pains in adorning and fortifying the principal places of his dominions. He married the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia, whom he divorced about A. D. 33, that he might marry his sister-in-law, Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was still living. John the Baptist, exclaiming against this incest, was seized by order of Antipas, and imprisoned in the castle of Machærus. Josephus says, that Antipas caused John to be taken, because he drew too great a concourse after him; and Antipas was afraid he should use his influence over the people to induce them to revolt. But Josephus has reported the pretence for the true cause. The evangelists, who were better informed than Josephus, as being eye witnesses of what passed, and particularly acquainted with John and his disciples, assure us, that the true reason of imprisoning John was the aversion of Herod and Herodias against him, on account of his liberty in censuring their scandalous marriage, Matt. xiv, 3, 4; Mark vi, 14, 17, 18; Luke iii, 19, 20. When the king was celebrating his birth day, with the principal persons of his court, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased him so well that he swore to give her whatever she should ask. She consulted her mother, who advised her to ask the head of John the Baptist. Returning, therefore, to the hall, she addressed herself to the king, and said, “Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.” The king was afflicted at this request; but in consideration of his oath, and of the persons at table with him, he sent one of his guards, who beheaded John in prison. The head was brought in, and given to the young woman, who delivered it to her mother, Matt. xiv, 5, 6, &c. Aretas, king of Arabia, to revenge the affront which Herod had offered to his daughter, declared war against him, and vanquished him in a very obstinate contest. Josephus tells us, that the Jews attributed the defeat of Herod to the death of John the Baptist. In the year of the Christian æra 39, Herodias being jealous of the prosperity of her brother Agrippa, who from a private person had become king of Judea, persuaded her husband, Herod-Antipas, to visit Rome, and desire the same dignity of the emperor Caius. She resolved to accompany him; and hoped that her presents and appearance would contribute to procure the emperor’s favour. However, Agrippa obtaining intelligence of this design, wrote to the emperor and accused Antipas. The messenger of Agrippa arrived at Baiæ, where the emperor was, at the very time when Herod received his first audience. Caius, on the delivery of Agrippa’s letters, read them with great earnestness. In these letters, Agrippa accused Antipas of having been a party in Sejanus’s conspiracy against Tiberius, and said that he still carried on a correspondence with Artabanus, king of Partha, against the Romans. As a proof of this, he affirmed that Antipas had in his arsenals arms for seventy thousand men. Caius being angry, demanded hastily of Antipas, if it were true that he had such a quantity of arms? The king not daring to deny it, was instantly banished to Lyons in 69Gaul. The emperor offered to forgive Herodias, in consideration of her brother Agrippa; but she chose rather to follow her husband, and to share his fortune in banishment. This is that Antipas, who, being at Jerusalem at the time of our Saviour’s passion, ridiculed Jesus whom Pilate had sent to him, dressed him in worn-out royalty, and sent him back to Pilate as a mock king, whose ambition gave him no umbrage, Luke xxiii, 7, 11. The year of the death of Antipas is unknown; but it is certain that he, as well as Herodias, died in exile. Josephus says, that he died in Spain, whither Caius, on his coming into Gaul the first year of his banishment, might order him to be sent.

2. Antipas, the faithful martyr or witness mentioned in the book of Revelation, ii, 13. He is said to have been one of our Saviour’s first disciples, and to have suffered martyrdom at Pergamus, of which he was bishop. His Acts relate that he was burnt in a brazen bull. Though ancient ecclesiastical history furnishes no account of this Antipas, yet it is certain that, according to all the rules of language, what is said concerning him by St. John must be understood literally, and not mystically, as some interpreters have done.

ANTIPATRIS, Acts xxiii, 31, a town in Palestine, anciently called Caphar-Saba, according to Josephus; but named Antipatris by Herod the Great, in honour of his father Antipater. It was situated in a pleasant valley, near the mountains, in the way from Jerusalem to Cæsarea. Josephus places it at about the distance of seventeen miles from Joppa. To this place St. Paul was brought in his way to the governor of Judea at Cæsarea, Acts xxiii, 31.

ANTITYPE, that which answers to a type or figure. A type is a model, mould, or pattern; that which is formed according to it is an antitype. See Type.

ANTONIA, one of the towers of Jerusalem, called by Herod after M. Antony. The Romans generally kept a garrison in this tower; and from thence it was that the tribune ran with his soldiers to rescue St. Paul out of the hands of the Jews, who had seized him in the temple, and designed to have murdered him, Acts xxi, 31, 32.

APE, קוֹף, κῆφος and κῆπος, cephus, 1 Kings x, 22; 2 Chron. ix, 21. This animal seems to be the same with the ceph of the Ethiopians, of which Pliny speaks, l. viii, c. 19: “At the games given by Pompey the Great,” says he, “were shown cephs brought from Ethiopia, which had their fore feet like a human hand, their hind legs and feet also resembled those of a man.” The Scripture says that the fleet of Solomon brought apes, or rather monkeys, &c, from Ophir. The learned are not agreed respecting the situation of that country; but Major Wilford says that the ancient name of the River Landi sindh in India was Cophes. May it not have been so called from the קפים inhabiting its banks?

We now distinguish this tribe of creatures into 1. Monkeys, those with long tails; 2. Apes, those with short tails; 3. Baboons, those without tails. The ancient Egyptians are said to have worshipped apes; it is certain that they are still adored in many places in India. Maffeus describes a magnificent temple dedicated to the ape, with a portico for receiving the victims sacrificed, supported by seven hundred columns.

“With glittering gold and sparkling gems they shine,
But apes and monkeys are the gods within.”

Figures of apes are also made and reverenced as idols, of which we have several in Moore’s “Hindoo Pantheon;” also in the avatars, given in Maurice’s “History of India,” &c. In some parts of the country the apes are held sacred, though not resident in temples; and incautious English gentlemen, by attempting to shoot these apes, (rather, perhaps, monkeys,) have been exposed, not only to all manner of insults and vexations from the inhabitants of the villages, &c, adjacent, but have even been in danger of their lives.

APHARSACHITES, a people sent by the kings of Assyria to inhabit the country of Samaria, in the room of those Israelites who had been removed beyond the Euphrates, Ezra v, 6. They, with the other Samaritans, opposed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, Ezra iv, 9.

APIS, a symbolical deity worshipped by the Egyptians. It was an ox, having certain exterior marks, in which animal the soul of the great Osiris was supposed to subsist. The ox was probably made the symbol of Osiris because he presided over agriculture.

APOCALYPSE, Ἀποκάλυψις, signifies revelation. It is, however, particularly applied to the Revelations which St. John had in the isle of Patmos, whither he had been banished. The testimonies in favour of the book of the Revelation being a genuine work of St. John the Evangelist are very full and satisfactory. Andrew, bishop of Cæsarea in Capadocia, in the fifth century, assures us that Papias acknowledged the Revelation to be inspired. But the earliest author now extant who mentions this book is Justin Martyr, who lived about sixty years after it was written, and he ascribes it to St. John. So does Iræneus, whose evidence is alone sufficient upon this point; for he was the disciple of Polycarp, who was the disciple of John himself; and he expressly tells us that he had the explanation of a certain passage in this book from those who had conversed with St. John the author. These two fathers are followed by Clement of Alexandria, Theophilus of Antioch, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Lactantius, Jerome, Athanasius, and many other ecclesiastical writers, all of whom concur in considering the Apostle John as the author of the Revelation. Some few persons, however, doubted the genuineness of this book in the third and fourth centuries; but since that time it has been very generally acknowledged to be canonical; and, indeed, as Mr. Lowman observes, “hardly any one book has received more early, more authentic, and more satisfactory attestations.” The omission of this book in some of the early catalogues of the Scriptures, was probably not owing to any suspicion concerning its authenticity or genuineness, but because its obscurity and mysteriousness were thought to render it less fit to be read publicly and generally. It is called the Revelation of 70John the Divine; and this appellation was first given to St. John by Eusebius, not to distinguish him from any other person of the same name, but as an honourable title, intimating that to him was more fully revealed the system of divine counsels than to any other prophet of the Christian dispensation.

St. John was banished to Patmos in the latter part of the reign of Domitian, and he returned to Ephesus immediately after the death of that emperor, which happened in the year 96; and as the Apostle states, that these visions appeared to him while he was in that island, we may consider this book as written in the year 95 or 96.

In the first chapter, St. John asserts the divine authority of the predictions which he is about to deliver; addresses himself to the churches of the Proconsular Asia; and describes the first vision, in which he is commanded to write the things then revealed to him. The second and third chapters contain seven epistles to the seven churches in Asia; namely, of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, which relate chiefly to their then respective circumstances and situation. At the fourth chapter the prophetic visions begin, and reach to the end of the book. They contain a prediction of all the most remarkable revolutions and events in the Christian church from the time of the Apostle to the final consummation of all things. An attempt to explain these prophecies does not fall within the design of this work; and therefore those who are disposed to study this sublime and mysterious book are referred to Mede, Daubuz, Sir Isaac Newton, Lowman, Bishop Newton, Bishop Hurd, and many other excellent commentators. These learned men agree in their general principles concerning the interpretation of this book, although they differ in some particular points; and it is not to be expected that there should be a perfect coincidence of opinion in the explanation of those predictions which relate to still future times; for, as the incomparable Sir Isaac Newton observes, “God gave these and the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify men’s curiosity, by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own prescience, not that of the interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world.” “To explain this book perfectly,” says Bishop Newton, “is not the work of one man, or of one age; but probably it never will be clearly understood, till it is all fulfilled.” It is graciously designed, that the gradual accomplishment of these predictions should afford, in every succeeding period of time, additional testimony to the divine origin of our holy religion.

APOCRYPHA, books not admitted into the sacred canon, being either spurious, or at least not acknowledged to be divine. The word Apocrypha is of Greek origin, and is either derived from the words ἀπὸ τῆς κρύπτῆς, because the books in question were removed from the crypt, chest, ark, or other receptacle in which the sacred books were deposited whose authority was never doubted, or more probably from the verb ἀποκρύπτω, to hide or conceal, because they were concealed from the generality of readers, their authority not being recognised by the church, and because they are books which are destitute of proper testimonials, their original being obscure, their authors unknown, and their character either heretical or suspected. The advocates of the church of Rome, indeed, affirm that some of these books are divinely inspired; but it is easy to account for this: the apocryphal writings serve to countenance some of the corrupt practices of that church. The Protestant churches not only account those books to be apocryphal and merely human compositions which are esteemed such by the church of Rome, as the Prayer of Manasseh, the third and fourth books of Esdras, the addition at the end of Job, and the hundred and fifty-first Psalm; but also the books of Tobit, Judith, the additions to the book of Esther, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch the Prophet, with the Epistle of Jeremiah, the Song of the Three Children, the Story of Susanna, the Story of Bel and the Dragon, and the first and second books of Maccabees. The books here enumerated are unanimously rejected by Protestants for the following reasons:--

1. They possess no authority whatever, either external or internal, to procure their admission into the sacred canon. None of them are extant in Hebrew; all of them are in the Greek language, except the fourth book of Esdras, which is only extant in Latin. They were written for the most part by Alexandrian Jews, subsequently to the cessation of the prophetic spirit, though before the promulgation of the Gospel. Not one of the writers in direct terms advances a claim to inspiration; nor were they ever received into the sacred canon by the Jewish church, and therefore they were not sanctioned by our Saviour. No part of the apocrypha is quoted, or even alluded to, by him or by any of his Apostles; and both Philo and Josephus, who flourished in the first century of the Christian æra, are totally silent concerning them.

2. The apocryphal books were not admitted into the canon of Scripture during the first four centuries of the Christian church. They are not mentioned in the catalogue of inspired writings made by Melito bishop of Sardis, who flourished in the second century, nor in those of Origen in the third century, of Athanasius, Hilary, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Gregory Nazianzen, Amphilochius, Jerom, Rufinus, and others of the fourth century; nor in the catalogue of canonical books recognised by the council of Laodicea, held in the same century, whose canons were received by the catholic church; so that as Bishop Burnet well observes, we have the concurring sense of the whole church of God in this matter. To this decisive evidence against the canonical authority of the apocryphal books, we may add that they were never read in the Christian church until the fourth century; when, as Jerom informs us, they were read “for example of life, and instruction of planners; but were not 71applied to establish any doctrine.” And contemporary writers state, that although they were not approved as canonical or inspired writings, yet some of them, particularly Judith, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus, were allowed to be perused by catechumens. As a proof that they were not regarded as canonical in the fifth century, Augustine relates, that when the book of Wisdom and other writings of the same class were publicly read in the church, they were given to the readers or inferior ecclesiastical officers, who read them in a lower place than those which were universally acknowledged to be canonical, which were read by the bishops and presbyters in a more eminent and conspicuous manner. To conclude: notwithstanding the veneration in which these books were held by the western church, it is evident that the same authority was never ascribed to them as to the Old and New Testament until the last council of Trent, at its fourth session, presumed to place them all (except the Prayer of Manasseh and the third and fourth books of Esdras) in the same rank with the inspired writings of Moses and the Prophets.

APOLLINARIANS, or Apollinarists, or, as they are called by Epiphanius, Dimaritæ, a sect who derive their principal name from Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, in the fourth century. Apollinaris strenuously defended the divinity of Christ against the Arians; but by indulging too freely in philosophical distinctions and subtleties, he denied in some measure his humanity. He maintained that the body which Christ assumed was endowed with a sensitive, and not a rational, soul; and that the divine nature performed the functions of reason, and supplied the place of the intellectual principle in man. Hence it seemed to follow, that the divine nature in Christ was blended with the human and suffered with it the pains of crucifixion and death. Apollinaris and his followers have been charged with other errors by certain ancient waiters; but it is not easy to determine how far their charge is worthy of credit. The doctrine of Apollinaris was first condemned by a council at Alexandria in 362, and afterward in a more formal manner by a council at Rome in 375, and by another council in 378, which deposed Apollinaris from his bishopric. In short, it was attacked at the same time by the laws of the emperors, the decrees of councils, and the writings of the learned; and sunk by degrees under their united force.

APOLLOS was a Jew of Alexandria, who came to Ephesus in the year of our Lord 54, during the absence of St. Paul, who had gone to Jerusalem, Acts xviii, 24. He was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures; but he knew only the baptism of John, and was not fully informed of the higher branches of Gospel doctrine. However, he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, and declared himself openly as his disciple. At Ephesus, therefore, he began to speak boldly in the synagogue, and demonstrated by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. Aquila and Priscilla, having heard him there, took him with them, and instructed him more fully in the ways of God. Some time after, he was inclined to go into Achaia, and the brethren wrote to the disciples there, desiring them to receive him. He was very useful at Corinth, where he watered what St. Paul had planted, 1 Cor. iii, 6. It has been supposed, that the great admiration of his disciples for him tended to produce a schism. Some said, “I am of Paul;” some, “I am of Apollos;” and others, “I am of Cephas.” But this division, which St. Paul mentions and reproves in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, did not prevent Paul and Apollos, personally, from being closely united in the bonds of Christian charity and affection. Apollos, hearing that the Apostle was at Ephesus, went to meet him, and was there when St. Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians; in which he observes, that he had earnestly entreated Apollos to return to Corinth: but though he had not prevailed with him, Apollos gave him room to hope that he would visit that city at a favourable opportunity. Some have supposed, that the Apostle names Apollos and Cephas, not as the real persons in whose name parties had been formed in Corinth, but that, in order to avoid provoking a temper which he wished to subside, he transfers “by a figure” to Apollos and himself what was really meant of other parties, whom from prudence he declines to mention. However this might be, the reluctance of Apollos to return to Corinth seems to countenance the general opinion. St. Jerom says that Apollos was so dissatisfied with the division which had happened on his account at Corinth, that he retired into Crete with Zeno, a doctor of the law; but that the evil having been corrected by the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Apollos returned to that city, of which he afterward became bishop. The Greeks say that he was bishop of Duras; some, that he was bishop of Iconium, in Phrygia; and others of Cæsarea.

APOLLYON. See Abaddon.

APOLOGIES, in ecclesiastical history, were defences (so the Greek word means) of Christianity, presented to Heathen emperors, by the Christian fathers, who were therefore called Apologists. The first was presented to the emperor Adrian, by Quadratus, A. D. 126, a fragment of which is preserved by Eusebius; but another, presented soon after to the same, by Aristides, a converted Athenian philosopher, is totally lost. Justin Martyr wrote two apologies; the latter (to the Roman senate) is imperfect at the beginning; but the former, addressed to Antoninus Pius, is preserved entire, and was published in English, in 1709, by the Rev. W. Reeves, together with one by Tertullian, the Octavius (a dialogue) of Minucius Felix, and the Commentary of Vincentius Lirinensis, with notes and preliminary dissertations to each, in 2 vols. 8vo. The Apologies are curious and valuable remains of antiquity, as showing what were the objections of the Heathens, and the manner in which they were rebutted by the early Christians.

APOSTASY, a deserting or abandoning of the true religion. The word is borrowed from 72the Latin apostatare, or apostare, to despise or violate any thing. Hence apostatare leges anciently signified to transgress the laws. The Latin apostatare, again, comes from ἀπὸ, from, and ἳϛημι, I stand. Among the Romanists, apostasy also signifies the forsaking of a religious order, whereof a man had made profession, without a lawful dispensation. The ancients distinguished three kinds of apostasy: the first, a supererogatione, is committed by a priest, or religious, who abandons his profession, and returns to his lay state; the second, a mandatis Dei, by a person of any condition, who abandons the commands of God, though he retains his faith; the third, a fide, by him who not only abandons his works, but also the faith. There is this difference between an apostate and a heretic; that the latter only abandons a part of the faith, whereas the former renounces the whole. The primitive Christian church distinguished several kinds of apostasy. The first was that of those who relapsed from Christianity into Judaism; the second, that of those who blended Judaism and Christianity together; and the third was that of those who, after having been Christians, voluntarily relapsed into Paganism.

APOSTLE, ἀπόϛολος, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, commissioned by him to preach his Gospel, and propagate it to all parts of the earth. The word originally signifies a person delegated or sent; from ἀποϛέλλω, mitto; in which sense it occurs in Herodotus, and other profane authors. Hence, in the New Testament, the term is applied to divers sorts of delegates; and to the twelve disciples by way of eminence. They were limited to the number twelve, in allusion to the twelve tribes of Israel. See Matt. xix, 28; Luke xxii, 30; Rev. xxi, 12–14; and compare Exod. xxiv, 4; Deut. i, 23; and Josh. iv, 2, 3. Accordingly care was taken, on the death of Judas, to choose another, to make up the number, Acts i, 21, 22, 26. Of the first selection and commission of the twelve Apostles, we have an account, Luke vi, 13, &c; Matt. x, 1, &c. Having chosen and constituted twelve persons, under the name of Apostles, our blessed Lord determined that for some time they should be continually with him, not only to attend upon his public ministry, but to enjoy the benefit of his private conversation, that he might furnish them the better for the great work in which they were to be employed; and that, at length, after suitable preparation, he might, with greater advantage, send them abroad to preach his Gospel, and thus make way for his own visits to some more distant parts, where he had not yet been; and to enable them more effectually to do this, he endowed them with the power of working miracles, of curing diseases, and casting out demons. About the commencement of the third year of his ministry, according to the common account of its duration, he sent them out two by two, that they might be assistants to each other in their work; and commanded them to restrict their teaching and services to the people of Israel, and to avoid going to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans; to declare the approach of the kingdom of heaven, and the establishment of the Gospel dispensation; to exercise the miraculous powers with which they had been endowed gratuitously; and to depend for their subsistence on the providence of God, and on the donations of those to whom they ministered. Their names were, Simon Peter; Andrew, his brother; James the greater, the son of Zebedee; and John his brother, who was the beloved disciple; Philip of Bethsaida; Bartholomew; Thomas, called Didymus, as having a twin brother; Matthew or Levi, who had been a publican; James, the son of Alpheus, called James the less; Lebbeus, surnamed Thaddeus, and who was also called Judas or Jude, the brother of James; Simon, the Canaanite, so called, as some have thought, because he was a native of Cana, or, as Dr. Hammond thinks, from the Hebrew קנא, signifying the same with Zelotes, or the Zelot, a name given to him on account of his having before professed a distinguishing zeal for the law; and Judas Iscariot, or a man of Carioth, Josh. xv, 25, who afterward betrayed him, and then laid violent hands on himself. Of these, Simon, Andrew, James the greater, and John, were fishermen; Matthew, and James the son of Alpheus, were publicans; and the other six were probably fishermen, though their occupation is not distinctly specified.

After the resurrection of our Saviour, and not long before his ascension, the place of Judas the traitor was supplied by Matthias, supposed by some to have been Nathanael of Galilee, to whom our Lord had given the distinguishing character of an “Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile;” and the twelve Apostles, whose number was now completed, received a new commission, of a more extensive nature than the first, to preach the Gospel to all nations, and to be witnesses of Christ, not only in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and in Samaria, but unto the uttermost parts of the earth; and they were qualified for the execution of their office by a plenteous effusion of miraculous powers and spiritual gifts, and particularly the gift of tongues. In consequence of this commission, they preached first to the Jews, then to the Samaritans, and afterward to the idolatrous Gentiles. Their signal success at Jerusalem, where they opened their commission, alarmed the Jewish sanhedrim, before which Peter and John were summoned, and from which they received a strict charge never more to teach, publicly or privately, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. The noble reply and subsequent conduct of the Apostles are well known. This court of the Jews was so awed and incensed, as to plot the death of the twelve Apostles, as the only effectual measure for preventing the farther spread of Christianity. Gamaliel interposed, by his prudent and moderate counsel; and his speech had so good an effect upon the sanhedrim, that, instead of putting Peter and John to death, they scourged them, renewed their charge and threats, and then dismissed them. The Apostles, however, were not discouraged nor restrained; 73they counted it an honour to suffer such indignities, in token of their affection to their Master, and zeal in his cause; and they persisted in preaching daily in the courts of the temple, and in other places, that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised and long expected Messiah. Their doctrine spread, and the number of converts in Jerusalem still increased. During the violent persecution that raged at Jerusalem, soon after the martyrdom of St. Stephen, several of the leading men among the Christians were dispersed; some of them travelled through the regions of Judea and Samaria, and others to Damascus, Phœnicia, the Island of Cyprus, and various parts of Syria; but the twelve Apostles remained, with undaunted firmness, at Jerusalem, avowing their attachment to the persecuted interest of Christ, and consulting how they might best provide for the emergencies of the church, in its infant and oppressed state.

When the Apostles, during their abode at Jerusalem, heard that many of the Samaritans had embraced the Gospel, Peter and John were deputed to confer upon them the gift of the Holy Spirit; for to the Apostles belonged the prerogative of conferring upon others spiritual gifts and miraculous powers. In their return to Jerusalem, from the city of Samaria, they preached the Gospel in many Samaritan villages. The manner of its being sent to Ethiopia, by the conversion of the eunuch who was chief treasurer to Candace, queen of the country, is related in Acts viii, 26, &c. After the Christian religion had been planted in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and sent into Ethiopia, one of the uttermost parts of the earth, Acts i, 8; and after it had been preached about eight years to the Jews only, God, in his wise and merciful providence, disposed things for the preaching of it among the Gentiles. Cæsarea was the scene in which the Apostle Peter was to open his commission for this purpose; and Cornelius, one of the devout Gentiles, and a man distinguished by his piety and charity, was the first proselyte to Christianity. After Peter had laid the foundation of a Christian church among the devout Gentiles, others imitated his example, and a great number of persons of this description embraced the Christian faith, more especially at Antioch, where the disciples, whom their enemies had hitherto called Galileans, Nazarenes, and other names of reproach, and who, among themselves, had been called “disciples,” “believers,” “the church,” “the saints,” and “brethren,” were denominated, probably not without a divine direction, Christians.

When Christianity had been preached for about eight years among the Jews only, and for about three years more among the Jews and devout Gentiles, the next stage of its progress was to the idolatrous Gentiles, in the year of Christ 44, and the fourth year of the emperor Claudius. Barnabas and Saul were selected for this purpose, and constituted in an extraordinary manner Apostles of the Gentiles, or uncircumcision. Barnabas was probably an elder of the first rank; he had seen Christ in the flesh, had been an eye witness of his being alive again after his crucifixion, and had received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, as being one of the hundred and twenty. Saul also, since his conversion had preached as a superior prophet, about seven years to the Jews only, and about two years more to the Jews and devout Gentiles. They had both been born in Gentile countries; and therefore may be supposed to have had more respect and affection for the Gentiles than most of the Jews, who were natives of Judea. Saul had been converted, and had hitherto preached chiefly on Gentile ground; and he had joined with Barnabas in teaching devout Gentiles for a whole year, at Antioch in Syria; by all which previous steps they were regularly conducted to the last gradation, or the conversion of the idolatrous Gentiles. But it was necessary, in order to the being an Apostle, to have seen our Lord Jesus Christ alive after his crucifixion, for the Apostles were in a peculiar manner the witnesses of his resurrection. Some have supposed that Saul saw the person of Jesus, when he was converted, near the city of Damascus; but others, who conceive from the history of this event, that this could not have been the case, as he was instantly struck blind, are of opinion that the season, when his Apostolic qualification and commission were completed, was that mentioned by himself, Acts xxii, 17, when he returned to Jerusalem the second time after his conversion, saw the Lord Jesus Christ in person, and received the command to go quickly out of Jerusalem, that he might be sent unto the Gentiles. See also Acts xxvi, 16–20, where he gives an account of the object of his commission. He also received a variety of gifts and powers, which, superadded to his own genius and learning, as well as fortitude and patience, eminently qualified him for the office of an Apostle, and for that particular exercise of it which was assigned to him. St. Paul is frequently called the Apostle, by way of eminence; and the Apostle of the Gentiles, because his ministry was chiefly employed for the conversion of the Gentiles, as that of St. Peter was for Jews, who is therefore styled the Apostle of the circumcision.

The Apostles having continued at Jerusalem twelve years after the ascension of Christ, as tradition reports, according to his command, determined to disperse themselves in different parts of the world. But what were the particular provinces assigned to each, does not certainly appear from any authentic history. Socrates says, that Thomas took Parthia for his lot; Matthew, Ethiopia, and Bartholomew, India. Eusebius gives the following account: “Thomas, as we learn by tradition, had Parthia for his lot; Andrew, Scythia; John, Asia, who having lived there a long time, died at Ephesus. Peter, as it seems, preached to the dispersed Jews in Pontus and Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia; at length, coming to Rome, he was crucified with his head downward, as he had desired. What need I to speak of St. Paul, who fully preached the Gospel of Christ, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and at last 74died a martyr at Rome, in the time of Nero?” From this passage we may conclude, that at the beginning of the fourth century, there were not any certain and well attested accounts of the places out of Judea, in which several of the Apostles of Christ preached; for if there had, Eusebius must have been acquainted with them.

The stories that are told concerning their arrival and exploits among the Gauls, the English, the Spaniards, the Germans, the Americans, the Chinese, the Indians, and the Russians, are too romantic in their nature, and of too recent a date, to be received by an impartial inquirer after truth. These fables were for the most part forged after the time of Charlemagne, when most of the Christian churches contended about the antiquity of their origin, with as much vehemence as the Arcadians, Egyptians, and Greeks disputed formerly about their seniority and precedence.

It appears, however, that all of the Apostles did not die by martyrdom. Heraclion, cited by Clemens Alexandrinus, reckons among the Apostles who did not suffer martyrdom, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, and Levi, probably meaning Lebbeus.

To the Apostles belonged the peculiar and exclusive prerogative of writing doctrinal and preceptive books of authority in the Christian church; and it sufficiently appears that no epistles or other doctrinal writings of any person who was of a rank below that of an Apostle, were received by Christians as a part of their rule of faith. With respect to the writings of Mark and Luke, they are reckoned historical, not doctrinal or dogmatical; and Augustine says, that Mark and Luke wrote at a time when their writings might be approved not only by the church, but by Apostles still living.

The appellation of Apostles was also given to the ordinary travelling ministers of the church. Thus St. Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans, xvi, 7, says, “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles.” In this inferior sense the appellation is applied, by Clement of Alexandria, to Barnabas; who was not an Apostle in the highest sense of the word, so as the twelve and Paul were Apostles. Tertullian calls all the seventy disciples Apostles; and Clement calls Barnabas Apostolical merely in another place, and says that he was one of the seventy, and fellow labourer of Paul. These, says Dr. Lardner, are the highest characters which he really intends to give to Barnabas, and what he means when he styles him Apostle; therefore he need not be supposed to ascribe to Barnabas that large measure of inspiration and high authority, which was peculiar to the Apostles, strictly and properly so called. In a similar subordinate form, St. Clement of Rome is called Apostle. Timothy also is called by Salvian, Apostle, meaning merely Apostolical, or a companion and disciple of Apostles.

Apostle was likewise a title given to those sent by the churches, to carry their alms to the poor of other churches. This usage they borrowed from the synagogues, who called those whom they sent on this message, by the same name; and the function or office itself ἀποϛολὴ, that is, mission. Thus St. Paul, writing to the Philippians, tells them, that Epaphroditus, their Apostle, had ministered to his wants, chap. ii, 25. It is applied in like manner to those persons who first planted the Christian faith in any place.

Apostle is also used among the Jews, for a kind of officer anciently sent into the several parts and provinces in their jurisdiction, by way of visiter, or commissary; to see that the laws were duly observed, and to receive the moneys collected for the reparation of the temple, and the tribute payable to the Romans. These apostles were a degree below the officers of the synagogues, called patriarchs, and received their commissions from them. Some authors observe, that St. Paul had borne this office; and that it is this he alludes to in the beginning of the Epistle to the Galatians: as if he had said, Paul, no longer an apostle of the synagogue, nor sent by men to maintain the law of Moses, but now an Apostle and envoy of Jesus Christ, &c. St. Jerom, though he does not believe that St. Paul had been an apostle of this kind, yet imagines that he alludes to it in the passage just cited.


APPELLATIO, an appeal. The Sempronian law secured this privilege to the Roman citizens, that they could not be capitally convicted, but by the suffrage of the people; and in whatever provinces they happened to reside, if the governor showed a disposition to condemn them to death, to scourge, or deprive them of their property, they had liberty to appeal from his jurisdiction to the judgment of the people. This law, which was enacted under the republican form of government, continued in force under the emperors; so that if any freeman of Rome thought himself ill used and aggrieved by the presidents in any of the provinces, he could, by appeal, remove his cause to Rome, to the determination of the emperor. A number of persons, we are told, were delegated by Augustus, all of consular rank, to receive the appeals of the people in the provinces. These observations will explain the nature of St. Paul’s appeal in the Acts of the Apostles.

APPII FORUM, a place about fifty miles from Rome, near the modern town of Piperno on the road to Naples. It probably had its name from the statue of Appius Claudius, a Roman consul, who paved the famous way from Rome to Capua, and whose statue was set up here. To this place some Christians from Rome came to meet St. Paul, Acts xxviii, 15.

APPLE TREE, תפוח, Prov. xxv, 11; Cant. ii, 3, 5; vii, 8; viii, 5; Joel i, 12. As the best apples of Egypt, though ordinary, are brought thither by sea from Rhodes, and by land from Damascus, we may believe that Judea, an intermediate country between Egypt and Damascus, has none that are of any value. Can it be imagined, then, that the apple trees of which the Prophet Joel speaks, i, 12, and 75which he mentions among the things that gave joy to the inhabitants of Judea, were those that we call by that name? Our translators must surely have been mistaken here, since the apples which the inhabitants of Judea eat at this day are of foreign growth, and at the same time but very indifferent.

There are five places, beside this in Joel, in which the word occurs; and from them we learn that it was thought the noblest of the trees of the wood, and that its fruit was very sweet or pleasant, Cant. ii, 3; of the colour of gold, Prov. xxv, 11; extremely fragrant, Cant. vii, 8; and proper for those to smell that were ready to faint, Cant. ii, 5. We may be sure that the taphuach was very early known in the holy land, as it is mentioned in the book of Joshua as having given name to a city of Manasseh and one of Judah. Several interpreters and critics render פר עץ הדר, Lev. xxiii, 40, branches, or fruit, of the beautiful tree; and understand it of the citron; and it is known that the Jews still make use of the fruit of this tree at their yearly feast of tabernacles.

Citron trees are very noble, being large, their leaves beautiful, ever continuing on the trees, of an exquisite smell, and affording a most delightful shade. It might well, therefore, be said, “As the citron tree is among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.” This is a delicate compliment, comparing the fine appearance of the prince, amid his escort, to the superior beauty with which the citron tree appears among the ordinary trees of the forest; and the compliment is heightened by an allusion to the refreshing shade and the exhilarating fruit.

The exhilarating effects of the fruit are mentioned Cant. ii, 5, “Comfort me with citrons.” Egmont and Heyman tell us of an Arabian who was in a great measure brought to himself, when overcome with wine, by the help of citrons and coffee.

To the manner of serving up these citrons in his court, Solomon seems to refer, when he says, “A word fitly spoken is like golden citrons in silver baskets;” whether, as Maimonides supposes, in baskets wrought with open work, or in salvers curiously chased, it nothing concerns us to determine; the meaning is, that an excellent saying, suitably expressed, is as the most acceptable gift in the fairest conveyance. So the rabbins say, that the tribute of the first ripe fruits was carried to the temple in silver baskets.

APRIES, a king of Egypt, called in the sacred writings Pharaoh Hophrah, Jer. xliv, 30. Apries was the son of Psammis, and grandson of Necho, or Nechao, who waged war against Josiah, king of the Jews. He reigned twenty-five years, and was long considered as one of the happiest princes in the world; but having equipped a fleet for the reduction of the Cyrenians, he lost in this expedition almost the whole of his army. The Egyptians resolved to make him responsible for this ill success, rebelled, and pretended that he undertook the war only to get rid of his subjects, and that he might govern the remainder more absolutely. Apries deputed Amasis, one of his officers, to suppress the rebellion, and induce the people to return to their allegiance. But, while Amasis was haranguing them, one of the multitude placed a diadem about his helmet, and proclaimed him king. The rest applauded him; and Amasis having accepted their offer, continued with them, and confirmed them in their rebellion. Amasis put himself at the head of the rebels, and marched against Apries, whom he defeated and took prisoner. Amasis treated him with kindness; but the people were not satisfied till they had taken him from Amasis and strangled him. Such was the end of Apries, according to Herodotus. Jeremiah threatened this prince with being delivered into the hands of his enemies, as he had delivered Zedekiah, king of Judah, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Apries had made a league with Zedekiah, and promised him assistance, Ezek. xvii, 15. Zedekiah, therefore, relying on his forces, revolted from Nebuchadnezzar, in the year of the world 3414, and before Jesus Christ 590. Early in the year following, Nebuchadnezzar marched against Hezekiah; but as other nations of Syria had shaken off their obedience, he first reduced them to their duty, and toward the end of the year besieged Jerusalem, 2 Kings xxv, 5; 2 Chron. xxxvi, 17; Jer. xxxix, 1; lii, 4. Zedekiah defended himself in Jerusalem, long and obstinately, that he might give time to Pharaoh Hophrah, or Apries, to come to his assistance. Apries advanced with a powerful army; and the king of Babylon raised the siege, and marched to meet him. But Apries not daring to hazard a battle against the Chaldeans, retreated into Egypt, and abandoned Zedekiah. Ezekiel reproaches Egypt severely with this baseness, and says that it had been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, and an occasion of falling; for when they took hold of it by the hand, it broke and rent all their shoulder. He therefore prophesies that Egypt should be reduced to a solitude, and that God would send against it the sword, which would destroy in it man and beast, Ezek. xxix. This was afterward accomplished, first, in the time of Apries; and secondly, in the conquest of Egypt by the Persians.

AQUILA. This person was a native of Pontus in Asia Minor, and was converted by St. Paul, together with his wife Priscilla, to the Christian religion. As Aquila was by trade a tentmaker, Acts xviii, 2, 3, as St. Paul was, the Apostle lodged and wrought with him at Corinth. Aquila came thither, not long before, from Italy, being obliged to leave Rome upon the edict which the emperor Claudius had published, banishing the Jews from that city. St. Paul afterward quitted Aquila’s house, and abode with Justus, near the Jewish synagogue at Corinth; probably, as Calmet thinks, because Aquila was a converted Jew, and Justus was a convert from Paganism, that in this case the Gentiles might come and hear him with more liberty. When the Apostle left Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla accompanied him as far as Ephesus, where he left them with that church while he pursued his journey to Jerusalem. They rendered him great service in that city, so far 76as to expose their own lives to preserve his. They had returned to Rome when St. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, xvi, 4, wherein he salutes them with great kindness. Lastly, they were come back to Ephesus again, when St. Paul wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy, iv, 19, wherein he desires him to salute them in his name. What became of them after this time is not known.

AR, the capital city of the Moabites, situated in the hills on the south of the river Arnon. This city was likewise called Rabbah or Rabbath Moab, to distinguish it from the Ammonite Rabbah. It was afterward called by the Greeks Areopolis; and is at present termed El-Rabba. See Moab.

ARABIA. A vast country of Asia, extending one thousand five hundred miles from north to south, and one thousand two hundred from east to west; containing a surface equal to four times that of France. The near approach of the Euphrates to the Mediterranean constitutes it a peninsula, the largest in the world. It is called Jezirat-el-Arab by the Arabs; and by the Persians and Turks, Arebistan. This is one of the most interesting countries on the face of the earth. It has, in agreement with prophecy, never been subdued; and its inhabitants, at once pastoral, commercial, and warlike, are the same wild, wandering people as the immediate descendants of their great ancestor Ishmael are represented to have been.

Arabia, or at least the eastern and northern parts of it, were first peopled by some of the numerous families of Cush, who appear to have extended themselves, or to have given their name as the land of Cush, or Asiatic Ethiopia, to all the country from the Indus on the east, to the borders of Egypt on the west, and from Armenia on the north to Arabia Deserta on the south. By these Cushites, whose first plantations were on both sides of the Euphrates and Gulf of Persia, and who were the first that traversed the desert of Arabia, the earliest commercial communications were established between the east and the west. But of their Arabian territory, and of the occupation dependent on it, they were deprived by the sons of Abraham, Ishmael, and Midian; by whom they were obliterated in this country as a distinct race, either by superiority of numbers after mingling with them, or by obliging them to recede altogether to their more eastern possessions, or over the Gulf of Arabia into Africa. From this time, that is, about five hundred and fifty years after the flood, we read only of Ishmaelites and Midianites as the shepherds and carriers of the deserts; who also appear to have been intermingled, and to have shared both the territory and the traffic, as the traders who bought Joseph are called by both names, and the same are probably referred to by Jeremiah, xxv, as “the mingled people that dwell in the desert.” But Ishmael maintained the superiority, and succeeded in giving his name to the whole people.

Arabia, it is well known, is divided by geographers into three separate regions, called Arabia Petræa, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Felix.

The first, or Arabia Petræa, is the north-western division, and is bounded on the north by Palestine and the Dead Sea, on the east by Arabia Deserta, on the south by Arabia Felix, and on the west by the Heroopolitan branch of the Red Sea and the Isthmus of Suez. The greater part of this division was more exclusively the possession of the Midianites, or land of Midian; where Moses, having fled from Egypt, married the daughter of Jethro, and spent forty years keeping the flocks of his father-in-law: no humiliating occupation in those days, and particularly in Midian, which was a land of shepherds; the whole people having no other way of life than that of rearing and tending their flocks, or in carrying the goods they received from the east and south into Phenicia and Egypt. The word flock, used here, must not convey the idea naturally entertained in our own country of sheep only, but, together with these or goats, horned cattle and camels, the most indispensable of animals to the Midianite. It was a mixed flock of this kind which was the sole care of Moses, during a third part of his long life; in which he must have had abundance of leisure, by night and by day, to reflect on the unhappy condition of his own people, still enduring all the rigours of slavery in Egypt. It was a similar flock also which the daughters of Jethro were watering when first encountered by Moses; a trifling event in itself, but important in the history of the future leader of the Jews; and showing, at the same time, the simple life of the people among whom he was newly come, as well as the scanty supply of water in their country, and the strifes frequently occasioned in obtaining a share of it. Through a considerable part of this region, the Israelites wandered after they had escaped from Egypt; and in it were situated the mountains Horeb and Sinai. Beside the tribes of Midian, which gradually became blended with those of Ishmael, this was the country of the Edomites, the Amalekites, and the Nabathæi, the only tribe of pure Ishmaelites within its precincts. But all those families have long since been confounded under the general name of Arabs. The greater part of this district consists of naked rocks and sandy and flinty plains; but it contained also some fertile spots, particularly in the peninsula of Mount Sinai, and through the long range of Mount Seir.

Map of the
of the ISRAELITES from
Through the Desert of
Arabia Petræa

The second region, or Arabia Deserta, is bounded on the north and north-east by the Euphrates, on the east by a ridge of mountains which separates it from Chaldea, on the south by Arabia Felix, and on the west by Syria, Judea, and Arabia Petræa. This was more particularly the country first of the Cushites, and afterward of the Ishmaelites; as it is still of their descendants, the modern Bedouins, who maintain the same predatory and wandering habits. It consists almost entirely of one vast and lonesome wilderness, a boundless level of sand, whose dry and burning surface denies existence to all but the Arab and his camel. Yet, widely scattered over this dreary waste, some spots of comparative fertility are to be found, where, spread around a feeble spring of 77brackish water, a stunted verdure, or a few palm trees, fix the principal settlement of a tribe, and afford stages of refreshment in these otherwise impassable deserts. Here, with a few dates, the milk of his faithful camel, and perhaps a little corn, brought by painful journeys from distant regions, or plundered from a passing caravan, the Arab supports a hard existence, until the failure of his resources impels him to seek another oasis, or the scanty herbage furnished on a patch of soil by transient rains; or else, which is frequently the case, to resort, by more distant migration, to the banks of the Euphrates; or, by hostile inroads on the neighbouring countries, to supply those wants which the recesses of the desert have denied. The numbers leading this wandering and precarious mode of life are incredible. From these deserts Zerah drew his army of a million of men; and the same deserts, fifteen hundred years after, poured forth the countless swarms, which, under Mohammed and his successors, devastated half of the then known world.

The third region, or Arabia Felix, so denominated from the happier condition of its soil and climate, occupies the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. It is bounded on the north by the two other divisions of the country; on the south and south-east by the Indian Ocean; on the east by part of the same ocean and the Persian Gulf; and on the west by the Red Sea. This division is subdivided into the kingdoms or provinces of Yemen, at the southern extremity of the peninsula; Hejaz, on the north of the former, and toward the Red Sea; Nejed, in the central region; and Hadramant and Oman, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. The four latter subdivisions partake of much of the character of the other greater divisions of the country, though of a more varied surface, and with a larger portion capable of cultivation. But Yemen seems to belong to another country and climate. It is very mountainous, is well watered with rains and springs, and is blessed with an abundant produce in corn and fruits, and especially in coffee, of which vast quantities are exported. In this division were the ancient cities of Nysa, Musa or Moosa, and Aden. This is also supposed to have been the country of the queen of Sheba. In Hejaz are the celebrated cities of Mecca and Medina.

Arabia Felix is inhabited by a people who claim Jotkan for their father, and so trace their descent direct from Shem, instead of Abraham and Ham. They are indeed a totally different people from those inhabiting the other quarters, and pride themselves on being the only pure and unmixed Arabs. Instead of being shepherds and robbers, they are fixed in towns and cities; and live by agriculture and commerce, chiefly maritime. Here were the people who were found by the Greeks of Egypt enjoying an entire monopoly of the trade with the east, and possessing a high degree of wealth and consequent refinement. It was here, in the ports of Sabæa, that the spices, muslins, and precious stones of India, were for many ages obtained by the Greek traders of Egypt, before they had acquired skill or courage sufficient to pass the straits of the Red Sea; which were long considered by the nations of Europe to be the produce of Arabia itself. These articles, before the invention of shipping, or the establishment of a maritime intercourse, were conveyed across the deserts by the Cushite, Ishmaelite, and Midianite carriers. It was the produce partly of India, and partly of Arabia, which the travelling merchants, to whom Joseph was sold, were carrying into Egypt. The balm and myrrh were probably Arabian, as they are still the produce of the same country; but the spicery was undoubtedly brought farther from the east. These circumstances are adverted to, to show how extensive was the communication, in which the Arabians formed the principal link: and that in the earliest ages of which we have any account, in those of Joseph, of Moses, of Isaiah, and of Ezekiel, “the mingled people” inhabiting the vast Arabian deserts, the Cushites, Ishmaelites, and Midianites, were the chief agents in that commercial intercourse which has, from the most remote period of antiquity, subsisted between the extreme east and west. And although the current of trade is now turned, caravans of merchants, the descendants of these people, may still be found traversing the same deserts, conveying the same articles, and in the same manner as described by Moses!

The singular and important fact that Arabia has never been conquered, has already been cursorily adverted to. But Mr. Gibbon, unwilling to pass by an opportunity of cavilling at revelation, says, “The perpetual independence of the Arabs has been the theme of praise among strangers and natives; and the arts of controversy transform this singular event into a prophecy and a miracle in favour of the posterity of Ishmael. Some exceptions, that can neither be dissembled nor eluded, render this mode of reasoning as indiscreet as it is superfluous. The kingdom of Yemen has been successively subdued by the Abyssinians, the Persians, the Sultans of Egypt, and the Turks; the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have repeatedly bowed under a Scythian tyrant; and the Roman province of Arabia embraced the peculiar wilderness in which Ishmael and his sons must have pitched their tents in the face of their brethren.” But this learned writer has, with a peculiar infelicity, annulled his own argument; and we have only to follow on the above passage, to obtain a complete refutation of the unworthy position with which it begins: “Yet these exceptions,” says Mr. Gibbon, “are temporary or local; the body of the nation has escaped the yoke of the most powerful monarchies: the arms of Sesostris and Cyrus, of Pompey, and Trajan, could never achieve the conquest of Arabia; the present sovereign of the Turks may exercise a shadow of jurisdiction, but his pride is reduced to solicit the friendship of a people whom it is dangerous to provoke, and fruitless to attack. The obvious causes of their freedom are inscribed on the character and country of the Arabs. Many ages before Mohammed, their intrepid valour had been severely felt by their neighbours, in offensive 78and defensive war. The patient and active virtues of a soldier are insensibly nursed in the habits and discipline of a pastoral life. The care of the sheep and camels is abandoned to the women of the tribe; but the martial youth, under the banner of the emir, is ever on horseback and in the field, to practise the exercise of the bow, the javelin, and the scimitar. The long memory of their independence is the firmest pledge of its perpetuity; and succeeding generations are animated to prove their descent, and to maintain their inheritance. Their domestic feuds are suspended on the approach of a common enemy; and in their last hostilities against the Turks, the caravan of Mecca was attacked and pillaged by four score thousand of the confederates. When they advance to battle, the hope of victory is in the front, in the rear the assurance of a retreat. Their horses and camels, who in eight or ten days can perform a march of four or five hundred miles, disappear before the conqueror; the secret waters of the desert elude his search; and his victorious troops are consumed with thirst, hunger, and fatigue, in the pursuit of an invisible foe, who scorns his efforts, and safely reposes in the heart of the burning solitude. The arms and deserts of the Bedouins are not only the safeguards of their own freedom, but the barriers also of the happy Arabia, whose inhabitants, remote from war, are enervated by the luxury of the soil and climate. The legions of Augustus melted away in disease and lassitude; and it is only by a naval power that the reduction of Yemen has been successfully attempted. When Mohammed erected his holy standard, that kingdom was a province of the Persian empire; yet seven princes of the Homerites still reigned in the mountains; and the vicegerent of Chosroes was tempted to forget his distant country and his unfortunate master.”

Yemen was the only Arabian province which had the appearance of submitting to a foreign yoke; but even here, as Mr. Gibbon himself acknowledges, seven of the native princes remained unsubdued: and even admitting its subjugation to have been complete, the perpetual independence of the Ishmaelites remains unimpeached. For this is not their country. Petra, the capital of the Stony Arabia, and the principal settlement of the Nabathæi, it is true, was long in the hands of the Persians and Romans; but this never made them masters of the country. Hovering troops of Arabs confined the intruders within their walls, and cut off their supplies; and the possession of this fortress gave as little reason to the Romans to exult as the conquerors of Arabia Petræa, as that of Gibraltar does to us to boast of the conquest of Spain.

The Arabian tribes were confounded by the Greeks and Romans under the indiscriminate appellation of Saracens; a name whose etymology has been variously, but never satisfactorily, explained. This was their general name when Mohammed appeared in the beginning of the seventh century. Their religion at this time was Sabianism, or the worship of the sun, moon, &c; variously transformed by the different tribes, and intermingled with some Jewish and Christian maxims and traditions. The tribes themselves were generally at variance, from some hereditary and implacable animosities; and their only warfare consisted in desultory skirmishes arising out of these feuds, and in their predatory excursions, where superiority of numbers rendered courage of less value than activity and vigilance. Yet of such materials Mohammed constructed a mighty empire; converted the relapsed Ishmaelites into good Musselmen; united the jarring tribes under one banner; supplied what was wanting in personal courage by the ardour of religious zeal; and out of a banditti, little known and little feared beyond their own deserts, raised an armed multitude, which proved the scourge of the world.

Mohammed was born in the year 569, of the noble tribe of the Koreish, and descended, according to eastern historians, in a direct line from Ishmael. His person is represented as beautiful, his manners engaging, and his eloquence powerful; but he was illiterate, like the rest of his countrymen, and indebted to a Jewish or Christian scribe for penning his Koran. Whatever the views of Mohammed might have been in the earlier part of his life, it was not till the fortieth year of his age that he avowed his mission as the Apostle of God: when so little credit did he gain for his pretensions, that in the first three years he could only number fourteen converts; and even at the end of ten years his labours and his friends were alike confined within the walls of Mecca, when the designs of his enemies compelled him to fly to Medina, where he was favourably received by a party of the most considerable inhabitants, who had recently imbibed his doctrines at Mecca. This flight, or Hegira, was made the Mohammedan æra, from which time is computed, and corresponds with the 16th of July, 622, of the Christian æra. Mohammed now found himself sufficiently powerful to throw aside all reserve; declared that he was commanded to compel unbelievers by the sword to receive the faith of one God, and his prophet Mohammed; and confirming his credulous followers by the threats of eternal pain on the one hand, and the allurements of a sensual paradise on the other, he had, before his death, which happened in the year 632, gained over the whole of Arabia to his imposture. His death threw a temporary gloom over his cause, and the disunion of his followers threatened its extinction. Any other empire placed in the same circumstances would have crumbled to pieces; but the Arabs felt their power; they revered their founder as the chosen prophet of God; and their ardent temperament, animated by a religious enthusiasm, gave an earnest of future success, and encouraged the zeal or the ambition of their leaders. The succession, after some bloodshed, was settled, and unnumbered hordes of barbarians were ready to carry into execution the sanguinary dictates of their prophet; and, with “the Koran, tribute, or death,” as their motto, to invade the countries of the 79infidels. During the whole of the succeeding century, their rapid career was unchecked; the disciplined armies of the Greeks and Romans were unable to stand against them; the Christian churches of Asia and Africa were annihilated; and from India to the Atlantic, through Persia, Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Asia Minor, Egypt, with the whole of northern Africa, Spain, and part of France, the impostor was acknowledged. Constantinople was besieged; Rome itself was plundered; and nothing less than the subjection of the whole Christian world was meditated on the one hand and tremblingly expected on the other.

All this was wonderful; but the avenging justice of an incensed Deity, and the sure word of prophecy, relieve our astonishment. It was to punish an apostate race, that the Saracen locusts were let loose upon the earth; and the countries which they were permitted to ravage were those in which the pure light of revelation had been most abused. The eastern church was sunk in gross idolatry; vice and wickedness prevailed in their worst forms; and those who still called themselves Christians trusted more to images, relics, altars, austerities, and pilgrimages, than to a crucified Saviour.

About a hundred and eighty years from the foundation of Bagdad, during which period the power of the Saracens had gradually declined, a dreadful reaction took place in the conquered countries. The Persians on the east, and the Greeks on the west, were simultaneously roused from their long thraldom, and, assisted by the Turks, who, issuing from the plains of Tartary, now for the first time made their appearance in the east, extinguished the power of the caliphate, and virtually put an end to the Arabian monarchy in the year 936. A succession of nominal caliphs continued to the year 1258: but the provinces were lost; their power was confined to the walls of their capital; and they were in real subjection to the Turks and the Persians until the above year, when Mostacem, the last of the Abbassides, was dethroned and murdered by Holagou, or Hulaku, the Tartar, the grandson of Zingis. This event, although it terminated the foreign dominion of the Arabians, left their native independence untouched. They were no longer, indeed, the masters of the finest parts of the three great divisions of the ancient world: their work was finished; and returning to the state in which Mohammed found them three centuries before, with the exception of the change in their religion, they remained, and still remain, the unconquered rovers of the desert.

It is not the least singular circumstance in the history of this extraordinary people, that those who, in the enthusiasm of their first successes, were the sworn foes of literature, should become for several ages its exclusive patrons. Almansor, the founder of Bagdad, has the merit of first exciting this spirit, which was encouraged in a still greater degree by his grandson Almamon. This caliph employed his agents in Armenia, Syria, Egypt, and at Constantinople, in collecting the most celebrated works on Grecian science, and had them translated into the Arabic language. Philosophy, astronomy, geometry, and medicine, were thus introduced and taught; public schools were established; and learning, which had altogether fled from Europe, found an asylum on the banks of the Tigris. Nor was this spirit confined to the capital: native works began to appear; and by the hands of copyists were multiplied out of number, for the information of the studious, or the pride of the wealthy. The rage for literature extended to Egypt and to Spain. In the former country, the Fatimites collected a library of a hundred thousand manuscripts, beautifully transcribed, and very elegantly bound; and in the latter, the Ommiades formed another of six hundred thousand volumes; forty-four of which were employed in the catalogue. Their capital, Cordova, with the towns of Malaga, Almeria, and Murcia, produced three hundred writers; and seventy public libraries were established in the cities of Andalusia. What a change since the days of Omar, when the splendid library of the Ptolemies was wantonly destroyed by the same people! A retribution, though a slight one, was thus made for their former devastations; and many Grecian works, lost in the original, have been recovered in their Arabic dress. Neither was this learning confined to mere parade, though much of it must undoubtedly have been so. Their proficiency in astronomy and geometry is attested by their astronomical tables, and by the accuracy with which, in the plain of Chaldea, a degree of the great circle of the earth was measured. But it was in medicine that, in this dark age, the Arabians shone most: the works of Hippocrates and Galen had been translated and commented on; their physicians were sought after by the princes of Asia and Europe; and the names of Rhazis, Albucasis, and Avicenna are still revered by the members of the healing art. So little, indeed, did the physicians of Europe in that age know of the history of their own science, that they were astonished, on the revival of learning, to find in the ancient Greek authors those systems for which they thought themselves indebted to the Arabians!

The last remnant of Arabian science was found in Spain; from whence it was expelled in the beginning of the seventeenth century, by the intemperate bigots of that country, who have never had any thing of their own with which to supply its place. The Arabians are the only people who have preserved their descent, their independence, their language, and their manners and customs, from the earliest ages to the present times; and it is among them that we are to look for examples of patriarchal life and manners. A very lively sketch of this mode of life is given by Sir R. K. Porter, in the person and tribe of an Arab sheik, whom he encountered in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates. “I had met this warrior,” says Sir R. K. P., “at the house of the British resident at Bagdad; and came, according to his repeated wish, to see him in a place more consonant with his habits, the tented field; and, as he expressed it, ‘at the head of his children.’ 80As soon as we arrived in sight of his camp, we were met by crowds of its inhabitants, who, with a wild and hurrying delight, led us toward the tent of their chief. The venerable old man came forth to the door, attended by his subjects of all sizes and descriptions, and greeted us with a countenance beaming kindness; while his words, which our interpreter explained, were demonstrative of patriarchal welcome. One of my Hindoo troopers spoke Arabic; hence the substance of our succeeding discourse was not lost on each other. Having entered, I sat down by my host; and the whole of the persons present, to far beyond the boundaries of the tent, (the sides of which were open,) seated themselves also, without any regard to those more civilized ceremonies of subjection, the crouching of slaves, or the standing of vassalage. These persons, in rows beyond rows, appeared just as he had described, the offspring of his house, the descendants of his fathers, from age to age; and like brethren, whether holding the highest or the lowest rank, they seemed to gather round their common parent. But perhaps their sense of perfect equality in the mind of their chief could not be more forcibly shown, than in the share they took in the objects which appeared to interest his feelings; and as I looked from the elders or leaders of the people, seated immediately around him, to the circles beyond circles of brilliant faces, bending eagerly toward him and his guest, (all, from the most respectably clad to those with hardly a garment covering their active limbs, earnest to evince some attention to the stranger he bade welcome,) I thought I had never before seen so complete an assemblage of fine and animated countenances, both old and young: nor could I suppose a better specimen of the still existing state of the true Arab; nor a more lively picture of the scene which must have presented itself, ages ago, in the fields of Haran, when Terah sat in his tent door, surrounded by his sons, and his sons’ sons, and the people born in his house. The venerable Arabian sheik was also seated on the ground with a piece of carpet spread under him; and, like his ancient Chaldean ancestor, turned to the one side and the other, graciously answering or questioning the groups around him, with an interest in them all which clearly showed the abiding simplicity of his government, and their obedience. On the smallest computation, such must have been the manners of these people for more than three thousand years; thus, in all things, verifying the prediction given of Ishmael at his birth, that he, in his posterity, should ‘be a wild man,’ and always continue to be so, though ‘he shall dwell for ever in the presence of his brethren.’ And that an acute and active people, surrounded for ages by polished and luxurious nations, should from their earliest to their latest times, be still found a wild people, dwelling in the presence of all their brethren, (as we may call these nations,) unsubdued and unchangeable, is, indeed, a standing miracle: one of those mysterious facts which establish the truth of prophecy.” But although the manners of the Arabians have remained unaltered through so many ages, and will probably so continue, their religion, as we have seen, has sustained an important change; and must again, in the fulness of time, give place to a faith more worthy of the people.

St. Paul first preached the Gospel in Arabia, Gal. i, 17. Christian churches were subsequently founded, and many of their tribes embraced Christianity prior to the fifth century; most of which appear to have been tinctured with the Nestorian heresy. At this time, however, it does not appear that the Arabians had any version of the Scriptures in their own language, to which some writers attribute the ease with which they were drawn into the Mohammedan delusion; while the “Greeks, Syrians, Armenians, Abyssinians, Copts, and others,” who enjoyed that privilege, were able to resist it.

ARAM, the fifth son of Shem, Gen. x, 22. He was the father of the Syrians, who from him were called Aramæans, or Aramites.

ARARAT, a mountain of Asia, in Armenia, on which the ark of Noah rested after the cessation of the deluge. Concerning the etymology of the name, Dr. Bryant observes, that it is a compound of Ar-Arat, and signifies “the mountain of descent,” being equivalent to הר־ירר, of the Hebrews. Of the precise situation of this mountain, different accounts have been given. Some have supposed that it was one of the mountains which divide Armenia on the south from Mesopotamia, and that part of Assyria inhabited by the Curds, from whom those mountains took the name of Curdue, or Cardu; by the Greeks denominated Gordyæi. It is called by the Arabs Al-Judi, and also Thamanin. In confirmation of this opinion, it is alleged that the remains of the ark were to be seen on these mountains; and it is said, that Berosus and Abydenus both declare, that such a report existed in their time. Epiphanius pretends, if we may credit his assertion, that the relics of the ark were to be seen in his day; and we are farther told, that the emperor Heraclius went from the town of Thamanin, up the mountain Al-Judi, and saw the place of the ark. Others maintain, that mount Ararat was situated toward the middle of Armenia, near the river Araxes, or Aras, about twelve miles from it, according to Tournefort, above two hundred and eighty miles distant from Al-Judi, to the north-east. Ararat seems to be a part of that vast chain of mountains called Caucasus and Taurus; and upon these mountains, and in the adjacent country, were preserved more authentic accounts of the ark than in almost any other part of the world. The region about Ararat, called Araratia, was esteemed among the ancients as nearly a central part of the earth; and it is certainly as well calculated as any other for the accommodation of its first inhabitants, and for the migration of colonies, upon the increase of mankind. The soil of the country was very fruitful, and especially of that part where the patriarch made his first descent. The country also was very high, though it had fine plains and valleys 81between the mountains. Such a country, therefore, must, after the flood, have been the soonest exsiccated, and, consequently, the soonest habitable.

The mountain which has still the name of Ararat, has retained it through all ages. Tournefort has particularly described it, and from his account it seems to consist chiefly of freestone, or calcareous sandstone. It is a detached mountain in form of a sugar loaf, in the midst of a very extensive plain, consisting of two summits; the lesser, more sharp and pointed; the higher, which is that of the ark, lies north-west of it, and raises its head far above the neighbouring mountains, and is covered with perpetual snow. When the air is clear, it does not appear to be above two leagues from Erivan, and may be seen at the distance of four or five days’ journey. Its being visible at such a distance, however, is ascribed not so much to its height, as to its lonely situation, in a large plain, and upon the most elevated part of the country. The ascent is difficult and fatiguing. Tournefort attempted it; and, after a whole day’s toil, he was obliged, by the snow and intense cold, to return without accomplishing his design, though in the middle of summer. On the side of the mountain that looks toward Erivan, is a prodigious precipice, very deep, with perpendicular sides, and of a rough, black appearance, as if tinged with smoke.

The summit of Ararat has never been reached, though several attempts have been made; and if the ark rested on the summit, it is certain that those who have spoken of its fragments being seen there in different ages, must have been imposed upon. It is, however, not necessary to suppose that the ark rested upon either of its tops; and that spot would certainly be chosen which would afford the greatest facility of descent. Sir Robert Ker Porter is among the modern travellers who have given us an account of this celebrated mountain:--“As the vale opened beneath us in our descent, my whole attention became absorbed in the view before me. A vast plain, peopled with countless villages; the towers and spires of the churches of Eitch-mai-adzen, arising from amidst them; the glittering waters of the Araxes, flowing through the fresh green of the vale; and the subordinate range of mountains, skirting the base of the awful monument of the antediluvian world. It seemed to stand a stupendous link in the history of man, uniting the two races of men before and after the flood. But it was not until we had arrived upon the flat plain, that I beheld Ararat in all its amplitude of grandeur. From the spot on which I stood, it appeared as if the hugest mountains of the world had been piled upon each other, to form this one sublime immensity of earth, and rock, and snow. The icy peaks of its double heads rose majestically into the clear and cloudless heavens; the sun blazed bright upon them; and the reflection sent forth a dazzling radiance, equal to other suns. This point of the view united the utmost grandeur of plain and height. But the feelings I experienced while looking on the mountain, are hardly to be described. My eye, not able to rest for any length of time upon the blinding glory of its summits, wandered down the apparently interminable sides, till I could no longer trace their vast lines in the mists of the horizon; when an inexpressible impulse, immediately carrying my eye upward again, refixed my gaze upon the awful glare of Ararat; and this bewildered sensibility of sight being answered by a similar feeling in the mind, for some moments I was lost in a strange suspension of the powers of thought.”

The separate peaks are called Great and Little Ararat, and the space between them is about seven miles. “These inaccessible summits,” continues Sir R. K. Porter, “have never been trodden by the foot of man since the days of Noah, if even then; for my idea is, that the ark rested in the space between these heads, and not on the top of either. Various attempts have been made in different ages to ascend these tremendous mountain-pyramids, but in vain: their form, snows, and glaciers, are insurmountable obstacles: the distance being so great from the commencement of the icy region to the highest points, cold alone would be the destruction of any person who should have the hardihood to persevere. On viewing mount Ararat from the northern side of the plain, its two heads are separated by a wide cleft, or rather glen, in the body of the mountain. The rocky side of the greater head runs almost perpendicularly down to the north-east, while the lesser head rises from the sloping bottom of the cleft, in a perfectly conical shape. Both heads are covered with snow. The form of the greater is similar to the less, only broader and rounder at the top; and shows to the north-west a broken and abrupt front, opening, about half way down, into a stupendous chasm, deep, rocky, and peculiarly black. At that part of the mountain, the hollow of the chasm receives an interruption from the projection of minor mountains, which start from the sides of Ararat like branches from the root of a tree, and run along, in undulating progression, till lost in the distant vapours of the plain.” Dr. Shuckford argues that the true Ararat lies among the mountains of the north of India; but Mr. Faber has answered his reasoning, and proved by a comparison of geographical notices incidentally mentioned in the Old Testament, that the Ararat of Armenia is the true Ararat.

ARCHANGEL, according to some, means an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestial order or hierarchy; but others reckon it a title only applicable to our Saviour; Jude 9; Dan. xii, 1; 1 Thess. iv, 16. On this point Bishop Horsley has the following observations:--“It has been for a long time a fashion in the church to speak very frequently and familiarly of archangels as beings of an order with which we are perfectly well acquainted. Some say there are seven of them. Upon what solid ground that assertion stands, I know not; but this I know, the word ‘archangel’ is not to be found in any one passage of the Old Testament: in the New Testament it occurs twice, 82and only twice. One of the two passages is in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians; where the Apostle, among the circumstances of the pomp of our Lord’s descent from heaven to the final judgment, mentions ‘the voice of the archangel;’ the other passage is in the Epistle of St. Jude, where the title of archangel is coupled with the name of ‘Michael the archangel.’ This passage is so remarkably obscure that I shall not attempt to draw any conclusion from it but this, which manifestly follows, be the particular sense of the passage what it may: since this is one of the two texts in which alone the word ‘archangel’ is found in the whole Bible; since in this one text only the title of archangel is coupled with any name; and since the name with which it is here coupled is Michael; it follows undeniably that the archangel Michael is the only archangel of whom we know any thing from holy writ. It cannot be proved from holy writ, and, if not from holy writ, it cannot be proved at all, that any archangel exists but the one archangel Michael, and this one archangel Michael is unquestionably the Michael of the book of Daniel.

“I must observe by the way, with respect to the import of the title of archangel, that the word, by etymology, clearly implies a superiority of rank and authority in the person to whom it is applied. It implies a command over angels; and this is all that the word of necessity implies. But it follows not, by any sound rule of argument, that, because no other superiority than that of rank and authority is implied in the title, no other belongs to the person distinguished by the title, and that he is in all other respects a mere angel. Since we admit various orders of intelligent beings, it is evident that a being highly above the angelic order may command angels.

“To ascertain, if we can, to what order of beings the archangel Michael may belong, let us see how he is described by the Prophet Daniel, who never mentions him by that title; and what action is attributed to him in the book of Daniel and in another book, in which he bears a principal part.

“Now Daniel calls him ‘one of the chief princes,‘ or ‘one of the capital princes,’ or ‘one of the princes that are at the head of all:’ for this I maintain to be the full and not more than the full import of the Hebrew words. Now we are clearly got above the earth, into the order of celestials, who are the princes that are first, or at the head of all? Are they any other than the three persons in the Godhead? Michael, therefore, is one of them; but which of them? This is not left in doubt. Gabriel, speaking of him to Daniel, calls him ‘Michael your prince,’ and ‘the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people;‘ that is, not for the nation of the Jews in particular, but for the children, the spiritual children, of that holy seed the elect people of God; a description which applies particularly to the Son of God, and to no one else; and in perfect consistence with this description of Michael in the book of Daniel, is the action assigned to him in the Apocalypse, in which we find him fighting with the old serpent, the deceiver of the world, and victorious in the combat. That combat who was to maintain? in that combat who was to be victorious, but the seed of the woman? From all this it is evident, that Michael is a name for our Lord himself, in his particular character of the champion of his faithful people, against the violence of the apostate faction and the wiles of the devil.” To this opinion there is nothing irreconcilable in the “voice of the archangel” mentioned in 1 Thess. iv, 16: since the “shout,” the “voice,” the “trump of God,” may all be the majestic summons of the Judge himself. At the same time we must feel that the reasoning of Bishop Horsley, though ingenious, is for from being conclusive against the existence of one or more archangels.

ARCHBISHOP, a bishop of the first class, who superintends the conduct of other bishops. Archbishops were not known in the east till about the year 320; and though there were some soon after this, who had the title, yet it was only a personal honour, by which the bishops of considerable cities were distinguished. It was not till of late that archbishops became metropolitans, and had suffragans under them. Athanasius appears to have been the first who used the title archbishop, which he gave occasionally to his predecessor. Gregory Nazianzen, in like manner, gave it to Athanasius; not that either of them was entitled to any jurisdiction, or even any precedency, in virtue of this title. Among the Latins, Isidore Hispalensis is the first who speaks of archbishops.

ARCHELAUS, son of Herod the Great, and Maltace, his fifth wife. Herod having put to death his sons Alexander, Aristobulus, and Antipater, and expunged out of his will Herod Antipas, whom he had declared king, he substituted Archelaus, and gave Antipas the title of tetrarch only. After the death of Herod, Archelaus ordered that king’s will to be read, wherein he, Archelaus, was declared king, on condition that Augustus consented. Hereupon the assembly cried, “Long live king Archelaus!” and the soldiers promised the same fidelity to him as they had shown to his father. Archelaus buried his father magnificently, came to Jerusalem, and there mourned seven days, according to custom. He then gave a splendid entertainment to the people, went to the temple, harangued the multitude, promised them good treatment, and declared he would not assume the title of king till the emperor had confirmed it, A. M. 4001; B. C. 3. The people, notwithstanding, tumultuously demanded the execution of those who advised Herod to slay certain zealots, who had pulled down a golden eagle from one of the temple gates. They also required Archelaus to divest Joazar of the high priesthood; and they vehemently reproached the memory of the late king. Archelaus sent troops to suppress the mutineers, and killed near three thousand of them about the temple. After this he embarked at Cæsarea for Rome, to procure from Augustus the confirmation of Herod’s will. Antipas, his 83brother, went to Rome likewise, to dispute his title, pretending that Herod’s first will should be preferred to his last, which he alleged to have been made by him when his understanding was not sound.

The two brothers, Archelaus and Antipas, procured able orators to display their pretensions before the emperor; and when they had done speaking, Archelaus threw himself at Augustus’s feet. Augustus gently raised him, said he would do nothing contrary to Herod’s intention or his interest, but refused to decide the affair at that time. Some time afterward, the Jews sent a solemn embassy to Rome, to desire Augustus would permit them to live according to their own laws, and on the footing of a Roman province, without being subject to kings of Herod’s family, but only to the governors of Syria. Augustus heard them, and likewise heard Archelaus in reply; then broke up the assembly without declaring himself. After some days, he sent for Archelaus, gave him the title, not of king, but of ethnarch, with one moiety of the territories which his father Herod had enjoyed; promising him the crown likewise, if his good conduct deserved it. Archelaus returned to Judea, and, under pretence that he had countenanced the seditious against him, he deprived Joazar of the high priesthood, and gave that dignity to his brother Eleazar. He governed Judea with so much violence, that, after seven years, the chiefs of the Samaritans and Jews accused him before Augustus. The emperor immediately sent for his agent at Rome, and without condescending to write to Archelaus he commanded the agent to depart instantly for Judea, and order Archelaus to Rome, to give an account of his conduct. On his arrival at Rome, the emperor called for his accusers, and permitted him to defend himself; which he did so insufficiently, that Augustus banished him to Vienne, in Gaul, where he continued in exile to the end of his life. See Antipas.

ARCHI-SYNAGOGUS, the ruler of a synagogue. See Synagogue.

ARCHITRICLINUS, ἀρχιτρίκλινος, generally translated steward, signifies rather the master or superintendent of the feast; “one,” says Gaudentius, “who is the husband’s friend, and commissioned to conduct the order and economy of the feast.” He gave directions to the servants, superintended every thing, commanded the tables to be covered, or to be cleared of the dishes, as he thought proper: whence his name, as regulator of the triclinium, or festive board. He also tasted the wine, and distributed it to the guests. The author of Ecclesiasticus thus describes this office, xxxii, 1, 2: “If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest: take diligent care of them, and so sit down. And when thou hast done all thy office, take thy place, that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown for the well ordering of the feast.” This office is mentioned, John ii, 8, 9, upon which Theophylact remarks: “That no one might suspect that their taste was vitiated by having drunk to excess, so as not to know water from wine, our Saviour orders it to be first carried to the governor of the feast, who certainly was sober; for those who on such occasions are intrusted with this office, observe the strictest sobriety, that they may be able properly to regulate the whole.”

AREOPAGUS, the high court at Athens, famed for the justice of its decisions; and so called, because it sat on a hill of the same name, or in the suburbs of the city, dedicated to Mars, the god of war, as the city was to Minerva, his sister. St. Paul, Acts xvii, 19, &c, having preached at Athens, was carried before the Areopagites, as “a setter forth of strange gods.” On this occasion he delivered that fine sermon which is in substance recorded in Acts xvii. Dionysius, one of the judges, was converted; and the Apostle was dismissed without any farther trouble.

ARGOB, a canton lying beyond Jordan, in the half tribe of Manasseh, and in the country of Bashan, one of the most fruitful on the other side of Jordan. In the region of Argob there were sixty cities, called Bashan-havoth-Jair, which had very high walls and strong gates, without reckoning many villages and hamlets, which were not inclosed, Deut. iii, 4–14; 1 Kings iv, 13. But Argob was more peculiarly the name of the capital city of the region of Argob, which Eusebius says was fifteen miles west of Gerara.

ARIANS, this ancient sect, was unquestionably so called from Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, in the early part of the fourth century. It is said that he aspired to episcopal honours; and after the death of Achilles, in A. D. 313, felt not a little chagrined that Alexander should be preferred before him. Whether this circumstance had any influence on his opinions, it is impossible to say; but one day, when his rival (Alexander) had been addressing the clergy in favour of the orthodox doctrine, and maintaining, in strong and pointed language, “that the Son of God was co-eternal, co-essential, and co-equal with the Father,” Arius considered this as a species of Sabellianism, and ventured to say, that it was inconsistent and impossible, since the Father, who begat, must be before the Son, who was begotten: the latter, therefore, could not be absolutely eternal. Alexander at first admonished Arius, and endeavoured to convince him of his error; but without effect, except that he became the more bold in contradiction. Some of the clergy thought their bishop too forbearing, and it is possible he felt his inferiority of talent; for Arius was a man of accomplished learning, and commanding eloquence; venerable in person, and fascinating in address. At length Alexander was roused, and attempted to silence Arius by his authority; but this not succeeding, as the latter was bold and pertinacious, Alexander, about the year 320, called a council of his clergy, by whom the reputed heretic was deposed and excommunicated. Arius now retired into Palestine, where his talents and address soon made a number of converts; and among the rest, the celebrated Eusebius, bishop 84of Nicomedia, and other bishops and clergy of those parts, who assembled in council, and received the excommunicated presbyter into their communion. Eusebius also, having great interest with Constantia, the sister of Constantine, and wife of Licinius, recommended Arius to her protection and patronage; through which, and by his own eloquent letters to the clergy in various parts, his system spread with great rapidity, and to a vast extent. The emperor Constantine, who had no great skill in these matters, was grieved to see the Christian church (but just escaped from the red dragon of persecution) thus torn by intestine animosity and dissensions; he therefore determined to summon a general council of the clergy, which met at Nice, A. D. 325, and contained more than 300 bishops. Constantine attended in person, and strongly recommended peace and unanimity. Athanasius was the chief opponent of the Arians. Both parties were willing to subscribe to the language of the Scriptures, but each insisted on interpreting for themselves. “Did the Trinitarians,” says Mr. Milner, “assert that Christ was God? The Arians allowed it, but in the same sense as holy men and angels are styled gods in Scripture. Did they affirm that he was truly God? The others allowed that he was made so by God. Did they affirm that the Son was naturally of God? It was granted: Even we, said they, are of God, ‘of whom are all things.’” At length the Athanasians collected a number of texts, which they conceived amounted to full proof of the Son being of one and the same substance with the Father; the Arians admitted he was of like substance, the difference in the Greek phrases being only in a single letter,--ὁμοούσιος, homoousios and ὁμοιούσιος, homoiousios. At length the former was decreed to be the orthodox faith, and the Nicene creed was framed as it remains at this day so far as concerns the person of the Son of God, who is said to be “begotten of his Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made,” &c.

Arius was now excommunicated. The sentence of the council pronounced against him and his associates was followed by another of the emperor, whereby the excommunicated persons were condemned to banishment, that they might be debarred the society of their countrymen whom the church had judged unworthy to remain in her communion. Soon after which, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nice, being found to continue their countenance and protection to the Arian cause, to communicate with those whom they had anathematized, and to concur in those sentiments which they had condemned by their subscriptions; they were both subjected to the same penalty of exile by the emperor, and were actually deposed, (as we learn from Athanasius,) and had successors ordained to their sees, though history is silent as to the council by which this was done. But such was the good nature and credulity of Constantine, that these men, by their usual artifices, easily imposed upon him, and brought him to such a full persuasion of their agreement with the Nicene faith, that in about three years’ time they were not only recalled from banishment, but restored to their sees, and to a considerable degree of interest at court. Their thorough attachment to the cause of Arius, and their hatred of Athanasius, who had so vigorously withstood them in the council, and was now advanced to the see of Alexandria, made them watchful of every opportunity to defeat the decisions of the council.

In the meantime one who wished well to their designs, and whom Constantia had upon her death bed recommended to the emperor, did so far prevail upon the easy credulity of Constantine, by complaining that Arius had been misrepresented, and differed nothing in his sentiments from the Nicene fathers, that the indulgent emperor recalled him from his banishment, and required him to exhibit in writing, a confession of his faith. He did this in such terms as, though they admitted of a latent reservation, yet bore the appearance of being entirely catholic; and therefore not only gave satisfaction to the emperor, but even offended some of his own followers, who from that time forth separated from him. The discerning Athanasius was not so easily imposed upon as Constantine; but, well assured of the heretic’s prevarication, was resolute in refusing to admit him to communion, whom the Nicene council had so openly condemned. Upon this the emperor sent for Arius to Constantinople, and insisted upon his being received into communion, by Alexander, bishop of that city. However, on the day before this was to have taken place, Arius died suddenly from a complaint in his bowels. Some attributed this to poison; others to the judgment of God. The emperor did not long survive; and Constantius, his successor, became warmly attached to the Arian cause, as were all the court party. Successive emperors took different sides, and thus was the peace of the church agitated for many years, and practical religion sacrificed alternately to the dogmas or the interests of one party or the other; and each was in turn excommunicated, fined, imprisoned, or banished. Constantius supported Arianism triumphantly, Julian laughed at both parties, but persecuted neither, Jovian supported the Nicene doctrine. Valentinian, and his brother Valens, took contrary sides; the former supporting Athanasianism in the west, and the latter Arianism in the east; so that what was orthodoxy at Rome was heresy at Constantinople, and vice versa. The Arians themselves were not unanimous, but divided into various shades of sentiment, under their respective leaders; as Eusebians, Eudoxians, Acasians, Aëtians, &c; but the more general distinction was into Arians and Semi-Arians; the former sinking the character of the Son of God into that of a mere creature, while the latter admitted every thing but the homoousian doctrine, or his absolute equality with the Father. After this period we hear little of Arianism, till it was revived in England in the beginning of the last century by the eccentric Mr. Whiston, by Mr. Emlyn, and 85Dr. Samuel Clarke. The latter was what may be called a high or Semi-Arian, who came within a shade of orthodoxy; the two former were low Arians, reducing the rank of our Saviour to the scale of angelic beings--a creature “made out of nothing.” Since this time, however, both Arians and Socinians are sunk into the common appellation of Unitarians, or rather Humanitarians, who believe our Saviour (as Dr. Priestley expresses it) to be “a man like themselves.” The last advocates of the pure Arian doctrine, of any celebrity, were Mr. Henry Taylor, (under the signature of Ben Mordecai,) and Dr. Richard Price, in his “Sermons on the Christian Doctrine.” It may be proper to observe, that the Arians, though they denied the absolute eternity of the Son, strongly contended for his preëxistence, as the Logos, or the Word of God, “by whom the worlds were made;” and admitted, more or less explicitly, the sacrifice which he offered for sin upon the cross.

ARIEL, the capital city of Moab, frequently mentioned in Scripture, Ezra viii, 16. See Moab.

ARIMATHEA, or RAMAH, now called Ramlè, or Ramla, a pleasant town, beautifully situated on the borders of a fertile and extensive plain, abounding in gardens, vineyards, olive and date trees. It stands about thirty miles north-west of Jerusalem, on the high road to Jaffa. At this Rama, which was likewise called Ramathaim Zophim, as lying in the district of Zuph, or Zoph, Samuel was born, 1 Sam. i. This was likewise the native place of Joseph, called Joseph of Arimathea, who begged and obtained the body of Jesus from Pilate, Matt. xxvi, 57. There was another Ramah, about six miles north of Jerusalem, in a pass which separated the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, which Baasha, king of Israel, took and began to fortify; but he was obliged to relinquish it, in consequence of the alliance formed between Asa, king of Judah, and Benhadad, king of Syria, 1 Kings xv. This is the Ramah, supposed to be alluded to in the lamentation of Rachel for her children.

ARISTARCHUS, spoken of by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians, iv, 10, and often mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. He was a Macedonian, and a native of Thessalonica. He accompanied St. Paul to Ephesus, and there continued with him during the two years of his abode in that place, sharing with him in all the dangers and labours of the ministry, Acts xix, 29; xx, 4; xxvii, 2. He was near losing his life in a tumult raised by the Ephesian silversmiths. He left Ephesus with the Apostle, and went with him into Greece. From thence he attended him into Asia; from Asia into Judea, and from Judea to Rome.

ARK, arca, denotes a kind of floating vessel built by Noah, for the preservation of himself and family, with several species of animals during the deluge. The Hebrew word by which the ark is expressed, is תבה or תיבה, the constructive form of תבה, which is evidently the Greek θίβη; and so the LXX render the word in Exod. ii, 3, where only it again occurs. They also render it κιβωτὸν; Josephus, λαρνάκα; and the Vulgate, arcam; signifying an ark, coffer, or chest. Although the ark of Noah answered, in some respects, the purpose of a ship, it is not so certain that it was of the same form and shape. It has been inconclusively argued by Michaelis and some others, that if its form had not been like that of a ship, it could not have resisted the force of the waves; because it was not intended to be conducted, like a ship, from one place to another, but merely “to float on the surface of the waters,” Gen. vii, 17. It appears to have had neither helm, nor mast, nor oars; but was merely a bulky capacious vessel, light enough to be raised aloft with all its contents, by the gradual rise of the deluge. Its shape, therefore, was of little importance; more especially as it seems to have been the purpose of Providence, in this whole transaction, to signify to those who were saved, as well as to their latest posterity, that their preservation was not in any degree effected by human contrivance. The ark in which Moses was exposed bears the same name; and some have thought that both were of the same materials. With respect to the etymology of the Hebrew word, the most rational seems to be that of Clodius, who derives it from the Arabic word תאה, “he collected,” from which is formed תבה, or תיבה, denoting a place in which things are collected. Foster deduces it from two Egyptian words, thoi, “a ship,” and bai, “a palm tree branch”; and such ships are still to be seen not only in Egypt, but in India and other countries; particularly in some isles of the Pacific Ocean.

To the insufficiency of the ark to contain all the creatures said to have been brought into it, objections have, at different times, been made. Bishop Wilkins and others have learnedly discussed this subject, and afforded the most satisfactory answers. Dr. Hales proves the ark to have been of the burden of forty-two thousand four hundred and thirteen tons; and asks, “Can we doubt of its being sufficient to contain eight persons, and about two hundred or two hundred and fifty pair of four-footed animals, (a number to which, according to M. Buffon, all the various distinct species may be reduced,) together with all the subsistence necessary for a twelvemonth, with the fowls of the air, and such reptiles and insects as cannot live under water?” All these various animals were controlled by the power of God, whose special agency is supposed in the whole transaction, and “the lion was made to lie down with the kid.”

Whether Noah was commanded to bring with him, into the ark, a pair of all living creatures, zoologically and numerically considered, has been doubted. During the long period between the creation and the flood, animals must have spread themselves over a great part of the antediluvian earth, and certain animals would, as now, probably become indigenous to certain climates. The pairs saved must therefore, if all the kinds were included, have travelled from immense distances. But of such marches no intimation is given in the history; and this seems to render it probable that the animals which Noah was “to bring with him” into the ark, were the animals clean and unclean of the country in which he dwelt, and which, from 86the capacity of the ark, must have been in great variety and number. The terms used, it is true, are universal; and it is satisfactory to know, that if taken in the largest sense there was ample accommodation in the ark. Nevertheless, universal terms in Scripture are not always to be taken mathematically, and in the vision of Peter, the phrase ϖάντα τὰ τετράποδα τῆς γῆς,--all the four-footed beasts of the earth, must be understood of varii generis quadrupedes, as Schleusner paraphrases it. Thus we may easily account for the exuviæ of animals, whose species no longer exist, which have been discovered in various places. The number of such extinct species probably has been greatly over-rated by Cuvier; but of the fact, to a considerable extent, there can be no doubt. It is also to be observed that the presumptive evidence of the truth of the fact of the preparation of such a vessel, and of the supernatural circumstances which attended it, is exceedingly strong. It is, in truth, the only solution of a difficulty which has no other explanation; for as a universal deluge is confirmed by the general history of the world, and by a variety of existing facts and monuments, such a structure as the ark, for the preservation and sustenance of various animals, seems to have been absolutely necessary; for as we can trace up the first imperfect rudiments of the art of ship building among the Greeks, there could be no ships before the flood; and, consequently, no animals could have been saved. Nay, it is highly improbable that even men and domestic animals could be saved, not to mention wild beasts, serpents, &c, though we should admit that the antediluvians had shipping, unless we should suppose, also, that they had a divine intimation respecting the flood, such as Moses relates; but this would be to give up the cause of infidelity. Mr. Bryant has collected a variety of ancient historical relations, which show that some records concerning the ark had been preserved among most nations of the world, and in the general system of Gentile mythology. Abydenus, with whom all the eastern writers concur, informs us that the place of descent from the ark was Armenia; and that its remains had been preserved for a long time. Plutarch mentions the Noachic dove, and its being sent out of the ark. Lucian speaks of Deucalion’s going forth from the ark, and raising an altar to God. The priests of Ammonia had a custom, at particular seasons, of carrying in procession a boat, in which was an oracular shrine, held in great veneration: and this custom of carrying the deity in an ark or boat was in use also among the Egyptians. Bishop Pococke has preserved three specimens of ancient sculpture, in which this ceremony is displayed. They were very ancient, and found by him in Upper Egypt. The ship of Isis referred to the ark, and its name, “Baris,” was that of the mountain corresponding to Ararat in Armenia. Bryant finds reference to the ark in the temples of the serpent worship, called Dracontia; and also in that of Sesostris, fashioned after the model of the ark, in commemoration of which it was built, and consecrated to Osiris at Theba; and he conjectures that the city, said to be one of the most ancient in Egypt, as well as the province, was denominated from it, Theba being the appellation of the ark. In other countries, as well as in Egypt, an ark, or ship, was introduced in their mysteries, and often carried about in the seasons of their festivals. He finds, also, in the story of the Argonauts several particulars, that are thought to refer to the ark of Noah. As many cities, not in Egypt only and Bœotia, but in Cilicia, Ionia, Attica, Phthiotis, Cataonia, Syria, and Italy, were called Theba; so likewise the city Apamea was denominated Cibotus, from κιϐωτος, in memory of the ark, and of the history connected with it. The ark, according to the traditions of the Gentile world, was prophetic; and was regarded as a kind of temple or residence of the deity. It comprehended all mankind, within the circle of eight persons, who were thought to be so highly favoured of Heaven that they at last were reputed to be deities. Hence in the ancient mythology of Egypt, there were precisely eight gods; and the ark was esteemed an emblem of the system of the heavens. The principal terms by which the ancients distinguished the ark were Theba, Baris, Arguz, Aren, Arene, Arni, Laris, Boutas, Bœotus, and Cibotus; and out of these they formed different personages. See Deluge.

ARK OF THE COVENANT, a small chest or 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, and the tables of the covenant, Num. xvii, 10; Heb. ix, 4. This coffer was made of shittim wood, and was covered with a lid, called the mercy seat, Exod. xxv, 17–22, &c, which was of solid gold, at the two ends whereof were two figures, called cherubim, looking toward each other, with expanded wings, which, embracing the whole circumference of the mercy seat, met in the middle. The whole, according to the rabbins, was made out of the same mass, without any of the parts being joined by solder. Over this it was that the Shechinah, or visible display of the divine presence in a luminous cloud rested, both in the tabernacle and in the temple, Lev. xvi, 2; and from hence the divine oracles were given forth by an audible voice, as often as God was consulted in behalf of his people. Hence it is that God is said in Scripture to dwell between the cherubim, on the mercy seat, because there was the seat or throne of the visible appearance of his glory among them, 2 Kings xix, 15; 2 Chron, xiii, 6; Psalm lxxx, 1, &c; and for this reason the high priest appeared before the mercy seat once every year, on the great day of expiation, at which time he was to make his nearest approach to the divine presence, to mediate and make atonement for the whole people of Israel. On the two sides of the ark there were four rings of gold, two on each side, through which staves, overlaid with gold, were put, by means whereof they carried it as they marched through the wilderness, &c, on the shoulders of the Levites, Exod. xxv, 13, 14; xxvii, 5. After the passage of the Jordan, the ark continued for 87some time at Gilgal, from whence it was removed to Shiloh. From this place the Israelites carried it to their camp, where, in an engagement with the Philistines, it fell into their hands. The Philistines, having gotten possession of the ark, carried it in triumph to one of their principal cities, named Ashdod, and placed it in the temple of Dagon, whose image fell to the ground and was broken. The Philistines also were so afflicted with emerods, that they afterward returned the ark with various presents; and it was lodged at Kirjath-Jearim, and afterward at Nob. David conveyed it to the house of Obededom, and from thence to his palace at Zion; and lastly, Solomon brought it into the temple which he had built at Jerusalem. It remained in the temple till the times of the last kings of Judah, who gave themselves up to idolatry, and even dared to place their idols in the holy temple itself. The priests, being unable to bear this profanation, took the ark and carried it from place to place, to preserve it from the hands of those impious princes. Josiah commanded them to bring it back to the sanctuary, and it was accordingly replaced, 2 Chron. xxxv, 3. What became of the ark at the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, is a dispute among the rabbins. Had it been carried to Babylon with the other vessels of the temple, it would, in all probability, have been brought back with them at the close of the captivity. But that this was not the case, is agreed on all hands; whence it is probable that it was destroyed with the temple.

The ark of the covenant was, as it were, the centre of worship to all those of the Hebrew nation who served God according to the Levitical law; and not only in the temple, when they came thither to worship, but every where else in their dispersions through the whole world; whenever they prayed, they turned their faces toward the place where the ark stood, and directed all their devotions that way, Dan. vi, 10. Whence the author of the book of Cosri, justly says, that the ark, with the mercy seat and cherubim, were the foundation, root, heart, and marrow of the whole temple, and all the Levitical worship performed therein; and, therefore, had there been nothing else wanting in the second temple but the ark only, this alone would have been a sufficient reason for the old men to have wept when they remembered the first temple in which it stood; and for the saying of Haggai, ii, 3, that the second temple was as nothing compared with the first; so great a share had the ark of the covenant in the glory of Solomon’s temple. However, the defect was supplied as to the outward form, for in the second temple there was also an ark of the same dimensions with the first, and put in the same place; but it wanted the tables of the law, Aaron’s rod, and the pot of manna; nor was there any appearance of the divine glory over it; nor any oracles delivered from it. The only use that was made of it was to be a representation of the former on the great day of expiation, and to be a repository of the Holy Scriptures, that is, of the original copy of that collection of them made by Ezra after the captivity; in imitation of which the Jews, in all their synagogues, have a like ark or coffer in which they keep their Scriptures.

For the temple of Solomon a new ark was not made; but he constructed cherubim in the most holy place, which were designed to give additional state to this most sacred symbol of God’s grace and mercy. These cherubim were fifteen feet high, and were placed at equal distance from the centre of the ark and from each side of the wall, so that their wings being expanded, the two wings which were extended behind touched the wall, and the other two met over the ark and so overshadowed it. When these magnificent cherubim were finished, the ark was brought in and placed under their wings, 2 Chron. v, 7–10.

The ark was called the ark of the covenant, because it was a symbol of the covenant between God and his people. It was also named the ark of the testimony, because the two tables which were deposited in it were witnesses against every transgression.

ARM. As it is by this member of the body that we chiefly exert our strength, it is therefore used in Scripture for an emblem of power. Thus God is said to have delivered his people from Egyptian bondage “with a stretched-out arm,” Deut. v, 15; and he thus threatens Eli the high priest, “I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house,” 1 Sam. ii, 31; that is, I will deprive thee and thy family of power and authority.

ARMAGEDDON, a place spoken of, Rev. xvi, 16, which literally signifies “the mountain of Mageddon,” or “Megiddo,” a city situated in the great plain at the foot of Mount Carmel, where the good prince Josiah received his mortal wound, in the battle against Necho, king of Egypt. At Armageddon, the three unclean spirits coming out of the dragon’s mouth shall gather together the kings of the earth, to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, Rev. xvi, 13, 14; where the word Armageddon, according to Mr. Pool, does not signify any particular place, but is used in allusion to Megiddo, mentioned Judges v, 19, where Barak overcame Sisera with his great army, and where Josiah was slain, 2 Kings xxiii, 30. If so, the term must have been a proverbial one for a place of destruction and mourning.

ARMENIA, a considerable country of Asia, having Colchis and Iberia on the north, Media on the east, Mesopotamia on the south, Pontus and Cappadocia on the west, and the Euphrates and Syria on the south-west. Armenia is often confounded with Aramæa, the land of Aram or Syria; but they are totally different. Armenia, which is separated from Aram by Mount Taurus, was so denominated from Ar-Men, the mountainous country of Meni or Minni, the people of which country are mentioned under this name by Jeremiah, when summoning the nations against Babylon.

The people of this country have in all ages maintained a great similarity of character, partly commercial and partly pastoral. They have, in fact, in the northern parts of the Asiatic 88continent, been what the Cushites and Ishmaelites were in the south, tenders of cattle, living on the produce of their flocks and herds, and carriers of merchandize between the neighbouring nations; a part living at home with their flocks, and a part travelling as merchants and dealers into distant countries. In the flourishing times of Tyre, the Armenians, according to Ezekiel, xxvii, 14, brought horses and mules to the markets of that city; and, according to Herodotus, they had a considerable trade in wine, which they sent down the Euphrates to Babylon, &c. At the present day, the Armenians are the principal traders of the east; and are to be found in the capacity of merchants or commercial agents all over Asia, a patient, frugal, industrious, and honest people, whose known character for these virtues has withstood the tyranny and extortions of the wretched governments under which they chiefly live.

The religion of the Armenians is a corrupt Christianity of the sect of Eutyches; that is, they own but one nature in Jesus Christ. Their rites partake of those of the Greek and Latin churches, but they reject the idolatries of both. It is indeed a remarkable instance of the firmness of this people, that while the surrounding nations submitted to the religion as well as the arms of the Turks, they have preserved the purity of their ancient faith, such as it is, to the present day. It cannot be supposed but that the Turks used every effort to impose on the conquered Armenians the doctrines of the Koran. More tolerant, indeed, than the Saracens, liberty of conscience was still not to be purchased of them but by great sacrifices, which for three centuries the Armenians have patiently endured, and exhibit to the world an honourable and solitary instance of a successful national opposition of Christianity to Mohammedanism.

ARMENIAN CHURCH, a branch, originally, of the Greek church, residing in Armenia. They probably received Christianity in the fourth century. Mr. Yeates gives the most recent account of them:--

“Their whole ecclesiastical establishment is under the government of four patriarchs; the first has his residence in Echmiadzin, or Egmiathin, near Irivan; the second, at Sis, in the lesser Armenia; the third, in Georgia; and the fourth, in Achtamar, or Altamar, on the Lake of Van; but the power of the two last is bounded within their own diocesses, while the others have more extensive authority, and the patriarch of Egmiathan has, or had, under him eighteen bishops, beside those who are priors of monasteries. The Armenians every where perform divine service in their own tongue, in which their liturgy and offices are written, in the dialect of the fourth or fifth centuries. They have the whole Bible translated from the Septuagint, as they say, so early as the time of Chrysostom. The Armenian confession is similar to that of the Jacobite Christians, both being Monophysites, acknowledging but one nature in the person of Christ; but this, according to Mr. Simon, is little more than a dispute about terms; few of them being able to enter into the subtilties of polemics.

“In the year 1664, an Armenian bishop, named Uscan, visited Europe for the purpose of getting printed the Armenian Bible, and communicated the above particulars to Mr. Simon. In 1667, a certain patriarch of the lesser Armenia visited Rome, and made a profession of faith which was considered orthodox, and procured him a cordial reception, with the hope of reconciling the Armenian Christians to the Roman church; but, before he got out of Italy, it was found he had prevaricated, and still persisted in the errors of his church. About this time, Clement IX, wrote to the king of Persia, in favour of some Catholic converts in Armenia, and received a favourable answer; but the Armenian church could never be persuaded to acknowledge the authority of Rome.

“They have among them a number of monasteries and convents, in which is maintained a severe discipline; marriage is discountenanced, though not absolutely prohibited; a married priest cannot obtain promotion, and the higher clergy are not allowed to marry. They worship in the eastern manner, by prostration: they are very superstitious, and their ceremonies much resemble those of the Greek church. Once in their lives they generally perform a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; and in 1819, the number of Armenian pilgrims was thirteen hundred, nearly as many as the Greeks. Dr. Buchanan, however, says, ‘Of all the Christians in central Asia, they have preserved themselves most free from Mohammedan and Papal corruptions.’”

ARMIES. In the reign of David, the Hebrews acquired such skill in the military art, together with such strength, as gave them a decided superiority over their competitors on the field of battle. David increased the standing army, which Saul had introduced. Solomon introduced cavalry into the military force of the nation, also chariots. Both cavalry and chariots were retained in the subsequent age; an age, in which military arms were improved in their construction, the science of fortification made advances, and large armies were mustered. From this period, till the time when the Hebrews became subject to the Assyrians and Chaldeans, but little improvement was made in the arts of war. The Maccabees, after the return of the Hebrews from the captivity, gave a new existence to the military art among them. But their descendants were under the necessity of submitting to the superior power of the Romans.

Whenever there was an immediate prospect of war, a levy was made by the genealogists, Deut. xx, 5–9. In the time of the kings, there was a head or ruler of the persons, that made the levy, denominated השוטר, who kept an account of the number of the soldiers, but who is, nevertheless, to be distinguished from the generalissimo, הסופר, 2 Chron. xxvi, 11. Compare 2 Sam. viii, 17; xx, 25; 1 Chron. xviii, 16. After the levy was fully made out, the genealogists gave public notice, that the following 89persons might be excused, from military service, Deut. xx, 5–8: 1. Those who had built a house, and had not yet inhabited it. 2. Those who had planted a כרס, that is, an olive or vine garden, and had not as yet tasted the fruit of it; an exemption, consequently, which extended through the first five years after such planting. 3. Those who had bargained for a spouse, but had not celebrated the nuptials; also those who had not as yet lived with their wife, for a year. 4. The faint-hearted, who would be likely to discourage others, and who, if they had gone into battle, where, in those early times, every thing depended on personal prowess, would only have fallen victims.

At the head of each rank or file of fifty, was the captain of fifty. The other divisions consisted of a hundred, a thousand, and ten thousand men, each one of which was headed by its appropriate commander. These divisions ranked in respect to each other according to their families, and were subject to the authority of the heads of those families, 2 Chron. xxv, 5; xxvi, 12, 13. The centurions, and chiliarchs or captains of thousands, were admitted into the councils of war, 1 Chron. xiii, 1–3; 1 Sam. xviii, 13. The leader of the whole army was denominated אל־שרהצכא, the captain of the host. The genealogists, (in the English version, officers,) according to a law in Deut. xx, 9, had the right of appointing the persons who were to act as officers in the army; and they, undoubtedly, made it a point, in their selections, to choose those who are called heads of families. The practice of thus selecting military officers ceased under the kings. Some of them were then chosen by the king, and in other instances the office became permanent and hereditary in the heads of families. Both kings and generals had armour bearers, נשא כלים. They were chosen from the bravest of the soldiery, and not only bore the arms of their masters, but were employed to give his commands to the subordinate captains, and were present at his side in the hour of peril, 1 Sam. xiv, 6; xvii, 7. The infantry, the cavalry, and the chariots of war were so arranged, as to make separate divisions of an army, Exod. xiv, 6, 7. The infantry were divided likewise into light-armed troops, גדודים, and into spearmen, Genesis xlix, 19; 1 Samuel xxx, 8, 15, 23; 2 Sam. iii, 22; iv, 2; xxii, 30; Psalm xviii, 30; 2 Kings v, 2; Hosea vii, 1. The light-armed infantry were furnished with a sling and javelin, with a bow, arrows, and quiver, and also, at least in latter times, with a buckler. They fought the enemy at a distance. The spearmen, on the contrary, who were armed with spears, swords, and shields, fought hand to hand, 1 Chron. xii, 24, 34; 2 Chron. xiv, 8; xvii, 17. The light-armed troops were commonly taken from the tribes of Ephraim and Benjamin, 2 Chron. xiv, 8; xvii, 17. Compare Gen. xlix, 27; Psalm lxxviii, 9.

The art of laying out an encampment appears to have been well understood in Egypt, long before the departure of the Hebrews from that country. It was there that Moses became acquainted with that mode of encamping, which, in the second chapter of Numbers, is prescribed to the Hebrews. In the encampment of the Israelites, it appears that the holy tabernacle occupied the centre. In reference to this circumstance, it may be remarked, that it is the common practice in the east, for the prince or leader of a tribe to have his tent pitched in the centre of the others; and it ought not to be forgotten, that God, whose tent or palace was the holy tabernacle, was the prince, the leader of the Hebrews. The tents nearest to the tabernacle were those of the Levites, whose business it was to watch it, in the manner of a Pretorian guard. The family of Gershom pitched to the west, that of Kehath to the south, that of Merari to the north. The priests occupied a position to the east, opposite to the entrance of the tabernacle, Num. i, 53; iii, 21–38. At some distance to the east, were the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon; on the south were those of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad; to the west were Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin; to the north, Dan, Asher, and Napthali. The people were thus divided into four bodies, three tribes to a division; each of which divisions had its separate standard, דגל. Each of the large family associations likewise, of which the different tribes were composed, had a separate standard, termed, in contradistinction from the other, אות; and every Hebrew was obliged to number himself with his particular division, and follow his appropriate standard. Of military standards, there were,--1. The standard, denominated דגל; one of which pertained to each of the four general divisions. The four standards of this name were large, and ornamented with colours in white, purple, crimson, and dark blue. The Jewish Rabbins assert, (founding their statement on Genesis xlix, 3, 9, 17, 22, which in this case is very doubtful authority,) that the first of these standards, namely, that, of Judah, bore a lion; the second, or that of Reuben, bore a man; that of Ephraim, which was the third, displayed the figure of a bull; while that of Dan, which was the fourth, exhibited the representation of cherubim. They were wrought into the standards with embroidered work. 2. The standard, called אות. The ensign of this name belonged to the separate classes of families. 3. The standard, called נס. This standard was not, like the others, borne from place to place. It appears from Num. xxi, 8, 9, that it was a long pole, fixed into the earth. A flag was fastened to its top, which was agitated by the wind, and seen at a great distance, Jer. iv, 6, 21; li, 2, 12, 27; Ezek. xxvii, 7. In order to render it visible, as far as possible, it was erected on lofty mountains, and was in this way used as a signal, to assemble soldiers. It no sooner made its appearance on such an elevated position, than the war-cry was uttered, and the trumpets were blown, Isaiah v, 26; xiii, 2; xviii, 3; xxx, 17; xlix, 22; lxii, 10–13.

Before battle the various kinds of arms were put into the best order; the shields were anointed, and the soldiers refreshed themselves by taking food, lest they should become weary 90and faint under the pressure of their labours, Jer. xlvi, 3, 4; Isaiah xxi, 5. The soldiers, more especially the generals and kings, except when they wished to remain unknown, 1 Kings xxii, 30–34, were clothed in splendid habiliments, which are denominated, בהדרי-קדש, the sacred dress, Psalm cx, 3. It was the duty of the priests, before the commencement of the battle, to exhort the Hebrews to exhibit that courage which was required by the exigency of the occasion. The words which they used were as follows:--“Hear, O Israel; ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble; neither be ye terrified, because of them. For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you,” Deut. xx, 2, &c. The last ceremony, previous to an engagement, was the sounding of the sacred trumpets by the priests, Num. x, 9, 10; 2 Chron. xiii, 12–14; 1 Macc. iii, 54.

ARMINIANISM, strictly speaking, is that system of religious doctrine which was taught by Arminius, professor of divinity in the university of Leyden. If therefore we would learn precisely what Arminianism is, we must have recourse to those writings in which that divine himself has stated and expounded his peculiar tenets. This, however, will by no means give us an accurate idea of that which, since his time, has been usually denominated Arminianism. On examination, it will be found, that in many important particulars, those who have called themselves Arminians, or have been accounted such by others, differ as widely from the nominal head and founder of their sect, as he himself did from Calvin, and other doctors of Geneva. There are, indeed, certain points, with regard to which he has been strictly and uniformly followed by almost all his pretended adherents; but there are others of equal or of greater importance, dogmatically insisted on by them, to which he unquestionably never gave his sanction, and even appears to have been decidedly hostile. Such a distinction, obvious as it must be to every attentive reader, has yet been generally so far overlooked, that the memory of Arminius is frequently loaded with imputations the most unreasonable and unjust. He is accused, by the ignorant and the prejudiced, of introducing corruptions into the Christian church, which he probably never thought of, and which certainly have no place in his works. And all the odium which his followers have from time to time incurred by their varied and increasing heterodoxy, has been absurdly reflected upon him, as if he could be responsible for every error that may be sent abroad under the sanction of his name. Whatever be the number or the species of these errors, and in whatever way they may be associated with his principles, it is fair to the character of Arminius, and useful to the interests of religious truth, to revert to his own writings as the only source from which we ought to derive information concerning the Arminian scheme; and by doing so, it may be discovered, that genuine unadulterated Arminianism is not that great and dangerous heresy which among a certain class of Christians it is too often represented to be.

Arminianism, in its proper sense, is to be considered as a separation from Calvinism, with regard to the doctrines of unconditional election, particular redemption, and other points necessarily resulting from these. The Calvinists held that God had elected a certain portion of the human race to eternal life, passing by the rest, or rather dooming them to everlasting destruction; that God’s election proceeded upon no prescience of the moral principles and character of those whom he had thus predestinated, but originated solely in the motions of his free and sovereign mercy; that Christ died for the elect only, and therefore that the merits of his death can avail for the salvation of none but them; and that they are constrained by the irresistible power of divine grace to accept of him as their Saviour. To this doctrine, that of Arminius and his legitimate followers stands opposed. They do not deny an election; but they deny that it is absolute and unconditional. They argue, that an election of this kind is inconsistent with the character of God, that it destroys the liberty of the human will, that it contradicts the language of Scripture, and that it tends to encourage a careless and licentious practice in those by whom it is believed. They maintain that God has elected those only who, according, not to his decree, but to his foreknowledge, and in the exercise of their natural powers of self-determination, acting under the influence of his grace, would possess that faith and holiness to which salvation is annexed in the Gospel scheme. And those who are not elected are allowed to perish, not because they were not elected, but merely and solely in consequence of their infidelity and disobedience; on account, indeed, of which infidelity and disobedience being foreseen by God, their election did not take place. They hold, that Christ died for all men in the literal and unrestricted sense of that phrase; that his atonement is able, both from its own merit, and from the intention of him who appointed it, to expiate the guilt of every individual; that every individual is invited to partake of the benefits which it has procured; that the grace of God is offered to make the will comply with this invitation, but that this grace may be resisted and rendered ineffectual by the sinner’s perversity. Whether true believers necessarily persevered, or whether they might fall from their faith, and forfeit their state of grace, was a question which Arminius left in a great measure unresolved, but which was soon determined by his followers in this additional proposition, that saints may fall from the state of grace, in which they are placed by the operation of the Holy Spirit. This, indeed, seems to follow as a corollary, from what Arminius maintained respecting the natural freedom and corruption of the will, and the resistibility of divine grace.

It may now be proper to mention some tenets with regard to which Arminianism has been much misrepresented. If a man hold that 91good works are necessary to justification; if he maintain that faith includes good works in its own nature; if he reject the doctrine of original sin; if he deny that divine grace is requisite for the whole work of sanctification; if he speak of human virtue as meritorious in the sight of God; it is very generally concluded, that he is an Arminian. But the truth is, that a man of such sentiments is properly a disciple of the Pelagian and Socinian schools. To such sentiments pure Arminianism is as diametrically opposite as Calvinism itself. The genuine Arminians admit the corruption of human nature in its full extent. They admit, that we are justified by faith only. They admit, that our justification originates solely in the grace of God. They admit, that the procuring and meritorious cause of our justification is the righteousness of Christ. Propter quam, says Arminius, Deus credentibus peccatum condonat, eosque pro justis reputat non aliter atque si legem perfectè implevissent. [For the sake of which God pardons believers, and accounts them as righteous precisely as if they had perfectly obeyed the law.] They admit in this way, that justification implies not merely forgiveness of sin, but acceptance to everlasting happiness. Junctam habet adoptionem in filios, et collationem juris in hereditatem vitæ eternæ. [It has connected with it adoption to sonship, and the grant of a right to the inheritance of eternal life.] They admit, in fine, that the work of sanctification, from its very commencement to its perfection in glory, is carried on by the operation of the Holy Spirit, which is the gift of God by Jesus Christ. So sound, indeed, are the Arminians with respect to the doctrine of justification, a doctrine so important and essential in the opinion of Luther, that he scrupled not to call it, articulus ecclesiæ stantis vel cadentis; [the article with which the church stands or falls;] that those who look into the writings of Arminius may be disposed to suspect him of having even exceeded Calvin in orthodoxy. It is certain, at least, that he declares his willingness to subscribe to every thing that Calvin has written on that leading subject of Christianity, in the third book of his Institutes; and with this declaration the tenor of his writings invariably corresponds.

The system of Arminius, then, appears to have been the same with that which was generally maintained in the reformed churches at that time; except in so far as the doctrine of the divine decrees was concerned. But the most eminent of those who became Arminians, or ranked among his professed followers, by embracing and avowing his peculiar tenets with respect to election and redemption, soon began to depart widely from the other tenets of his theological creed. They adopted views of the corruption of man, of justification, of the righteousness of Christ, of the nature of faith, of the province of good works, of the necessity and operations of grace, that are quite contrary to those which he had entertained and published. Many of them, in process of time, differed more or less from one another, on some or all of these points. And so diversified are the forms which Arminianism, as it is called, has assumed in the course of its progress, that to describe precisely what it has been since the synod of Dort, or what it is at the present day, would be a most difficult, if not an impossible, task. Even the confession of faith, which was drawn out for the Arminians by Episcopius, and is to be found in the second volume of his works, cannot be referred to as a standard. It was composed merely to counteract the reproach of their being a society without any common principles. It is expressed chiefly in the words and phrases of Scripture, to which, of course, every one would annex his own meaning. Beside, no person, not even a pastor, was obliged, by any form, to adhere strictly to it; but every one was left entirely at liberty to interpret its language in the manner that was most agreeable to his own private sentiments. Accordingly, so various and inconsistent are their opinions, that could Arminius peruse the unnumbered volumes which have been written as expositions and illustrations of Arminian doctrine, he would be at a loss to discover his own simple system, amidst that heterogeneous mass of error with which it has been rudely mixed; and would be astonished to find, that the controversy which he had conscientiously introduced, had wandered far from the point to which he had confined it, and that with his name dogmas were associated, the unscriptural and dangerous nature of which he had pointed out and condemned.

The same temper of mind which led him to renounce the peculiarities of Calvinism, induced him also to adopt more enlarged and liberal views of church communion than those which had hitherto prevailed. While he maintained that the mercy of God is not confined to a chosen few, he conceived it to be quite inconsistent with the genius of Christianity, that men of that religion should keep at a distance from each other, and constitute separate churches, merely because they differed in their opinions as to some of its doctrinal articles. He thought that Christians of all denominations should form one great community, united and upheld by the bonds of charity and brotherly love; with the exception, however, of Roman Catholics, who, on account of their idolatrous worship and persecuting spirit, must be unfit members of such a society. That this was not only agreeable to the wishes of Arminius, but one chief object of his labours, is evident from a passage in his last will, which he made a little before his death:--Ea proposui et docui quæ ad propagationem amplificationemque veritatis religionis Christianæ, veri Dei cultus, communis pietatis, et sanctæ inter homines convers[at]ionis, denique ad convenientem Christiano nomini tranquillitatem et pacem juxta verbum Dei possent conferre, excludens ex iis papatum, cum quo nulla unitas fidei, nullum pietatis aut Christianæ pacis vinculum servari potest. [I have advanced and taught those things which might contribute to the propagation and spread of the truth of Christianity, the worship of the true God, general piety, and 92a holy fellowship among men;--in fine, to a tranquillity and peace according to God’s word and becoming the Christian name, excluding the Papacy, with which no unity of faith, no bond of piety, or of Christian peace can be maintained.]

Mosheim has stated this circumstance in a note to his history of the Arminian church; but his statement, or rather the conclusion which he deduces from it, is evidently unfair and incorrect. He alleges, that Arminius had actually laid the plan of that theological system which was afterward embraced by his followers; that he had inculcated the main and leading principles of it on the minds of his disciples; and that Episcopius and others, who rejected Calvinism in more points than in that which related to the divine decrees, only propagated, with greater courage and perspicuity, the doctrines which Arminianism, as taught by its founder, already contained. These allegations, it is clear, have no sort of connection with the passage from which they are drawn as inferences; and they are wholly inconsistent with the assertions, and reasonings, and declarations of Arminius, when he is discussing the merits of the question that was agitated between him and the Geneva school. Arminius, in addition to the scheme of doctrine which he taught, was anxious to establish this maxim, and to reduce it to practice, that, with the exception above mentioned, no difference of opinions should prevent Christians from remaining in one church or religious body. He did not mean to insinuate, that a difference of opinion was of no consequence at all; that they who thought one way were just as right as they who thought a contrary way; or that men have no occasion to be solicitous about the religious tenets which they hold. He did not mean to give up his own system as equally true, or equally false, with that of Calvin; and as little could he be supposed to sanction those sentiments of his followers which were in direct opposition to the sentiments which he himself had maintained. But he endeavoured, in the first place, to assert liberty of conscience, and of worship; and then, upon that fundamental principle, to persuade all Christians, however divided in opinion, to lay aside the distinctions of sect and party, and in one united body to consult that tranquillity and peace which is so agreeable to the Christian name. This we conceive to have been the object of Arminius; an object so indicative of an enlightened mind, so congenial to that charity which hopeth all things, and thinketh no evil, and so conducive to the interests of religion and the peace of the world, as to reflect the highest honour on him by whom it was first pursued, and to constitute the true glory of Arminianism.

The controversy to which Arminianism had given rise, was carried on after the death of its founder, with the greatest eagerness, and produced the most bitter and deplorable dissensions. The Arminians requested nothing more than a bare toleration. This moderate demand, at all times reasonable and just, was particularly so in Holland, which had thrown off the yoke of civil and spiritual despotism, and where the received confession of faith had not determined the questions under debate. It was strongly urged by Grotius, Hoogerbeets, Olden Barnevelt, and other persons of respectability and influence. And Maurice, prince of Orange, and his mother the princess dowager, giving countenance to the claim, there was some prospect of the Calvinists being persuaded to enter into pacific measures, and to treat their dissenting brethren with forbearance. Accordingly, in the year 1611, a conference between the contending parties was held at the Hague, on which occasion, it is commonly asserted, the toleration required was offered to the Arminians, provided they would renounce the errors of Socinianism,--though the papers which passed between the parties at that conference, as authenticated by each of them, contain no proviso of that description. Another conference was held at Delft, in 1613. And in 1614, the States of Holland promulgated an edict, exhorting the disputants to the exercise of mutual charity. But these and other expedients employed for the same purpose, had not the desired effect. The Calvinists expressed great indignation at the magistrates, for endeavouring, by their authority, to promote a union with such adversaries. The conduct of the States was ably and eloquently defended by Grotius, in two treatises, entitled, “De Jure Summarum Potestatum circa sacra,” and “Ordinum Hollandiæ, ac West-Frisiæ Pietas a multorum calumniis vindicata.”

The hopes of success which the Arminians entertained from the indulgent manner in which they were treated by the civil authorities, were soon blasted by a misunderstanding which had secretly subsisted for some time between the stadtholder and the principal magistrates, and at last broke forth into an open rupture. Maurice, being suspected of aiming at sovereign power, was firmly opposed by the leading persons in the government, who had been the friends and patrons of the Arminians, and to whom, therefore, these adhered at this difficult crisis. On the other hand, the Gomarists, or Calvinists, attached themselves to Maurice, and inflamed the resentment which he had already, for various reasons, conceived against the Arminians. The prince was resolved, at once to ruin the ministers who had ventured to oppose his schemes of usurpation, and to crush the Arminians, by whom those statesmen had been warmly supported. For this purpose he got the leading men cast into prison. Barnevelt, whose long and faithful services deserved a better fate, died on the scaffold: and Grotius and Hoogerbeets, under pretexts more plausible than solid, were unjustly condemned to perpetual imprisonment, from which, however, the former afterward escaped, and fled into France. The alleged crime of the Arminians being of an ecclesiastical nature, it was thought proper to bring their cause before a national assembly of divines by which their religious opinions might be regularly and finally condemned.

Under the auspices of Maurice, therefore, 93and by the authority of the states general, a synod was convoked at Dort, in the year 1618. Before this meeting, which consisted of deputies from the United Provinces, from England, Scotland, Switzerland, and other places, the Arminians appeared, with Episcopius at their head, to answer to the accusations brought against them, of departing from the established religion. For a full account of the proceedings of this synod, the reader may consult the second and third volumes of Brandt’s History of the Reformation, and the Remains of Mr. John Hales of Eaton, who was present at the meeting, and gives a simple narrative of what he saw and heard. The conduct of the synod has been applauded by some, and condemned by others. On the one hand, it has been placed above every other synod since the Apostolic age, for its temper, moderation, and sanctity; on the other, it has been charged with injustice and cruelty, and burlesqued in such lines as these:--

Dordrechti synodus nodus; chorus integer, æger; Conventus, ventus; sessio, stramen, Amen.

[The point of this doggrel, which consists chiefly in the gingle of the Latin words, is lost in a translation. The following is a literal version:--

The synod of Dort, a knot; the whole assembly, sick;
The convention, wind; the session, straw, Amen.]

Neal remarks, that it behaved as well as most assemblies of a similar kind have done, “who have pretended to establish articles for other men’s faith, with penal sanctions.” This says very little for the synod of Dort; though, perhaps, it is even more than can be said with truth. Martinius of Bremen seems to have spoken much more correctly, when he told his friends, “I believe now what Gregory Nazianzen says, that he had never seen any council attended with good effects, but that it always increased the evil rather than removed it. I declare as well as that father, that I will never set my foot in any synod again. O Dort! Dort! would to God that I had never seen thee!” The Arminians, it is contended, asked more indulgence than they had reason to expect; however it is certain that the treatment which they received from the synod, was arbitrary, faithless, and oppressive. They were at length found guilty of heresy, and of hostility to their country and its religion. And the measures adopted against them, in consequence of this sentence, were of the most severe and rigorous kind. They were excommunicated; they were driven from all their offices, civil and ecclesiastical; their ministers were prohibited from preaching; and their congregations were suppressed. Refusing to submit to the two last of these hard decrees, they were subjected to fines, imprisonments, and various other punishments. To avoid this tyrannical treatment, many of them retired to Antwerp, others to France, and a considerable number into Holstein, where they were kindly received by Frederick the duke, and where, in the form of a colony, they built for themselves a handsome town, naming it Frederickstadt, in compliment to their friend and protector. The history of this colony may be found in a work entitled Epistolæ Præstantium et Eruditorum Virorum Ecclesiasticæ et Theologicæ, and published by Limborch and Hartsoeker.

The tenets of the Arminians may be comprised in the following five articles relating to predestination, universal redemption, the corruption of men, conversion, and perseverance, viz. 1. That God, from all eternity, determined to bestow salvation on those whom he foresaw would persevere unto the end in their faith in Christ Jesus; and to inflict everlasting punishment on those who should continue in their unbelief, and resist unto the end his divine succours; so that election was conditional, and reprobation in like manner the result of foreseen infidelity and persevering wickedness. 2. That Jesus Christ, by his sufferings and death, made an atonement for the sins of all mankind in general, and of every individual in particular; that, however, none but those who believe in him can be partakers of the divine benefits. 3. That true faith cannot proceed from the exercise of our natural faculties and powers, nor from the force and operation of free will; since man, in consequence of his natural corruption, is incapable either of thinking or doing any good thing; and that, therefore, it is necessary, in order to his salvation, that he be regenerated and renewed by the operation of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God through Jesus Christ. 4. That this divine grace or energy of the Holy Ghost begins and perfects every thing that can be called good in man, and consequently all good works are to be attributed to God alone; that, nevertheless, this grace is offered to all, and does not force men to act against their inclinations, but may be resisted and rendered ineffectual by the perverse wills of impenitent sinners. 5. That God gives to the truly faithful, who are regenerated by his grace, the means of preserving themselves in this state; and though the first Arminians made some doubt with respect to the closing part of this article, their followers uniformly maintain, that the regenerate may lose true justifying faith, forfeit their state of grace, and die in their sins. The Arminians are also called Remonstrants, from an humble petition entitled their Remonstrance, which, in the year 1610, they addressed to the States of Holland. Their principal writers are, Arminius, Episcopius, Uitenbogart, Grotius, Curcellæus, Limborch, Le Clerc, Wetstein, Goodwin, Whitby, Wesley, Fletcher, Tomline, &c. The works of Arminius, with a copious account of his life and times, have been recently translated into English, by Mr. James Nichols; and have not only served to dissipate many misconceptions respecting the sentiments of this celebrated divine, which had prevailed in England, where the Pelagianism of some eminent divines, generally called Arminian, had been unjustly charged upon him; but have added a most valuable collection of treatises to our theological literature.

ARMS. The Hebrews do not appear to have had any peculiar military habit. As the flowing dress which they ordinarily wore would 94have impeded their movements, they girt it closely around them when preparing for battle, and loosened it on their return, 2 Sam. xx, 8; 1 Kings xx, 11. They used the same arms as the neighbouring nations, both defensive and offensive; and these were made either of iron or of brass, principally of the latter metal. Of the defensive arms of the Hebrews, the following were the most remarkable; namely,

1. The helmet, כובע, for covering and defending the head. This was a part of the military provision made by Uzziah for his vast army, 2 Chron. xxvi, 14; and long before the time of that king, the helmets of Saul and of the Philistine champion were of the same metal, 1 Sam. xvii, 38. This military cap was also worn by the Persians, Ethiopians, and Libyans, Ezek. xxxviii, 5, and by the troops which Antiochus sent against Judas Maccabeus, 1 Mac. vi, 35.

2. The breastplate or corslet, שדיון, was another piece of defensive armour. Goliath, and the soldiers of Antiochus, 1 Sam. xvii, 5; 1 Mac. vi, 35, were accoutred with this defence; which, in our authorized translation, is variously rendered habergeon, coat of mail, and brigandine, 1 Sam. xvii, 38; 2 Chron. xxvi, 14; Isa. lix, 17; Jer. xlvi, 4. Between the joints of this harness, as it is termed in 1 Kings xxii, 4, the profligate Ahab was mortally wounded by an arrow, shot at a venture. From these various renderings of the original word, it should seem that this piece of armour covered both the back and breast, but principally the latter. The corslets were made of various materials: sometimes they were made of flax or cotton, woven very thick, or of a kind of woollen felt: others again were made of iron or brazen scales, or laminæ, laid one over another, like the scales of a fish; others were properly what we call coats of mail; and others were composed of two pieces of iron or brass, which protected the back and breast. All these kinds of corslets are mentioned in the Scriptures. Goliath’s coat of mail, 1 Sam. xvii, 5, was literally a corslet of scales, that is, composed of numerous laminæ of brass, crossing each other. It was called by Virgil, and other Latin writers, squama lorica. Similar corslets were worn by the Persians and other nations. The breastplate worn by the unhappy Saul, when he perished in battle, is supposed to have been of flax, or cotton, woven very close and thick, 2 Sam. i, 9, marginal rendering.

3. The shield defended the whole body during the battle. It was of various forms, and made of wood covered with tough hides, or of brass, and sometimes was overlaid with gold, 1 Kings x, 16, 17; xiv, 26, 27. Two sorts are mentioned in the Scriptures; namely, the צנה, great shield or buckler, and the מלן, or smaller shield. It was much used by the Jews, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Egyptians. David, who was a great warrior, often mentions a shield and buckler in his divine poems, to signify that defence and protection of Heaven which he expected and experienced, and in which he reposed all his trust, Psalm v, 12; and when he says, “God will with favour compass the righteous as with a shield,” he seems to allude to the use of the great shield tsinnah, (which is the word he uses,) with which they covered and defended their whole bodies. King Solomon caused two different sorts of shields to be made; namely, the tsinnah, (which answers to clypeus among the Latins,) such a large shield as the infantry wore, and the maginnim, or scuta, which were used by the horsemen, and were of a much less size, 2 Chron. ix, 15, 16. The former of these are translated targets, and are double in weight to the other. The Philistines came into the field with this weapon: so we find their formidable champion was appointed, 1 Sam. xvii, 7. One bearing a shield went before him, whose proper duty it was to carry this and some other weapons, with which to furnish his master upon occasion.

The loss of the shield in fight was excessively resented by the Jewish warriors, as well as lamented by them; for it was a signal aggravation of the public mourning, that “the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away,” 2 Sam. i, 21. David, a man of arms, who composed this beautiful elegy on the death of Saul, felt how disgraceful a thing it was for soldiers to quit their shields in the field.

These honourable sentiments were not confined to the Jews. We find them prevailing among most other ancient nations, who considered it infamous to cast away or lose their shield. With the Greeks it was a capital crime, and punished with death. The Lacedemonian women, it is well known, in order to excite the courage of their sons, used to deliver to them their fathers’ shields, with this short address: “This shield thy father always preserved: do thou preserve it also, or perish.” Alluding perhaps to these sentiments, St. Paul, when exhorting the Hebrew Christians to steadfastness in the faith of the Gospel, urges them not to cast away their confidence, which “hath great recompense of reward,” Heb. x, 35.

4. Another defensive provision in war was the military girdle, which was for a double purpose: first, in order to hold the sword, which hung, as it to this day, at the soldier’s girdle or belt, 1 Sam. xvii, 39: secondly, it was necessary to gird the clothes and the armour together. To gird and to arm are synonymous words in Scripture; for those who are said to be able to put on armour are, according to the Hebrew and the Septuagint, girt with a girdle; and hence comes the expression of “girding to the battle,” 1 Kings xx, 11; Isa. viii, 9; 2 Sam. xxii, 40; 1 Sam. xviii, 4. There is express mention of this military girdle, where it is recorded that Jonathan, to assure David of his entire love and friendship by some visible pledges, stripped himself not only of his usual garments, but of his military habiliments, his sword, bow, and girdle, and gave them to David.

5. Boots or greaves were part of the ancient defensive harness, because it was the custom to cast certain εμποδια, impediments, (so called, because they entangled the feet,) in the way before the enemy. The military boot or shoe was therefore necessary to guard the legs and feet from the iron stakes placed in the way to 95gall and wound them; and thus we are enabled to account for Goliath’s greaves of brass which were upon his legs.

The offensive weapons were of two sorts; namely, such as were employed when they came to a close engagement, and those with which they annoyed the enemy at a distance. Of the former description were the sword and the battle-axe.

1. The sword is the most ancient weapon of offence mentioned in the Bible. With it Jacob’s sons treacherously assassinated the Shechemites, Gen. xxxiv, 2. It was worn on the thigh, Psalm xlv, 4; Exod. xxxii, 27; and, it should seem on the left thigh; for it is particularly mentioned that Ehud put a dagger or short sword under his garments on his right thigh, Judges iii, 16. There appear to have been two kinds of swords in use, a larger one with one edge, which is called in Hebrew the mouth of the sword, Joshua vi, 21; and a shorter one with two edges, like that of Ehud. The modern Arabs, it is well known, wear a sabre on one side, and a cangiar or dagger in their girdles.

2. Of the battle-axe we have no description in the sacred volume: it seems to have been a most powerful weapon in the hands of cavalry, from the allusion made to it by Jeremiah: “Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war; for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms: and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider, and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider,” Jer. li, 20, 21.

3. The spear and javelin (as the words רמח and חנית are variously rendered in Num. xxv, 7; 1 Sam. xiii, 19, and Jer. xlvi, 4) were of different kinds, according to their length or make. Some of them might be thrown or darted, 1 Sam. xviii, 11; others were a kind of long swords, Num. xxv, 8; and it appears from 2 Sam. ii, 23, that some of them were pointed at both ends. When armies were encamped, the spear of the general or commander-in-chief was stuck into the ground at his head.

4. Slings are enumerated among the military stores collected by Uzziah, 2 Chron. xxvi, 14. In the use of the sling David eminently excelled, and he slew Goliath with a stone from one. The Benjaminites were celebrated in battle because they had attained to great skill and accuracy in handling this weapon; “they could sling stones to a hair’s breadth, and not miss,” Judges xx, 16; and where it is said that they were left-handed, it should rather be rendered ambidexters; for we are told they could use “both the right hand and the left,” 1 Chron. xii, 2; that is, they did not constantly use the right hand as others did, when they shot arrows or slung stones; but they were so expert in their military exercises, that they could perform them with their left hand as well as with their right.

5. Bows and arrows are of great antiquity; indeed, no weapon is mentioned so early. Thus Isaac said to Esau, “Take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow,” Gen. xxvii, 3; though, it is true, these are not spoken of as used in war, but in hunting; and so they are supposed and implied before this, where it is said of Ishmael, that he became an archer, he used bows and arrows in shooting of wild beasts, Gen. xxi, 20. This afterward became so useful a weapon, that care was taken to train up the Hebrew youth to it betimes. When David had, in a solemn manner, lamented the death of King Saul, he gave orders for teaching the young men the use of the bow, 1 Sam. i, 18, that they might be as expert as the Philistines, by whose bows and arrows Saul and his army were slain. These were part of the military ammunition; for in those times bows were used instead of guns, and arrows supplied the place of powder and ball. From the book of Job, xx, 24, it may be collected, that the military bow was made of steel, and consequently was very stiff and hard to bend, on which account they used their foot in bending their bows; and therefore when the prophets speak of treading the bow and of bows trodden, they are to be understood of bows bent, as our translators rightly render it, Jer. 1, 14; Isa. v, 28; xxi, 15; but the Hebrew word which is used in these places, signifies to tread upon. This weapon was thought so necessary in war, that it is there called, “the bow of war,” or the “battle-bow,” Zech. ix, 10; x, 14.

ARNON, a river or brook, mentioned Num. xxi, 24, and elsewhere. Its spring head is in the mountains of Gilead, or of the Moabites, and it discharges itself into the Dead Sea.

ARROW. See Arms. Divination with arrows was a method of presaging future events, practised by the ancients. Ezekiel, xxi, 21, informs us, that Nebuchadnezzar, putting himself at the head of his armies, to march against Zedekiah, king of the Jews, and against the king of the Ammonites, stood at the parting of two ways, to mingle his arrows together in a quiver, in order to divine from thence which way he should march. Jerom, Theodoret, and the modern commentators after them, believe that this prince took several arrows, and upon each of them wrote the name of the king, town, or province, which he was to attack: for example, upon one, Jerusalem; upon another, Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites; and upon another, Egypt, &c. After having put these into a quiver, he shook them together, and then drew them out; and the arrow which was drawn was thought to declare the will of the gods to attack first that city, province, or kingdom, with whose name it was inscribed.

ARTAXERXES, or Ahasuerus, a king of Persia, the husband of Esther, who, in the opinion of the learned Usher and Calmet, was the Darius of profane authors. See Ahasuerus.

2. Artaxerxes Longimanus is supposed by Dr. Prideaux to be the Ahasuerus of Esther. He was the son of Xerxes, and grandson of Darius Hystaspes, and reigned in Persia from the year of the world 3531 to 3579. He permitted Ezra, with all those inclined to follow him, to return into Judea, in the year of the world 3537, Ezra vii, viii. Afterward, Nehemiah also obtained leave to return, and to build the walls and gates of Jerusalem, in the year of the world 3550, Nehem. i, 11. From this year, chronologers reckon the beginning of 96Daniel’s seventy weeks, Daniel xi, 29. These are weeks of years, and make four hundred and ninety years. Dr. Prideaux, who discourses very copiously, and with great learning, on this prophecy, maintains that the decree mentioned in it for the restoring and rebuilding of Jerusalem, cannot be understood of that granted to Nehemiah, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes; but of that granted to Ezra, by the same Artaxerxes, in the seventh year of his reign. From that time to the death of Christ, are exactly four hundred and ninety years, to a month: for in the month Nisan the decree was granted to Ezra; and in the middle of the same month Nisan, Christ suffered, just four hundred and ninety years afterward.

The easterns think that the surname of Longimanus was given to Artaxerxes by reason of the extent of his dominions; as it is commonly said that princes have long hands: but the Greeks maintain that this prince had really longer hands or arms than usual; and that, when he stood upright, he could touch his knees. He is said to have been the handsomest man of his time. The eastern people call him Bahaman, and give him the surname of Ardschir-diraz-dest, or the long-handed. He was the son of Asfendiar, sixth king of the second dynasty of the Persians. After having extinguished the family of Rostam, which was formidable to him on account of the great men who composed it, he carried his arms into the western provinces, Mesopotamia and Syria, which formed part of his empire. He took Babylon from Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar; and he put in his place Kiresch, who by us is called Cyrus. Some Persian historians assert that the mother of Artaxerxes was a Jewess, of the tribe of Benjamin, and family of Saul; and that the most beloved of his wives was of the tribe of Judah, and race of Solomon, by Rehoboam, king of Judah. If this be true, we need not wonder that he should recommend to Cyrus to favour the Jewish nation. This Cyrus performed, by sending back the people into their own country, and permitting them to rebuild their temple. But the truth of this story is doubtful; and were it true, the interference of the special providence of God must still be acknowledged. Artaxerxes reigned forty-seven years, and died in the year of the world 3579, and before Jesus Christ 425.

ARTEMAS, St. Paul’s disciple, who was sent by that Apostle into Crete, in the room of Titus, chap. iii, 12, while he continued with St. Paul at Nicopolis, where he passed the winter. We know nothing particular of the life or death of Artemas; but the employment to which he was appointed by the Apostle is a proof of his great merit.

ASA, the son and successor of Abijam, king of Judah, began to reign in the year of the world 3049, and before Christ 955. He reigned forty-one years at Jerusalem, and did right in the sight of the Lord. He purged Jerusalem from the infamous practices attending the worship of idols; and he deprived his mother of her office and dignity of queen, because she erected an idol to Astarte, which he burnt in the valley of Hinnom, 1 Kings xv, 8, &c.

The Scripture reproaches Asa with not destroying the high places, which, perhaps, he thought it politic to tolerate, to avoid the greater evil of idolatry. He carried into the house of the Lord the gold and silver vessels which his father Abijam had vowed to consecrate. He fortified several cities, and repaired others, encouraging his people to this labour while the kingdom was at peace; and the Lord favoured them with his protection. After this he levied three hundred thousand men in Judah, armed with shields and pikes; and two hundred and eighty thousand men in Benjamin, armed with shields and bows, all men of courage and valour. About this time, Zerah, king of Ethiopia, or rather of Cush, which is part of Arabia, marched against Asa with a million of foot, and three hundred chariots of war, and advanced as far as Mareshah. This probably happened in the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign, and in the year of the world 3064, 2 Chron. xv, 10. Asa advanced to meet Zerah, and encamped in the plain of Zephathah, or rather Zephatah, near Mareshah, and having prayed to the Lord, God struck the forces of Zerah with such a panic that they began to flee. Asa and his army pursued them to Geran, and slew of them a great number. After this, Asa’s army returned to Jerusalem, laden with booty. The prophet Azariah met them, and said, “Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin, The Lord is with you while ye be with him, and if ye seek him he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.--Be ye strong, therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded,” 2 Chron. xv, 2, 7. After this exhortation, Asa, being animated with new courage, destroyed the idols of Judah, Benjamin, and Mount Ephraim; repaired the altar of burnt-offerings; and assembled Judah and Benjamin, with many from the tribes of Simeon, Ephraim, and Manasseh, and on the third day, in the fifteenth year of his reign, celebrated a solemn festival. Of the cattle taken from Zerah, they sacrificed seven hundred oxen, and seven thousand sheep; they renewed the covenant with the Lord; and, with cymbals and trumpets sounding, they swore to the covenant, and declared that whoever should forsake the true worship of God, should be put to death. The Lord gave them peace; and, according to the Chronicles, the kingdom of Judah had rest till the thirty-fifth year of Asa. Concerning this year, however, there are difficulties; and some think that we should read the twenty-fifth, instead of the thirty-fifth; since Baasha, who made war on Asa, lived no longer than the twenty-sixth year of Asa, 1 Kings xvi, 8.

In this year Baasha, king of Israel, began to fortify Ramah, on the frontiers of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel, that he might prevent the Israelites from resorting to the kingdom of Judah, and the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem. When Asa was informed of this, he sent to Benhadad, king of Damascus, all the gold and silver of his palace, and of the 97temple, to induce him to break his alliance with Baasha, and to assist him against the king of Israel. Benhadad accepted Asa’s presents, and invaded Baasha’s country, where he took several cities belonging to the tribe of Naphtali. This obliged Baasha to retire from Ramah, that he might defend his dominions nearer home. Asa immediately ordered his people to Ramah, carried off all the materials prepared by Baasha, and employed them in building Geba and Mizpah. This application to Benhadad for assistance was inexcusable. It implied, that Asa distrusted God’s power and goodness, which he had so lately experienced. Therefore the Prophet Hanani was sent to reprove him for his conduct. Asa, however, was so exasperated at his rebukes that he put the Prophet in chains, and at the same time ordered the execution of several persons in Judah. Toward the latter part of his life, he was incommoded with swellings in his feet, which, gradually rising upwards, killed him. The Scripture reproaches him with having had recourse to physicians, rather than to the Lord. He was buried in the sepulchre which he had provided for himself in the city of David; and after his death they placed on the bed great quantities of perfumes and spices, with which his body was burned. His bones and ashes were then collected, and put into his grave.

ASAHEL, the son of Zeruiah, and brother of Joab. He was killed by Abner, in the battle of Gibeon, 2 Sam. ii, 18, 19, while he obstinately persisted in the pursuit of that general. To revenge his death, his brother Joab, some years after, treacherously killed Abner, who had come to wait on David at Hebron, in order to procure him to be acknowledged king by all Israel, 2 Sam. iii, 26, 27. See Abner.

ASAPH, a celebrated musician in the time of David, was the son of Barachias of the tribe of Levi. Asaph, and also his descendants, presided over the musical band in the service of the temple. Several of the psalms, as the fiftieth, the seventy-third to the eighty-third, have the name of Asaph prefixed; but it is not certain whether the words or the music were composed by him. With regard to some of them, which were written during the Babylonish captivity, they cannot in any respect be ascribed to him. Perhaps they were written or set to music by his descendants, who bore his name, or by some of that class of musicians of which the family of Asaph was the head, 1 Chron. vi, 39; 2 Chron. xxix, 30; xxxv, 15; Neh. xii, 46. The psalms which bear the name of Asaph are doctrinal or preceptive: their style, though less sweet than that of David, is more vehement, and little inferior to the grandeur of Isaiah.

ASCENSION OF CHRIST, his visible elevation to heaven. Our Saviour, having repeatedly conversed with his Apostles after his resurrection, and afforded them many infallible proofs of its reality, led them from Jerusalem to Bethany, and was raised up to heaven in their sight; there to continue till he shall descend at the last day to judge the quick and the dead. The evidences of this fact were numerous. The disciples saw him ascend, Acts i, 9, 10. Two angels testified that he did ascend, Acts i, 11. Stephen, Paul, and John saw him in his ascended state, Acts vii, 55, 56; ix; Rev. i. The ascension was demonstrated by the descent of the Holy Ghost, John xvi, 7, 14; Acts ii, 33; and the terrible overthrow and dispersion of the Jewish nation is still a standing proof of it, John viii, 21; Matt. xxvi, 64. The time of Christ’s ascension was forty days after his resurrection. He continued so many days upon earth that he might give repeated proofs of his resurrection, Acts i, 3; instruct his Apostles in every thing of importance respecting their office and ministry, Acts i, 3; and might open to them the Scriptures concerning himself, and renew their commission to preach the Gospel, Acts i, 5, 6; Mark xvi, 15. As to the manner of his ascension, it was from mount Olivet to heaven, not in appearance only, but in reality, and that visibly and locally. It was a real motion of his human nature; sudden, swift, glorious, and in a triumphant manner. He was parted from his disciples while he was solemnly blessing them; and multitudes of angels attended him with shouts of praise, Psalm lxviii, 17; xlvii, 5, 6.

The effects or ends of his ascension were, 1. To fulfil the types and prophecies concerning it; 2. To “appear” as a priest “in the presence of God for us;” 3. To take upon him more openly the exercise of his kingly office; 4. To receive gifts for men, both ordinary and extraordinary, Psalm lxviii, 18; 5. To open the way to heaven for his people, Heb. x, 19, 20; 6. To assure the saints of their ascension to heaven after their resurrection from the dead, John xiv, 1, 2.

ASHDOD, Azoth, according to the Vulgate, or Azotus, according to the Greek, a city which was assigned by Joshua to the tribe of Judah, but was possessed a long time by the Philistines, and rendered famous for the temple of their god Dagon, Joshua xv, 47. It lies upon the Mediterranean Sea, about nine or ten miles north of Gaza; and in the times when Christianity flourished in these parts was made an episcopal see, and continued a fair village till the days of St. Jerom. Here the ark of Jehovah triumphed over the Philistine idol Dagon, 1 Sam. v, 2.

ASHER, tribe of. The province allotted to this tribe was a maritime one, stretching along the coast from Sidon on the north to Mount Carmel on the south; including the cities Abdon, Achshaph, Accho, Achzib, Sarepta, Sidon, and Tyre. But of the northern half of this territory, that is, from Tyre northward, this tribe never became possessed, not having expelled the Phœnician inhabitants, who are supposed not to have been pure Canaanites, but a mixture of this people with a Cuthite colony from Egypt. Asher was the most northerly of the tribes; and had that of Naphtali on the west, and Zebulun on the south.

ASHES. Several religious ceremonies, and some symbolical ones, anciently depended upon the use of ashes. To repent in sackcloth and 98ashes, or, as an external sign of self-affliction for sin, or of suffering under some misfortune, to sit in ashes, are expressions common in Scripture. “I am but dust and ashes,” exclaims Abraham before the Lord, Gen. xviii, 27; indicating a deep sense of his own meanness in comparison with God. God threatens to shower down dust and ashes on the lands instead of rain, Deut. xxviii, 24; thereby to make them barren instead of blessing them, to dry them up instead of watering them. Tamar, after the injury she had received from Amnon, covered her head with ashes, 2 Sam. xiii, 19. The Psalmist, in great sorrow, says poetically, he had “eaten ashes as it were bread,” Psalm cii, 9; that is, he sat on ashes, he threw ashes on his head; and his food, his bread, was sprinkled with the ashes wherewith he was himself covered. So Jeremiah introduces Jerusalem saying, “The Lord hath covered me with ashes,” Lamentations iii, 16. Sitting on ashes, or lying down among ashes, was a token of extreme grief. We find it adopted by Job, ii, 8; by many Jews when in great fear, Esther iv, 3; and by the king of Nineveh, Jonah iii, 6. He arose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. This token of affliction is illustrated by Homer’s description of old Laertes grieving for the absence of his son, “Sleeping in the apartment where the slaves slept, in the ashes, near the fire.” Compare Jer. vi, 26, “Daughter of my people, wallow thyself in ashes.” There was a sort of ley and lustral water, made with the ashes of the heifer sacrificed on the great day of expiation; these ashes were distributed to the people, and used in purifications, by sprinkling, to such as had touched a dead body, or had been present at funerals, Num. xix, 17.

ASHKENAZ, one of the sons of Gomer, and grandson of Japheth, who gave his name to the country first peopled by him in the north and north-western part of Asia Minor, answering to Bithynia; where were traces long after of his name, particularly in that of Ascanius, applied to a bay and city, as well as to some islands lying along the coast. It was also from this country, most probably, that the king Ascanius, mentioned by Homer, came to the aid of Priamus at the siege of Troy. From the same source, likewise, the Pontus Euxinus, or Black Sea, derived its name. It may farther be remarked on the identity of these countries, that the Prophet Jeremiah, predicting the capture of Babylon, and calling by name the countries which were to rise against it, exclaims, “Call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, (or Armenia,) Minni, and Ashkenaz:” which was literally fulfilled; as Xenophen informs us that Cyrus, after taking Sardis, became master of Phrygia on the Hellespont, and took along with him many soldiers of that country.

ASHTAROTH, or Astarte, a goddess of the Zidonians. The word Ashtaroth properly signifies flocks of sheep, or goats; and sometimes the grove, or woods, because she was goddess of woods, and groves were her temples. In groves consecrated to her, such lasciviousness was committed as rendered her worship infamous. She was also called the queen of heaven; and sometimes her worship is said to be that of “the host of heaven.” She was certainly represented in the same manner as Isis, with cows’ horns on her head, to denote the increase and decrease of the moon. Cicero calls her the fourth Venus of the Syrians. She is almost always joined with Baal, and is called a god, the Scriptures having no particular word to express a goddess. It is believed that the moon was adored in this idol. Her temples generally accompanied those of the sun; and while bloody sacrifices or human victims were offered to Baal, bread, liquors, and perfumes were presented to Astarte. For her, tables were prepared upon the flat terrace roofs of houses, near gates, in porches, and at crossways, on the first day of every month; and this was called by the Greeks, Hecate’s supper.

Solomon, seduced by his foreign wives, introduced the worship of Ashtaroth into Israel; but Jezebel, daughter of the king of Tyre, and wife to Ahab, principally established her worship. She caused altars to be erected to this idol in every part of Israel; and at one time four hundred priests attended the worship of Ashtaroth, 1 Kings xviii, 7.

ASHUR, the son of Shem, who gave his name to Assyria. It is believed that Ashur originally dwelt in the land of Shinar and about Babylonia, but that he was compelled by the usurper Nimrod to depart from thence, and settle higher toward the springs of the Tigris, in the province of Assyria, so called from him, where some think he built the famous city of Nineveh, and those of Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, Gen. x, 11, 12.

ASIA, one of the four grand divisions of the earth. It is also used in a more restricted sense for Asia Minor, or Anatolia. In the New Testament it always signifies the Roman Proconsular Asia, in which the seven Apocalyptic churches were situated.

ASKELON, a city in the land of the Philistines, situated between Azoth and Gaza, upon the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 520 furlongs from Jerusalem. The tribe of Judah, after the death of Joshua, took the city of Askelon, Judges i, 18, being one of the five governments belonging to the Philistines. The place at present is in ruins.

ASMONÆANS, a name given to the Maccabees, the descendants of Mattathias. After the death of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Jews were governed by their high priest, in subjection, however, to the Persian kings, to whom they paid tribute; but with full enjoyment of their liberties, civil and religious. Nearly three centuries of prosperity ensued, until they were cruelly oppressed by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, when they were compelled to take up arms in their own defence. Under the able conduct of Judas, surnamed Maccabeus, and his valiant brothers, the Jews maintained a religious war for twenty-six years with five successive kings of Syria; and after destroying upwards of two hundred thousand of 99their best troops, the Maccabees finally established the independence of their own country, and the aggrandisement of their family. This illustrious house, whose princes united the regal and pontifical dignity in their own persons, administered the affairs of the Jews during a period of a hundred and twenty-six years; until, disputes arising between Hyrcanus II, and his brother Aristobulus, the latter was defeated by the Romans, who captured Jerusalem, and reduced Judea to a military province, B. C. 59.

ASNAPPER, the king of Assyria, who sent the Cutheans into the country belonging to the ten tribes, Ezra iv, 10. Many take this prince to be Shalmaneser; but others, with more probability, think him to be Esar-haddon.

ASP, פתן. Deut. xxxii, 33; Job xx, 14, 16; Psalm lviii, 4; xci, 13; Isaiah xi, 8. A very venomous serpent, whose poison is so subtle as to kill within a few hours with a universal gangrene. This may well refer to the bæten of the Arabians, which M. Forskal describes as spotted with black and white, about one foot in length, and nearly half an inch in thickness, oviparous, and whose bite is death. It is the aspic of the ancients, and is so called now by the literati of Cyprus, though the common people call it kufi, (κȣ́φη,) deaf. With the PETHEN we may connect the python of the Greeks, which was, according to fable, a huge serpent that had an oracle at mount Parnassus, famous for predicting future events. Apollo is said to have slain this serpent, and hence he was called “Pythius.” Those possessed with a spirit of divination were also styled Πυθωνες. The word occurs in Acts, xvi, 16, as the characteristic of a young woman who had a pythonic spirit. It is well known that the serpent was particularly employed by the Heathens in their enchantments and divinations. See Serpent].

Pethen, פתן, is variously translated in our version; but interpreters generally consider it as referring to the asp. Zophar alludes to it more than once in his description of a wicked man: “Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper’s tongue shall slay him.” The venom of asps is the most subtle of all; it is incurable; and, if the wounded part be not instantly amputated, it speedily terminates the existence of the sufferer. To these circumstances, Moses evidently alludes in his character of the Heathen: “Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.” To tread upon the asp is attended with extreme danger; therefore, to express in the strongest manner the safety which the godly man enjoys under the protection of his heavenly Father, it is promised, that he shall tread with impunity upon these venomous creatures. No person of his own accord approaches the hole of these deadly reptiles; for he who gives them the smallest disturbance is in extreme danger of paying the forfeit of his rashness with his life. Hence, the Prophet Isaiah, predicting the conversion of the Gentiles to the faith of Christ, and the glorious reign of peace and truth in those regions which, prior to that period, were full of horrid cruelty, marvellously heightens the force of the whole description by declaring, “The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

ASS, המור, Arabic, chamara and hamar. There are three words referred by translators to the ass: 1. המור, which is the usual appellation, and denotes the ordinary kind; such as is employed in labour, carriage, and domestic services. 2. פררא, rendered onager, or “wild ass.” 3. אהון, rendered she ass. To these we must add, ערדיא, rendered wild asses, Dan. v, 21. The prevailing colour of this animal in the east is reddish; and the Arabic word, chamara, signifies to be red.

In his natural state he is fleet, fierce, formidable, and intractable; but when domesticated, the most gentle of all animals, and assumes a patience and submission even more humble than his situation. Le Clerc observes, that the Israelites not being allowed to keep horses, the ass was not only made a beast of burden, but used on journeys; and that even the most honourable of the nation were wont to be mounted on asses, which in the eastern countries were much larger and more beautiful than they are with us. Jair of Gilead had thirty sons who rode on as many asses, and commanded in thirty cities, Judges x, 4. Abdon’s sons and grandsons rode also upon asses, Judges xii, 4. And Christ makes his solemn entry into Jerusalem riding upon an ass, Matt. xxi, 4; John xii, 14. To draw with an ox and ass together was prohibited in the Mosaic law, Deut. xxii, 10. This law is thought to have respect to some idolatrous custom of the Gentiles, who were taught to believe that their fields would be more fruitful if thus ploughed; for it is not likely that men would have yoked together two creatures so different in their tempers and motions, had they not been led to it by some superstition. There might be, however, a physical reason for this injunction. Two beasts of a different species cannot well associate together; and on this account never pull pleasantly either in the cart or plough, and are not therefore “true yoke fellows.” Le Clerc considers this law as merely symbolical, importing that we are not to form improper alliances in civil and religious life; and he thinks his opinion confirmed by these words of St. Paul, 2 Cor. vi, 14: “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers;” which are simply to be understood as prohibiting all intercourse between Christians and idolaters, in social, matrimonial, and religious life. To teach the Jews the propriety of this, a variety of precepts relative to improper and heterogeneous mixtures were interspersed through their law; so that in civil and domestic life they might have them ever before their eyes.

The wild ass, called PARA, is probably the onager of the ancients. It is taller and a much more dignified animal than the common or domestic ass; its legs are more elegantly shaped; and it bears its head higher. It is peculiarly 100distinguished by a dusky woolly mane, long erect ears, and a forehead highly arched. The colour of the hair, in general, is of a silvery white. These animals associate in herds, under a leader, and are very shy. They inhabit the mountainous regions and desert parts of Tartary, Persia, &c. Anciently they were likewise found in Lycaonia, Phrygia, Mesopotamia, and Arabia Deserta. They are remarkably wild; and Job, xxxix, 5–8, describes the liberty they enjoy, the place of their retreat, their manners, and wild, impetuous, and untamable spirit. “Vain man would be wise, though he be born a wild ass’s colt,” Job xi, 12; עיר פרא, “ass colt,” not “ass’s colt;” יר being in apposition with פרא, and not in government. The whole is a proverbial expression, denoting extreme perversity and ferocity, and repeatedly alluded to in the Old Testament. Thus, Gen. xvi, 12, it is prophesied of Ishmael that he should be פרא אדם, a wild ass man; rough, untaught, and libertine as a wild ass. So Hosea, xiii, 15; “He (Ephraim) hath run wild (literally assified himself) amidst the braying monsters.” So again, Hosea viii, 9, the very same character is given of Ephraim, who is called “a solitary wild ass by himself,” or perhaps a solitary wild ass of the desert; for the original will bear to be so rendered. This proverbial expression has descended among the Arabians to the present day, who still employ, as Schultens has remarked, the expressions, “the ass of the desert,” or “the wild ass,” to describe an obstinate, indocile, and contumacious person. The Prophet Isaiah, xxxii, 14, describes great desolation by saying that “the wild asses shall rejoice where a city stood.” There is another kind of ass called, אתון. Abraham had ATONOTH, Gen. xii, 16; Balaam rode on an ATON, Num. xxii, 23. We find from 1 Chron. xxvii, 30, that David had an officer expressly appointed to superintend his ATONOTH; not his ordinary asses, but those of a nobler race; which implies at least equal dignity in this officer to his colleagues mentioned with him. This notion of the ATON gives also a spirit to the history of Saul, who, when his father’s ATONOTH were lost, was at no little pains to seek them; moreover, as beside being valuable, they were uncommon, he might the more readily hear of them if they had been noticed or taken up by any one; and this leads to the true interpretation of the servant’s proposed application to Samuel, verse 6, as though he said, “In his office of magistracy this honourable man may have heard of these strayed rarities, and secured them; peradventure he can direct us.”

Thus we find that these atonoth are mentioned in Scripture, only in the possession of judges, patriarchs, and other great men; insomuch that where these are there is dignity, either expressed or implied. They were also a present for a prince; for Jacob presented Esau with twenty, Gen. xxxii, 15. What then shall we say of the wealth of Job, who possessed a thousand? Another word which is rendered “wild ass” by our translators, Job xxxix, 5, is ORUD; which seems to be the same, that in the Chaldee of Daniel, v, 21, is called oredia. Mr. Parkhurst supposes that this word denotes the brayer, and that PARA and ORUD are only two names for the same animal. But these names may perhaps refer to different races, though of the same species; so that a description of the properties of one may apply to both, though not without some variation.

Who sent out the para free?
Or who hath loosed the bands of the orud?
Whose dwelling I have made the wilderness,
And the barren land (salt deserts) his resort:
The range of open mountains are his pasture,
And he searcheth after every green thing.

Gmelin observes that the onager is very fond of salt. Whether the “deserts” of the above text were salt marshes, or salt deserts, is of very little consequence; the circumstance shows the correctness of the Hebrew poet. In Daniel we read that Nebuchadnezzar dwelt with the OREDIA. We need not suppose that he was banished to the deserts, but was at most kept safely in an enclosure of his own park, where curious animals were kept for state and pleasure. If this be correct, then the ORUD was somewhat, at least, of a rarity at Babylon; and it might be of a kind different from the PARA, as it is denoted by another name. May it not be the Gicquetei of Professor Pallas, the wild mule of Mongalia which surpasses the onager in size, beauty, and perhaps in swiftness.

ASSIDEANS, by some named Chasideans, from chasidim, “merciful, pious.” They were a kind of religious society among the Jews, whose chief and distinguishing character was, to maintain the honour of the temple, and observe punctually the traditions of the elders. They were therefore not only content to pay the usual tribute for the maintenance of the house of God, but charged themselves with farther expense upon that account; for every day, except that of the great expiation, they sacrificed a lamb, in addition to the daily oblation, which was called the sin offering of the Assideans. They practised greater hardships and mortifications than others; and their common oath was, “By the temple;” for which our Saviour reproves the Pharisees, who had learned that oath of them, Matt. xxiii, 16. From this sect the Pharisees sprung. The Assideans are represented as a numerous sect, distinguished by its valour, as well as by its zeal for the law, 1 Mac. ii, 42. A company of them resorted to Mattathias, to fight for the law of God, and the liberties of their country. This sect arose either during the captivity, or soon after the restoration, of the Jews; and were probably in the commencement, and long afterward, a truly pious part of the nation; but they at length became superstitious.

ASSURANCE. The sense in which this term is used theologically is that of a firm persuasion of our being in a state of salvation. The doctrine itself has been matter of dispute among divines, and when considered as implying not only that we are now accepted of God through Christ, but that we shall be finally saved, or when it is so taken as to deny a state of salvation to those who are not so assured as to be free from all doubt, it is in many views 101questionable. Assurance of final salvation must stand or fall with the doctrine of personal unconditional election, and is chiefly held by divines of the Calvinistic school; and that nothing is an evidence of a state of present salvation but so entire a persuasion as amounts to assurance in the strongest sense, might be denied upon the ground that degrees of grace, of real saving grace, are undoubtedly mentioned in Scripture. Assurance, however, is spoken of in the New Testament, and stands prominent as one of the leading doctrines of religious experience. We have “full assurance of understanding;” that is a perfect knowledge and entire persuasion of the truth of the doctrine of Christ. The “assurance of faith,” in Hebrews ix, 22, is an entire trust in the sacrifice and priestly office of Christ. The “assurance of hope,” mentioned in Hebrews vi, 11, relates to the heavenly inheritance, and must necessarily imply a full persuasion that we are “the children of God,” and therefore “heirs of his glory;” and from this passage it must certainly be concluded that such an assurance is what every Christian ought to aim at, and that it is attainable. This, however, does not exclude occasional doubt and weakness of faith, from the earlier stages of his experience.

A comforting and abiding persuasion of present acceptance by God, through Christ, we may therefore affirm, must in various degrees follow true faith. In support of this view, the following remarks may be offered:--

If it is the doctrine of the inspired records, that man is by nature prone to evil, and that in practice he violates that law under which as a creature he is placed, and is thereby exposed to punishment;--if also it is there stated, that an act of grace and pardon is promised on the conditions of repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ;--if that repentance implies consideration of our ways, a sense of the displeasure of Almighty God, contrition of heart, and consequently trouble and grief of mind, mixed, however, with a hope inspired by the promise of forgiveness, and which leads to earnest supplication for the actual pardon of sin so promised, it will follow from these premises--either, 1. That forgiveness is not to be expected till after the termination of our course of probation, that is, in another life; and that, therefore, this trouble and apprehension of mind can only be assuaged by the hope we may have of a favourable final decision on our case;--or, 2. That sin is, in the present life, forgiven as often as it is thus repented of, and as often as we exercise the required and specific acts of trust in the merits of our Saviour; but that this forgiveness of our sins is not in any way made known unto us: so that we are left, as to our feelings, in precisely the same state as if sin were not forgiven till after death, namely, in grief and trouble of mind, relieved only by hope;--or, 3. The Scriptural view is, that when sin is forgiven by the mercy of God through Christ, we are, by some means, assured of it, and peace and satisfaction of mind take the place of anxiety and fear.

The first of these conclusions is sufficiently disproved by the authority of Scripture, which exhibits justification as a blessing attainable in this life, and represents it as actually experienced by true believers. “Therefore being justified by faith.” “There is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” “Whosoever believeth is justified from all things,” &c. The quotations might be multiplied, but these are decisive. The notion that though an act of forgiveness may take place, we are unable to ascertain a fact so important to us, is also irreconcilable with many scriptures in which the writers of the New Testament speak of an experience, not confined personally to themselves, or to those Christians who were endowed with spiritual gifts, but common to all Christians. “Being justified by faith we have peace with God.” “We joy in God, by whom we have received the reconciliation.” “Being reconciled unto God by the death of his Son.” “We have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but the spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba, Father.” To these may be added innumerable passages which express the comfort, the confidence, and the joy of Christians; their “friendship” with God; their “access” to him; their entire union and delightful intercourse with him; and their absolute confidence in the success of their prayers. All such passages are perfectly consistent with deep humility, and self-diffidence; but they are irreconcilable with a state of hostility between the parties, and with an unascertained and only hoped-for restoration of friendship and favour.

An assurance, therefore, that the sins which are felt to “be a burden intolerable” are forgiven, and that the ground of that apprehension of future punishment which causes the penitent to “bewail his manifold sins,” is taken away by restoration to the favour of the offended God, must be allowed, or nothing would be more incongruous and impossible than the comfort, the peace, the rejoicing of spirit, which in the Scriptures are attributed to believers.

Few Christians of evangelical views have, therefore, denied the possibility of our becoming assured of the favour of God in a sufficient degree to give substantial comfort to the mind. Their differences have rather respected the means by which the contrite become assured of that change in their relation to Almighty God, whom they have offended, which in Scripture is expressed by the term justification. The question has been, (where the notion of an assurance of eternal salvation has not been under discussion,) by what means the assurance of the divine favour is conveyed to the mind. Some have concluded that we obtain it by inference, others by the direct testimony of the Holy Spirit to the mind. See Holy Spirit.

ASSYRIA, a kingdom of Asia, of the extent, origin, and duration of which very different accounts have been given by ancient writers. Ctesias and Diodorus Siculus affirm, that the Assyrian monarchy, under Ninus and Semiramis, comprehended the greater part of the known world: but, if this had been the case, it is not likely that Homer and Herodotus 102would have omitted a fact so remarkable. The sacred records intimate that none of the ancient states or kingdoms were of considerable extent; for neither Chederlaomer, nor any of the neighbouring princes, were tributary or subject to Assyria; and “we find nothing,” says Playfair, “of the greatness or power of this kingdom in the history of the judges and succeeding kings of Israel, though the latter kingdom was oppressed and enslaved by many different powers in that period.” It is therefore highly probable that Assyria was originally of small extent. According to Ptolemy, this country was bounded on the north by part of Armenia and Mount Niphates; on the west by the Tigris; on the south by Susiana; and on the east by part of Media and the mountains Choatra and Zagros. Of the origin, revolutions, and termination of Assyria, properly so called, and distinguished from the grand monarchy which afterward bore this appellation, the following account is given by Mr. Playfair, as the most probable:--“The founder of it was Ashur, the second son of Shem, who departed from Shinar, upon the usurpation of Nimrod, at the head of a large body of adventurers, and laid the foundations of Nineveh, where he resided, and erected a new kingdom, called Assyria, after his name, Gen. x, 11. These events happened not long after Nimrod had established the Chaldean monarchy, and fixed his residence at Babylon; but it does not appear that Nimrod reigned in Assyria. The kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon were originally distinct and separate, Micah v, 6; and in this state they remained until Ninus conquered Babylon, and made it tributary to the Assyrian empire. Ninus, the successor of Ashur, Gen. x, 11, seized on Chaldea after the death of Nimrod, and united the kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon. This great prince is said to have subdued Asia, Persia, Media, Egypt, &c. If he did so, the effects of his conquests were of no long duration; for, in the days of Abraham, we do not find that any of the neighbouring kingdoms were subject to Assyria. Ninus was succeeded by Semiramis, a princess bold, enterprising, and fortunate; of whose adventures and exploits many fabulous relations have been recorded. Playfair is of opinion that there were two princesses of this name, who flourished at different periods: one, the consort of Ninus; and another, who lived five generations before Nitocris, queen of Nebuchadnezzar. Of the successors of Ninus and Semiramis nothing certain is recorded. The last of the ancient Assyrian kings was Sardanapalus, who was besieged in his capital by Arbaces, governor of Media, in concurrence with the Babylonians. These united forces defeated the Assyrian army, demolished the capital, and became masters of the empire, B. C. 821.

“After the death of Sardanapalus,” says Mr. Playfair, “the Assyrian empire was divided into three kingdoms; namely, the Median, Assyrian, and Babylonian. Arbaces retained the supreme authority, and nominated governors in Assyria and Babylon, who were honoured with the title of kings, while they remained subject and tributary to the Persian monarchs Belesis,” he says, “a Chaldean priest, who assisted Arbaces in the conquest of Sardanapalus, received the government of Babylon as the reward of his services; and Phul was intrusted with that of Assyria. The Assyrian governor gradually enlarged the boundaries of his kingdom, and was succeeded by Tiglath-pileser, Salmanasar, and Sennacherib, who asserted and maintained their independence. After the death of Assar-haddon, the brother and successor of Sennacherib, the kingdom of Assyria was split, and annexed to the kingdoms of Media and Babylon. Several tributary princes afterward reigned in Nineveh; but we hear no more of the kings of Assyria, but of those of Babylon. Cyaxares, king of Media, assisted Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the siege of Nineveh, which they took and destroyed, B. C. 606.”

The history of Assyria, deduced from Scripture, and acknowledged as the only authentic one by Sir Isaac Newton and many others, ascribes the foundation of the monarchy to Pul, or Phul, about the second year of Menahem, king of Israel, twenty-four years before the æra of Nabonassar, 1579 years after the flood, and, according to Blair, 769, or, according to Newton, 790, years before Christ. Menahem, having taken forcible possession of the throne of Israel by the murder of Shallum, 2 Kings xv, 10, was attacked by Pul, but prevented the hostilities meditated against him by presenting the invader with a thousand talents of silver. Pul, thus gratified, took the kingdom of Israel under his protection, returned to his own country, after having received voluntary homage from several nations in his march, as he had done from Israel, and became the founder of a great empire. As it was in the days of Pul that the Assyrians began to afflict the inhabitants of Palestine, 2 Kings xi, 9; 1 Chron. v, 26, this was the time, according to Sir Isaac Newton, when the Assyrian empire arose. Thus he interprets the words, “since the time of the kings of Assyria,” Nehem. ix, 32; that is, since the time of the kingdom of Assyria, or since the rise of that empire. But though this was the period in which the Assyrians afflicted Israel, it is not so evident that the time of the kings of Assyria must necessarily be understood of the rise of the Assyrian empire. However, Newton thus reasons; and observes, that “Pul and his successors afflicted Israel, and conquered the nations round about them; and upon the ruin of many small and ancient kingdoms erected their empire; conquering the Medes, as well as other nations.” It is farther argued, that God, by the Prophet Amos, in the reign of Jeroboam, about ten or twenty years before the reign of Pul, (see Amos vi, 13, 14,) threatened to raise up a nation against Israel; and that, as Pul reigned presently after the prophecy of Amos, and was the first upon record who began to fulfil it, he may be justly reckoned the first conqueror and founder of this empire. See 1 Chron. v, 26. Pul was succeeded on the throne of Assyria by his elder son Tiglath-pileser; and at the 103same time he left Babylon to his younger son Nabonassar, B. C. 747. Of the conquests of this second king of Assyria against the kings of Israel and Syria, when he took Damascus, and subdued the Syrians, we have an account in 2 Kings xv, 29, 37; xvi, 5,9; 1 Chron. v, 26; by which the prophecy of Amos was fulfilled, and from which it appears that the empire of the Assyrians was now become great and powerful. The next king of Assyria was Shalmaneser, or Salmanassar, who succeeded Tiglath-pileser, B. C. 729, and invaded Phœnicia, took the city of Samaria, and, B. C. 721, carried the ten tribes into captivity, placing them in Chalach and Chabor, by the river Gazon, and in the cities of the Medes, 2 Kings xvii, 6. Shalmaneser was succeeded by Sennacherib, B. C. 719; and in the year B. C. 714, he was put to flight with great slaughter by the Ethiopians and Egyptians. In the year B. C. 711 the Medes revolted from the Assyrians; Sennacherib was slain; and he was succeeded by his son Esar-Haddon, Asserhaddon, Asordan, Assaradin, or Sarchedon, by which names he is called by different writers. He began his reign at Nineveh, in the year of Nabonassar 42; and in the year 68 extended it over Babylon. He then carried the remainder of the Samaritans into captivity, and peopled Samaria with captives brought from several parts of his kingdom; and in the year of Nabonassar 77 or 78 he seems to have put an end to the reign of the Ethiopians over Egypt. “In the reign of Sennacherib and Asser-Hadon,” says Sir I. Newton, “the Assyrian empire seems arrived at its greatness; being united under one monarch, and containing Assyria, Media, Apolloniatis, Susiana, Chaldea, Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Phœnicia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and part of Arabia; and reaching eastward into Elymais, and Parætæcene, a province of the Medes; and if Chalach and Chabor be Colchis and Iberia, as some think, and as may seem probable from the circumcision used by those nations till the days of Herodotus, we are also to add these two provinces, with the two Armenias, Pontus, and Cappadocia, as far as to the river Halys: for Herodotus tells us that the people of Cappadocia, as far as to that river, were called Syrians by the Greeks, both before and after the days of Cyrus; and that the Assyrians were also called Syrians by the Greeks.” Asser-Hadon was succeeded in the year B. C. 668 by Saosduchinus. At this time Manasseh was allowed to return home, and fortify Jerusalem; and the Egyptians also, after the Assyrians had harassed Egypt and Ethiopia three years, Isa. xx, 3, 4, were set at liberty. Saosduchinus, after a reign of twenty years, was succeeded at Babylon, and probably at Nineveh also, by Chyniladon, in the year B. C. 647. This Chyniladon is supposed by Newton to be the Nebuchadonosor mentioned in the book of Judith, i, 1–15, who made war upon Arphaxad, king of the Medes; and, though deserted by his auxiliaries of Cilicia, Damascus, Syria, Phœnicia, Moab, Ammon, and Egypt, routed the army of the Medes, and slew Arphaxad. This Arphaxad is supposed to be either Dejoces or his son Phraortes, mentioned by Herodotus. Soon after the death of Phraortes, in the year B. C. 635, the Scythians invaded the Medes and Persians; and in 625, Nabopolassar, the commander of the forces of Chyniladon in Chaldea, revolted from him, and became king of Babylon. Chyniladon was either then or soon after succeeded at Nineveh by the last king of Assyria, called Sarac by Polyhistor. The authors of the Universal History suppose Saosduchinus to have been the Nebuchadonosor of Scripture, and Chyniladon or Chynaladan to have been the Sarac of Polyhistor. At length Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, married Amyit, the daughter of Astyages, king of the Medes, and sister of Cyaxares; and by this marriage the two families having contracted affinity, they conspired against the Assyrians. Nabopolassar being old, and Astyages dead, their sons Nebuchadnezzar and Cyaxares led the armies of the two nations against Nineveh, slew Sarac, destroyed the city, and shared the kingdom of the Assyrians. This victory the Jews refer to the Chaldeans; the Greeks, to the Medes; Tobit, xiv, 15, Polyhistor, and Ctesias, to both. With this victory commenced the great successes of Nebuchadnezzar and Cyaxares, and it laid the foundation of the two collateral empires of the Babylonians and Medes, which were branches of the Assyrian empire; and hence the time of the fall of the Assyrian empire is determined, the conquerors being then in their youth. In the reign of Josiah, when Zephaniah prophesied, Nineveh and the kingdom of Assyria were standing; and their fall was predicted by that Prophet, Zeph. i, 3; ii, 13. And in the end of his reign, Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt, the successor of Psammitichus, went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates, to fight against Carchemish, or Circutium; and in his way thither slew Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii, 29; 2 Chron. xxxv, 20; and therefore the last king of Assyria was not yet slain. But in the third and fourth years of Jehoiakim, the successor of Josiah, the two conquerors having taken Nineveh, and finished their war in Assyria, prosecuted their conquests westward; and, leading their forces against the king of Egypt, as an invader of their right of conquest, they beat him at Carchemish, and took from him whatever he had recently taken from the Assyrians, 2 Kings xxiv, 7; Jer. xlvi, 2; “and therefore we cannot err,” says Sir Isaac Newton, “above a year or two, if we refer the destruction of Nineveh, and fall of the Assyrian empire, to the third year, of Jehoiakim,” or the hundred and fortieth, or, according to Blair, the hundred and forty-first year of Nabonassar; that is, the year B. C. 607.

Of the government, laws, religion, learning, customs, &c, of the ancient Assyrians, nothing absolutely certain is recorded. Their kingdom was at first small, and subsisted for several ages under hereditary chiefs; and their government was simple. Afterward, when they rose to the sublimity of empire, their government seems to have been despotic, and the empire hereditary. Their laws were probably 104few, and depended upon the mere will of the prince. To Ninus we may ascribe the division of the Assyrian empire into provinces and governments; for we find that this institution was fully established in the reigns of Semiramis and her successors. The people were distributed into a certain number of tribes; and their occupations or professions were hereditary. The Assyrians had several distinct councils, and several tribunals for the regulation of public affairs. Of councils there were three, which were created by the body of the people, and who governed the state in conjunction with the sovereign. The first consisted of officers who had retired from military employments; the second, of the nobility; and the third, of the old men. The sovereigns also had three tribunals, whose province it was to watch over the conduct of the people. The Assyrians have been competitors with the Egyptians for the honour of having invented alphabetic writing. It appears, from the few remains now extant of the writing of these ancient nations, that their letters had a great affinity with each other. They much resembled one another in shape; and they ranged them in the same manner, from right to left.

ASTROLOGY, the art of foretelling future events, from the aspects, positions, and influences of the heavenly bodies. The word is compounded of ἀϛὴρ star, and λόγος, discourse; whence, in the literal sense of the term, astrology should signify no more than the doctrine or science of the stars. Astrology judiciary, or judicial, is what we commonly call simple astrology, or that which pretends to foretel mortal events, even those which have a dependence on the free will and agency of man; as if they were directed by the stars. This art, which owed its origin to the practice of knavery on credulity, is now universally exploded by the intelligent part of mankind. Judicial astrology is commonly said to have been invented in Chaldea, and thence transmitted to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; though some will have it of Egyptian origin, and ascribe the invention to Cham. But we derive it from the Arabians. The Chaldeans, and the Egyptians, and indeed almost all the nations of antiquity, were infatuated with the chimæras of astrology. It originated in the notion, that the stars have an influence, either beneficial or malignant, upon the affairs of men, which may be discovered, and made the ground of certain prediction, in particular cases; and the whole art consisted in applying astronomical observations to this fanciful purpose. Diodorus Siculus relates, that the Chaldeans learned these arts from the Egyptians; and he would not have made this assertion, if there had not been at least a general tradition that they were practised from the earliest times in Egypt. The system was, in those remote ages, intimately connected with Sabaism, or the worship of the stars as divinities; but whether it emanates from idolatry or fatality, it denies God and his providence, and is therefore condemned in the Scriptures, and ranked with practices the most offensive and provoking to the Divine Majesty.

ASTYAGES, otherwise, Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and successor to Phraortes. He reigned forty years, and died A. M. 3409. He was father to Astyages, otherwise called Darius the Mede. He had two daughters, Mandane and Amyit: Mandane married Cambyses, the Persian, and was the mother of Cyrus; Amyit married Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, and was the mother of Evilmerodach.

Astyages, otherwise called Ahasuerus in the Greek, Dan. ix, 1, or Cyaxares in Xenophon, or Apandus in Ctesias, was appointed by his father Cyaxares governor of Media, and sent with Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, against Saracus, otherwise called Chynaladanus, king of Assyria. These two princes besieged Saracus in Nineveh, took the city, and dismembered the Assyrian empire. Astyages was with Cyrus at the conquest of Babylon, and succeeded Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, as is expressly mentioned in Daniel, v, 30, 31, A. M. 3447. After his death Cyrus succeeded him, A. M. 3456.

ASUPPIM, a word which signifies gatherings, and the name of the treasury of the temple of Jerusalem, 1 Chron. xxvi, 15.

ATHALIAH, the daughter of Omri, king of Samaria, and wife to Jehoram, king of Judah. This princess, being informed that Jehu had slain her son Ahaziah, resolved to take the government upon herself, 2 Kings xi; which that she might effect without opposition, she destroyed all the children that Jehoram had by other wives, and all their offspring. But Jehosheba, the sister of Ahaziah, by the father’s side only, was at this time married to Jehoiada, the high priest; and while Athaliah’s executioners were murdering the rest, she conveyed Joash the son of Ahaziah away, and kept him and his nurse concealed in an apartment of the temple, during six years. In the seventh year, his uncle Jehoiada being determined to place him on the throne of his ancestors, and procure the destruction of Athaliah, he engaged the priests and Levites, and the leading men in all the parts of the kingdom in his interest, and in a public assembly produced him, and made them take an oath of secrecy and fidelity to him. He then distributed arms among the people, whom he divided into three bodies, one to guard the person of the king, and the other two to secure the gates of the temple. After this, he brought out the young prince, set the crown on his head, put the book of the law into his hand, and with sound of trumpet proclaimed him; which was seconded with the joyful shouts and acclamations of the people. Athaliah, hearing the noise, made all haste to the temple; but when, to her astonishment, she saw the young king seated on a throne, she rent her clothes and cried out, “Treason!” But, at the command of Jehoiada, the guards seized and carried her out of the temple, putting all to the sword who offered to rescue or assist her; and then taking her to the stable gate belonging to the palace, there put her to death, A. M. 3126.

ATHANASIANS, the orthodox followers of St. Athanasius, the great and able antagonist 105of Arius. The Athanasian Creed, though generally admitted not to be drawn up by this father, (but probably, as Doctor Waterland says, by Hilary, bishop of Arles, in the fifth century,) is universally allowed to contain a fair expression of his sentiments. This creed says, “The Catholic faith is this: that we worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity: neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost;” namely, “uncreate, incomprehensible, eternal,” &c. The true key to the Athanasian Creed lies in the knowledge of the errors to which it was opposed. The Sabellians considered the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one in person;--this was “confounding the persons:” the Arians considered them as differing in essence--three beings;--this was “dividing the substance:” and against these two hypotheses was the creed originally framed. And since every sect was willing to adopt the language of Scripture, it was thought necessary to adopt scholastic terms, in order to fix the sense of Scripture language. Many, however, hold the doctrine of the Athanasian Creed, and approve its terms, who object to its damnatory clauses. See Arians.

ATHANASIUS, the celebrated patriarch of Alexandria, resisted Arius and his erroneous doctrines; and his sentiments as to the Trinity are embodied in the creed which bears his name, though not composed by him. At the Council of Nice, though then but a deacon of Alexandria, his reputation for skill in controversy gained him an honourable place in the council, and with great dexterity he exposed the sophistry of those who pleaded on the side of Arius. Notwithstanding the influence of the emperor, who had recalled Arius from banishment, and upon a plausible confession of his faith, in which he affected to be orthodox in his sentiments, directed that he should be received by the Alexandrian church, Athanasius refused to admit him to communion, and exposed his prevarication. The Arians upon this exerted themselves to raise tumults at Alexandria, and to injure the character of Athanasius with the emperor, who was prevailed upon to pronounce against him a sentence of banishment. In the beginning of the reign of Constantius he was recalled; but was again disturbed and deposed through the influence of the Arians. Accusations were also sent against him and other bishops from the east to the west, but they were acquitted by Pope Julius in full council. Athanasius was restored to his see upon the death of the Arian bishop, who had been placed in it. Arianism, however, being in favour at court, he was condemned by a council convened at Arles, and by another at Milan, and was obliged to fly into the deserts. He returned with the other bishops whom Julian the apostate recalled from banishment, and in A. D. 362, held a council at Alexandria, where the belief of a consubstantial Trinity was openly professed. Many now were recovered from Arianism, and brought to subscribe the Nicene Creed. During the reign of Jovian also Athanasius held another council, which declared its adherence to the Nicene faith; and with the exception of a short retirement under Valens he was permitted to sit down in quiet and govern his affectionate church of Alexandria. Athanasius was an eminent instrument of maintaining the truth in an age when errors affecting the great foundation of our faith were urged with great subtlety. He was by his acuteness able to trace the enemy through his most insidious modes of attack; and thus to preserve the simple and unwary from being misled by terms and distinctions, which, whilst they sounded in unison with the true faith of the Gospel, did in fact imply, or at least open the door to, the most deadly errors. The Scripture doctrine of the Trinity, as explained by him, at length triumphed over the heresies which at one time met with so much support and sanction; and the views of Athanasius have been received, in substance, by all orthodox churches to the present time.

ATHEIST, in the strict and proper sense of the word, is one who does not believe in the existence of a God, or who owns no being superior to nature. It is compounded of the two terms, α negative, and Θεὸς, God, signifying without God. Atheists have been also known by the name infidels; but the word infidel is now commonly used to distinguish a more numerous party, and is become almost synonymous with Deist. He who disbelieves the existence of a God, as an infinite, intelligent, and a moral agent, is a direct or speculative Atheist; he who confesses a Deity and providence in words, but denies them in his life and actions, is a practical Atheist. That Atheism existed in some sense before the flood, may be suspected from what we read in Scripture, as well as from Heathen tradition; and it is not very unreasonable to suppose, that the deluge was partly intended to evince to the world a heavenly power, as Lord of the universe, and superior to the visible system of nature. This was at least a happy consequence of that fatal catastrophe; for, as it is observed by Dean Sherlock, “The universal deluge, and the confusion of languages, had so abundantly convinced mankind of a divine power and providence, that there was no such creature as an Atheist, till their ridiculous idolatries had tempted some men of wit and thought, rather to own no God than such as the Heathens worshipped.”

Atheistical principles were long nourished and cherished in Greece, and especially among the atomical, peripatetic, and skeptical philosophers; and hence some have ascribed the origin of Atheism to the philosophy of Greece. This is true, if they mean that species of refined Atheism, which contrives any impious scheme of principles to account for the origin of the world, without a divine being. For though there may have been in former ages, and in other countries, some persons irreligious in principle as well as in practice, yet we know 106of none who, forming a philosophical scheme of impiety, became a sect, and erected colleges of Atheistical learning, till the arrogant and enterprising genius of Greece undertook that detestable work. Carrying their presumptuous and ungoverned speculations into the very essence of the divinity, at first they doubted, and at length denied, the existence of a first cause independent of nature and of a providence that superintends its laws, and governs the concerns of mankind. These principles, with the other improvements of Greece, were transferred to Rome; and, excepting in Italy, we hear little of Atheism, for many ages after the Christian æra. “For some ages before the Reformation,” says Archbishop Tillotson, “Atheism was confined to Italy, and had its chief residence at Rome. But, in this last age, Atheism has travelled over the Alps and infected France, and now of late it hath crossed the seas, and invaded our nation, and hath prevailed to amazement.” However, to Tillotson, and other able writers, we owe its suppression in this country; for they pressed it down with a weight of sound argument, from which it has never been able to raise itself. For although in our time, in France and Germany a subtle Atheism was revived, and spread its unhallowed and destructive influence for many years throughout the Continent, it made but little progress in this better-instructed nation.

Atheism, in its primary sense, comprehends, or at least goes beyond, every heresy in the world; for it professes to acknowledge no religion, true or false. The two leading hypotheses which have prevailed, among Atheists, respecting this world and its origin, are, that of Ocellus Lucanus, adopted and improved by Aristotle, that it was eternal; and that of Epicurus, that it was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms. “That the soul is material and mortal, Christianity an imposture, the Scripture a forgery, the worship of God superstition, hell a fable, and heaven a dream, our life without providence, and our death without hope, like that of asses and dogs, are part of the glorious gospel of our modern Atheists.”

The being of a God may be proved from the marks of design, and from the order and beauty visible in the world; from universal consent; from the relation of cause and effect; from internal consciousness; and from the necessity of a final as well as an efficient cause.

Of all the false doctrines and foolish opinions that ever infested the mind of man, nothing can possibly equal that of Atheism, which is such a monstrous contradiction of all evidence, to all the powers of understanding, and the dictates of common sense, that it may be well questioned whether any man can really fall into it by a deliberate use of his judgment. All nature so clearly points out, and so loudly proclaims, a Creator of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, that whoever hears not its voice, and sees not its proofs, may well be thought wilfully deaf, and obstinately blind. If it be evident, self-evident to every man of thought, that there can be no effect without a cause, what shall we say of that manifold combination of effects, that series of operations, that system of wonders, which fill the universe, which present themselves to all our perceptions, and strike our minds and our senses on every side? Every faculty, every object of every faculty, demonstrates a Deity. The meanest insect we can see, the minutest and most contemptible weed we can tread upon, is really sufficient to confound Atheism, and baffle all its pretensions. How much more that astonishing variety and multiplicity of God’s works with which we are continually surrounded! Let any man survey the face of the earth, or lift up his eyes to the firmament; let him consider the nature and instincts of brute animals, and afterward look into the operations of his own mind, and will he presume to say or suppose that all the objects he meets with are nothing more than the result of unaccountable accidents and blind chance? Can he possibly conceive that such wonderful order should spring out of confusion? or that such perfect beauty should be ever formed by the fortuitous operations of unconscious, unactive particles of matter? As well, nay better, and more easily, might he suppose that an earthquake might happen to build towns and cities; or the materials carried down by a flood fit themselves up without hands into a regular fleet. For what are towns, cities, or fleets, in comparison of the vast and amazing fabric of the universe! In short, Atheism offers such violence to all our faculties, that it seems scarce credible it should ever really find any place in the human understanding. Atheism is unreasonable, because it gives no tolerable account of the existence of the world. This is one of the greatest difficulties with which the Atheist has to contend. For he must suppose either that the world is eternal, or that it was formed by chance and a fortuitous concourse of the parts of matter. That the world had a beginning, is evident from universal tradition, and the most ancient history that exists; from there being no memorials of any actions performed previously to the time assigned in that history as the æra of the creation; from the origin of learning and arts, and the liability of the parts of matter to decay. That the world was not produced by chance, is also evident. Nothing can be more unreasonable than to ascribe to chance an effect which appears with all the characters of a wise design and contrivance. Will chance fit means to ends, even in ten thousand instances, and not fail in a single one? How often might a man, after shaking a set of letters in a bag, throw them on the ground, before they would become an exact poem, or form a good discourse in prose? In short, the arguments in proof of Deity are so numerous, and at the same time so obvious to a thinking mind, that to waste time in disputing with an Atheist, is approaching too much toward that irrationality, which may be considered as one of the most striking characteristics of the sect.

The more noted Atheist, since the Reformation, are Machiavel, Spinoza, Hobbes, Blount, and Vanini. To these may be added Hume, 107and Voltaire the corypheus of the sect, and the great nursing father of that swarm of them which has appeared in these last days.

Dr. Samuel Clarke, in his “Demonstration of the Being of a God,” says, that Atheism arises either from stupid ignorance, or from corruption of principles and manners, or from the reasonings of false philosophy; and he adds, that the latter, who are the only Atheistical persons capable of being reasoned with at all, must of necessity own that, supposing it cannot be proved to be true, yet it is a thing very desirable, and which any wise man would wish to be true, for the great benefit and happiness of man, that there was a God, an intelligent and wise, a just and good Being, to govern the world. Whatever hypothesis these men can possibly frame, whatever argument they can invent, by which they would exclude God and providence out of the world; that very argument or hypothesis, will of necessity lead them to this concession. If they argue, that our notion of God arises not from nature and reason, but from the art and contrivance of politicians; that argument itself forces them to confess, that it is manifestly for the interest of human society, that it should be believed there is a God. If they suppose that the world was made by chance, and is every moment subject to be destroyed by chance again; no man can be so absurd as to contend, that it is as comfortable and desirable to live in such an uncertain state of things, and so continually liable to ruin, without any hope of renovation, as in a world that is under the preservation and conduct of a powerful, wise, and good God. If they argue against the being of God, from the faults and defects which they imagine they can find in the frame and constitution of the visible and material world; this supposition obliges them to acknowledge that it would have been better the world had been made by an intelligent and wise Being, who might have prevented all faults and imperfections. If they argue against providence, from the faultiness and inequality which they think they discover in the management of the moral world; this is a plain confession, that it is a thing more fit and desirable in itself, that the world should be governed by a just and good Being, than by mere chance or unintelligent necessity. Lastly, if they suppose the world to be eternally and necessarily self-existent, and consequently that every thing in it is established by a blind and eternal fatality; no rational man can at the same time deny, but that liberty and choice, or a free power of acting, is a more eligible state, than to be determined thus in all our actions, as a stone is to move, downward, by an absolute and inevitable fate. In a word, which way soever they turn themselves, and whatever hypothesis they make, concerning the original and frame of things, nothing is so certain and undeniable, as that man, considered without the protection and conduct of a superior Being, is in a far worse case than upon supposition of the being and government of God, and of men’s being under his peculiar conduct, protection, and favour.

ATHENS, a celebrated city of Greece, too well known to be here described. St. Paul’s celebrated sermon, Acts xvii, was preached on the Areopagus, or Hill of Mars, where a celebrated court was held which took cognizance of matters of religion, blasphemies against the gods, the building of temples, &c. (See Areopagus.) The inscription on the altar, “to the unknown God,” which St. Paul so appropriately made the text of his discourse, was adopted on the occasion of the city having been relieved from a pestilence; and they erected altars to “the God unknown,” either as not knowing to which of their divinities they were indebted for the favour, or, which is more probable, because there was something in the circumstances of this deliverance, which led them to refer it to a higher power than their own gods, even to the supreme God, who was not unfrequently styled, the “unknown,” by the wiser Heathens. The existence of such altars is expressly mentioned by Lucian. On the place where the great Apostle bore his noble testimony against idols, and declared to them the God whom they ignorantly worshipped, Dr. E. D. Clarke, the traveller, remarks, “It is not possible to conceive a situation of greater peril, or one more calculated to prove the sincerity of a preacher, than that in which the Apostle was here placed; and the truth of this, perhaps, will never be better felt than by a spectator, who from this eminence actually beholds the monuments of Pagan pomp and superstition by which he, whom the Athenians considered as the setter forth of strange gods, was then surrounded: representing to the imagination the disciples of Socrates and of Plato, the dogmatist of the porch, and the skeptic of the academy, addressed by a poor and lowly man, who, ‘rude in speech,’ without the ‘enticing words of man’s wisdom,’ enjoined precepts contrary to their taste, and very hostile to their prejudices. One of the peculiar privileges of the Areopagitæ seems to have been set at defiance by the zeal of St. Paul on this occasion; namely, that of inflicting extreme and exemplary punishment upon any person who should slight the celebration of the holy mysteries, or blaspheme the gods of Greece. We ascended to the summit by means of steps cut in the natural stone. The sublime scene here exhibited is so striking, that a brief description of it may prove how truly it offers to us a commentary upon the Apostle’s words, as they were delivered upon the spot. He stood upon the top of the rock, and beneath the canopy of heaven. Before him there was spread a glorious prospect of mountains, islands, seas, and skies; behind him towered the lofty Acropolis, crowned with all its marble temples. Thus every object, whether in the face of nature, or among the works of art, conspired to elevate the mind, and to fill it with reverence toward that Being who made and governs the world, Acts xvii, 24, 28; who sitteth in that light which no mortal eye can approach, and yet is nigh unto the meanest of his creatures; in whom we live, and move, and have our being.”

108ATONEMENT, the satisfaction offered to divine justice by the death of Christ for the sins of mankind, by virtue of which all true penitents who believe in Christ are personally reconciled to God, are freed from the penalty of their sins, and entitled to eternal life. The atonement for sin made by the death of Christ, is represented in the Christian system as the means by which mankind may be delivered from the awful catastrophe of eternal death; from judicial inflictions of the displeasure of a Governor, whose authority has been contemned, and whose will has been resisted, which shall know no mitigation in their degree, nor bound to their duration. This end it professes to accomplish by means which, with respect to the Supreme Governor himself, preserve his character from mistake, and maintain the authority of his government; and with respect to man, give him the strongest possible reason for hope, and render more favourable the condition of his earthly probation. These are considerations which so manifestly show, from its own internal constitution, the superlative importance and excellence of Christianity, that it would be exceedingly criminal to overlook them.

How sin may be forgiven without leading to such misconceptions of the divine character as would encourage disobedience, and thereby weaken the influence of the divine government, must be considered as a problem of very difficult solution. A government which admitted no forgiveness, would sink the guilty to despair; a government which never punishes offence, is a contradiction,--it cannot exist. Not to punish the guilty, is to dissolve authority; to punish without mercy, is to destroy, and where all are guilty, to make the destruction universal. That we cannot sin with impunity, is a matter determined. The Ruler of the world is not careless of the conduct of his creatures; for that penal consequences are attached to the offence, is not a subject of argument, but is matter of fact evident by daily observation of the events and circumstances of the present life. It is a principle therefore already laid down, that the authority of God must be preserved; but it ought to be remarked, that in that kind of administration which restrains evil by penalty, and encourages obedience by favour and hope, we and all moral creatures are the interested parties, and not the divine Governor himself, whom, because of his independent and all-sufficient nature, our transgressions cannot injure. The reasons, therefore, which compel him to maintain his authority do not terminate in himself. If he treats offenders with severity, it is for our sake, and for the sake of the moral order of the universe, to which sin, if encouraged by a negligent administration, or by entire or frequent impunity, would be the source of endless disorder and misery; and if the granting of pardon to offence be strongly and even severely guarded, so that no less a satisfaction could be accepted than the death of God’s own Son, we are to refer this to the moral necessity of the case as arising out of the general welfare of accountable creatures, liable to the deep evil of sin, and not to any reluctance on the part of our Maker to forgive, much less to any thing vindictive in his nature,--charges which have been most inconsiderately and unfairly said to be implied in the doctrine of Christ’s vicarious sufferings. If it then be true, that the release of offending man from future punishment, and his restoration to the divine favour, ought, for the interests of mankind themselves, and for the instruction and caution of other beings, to be so bestowed, that no license shall be given to offence;--that God himself, whilst he manifests his compassion, should not appear less just, less holy, than he really is;--that his authority should be felt to be as compelling, and that disobedience should as truly, though not unconditionally, subject us to the deserved penalty, as though no hope of forgiveness had been exhibited;--we ask, On what scheme, save that which is developed in the New Testament, are these necessary conditions provided for? Necessary they are, unless we contend for a license and an impunity which shall annul all good government in the universe, a point for which no reasonable man will contend; and if so, then we must allow that there is strong internal evidence of the truth of the doctrine of Scripture, when it makes the offer of pardon consequent only upon the securities we have before mentioned. If it be said, that sin may be pardoned in the exercise of the divine prerogative, the reply is, that if this prerogative were exercised toward a part of mankind only, the passing by of the rest would be with difficulty reconciled to the divine character; and if the benefit were extended to all, government would be at an end. This scheme of bringing men within the exercise of a merciful prerogative, does not therefore meet the obvious difficulty of the case; nor is it improved by confining the act of grace only to repentant criminals. For in the immediate view of danger, what offender, surrounded with the wreck of former enjoyments, feeling the vanity of guilty pleasures, now past for ever, and beholding the approach of the delayed penal visitation, but would repent? Were the principle of granting pardon to repentance to regulate human governments, every criminal would escape, and judicial forms would become a subject for ridicule. Nor is it recognised by the divine Being in his conduct to men in the present state, although in this world punishments are not final and absolute. Repentance does not restore health injured by intemperance; property, wasted by profusion; or character, once stained by dishonourable practices. If repentance alone could secure pardon, then all must be pardoned, and government dissolved, as in the case of forgiveness by the exercise of mere prerogative; but if an arbitrary selection be made, then different and discordant principles of government are introduced into the divine administration, which is a derogatory supposition.

The question proposed abstractedly, How may mercy be extended to offending creatures, the subjects of the divine government, without 109encouraging vice, by lowering the righteous and holy character of God, and the authority of his government, in the maintenance of which the whole universe of beings are interested? is, therefore, at once one of the most important and one of the most difficult that can employ the human mind. None of the theories which have been opposed to Christianity affords a satisfactory solution of the problem. They assume principles either destructive of moral government, or which cannot, in the circumstances of man, be acted upon. The only answer is found in the Holy Scriptures. They alone show, and, indeed, they alone profess to show, how God may be “just,” and yet the “justifier” of the ungodly. Other schemes show how he may be merciful; but the difficulty does not lie there. The Gospel meets it, by declaring “the righteousness of God,” at the same time that it proclaims his mercy. The voluntary sufferings of the Divine Son of God “for us,” that is, in our room and stead, magnify the justice of God; display his hatred to sin; proclaim “the exceeding sinfulness” of transgression, by the deep and painful manner in which they were inflicted upon the Substitute; warn the persevering offender of the terribleness, as well as the certainty, of his punishment; and open the gates of salvation to every penitent. It is a part of the same divine plan also to engage the influence of the Holy Spirit, to awaken penitence in man, and to lead the wanderer back to himself; to renew our fallen nature in righteousness, at the moment we are justified through faith, and to place us in circumstances in which we may henceforth “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” All the ends of government are here answered--no license is given to offence,--the moral law is unrepealed,--a day of judgment is still appointed,--future and eternal punishments still display their awful sanctions,--a new and singular display of the awful purity of the divine character is afforded,--yet pardon is offered to all who seek it; and the whole world may be saved.

With such evidence of suitableness to the case of mankind, under such lofty views of connection with the principles and ends of moral government, does the doctrine of the atonement present itself. But other important considerations are not wanting to mark the united wisdom and goodness of that method of extending mercy to the guilty, which Christianity teaches us to have been actually and exclusively adopted. It is rendered, indeed, “worthy of all acceptation,” by the circumstance of its meeting the difficulties we have just dwelt upon,--difficulties which could not otherwise have failed to make a gloomy impression upon every offender awakened to a sense of his spiritual danger; but it must be very inattentively considered, if it does not farther commend itself to us, by not only removing the apprehensions we might feel as to the severity of the divine Lawgiver, but as exalting him in our esteem as “the righteous Lord, who loveth righteousness,” who surrendered his beloved Son to suffering and death, that the influence of moral goodness might not be weakened in the hearts of his creatures; and as a God of love, affording in this instance a view of the tenderness and benignity of his nature infinitely more impressive and affecting than any abstract description could convey, or than any act of creating and providential power and grace could exhibit, and, therefore, most suitable to subdue that enmity which had unnaturally grown up in the hearts of his creatures, and which, when corrupt, they so easily transfer from a law which restrains their inclination to the Lawgiver himself. If it be important to us to know the extent and reality of our danger, by the death of Christ it is displayed, not in description, but in the most impressive action; if it be important that we should have an assurance of the divine placability toward us, it here receives a demonstration incapable of being heightened; if gratitude be the most powerful motive of future obedience, and one which renders command on the one part, and active service on the other, “not grievous but joyous,” the recollection of such obligations as those which the “love of Christ” has laid us under, is a perpetual spring to this energetic affection, and will be the means of raising it to higher and more delightful activity for ever. All that can most powerfully illustrate the united tenderness and awful majesty of God, and the odiousness of sin; all that can win back the heart of man to his Maker and Lord, and render future obedience a matter of affection and delight as well as duty; all that can extinguish the angry and malignant passions of man to man; all that can inspire a mutual benevolence, and dispose to a self-denying charity for the benefit of others; all that can arouse by hope, or tranquillize by faith; is to be found in the vicarious death of Christ, and the principles and purposes for which it was endured.

The first declaration, on this subject, after the appearance of Christ, is that of John the Baptist, when he saw Jesus coming unto him, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;” where it is obvious, that when John called our Lord, “the Lamb of God,” he spoke of him under a sacrificial character, and of the effect of that sacrifice as an atonement for the sins of mankind. This was said of our Lord, even before he entered on his public office; but if any doubt should exist respecting the meaning of the Baptist’s expression, it is removed by other passages, in which a similar allusion is adopted, and in which it is specifically applied to the death of Christ, as an atonement for sin. In the Acts of the Apostles, the following words of Isaiah are, by Philip the evangelist, distinctly applied to Christ, and to his death: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth. in his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.” This particular part of the prophecy being applied to our Lord’s death, the whole must relate to the 110same subject; for it is undoubtedly one entire prophecy, and the other expressions in it are still stronger: “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed: the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In the First Epistle of Peter, is also a strong and very apposite text, in which the application of the term “lamb” to our Lord, and the sense in which it is applied, can admit of no doubt: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1 Peter i, 18, 19. It is therefore evident that the Prophet Isaiah, six hundred years before the birth of Jesus; that John the Baptist, on the commencement of his ministry; and that St. Peter, his friend, companion and Apostle, subsequent to the transaction; speak of Christ’s death as an atonement for sin, under the figure of a lamb sacrificed.

The passages that follow, plainly and distinctly declare the atoning efficacy of Christ’s death: “Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation,” Heb. ix, 26, 28. “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” Heb. x, 12. It is observable, that nothing similar is said of the death of any other person, and that no such efficacy is imputed to any other martyrdom. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us; much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him: for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life,” Rom. v, 8–10. The words, “reconciled to God by the death of his Son,” show that his death had an efficacy in our reconciliation; but reconciliation is only preparatory to salvation. “He has reconciled us to his Father in his cross, and in the body of his flesh through death,” Col. i, 20, 22. What is said of reconciliation in these texts, is in some others spoken of sanctification, which is also preparatory to salvation. “We are sanctified,”--how? “by the offering of the body of Christ once for all,” Heb. x, 10. In the same epistle, the blood of Jesus is called “the blood of the covenant by which we are sanctified.” In these and many other passages that occur in different parts of the New Testament, it is therefore asserted that the death of Christ had an efficacy in the procuring of human salvation. Such expressions are used concerning no other person, and the death of no other person; and it is therefore evident, that Christ’s death included something more than a confirmation of his preaching; something more than a pattern of a holy and patient martyrdom; something more than a necessary antecedent to his resurrection, by which he gave a grand and clear proof of our resurrection from the dead. Christ’s death was all these, but it was something more. It was an atonement for the sins of mankind; and in this way only it became the accomplishment of our eternal redemption. See Day of Expiation.

AUGSBURGH, or AUGUSTAN CONFESSION. In 1530, a diet of the German princes was convened by the emperor Charles V, to meet at Augsburgh, for the express purpose of composing the religious troubles which then distracted Germany. On this occasion Melancthon was employed to draw up this famous confession of faith which may be considered as the creed of the German reformers, especially of the more temperate among them. It consisted of twenty-one articles, including the following points:--The Trinity, original sin, the incarnation, justification by faith, the word and sacraments, necessity of good works, the perpetuity of the church, infant baptism, the Lord’s Supper, repentance and confession, the proper use of the sacraments, church order, rites and ceremonies, the magistracy, a future judgment, free will, the worship of saints, &c. It then proceeds to state the abuses of which the reformers chiefly complained, as the denial of the sacramental cup to the laity, the celibacy of the clergy, the mass, auricular confession, forced abstinence from meats, monastic vows, and the enormous power of the church of Rome. The confession was read at a full meeting of the diet, and signed by the elector of Saxony, and three other princes of the German empire.

John Faber, afterward archbishop of Vienna, and two other Catholic divines, were employed to draw up an answer to this confession, which was replied to by Melancthon in his “Apology for the Augsburgh Confession” in 1531. This confession and defence; the articles of Smalcald, drawn up by Luther; his catechisms, &c, form the symbolical books of the Lutheran church; and it must be owned that they contain concessions in favour of some parts of popery, particularly the real presence, that few Protestants in this country would admit.

AUGUSTINE, or, as he is sometimes called in the court style of the middle ages, St. Austin, one of the ancient fathers of the church, whose writings for many centuries had almost as potent an influence on the religious opinions of Christendom as those of Aristotle exercised over philosophy. Indeed, it has often been mentioned as a fact, with expressions of regret, that the writings of no man, those of the Stagirite excepted, contributed more than those of St. Augustine to encourage that spirit of subtle disquisition which subsequently distinguished the era of the Schoolmen. He was born, November 13th, A. D. 354, at Tagasta, an episcopal city of Numidia in Africa. His parents, Patricius and Monica, were Christians of respectable rank in life, who afforded their son all the means of instruction which his excellent genius and wonderful aptitude for learning seemed to require. He studied grammar and rhetoric at Madura, until he was sixteen years old; and 111afterward removed to Carthage, to complete his studies. In both these cities, in all the fervour of unregenerate youth, he entered eagerly into the seducing scenes of dissipation and folly with which he was surrounded, and became not only depraved but infamous in his conduct. In this respect he was not improved by his subsequent connection with the Manichees, whose unhallowed principles afforded an excuse for his immorality, and threw a veil over the vilest of his actions. The simplicity and minuteness with which he has narrated the numerous incidents of his childhood, youth, and mature age, in his celebrated book of “Confessions,” have afforded abundant matter of ridicule to the profane and infidel wits of this and the last age. The reflections, however, which accompany his narrative, are generally important and judicious, and furnish to the moral philosopher copious materials for a history of the varieties of the human heart, and are of superior value to the humble Christian for the investigation and better knowledge of his own. With a strange though not uncommon inconsistency, few books have been more frequently quoted as authority on matters relating to general literature and philosophy by infidels themselves, than St. Augustine’s otherwise despised “Confessions,” and his “City of God.” But, whatever else is taught in this remarkable piece of autobiography, every pious reader will be delighted with the additional proofs which it contains of the ultimate prevalence of faithful prayer, especially on the part of Christian parents. Monica’s importunate prayers to heaven followed the aberrations of her graceless son,--when he settled at Carthage as a teacher of rhetoric; when he removed to Rome, and lodged with a Manichee;--and when he finally settled at Milan as professor of rhetoric. St. Ambrose was at that time, A. D. 384, bishop of Milan, and to his public discourses Augustine began to pay much attention. His heart became gradually prepared for the reception of divine truth, and for that important change of heart and principles which constitutes “conversion.” The circumstances attending this change, though often related, are not unworthy of being repeated, if only to show that the mode of the Holy Spirit’s operations was in substance the same in those early days as they are now; and time was when some of the soundest divines and most worthy dignitaries of the church of England were in the habit of referring with approbation to this well attested instance of change of heart. One of his Christian countrymen, Pontinius, who held a high situation at court, having perceived a copy of St. Paul’s Epistles lying on the table, entered one day into conversation with him and his friend Alipius about the nature of faith and the happiness of those who lived in the enjoyment of religion. Augustine was deeply affected at the close of this visit; and when Pontinius had retired, giving vent to his feelings he addressed Alipius in a most animated strain: “How is this? What shall we do? Ignorant people come, and seize upon heaven; and we, with our learning, (senseless wretches that we are!) behold we are immersed in flesh and blood! Are we ashamed to follow them? Yet is it not a still greater shame, not even to be able to follow them?” Full of remorse and contrition Augustine left the house and retired to a secret part of the garden, followed by his friend, who seemed on this occasion to be a partaker of his grief only because he saw him grieved in spirit. Unwilling to unman himself, as he accounted it, before Alipius, he left him; and throwing himself down under the branches of a large fig tree he poured out a torrent of tears which he was unable any longer to restrain, and exclaimed in bitterness of soul, “When, O Lord, when will thy anger cease? Why tomorrow? Why not at this time?” He instantly heard what he considered to be the voice of a child, saying Tolle, lege, “Take and read.” These two Latin words were repeated several times; Augustine reflected upon them, checked his tears, received them as the voice of God, and running into the house, opened, according to the divine direction, the Epistles of St. Paul which he had left on the table, and attentively read the first passage which he found. It was Romans xiii, 13, 14; a passage peculiarly applicable to him, in reference to his former habits and present state of mind: “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof.” He shut up the book, and was amazed that all his doubts and fears had vanished. Alipius was speedily informed of this wonderful change in his feelings and views; and after having desired to see the two verses, in the spirit of a true seeker he pointed out to Augustine the passage which immediately follows, and which he considered as peculiarly adapted to his own case: “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye,” &c, Rom. xiv, 1. The two friends then ran to acquaint Monica with these circumstances, the knowledge of which transported her with joy.

In a frame of mind not unfamiliar to those who have themselves had “much forgiven,” Augustine wished to retire at once from so wicked a world as that in which he had passed the first thirty-two years of his dissolute life. His secession, however, was only a temporary one; for he and Alipius were, a few months afterward, received by baptism into the Christian church. After having composed several religious treatises in his retreat near Tagasta, especially against the errors of the Manichees, from which he had been so recently reclaimed, he was, in the year 392, ordained priest by Valerius, bishop of Hippo, now a part of the Barbary States on the coast of Africa. He there held a public disputation with Fortunatus, a celebrated priest among the Manichees, and acquitted himself with great spirit and success, he also wrote and preached largely and to great effect against the Donatists and Manichees. His reputation as a divine increased; and he was, at the close of the year 395, ordained bishop of Hippo, in which high station he continued with great advantage to wage war against various orders of heretics.

112Augustine had hitherto directed his theological artillery principally against the predestinarian errors of the Manichees; but he was soon called upon to change his weapons and his mode of warfare, in attacking a new and not less dangerous class of heretics. In the year 412 he began to write against the injurious doctrines of Pelagias, a native of Britain, who had resided for a considerable time at Rome, and acquired universal esteem by the purity of his manners, his piety, and his erudition. Alarmed at the consequences which seemed to him obviously to result from allowing that Adam’s sin is transmitted to all his posterity, and fortified in his sentiments on this subject by those of Origen and Ruffinus, with the latter of whom he had associated, he boldly denied tenets which he did not believe. In the defence of his opinions, Pelagius, was seconded by Celestius, a man equally eminent for his talents and his virtues. Their principles were propagated at first rather by hints and intimations, than by open avowal and plain declarations; but this reserve was laid aside when they perceived the ready reception which their doctrines obtained; and Celestius began zealously to disseminate them in Africa, while Pelagius sowed the same tares in Palestine, whence they were speedily transplanted to almost every corner of Christendom. If the brief notices, which have come down to us respecting their tenets, in the writings of their adversaries, be correct, they affirmed, “It is not free will if it requires the aid of God; because every one has it within the power of his own will to do any thing, or not to do it. Our victory over sin and Satan proceeds not from the help which God affords, but is owing to our own free will. The prayers which the church offers up either for the conversion of unbelievers and other sinners, or for the perseverance of believers, are poured forth in vain. The unrestricted capability of men’s own free will is amply sufficient for all these things, and therefore no necessity exists for asking of God those things which we are able of ourselves to obtain; the gifts of grace being only necessary to enable men to do that more easily and completely which yet they could do themselves though more slowly and with greater difficulty; and that they are perfectly free creatures,” in opposition to all the current notions of predestination and reprobation. These novel opinions were refuted by St. Augustine and St. Jerom, as well as by Orosius a Spanish presbyter, and they were condemned as heresies in the council of Carthage and in that of Milevum. The discussions which then arose have been warmly agitated in various subsequent periods of the Christian church, though little new light has been thrown upon them from that age to the present. In his eagerness to confute these opponents St. Augustine employed language so strong as made it susceptible of an interpretation wholly at variance with the accountability of man. This led to farther explanations and modifications of his sentiments, which were multiplied when the Semi-Pelagians arose, who thought that the truth lay between his doctrines and those of the Pelagians. Concerning original sin, he maintained that it was derived from our first parents; and he believed he had ascertained in what the original sin conveyed by Adam to his posterity consisted. In his sentiments, however, upon the latter point he was rather inconsistent, at one time asserting that the essence of original sin was concupiscence, and at another expressing doubts respecting his own position. This subject was bequeathed as a legacy to the schoolmen of a subsequent age, who exercised their subtle wits upon all its ramifications down to the period of the council of Trent. On the consequences of the fall of our first parents, St. Augustine taught that by it human nature was totally corrupted, and deprived of all inclination and ability to do good. Before the age in which he lived, the early fathers held what, in the language of systematic theology, is termed the synergestic system, or the needfulness of human coöperation in the works of holiness; but though the freedom of the will was not considered by them as excluding or rendering unnecessary the grace of God, yet much vagueness is perceptible in the manner in which they express themselves, because they had not examined the subject with the same attention as the theologians by whom they were succeeded. Those early divines generally used the language of Scripture, the fertile invention of controversial writers, not having as yet displayed itself, except on the divine nature of Jesus Christ, and subsidiary terms and learned distinctions not being then required by any great differences of opinion. But as soon as Pelagius broached his errors, the attention of Christians was naturally turned to the investigation of the doctrine of grace. The opinions of St. Augustine on this subject, which soon became those of the great body of the Christian church, admitted the necessity of divine grace, or the influence of the Holy Spirit, for our obedience to the law of God. He ascribed the renovation of our moral constitution wholly to this grace, denied all coöperation of man with it for answering the end to be accomplished, and represented it as irresistible. He farther affirmed that it was given only to a certain portion of the human race, to those who showed the fruits of it in their sanctification, and that it secured the perseverance of all upon whom it was bestowed. Plaifere in his “Appello Evangelium” has given the following as the substance of that opinion of the order of predestination of which “many do say that St. Austin was the first author: 1. That God from all eternity decreed to create mankind holy and good. 2. That he foresaw man, being tempted by Satan, would fall into sin, if God did not hinder it; he decreed not to hinder. 3. That out of mankind, seen fallen into sin and misery, he chose a certain number to raise to righteousness and to eternal life, and rejected the rest, leaving them in their sins. 4. That for these his chosen he decreed to send his Son to redeem them, and his Spirit to call them and sanctify them; the rest he decreed to forsake, leaving them to Satan and themselves, and to punish them for their sins.”

After St. Augustine had thus in a great degree 113new moulded the science of theology, and had combined with it as an essential part of divine truth, that the fate of mankind was determined by the divine decree independently of their own efforts and conduct, and that they were thus divided into the elect and reprobate, it became necessary, in order to preserve consistency, to introduce into his system a limitation with respect to baptism, and to prevent the opinions concerning it from interfering with those which flowed from the doctrine of predestination. He accordingly taught, that baptism brings with it the forgiveness of sins; that it is so essential, that the omission of it will expose us to condemnation; and that it is attended with regeneration. He also affirmed that the virtue of baptism is not in the water; that the ministers of Christ perform the external ceremony, but that Christ accompanies it with invisible grace; that baptism is common to all, whilst, grace is not so; and that the same external rite may be death to some, and life to others. By this distinction he rids himself of the difficulty which would have pressed upon his scheme of theology, had pardon, regeneration, and salvation been necessarily connected with the outward ordinance of baptism; and limits its proper efficacy to those who are comprehended, as the heirs of eternal life, in the decree of the Almighty. Many, however, of those who strictly adhere to him in other parts of his doctrinal system, desert him at this point. Bishop Bedell speaks thus in disparagement of his baptismal views, in a letter to Dr. Ward: “This I do yield to my Lord of Sarum most willingly, that the justification, sanctification, and adoption which children have in baptism, is not univocè [univocally] the same with that which adulti [adults] have. I think the emphatical speeches of Augustine against the Pelagians, and of Prosper, are not so much to be regarded (who say the like of the eucharist also) touching the necessity and efficacy in the case of infants; and they are very like the speeches of Lanfranc and Guitmund of Christ’s presence in the sacrament, opposing veracitér, [truly] and veré [truly] to sacramentalitér; [sacramentally;] which is a false and absurd contraposition. The opinion of the Franciscans out of Scotus and Bernard, mentioned in the council of Trent, seems to be the true opinion; for they make the sacraments to be effectual, ‘because God gives them effectus regularitér concomitantes,’ [regularly accompanying effects,] and to contain grace no otherwise than as an effectual sign; and that grace is received by them as an investiture by a ring or staff, which is obsignando, [by signation.] Consider that if you will aver, that baptism washes away otherwise than sacramentally, that is, obsignatorily, original sin; yet you must allow that manner of washing for future actual sins; and you must make two sorts of justification, one for children, another for adulti; [adults;] and (which passes all the rest) you must find some promise in God’s covenant wherein he binds himself to wash away sin without faith or repentance. By this doctrine, you must also maintain that children do spiritually eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood, if they receive the eucharist, as for ages they did, and by the analogy of the passover they may; and sith [if] the use of this sacrament toties quoties [as often as it is used] must needs confer grace, it seems it were necessary to let them communicate, and the oftener the better, to the intent they might be stronger in grace: which opinion, though St. Austin and many more of the ancients do maintain, I believe you will not easily condescend unto, or that children dying without baptism are damned.” These remarks are important, as proceeding from the pen of the personal friend of Father Paul, who wrote the History of the council of Trent.

In the various discussions which have arisen concerning predestination and the doctrines with which it is connected, some modern divines have quoted the arguments of St. Augustine against the Manichees, and others those which he employed against the Pelagians, according to the discordant views which the combatants severally entertain on these controverted points. One of them has thus expressed himself, in his endeavour to reconcile St Augustine with himself:--“The heresy of Pelagius being suppressed, the catholic doctrine in that point became more settled and confirmed by the opposition; such freedom being left to the will of man, as was subservient unto grace, coöperating in some measure with those heavenly influences. And so much is confessed by St. Augustine himself, where he asks this question, ‘Doth any man affirm that free will is perished utterly from man by the fall of Adam?’ And thereunto he makes this answer: ‘Freedom is perished by sin; but it is that freedom only which we had in paradise, of having perfect righteousness with immortality.’ For, otherwise, it appears to be his opinion, that man was not merely passive in all the acts of grace which conduced to glory, according to the memorable saying of his, so common in the mouths of all men, ‘He who first made us without our help will not vouchsafe to save us at last without our concurrence.’ If any harsher expressions have escaped his pen, (as commonly it happeneth in the heats of a disputation,) they are to be qualified by this last rule, and by that before, in which it was affirmed, that ‘God could not with justice judge and condemn the world, if all men’s sins proceeded not from their own free will, but from some overruling providence which inforced them to it.‘” Another admirer of this father offers the following as an attempt at reconciliation: “St. Augustine denied that the coöperation of man is at all exerted to produce the renewal of our nature; but, when the renewal had been produced, he admitted that there was an exercise of the will combined with the workings of grace. In the tenth chapter of his work against the Manichæans, the bishop of Hippo thus expresses himself: ‘Who is it that will not exclaim, How foolish it is to deliver precepts to that man who is not at liberty to perform what is commanded! And how unjust it is to condemn him who had not power to fulfil the commands! 114Yet these unhappy persons [the Manichees] do not perceive that they are ascribing such injustice and want of equity to God. But what greater truth is there than this, that God has delivered precepts, and that human spirits have freedom of will?‘ Elsewhere he says, ‘Nothing is more within our power than our own will. The will is that by which we commit sin, and by which we live righteously.’ Nothing can be plainer than that the writer of these passages admitted the liberty of the human will, and the necessity of our own exertions in conjunction with divine grace. How this is to be reconciled with his general doctrine, is perhaps indicated in the following passage from his book De Gratiâ et lib. Arbitrio, c. 17. Speaking of grace he says, ‘That we may will God works without us; but when we will, and so will as to do, he co-works with us; yet unless he either works that we may will, or co-works when we do will, we are utterly incapable of doing any thing in the good works of piety.’” These are but very slight specimens of the mode in which learned and ingenious men have tried to give a kind of symmetrical proportion to this father’s doctrinal system. Several large treatises have been published with the same praiseworthy intention; the pious authors of them either entirely forgetting, or having never read, the rather latitudinarian indulgence of opinion which St. Augustine claims for himself in his “Retractations,” in which he has qualified the harshness of his previous assertions on many subjects. If, however, an estimate may be formed of what this father intended in his various pacifacatory doctrinal explanations from what he has actually admitted and expressed, it may be safely affirmed that no systematic writer of theology seems so completely to have entered into the last and best views of the bishop of Hippo, or so nearly reconciled the apparent discordances in them, as Arminius has done; and few other authors have rendered more ample justice to his sentiments, talents, and character, than the famous Dutch Professor.

Many were the theological labours to which he was invited by the most eminent of his contemporaries; and hastily as some of his lucubrations were executed, it is not surprising that among two hundred and seventy-two treatises on different subjects, some are of inferior value and unworthy of the fame which he had acquired in the church. After a life of various changes, and of a mixed character, he died A. D. 430, in the seventy-sixth year of his age; having been harassed at the close of life by seeing his country invaded by the Vandals, and the city of which he was the bishop besieged. Though those barbarians took Hippo and burned it, they saved his library, which contained his voluminous writings.

St. Augustine was a diligent man in the sacred calling; and that the office of a bishop even in that age of the church was no sinecure, is evident from several notices in his letters. At the close of one addressed to Marcellinus he gives the subjoined account: “If I were able to give you a narrative of the manner in which I spend my time, you would be both surprised and distressed on account of the great number of affairs which oppress me without my being able to suspend them. For when some little leisure is allowed me by those who daily attend upon me about business, and who are so urgent with me that I can neither shun them nor ought to despise them, I have always some other writings to compose, which indeed ought to be preferred, [to those which Marcellinus requested,] because the present juncture will not permit them to be postponed. For the rule of charity is, not to consider the greatness of the friendship, but the necessity of the affair. Thus I have continually something or other to compose which diverts me from writing what would be more agreeable to my inclinations, daring the little intervals in that multiplicity of business with which I am burdened either through the wants or the passions of others.” He frequently complains of this oppressive weight of occupation in which his love of his flock had engaged him, by obeying the Apostolical precept, which forbids Christians from going to law before Pagan tribunals. In reference to this employment his biographer, Posidonius, says: “At the desire of Christians, or of men belonging to any sect whatever, he would hear causes with patience and attention, sometimes till the usual hour of eating, and sometimes the whole day without eating at all, observing the dispositions of the parties, and how much they advanced or decreased in faith and good works; and when he had opportunity he instructed them in the law of God, and gave them suitable advice, requiring nothing of them except Christian obedience. He sometimes wrote letters, when desired, on temporal subjects; but looked upon all this as unprofitable occupation, which drew him aside from that which was better and more agreeable to himself.”

The character of this eminent father has been much misrepresented both as a man and as a writer. Whoever looks into his writings for accurate and enlarged views of Christian doctrine, looks for that which could not be expected in the very infancy of Biblical criticism. He was a rhetorician by profession, and the degenerate taste of that age must be blamed, rather than the individual who wrote in the style which then prevailed. The learning of St. Augustine, and particularly his knowledge of Greek, have been disputed; and hence the importance of his Biblical criticisms has been depreciated. In the account of the early part of his life he confesses his great aversion to the study of that language; and as he tells us, in his maturer age, that he read the Platonists in a Latin version, it has perhaps been too hastily concluded that he never made any great proficiency in it. But though it be allowed that his comments on Scripture consist chiefly of popular reflections, spiritual and moral, or allegorical and mystical perversions of the literal meaning; yet the works of this father are not wholly destitute of remarks and critical interpretations, that are pertinent and judicious: to such, after a series of extracts from his 115writings, Dr. Lardner has referred his readers. With regard to his knowledge of Greek, this impartial and candid author is of opinion, that he understood that language better than some have supposed; and he has cited several passages from which it may be perceived, that St. Augustine frequently compared his copies of the Latin version with those of the Greek original. Le Clerc himself allows that he sometimes explains Greek words and phrases in a very felicitous manner. Indeed, the commencement of his correspondence with St. Jerom proves him to have been no contemptible critic. In this he besought him, in the name of all the African churches, to apply himself to the translation into Latin of the Greek interpreters of Scripture, rather than to enter upon a new translation from the original Hebrew; and to point out those passages in which the Hebrew differed from the Septuagint, as he had previously done in the book of Job. Voltaire and other profane wits have, in the exercise of their buffoonery, impeached his moral conduct; but their charges, when impartially examined, will be seen to be founded in ignorance or in malice. They resemble those which the same parties prefer against Prophets, Apostles, and against Christ himself. Mosheim observes that Augustine’s high reputation filled the Christian world; and “not without reason, as a variety of great and shining qualities were united in the character of that illustrious man. A sublime genius, an uninterrupted and zealous pursuit of truth, an indefatigable application, an invincible patience, a sincere piety, and a subtle and lively wit, conspired to establish his fame upon the most lasting foundations.” Such a testimony as this far outweighs the vituperative remarks and petty sneers of a thousand infidels. See Pelagians and Synods.

AUGUSTUS, emperor of Rome, and successor of Julius Cæsar. The battle of Actium, which he fought with Mark Antony, and which made him master of the empire, happened fifteen years before the birth of Christ. This is the emperor who appointed the enrolment mentioned Luke ii, 1, which obliged Joseph and the Virgin Mary to go to Bethlehem, the place where Jesus Christ was born. Augustus procured the crown of Judea for Herod, from the Roman senate. After the defeat of Mark Antony, Herod adhered to Augustus, and was always faithful to him; so that Augustus loaded him with honours and riches.

AVEN, a city of Egypt, afterward called Heliopolis, and On, Ezek. xxx, 17. Herodotus informs us that in this city there was an annual assembly in honour of the sun, and a temple dedicated to him. It appears, however, highly probable, by the behaviour of Pharaoh to Joseph and Jacob, and especially by Joseph’s care to preserve the land to the priests, Gen. xlvii, 22, 26, that the true religion prevailed in Egypt in his time; and it is incredible that Joseph should have married the daughter of the priest of On, had that name among the Egyptians denoted only the material light; which, however, no doubt they, like all the rest of the world, idolized in after times, and to which we find a temple dedicated among the Canaanites, under this name, Joshua vii, 2.

AVENGER OF BLOOD. He who prosecuted the man-slayer under the law was called the avenger of blood, and had a right to slay the person, if he found him without a city of refuge. See Goel.

AVIMS, a people descended from Hevus, the son of Canaan. They dwelt at first in the country which was afterward possessed by the Caphtorims, or Philistines. The Scripture says expressly, that the Caphtorims drove out the Avims, who dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, Deut. ii, 23. There were also Avims, or Hivites, at Shechem, or Gibeon, Joshua xi, 19; for the inhabitants of Shechem were Hivites. Lastly, there were some of them beyond Jordan, at the foot of Mount Hermon. Bochart thinks, that Cadmus, who conducted a colony of the Phœnicians into Greece, was a Hivite. His name, Cadmus, comes from the Hebrew Kedem, “the east,” because he came from the eastern parts of the land of Canaan. The name of his wife Hermione was taken from Mount Hermon, at the foot whereof the Hivites dwelt. The metamorphoses of the companions of Cadmus into serpents is founded upon the signification of the name of Hivites, which, in the Phœnician language, signifies serpents.

AZARIAH, or UZZIAH, king of Judah, son of Amaziah. He began to reign at the age of sixteen years, and reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name being Jecholiah, 2 Kings xv. Azariah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; nevertheless he did not destroy the high places; and, against the express prohibition of God, the people continued to sacrifice there. Having taken upon him to offer incense in the temple, which office belonged entirely to the priests, he was struck with a leprosy, and continued without the city, separated from other men until the day of his death, 2 Chron. xxvi. Josephus says, that upon this occasion a great earthquake happened; and that the temple opening at the top, a ray of light darted upon the king’s forehead, the very moment he took the censer into his hand, and he instantly became a leper; nay, that the earthquake was so very violent, that it tore in sunder a mountain west of Jerusalem, and rolled one half of it over and over to the distance of four furlongs, till at length it was stopped by another mountain which stood over against it; but choked up the highway, and covered the king’s gardens with dust. This is what Josephus adds to the history related in the Chronicles; but the truth of it may be justly suspected. We know, indeed, that there was a very great earthquake in the reign of Uzziah; for Amos, chap. i, 1, and Zechariah, chap. xiv, 5, make mention of it: however, it is not certain that it happened at the very time that Uzziah took upon him to offer incense.

During the time that Uzziah was a leper, his son Jotham, as his father’s viceroy, took the public administration upon himself, and succeeded him after his death, which happened in the fifty-second year of his reign, A. M. 3246. 116He was not buried in the royal sepulchre; but in the same field, at some distance, on account of his leprosy.

The first part of Uzziah’s reign was very successful: he obtained great advantages over the Philistines, Ammonites, and Arabians. He made additions to the fortifications at Jerusalem, and always kept an army on foot of three hundred and seven thousand men, and upwards, 2 Chron. xxvi; and he had great magazines, well stored with all sorts of arms, as well offensive as defensive; and he was a great lover of agriculture.

BAAL, BEL, or BELUS, denoting lord, a divinity among several ancient nations; as the Canaanites, Phœnicians, Sidonians, Carthaginians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians. The term Baal, which is itself an appellative, served at first to denote the true God, among those who adhered to the true religion. Accordingly, the Phœnicians, being originally Canaanites, having once had, as well as the rest of their kindred, the knowledge of the true God, probably called him Baal, or lord. But they, as well as other nations, gradually degenerating into idolatry, applied this appellation to their respective idols; and thus were introduced a variety of divinities, called Baalim, or Baal, with some epithet annexed to it, as Baal Berith, Baal Gad, Baal Moloch, Baal Peor, Baal Zebub, &c. Some have supposed that the descendants of Ham first worshipped the sun under the title of Baal, 2 Kings xxiii, 5, 11; and that they afterward ascribed it to the patriarch who was the head of their line; making the sun only an emblem of his influence or power. It is certain, however, that when the custom prevailed of deifying and worshipping those who were in any respect distinguished among mankind, the appellation of Baal was not restricted to the sun, but extended to those eminent persons who were deified, and who became objects of worship in different nations. The Phœnicians had several divinities of this kind, who were not intended to represent the sun. It is probable that Baal, Belus, or Bel, the great god of the Carthaginians, and also of the Sidonians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, who, from the testimony of Scripture, appears to have been delighted with human sacrifices, was the Moloch of the Ammonites; the Chronus of the Greeks, who was the chief object of adoration in Italy, Crete, Cyprus, and Rhodes, and all other countries where divine honours were paid him; and the Saturn of the Latins. In process of time, many other deities, beside the principal ones just mentioned, were distinguished by the title of Baal among the Phœnicians, particularly those of Tyre, and of course among the Carthaginians, and other nations. Such were Jupiter, Mars, Bacchus, and Apollo, or the sun.

The temples and altars of Baal were generally placed on eminences: they were places inclosed by walls, within which was maintained a perpetual fire; and some of them bad statues or images, called in Scripture “Chamanim.” Maundrell, in his journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, observed, some remains of these enclosures in Syria. Baal had his prophets and his priests in great numbers; accordingly, we read of four hundred and fifty of them that were fed at the table of Jezebel only; and they conducted the worship of this deity, by offering sacrifices, by dancing round his altar with violent gesticulations and exclamations, by cutting their bodies with knives and lancets, and by raving and pretending to prophesy, as if they were possessed by some invisible power.

It is remarkable that we do not find the name Baal so much in popular use east of Babylonia; but it was general west of Babylonia, and to the very extremity of western Europe, including the British isles. The worship of Bel, Belus, Belenus, or Belinus, was general throughout the British islands; and certain of its rites and observances are still maintained among us, notwithstanding the establishment of Christianity during so many ages. A town in Perthshire, on the borders of the Highlands, is called Tilliebeltane or Tulliebeltane; that is, the eminence, or rising ground, of the fire of Baal. In the neighbourhood is a Druidical temple of eight upright stones, where it is supposed the fire was kindled. At some distance from this is another temple of the same kind, but smaller; and near it a well still held in great veneration. On Beltane morning, superstitious people go to this well, and drink of it; then they make a procession round it nine times. After this they in like manner go round the temple. So deep-rooted is this Heathenish superstition in the minds of many who reckon themselves good Protestants, that they will not neglect these rites, even when Beltane falls on the Sabbath.

In Ireland, Bel-tein is celebrated on the twenty-first of June, at the time of the solstice. There, as they make fires on the tops of hills, every member of the family is made to pass through the fire; as they reckon this ceremony necessary to ensure good fortune through the succeeding year. This resembles the rites used by the Romans in the Palilia. Bel-tein is also observed in Lancashire.

In Wales, this annual fire is kindled in autumn, on the first day of November; which being neither at the solstice nor equinox, deserves attention. It may be accounted for by supposing that the lapse of ages has removed it from its ancient station, and that the observance is kept on the same day, nominally, though that be now removed some weeks backward from its true station. However that may be, in North Wales especially, this fire is attended by many ceremonies; such as running through the fire and smoke, each participator casting a stone into the fire.

The Hebrews often imitated the idolatry of the Canaanites in adoring Baal. They offered human sacrifices to him in groves, upon high places, and upon the terraces of houses. Baal had priests and prophets consecrated to his service. All sorts of infamous and immodest actions were committed in the festivals of Baal and Astarte. See Jer. xxxii, 35; 2 Kings xvii, 11716; xxiii, 4, 5, 12; 1 Kings xviii, 22; 2 Kings x, 19; 1 Kings xiv, 24; xv, 12; 2 Kings xxiii, 7; Hosea iv, 14. This false deity is frequently mentioned in Scripture in the plural number, Baalim, which may intimate that the name Baal was given to several different deities.

There were many cities in Palestine, whose names were compounded of Baal and some other word: whether it was that the god Baal was adored in them, or that these places were looked upon as the capital cities,--lords of their respective provinces,--is uncertain.

BAAL BERITH, the god of the Shechemites, Judges viii, 33; ix, 4, 46.

BAAL PEOR. Peor is supposed to have been a part of Mount Abarim; and Baal was the great idol or chief god of the Phœnicians, and was known and worshipped under a similar name, with tumultuous and obscene rites, all over Asia. He is the same as the Bel of the Babylonians. Baal, by itself, signifies lord, and was a name of the solar or principal god. But it was also variously compounded, in allusion to the different characters and attributes of the particular or local deities who were known by it, as Baal Peor, Baal Zebub, Baal Zephon, &c. Baal Peor, then, was probably the temple of an idol belonging to the Moabites, on Mount Abarim, which the Israelites worshipped when encamped at Shittim; this brought a plague upon them, of which twenty-four thousand died, Num. xxxv. Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, to whom Solomon erected an altar, 1 Kings xi, 7, is supposed to have been the same deity. Baal Peor has been farther supposed by some to have been Priapus; by others, Saturn; by others, Pluto; and by others again, Adonis. Mr. Faber agrees with Calmet in making Baal Peor the same with Adonis; a part of whose worship consisted in bewailing him with funeral rites, as one lost or dead, and afterward welcoming, with extravagant joy, his fictitious return to life. He was in an eminent degree the god of impurity. Hosea, speaking of the worship of this idol, emphatically calls it “that shame,” Hos. ix, 10. Yet in the rites of this deity the Moabite and Midianite women seduced the Israelites to join.

BAAL ZEBUB, BEELZEBUB, or BEL-ZEBUB, signifies the god of flies, and was an idol of the Ekronites. It is not easy to discover how this false deity obtained its name. Some commentators think that he was called Baal Samin, or the lord of heaven; but that the Jews, from contempt, gave him the name of Baal-zebub. Others with greater reason believe that he was denominated “the god of flies” by his votaries, because he defended them from flies, which are extremely troublesome in hot countries; in the same manner as the Eleans worshipped Hercules under the appellation of Ἀπόμυιος, the fly chaser. Pliny is of opinion, that the name of Achor, the god invoked at Cyrene against flies, is derived from Accaron, or Ekron, where Baal-zebub was worshipped, and where he had a famous temple and oracle. Winkelman has given the figures of two heads, “both of them images of Jupiter, called by the Greeks Ἀπόμυιος, and by the Romans Muscarius; that is to say, fly driver; for to this Jupiter was attributed the function of driving away flies.”

It is evident that Beelzebub was considered as the patron deity of medicine; for this is plainly implied in the conduct of Ahaziah, 2 Kings i. The Greek mythology considered Apollo as the god of medicine, and attributed also to him those possessions by a pythonic spirit which occasionally perplexed spectators, and of which we have an instance in Acts xvi, 19. Apollo, too, was the sun. Hence we probably see the reason why Ahaziah sent to Beelzebub to inquire the issue of his accident; since Beelzebub was Apollo, and Apollo was the god of physic. The Jews, who changed Beelzebub into Beelzebul, “god of a dunghill,” perhaps had a reference to the Greek of pytho, which signifies putrefied. In Scripture Beelzebub is called “the prince of devils,” Matt. xii, 24; Luke xi, 15; merely, it would seem, through the application of the name of the chief idol of the Heathen world to the prince of evil spirits. This was natural, since the Jews were taught in their own Scriptures to consider all the idols of the Heathens “devils.” Those commentators who think that the idol of Ekron himself is intended, have indulged in an improbable fancy. See Hornet.

BAAL ZEPHON, or the god of the watch tower, was probably the temple of some idol, which served at the same time for a place of observation for the neighbouring sea and country, and a beacon to the travellers by either. It was situated on a cape or promontory on the eastern side of the western or Heroopolitan branch of the Red Sea, near its northern extremity, over against Pihahiroth, or the opening in the mountains which led from the desert, on the side of Egypt, to the Red Sea.

BAASHA, the son of Ahijah, commander-in-chief of the armies belonging to Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, king of Israel. Baasha killed his master treacherously at the siege of Gibbethon, a city of the Philistines, A. M. 3051, and usurped the crown, which he possessed twenty-four years, 1 Kings xv, 27, &c. And, to secure himself in his usurpation, he massacred all the relatives of his predecessor; which barbarous action proved the accomplishment of the prophecy denounced against the house of Jeroboam by Ahijah, the prophet, 1 Kings xiv, 1, &c.

BABEL, the tower and city founded by the descendants of Noah in the plain of Shinar. The different tribes descended from Noah were here collected, and from this point were dispersed, through the confusion of their language. The time when this tower was built is differently stated in the Hebrew and Samaritan chronologies. The former fixes it in the year 101 after the flood, which Mr. Faber thinks encumbered with insuperable difficulties. This writer then goes on to show, that the chronology of the Samaritan Pentateuch reconciles every date, and surmounts every difficulty. It represents Shem as dying nearly a century and a half before the death of Peleg, instead of more than that number of years afterward, and 118almost four centuries and a half before the death of Abraham; whom, in accordance with the history, it makes to survive his father Terah precisely a hundred years. It removes the difficulties with which the Hebrew chronology invests the whole history, by giving time, while it allows the dispersion to have taken place in the latter part of Peleg’s life, for the thirteen sons of his younger brother Joktan to have become heads of families; for Noah and his sons to have died, as it is proved they must have done, prior to the emigration from Armenia; for Nimrod, instead of being a boy, to have been of an age suitable to his exploits, and to have acquired the sovereign command, not, in the face of all probability, while the four great patriarchs were living, but after their decease; and for the families of mankind to have multiplied sufficiently to undertake the stupendous work of the tower. It explains also the silence respecting Shem in the history of Abraham, by making the former die in Armenia four hundred and forty years before the latter was born, instead of surviving him thirty-five years; and, lastly, it makes sacred history accord with profane; the Babylonic history of Berosus, and the old records consulted by Epiphanius, both placing the death of Noah and his sons before the emigration from Armenia.

The sum of the whole is as follows: All the descendants of Noah remained in Armenia in peaceable subjection to the patriarchal religion and government during the lifetime of the four royal patriarchs, or till about the beginning of the sixth century after the flood; when, gradually falling off from the pure worship of God, and from their allegiance to the respective heads of families, and seduced by the schemes of the ambitious Nimrod, and farther actuated by a restless disposition, or a desire for a more fertile country, they migrated in a body southwards, till they reached the plains of Shinar, probably about sixty years after the death of Shem. Here, under the command of their new leader, and his dominant military and sacerdotal Cuthites, by whom the original scheme of idolatry, the groundwork of which was probably laid in Armenia, was now perfected; and, with the express view to counteract the designs of the Almighty in their dispersion into different countries, they began to build the city and tower, and set up a banner which should serve as a mark of national union, and concentrate them in one unbroken empire; when they were defeated and dispersed by the miraculous confusion of tongues. All this probably occupied the farther space of twenty or twenty-one years; making eighty-one from the death of Shem, and five hundred and eighty-three after the flood. All of which also will come within the life of Peleg, who, according to the Samaritan Pentateuch, died in the year 640. The tower of Belus in Babylon, mentioned by Herodotus, was probably either the original tower of Babel repaired, or it was constructed upon its massive foundations. The remains of this tower are still to be seen, and are thus described by Captain Mignan, in his Travels in Chaldea:--

“At day light I departed for the ruins, with a mind absorbed by the objects which I had seen yesterday. An hour’s walk, indulged in intense reflection, brought me to the grandest and most gigantic northern mass, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, and distant about four miles and a half from the eastern suburb of Hillah. It is called by the natives, El Mujellibah, ‘the overturned;’ also Haroot and Maroot, from a tradition handed down, with little deviation, from time immemorial, that near the foot of the ruin there is a well, invisible to mortals, in which those rebellious angels were condemned by God to be hung with their heels upward, until the day of judgment, as a punishment for their wickedness. This solid mound, which I consider, from its situation and magnitude, to be the remains of the Tower of Babel, (an opinion likewise adopted by that venerable and highly distinguished geographer, Major Rennell,) is a vast oblong square, composed of kiln-burnt and sun-dried bricks, rising irregularly to the height of one hundred and thirty-nine feet, at the south-west; whence it slopes toward the north-east to a depth of one hundred and ten feet. Its sides face the four cardinal points. I measured them carefully, and the following is the full extent of each face: that to the north, along the visible face, is two hundred and seventy-four yards; to the south, two hundred and fifty-six yards; to the east, two hundred and twenty-six yards; and to the west, two hundred and forty yards. The summit is an uneven flat, strewed with broken and unbroken bricks, the perfect ones measuring thirteen inches square, by three thick. Many exhibited the arrow-headed character, which appeared remarkably fresh. Pottery, bitumen, vitrified and petrified brick, shells, and glass, were all equally abundant. The principal materials composing this ruin are, doubtless, mud bricks baked in the sun, and mixed up with straw. It is not difficult to trace brick work along each front, particularly at the south-west angle, which is faced by a wall, composed partly of kiln-burnt brick, that in shape exactly resembles a watch tower or small turret. On its summit there are still considerable traces of erect building; at the western end is a circular mass of sold brick work, sloping toward the top, and rising from a confused heap of rubbish. The chief material forming this fabric appeared similar to that composing the ruin called Akercouff, a mixture of chopped straw, with slime used as cement; and regular layers of unbroken reeds between the horizontal courses of the bricks. The base is greatly injured by time and the elements; particularly to the south-east, where it is cloven into a deep furrow from top to bottom. The sides of the ruin exhibit hollows worn partly by the weather, but more generally formed by the Arabs, who are incessantly digging for bricks, and hunting for antiquities.”

BABYLON, 2 Kings xxiv, 1. The capital of Chaldea, built by Nimrod, Gen. x, 10. It 119was under Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon, then become the seat of universal empire, is supposed to have acquired that extent and magnificence, and that those stupendous works were completed which rendered it the wonder of the world and of posterity: and accordingly, this prince, then the most potent on the earth, arrogated to himself the whole glory of its erection; and in the pride of his heart exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built?” The city at this period stood on both sides of the river, which intersected it in the middle. It was, according to the least computation, that of Diodorus Siculus, 45 miles in circumference; and according to Herodotus, the older author of the two, 60 miles. Its shape was that of a square, traversed each way by 25 principal streets; which of course intersected each other, dividing the city into 626 squares. These streets were terminated at each end by gates of brass, of prodigious size and strength, with a smaller one opening toward the river. The walls, from the most moderate accounts, were 75 feet in height and 32 in breadth; while Herodotus makes them 300 in height and 75 in breadth: which last measurement, incredible as it may seem, is worthy of credit, as Herodotus is much the oldest author who describes them, and who gives their original height; whereas, those who follow him in their accounts of these stupendous walls, describe them as they were after they had been taken down to the less elevation by Darius Hystaspes. They were built of brick, cemented with bitumen instead of mortar; and were encompassed by a broad and deep ditch, lined with the same materials, as were also the banks of the river in its course through the city: the inhabitants descending to the water by steps through the smaller brazen gates before mentioned. The houses were three or four stories high, separated from each other by small courts or gardens, with open spaces and even fields interspersed over the immense area enclosed within the walls. Over the river was a bridge, connecting the two halves of the city, which stood, the one on its eastern, and the other on its western, bank; the river running nearly north and south. The bridge was 5 furlongs in length, and 30 feet in breadth, and had a palace at each end, with, it is said, a subterraneous passage beneath the river, from one to the other: the work of Semiramis. Within the city was the temple of Belus, or Jupiter, which Herodotus describes as a square of two stadia, or a quarter of a mile: in the midst of which arose the celebrated tower, to which both the same writer, and Strabo, give an elevation of one stadium, or 660 feet; and the same measure at its base; the whole being divided into eight separate towers, one above another, of decreasing dimensions to the summit; where stood a chapel, containing a couch, table, and other things of gold. Here the principal devotions were performed; and over this, on the highest platform of all, was the observatory, by the help of which the Babylonians arrived to such perfection in astronomy, that Calisthenes the philosopher, who accompanied Alexander to Babylon, found astronomical observations for 1903 years backwards from that time; which reach as high as the 115th year after the flood. On either side of the river, according to Diodorus, adjoining to the bridge, was a palace; that on the western bank being by much the larger. This palace was eight miles in circumference, and strongly fortified with three walls one within another. Within it were the celebrated pensile or hanging gardens, enclosed in a square of 400 feet. These gardens were raised on terraces, supported by arches, or rather by piers, laid over with broad flat stones; the arch appearing to be unknown to the Babylonians: which courses of piers rose above one another, till they reached the level of the top of the city walls. On each terrace or platform, a deep layer of mould was laid, in which flowers, shrubs and trees were planted; some of which are said to have reached the height of 50 feet. On the highest level was a reservoir, with an engine to draw water up from the river by which the whole was watered. This novel and astonishing structure, the work of a monarch who knew not how to create food for his own pampered fancy, or labour for his debased subjects or unhappy captives, was undertaken to please his wife Amyitis; that she might see an imitation of the hills and woods of her native country, Media.

Yet, while in the plenitude of its power, and, according to the most accurate chronologers, 160 years before the foot of an enemy had entered it, the voice of an enemy had entered it, the voice of prophecy pronounced the doom of the mighty and unconquered Babylon. A succession of ages brought it gradually to the dust; and the gradation of its fall is marked till it sinks at last into utter desolation. At a time when nothing but magnificence was around this city, emphatically called the great, fallen Babylon was delineated by the pencil of inspiration exactly as every traveller now describes its ruins.

The immense fertility of Chaldea, which retained also the name of Babylonia till after the Christian æra, corresponded with the greatness of Babylon. It was the most fertile region of the whole east. Babylonia was one vast plain, adorned and enriched by the Euphrates and the Tigris, from which, and from the numerous canals that intersected the country from the one river to the other, water was distributed over the fields by manual labour and by hydraulic machines, giving rise, in that warm climate and rich exhaustless soil, to an exuberance of produce without a known parallel, over so extensive a region, either in ancient or modern times. Herodotus states, that he knew not how to speak of its wonderful fertility, which none but eye witnesses would credit; and, though writing in the language of Greece, itself a fertile country, he expresses his own consciousness that his description of what he actually saw would appear to be improbable, and to exceed belief. Such was the “Chaldees’ excellency,” that it departed not on the first conquest, nor on the final extinction of its 120capital, but one metropolis of Assyria arose after another in the land of Chaldea, when Babylon had ceased to be “the glory of kingdoms.”

2. Manifold are the prophecies respecting Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans; and the long lapse of ages has served to confirm their fulfilment in every particular, and to render it at last complete. The judgments of Heaven are not casual, but sure; they are not arbitrary, but righteous. And they were denounced against the Babylonians, and the inhabitants of Chaldea, expressly because of their idolatry, tyranny, oppression, pride, covetousness, drunkenness, falsehood, and other wickedness. The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amos did see: “The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people: a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of Hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there: neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there: and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces.” “Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Thou art cast out of the grave like an abominable branch.--I will cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, the son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of Hosts.” “Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.” “Thus saith the Lord, that saith unto the deep, Be dry; and I will dry up thy rivers: that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure,--and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.” “Bel boweth down,” &c. “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon: sit on the ground, there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans. Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms.”

Many other prophecies against Babylon, and the whole land of Chaldea, are found in the Old Testament; and though the limits of this article will only allow a reference to be made to the exact fulfilment of a few, there is not one of the great number of predictions on record, the accomplishment of which has not been remarked by numerous writers, and more especially by those who have visited the spot. For, though for many centuries the site of Babylon was unknown, or the ruins of other Chaldean cities mistaken for its remains, its true situation and present condition have been, within a few years, satisfactorily ascertained, and accurately described, by several most intelligent and enterprising travellers.

When in the plenitude of its greatness, splendour and strength, Babylon first yielded to the arms of Cyrus, whose name, and the manœuvre by which the city was taken, were mentioned by Isaiah nearly two hundred years before the event; which was also predicted by Jeremiah: “Go up, O Elam, (or Persia,) besiege, O Media. The Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it.” The kings of Persia and Media, prompted by a common interest, freely entered into a league against Babylon, and with one accord entrusted the command of their united armies to Cyrus, the relative and eventually the successor of them both.--But the taking of Babylon was not reserved for these kingdoms alone: other nations had to be “prepared against her.” “Set up a standard in the land; blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Aschenaz: Lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country,” &c. Cyrus subdued the Armenians, who had revolted against Media, spared their king, bound them over anew to their allegiance, by kindness rather than by force, and incorporated their army with his own.--“The mighty men of Babylon have foreborne to fight. They have remained in their holds; their might hath failed, they became as women.” So dispirited became its people, that Babylon, which had made the world to tremble, was long besieged, without making any effort to drive off the enemy. But, possessed of provisions for twenty years, which in their timid caution they had plentifully stored, they derided Cyrus from their impregnable walls, within which they remained. Their profligacy, their wickedness and false confidence were unabated; they continued to live carelessly in pleasures: and Babylon the great, unlike to many a small fortress and unwalled town, made not one struggle to regain its freedom or to be rid of the foe.--Much time having been lost, and no progress being made in the siege, the anxiety of Cyrus was strongly excited, and he was reduced to great perplexity, when at last it was suggested and immediately determined to divert the course of the Euphrates. And while the unconscious and reckless citizens were engaged in dancing and merriment, the river was suddenly turned into the lake, the trench, and the canals; and the Persians, both foot and horse, so soon as the subsiding 121of the water permitted, entered by its channel, and were followed by the allies in array, along the dry part of the river. “I will dry up thy sea, and make thy springs dry. That saith to the deep, Be dry, I will dry up thy rivers.”--One detachment was placed where the river first enters the city, and another where it leaves it. And “one post did run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at the end, and that the passages are shut.” “They were taken,” says Herodotus, “by surprise; and such is the extent of the city, that, as the inhabitants themselves affirm, they who lived in the extremities were made prisoners before any alarm was communicated to the centre of the place,” where the palace stood. Thus a “snare was laid for Babylon, it was taken, and it was not aware; it was found and also caught; for it had sinned against the Lord. How is the praise of the whole earth surprised!”--“In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord. I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,” &c. “I will make drunken her princes and her wise men, her captains and her rulers, and her mighty men, and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep,” &c. Cyrus, as the night drew on, stimulated his assembled troops to enter the city, because in that night of general revel within the walls, many of them were asleep, many drunk, and confusion universally prevailed. On passing, without obstruction or hinderance, into the city, the Persians, slaying some, putting others to flight, and joining with the revellers, as if slaughter had been merriment, hastened by the shortest way to the palace, and reached it ere yet a messenger had told the king that his city was taken. The gates of the palace, which was strongly fortified, were shut. The guards stationed before them, were drinking beside a blazing light, when the Persians rushed impetuously upon them. A louder and altered clamour, no longer joyous, caught the ear of the inmates of the palace, and the bright light showed them the work of destruction, without revealing its cause. And not aware of the presence of an enemy in the midst of Babylon, the king himself, (who had been roused from his revelry by the hand writing on the wall,) excited by the warlike tumult at the gates, commanded those within to examine from whence it arose; and according to the same word, by which “the gates” (leading from the river to the city) “were not shut, the loins of kings were loosed to open before Cyrus the two-leaved gates” of the palace. The eager Persians sprang in. “The king of Babylon heard the report of them; anguish took hold of him;” he and all who were about him perished; God had “numbered” his kingdom and finished it; it was “divided,” and given to the Medes and Persians; the lives of the Babylonian princes, and lords, and rulers, and captains, closed with that night’s festival; the drunken slept “a perpetual sleep, and did not wake.”--“I will fill thee with men as with caterpillars.” Not only did the Persian army enter with ease as caterpillars, together with all the nations that had come up against Babylon, but they seemed also as numerous. Cyrus, after the capture of the city, made a great display of his cavalry in the presence of the Babylonians, and in the midst of Babylon. Four thousand guards stood before the palace gates, and two thousand on each side. These advanced as Cyrus approached; two thousand spearmen followed them. These were succeeded by four square masses of Persian cavalry, each consisting of ten thousand men: and to these again were added, in their order, the Median, Armenian, Hyrcanian, Caducian, and Sacian horsemen,--all, as before, “riding upon horses, every man in array,”--with lines of chariots, four abreast, concluding the train of the numerous hosts. Cyrus afterward reviewed, at Babylon, the whole of his army, consisting of one hundred and twenty thousand horse, two thousand chariots, and six hundred thousand foot. Babylon, which was taken when not aware, and within whose walls no enemy, except a captive, had been ever seen, was thus “filled with men as with caterpillars,” as if there had not been a wall around it. The Scriptures do not relate the manner in which Babylon was taken, nor do they ever allude to the exact fulfilment of the prophecies. But there is, in every particular, a strict coincidence between the predictions of the prophets and the historical narratives, both of Herodotus and Xenophon.

3. Every step in the progress of the decline of Babylon was the accomplishment of a prophecy. Conquered, for the first time, by Cyrus, it was afterward reduced from an imperial to a tributary city. “Come down and sit in the dust, O daughter of Babylon: sit on the ground, there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans.” After the Babylonians rebelled against Darius, the walls were reduced in height, and all the gates destroyed. “The wall of Babylon shall fall, her walls are thrown down.”--Xerxes, after his ignominious retreat from Greece, rifled the temples of Babylon, the golden images alone of which were estimated at 20,000,000l, beside treasures of vast amount. “I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up; I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon.”--Alexander the Great attempted to restore it to its former glory, and designed to make it the metropolis of a universal empire. But while the building of the temple of Belus, and the reparation of the embankments of the Euphrates, were actually carrying on, the conqueror of the world died, at the commencement of this his last undertaking, in the height of his power, and in the flower of his age. “Take balm for her pain, if so be that she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed.” The building of the neighbouring city of Seleucia was the chief cause of the decline of Babylon, and drained it of a great part of its population. And at a later period, or about 130 years before the birth of Christ, Humerus, a 122Parthian governor, who was noted as excelling all tyrants in cruelty, exercised great severities on the Babylonians; and having burned the forum and some of the temples, and destroyed the fairest parts of the city, reduced many of the inhabitants to slavery on the slightest pretexts, and caused them, together with all their households, to be sent into Media. “They shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.” The “golden city” thus gradually verged, for centuries, toward poverty and desolation. Notwithstanding that Cyrus resided chiefly at Babylon, and sought to reform the government, and remodel the manners of the Babylonians, the succeeding kings of Persia preferred, as the seat of empire, Susa, Persepolis, or Ecbatana, situated in their own country: and in like manner the successors of Alexander did not attempt to complete his purpose of restoring Babylon to its preeminence and glory; but, after the subdivision of his mighty empire, the very kings of Assyria, during their temporary residence even in Chaldea, deserted Babylon, and dwelt in Seleucia. And thus the foreign inhabitants, first Persians and afterward Greeks, imitating their sovereigns by deserting Babylon, acted as if they verily had said, “Forsake her, and let us go every man unto his own country; for her judgment is reached unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.”

4. But kindred judgments, the issue of common crimes, rested on the land of Chaldea, as well as on its doomed metropolis. “They come from a far country, from the end of the earth, to destroy the whole land. Many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of thee also,” &c. The Persians, the Macedonians, the Parthians, the Romans, the Saracens, and the Turks, are the chief of the many nations who have unscrupulously and unsparingly “served themselves” of the land of the Chaldeans: and Cyrus and Darius, kings of Persia; Alexander the Great; and Seleucus, king of Assyria; Demetrius and Antiochus the Great; Tragan, Severus, Julian, and Heraclius, emperors of Rome; the victorious Omar, the successor of Mohammed; Holagou, and Tamerlane,--are “great kings” who successively subdued or desolated Chaldea, or exacted from it tribute to such an extent, as scarcely any other country ever paid to a single conqueror. And though the names of some of these nations were unknown to the Babylonians, and unheard of in the world at the time of the prophecy, most of these “many nations and great kings” need now but to be named, to show that, in local relation to Chaldea, “they came from the utmost border, from the coasts of the earth.”--“I will punish the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations; cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest. A drought is on her waters, and they shall be dried up. Behold the hinder-most of the nations, a dry land and a desert.” The land of the Chaldeans was indeed made--perpetual, or long continued, desolation. Ravaged and spoiled for ages, the Chaldees’ excellency finally disappeared, and the land became desolate, as still it remains. Rauwolff, who passed through it in 1574, describes the country as bare, and “so dry and barren that it cannot be tilled.” And the most recent travellers all concur in describing it in similar terms. On the one side, near to the site of Opis, “the country all around,” says Mr. Buckingham, “appears to be one wide desert, of sandy and barren soil, thinly scattered over with brushwood and tufts of reedy grass.” On the other, between Bussorah and Bagdad, “immediately on either bank of the Tigris,” observes Mignan, “is the untrodden desert. The absence of all cultivation, the sterile, arid, and wild character of the whole scene, formed a contrast to the rich and delightful accounts delineated in Scripture. The natives, in travelling over these pathless deserts, are compelled to explore their way by the stars.” “The whole country between Bagdad and Hillah is a perfectly flat and (with the exception of a few spots as you approach the latter place) uncultivated waste. That it was at some former period in a far different state, is evident from the number of canals by which it is traversed, now dry and neglected; and the quantity of heaps of earth covered with fragments of brick and broken tiles, which are seen in every direction, the indisputable traces of former population. At present the only inhabitants of the tract are the Sobeide Arabs. Around, as far as the eye can reach is a trackless desert.”--“Her cities are desolations.” The course of the Tigris through Babylonia, instead of being adorned with cities, is marked with the sites of “ancient ruins.” Sitace, Sabata, Narisa, Fuchera, Sendia, “no longer exist.” A succession of longitudinal mounds, crossed at right angles by others, mark the supposed site of Artemita, or Destagered. Its once luxuriant gardens are covered with grass; and a higher mound distinguishes “the royal residence” from the ancient streets. “Extensive ridges and mountains, (near to Houmania,) varying in height and extent, are seen branching in every direction.” A wall, with sixteen bastions, is the only memorial of Apollonia. The once magnificent Seleucia is now a scene of desolation. There is not a single entire edifice, but the country is strewed for miles with fragments of decayed buildings. “As far,” says Major Keppel, “as the eye could reach, the horizon presented a broken line of mounds; the whole of this place was a desert flat.” On the opposite bank of the Tigris, where Ctesiphon its rival stood, beside fragments of walls and broken masses of brick work, and remains of vast structures encumbered with heaps of earth, there is one magnificent monument of antiquity “in a remarkably perfect state of preservation,” “a large and noble pile of building, the front of which presents to view a wall three hundred feet in length, adorned with four rows of arched recesses, with a central arch, in span eighty-six feet, and above a hundred feet high, supported by walls sixteen feet thick, and leading to a hall which extends to the depth of a hundred and fifty-six feet,” the width of the building. A great part of the back wall, and of the roof, is broken down; but that which remains “still appears much larger than Westminster 123Abbey.” It is supposed to have been the lofty palace of Chosroes; but there desolation now reigns. “On the site of Ctesiphon,” says Mignan, “the smallest insect under heaven would not find a single blade of grass wherein to hide itself, nor one drop of water to allay its thirst.” In the rear of the palace, and attached to it, are mounds two miles in circumference, indicating the utter desolation of buildings, formed to minister to luxury.

5. But let us come to the fulfilment of these wonderful prophecies in the present condition of Babylon itself, as described by those who have most recently visited it.

“Babylon shall become heaps.” Babylon the glory of kingdoms is now the greatest of ruins. “Immense tumuli of temples, palaces, and habitations of every description,” are every where seen, and form “long and varied lines of ruins,” which, in some places, says Sir R. K. Porter, “rather resemble natural hills than mounds which cover the remains of great and splendid edifices.” These buildings, which were once the labour of slaves and the pride of kings, are now misshapen heaps of rubbish. “The whole face of the country,” observes Rich, “is covered with vestiges of building, in some places consisting of brick walls surprisingly fresh, in others, merely a vast succession of mounds of rubbish, of such indeterminate figures, variety, and extent, as to involve the person who should have formed any theory in inextricable confusion.”--“Let nothing of her be left.” “Vast heaps constitute all that now remains of ancient Babylon,” says Rich. All its grandeur is departed; all its treasures have been spoiled; all its excellence has utterly vanished; the very heaps are searched for bricks, when nothing else can be found; even these are not left, wherever they can be taken away; and Babylon has for ages been “a quarry above ground,” ready to the hand of every successive despoiler. Without the most remote allusion to this prophecy, Captain Mignan describes a mound attached to the palace, ninety yards in breadth by half that height, the whole of which is deeply furrowed, in the same manner as the generality of the mounds. “The ground is extremely soft, and tiresome to walk over, and appears completely exhausted of all its building materials; nothing now is left, save one towering hill, the earth of which is mixed with fragments of broken brick, red varnished pottery, tile, bitumen, mortar, glass, shells, and pieces of mother of pearl,”--worthless fragments, of no value to the poorest. “From thence shall she be taken, let nothing of her be left.” While the workmen “cast her up as heaps” while excavating for bricks, that they may “take” them “from thence,” and that “nothing may be left;” they labour more than trebly in the fulfilment of prophecy: for the numerous and deep excavations form pools of water, on the over-flowing of the Euphrates, and, annually filled, they are not dried up throughout the year. “Deep cavities are also formed by the Arabs, when digging for hidden treasure.” Thus “the ground,” says Buckingham, “is sometimes covered with pools of water in the hollows.”

“Sit in the dust, sit on the ground, O daughter of the Chaldeans.” The surface of the mounds which form all that remains of Babylon, consists of decomposed buildings, reduced to dust; and over all the ancient streets and habitations, there is literally nothing but the dust of the ground on which to sit.--“Thy nakedness shall be uncovered.” “Our path,” says Captain Mignan, “lay through the great mass of ruined heaps on the site of ‘shrunken Babylon;’ and I am perfectly incapable of conveying an adequate idea of the dreary, lonely nakedness that appeared before me.”--“Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness.” “There reigns throughout the ruins,” says Sir R. K. Porter, “a silence profound as the grave.” “Babylon is now a silent scene, a sublime solitude.”--“It shall never be inhabited, nor dwelt in from generation to generation.” From Rauwolff’s testimony it appears that, in the sixteenth century, “there was not a house to be seen.” And now “the eye wanders over a barren desert, in which the ruins are nearly the only indication that it had ever been inhabited.” “It is impossible,” adds Major Keppel, “to behold this scene and not to be reminded how exactly the predictions of Isaiah and Jeremiah have been fulfilled, even in the appearance Babylon was doomed to present, that ‘she should never be inhabited;’ that ‘the Arabian should not pitch his tent there;’ that she should ‘become heaps;’ that her cities should be ‘a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness.’” “Babylon is spurned alike by the heel of the Ottomans, the Israelites, and the sons of Ishmael.” It is “a tenantless and desolate metropolis,” remarks Mignan. “It shall not be inhabited, but be wholly desolate. Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither shall the shepherds make their folds there.” It was prophesied of Ammon that it should be a stable for camels and a couching place for flocks; and of Philistia, that it should be cottages for shepherds, and a pasture of flocks. But Babylon was to be visited with a far greater desolation, and to become unfit or unsuited even for such a purpose; and that neither a tent would be pitched there, even by an Arab, nor a fold made by a shepherd, implies the last degree of solitude and desolation. “It is common in these parts for shepherds to make use of ruined edifices to shelter their flocks in.” But Babylon is an exception. Instead of taking the bricks from thence, the shepherd might very readily erect a defence from wild beasts, and make a fold for his flock amidst the heaps of Babylon; and the Arab who fearlessly traverses it by day, might pitch his tent by night. But neither the one nor the other could now be persuaded to remain a single night among the ruins. The superstitious dread of evil spirits, far more than the natural terror of the wild beasts, effectually prevents them. Captain Mignan was accompanied by six Arabs, completely armed; but he “could not induce them to remain toward night, from the apprehension of evil spirits. It is impossible to eradicate this idea from the minds of this people, who are very deeply imbued with superstition.”

124“Wild beasts of the deserts shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs (goats) shall dance there,” &c. “There are many dens of wild beasts in various parts. And while the lower excavations are often pools of water, in most of the cavities are numbers of bats and owls.” The king of the forest now ranges over the site of that Babylon which Nebuchadnezzar built for his own glory. And the temple of Belus, the greatest work of man, is now like unto a natural den of lions. Two or three majestic lions were seen upon its heights by Sir Robert Ker Porter, as he was approaching it; and “the broad prints of their feet were left plain in the clayey soil.” Major Keppel saw there a similar foot-print of a lion. It is also the unmolested retreat of jackalls, hyenas, and other noxious animals. Wild beasts are numerous at the Mujelibé, as well as on Birs Nimrood. “The mound,” says Kinneir, “was full of large holes: we entered some of them, and found them strewed with the carcasses and skeletons of animals recently killed. The ordure of wild beasts was so strong, that prudence got the better of curiosity; for we had no doubt as to the savage nature of the inhabitants. Our guides, indeed, told us, that all the ruins abounded in lions, and other wild beasts: so literally has the divine prediction been fulfilled, that wild beasts of the deserts should lie there, and their houses be full of doleful creatures; that the wild beasts of the islands should cry in their desolate houses.”

“The sea is come upon Babylon. She is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.” The traces of the western bank of the Euphrates are now no longer discernible. The river overflows unrestrained; and the very ruins, with “every appearance of the embankment,” have been swept away. “The ground there is low and marshy, and presents not the slightest vestige of former buildings, of any description whatever.” “Morasses and ponds,” says Porter, “tracked the ground in various parts. For a long time after the general subsiding of the Euphrates, great part of this plain is little better than a swamp,” &c. “The ruins of Babylon are then inundated, so as to render many parts of them inaccessible, by converting the valleys among them into morasses.” But while Babylon is thus “covered with the multitude of waves, and the waters come upon it;” yet, in striking contrast and seeming contradiction to such a feature of desolation, (like the formation of “pools of water,” from the “casting up of heaps,”) are the elevated sunburnt ruins, which the waters do not overflow, and the “dry waste” and “parched and burning plain,” on which the heaps of Babylon lie, equally prove that it is “a desert, a dry land, and a wilderness.” One part, even on the western side of the river, is “low and marshy, and another,” says Mignan, “an arid desert.”

Many other striking particulars might be collected; and we may conclude in the words of Mr. Keith, from whose work on the prophecies several of the above particulars have been extracted:--“Is it possible that there can be any attestation of the truth of prophecy, if it be not witnessed here? Is there any spot on earth which has undergone a more complete transformation? ‘The records of the human race,’ it has been said with truth, ‘do not present a contrast more striking than that between the primeval magnificence of Babylon and its long desolation.’ Its ruins have of late been carefully and scrupulously examined by different natives of Britain, of unimpeached veracity; and the result of every research is a more striking demonstration of the literal accomplishment of every prediction. How few spots are there on earth of which we have so clear and faithful a picture as prophecy gave to fallen Babylon at a time when no spot on earth resembled it less than its present desolate solitary site! or could any prophecies respecting any single place have been more precise, or wonderful, or numerous, or true, or more gradually accomplished throughout many generations? And when they look at what Babylon was, and what it is, and perceive the minute realization of them all, may not nations learn wisdom, may not tyrants tremble, and may not skeptics think?”

The reasons why prophecies so numerous and particular were recorded concerning Babylon, appear to have been, 1. That Babylon was the great oppressor of the Jews. 2. That it was the type of all the powerful persecuting enemies of the church of God, especially of Rome; and in its fate they may read their own. 3. That the accomplishment of prophecy in the destruction of so eminent an empire might give a solemn testimony to the truth of the Scriptures to the whole earth, and to all ages.

BACKSLIDING, a falling off, or defection in matters of religion; an apostasy, Acts xxi, 21; 2 Thess. ii, 3; 1 Tim. iv, 1. This may be either partial or complete: partial, when it is in the heart, as Prov. xiv, 14; complete, as that described in Heb. vi, 4, &c; x, 6, &c. On the latter passage Chrysostom observes, “When a house has a strong foundation, suppose an arch fall, some of the beams break, or a wall decline, while the foundation is good, these breaches may be repaired; so in religion, whilst a person maintains the true doctrines, and remains on the firm rock, though he fall, true repentance may restore him to the favour and image of God: but as in a house, when the foundation is bad, nothing can save the building from ruin; so when heretical doctrines are admitted for a foundation, nothing can save the professor from destruction.” It is important in interpreting these passages to keep it steadfastly in mind, that the apostasy they speak of is not only moral but doctrinal.

BADGER, תחש. This word in a plural form occurs, Exod. xxv, 5; xxvi, 14; xxxv, 7, 23; xxxvi, 19; xxxix, 34; Num. iv, 6, 8, 10–12, 14, 25; Ezek. xvi, 10; and is joined with ערת, skins used for the covering of the tabernacle in the wilderness. The Jewish interpreters are agreed as to its being some animal. Jarchi says it was a beast of many colours, which no more exists. Kimchi holds the same opinion. Aben Ezra thinks it some animal of the 125bovine kind, of whose skins shoes are made; alluding to Ezek. xvi, 10. Most modern interpreters have taken it to be the badger, and among these our English translators; but, in the first place, the badger is not an inhabitant of Arabia; and there is nothing in its skin peculiarly proper either for covering a tabernacle or making shoes. Hasæus, Michaelis, and others, have laboured to prove that it is the mermaid, or homo marinus, the trichekus of Linnæus. Faber, Dathe, and Rosenmuller, think that it is the seal, or sea calf, vitulus marinus, the skin of which is both strong and pliable, and was accounted by the ancients as a most proper outer covering for tents, and was also made into shoes, as Rau has clearly shown. Niebuhr says, “A merchant of Abushahr called dahash that fish which the captains in English vessels call porpoise, and the Germans, sea hog. In my voyage from Maskat to Abushahr, I saw a prodigious quantity together near Ras Mussendom, that were all going the same way, and seemed to swim with great vehemence.” Bochart thinks that not an animal, but a colour, was intended, Exodus xxv, 5; so that the covering of the tabernacle was to be azure, or sky blue.

BAG, a purse or pouch, Deut. xxv, 13; 1 Sam. xvii, 40; Luke xii, 33; Job xiv, 17. The money collected in the treasuries of eastern princes was reckoned up in certain equal sums, put into bags and sealed. These are, in some parts of the Levant, called purses, where they estimate great expenses by so many purses. The money collected in the temple in the time of Joash, for its reparation, seems, in like manner, to have been told up in bags of equal value; and these were probably delivered sealed to those who paid the workmen, 2 Kings xii, 10. In the east, in the present day, a bag of money passes, for some time at least, currently from hand to hand, under the authority of a banker’s seal, without any examination of its contents. See Tobit ix, 5; xi, 16.

BAKING BREAD. Abraham directed Sarah to bake cakes upon the hearth, for the use of the strangers who had visited him, Genesis xviii, 6. Elijah requests the same of the widow of Zarephath, 1 Kings xvii, 13. Amnon the son of David requests Tamar his sister to come and make cakes in his sight, that he might eat at her hand, 2 Sam. xiii, 6. These and other allusions to the preparation of bread will be explained by referring to eastern customs. Rauwolff observes that travellers frequently bake bread in the deserts of Arabia, on the ground heated for that purpose by fire, covering their cakes of bread with ashes and coals, and turning them several times till they are enough. The eastern bread is made in small thin cakes, and is generally eaten new. Sometimes it was however made to keep several days, as the shew bread; and a sort of rusks, or bread for travelling, Joshua ix, 12. The eastern ladies of rank often prepare cakes, pastry, &c, in their own apartments.

BALAAM, a prophet of the city of Pethor, or Bosor, upon the Euphrates, whose intercourse with Balak, king of the Moabites, who sent for him to curse the Israelites, is recorded at large by Moses, Num. xxii-xxiv. It has been a subject of controversy, whether Balaam was a true prophet or a mere diviner, magician, or fortune teller. Origen says that his whole power consisted in magic and cursing. Theodoret is of opinion that Balaam did not consult the Lord, but that he was supernaturally inspired, and constrained to speak against his own inclination. Cyril says that he was a magician, an idolater, and a false prophet, who spoke truth against his will; and St. Ambrose compares him to Caiaphas, who prophesied without being aware of the import of what he said. Jerom seems to have adopted the opinion of the Hebrews; which was, that Balaam knew the true God, erected altars to him, and that he was a true prophet, though corrupted by avarice, Num. xxii, 18. St. Austin and other commentators have inclined to this opinion. Dr. Jortin supposes that Balaam was a worshipper of the true God, and a priest and prophet of great reputation; and that he was sent for by Balak from a notion which generally prevailed, that priests and prophets could sometimes, by prayers and sacrifices duly and skilfully applied, obtain favours from God, and that their imprecations were efficacious. He conceives that the prophet had been accustomed to revelations, and that he used to receive them in visions, or in dreams of the night. It cannot be denied that the Scripture expressly calls him a prophet, 2 Pet. ii, 15, and therefore those are probably right who think that he had once been a good man and a true prophet, till, loving the wages of unrighteousness, and prostituting the honour of his office to covetousness, he apostatized from God, and, betaking himself to idolatrous practices, fell under the delusion of the devil, of whom he learned all his magical enchantments; though at this juncture, when the preservation of his people was concerned, it might be consistent with God’s wisdom to appear to him and overrule his mind by the impulse of real revelations. As to what passed between him and his ass, when that animal was miraculously enabled to speak to its master, commentators are divided in their opinions; whether it really and literally happened as Moses relates it, or whether it be an allegory only, or was the mere imagination or vision of Balaam. But St. Peter evidently mentions it as a fact literally and certainly occurring: “the dumb ass, speaking with man’s voice, when she forbade the madness of the prophet,” 2 Pet. ii, 16. This, it is true, has frequently been made the subject of profane banter by those whose skepticism leads them to scoff at all prodigies. But how absurd is it to subject a miraculous event to the ordinary rules of reasoning! “Say what you will of the formation of the tongue and jaws being unfit for speaking,” says Bishop Newton, “yet an adequate cause is assigned for this wonderful event; for it is expressly said that ‘the Lord opened the mouth of the ass;’ and who that believes a God, can doubt his power to do this and much more? The miracle was by no means needless or superfluous; it was well adapted to convince Balaam 126that the mouth and tongue were under God’s direction, and that the same divine power which caused the dumb ass to speak contrary to its nature, could, in like manner, make him utter blessings contrary to his inclination. And, accordingly, he was overruled to bless the people, though he came prepared and disposed to curse them; which was the greater miracle of the two; for the ass was merely passive, but Balaam resisted the good motions of God.” The prophecy which Balaam delivered concerning Israel on this remarkable occasion, and which is contained in Numbers xxiv, 5–9, has been greatly admired by critics. Bishop Lowth, in particular, remarks that he knows nothing in the whole scope of the Hebrew poetry more exquisite or perfect. “It abounds,” says he, “in splendid imagery, copied immediately from the tablet of nature; and is chiefly conspicuous for the glowing elegance of the style, and the form and diversity of the figures.”

After his predictions, Balaam returned into his own country; but before he left the land of Moab, as if vexed with his own disappointment in missing the promised reward, and with a purpose of revenging himself on the Israelites, as the cause of it, he instructed the Moabites and Midianites in a wicked scheme, which was to send their daughters into the camp of the Israelites, in order to draw them first into lewdness, and then into idolatry, the certain means of depriving them of the help of that God who protected them. This artifice succeeded; for as the Israelites lay encamped at Shittim, many of them were deluded by these strange women, not only to commit whoredom with them, but to assist at their sacrifices, and worship their god Baal-Peor, Num. xxv, 1–3; xxxi, 16; Mic. vi, 5; 2 Pet. ii, 15; Jude 11; Rev. ii, 14; Deut. xxiii, 4, 5; Joshua xxiv, 9, 10; Neh. xiii, 2. God commanded Moses to avenge this crime. He therefore declared war against the Midianites, killed five of their princes, and a great number of other persons without distinction of age or sex, among whom was Balaam himself.

Moses says that Balaam consulted the Lord, and calls the Lord his God: “I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord my God,” Num. xxii, 18. The reason why Balaam calls Jehovah, “my God” may be, because he was of the posterity of Shem, who maintained the worship of Jehovah, not only in his own person, but among his descendants; so that while the posterity of Ham fell into idolatry, and the posterity of Japhet were settled at a distance in Europe, the Shemites generally, though not universally, retained the worship of God.

BALDNESS is a natural effect of old age, in which period of life the hair of the head, wanting nourishment, falls off, and leaves the head naked. Artificial baldness was used as a token of mourning; it is threatened to the voluptuous daughters of Israel, instead of well set hair, Isaiah iii, 24. See Mic. i, 16; and instances of it occur, Isaiah xv, 2; Jer. xlvii, 5. See Ezek, vii, 18; Amos viii, 10.

The insult offered to Elisha by the young people of Bethel, improperly rendered “little children,” who cried out after him, “Go up, thou bald head,” may here be noticed. The town of Bethel was one of the principal nurseries of Ahab’s idolatry, and the contempt was offered to Elisha in his public character as a prophet of the Lord. If in the expression, “Go up,” there was also a reference to the translation of Elijah, as turning it into jest, this was another aggravation of the sin, to which these young people were probably instigated by their parents. The malediction laid upon them by the prophet was not an act of private resentment, but evidently proceeded from prophetic impulse.

BALM, צרי, Gen. xxxvii, 25; xliii, 11; Jer. viii, 22; xlvi, 11; li, 8; Ezek. xxvii, 17. Balm, or balsam, is used with us as a common name for many of those oily resinous substances, which flow spontaneously or by incision, from certain trees or plants, and are of considerable use in medicine and surgery. It serves therefore very properly to express the Hebrew word צרי, which the LXX have rendered ῥητίνη, and the ancients have interpreted resin indiscriminately.

BALSAM TREE, בעל־שמין; in Arabic, abuschâm, that is, “father of scent,” sweet-scented. According to Mr. Bruce, the balessan, balsam, or balm, is an evergreen shrub, or tree, which grows to about fourteen feet high, spontaneously and without culture in its native country, Azab, and all along the coast to Babelmandel. There were three kinds of balsam extracted from this tree. The first was called opobalsamum, and was most highly esteemed. It was that which flowed spontaneously, or by means of incision, from the trunk or branches of the tree in summer time. The second was carpobalsamum, made by expressing the fruit when in maturity. The third, and least esteemed of all, was hylobalsamum, made by a decoction of the buds and small young twigs. The great value set upon this drug in the east is traced to the earliest ages. The Ishmaelites, or Arabian carriers and merchants, trafficking with the Arabian commodities into Egypt, brought with them צרי as a part of their cargo, Gen. xxxvii, 25; xliii, 11. Josephus, in the history of the antiquities of his country, says that a tree of this balsam was brought to Jerusalem by the queen of Saba, and given among other presents to Solomon, who, as we know from Scripture, was very studious of all sorts of plants, and skilful in the description and distinction of them. And here, indeed, it seems to have been cultivated and to have thriven; so that the place of its origin, through length of time, combined with other reasons, came to be forgotten. Notwithstanding the positive authority of Josephus, and the great probability that attends it, we cannot put it in competition with what we have been told in Scripture, as we have just now seen that the place where it grew, and was sold to merchants, was Gilead in Judea, more than 1730 years before Christ, or 1000 before the queen of Saba; so that in reading the verse, nothing can be plainer than that it had been transplanted into Judea, flourished, and had become an article of commerce in Gilead, long 127before the period he mentions. “A company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels, bearing spicery and balm, and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt,” Gen. xxxvii, 25. Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Pliny, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Tacitus, Justin, Solinus, and Serapion, speaking of its costliness and medicinal virtues, all say that this balsam came from Judea. The words of Pliny are, “But to all other odours whatever, the balsam is preferred, produced in no other part but the land of Judea, and even there in two gardens only; both of them belonging to the king, one no more than twenty acres, the other still smaller.” The whole valley of Jericho was once esteemed the most fruitful in Judea; and the obstinacy with which the Jews fought here to prevent the balsam trees from falling into the possession of the Romans, attests the importance which was attached to them. This tree Pliny describes as peculiar to the vale of Jericho, and as “more like a vine than a myrtle.” It was esteemed so precious a rarity, that both Pompey and Titus carried a specimen to Rome in triumph; and the balsam, owing to its scarcity, sold for double its weight in silver, till its high price led to the practice of adulteration. Justin makes it the chief source of the national wealth. He describes the country in which it grew, as a valley like a garden, environed with continual hills, and, as it were, enclosed with a wall. “The space of the valley contains 200,000 acres, and is called Jericho. In that valley, there is wood as admirable for its fruitfulness as for its delight, for it is intermingled with palm trees and opobalsamum. The trees of the opobalsamum have a resemblance to fir trees; but they are lower, and are planted and husbanded after the manner of vines. On a set season of the year they sweat balsam. The darkness of the place is beside as wonderful as the fruitfulness of it; for although the sun shines no where hotter in the world, there is naturally a moderate and perpetual gloominess of the air.” According to Mr. Buckingham, this description is most accurate. “Both the heat and the gloominess,” he says, “were observed by us, though darkness would be an improper term to apply to this gloom.”

BANGORIAN CONTROVERSY, a controversy that arose with Dr. Hoadly, bishop of Bangor. That prelate, in a sermon preached before George I, asserted that Christ was supreme in his own kingdom; that he had not delegated his power, like temporal lawgivers during their absence, to any persons as his vicegerents or deputies; and that the church of England, as all other national churches, was merely a civil or human institution, established for the purpose of diffusing and perpetuating the knowledge and belief of Christianity. On the meeting of the convocation, a committee was appointed to examine this publication. A heavy censure was passed against it, as tending to subvert all government and discipline in the church of Christ, to reduce his kingdom to a state of anarchy and confusion, and to impugn and impeach the royal supremacy in matters ecclesiastical, and the authority of the legislature to enforce obedience in matters of religion, by severe sanction. To these proceedings a sudden stop was put by proroguing the convocation; but the controversy which had been commenced was continued for several years.

BANNER, an ensign, or standard, used by armies or caravans on their journeys in the eastern countries. The original דגל, is rendered by lexicographers and translators under this word, as a noun, in which form it often occurs, a standard, banner; as a verb, once, to set up a banner; Psalm xx, 5; as a participle pahul, vexillatus, one distinguished by a banner, the chief; as a participle niphal, bannered, or with banners. The meaning of the root is illustrated by the very ingenious and sensible author of “Observations on Divers Passages of Scripture,” who shows, from Pitts and Pococke, that, “as in Arabia and the neighbouring countries, on account of the intense heat of the sun by day, people generally choose to travel in the night; so, to prevent confusion in their large caravans, particularly in the annual one to Mecca, each company, of which the caravan consists, has its distinct portable beacon, which is carried on the top of a pole, and consists of several lights, which are somewhat like iron stoves, into which they put short dry wood, with which some of the camels are loaded. Every company has one of these poles belonging to it; some of which have ten, some twelve, of these lights on their tops, more or less; and they are likewise of different figures, as well as numbers; one, perhaps, in an oval shape; another, triangular, or in the form of an M, or N, &c, so that by these every one knows his respective company. They are carried in the front, and set up in the place where the caravan is to pitch, before that comes up, at some distance from one another. As travelling then in the night must be, generally speaking, more agreeable to a great multitude in that desert, we may believe a compassionate God, for the most part, directed Israel to move in the night. And in consequence, must we not rather suppose the standards of the tribes were movable beacons, like those of the Mecca pilgrims, than flags or any thing of that kind?” This ingenious author seems, however, to forget, 1. That the pillar of fire was with the Israelites to direct their marches. 2. That the Israelites were not a mere caravan, but an army; and, as such, for order, required standards as well by day as by night. See Armies.

BANQUET. The hospitality of the present day in the east exactly resembles that of the remotest antiquity. The parable of the “great supper” is in those countries literally realized. And such was the hospitality of ancient Greece and Rome. When a person provided an entertainment for his friends or neighbours, he sent round a number of servants to invite the guests; these were called vocatores by the Romans, and κλητώρες by the Greeks. The day when the entertainment is to be given is fixed some considerable time before; and in the evening of the day appointed, a messenger comes to bid the guests to the feast. The custom is 128thus introduced in Luke: “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many; and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come, for all things are now ready.” They were not now asked for the first time; but had already accepted the invitation, when the day was appointed, and were therefore already pledged to attend at the hour when they might be summoned. They were not taken unprepared, and could not in consistency and decency plead any prior engagement. They could not now refuse, without violating their word, and insulting the master of the feast, and, therefore, justly subjected themselves to punishment. The terms of the parable exactly accord with established custom. The Jews did not always follow the same method; sometimes they sent a number of servants different ways among the friends they meant to invite; and at other times, a single male domestic.

The Persians send a deputation to meet their guests: this deputation are called openers of the way; and the more distinguished the persons sent, and the greater the distance to which they go, so much greater is the honour. So it is proclaimed, “Go forth and behold king Solomon, with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him.” “The bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.” The names of the persons to be invited were inscribed upon tablets, and the gate was set open to receive those who had obtained them; but to prevent any getting in that had no ticket, only one leaf of the door was left open; and that was strictly guarded by the servants of the family. Those who were admitted had to go along a narrow passage to the room; and after all who had received tickets of admission were assembled, the master of the house rose and shut to the door; and then the entertainment began. The first ceremony, after the guests arrived at the house of entertainment, was the salutation performed by the master of the house, or one appointed in his place. Among the Greeks, this was sometimes done by embracing with arms around; but the most common salutation was by the conjunction of their right hands, the right hand being reckoned a pledge of fidelity and friendship. Sometimes they kissed the lips, hands, knees, or feet, as the person deserved more or less respect. The Jews welcomed a stranger to their house in the same way; for our Lord complains to Simon, that he had given him no kiss, had welcomed him to his table with none of the accustomed tokens of respect.

The custom of reclining was introduced from the nations of the east, and particularly from Persia, where it seems to have been adopted at a very remote period. The Old Testament Scriptures allude to both customs; but they furnish undeniable proofs of the antiquity of sitting. As this is undoubtedly the most natural and dignified posture, so it seems to have been universally adopted by the first generations of men; and it was not till after the lapse of many ages, and when degenerate man had lost much of the firmness of his primitive character, that he began to recline.

The tables were constructed of three different parts or separate tables, making but one in the whole. One was placed at the upper end crossways, and the two others joined to its ends, one on each side, so as to leave an open space between, by which the attendants could readily wait at all the three. Round these tables were placed beds or couches, one to each table; each of these beds was called clinium; and three of these being united, to surround the three tables, made the triclinium. At the end of each clinium was a footstool, for the convenience of mounting up to it. These beds were formed of mattresses, and supported on frames of wood, often highly ornamented; the mattresses were covered with cloth or tapestry, according to the quality of the entertainer. At the splendid feast which Ahasuerus made for the nobles of his kingdom, beds of silver and gold were placed round the tables; according to a custom in the east of naming a thing from its principal ornament, these must have been couches profusely ornamented with the precious metals. Each guest inclined the superior part of his body upon his left arm, the lower part being stretched out at length, or a little bent; his head was raised up, and his back sometimes supported with pillows. In conversation, those who spoke raised themselves almost upright, supported by cushions. When they ate, they raised themselves on their elbow, and made use of the right hand; which is the reason our Lord mentions the hand of Judas in the singular number: “He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me,” Matt. xxvi, 23. See Accubation.

When a Persian comes into an assembly, and has saluted the house, he then measures with his eye the place to which his degree of rank entitles him; he straightway wedges himself into the line of guests, without offering any apology for the general disturbance which he produces. It often happens that persons take a higher seat than that to which they are entitled. The Persian scribes are remarkable for their arrogance in this respect, in which they seem to bear a striking resemblance to the Jews of the same profession in the days of our Lord. The master of the entertainment has, however, the privilege of placing any one as high in the rank of the assembly as he may choose. And Mr. Morier saw an instance of it at a public entertainment to which he was invited. When the assembly was nearly full, the governor of Kashan, a man of humble mien, although of considerable rank, came in and seated himself at the lowest place; when the master of the house, after numerous expressions of welcome, pointed with his hand to an upper seat in the assembly, to which he desired him to move, and which he accordingly did. These circumstances furnish a beautiful and striking illustration of the parable which our Lord uttered, when he saw how those that were invited chose the highest places.

Before the Greeks went to an entertainment, they washed and anointed themselves; for it was thought very indecent to appear on such an occasion, defiled with sweat and dust; but they who came off a journey were washed, and 129clothed with suitable apparel, in the house of the entertainer, before they were admitted to the feast. When Telemachus and Pisistratus arrived at the palace of Menelaus, in the course of their wanderings, they were immediately supplied with water to wash, and with oil to anoint, themselves, before they took their seats by the side of the king. The oil used on such occasions, in the palaces of nobles and princes, was perfumed with roses and other odoriferous herbs. They also washed their hands before they sat down to meat. To these customary marks of respect, to which a traveller, or one who had no house of his own, was entitled, our Lord alludes in his defence of Mary: “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house; thou gavest me no water for my feet, but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment,” Luke vii, 44. Homer mentions it as a custom quite common in those days, for daughters to wash and afterward to anoint the feet of their parents. Our Saviour was in the circumstances of a traveller; he had no home to wash and anoint himself in, before he went to Simon’s house; and, therefore, had a right to complain that his entertainer had failed in the respect that was due to him as a stranger, at a distance from the usual place of his residence. The Jews regularly washed their hands and their feet before dinner; they considered this ceremony as essential, which discovers the reason of their astonishment, when they observed the disciples of Christ sit down at table without having observed this ceremony: “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread,” Matt. xv, 2. After meals they wash them again; for, says the evangelist, “the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders,” Mark vii, 3, 4. When they washed their hands themselves, they plunged them into the water up to the wrists; but when others performed this office for them, it was done by pouring it upon their hands. The same custom prevailed in Greece, for Homer says, the attendants poured water on the hands of their chiefs. This was a part of the service which Elisha performed for his master Elijah; and in every instance under the law where water was applied to the body by another, it was done, not by plunging, but by pouring or sprinkling. To wash the feet was a mean and servile office, and, therefore, generally performed by the female servants of the family. It was occasionally performed, however, by females of the highest rank; for the daughter of Cleobulus, one of the Grecian sages, and king of Lindus, a city on the south-east part of Rhodes, was not ashamed to wash the feet of her father’s guests. And it was customary for them to kiss the feet of those to whom they thought a more than common respect was due; for the daughter of Philocleon, in Aristophanes, washed her father, anointed his feet, and, stooping down, kissed them. The towel which was used to wipe the feet after washing, was considered through all the east as a badge of servitude. Suetonius mentions it as a sure mark of the intolerable pride of Caligula, the Roman emperor, that when at supper he suffered senators of the highest rank, sometimes to stand by his couch, sometimes at his feet, girt with a towel. Hence it appears that this honour was a token of humiliation, which was not, however, absolutely degrading and inconsistent with all regard to rank. Yet our blessed Redeemer did not refuse to give his disciples, and Judas Iscariot himself, that proof of his love and humility.

The entertainment was conducted by a symposiarch, or governor of the feast. He was, says Plutarch, one chosen among the guests, the most pleasant and diverting in the company, that would not get drunk, and yet would drink freely; he was to rule over the rest, to forbid any disorder, but to encourage their mirth. He observed the temper of the guests, and how the wine worked upon them; how every one could bear his wine, and to endeavour accordingly to keep them all in harmony, and in an even composure, that there might be no disquiet nor disturbance. To do this effectually, he first proclaimed liberty to every one to drink what he thought proper, and then observing who among them was most ready to be disordered, mixed more water with his wine, to keep him equally sober with the rest of the company; so that this officer took care that none should be forced to drink, and that none, though left to their own choice, should get intoxicated. Such, we have reason to believe, was the governor of the feast at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, which our Lord honoured with his presence. The term ἀρχιτρίκλινος literally signifies the governor of a place furnished with three beds; and he acted as one having authority; for he tasted the wine before he distributed it to the company, which, it is universally admitted, was one of the duties of a symposiarch. Neither the name nor the act accords with the character and situation of a guest; he must, therefore, have been the symposiarch, or governor of the feast. The existence of such an officer among the Jews is placed beyond a doubt, by a passage in the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus, where his office is thus described: “If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest; take diligent care of them, and so sit down. And when thou hast done all thine office, take thy place, that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown for the well-ordering of the feast,” Ecclesiasticus xxxii, 1. See Architriclinus.

BAPTISM, from the Greek word βαπτίζω, is a rite or ceremony by which persons are initiated into the profession of the Christian religion; or, it is the appointed mode by which a person assumes the profession of Christianity, or is admitted to a participation of the privileges belonging to the disciples of Christ. It 130was by this mode that those who believed the Gospel were to be separated from unbelievers, and joined to the visible Christian church; and the rite accompanying it, or washing with water, was probably intended to represent the washing away, or renouncing, the impurities of some former state, viz. the sins that had been committed, and the vicious habits that had been contracted; and to this purpose it may be observed, that the profession of repentance always accompanied, or was understood to accompany, the profession of faith in Christ. That our Lord instituted such an ordinance as baptism, is plain from the commission given to the Apostles after his resurrection, and recorded in Matt. xxviii, 19, 20. To this rite there is also an allusion in Mark xvi, 16; John iii, 5; Acts ii, 41; viii, 12, 36–38; xxii, 16. The design of this institution, which was to express faith in Christ on the part of those who were baptized, and to declare their resolution of openly professing his religion, and cultivating real and universal holiness, appears from Rom. vi, 3, 4; 1 Peter iii, 21; Ephes. v, 26; and Titus iii, 5. We find no account of baptism as a distinct religious rite, before the mission of John, the forerunner of Christ, who was called the “Baptist,” on account of his being commanded by God to baptize with water all who should hearken to his invitation to repent. Washing, however, accompanied many of the Jewish rites, and, indeed, was required after contracting any kind of uncleanness. Also, soon after the time of our Saviour, we find it to have been the custom of the Jews solemnly to baptize, as well as to circumcise, all their proselytes. As their writers treat largely of the reasons for this rite, and give no hint of its being a novel institution, it is probable that this had always been the custom antecedent to the time of Moses, whose account of the rite of circumcision, and of the manner of performing it, is by no means circumstantial. Or, baptism, after circumcision, might have come into use gradually from the natural propriety of the thing, and its easy conformity to other Jewish customs. For if no Jew could approach the tabernacle, or temple, after the most trifling uncleanness, without washing, much less would it be thought proper to admit a proselyte from a state so impure and unclean as Heathenism was conceived to be, without the same mode of purification. The antiquity of this practice of proselyte baptism among the Jews, has been a subject of considerable debate among divines. It is strenuously maintained by Lightfoot. Dr. John Owen considers the opinion, that Christian baptism came from the Jews, as destitute of all probability. On the other hand, Mr. Wall has made it highly probable, to say the least, from many testimonies of the Jewish writers, who without one dissenting voice allow the fact, that the practice of Jewish baptism obtained before and at, as well as after, our Saviour’s time. There is also a strong intimation, even in the Gospel itself, of such a known practice among the Jews in the time of John the Baptist, John i, 25. The testimonies of the Jewish writers are of the greater weight, because the practice, reported by them to have been of so ancient a date, did still remain among them; for if it had not been of that antiquity to which it pretends, viz. before the time of Christ, it is not likely that it would ever have become a custom among the Jews afterward. Would they begin to proselyte persons to their religion by baptism in imitation of the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they held accursed? And yet if this proselyte baptism were adopted by the Jews since the time of Christ, it must have been a mere innovation in imitation of Christians, which is not very likely. This ceremony is performed by immersion in the oriental churches. The practice of the western churches is, to sprinkle the water on the head or face of the person to be baptized, except in the church of Milan, in whose ritual it is ordered, that the head of the infant be plunged three times into the water; the minister at the same time pronouncing the words, “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;” importing that by this ceremony the person baptized is received among the professors of that religion which God, the Father of all, revealed to mankind by the ministry of his Son, and confirmed by the miracles of his Spirit.

2. It is observable that the baptismal form, above cited from St. Matthew, never occurs in the same words, either in the book of the Acts, or in any of the Epistles. But though the form in St. Matthew never appears elsewhere, the thing intended thereby is always implied. There are many ceremonies delivered by ecclesiastical writers, as used in baptism, which were introduced after the age of Justin Martyr, but which are now disused; as the giving milk and honey to the baptized, in the east; wine and milk, in the west, &c. They also added unction and the imposition of hands. Tertullian is the first who mentions the signing with the sign of the cross, but only as used in private, and not in public worship; and he particularly describes the custom of baptizing without it. Indeed, it does not appear to have been used in baptism till the latter end of the fourth or fifth century; at which time great virtue was ascribed to it. Lactantius, who lived in the beginning of the fourth century, says the devil cannot approach those who have the heavenly mark of the cross upon them as an impregnable fortress to defend them; but he does not say it was used in baptism. After the council of Nice, Christians added to baptism the ceremonies of exorcism and adjuration, to make evil spirits depart from the persons to be baptized. They made several signings with the cross, they used lighted candles, they gave salt to the baptized person to taste, and the priest touched his mouth and ears with spittle, and also blew and spat upon his face. At that time also baptized persons wore white garments till the Sunday following. They had also various other ceremonies; some of which are now abolished, though others of them remain in the church of Rome to this day.

3. The Quakers assert, that water baptism was never intended to continue in the church 131of Christ any longer than while Jewish prejudices made such an external ceremony necessary. They argue from Eph. iv, 5, in which one baptism is spoken of as necessary to Christians, that this must be a baptism of the Spirit. But from comparing the texts that relate to this institution, it will plainly appear that water baptism was instituted by Christ in more general terms than will agree with this explication. That it was administered to all the Gentile converts, and not confined to the Jews, appears from Matt. xxviii, 19, 20, compared with Acts x, 47; and that the baptism of the Spirit did not supersede water baptism appears to have been the judgment of Peter and of those that were with him; so that the one baptism spoken of seems to have been that of water; the communication of the Holy Spirit being only called baptism in a figurative sense. As for any objection which may be drawn from 1 Cor. i, 17, it is sufficiently answered by the preceding verses, and all the numerous texts, in which, in epistles written long after this, the Apostle speaks of all Christians as baptized; and argues from the obligation of baptism, in such a manner as we can never imagine he would have done, if he had apprehended it to have been the will of God that it should be discontinued in the church. Compare Rom. vi, 3, &c; Col. ii, 12; Gal. iii, 27.

4. Baptism, in early times, was only administered at Easter and Whitsuntide, except in cases of necessity. Adult persons were prepared for baptism by abstinence, prayer, and other pious exercises. It was to answer for them, says Mosheim, that sponsors, or godfathers, were first instituted in the second century, though they were afterward admitted also in the baptism of infants. This, according to M. Daillé, was not done till the fourth century. Wall refers the origin of sponsors, or godfathers, on the authority of Tertullian, to the commencement of the second century; who were used in the baptism of infants that could not answer for themselves. The catechumens were not forward in coming to baptism. St. Ambrose was not baptized before he was elected bishop of Milan; and some of the fathers not till the time of their death. Some deferred it out of a tender conscience; and others out of too much attachment to the world; it being the prevailing opinion of the primitive times, that baptism, whenever conferred, washed away all antecedent stains and sins. Accordingly they deferred this sanctifying rite as long as possible, even till they apprehended they were at the point of death. Cases of this kind occur at the beginning of the third century. Constantine the Great was not baptized till he was at the last gasp, and in this he was followed by his son Constantius; and two of his other sons, Constantine and Constans, were killed before they were baptized. As to the necessity of baptism, we may observe, however, that, though some seem to have laid too great stress upon it, as if it were indispensably necessary in order to salvation; it must be allowed, that for any person to omit baptism, when he acknowledges it to be an institution of Christ, and that it is the will of Christ that he should submit to it, is an act of disobedience to his authority, which is inconsistent with true faith.

5. The word baptism is frequently taken for sufferings, Mark x, 38; Luke xii, 50; Matt. xx, 22, 23. Of expressions like these we find some traces in the Old Testament also, where waters often denote tribulations, Psalm lxix, 1, 15; cxxiv, 4, 5; and where to be swallowed up by the waters, and to pass through the great waters, signify to be overwhelmed with miseries and calamities.

6. St. Paul, endeavouring to prove the resurrection of the dead, among several other reasons in support of the doctrine, says, “If the dead rise not at all, what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?” 1 Cor. xv, 29. Of this phrase various interpretations have been given; three of which only shall be here mentioned. “It means,” say some, “‘baptized in the room of the dead just fallen in the cause of Christ, and who are thus supported by a sucession of new converts, immediately offering themselves to fill up their places, as ranks of soldiers who advance to combat in the room of their companions, who have just been slain in their sight.’” Others think it signifies, “In hope of blessings to be received after they are numbered with the dead.” Dr. Macknight supplies the words, τῆς ἀναϛάσεως, and reads the clause, “Who are baptized for the resurrection of the dead;” or in consequence of their believing in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead; on account of which faith, and their profession of it, they are exposed to great sufferings, for which they can have no recompense, if there be no resurrection of the dead, nor any future life at all.

7. As to the subjects of baptism, the anti-pædobaptists hold that believing adults only are proper subjects, because the commission of Christ to baptize appears to them to restrict this ordinance to such only as are taught, or made disciples; and that, consequently, infants, who cannot be thus taught, ought to be excluded. “It does not appear,” say they, “that the Apostles, in executing the commission of Christ, ever baptized any but those who were first instructed in the Christian faith, and professed their belief of it.” They contend that infants can receive no benefit from baptism, and are not capable of faith and repentance, which are to be considered as prerequisites.

8. As to the mode, they observe that the meaning of the word βαπτίζω signifies to immerse or dip, and that only; that John baptized in Jordan; that he chose a place where there was much water; that Jesus came up out of the water; that Philip and the eunuch went down both into the water; that the terms, washing, purifying, burying in baptism, so often mentioned in the Scriptures, allude to this mode; that immersion only was the practice of the Apostles and the first Christians; and that it was only laid aside from the love of novelty, and the coldness of climate. These positions, they think, are so clear from Scripture, and the history of the church, that they 132stand in need of but little argument for their support. Farther, they also insist that all positive institutions depend entirely upon the will and declaration of the institutor; and that, therefore, reasoning by analogy from previously abrogated rites is to be rejected, and the express command of Christ respecting baptism ought to be our rule.

9. The Pædobaptists, however, are of a different opinion. As to the subjects of baptism, they believe that qualified adults, who have not been baptized before, are certainly proper subjects; but then they think, also, that infants ought not to be excluded. They believe that, as the Abrahamic and Christian covenants are the same, Gen. xvii, 7; Heb. viii, 12; that as children were admitted under the former; and that as baptism is now a sign, seal, or confirmation of this covenant, infants have as great a right to it as the children of the Israelites had to the seal of circumcision under the law, Acts ii, 39; Rom. iv, 11. Farther, if children are not to be baptized because there is no positive command for it, for the same reason they say that women should not come to the Lord’s Supper; nor ought we to keep holy the first day of the week; neither of these being expressly commanded. If baptizing infants had been a human invention, they also ask, how such a practice could have been so universal in the first three hundred years of the church, and yet no record have remained when it was introduced, nor any dispute or controversy about it have taken place? Some reduce the matter to a narrower compass; urging, (1.) That God constituted in his church the membership of infants, and admitted them to that privilege by a religious ordinance, Gen. xvii; Gal. iii, 14, 17. (2.) That this right of infants to church membership was never taken away: and this being the case, they argue, that infants must be received, because God has appointed it; and, since they must be received, it must be either with baptism or without it; but none must be received without baptism; therefore, infants must of necessity be baptized. Hence it is clear that, under the Gospel, infants are still continued exactly in the same relation to God and his church in which they were originally placed under former dispensations. That infants are to be received into the church, and as such baptized, is also inferred from the following passages of Scripture: Gen. xvii; Isa. xliv, 3; Matt. xix, 13; Luke ix, 47, 48; Acts ii, 38, 39; Rom. xi, 17, 21; 1 Cor. vii, 14.

10. Though there are no express examples in the New Testament of Christ and his Apostles baptizing infants, yet there is no proof that they were excluded. Jesus Christ actually blessed little children; and it is difficult to believe that such received his blessing, and yet were not to be members of the Gospel church. If Christ received them, and would have us “receive” them, how can we keep them out of the visible church? Beside, if children were not to be baptized, it is reasonable to expect that they would have been expressly forbidden. As whole households were baptized, it is also probable there were children among them. From the year 400 to 1150, no society of men, in all that period of seven hundred and fifty years, ever pretended to say it was unlawful to baptize infants: and still nearer the time of our Saviour there appears to have been scarcely any one who advised the delay of infant baptism. Irenæus, who lived in the second century, and was well acquainted with Polycarp, who was John’s disciple, declares expressly, that the church learned from the Apostles to baptize children. Origen, in the third century, affirms, that the custom of baptizing infants was received from Christ and his Apostles. Cyprian, and a council of ministers, held about the year 254, no less than sixty-six in number, unanimously agreed that children might be baptized as soon as they were born. Ambrose, who wrote about 274 years from the Apostles, declares that the baptism of infants had been practised by the Apostles themselves, and by the church down to that time. “The catholic church every where declares,” says Chrysostom, in the fifth century, “that infants should be baptized;” and Augustine affirmed, that he never heard or read of any Christian, catholic or sectarian, but who always held that infants were to be baptized. They farther believe that there needed no mention in the New Testament of receiving infants into the church, as it had been once appointed and never repealed. So far from confining baptism to adults, it must be remembered that there is not a single instance recorded in the New Testament, in which the descendants of Christian parents were baptized in adult years. The objection that infants are not proper subjects for baptism, because they cannot profess faith and repentance, falls with as much weight upon the institution of circumcision as infant baptism; since they are as capable or are as fit subjects for the one as the other. Finally, it is generally acknowledged, that if infants die, (and a great part of the human race die in their infancy,) they are saved: if this be the case then why refuse them the sign of union with Christ, if they be capable of enjoying the thing signified?

11. As to the mode, the Pædobaptists deny that the term βαπτίζω, which is a derivative of βάπτω, and, consequently, must be something less in its signification, is invariably used in the New Testament to express plunging. It is denied, therefore, that dipping is its only meaning; that Christ absolutely enjoined immersion; and that it is his positive will that no other mode should be used. As the word βαπτίζω is used to express the various ablutions among the Jews, such as sprinkling, pouring, &c, Heb. ix, 10, for the custom of washing before meals, and the washing of household furniture, pots, &c, it is evident from hence that it does not express the manner of doing a thing, whether by immersion or effusion, but only the thing done; that is, washing; or the application of water in some form or other. It no where signifies to dip, but in denoting a mode of, and in order to, washing or cleansing; and the mode or use is only the ceremonial part of a positive institute; just as in the Lord’s 133Supper, the time of day, the number and posture of the communicants, the quantity and quality of bread and wine, are circumstances not accounted essential by any part of Christians. If in baptism there be an expressive emblem of the descending influence of the Spirit, pouring must be the mode of administration; for that is the Scriptural term most commonly and properly used for the communication of divine influences, Matt. iii, 11; Mark i, 8, 10; Luke iii, 16–22; John i, 33; Acts i, 5; ii, 38, 39; viii, 12, 17; xi, 15, 16. The term sprinkling, also, is made use of in reference to the act of purification, Isa. lii, 15; Ezek. xxxvi, 25; Heb. ix, 13, 14; and therefore cannot be inapplicable to baptismal purification. But, it is observed, that John baptized “in Jordan:” to this it is replied, To infer always a plunging of the whole body in water from this particle, would, in many instances, be false and absurd. The same Greek preposition, ἐν, is used when it is said they should be “baptized with fire;” but few will assert that they should be plunged into it. The Apostle, speaking of Christ, says, he came not, ἐν, “by water only;” but, ἐν, “by water and blood.” There the same word, ἐν, is translated by; and with justice and propriety; for we know no good sense in which we could say he came in water. It has been remarked that ἐν is, more than a hundred times, in the New Testament, rendered at; and in a hundred and fifty others it is translated with. If it be rendered so here, John baptized at Jordan, or with the water of Jordan, there is no proof that he plunged his disciples in it.

Jesus, it is said, came up out of the water; but this is no proof that he was immersed, as the Greek term, ἀπὸ, often signifies from: for instance, “Who hath warned you to flee from,” not out of, “the wrath to come?” with many others that might be mentioned. Again: it is urged that Philip and the eunuch went down both into the water. To this it is answered, that here also is no proof of immersion: for, if the expression of their going down into the water necessarily includes dipping, then Philip was dipped, as well as the eunuch. The preposition εἰς, translated into, often signifies no more than to, or unto: see Matt. xv, 24; Rom. x, 10; Acts xxviii, 14; Matt. iii, 11; xvii, 27: so that from none of these circumstances can it be proved that there was one person of all the baptized, who went into the water ankle deep. As to the Apostle’s expression, “buried with him in baptism,” that has no force in the argument for immersion, since it does not allude to a custom of dipping, any more than our baptismal crucifixion and death has any such reference. It is not the sign, but the thing signified, that is here alluded to. As Christ was buried, and rose again to a heavenly life, so we by baptism signify that we are separated from sin, that we may live a new life of faith and love.

To conclude: it is urged, against the mode of immersion, that, as it carries with it too much of the appearance of a burdensome rite for the Gospel dispensation; as it is too indecent for so solemn an ordinance; as it has a tendency to agitate the spirits, often rendering the subject unfit for the exercise of proper thoughts and affections, and indeed utterly incapable of them; as in many cases the immersion of the body would, in all probability, be instant death; as in other situations it would be impracticable, for want of water; it cannot be considered as necessary to the ordinance of baptism, and there is the strongest improbability that it was ever practised in the times of the New Testament, or in the earliest periods of the Christian church.

BAPTISTS, or ANTIPÆDOBAPTISTS, so called from their rejecting the baptism of infants. The Baptists in England form one of “the three denominations of Protestant Dissenters.” The constitution of their churches, and their modes of worship, are congregational, or independent. They bore a considerable share in the sufferings of the seventeenth and preceding centuries: for there were many among the Lollards and Wickliffites who disapproved of infant baptism. There were also many of this faith among the Protestants and Reformers abroad. In Holland, Germany, and the north, they went by the names of Anabaptists and Mennonites; and in Piedmont and the south, they were found among the Albigenses and Waldenses. The Baptists subsist chiefly under two denominations,--the Particular or Calvinistical, and the General or Arminian. The former is by far the most numerous. Some of both denominations, General and Particular, allow of free or mixed communion; admitting to the Lord’s table pious persons who have not been immersed, while others consider that as an essential requisite to communion. These are sometimes called Strict Baptists. Other societies of this denomination observe the seventh day of the week as their Sabbath, apprehending the original law of the Sabbath to remain in force, unaltered and unrepealed. These are called Seventh-day Baptists. A considerable number of the General Baptists have gone into Unitarianism; in consequence of which, those who maintained the doctrines of the Trinity and atonement, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, formed themselves into what is called “The New Connection,” or Association. These preserve a friendly correspondence with their other brethren in things which concern the general interests of the denomination, but hold no religious communion with them. Some congregations of General Baptists admit three distinct orders of church officers: messengers or ministers, elders, and deacons. The Baptists in America, and in the East and West Indies, are chiefly Calvinists; but most of them admit of free communion. The Scottish Baptists form a distinct denomination, and are distinguished by several peculiarities of church government. “No trace can be found of a Baptist church in Scotland,” says Mr. Jones, “excepting one which appears to have been formed out of Cromwell’s army, previous to 1765, when a church was settled at Edinburgh, under the pastoral care of Mr. Carmichael and Mr. Archibald 134M’Lean. Others have since been formed at Dundee, Glasgow, and in most of the principal towns of Scotland:” also at London, and in various parts of England. They think that the order of public worship, which uniformly obtained in the Apostolic churches, is clearly set forth in Acts ii, 42–47; and therefore they endeavour to follow it out to the utmost of their power. They require a plurality of elders in every church, administer the Lord’s Supper, and make contributions for the poor every first day of the week. The prayers and exhortations of the brethren form a part of their church order, under the direction and control of the elders, to whom it exclusively belongs to preside in conducting the worship, to rule in cases of discipline, and to labour in the word and doctrine, in distinction from the brethren exhorting one another. The elders are all laymen, generally chosen from among the brethren; but, when circumstances require, are supported by their contributions. They approve also of persons who are properly qualified for it, being appointed by the church to preach the Gospel and baptize, though not vested with any pastoral charge. The discipline and government of the Scottish Baptists are strictly congregational.

BARACHIAS, the father of Zacharias, mentioned Matt. xxiii, 35, as slain between the temple and the altar. There is a great diversity of opinions concerning the person of this Zacharias, the son of Barachias. Some think him to be Zacharias, the son of Jehoiada, who was killed by the orders of Joash, between the temple and the altar, 2 Chron. xxiv, 21. Campbell thinks, with Father Simon, that Jehoiada had two names, Barachias and Jehoiada. See Zacharias.

BARAK, son of Abinoam, chosen by God to deliver the Hebrews from that bondage under which they were held by Jabin, king of the Canaanites, Judges iv, 4, 5, &c. He refused to obey the Lord’s commands, signified to him by Deborah, the prophetess, unless she consented to go with him. Deborah accompanied Barak toward Kedesh of Naphtali; and, having assembled ten thousand men, they advanced to mount Tabor. Sisera, being informed of this movement, marched with nine hundred chariots of war, and encamped near the river Kishon. Barak rapidly descended from mount Tabor, and the Lord having spread terror through Sisera’s army Barak easily obtained a complete victory. Sisera was killed by Jael. Barak and Deborah composed a hymn of thanksgiving; and the land had peace forty years from A. M. 2719 to 2759, B. C. 1245.

BARBARIAN. The word לעו (rendered barbarian; LXX, βάρβαρος,) in the Hebrew sense of it, signifies a stranger; one who knows neither the holy language nor the law. According to the notions of the Greeks, all nations who were not Greeks, or not governed by laws like the Greeks, were barbarians. The Persians, Egyptians, Hebrews, Arabians, Gauls, Germans, and even the Romans, were, in their phraseology, barbarians, however learned or polite they might be in themselves. St. Paul comprehends all mankind under the names of Greeks and barbarians: “I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians; to the wise and to the unwise,” Rom. i, 14. St. Luke calls the inhabitants of the island of Malta barbarians, Acts xxviii, 2, 4. St. Paul, writing to the Colossians, uses the terms barbarian and Scythian almost in the same signification. In 1 Cor. xiv, 11, he says, that if he who speaks a foreign language in an assembly be not understood by those to whom he discourses, with respect to them he is a barbarian; and, reciprocally, if he understand not those who speak to him, they are to him barbarians. Barbarian, therefore, is used for every stranger or foreigner who does not speak our native language, and includes no implication whatever of savage nature or manners in those respecting whom it is used. It is most probably derived from berbir, “a shepherd;” whence Barbary, the country of wandering shepherds; Bedouins, Sceni, Scythei, as if, wanderers in tents; therefore barbarians.

BAR-JESUS, or, according to some copies, BAR-JEU, was a Jewish magician in the island of Crete, Acts xiii, 6. St. Luke calls him Elymas. He was with the pro-consul Sergius Paulus, who, sending for Paul and Barnabas, desired to hear the word of God. Bar-Jesus endeavouring to hinder the pro-consul from embracing Christianity, Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, “set his eyes upon him, and said, O full of all subtilty and mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season;” which took place immediately. The pro-consul, who saw this miracle, was converted. Origen and Chrysostom think that Elymas, or Bar-Jesus, was converted likewise; and that St. Paul speedily restored his sight.

BARLEY, שערה, Exod. ix, 31; Lev. xxvii, 16, &c;; a well-known kind of grain. It derives its Hebrew name from the long hairy beard which grows upon the ear. Pliny, on the testimony of Menander, says that barley was the most ancient aliment of mankind. In Palestine the barley was sown about October, and reaped in the end of March, just after the passover. In Egypt the barley harvest was later; for when the hail fell there, Exodus ix, 31, a few days before the passover, the flax and barley were bruised and destroyed: for the flax was at its full growth, and the barley began to form its green ears; but the wheat, and more backward grain, were not damaged, because they were only in the blade, and the hail bruised the young shoots which produce the ears.

The rabbins sometimes called barley the food of beasts, because in reality they fed their cattle with it, 1 Kings iv, 28; and from Homer and other ancient writers we learn, that barley was given to horses. The Hebrews, however, frequently used barley bread, as we find by several passages of Scripture: for example, David’s friends brought to him in his flight wheat, 135barley, flour, &c, 2 Sam. xvii, 28. Solomon sent wheat, barley, oil, and wine, to the labourers King Hiram had furnished him, 2 Chron. ii, 15. Elijah had a present made him, of twenty barley loaves, and corn in the husk, 2 Kings iv, 22. And, by miraculously increasing the five barley loaves, Christ fed a multitude of about five thousand, John vi, 8–10. The jealousy-offering, in the Levitical institution, was to be barley meal, Num. v, 15. The common mincha, or offering, was of fine wheat flour, Lev. ii, 1; but this was of barley, a meaner grain, probably to denote the vile condition of the person in whose behalf it was offered. For which reason, also, there was no oil or frankincense permitted to be offered with it. Sometimes barley is put for a low, contemptible reward or price. So the false prophets are charged with seducing the people for handfuls of barley, and morsels of bread, Ezek. xiii, 19. Hosea bought his emblematic bride for fifteen pieces of silver, and a homer and a half of barley, Hosea iii, 2.

BARNABAS, a disciple of Jesus Christ, and companion of St. Paul in his labours. He was a Levite, born in the isle of Cyprus. His proper name was Joses, to which the Apostles added Barnabas, signifying the son of consolation. He is generally considered one of the seventy disciples, chosen by our Saviour. He was brought up with Paul at the feet of Gamaliel. When that Apostle came to Jerusalem, three years after his conversion, Barnabas introduced him to the other Apostles, Acts ix, 26, 27, about A. D. 37. Five years afterward, the church at Jerusalem, being informed of the progress of the Gospel at Antioch, sent Barnabas thither, who beheld with great joy the wonders of the grace of God, Acts xi, 22, 24. He exhorted the faithful to perseverance. Some time afterward, he went to Tarsus, to seek Paul, and bring him to Antioch, where they jointly laboured two years, and converted great numbers; and here the disciples were first called Christians. They left Antioch A. D. 44, to convey alms from this church to that at Jerusalem. At their return they brought John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. While they were at Antioch, the Holy Ghost directed that they should be separated for those labours among the Gentiles to which he had appointed them. They departed into Cyprus, where they converted Sergius Paulus, the pro-consul. They preached at Perga in Pamphylia without much success, by reason of the obstinacy and malice of the Jews; but being come to Iconium, they made many converts. Here the Jews stirred up a sedition, and obliged them to retire to Derbe and Lystra, in Lycaonia, where St. Paul curing one Æneas, who had been lame from his birth, the people of Lystra regarded them as gods; calling Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury; and would have sacrificed to them, which the two Apostles with great difficulty hindered: nevertheless, soon afterward, they were persecuted in this very city. Having revisited the cities through which they had passed, and where they had preached the Gospel, they returned to Antioch in Syria.

In A. D. 51, Barnabas was sent with Paul from Antioch to Jerusalem, on occasion of disputes concerning the observance of legal rites, to which the Jews wished to subject the Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas were present in the council at Jerusalem, and returned immediately to Antioch. Peter, arriving there soon afterward, was led to countenance, in some degree, by his conduct, the observance of the Mosaic distinctions. Barnabas, too, (who, being by descent a Levite, might retain some former notions,) used the like dissimulation: but Paul reproved Peter and Barnabas with great freedom. Paul afterward determining to visit the churches in the isle of Cyprus, and in Asia Minor, Barnabas desired that John Mark might accompany them: but Paul objected, because Mark had left them on the first journey. Hereupon the two Apostles separated: Paul went toward Asia; and Barnabas, with Mark, to Cyprus. This is all we know certainly concerning Barnabas.

There is extant among the writings of the fathers an epistle which is attributed to Barnabas; though, being without an inscription, it is not known to whom it professes to have been addressed. It was first published by Archbishop Usher, in Greek and Latin, and translated by Archbishop Wake, in his “Genuine Epistles of the Apostolical Fathers,” and has often been reprinted. That it is not the production of Barnabas, the companion of Paul, may be safely concluded from internal evidence; though it may have been written by some other person of the same name. There is also a tract which goes by the name of, “The Gospel of Barnabas,” still extant; from which Dr. White, at the end of his Bampton Lectures, has given extracts sufficiently copious to satisfy any impartial mind that it is spurious.

BARRENNESS. This was looked upon as reproachful among the Greeks and Romans, but more particularly so among the Jews; which may be accounted for by the constant expectation of Messiah, and the hope that every woman had, that she might be the mother of the promised seed. This constant hope of the speedy coming of the great “Seed of the woman” serves also to account for many circumstances in the Old Testament history. “Couple it,” says the Rev. J. J. Blunt, “with this consideration, and I see the scheme of revelation, like the physical scheme, proceeding with beautiful uniformity: a unity of plan ‘connecting,’ as it has been well said by Paley, ‘the chicken roosting upon its perch with the spheres revolving in the firmament;’ and a unity of plan connecting in like manner the meanest accidents of a household with the most illustrious visions of a prophet. Abstracted from this consideration, I see in the history of Moses details of actions, some trifling, some even offensive, pursued at a length (when compared with the whole) singularly disproportionate; while things which the angels would desire to look into are passed over and forgotten. But this principle once admitted, all is consecrated; all assumes a new aspect; 136trifles, that seem at first not bigger than a man’s hand, occupy the heavens; and wherefore Sarah laughed, for instance, at the prospect of a son, and wherefore that laugh was rendered immortal in his name; and wherefore the sacred historian dwells on a matter so trivial, whilst the world and its vast concerns were lying at his feet, I can fully understand. For then I see the hand of God shaping every thing to his own ends, and in an event thus casual, thus easy, thus unimportant, telling forth his mighty design of salvation to the world, and working it up into the web of his noble prospective counsels, Gen. xxi, 6. I see that nothing is great or little before Him who can bend to his purposes whatever he willeth, and convert the light-hearted and thoughtless mockery of an aged woman into an instrument of his glory, effectual as the tongue of the seer which he touched with living coals from the altar. Bearing this master-key in my hand, I can interpret the scenes of domestic mirth, of domestic stratagem, or of domestic wickedness, with which the history of Moses abounds. The Seed of the woman, that was to bruise the serpent’s head, Gen. iii, 15, however indistinctly understood, (and probably it was understood very indistinctly,) was the one thing longed for in the families of old; was ‘the desire of all nations,’ as the Prophet Haggai expressly calls it, Hag. ii, 7; and, provided they could accomplish this desire, they (like others, when urged by an overpowering motive) were often reckless of the means, and rushed upon deeds which they could not defend. Then did the wife forget her jealousy, and provoke, instead of resenting, the faithlessness of her husband, Gen. xvi, 2; xxx, 3, 9; then did the mother forget a parent’s part, and teach her own child treachery and deceit, Gen. xxv, 23; xxvii, 13; then did daughters turn the instincts of nature backward, and deliberately work their own and their father’s shame, Gen. xix, 31; then did the daughter-in-law veil her face, and court the incestuous bed, Gen. xxxviii, 14; and to be childless, was to be a by-word, Gen. xvi, 5; xxx, 1; and to refuse to raise up seed to a brother, was to be spit upon, Gen. xxxviii, 26; Deut. xxv, 9; and the prospect of the promise, like the fulfilment of it, did not send peace into families, but a sword; and three were set against two, and two against three, Gen. xxvii, 41; and the elder, who would be promoted unto honour, was set against the younger, whom God would promote, Gen. iv, 5; xxvii, 41; and national differences were engendered by it, as individuals grew into nations, Gen. xix, 37; xxvi, 35; and even the foulest of idolatries may be traced, perhaps, to this hallowed source; for the corruption of the best is the worst corruption of all, Num. xxv, 1, 2, 3. It is upon this principle of interpretation, and I know not upon what other so well, that we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, who have made those parts of the Mosaic history a stumbling-block to many, which, if rightly understood, are the very testimony of the covenant; and a principle which is thus extensive in its application and successful in its results; which explains so much that is difficult, and answers so much that is objected against, has, from this circumstance alone, strong presumption in its favour, strong claims upon our sober regard.”

BARSABAS. Joseph Barsabas, surnamed Justus, was one of the first disciples of Jesus Christ, and probably one of the seventy. When St. Peter proposed to the disciples to fill up the place of Judas the traitor, by choosing another Apostle, Acts i, 21, Barsabas was nominated along with Matthias; but the lot fell on Matthias, who was therefore numbered with the eleven Apostles. We know nothing farther of the life of this Barsabas.

2. Barsabas was also the surname of Judas, one of the principal disciples mentioned, Acts xv, 22, &c. Barsabas and some others were sent by the Apostles, with Paul and Barnabas, to Antioch, and carried a letter with them from the Apostles, signifying what the council at Jerusalem had decreed. After the reading of the letter to the brethren, which was received with joy, Barsabas and Silas continued here some time longer, instructing and confirming the brethren; after which Silas and Barsabas returned to Jerusalem. This is all we know of Barsabas Judas.

BARTHOLOMEW, one of the twelve Apostles, Matt. x, 3, is supposed to be the same person who is called Nathanael, one of the first of Christ’s disciples. This opinion is founded on the circumstance, that as the evangelist John never mentions Bartholomew in the number of the Apostles, so the other evangelists never mention Nathanael. And as in John i, 45, Philip and Nathanael are mentioned together as coming to Jesus, so in the other evangelists Philip and Bartholomew are constantly associated together. The supposition also acquires additional probability from considering, that Nathanael is particularly mentioned among the Apostles to whom Christ appeared at the sea of Tiberias, after his resurrection; Simon Peter, Thomas, and Nathanael, of Cana in Galilee; the sons of Zebedee, namely, James and John; with two other of his disciples, probably Andrew and Philip, John xxi, 2. It is an early tradition, that Bartholomew propagated the faith as far as India, and also in the more northern and western parts of Asia, and that he finally suffered martyrdom. But all the particulars respecting the life and labours of the Apostles, not mentioned in the New Testament, are exceedingly uncertain.

BARUCH, the son of Neriah, and grandson of Maaseiah, was of illustrious birth, and of the tribe of Judah. He had a brother of the name of Seraiah, who occupied an important station in the court of King Zedekiah; but he himself adhered to the person of the Prophet Jeremiah, and was his most steady friend, though his attachment to him drew on himself several persecutions and much ill treatment. He appears to have acted as his secretary during a great part of his life, and never left him till they were parted by death. In the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, A. M. 3398, Jeremiah having been thrown into prison, the Lord commanded him to commit to writing all the 137prophecies that he had delivered until that time. He accordingly sent for Baruch, and dictated them to him by word of mouth. Some time afterward he instructed the latter to go and read them to the people, who were then assembled in the temple; on which Michaiah, who happened to be present, and heard them, instantly gave notice of them to the king’s counsellors. The latter immediately sent for Baruch, and commanded him to repeat to them what he had been reading to the people in the temple; which he accordingly did, to their great astonishment: and, finding that they contained some very unwelcome tidings respecting the fate of the kingdom, they inquired how he came into possession of them; intimating that their duty to the king required that they should make him acquainted therewith. Baruch was at the same time advised to consult his own safety, and to let no man know where he was to be found; after which they took from him the roll of his prophecies, and deposited it in the chamber of Elishama, the scribe. They next waited on the king, and told him what had passed. The latter sent Jehudi to fetch the book; which being brought, Jehoiakim commanded it to be read in his presence, and in the presence of his nobles who surrounded him. But Jehudi had not proceeded far before the king took the book, cut it with his secretary’s penknife, and threw it into the fire, where it was consumed before their faces. He at the same time gave orders to have both Baruch and Jeremiah seized; but the hand of Providence concealed them from his fury.

Jeremiah was instructed a second time to commit his prophecies to writing; and Baruch wrote them as before, with the addition of several others which were not contained in the former book. In the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, Baruch went to Babylon, carrying with him a long letter from Jeremiah, in which the Prophet foretold the judgments that should come upon Babylon, and promised the Jews, who were then captives in that country, that they should again be restored to their own land. The latter were exceedingly affected at hearing Jeremiah’s letter read to them, and returned an answer to their brethren at Jerusalem. After his return to Jerusalem, Baruch continued his constant attendance on Jeremiah; and when Jerusalem was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, and Jeremiah thrown into prison, Baruch also was confined with him: but when the city had surrendered, Nebuzaraddan showed him much kindness, granted him his liberty, and permitted him to go with Jeremiah wherever he chose.

The remnant of the people who had been left in Judea under the care of Gedaliah, having adopted the resolution of going into Egypt, and finding that Jeremiah opposed their taking that journey, threw the blame upon Baruch; insinuating that the latter had influenced the Prophet to declare against it. They were, however, both of them at last compelled to follow the people into Egypt, where Jeremiah soon afterward died; on which Baruch retired to Babylon, where the rabbins say he also died in the twelfth year of the captivity, Jer. xxxvi; xliii. The book of Baruch is justly placed among the apocryphal writings. Grotius thinks it a fiction written by some Hellenistic Jew; and St. Jerome gives as the reason why he did not write a commentary upon it, that the Jews themselves did not deem it canonical.

BASHAN, or BASAN, one of the most fertile cantons of Canaan, which was bounded on the west by the river Jordan, on the east by the mountains of Gilead, on the south by the brook of Jabbok, and on the north by the land of Geshur. The whole kingdom took its name from the hill of Bashan, which is situated in the middle of it, and by the Greeks is called Batanæa. It had no less than sixty walled towns in it, beside villages. It afforded an excellent breed of cattle, and stately oaks, and was, in short, a plentiful and populous country. Og, king of the Amorites, possessed this country when Moses made the conquest thereof. In the division of the Holy Land, it was assigned to the half tribe of Manasseh. Of the present state of this portion of the ancient possessions of the Israelites, Mr. Buckingham, in his Travels, gives the following account: “We ascended the steep on the north side of the Zerkah, or Jabbok; and, on reaching the summit, came again on a beautiful plain, of an elevated level, and still covered with a very rich soil. We had now quitted the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and entered into that of Og, the king of Bashan, both of them well known to all the readers of the early Scriptures. We had quitted too, the districts apportioned to the tribes of Reuben and of Gad, and entered that part which was allotted to the half tribe of Manasseh, beyond Jordan eastward, leaving the land of the children of Ammon on our right, or to the east of the Jabbok, which, according to the authority before quoted, divided Ammon, or Philadelphia, from Gerasa. The mountains here are called the land of Gilead in the Scriptures, and in Josephus; and, according to the Roman division, this was the country of the Decapolis, so often spoken of in the New Testament, or the province of Gaulonitis, from the city of Gaulon, its early capital. We continued our way over this elevated tract, continuing to behold, with surprise and admiration, a beautiful country on all sides of us: its plains covered with a fertile soil, its hills clothed with forests; at every new turn presenting the most magnificent landscapes that could be imagined. Among the trees, the oak was frequently seen; and we know that this territory produced them of old. In enumerating the sources from which the supplies of Tyre were drawn in the time of her great wealth and naval splendour, the Prophet says, ‘Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars,’ Ezek. xxvii, 6. Some learned commentators indeed, believing that no oaks grew in these supposed desert regions, have translated the word by ‘alders,’ to prevent the appearance of inaccuracy in the inspired writer. The expression of ‘the fat bulls of Bashan,’ which occurs more than once in the Scriptures, seemed to us equally inconsistent, as applied 138to the beasts of a country generally thought to be a desert, in common with the whole tract which is laid down in our modern maps as such between the Jordan and the Euphrates; but we could now fully comprehend, not only that the bulls of this luxuriant country might be proverbially fat, but that its possessors, too, might be a race renowned for strength and comeliness of person. The general face of this region improved as we advanced farther in it; and every new direction of our path opened upon us views which surprised and charmed us by their grandeur and their beauty. Lofty mountains gave an outline of the most magnificent character; flowing beds of secondary hills softened the romantic wildness of the picture; gentle slopes, clothed with wood, gave a rich variety of tints, hardly to be imitated by the pencil; deep valleys, filled with murmuring streams and verdant meadows, offered all the luxuriance of cultivation; and herds and flocks gave life and animation to scenes as grand, as beautiful, and as highly picturesque as the genius or taste of a Claude could either invent or desire.”

BASILIDEANS, the followers of Basilides of Alexandria, a gnostic leader of the early part of the second century. See Gnostics.

BASTARD, one born out of wedlock. A bastard among the Greeks was despised, and exposed to public scorn, on account of his spurious origin. In Persia the son of a concubine is never placed on a footing with the legitimate offspring; any attempt made by parental fondness to do so would be resented by the relations of the legitimate wife, and outrage the feelings of a whole tribe. The Jewish father bestowed as little attention on the education of his natural children as the Greek: he seems to have resigned them, in a great measure, to their own inclinations; he neither checked their passions, nor corrected their faults, nor stored their minds with useful knowledge. This is evidently implied in these words of the Apostle: “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons,” Heb. xii, 7, 8. To restrain the licentious desires of the heart, Jehovah by an express law fixed a stigma upon the bastard, which was not to be removed till the tenth generation; and to show that the precept was on no account to be violated, or suffered to fall into disuse, it is emphatically repeated, “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord,” Deut. xxiii, 2.

BASTINADO, the punishment of beating with sticks. It is also called tympanum, [a drum,] because the patient was beaten like a drum. Upwards of a hundred blows were often inflicted, and sometimes the beating was unto death. St. Paul, Heb. xi, 35, says that some of the saints were tortured, τυμπανίζω, suffered the tympanum, that is, were stretched on an instrument of torture, and beaten to death.

BAT, עטלף, Lev. xi, 19; Deut. xiv, 18; Isaiah ii, 20; Baruch vi, 22. The Jewish legislator, having enumerated the animals legally unclean, as well beasts as birds, closes his catalogue with a creature whose equivocal properties seem to exclude it from both those classes: it is too much a bird to be properly a mouse, and too much a mouse to be properly a bird. The bat is therefore well described in Deut. xiv, 18, 19, as the passage should be read, “Moreover the othelaph, and every creeping thing that flieth, is unclean to you: they shall not be eaten.” This character is very descriptive, and places this creature at the head of a class of which he is a clear and well-known instance. It has feet or claws growing out of its pinions, and contradicts the general order of nature, by creeping with the instruments of its flight. The Hebrew name of the bat is from עטל darkness, and עמ to fly, as if it described “the flier in darkness.” So the Greeks called the creature νυκτερὶς, from νὺξ, night; and the Latins, vespertilio, from vesper, “evening.” It is prophesied, Isaiah ii, 20, “In that day shall they cast away their idols to the moles and to the bats;” that is, they shall carry them into the dark caverns, old ruins, or desolate places, to which they shall fly for refuge, and so shall give them up, and relinquish them to the filthy animals that frequent such places, and have taken possession of them as their proper habitation.

BATH, a measure of capacity for things liquid, being the same with the ephah, Ezek. xlv, 11, and containing ten homers, or seven gallons and four pints.

BATH-KOL, בח־קול, daughter of the voice. By this name the Jewish writers distinguish what they called a revelation from God, after verbal prophecy had ceased in Israel; that is, after the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The generality of their traditions and customs are founded on this Bath-Kol. They pretend that God revealed them to their elders, not by prophecy, but by the daughter of the voice. The Bath-Kol, as Dr. Prideaux shows, was a fantastical way of divination, invented by the Jews, like the Sortes Virgilianæ [divination by the works of Virgil] among the Heathen. For, as with them, the words first opened upon in the works of that poet, was the oracle whereby they prognosticated those future events which they desired to be informed of; so with the Jews when they appealed to Bath-Kol, the next words which they should hear drop from any one’s mouth were taken as the desired oracle. With some it is probable that Bath-Kol, the daughter of the voice, was only an elegant personification of tradition. Others, however, more bold, said that it was a voice from heaven, sometimes attended by a clap of thunder.

BATTLE. See Armies.

BAXTERIANISM, a modification of the Calvinistic doctrine of election advocated by the celebrated Baxter in his treatise of “Universal Redemption,” and in his “Methodus Theologiæ.” The real author of the scheme, at least in a systematized form, was Camero, who taught divinity at Saumur, and it was unfolded 139and defended by his disciple Amyraldus, whom Curcellæus refuted. Baxter says, in his preface to his “Saint’s Rest,” “The middle way which Camero, Crocius, Martinius, Amyraldus, Davenant, with all the divines of Britain and Bremen in the synod of Dort, go, I think is nearest the truth of any that I know who have written on these points.” Baxter first differs from the majority of Calvinists, though not from all, in his statement of the doctrine of satisfaction:--

“Christ’s sufferings were not a fulfilling of the law’s threatening; (though he bore its curse materially;) but a satisfaction for our not fulfilling the precept, and to prevent God’s fulfilling the threatening on us. Christ paid not, therefore, the idem, but the tantundem, or æquivalens; not the very debt which we owed and the law required, but the value: (else it were not strictly satisfaction, which is redditio æquivalentis: [the rendering of an equivalent:]) and (it being improperly called the paying of a debt, but properly a suffering for the guilty) the idem is nothing but supplicium delinquentis. [The punishment of the guilty individual.] In criminals, dum alius solvet simul aliud solvitur. [When another suffers, it is another thing also that is suffered.] The law knoweth no vicarius pœnæ; [substitute in punishment;] though the law maker may admit it, as he is above law; else there were no place for pardon, if the proper debt be paid and the law not relaxed, but fulfilled. Christ did neither obey nor suffer in any man’s stead, by a strict, proper representation of his person in point of law; so as that the law should take it, as done or suffered by the party himself. But only as a third person, as a mediator, he voluntarily bore what else the sinner should have borne. To assert the contrary (especially as to particular persons considered in actual sin) is to overthrow all Scripture theology, and to introduce all Antinomianism; to overthrow all possibility of pardon, and assert justification before we sinned or were born, and to make ourselves to have satisfied God. Therefore, we must not say that Christ died nostro loco, [in our stead,] so as to personate us, or represent our persons in law sense; but only to bear what else we must have borne.”

This system explicitly asserts, that Christ made a satisfaction by his death equally for the sins of every man; and thus Baxter essentially differs both from the higher Calvinists, and, also, from the Sublapsarians, who, though they may allow that the reprobate derive some benefits from Christ’s death, so that there is a vague sense in which he may be said to have died for all men, yet they, of course, deny to such the benefit of Christ’s satisfaction or atonement which Baxter contends for:--

“Neither the law, whose curse Christ bore, nor God, as the legislator to be satisfied, did distinguish between men as elect and reprobate, or as believers and unbelievers, de presenti vel de futuro; [with regard to the present or the future;] and to impose upon Christ, or require from him satisfaction for the sins of one sort more than of another, but for mankind in general. God the Father, and Christ the Mediator, now dealeth with no man upon the mere rigorous terms of the first law; (obey perfectly and live, else thou shalt die;) but giveth to all much mercy, which, according to the tenor of that violated law, they could not receive, and calleth them to repentance, in order to their receiving farther mercy offered them. And accordingly he will not judge any at last according to the mere law of works, but as they have obeyed or not obeyed his conditions or terms of grace. It was not the sins of the elect only, but of all mankind fallen, which lay upon Christ satisfying. And to assert the contrary, injuriously diminisheth the honour of his sufferings; and hath other desperate ill consequences.”

The benefits derived to all men equally, from the satisfaction of Christ, he thus states:--

“All mankind, immediately upon Christ’s satisfaction, are redeemed and delivered from that legal necessity of perishing which they were under, (not by remitting sin or punishment directly to them, but by giving up God’s jus puniendi [right of punishing] into the hands of the Redeemer; nor by giving any right directly to them, but per meram resultantiam [by mere consequence] this happy change is made for them in their relation, upon the said remitting of God’s right and advantage of justice against them,) and they are given up to the Redeemer as their owner and ruler, to be dealt with upon terms of mercy which have a tendency to their recovery. God the Father and Christ the Mediator hath freely, without any prerequisite condition on man’s part, enacted a law of grace of universal extent, in regard of its tenor, by which he giveth, as a deed or gift, Christ himself, with all his following benefits which he bestoweth; (as benefactor and legislator;) and this to all alike, without excluding any; upon condition they believe and accept the offer. By this law, testament, or covenant, all men are conditionally pardoned, justified, and reconciled to God already, and no man absolutely; nor doth it make a difference, nor take notice of any, till men’s performance or non-performance of the condition makes a difference. In the new law Christ hath truly given himself with a conditional pardon, justification, and conditional right to salvation, to all men in the world, without exception.”

But the peculiarity of Baxter’s scheme will be seen from the following farther extracts:--

“Though Christ died equally for all men, in the aforesaid law sense, as he satisfied the offended legislator, and as giving himself to all alike in the conditional covenant; yet he never properly intended or purposed the actual justifying and saving of all, nor of any but those that come to be justified and saved; he did not, therefore, die for all, nor for any that perish, with a decree or resolution to save them, much less did he die for all alike, as to this intent. Christ hath given faith to none by his law or testament, though he hath revealed, that to some he will, as benefactor and Dominus Absolutus, [absolute Lord,] give that grace which shall infallibly produce it; and God 140hath given some to Christ that he might prevail with them accordingly; yet this is no giving it to the person, nor hath he in himself ever the more title to it, nor can any lay claim to it as their due. It belongeth not to Christ as satisfier, nor yet as legislator, to make wicked refusers to become willing, and receive him and the benefits which he offers; therefore he may do all for them that is fore-expressed, though he cure not their unbelief. Faith is a fruit of the death of Christ, (and so is all the good which we do enjoy,) but not directly, as it is satisfaction to justice; but only remotely, as it proceedeth from that jus dominii [right of dominion] which Christ has received to send the Spirit in what measure and TO WHOM HE WILL, and to succeed it accordingly; and as it is necessary to the attainment of the farther ends of his death in the certain gathering and saving of THE ELECT.”

Thus the whole theory amounts to this, that, although a conditional salvation has been purchased by Christ for all men, and is offered to them, and all legal difficulties are removed out of the way of their pardon as sinners by the atonement, yet Christ hath not purchased for any man the gift of FAITH, or the power of performing the condition of salvation required; but gives this to some, and does not give it to others, by virtue of that absolute dominion over men which he has purchased for himself, so that, as the Calvinists refer the decree of election to the sovereignty of the Father, Baxter refers it to the sovereignty of the Son; one makes the decree of reprobation to issue from the Creator and Judge, the other, from the Redeemer himself.

If, however, any one expects to find something in the form of system in Baxter’s opinions on the five disputed points, he will be much disappointed. The parties to whom he refers as the authors of this supposed “middle way,” differ as much among themselves as Baxter occasionally does from himself. Bishop Davenant and Dr. S. Ward differed from Amyraut, Martinius, and others of that school, on the topic of baptismal regeneration; and, as the subjects of baptism, according to the sentiments of the two former, are invested with invisible grace, and are regenerated in virtue of the ordinance when canonically performed, such divines far more easily disposed of their baptized converts in the ranks of strict predestination, than the others could who did not hold those sentiments. But they exhibited much ingenuity in not suffering it to “intrench upon the question of perseverance.” Their friend Bishop Bedell, however, maintained, that “reprobates coming to years of discretion, after baptism, shall be condemned for original sin; for their absolution and washing in baptism was but conditional and expectative; which doth truly interest them in all the promises of God, but under the condition of repenting, believing and obeying, which they never perform, and therefore never attain the promise.” Bishop Overal has also been claimed as a patron of this diversified “middle system;” but it will be evident to every one who peruses his productions, that his chief endeavour was to display the doctrines of the English church as identical with those of St. Augustine, yet basing them upon the antecedent will of God and conditional decrees. After all the refined distinctions which Baxter employed to render the theory of common and special grace plausible and popular, the real meaning of the inventors was frequently elicited when such a question as this was asked, “Have any men in the world grace sufficient to repent and believe savingly who do not?” After asserting that he knows nothing about the matter, the reply of Baxter is, “If we may conjecture upon probabilities, it seemeth most likely that there is such a sufficient grace, or power, to repent and believe savingly, in some that use it not, but perish.” “This,” says one of Baxter’s apologists, “seems to me very inexplicable!” and in the same light it will be viewed by all who recollect that this “sufficient grace or power” is that “portion of special grace which never fails to accomplish its design,--the salvation of the individual on whom it is bestowed!” Baxter’s celebrated “Aphorisms of Justification,” published in 1649, afforded employment to himself and his theological critics till near the close of his life; and in the many modifications, concessions, and alterations which were extorted from him by men of different religious tenets, he sometimes incautiously proved himself to be more Calvinistic than Calvin, and at others more Arminian than Arminius. The following observations, from “Orme’s Life of Baxter,” are on the whole just and instructive:--

“Thus did Baxter, at a very early period of his life, launch into the ocean of controversy, on some of the most interesting subjects that can engage the human mind. The manner in which he began to treat them was little favourable to arriving at correct and satisfactory conclusions. Possessed of a mind uncommonly penetrating, he yet seems not to have had the faculty of compressing within narrow limits his own views, or the accounts he was disposed to give of the views of others. All this arose, not from any indisposition to be explicit, but from the peculiar character of his mind. He is perpetually distinguishing things into physical and moral, real and nominal, material and formal. However important these distinctions are, they often render his writings tiresome to the reader, and his reasonings more frequently perplexing than satisfactory. Baxter is generally understood to have pursued a middle course between Calvinism and Arminianism. That he tried to hold and adjust the balance between the two parties, and that he was most anxious to reconcile them, are very certain. But it seems scarcely less evident, that he was much more a Calvinist than he was an Arminian. While this seems to me very apparent, it must be acknowledged, that if certain views which have often been given of Calvinism are necessary to constitute a Calvinist, Richard Baxter was no believer in that creed.

“While satisfied that among Baxter’s sentiments, no important or vital error will be found, yet in the style and method in which he too generally advocated or defended them, there is 141much to censure. The wrangling and disputatious manner in which he presented many of his views, was calculated to gender an unsanctified state of mind in persons who either abetted or opposed his sentiments. His scholastic and metaphysical style of arguing is unbefitting the simplicity of the Gospel, and cannot fail to injure it wherever such is employed. It not only savours too much of the spirit of the schools, and the philosophy of this world; but places the truths of revelation on a level with the rudiments of human science. I am not sure whether certain effects which began early in the last century to appear among the Presbyterian part of the Nonconformists, may not be traced, in some degree, to the speculative and argumentative writings of Baxter. His influence over this class of his brethren was evidently very great. He contributed more than any other man to mitigate the harsh and forbidding aspect which the Presbyterians presented during the civil wars and the commonwealth. This was well, but he did not stop here. He was inimical to all the existing systems of doctrine and discipline then contended for, or ever before known in the world; while he did not present any precisely defined system as his own. He opposed Calvinism; he opposed Arminianism; he would not allow himself to be considered an Episcopalian, in the ordinary acceptation of the word; he denied that he was a Presbyterian, and scorned to be thought an Independent. He held something in common with them all, and yet he was somewhat different from all. He contended for a system more general, and more liberal, than was then approved; and, as we have stated, wished to place a variety of theological truths on grounds belonging rather to philosophy or metaphysics, than to revelation.

“On himself, this species of latitudinarianism produced little injurious effect, but I fear it had a baneful influence on others. The rejection of all human authority and influence in religion, requires to be balanced by a very strong sense of the divine authority, to prevent its generating a state of mind more characterized by pride of intellect, and independence of spirit, than by the humility and diffidence which are essential features in the Christian character. It is a singular fact, that the Presbyterians, though at first more rigid in their doctrinal views, and more exclusive in their spirit and system of church government, than the Independents, became before the death of Baxter the more liberal party. High views began to be ascribed by them to their now moderate brethren; and, to avoid the charge of Antinomianism, which Baxter was too ready to prefer against such as differed from some of his views, the Presbyterians seem gradually to have sunk into a state of low, moderate orthodoxy, in which there was little of the warmth or vitality of evangelical religion.

“In farther illustration of the influence now adverted to, it must be remarked, that the first stage in that process of deterioration which took place among the Presbyterian Dissenters, was generally characterized by the term Baxterianism; a word to which it is difficult to attach a definite meaning. It denotes no separate sect or party, but rather a system of opinions on doctrinal points, verging toward Arminianism, and which ultimately passed to Arianism and Socinianism. Even during Baxter’s own life, while the Presbyterians taxed the Independents with Antinomianism, the latter retorted the charge of Socinianism, or at least of a tendency toward it, in some of the opinions maintained both by Baxter and others of that party. To whatever cause it is to be attributed, it is a melancholy fact, that the declension which began even at this early period in the Presbyterian body, went on slowly, but surely, till, from the most fervid orthodoxy, it finally arrived at the frigid zone of Unitarianism.

“I wish not to be understood as stating that Baxter either held any opinions of this description, or was conscious of a tendency in his sentiments toward such a fearful consummation; but, that there was an injurious tendency in his manner of discussing certain important subjects. It was subtle, and full of logomachy; it tended to unsettle, rather than to fix and determine; it gendered strife, rather than godly edifying. It is not possible to study such books as his ‘Methodus,’ and his ‘Catholic Theology,’ without experiencing that we are brought into a different region from Apostolic Christianity; a region of fierce debate and altercation about words, and names, and opinions; in which all that can be said for error is largely dwelt upon, as well as what can be said for truth. The ambiguities of language, the diversities of sects, the uncertainties of human perception and argument are urged, till the force of revealed truth is considerably weakened, and confidence in our own judgment of its meaning greatly impaired. Erroneous language is maintained to be capable of sound meaning, and the most Scriptural phrases to be susceptible of unscriptural interpretation, till truth and error almost change places, and the mind is bewildered, confounded, and paralyzed. Into this mode of discussing such subjects, was this most excellent man led, partly by the natural constitution of his mind, which has often been adverted to; partly by his ardent desire of putting an end to the divisions of the Christian world, and producing universal concord and harmony. He failed where success was impossible, however plausible might have been the means which he employed. He understood the causes of difference and contention better than their remedies; hence the measures which he used frequently aggravated instead of curing the disease. While a portion of evil, however, probably resulted from Baxter’s mode of conducting controversy, and no great light was thrown by him on some of the dark and difficult subjects which he so keenly discussed, I have no doubt he contributed considerably to produce a more moderate spirit toward each other, between Calvinists and Arminians, than had long prevailed. Though he satisfied neither party, he must have convinced both, that great difficulties exist on the subjects in debate, if pursued beyond a certain length; that allowance ought to be made by each, for the weakness or prejudices of the 142other; and that genuine religion is compatible with some diversity of opinion respecting one or all of the five points.” A similar effect as that which Mr. Orme ascribes to Baxter’s writings on the English Presbyterians, followed also, on the continent among the reformed churches. It was the same middle system with its philosophical subtleties, which Camero and Amyraut taught abroad, and which produced in them those effects that have been falsely ascribed, both in England and abroad, to Arminianism. See Amyraut and Cameron.

BAY-TREE. אזרח. It is mentioned only in Psalm xxxvii, 35, 36: “I have seen the ungodly in great power, and flourishing like a green bay-tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not. Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.” Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Kimchi, Jerom, and some others say that the original may mean only a native tree; a tree growing in its native soil, not having suffered by transplantation. Such a tree spreads itself luxuriantly. The Septuagint and Vulgate render it cedars; but the high Dutch of Luther’s Bible, the old Saxon, the French, the Spanish, the Italian of Diodati, and the version of Ainsworth, make it the laurel.

BDELLIUM, בדלה, occurs Gen. ii, 12, and Num. xi, 7. Interpreters seem at a loss to know what to do with this word, and have rendered it variously. Many suppose it a mineral production. The Septuagint translates in the first place, ἀνθράκα, a carbuncle, and in the second, κρύϛαλλον, a crystal. The rabbins are followed by Reland in calling it a crystal; but some, instead of bedolah, read berolah, changing the ב into ר, which are not always easily distinguished, and are often mistaken by transcribers; and so render it the beryl, which, say they, is the prime kind of crystal. The bedoleh, in Genesis, is undoubtedly some precious stone; and its colour, mentioned in Numbers, where the manna is spoken of as of the colour of bdellium, is explained by a reference to Exod. xvi, 14, 31, where it is likened to hoar frost, which being like little fragments of ice, may confirm the opinion that the bdellium is the beryl, perhaps that pellucid kind, called by Dr. Hill the ellipomocrostyla, or beryl crystal.

BEAN, פול, occurs 2 Sam. xvii, 28, and Ezek. iv, 9. A common legume. Those most usually cultivated in Syria are the white horse-bean, faba rotunda oblonga, and the kidney-bean, phaseolis minimus, fructu viridi ovato, called by the natives masch. The Arabic ban, the name of the coffee berry, corresponds with our bean, and is probably its etymon.

BEAR. That bears were common in Palestine appears from several passages of the Old Testament. Their strength, rapacity, and fierceness, furnish many expressive metaphors to the Hebrew poets. The Hebrew name of this animal is taken from his growling; so Varro deduces his Latin name ursus by an onomatopæia from the noise which he makes: “ursi Lucana origo, vel unde illi, nostri ab ipsius voce:” [the origin of the term ursus (bear) is Lucanian, (whence also the bears themselves,) from the noise made by the animal.] David had to defend his flock against bears as well as lions, 1 Sam. xvii, 34. And Dr. Shaw gives us to understand that these rugged animals are not peculiar to the bleak regions of the north, being found in Barbary; and Thevenot informs us that they inhabit the wilderness adjoining the Holy Land, and that he saw one near the northern extremities of the Red Sea. The ferocity of the bear, especially when hungry or robbed of its whelps, has been mentioned by many authors. The Scripture alludes in three places to this furious disposition. The first is, 2 Sam. xvii, 8, “They be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field.” The second, Prov. xvii, 12, “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man rather than a fool in his folly.” And the third, Hosea xiii, 8, “I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart.”

BEARD. The Hebrews wore their beards, but had, doubtless, in common with other Asiatic nations, several fashions in this, as in all other parts of dress. Moses forbids them, Lev. xix, 27, “to cut off entirely the angle, or extremity of their beard;” that is, to avoid the manner of the Egyptians, who left only a little tuft of beard at the extremity of their chins. The Jews, in some places, at this day suffer a little fillet of hair to grow from below the ears to the chin: where, as well as upon their lower lips, their beards are long. When they mourned, they entirely shaved the hair of their heads and beards, and neglected to trim their beards, to regulate them into neat order, or to remove what grew on their upper lips and cheeks, Jer. xli, 5; xlviii, 37. In times of grief and affliction, they plucked away the hair of their heads and beards, a mode of expression common to other nations under great calamities. The king of the Ammonites, designing to insult David in the person of his ambassadors, cut away half of their beards, and half of their clothes; that is, he cut off all their beard on one side of their faces, 2 Sam. x, 4, 5; 1 Chron. xix, 5. To avoid ridicule, David did not wish them to appear at his court till their beards were grown again. When a leper was cured of his leprosy, he washed himself in a bath, and shaved off all the hair of his body; after which, he returned into the camp, or city; seven days afterward, he washed himself and his clothes again, shaved off all his hair, and offered the sacrifices appointed for his purification, Lev. xiv, 9. The Levites, at their consecration, were purified by bathing, and washing their bodies and clothes; after which, they shaved off all the hair of their bodies, and then offered the sacrifices appointed for their consecration, Num. viii, 7.

Nothing has been more fluctuating in the different ages of the world and countries than the fashion of wearing the beard. Some have cultivated one part and some another; some have endeavoured to extirpate it entirely, while others have almost idolized it; the revolutions of countries have scarcely been more famous than the revolutions of beards. It is a great mark of infamy among the Arabs to cut off the 143beard. Many people would prefer death to this kind of treatment. As they would think it a grievous punishment to lose it, they carry things so far as to beg for the sake of it: “By your beard, by the life of your beard, God preserve your blessed beard.” When they would express their value for any thing, they say, “It is worth more than a man’s beard.” And hence we may easily learn the magnitude of the offence of the Ammonites in their treatment of David’s ambassadors, as above mentioned; and also the force of the emblem used Ezek. v, 1–5, where the inhabitants of Jerusalem are compared to the hair of his head and beard. Though they had been dear to God as the hair of an eastern beard to its owner, they should be taken away and consumed, one part by pestilence and famine, another by the sword, another by the calamities incident on exile.

BEASTS. When this word is used in opposition to man, as Psalm xxxvi, 5, any brute creature is signified; when to creeping things, as Lev. xi, 2, 7; xxix, 30, four-footed animals, from the size of the hare and upward, are intended; and when to wild creatures, as Gen. i, 25, cattle, or tame animals, are spoken of. In Isaiah xiii, 21, several wild animals are mentioned as dwelling among the ruins of Babylon: “Wild beasts of the desert,” ציים, those of the dry wilderness, as the root of the word implies, “shall dwell there. Their houses shall be full of doleful creatures,” אהים, marsh animals. “Owls shall dwell there,” ostriches, “and satyrs,” שעירים, shaggy ones, “shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands,” איים, oases of the desert, “shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons,” תנים, crocodiles, or amphibious animals, “shall be in their desolate places.” St. Paul, 1 Cor. xv, 32, speaks of fighting with beasts, &c: by which he does not mean his having been exposed in the amphitheatre to fight as a gladiator, as some have conjectured, but that he had to contend at Ephesus with the fierce uproar of Demetrius and his associates. Ignatius uses the same figure in his Epistle to the Romans: “From Syria even unto Rome I fight with wild beasts, both by sea and land, both night and day, being bound to ten leopards;” that is, to a band of soldiers. So Lucian, in like manner, says, “For I am not to fight with ordinary wild beasts, but with men, insolent and hard to be convinced.” In Rev. iv, v, vi, mention is made of four beasts, or rather, as the word ζῶα signifies, living creatures, as in Ezek. i; and so the word might have been less harshly translated. Wild beasts are used in Scripture as emblems of tyrannical and persecuting powers. The most illustrious conquerors of antiquity also have not a more honourable emblem.

BED. Mattresses, or thick cotton quilts folded, were used for sleeping upon. These were laid upon the duan, or divan, a part of the room elevated above the level of the rest, covered with a carpet in winter, and a fine mat in summer. (See Accubation and Banquets.) A divan cushion serves for a pillow and bolster. They do not keep their beds made; the mattresses are rolled up, carried away, and placed in a cupboard till they are wanted at night. And hence the propriety of our Lord’s address to the paralytic, “Arise, take up thy bed,” or mattress, “and walk,” Matt. ix, 6. The duan on which these mattresses are placed, is at the end of the chamber, and has an ascent of several steps. Hence Hezekiah is said to turn his face to the wall when he prayed, that is, from his attendants. In the day the duan was used as a seat, and the place of honour was the corner, Amos iii, 12.

BEELZEBUB, Matt. x, 25. See Baalzebub.

BEERSHEBA, or the well of the oath; so named from a well which Abraham dug in this place, and the covenant which he here made with Abimelech, king of Gerar, Gen. xx, 31. Here also he planted a grove, as it would appear, for the purpose of retirement for religious worship. In process of time, a considerable town was built on the same spot, which retained the same name. Beersheba was given by Joshua to the tribe of Judah, and afterward transferred to Simeon, Joshua xv, 28. It was situated twenty miles south of Hebron, in the extreme south of the land of Israel, as Dan was on the north. The two places are frequently thus mentioned in Scripture, as “from Dan to Beersheba,” to denote the whole length of the country.

דבורה BEE, דבורה, occurs Deut. i, 44; Judges xiv, 8; Psalm cviii, 12; Isa. vii, 18. A well known, small, industrious insect; whose form, propagation, economy, and singular instinct and ingenuity, have attracted the attention of the most inquisitive and laborious inquirers into nature. Bees were very numerous in the east. Serid, or Seriad, means “the land of the hive;” and Canaan was celebrated as “a land flowing with milk and honey.” The wild bees formed their comb in the crevices of the rocks, and in the hollows of decayed trees. The passage in Isa. vii, 8, which mentions the “hissing for the bee,” is supposed to involve an allusion to the practice of calling out the bees from their hives, by a hissing or whistling sound, to their labour in the fields, and summoning them again to return when the heavens begin to lower, or the shadows of evening to fall. In this manner Jehovah threatens to rouse the enemies of Judah, and lead them to the prey. However widely scattered, or far remote from the scene of action, they should hear his voice, and with as much promptitude as the bee that has been taught to recognise the signal of its owner and obey his call, they should assemble their forces; and although weak and insignificant as a swarm of bees, in the estimation of a proud and infatuated people, they should come, with irresistible might, and take possession of the rich and beautiful region which had been abandoned by its terrified inhabitants.

The bee is represented by the ancients as a vexatious and even a formidable enemy; and the experience of every person who turns his attention to the temper and habits of this insect attests the truth of their assertion. The allusion, therefore, of Moses to their fierce hostility, Deut. i, 44, is both just and beautiful: “The Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, 144came out against you, and chased you as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir even unto Hormah.” The Amorites, it appears, were the most bitter adversaries to Israel of all the nations of Canaan. Like bees that are easily irritated, that attack with great fury and increasing numbers the person that dares to molest their hive, and persecute him in his flight to a considerable distance, the incensed Amorites had collected their hostile bands, and chased the Israelites from their territory. The Psalmist also complains that his enemies compassed him about like bees; fiercely attacking him on every side. From these allusions it would however appear, that the bees of the east were of a more quarrelsome temper than ours, which exist chiefly in a domesticated state.

BEETLE. חרגל. It occurs only Lev. xi, 22. A species of locust is thought to be there spoken of. The word still remains in the Arabic, and is derived from an original, alluding to the vast number of their swarms. Golius explains it of the locust without wings. The Egyptians paid a superstitious worship to the beetle. Mr. Molyneaux, in the “Philosophical Transactions,” says, “It is more than probable that this destructive beetle we are speaking of was that very kind of scarabæus, which the idolatrous Egyptians of old had in such high veneration as to pay divine worship unto it, and so frequently engrave its image upon their obelisks, &c, as we see at this day. For nothing can be supposed more natural than to imagine a nation, addicted to polytheism, as the Egyptians were, in a country frequently suffering great mischief and scarcity from swarms of devouring insects, should, from a strange sense and fear of evil to come, (the common principle of superstition and idolatry,) give sacred worship to the visible authors of these their sufferings, in hopes to render them more propitious for the future. See Fly and Locust.

BEHEMOTH. בהמות. This term has greatly tried the ingenuity of the critics. By some, among whom are Bythner and Reiske, it is regarded in Job xl, 16, as a plural noun for beasts in general: the peculiar name of the animal immediately described not being mentioned, as unnecessary, on account of the description itself being so easily applied at the time. In this sense it is translated in various passages in the Psalms. Thus, l, 10, in which it is usually rendered cattle, as the plural of בהמת it means unquestionably a beast or brute, in the general signification of these words: “For every beast of the field is mine, and the cattle,” behemoth, “upon a thousand hills.” So again, Isa. lxxiii, 22: “So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast,” behemoth, “before thee.” It is also used in the same sense in chap. xxxv, 11, of the book of Job: “Who teacheth us more than the beasts,” behemoth, “of the earth.” The greater number of critics, however, have understood the word behemoth, in the singular number, as the peculiar name of the quadruped described, Job xl, of whatever kind or nature it may be; although they have materially differed upon this last point, some regarding it as the hippopotamus, or river horse, and others as the elephant. The evidence in favour of the hippopotamus appears, however, to predominate. The hippopotamus is nearly as large as the rhinoceros. The male has been found seventeen feet in length, fifteen in circumference, and seven in height. The head is enormously large, and the jaws extend upwards two feet, and are armed with four cutting teeth, each of which is twelve inches in length. The body is of a lightish colour, thinly covered with hair. The legs are three feet long. Though amphibious, the hoofs, which are quadrifid, are not connected by membranes. The hide is so thick and tough as to resist the edge of a sword or sabre. Although an inhabitant of the waters, the hippopotamus is well known to breathe air like land animals. On land, indeed, he finds the chief part of his food. It has been pretended that he devours vast quantities of fish; but it appears with the fullest evidence, both from the relations of many travellers, and from the structure of the stomach, in specimens that have been dissected, that he is nourished solely, or almost solely, on vegetable food. Though he feeds upon aquatic plants, yet he very often leaves the waters, and commits wide devastations through all the cultivated fields adjacent to the river. Unless when accidentally provoked, or wounded, he is never offensive; but when he is assaulted or hurt, his fury against the assailants is terrible. He will attack a boat, break it in pieces with his teeth; or, where the river is not too deep, he will raise it on his back and overset it. If he be irritated when on shore, he will immediately betake himself to the water; and there, in his native element, shows all his strength and resolution.

BEHMENISTS, a name given to those mystics who adopted the explication of the mysteries of nature and grace, as given by Jacob Behmen. This writer was born in the year 1575, at Old Siedenburg, near Gorlitz, in Upper Lusatia. He was a shoemaker by trade, and is described as having been thoughtful and religious from his youth up, taking peculiar pleasure in frequenting the public worship. At length, seriously considering within himself that speech of our Saviour, “Your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him,” he was thereby awakened to desire that promised Comforter; and, continuing in that earnestness, he was at last, to use his own expression, “surrounded with a divine light for seven days, and stood in the highest contemplation and kingdom of joys!” After this, about the year 1600, he was again surrounded with a divine light and replenished with the heavenly knowledge; insomuch as, going abroad into the fields, and viewing the herbs and grass, by his inward light, he saw into their essences, uses, and properties, which were discovered to him by their lineaments, figures, and signatures. In the year 1610, he had a third special illumination, wherein still farther mysteries were revealed to him; but it was not till the year 1612 that Behmen committed these revelations to writing. His first treatise is entitled, “Aurora,” which was seized by the 145senate of Gorlitz before it was completed. His next production is called, “The Three Principles,” by which he means the dark world, or hell; the light world, or heaven; and the external, or visible world, which we inhabit. In this work he more fully illustrates the subjects treated of in the former, and supplies what is wanting in that work, showing, 1. How all things came from a working will of the holy, triune, incomprehensible God, manifesting himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, through an outward, perceptible, working, triune power of fire, light, and spirit, in the kingdom of heaven. 2. How and what angels and men were in their creation; that they are in and from God, his real offspring; that their life begun in and from this divine fire, which is the Father of Light, generating a birth of light in their souls; from both which proceeds the Holy Spirit, or breath of divine love, in the triune creature, as it does in the triune Creator. 3. How some angels, and all men, are fallen from God, and their first state of a divine triune life in him; what they are in their fallen state, and the difference between the fall of angels and that of man. 4. How the earth, stars, and elements were created in consequence of the fall of angels. 5. Whence there is good and evil in all this temporal world; and what is meant by the curse that dwells in it. 6. Of the kingdom of Christ, how it is set in opposition to the kingdom of hell. 7. How man, through faith in Christ, is able to overcome the kingdom of hell, and thereby obtain eternal salvation. 8. How and why sin and misery shall only reign for a time, until God shall, in a supernatural way, make fallen man rise to the glory of angels, and this material system shake off its curse, and enter into an everlasting union with that heaven from whence it fell.

The next year, Behmen produced his “Three-fold Life of Man,” according to the three principles above mentioned. In this work he treats more largely of the state of man in this world: that he has, 1. That immortal spark of life, which is common to angels and devils. 2. That divine life of the light and Spirit of God, which makes the essential difference between an angel and a devil; and, 3. The life of this external and visible world. The first and last are common to all men; but the second only to a true Christian, or child of God. Behmen wrote several other treatises; but these are the basis of all his other writings. His conceptions are often clothed under allegorical symbols; and, in his later works, he frequently adopted chemical and Latin phrases, which he borrowed from conversation with learned men. But as to the matter contained in his writings, he disclaims having borrowed it either from men or books. He died in the year 1624; and his last words were, “Now I go hence into paradise!” Behmen’s principles were adopted by Mr. Law, who clothed them in a more modern dress, and in a style less obscure. The essential obscurity of the subjects indeed he could not remedy. If they were understood by the author himself, he is probably the only one who ever made that attainment.

BEL, or Belus, a name by which many Heathens, and particularly the Babylonians, called their chief idol. But whether under this appellation they worshipped Nimrod, their first Baal, or lord, or Pul, king of Assyria, or some other monarch, or the sun, or all in one, is uncertain. It is, however, probable, that Bel is the same as the Phenician Baal, and that the worship of the same deity passed over to the Carthagenians, who were a colony of Phenicians. Hence the names Hannibal, Asdrubal, &c, compounded with Bel or Baal, according to the custom of the east, where great men added the names of the gods to their own. Bel had a temple erected to him in the city of Babylon, on the very uppermost range of the famous tower of Babel, wherein were many statues of this pretended deity; and one, among the rest, of massy gold, forty feet high. The whole furniture of this magnificent temple was of the same metal, and valued at eight hundred talents of gold. This temple, with its riches, was in being till the time of Xerxes, who, returning from his unfortunate expedition into Greece, demolished it, and carried off the immense wealth which it contained. It was, probably, the statue of this god which Nebuchadnezzar, being returned to Babylon after the end of the Jewish war, set up and dedicated in the plain of Dura; the story of which is related at large, Dan. iii. See Babel.

Bel and the Dragon, an apocryphal and uncanonical book. It was always rejected by the Jewish church, and is extant neither in the Hebrew, nor in the Chaldee languages; nor is there any proof that it ever was so, although the council of Trent allowed it to be part of the canonical book of Daniel, in which it stands in the Latin Vulgate. There are two Greek texts of this fragment, that of the Septuagint, and that found in Theodotion’s Greek version of Daniel. The Latin and Arabic versions are from the text of Theodotion. Daniel probably, by detecting the mercenary contrivances of the idolatrous priests of Babylon, and by opening the eyes of the people to the follies of superstition, might furnish some foundation for the story; but the whole is evidently charged with fiction, though introduced with a pious intent. St. Jerom gives it no better title than, “The fable of Bel and the Dragon.” Selden thinks that this history ought rather to be considered as a poem or fiction, than a true account: as to the dragon, he observes, that serpents, dracones, made a part of the hidden mysteries of the Pagan religion, as appears from Clemens Alexandrinus, Julius Firmicus, Justin Martyr, and others. See Serpent.

BELIAL. The phrase, “sons of Belial,” signifies wicked, worthless men. It was given to the inhabitants of Gibeah, who abused the Levite’s wife, Judges xix, 22; and to Hophni and Phineas, the wicked and profane sons of Eli, 1 Samuel ii, 12. In later times the name Belial denoted the devil: “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” 2 Cor. vi, 15; for as the word literally imports “one who will do no one good,” the positive sense of a doer of evil was 146applied to Satan, who is the author of evil, and, eminently, “the Evil One.”

BELLS. Moses ordered that the lower part of the blue robe, which the high priest wore in religious ceremonies, should be adorned with pomegranates and bells, intermixed alternately, at equal distances. The pomegranates were of wool, and in colour, blue purple, and crimson; the bells were of gold. Moses adds, “And it shall be upon Aaron to minister; and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out; that he die not.” Some of the Hebrews believe that these little bells are round; others, that they were such as were commonly in use. The ancient kings of Persia are said to have had the hem of their robes adorned like that of the Jewish high priest, with pomegranates and golden bells. The Arabian ladies, who are about the king’s person, have little gold bells fastened to their legs, their neck, and elbows, which, when they dance, make a very agreeable harmony. The Arabian women of rank, generally, wear on their legs large hollow gold rings, containing small flints, that sound like little bells when they walk; or they are large circles, with little rings hung all round, which produce the same effect. These, when they walk, give notice that the mistress of the house is passing, that so the servants of the family may behave themselves respectfully, and strangers may retire, to avoid seeing the person who advances. It was, in all probability, with some such design of giving notice that the high priest was passing, that he also wore little bells at the hem of his robe. Their sound intimated also when he was about to enter the sanctuary, and served to keep up the attention of the people. A reverential respect for the Divine Inhabitant was also indicated. The palace of kings was not to be entered without due notice, by striking some sonorous body, much less the sanctuary of God; and the high priest did, by the sound of his bells at the bottom of his robe, ask leave to enter. “And his sound shall be heard when he goeth into the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out; that he die not.”

Bells were a part of the martial furniture of horses employed in war. The Jewish warrior adorned his charger with these ornaments; and the prophet foretels that these in future times should be consecrated to the service of God: “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord.” Chardin observes that something like this is seen in several places of the east; in Persia, and in Turkey, the reins of their bridles are of silk, of the thickness of a finger, on which are wrought the name of God, or other inscriptions. A horse which had not been trained was by the Greeks called, “one that had never heard the noise of bells.”

BELLY is used in Scripture for gluttony, Titus i, 12; Philip iii, 16; Rom. xvi, 18. For the heart, or the secrets of the mind, Prov. xx, 27, 30; xxii, 18. The “belly of hell” signifies the grave, or some imminent danger, or deep distress, Jonah ii, 2; Ecclus. ii, 5.

BELSHAZZAR, the last king of Babylon, and, according to Hales and others, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. v, 18. During the period that the Jews were in captivity at Babylon, a variety of singular events concurred to prove that the sins which brought desolation on their country, and subjected them for a period of seventy years to the Babylonish yoke, had not dissolved that covenant relation which, as the God of Abraham, Jehovah had entered into with them; and that any act of indignity perpetrated against an afflicted people, or any insult cast upon the service of their temple, would be regarded as an affront to the Majesty of heaven, and not suffered to pass with impunity, though the perpetrators were the princes and potentates of the earth. Belshazzar was a remarkable instance of this. He had an opportunity of seeing, in the case of his ancestor, how hateful pride is, even in royalty itself; how instantly God can blast the dignity of the brightest crown, and reduce him that wears it to a level with the beasts of the field; and consequently how much the prosperity of kings and the stability of their thrones depend upon acknowledging that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” But all these awful lessons were lost upon Belshazzar.

The only circumstances of his reign, recorded, are the visions of the Prophet Daniel, in the first and third years, Dan. vii, 1; viii, 1; and his sacrilegious feast and violent death, Dan. v, 1–30. Isaiah, who represents the Babylonian dynasty as “the scourge of Palestine,” styles Nebuchadnezzar “a serpent,” Evil Merodach “a cockatrice,” and Belshazzar “a fiery flying serpent,” the worst of all, Isaiah xiv, 4–29. And Xenophon confirms this prophetic character by two atrocious instances of cruelty and barbarity, exercised by Belshazzar upon some of his chief and most deserving nobles. He slew the only son of Gobryas, in a transport of rage, because at a hunting match he hit with his spear a bear, and afterward a lion, when the king had missed both; and in a fit of jealousy, he brutally castrated Gadatus, because one of his concubines had commended him as a handsome man. His last and most heinous offence was the profanation of the sacred vessels belonging to the temple of Jerusalem, which his wise grandfather, and even his foolish father Evil Merodach, had respected. Having made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, he ordered those vessels to be brought during the banquet, that he, his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink out of them, which they did; and to aggravate sacrilege by apostasy and rebellion, and ingratitude against the Supreme Author of all their enjoyments, “they praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, and stone, but the God in whose hand was their breath, and whose were all their ways, they praised or glorified not.” For these complicated crimes his doom was denounced in the midst of the entertainment; a divine hand appeared, which wrote on the plaister of the wall, opposite to the king, and full in his view, a mysterious inscription. This tremendous apparition struck Belshazzar with 147the greatest terror and agony: “his countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote against each other.” This is one of the liveliest and finest amplifications of dismay to be found throughout the sacred classics, and infinitely exceeds, both in accuracy and force, the most admired of the Heathen; such as “et corde et genibus tremit,” of Horace, and “tarda trementi genua labant,” of Virgil.

Unable himself to decypher the writing, Belshazzar cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers, promising that whosoever should read the writing, and explain to him its meaning, should be clothed with scarlet, have a chain of gold about his neck, and be the third ruler in his kingdom. But the writing was too difficult for the Magi; at which the king was still more greatly troubled. In this crisis, and at the instance of the queen mother, the Prophet Daniel was sent for, to whom honours were promised, on condition of his explaining the writing. Daniel refused the honours held out to him; but having with great faithfulness pointedly reproved the monarch for his ingratitude to God who had conferred on him such dignity, and particularly for his profanation of the vessels which were consecrated to his service, he proceeded to the interpretation of the words which had been written, and still stood visible on the wall. They were, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. “This is the interpretation of the thing, Mene, ‘God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it;’ Tekel, ‘thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting;’ Peres, ‘thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.’” In that very night, in the midst of their mirth and revelling, the city was taken by surprise, Belshazzar himself put to death, and the kingdom transferred to Darius the Mede. If the character of the hand-writing was known to the Magi of Babylon, the meaning could not be conjectured. Perhaps, however, the character was that of the ancient Hebrew, or what we now call the Samaritan; and in that case it would be familiar to Daniel, though rude and unintelligible to the Chaldeans. But even if Daniel could read the words, the import of this solemn graphic message to the proud and impious monarch could only have been made known to the prophet by God. All the ideas the three words convey, are numbering, weighing, and dividing. It was only for the power which sent the omen to unfold, not in equivocal terms, like the responses of Heathen oracles, but in explicit language, the decision of the righteous Judge, the termination of his long suffering, and the instant visitation of judgment. See Babylon.

BELUS, a river of Palestine. On leaving Acre, and turning toward the south-east, the traveller crosses the river Belus, near its mouth, where the stream is shallow enough to be easily forded on horseback. This river rises out of a lake, computed to be about six miles distant, toward the south-east, called by the ancients Palus Cendovia. Of the sand of this river, according to Pliny, glass was first made; and ships from Italy continued to convey it to the glass houses of Venice and Genoa, so late as the middle of the seventeenth century.

BENEDICTION, in a general sense, the act of blessing in the name of God, or of giving praise to God, or returning thanks for his favours. Hence benediction is the act of saying grace before or after meals. Neither the ancient Jews, nor Christians, ever ate without a short prayer. The Jews are obliged to rehearse a hundred benedictions every day; of which, eighty are to be spoken in the morning. Rabbi Nehemiah Baruch, in 1688, published a discourse on the manner wherein the sacerdotal benediction is to be pronounced. In the synagogue of Ferrara, it is rather sung than spoken. Among the ancient Jews, as well as Christians, benedictions were attended with the imposition of hands; and Christians, in process of time, added the sign of the cross, which was made with the same hand, elevated or extended. Hence, in the Romish church, benediction was used to denote the sign of the cross, made by a bishop or prelate, from an idea that it conferred some grace on the people. The custom of receiving benediction by bowing the head before the bishops, is very ancient; and was so universal, that emperors themselves did not decline this mark of submission. Under the name benediction the Hebrews also frequently understood the presents which friends made to one another; in all probability because they were generally attended with blessings and prayers, both from those who gave and those who received them. The solemn blessing pronounced by the Jewish high priest upon the people, is recorded Num. vi, 22, &c: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” The great Christian benediction is, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you always.” See Blessing.

BENHADAD, the son of Tibrimon, king of Syria, came to the assistance of Asa, king of Judah, against Baasha, king of Israel, obliging the latter to return home and succour his own country, and to abandon Ramah, which he had undertaken to fortify, 1 Kings xv, 18. This Benhadad is thought by some to have been the same person with Hadad the Edomite, who rebelled against Solomon toward the end of that prince’s reign, 1 Kings xi, 25.

2. Benhadad, king of Syria, son of the preceding, made war upon Ahab, king of Israel, but was defeated. In the following year, however, he came with a most powerful army to Aphek, where Ahab again engaged him, killed a hundred thousand of his men, and the remainder endeavouring to take refuge in Aphek, the walls of the city fell upon them, and killed twenty-seven thousand more. Thus completely defeated, Benhadad submitted to beg his life of the king of Israel, who not only granted his request, but gave him his liberty, and restored him to his crown upon certain conditions, 1481 Kings xx. Twelve years afterward, A. M. 3115, Benhadad declared war against Jehoram, the son and successor of Ahab, 2 Kings vi, 8; but his designs were made known to Jehoram by the Prophet Elisha, and they were accordingly frustrated. Suspecting some treachery in this affair, Benhadad was informed that all his projects were revealed to his enemy by Elisha, and getting intelligence that the latter was at Dothan, he sent a detachment of his best troops to invest the city and apprehend the prophet; but they were struck with blindness at Elisha’s prayer, so that they were unable to distinguish him, when he was in the midst of them and held a conversation with them. He then led them into the city of Samaria, and having conducted them safely there, he prayed to God again to open their eyes, and induced Jehoram to dismiss them without violence. Generous as this conduct was, it produced no salutary effect on the infatuated Benhadad; for about four years afterward, he laid close siege to Samaria, and reduced the city to such distress that the head of an ass, which the Israelites considered to be an unclean animal, was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, about 2l. 9s. sterling; and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung, or rather three quarters of a pint of chick pease, as Bochart understands the word, for five pieces of silver. In fact, such was the pressure of the famine at this time in Samaria, that mothers were constrained to eat their own children. Jehoram, hearing of these calamities, attributed them to Elisha, and sent orders to have him put to death; but before his messengers could reach the prophet’s house, he came thither himself. Elisha predicted that the next day, about the same hour, a measure of fine flour would be sold at the gate of Samaria for a shekel, which, however incredible at the moment, proved to be the case; for in the night, a general panic, supernaturally induced, pervaded the Syrian camp; they imagined that Jehoram had procured an army of Egyptians to come to his assistance, and, abandoning their horses, tents, and provisions, they all took to flight. Four lepers, whose disease did not permit them to live within the city, and being ready to perish with hunger, ventured into the Syrian camp; and finding it deserted, and at the same time abounding with all sorts of provisions, communicated the information to Jehoram. The king immediately rose, though in the middle of the night; but reflecting that probably it was only a stratagem of Benhadad to draw his people out of the town, he first sent parties to reconnoitre. They, however, speedily returned, and informed him that the enemy was fled, and that the roads were every where strewed with arms and garments, which the Syrians had abandoned to facilitate their flight. As soon as the news was confirmed, the Samaritans went out, pillaged the Syrian camp, and brought in such quantities of provisions, that a measure of fine flour was, at the time specified by Elisha, sold at the gate of Samaria for a shekel, 2 Kings vii.

The following year, A. M. 3120, Benhadad fell sick, and sent Hazael, one of his officers, with forty camels, loaded with valuable presents, to the Prophet Elisha, to interrogate him, whether or not he should recover of his indisposition. Elisha fixed his eyes steadfastly on Hazael, and then burst into tears: “Go,” said he, “and tell Benhadad, Thou mayest certainly recover; though the Lord hath showed me that he shall assuredly die.” He at the same time apprised Hazael that he himself would reign in Syria, and do infinite mischief to Israel. Hazael on this returned and told Benhadad that his health should be restored. But on the next day he took a thick cloth, which, having dipped in water, he spread over the king’s face and stifled him. He then took possession of the kingdom of Syria, according to the prediction of Elisha, 2 Kings viii.

3. Benhadad, the son of Hazael, mentioned in the preceding article, succeeded his father as king of Syria, 2 Kings xiii, 24. During his reign, Jehoash, king of Israel, recovered from him all that his father Hazael had taken from Jehoahaz his predecessor. He defeated him in three several engagements, and compelled him to surrender all the country beyond Jordan, 2 Kings xiii, 25.

BENI KHAIBIR, sons of Keber, the descendants of the Rechabites, to whom it was promised, Jer. xxxv, 19, “Thus saith the Lord, Jonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.” They were first brought into notice in modern times by Mr. Samuel Brett, who wrote a narrative of the proceedings of the great council of the Jews in Hungary, A. D. 1650. He says of the sect of the Rechabites, “that they observe their old rules and customs, and neither sow, nor plant, nor build houses; but live in tents, and often remove from one place to another with their whole property and families.” They are also mentioned in Neibuhr’s travels. Mr. Wolff, a converted Jew, gives the following account in a late journal. He inquired of the rabbins at Jerusalem, relative to these wandering Jews, and received the following information: “Rabbi Mose Secot is quite certain that the Beni Khaibir are descendants of the Rechabites; at this present moment they drink no wine, and have neither vineyard, nor field, nor seed; but dwell, like Arabs, in tents, and are wandering nomades. They receive and observe the law of Moses by tradition, for they are not in possession of the written law.” Mr. Wolff afterward himself visited this people, who have remained, amidst all the changes of nations, a most remarkable monument of the exact fulfilment of a minute, and apparently at first sight an unimportant, prophecy. So true is it, that not one jot or tittle of the word of God shall pass away! See Rechabites.

BENJAMIN, the youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, who was born, A. M. 2272. Jacob, being on his journey from Mesopotamia, as he was proceeding southward with Rachel in the company, Gen. xxxv, 16, 17, &c, the pains of child-bearing came upon her, about a quarter of a league from Bethlehem, and she died after the delivery of a son, whom, with her last breath, she named Benoni, that is, “the son of 149my sorrow;” but soon afterward Jacob changed his name, and called him Benjamin, that is, “the son of my right hand.” See Joseph.

BEREA, a city of Macedonia, where St. Paul preached the Gospel with great success, and where his hearers were careful to compare what they heard with the scriptures of the Old Testament, Acts, xvii, 10; for which they are commended, and held out to us as an example of subjecting every doctrine to the sole test of the word of God.

BERNICE, the daughter of Agrippa, surnamed the Great, king of the Jews, and sister to young Agrippa, also king of the Jews. This lady was first betrothed to Mark, the son of Alexander Lysimachus, albarach of Alexandria; afterward she married Herod, king of Chalcis, her own uncle by the father’s side. After the death of Herod, which happened A. D. 48, she was married to Polemon, king of Pontus, but did not long continue with him. She returned to her brother Agrippa, and with him heard the discourse which Paul delivered before Festus, Acts xxv.

BERYL, תרשיש, a pellucid gem of a bluish green colour, whence it is called by the lapidaries, aqua marina. Its Hebrew name is a word also for the same reason given to the sea, Psalm xlviii, 7. It is found in the East Indies, Peru, Siberia, and Tartary. It has a brilliant appearance, and is generally transparent. It was the tenth stone belonging to the high priest’s pectoral, Exod. xxviii, 10, 20; Rev. xxi, 20.

BETHABARA, or BETHBARAH, signifies in the Hebrew a place of passage, because of its ford over the river Jordan, on the east bank of which river it stood over against Jericho, Joshua ii, 7; iii, 15, 16. To this place Gideon sent a party to secure the passage of the river, previous to his attack on the Midianites, Judges vii, 24. Here John commenced his baptizing, and here Christ himself was baptized, John i, 28. To this place, also, Jesus retired, when the Jews sought to take him at the feast of dedication; and many who resorted there to him believed on him, John x, 39–42.

BETHANY, a considerable place, situated on the ascent of the mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem, John xi, 18; Matt. xxi, 17; xxvi, 6, &c. Here it was that Martha and Mary lived, with their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead; and it was here that Mary poured the perfume on our Saviour’s head. Bethany at present is but a very small village. One of our modern travellers tells us, that, at the entrance into it, there is an old ruin, called the castle of Lazarus, supposed to have been the mansion house where he and his sisters resided. At the bottom of a descent, not far from the castle, you see his sepulchre, which the Turks hold in great veneration, and use it for an oratory, or place for prayer. Here going down by twenty-five steps, you come at first into a small square room, and from thence creep into another that is smaller, about a yard and a half deep, in which the body is said to have been laid. About a bow-shot from hence you pass by the place which they say was Mary Magdalene’s house; and thence descending a steep hill, you come to the fountain of the Apostles, which is so called because, as the tradition goes, these holy persons were wont to refresh themselves there between Jerusalem and Jericho,--as it is very probable they might, because the fountain is close to the road side, and is inviting to the thirsty traveller. Bethany is now a poor village, but pleasantly situated, says Dr. Richardson, on the shady side of the mount of Olives, and abounds in trees and long grass.

BETHAVEN, the same with Bethel. This city, upon the revolt of the ten tribes, belonged to the kingdom of Israel, and was therefore one of the cities in which Jeroboam set up his golden calves. Whence the prophet in derision calls it, “Bethaven,” the house of vanity or idols, Hosea iv, 15, instead of “Bethel,” the house of God, the name which Jacob formerly gave it, when he had the vision of the mysterious ladder, reaching from earth to heaven, Gen. xxviii, 19.

BETHEL, a city which lay to the west of Ai, about eight miles to the north of Jerusalem, in the confines of the tribe of Ephraim and Benjamin. Here Jacob slept and had his vision. The name of this city had formerly been Luz, which signifies an almond, and was probably so called from the number of almond trees which grew in those parts. See Jacob.

BETHESDA. This word signifies the house of mercy, and was the name of a pool, or public bath, at Jerusalem, which had five porticos, piazzas, or covered walks around it. This bath was called Bethesda, because, as some observe, the erecting of baths was an act of great kindness to the common people, whose infirmities in hot countries required frequent bathing; but the generality of expositors think it had this name rather from the great goodness of God manifested to his people, in bestowing healing virtues upon its waters. The account of the evangelist is, “Now there was at Jerusalem, by the sheep market, a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel went down at a certain season into the pool: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had,” John v, 2–4. The genuineness of the fourth verse has been disputed, because it is wanting in some ancient MSS, and is written in the margin of another as a scholion; but even were the spuriousness of this verse allowed, for which, however, the evidence is by no means satisfactory, the supernatural character of the account, as it is indicated by the other parts of the narrative, remains unaffected. The agitation of the water; its suddenly healing virtue as to all diseases; and the limitation to the first that should go in, are all miraculous circumstances. Commentators have however resorted to various hypotheses to account for the whole without divine agency. Dr. Hammond says, “The sacrifices were exceedingly numerous at the 150passover, κατὰ καιρὸν, (once a year, Chrysostom,) when the pool being warm from the immediate washing of the blood and entrails, and thus adapted to the cure of the blind, the withered, the lame, and perhaps the paralytic, was yet farther troubled, and the congelations and grosser parts stirred up by an officer or messenger, ἄγγελος, to give it the full effect.” To this hypothesis Whitby acutely replies, 1. How could this natural virtue be adapted to, and cure, all kinds of diseases? 2. How could the virtue only extend to the cure of one man, several probably entering at the same instant? 3. How unlikely is it, if natural, to take place only at one certain time, at the passover? for there was a multitude of sacrifices slain at other of the feasts. 4. Lastly, and decisively, Lightfoot shows that there was a laver in the temple for washing the entrails; therefore they were not washed in this pool at all.

Others, however, suppose that the blood of the victims was conveyed from the temple to this pool by pipes; and Kuinoel thinks that it cannot be denied that the blood of animals recently slaughtered may impart a medicinal property to water; and he refers to Richter’s “Dissertat. de Balneo Animali,” and Michaelis in loc. But he admits that it cannot be proved whether the pool was situated out of the city at the sheep gate, or in the city, and in the vicinity of the temple; nor that the blood of the victims was ever conveyed thither by canals. Kuinoel justly observes, that though in Josephus no mention is made of the baths here described, yet this silence ought not to induce us to question the truth of this transaction; since the historian omits to record many other circumstances which cannot be doubted; as, for instance, the census of Augustus, and the murder of the infants. This critic also supposes that St. John only acts the part of an historian, and gives the account as it was current among the Jews, without vouching for its truth, or interposing his own judgment. Mede follows in the track of absurdly attempting to account for the phenomenon on natural principles:--“I think the water of this pool acquired a medicinal property from the mud at its bottom, which was heavy with metallic salts,--sulphur perhaps, or alum, or nitre. Now this would, from the water being perturbed from the bottom by some natural cause, perhaps subterranean heat, or storms, rise upward and be mingled with it, and so impart a sanative property to those who bathed in it before the metallic particles had subsided to the bottom. That it should have done so, κατὰ καιρὸν, is not strange, since Bartholin has, by many examples, shown, that it is usual with many medicinal baths, to exert a singular force and sanative power at stated times, and at periodical, but uncertain, intervals.” Doddridge combines the common hypothesis with that of Mede; namely, that the water had at all times more or less of a medicinal property; but at some period, not far distant from that in which the transaction here recorded took place, it was endued with a miraculous power; an extraordinary commotion being probably observed in the water, and Providence so ordering it, that the next person who accidentally bathed here, being under some great disorder, found an immediate and unexpected cure: the like phenomenon in some other desperate case, was probably observed on a second commotion: and these commotions and cures might happen periodically.

All those hypotheses which exclude miracle in this case are very unsatisfactory, nor is there any reason whatever to resort to them; for, when rightly viewed, there appears a mercy and a wisdom in this miracle which must strike every one who attentively considers the account, unless he be a determined unbeliever in miraculous interposition. For, 1. The miracle occurred κατὰ καιρὸν, from time to time, that is, occasionally, perhaps frequently. 2. Though but one at a time was healed, yet, as this might often occur, a singularly gracious provision was made for the relief of the sick inhabitants of Jerusalem in desperate cases. 3. The angel probably acted invisibly, but the commotion in the waters was so strong and peculiar as to mark a supernatural agent. 4. There is great probability in what Doddridge, following Tertullian, supposes, that the waters obtained their healing property not long before the ministry of Christ, and lost it after his rejection and crucifixion by the Jews. In this case a connection was established between the healing virtue of the pool and the presence of Christ on earth, indicating HIM to be the source of this benefit, and the true agent in conferring it; and thus it became, afterward at least, a confirmation of his mission. 5. The whole might also be emblematical, “intended,” says Macknight, “to show that Ezekiel’s vision of waters issuing out of the sanctuary was about to be fulfilled, of which waters it is said, They shall be healed, and every thing shall live where the river cometh.” It cannot be objected that this was not an age of miracles; and if miracles be allowed, we see in this particular supernatural visitation obvious reasons of fitness, as well as a divine compassion. If however the ends to be accomplished by so public and notable a miraculous interposition were less obvious, still we must admit the fact, or either force absurd interpretations upon the text, or make the evangelist carelessly give his sanction to an instance of vulgar credulity and superstition.

Maundrell and Chateaubriand both describe a bason or reservoir, near St. Stephen’s gate, and bounding the temple on the north, as the identical pool of Bethesda; which, if it really be what it is represented to be, is all that now remains of the primitive architecture of the Jews at Jerusalem. The latter says, “It is a reservoir, a hundred and fifty feet long and forty wide. The sides are walled, and these walls are composed of a bed of large stones joined together by iron cramps; a wall of mixed materials runs up on these large stones; a layer of flints is stuck upon the surface of this wall; and a coating is laid over these flints. The four beds are perpendicular with the bottom, and not horizontal: the coating 151was on the side next to the water; and the large stones rested, as they still do, against the ground. This pool is now dry, and half filled up. Here grow some pomegranate trees, and a species of wild tamarind of a bluish colour: the western angle is quite full of nopals. On the west side may also be seen two arches, which probably led to an aqueduct that carried the water into the interior of the temple.”

BETH-HORON. About twelve miles from Jerusalem, lies the Arab village of Bethoor, where Dr. E. D. Clarke was by accident compelled to pass a night. It is noticed by no other traveller; and yet, there is the highest probability that this is the Beth-horon of the Scriptures. St. Jerom associates it with Rama, in the remark that they were in his time, together with other noble cities built by Solomon, only poor villages. Beth-horon stood on the confines of Ephraim and Benjamin; which, according to the learned traveller, exactly answers to the situation of Bethoor. He supposes it, from its situation on a hill, to be Beth-horon the upper, the Beth-horon superior of Eusebius, of which frequent notice occurs in the apocryphal writings. Josephus mentions that Cestius, the Roman general, marched upon Jerusalem by way of Lydda and Beth-horon.

BETHLEHEM, a city in the tribe of Judah, Judges xvii, 7; and likewise called Ephrath, Gen. xlviii, 7; or Ephratah, Micah v, 2; and the inhabitants of it, Ephrathites, Ruth i, 2; 1 Sam. xvii, 12. Here David was born, and spent his early years as a shepherd. And here also the scene of the beautiful narrative of Ruth is supposed to be laid. But its highest honour is, that here our divine Lord condescended to be born of woman:--“And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting.” Travellers describe the first view of Bethlehem as imposing. The town appears covering the ridge of a hill on the southern side of a deep and extensive valley, and reaching from east to west. The most conspicuous object is the monastery erected over the supposed “Cave of the Nativity;” its walls and battlements have the air of a large fortress. From this same point, the Dead Sea is seen below on the left, seemingly very near, “but,” says Sandys, “not so found by the traveller; for these high, declining mountains are not to be directly descended.” The road winds round the top of a valley which tradition has fixed on as the scene of the angelic vision which announced the birth of our Lord to the shepherds; but different spots have been selected, the Romish authorities not being agreed on this head. Bethlehem (called in the New Testament Bethlehem Ephrata and Bethlehem of Judea, to distinguish it from Bethlehem of Zabulon) is situated on a rising ground, about two hours’ distance, or not quite six miles from Jerusalem. Here the traveller meets with a repetition of the same puerilities and disgusting mummery which he has witnessed at the church of the sepulchre. “The stable,” to use the words of Pococke, “in which our Lord was born, is a grotto cut out of the rock, according to the eastern custom.” It is astonishing to find so intelligent a writer as Dr. E. D. Clarke gravely citing St. Jerom, who wrote in the fifth century, as an authority for the truth of the absurd legend by which the cave of the nativity is supposed to be identified. The ancient tombs and excavations are occasionally used by the Arabs as places of shelter; but the Gospel narrative affords no countenance to the notion that the Virgin took refuge in any cave of this description. On the contrary, it was evidently a manger belonging to the inn or khan: in other words, the upper rooms being wholly occupied, the holy family were compelled to take up their abode in the court allotted to the mules and horses, or other animals. But the New Testament was not the guide which was followed by the mother of Constantine, to whom the original church owed its foundation. The present edifice is represented by Chateaubriand as of undoubtedly high antiquity; yet Doubdan, an old traveller, says that the monastery was destroyed in the year 1263 by the Moslems; and in its present state, at all events, it cannot lay claim to a higher date. The convent is divided among the Greek, Roman, and Armenian Christians, to each of whom separate parts are assigned as places of worship and habitations for the monks; but, on certain days, all may perform their devotions at the altars erected over the consecrated spots. The church is built in the form of a cross; the nave being adorned with forty-eight Corinthian columns in four rows, each column being two feet six inches in diameter, and eighteen feet high, including the base and the capital. The nave, which is in possession of the Armenians, is separated from the three other branches of the cross by a wall, so that the unity of the edifice is destroyed. The top of the cross is occupied by the choir, which belongs to the Greeks. Here is an altar dedicated to the wise men of the east, at the foot of which is a marble star, corresponding, as the monks say, to the point of the heavens where the miraculous meteor became stationary, and directly over the spot where the Saviour was born in the subterranean church below! A flight of fifteen steps, and a long narrow passage, conduct to the sacred crypt or grotto of the nativity, which is thirty-seven feet six inches long, by eleven feet three inches in breadth, and nine feet high. It is lined and floored with marble, and provided on each side with five oratories, “answering precisely to the ten cribs or stalls for horses that the stable in which our Saviour was born contained!” The precise spot of the birth is marked by a glory in the floor, composed of marble and jasper encircled with silver, around which are inscribed the words, Hìc de Virgine Mariâ Jesus Christus natus est. [Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.] Over it is a marble table or altar, which rests against the side of the rock, here cut into an arcade. The manger is at the distance of seven paces from the altar; it is in a low recess hewn 152out of the rock, to which you descend by two steps, and consists of a block of marble, raised about a foot and a half above the floor, and hollowed out in the form of a manger. Before it is the altar of the Magi. The chapel is illuminated by thirty-two lamps, presented by different princes of Christendom. Chateaubriand has described the scene in his usual florid and imaginative style: “Nothing can be more pleasing, or better calculated to excite devotional sentiments, than this subterraneous church. It is adorned with pictures of the Italian and Spanish schools, which represent the mysteries of the place. The usual ornaments of the manger are of blue satin, embroidered with silver. Incense is continually burning before the cradle of our Saviour. I have heard an organ, touched by no ordinary hand, play, during mass, the sweetest and most tender tunes of the best Italian composers. These concerts charm the Christian Arab, who, leaving his camels to feed, repairs, like the shepherds of old, to Bethlehem, to adore the King of kings in the manger. I have seen this inhabitant of the desert communicate at the altar of the Magi, with a fervour, a piety, a devotion, unknown among the Christians of the west. The continual arrival of caravans from all the nations of Christendom; the public prayers; the prostrations; nay, even the richness of the presents sent here by the Christian princes, altogether produce feelings in the soul, which it is much easier to conceive than to describe.”

Such are the illusions which the Roman superstition casts over this extraordinary scene! In another subterraneous chapel, tradition places the sepulchre of the Innocents. From this, the pilgrim is conducted to the grotto of St. Jerom, where they show the tomb of that father, who passed great part of his life in this place; and who, in the grotto shown as his oratory, is said to have translated that version of the Bible which has been adopted by the church of Rome, and is called the Vulgate. He died at the advanced age of ninety-one, A. D. 422. The village of Bethlehem contains about three hundred inhabitants, the greater part of whom gain their livelihood by making beads, carving mother-of-pearl shells with sacred subjects, and manufacturing small tables and crucifixes, all which are eagerly purchased by the pilgrims.

Bethlehem has been visited by many modern travellers. The following notice of it by Dr. E. D. Clarke will be read with interest: “After travelling for about an hour from the time of our leaving Jerusalem, we came in view of Bethlehem, and halted to enjoy the interesting sight. The town appeared covering the ridge of a hill on the southern side of a deep and extensive valley, and reaching from east to west; the most conspicuous object being the monastery, erected over the cave of the nativity, in the suburbs, and upon the eastern side. The battlements and walls of this building seemed like those of a vast fortress. The Dead Sea below, upon our left, appeared so near to us that we thought we could have rode thither in a very short space of time. Still nearer stood a mountain upon its western shore, resembling in its form the cone of Vesuvius near Naples, and having also a crater upon its top which was plainly discernible. The distance, however, is much greater than it appears to be; the magnitude of the objects beheld in this fine prospect causing them to appear less remote than they really are. The atmosphere was remarkably clear and serene; but we saw none of those clouds of smoke, which, by some writers, are said to exhale from the surface of the lake, nor from any neighbouring mountain. Every thing about it was in the highest degree grand and awful. Bethlehem is six miles from Jerusalem. Josephus describes the interval between the two cities as equal only to twenty stadia; and in the passage referred to, he makes an allusion to a celebrated well, which, both from the account given by him of its situation, and more especially from the text of the sacred Scriptures, 2 Sam. xxiii, 15, seems to have contained the identical fountain, of whose pure and delicious water we were now drinking. Considered merely in point of interest, the narrative is not likely to be surpassed by any circumstance of Pagan history. David, being a native of Bethlehem, calls to mind, during the sultry days of harvest, verse 13, a well near the gate of the town, the delicious waters of which he had often tasted; and expresses an earnest desire to assuage his thirst by drinking of that limpid spring. ‘And David longed, and said, O that one would give me to drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!’ The exclamation is overheard by ‘three of the mighty men whom David had,’ namely, Adino, Eleazar, and Shamnah, verses 8, 9, 11. These men sallied forth, and having fought their way through the garrison of the Philistines at Bethlehem, verse 14, ‘drew water from the well that was by the gate,’ on the other side of the town, and brought it to David. Coming into his presence, they present to him the surprising testimony of their valour and affection. The aged monarch receives from their hands a pledge they had so dearly earned, but refuses to drink of water every drop of which had been purchased with blood, 2 Sam. xxiii, 17. He returns thanks to the Almighty, who had vouchsafed the deliverance of his warriors from the jeopardy they had encountered; and pouring out the water as a libation on the ground, makes an offering of it to the Lord. The well still retains its pristine renown; and many an expatriated Bethlehemite has made it the theme of his longing and regret.”

BETHPHAGE, so called from its producing figs, a small village situated in Mount Olivet, and, as it seems, somewhat nearer Jerusalem than Bethany. Jesus being come from Bethany to Bethphage, commanded his disciples to seek out an ass for him that he might ride, in his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, Matt. xxi, 1, &c. The distance between Bethphage and Jerusalem is about fifteen furlongs.

BETHSAIDA, a city whose name in Hebrew 153imports a place of fishing or of hunting, and for both of these exercises it was well situated. As it belonged to the tribe of Naphtali, it was in a country remarkable for plenty of deer; and as it lay on the north end of the lake Gennesareth, just where the river Jordan runs into it, it became the residence of fishermen. Three of the Apostles, Philip, Andrew, and Peter, were born in this city. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, though it frequently occurs in the New: the reason is, that it was but a village, as Josephus tells us, till Philip the tetrarch enlarged it, making it a magnificent city, and gave it the name of Julias, out of respect to Julia, the daughter of Augustus Cæsar.

The evangelists speak of Bethsaida; and yet it then possessed that name no longer: it was enlarged and beautified nearly at the same time as Cæsarea, and called Julias. Thus was it called in the days of our Lord, and so would the sacred historians have been accustomed to call it. But if they knew nothing of this, what shall we say of their age? In other respects they evince the most accurate knowledge of the circumstances of the time. The solution is, that, though Philip had exalted it to the rank of a city, to which he gave the name of Julias, yet, not long afterward, this Julia, in whose honour the city received its name, was banished from the country by her own father. The deeply wounded honour of Augustus was even anxious that the world might forget that she was his daughter. Tiberius, whose wife she had been, consigned the unfortunate princess, after the death of Augustus, to the most abject poverty, under which she sank without assistance. Thus adulation must under two reigns have suppressed a name, from which otherwise the city might have wished to derive benefit to itself; and for some time it was called by its ancient name Bethsaida instead of Julias. At a later period this name again came into circulation, and appears in the catalogue of Jewish cities by Pliny. By such incidents, which are so easily overlooked, and the knowledge of which is afterward lost, do those who are really acquainted with an age disclose their authenticity. “But it is strange,” some one will say, “that John reckons this Bethsaida, or Julias, where he was born, in Galilee, John xii, 21. Should he not know to what province his birthplace belonged?” Philip only governed the eastern districts by the sea of Tiberias; but Galilee was the portion of his brother Antipas. Bethsaida or Julias could therefore not have been built by Philip, as the case is; or it did not belong to Galilee, as John alleges. In fact, such an error were sufficient to prove that this Gospel was not written by John. Julias, however, was situated in Gaulonitis, which district was, for deep political reasons, divided from Galilee; but the ordinary language of the time asserted its own opinion, and still reckoned the Gaulonitish province in Galilee. When, therefore, John does the same, he proves, that the peculiarity of those days was not unknown to him; for he expresses himself after the ordinary manner of the period. Thus Josephus informs us of Judas the Gaulonite from Gamala, and also calls him in the following chapters, the Galilean; and then in another work he applies the same expression to him; from whence we may be convinced that the custom of those days paid respect to a more ancient division of the country, and bade defiance, in the present case, to the then existing political geography. Is it possible that historians who, as it is evident from such examples, discover throughout so nice a knowledge of geographical arrangements and local and even temporary circumstances, should have written at a time when the theatre of events was unknown to them, when not only their native country was destroyed, but their nation scattered, and the national existence of the Jews extinguished and extirpated? On the contrary, all this is in proof that they wrote at the very period which they profess, and it also proves the usual antiquity assigned to the Gospels.

BETHSHAN, a city belonging to the half tribe of Manasseh, on the west of Jordan, and not far from the river. It was a considerable city in the time of Eusebius and St. Jerom, and was then, as it had been for several ages before, called Scythopolis, or the city of the Scythians, from some remarkable occurrence when the Scythians made an irruption into Syria. It is said to be six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem, 2 Macc. xii, 29. After the battle of Mount Gilboa, the Philistines took the body of Saul, and hung it against the wall of Bethshan, 1 Sam. xxxi, 10. Bethshan is now called Bysan, and is described by Burckhardt as situated on rising ground on the west of the Ghor, or valley of Jordan.

BETHSHEMESH, a city of the tribe of Judah, belonging to the priests, Joshua xxi, 16. The Philistines having sent back the ark of the Lord, it was brought to Bethshemesh, 1 Sam. vi, 12, where some of the people out of curiosity having looked into it, the Lord destroyed seventy of the principal men belonging to the city, and fifty thousand of the common people, verse 19. It is here to be observed that it was solemnly enjoined, Num. iv, 20, that not only the common people but that even the Levites themselves should not dare to look into the ark, upon pain of death. “It is a fearful thing,” says Bishop Hall, “to use the holy ordinances of God with an irreverent boldness; fear and trembling become us in our access to the majesty of the Almighty.”

BETHUEL, the son of Nahor and Milcah. He was Abraham’s nephew, and father to Laban and Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, Genesis xxii, 20, 23.

BETROTHMENT, a mutual promise or compact between two parties for a future marriage. The word imports as much as giving one’s troth; that is, true faith, or promise. Among the ancient Jews, the betrothing was performed either by a writing, or by a piece of silver given to the bride. After the marriage was contracted, the young people had the liberty of seeing each other, which was not allowed them before. If, after the betrothment, the bride should trespass against that fidelity she 154owed to her bridegroom she was treated as an adulteress. See Marriage.

BEZER, or Bozra, or Bostra, a city beyond Jordan, given by Moses to Reuben: this town was designed by Joshua to be a city of refuge; it was given to the Levites of Gershom’s family, Deut. iv, 43. When Scripture mentions Bezer, it adds, “in the wilderness,” because it lay in Arabia Deserta, and the eastern part of Edom, encompassed with deserts. Eusebius places Bozra twenty-four miles from Adraa, or Edrai. This city is sometimes said to belong to Reuben, sometimes to Moab, and sometimes again to Edom; because, as it was a frontier town to these three provinces, it was occasionally in the hands of one party, and then was taken by another. The bishops of Bostra subscribed the decrees of several councils.

BIBLE, the book, by way of eminence so called, as containing the sacred Scriptures, that is, the inspired writings of the Old and New Testament; or the whole collection of those which are received among Christians as of divine authority. The word Bible comes from the Greek Βίϐλος, or Βιϐλίον, and is used to denote any book; but is emphatically applied to the book of inspired Scripture, which is “the book” as being superior in excellence to all other books. Βιβλίον again comes from Βίϐλος, the Egyptian reed, from which the ancient paper was procured. The word Bible seems to be used in the particular sense just given by Chrysostom: “I therefore exhort all of you to procure to yourselves Bibles, Βιϐλια. If you have nothing else, take care to have the New Testament, particularly the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels, for your constant instructers.” And Jerome says, “that the Scriptures being all written by one Spirit, are one book.” Augustine also informs us, “that some called all the canonical Scriptures one book, on account of their wonderful harmony and unity of design throughout.” It is not improbable that this mode of speaking gradually introduced the general use of the word Bible for the whole collection of the Scriptures, or the books of the Old and New Testament. By the Jews the Bible, that is, the Old Testament, is called Mikra, that is, “lecture, or reading.” By Christians the Bible, comprehending the Old and New Testament, is usually denominated “Scripture;” sometimes also the “Sacred Canon,” which signifies the rule of faith and practice. These, and similar appellations, are derived from the divine original and authority of the Bible. As it contains an authentic and connected history of the divine dispensations with regard to mankind; as it was given by divine inspiration; as its chief subject is religion; and as the doctrines it teaches, and the duties it inculcates, pertain to the conduct of men, as rational, moral, and accountable beings, and conduce by a divine constitution and promise, to their present and future happiness; the Bible deserves to be held in the highest estimation, and amply justifies the sentiments of veneration with which it has been regarded, and the peculiar and honourable appellations by which it has been denominated.

2. The list of the books contained in the Bible constitutes what is called the canon of Scripture. Those books that are contained in the catalogue to which the name of canon has been appropriated, are called canonical, by way of contradistinction from others called deutero-canonical, apocryphal, pseudo-apocryphal, &c, which either are not acknowledged as divine books, or are rejected as heretical and spurious. (See Apocrypha.) The first canon or catalogue of the sacred books was made by the Jews; but the original author of it is not satisfactorily ascertained. It is certain, however, that the five books of Moses, called the Pentateuch, were collected into one body within a short time after his death; since Deuteronomy, which is, as it were, the abridgment and recapitulation of the other four, was laid in the tabernacle near the ark, according to the order which he gave to the Levites, Deut. xxxi, 24. Hence the first canon of the sacred writings consisted of the five books of Moses: for a farther account of which see Pentateuch. It does not appear that any other books were added to these, till the division of the ten tribes, as the Samaritans acknowledged no others. However, after the time of Moses, several prophets, and other writers divinely inspired, composed either the history of their own times, or prophetical books and divine writings, or psalms appropriated to the praise of God. But these books do not seem to have been collected into one body, or comprised under one and the same canon, before the Babylonish captivity. This was not done till after their return from the captivity, about which time the Jews had a certain number of books digested into a canon, which comprehended none of those books that were written since the time of Nehemiah. The book of Ecclesiasticus affords sufficient evidence that the canon of the sacred books was completed when that tract was composed; for that author, in chapter xlix, having mentioned among the famous men and sacred writers, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, adds the twelve minor prophets who follow those three in the Jewish canon; and from this circumstance we may infer that the prophecies of these twelve were already collected and digested into one body. It is farther evident, that in the time of our Saviour the canon of the Holy Scriptures was drawn up, since he cites the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms, which are the three kinds of books of which that canon is composed, and which he often styles, “the Scriptures,” or, “the Holy Scripture,” Matt. xxi, 42; xxii, 29; xxvi, 54; John v, 39; and by him therefore the Jewish canon, as it existed in his day, was fully authenticated, by whomsoever or at what time it had been formed.

3. The person who compiled this canon is generally allowed to be Ezra. According to the invariable tradition of Jews and Christians, the honour is ascribed to him of having collected together and perfected a complete edition of the Holy Scriptures. The original of the Pentateuch had been carefully preserved in the side of the ark, and had been probably introduced with the ark into the temple at Jerusalem. 155After having been concealed in the dangerous days of the idolatrous kings of Judah, and particularly in the impious reigns of Manasseh and Amon, it was found in the days of Josiah, the succeeding prince, by Hilkiah the priest, in the temple. Prideaux thinks, that during the preceding reigns the book of the law was so destroyed and lost, that, beside this copy of it, there was then no other to be obtained. To this purpose he adds, that the surprise manifested by Hilkiah, on the discovery of it, and the grief expressed by Josiah when he heard it read, plainly show that neither of them had seen it before. On the other hand, Dr. Kennicott, with better reason, supposes, that long before this time there were several copies of the law in Israel, during the separation of the ten tribes, and that there were some copies of it also among the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, particularly in the hands of the prophets, priests, and Levites; and that by the instruction and authority of these MSS, the various services in the temple were regulated, during the reigns of the good kings of Judah. He adds, that the surprise expressed by Josiah and the people, at his reading the copy found by Hilkiah, may be accounted for by adverting to the history of the preceding reigns, and by recollecting how idolatrous a king Manasseh had been for fifty-five years, and that he wanted neither power nor inclination to destroy the copies of the law, if they had not been secreted by the servants of God. The law, after being so long concealed, would be unknown almost to all the Jews; and thus the solemn reading of it by Josiah would awaken his own and the people’s earnest attention; more especially, as the copy produced was probably the original written by Moses. From this time copies of the law were extensively multiplied among the people; and though, within a few years, the autograph, or original copy of the law, was burnt with the city and temple by the Babylonians, yet many copies of the law and the prophets, and of all the other sacred writings, were circulated in the hands of private persons, who carried them with them into their captivity. It is certain that Daniel had a copy of the Holy Scriptures with him at Babylon; for he quotes the law, and mentions the prophecies of Jeremiah, Dan. ix, 2, 11, 13. It appears also, from the sixth chap. of Ezra, and from the ninth chap. of Nehemiah, that copies of the law were dispersed among the people. The whole which Ezra did may be comprised in the following particulars: He collected as many copies of the sacred writings as he could find, and compared them together, and, out of them all, formed one complete copy, adjusted the various readings, and corrected the errors of transcribers. He likewise made additions in several parts of the different books, which appeared to be necessary for the illustration, correction, and completion of them. To this class of additions we may refer the last chapter of Deuteronomy, which, as it gives an account of the death and burial of Moses, and of the succession of Joshua after him, could not have been written by Moses himself. Under the same head have also been included some other interpolations in the Bible, which create difficulties that can only be solved by allowing them; as in Gen. xii, 6; xxii, 14; xxxvi, 3; Exodus xvi, 35; Deut. ii, 12; iii, 11, 14; Prov. xxv, 1. The interpolations in these passages are ascribed by Prideaux to Ezra; and others which were afterward added, he attributes to Simon the Just. Ezra also changed the old names of several places that were become obsolete, putting instead of them the new names by which they were at that time called; instances of which occur in Genesis xiv, 4, where Dan is substituted for Laish, and in several places in Genesis, and also in Numbers, where Hebron is put for Kirjath Arba, &c. He likewise wrote out the whole in the Chaldee character, changing for it the old Hebrew character, which has since that time been retained only by the Samaritans, and among whom it is preserved even to this day. The canon of the whole Hebrew Bible seems, says Kennicott, to have been closed by Malachi, the latest of the Jewish prophets, about fifty years after Ezra had collected together all the sacred books which had been composed before and during his time. Prideaux supposes the canon was completed by Simon the Just, about one hundred and fifty years after Malachi: but, as his opinion is founded merely on a few proper names at the end of the two genealogies, 1 Chron. iii, 19; Nehem. xii, 22, which few names might very easily be added by a transcriber afterward, it is more probable, as Kennicott thinks, that the canon was finished by the last of the prophets, about four hundred years before Christ.

4. It is an inquiry of considerable importance, in its relation to the subject of this article, what books were contained in the canon of the Jews. The Old Testament, according to our Bibles, comprises thirty-nine books, viz. the Pentateuch or five books of Moses, called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah with his Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. But, among the ancient Jews, they formed only twenty-two books, according to the letters of their alphabet, which were twenty-two in number; reckoning Judges and Ruth, Ezra and Nehemiah, Jeremiah and his Lamentations, and the twelve minor prophets, (so called from the comparative brevity of their compositions,) respectively as one book. Josephus says, “We have not thousands of books, discordant, and contradicting each other: but we have only twenty-two, which comprehend the history of all former ages, and are justly regarded as divine. Five of them proceed from Moses; they include as well the laws, as an account of the creation of man, extending to the time of his (Moses) death. This period comprehends nearly three thousand years. From the death of Moses to that of Artaxerxes, who was king of Persia after Xerxes, the prophets, 156who succeeded Moses, committed to writing, in thirteen books, what was done in their days. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, (the Psalms,) and instructions of life for man.” The threefold division of the Old Testament into the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, mentioned by Josephus, was expressly recognised before his time by Jesus Christ, as well as by the subsequent writers of the New Testament. We have therefore sufficient evidence that the Old Testament existed at that time; and if it be only allowed that Jesus Christ was a teacher of a fearless and irreproachable character, it must be acknowledged that we draw a fair conclusion, when we assert that the Scriptures were not corrupted in his time: for, when he accused the Pharisees of making the law of no effect by their traditions, and, when he enjoined his hearers to search the Scriptures, he could not have failed to mention the corruptions or forgeries of Scripture, if any had existed in that age. About fifty years before the time of Christ were written the Targums of Onkelos on the Pentateuch, and of Jonathan Ben-Uzziel on the Prophets; (according to the Jewish classification of the books of the Old Testament;) which are evidence of the genuineness of those books at that time. We have, however, unquestionable testimony of the genuineness of the Old Testament, in the fact that its canon was fixed some centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus the son of Sirach, author of the book of Ecclesiasticus, makes evident references to the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and mentions these prophets by name: he speaks also of the twelve minor prophets. It likewise appears from the prologue to that book, that the law and the prophets, and other ancient books, were extant at the same period. The book of Ecclesiasticus, according to the best chronologers, was written in the Syro-Chaldaic dialect A. M. 3772, that is, two hundred and thirty-two years before the Christian æra, and was translated by the grandson of Jesus into Greek, for the use of the Alexandrian Jews. The prologue was added by the translator; but this circumstance does not diminish the evidence for the antiquity of the Old Testament: for he informs us, that the law and the prophets, and the other books of their fathers, were studied by his grandfather; a sufficient proof that they were extant in his time. Fifty years, indeed, before the age of the author of Ecclesiasticus, or two hundred and eighty-two years before the Christian æra, the Greek version of the Old Testament, usually called the Septuagint, was executed at Alexandria, the books of which are the same as in our Bibles; whence it is evident that we still have those identical books, which the most ancient Jews attested to be genuine. The Christian fathers too, Origen, Athanasius, Hilary, Gregory, Nazianzen, Epiphanius, and Jerom, speaking of the books that are allowed by the Jews as sacred and canonical, agree in saying that they are the same in number with the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, that is, twenty-two, and reckon particularly those books which we have already mentioned. Nothing can be more satisfactory and conclusive than all the parts of the evidence for the authenticity and integrity of the canon of the Old Testament scriptures. The Jews, to whom they were first committed, never varied respecting them; while they were fully recognised by our Lord and his Apostles; and, consequently, their authenticity is established by express revelation. And that we now possess them as thus delivered and authenticated, we have the concurrent testimony of the whole succession of the most distinguished early Christian writers, as well as of the Jews to this day, who, in every age, and in all countries, the most remote from one another, have constantly been in the habit of reading them in their synagogues.

5. The five books of the law are divided into fifty-four sections, which division is attributed to Ezra, and was intended for the use of their synagogues, and for the better instruction of the people in the law of God. For, one of these sections was read every Sabbath in their synagogues. They ended the last section with the last words of Deuteronomy on the Sabbath of the feast of the tabernacles, and then began anew with the first section from the beginning of Genesis the next Sabbath after, and so went round in this circle every year. The number of these sections was fifty-four, because in their intercalated years (a month being then added) there were fifty-four Sabbaths. On other years they reduced them to the number of the Sabbaths which were in those years, by joining two short ones several times into one. For they held themselves obliged to have the whole law thus read over in their synagogues every year. Till the time of the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, they read only the law; but being then prohibited from reading it any more, they substituted in the room of the fifty-four sections of the law, fifty-four sections out of the prophets, the reading of which they ever after continued. Thus, when the reading of the law was restored by the Maccabees, the section which was read every Sabbath out of the law served for their first lesson, and the section out of the prophets for their second lesson; and this practice was continued to the times of the Apostles, Acts xiii, 15, 27. These sections were divided into verses, called by the Jews pesukim, and they are marked out in the Hebrew Bible by two great points at the end of them, called from hence, soph-pasuk, that is, the end of the verse. This division, if not made by Ezra, is very ancient; for when the Chaldee came into use in the room of the Hebrew language, after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, the law was read to the people first in the Hebrew language, and then rendered by an interpreter into the Chaldee language; and this was done period by period. The division of the Holy Scriptures into chapters is of a much later date. The Psalms, indeed, appear to have been always divided as they are at present, Acts xiii, 33; but as to the rest of the Bible, the present division into chapters was unknown to the ancients.

6. From the time when the Old Testament 157was completed by Malachi, the last of the prophets, till the publication of the New Testament, about four hundred and sixty years elapsed. During the life of Jesus Christ, and for some time after his ascension, nothing on the subject of his mission was committed to writing. The period of his remaining upon earth may be regarded as an intermediate state between the old and new dispensations. His personal ministry was confined to the land of Judea; and, by means of his miracles and discourses, together with those of his disciples, the attention of men, in that country, was sufficiently directed to his doctrine. They were also in possession of the Old Testament scriptures; which, at that season, it was of the greatest importance they should consult, in order to compare the ancient predictions with what was then taking place. Immediately after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his disciples, in the most public manner, and in the place where he had been crucified, proclaimed that event, and the whole of the doctrine which he had commanded them to preach. In this service they continued personally to labour for a considerable time, first among their countrymen the Jews, and then among the other nations. During the period between the resurrection and the publication of the New Testament, the churches possessed miraculous gifts, and the prophets were enabled to explain the predictions of the Old Testament, and to show their fulfilment. After their doctrine had every where attracted attention, and, in spite of the most violent opposition, had forced its way through the civilized world; and when churches or societies of Christians were collected, not only in Judea, but in the most celebrated cities of Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor, the scriptures of the New Testament were written by the Apostles, and other inspired men, and intrusted to the keeping of these churches.

The whole of the New Testament was not written at once, but in different parts, and on various occasions. Six of the Apostles, and two inspired disciples who accompanied them in their journeys, were employed in this work. The histories which it contains of the life of Christ, known by the name of the Gospels, were composed by four of his contemporaries, two of whom had been constant attendants on his public ministry. The first of these was published within a few years after his death, in that very country where he had lived, and among the people who had seen him and observed his conduct. The history called the Acts of the Apostles, which contains an account of their proceedings, and of the progress of the Gospel, from Jerusalem, among the Gentile nations, was published about the year 64, being thirty years after our Lord’s crucifixion, by one who, though not an Apostle, declares that he had “perfect understanding of all things, from the very first,” and who had written one of the Gospels. This book, commencing with a detail of proceedings, from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, carries down the evangelical history till the arrival of Paul as a prisoner at Rome. The Epistles, addressed to churches in particular places, to believers scattered up and down in different countries, or to individuals, in all twenty-one in number, were separately written, by five of the Apostles, from seventeen, to twenty, thirty, and thirty-five years after the death of Christ. Four of these writers had accompanied the Lord Jesus during his life, and had been “eye witnesses of his majesty.” The fifth was the Apostle Paul, who, as he expresses it, was “one born out of due time,” but who had likewise seen Jesus Christ, and had been empowered by him to work miracles, which were “the signs of an Apostle.” One of these five also wrote the book of Revelation, about the year A. D. 96, addressed to seven churches in Asia, containing Epistles to these churches from Jesus Christ himself, with various instructions for the immediate use of all Christians, together with a prophetical view of the kingdom of God till the end of time. These several pieces, which compose the scriptures of the New Testament, were received by the churches with the highest veneration; and, as the instructions they contain, though partially addressed, were equally intended for all, they were immediately copied, and handed about from one church to another, till each was in possession of the whole. The volume of the New Testament was thus completed before the death of the last of the Apostles, most of whom had sealed their testimony with their blood. From the manner in which these scriptures were at first circulated, some of their parts were necessarily longer in reaching certain places than others. These, of course, could not be so soon received into the canon as the rest. Owing to this circumstance, and to that of a few of the books being addressed to individual believers, or to their not having the names of their writers affixed, or the designation of Apostle added, a doubt for a time existed among some respecting the genuineness of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James, the second Epistle of Peter, the second and third Epistles of John, the Epistle of Jude, and the book of Revelation. These, however, though not universally, were generally acknowledged; while all the other books of the New Testament were without dispute received from the beginning. This discrimination proves the scrupulous care of the first churches on this highly important subject.

At length these books, which had not at first been admitted, were, like the rest, universally received, not by the votes of a council, as is sometimes asserted, but after deliberate and free inquiry by many separate churches, under the superintending providence of God, in different parts of the world. It is at the same time a certain fact, that no other books beside those which at present compose the volume of the New Testament, were admitted by the churches. Several apocryphal writings were published under the name of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, which are mentioned by the writers of the first four centuries, most of which have perished, though some are still extant. Few or none of them were composed before the second century, and several of them were 158forged as late as the third century. But they were not acknowledged as authentic by the first Christians; and were rejected by those who have noticed them, as spurious and heretical. Histories, too, as might have been expected, were written of the life of Christ; and one forgery was attempted, of a letter said to have been written by Jesus himself to Abgarus, king of Edessa; but of the first, none were received as of any authority, and the last was universally rejected. “Beside our Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles,” says Paley, “no Christian history claiming to be written by an Apostle, or Apostolical man, is quoted within three hundred years after the birth of Christ, by any writer now extant or known, or, if quoted, is quoted with marks of censure and rejection.” This agreement of Christians respecting the Scriptures, when we consider their many differences in other respects, is the more remarkable, since it took place without any public authority being interposed. “We have no knowledge” says the above author, “of any interference of authority in the question before the council of Laodicea, in the year 363. Probably the decree of this council rather declared than regulated the public judgment, or, more properly speaking, the judgment of some neighbouring churches, the council itself consisting of no more than thirty or forty bishops of Lydia and the adjoining countries. Nor does its authority seem to have extended farther.” But the fact, that no public authority was interposed, does not require to be supported by the above reasoning. The churches at the beginning, being widely separated from each other, necessarily judged for themselves in this matter, and the decree of the council was founded on the coincidence of their judgment. In delivering this part of his written revelation, God proceeded as he had done in the publication of the Old Testament scriptures. For a considerable time, his will was declared to mankind through the medium of oral tradition. At length he saw meet, in his wisdom, to give it a more permanent form. But this did not take place till a nation, separated from all others, was provided for its reception. In the same manner, when Jesus Christ set up his kingdom in the world, of which the nation of Israel was a type, he first made known his will by means of verbal communication, through his servants whom he commissioned and sent out for that purpose; and when, through their means, he had prepared his subjects and collected them into churches, to be the depositaries of his word, he caused it to be delivered to them in writing. His kingdom was not to consist of any particular nation, like that of Israel, but of all those individuals, in every part of the world, who should believe in his name. It was to be ruled, not by means of human authority, or compulsion of any kind, but solely by his authority. These sacred writings were thus intrusted to a people prepared for their reception,--a nation among the nations, but singularly distinct from all the rest, who guarded and preserved them with the same inviolable attachment as the Old Testament scriptures had experienced from the Jews.

7. Respecting the lateness of the time when the scriptures of the New Testament were written, no objection can be offered, since they were published before that generation passed away which had witnessed the transactions they record. The dates of these writings fall within the period of the lives of many who were in full manhood when the Lord Jesus was upon earth; and the facts detailed in the histories, and referred to in the Epistles, being of the most public nature, were still open to full investigation. It must also be recollected, that the Apostles and disciples, during the whole intermediate period, were publicly proclaiming to the world the same things which were afterward recorded in their writings. Thus were the Scriptures, as we now possess them, delivered to the first churches. By the concurrent testimony of all antiquity, both of friends and foes, they were received by Christians of different sects, and were constantly appealed to on all hands, in the controversies that arose among them. Commentaries upon them were written at a very early period, and translations made into different languages. Formal catalogues of them were published, and they were attacked by the adversaries of Christianity, who not only did not question, but expressly admitted, the facts they contained, and that they were the genuine productions of the persons whose names they bore. In this manner the Scriptures were also secured from the danger of being in any respect altered or vitiated. “The books of Scripture,” says Augustine, “could not have been corrupted. If such an attempt had been made by any one, his design would have been prevented and defeated. His alterations would have been immediately detected by many and more ancient copies.” The difficulty of succeeding in such an attempt is apparent hence, that the Scriptures were early translated into divers languages, and copies of them were numerous. The alterations which any one attempted to make would have been soon perceived; just even as now, in fact, lesser faults in some copies are amended by comparing ancient copies or those of the original. “If any one,” continues Augustine, “should charge you with having interpolated some texts alleged by you as favourable to your cause, what would you say? Would you not immediately answer that it is impossible for you to do such a thing in books read by all Christians; and that if any such attempt had been made--by you, it would have been presently discerned and defeated by comparing the ancient copies? Well, then, for the same reason that the Scriptures cannot be corrupted by you, neither could they be corrupted by any other people.” Accordingly, the uniformity of the manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures that are extant, which are incomparably more numerous than those of any ancient author, and which are dispersed through so many countries, and in so great a variety of languages, is truly astonishing. It demonstrates both the veneration in which the Scriptures have been always held, and the singular 159care that has been taken in transcribing them. The number of various readings, that by the most minute and laborious investigation and collations of manuscripts have been discovered in them, are said to amount to one hundred and fifty thousand; though at first sight they may seem calculated to diminish confidence in the sacred text, yet in no degree whatever do they affect its credit and integrity. They consist almost wholly in palpable errors in transcription, grammatical and verbal differences, such as the insertion or omission of a letter or article, the substitution of a word for its equivalent, or the transposition of a word or two in a sentence. Taken altogether, they neither change nor affect a single doctrine or duty announced or enjoined in the word of God. When, therefore, we consider the great antiquity of the sacred books, the almost infinite number of copies, of versions, and of editions, which have been made of them in all languages, in languages which have not any analogy one with another, among nations differing so much in their customs and their religious opinions,--when we consider these things, it is truly astonishing, and can only be ascribed to the watchful providence of God over his own word, that, among the various readings, nothing truly essential can be discerned, which relates to either precept or doctrine, or which breaks that connection, that unity which subsists in all the various parts of divine revelation, and which demonstrates the whole to be the work of one and the same Spirit.

8. Having considered the appellations by which the Bible is distinguished, the books of which it consists, the time and manner in which they were collected, it may not be improper to subjoin a few observations on the genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures, on their high original and divine authority, and on their great importance and utility.

It should here be considered, that the genuineness of the Scriptures proves the truth of the principal facts contained in them; to which purpose we may observe that it is very rare to meet with any genuine writings of the historical kind, in which the principal facts are not true, unless it be in instances where both the motives which engaged the author to falsify, and the circumstances which gave some plausibility to the fiction, are apparent; neither of which can be alleged in the present case with any colour of reason. As this is rare in general, it is more rare when the writer treats of things that happened in his own time, and under his own cognizance and direction, and communicates his history to persons under the same circumstances; all which may be said of the writers of the Scripture history. Beside, the great importance of the facts mentioned in the Scriptures makes it more improbable, that the several authors should either have attempted to falsify, or have succeeded in such an attempt. The same observation may be applied to the great number of particular circumstances of time, place, persons, &c, mentioned in the Scriptures, and to the harmony of the books with themselves, and with each other. These are arguments both for the genuineness of the books, and truth of the facts distinctly considered, and also arguments for deducing the truth from the genuineness. Moreover, if the books of the Old and New Testaments were written by the persons to whom they have been ascribed, that is, if they be genuine, the moral characters of these writers afford the strongest assurance, that the facts asserted by them are true. The sufferings which several of the writers underwent both in life and in death, in attestation of the facts delivered by them, furnish a particular argument in favour of these facts. Again, the arguments here alleged for proving the truth of the Scripture history from the genuineness of the books, are as conclusive in respect of the miraculous facts, as of the common ones. It may also be observed, that if we allow the genuineness of the books to be a sufficient evidence of the common facts which they record, the miraculous facts must also be allowed from their close connection with the others. It is necessary to admit both or neither. We cannot conceive that Moses should have delivered the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt, or conducted them through the wilderness for forty years, at all in such manner as the common history represents, unless we suppose the miraculous facts intermixed with it to be true also. In like manner, the fame of Christ’s miracles, the multitudes which followed him, the adherence of his disciples, the jealousy and hatred of the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees, with many other facts of a common nature, are impossible to be accounted for, unless we allow that he did really work miracles. And the same observations hold, in general, of the other parts of the Scripture history. We might urge that a particular argument in favour of the miraculous part of the Scripture history, may be deduced from the reluctance of mankind to receive miraculous facts; which would put the writers and readers very much upon their guard, and would operate as a strong check upon the publication of a miraculous history at or near the time when the miracles were said to be performed; and thus it would serve as a strong confirmation of such a history, if its genuineness be previously granted.

9. In connection with the preceding proposition we may observe, that the genuineness of the Scriptures proves their divine authority. Porphyry in effect acknowledges the truth of this proposition, in its reference to the book of Daniel, by being unable to devise a method of invalidating its divine authority implied in the accomplishment of the prophecies which it contains, without asserting that they were written after the event, or that they were forgeries. Many of the other books of the Old and New Testaments have unquestionable evidences of the divine foreknowledge, if they be allowed genuine; such are those supplied by Moses’s prophecy concerning the captivity of the Israelites, or of a state not yet erected; Isaiah’s concerning Cyrus; Jeremiah’s concerning the duration of the Babylonish captivity; Christ’s concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and 160the captivity that was to follow; St. John’s concerning the great corruption of the Christian church; and Daniel’s concerning the fourth empire in its declension; which last was extant in the time of Porphyry, at least; that is, before the events which it represents. The truth of the proposition might also be argued from the sublimity and excellence of the doctrines contained in the Scriptures; in no respect suiting the supposed authors, or the ages in which they lived, their education or occupation; so that, if they were the real authors, we are under the necessity of admitting the divine assistance. The converse of this proposition, namely, that the divine authority of the Scriptures infers their genuineness, will be readily and universally acknowledged. Moreover, the truth of the principal facts contained in the Scriptures proves their divine authority. Such is the frame of the human mind, that the Scripture history, allowed to be true, must convince us that Christ, the Prophets, and the Apostles, were endued with a power greater than human, and acted by the authority of a Being of the highest wisdom and goodness. By such mode of reasoning it is shown that the genuineness of the Scriptures, the truth of the principal facts contained in them, and their divine authority, appear to be so connected with each other, that, any one being established upon independent principles, the other two may be inferred from it. On the subject of the inspiration of the Scriptures, see Inspiration.

10. Another argument in favour of the genuineness of the books of the Old and New Testaments, and of the truth of the principal facts contained in them, may be deduced from the manner in which they have been transmitted down from one age to another; resembling that in which all other genuine books and true histories have been conveyed down to posterity. As the works of the Greek and Roman writers were considered by these nations as having been transmitted to them by their ancestors in a continued succession from the times when the respective authors lived, so have the books of the Old Testament been accounted by the Jews, and those of the New by the Christians; and it is an additional evidence in the last case, that the primitive Christians were not a distinct nation, but a great multitude of people dispersed through all the nations of the Roman empire, and even extending itself beyond the bounds of that empire. As the Greeks and Romans always believed the principal facts of their historical books, so the Jews and Christians did more, and never seem to have doubted of the truth of any part of theirs. In short--whatever can be said of the traditional authority due to the Greek and Roman writers--something analogous to this, and for the most part of greater weight, may be urged for the Jewish and Christian. Now, as all sober minded persons admit the books usually ascribed to the Greek and Roman historians, philosophers, &c, to be genuine, and the principal facts related or alluded to in them to be true, and that one chief evidence for this is the general traditionary one here recited, they ought, therefore, to pay the same regard to the books of the Old and New Testaments, since there are the same, or even greater, reasons for it. Beside, these traditionary evidences are sufficient; and we thus obtain a real argument, as well as one ad hominem, for receiving books thus handed down to us. For it is not conceivable, that whole nations should either be imposed upon themselves, or concur to deceive others by forgeries of books or of facts. These books and facts must therefore, in general, be genuine and true; and it is a strong additional evidence of this, that all nations must be jealous of forgeries for the same reasons as we are.

11. We may proceed to state farther, that the great importance of the histories, precepts, promises, threatenings, and prophecies contained in the Scriptures, is in evidence both of their genuineness, and of the truth of the principal facts mentioned in them. The history of the creation, fall, deluge, longevity of the patriarchs, dispersion of mankind, calling of Abraham, descent of Jacob with his family into Egypt, and the precepts of abstaining from blood, and of circumcision, were of such concern, either to mankind in general, or to the Israelites in particular, and some of them of so extraordinary a nature, as that it could not be a matter of indifference to the people among whom the account given of them in Genesis was first published, whether they received them or not. On the supposition that this account was first published among the Israelites by Moses, and then confirmed by clear, universal, uninterrupted tradition, it will be easy to conceive how it should be handed down from age to age among the Jews, and received by them as indubitable. But, supposing the account to be false, or that there were no such vestiges and evidences of these histories and precepts, it will be difficult to conceive how this could have happened, let the time of publication be what it may. If early, the people would reject at once the account, for want of a clear tradition; if late, it would be natural to inquire how the author was informed of things never known before to others. As to other cosmogonies and theogonies current among Pagans, which are evident fictions, they furnish no just objection against the Mosaic history, because they were generally regarded merely as amusing fictions; and yet they concealed in figures, or expressed in plain words, some truths which agree with the book of Genesis, and afford a strong presumptive evidence in favour of this book. With respect to the law of Moses, this was extremely burdensome, expensive, and severe, particularly in its reference to the crime of idolatry, to which mankind were then extravagantly prone; and it was absurd, according to human judgment, in the instances of prohibiting their furnishing themselves with horses for war, and of commanding all the males of the whole nation to appear at Jerusalem three times a year. Nevertheless, it claims a divine authority, and appeals to facts of the most notorious kind, and to customs and ceremonies of the most peculiar nature, as the memorials of these facts. Can we then conceive 161that any nation, with such motives to reject, and such opportunities of detecting, the forgery of the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, should yet receive them, and submit to this heavy yoke? That the Jews did submit to the law of Moses in these circumstances, is evident from the books of the Old and New Testaments, if we allow them the least truth and genuineness, or even from profane writers, and from the present observance of it by the Jews scattered through all the kingdoms of the world. Should it be said that other nations have ascribed divine authority to their lawgivers, and submitted to very severe laws, it may be alleged in reply to this, that the pretences of lawgivers among the Pagans to inspiration, and the submission of the people, may be accounted for from their peculiar circumstances at the time, without recurring to real inspiration; and more especially if we admit the patriarchal revelations related by Moses, and his own divine legation, as Heathen lawgivers copied after these, and hence we derive a strong argument in their favour. Beside, no instance occurs among the Pagans of a body of laws framed at once and remaining invariable; whereas the body politic of the Israelites assumed a complete form at once, and has preserved it, with little variation, to the present time, and under many external disadvantages; thus supplying us with an instance altogether without parallel, and showing the high opinion which they entertained of the great importance of their law. In short, of all the fictions or forgeries that can happen among any people, the most improbable is that of the Jewish body of civil laws, and seems to be utterly impossible.

12. If we farther examine the history contained in the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and extending from the death of Moses to the reëstablishment of the Jews after the Babylonish captivity by Ezra and Nehemiah, we shall find a variety of important facts, most of which must be supposed to leave such vestiges of themselves, either external and visible, or internal in the minds and memories of the people, as would verify them if true, or cause them to be rejected if false. The conquest of the land of Canaan, the division of it, and the appointment of cities for the priests and Levites by Joshua; the frequent slaveries of the Israelites to the neighbouring kings, and their deliverance by the judges; the creation of a kingdom by Samuel; the translation of this kingdom from Saul’s family to David, with his conquests; the glory of Solomon’s kingdom; the building of the temple; the division of the kingdom; the idolatrous worship set up at Dan and Bethel; the captivity of the Israelites by the kings of Assyria; the captivity of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar; the destruction of their temple; their return under Cyrus, rebuilding the temple under Darius Hystaspes, and reëstablishment under Artaxerxes Longimanus, by Ezra and Nehemiah:--these events are some of them the most glorious, and some of them the most reproachful, that can happen to any people. How can we reconcile forgeries of such opposite kinds, and especially as they are interwoven together by various complicated and necessary connections, which do not admit of separation? The facts, indeed, are of such importance, notoriety, and permanency in their effects, that no particular persons among the Israelites could first project the design of feigning them, that their own people would not concur with such a design, and that neighbouring nations would not permit the fiction to pass. Nothing but the invincible evidence of the facts here alleged, could induce a jealous multitude among the Israelites or neighbouring nations to acquiesce. This must be acknowledged upon the supposition that the several books were published in or near the times when the facts that are recorded in them happened. But suppose all these historical books forged by Ezra; the hypothesis is evidently impossible. Things so important and notorious, so honourable and so reproachful to the people for whose sake they were forged, would have been rejected with the utmost indignation, unless there were the strongest and most genuine traces of these things already among the people. They must therefore, in part at least, be true. If it be said that additions were made by Ezra, these additions must have been either of important or trivial matters. On the first supposition, the difficulty already stated recurs; and if the important facts are true, what possible motive could have induced Ezra to make additions of no importance? Beside, if any ancient writings were extant, Ezra must either copy after them, which destroys the present supposition, or differ from and oppose them, which would betray him. If there were no such ancient writings, the people would be led to inquire with regard to matters of importance, for what reason Ezra was so particular in things of which there was neither any memory, nor account in writing. Should it be said that the people did not regard what Ezra had thus forged, this reduces the subject in question to matters of small or of no importance. Beside, why should Ezra write if no one would read or regard? Farther: Ezra must have had, like other men, friends, enemies, and rivals; and some, or all of these, would have been a check upon him, and a security against him, in matters of importance. If we suppose these books, instead of having been forged at once, to have been forged successively, at the interval of one, two, or three centuries after the facts related, we shall involve ourselves in the same or similar difficulties. Upon the whole, then, we may conclude, that the forgery of the annals of the Israelites appears to be impossible, as well as that of the body of their civil laws. It is needless to examine the books of Esther, Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles; and we might proceed to the Prophecies; but this will be resumed under the article Prophecy. For the subjects comprehended in the books of the New Testament. See Gospel:GOSPEL, and #Christianity.

13. We shall here subjoin some general evidences 162in attestation of the truth of the books of Scripture. That Jews and Christians have thought their sacred books very highly important, most genuine, and true, appears from the persecutions and sufferings which they have undergone on account of their attachment to them, and because they would not be prevailed upon to surrender them. The preservation of the law of Moses, probably the first book written in any language, whilst many others of a later date have been lost, shows the great regard that has been paid to it; and from this circumstance we may infer that this and the other books of the Old Testament have been preserved on account of their importance, or from some other cause, equally evincing their genuineness and truth. The great value set upon these books appears also from the many early translations and paraphrases of them; and these translations and paraphrases serve to correct errors that are unavoidable in the lapse of time, and to secure their integrity and purity. The hesitation and difficulty with which some few books of the New Testament were received into the canon, show the great care and concern of the primitive Christians about the canon, and the high importance of the books admitted into it; and afford a strong evidence of their genuineness and truth. The same observation is in a degree applicable to the Jewish canon. Moreover, the religious hatred and animosity which subsisted between the Jews and Samaritans, and between several of the ancient sects among the Christians, convince us of what importance they all thought their sacred books, and disposed them to watch over one another with a jealous eye. Farther: the genuineness of the books of the Old and New Testaments may be evinced from the language, style, and manner of writing used in them. The Hebrew language, in which the Old Testament was written, being the language of an ancient people, who had little intercourse with their neighbours, would not change so fast as modern languages have done, since different nations have been variously blended with one another by the extension of trade, arts, and sciences; and yet some changes must have occurred in the interval that elapsed between the time of Moses and that of Malachi. The biblical Hebrew corresponds so exactly to this criterion, as to afford a considerable argument in favour of the genuineness of the books of the Old Testament. Beside, these books have too great a diversity of style to be the work of either one Jew, or of any set of contemporary Jews. If they be forgeries, there must have been a succession of impostors in different ages, who concurred in the same iniquitous design. Again: the Hebrew language ceased to be spoken, as a living language, soon after the time of the Babylonish captivity; and it would be difficult or impossible to forge any thing in it after it became a dead language. Hence it appears, that all the books of the Old Testament must at least be nearly as ancient as the Babylonish captivity; and as they could not all be written in the same age, some must be much more ancient, and this would reduce us to the necessity of supposing a succession of conspiring impostors. Moreover, there is, as we have already observed, a simplicity of style, and an unaffected manner of writing, in all the books of the Old Testament, which is a strong evidence of their genuineness. The style of the New Testament, in particular, is not only simple and unaffected, but is Greek influenced by the Hebrew idiom, and exactly answers to the circumstances of time, places, and persons. To which we may add, that the narrations and precepts of both the Old and New Testament are delivered without hesitation; the writers teaching as having authority: and this circumstance is peculiar to those who unite, with a clear knowledge of what they deliver, a perfect integrity of heart. But a farther argument for the genuineness and truth of the Scriptures is supplied by the very great number of particular circumstances of time, place, persons, &c, mentioned in them. It is needless to recount these; but they are incompatible with forged and false accounts, that do not abound in such particularities, and the want of which furnishes a suspicion to their discredit. Compare, in this respect, Manetho’s account of the dynasties of Egypt, Ctesias’s of the Assyrian kings, and those which the technical chronologers have given of the ancient kingdoms of Greece, which are defective in such particulars, with the history by Thucydides of the Peloponnesian war, and with Cæsar’s of the war in Gaul, and the difference will be sufficiently apparent. Dr. Paley’s admirable treatise, entitled, “Horæ Paulinæ,” affords very valuable illustrations of this argument as it respects the genuineness of the books of the New Testament. The agreement of the Scriptures with history, natural and civil, is a farther proof of their genuineness and truth. The history of the fall agrees in an eminent manner both with the obvious facts of labour, sorrow, pain, and death, with what we see and feel every day, and with all our philosophical inquiries into the frame of the human mind, the nature of social life, and the origin of evil. Natural history bears a strong testimony to Moses’s account of the deluge. Civil history affords many evidences which corroborate the same account. (See Deluge.) The Mosaic account of the confusion of languages, of the dispersion of Noah’s sons, and of the state of religion in the ancient postdiluvian world, is not only rendered probable, but is in a very high degree established, by many collateral arguments. See Confusion of Languages, and Division of the Earth.

14. The agreement of the books of the Old and New Testaments with themselves and with each other, affords another argument both of their genuineness and truth. The laws of the Israelites are contained in the Pentateuch, and referred to, in a great variety of ways, direct and indirect, in the historical books, in the Psalms, and in the Prophecies. The historical facts also in the preceding books are often referred to in those that succeed, and in the Psalms and Prophecies. In like manner, the Gospels have the greatest harmony with each other, and the Epistles of St. Paul with 163the Acts of the Apostles; and, indeed, there is scarcely any book of either the Old or New Testament, which may not be shown to refer to many of the rest, in one way or other. For the illustration of this argument, let us suppose that no more remained of the Roman writers than Livy, Tully, and Horace; would they not, by their references to the same facts and customs, by the sameness of style in the same writer, and difference in the different ones, and numberless other such like circumstances of critical consideration, prove themselves, and one another to be genuine, and the principal facts related, or alluded to, to be true? Whoever will apply this reasoning to the present case will perceive, that the numberless minute, direct, and indirect agreements and coincidences, that present themselves to all diligent readers of the Scriptures, prove their truth and genuineness beyond all contradiction.

The harmony and agreement of the several writers of the Old and New Testament appear the more remarkable, when it is considered that their various parts were penned by several hands in very different conditions of life, from the throne and sceptre down to the lowest degree, and in very distant ages, through a long interval of time; which would naturally have led a spirit of imposture to have varied its schemes, and to have adapted them to different stations in the world, and to the different vicissitudes of every age. David wrote about four hundred years after Moses, and Isaiah about two hundred and fifty after David, and Matthew more than seven hundred years after Isaiah; and yet these authors, with all the other Prophets and Apostles, write in perfect harmony, confirming the authority of their predecessors, labouring to reduce the people to the observance of their instructions, and loudly exclaiming against the neglect and contempt of them, and denouncing the severest judgments against such as continued disobedient. Consequently, as the writers of the Holy Scriptures, though they all claim a divine authority, yet write in perfect connection and harmony, mutually confirming the doctrine and testimony of each other, and concurring to establish the very same religious truths and principles, it is a strong proof that they all derived their instructions from the same fountain, the wisdom of God, and were indeed under the direction and illumination of the same Spirit. This leads us to add, that the unity of design, which appears in the dispensations recorded in the Scriptures, is an argument not only of their truth and genuineness, but also of their divine authority. In order to perceive the force of this argument, it is only necessary to inquire what this design is, and how it is pursued by the series of events and divine interpositions recorded in the Scriptures. (See Dispensation.) It should also be considered, that the historical evidences in favour of the genuineness, truth, and divine authority of the Scriptures, do not become less from age to age; but, on the contrary, it may rather be presumed that they increase. Since the three great concurring events of printing, the reformation of religion in these western parts, and the restoration of letters, so many more evidences and coincidences have been discovered in favour of the Jewish and Christian histories, as may serve, in some measure, to supply the want of those that have been lost in the preceding times; and as this accumulation of evidences is likely to continue, there is great reason to hope that it will at length become irresistible to all and silence even every gainsayer.

15. The moral characters of the Prophets, and the Apostles, prove the truth and divine authority of the Scriptures. The characters of the persons who are said in the Scriptures to have had divine communications, and a divine mission, are so much superior to the characters that occur in common life, that we can scarcely account for the more eminent individuals, and much less so for so large a succession of them, continued through so many ages, without allowing the divine communications and assistance which they allege. Notwithstanding considerable imperfections that pertained to many of these eminent persons, and the occasional offences chargeable upon one or two of them, yet the impartial reader should consider whether the Prophets, Apostles, &c, were not so much superior, not only to mankind at an average, but even to the best men among the Greeks and Romans, as is not fairly to be accounted for by the mere powers of human nature. If this statement should not be conceded, their characters, however, are too good to allow the supposition of an impious fraud and imposture, which must have been the case if they had not divine authority. Beside, it should be recollected, that the undisguised and impartial manner in which the imperfections and faults of the eminent persons mentioned in Scripture are related, furnishes a remarkable additional evidence for the truth of those parts of the Scripture history in which such relations occur, beside such evidences as extend to the whole.

16. The excellence of the doctrine contained in the Scriptures is an additional evidence of their authority. This argument has great force independently of all other considerations. Suppose, for instance, that the author of the Gospel, which goes under the name of St. Matthew, was not known, and that it was unsupported by the writers of the primitive times; yet such are the unaffected simplicity of the narrations, the purity of the doctrine, and the sincere piety and goodness of the sentiments, that it carries its own authority with it. The same observation is applicable in general to all the books of the Old and New Testaments; so that if there was no other book in the world beside the Bible, a man could not reasonably doubt of the truth of revealed religion. If all other arguments were set aside, we may conclude from this single consideration, that the authors of the books of the Old and New Testaments, whoever they were, cannot have made a false claim to divine authority. The Scriptures contain doctrines concerning God, providence, a future state, the duty of man, &c, far more pure and sublime than can in any way be accounted for from the natural powers 164of men, so circumstanced as the sacred writers were. Let the reader consider whether it can be reasonably supposed, that Jewish shepherds, fishermen, &c, should, both before and after the rise of the Heathen philosophy, so far exceed men of the greatest abilities and accomplishments in other nations, by any other means than divine communications. Indeed, no writers, from the invention of letters to the present times, are equal to the penmen of the books of the Old and New Testaments in true excellence, utility and dignity; and this is surely such an internal criterion of their divine authority, as ought not to be resisted.

17. The many and great advantages which have accrued to the world from the patriarchal, Judaical, and Christian revelations, confirm the whole. These advantages relate partly to the knowledge, and partly to the practice, of religion. The internal worth and excellence of the Scriptures, as containing the best principles of knowledge, holiness, consolation, and hope, and their consequent utility and importance in a moral and practical view, fully and directly demonstrate their divine original. For an enlarged view of this branch of evidence see Christianity.

BIBLISTS, or BIBLICI, a term applied to certain doctors in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, who expounded the sacred writings in their public schools, and endeavoured to establish their doctrines by the authority of Scripture, in opposition to uncertain traditions, or the speculations of the schools. Upon the same principle, the Pietists of the seventeenth century formed what they called Biblical colleges, for expounding the Scriptures.

BIER. See Burial.

BILDAD, the Shuhite, one of Job’s friends, thought by some to have descended from Shuah, the son of Abraham, by Keturah, Job ii, 11; viii, xviii, xxv.

BILHAH, Rachel’s handmaid, given by her to Jacob her husband, as a concubinary wife, that, through her she might have a son, Gen. xxx, 3, 4, &c. See Barrenness.

BIND. To bind and loose are taken for condemning and absolving: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bin