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Title: A Biblical and Theological Dictionary - explanatory of the history, manners, and customs of the - Jews, and neighbouring nations
Author: Watson, Richard
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Biblical and Theological Dictionary - explanatory of the history, manners, and customs of the - Jews, and neighbouring nations" ***


                          Transcriber’s Note:

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_.

The original text was printed in two columns, which cannot be replicated

As is common in dictionaries, each column is headed with a three-letter
indication of the first and last articles on that page. This feature is
not feasible here.

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Please
see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding
the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.

There are several unusual Greek characters employed in this text:

        ȣ    ligature of ‘ου’

        ϛ    stigma, a ligature of ‘στ’

        ϖ    a cursive variant of ‘π’, almost always used as
             the first character of a word.

        ϐ    a cursive variant of ‘β’, used in any position
             _other_ than the first character, which appears as

                       A BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL


                           EXPLANATORY OF THE


                       AND NEIGHBOURING NATIONS.


                         =An Exposition=

                                 OF THE



                          =BY RICHARD WATSON.=


   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.]



                  PUBLISHED BY B. WAUGH AND T. MASON,
                       OFFICE, 14 CROSBY-STREET.


                          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.”

                         PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR.


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



AARON, 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 killed 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

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

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,
were 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,

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 the 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

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_ of 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

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 as 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

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

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 in 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 Shunam, 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

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 to 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.

2. 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

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

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 this 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

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.

1. 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_

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

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 and _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

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 It 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

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 between 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

          _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. Here 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
which 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.


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 lodged; 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; and 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 no 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

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

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_, that 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

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 could 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

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 to 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

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 shalt 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

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

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 right,
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

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 on 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

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.

ADULTERY, 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

“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

“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 mercy, 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 thence 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

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

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. 2513. 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.


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 court 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

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, the 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 names, 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

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,

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,

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 predecessors, 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

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

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, _my 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, he 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

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.


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 would. 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

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 flourish,
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 widely 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: “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 and
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

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

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

It is declared by the fact of _creation_, the creation 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, “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

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; and 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

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
in 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

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 the _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, with
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.

AMEN. 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

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 driven 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,
“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, exposed 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 this 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

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 some 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. Having 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,

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
such 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.

As 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

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 same 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; and 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 of
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_,

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 composed 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

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 modern
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 of 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 separates 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

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

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 clemency 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

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 of 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

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 Alexandria, 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, high 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 entered 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 Gaul. 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.

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

          “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 John 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 applied 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.


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 the 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

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; they 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 died 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 which 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

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 as 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

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
brackish 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
and 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 infidels. 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

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.’ As 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 between 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, and 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

“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 brother, 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

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 of 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 Dr. 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 the 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 some 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

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 continent, 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

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

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
persons 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 and 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 good 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 a 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

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

Under the auspices of Maurice, therefore, and 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

_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

          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 have 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 gall 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 Daniel’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 temple, 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 ashes, 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

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
their 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

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 distinguished 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

             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 questionable. 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

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 would
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 same 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 few, 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

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 of 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 of 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, and 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.”

ATONEMENT, 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
encouraging 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 same 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

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

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
afterward 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

Augustine 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 new 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!_ Yet 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

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

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 writings, 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. He 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

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

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, 16; 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

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 almost 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 was 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 capital, 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

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 of 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
20,000,000_l_, 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 Parthian 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 Abbey.” 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.”

“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

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 bovine 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 that 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

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 before 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 thus 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 clothed 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

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 was 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 of 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 stand 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 Supper, 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 M’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, barley, 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;
trifles, 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 prophecies 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 to 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.


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 and 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

“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

“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 hath 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 much 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

“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 other; 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

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 beard. 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.


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

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, came 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

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 senate 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.

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 applied 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 the
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, 1 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 2_l._ 9_s._ 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

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 my 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,

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

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 passover, 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 was 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 out 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 imports 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 owed to her bridegroom she was treated as an adulteress. See

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. After 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_, who
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 was 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 forged
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 care 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 the 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 that 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

13. We shall here subjoin some general evidences in 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

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 the 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 of
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

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

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