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ALL THE PRINCIPAL DENOMINATIONS
WHICH HAVE SUBSISTED IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD FROM THE BIRTH
AN ACCURATE STATEMENT OF THE MOST REMARKABLE TRANSACTIONS AND
PUBLISHED FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION; TO WHICH IS ADDED
CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL, AND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES,
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to wit:
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twelfth day of October, in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1830, JOSEPH J. WOODWARD, of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
"A Theological Dictionary, containing definitions of all religious terms: a comprehensive view of every article in the system of Divinity: an impartial account of all the principal denominations which have subsisted in the religious world, from the birth of Christ to the present day: together with an accurate statement of the most remarkable transactions and events recorded in ecclesiastical history.By the late Rev. CHARLES BUCK. Woodward's new edition. Published from the last London edition; to which is added an Appendix, containing an account of the Methodist Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches. in the United States, to the present period."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the Encourage. ment of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned," and also to the act, entitled, " An Act Supplementary to an Act, entitled An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
General Library System.
728 State Street
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
THE American publisher of Buck's Theological Dictionary informs the public, that THIS edition is published from a GENUINE COPY RECEIVED DIRECT FROM MR. CHARLES BUCK PREVIOUS TO HIS DEATH, and that nothing is omitted or altered, neither have any additions been deemed necessary, excepting the account of the CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIANS in the body of the work, and an APPENDIX containing an account of the METHODIST and PRESBYTERIAN SOCIETIES in the United States, written by leading members of said Societies, so that none can doubt their impartiality. Had any alterations been made in the THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY, no matter by what sect or individual, the work might not have been valued as IMPARTIAL, and must have lost its popularity and usefulness, if not its truth and merit!-Buck himself, says, in the preface annexed, "The work is not intended to serve a party, to encourage bigotry, nor strengthen prejudice, but for the service of TRUTH! If it have merit, it will go down to posterity; if it have none, the sooner it dies and is forgotten the better!"
Thus far this work, UNALTERED, has lived; and not less than FIFTY THOUSAND copies of the genuine edition are in families of various denominations in the United States.
Persons desirous of obtaining the GENUINE EDITION, as originally WRITTEN and PUBLISHED by the Rev. CHARLES BUCK, should order WOODWARD'S EDITION, which contains about 150 pages more than any other Edition.
KNOWLEDGE, in a great measure, forms the true dignity and happiness of man: it is that by which he holds an honourable rank in the scale of being, and by which he is rendered capable of adding to the felicity of his fellow-creatures. Every attempt, therefore, to enlarge its boundaries, and facilitate its acquisition, must be considered as worthy of our attention and regard. The present work is designed to promote these valuable and important ends.
The plan of conveying knowledge by dictionaries has been long established, and well received in the republic of letters. A dictionary, however, of a religious and ecclesiastical nature was still a desideratum in the religious world; for although we have had dictionaries which explained Scripture terms, yet it is evident these could not embrace the history of the church since the sacred canon was concluded, nor explain the numerous terms which have been used; nor, indeed, point out the various sects and denominations which have subsisted since that time. I do not mean, by these remarks, to depreciate the valuable works above referred to: I am sensible of their excellencies, and I have no wish to undervalue them in order to exalt my own. This work, however, is of a different nature, as the reader will easily see, if he takes the trouble to compare and examine.
There may, doubtless, be defects in this publication which may have escaped my attention; but whoever considers the various books that must have been consulted; the discriminations that were necessary to be made; the patient investigation required; and the toil of selecting, transcribing, and composing, must be convinced that it has been attended with no small difficulty. The advantages, however, which my own mind derived from the work, and the probability of its being useful to others, greatly encouraged me in its prosecution. Besides, to be active, to be useful, to do something for the good of mankind, I have always considered as the honour of an intelligent being. It is not the student wrapt up in metaphysical subtilties; it is not the recluse living in perpetual solitude; it is not the miser who is continually amassing wealth, that can be considered as the greatest ornaments or the greatest blessings to human society:-it is rather the useful than the shining talent that is to be coveted.
Perhaps it may be said, the work is tinctured too much with my own sentiments, and that the theology is too antiquated to please a liberal, philosophising, and refined age. In answer to this, I observe, that I could do no other, as an honest man, than communicate what I believed to be the truth. It is a false liberality to acquiesce with every man's opinion, to fall in with every man's scheme, to trifle with error, or imagine there is no difference between one sentiment and another: yet, notwithstanding this declaration, I trust the features of bigotry are not easily discernible in this work; and that, while I have endeavoured to carry the torch of Truth in my hand, I have not forgotten to walk in the path of Candour.
It is almost needless here to say, that I have availed myself of all the writings of the best and most eminent authors I could obtain. Whatever has struck me as important in ecclesiastical history; whatever good and accurate in definition; whatever just views of the passions of the human mind; whatever terms used in the religious world; and whatever instructive and impressive in the systems of divinity and moral philosophy, I have endeavoured to incorporate in this work. And in order to prevent its being a dry detail of terms and of dates, I have given the substance of what has been generally advanced on each subject, and occasionally selected some of the most interesting practical passages from our best and celebrated sermons. I trust, therefore, it will not only be of use to inform the mind, but impress the heart; and thus promote the real good of the reader. The critic, however, may be disposed to be severe; and it will, perhaps, be easy for him to observe imperfections. But be this as it may: I can assure him I feel myself happy in the idea that the work is not intended to serve a party, to encourage bigotry, nor strengthen prejudice, but "for the service of Truth, by one who would be glad to attend and grace her triumphs; as her soldier, if he has had the nonour to serve successfully under her banner; or as a captive tied to her chariot wheels, if he has, though undesignedly, committed any offence against her." After all, however, what a learned author said of another work I say of this:"If it have merit, it will go down to posterity; if it have none, the sooner it dies and is forgot the better."
ABBA, a Syriac word, signifying Famore used in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic churches, as a title given to the bishops. The bishops themselves bestowed the title Abba more eminently on 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. It is a Jewish title of honour given to certain Rabbins called Tanaites: it is also used by some writers of the middle age for the superior of a monastery. St. Mark and St. Paul use this word in their Greek, Mark xiv. 36. Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6. because it was then commonly known in the synagogues and the primitive assemblies of the Christians. It is thought by Selden, Witsius, Doddridge, and others, that Saint Paul alluded to a law among the Jews which forbade servants or slaves to call their master Abba, or Father; and that the apostle meant to convey the idea that those who believed in Christ were no longer slaves to sin; but being brought into a state of holy freedom, might consequently address God as their Father.
to commission a priest to act for them. They have even a of episcopal jurisdiction, as well as some abbots who are exempted from the visitation of their diocesan.
ABBEY, a monastery, governed by a superior under the title of Abbot or Abbess. Monasteries were at first nothing more than religious houses, whither persons retired from the bustle of the world to spend their time in solitude and devotion: but they soon degenerated from their original institution, and procured large privileges, exemptions, and riches. They prevailed greatly in Britain before the reformation, particularly in England; and as they increased in riches, so the state became poor, for the lands which these regulars possessed could never revert to the lords who gave them. These places were wholly abolished by Henry VIII. He first appointed visitors to inspect into the lives of the monks and nuns, which were found in some places very disorderly; upon which the abbots, perceiving their dissolution unavoidable, were induced to resign their houses to the king, who by that means became invested with the abbey lands; these were afterwards granted to different persons, whose descendants enjoy them at this day: they were then valued at 2,853,000l. per annum; an immense sum in those days.
ABBE. The same with ABBOT, which see. Also the name of curious popular characters in France; who are persons who have not yet obtained any
or state, but most heartily wish for and would accept of either, just as it may happen. In the mean while their prívileges are many. In college they are the instructors of youth, and in private families the tutors of young gentlemen.
precise or fixed settlement in church-Though the suppression of these houses, considered in a religious and political light, was a great benefit to the nation, yet it must be owned, that, at the time they flourished, they were not entirely useless. Abbeys were then the repositories as well as the seminaries of learning: many valuable books and national records have been preserved in their libraries; the only places wherein they could have been safely lodged in those turbulent times. Indeed, the historians of this country are chiefly beholden to the monks for the knowledge they have of former national events. Thus a kind Providence overruled even the institutions of superstition for good. See MONASTERY.
ABBESS, the superior of an abbey or convent of nuns. The abbess has the same rights and authority over her nuns that the abbots regular have over their monks. The sex, indeed, does not allow her to perform the spiritual functions annexed to the priesthood, wherewith the abbot is usually invested; but there are instances of some abbesses who have a right, or rather a privilege,