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An Exposition

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


J. Collord, Printer.


PADAN-ARAM, called also Sedan-Aram in Hosea; both names denoting Aram or Syria the fruitful, or cultivated, and apply to the northern part of Mesopotamia, in which Haran or Charran was situated. See Mesopotamia.

PAGANS, Heathens, and particularly those who worship idols. The term came into use after the establishment of Christianity, the cities and great towns affording the first converts. The Heathens were called Pagans, from pagus, a village,” because they were then found chiefly in remote country places; but we use the term commonly for all who do not receive the Jewish, Christian, or Mohammedan religions.

PAINTING THE FACE, 2 Kings ix, 30. See Eyes.

PALESTINE, taken in a limited sense, denotes the country of the Philistines or Palestines, including that part of the land of promise which extended along the Mediterranean Sea, from Gaza south to Lydda north. The LXX. were of opinion that the word Philistiim, which they generally translate Allophyli, signified strangers,” or men of another tribe. Palestine, taken in a more general sense, signifies the whole country of Canaan, the whole land of promise, as well beyond as on this side Jordan, though pretty frequently it is restrained to the country on this side that river; so that in later times the words Judea and Palestine were synonymous. We find, also, the name of Syria Palestina given to the land of promise, and even sometimes this province is comprehended in Cœlo-Syria, or the Lower Syria. Herodotus is the most ancient writer we know that speaks of Syria Palestina. He places it between Phenicia and Egypt. See Canaan.

PALM TREE, , Exodus xv, 27, &c. This tree, sometimes called the date tree, grows plentifully in the east. It rises to a great height. The stalks are generally full of rugged knots, which are the vestiges of the decayed leaves; for the trunk of this tree is not solid, like other trees, but its centre is filled with pith, round which is a tough bark full of strong fibres when young, which, as the tree grows old, hardens and becomes ligneous. 726To this bark the leaves are closely joined, which in the centre rise erect; but, after they are advanced above the vagina which surrounds them, they expand very wide on every side the stem; and, as the older leaves decay, the stalk advances in height. The leaves, when the tree has grown to a size for bearing fruit, are six or eight feet long, are very broad when spread out, and are used for covering the tops of houses, &c. The fruit, which is called date, grows below the leaves in clusters and is of a sweet and agreeable taste. The learned Kæmpfer, as a botanist, an antiquary, and a traveller, has exhausted the whole subject of palm trees. The diligent natives,” says Mr. Gibbon, celebrated, either in verse or prose, the three hundred and sixty uses to which the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the juice, and the fruit, were skilfully applied.” “The extensive importance of the date tree,” says Dr. E. D. Clarke, is one of the most curious subjects to which a traveller can direct his attention. A considerable part of the inhabitants of Egypt, of Arabia, and Persia, subsist almost entirely upon its fruit. They boast also of its medicinal virtues. Their camels feed upon the date stone. From the leaves they make couches, baskets, bags, mats, and brushes; from the branches, cages for their poultry, and fences for their gardens; from the fibres of the boughs, thread, ropes, and rigging; from the sap is prepared a spirituous liquor; and the body of the tree furnishes fuel. It is even said that from one variety of the palm tree, the phœnix farinifera, meal has been extracted, which is found among the fibres of the trunk, and has been used for food.”

In the temple of Solomon were pilasters made in the form of palm trees, 1 Kings vi, 29. It was under a tree of this kind that Deborah dwelt between Ramah and Bethel, Judges iv, 5. To the fair, flourishing, and fruitful condition of this tree, the psalmist very aptly compares the votary of virtue, Psalm xcii, 12, 13, 14:--

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.
Those that are planted in the house of Jehovah,
In the courts of our God, shall flourish;
In old age they shall still put forth buds,
They shall be full of sap and vigorous.

The palm tree is crowned at its top with a large tuft of spiring leaves about four feet long, which never fall off, but always continue in the same flourishing verdure. The tree, as Dr. Shaw was informed, is in its greatest vigour about thirty years after it is planted, and continues in full vigour seventy years longer; bearing all this while, every year, about three or four hundred pounds’ weight of dates. The trunk of the tree is remarkably straight and lofty. Jeremiah, speaking of the idols that were carried in procession, says they were upright as the palm tree, Jer. x, 5. And for erect stature and slenderness of form, the spouse, in Canticles vii, 7, is compared to this tree:--

How framed, O my love, for delights!
Lo, thy stature is like a palm tree,
And thy bosom like clusters of dates.

On this passage Mr. Good observes, that “the very word tamar, here used for the palm tree, and whose radical meaning is ‘straight,’ or ‘upright,’ (whence it was afterward applied to pillars or columns, as well as to the palm,) was also a general name among the ladies of Palestine, and unquestionably adopted in honour of the stature they had already acquired, or gave a fair promise of attaining.”

A branch of palm was a signal of victory, and was carried before conquerors in the triumphs. To this, allusion is made, Rev. vii, 9: and for this purpose were they borne before Christ in his way to Jerusalem, John xii, 13. From the inspissated sap of the tree, a kind of honey, or dispse, as it is called, is produced, little inferior to that of bees. The same juice, after fermentation, makes a sort of wine much used in the east. It is once mentioned as wine, Num. xxviii, 7; Exodus xxix, 40; and by it is intended the strong drink, Isaiah v, 11; xxiv, 9. Theodoret and Chrysostom, on these places, both Syrians, and unexceptionable witnesses in what belongs to their own country, confirm this declaration. This liquor,” says Dr. Shaw, which has a more luscious sweetness than honey, is of the consistence of a thin syrup, but quickly grows tart and ropy, acquiring an intoxicating quality, and giving by distillation an agreeable spirit, or arâky, according to the general name of these people for all hot liquors, extracted by the alembic.” Its Hebrew name is , the sea of the Greeks; and from its sweetness, probably, the saccharum of the Romans. Jerom informs us that in Hebrew any inebriating liquor is called sicera, whether made of grain, the juice of apples, honey, dates, or any other fruit.”

This tree was formerly of great value and esteem among the Israelites, and so very much cultivated in Judea, that, in after times, it became the emblem of that country, as may be seen in a medal of the Emperor Vespasian upon the conquest of Judea. It represents a captive woman sitting under a palm tree, with this inscription, Judea capta;” [Judea captivated;] and upon a Greek coin, likewise, of his son Titus, struck upon the like occasion, we see a shield suspended upon a palm tree, with a Victory writing upon it. Pliny also calls Judea palmis inclyta, renowned for palms.” Jericho, in particular, was called the city of palms,” Deut. xxxiv, 3; 2 Chron. xxviii, 15; because, as Josephus, Strabo, and Pliny, have remarked, it anciently abounded in palm trees. And so Dr. Shaw remarks, that, though these trees are not now either plentiful or fruitful in other parts of the holy land, yet there are several of them at Jericho, where there is the conveniency they require of being often watered; where, likewise, the climate is warm, and the soil sandy, such as they thrive and delight in. Tamar, a city built in the desert by Solomon, 1 Kings ix, 18; Ezekiel xlvii, 19; xlviii, 28, was probably so named from the palm trees growing about it; as it was afterward by the Romans called Palmyra, or rather Palmira, on the same account, from palma, a palm tree.”

727PALMER WORM, , Joel i, 4; Amos iv, 9. Bochart says that it is a kind of locust, furnished with very sharp teeth, with which it gnaws off grass, corn, leaves of trees, and even their bark. The Jews support this idea by deriving the word from or , to cut, to shear, or mince. Notwithstanding the unanimous sentiments of the Jews that this is a locust, yet the LXX. read µp, and the Vulgate eruca, a caterpillar;” which rendering is supported by Fuller. Michaëlis agrees with this opinion, and thinks that the sharp cutting teeth of the caterpillar, which, like a sickle, clear away all before them, might give name to this insect. Caterpillars also begin their ravages before the locust, which seems to coincide with the nature of the creature here intended.

PALSY. See Diseases.

PAMPHYLIA, a province of Asia Minor which gives name to that part of the Mediterranean Sea which washes its coast, Acts xxvii, 5. To the south it is bounded by the Mediterranean, and to the north by Pisidia; having Lycia to the west, and Cilicia to the east. Paul and Barnabas preached at Perga, in Pamphylia, Acts xiii, 13; xiv, 24.

PANTHEISM, a doctrine into which some of the sages of antiquity fell by revolting at the monstrous absurdities of Polytheism. Not knowing the true God as an infinite and personal subsistence, a cause above and distinct from all effects, they believed that God was every thing, and every thing God. This monstrous, and in its effects immoral, notion, is still held by the Brahmins of India.

PAPER REED, , Exod. ii, 3; Job viii, 11; Isaiah xviii, 2; xxxv, 7. When the outer skin, or bark, is taken off, there are several films, or inner pellicles, one within another. These, when separated from the stalk, were laid on a table artfully matched and flatted together, and moistened with the water of the Nile, which, dissolving the glutinous juices of the plant, caused them to adhere closely together. They were afterward pressed, and then dried in the sun, and thus were prepared sheets or leaves for writing upon in characters marked by a coloured liquid passing through a hollow reed. The best papyrus was called eat, or paper of the priests. On this the sacred documents of Egypt were written. Ancient books were written on papyrus, and those of the New Testament among the rest. In the fourth century however these sacred writings are found on skins. This was preferred for durability; and many decayed copies of the New Testament, belonging to libraries, were early transferred to parchment. Finally came paper, the name of which was taken from the Egyptian reed; but the materials of which it was fabricated were cotton and linen. See Bulrush and Book.

PAPHOS, a celebrated city of Cyprus, lying on the western coast of the island, where Venus (who from hence took the name of Paphia) had her most ancient and most famous temple; and here the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, resided, whom St. Paul converted to Christianity, Acts xiii, 6.

PARABLE, aaß, formed from aaße, to oppose or compare, an allegorical instruction, founded on something real or apparent in nature or history, from which a moral is drawn, by comparing it with some other thing in which the people are more immediately concerned. (See Allegory.) Aristotle defines parable, a similitude drawn from form to form. Cicero calls it a collation; others, a simile. F. de Colonia calls it a rational fable; but it may be founded on real occurrences, as many parables of our Saviour were. The Hebrews call it , from a word which signifies either to predominate or to assimilate; the Proverbs of Solomon are by them also called >, parables, or proverbs.

Parable, according to the eminently learned Bishop Lowth, is that kind of allegory which consists of a continued narration of a fictitious or accommodated event, applied to the illustration of some important truth. The Greeks call these a, allegories, or apologues; the Latins, fabulæ, or fables;” and the writings of the Phrygian sage, or those composed in imitation of him, have acquired the greatest celebrity. Nor has our Saviour himself disdained to adopt the same method of instruction; of whose parables it is doubtful whether they excel most in wisdom and utility, or in sweetness, elegance, and perspicuity. As the appellation of parable has been applied to his discourses of this kind, the term is now restricted from its former extensive signification to a more confined sense. But this species of composition occurs very frequently in the prophetic poetry, and particularly in that of Ezekiel. If to us they should sometimes appear obscure, we must remember, that, in those early times when the prophetical writings were indited, it was universally the mode throughout all the eastern nations to convey sacred truths under mysterious figures and representations. In order to our forming a more certain judgment upon this subject, Dr. Lowth has briefly explained some of the primary qualities of the poetic parables; so that, by considering the general nature of them, we may decide more accurately on the merits of particular examples.

It is the first excellence of a parable to turn upon an image well known and applicable to the subject, the meaning of which is clear and definite; for this circumstance will give it perspicuity, which is essential to every species of allegory. If the parables of the sacred prophets are examined by this rule, they will not be found deficient. They are in general founded upon such imagery as is frequently used, and similarly applied by way of metaphor and comparison in the Hebrew poetry. Examples of this kind occur in the parable of the deceitful vineyard, Isaiah v, 1–7, and of the useless vine, Ezek. xv; xix, 10–14; for under this imagery the ungrateful people of God are more than once described; Ezek. xix, 1–9; xxxi; xvi; xxiii. Moreover, the image must not only be apt and familiar, but it must be also elegant and beautiful in itself; since it is the purpose of a poetic parable, not only to 728explain more perfectly some proposition, but frequently to give it some animation and splendour. As the imagery from natural objects is in this respect superior to all others, the parables of the sacred poets consist chiefly of this kind of imagery. It is also essential to the elegance of a parable, that the imagery should not only be apt and beautiful, but that all its parts and appendages should be perspicuous and pertinent. Of all these excellencies, there cannot be more perfect examples than the parables that have been just specified; to which we may add the well known parable of Nathan, 2 Sam. xii, 1–4, although written in prose, as well as that of Jotham, Judges ix, 7–15, which appears to be the most ancient extant, and approaches somewhat nearer to the poetical form. It is also the criterion of a parable, that it be consistent throughout, and that the literal be never confounded with the figurative sense; and in this respect it materially differs from that species of allegory, called the continued metaphor, Isaiah v, 1–7. It should be considered, that the continued metaphor and the parable have a very different view. The sole intention of the former is to embellish a subject, to represent it more magnificently, or at the most to illustrate it, that, by describing it in more elevated language, it may strike the mind more forcibly; but the intent of the latter is to withdraw the truth for a moment from our sight, in order to conceal whatever it may contain ungrateful or reproving, and to enable it secretly to insinuate itself, and obtain an ascendency as it were by stealth. There is, however, a species of parable, the intent of which is only to illustrate the subject; such is that remarkable one of the cedar of Lebanon, Ezek. xxxi; than which, if we consider the imagery itself, none was ever more apt or more beautiful; or the description and colouring, none was ever more elegant or splendid; in which, however, the poet has occasionally allowed himself to blend the figurative with the literal description, verses 11, 14–17; whether he has done this because the peculiar nature of this kind of parable required it, or whether his own fervid imagination alone, which disdained the stricter rules of composition, was his guide, our learned author can scarcely presume to determine.

In the New Testament, the word parable is used variously: in Luke iv, 23, for a proverb, or adage; in Matt. xv, 15, for a thing darkly and figuratively expressed; in Heb. ix, 9, &c, for a type; in Luke xiv, 7, &c, for a special instruction; in Matt. xxiv, 32, for a similitude or comparison.

PARADISE, according to the original meaning of the term, whether it be of Hebrew, Chaldee, or Persian derivation, signifies, a place enclosed for pleasure and delight.” The LXX., or Greek translators of the Old Testament, make use of the word paradise, when they speak of the garden of Eden, which Jehovah planted at the creation, and in which he placed our first parents. There are three places in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament where this word is found, namely, Neh. ii, 8; Cant. iv, 13; Eccles. ii, 5. The term paradise is obviously used in the New Testament, as another word for heaven; by our Lord, Luke xxiii, 43; by the Apostle Paul, 2 Cor. xii, 4; and in the Apocalypse, ii, 7. See Eden.

PARAN, Desert of, a great and terrible wilderness” which the children of Israel entered after leaving Mount Sinai, Num. x, 12; Deut. i, 19; and in which thirty-eight of their forty years of wandering were spent. It extended from Mount Sinai on the south, to the southern border of the land of Canaan on the north; having the desert of Shur, with its subdivisions, the deserts of Etham and Sin, on the west, and the eastern branch of the Red Sea, the desert of Zin and Mount Seir, on the east. Burckhardt represents this desert, which he entered from that of Zin, or valley of El Araba, about the parallel of Suez, as a dreary expanse of calcareous soil, covered with black flints.

PARTRIDGE, , 1 Samuel xxvi, 20; Jer. xvii, 11; d, Ecclus. xi, 30. In the first of these places David says, The king of Israel is come out to hunt a partridge on the mountains;” and in the second, The partridge sitteth,” on eggs, and produceth,” or hatcheth, not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be contemptible.” This passage does not necessarily imply that the partridge hatches the eggs of a stranger, but only that she often fails in her attempts to bring forth her young. To such disappointments she is greatly exposed from the position of her nest on the ground, where her eggs are often spoiled by the wet, or crushed by the foot. So he that broods over his ill-gotten gains will often find them unproductive; or, if he leaves them, as a bird occasionally driven from her nest, may be despoiled of their possession. As to the hunting of the partridge, which, Dr. Shaw observes, is the greater, or red-legged kind, the traveller says: The Arabs have another, though a more laborious, method of catching these birds; for, observing that they become languid and fatigued after they have been hastily put up twice or thrice, they immediately run in upon them, and knock them down with their zerwattys, or bludgeons as we should call them.” Precisely in this manner Saul hunted David, coming hastily upon him, putting him up incessantly, in hopes that at length his strength and resources would fail, and he would become an easy prey to his pursuer. Forskal mentions a partridge whose name in Arabic is kurr; and Latham says, that, in the province of Andalusia in Spain, the name of the partridge is churr; both taken, no doubt, like the Hebrew, from its note.

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PASSOVER, , signifies leap, passage. The passover was a solemn festival of the Jews, instituted in commemoration of their coming out of Egypt; because the night before their departure the destroying angel that slew the first-born of the Egyptians passed over the 729houses of the Hebrews without entering them, because they were marked with the blood of the lamb, which, for this reason, was called the paschal lamb. The following is what God ordained concerning the passover: the month of the coming out of Egypt was after this to be the first month of the sacred or ecclesiastical year; and the fourteenth day of this month, between the two evenings, that is, between the sun’s decline and its setting, or rather, according to our reckoning, between three o’clock in the afternoon and six in the evening, at the equinox, they were to kill the paschal lamb, and to abstain from leavened bread. The day following, being the fifteenth, reckoned from six o’clock of the preceding evening, was the grand feast of the passover, which continued seven days; but only the first and seventh days were peculiarly solemn. The slain lamb was to be without defect, a male, and of that year. If no lamb could be found, they might take a kid. They killed a lamb or a kid in each family; and if the number of the family was not sufficient to eat the lamb, they might associate two families together. With the blood of the lamb they sprinkled the door posts and lintel of every house, that the destroying angel at the sight of the blood might pass over them. They were to eat the lamb the same night, roasted, with unleavened bread, and a sallad of wild lettuces, or bitter herbs. It was forbid to eat any part of it raw, or boiled; nor were they to break a bone; but it was to be eaten entire, even with the head, the feet, and the bowels. If any thing remained to the day following it was thrown into the fire, Exod. xii, 46; Num. ix, 12; John xix, 36. They who ate it were to be in the posture of travellers, having their reins girt, shoes on their feet, staves in their hands, and eating in a hurry. This last part of the ceremony was but little observed; at least, it was of no obligation after that night when they came out of Egypt. During the whole eight days of the passover no leavened bread was to be used. They kept the first and last day of the feast; yet it was allowed to dress victuals, which was forbidden on the Sabbath day. The obligation of keeping the passover was so strict, that whoever should neglect it was condemned to death, Num. ix, 13. But those who had any lawful impediment, as a journey, sickness, or uncleanness, voluntary or involuntary, for example, those who had been present at a funeral, &c, were to defer the celebration of the passover till the second month of the ecclesiastical year, the fourteenth day of the month Jair, which answers to April and May. We see an example of this postponed passover under Hezekiah, 2 Chron. xxx, 2, 3, &c.

The modern Jews observe in general the ceremonies practised by their ancestors in the celebration of the passover. While the temple was in existence, the Jews brought their lambs thither, and there sacrificed them; and they offered their blood to the priest, who poured it out at the foot of the altar. The paschal lamb was an illustrious type of Christ, who became a sacrifice for the redemption of a lost world from sin and misery; but resemblances between the type and antitype have been strained by many writers into a great number of fanciful particulars. It is enough for us to be assured, that as Christ is called our passover;” and the Lamb of God,” without spot,” by the sprinkling of whose blood” we are delivered from guilt and punishment; and as faith in him is represented to us as eating the flesh of Christ,” with evident allusion to the eating of the paschal sacrifice; so, in these leading particulars, the mystery of our redemption was set forth. The paschal lamb therefore prefigured the offering of the spotless Son of God, the appointed propitiation for the sins of the whole world; by virtue of which, when received by faith, we are delivered from the bondage of guilt and misery; and nourished with strength for our heavenly journey to that land of rest, of which Canaan, as early as the days of Abraham, became the divinely instituted figure.

PATMOS, a small rocky island in the Ægean Sea, about eighteen miles in circumference; which, on account of its dreary and desolate character, was used by the Roman emperors as a place of confinement for criminals. To this island St. John was banished by the Emperor Domitian; and here he had his revelation, recorded in the Apocalypse.

PATRIARCHS. This name is given to the ancient fathers, chiefly those who lived before Moses, as Adam, Lamech, Noah, Shem, &c, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the sons of Jacob, and heads of the tribes. The Hebrews call them princes of the tribes, or heads of the fathers. The name patriarch is derived from the Greek patriarcha, head of a family.”

PAUL was born at Tarsus, the principal city of Cilicia, and was by birth both a Jew and a citizen of Rome, Acts xxi, 39; xxii, 25. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, and of the sect of the Pharisees, Phil. iii, 5. In his youth he appears to have been taught the art of tent making, Acts xviii, 3; but we must remember that among the Jews of those days a liberal education was often accompanied by instruction in some mechanical trade. It is probable that St. Paul laid the foundation of those literary attainments, for which he was so eminent in the future part of his life, at his native city of Tarsus; and he afterward studied the law of Moses, and the traditions of the elders, at Jerusalem, under Gamaliel, a celebrated rabbi, Acts xxii, 4. St. Paul is not mentioned in the Gospels; nor is it known whether he ever heard our Saviour preach, or saw him perform any miracle. His name first occurs in the account given in the Acts of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, A. D. 34, to which he is said to have consented, Acts viii, 1: he is upon that occasion called a young man; but we are no where informed what was then his precise age. The death of St. Stephen was followed by a severe persecution of the church at Jerusalem, and St. Paul became distinguished among its enemies by his activity and violence, Acts viii, 3. Not contented with displaying his hatred to the Gospel in Judea, he obtained authority from the high priest to go to Damascus, 730and to bring back with him bound any Christians whom he might find in that city. As he was upon his journey thither, A. D. 35, his miraculous conversion took place, the circumstances of which are recorded in Acts ix, and are frequently alluded to in his epistles, 1 Cor. xv, 9; Gal. i, 13; 1 Tim. i, 12, 13.

Soon after St. Paul was baptized at Damascus, he went into Arabia; but we are not informed how long he remained there. He returned to Damascus; and being supernaturally qualified to be a preacher of the Gospel, he immediately entered upon his ministry in that city. The boldness and success with which he enforced the truths of Christianity so irritated the unbelieving Jews, that they resolved to put him to death, Acts ix, 23; but, this design being known, the disciples conveyed him privately out of Damascus, and he went to Jerusalem, A. D. 38. The Christians of Jerusalem, remembering St. Paul’s former hostility to the Gospel, and having no authentic account of any change in his sentiments or conduct, at first refused to receive him; but being assured by Barnabas of St. Paul’s real conversion, and of his exertions at Damascus, they acknowledged him as a disciple, Acts ix, 27. He remained only fifteen days among them, Gal. i, 18; and he saw none of the Apostles except St. Peter and St. James. It is probable that the other Apostles were at this time absent from Jerusalem, exercising their ministry at different places. The zeal with which St. Paul preached at Jerusalem had the same effect as at Damascus: he became so obnoxious to the Hellenistic Jews, that they began to consider how they might kill him, Acts ix, 29; which when the brethren knew, they thought it right that he should leave the city. They accompanied him to Cæsarea, and thence he went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, where he preached the faith which once he destroyed, Gal. i, 21, 23.

Hitherto the preaching of St. Paul, as well as of the other Apostles and teachers, had been confined to the Jews; but the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, A. D. 40, having convinced all the Apostles that to the Gentiles, also, God had granted repentance unto life,” St. Paul was soon after conducted by Barnabas from Tarsus, which had probably been the principal place of his residence since he left Jerusalem, and they both began to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles at Antioch, A. D. 42, Acts xi, 25. Their preaching was attended with great success. The first Gentile church was now established at Antioch; and in that city, and at this time, the disciples were first called Christians, Acts xi, 26. When these two Apostles had been thus employed about a year, a prophet called Agabus predicted an approaching famine, which would affect the whole land of Judea. Upon the prospect of this calamity, the Christians of Antioch made a contribution for their brethren in Judea, and sent the money to the elders at Jerusalem by St. Paul and Barnabas, A. D. 44, Acts xi, 28, &c. This famine happened soon after, in the fourth or fifth year of the Emperor Claudius. It is supposed that St. Paul had the vision, mentioned in Acts xxii, 17, while he was now at Jerusalem this second time after his conversion.

St. Paul and Barnabas, having executed their commission, returned to Antioch; and soon after their arrival in that city they were separated, by the express direction of the Holy Ghost, from the other Christian teachers and prophets, for the purpose of carrying the glad tidings of the Gospel to the Gentiles of various countries, Acts xiii, 1. Thus divinely appointed to this important office, they set out from Antioch, A. D. 45, and preached the Gospel successively at Salamis and Paphos, two cities of the isle of Cyprus, at Perga in Pamphylia, Antioch in Pisidia, and at Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, three cities of Lycaonia. They returned to Antioch in Syria, A. D. 47, nearly by the same route. This first apostolical journey of St. Paul, in which he was accompanied and assisted by Barnabas, is supposed to have occupied about two years; and in the course of it many, both Jews and Gentiles, were converted to the Gospel.

Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch a considerable time; and while they were there, a dispute arose between them and some Jewish Christians of Judea. These men asserted, that the Gentile converts could not obtain salvation through the Gospel, unless they were circumcised; Paul and Barnabas maintained the contrary opinion, Acts xv, 1, 2. This dispute was carried on for some time with great earnestness; and it being a question in which not only the present but all future Gentile converts were concerned, it was thought right that St. Paul and Barnabas, with some others, should go up to Jerusalem to consult the Apostles and elders concerning it. They passed through Phenicia and Samaria, and upon their arrival at Jerusalem, A. D. 49, a council was assembled for the purpose of discussing this important point, Gal. ii, 1. St. Peter and St. James the less were present, and delivered their sentiments, which coincided with those of St. Paul and Barnabas; and after much deliberation it was agreed, that neither circumcision, nor conformity to any part of the ritual law of Moses, was necessary in Gentile converts; but that it should be recommended to them to abstain from certain specified things prohibited by that law, lest their indulgence in them should give offence to their brethren of the circumcision, who were still very zealous for the observance of the ceremonial part of their ancient religion. This decision which was declared to have the sanction of the Holy Ghost, was communicated to the Gentile Christians of Syria and Cilicia by a letter written in the name of the Apostles, elders, and whole church at Jerusalem, and conveyed by Judas and Silas, who accompanied St. Paul and Barnabas to Antioch for that purpose.

St. Paul, having preached a short time at Antioch, proposed to Barnabas that they should visit the churches which they had founded in different cities, Acts xv, 36. Barnabas readily consented; but while they were preparing for 731the journey, there arose a disagreement between them, which ended in their separation. In consequence of this dispute with Barnabas, St. Paul chose Silas for his companion, and they set out together from Antioch, A. D. 50. They travelled through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, and then came to Derbe and Lystra, Acts xvi. Thence they went through Phrygia and Galatia; and, being desirous of going into Asia Propria, or the Proconsular Asia, they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost. They therefore went into Mysia; and, not being permitted by the Holy Ghost to go into Bithynia as they had intended, they went to Troas. While St. Paul was there, a vision appeared to him in the night: There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” St. Paul knew this vision to be a command from Heaven, and in obedience to it immediately sailed from Troas to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis, a city of Thrace; and thence he went to Philippi, the principal city of that part of Macedonia. St. Paul remained some time at Philippi, preaching the Gospel; and several occurrences which took place in that city, are recorded in Acts xvii. Thence he went through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, Acts xvii, where he preached in the synagogues of the Jews on three successive Sabbath days. Some of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles of both sexes, embraced the Gospel; but the unbelieving Jews, moved with envy and indignation at the success of St. Paul’s preaching, excited a great disturbance in the city, and irritated the populace so much against him, that the brethren, anxious for his safety, thought it prudent to send him to Berea, where he met with a better reception than he had experienced at Thessalonica. The Bereans heard his instructions with attention and candour, and having compared his doctrines with the ancient Scriptures, and being satisfied that Jesus, whom he preached, was the promised Messiah, they embraced the Gospel; but his enemies at Thessalonica, being informed of his success at Berea, came thither, and, by their endeavours to stir up the people against him, compelled him to leave that city also. He went thence to Athens, where he delivered that discourse recorded in Acts xvii. From Athens, Paul went to Corinth, Acts xviii, A. D. 51, and lived in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, two Jews, who, being compelled to leave Rome in consequence of Claudius’s edict against the Jews, had lately settled at Corinth. St. Paul was induced to take up his residence with them, because, like himself, they were tent makers. At first he preached to the Jews in their synagogue; but upon their violently opposing his doctrine, he declared that from that time he would preach to the Gentiles only; and, accordingly, he afterward delivered his instructions in the house of one Justus, who lived near the synagogue. Among the few Jews who embraced the Gospel, were Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, and his family; and many of the Gentile Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.” St. Paul was encouraged in a vision to persevere in his exertions to convert the inhabitants of Corinth; and although he met with great opposition and disturbance from the unbelieving Jews, and was accused by them before Gallio, the Roman governor of Achaia, he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God.” During this time he supported himself by working at his trade of tent making, that he might not be burdensome to the disciples. From Corinth St. Paul sailed into Syria, and thence he went to Ephesus: thence to Cæsarea; and is supposed to have arrived at Jerusalem just before the feast of pentecost. After the feast he went to Antioch, A. D. 53; and this was the conclusion of his second apostolical journey, in which he was accompanied by Silas; and in part of it, Luke and Timothy were also with him.

Having made a short stay at Antioch, St. Paul set out upon his third apostolical journey. He passed through Galatia, and Phrygia, A. D. 54, confirming the Christians of those countries; and thence, according to his promise, he went to Ephesus, Acts xix. He found there some disciples, who had only been baptized with John’s baptism: he directed that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus, and then he communicated to them the Holy Ghost. He preached for the space of three months in the synagogue; but the Jews being hardened beyond conviction, and speaking reproachfully of the Christian religion before the multitude, he left them; and from that time he delivered his instructions in the school of a person called Tyrannus, who was probably a Gentile. St. Paul continued to preach in this place about two years, so that all the inhabitants of that part of Asia Minor heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” He also performed many miracles at Ephesus; and not only great numbers of people were converted to Christianity, but many also of those who in this superstitious city used incantations and magical arts, professed their belief in the Gospel, and renounced their former practices by publicly burning their books. Previous to the disturbance raised by Demetrius, Paul had intended to continue at Ephesus till Titus should return, whom he had sent to inquire into the state of the church at Corinth, 2 Cor. xii, 18. He now thought it prudent to go from Ephesus immediately, Acts xx, A. D. 56; and having taken an affectionate leave of the disciples, he set out for Troas, 2 Cor. ii, 12, 13, where he expected to meet Titus. Titus, however, from some cause which is not known, did not come to Troas; and Paul was encouraged to pass over into Macedonia, with the hope of making converts. St. Paul, after preaching in Macedonia, receiving from the Christians of that country liberal contributions for their poor brethren in Judea, 2 Cor. viii, 1, went to Corinth, A. D. 57, and remained there about three months. The Christians also of Corinth, and of the rest of Achaia, contributed to the relief of their brethren in Judea. St. Paul’s intention was to have sailed from Corinth into Syria; but being 732informed that some unbelieving Jews, who had discovered his intention, lay in wait for him, he changed his plan, passed through Macedonia, and sailed from Philippi to Troas in five days, A. D. 58. He stayed at Troas seven days, and preached to the Christians on the first day of the week, the day on which they were accustomed to meet for the purpose of religious worship. From Troas he went by land to Assos; and thence he sailed to Mitylene; and from Mitylene to Miletus. Being desirous of reaching Jerusalem before the feast of pentecost, he would not allow time to go to Ephesus, and therefore he sent for the elders of the Ephesian church to Miletus, and gave them instructions, and prayed with them. He told them that he should see them no more, which impressed them with the deepest sorrow. From Miletus he sailed by Cos, Rhodes, and Patara in Lycia, to Tyre, Acts xxi. Finding some disciples at Tyre, he stayed with them several days, and then went to Ptolemais, and thence to Cæsarea. While St. Paul was at Cæsarea, the Prophet Agabus foretold by the Holy Ghost, that St. Paul, if he went to Jerusalem, would suffer much from the Jews. This prediction caused great uneasiness to St. Paul’s friends, and they endeavoured to dissuade him from his intention of going thither. St. Paul, however, would not listen to their entreaties, but declared that he was ready to die at Jerusalem, if it were necessary, for the name of the Lord Jesus. Seeing him thus resolute, they desisted from their importunities, and accompanied him to Jerusalem, where he is supposed to have arrived just before the feast of pentecost, A. D. 58. This may be considered as the end of St. Paul’s third apostolical journey.

St. Paul was received by the Apostles and other Christians at Jerusalem with great joy and affection; and his account of the success of his ministry, and of the collections which he had made among the Christians of Macedonia and Achaia, for the relief of their brethren in Judea, afforded them much satisfaction; but not long after his arrival at Jerusalem, some Jews of Asia, who had probably in their own country witnessed St. Paul’s zeal in spreading Christianity among the Gentiles, seeing him one day in the temple, endeavoured to excite a tumult, by crying out that he was the man who was aiming to destroy all distinction between Jew and Gentile; who taught things contrary to the law of Moses; and who had polluted the holy temple, by bringing into it uncircumcised Heathens. This representation did not fail to enrage the multitude against St. Paul; they seized him, dragged him out of the temple, beat him, and were upon the point of putting him to death, when he was rescued out of their hands by Lysias, a Roman tribune, and the principal military officer then at Jerusalem. What followed,--his defence before Felix and Agrippa,--his long detention at Cæsarea, and his appeal to the emperor, which occasioned his voyage to Rome, are all circumstantially stated in the latter chapters of the Acts. Upon his arrival at Rome, St. Paul was committed to the care of the captain of the guard, A. D. 61. The Scriptures do not inform us whether he was ever tried before Nero, who was at this time emperor of Rome; and the learned are much divided in their opinion upon that point. St. Luke only says, Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” During his confinement he converted some Jews resident at Rome, and many Gentiles, and, among the rest, several persons belonging to the emperor’s household, Phil. iv, 22.

The Scripture history ends with the release of St. Paul from his two years’ imprisonment at Rome, A. D. 63; and no ancient author has left us any particulars of the remaining part of this Apostle’s life. It seems probable, that, immediately after he recovered his liberty, he went to Jerusalem; and that afterward he travelled through Asia Minor, Crete, Macedonia, and Greece, confirming his converts, and regulating the affairs of the different churches which he had planted in those countries. Whether at this time he also preached the Gospel in Spain, as some have imagined, is very uncertain. It was the unanimous tradition of the church, that St. Paul returned to Rome, that he underwent a second imprisonment there, and at last was put to death by the Emperor Nero. Tacitus and Suetonius have mentioned a dreadful fire which happened at Rome in the time of Nero. It was believed, though probably without any reason, that the emperor himself was the author of that fire; but to remove the odium from himself, he chose to attribute it to the Christians; and, to give some colour to that unjust imputation, he persecuted them with the utmost cruelty. In this persecution St. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom, probably, A. D. 65; and if we may credit Sulpitius Severus, a writer of the fifth century, the former was crucified, and the latter beheaded.

St. Paul was a person of great natural abilities, of quick apprehension, strong feelings, firm resolution, and irreproachable life. He was conversant with Grecian and Jewish literature; and gave early proofs of an active and zealous disposition. If we may be allowed to consider his character independent of his supernatural endowments, we may pronounce that he was well qualified to have risen to distinction and eminence, and that he was by nature peculiarly adapted to the high office to which it pleased God to call him. As a minister of the Gospel, he displayed the most unwearied perseverance and undaunted courage. He was deterred by no difficulty or danger, and endured a great variety of persecutions with patience and cheerfulness. He gloried in being thought worthy of suffering for the name of Jesus, and continued with unabated zeal to maintain the truth of Christianity against its bitterest and most powerful enemies. He was the principal instrument under Providence of spreading the Gospel among the Gentiles; and we have seen that 733his labours lasted through many years, and reached over a considerable extent of country. Though emphatically styled the great Apostle of the Gentiles, he began his ministry, in almost every city, by preaching in the synagogue of the Jews; and though he owed by far the greater part of his persecutions to the opposition and malice of that proud and obstinate people, whose resentment he particularly incurred by maintaining that the Gentiles were to be admitted to an indiscriminate participation of the benefits of the new dispensation, yet it rarely happened in any place, that some of the Jews did not yield to his arguments, and embrace the Gospel. He watched with paternal care over the churches which he had founded; and was always ready to strengthen the faith, and regulate the conduct of his converts, by such directions and advice as their circumstances might require.

The exertions of St. Paul in the cause of Christianity were not confined to personal instruction: he also wrote fourteen epistles to individuals or churches which are now extant, and form a part of our canon. These letters furnish evidence of the soundness and sobriety of his judgment. His caution in distinguishing between the occasional suggestions of inspiration, and the ordinary exertions of his natural understanding, is without example in the history of enthusiasm. His morality is every where calm, pure, and rational; adapted to the condition, the activity, and the business of social life, and of its various relations; free from the overscrupulousness and austerities of superstition, and from, what was more perhaps to be apprehended, the abstractions of quietism, and the soarings or extravagancies of fanaticism. His judgment concerning a hesitating conscience, his opinion of the moral indifferency of many actions, yet of the prudence and even the duty of compliance, where non-compliance would produce evil effects upon the minds of the persons who observed it, are all in proof of the calm and discriminating character of his mind; and the universal applicability of his precepts affords strong presumption of his inspiration. What Lord Lyttleton has remarked of the preference ascribed by St. Paul to rectitude of principle above every other religious accomplishment, is weighty: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal,” &c, 1 Cor. xiii, 1–3. Did ever enthusiast prefer that universal benevolence, meant by charity here, (which, we may add, is attainable by every man,) to faith, and to miracles, to those religious opinions which he had embraced, and to those supernatural graces and gifts which he imagined he had acquired, nay, even to the merit of martyrdom Is it not the genius of enthusiasm to set moral virtues infinitely below the merit of faith; and of all moral virtues to value that least which is most particularly enforced by St. Paul, a spirit of candour, moderation, and peace Certainly, neither the temper nor the opinions of a man subject to fanatic delusions are to be found in this passage. His letters, indeed, every where discover great zeal and earnestness in the cause in which he was engaged; that is to say, he was convinced of the truth of what he taught; he was deeply impressed, but not more so than the occasion merited, with a sense of its importance. This produces a corresponding animation and solicitude in the exercise of his ministry. But would not these considerations, supposing them to have been well founded, have holden the same place, and produced the same effect, in a mind the strongest and the most sedate Here, then, we have a man of liberal attainments, and in other respects of sound judgment, who had addicted his life to the service of the Gospel. We see him in the prosecution of his purpose, travelling from country to country, enduring every species of hardship, encountering every extremity of danger, assaulted by the populace, punished by the magistrates, scourged, beaten, stoned, left for dead; expecting, wherever he came, a renewal of the same treatment, and the same dangers; yet, when driven from one city, preaching in the next; spending his whole time in the employment; sacrificing to it his pleasures, his ease, his safety; persisting in this course to old age, unaltered by the experience of perverseness, ingratitude, prejudice, desertion; unsubdued by anxiety, want, labour, persecutions; unwearied by long confinement; undismayed by the prospect of death. Such was St. Paul; and such were the proofs of Apostleship found in him.”

The following remarks of Hug on the character of this Apostle are equally just and eloquent: This most violent man, having such terrible propensities, whose turbulent impulses rendered him of a most enterprising character, would have become nothing better than a John of Gishala, a blood-intoxicated zealot, eµpe ape a f, breathing out threatenings and slaughter, Acts ix, 1, had not his whole soul been changed. The harsh tone of his mind inclined him to the principles of Pharisaism, which had all the appearance of severity, and was the predominant party among the Jews. Nature had not withholden from him the external endowments of eloquence, although he afterward spoke very modestly of them. At Lystra he was deemed the tutelar god of eloquence. This character, qualified for great things, but, not master of himself from excess of internal power, was an extreme of human dispositions, and, according to the natural course, was prone to absolute extremities. His religion was a destructive zeal, his anger was fierceness, his fury required victims. A ferocity so boisterous did not psychologically qualify him for a Christian nor a philanthropist; but, least of all, for a quietly enduring man. He, nevertheless, became all this on his conversion to Christianity, and each bursting emotion of his mind subsided directly into a well regulated and noble character. Formerly hasty and irritable, now only spirited and resolved; formerly violent, now full of energy and enterprising: once ungovernably refractory 734against every thing which obstructed him, now only persevering; once fanatical and morose, now only serious; once cruel, now only firm; once a harsh zealot, now fearing God; formerly unrelenting, deaf to sympathy and commiseration, now himself acquainted with tears, which he had seen without effect in others. Formerly the friend of none, now the brother of mankind, benevolent, compassionate, sympathizing; yet never weak, always great; in the midst of sadness and sorrow manly and noble; so he showed himself at his deeply moving departure from Miletus, Acts xx: it is like the departure of Moses, like the resignation of Samuel, sincere and heart-felt, full of self-recollection, and in the midst of pain full of dignity. His writings are a true expression of this character, with regard to the tone predominant in them. Severity, manly seriousness, and sentiments which ennoble the heart, are interchanged with mildness, affability, and sympathy: and their transitions are such as nature begets in the heart of a man penetrated by his subject, noble and discerning. He exhorts, reproaches, and consoles again; he attacks with energy, urges with impetuosity, then again he speaks kindly to the soul; he displays his finer feelings for the welfare of others, his forbearance and his fear of afflicting any body: all as the subject, time, opposite dispositions, and circumstances require. There prevails throughout in them an importuning language, an earnest and lively communication. Rom. i, 26–32, is a comprehensive and vigorous description of morals. His antithesis, Rom. ii, 21–24; 2 Cor. iv, 8–12; vi, 9–11; ix, 22–30; his enumerations, 1 Cor. xiii, 4–10; 2 Cor. vi, 4–7; 2 Tim. iii, 1–5; Eph. iv, 4–7; v, 3–6; his gradations, Romans viii, 29, 30; Titus iii, 3, 4; the interrogations, exclamations, and comparisons, sometimes animate his language even so as to give a visible existence to it. That, however, which we principally perceive in Paul, and from which his whole actions and operations become intelligible, is the peculiar impression which the idea of a universal religion has wrought upon his mind. This idea of establishing a religion for the world had not so profoundly engrossed any soul, no where kindled so much vigour, and projected it into such a constant energy. In this he was no man’s scholar; this he had immediately received from the Spirit of his Master; it was a spark of the divine light which enkindled him. It was this which never allowed him to remain in Palestine and in Syria, which so powerfully impelled him to foreign parts. The portion of some others was Judea and its environs: but his mission was directed to the nations, and his allotment was the whole of the Heathen world. Thus he began his career among the different nations of Asia Minor, and when this limit also became too confined for him, he went with equal confidence to Europe, among other nations, ordinances, sciences, and customs; and here likewise he finally with the same indefatigable spirit circulated his plans, even to the pillars of Hercules. In this manner Paul prepared the overthrow of two religions, that of his ancestors, and that of the Heathens.

PEACOCK, , 1 Kings x, 22; 2 Chron. ix, 21; a bird distinguished by the length of its tail, and the brilliant spots with which it is adorned; which displays all that dazzles in the sparkling lustre of gems, and all that astonishes in the rainbow. The peacock is a bird originally of India; thence brought into Persia and Media. Aristophanes mentions Persian peacocks; and Suidas calls the peacock the Median bird. From Persia it was gradually dispersed into Judea, Egypt, Greece, and Europe. If the fleet of Solomon visited India, they might easily procure this bird, whether from India itself, or from Persia; and certainly the bird by its beauty was likely to attract attention, and to be brought among other rarities of natural history by Solomon’s servants, who would be instructed to collect every curiosity in the countries they visited.

PEARL, a hard, white, shining body, usually roundish, found in a shell fish resembling an oyster. The oriental pearls have a fine polished gloss, and are tinged with an elegant blush of red. They are esteemed in the east beyond all other jewels.

PELAGIANS, a sect that arose in the fifth century. Pelagius was a British monk, of some rank, and very exalted reputation. He, with his friend Celestius, travelled to Rome, where they resided very early in the fifth century, and opposed with warmth certain received notions respecting original sin, and the necessity of divine grace. What reception their doctrines met with at Rome does not appear; but their virtue excited general approbation. On the approach of the Goths, they retired to Africa, where Celestius remained, with a view of gaining admittance as a presbyter into the church of Carthage. Pelagius proceeded to Palestine, where he enjoyed the favour and protection of John, bishop of Jerusalem. But his friend and his opinions met with a very different reception from St. Augustine, the celebrated bishop of Hippo. Whatever parts were visited by these unorthodox friends, they still asserted their peculiar opinions; and they were gradually engaged in a warm contest, in the course of which they were probably led to advance more than had originally occurred to them. In contending for the truth of their doctrines, they are said to have asserted, that mankind derived no injury from the sin of Adam; that we are now as capable of obedience to the will of God as he was; that, otherwise, it would have been cruel and absurd to propose to mankind the performance of certain duties, with the sanction of rewards, and the denunciation of punishments; and that, consequently, men are born without vice, as well as without virtue.” Pelagius is charged also with having maintained, that it is possible for men, provided they fully employ the powers and faculties with which they are endued, to live without sin;” and though he did not deny that external grace, or the doctrines and motives of the Gospel, are necessary, yet 735he is said to have rejected the necessity of internal grace, or the aids of the divine Spirit. He acknowledged, that the power we possess of obeying the will of God, is a divine gift;” but asserted, that the direction of this power depends upon ourselves; that natural death is not a consequence of the sin of Adam, but of the frame of man; and that Adam would have died, though he had not sinned.” Isidore, Chrysostom, and Augustine strenuously opposed these opinions; and the latter procured their condemnation in a synod held at Carthage in 412. They were, however, favourably received at Rome, and Pope Zozimus was at the head of the Pelagian party: but his decision against the African bishops, who had opposed Pelagianism, was disregarded by them, and the pontiff yielded at length to their reasonings and remonstrances, and condemned the men whom he had before honoured with his approbation. The council of Ephesus likewise condemned the opinions of Pelagius and Celestius; and the Emperor Honorius, in 418, published an edict, which ordained that the leaders of the sect should be expelled from Rome, and their followers exiled. Some of the Pelagians taught that Christ was a mere man, and that men might lead sinless lives, because Christ did so; that Jesus became Christ after his baptism, and God after his resurrection; the one arising from his unction, the other from the merit of his passion. The Pelagian controversy, which began with the doctrines of grace and original sin, was extended to predestination, and excited continual discord and division in the church. It must however be recollected, that we are acquainted with the sentiments of Pelagius only through the medium of his opponents; and that it is probable that they were much misrepresented. See Augustine.

The followers of the truly evangelical Arminius, or those who hold the tenet of general redemption with its concomitants, have often been greatly traduced, by the ignorant among their doctrinal opponents, as Pelagians, or at least as Semi-Pelagians. It may therefore serve the cause of truth to exhibit the appropriate reply which the Dutch Arminians gave to this charge when urged against them at the synod of Dort, and which they verified and maintained by arguments and authorities that were unanswerable. In their concluding observations they say, “From all these remarks a judgment may easily be formed at what an immense distance our sentiments stand from the dogmatical assertions of the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians on the grace of God in the conversion of man. Pelagius, in the first instance, attributed all things to nature: but we acknowledge nothing but grace. When Pelagius was blamed for not acknowledging grace, he began indeed to speak of it, but it is evident that by grace he understood the power of nature as created by God, that is, the rational will: but by grace we understand a supernatural gift. Pelagius, when afterward pressed with passages of Scripture, also admitted this supernatural grace; but he placed it solely in the external teaching of the law: though we affirm that God offers his word to men, yet we likewise affirm that he inwardly causes the understanding to believe. Subsequently Pelagius joined to this external grace that by which sins are pardoned: we acknowledge not only the grace by which sins are forgiven, but also that by which men are assisted to refrain from the commission of sin. In addition to his previous concessions Pelagius granted, that the grace of Christ was requisite beside the two kinds which he had enumerated; but he attributed it entirely to the doctrine and example of Christ that we are aided in our endeavours not to commit sin: we likewise admit that the doctrine and example of Christ afford us some aid in refraining from sin, but in addition to their influence we also place the gift of the Holy Spirit with which God endues us, and which enlightens our understandings, and confers strength and power upon our will to abstain from sinning. When Pelagius afterward owned the assistance of divine power inwardly working in man by the Holy Spirit, he placed it solely in the enlightening of the understanding: but we believe, that it is not only necessary for us to know or understand what we ought to do, but that it is also requisite for us to implore the aid of the Holy Spirit that we may be rendered capable of performing, and may delight in the performance of, that which it is our duty to do. Pelagius admitted grace,--but it has been a question with some whether he meant only illumination, or, beside this, a power communicated to the will;--he admitted grace, but he did this only to show that by means of it man can with greater ease act aright: we, on the contrary, affirm that grace is bestowed, not that we may be able with greater ease to act aright, (which is as though we can do this even without grace,) but that grace is absolutely necessary to enable us to act at all aright. Pelagius asserted, that man, so far from requiring the aid of grace for the performance of good actions, is, through the powers implanted in him at the time of his creation, capable of fulfilling the whole law, of loving God, and of overcoming all temptations: we, on the contrary, assert that the grace of God is required for the performance of every act of piety. Pelagius declared, that by the works of nature man renders himself worthy of grace: but we, in common with the church universal, condemn this dogma. When Pelagius afterward himself condemned this tenet, he understood by grace, partly natural grace, which is antecedent to all merit, and partly remission of sins, which he acknowledged to be gratuitous; but he added, that through works performed by the powers of nature alone, at least through the desire of good and the imperfect longing after it, men merit that spiritual grace by which they are assisted in good works: but we declare, that men will that which is good on account of God’s prevenience or going before them by his grace, and exciting within them a longing after good; otherwise grace would no longer be grace, because it would not be gratuitously 736bestowed, but only on account of the merit of man.” That many who have held some tenets in common with the true Arminians have been, in different degrees, followers of Pelagius is well known; but the original Arminians were in truth as far from Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian errors, granting the opinions of Pelagius to be fairly reported by his adversaries, as the Calvinists themselves. This is also the case with the whole body of Wesleyan Methodists, and of the cognate societies to which they have given rise, both in Great Britain and America.

PELICAN, , Lev. xi, 18; Deut. xiv, 17; Psa. cii, 7; Isa. xxxiv, 11; Zeph. ii, 14; a very remarkable aquatic bird, of the size of a large goose. Its colour is a grayish white, except that the neck looks a little yellowish, and the middle of the back feathers are blackish. The bill is long, and hooked at the end, and has under it a lax membrane, extended to the throat, which makes a bag or sack, capable of holding a very large quantity. Feeding her young from this bag has so much the appearance of feeding them with her own blood, that it caused this fabulous opinion to be propagated, and made the pelican an emblem of paternal, as the stork had been before chosen, more justly, of filial affection. The voice of this bird is harsh and dissonant, which some say resembles that of a man grievously complaining. David compares his groaning to it, Psalm cii, 7.

PENTATEUCH. This word, which is derived from the Greek ette, from te, five, and te, a volume, signifies the collection of the five books of Moses, which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That the Jews have acknowledged the authenticity of the Pentateuch, from the present time back to the era of their return from the Babylonish captivity, a period of more than two thousand three hundred years, admits not a possibility of doubt. The five books of Moses have been during that period constantly placed at the head of the Jewish sacred volume, and divided into fixed portions, one of which was read and explained in their synagogues, not only every Sabbath with the other Scriptures, but in many places twice a week, and not unfrequently every evening, when they alone were read. They have been received as divinely inspired by every Jewish sect, even by the Sadducees, who questioned the divinity of the remaining works of the Old Testament. In truth, the veneration of the Jews for their Scriptures, and above all for the Pentateuch, seems to have risen almost to a superstitious reverence. Extracts from the Mosaic law were written on pieces of parchment, and placed on the borders of their garments, or round their wrists and foreheads: nay, they at a later period counted, with the minutest exactness, not only the chapters and paragraphs, but the words and letters, which each book of their Scriptures contains. Thus also the translation, first of the Pentateuch, and afterward of the remaining works of the Old Testament, into Greek, for the use of the Alexandrian Jews, disseminated this sacred volume over a great part of the civilized world, in the language most universally understood, and rendered it accessible to the learned and inquisitive in every country; so as to preclude all suspicion that it could be materially altered by either Jews or Christians, to support their respective opinions as to the person and character of the Messiah; the substance of the text being, by this translation, fixed and authenticated at least two hundred and seventy years before the appearance of our Lord.

But, long previous to the captivity, two particular examples, deserving peculiar attention, occur in the Jewish history, of the public and solemn homage paid to the sacredness of the Mosaic law as promulgated in the Pentateuch; and which, by consequence, afford the fullest testimony to the authenticity of the Pentateuch itself: the one in the reign of Hezekiah, while the separate kingdoms of Judah and Israel still subsisted; and the other in the reign of his great grandson Josiah, subsequent to the captivity of Israel. In the former we see the pious monarch of Judah assembling the priests and Levites and the rulers of the people; to deplore with him the trespasses of their fathers against the divine law, to acknowledge the justice of those chastisements which, according to the prophetic warnings of that law, had been inflicted upon them; to open the house of God which his father had impiously shut, and restore the true worship therein according to the Mosaic ritual, 2 Kings xviii; 2 Chron. xxix; xxx; with the minutest particulars of which he complied, in the sin-offerings and the peace-offerings which, in conjunction with his people, he offered for the kingdom and the sanctuary and the people, to make atonement to God for them and for all Israel; restoring the service of God as it had been performed in the purest times. And Hezekiah,” says the sacred narrative, rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly,” 2 Chron. xxix, 36; immediately on the king’s accession to the throne, on the first declaration of his pious resolution. How clear a proof does this exhibit of the previous existence and clearly acknowledged authority of those laws which the Pentateuch contains!

But a yet more remarkable part of this transaction still remains. At this time Hoshea was king of Israel, and so far disposed to countenance the worship of the true God, that he appears to have made no opposition to the pious zeal of Hezekiah; who, with the concurrence of the whole congregation which he had assembled, sent out letters and made a proclamation, not only to his own people of Judah, 2 Chron. xxx, 1, but to Ephraim and Manasseh and all Israel, from Beersheba even unto Dan, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel; saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he will return to the remnant of you who are escaped 737out of the hands of the kings of Assyria; and be not ye like your fathers and your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation as ye see. Now be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary which he hath sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun,” 2 Chron. xxx, 6, &c.

Now, can we conceive that such an attempt as this could have been made, if the Pentateuch containing the Mosaic code had not been as certainly recognized through the ten tribes of Israel as in the kingdom of Judah The success was exactly such as we might reasonably expect if it were so acknowledged; for, though many of the ten tribes laughed to scorn and mocked the messengers of Hezekiah, who invited them to the solemnity of the passover, from the impious contempt which through long disuse they had conceived for it; Nevertheless,” says the sacred narrative, divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem; and there assembled at Jerusalem much people, to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation; and they killed the passover, and the priests and Levites stood in their places after their manner, according to the law of Moses, the man of God. So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, there was not the like at Jerusalem: and when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all,” 2 Chronicles xxx, 11; xxxi. Can any clearer proof than this be desired of the constant and universal acknowledgment of the divine authority of the Pentateuch throughout the entire nation of the Jews, notwithstanding the idolatries and corruptions which so often prevented its receiving such obedience as that acknowledgment ought to have produced The argument from this certain antiquity of the Pentateuch, a copy of which existed in the old Samaritan character as well as in the modern Hebrew, is most conclusive as to the numerous prophecies of Christ, and the future and present condition of the Jews which it contains. These are proved to have been delivered many ages before they were accomplished; they could be only the result of divine prescience, and the uttering of them by Moses proves therefore the inspiration and the authority of his writings. See Law and Moses.

PENTECOST, ete, a solemn festival of the Jews; so called, because it was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the sixteenth of Nisan, which was the second day of the passover. The Hebrews call it the feast of weeks, because it was kept seven weeks after the passover. They then offered the first fruits of the wheat harvest, which was then completed; beside which, they presented at the temple seven lambs of that year, one calf, and two rams for a burnt-offering; two lambs for a peace-offering; and a goat for a sin-offering, Lev. xxiii, 15, 16; Exod. xxxiv, 22; Deut. xvi, 9, 10. The feast of pentecost was instituted among the Israelites, first, to oblige them to repair to the temple of the Lord, there to acknowledge his absolute dominion over the whole country, by offering him the first fruits of the harvest; and, secondly, to commemorate and give thanks to God for the law which he had given them from Sinai, on the fiftieth day after their coming out of Egypt. The modern Jews celebrate the pentecost for two days. They deck the synagogues, where the law is read, and their own houses, with garlands of flowers. They hear an oration in praise of the law, and read from the Pentateuch and prophets lessons which have a relation to this festival, and accommodate their prayers to the same occasion. It was on the feast of pentecost that the Holy Ghost descended in the miraculous manner related, Acts ii.

PERGAMUS, a city of Troas, very considerable in the time of John the evangelist, Rev. ii, 12, 13. This city was, for the space of one hundred and fifty years, the capital of a kingdom of the same name founded by Philetærus, B. C. 283; who treacherously made use of the treasures committed to his care by Lysimachus after the battle of Ipsus, and, seizing on Pergamus, established an independent kingdom. After Philetærus were five kings of the same race; the last of whom, Attalus Philopater, left his kingdom, which comprehended Mysia, Æolis, Ionia, Lydia, and Caria, to the Roman empire; to which it belonged when the first Christian church was established there. This church early became corrupted by the Nicolaitans, for which it was reproved by St. John, and charged quickly to repent, Rev. ii, 14–16. Pergamus, now called Bergamo, like most other places which have been cursed by the presence of the Turks, is reduced to comparative decay, containing a poor population, who are too indolent or too oppressed to profit by the richness of their soil and the beauty of the climate. The number of inhabitants, however, is still said to amount to thirty thousand, of whom three thousand are Greek Christians. Many remains of former magnificence are still to be found; among which are those of several Christian churches. It is about sixty miles north of Smyrna. The celebrated physician Galen was a native of this place.

PERIZZITES. The ancient inhabitants of Palestine, mingled with the Canaanites. There is also a great probability that they themselves were Canaanites, but, having no fixed habitations, were wandering about here and there, and scattered over all the country. Thus, in the time of Abraham and Lot, the 738Canaanite and Perizzite were in the land, Gen. xiii, 7; Josh. xvii, 15. Solomon subdued the remains of the Canaanites and Perizzites, which the children of Israel had not rooted out, and made them tributary to him, 1 Kings ix, 20, 21; 2 Chron. viii, 7. There still remained some of this people as late as the time of Ezra, ix, 1.

PERSECUTION is any pain or affliction which a person designedly inflicts upon another; and, in a more restrained sense, the sufferings of Christians on account of their religion. The establishment of Christianity was opposed by the powers of the world, and occasioned several severe persecutions against Christians, during the reigns of several Roman emperors. Though the absurdities of polytheism were openly derided and exposed by the Apostles and their successors, yet it does not appear that any public laws were enacted against Christianity till the reign of Nero, A. D. 64, by which time it had acquired considerable stability and extent. As far the greater number of the first converts to Christianity were of the Jewish nation, one secondary cause for their being so long preserved from persecution may probably be deduced from their appearing to the Roman governors only as a sect of Jews, who had seceded from the rest of their brethren on account of some opinion, trifling in its importance, and perhaps difficult to be understood. Nor, when their brethren were fully discovered to have cast off the religion of the synagogue, did the Jews find it easy to infuse into the breasts of the Roman magistrates that rancour and malice which they themselves experienced. But the steady and uniform opposition made by the Christians to Heathen superstition could not long pass unnoticed. Their open attacks upon Paganism made them extremely obnoxious to the populace, by whom they were represented as a society of atheists, who, by attacking the religious constitution of the empire, merited the severest animadversion of the civil magistrate. Horrid tales of their abominations were circulated throughout the empire; and the minds of the Pagans were, from all these circumstances, prepared to regard with pleasure or indifference every cruelty which could be inflicted upon this despised sect. Historians usually reckon ten general persecutions.

First general persecution.--Nero selected the Christians as a grateful sacrifice to the Roman people, and endeavoured to transfer to this hated sect the guilt of which he was strongly suspected; that of having caused and enjoyed the fire which had nearly desolated the city. (See Nero.) This persecution was not confined to Rome: the emperor issued edicts against the Christians throughout most of the provinces of the empire. He was far, however, from obtaining the object of his hopes and expectations; and the virtues of the Christians, their zeal for the truth, and their constancy in suffering, must have considerably contributed to make their tenets more generally known.

Second general persecution.--From the death of Nero to the reign of Domitian, the Christians remained unmolested and daily increasing; but toward the close of the first century, they were again involved in all the horrors of persecution. In this persecution many eminent Christians suffered; but the death of Domitian soon delivered them from this calamity.

Third general persecution.--This persecution began in the third year of the Emperor Trajan, A. D. 100. Many things contributed toward it; as the laws of the empire, the emperor’s zeal for his religion, and aversion to Christianity, and the prejudices of the Pagans, supported by falsehoods and calumnies against the Christians. Under the plausible pretence of their holding illegal meetings and societies, they were severely persecuted by the governors and other officers; in which persecution great numbers fell by the rage of popular tumult, as well as by laws and processes. This persecution continued several years, with different degrees of severity in many parts of the empire; and was so much the more afflicting, because the Christians generally suffered under the notion of malefactors and traitors, and under an emperor famed for his singular justice and moderation. The most noted martyr in this persecution was Clement, bishop of Rome. After some time the fury of this persecution was abated, but did not cease during the whole reign of Trajan. In the eighth year of his successor Adrian, it broke out with new rage. This is by some called the fourth general persecution; but is more commonly considered as a revival or continuance of the third.

Fourth general persecution.--This took place under Antoninus the philosopher; and at different places, with several intermissions, and different degrees of severity, it continued the greater part of his reign. Antoninus himself has been much excused as to this persecution. As the character of the virtuous Trajan, however, is sullied by the martyrdom of Ignatius, so the reign of the philosophic Marcus is for ever disgraced by the sacrifice of the venerable Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, the friend and companion of St. John. A few days previous to his death, he is said to have dreamed that his pillow was on fire. When urged by the proconsul to renounce Christ, he replied, Fourscore and six years have I served him, and he has never done me an injury: can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour” Several miracles are reported to have happened at his death. The flames, as if unwilling to injure his sacred person, are said to have arched over his head; and it is added, that at length, being despatched with a sword, a dove flew out of the wound; and that from the pile proceeded a most fragrant smell. It is obvious that the arching of the flames might be an accidental effect, which the enthusiastic veneration of his disciples might convert into a miracle; and as to the story of the dove, &c, Eusebius himself apparently did not credit it; since he has omitted it in his narrative of the transaction. Among 739many other victims of persecution in this philosophic reign, we must also record that of the excellent and learned Justin. But it was at Lyons and Vienne in Gaul, that the most shocking scenes were acted. Among many nameless sufferers, history has preserved from oblivion Pothinus, the respectable bishop of Lyons, who was then more than ninety years of age; Sanctus, a deacon of Vienne; Attalus, a native of Pergamus; Maturus, and Alexander; some of whom were devoured by wild beasts, and some of them tortured in an iron chair made red hot. Some females, also, and particularly Biblias and Blandina, reflected honour both upon their sex and religion by their constancy and courage.

Fifth general persecution.--A considerable part of the reign of Severus proved so far favourable to the Christians, that no additions were made to the severe edicts already in force against them. For this lenity they were probably indebted to Proculus, a Christian, who, in a very extraordinary manner, cured the emperor of a dangerous distemper by the application of oil. But this degree of peace, precarious as it was, and frequently interrupted by the partial execution of severe laws, was terminated by an edict, A. D. 197, which prohibited every subject of the empire, under severe penalties, from embracing the Jewish or Christian faith. This law appears, upon a first view, designed merely to impede the farther progress of Christianity; but it incited the magistracy to enforce the laws of former emperors, which were still existing, against the Christians; and during seven years they were exposed to a rigorous persecution in Palestine, Egypt, the rest of Africa, Italy, Gaul, and other parts. In this persecution Leonidas, the father of Origen, and Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, suffered martyrdom. On this occasion Tertullian composed his Apology.” The violence of Pagan intolerance was most severely felt in Egypt, and particularly at Alexandria.

Sixth general persecution.--This persecution began with the reign of the Emperor Maximinus, A. D. 235, and seems to have arisen from that prince’s hatred to his predecessor, Alexander, in whose family many Christians had found shelter and patronage. Though this persecution was very severe in some places, yet we have the names of only a few martyrs. Origen at this time was very industrious in supporting the Christians under these fiery trials.

Seventh general persecution.--This was the most dreadful persecution that ever had been known in the church. During the short reign of Decius, the Christians were exposed to greater calamities than any they had hitherto suffered. It has been said, and with some probability, that the Christians were involved in this persecution by their attachment to the family of the Emperor Philip. Considerable numbers were publicly destroyed; several purchased safety by bribes, or secured it by flight; and many deserted from the faith, and willingly consented to burn incense on the altars of the gods. The city of Alexandria, the great theatre of persecution, had even anticipated the edicts of the emperor, and had put to death a number of innocent persons, among whom were some women. The imperial edict for persecuting the Christians was published A. D. 249; and shortly after, Fabianus, bishop of Rome, with a number of his followers, was put to death. The venerable bishops of Jerusalem and Antioch died in prison, the most cruel tortures were employed, and the numbers that perished are by all parties confessed to have been very considerable.

Eighth general persecution.--The Emperor Valerian, in the fourth year of his reign, A. D. 257, listening to the suggestions of Macrinus, a magician of Egypt, was prevailed upon to persecute the Christians, on pretence that by their wicked and execrable charms they hindered the prosperity of the emperor. Macrinus advised him to perform many impious rites, sacrifices, and incantations; to cut the throats of infants, &c; and edicts were published in all places against the Christians, who were exposed without protection to the common rage. We have the names of several martyrs, among whom were the famous St. Laurence, archdeacon of Rome, and the great St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage.

Ninth general persecution.--This persecution took place under the Emperor Aurelian, A. D. 274; but it was so small and inconsiderable, that it gave little interruption to the peace of the church.

Tenth general persecution.--The tenth and last general persecution of the Christians began in the nineteenth year of the Emperor Diocletian, A. D. 303. The most violent promoters of it were Hierocles the philosopher, who wrote against the Christian religion, and Galerius, whom Diocletian had declared Cæsar. This latter was excited not only by his own cruelty and superstition, but likewise by his mother, who was a zealous Pagan. Diocletian, contrary to his inclination, was prevailed upon to authorize the persecution by his edicts. Accordingly, it began in the city of Nicomedia, whence it spread into other cities and provinces, and became at last universal. Great numbers of Christians suffered the severest tortures in this persecution, though the accounts given of it by succeeding historians are probably exaggerated. There is, however, sufficient of well authenticated facts to assure us amply of the cruel and intolerant disposition of the professors of Pagan philosophy. The human imagination was, indeed, almost exhausted in inventing a variety of tortures. Some were impaled alive; some had their limbs broken, and in that condition were left to expire. Some were roasted by slow fires; and some suspended by their feet with their heads downward, and, a fire being placed under them, were suffocated by the smoke. Some had melted lead poured down their throats, and the flesh of some was torn off with shells, and others had splinters of reeds thrust under the nails of their fingers and toes. The few who were not capitally punished had their limbs 740and their features mutilated. It would be endless to enumerate the victims of superstition. The bishops of Nicomedia, of Tyre, of Sidon, of Emesa, several matrons and virgins of the purest character, and a nameless number of plebians, arrived at immortality through the flames of martyrdom. At last it pleased God that the Emperor Constantine, who himself afterward became a Christian, openly declared for the Christians, and published the first law in favour of them. The death of Maximin, emperor of the east, soon after put a period to all their troubles; and this was the great epoch when Christianity triumphantly got possession of the thrones of princes.

The guilt of persecution has, however, been attached to professing Christians. Had men been guided solely by the spirit and the precepts of the Gospel, the conduct of its blessed Author, and the writings and example of his immediate disciples, we might have boldly affirmed that among Christians there could be no tendency to encroach upon freedom of discussion, and no approach to persecution. The Gospel, in every page of it, inculcates tenderness and mercy; it exhibits the most unwearied indulgence to the frailties and errors of men; and it represents charity as the badge of those who in sincerity profess it. In St. Paul’s inimitable description of this grace he has drawn a picture of mutual forbearance and kindness and toleration, upon which it is scarcely possible to dwell, without being raised superior to every contracted sentiment, and glowing with the most diffusive benevolence. In the churches which he planted he had often to counteract the efforts of teachers who had laboured to subvert the foundation which he had laid, to misrepresent his motives, and to inculcate doctrines which, through the inspiration that was imparted to him, he discerned to proceed from the most perverted views, and to be inconsistent with the great designs of the Gospel. These teachers he strenuously and conscientiously opposed; he endeavoured to show the great importance of those to whom he wrote being on their guard against them; and he evinced the most ardent zeal in resisting their insidious purposes: but he never, in the most distant manner, insinuated that they should be persecuted, adhering always to the maxim which he had laid down, that the weapons of a Christian’s warfare are not carnal but spiritual. He does, indeed, sometimes speak of heretics; and he even exhorts that, after expostulation with him, a heretic should be rejected, and not acknowledged to be a member of the church to which he had once belonged. But that precept of the Apostle has no reference to the persecution which it has sometimes been conceived to sanction, and which has been generally directed against men quite sincere in their belief, however erroneous that belief may be esteemed.

Upon a subject thus enforced by precept and example, it is not to be supposed that the first converts, deriving their notions of Christianity immediately from our Lord or his Apostles, could have any opinion different in theory, at least, from that which has been now established. Accordingly, we find that the primitive fathers, although, in many respects, they erred, unequivocally express themselves in favour of the most ample liberty as to religious sentiment, and highly disapprove of every attempt to control it. Passages from many of these writers might be quoted to establish that this was almost the universal sentiment till the age of Constantine. Lactantius in particular has, with great force and beauty, delivered his opinion against persecution: There is no need of compulsion and violence, because religion cannot be forced; and men must be made willing, not by stripes, but by arguments. Slaughter and piety are quite opposite to each other; nor can truth consist with violence, or justice with cruelty. They are convinced that nothing is more excellent than religion, and therefore think that it ought to be defended with force; but they are mistaken, both in the nature of religion, and in proper methods to support it; for religion is to be defended, not by murder, but by persuasion; not by cruelty, but by patience; not by wickedness, but by faith. If you attempt to defend religion by blood, and torments, and evil, this is not to defend, but to violate and pollute it; for there is nothing that should be more free than the choice of religion, in which, if consent be wanting, it becomes entirely void and ineffectual.”

The general conduct of Christians during the first three centuries was in conformity with the admirable maxims now quoted. Eusebius has recorded that Polycarp, after in vain endeavouring to persuade Anicetus, who was bishop of Rome, to embrace his opinion as to some point with respect to which they differed, gave him, notwithstanding, the kiss of peace, while Anicetus communicated with the martyr; and Irenæus mentions that although Polycarp was much offended with the Gnostic heretics, who abounded in his days, he converted numbers of them, not by the application of constraint or violence, but by the facts and arguments which he calmly submitted for their consideration. It must be admitted, however, that even during the second century some traces of persecution are to be found. Victor, one of the early pontiffs, because the Asiatic bishops differed from him about the rule for the observation of Easter, excommunicated them as guilty of heresy; and he acted in the same manner toward a person who held what he considered as erroneous notions respecting the trinity. This stretch of authority was, indeed, reprobated by the generality of Christians, and remonstrances against it were accordingly presented. There was, however, in this proceeding of Victor, too clear a proof that the church was beginning to deviate from the perfect charity by which it had been adorned, and too sure an indication that the example of one who held so high an office, when it was in harmony with the corruption or with the worst passions of our nature, would be extensively followed. But still there was, in the excommunication rashly pronounced 741by the pope, merely an exertion of ecclesiastical power, not interfering with the personal security, with the property, or with the lives of those against whom it was directed; and we may, notwithstanding this slight exception, consider the first three centuries as marked by the candour and the benevolence implied in the charity which judgeth not, and thinketh no evil.

It was after Christianity had been established as the religion of the empire, and after wealth and honour had been conferred on its ministers, that the monstrous evil of persecution acquired gigantic strength, and threw its blasting influence over the religion of the Gospel. The causes of this are apparent. Men exalted in the scale of society were eager to extend the power which had been intrusted to them; and they sought to do so by exacting from the people acquiescence in the peculiar interpretations of tenets and doctrines which they chose to publish as articles of faith. The moment that this was attempted, the foundation was laid for the most inflexible intolerance; because reluctance to submit was no longer regarded solely as a matter of conscience, but as interfering with the interest and the dominion of the ruling party. It was therefore proceeded against with all the eagerness which men so unequivocally display when the temporal blessings that gratify their ambition or add to their comfort are attempted to be wrested from them. To other dictates than those of the word of God the members of the church now listened; and opinions were viewed, not in reference to that word, but to the effect which they might produce upon the worldly advancement or prosperity of those by whom they were avowed. From the era, then, of the conversion of Constantine we may date, if not altogether the introduction, at least the decisive influence of persecution.

PERSIA, an ancient kingdom of Asia, bounded on the north by Media, on the west by Susiana, on the east by Carmania, and on the south by the Persian Gulf. The Persians became very famous from the time of Cyrus, the founder of the Persian monarchy. Their ancient name was Elamites, and in the time of the Roman emperors they went by the name of Parthians; but now Persians. See Cyrus; and for the religion of the ancient Persians, Magi.

PESTILENCE, or plague, generally is used by the Hebrews for all epidemic or contagious diseases. The prophets usually connect together sword, pestilence, and famine, being three of the most grievous inflictions of the Almighty upon a guilty people. See Diseases.

PETER, the great Apostle of the circumcision, was the son of Jona, and born at Bethsaida, a town situated on the western shore of the lake of Gennesareth, but in what particular year we are not informed, John i, 42, 43. His original name was Simon or Simeon, which his divine Master, when he called him to the Apostleship, changed for that of Cephas, a Syriac word signifying a stone or rock; in Latin, petra, from whence is derived the term Peter. He was a married man, and had his house, his mother-in-law, and his wife, at Capernaum, on the lake of Gennesareth, Matt. viii, 14; Mark i, 29; Luke iv, 38. He had also a brother of the name of Andrew, who had been a disciple of John the Baptist, and was called to the knowledge of the Saviour prior to himself. Andrew was present when the venerable Baptist pointed his disciples to Jesus, and added, Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world;” and, meeting Simon shortly afterward, said, We have found the Messiah,” and then brought him to Jesus, John i, 41. When the two brothers had passed one day with the Lord Jesus, they took their leave of him, and returned to their ordinary occupation of fishing. This appears to have taken place in the thirtieth year of the Christian era. Toward the end of the same year, as Jesus was one morning standing on the shore of the lake of Gennesareth, he saw Andrew and Peter engaged about their employment. They had been fishing during the whole night, but without the smallest success; and, after this fruitless expedition, were in the act of washing their nets, Luke v, 1–3. Jesus entered into their boat, and bade Peter throw out his net into the sea, which he did; and now, to his astonishment, the multitude of fishes was so immense that their own vessel, and that of the sons of Zebedee, were filled with them. Peter evidently saw there was something supernatural in this, and, throwing himself at the feet of Jesus, he exclaimed, Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.” The miracle was no doubt intended for a sign to the four disciples of what success should afterward follow their ministry in preaching the doctrine of his kingdom; and therefore Jesus said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men;” on which they quitted their boats and nets, and thenceforth became the constant associates of the Saviour, during the whole of his public ministry, Luke xviii, 28.

From the instant of his entering upon the apostolic office, we find St. Peter on almost every occasion evincing the strength of his faith in Jesus as the Messiah, and the most extraordinary zeal in his service, of which many examples are extant in the Gospels. When Jesus in private asked his disciples, first, what opinion the people entertained of him; next, what was their own opinion: Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Matt. xvi, 16. Having received this answer, Jesus declared Peter blessed on account of his faith; and in allusion to the signification of his name, added, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth,” &c. Many think these things were spoken to St. Peter alone, for the purpose of conferring on him privileges and powers not granted to the rest of the Apostles. But others, with more reason, suppose that, though Jesus directed his discourse to St. Peter, it was intended for them all; and 742that the honours and powers granted to St. Peter by name were conferred on them all equally. For no one will say that Christ’s church was built upon St. Peter singly: it was built on the foundation of all the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. As little can any one say that the power of binding and loosing was confined to St. Peter, seeing it was declared afterward to belong to all the Apostles, Matt. xviii, 18; John xx, 23. To these things add this, that as St. Peter made his confession in answer to a question which Jesus put to all the Apostles, that confession was certainly made in the name of the whole; and, therefore, what Jesus said to him in reply was designed for the whole without distinction; excepting this, which was peculiar to him, that he was to be the first who, after the descent of the Holy Ghost, should preach the Gospel to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles: an honour which was conferred on St. Peter in the expression, I will give thee the keys,” &c.

St. Peter was one of the three Apostles whom Jesus admitted to witness the resurrection of Jairus’s daughter, and before whom he was transfigured, and with whom he retired to pray in the garden the night before he suffered. He was the person who in the fervour of his zeal for his Master cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave, when the armed band came to apprehend him. Yet this same Peter, a few hours after that, denied his Master three different times in the high priest’s palace, and that with oaths. In the awful defection of the Apostle on this occasion we have melancholy proof of the power of human depravity even in regenerate men, and of the weakness of human resolutions when left to ourselves. St. Peter was fully warned by his divine Master of his approaching danger; but confident in his own strength, he declared himself ready to accompany his Lord to prison and even to judgment. After the third denial Jesus turned and looked upon Peter;” that look pierced him to the heart; and, stung with deep remorse, he went out, and wept bitterly.” St. Peter, however, obtained forgiveness; and, when Jesus had risen from the dead, he ordered the glad tidings of his resurrection to be conveyed to St. Peter by name: Go tell my disciples and Peter,” Mark xvi, 8. He afterward received repeated assurances of his Saviour’s love, and from that time uniformly showed the greatest zeal and fortitude in his Master’s service.

Soon after our Lord’s ascension, in a numerous assembly of the Apostles and brethren, St. Peter gave it as his opinion, that one should be chosen to be an Apostle in the room of Judas. To this they all agreed; and, by lot, chose Matthias, whom on that occasion they numbered with the eleven Apostles. On the day of pentecost following, when the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles and disciples, St. Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice; that is, St. Peter, rising up, spake with a loud voice, in the name of the Apostles, as he had done on various occasions in his Master’s lifetime, and gave the multitude an account of that great miracle, Acts ii, 14. St. Peter now began to experience the fulfilment of Christ’s promise to make him a fisher of men, and also that he would give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. His sermon on this occasion produced an abundant harvest of converts to Christ. Three thousand of his audience were pricked to the heart, and cried out, Men and brethren, what shall we do” St. Peter proclaimed to them the riches of pardoning mercy through the divine blood of the Son of God; and they that gladly received his doctrine were baptized and added to the church, Acts ii, 37–43. The effects produced on the mind of this great Apostle of the circumcision by the resurrection of his divine Master, and the consequent effusion of the Holy Spirit, were evidently of the most extraordinary kind, and such as it is impossible to account for upon natural principles. He was raised superior to all considerations of personal danger and the fear of man. And though all the Apostles could now say, God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind;” yet an attentive reader of the Acts of the Apostles cannot fail to perceive that upon almost every occasion of difficulty St. Peter is exhibited to our view as standing foremost in the rank of Apostles. When St. Peter and John were brought before the council to be examined concerning the miracle wrought on the impotent man, St. Peter spake. It was St. Peter who questioned Ananias and Sapphira about the price of their lands; and, for their lying in that matter, punished them miraculously with death. It is remarkable, also, that although by the hands of the Apostles many signs and wonders were wrought, it was by St. Peter’s shadow alone that the sick, who were laid in the streets of Jerusalem, were healed as he passed by. Lastly: It was St. Peter who replied to the council in the name of the Apostles, not obeying their command to preach no more in the name of Jesus.

St. Peter’s fame was now become so great, that the brethren of Joppa, hearing of his being in Lydda, and of his having cured Eneas miraculously of a palsy, sent, desiring him to come and restore a disciple to life, named Tabitha, which he did. During his abode in Joppa, the Roman centurion, Cornelius, directed by an angel, sent for him to come and preach to him. On that occasion the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his company, while St. Peter spake. St. Peter, by his zeal and success in preaching the Gospel, having attracted the notice of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Herod Agrippa, who, to please the Jews, had killed St. James, the brother of St. John, still farther to gratify them, cast St. Peter into prison. But an angel brought him out; after which he concealed himself in the city, or in some neighbouring town, till Herod’s death, which happened about the end of the year. Some learned men think St. Peter at that time went to Antioch or to Rome. But if he had gone to 743any celebrated city, St. Luke, as L’Enfant observes, would probably have mentioned it. Beside, we find him in the council of Jerusalem, which met not long after this to determine the famous question concerning the circumcision of the Gentiles. The council being ended, St. Peter went to Antioch, where he gave great offence, by refusing to eat with the converted Gentiles. But St. Paul withstood him to the face, rebuking him before the whole church for his pusillanimity and hypocrisy, Gal. ii, 11–21.

In the Acts of the Apostles, no mention is made of St. Peter after the council of Jerusalem. But from Gal. ii, 11, it appears that after that council he was with St. Paul at Antioch. He is likewise mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Cor. i, 12; iii, 22. It is generally supposed that after St. Peter was at Antioch with St. Paul, he returned to Jerusalem. What happened to him after that is not told in the Scriptures. But Eusebius informs us that Origen wrote to this purpose: St. Peter is supposed to have preached to the Jews of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia; and at length, coming to Rome, was crucified with his head downward.

We are indebted to this Apostle for two epistles, which constitute a valuable part of the inspired writings. The first epistle of St. Peter has always been considered as canonical; and in proof of its genuineness we may observe that it is referred to by Clement of Rome, Hermas, and Polycarp; that, we are assured by Eusebius, that it was quoted by Papias; and that it is expressly mentioned by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and most of the later fathers. The authority of the second epistle of St. Peter was for some time disputed, as we learn from Origen, Eusebius, and Jerom; but since the fourth century it has been universally received, except by the Syriac Christians. It is addressed to the same persons as the former epistle, and the design of it was to encourage them to adhere to the genuine faith and practice of the Gospel.

PETHOR, a city of Mesopotamia, of which the Prophet Balaam was a native. The Hebrews call this city Pethura. Ptolemy calls it Pachora; and Eusebius, Pathara. He places it in the Upper Mesopotamia.

PHARAOH, a common name of the kings of Egypt. We meet with it as early as Gen. xii, 15. Josephus says, that all the kings of Egypt, from Minæus, the founder of Memphis, who lived several ages before Abraham, always had the name of Pharaoh, down to the time of Solomon, for more than three thousand three hundred years. He adds, that, in the Egyptian language, the word Pharaoh means king, and that these princes did not assume the name until they ascended the throne, at which time they quitted their former name.

PHARISEES, a sect of the Jews. The earliest mention of them is by Josephus, who tells us that they were a sect of considerable weight when John Hyrcanus was high priest, B. C. 108. They were the most numerous, distinguished, and popular sect among the Jews. TheJews. The time when they first appeared is not known, but it is supposed to have been not long after the institution of the Sadducees, if, indeed the two sects did not gradually spring up together. They derived their name from the Hebrew word pharash, which signifies separated,” or set apart;” because they separated themselves from the rest of the Jews to superior strictness in religious observances. They boasted that, from their accurate knowledge of religion, they were the favourites of Heaven; and thus, trusting in themselves that they were righteous, despised others, Luke xi, 52; xviii, 9, 11. Among the tenets inculcated by this sect, we may enumerate the following: namely, they ascribed all things to fate or providence; yet not so absolutely as to take away the free will of man; for fate does not coöperate in every action, Acts v, 38, 39. They also believed in the existence of angels and spirits, and in the resurrection of the dead; Acts xxiii, 8. Lastly: the Pharisees contended that God stood engaged to bless the Jews, to make them all partakers of the terrestrial kingdom of the Messiah, to justify them, and make them eternally happy. The cause of their justification they derived from the merits of Abraham, from their knowledge of God, from their practising the rite of circumcision, and from the sacrifices they offered. And as they conceived works to be meritorious, they had invented a great number of supererogatory ones, to which they attached greater merit than to the observance of the law itself. To this notion St. Paul has some allusions in those parts of his Epistle to the Romans, in which be combats the erroneous suppositions of the Jews, Rom. i-xi.

The Pharisees were the strictest of the three principal sects that divided the Jewish nation, Acts xxvi, 5, and affected a singular probity of manners according to their system; which, however, was, for the most part, both lax and corrupt. Thus many things which Moses had tolerated in civil life, in order to avoid a greater evil, the Pharisees determined to be morally right: for instance, the law of divorce from a wife for any cause, Matt. v, 31, &c; xix, 3–12. (See Divorce.) Farther: they interpreted certain of the Mosaic laws most literally, and distorted their meaning so as to favour their own selfish system. Thus, the law of loving their neighbour, they expounded solely of the love of their friends, that is, of the whole Jewish race; all other persons being considered by them as natural enemies, whom they were in no respect bound to assist, Matt. v, 43; Luke x, 31–33. They also trifled with oaths. Dr. Lightfoot has cited a striking illustration of this from Maimonides. An oath, in which the name of God was not distinctly specified, they taught was not binding, Matt. v, 33; maintaining that a man might even swear with his lips, and at the same time annul it in his heart! And yet so rigorously did they understand the command of observing the Sabbath day, that they accounted it unlawful to pluck ears of corn, and heal the sick, &c, Matt. xii; Luke 744vi, 6, &c; xiv. Many moral rules they accounted inferior to the ceremonial laws, to the total neglect of mercy and fidelity, Matt. v, 19; xv, 4; xxiii, 23. Hence they accounted causeless anger and impure desires as trifles of no moment, Matt. v, 21, 22, 27–30; they compassed sea and land to make proselytes to the Jewish religion from among the Gentiles, that they might rule over their consciences and wealth; and these proselytes, through the influence of their own scandalous examples and characters, they soon rendered more profligate and abandoned than ever they were before their conversion, Matt. xxiii, 15. Esteeming temporal happiness and riches as the highest good, they scrupled not to accumulate wealth by every means, legal or illegal, Matt. v, 1–12; xxiii, 5; Luke xvi, 14; James ii, 1–8; vain and ambitious of popular applause, they offered up long prayers in public places, but not without self-complacency in their own holiness, Matt. vi, 2–5; Luke xviii, 11; under a sanctimonious appearance of respect for the memories of the prophets whom their ancestors had slain, they repaired and beautified their sepulchres, Matt. xxiii, 29; and such was their idea of their own sanctity, that they thought themselves defiled if they but touched or conversed with sinners, that is, with publicans or tax-gatherers, and persons of loose and irregular lives, Luke vii, 39; xv, 1.

But, above all their other tenets, the Pharisees were conspicuous for their reverential observance of the traditions or decrees of the elders: these traditions, they pretended, had been handed down from Moses through every generation, but were not committed to writing; and they were not merely considered as of equal authority with the divine law, but even preferable to it. The words of the scribes,” said they, are lovely above the words of the law; for the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the scribes are all weighty.” Among the traditions thus sanctimoniously observed by the Pharisees, we may briefly notice the following: the washing of hands up to the wrist before and after meat, Matthew xv, 2; Mark vii, 3; which they accounted not merely a religious duty, but considered its omission as a crime equal to fornication, and punishable by excommunication: the purification of the cups, vessels, and couches used at their meals by ablutions or washings, Mark vii, 4; for which purpose the six large water pots mentioned by St. John, ii, 6, were destined: their fasting twice a week with great appearance of austerity, Luke xviii, 12; Matt. vi, 16; thus converting that exercise into religion which is only a help toward the performance of its hallowed duties: their punctilious payment of tithes, (temple-offerings,) even of the most trifling things, Luke xviii, 12; Matt. xxiii, 23. And their wearing broader phylacteries and larger fringes to their garments than the rest of the Jews, Matt. xxiii, 5. See Phylacteries.

With all their pretensions to piety, the Pharisees entertained the most sovereign contempt for the people; whom, being ignorant of the law, they pronounced to be accursed, John vii, 49. Yet such was the esteem and veneration in which they were held by the populace, that they may almost be said to have given what direction they pleased to public affairs; and hence the great men dreaded their power and authority. It is unquestionable, as Mosheim has well remarked, that the religion of the Pharisees was, for the most part, founded in consummate hypocrisy; and that, at the bottom, they were generally the slaves of every vicious appetite, proud, arrogant, and avaricious, consulting only the gratification of their lusts, even at the very moment when they professed themselves to be engaged in the service of their Maker. These odious features in the character of the Pharisees caused them to be reprehended by our Saviour with the utmost severity, even more so than the Sadducees; who, although they had departed widely from the genuine principles of religion, yet did not impose on mankind by a pretended sanctity, or devote themselves with insatiate greediness to the acquisition of honours and riches. A few, and a few only of the sect of the Pharisees in those times, might be of better character,--men who, though self-righteous and deluded and bigoted, were not like the rest, hypocritical. Of this number was Saul of Tarsus; but as a body their attachment to traditions; their passionate expectation of deliverance from the Roman yoke by the Messiah, and the splendour of his civil reign, their pride, and above all their vices, sufficiently account for that unconquerable unbelief which had possessed their minds as to the claims of Christ, and their resistance to the evidence of his miracles. The sect of the Pharisees was not extinguished by the ruin of the Jewish commonwealth. The greater part of the Jews are still Pharisees, being as much devoted to traditions, or the oral law, as their ancestors were.

PHARPAR. See Abana.

PHEBE, a deaconess of the port of Corinth, called Cenchrea. St. Paul had a particular esteem for this holy woman; and Theodoret thinks the Apostle lodged at her house for some time, while he continued in or near Corinth. It is thought she carried the epistle to Rome, which he wrote to the church of that city, in which she is so highly commended, Rom. xvi, 1, 2. It is thought that, in quality of deaconess, she was employed by the church in some ministrations suitable to her sex and condition; as to visit and instruct the Christian women, and attend them in their sickness, and distribute alms to them in their necessities.

PHENICIA, a province of Syria, the limits of which have been differently represented. Sometimes it has been defined as extending from north to south, from Orthosia as far as Pelusium. At other times its southern limit is said to have been Mount Carmel and Ptolemais. It is certain that, from the conquest of Palestine by the Hebrews, its limits were narrow, containing no part of the country of the Philistines, which occupied all the coast from 745Mount Carmel along the Mediterranean, as far as the borders of Egypt. It had also very little extent on the land side, because the Israelites, who possessed all Galilee, confined it to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The chief cities of Phenicia were Sidon, Tyre, Ptolemais, Ecdippe, Sarepta, Berythe, Biblos, Tripoli, Orthosia, Simira, Aradus. They formerly had possession of some cities in Libanus: and sometimes the Greek authors comprehend all Judea under the name of Phenicia. Phenicia may be considered as the birthplace of commerce, if not also of letters and the arts. It was a Phenician who introduced into Greece the knowledge and the use of letters. Phenician workmen built the temple of Solomon; Phenician sailors navigated his ships; Phenician pilots directed them; and before other nations had ventured to lose sight of their own shores, colonies of Phenicians were established in the most distant parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. These early advantages were owing, doubtless, in part to their own enterprising character, and in part also to their central situation, which enabled them to draw into their own narrow territory all the commerce between the east and the west. Bochart has laboured to show that they sent colonies to almost all the isles and coasts of the Mediterranean Sea; but the most famous of all their colonies was that of Carthage.

PHILADELPHIA, a city of Lydia, in Asia Minor, and one of the seven churches of Asia. It derived its name from Attalus Philadelphus, its founder; and was seated on a branch of Mount Tmolus, about twenty-five miles south-east of Sardis, and seventy, in nearly the same direction, from Smyrna. It suffered greatly, in common with all this part of Asia, in the terrible earthquake during the reign of Tiberius, and in the seventeenth year of the Christian era. It has, however, retained a better fate than most of its neighbours; for under the name of Alahsher, or the city of God, it is still a place of some repute, chiefly supported by trade, it being in the route of the caravans to Smyrna. Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia,” says Gibbon, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins.” Although this city is now in the possession of the Turks, it has about a thousand Christian inhabitants, chiefly Greeks; who have five churches with a resident bishop, and inferior clergy.

PHILEMON was an inhabitant of Colosse; and from the manner in which he is addressed by St. Paul in his epistle to him, it is probable that he was a person of some consideration in that city. St. Paul seems to have been the means of converting him to the belief of the Gospel, Philemon 19. He calls him his fellow-labourer; and from that expression some have thought that he was bishop or deacon of the church at Colosse; but others have been of opinion, that he was only a private Christian, who had shown a zealous and active disposition in the cause of Christianity, without holding any ecclesiastical office. We learn from this epistle itself, that it was written when St. Paul was a prisoner, and when he had hope of soon recovering his liberty, Philemon 1, 22; and thence we conclude that it was written toward the end of his first confinement at Rome. This epistle has always been deservedly admired for the delicacy and address with which it is written; and it places St. Paul’s character in a very amiable point of view. He had converted a fugitive slave to the Christian faith; and he here intercedes with his master in the most earnest and affectionate manner for his pardon; he speaks of Onesimus in terms calculated to soften Philemon’s resentment, engages to make full compensation for any injury which he might have sustained from him, and conjures him to reconciliation and forgiveness by the now endearing connection of Christian brotherhood. See Onesimus.

PHILIP, the Apostle, was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus Christ having seen him, said to him, Follow me,” John i, 43, 44. Philip followed him; he was present at the marriage of Cana in Galilee. Philip was called at the beginning of our Saviour’s mission. He is mentioned, Luke vi, 13; Matt. x, 3; John vi, 5–7. Some Gentiles having a curiosity to see Jesus, a little before his passion, addressed themselves to Philip, John xii, 21, 22, who mentioned it to Andrew, and these two to Christ. At the last supper Philip desired the Saviour to show them the Father, John xiv, 8–10. This is all that we find concerning Philip in the Gospel.

2. Philip, the second of the seven deacons, Acts vi, 5, was, some say, of Cæsarea in Palestine. It is certain his daughters lived in that city, Acts xxi, 8, 9. After the death of Stephen all the Christians, except the Apostles, having left Jerusalem, and being dispersed in several places, Philip went to preach at Sebaste or Samaria, where he performed several miracles, and converted many persons, Acts viii, 1–3, &c. He baptized them; but informed the Apostles at Jerusalem that Samaria had received the word of God, that they might come and communicate the Holy Ghost to them. Peter and John came thither for that purpose. Philip was, probably, at Samaria, when an angel commanded him to go on the road that leads from Jerusalem to old Gaza. Philip obeyed, and there met with an Ethiopian eunuch, belonging to Candace, queen of Ethiopia, whom he converted and baptized, Acts viii, 26. Being come out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more.

PHILIPPI, one of the chief cities of Macedonia, lying on the north-west of Neapolis, and formerly called Datum or Datos, but afterward taking its name from Philip, the celebrated king of Macedon, by whom it was repaired and beautified. In process of time, it became a Roman colony. It was the first place at which St. Paul preached the Gospel upon the continent of Europe, A. D. 51. He made many converts there, who soon afterward gave strong proofs of their attachment to him, 746Phil. iv, 15. He was at Philippi a second time, but nothing which then occurred is recorded. The Philippian Christians having heard of St. Paul’s imprisonment at Rome, with their accustomed zeal, sent Epaphroditus to assure him of the continuance of their regard, and to offer him a supply of money. His epistle was written in consequence of that act of kindness; and it is remarkable for its strong expressions of affection. As the Apostle tells the Philippians that he hoped to see them shortly, Phil. ii, 24, and there are plain intimations in this epistle of his having been some time at Rome, Phil. i, 12; ii, 26, it is probable that it was written A. D. 62, toward the end of his confinement.

It is a strong proof,” says Chrysostom, of the virtuous conduct of the Philippians, that they did not afford the Apostle a single subject of complaint; for, in the whole epistle which he wrote to them, there is nothing but exhortation and encouragement, without the mixture of any censure whatever.”

PHILISTIM, or PHILISTINES, a people who are commonly said to have descended from Casluhim, the son of Mizraim or Mizr, who peopled Egypt. The Philistines, it is probable, continued with their progenitors in Egypt until they were sufficiently numerous and powerful to stretch themselves along the coast of Canaan; doubtless by driving out that portion of the family of Ham. It is certain that, in the time of Abraham, the Canaanites were in possession of the rest of the land, to which they gave their name: but the extreme south of Philistia, or Palestine, was even then possessed by the Philistines, whose king, Abimelech, reigned at Gerar. After this, in the time of Joshua, we find their country divided into five lordships or principalities; namely, Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron; giving sometimes also, as it appears, the title of king to their respective rulers; Achish being termed king of Gath, I Sam. xxi, 10. The time of their coming to Palestine is unknown; but they had been long in Canaan when Abraham came thither, in the year of the world 2083. The name Philistine is not Hebrew. The Septuagint generally translate it f, strangers. The Pelethites and Cherethites were also Philistines; and the Septuagint sometimes translate Cherethim, ta, Cretes. They were not of the cursed seed of Canaan. However, Joshua did not forbear to give their land to the Hebrews, and to attack them by command from the Lord, because they possessed a country promised to Israel. But these conquests of Joshua must have been ill maintained, since, under the Judges, under Saul, and at the beginning of the reign of King David, the Philistines had their kings, and their lords, whom they called Sazenim; since their state was divided into five little kingdoms, or satrapies; and since they oppressed the Israelites during the government of the high priest Eli, and of Samuel, and during the reign of Saul, for about a hundred and twenty years, from A. M. 2848 to A. M. 2960. True it is, that Shamgar, Samson, Samuel, and Saul, opposed them, and killed some of their people, but did not reduce their power. They continued independent till the time of David, who subdued them, 2 Sam. v, 17; viii, 1, 2, &c.

They continued in subjection to the kings of Judah down to the reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, about two hundred and forty-six years, when they revolted from Jehoram, 2 Chron. xxi, 16. Jehoram made war against them, and probably reduced them to his obedience again; because it is observed in Scripture, that they revolted again from Uzziah, who kept them to their duty during his whole reign, 2 Chron. xxvi, 6, 7. Uzziah began to reign A. M. 3194. During the unfortunate reign of Ahaz, the Philistines made great havoc in the territory of Judah; but his son and successor Hezekiah subdued them again, 2 Chron. xxviii, 18; 2 Kings xviii, 8. Lastly, they regained their full liberty under the later kings of Judah; and we may see, by the menaces made against them by the Prophets Isaiah, Amos, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, that they brought a thousand hardships and calamities on the children of Israel, for which God threatened to punish them with great misfortunes.

Esar-haddon, successor to Sennacherib, besieged Ashdod, or Azoth, and took it by the arms of his general, Thasthan, or Tartan. Psammetichus, king of Egypt, took the same city after a siege of twenty-nine years, according to Herodotus. During the siege of Tyre, which held out thirteen years, Nebuchadnezzar used part of his army to subdue the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and other nations bordering on the Jews. There is great probability that the Philistines could not withstand him, but were reduced to his obedience, as well as the other people of Syria, Phenicia, and Palestine. Afterward they fell under the dominion of the Persians; then under that of Alexander the Great, who destroyed the city of Gaza, the only city of the Phenicians that dared to oppose him. After the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Asmoneans took by degrees several cities from the country of the Philistines, which they subjected. Tryphon, regent of the kingdom of Syria, gave to Jonathan, the Asmonean, the government of the whole coast of the Mediterranean, from Tyre to Egypt; consequently, all the country of the Philistines.

The land of the Philistines bordered on the west and south-west of Judea, and lies on the south-east point of the Mediterranean Sea. The country to the north of Gaza is very fertile; and, long after the Christian era, it possessed a very numerous population, and strongly fortified cities. No human probability, says Keith, could have existed, in the time of the prophets, or at a much more recent date, of its eventual desolation. But it has belied, for many ages, every promise which the fertility of its soil, and the excellence both of its climate and situation, gave for many preceding centuries of its permanency as a rich and well cultivated region. And the voice of prophecy, which was not silent respecting it, 747proclaimed the fate that awaited it, in terms as contradictory, at the time, to every natural suggestion, as they are descriptive of what Philistia now actually is. I will stretch out my hand upon the Philistines, and destroy the remnant of the sea coasts,” Ezek. xxv, 16. Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley,” Jer. xlvii, 5. Thus saith the Lord, For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof. I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof. And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon; and I will turn my hand against Ekron; and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord God,” Amos i, 6, 7, 8. For Ashkelon shall be a desolation;” it shall be cut off with the remnant of the valley; and Ekron shall be rooted up.--O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant; and the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks,” Zeph. ii, 4, 5, 6. The king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited,” Zech. ix, 5.

The land of the Philistines was to be destroyed. It partakes of the general desolation common to it with Judea and other neighbouring states. While ruins are to be found in all Syria, they are particularly abundant along the sea coast, which formed, on the south, the realm of the Philistines. But its aspect presents some existing peculiarities, which travellers fail not to particularize, and which, in reference both to the state of the country and the fate of its different cities, the prophets failed not to discriminate as justly as if their description had been drawn both with all the accuracy which ocular observation, and all the certainty which authenticated history, could give. Volney, (though, like one who in ancient times was instrumental to the fulfilment of a special prediction, he meant not so, neither did his heart think so,”) from the manner in which he generalizes his observations, and marks the peculiar features of the different districts of Syria, with greater acuteness and perspicuity than any other traveller whatever, is the ever ready purveyor of evidence in all the cases which came within the range of his topographical description of the wide field of prophecy: while, at the same time, from his known, open, and zealous hostility to the Christian cause, his testimony is alike decisive and unquestionable: and the vindication of the truth of the following predictions may safely be committed to this redoubted champion of infidelity. In the plain between Ramla and Gaza,” the very plain of the Philistines along the sea coast, we met with a number of villages badly built, of dried mud, and which, like the inhabitants, exhibit every mark of poverty and wretchedness. The houses, on a nearer view, are only so many huts, (cottages,) sometimes detached, at others ranged in the form of cells, around a court yard, enclosed by a mud wall. In winter, they and their cattle may be said to live together; the part of the dwelling allotted to themselves being only raised two feet above that in which they lodge their beasts:”--“dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.”--“Except the environs of these villages, all the rest of the country is a desert, and abandoned to the Bedouin Arabs, who feed their flocks on it.”--Thus accomplishing the words of prophecy, The remnant shall perish; the land of the Philistines shall be destroyed, that there shall be no inhabitant; and the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.” “The ruins of white marble, sometimes found at Gaza, prove that it was formerly the abode of luxury and opulence. It has shared in the general destruction; and, notwithstanding its proud title of the capital of Palestine, it is now no more than a defenceless village,” (baldness has come upon it,) peopled by, at most, only two thousand inhabitants.”--“It is forsaken,” says the prophet, and bereaved of its king.” “The sea coast, by which it was formerly washed, is every day removing farther from the deserted ruins of Ashkelon.” Amidst the various successive ruins, those of Edzoud,” Ashdod, so powerful under the Philistines, are now remarkable for their scorpions.”--Here again we are reminded of the words of inspiration: The inhabitants shall be cut off from Ashdod.”

Thus Volney becomes an unconscious commentator upon prophecy. But let us hear a Christian traveller. Ashkelon,” says Richardson, “was one of the proudest satrapies of the lords of the Philistines: now there is not an inhabitant within its walls; and the prophecy of Zechariah is fulfilled: ‘The king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.’ When the prophecy was uttered, both cities were in an equally flourishing condition; and nothing but the prescience of Heaven could pronounce on which of the two, and in what manner, the vial of its wrath should be poured out. Gaza is truly without a king. The lofty towers of Ashkelon lie scattered on the ground, and the ruins within its walls do not shelter a human being. How is the wrath of man made to praise his Creator! Hath he not said, and shall he not do it The oracle was delivered by the mouth of the prophet more than five hundred years before the Christian era, and we beheld its accomplishment eighteen hundred years after that event.” There is yet another city which was noted by the prophets, the very want of any information respecting which, and the absence of its name from several modern maps of Palestine, while the sites of other ruined cities are marked, are really the best confirmation of the truth of the prophecy that could possibly be given. Ekron shall be rooted up.” It is rooted up. It was one of the chief cities of the Philistines; but, though Gaza still subsists, and while Ashkelon and Ashdod retain their names in their ruins, the very name of Ekron is missing.

PHILOSOPHY, in general, is defined, the knowledge and study of nature and morality, founded on reason and experience.” Philosophy 748owes its name to the modesty of Pythagoras, who refused the high title of sf, wise, given to his predecessors, Thales, Pherecydes, &c, as too assuming; and contented himself with the simple appellation of fsf, quasi f t sfa, a friend or lover of wisdom: but Chauvin rather chooses to derive the name from fa, desire to study, and sfa, studium sapientiæ; and says that Pythagoras, conceiving that the application of the human mind ought rather to be called study than science, set aside the appellation of wise, and, in lieu thereof, took that of philosopher.

A knowledge of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, or the science of natural history, was always an object of interest. We are informed that Solomon himself had given a description of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, 1 Kings iv, 33. Traces of philosophy, strictly so called, that is, the system of prevailing moral opinions, may be found in the book of Job, in the thirty-seventh, thirty-ninth, and seventy-third Psalms; also in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, but chiefly in the apocryphal book of Wisdom, and the writings of the son of Sirach. During the captivity, the Jews acquired many new notions, particularly from the Mahestani, and appropriated them, as occasion offered, to their own purposes. They at length became acquainted with the philosophy of the Greeks, which makes its appearance abundantly in the book of Wisdom. After the captivity, the language in which the sacred books were written was no longer vernacular. Hence arose the need of an interpreter on the sabbatic year, a time when the whole law was read, and also on the Sabbath in the synagogues, which some think had been recently erected, in order to make the people understand what was read. These interpreters learned the Hebrew language at the schools. The teachers of these schools, who, for the two generations preceding the time of Christ, had maintained some acquaintance with the Greek philosophy, were not satisfied with a simple interpretation of the Hebrew idiom, as it stood, but shaped the interpretation so as to render it conformable to their philosophy. Thus arose contentions, which gave occasion for the various sects of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. In the time of our Saviour, divisions had arisen among the Pharisees themselves. No less than eighteen nice questions, if we may believe the Jewish rabbins, were contested at that period between the schools of Hillel and Shammai; one of which questions was an inquiry, what cause was sufficient for a bill of divorce. If the Shammai and Hillel of the Talmud are the same with the learned men mentioned in Josephus, namely, Sameas and Pollio, who flourished thirty-four years before Christ, then Shammai or Sameas is undoubtedly the same with the Simeon who is mentioned, Luke ii, 25–35; and his son Gamaliel, so celebrated in the Talmud, is the same with the Gamaliel mentioned, Acts v, 34; xxii, 3.

Anciently, learned men were denominated among the Hebrews , as among the Greeks they were called sf, wise men. In the time of Christ, the common appellative for men of that description was aµµate, in the Hebrew , a scribe. They were addressed by the honorary title of rabbi, , great,” or master.” The Jews, in imitation of the Greeks, had their seven wise men, who were called rabboni. Gamaliel was one of the number. They called themselves the children of wisdom; expressions which correspond very nearly to the Greek fsf, Matthew xi, 19; Luke vii, 35. The heads of sects were called fathers;” the disciples were denominated sons,” or children,” Matt. xii, 27; xxiii, 1–9. The Jewish teachers, at least some of them, had private lecture rooms; but they also taught and disputed in synagogues, in temples, and, in fact, wherever they could find an audience. The method of these teachers was the same with that which prevailed among the Greeks. Any disciple who chose might propose questions, upon which it was the duty of the teachers to remark and give their opinions, Luke ii, 46. The teachers were not invested with their functions by any formal act of the church, or of the civil authority: they were self-constituted. They received no other salary than some voluntary present from the disciples, which was called an honorary,” tµ, honorarium, 1 Tim. v, 17. They acquired a subsistence, in the main, by the exercise of some art or handicraft. That they took a higher seat than their auditors, although it was probably the case, does not follow, as is sometimes supposed, from Luke ii, 46. According to the Talmudists, they were bound to hold no conversation with women, and to refuse to sit at table with the lower class of people, Matt. ix, 11; John iv, 27. The subjects on which they taught were numerous, commonly intricate, and of no great consequence; of which there are abundant examples in the Talmud.

St. Paul bids the Colossians beware lest any man should spoil them through philosophy and vain deceit;” that is, a vain and deceitful philosophy, such as was popular in that day, and had been compounded out of all preceding systems, Grecian and oriental. An explanation of this philosophy is given under Gnostics, and Cabbala.

On these ancient systems of pretended wisdom, Dr. Burton justly remarks: “Philosophy is indeed the noblest stretch of intellect which God has vouchsafed to man; and it is only when man forgets that he received his reasoning powers from God, that he is in danger of losing himself in darkness when he sought for light. To measure that which is infinite, is as impossible in metaphysics as in physics. If it had not been for revelation, we should have known no more of the Deity than the Heathen philosophers knew before: and to what did their knowledge amount They felt the necessity of a First Cause, and they saw that that Cause must be intrinsically good; but when they came to systems, they never went farther than the point from which they first set out, that evil is not good, and good is not evil. 749The Gnostics thought to secure the triumph of their scheme by veiling its weaker points in mystery, and by borrowing a part from almost every system. But popular, and even successful, as this attempt may have been, we may say with truth, that the scheme which flattered the vanity of human wisdom, and which strove to conciliate all opinions, has died away, and is forgotten; while the Gospel, the unpresuming, the uncompromising doctrine of the Gospel, aided by no human wisdom, and addressing itself not merely to the head, but to the heart, has triumphed over all systems and all philosophers; and still leads its followers to that true knowledge which some have endeavoured to teach ‘after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.’”

PHINEHAS, son of Eleazar, and grandson of Aaron, third high priest of the Jews, A. M. 2571 to about A. M. 2590, B. C. 1414. He is particularly commended in Scripture for zeal in vindicating the glory of God, when the Midianites had sent their daughters into the camp of Israel, to tempt the Hebrews to fornication and idolatry, Num. xxv, 7. On this account the Lord promised the priesthood to Phinehas by perpetual covenant; evidently including this tacit condition, that his children should continue faithful and obedient: for we know the priesthood passed out of the family of Eleazar and Phinehas to that of Ithamar, and that it returned not to the posterity of Eleazar until after about a hundred and fifty years.

PHUT or PUT, the posterity of Phut, the son of Ham, Gen. x, 6. Calmet is of opinion that Phut, the third son of Ham, peopled either the canton of Phtemphu, Phtemphti, Phtembuti, of Pliny and Ptolemy, whose capital was Thara, in Lower Egypt, inclining toward Libya; or the canton called Phtenotes, of which Buthas was the capital. The prophets often speak of Phut. In the time of Jeremiah, xlvi, 9, Phut was under the obedience of Necho, king of Egypt. Nahum, iii, 9, reckons this people in the number of those who ought to come to the assistance of No-Ammon, or Diospolis.

PHYLACTERIES, called by the Jews , are little scrolls of parchment, in which are written certain sentences of the law, enclosed in leather cases, and bound with thongs on the forehead and on the left arm. They are called in Greek fata, from ftt, custodio, either because they were supposed to preserve the law in memory, or rather because they were looked upon as a kind of amulets or charms to keep them from danger. The making and wearing these phylacteries, as the Jews still do in their private devotions, is owing to a misinterpretation of those texts, on which they ground the practice, namely, God’s commanding them to bind the law for a sign on their hands, and to let it be as frontlets between their eyes,” &c, Deut. vi, 8. The command ought doubtless to be understood metaphorically, as a charge to remember it, to meditate upon it, to have it as it were continually before their eyes, and to conduct their lives by it; as when Solomon says, concerning the commandments of God in general, Bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thy heart,” Prov. iii, 1, 3; vi, 21. However, the Jews understanding the precept literally, wrote out the several passages wherever it occurs, and to which it seems to refer, and bound them upon their foreheads and upon their arms. It seems the Pharisees used to make broad their phylacteries.” This some understand of the knots of the thongs by which they were fastened, which were tied very artificially in the form of Hebrew letters; and that the pride of the Pharisees induced them to have these knots larger than ordinary, as a peculiar ornament. The Pharisees are farther said to enlarge the borders of their garments,” t speda t µat, Matt. xxiii, 5. These speda were the , the fringes which the Jews are commanded to wear upon the borders of their garments, Num. xv, 38, 39. The Targum of Onkelos calls them , which has so near an affinity with the Greek word sped, that there is no doubt but it signifies the same thing; which is, therefore, an evidence that the speda were the . These were worn by our Saviour, as appears from the following passage: Behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment,” sped t µat, Matt. ix, 20. Again: the inhabitants of Gennesaret are said to have brought unto him their diseased, and to have besought him, that they might only touch the hem of his garment,” asped t µat, Matt. xiv, 36. sped t µat is, in both these passages, very improperly translated the hem of his garment.” It should have been rendered the fringe.” The Pharisees are censured by our Saviour for enlarging these fringes of their garments, which we may suppose they did partly from pride, and partly from hypocrisy, as pretending thereby an extraordinary regard for the precepts of the law. It is reported by Jerom, as quoted by Godwin, that they used to have fringes extravagantly long; sticking thorns in them, that, by pricking their legs as they walked, they might put them in mind of the law. See Frontlets.

PIETISTS, Protestant, a denomination in the seventeenth century, which owed its origin to the pious and learned Spener,” as Dr. Mosheim calls him, who formed private devotional societies at Frankfort, in order to cultivate vital and practical religion; and published a book entitled Pious Desires,” which greatly promoted this object. His followers laid it down as an essential maxim, that none should be admitted into the ministry but those who not only had received a proper education, but were also distinguished by their wisdom and sanctity of manners, and had hearts filled with divine love. Hence they proposed an alteration in the schools of divinity, which embraced the following points: 1. That the scholastic theology, which reigned in the academies, 750and was composed of intricate and disputable doctrines, and obscure and unusual forms of expression, should be totally abolished. 2. That polemical divinity, which comprehended the controversies subsisting between Christians of different communions, should be less eagerly studied, and less frequently treated, though not entirely neglected. 3. That all mixture of philosophy and human science with divine wisdom, was to be most carefully avoided; that is, that Pagan philosophy and classical learning should be kept distinct from, and by no means supersede, Biblical theology. But, 4. That, on the contrary, all those students, who were designed for the ministry, should be accustomed from their early youth to the perusal and study of the Holy Scriptures, and be taught a plain system of theology, drawn from these unerring sources of truth. 5. That the whole course of their education was to be so directed as to render them useful in life, by the practical power of their doctrine, and the commanding influence of their example. Such, in substance, is Mosheim’s account of the meditated reforms in the public schools. But it was not intended to confine these reforms to students and the clergy. Religious persons of every class and rank were encouraged to meet in what were called Biblical colleges, or colleges of piety, (we might call them prayer meetings,) where some exercised in reading the Scriptures, singing, and prayer, and others engaged in the exposition of the Scriptures; not in a dry and critical way, but in a strain of practical and experimental piety, by which they mutually edified each other. This practice, which always more or less obtains where religion flourishes, as, for instance, at the Reformation, raised the same sort of outcry as at the rise of Methodism; and those who entered not into the spirit of the design, were eager to catch at every instance of weakness or imprudence, to bring disgrace on that which, in fact, brought disgrace upon themselves, as lukewarm and formal Christians. In so saying, Master, thou reproachest us also.” This work began about 1670. In 1691 Dr. Spener removed from Dresden to Berlin, where he propagated the same principles, which widely spread, and were well supported in many parts of Germany by the excellent Professor Francke and others, until the general decline of religion which has unhappily prevailed in Germany for the last half century. See Neology.

PI-HAHIROTH. The Hebrew pi answers to the modern Arabic word fum, signifying mouth;” and is generally applied to the passes in the mountains. In the English and Septuagint versions, Hahiroth is taken as a proper name; and the whole word would imply the mouth or pass of Hahiroth or Hiroth, whatever particular origin or signification may belong to that word. The name, however, sufficiently explains the situation of the children of Israel; who were hemmed in at this place, between the sea in front, and a narrow mountain pass behind; which no doubt encouraged Pharaoh to make his attack upon them in so disadvantageous a position; thinking that they must inevitably fall an easy prey into his hands, or be cut to pieces: when their deliverance, and his own destruction, were unexpectedly wrought by the parting of the waters of the sea. The place where this miracle is supposed to have happened, is still called Bahral-Kolsum, or the Sea of Destruction; and just opposite to the situation which answers to the opening called Pi-hahiroth, is a bay, where the north cape is called Ras Musa, or the Cape of Moses. That part of the western or Heroopolitan branch of the Red Sea where, from these coincidences, the passage most probably took place, is described by Bruce as about three leagues over, with fourteen fathoms of water in the channel, nine at the sides, and good anchorage every where. The farther side is also represented as a low sandy coast, and an easy landing place. See Red Sea.

PILATE. It is not known of what country or family Pontius Pilate was, but it is believed that he was of Rome, or, at least, of Italy. He was sent to govern Judea in the room of Gratus, A. D. 26, or 27. He presided over this province for ten years, from the twelfth or thirteenth year of Tiberius, to the twenty-second of the same emperor. He is represented, both by Philo and Josephus, as a man of an impetuous and obstinate temper, and, as a judge, one who used to sell justice, and, for money, to pronounce any sentence that was desired. The same authors make mention of his rapines, his injuries, his murders, the torments that he inflicted upon the innocent, and the persons he put to death without any form of process. Philo, in particular, describes him as a man that exercised an excessive cruelty during the whole time of his government; who disturbed the repose of Judea; and was the occasion of the troubles and revolt that followed. St. Luke acquaints us, that Pilate had mingled the blood of the Galileans with their sacrifices; and that the matter, having been related to Jesus Christ, he introduced the subject into his discourse, Luke xiii. The reason why Pilate treated them in this manner, while sacrificing in the temple, is not known. At the time of our Saviour’s passion, Pilate made some attempts to deliver him out of the hands of the Jews. He knew the reasons of their enmity against him, Matthew xxvii, 18. His wife, also, having had a dream that alarmed her, requested he would not stain his hands with the blood of that just person, verse 19. He therefore attempted to appease the wrath of the Jews by scourging Jesus, John xix, 1; Matt. xxvii, 26; and also tried to take him out of their hands by proposing to deliver him or Barabbas on the day of the passover. Lastly, be thought to discharge himself from pronouncing judgment against him, by sending him to Herod, king of Galilee, Luke xxiii, 7, 8. When he saw all this would not satisfy the Jews, and that they even threatened him in some manner, saying, he could be no friend to the emperor if he suffered Jesus to be set at liberty, John xix, 12–15, he caused water to be brought, and washed his hands before all the people, and publicly declared himself innocent 751of the blood of that just person, Matthew xxvii, 23, 24. Yet at the same time he delivered him to his soldiers that they might crucify him. This was enough to justify Jesus Christ, as Calmet observes, and to prove that he held him as innocent; but it was not enough to vindicate the conscience and integrity of a judge, whose duty it was as well to assert the cause of oppressed innocence, as to punish the guilty. He ordered the inscription to be placed over the head of our Saviour, John xix, 19; and when requested by the Jews to alter it, peremptorily refused. He also gave leave for the removal of our Lord’s body, and to place a guard over the sepulchre, Matthew xxvii, 65. These are all the particulars that we learn concerning Pilate from the writers of the Gospels.

The extreme reluctance of Pilate to condemn Christ, considering his merciless character, is signally remarkable, and still more his repeated protestations of the innocence of his prisoner; although, on occasions of massacre, he made no scruple of confounding the innocent with the guilty. But he was unquestionably influenced by the overruling providence of God, to make the righteousness of his Son appear as clear as the noon day, even when condemned and executed as a malefactor, by the fullest, the most authentic, and the most public evidence: 1. By the testimony even of his judges, Pilate and Herod, after examination of evidence. 2. By the message of Pilate’s wife, delivered to him on the tribunal. 3. By the testimony of the traitor Judas, who hanged himself in despair, for betraying the innocent blood. 4. By the testimony of the Roman centurion and guard, at his crucifixion, to his divinity and righteousness. And, 5. Of his fellow sufferer on the cross. Never was innocence so attested as his innocence.

Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Eusebius, and after them several others, both ancient and modern, assure us that it was formerly the custom for Roman magistrates to prepare copies of all verbal processes and judical acts, which they passed in their several provinces, and to send them to the emperor. And Pilate, in compliance with the custom, having sent word to Tiberius of what had passed relating to Jesus Christ, the emperor wrote an account of it to the senate, in a manner that gave reason to judge that he thought favourably of the religion of Jesus Christ, and showed that he should be willing for them to confer divine honours upon him; but the senate was not of the same opinion, and so the matter dropped. It appears by what Justin says of these acts, that the miracles of Christ were mentioned there, and even that the soldiers had divided his garments among them. Eusebius insinuates that they spoke of his resurrection and ascension. Tertullian and Justin refer to these acts with so much confidence, as would make one believe they had read and handled them. However, neither Eusebius nor Jerom, who were both inquisitive and understanding persons, nor any other author who wrote afterward, seems to have seen them, at least not the true and original acts. For as to what we have now in great number, they are not authentic, being neither ancient nor uniform. There are also some pretended letters of Pilate to Tiberius, giving a history of our Saviour; but they are universally allowed to be spurious. Pilate being a man who, by his excessive cruelties and rapine, had disturbed the repose of Judea, during the whole time of his government, was at length deposed by Vitellius, the proconsul of Syria, A. D. 36, and sent to Rome to give an account of his conduct to the emperor. But, though Tiberius died before Pilate arrived at Rome, yet his successor Caligula banished him to Vienne in Gaul, where he was reduced to such extremity that he laid violent hands upon himself. The evangelists call him governor, though in reality he was nothing more than procurator of Judea, not only because governor was a name of general use, but because Pilate, in effect, acted as one, by taking upon him to judge in criminal matters, as his predecessors had done, and as other procurators in the small provinces of the empire, where there was no proconsul, constantly did.

PILLAR properly means a column raised to support a building; but in Scripture the term mostly occurs in a metaphorical or figurative sense. Thus we have a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire, a pillar of smoke, &c; signifying a cloud, a fire, a smoke raised up toward heaven in the form or shape of a pillar, Exod. xiii, 21; Judges xx, 40. Job speaks of the pillars of heaven and the pillars of the earth, Job ix, 6; xxvi, 11; which are strong metaphorical expressions, that suppose the heavens and the earth to be an edifice raised by the hand of the almighty Creator, and founded upon its basis. St. Paul speaks of the Christian church under the similitude of a pillar or column on which the truth, or doctrine of the glorious Gospel is inscribed, 1 Tim. iii, 15.

PILLOWS. The prophet speaks of sewing pillows to arm holes.” There is here, probably, an allusion to the easy indulgence of the great. To this day in the east they cover the floors of their houses with carpets: and along the sides of the wall or floor, a range of narrow beds or mattresses is often placed upon these carpets; and, for their farther ease and convenience, several velvet or damask bolsters are placed upon these carpets or mattresses,--indulgences that seem to be alluded to by the stretching of themselves upon couches, and by the sewing of pillows to arm holes,” Ezekiel xiii, 18; Amos vi, 4.

PINE TREE. The pine appears in our translation three times, Neh. viii, 15; Isaiah xli, 19; lx, 13. Nehemiah, viii, 15, giving directions for observing the feast of tabernacles, says, “Fetch olive branches, pine branches, myrtle branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths.” The Hebrew phrase , means literally “branches“branches of oily or gummy plants.” The LXX. say cypress. Scheuchzer says the Turks call the cypress zemin. The author of Scripture Illustrated” 752says, I should prefer the whole species called jasmin, on account of its verdure, its fragrance, and its flowers, which are highly esteemed. The word jasmin and jasemin of the Turks, resembles strongly the shemen of the Hebrew original here. The Persians also name this plant semen and simsyk.” The authority, however, of the Septuagint must prevail. In Isa. xli, 19; lx, 13, the Hebrew word is ; a tree, says Parkhurst, so called from the springiness or elasticity of its wood. Luther thought it the elm, which is a lofty and spreading tree; and Dr. Stock renders it the ash. After all, it may be thought advisable to retain the pine. La Roche, describing, a valley near to Mount Lebanon, has this observation: “La continuelle verdure des pins et des chênes verds fait toujours sa beauté.” [The perpetual verdure of the pines and the live oaks makes it ever beautiful.]

PISGAH, a part of Mount Nebo, so called, being, in all probability, a distinct, and most likely the highest, summit of that mountain. Here Moses climbed to view the land of Canaan; and here he died.

PISIDIA, a province of Asia Minor, having Lycaonia to the north, Pamphylia to the south, Cilicia and Cappadocia to the east, and the province of Asia to the west. St. Paul preached at Antioch in Pisidia, Acts xiii, 14; xiv, 24.

PITCH, , Exod. ii, 3; Isaiah xxxiv, 9; Septuagint sfat; a fat, combustible, oily matter, sometimes called asphaltos, from the lake Asphaltites, or Dead Sea, in Judea, on the surface of which it rises in the nature of liquid pitch, and floats like other oleaginous bodies; but is condensed by degrees, through the heat of the sun, and grows dry and hard. The word which our translators have rendered pitch in Gen. vi, 14, and , slime, Gen. xi, 3; xiv, 10, is generally supposed to be bitumen. In the first of these places it is mentioned as used for smearing the ark, and closing its interstices. It was peculiarly adapted to this purpose. Being at first soft, viscous, and pliable, it might be thrust into every chasm and crevice with the greatest ease; but would soon acquire a tenacity and hardness superior to those of our pitch. A coat of it spread over both the inside and outside of the ark would make it perfectly water proof. The longer it was kept in the water, the harder and stronger it would grow. The Arabs still use it for careening their vessels. In the second passage it is described as applied for cement in building the tower of Babel. It was much used in ancient buildings in that region; and, in the ruins of Babylon, large masses of brick work cemented with it are discovered. It is known that the plain of Shinar did abound with it, both in its liquid and solid state; that there was there a cave and fountain which was continually casting it out; and that the famous tower and no less famous walls of Babylon were built by this kind of cement, is confirmed by the testimony of several ancient authors. The slime pits of Siddim, Gen. xiv, 10, were holes out of which issued this liquid bitumen, or naphtha. Bitumen was formerly much used by the Egyptians and Jews in embalming the bodies of their dead.

PITHOM, one of the cities that the Israelites built for Pharaoh in Egypt, during the time of their servitude, Exod. i, 11.

PLAGUES OF EGYPT. The design of these visitations, growing more awful and tremendous in their progress, was to make Pharaoh know, and confess, that the God of the Hebrews was the supreme Lord, and to exhibit his power and his justice in the strongest light to all the nations of the earth, Exod. ix, 16; 1 Sam. iv, 8, &c; to execute judgment upon the Egyptians and upon all their gods, inanimate and bestial, for their cruelty to the Israelites, and for their grovelling polytheism and idolatry, Exod. vii, 14–17; xii, 12. The Nile was the principal divinity of the Egyptians. According to Heliodorus, they paid divine honours to this river, and revered it as the first of their gods. They declared him to be the rival of heaven, since he watered the country without the aid of the clouds and rain. His principal festival was at the summer solstice, when the inundation commenced; at which season, in the dog days, by a cruel idolatrous rite, they sacrificed red-haired persons, principally foreigners, to Typhon, or the power that presided over tempests, at Busiris, Heliopolis, &c, by burning them alive, and scattering their ashes in the air, for the good of the people, as we learn from Plutarch. Hence Bryant infers the probability, that these victims were chosen from among the Israelites, during their residence in Egypt. The judgment then inflicted upon the river, and all the waters of Egypt, in the presence of Pharaoh and of his servants, as foretold,--when, as soon as Aaron had smitten the waters of the river, they were turned into blood, and continued in that state for seven days, so that all the fish died, and the Egyptians could not drink of the waters of the river, in which they delighted as the most wholesome of all waters, but were forced to dig wells for pure water to drink--was a significant sign of God’s displeasure for their senseless idolatry in worshipping the river and its fish, and also a manifest reproof of that bloody edict whereby the infants were slain,” Wisdom xi, 7.

In the plague of frogs, their sacred river itself was made an active instrument of their punishment, together with another of their gods. The frog was one of their sacred animals, consecrated to the sun, and considered as an emblem of divine inspiration in its inflations.

The plague of lice, which was produced without any previous intimation to Pharaoh, was peculiarly offensive to a people so superstitiously nice and cleanly as the Egyptians; and, above all, to their priests, who used to shave their whole body every third day, that neither louse, nor any other vermin, might be found upon them while they were employed in serving their gods, as we learn from Herodotus; and Plutarch informs us, that they 753never wore woollen garments, but linen only, because linen is least apt to produce lice. This plague, therefore, was particularly disgraceful to the magicians themselves; and when they tried to imitate it, but failed, on account of the minuteness of the objects, (not like serpents, water, or frogs, of a sensible bulk that could be handled,) they were forced to confess that this was no human feat of legerdemain, but rather the finger of God.” Thus were the illusions of their magic put down, and their vaunting in wisdom reproved with disgrace,” Wisdom xvii, 7. Their folly was manifest unto all men,” in absurdly and wickedly attempting at first to place the feats of human art on a level with the stupendous operations of divine power, in the first two plagues; and being foiled in the third, by shamefully miscarrying, they exposed themselves to the contempt of their admirers. Philo, the Jew, has a fine observation on the plagues of Egypt: Some, perhaps, may inquire, Why did God punish the country by such minute and contemptible animals as frogs, lice, flies, rather than by bears, lions, leopards, or other kinds of savage beasts which prey on human flesh Or, if not by these, why not by the Egyptian asp, whose bite is instant death But let him learn, if he be ignorant, first, that God chose rather to correct than to destroy the inhabitants; for, if he desired to annihilate them utterly, he had no need to have made use of animals as his auxiliaries, but of the divinely inflicted evils of famine and pestilence. Next, let him farther learn that lesson so necessary for every state of life, namely, that men, when they war, seek the most powerful aid to supply their own weakness; but God, the highest and the greatest power, who stands in need of nothing, if at any time he chooses to employ instruments, as it were, to inflict chastisement, chooses not the strongest and greatest, disregarding their strength, but rather the mean and the minute, whom he endues with invincible and irresistible power to chastise offenders.” The first three plagues were common to the Egyptians and the Israelites, to convince both that “there was none like the Lord;” and to wean the latter from their Egyptian idolatries, and induce them to return to the Lord their God. And when this end was answered, the Israelites were exempted from the ensuing plagues; for the Lord severed the land of Goshen from the rest of Egypt; whence the ensuing plagues, confined to the latter, more plainly appeared to have been inflicted by the God of the Hebrews, Exodus viii, 20–23, to convince both more clearly of “the goodness and severity of God,” Rom. xi, 22; that great plagues remain for the ungodly, but mercy embraceth the righteous on every side,” Psalm xxxii, 10.

The visitation of flies, of the gad fly, or hornet, was more intolerable than any of the preceding. By this, his minute, but mighty army, God afterward drove out some of the devoted nations of Canaan before Joshua, Exod. xxiii, 28; Deut. vii, 20; Josh. xxiv, 12. This insect was worshipped in Palestine and elsewhere under the title of Baal-zebub, lord of the gad fly,” 2 Kings i, 1, 2. Egypt, we learn from Herodotus, abounded with prodigious swarms of flies, or gnats; but this was in the heat of summer, during the dog days; whence this fly is called by the Septuagint µa, the dog fly. But the appointed time of this plague was in the middle of winter; and, accordingly, this plague extorted Pharaoh’s partial consent, Go ye, sacrifice to your God, but in the land;” and when Moses and Aaron objected the offence they would give to the Egyptians, who would stone them for sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians,” namely, animal sacrifices, he reluctantly consented, only ye shall not go very far away;” for he was apprehensive of their flight, like his predecessor, who first enslaved the Israelites, Exod. i, 10; and he again desired them to entreat for him.” But he again dealt deceitfully; and after the flies were removed so effectually that not one was left, when Moses entreated the Lord, Pharaoh hardened his heart this fifth time also, neither would he let the people go.”

This second breach of promise on the part of Pharaoh drew down a plague of a more deadly description than the preceding. The fifth plague of murrain destroyed all the cattle of Egypt, but of the cattle of the Israelites died not one.” It was immediately inflicted by God himself, after previous notification, and without the agency of Moses and Aaron, to manifest the divine indignation at Pharaoh’s falsehood. And though the king sent and found that not one of the Israelites was dead, yet his heart was hardened this sixth time also, and he would not let the people go, Exod. ix, 1–7.

At length, after Pharaoh had repeatedly abused the gracious respites and warnings vouchsafed to him and his servants, a sorer set of plagues, affecting themselves, began to be inflicted; and Moses now, for the first time, appears as the executioner of divine vengeance; for in the presence of Pharaoh, by the divine command, he sprinkled ashes of the furnace toward heaven, and it became a boil, breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boil, which affected them and all the Egyptians, Exod. ix, 8–11. This was a very significant plague: the furnace from which the ashes were taken aptly represented the iron furnace” of Egyptian bondage, Deut. iv, 20, and the scattering of the ashes in the air might have referred to the usage of the Egyptians in their Typhonian sacrifices of human victims; while it converted another of the elements, and of their gods, the air, or ether, into an instrument of their chastisement. And now the Lord,” for the first time, hardened the heart of Pharaoh,” after he had so repeatedly hardened it himself, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had foretold unto Moses,” Exod. ix, 12. Though Pharaoh probably felt, the scourge of the boil, as well as his people, it did not soften nor humble his heart; and when he wilfully and 754obstinately turned away from the light, and shut his eyes against the luminous evidences vouchsafed to him of the supremacy of the God of the Hebrews, and had twice broken his promise when he was indulged with a respite, and dealt deceitfully, he became a just object of punishment; and God now began to increase the hardness or obduracy of his heart. And such is the usual and the righteous course of his providence; when nations or individuals despise the warnings of Heaven, abuse their best gifts, and resist the means of grace, God then delivers them over to a reprobate” or undiscerning mind, to work all uncleanness with greediness,” Rom. i, 28.

In the tremendous plague of hail, the united elements of air, water, and fire, were employed to terrify and punish the Egyptians by their principal divinities. This plague was formally announced to Pharaoh and his people: I will at this season send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I could stretch out my hand, and smite thee and thy people with pestilence,” or destroy thee at once, like thy cattle with the murrain, and thou shouldest be cut off from the earth; but, in truth, for this cause have I sustained thee, that I might manifest in thee my power, and that my name might be declared throughout the whole earth,” Exod. ix, 13–16. This rendering of the passage is more conformable to the context, the Chaldee paraphrase, and to Philo, than the received translation, For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence;” for surely Pharaoh and his people were not smitten with pestilence; and they were preserved” or kept from immediate destruction, according to the Septuagint, det, to manifest the divine power,” by the number and variety of their plagues. Still, however, in the midst of judgment, God remembered mercy; he gave a gracious warning to the Egyptians, to avoid, if they chose, the threatened calamity: Send, therefore, now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; every man and beast that shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.” And this warning had some effect: He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh, made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses; and he that regarded not the word of the Lord, left his servants and his cattle in the field,” Exod. ix, 17–21. But it may be asked, If all the cattle of the Egyptians were destroyed by the foregoing plague of murrain, as asserted Exod. ix, 6, how came there to be any cattle left Surely the Egyptians might have recruited their stock from the land of Goshen, where not one of the cattle of the Israelites died.” And this justifies the supposition, that there was some respite, or interval, between the several plagues, and confirms the conjecture of the duration of the whole, about a quarter of a year. And that the warning, in this case, was respected by many of the Egyptians, we may infer from the number of chariots and horsemen that went in pursuit of the Israelites afterward. This was foretold to be a very grievous hail, such as had not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along the ground; and the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.” Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time; the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked: entreat the Lord,” for it is enough, that there might be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.” But when there was respite, Pharaoh sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants; neither would he let the people go,” Exod. ix, 27–35. In this instance, there is a remarkable suspension of the judicial infatuation. Pharaoh had humbled himself, and acknowledged his own and his people’s guilt, and the justice of the divine plague: the Lord, therefore, forbore this time to harden his heart. But he abused the long sufferance of God, and this additional respite; he sinned yet more, because he now sinned wilfully, after he had received information of the truth; he relapsed, and hardened his own heart a seventh time. He became, therefore, a vessel of wrath, fitted to destruction,” Heb. x, 26; Rom. ix, 22.

The design of the eighth and the ensuing plagues, was to confirm the faith of the Israelites: “That thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord.” This plague of locusts, inflicted on the now devoted Egyptians and their king, completed the havoc begun by the hail; by this the wheat and rye were destroyed, and every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any verdure in the trees, nor in the herbs of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. Very grievous were they; before them were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall there be such,” Exod. x, 3–15.

The awful plague of darkness over all the land of Egypt, for three days, a thick darkness which might be felt,” in the emphatic language of Scripture, was inflicted on the Egyptians, and their chief god, the sun; and was, indeed, a most significant sign of the divine displeasure, and of that mental darkness under which they now laboured. Their consternation thereat is strongly represented by their total inaction; neither rose any from his place for three days, petrified, as they were, with horror. They were also scared with strange apparitions and visions, while a heavy night was spread over them, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them. But yet, they were unto themselves more 755grievous than that darkness,” Wisdom xvii, 3–21; Psalm lxxviii, 49. This terrific and horrible plague compelled Pharaoh to relax; he offered to let the men and their families go; but he wished to keep the flocks and herds as security for their return; but Moses peremptorily declared, that not a hoof should be left behind. Again “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let them go,” Exod. x, 21–27. And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the Lord” ultimately “hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land,” Exod. xi, 9, 10. This passage forms the conclusion to the nine plagues, and should properly follow the preceding; for the result of the tenth and last plague was foretold, that Pharaoh should not only let them go, but surely thrust them out altogether, Exod. xi, 1.

The tenth plague was announced to Pharaoh with much solemnity: Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt, and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even to the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill; and all the first-born of cattle. And there shall be a great cry throughout the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast; that ye may know, how that the Lord doth make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee. And after that I will go out,” Exod. xi, 4–8. Such a threat, delivered in so high a tone, both in the name of the God of Israel and of Moses, did not fail to exasperate the infatuated Pharaoh, and he said, Get thee from me; take heed to thyself; see my face no more: for in the day thou seest my face thou shalt die. And Moses said, Be it so as thou hast spoken; I will see thy face again no more. And he went out from Pharaoh in great anger,” Exod. x, 28, 29; xi, 8. And at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house in which there was not one dead,” Exod. xii, 1–30. This last tremendous judgment is described with much sublimity in the book of Wisdom, xviii, 14–18.

For when all things were wrapt in still silence,
And night, in her proper speed, holding her mid course,
Thy all powerful oracle leapt down from heaven,
Out of the royal throne, a fierce warrior,
Into the midst of the land of destruction,
Wielding a sharp sword, thine unfeigned command,
And standing up, he filled the whole with death,
He touched the heavens, indeed, but trod upon the earth!”

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and he called for,” or sent to, Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye said; take also your flocks and your herds, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians also were urgent upon the people, to send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We shall all be dead.” It is evident from the extreme urgency of the occasion, when all the Egyptians apprehended total destruction, if the departure of the Israelites was delayed any longer, that Pharaoh had no personal interview with Moses and Aaron, which would have wasted time, and was quite unnecessary; he only sent them a peremptory mandate to be gone on their own terms. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they freely gave what they required, and they spoiled the Egyptians,” Exod. xii, 31–36, as originally foretold to Abraham, Gen. xv, 14; and to Moses before the plagues began. This was an act of perfect retributive justice, to make the Egyptians pay for the long and laborious services of the Israelites, whom they had unjustly enslaved, in violation of their charter.

The Israelites were thrust out of Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month, about six hundred thousand men on foot, beside women and children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks and herds, even very much cattle,” Exod. xii, 37–38; Num. xi, 4; xxxiii, 3. And they went out with a high hand; for the Lord went before them by day, in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people,” Exod. xiii, 22; Num. ix, 15–23. And the motion or rest of this divine guide regulated their marches, and their stations or encampments during the whole of their route, Num. x, 33–36. See Red Sea.

PLATONISTS. The Platonic philosophy is denominated from Plato, who was born about B. C. 426. He founded the old academy on the opinions of Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Socrates; and by adding the information he had acquired to their discoveries, he established a sect of philosophers, who were esteemed more perfect than any who had before appeared in the world. The outlines of Plato’s philosophical system were as follows:--that there is one God, eternal, immutable, and immaterial; perfect in wisdom and goodness, omniscient, and omnipresent: that this all-perfect Being formed the universe out of a mass of eternally preëxisting matter, to which he gave form and arrangement: that there is in matter a necessary, but blind and refractory force, which resists the will of the supreme Artificer, so that he cannot perfectly execute his designs; and this is the cause of the mixture of good and evil which is found in the material world: that the soul of man was derived by emanation 756from God; but that this emanation was not immediate, but through the intervention of the soul of the world, which was itself debased by some material admixture: that the relation which the human soul, in its original constitution, bears to matter, is the source of moral evil; that when God formed the universe, he separated from the soul of the world inferior souls, equal in number to the stars, and assigned to each its proper celestial abode: that these souls were sent down to earth to be imprisoned in mortal bodies; hence arose the depravity and misery to which human nature is liable: that the soul is immortal; and by disengaging itself from all animal passions, and rising above sensible objects to the contemplation of the world of intelligence, it may be prepared to return to its original habitation: that matter never suffers annihilation, but that the world will remain for ever; and that by the action of its animating principle it accomplishes certain periods, within which every thing returns to its ancient place and state. This periodical revolution of nature is called the Platonic, or great year.

The Platonic system makes the perfection of morality to consist in living in conformity to the will of God, the only standard of truth, and teaches that our highest good consists in the contemplation and knowledge of the supreme Being. In this divine Being Plato admitted a sort of trinity of three hypostases. The first he considered as self-existent, calling him, by way of eminence, t h, the Being, or t h, the One. The only attribute which he acknowledged in this person was goodness; and therefore he frequently styles him, t a, the good. The second he considered as, , the mind, or, , the wisdom or reason of the former, and the dµ, maker of the world. The third he always speaks of as, , the soul of the world. He taught that the second is a necessary emanation from the first, and the third from the second, or perhaps from both; comparing these emanations to those of light and heat from the sun. From the above use of Logos for the second person of the Platonic trinity, it has been thought that St. John borrowed the term from Plato; but it is not likely that this Apostle was conversant with his writings, and therefore both Le Clerc and Dr. Campbell think it more probable that he took it from the Old Testament. The end of all knowledge, or philosophy, according to Plato, was to make us resemble the Deity as much as is compatible with human nature. This likeness consists in the possession and practice of all the moral virtues. After the death of Plato, many of his disciples deviated from his doctrines. His school was then divided into the old, the middle, and the new academy. The old academy strictly adhered to his tenets. The middle academy partially receded from his system, without entirely deserting it. The new academy almost entirely relinquished the original doctrines of Plato, and verged toward the skeptical philosophy. An infusion of Platonism, though in a perverted form, is seen in the philosophy most prevalent in the times of the Apostles. It was Judaized by the contemplative Hellenists, and, through them, their native Judaism was Platonized. The eclectic philosophy added other ingredients to the compound, from the oriental systems. All however issued in pride, and the domination of bewildering and monstrous imaginations.

PLOUGH. The Syrian plough, which was probably used in all the regions around, is a very simple frame, and commonly so light, that a man of moderate strength might carry it in one hand. Volney states that in Syria it is often nothing else than the branch of a tree cut below a bifurcation, and used without wheels. It is drawn by asses and cows, seldom by oxen. And Dr. Russel informs us, the ploughing of Syria is performed often by a little cow, at most with two, and sometimes only by an ass. In Persia it is for the most part drawn by one ox only, and not unfrequently even by an ass, although it is more ponderous than in Palestine. With such an imperfect instrument, the Syrian husbandman can do little more than scratch the surface of his field, or clear away the stones or weeds that encumber it, and prevent the seed from reaching the soil. The ploughshare is a piece of iron, broad, but not large, which tips the end of the shaft.” So much does it resemble the short sword used by the ancient warriors, that it may with very little trouble, be converted into that deadly weapon; and when the work of destruction is over, reduced again into its former shape, and applied to the purposes of agriculture. In allusion to the first operation, the Prophet Joel summons the nations to leave their peaceful employments in the cultivated field, and buckle on their armour: Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears,” Joel iii, 10. This beautiful image the Prophet Isaiah has reversed, and applied to the establishment of that profound and lasting peace which is to bless the church of Christ in the latter days: And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,” Isaiah ii, 4. The plough used in Syria is so light and simple in its construction, that the husbandman is under the necessity of guiding it with great care, bending over it, and loading it with his own weight, else the share would glide along the surface without making any incision. His mind should be wholly intent on his work, at once to press the plough into the ground, and direct it in a straight line. Let the ploughman,” said Hesiod, attend to his charge, and look before him; not turn aside to look on his associates, but make straight furrows, and have his mind attentive to his work.” And Pliny: Unless the ploughman stoop forward,” to press his plough into the soil, and conduct it properly, he will turn it aside.” To such careful and incessant exertion, our Lord alludes in that declaration, No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven,” Luke ix, 62.

757POETRY OF THE HEBREWS. Among the books of the Old Testament, says Bishop Lowth, there is such an apparent diversity in style, as sufficiently discovers which of them are to be considered as poetical, and which as prose. While the historical books and legislative writings of Moses are evidently prosaic compositions, the book of Job, the Psalms of David, the Song of Solomon, the Lamentations of Jeremiah, a great part of the prophetical writings, and several passages scattered occasionally through the historical books, carry the most plain and distinguishing marks of poetical writing. There is not the least reason for doubting that originally these were written in verse, or some kind of measured numbers; though, as the ancient pronunciation of the Hebrew language is now lost, we are not able to ascertain the nature of the Hebrew verse, or at most can ascertain it but imperfectly. Let any person read the historical introduction to the book of Job, contained in the first and second chapters, and then go on to Job’s speech in the beginning of the third chapter, and he cannot avoid being sensible that he passes all at once from the region of prose to that of poetry. From the earliest times music and poetry were cultivated among the Hebrews. In the days of the judges mention is made of the schools or colleges of the prophets, where one part of the employment of the persons trained in such schools was to sing the praises of God, accompanied with various instruments. But in the days of King David music and poetry were carried to the greatest height. In 1 Chron. xxv, an account is given of David’s institutions relating to the sacred music and poetry, which were certainly more costly, more splendid and magnificent, than ever obtained in the public service of any other nation. See Psalms.

The general construction of the Hebrew poetry is of a singular nature, and peculiar to itself. It consists in dividing every period into correspondent, for the most part into equal, members, which answer to one another both in sense and sound. In the first member of the period a sentiment is expressed; and in the second member the same sentiment is amplified, or is repeated in different terms, or sometimes contrasted with its opposite; but in such a manner, that the same structure, and nearly the same number of words, is preserved. This is the general strain of all the Hebrew poetry. Instances of it occur every where on opening the Old Testament. Thus, in Psalm xcvi:--

Sing unto the Lord a new song.
Sing unto the Lord, all the earth.
Sing unto the Lord, and bless his name.
Show forth his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the Heathen,
His wonders among all the people.
For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.
He is to be feared above all the gods.
Honour and majesty are before him;
Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.”

It is owing in a great measure to this form of composition, that our version, though in prose, retains so much of a poetical cast: for, the version being strictly word for word after the original, the form and order of the original sentence are preserved; which, by this artificial structure, this regular alternation and correspondence of parts, makes the ear sensible of a departure from the common style and tone of prose. The origin of this form of poetical composition among the Hebrews is clearly to be deduced from the manner in which their sacred hymns were wont to be sung. They were accompanied with music, and they were performed by choirs or bands of singers and musicians, who answered alternately to each other. When, for instance, one band began the hymn thus: The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice;” the chorus, or semi-chorus, took up the corresponding versicle, Let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof.” “Clouds and darkness are round about him,” sung the one; the other replied, Judgment and righteousness are the habitation of his throne.” And in this manner their poetry, when set to music, naturally divided itself into a succession of strophes and antistrophes correspondent to each other; whence it is probable the antiphon, or responsory, in the public religious service of so many Christian churches, derived its origin. The twenty-fourth Psalm, in particular, which is thought to have been composed on the great and solemn occasion of the ark of the covenant being brought back to Mount Zion, must have had a noble effect when performed after this manner, as Dr. Lowth has illustrated it. The whole people are supposed to be attending the procession. The Levites and singers, divided into their several courses, and accompanied with all their musical instruments, led the way. After the introduction to the Psalm, in the two first verses, when the procession begins to ascend the sacred mount, the question is put, as by a semi-chorus, Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place” The response is made by the full chorus with the greatest dignity: He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” As the procession approaches to the doors of the tabernacle, the chorus, with all their instruments, join in this exclamation: Lift up your heads, ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” Here the semi-chorus plainly breaks in, as with a lower voice, Who is this King of glory” And at the moment when the ark is introduced into the tabernacle, the response is made by the burst of the whole chorus: The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, mighty in battle.”

The method of composition which has been explained, by correspondent versicles being universally introduced into the hymns or musical poetry of the Jews, easily spread itself through their other poetical writings, which were not designed to be sung in alternate portions, and which, therefore, did not so much require this mode of composition. But the mode became familiar to their ears, and 758carried with it a certain solemn majesty of style, particularly suited to sacred subjects. Hence, throughout the prophetical writings, we find it prevailing as much as in the Psalms of David. This form of writing is one of the great characteristics of the ancient Hebrew poetry; very different from, and even opposite to, the style of the Greek and Roman poets. Independently of this peculiar mode of construction, the sacred poetry is distinguished by the highest beauties of strong, concise, bold, and figurative expression. Conciseness and strength are two of its most remarkable characters. One might, indeed, imagine that the practice of the Hebrew poets, of always amplifying the same thought, by repetition or contrast, might tend to enfeeble their style. But they conduct themselves so as not to produce this effect. Their sentences are always short. Few superfluous words are used. The same thought is never dwelt upon long. To their conciseness and sobriety of expression their poetry is indebted for much of its sublimity; and all writers who attempt the sublime might profit much by imitating, in this respect, the style of the Old Testament.

No writings whatever abound so much with the most bold and animated figures as the sacred books. In order to do justice to these, it is necessary that we transport ourselves as much as we can into the land of Judea, and place before our eyes that scenery and those objects with which the Hebrew writers were conversant. Natural objects are in some measure common to them with poets of all ages and countries. Light and darkness, trees and flowers, the forest and the cultivated field, suggest to them many beautiful figures. But, in order to relish their figures of this kind, we must take notice that several of them arise from the particular circumstances of the land of Judea. During the summer months little or no rain falls throughout all that region. While the heats continued, the country was intolerably parched; want of water was a great distress; and a plentiful shower falling, or a rivulet breaking forth, altered the whole face of nature, and introduced much higher ideas of refreshment and pleasure than the like causes can suggest to us. Hence, to represent distress, such frequent allusions among them, to a dry and thirsty land where no water is;” and hence, to describe a change from distress to prosperity, their metaphors are founded on the falling of showers, and the bursting out of springs in the desert. Thus: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert; and the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land, springs of water; in the habitation of dragons there shall be grass, with rushes and reeds,” Isaiah xxxv, 1, 6, 7. Images of this nature are very familiar to Isaiah, and occur in many parts of his book. Again: as Judea was a hilly country, it was, during the rainy months, exposed to frequent inundations by the rushing of torrents, which came down suddenly from the mountains, and carried every thing before them; and Jordan, their only great river, annually overflowed its banks. Hence the frequent allusions to the noise, and to the rushings of many waters;” and hence great calamities so often compared to the overflowing torrent, which, in such a country, must have been images particularly striking: Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water spouts; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me,” Psalm xlii, 7. The two most remarkable mountains of the country were Lebanon and Carmel; the former noted for its height, and the woods of lofty cedars that covered it; the latter, for its beauty and fertility, the richness of its vines and olives. Hence, with the greatest propriety, Lebanon is employed as an image of whatever is great, strong, or magnificent; Carmel, of what is smiling and beautiful. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, and the excellency of Carmel,” Isaiah xxxv, 2. Lebanon is often put metaphorically for the whole state or people of Israel, for the temple, for the king of Assyria; Carmel, for the blessings of peace and prosperity. His countenance is as Lebanon,” says Solomon, speaking of the dignity of a man’s appearance; but when he describes female beauty, Thine head is like Mount Carmel,” Cant. v, 15; vii, 5. It is farther to be remarked under this head, that, in the images of the awful and terrible kind, with which the sacred poets abound, they plainly draw their descriptions from that violence of the elements, and those great concussions of nature, with which their climate rendered them acquainted. Earthquakes were not unfrequent; and the tempests of hail, thunder, and lightning, in Judea and Arabia, accompanied with whirlwinds and darkness, far exceed any thing of that sort which happens in more temperate regions. Isaiah, xxiv, 20, describes, with great majesty, the earth, reeling to and fro like a drunkard, and removed like a cottage.” And in those circumstances of terror, with which an appearance of the Almighty is described, in Psalm xviii, when his pavilion round about him was darkness; when hail stones and coals of fire were his voice; and when, at his rebuke, the channels of the waters are said to be seen, and the foundations of the hills discovered; though there may be some reference, as Dr. Lowth thinks, to the history of God’s descent upon Mount Sinai; yet it seems more probable that the figures were taken directly from those commotions of nature with which the author was acquainted, and which suggested stronger and nobler images than those which now occur to us.

Beside the natural objects of their own country, we find the rites of their religion, and the arts and employments of their common life, frequently employed as grounds of imagery among the Hebrews. Hence flowed, of course, the many allusions to pastoral life, to the green pastures and the still waters,” and to the care and watchfulness of a shepherd over his flock, which carry to this day so much 759beauty and tenderness in them, in Psalm xxiii, and in many other passages of the poetical writings of Scripture. Hence all the images founded upon rural employments, upon the wine press, the threshing floor, the stubble and the chaff. To disrelish all such images is the effect of false delicacy. Homer is at least as frequent, and much more minute and particular, in his similes, founded on what we now call low life; but, in his management of them, far inferior to the sacred writers, who generally mix with their comparisons of this kind somewhat of dignity and grandeur to ennoble them. What inexpressible grandeur does the following rural image in Isaiah, for instance, receive from the intervention of the Deity!--“The nations shall rush like the rushings of many waters; but God shall rebuke them, and they shall fly far off; and they shall be chased as the chaff of the mountain before the wind, and like the down of the thistle before the whirlwind.” Figurative allusions, too, we frequently find to the rites and ceremonies of their religion, to the legal distinctions of things clean and unclean, to the mode of their temple service, to the dress of their priests, and to the most noted incidents recorded in their sacred history; as, to the destruction of Sodom, the descent of God upon Mount Sinai, and the miraculous passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. The religion of the Hebrews included the whole of their laws and civil constitution. It was full of splendid external rites, that occupied their senses; it was connected with every part of their national history and establishment; and hence, all ideas founded on religion possessed in this nation a dignity and importance peculiar to themselves, and were uncommonly suited to impress the imagination.

From all this it results that the imagery of the sacred poets is, in a high degree, expressive and natural; it is copied directly from real objects that were before their eyes; it has this advantage, of being more complete within itself, more entirely founded on national ideas and manners, than that of the most of other poets. In reading their works we find ourselves continually in the land of Judea. The palm trees, and the cedars of Lebanon, are ever rising in our view. The face of their territory, the circumstances of their climate, the manners of the people, and the august ceremonies of their religion, constantly pass under different forms before us. The comparisons employed by the sacred poets are generally short, touching on one point only of resemblance, rather than branching out into little episodes. In this respect they have an advantage over the Greek and Roman authors; whose comparisons, by the length to which they are extended, sometimes interrupt the narration too much, and carry too visible marks of study and labour; whereas, in the Hebrew poets, they appear more like the glowings of a lively fancy, just glancing aside to some resembling object, and presently returning to its track. Such is the following fine comparison, introduced to describe the happy influence of good government upon a people, in what are called the last words of David: He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God; and he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain,” 2 Sam. xxiii, 3. This is one of the most regular and formal comparisons in the sacred books.

Allegory, likewise, is a figure frequently found in them. But the poetical figure which, beyond all others, elevates the style of Scripture, and gives it a peculiar boldness and sublimity, is prosopopœia, or personification. No personifications employed by any poets are so magnificent and striking as those of the inspired writers. On great occasions they animate every part of nature, especially when any appearance or operation of the Almighty is concerned. Before him went the pestilence.” “The waters saw thee, O God, and were afraid.” The mountains saw thee, and they trembled.” “The overflowing of the water passed by.” The deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.” When inquiry is made about the place of wisdom, Job introduces the deep, saying, It is not in me; and the sea saith, It is not in me. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.” That noted sublime passage in the book of Isaiah, which describes the fall of the king of Assyria, is full of personified objects; the fir trees and cedars of Lebanon breaking forth into exultation on the fall of the tyrant; hell from beneath stirring up all the dead to meet him at his coming; and the dead kings introduced as speaking and joining in the triumph. In the same strain are those many lively and passionate apostrophes to cities and countries, to persons and things, with which the prophetical writings every where abound. O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet Put thyself up into the scabbard, rest, and be still. How can it be quiet,” as the reply is instantly made, seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Askelon, and the sea shore there hath he appointed it,” Jer. xlvii, 6. In general, for it would carry us too far to enlarge upon all the instances, the style of the poetical books of the Old Testament is, beyond the style of all other poetical works, fervid, bold, and animated. It is extremely different from that regular correct expression to which our ears are accustomed in modern poetry. It is the burst of inspiration. The scenes are not coolly described, but represented as passing before our eyes. Every object and every person is addressed and spoken to, as if present. The transition is often abrupt; the connection often obscure; the persons are often changed; figures crowded, and heaped upon one another. Bold sublimity, not correct elegance, is its character. We see the spirit of the writer raised beyond himself, and labouring to find vent for ideas too mighty for his utterance.

The several kinds of poetical composition which we find in Scripture are chiefly the 760didactic, elegiac, pastoral, and lyric. Of the didactic species of poetry, the book of Proverbs is the principal instance. The first nine chapters of that book are highly poetical, adorned with many distinguished graces, and figures of expression. The book of Ecclesiastes comes, likewise, under this head; and some of the Psalms, as the hundred and nineteenth in particular. Of elegiac poetry, many very beautiful specimens occur in Scripture; such as the lamentation of David over his friend Jonathan; several passages in the prophetical books; and several of David’s Psalms, composed on occasions of distress and mourning. The forty-second Psalm, in particular, is, in the highest degree, tender and plaintive. But the most regular and perfect elegiac composition in the Scripture, perhaps in the whole world, is the Lamentations of Jeremiah. As the prophet mourns, in that book, over the destruction of the temple and the holy city, and the overthrow of the whole state, he assembles all the affecting images which a subject so melancholy could suggest. The Song of Solomon affords us a high exemplification of pastoral poetry. Considered with respect to its spiritual meaning, it is undoubtedly a mystical allegory; in its form it is a dramatic pastoral, or a perpetual dialogue between personages in the character of shepherds; and, suitably to that form, it is full of rural and pastoral images from beginning to end. Of lyric poetry, or that which is intended to be accompanied with music, the Old Testament is full. Beside a great number of hymns and songs, which we find scattered in the historical and prophetical books, such as the song of Moses, the song of Deborah, and many others of like nature, the whole book of Psalms is to be considered as a collection of sacred odes. In these we find the ode exhibited in all the varieties of its form, and supported with the highest spirit of lyric poetry; sometimes sprightly, cheerful, and triumphant; sometimes solemn and magnificent; sometimes tender and soft. From these instances it clearly appears, that there are contained in the Holy Scriptures full exemplifications of several of the chief kinds of poetical writing.

POLLUX, a tutelar deity of mariners in ancient times, Acts xxviii, 11, whose image was placed either at the prow or stern of the ship.

POMEGRANATE, , Numbers xiii, 23; xx, 5; 1 Sam. xiv, 2, &c, a low tree growing very common in Palestine, and in other parts of the east. Its branches are very thick and bushy; some of them are armed with sharp thorns. They are garnished with narrow spear-shaped leaves. Its flowers are of an elegant red colour, resembling a rose. It is chiefly valued for the fruit, which is as big as a large apple, is quite round, and has the general qualities of other summer fruits, allaying heat and quenching thirst. The high estimation in which it was held by the people of Israel, may be inferred from its being one of the three kinds of fruit brought by the spies from Eshcol to Moses and the congregation in the wilderness, Num. xiii, 23; xx, 5; and from its being specified by that rebellious people as one of the greatest luxuries which they enjoyed in Egypt, the want of which they felt so severely in the sandy desert. The pomegranate, classed by Moses with wheat and barley, vines and figs, oil olive and honey, was, in his account, one principal recommendation of the promised land, Deut. viii, 8. The form of this fruit was so beautiful, as to be honoured with a place at the bottom of the high priest’s robe, Exodus xxviii, 33; Ecclus. xlv, 9; and was the principal ornament of the stately columns of Solomon’s temple. The inside is full of small kernels, replenished with a generous liquor. In short there is scarcely any part of the pomegranate which does not delight and recreate the senses.

PORTERS OF THE TEMPLE. The Levites discharged the office of porters of the temple both day and night, and had the care both of the treasure and offerings. The office of porter was in some sort military; properly speaking, they were the soldiers of the Lord, and the guards of his house, to whose charge the several gates of the courts of the sanctuary were appointed by lot, 1 Chronicles xxvi, 1, 13, 19. They waited at every gate; and were not permitted to depart from their service,” 2 Chron. xxxv, 15; and they attended by turns in their courses, as the other Levites did, 2 Chron. viii, 14. Their proper business was to open and shut the gates, and to attend at them by day, as a sort of peace officers, in order to prevent any tumult among the people; to keep strangers and the excommunicated and unclean persons, from entering into the holy court; and, in short, to prevent whatever might be prejudicial to the safety, peace, and purity of the holy place and service. They also kept guard by night about the temple and its courts; and they are said to have been twenty-four, including three priests, who stood sentry at so many different places. There was a superior officer over the whole guard, called by Maimonides, the man of the mountain of the house;” he walked the round as often as he pleased; when he passed a sentinel that was standing, he said, Peace be unto you;” but if he found one asleep, he struck him, and he had liberty to set fire to his garment. This custom may, perhaps, be alluded to in the following passage: Behold, I come as a thief,” that is, unawares; blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments,” Rev. xvi, 15. Psalm cxxxiv, seems to be addressed to these watchmen of the temple, who by night stand in the house of the Lord;” in which they are exhorted to employ their waking hours in acts of praise and devotion.

POST, a messenger or regulated courier, appointed to carry with expedition the despatches of princes, or the letters of private persons in general, Job ix, 25; Jer. li, 31; 2 Chron. xxx, 6; Esther iii, 13, &c. It is thought that the use of posts is derived from the Persians. Diodorus Siculus observes, that the kings of Persia, in order to have intelligence of what was passed through all the provinces of their vast dominions, placed centinels at eminences, at convenient distances, where towers were 761built. These centinels gave notice of public occurrences from one to another, with a very loud and shrill voice, by which news was transmitted from one extremity of the kingdom to another with great expedition. But as this could not be practised, except in the case of general news, which it was expedient that the whole nation should be acquainted with, Cyrus, as Xenophon relates, appointed couriers and places for post horses, building on purpose on all the high roads houses for the reception of the couriers, where they were to deliver their packets to the next, and so on. This they did night and day, so that no inclemency of weather was to stop them; and they are represented as moving with astonishing speed. In the judgment of many they went faster than cranes could fly. Herodotus owns, that nothing swifter was known for a journey by land. Xerxes, in his famous expedition against Greece, planted posts from the Ægean Sea to Shushan, or Susa, to send notice thither of what might happen to his army; he placed these messengers from station to station, to convey his packets, at such distances from each other as a horse might easily travel.

POTTER. Frequent mention is made of the potter in Scripture, Jer. xviii, 3; Ecclus. xxxviii, 29, 30. Homer says, that the potter turns his wheel with his hands. But at the present day, the wheel on which the work is formed is turned by another.

POTTER’s FIELD, the land that was bought with the money for which Judas sold our Saviour, Matt. xxvii, 7, 10, and which he returned. See Aceldama.

PRAYER has been well defined, the offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name or through the mediation of Jesus Christ, by the help of the Holy Spirit, with a confession of our sins, and a thankful acknowledgment of his mercies. 1. Prayer is in itself a becoming acknowledgment of the all-sufficiency of God, and of our dependence upon him. It is his appointed means for the obtaining of both temporal and spiritual blessings. He could bless his creatures in another way: but he will be inquired of, to do for them those things of which they stand in need, Ezek. xxxvi, 37. It is the act of an indigent creature, seeking relief from the fountain of mercy. A sense of want excites desire, and desire is the very essence of prayer. One thing have I desired of the Lord,” says David: that will I seek after.” Prayer without desire is like an altar without a sacrifice, or without the fire from heaven to consume it. When all our wants are supplied, prayer will be converted into praise; till then Christians must live by prayer, and dwell at the mercy seat. God alone is able to hear and to supply their every want. The revelation which he has given of his goodness lays a foundation for our asking with confidence the blessings we need, and his ability encourages us to hope for their bestowment. O thou that hearest prayer; unto thee shall all flesh come,” Psalm lxv, 2. 2. Prayer is a spiritual exercise, and can only be performed acceptably by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, Rom. viii, 26. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.” The Holy Spirit is the great agent in the world of grace, and without his special influence there is no acceptable prayer. Hence he is called the Spirit of grace and of supplication: for he it is that enables us to draw nigh unto God, filling our mouth with arguments, and teaching us to order our cause before him, Zech. xii, 10. 3. All acceptable prayer must be offered in faith, or a believing frame of mind. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering--for let not the wavering man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord,” James i, 5–7. He that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Heb. xi, 6. It must be offered in the name of Christ, believing in him as revealed in the word of God, placing in him all our hope of acceptance, and exercising unfeigned confidence in his atoning sacrifice and prevalent intercession. 4. Prayer is to be offered for things agreeable to the will of God.” So the Apostle says: This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him,” 1 John v, 14, 15. Our prayers must therefore be regulated by the revealed will of God, and come within the compass of the promises. These are to be the matter and the ground of our supplications. What God has not particularly promised he may nevertheless possibly bestow; but what he has promised he will assuredly perform. Of the good things promised to Israel of old not one failed, but all came to pass; and in due time the same shall be said of all the rest. 5. All this must be accompanied with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of God’s mercies. These are two necessary ingredients in acceptable prayer. I prayed,” says the Prophet Daniel, and made confession.” Sin is a burden, of which confession unloads the soul. Father,” said the returning prodigal, I have sinned against Heaven and in thy sight.” Thanksgiving is also as necessary as confession; by the one we take shame to ourselves; by the other, we give glory to God. By the one, we abase the creature; by the other we exalt the Creator. In petitioning favours from God, we act like dependent creatures; in confession, like sinners; but in thanksgiving, like angels.

The reason on which this great and efficacious duty rests, has been a subject of some debate. On this point, however, we have nothing stated in the Scriptures. From them we learn only, that God has appointed it; that he enjoins it to be offered in faith, that is, faith in Christ, whose atonement is the meritorious and procuring cause of all the blessings to which our desires can be directed; and that 762prayer so offered is an indispensable condition of our obtaining the blessings for which we ask. As a matter of inference, however, we may discover some glimpses of the reason in the divine Mind on which its appointment rests. That reason has sometimes been said to be the moral preparation and state of fitness produced in the soul for the reception of the divine mercies which the act and, more especially the habit of prayer must induce. Against this stands the strong, and, in a Scriptural view, fatal objection, that an efficiency is thus ascribed to the mere act of a creature to produce those great, and, in many respects, radical changes in the character of man, which we are taught, by inspired authority, to refer to the direct influences of the Holy Spirit. What is it that fits man for forgiveness, but simply repentance Yet that is expressly said to be the gift” of Christ, and supposes strong operations of the illuminating and convincing Spirit of truth, the Lord and Giver of spiritual life; and if the mere acts and habit of prayer had efficiency enough to produce a Scriptural repentance, then every formalist attending with ordinary seriousness to his devotions must, in consequence, become a penitent. Again: if we pray for spiritual blessings aright, that is, with an earnestness of desire which arises from a due apprehension of their importance, and a preference of them to all earthly good, who does not see that this implies such a deliverance from the earthly and carnal disposition which characterizes our degenerate nature, that an agency far above our own, however we may employ it, must be supposed or else, if our own prayers could be efficient up to this point, we might, by the continual application of this instrument, complete our regeneration, independent of that grace of God, which, after all, this theory brings in. It may indeed be said, that the grace of God operates by our prayers to produce in us a state of moral fitness to receive the blessings we ask. But this gives up the point contended for, the moral efficiency of prayer; and refers the efficiency to another agent working by our prayers as an instrument. Still, however, it may be affirmed, that the Scriptures no where represent prayer as an instrument for improving our moral state, in any other way than as the means of bringing into the soul new supplies of spiritual life and strength. It is therefore more properly to be considered as a condition of our obtaining that grace by which such effects are wrought, than as the instrument by which it effects them. In fact, all genuine acts of prayer depend upon a grace previously bestowed, and from which alone the disposition and the power to pray proceed. So it was said of Saul of Tarsus, Behold, he prayeth!” He prayed in fact then for the first time; but that was in consequence of the illumination of his mind as to his spiritual danger, effected by the miracle on the way to Damascus, and the grace of God which accompanied the miracle. Nor does the miraculous character of the means by which conviction was produced in his mind, affect the relevancy of this to ordinary cases. By whatever means God may be pleased to fasten the conviction of our spiritual danger upon our minds, and to awaken us out of the long sleep of sin, that conviction must precede real prayer, and comes from the influence of his grace, rendering the means of conviction effectual. Thus it is not the prayer which produces the conviction, but the conviction which gives birth to the prayer; and if we pursue the matter into its subsequent stages, we shall come to the same result. We pray for what we feel we want; that is, for something not in our possession; we obtain this either by impartation from God, to whom we look up as the only Being able to bestow the good for which we ask him; or else we obtain it, according to this theory, by some moral efficiency being given to the exercise of prayer to work it in us. Now, the latter hypothesis is in many cases manifestly absurd. We ask for pardon of sin, for instance; but this is an act of God done for us, quite distinct from any moral change which prayer may be said to produce in us, whatever efficiency we may ascribe to it; for no such change in us can be pardon, since that must proceed from the party offended. We ask for increase of spiritual strength; and prayer is the expression of that want. But if it supply this want by its own moral efficiency, it must supply it in proportion to its intensity and earnestness; which intensity and earnestness can only be called forth by the degree in which the want is felt, so that the case supposed is contradictory and absurd, as it makes the sense of want to be in proportion to the supply which ought to abate or remove it. And if it be urged, that prayer at least produces in us a fitness for the supply of spiritual strength, because it is excited by a sense of our wants, the answer is, that the fitness contended for consists in that sense of want itself which must be produced in us by the previous agency of grace, or we should never pray for supplies. There is, in fact, nothing in prayer simply which appears to have any adaptation, as an instrument, to effect a moral change in man, although it should be supposed to be made use of by the influence of the Holy Spirit. The word of God is properly an instrument, because it contains the doctrine which that Spirit explains and applies, and the motives to faith and obedience which he enforces upon the conscience and affections; and although prayer brings these truths and motives before us, prayer cannot properly be said to be an instrument of our regeneration, because that which is thus brought by prayer to bear upon our case is the word of God itself introduced into our prayers, which derive their sole influence in that respect from that circumstance. Prayer simply is the application of an insufficient to a sufficient Being for the good which the former cannot otherwise obtain, and which the latter only can supply; and as that supply is dependent upon prayer, and in the nature of the thing consequent, prayer can in no good sense be said to be the 763instrument of supplying our wants, or fitting us for their supply, except relatively, as a mere condition appointed by the Donor.

If we must inquire into the reason of the appointment of prayer, and it can scarcely be considered as a purely arbitrary institution, that reason seems to be, the preservation in the minds of men of a solemn and impressive sense of God’s agency in the world, and the dependence of all creatures upon him. Perfectly pure and glorified beings, no longer in a state of probation, and therefore exposed to no temptations, may not need this institution; but men in their fallen state are constantly prone to forget God; to rest in the agency of second causes; and to build upon a sufficiency in themselves. This is at once a denial to God of the glory which he rightly claims, and a destructive delusion to creatures, who, in forsaking God as the object of their constant affiance, trust but in broken reeds, and attempt to drink from broken cisterns which can hold no water.” It is then equally in mercy to us, as in respect to his own honour and acknowledgment, that the divine Being has suspended so many of his blessings, and those of the highest necessity to us, upon the exercise of prayer; an act which acknowledges his uncontrollable agency, and the dependence of all creatures upon him; our insufficiency, and his fulness; and lays the foundation of that habit of gratitude and thanksgiving which is at once so meliorating to our own feelings, and so conducive to a cheerful obedience to the will of God. And if this reason for the injunction of prayer is no where in Scripture stated in so many words, it is a principle uniformly supposed as the foundation of the whole scheme of religion which they have revealed.

To this duty objections have been sometimes offered, at which it may be well at least to glance. One has been grounded upon a supposed predestination of all things which come to pass; and the argument is, that as this established predetermination of all things cannot be altered, prayer, which supposes that God will depart from it, is vain and useless. The answer which a pious predestinarian would give to this objection is, that the argument drawn from the predestination of God lies with the same force against every other human effort, as against prayer; and that as God’s predetermination to give food to man does not render the cultivation of the earth useless and impertinent, so neither does the predestination of things shut out the necessity and efficacy of prayer. It would also be urged, that God has ordained the means as well as the end; and although he is an unchangeable Being, it is a part of the unchangeable system which he has established, that prayer shall be heard and accepted. Those who have not these views of predestination will answer the objection differently; for if the premises of such a predestination as is assumed by the objection, and conceded in the answer, be allowed, the answer is unsatisfactory. The Scriptures represent God, for instance, as purposing to inflict a judgment upon an individual or a nation, which purpose is often changed by prayer. In this case either God’s purpose must be denied, and then his threatenings are reduced to words without meaning; or the purpose must be allowed; in which case either prayer breaks in upon predestination, if understood absolutely, or it is vain and useless. To the objection so drawn out it is clear that no answer is given by saying that the means as well as the end are predestinated, since prayer in such cases is not a means to the end, but an instrument of thwarting it; or is a means to one end in opposition to another end, which, if equally predestinated with the same absoluteness, is a contradiction. The true answer is, that although God has absolutely predetermined some things, there are others which respect his government of free and accountable agents, which he has but conditionally predetermined. The true immutability of God consists, not in his adherence to his purposes, but in his never changing the principles of his administration; and he may therefore, in perfect accordance with his preördination of things, and the immutability of his nature, purpose to do, under certain conditions dependent upon the free agency of man, what he will not do under others; and for this reason, that an immutable adherence to the principles of a wise, just, and gracious government requires it. Prayer is in Scripture made one of these conditions; and if God has established it as one of the principles of his moral government to accept prayer, in every case in which he has given us authority to ask, he has not, we may be assured, entangled his actual government of the world with the bonds of such an eternal predestination of particular events, as either to reduce prayer to a mere form of words, or not to be able himself, consistently with his decrees, to answer it, whenever it is encouraged by his express engagements.

A second objection is, that as God is infinitely wise and good, his wisdom and justice will lead him to bestow whatever is fit for us without praying; and if any thing be not fit for us, we cannot obtain it by praying.” To this Dr. Paley very well replies, that it may be agreeable to perfect wisdom to grant that to our prayers which it would not have been agreeable to the same wisdom to have given us without praying for.” This, independent of the question of the authority of the Scriptures which explicitly enjoin prayer, is the best answer which can be given to the objection; and it is no small confirmation of it, that it is obvious to every reflecting man, that for God to withhold favours till asked for, tends,” as the same writer observes, to encourage devotion among his rational creatures, and to keep up and circulate a knowledge and sense of their dependency upon him.” But it is urged, God will always do what is best from the moral perfection of his nature, whether we pray or not.” This objection, however, supposes that there is but one mode of acting for the best, and that the divine will is necessarily determined to that mode only; both which positions,” says Paley, 764presume a knowledge of universal nature, much beyond what we are capable of attaining.” It is, indeed, a very unsatisfactory mode of speaking, to say, God will always do what is best; since we can conceive him capable in all cases of doing what is still better for the creature, and also that the creature is capable of receiving more and more from his infinite fulness for ever. All that can be rationally meant by such a phrase is, that, in the circumstances of the case, God will always do what is most consistent with his own wisdom, holiness, and goodness; but then the disposition to pray, and the act of praying, add a new circumstance to every case, and often bring many other new circumstances along with them. It supposes humility, contrition, and trust, on the part of the creature; and an acknowledgment of the power and compassion of God, and of the merit of the atonement of Christ: all which are manifestly new positions, so to speak, of the circumstances of the creature, which, upon the very principle of the objection, rationally understood, must be taken into consideration.

But if the efficacy of prayer as to ourselves be granted, its influence upon the case of others is said to be more difficult to conceive. This may be allowed without at all affecting the duty. Those who bow to the authority of the Scriptures will see, that the duty of praying for ourselves and for others rests upon the same divine appointment; and to those who ask for the reason of such intercession in behalf of others, it is sufficient to reply, that the efficacy of prayer being established in one case, there is the same reason to conclude that our prayers may benefit others, as any other effort we may use. It can only be by divine appointment that one creature is made dependent upon another for any advantage, since it was doubtless in the power of the Creator to have rendered each independent of all but himself. Whatever reason, therefore, might lead him to connect and interweave the interests of one man with the benevolence of another, will be the leading reason for that kind of mutual dependence which is implied in the benefit of mutual prayer. Were it only that a previous sympathy, charity, and good will, are implied in the duty, and must, indeed, be cultivated in order to it, and be strengthened by it, the wisdom and benevolence of the institution would, it is presumed, be apparent to every well constituted mind. That all prayer for others must proceed upon a less perfect knowledge of them than we have of ourselves, is certain; that all our petitions must be, even in our own mind, more conditional than those which respect ourselves, though many of these must be subjected to the principles of a general administration, which we but partially apprehend; and that all spiritual influences upon others, when they are subject to our prayers, will be understood by us as liable to the control of their free agency, must also be conceded; and, therefore, when others are concerned, our prayers may often be partially or wholly fruitless. He who believes the Scriptures will, however, be encouraged by the declaration that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man,” for his fellow creatures, availeth much;” and he who demands something beyond mere authoritative declaration, as he cannot deny that prayer is one of those instruments by which another may be benefited, must acknowledge that, like the giving of counsel, it may be of great utility in some cases, although it should fail in others; and that as no man can tell how much good counsel may influence another, or in many cases say whether it has ultimately failed or not, so it is with prayer. It is a part of the divine plan, as revealed in his word, to give many blessings to man independent of his own prayers, leaving the subsequent improvement of them to himself. They are given in honour of the intercession of Christ, man’s great Advocate;” and they are given, subordinately, in acceptance of the prayers of Christ’s church, and of righteous individuals. And when many or few devout individuals become thus the instruments of good to communities, or to whole nations, there is no greater mystery in this than in the obvious fact, that the happiness or misery of large masses of mankind is often greatly affected by the wisdom or the errors, the skill or the incompetence, the good or the bad conduct, of a few persons, and often of one.

PREACHING is the discoursing publicly on any religious subject. From the sacred records, says Robert Robinson, we learn that when men began to associate for the purpose of worshipping the Deity, Enoch prophesied, Jude 14, 15. We have a very short account of this prophet and his doctrine; enough, however, to convince us that he taught the principal truths of natural and revealed religion. Conviction of sin was in his doctrine, and communion with God was exemplified in his conduct, Gen. v, 24; Heb. xi, 5, 6. From the days of Enoch to the time of Moses, each patriarch worshipped God with his family: probably several assembled at new moons, and alternately instructed the whole company. Noah,” it is said, was a preacher of righteousness,” 1 Peter iii, 19, 20; 2 Peter ii, 5. Abraham commanded his household after him to keep the way of the Lord, and to do justice and judgment, Gen. xviii, 19; and Jacob, when his house lapsed to idolatry, remonstrated against it, and exhorted all them that were with him to put away the strange gods, and go up with him to Bethel, Gen. xxxv, 2, 3. Melchisedec, also, we may consider as the father, the priest, and the prince, of his people; publishing the glad tidings of peace and salvation, Gen. xiv; Heb. vii.

Moses was a most eminent prophet and preacher, raised up by the authority of God, and by whom, it was said, came the law, John i, 17. This great man had much at heart the promulgation of his doctrine: he directed it to be inscribed on pillars, to be transcribed in books, and to be taught both in public and private by word of mouth, Deut. iv, 9; vi, 9; xvii, 18; xxvii, 8; xxxi, 19; Num. v, 23. He himself set the example of each; and how he 765and Aaron preached, we may see by several parts of his writings. The first discourse was heard with profound reverence and attention; the last was both uttered and received with raptures, Exod. iv, 31; Deut. xxxiii, 7, 8, &c. Public preaching does not appear under this economy to have been attached to the priesthood: priests were not officially preachers; and we have innumerable instances of discourses delivered in assemblies by men of other tribes beside that of Levi, Psalm lxviii, 11. Joshua was an Ephraimite; but, being full of the spirit of wisdom, he gathered the tribes to Shechem, and harangued the people of God, Deut. xxxiv, 9; Joshua xxiv. Solomon was a prince of the house of Judah; Amos, a herdsman of Tekoa; yet both were preachers, and one at least was a prophet, 1 Kings ii; Amos vii, 14, 15. When the ignorant notions of Pagans, the vices of their practice, and the idolatry of their pretended worship, were in some sad periods incorporated into the Jewish religion by the princes of that nation, the prophets and all the seers protested against this apostasy; and they were persecuted for so doing. Shemaiah preached to Rehoboam, the princes, and all the people at Jerusalem, 2 Chron. xii, 5; Azariah and Hanani preached to Asa and his army, 2 Chron. xv, 1; xvi, 7; Micaiah, to Ahab. Some of them opened schools, or houses of instruction; and there to their disciples they taught the pure religion of Moses. At Naioth, in the suburbs of Ramah, there was one where Samuel dwelt; and there was one at Jericho, and a third at Bethel, to which Elijah and Elisha often resorted. Thither the people went on Sabbath days and at new moons, and received public lessons of piety and morality, 1 Sam. xix, 18; 2 Kings ii, 2, 5; iv, 2, 3. Through all this period, however, there was a dismal confusion of the useful ordinance of public preaching. Sometimes they had no open vision, and the word of the Lord was precious, or scarce; the people heard it only now and then. At other times they were left without a teaching priest, and without law. And at other seasons again, itinerants, both princes, priests, and Levites, were sent through all the country, to carry the book of the law, and to teach in the cities. In a word, preaching flourished when pure religion grew; and when the last decayed, the first was suppressed. Moses had not appropriated preaching to any order of men: persons, places, times, and manners, were all left open and discretional. Many of the discourses were preached in camps and courts, in streets, schools, cities, villages; sometimes, with great composure and coolness; at other times, with vehement action and rapturous energy; sometimes, in a plain, blunt style; at other times, in all the magnificent pomp of eastern allegory. On some occasions, the preachers appeared in public with visible signs, with implements of war, with yokes of slavery, or something adapted to their subject. They gave lectures on these, held them up to view, girded them on, broke them in pieces, rent their garments, rolled in the dust, and endeavoured, by all the methods they could devise, agreeably to the customs of their country, to impress the minds of their auditors with the nature and importance of their doctrines. These men were highly esteemed by the pious part of the nation; and princes thought proper to keep seers and others who were scribes, who read and expounded the law, 2 Chron. xxxiv, 29, 30; xxxv, 15. Hence, false prophets, bad men, who found their account in pretending to be good, crowded the courts of princes. Jezebel, an idolatress, had four hundred prophets of Baal; and Ahab, a pretended worshipper of Jehovah, had as many pretended prophets of his own profession, 2 Chron. xviii, 5.

When the Jews were carried captive into Babylon, the prophets who were with them inculcated the principles of religion, and endeavoured to possess their minds with an aversion to idolatry; and, to the success of preaching, we may attribute the re-conversion of the Jews to the belief and worship of one God; a conversion that remains to this day. The Jews have since fallen into horrid crimes; but they have never since this period lapsed into gross idolatry, Hosea ii, iii; Ezekiel ii, iii, xxxiv. There were not wanting, however, multitudes of false prophets among them, whose characters are strikingly delineated by the true prophets, and which the reader may see in Ezek. xiii; Isa. lvi; Jer. xxiii. When the seventy years of the captivity were expired, the good prophets and preachers, Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai, and others, having confidence in the word of God, and being concerned to possess their natural, civil, and religious rights, endeavoured, by all means, to extricate themselves and their countrymen from that mortifying state into which the crimes of their ancestors had brought them. They wept, fasted, prayed, preached, prophesied, and at length prevailed. The chief instruments were Nehemiah and Ezra; the former was governor, and reformed the civil state; the latter was a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, and applied himself to ecclesiastical matters, in which he rendered the noblest service to his country, and to all posterity. He collected and collated MSS. of the sacred writings, and arranged and published the books of the holy canon in their present form. To this he added a second work, as necessary as the former: he revised and new modelled public teaching, and exemplified his plan in his own person. The Jews had almost lost, in the seventy years’ captivity, their original language; that was now become dead; and they spoke a jargon made up of their own language and that of the Chaldeans, and other nations, with whom they had been mingled. Formerly, preachers had only explained subjects: now they were obliged to explain words; words which, in the sacred code, were become obsolete, equivocal, or dead. Houses were now opened, not for ceremonial worship, as sacrificing, for this was confined to the temple; but for moral and religious instruction, as praying, preaching, reading the law, divine worship, and social duties. These houses were called synagogues: the people 766repaired thither for morning and evening prayer; and on Sabbaths and festivals, the law was read and expounded to them. We have a short but beautiful description of the manner of Ezra’s first preaching, Neh. viii. Upward of fifty thousand people assembled in a street, or large square, near the water gate. It was early in the morning of a Sabbath day. A pulpit of wood, in the fashion of a small tower, was placed there on purpose for the preacher; and this turret was supported by a scaffold, or temporary gallery, where, in a wing on the right hand of the pulpit, sat six of the principal preachers; and in another on the left, seven. Thirteen other principal teachers, and many Levites, were present also, on scaffolds erected for the purpose, alternately to officiate. When Ezra ascended the pulpit, he produced and opened the book of the law, and the whole congregation instantly rose up from their seats, and stood. Then he offered up prayer and praise to God. The people bowing their heads and worshipping the Lord with their faces to the ground; and at the close of the prayer, with uplifted hands, they solemnly pronounced, Amen! Amen!” Then all standing, Ezra, assisted at times by the Levites, read the law distinctly, gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. The sermons delivered so affected the hearers, that they wept excessively; and about noon the sorrow became so exuberant and immeasurable, that it was thought necessary by the governor, the preacher, and the Levites, to restrain it. Go your way,” said they, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared.” The wise and benevolent sentiments of these noble souls were imbibed by the whole congregation, and fifty thousand troubled hearts were calmed in a moment. Home they returned, to eat, to drink, to send portions, and rejoice, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them. Plato was living at this time, teaching dull philosophy to cold academics; but what was he, and what was Xenophon, or Demosthenes, or any of the Pagan orators, in comparison with these men From this period to that of the appearance of Jesus Christ, public preaching was universal; synagogues were multiplied, vast numbers attended, and elders and rulers were appointed for the purpose of order and instruction.

The most celebrated preacher that arose before the appearance of Jesus Christ was John the Baptist. He was commissioned from heaven to be the harbinger of the Messiah. His subjects were few, plain, and important. His style was vehement, his images bold, his deportment solemn, his action eager, and his morals strict. But this bright morning star gave way to the illustrious Sun of Righteousness, who now arose on a benighted world. Jesus Christ certainly was the Prince of teachers. Who but can admire the simplicity and majesty of his style, the beauty of his images, the alternate softness and severity of his address, the choice of his subjects, the gracefulness of his deportment, and the indefatigableness of his zeal Let the reader charm and solace himself in the study and contemplation of the character, excellency, and dignity of this divine teacher, as he will find them delineated in the evangelists.

The Apostles copied their divine Master. They formed multitudes of religious societies, and were abundantly successful in their labours. They confined their attention to religion, and left the schools to dispute, and politicians to intrigue. The doctrines they preached they supported entirely by evidence; and neither had nor required such assistance as human laws or worldly policy, the eloquence of schools or the terror of arms, could afford them.

The Apostles being dead, every thing came to pass as they had foretold; the whole Christian system, in time, underwent a miserable change; preaching shared the fate of other institutions, and the glory of the primitive church gradually degenerated. Those writers whom we call the fathers, however, held up to view by some as models for imitation, do not deserve that indiscriminate praise ascribed to them. Christianity, it is true, is found in their writings; but how sadly incorporated with Pagan philosophy and Jewish allegory! It must, indeed, be allowed, that, in general, the simplicity of Christianity was maintained, though under gradual decay, during the first three centuries. The next five centuries produced many pious and excellent preachers, both in the Latin and Greek church, though the doctrine continued to degenerate. The Greek pulpit was adorned with some eloquent orators. Basil, bishop of Cæsarea, John Chrysostom, preacher at Antioch, and afterward patriarch, as he was called, of Constantinople, and Gregory Nazianzen, who all flourished in the fourth century, seem to have led the fashion of preaching in the Greek church; Jerom and Augustine did the same in the Latin church. The first preachers differed much in pulpit action; the greater part used very moderate and sober gestures. They delivered their sermons all extempore, while there were notaries who took down what they said. Sermons in those days were all in the vulgar tongue: the Greeks preached in Greek, the Latins in Latin. They did not preach by the clock, so to speak, but were short or long as they saw occasion; though an hour was about the usual time. Sermons were generally both preached and heard standing; but sometimes both speaker and auditors sat, especially the aged and the infirm. The fathers were fond of allegory; for Origen, that everlasting allegorizer, had set them the example. Before preaching, the preacher usually went into a vestry to pray, and afterward to speak to such as came to salute him. He prayed with his eyes shut in the pulpit. The first word the preacher uttered to the people when he ascended the pulpit was, Peace be with you;” or, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all;” to whom the assembly first added, Amen,” and in after times they 767answered, And with thy spirit.” Degenerate, however, as these days were, in comparison of those of the Apostles, yet they were golden ages in comparison with the times that followed, when metaphysical reasoning, mystical divinity, yea, Aristotelian categories, and reading the lives of saints, were substituted in the place of sermons. The pulpit became a stage where ludicrous priests obtained the vulgar laugh by the lowest kind of wit, especially at the festivals of Christmas and Easter.

But the glorious Reformation was the offspring of preaching, by which mankind were reformed; there was a standard, and the religion of the times was put to the trial by it. The avidity of the common people to read the Scriptures, and to hear them expounded, was wonderful; and the papists were so fully convinced of the benefits of frequent public instruction, that they, who were justly called unpreaching prelates, and whose pulpits to use an expression of Latimer, had been bells without clappers” for many a long year, were obliged for shame to set up regular preaching again. The church of Rome has produced some great preachers since the Reformation, but none equal to the reformed preachers. And a question naturally arises here, which it would be unpardonable to pass over in silence, concerning the singular effect of the preaching of the reformed, which was general, national, universal reformation. In the dark times of popery there had arisen now and then some famous popular preachers, who had zealously inveighed against the vices of the times, and whose sermons had produced sudden and amazing effects on their auditors; but all these effects had died away with the preachers who had produced them, and all things had gone back into their old state. Law, learning, commerce, society at large had not been improved. Here a new scene opens; preachers arise less popular, perhaps less indefatigable and exemplary; their sermons produce less striking immediate effects; and yet their auditors go away and agree by whole nations to reform. Jerom Savonarola, Jerom Narni, Capistran, Connecte, and many others, had produced, by their sermons, great immediate effects. When Connecte preached, the ladies lowered their head dresses, and committed quilled caps by hundreds to the flames. When Narni taught the people in lent, from the pulpits of Rome, half the city went from his sermons crying along the streets, Lord, have mercy upon us;” so that in only one passion week, two thousand crowns’ worth of ropes were sold to make scourges with; and when he preached before the pope to the cardinals and bishops, and painted the sin of non-residence in its own colours, he frightened thirty or forty bishops, who heard him, home to their diocesses. In the pulpit of the university of Salamanca, he induced eight hundred students to quit all worldly prospects of honour, riches, and pleasure, and to become penitents in divers monasteries. We know the fate of Savonarola, and others might be added; but all lamented the momentary duration of the effects produced by their labours. Narni himself was so disgusted with his office, that he renounced preaching, and shut himself up in his cell to mourn over his irreclaimable contemporaries; for bishops went back to the court, and rope makers lay idle again.

Our reformers taught all the good doctrines which had been taught by these men, and they added two or three more, by which they laid the axe to the root of the apostasy, and produced general reformation. Instead of appealing to popes and canons, and founders and fathers, they only quoted them, and referred their auditors to the Holy Scriptures for law. Pope Leo X. did not know this when he told Prierio, who complained of Luther’s heresy, Friar Martin has a fine genius.” They also taught the people what little they knew of Christian liberty; and so led them into a belief that they might follow their own ideas in religion, without the consent of a confessor, a diocesan, a pope, or a council. They went farther, and laid the stress of all religion on justifying faith.

Since the reformers we have had multitudes who have entered into their views with disinterestedness and success; and in the present times, both in the church and among other religious societies, names might be mentioned which would do honour to any nation; for though there are too many who do not fill up that important station with proportionate piety and talents, yet we have men who are conspicuous for their extent of knowledge, depth of experience, originality of thought, fervency of zeal, consistency of deportment, and great usefulness in the Christian church.

The preceding sketch will show how mighty an agent preaching has been in all ages, in raising, and maintaining, and reviving the spirit of religion. Wherever it has had this power, let it however be remarked, it has consisted in the declaration, the proclamation, of the truth of God, as contained in his early revelations to man, and afterward embodied in the Holy Scriptures. The effect too has been produced by preachers living themselves under the influence of this truth, and filled with faith and the Holy Ghost,” depending wholly upon God’s blessing for success, and going forth in his name, with ardent longing to win souls,” and to build up the church in knowledge and holiness. For preaching is not a profession; but a work of divine appointment, to be rightly discharged only by him who receives a commission from God, and fulfils it as under his eye, and in dependence upon his promise, Lo, I am with you alway.”

PREDESTINATION, according to some, is a judgment, or decree of God, by which he has resolved, from all eternity, to save a certain number of persons, hence named elect. Others define it, a decree to give faith in Jesus Christ to a certain number of men, and to leave the rest to their own malice and hardness of heart. A third, more Scripturally, God’s eternal purpose to save all that truly repent and unfeignedly believe his holy 768Gospel,”--according to the Apostle Paul, Whom he did foreknow” as believers them he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son;” to his moral image here, and to the image of his glorified humanity in heaven. According to the Calvinistical scheme, the reason of God’s predestinating some to everlasting life is not founded in a foresight of their faith and obedience; nevertheless, it is also maintained on this scheme, that the means are decreed as well as the end, and that God purposes to save none but such as by his grace he shall prepare for salvation by sanctification. The Remonstrants define predestination to be God’s decree to save believers, and condemn unbelievers. Some represent the election and predestination spoken of in Scripture, as belonging only to nations, or, at least, bodies of men, and not to particular persons. The greatest difficulties with which the modern theology is clogged turn on predestination; both the Romish and Reformed churches are divided about it; the Lutherans speak of it with horror; the Calvinists contend for it with the greatest zeal; the Molinists and Jesuits preach it down as a most dangerous doctrine; the Jansenists assert it as an article of faith; the Arminians, Remonstrants, and many others, are all avowed enemies of absolute predestination. Those strenuous patrons of Jansenism, the Port-royalists, taught, that God predestinates those whom he foresees will coöperate with his grace to the end. Dupin adds, that men do not fall into sin because not predestinated to life, but they are not predestinated because God foresaw their sins. See Calvinism.

This doctrine has been already treated of. We shall here therefore merely subjoin a sketch of its history previous to the Reformation. The apostolic fathers, men little accustomed to the intricacy of metaphysical disquisition, deeply impressed with the truth of the Gospel, powerfully influenced by its spirit, and from their particular situation naturally dwelling much upon it as a system of direction and consolation, do not, in their writings, at all advert to the origin of evil, or to predestination, so closely allied to it. They press, with much earnestness, upon those in whom they were interested the vast importance of practical holiness, exhibit the motives which appeared to them calculated to secure it, and represent the blessedness which awaits good men, and the condemnation reserved for the wicked; but they do not once attempt to determine whether the sin which they were solicitous to remove could be accounted for, in consistency with the essential holiness and the unbounded mercy of the Deity. In short, they just took that view of this subject which every man takes when he is not seeking to enter into philosophical disquisition; never for one moment doubting that whatever is wrong was ultimately to be referred to man, and that the economy of grace proceeding from God was the most convincing proof of the tenderness of his compassion for mankind.

When, however, the church received within its communion those who had been educated in the schools of philosophy, and to whom the question as to the origin of evil must, while they frequented these schools, have become familiar, it was not to be supposed that, even although they were convinced that we should be chiefly solicitous about the formation of the Christian character, there would be no allusion to what had formerly interested them, or that they would refrain from delivering their sentiments upon it. Agreeably to this, we find, in the works of Justin Martyr, Tatian, Irenæus, Tertullian, and Origen, sufficient intimations that they had directed their attention to the difficulty now under review; and that, whether upon adequate grounds or not, they had come to a decision as to the way in which it should be explained consistently with the divine perfections. It is evident that they did not investigate the subject to the depth to which it is requisite for the full discussion of it to go; and that various questions which must be put before it can be brought completely before us, they either did not put, or hastily regarded as of very little moment: but it is enough to dwell upon the fact, that they did employ their thoughts upon it, and have so expressed themselves as to leave no doubt of the light in which it was contemplated by them. Justin, in his dialogue with Trypho, remarks that “they who were foreknown as to become wicked, whether angels or men, did so not from any fault of God, t t Te, but from their own blame;” by which observation he shows it to have been his opinion that God foresaw in what manner his intelligent creatures would act; but that this did not affect their liberty, and did not diminish their guilt. A little after he says more fully, that God created angels and men free to the practice of righteousness, having planted in them reason, through which they knew by whom they were created and through whom they existed, when before they were not, and who prescribed to them a law by which they were to be judged, if they acted contrary to right reason. Wherefore, we, angels and men, are through ourselves convicted as being wicked, if we do not lay hold of repentance. But if the Logos of God foretels that some angels and men would go to be punished, he does so because he foreknew that they would certainly become wicked by no means, however, because God made them such.” Justin thus admits that man is wholly dependent upon God, deriving existence and every thing which he has from the Almighty; but he is persuaded that we were perfectly able to retain our integrity, and that, although it was foreseen that we should not do so, this did not abridge our moral power, or fix any imputation on the Deity in consequence of our transgression. Tatian, in his oration against the Greeks, an excellent work which, although composed after the death of Justin, was written, in all probability, before its author had adopted the wild opinions which he defended toward the conclusion of his life, expresses very much the same sentiments avowed by 769Justin. He says, Both men and angels were created free, so that man becoming wicked through his own fault may be deservedly punished, while a good man, who, from the right exercise of his free will, does not transgress the law of God, is entitled to praise; that the power of the divine Logos having in himself the knowledge of what was to happen, not through fate or unavoidable necessity, but from free choice, predicted future things, condemning the wicked and praising the righteous.”

Irenæus, in the third book of his work against heresies, has taken an opportunity to state his notions about the origin of evil. The seventy-first chapter of that book is entitled, A proof that man is free, and has power to this extent, that of himself he can choose what is good or the contrary.” In illustration of this he remarks, God gave to man the power of election as he did to the angels. They, therefore, who do not obey are justly not found with the good, and receive deserved punishment, because God having given them what was good, they did not keep it, but despised the riches of the divine mercy.” The next chapter is entitled, A proof that some men are not good by nature, and others wicked, and that what is good is within the choice of man.” In treating on this subject, Irenæus observes, that if the reverse were the case, the good would not merit praise nor the wicked blame, because being merely what, without any will of theirs, they had been made, they could not be considered as voluntary agents. But,” he adds, since all have the same nature, and are able to retain and to do what is good, and may, on the other hand, lose it and not do it, some are, even in the sight of men, and much more in that of God, deservedly praised and others blamed.” In support of this he introduces a great variety of passages from Scripture. It appears, however, that the real difficulty attending the subject had suggested itself to his mind; for he inquires in the seventy-third chapter, why God had not from the beginning made man perfect, all things being possible to him. He gives to this question a metaphysical and unsatisfactory answer, but which so far satisfied himself as to convince him that there could not, on this ground, be any imputation justly cast on the perfections of the Almighty, and that, consequently, a sufficient explanation of the origin of evil and of the justice of punishing it, was to be found in the nature of man as a free agent, or in the abuse of that liberty with which man had been endowed. Tertullian had also speculated upon the moral condition of man, and has recorded his sentiments with respect to it. He explicitly asserts the freedom of the will; lays down the position, that, if this be denied, there can be neither reward nor punishment; and, in answer to an objection, that since free will has been productive of such melancholy consequences, it would have been better that it had not been bestowed, he enters into a formal vindication of this part of our constitution. In reply to another suggestion, that God might have interposed to prevent the choice which was to be productive of sin and misery, he maintains that this could not have been done without destroying that admirable constitution by which alone the interests of virtue can be really promoted. He thus thought that sin was to be imputed wholly to man, and that it was perfectly consistent with the attributes of God, or rather illustrated these attributes, that there should be a system under which sin was possible, because without this possibility there could have been no accountable agents.

From what has been stated on this subject, it seems unquestionable that the apostolic fathers did not at all enter upon the subject of the origin of evil; that the writers by whom they were succeeded were satisfied that, in the sense in which the term is now most commonly used, there was no such thing as predestination; that they uniformly represented the destiny of man as regulated by the use or abuse of his free will; that, with the exception of Irenæus, they did not attempt to explain why such a creature as man, who was to fall into sin, was created by a Being of infinite goodness; that the sole objection to their doctrine seemed to them to be, that prescience was incompatible with liberty, and that, when they answered this, they considered that nothing more was requisite for receiving, without hesitation, the view of man upon which they often and fondly dwelt, as a free and accountable agent, who might have held fast his integrity, and whose fall from that integrity was to be ascribed solely to himself, as it did not at all result from any appointment of the supreme Being.

Although opinions respecting original sin, directly tending to a very different view of the subject than had been previously taken, had been stated by Cyprian, yet a thorough investigation of it, and the sentiments which afterward were widely received in the Christian church, took their rise from the discussions to which the Pelagian controversy gave occasion. Previous to the part which Augustine took in that controversy, he seems to have been very much of the same sentiments with Origen and the other early fathers. But, either from what he considered as a more deliberate and complete examination of Scripture, or from perceiving the necessity imposed on him, in consequence of some of the positions which he had laid down in his writings against Pelagius, he soon changed his opinion, and advanced a notion more in harmony with these positions. Having to show the absolute necessity of divine grace, he inculcated that, in consequence of original sin, man was infallibly determined to evil, and was therefore in a state of condemnation, and he thus took away the foundation upon which the prevailing tenets rested; because it was impossible that men could be predestined to life, or the reverse, from prescience of their actions, when, without the special grace of God, they were absolutely incapacitated for obedience to the divine law. To get rid of this difficulty, Augustine, in some degree, transferred the search for the origin of sin from the state of man to the purposes 770of God, asserting that from all eternity the Almighty had determined to choose from the mass of mankind, lost in guilt and corruption, a certain number to be transformed to holiness, and to be admitted after this life to eternal happiness; that he did this to promote his own glory; and that, by the operation of his Spirit, granted of his own free and undeserved mercy, he produced in the elect or chosen the fruits of righteousness, and qualified them for the enjoyment of heaven. The whole of the remainder of the human race were, according to this system, left in their condition by nature, or in other words, were given up to endless misery. There immediately arose out of this view of the subject, the formidable and heart-rending objection, that God was really the author of sin; that, having so created mankind that of themselves they could not be holy, there was on the part of those delivered no virtue, as there was on the other part no blame; the case being quite different from what it would have been had God interposed with respect to creatures who had not received from himself their physical and moral constitution. Accordingly, it has been asserted that a sect did arise, which, carrying out, as the members of it affirmed, the principles of Augustine, maintained that God not only predestinated the wicked to eternal punishment, but also to the guilt and transgression for which they were punished; that the human race was thus wholly passive, the good and bad actions of men, or what were commonly termed such, being determined from all eternity by a divine decree, or fixed by hopeless, irresistible necessity. These opinions it is said that the venerable and enlightened bishop of Hippo zealously opposed, labouring to show that they were not fairly deduced from what he had taught, making a distinction probably between his account of free will and the necessity here confounded with it, and perhaps reluctant to push his tenets so far as apparently they might be carried. The fact is, that although the doctrine of absolute predestination is occasionally clearly taught by Augustine, and obviously follows from his other principles, yet he does not always write consistently with regard to it; or, at least, there is sometimes so much vagueness in his assertions and illustrations, that his authority has been claimed in support of their peculiar tenets both by the Jansenists and the Jesuits, opposite to each other as the sentiments of these two orders are upon the subject of which we are treating. Still it is beyond a question that this celebrated theologian did fix the attention of the church upon that subject much more closely than before his age had been the case, and gave rise to those discussions in relation to it which have so often agitated Christians, and tended much more to destroy the mild and tolerant spirit of the Gospel, than to throw light upon its momentous truths. The subject of predestination, however, was long regarded as one which it was not esteemed requisite absolutely to define, and which might be very much left open to speculation; for although in different countries decrees were passed, guarding against what were viewed as errors resulting from it, it is plain, from what took place upon the revival of the controversy in an after age, that there had not been formed any standard to which ecclesiastical authority required that all who were esteemed orthodox should strictly conform. See Augustine.

In the ninth century, Godeschalchus, a man of illustrious birth, who had, contrary to his inclinations, been devoted by his parents to a monastic life, and who had, with unwearied diligence, studied the science of theology, inflamed by an unhappy desire to unravel all the difficulties with which that science abounds, occupied his mind with the consideration of the question of predestination, and finally adopted, with regard to it, the doctrine of Augustine. Not satisfied with having convinced himself, he conceived it to be his duty to labour for the conviction of others; and he accordingly openly and zealously inculcated that the elect were predestinated to life, and the rest of mankind to everlasting misery. Rabanus, archbishop of Mentz, who had for some reason before this been inspired with enmity to Godeschalchus, having been informed of the tenets which he was publishing, and, as has too often been the case, veiling private antipathy under the cloak of anxiety for the purity of divine truth, opposed him with the utmost vehemence; and, having assembled a council in his own metropolitan city, procured the condemnation of the views which he reprobated. The matter was afterward taken up by Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, who was the zealous friend of Rabanus; and he also having procured the meeting of a council, confirmed the sentence that had been already passed. Not satisfied with this, he degraded Godeschalchus from the priesthood; and, with an inhumanity infinitely more detestable than heresy, he put the unfortunate monk to the torture. The fortitude of Godeschalchus was for a moment overpowered, and he consented to commit to the flames a justification of his opinions which he had presented to his execrable tormentors. It was not to be supposed that by atrocious violence like this sincere conviction could be produced in the person against whom it was directed, or that others would be disposed universally to submit to it. The controversy, accordingly, soon was renewed; writers on both sides of the question contended with the utmost warmth, and eagerly displayed the extent of their erudition. New councils were summoned, by which the decrees of former councils were reversed, and the tenets of Godeschalchus were confirmed; and the whole agitation terminated by leaving the subject in the same undefined state on the part of the church in which it had been before it was thus intemperately and cruelly discussed.

To the schoolmen, who delighted much more in losing themselves amidst inextricable difficulties and endless distinctions, than in opening the sources of knowledge and removing the difficulties with which these were surrounded, 771this subject, from its intricate or inexplicable nature, was admirably adapted; and they did not fail to exercise upon it their diligence and their ingenuity. Thomas Aquinas, who flourished during the thirteenth century, was a man who in more enlightened times would have really merited the high reputation which he enjoyed, and which procured for him from his contemporaries the appellation of the Angelic Doctor. He was capable of vast mental exertion, and, amidst all his avocations, produced works so voluminous that in modern days even students would shrink from the perusal of them as an overwhelming task. He wrote largely upon the nature of grace, and predestination, so intimately connected with it. His opinions upon these subjects were nearly the same with those of Augustine; and so much, indeed, was he conceived to resemble in genius and understanding that distinguished prelate, that it was asserted the soul of Augustine had been sent into the body of Aquinas. He taught that God had, from all eternity, and without any regard to their works, predestinated a certain number to life and happiness; but he found great delight in endeavouring to reconcile this position with the freedom of the human will. His celebrated antagonist, John Duns Scotus, an inhabitant of Britain, surnamed, from the acuteness and bent of his mind, the Subtile Doctor, also directed his attention, in the subsequent century, to the same thorny speculations, taking a different view of them from Aquinas; and we find in the works of these two brilliant lights of the schoolmen all that the most learned in the dark ages thought upon them.

It is unnecessary to trace the various shades of opinion which existed in the church as to predestination from this era till the Reformation: it is enough to remark, that, after all which had been written upon it, it does not appear that any peculiar sentiments with respect to it were, by the reformers, judged essential to orthodoxy. It was more wisely considered that, upon a point involved in impenetrable difficulties, and raised far above human comprehension, men might be allowed to differ, while their attachment to the best interests of pure religion could not be called in question. See Calvinism and Lutherans.

The seventeenth article of the church of England is often adduced by Calvinists as favourable to their peculiar views of absolute predestination; but such a representation of it is rendered plausible only by adding to its various clauses qualifying expressions to suit that purpose. Under the articles Church of England, Confessions, and Calvinism, have been exhibited the just and liberal views of Cranmer and the principal English reformers on this subject,--the sources from which they drew the articles of religion and the public formularies of devotion,--and some of the futile attempts of the high predestinarians in the church to inoculate the public creed with their dogmas. Cartwright and his followers, in their second Admonition to the Parliament” in 1572, complained that the articles speak dangerously of falling from grace;” and in 1587 they preferred a similar complaint. The labours of the Westminster Assembly at a subsequent period, and their abortive result, in relation to this subject, are well known. Long before Arminius had turned his thoughts to the consideration of general redemption, a great number of the English clergy had publicly taught and defended the same doctrine. It was about 1571 when Dr. Peter Baroe, a zealous Anti-Calvinian,” as one of our church historians observes, was made Margaret Professor of Divinity in the university of Cambridge; and “he went on teaching in his lectures, preaching in his sermons, determining in the schools, and printing in several books, divers points contrary to Calvinism. And this he did for several years, without any manner of disturbance or interruption. The heads of the university, in a letter to the Lord Burleigh, dated March 8, 1595, say, he had done it for fourteen or fifteen years preceding and they might have said twenty; for he printed some of his lectures in 1574, and the prosecution he was at last under, which will be considered hereafter, was not till 1595. In 1584, Mr. Harsnet, afterward archbishop of York, preached against absolute reprobation at St. Paul’s Cross, the greatest audience then in the kingdom; as did the judicious Mr. Hooker at the Temple in the year following. In the year 1594, Mr. Barret preached at St. Mary’s in Cambridge against Calvinism, with very smart reflections upon Calvin himself, Beza, Zanchy, and several others of the most noted writers in that scheme. In the same year, Dr. Baroe preached at the same place to the same purpose. By this time Calvinism had gained considerable ground, being much promoted by the learned Whitaker and Mr. Perkins; and several of the heads of the university being in that scheme, they complained of the two sermons above mentioned to the Lord Burleigh their chancellor. Their heads endeavoured to bring Barret to a retraction, to which whether he ever submitted according to the form they drew up, may reasonably be doubted. At length the matter was laid before Archbishop Whitgift, who was offended at their proceedings, and writes to the Lord Burleigh, that some of the points which the heads had enjoined Barret to retract were such as the most learned Protestants, then living, varied in judgment upon; and that the most ancient and best divines in the land were in the chiefest points in opinion against the heads and their resolutions. Another letter he sent to the heads themselves, telling them that they had enjoined Barret to affirm that which was contrary to the doctrine holden and expressed by many sound and learned divines in the church of England, and in other churches likewise men of best account; and that which for his own part he thought to be false and contrary to the Scriptures; for the Scriptures are plain, that God by his absolute will did not hate and reject any man. There might be impiety in believing the one, there could be 772none in believing the other; neither was it contrary to any article of religion established by authority in this church of England, but rather agreeable thereto. This testimony of the archbishop is very remarkable; and though he afterward countenanced the Lambeth articles, that is of little or no weight in the case. The question is not about any man’s private opinion, but about the doctrine of the church; and supposing the archbishop to be a Calvinist, as he seems to have been at least in some points, this only adds the greater weight to his testimony, that our church has no where declared in favour of that scheme. The archbishop descended to the particulars charged against Barret, asking the heads what article of the church was contradicted by this or that notion of his; and Whitaker in his reply does not appeal to one of the articles, as against Barret, but forms his plea upon the doctrines which then generally obtained in pulpits. His words are, ‘We are fully persuaded that Mr. Barret hath taught untruth, if not against the articles, yet against the religion, of our church, publicly received, and always held in her majesty’s reign, and maintained in all sermons, disputations, and lectures.’ And even this pretence of his, weak as it would have been though true, is utterly false, directly contrary, not only to what has been already shown to be the facts of the case, but also to what the archbishop affirmed, and that too, as must be supposed, upon his own knowledge. As to Dr. Baroe, he met with many friends, who espoused his cause. Mr. Strype particularly mentions four, Mr. Overal, Dr. Clayton, Mr. Harsnet, Dr. Andrews; all of them great and learned men, men of renown, and famous in their generation. How many more there were, nobody can tell. The heads in their letter to the Lord Burleigh do not pretend that the preaching against Calvinism gave a general offence, but that it offended many; which implies that there were many others on the opposite side; and they expressly say there were divers in the Anti-Calvinian scheme, whom they represent as maintaining it with great boldness. But what put a stop to this prosecution against Baroe was, a reprimand from their chancellor, the Lord Burleigh, who wrote to the heads, that as good and as ancient were of another judgment, and that they might punish him, but it would be for well doing.”

But Dr. Whitaker, Regius Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, could not endure the farther prevalence of the doctrines of general redemption in that university; he therefore, in 1595, drew up nine affirmations, elucidatory of his views of predestination, and obtained for them the sanction of several Calvinian heads of houses, with whom he repaired to Archbishop Whitgift. Having heard their ex parte statement, his grace summoned Bishops Flecher and Vaughan, and Dr. Tyndal, dean of Ely, to meet Dr. Whitaker and the Cambridge deputation at his palace in Lambeth, on the tenth of November, 1595; where, after much polishing and altering, they produced Whitaker’s affirmation in the following form, called the Lambeth Articles,” from the place in which their secret sittings had been held:--“1. God from eternity hath predestinated certain men unto life; certain men he hath reprobated. 2. The moving or efficient cause of predestination unto life is not the foresight of faith or of perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing that is in the person predestinated; but it is only the good will and pleasure of God. 3. A certain number of the predestinate is predetermined, which can neither be augmented nor diminished. 4. Those who are not predestinated to salvation shall be necessarily damned for their sins. 5. A true, living, and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God justifying, is not extinguished, doth not fall off, or vanish away, in the elect, either totally or finally. 6. A man who is a true believer, that is, one who is endued with a justifying faith, is assured with a plerophory, or firm persuasion, of faith concerning the remission of his sins, and his eternal salvation through Christ. 7. Saving grace is neither given, communicated, nor granted to all men, by which they can be saved if they will. 8. No one is able to come unto Christ unless it shall be given unto him, and unless the Father shall draw him; and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may come unto the Son. 9. It is not placed in the choice, will, or capacity of every one to be saved.” Dr. Whitaker died a few days after his return from Lambeth, with the nine articles to which he had procured the patronage of the primate. After his demise, two competitors appeared for the vacant King’s Professorship, Dr. Wotton, of King’s College, a professed Calvinian, and Dr. Overal of Trinity College, almost as far,” says Heylin, from the Calvinian doctrine in the main platform of predestination as Baroe, Harsnet, or Barret are conceived to be. But when it came to the vote of the university, the place was carried for Overal by the major part; which plainly shows, that though the doctrines of Calvin were so hotly stickled here by most of the heads, yet the greater part of the learned body entertained them not.” “The Lambeth articles,” it is well observed, are no part of the doctrine of the church of England, having never had any the least sanction either from the parliament or the convocation. They were drawn up by Professor Whitaker; and though they were afterward approved by Archbishop Whitgift, and six or eight of the inferior clergy, in a meeting they had at Lambeth, yet this meeting was only in a private manner, and without any authority from the queen; who was so far from approving of their proceedings, that she not only ordered the articles to be suppressed, but was resolutely bent for some time to bring the archbishop and his associates under a premunire, for presuming to make them without any warrant or legal authority.” Such, in brief, was the origin and such the fate of the Lambeth articles, without the countenance of which the defenders of Calvinism in the church of England could find no semblance of support for their manifold affirmations on 773predestination and its kindred topics. These articles afford another instructive instance of the extreme ignorance of the real sentiments of their opponents, which often betrays itself in the conduct of many eminent men, when they rashly begin to fence off the reputed heterodoxy of their brethren from the sacred precincts of their own orthodoxy. Two of the ablest and most consistent Arminians of the old English school, Baroe and Plaifere, have lucidly shown how every one of these nine assertions may, without difficulty, be interpreted in accordance with their individual belief. Baroe’s clever dissertation on this subject will be found in Strype’s Life of Whitgift;” and that of Plaifere, in his own unanswerable Apello Evangelium.”

PRE-EXISTENCE OF JESUS CHRIST is his existence before he was born of the Virgin Mary. That he really did exist, is plain from John iii, 13; vi, 50, &c; viii, 58; xvii, 5, 24; 1 John i, 2; but there are various opinions respecting this existence. Some acknowledging, with the orthodox, that in Jesus Christ there is a divine nature, a rational soul, and a human body, go into an opinion peculiar to themselves. His body was formed in the virgin’s womb; but his human soul, they suppose, was the first and most excellent of all the works of God; was brought into existence before the creation of the world, and subsisted in happy union in heaven with the second person of the Godhead, till his incarnation. These divines differ from those called Arians, for the latter ascribe to Christ only a created deity, whereas the former hold his true and proper divinity. They differ from the Socinians, who believe no existence of Jesus Christ before his incarnation: they differ from the Sabellians, who only own a trinity of names: they differ also from the generally received opinion, which is, that Christ’s human soul began to exist in the womb of his mother, in exact conformity to that likeness unto his brethren of which St. Paul speaks, Heb. ii, 17. The writers in favour of the preëxistence of Christ’s human soul recommend their opinion by these arguments: 1. Christ is represented as his Father’s messenger, or angel, being distinct from his Father, sent by his Father, long before his incarnation, to perform actions which seem to be too low for the dignity of pure Godhead. The appearances of Christ to the patriarchs are described like the appearance of an angel, or man really distinct from God; yet one, in whom God, or Jehovah, had a peculiar indwelling, or with whom the divine nature had a personal union. 2. Christ, when he came into the world, is said, in several passages of Scripture, to have divested himself of some glory which he had before his incarnation. Now if there had existed before this time nothing but his divine nature, this divine nature, it is argued, could not properly have divested itself of any glory, John xvii, 4, 5; 2 Cor. viii, 9. It cannot be said of God that he became poor: he is infinitely self-sufficient; he is necessarily and eternally rich in perfections and glories. Nor can it be said of Christ, as man, that he was rich, if he were never in a richer state before than while he was on earth. 3. It seems needful, say those who embrace this opinion, that the soul of Jesus Christ should preëxist, that it might have an opportunity to give its previous actual consent to the great and painful undertaking of making atonement for our sins. On the other side, it is affirmed that the doctrine of the preëxistence of the human soul of Christ weakens and subverts that of his divine personality. 1. A pure intelligent spirit, the first, the most ancient, and the most excellent of creatures, created before the foundation of the world, so exactly resembles the second person of the Arian trinity, that it is impossible to show the least difference except in name. 2. This preëxistent intelligence, supposed in this doctrine, is so confounded with those other intelligences called angels, that there is great danger of mistaking this human soul for an angel, and so of making the person of Christ to consist of three natures. 3. If Jesus Christ had nothing in common like the rest of mankind except a body, how could this semi-conformity make him a real man 4. The passages quoted in proof of the preëxistence of the human soul of Jesus Christ, are of the same sort with those which others allege in proof of the preëxistence of all human souls. 5. This opinion, by ascribing the dignity of the work of redemption to this sublime human soul, detracts from the deity of Christ, and renders the last as passive as the first is active. 6. This notion is contrary to the Scripture. St. Paul says, In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren,” Heb. ii, 17: he partook of all our infirmities, except sin. St. Luke says, He increased in stature and wisdom,” Luke ii, 52. Upon the whole, this scheme, adopted to relieve the difficulties which must always surround mysteries so great, only creates new ones. This is the usual fate of similar speculations, and shows the wisdom of resting in the plain interpretation of the word of God.

PRESBYTERIANS are those that affirm there is no order in the church, as established by Christ and his Apostles, superior to that of presbyters; that all ministers, being ambassadors, are equal by their commission; and that elder, or presbyter, and bishop, are the same in name and office, and the terms synonymous. Their arguments against the Episcopalians are as follows:--With respect to the successors of the Apostles, they seem to have been placed on a footing of perfect equality, the d, or deacons, not being included among the teachers. They were inferior officers, whose province it originally was to care for the poor, and to discharge those secular duties arising out of the formation of Christian communities, which could not be discharged by the ministers without interfering with the much higher duties which they had to perform. These ministers are sometimes in the New Testament styled este, or presbyters, at other times psp, or bishops; but the two appellations were indiscriminately applied to all the pastors who were the instructers of the different 774churches. Of this various examples may be given from the sacred writings. The Apostle Paul, upon a very affecting occasion, when he was convinced that he could never again have an opportunity of addressing them, sent for the elders or presbyters of Ephesus, the persons to whom the ministry in that church had been committed; and after mentioning all that he had done, and intimating to them the sufferings which awaited him, he addressed to them what may be considered as his dying advice, and as comprehending in it all that he judged it most essential for them to do. Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops or overseers, to feed the church of God,” Acts xx, 17, 28. Here they whose duty it was to feed the church of God, as having been set apart through the Holy Spirit for that interesting work, are termed by the Apostle presbyters and bishops, and there is not the slightest allusion to the existence of any other psp, or bishop, superior to those psp, or bishops, to whom he gives the moving charge now recorded. In his epistle to Titus, St. Paul thus writes: For this purpose I left thee in Crete,” where, as yet, it is probable that no teachers had been appointed, that thou shouldest ordain elders, or presbyters, in every city.” He then points out the class of men from which the presbyters were to be selected, adding, as the reason of this, for a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God,” Titus i, 5, 7. It is quite plain that the epithet bishop is here applicable to the same persons who were a little before styled elders, and both are declared to be the stewards of God, the guardians and instructers of his church. The Apostle Peter, in his first epistle addressed to the Jewish converts, has these words: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, sµpeste, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight of it, pspte, being bishops of it, not by constraint but willingly,” 1 Peter v, 1, 2. This passage is a very strong one. The Apostle speaks of himself in his extraordinary capacity, a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and in his ordinary capacity as a teacher; showing, by the use of a very significant term, that as to it he was on a footing of equality with the other pastors or presbyters. He gives it in charge to them to feed the flock of God; the charge which, under most particular and affecting circumstances, he had received from the Lord after the resurrection, and which includes in it the performance of every thing requisite for the comfort and the edification of Christians; and he accordingly expresses this by the word pspte, being bishops over them. It cannot, with any shadow of reason, be supposed that the Apostle would exhort the elders or presbyters to take to themselves the office, and to perform the duties, of a bishop, if that term really marked out a distinct and higher order; or that he would have considered the presbyters as fitted for the discharge of the whole ministerial office, if there were parts of that office which he knew that it was not lawful for them to exercise.

It seems, by the passages that have been quoted, to be placed beyond a doubt, that, in what the Apostles said respecting the ministers of Christ’s religion, they taught that the psp and the esßte were the same class of instructers; and that there were, in fact, only two orders pointed out by them, bishops or presbyters, and deacons. This being the case, even although it should appear that there were bishops, in the common sense of that term, recognized in the apostolic age, all that could be deduced from the fact would be, that the equality at first instituted among the teachers, had, for prudential reasons, or under peculiar circumstances, been interrupted; but it would not follow either that the positive and general declarations on the subject by the inspired writers were not true, or that it was incumbent at all times, and upon all Christians, to disregard them. It has been strenuously contended that there were such bishops in the infancy of the church, and that allusion is made to them in Scripture; but without directly opposing the assertion, this much must be admitted, that the proof of it is less clear than that bishops and presbyters were represented as the same in rank and in authority. Indeed, there does not appear to have been any occasion for this higher order. To presbyters was actually committed the most important charge of feeding the church of God, that is, of promoting the spiritual improvement of mankind; and it is remarkable that their privilege of separating from the people by ordination the ministers of religion, is explicitly acknowledged in the case of Timothy, whom the Apostle admonishes not to neglect the gift that was in him, and which had been given by prophecy, and by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery; by which can be meant only the laying on of the hands of those who were denominated presbyters or bishops. But although all the parts of the ministerial duty had been intrusted to presbyters, it is still contended that the New Testament indicates the existence of bishops as a higher order. There has, however, been much diversity of opinion in relation to this point by those who contend for the divine institution of episcopacy. Some of them maintain that the Apostles, while they lived, were the bishops of the Christian church; but this, and upon irrefragable grounds, is denied by others. Some urge that Timothy and Titus were, in what they call the true sense of the term, bishops; but many deny that, founding their denial upon these evangelists not having resided within the bounds, or been limited to the administration of any one church, being sent wherever it was resolved to bring men to the knowledge of divine truth. Many conceive that the question is settled by the epistles in the book of Revelation being addressed to the angels of the respective churches named by the Apostle. But it is far from being obvious what is implied under the appellation angel; there has been much dispute about this point, and it is certainly a 775deviation from all the usual rules by which we are guided in interpreting Scripture, to bring an obscure and doubtful passage in illustration of one, about the import of which, if we attend to the language used, there can be no doubt. It may, therefore, be safely affirmed that there is nothing clear and specific in the writings of the New Testament which qualifies the positive declarations that bishops and presbyters were the same officers; that the ground upon which the distinction between them is placed, is, at least, far from obviously supporting it; and that there is not the slightest intimation that the observance of such a distinction is at all important, much less absolutely essential to a true Christian church, insomuch that, where it is disregarded, the ordinances of divine appointment cannot be properly dispensed. If therefore it be established,--and some of the most learned and zealous advocates for the hierarchy which afterward arose have been compelled to admit it,--that Scripture has not recognized any difference of rank or order between the ordinary teachers of the Gospel, all other means of maintaining this difference should be with Protestants of no force. It may be shown that the admission of the distinction is not incompatible with the great ends for which a ministry was appointed, and even in particular cases may tend to promote them; but still it is merely a matter of human regulation, not binding upon Christians, and not in any way connected with the vital influence of the Gospel dispensation. The whole of the writers of antiquity may be urged in support of it, if that could be done; and, after all, every private Christian would be entitled to judge for himself, and to be directed by his own judgment, unless it be maintained that where Scripture has affirmed the existence of equality, this is to be counteracted and set at nought by the testimonies and assertions of a set of writers, who, although honoured with the name of fathers, are very far, indeed, from being infallible, and who have, in fact, often delivered sentiments which even they who, upon a particular emergency, cling to them, must confess to be directly at variance with all that is sound in reason, or venerable and sublime in religion. It also follows, from the Scriptural identity of bishops and presbyters, that no church in which this identity is preserved, can on that account be considered as having departed from the apostolic model, or its ministers be viewed, at least with any good reason, as having less ground to hope for the blessing of God upon their spiritual labours; because if we admit the contrary, we must also admit that the inspired writers, instead of properly regulating the church, betrayed it into error, by omitting to make a distinction closely allied with the essence of religion. What is this but to say that it is safer to follow the erring direction of frail mortals, than to follow the admonitions of those who, it is universally allowed, were inspired by the Holy Spirit, or commissioned by him to be the instructers of the world

It is to be observed, however, that although bishops and presbyters were the same when the epistles of the New Testament were written, it would be going too far to contend that no departure from this should ever take place; because, to justify such a position, it would be requisite that a positive injunction should have been given that equality must at all times be carefully preserved. There is, however, no such injunction. Unlike the Old Testament, which specified every thing, even the most minute, in relation to the priesthood, the New only alludes in general terms, and very seldom, to the ministry; and the reason probably is, that, being intended for all nations, it left Christians at liberty to make such modifications in the ecclesiastical constitution as in their peculiar situation appeared best adapted for religious edification. The simple test to be applied to the varying or varied forms of church government is that indicated by our Lord himself: By their fruits ye shall know them.” Wherever the regulations respecting the ministry are such as to divert it from the purposes for which it was destined, to separate those who form it from the flock of Christ, to relax their diligence in teaching, and to destroy the connection between them and their people, so as to render their exertions of little or of no use, there we find a church not apostolical. But wherever the blessed fruits of Gospel teaching are in abundance produced, where the people and the ministers are cordially united, and where every regulation is calculated to give efficacy to the labours of those who have entered into the vineyard, we have an apostolical church, or, to speak more properly, a church of Christ, built upon a rock, because devoted to the beneficent objects for which our Saviour came into the world.

The form of church government among the Scotch Presbyterians is as follows:--The kirk session, consisting of the minister and lay elders of the congregation, is the lowest ecclesiastical judicature. The next is the presbytery, which consists of all the pastors within a certain district, and one ruling elder from each parish. The provincial synods, of which there are fifteen, meet twice in the year, and are composed of the members of the several presbyteries within the respective provinces. From the kirk sessions appeal lies to the presbyteries, from these to the synods, and from them to the general assembly, which meets annually, and is the highest ecclesiastical authority in the kingdom. This is composed of delegates from each presbytery, from every royal borough, and from each of the Scotch universities; and the king presides by a commission of his own appointment. The Scotch ordain by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery,” before which persons may be licensed to preach as probationers, but cannot administer the sacraments. The clergy are maintained by the state, and nominated to livings by patrons, as in other establishments. Those properly called the English Presbyterians, have no connection with the Scotch kirk. They are now indeed broken into separate churches, and follow the same form of church government as the Congregationalists 776or Independents. The name Presbyterian, therefore, is now inapplicable to them although retained. So Dr. Doddridge: Those who hold every pastor to be so a bishop or overseer of his own congregation, as that no other person or body of men have, by divine institution, a power to exercise any superior or pastoral office in it, may, properly speaking, be called, so far at least, congregational; and it is by a vulgar mistake that any such are called Presbyterians.” See Episcopalians.

PRESCIENCE, or foreknowledge, an attribute of God. (See Omniscience.) On this subject three leading theories have been resorted to, in order to evade the difficulties which are supposed to be involved in the opinion commonly received. The Chevalier Ramsay, among his other speculations, holds it a matter of choice in God, to think of finite ideas; and similar opinions, though variously worded, have been occasionally adopted. In substance these opinions are, that though the knowledge of God be infinite as his power is infinite, there is no more reason to conclude, that his knowledge should be always exerted to the full extent of its capacity, than that his power should be employed to the extent of his omnipotence; and that if we suppose him to choose not to know some contingencies, the infiniteness of his knowledge is not thereby impugned. To this it may be answered, that the infinite power of God is in Scripture represented, as in the nature of things it must be, as an infinite capacity, and not as infinite in act; but that the knowledge of God is on the contrary never represented there to us as a capacity to acquire knowledge, but as actually comprehending all things that are, and all things that can be. 2. That the notion of God’s choosing to know some things, and not to know others, supposes a reason why he refuses to know any class of things or events; which reason, it would seem, can only arise out of their nature and circumstances, and therefore supposes at least a partial knowledge of them, from which the reason for his not choosing to know them arises. The doctrine is therefore somewhat contradictory. But, 3. It is fatal to this opinion that it does not at all meet the difficulty arising out of the question of the consistency of divine prescience, and the free actions of men; since some contingent actions, for which men have been made accountable, we are sure, have been foreknown by God, because by his Spirit in the prophets they were foretold; and if the freedom of man can in these cases be reconciled to the prescience of God, there is no greater difficulty in any other case which can possibly occur.

A second theory is, that the foreknowledge of contingent events, being in its own nature impossible, because it implies a contradiction, it does no dishonour to the divine Being to affirm, that of such events he has, and can have, no prescience whatever; and thus the prescience of God, as to moral actions, being wholly denied, the difficulty in question is got rid of. To this the same answer must be given as to the former. It does not meet the case, so long as the Scriptures are allowed to contain prophecies of rewardable and punishable actions. The great fallacy in the argument, that the certain prescience of a moral action destroys its contingent nature, lies in supposing that contingency and certainty are the opposites of each other. It is, perhaps, unfortunate, that a word which is of figurative etymology, and which consequently can only have an ideal application to such subjects, should have grown into common use in this discussion, because it is more liable, on that account, to present itself to different minds under different shades of meaning. If, however, the term contingent in this controversy has any definite meaning at all, as applied to the moral actions of men, it must mean their freedom, and stands opposed, not to certainty, but to necessity. A free action is a voluntary one; and an action which results from the choice of the agent, is distinguished from a necessary one in this, that it might not have been, or have been otherwise, according to the self-determining power of the agent. It is with reference to this specific quality of a free action, that the term contingency is used; it might have been otherwise, in other words, it was not necessitated. Contingency in moral actions is, therefore, their freedom, and is opposed, not to certainty, but to constraint. The very nature of this controversy fixes this as the precise meaning of the term. The question is not, in point of fact, about the certainty of moral actions, that is, whether they will happen or not; but about the nature of them, whether free or constrained, whether they must happen or not. Those who advocate this theory care not about the certainty of actions, simply considered, that is, whether they will take place or not; the reason why they object to a certain prescience of moral actions, is this,--they conclude, that such a prescience renders them necessary. It is the quality of the action for which they contend, not whether it will happen or not. If contingency meant uncertainty, the sense in which such theorists take it, the dispute would be at an end. But though an uncertain action cannot be foreseen as certain, a free, unnecessitated action may; for there is nothing in the knowledge of the action, in the least, to affect its nature. Simple knowledge is, in no sense, a cause of action, nor can it be conceived to be causal, unconnected with exerted power: for mere knowledge, therefore, an action remains free or necessitated as the case may be. A necessitated action is not made a voluntary one by its being foreknown; a free action is not made a necessary one. Free actions foreknown will not, therefore, cease to be contingent. But how stands the case as to their certainty Precisely on the same ground. The certainty of a necessary action foreknown, does not result from the knowledge of the action, but from the operation of the necessitating cause; and, in like manner, the certainty of a free action does not result from the knowledge of it, which is no cause at all, but from the voluntary cause, that is, the determination of the will. It alters not 777the case in the least, to say that the voluntary action might have been otherwise. Had it been otherwise, the knowledge of it would have been otherwise; but as the will which gives birth to the action, is not dependent upon the previous knowledge of God, but the knowledge of the action upon foresight of the choice of the will, neither the will nor the act is controlled by the knowledge; and the action, though foreseen, is still free or contingent. The foreknowledge of God has then no influence upon either the freedom or the certainty of actions, for this plain reason, that it is knowledge, and not influence; and actions may be certainly foreknown, without their being rendered necessary by that foreknowledge. But here it is said, If the result of an absolute contingency be certainly foreknown, it can have no other result, it cannot happen otherwise.” This is not the true inference. It will not happen otherwise; but it may be asked, Why can it not happen otherwise Can is an expression of potentiality, it denotes power or possibility. The objection is, that it is not possible that the action should otherwise happen. But why not What deprives it of that power If a necessary action were in question, it could not otherwise happen than as the necessitating cause shall compel; but then that would arise from the necessitating cause solely, and not from the prescience of the action which is not causal. But if the action be free, and it enter into the very nature of a voluntary action to be unconstrained, then it might have happened in a thousand other ways, or not have happened at all; the foreknowledge of it no more affects its nature in this case than in the other. All its potentiality, so to speak, still remains, independent of foreknowledge, which neither adds to its power of happening otherwise, nor diminishes it. But then we are told, that the prescience of it, in that case, must be uncertain.” Not unless any person can prove, that the divine prescience is unable to dart through all the workings of the human mind, all its comparison of things in the judgment, all the influences of motives on the affections, all the hesitances and haltings of the will, to its final choice. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us,” but it is the knowledge of Him who understandeth the thoughts of man afar off.” “But if a contingency will have a given result, to that result it must be determined.” Not in the least. We have seen that it cannot be determined to a given result by mere precognition; for we have evidence in our own minds that mere knowledge is not causal to the actions of another. It is determined to its result by the will of the agent; but even in that case, it cannot be said, that it must be determined to that result, because it is of the nature of freedom to be unconstrained: so that here we have an instance in the case of a free agent that he will act in some particular manner; but it by no means follows from what will be, whether foreseen or not, that it must be.

The third theory amounts, in brief, to this, that the foreknowledge of God must be supposed to differ so much from any thing of the kind which we perceive in ourselves, and from any ideas which we can possibly form of that property of the divine nature, that no argument respecting it can be grounded upon our imperfect notions; and that all controversy on subjects connected with it, is idle and fruitless. But though foreknowledge in God should be admitted to be something of a very different nature” to the same quality in man, yet as it is represented as something equivalent to foreknowledge, whatever that something may be, since in consequence of it, prophecies have actually been uttered and fulfilled, and of such a kind, too, as relate to actions for which men have in fact been held accountable; all the original difficulty of reconciling contingent events to this something, of which human foreknowledge is a kind of shadow,” as a map of China is to China itself,” remains in full force. The difficulty is shifted, but not removed. It may, therefore, be certainly concluded, if at least the Holy Scriptures are to be our guide, that the omniscience of God comprehends his certain prescience of all events however contingent; and if any thing more were necessary to strengthen the argument above given, it might be drawn from the irrational, and, above all, the unscriptural consequences, which would follow from the denial of this doctrine. These are forcibly stated by President Edwards:--“It would follow from this notion, (namely, that the Almighty doth not foreknow what will be the result of future contingencies,) that as God is liable to be continually repenting what he has done; so he must be exposed to be constantly changing his mind and intentions as to his future conduct; altering his measures, relinquishing his old designs, and forming new schemes and projections. For his purposes, even as to the main parts of his scheme, namely, such as belong to the state of his moral kingdom, must be always liable to be broken, through want of foresight; and he must be continually putting his system to rights, as it gets out of order, through the contingence of the actions of moral agents: he must be a Being who, instead of being absolutely immutable, must necessarily be the subject of infinitely the most numerous acts of repentance, and changes of intention, of any being whatsoever; for this plain reason, that his vastly extensive charge comprehends an infinitely greater number of those things which are to him contingent and uncertain. In such a situation he must have little else to do, but to mend broken links as well as he can, and be rectifying his disjointed frame and disordered movements, in the best manner the case will allow. The supreme Lord of all things must needs be under great and miserable disadvantages, in governing the world which he has made, and has the care of, through his being utterly unable to find out things of chief importance, which hereafter shall befall his system; which, if he did but know, he might make seasonable provision for. In many cases, there may be very great necessity that he should make provision, in 778the manner of his ordering and disposing things, for some great events which are to happen, of vast and extensive influence, and endless consequence to the universe; which he may see afterward, when it is too late, and may wish in vain that he had known beforehand, that he might have ordered his affairs accordingly. And it is in the power of man, on these principles, by his devices, purposes, and actions, thus to disappoint God, break his measures, make him continually to change his mind, subject him to vexation, and bring him into confusion.”

Socinus and his early followers would not allow that God possesses any knowledge of future contingencies. The schoolmen, in reference to this species of knowledge in God, invented that called scientia media, and which they define as that by which God knows sub conditione, what men or angels will do according to the liberty which they have, when they are placed in these or those circumstances, or in this or in that order of things.” When Gomarus, the opponent of Arminius, found that his opinion concerning the object of reprobation was clogged with this absurdity--that it made God to be the author of Adam’s sin, he very astutely took refuge in this conditionate foreknowledge, and, in his corrected theses on predestination, published after the death of Arminius, he describes it as that by which God, through the infinite light of his own knowledge, foreknows some future things, not absolutely, but as placed under a certain condition.” Walæus, the celebrated antagonist of Episcopius, had recourse to the same expedient. This distinction has been adopted by very few of those who espouse the doctrines of general redemption; and who believe that every event, how contingent soever to the creature, is, with respect to God, certainly foreknown. An old English divine thinks, that, “in the sacred Scriptures certain not obscure vestiges are apparent of this kind of knowledge, of things that will happen thus or otherwise, on the supposition of the occurrence of this or that circumstance. Omitting the well known example of David in Keilah, 1 Sam. xxii, 12, and of Chorazin and Bethsaida, Matt. xi, 21; Luke x, 13, consult, among other sayings of the same description, the answer of our Saviour to the chief priests and scribes, who had asked, ‘Art thou the Christ Tell us.’ And he said unto them, ‘If I tell you, ye will not believe.’ In the subsequent verse he adds, ‘If I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go,’ Luke xxii, 67, 68. You have here three events specified, which yet will not occur even on the supposition of Christ our Lord himself.” This kind of knowledge might very well be included in that of scientia visionis, because the latter ought to include, not what God will do and what his creatures will do under his appointment, but what they will do by his permission as free agents, and what he will do, as a consequence of this, in his character of Governor and Lord. But since the predestinarians had confounded scientia visionis with a predestinating decree, the scientia media well expressed what they had left quite unaccounted for, and which they had assumed did not really exist,--the actions of creatures endowed with free will, and the acts of Deity which from eternity were consequent upon them. If such actions do not take place, then men are not free; and if the rectoral acts of God are not consequent upon the actions of the creature in the order of the divine intention, and the conduct of the creature is consequent upon the foreordained rectoral acts of God, then we reach a necessitating eternal decree, which in fact, the predestinarian contends for; but it unfortunately brings after it consequences which no subtleties have ever been able to shake off,--that the only actor in the universe is God himself; and that the only distinction among events is, that one class is brought to pass by God directly, and the other indirectly, not by the agency, but by the mere instrumentality, of his creatures.

PRIEST, a general name for the minister of religion. The priest under the law was, among the Hebrews, a person consecrated and ordained of God to offer up sacrifices for his own sins and those of the people, Lev. iv, 5, 6. The priesthood was not annexed to a certain family till after the promulgation of the law of Moses. Before that time the first-born of every family, the fathers, the princes, the kings were priests. Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Job, Abimelech and Laban, Isaac and Jacob, offered themselves their own sacrifices. In the solemnity of the covenant that the Lord made with his people at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses performed the office of mediator, Exod. xxiv, 5, 6; and young men were chosen from among the children of Israel to perform the office of priests. But after the Lord had chosen the tribe of Levi to serve him in his tabernacle, and the priesthood was annexed to the family of Aaron, then the right of offering sacrifices to God was reserved to the priests alone of this family. The Lord ordained, Num. xvi, 40, that no stranger, which was not of the seed of Aaron, should come near to offer incense unto the Lord, that he might not be as Korah and his company. The punishment of Uzziah is well known, 2 Chron. xxvi, 19, who, having presumed to offer incense to the Lord, was suddenly smitten with a leprosy, put out of his palace, and excluded from the administration of affairs to the day of his death. However, it seems that, on certain occasions, the judges and the kings of the Hebrews offered sacrifices unto the Lord, especially before a constant place of worship was fixed at Jerusalem; for in 1 Sam. vii, 8, we are told that Samuel, who was no priest, offered a lamb for a burnt-sacrifice to the Lord; and in 1 Sam. ix, 13, it is said that this prophet was to bless the offering of the people, which should seem to be a function appropriated to the priests; lastly, 1 Sam. xvi, 5, he goes to Bethlehem, where he offers a sacrifice at the inauguration or anointing of David. Saul himself offered a burnt-offering to the Lord, perhaps as being king of Israel, 1 Sam. xiii, 9, 10. Elijah also offered a burnt-offering upon Mount 779Carmel, 1 Kings xviii, 33. David himself sacrificed, (at least the text expresses it so,) at the ceremony of bringing the ark to Jerusalem, and at the floor of Araunah, 2 Sam. vi, 13. Solomon went up to the brazen altar that was at Gibeon, and there offered sacrifices, 2 Chron. i, 5. It is true the above passages are commonly explained by supposing that these princes offered their sacrifices by the hands of the priests; but the sacred text will by no means favour such explanations; and it is very natural to imagine, that in the quality of kings and heads of the people, they had the privilege of performing some sacerdotal functions, upon some extraordinary occasions; thus we see David clothed with the priestly ephod, and consulting the Lord; and upon another occasion we find David and Solomon pronounce solemn benedictions on the people, 2 Sam. vi, 18; 1 Kings viii, 55. God having reserved to himself the first-born of all Israel, because he had preserved them from the hand of the destroying angel in Egypt, by way of exchange or compensation accepted of the tribe of Levi for the service of the tabernacle, Numbers iii, 41. Of the three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the Lord chose the family of Kohath, and out of this the house of Aaron, to exercise the functions of the priesthood. All the rest of the family of Kohath, even the children of Moses and their descendants, remained of the order of mere Levites. See Levites.

The posterity of the sons of Aaron, namely, Eleazar and Ithamar, Lev. x, 1–5; 1 Chron. xxiv, 1, 2, had so increased in number in the time of David, that they were divided into twenty-four classes, which officiated a week at a time alternately. Sixteen classes were of the family of Eleazar, and eight of the family of Ithamar. Each class obeyed its own prefect or ruler. The class Jojarib was the first in order, and the class Abia was the eighth, 1 Mac. ii, 1; Luke i, 5; 1 Chron. xxiv, 3–19. This division of the priesthood was continued as a permanent arrangement after the time of David, 2 Chron. viii, 14; xxxi, 2; xxxv, 4, 5. Indeed, although only four classes returned from the captivity, the distinction between them, and also the ancient names, were still retained, Ezra ii, 36–39; Neh. vii, 39–42; xii, 1.

Aaron, the high priest was set apart to his office by the same ceremonies with which his sons the priests were, with this exception, that the former was clothed in his robes, and the sacred oil was poured upon his head, Exod. xxix, 5–9; Lev. viii, 2. The other ceremonies were as follows. The priests, all of them with their bodies washed, and clad in their appropriate dress, assembled before the altar, where a bullock, two rams, unleavened bread, and wafers of two kinds in baskets, were in readiness. When they had placed their hands upon the head of the bullock, he was slain by Moses as a sin-offering. He touched the horns of the altar with the blood, poured the remainder of it round its base, and placed the parts which were to compose the sacrifice on its top. The remaining parts of the animal were all burned without the camp, Exod. xxix, 10–14; Lev. viii, 2, 3, 14–17. They in like manner placed their hands on the head of one of the rams, which was also slain by Moses for a whole burnt-offering, the blood was sprinkled around the altar, and the parts of the ram were separated and burned upon it, Exod. xxix, 15–18; Lev. viii, 18–21. The other ram, when the priests had laid their hands upon him, was likewise slain by Moses for the sacrifice of consecration. He touched with the blood the tip of the right ear of the priests, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot. The rest of the blood he sprinkled in part upon the bottom of the altar, and a part he mingled with the consecrated oil, and sprinkled on the priests and their garments. He anointed the high priest by pouring a profusion of oil upon his head; whence he is called the anointed, Lev. v, 3, 5, 16; vi, 15; Psalm cxxxiii, 2. Certain parts of the sacrifice, namely, the fat, the kidneys, the haunches, the caul above the liver, and the right shoulder, also one cake of unleavened bread, a cake of oiled bread, and a wafer, were placed by Moses upon the hands of the priests, that they might offer them to God. This ceremony was called “filling the hands,” expressions which accordingly in a number of passages mean the same as consecrating, Exod. xxxii, 29; Leviticus xvi, 32; 1 Chronicles xxix, 5. All the parts which have been mentioned as being placed in the hands of the priests, were at last burned upon the altar. This ceremony, which continued for eight days, for ever separated the priests from all the other Israelites, not excepting the Levites; so that there was subsequently no need of any farther consecration, neither for themselves nor their posterity, Exodus xxix, 35–37; Lev. x, 7; Rom. i, 1; Eph. iii, 3; Acts xiii, 2, 3. That the ceremonies of inauguration or consecration, however, were practised at every new accession of a high priest to his office, seems to be hinted in the following passages, Exod. xxix, 29; Lev. xvi, 32; xxi, 10; Num. xx, 26–28; xxxv, 25.

It was not customary for the priests to wear the sacerdotal dress except when performing their official duties, Exod. xxviii, 4, 43; Ezek. xlii, 14; xliv, 19. The description of the dress of the priests which is given in Exodus xxviii, is by some thought defective, as many things are passed in silence, apparently for the reason that they were at that time sufficiently well known, without being expressly stated. Some additional information is communicated to us by Josephus; but the dress of the priests, as he describes it, may have been in some respects of recent origin. It was as follows: 1. A sort of hose, made of cotton or linen, which was fastened round the loins, and extended down so as to cover the thighs, Lev. vi, 10; Ezek. xliv, 18. 2. A tunic of cotton which extended, in the days of Josephus, down to the ankles. It was furnished with sleeves, and was fabricated all of one piece without being sewn, Exod. xxviii, 39, 41; xxix, 5; John xix, 23. 3. The girdle. According to Josephus it was a hand’s breadth in width, woven 780in such a manner as to exhibit the appearance of scales, and ornamented with embroidered flowers in purple, dark blue, scarlet, and white. It was worn a little below the breast, encircled the body twice, and was tied in a knot before. The extremities of the girdle hung down nearly to the ankle. The priest, when engaged in his sacred functions, in order to prevent his being impeded by them, threw them over his left shoulder, Exod. xxxix, 27–29. 4. The mitre or turban was originally acuminated in its shape, was lofty, and was bound upon the head, Exod. xxviii, 8, 40; xxix, 9; Lev. viii, 13. In the time of Josephus the shape of the mitre had become somewhat altered; it was circular, was covered with a piece of fine linen, and sat so closely on the upper part of the head, (for it did not cover the whole of the head,) that it would not fall off when the body was bent down. The Hebrew priests, like those of Egypt and other nations, performed their sacred duties with naked feet; a symbol of reverence and veneration, Exod. iii, 5; Josh. v, 15.

The ordinary priests served immediately at the altar, offered sacrifices, killed and flayed them, and poured the blood at the foot of the altar, 2 Chron. xxix, 34; xxxv, 11. They kept a perpetual fire burning upon the altar of burnt-sacrifices, and in the lamps of the golden candlestick that was in the sanctuary; they prepared the loaves of shew bread, baked them, and changed them every Sabbath day. Every day, night, and morning, a priest appointed by casting lots at the beginning of the week, brought into the sanctuary a smoking censer, and set it upon the golden table, otherwise called the altar of perfumes, Luke i, 9. The priests were not suffered to offer incense to the Lord with strange fire, Lev. x, 1, 2; that is, with any other fire than what should be taken from the altar of burnt-sacrifices. It is well known with what severity God chastised Nadab and Abihu for having failed in this. Those that would dedicate themselves to perpetual service in the temple were well received, and were maintained by the constant and daily offerings, Deut. xviii, 6–8. The Lord had given no lands of inheritance to the tribe of Levi in the distribution of the land of promise. He designed that they should be supported by the tithes, the first fruits, the offerings that were made in the temple, by their share of the sin-offerings, and thanksgiving-offerings that were sacrificed in the temple, of which certain parts were appropriated to the priests. They had also a share in the wool when the sheep were shorn. All the first-born, both of man and beast, belonged to the Lord, that is, to his priests. The men were redeemed for the sum of five shekels, Num. xviii, 15, 16. The first-born of impure animals were redeemed or exchanged, but the clean animals were not redeemed; they were sacrificed to the Lord, their blood was sprinkled about the altar, and all the rest belonged to the priest, Num. xviii, 17–19. The first fruits of trees, Lev. xix, 23, 24, that is, those that came on the fourth year, belonged also to the priest. They gave also to the priests and Levites an allowance out of the dough that they kneaded. They had the tithe of all the fruits of the land, and of all animals which were fed under the shepherd’s crook, Lev. xxvii, 31, 32. God also provided them with houses and accommodations, by appointing them forty-eight cities for their habitations, Num. xxxv, 1–3. In the precincts of these cities they possessed as far as a thousand cubits beyond the walls. Of these forty-eight cities six were appointed to be cities of refuge, for the sake of those who should commit any casual or involuntary manslaughter; the priests had thirteen of these for their share, and all the others belonged to the Levites, Josh. xxi, 19. One of the chief employments of the priests, next to attending upon the sacrifices and the service of the tabernacle or temple, was the instruction of the people and the deciding controversies, distinguishing the several sorts of leprosy, the causes of divorce, the waters of jealousy, vows, all causes relating to the law, the uncleannesses that were contracted several ways; all these things were brought before the priests, Hosea iv, 6; Mal. ii, 7, &c; Lev. xiii, 14; Num. v, 14, 15. They publicly blessed the people in the name of the Lord. In time of war their business was to carry the ark of the covenant, to consult the Lord, to sound the holy trumpets, and encourage and harangue the army.

The term priest is most properly given to Christ, of whom the high priests under the law were types and figures, he being the high priest especially ordained of God, who, by the sacrifice of himself, and by his intercession, opens the way to reconciliation with God, Heb. viii, 17; ix, 11–25. The word is also applied to every true believer who is enabled to offer up himself “a spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Christ,” 1 Pet. ii, 5; Rev. i, 6. But it is likewise improperly applied to Christian ministers, who have no sacrifices to offer; unless, indeed, when it is considered as contracted from presbyter, which signifies an elder, and is the name given in the New Testament to those who were appointed to the office of teaching and ruling in the church of God. See Aaron.

PRISCILLA, a Christian woman, well known in the Acts, and in St. Paul’s epistles; sometimes placed before her husband Aquila. From Ephesus this pious pair went to Rome, where they were when St. Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, A. D. 58. He salutes them the first of all, with great commendations, Rom. xvi, 3. They returned into Asia some time afterward; and St. Paul, writing to Timothy, desires him to salute them on his behalf, 2 Tim. iv, 19, A. D. 65.

PROFANE, an epithet applied to those who abuse and contemn holy things. The Scripture calls Esau profane, because he sold his birthright, which was considered a holy thing, not only because the priesthood was annexed to it, but also because it was a privilege relating to Christ, and a type of the title of believers to the heavenly inheritance, Heb. xii, 16. The priests of the race of Aaron were 781enjoined to distinguish between sacred and profane, between pure and polluted, Lev. x, 10; xix, 7, 8. Hence they were prohibited the use of wine during their attendance on the temple service, that their spirits might not be discomposed by excitement. To profane the temple, to profane the Sabbath, to profane the altar, are common expressions to denote the violation of the rest of the Sabbath, the entering of foreigners into the temple, or the want of reverence in those that entered it, and the impious sacrifices that were offered on the altar of the Lord.

PROMISE, an assurance given by God, in his word, of bestowing blessings upon his people, 2 Pet. i, 4. The word in the New Testament is usually taken for the promises that God heretofore made to Abraham, and the other patriarchs, of sending the Messiah, and conferring his Holy Spirit and eternal life on those that should believe on him. It is in this sense that the Apostle Paul commonly uses the word promise, Rom. iv, 13, 14; Gal. iii, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22, 29. The promises of the new covenant are called better than those of the old, Heb. viii, 6, because they are more spiritual, clear, comprehensive, and universal than those of the Mosaic covenant. The time of the promise, Acts vii, 17, is the time of fulfilling the promise. The “children of the promise” are, 1. The Israelites descended from Isaac, in opposition to the Ishmaelites descended from Ishmael and Hagar. 2. The Jews converted to Christianity, in opposition to the obstinate Jews, who would not believe in Christ. 3. All true believers who are born again by the supernatural power of God, and who by faith lay hold on the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ.

PROPHECY, the prediction of future events; it is especially understood of those predictions which are contained in the Holy Scriptures; all of which claim divine inspiration, and by their wonderful fulfilment are proved to have proceeded from God, who only with certainty can know the future. Prophecy is one great branch of the external evidence of the truth of the Scriptures; and the nature and force of this kind of evidence may here be properly pointed out. No argument à priori against the possibility of prophecy can be attempted by any one who believes in the existence and infinitely perfect nature of God. The infidel author of “The Moral Philosopher,” indeed, rather insinuates than attempts fully to establish a dilemma with which to perplex those who regard prophecy as one of the proofs of a divine revelation. He thinks that either prophecy must respect events necessary, as depending upon necessary causes, which might be certainly foreknown and predicted; or that, if human actions are free, and effects contingent, the possibility of prophecy must be given up, as it implies foreknowledge, which, if granted, would render them necessary. The first part of this objection might be allowed, were there no predictions to be adduced in favour of a professed revelation, except such as related to events which human experience has taught to be dependent upon some cause, the existence and necessary operation of which are within the compass of human knowledge. But to foretel such events would not be to prophesy, any more than to say that it will be light to-morrow at noon, or that on a certain day and hour next year there will occur an eclipse of the sun or moon, when that event has been previously ascertained by astronomical calculation. If, however, it were allowed that all events depended upon a chain of necessary causes, yet, in a variety of instances, the argument from prophecy would not be at all affected; for the foretelling of necessary results in certain circumstances is beyond human intelligence, because they can only be known to him by whose power those necessary causes on which they depend have been arranged, and who has prescribed the times of their operation. To borrow a case, for the sake of illustration, from the Scriptures, though the claims of their predictions are not now in question; let us allow that such a prophecy as that of Isaiah respecting the taking of Babylon by Cyrus was uttered, as it purports to be, more than a century before Cyrus was born, and that all the actions of Cyrus and his army, and those of the Babylonian; monarch and his people, were necessitated is it to be maintained that the chain of necessitating causes running through more than a century could be traced by a human mind, so as to describe the precise manner in which that fatality would unfold itself, even to the turning of the river, the drunken carousal of the inhabitants, and the neglect of shutting the gates of the city This being by uniform and universal experience known to be above all human apprehension, would therefore prove that the prediction was made in consequence of a communication from a superior and divine Intelligence. Were events, therefore, subjected to invincible fate and necessity, there might nevertheless be prophecy.

The other branch of the dilemma is founded on the notion that if we allow the moral freedom of human actions, prophecy is impossible, because certain foreknowledge is contrary to that freedom, and fixes and renders the event necessary. To this the reply is, that the objection is founded on a false assumption, the divine foreknowledge having no more influence in effectuating or making certain any event than human foreknowledge in the degree in which it may exist, there being no moral causality at all in knowledge. This lies in the will, which is the determining acting principle in every agent; or, as Dr. Samuel Clarke has expressed it, in answer to another kind of objector, “God’s infallible judgment concerning contingent truths does no more alter the nature of the things, and cause them to be necessary, than our judging right at any time concerning a contingent truth makes it cease to be contingent; or than our science of a present truth is any cause of its being either true or present. Here, therefore, lies the fallacy of our author’s argument. Because, from God’s foreknowing the existence of things depending upon a chain 782of necessary causes, it follows that the existence of the things must needs be necessary; therefore, from God’s judging infallibly concerning things which depend not on necessary but free causes, he concludes that these things also depend not upon free but necessary causes. Contrary, I say, to the supposition in the argument; for it must not be first supposed that things are in their own nature necessary; but from the power of judging infallibly concerning free events, it must be proved that things, otherwise supposed free, will thereby unavoidably become necessary.” The whole question lies in this, Is the simple knowledge of an action a necessitating cause of the action And the answer must be in the negative, as every man’s consciousness will assure him. If the causality of influence, either immediate, or by the arrangement of compelling events, be mixed up with this, the ground is shifted; and it is no longer a question which respects simple prescience. (See Prescience.) This metaphysical objection having no foundation in truth, the force of the evidence arising from predictions of events, distant, and beyond the power of human sagacity to anticipate, and uttered as authentications of a divine commission, is apparent. “Such predictions, whether in the form of declaration, description, or representation of things future,” as Mr. Boyle justly observes, “are supernatural things, and may properly be ranked among miracles.” For when, for instance, the events are distant many years or ages from the uttering of the prediction itself, depending on causes not so much as existing when the prophecy was spoken and recorded, and likewise upon various circumstances and a long arbitrary series of things, and the fluctuating uncertainties of human volitions, and especially when they depend not at all upon any external circumstances nor upon any created being, but arise merely from the counsels and appointment of God himself,--such events can be foreknown only by that Being, one of whose attributes is omniscience, and can be foretold by him only to whom the “Father of lights” shall reveal them; so that whoever is manifestly endued with that predictive power must, in that instance, speak and act by divine inspiration, and what he pronounces of that kind must be received as the word of God; nothing more being necessary to assure us of this than credible testimony that such predictions were uttered before the event, or conclusive evidence that the records which contain them are of the antiquity to which they pretend.

The distinction between the prophecies of Scripture and the oracles of Heathenism is marked and essential. In the Heathen oracles we cannot discern any clear and unequivocal tokens of genuine prophecy. They were destitute of dignity and importance, had no connection with each other, tended to no object of general concern, and never looked into times remote from their own. We read only of some few predictions and prognostications, scattered among the writings of poets and philosophers, most of which, beside being very weakly authenticated, appear to have been answers to questions of merely local, personal, and temporary concern, relating to the issue of affairs then actually in hand, and to events speedily to be determined. Far from attempting to form any chain of prophecies, respecting things far distant as to time or place, or matters contrary to human probability, and requiring supernatural agency to effect them, the Heathen priests and soothsayers did not even pretend to a systematic and connected plan. They hardly dared, indeed, to assume the prophetic character in its full force, but stood trembling, as it were, on the brink of futurity, conscious of their inability to venture beyond the depths of human conjecture. Hence their predictions became so fleeting, so futile, so uninteresting, that, though they were collected together as worthy of preservation, they soon fell into disrepute and almost total oblivion. (See Oracles.) The Scripture prophecies, on the other hand, constitute a series of divine predictions, relating principally to one grand object, of universal importance, the work of man’s redemption, and carried on in regular progression through the patriarchal, Jewish, and Christian dispensations, with a harmony and uniformity of design, clearly indicating one and the same divine Author. They speak of the agents to be employed in it, and especially of the great agent, the Redeemer himself; and of those mighty and awful proceedings of Providence as to the nations of the earth, by which judgment and mercy are exercised with reference both to the ordinary principles of moral government, and especially to this restoring economy, to its struggles, its oppositions, and its triumphs. They all meet in Christ, as in their proper centre, and in him only; however many of the single lines, when considered apart, may be imagined to have another direction, and though they may pass through intermediate events. If we look, says Bishop Hurd, into the prophetic writings, we find that prophecy is of a prodigious extent; that it commenced from the fall of man, and reaches to the consummation of all things; that for many ages it was delivered darkly to a few persons, and with large intervals from the date of one prophecy to that of another; but, at length, became more clear, more frequent, and was uniformly carried on in the line of one people, separated from the rest of the world,--among other reasons assigned, for this principally, to be the repository of the divine oracles; that, with some intermission, the spirit of prophecy subsisted among that people to the coming of Christ; that he himself and his Apostles exercised this power in the most conspicuous manner, and left behind them many predictions, recorded in the books of the New Testament, which profess to respect very distant events, and even run out to the end of time, or, in St. John’s expression, to that period “when the mystery of God shall be perfected.” Farther, beside the extent of this prophetic scheme, the dignity of the Person whom it concerns deserves our consideration. He is described in terms which excite the most august and magnificent 783ideas. He is spoken of, indeed, sometimes as being “the seed of the woman,” and as “the Son of man;” yet so as being at the same time of more than mortal extraction. He is even represented to us as being superior to men and angels; as far above all principality and power; above all that is accounted great, whether in heaven or in earth; as the word and wisdom of God; as the eternal Son of the Father; as the Heir of all things, by whom he made the worlds; as the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. We have no words to denote greater ideas than these; the mind of man cannot elevate itself to nobler conceptions. Of such transcendent worth and excellence is that Jesus said to be, to whom all the prophets bear witness! Lastly, the declared purpose for which the Messiah, prefigured by so long a train of prophecy, came into the world, corresponds to all the rest of the representation. It was not to deliver an oppressed nation from civil tyranny, or to erect a great civil empire, that is, to achieve one of those acts which history accounts most heroic. No: it was not a mighty state, a victor people,

Non res Romanæ perituraque regna,
[Not the empire of Rome and kingdoms about to perish,]

that was worthy to enter into the contemplation of this divine Person. It was another and far sublimer purpose, which he came to accomplish; a purpose, in comparison of which all our policies are poor and little, and all the performances of man as nothing. It was to deliver a world from ruin; to abolish sin and death; to purify and immortalize human nature; and thus, in the most exalted sense of the words, to be the Saviour of men and the blessing of all nations. There is no exaggeration in this account: a spirit of prophecy pervading all time, characterizing one Person of the highest dignity, and proclaiming the accomplishment of one purpose, the most beneficent, the most divine, the imagination itself can project. Such is the Scriptural delineation of that economy which we call prophetic.

The advantage of this species of evidence belongs then exclusively to our revelation. Heathenism never made any clear and well founded pretensions to it. Mohammedanism, though it stands itself as a proof of the truth of Scripture prophecy, is unsupported by a single prediction of its own.

The objection which has been raised to Scripture prophecy, from its supposed obscurity, has no solid foundation. There is, it is true, a prophetic language of symbol and emblem; but it is a language which is definite and not equivocal in its meaning, and as easily mastered as the language of poetry, by attentive persons. This, however, is not always used. The style of the prophecies of Scripture very often differs in nothing from the ordinary style of the Hebrew poets; and, in not a few cases, and those too on which the Christian builds most in the argument, it sinks into the plainness of historical narrative. Some degree of obscurity is essential to prophecy: for the end of it was not to gratify human curiosity, by a detail of future events and circumstances; and too great clearness and speciality might have led to many artful attempts to fulfil the predictions, and so far the evidence of their accomplishment would have been weakened. The two great ends of prophecy are, to excite expectation before the event, and then to confirm the truth by a striking and unequivocal fulfilment; and it is a sufficient answer to the allegation of the obscurity of the prophecies of Scripture, that they have abundantly accomplished those objects, among the most intelligent and investigating, as well as among the simple and unlearned, in all ages. It cannot be denied, for instance, leaving out particular cases which might be given, that by means of these predictions the expectation of the incarnation and appearance of a divine Restorer was kept up among the people to whom they were given, and spread even to the neighbouring nations; that as these prophecies multiplied, the hope became more intense; and that at the time of our Lord’s coming, the expectation of the birth of a very extraordinary person prevailed, not only among the Jews, but among other nations. This purpose was then sufficiently answered, and an answer is given to the objection. In like manner prophecy serves as the basis of our hope in things yet to come; in the final triumph of truth and righteousness on earth, the universal establishment of the kingdom of our Lord, and the rewards of eternal life to be bestowed at his second appearing. In these all true Christians agree; and their hope could not have been so uniformly supported in all ages and under all circumstances, had not the prophecies and predictive promises conveyed with sufficient clearness the general knowledge of the good for which they looked, though many of its particulars be unrevealed. The second end of prophecy is, to confirm the truth by the subsequent event. Here the question of the actual fulfilment of Scripture prophecy is involved; and it is no argument against the unequivocal fulfilment of several prophecies, that many have doubted or denied what the believers in revelation have on this subject so strenuously contended for. How few of mankind have read the Scriptures with serious attention, or been at the pains to compare their prophecies with the statements in history. How few, especially of the objectors to the Bible, have read it in this manner! How many of them have confessed unblushingly their unacquaintance with its contents, or have proved what they have not confessed by the mistakes and misrepresentations into which they have fallen! As for the Jews, the evident dominion of their prejudices, their general averseness to discussion, and the extravagant principles of interpretation they have adopted for many ages, which set all sober criticism at defiance, render nugatory any authority which might be ascribed to their denial of the fulfilment of certain prophecies in the sense adopted by Christians. We may add to this, that among Christian critics themselves there may be much disagreement. Eccentricities and absurdities are found among the learned in every department 784of knowledge, and much of this waywardness and affectation of singularity has infected interpreters of Scripture. But, after all, there is a truth and reason in every subject, which the understandings of the generality of men will apprehend and acknowledge whenever it is fully understood and impartially considered; to this in all such cases the appeal can only be made, and here it may be made with confidence. Instances of the signal fulfilment of numerous prophecies are scattered through various articles in this volume; so that it is not necessary to repeat them here. A few words on the double sense of prophecy may, however, be added.

For want of a right apprehension of the true meaning of this somewhat unfortunate term which has obtained in theology, an objection of another kind has been raised, as though no definite meaning could be assigned to the prophecies of Scripture. Nothing can be more unfounded. The double sense of many prophecies in the Old Testament, says an able writer, has been made a pretext by ill disposed men, for representing them as of uncertain meaning, and resembling the ambiguity of the Pagan oracles. But whoever considers the subject with due attention, will perceive how little ground there is for such an accusation. The equivocations of the Heathen oracles manifestly arose from their ignorance of future events, and from their endeavours to conceal that ignorance by such indefinite expressions, as might be equally applicable to two or more events of a contrary description. But the double sense of the Scripture prophecies, far from originating in any doubt or uncertainty, as to the fulfilment of them in either sense, springs from a foreknowledge of their accomplishment in both; whence the prediction is purposely so framed as to include both events, which, so far from being contrary to each other, are typical the one of the other, and are thus connected together by a mutual dependency or relation. This has often been satisfactorily proved, with respect to those prophecies which referred, in their primary sense, to the events of the Old Testament, and, in their farther and more complex signification, to those of the New: and on this double accomplishment of some prophecies is grounded our firm expectation of the completion of others, which remain yet unfulfilled in their secondary sense, but which we justly consider as equally uncertain in their issue as those which are already past. So far, then, from any valid objection lying against the credibility of the Scripture prophecies, from these seeming ambiguities of meaning, we may urge them as additional proofs of their coming from God. For, who but the Being that is infinite in knowledge and in counsel could so construct predictions as to give them a twofold application, to events distant from, and, to human foresight, unconnected with, each other What power less than divine could so frame them as to make the accomplishment of them in one instance a solemn pledge and assurance of their completion in another instance, of still higher and more universal importance Where will the scoffer find any thing like this in the artifices of Heathen oracles, to conceal their ignorance, and to impose on the credulity of mankind See Oracles.

On this subject it may be observed, by way of general illustration, that the remarkable personages under the old dispensation were sometimes in the description of their characters, and in the events of their lives, the representatives of the future dispensers of evangelical blessings, as Moses and David were unquestionably types of Christ, Ezek. xxxiv, 23; Matt. xi, 14; Heb. vi, 20; vii, 1–3. Persons likewise were sometimes descriptive of things, as Sarah and Hagar were allegorical figures of the two covenants, Gal. iv, 22–31; Rom. ix, 8–13. And, on the other hand, things were used to symbolize persons, as the brazen serpent and the paschal lamb were signs of our healing and spotless Redeemer, Exodus xii, 46; John iii, 14; xix, 36. And so, lastly, ceremonial appointments and legal circumstances were preördained as significant of Gospel institutions, 1 Cor. x, 1–11; Heb. viii, 5; ix, x; 1 Pet. iii, 20, 22. Hence it was that many of the descriptions of the prophets had a twofold character; bearing often an immediate reference to present circumstances, and yet being in their nature predictive of future occurrences. What they reported of the type was often in a more signal manner applicable to the thing typified, Psalm xxi, 4–6; xl, 1, 7–10; xii, 4; Lam. xiii, 1–30; John xiii, 18; Dan. xi, 36, 37; what they spoke literally of present, was figuratively descriptive of future particulars; and what was applied in a figurative sense to existing persons, was often actually characteristic of their distant archetypes, Psalm xxii, 16–18, &c. Many passages then in the Old Testament, which in their first aspect appear to be historical, are in fact prophetic, and they are so cited in the New Testament, not by way of ordinary accommodation, or casual coincidence, but as intentionally predictive, as having a double sense, a literal and a mystical interpretation, Hosea xi, 1; Matt. ii, 15.

Beside these historical passages, of which the covert allusions were explained by the interpretation of the Gospel writers, who were enlightened by the Spirit to unfold the mysteries of Scripture, the prophets often uttered positive predictions which, in consequence of the correspondence established between the two dispensations, were descriptive of a double event, however they might be themselves ignorant of the full extent of those prophecies which they delivered. For instance, their promises of present success and deliverances were often significant of distant benefits, and secular consolations conveyed assurances of evangelical blessings, 2 Sam. vii, 13, 14; Heb. i, 5. Thus their prophecies received completion in a first and secondary view. As being in part signs to excite confidence, they had an immediate accomplishment, but were afterward fulfilled in a more illustrious sense, 7851 Kings xiii, 2, 3; Isaiah vii, 14; Matt. i, 22; Dan. ix, 27; xii, 7; 1 Macc. i, 54; Matt. xxiv, 15; the prophets being inspired, by the suggestions of the Spirit, to use expressions magnificent enough to include the substance in the description of the figure. That many of the prophecies in the Old Testament were direct, and singly and exclusively applicable to, and accomplished in, our Saviour, is certain, Gen. xlix, 10; Psalm xlii, xlv; Isaiah lii, liii; Daniel vii, 13, 14; Micah v, 2; Zech. ix, 9; Mal. iii, 1.

It requires much attention to comprehend the full import and extent of this typical dispensation, and the chief obscurities which prevail in the sacred writings are to be attributed to the double character of prophecy. To unravel this is, however, an interesting and instructive study; though an admiration of the spiritual meaning should never lead us to disregard or undervalue the first and evident signification; for many great men have been so dazzled by their discoveries in this mode of explication, as to be hurried into wild and extravagant excess; as is evident from the writings of Origen and Jerom; as also from the Commentaries of Austin, who acknowledges that he had too far indulged in the fancies of an exuberant imagination, declaring that the other parts of Scripture are the best commentaries. The Apostles and the evangelists are, indeed, the best expositors; and where those infallible guides have led the way, we need not hesitate to follow their steps by the light of clear reason and just analogy.

It is this double character of prophecy which occasions those unexpected transitions and sudden interchanges of circumstance so observable in the prophetic books. Hence different predictions are sometimes blended and mixed together; temporal and spiritual deliverances are foretold in one prophecy; and greater and smaller events are combined in one point of view. Hence, likewise, one chain of connected design runs through the whole scheme of prophecy, and a continuation of events successively fulfilling, and successively branching out into new predictions, continued to confirm the faith, and to keep alive the expectations, of the Jews. Hence was it the character of the prophetic spirit to be rapid in its description, and regardless of the order of history; to pass with quick and unexpected celerity from subject to subject, and from period to period. “And we must allow,” says Lord Bacon, “for that latitude that is agreeable and familiar to prophecy, which is of the nature of its Author, with whom a thousand years are but as one day.” The whole of the great scheme must have been at once present to the divine Mind; but God described its parts in detail to mankind, in such measures and in such proportions, that the connection of every link was obvious, and its relations apparent in every point of view, till the harmony and entire consistency of the plan were displayed to those who witnessed its perfection in the advent of Christ.

PROPHETS. A prophet, in the strict and proper sense, was one to whom the knowledge of secret things was revealed, that he might declare them to others, whether they were things past, or present, or to come. The woman of Samaria perceived our Saviour was a prophet, by his telling her the secrets of her past life, John iv, 19. The Prophet Elisha had the present conduct of his servant Gehazi revealed to him, 2 Kings v, 26. And most of the prophets had revelations concerning future events; above all, concerning the coming and kingdom of the Messiah: “He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began,” Luke i, 69, 70. Nevertheless, in a more lax or analogical sense, the title prophet is sometimes given to persons who had no such revelation, nor were properly inspired. Thus Aaron is said to be Moses’s prophet: “The Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet,” Exod. vii, 1: because Aaron received the divine messages, which he carried immediately from Moses; whereas other prophets receive their messages immediately from God himself. In this respect, as Moses stood in the place of God to Pharaoh, so Aaron acted in the character of his prophet. The title of prophets is given also to the sacred musicians, who sung the praises of God, or who accompanied the song with musical instruments. Thus “the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun,” are said to “prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals,” 1 Chron. xxv, 1; and they prophesied, it is said, “according to the order of the king.” Perhaps Miriam, the sister of Aaron, may be called a prophetess only on this account, that she led the concert of the women, who sung the song of Moses with timbrels and with dances, Exodus xv, 20, 21. Thus the Heathen poets, who sung or composed verses in praise of their gods, were called by the Romans vates, or prophets; which is of the same import with the Greek ft, a title which St. Paul gives to Epimenides, a Cretan poet, Titus i, 12.

Godwin observes, that, for the propagation of learning, colleges and schools were in divers places erected for the prophets. The first intimation we have in Scripture of these schools is in 1 Sam. x, 5, where we read of “a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, a tabret, a pipe, and a harp before them, and they did prophesy.” They are supposed to be the students in a college of prophets at , or “the hill,” as we render it, “of God.” Our translators elsewhere retain the same Hebrew word, as supposing it to be the proper name of a place, “Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba,” 1 Sam. xiii, 3. Some persons have imagined that the ark, or at least a synagogue, or some place of public worship, was at this time at Geba, and that this is the reason of its being styled in the former passage , the hill of God. We read afterward of such another company of prophets 786at Naioth in Ramah, “prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them,” 1 Sam. xix, 19, 20. The students in these colleges were called sons of the prophets, who are frequently mentioned in after ages, even in the most degenerate times. Thus we read of the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel; and of another school at Jericho; and of the sons of the prophets at Gilgal, 2 Kings ii, 3, 5; iv, 38. It should seem, that these sons of the prophets were very numerous; for of this sort were probably the prophets of the Lord, whom Jezebel cut off; “but Obadiah took a hundred of them, and hid them by fifty in a cave,” 1 Kings xviii, 4. In these schools young men were educated under a proper master, who was commonly, if not always, an inspired prophet, in the knowledge of religion, and in sacred music, 1 Sam. x, 5; xix, 20, and were thereby qualified to be public preachers, which seems to have been part of the business of the prophets on the Sabbath days and festivals, 2 Kings iv, 23. It should seem, that God generally chose the prophets, whom he inspired, out of these schools. Amos, therefore, speaks of it as an extraordinary case, that though he was not one of the sons of the prophets, but a herdsman, “yet the Lord took him as he followed the flock, and said unto him, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel,” Amos vii, 14, 15. That it was usual for some of these schools, or at least for their tutors, to be endued with a prophetic spirit, appears from the relation of the prophecies concerning the ascent of Elijah, delivered to Elisha by the sons of the prophets, both at Jericho and at Bethel, 2 Kings ii, 3, 5.

The Hebrew prophets present a succession of men at once the most singular and the most venerable that ever appeared, in so long a line of time, in the world. They had special communion with God; they laid open the scenes of the future; they were ministers of the promised Christ. They upheld religion and piety in the worst times, and at the greatest risks; and their disinterestedness was only equalled by their patriotism. The houses in which they lived were generally mean, and of their own building, 2 Kings vi, 2–4. Their food was chiefly pottage of herbs, unless when the people sent them some better provision, as bread, parched corn, honey, dried fruits, and the like, 1 Kings xiv, 3; 2 Kings iv, 38, 39, 42. Their dress was plain and coarse, tied about with a leathern girdle, Zech. xiii, 4; 2 Kings i, 8. Riches were no temptation to them; therefore Elisha not only refused Naaman’s presents, but punished his servant Gehazi very severely for clandestinely obtaining a small share of them, 2 Kings v, 15, &c. To succeeding ages they have left a character consecrated by holiness, and “visions of the Holy One,” which still unveil to the church his most glorious attributes, and his deepest designs. “Prophecy,” says the Apostle Peter, “came not of old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” 2 Pet. i, 21. They flourished in a continued succession during a period of more than a thousand years, reckoning from Moses to Malachi, all coöperating in the same designs, uniting in one spirit to deliver the same doctrines, and to predict the same blessings to mankind. Their claims to a divine commission were demonstrated by the intrinsic excellency of their doctrine; by the disinterested zeal and undaunted courage with which they prosecuted their ministry, and persevered in their great design, and by the unimpeachable integrity of their conduct. But even those credentials of a divine mission were still farther confirmed by the exercise of miraculous powers, and by the completion of many less important predictions which they uttered, Deut. xiii, 1–3; xviii, 22; Joshua x, 13; 1 Sam. xii, 8; 2 Kings i, 10; Isa. xxxviii, 8; xlii, 9; 1 Sam. ix, 6; 1 Kings xiii, 3; Jer. xxviii, 9; Ezek. xxxiii, 33. When not immediately employed in the discharge of their sacred office, they lived sequestered from the world, in religious communities, or wandered “in deserts, in mountains, and in caves of the earth;” distinguished by their apparel, and by the general simplicity of their style of life, 2 Kings i, 8; iv, 10, 38; vi, 1; Isa. xx, 2; Matt. iii, 4; Heb. xi, 38; Rev. xi, 3. They were the established oracles of their country, and consulted upon all occasions when it was necessary to collect the divine will on any civil or religious question. These illustrious personages were likewise as well the types as the harbingers of that greater Prophet whom they foretold; and in the general outline of their character, as well as in particular events of their lives, they prefigured to the Jews the future Teacher of mankind. Like him, also, they laboured by every exertion to instruct and reclaim; reproving and threatening the sinful, however exalted in rank, or encircled by power, with such fearless confidence and sincerity as often excited respect. The most intemperate princes were sometimes compelled unwillingly to hear and to obey their directions, 1 Kings xii, 21–24; xiii, 2–6; xx, 42, 43; xxi, 27; 2 Chron. xxviii, 9–14; though often so incensed by their rebuke, as to resent it by the severest persecutions. Then it was that the prophets exhibited the integrity of their characters, by zealously encountering oppression, hatred, and death, in the cause of religion. Then it was that they firmly supported “trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about, destitute, afflicted, tormented,” evil intreated for those virtues of which the memorial should flourish to posterity, and martyred for righteousness, which, whenever resentment should subside, it would be deemed honourable to reverence, Matthew xxiii, 27–29.

The manner in which the prophets published their predictions was, either by uttering them aloud in some public place, or by affixing them on the gates of the temple, Jer. vii, 2; Ezek. iii, 10, where they might be generally seen and read. Upon some important occasions, 787when it was necessary to rouse the fears of a disobedient people, and to recall them to repentance, the prophets, as objects of universal attention, appear to have walked about publicly in sackcloth, and with every external mark of humiliation and sorrow. They then adopted extraordinary modes of expressing their convictions of impending wrath, and endeavoured to awaken the apprehensions of their country, by the most striking illustration of threatened punishment. Thus Jeremiah made bonds and yokes, and put them upon his neck, Jer. xxvii, strongly to intimate the subjection that God would bring on the nations whom Nebuchadnezzar should subdue. Isaiah likewise walked naked, that is, without the rough garment of the prophet, and barefoot, as a sign of the distress that awaited the Egyptians, Isa. xx. So Jeremiah broke the potter’s vessel, Jer. xix; and Ezekiel publicly removed his household goods from the city, 2 Kings xxv, 4, 5; Ezek. xii, 7; more forcibly to represent by these actions some correspondent calamities ready to fall on nations obnoxious to God’s wrath; this mode of expressing important circumstances by action, being customary and familiar among all eastern nations. The great object of prophecy was, as has been before observed, a description of the Messiah, and of his kingdom, Matt. xxvi, 56; Luke i, 70; xviii, 31; xxiv, 44; John i, 45; Acts iii, 18, 24; x, 43; xiii, 29; xv, 15; xxviii, 23; 1 Pet. i, 10–12. These were gradually unfolded by successive prophets in predictions more and more distinct. They were at first held forth in general promises; they were afterward described by figures, and shadowed out under types and allusive institutions, and finally foretold in the full lustre of descriptive prophecy. The Hebrew prophets were chosen of God to testify beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. See Prophecy.

PROPITIATION. To propitiate is to appease, to atone, to turn away the wrath of an offended person. In the case before us, the wrath turned away is the wrath of God; the person making the propitiation is Christ; the propitiating offering or sacrifice is his blood. All this is expressed in most explicit terms in the following passages: “And he is the propitiation for our sins,” 1 John ii, 2. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” 1 John iv, 10. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,” Rom. iii, 25. The word used in the two former passages is asµ; in the last a. Both are from the verb s, so often used by Greek writers to express the action of a person who, in some appointed way, turned away the wrath of a deity; and therefore cannot bear the sense which Socinus would put upon it,--the destruction of sin. This is not supported by a single example. With all Greek authorities, whether poets, historians, or others, the word means to propitiate, and is, for the most part, construed with an accusative case, designating the person whose displeasure is averted. As this could not be denied, Crellius comes to the aid of Socinus, and contends that the sense of this word was not to be taken from its common use in the Greek tongue, but from the Hellenistic use of it in the Greek of the New Testament, the LXX. and the Apocrypha. But this will not serve him; for both by the LXX. and in the Apocrypha, it is used in the same sense as in the Greek classic writers. “He shall offer his asµ, sin-offering, saith the Lord God,” Ezek. xliv, 27. “And the priest shall take the blood of the asµ, sin-offering,” Ezek. xlv, 19. t asµ, “The ram of the atonement,” Num. v, 8. To which may be added, out of the Apocrypha, “Now as the high priest was making asµ, an atonement,” 2 Macc. iii, 33.

The propitiatory sense of the word asµ being thus fixed, the modern Socinians have conceded, in their note on 1 John ii, 2, in their Improved Version, that it means the “pacifying of an offended party;” but they subjoin, that Christ is a propitiation, because by his Gospel he brings sinners to repentance, and thus averts the divine displeasure. The concession is important; and the comment cannot weaken it, because of its absurdity; for, in that interpretation of propitiation, Moses, or any of the Apostles, or any minister of the Gospel now, who succeeds in bringing sinners to repentance, is as truly a propitiation for sin as Christ himself. On Rom. iii, 25, however, the authors of the Improved Version continue to follow their master Socinus, and translate the passage, “whom God hath set forth a propitiation, through faith in his blood,” “whom God hath set forth as a mercy seat in his own blood,” and lay great stress upon this rendering, as removing that countenance to the doctrine of atonement by vicarious sufferings which the common translation affords. The word a is used in the Septuagint version, and in the Epistle to the Hebrews, to express the mercy seat or covering of the ark. But so little is to be gained by taking it in this sense in this passage, that this rendering is adopted by several orthodox commentators as expressing, by a figure, or rather by emphatically supplying a type to the antitype,--the doctrine of our Lord’s atonement. The mercy seat was so called, because, under the Old Testament, it was the place where the high priest, on the feast of expiation, sprinkled the blood of the sin-offerings, in order to make an atonement for himself and the whole congregation; and, since God accepted the offering which was then made, it was, for this reason, accounted the medium through which God showed himself propitious to the people. With reference to this, Jesus Christ may be called a mercy seat, as being the person in or through whom God shows himself propitious to mankind. And as, under the law, God was propitious to those who came to him by appearing before his mercy seat with the blood of their sin-offerings; so, under the Gospel dispensation, he is propitious to those who come unto him by Jesus Christ, through faith in that blood which is elsewhere called “the blood of sprinkling,” 788and which he shed for the remission of sins. Some able critics have, however, argued, from the force of the context, that the word ought to be taken actively, and not merely declaratively; not as “a propitiatory,” but as “a propitiation,” which, says Grotius, is shown by the mention which is afterward made of blood, to which the power of propitiation is ascribed. Others supply µa or ee, and render it expiatory sacrifice. But, whichever of these renderings be adopted, the same doctrine is held forth to us. The covering of the ark was rendered a propitiatory only by the blood of the victims sprinkled before and upon it; and when the Apostle says, that God hath set forth Jesus Christ to be a propitiatory, he immediately adds, having the ceremonies of the temple in his view, “through faith in his blood.” The text, therefore, contains no exhibition of any means of obtaining mercy but through the blood of sacrifice, according to the rule laid down in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission;” and is in strict accordance with Ephesians i, 7, “We have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins.” It is only by his blood that Christ reconciles us to God.

Unable as they who deny the vicarious nature of the sufferings of Christ are to evade the testimony of the above passages which speak of our Lord as “a propitiation,” their next resource often is to deny the existence of wrath in God, in the hope of proving that propitiation, in a proper sense, cannot be the doctrine of Scripture, whatever may be the force of the mere terms which the sacred writers employ. In order to give plausibility to their statement, they pervert the opinion of the orthodox, and argue as though it formed a part of the doctrine of Christ’s propitiation and oblation for sin, to represent God as naturally an implacable and vengeful being, and only made placable and disposed to show mercy by satisfaction being made to his displeasure through our Lord’s sufferings and death. This is as contrary to Scripture as it is to the opinionsopinions of all sober persons who hold the doctrine of Christ’s atonement. God is love; but it is not necessary, in order to support this truth, to assume that he is nothing else. He has other attributes, which harmonize with this and with each other; though, assuredly, that harmony cannot be established by any who deny the propitiation for sin made by the death of Christ. It sufficiently proves that there is not only no implacability in God, but a most tender and placable affection toward the sinning human race itself, and that the Son of God, by whom the propitiation was made, was the free gift of the Father to us. This is the most eminent proof of his love, that, for our sakes, and that mercy might be extended to us, “He spared not his own Son; but delivered him up freely for us all.” Thus he is the fountain and first moving cause of that scheme of recovery and salvation which the incarnation and death of our Lord brought into full and efficient operation. The true questions are, indeed, not whether God is love, or whether he is of a placable nature; but whether God is holy and just; whether we, his creatures, are under law or not; whether this law has any penalty, and whether God, in his rectoral character, is bound to execute and uphold that law. As the justice of God is punitive, (and if it is not punitive, his laws are a dead letter,) then is there wrath in God; then is God angry with the wicked; then is man, as a sinner, obnoxious to this anger; and so a propitiation becomes necessary to turn it away from him. Nor are these terms unscriptural; they are used in the New Testament as emphatically as in the Old; though, the former is, in a special sense, a revelation of the mercy of God to man. John declares that, if any man believeth not on the Son of God, “the wrath of God abideth upon him;” and St. Paul affirms, that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” The day of judgment is, with reference to the ungodly, said to be “the day of wrath;” God is called “a consuming fire;” and, as such, is the object of “reverence and godly fear.” Nor is this his displeasure light, and the consequences of it a trifling and temporary inconvenience. When we only regard the consequences which have followed sin in society, from the earliest ages, and in every part of the world, and add to these the many direct and fearful inflictions of punishment which have proceeded from the “Judge of the whole earth,” then, to use the language of Scripture, “our flesh may well tremble because of his judgments.” But when we look at the future state of the wicked as represented in Scripture, though it is expressed generally, and surrounded with the mystery of a place, and a condition of being, unknown to us in the present state, all evils which history has crowded into the lot of man appear insignificant in comparison of banishment from God, separation from good men, public condemnation, torment of spirit, “weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth,” “everlasting destruction,” “everlasting fire.” Let men talk ever so much or eloquently of the pure benevolence of God, they cannot abolish the facts recorded in the history of human suffering in this world as the effects of transgression; nor can they discharge these fearful comminations from the pages of the book of God. These cannot be criticised away; and if it is “Jesus who saves us from this wrath to come,” that is, from those effects of the wrath of God which are to come, then, but for him, we should have been liable to them. That principle in God, from which such effects follow, the Scriptures call wrath; and they who deny the existence of wrath in God, deny, therefore, the Scriptures.

It by no means follows, however, that this wrath is a passion in God; or that, though we contend that the awful attribute of his justice requires satisfaction, in order to the forgiveness of the guilty, we afford reason to any to charge us with attributing vengeful affections to the divine Being. “Our adversaries,” says Bishop Stillingfleet, “first make opinions for us, and then show that they are unreasonable. They 789first suppose that anger in God is to be considered as a passion, and that passion a desire of revenge; and then tell us, that if we do not prove that this desire of revenge can be satisfied by the sufferings of Christ, then we can never prove the doctrine of satisfaction to be true; whereas, we do not mean by God’s anger, any such passion, but the just declaration of God’s will to punish, upon our provocation of him by our sins; we do not make the design of the satisfaction to be that God may please himself in revenging the sins of the guilty upon the most innocent person, because we make the design of punishment not to be the satisfaction of anger as a desire of revenge, but to be the vindication of the honour and rights of the offended person by such a way as he himself shall judge satisfactory to the ends of his government.” See Atonement and Expiation.

PROPITIATORY, among the Jews, was the cover or lid of the ark of the covenant, which was lined both within and without with plates of gold, insomuch that there was no wood to be seen. Some even take it to have been one piece of massive gold. The cherubims spread their wings over the propitiatory. This propitiatory was a type or figure of Christ. See Propitiation.

PROSELYTE, st, signifies a stranger, a foreigner; the Hebrew word , or , also denotes a stranger, one who comes from abroad, or from another place. In the language of the Jews, those were called by this name who came to dwell in their country, or who embraced their religion, being not Jews by birth. In the New Testament they are called sometimes proselytes, and sometimes Gentiles, fearing God, Acts ii, 5; x, ii, 22; xiii, 16, 50. The Jews distinguish two kinds of proselytes. The first, proselytes of the gate; the others, proselytes of justice or righteousness. The first dwelt in the land of Israel, or even out of that country, and, without obliging themselves to circumcision, or to any other ceremony of the law, feared and worshipped the true God, observing the rules imposed on Noah. These were, according to the rabbins, 1. To abstain from idolatry; 2. From blasphemy; 3. From murder; 4. From adultery; 5. From theft; 6. To appoint just and upright judges; 7. Not to eat the flesh of any animal cut off while it was alive. Maimonides says, that the first six of these precepts were given to Adam, and the seventh to Noah. The privileges of proselytes of the gate were, first, that through holiness they might have hope of eternal life. Secondly, they could dwell in the land of Israel, and share in the outward prosperities of it. It is said they did not dwell in the cities, but only in the suburbs and the villages; but it is certain that the Jews often admitted into their cities, not only proselytes of habitation, but also Gentiles and idolaters, as appears by the reproaches on this account, throughout the Scriptures.

Proselytes of justice or of righteousness were those converted to Judaism, who had engaged themselves to receive circumcision, and to observe the whole law of Moses. Thus were they admitted to all the prerogatives of the people of the Lord. The rabbins inform us that, before circumcision was administered to them, and before they were admitted into the religion of the Hebrews, they were examined about the motives of their conversion; whether the change was voluntary, or whether it proceeded from interest, fear, ambition, &c. When the proselyte was well proved and instructed, they gave him circumcision; and when the wound of his circumcision healed, they gave him baptism, by plunging his whole body into a cistern of water, by only one immersion. Boys under twelve years of age, and girls under thirteen, could not become proselytes till they had obtained the consent of their parents, or, in case of refusal, the concurrence of the officers of justice. Baptism in respect of girls had the same effect as circumcision in respect of boys. Each of them, by means of this, received, as it were, a new birth, so that those who were their parents before were no longer regarded as such after this ceremony, and those who before were slaves now became free.

Many, however, are of opinion that there appears to be no ground whatever in Scripture for this distinction of proselytes of the gate, and proselytes of righteousness. “According to my idea,” says Dr. Tomline, “proselytes were those, and those only, who took upon themselves the obligation of the whole Mosaic law, but retained that name till they were admitted into the congregation of the Lord as adopted children. Gentiles were allowed to worship and offer sacrifices to the God of Israel in the outer court of the temple; and some of them, persuaded of the sole and universal sovereignty of the Lord Jehovah, might renounce idolatry without embracing the Mosaic law; but such persons appear to me never to be called proselytes in Scripture, or in any ancient Christian writer.” He also observes that “the term proselytes of the gate is derived from an expression frequent in the Old Testament; namely, ‘the stranger that is within thy gates;’ but I think it evident that the strangers were those Gentiles who were permitted to live among the Jews under certain restrictions, and whom the Jews were forbidden ‘to vex or oppress,’ so long as they live in a peaceable manner.” Dr. Lardner says, “I do not believe that the notion of two sorts of Jewish proselytes can be found in any Christian writer before the fourteenth century or later.” Dr. Jennings also observes that “there does not appear to be sufficient evidence in the Scripture history of the existence of such proselytes of the gate, as the rabbins mention; nor, indeed, of any who with propriety can be styled proselytes, except such as fully embraced the Jewish religion.”

PROSEUCHÆ. That the Jews had houses, or places for prayer, called sea, appears from a variety of passages in Philo; and, particularly in his oration against Flaccus, he complains that their sea were pulled down, and there was no place left in which they might worship God and pray for Cæsar. Among those who make the synagogues and proseuchæ to be 790different places, are the learned Mr. Joseph Mede and Dr. Prideaux; and they think the difference consists partly in the form of the edifice; a synagogue, they say, being roofed like our houses or churches; and a proseucha being only encompassed with a wall, or some other mound or enclosure, and open at the top, like our courts. They make them to differ in situation; synagogues being in towns and cities, proseuchæ in the fields, and frequently by the river side. Dr. Prideaux mentions another distinction in respect to the service performed in them. In synagogues, he says, the prayers were offered up in public forms in common for the whole congregation; but in the proseuchæ they prayed, as in the temple, every one apart for himself. And thus our Saviour prayed in the proseucha into which he entered. Yet, after all, the proof in favour of this notion is not so strong, but that it still remains a question with some, whether the synagogues and the proseuchæ were any thing more than two different names for the same place; the one taken from the people’s assembling in them, the other from the service to which they were more immediately appropriated, namely, prayer. Nevertheless, the name proseuchæ will not prove that they were appropriated only to prayer, and therefore were different from synagogues, in which the Scriptures were also read and expounded; since the temple, in which sacrifices were offered, and all the parts of divine service were performed, is called pse, a house of prayer, Matt. xxi, 13.

PROTESTANT. The Emperor Charles V. called a diet at Spire, in 1529, to request aid from the German princes against the Turks, and to devise the most effectual means for allaying the religious disputes which then raged in consequence of Luther’s opposition to the established religion. In this diet it was decreed by Ferdinand, archduke of Austria, and other popish princes, that in the countries which had embraced the new religion it should be lawful to continue in it till the meeting of a council; but that no Roman Catholic should be allowed to turn Lutheran, and that the reformers should deliver nothing in their sermons contrary to the received doctrine of the church. Against this decree, six Lutheran princes, namely, John and George, the electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, Ernest and Francis, the two dukes of Lunenburg, the landgrave of Hesse, and the prince of Anhalt, with the deputies of thirteen imperial towns, namely, Strasburg, Ulm, Nuremberg, Constance, Rottingen, Windsheim, Memmingen, Nortlingen, Lindaw, Kempten, Hailbron, Wissemburg, and St. Gall, formally and solemnly protested and declared that they appealed to a general council; and hence the name of Protestants, by which the followers of Luther have ever since been known. Nor was it confined to them; for it soon after included the Calvinists, and has now of a long time been applied generally to the Christian sects, of whatever denomination, and in whatever country they may be found, which have separated from the see of Rome.

Mr. Chillingworth, addressing himself to a writer in favour of the church of Rome, speaks of the religion of the Protestants in the following excellent terms: “Know then, sir, that when I say the religion of Protestants is in prudence to be preferred before yours, on the one side, I do not understand by your religion the doctrine of Bellarmine, or Baronius, or any other private man among you, nor the doctrine of the Sorbonne, of the Jesuits, or of the Dominicans, or of any other particular company among you, but that wherein you all agree, or profess to agree, the doctrine of the council of Trent; so, accordingly, on the other side, by the religion of Protestants, I do not understand the doctrine of Luther, or Calvin, or Melancthon, nor the confession of Augsburg, or Geneva, nor the catechism of Heidelberg, nor the articles of the church of England; no, nor the harmony of Protestant confessions; but that in which they all agree, and which they all subscribe with a greater harmony, as a perfect rule of faith and action; that is, the Bible. The Bible, I say, the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants. Whatsoever else they believe beside it, and the plain, irrefragable, indubitable consequences of it, well may they hold it as a matter of opinion; but as a matter of faith and religion, neither can they with coherence to their own grounds believe it themselves, nor require belief of it of others, without most high and most schismatical presumption. I, for my part, after a long, and, as I verily believe and hope, impartial, search of the true way to eternal happiness, do profess plainly that I cannot find any rest for the sole of my foot but upon this rock only. I see plainly, and with my own eyes, that there are popes against popes, and councils against councils; some fathers against other fathers, the same fathers against themselves; a consent of fathers of one age against a consent of fathers of another age; traditive interpretations of Scripture are pretended, but there are few or none to be found; no tradition but that of Scripture can derive itself from the fountain, but may be plainly proved either to have been brought in in such an age after Christ, or that in such an age it was not in. In a word, there is no sufficient certainty but of Scripture only for any considering man to build upon. This, therefore, and this only, I have reason to believe. This I will profess; according to this I will live; and for this, if there be occasion, I will not only willingly, but even gladly, lose my life, though I should be sorry that Christians should take it from me. Propose me any thing out of this book, and require whether I believe or no, and, seem it never so incomprehensible to human reason, I will subscribe it with hand and heart, as knowing no demonstration can be stronger than this, God hath said so, therefore it is true. In other things, I will take no man’s liberty of judging from him; neither shall any man take mine from me.”

Under such views the Bible is held as the only sure foundation upon which all true Protestants build every article of the faith which they profess, and every point of doctrine which 791they teach; and all other foundations, whether they be the decisions of councils, the confessions of churches, the prescripts of popes, or the expositions of private men, are considered by them as sandy and unsafe, or as in nowise to be ultimately relied on. Yet, on the other hand, they by no means fastidiously reject them as of no use; for while they admit the Bible, or the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, to be the only infallible rule by which we must measure the truth or falsehood of every religious opinion, they are sensible that all men are not equally fitted to understand or to apply this rule; and that the wisest men want, on many occasions, all the helps afforded by the learning and research of others to enable them to understand its precise nature, and to define its certain extent. These helps are great and numerous, having been supplied, in every age of the church, by the united labours of learned men in every country, and by none in greater abundance than by those in Protestant communions.

PROVERBS, short aphorisms, and sententious moral and prudential maxims, usually expressed in numbers, or rhythm, or antithesis, as being more easily remembered, and of more use, than abstruse and methodical discourses. This method of instruction appears to be peculiarly suited to the disposition and genius of the Asiatics, among whom it has prevailed from the earliest ages. The Gymnosophists of India delivered their philosophy in brief enigmatical sentences; a practice adopted and carried to a great extent by the ancient Egyptians. The mode of conveying instruction by compendious maxims obtained among the Jews, from the first dawn of their literature, to its final extinction in the east through the power of the Mohammedan arms; and it was familiar to the inhabitants of Syria and Palestine, as we learn from the testimony of St. Jerom. The eloquence of Arabia was mostly exhibited in detached and unconnected sentences, which, like so many loose gems, attracted attention by the fulness of the periods, the elegance of the phraseology, and the acuteness of proverbial sayings. Nor do the Asiatics at present differ, in this respectrespect, from their ancestors, as numerous amthâl, or moral sentences, are in circulation throughout the regions of the east, some of which have been published by Hottinger, Erpenius, the younger Schultens, and others who have distinguished themselves by the pursuit of oriental learning. “The moralists of the east,” says Sir William Jones, “have, in general, chosen to deliver their precepts in short sententious maxims, to illustrate them by sprightly comparisons, or to inculcate them in the very ancient forms of agreeable apologues: there are, indeed, both in Arabic and Persian, philosophical tracts on ethics, written with sound ratiocination and elegant perspicuity; but in every part of the eastern world, from Pekin to Damascus, the popular teachers of moral wisdom have immemorially been poets; and there would be no end of enumerating their works, which are still extant in the five principal languages of Asia.” The ingenious but ever disputing and loquacious Greeks were indebted to the same means for their earliest instruction in wisdom. The sayings of the seven wise men, the golden verses of Pythagoras, the remains of Theognis and Phocylides, if genuine, and the gnomai of the older poets, testify the prevalence of aphorisms in ancient Greece. Had no specimens remained of Hellenic proverbs, we might have concluded this to have been the case; for the Greeks borrowed the rudiments, if not the principal part, of their knowledge from those whom they arrogantly termed barbarians; and it is only through the medium of compendious maxims and brief sentences that traditionary knowledge can be preserved. This mode of communicating moral and practical wisdom accorded with the sedate and deliberative character of the Romans; and, in truth, from its influence over the mind, and its fitness for popular instruction, proverbial expressions exist in all ages and in all languages.

Proverbs, in the Hebrew language, are called meshalim, which is derived from a verb signifying both “to rule,” “to have dominion,” and “to compare,” “to liken,” “to assimilate:” hence the term denotes the highly figurative and poetical style in general, and likewise those compendious and authoritative sentences in particular which are commonly denominated proverbs. This term, which our translators have adopted after the Vulgate, denotes, according to our great lexicographer, “a short sentence frequently repeated by the people, a saw, an adage;” and no other word can, perhaps, be substituted more accurately expressing the force of the Hebrew; or, if there could, it has been so long familiarized by constant use, that a change is totally inadmissible.

The Meshalim, or Proverbs of Solomon, on account of their intrinsic merit, as well as of the rank and renown of their author, would be received with submissive deference; in consequence of which, they would rapidly spread through every part of the Jewish territories. The pious instructions of the king would be listened to with the attention and respect they deserve, and, no doubt, would be carefully recorded by a people attached to his person, and holding his wisdom in the highest admiration. These, either preserved in writing, or handed down by oral communication, were subsequently collected into one volume, and constitute the book in the sacred canon, entitled, “The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel.” The genuineness and authenticity of this title, and those in chap. x, 1, and xxv, 1, cannot be disputed; not the smallest reason appears for calling them in question. One portion of the book, from the twenty-fifth chapter to the end of the twenty-ninth, was compiled by the men of Hezekiah, as appears from the title prefixed to it. Eliakim, Shebna, Joah, Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, personages of eminence and worth, were contemporary with Hezekiah; but whether these or others executed the compilation, it is now impossible to determine. They were persons, however, as we may reasonably suppose, well qualified 792for the undertaking, who collected what were known to be the genuine proverbs of Solomon from the various writings in which they were dispersed, and arranged them in their present order. Whether the preceding twenty-four chapters, which, doubtless, existed in a combined form previous to the additional collection, were compiled by the author, or some other person, is quite uncertain. Both collections, however, being made at so early a period, is a satisfactory evidence that the Proverbs are the genuine production of Solomon, to whom they are ascribed; for, from the death of Solomon to the reign of Hezekiah, according to the Bible chronology, was a period of two hundred and forty-nine years, or, according to Dr. Hales, two hundred and sixty-five years; too short a space to admit of any forgery or material error, as either must have been immediately detected by the worthies who flourished during the virtuous reign of Hezekiah.

PROVIDENCE, the conduct and direction of the several parts of the universe, by a superior intelligent Being. The notion of a providence is founded upon this truth, that the Creator has not so fixed and ascertained the laws of nature, nor so connected the chain of second causes, as to leave the world to itself, but that he still preserves the reins in his own hands, and occasionally intervenes, alters, restrains, enforces, suspends, &c, those laws by a particular providence. Some use the word providence in a more general sense, signifying by it that power or action by which the several parts of the creation are ordinarily directed. Thus Damascenus defines providence to be that divine will by which all things are ordered and directed to the proper end: which notion of providence supposes no laws at all fixed by the author of nature at the creation, but that he reserved it at large, to be governed by himself immediately. The Epicureans denied any divine providence, as thinking it inconsistent with the ease and repose of the divine nature to meddle at all with human affairs. Simplicius argues thus for a providence: If God does not look to the affairs of the world, it is either because he cannot or will not; but the first is absurd, since, to govern cannot be difficult where to create was easy; and the latter is both absurd and blasphemous. In Plato’s Tenth Dialogue of Laws, he teaches excellently, that (since what is self-moving is, by its nature, before that which moves only in consequence of being moved) mind must be prior to matter, and the cause of all its modifications and changes; and that, therefore, there is a universal Mind possessed of all perfection, which produced and which actuates all things. After this he shows that the Deity exercises a particular providence over the world, taking care of small no less than great things. In proving this he observes “that a superior nature of such excellence as the divine, which hears, sees, and knows all things, cannot, in any instance, be subject to negligence or sloth; that the meanest and the greatest part of the world are all equally his work or possession; that great things cannot be rightly taken care of without taking care of small; and that, in all cases, the more able and perfect any artist is, (as a physician, an architect, or the ruler of the state,) the more his skill and care appear in little as well as great things. Let us not, then,” says he, “conceive of God as worse than even mortal artists.”

The term providence, in its primary signification, simply denotes foresight; and if we allow the existence of a supreme Being who formed the universe at first, we must necessarily allow that he has a perfect foresight of every event which at any time takes place in the natural or moral world. Matter can have no motion, nor spirit any energy, but what is derived from him; nor can he be ignorant of the effects which they will, either separately or conjointly, produce. A common mechanic has knowledge of the work of his own hands: when he puts the machine which he has made in motion, he foresees how long it will go, and what will be the state and position of its several parts at any particular point of time; or, if he is not perfectly able to do this, it is because he is not perfectly acquainted with all the powers of the materials which he has used in its construction: they are not of his making, and they may therefore have qualities which he does not understand, and consequently cannot regulate. But in the immense machine of the universe there is nothing except that which God has made; all the powers and properties, relations and dependencies, which created things have, they have, both in kind and degree, from him. Nothing, therefore, it should seem, can come to pass at any time, or in any part of the universe, which its incomprehensible Architect did not, from the moment his almighty fiat called it into existence, clearly foresee. The providence of God is implied in his very existence as an intelligent Creator; and it imports not only an abstract foresight of all possible events, but such a predisposition of causes and effects, such an adjustment of means and ends, as seems to us to exclude that contingency of human actions with which, as expectants of positive rewards and punishments in another world, we firmly believe it to be altogether consistent.

By providence we may understand, not merely foresight, but a uniform and constant operation of God subsequent to the act of creation. Thus, in every machine formed by human ingenuity, there is a necessity for the action of some extraneous power to put the machine in motion: a proper construction and disposition of parts not being sufficient to effect the end: there must be a spring, or a weight, or an impulse of air or water, or some substance or other, on which the motion of the several parts of the machine must depend. In like manner, the machine of the universe depends upon its Creator for the commencement and the conservation of the motion of its several parts. The power by which the insensible particles of matter coalesce into sensible lumps, as well as that by which the great 793orbs of the universe are reluctantly, as it were, retained in their courses, admits not an explanation from mechanical causes: the effects of both of them are different from such as mere matter and motion can produce; they must ultimately be referred to God. Vegetable and animal life and increase cannot be accounted for, without recurring to him as the primary cause of both. In all these respects the providence of God is something more than foresight; it is a continual influence, a universal agency; “by him all things consist,” and “in him we live, and move, and have our being.”

Much labour has been employed to account for all the phenomena of nature by the powers of mechanism, or the necessary laws of matter and motion. But this, as we imagine, cannot be done. The primary causes of things must certainly be some powers and principles not mechanical, otherwise we shall be reduced to the necessity of maintaining an endless progression of motions communicated from matter to matter, without any first mover; or of saying that the first impelling matter moved itself. The former is an absurdity too great to be embraced by any one; and there is reason to hope that the essential inactivity of matter is at present so well understood, and so generally allowed, notwithstanding some modern oppugners of this hypothesis, that there can be but few who will care to assert the latter. All our reasonings about bodies, and the whole of natural philosophy, are founded on the three laws of motion laid down by Sir Isaac Newton, at the beginning of the “Principia.” These laws express the plainest truths; but they would have neither evidence nor meaning, were not inactivity contained in our idea of matter. Should it be said that matter, though naturally inert, may be made to be otherwise by divine power, this would be the same with saying that matter may be made not to be matter. If inactivity belong to it at all, it must belong to it as matter, or solid extension, and therefore must be inseparable from it. Matter is figured, movable, discerptable, inactive, and capable of communicating motion by impulse to other matter: these are not accidental but primary qualities of matter. Beside, matter void of inactivity, if we were to suppose it possible, could produce no effects. The communication of motion, its direction, the resistance it suffers, and its cessation, in a word, the whole doctrine of motion cannot be consistently explained or clearly understood without supposing the inertia of matter. Self-moving matter must have thought and design, because, whenever matter moves, it must move in some particular direction, and with some precise degree of velocity; and as there is an infinity of these equally possible, it cannot move itself without selecting one of these preferably to and exclusively of all others, and therefore not without design. Moreover, it may be plainly proved that matter cannot be the ultimate cause of the phenomena of nature, or the agent which, by any powers inherent in itself, produces the general laws of nature, without possessing the highest degree of knowledge and wisdom; which might be easily evinced or exemplified by adverting to the particular law of gravitation. “The philosopher,” says an excellent writer, “who overlooks the laws of an all-governing Deity in nature, contenting himself with the appearance of the material universe only, and the mechanical laws of motion, neglects what is most excellent, and prefers what is imperfect to what is supremely perfect, finitude to infinity, what is narrow and weak to what is unlimited and almighty, and what is perishing to what endures for ever. Sir Isaac Newton thought it most unaccountable to exclude the Deity only out of the universe. It appeared to him much more just and reasonable to suppose that the whole chain of causes, or the several series of them, should centre in him as their source; and the whole system appear depending on him the only independent cause.” If, then, the Deity pervades and actuates the material world, and his unremitting energy is the cause to which every effect in it must be traced; the spiritual world, which is of greater consequence, cannot be disregarded by him. Is there not one atom of matter on which he does not act; and is there one living being about which he has no concern Does not a stone fall without him; and does, then, a man suffer without him The inanimate world is of no consequence, abstracted from its subserviency to the animate and reasonable world: the former, therefore, must be preserved and governed entirely with a view to the latter. But it is not mere energy or the constant exertion of power that is discernible in the frame or laws of the universe, in maintaining the succession of men, and in producing men and other beings; but wisdom and skill are also conspicuous in the structure of every object in the inanimate creation. After a survey of the beauty and elegance of the works of nature, aided by the perusal of Matt. vi, 28, &c, we may ask ourselves, Has God, in the lowest of his works, been lavish of wisdom, beauty, and skill; and is he sparing of these in the concerns of reasonable beings Or does he less regard order, propriety, and fitness in the determination of their states The answer is obvious. Providence also implies a particular interposition of God in administering the affairs of individuals and nations, and wholly distinct from that general and incessant exertion of his power, by which he sustains the universe in existence.

The doctrine of providence may be evinced from the consideration of the divine perfections. The first cause of all things must be regarded as a being absolutely perfect; and the idea of absolute perfection comprehends infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; hence we deduce the doctrine of providence. The Deity cannot be an indifferent spectator of the series of events in that world to which he has given being. His goodness will as certainly engage him to direct them agreeably to the ends of goodness, as his wisdom and power enable him to do it in the most effectual manner. This conclusion is conformable to all 794our ideas of those attributes. Could we call that being good who would refuse to do any good which he is able to do without the least labour or difficulty God is present every where. He sees all that happens, and it is in his power, with perfect ease, to order all for the best. Can he then possess goodness, and at the same time not do this A God without a providence is undoubtedly a contradiction. Nothing is plainer than that a being of perfect reason will, in every instance, take such care of the universe as perfect reason requires. That supreme intelligence and love, which are present to all things, and from whence all things sprung, must govern all occurrences. These considerations prove what has been called a particular, in opposition to a general, providence. We cannot conceive of any reasons that can influence the Deity to exercise any providence over the world, which are not likewise reasons for extending it to all that happens in the world. As far as it is confined to generals, or overlooks any individual, or any event, it is incomplete, and therefore unsuitable to the idea of a perfect being.

One common prejudice against this doctrine arises from the apprehension that it is below the dignity of the Deity to watch over, in the manner implied in it, the meanest beings, and the minutest affairs. To which it may be replied, that a great number of minute affairs, if they are each of them of some consequence, make up a sum which is of great consequence; and that there is no way of taking care of this sum, without taking care of each particular. This objection, therefore, under the appearance of honouring God, plainly dishonours him. Nothing is absolutely trifling in which the happiness of any individual, even the most insignificant, is at all concerned; nor is it beneath a wise and good being to interpose in any thing of this kind. To suppose the Deity above this, is to suppose him above acting up to the full extent of goodness and rectitude. The same eternal benevolence that first engaged him to produce beings, must also engage him to exercise a particular providence over them; and the very lowest beings, as well as the highest, seem to have a kind of right to his superintendence, from the act itself of bringing them into existence. Every apprehension that this is too great a condescension in him is founded on the poorest ideas; for, surely, whatever it was not too great condescension in him to create, it cannot be too great a condescension in him to take care of. Beside, with regard to God, all distinctions in the creation vanish. All beings are infinitely, that is, equally, inferior to him.

Accident, and chance, and fortune, are words which we often hear mentioned, and much is ascribed to them in the life of man. But they are words without meaning; or, as far as they have any signification, they are no other than names for the unknown operations of providence; for it is certain that in God’s universe nothing comes to pass causelessly, or in vain. Every event has its own determined direction. That chaos of human affairs and intrigues where we can see no light, that mass of disorder and confusion which they often present to our view, is all clearness and order in the sight of Him who is governing and directing the whole, and bringing forward every event in its due time and place. “The Lord sitteth on the flood. The Lord maketh the wrath of man to praise him,” as he maketh the “hail and rain to obey his word. He hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” No other principle than this, embraced with a steady faith, and attended with a suitable practice, can ever be able to give repose and tranquillity to the mind; to animate our hopes, or extinguish our fears; to give us any true satisfaction in the enjoyments of life, or to minister consolation under its adversities. If we are persuaded that God governs the world, that he has the superintendence and direction of all events, and that we are the objects of his providential care; whatever may be our distress or our danger, we can never want consolation; we may always have a fund of hope, always a prospect of relief. But take away this hope and this prospect, take away the belief of God and of a superintending providence, and man would be of all creatures the most miserable; destitute of every comfort, every support, under present sufferings, and of every security against future dangers.

PSALMS. The book of Psalms is a collection of hymns, or sacred songs, in praise of God, and consists of poems of various kinds. They are the productions of different persons, but are generally called the Psalms of David, because a great part of them was composed by him, and David himself is distinguished by the name of the Psalmist. We cannot now ascertain all the Psalms written by David, but their number probably exceeds seventy; and much less are we able to discover the authors of the other Psalms, or the occasions upon which they were composed. A few of them were written after the return from the Babylonian captivity. The titles prefixed to them are of very questionable authority; and in many cases they are not intended to denote the writer but refer only to the person who was appointed to set them to music. David first introduced the practice of singing sacred hymns in the public service of God; and it was restored by Ezra. The authority of the Psalms is established not only by their rank among the sacred writings, and by the unvaried testimony of ages, but likewise by many intrinsic proofs of inspiration. Not only do they breathe through every part a divine spirit of eloquence, but they contain numberless illustrious prophecies that were remarkably accomplished, and are frequently appealed to by the evangelical writers. The sacred character of the whole book is established by the testimony of our Saviour and his Apostles, who, in various parts of the New Testament, appropriate the predictions of the Psalms as obviously apposite to the circumstances of their lives, and as intentionally composed to describe them. The veneration 795for the Psalms has in all ages of the church been considerable. The fathers assure us, that in the earlier times the whole book of Psalms was generally learned by heart; and that the ministers of every gradation were expected to be able to repeat them from memory. These invaluable Scriptures are daily repeated without weariness, though their beauties are often overlooked in familiar and habitual perusal. As hymns immediately addressed to the Deity, they reduce righteousness to practice; and while we acquire the sentiments, we perform the offices of piety; while we supplicate for blessings, we celebrate the memorial of former mercies; and while in the exercise of devotion, faith is enlivened by the display of prophecy. Josephus asserts, and most of the ancient writers maintain, that the Psalms were composed in metre. They have undoubtedly a peculiar conformation of sentences, and a measured distribution of parts. Many of them are elegiac, and most of David’s are of the lyric kind. There is no sufficient reason however to believe, as some writers have imagined, that they were written in rhyme, or in any of the Grecian measures. Some of them are acrostic; and though the regulations of the Hebrew measure are now lost, there can be no doubt, from their harmonious modulation, that they were written with some kind of metrical order; and they must have been composed in accommodation to the measure to which they were set. (See Poetry of the Hebrews.) The Hebrew copies and the Septuagint version of this book contain the same number of Psalms; only the Septuagint translators have, for some reason which does not appear, thrown the ninth and tenth into one, as also the one hundred and fourteenth and one hundred and fifteenth, and have divided the one hundred and sixteenth and one hundred and forty-seventh each into two.

It is very justly observed by Dr. Allix, that, “although the sense of near fifty Psalms be fixed and settled by divine authors, yet Christ and his Apostles did not undertake to quote all the Psalms they could, but only to give a key to their hearers, by which they might apply to the same subjects the Psalms of the same composure and expression.” With regard to the Jews, Bishop Chandler very pertinently remarks, that “they must have understood David, their prince, to have been a figure of Messiah. They would not otherwise have made his Psalms part of their daily worship; nor would David have delivered them to the church to be so employed, were it not to instruct and support them in the knowledge and belief of this fundamental article. Were the Messiah not concerned in the Psalms, it would have been absurd to celebrate twice a day, in their public devotions, the events of one man’s life, who was deceased so long ago, as to have no relation now to the Jews and the circumstances of their affairs; or to transcribe whole passages from them into their prayers for the coming of the Messiah.” Upon the same principle it is easily seen that the objections, which may seem to lie against the use of Jewish services in Christian congregations, may cease at once. Thus it may be said, Are we concerned with the affairs of David and of Israel Have we any thing to do with the ark and the temple They are no more. Are we to go up to Jerusalem, and to worship on Sion They are desolated, and trodden under foot by the Turks. Are we to sacrifice young bullocks according to the law The law is abolished, never to be observed again. Do we pray for victory over Moab, Edom, and Philistia; or for deliverance from Babylon There are no such nations, no such places in the world. What then do we mean, when, taking such expressions into our mouths, we utter them in our own persons, as parts of our devotions, before God Assuredly we must mean a spiritual Jerusalem and Sion; a spiritual ark and temple; a spiritual law; spiritual sacrifices; and spiritual victories over spiritual enemies; all described under the old names, which are still retained, though “old things are passed away, and all things are become new,” 2 Cor. v, 17. By substituting Messiah for David, the Gospel for the law, the church Christian for that of Israel, and the enemies of the one for those of the other, the Psalms are made our own. Nay, they are with more fulness and propriety applied now to the substance, than they were of old to the “shadow of good things then to come,” Heb. x, 1. For let it not pass unobserved, that when, upon the first publication of the Gospel, the Apostles had occasion to utter their transports of joy, on their being counted worthy to suffer for the name of their Lord and Master, which was then opposed by Jew and Gentile, they brake forth into an application of the second Psalm to the transactions then before their eyes, Acts iv, 25. The Psalms, thus applied, have advantages which no fresh compositions, however finely executed, can possibly have; since, beside their incomparable fitness to express our sentiments, they are at the same time memorials of, and appeals to, former mercies and deliverances; they are acknowledgments of prophecies accomplished; they point out the connection between the old and new dispensations, thereby teaching us to admire and adore the wisdom of God displayed in both, and furnishing while we read or sing them, an inexhaustible variety of the noblest matter that can engage the contemplations of man.

Very few of the Psalms, comparatively, appear to be simply prophetical, and to belong only to Messiah, without the intervention of any other person. Most of them, it is apprehended, have a double sense, which stands upon this ground and foundation, that the ancient patriarchs, prophets, priests, and kings, were typical characters, in their several offices, and in the more remarkable passages of their lives, their extraordinary depressions and miraculous exaltations foreshowing him who was to arise as the head of the holy family, the great prophet, the true priest, the everlasting king. The Israelitish polity, and the law of Moses, were purposely framed after the example and shadow of things spiritual and 796heavenly; and the events which happened to the ancient people of God were designed to shadow out parallel occurrences, which should afterward take place in the accomplishment of man’s redemption, and the rise and progress of the Christian church. (See Prophecy.) For this reason, the Psalms composed for the use of Israel, and by them accordingly used at the time, do admit of an application to us, who are now “the Israel of God,” Gal. vi, 16, and to our Redeemer, who is the King of this Israel. It would be an arduous and adventurous undertaking to attempt to lay down the rules observed in the conduct of the mystic allegory, so diverse are the modes in which the Holy Spirit has thought proper to communicate his counsels to different persons on different occasions; inspiring and directing the minds of the prophets according to his good pleasure; at one time vouchsafing more full and free discoveries of future events; while, at another, he is more obscure and sparing in his intimations. From hence, of course, arises a great variety in the Scripture usage of this kind of allegory as to the manner in which the spiritual sense is couched under the other. Sometimes it can hardly break forth and show itself at intervals through the literal, which meets the eye as the ruling sense, and seems to have taken entire possession of the words and phrases. On the contrary, it is much oftener the capital figure in the piece, and stands confessed at once by such splendour of language, that the letter, in its turn, is thrown into shade, and almost totally disappears. Sometimes it shines with a constant equable light, and sometimes it darts upon us on a sudden, like a flash of lightning from the clouds. But a composition is never more truly elegant and beautiful, than when the two senses, alike conspicuous, run parallel together through the whole poem, mutually corresponding with and illustrating each other.

Thus the establishment of David upon his throne, notwithstanding the opposition made to it by his enemies, is the subject of the second Psalm. David sustains in it a twofold character, literal and allegorical. If we read over the Psalm first with an eye to the literal David, the meaning is obvious, and put out of all dispute by the sacred history. There is indeed an uncommon glow in the expression, and sublimity in the figures; and the diction is now and then exaggerated, as it were, on purpose to intimate and lead us to the contemplation of higher and more important matters concealed within. In compliance with this admonition, if we take another survey of the Psalm, as relative to the person and concerns of the spiritual David, a nobler series of events instantly rises to view, and the meaning becomes more evident, as well as exalted. The colouring, which may perhaps seem too bold and glaring for the king of Israel, will no longer appear so, when laid upon his great antitype. After we have thus attentively considered the subject apart, let us look at them together, and we shall behold the full beauty and majesty of this most charming poem. We shall perceive the two senses very distinct from each other, yet conspiring in perfect harmony, and bearing a wonderful resemblance in every feature and lineament, while the analogy between them is so exactly preserved, that either may pass for the original, from whence the other was copied. New light is continually cast upon the phraseology, fresh weight and dignity are added to the sentiment, till gradually ascending from things below to things above, from human affairs to those which are divine, they bear the great important theme upward with them, and at length place it in the height and brightness of heaven. What has been observed with regard to this Psalm, may also be applied to the seventy-second; the subject of which is of the same kind, and treated in the same manner. Its title might be, “The Inauguration of Solomon.” The scheme of the allegory is alike in both; but a diversity of matter occasions an alteration in the diction. For whereas one is employed in celebrating the magnificent triumphs of victory, it is the design of the other to draw a pleasing picture of peace, and of that felicity which is her inseparable attendant. The style is therefore of a more even and temperate sort, and more richly ornamented. It abounds not with those sudden changes of the person speaking which dazzle and astonish; but the imagery is borrowed from the delightful scenes with which creation cheers the sight, and the pencil of the divine artist is dipped in the softer colours of nature. And here we may take notice how peculiarly adapted to the genius of this kind of allegory the parabolical style is, on account of that great variety of natural images to be found in it. For as these images are capable of being employed in the illustration of things divine and human, between which there is a certain analogy maintained, so they easily afford that ambiguity which is necessary in this species of composition, where the language is applicable to each sense, and obscure in neither; it comprehends both parts of the allegory, and may be clearly and distinctly referred to one or the other.

On this book Bishop Horsley remarks:--These Psalms go, in general, under the name of the Psalms of David. King David gave a regular and noble form to the musical part of the Jewish service. He was himself a great composer, both in poetry and music, and a munificent patron, no doubt, of arts in which he himself so much delighted and excelled. The Psalms, however, appear to be compositions of various authors, in various ages; some much more ancient than the times of King David, some of a much later age. Of many, David himself was undoubtedly the author; and that those of his composition were prophetic, we have David’s own authority, which may be allowed to overpower a host of modern expositors. For thus King David, at the close of his life, describes himself and his sacred songs: “David, the son of Jesse, said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, TheThe Spirit of Jehovah 797spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.’ It was the word, therefore, of Jehovah’s Spirit which was uttered by David’s tongue. But it should seem, the Spirit of Jehovah would not be wanting to enable a mere man to make complaint of his own enemies, to describe his own sufferings just as he felt them, and his own escapes just as they happened. But the Spirit of Jehovah described by David’s utterance what was known to that Spirit only, and that Spirit only could describe. So that, if David be allowed to have had any knowledge of the true subject of his own compositions, it was nothing in his own life, but something put into his mind by the Holy Spirit of God; and the misapplication of the Psalms to the literal David has done more mischief than the misapplication of any other parts of the Scriptures among those who profess the belief of the Christian religion.

The Psalms are all poems of the lyric kind, that is, adapted to music, but with great variety in the style of composition. Some are simply odes. An ode is a dignified sort of song, narrative of the facts, either of public history or private life, in a highly adorned and figured style. But the figure in the Psalms is that which is peculiar to the Hebrew language, in which the figure gives its meaning with as much perspicuity as the plainest speech. Some are of the sort called elegiac, which are pathetic compositions upon mournful subjects. Some are ethic, delivering grave maxims of life, or the precepts of religion, in solemn, but for the most part simple, strains. Some are enigmatic, delivering the doctrines of religion in enigmata, contrived to strike the imagination forcibly, and yet easy to be understood. In all these the author delivers the whole matter in his own person. But a very great, I believe the far greater, part are a sort of dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between persons sustaining certain characters. In these dialogue Psalms the persons are frequently the psalmist himself, or the chorus of priests and Levites, or the leader of the Levitical band, opening the ode with a proem declarative of the subject, and very often closing the whole with a solemn admonition drawn from what the other persons say. The other persons are Jehovah, sometimes as one, sometimes as another, of the three Persons; Christ in his incarnate state, sometimes before, sometimes after, his resurrection; the human soul of Christ as distinguished from the divine essence. Christ, in his incarnate state, is personated sometimes as a priest, sometimes as a king, sometimes as a conqueror; and in those Psalms in which he is introduced as a conqueror, the resemblance is very remarkable between this conqueror in the book of Psalms and the warrior on the white horse in the book of Revelation, who goes forth with a crown on his head, and a bow in his hand, conquering and to conquer. And the conquest in the Psalms is followed, like the conquest in the Revelation, by the marriage of the conqueror. These are circumstances of similitude which, to any one versed in the prophetic style, prove beyond a doubt that the mystical conqueror is the same personage in both.

PSALMODY. The service of the ancient Christian church usually began with reading or with the singing of psalms. We are not to understand this as if their psalmody was performed in one course of many psalms together, without intermission, but rather, with some respite, and a mixture of other parts of divine service, to make the whole more agreeable and delightful. As to the persons concerned in singing the Psalms publicly in the church, they may be considered in four different respects, according to the different ways of psalmody; for sometimes the Psalms were sung by one person alone; and sometimes the whole assembly joined together, men, women, and children: this was the most ancient and general practice. At other times the Psalms were sung alternately; the congregation dividing themselves into two parts, and singing verse for verse. Beside all these, there was yet a fourth way of singing, pretty common in the fourth century, which was, when a single person began the verse, and the people joined with him in the close.

Psalmody was always esteemed a considerable part of devotion, and upon that account was usually performed in the standing posture. As to the voice or pronunciation, used in singing, it was of two sorts, the plain song, and the more artificial; the plain song was only a gentle inflexion, or turn of the voice, not very different from the chanting in our cathedrals; the artificial song seems to have been a regular musical composition, like our anthems. It was no objection against the psalmody of the church, that she sometimes made use of psalms and hymns of human composition, beside those of the inspired writers. St. Augustine himself made a psalm of many parts, in imitation of the hundred and nineteenth, to preserve his people from the errors of the Donatists. St. Hilary and St. Ambrose likewise made many hymns, which were sung in their respective churches. But two corruptions crept into the psalmody, which the fathers declaim against with great zeal. The first was, the introducing secular music, or an imitation of the light airs of the theatre, in the devotions of the church. The other was, the regarding more the sweetness of the composition than the sense and meaning; thereby pleasing the ear, without raising the affections of the soul.

The use of musical instruments in singing of psalms, seems to be as ancient as psalmody itself. The first psalm we read of was sung to a timbrel, namely, that which Moses and Miriam sung after the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt; and afterward, at Jerusalem, when the temple was built, musical instruments were constantly used at their public services. And this has been the common practice in all ages of the church. When the use of organs was first introduced, is not certainly known; but we find, that about A. D. 660, Constantine Copronymus, emperor of Constantinople, sent a present of an organ to King Pepin of France.

798Clement Marot, groom of the bed chamber to Francis I., king of France, was the first who engaged in translating the Psalms into metre. He versified the first fifty at the instigation of Vatablus, Hebrew professor at Paris; and afterward, upon his return to Geneva, he made an acquaintance with Beza, who versified the rest, and had tunes set to them; and thus they began to be sung in private houses, and afterward were brought into the churches of the French and other countries. In imitation of this version, Sternhold, one of the grooms of the privy chamber to our King Edward VI., undertook a translation of the Psalms into metre. He went through but thirty-seven of them, the rest being soon after finished by Hopkins and others. This translation was at first discountenanced by many of the clergy, who looked upon it as done in opposition to the practice of chanting the Psalms in the cathedrals.

Early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, metrical psalmody was introduced into this country. The new morning prayer began at St. Antholin’s, London, when a psalm was sung in the Geneva fashion, all the congregation, men, women, and boys singing together. Bishop Jewel says, that “the singing of psalms, begun in one church in London, did quickly spread itself, not only through the city, but in the neighbouring places; sometimes at Paul’s Cross six thousand people singing together.”

A curious controversy on this subject arose among the Dissenters in the end of the seventeenth century. Whether singing in public worship had been partially discontinued during the times of persecution to avoid informers, or whether the miserable manner in which it was performed gave persons a distaste to it, so it appears, that in 1691, Mr. Benjamin Keach published a tract entitled, “The Breach Repaired in God’s Worship: or, Psalms, Hymns, &c, proved to be a Holy Ordinance of Jesus Christ.” To us it may appear strange that such a point should be disputed; but Mr. Keach was obliged to labour earnestly, and with a great deal of prudence and caution, to obtain the consent of his people to sing a hymn at the conclusion of the Lord’s Supper. After six years more, they agreed to sing on the thanksgiving days; but it required still fourteen years more before he could persuade them to sing every Lord’s day; and then it was only after the last prayer, that those who chose it might withdraw without joining in it! Nor did even this satisfy these scrupulous consciences; for, after all, a separation took place, and the inharmonious seceders formed a new church in May’s Pond, where it was above twenty years longer before singing the praises of God could be endured. It is difficult at this period to believe it; but Mr. Ivimey quotes Mr. Crosby, as saying, that Mr. Keach’s was the first church in which psalm singing was introduced. This remark, however, must probably be confined to the Baptist churches. The Presbyterians, it seems, were not quite so unmusical; for the Directory of the Westminster divines distinctly stated, that “it is the duty of Christians to praise God publicly by singing of Psalms together in the congregation.” And beside the old Scotch Psalms, Dr. John Patrick, of the Charter house, made a version which was in very general use among Dissenters, Presbyterians, and Independents, before it was superseded by the far superior compositions of Dr. Watts. These Psalms, however, like those of the English and Scotch establishment, were drawled out in notes of equal length, without accent or variety. Even the introduction of the triple-time tunes, probably about the time of Dr. Watts’s psalms, gave also great offence to some people, because it marked the accent of the measure. Old Mr. Thomas Bradbury used to call this time “a long leg and a short one.” The beautiful compositions of Dr. Watts, Mr. C. Wesley, and others, have produced a considerable revolution in modern psalmody. Better versions of the Psalms, and many excellent collections of hymns, are now in use, and may be considered as highly important gifts bestowed upon the modern church of God.

PSALTERY. See Music.


PUBLICAN, a collector or receiver of the Roman revenues. Judea being added to the provinces of the Roman empire, and the taxes paid by the Jews directly to the emperor, the publicans were the officers appointed to collect them. The ordinary taxes which the Romans levied in the provinces were of three sorts: 1. Customs upon goods imported and exported; which tribute was therefore called portorium, from portus, “a haven.” 2. A tax upon cattle fed in certain pastures belonging to the Roman state, the number of which being kept in writing, this tribute was called scriptura. 3. A tax upon corn, of which the government demanded a tenth part. This tribute was called decuma. These publicans are distinguished by Sigonius into three sorts or degrees,--the farmers of the revenue, their partners, and their securities; in which he follows Polybius. These are called the mancipes, socii, and prædes, who were all under the quæstore særarii, that presided over the finances at Rome. The mancipes farmed the revenue of large districts or provinces, had the oversight of the inferior publicans, received their accounts and collections, and transmitted them to the quæstores ærarii. They often let out their provinces in smaller parcels to the socii; so called, because they were admitted to a share in the contract, perhaps for the sake of more easily raising the purchase money; at least to assist in collecting the tribute. Both the mancipes and socii are therefore properly styled tea, from te, tributum, and µa, emo. They were obliged to procure prædes, or sureties, who gave security to the government for the fulfilment of the contract. The distribution of Sigonius, therefore, or rather of Polybius, is not quite exact, since there were properly but two sorts of publicans, the mancipes and the socii. The former are, probably, those whom the Greeks call tea, chiefs of the publicans; of which sort was Zaccheus. As they were superior to the common publicans in dignity, being mostly 799of the equestrian order, so they were generally in their moral character. But as for the common publicans, the collectors or receivers, as many of the socii were, they are spoken of with great contempt, by Heathens as well as Jews; and particularly by Theocritus, who said, that “among the beasts of the wilderness, bears and lions are the most cruel; among the beasts of the city, the publican and parasite.” The reason of the general hatred to them was, doubtless, their rapine and extortion. For, having a share in the farm of the tribute, at a certain rate, they were apt to oppress the people with illegal exactions, to raise as large a fortune as they could for themselves. Beside, publicans were particularly odious to the Jews, who looked upon them to be the instruments of their subjection to the Roman emperors, to which they generally held it sinful for them to submit. They considered it as incompatible with their liberty to pay tribute to any foreign power, Luke xx, 22, &c; and those of their own nation that engaged in this employment they regarded as Heathens, Matthew xviii, 17. It is even said, that they would not allow them to enter into their temple or synagogues, nor to join in prayers, nor even allow their evidence in a court of justice on any trial; nor would they accept of their offerings in the temple.

It appears by the Gospel that there were many publicans in Judea at the time of our Saviour. Zaccheus, probably, was one of the principal receivers, since he is called the chief of the publicans, Luke xix, 2; but St. Matthew was only an inferior publican. The Jews reproached our Saviour for showing kindness to these persons, Luke vii, 34; and he himself ranks them with harlots, Matt. xxi, 31. Some of them, it should seem, had humbling views of themselves, Luke xviii, 10. Zaccheus assures our Lord, who had honoured him with a visit, that he was ready to give the half of his goods to the poor, Luke xix, 8, and to return fourfold of whatever he had unjustly acquired.

PUBLIUS, the governor of Melita, Acts xxviii, 7–9. When St. Paul was shipwrecked on this island, Publius received him and his company into his house very kindly, and treated them for three days with great humanity.

PUL, king of Assyria. He came into the land of Israel in the time of Manahem, king of the ten tribes, 2 Kings xv, 19, &c, and invaded the kingdom on the other side of Jordan. But Manahem, by a present of one thousand talents of silver, prevailed on the king of Assyria, not only to withdraw his forces, but to recognize his title to the crown of Israel before he left the kingdom. This is the first time that we find any mention made of the kingdom of Assyria since the days of Nimrod; and Pul is the first monarch of that nation who invaded Israel, and began their transportation out of their own country.

PULSE, , Lev. xxiii, 14; 1 Sam. xvii, 17; 2 Sam. xvii, 28; a term applied to those grains or seeds which grow in pods, as beans, peas, vetches, &c, from , a bean. The Vulgate renders this kali in 2 Sam. xvii, 28, frixum cicer, “parched peas.” In Daniel i, 12, 16, the word , rendered pulse, may signify seeds in general.

PUNISHMENTS OF THE HEBREWS. There were several sorts of punishments in use among the Jews which are mentioned in the Scripture. 1. The punishment of the cross. (See Cross.) 2. Suspension, Esther vii, 10; Joshua viii, 29; 2 Samuel xxi, 12. 3. Stoning. 4. Fire. This punishment was common, Gen. xxxviii, 24; Leviticus xxi, 9. 5. The rack or tympanum, mentioned Heb. xi, 35. Commentators are much divided about the meaning of this punishment; but most of them are of opinion that the bastinado, or the punishment of the stick, is intended, and that the Apostle alludes to the cruelties exercised upon old Eleazar; for, in 2 Mac. vi, 19, where his martyrdom is spoken of, it is said that he came to the tympanum. 6. The precipice, or throwing persons headlong from a rock, with a stone tied about the neck, 2 Chron. xxv, 12. 7. Decapitation, Gen. xl, 19; Judges ix, 5; 2 Kings x, 7; Matt. xiv, 8. 8. The punishment of the saw, or to be cut asunder in the middle, Heb. xi, 37. This punishment was not unknown to the Hebrews. Some think it was originally from the Persians or Chaldeans. 9. Plucking out the eyes, Exod. xxi, 24. Some think this punishment was seldom executed, but the offender was made to suffer in his property rather than in his person: yet there are some instances on record, Judges xvi, 21; 1 Sam. xi, 2; 2 Kings xxv, 7. 10. The cutting off the extremities of the feet and hands, Judges i, 5–7; 2 Sam. iv, 12.

PUR, , , signifies lot. Pur, Phur, or Purim, was a solemn feast of the Jews, instituted in memory of the lots cast by Haman, the enemy of the Jews, Esther iii, 7. These lots were cast in the first month of the year, and gave the twelfth month of the same year for the execution of Haman’s design, to destroy all the Jews in Persia. Thus the superstition of Haman, in crediting these lots, caused his own ruin, and the preservation of the Jews, who, by means of Esther, had time to avert this blow. The Jews have exactly kept this feast down to our times. See Haman, Esther, and Mordecai.

PURGATORY, a place in which, according to the church of Rome, the just, who depart out of this life, are supposed to expiate certain offences which do not merit eternal damnation. Broughton has endeavoured to prove that this notion has been held by Pagans, Jews, and Mohammedans, as well as by Christians; and that in the days of the Maccabees, the Jews believed that sin might be expiated by sacrifice after the death of the sinner. The arguments advanced for purgatory by the papists are these: Every sin, how slight soever, though no more than an idle word, as it is an offence to God, deserves punishment from him, and will be punished by him hereafter, if not cancelled by repentance here. 2. Such small sins do not deserve eternal punishment. 3. Few depart this life so pure as to be totally exempt 800from spots of this nature, and from every kind of debt due to God’s justice. 4. Therefore, few will escape without suffering something from his justice for such debts as they have carried with them out of this world, according to the rule of divine justice, by which he treats every soul hereafter according to his works, and according to the state in which he finds it in death. From these positions, which the papist considers as so many self-evident truths, he infers that there must be some third place of punishment; for since the infinite holiness of God can admit nothing into heaven that is not clean and pure from all sin, both great and small, and his infinite justice can permit none to receive the reward of bliss, who as yet are not out of debt, but have something in justice to suffer, there must, of necessity, be some place or state, where souls departing this life, pardoned as to the eternal guilt of sin, yet obnoxious to some temporal penalty, or with the guilt of some venial faults, are purged and purified before their admittance into heaven. And this is what he is taught concerning purgatory; though he know not where it is, of what nature the pains are, or how long each soul is detained there, yet he believes that those who are in this place are relieved by the prayers of their fellow members here on earth, as also by alms and masses offered up to God for their souls. And as for such as have no relations or friends to pray for them, or give alms to procure masses for their relief, they are not neglected by the church, which makes a general commemoration of all the faithful departed, in every mass, and in every one of the canonical hours of the divine office. Beside the above arguments, the following passages are alleged as proofs: 2 Macc. xii, 43–45; Matt. xii, 31, 32; 1 Cor. iii, 15; 1 Peter iii, 19. But it may be observed, 1. That the books of Maccabees have no evidence of inspiration, therefore quotations from them are not to be regarded. 2. If they were, the texts referred to would rather prove that there is no such place as purgatory, since Judas did not expect the souls departed to reap any benefit from the sin-offering till the resurrection. The texts quoted from the Scriptures have no reference to the doctrine, as may be seen by consulting the context, and any just commentator upon it. 3. The Scriptures, in general, speak of departed souls going immediately, at death, to a fixed state of happiness or misery, and give us no idea of purgatory, Isaiah lvii, 2; Rev. xiv, 13; Luke xvi, 22; 2 Cor. v, 8. 4. It is derogatory from the doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ. If Christ died for us, and redeemed us from sin and hell, as the Scripture speaks, then the idea of farther meritorious suffering detracts from the perfection of his sacrifice, and places merit still in the creature; a doctrine exactly opposite to the Scriptures.

PURITANS. In England, the term Puritans was applied to those who wished for a farther degree of reformation in the church than was adopted by Queen Elizabeth; and a purer form, not of faith, but of discipline and worship. It was a common name given to all who, from conscientious motives, though on different grounds, disapproved of the established religion, from the reformation under Elizabeth, to the Act of Uniformity in 1662. From that time to the revolution in 1688, as many as refused to comply with the established worship, (among whom were about two thousand clergymen, and perhaps five hundred thousand people,) were denominated Nonconformists. From the passing of the Act of Toleration on the accession of William and Mary, the name of Nonconformists was changed to that of Protestant Dissenters. Prior to the grand rebellion in 1640, the Puritans were, almost without exception, Episcopalians; but after the famous “League and Covenant” of those turbulent times the greater part of them became Presbyterians. Some, however, were Independents, and some Baptists. The objections of the latter were more fundamental; they disapproved of all national churches, as such, and disavowed the authority of human legislation in matters of faith and worship. The persecutions carried on against the Puritans during the reigns of Elizabeth and the Stuarts served to lay the foundation of a new empire, and eventually a vast republic, in the western world. Thither, as into a wilderness, they fled from the face of their persecutors; and, being protected in the free exercise of their religion, continued to increase, until at length they became an independent nation. The different principles, however, on which they had originally divided from the church establishment at home, operated in a way that might have been expected, when they came to the possession of the civil power abroad. Those who formed the colony of Massachusetts having never relinquished the principle of a national church, and of the power of the civil magistrate in matters of faith and worship, were less tolerant than those who settled at New Plymouth, at Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations. The very men who had just escaped the persecutions of the English prelates, now, in their turn, persecuted others who dissented from them; until, at length, the liberal system of toleration established in the parent country at the revolution, extended to the colonies, and in a good measure put an end to these censurable proceedings.

PURPLE, , Exodus xxv, 4, &c; fa, Mark xv, 17, 20; Luke xvi, 19; John xix, 2, 5; Rev. xvii, 4; xviii, 12, 16. This is supposed to be the very precious colour extracted from the purpura or murex, a species of shell fish; and the same with the famous Tyrian dye, so costly, and so much celebrated in antiquity. The purple dye is called in 1 Macc. iv, 23, “purple of the sea,” or sea purple; it being the blood or juice of a turbinated shell fish, which the Jews call . (See Scarlet.) Among the blessings pronounced by Moses upon the tribes of Israel, those of Zebulun and Issachar are, “They shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of the treasures hid in the sand,” Deut. xxxiii, 19. Jonathan Ben Uzziel explains the latter clause thus: “From the sand are produced looking glasses, and glass in general; the 801treasures, the method of finding and working which, was revealed to these tribes.” Several ancient writers inform us, that there were havens in the coasts of the Zebulunites, in which the sand proper for making glass was found. The words of Tacitus are remarkable: “Et Belus amnis Judaico mari illabitur, circa ejus os lectæ arenæ admixto nitro in vitrum excoquuntur.” “The river Belus falls into the Jewish sea, about whose mouth those sands mixed with nitre are collected, out of which glass is formed.” But it seems much more natural to explain “the treasures hid in the sand,” of those highly valuable murices and purpuræ which were found on the sea coast, near the country of Zebulun and Issachar, and of which those tribes partook in common with their Heathen neighbours of Tyre, who rendered the curious dyes made from those shell fish so famous among the Romans by the names of Sarranum ostrum, Tyrii colores. In reference to the purple vestment, Luke xvi, 19, it may be observed that this was not appropriately a royal robe. In the earlier times it was the dress of any of high rank. Thus all the courtiers were styled by the historians purpurati. This colour is more properly crimson than purple; for the LXX., Josephus, and Philo, constantly use fa to express the Hebrew , by which the Talmudists understood crimson; and that this Hebrew word expressed, not the Tyrian purple, but that brought to the city from another country, appears from Ezek. xxvii, 7. The purple robe put on our Saviour, John xix, 2, 5, is explained by a Roman custom, the dressing of a person in the robes of state, as the investiture of office. Hence the robe brought by Herod’s or the Roman soldiers, scoffingly, was as though it had been the pictæ vestes usually sent by the Roman senate. In Acts xvi, 14, Lydia is said to be “a seller of purple.” Mr. Harmer styles purple the most sublime of all earthly colours, having the gaudiness of red, of which it retains a shade, softened with the gravity of blue.

PUTEOLI, so called from its baths of hot water, a city of Campania, in Italy; now called Pozzuoli, in a province of the kingdom of Naples, called Terra di Lavoro, and about eight miles from Naples. St. Paul stayed a week with the Christians of this place, in his journey as a prisoner to Rome, Acts xxviii, 13. The Alexandrian merchant vessels preferred Puteoli to all the harbours in Italy, and here they deposited their rich freights. They conducted the ships adorned with wreaths and festive garments, in the form of a fleet, one after another, into the harbour, where they were received with the greatest demonstrations of friendship. Such was the case with the sale of Alexandrian commodities throughout Italy. According to the course then pursued, the vessel in which St. Paul sailed went direct into this harbour.