Изображения страниц

all agree, and perhaps before di-| evidence and authority. That the vers other of the apostles. Priscillianists were guilty of dis

From these arguments we must simulation upon some occasions, evidently see what little ground and deceived their adversaries by the church of Rome hath to derive cunning stratagems, is true ; but the supremacy of the pope from the that they held it as a maxim, that supposed primacy of St. Peter. lying and perjury were lawful,

PRIMATE, an archbishop who is a most notorious falsehood, is invested with a jurisdiction over without even the least shadow of other bishops. See ARCHBISHOP. probability.

PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANS, PROBITY, honesty, sincerity, those who lived in the first ages of or veracity. “ It consists in the haChristianity, especially the apostles bit of actions useful to society, and and iminediate followers of our in the constant observance of the Lord.

laws which justice and conscience PRINCIPLE, an essential truth impose upon us. The man who from which others are derived: the obeys all the laws of society with ground or motive of action. See an exact punctuality is not, thereDISPOSITION and DOCTRINE. fore a man of probity: laws can

PRIOR, the head of a convent; only respect the external and denext in dignity to an abbot. finite parts of human conduct ;

PRISCILLIANISTS, the fol- but probity respects our more prilowers of Priscillian, in the fourth vate actions, and such as it is imcentury. It appears from au- possible in all cases to define ; and thentic records, that the difference it appears to be in morals what between their doctrine and that of charity is in religion. Probity the Manicheans, was not very teaches us to perform in society considerable. For they denied the those actions which no external reality of Christ's birth and incar-power can oblige us to perform, nation; maintained that the visi- and is that quality in the human ble universe was not the produc- mind from which we claim the tion of the Supreme Deity, but of performance of the rights, comsome dæmon or malignant princi- monly called imperfect.ple; adopted the doctrine of æons, PŘOCESSION, a ceremony, in or emanations from the divine na- the Romish church, consisting of a ture; considered human bodies as formal march of the clergy and prisons formed by the author of people, putting up prayers, &c., evil to enslave celestial minds ;|| and in this manner visiting some condemned marriage, and disbe-church, &c. They have proceslieved the resurrection of the body. sions of the host, or sacrament; of Their rule of life and manners was our Saviour to mount Calvary; of rigid and severe; the accounts, the Rosary, &c. therefore, which many have given Processions are said to be of of their lasciviousness and intem- Pagan original. The Romans, perance deserve not the least cre- when the empire was distressed, or lit, as they are totally destitute of after some victory, used constantly

to order processions, for several|from the Father.” If his misdays together, to be made to the sion and procession were the same temples, to beg the assistance of thing, there would be a tautology the gods, or to return them in the words, his mission, accordthanks.

ing to that interpretation, being The first processions mentioned mentioned twice in the same verse. in ecclesiastical history are those Dr. Watts, however, observes, that set on foot at Constantinople by this procession of the Holy Ghost St. Chrysostom. The Arians of from the Father respects not his that city, being forced to hold nature or substance, but his mistheir meetings without the townsion only; and that no distinct and went thither night and morning, clear ideas can be formed of this singing anthems. Chysostom, to procession; consequently it must prevent their perverting the Ca- be given up as popish, scholastic, tholics, set up counter-processions, inconceivable, and indefensible. in which the clergy and people But, it is answered, what clear marched by night, singing prayers idea can be given us of the origiand hymns, and carrying crosses nate, self-existent, eternal being and flambeaus. From this period of the Father? Shall we, therethe custom of processions was in-fore, deny him to be without betroduced among the Greeks, and ginning or end, and to be selfafterwards among the Latins; but existent, because we know not they have subsisted longer, and how he is so? If not, why must been more frequently used in we give up the procession of the the Western than in the Eastern Spirit, because we know not the church.

mode of it? We can no more exPROCESSION OFTHE HO-plain the manner how the Spirit LY GHOST, a term made use of proceeds from the Father, than we in reference to the Holy Ghost as can explain the eternal generation proceeding from the Father, or and hypostatical union of the two from the Father and the Son. It natures of the Son. We may say seems to be founded on that passage to the objector, as Gregory Nain John xv, 26. “When the Com-zianzen formerly did to his adverforter is come whom I will send sary, Do you tell me how the unto you from the Father, even Father is unbegotten, and I will the Spirit of Truth which proceed attempt to tell you how the Son eth from the Father, He shalt tes- is begotten, and the Spirit protify of me.” The procession of the ceeds." Holy Ghost, it is said, is express The clearest and fullest account ly taught by Christ in very strong of this procession, next to that in terms in this text. This proces- the above mentioned text, is that sion, it is alleged, is here evidently in 1st Cor. ii, 12. “ The Spirit distinguished from his mission; for which is of God;" that is (say the it is said, “ Whom I will send to advocates for this doctrine), the you from the Father, even the Spirit which is the same in nature Spirit of Truth which proceeds and essence with the Father, and so

is said to be of him, or out of him, PROFESSOR, a term comnot as to local separation, but with monly used, in the religious world, respect to identity of nature. to denote any person who makes

About the eighth and ninth cen- an open acknowledgment of the returies there was a very warm dis-ligion of Christ, or who outwardpute between the Greek and Latin ly manifests his attachment to churches, whether the Spirit pro- Christianity. All real Christians ceeded from the Father only, or are professors, but all professors from the Father and the Son; and are not real Christians. In this, the controversy arose to such aas in all other things of worth and height, that they charged one ano-importance, we find counterfeits. ther with heresy and schism, when There are many who become proneither side well understood what|fessors, not from principle, from they contended for. The Latin investigation, from love to the church, however, has not scrupled truth; but from interested moto say that the Spirit proceeds tives, prejudice of education, cusfrom the Father and the Son: but tom, influence of connexions, nothe Greek church chooses to ex- velty, &c. as Saul, Jehu, Judas, press it thus ; the Spirit proceeds Demas, the foolish virgins, &c. from the Father by or through See article Christian; Fay's the Son, or he receives of the Sermons, ser. 9; Mead's almost Son, Gal. iv, 6. See Holy Ghost; Christian; Bellamy's true Religion Bishop Pearson or the Creed, p. delineated; Shepherd's Sincere Con324 ; Watt's Works, 8vo. ed. p. vert, and on the Parable of the 199, vol. v; Hurrion on the Holy ten Virgins; Secker's non-such ProSpirit, p. 204; Ridgley's Div., qu. fessor. 11; Dr. Lightfoot's Works, vol. i, PROMISE is a solemn asseve

ration, by which one pledges his PROFANE, a term used in op-veracity that he shall perform, or position to holy, and in general is cause to be performed, the thing applied to all persons who have which he mentions. not the sacred character, and to The obligation of promises athings which do not belong to the rises from the necessity of the service of religion.

well-being and existence of soPROFESSION, among the Ro- ciety.“ Virtue requires," as Dr. manists, denotes the entering into Doddridge observes, “ that proa religious order, whereby a per- mises be fulfilled. The promisee, son offers himself to God by a i. e. the person to whom the provow of inviolably observing obe mise is made, acquires a property dience, chastity, and poverty. in virtue of the promise. The

Christians are required to make uncertainty of property would a profession of their faith, 1. Bold-evidently be attended with great ly, Rom. i, 16.-2. Explicitly, inconvenience. By failing to fulMatt. v, 16.-3. Constantly, Heb. filmy promise, I either shew that », 23.-4. Yet not ostentatiously, I was not sincere in making it, or but with humility and meekness. that I have little constancy or re

P. 482.

solution, and either way injure 1-3. A call for prayer.-4. A spur my character, and consequently to perseverance. See Clark on the my usefulness in life. Promises, | Promises, a book that Dr. Watts however, are not binding: 1. If says " he could dare put into the they were made by us before we hands of every Christian, among came to such exercise of reason all their divided sects and parties as to be fit to transact affairs of in the world.” moment; or if by any distemper PROPHECY, a word derived or sudden surprise we are depriv- from apenteve, and in its original ed of the exercise of our reason at import signifies the prediction of the time when the promise is made future events. It is thus defined by -2. If the promise made was on Witsius: “A knowledge and maa false presumption, in which the nifestation of secret things, which promiser, after the most diligenta man knows not from his own enquiry, was imposed upon, espe- || sagacity, nor from the relation of cially if he were deceived by the others, but by an extraordinary fraud of the promisee.-3. If the revelation of God from heaven.'' thing itself be vicious; for virtue In the Old and New Testaments cannot require that vice should be the word is not always confined to committed.-4. If the accomplish the foretelling of future events. In ment of the promise be so hard several instances it is of the same and intolerable, that there is rea-import with preaching, and deson to believe that, had it been notes the faculty of illustrating foreseen, it would have been an and applying to present practical excepted case-5. If the promise purposes the doctrines of prior rebe not accepted, or if it depend velation. Thus, in Nehemiah it is on conditions not performed." See said, “ Thou hast appointed proDoddridge's Lec., lec. 69; Grot. de phets to preach," ch. vi, ver. 7; Fure, lib. ii, c. 11 ; Paley's Mor. and whoever speaketh unto men Phil., ch. 5, vol. i ; Grove's Mor. Ito edification, and exhortation, and Phil., vol. ii, p. 2, c. 12; Watt's comfort, is by St. Paul called a Ser., ser. 20.

prophet, 1st Cor. xiv, 3. Hence PROMISES OF GOD are the lit was that there were schools of kind declarations of his word, in prophets in Israel, where young which he hath assured us he will men were instructed in the truths bestow blessings upon his people. of religion, and fitted to exhort The promises contained in the sa- and comfort the people. It is procred scriptures may be considered, ||phecy, however, according to the 1. Divine as to their origin.--2. first definition given above, we Suitable as to their nature.-3. I shall here consider. Abundant as to their number. Prophecy (with the power of 4. Clear as to their expression.--5. working miracles) may be consi-Certain as to their accomplish-dereu as the highest evidence that ment. The consideration of them can be given of a supernatural comshould, 1. Prove an antidote to munion with the Deity. Hence, despair.--2. A motive to patience. among the professors of almost

every religious system, there have images, and the majestic force of been numberless pretenders to the its expressions. It is varied with gift of prophecy. Pagans had striking propriety, and enlivened their oracles, augurs, and sooth-with quick but easy transitions. sayers; modern idolaters their ne-Its sudden burst of eloquence, its cromancers and diviners; and the earnest warmth, its affecting exJews, Christians, and Mahome-hortations and appeals, afford very tans, their prophets. The preten-interesting proofs of that lively sions of Pagans and impostors, impression, and of that inspired have, however, been justly ex-conviction, under which the proposed: while the Jewish and phets wrote ; and which enabled Christian prophecies carry with them, among a people not distinthem evident marks of their va-l guished for genius, to surpass, lidity. Hence St. Peter observes, every variety of composition, the « We have a more sure word of most admired productions of Paprophecy, whereunto we do well gan antiquity. If the imagery to take heed, as unto a light that employed by the sacred writers shineth in a dark place ; for the appears sometimes to partake of prophecy came not in old time by a coarse and indelicate cast it the will of man, but holy men of must be recollected, that the EasGod spake as they were moved tern manners and languages reby the Holy Ghost," 2d Pet. ii, quired the most forcible represen19, 21. Scripture prophecy, there-tations; and that the masculine and fore, hath God for its origin. It indignant spirit of the prophets led did not arise from the genius of them to adopt the most energetic the mind, the temperament of the and descriptive expressions. No body, the influence of the stars, style is, perhaps, so highly figura&c. but from the sovereign will tive as that of the prophets. Every of God. The ways by which the object of nature and of art which Deity made known his mind were could furnish allusions is explored various; such as by dreams, vi- with industry; every scene of cresions, angels, symbolic represen-ation, and every page of science, tations, impulses on the mind, seems to have unfolded its rich vaNum. xxi, 6. Jer. xxxi, 26. Dan. rieties, to the sacred writers, who, viii, 16, 17.

in the spirit of Eastern poetry, deAs to the language of prophecy : light in every kind of metaphorical “ It is,” says Mr. Gray, "re- embellishment. Thus, by way of markable for its magnificence. illustration, it is obvious to reEach prophetic writer is distin-mark, that earthly dignities and guished for peculiar beauties; but powers are symbolized by the cetheir style in general may be cha- lestial bodies; the effects of moral racterized as strong, animated, and evil are shewn ander the storms impressive. Its ornaments are de- and convulsions of nature; the rived not from accumulation of pollutions of sin are represented epithet, or laboured harmony ; by external impurities; and the but from the real grandeur of its beneficial influence of righteous

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »