Imágenes de páginas

convent, he threw himself into the hands || of the magistrates, to whom he made a full discovery of this infernal plot. The affair being brought to Rome, commissaries were sent from thence to examine the matter; and the whole cheat being fully proved, the four friars were solemnly degraded from their priesthood, and were burnt alive on the last day of May, 1509. Jetzer died some time after at Constance, having poisoned himself, as was believed by some. Had his life been taken away before he had found an opportunity of making the discovery already mentioned, this execrable and horrid plot, which in many of its circumstances was conducted with art, would have been handed down to posterity as a stupendous miracle.


The Dominicans were perpetually employed in stigmatizing with the name of heresy numbers of learned and pious men; in encroaching upon the rights and properties of others, to augment their possessions; and in laying the most iniquitous snares and stratagems for the destruction of their adversaries. They were the principal counsellors by whose instigation and advice Leo X. was determined to the public condemnation of Luther. The papal see never had more active and useful abettors than this order, and that of the Jesuits.

DOMINION OF GOD, is his absolute right to, and authority over, all his creatures, to do with them as he pleases. It is distinguished from his power thus: his dominion is a right of making what he pleases, and possessing what he makes, and of disposing what he doth possess; whereas his power is an ability to make what he hath a right to create, to hold what he doth possess, and to execute what he hath purposed or resolved.

shops into banishment, and punished some of them with death. Their cause was espoused by another Donatus called the Great, the principal bishop of that sect, who, with numbers of his followers, was exiled by order of Constans. Many of them were punished with great severity.-See CIRCUMCELLIONES. However, after the accession of Julian to the throne in 362, they were permitted to return, and restored to their former liberty. Gratian published several edicts against them, and in 377 deprived them of their churches, and prohibited all their assemblies. But, notwithstanding the severities they suffered, it appears that they had a very considerable number of churches towards the close of this century; but at this time they began to decline, on account of a schism among themselves occasioned by the election of two bishops, in the room of Parmenian, the successor of Donatus: one party elected Primian, and were called Primianists; and another Maximian, and were called Maximianists. Their decline was also precipitated by the zealous opposition of St. Augustine, and by the violent measures which were pursued against them by order of the emperor Honorius, at the solicitation of two councils held at Carthage, the one in 404, and the other in 411. Many of them were fined, their bishops were banished, and some put to death. This sect revived and multiplied under the protection of the Vandals, who invaded Africa in 427, and took possession of this province: but it sunk again under new severities, when their empire was overturned, in 534. Nevertheless, they remained in a separate body till the close of this century, when Gregory, the Roman pontiff, used various methods for suppressing them : his zcal succeeded, and there are few traces to be found of the Donatists after this period. They were distinguished by other appellations, as Circumcelliones, Montenses or Mountaineers, Campetes, Rupites, &c. They held three councils, that of Cita in Numidia, and two at Carthage.

The Donatists, it is said, held that baptism conferred cut of the church, that is, out of their sect, was null; and accordingly they rebaptized those who joined their party from other churches; they also re-ordained their ministers. Donatus seems likewise to have embraced the doctrine of the Arians; though St. Augustine affirms that the Donatists in this point kept clear of the errors of their leader.

DORT, Synod of; a national synod,

DONATISTS, ancient schismatics, in Africa, so denominated from their leader, Donatus. They had their origin in the year 311, when, in the room of Mensurius, who died in that year, on his return to Rome, Cæcilian was elected bishop of Carthage, and consecrated, without the concurrence of the Numidian bishops, by those of Africa alone, whom the people refused to acknowledge, and to whom they opposed Majorinus, who accordingly was ordained by Donatus bishop of Case Nigra. They were condemned, in a council held at Rome, two years after their separation; and afterwards in another at Arles, the year following; and again at Milan, before Constantine the Great, in 316, who deprived them of their churches, and sent their seditious bi

summoned by authority of the statesgeneral, the provinces of Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel excepted, and held at Dort, 1618. The most eminent divines of the United Provinces, and deputies from the churches of England, Scotland, Switzerland, Bremen, Hessia, and the Palatinate, assembled on this occasion, in order to decide the controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians. The synod had hardly commenced its deliberations before a dispute on the mode of proceeding, drove the Arminian party from the assembly. The Arminians insisted upon beginning with a refutation of the Calvinistic doctrines, especially that of reprobation; whilst the synod determined, that, as the remonstrants were accused of departing from the reformed faith, they Qught first to justify themselves by scriptural proof of their own opinions. All means to persuade the Arminians

rest in the divine favour. The causes of our doubts may be such as these: personal declension: not knowing the exact time, place, or means of our conversion; improper views of the character and decrees of God; the fluctuation of religious experience as to the enjoyment of God in prayer, hearing, &c.; the depth of our affliction; relapses into sin; the fall of professors; and the hidings of God's face. While some are continually harassed with doubts and fears, there are others who tell us they know not what it is to doubt: yea, who think it a sin to doubt: so prone are men to run to extremes, as if there were no medium between constant full assurance and perpetual doubt. The true Christian, perhaps, steers between the two. He is not always doubting, nor is he always living in the full exercise of faith It is not unlawful at certain seasons to doubt. "It is a sin," says one, “for a

to submit to this procedure having fail-believer to live so as not to have his ed, they were banished the synod, for evidences clear; but it is no sin for him their refusal. The synod, however, to be so honest and impartial as to proceeded in their examination of the doubt, when in fact his evidences are Arminian tenets, condemned their opi- not clear." Let the humble Christian, nions, and excommunicated their per- however, beware of an extreme. Prayer, sons: whether justly or unjustly, let conversation with experienced Christhe reader determine. Surely no one tians, reading the promises, and consican be an advocate for the persecution deration of the divine goodness, will which followed, and which drove these have a tendency to remove unnecessary men from their churches and country doubts. into exile and poverty. The authority DOXOLOGY, a hymn used in praise of this synod was far from being uni- of the Almighty, distinguished by the versally acknowledged, either in Hol-titles of the Greater and the Less. Both land or in England. The provinces of the doxologies are used in the church Friesland, Zealand, Utrecht, Guelder- of England; the former being repeated land, and Groningen, could not be per-after every psalm, and the latter used suaded to adopt their decisions; and in the communion service. Doxology they were opposed by king James I. the Greuter, or the angelic hymn, was and archbishop Laud, in England. of great note in the ancient church. It began with the words the angels sung at the birth of Christ, "Glory to God," &c. Doxology the Less, was anciently only a single sentence without a response, running in these words: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end, amen." Part of the latter clause, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be," &c. was inserted some time after the first composition.

DOSITHEANS, an ancient sect among the Samaritans, in the first century of the Christian æra; so called from Dositheus, who endeavoured to persuade the Samaritans that he was the Messiah foretold by Moses. He had many followers, and his sect was still subsisting at Alexandria in the time of the patriarch Eulogius, as appears from a decree of that patriarch published by Photius. In that decree, Eulogius accuses Dositheus of injuriously


DRAGOONING, one of the me

treating the ancient patriarchs and p-thods used by papists after the revocaphets, and attributing to himself the tion of the edict of Nantz, under Lewis spirit of prophecy. He makes him con- XIV., for converting refractory heretics, temporary with Simon Magus; and ac- and bringing them within the pale of cuses him of corrupting the Pentateuch, their church. If the reader's feelings and of composing several books directly will suffer him to peruse the account of contrary to the law of God. these barbarities, he will find it under the article PERSECUTION in this work.

DREAD, is a degree of permanent fear, an habitual and painful apprehen

DOUBTS and Fears, are terms frequently used to denote the uncertainty of mind we are in respecting our inte

sion of some tremendous event. It keeps the mind in a perpetual alarm, in an eager watchfulness of every circumstance that bears any relation to the evil apprehended.

preme Being, who made his abode in these sacred groves, governed the universe; and, that every creature ought to obey his laws, and pay him divine homage. They considered the oak as the emblem, or rather the peculiar residence of the Almighty; and accordingly chaplets of it were worn. both by the druids and people, in their religious ceremonies: the altars were strewed with its leaves, and encircled with its branches. The fruit of it, especially the misletoe, was thought to contain a divine virtue, and to be the peculiar gift of Heaven. It was, therefore, sought for on the sixth day of the moon with the greatest earnestness and anxiety; and when found, was hailed with sure rapture of joy, as almost exceeds imagination to conceive. As soon as the druids were informed of the fortunate discovery, they prepared every thing ready for the sacrifice under the oak, to which they fastened two white bulls by the horns; then the arch-druid, attended by a prodigious number of people, ascended the tree, dressed in white; and, with a consecrated golden knife, or pruning hook, cropped the misletoe, which he received in his robe, amidst the rapturous exclamations of the people. Having secured this sacred plant, he descended the tree; the bulls were sacrificed; and the Deity invoked to bless his own gift, and render it effica cious in those distempers in which it should be administered.

DRUIDS, the priests or ministers of religion among the ancient Gauls, Britons, and Germans. They were chosen out of the best families; and the honours of their birth, joined with those of their function, procured them the highest veneration among the people. They were versed in astrology, geometry, natural philosophy, politics, and geography; they were the interpreters of religion, and the judges of all affairs indifferently. Whoever refused obedience to them was declared impious and accursed. We know but little as to their peculiar doctrines, only that they believed the immortality of the soul, and, as is generally also supposed, the transmigration of it to other bodies; though a late author makes it appear highly probable they did not believe this last, at least not in the sense of the Pythagoreans. The chief settlement of the Druids in Britain was in the isle of Anglesey, the ancient Mona, which they might choose for this purpose, as it is well stored with precious groves of their favourite oak. They were divided into several classes or branches, such as the priests, the poets, the augurs, the civil judges, and instructors of youth. Strabo, however, does not comprehend all these different orders under the denomination of druids; he only distinguishes three kinds; bardi, poets; the vates,

DRUNKENNESS, intoxication with strong liquor. It is either actual or ha

Their garments were remarkably long; and when employed in religious ceremonies, they likewise wore a white surplice. They generally carried a wand in their hands, and wore a kind of ornament, enchased with gold, about their necks, called the druid's egg. They had one chief, or arch-druid, in every nation, who acted as high priest, or pontifex maximus. He had absolute authority over the rest, and commanded, decreed, and punished at pleasure. They worshipped the Supreme Being under the name of Esus or Hesus, and the symbol of the oak; and had no other temple than a wood or a grove, where all their religious rites were perforined. Nor was any person permitted to enter that sacred recess unless he carried with him a chain in token of his absolute dependence on the Deity. In deed, their whole religion originally consisted in acknowledging that the Su

priests and naturalists; and the druids,bitual; just as it is one thing to be drunk, who, besides the study of nature, appli- and another to be a drunkard. The evil ed themselves likewise to morality. of drunkenness appears in the following bad effects: 1. It betrays most constitutions either to extravagance of anger, or sins of lewdness.-2. It disqualifies men for the duties of their station, both by the temporary disorder of their faculties, and at length by a constant incapacity and stupefaction.-3. It is attended with expense, which can often be ill spared.-4. It is sure to occasion uneasiness to the family of the drunkard.-5. It shortens life.-6. It is a most pernicious awful example to others.-7. It is hardly ever cured.-8. It is a violation of God's word, Prov. xx. 1. Eph. The v. 18. Is. v. 11. Rom. xiii. 13. appetite for intoxicating liquor appears to me," says Paley, "to be almost always acquired. One proof of which is, that it is apt to return only at particular times and places; as after dinner, in the evening, on the market-day, in such a company, at such a tavern." How careful, then, should we be, lest we



form habits of this kind, or choose company who are addicted to it; how cautious and circumspect should we act, that we be not found guilty of a sin which degrades human nature, ban-thren and sisters dine together in a large apartment, and eat mutton; but no other meat. In each of their little cells they have a bench fixed, to serve the purpose of a bed, and a small block of wood for a pillow. The Dunkers allow of no intercourse between the brethren and sisters, not even by marriage. The principal tenets of the Dunkers appear to be these: that future happiness is only to be attained by penance and outward mortification in this life; and that, as Jesus Christ by his meritorious sufferings, became the Redeemer of mankind in general, so each individual of the human race, by a life of abstinence and restraint, may work out his own salvation. Nay, they go so far as to admit of works of supererogation, and declare that a man may do much more than he is in justice or equity obliged to do, and that his superabundant works may therefore be applied to the salvation of others. This denomination deny the eternity of future punishments, and believe that the dead have the Gospel preached to them by our Saviour, and that the souls of the just are employed to preach the Gospel to those who have had no revelation in this life. They suppose the Jewish sabbath, sabbatical year, and year of jubilee, are typical of certain periods, after the general judgment, in which the souls of those who are not then admitted into happiness arc purified from their corruption. If any within those smaller periods are so far humbled as to acknowledge the perfections of God, and to own Christ as their only Saviour, they are received to felicity; while those who continue obstinate are reserved in torments until the grand period typified by the jubilee arrives, in which all shall be made happy in the endless fruition of the Deity. They also deny the imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity. They disclaim violence even in cases of self-defence, and suffer themselves to be defrauded or wronged rather than go to law.

the rules of their society not allowing them flesh, except on particular occasions, when they hold what they call a love-feast at which time the bre

ishes reason, insults God, and exposes us to the greatest evils! Paley's Mor. Phil. vol. ii. ch. 2. Flavel's Works, vol. ii. p. 349; Buck's Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 82, 5th edition; Lamont's Ser., vol. i.

ser. 15, 16.


DULCINISTS, the followers of Dulcinus, a layman of Novara in Lombardy, about the beginning of the fourteenth century. He taught that the law of the Father, which had continued till Moses, was a law of grace and wisdom; but that the law of the Holy Ghost, which began with himself in 1307, was a law entirely of love, which would last to the end of the world.

DUNKERS, a denomination which took its rise in the year 1724. It was founded by a German, who, weary of the world, retired to an agreeable solitude within fifty miles of Philadelphia, for the more free exercise of religious contemplation. Curiosity attracted followers, and his simple and engaging manners made them proselytes. They soon settled a little colony, called Euphrate, in allusion to the Hebrews, who used to sing psalms on the borders of the river Euphrates. This denomination seem to have obtained their name from their baptizing their new converts by plunging. They are also called Tumblers, from the manner in which they performed baptism, which is by putting the person, while kneeling, head first under water, so as to resemble the motion of the body in the action of tumbling. They use the triune immersion, with laying on the hands and prayer, even when the person baptized is in the water.

Their habit seems to be peculiar to themselves, consisting of a long tunic, or coat, reaching down to their heels, with a sash or girdle round the waist, and a cap, or hood, hanging from the shoulders, like the dress of the Dominican friars. The men do not shave the head or beard. The men and women have separate habitations and distinct governments. For these purposes they have erected two large wooden buildings, one of which is occupied by the brethren, the other by the sisters of the society; and in each of them there is a banqueting room, and an apartment for public worship; for the brethren and sisters do not meet together, even at their devotions. They live chiefly upon roots and other vegetables,

Their church government and disci pline are the same with the English Baptists, except that every brother is allowed to speak in the congregation; and their best speaker is usually ordained to be the minister. They have deacons and deaconesses from among their ancient widows and exhorters, who are all licensed to use their gifts statedly.

or legal obligation. The various moral, relative, and spiritual duties, are consi→ dered in their places in this work.

DUTY, any action, or course of actions, which flow from the relations we stand in to God or man; that which a man is bound to perform by any natural


EASTER, the day on which the || from the Nazarenes, however, in seveChristian church commemorates our ral things, chiefly as to what regards the Saviour's resurrection. It is called by authority of the sacred writings; for the the Greeks Pasga; and by the Latins Nazarenes received all for Scripture Pascha, a Hebrew word signifying pas-contained in the Jewish canon; whereas sage, applied to the Jewish feast at the the Ebionites rejected all the prophets, passover. It is called Easter in English, and held the very names of David, Solofrom the Saxon goddess Eostre, whose mon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, in festival was held in April. The Asiatic abhorrence. They also rejected all St. churches kept their Easter upon the Paul's epistles, whom they treated with very same day that the Jews observed the utmost disrespect. They received their passover, and others on the first nothing of the Old Testament but the Sunday after the first full moon in the Pentateuch. They agreed with_the new year. This controversy was de- Nazarenes, in using the Hebrew Gostermined in the council of Nice, when pel of St. Matthew, otherwise called it was ordained that Easter should be the Gospel of the twelve apostles; but kept upon one and the same day, which they corrupted their copy in abundance should always be Sunday, in all Chris- of places; and particularly had left out tian churches in the world. the genealogy of our Saviour, which was preserved entire in that of the Nazarenes, and even in those used by the Cerinthians. Besides the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew, the Ebionites had adopted several other books under the titles of St. James, John, and the other apostles; they also made use of the travels of St. Peter, which are supposed to have been written by St. Clement; but had altered them so, that there was scarce any thing of truth left in them. They even made that saint tell a number of falsehoods, the better to authorize their own practices.


EBIONITES, ancient heretics, who rose in the church in the very first age thereof, and formed themselves into a sect in the second century, denying the divinity of Jesus Christ. Origen takes them to have been so called from the Hebrew word ebion, which in that language signifies poor; because, says he, they were poor in sense, and wanting understanding. Eusebius, with a view to the same etymology, is of opinion they were thus called, as having poor thoughts of Jesus Christ, taking him for no more than a mere man. It is more probable the Jews gave this appellation to the Christians in general out of contempt; because, in the first times, there were few but poor people that embraced the Christian religion. The Ebionites were little else than a branch of the Nazarenes; only that they altered and corrupted, in many things, the purity

ECCLESIASTICAL, an appellation given to whatever belongs to the church; thus we say ecclesiastical polity, jurisdiction, history, &c.

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, a narration of the transactions, revolutions, and events, that relate to the church. As to the utility of church

of the faith held among the first adhe-history, Dr. Jortin, who was an acute rents to Christianity. For this reason, writer on this subject, shall here speak Origen distinguishes two kinds of Ebion- for us: he observes, 1. That it will ites in his answer to Celsus; the one show us the amazing progress of Chrisbelieved that Jesus Christ was born of tianity through the Roman empire, a virgin; and the other, that he was through the East and West, although born after the manner of other men. the powers of the world cruelly opThe first were orthodox in every thing, posed it. 2. Connected with Jewish and except that to the Christian doctrine Pagan history, it will show us the total they joined the ceremonies of the Jewish destruction of Jerusalem, the overthrow law, with the Jews, Samaritans, and of the Jewish church and state; and the Nazarenes; together with the tradi- continuance of that unhappy nation for tions of the Pharisees. They differed | 1700 years, though dispersed over the

« AnteriorContinuar »