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three which, next the holy Bible, he would verse to a period of twelve thousand years ;
have preserved from the supposed total de- six thousand of which passed in the produc-
struction of books. A high encomium from tion of the visible world, before the forma-
the mouth of so learned and pious a divine !” tion of man. The Stoics also maintained,
But though its contents were chiefly prac- that the world is liable to destruction from
tical, one expression in it, respecting the the prevalence of moisture or of drought;
propriety of tolerating in a Christian com- the former producing an universal inunda-
munity a man who denied the eternal gene- tion; and the latter, an universal conflagra-
ration of Jesus Christ, produced a contro-

tion. “ These,” they say, succeed each
versy in Holland, as well as in this country, other in nature, as regularly as winter and
in which the famous Bishop Bull eminently summer.” The doctrine of conflagration is
distinguished himself. See Dort and Re- a natural consequence of the general system

of Stoicism ; for, since, according to this
19. The only other confession of which we system, the whole process of nature is car.
shall take notice is that of the Westminster ried on in a necessary series of causes and
assembly, which met in 1643, and at which effects, when that operative fire which at
five ministers and three elders as commis- first, bursting from chaos, gave form to all
sioners from the general assembly of the things, and which has since pervaded and
church of Scotland attended, agreeably to animated all nature, shall have consumed
engagements between the convention of its nutriment; that is, when the vapours,
estates there, and both houses of parliament which are the food of the celestial fires, shall
in England. This confession is contained be exhausted, a deficiency of moisture must
in thirty-three chapters, and in every point produce an universal conflagration. This
of doctrine fully accords with the senti- grand revolution in nature is, after the doc-
ments of the synod of Dort; and on some trine of the Stoics, thus elegantly described
points going rather beyond it, as with respect by Ovid :-
to a supposed election of angels. It was ap- “Esse quoque in fatis reminiscitur, affore tempus
proved and adopted by the General Assem- Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia cæli
bly in 1647; and two years after, ratified by

Ardeat ; et mundi moles operosa labore."

METAMOR. lib. 1. 256.
act of parliament, as “the public and
arowed confession of the church of Scot- or, as Dryden has translated the passage,

“Remembring in the fates a time when fire
land.”. By act of parliament in 1690, it was Should to the battlements of heaven aspire;
again declared to be the national standard When all his blazing worlds above should burn,
of faith in Scotland ; and subscription to it

And all the inferior globe to cinders turn."
as “the confession of his faith,” specially Seneca, speaking of the same event, says
required of every person who shall be admit- expressly, “Tempus advenerit quo sidera side-
ted “a minister or preacher within this ribus incurrent, et omni flagrante materia uno
church.” Subscription to it was also en- igne, quicquid nunc ex deposito lucet, arde-
joined by the act of union in 1707, on all bit;" that is, “the time will come when the
“professors, principals, regents, masters, world will be consumed, that it may be again
and others bearing office,” in any of the renewed; when the powers of nature will be
Scottish universities.

turned against herself, when stars will rush
CONFLAGRATION, a general burning upon stars, and the whole material world,
of a city, or other considerable place. But which now appears resplendent with beauty
the word is more ordinarily restrained to and harmony, will be destroyed in one gene-
that grand period, or catastrophe of our ral conflagration.” In this grand catastrophe
world, wherein the face of nature is expected of nature, all animated beings, (excepting
to be changed by a deluge of fire, as it was the Universal Intelligence,) men, heroes,
anciently by that of water. The ancient demons, and gods, shall perish together.
Chaldeans, Pythagoreans, Platonists, Epi- Seneca, the tragedian, who was of the same
cureans, Stoics, Celts, and Etrurians, appear school with the philosopher, writes to the
to have had a notion of the conflagration; same purpose :-
though whence they should derive it, unless

Cæli regia concidens
from the sacred books, it is difficult to con-

Certos atque obitus trahet :
ceive; except, perhaps, from the Phenicians,

Atque omncs pariter deos

Perdet mors aliqua, et chaos."
who themselves had it from the Jews. The

“ The mighty palace of the sky
Celts, whose opinions resembled those of

In ruin fall'n is doom'd to lie;
the eastern nations, held, that after the

And all the gods, its wreck beneath,
burning of the world, a new period of exist-

Shall sink in chaos and in death."
.ence would commence. The ancient Etru- The Pythagoreans also maintained the dog-
rians, or Tuscans, also concurred with other ma of conflagration. To this purpose Hip-
western and northern nations of Celtic ori- pasus, of Metapontum, taught that the uni-
gin, as well as with the Stoics, in asserting verse is finite, is always changing, and under-
the entire renovation of nature after a long goes a periodical conflagration. Pbilolaus,
period, or great year, when a similar succes- who flourished in the time of Plato, main-
sion of events would again take place. The tained that the world is liable to destruc-
cosmogony of an ancient Etrurian, preserved tion both by fire and water. Mention of
by Suidas, limits the duration of the uni- the conflagration is also several times made
in the books of the Sibyls, Sophocles, facilitate the dispersion of mankind, and the Lucan, &c. Dr. Burnet, after F. Tachard population of the earth. Until this period, and others, relates that the Siamese believe there had been one common language, which that the earth will at last be parched up with formed a bond of union, that prevented the heat, the mountains melted down, and the separation of mankind into distinct nations. earth's whole surface reduced to a level, and 2. There has been a considerable difference then consumed with fire. And the Bramins of opinion as to the nature of this confusion, of Siam do not only hold that the world and the manner in which it was effected. shall be destroyed by tire, but also that a Some learned men, prepossessed with the new earth shall be made out of the cinders notion that all the different idioms now in the of the old. The sacred scriptures announce

world did at first arise from one original lanthis general destruction of the world by fire guage, to which they may be reduced, and in a variety of passages.

that the variety among them is no more 2. Various are the sentiments of authors on than must naturally have happened in a the subject of the conflagration; the cause long course of time by the mere separation whence it is to arise, and the effects it is to of the builders of Babel, have maintained, produce. Divines ordinarily account for it that there were no new languages formed at metaphysically ; and will have it take its rise the confusion; but that this event was acfrom a miracle, as a fire from heaven. Philo. complished by creating a misunderstanding sophers contend for its being produced from and variance among the builders, without natural causes; and will have it effected any immediate influence on their language. according to the laws of mechanics : some But this opinion, advanced by Le Clerc, &c., think an eruption of a central fire sufficient seems to be directly contrary to the obvious for the purpose ; and add, that this may be meaning of the word 70w, lip, used by the occasioned several ways; namely, either by sacred historian ; which, in other parts of having its intensity increased, (which, again, scripture signifies speech, Psalm lxxxi. 5; may be effected either by being driven into Isaiah xxvii. 11; xxxii. 19; Ezek. iii

. 5. It less space by the encroachments of the super- has been justly remarked, that unanimity of ficial cold, or by an increase of the inflam- sentiment, and identity of language, are parmability of the fuel whereon it is fed,) or ticularly distinguished from each other in by having the resistance of imprisoning earth the history: "The people is one, and they weakened, which may happen either from have all one language," Gen. xi. 6. It has the diminution of its matter, by the con- been also suggested,

that if disagreement in sumption of its central parts, or by weaken. opinion and counsel were the whole that was ing the cohesion of the constituent parts of intended, it would have had a contrary effect; the mass, by the excess or the defect of they would not have desisted from their promoisture. Others look for the cause of the ject, but strenuously have maintained their conflagration in the atmosphere; and sup- respective opinions, till the greater number pose that some of the meteors there engen. of them had compelled the minority either to dered in unusual quantities, and exploded fly or to submit. Others have imagined, with unusual vehemence, from the concur- that this was brought about by a temporary rency of various circumstances, may be made confusion of their speech, or rather of their to effect it, without seeking any further. apprehensions, causing them, whilst they The astrologers account for it from a con- continued together and spoke the same lanjunction of all the planets in the sign Can- guage, to understand the words differently: eer ; " as the deluge," say they, “was occa- Scaliger is of this opinion. Others again acsioned by their conjunction in Capricorn.” count for this event, by the privation of all This was an opinion adopted by the ancient language, and by supposing that mankind Chaldeans. Lastly: others have recourse to were under a necessity of associating togea still more effectúal and flaming machine; ther, and of imposing new names on things and conclude the world is to undergo its by common consent. Another opinion asconflagration from the near approach of a cribes the confusion to such an indistinct comet, in its return from the sun. It is remembrance of the original language which most natural to conclude, that, as the scrip- they spoke before, as made them speak it tures represent the catastrophe as the work very differently; so that by the various inof a moment, no gradually operating natural Aections, terminations, and pronunciations cause will be employed to effect it; but that of divers dialects, they could no more underHe who spake and the world was created, stand one another, than they who underwill again destroy it by the same word of stand Latin can understand those who speak his power ; setting loose at once the all- French, Italian, or Spanish, though all these devouring element of fire to absorb all languages arise out of it. This opinion is others. Beyond this, all is conjecture. adopted by Casaubon, and by Bishop Patrick

CONFUSION OF TONGUES is a me- in his Commentary, and is certainly much morable event, which happened in the one more probable than either of the former : hundred and first year, according to the and Mr. Shuckford maintains, that the conHebrew chronology, after the flood, B. C. fusion arose from small beginnings, by 2247, at the overthrow of Babel; and which the invention of new words in either of the was providentially brought about, in order to three families of Shem, Ham, and Japhet, which might contribute to separate them councils, which, however, only tender their from one another ; and that in each family advice; but the latter are accustomed to denew differences of speech might gradually cide all difficulties within themselves. See arise, so that each of these families went on INDEPENDENTS. to divide and subdivide among themselves. CONSCIENCE is that principle, power, Others, again, as Mr. Joseph Mede and Dr. or faculty within us, which decides on the Wotton, &c., not satisfied with either of the merit or demerit of our own actions, feelings, foregoing methods of accounting for the di- or affections, with reference to the rule of versity of languages among mankind, have God's law. It has been called the moral recourse to an extraordinary interposition of sense by Lord Shaftesbury and Dr. Hutchedivine power, by which new languages were son. This appellation has been objected to framed and communicated to different fami.

by some, but has been adopted and defended lies by a supernatural infusion or inspiration; by Dr. Reid, who says, "The testimony of which languages have been the roots and our moral faculty, like that of the external originals from which the several dialects that

senses, is the testimony of nature, and we are, or have been, or will be, spoken, as long have the same reason to rely upon it.” He as this earth shall last, have arisen, and to therefore considers conscience as an original which they may with ease be reduced. faculty of our nature, which decides clearly,

3. It is, however, unnecessary to suppose, authoritatively, and instantaneously, on every that the primitive language was completely object that falls within its province. “As we obliterated, and entire new modes of speech rely," says he,“ upon the clear and distinct at once introduced. It was quite suffi- testimony of our eyes, concerning the colours cient, if such changes only were effected, and figures of the bodies about us, we have as to render the speech of different com- the same reason to rely, with security, upon panies or different tribes unintelligible to the clear and unbiassed testimony of our one another, that their mutual co-operation conscience, with regard to what we ought in the mad attempt in which they had all and ought not to do.” But Dr. Reid is engaged might be no longer practicable. surely unfortunate in illustrating the power The radical stem of the first language might of conscience by the analogy of the extertherefore remain in all, though new dialects nal senses.

With regard to the intimations were formed, bearing among themselves a received through the organs of sense, there similar relation with what we find in the lan- can be no difference of opinion, and there can guages of modern Europe, derived from the be no room for argument. They give us at same parent stem, whether Gothic, Latin, or once correct information, which reasoning Sclavonian. In the midst of these changes, can neither invalidate nor confirm. But it it is reasonable to suppose that the primitive is surely impossible to say as much for the language itself, unaltered, would still be pre- power of conscience, which sometimes gives served in some one at least of the tribes or the most opposite intimations with regard to families of the human race. Now in none of the simplest moral facts, and which requires these was the transmission so likely to have to be corrected by an accurate attention to taken place, as among that branch of the de- the established order of nature, or to the scendants of Shem, from which the patriarch known will of God, before we can rely with Abraham proceeded. Upon these grounds, confidence on its decisions. It does not aptherefore, we may probably conclude, that pear, that conscience can with propriety be the language spoken by Abraham, and by considered as a principle distinct from that him transmitted to his posterity, was in fact which enables us to pronounce on the genethe primitive language, modified indeed and ral merit or demerit of moral actions. This extended in the course of time, but still re- principle, or faculty, is attended with pecutaining its essential parts far more completely fiar feelings, when we ourselves are the than any other of the languages of men. If agents; we are then too deeply interested to these conclusions are well founded, they view the matter as a mere subject of reasonwarrant the inference, that, in the ancient ing; and pleasure or pain are excited, with Hebrew, there are still to be found the traces a degree of intensity proportioned to the of the original speech. Whether this ancient importance which we always assign to our Hebrew more nearly resembled the Chaldean, own interests and feelings. In the case of the Syrian, or what is now termed the He- others, our approbation or disapprobation is brew, it is unnecessary here to inquire; these generally qualified, sometimes suspended, by languages, it has never been denied, were our ignorance of the motives by which they originally and radically the same, though, have been influenced; but, in our own case, from subsequent modifications, they appear the motives and the actions are both before to have assumed somewhat different aspects. us, and when they do not correspond, we

CONGREGATIONALISTS, a denomi- feel the same disgust with ourselves that we nation of Protestants who reject all church should feel towards another, whose motives government, except that of a single congre- we knew to be vicious, whilst his actions are gation under the direction of one pastor, specious and plausible. But in our own with their elders, assistants, or managers. case, the uneasy feeling is heightened in a In one particular, the Congregationalists dif- tenfold degree, because self-contempt and fer from the Independents : the former invite disgust are brought into competition with the warmest self-love, and the strongest de- manner consecrated to his worship; and the sire of self-approbation. We have then some- tribe of Levi and family of Aaron were more thing of the feelings of a parent, who knows immediately consecrated to the service of the worthlessness of the child he loves, and God, Exod. xiii. 2, 12, 15; Num. iii. 12; 1 Peter contemplates with horror the shame and u. 9. Besides the consecrations ordained by infamy which might arise from exposure to the sovereign authority of God, there were the world.

others which depended on the will of men, 2. Conscience, then, cannot be considered and were either to continue for ever or for a as anything else than the general principle time only. David and Solomon devoted the of moral approbation or disapprobation ap- Nethinims to the service of the temple for ever, plied to our own feelings or conduct, acting Ezra viii. 20 ; ii. 58. Hannah, the mother of with increased energy from the knowledge Samuel, offered her son to the Lord, to serve which we have of our motives and actions, all his lifetime in the tabernacle, 1 Sam. i. 11; and from the deep interest which we take Luke i. 15. The Hebrews sometimes devoted in whatever concerns ourselves; nor can their fields and cattle to the Lord, and the we think that they have deserved well of spoils taken in war, Leviticus xxvii. 28, 29 ; morals or philosophy, who have attempted i Chron. xviii. 11. The New Testament furto deduce our notions of right and wrong nishes us with instances of consecration. from any one principle. Various powers Christians in general are consecrated to the both of the understanding and of the will are Lord, and are a holy race, a chosen people, concerned in every moral conclusion ; and i Peter ii. 9. Ministers of the gospel are in conscience derives its chief and most salutary a peculiar manner set apart for his service; influence from the consideration of our being and so are places of worship; the forms of continually in the presence of God, and ac- dedication varying according to the views of countable to him for all our thoughts, words, different bodies of Christians; and by some and actions. A conscience well-informed, a series of ceremonies has been introduced, and possessed of sensibility, is the best secu- savouring of superstition, or at best of rity for virtue, and the most awful avenger Judaism. of wicked deeds; an ill-informed conscience CONSUBSTANTIALISTS. This term is the most powerful instrument of mischief; was applied to the orthodox, or Athanasians, a squeamish and ticklish conscience gene- who believed the Son to be of the same subrally renders those who are under its influ. stance with the Father ; whereas the Arians ence ridiculous.

would only admit the Son to be of like subHic murus aheneu esto,

stance with the Father. NU conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpo.

CONSUBSTANTIATION, a tenet of the 3. The rule of conscience is the will of God, Lutheran church respecting the presence of so far as it is made known to us, either by Christ in the Lord's supper. Luther denied the light of nature, or by that of revelation that the elements were changed after conseWith respect to the knowledge of this rule, cration, and therefore taught that the bread conscience is said to be rightiy informed, or and wine indeed remain ; but that together mistaken ; firm, or wavering, or scrupulous, with them, there is present the substance of &e. With respect to the conformity of our the body of Christ, which is literally received actions to this rule when known, conscience by communicants. As in red-hot iron it is said to be good or evil. In a moral may be said two distinct substances, iron and view, it is of the greatest importance that the fire, are united, so is the body of Christ understanding be well informed, in order to joined with the bread. Some of his followers, render the judgment or verdict of conscience who acknowledged that similes prove noa safe directory of conduct, and a proper thing, contented themselves with saying that source of satisfaction. Otherwise, the judg- the body and blood of Christ are really prement of conscience may be pleaded, and

it sent in the sacrament in an inexplicable manhas actually been pleaded, as an apology for ner. See Lord's SUPPER. very unwarrantable conduct. Many atroci- CONVERSATIONS. These were held ous acts of persecution have been perpetrated, by the orientals in the gate of the city. Acand afterwards justified, under the sanction cordingly, there was an open space near the of an erroneous conscience. It is also of no gate, which was fitted up with seats for the small importance, that the sensibility of con- accommodation of the people, Gen. xix. 1; science be duly maintained and cherished; Psalm lxix. 12. Those who were at leisure for want of which men have often been be- occupied a position on these seats, and either trayed into criminal conduct without self. amused themselves with witnessing those reproach, and have deluded themselves with who came in and went out, and with any trifalse notions of their character and state. Aling occurrences that might offer themselves See MORAL OBLIGATION.

to their notice, or attended to the judicial CONSECRATION, a devoting or setting trials, which were commonly investigated at apart anything to the worship or service of public places of this kind, namely

the gate of God. The Mosaical law ordained that all the city, Gen. xix. 1 ; xxxiv. 20; Psalm xxvi. the firstborn, both of man and beast, should 4, 5; Lxix. 12; cxxvii. 5; Ruth iv. 11; Isaiah be sanctified or consecrated to God. The xiv. 31; or held intercourse by conversation. whole race of Abraham was in a peculiar Promenading, so fashionable and so agreeable

in colder latitudes, was wearisome and un- Corinthian prass." It is more probable, pleasant in the warm climates of the east, however, that this brass was not from Cor. and this is probably one reason why the in- inth, but a metal from Persia or India, which habitants of those climates preferred holding Aristotle describes in these terms: “It is said intercourse with one another, while sitting that there is in India a brass so shining, so near the gate of the city, or beneath the shade pure, so free from tarnish, that its colour of the fig-tree and the vine, 1 Samuel xxii. 6; differs nothing from that of gold. It is even Micah iv. 4. The formula of assent in conver- said that among the vessels of Darius there sation was {ù elmas, yan727, Thou hast said, were some respecting which the sense of or Thou hast rightly said. We are informed by smelling might determine whether they were the traveller Aryda, that this is the prevailing gold or brass. Bochart is of opinion that mode of a person's expressing his assent or af- this is the chasmal of Ezekiel i. 27, the firmation to this day, in the vicinity of Mount xarxoalbavov of Rev. i. 15, and the electrum Lebanon, especially where he does not wish to of the ancients. assert anything in express terms. This ex- Mr. Harmer quotes from the manuscript plains the answer of the Saviour to the High notes of Sir John Chardin a reference to a Priest Caiaphas in Matt. xxvi. 64, when he mixed metal in the east, and highly esteemed was asked whether he was the Christ, the there; and suggests that this composition Son of God, and replied, xù elmas, Thou hast might have been as old as the time of Ezra, said.

and be brought from those more remote The English word conversation has now countries into Persia, where these two basins a more restricted sense than formerly; and were given to be conveyed to Jerusalem. it is to be noted that in several passages of Ezekiel, xxvii. 13, speaks of the merchants our translation of the Bible it is used to com- of Javan, Jubal, and Meshech, as bringing prehend our whole conduct.

vessels of nehesh (copper) to the markets CONVERSION, a change from one state of Tyre. According to Bochart and Michaor character to another. Conversion, con- elis, these were people situated towards sidered theologically, consists in a renova- Mount Caucasus, where copper mines are tion of the heart and life, or a being turned worked at this day. See Brass. from sin and the power of Satan unto God, COPTS, a name given to the Christians Acts xxvi. 18; and is produced by the in- of Egypt who do not belong to the Greek fluence of divine grace upon the soul. church, but are Monophysites, and in most This is conversion considered as a state respects Jacobites. Scaliger and Father of mind; and is opposed both to a care- Simon derive the name from Coptos, once a less and unawakened state, and to that celebrated town of Egypt, and the metropostate of conscious guilt and slavish dread, lis of the Thebaid ; but Volney and others accompanied with struggles after a moral are of opinion, that the name Copts is only deliverance not yet attained, which precedes an abbreviation of the Greek word Aigoupour justification and regeneration ; both of tios," an Egyptian.” The Copts have a which are usually understood to be com- patriarch, whose jurisdiction extends over prised in conversion. But this is not the both Egypts, Nubia, and Abyssinia ; who only scriptural import of the term ; for the resides at Cairo, but who takes his title from first turning of the whole heart to God in Alexandria. He has under him eleven or penitence and prayer is generally termed twelve bishops, besides the abuna, or bishop conversion. In its stricter sense, as given of the Abyssinians, whom he appoints and above, it is, however, now generally used by consecrates. The rest of the clergy, whether divines.

secular or regular, are composed of the orCONVICTION, in general, is the assur- ders of St. Anthony, St. Paul, and St. Macaance of the truth of any proposition. In a rius, who have each their monasteries. religious sense, it is the first degree of re- Their arch-priests, who are next in degree pentance, and implies an affecting sense of to bishops, and their deacons, are said to be our guilt before God; and that we deserve

numerous; and they often confer the order and are exposed to his wrath.

of deacon even on children. Next to the COPPER. nunt. Anciently, copper was patriarch is the bishop, or titular patriarch, employed for all the purposes for which we of Jerusalem, who also resides at Cairo, benow use iron. Arms, and tools for hus- cause there are only few Copts at Jerusalern. bandry and the mechanic arts, were all of He is, in reality, little more than bishop of this metal for many ages.

Job speaks of Cairo ; except that he goes to Jerusalemn bows of copper, Job xx. 24; and when the every Easter, and visits some other places Philistines had Samson in their power, they in Palestine, which own his jurisdiction. To bound him with fetters of copper. Our him belongs the government of the Coptic translators indeed say “brass ; but under church, during the vacancy of the patriar. that article their mistake is pointed out. In chal see. The ecclesiastics are said to be, in Ezra viii. 27, are mentioned “two vessels of general, of the lowest ranks of the people ; copper, precious as gold." The Septuagint and hence that great degree of ignorance renders

oreún Xarkov six bortos; the Vulgate which prevails among them. They have and Castellio, following the Arabic, seven sacraments; baptism, the eucharist, æris fulgentis ;and the Syriac, “ vases of confirmation, ordination, faith, fasting, and


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