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Should you pray to God for a recovery, how rash our gratitude to God, the giver of every good would it be to accuse God of not hearing your and perfect gift, for all the benefits enjoyed by prayers, because you found your disease still to con- us and others, for the means of grace, and for tinue.
the hope of glory. Such are the component But I pray, in this mechanical formation, when the ferment was expanded to the extremities of the either for the church or for the closet. Bui an
parts of a regular and solemn prayer, adapted arteries, why did it not break the receptacle ?
ejaculation to God, conceived on any emergency,
Bentley's Sermons. Barnard in spirit, sense and truth abounds;
is likewise a prayer, whether it be uttered by Pray then what wants he? fourscore thousand the voice or suffered to remain a mere affection pounds.
of the mind; because the Being to whom it is I know not the names or number of the family addressed discerneth the thoughts of the heart. which now reigns, farther than the prayerbook in- In this article we have treated of prayer in geforms me.
Swift.. peral, as the private duty of every individual ; If men would consider prayer not only as it but there ought to be public as well as private is an invocation of God, but also as it is an exercise prayer. The prayers of every Christian ought of holy thoughts, as it is an endeavour to feel to be offered in the name and through the mediaand to be affected with the great truths of religion, tion of Jesus Christ. We conclude our reflecthey would soon see that, though God is so good as
tions on the general duty, with observing, that not to deed much calling upon, yet that man is so weak as to need much assistance, and to be under a
nothing so forcibly restrains from ill as the topstant necessity of that help, and light, and im- remembrance of a recent address to heaven for provement, which arises from praying much. Law. protection and assistance. After having petiLet cottagers and unenlightened swains
tioned for power to resist temptation, there is so Revere the laws they dream that Heaven ordains; great an incongruity in not continuing the Resort on Sundays to the house of prayer,
struggle, that we blush at the thought, and perAnd ask, and fancy they find, blessings there. severe, lest we lose all reverence for ourselves.
Cowper. After fervently devoting our souls to God, we PRAYA, a sea-port town, the capital of Ter- start with horror at immediate apostasy; every cera, one of the Azores; it stands in a beautiful act of deliberate wickedness is then complicated plain, and has a church, four convents, three with hypocrisy and ingratitude ; it is a mockery hospitals, and about 3000 inhabitants.
of the Father of Mercies, the forfeiture of that Prava Porte, the capital of St. Jago, one of peace in which we closed our address, and a rethe Cape de Verd Isles, is the residence of the nunciation of the hope which that address inPortuguese governor general ; but its trade is spired. But if prayer and immorality be thus limited to the supply of provisions and refresh- incompatible, surely the former should not be ments to outward bound Guinea and East India neglected by those who contend that moral virtue ships. A fort commands the harbour.
is the summit of human perfection. PRAYER is a solemn address to God, which, Dr. Paley has so well met the question, What when it is of any considerable length, has been virtue is there in prayer which should make it said to consist of adoration, confession, suppli- consistent with wisdom to grant a favor to the cation, intercession, and thanksgiving. By supplicant, which would not be consistent to adoration we express our sense of God's infinite grant without it?' that we shall transcribe his perfections, bis power, wisdom, goodness, and observations. mercy; and acknowledge that our constant de- * 1. A favor granted to prayer may be more pendence is upon Him by whom the universe apt, on that very account, to produce good was created, and has been hitherto preserved. effects upon the person obliged. It may hold By confession is meant our acknowledgment of in the divine bounty, what experience has raised our manifold transgressions of the divine laws, into a proverb in the collation of human beneand our consequent unworthiness of all the good fits, that which is obtained without asking is things which we enjoy at present, or expect to oftentimes received without gratitude. be conferred upon us hereafter. In supplication ' 2. It may be consistent with the wisdom of we intreat our omnipotent Creator and merciful the Deity to withhold his favors till they be Judge not to deal with us after our iniquities, asked for, as an expedient to encourage devotion but to pardon our transgressions, and by his in his rational creation, in order thereby to keep grace to enable us to live henceforth righteously, up and circulate a knowledge and sense of their soberly, and godly, in this present world; and dependency upon him. by Christians this intreaty is always made in the ' 3. Prayer has a natural tendency to amend name and through the mediation of Jesus the petitioner himself, and thus to bring him Christ, because to them it is known that there is within the rules which the wisdom of the Deity none other name under heaven given unto men has prescribed to the dispensation of his favors. whereby they may be saved. To these supplica- If these, or any other assignable suppositions, tions for mercy, we may likewise add our serve to remove the apparent repugnancy beprayers for the necessaries of life; because, if tween the success of prayer and the character of we seek first the kingdom of God and his righte- the Deity, it is enough ; for the question with ousness, we are assured that such things shall the petitioner is not from which, out of many be added unto us. Intercession signifies those motives, God may grant his petition, or in what petitions which we offer up for others, for particular manner he is moved by the supplicafriends, for enemies, for all men, especially for tions of his creatures; but whether it be conour lawful governors, whether supreme or súbor- sistent with his nature to be moved at all, and dinate. And thanksgiving is the expression of whether there be any conceivable motives which
may dispose the divine will to grant the peti- Adamltes, and supposes them to have issued tioner what he wants, in consequence of his from Adam; and gives the title Preadamites to praying for it.'— Moral Philosophy, vol. 2. the Gentiles, whom he supposes to have been a
PREACH, v. n., v. a. & n. s. Fr. prescher; long time before Adam. But, this being exPreach'er, n. s.
Latin prædico. pressly contrary to the Mosaic account, Pereyra PREACH'MENT.
Sto deliver a had recourse to the fabulous antiquities of the public discourse upon sacred subjects ; to pro- Egyptians and Chaldeans, and to some idle claim; publish ; inculcate : used by Hooker for rabbins, who imagined there had been another a discourse: a preacher is one who discourses world before that described by Moses. He was publicly on religion : preachment, a religious apprehended by the inquisition in Flanders ; discourse mentioned in contempt.
but he appealed from their sentence to Rome;
whither he went in the time of Alexander VII., Prophets preach of thee ai Jerusalem. Nehemiah. The Lord gave the word ; great was the company
and where he printed a retraction. See PREof the preachers.
Psalm lxviii. 11. From that time Jesus began to preach.
PREAM'BLE, n. s. / Fr. preambule ; Lat.
Matthew. PREAM'BULOUS, adj. S preambulo. IntroducThe Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that tion; preface; something previous : preambuthe word of God was preached of Paul. Acts. lous is preparatory.
This oversight occasioned the French spitefully to Truth as in this we do not violate, so neither is term religion in that sort exercised, a mere preach. the same gainsayed or crossed, no not in those very
preambles placed before certain readings, wherein the There is not any thing publickly notified, but we steps of the Latin service book have been somewhat may properly say it is preached.
Hooker. Was't you, that revell’d in our parliament, Doors shut, visits forbidden, and divers contestaAnd made a preachment of your high descent ? tions with the queen, all preambles of ruin, though
Shakspeare. now and then he did wring out some petty contentYou may hear the sound of a preacher's voice, ments.
Wotton. when you cannot distinguish what he saith.
This preamble to that history was not improper for Bacon. this relation.
Clarendon. Divinity would not pass the yard and loom, the
With preambler sweet forge or anvil, nor preaching be iaken in as an easier
Of charming symphony they introduce supplementary trade, by those that disliked the pains Their sacred song, and waken raptures high. of their own. Decay of Piety.
Milton. Here lies a truly honest man,
He not only undermineth the base of religion, but One of those few that in this town
destroyeth the principal preambulous unto all belief, Honour all preachers; hear their own. and puts upon us the remotest error from truth. Crashaw.
Browne. He decreed to commissionate messengers to preach I will not detain you with a long preamble. this covenant to all mankind. Hammond.
Dryden. It is evident in the apostles' preaching at Jerusalem PREAPPREHENʼSION, n. S. and elsewhere, that at the first proposal of the truth prehend. An opinion formed before examicaof Christ to them, and the doctrine of repentance, tion. whole multitudes received the faith, and came in.
A conceit not to be made out by ordinary eyes,
Hammond, Surely that preaching which comes from the soul, but such as regarding the clouds, behold them in
shapes conformable to preapprehensions.
Browne. most works on the soul.
PREASE, n. s. Press; crowd. See PRESS.
Obsolete. The shape of our cathedral is not proper for our
A ship into the sacred seas, preaching auditories, but rather the figure of an am. New-built, now launch we; and from out our prease pitheatre with galleries. Graunt. Chuse two and fifty youths.
Chapman. Can they preach' up equality of birth,
PREB’END, n. S. ? Fr. prebende ; low Lat. And tell us how we all began from earth?
PREB'ENDARY, n. s. ) præbenda. A stipend
Dryden. All this is but a preachment upon the text.
granted in cathedral churches; the stipendiary.
L'Estrange. To lords, to principals, to prebendaries. No preacher is listened to but Time, which gives
Hubbard. us the same train of thought that elder people
Deans and canons,
or prebends of cathedral have tried in vain to put into our heads before. churches, in their first institution, were of great use, Swift. to be of counsel with the bishop.
Bacon. Live while you live the sacred preacher cries, His excellency gave the doctor a prebend in St. And give to God each moment as it flies.
Swift's Miscellanies. Doddridge. A PREBEND is the maintenance a prebendary PREADAMITES, a denomination given to receives out of the estate of a cathedral or colleinhabitants of the earth, conceived by some to giate church Prebends are distinguished into have lived before Adam. Isaac de la Pereyra, in simple and dignitary; i simple prebend has no 1655, published a book to evince the reality of more than the revenue for its support; but a preadamites, by which he gained many prose- prebend with aignity has always a jurisdiction lytes; but the answer of Demarets, professor of annexed to it. theology at Groningen, published in 1656, put a PREBENDARY. The difference between a stop to its progress; though Pereyra made a prebendary and a canon is, that the former rereply. His system was this : the Jews he calls ceives his prebend in consideration of his offi
Pre and ap
ciating in the church, but the latter merely by Examples for cases can but direct as precedents his being received into the cathedral or college. only.
Hooker. PREČA'RIOUS, adj. 2 Fr. precaire ; Lat.
I do not like, but yet it does allay PrecaʻRIOUSLY, adv. precarius.
The good precedence.
Shakspeare. Antony and Cleopatra, cause depending on the will of another; held by
Our own precedent passions do instruct us What levity's in youth.
Id. Timon. courtesy. Dr. Johnson remarks, No word is
No power in Venice more unskilfully used than this with its deriva
Can alter a decree established : tives. It is used for uncertain in all its senses ; Twill be recorded for a precedent ; but it only means uncertain, as dependent on And many an errour, by the same example, others:' the adverb and noun substantive follow Will rush into the state. the senses of the adjective.
Id. Merchant of Venice. What subjects will precarious kings regard ?
When you work by the imagination of another, it A beggar speaks too softly to be heard. Dryden. is necessary that he, by whom you work, have a preThose who live under an arbitrary tyrannick
cedent opinion of you, that you can do strange things.
Bacon. power, have no other law but the will of their prince, and consequently no privileges but what are preca
Among the laws touching precedence in Justinian, rious.
divers are that have not yet been so received every If one society cannot meet or convene together,
where by custom.
Selden. without the leave or licence of the other society' ;
The royal olive accompanied him with all his Dor treat or enact any thing relative to their own
court, and always gave him the precedency. Howel. society without the leave and authority of the other ; How are we happy, still in fear of harm? thea is that society in a manner dissolved, and sub
But harm precedes not sin.
Milton. sists precariously upon the mere will and pleasure
None sure will claim in hell of the other.
Precedence ; none, whose portion is small He who rejoices in the strength and beauty of
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. youth, should consider by how precarious a tenure
Id. Paradise Lost. be holds these advantages, that a thousand accidents
The constable and marshal had cognizance may before the next dawn lay all these glories in the touching the rights of place and precedence. Hale. dast.
Rogers's Sermons. The world, or any part thereof, could not be preMost consumptive people die of the discharge they cedent to the creation of man.
Id. spit up, which, with the precariousness of the symp- God, in the administration of his justice, is not toms of an oppressed diaphragm, from a mere lodg- tied to precedents, and we cannot argue, that the ment of extravasated matter, render the operation providences of God towards other nations, shall be bat little adviseable.
Sharp's Surgery. conformable to his dealings with the people of Israel. Our scene precariously subsists too long
Tillotson. On French translation and Italian song :
Arius and Pelagius durst provoke Dare to have sense yourselves ; assert the stage, To what the centuries preceding spoke. Dryden. Be justly warmed with your own native rage. That person hardly will be found,
Pope. With gracious form and equal virtue crowned; Heaven, earth, and hell, and worlds unknown, Yet if another could precedence claim, Depeod precarious on thy throne.
Watts. My fixt desires could find no fairer aim, Id. PRECAUTION, n. s. & v.a. Fr. precaution,
Being distracted with different desires, the next from Lat. pracautus. Preservative caution; pre- in determining the will to the next action? Locke.
inquiry will be, which of them has the precedency, ventive measures; to warn beforehand. By the disgraces, diseases and beggary of hopeful
Truths, absolutely necessary to salvation, are so young men brought to ruin, he may be precautioned. clearly revealed that we cannot err in them, unless
we be notoriously wanting to ourselves; herein the Unless our ministers have strong assurances of his fault of the judgment is' reduced into a precedent de
South. falling in with the grand alliance, or not opposing it, fault in the
will, they cannot be too circumspect and speedy in taking
Such precedents are numberless ; we draw their precautions against any contrary resolution.
Our rights from custom; custom is a law.
The ruin of a state is generally preceded by an *PRECEDA‘NEOUS, adj. Mistaken by the universal degeneracy of manners and contempt of anthor, as Dr. Johnson says, for præcidaneous; religion.
Swift. Lat. precidaneus, cut or slain before. Previous, The contempt with which the whole army heard antecedent.
of the manner of your retreat assures me that, as That priority of particles of simple matter, influx your conduct was not justified by precedent, it will of the heavens and preparation of matter might be never be thought an example for imitation. Junius. antecedent and precedaneous, not only in order, but PRECEDENCE, PRECEDENCY, a place of honor in time, to their ordinary productions. Hale.
to which a person is entitled. This is either of PRECEDE', v.a.
Fr. preceder ;
Lat. courtesy or of right. The former is that which PRECE'DENCE, n. S.
præcedo. To go be- is due to age, estate, &c., which is regulated by Peece'DENCY,
fore in order of custom and civility; the latter is settled by PRECE'DENT, adj. & n. s. time, place, or rank: authority, and, when broken in upon, gives an PREC'EDENT, n. s.
precedence and pre- action at law. A table of precedency is given cedency is, superiority; adjustment of place; in our article Heraldry. and, in an obsolete sense, something going before
PRECE'NTOR, n. s. Fr. precenteur ;
Latin or past ; precedent is, former ; going before; and, præcentor. He that leads a choir. s a noun substantive, any thing of the same kind Follow this piecentor of ours, in blessing and done before; a rule or example.
magnifying that God of all grace, and never yielding to those enemies, which he died to give us power dren to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of to resist and overcome.
Hammond, his own soul, that his scholars may go along with PRE'CEPT, n. s.
Fuller. Fr. precepte ; Lat. pre
'Tis sufficient, that painting be acknowledged for PRECEP'TIAL, adj. ceptumn. A rule authoriPRECEP'TIVE,
an art; for it follows, that no arts are without their S ;
precepts. PRECEP'TOR, n. s.
Dryden. direction: preceptial and Passionate chiding carries rough language with it, preceptive mean, consisting of or giving pre- and the names that parents and preceptors give chilcepts : preceptor is a teacher ; tutor.
dren, they will not be ashamed to bestow on others. The custom of lessons furnishes the very simplest
Locke. and rudest sort with infallible axioms and precepts of
The lesson given us here is preceptive to us not to sacred truth, delivered even in the very letter of the do any thing but upon due consideration. law of God. Hooker,
The ritual, the preceptive, the prophetick, and all Can counsel, and give comfort to that grief
other parts of sacred writ, were most sedulously, Which they themselves not feel ; but tasting it,
most religiously guarded by them. Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Government of the Tongue. Would give preceptial medicine to rage ;
A precept or commandment consists in, and has Fetter strong madness in a silken thread, respect to, some moral point of doctrine, viz. such Charm ach with air, and agony with words.
as concerns our manners, and our inward and outShakspeare. ward good behaviour.
Ayliffe. As the preceptive part enjoys the most exact virtue It was to thee, great Stagyrite, unknown, so is it most advantageously enforced by the pro
And thy preceptor of divine renown. Blackmore. missory, which, in respect of the rewards, and the It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that manner of proposing them, is adapted to the same we learn every thing; and, what we learn thus, we end.
Decay of Piety. acquire not only more effectually, but more pleasaniA good schoolmaster minces his precepts for chil. ly.
Burke on the Sublime.
PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES.
PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES. One of the It was a most important problem in practical most obvious and at the same time most important astronomy to determine the exact moment of the of the celestial motions is the diurnal revolution of sun's occupying these stations; for it was natural the starry heavens. The whole appears to turn to compute the course of the year from that moround an imaginary axis, which passes through ment. 'Accordingly, this has been the leading two opposite points of the heavens, called the poles. problem in the astronomy of all nations. It is One of these is in our sight, being very near the susceptible of considerable precision, without star, and in the tail of the little bear. The great any apparatus of instruments. It is only pecescircle which is equidistant from both poles di- sary to observe the sun's declination on the noon vides the heavens into the north and south he- of two or three days before and after the equimispheres, which are equal. It is called the noctial day. On two consecutive days of this equator, and it cuts the horizon in the east and number, his declination must have changed from west points, and every star in it is twelve siderial north to south or from south to north. If his hours above, and as many below the horizon, in declination on one day was observed to be 21' each revolution.
N., and on the next 5'S., it follows, that his de The motion of the sun determines the length clination was nothing, or that he was in the equiof day and night, and the vicissitudes of the sea- noctial point about twenty-three minutes after sons. By a long series of observations the sher- seven in the morning of the second day. Knowherds of Asia were able to mark out the sun's ing the precise moments, and knowing the rate path in the heavens; he being always in the op- of the sun's motion in the ecliptic, it is easy to posite point to that which comes to the meridian ascertain the precise point of the ecliptic in which at midnight, with equal but opposite declination. the equator intersected it. Thus they could tell the stars among which the By a series of such observations made at sun then was, although they could not see them. Alexandria, between the years 161 and 127 beThey discovered that his path was a great circle before Christ, Hipparchus, the father of our asof the heavens, afterwards called the ecliptic; tronomy, found that the point of the autumnal which cuts the equator in two opposite points, equinox was about 6° E. of the star called Spica dividing it, and being divided by it, into two virginis
. Eager to determine every thing by equal parts: that when the sun was in either of multiplied observations, he ransacked all the these points of intersection, his circle of diurnal Chaldean, Egyptian, and other records, to which revolution coincided with the equator, and there- his travels could procure him access, for obserfore the days and nights were equal. Hence the vations of the same kind; but only found some equator came to be called the equinoctial line, observations of Aristillus and Timochares made and the points in which it cuts the ecliptic were about 150 years before. From these it appeared called the equinoctial points, and the sun was evident that the point of the autumnal equinox then said to be in the equinoxes. One of these was then about go E. of the same star, He diswas called the vernal and the other the autum- cusses these observations with great sagacity and nal equinox.
rigor; and, on their authority, asserts that the
equinoctiał points are not fixed in the heavens, all the heavenly bodies, is now seen to be only but move to the west about 1° in seventy-five an effect of the earth's motion. The earth turns years or less.
round its own axis while it revolves round the This motion is called the precession of the sun, in the same manner as we may cause a equinoses, because by it the time and place of child's top to spin on the brim of a mill-stone, the sun's equinoctial station precedes the usual while the stone is turning slowly round its axis. calculations : it is fully confirmed by all subse- If the top spin steadily its axis will always point quent observations. In 1750 the autumnal to the zenith of the heavens; but we frequently equinox was observed to be 20° 21' W. of spica see that, while it spins briskly round its axis, the virginis. Supposing the motion to have been axis itself has a slow conical motion round the uniform during this period of ages, it follows, vertical line, so that, if produced, it would slowly that the annual precession is about 50"}; that is, describe a circle in the heavens round the zenith if the celestial equator cuts the ecliptic in a par- point. The flat surface of the top may represent ticular point on any day of this year, it will on ihe terestrial equator, gradually turning itself the same day of the following year cut it in a round on all sides. If this top were formed like point 50%} to the west of it, and the sun will a ball, with an equatorial circle on it, it would come to the equinox 20'23" before he has com- represent the whole motion; the only difference pleted bis round of the heavens. Thus the equi- being, that the spinning motion and this wavernoctial or tropical year, or true year of seasons, ing motion are in the same direction; whereas is so much shorter than the revolution of the sun the diurnal rotation and the motion of the equiof the sidereal year. This discovery has immor- noctial points are in contrary directions. Even talised the name of Hipparchus. It must be ac- this dissimilarity may be removed, by making knowledged, indeed, to be one of the most sin- the top turn on a cap, like the card of a mariner's gular that has been made, that the revolution of compass. It is now fully established that, while the whole heavens should not be stable, but its the earth revolves round the sun from west to axis continually changing. For since the equa- east in the plane of the ecliptic, in the course of a tor changes its position, and the equator is only year it turns round its own axis from west to an imaginary circle, equidistant from the two est in 23h. 56' 4", which axis is inclined to this poles or extremities of the axis; these poles and plane in an angle of nearly 23° 28'; and that this axis must equally change their positions. this axis turns round a line perpendicular to the The equinoctial paints make a complete revolution ecliptic in 25,745 years from east to west, keepin about 25745 years, the equator being all the ing nearly the same inclination to the ecliptic. while inclined to the ecliptic in nearly the same By these means its pole in the sphere of the angle. Therefore the poles of this diurnal revo- starry heavens describes a circle round the pole lution must describe a circle round the poles of of the ecliptic at the distance of 23° 28' nearly. the ecliptic, at the distance of about 23° 30' in The consequence of this must be, that the terres25745 years; and, in the time of Timochares, the trial equator, when produced to the sphere of the north pole of the heavens must have been 30° starry heavens, will cut the ecliptic in two oppoEast of where it now is.
site points, through which the sun must pass The precession of the equinoxes, however, was when he makes the day and night equal : and known to the astronomers of India, many ages that these points must shift to the west at the before the time of Hipparchus. The Chaldeans rate of 5"} annually, which is the precession of had also a pretty accurate knowledge of the year the equinoxes. Accordingly, this has been the of seasons. From their saros, we deduce their received doctrine among astronomers for nearly measure of this year to be 365d. 5h. 49m. and three centuries, and it was thought perfectly con11s., exceeding the truth only by 26s., and formable to appearances. much more exact than the year of Hipparchus. Dr. Bradley hoped to discover the parallax of They had also a sidereal year of 365d. 6h. 11m. the earth's orbit by observations of the actual The Egyptians also had a knowledge of some- position of the pole of the celestial revolution. thing equivalent to this : for they had discovered If the earth's axis keeps parallel to itself, its exthat the dog star was no longer the faithful fore- tremity must describe, in the sphere of the starry warner of the overflowing of the Nile. This heavens, a figure equal and parallel to its orbit knowledge is also involved in the precepts of the round the sun; and, if the stars be so near that Chinese astronomy, of much older date than the this figure is a visible object, the pole of diurnal time of Hipparchus. But all these facts do not revolution will be in different distinguishable deprive Hipparchus of the honor of the disco- points of the figure. Consequently, if the axis very, or fix on him the charge of plagiarism. describe this cone already mentioned, the pole This motion was clearly unknown to the astrono- will not describe a circle round the pole of the mers of the Alexandrian school, and it was point- ecliptic, but will have a looped motion along this ed out to them by Hipparchus in the way in circumference, similar to the absolute motion of which he ascertained every other position in as- one of Jupiter's satellites, describing an epicycle tronomy, namely, as the mathematical result of whose centre describes the circle round the pole actual observations, and not as a thing deducible of the ecliptic. from any opinions on other subjects related to it. This sagacious astronomer observed such an
As a thing for which no physical reason could epicyclical motion, and thought that he had now be assigned, the precession of the equinoxes was overcome the only difficulty in the Copernican long disputed. “But the establishment of the system; but, on considering his observations, he Copernican system reduced it to a very clear found this epicycle quite inconsistent with the affair; the motion, which was thought to affect consequences of the annual parallax, and it puzVOL. XVIII.