3 occurrences in 3 dictionaries

Reference: Christianity


(See JESUS CHRIST.) The law and Mosaic system, though distinct from the gospel, yet clearly contemplates the new dispensation as that for which itself was the preparation. The original promise to Abraham, "in thee ... and thy seed ... shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Ge 12:3; 22:16), still awaited its fulfillment, and the law came in as the parenthesis between the promise of grace and its fulfillment in Christ the promised "seed." Ro 5:20; "the law entered (as a parenthesis, incidentally, Greek) that the offense might abound." Ga 3:8-25; "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith; but after that, faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

Jacob's prophecy contemplated the theocratic scepter passing from Judah, when Shiloh should come as the gatherer of the peoples to Himself (Ge 49:10). Many psalms (as Psalm 2; Psalm 72; Psalm 22; Psalm 67) and all the prophets (compare Isaiah 2; Isaiah 53) look forward to the Messiah as about to introduce a new and worldwide dispensation. Nay, even Moses himself (De 18:15, etc.) announces the coming of another Lawgiver like him, about to promulgate God's new law; for to be like Moses He must be a lawgiver, and to be so He must have a new law, a fuller development of God's will, than Moses' law, its germ. Psalm 110 declared that His priesthood should be one "forever, after the order of Melchizeded" (the king of righteousness and king of peace), to which the Levitical priesthood did homage in the person of Abraham their ancestor, paying tithes to Melchizedek (compare Hebrew 6-7).

The law was the type; the gospel was the antitype (Heb 10:1-10). Christ came not to destroy it (i.e. its essence) but to fulfill (complete) it (Mt 5:17). The letter gives place to the spirit which realizes the end of the letter (2Co 3:3-18). As also Jeremiah foretells (Jer 31:31-34; compare Heb 8:4-13; 10:15-18). If Christianity had not been of God, it could never have prevailed, without human might or learning, to supersede the system of the mightiest and most civilized nations (1 Corinthians 1-2). Its miracles, its fulfillment of all prophecy, and its complete adaptation to meet man's deep spiritual needs, pardon, peace, holiness, life, immortality for soul and body, are the only reasonable account to be given of its success.

See Verses Found in Dictionary


When the name 'Christian' (see preceding art.) had come to be the specific designation of a follower of Jesus Christ, it was inevitable that the word 'Christianity' should sooner or later be used to denote the faith which Christians profess. The word does not occur in the NT, however, and first makes its appearance in the letters of Ignatius early in the 2nd century. But for 1800 years it has been the regular term for the religion which claims Jesus Christ as its founder, and recognizes in His Person and work the sum and substance of its beliefs.

Christianity presents itself to us under two aspects

See Verses Found in Dictionary


CHRISTIANITY, the religion of Christians. By Christianity is here meant, not that religious system as it may be understood and set forth in any particular society calling itself Christian; but as it is contained in the sacred books acknowledged by all these societies, or churches, and which contained the only authorized rule of faith and practice.

2. The lofty profession which Christianity makes as a religion, and the promises it holds forth to mankind, entitle it to the most serious consideration of all. For it may in truth be said, that no other religion presents itself under aspects so sublime, or such as are calculated to awaken desires and hopes so enlarged and magnificent. It not only professes to be from God, but to have been taught to men by the Son of God incarnate in our nature, the Second Person in the adorable trinity of divine Persons, "the same in substance, equal in power and glory." It declares that this divine personage is the appointed Redeemer of mankind from sin, death, and misery; that he was announced as such to our first parents upon their lapse from the innocence and blessedness of their primeval state; that he was exhibited to the faith and hope of the patriarchs in express promises; and, by the institution of sacrifices, as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, so that man might be reconciled to God through Him, and restored to his forfeited inheritance of eternal life. It represents all former dispensations of true religion, all revelations of God's will, and all promises of grace from God to man, as emanating from the anticipated sacrifice and sacerdotal intercession of its Author, and as all preparatory to the introduction of his perfect religion; and that as to the great political movements among the nations of antiquity, the rise and fall of empires were all either remotely or proximately connected with the designs of his advent among men. It professes to have completed the former revelations of God's will and purposes; to have accomplished ancient prophecies; fulfilled ancient types; and taken up the glory of the Mosaic religion into its own "glory that excelleth;" and to contain within itself a perfect system of faith, morals, and acceptable worship. It not only exhibits so effectual a sacrifice for sin, that remission of all offences against God flows from its merits to all who heartily confide in it; but it proclaims itself to be a remedy for all the moral disorders of our fallen nature; it casts out every vice, implants every virtue, and restores man to "the image of God in which he was created," even to "righteousness and true holiness."

3. Its promises both to individuals and to society are of the largest kind. It represents its Founder as now exercising the office of the High Priest of the human race before God, and as having sat down at his right hand, a mediatorial and reconciling government being committed to him, until he shall come to judge all nations, and distribute the rewards of eternity to his followers, and inflict its never-terminating punishments upon those who reject him. By virtue of this constitution of things, it promises pardon to the guilty, of every age and country, who seek it in penitence and prayer, comfort to the afflicted and troubled, victory over the fear of death, a happy intermediate state to the disembodied spirit, and finally the resurrection of the body from the dead, and honour and immortality to be conferred upon the whole man glorified in the immediate presence of God. It holds out the loftiest hopes also to the world at large. It promises to introduce harmony among families and nations, to terminate all wars and all oppressions, and ultimately to fill the world with truth, order, and purity. It represents the present and past state of society, as in contest with its own principles of justice, mercy, and truth; but teaches the final triumph of the latter over every thing contrary to itself. It exhibits the ambition, the policy, and the restlessness of statesmen and warriors, as but the overruled instruments by which it is working out its own purposes of wisdom and benevolence; and it not only defies the proudest array of human power, but professes to subordinate it by a secret and irresistible working to its own designs. Finally, it exhibits itself as enlarging its plans, and completing its designs, by moral suasion, the evidence of its truth, and the secret divine influence which accompanies it. Such are the professions and promises of Christianity, a religion which enters into no compromise with other systems; which represents itself as the only religion now in the world having God for its author; and in his name, and by the hope of his mercy, and the terrors of his frown, it commands the obedience of faith to all people to whom it is published upon the solemn sanction, "He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned."

4. Corresponding with these professions, which throw every other religion that pretends to offer hope to man into utter insignificance, it is allowed that the evidence of its truth ought to be adequate to sustain the weight of so vast a fabric, and that men have a right to know that they are not deluded with a grand and impressive theory, but are receiving from this professed system of truth and salvation "the true sayings of God." Such evidence it has afforded in its splendid train of MIRACLES; in its numerous appeals to the fulfilment of ancient PROPHECIES; in its own powerful INTERNAL evidence; in the INFLUENCE which it has always exercised, and continues to exert, upon the happiness of mankind; and in various collateral circumstances. Under the heads of Miracles and Prophecy, those important branches of evidence will be discussed, and to them the reader is referred. It is only necessary here to say, that the miracles to which Christianity appeals as proofs of its divine authority, are not only those which were wrought by Christ and his Apostles, but also those which took place among the patriarchs, under the law of Moses, and by the ministry of the Prophets; for the religion of those ancient times was but Christianity in its antecedent revelations. All these miracles, therefore, must be taken collectively, and present attestations of the loftiest kind, as being manifestly the work of the "finger of God," wrought under circumstances which precluded mistake, and exhibiting an immense variety, from the staying of the very wheels of the planetary system,

See Verses Found in Dictionary