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Should you pray to God for a recovery, how rash would it be to accuse God of not hearing your prayers, because you found your disease still to continue. Wake. But I pray, in this mechanical formation, when the ferment was expanded to the extremities of the arteries, why did it not break the receptacle? Bentley's Sermons. Barnard in spirit, sense and truth abounds; Pray then what wants he? fourscore thousand pounds. Pope. I know not the names or number of the family which now reigns, farther than the prayerbook informs me. Swift. If men would consider prayer not only as it is an invocation of God, but also as it is an exercise of holy thoughts, as it is an endeavour to feel and to be affected with the great truths of religion, they would soon see that, though God is so good as not to need much calling upon, yet that man is so weak as to need much assistance, and to be under a constant necessity of that help, and light, and improvement, which arises from praying much. Law. Let cottagers and unenlightened swains Revere the laws they dream that Heaven ordains; Resort on Sundays to the house of prayer, And ask, and fancy they find, blessings there. Cowper. PRAYA, a sea-port town, the capital of Tercera, one of the Azores; it stands in a beautiful plain. and has a church, four convents, three hospitals, and about 3000 inhabitants. PRAYA Porte, the capital of St. Jago, one of the Cape de Verd Isles, is the residence of the Portuguese governor general ; but its trade is limited to the supply of provisions and refreshments to outward bound Guinea and East India ships. A fort commands the harbour. RAY ER is a solemn address to God, which, when it is of any considerable length, has been said to consist of adoration, confession, supplication, intercession, and thanksgiving. By adoration we express our sense of God's infinite perfections, his power, wisdom, goodness, and mercy; and acknowledge that our constant dependence is upon Him by whom the universe was created, and has been hitherto preserved. By confession is meant our acknowledgment of our manifold transgressions of the divine laws, and our consequent unworthiness of all the good things which we enjoy at present, or expect to be conferred upon us hereafter. In supplication we intreat our omnipotent Creator and merciful Judge not to deal with us after our iniquities, but to pardon our transgressions, and by his grace to enable us to live henceforth righteously, soberly, and godly, in this present world; and by Christians this intreaty is always made in the name and through the mediation of Jesus Christ, because to them it is known that there is none other name under heaven given unto men whereby they may be saved. To these supplications for mercy, we may likewise add our prayers for the necessaries of life; because, if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, we are assured that such things shall be added unto us. Intercession signifies those Petitions which we offer up for others, for friends, for enemies, for all men, especially for our lawful governors, whether supreme or subordinate. And thanksgiving is the expression of
our gratitude to God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, for all the benefits enjoyed by us and others, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. Such are the component parts of a regular and sclemn prayer, adapted either for the church or for the closet. But an ejaculation to God, conceived on any emergency, is likewise a prayer, whether it be uttered by the voice or suffered to remain a mere affection of the mind; because the Being to whom it is addressed discerneth the thoughts of the heart. In this article we have treated of prayer in general, as the private duty of every individual; but there ought to be public as well as private prayer. The prayers of every Christian ought to be offered in the name and through the mediation of Jesus Christ. We conclude our reflections on the general duty, with observing, that nothing so forcibly restrains from ill as the remembrance of a recent address to heaven for protection and assistance. After having petitioned for power to resist temptation, there is so great an incongruity in not continuing the struggle, that we blush at the thought, and persevere, lest we lose all reverence for ourselves. After fervently devoting our souls to God, we start with horror at immediate apostasy; every act of deliberate wickedness is then complicated with hypocrisy and ingratitude; it is a mockery of the Father of Mercies, the forfeiture of that peace in which we closed our address, and a renunciation of the hope which that address inspired. But if prayer and immorality be thus incompatible, surely the former should not be neglected by those who contend that moral virtue is the summit of human perfection. Dr. Paley has so well met the question, ‘What virtue is there in prayer which should make it consistent with wisdom to grant a favor to the supplicant, which would not be consistent to grant without it?" that we shall transcribe his observations. ‘1. A favor granted to prayer may be more apt, on that very account, to produce good effects upon the person obliged. It may hold in the divine bounty, what experience has raised into a proverb in the collation of human benefits, that which is obtained without asking is oftentimes received without gratitude. “2. It may be consistent with the wisdom of the Deity to withhold his favors till they be asked for, as an expedient to encourage devotion in his rational creation, in order thereby to keep up and circulate a knowledge and sense of their dependency upon him. * 3. Prayer has a natural tendency to amend the petitioner himself, and thus to bring him. within the rules which the wisdom of the Deity has prescribed to the dispensation of his favors. If these, or any other assignable suppositions, serve to remove the apparent repugnancy between the success of prayer and the character of the Deity, it is enough; for the question with the petitioner is not from which, out of many motives, God may grant his petition, or in what particular manner he is moved by the supplications of his creatures; but whether it be consistent with his nature to be moved at all, and whether there be any conceivable motives which
may dispose the divine will to grant the petitioner what he wants, in consequence of his praying for it.'—Moral Philosophy, vol. 2. PREACH, v. n., v. a. & n.s. Fr. prescher; PREAch'ER, n.s. }: pracdico. PREAch'MENT. To deliver a public discourse upon sacred subjects; to proclaim; publish; inculcate: used by Hooker for a discourse: a preacher is one who discourses publicly on religion: preachment, a religious discourse mentioned in contempt.
Prophets preach of thee at Jerusalem. Nehemiah. The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers. Psalm lxviii. 11. From that time Jesus began to preach. Matthew. The Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul. Acts. This oversight occasioned the French spitefully to term religion in that sort exercised, a mere preach.
Hooker. There is not any thing publickly notified, but w may properly say it is preached. Id.
Was't you, that revell'd in our parliament, And made a preachment of your high descent? Shakspeare. You may hear the sound of a preacher's voice, when you cannot distinguish what he saith. Bacon. Divinity would not pass the yard and loom, the forge or anvil, nor preaching be taken in as an easier supplementary trade, by those that disliked the pains of their own. Decay of Piety. Here lies a truly honest man, One of those few that in this town Honour all preachers; hear their own. Crashaw. He decreed to commissionate messengers to preach this covenant to all mankind. Hammond. It is evident in the apostles' preaching at Jerusalem and elsewhere, that at the first proposal of the truth of Christ to them, and the doctrine of repentance, whole multitudes received the faith, and came in.
Hammond. Surely that preaching which comes from the soul, most works on the soul. Fuller. He oft to them preached Conversion and repentance. Milton.
The shape of our cathedral is not proper for our preaching auditories, but rather the figure of an ampitheatre with galleries. Graunt. Can they preach'up equality of birth, And tell us how we all began from earth? Dryden. All this is but a preachment upon the text. L'Estrange. No preacher is listened to but Time, which gives us the same train of thought that elder people have tried in vain to put into our heads before. Swift. Live while you live the sacred preacher cries, if And give to God each moment as it flies. Doddridge. PREADAMITES, a denomination given to inhabitants of the earth, conceived by some to have lived before Adam. Isaac de la Pereyra, in 1655, published a book to evince the reality of preadamites, by which he gained many prosesytes; but the answer of Demarets, professor of theology at Groningen, |..". in 1656, put a stop to its progress; though Pereyra made a reply. His system was this: the Jews he calls
Adamites, and supposes them to have issued from Adam; and gives the title Preadamites to the Gentiles, whom he supposes to have been a long time before Adam. But, this being exFo contrary to the Mosaic account, Pereyra ad recourse to the fabulous antiquities of the Egyptians and Chaldeans, and to some idle rabbins, who imagined there had been another world before that described by Moses. He was apprehended by the inquisition in Flanders; but he appealed from their sentence to Rome; whither he went in the time of Alexander VII., and where he printed a retraction. See PREExistence. PREAM’BLE, n. s. Fr. preambule; Lat. PREAM'bulous, adj. $preambulo. Introduction; preface; something previous : preambulous is preparatory. Truth as in this we do not violate, so neither is the same gainsayed or crossed, no not in those very preambles placed before certain readings, wherein the steps of the Latin service book have been somewhat too nearly followed. Hooker. Doors shut, visits forbidden, and divers contestations with the queen, all preambles of ruin, though now and then he did wring out some petty content
ments. Wotton. This preamble to that history was not improper for this relation. Clarendon.
PREB'END, n.s. N. Fr. prebende; low Lat. PREB'ENDARY, n. s. $prebenda. A stipend granted in cathedral churches; the stipendiary. To lords, to principals, to prebendaries. o princip pre Hubbard. Deans and canons, or prebends of cathedral churches, in their first institution, were of great use, to be of counsel with the bishop. Bacon. His excellency gave the doctor a prebend in St. Patrick's cathedral. Swift's Miscellanies. A PREBEND is the maintenance a prebendary receives out of the estate of a cathedral or collegiate church Prebends are distinguished into simple and dignitary; a simple prebend has no more than the revenue for its support; but a prebend with dignity has always a jurisdiction annexed to it. PREBENdARY. The difference between a prebendary and a canon is, that the former receives his prebend in consideration of his officiating in the church, but the latter merely by his being received into the cathedral or college. PRECARIOUS, adj. R Fr. precaire; Lat. Preca'Riously, adu. precarius. DepenPRecA'Rious N Ess, n. s. $ dent; uncertain, because depending on the will of another; held by courtesy. Dr. Johnson remarks, “No word is more unskilfully used than this with its derivatives. It is used for uncertain in all its senses; but it only means uncertain, as dependent on others: the adverb and noun substantive follow the senses of the adjective. What subjects will precarious kings regard? A beggar speaks too softly to be heard. Dryden. Those who live under an arbitrary tyrannick power, have no other law but the will of their prince, and consequently no privileges but what are precariots. Addison. If one society cannot meet or convene together, without the leave or licence of the other society; nor treat or enact any thing relative to their own society without the leave and authority of the other; then is that society in a manner dissolved, and subsists precariously upon the mere will and pleasure of the other. Lesley. He who rejoices in the strength and beauty of youth, should consider by how precarious a tenure he holds these advantages, that a thousand accidents may before the next dawn lay all these glories in the dust. Rogers's Sermons. Most consumptive people die of the discharge they spit up, which, with the precariousness of the symptoms of an oppressed diaphragm, from a mere lodgment of extravasated matter, render the operation but little adviseable. Sharp's Surgery. Our scene precariously subsists too long On French translation and Italian song: Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage, Be justly warmed with your own native rage. Pope. Heaven, earth, and hell, and worlds unknown, Depend precarious on thy throne. Watts.
PRECAUTION, n.s. & v.a. Fr. precaution, from Lat. praecautus. Preservative caution; preventive measures; to warn beforehand. By the disgraces, diseases and beggary of hopeful young men brought to ruin, he may be precautioned. Locke. Unless our ministers have strong assurances of his falling in with the grand alliance, or not opposing it, they cannot be too circumspect and speedy in taking their precautions against any contrary resolution. Addison on the War. PRECEDA'NEOUS, adj. Mistaken by the author, as Dr. Johnson says, for praecidaneous; Lat. precidaneus, cut or slain before. Previous, antecedent. That priority of particles of simple matter, influx of the heavens o of matter might be antecedent and precedaneous, not only in order, but in time, to their ordinary productions. Hale.
Examples for cases can but direct as precedents only. Hooker. I do not like, but yet it does allay The good precedence. •Shakspeare. Antony and Cleopatra. Our own precedent passions do instruct us What levity's in youth. Id. Timon. No power in Venice Can alter a decree established: Twill be recorded for a precedent; And many an errour, by the same example, Will rush into the state. Id. Merchant of Venice. When you work by the imagination of another, it is necessary that he, by whom you work, have a precedent opinion of you, that you can do strange things. Bacon. Among the laws touching precedence in Justinian, divers are that have not yet been so received every where by custom. Selden. The royal olive accompanied him with all his court, and always gave him the precedency. Howel. How are we happy, still in fear of harm? But harm precedes not sin. Milton. None sure will claim in hell Precedence; none, whose portion is small Of present pain, that with ambitious mind W; covet more. Id. Paradise Lost. The constable and marshal had cognizance touching the rights of place and precedence. Hale. * The world, or any part thereof, could not be precedent to the creation of man. Id. God, in the administration of his justice, is not tied to precedents, and we cannot argue, that the providences of God towards other nations, shall be conformable to his dealings with the people of Israel. Tillotson. Arius and Pelagius durst provoke To what the centuries preceding spoke. Dryden. That person hardly will be found, With gracious form and equal virtue crowned; Yet if another could precedence claim, My fixt desires could find no fairer aim. Id. Being distracted with different desires, the next inquiry will be, which of them has the precedency, in determining the will to the next action? Locke. Truths, absolutely necessary to salvation, are so clearly revealed that we cannot err in them, unless we be notoriously wanting to ourselves; herein the fault of the judgment is reduced into a precedent default in the will. South. Such precedents are numberless; we draw Our rights from custom; custom is a law. Granville. The ruin of a state is generally preceded by an universal degeneracy of manners and contempt of religion. Swift. The contempt with which, the whole army heard of the manner of your retreat assures me that, as your conduct was not justified by precedent, it will never be thought an example for imitation. Junius. PREcedENCE, PREced ENcy, a place of honor to which a person is entitled. This is either of courtesy or of right. The former is that which is due to age, estate, &c., which is regulated by custom and civility; the latter is settled by authority, and, when broken in upon, gives an action at law. A table of precedency is given in our article HERALDRY. PRECENTOR, n.s. Fr. precenteur; Latin pracentor. He that leads a choir. Follow this precentor of ours, in blessing and magnifying that God of all grace, and never yield
ing to those enemies, which he died to give us power to resist and overcome. Hammond.
PRECEPT, n.s. Fr. precepte; Lat. praePRECEPTIAL, adj. (ceptum. A rule authoriPReceptive, tatively given; a mandate; PRecep'roR, n.s. D direction: preceptial and preceptive mean, consisting of or giving precepts: preceptor is a teacher; tutor. The custom of lessons furnishes the very simplest and rudest sort with infallible axioms and precepts of sacred truth, delivered even in the very letter of the law of God. Hooker. Men Can counsel, and give comfort to that grief Which they themselves not feel; but tasting it, Their counsel turns to passion, which before Would give preceptial medicine to rage ; Fetter strong madness in a silken thread, Charmach with air, and agony with words. Shakspeare. As the preceptive part enjoys the most exact virtue so is it most advantageously enforced by the promissory, which, in respect of the rewards, and the manner of proposing them, is adapted to the same end. Decay of Piety. A good schoolmaster minces his precepts for chil
dren to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his scholars may go along with him. Fuller. 'Tis sufficient, that painting be acknowledged for an art; for it follows, that no arts are without their precepts. Dryden. Passionate chiding carries rough language with it, and the names that parents and preceptors give children, they will not be ashamed to bestow on others. Locke. The lesson given us here is preceptive to us not to do any thing but upon due consideration. L’Estrange. The ritual, the preceptive, the prophetick, and all other parts of sacred writ, were most sedulously, most religiously guarded by them. Government of the Tongue. A precept or commandment consists in, and has respect to, some moral point of doctrine, viz, such as concerns our manners, and our inward and outward good behaviour. Ayliffe. It was to thee, great Stagyrite, unknown, And thy preceptor of divine renown. Blackmore. It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn every thing; and, what we learn thus, we acquire not only more effectually, but more pleasantly. Burke on the Sublime.
PREC ES SION OF THE E QUINOX E S.
PREcession of The EQUINoxEs. One of the most obvious and at the same time most important of the celestial motions is the diurnal revolution of the starry heavens. The whole appears to turn round an imaginary axis, which passes through two opposite points of the heavens, called the poles. One of these is in our sight, being very near the star, and in the tail of the little bear. The great circle which is equidistant from both poles divides the heavens into the north and south hemispheres, which are equal. It is called the equator, and it cuts the horizon in the east and west points, and every star in it is twelve siderial hours above, and as many below the horizon, in each revolution.
The motion of the sun determines the length of day and night, and the vicissitudes of the seasons. By a long series of observations the shepherds of Asia were able to mark out the sun's path in the heavens; he being always in the opposite point to that which comes to the meridian at midnight, with equal but opposite declination. Thus they could tell the stars among which the sun then was, although they could not see them. They discovered that his path was a great circle of the heavens, afterwards called the ecliptic; which cuts the equator in two opposite points, dividing it, and being divided by it, into two equal parts: that when the sun was in either of these points of intersection, his circle of diurnal revolution coincided with the equator, and therefore the days and nights were equal. Hence the equator came to be called the equinoctial line, and the points in which it cuts the ecliptic were called the equinoctial points, and the sun was then said to be in the equinoxes. One of these was called the vernal and the other the autumnal equinox.
It was a most important problem in practical astronomy to determine the exact moment of the sun's occupying these stations; for it was natural to compute the course of the year from that moment. Accordingly, this has been the leading problem in the astronomy of all nations. It is susceptible of considerable precision, without any apparatus of instruments. It is only necessary to observe the sun's declination on the noon of two or three days before and after the equinoctial day. On two consecutive days of this number, his declination must have changed from north to south or from south to north. If his declination on one day was observed to be 21’ N., and on the next 5' S., it follows, that his de clination was nothing, or that he was in the equinoctial point about twenty-three minutes after seven in the morning of the second day. Knowing the precise moments, and knowing the rate of the sun's motion in the ecliptic, it is easy to ascertain the precise point of the ecliptic in which the equator intersected it.
By a series of such observations made at Alexandria, between the years 161 and 127 bebefore Christ, Hipparchus, the father of our astronomy, found that the point of the autumnal equinox was about 6° E. of the star called Spica virginis. Eager to determine every thing by multiplied observations, he ransacked all the Chaldean, Egyptian, and other records, to which his travels could procure him access, for observations of the same kind; but only found some observations of Aristillus and Timochares made about 150 years before. From these it appeared evident that the point of the autumnal equinox was then about 8° E. of the same star. He discusses these observations with great sagacity and rigor; and, on their authority, asserts that the
equinoctial points are not fixed in the heavens, but move to the west about 1° in seventy-five years or less. This motion is called the precession of the equinores, because by it the time and place of the sun's equinoctial station precedes the usual calculations: it is fully confirmed by all subsequent observations. In 1750 the autumnal equinox was observed to be 20° 21' W. of spica virginis. Supposing the motion to have been uniform during this period of ages, it follows, that the annual precession is about 50%; that is, if the celestial equator cuts the ecliptic in a particular point on any day of this year, it will on the same day of the following year cut it in a point 50’ to the west of it, and the sun will come to the equinox 20'23" before he has completed his round of the heavens. Thus the equinoctial or tropical year, or true year of seasons, is so much shorter than the revolution of the sun or the sidereal year. This discovery has immortalised the name of Hipparchus. It must be acknowledged, indeed, to be one of the most singular that has been made, that the revolution of the whole heavens should not be stable, but its axis continually changing. For since the equator changes its position, and the equator is only an imaginary circle, equidistant from the two poles or extremities of the axis; these poles and this axis must equally change their positions. The equinoctial points make a complete revolution in about 25745 years, the equator being all the while inclined to the ecliptic in nearly the same angle. Therefore the poles of this diurnal revolution must describe a circle round the poles of the ecliptic, at the distance of about 23° 30' in 25745 years; and, in the time of Timochares, the north pole of the heavens must have been 30° east of where it now is. The precession of the equinoxes, however, was known to the astronomers of India, many ages before the time of Hipparchus. The Chaldeans had also a pretty accurate knowledge of the year of seasons. From their saros, we deduce their measure of this year to be 365d. 5h. 49m. and 11s., exceeding the truth only by 26s, and much more exact than the year of Hipparchus. They had also a sidereal year of 365d. 6h. 11m. The Egyptians also had a knowledge of something equivalent to this: for they had discovered that the dog star was no longer the faithful forewarner of the overflowing of the Nile. This knowledge is also involved in the precepts of the Chinese astronomy, of much older date than the time of Hipparchus. But all these facts do not deprive Hipparchus of the honor of the discovery, or fix on him the charge of F. This motion was clearly unknown to the astronomers of the Alexandrian school, and it was pointed out to them by Hipparchus in the way in which he ascertained every other position in astronomy, namely, as the mathematical result of actual observations, and not as a thing deducible from any opinions on other subjects related to it. As a thing for which no physical reason could be assigned, the precession of the equinoxes was long disputed. But the establishment of the Copernican system reduced it to a very clear affair; the motion, which was thought to affect Vol. XVIII.
all the heavenly bodies, is now seen to be only an effect of the earth's motion. The earth turns round its own axis while it revolves round the sun, in the same manner as we may cause a child's top to spin on the brim of a mill-stone, while the stone is turning slowly round its axis. If the top spin steadily its axis will always point to the zenith of the heavens; but we frequently see that, while it spins briskly round its axis, the axis itself has a slow conical motion round the vertical line, so that, if produced, it would slowly describe a circle in the heavens round the zenith point. The flat surface of the top may represent the termestrial equator, gradually turning itself round on all sides. If this top were formed like a ball, with an equatorial circle on it, it would represent the whole motion; the only difference being, that the spinning motion and this wavering motion are in the same direction; whereas the diurnal rotation and the motion of the equinoctial points are in contrary directions. Even this dissimilarity may be removed, by making the top turn on a cap, like the card of a mariner's compass. It is now fully established that, while the earth revolves round the sun from west to east in the plane of the ecliptic, in the course of a year it turns round its own axis from west to est in 23h. 56'4", which axis is inclined to this plane in an angle of nearly 23° 28′; and that this axis turns round a line perpendicular to the ecliptic in 25,745 years from east to west, keeping nearly the same inclination to the ecliptic.— By these means its pole in the sphere of the starry heavens describes a circle round the pole of the ecliptic at the distance of 23° 28′ nearly. The consequence of this must be, that the terrestrial equator, when produced to the sphere of the starry heavens, will cut the ecliptic in two opposite points, through which the sun must pass when he makes the day and night equal: and that these points must shift to the west at the rate of 5" annually, which is the precession of the equinoxes. Accordingly, this has been the received doctrine among astronomers for nearly three centuries, and it was thought perfectly conformable to appearances. Dr. Bradley hoped to discover the parallax of the earth's orbit by observations of the actual osition of the pole of the celestial revolution. f the earth's axis keeps parallel to itself, its extremity must describe, in the sphere of the starry heavens, a figure equal and parallel to its orbit round the sun; and, if the stars be so near that this figure is a visible object, the pole of diurnal revolution will be in different distinguishable points of the figure. Consequently, if the axis describe this cone already mentioned, the pole will not describe a circle round the pole of the ecliptic, but will have a looped motion along this circumference, similar to the absolute motion of one of Jupiter's satellites, describing an epicycle whose centre describes the circle round the pole of the ecliptic. This sagacious astronomer observed such an epicyclical motion, and thought that he had now overcome the only difficulty in the Copernican system; but, on considering his observations, he found this epicycle quite inconsistent with the consequences of the annual parallax, * it puz