Unabashed Christian Bible Dictionary*



ABSURDITY \Ab*surd"i*ty\, n.

A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.



BAPTISM \Bap"tism\, n.

A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever. It is performed with water in two ways―by immersion, or plunging, and by aspersion, or sprinkling.



CHRISTIAN \Chris"tian\, n.

One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.



CLERGYMAN \Cler"gy*man\, n.; pl. {Clergymen}.

A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method to better his temporal ones.



CONVENT \Con"vent\, n.

A place of retirement for woman who wish for leisure to meditate upon the vice of idleness.



EMBALM \Em*balm"\, v. t.

To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By embalming their dead and thereby deranging the natural balance between animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made their once fertile and populous country barren and incapable of supporting more than a meagre crew. The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbor's lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility. We shall get him after awhile if we are spared, but in the meantime the violet and rose are languishing for a nibble at his glutoeus maximus.



EVANGELIST \E*van"gel*ist\, n.

A bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbors.



FAITH \Faith\, n.

Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.



FEAST \Feast\ (f[=e]st), n.

A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness. In the Roman Catholic Church feasts are "movable" and "immovable," but the celebrants are uniformly immovable until they are full. In their earliest development these entertainments took the form of feasts for the dead; such were held by the Greeks, under the name Nemeseia, by the Aztecs and Peruvians, as in modern times they are popular with the Chinese; though it is believed that the ancient dead, like the modern, were light eaters. Among the many feasts of the Romans was the Novemdiale, which was held, according to Livy, whenever stones fell from heaven.



INFIDEL \In"fi*del\, n.

In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does. (See GIAOUR.) A kind of scoundrel imperfectly reverent of, and niggardly contributory to, divines, ecclesiastics, popes, parsons, canons, monks, mollahs, voodoos, presbyters, hierophants, prelates, obeah-men, abbes, nuns, missionaries, exhorters, deacons, friars, hadjis, high-priests, muezzins, brahmins, medicine-men, confessors, eminences, elders, primates, prebendaries, pilgrims, prophets, imaums, beneficiaries, clerks, vicars-choral, archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, preachers, padres, abbotesses, caloyers, palmers, curates, patriarchs, bonezs, santons, beadsmen, canonesses, residentiaries, diocesans, deans, subdeans, rural deans, abdals, charm-sellers, archdeacons, hierarchs, class-leaders, incumbents, capitulars, sheiks, talapoins, postulants, scribes, gooroos, precentors, beadles, fakeers, sextons, reverences, revivalists, cenobites, perpetual curates, chaplains, mudjoes, readers, novices, vicars, pastors, rabbis, ulemas, lamas, sacristans, vergers, dervises, lectors, church wardens, cardinals, prioresses, suffragans, acolytes, rectors, cures, sophis, mutifs and pumpums.



JESUS \Je"sus\, name.

The fleshy part of the Trinity.



MAGIC \Mag"ic\, n

An art of converting superstition into coin. There are other arts serving the same high purpose such as Evangelical Christianity.



MYTHOLOGY \My*thol"o*gy\, n.

The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.



OMAN \O*man\, n

A sign that something will happen, if nothing happens.



PANTHEISM \Pan"the*ism\, n

The doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.



PRAY \Pray\, v. t.

To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.



PREDESTINATION \Pre*des`ti*na"tion\, n.

The doctrine that all things occur according to programme. This doctrine should not be confused with that of foreordination, which means that all things are programmed, but does not affirm their occurrence, that being only an implication from other doctrines by which this is entailed. The difference is great enough to have deluged Christendom with ink, to say nothing of the gore. With the distinction of the two doctrines kept well in mind, and a reverent belief in both, one may hope to escape perdition if spared.



PRELATE \ prel*ate\, n.

A church officer having a superior degree of holiness and a fat preferment. One of Heaven's aristocracy. A gentleman of God.



PROPHECY \Proph"e*cy\, n.

The art and practice of selling one's credibility for future delivery.



REDEMPTION \Re-demp"tion\ (-sh?n), n.

Deliverance of sinners from the penalty of their sin, through their murder of the deity against whom they sinned. The doctrine of Redemption is the fundamental mystery of our holy religion, and whoso believeth in it shall not perish, but have everlasting life in which to try to understand it.



RELIGION \ Re-li-gion\, n.

A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance, the nature of the Unknowable. "What is your religion my son?" inquired the Archbishop of Rheims. "Pardon, monseigneur," replied Rochebriant; "I am ashamed of it." "Then why do you not become an atheist?" "Impossible! I should be ashamed of atheism." "In that case, monsieur, you should join the Protestants."



REVELATION \Rev`e*la"tion\, n.

A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.



SCRIPTURE \Scrip*ture\, n.

The sacred books of the Christian religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.



TRINITY \Trin"i*ty\, n.

In the multiplex theism of certain Christian churches, three entirely distinct deities consistent with only one. Subordinate deities of the polytheistic faith, such as devils and angels, are not dowered with the power of combination, and must urge individually their clames to adoration and propitiation. The Trinity is one of the most sublime mysteries of our holy religion. In rejecting it because it is incomprehensible, Unitarians betray their inadequate sense of theological fundamentals. In religion we believe only what we do not understand, except in the instance of an intelligible doctrine that contradicts an incomprehensible one. In that case we believe the former as a part of the latter.



TRUTH \Truth\, n.;

An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.



* Source: The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)