Signifies that science which treats of the being and attributes of God, his relations to us, the dispensations of his providence, his will with respect to our actions, and his purposes with respect to our end. The word was first used to denote the systems, or rather the heterogeneous fables, of those poets and philosophers who wrote of the genealogy and exploits of the gods of Greece. Hence Orpheus, Museus, Hesiod,&c. were called theologians; and the same epithet was given to Plato, on account of his sublime speculations on the same subject. It was afterwards adopted by the earliest writers of the Christian Church, who styled the author of the Apocalypse, by way of eminence, the divine. As the various branches of theology are considered in their places in this work, they need not be insisted on here.


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