That act of the mind whereby it takes or acknowledges any proposition to be true or false. There are three degrees of assent:–conjecture, opinion, and belief. Conjecture is but a slight and weak inclination to assent to the thing proposed, by reason of the weighty objections that lie against it. Opinion is a more steady and fixed assent; when a man is almost certain, though yet some fear of the contrary remains with him. Belief is a more full and assured assent to the truth.
Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.