Charles Buck Theological Dictionary: ABILITY Online Resource Library Commentary Index | Return to PrayerRequest.com | Download Charles Buck Theological Dictionary: ABILITYSubjects in this Topic: 00a PREFACEABBAABBEABBESSABBEYABBOTABELIANSABESTAABILITYABLUTIONABRAHAMITESABSOLUTION Signifies acquittal. It is taken also from that act whereby the priest declares the sins of such as are penitent remitted. The Romanists hold absolution a part of the sacrament of penance: and the council of Trent and that of Florence declare the form or essence of the sacrament to lie in the words of absolution. "I absolve thee "of thy sins." According to this, no one can receive absolution without the privity, consent and declaration of the priest; except, therefore, the priest be willing, God himself cannot pardon any man. This is a doctrine as blasphemous as it is ridiculous. The chief passage on which they ground their power of absolution is that in Joh_20:23 : "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." But this is not to the purpose; since this was a special commission to the apostles themselves, and the first preachers of the Gospel, and most probably referred to the power he gave them of discerning spirits. By virtue of this ABSTEMIIABSTINENCEABSTINENTSABYSSABYSSINIAN CHURCHACACIANSSee INABILITY.