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CONSEIL DE FAMILLE—CONSERVATIVE PARTY

washing, and so forth. Thus in 1 Sam. x., Samuel ordaining Saul “took the vial of oil and poured it upon his head and kissed him,” and soon afterwards “God gave Saul another heart”; so that when he met the band of prophets the contagion flew from them to him, “and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them.”

The recognized modes of communicating the afflatus, power or numen to a person or thing to be consecrated are many, and only a few can be enumerated. (1) Blowing. The risen Jesus (John xx. 22) breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” The Roman priest, in consecrating the water of the font for baptism, blows over it and signs it twice with the cross. He also begins the rite of baptism by blowing in the catechumen’s face. In the rite of laying hands on an elect the bishop of the Armenian Paulicians blows three times in the face of the newly ordained. The impure spirit is blown out and the pure blown in. (2) Laying-on of hands. The particular persons whose virtue is to be transmitted lay their hands on the head or shoulders of the consecrand, e.g. three bishops in episcopal consecration. (3) Branding or signing the person, especially on the forehead, with the sacred emblem. So a Hindu paints his caste emblem on his forehead, and a fugitive slave in ancient Egypt, once marked with sacred stigmata in a temple, could not be reclaimed by the master. He belonged to the god. Roman recruits when they took the sacramentum, or oath of fealty, were tattooed with the “sign” or “seal.” So in Christian initiations the sign of the cross is made on the brow, and in Revelation the redeemed are so marked. Mexican peasants regularly paint or tattoo a cross on their foreheads, and the old Armenian equivalent for destiny or fate is čakatagir or forehead-writing. An inanimate object is similarly consecrated. The “soldiers” of Mithras, says Tertullian, were signed or sealed on their foreheads. (4) Use of a name. The invocation of a powerful name over a thing or person brings him or it within its sphere of influence, and actually communicates thereto the demoniac or supernatural power wielded by the owner of the name.

Amulets, seals, talismans, relics, ear or nose rings stamped with divine emblems or otherwise hallowed, communicate their holiness to the wearers and protect from the Adversary. Personal ornaments and decorations of dwellings, furniture, vehicles and pottery had once a consecrating, or—what often comes to the same thing—a prophylactic value and significance. Mutilations, such as circumcision, violation of chastity in the case of maidens hallowed to certain gods, ritual cutting of hair and nails, and their deposition in a sanctuary, rather belong to the category of sacrifice, as also the burial of a living victim under the foundations of a new building or bridge (see Sacrifice). Cursing is, equally with consecration, a taboo imposed on a thing or person. It may be noted in consecration how nicely the taboo or contagion, whether of holiness or unholiness, can be localized. An Arab’s curse is escaped by falling flat on the face, for it then shoots over the head; and recently the following case was referred from French Canada before the judicial committee of the privy council. A man buried his wife in a plot he had bought in a Catholic cemetery. Presently he died also, but without the sacraments, for he had changed his religion. His executors ignored the protests of the Catholic clergy and buried him in the same grave. Ultimately the bishop of Quebec, unable to get a mandamus from the English privy council to dig him up, solemnly deconsecrated the ground down to the estimated depth of the lid of the wife’s coffin. The use of specially consecrating cemeteries among Christians is first mentioned by Gregory of Tours (c. 570); but under the Roman law they had, like those of the Pagans, been held inviolable by pagan emperors like Gordian and Julian and defined as “res religioni destinatae quin immo (iam) religionis effectae” (Cod. Justin, lib. ix. tit. 19).

Lastly, a classical mode of consecrating persons, or winning or reinforcing their holiness or kinship with the god, is the sacrificial meal at which sacred animals or the god himself are eaten. (See Sacrament and Sacrifice.) Consecration is so frequently the counterpart of Purification that the article thereon should be read in connexion with this. For the consecration of bishops, see Bishop; for that of churches, see Dedication.

Authorities.—E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture (London, 1903); Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites (London, 1901); Mary H. Kingsley, West African Studies (London, 1901), and Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort (London, 1898); W. Warde Fowler, The Roman Festivals (London, 1905); L. R. Farnell, The Evolution of Religion (London, 1905); J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough (London, 1900); A. C. Haddon, Fetichism and Magic, containing a good bibliography (London, 1906). For Christian rites of consecration, see J. Goar’s Euchologion (1647); H. A. Wilson, The Gelasian Sacramentary (Oxford, 1894); F. C. Conybeare’s Rituale Armenorum (Oxford, 1905); L. Duchesne, Origines du culte chrétien (1889); M. Magistretti, Monumenta veteris Liturgiae Ambrosianae, Pontificale (Milan, 1897).  (F. C. C.) 

CONSEIL DE FAMILLE (“family council”), in France, an institution for the protection of the interests of minors. By the Code Civil (art. 407–410) it is composed of seven members. The local justice of the peace (juge de paix) is the presiding officer. The other six members must be relations of the minor, chosen from the mother’s and father’s side of the family respectively (three on each side). The Code gives in minute detail rules for choosing these relations. Meetings of the family council are held in private, five of the members constituting a quorum. The council has power to appoint a guardian to the minor; to authorize marriage or oppose it; to audit the accounts and decide questions concerning the minor’s estate. The French family council is founded on the Roman law of tutelage, and has a long and useful history.


CONSERVATIVE PARTY, in Great Britain, the name of the successors of the Tories (see Whig and Tory) as one of the great political parties, representing the opposition to the Liberal party (q.v.), championing stability rather than innovation, or the advantages of preserving inherited conditions so far as possible rather than adopting changes which are founded on theoretical ideals. J. W. Croker suggested the term (Quarterly Rev., Jan. 1830) as more appropriate than “Tory,” but for some time it was only used sporadically, and many of the old Tory régime disliked it. The term “Tory” has in fact never quite fallen out of use, and has been commonly retained by many modern Conservatives who wish to emphasize that theirs is a constructive and positive policy of constitutional as opposed to radical reform, and not merely one of letting things remain simply “as they are.” Similarly attempts were made in the ’eighties to substitute “Constitutionalist,” but without its becoming current coin; and Lord Randolph Churchill called himself a “Tory democrat.”

Sir Robert Peel, in a speech in the House of Commons, protested against the “un-English name of Conservative.” Yet Peel himself shattered the old Tory and Protectionist party in 1846, and soon after called himself a Conservative, and the Peelites were commonly spoken of as “Liberal Conservatives.” And when “Liberal” came into regular use for one party, “Conservative” became the recognized term for its opposite, Toryism being popularly regarded as the reactionary creed of the supporters of “vested interests” and opponents of reform of any kind. The character of any British Conservative party, in the widest sense of the term, has naturally changed, and was bound continually to change, with the progress of events. The successive Reform Acts, which put political power into the hands of new classes of the electorate, made it necessary to make a new sort of appeal to them, in order to support the causes of the church establishment, the House of Lords, and the main features of the constitution. The history of this movement cannot be summarized here, but the salient details may be found in the biographical articles on such leading Conservative statesmen as Lord Beaconsfield, Lord Salisbury and Mr A. J. Balfour (qq.v.). In organization the party followed much on the lines of the Liberal party. After 1832 associations known as “Constitutional” or “Conservative” multiplied throughout the country; and a “National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations” formed a confederation in 1867, in alliance with the work of the Central Conservative Office under the party whips. It was, however, unlike the similar Liberal