The Agape were abolished by the Council of Laodicea, Can. 28, Synod of Trullo, Can. 74, and the Council of Carthage, Can. 42.
(5) Other Devotional Entertainments. The Jews had certain devotional entertainments, in some degree related to the Agap:e. On their great festival days. they made feasts for their family, for the priests, the poor, and orphans; or they sent portions to them. These repasts were made in Jerusalem, before the Lord. There were also certain sacrifices and first-fruits appointed by the law, to be set apart for that purpose (Dent. xxvi :to-t2 ; :2; Esth. ix :to). A similar custom obtained among the heathen ; at least, so far as to partake convivially of what had been offered in sacrifice; and perhaps, also, send ing portions to such as were absent. The ESSCI1CS also had their repasts in common; and probably many other confraternities or sects. To this fel lowship, the institution of the Sodales or brother hoods, which had become popular since the days of Augustus, might greatly contribute.
AGAR (fi'gar), a Greek form (Gal. iv:24, 25) of the name HAGAR (which see).
AGATE (5g'ate), (1 I eb. sheb-oo' , signifying unknown; Sept. axdr•s; \'ulg. ae ha tes), a precious or rather ornamental stone, which was one of those in the pectoral of the high-priest (Exod. xxviii;t9 ; xxxix :t2). The word agate, indeed, occurs also in Is. liv :t2, and Ezek. xxvii :to, in our translation ; but in the original the word in these texts is altogether different, being Kad kod. It seems not to have been questioned that
some stone of the agate kind is intended. This stone is popularly known in England under the name of Scotch pebble.
There arc few countries in which agates of some quality or other are not produced. The finest are those of India ; they are plentiful, and sometimes fine, in Italy, Spain, and Germany; but those found in this country are seldom good. Agate is one of the numerous modifications of form under which silica presents itself, almost in a state of purity, forming 98 per cent. of the entire mineral. The siliceous particles are not so arranged as to produce the transparency of rock crystal, but a semi-pellucid, sometimes almost opaque substance, with a resinous or waxy frac ture; and the various shades of color arise from minute quantities of iron. The same stone some times contains parts of different degrees of trans lucency, and of various shades of color ; and the endless combinations of these produce the beau tiful and singular internal forms, from which, together with the high polish they are capable of receiving, agates acquire their value as precious stones. The Scripture text shows the early use of this stone for engraving; and sev eral antique agates. engraved with exquisite beauty, are still preserved in the cabinets of the curious.