(A ). A “divine” summons or invitation, as “a call to the ministry.”
(A). A bird trained as a decoy.
(The). A boy employed in theatres to “call” or summon actors, when it is time for them to make their appearance on the stage.
Call of Abraham
The invitation or command of God to Abraham, to leave his idolatrous country, under the promise of being made a great nation.
Call of God
An invitation, exhortation, or warning, by the dispensations of Providence (Isa. xxii. 12); divine influence on the mind to do or avoid something (Heb. iii. 1).
Call of the House
An imperative summons sent to every Member of Parliament to attend. This is done when the sense of the whole House is required. At the muster the names of the members are called over, and defaulters reported.
Call to Arms
(To). To summon to prepare for battle. “Ad arma vocare. ”
Call to the Bar
The admission of a law student to the privileges of a barrister. The names of those qualified are called over. (See page 94, col. 1, Bar.)
Call to the Pastorate
An invitation to a minister by the members of a Presbyterian or Nonconformist church to preside over a certain congregation.
Call to the Unconverted
An invitation accompanied with promises and threats, to induce the unconverted to receive the gospel. Richard Baxter wrote a book so entitled.
(To). I call God to witness. I solemnly declare that what I state is true.
If honour calls, where'er she points the way, The sons of honour follow and obey.
Churchill: The Farewell, stanza 7.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894