SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

BAPTISTS: Founded by John Smith, at one time pastor of a church at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, that had separated from the Church of England. About 1606, to escape persecution, he and his flock emigrated to Amsterdam. Smith died in 1612.
Taught only baptism of immersion to be valid; predestination; denied free-will; good works; purgatory; the Sacraments, and the forgiveness of sin.

JANSENISTS: Cornelius Jansenius was born Oct. 28, 1585, of a Catholic family in the village of Accoi (near Leerdam), Holland. He made most of his studies at Louvain, and later occupied the chair of exegesis at the same institution of learning, where he acquired considerable renown. In 1635 he was appointed Bishop of Ypres. He lived and died a member of the Catholic Church, but it was from his writings, published after his death, that Jansenism took its rise.
    The Jansenists deny free-will and the possibility of resisting grace.

UNIVERSALISTS: The earliest exponent of the doctrine of Universalism was probably Samuel Gorton, a New England mystic, who aired his views as early as 1636. The belief did not receive definite organization, however, until 1750, when James Relly organized a Universalist church in London, to which he ministered until his death, some thirty years later.
      They deny the divinity of Christ; believe in the universal salvation of all; deny the Sacraments free-will; good works, and the doctrine of the Trinity.

MUGGLETONIANS: John Reeve (1608-1658) and Lodowicke Muggleton (1609-1698), obscure journeymen tailors, who claimed to have the spirit of prophecy, propagated their views in London about the year 1651, and launched this sect.
      They denied the Trinity; claimed the devil became incarnate in Eve, and humanized the Deity.

QUAKERS: Started by George Fox, the son of a well-to-do weaver, born at Fenny Drayton, in Leicestershire, England, in July, 1624. He was apprenticed to a shoe-maker at an early age and received very little education. Disgusted with the vanity of the world, he cut himself off from it, brooded for years, and while in this melancholy state conceived the imaginings of his own distorted mind to be new revelations, which he began to preach in 1647.
He believed every man to have an "inner light" which was his only guide; rejected almost everything external in religion; condemned oaths, art, music, the drama, the bearing of arms, etc.

 

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Last edited March 17, 1998