An obscure Puritan sect which arose in England in the middles of the seventeenth century. They represented an Antinomian tendency among some of the Independents, and professed to be seeking for the true Church, Scripture, Ministry, and Sacraments. In his contemporary account Richard Baxter says of them: "They taught that our scripture was uncertain; that present miracles are necessary to faith ; that our ministry is null and without authority, and our worship and ordinances unnecessary or vain, the Church, ministry, scripture and ordinances being lost, for which they are now seeking." He adds the absurd statement: "I quickly found that the Papists principally hatched and actuated this sect, and that a considerable number that were of this profession were some Papists and some infidels." (Life and Times, 76). According to Baxter, they amalgamated with the Vanists. Weingarten considers that they held Millenarian views. Probably the name denotes a school of thought rather than a definitely-organized body.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online