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from their maintaining that there will be a fifth universal monarchy under the personal reign of King Jesus upon earth. In consequence of this tenet, they aimed at the subversion of all human governInent.* FLACIANS, the followers of Matthias Flacias Illyricus, who flourished in the sixteenth century. He taught that original sin is the very substance of human nature ; and that the fall of man was an event which extinguished in the human mind every virtuous tendency, every noble faculty, and left nothing behind it but universal darkness and corruption.t FLAGELLANTS, a denomination which sprang up in Italy in the year 1260, and was thence propagated through almost all the countries of Europe. They derive their name from the latin, flagello, to whip. The society that embraced this new discipline, ran in multitudes, composed of persons of both sexes, and all ranks and ages, through the public streets, with whips in their hands, lashing their naked bodies with the most astonishing severity, with a view to obtain the divine mercy for themselves and others, by their voluntary
mortification and penance.— This sect made their appearance anew in the fourteenth century, and taught among other things that flagellation was of equal virtue with baptism, and the other sacraments; that the forgiveness of all sins was to be obtained by it from God, without the merit of Jesus Christ; that the old law of Christ was soon to be abolished; and that a new law, enjoining the baptism of blood, to be administered by whipping, was to be substituted in its place. o A new denomination of Whippers arose in the fifteenth century, who rejected the sacraments, and every branch of external worship, and placed their only hopes of salvation in faith and flagellation.t FLANDRIANS. See Mennonites. FLORINIANS, a branch of the Valentinians in the second century; so called from Florinus, their leader.; See Valentinians. FRATRES ALBATI, a name which distinguished a denomination in the fifteenth century. They owed their origin to a certain priest, who descended from the Alps, arrayed in a white garment, and accompanied with a prodigious number of both sexes, who, after the example of their chief, were also clothed in white linen. Hence they acquired the name Fratres Albati, i. e. Ji hite Brethren. They went in a kind of procession through several provinces, following a cross which their leader held erected ille a standard ; and by the striking appearance of their sanctity and devotion, captivated to such a degree the minds of the people, that persons of all ranks and orders flocked in crowds to augment their number. The new chief exhorted his followers to appease the anger of an incensed Deity, emaciated his body by voluntary acts of mortification and penance, endeavoured to persuade the European nations to renew the war against the
* Mosheim, vol. iv, p. 533,
# Ibid, p. 43.
f Mosheim, vol. iii. pp. 94,206, 277. § Ibid, vol. i. p. 189.
Turks in Palestine, and pre
tended that he was favoured with divine visions which instructed him in the will and in the secrets of heaven.”
FRATRICELLI, in english Little Brothers, a denomination which appeared in Italy about the year 1298, and spread all over Europe. Their origin is attributed by some to one Herman Pongilup, who pretended that ecclesiastics ought to have no possession of their own.t
* Mosheim, vol. iii. p. 275.
FRENCH PROPHETS. They first appeared in Dauphiny and Vivarais. In the year 1688, five or six hundred protestants of both sexes gave themselves out to be prophets, and inspired of the holy Ghost. They soon became so numerous, that there were many thousands of them inspired.: They had strange fits, which came upon them with tremblings and faintings, as in a swoon, which made them stretch out their arms and legs, and stagger several times before they dropped down. They struck themselves with their hands; they fell on their backs, shut their eyes, and heaved with their breasts, They remained a while in trances, and coming out of them with twitchings, uttered all which came into their mouths. They said they saw the heavens open, the angels, paradise, and hell. Those who were just on the point of receiving the spirit of prophecy dropped down, not only in the assemblies, crying out mercy, but in the fields, and in their own houses. The least of their assemblies made up four or five hundred, and some of them amounted to even three or four thousand persons. When the prophets had for a
f Broughton, vol. i. p. 427.
# They were people of all ages and sexes without distinction, though the greatest part of them were boys and girls from six or seven to twenty-five
years of age,
while been under agitations of sage was, (and they were to
body they began to prophesy. The burden of their prophecies was, Amend your lives, repent ye; the end of all things draws nigh / The hills rebounded with their loud cries for mercy, and with imprecations against the priests, the church, the pope, and against the anti-christian dominion, with predictions of the approaching fall of popery. All they said at these times was heard and received with reverence and awe.In the year 1706, three or four of these prophets came overinto England, and brought their prophetic spirit along with them, which discovered itself in the same ways and manners ; by extacies, and agitations, and inspirations under them, as it had done in France: and they propagated the like spirit to others, so that before the year was out, , there were two or three hundred of these prophets in and about London, of both sexes, of all ages; men, women, and children: and they had delivered under inspiration four or five hundred prophetic warnings. The great thing they pretended by their spirit was, to give warning of the near ap
proclaim it as heralds to the jews, and every nation under heaven, beginning at England) that the grand jubilee, the acceptable year of the Lord, the accomplishment of those numerous scriptures concerning the new heavens, and the new earth, the kingdom of the Messiah, the marriage of the Lamb, the first resurrection, or the new Jerusalem descending from above, were now even at the door—that this great operation was to be wrought on the part of man by spiritual arms only, proceeding from the mouths of those who should by inspiration, or the mighty gift of the Spirit, be sent forth in great numbers to labour in the vineyard— that this mission of his servants should be witnessed to by signs and wonders from heaven, by a deluge of judgments on the wicked univer, sally throughout the world; as famine, pestilence, earthquakes, &c.—that the exterminating angels shall root out the tares, and there shall remain upon earth only good corn ; and the works of men being thrown down, there shall be but one Lord, one faith, one heart, and one voice, among mankind. They declared that all the great things they spoke of would be manifest over the whole earth within the term of three years. f These prophets also pretended to the gift of languages, of discerning the secrets of the heart, the gift of ministration of the same spirit to others by the laying on of hands, and the gift of healing. To prove they were really inspired by the holy Ghost, they alleged the complete joy and satisfaction they experienced, the spirit of prayer - which was poured forth upon them, and the answer of their prayers by God.” FRIENDS, or QUAKERS, a religious society which began to be distinguished about the middle of the seventeenth century. The doctrines pecuHar to this society were first promulgated by George Fox, in England, about the year 1647, for which he was imprisoned at Nottingham, in the year 1649, and the year following at Derby. The appellation of Quakers was given them by way of contempt: some say on account of the tremblings under the impression of divine things which appeared in their public assemblies; but they themselves say it was first given them by one of the magistrates who committed George Fox to prison, on account of his bidding him and those about him to trem
ble at the word of the Lord." Whatever was the origin of the
name, it became their usual
denomination, though they themselves adopted the appellation of Friends. From their first appearance they suffered much persecution. In New England they were treated with peculiar severity. The treatment which they as a body received, they consider, and so we apprehend must every true friend to liberty of conscience, as anti-christian and cruel. During the persecutions which they met with in New England they applied to King Charles the second for relief,
who granted a mandamus,
dated Sep. 9. 1661, to put a stop to them. Neither were the good offices of this prince in their favour confined to the colonies; for in 1672 he released under the great seal four hundred of these suffering people, who were imprisoned in Great Britain. To what has been alleged. against them on account of James Nayler, they answer, that the extravagancies and blasphemies of him and his associates were disapproved at the time, and the parties disowned; nor was he restored till he had given signs of a sincere repentance, and publicly condemned his errors.
* Chauncey's Works, vol. iii. pp. 2–39.
In 1681 Charles the second granted to W. Penn the province of Pennsylvania. Penn's treaty with the Indians, and the liberty of conscience which he granted to all denominations, even those which had persecuted his own, do honour to his memory. In the reign of James the second the Friends, in common with other English dissenters, were relieved by the suspension of the penal laws. But it was not till the reign of William and Mary that they obtained any thing like a proper legal protection. An Act was made in the year 1696 which, with a few exceptions, allowed to their affirmation the legal force of an oath, and provided a less oppressive mode for recovering tythes under a certain. amount; which provisions under the reign of George the first were made perpetual. For refusing to pay tythes, &c. however, they are still liable to suffer in the exchequer and ecclesiastical court, both in Great Britain and Ireland. The doctrines of the society of Friends have been variously represented. Mr. John Evans, in his sketch of denominations, has been thought to have taken pains to prove them favourable to Socinianism. Without entering into any controversy
are very tender of quitting scripture terms and phrases for schoolmen's ; such as distinct and separate persons and subsistences, &c., from whence people are apt to entertain gross ideas and notions of the Father, Son, and holy Ghost: and they judge that a curious enquiry into those high and divine relations, though never so great truths in themselves, tend little to godliness, and less to peace.” 2. On Christ.—They believe that Christ is both God and Man in wonderful union; not a God by creation or office, as some hold; nor Man by the assumption of a human body only, without a reasonable * soul, as others suppose; nor that the manhood was swallowed up of the Godhead, as