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Religious denominations of the world : comprising a general view of the origin, history, and conditions of the various sects of Christians, the Jews, and Mahometans, as well as the pagan forms of religious existing in the different countries of the earth: with sketches of the founders of various rel online

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.; ..^tjMEirt:^ >.'.''






4'% I




\f:s ^



a"confessicn of^faith!



J. A. EDGERTON.



I h;i.ve no creed.
The Universe wheels on.

I am but as an atom 'mid the worlds; And yet
I feel the spirit of God within me, and lam sat-
isfied ••

I have no creed.
Creeds are but words.
Love is reality.

Love Qlls the heart *•■ •-

With charity, with p^ace,
"With faith, with hope, with heaven-
Love to the Father
Love to Christ
Love to our fellows —
This I feel within and it shaH guide me.
He who is ruled by loye—
By spirit love, not lust,
By love divine —
He who is ruled by love
Will not go wrong.

I have no creed.

Good is the only rule.

For what elS4 live we?

Fame?— It turns to ashes in the grasp.

j^jclies?— They are wrung from the heart's

blood of our fellows.

Knowledge?— It is but a babble of words.

But Good— Love— Truth -Beauty—

These are the verities,

These are eternal.

I have no creed

And yet I fear not death.

Death is a shadow.

Wrong— Hate— Error —

All are but shadows.

But I am eternal,

Why should I fear the things that only seem?

I seek for the eternals:

And will muke my heart

A precious storehouse for them

So that they may abide with me forever.

I have no creed.

But I have in me that surpassing words.

A faith in GJod as boundless as tiie bca;

A love that takes in all the human race.

1 see good in^all creeds,,

Good in all religions.

Good in all men,

Good in all living things.

The only sin to me is selfishness:

The only happiness the good wc do.

O let us drop these empty sounds and forms,

The letter that divides in warring sects..

And '"i, us fill our heart^with love, to m.en.

build a church as wide as hum.^n needs.
Imbue it with the spirit, not the tas^,

And henceforth leave the race unlettered, free

•Tu iOUoAv out its impulses divine.

For God is in us and will lead us on

If we' leave out our hates and follow Him.

1 have no creed.
<~>r, if a creed, but this,
1 love hum.ouity.

My life and alTl am I freely give
To better make the world, to help mankind.

^.^ My only creed is love — I know no more —
,' The Fatherhood of God.
The Brotherhood of man.



'No one could tell raft wljore my Soul might bo.
I searched for God but God eluded me.
I sought my brother out, and found all three,"

ajid adds:

"I tske my place in the lower classes.
I renounce the title of gentleman because it has

become intolerable to me.
Dear Master. I uadorstand now why you, too,

took your place, in the lower classes.
And why you refused to be a gentleman."



^_ Wendell PhllHpn closed hia orationT'entitled 1
'Harper's Ferry" with the foUowinj; words:
"Kight forever on the scaffold.
Wrong forever on the throne;
.But the scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim uubnown
Btandeth God, within the shadow,
Keopina; watch above His own."



SOC!.kLISn"THE WORLD'S PURPOSE.



IDWnf UAIiKBAM IN NIW YORK JOtJRNAl*

Men say that Life's high liope is vain;

That one force holds the heart— the hope
«»ain.
Are, then, the August Powers behind the veil

vVearj' of watch and po-werless to prevail?
Have they grown pai.sied with the creep of ag

And do they burn no more with pallid rage?
Are the shrine.«; empt;- and the altar.i cold.

Where once the saints and heroes kaeit of old!

Not so; the vast inbrothering of man —
The plories of the universe — be-ran

When first the Mother Darkness heard
The Wiiifcper, and the ancient chaos stirred,

And now the feet of Christ are in evonis.
Briiijjiug tli<» seas, shakinsr the continents.

His feel are heard in the historic march
Under t4ie:,whirlwind, under the starry arch.

Forever the Great Purpose p»esses on,

From darkn«ss unto darkness, da^\n to dawnj

Resolved to lay the rafter and the beam
Uf JuEtice — the imperishable Dream.

This is'the voice of Time asrainst the Hours;

This is the witness of Cosmic Powers;
This is the Music of the ages— this

The song whose first note shook the first Abyss.]

All that we plory in was once a dream;
The world-will marches onward gleam
gleam.
N«v? voices speak, dead paths begin to stir;

MaiD Is emerging from the sepulcher!
Let no man dare
To \»rite oii Time's preat way, "No Thorough-
fare!''




,,;•-;- GOD'S PRESENCE.

BY O. W. CBOFTS.

I never s:\w a radiant flower

Bend lowly o'er tlie sod:
I nuver saw a inountaiu tower
Above the clouds in mijflity power
That did not sueali of God.

I never looked on ocean's blue

When summer skies were fair;
I never saw the inornl;r.''s liue
Reflected in the trembliu? dew
But God was preijeut there.

I never felt a joy or pain.

I never shed a tear:
I never heard a sweat refrain
Across fond memory's golden plain

That God did not draw ne.ir.

And so I know 'twill surely bo

Wheu mortal life is o'er—
, When far across ihe siionl sea
The boatman pale has wafted me,

Hell meet meat the shorel
ncJl BluffB.



c



J



L.-^



^



A.



f



^^TM i\ M E m-w ^m\n^ u



RELllilOUS DENOMINATIONS



WORLD:



COMPRISING



A GENERAL VIEW OF THE OIMGIN, HISTORY, AND CONDITION OF THB

VARIOUS SECTS OF CHRISTIANS, THE JEWS, AND MAHOMETANS, AS

WELL AS THE PAGAN FoltMS OF RELIGION EXISTING IN

THE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OF THE EARTH:



^kk\t$ 0f i^t iamhxs of iarious Idigious Btf:t&*

FROM THE BEST AUTHORITIES.

By VINCENT L. MILNE R

A KEW AND IMPROVBD I.UITION.
WITH AN APPENDIX BROUGHT UJ' TO THE PRESENT TIME.

By J. NEWTON BROWN. D. D.

EDITOR OF " ENCVULOPEDIA OF Ki;Mi:iOL'S KNOWI.KDOE."

SOLD ONLY BY SUBSCRIPTION.



IMlILADELl'HfA:

BRADLEY & CO., 66 NOllTil FOURTH STREET.

ASTIER, ADAMS & HIGGINS,

No. 76 EAST MARKET ST., INDIANAL'OLIS, IND.

1868.



Entered according t.i Act of CongitKS, in the year 1866, by

BRADLEY i CO.,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court ul tlie United States, in iuul lur the K:)stern
District of Peniif-ylvania.



PREFACE.



The following view of the religious denominations of the world
has been carefully compiled from the best authorities on the sub-
ject. In order to render it as complete as the limits of the
volume would permit, the method has been followed of present-
ing summaries of the doctrines of each sect or religion without
in general adducing the arguments by which they are sustained.
The latter course would have led into too wide a field of contro-
versy. In order to preserve the degree of impartiality which
the reader is entitled to expect in a work of this kind, the com-
piler has confined himself to authorities in which the doctrines
of the several sects are drawn from the published works of their
founders or leading writers.

The subject is full of instruction. It forms a part of the his-
tory of the human intellect, as it has been exercised in different
a"es of the world, on topics the most interesting that can possibly
claim the attention of mankind. In reviewing the various forms
of faith and shades of opinion on religion which have prevailed

(iii)



IV PEEFACE.

in different ages and various parts of the world, we may learn the
influence of external circumstances on in textual belief; and that
of speculative opinions on the actual conduct of life. We per-
ceive also the first effect of freedom of religious inquiry, in multi-
plying sects and dividing extensive religious organizations into
uumerous branches. Above all, we may learn from this general
survey of religious sects, the lesson of charity and forbearance tow-
ard those who may entertain theological opinions different from
our own.

This volume will also show the gratifying truth, that while the
first effect of religious freedom may be to multiply divisions, its
final effect is to heal them. Some of the most scandalous divisions
in all ages have grown out of the attempts of governments, civil
and ecclesiastical, to stifle freedom of inquiry and suppress its
manifestations ; and while such despotism continues, no restorative
process is possible. Whereas, the natural growth of Christian
feeling under free institutions, tends to bring together bodies long
divided and alienated, whether in the Old World or in the New.
This happy effect of perfect religious freedom is most manifest iu
our own country at the present time. As in the beginning, Chris-
tians were " of one heai't and of one soul," so it may be hoped,
they will here become, through the unfettered study of the Scrip-
tures and the influence of the same Spirit which then guided them
into all truth : " for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the
Lord." Sects will disappear in the overflowing fulness of faith
and love. Despotism in Church and State may produce hypocriti-
cal Uniformity, but perfect religious freedom is the primary condi-
tion of Christian Unity.



A.LPHABETICAL INDEX.



i



VAQt

ABYSSINIAN CHURCH 35C

ADAMITES.. 2.57

AFRICAN METHODISTS 101

ACNOETAE 393

ALBANENSES 394

ALBIGENSES 362

AMERICAN PRESBYTERIANS Ill

ANABAPTISTS 341

ANTI-SABBATARIANS 446

ANTINOMIANS 344

ARIANS 228

ARMENIANS 230

ARMINIANS 231

ASSOCIATE PRESBYTERIANS 121

ASSOCIATE REFORMED 124

ATHEISTS 449

BAPTISTS 35

B ASILIDIANS 446

B AXTERI AN S 234

BEREANS 388

BR AMINS 471

BROWNISTS 188

B UDDIIISTS 474

CALVINISTS 329

CAMPBELLITE BAPTISTS 134

CARMATHITES 4J4

(V)



VI ALPHABETICAL INDEX.

CERINTHIANS 427

CHRISTIANS 152

CHRISTIANS OF ST. JOHN 447

CHRISTIANS OF ST. THOMAS 448

CIRCUMCELLIONS 442

COOCEIANS 386

COLLEGIANS 388

COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL 201

CONGREGATIONALISTS 169

CONGREGATIONAL METHODISTS 101

COPHTS 444

CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIANS 127

DANCEJIS 385

DAVIDISTS 385

DEISTS 413

DONATISTS 411

DUTCH REFORMED 53

EBIONITES 409

ENGLISH PRESBYTERIANS 110

BPHRATA BAPTISTS 147

EPISCOPALIANS 46

ER ASTI ANS 384

EUCHITES 408

EUNOMIANS 407

EUTYCHI ANS 315

EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION 100

EVANGELICAL LUTHERANS 71

FIFTH MONARCHY MEN 318

FLAGELLANTS 337

FRATRICELLI 319

FREE-WILL BAPTISTS 132

FRENCH PROPHETS 440

GALILEANS 429

GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH 56



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. Vll

< ; XOSTICS 241

GREEK CHURCH 263

G UEBRES 452

HOPKINSIANS 378

HUGUENOTS 206

HUSSITES 245

nUTCHINSONI ANS 378

ICONOCLASTES 253

INDEPENDENTS 191

JACOBITES 435

JANSENISTS 436

JESUITS 369

JEWS 296

JUMPERS 345

KIRK OP SCOTLAND 102

L AM AISTS 468

LATITUDINARIANS 395

LIBERTINES 403

LOLLARDS 367

LUCI ANISTS 427

LUCIFERI ANS 428

LUTHERANS 59

MAHOMETANS 267

MANICHiEANS 321

MAROIONITES 325

M ARONITES 326

MATERIALISTS 430

MELCHITES 426

MENNONITES 148

METHODISTS 76

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 95

METHODIST PROTESTANTS 99

METHODIST SOCIETY 98

MINOR DENOMINATIONS OF BAPTISTS 143



viii ALPHABETICAL INDEX.
MOLINISTS


323


MONOPHYSITES


422


MONOTHBLITES


424


MONT ANISTS


, 335


MORAVIANS


. ... 130


MORMONS


180


MUGGLETONIANS

MYSTICS


336

347


NECESSARIANS


364


NEONOMI ANS


199


NESTORIANS


. 453


NONCONFORMISTS ,

ORIGENISTS


202

396


PAGANS


458


OP AFRICA


477


" CHINA

" LAPLAND

" MADAGASCAR

" MEXICO

" NORTH AMERICA

" " PERU


460

463

498

481

504

.500

510


" " POLYNESIA


493


PANTHEISTS


354


P AULICIANS


401


PAULIANISTS


400


PELAGIANS


314


PETROBRUSSIANS

PIETISTS


399

... . 321


PURITANS


185


QUAKERS


213


REFORMED METHODISTS


98


RELLYA NISTS


118

42G







X ALPHABETICAL INDEX.

DUTCH EEFORMED CHURCH. . . . 536

EPISCOPALIANS 535

FREE CHURCH 540

FREE-WILL BAPTISTS : 542

GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH 536

GNOSTICS 544

GREEK CHURCH 548

KIRK OF SCOTLAND 539

LOLLARDS 553

LUTHERANS 536

MAHOMETANISM 548

MANICHAE ANS 549

METHODISTS 538

MORMONS 544

MONOPHYSITES 553

PAGANS 553

PAGANS OF AFRICA 554

PAGANS OF AMERICA 555

PAGANS OF CHINA 554

PAGANS OP JAPAN 554

PAGANS OF MADAGASCAR 554

PAGANS OF POLYNESIA 555

PAULICIANS 553

PETROBRUSSIANS 553

PROGRESSIVE FRIENDS 542

RATIONALISTS 544

ROMAN CATHOLICS. 555

SPIRITUALISTS 533

UNITED PRESBYTERIANS 540

UNITARIANS 543

UNIVERSALISTS 543

WALDENSES 558

WICKLIFFITES 546

WINEBRENNARIANS 542



INTRODUCTION.



SECTION I.



STATE OF THE WORLD IN GENERAL, AT THE BIRTH OW
JESUS CHRIST.

"When Jesus Christ made his appearance on earth, a great
part of the world was subject to the Koman Empire. This
empire was much the largest temporal monarchy that had ever
existed, so that it was called all the world (Luke ii. 1). The
time when the Romans first subjugated the land of Judea, was
between sixty and seventy years before Christ was born j and
soon after this the Roman Empire rose to its greatest extent and
splendor. To this government the world continued subject till
Christ came, and many hundred years afterwards. The remoter
nations, that had submitted to the yoke of this mighty empire,
were ruled either by Roman governors, invested with temporary
commissions, or by their own princes and laws, in subordination
to the republic, whose sovereignty was acknowledged, and to
which the conquered kings, who were continued in their own
dominions, owed their borrowed majesty. At the same time, the
Roman people, and their venerable Senate, though they had not
lost all shadow of liberty, were yet in reality reduced to a state
of servile submission to Augustus Caesar, who, by artifice, per-
fidy, and bloodshed, attained an enormous degree of power, and

(xi)



Xii INTRODUCTION.

united in his own person the pompous titles of Emperor, Pon-
tiff, Censor, Tribune of the People; in a word, all the great
offices of the State.

At this period, the Romans, according to Daniel's prophetic
description, had trodden down the kingdoms, and by their ex-
ceeding strength devoured the whole earth. However, by en-
slaving the world, they civilized it; and whilst they oppressed
mankind, they united them together. The same laws were
everywhere established, and the same languages understood.
Men approached nearer to one another in sentiments and man-
ners ; and the intercourse between the most distant regions of
the earth was rendered secure and agreeable. Hence, the benign
influence of letters and philosophy was spread abroad in coun-
tries which had been before enveloped in the darkest ignorance.

Just before Christ was born, the Roman empire not only rose
to its greatest height, but was also settled in peace. Augustus
Caesar had been for many years establishing the state of the
Roman Empire, and subduing his enemies, till the very year
that Christ was born : then, all his enemies being reduced to
subjection, his dominion over the world appeared to be settled
in its greatest glory. This remarkable peace, after so many ages
of tumult and war, was a fit prelude to the ushering of the
glorious Prince of Peace into the world. The tranquillity which
then reigned was necessary to enable the ministers of Christ to
execute with success their sublime commission to the human
race. In the situation into which the providence of God had
brought the world, the gospel in a few years reached those remote
corners of the earth into which it could not otherwise hav,e pene-
trated for many ages.

All the heathen nations, at the time of Christ's appearance
on earth, worshipped a multiplicity of gods and demons, whose
favor they courted by obscene and ridiculous ceremonies, and
whose anger they endeavored to appease by the most abominable
cruelties.

Every nation had its respective gods, over which one, moro
excellent than the rest, presided; yet in such a manner, that the
supreme deity was himself controlled by the rigid decrees of



INTRODUCTION. xiii

fate, or by what the philosopliers called eternal necessity. The
{iods of the East were diftorcnt from those of the Gauls, the
Germans, and other northern nations. The Grecian divinities
differed from those of the Egyptians, who deified plants, and a
great variety of the productit>ns both of nature and art. Each
people had also their peculiar manner of worshipping and ap-
peasing its respective deities In process of time, however, the
Greeks and llouians grew as ambitious in their religious preten-
sions, as in their political claims. They maintained that their
gods, though under different appellations, were the objects of
religious worship in all nations; and therefore they gave the
names of their deities to those of other countries.

The deities of almost all nations were either ancient heroes,
renowned for noble exploits and worthy deeds, or kings and
geAerals, who had founded empires, or women who had become
illustrious by remarkable actions or useful inventions. The merit
of those eminent persons, contemplated by their posterity with
enthusiastic gratitude, was the cause of their exaltation to celes-
tial honors. The natural world furnished another kind of dei-
ties; and as the sun, moon, and stars shine with a lustre superior
to that of all other material beings, they received religious homage
from almost all the nations of the world.

From those beings of a nobler kind, idolatry descended into
an enormous multiplication of inferior powers ; so that, in many
countries, mountains, trees, and rivers, the earth, the sea, and
wind, nay, even virtues, and vices, and diseases, had their shrines
attended by devout and zealous worshippers.

These deities were honored with rites and sacrifices of various
kinds, according to their respective nature and offices. Most
nations offered animals, and human sacrifices were universal in
ancient times. They were in use among the Egyptians till the
reign of Amasis. They were never so common among the Greeks
and Romans ; yet they were practised by them on extraordinary
occasions. Porphyry says " that the Greeks were wont to sacri-
fice men when they went to war." He relates, also, <'that human
eacrifices were offered at Rome till the reign of Adrian, who or-
dered them to be abolished in most places."



Xiy INTRODUCTION.

Pontiffs, priests, and ministers, distributed into several classes,
presided over the Pagan worship, and were appointed to prevent
disorder in the performance of religious rites. The sacerdotal
order, which was supposed to be distinguished by an immediate
intercourse and friendship with the gods, abused its authority
in the basest manner, to deceive an ignorant and wretched

people.

The religious worship of the Pagans was confined to certain
times and places. The statues, and other representations of the
gods, were placed in the temples, and supposed to be animated
in an incomprehensible manner — for they carefully avoided the
imputation of worshipping inanimate beings — and therefore pre-
tended that the divinity, represented by the statue, was really
present in it, if the dedication was truly and properly made.

Besides the public worship of the gods, to which all, without
exception, were admitted, there were certain religious rites cele-
brated in secret by the Greeks, and several eastern countries, to
which a small number was allowed access. These were called
mysteries ; and persons who desired an initiation, were obliged
previously to exhibit satisfactory proofs of their fidelity and
patience, by passing through various trials and ceremonies of the
most disagreeable kind. The secret of these mysteries was kept
in the strictest manner, as the initiated could not reveal anything
that passed in them, without exposing their lives to the most
imminent danger.

These secret doctrines were taught in the mysteries of Eleusis,
and in those of Bacchus and other divinities. But the reigning
religion was totally external. It held out no body of doctrines,
no public instruction to participate on stated days in the esta-
blished worship. The only faith required, was to believe that
the gods exist, and reward virtue, either in this life or in that
to come ; the only practice, to perform at intervals some religious
acts, such as appearing in the solemn festivals, and sacrificing at
the public altars.

The spirit and geniui5 of the Pagan religion was not calculated
to promote moral virtue. Stately temples, expensive sacrifices,
pompous ceremonies, and magnificent festivals, were the objects



INTRODUCTION. XV

presented to Its votaries. But just notions of God, jbeJience
to His moral laws, purity of heart, and sanctity of life, were not
once mentioned as ingredients in religious service. No repent-
ance of past crimes, and no future amendment of conduct, were
ever prescribed by the Pagans, as proper means of appeasing
their oflPended deities. Sacrifice a chosen victim, bow down

before an hallowed image, be initiated in the sacred mysteries,

and the wrath of the gods shall be averted, and the thunder shall
drop from their hands.

The gods and goddesses, to whom public worship was paid,
exhibited to their adorers examples of egregious crimes, rather
than of useful and illustrious virtues. It was permitted to con-
sider Jupiter, the father of the gods, as an usurper, who expelled
his father from the throne of the universe, and is, in his turn,
to be one day driven from it by his son. The priests were little
solicitous to animate the people to virtuous conduct, either by
precept or example. They plainly enough declared, that all
which was essential to the true worship of the gods, was con-
tained in the rites and institutions which the people had received
by tradition from their ancestors. Hence the wiser part of man-
kind, about the time of Christ's birth, looked upon the whole
system of religion as a just object of ridicule and contempt.

The consequence of this state of theology was an universal
corruption of manners, which discovered itself in the impunity
of the most flagitious crimes.

When the llomans had subdued the world, they lost their own
liberty Many vices, engendered or nourished by prosperity,
delivered them over to the vilest of tyrants that ever afflicted or
disgraced human nature. Despotic power was accompanied with
all the odious vices which are usually found in its train, and thej
rapidly grew to an incredible pitch. The colors are not too
strong which the apostle employs in drawing the character of
that age, in Rom. i. 21, 22, etc., and in Eph. iv. 17-19.

At the time of Christ's appearance on earth, the religion of
the llomans, as well as their arms, had extended itself throu^rh-
out a groat part of the world. Besides the religious rites, which



XVI




INTRODUCTION.






. Numa


and others had instituted for political views,


the Romans


added


several


Italian and Etrurian fictions to


the


Grrecian


fables,


and gave also to the Egyptian deities a place


among their



own.

In the provinces subjected to the Roman government, there
arose a new kind of religion, formed by a mixture of the ancient
rites of the conquered nations with those of the Romans. Those
rations, who, before their subjection, had their own gods, and
their own particular religious institutions, were persuaded by
degrees to admit into their worship a great variety of the sacred
rites and customs of the conquerors.

When, from the sacred rites of the ancient Romans, we pass
to review the other religions which prevailed in the world, it
will appear obvious, that the most remarkable may be properly
divided into two classes — one of which will comprehend the
religious systems which owe their existence to political views ;
and the other, of those which seem to have been formed for
military purposes. The religion of most of the eastern nations
may be ranked in the former class, especially that of the Per-
sians, Egyptians, and Indians, which appears to have been solely
calculated for the preservation of the State, the support of the
royal authority and grandeur, the maintenance of public peace,
and the advancement of civil virtues. The religious system of
the northern nations may be comprehendeci under the military
class; since all the traditions among the Grermans, the Bretons,
the Celts, and the Goths, concerning their divinities, have a
manifest tendency to excite and nourish fortitude, ferocity, an
insensibility of danger, and contempt of life.

At this time Christianity broke forth from the east like a
rising sun, and dispelled the universal religious darkness which
obscured every part of the globe. " The noblest people," says
Dr. Robertson, " that ever entered upon the stage of the world,
pppear to have been only instruments in the Divine Hand, for
the execution of wise purposes concealed from themselves. The
Roman ambition and bravery paved the way, and prepared the
world, for the reception of the Christian doctrine. They fought



Online LibraryUnknownReligious denominations of the world : comprising a general view of the origin, history, and conditions of the various sects of Christians, the Jews, and Mahometans, as well as the pagan forms of religious existing in the different countries of the earth: with sketches of the founders of various rel → online text (page 1 of 43)