SECTS

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SECTS. The term sectis generally applied to a party in religion or philosophy, which holds a particular body of doctrines. Thus, in ancient philosophy, there were the Ionic and Italic SECTS, the Epicurean, the Stoic, the Peripatetic sects. But the philosophical sects are often termed schools, and the word sect is, in its narrower sense, applied particularly to religious parties. Among the Jews, there were the sects of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, and, of a more strictly religious character, those of the Caraites, Rahbinists and Samaritans. The Mohammedans are divided into two great SECTS, the Sunriites and Shiites, besides numerous smaller sects, as the Ishmaelites, Wahabees, No'sairians, &c. (see the several articles, and also Islam, Mohammed, and Koran), who differ from each other not only in their interpretations of the Koran, but in their various views in regard to the genealogy of the prophet's family. The Hindoos are divided into the Sivaites, or those who worship Siva, and the Vishnooites, who pay particular reverence to Vishnoo. The Christian world has, from the first introduction of Christianity, been divided into an almost innumerable variety of sects. We have already given a hasty view of the earlier sects under the head of Heretics. The Cathari of the middle ages, who, under various names, opposed the pretensions of the papal see, and to whom the Albigenses (q. v.) and Waldenses (q. v.) mostly belonged, were, with the exception of the latter, extirpated by the inquisition and the inquisitorial tribunals of the church. (See Cathari, and Paulicians.) In the thirteenth century arose a new species of sects and schismatic fraternities, whose object was the introduction of a new spirit of sanctity among the monastic orders. (See Fraternities.) A party grew up among the Franciscans, which was dehoimced by the popes, and by their own less rigid brethren, and which insisted upon absolute poverty. They were called, in contempt, fraiicelli, and. spiritual friars. (See Franciscans.) They did hot meddle with points of faith, but attacked the existing priestly government, and announced its fall. They wandered about, occupied in praying and asking alms, the excommunication which hung ot^er them preventing them from founding monasteries. Many of the lower classes of both sexes, in France, Germany and the Netherlands, attached themselves, as a third order, to the Fraticelli, and from these Tertiarians sprang the fraterVOL. xi 26 iiities of Beghards, Beguines (q. v.) and Lollards, whose purity of manners and benevolent institutions, for the care of the sick and the instruction of youth, rendered them more respected than their predecessors, whom they resembled in their frequent prayers, the asking alms, and their secret religious exercises. The Apos tolics (q. v.), an order which arose in 1260, at Parma, but did not obtain the papal confirmation, continued to subsist in Italy, Switzerland and France, till the fourteenth century. The Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit, remnants of whom are discoverable during the Hussite disturbances in Moravia and Bohemia, under the names of Picards and Adamites (q. v.), aimed at restoring the state of innocence, by appearing naked in their assemblies, without regard to sex or age. Other fraternities, not acknowledged by the church, were distinguished, in the fourteenth century, for their voluntary penances and gross superstitions: such were the Flagellants (q. v.) and the Brothers of the Cross. The Wickliffites (q. v.) in England, and the Hussites in Bohemia (see Huss), resembled the Waldenses in their zeal for conformity with the Scriptures, and their opposition to the abuses of the papacy. These, with the Hussite sects, the Calixtins (q. v.) or Utraquists, the Horebites, the Taborites (q. v.), and the Bohemian Brethren (q. v.), preceded the reformation of the 16th century. The Protestant churches which that event created, were, with the Greek church, considered as sects by the Catholics ; but by Protestant writers the word sect is commonly applied only to the smaller parties, disconnected with the Calvinistic and Lutheran churches. The Jansenists, Quietists and Molinists, notwithstanding the deviations on some doctrinal points, were still orthodox Catholics; the Jansenists even have distinct congregations and clergy in the Netherlands, but yet are by no means considered as forming a separate sect, since they acknowledge the supremacy of the pope, and observe all the Catholic usages, only disputing the pope's infallibility. The Appellants, Convulsionists, and Securists, Naturalists and Figurists, Discernants and Melangists, who were produced by the Jansenist controversy, merely had a short existence in France, in the beginning of the eighteenth century. (See Jansenius, and Quietism.) In the^Greek church, although it has, in later times, been little addicted to religious speculations, there are some sects. These the tolerant government of Russia treats with indulgence. (See Greek Church.) In the fourteenth century, the Strigolnicks seceded, from aversion to the clergy, but soon became extinct. In 1666 arose the sect of the Roskolnicians (q. v.), from whom proceeded the Philippones. (q. v.) The Anabaptists, Socinians (q. v.), and Schwenkfeldians, though not Protestants in the strict sense of the word, agree with them in the rejection of the papacy. Besides the great division of the Protestants into Calvinists and Lutherans (see Reformation, and Reformed Church), the former have been much divided. Thus the different views of Calvin (q. v.) and Zuinglius (q. v.), in regard to church government, formed a ground of distinction which (notwithstanding the consensus Tigurinus of 1549) separated the Zuinglians, or older Swiss reformers, and their adherents in Hungary, from the Calvinists of Geneva, France, Holland, Germany and England, and the controversy concerning predestination, at the synod of Dort (1618), produced the permanent separation of the Remonstrants or Arminians (q. v.) from the strict Calvinists. The Reformed hi France, under the name of Huguenots (q. v.), acquired a political importance in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the persecutions to which they were subjected produced its usual effects of religious extravagance and fanaticism. (See Camisards.) The English church is Denominations. Baptists (Calvinistic)," (Freewill)," (Freecommunion)," (Seventhday)," (Sixprinciple)," (Emancipators), Methodist Episcopal Church, Associate and other Methodists, Presbyterians (General Assembly " (Associate)," ^Cumberland), Congregationalists (Orthodox), " (Unitarians), Episcopal Church, Universalists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Christians, German Reformed, Dutch Reformed, Friends, or Quakers, Mennonites, Tunkers, United Brethren, Shakers, or Millennial Church, Swedenborgians,or New Jerusalem Ch., Jews, and others not mentioned, Calvinistic, but the majority of the clergy is Arminian. (See England, Church of) Presbyterianism, which in England forms a dissenting sect, is the established religion of Scotland. (See Presbyterians.) From the bosom of the English church have also proceeded the Puritans, Independents, Methodists, Quakers Baptists, with other less considerable sects. (See these articles, and also Nonconformists.) Unitarians (q. v.) and Universalists (q. v.), who differ from the established church more widely than the sects above mentioned, on doctrinal points, are also pretty numerous in England. Seceders (q. v.), Sandemanians (q. v.), Cameronians (q. v.), &c, are among the more noted of the Scotch sects. The Herrnh utters (see United Brethren), and Swedenborgians, or members of the New Jerusalem church (see Swedenborg), have proceeded from the Lutheran church. In the U. States, where perfect religious freedom prevails, and where emigrants from all countries seek refuge, it is not strange that there should be representatives of almost all the modern sects of the Christian world, and also some sects of native origin. (See Christians, Shakers, Tunkers.) The following table, from the American Almanac for 1832, shows the relative numbers of the different religious denominations in the U. States: Churches or Ministers. Congregations. Communicants. Population. 2,914 4,384 304,827 2,743,453 300 400 16,000 150,00030 3,500 30,00030 40 2,000 20,00025 30 1,800 20,00015 600 4,500 1,777 476,000 2,600,000 350 35,000 175,000 1,801 2,253 182,000 1,800,00074 144 15,000 100,00050 75 8,000 100,000 1,000 1,270 I10,000 1,260,000 160 193 176,000 558 700 600,000 150 300 500,000 500,000 205 1,200 44,000 400,000 200 800 25,000 275,00084 400 17,400 200,000 159 194 17,888 125,000 400 200,000 200 30,000 120,00040 40 3,000 30,00023 23 2,000 7.00045 15 6'000Ch., 30 28 5;ooo 150 5(X000 Besides the various sects which have formed independent religious communities, there were also, during the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, numerous theological parties and religious enthusiasts, who were united only by the bonds of common opinions, but did not form distinct ecclesiastical societies. Such were the Labadists, whose founder (1666) was Labaclie, an exJesuit and preacher at Middelburg, and who received the doctrines of the Reformed church, but endeavored to form a family similar to the primitive Christian societies, by acts of penance, monastic discipline, and community of goods; the Boehmists, or followers of Bohme, also called Gichtelians, from the theosophist Gichtel (q. v.), who proposed to restore the priesthood of Melchizedek, and Angelic Brethren, from their efforts to attain angelic purity of life (see E&limc) ; the Philadelphists, or Angelic Brethren of England, a shortlived theosophical party, collected by Jane Leade, on Boehmistic principles, towards the close of the seventeenth century; the Dippelians, so called from their founder, Dippel, a physician, who agreed with the Gichtelians in their reverence for the writings of Bohme, but occupied themselves much with alchemy ; the Pietists (see Pietism), and the Chiliasts or Millennarians, under their various forms. (See Millennium.)See, further, the articles Abrahamites, Thcophilanthropists, and Theosophists ; and the work of Gregoire, Histoire des Sectes Religieuses (2 vols., 1814).