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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Saturnians

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A denomination which arose about the year 115. They derived their name from Saturnius of Antioch, one of the principal Gnostic chiefs. He held the doctrine of two principles, whence proceeded all things; the one, a wise and benevolent Deity, and the other, matter, a principle essentially evil, and which he supposed acted under the superintendence of a certain intelligence of a malignant nature. The world and its inhabitants were, according to the system of Saturnius, created by seven angels, which presided over the seven planets. This work was carried on without the knowledge of the benevolent Deity, and in opposition to the will of the material principle. The former, however, beheld it with approbation, and honoured it with several marks of his beneficence. He endowed with rational souls the beings who inhabited this new system, to whom their creators had imparted nothing more than the animal life; and, having divided the world into seven parts, he distributed them among the seven angelic architects, one of whom was the God of the Jews, and reserved to himself the supreme empire over all.

To these creatures, whom the benevolent principle had endowed with reasonable souls, and with dispositions that led to goodness and virtue, and evil being, to maintain his empire, added another kind, whom he formed of a wicked and malignant character: and hence the differences we see among men. When the creatures of the world fell from their allegiance to the supreme Deity, God sent from heaven into our globe a restorer of order, whose name was Christ. This divine Conqueror came clothed with a corporeal appearance, but not with a real body. He came to destroy the empire of the material principle, and to point out to virtuous souls the way by which they must return to God. This way is beset with difficulties and sufferings, since those souls who propose returning to the Supreme Being must abstain from wine, flesh, wedlock, and in short from every thing that tends to sensual gratification or even bodily refreshment.

See GNOSTICS.


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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Saturnians'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/cbd/s/saturnians.html. 1802.

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Saturday, July 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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