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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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In ecclesiastical history, the name of a modern Dutch sect, so called from Pontian Van Hattem, a minister in the province of Zealand, towards the close of the last century, who, being addicted to the sentiments of Spinosa, was on that account degraded from his pastoral office. The Verschorists and Hattemists resemble each other in their religious systems, though they never so entirely agreed as to form one communion. The founders of these sects deduced from the doctrine of absolute decrees a system of fatal and uncontrollable necessity; they denied the difference between moral good and evil, and the corruption of human nature; from whence they farther concluded, that mankind were under no sort of obligation to correct their manners, to improve their minds, or to obey the divine laws; that the whole of religion consisted not in acting, but in suffering; and that all the precepts of Jesus Christ are reducible to this one, that we bear with cheerfulness and patience the events that happen to us through the divine will, and make it our constant and only study to maintain a permanent tranquillity of mind. Thus far they agreed: but the Hattemists further affirmed, that Christ made no expiation for the sins of men by his death; but had only suggested to us, by his mediation, that there was nothing in us that could offend the Deity: this, they say, was Christ's manner of justifying his servants, and presenting them blameless before the tribunal of God. It was one of their distinguished tenets, that God does not punish men for their sins, but by their sins. These two sects, says Mosheim, still subsist, though they no longer bear the names of their founders.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Hattemists'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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