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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Illuminati (2)

Was also the name of a sect which appeared in Spain about the year 1575. They were charged with maintaining that mental prayer and contemplation had so intimately united them to God, that they were arrived to such a state of perfection, as to stand in no need of good works, or the sacraments of the church, and that they might commit the grossest crimes without sin. After the suppression of the Illuminati in Spain, there appeared a denomination in France which took the same name. They maintained that one Anthony Buckuet had a system of belief and practice revealed to him which exceeded every thing Christianity had yet been acquainted with: that by this method persons might in a short time arrive at the same degrees of perfection and glory to which the saints and the Blessed Virgin have attained; and this improvement might be carried on till our actions became divine, and our minds wholly given up to the influence of the Almighty. They said further, that none of the doctors of the church knew any thing of religion; that Paul and Peter were well-meaning men, but knew nothing of devotion; that the whole church lay in darkness and unbelief; that every one was at liberty to follow the suggestions of his conscience; that God regarded nothing but himself; and that within ten years their doctrine would be received all over the world; then there would be no more occasion for priests, monks, and such other religious distinctions.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Illuminati (2)'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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