Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Men of Understanding
This title distinguished a denomination which appeared in Flanders and Brussels in the year 1511. they owed their origin to an illiterate man, whose name was Egidius Cantor, and to William of Hildenison, a Carmelite monk. They pretended to be honoured with celestial visions, denied that any could arrive at perfect knowledge of the Holy Scriptures without the extraordinary succours of a divine illumination, and declared the approach of a new revelation from heaven, more perfect than the Gospel of Christ. They said that the resurrection was accomplished in the person of Jesus, and no other was to be expected; that the inward man was not defiled by the outward actions, whatever they were; that the pains of hell were to have an end; and not only all mankind, but even the devils themselves were to return to God, and be made partakers of eternal felicity. They also taught among other things, that Christ alone had merited eternal life and filicity for the human race; and that therefore men could not acquire this inestimable privilege by their own actions alone
that the priests to whom the people confessed their transgressions, had not the power of absolving them, but this authority was vested in Christ alone
that voluntary penance and mortification was not necessary to salvation. This denomination appears to have been a branch of the Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Men of Understanding'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/m/men-of-understanding.html. 1802.