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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A sect of Anabaptists in Holland. They are thus called in distinction from the Flemingians, or Flandrians, and likewise because they consisted at first of the inhabitants of a district in North Holland, called Waterland. The Flemingians were called the fine or rigid, and the Waterlandians the gross or moderate Anabaptists. The former observe, with the most religious accuracy and veneration, the ancient doctrine and discipline of the purer sort of Anabaptists; the latter depart much more from the primitive sentiments and manners of their sect, and approach nearer to the Protestant churches. These latter, however, are divided into two distinct sects, the Waterlanders and the Frieslanders but this difference, it is said, merely respects their place of abode. Neither party have any bishops, but only presbyters and deacons. Each congregation is independent of all foreign jurisdiction, having its own court of government, composed of the presbyters and deacons. But the supreme power being in the hands of the people, nothing of importance can be transacted without their consent.

The presbyters are generally men of learning; and they have a public professor at Amsterdam for instructing their youth in the different branches of erudition, sacred and profane. About 1664, the Waterlanders were split into the two factions of the Galenists and the Apostoolians. Galen, Abraham Haan, doctor of physic, and pastor of the Mennonites at Amsterdam, a man of uncommon penetration and eloquence, inclined towards the Arian and Socinian tenets, and insisted for the reception of all such into their church fellowship as acknowledged the divine authority of the Scriptures, and led virtuous lives. He and his followers renounced the designation of the Mennonites. They were with great zeal opposed by Samuel Apostool, another physician and eminent pastor at Amsterdam, who, with his followers, admitted none to their communion but such as professed to believe all the points of doctrine contained in their public Confession of Faith.

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

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