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List Of Heresies – False Doctrines Or False Branches Of Christianity

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List Of Heresies – False Doctrines Or False Branches Of Christianity

An Excerpt From The Book: Truth’s Victory Over Error

by David Dickson (1684)


These “heresies” are errors or false doctrines or false branches of Christianity as noted below.


An alphabetical list of the proper and patronymic names of the authors of the old and late heresies confuted in the foregoing treatise.



Adamites: so called from one Adam, the author of their sect, or from the first man Adam, whose nakedness they imitate in their stoves and conventicles, after the example of Adam and Eve in paradise. 


Anthropomorphitans: so called from two Greek  words, Anthropus, a man, and Morphe, a form, figure, or shape, because they maintained that God had a body, and was endued with human Shape.


Arians: from Anus a Lybian by birth, and a presbyter of Alexandria by profession. This heresy brake out under Conistantine, 290 years after Christ, and over ran a great part of the world. It was condemned in the first famous council of Nice, gathered by  Constantine’s appointment, anno 325.


Arminians: so called from James Arminius, divinity reader in Leyden, who, i6og, published and maintained five articles, which have occasioned great trouble to the church of God, being eagerly maintained by his followers, called remonstrants. The live articles are concerning predestination, redemption, God’s grace, freewill, and perseverance.


Anabaptists: so called from re-baptizing, had for their author one Nicholas Storck, who pretended familiarity with God, by an angel promising him a kingdom, if he would reform the church, and destroy the princes that would hinder him. 


Antinomians: so called from two Greek words, anti, against, and nomos, the law. They sprung up from one John Agricola, who affirmed, that the moral law was altogether needless, and that Christians were not tied to the observation thereof. This sect sprung up about the year 1535.


Arabians: so named from Arabia, the country where their heresy was broached, and maintained under Philip the emperor, 217 years after Christ.



Brounists: so called from their author, Mr. Robert Broun, of Northamptonshire in England, sometime a schoolmaster at Southwark, hold there is no other pure church in the world, but among themselves as did the Donatists of old.



Dominicans: one of the popish orders, so called from Dominicus, a Spaniard. They were instituted by pope Innocent III anno 1205 This man with twelve abbots, were appointed to preach down the doctrine of the Albigenees, who by their preaching did same religion with the old Non-conformists in England who were called Puritans. 


Donatists: from Donatus, born in Humidia, in Africa who, because Cecilian was preferred bishop before him to the bishopric of Carthage, accused him, and all the bishops which had ordained him, to be Traditores; that is, such as had delivered, up their Bibles to be burned by idolators, under the persecution of Maximius.



Epicurians: from one Epicurus, an old heathen philosopher, who placed men’s chief happiness in the pleasure of the mind. He denied providence, and taught the world was made by the concourse of atoms.


Eutychians: so named from Eutyches, an abbot of Constantinople. This man’s heresies were condemned by the fourth general council held at Chalcedon under the emperor Martianus, anno 451.


Erastians: so called from Thomas Erastus, a physician in Heidelberg in Germany, who following this man’s foot steps, having taken away from the church all discipline and government, and put it into the hands of the civil magistrate. 


Enthusiasts: so called from the Greek word, Enthusiadso, or Euthusiao, in Latin Fanatico I am inspired, or acted, with a prophetical or divine fury.



Franciscans: another popish order, so called from one Francis, an Italian merchant, who before his conversion, as the Papists say, lived a wicked and debauched life. He gathered many disciples, anno 1198, and appointed them to be obedient to Christ and the pope.


Familists: or of the family of love, whose author was one Henry Nicholas, a Hollander. The first founder was one David George of Delst who called himself the true David, that should restore the kingdom to Israel. They maintained many dangerous opinions.



Greeks: are those who inhabit Greece, viz. Macedon, Epirus, Bulgaria, Moldavia, &c. They place much of their religion in the worship of the virgin Mary; and of painted, but not carved, images.


Hermerobaptists: so called from two Greek words, Hermera, a day, and Baptidso, to baptise, because they maintained, that men and women, according to their faults committed every day, ought every day to be baptised.



Jesuits: so called from our blessed Saviour’s name, Jesus, which they falsely assume to themselves. They were instituted anno 1540, by Ignatius Loyola, first a soldier; they are all well bred in philosophy, and school divinity, and in many other arts and sciences, and therefore they are employed as emissaries from the pope and his conclave to advance the popish religion.


Judaisers: so called, because they think that the Jewish ceremonies are still in force, and binding on us who live under the gospel.


Independents: so called, because they will have every particular congregation to be ruled by their own laws, without dependency upon any other church.



Libertine: from the liberty and freedom they take and hive to others to commit sin. Their first author that whatsoever good or evil we did, was not done by us, but by God’s Spirit in us, and many other blasphemous opinions.


Lutherans: who so call themselves, lyingly and falsely, from Martin Luther, that eminent man of God.



Manicheans: from one Manos, a Persian by birth, and a servant by condition. The Manichean sect was the sink of all former heresies.


Macedonians: so called from Macedonus bishop of Constantinople, 312 years after Christ. Their heresy was condemned in the second general council held at Constantinople, by Gratian and Theodosius, anno 380. His followers were called Pneumato machians, fighters against the Holy Spirit, Pneuma, a Spirit, and Machesthai, to fight.


Marcionites: from one Marcion, a Paphlagonian, hear the Euxine sea, who was Cerdon’s scholar, a grand heretic. He maintained Cerdou’a heretics at Rome, about 133 years after Christ.



Nestorians: so called from Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, who broached his errors under Theodosius the younger, 400 years after Christ. They made Christ to be two persons, as he had two natures. This heresy was condemned by the third general council, held at Ephesus, under Theodosius, the younger, anno 431.


Novatians: so called from Novatus, wito lived under Decius the emperor, 220 years after Christ. He was an African by birth.



Origenists: so called from the famous Origen: His errors began to spread about the year of Christ 247 under Aurelian the emperor, and continued about 334 years.



Pneumatomachians: See letter M. 


Pelagians: from Pelagius, a Briton, as they say, by birth. A monk at Rome, afterwards a presbyter, under Theodosius the younger Puritans, otherwise Kathari, because they esteemed themselves purer and holier than others.


Photinians: from Photinius, born in the lesser Galatia. He began to spread his heresies about the year 323 at Syrmium, where he was bishop under Constantinus the emperor.


Papists are too well known: they are to be found in every page almost of the book.



Quakers: so called, because some times they use to quake and tremble when they prophesy, or when they are in a rapture.



Sociniant: so called from one Faustus Socinus, an Italian of Stena, they place all religion in the old condemned heresies, following their matter, a most vile heretic.


Sabellians: so called from Sabellus, an African by birth. His heresies began anno 224.


Separatists: so called, because they withdrew themselves from the Christian communion, and followed others in the worship of God.


Sceptics: commonly called Seekers, maintain, that the whole universal church hath perished a little after the apostles times, and are not to this day restored, until Christ from heaven shall send new apostles for raising up again the church visible.


Sabbatarians: so called, because they observe the Jewish Sabbath, imagining there is no precept or example in the New Testament, for observing the first day of the week.



Tritheits, or Tritheotae: so called, because they divided the indivisible essence of the Godhead into three parts; the one they called the Father, the other the Son, the third the Holy Ghost.


Tertullianists: were so called, from that famous lawyer and divine, Tertullian, who lived under Severus the emperor, about 170 years after Christ.



Vorstians: from one Vorstus, an old heretic, who taught, that God had a body, and was endued with parts, as the Anthropomorphitans affirmed. 


Vaninians: from one Vaninus, a great promoter of Atheism. He was publicly burnt at Tholouse.



The above text is a portion of the book: Truth’s Victory Over Error”, by David Dickson, 1684. This book is a commentary on all the chapters of the (Westminster – RB) confession of faith, by way of question and answer: in which, the saving truths of our holy religion are confirmed and established; and the dangerous errors and opinions of its adversaries detected and confuted… To this edition is prefixed, a short account of the author’s life, by the late Mr. Robert Wodrow” 296 pages. The entire book can be ordered from Still Waters Revival Books.



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