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An obscure Puritan sect which arose in England in the middles of the seventeenth century. They represented an Antinomian tendency among some of the Independents, and professed to be seeking for the true Church, Scripture, Ministry, and Sacraments. In his contemporary account Richard Baxter says of them: "They taught that our scripture was uncertain; that present miracles are necessary to faith; that our ministry is null and without authority, and our worship and ordinances unnecessary or vain, the Church, ministry, scripture and ordinances being lost, for which they are now seeking." He adds the absurd statement: "I quickly found that the Papists principally hatched and actuated this sect, and that a considerable number that were of this profession were some Papists and some infidels." (Life and Times, 76). According to Baxter, they amalgamated with the Vanists. Weingarten considers that they held Millenarian views. Probably the name denotes a school of thought rather than a definitely-organized body.
BAXTER, Reliquiæ Baxterianæ (London, 1696); WEINGARTEN, Die Revolutionskirchen Englands (Leipzig, 1868).