Heresiographies, Surveys of the Sects & other Religions, & on Heresies & Error

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Definitions:

Heresiographies refer to works that survey and categorize heresies.  A heresy is a teaching that contradicts, or tends to subvert, a fundamental of the Christian faith.  Sects are Christian churches that err in secondary matters which do not tend to subvert fundamentals of the faith.

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Subsections

Polemical Theologies & on Controversies

On Atheism                                        On Separatism & Brownism

On Islam                                             On Antinomianism

On Judaism                                        On Erastianism

On Socinianism                                  On Voluntaryism

On Romanism                                     On Ecclesiocracy

On Greek & Eastern Orthodoxy          On Prelacy & Episcopacy

On Lutheranism                                   On Congregationalism & Independency

On Arminianism                                   On Hyper-Preterism

On the Libertines                                  On Anabaptism

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Order of Contents

Heresiographies & Surveys of Sects  8
Surveys of Christian Lands & Other Religions  4

On Error  1
On Heresies  5
The History of Heresies  6

Latin: Heresiographies & on Heresies  1


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Heresiographies & Surveys of Sects

Reformed and/or Puritan

1600’s

Religion’s Lottery, or the Church’s Amazement, wherein is Declared how many sorts of Religions there is Crept into the Very Bowels of this Kingdom, Striving to Shake the Whole Foundation & to Destroy both Church & Kingdom. Namely these 16 Hereafter Mentioned: 1 Papists, 2 Arians, 3 Arminians, 4 Canonists, 5 Atheists, 6 Adamites, 7 Familists, 8 Anabaptists, 9 Lutherans, 10 Separatists, 11 Brownists, 12 Puritans, 13 Novolists, 14 Time-Servers, 15 Rattle-Heads, 16 Round-Heads, whereunto is annexed each of their several opinions, with sufficient arguments to confute each opinion & to prove them enemies to the peace of the Church & Kingdom  (London, 1642)  5 pp.

This work has been attribtued to Alexander Ross (c. 1590–1654).  Ross was Scottish, reformed and a chaplain to King Charles I.  It has also been attributed to John Taylor (1578–1653), who was an English poet who dubbed himself “The Water Poet”.

The work is for bishops (likely Anglican) and its critique of puritans is self-admittedly negligible.

Pagitt, Ephraim

Heresiography, or, A Description of the Heretics & Sectaries of These Latter Times  (London, 1645)

Pagit (c. 1575–1647) was an English, royalist, clergyman and heresiographer who took the Solemn League & Covenant, and joined in a petition to Parliament to establish presbyterianism, probably as a preferable alternative to Independency.  Pagitt was in favor of the Anglican Prayer-book and found his doctrinal standard in the Anglican 39 Articles.  Pagitt was a great linguist, having said to be able to write 15-16 languages. 

Pagitt’s Heresiography of 1645 well references its claims and was a precursor to the better-known Gangraena of Edwards.  The Oxford English Dictionary indicates that the title of this book was a neologism, derived by analogy from Christianography, an earlier title of his.

Baillie, Robert – A Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time wherein the Tenets of the Principal Sects, especially of the Independents, are Drawn Together in One Map, for the most part in the Words of their Own Authors, and their Main Principles are Examined by the Touchstone of the Holy Scriptures  (London, 1645)  ToC

Edwards, Thomas

The First & Second Part of Gangræna, or, A Catalogue & Discovery of Many of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies & Pernicious Practices of the Sectaries of this Time, Vented & Acted in England in these Four Last Years, also a Particular Narration of Diverse Stories, Remarkable Passages, Letters: an Extract of Many Letters, All Concerning the Present Sects: Together with Some Observations upon & Corollaries From All the Fore-named Premises  (London, 1646)

Edwards (1599–1647) was an English presbyterian and puritan who wrote at large against the sects, Independents and the unlimited toleration of such.  One of his sons was John Edwards (d. 1716), an important, later reformed Anglican divine.

The Third Part of Gangræna, or a New & Higher Discovery of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies & Insolent Proceedings of the Sectaries of these Times; with some Animadversions by way of Confutation upon many of the Errors & Heresies Named…  Brief Animadversions on many of the Sectaries’ Late Pamphlets, as Lilburne’s and Overton’s Books Against the House of Peers, Mr. Peters, his last report of the English wars, The Lord Mayors farewell from his office of majoralty, Mr. [John] Goodwin’s [an Arminian] Thirty-Eight Queries upon the Ordinance against heresies & blasphemies, Mr. [Henry] Burton’s [an Independent puritan] Conformity’s Deformity, Mr. Dell’s sermon before the House of Commons…  As also some few hints & brief observations on diverse pamphlets written lately against me & some of my books…  (London, 1646)

Well-Wisher of Truth & Peace – A Relation of Several Heresies: 1 Jesuites. 2 Socinians. 3 Arminians. 4 Arians. 5 Adamites. 6 Libertines. 7 Anti-Scriptarians. 8 Soul-Sleepers. 9 Anabaptists. 10 Familists. 11 Expectants & Seekers. 12 Divorcers. 13 Pelagians. 14 Millenaries. 15 Anti-Sabbatarians. 16 Anti-Trinitarians. 17 [7th Day] Sabbatarians. 18 Separatists. 19 Apostolics. 20 Antinomians. Discovering the Original Ring-Leaders & the Time when they Began to Spread: as also their Dangerous Opinions & Tenets…  (London, 1646)  24 pp.

Rutherford, Samuel – A Survey of the Spiritual Antichrist, Opening the Secrets of Familism & Antinomianism in the Antichristian Doctrine of John Saltmarsh & William Del, the Present Preachers of the Army now in England, & of Robert Town, Tobias Crisp, H. Denne, Eaton & Others: in which is Revealed the Rise & Spring of Antinomians, Familists, Libertines, Swencfeldians, Enthusiasts, etc., the Mind of Luther, a Most Professed Opposer of Antinomians, is Cleared & Diverse Considerable Points of the Law & the Gospel are Discovered, in Two Parts  (1648)  IA

The first half of the book is on the history and rise of Antinomians and Familists.  The second half is a survey and refutation of Antinomianism.

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Non-Puritan Heresiographies

A Discovery of 29 Sects Here in London, all of which, except the first, are most devilish & damnable, being these which follow: Protestants. Puritans. Papists. Brownists. Calvinists. Lutherans. Family of Love. Mahometans. Adamites. Brightanists. Arminians. Socinians. Thessalonians. Anabaptists. Separatists. Chaldæans. Electrians. Donatists. Persians. Antinomians. Assyrians. Macedonians. Heathens. Panonians. Saturnians. Junonians. Bacchanalians. Damassians. The Brotherhood.  (London, 1641)  8 pp.

By ‘puritans’ the author may mean Independent puritans, as he says they came from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Divisions of the Church of England: Crept in at 15 Several Doors by Diverse, each having members very earnest in the seeking to have such a Church & Discipline here Established, as is agreeable with their Religion. For Bishops: 1 Papists. 2. Arians. 3. Arminians. 4. Canonists. Against Bishops.  Against Bishops: 5. Athests. 6. Adamites. 7. Familists. 8. Anabapists. 9. Luthetans. 10. Seperatists. 11. Brownists. 12. Puritans; Betwixt both: Novelists, Time-Servers, Each in their True Colors without any Dissimulation in the World  (London, 1642)  5 pp.

This work has been attributed to John Taylor (1578–1653), who was an English poet who dubbed himself “The Water Poet”.

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The History of Heresiography

On the Middle Ages

Mushagalusa, Timothee Baciyunjuze –  John of Damascus & Heresiology: a Basis for Understanding Modern Heresy  PhD thesis  (University of South Africa, 2008)  390 pp.

Abstract:  “For him [John of Damascus], a heretic was any Christian who, by wilful choice, departs from the one orthodox tradition by adopting a personal opinion on the common faith which he intends to institute as sole truth. Our research is divided into two parts and aims to apply John of Damascus’ understanding of the recurring identity of the Christian heretic and his behaviour.”


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Surveys of Christian Lands & Other Religions

1600’s

Pagitt, Ephraim

Christianography: or the Description of the Multitude & Sundry Sorts of Christians in the World Not Subject to the Pope, with their Unity, & how they Agree with the Protestants in the Principal Points of Difference Between Them & the Church of Rome  (London, 1636)  ToC

Pagit (c. 1575–1647) was an English, royalist, clergyman and heresiographer who took the Solemn League & Covenant, and joined in a petition to Parliament to establish presbyterianism, probably as a preferable alternative to Independency.  Pagitt was in favor of the Anglican Prayer-book and found his doctrinal standard in the Anglican 39 Articles.  Pagitt was a great linguist, having said to be able to write 15-16 languages. 

Pagitt’s Heresiography of 1645 well references its claims and was a precursor to the better-known Gangraena of Edwards.  The Oxford English Dictionary indicates that the title of this book was a neologism, derived by analogy from Christianography, an earlier title of his.

R.B. – The Strange & Prodigious Religions, Customs & Manners of Sundry Nations, Containing: I. their ridiculous rites and ceremonies in the worship of their several deities, II. the various changes of the Jewish religion … , III. the rise and growth of Mahometanism…, IV. the schisms and heresies in the Christian church being an account of…  Adamites, Muggletonians, etc. all intermingled with pleasant relations of the fantastical rites both of the ancients and moderns in the celebration of their marriages and solemnizations of their funerals etc.  (London, 1683)

R.B. (1632?-1725?)

Ross, Alexander – Pansebeia, or a View of All Religions in the World: with the Several Church-Governments, from the Creation till these Times. Also, a Discovery of All Known Heresies, in all Ages & Places: & Choice Observations & Reflections Throughout the Whole  (d. 1654; London, 1696)  ToC  Index  After the Index are mini-biographies of arch-heretics.

Ross (c. 1590–1654) was a prolific, reformed Scottish writer and controversialist. He was Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Charles I.  A 20th century academic has called Ross “the vigilant watchdog of conservatism and orthodoxy”.

Turner, William – The History of All Religions in the World, from the Creation Down to this Present Time in Two Parts: the First Containing their Theory, & the Other Relating to their Practices…  to which is Added, a Table of Heresies: as also a Geographical Map Showing in what Country Each Religion is Practiced  (London, 1696)  Table of Heresies  (organized by the theological doctrine they deny)

This work was published when comparative religion was becoming popular at the beginnings of the Enlightenment.  At this early date, such works still yet retained a Christian perspective, in contrast to the attempt of pure neutrality that would come later.

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On Error

Book

1600’s

Bolton, Samuel – The Arraignment of Error, or a Discourse Serving as a Curb to Restrain the Wantonness of Men’s Spirits in the Entertainment of Opinions & as a Compass whereby we may Sail in the Search & Finding of Truth; Distributed into Six Main Questions… & in Conclusion of All, Some Motives & Means Conducing to an Happy Accommodation of our Present Differences are Subjoined  (London, 1646)


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On Heresies

Articles

1600’s

Cranford, James – Haereseo-Machia [Heresy-Fighter], or, the Mischief which Heresies Do, & the Means to Prevent it: Delivered in a Sermon…  (London, 1646)

Cranford (c.1592–1657) was an English puritan and presbyterian.  Cranford wrote a preface to Edwards’s Gangraena.

Vines, Richard – The Authors, Nature & Danger of Hæresy: Laid open in a Sermon Preached before the Honorable House of Commons…  being Set Apart as a Solemn Day of Public Humiliation to Seek God’s Assistance for the Suppressing & Preventing of the Growth & Spreading of Errors, Heresies & Blasphemies  (London, 1647)  on 2 Pet. 2:1

Sedgwick, Obadiah – The Nature & Danger of Heresies: Opened in a Sermon before the Honorable House of Commons…  being the Day of their Solemn Monthly Fast  (London, 1647)  on Rev. 12:15-16

Bagshaw, Edward – The Necessity & Use of Heresies, or the Third & Last Part of the Great Question about Indifferent Things in Religious Worship. Containing an Answer to the Objection Against Liberty of Conscience, from the Growth & Spreading of Heresies  (London, 1662)  30 pp.  on 1 Cor. 11:19

Bagshaw (1629–1671) was an English Nonconformist minister and theologian, known as a controversialist.  His sympathies were with the fringe Independent sects of the Commonwealth period, and after the English Restoration of 1660 his life was embattled.  Richard Baxter criticized Bagshaw as “an Anabaptist, Fifth Monarchy man, and a Separatist”; Baxter argued for remaining in the Anglican Church while Bagshaw argued for separating from it; he criticized Baxter’s lukewarm position on dissent.

John Locke replied to Bagshaw’s Great Question about Indifferent Things in Religious Worship.

Hill, Samuel – The Necessity of Heresies Asserted & Explained in a Sermon to the Clergy  (London, 1688)  on 1 Cor. 11:19

Hill (c.1648-1716) was a reformed Anglican.


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The History of Heresies

On the Early Church

Berzon, Todd S. – Classifying Christians. Ethnography, Heresiology, & the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity  Pre  Buy  (Univ. of California Press, 2016)

This work provides “an account of heresiological writing from the second to fifth century”.

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On All of Church History

1600’s

Ross, Alexander – Pansebeia, or a View of All Religions in the World: with the Several Church-Governments, from the Creation till these Times. Also, a Discovery of All Known Heresies, in all Ages & Places: & Choice Observations & Reflections Throughout the Whole  (d. 1654; London, 1696)  ToC  Index  After the Index are mini-biographies of arch-heretics.

Ross (c. 1590–1654) was a prolific, reformed Scottish writer and controversialist. He was Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Charles I.  A 20th century academic has called Ross “the vigilant watchdog of conservatism and orthodoxy”.

Baxter, Richard – Church-History of the Government of Bishops & their Councils Abbreviated, Including the Chief Part of the Government of Christian Princes & Popes, & a True Account of the Most Troubling Controversies & Heresies Till the Reformation…  (London, 1680)

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1900’s

Cozens, M.L. – A Handbook of Heresies  (NY, 1945)

Clifton, Chas – Encyclopedia of Heresies & Heretics  (NY, 1998)  184 pp.

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2000’s

McGrath, Alister – Heresy: a History of Defending the Truth  (NY, 2009)  296 pp.


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Latin:  Heresiographies & on Heresies

A Collection of Early Church Works on Heresies

Oehler, Franz – A Body of Heresiology, vol. 1, 2  (Berlin, 1856)  ToC 1

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