1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Muggleton, Lodowicke

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

MUGGLETON, LODOWICKE (1600-1698), English sectarian was born in Bishopsgate Street, London. His father was a farrier, but he himself was bred to be a tailor. In 1651 he began to have revelations, and to proclaim himself and his cousin John Reeve, whose journeyman he was, as the two witnesses mentioned in Rev. xi. 3. In 1652 they put out their “commission book” under the title The Transcendent Spirituall Treatise. An exposition of their doctrines was published in 1656 under the title of The Divine Looking-Glass. Among other views (besides the doctrine of the divine mission of the authors) this work taught that the distinction of the three persons in the Trinity is merely nominal, that God has a real human body, and that He left Elijah as His vicegerent in heaven when He Himself descended to die on the cross. Muggleton's opinions gained some notable adherents, but also called forth much opposition. In 1653 he was imprisoned for blasphemy, and twice (1660 and 1670) his own followers temporarily repudiated him. His attack on the Quakers drew forth William Penn's book, The New Witnesses proved old Heretics (1672). In 1677 Muggleton was tried at the Old Bailey, convicted of blasphemy, and fined £500. Reeve died in 1658, but Muggleton survived till 1698.

His collected works, including the posthumous Acts of the Witnesses,

were published in 1756; and in 1832 some sixty Muggletonians subscribed to bring out a new edition of The Works of J. Reeve and L. Muggleton (in 3 vols. 4to). Even as late as 1846 The Divine Looking-Glass was reprinted by members of the then almost extinct

sect. See A. Jessopp, The Coming of the Friars (1888).