A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Bourignonists
BOURIGNONISTS, a denomination in the seventeenth century, which sprang from the famous Antoinette Bourignon de la Ponte, a native of Flanders, who pretended to be divinely inspired, and set apart to revive the true spirit of Christianity that had been extinguished by theological animosities and debates. The leading principles which run through her productions are as follow:—That man is perfectly free to resist or receive divine grace. That God is ever unchangeable love towards all his creatures, and does not inflict any arbitrary punishment; but that the evils they suffer are the natural consequences of sin. That true religion consists not in any outward forms of worship, nor systems of faith; but in an entire resignation of the will to God.
This lady was educated in the Roman Catholic religion; but she declaimed equally against the corruptions of the church of Rome and those of the reformed churches: hence she was opposed and persecuted by both catholics and protestants. She maintained that there ought to be a toleration of all religions.
Those who are desirous of seeing a particular account of the life and writings of this lady, may consult an abridgment of the "Light of the World," published in 1786, by the New Jerusalem church.
- Dufresnoy's Chronological Tables, vol. ii. p. 253. Mosheim, vol. v. p. 64. Light of the World, p. 27—480. Mad. Bourignon's Letters