A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Cabbalists
CABBALISTS, certain doctors among the Jews, who pretend to derive from tradition an acromatic or secret science, called the Cabbala. This science is divided into three sorts. By the first kind, the Jews extract recondite meanings from the word of scripture. The second is a kind of magic, in employing the words and letters of scripture in certain combinations, which they suppose have power over the good and evil spirits of the invisible world familiar with them. The third, which is properly ,the Cabbala, is an art, by which they profess to raise mysterious expositions of the scriptures upon the letters of the sentences, to which they apply them.
The cabbalists suppose every letter, point, or accent of the law to contain some hidden mystery, which was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, but not written, (whence it is called the oral law,) but handed down by tradition among these mystic doctors.
It is said, that the cabbalistic mysteries are at present despised by the more intelligent part of the Jewish nation.
- Butler's Hopae Biblicae..