A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Libertines

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LIBERTINES, a sect which arose in Flanders about 1525, probably from the remains of the "Brethren of the free spirit," mentioned above. They published no books; but the doctrines they taught, according to Calvin and others, were the following: 1. That the Deity was the sole operating cause in the mind of man, and the immediate author of all human actions. 2. That consequently the distinctions of good and evil that had been established with respect to those actions, were false and groundless; and that men could not, properly speaking, commit sin. 3. That religion consisted in the union of the spirit, or rational soul, with the supreme Being. 4. That all those who had attained to this happy union by sublime contemplation and elevation of mind, were then allowed to indulge, without exception or restraint, their appetites and passions, as all their actions were then perfectly innocent. 5. That after the death of the body, they were to be united to the Deity.[1]

Original footnotes[edit]

  1. Broughton, vol. ii. p. 543. Mosheim, vol. iv. p. 122, 123.