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piety, and enlightened zeal for divine truth; who shared the obloquy attached to their denomination in consequence of denying to the rite of infant baptism the obligation of a Christian institution.
The person who is considered to have been the earliest public advocate of antitrinitarianism, is Martin Cellarius, a native of Stutgard. He was born in the year 1499, and educated at the university of Wittemberg, where he is said to have studied with singular success polite literature, philosophy, and theology, the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee and Syriac languages. His learning and talents secured for him the warın friendship of Luther and Melancthon, whose principles he had embraced. Being deputed to hold a public disputation with Stubner and Stork, two of the founders of the German Anabaptists, he yielded to the arguments of his acute and learned opponents, and went over to their party ; but pursuing his inquiries further than they had done, re- . linquished, among other tenets, the doctrine of the · Trinity. His defection from the Lutheran cause, and his open avowal of antitrinitarian sentiments, exposed him to various persecutions, to escape which he removed in 1536 to Basil in Switzerland, where he remained until his death in the year 1564. On his settlement in this city he took the name of Borrhaus, being a translation of his original surname into the corresponding Greek term, and was appointed pro. fessor of rhetoric and philosophy. He is mentioned by Faustus Socinus in high terms of eulogy as the friend of his uncle Lælius; and the ministers of Tran
sylvania class him with Servetus and Erasmus, as appointed by God to convey to mankind extraordinary information concerning himself and Jesus Christ, Andrew Althamerus, who wrote a work against Cellarius, represents him as having revived the errors of Paul of Samosata, &c. and maintained that Jesus, Christ was a mere human prophet *.
Contemporary with Cellarius was Lewis Hetzer, a Dutchman by birth, who is usually classed among the anabaptists, but without sufficient evidence t. He settled at Zurich in the year 1523. Hetzer was a man of great learning, and deeply versed in the original languages of the Scriptures, of which he exhibited undeniable proof in a German translation of all the books of the prophets, which he published in 1527, in conjunction with John Denkius. Sandius states that in his theological sentiments he was manifestly and certainly an Arian, and represents him as having taught that the Father alone was the true God'; that Christ was inferior to the Father, and of a different essence; that there were not three persons in the godhead; and that God was neither essence nor person in the sense in which those terins are commonly em
* Meshovii Hist. Anabaptistica, p. 3. This writer calls him Matthias Cellarius. Bock, Hist. Antitrin. tom. ii. pp. 223 et seqq. Sandii Bibliotheca Antitrinitar. p. 15, who quotes the words of the ministers of Sarmatia and Transylvania in their work De falsa et vera cognitione Dei: “ Luthero et Zwinglio dedit [Deus] referendos et justificationis et rei sacramenturiæ fructus ; Martino vero Cellario, Serveto, et Erasmo Roterodamo fructus alios præcipuos cognitionis veri Dei et Christi, &c. † Bock, ubi supra, tom. ii. p. 232.
ployed. ployed *. He wrote a work against the deity of Christ, .. which however was never published; the manuscript having fallen into the hands of Zwinglius was suppressed. Hetzer was put to death by the magistrates of Constance in the year 1529, but historians disagree as to the cause and the manner of his punishment. Seckendorfft affirms that he was burnt at the stake for his heretical opinions ; but Sandius and others, concurring with this writer as to the reason of his .condemnation, state, and, it would seem, more correctly, that he was beheaded f. But some, whose relation the learned Bock has followed, assert that he suffered on account of his licentious principles and conduct. This statement, however, which is grounded on the representation of enemies, ought to be received with much caution. At this period it was customary to implicate in the guilt of the most criminal of the anabaptist sect all whose dissent from the popular faith caused them to be ranked under this denomination; and a denial of the supreme deity of Christ was sufficient to expose any individual, however exemplary in his morals, to the imputation of crimes the most abhorrent to his feelings. This consideration should incline us to believe with Sandius and Seckendorff, both most respectable authorities, that Hetzer's real offence was what the latter styles his blasphemies against Godę.
Bibl. Antitrin. p. 16.
* Nucleus Hist. Eccles. 4to. p. 424.
With the name of Hetzer is connected that of John Denkius, who has already been noticed as associated with him in his German version of the prophetical writings. Denkius, who is mentioned as a man of extensive erudition, and a profound Hebrew scholar, was a native of Nuremberg, and for some time held the situation of rector of the school of that city. He is stated to have maintained that God was the fountain of all created things; that the Spirit or power of God was the next in order; and afterwards the Word of God, which he had begotten of himself by the Spirit.
Hetzer and Denkius are represented as holding the first rank among the antitrinitarians of this age in Germany and Switzerland ; and it is said that their fame, having spread into Italy, had the effect of bringing over to their opinions many individuals in that country*.
The next name that occurs in this connexion is that of John Campanus, supposed to have been a native of Juliers. He settled at Wittemberg in 1528, where he is charged with having clandestinely promulgated his opinions. Sandius states him to have been an Ariant. He wrote a work on the 'Trinity, wherein he maintained that the Son was begotten of the substance of the Father, before the world was created; that there was a time when he had no existence; and consequently, that he was inferior to the Father, who employed him as his mivister in the creation of the world, and in other affairs; and that
* Bock, ubi supra, tom. ii. pp. 240, 241.
- the the Spirit was not a divine Person, but meant the nature and operations of the Father and the Son*. He is supposed to have died about 1530, previously to which he suffered some persecution for his opinions. :'
Another antitrinitarian of this period was Adam Pastor, a man of great learning, who had previously borne the name of Rudolphus Martin. He belonged to the anabaptists of Frisia, froin whose society he was excluded about 1546, on account of his sentiments concerning the Trinity, having before held a public disputation on this subject at Goch in the duchy of Cleves, with Theodore Philips and Menon Simonis. He maintained that the Father alone was the true God; that the Son had existed before the world, but was not co-eternal with the Father, nor yet omnipotent, nor consubstantial with the Father, nor equal to him, but was one with him in will; and that the Holy Spirit was the power or operating energy of God t.
About the year 1530, a person of the name of Claudius, called, from the province wherein he was chiefly known to the public, Claudius Allohrex, caused considerable sensation by the dissemination of antitrinitarian sentiments in Switzerland and some adjacent districts. He denied that there were three persons ju. the divine essence, and maintained that the Father was greater than the Son, and was the only true God.
. * Sandii Bibl. Antitrin.p.17. Bock, ubi supra, tom. ii. pp. 248, 249. + Sandii Bibl. Antitrin. p. 38. Nucleus Hist. Ecclcs.p. 425.