UNITARIANS Those who confine the glory and attributes of divinity to the Father, and not allowing it to the Son or Holy Spirit. They are the same as the Socinians.
SOCINIANS A sect so called from Faustus Socinus, who died in Poland in 1604. There were two who bore the name Socinus, uncle and nephew, and both disseminated the same doctrine; but it is the nephew who is generally considered as the founder of this sect. They maintain "that Jesus Christ was a mere man, who had no existence before he was conceived by the Virgin Mary; that the Holy Ghost is no distinct person; but that the Father is truly and properly God. They own that the name of God is given in the holy Scriptures to Jesus Christ, but contend that it is only a deputed title, which, however, invests him with a great authority over all created beings. They deny the...
SEMI-ARIANS Were thus denominated, because, in profession, they condemned the errors of the Arians, but in reality maintained their principles, only palliating and concealing them under softer and more moderate terms. They would not allow, with the orthodox, that the Son was of the same substance, but only of a like substance with the Father; and thus, though in expression they differed from the orthodox in a single letter only, yet in effect they denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. The Semi-arianism of the moderns consists in their maintaining that the Son was, from all eternity, begotten by the will of the Father; contrary to the doctrine of those who teach that the eternal generation is necessary. Such, at least, are the respective opinions of…
ARIANS Followers of Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, about 315, who maintained that the Son of God was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of those beings whom God had created--the instrument, by whose subordinate operation he formed the universe; and therefore, inferior to the Father both in nature and dignity: also that the Holy Ghost was not God, but created by the power of the Son. The Arians owned that the Son was the Word; but denied that word to have been eternal. They held that Christ had nothing of man in him but the flesh, to which the word, was joined, which was the same as the soul in us.--The Arians were…
SABELLIANS A sect in the third century that embraced the opinions of Sabellius, a philosopher of Egypt, who openly taught that there is but one person in the Godhead. The Sabellians maintained that the Word and the Holy Spirit are only virtues, emanations, or functions of the Deity; and held that he who is in heaven is the Father of all things; that he descended into the Virgin, became a child, and was born of her as a son; and that, having accomplished the mystery of our salvation, he diffused himself on the apostles in tongues of fire, and was then denominated the Holy Ghost. This they explained by resembling God to the sun; the illuminated virtue or quality of which was the Word, and…
TRINITARIANS Those who believe in the Trinity.