Charles Buck Theological Dictionary: ADAMITES

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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary: ADAMITES


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A sect that sprang up in the second century. Epiphanius tells us, that they were called Adamites, from their pretending to be re-established in the state of innocence, such as Adam was at the moment of his creation, whence they ought to imitate him in going naked. They detested marriage; maintaining that the conjugal union would never have taken place upon earth, had sin been unknown. This obscure and ridiculous sect did not last long. It was, however, revived with additional absurdities in the twelfth century. About the beginning of the fifteenth century, these errors spread in Germany and Bohemia: it found also some partisans in Poland, Holland, and England. They assembled in the night; and it is said, one of the fundamental maxims of their society was contained in the following verse: Jura, perjura, secretum prodere noli. Swear, forswear, and reveal not the secret.