Definitions for familist
A member of a religious sect, the Family of Love, in 16th century Europe
one of afanatical Antinomian sect originating in Holland, and existing in England about 1580, called the Family of Love, who held that religion consists wholly in love
The Family of Love or Familists was a mystic religious sect known as the Familia Caritatis, founded in the sixteenth century by Henry Nicholis, also known as Niclaes. The outward trappings of Nicholis's system were Anabaptist. His followers were said to assert that all things were ruled by nature and not directly by God, of denying the dogma of the Trinity, and repudiating infant baptism. They held that no man should be put to death for his opinions, and apparently, like the later Quakers, they objected to the carrying of arms and to anything like an oath; and they were quite impartial in their repudiation of all other churches and sects, including Brownists and Barrowists. Nicholis's message is said to have appealed to the well educated and creative elite, artists, musicians and scholars. They felt no need to spread the message and risk heresy; members were usually a part of an otherwise established church, quietly remaining in the background, confident in their elite status as part of the Godhead. As the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition says: Members of the Familists included cartographer Abraham Ortel and publisher Christopher Plantin. Plantin worked by day as Philip II of Spain's printer of Catholic documents for the Counter Reformation, and otherwise surreptitiously printed Familist literature. In the 1580s, it was discovered that some of the Yeomen of the Guard for Elizabeth I were Familists; the Queen did nothing about it, which raised questions about her own beliefs. The keeper of the lions in the Tower of London for James I was a Familist. The biggest colony of Familists was in Balsham, Cambridgeshire. Nicholis's chief apostle in England was Christopher Vitell.
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