FAMILIAR SPIRIT. See Divination, § 1.
FAMILIARES; A term applied to domestic servants or craftsmen employed in the service of a monastery, who, without being either monks or lay brothers, were considered as belonging in a sense to the order, and were thus required to join in certain religious exercises.
FAMILIARITAS (COMMENSALITIUM): In canon law, a term describing one of the grounds on which a bishop may ordain a man who dote not strictly belong to his diocese. It is not required that the candidate shall have literally lived in the bishop's house and sat at his table, but he must have received his support from the bishop's personal funds, and have been for three years in such dose communication with the bishop that the latter shall have had full opportunity to acquaint himself with his character. A benefice must also be provided for him by the bishop within a month after his ordination.
FAMILISTS (Family of Love; Huia der Liefde; Familia caritatis): A short-lived religious community, founded in Emden, East Friesland, about 1540 by Hendrik Niclaes, or Niclas, and exercising a certain amount of influence in the The religious confusion of the later Eng-Founder. fish Revolution, as well as in the Phila delphian Society of Jane Lead (q.v.). Horn of Roman Catholic parentage on Jan. 9 or 10, 1502 or 1501,, possibly at Münster, Niclaes spent the first twenty-nine years of his life in his native city as a merchant. He was originally a devoted follower of the ancient faith, and even in his career as the leader of a sect he felt still formally con nected with Romaq Catholicism. However, he entered into spiritual communion with many who were inclined toward the Reformation, and in 1528 he was imprisoned for a short time, but was released for lack of evidence. Some time before 1531 he settled in Amsterdam, remaining there more than nine years. The only details known concerning this residence are that within a year he was again imprisoned, and that after his speedy release he lived in seclusion, devoting himself to a life of Pietism. It was not until his thirty-ninth year that Niches became a figure of importance and claimed that revelations had assured him that God had poured upon him the " spirit of the true love of Jesus Christ," and had chosen him from his youth to be the prophet to prepare the way for the approaching end of time. In this period he began to commit his revelations to writing, and for twenty years (1540- 60), Emden was the center both of his mercantile activity and his religious propaganda, while he journeyed throughout Holland and Flanders, and also visited Paris and London. To this period belong the majority of his stings, of which the most important were Den Spegel der Gherechticheit, dorch den Geist der .,rgodeden M6nseh H. N. uth de hemmelische Warheit betilget, and Evangelium offte sine frqlicke Bodeschop des Rycke godes uncle Christi (Eng. transl., An Introduction to the Under standing of the Glasse of Righteousness, by C. Vittell, 1575 [?J). Most of these works were printed secretly, but, as is now certain, partly by the press of the famous Antwerp printer Plantin, who had become a convert to Niclaes' views about 1550, despite the fact that later he was the "prototypo graphus" of the king of Spain and printer to the Holy See. Niclaes himself continued to be osten sibly a strict Roman Catholic, his works being dis seminated by his closest disciples, while he him self established his Familia caritatis at Emden.
This was essentially a community of mystic . indifferentism, only loosely connected with historic
Christianity. While the teachings Doctrines of the Bible and the Church were of the not denied, they were practicallyFamilists. ignored, being regarded either as a
mere preparation for the age of love, or being reduced to allegories. The basis of the system is a mystic pantheism, which explains how Niclaes could believe that God and Christ had become incarnate in himself, although others also might thus partake of God. On the other hand, the self-consciousness of the founder, who did not hesitate to term himself an incarnation of God or Christ, often defeated the logical consequences of pantheism; and the organization of the sect, with its twenty-four elders, archbishops, four classes of priests, and "supreme bishop," was entirely monarchical. A centralized administration was necessitated, moreover, by the complicated system of priests professing poverty, a community giving tithes, and an involved law of inheritance. There is no reason to suppose, however, that Niclaes was a conscious hypocrite, although his mysticism of love had an antinomian tendency, and both the organization of the sect and many practises of the community were not free from peril. The propaganda of Niclass did not escape the notice of the authorities of Emden. Niclaes himself escaped in 1560, before proceedings could be taken against him, and lived the life of a refugee for several years, residing successively at Kampen, Utrecht, probably again in England, and, after 1570 in Cologne. He seems to have died in 1580, the year in which appeared his Terra Paris, Ware Getfgenisse van idt geistelick Landachop des Fredes (Eng. transl., Terra Paeia. A True Testifieation of the Spirituall Lande of Promyse, 1575 [?]). His success on the Continent had been comparatively slight. At the time of his death he had disciples in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dort, Kampen,
In England the influence of the Familiste was deeper and more lasting. The entering wedge seems to have been a Dutch congregaThetion in London, with whom NiclaesFamiliata came in contact, especially as this in community included adherents of England., David Joris (q.v.) and similar fanat ics. Christopher Vital, a native of Delft, the city of Joris, was, moreover, long the head of the English Familists, but the movement soon spread to genuinely English soil, and the most of the writings of Niclaes were translated into English. In 1574 the English government pro ceeded against the Familists, whereupon they addressed to Parliament An Apology for the Service of Love and the People that Own it, and in: the fol lowing year issued A Brief Rehearsal of the Belief of the Goodwilling in England, which are named the Family of Love. They were answered by John Rogers and John Knewetub, and on Oct. 3, 1580, Elizabeth issued a proclamation against them which condemned their books and directed that the sectaries themselves be imprisoned. A week later a formula of abjuration was promulgated, and laws against the Familists soon followed. The sect did not disappear, however, and James I. was addressed by them in petitions soon after his accession, but in vain. The new monarch was ex tremely antagonistic to them, and had declared as early as the preface to his Basilicas doron in 1599, that they were responsible for the rise of Puritanism. After the fall of the Stuarts, they were opposed by John Etherington; but in the Republican period many of the works of Niches .were reprinted, while it has been suggested that Bunyan's Pil grim's Progress owes its inspiration to Familist writings. They were also closely connected with the Ranters of the Commonwealth. After the Restoration the Familists vanished, and by the beginning of the eighteenth century but one aged member of the sect was known to be alive.
Niclaes' faithless disciple Hendrik Jansen of Barreveldt, writing under the pseudonym of Hiel, long survived his teacher. Of his The life little is known, although in hisSuccessor later years he himself says that he of Niclaes. led the life of a wanderer. He was closely associated with Plantin and his family, who printed the greater part of his writings, his chief work being Het Boeck tier Ghs tuygenissen van den verborgen Ackersehat, published by Plantin at Antwerp in Flemish and French about 1580. Hiel discarded the hierarchic and ceremonial traditions of his master, and declared all external worship a matter of indifference, thus rendering it possible for the famous Antwerp printer to remain formally in the Roman Catholic Church, and to belong to the Spanish Catholic party despite his sympathy with the Familists.
Bibliography: The fundamental work for a study of Nielsee and his sect is F. Nippold, HeinrisA Niches and
das Haus tier Liebe, in ZHT, xxxii (1862), 323102, 473 563, which uses original and newly discovered sources, all of which and others are noted by J. H. Hemels, Notes and Quoin, OcL-Nov., 1869. The article in DNB, x l 427-431 is exceedingly valuable. Consult further: O. Arnold, Kircken- snl %treNHistorie, ii. 123 sqq 4 vols., Frankfort, 1700-15; C. A.,Tiele, Christophs Piantin et le aedaire mystique Henrik Niches, in Le Bibliophile Beige, iii (1868), 121-138 (noes original sources partly the same as. Nippold's, ut sup.); M. Rooms, Ckrietophe Planks, pp. 441 ,sqq., Antwerp, 1882 (seta forth Plantin'e relation to Niches and the sect); A. J. van tier As, Biographisrh Woordenboek tier Nederlanden, x iii. 177-185, Haarlem, 1868; J. H. Blunt, Dictionary of Bade, Heresies, . .. , pp. 158-160, Philadelphia, 1874 (useful for referenoee to books treating of the sect in England).
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