Online Encyclopedia

ABRAHAMITES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 72 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ABRAHAMITES, a sect of deists in Bohemia in the 18th century, who professed to be followers of the pre-circumcised Abraham. Believing in one God, they contented themselves with the Decalogue and the Paternoster. Declining to be classed either as Christians or Jews, they were excluded from the edict of toleration promulgated by the emperor Joseph II. in 1781, and deported to various parts of the country, the men being drafted into frontier regiments. Some became Roman Catholics, and those who retained their " Abrahamite " views were not able to hand them on to the next generation. ABRAHAM-MEN, the nickname for vagrants who infested England in Tudor times. The phrase is certainly as old as 1561, and was due to these. beggars pretending that they were patients discharged from the Abraham ward at Bedlam. The genuine Bedlamite was allowed to roam the country on his discharge, ABRUZZI soliciting alms, provided he wore 'a badge. This humane privilege was grossly abused, and thus gave rise to the slang phrase " to sham Abraham."
End of Article: ABRAHAMITES
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ABRAHAM, or ABRAM (Hebrew for " father is high ")
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