Hutten, Jacob

, a Silesian of the sixteenth century, was the founder of the sect called the Bohemian or Moravian brethren, a sect of Anabaptists. Hutten purchased a territory of some extent in Moravia, and there established his society. They are considered as descended from the better sort of Hussites, and were distinguished by several religious institutions of a singular nature, but well adapted to guard their community against the reigning vices of the times. When they heard of Luther’s attempts to reform the church, they sent a deputation to him, and he, examining their tenets, though he could not in every particular approve, looked upon them as worthy of toleration* and indulgence. H,utten brought persecution upon himself and his brethren by violent declamations against the magistrates, and the attempt to introduce a perfect equality among men. It has been said that he was burnt as a heretic at Inspruck, but this is by no means certain. By degrees these sectaries, banished from their own country, entered into communion with the Swiss church; though, for some time, with separate institutions. But in the synods held at Astrog in 162O and 1627, all dissensions were removed, and the two congregations were formed into one, under the title of the Church of the United Brethren. The sect of Herrenhutters or Moravians, formed by count JZinzendorff in the beginning of the present century, pretend to be descended from these brethren, ad take the same title of unitas Jratrum but Mosheina observes that “they may with more propriety be said to imitate the example of that famous community, than to descend from, those who composed it, since it is well known that there are very few Bohemians and Moravians in the fraternity of the Herrenhutters; and it is extremely doubtful whether | vcn this smaJl number are to be considered as the posterity of the ancient Bohemian brethren, who distinguished themselves so early by their zeal for the reformation,1

1

Mosheim’s Hist, vol. IV. p. 102, and V. p. 84.