Molinos, Michael

, a Spanish priest, and by some reckoned the founder of the sect of Quietists, was born in the diocese of Saragossa in 1627, and appears to have resided mostly at Rome, where his ardent piety and devotion procured him a considerable number of disciples of both sexes. In 1675 he published his “Spiritual Guide,” -written in Spanish, which was honoured with the encomiums of many eminent personages, and was republished in Italian in several places, and at last at Rome in 1681. It was afterwards translated into French, Dutch, and Latin (the last by professor Franke at Halle in 1687), and passed through several editions in France, Holland, and Italy. It was at Rome, however, where its publication in 1681 alarmed the doctors of the church. The principles of Molinos, which, Mosheim remarks, have been very differently interpreted by his friends and enemies, amount to this, that the whole of religion consists in the perfect tranquillity of a mind removed from all external and finite things, and centered in God, and in such a pure love of the | Supreme Being, as is independent of all prospect of interest or reward; or, in other words, “the soul, in the pursuit of the supreme good, must retire from the reports and gratifications of sense, and, in general, from all corporeal objects, and, imposing silence upon all the motions of the understanding and will, must be absorbed in the Deity.” Hence the denomination of Quietists was given to the followers of Molinos; though that of Mystics, which was their vulgar title, was more applicable, and expressed their system with more propriety, the doctrine not being new, but rather a digest of what the ancient mystics had advanced in a more confused manner. For this, however, Molinos was first imprisoned in 1685, and notwithstanding he read a recantation about two years afterwards, was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, from which he was released by death in 1696. Madame Guyon was among the most distinguished of his disciples, and herself no inconsiderable supporter of the sect of Quietists. 1


Mosheim, where are more particulars of the history and system of Molinos.