Becker (or Bekker) Balthasar

Becker (Or Bekker) Balthasar was born Mar. 30, 1634, in Friesland, and became a minister at Amsterdam. He was a zealous Cartesian, and was charged with Socinianism. His reputation chiefly rests upon a work in Dutch, entitled De Betooverde Wereld, "The Enchanted World" (Amnst. 1691-93), which undertakes to show that the devil never inspires men with evil thoughts, nor tempts them, and that men have never been possessed with devils, etc. His views of damoniacal possession, etc., are in substance those of the modern Rationalists, of whom he was a forerunner in other doctrines as well as in this. The Consistory of Amsterdam deposed him in 1692. The above work was translated into French (4 vols. Amst. 1694), into German (by Schwager, Amst. 1693, new ed. by Semler, Leipz. 1781 sq. 3 vols.), and into English. Becker died June 11, 1698. See Life by Schwabe (Kopenh. 1780); Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 17, pt. 1, ch. 2, § 35; Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, § 225; Landon, Eccl. Dict. 2, 116; Hurst, Hist. of Rationalism, 347.

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