Martinists a Russian sect of mystics, which originated near the opening of our aera, as a result of the labors of St. Martin, the French philosopher whose life and labors we have spoken of above. The Martinists allied themselves with freemasonry, and spread from Moscow over all Russia. Aiming to supplant infidelity by mysticism, they read largely the writings of German mystics and pietists; Arndt and Spener were special favorites, and were widely scattered in translations. Catharine II opposed the sect, but it continued to flourish notwithstanding all persecution, until the despotic reign of Nicholas I, when, with many other sects, the Martinists were crushed. Under Alexander I, the Martinists, favored by the patronage of prince Galitzin, enjoyed their "golden age."

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