Mucker a German epithet applied to Christian sects who make much outward display of piety, has come to be applied especially to a class of modern Adamites (q.v.) who arose at Knigsberg, East Prussia, about 1830. Their origin is attributed to the theosoph Johann Heinrich Schonherr (born at Memel in 1771, died at Konigsberg in 1826), who held dualistic and Gnostic views concerning the origin of the universe, teaching that it was caused by the mingling of two primordial beings of a spiritual and sensuous nature as Eloahs. But Schonherr was himself too good a man to stand accused of having caused the formation of a sect so fanatic and immoral as the Muckers. In truth, the philosophic fancy of this pious but eccentric student was taken hold of by two Konigsberg Lutheran clergymen named Diestel and Ebel (q.v.), who, after making profession of the exclusive kind of Christianity, gathered a circle of like-minded fanatics, and introduced shameless mysteries under the color of pietism. They elevated sexual connection into an act of worship, and designated it as the chief means of the sanctification of the flesh by which the paradisaic state was to be restored. Women of high standing in the community, some of noble birth, belonged to the Mucker circle. Three of them lived in Ebel's house, and were popularly regarded as his wives. Dixon (Spiritual Wives) tells us that Ebel held one to represent to him the principle of light (Licht-Natur), the second the principle of darkness (Finsterniss-Natur), and the third the principle of union (Unfassung). The last only was his legal wife; but it was discovered during a public trial of Ebel for the offence of immorality that she only held a subordinate place in his extraordinary household. This and like odious, licentious excesses were practiced by the Muckers generally, especially in their religious meetings, and the scandal concerning them became so great in Kinigsberg that a garden which they were wont to frequent acquired the name of the Seraphs' Grove. The subject was brought before the courts in 1839, and the result, in 1842, was that Ebel and Diestel were degraded from their offices; but upon appeal the higher court reversed the decision, and discharged the case for want of clear proof against the accused; and it is even alleged by some who have examined the whole evidence produced that the decisions of the first court did not proceed upon a calm judicial inquiry, but were dictated by strong prejudice against the accused on account of their religious views and peculiar eccentricities; and, in particular, that the evidence gives no support whatever to the charge of licentiousness (comp. Kanitz, Auklarung nach Acten, Quellen, etc., fur Welt u. Kirchengesch. Basle and Ludwigsburg, 1862]). Mr. Dixon has directed attention to the similarity of the Mucker movement with that of the Princeites (q.v.) in England, and that of the Bible Communists or Perfectionists (q.v.) in this country, popularly known as Oneida Communists; all of which took place about the same time and in connection with revival excitement, although it may almost be regarded as certain that the originators of these movements had not even heard of each other. A class of religious enthusiasts who originated under Stephen in Saxony, and then emigrated to this country, will be treated in the article STEPHENITES SEE STEPHENITES . See Zeitschrift fiur historische Theologie, 1832; Hagenbach, Kirchengesch. volume 7 (2d ed. 1872), Lect. 26. (J.H.W.)

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