Oriental Philosophy is an ancient system seeking to explain the nature and origin of all things by the principle of emanation from an eternal fountain of being. SEE MAGI. Those who professed to believe the Oriental philosophy were divided into three leading sects, which were subdivided into others. Some imagined two eternal principles, from whence all things proceeded the one presiding over light, the other over matter; and by their perpetual conflict explaining the mixture of good and evil that appears in the universe. SEE MANICHAEANS; SEE ORMUZD. Others maintained that the being which presided over matter was not an eternal principle, but a subordinate intelligence; one of those which the Supreme God produced. They supposed that this being was moved by a sudden impulse to reduce into order the rude mass of matter which lay excluded from the mansions of the Deity, and at last to create the human race. A third sect entertained the idea of a triumvirate of beings, in which the Supreme Deity was distinguished both from the material evil principle and from the Creator of this sublunary world. From blending the doctrines of the Oriental philosophy with Christianity, the Gnostic sects, which were so numerous in the first centuries, derived their origin. SEE GNOSTICISM. Other sects arose which aimed to unite Judaism with Christianity. Many of the pagan philosophers, who were converted to the Christian religion, exerted all their art and ingenuity to accommodate the doctrines of the Gospel to their own schemes of philosophy. In each age of the Church new systems were introduced, till, in process of time, we find the Christian world divided into that variety of heretical sentiment which is exhibited under the various articles in the Cyclopedia. SEE PHILOSOPHY.