Separates a sect of Calvinistic Methodists in the United States, which arose about 1740 in consequence of the labors of George Whitefield. They took, at first, the name of "New Lights," and afterwards, being organized into distinct societies, were known as "Separates." They were soon after joined by a preacher (Shubal Stearns, of Boston) who labored among them until 1751, when he embraced the opinions of the Baptists, as did also many others of the Separates. The distinctive doctrine of the sect was that believers are guided by the immediate teachings of the Holy Spirit; such supernatural indications of the divine will being regarded by them as partaking of the nature of inspiration, and above, though not contrary to, reason. See Blunt, Dict. of Sects, s.v.; Gardner, Faiths of the World, s.v.