Simonians, a heretical sect which arose in the 2d century, and owed its origin to the antichristian influence and teaching of SIMON MAGUS. SEE SIMON MAGUS (q.v.). The recent discovery of The Refutation of All Heresies, a work written by Hippolyttus early in the 3d century, gives a summary of a work by Simon Magus, called The Great Announcement, a Revelation of the Voice and Name Recognizable by means of Intellectual Apprehension of the Great Indefinite Power, in which his system was set forth. That system is one of thorough and unflinching pantheism. He introduced into his very definition of the Divine Nature that its substance is exhibited in material things. He ascribes the formation of the world to certain portions of the divine fulness (eons). The originating principle of the universe is fire, of which is begotten the Logos, in which exists the indefinite power, the power of the godhead, the image of which power is the spirit of God. These eons, called roots, are in pairs — mind and intelligence, voice and name, ratiocination and reflection. In them resides, coexistently, the entire indefinite power, potentially with regard to these "secret" portions of the divine substance, actually when the images of these portions are formed by material embodiment. For mind and intelligence becoming "manifest" are heaven and earth; voice and name are sun and moon; ratiocination and reflection are air and water. The indefinite power becomes then the seventh actual power, the spirit of God wafted over the water, which reduces all things to order. The Logos employs the divine roots or eons, which are both male and female. To the first pair of eons is assigned the first three days' work of the creation; to the second pair is referred the fourth day's; to the third pair the fifth and sixth days'. Every man may become an embodiment of the Logos; an "image," that is, of the Logos, a conversion of the "secret" portion of the divine power into the "manifest." In this system the persons of the Trinity are confused, and Simon professed himself to be the Power of God, with the right of assuming the name of any of the three Simon taught that Jesus was a man, and suffered only in appearance. Such, in brief, is the system of Simon, a heresy not properly classed with those that bear the name of Christ (Epiph. Hoer. 21:1). The Simonians pretended to be Christianas that they might insinuate themselves into the Church; and many convicted of this heresy were excommunicated (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 2, 1, 13). The pretensions of Simon were supported by magic, and magic in several forms was practiced by the sect. Many see nothing unreasonable or unscriptural in supposing that supernatural agencies, the power of evil spirits, may have been permitted to enter into those delusions. Irenaeus accuses the sect of lewdness, and his statement is confirmed by the Great Announcement itself, which speaks of promiscuous intercourse of the sexes as "sanctifying one another" (Hippolytus, Refut. Hoer. 6, 14). Of the number of this sect Justin Martyr writes that almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worshipped Simon. Simon had been much honored at Rome, but his influence fell before the preaching of Peter; and Origen writes, about A.D. 240, that not thirty of Simon's followers could be found in the whole world (Contr. Cels. 1, 57). By almost universal consent Simon is regarded as the first propagator in the Church, but acting from without, of principles which developed into Gnosticism. Indeed, there are many points in common: i.e. both reject the notion of absolute creation; both hold the unreality of the Lord's body. See Bunsen, Hippolytus, 1, 47, 48; Burton, Bampton Lectures; Blunt, Dictionary of Sects, s.v.

Bible concordance for SIMON.

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