Besides the four great orders of friars, the Trinitarians, though really canons, were in England called Trinity Friars or Red Friars; the Crutched or Crossed Friars were often identified with them, but were really a distinct order; there were also a number of lesser orders of friars, many of which were suppressed by the second council of Lyons in 1274.
Congregationalists, on the other hand, whether Independents or Baptists, remained on the whole Trinitarians, largely perhaps in virtue of their very polity, with its intimate relation between the piety of the people and that of the ministry.
(c) A third dispute turned upon the admissibility of non-Trinitarians to the privilege of co-operation.
Two special kinds of orders arose out of the religious wars waged by Christendom against the Mahommedans in the Holy Land and in Spain: (r) the Military orders: the Knights Hospitallers of St John and the Knights Templars, both at the beginning of the 12th century, and the Teutonic Knights at its close; (2) the orders of Ransom, whose object was to free Christian prisoners and slaves from captivity under the Mahommedans, the members being bound by vow even to offer themselves in exchange; such orders were the Trinitarians founded in 1198, and the order of Our Lady of Ransom (de Mercede), founded by St Peter Nolasco in 1223; both were under the Augustinian rule.
Even after the elimination of Gnosticism the church remained without any uniform Christology; the Trinitarians and the Unitarians continued to confront each other, the latter at the beginning of the 3rd century still forming the large majority.
Both groups had their scientific theologians who sought to vindicate their characteristic doctrines, the Adoptianist divines holding by the Aristotelian philosophy, and the Modalists by that of the Stoics; while the Trinitarians (Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Novatian), on the other hand, appealed to Plato.
TRINITARIANS, a religious order founded in 1198 by St John of Matha and St Felix of Valois, for the liberation of Christian prisoners and slaves from captivity under the Moors and Saracens.
The Trinitarians are canons regular, but in England they were often spoken of as friars.
The ordinary method of freeing captives was by paying their ransom and for this purpose vast sums of money were collected by the Trinitarians; but they were called upon, if other means failed, to offer themselves in exchange for Christian captives.
In the 17th century a reform called the Barefooted Trinitarians was initiated, which became a distinct order and is the only one that survives.
Sir Isaac seems to have been then anxious for its publication; but, as the effect of his argument was to deprive the Trinitarians of two passages in favour of the Trinity, he became alarmed at the probable consequences of such a step. He therefore requested Locke, who was then going to Holland, to get it translated into French, and published on the continent.
In 1565 the diet of Piotrkow excluded anti-Trinitarians from the existing synod; henceforward they held their own synods as the Minor Church.
Twenty years later the Polish Diet gave anti-Trinitarians the option of conformity or exile.
John Sigismund, adopting his court-preacher's views, issued (1568) an edict of religious liberty at the Torda Diet, which allowed David (retaining his existing title) to transfer his episcopate from the Calvinists to the anti-Trinitarians, Kolozsvar being evacuated by all but his followers.
Between 1548 '(John Assheton) and 1612 we have a thin line of anti-Trinitarians, either executed or saved by recantation.
Meantime the Essay on Human Understanding and the Reasonableness of Christianity were becoming more involved in a wordy warfare between dogmatists and latitudinarians, trinitarians and unitarians.