Bekker, Balthasar (1634-1698)

Bekker (Balthasar), Dutch Rationalist, b. Metslawier (Friesland) 20 March, 1634. He studied at Gronigen, became a doctor of divinity, and lived at Francker, but was accused of Socinianism, and had to fly to Amsterdam, where he raised another storm by his World Bewitched (1691), a work in which witchcraft and the power of demons are denied. His book, which contains much curious information, raised a host of adversaries, and he was deposed from his place in the Church. It appeared in English in 1695. Died, Amsterdam, 11 June, 1698. Bekker was remarkably ugly, and he is said to have "looked like the devil, though he did not believe in him."
1. J. M. Wheeler, A Biographical Dictionary of Freethinkers of All Ages and Nations, 1889.

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