A 17th-cent. sect. John Pordage (1607–81), rector of Bradfield, Berks., gathered round him a group of followers who shared his enthusiasm for J. Boehme. It was organized in 1670 as the Philadelphian Society for the Advancement of Piety and Divine Philosophy. Its members were to retain their ecclesiastical allegiances. They professed a kind of nature pantheism, imbued with esoteric and pseudo-mystical teaching, and held that their souls were immediately illuminated by the Holy Spirit.