The sect known as "Muggletonians" were originally formed during the aftermath of the English Civil War, in the 1650's, by cousins John Reeve and Lodowick Muggleton. They were a radical religious sect - chapter XI of the Book of Revelations speaks of "two witnesses" whom God will appoint to preach to the ungodly world in its final days. Reeves and Muggleton received "messages from God" informing them that they were these witnesses.
The sect lasted in one form or another, with small but reasonable support, well into the Victorian era (the last reported Muggletonian died in the mid twentieth century). The tenets of Muggletonianism, as they survived into the nineteenth century, were varied. Somewhat softened from Reeve's original vision, Muggleton's legacy was one of anti-Trinitarianism: Christ the Son was in fact the true God, whilst Heaven was watched over by the prophets Elijah and Moses. In addition, God paid little attention to his creation, therefore rendering acts of faith and devotion such as prayer, worship, martyrdom and so on irrelevant and pointless. Heaven was to be found on Earth, rather than in the afterlife, and Hell likewise existed within man; religious tolerance and a lack of ceremony was similarly characteristic of the sect, the "services" commonly taking place in an inn or tavern, with a reading or two from the bible, and the singing of the "Divine Songs" (written by Muggleton and other members).
Isaac Frost was a scientist and prominent member of the sect in the mid nineteenth century. He was instrumental in the refinement of the Muggletonian's geocentric astronomical theory, as represented on the plates offered here. They were originally published under the title Two Systems of Astronomy, 1846. Frost also edited, with his brother Joseph, The Works of J. Reeve and L. Muggleton in three volumes, in 1832.
George Baxter was a London printer who developed and patented an unusual method of printing using oil pigments. His works are rare, because although the graduations of colour produced are quite beautiful, the process was too expensive to sustain commercial manufacture. The Two Systems of Astronomy prints were undoubtedly produced for circulation amongst the sect's members only.