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Deism   Listen
noun
Deism  n.  The doctrine or creed of a deist; the belief or system of those who acknowledge the existence of one God, but deny revelation. Note: Deism is the belief in natural religion only, or those truths, in doctrine and practice, which man is to discover by the light of reason, independent of any revelation from God. Hence, deism implies infidelity, or a disbelief in the divine origin of the Scriptures.






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"Deism" Quotes from Famous Books



... the solemnity of the eccentric, "Do you think life is worth living?" it is interesting to conjecture what his answer might have been. If he had been for the moment under the influence of the orthodox rationalistic deism of the theologian he would have said, "Existence is justified by its manifest design, its manifest adaptation of means to ends," or, in other words, "Existence is justified by its completeness." If, on the other ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... recorded is one that must be familiar to most thinking people. "The undevout astronomer is mad," said eighteenth-century deism: to-day we are more apt to think that the uncritical astronomer is dense. There is a sort of colossal stupidity about the stars in their courses that overpowers and disquiets us. If (as Alfred Russel ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... to embarrass his path. He was at the point of transition, present at the collision of the old and new, and in the midst of the confusion. He, more than any other English writer, was the instrument of the change from the Deism of the eighteenth century and the despair which followed it, into the larger faith of our own. But, for Browning, there was a new heaven and a new earth, and old things had passed away. This notable contrast ...
— Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher • Henry Jones

... blend together in indissoluble union these two, the majesty and the lowliness, the power and the love, the God inaccessible and the God who has tabernacled with us in Jesus Christ, is sure to be almost an impotent religion. Deism in all its forms, the religion which admits a God and denies a revelation; the religion which, in some vague sense, admits a revelation and denies an incarnation; the religion which admits an incarnation and denies a sacrifice; all these have little to say to man as a sinner; ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Burns's warm-heartedness supplied by these kindly verses may appropriately be added the Address to the Deil. Burns's attitude to the supernatural we have already slightly touched on. Apart from the somewhat vague Deism which seems to have formed his personal creed, the poet's attitude toward most of the beliefs in the other world which were held around him was one of amused skepticism. Halloween and Tam o' Shanter show ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... affirmed to Monsieur D- and the Abbe M-, that in one half hour I had said more for revealed religion, than all their Encyclopaedia had said against it.—I was listed directly into Madame de V-'s coterie;—and she put off the epocha of deism for two years. ...
— A Sentimental Journey • Laurence Sterne

... Divine Legation to the Free-thinkers (vol. I. p. ii), says:—'Nothing, I believe, strikes the serious observer with more surprize, in this age of novelties, than that strange propensity to infidelity, so visible in men of almost every condition: amongst whom the advocates of Deism are received with all the applauses due to the inventers of the arts of life, or the deliverers of oppressed and injured ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... influence of the religious reaction and the literary theories which marked the beginning of this century, and falls back to the middle ages and Gregory VII.; then, suddenly becoming a progressive Christian and a democrat, he gradually leans towards rationalism, and finally falls into deism. At present, everybody waits at the trap-door. As for me, though I would not swear to it, I am inclined to think that M. Lamennais, already taken with scepticism, will die in a state of indifference. He owes to individual reason and methodical ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... in the former age, arising from overstrained pretensions to piety, had much propagated the spirit of irreligion; and many of the ingenious men of this period lie under the imputation of Deism. Besides wits and scholars by profession, Saftesbury, Halifax, Buckingham, Mulgrave, Sunderland Essex, Rochester, Sidney, Temple, are supposed to have adopted ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. - From Charles II. to James II. • David Hume

... but for such doctrine such results as have been seen in Christendon would have followed; and were it now taken away we cannot see anything else that would have the faintest expectation of taking its place. "Could we commit mankind to a moral Deism without trembling for the result?" Can the enthusiasm for the divinity of human nature stand the test of clear, unsparing observation? Would it not issue in such an estimate of human nature as Mahomet took? "A deification of humanity upon its own grounds, an exaltation which is all height ...
— Occasional Papers - Selected from The Guardian, The Times, and The Saturday Review, - 1846-1890 • R.W. Church

... to know. A modern man finds it hard to hold his own attention throughout a page of it, even for historical purposes. "Phlogiston" and "vortices" had their day and are forgotten. Eighteenth-century deism and nineteenth-century rationalism interest nobody any more. Eighteenth-century economists argued in favor of stimulating population in order to make wages low, and thereby win in international competition. They never had a compunction or a doubt ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... natural causation. It is assumed that qua 'first cause,' He can in no way be concerned with 'second causes,' further than by having started them in the first instance as a great machinery of 'natural causation,' working under 'general laws.' True the theory of Deism, which entertains more or less expressly this hypothesis of 'Deus ex machina,' has during the present century been more and more superseded by that of Theism, which entertains also in some indefinable measure the doctrine ...
— Thoughts on Religion • George John Romanes

... supreme creative musician. His letters are absorbing, whether they breathe love or anger, discouragement or joy, rebellion against untoward conditions of daily life or solemn resignation. The religious quality, too, is strong in them; that element more in touch with Deism than with one or another orthodoxy. Withal, he is as sincere in every line of such matter as he was in the spoken word. His correspondence holds up the mirror to his own nature, with its extremes of impulse and reserve, of affection and austerity, of confidence and suspicion. It abounds, too, in ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... religion which is a mere Deism, a kind of vague belief in a providence, and in a future state where everybody is happy, is but the product of men's sin, striking out of Christianity all which their sin makes unwelcome in it. The justice of God, punishment, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... long period of theological and ecclesiastical disintegration and prophesying a reconstruction of society on a purely rational and naturalistic basis. The anti-theistic movement has been so obscured by the less thoroughgoing tendency of deism and by subsequent romanticism that the real issue in the eighteenth century has been largely lost from view. Hence it has seemed fit to center this study about the man who stated the situation with the most unmistakable and uncompromising clearness, and who still occupies a unique though ...
— Baron d'Holbach - A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France • Max Pearson Cushing

... the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ—not as a being of purer eyes than to behold iniquity—not as He whom I was required to glorify in my body and in my spirit, being bought with a price, to be no longer my own but his; no, my religion was a very attractive sort of Deism, which recognized the Creator of all those things wherein I delighted, and thought to render him great honor by such recognition. Thomson's "Hymn on the Seasons" was my body of divinity; and Pope's atrocious "Universal Prayer" would have become my manual of devotion, had not my father ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... contentions advanced in the first part, in the writing of which Paine had no Bible to consult. The book, the first part of which was published in 1794, the second part in 1795, and the third in 1801, is an exposition of Deism on a purely scientific basis; the visible creation was everything to Paine in his reasonings, the religious hopes, fears and aspirations of men were nothing at all—this universal human phenomenon was curtly dismissed by him as a universal human delusion. Many of his comments on the Bible were rather ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... accept Maupertuis's materialistic thesis. Lange has shown that at a very early period in the movement the most consistent materialism was ready and developed, while such leaders of the movement as Voltaire and Diderot still leaned either on deism, or on a mixture of deism and scepticism.[214] The philosophy of D'Alembert's Dream is definite enough, and far enough removed alike ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... abundantly prepared therefore for Mr. Pattison's admission that "public opinion was throughout on the side of the defenders of Christianity:" (p. 313:)—that, "however a loose kind of Deism might be the tone of fashionable circles, it is clear that distinct disbelief of Christianity was by no means the general state of the public mind. The leaders of the Low-Church and Whig party were quite aware of this. Notwithstanding the universal complaints of the High-Church party of the prevalence ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... evidently stretches his complaisance towards the national religion, while perhaps in his heart he was even then disposed to think there was no middle course between natural religion and the Church of Rome. The first creed which he examines is that of Deism; which he rejects, because the worship of one sole deity was not known to the philosophers of antiquity, and is therefore obviously to be ascribed to revelation. Revelation thus proved, the puzzling doubt occurs, whether the Scripture, as contended by Calvinists, was to be the ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... that of a generation. In the course of it we see the crowd at first monarchical become very revolutionary, then very imperialist, and again very monarchical. In the matter of religion it gravitates in the same lapse of time from Catholicism to atheism, then towards deism, and then returns to the most pronounced forms of Catholicism. These changes take place not only amongst the masses, but also amongst those who direct them. We observe with astonishment the prominent men of the Convention, the sworn enemies of kings, men who would have neither ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... of all this is that the conflicting tendencies which have always been present in the Church have been greatly deepened. There are to be found within it men whose opinions can hardly be distinguished from simple Deism or Unitarianism, and men who abjure the name of Protestant and are only divided by the thinnest of partitions from the Roman Church. And this diversity exists in a Church which is held together by articles and formularies ...
— The Map of Life - Conduct and Character • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... in a passage corresponding to a famous aphorism of Kant, indicated by a note in Part II. The discovery already mentioned, that Part I. was written at least fourteen years before Part II., led me to compare the two; and it is plain that while the earlier work is an amplification of Newtonian Deism, based on the phenomena of planetary motion, the work of 1795 bases belief in God on "the universal display of himself in the works of the creation and by that repugnance we feel in ourselves to bad actions, and disposition to do good ones." This exaltation of the moral nature of man to ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... afresh with a young and better community, became apparent. At each proposition unfolded by Bache, such as labour rendered agreeable by police regulations, phalansteria organised like barracks, religion transformed into pantheist or spiritist deism, he gently shrugged his shoulders. What could be the use of such childishness, such hypocritical repairing, when the house was falling and the only honest course was to throw it to the ground, and build up the substantial edifice of to-morrow with entirely new materials? On the ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... European religion on Hinduism is remarkable. Islam, though aggressively hostile, yet fused with it in some sects, for instance the Sikhs, but such fusions of Indian religion and Christianity as have been noted[29] are microscopic curiosities. European free thought and Deism have not fared better, for the Brahmo Samaj which was founded under their inspiration has only 5504 adherents[30]. In social life there has been some change: caste restrictions, though not abolished, are evaded ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... most intelligent men saw how little was to be gained by pursuing further those lines of thought. The twelfth century had already reached the point where the seventeenth century stood when Descartes renewed the attempt to give a solid, philosophical basis for deism by his celebrated "Cogito, ergo sum." Although that ultimate fact seemed new to Europe when Descartes revived it as the starting-point of his demonstration, it was as old and familiar as Saint Augustine to the twelfth century, and as little conclusive as any other assumption of the Ego or the ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... mysticism known as Kabbala, which in Indian terminology might be described as Jewish Tantrism, has a historical connection with Sufiism and a real analogy to it, for both arise from the desire to temper an austere and regal deism with concessions to the common human craving for the interesting and picturesque, such as mysticism and magic. If the accent of India can sometimes be heard in the poems of the Sufis we may also admit that the Kabbala ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Charles Eliot

... Mere Deism, which is the most plausible competitor with Christianity, is so turned out of almost all the whole world, as if Nature made its own confession, that without a Mediator it cannot ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... Saviour and Paul on this point, but there is one with whom they are here in strict agreement; "I hope for happiness beyond this life"; "I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy"; "The only true religion is deism, by which I then meant and now mean the belief of one God, and an imitation of his moral character, or the practice of what are called moral virtues; and that it was upon this only (so far as religion ...
— God's Plan with Men • T. T. (Thomas Theodore) Martin

... hangings of the Celestial Council-Chamber; "Willesden beyond Trent"; "Change Alley and Alley Change"; Professor Birks, "his brows crowned with myrtle," going in procession to the Temple of Aphrodite; the Duke of Somerset "running into the strong tower" of Deism, and thinking himself "safe" there from further questionings. This method of illustration threw an air of comedy over the theme which it illustrated; and, if the criticism failed to disturb faith in Biblical theology, the critic had only ...
— Matthew Arnold • G. W. E. Russell

... of his youth which afterwards puzzled the grown-up man, this disappearance of religion puzzled him most. The boy went to church twice every Sunday; he was taught to read his Bible, and he learned religious poetry by heart; he believed in a mild deism; he prayed; he went through all the forms; but neither to him nor to his brothers or sisters was religion real. Even the mild discipline of the Unitarian Church was so irksome that they all threw it off at the first possible moment, and never afterwards entered a church. The religious ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... you will, for his "deism" meant no more to him than a distant blue sky giving the world space and perspective and free air; but a materialism that renders men kind and courteous, urbane and sweet-tempered, honest and clear-headed, is better than a spirituality that leads to ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... either accept Deism or Atheism. Deism admits the existence of a God of infinite power and intelligence. A Deist need have no trouble in believing a miracle. The question with him is not, can God work miracles, and thereby reveal himself to man, but has he done it. Reason teaches ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, - Volume I, No. 9. September, 1880 • Various

... truth. It is reconcilable with infidelity and atheism, but not with Christianity. Many, like Prof. Coulter, of the Chicago University, endeavor to show that evolution is reconcilable with religion—and he does show that it harmonizes with the religion of deism or infidelity. No one doubts that evolution harmonizes with atheism or the religion of Thomas Paine. But why should we be anxious to reconcile it with Christianity, when there is so little truth ...
— The Evolution Of Man Scientifically Disproved • William A. Williams

... Atala before a Catholic missionary, and sanctify passions born on the banks of the Mississippi by the solemnities of Catholic ceremonial. Rousseau was the apologist of reverie; Chateaubriand will build the monument of it in order to break it in Rene. Rousseau preaches Deism with all his eloquence in the "Vicaire Savoyard;" Chateaubriand surrounds the Roman creed with all the garlands of his poetry in the "Genie du Christianisme." Rousseau appeals to natural law and pleads for the future of nations; Chateaubriand will ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... sure about that," rejoined Hazard thoughtfully. "I am never afraid of pure atheism; it is the flabby kind of sentimental deism that annoys me, because it is as slippery as air. If you will tell her honestly what your skepticism means, I will risk ...
— Esther • Henry Adams

... Governor George Clinton, and of De Witt Clinton. He was a most unflinching partisan writer, and with earnestness asserted the advantages arising from the possession of Louisiana, countenanced Blind Palmer, the lecturer on Deism, and congratulated the public on the return to America of Thomas Paine. He ever remained an active advocate of old George Clinton, but his friendship was suddenly turned into hatred of Paine, and his life of that once prominent but wretched individual ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... artificial character of its literary ideals. He was play-writer, poet, historian, critic, and brilliant converser, all in one. In religion, a scoffer not only at superstition, but at all beliefs and rites which imply revelation, he still clung to the belief in a personal God. His creed was deism, Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was, like Voltaire, a deist in his creed; but in religion, as in all his mental action, there was a vein of sentiment. By the fascination of his style, he was able, ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... uncertain. The legends of their mythology held up such pictures of the sensuality and vice of those whom they called Gods, that it was utterly impossible for any sound understanding to accept them. And deep thinkers were consequently driven into pure Deism, coupled too often with the Epicurean creed, that the Great Spirit was too grand and too sublime to trouble himself with the ...
— The Roman Traitor (Vol. 1 of 2) • Henry William Herbert

... have been carefully supplemented by his latest editor, Mr. Lee. His literary activity was various and considerable. His greatest work—a treatise which has been rashly called the foundation of English deism, but which rather expresses the vague and not wholly unorthodox doubt expressed earlier by Montaigne, and by contemporaries of Herbert's own, such as La Mothe le Vayer—was written in Latin, and ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... it only 'M. Loke' whom he felt himself obliged to touch so gingerly; the remarkable movement towards Deism, which was then beginning in England, Voltaire only dared to allude to in a hardly perceivable hint. He just mentions, almost in a parenthesis, the names of Shaftesbury, Collins, and Toland, and ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... the largest share of the confidence of the clergy. Shrewsbury was certainly a Whig, and probably a freethinker: he had lost one religion; and it did not very clearly appear that he had found another. Halifax had been during many years accused of scepticism, deism, atheism. Danby's attachment to episcopacy and the liturgy was rather political than religious. But Nottingham was such a son as the Church was proud to own. Propositions, therefore, which, if made by his colleagues, would infallibly ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... eclectic system. He accordingly set himself to obtain information about other religions, sent to Goa, requesting that the Portuguese missionaries there should visit him, and listened to them with intelligent attention when they came. As the result of these inquiries, he adopted the creed of pure deism and a ritual based upon the system of Zoroaster. The religion thus founded, however, having no vital force, never spread beyond the limits of the court, and died with Akbar himself. But though his eclectic system failed, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... the commencement of a counter-revolution, and in one sense it was so. Comte, however, and others have preferred to fix the reaction at the execution of Danton (April 5, 1794), or Robespierre's official proclamation of Deism in the Festival of the Supreme Being (May ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... reverence for religion was to incur the suspicion of disaffection. It was not without imminent danger that the priest baptized the infant, joined the hands of lovers, or listened to the confession of the dying. The absurd worship of the Goddess of Reason was, indeed, of short duration; but the deism of Robespierre and Lepaux was not less hostile to the Catholic faith than the atheism ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... and all, Knights of the Round-Table. And we live in great harmony and brotherhood, as queer a life as anybody leads, and as queer a set as may be found anywhere. In his more serious intervals, he talks philosophy and deism, and preaches obedience to the law of reason and morality; which law he says (and I believe him) he has so well observed, that, notwithstanding his residence in dissolute countries, he has never yet been ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

... instruction was from the Abbe de Chateauneuf, who taught him belles lettres and deism. At a very early age the little lad exhibited a precocious talent for versification. When ten years old he was sent to the College Louis-le-Grand. Here he remained until he was seventeen, receiving an education which, though always ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... pursuing further those lines of thought. The twelfth century had already reached the point where the seventeenth century stood when Descartes renewed the attempt to give a solid, philosophical basis for deism by his celebrated 'Cogito, ergo sum.' Although that ultimate fact seemed new to Europe when Descartes revived it as the starting-point of his demonstration, it was as old and familiar as St. Augustine to the twelfth century, and as little conclusive as any other assumption of ...
— Historia Calamitatum • Peter Abelard

... the so-called English Deists about the Christian religion contain the first, and to some extent a very significant free-spirited attempt at a critical view of the history of dogma (see Lechler, History of English Deism, 1841). But the criticism is an abstract rarely a historical one. Some very learned works bearing on the history of dogma were written in England against the position of the Deists especially by Lardner; see also at an earlier time Bull, ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... only one excuse for the extreme acrimony with which this book is written; and that excuse is but a bad one. Mr Sadler imagines that the theory of Mr Malthus is inconsistent with Christianity, and even with the purer forms of Deism. Now, even had this been the case, a greater degree of mildness and self-command than Mr Sadler has shown would have been becoming in a writer who had undertaken to defend the religion of charity. But, in fact, the imputation which has been thrown on Mr Malthus and his followers is so absurd as ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... her lover's arm between her and the overpowering greatness of a too august nature. The man, on the other hand, rising in this to that higher stature which was truly his, felt himself carried out into nature on the wave of his own boundless emotion. That cold Deism he had held so loosely broke into passion. The humblest phrases of worship, of ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... public eye, and obnoxious to the civil law, are become fashionable and familiar—adultery, fornication, theft, drunkenness, extortion, violence, and uncleanness of every kind, the natural concomitants of deism and infidelity, which have boldly thrown off the mask, and stalk through the colony in the open face of the sun, so that it is no uncommon thing to hear a person say, 'When I was a Christian, I thought so ...
— The Naval Pioneers of Australia • Louis Becke and Walter Jeffery

... given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the Dissenting way. But I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism[52] fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the ...
— Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... everything in Christianity that flavoured of the supernatural. The works of these men were imported from the Netherlands into France in spite of all restrictions that could be imposed by the police authorities, and their views were popularised by a brilliant band of /litterateurs/, until in a short time Deism and Naturalism became quite fashionable in the higher circles ...
— History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French • Rev. James MacCaffrey

... auld Confession, just that they may get intil the kirk to preach against it; paring the New Testament doun to the vera standard o' heathen Plawto; and sinking ae doctrine after anither, till they leave ahint naething but deism that might scunner an infidel. Deed, Matthew, if there comena a change among them, an' that sune, they'll swamp the puir kirk a' thegither. The cauld morality that never made ony ane mair moral, taks nae hand o' the people; an' patronage, as meikle's ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... intervention and mysterious workings of a particular Providence, making characterization and action consistent, and giving his play a precise theological significance. In Moore's day, however, under the impact of deism and the developing rationalism, the concept of a particular Providence in orthodox theology had become so subtilized that the older idea of direct and striking intervention in human affairs all but disappeared. By mid-eighteenth century, deity, as Leslie Stephen points out, "appears under ...
— The Gamester (1753) • Edward Moore

... to be sought the true cause of our failures with the Indians, to whom the strange and intense story of the Gospel appears at first in something as wild and marvelous as some of their own relations; and who are, at any rate, firmly fixed in their heathenish rites and devotions to a subtil system of deism, and the invocation of gods of the ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... had no reference whatever to political subjects; they were, on the contrary, as the first writings of a young man generally are, serious,—even religious. Referring to Coleridge, it is stated that he "was dishonored at Cambridge for preaching Deism, and that he had since left his native country, and left his poor children fatherless, and his wife destitute:" ex his disce his friends Lamb and Southey. A scurrilous libel of this stamp would now be rejected ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... [religious sects.] protestantism, Arianism^, Adventism, Jansenism, Stundism^, Erastianism^, Calvinism, quakerism^, methodism, anabaptism^, Puseyism, tractarianism^, ritualism, Origenism, Sabellianism, Socinianism^, Deism, Theism, materialism, positivism, latitudinarianism &c High Church, Low Church, Broad Church, Free Church; ultramontanism^; papism, papistry; monkery^; papacy; Anglicanism, Catholicism, Romanism; popery, Scarlet Lady, Church of Rome, Greek Church. paganism, heathenism, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... ideas are disengaged from their fleshly garb, then, we are told, will be the apotheosis and glorification of Christ. This will be the real lifting up from the earth; this will draw all men. Aye, and when this is done what will be left? Christianity will be purified back again into a vague Deism, which one would have thought had proved itself toothless and impotent, centuries ago. Spiritualising will turn out to be very like evaporating, the residuum will be a miserably unsatisfactory something, near akin to nothing, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. John Chapters I to XIV • Alexander Maclaren

... Father le Jay, according to Condorcet, left his official chair, and rushing down the aisle, grabbed the boy by the collar, and shaking him, said, "Unhappy boy! you will one day be the standard-bearer of deism in France!"—a prophecy, possibly, made after ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... if there were only one left alive. The only people that preserved freedom of thought through the middle ages, they have now to preserve God against the free-thought of the modern world. We are the Swiss guards of Deism. God was always the beginning and end of my thought. When I hear His existence questioned, I feel as I felt once in your Bedlam when I lost my guide, a ghastly forlornness in a mad world. Is not my best work, The Rabbi of Bacharach, ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Course and Constitution of Nature, cannot be adequately appreciated unless taken in connexion with the circumstances of the period at which it appeared. It was intended as a defence against the great tide of deistical speculation (see DEISM), which in the apprehension of many good men seemed likely to sweep away the restraints of religion and make way for a general reign of licence. Butler did not enter the lists in the ordinary way. Most of the literature evoked by the controversy on either ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... the world had made so deep an impression upon the Stoics, and on Plato before them, that they believed the whole world to be an animal, but a rational and wise animal—in short, the Supreme God. This philosophy reduced Polytheism, or the multitude of gods, to Deism, or one God, and that one God to Nature, which according to them was eternal, infallible, intelligent, omnipotent, and divine. Thus philosophers, by striving to keep from and rectify the notions of poets, dwindled again at last into poetical fancies, since they assigned, as the ...
— The Existence of God • Francois de Salignac de La Mothe- Fenelon

... magnifique!" When some of the flowers began to fade, he made the rest, with others, into a new nosegay, and consulted us whether it would be fit to give to another lady. Contrast this French foppery with his solemn moods, when we sit in the twilight, or after B—— is abed, talking of Christianity and Deism, of ways of life, of marriage, of benevolence,—in short, of all deep matters of this world and the next. An evening or two since, he began singing all manner of English songs,—such as Mrs. Hemans's "Landing of the Pilgrims," "Auld ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866 • Various

... ungodliness and profanity, the securing and preserving the purity thereof, against all kinds of errors, heresy and schism, as namely, Independency, Brownism, Anabaptism, Antinomianism, Arminianism, Socinianism, Libertinism, Familism. Scepticism, Quakerism, Deism, Burignonism and Erastianism; and as we declare, that we willingly agree in our consciences unto the doctrine of the church of Scotland in all points, as unto God's undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon his written word, so ...
— The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and • The Reformed Presbytery

... in Montaigne the traditional deism of the pagan and Christian world, without any colour of specifically Christian faith, and with a direct lead to unbelief in a future state. But, whether we suppose Shakspere to have been already led, as he might be by the initiative of his colleague Marlowe, an avowed ...
— Montaigne and Shakspere • John M. Robertson

... afterwards defended against Leibnitz. In 1704-5 he delivered the Boyle lectures, taking for his subject, The Being and Attributes of God, and assuming an intermediate position between orthodoxy and Deism. In 1712 he pub. views on the doctrine of the Trinity which involved him in trouble, from which he escaped by a somewhat unsatisfactory explanation. He was, however, one of the most powerful opponents of the freethinkers ...
— A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature • John W. Cousin

... 1. Their system was Deism; that is, the belief in one only God. But their ideas of him and of his attributes ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... contrary, and even according to the Jesuit Longobardi, the adoration of the Chinese was addressed to inanimate tablets, meaningless inscriptions, or, in the best case, to coarse ancestral spirits and beings without intelligence.[2] If we believe the former, the ancient deism of China approached the purity of the Christian religion; if we listen to the latter, the absurd fetichism of the multitude degenerated amongst the educated, into systematic materialism and atheism. In answer to the peremptory ...
— Chips From A German Workshop - Volume I - Essays on the Science of Religion • Friedrich Max Mueller

... derive from their naturo-historical premises, makes Darwin's own position in reference to religion again very uncertain. It seems that Darwin in his theology is not only inclined to theism, but, following the traditions of his countrymen of the last century, to a quite cool and superficial deism, and that he permits himself to be too much impressed by the anti-teleological deductions of many of his followers, and to be induced to separate in his later publications the Creator and his work more widely than he has done in the ...
— The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality • Rudolf Schmid

... religious, and do not attend church. From the general statement are to be excepted the Irish, a few elderly people, and the half-bourgeois, the overlookers, foremen, and the like. But among the masses there prevails almost universally a total indifference to religion, or at the utmost, some trace of Deism too undeveloped to amount to more than mere words, or a vague dread of the words infidel, atheist, etc. The clergy of all sects is in very bad odour with the working-men, though the loss of its influence is recent. At present, however, the mere cry: "He's a parson!" ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... was essentially a woman of letters. She loved the exact sciences, expounded Leibnitz, translated Newton, gave valuable aid to Voltaire in introducing English thought into France, and was one of the first women among the nobility to accept the principles of philosophic deism. "I confess that she is tyrannical," said Voltaire; "one must talk about metaphysics, when the temptation is to talk of love. Ovid was formerly my master; it is now the turn of Locke." She has been clearly ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... it was intended. Those who admit an omnipotent as well as perfectly just and benevolent maker and ruler of such a world as this, can say little against Christianity but what can, with at least equal force, be retorted against themselves. Finding, therefore, no halting place in Deism, he remained in a state of perplexity, until, doubtless after many struggles, he yielded to the conviction, that concerning the origin of things nothing whatever can be known. This is the only correct statement of his opinion; for dogmatic atheism ...
— Autobiography • John Stuart Mill

... might recognize the other types of that civilization; such as the liberty of the press, the representative system, white neckcloths and black coats of an evening, etc. He belonged, therefore, to what he himself called the school of Eclectical Christiology; and accommodated the reasonings of Deism to the doctrines of the Church, if not as a creed, at least as an institution. Finally, he united all the Chillingly votes in his favour; and when he departed from the Hall carried off Kenelm for his initiation into the new ideas that were to ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... and why bad Writers are at present the most proper Objects of Satire. The True Causes of bad Writers. Characters of several Sorts of them now abounding; Envious Critics, Furious Pedants, Secret Libellers, Obscene Poetesses, Advocates for Corruption, Scoffers at Religion, Writers for Deism, Deistical ...
— An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad • Walter Harte

... Life of Philip Skelton, by Samuel Burdy, first published in 1792, still makes entertaining and interesting reading. Richardson met Skelton when he visited London in 1748 to publish Ophiomaches, or Deism Revealed. On David Hume's recommendation Andrew Millar published the work; and Richardson also seems to have played some part in getting the book accepted (Forster MSS, ...
— Clarissa: Preface, Hints of Prefaces, and Postscript • Samuel Richardson

... penetrating quality peculiar to his nation, and by virtue of which in Werther, the outer world, the scenery, was not used as framework, but was always interwoven with the hero's mood. The contrast between culture and Nature is always marked in Rousseau, and his religion was deism; Goethe resolves Nature into feeling, and his religion was a growing pantheism. As a work of art, Werther is excellent, La Nouvelle Heloise is not. Goethe used his hero's bearing towards Nature with marvellous effect to indicate the turns and ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... supported by credible testimony, but because they are not what they call dignified, refined, and just such as they should have supposed all things to be that come from God. That such a temper of mind is indicative of pure Deism, it needs no words to prove. A man who derides a miraculous event merely as trifling, thereby asserts that he himself is the judge of what is great and what is little in the sight of God. He lays down laws for the guidance of the Almighty. He is adopting the identical reasoning of ...
— The Life of St. Frances of Rome, and Others • Georgiana Fullerton

... must begin with the Germans. The movement of English thought known as deism was a distinct forerunner of the rationalist movement, within the particular area of the discussion of religion. However, it ran into the sand. The rationalist movement, considered in its other aspects, never ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... he was on a new tack, as we shall see presently. And he would not in any case have thought much, as a practical naturalist, of the more or less mystical intellectual speculations of the Deists of 1790-1830. Scientific workers were very tired of Deism just then. They had given up the riddle of the Great First Cause as insoluble, and were calling themselves, accordingly, Agnostics. They had turned from the inscrutable question of Why things existed, to the spade work of discovering ...
— Back to Methuselah • George Bernard Shaw

... This sect derived its origin from the eighteenth century, certain opinions of which it represented. In politics, its symbol was the absolute sovereignty of the Contrat social of J.J. Rousseau, and for creed, it held the deism of la Profession de foi du Vicaire Savoyard; at a later period it succeeded in realizing these for a moment in the constitution of '93, and the worship of the Supreme Being. More fanaticism and system existed in the different epochs of the ...
— History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 • F. A. M. Mignet

... other in a sweet, serener sphere; this becomes that, and that is something else. The harmonious, the suave, the well bred waft the bright particular being into a peculiar and reserved parterre of paradise, where bloom at once the graces of Panthism, the simplicity of Deism, and the pathos of Catholicism; where he can sip elegances and spiritualities from flowerets of every faith!' Fancy my crass ignorance, when I assure you that I actually laughed over that verbal syllabub, thinking it intended as a ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... against them were of no more force. His Philosophy is too rational to be weak'ned by Sophistry, his Divinity too solid to be shook by Heresie: He seems to have been predestinated to Glory, and the appointed Instrument to deliver us from Popery, Atheism, Deism, and Socinianism, with all those spurious Sectaries which have been spawned into the Worlds: What can resist the Power of his Arguments? And who is able to abide his Force. But to return, I think the Controversie, in short, ...
— A Letter to A.H. Esq.; Concerning the Stage (1698) and The - Occasional Paper No. IX (1698) • Anonymous

... Book wherein they have found the insufficiency of Natural Light to Natural Religion, has been fully shewed, although that to reconcile Men to, or establish them in the belief of Divine Revelation, nothing was more requisite to make this appear, in an Age wherein the prevalency of Deism has been so much and so justly ...
— Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian life • Lady Damaris Masham

... Christian history there, and much of profane history. Neither is he a Mahometan; but he nevertheless makes a hero of Mahomet, whom he loves for his Ishmaelite fierceness, bravery, and religious sincerity,—and because he taught deism, or the belief in one God, instead of the old polytheism, or the belief in many gods,—and gave half the East his very good book, called the Koran, for his followers to ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... religion, or that he was ready with any adequate answer to the argument which Butler had brought forward in the previous decade of the century. We do not see that he is aware as yet of there being as valid objections on his own sceptical principles to the alleged data of naturalistic deism, as to the pretensions of a supernatural religion. He was ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... and all his posterity to temporal, spiritual, and eternal death. Such is the doctrine which is advanced, in order to secure the omnipotence of God, and to exalt his sovereignty. But is it not a great leading feature of deism itself, that it exalts the power of God at the expense of his infinite moral perfections? So we have understood the matter; and hence, it seems to us, that Christian divines should be more guarded in handling ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... live more than two years: and has a large number of children about whom he says nothing, "because he has not observed in them anything worth speaking about." The courtships are varied between abrupt embraces soon after introduction, and discussions on Hebrew, Babel, "Christian-deism," and the binomial theorem. In the most inhospitable deserts, his man or boy[10] is invariably able to produce from his wallet "ham, tongue, potted blackcock, and a pint of cyder," while in more favourable circumstances Buncle ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... doubt; the death of one difficulty was the instant birth of another. Wave after wave of skepticism surged over her soul, until the image of a great personal God was swept from its altar. But atheism never yet usurped the sovereignty of the human mind; in all ages, moldering vestiges of protean deism confront the giant specter, and every nation under heaven has reared its fane to the "unknown God." Beulah had striven to enthrone in her desecrated soul the huge, dim, shapeless phantom of pantheism, and had turned ...
— Beulah • Augusta J. Evans

... the rationalism of the intellectual classes had taken considerable hold upon the popular mind. Though he acquired little renown in England he was regarded by Voltaire and others as among the most logical of the deist school (see DEISM). His principal works are A Discourse Concerning Reason (1731), The True Gospel of Jesus Christ (1739), and Posthumous Works, 2 vols. (1748), the last containing "The ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... sectaries, which now so much prevails, be chiefly owing to the fears of Popery, or to that spirit of atheism, deism, scepticism, and universal immorality, which all good men so ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IV: - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Volume II • Jonathan Swift

... "Independent Christian"; and, as the wiser of his modern biographers have discerned, he was the precursor, not of sixteenth century reform, but of eighteenth century "enlightenment"; a sort of broad-church Voltaire, who held by his "Independent Christianity" as stoutly as Voltaire by his Deism. ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... incursions. These fiery conquerors did not amount at that time, according to the most probable estimates, to more than fifty thousand; but they were under the influence of religious and warlike enthusiasm at one and the same time; they were fanatics in the cause of Deism and of glory. "The Arab warrior during campaigns was not excused from any one of the essential duties of Islamism; he was bound to pray at least once a day, on rising in the morning, at the blush of dawn. The general of the army was its priest; he ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume I. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... strictest secrecy to his mother and sisters, at Field Place, of which a very interesting record is left in the narrative of Mr. Kennedy, occupied the interval between July, 1813, and March, 1814. The period was not productive of literary masterpieces. We only hear of a "Refutation of Deism", a dialogue between Eusebes and Theosophus, which attacked all ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds

... for the Philosopher-King dated from that day. At that time he was a rationalist and a disciple of Wolf; he became a Freemason. But already in high society in Germany the wind no longer set in the direction of pure Deism. Woellner, always a perfect sceptic, changed his convictions. Considering himself as fitted as any other for the apparition business and the mystery industry, he decided to turn "honest broker" between the powers of this world and those of the next, ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... aside the ideas familiar to us, and the discussions in which little minds exhaust themselves. In order properly to understand the precise character of the piety of Jesus, we must forget all that is placed between the gospel and ourselves. Deism and Pantheism have become the two poles of theology. The paltry discussions of scholasticism, the dryness of spirit of Descartes, the deep-rooted irreligion of the eighteenth century, by lessening ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... Faith, by its Author: Being a Rejoinder to Professor Newman's Reply: Including a full Examination of that Writer's Criticism on the Character of Christ; and a Chapter on the Aspects and Pretensions of Modern Deism. Second Edition, ...
— First Impressions of the New World - On Two Travellers from the Old in the Autumn of 1858 • Isabella Strange Trotter

... supplications were cordially mingled, and when they were about to separate, White said, "What must I do? You are the only friend to whom I can apply in this agonizing state, and you are about to leave me. My literary associates are all inclined to deism. I have no one with whom I ...
— The Poetical Works of Henry Kirke White - With a Memoir by Sir Harris Nicolas • Henry Kirke White

... much more productive of happiness than might have been expected, and greatly brightened her closing years. Nearly at the same time an important change passed over her religious views, and the vague deism of her youth deepened into a positive, definite, and earnest Christianity, but without mysticism and without intolerance. Some beautiful lines that are cited by Lady Blennerhassett very faithfully express ...
— Historical and Political Essays • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... ladies who (says Horace Walpole who was there this year) 'violated all the duties of life and gave very pretty suppers.' It was the day of Anglomania on the Continent, when the name of Chatham was a name to conjure with, and Hume was expounding deism to the great ladies,—'when the footmen were in the room,' adds the shocked Horace,—lionizing Hume 'who is the only thing they believe in implicitly; which they must do, for I defy them to understand any language that he speaks,' in allusion ...
— James Boswell - Famous Scots Series • William Keith Leask

... expounding barbers are sent abroad to operate on the minds and chins of the community. 'There is no mention made of any such order of prelectors,' says a stubborn layman, 'in my New Testament;' 'Nor yet in mine,' says another. 'Sheer Atheism,—Deism at the very least!' exclaims the zealous clergyman. 'Until Christianity was fairly established in the world, there was no such thing as shaving at all; the Jews don't shave yet: besides, does not every decent Church ...
— Leading Articles on Various Subjects • Hugh Miller

... make the adoration of Christ in song an essential part of public worship. It was here that the Brethren excelled, and here that they helped to free English Christianity from the chilling influence of Deism. The whole point was quaintly expressed by ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... anonymously, had afterwards fallen by the ears among themselves. M. de Montesquieu contented himself with making an example of the most extravagant. This was the author of an anonymous periodical paper, who accused M. de Montesquieu of Spinozism and deism (two imputations which are incompatible); of having followed the system of Pope (of which there is not a word in his works); of having quoted Plutarch, who is not a Christian author; of not having spoken of original sin and of grace. In a word, he pretended that the ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... of a benevolent philosopher, Franklin, as we have seen, had watched the effect of the preaching of Mr. Whitefield, and had candidly acknowledged its power in reforming society. It is improbable that, in his heart, he felt that the preaching of pure deism could ever secure such results. In 1753 he wrote to Mr. Whitefield, in reply to a communication from him ...
— Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago - American Pioneers and Patriots Series • John S. C. Abbott

... of Vedantism is deism. But now with two steps one arrives at the inner portal of sectarianism. First, if brahma is a personal god, which of the gods is he, this personal All-spirit? As a general thing the Vedantist answers, 'he is Vishnu'; and adds, 'Vishnu, who embraces as ...
— The Religions of India - Handbooks On The History Of Religions, Volume 1, Edited By Morris Jastrow • Edward Washburn Hopkins

... true. This is the simple and authentic text of which the others are altered and amplified translations. Remove the ulterior and divergent excesses and the original remains; this common essence, on which all copies harmonize, is deism.—The same operation is to be made on civil and political law. In France, where so many survive their utility, where privileges are no longer paid for with service, where rights are changed into abuses, how incoherent is the architecture ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... Lincoln was nominated. His Democratic opponent was Peter Cartwright, the famous Methodist exhorter. Cartwright had been in politics before, and made an energetic canvass. His chief weapon against Lincoln was the old charges of deism and aristocracy; but they failed of effect, and in ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. VI., No. 6, May, 1896 • Various

... not far distant past deism and pantheism served as a polite subterfuge for atheism. There is a growing tendency in this present age to dress one's atheistic belief in an evening suit, and for the sake of social approbation call such a belief "religious humanism." ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... notes from his subdued audience. How could one talk on equal terms with a man who could not brook contradiction or even argument upon the most vital questions in life? Would Goldsmith defend his literary views, or Burke his Whiggism, or Gibbon his Deism? There was no common ground of philosophic toleration on which one could stand. If he could not argue he would be rude, or, as Goldsmith put it: "If his pistol missed fire, he would knock you down with the butt end." In the face of that "rhinoceros ...
— Through the Magic Door • Arthur Conan Doyle

... times played an important part in Western politics—the Disciples. They all supported him energetically, and used as arguments against Lincoln that his wife was a Presbyterian, that most of her family were Episcopalians, that Lincoln himself belonged to no church, and that he had been suspected of deism, and, finally, that he was the candidate of the aristocracy. This last charge so amazed Lincoln that he was unable to frame any satisfactory answer to it. The memory of his flat-boating days, of his illiterate ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... finitude put forward by the present writer will be seen to differ from that of John Stuart Mill, as the idea of self-limitation differs from that of a limitation ab extra—in other words, as Theism differs from Deism. ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... Unitarian, if not a deist. He collaborated with Coleridge in the 'Fall of Robespierre' (1794), wrote a portion of the 'Conciones ad Populum' (1795), which the Government considered seditious; and, according to Poole ('Thomas Pools and his Friends', vol. i. chap, vi.), wavered "between Deism and Atheism." He became a champion of monarchical principles and of religious orthodoxy, and attacked the views, which he had once held and expressed in 'Wat Tyler' (written in 1794, and piratically published in 1817), with the bitterness of a reactionary. ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... ignorant, and ridiculous misapplications of the sacred writings, sunk, in too many minds, the veneration in which they were formerly held; and thus benumbed what ought to have been the natural sentiments of indignation at the blasphemies of deism. ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... doctrine was essentially traditional; for it was impossible to represent the doctrines of the church of England as deductions from any abstract philosophy. But the traditions were not regarded as having any mysterious authority. Abstract philosophy might lead to deism or infidelity. Paley and his like rejected such philosophy in the spirit of Locke or even Hume. But it was always possible to treat a tradition like any other statement of fact. It could be proved by appropriate evidence. ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen



Words linked to "Deism" :   rationalism, free thought, deistic



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