(I) It appears for the first time in 18th-century English as an occasional synonym for " deism " (q.v.), and therefore as applying to those who believed in God but not in Christianity.
If the word " deism " emphasizes a negative element - rejection of church Christianity - " theism " generally emphasizes the positive element - belief in God.
But this theism is lifeless - a " pale and shallow deism, which India has often confessed with the lips, but which has never won the homage of her heart.'" The thought of India is upon the side of pantheism.
Wolff's list is of some historical importance - atheism, deism (a God without care for men) and naturalism (denial of supernatural revelation); anthropomorphism (assigning a human body to God); materialism, and idealism (non-existence of matter); paganism (polytheism); Manichaeism, Spinozism, Epicureanism.
In such an atmosphere, deism readily uttered its protest against mysterious revelation.
Deism is, in fact, the Thomist natural theology (more clearly distinguished from dogmatic theology than in the middle ages, alike by Protestants and by the post-Tridentine Church of Rome) now dissolving partnership with dogmatic and starting in business for itself.
Deism now taught that reason,.
During the 18th century deism spread widely, though its leaders were " irrepressible men like Toland, men of mediocre culture and ability like Anthony Collins, vulgar men like Chubb, irritated and disagreeable men like Matthew Tindal, who conformed that he might enjoy his Oxford fellowship and wrote anonymously that he might relieve his conscience " (A.
When the existence of God is denied (atheism), or His nature is declared unknowable (agnosticism), or He is identified with nature itself (pantheism), or He is so distinguished from the world that His free action is excluded from the course of nature (deism), miracle is necessarily denied.
The abbe de Chateauneuf instructed him early in belleslettres and deism, and he showed when a child the unsurpassed faculty for facile verse-making which always distinguished him.
His visiting espionage, as unkind critics put it - his secret diplomatic mission, as he would have liked to have it put himself - began in the summer of 1722, and he set out for it in company with a certain Madame de Rupelmonde, to whom he as usual made love, taught deism and served as an amusing travelling companion.
The first deals with mere party questions without sincerity and without depth; and the second, composed as an amusement in retirement without any serious preparation, in their attacks on metaphysics and theology and in their feeble deism present no originality and carry no conviction.
The Illumination in Germany and Deism in England were largely responsible for this, though.
The Contrat social was obviously anti-monarchic; the Nouvelle Heloise was said to be immoral; the sentimental deism of the "Profession du vicaire Savoyard" in Emile irritated equally the philosophe party and the church.
In religion Rousseau was undoubtedly what he has been called above - a sentimental deist; but no one who reads him with the smallest attention can fail to see that sentimentalism was the essence, deism the accident of his creed.
In England this essay, which was regarded and treated as a plea for deism, made a great sensation, calling forth several replies, among others from William Whiston, Bishop Hare, Bishop Hoadly, and Richard Bentley, who, under the signature of Phileleutherus Lipsiensis, roughly handles certain arguments carelessly expressed by Collins, but triumphs chiefly by an attack on trivial points of scholarship, his own pamphlet being by no means faultless in this very respect.
In what sense can God be outside the world (see Deism): in what sense in it (pantheism)?
See, further, Theism; Deism; ATheism; Absolute.
In 1744 we find him, in anticipation of a vacancy in the chair of moral philosophy at Edinburgh university, moving his friends to advance his cause with the electors; and though, as he tells us, " the accusation of heresy, deism, scepticism or theism, &c., &c., was started " against him, it had no effect, " being bore down by the contrary authority of all the good people in town."
Hume endeavours to show that polytheism was the earliest as well as the most natural form of religious belief, and that theism or deism is ' See Burton, ii.
This work, along with another against Deism, entitled The Gospel its own Witness, is regarded as the production on which his reputation as a theologian mainly rests.
The work in short - a second part, written during his ten months' imprisonment, was published after his release - represents the deism of the 18th century in the hands of a rough, ready, passionate controversialist.
As the result of these inquiries, he adopted the creed of pure deism and a ritual based upon the system of Zoroaster.
Arabic language and literature had gained too firm a footing to be supplanted at once by a new literary idiom still in its infancy; nevertheless the few poets who arose under the Tahirids and Saffgrids show already the germs of the characteristic tendency of all later Persian literature, which aims at amalgamating the enforced spirit of Islamism with their own Aryan feelings, and reconciling the strict deism of the Mahommedan religion with their inborn loftier and more or less pantheistic ideas; and we can easily trace in the few fragmentary verses of men like Iianzala, I~akim FirUz and Abu Salik those principal forms of poetry now used in common by Forms of all Mahommedan nationsthe forms of the qa~ida Eastern (the encomiastic, elegiac or satirical poem), the Poeti~.
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.
But the deism of the ¶7th century is a phase of thought that has no living reality now, and the whole aspect of the religious problem has been completely changed.
The term "deism" not only is used to signify the main body of the deists' teaching, or the tendency they represent, but has come into use as a technical term for one specific metaphysical doctrine as to the relation of God to the universe, assumed to have been characteristic of the deists, and to have distinguished them from atheists, pantheists and theists, - the belief, namely, that the first cause of the universe is a personal God, who is, however, not only distinct from the world but apart from it and its concerns.
The first specific attack on deism in English was Bishop Stillingfleet's Letter to a Deist (1677).
The impulses that promoted a vein of thought cognate to deism were active both before and after the time of its greatest notoriety.
Deism was one of the results, and is an important link in the chain of thought from the Reformation to our own day.
Long before England was ripe to welcome deistic thought Lord Herbert of Cherbury earned the name "Father of Deism" by laying down the main line of that religious philosophy which in various forms continued ever after to be the backbone of deistic systems. He based his theology on a comprehensive, if insufficient, survey of the nature, foundation, limits and tests of human knowledge.
Externally Chubb is interesting as representing the deism of the people contrasted with that of Tindal the theologian.
But deism is not a compact system nor is it the outcome of any one line of philosophical thought.
The controversies they had provoked collapsed, and deism became a by-word even amongst those who were in no degree anxious to appear as champions of orthodoxy.
The negative side of deism came to the front, and, communicated with fatal facility, seems ultimately to have constituted the deism that was commonly professed at the clubs of the wits and the tea-tables of polite society.
Yet deism deserves to be remembered as a strenuous protest against bibliolatry in every degree and against all traditionalism in theology.
Yet English deism was in many ways characteristically English.
French deism, the direct progeny of the English movement, was equally short-lived.
Voltaire during his three years' residence in England (1726-1729) absorbed an enthusiasm for freedom of thought, and provided himself with the arguments necessary to support the deism which he had learned in his youth; he was to the end a deist of the school of Bolingbroke.
But as Locke's philosophy became in France sensationalism, and as Locke's pregnant question, reiterated by Collins, how we know that the divine power might not confer thought on matter, led the way to dogmatic materialism, so deism soon gave way to forms of thought more directly and completely subversive of the traditional theology.
None the less it is unquestionable that in the period preceding the Revolution the bulk of French thinkers were ultimately deists in various degrees, and that deism was a most potent factor not only in speculative but also in social and political development.
Reimarus was wholly undistinguishable from dogmatic deism, and was undoubtedly to a great extent adopted by Lessing; while, in the case of the historico-critical school to which J.
For men like Hume and Gibbon the standpoint of deism was long left behind; yet Gibbon's famous two chapters might well have been written by a deist.
To the end of the 18th Century (1906; especially chap. iv., "The Answer to Deism"); A.
Voltaire's reply to it in the 18th (Essai sur les mceurs) attacked its limitations on the basis of deism, and its miraculous procedure on that of science.
Defenders of Christianity and of deism alike atmo- appealed to the reason alone.
In the 18th century " Illumination " - an age which piqued itself upon its " enlightenment, " and " Ilium!- which did a good deal to drive away obscurity, though at the cost of losing depth - Deism outside the churches is matched by a spirit of cool common-sense within them, a spirit which is not confined to professed Rationalists.
At the age of 80, Catherine, wife of Melchior Vogel or Weygel, was burned at Cracow (1539) for apostasy; whether her views embraced more than deism is not clear.
Before the War of Independence Arianism showed itself in individual instances, and French influences were widespread in the direction of deism, though they were not organized into any definite utterance by religious bodies.