He was summoned before the magistrates of Utrecht to defend himself against charges of irreligion and slander.
They use it with strong condemnation, from the standpoint of rigorous Christian orthodoxy; but it comes into England within very few years upon the Christian side - religion against irreligion - in Bishop John Wilkins's Principles and Duties of Natural Religion (1678).
The commissioners on criminal law (sixth report) remark that "although the law forbids all denial of the being and providence of God or the Christian religion, it is only when irreligion assumes the form of an insult to God and man that the interference of the criminal law has taken place."
Hence both science and religion must come to recognize as the" most certain of all facts that the Power which the Universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable."Thus to be buried side by side in the Unknowable constitutes their final reconciliation, as it is the refutation of irreligion which consists of" a lurking doubt whether the Incomprehensible is really incomprehensible."Such are the foundations of Spencer's metaphysic of the Unknowable, to which he resorts in all the fundamental difficulties which he subsequently encounters.
The bourgeoisie sought the support of the clergy, and irreligion became as unfashionable among them as it had been among the nobility after 1793.
Her irreligion was shared by multitudes of contemporaries who had never been called upon to renounce one form of Christianity and profess belief in another in order to gain a crown.
On the one hand, the suppression is denounced as a base surrender to the forces of tyranny and irreligion, an act of treason to conscience, which reaped its just punishment of remorse; on the other hand, it is as ardently maintained that Clement acted in full accord with his conscience, and that the order merited its fate by its own mischievous activities which made it an offence to religion and authority alike.
The criticism is even to-day current with the uninformed that Jefferson took his manners, 4 morals, "irreligion" and political philosophy from his French residence; and it cannot be wholly ignored.
Various stories were circulated about the looseness of Walid's manner of life; Yazid accused him of irreligion, and, by representing himself as a devout and God-fearing man, won over the pious Moslems. The conspirators met with slight opposition.
After the Restoration, when, as Birch puts it, "irreligion began to lift up its head."