Celestial Lands Library

Historical Deist/Rationalist Writers Section

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The Age of Reason, Parts I and II   --   Thomas Paine  --  1794

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        (Click here to read a modern translation of Age of Reason rather than the original)

When most people come to Deism, "Age of Reason" is probably the first Historical Deistic work that they read.  It is an excellent summary of Deistic ideas, and an exploration of the inherent inaccuracies found in the Bible, written for the common man.  When published, it caused much controversy and response.  This is a great place to start your exploration of Deism... and we provide a modern English translation (courtesy of Positive Deism) if you want an even easier read.

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Reason: The Only Oracle of Man   --   Ethan Allen  --  1784

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If you want a Deistic writer that will inspire thought in you, than Col. Ethan Allen is your man!  This is the only large written work he ever produced, and it is little known due to a fire that destroyed much of the original publication.  What Ethan Allen does is to detail all of his religious beliefs in a systematic way... and to show how he arrived at them not from study, but rather from independent thought.  His language is a bit verbose... we are working on a modern English translation of this work as well. 

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Christianity as Old as the Creation  --  Mathew Tindal  -- 1730

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This is the seminal work on Christian Deism.  If you are struggling to accept Deism, but find yourself still clinging to your Christian roots, then this work is for you.  It puts forth the proposal that Jesus was calling to our attention religious principles that have existed since the beginning of the universe.  In essence, Tindal shows the "Deism" in the philosophy of Jesus. 

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The Ruins   --   Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf Volney

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The Ruins is the story of the inspiration one man found while he traveled through the lands of many of our worlds ancient religions and cultures, and how that journey inspired him to Deistic ideas. 

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The Law of Nature   --   Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf Volney

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This is a wonderful, concise exposition on Natural Religion, and an exploration of all other religious concepts from that perspective. 

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"Volney's Answer to Dr. Priestly"   --   Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf Volney

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"A Collection of Articles on Religion"   --   Albert Einstein

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This pre-eminent Scientist and Deist wrote how science was not opposed to religion, but rather science was a true expression of the human religious impulse, in this series of published newspaper articles and essays. 

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"Abraham Lincoln, Deist" Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents   --   Franklin Steiner

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This is a section from a book, conclusively showing that Abraham Lincoln was indeed a Deist.  This may shed some light on his dedication to Freedom and Liberty. 

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"The Deists Immortality"  --  Lysander Spooner  --  1834

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"An Essay on Man's Accountability for his Belief"  -- Lysander Spooner  --  1834

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"Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion"  --  David Hume  -- 1789

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"The Jefferson Bible"  --  Thomas Jefferson  --  1804

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"The Religious and Philosophical Beliefs of Rousseau"  --   Jean Jacques Rousseau  --  1762

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This selection is taken from the fourth book of Rousseau's treatise on education, Emile (1762). The book details a natural education method  that is used to raise a child named Emile and within the course of the book the topic of how best to educate a child about religious matters arises.

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"Christianity Not Founded on Argument" --   Henry Dodwell jr. --  1743

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In 1743, Henry Dodwell jr. (not to be mistaken for his father, the minister) wrote Christianity Not Founded on Argument. In this work, Dodwell, rather than being a mere naysayer against Christianity, simply took all of the clergy's objections against Deism's claim to rational Faith that they'd put forth over the decades, and he wrote from the vantage point of a dogmatic blind-faith style Christian. Here, Dodwell uses scripture to argue against a rational Christian faith, and he shows that in the Bible, Faith is in no way whatsoever the product of a reasoned deliberation based on examination of Logical Deductions, and this is argued to the fullest implications with respect to Christian faith.

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