138. Two modes of Atheism.


D’Arvieux (t. 1, p. 308) attributes an extraordinary kind, of atheism to the Druses. “They acknowlege” he says, “that there was a God once, but they affirm that after he had created heaven and earth, he was blown away by a high wind, which carried him so far off that there has been no news of him since” I knew a philosopher who held an opinion not less whimsical, and directly the reverse of this. He was perfectly satisfied 263that there is no God at present, but he believed there would be one by and by: for as the organization of the universe perfected itself, a universal mind, he argued, would be the result. This he called the system of progressive nature. He explained it to me with great zeal when we were walking over the very ground, where, thirteen years afterwards, the battle of Coruñia was fought. Light lie the earth upon him! he was a kind-hearted man, and all his wishes were for the welfare and improvement of mankind; but it had been well for him if his other intellectual vagaries had produced as little mischief as his system of progressive nature.


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