natural religion

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Religion \Re*li"gion\ (r[-e]*l[i^]j"[u^]n), n. [F., from L.
   religio; cf. religens pious, revering the gods, Gr. 'ale`gein
   to heed, have a care. Cf. Neglect.]
   1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their
      recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having
      power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and
      honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love,
      fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power,
      whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites
      and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of
      faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical
      religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion;
      revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion
      of idol worshipers.
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            An orderly life so far as others are able to observe
            us is now and then produced by prudential motives or
            by dint of habit; but without seriousness there can
            be no religious principle at the bottom, no course
            of conduct from religious motives; in a word, there
            can be no religion.                   --Paley.
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            Religion [was] not, as too often now, used as
            equivalent for godliness; but . . . it expressed the
            outer form and embodiment which the inward spirit of
            a true or a false devotion assumed.   --Trench.
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            Religions, by which are meant the modes of divine
            worship proper to different tribes, nations, or
            communities, and based on the belief held in common
            by the members of them severally. . . . There is no
            living religion without something like a doctrine.
            On the other hand, a doctrine, however elaborate,
            does not constitute a religion.       --C. P. Tiele
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            Religion . . . means the conscious relation between
            man and God, and the expression of that relation in
            human conduct.                        --J.
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            After the most straitest sect of our religion I
            lived a Pharisee.                     --Acts xxvi.
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            The image of a brute, adorned
            With gay religions full of pomp and gold. --Milton.
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   2. Specifically, conformity in faith and life to the precepts
      inculcated in the Bible, respecting the conduct of life
      and duty toward God and man; the Christian faith and

   Note: This definition is from the 1913 Webster, which was
         edited by Noah Porter, a theologian. His bias toward
         the Christion religion is evident not only in this
         definition, but in others as well as in the choice of
         quations or illustrative phrases. Caveat lector. - PJC
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               Let us with caution indulge the supposition that
               morality can be maintained without religion.
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               Religion will attend you . . . as a pleasant and
               useful companion in every proper place, and every
               temperate occupation of life.      --Buckminster.
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   3. (R. C. Ch.) A monastic or religious order subject to a
      regulated mode of life; the religious state; as, to enter
      religion. --Trench.
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            A good man was there of religion.     --Chaucer.
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   4. Strictness of fidelity in conforming to any practice, as
      if it were an enjoined rule of conduct. [R.]
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            Those parts of pleading which in ancient times might
            perhaps be material, but at this time are become
            only mere styles and forms, are still continued with
            much religion.                        --Sir M. Hale.
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   Note: Religion, as distinguished from theology, is
         subjective, designating the feelings and acts of men
         which relate to God; while theology is objective, and
         denotes those ideas which man entertains respecting the
         God whom he worships, especially his systematized views
         of God. As distinguished from morality, religion
         denotes the influences and motives to human duty which
         are found in the character and will of God, while
         morality describes the duties to man, to which true
         religion always influences. As distinguished from
         piety, religion is a high sense of moral obligation and
         spirit of reverence or worship which affect the heart
         of man with respect to the Deity, while piety, which
         first expressed the feelings of a child toward a
         parent, is used for that filial sentiment of veneration
         and love which we owe to the Father of all. As
         distinguished from sanctity, religion is the means by
         which sanctity is achieved, sanctity denoting primarily
         that purity of heart and life which results from
         habitual communion with God, and a sense of his
         continual presence.
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   Natural religion, a religion based upon the evidences of a
      God and his qualities, which is supplied by natural
      phenomena. See Natural theology, under Natural.

   Religion of humanity, a name sometimes given to a religion
      founded upon positivism as a philosophical basis.

   Revealed religion, that which is based upon direct
      communication of God's will to mankind; especially, the
      Christian religion, based on the revelations recorded in
      the Old and New Testaments.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Natural \Nat"u*ral\ (?; 135), a. [OE. naturel, F. naturel, fr.
   L. naturalis, fr. natura. See Nature.]
   1. Fixed or determined by nature; pertaining to the
      constitution of a thing; belonging to native character;
      according to nature; essential; characteristic; innate;
      not artificial, foreign, assumed, put on, or acquired; as,
      the natural growth of animals or plants; the natural
      motion of a gravitating body; natural strength or
      disposition; the natural heat of the body; natural color.
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            With strong natural sense, and rare force of will.
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   2. Conformed to the order, laws, or actual facts, of nature;
      consonant to the methods of nature; according to the
      stated course of things, or in accordance with the laws
      which govern events, feelings, etc.; not exceptional or
      violent; legitimate; normal; regular; as, the natural
      consequence of crime; a natural death; anger is a natural
      response to insult.
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            What can be more natural than the circumstances in
            the behavior of those women who had lost their
            husbands on this fatal day?           --Addison.
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   3. Having to do with existing system to things; dealing with,
      or derived from, the creation, or the world of matter and
      mind, as known by man; within the scope of human reason or
      experience; not supernatural; as, a natural law; natural
      science; history, theology.
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            I call that natural religion which men might know .
            . . by the mere principles of reason, improved by
            consideration and experience, without the help of
            revelation.                           --Bp. Wilkins.
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   4. Conformed to truth or reality; as:
      (a) Springing from true sentiment; not artificial or
          exaggerated; -- said of action, delivery, etc.; as, a
          natural gesture, tone, etc.
      (b) Resembling the object imitated; true to nature;
          according to the life; -- said of anything copied or
          imitated; as, a portrait is natural.
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   5. Having the character or sentiments properly belonging to
      one's position; not unnatural in feelings.
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            To leave his wife, to leave his babes, . . .
            He wants the natural touch.           --Shak.
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   6. Connected by the ties of consanguinity. especially,
      Related by birth rather than by adoption; as, one's
      natural mother. "Natural friends." --J. H. Newman.
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   7. Hence: Begotten without the sanction of law; born out of
      wedlock; illegitimate; bastard; as, a natural child.
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   8. Of or pertaining to the lower or animal nature, as
      contrasted with the higher or moral powers, or that which
      is spiritual; being in a state of nature; unregenerate.
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            The natural man receiveth not the things of the
            Spirit of God.                        --1 Cor. ii.
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   9. (Math.) Belonging to, to be taken in, or referred to, some
      system, in which the base is 1; -- said of certain
      functions or numbers; as, natural numbers, those
      commencing at 1; natural sines, cosines, etc., those taken
      in arcs whose radii are 1.
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   10. (Mus.)
       (a) Produced by natural organs, as those of the human
           throat, in distinction from instrumental music.
       (b) Of or pertaining to a key which has neither a flat
           nor a sharp for its signature, as the key of C major.
       (c) Applied to an air or modulation of harmony which
           moves by easy and smooth transitions, digressing but
           little from the original key.
       (d) Neither flat nor sharp; -- of a tone.
       (e) Changed to the pitch which is neither flat nor sharp,
           by appending the sign [natural]; as, A natural.
           --Moore (Encyc. of Music).
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   11. Existing in nature or created by the forces of nature, in
       contrast to production by man; not made, manufactured, or
       processed by humans; as, a natural ruby; a natural
       bridge; natural fibers; a deposit of natural calcium
       sulfate. Opposed to artificial, man-made,
       manufactured, processed and synthetic. [WordNet
       sense 2]

   12. Hence: Not processed or refined; in the same statre as
       that existing in nature; as, natural wood; natural foods.

   Natural day, the space of twenty-four hours. --Chaucer.
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   Natural fats, Natural gas, etc. See under Fat, Gas.

   Natural Harmony (Mus.), the harmony of the triad or common

   Natural history, in its broadest sense, a history or
      description of nature as a whole, including the sciences
      of botany, Zoology, geology, mineralogy,
      paleontology, chemistry, and physics. In recent
      usage the term is often restricted to the sciences of
      botany and Zoology collectively, and sometimes to the
      science of zoology alone.

   Natural law, that instinctive sense of justice and of right
      and wrong, which is native in mankind, as distinguished
      from specifically revealed divine law, and formulated
      human law.

   Natural modulation (Mus.), transition from one key to its
      relative keys.

   Natural order. (Nat. Hist.) See under order.

   Natural person. (Law) See under person, n.

   Natural philosophy, originally, the study of nature in
      general; the natural sciences; in modern usage, that
      branch of physical science, commonly called physics,
      which treats of the phenomena and laws of matter and
      considers those effects only which are unaccompanied by
      any change of a chemical nature; -- contrasted with
      mental philosophy and moral philosophy.

   Natural scale (Mus.), a scale which is written without
      flats or sharps.

   Note: Model would be a preferable term, as less likely to
         mislead, the so-called artificial scales (scales
         represented by the use of flats and sharps) being
         equally natural with the so-called natural scale.

   Natural science, the study of objects and phenomena
      existing in nature, especially biology, chemistry, physics
      and their interdisciplinary related sciences; {natural
      history}, in its broadest sense; -- used especially in
      contradistinction to social science, mathematics,
      philosophy, mental science or moral science.

   Natural selection (Biol.), the operation of natural laws
      analogous, in their operation and results, to designed
      selection in breeding plants and animals, and resulting in
      the survival of the fittest; the elimination over time of
      species unable to compete in specific environments with
      other species more adapted to survival; -- the essential
      mechanism of evolution. The principle of natural selection
      is neutral with respect to the mechanism by which
      inheritable changes occur in organisms (most commonly
      thought to be due to mutation of genes and reorganization
      of genomes), but proposes that those forms which have
      become so modified as to be better adapted to the existing
      environment have tended to survive and leave similarly
      adapted descendants, while those less perfectly adapted
      have tended to die out through lack of fitness for the
      environment, thus resulting in the survival of the
      fittest. See Darwinism.

   Natural system (Bot. & Zool.), a classification based upon
      real affinities, as shown in the structure of all parts of
      the organisms, and by their embryology.

            It should be borne in mind that the natural system
            of botany is natural only in the constitution of its
            genera, tribes, orders, etc., and in its grand
            divisions.                            --Gray.

   Natural theology, or Natural religion, that part of
      theological science which treats of those evidences of the
      existence and attributes of the Supreme Being which are
      exhibited in nature; -- distinguished from {revealed
      religion}. See Quotation under Natural, a., 3.

   Natural vowel, the vowel sound heard in urn, furl, sir,
      her, etc.; -- so called as being uttered in the easiest
      open position of the mouth organs. See Neutral vowel,
      under Neutral and Guide to Pronunciation, [sect] 17.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]

   Syn: See Native.
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