Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Butler was born’


Joseph Butler was born 5/18/1692 in Wantage, Berkshire, England the son of Thomas Butler (a linen-draper) & his wife, both Presbyterians.  He attended a dissenting academy run by Samuel Jones at Gloucester, later at Tewkesbury, (a fellow student here was Thomas Secker, the future archbishop).  In 1714 Butler converted to the church of England & attended Oriel College, Oxford.  He never married.

He was appointed head chaplain to Caroline, the wife of King George II in 1736.  In ’38 he moved on to be bishop at Bristol & in ’50 was made bishop of Durham, 11/9/1750.  He died at Bath, Somerset, 6/16/1752.

Butler’s theological/philosophical mind was challenged by the spreading deadly fogs of Deism.  Butler opposed both Thomas Hobbs & John Locke.  His life & writings left an influence behind for such names as David Hume & Adam Smith.  Even today Butler may be felt in some limited way in the thinking of C. S. Lewis.  Butler is most famous for his Fifteen Sermons on Human Nature & Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed.  Butler’s Analogy is said to have done more to discredit deism than any other current writing.

Butler Quotes:  As this world was not intended to be a state of any great satisfaction or high enjoyment,

so neither was it intended to be a mere scene of unhappiness and sorrow.

Compassion is a call, a demand of nature, to relieve the unhappy as hunger is a natural call for food.

Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: why then should we desire to be deceived?

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