the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Are of three sorts.
1. Those who, having heard the Gospel, reject it.
2. Those who verbally assent to it, yet know not to what they assent, or why they believe.
3. They who, whatever knowledge they may have of certain speculative points of divinity, yet obey not the truth, but live in sin. The following is a striking description given by Masilon of an unbeliever (Ser. 1: vol. 3: Eng. trans.) "He is a man without morals, probity, faith, or character; who owns no rule but his passions, no law but his iniquitous thoughts, no master but his desires, no check but the dread of authority, no God but himself; an unnatural child; since he believes that chance alone hath given him fathers; a faithless friend, seeing he looks upon men merely as the wretched fruits of a wild and fortuitous concurrence to whom he is connected only by transitory ties: a cruel master, seeing he is convinced that the strongest and the most fortunate have always reason on their side.
Who could henceforth place any dependence on such? They no longer fear a God; they no longer respect men; they look forward to nothing after this life: virtue and vice are merely prejudices of education in their eyes, and the consequences of popular credulity. Adulteries, revenge, blasphemies, the blackest treacheries, abominations which we dare not even name, are no longer in their opinion but human prohibitions established through the policy of legislators. According to them, the most horrible crimes or the purest virtues are all equally the same, since an eternal annihilation shall soon equalise the just and the impious, and for ever confound them both in the dreary mansion of the tomb. What monsters, then, must such be upon the earth!"
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Unbelievers'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​cbd/​u/unbelievers.html. 1802.