Tindal, Matthew (tĭnˈdəl) [key], c.1655–1733, English deist. For a short time in the reign of James II he was a Roman Catholic, but in 1688 he returned to the Church of England. The first of his published writings to excite attention was The Rights of the Christian Church Asserted (1706), a defense of Erastianism; it was proscribed by Parliament. His Defence of the Rights of the Christian Church (1709) reiterated his position and was similarly condemned. Tindal's Christianity as Old as the Creation (1730), in which he set forth his rationalistic views, has been called the bible of deism.
See L. Stephen, History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (3d ed. 1902).
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