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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [heresy]

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heresy

HER'ESY, n. [Gr. to take, to hold; L. haeresis.]

1. A fundamental error in religion, or an error of opinion respecting some fundamental doctrine of religion. But in countries where there is an established church, an opinion is deemed heresy, when it differs from that of the church. The Scriptures being the standard of faith, any opinion that is repugnant to its doctrines, is heresy; but as men differ in the interpretation of Scripture, an opinion deemed heretical by one body of christians,may be deemed orthodox by another. In Scripture and primitive usage,heresy meant merely sect, party, or the doctrines of a sect, as we now use denomination or persuasion, implying no reproach.

2. Heresy, in law, is an offense against christianity, consisting in a denial of some of its essential doctrines, publicly avowed and obstinately maintained.

3. An untenable or unsound opinion or doctrine in politics.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [heresy]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

HER'ESY, n. [Gr. to take, to hold; L. haeresis.]

1. A fundamental error in religion, or an error of opinion respecting some fundamental doctrine of religion. But in countries where there is an established church, an opinion is deemed heresy, when it differs from that of the church. The Scriptures being the standard of faith, any opinion that is repugnant to its doctrines, is heresy; but as men differ in the interpretation of Scripture, an opinion deemed heretical by one body of christians,may be deemed orthodox by another. In Scripture and primitive usage,heresy meant merely sect, party, or the doctrines of a sect, as we now use denomination or persuasion, implying no reproach.

2. Heresy, in law, is an offense against christianity, consisting in a denial of some of its essential doctrines, publicly avowed and obstinately maintained.

3. An untenable or unsound opinion or doctrine in politics.

HER'E-SY, n. [Gr. αίρεσις, from αίρεω, to take, to hold; L. hæresis; Fr. heresie.]

  1. A fundamental error in religion, or an error of opinion respecting some fundamental doctrine of religion. But in countries where there is an established church, an opinion is deemed heresy, when it differs from that of the church. The Scriptures being the standard of faith, any opinion that is repugnant to its doctrines, is heresy; but as men differ in the interpretation of Scripture, an opinion deemed heretical by one body of Christians, may be deemed orthodox by another. In Scripture and primitive usage, heresy meant merely sect, party, or the doctrines of a sect, as we now use denomination or persuasion, implying no reproach.
  2. Heresy, in law, is an offense against Christianity, consisting in a denial of some of its essential doctrines, publicly avowed and obstinately maintained. Blackstone.
  3. An untenable or unsound opinion or doctrine in politics. Swift.

Her"e*sy
  1. An opinion held in opposition to the established or commonly received doctrine, and tending to promote a division or party, as in politics, literature, philosophy, etc.; -- usually, but not necessarily, said in reproach.

    New opinions
    Divers and dangerous, which are heresies,
    And, not reformed, may prove pernicious.
    Shak.

    After the study of philosophy began in Greece, and the philosophers, disagreeing amongst themselves, had started many questions . . . because every man took what opinion he pleased, each several opinion was called a heresy; which signified no more than a private opinion, without reference to truth or falsehood. Hobbes.

  2. Religious opinion opposed to the authorized doctrinal standards of any particular church, especially when tending to promote schism or separation; lack of orthodox or sound belief; rejection of, or erroneous belief in regard to, some fundamental religious doctrine or truth; heterodoxy.

    Doubts 'mongst divines, and difference of texts,
    From whence arise diversity of sects,
    And hateful heresies by God abhor'd.
    Spenser.

    Deluded people! that do not consider that the greatest heresy in the world is a wicked life. Tillotson.

  3. An offense against Christianity, consisting in a denial of some essential doctrine, which denial is publicly avowed, and obstinately maintained.

    A second offense is that of heresy, which consists not in a total denial of Christianity, but of some its essential doctrines, publicly and obstinately avowed. Blackstone.

    * "When I call dueling, and similar aberrations of honor, a moral heresy, I refer to the force of the Greek (?), as signifying a principle or opinion taken up by the will for the will's sake, as a proof or pledge to itself of its own power of self- determination, independent of all other motives." Coleridge.

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Heresy

HER'ESY, noun [Gr. to take, to hold; Latin haeresis.]

1. A fundamental error in religion, or an error of opinion respecting some fundamental doctrine of religion. But in countries where there is an established church, an opinion is deemed heresy when it differs from that of the church. The Scriptures being the standard of faith, any opinion that is repugnant to its doctrines, is heresy; but as men differ in the interpretation of Scripture, an opinion deemed heretical by one body of christians, may be deemed orthodox by another. In Scripture and primitive usage, heresy meant merely sect, party, or the doctrines of a sect, as we now use denomination or persuasion, implying no reproach.

2. heresy in law, is an offense against christianity, consisting in a denial of some of its essential doctrines, publicly avowed and obstinately maintained.

3. An untenable or unsound opinion or doctrine in politics.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

throughout

THROUGHOUT, prep. thruout'. [through and out.] Quite through; in every part; from one extremity to the other. This is the practice throughout Ireland. A general opinion prevails throughout England. Throughout the whole course of his life, he avoided every species of vice.

THROUGHOUT, adv. throut'. In every part. The cloth was of a piece throughout.

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