Naturalism is the view that the physical world is a self-contained system that works by blind, unbroken natural laws. Naturalism doesn't come right out and say there's nothing beyond nature. Rather, it says that nothing beyond nature could have any conceivable relevance to what happens in nature. Naturalism's answer to theism is not atheism but benign neglect. People are welcome to believe in God, though not a God who makes a difference in the natural order.
If there was a God he reasoned it would have the same relation to us as we have to blades of grass. Do we make them grow? Yes in the sense that we water the lawn. Do we care for them and worry over them? Again as a lawn but not as individual blades. We don't give them names. We just want them to look nice and green. A God who created the earth would want it to look nice an blue from space. He would sit back after a long day of creating things and think to himself now that's what a planet should look like.
I remember one Gentleman objected to the Christian Faith, that it made Men insolent, quarrelsom and ill-natur'd. From whence I concluded, (as I told him) that he had never read over the ; truly he could not say that he had read 'em carefully, but yet that in reading the History of what had passed in Christendom, he observed that most of the Quarrels in which this part of the World had been engaged, arose from contentions among the Christian . Church-History is chiefly a relation of Church-mens Wrangles, and D. in a late Book of his has denominated every Century from some eminent Quarrel which arose among the Clergy. But besides this, what was the Holy War, what all the holy Massacres and Croisados which filled with Blood, but the Inventions of the Holy Church? And what is holy Inquisition, but a perpetual Series of Murthers carry'd on in barbarous Forms of Law against the common Sense of Mankind? Does History account for any Barbarities so great as those committed by the Popes? Any Cruelties so savage as those of the Holy Inquisition? Any Murthers so solemn, and religiously brutal as the Acts of Faith? Any Pragmaticalness so insufferable as that of the Jesuits? is not their Humanity extinguished by their Christian Religion? Such is their Malice that no Man can eat Bread where they have to do, unless he submit his Faith to their guidance, witness the present Persecution.
Thus that Upright Judge, whose three Letters my Friend having read, did well approve of 'em, acknowledging, that with great Exactness he had distinguished between Religion and Priest-craft: And he added, If you will shew me, Sir, any Christian Church where that distinction is observed, I will become a Member of it. I recommended the Church of ; he presently told me that he had read the 39 Articles, and observed that 3 of them were wholly design'd to uphold the Power of the Clergy over the People. And then he bad me only compare the , which has been, and still is, carrying on under the Name of the Church of , with the Design of the Christian Religion, as 'tis described by Sir ; and I should find one in all its parts a Contradiction to the other. 'Tis plain () the Clergy do not allow of Sir 's Notions, nor will they suffer us to take any thing for Religion, that is distinguished from their particular Interest. To what end have so many Persecutions and Penal Laws been set a foot by the Clergy in Christendom? was it to bring Men to any one Point of that full Description of Christian Religion, which you cited from Sir or only to bring them to that short Article of their Clergy Religion, to submit to their Power?