John Toland Bibliography

Christianity not Mysterious, Or a Treatise Shewing, That There Is nothing in the Gospel Contrary to Reason, nor ABOVE it . . . 1696
A seminal work in both free thought and Irish philosophy.  Toland abandoned Catholicism at 15 - by “his own reason and such as made use of theirs” - and moved from latitudinarianism to deism and finally to a materialist form of pantheism, coining the term ‘pantheist’ in 1705.  Christianity initiated the deist controversy and was burned by the Middlesex justices.  Toland went to Dublin, but the Irish parliament condemned the book and ordered his arrest, whereupon he returned to England. Locke was embarrassed by its similarity to Reasonableness of Christianity.

In defending rationalism and a naturalistic reading of the Bible, combined with anticlericalism in order to reject all historical forms of Christianity except the basic teaching of the historical figure of Jesus, Toland claimed the mysteries that have obscured Christianity have not been part of the divine plan or proof of man’s poor understanding but have been intentional mystifications; without the “Pretence” of mystery, “we should never hear of the Transubstantiation, and other ridiculous Fables of the Church of Rome; nor of any of the Eastern Ordures, almost all receiv’d into this Western Sink”.
Life of Milton 1698
The Life of Milton, with its reference to “the numerous suppositious works under the name of Christ and His apostles”, caused an outcry by its apparent doubts concerning the authenticity of the New Testament.
Amyntor, or a Defence of Milton’s Life 1699
Basnage was Pastor in Rouen; he was exiled in Holland after revocation of Edict of Nantes (1685)and aided diplomatically in arranging the Triple Alliance at The Hague (1717).

A work, incorporating Basnage’s earlier Histoire de la religion des églises réformées (1690), in which he argued against Bossuet’s attack on Protestantism in Histoire des variations des églises protestantes (1688).
Anglia Libera 1701
An argument for the Hanoverian succession to the British throne, which brought Toland a place on an extraordinary embassy to Hanover, where he was received by the electress Sophia with favour.
Vindicius Liberius 1702
A justification of the bishop’s decision in 1700 not to proceed against Toland for Christianity Not Mysterious and an avowal that the work was an indiscretion.
Letters to Serena 1704
Dedicated to the queen of Prussia, Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, a defence of pantheism containing an attack on Spinoza’s theory of matter and arguments later used by materialists. Holbach translated and published a French edition in 1768.
Socinianism Truly Stated 1705
Account of the Courts of Prussia and Hanover 1705
Letter from an Arabian Physician to a Famous Professor 1705
Published in 1705 or 1706, Toland argued that Islam demonstrated greater tolerance in comparison to the Roman Catholic Church.
Adeisidaemon (The Unsuperstitious Man) 1709
Published in Holland, where Toland was living at the time, an account of prodigies reported by the Roman historian Livy.
Origines Judaicae 1709
An argument for the Egyptian origin of the Jews.
Nazarenus, or Jewish, Gentille, and Mahometan Christianity 1718
An account of the role of the Ebionites in the development of the early Christian Church.
Tetradymus 1720
Contains the first published essay on the esoteric-exoteric distinction, a distinction important for understanding his own views as well as those of his fellow free thinkers, such as Anthony Collins. The work contains an essay providing natural explanations of the miracles in the Old Testament.
Pantheisticon 1720
Circulated privately, a project for a liturgy in imitation of the Anglian, containing texts from pagan authors.
Letters to Serena 1768
Published and translated by d’Holbach.