Thomas Woolston Bibliography

The Old Apology for the Truth of the Christian Religion Against the Jews and Gentiles Revived 1705
An allegorical interpretation of scripture. In 1720-21 Woolston’s challenges to the clergy brought him into trouble, he was imprisoned between 1729 and 1733, and it was reported that his mind was disordered, and he lost his fellowship at Sidney Sussex.
The Moderator Between an Infidel and an Apostate 1725
Woolston’s first intervention in the deist controversy in which he denied the proof of God from miracles, and called in question the resurrection of Christ and other miracles of the New Testament.
Discourses on the Miracles of Our Saviour 1727
Woolston published six Discourses on miracles between 1727 and 1730 of which 30,000 copies were reportedly sold. As a result of publication Woolston was tried in 1729 and sentenced to pay a fine, with imprisonment until paid, and also to a year’s imprisonment and to give security for his good behaviour during his life. Unable to give security Woolston remained in confinement until his death on 27 January 1733.

Woolston extended Collins argument against the credibility of the prophecies of the Old to the New Testament; the miracles supposedly performed by Jesus are ludicrous romances, the Virgin was human not divinely pure and the Resurrection is plainly “the most notorious and monstrous Imposture, that ever was put upon mankind”. Speaking through the transparent disguise of a rabbi, Woolston concluded that the only consequence sensible Christians could draw from a careful reading of the New Testament was to “give up their Religion as well as theirChurch.”

Voltaire drew upon a number of Woolston’s arguments and recalled late in life that “no one before him had taken boldness and offensiveness this far. He treated the miracles and the Resurrection of our Saviour as puerile and extravagant stories. He said that when Jesus Christ converted water into wine for the guests who were already drunk, he must have been making punch.” Lettres à S. A. Monseigneur de Prince de * * * *. (1767)

The manuscript “Voltaire 8o 221” of the National Library of Saint-Petersborg contains a French abridged translation of Woolston’s Six Discourses on the Miracles of Our Savior (1727-1729), with a commentary by the translator (probably the marquise Emilie Du Châtelet).
Discourse on our Saviour' s Miraculous Power of Healing 1730