Abner Kneeland’s Philosophical Creed

I believe in the existence of a universe of suns and planets, among which there is one sun belonging to our planetary system; and that other suns being more remote, are called stars; but that they are indeed suns to other planetary systems.  I believe that the whole universe is NATURE, and that the word NATURE embraces the whole universe; and that God and Nature, so far as we can attach any rational idea to either, are perfectly synonymous terms.  Hence, I am not an Atheist, but a Pantheist; that is, instead of believing there is no God, I believe that in the abstract, all is God; and that all power that is, is in God, and that there is no power except that which proceeds from God.  I believe that there can be no will or intelligence where there is no sense; and no sense where there are no organs of sense; and hence, sense, will and intelligence, is the effect, not the cause of organization.  I believe in all that logically results from these premises, whether good, bad or indifferent. Hence, I believe, that God is all in all; and that it is in God we live, move, and have our being; and that the whole duty of man consists in living as long as he can, and in promoting as much happiness as he can while he lives.

Written at Hebron, N.H. May 24 1833.



(Excerpted from “The Speech of Abner Kneeland, Delivered before the Supreme Court of the City of Boston, in his own defence, on an indictment for BLASPHEMY, November Term, 1834” as printed by J. Q. Adams 1834)

13 thoughts on “Abner Kneeland’s Philosophical Creed

  1. please Almight Allah, accept my Muslim umma there duas and solve there problems here and afterhere.you the creator and everything for us in this world, you are the giver. ya Allah please overcome my problem with my hasbund to be. make him to love me as usual, he is over hurting, am praying him salat isthakar, kindly decide for me were my stand with this man. i have lots of thouhgts night and day over this relation ship and my mamy is still admited in hospital because of her broken leg. Please Allah am with you and help me in this problems of mine. assalam-alkum.

  2. Rumi wasn’t really a pantheist, though. Sufis are mystics, so their proclamations aren’t intended to be literal or subjected to rigorous analysis. Kneeland was not being mystical, he was being extremely concrete and factual about his beliefs.

    “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.” –Pieter De Vries.

  3. After his release from prison at the age of 65, Kneeland formed “The First Society of Free Enquirers” and built the utopian community of Salubria about two miles south of Farmington, Iowa. Like most such efforts, it ultimately failed; some say this was because people attracted by powerful intellectual philosophies are often unskilled at manual labor, and people highly skilled in physical and agricultural arts are often dismissive of abstract ideas.

    Kneeland lived out the remainder of his life in his “Mansion of Salubria” home, writing, lecturing and engaging in politics. He was married four times and had 12 children.

    • If you click on the name “click me” in the first reply, you end up at a site entirely devoted to the Sufi mystic Jalhuddin Rumi. Sufiism is the mystical branch of Islam, which I guess sort of explains the prayer… anyway, I decided to let it through the comment filter, mostly because I like some of Rumi’s poetry.

  4. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to
    start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    • The blog part is wordpress, but I hack it pretty heavily. You are unlikely to be able to duplicate it unless you know php and css pretty well.

  5. So not really on the same topic as your post, but I found this today and I just cant resist sharing. Mrs. Agathe’s dishwasher quit working so she called a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told him, “I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll mail you the check. Oh, and by the waydon’t worry about my Doberman. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, do NOT under ANY circumstances talk to my parrot!” When the repairman arrived at Mrs. Agathe’s apartment the next day, he discovered the biggest and meanest looking Doberman he had ever seen. But just as she had said, the dog simply laid there on the carpet, watching the repairman go about his business. However, the whole time the parrot drove him nuts with his incessant cursing, yelling and name-calling. Finally the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, “Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!” To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Spike!”

    • This was the best of the 50 viagra spams that arrived for moderation. If you think this is bad, well… you shoulda seen the other stuff.

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