Occurrences of natural theology in the Oxford English Dictionary:
1. Of law or justice: Based upon the innate moral feeling of
mankind; instinctively felt to be right and fair,
though not prescribed by any enactment or formal compact. Esp. in
phr. natural law: in political and legal
philosophy and theology, doctrines based on the theory that there
are certain unchanging laws which
pertain to man's nature, which can be discovered by reason, and to
which man-made laws should conform;
freq. contrasted with positive laws; also (with hyphen) attrib.
...1867 J. H. Stirling Schwegler's Hist. Philos. (ed. 8) 205
Metaphysics..are subdivided [by Wolff] into Ontology, Cosmology,
Psychology, Natural Theology.
...1887 Spectator 29 Oct. 1456 Natural theology, he says, has become a
...1865 Reader 22 July 86/3 Throw revelation overboard, and its educt,
natural theology..must bear it company.
...1880 Goldw. Smith in Atlantic Monthly 213 The foundations of natural
theology, less the mere name of Deity.
c. natural theology, theology based upon reasoning from natural facts
apart from revelation. Hence natural theologian.
...1677 Gale Crt. Gentiles iii. 102 The Philosophers,..assuming a new
Divinitie or Religion of their own inventing, called..Natural Theologie.
...1802 Paley Nat. Theol. Concl., These points being assured to us by
Natural Theology, we may well leave to Revelation the disclosure of
...1840 Macaulay Ess., Ranke's Hist. (1851) I. 129 Enigmas which perplex
the natural theologian.
...1877 E. R. Conder Bas. Faith i. 16 If natural theology be regarded
as based on natural religion [etc.].
...1825 Coleridge Aids Refl. (1848) I. 333, I more than fear the
prevailing taste for books of natural theology, physico-theology,
demonstrations of God from Nature, evidences of Christianity, and the
...1869 Kingsley Let. to F. D. Maurice 16 Jan., They are meant..as
prolegomena to natural theology.
...1961 N. Smart in I. Ramsey Prospect for Metaphysics v. 80 Natural
theology is the Sick Man of Europe.