An enthusiastic disciple of Descartes, he wrote several works in philosophy and theology, which by their freedom of thought aroused considerable hostility.
They demanded freedom of thought and belief with passionate insistence; they ardently discussed institutions and conduct; and they imported into polemics the idea of natural rights superior to all political arrangements.
It was a time of government on martinet principles, under which all freedom of thought and all private initiative were as far as possible suppressed vigorously by the administration.
But his courage did not fail him, and in his last year, in a public Latin letter, he exhorted his friend John Campanus to maintain freedom of thought in face of the charge of heresy., See Hegler, in Hauck's Realencyklopildie (1899); C. A.
While the Church thus lived upon fragments of Origen's wisdom, lovers of the great scholar and thinker, who had dominated his age, and reconciled many a heretic to his own version of orthodoxy, must submit to have him branded as a heretic in later days, when all freedom of thought was falling under suspicion.
Between 1815 and 1819 there was a constant struggle between freedom of thought on the one hand and the censure, the police and the law officers on the other.
He made it one of the aims of his life to free politics and jurisprudence from the control of theology, and fought bravely and consistently for freedom of thought and speech on religious matters.