Deism has been succinctly described as "religion without revelation." The thoroughgoing deist renounced, as violating reason, all "revealed religion"that is, all particular religions, including Christianity, which are based on faith in the truths revealed in special scriptures at a certain time and place, and therefore available only to a particular individual or group. The deist instead relied on those truths which, it was claimed, prove their accord with universal human reason by the fact that they are to be found in all religions, everywhere, at all times. Therefore the basic tenets of deismfor example, that there is a deity, discoverable by reasoning from the creation to the creator, who deserves our worship and sanctions all moral valueswere, in theory, the elements shared by all particular, or "positive," religions. Many thinkers assimilated aspects of deism while remaining professing Christians. Alexander Pope, without renouncing his Catholicism, expressed succinctly the basic tenets of deism in his poem "The Universal Prayer" (1738), which begins
Father of all! in every age,
In every clime adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah,Jove, or Lord!