Every moment one expects to find Descartes saying with Hobbes that man's thought has created God, or with Spinoza and Malebranche that it is God who really thinks in the apparent thought of man.
The chief names in this advanced theology connected with Cartesian doctrines are Ludwig Meyer, the friend and editor of Spinoza, author of a work termed Philosophia scripturae interpres (1666); Balthasar Bekker, whose World Bewitched helped to discredit the superstitious fancies about the devil; and Spinoza, whose Tractatus theologico-politicus is in some respects the classical type of rational criticism up to the present day.
Against this work and the Ethics of Spinoza the orthodox Cartesians (who were in the majority), no less than sceptical hangers-on like Bayle, raised an all but universal howl of reprobation, scarcely broken for about a century.
For an account of the metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, in their connexions with Malebranche and Spinoza, see Cartesianism.
Iverach, Descartes, Spinoza and the New Philosophy (1904); R.