Their belief in the Unseen, so far as it manifests itself at all, seems to be rather a pagan kind; their moral notions, though held with strong tenacity, seem to have no standard beyond hereditary custom.
Their religion was of a simple, semi-pagan kind, but there was no heresy in it,—if heresy properly means choice,—for they didn’t know there was any other religion, except that of chapel-goers, which appeared to run in families, like asthma.
It was still possible, even in that later time of anti-Catholic preaching, for people to hold many pagan ideas, and believe themselves good church-people, notwithstanding; so we need hardly feel any surprise at the fact that Mr. Tulliver, though a regular church-goer, recorded his vindictiveness on the fly-leaf of his Bible.
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an ancient pagan ritual
The fate of pious pagans, such as Socrates and Plato, also puzzled some Christians...
Dictionary of the History of Ideas -- http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv1-50(retrieved 05/20/06)