Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
A sect of philosophers in France, who have made a great noise in Europe, and are generally supposed to have been unfriendly to religion. The founder of this sect was Dr. Duquesnoi, who had so well insinuated himself into the favour of Louis XV. that the king used to call him his Thinker. The sect was called Economists, because the economy and order to be introduced into the finances, and other means of alleviating the distresses of the people, were perpetually in their mouths. The abbe Barruel admits that there may have been some few of them who directed their speculations to no other object; but he brings very sufficient proof that the aim of the majority of the sect was to distribute the writings of Voltaire, Diderot, and others, and thus to eradicate from the minds of the people all reverence for divine revelation.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Oeconomists'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/o/oeconomists.html. 1802.