From the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Part V:
A man, who follows your [theistic] hypothesis, is able, perhaps, to assert, or conjecture, that the universe, sometime, arose from something like design: but beyond that position he cannot ascertain one single circumstance, and is left afterwards to fix every point of his theology, by the utmost licence of fancy and hypothesis. This world, for aught he knows, is very faulty and imperfect, compared to a superior standard; and was only the first rude essay of some infant deity, who afterwards abandoned it, ashamed of his lame performance: it is the work only of some dependent, inferior deity; and is the object of derision to his superiors: it is the production of old age and dotage in some superannuated deity; and ever since his death, has run on at adventures, from the first impulse and active force, which it received from him.
Surely this must be the origin, directly or indirectly, of the theogony James Branch Cabell invents for the Biography of the Life of Manuel, in which the God of Abraham appears as a created being, and thus at one remove of Heinlein’s in Job.
Footnote Can anyone tell me why the Library of America, which has published (e.g.) two volumes of short stories by William Maxwell and two more by William Dean Howells, has yet to publish a syllable of Cabell’s work, most of which is out of print?