Christianity is the common concern of the unlearn’d, as well as of the learn’d. All men are required to receive it, and may therefore justly ask, What the obligation is and whence it arises. Indeed the influence of Education and Example prevails so much upon the buisy and unthinking part of mankind, that they seldom seek for reasons to correct, or to confirm the notions they have received. By this means, I believe, Christianity is embraced by many, who would have been of another Perswasion, had they been born in another Climate. That there are many, who are willing to take it upon trust, when it falls in their way, is no advantage to true Religion: the Professors it gains are but Creatures of Chance, the Proselytes it is deprived of thereby are innumerable.
One unhappy cause of this indolent dependence upon so precarious a bottom, is a notion, That the arguments proper to be considered and attended to, by one that would make a rational choice of his Religion, require more application and understanding than falls to the share of the bulk of mankind. This, I believe, is not true of Christianity or the Arguments urged in defence of it. The Point, which seems to lie most out of the reach of ordinary Capacities, is the determination of this Question, Whether the Gospel be a credible well-attested History. It is true, the unlearned Inquirer may not have leisure or capacity to search into other ancient writings and records of antiquity to satisfy himself, Whether the Gospel-History be of the same, or later date than is pretended; whether the Writers of it are any where recorded as men of suspicious characters; or whether their Relation clashes with any other credible History of the same times. But to his great satisfaction he may observe, that this search has been made for him, by Persons wanting neither application, nor understanding, nor zeal to discover every the minutest flaw, that could be found in the Gospel-History; (I mean the adversaries of Christianity) who have not been able to fix any tolerable suspicion of fraud or unfaithfulness thereupon: From whence he may rationally conclude, that ‘tis liable to no just suspicion; which, if it had, would long ago have been discovered by the indefatigable Patrons of infidelity.
Thomas Bullock, The Reasoning of Christ and his Apostles in their Defence of Christianity Consider’d, 2nd ed. (London: R. Knaplock, 1726), pp. iii-v.