During his lifetime and for many years after his death, Butler (bishop, theologian, apologist & philosopher) was most famous for his Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed (1736), which, according to historian Will Durant "remained for a century the chief buttress of Christian argument against unbelief." English deists such as John Toland and Matthew Tindal had argued that nature provides clear evidence of an intelligent designer and artificer, but they rejected orthodox Christianity because of the incredibility of miracles and the cruelties and contradictions contained in the Bible.
Butler's Analogy was one of many book-length replies to the deists, and it was long widely believed to be the most effective. Butler argued that nature itself was full of mysteries and cruelties, thus shared the same alleged defects as the Bible. Arguing on empiricist grounds that all knowledge of nature and human conduct is merely probable, Butler then appealed to a series of patterns ("analogies") observable in nature and human affairs, which, in his judgment, make the chief teachings of Christianity likely true.
This work composes most of Volume 1, Volume 2 consists of collected sermons. The two volumes are bound in pale tan kid with gilt trim and, although the spines and edges are a little scuffed and the front board of volume 1 is detached, the books require only minimal restoration, remarkable for their age. Both volumes contain personal library plates and the name of a previous owner; apart from that, all text is clear on clean pages and the marbled text block edges and richly marbled endpapers remain most appealing.