In opposition to the general spirit of the 18th century he saw, by means of his historic sense, the naturalness of religion, its relation to man's wants and impulses.
Hence the spontaneity and naturalness of his page, its flavour of life and not of books.
We have followed it long enough to see its directness and simplicity, to observe the naturalness with which one incident succeeds another, and to watch the gradual manifestation of a personality at once strong and sympathetic, wielding extraordinary powers, which are placed wholly at the service of others, and refusing to be hindered from helping men by the ordinary restrictions of social or religious custom.
Blackwell (Professor of Greek at Aberdeen) had insisted, in a book published in 1735, on the "naturalness" of Homer; and Wood (Essay on the Original Genius of Homer, London, 1769) was the first who maintained that Homer composed without the help of writing, and supported his thesis by ancient authority, and also by the parallel of Ossian.
Enlarging his plan, he proposed to prove three matters: (a) the existence of God; (b) the naturalness of moral distinctions; and (c) the reality of human freedom.