IT is a common practice with authors to place their portraits in the first page of their books. I am not very vain of my personal appearance, and, therefore, I shall not pre sent the reader with my likeness. But, that I may not appear to censure others by my omission, and for some other reasons which any person possessing a very moderate share of discernment will soon perceive, I think it right to draw my own portrait with the pen, instead of employing an artist to do it with the pencil, and to inform my reader, in a few words, who and what I am, in what circumstances I am placed, and why I undertook such a laborious task as this work has proved. Respecting my rank or situation in life it is only necessary to state, that my father was 'a gentleman of small, though independent fortune, of an old and respectable family in Yorkshire. He had two children, a son (myself) and a daughter. After the usual school education, I was sent to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, as a pensioner, and thence to the Tem ple. As I was expected to pay the fees out of the small allowance which my father made me, I never had any money to spare for that purpose, and I never either took a degree or was called to the bar. When I was about twenty-seven years of age my father died, and I inherited his house and estate at Skellow Grange, near Doncaster. After some time I married. I continued there till the threatened invasion of Napoleon induced me, along with most of my neigh bours, to enter the third west-york militia, of which, in due time, I was made a major. In the performance of my, military duty in the neighbourhood of Harwich, I caught a very bad fever, from the effects of which I never entirely recovered. This caused me to resign my commission and return home. I shortly afterward became a magistrate for the West Riding of my native county. The illness above alluded to induced me to turn my attention, more than I had formerly done, to serious matters, and determined me to enter upon a very careful investigation of the evidence upon which our religion was founded. This, at last, led me to extend my inquiry into the origin of all religions, and this again led to an inquiry into the origin of nations and languages; and ultimately I came, to a resolution to devote six hours a day to this pursuit for ten years. Instead of six hours daily for ten years, I believe I have, upon the average, applied myself to it for nearly ten hours daily for almost twenty years. In the first ten years of my search I may fairly say, I found nothing which I sought for; in the latter part of the twenty, the quan tity of matter has so crowded in upon me, that I scarcely know how to dispose of it.