About the same time, also, I read Samuel Clarke's a priori Argument for the Being of God, which had generally been considered sound. I read him, and was not satisfied. Read him again, and was still less pleased. Read him a third time, and threw him into the fire.
Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, Correspondence, etc. of Lyman Beecher, D.D. Harper (New York: 1864-1865) p. 49. The book that Beecher was reading was Clarke's A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God. The argument is basically Lockean in character: it argues that, necessarily, something must have always existed, and that this requires a particular something always to have existed; and that this particular something has divine attributes.