Socinian writers, nor had he acquainted himself with them; his guides to the interpretation of scripture were the commentaries of Grotius and his own patristic studies.
In person Lardner was of slender build and middle height. His portrait, taken between 1713 and 1723, and engraved by T. Kitchin, is prefixed to his 'Memoirs;' it shows a frank, intelligent face, but is not otherwise striking. All accounts speak of the cheerfulness of his temper and the civility of his deportment. His controversial manner is a model of calm courtesy. 'All authors,' he says, 'should write like scholars and gentlemen, at least like civilised people.' His sermon on 'Counsels of Prudence' is a reflex of his own character. He preserved an antiquated spelling, 'historie,' 'enemie,' 'godlinesse,' &c.
- 'The Credibility of the Gospel History,' &c., pt. i., 1727, 2 vols.; 2nd edition, 1730; 3rd edition, 1741; pt. ii. vol. i. 1733; vol. ii. 1735; vol. iii. 1738; vol. iv. 1740; vol. v. 1743; vol. vi. 1745; vol. vii. 1748; vol. viii. 1750; vol. ix. 1752; vol. x. 1753; vol. xi. 1754; vol. xii. 1755; supplement, 1753, 2 vols.; vol. iii. 1757, all 8vo. A new edition, of which only two volumes appeared, was begun in 1847, 8vo. The first part was translated into Dutch (1730) by Cornelius Westerbaen of Utrecht, and into Latin (1733) by John Christopher Wolff of Hamburg. The work, as far as part ii. vol. iv., was translated into German (1750–1) by various hands.
- 'A Vindication of Three of our Blessed Saviour's Miracles … in answer to … Woolston,' &c., 1729, 8vo; translated into German, 1750. In his 'Memoirs' is his letter of 7 March 1730 to Viscount Barrington dealing further with difficulties about the raising of Jairus's daughter.
- 'Counsels of Prudence, for the use of Young People,' &c., 1737, 8vo; a sermon on Matt. x. 16.
- 'A Caution against Conformity to this World,' &c., 1739, 8vo; two sermons on Rom. xii. 2.
- 'A Sermon occasioned by the Death of … William Harris, D.D.,' &c., 1740, 8vo.
- 'The Circumstances of the Jewish People: an Argument for … the Christian Religion,' &c., 1748, 8vo; three sermons on Rom. xi. 11; translated into German 1754.
- 'A Sermon … on occasion of the Death of … Jeremiah Hunt, D.D. … with brief Memoirs,' &c., 1744, 8vo.
- 'The Case of the Dæmoniacs,' &c., 1745, 8vo; four sermons on Mark v. 19, 'preached to a small but attentive audience in 1742;' translated into German 1760.
- 'A Letter to Jonas Hanway,' &c., 1745, 8vo (anon.; objects to the term 'Magdalen house' as based on an error respecting Mary of Magdala; in this letter he quotes himself as an authority).
- 'Sermons upon Various Subjects,' &c., 1750, 8vo; vol. ii. 1760, 8vo.
- 'A Dissertation upon the two Epistles ascribed to Clement of Rome … published by … Wetstein, … shewing them not to be genuine,' &c., 1753, 8vo.
- 'An Essay on the Mosaic Account of the Creation and Fall of Man,' &c., 1753, 8vo (anon.; takes the account in the literal sense, but denies the inheritance of a corrupted nature, and maintains that human virtue, reared amid temptation, may 'exceed the virtue of Adam in Paradise,' or 'of an angel;' nearly the whole edition of this tract was lost, owing to the 'misfortunes' of the publisher).
- 'A Letter … concerning … the Logos,’ &c., 1759, 8vo (anon.; postscripts deal with the positions of Robert Clayton [q.v.], bishop of Clogher); reprinted 1753, 8vo, 1793, 12mo, 1833, 12mo (this tract made Priestley a Socinian about 1768; see Rutt, Memoirs of Priestley, 1831, i. 69, 93, 99, where extracts are given from Lardner's correspondence with John Wiche, general baptist minister at Maidstone).
- 'Remarks upon the late Dr. [John] Ward's Dissertations upon … passages of the … Scriptures,' &c., 1762, 8vo (deals with demoniacs, &c.).
- 'Observations upon Dr. [James] Macknight's Harmony,' &c., 1764, 8vo (anon.).
- 'A Large Collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies to the Truth of the Christian Religion,' 1764, 8vo; vol. ii. 1765, 8vo; vol. iii. 1766, 8vo; vol. iv. 1767, 8vo (extends to writers of the fifth century, with minute criticism of doubtful passages).
- 'Sermons on Various Subjects,' 1769, 8vo (appended to 'Memoirs').
- 'The History of the Heretics of the Two First Centuries,' &c., 1780, 4to (unfinished; edited from his manuscripts by John Hogg, then minister at Mint Meeting, Exeter, afterwards banker).
- 'Two Schemes of a Trinity considered, and the Divine Unity asserted,' &c., 1784, 8vo (anon.; four sermons on Philipp. ii. 5–11, preached in 1747, and edited by John Wiche).
Lardner edited the posthumous 'Select Sermons,' 1745, 8vo, of Kirby Reyner, presbyterian minister of Tucker Street Chapel, Bristol. In conjunction with Chandler and others he edited the posthumous 'Tracts,' 1753, 8vo, of Moses Lowman [q.v.]; and in conjunction with Caleb Fleming he edited, supplying the preface, 'An Inquiry into … our Saviour's Agony,' &c., 1757, 8vo, by Thomas Moore, a Holywell Street woollen-draper. In 1761 and 1762 he contributed four critical letters to Kippis's periodical, 'The Library.' He revised, at Fleming's request, the manuscript of 'The Peculiar