Grotius’s The Truth of the Christian Religion was first published in Leiden in 1627 in Latin. Written in plain and direct language for his countrymen, this short work aimed to show those who would encounter pagans, Muslims, and Jews that the Christian religion was the true revealed religion. In addition to “fortifying” the beliefs of his fellow Christians, the treatise intended to convince non-Christians of “the reasonableness of believing and embracing the Christian Religion above any other.”
Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence was Pufendorf’s first work, published in 1660. Its appearance effectively inaugurated the modern natural-law movement in the German-speaking world, establishing Pufendorf as a key figure and laying the foundations for his later major works.
Vindiciae Gallicae was James Mackintosh’s first major publication, a contribution to the debate begun by Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. The success of Mackintosh’s defense of the French Revolution propelled him into the heart of London Whig circles. Following the September 1792 massacres Mackintosh, along with other moderate Whigs, revised his opinions and moved closer to Burke’s position. The Liberty Fund edition also includes Mackintosh’s Discourse on the Law of Nature and Nations, Letter to William Pitt, and On the State of France in 1815.
Samuel Pufendorf’s The Whole Duty of Man, According to the Law of Nature suggested a purely conventional basis for natural law. Rejecting scholasticism’s metaphysical theories, Pufendorf found the source of natural law in humanity’s need to cultivate sociability.