D
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

APPENDIX CD]. 413 has taught him. Accordingly the New Zealanders, for example , seem to have heen in quite as advanced a state wlten Tasman discovm'ea tlte count111 in 1642, as tlttnJ were when Cook visited it, 127 year's ({fter.' (( It may be remarked, however, with reference to this statement , that the absence of written records is, though a very important, l'ather a secondary than a primary obstacle. It is one branch of that general characteristic of the savage, improvidence . If you suppose the case of a savage taught to read and write, but allowed to remain, in all other rcspects, the same carcless, thoughtless kind of Being, and afterwards left to himself, he would most likely forget his acquisition; and wouJ(1 certainly, by neglecting to teach it to his children, suffer it to be lost in the next generation. On the other hand, if you conceive such a case (which certainly is conceivable, and I am disposed to think it a real one) as that of a people ignorant of this art, but acqUIring in some degree a thoughtful and provident character, I have little doubt that their desire, thence arising, to l'ecord permanently their laws, practical maxims, ancl discoveries, would gradually lead them, first to the usc of memorial-verses, and afterwards to some kind of material symbols, such as pictUl'e-writing, and then hieroglyphics ; which might gradually be still further improved into writing properly so called." [D.] Pad 1. Chap. II. § 4. p. 6'7. (I To say, that numerous old manuscripts exist; that they admit of classification and date, and other characteristics; to speak of evidence, dcrived from contemporary history, D.'om the monuments of art, from national manners and customs; to asscrt, that there have been persons qualified for the task, who have examined duly these several branchcs of evidenee, and have given a satisfactory report of that l'esearch, is to make a statemel1t concel'l1ing the evidence of Christianity, whioh is intelligible indeed, but is 110t itself the evidence,-not 414 APPENDIX [DJ. itself the proof, of which you speak. So far from this being the case, we cannot but feel, that the author who is guiding us, and pointing out these pillars of our faith, as they appeal' engraved on his chart of evidence, can himself, whatever be his learning, be personally acquainted with but a very small portion. 'l'hc most industrious and able scholar, after spending a life on some individual point of evidence, the collation of manuscripts, the illustrations derived from uninspired authors, translations, 01' whatever the inquiry be, must, after all, (it would seem,) rest by far the greatm' part of his faith, immediately on the testimony of others; as thousands in turn, will rest their faith on his testimony, to the existence of such proof as he has examined. Thero is no educated Christian who is not taught to approciate the foroe of that proof in favour of the genuineness of the New Testament, which may be derived from the consent of ancient copies, and the quotations found in a long line of fathers, and other WI'iters; and yet not one in a thousand ever reads the works of the fathers, or sees a manuscript, 01' is even capable of deciphering one, if presented to him. He admits the very groundwork of his faith on the assertion of those who profess to have ascertained these points,; and even the most learned are no further exceptions to this case, than in the partieular bl'anch of evidence which they have studied. Nay, evon in their use of this, it will be surprising, when we come to reflect on it, how great a pOl,tion must be examined only through statements resting on the testimony of others. " Nor is it a question which can he waived, by throwing the weight of dif3proof on those who cavil and deny. It turns upon the use which is made, more or less, by all, of the positive proofs ll1'ged in defence of Christianity. Christianity is established,; and it may be fair to bid its assailants prove, that it is not what it professes to be, the pl'esumption and prescriptive title being on its side,; but Christianity does not in· trench itself within this fortress: it brings out into the field an array of evidences to establish that which, on the former view of the case, its adherents are supposed not to be called APPENDIX...


pdf