is his exclusive prerogative, (viz.) the revelation of himself to man, and the derivative existence of all things besides himself, and their relative destinies. By giving to nature this power they have destroyed the divinity, and authority of God's word in a great degree-it supersedes its necessity.

Section 4.

The name, and character of God as creator of all things, &c. and the relation which man bears to him, &c. entered the world by revelation in words, whose divine origin, and truth were established by miraculous or supernatural facts addressed to the senses, and explained by words, in order to such knowledge. The knowledge which thus origina ted, and was first established, has been perpetuated from one generation to another by verbal instruction from record, or oral tradition.

IN the preceding sections of this chapter, the natural inability of the mind for originating the idea of God was demonstrated. I now proceed to shew the way by which that knowledge is attainable, in doing of which I shall furnish a complete refutation of Atheism. As the mind in the due exercise of its powers upon nature, the various objects of time, and sense, falls entirely short of any idea of spiritual existence, or of a supernatural nature; it is self-evident that all knowledge of that description, and character, must be of a supernatural origin. The very existence of such ideas in our world is itself a proof of the revelation, and of the truth of those things thus revealed. The truth of revelation, of a supernatural communication, from this view of the subject, is just as evident as the existence of light is certain. We only know the latter by its effects, operating upon our minds through the sense of seeing. The same is true with respect to revelation. It is addressed to the eye of the mind, and imparts light upon spiritual, and invisible subjects, as certainly to the understanding through, and by words, as the stipulated signs of ideas, as the former does by impressions upon the eye. The very end of revelation

is to discover to us by a supernatural light from heaven those objects, relations, and truths, which we are naturally ignorant of; and not the truths which we naturally know. As Thomas Paine has very justly observed, "That which is revelation exists in something which no human mind, aided with all the powers of nature, could invent":-This I mean particularly in regard to original ideas. It is true that revelation may teach, and often has taught men what has occurred, or will hereafter take place, in the operations of nature; but what I mean by original ideas, as above stated, appertain to existences, and relations, which are entirely beyond the limits of nature, and not deducible from any of her operations; such are the idea of God, creation, &c. We need not the assistance of revelation in any of those things in which the natural ways of knowledge could produce them. Revelation begins where such knowledge ends, and the great object, and use of it is to extend our knowledge beyond the limits of nature, into a state of being of which nature gives no intimation.

I now proceed to shew in what way revelation produces these effects. In our day we have no other than traditional revelations, which in christian countries are in writing, and found in what are called the scriptures, or The Writings, by way of pre-eminence, and distinction, and sometimes The Bible, or The Book. Amongst the heathen, and pagan nations, they are preserved in oral traditions, though prodigi ously mutilated, and monstrously perverted. All revelation in its beginning must, of necessity, have been immediate, and made too in words, stipulated or appointed by God himself; for, according to the previous investigation, not only the ideas must have been revealed, but also the very words in which they were communicated. Words are the signs of ideas, and ideas are the signs of things; but the things of which we are informed by revelation we only know through that revelation, whether it relates to the existence of beings who are, from a necessity of their own, and our natures, inaccessible by sensation to the human mind; or to the insensible relation of sensible beings, to an insensible existence. As the archetypes of those things revealed do not impress the senses as in natural cases, and are known only through their

signs, or by the words through which they are revealed, it follows as a necessary consequence that the signs or words must produce the ideas, and must have been appointed or stipulated by the Revealer for that purpose.

Language is

the only mean through which the mind is capable of receiving instruction of this nature.

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In the former sections of this chapter it was necessary to exclude the use of all terms, and expressions, which were not manifestly derivable from sensible things, and their properties, in order to establish the limits of natural knowledge, and to ascertain the point at which supernatural ideas began; as well as to discover the means by which they were, and are produced. I shall now proceed to shew that language is so far superhuman, or divine in its origin, as to have been revealed, so far at least as it is the medium of communicating knowledge upon invisible, insensible, and spiritual subjects. The reason for this origin of language, is founded in the necessity of nature; for those ideas which could not have been conceived of, without supernatural communications, prove by their very existence, and character, such an origin of the medium through which they have been produced.

It is the opinion of a majority of the greatest philologists, that language (consisting in significant articulate sounds,) was revealed, and that the formation of society, or the convention, which organized it, was the consequence of language, so far from language being the consequence of convention, and human stipulation; this opinion, by tradition, seems to have prevailed amongst the pagan philosophers. Plato maintained that the original language of man was of divine foundation; and when he divides words into two classes, the primative, and derivative, he attributes the latter to the ingenuity of man, and the former to the immedi ate communication of the Supreme Being. The Egyptians, from whom this opinion was probably derived, maintained that by Thoth, the god of eloquence, their ancestors were at first taught to articulate. Thoth, amongst the Egyptians, is the Theos, or Logos, in revealed theology. This theory is conformable to the description given in the sacred writings, and agrees very remarkably with the opinions to be collect

ed from prophane history. "To whatever part of the globe, (says a great critic, and one of the present professors at Oxford,) we direct our view, we shall find additional reasons to conclude that all the languages now spoken in the world were derived originally from one, and the same, notwithstanding their apparent difference, and variety. All the present languages, and dialects of Europe, amounting to about twenty-seven, may be traced to Latin, Teutonic, and Sclavonian. But there is a remarkable affinity, in many instances, between Greek, and Hebrew; Greek, and Scanscrit; Greek, and Chinese; English, and Arabic; Turkish, and Celtic; Welch, and Arabic; Latin, and Otaheitan; Latin, and Turkish; English, and Persian, &c. When we observe that certain words used in one quarter of the globe are like those in another, which is very remote, and that such words have exactly the same signification, and were so used -long before the present inhabitants had any intercourse with each other; how is this to be accounted for? This identity or resemblance more or less exact of names which denote the same ideas, and those ideas, some of the most striking and inportant to mankind in every age of society, seems to point to the same source. It is more than probable that one original fountain of speech, and one only, has produced not only those various streams of diction, and such as the Celtic, that have been long dried up; but supplied those likewise, such as the languages of modern Europe, that still continue to flow. By the critical analysis of words is proven the connection of the present inhabitants of the globe with those who sprang from the original families of the earth, the immediate descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japhet, the sons of Noah. For a more particular investigation of these subjects, Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, the works of Skinner, Sammes, Pezron, Junius, and Parkhurst, may be consulted, together with Rowland's Mona, Williams' Primitive Christianity, Kett's Elements, and Gale's Court of the Gentiles." Hugh Blair observes, upon the origin of language, "One would think that in order to any language, fixing, and extending itself, men must have been previously gathered together in considerable numbers; society must have been already far advanced; and yet, on the other hand,

there seems to have been an absolute necessity for speech previous to the formation of society. For by what bond could any multitude of men keep together, or be made to join in the prosecution of any common interest, except by the intervention of speech they could communicate their wants and intentions to one another? So that either how society could form itself, previously to language; or how words could rise into language previously to society formed, seem to be points attended with equal difficulty. And when we consider, farther, that curious analogy which prevails in the construction of almost all languages, and that deep, and subtile logic on which they are founded, difficulties increase so much upon us on all hands that there seems to be no small reason for referring the first origin of all language, to divine teaching, and inspiration." Correspondent with the opinion of Plato, the same great critic observes: "But, supposing language to have a divine original, we cannot, hower, suppose that a perfect system of it was all at once given to man. It is much more natural to think that God taught our first parents only such language as suited their present occasion; leaving them, as he did in other things, to enlarge, and improve it as their future necessities should require.

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The celebrated author of the 'Wealth of Nations,' supposes, (in opposition to the opinion that languge was originally revealed by the great creator) that "two savages who had never been taught to speak, and who had been bred up remote from the societies of men, would naturally begin to form that language by which they would endeavour to make their sentiments intelligible to each other, by altering certain sounds whenever they went to denote objects. Thus they would begin to give names to things, to class individual objects under a species, which they denoted by a common name, and proceed gradually to the formation of all the parts of speech." The condition of these two savages is wholly imaginary, as it cannot apply to any persons who have ever been known to exist. It may fairly be asked how' they come to be in such a state? Was it in consequence of their previous determination? If it was, then they must have conversed in order to make such an agreement. If it was not the result of such a measure, they must have been pla

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