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this fact; but I deny that it affords any absolute reason for distrust or despair with regard to our future labours ; because the failures alleged, may, in many instances, be traced to a neglect or a misapplication of the only proper rules of reasoning. Misled by those vain phantoms of speculation before which the unbeliever bows, and anxious, through pride, to encounter and defeat him on his own favourite ground, theologians, as I before observed, have been too often tempted to seize the same forbidden weapons of scholastic warfare, and, as might naturally be expected, have been foiled. If men would fight hopefully and victoriously for God, they must go to no other than God's armoury for their spear and shield : and we shall in fact find that wherever the rules I have laid down have been duly and diligently and humbly employed, they have in general been successfully and triumphantly employed. There are many exceptions of course.
There are cases in which previous enquirers had not that knowledge of history, of antiquities, and of languages which would have enabled them to make their modes of defence effectual, and which we now possess. There are perhaps cases in which they had that knowledge, and yet were unsuccessful in the application of their means. But even here we have no ground for giving up the cause as hopeless. We have advantages they
could not enjoy. We have all the lessons derived from the experience of the past to guide us. We have not only the accumulated stores of preceding enquirers to apply to for materials, but we have also all the mistakes they have committed to instruct us in the errors we should avoid, and all the partial light they have diffused over the obscurity of the Bible to conduct us through the windings of the labyrinth, and increase the brightness of that torch of learning which we hold in our own hands. Throw these considerations, however, out of the question, and still I believe, and would maintain, that we have no more reason to deem every thing inexplicable which has not hitherto been explained in the spiritual, than we have to deem every thing impossible which has not hitherto been accomplished in the natural world. In sacred literature, as in profane, a discreet boldness, a patient ingenuity, a cautious modesty, and unwearied meditation directed long and exclusively to one particular subject, may, with a less learned education, a scantier stock of independent acquirements, and fewer external advantages than men in former ages possessed, yet lead the way to discoveries in these enlightened days which men in former ages found it impossible to make. The rapid, extensive and unexpected success which, within a few years has crowned the efforts of a single and unlearned
traveller in an almost hopeless field of antiquarian research, here occurs so forcibly to recollection, and forms so very favourable an illustration of the sentiments I am endeavouring to express, that I cannot forbear, however familiar, to present it to your notice once more.
Look then to the land of Egypt, and mark what the labours of one unaided traveller have lately done. For ages Egypt was the land of historical darkness and doubt. Mystery seemed to have taken up her everlasting abode amongst her monuments, and upon her Pyramids more especially had the conjectures of learning been exhausted in vain. The recesses of one of those mighty masses had indeed long been opened to view; but, though visited, studied, and admired by a succession of the most enterprising and enlightened travellers, few seemed to indulge a hope, and not one attempted, or, at least, succeeded in attempting to penetrate the recesses of the sister wonders. Curiosity gazed on their magnificence with a sigh, pronounced their secrets impenetrable and withdrew. Surely, if ever there was reason to be discouraged and despair, it was here. Yet we know that what the wealth, the wishes, the science and the literature of so many before him were unable to effect, has at length been successfully executed by the single and un
aided efforts of the unlearned Belzoni. With no guide but experience, no knowledge but what he derived from a long and careful examination of the manner in which the secrets of the open Pyramid had been concealed, and no encouragement but the consideration, that as they were all apparently the works of the same people, an uniformity of construction would probably be found in all ;—with no other qualities, in short, than those which I have already mentioned as the best prognostics of success, à discreet boldness, patient ingenuity, and unwearied meditation upon one particular object of research, he has discovered to all the recesses of that monument we deemed impenetrable, and given us a well-grounded confidence that, if equal industry and talents were brought to bear upon those which are still closed, equal success might very reasonably be expected to ensue. Nor has the triumph of this individual been terminated by this solitary instance. I have mentioned his most splendid, but not his only achievement. In every other investigation, the same spirit directed his genius, and issued in similar, though perhaps not equal results ; results which are not altogether unconnected with the subject on which I am engaged, inasmuch as some of them at least may serve to confirm and illustrate the historical statements of the Old Testament.
Such have been the discoveries of a man destitute of the advantages of a learned education, unskilled in the languages of ancient times, and deriving the principal information he possessed through the fallacious medium of translations, or from the collections of preceding and more regularly trained enquirers. These discoveries too he has made, not in an easy and obvious field of investigation, but amidst the ruins of a people whose origin and history are but little known, and in a country affording almost as little hope and as many obstacles to his progress as revelation itself presents. Why then should we not think that the obscurities of revelation itself may, in very many instances, be successfully elucidated by the same means? Many of its most secret chambers have been already displayed to the eye and admiration of mankind; and if, as we most rationally believe, the whole Bible has been formed not only under the direction of the same, but of an immutable mind, surely we may most justly expect to find throughout, an essential uniformity of plan. Revelation is, therefore, exactly that sort of subject in which, above all others, the proper application of correct and established rules may be considered as most certain of success. The Scriptures being a monument of ancient days, whose builder and framer is the unchangeable God, it would appear that,