Copyright
William Nicholls.

A Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) online

. (page 9 of 47)
Online LibraryWilliam NichollsA Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 9 of 47)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Steps ? V/hy might they not as well have made either
8, or 5?, or 15, the terminative Number, and given
Names to the coubiin*:, or trebling of thefe, inflead of
thirty, forty, Oc i Wliy might they not have taken up
with the Gothick^ Way of reckoning by Dozens, or a
thoufand other Ways, they might have made Ufe of,
befides Decimals •? Novv', becaufe we find the Americans
reckon juft our Way, have invented Names only for the
decimal Numbers, ^';^. 10, 20, 100, 1000, (with the
nine Imall Numbei's or Units,) and v/ hereas there v/ere
many other Ways of reckoning befides, fome of which
would be more convenient, as being more capable of Di-
vifion, viz, 8, 12, ^c, that they have made Ufe on-
ly of our Way by Decimals ; it can never be fuppofed,
'but they muft have learned their Art of Numbring from
us. And fo Ukewife their Fighting with Bov/s and Ar-
rows, their Arts of Spinning, Weaving, c^c, do mo^
flrongly confirm their Origin from our Parts. The In-i
vention of Bows and Arrows feems altogether as fortui'*
tous, and as odd, as that of Guns; and a Man that was
ignorant of both the Arts, would take a Bullet to be a
better o'ifenfive Weapon tlian an Arrow. How fhould

they



"with ^^jTheist. 87



they come to feather and barb their Arrows, and wear
their Qiiivers upon their Shoulders, juft Hke the ancient
Europeans, had they not learned it from them ? So rh.at I
conclude, the Americans could no more have had the Art
of Archer)^, unlefs from this Part of the World, than
they could have that of Gunnery. The like may be
faid of Spinning and Weaving, which are wonderful In-!
ventions, which Mankind might have been without for
many thoufands of Years, unlefs they had been behold-
en to fome lucky Hit for the Invention of them. Now
we cannot fuppofe, that the fame lucky Hits ihould hap-
pen, in fo different Parts of the World, that had no
Communication with each other, and that they fliould
improve thefe Hints, by the very fame artificial Me-
thods ; and therefore we muft conclude, that thofe firft
Colonies, which planted America^ learned thofe Arts a-
mong us here.

And now, laftly, PhilologtiSy by this Obfervation we
may learn, how very anciently America was peopled ; it
may be a very lliorr Time after the Flood. For the Ame-
ricans have only, among them, thofe Arts, which were
of the earliefl: Invention, as thofe which we have before
mentioned ; but as for Writing, which was later, they are
perfedly ignorant of it. So that, in all Probability, Ame^
rica was peopled, before the Invention of Writing ; for
they cannot be fuppofed to have loft fo ufeful an Art, or
that all, who came thither, were perfect Strangers to it.
Writing, I fuppofe, was invented about Abraham's Time,
fo that the firft Colonies into America muft precede that i
which was in fo very early an Age of the World, that a
Cnall Number of Perlbns would be Stock fufficient for it,

Phil, Some Things in this Argument indeed look pret-r
ty probable, but there are two Things in your Suppofi-
tion, which I cannot digeft j for you fuppofe that thefe
firft Colonies came over thither by Chance in Boats,
■which is the moft common Opinion, and vv'hich I find
you are moft inclined to; but then fay I in the firft place,
now got the Women over ? I can well enough fancy ^
goat's Crew of Tarpawlins blown over thither, but that

G ^ would



A Conference

would be Florm's Res unius atatis, Populus Virommi they
would have dropped off by Degrees, and left no Breed
behind them. So that you muft have Recourse to fome
Female Navigators to make good ycur Opinion, which,
being; a Thing To very unufiial, makes it altogether incre-
dible. And then again in the fecond Place, I cannot ima-
gine, how America fhould be flocked with Beafts and
other Animals, having no Communication with the reft
of the World. I fuppofe, you will not make Foxes^ and
Ijions, and Dogs^ and Hares^ and the reft of the Quadru-
peds, turn Navigators too, and fend out their Colonies
from thefe Parts of the World. Or if you fay the firft
Planters of America brouo-ht them over with them, this
might pafs well enough with us, as to the ufeful Animals,
and thofe proper for Food ; but Lions and Bears, me-
thinks, fhould be the la ft Thing Men fhould carry on
Shipboard with them ,• for truly they do not feem to be
ilich good-natured Creatures, that Men fhould be fo in
Love with them, as to endeavour to increafe their Breed.
How jQiould Men ever come to carry over fuch noxious
Creatures, as Lions and Tigres, and yet omit fuch ufe-
ful ones as Horfes and Sheep ? Nay, how fhould feveral
whole Species of Animals, all run into -^-^fW^



Online LibraryWilliam NichollsA Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 9 of 47)