McIlvaine 02Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), Episcopal Bishop of Ohio and president of Kenyon College, explains that he composed these lectures on the occasion of being invited to give lectures on apologetics in New York. Like Paley and Chalmers, McIlvaine openly acknowledges his debt to Lardner; the sixth lecture gives an excellent thumbnail sketch of some of Lardner’s research. Though McIlvaine did not disparage the internal evidences as Chalmers had, his work focuses exclusively on the “external division” of the evidences—the historical evidence for the authenticity and credibility of the New Testament documents, the evidence for the resurrection, the argument from prophecy, the argument from the propagation of Christianity, and the evidence of the fruits of Christianity in the lives of its genuine disciples.

McIlvaine’s work is notable not only for the thoughtful arrangement of the divisions of the argument but also for his earnest discussion of the duty of all Christians who have the means to study the evidence for their faith and the spirit in which that study should be undertaken.