And is this conviction then reasonable? Is it more than the adoption of truth on the authority of another? It is. The principle on which all these assertions are received, is not that they have been made by this or that credible individual or body of persons, who have gone through the proof—this may have its weight with the critical and learned—but the main principle adopted by all, intelligible by all, and reasonable in itself, is, that these assertions are set forth, bearing on their face a challenge of refutation. The assertions are like witnesses placed in a box to be confronted. Scepticism, infidelity, and scoffing, form the very groundwork of our faith. As long as these are known to exist and to assail it, so long are we sure that any untenable assertion may and will be refuted. The benefit accruing to Christianity in this respect from the occasional success of those who have found flaws in the several parts of evidence, is invaluable. We believe what is not disproved most reasonably, because we know that there are those abroad who are doing their utmost to disprove it. We believe the witness, not because we know him and esteem him, but because he is confronted, cross-examined, suspected, and assailed by arts fair and unfair. It is not his authority, but the reasonableness of the case. It becomes conviction well-grounded, and not assent to man’s words.
Samuel Hinds, An Inquiry into the Proofs, Nature, and Extent of Inspiration (Oxford: J. Parker,1831), pp. 38-39.