« FöregåendeFortsätt »
BY SAMUEL TAGGART, A. M.
PASTOR OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN COLRAIN.
We have a more fure word of prophecy; whereunto ye
PRINTED BY JOHN DENIO.
TRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT::
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the fifth day of Feb. ruary, A. D. 1811, and in the thirty-fifth year of the independence of the United States of America, SAMUEL TAGGART, of the faid district, has depofited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:
"A View of the Evidences of Christianity, and of the infpiration of the fcriptures of the Old and New Teftaments, collected principally from the fcriptures themselves. In nine difcourfes, from fundry paffages of fcripture. By SAMUEL TAGGART, A. M. paftor of the prefbyterian church in Colrain. We have a more fure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.-St. Peter. We have found him of whom Mofes in the law and the prophets did write, Jefus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.-Philip to Nathaniel."
In conformity to the act of the congrefs of the United States, intitled" an act for the encouragement of learning, by fecuring the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of fuch copies, during the times therein mentioned," and alfo to an act, intitled "an act fupplementary to an act, intitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by fecuring the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of fuch copies, during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of defigning, engraving, and etching hilerical and other prints "."
WILLIAM S. SHAW,
Clerk of the Diftri& of Moffachusetts.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.
WHAT is prefented to the view of the public, in the following difcourfes, was, in part, written many years ago, when the author was in early life, without any immediate view to its publication. An incident which may perhaps be deemed trivial, i. e. an occafional conversation of only a few moments with a gentleman, whose name I am not at liberty to mention, turned my thoughts to a more particular investigation than I had previously bestowed upon the fubject. He barely mentioned an observation, not as his own, but as one which he had heard repeated in a circle of his acquaintance, to this effect-That preachers were in the habit of proving, or pretending to prove, all their doctrine by the Bible, but they neglected to prove the Bible itself. But they ought, in the first place, to prove the Bible before they attempted to prove their doctrine by it. This remark, incidentally made, struck me with confiderable force, and (if I recollect right) I made no reply to it at the time. I had no doubts in my own mind but the Bible was true, and a book divinely inspired, and that the gofpel really and truly brought life and immortality to light, but I was confcious to myself that I had not paid that attention to the evidences of chriftianity and the proofs of the infpiration of the fériptures that I ought, and that it was the duty, especially of a public teacher of religion, a bufinefs I had then lately commenced, not only to be fully perfuaded that that gofpel which he preached was no cunningly devised fable, but to be alfo able to render a reafon of the hope that was in him, and if poffible to convince gainfayers. I afterwards occafionally turned my thoughts to a more particular inveftigation of the fubject. It was not, however, until after a lapfe of fome years, that I compofed a number of difcourfes which I delivered to my own congregation, comprising the subftance of a confiderable part of what is here prefented to the public. Thefe I took fome pains to revise and transcribe after the
delivery, in order to put them in a more convenient form for preservation than my ufual fhort notes, thinking that I might, perhaps, fome time or another, at a more advanced period of life, and when I should be more at leisure, again revise them fo as to render them more worthy of the public eye, fhould their publication ever be deemed expedient. For upwards of twenty years the manufcript, although not altogether forgotten, yet lay by me neglected, without tak ing a fingle step in the contemplated revifal. This was its fituation until between two and three years ago, when, on accidentally taking it into my hand, I reflected that life was rapidly wearing away, and that if any thing was done in the contemplated revifal, it must be done foon. Finding no profpect of the arrival of the contemplated period of leifure for that purpofe, I have, principally during the intervals of bufinefs, while engaged in a public employment to which I have been called by the voice of my fellow citizens, brought it into the form in which it now appears, which is very different from that of the original manufcript. The original difcourfes, which were feven in number, were all from one text. Two difcourfes are added to the cumber and separate texts are prefixed to each. The additional difcourfes, with the alterations and enlargements of the others, will probably amount to more than half of this publi cation. When I firft undertook the revifal of the original manufcript, I had no view of attempting its publication at this time, but merely intended that this, with fome other manufcripts, might be preferved in a more perfect form, and, if ever published, it should be at fome future time, when the writer probably was no more But having communicated a part of the manufcript to fome of my friends, whofe judgment I feel myfelf bound to refpect, I have Feen encouraged to proceed with the revifal, and to iffue ↑ roposals for publication. Apologies for appearing in print are generally confidered by the public as proceeding from an affeted rather than from a real modefty. I fhall not therefore trouble the reader with any. I shall merely obferve that without prefuming this performance to be fuperior or even equal to many learned and excellent works which are extant on the fame fubject, if I had not thought