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By SAMUEL TAGGART, A. M.
We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye
do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that thineth
prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, ihe son of Jo-
PHILIP TO NATHANIEL.
CTOT MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT::
Diflria Clerk's Office. Be it REMEMBERED, that on the fifth day of Feb. L. $. ruary, A. D. 1811, and in the thirty-fifth
year of the independence of the United States of AmeriSamuel TAGGART, of the faid district, has deposited 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 inspiration of the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, collected principally from the scriptures themselves. In nine discourses, from landry passages of scripture. By SAMUEL TAGGART, A.M. paftor of the presbyterian church in Colrain. We have a more sure 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 Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Jofeph.-Philip to Nathaniel.”
In conformity to the act of the congress of the United States, intitled “ an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,” and also to an act, intitled "an act supplementary to an act, intitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and ,etching hiterical and other prints"
WILLIAM S. SHAW,
Clerk of the: Distriæ of Mossachusetts.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.
WHAT is presented to the view of the public, in the following discourses, 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 occasional 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 subject. He barely mentioned an observation, not as bis own, but as one which he had heard repeated in a circle of his acquaintance, to this effe&t --That preachers were in the habit of proving, or pretending to prove, all their doctrine by the Bible, but they neglected to prove the Bi
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 con. fiderable force, and (if I recollect right) I made no reply to it at the time. I had no doubts in my owa mind but the Bible was true, and a book divinely inspired, and that the gospel really and truly brought life and immortality to light, but I was conscious to myself that I had not paid that attention to the evidences of christianity and the proofs of the inspiration of the scriptures that I ought, and that it was the duty, especially of a public teacher of religion, a business I had then lately conmenced, not only to be fully persuaded that that gospel which he preached was no cunningly devised fable, but to be also able to render
reason of the hope that was in him, and if possible to convince gain fayers. I afterwards occasionally turned my thoughts to a more particular investigation of the subject. It was not, however, until after a lapse of some years, that I composed a number of discourses which I delivered to my own congregation, comprising the subftance of a confiderable part of what is here presented to the public. These I took some pains to revise and transcribe after the
delivery, in order to put them in a more convenient form for preservation than my usual short 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 so as to render them more worthy of the public eye, should their publication ever be deemed expedient. For upwards of twenty years the manuscript, although not altogether forgotten, yet lay by me neglected, without taking a single step in the contemplated revisal. This was its situation 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 revisal, it must be done soon. Finding no prospect of the arrival of the contemplated period of leisure for that purpose, I have, principally during the intervals of bufiness, 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 manuscript. The criginal discourses, which were seven in number, were all from one text. Two discourses are added to the cumber and separate texts are prefixed to each. The additional discourses, with the alterations and enlargements of the others, will probably amount to more than half of this publi cation. When I first undertook the revifal of the original manufcript, I had no view of attempting its publication at this time, but merely intended that this, with some other manuscripts, might be preserved in a more perfect form, and, if ever published, it should be at some future time, when the writer probably was no more But having com. riunicated a part of the manufcript to some of my friends, whose judgment I feel nyelf bound to respect, I have teen encouraged to proceed with the revifal, and to issue I roposals for publication. Apologies for appearing in printare generally considered by the public as proceeding from an af. ided rather than from a real modelty. I. Niall not there. fore trouble the reader with any. I shall merely observe that without presuming this performance to be fuperior or even equal to many learned and excellent works which are extant on the same fubject, if I bad no thought