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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by
MOSES STUART, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
No apology is necessary for engaging in the investigation of the subjects, which are briefly treated of in the following sheets. These matters are of deep interest to every inquiring Christian; and the character of the Scriptures, in the view of the world, is in no small degree concerned with them. Unbelievers reproach us with giving credit to a book which is full of enigmas, and allege that every one interprets it according to his own fancy, and so as to support his own particular opinions. Nor is this all. They even charge ambiguity upon the Scriptures themselves; and they are apparently moved to do this, by the ever varying, discrepant, and sometimes even opposite conclusions of expositors. No book, they say, which is plainly and honestly written, could possibly afford room for such diversity of opinion.
Particularly have such charges been made against the prophecies. These have been compared to the ambiguous vaticinations of the beathen oracles, and pronounced to be deserving of merely the same credit which is given to them by enlightened minds.
One might reply to all this by saying, that the abuse of a thing is no good argument against the right and proper use of it; that the mistakes of expositors are not chargeable upon the original writers, unless those mistakes are unavoidably connected with the expressions of those writers; and finally, that when men, ill-informed or ignorant of the true nature of scriptural language, misinterpret or pervert it, it can