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If the writer knows any thing of his own heart, he has but one object in suffering these lectures to be published: it is to promote, if possible, the bet ter doctrinal instruction of the rising generation; and especially of those whom he hopes he may regard in the endearing relation of spiritual children. THE AUTHOR.
BALLSTON, Sept. 26, 1823.
THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE.
II PETER I. 19.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well, that ye take heed, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.
I have intended, for some time, to attempt a course of lectures, comprising the outlines of the principal doctrines in theology. I am aware, that even among an enlightened and christianized people, it is often necessary to call the attention to these truths; and my wish has been, that my young people, especially, might enjoy the means of obtaining a regular and connected view of them. I have, therefore, particularly to invite their attention to these lectures. We shall spend a part of each sabbath, for some time, in these discussions, and endeavour to render them as plain and practicable as possible.
Let us commence, this morning, with the subject of INSPIRATION.
Much, we know, might be said on the sub
ject of Natural Religion, and, in a course of systematick theology, that is usually first taken up. But we can dispense with the glimmering of stars, when we have the light of the sun; and if we can, to-day, prove that the Bible is truly the inspired word of God, we shall have laid an important foundation for all that is to follow.
The evidences of inspiration are
monly divided into two classes-external and internal.
I. Of the EXTERNAL EVIDENCES. And here we shall mention, at present, only two-that of Prophecy, and that of Miracles.
1. Of Prophecy. A man, disposed to examine this subject, finds from history, that the book we call the Bible, has been in existence many thousand years; the New Testament nearly two thousand years, and the Old Testament much longer. But in this book, he finds certain prophecies, which purport to have been written before the events to which they allude; and they profess the truth on this subject. There can be no doubt, that there lived such a man as the prophet Isaiah, in the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah, while some of the events which he prophecied, such as the birth of Christ, and the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles,