« PreviousContinue »
The editions heretofore published of the Dissertations, the one concerning the end for which God created the world ; and the other, on the Nature of Virtue, which has uniformly teen put with it ; but is placed in the second volume of ihis collection, have had prefixed to them the following Prefaée, avhich, because it contains several just remarks, applicable asoweil to the Treatise on Original Sin, as to the Dissertations, it is thought.nrópe here to insert.
“ The author had designed these dissertations for the public view; and wrote them out as they now appear: Though it is probable, that if his life had been spared, he would have revised them, and rendered them in some respects more complete. Some new sentiments, here and there, might probably have been added ; and some passages brightened with farther illustrations. This may be conjectured, from some brief hints, or sentiments minuted down, on loose papers, found in the manuscripts.
6 But those sentiments concisely sketched out, which, it is thought, the author intended to enlarge, and digest into the body of the work....cannot be so amplified by any other hand, as to do justice to the author : It is therefore probably best that nothing of this kind should be attempted.
“ As these dissertations were more especially designed for the learned and inquisitive, it is expected that the judicious and candid will not be disposed to object that the manner in which these subjects are treated, is something above the level of common read
For though a superficial way of discourse and loose ha. rangues may well enough suit some s'ubjects, and answer some val. uable purposes ; yet other subjects demand more closeness and accuracy. And if an author should neglect to do justice to a subject, for fear that the simpler sort should not fully understand him, he might expect to be deemed a trifler by the more intelli. ' gent.
1 Our author had a rare talent to penetrate deep in search of truth ; to take an extensive survey of a subject, and look through it into remote consequences. Hence many theorems, that appear. ed hard and barren to others, were to him pleasant and fruitful fields, where his mind would expatiate with peculiar ease, profit and entertainment. Those studies, which to some were too fa. riguing to the mind, and wearing to the constitution, were to him but a natural play of genius ; dnd which his mind, without labor,
oraople freely nntle ftpxraneously perform. A close and conclu. ::stve.way of seasoning upon a controversial point was easy and natural tp hin. :::
Zhis ntay.serve, it is conceived, to account for his usual onaniker of itfaiting abstruse and controverted subjects, which sone Pavé tlibug'li has been too metaphysical. But the truth is, that his critical method of looking through the nature of his sub. jece ; his accuracy and precision in canvassing truth, comparing idras, drawing consequences, pointing out and exposing absurdi. tics....naturally led him to reduce the evidence in favor of truth into the form of demonstration. Which doubtless, where it can be obtained, is the most eligible, and by far the most satisfying to great and noble minds. And though some readers may find the labor hard, to keep pace with the writer, in the advances he makes, where the ascent is arduous; yet in general all was easy to him : Such was his peculiar lope and discernment oj truth, and na ural propensity to search after it. His own ideas were clear to him, where some readers have thought them obscure. things in the works of Newton and Locke, which appear either quite unintelligible, or very obscure to the illiterate, were clear and bright to those illustrious authors, and their learned readers.
* The subjecis here handled are sublime and important. The end which God had in vi'w in creating the world, was doubtless svarthy of him; and consequently the most excellent and glorious fcssible. This, therefore, must be worthy to be known by all the inteligent creation, as excellent in itself, and worthy of their fur. suit. And es irue wriue distinguishes the inhabitants of heaver
and all the happy candidates for that world of glory, from all others....there cannot surely be a more interesting subject.
“ The notions which some men entertain concerning God's end in creating the world, and concerning true virtue, in our late author's opinion, have a natural tendency to corrupt Christianity, and to destroy the gospel of our divine Redeemer. It was there. fore, no doubt, in the exercise of a pi us concern for the honor and glory of God, and a tender respect to the best interests of his fellow men, that this devout and learned writer undertook the following work.
May the father of lights smile upon the pious and benevolent aims and labors of his servant, and crown them with his blessing!
FOR THE TREATISE ON ORIGINAL SIN.
When the page is referred to in this manner, p 40, p. 50, without mene tioning the book, thereby is to be understood such a page in Dr Taylor's Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin. S intends the Supplement When the word, Key, is used to signify the book referred to, thereby is to be under, stood Dr Taylor's Key to the Apostolic Writings. This mark  with figo ures or a number annexed, signifies such a section or paragraph in his Rey. When after mentioning Preface to Par. on Epist. to Romans, there is subjoined P 145, 47, or the like, thereby is intended Page and Paragr.ph. page 145, Paragraph 47. The references suit the London editions of Dr. Taylor's books, printed about the year 1960,