Editor's note: John Taylor, as did most frontiersmen, spelled phonetically and punctuated inconsistently. He spelled Joseph Redding's name: Redding, Reding and Reading. He almost always spelled Baptize, Church, Pastor and River with capital letters; this has been maintained. He usually did not capitalize pronouns relating to Deity. I have an occasional [sic] to denote an error and brackets [ ] to denote a change; generally this is only in the first instance. His abundant use of commas, semi-colons and run-on sentences are unchanged. A minimum of corrections has been made in the documents. — Jim Duvall
(to the First Edition)
A romantic tale, if told with design to make you stare, weep, or laugh — is like bubbles from troubled water, that soon die away; or a tale told in truth, that neither affects the understanding or conscience is no better as to us, and they are much worse when put on paper — and especially, when men pay their money for them. Sacred history, (the Bible) is best of all; because, most true. Without flattery, in awful majesty, it deals with men's minds and consciences, and is worthy of its author — (God). The brightest ornament of all history is, the truth of its narration. The facts stated in the following Essay, some of them are of more than fifty years standing, and no written vouchers to guide — many of the transactions have taken place in Kentucky, and in the presence of thousands. The author is under no dismay, in point of contradiction; his main object is, if possible, to benefit the young rising generation — The old and wise may take part with them if they can. The whole responsibility of default in the book, is with the author; for neither old or young has invited its publication — except paper-makers, printers, and book-binders. All this may be accounted for. Part of the work will be in the style of history — The object in this is, to encourage the Baptists, who are a numerous people in Kentucky, to publish their own history, which hitherto has been much neglected.
Would it not be the better plan, for each association at their next annual meeting, to appoint a committee (of two or more) to make out a history of their own
association, returnable in one year — and by putting them altogether, make a history of the Baptists more correct than has been in any country.
As to the part consisting of expositions of Scripture, though the Author thinks highly of the opinions of other men — yet takes the liberty, as Christ's free-man, to differ from all when justice and truth demands it. THE AUTHOR [JOHN TAYLOR] __________
[John Taylor, A History of Ten Baptist Churches, 1823; reprintt. 1968, pp. iii-iv. Editor's note: His Biblical expositions are not included.]
Special note: Chester R. Young of Williamsburg, KY wrote an annotated third edition of this book titled: Baptists on the American Frontier, Mercer University Press, 1995. He clarfied many of Taylor's statements and has additional information on many of the people and incidents mentioned. It is a very helpful book.
I wish to thank Pastor Roger T. Jones for givng me this book. — jrd
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