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of a book which should give a plain answer to these questions, and be suitable to place in the hands of intelligent and educated young persons, either to arouse their attention, or to guide their steps in the WAY OF LIFE.
The following work has been prepared at the request of the committee, with the hope that it may in some measure answer the purpose just stated. In a Christian country it might seem unnecessary to raise the question whether the Scriptures are the word of God? But those who have had much intercourse with young men, know that even among those who have been religiously educated, there is more or less skepticism upon this point; and where there is no absolute skepticism, there is often an impression that the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible is not so decisive as it might, or even should be. Hence it is that the want of faith is seldom felt to be a great sin. It was therefore deemed important that the question, Why we are bound to believe
the Bible to be the word of God? should be distinctly, though briefly, answered.
The still more comprehensive question, What do the Scriptures teach? is of course here considered only in reference to those great practical doctrines which are essential to evangelical religion, viz.: the doctrines of sin, justification, faith, repentance, and holy living.
With regard to the influence which these doctrines should exert upon the heart and life, or, in other words, with regard to religious experience, reference might be made to the numerous records of the exercises of the people of God, or to what we see daily in his church. As, however, the Scriptures themselves not only teach us what the truth is, but also how it operates upon an enlightened conscience and believing heart, our safest appeal is to them. It is there that we can best learn how we ought to feel and act in view of what the Bible teaches us of sin, of justification, faith,
and repentance; since genuine religious experience is simply the accordance of our views and feelings with the truth of God.
If this little book should be instrumental, by the simple exhibition of the truth, of pointing out the WAY OF LIFE to those who are anxious to know what they must believe and what they must experience in order to be saved, it will answer the design of its preparation and publication.