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THE NATURE OF THE BIBLE,

CONSIDERED IN RELATION TO

Modern Scepticism.

BY CHARLES WILLS, M.A.,

CURATE OF KENNINGTON,
AUTHOR OF LETTERS ON BAPTISM,” ETC.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in
time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days
spoken unto us by His Son."—HEBREWS I. 1, 2.

LONDON:

WILLIAM MACINTOSH,

24, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

1865.

101. q. 70

DIB

PREFACE.

WIDELY different is the scepticism which is now shaking the faith of many from that which existed in the last century. Though not less dangerous, it is more subtle. Since then the character of the attack has changed, the mode of defence must change also. The old arguments are to a great extent irrelevant to the new unbelief.

To have the leading principles on both sides brought out and fairly confronted with each other greatly conduces to clearness in disputation. It has also this advantage, that it puts disciples of the truth on their guard, and by preventing confusion, hinders the seduction of plausible statements which are calculated to inveigle many, and draw them off to error

unawares.

The reader will easily discover that this book has a special purpose, and aims at displaying a particular aspect of the subject. The writer has had opportunities of intimate acquaintance with the subtler forms of modern unbelief.

This con

cerns first the nature, and then the possibility and authority of Revelation. In order to meet it with effect, it seems necessary to settle the preliminary question of the nature of Revelation. This may best be gathered from the Bible itself, by ascertaining what the Bible claims for the men to whom it says revelations were made. This is carefully and reverently attempted in the following pages. Mere exposition of the truth is sometimes more successful than argument. Perhaps it is always so when there has been imperfect apprehension or misunderstanding. When the nature of Revelation is clearly perceived, the question of possibility and evidence will be set in a different light, and the way prepared for authority. In this manner the folly of Infidelity will be made manifest, and it will be seen, that as the study of the choicest literary products of the human mind prepares us for a nicer perception and a greater relish of the beauties of the Scriptures, so the highest service which can be rendered by human philosophy is to send us as teachable disciples back for saving wisdom to the Word of God.

The writer pushes off his little barque on the dark and stormy waters, invoking God's blessing that it may prove helpful to some who are now struggling with the waves. Should any of the reasoning seem inconclusive or erroneous, let the reader distinguish between the sacred cause of truth itself and an unworthy attempt at defending it.

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