by William S. Plumer
If the Bible is not the word of God, then it is certain that man has no revelation from Heaven. The books esteemed sacred by the Mohammedans and Hindus are not worthy of even a good man, much less of God. The world has no true and saving light from Heaven, unless it is found in the holy Scriptures.
It is not the object of this chapter to give even an outline of the ordinary and irrefragable course of argument employed to establish the divine origin and authority of the Scriptures. The present design is to suggest a few trains of thought, which may be useful to plain people, who have but little time for reading or learned inquiry.
None will deny that the Bible claims to be the word of God. The phrase, "Thus says the Lord?" is of very frequent occurrence. A great variety of sayings of like import is found in the sacred volume; such as, "The word of the Lord came unto me," etc.
All these things are found in a volume, which reserves its heaviest woes and maledictions for false prophets and false teachers, who corrupt God's word, add to it, or take away from it. So that if the prophets, evangelists and apostles were not divinely inspired to write the various books of the Bible, they were, by their own showing, among the worst men that ever lived, and deserving of the sorest plagues reserved for atrocious sinners.
But does the history of Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John and Paul show that they were unprincipled and notorious liars and impostors?
If Christianity is not true, even its enemies admit that no delusion ever before produced so remarkably happy effects in subduing the fierceness of men, in awakening a spirit of improvement, in elevating the humble and in consoling the distressed.
One thing respecting Christianity has often and fitly been noticed. The more severe the trials and sufferings of its followers, the more abundantly have they been sustained. Many have manifested but ordinary strength and courage, until they were subjected to cruel mockings or terrible tortures. Then their heroism has been undaunted and their patience wonderful. False religions often promise well in prosperity; but in adversity their folly is commonly manifest.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Man, a Proof of the Truths of Natural Religion
Chapter 2. The Bible Is the Word of God
Chapter 3. The Scripture Is Unchanging and Unfailing
Chapter 4. God's Nature and Ways Are Unsearchable
Chapter 5. Practical Remarks on Chapter 4
Chapter 6. Human Accountability
Chapter 7. Deductions from Chapter 6
Chapter 8. The Responsibilities of Educated Men
Chapter 9. All Men Are Sinners
Chapter 10. Sin Is Horrible
Chapter 11. The Saint Excels the Sinner
Chapter 12. Noah, His Times, His Faith and His Ark
Chapter 13. The Life and Character of the Apostle Peter
Chapter 14. Lessons from the Life and Fall of Peter
Chapter 15. Nine Questions about Pleasing
Chapter 16. How God's People May Make Great Attainments
Chapter 17. The Privileges of Believers
Chapter 18. Good Works and Their Nature
Chapter 19. Vain Religious Rites Compared with Heart Piety Towards God, and Genuine Kindness Towards Men
Chapter 20. Instability in Religion
Chapter 21. The Falls of Good Men
Chapter 22. Self-deception
Chapter 23. Modern Missions
Chapter 24. The Right Temper for a Student of the Bible