Not only are the great Colleges and Seminaries undermining the faith of the better educated, but the Common School books, and especially those used in the High Schools, are similarly inculcating a distrust in the Bible, a contradiction of its teachings. For a college graduate of to-day to declare his faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures would bring upon him the scorn of his companions — a scorn which few would court, or could endure. At very best, a few will be found to claim that they believe that Jesus and his Apostles were sincere, though they blundered in quoting from the Old Testament as inspired.
Such a belief in Jesus and his Apostles is no belief at all; for if present-day "higher critics" are wise enough to know when and where our Lord and his Apostles! erred in their quotations from the Old Testament, then these wise men of our day are our proper guides, — more inspired than Jesus and his Apostles.
Our Society, realizing the need, is seeking to do all in its power to stem the tide and lift up the Lord's "standard for the people." It has prepared six sets of Bible Studies (of which this volume is one) for Christian people of all denominations to use in lending a helping hand to all perplexed inquirers with whom they may, by God's providence, come in contact. These are supplied at bare cost, and can be had direct from the Society's warerooms or of its colporteurs, who are gradually reaching forth these helping hands far and near. These valuable "studies" are supplied at little more than one penny each; — 15 of them well bound in a cloth case, embossed in gold, for 1s.
The thought is this: As a Christian man or woman you have children or relatives or neighbors or friends open to your influence; — perhaps, indeed, asking your counsel — asking, "How do we know that there is a God?" or, "What proofs have we that the Bible is inspired?" It is no longer wise to call these silly questions, nor to ask, "Are you an infidel?"
However competent you might be to prepare answers to these and a score of other questions, you may not have the needed time and opportunity to do so. How convenient then to step to your book-case, take down the proper study on the subject, and to say to the inquirer, Sit down and read that short study, and the whole matter of your question will be fully and satisfactorily settled; and if your doubts ever again arise come over and read the same afresh.
Possibly you may be a member of an Epworth League or Christian Endeavor Society, or of a Baptist Young People's Union, and may be called on for an essay on some Scripture topic. How convenient to select one among these numerous studies (covering almost every topic) and to find therein the appropriate Scriptures cited. Ministers use them thus when composing special sermons and addresses.
Ministers who have large libraries touching every conceivable religious topic — many volumes costing up to £1 per volume — may not feel their need of these "Bible Studies," but to others they are almost indispensable. Indeed, in addition to the price feature, which brings them within the reach of everybody — six volumes of over 3,000 pages for 7s. 6d. — the usual price of one such volume — they are written in pure, but simple English, whereas the "scholarly works" are replete with technical terms and only for the few.
We invite Christian people of all denominations to join us in our work of extending these "helping hands" to the rising generation. A single friend or relative helped — rescued from doubt or unbelief — would repay the cost of these lessons a thousand times.