Chapter I
Introduction

The Bible is, without any exception, the most interesting book in the world. Like other books, however, its charm will very much depend upon whether we rightly understand it or not, and know how to use its contents.

It has sometimes been asserted that the Bible is a dry and uninteresting book, and it can be readily seen how such might be the case. If people were to treat other books in the same manner they treat the Bible, there would not be an interesting book in the world. What would you think of a person taking any popular book of the day, opening it at random, reading here a little and there a little, and then saying, "This book is not interesting"? You would at once say that the book had not had a fair trial. And yet people treat the Bible in that way. They seem to think that the laws that govern its construction are different and less logical and orderly than those which govern the composition of any other worthy book. If people come to realize that the Bible is written logically, and that the Spirit, who is the Author of it, does "all things decently and in order," then we may hope that it will receive its due in this respect, and be acknowledged to be what in deed and truth it is—the most interesting book in the world.

The Bible is a living book. No book is an absolutely dead thing. It contains a seed of life in it. It preserves, in a greater or less degree, the intellect and life that begat it. If this be true of all books of mere human composition, how much more is it true of the Bible—the book "given by inspiration of God"?

The Bible has life-giving power. As we read it, we know there is in it a Spirit that speaks to our spirit, a Life that touches our life. As we believe it, we are "born again * * * by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."

Even as a literary composition the sacred Scriptures form the most remarkable book the world has ever seen. They are of writings the most ancient. The events they contain are of the deepest interest. To their influence is due the great advance in civilization and the happiness that floods the world today. The wisest and best men of all ages have borne witness to their beauty and saving power.

Before reading any book, one should endeavor to gather some idea of the general aim and purpose of its contents, and thereby come to a conclusion as to whether or not it is worth reading. Sometimes its very title arouses our curiosity enough to make us read it, and still oftener the name of the writer. "What is it called?" "What is it about?" "Who is the author of it?" "What is the best way to read it?" The answer to these questions goes a good way in settling the question whether we will read the book, or not.

Now, if such a course of consideration respecting an ordinary book that is read once and perhaps never looked at again, is praiseworthy and reasonable, surely similar inquiry is more necessary and incumbent on us in the case of the Book that ought to be the study of our lives, and that ought to be read every day we live; the Book in which we find what is the will of God for us, both for this life and for that which is to come.