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encourage one tried and troubled mind, to persevere in the pursuit of divine truth, the Author has not written in vain.
RELIGIOUS INQUIRERS, &c.
THE NATURE OF RELIGIOUS INQUIRY, AND THE
BEST MEANS OF PURSUING IT.
The importance of religious inquiry must be evident, when it is considered that it refers to God, and to his will to man, and his lost conditionto salvation, and the way by which it can be obtained—to the duties of this life, and to the realities of the life that is to come.
In pursuing such an inquiry, it is of great consequence to ascertain the source from whence we should derive information on these topics. Reason cannot answer the innumerable questions that require to be answered in an inquiry like this. The schools of philosophy can only involve us in greater obscurity; and all the systems of ethics, formed by human wisdom, present only imperfection and inconsistency. Neither is it safe to be guided by the opinions of worldly men, on subjects respecting
which they are profoundly ignorant. Nay, even those systems of religion, framed by good men, professedly from the Bible, are not to be examined as authorities, till their statements are found to agree
with the word of God. We need not go to the streams, which become impure as they recede from the source, when we ean partake of the water of the fountain, which is always pure, and refreshing to the thirsty soul.
We are shut up to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. We must obtain our information from this sacred source, or remain in ignorance of all those truths, which are connected with the present and everlasting happiness of men. The many vo
lumes which men have written, may convey much instruction in matters of religion, but all that is true in them, all that requires our credence, has been derived from the source we have just named. In matters of faith and practice, nothing is authoritas tive, but what is to be found in the pages of the sacred volume.
It is taken for granted that the Bible is true. If not true, we are stopped on the very threshold of inquiry, and must be content to remain in ignorance, in misery, and in despair in Till men can give us a better book than the Bible, or prove that it is untrue, we shall continue to consider it as the revelation of God, and as bestowed upon us for the very purpose of enlightening our darkness and removing our misery. To the man who really seeks information in the things of God, and whose mind is not perverted by unbelief and biassed by his love of sin, the Serip