Page images
[blocks in formation]





The “ THREE QUESTIONS,” which form the title of this volume, involve, it will be readily admitted, the most momentous subjects inquiry on which the human mind can be occupied. At no period of life can they be regarded with indifference. Even in childhood, faint and broken glimpses of them steal upon the dawning reason. They mingle with the golden visions of youth, and the sober speculations of manhood. too, when indifferent to all other inquiries, still finds itself tremblingly alive to these. Napoleon Bonaparte only expressed the feelings of a large portion of mankind when he exclaimed, “ To explain where I came

Old age,

from, what I am, and whither I go, is above my comprehension."

The Christian finds a ready solution of these questions in the word of God. There is, however, a numerous and, in the present day, an increasing class of individuals, whose minds have become unsettled upon religious subjects. Like vessels without a chart, such persons drift along the ocean of life, conscience demanding a reply to the “ Three Questions," while bewildered reason is unable to furnish it. It is for readers of this description that the present volume is more especially intended. The writer of it was at one time involved in the mazes of scepticism, and, having been mercifully extricated from them, he feels anxious to supply to others the clue by which he has been enabled, through Divine grace, to thread his way out of the devious and winding path into which he had strayed.

To persons whose religious opinions are wavering, works on the external evidences

of Christianity are seldom useful, nor do compositions of a purely devotional character, in general, interest them. From long inattention to the subject, so much darkness has settled upon the sceptical mind, that to it the most familiar truths in Christianity require an elementary explanation. In the following pages, accordingly, the writer has endeavoured to arrange the line of argument in the manner in which it first struck his own mind, and has aimed to produce an experimental work, which, it should be felt, by the class of persons for whom he more particularly intended it, had been written by one who was familiar with their difficulties, and who could feel for their perplexities, from having himself once been the subject of them.

The age of gross and vulgar infidelity has perhaps passed away; but scepticism is continually reproducing itself in new and alluring forms. The native youth of India are, to a great extent, infected by it; and, from the testimony of a living author, it would appear

« PreviousContinue »