38 The Plan of the Ages,
bears a reasonable surface evidence of the truthfulness of such claims. The Bible claims to be such a revelation from God, and it does come to us with sufficient surface evidence as to the probable corretftness of its claims, and gives us a reasonable hope that closer investigation will disclose more complete and positive evidence that it is-indeed the Word
The Bible is the oldest book in existence; it has outlived the storms of thirty centuries. Men have endeavored by every means possible to banish it from the face of the earth: they have hidden it, buried it, made it a crime punishable with death to have it in possession, and the most bitter and relentless persecutions have been waged against those who had faith in it; but still the book lives. To-day, while many of its foes slumber in death, and hundreds of volumes written to discredit it and to overthrow its influence, are long since forgotten, the Bible has found its way into every nation and language of earth, over two hundred different translations of it having been made. The fad that this book has survived so many centuries, notwithstanding such unparalleled efforts to banish and destroy it, is at least strong circumstantial evidence that the great Being whom it claims as its Author has also been its Preserver.
It is also true that the moral influence of the Bible is uniformly good- Those who become careful students of its pages are invariably elevated to a purer life. Other writ- ings upon religion and the various sciences have clone good and have ennobled and blessed mankind, to some extent ; hut all other books combined have failed to brin# the joy, peace and blessing to the groaning creation that the Bible has brought to both the rich and the poor, to the learned and the unlearned* The Bible is not a book to be read merely: it is a book to be studied with care and thought ; for God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his