1. Origin

We are rational beings; and, as such, the desire of knowledge is natural to us. In early childhood, as each new object of interest comes under our notice, we ask, who made it; and as we advance in years, the same inquisitiveness attends us, and prompts us to investigate the sources of knowledge which are ever opening before us. Brutes may look with indifference on the works of God, and tread under foot the productions of human ingenuity, without inquiry into their origin; but rational men cannot act thus without violence to the first principles of their nature. Among the objects which have occupied a large space in human thought, and which claim our consideration, the BIBLE stands conspicuous. Its antiquity; the veneration in which it has been held, and continues to be held, by a large part of mankind; and the influence which it has manifestly exerted on their conduct and happiness, are sufficient, if not to awaken higher emotions, at least to attract our curiosity, and excite a desire to know its origin and true character.

We are moral beings. The Bible comes to us as a rule of conduct. The claim which is set up for it is, that it is the highest standard of morals, admitting no appeal from its decisions. We are, therefore, under the strongest obligations to examine the foundation of this claim.

We are, if the Bible is true, immortal beings. Heathen philosophers have conjectured that man may be immortal; and infidels have professed to believe it; but, if we exclude the Bible, we have no means of certain knowledge on this point. Yet it is a matter of the utmost importance. If we are immortal, we have interests beyond the grave which infinitely transcend all our interests in the present life. What folly, then, it is, to reject the only source of information on this momentous subject! Besides if we have such interests in a future world, we have no means of knowing how to secure them, except from the Bible. Shall we throw this book from us, and trust to vain conjecture, on questions in which our all is involved? it would be folly and madness.

Let us then inquire, whence came the Bible? Is it from heaven, or from men? If it is from men, is it the work of good men, or of bad men?

If bad men had been the authors of the Bible, they would have made it to their liking. If made to please them, it would please other men of like character. But it is not a book in which bad men delight. They hate it. Its precepts are too holy; its doctrines too pure; its denunciations against all manner of iniquity too terrible. It is not at all written according to the taste of such men. There are men who prize the Bible; who pore over its pages with delight; who have recourse to it in all their perplexities and sorrows; who seek its counsels to guide them, and its instructions to make them wise; who esteem its words more than gold, and feast on them as their sweetest food. But who are these men? They are those who detest all deceit and falsehood, and whom this very book has transformed, from men of iniquity and vice, to men of purity and holiness. It is impossible, therefore, that the Bible should be the work of bad men.

It remains that the Bible must be either from heaven or from good men. So pure a stream cannot proceed from a corrupt fountain. If it be from good men, they will not willfully deceive us. Let us, then, look to the account which they have given of its origin: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 1. “The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 2. “And so we have the prophetic word more firm, to which ye do well to take heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the morning star arise in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private invention. For never, at any time, was prophecy brought by the will of man, but the holy men of God spake, being moved by the Holy Ghost.” 3.

It may, perhaps, be objected to the use of these quotations, that we permit the Bible to speak for itself; but this is no unprecedented procedure. If a stranger were passing through our neighborhood, and we were desirous to know whence he came, it would not be unnatural to propose the inquiry to the man himself. If there were about him marks of honesty and simplicity of character, and if, after our most careful investigations, it should appear that he has no evil design to accomplish, and no interest to promote by deceiving us, we should rely on the information we derive from him. Such a stranger is the Bible; and why may we not rely on its testimony concerning itself? Nay, it is not a stranger. Though claiming a heavenly origin, it has long dwelt on earth, and gone in and out among us, a familiar companion. We have been accustomed to hear its words; and have known them to be tried with every suspicion, and every scrutiny, and no falsehood has been detected. More, it has been among us as a teacher of truth and sincerity; and truth and sincerity have abounded just in proportion as its teachings have been heeded. Old men of deceit have shrunk from its probings, and trembled at its threatenings; and young men have been taught by it to put away all lying and hypocrisy. Can it be that the Bible itself is a deceiver and impostor? Impossible! It must be, what it claims to be, a book from heaven – the Book of God.


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NOTE: This article is part of John L. Dagg’s ‘A Treatise on Christian Doctrine.’ This book is available at:



What is it about people that can really gain your interest? I don’t mean people who you just sort of know or a person that you chat to once in a while, yet find something interesting about them – I mean people who really catch your interest and make an impact on your life?

There are some people whom you admire because they have done something great – such as a renowned doctor or someone who has battled the odds and won. There are those that are perceived as great even though they have done little that can be truly regarded as meaningful – perhaps an actor or an actress, a football player or a well known pop singer. But it is not these people that I have in mind, as legitimately admired as they may be.

I am thinking about those people that are personally known to you, those people that have perhaps had a special impact on your life or who have a special place in your heart or life. What is it about these people?

These are the people whom you care so much about and that no matter what happens, what might be said or even might be seen, they have a place in your heart and in your life that cannot be dislodged. They have really gained your interest and you are perhaps intrigued by them to the extent that you just don’t feel you can perhaps be ‘normal’ again if they were no longer in your life.

We all have such people in our lives, even though we may not admit it to ourselves or try to give the impression to onlookers that it is not so. Yet it is so. Sometimes these people become our wife or husband, someone we admire or look up to from afar, or perhaps someone we might try to pursue, just feeling that we need them to be part of our life’s experience, no matter how small a part that might pan out to be.

Sometimes it can be just a smile and we are hooked. There we are talking away, as perhaps we have a dozen times before and then there it is – the smile. There may have been other smiles, but now there is this one. It is a smile you cannot forget.

You look and mark the characteristics of the smile. You see the dimples that form when her joy overcomes her and her delight can no longer be hidden away from view. There is the radiance that beams from her face and the eyes that seem to be able to see into your heart and mind, yet does so with a softness, with a compassion and with a knowledge that everything is going to be OK. Even her hair seems to join in with smile and her skin glows, forming part of this treasured portrait that you now will carry with you wherever you go. She may be physically removed, yet there she is, right there with you in the memory of her smile and in the smile that comes when your thoughts turn to that memory.

Sometimes these treasured ones, they leave this life before it seems time for them to do so. Sometimes they are gone well before the time that perhaps you think they should be gone. Yet this smile still remains and they are always there, with you along the way, as you remember the moment you first became aware of the smile and the place you made for her in your heart and in all that you are – because she is there and she cannot be moved from the place that you have made for her in your heart and in all of your being.

It can be a smile – that which begins it all. Something perhaps so small, so insignificant overall, but yet overwhelming for the impact and the pathway on which it sets your feet to tread. It is a pathway you walk, drawn on from such a simple beginning to an adventure of revelation and discovery as even more cherished scenes and experiences are charted along the way and the memories of a person are chronicled in the annals of this one not to be forgotten but always remembered.

There are always hooks on which you can hang the canvas of an experience you shared and of which you always wish to recall. A smell or a scene will draw from the mind a precious time or even a feature of the one you hold dear. There will be a smile, a simple smile that will form on your face that none other knows why – yet you know that your dear one is still there, even in the memories of times you held dear.

There will be times and happenings, all special for sure, yet just knowing her will be enough. What a joy it can be, just to have known and to feel the smile of that you held dear. It can be even a smile, though there be even so much more than that too.

It can be a smile.