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    CHAPTER 1 OPENING THOUGHT

    WHAT think ye? Whence is it - from heaven or of men? Such was the nature of the question addressed by our Saviour to the men of his time, concerning the baptism of John. It is the crucial question by which to test every system that comes to us in the garb of religion: Is it from heaven or of men? And if a true answer to the question can be found, it must determine our attitude toward it; for if it is from heaven, it challenges at once our acceptance and profound regard, but if it is of men, sooner or later, in this world or in the world to come, it will be destroyed with all its followers; for our Saviour has declared that every plant which our heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up. Matthew 15:13.MOSP 9.1

    To those who do not believe in any “heavenly Father,” nor in “Christ the Saviour,” nor in any “revealed word of God,” we would say that these points will be assumed in this work rather than directly argued, though many incidental proofs will appear, to which we trust our friends will be pleased to give some consideration. But we address ourselves particularly to those who still have faith in God the Father of all; in his divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whose blood we have redemption; in the Bible as the inspired revelation of God’s will; and in the Holy Spirit as the enlightener of the mind, and the sanctifier of the soul. To all those to whom this position is common ground, the Bible will be the standard of authority, and the court of last appeal, in the study upon which we now enter.MOSP 9.2

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