IN a day of crisis when the foundations of society were being shaken, a prophet of old time had a word of the Lord for his contemporaries. The prophet was Jeremiah; the crisis, the overthrow of God's Kingdom of Israel; and the message was: "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jer. 6:16).
Some six centuries later a greater prophet than Jeremiah - even the Son of God - invited men to come to him and learn of him, and he promised, "Ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matt. 11:29).
The world today faces a crisis - greater than any in the past, for all the world is inevitably involved. The Word of God has its message for today; the light of God's revelation is the one source of information about what lies imrnediately ahead. World changes are imminent. An old order is passing - a new era is at hand. Troubles with perplexity and anxiety will increase as this era closes. Seeking the "old paths" of God's word, however, we may secure rest for our souls now, and life for ever in the Kingdom of God that is coming.
In the following pages there is set forth the simple teaching of the Bible. Copious Scripture quotations have been given to show how broadly based upon the Bible is the teaching submitted; and also to help any reader unfamiliar with the Scriptures. Some of the views advanced as the true teaching of the Bible are very different from what popular teaching sets forth as Christian truth. It has therefore been thought advisable to add to some chapters a second part tracing the rise of erroneous doctrine since the days of the apostles, and some quotations are also given showing that scholars, thinking independently of creeds, have reached the same conclusions concerning the Bible's doctrines as are set out in the book.
We ask the careful reading of the book; we believe it will be found that the Bible reveals a plan and purpose in human life; that it gives clear teaching about a possible future; that it shows the present distress and perplexity is the evidence of a new age at hand when God will intervene to establish a new rule on earth. Read carefully; "prove all things", as Paul counseled, by comparison with Scripture; and the light of life will shine on the path which leads to a day of peace and unending life.
Death prevented Mr. John Carter from revising this book for reprinting, and it has fallen to others to do what the passage of time had made necessary. The Introduction, impressive in its day, was topical, and doubtless the author would have rewritten it for a period of sixteen years later. It has been omitted, all but one paragraph which has been added to the Foreword. In the body of the book a few verbal changes have been made for the sake of accuracy or to remove minor infelicities. Greater liberty has been taken with chapter II, "The Morning Comes", which again was dated and would probably have been largely rewritten; here readers familiar with the earlier edition will in many paragraphs detect another hand. Otherwise the book remains John Carter's, and part of the great service that he rendered to his Faith.