INTRODUCTION.

THE object of the present series of Bible Readings is to bring out, as far as possible, the common-sense teaching of the Bible in regard to every-day religion. In preparing these Lessons, I have aimed not so much to get at the doctrinal truths of our religion, as at the every-day practical common-sense principles. How to live a Christ-like life in the midst of an un-Christ-like world; how to have inward peace in the midst of outward turmoil; how to see the hand of God in every-day matters, and how to accept the homely details of His will; how to be seated in heavenly places when in the drawing-room, or the kitchen, or the nursery, or the schoolroom, or the shop; when entertaining friends, or darning socks, or selling goods, or managing affairs; how, in short, to apply the principles of our religion to our week-day lives as well as to our Sunday lives; -- this is the object of these Lessons.

No one, therefore, must come to them with any expectation of finding a body of doctrine or a statement of religious mysteries. But if any one desires to get at the common-sense of our religion, behind or beneath all that may seem uncommon or esoteric, they will find here an effort, very imperfect, it is true, but still a genuine effort to reach this common-sense basis, and to make it available for daily use.

The religion of the Bible is, I firmly believe, a religion "made for man" in a far deeper sense than is generally recognised. It is not only pure religion, but it is pure common-sense as well. To be a Christian means, to my mind, to be a sensible man as well as a religious one; and to follow out Christian principles is to follow out the highest reason and the purest philosophy.

In sending out this series of Bible Lessons, therefore, I can only pray that the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible may enable us to lay hold of its truest meaning, as this meaning affects our every-day and common-place lives.

HANNAH WHITALL SMITH.
London, England.


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