"In preparing the present volume, the writer has been actuated by a conscientious desire to deepen and vivify our faith in the Christian system of truth, by showing that it does not rest solely on a special class of facts, but upon all the facts of nature and humanity; that its authority does not repose alone on the peculiar and supernatural events which transpired in Palestine, but also on the still broader foundations of the ideas and laws of the reason, and the common wants and instinctive yearnings of the human heart. It is his conviction that the course and constitution of nature, the whole current of history, and the entire development of human thought in the ages anterior to the advent of the Redeemer centre in, and can only be interpreted by, the purpose of redemption. The central and unifying thought of this volume is that the necessary ideas and laws of the reason, and the native instincts of the human heart, originally implanted by God, are the primal and germinal forces of history ; and that these have been developed under conditions which were first ordained, and have been continually supervised by the providence of God. The religions of the ancient world were the painful effort of the human spirit to return to its true rest and centre--the struggle to "find Him" who is so intimately near to every human heart, and who has never ceased to be the want of the human race. The philosophies of the ancient world were the earnest effort of human reason to reconcile the finite and the infinite, the human and the Divine, the subject and God"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).