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We live in an age of great activity. It is also an age wherein material progress and the love of worldly pleasure tend to enfeeble mans hold on the supernatural world. It is most evident that there is a general movement away from the spiritual world. In non-Catholic thought the idea of a reduced Christianity is dominant. A mere natural religion recommends itself to many. The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them because they are spiritually examined. [1 Cor. 2:14.] Instead of accepting religion as a mysterious message from Heaven, men make a religion that is not religious. A religion is sought that will not interfere with mans worldly tastes and pleasures. Human reason is made the judge of all the works of God. Arianism is recrudescent under another name and formula. The mystery of Christs Divinity, the miracles of the Bible, the extraordinary action of God in the Revelation and Inspiration of the Scriptures are made the special objects of attack in this modern fashion of thought.

That which is most deplorable is that this tendency has in some degree invaded the minds of some Catholic scholars. Clear calls of warning come from Christs Vicar; the danger is grave. The demon of unbelief finds strong allies in the pride and rebellion of fallen human nature.

During the last twenty-five years the Church has waged a fierce battle in defense of the Holy Scriptures. In this fight her worst enemies are those of her own children, who, making dishonorable compromises with the Rationalists, the true children and inheritors of the older heretics, make a breach in the walls which they have sworn to defend.

General Introduction teaches the art of studying Holy Scripture:

Vie più che indarno da riva si parte,

Perchè non torna tal qual ei si muove,

Chi pesca per lo vero e non ha larte.

The study of Holy Scripture is proposed in that remarkable encyclical, Providentissimus Deus, as the chief remedy against the evil doctrinal tendencies of our time. This study cannot be pursued without a competent knowledge of the questions which an Introduction to Holy Scripture treats. The very key to the present situation is a right idea of the Inspiration of Holy Scripture. Hence in this Second Edition of my work, I have devoted about one third of the volume to this great theme. I have endeavored in all things to be conservative. I have endeavored to present a fair examination of the different theories, and in judging of them, the authority of the Church has been the norm. My treatise on the Canon of the Old Testament may be judged excessively long, but I have contemplated this as a work of reference, in which completeness of treatment is required. My hope is that I may have, in some small degree, helped the Cause of Christ.

A. E. BREEN.

ROCHESTER, N. Y.,

Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, 1908.








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