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The Way of Life: Christian Belief and Experience (Hodge)

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‘It is one of the clearest principles of Divine revelation, that holiness is the fruit of truth; and it is one of the plainest inferences from that principle, that the exhibition of the truth is the best means of promoting holiness. Christians regard the word of God as the only infallible teacher of those truths which relate to the salvation of men. But are the Scriptures really a revelation from God? If they are, what doctrines do they teach? And what influence should those doctrines exert on our heart and life?

The publishing committee of the American Sunday School Union have long felt the want of a book which should give a plain answer to these questions, and be suitable to place in the hands of intelligent and educated young persons, either to arouse their attention, or to guide their steps in the way of life.

If this little book should be instrumental, by the simple exhibition of the truth, in pointing out the way of life to those who are anxious to know what they must believe and what they must experience in order to be saved, it will answer the design of its preparation and publication.’ - From the Preface

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Table of Contents: 

Chapter 1: The Scriptures are the Word of God

Section I - The internal evidence of the Divine origin of the Scriptures

Section II - The internal evidence of their Divine origin is the proper ground of faith in the Scriptures 

Section III - External evidence of the Divine origin of the Scriptures. The testimony of the church

Section IV - The argument from prophecy

Chapter 2: Sin

Section I - All men are sinners. The nature of man, since the fall, is depraved 

Section II - The sins of men are numerous and aggravated

Chapter 3: Causes of Indifference to the Charge of Sin

Section I - Sin, want of consideration, striving against the Spirit

Section II - Sophistical objects against the doctrine of the Bible

Chapter 4: Conviction of Sin 

Section I - Knowledge of sin. Sense of personal ill desert

Section II - Insufficiency of our own righteousness and of our own strength

Chapter 5: Justification 

Section I - Importance of the doctrine. Explanation of the Scriptural terms relating to it. Justification is not by works

Section II - The demands of the law are satisfied by what Christ has done

Section III - The righteousness of Christ the true ground of our justification. The practical effects of this doctrine

Chapter 6: Faith 

Section I - Faith is the condition of salvation. The nature of saving faith 

Section II - Faith as connected with justification 

Chapter 7: Repentance 

Chapter 8: Profession of Religion

Section I - The nature and necessity of a public profession of religion

Section II - Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The nature, design, and efficacy of these ordinances

Section III - Obligation to attend upon the sacraments. Qualifications for the proper discharge of the duty

Chapter 9: Holy Living

Section I - The nature of true religion

Section II - The means of sanctification



Charles Hodge (1797-1878) was a scholar, educator, churchman, and distinguished American Presbyterian systematic theologian of the nineteenth century. During his half-century tenure at Princeton, Charles Hodge held several chairs, but is probably best remembered for the reputation he established as Professor of Systematic Theology. A stout Calvinist with a deep love for the Reformed confessions, his literary labours often involved a polemical thrust, as he sought to defend and expound the Reformed theology of the Protestant Reformation.