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REV. J. D. DAVIS, D.D.,
PROFESSOR OF REVEALED THEOLOGY
" WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING.”
[PROV. IV. 7; IX 10.]
"I HAVE WRITTEN UNTO YOU YOUNG MEN BECAUSE YE ARE STRONG.” [I. JOHN II. 14.]
TO THE INTELLIGENT YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN OF JAPAN, WHO HOLD IN THEIR HANDS THE FUTURE OF THIS EMPIRE, THIS BOOK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY THE
EIGHTEEN years ago I left a parish in the United States and came to Japan. Three or four years were mostly spent in trying to master some part of one of the most difficult languages in the world ; the last fourteen years have been mostly spent in school work, -teaching among other things, natural and revealed theology. In doing this, I have been thrown in personal contact with some of the brightest minds I ever met. They were Asiatic minds, with ideas and ways of thinking entirely different from my own. Their minds were perfectly free from all theories about most of the subjects which we considered ; they took nothing for granted ; they cared nothing for common theories, and but little for the consensus of the whole Christian church. We were compelled to go to the foundation of things and build for ourselves, using only so much of the old material as stood the test of a thorough examination in “The light of Asia.” I have been asked questions almost every day of which I had never thought before, and these years have been years of the most intense study and thought of my life. I have tried to put myself, so far as possible, into the position of my students, and, disabusing myself of all theories and prepossessions, give myself up to a candid search for truth. My experience convinces me that we have to meet in Japan, not only the materialism of Asia, but the materialism of the West as well; “oppositions of science falsely so called.” The evidences of the truth of Christianity need to be presented here with reference to both the oldest and the newest phases of materialism.