conscience alone, attain to such knowledge of God as he needs, therefore God Most Merciful has revealed Himself in a special manner; that is, He has sent His prophets and apostles, and through them has in some measure revealed Himself and openly proclaimed His will, His commands and His prohibitions. Whatever God taught the prophets through inspiration, that they have written in their books, in accordance with God's command, and they have bequeathed these books to people of later times. These books are collected together under the name of the holy Scriptures, and they are in use among Christians. It is true that ignorant men say that these holy books have been corrupted and annulled; but whoever desires proof that they are the word of God in truth, and have been preserved unabrogated, unchanged and uncorrupted, will find the whole matter fully demonstrated in the Balance of Truth (ميزان الحق‬).1 Thus, if he feels any doubt or uncertainty about this most important matter, it will be dispelled, please God, by a perusal of the work we have mentioned. In those holy Scriptures of the prophets and apostles God's will and the law in accordance with which He will judge2 the people who, being acquainted with that law, are bound to obey it, are both explained. Transgression

1 [Should the name of this work be changed in the new edition in any language, the new name should here be substituted for the old.]
2 Cf. John xii. 48.

of this law of God is called sin, as God has clearly taught both by conscience and in His own word.1

And transgression of God's holy will is conceived of in the mind as implying not only man's conduct in doing what God has forbidden, but also his fault in not fulfilling what God has commanded. Accordingly it is written in the New Testament: 'To2 him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.' If a man be in a condition of comfort and abundance and see another in need and distress and do not help him, and if he give nothing to the poor and needy, nor advice to the perplexed, nor counsel to him who has gone astray, and, when he finds any one ready to injure or traduce or find fault with another, do not to the utmost of his ability dissuade him from doing so, nor honour and glorify God by striving for his neighbour's safety and true happiness, then, although in some people's opinion such a person is devoid of sin and fault, yet in the sight of the holy and righteous God he is a sinner like the deceitful, the dishonest, the cruel and other evil doers. And sin is not only an action which is contrary to God's command, but everything is sinful, which is not in accordance with God's will; and every light word, improper language, and all false speaking, is also a sin in the judgement of God, the holy, the just; as the Lord Jesus Christ has said: 'I3 say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they

1 1 John iii. 4. 2 Jas. iv. 17. 3 Matt. xii. 36.