A young intellectual, J. Powers, loses his faith in God after the untimely death of his wife. He devotes his great talents to writing a shockingly blasphemous book, debunking all religion, and then embarks on a trip to Jerusalem. Far from reconciling him to God, the sight of all the different sects worshipping in that ancient city only serves to embitter him and deepen his unbelief. One day, wandering in the country, he loses his way and stops to ask directions at a small house. The inhabitants are a poor but devout family whose daughter, Ruth, revives his broken heart. At the risk of losing her, he confesses to her his loss of faith, and she gently declares that meditation on the Gospels will heal him. He sorrowfully tells her that he wishes he could believe as she does, but it is impossible. Exhausted by the discussion, Powers falls asleep and in a dream witnesses the entire panorama of the Old Testament, from the Garden of Eden through the prophets and the kings. In his dream, he ...