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FRIEND said to me the other day, referring
to a little religious volume of a mutual acquaintance—“There are far too many of such. I cannot think why people should write.” For the moment it was rather a home thrust, and yet, on reflection, it seemed to me that I could successfully parry the thrust.
Every one who thinks for himself may see an old familiar truth in a new light, and, by putting it thus before others, may help them to see it too. Every one who has any individuality of character has individuality of experience, and may use this experience in writing of Divine realities, so as to stimulate and deepen character and experience in others. Who of us wearies in reading the experiences of travellers who possess this individuality, though
they write about a well-known region ? Does not our very love of the country make us the more eager to read what is written. It is all so interesting and precious, that we like to see the dear, old scenes again and again through new eyes, and hear of our familiar haunts from fresh voices. What I feel about this book is simply this : there are a few who will like to look with me at the Blessed One we love so well; there are a few to whom, through His wonderful grace, I may speak, as His messenger. So far, and so far only as these “thoughts” have life from God in them, will they live in the heart.
Said a friendly critic of a former book of mine, “There is nothing profound nor original here," and it is true of this also; yet in faith and love I send forth this volume, feeling assured it will fulfil its mission, and bless those for whom it is intended.
It should be stated that four of these papers have already appeared in magazines.
November 15, 1871.