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HIS volume is not so much a history of my own life, as of the Lord's dealings with me; setting forth how He wrought in and by me during the space of twenty years. It will be observed that this is not, as biographies generally are, an account of life on to death; but rather the other way-a narrative of transition from death into life, and that in more senses than one.
I had been given over by three physicians to die, but it pleased the Lord, in answer to prayer, to raise me up again. My restored health and strength I thankfully devoted to a religious and earnest life. In the height and seeming prosperity of this, the Lord awakened me to see that I was dead in trespasses and sins; still far from Him; resting on my own works; and going about to establish my own righteousness, instead of submitting to the righteousness of God. Then He quickened me by the Holy Ghost, and raised me up into a new and spiritual life.
In this volume the reader will meet with the respective results of (what I have called) the Religious, as distinguished from the Spiritual, life. The former produced
only outward and ecclesiastical effects, while the latter brought forth fruit in the salvation of souls, to the praise and glory of God.
One object in writing this book is to warn and instruct earnest-minded souls, who are, as I was once, strangers to the experience of salvation, seeking rest where I am sure they can never find it, and labouring to do good to others when they have not yet received that good themselves. They are vainly "building from the top;" trying to live before they are born; to become holy before they have been justified; and to lead others to conversion before they have been converted themselves.
A second object is to draw the attention of every earnest, seeking, or anxious soul, to consider the Lord's marvellous goodness in first bearing with me in my religious wanderings, and then using me for His glory in the salvation of hundreds.
Another desire I have is to cheer the hearts of believers who are working for God, by relating to them what He has done through me, and can do again, by the simple preaching of the Gospel. Here the reader will meet with narratives of the Lord's work in individual cases, in congregations, and in parishes-wonderful things which are worthy of record.
I have not shunned to tell of the mistakes I fell into after my conversion, hoping that others may take heed and profit by them; and then I shall not have written in vain.
A Cornish Funeral-The Necessity of Conversion-A Visitor-
Remarkable Dreams and Visions-Their Fulfilment
Open Air Services-Preaching on Perran Beach-Letting Down