The title-page will suffice the careless one; he will go no farther. The curious will go deeper, and a little patience and perseverance will satisfy him also, and perhaps repay him for his time and trouble. If the earnest searcher for the best things can be satisfied as fully, he will be repaid a thousand fold, and the great aim of the book will be gained.
In unfolding the subject, the historical and inductive method has been chosen, both as the most interesting and convincing. Examples of experience are given from history as a basis in connexion with the Bible but beyond that, sketches from life, never before published, have been preferred, because of their freshness, and also for the purpose of adding to the treasures of published Christian experience. Lovers of truth cannot fail to be profited by the mass of facts embodied, even though they should dissent from the inductions of the author.
The Higher Christian Life, as a title has been adopted for want of a better. A wider sphere for the experimental truth set forth, and a clearer delineation are the things sought; and hackneyed terms, or pre-appropriated terms, or terms against which prejudice is arrayed, would not answer.
Next after this title Full trust and Full Salvation would have been preferred, as most expressive and least objectionable. Full trust, rather than full faith, because, faith has been so philosophised into a hundred shades of meaning, and so hackneyed in use as, to have lost its significance to many. Trust is perhaps the only other word that conveys the original meaning of faith. And as faith is the all inclusive condition of salvation, full trust expresses the sole condition of full salvation which it is the design of this volume to illustrate.
Jesus is the way. Full trust the means. Therefore to secure confidence in Jesus, if possible it has been the authors great aim to develop, clearly, fully, and simply, the relations of Jesus to the soul, and of the soul to Jesus.
In the use of terms the Bible principle not the strict one has been followed. Second Conversion for example. Of course, it is not intended, to convey the idea of a second regeneration, but that expressed by President Edwards, in the term Remarkable Conversions, - which is the title of his account of several remarkable cases of higher life attained after conversion.
Such conversions are certainly remarkable but if there are any who think the experience beyond the reach of all, let them try it by the Word the only infallible criterion if it is not warranted by the Bible, reject it; but if it stands the test, then seize it as a treasure above rubies. And if any believe in the truth of this matter, but would like other terms, and other methods, let them bear in mind that while truth is one, methods are many; and if experimental truth is taught and received, it is of very little consequence whether theories and terms to which we are accustomed, are associated with it or not.
If it is Gods truth, fitly spoken, and has His blessing, it will stand; otherwise let it fall to the ground.