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helpful, forget not in thy prayers him who needs such service and help even more than thyself. The authors of such books are almost sure to be thought by strangers far better men than in truth they are. But a moment's consideration of the way in which all works of spiritual counsel must be framed would dissipate the delusion, as well as it is earnestly hoped) justify the writers from the charge of hypocrisy. Such counsels are addressed, then, in the first instance, to the writer's own heart, on the assumption that his experience will be that of hundreds of others. They are virtually an attack upon his own faults, an exposure of his own weak points, a development of any thought in which he has himself found light, comfort, and encouragement. So far, therefore, from assuming that the writer is himself strong on the points on which he writes strongly, it should rather be assumed that these are the points on which he is really weak', while his conscience and his knowledge of the truth tell him that he ought to be strong. To no higher standard of goodness does such a writer lay claim than this ;—that he himself strives to live up
to the arduous requirements of Christianity ; that he is painfully sensible of falling short of the mark; that,
c like Gideon's troop, he is often “faint,” and “yet pursuing;" and that, in the exercise of Christian sym
1 To show that I mean what I am saying, I may observe that chap. xv. is directed against a faulty habit of mind, of which I myself am only too conscious.
pathy, as well as from the desire of making full proof of his ministry, he longs to help those who are experiencing the same difficulties with himself, and to whisper into their ears (whether from the pulpit or the press) any words of light and comfort which may have reached his own soul from above. Without this low degree of Christian experience, no one could hope to make a successful appeal to the hearts and consciences of his fellow-men ; and whatever his counsels may seem
1 to import as to his own state, the present writer entreats the reader to give him credit for nothing
For awful, indeed, are the responsibilities of making a high religious profession; and he who by such a profession lifts himself above the crowd, resembles Nelson, when appearing with all his orders at Trafalgar ;-he is only too likely to make himself a
mark for the fiery darts of the great enemy.
How shall we not tremble for the risks which are run by ordinary teachers of Divine truth, when even St. Paul (after and notwithstanding all the sacrifices he had made for Christ) felt that without self-control and mortification of the lower instincts he himself might “ become a castaway”? Reader, pray that such may not be the doom of him who in these pages addresses you.
E. M. G.
August 19, 1869.
THAT HOLINESS IS ATTAINABLE.
“ Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are.”—JAMES
“ Of whom the world was not worthy.”—HEB. xi. 38.
Loftiness of Elijah's character as a saint_his weakness as ex-