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PERHAPS the most appropriate and acceptable introduction to “THE EDEN FAMILY,” will be a grateful acknowledgment of the favours which the Author has already received, in the very extensive demand for the “THE BETTER LAND,” FIFTEEN THOUSAND COPIES of which have already been called for, and the sale of which is even greater now than during the first year of its publication; and, for such an unexpectedly wide circulation, he embraces this first opportunity to record his unfeigned gratitude to God, and to the extensive circle of friends by whom his former book has been so very favourably received.
Few weeks, or even days, have passed, during the five years which it has been before the public, which have not brought him some account of good resulting from its publication and perusal. He has reason to believe that thousands of Christians have been encouraged by reading its pages; that a great number of sufferers have been cheered by its truths in the sick room; and testimonies, not a few, could be furnished of its having been blessed of God to the salvation of sinners, both in sickness and health, and in humble and more exalted life. And, in at least two somewhat populous places, it is the opinion of several officers in the Church that its extensive circulation and reading were greatly owned of God in promoting revivals of his work, during the progress of which 150 souls professed to find pardon and peace.
Being thus encouraged with past success, and influenced by a desire to further the general interest of religion, without neglecting the claims of the particular section of the Church by which we are supported, and which has a right to expect our best efforts to be exerted to extend its interests, we formed the purpose
of publishing “THE EDEN FAMILY,”—which, you will be good enongh to observe, once for all, is only another form of expression for “The Human Family," or the family which had its origin in Eden;—and as we had opportunity for research and writing the result of our readings, we steadily prosecuted our work. As the sections were arranged and completed, the writer generally carried the result into the pulpit or the social meeting, and delivered them in the shape of religious discourses, and several of the chapters have supplied matter for the most important occasional services that he has been called to perform; so that his own community has had the first-fruit of his labours in the study of this work; and such being the case, he hopes that none of its members will deem it unadvisable or improper in him, after feeding the Church with the bread of life, to distribute the fragments that remain to a perishing world.
It is our happiness to state, that, while arranging these truths for the press, and proclaiming them from the pulpit, we have witnessed very gracious outpourings of the Holy Spirit. During the last month, we had the unspeakable pleasure to receive seventy members into Christian fellowship at one time, and within the last few weeks more than one hundred souls have been added to the Church.
The two first chapters, it will be seen, contain the result of scientific readings, which are used in illustration of the lovely character of the Universal Parent of all Good; and, if the reader is interested and profited as much in their perusal as we have been in their composition, he will greatly rejoice that our little book has been placed in his way. The succeeding chapters are an embodiment of some of the most important doctrines of the Christian religion, illustrated by such figures, interspersed with such facts, and written in such a style, as we hoped would result in the salvation of our readers.
As to the literary character of the work, we are conscious of many defects; but if .good men, who feel that they have the world to save, hail our production as right in its tendencies, and contributory to that object, we shall have a good reward for our labour. If the blessings of such as are ready to perish come upon us for our work, we shall have still more ample compensation; but if it should please the supreme Master and Lord of all to smile on this effort to extend his glorious work, and to graciously say, “Well and faithfully done,” it will yield everlasting satisfaction to
Yours, very affectionately, Keighley-in-Airedale, Yorkshire,
THE AUTHOR. May 1st, 1858.
1. Its Original Elements
OUR GLORIOUS DELIVERER
1. His Redeeming Scheme