by C. H. Spurgeon
I HAVE no idea of what I am expected to say in a preface, and am of opinion that a book is better without an appendage usually so unmeaning. I will, however, make one or two faithful declarations which may, perhaps, shield me from the reader's wrath, should he find my work of less value than he expected.
Never was a book written amid more incessant toil. Only the fragments of time could be allotted to it, and intense mental and bodily exertions have often rendered me incapable of turning even those fragments to advantage.
Writing is to me the work of a slave. It is a delight, a joy, a rapture to talk out one's thoughts in words that flash upon the mind at the instant when they are required; but it is poor drudgery to sit still and groan for thoughts and words without succeeding in obtaining them. Well may a man's books be called his "works," for, if every mind were constituted as mine, it would be work indeed to produce a quarto volume. Nothing but a sense of duty has impelled me to finish this book, which has been more than two years on hand. Yet have I, at times, so enjoyed the meditation which my writing has induced, that I would not discontinue the labour were it ten times more irksome: and moreover, I have some hopes that it may yet be a pleasure to me to serve God with the pen as well as the lip.
The subject of religious experience is a very wide one, and those points of it upon which I have touched deserve larger notice from a far abler hand than mine. The aged Christian will find very little instruction here; it will not be proper for him to expect it when he is reminded of the object of the volume. It has been my aim to deal only with the more common and shallow experiences of beginners, and I have left the great deeps for those who have long done business upon them. To comfort the mourner, to confirm the weak, to guide the wandering, and reassure the doubting has been my great desire. If I may but hear of some trembling sinners led to Jesus by the following pages, or of some distressed believer enabled to rejoice, it will be an ample recompence to me.
I have dedicated the work to God, and I now crave His abundant blessing upon it.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I: THE DESPISED FRIEND
CHAPTER II: FAITHFUL WOUNDS
CHAPTER III: JESUS DESIRED
CHAPTER IV: JESUS PARDONING
CHAPTER V: JOY AT CONVERSION
CHAPTER VI: COMPLETE IN CHRIST
CHAPTER VII: LOVE TO JESUS
CHAPTER VIII: LOVE'S LOGIC
CHAPTER IX: JESUS IN THE HOUR OF TROUBLE
CHAPTER X: JESUS HIDING HIMSELF
CHAPTER XI: THE CAUSES OF APPARENT DESERTION
CHAPTER XII: COMMUNION PRESERVED