To all the tried and tempted-the poor and needy-those that are acquainted with heartwork-such as are sick of themselves and of this world, and followers in reality of the Lord Jesus Christ I humbly send out the following pages, trusting that the Lord may make them a blessing to some of His family. I have found many that I have lent these writings to (whom I believe are real citizens of Zion) express an earnest desire that they should be published, but have ever found backwardness to it, not liking to make any ...
To all the tried and tempted-the poor and needy-those that are acquainted with heartwork-such as are sick of themselves and of this world, and followers in reality of the Lord Jesus Christ I humbly send out the following pages, trusting that the Lord may make them a blessing to some of His family. I have found many that I have lent these writings to (whom I believe are real citizens of Zion) express an earnest desire that they should be published, but have ever found backwardness to it, not liking to make any stir, fearing lest self should be working in a secret way; and yet I must say, I have wished some of God's people whom I have known, that have gone into deep waters, to read these things, knowing well the painful path I have traveled to get at them. Then again, I have thought of the many writings of good men that are extant in the world already, and what can you write. I have also thought how it might expose me to the critic, who lays at the catch, wishing to find an occasion of contention and dispute. However, I can truly say, that I never intended, when writing these things, to appear in public; but God's ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts.
Again, not being a public character, I have considered that I should sell but few of them, provided I did publish, and so they would lay on my hands; but on the contrary, I have thought that as there are many in the country who hardly ever hear the Word preached, and if God should bless this feeble attempt, what a blessing it will be; for I find that such things are done by private as well as public characters. Again, how have I myself looked about at old book shops for such things when in trouble, and how glad would I have been to have got them, but, alas! They were very scarce: and now I am encouraged to this by the Holy Scriptures, which say, "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). Again, "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest" (Eccl. 9:10). And though I come forward in much weakness, yet God is pleased to make use of such, to display His own glory; as it is written, "for ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen; yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye (foolish, weak, and base things, and things that are not) in Christ Jesus (by eternal election, and by a manifest union) who of God is made unto us, wisdom (to us fools), and righteousness (to us that are convinced by the Holy Spirit, and made to feel that we are ungodly), sanctification (to us who have been made sensible that from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head, we are full of wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores), and redemption (to us who well know that we were slaves to the devil and our own lusts), that according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (1 Cor. 1:26-31). But where is it thus written? I answer, by David in Psalm 115. Hence he says, "Not unto us (and repeats it), not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and for Thy truth's sake": the sure mercies of David (which was the Holy Ghost, as you may see by comparing Isaiah 55:3 with 59:21) were given to our Lord Jesus Christ, only with this difference, David, and all believers, had it in measure, but Christ Jesus without measure.
Thus, reader, I have simply related the truth; and as the poor widow cast her two mites into the treasury, so I cast in my one. All blunders and mistakes set to my account; and if you find any thing savory, bless the Lord for it. Be sure to take it in prayer to Him before you read it. It comes out without any correction, as it was first wrote; and therefore you must make allowances. And 0 that the Lord may be pleased to own and honor His own truth, by whomsoever He may see fit to send it, and to pardon and forgive all that may be amiss. With these views I leave it, and do desire and earnestly pray for the prosperity of Zion.