Some years ago we heard a gentleman introduce a young minister to an eminent jurist. The judge said to the party who introduced the young clergyman, “I hope he preaches the gospel in its simplicity.” The words made a deep impression on us at the time, and have often been recalled as we have seen so much concealment of the gospel with words, words, words. Like the judge, the common people are attracted and charmed by the simplicity of the gospel, and do not want any other kind of preaching.
We believe that they make a mistake who attempt to ornament the gospel with flowers of rhetoric. Much of the preaching and teaching of religion is in a theological dialect that is scarcely more intelligible to the people than a foreign language. Many pulpits need an interpreter as much as do the foreign missionaries among the heathen. The attempt of the writer is to put the matter of full salvation in a simple, direct way, that all may see the simplicity of a subject that is sometimes “darkened with words.”
It is an attempt to show that the experience of a clean heart is but the answer to a prayer that is both scriptural and reasonable. It is an attempt to furnish food for hungry souls and not a theological disquisition as will be readily seen by those who care to read it. It is dedicated to God and his church, believing that he can use the humblest means in building up his kingdom. The author prays that by divine help it may be of such service.