Phoebe Palmer



AUTHOR’S PREFACE

TO THE FOURTEENTH EDITION.

(1855)


Though the new edition of this little work is presented to the public in a new form, and with a large addition of new matter, it comes with no new doctrines. Every truth in religion is as old as the Bible; and the aim of the author of this work is not to set forth any new phases in piety, or to develop new and unauthorized views that have not been clearly presented in the Scriptures of truth to the aspiring gaze of the Christian. Her simple aim is to bring up with freshness, and describe in scriptural phraseology — "The way the holy prophets went," — the way that has been trodden by the truly devoted of all ages and of every evangelical sect.

It has been the effort of the author to maintain Holiness as the great leading doctrine in the Bible, rather than as a doctrine peculiar to any sect. Occasional illustrations from the experience of individuals connected with various denominations, both from among the ministry and the laity, are interspersed, as confirmatory of the fact, that holiness is not merely the doctrine of a sect, but the doctrine of the Bible.

In endeavoring to commend and enforce the importance and excellency of the theme, the author does not attempt to evade the offense of the cross, by employing other than scriptural phraseology. The inglorious task of endeavoring to make the doctrine, experience, and profession of Holiness popular, has not been undertaken; efforts of this sort ever have been, and ever must be, ineffectual. The hearty reception of a doctrine which makes it the duty of men to become Christlike, and exhibit in heart and life entire devotedness to the interests of Christ's kingdom, is not to be expected either of the world or worldly-minded professors. An embodiment of holiness once appeared in human form. Immaculate purity, ineffable beauty of holiness, was once personified, and walked and talked with men. Was He, or were His sayings, popular? Listen to the questionings: "Is not this the carpenter's son?" "Have any of the rulers and Pharisees believed on Him?" "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?"

And, as the term "Holiness" is used by Divine dictation to express a state in which all who would see the Lord must live, is a modification of the term to suit the worldly or fastidious professor permitted to the creature? Let those who would avoid the experience or the phraseology because of its unpopularity, remember the words of the Saviour, Mark viii. 38.