J. A. Wood




PREFACE


The following pages are designed for the benefit of believers in the church of Christ, who "hunger and thirst after righteousness," and seek light concerning the doctrine, experience, profession, and practice of Christian holiness.

Nearly twenty beautiful years have passed since the first writing of "PERFECT LOVE," — two years after our blessed experience of the fullness in Christ. Since then, over twenty seven thousand copies have been scattered in this country, and the work published in England. The many gratifying proofs of its usefulness to devout and good people, have induced its revision and enlargement. In so doing, we have carefully and prayerfully rewritten and revised almost every page, and added about one-third to the book. While we have not materially changed the views of the first writing, we trust, not only valuable additions have been made, but that it has been improved in every respect, and will be found to be a repository of light, love, and sweetness. It is a pleasant item, that after these many years of reading, study, and enlarged experience, we find not an essential point to renounce; therefore, our work has been to systematize, state more clearly, make stronger, enlarge, and add other important items.

The book retains its catechetical form, to meet the many interrogations so often made regarding this subject, and also to help the memory of the reader. This form allows a general, though brief; presentation of the whole subject. Our object has been to clearly present, and strongly enforce gospel truth, and when we could do this more efficiently in the language of others, and by quotations from them, we have freely done so.

We have given credit for what we have selected, except in those cases where we have changed the words or phrases. The italics in some quotations are our own. The reader will find many things in this work, which, in their original forms, are dispersed through many volumes, which most people have neither money to purchase nor time to read.

We have not written so much for the learnedly critical, as for the common people who need "line upon line, and precept upon precept." Many of these appear perplexed and mystified on this plain and intelligible subject; which, when properly understood, is seen to possess none of those objectionable features which are so often attributed to it by its mistaken opponents.

We have often been grieved and astonished at the amount of opposition, unbelief; and ignorance we have found regarding it.

We are so impressed with its truth and necessity, and so delighted with its beauty and sweetness, we hope never to cease writing about it, or preaching it, as long as we can move a pen, or use our voice, and would love to do, as Dr. Gibson, bishop of London, advised Mr. Wesley to do "PUBLISH IT TO ALL THE WORLD."

With a grateful sense of obligation to God for the kindly reception of "PERFECT LOVE" in its first writing, by hundreds of friendly notices, we now respectfully submit this enlarged and improved volume to the consideration of sincere and inquiring minds, trusting it will be helpful in promoting Christian holiness. Every man has a given circle of friends to whom he has access, and over whom he has an influence. The author trusts that some who would not otherwise become interested in this theme, may be reached by this book, and induced to seek that holiness "without which no man shall see the Lord."

— J. A. Wood