Introduction To First Edition.
The incidents which are published in this volume, are vouched for upon the strongest proofs of authenticity possible to obtain, and are either of circumstances known amid my own experience, or connected with the lives of my correspondents and their friends. They are the thankful record and tribute to the power of persevering faith.
Nothing has been published concerning which there is the least shadow of doubt. All have been carefully investigated.
Every case has been one of real prayer, and the results that have come, came only in answer to the prayer of faith, and were not possible to obtain without it.
They demonstrate to a wonderful degree, the immediate practical ways of the Lord with his children in this world, that He is far nearer and more intimate with their plans and pursuits than it is possible for them to realize.
Neither have we depended upon the relation of facts of a few, to convince the world of the real power of faith, but have added concurrent testimony of incidents actually known in the experience of such eminent clergymen as Charles Spurgeon, Newman Hall, Martin Luther, W. Huntington, Dr. Waterbury, George Muller, Dr. Cullis, Dr. Patton, Dr. Adams, Dr. Prime, Bishop Simpson, and many others.
Also we have added some incidents known and investigated and found absolutely true, by the editors of the following journals, who add their unquestioning belief in the power of prayer: The Christian, The Evangelist, The Observer, The Congregationalist, The Advance, The Illustrated Christian Weekly, The American Messenger, The Witness. Likewise we have been greatly assisted by some of our Home Missionaries, who, from their daily experiences with the poor and suffering, have been eye-witnesses to remarkable experiences and the wonderful help of the Lord in answering their prayers.
These testimonies here recorded must be accepted as true. They demonstrate that answers to prayer are not occasional, and therefore remarkable that they do occur, but are of constant occurrence.
There may be many minds who, having carried no trial to the Lord, have never been brought into intimate acquaintances of the ways in which the Lord tries the faith of his children, nor led to see and observe his wonderful control over human wills and circumstances. The power of the Lord is learned only by those who in deep trouble have faithfully sought Him and seen his ways of deliverance.
None can ever understand the full power of prayer until they have learned the lesson of trust. It is only when for the first time in the Christian's own life of faith, it realizes the hand of God in his personal dealings with him, how near He is, or how clearly he feels the presence of that tremendous overruling Spirit which"Turneth the heart whithersoever He will."
The actual existence of our God is therefore proved, not alone from History, nor from the Bible alone, nor from current natural or religious feeling and beliefs, nor from the testimony of old witnesses several thousand years old, but from the actual incidents of present prayer, and the literal answer....