Frank H. Smith, Printer, Indianapolis.
THE GENTLE READER may want to know the motive and aim of the author in offering this humble tribute to the brotherhood; therefore I may briefly say, the motive is neither ambitious nor selfish, but to glorify God; and the aim is, to both admonish and encourage His dear and loving children, especially the young soldiers of the Cross.
I have been moved to write this outline of my early life in testimony of the righteousness, mercifulness and faithfulness of God. His long suffering and goodness both in Providence and Grace, in His hand-dealings with me, will be plainly seen by the spiritual and observant reader.
Above all, the events herein narrated clearly show that THERE IS A GOD – the true and living God, they also show that, "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself."
We may go astray and wander far out of the way, yet never beyond the limit and power of the Most High. "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me." Truly did I find it so in my lost estate, and in my wanderings from the footsteps of the good Shepherd; for He went after me, and brought me back to His fold.
The young minister of the Gospel, who may be tempted to flee from the cross, should learn from my painful afflictions and merited chastisements, that "to obey is better than sacrifice," and in keeping the Lord's loving commandments there is a blessed reward of comfort and peace and rest to the soul.
Finally, I desire to leave behind me this ebenezer of praise to the precious Savior and loving Master, as a testimony to my dear family and brethren all, that He is abundantly able and willing and faithful to save them to the uttermost – even from sin and death and the lowest hell – that come unto God by Him; yea, that the Lord Jesus, the faithful and almighty Shepherd, will never suffer one of His little ones to perish, but will in the end bring us all off more than conquerors over the last enemy, and raise us up to His blessed and holy Heaven.
Crawfordsville, Ind., September, 1896.