Preface their dealings with me throughout these agreements; and I now beg to thank them cordially. This little private history is recounted here in order to explain how any writer possessed of even average modesty could venture on so bewilderingly vast a subject. I sincerely doubt whether I would ever have dared directly to undertake a volume upon this subject-matter. Yet this task, thus originally undertaken as but one of several articles, did not, somehow, appear preposterously ambitious; the work, once it was started, seemed to grow under my hands; and nothing as yet attempted by me has flown so readily from my pen. The subject had doubtless been occupying my mind and life for many a year; and thus there is some reason to hope that these pages may, in their turn, live for a while and that they may, here and there, help some religious students and strugglers. This is presumably the right place for saying a few words about certain peculiarities of the book, in the order of their appearance within its pages.