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PREFACE.

IN placing this selection from my brother's letters before the public I have been moved by two reasons: one, the often-repeated request of many friends—both known and unknown—to have more “of his own words." For though many—perhaps too many-books have been written about him, little is really understood of his religious life. The fact of his faith and trust in God is indeed known, and many sects have claimed him as belonging to themselves; but he acknowledged none, looking beyond, to the foundation of all, Jesus Christ; and taking for his guide his Bible with the "traditions of man” stripped off.

stripped off. The other reason is the hope that many may derive from the perusal of these letters some of the comfort and help that I have gained from them ; for it does not seem right that I should keep to myself what may cheer a fellow pilgrim on his way. If any hearts are comforted, or if any readers are led to study the Bible from seeing what it was to General Gordon in his life of difficulties and of toil, I shall indeed be well repaid for having "unearthed my jewels” —and precious jewels have they been, and still are, to me.

The selection is made from a large number of letters in my possession. Some may think I have included too much, and there may be some things which it would have been better to have omitted ; but it is difficult to weigh every word, or to select quite judiciously. No two persons think alike, and what suits one mind might not be acceptable to another. General Gordon himself says: “I am not wise in my words or writing ; I write from my heart .... which is not good.” “I do not claim that what I say is always true, but to me it appears so. I see this or that, another does not see it ; I can say no more.” He wrote just as he felt, and according to the mood he was in at the moment—sometimes in the flesh, sometimes in the spirit, often apparently contradicting himself. When this was brought to his notice he, being fully aware of his own weakness, would answer : No man in the world is more changeable than I am.” He often remarked that if he went by his first impressions all was right with him, but that if these opinions were altered by the arguments of others he failed; so it was far better for

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