When first the beauty of spiritual life dawns on our vision, our reaction to it is pre-eminently emotional. We then lack understanding, we do not know the bearings of the path that leads to the spiritual goal-we are moved by an impulse. But very soon we feel the want of dear knowledge. Doubts assail us and we yearn to know the why and the wherefore of things. He who writes these words was one who felt the same need. He remembers the days of his difficulties, and believes that if he undertakes a discussion of the preliminary stages and conditions of practical religion, he will be doing a service, however meagre and imperfect it may be.
The writer wishes it to be dearly understood that in all he has said in the following pages, he lays no claim to infallibility. He has written as he has understood. And he has communicated his knowledge even as a traveller speaks of his experiences of the way-however ill-perceived and ill-conceived - to others travelling along the same path. He claims nothing more.
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