Whatever good quality was in his natural state conspicuous in him, will, in a state of grace and newness of life, shine forth with double lustre; and he will find his besetting sin his greatest hindrance in pressing forward to the attainment of personal holiness.
The great wide difference is, that he desires to be holy, and the Lord, who gives him this desire, gives him also the strength to overcome his natural mind; and the more closely he waits on his heavenly Father for His promised aid, the more holily and consistently he will walk; and when, through the deceits of his heart, the allurements of the world, or the temptations of Satan, he relaxes his vigilance, and draws less largely from the fountain of his strength, a sad falling away is the inevitable consequence. This warfare, this danger of backsliding, ends only with the life, when, and when only, he will be perfect, for he shall be like his Saviour.
As a writer for the young, I dare not plead even the humble pretensions of my little volume in deprecation of the criticism which ought to be the lot of every work professing to instruct others. In choosing the arena of a boy’s school for the scene of my hero’s actions, I have necessarily been compelled to introduce many incidents and phrases to which, perhaps, some very scrupulous critics might object as out of place in a religious work; but my readers will do well to recollect, that to be useful, a story must be attractive, and to be attractive, it must be natural; and I trust that they who candidly examine mine will find nothing therein that can produce a wrong impression. It has not been without an anxious sense of the great responsibility dependent on me in my present capacity, that this little effort has been made. Should it be the instrument of strengthening in one young one the best lessons he has received, it will, indeed, not have been in vain. To the service of Him who is the strength and help of all His people, it is dedicated.