The history of the world consists mainly of the stories of the lives of certain men and women whose deeds have been of sufficient importance to make them worth relating. The lives of some persons have been worth narrating because of their abounding in deeds of great merit, such as the lives of Washington, Gladstone, Frances E. Willard, and Joan of Arc. The lives of others have been thought worth narrating because of their great wickedness, as the lives of Nero and Queen Mary of England.
But the church too has a history. This history differs from the history of the world, in that it does not record merely the doings of man, but the workings of God through man as his instruments. God is a jealous God who manifests himself only through those who are willing to give him all the glory. Hence not many names of the wise, powerful, talented men of the earth have been enrolled on the history of the church, since they were not humble enough to submit fully into God's hands. In the church truly this scripture has been proved: |God has used the weak things of the world to confound the mighty.|
Sister Mary Cole, of whose life this book is a brief, authentic sketch, had a natural inheritance that seemed calculated to shut her forever out of a place in the history of the world or of the church. Born with a body that from her earliest childhood was racked with pain, deprived by ill health of education, she seemed naturally unfitted to fill any place in the world and doomed to be only a burden to herself and her friends. How God took her, healed her, and fitted her for his service, and how he used her as an instrument for his glory, is the story of her life.
The publication of the story of her life was so remote from her thoughts that it was only by the solicitation of some one who had been greatly helped by her faith and experience and the workings of God through her, and who was unwilling that her trials and triumphs should be lost as a part of the history of the church, that she was prevailed upon to write this brief narrative of her life and work. The story of her life would not, indeed, be worth telling were it stripped of the manifestations of God's power. As you read this simple story, you will see clearly that, as Sister Cole has herself expressed so many times, what she is she is by God's grace, and that all she has accomplished she has accomplished through God's power. If you will take at their value the oft-repeated expressions, |God told me,| |God spoke to me,| |God made me to understand,| realizing that these words tell us something that actually happened, you will get some idea of how marvelously God can use even the weakest members of the human race.
Aside from the interest this brief history will have for those readers who have had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with Sister Cole and who have had the privilege of listening to her stirring messages delivered under the anointing of God's Spirit, it can not fail to interest and profit all who take pleasure in reading about the dealings of God with man.
It is the sincere wish of the author and of all those who had a hand in preparing this work, that it will show some their greater privileges in the kingdom of God, and that it will help some to covet the divine help, guidance, and power that are the heritage of all God's children.