“Why did I leave the ministry when I left the Congregational church? Because, in the first place, my New Theology and Higher Criticism had destroyed my faith in the perfect, divine authority of the Bible; and in the second place, they had destroyed my faith in the perfect deity of Christ.
“I entreat you to read this little paper calmly from beginning to end. To read it thoughtfully, without prejudice, and undisturbed by the outcry made by people who are either deceivers themselves or deceived.
“What is this book? Its Hebrew name is הברית ההדשה (Heb’rith Hechedasha) or the New Covenant. It is a collection of twenty-seven writings, biographic, historic, prophetic, and a number of personal letters.
“Sweet First Fruits is a delightful story primarily designed to give scope and opportunity for presenting to the Muslim reader the proofs of the Christian faith, the purity and genuineness of our Bible, its attestation by the Koran, and the consequent obligation on Muslims to obey its precepts.
“Kamil’s history is a rebuke to our unbelief in God’s willingness and power to lead Muslims into a hearty acceptance of Christ and his atoning sacrifice. We are apt to be discouraged by the closely riveted and intense intellectual aversion of these millions of Moslems to the doctrines of the Trinity and of the divinity of Jesus Christ.
“[Dr Schmauk] ranks as one of the ablest and most consistent defenders of the Lutheran faith. His catholicity of spirit enabled him to put himself in the place of his opponent and see things from the latter’s point of view…And yet he never swerved from the strong conservative position he always took by making weak or compromising concessions.
“A family from Norway consisting of father, mother and four children, through the aid of benevolent persons at home, had obtained the means to emigrate to this country. They fared well across the Atlantic Ocean, and a little farther than Buffalo, N.
William Tisdall was an expert in Islam and the Koran, and fluent in Arabic, Persian, and other languages. One of his most valuable books is Islamic Objections to Christianity, which will be re-released later this year by The Lutheran Library.
“Was it not Sir Walter Scott who said, ‘I hate to love a dog, he lives so short a life?’ Yet Sir Walter did love dogs with rare devotion, as the traditions of Abbotsford, as well as much that he himself has written, affirm.
“I received my first call into the largest mission field of the Northwest, in the State of South Dakota, far away from good old home. In September, 1892, I left home for my long journey.
“A single congregation can sustain an entire mission. There is no grander spectacle in the history of the whole Church, than this noble work of that one congregation of plain peasant Lutherans at Hermansburg…
“As one travels up and down the Berbice River there are two things that grow upon him. The first is an ever increasing appreciation of the beauty of that tropical stream, while the second is a knowledge of the vileness of degraded man.