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We are sending forth this little volume, not as a literary production nor as a treatise on the subject of faith, because it is neither. But we are sending it forth because it is so full of vital Christianity that it has in it the power to change and transform the lives of those who, when reading it, will allow the Spirit of God to work on their hearts.
Those who knew the author and came under the spell of his remarkable life of faith and prayer will again be inspired as they read this book. Those who never met this man of God, however little or much they may have accomplished in life, as they trace the footprints of this man of faith they will find in their own hearts a longing for a deeper spiritual experience and more power, more faith in God.
The author of this book was born of Danish parents on October twenty-seven, 1868, on a farm near Raymond, Wisconsin. When he was but six years of age his parents moved to Clay County, South Dakota, and settled on a farm twenty miles from the town of Vermilion. It was here that he “grew up on the Western plains,” as he often expressed it when speaking of his early life. It was here that when facing death’s door at the age of seventeen he gave his life unreservedly to his Saviour; and from that time on he drew men and women to Christ.
The reader can follow him through his school days at Battle Creek, Mich., in New York City, and later in the heart of the slums of Chicago, always helping the unfortunate and neglected masses and training medical missionaries. The three institutions at Hinsdale near Chicago, namely: The Hinsdale Sanitarium, the Good Samaritan Inn, and the Life Boat Rescue Home, also the Life Boat magazine of which he was editor, all stand to-day as monuments of his later life of faith.
Born with a weak body, and working as he did untiringly, never sparing himself, resulted in a complete collapse at the early age of forty-eight when he finished his work and went to his rest, October 15, 1916, to await the call of the Life-Giver.
His companion, Dr. Mary Paulson, who was his efficient co-worker and counselor in all he undertook, was left to continue the work, with the assistance of his brother, N. W. Paulson, a younger brother, Julius Paulson, who had connected with the work only a few months previous to the Doctor’s death, and a large company of more than one hundred faithful workers.
We have culled from the author’s files and notes of his talks, his own account of the various experiences which he had, and have endeavored to put them in chronological order, although somewhat fragmentary, placing with each some of the great lessons which he learned and life-giving principles which he enunciated. This is not a connected biography but rather a collection of footprints from his great life of faith. So we send this little volume forth, praying that God may in some way hide the imperfections and use it to lead many souls to our Lord and Master.