BLTC Press Titles

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The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

American Sunday-school and its adjuncts

by James Waddel Alexander


i* - G

dry on the strand of oblivion, and some to be still floating on the wave, protected, like the paper-nautilus, by their very frailty. It is most natural, however weak, that I should have a warm side towards Sundayschools and their literature.

But, more than this, intimate acquaintance with this mode of beneficence and Bober contemplation of its working, through many years of varied and often saddening experience in regard to the fortunes of the young, have only tended to augment my admiration for a plan which I verily believe to be of God. Notwithstanding some temptations to blind predilection which may be disclosed by the above remarks, the subject, it is believed, will be found to have been treated without hurtful bias. Sunday-schools, when here applauded, are discussed as belonging to a system far wider than any temporary human device. They have been placed in due subordination to the organism of the church, even as contemplated by far sterner churchmen than the present writer. Pains has been taken to show that no collision need ever ensue between church and school. Indeed, a large part of what is contained in the following pages might be applied with rigour to those church or parochial schools which abjure every project of connection beyond their own ecclesiastical picketfence. At the same time, an avowal will not escape notice of certain principles touching the union of different evangelical bodies in this work; principles which will appear lax to some whom I love and reverence, but which, nevertheless, have not been adopted hastily nor lost strength with increasing years. They are so stated and so guarded that even the most rigid must perceive that the power is left altogether in their own hands. Division of those who love the same Lord is not rendered necessary by sincere adherence even to points of difference. Good Philip Henry, father of the Commentator, (both father and son being of the persuasion which I am bold to acknowledge,) used to repeat the saying of some wise men in the troubled times of his boyhood,— that "if all the Presbyterians had been like Mr. Stephen Marshall, and all the Independents like Mr. Jeremiah Burroughs, and all the Episcopal men like Archbishop Usher, the breaches of the church would soon have been healed."

When the American Sunday-school Union shall publish error, or shall cease to publish saving truth, and shall persevere in the breach of covenant, I will join all faithful men in abandoning and denouncing the Society. At present she stands to be judged by her books; and, if complaint is to be made of these, it should not come from the friends of established evangelical doctrine; which leads me to say that an unusual space will be found devoted to the consideration of good and bad books. Plainness, if not severity, has been exercised towards some of the enor7nities of the contemporary press. It is time that teachers, preachers and parents should apply a rigid scrutiny to this abuse. Instead of running a muck against every fable or parable, from ^Esop and Bunyan down to Sherwood and Kennedy, accounting all fiction malignant if it be in prose, and making good coin bear all the opprobrium of base-metal counterfeits, the friends of truth and purity should use all means to




The communication to the soul of divine truth, which is the appointed way of bringing rescue and happiness, has many ministries. All nature reflects a portion of this truth, which, however, no man is qualified to comprehend till he has found the key in the book of revelation. God speaks to us by the light of reason, by the conscience, by the Scriptures, by the ministry, by the sacraments, by providence, and by our fellow-men, especially in the sacred relations of parents, masters, guardians, friends and instructors. So, also, the great saving lessons come to different classes of mankind, from infancy to old age. But the nature of the process, herein following the nature of the human soul, demands that it should be continued long,—or, what is the same thing, that it should begin early. Here is the basis of popular education; and, as nations are made up of millions who yesterday were children, all legislators have seen the connection between juvenile training and the well-being of States.

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