« PreviousContinue »
Poral and Religious
A COLLECTION OF
THOUSAND FACTS, INCIDENTS, NARRATIVES, EXAMPLES,
BEST OF THE KIND IN MOST FORMER COLLECTIONS, AND SOME
HUNDREDS IN ADDITION, ORIGINAL AND SELECTED.
The whole Arranged and Classifir) on a flru Plan.
WITH COPIOUS TOPICAL AND SCRIPTURAL INDICES.
THE REV. K. ARVINE, A.M.
PASTOR OF THE PROVIDENCE CHURCH, NEW-YORK.
THE ENGLISH EDITION BEING
EDITED BY THE REV. JOHN FLESHER,
THIS EDITION, CONTAINING THE AUTHOR'S LAST CORRECTIONS, AND SOME IMPROVEMENTS BY THE ENGLISH EDITOR,
IS ENTERED UT PERSATIONERS' HALL.
ORIGIN AND DESIGN OF THE WORK.-One of the best means which I have found to fasten moral and religious truths on the popular mind, is to present them clothed in tangible forms, as in anecdotes, historical sketches, and kindred illustrations. They do much, when rightly used, to enlist attention, convince the judgment, and persuade the heart. I have often seen the truth of the proverb, * One fact is worth a ship-load of arguments.” As we might naturally suppose, an example of virtue is more forcible than a precept, because men are more ready to imitate than they are to obey; and citing an instance of the effects of sin, often tells more loudly than a lecture against it, because men more readily imagine fallacy in our logic than falsehood in our statements, and give more deference to the doings of God than to the sayings of man. Besides, in most men, the perceptive predominate over the reflective faculties; hence, fact and incident which strike the former, are more easily remembered than trains of reasoning which appeal to the latter.
The great moral uses of such illustrations in the family and social circle, in the Sabbath school and the pulpit, have not only been proved in my own experience, but in that of many others. To supply, therefore, their wants and my own. I have devoted much time and pains for two or three years past, to the preparation of the present work.
CHARACTER OF THE WORK.—The anecdotes, incidents, and historical sketches, here assembled, are moral and religious; a wider range of subjects would have made the work too costly and cumbersome. A large and interesting class of materials, embracing anecdotes used in the way of simile or comparison, striking analogies, parables, and the like, has been omitted on the same account: I intend before long to publish them in a separate volume.
Many of the anecdotes here presented, are, of course, adapted rather to the fireside, the Sabbath-school, and the platform, than to the pulpit : what are adapted to the latter, and what are not, the preacher qualified for his office is qualified to decide.
Many of the anecdotes of this volume have been more or less abridged, and many partly or wholly re-written; thus, the number embraced in such a volume is far more extensive, and the truths they prove or exemplify, are, I trust, rendered more clear and distinct to the mind.
All strictly sectarian anecdotes have been 'avoided.
The writer has introduced no anecdotes which he considered of doubtful or apocryphal character; but in most cases he has not deemed it important to give the original authorities.
SOURCES AND EXTENT OF THE WORK.—In preparing this volume, I have gone over nearly all former collections published in this country and Great Britain, amounting to scores of volumes, and have taken from them the most interesting and valuable anecdotes on moral and religious subjects. To the twelve volumes published by the London Religious Tract Society, I am, however, , & much indebted as to all the rest. The excellent series was edited by the Rev. Dr. Belcher, now pastor of a church in Philadelphia; and I may gratefully add that I have received from him some valuable suggestions and friendly encouragement in the preparation of this work.
In addition to the forenamed collections, I have examined the files of the religious journals of our more prominent evangelical denominations; such as the New York Observer, New York Evangelist, Christian Advocate and Journal, Churchman, Protestant Churchman, Christian Intelligencer, Boston Recorder, Christian Watchman, Christian Reflector, Millennial Harbinger, and various others.
Magazines, biographies, and similar works have also been consulted; and new anecdotes have been furnished by clergymen and others.
This work, therefore, contains most of the best anecdotes of the kind to be found in previous collections, and several hundreds in addition, original and selected.
ARRANGEMENT, CLASSIFICATION, AND INDEXES.-All anecdotal works which I have met with, two or three excepted, are of a very miscellaneous and jumbled character, and very deficient in their indexes. Thus they are of very little use as books of reference. Unless a person has a very tenacious memory, and has read them carefully, it often costs more time to find some half-forgotten anecdote than it is worth. One great effort of the writer in this work has been to obviate these difficulties; to prepare a book which could be referred to with the greatest possible facility in the illustration and pointing of truth.
Accordingly, the main topics or subjects follow each other in alphabetical order; and when the subject is extensive, and the facts numerous, they are placed under those analytical divisions and subdivisions of the subject which they illustrate. In addition to this, copious Topical and Scriptural indexes will be found at the end of the work. Each division of anecdotes is numbered, 1, 3, &c.; and each anecdote is marked by the letters of the alphabet, (a), (b), (c), &c. In the Index, anecdotes are referred to in whole classes, by the abovementioned figures, or a particular anecdote is referred to by joining both figure and letter : thus, 200, 300, 400, &c. With a little practice, therefore, it will be easy for one but partially acquainted with the contents of the book, to find facts in a moment on any topic or Scripture which the facts can illustrate.
In closing, I would very gratefully acknowledge my obligations to the Rev. Francis Smith, of Providence, Rhode Island, and the Rev. 0. B. Judd, of this city, for the valuable assistance which I have received from them in the prosecution of my labours. West Boylston, Feb. 20th, 1850.
K. ARVINE. A FEW WORDS FROM THE ENGLISH EDITOR. Having been informed by my printer, that the ninety-six pages of the ninth number of the Cyclopædia, will be ılly occupied by the text and the Topical and Scriptural Indexes, and that about three and a half additional pages will be required for the title page and the Author's preface, I find that I must either add an additional sheet to the number, and so enhance its price, in order to admit an introduction by Dr. Cheever, with some remarks which I intended to make; or that I must omit the introduction, and issue one hundred pages at the price for which ninety-six only have formerly been sold. Believing that the generality of our readers would, if left to decide, urge the adoption of the latter plan, I act accordingly, and beg to add only, that this Edition is not a mere reprint of any American copy, but contains the last corrections of the Author, as well as some alterations by myself, which I hope are improvements,) and is entered at Stationers' Hall.
J. FLESHER.' London, April 2d, 1850.
IMPRIMATURE OF THE REV. K. ARVINE. “I HEREBY inform the British Public that the Rev. Joun FLESHER, of the City of London, has purchased of me, on termswhich I deem fair and honourable, the right to re-edit and publishi, in Great Britain, the CYCLOPÆDIA OF MORAL AND RELIGIOUS ANECDOTES,' of which I am Author; and that this Edition, issued under his supervision by Messrs. WARD AND Co., Paternoster-row, and sold by Mr. T. HOLLIDAY, Conference Offices, is the only English Edition which contains my corrections, or is published with my sanction.
“Though, in the absence of international copyrights, this IMPRIMATURE may fail to have any other than a moral authority, I trust that this will be sufficient to deter English. Scotch, or Irish Publishers, who claim to be just or generous, from putting forth other Editions of the Work, and thus infringing the rights and interests of Mr. FLESHER or myself
"West Boylston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Aug. 15th, 1849."
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS ANECDOTES.
ABSTINENCE, TOTAL, FROM INTOXICATING DRINKS. L THE PECUNIARY ADVANTAGE OF few calculations which he wished to
communicate, with the view of showing (a) · THERE GOES A TEETO
the pecuniary benefit he had derived TALLER !" -A drunkard assailed a
during the four years he had been a
teetotal member. Previous to that time Washingtonian, but could only say, he had been in the practice of spending “ There goes a teetotaller!” The gentleman waited until the crowd had collected, fivepence per day, or 77. 128. 1d. per
on an average, in intoxicating drink, and then, turning upon the drunkard, said, “ There stands a drunkard :-' annum, which in four years would Three years ago he had a sum of 800 show how this sum had been expended
amount to 30l. 88. 4d. He would now dollars, now he cannot produce a penny during the four years he had abstained I know he cannot. I challenge him to do it, for if he had a penny he would had enabled him to allow an aged father
from all intoxicating drinks. First, it be at a public-house. There stands a 31. 5s. per annum towards rent, or in drunkard, and here stands a teetotaller, four years, 131. Secondly, he had enwith a purse full of money, honestly tered a benefit society, and paid one shilearned, and carefully kept. There stands a drunkard!—Three years ago
ling and sevenpence per week, or 4l. 2s. he had a watch, a coat, shoes, and de- per annum, or 161. 98. 4d. for the four cent clothes; now he has nothing but years. For this payment he secured the Tags upon him, his watch is gone, and following advantages: in case of his his shoes afford free passage to the being disabled from doing his accus
tomed work by illness or accident, the water. There stands a drunkard; and here stands a teetotaller, with a good per week, until restored to health: in
society will pay him eighteen shillings hat, good shoes, good clothes, and a good watch, all paid for. Yes, here heir is entitled to a bonus of 91., besides
case of death, his widow or rightful stands a teetotaller! And now, my half the amount paid into the society friends, whether is his case or mine the better.". The bystanders testified their by the deceased up to the time of his
death, with the interest due thereon. approval of the teetotaller by loud shouts, Thirdly, it left him four shillings and while the crest-fallen drunkard slunk ninepence per annum, or nineteen shilaway, happy to escape further castiga-lings for the four years, to be expended
in temperance and periodicals. It might (6) A SAVING OF FIVEPENCE further be added, that when the sum of A DAY.-At a meeting, in Birming- 541. had been paid into the society's bam, of a total abstinence society, the funds, no further payment would be following statement was made by a required, and the contributor would be working coach painter, who was called entitled to all the benefits before enuin his turn to speak on the subject of merated ; medicine and medical attend. temperance. He said he had made a ance were included in the arrangement.