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- Mr. World and Miss Church-Member - 1/38 -
MR. WORLD AND MISS CHURCH-MEMBER A TWENTIETH CENTURY ALLEGORY
BY REV. W. S. HARRIS.
Edwin L. Bergstreser
WHOSE TESTED FRIENDSHIP I HAVE ENJOYED FOR NEARLY TEN YEARS AND WHOSE KINDLY INFLUENCE HELPED ME TO PERSEVERE IN WRITING THIS ALLEGORY THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.
After long and careful study we send forth this book to do its work. We offer no apology for adding one more volume to the endless library of modern times, constantly increasing at the rate of over one hundred volumes per week, the great bulk of which is consigned to the debris of the passing years. We pray that this book may find a field of usefulness rather than an early grave.
We need not tell of the pleasures and difficulties we experienced in preparing these twenty-five chapters for the press. Let it be known, however, that we were seconded and assisted by several able critics who, each one independently of the others, kindly reviewed the manuscript. At the suggestions of these critics minor changes were made in the several manuscript editions. These critics deserve much credit especially for the literary finish there may be to this book.
The illustrations were drawn by Paul J. Krafft, of New York. They evince patient study and careful work, and display a creative genius well suited to the field of allegory.
The leading moral truths are developed in the memorable journey of Miss Church-Member upon the Broad Highway in company with the polite and yet fiendish Mr. World. In this lifelike journey the two companions come in contact with many of Satan's up-to-date schemes, and witness his far-extended operations in many a wicked realm. In the descriptions of all these things we have endeavored to be suggestive rather than exhaustive, for we have withheld the almost infinite details and brought to light only a mere synopsis of the panorama as seen from the lofty summit.
Will not the reader, as he takes one step after another in the progress of the story, realize more keenly than ever the unspeakable deceptions of Satan, so bewitchingly robed in the garments of subtle treachery? The course of Miss Church-Member is a sad comment on the moving masses who are so thoroughly led captive by the Devil as to imagine that they are traveling on a more convenient way to Heaven while they are actually on the Broad Highway to destruction. The logical ending of such a life is pictured in the remorseful and tragical experiences of Mr. World and Miss Church-Member in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. It is our prayer that each reader may be saved from such a terminus of life by journeying on the King's Highway and taking Christ as his all in all. Then when he comes to the place made shadowy by the power of sin and death, he will be surrounded with a light from the sure city of God, and by a convoy of angels whose music will quell his rising fears and by whose power he will be transported to his never-ending home.
1. The Meeting of Mr. World and Miss Church-Member 2. The By-Path 3. The Devil's Optical College 4. Satan Interpreting Scripture 5. The Devil's Pawn Shop 6. Satan's Law Departments, (Underground) 7. The Hill of Remorse 8. The Valley of Temptation 9. The Tower of Temptation 10. Dark Schemes of Satan 11. Schools of Literature,--First and Second Divisions 12. The Theatre 13. Schools of Literature,--Third Division 14. The Devil's Temperance College 15. Infernal School System 16. Expert Inventors of the Broad Highway 17. The Wizard City 18. The Festival 19. The Missionary College 20. The Rival Churches 21. From the Valley of Conviction to the Devil's Auction 22. The Devil's Hospital 23. Satan's Secret Service 24. The Last Warning 25. The Valley of the Shadow of Death
List of Illustrations.
1. Looking through the open door of the Twentieth Century 2. Miss Church-Member hurries to the rescue of an unfortunate victim 3. "Let us follow this shining path," hopefully urged Miss Church-Member 4. Leaving the Optical College 5. A scene in the Devil's Pawn Shop 6. The Shorter and Broader Way to Heaven 7. The final triumph of right over the black hordes of civil iniquity 8. On the Hill of Remorse 9. The victory of Mrs. Discouraged on the Tower of Temptation 10. The Devil's substitute for the prayer-meeting 11. A scene in the Devil's Temperance College 12. The Wizard City 13. The Festival 14. Mr. World and Miss Church-Member entering the Valley of Conviction 15. The Devil's Auction 16. Miss Church-Member carried to the Devil's Hospital 17. Struggling with the real and imaginary imps near the Black River 18. The glorious end of the righteous
BY BISHOP RUDOLPH DUBS, D. D., LL. D.
In response to the earnest request of the author of this book I have written these introductory words, after a careful, deliberate reading of the allegory. What I have written expresses my own opinion of the book, uninfluenced by motives of friendship for the author or any other consideration.
The book is a powerful allegory, somewhat after the style of Pilgrim's Progress, but in no sense is it an imitation of any existing work of the kind. It is a masterful presentation, wrought out with excellent judgment and consummate skill.
The creatures of the author's vivid imagination are perfectly formed and fittingly clothed, living, moving, feeling, talking, in complete harmony as the development of the great drama goes on to its consummation. The author has evidently made a careful and profound study of the manifold dangers which beset the Christian church and threaten her spirituality, and consequently her influence and power in saving the lost and maintaining the gospel standard of life and godliness in the world.
The encroachments of worldings upon the church are truthfully and graphically set forth. The manifold forms of temptation and danger are clearly exposed, and faithful, tender, earnest warnings and admonitions are set over against them. In depicting the various efforts of Satan and his agents to lead Christians away from God and duty, the author shows an extensive knowledge of the devices of the evil one, as well as a clear insight into the drift and tendency of modern forms of wickedness.
The final results of compromise with the world are set forth in vivid, graphic pictures drawn on the dark shadows as with a pencil of fire. The downward course of the deluded soul is followed, step by step; the snares and delusions of sin are exposed; the mask of vice is relentlessly torn away, and church-members can here see what fellowship with the world really means and whither it leads.
The religious tone of the book throughout is excellent. The delusive character of sin is plainly pointed out. The devices of Satan are laid bare with unsparing hand. The abominations of vice are not concealed. All this is done in language well chosen and unexceptionable. The Christian life is pictured without cant or exaggeration. The beauty and blessedness of a devoted life are eloquently portrayed. True religion with its present comforts and its great rewards is presented in a most attractive form, and the contrast between the worlding and the faithful Christian, here and hereafter, is impressively set forth.
With this favorable opinion of the book, to whose edifying pages I introduce the reader, I deem it proper for me also to recommend it most heartily as a book worthy of a place on every family table and in every Sunday-school library. Let young and old read its fascinating and instructive pages. Let it be circulated by hundreds and thousands of copies. May the blessing of God attend the book in its mission and ministry wherever it is read.
_Chicago, Ill., March, 1901_.
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