Even the favorable notices of the volume, with two or three exceptions, evinced little sympathy with its spirit, or appreciation of its literary merits.  But while failing to make any public impression, the little book soon found its way into thousands of closets and sick-rooms and houses of mourning, carrying a blessing with it. Touching and grateful testimonies to this effect came from the East and the farthest West and from beyond the sea. The following is an extract from, a letter to Mr. Randolph, written by a lady of New York eminent for her social influence and Christian character:
The book of heart-hymns is wonderful, as I expected from the specimens which you read to me from the little scraps of paper from your desk. Do you know that I lived on them ("The School” and “My Expectation is from Thee”) and was greedy to get the book that I might read them again and again. And behold, the volume is full of the things I have felt so often, expressed as no one ever expressed them before. I am overwhelmed every time I read it. Mr —— and the children have quite laughed at “Mamma’s enthusiasm” over a book of poems, as I am considered very prosaic. I made C. read two or three of them and he surrenders. N. too, who is full of appreciation of poetry as well as of the best things, is equally delighted. I carried the volume to a sick friend and read to her out of it. I wish you could have seen how she was comforted! I do not know Mrs. Prentiss, but if you ever get a chance, I would like you to tell her what she has done for me.
A highly cultivated Swiss lady wrote from Geneva:
What a precious, precious book! and what mercy in God to enable us to understand, and say Amen from the heart to every line! It was He who caused you to send me a book I so much needed—and I thank Him as much as you.
* * * * *
Incidents of the Year 1874. Prayer. Starts a Bible-Reading in Dorset. Begins to take Lessons in Painting. A Letter from her Teacher. Publication of Urbane and his Friends. Design of the Work. Her views of the Christian Life. The Mystics. The Indwelling Christ. An Allegory.
During the winter and early spring of 1874 Mrs. Prentiss found much delight in attending a weekly Bible-reading, held by Miss Susan Warner. She was deeply impressed with the advantages of such a mode of studying the Word of God, and in the course of the summer was led to start a similar exercise in Dorset. Her letters will show how much satisfaction it gave her during all the rest of her life.