Having read with much care the proof sheets of this book, I am prepared to say three things about it, and it gives me pleasure to say them here.
1. The book is well named. “The unfolding life.” Turn which way we will, we see life unfolding all about us, and yet how faintly are its mysteries understood! And is it not the one thing above all others, which teachers, mothers, fathers and all of us, need to understand? It is well that our attention has been called to this most vital of all themes by a book, whose very name compels attention to its content, and whose content is but its name in fuller treatment.
2. The book is well written. Such books as this should be read slowly and pondered well; but this book by its fascination will tempt one to read too rapidly. Its line of argument is logical; its diction is as pure as the bubbling stream; its truths are evident and compelling. It presents the purest psychology stripped of all mystifying technicalities, and clothed in language which even a child can understand. The reason for this is plain. It is the “Beaten Oil” drawn from the rich and ripe experience of one of the best students of childhood and teachers of children in our land.
3. The book is well timed. Teachers are seeking now as never before to understand the soil in which the living seed of God’s Word is to be cast. Nothing can be more important than this. The author deals largely with the every day problems of the average home and Sunday School, thus rendering the highest service to the great army of ordinary teachers and mothers. While this book will be hailed with joy by all such, it will nevertheless command a place by the side of the highest grade books on the subject. There never was a time when any book on any subject was more greatly needed than this book is needed now. It would be a boon indeed to every home, and to every Sunday School as well, if all teachers, mothers, yes, and fathers too, would read and re-read “The unfolding life.”
Chicago, March, 1908.
The greatest thing in the world is a human life. The greatest work in the world is the helpful touch upon that life. Here and there an artist in soul culture is found at the task, but the many are unskilled and the product of the labor is far from a manhood “perfect in Christ.”
In dealing with things, the vessel marred in the making can be set aside or fashioned anew, but a life is for eternity. The faulty work can not be undone. The mistake can never be wholly rectified, for life never yields up what is given it. The look, the word, the invisible atmosphere of the home and church, the sights and sounds of all the busy days enter the super-sensitive and retentive soul of the child and are woven into life tissue. Character has no other from which to fashion itself. Therefore its final beauty and worth will be determined in large measure by the quality of the material which entered in.