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Upon the windows of a publishing house in one of our great American cities the passer-by may read the words “Books are the only things that live for ever.” That is a noble sentiment, though but a partial truth. Books do live for ever—that is, some books. And so do folks —that is, some folks. I am not now thinking of other worlds, but of this. There is an earthly immortality. George Eliot writes of
"the choir invisible
Thought is immortal. It can no more be buried than it can be burned or hanged. What better fame, then, what more enduring monument, can a man have than that he has whose thoughts live after him, whose words are lifted up like banners to call humanity to worthier living ? There is also a reflected immortality for the man who makes it his ministry on earth to search out the best thoughts of others and give them to the race.
And so, this book is a beautiful memorial of him in whose mind it was conceived and by whose labor it was prepared. The Reverend James B. McClure was a Presbyterian minister. Born in Vincennes, Ind., in 1832, educated at Hanover College and McCormick Theological Seminary, a pastor in Fulton, Ill., and later in Denver,
The University of lowa
Col., associate editor of The Interior, joint founder with the late Professor David Swing of The Alliance, a member of the publishing firm of Rhodes & McClure, editor of a score of good books, dying at the age of sixty-three, he left behind him the record of an active and beneficent life. As he drew near the sunset of his days he expressed to an intimate friend his deep satisfaction in the thought that, though he must cease to labor, his work should still
He said: • The words I have spoken may be forgotten, the memory of my face may die among men,
, but the books I have edited and published shall go on doing good for ever."
Mr. McClure did not live to finish this book. The material he had been gathering for years came into my hands with the request that it be prepared for publication with such additions as seemed desirable. In loyalty to the memory of my friend—for he was such to me in my student days at Evanston—I have followed as closely as possible the plan he had adopted in the choice of subjects and arrangement of contents.
And now the “Pearls" go out into the world, not one of them being offered as new, but only presented in a new setting. And yet it may be some shall be new to many an eye. Even the old may have new beauty if seen in a new light.
CHARLES CARROLL ALBERTSON.
DELAVAN AVENUE PARSONAGE, BUFFALO, N. Y., November, 1897.