rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
[personal profile] rymenhild
During a visit to my family home this week, I have accomplished very little dissertation work. I have, however, spent much of the time uplifting my mind and my morals with some edifying words. You see, the local public library had a book sale this week. I acquired, for the price of a single dollar, John S. C. Abbott's enthralling book The Child at Home: Or, the Principles of Filial Duty (New York, NY: The American Tract Society, 1833) (full scan; Project Gutenberg e-text).

I have learned from Abbott that if you take the smallest step off the path of righteousness to pick flowers on the way to school, you will probably be led farther and farther astray until you die and go to hell. If you should play with your little friends and make them laugh, and your aunt should come scold you for making the children laugh so loudly, and you lie to your aunt, saying, "It was not I who made them laugh," be warned. A young girl who did precisely that died at the age of eleven with a troubled soul, and while Abbott does not tell us certainly that she went to hell, it is possible that she may have done so.

I have also learned that it's kind of God to put all the sinners in a permanent prison so that the few who do get saved can live in eternal peace, untroubled by any wickedness. By the way, heaven must be appallingly boring. Anyone who has ever been known to enjoy attending parties or even playing with other little children in the streets is unlikely to go there.

What have you been reading lately, O Friendslist? Is it immoral pap that will ruin your virtue and deprive you of your hopes of heaven? If so, send me a recommendation, because I think I need a change of pace.
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rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)

January 2017


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