Newell Dwight Hillis in his admirable essay on The Uses of Books
and Reading has given us a charming paragraph whose noteworthy
truth aptly illustrates at once both the character of the book and its
author whose pleasure it is mine to introduce to you.
Here is the paragraph in part:- -Books also preserve for us the
spirit of earth's great ones, just as the cellar of the King holds wines
growing more precious with the lapse of years. From time to time
God sends to earth some man with a supreme gift called genius.
Passing through our life and world, lie sees wondrous sights not be-
holden of our eyes, hears rielodies too fine for our dull hearing.
What other men behold as bits of coal, his genius transmits into
diamonds. In the darkness lhe sleeps to see some 'Midsummer
Night's Dream ;' ill the day he wakens to behold the tragedy or com-
edy in his friend's career. While lie muses, the fires of inspiration
burn within him. When the time comes, the inner forces burst out
iin book or song or poem, just as the tulip bulb when April comes
publishes its heart of fire and gold. The book he writes is the
choicest. wine in life, tlle gold madel fine in the fires of his genius."
You have but, to read thre pages of this lbook-A Brief History of
The Colored Churches of Frankfort-to discover how truly is pre-
served within it the spirit of earth's great ones. Oh, what exceed-
'ag rich and precious memories of spiritual greatness and real glory
are treasured here! What work and labor of love which God is not
unrighteous to forget-which if we forget may our right hand forget
her cunning-if we do not remember may our tongue cleave to the
roof of our mothl.! But this briefhistory has been written-lest we
forget, lest we forget!
And you have but to see the wondrous sights and hear the fine
melodies presented to us by the anagic pen of our historian, as well
as physician, minister, editor, orator, poet, politician and withal
philanthropist, to understand that the author of this book-Edward
Ellsworth Underwood-is one of the men whom from time to time
God sends to earth with a supreme gift called genius and that the
book he writes is the choicest wine in life.
Praying that this volume in its evangel of righteousness and peace
and. holy joy may bear the reader on toward Heaven and God,
I remain, Yours for Christ,
E. T. Fishback.