In placing this second edition in the hands of my readers I most gratefully acknowledge the splendid assistance of my subscribers, and the kindness with which this book has been received by the General Public, who made it possible for me to accomplish my intended purpose, ever since I left home, that I should give, to the general public, an account of my conversion into a practical Christian worker, knowing that there are a great number of intelligent minds, among the priests, in the Greek-Russian and Roman Catholic churches, who would make good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and some of them might develop into heroes of Truth and Righteousness, if they could only deny themselves of the luxuries and lofty life attached to their priesthood. And this problem of selfishness is an absolute barrier not only to their own Salvation, but to many a soul, who might have been saved from sin, and be converted to God, and usefulness, but for the Priest.
The solution of the problem was the clue which aided me to escape from the labyrinth of doubt; and now, standing upon the rock of unshaken faith, I offer the clue that guided me to others.
A work of this kind is called for by the spirit of the age. Although the signs of the times are said to be propitious, yet there are constant developments of undisciplined and unsanctified minds both in Europe and America, which furnish matter of regret to the philanthropist and the Christian; and though there are great controversies -- going on at present; in relation to the man's spiritual interests, central point of all this heated contest has been the |Cross of Christ:| yet the most obnoxious obstacle in the way of progress as to the realization of |God's Kingdom on earth| it is, and from all quarters the same exclamation uttered, the priest.
Men and women entrusted with responsibilities of raising children in the Christ-like way, for the future development of this great country, will find valuable facts in this volume, which I have endeavored to write, in order to meet the exigencies among, not only certain people, but among many well-bred and well-cultured priests.
In criticising this work, the intelligent reader is respectfully requested to take into account the peculiar circumstances under which this book is written.
I was only six years old -- in the English language -- many miles away from any literary assistance, and fifty miles from the Boston Public Library, where I could derive many testimonies and opinions of undisputable authorities to strengthen my religious opinions and actions, which are tested in the most practical way by all conditions and under all circumstances, from the ostentatious pomp of a high priest to a loving, lowly worker in the slums of Chicago.
The place, where this book is written, is a farm situated in the picturesque county of Worcester, and it might rightfully have attributed to the effect of the inspiring natural surroundings in this farm that I was enabled to master my views in framing them according to the linguistic requirements of the American reader, using the every day language for the historical part of my subject; and maintaining the more classical expression for the men with the tendencies to argue, just to make a show of their higher knowledge, thus trying to excuse themselves for not submitting all their powers to the Will of God.
It has been said, all misery comes to the human race mainly from two causes; firstly, through misconduct: and secondly, through misfortune: therefore; since there is the self-evident truth, in the axiom, that, when the cause is diagnosed, the remedy is near at hand, let us work unitedly to remove the cause of all misery, be it in the Greek people, or Jewish, or Gentiles, and by the light of the Gospel's truth, let us put forth all our efforts, while here on earth, in establishing happiness and good will to all men.
REV. MELETIOS GOLDEN.
NORTH RUTLAND, Mass., 1910.