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Sixty Years With Plymouth Church by Stephen M. Griswold

PREFACE

For some years past I have been repeatedly urged to record my recollections of Plymouth Church and Henry Ward Beecher. One after another the original members of the church have passed away until now I am almost alone, so far as the early church connection is concerned, and I have been told that there is really no one left who could give the personal value to such a record. At first, as I thought of the task, it appeared too great. Business duties pressed and left little time for such a work. Then out of the flood of recollections, which should I select? Recently a period of convalescence, following a somewhat serious illness, during which work was forbidden, gave me leisure which I occupied in recording such incidents as I thought might be of interest and value. These were arranged not in the form of history but as a series of sketches setting forth different phases of the church history and the church life, as well as illustrating Mr. Beecher himself as a preacher and pastor, but still more as a man. These are chiefly personal in their character. Fifty-three years of service as an usher in Plymouth Church brought me into closest touch with those services which have made Plymouth so well known not only in America, but throughout the world. Very precious are those memories to me, and as I have dwelt upon them, I have felt it not less a privilege than a duty to share them with others and thus bear testimony to a church life of great beauty and power.

[Illustration: HENRY WARD BEECHER]

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