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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : PUBLISHERS' PREFACE TO THE SECOND REVISED EDITION.

The Happiness Of Heaven by F. J. Boudreaux

PUBLISHERS' PREFACE TO THE SECOND REVISED EDITION.

It seldom falls to the lot of a Catholic Publisher to issue from his press a book, which, while it possesses the true, substantial merit of genuine Catholic literature, is at the same time graced with the novelty, the absorbing interest which at once command the attention on the Public, and place the book in a high and permanent position before the world. Such has been our good fortune in the publication of |THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN| -- and of this no better proof can be required than the unprecedented sale of 3000 copies, constituting the first edition, in less than sixty days, and the constantly increasing demand which already calls forth this second edition. Few books have been more warmly welcomed by the Press, both Catholic and non-Catholic, than |The Happiness of Heaven;| fewer still have proved, in the perusal, more worthy of the praises bestowed by Reviewers, or have borne out the character which favorable critics had assigned. Of this work it may be said with truth, that the highest praise falls short of its merit, the most favorable critic has not said too much in its commendation. And this promises to be more than an ephemeral popularity -- the book will live -- it will be read with pleasure and profit, as long as genuine Catholic literature finds readers.

It is a book which was long wanted: a thorough, systematic treatise on a subject of the most vital importance: a book which gives us all that Catholic Theology teaches about heaven, and gives it in an authentic shape, with text, references and citations in all scholastic completeness; and yet in a form adapted to the humblest capacity. It is indeed, as one of its reviewers so happily calls it, |The spiritual Geography of heaven, giving us such a knowledge of that blessed country, as we can acquire at this distance,| and showing forth its beauties, its loveliness, its thousandfold bliss in a manner so clear, so winning, so unconquerably attractive, that earth pales into insignificance before those dazzling splendors, and our hearts long to be where our real treasure is. When we have read this book and studied it, (for a single perusal of it will not satisfy us,) we know something of that heavenly Paradise which is to be the eternal abode of the Elect, and knowing it, we must love and desire it, -- we must submit with patience, if not with joy, to the trials of this life, which are to be there so gloriously rewarded, -- we must sigh for the moment which is to admit us into that Paradise of endless delights and of imperishable beauty.

Let then this book go forth on its mission of consolation and encouragement to the sorrowing and suffering poor: it will teach them to prize their sorrows and their afflictions as the virgin gold of which their crown is to be formed, and the brilliant gems which are to adorn it forever. Let it go to the counting-house of the merchant, to the desk of the banker -- and they will know that there is another and a truer wealth more worthy of their ambition. Let the great ones of the earth learn from it that their honors are a deceit and a snare; that one sigh for Eternity, one moment spent in the service of God, purchase greater glory than all the crowns and sceptres of earth can bestow. Let those whose lives are consecrated to the task of teaching young hearts to love God, of recalling the wanderer to the paths of his duty, of battling with the errors of worldly wisdom and the passions of the depraved human heart, -- let them gather from this book not only the motives which will be powerful over the souls of men, but also the strength and courage which they themselves need in their toils for the good of their neighbor. In a word, let all study this precious volume: -- Catholics and Protestants, the learned and the ignorant, the old and the young, the innocent youth still arrayed in the spotless garment of his baptismal purity, and the unhappy sinner who has grown old in wickedness and whose soul has lost almost all hope of peace; -- there is instruction for all, comfort and joy, encouragement and hope for all if they will but make a proper use of such means as God has given them, and live here without forgetting that they are destined for a glorious hereafter.

We have but a word to add in regard to the present edition: -- several alterations and improvements have been introduced into the work by the Author, which enhance its value and render it more deserving the patronage it has already received.

THE PUBLISHERS. BALTIMORE, June 17, 1871.

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