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A LIBRARY OF
Leading Thinkers of To-Day.
JOHN H. VINCENT, D.D., LL.D.
F. B. DICKERSON COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.
Books are educators, and their aim should be to answer and encourage those earnest aspirations for improved conditions, higher culture and a better environment, felt by every intelligent person. As we are endowed with a sense and a love of physical beauty, so also have we an ideal of moral, intellectual and social beauty.
Man seeks a triple perfection: first, intellectual, which no creature below him aspires to or is capable of ; second, a moral
, or divine perfection, consisting of those things whereunto we tend by spiritual means, but which, here, we can not attain; lastly, a social perfection, consisting of the elements which are essential to the existence of society, and embracing also, in its higher department, all those graces which render human intercourse beautiful, and satisfy those finer instincts which God has implanted in the breasts of all superior beings.
Physical and intellectual training are necessary adjuncts to the moral and social training of every individual who would attain the highest culture in these directions. That structure
endures longest the foundation of which is most securely laid. As no work of the architect will withstand the beating rays of the summer sun or the blasts of winter without a firm basis, so it may be said of man, that he cannot hope to maintain a position, impregnable to all assaults of public criticism, without morality and intellectuality as a foundation upon which to build his social structure. A higher and nobler aim must be his, also, than that of social position alone; and it is the object of the present work, first, to show the reader the many and varied influences that will assist him in developing a physical and intellectual temple; second, to lay down those social and moral laws that will enable him suitably to decorate it.
It is believed that the work is wholly original and unique, that nothing approaching it, either in form or scope, was ever before attempted. In preparing it, the publishers have, at great expense of time, patience and money, called to their aid those men and women who, by reason of their intellectual training and high positions, seemed best fitted to lead an upward tendency in the moral, physical, intellectual and social training of the people. We trust we have succeeded in providing for the public a work that needs no apology for its appearance; but one that will be a welcome visitor to every home where worthy books are to be found.
F. B. D.