New York: American Tract Society, [1825-1832]. First edition. Sammelband in contemporary quarter roan over marbled boards. Shelfwear to edges, but overall tight and square. Ownership stamp of W.M. De Witt to front endpaper. Toned throughout, with occasional foxing largely confined to endpapers. A collection of scarce works by this important organization, the first in North America formed specifically to produce and distribute religious tracts. Ranging from tract number 2 to tract 235, the sammelband contains a wide range of narratives and sermons, tied together with an evangelical, Puritan concern about the individual's relationship to God. Among them are, notably, multiple selections emphasizing women's education and spirituality, including an early American printing of Hannah More's 'Tis All for the Best, originally appearing in the British Cheap Repository Tracts series.
Richmond, Rev. Legh. The Young Cottager; An Authentic Narrative (Tract No. 79, 1827)
Front pictorial wrapper plus 36 pages. Part of Richmond's Annals of the Poor series, the tract focuses on Jane, "a young female cottager" who endeared herself to the author as his "first born spiritual child in the ministry of the Gospel." Noted for her mild character and polite behavior as a student, Jane's rapt attention to the scriptures and her awareness of her finite life on earth move the pastor. But when she becomes consumptive and is confined to her bed, the pair's bedside meetings and discussion of the Gospels ultimately educate him into being a more observant and penitent Christian.
Richmond, Rev. Legh. The Dairyman's Daughter; An Authentic Narrative (Tract No. 9, 1825)
28 pages including front pictorial wrapper. A part of Richmond's Annals of the Poor series, the present examines a young woman Elizabeth's love of God and her desire to have the reverend perform the service for her recently deceased sister. Writing to him because she has heard of his kindness to soldiers, her plain language moves him; and he visits her family's cottage. There, he hears the narrative of how her late sister converted to to God's path and away from "the world, and pleasure, and dress, and company." Shortly after, Elizabeth writes to the reverend again, this time because she has become consumptive and her own end is near. He goes to her bedside, has discussions with her about her conversion and her need for grace. At he concludes, he admonishes his readers to emulate the girl, and seek grace as well. "My poor reader, the Dairyman's Daughter was a poor girl, the child of a poor man. Herein thou resemblest her. But does thou resemble her as she resembled Christ?"
More, Hannah. 'Tis All for the Best. (Tract No. 11, 1825)
16 pages. Originally printed for the Cheap Repository in 1799, this American appearance replicates the story of two women -- one who maintains her faith, and one who doubts but ultimately turns to God. In true Hannah More fashion, the tract encourages firm commitment to faith, and the belief in humans' limited understanding of his divine plan at the same time it encourages lower classes to remain in their place, waiting for God to elevate them rather than disrupting social systems themselves.
Anderson, Alexander. The Life of John Bunyan, Author of the Pilgrim's Progress (Tract No. 218, 1828)
12 pages. Recounting Bunyan's early, sinful path, and his conversion to Puritanism thanks to his marriage to a woman from a spiritual family. It was during this period that he had a dream of dropping into the flames of damnation; it made an unforgettable impression, and inclined him to write Pilgrim's Progress. A short biography, combined with some of Bunyan's most influential sayings on God and grace taken from the end of his life.
Bogue, David. On the Instruction of the Rising Generation (Tract No. 28, 1825)
16 pages including pictorial wrapper. A scarce tract on the best methods for urging children toward the Christian faith from their infancy. It is a role that must begin with parents, according to the tract, who instill in their child the love of Christ they themselves experience; they must teach their child that "he is a stranger here; Heaven is his home," and therefore he must "form just ideas of God and the Redeemer...and of the happiness that awaits him in a future world." He also notes that young women, too, must be educated and then share their education of faith and redemption. "Many of you have leisure, many of you have influence" he declares, "your affectionate tenderness gives you a peculiar fitness for the work." With instructions on the approaches to teaching Scripture to encourage a personal relationship with God.
Complete list of contents available on request. (Item #3859)