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Louis' School Days A Story for Boys   By:

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By E. J. May

[Illustration: Louis and Meredith on Brandon Hill. Page 76.]



It was originally my intention to leave the child of my imagination to make its way where it would, without any letter of introduction in the form of the usual prefatory address to the reader; but having been assured that a preface is indispensable, I am laid under the necessity of formally giving a little insight into the character of the possible inmate of many a happy home.

Reader, the following pages claim no interest on the score of authenticity. They are no fiction founded on facts . They profess to be nothing but fiction, used as a vehicle for illustrating certain broad and fundamental truths in our holy religion.

It has often struck me, in recalling religious stories (to which I acknowledge myself much indebted), that many of them fell into an error which might have the effect of confusing the mind of a thinking child, namely, that of drawing a perfect character as soon as the soul has laid hold of Christ, without any mention of those struggles through which the Christian must pass, in order to preserve a holy consistency before men. This would seem to exclude the necessity of maintaining a warfare .

The doctrine I have endeavored to maintain in the following pages is, that man being born in "sin, a child of wrath," has, by nature, all his affections estranged from God; that, when by grace, through faith in Christ, a new life has been implanted within him, his affections are restored to their rightful Lord, every thought and imagination is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and his whole being longs to praise Him who has called him "out of darkness into light" to praise Him "not only with his lips, but in his life." Then commences the struggle between light and darkness, between the flesh and the spirit, between the old and new man; and the results of this conflict are seen in the outward conduct of the Christian soldier.

The character of the child of God does not essentially alter, but a new impulse is given him. Whatever good quality was in his natural state conspicuous in him, will, in a state of grace and newness of life, shine forth with double lustre; and he will find his besetting sin his greatest hindrance in pressing forward to the attainment of personal holiness. The great wide difference is, that he desires to be holy, and the Lord, who gives him this desire, gives him also the strength to overcome his natural mind; and the more closely he waits on his heavenly Father for His promised aid, the more holily and consistently he will walk; and when, through the deceits of his heart, the allurements of the world, or the temptations of Satan, he relaxes his vigilance, and draws less largely from the fountain of his strength, a sad falling away is the inevitable consequence. This warfare, this danger of backsliding, ends only with the life, when, and when only , he will be perfect, for he shall be like his Saviour.

As a writer for the young, I dare not plead even the humble pretensions of my little volume in deprecation of the criticism which ought to be the lot of every work professing to instruct others. In choosing the arena of a boy's school for the scene of my hero's actions, I have necessarily been compelled to introduce many incidents and phrases to which, perhaps, some very scrupulous critics might object as out of place in a religious work; but my readers will do well to recollect, that to be useful, a story must be attractive, and to be attractive, it must be natural; and I trust that they who candidly examine mine will find nothing therein that can produce a wrong impression. It has not been without an anxious sense of the great responsibility dependent on me in my present capacity, that this little effort has been made. Should it be the instrument of strengthening in one young one the best lessons he has received, it will, indeed, not have been in vain... Continue reading book >>

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