By: Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
On Loving God
On Loving God is one of the best-known and most influential works of Medieval Christian mysticism. Written at the request of one of the cardinals of Rome, it describes the four “levels” of love for God, and puts Christian devotion in the context of God’s love for mankind.
The Tao Teh King, or the Tao and its Characteristics
Written in classical Chinese some time during the sixth century BC, The Tao Teh King or The Tao and its Characteristics is a classical Chinese text that is one of the important keystones in understanding the thought systems of Asia. Though no clear records exist, it is traditionally thought to have been the work of the sage Lao Tzu, the founder of classical Taoism. He is reputed to have been a contemporary of Confucius, though this is also shrouded in mystery. However, many succeeding emperors and dynasties have claimed that he lived in their eras...
By: Brother Lawrence (1605-1691)
The Practice of the Presence of God
The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of letters and transcriptions of conversations, compiled by a disciple of Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk and head cook in his monastery’s kitchens. He quickly gained an international reputation as a mystic and spiritual counselor. The Practice of the Presence records his last words of advice to his friends and disciples, as he suffered from an unnamed illness which would eventually take his life. (Description written by Kirsten Ferreri).
By: Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
The New Atlantis
In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas.
By: Louis Ginzberg (1873-1953)
Legends of the Jews
Rabbi Louis Ginzberg was one of the outstanding Talmudists of the twentieth century. He was born on November 28, 1873, in Kovno, Lithuania; he died on November 11, 1953, in New York City. Ginzberg taught at the Jewish Theological seminary from 1903 to 1953. For 50 years, he trained two generations of Conservative Rabbis.The Legends of the Jews is an epic 7-volume compilation of traditional Jewish stories loosely related to the Bible. Volumes 1-4 contain the stories, while volumes 5-7 contain Ginzberg’s notes and commentary...
By: Logan Marshall
Myths and Legends of All Nations
This excellent book contains many great stories from the various mythologies of man throughout the ages.
By: Anatole France (1844-1924)
The fourth century ascetic Paphnuce, journeys from his remote desert hermitage to urban Alexandria determined to locate the stunningly beautiful and libertine actress, Thais. He earnestly desires that she convert to Christianity. Gaining an audience by deception, the hermit passionately speaks to the actress of eternity. Remarkably, Thais repents and retires to a convent for the rest of her days. The hermit however, cannot rid his mind of her charms, not even with the help of the most severe austerities. After years of anguish the monk learns of Thais' immanent demise and hastens to her side. There he confesses the unspeakable.
Revolt of the Angels
Anatole France, in his satirical and allegorical fashion, weaves a tale of fantasy which finds a mischievous guardian angel stealing books from his earthly charge, who happens to be an archbishop in possession of a plethora of literature, mostly theological in nature. After voracious reading and then becoming a "fallen" angel, he decides to search for and recruit other "fallen" angels who devise a plan to attempt an overthrow of the rule which had set their fate, realizing that revolt is necessary and inevitable...
By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
The Profits of Religion
The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation is a non-fiction book by the American novelist and muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair, first published in 1917. It is a snapshot of the religious movements in the U.S. before its entry into World War I. In this book, Sinclair attacks institutionalized religion as a "source of income to parasites, and the natural ally of every form of oppression and exploitation."
By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)
The King of Schnorrers
Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock...
Children of the Ghetto
In this 1892 novel of London's Jewish East End, Israel Zangwill sets the apparently irrational and decidedly indecorous religious practices of transplanted eastern European Jews against the forces of assimilation. Zangwill's knowledge of Yiddishkeit and skill in melodrama created a series of unforgettable vignettes that had a significant effect on the public perception of this much stigmatized immigrant group. Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in London of Russian and Polish parents. He coined the term cultural "melting pot".
By: Henry van Dyke (1852-1933)
The Story of the Other Wise Man
You know the story of the Three Wise Men of the East, and how they travelled from far away to offer their gifts at the manger-cradle in Bethlehem. But have you ever heard the story of the Other Wise Man, who also saw the star in its rising, and set out to follow it, yet did not arrive with his brethren in the presence of the young child Jesus? Of the great desire of this fourth pilgrim, and how it was denied, yet accomplished in the denial; of his many wanderings and the probations of his soul;...
By: Santa Teresa de Jesus (1515-1582)
The Life of St. Teresa
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515, at Gotarrendura (Ávila), Old Castile, Spain – October 4, 1582, at Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain) was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.
Conceptions of Divine Love
Conceptions of Divine Love was written in 1577. St. Teresa wrote this with the idea of explaining certain words found in the Book of Canticles. When her confessor read the title of her work, he ordered her to immediately burn it, which, of course, she did. But one of her nuns had copied the first seven chapters, which was then published in 1612. Here, Father John Dalton has translated only four of those chapters in 1852.
By: Lewis Hodus (1872-1949)
Buddhism and Buddhists in China
Buddhism and Buddhists in China is an anthropological text describing Buddhism as practiced in China at the beginning of the 20th Century. Interestingly, it also compares and contrasts Buddhism with Christianity with respect to or in response to missionary work.
By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
God, the Invisible King
Wells wrote in his book God the Invisible King that his idea of God did not draw upon the traditional religions of the world: "This book sets out as forcibly and exactly as possible the religious belief of the writer. [Which] is a profound belief in a personal and intimate God." Later in the work he aligns himself with a "renascent or modern religion ... neither atheist nor Buddhist nor Mohammedan nor Christian ... [that] he has found growing up in himself."
By: Thomas Bulfinch (1796-1867)
Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable
Bulfinch’s Mythology, first published in 1855, is one of the most popular collections of mythology of all time. It consists of three volumes: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry, and Legends of Charlemagne. This is a recording of the tenth edition of the first volume, The Age of Fable. It contains many Greek and Roman myths, including simplified versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as a selection of Norse and “eastern” myths. Thomas Bulfinch’s goal was to make the ancient myths accessible to a wide audience, and so it is suitable for children.
By: John Foxe
Foxe's Book of Martyrs, A History of the Lives
The Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, is an English Protestant account of the persecutions of Protestants, many of whom had died for their beliefs within the decade immediately preceding its first publication. It was first published by John Day, in 1563. Lavishly illustrated with many woodcuts, it was the largest publishing project undertaken in Britain up to that time. Commonly known as, “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”, the work’s full title begins with “Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, Touching Matters of the Church...
By: Isabella Alden (1841-1930)
The King's Daughter
Dell Bronson has been reared in Boston by her refined uncle and aunt until, at age 18, she is called home by her father, a coarse tavern owner in Lewiston. As a daughter of the heavenly King, she strives to honor her heavenly Father by wooing her earthly father to Christ and away from rum. Set in the era of the temperance movement of the 1800’s. Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Third in the Ester Ried series.
Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Ester Ried’s life is a dull monotony of toiling at her family’s boardinghouse. She’s overworked, jealous and cranky, a poor example of a Christian to her family and associates. She awakens to a new attitude and commitment due to an extended visit with her cousin.
Wise and Otherwise
Immature Mr. Tresevant (from “The King’s Daughter”) comes to Newton with his spoiled wife to be the new pastor of the church attended by Dr. and Mrs. Douglass, Mr. and Mrs. Sayles, and Mr. and Mrs. Tyndall (from “Ester Ried” and “Julia Ried”), boarding with Jerome and Abbie Sayles. Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Fourth in the Ester Ried series.
Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Sequel to “Ester Ried.” Julia Ried must take a job as a bookkeeper in a factory to earn a living. The mistress of her boardinghouse influences her in a negative way, drawing her into a life and attitude displeasing to God. Will her family and friends be able to convince her stand up for what’s right?
Four Girls at Chautauqua
Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” First in the Chautauqua Girls series. Four friends – spoiled, quirky Ruth; fun-loving and mischievous Eurie; poor, independent and brainy Marion; and meek, approval-seeking Flossy – attend Chautauqua on a lark, and their lives are changed forever. (Chautauqua is an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.)
The Chautauqua Girls at Home
Sequel to Four Girls at Chautauqua. Ruth, Flossy, Eurie, and Ruth return home as new Christians, eager to begin working. Their new faith clashes with their old lives, which they must overcome, as well as the prejudices of friends and acquaintances.
Ester Ried's Namesake
Ester Ried Randall tries to live up to her parents’ expectations and the name she’s been given, but her religion is a chore. Will she learn the lesson of faith that Ester did? Fifth and final book in the Ester Ried series. Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.”
Judge Burnham's Daughters
Fifth in the Chautauqua Girls series. Ruth Erskine Burnham has helped raise her husband’s two daughters, but all have rejected her faith and values. The constant pressure to compromise has weakened her walk and made her life miserable. Her one comfort is her somewhat sickly 5 year old son. Will she return to the strong faith of her young womanhood, and will her family finally follow?
Ruth Erskine's Crosses
Third book in the Chautauqua Girls series. Written by Isabella Alden under the pseudonym “Pansy.” Ruth’s father brings home a wife and daughter, after 18 years, that Ruth had never known about. Suddenly she is no longer the queen of her home. And what’s worse, the new mother and sister are rude and antagonistic. How will Ruth bear this cross?
By: William James (1842-1910)
Varieties of Religious Experience
The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 1901 and 1902. These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century.
'Pragmatism' contains a series of public lectures held by William James in Boston 1906–7. James provides a popularizing outline of his view of philosophical pragmatism while making highly rhetorical and entertaining lashes towards rationalism and other competing schools of thought. James is especially concerned with the pragmatic view of truth. True beliefs should be defined as, according to James, beliefs that can successfully assist people in their everday life. This is claimed to not be relativism...
By: M. M. Mangasarian (1859-1943)
The Truth About Jesus. Is He a Myth?
The following work offers in book form the series of studies on the question of the historicity of Jesus, presented from time to time before the Independent Religious Society in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 1909. No effort has been made to change the manner of the spoken, into the more regular form of the written, word.
By: Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935)
Religions of Ancient China
An overview of the religions of China, beginning with Fu Hsi, B.C. 2953-2838, and continuing through the 19th Century.
By: Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)
Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness
The book provides an introduction to the subject of mysticism, presenting it from the point of view of metaphysics, psychology, and symbolism. It examines the different stages of development a mystic typically experiences.
The Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today
Underhill emphasizes the practical, here-and-now nature of spiritual life. She argues that spirituality is a genuine and abiding human fact, and that any complete description of human life must find room for the spiritual factor, and for the religious life in which it finds expression.
By: Julian of Norwich (c. November 8, 1342 - c. 1416)
Revelations of Divine Love
Julian of Norwich (c. November 8, 1342 – c. 1416) is considered to be one of the greatest English mystics. Little is known of her life aside from her writings. Even her name is uncertain, the name “Julian” coming from the Church of St Julian in Norwich, where she occupied a cell adjoining the church as an anchoress. At the age of thirty, suffering from a severe illness and believing she was on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions. (They ended by the time she overcame her illness on May 13, 1373)...
By: American Bible Union
This 1871 revision of The Psalms by the American Bible Union is based on the “Common Version”, another name for the 1833 revision of the King James Version of The Bible by Noah Webster.
The New Testament
This Revised Testament has been prepared under the auspices of the American Bible Union, by the most competent scholars of the day. No expense has been spared to obtain the oldest translations of the Bible, copies of the ancient manuscripts, and other facilities to make the revision as perfect as possible. The paragraph form has been adopted in preference to the division by verse, which is a modern mode of division, never used in the ancient scriptures. But, for convenience of reference, the numbers of the verses are retained...
By: John Locke (1632-1704)
Two Treatises of Civil Government
The Two Treatises of Civil Government is a work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke. The First Treatise is an extended attack on Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, which argued for a divinely-ordained, hereditary, absolute monarchy. The more influential Second Treatise outlines a theory of civil society based on natural rights and contract theory. Locke begins by describing the “state of nature,” and goes on to explain the hypothetical rise of property and civilization, asserting that the only legitimate governments are those which have the consent of the people...
By: Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Spurgeon's Sermons May 1858
Charles Spurgeon was a popular Baptist minister in London in mid-Victorian times; his ministry was highly influential and had a significant effect on many families in London and further afield. It was difficult to find a hall large enough to accommodate the crowd who wished to hear him. At times the Royal Surrey Gardens’ Music Hall was hired to accomodate the Sunday congregation; this could seat 10,000 but large numbers were unable to gain admittance. His world-wide heritage is very much with us today through the many chuches built, missionary work begun, children’s charity founded and theological colleges established as a result of his ministry...
Morning and Evening: Daily Readings
Organized by week, this devotional has a morning and evening meditation for every day of the year. Although these devotions are short in length, they are filled with spiritual goodness. In just a few sentences, Spurgeon is able to convey the wisdom of Scripture with eloquence and purpose. These daily messages provide Christians with the spiritual energy they need to begin and end each day. Spurgeon weaves a verse of Scripture into each devotion, helping readers draw deeper meaning out of the selected passages...
By: George Herbert (1593-1633)
Selection from 'The Temple'
George Herbert (April 3, 1593 – March 1, 1633) was a Welsh poet, orator and a priest. Throughout his life he wrote religious poems characterized by a precision of language, a metrical versatility, and an ingenious use of imagery or conceits that was favored by the metaphysical school of poets. He is best remembered as a writer of poems and hymns such as “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life” and “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.”
From The Temple
George Herbert was a country minister, and a protégé of the great metaphysical poet John Donne. In The Temple, Herbert combines these two aspects of his training in one of the greatest cycles of religious poetry ever written. This is reading of a selection of these poems.
By: Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
An Essay on Man
Pope’s Essay on Man, a masterpiece of concise summary in itself, can fairly be summed up as an optimistic enquiry into mankind’s place in the vast Chain of Being. Each of the poem’s four Epistles takes a different perspective, presenting Man in relation to the universe, as individual, in society and, finally, tracing his prospects for achieving the goal of happiness. In choosing stately rhyming couplets to explore his theme, Pope sometimes becomes obscure through compressing his language overmuch...
By: Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)
Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder)
Although written from a child’s perspective, this is not a kids book but a series of funny, poignant, and sometimes disturbing stories about life in a late 19th-century Russian-Jewish village — the world of my grandparents. Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916) was born in Pereiaslav, Ukraine and later immigrated to New York. His short stories about Tevye and his daughters were freely adapted into the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Rabinovich’s will contained the following injunction: “Let my name be recalled with laughter or not at all.” His translator, Hannah Berman, was Irish of Lithuanian descent.Some of these stories may be too intense for younger children.
By: Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947)
The Best Man
Cyril Gordon, a young and handsome secret service agent is running from pursuers who desperately want the information he holds. He hides out from them in a church, and then finds himself married to a woman he’s never seen before. A sweet and sometimes, funny, romance, with several exciting chases.
A Little Servant
A short story of a little girl who is Jesus’ servant and how she won the heart of an unbelieving gardener.
Julia Cloud, the oldest--and most responsible--child of her family, helped raise her four siblings due to their mother's long-time illness and father's death. After faithfully nursing two ill brothers (who died), she then cared for her invalid mother for many years. When Julia's mother passes on, her only surviving sibling Ellen fully expects--and nearly demands--that her spinster sister come live with her family. But to earn her keep, Julia must be their live-in housekeeper and babysitter for Ellen's four children. But Julia's college-age niece and nephew arrive unexpectedly from California and offer Aunt Cloudy Jewel a surprise opportunity she never expected in her wildest dreams.
By: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
Europe and the Faith
The Catholic brings to history (when I say "history" in these pages I mean the history of Christendom) self-knowledge. As a man in the confessional accuses himself of what he knows to be true and what other people cannot judge, so a Catholic, talking of the united European civilization, when he blames it, blames it for motives and for acts which are his own. He himself could have done those things in person. He is not relatively right in his blame, he is absolutely right. As a man can testify to his own motive so can the Catholic testify to unjust, irrelevant, or ignorant conceptions of the European story; for he knows why and how it proceeded...
By: Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)
Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll
Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his defense of atheism. This book is the first of two volumes collecting Ingersoll’s speeches.
By: Elliott O’Donnell (1872—1965)
Summary: This is a collection of ghost stories in which the antagonists are various animals. Divided up into chapters of ghost sightings by each group of animals, you will hear of hauntings by dogs, cats, birds, jungle animals, etc. (Summary by Allyson Hester)
By: John Calvin (1509-1564)
Institutes of the Christian Religion
Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin’s seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. Highly influential in the Western world and still widely read by theological students today, it was published in Latin in 1536 and in his native French in 1541, with the definitive editions appearing in 1559 (Latin) and in 1560 (French). The book was written as an introductory textbook on the Protestant faith for those with some learning already and covered a broad range of theological topics...
By: Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339 AD)
Eusebius' History of the Christian Church
Eusebius presents the history of the Church from the apostles to his own time, with special regard to the following points:1. the successions of bishops in the principal sees2. the history of Christian teachers3. the history of heresies4. the history of the Jews5. the relations to the heathen6. the martyrdoms.
By: Martin Luther (1483-1546)
The Large Catechism
Luther’s Large Catechism consisted of works written by Martin Luther and compiled Christian canonical texts, published in April of 1529. This book was addressed particularly to clergymen to aid them in teaching their congregations. Luther’s Large Catechism is divided into five parts: The Ten Commandments, The Apostles’ Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, Holy Baptism, and The Sacrament of the Altar. It and related documents was published in The Book of Concord in 1580.
Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians
Martin Luther strove to give a verse by verse exegesis of the Epistle to the Galatians in the work. The original work, written in Latin in around 1516, was much longer. This translation by Theodore Graebner (1876-1950) strove to produce a copy of the work in a format and with wording much more applicable to the general English-speaking American public.
The Small Catechism
Luther's Small Catechism (Der Kleine Katechismus) was written by Martin Luther and published in 1529 for the training of children. Luther's Small Catechism reviews The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, The Office of the Keys & Confession, and The Sacrament of the Eucharist. It is included in the Lutheran Book of Concord as an authoritative statement of what Lutherans believe. The Small Catechism is widely used today in Lutheran churches as part of youth education and Confirmation.
The Smalcald Articles
MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...
She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom)
The She-rab Dong-bu (Tree of Wisdom) is a metrical translation in Tibetan of a Sanscrit ethical work entitled Prajnya Danda, written by Nagarjuna who flourished in the fourth century of the Buddhist era (about 100 B.C.), The Tibetan version was probably made about the 11th century of our era but the exact date has not been determined. It is included in the Ten-gyur, ངོ་ section, volume གོ་, beginning at leaf 165. The Tibetan translator describes it as the second volume but I cannot say whether the remainder of the work has been preserved in Tibetan – the Sanscrit original is apparently lost.
By: Saint Patrick (d. 461 or 493)
Collected Works of Saint Patrick
St. Patrick’s Breastplate – This prayer is attributed to St. Patrick and his diciples. It is written with some celtic pagan elements, but is definitely a Christian prayer asking God for protection through daily life. A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus – Patrick writes this letter to excommunicate the soldiers of Coroticus’ army who pillaged villages in Ireland and forced many Christian converts into slavery. Confession – A short autobiography by St. Patrick who tells of being abducted...
By: Samuel Cheetham
History of the Christian church
The intention of this work is to provide a sketch of the History of the Church in the first six centuries of its existence, resting throughout on original authorities, and also giving references to the principal modern works which have dealt specially with its several portions. It is hoped that it may be found to supply a convenient summary for those who can give but little time to the study, and also to serve as a guide for those who desire to make themselves acquainted with the principal documents from which the History is drawn.
By: Amy Steedman
In God's Garden
“In this book you will not find the stories of all God’s saints. I have gathered a few together, just as one gathers a little posy from a garden full of roses. But the stories I have chosen to tell are those that I hope children will love best to hear.” (excerpt from In God’s Garden by Amy Steedman)
By: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
The Jew of Malta
Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death. The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean...