Hide Articles List

13 articles on this Page

. WIT AND HUMOUR.

PERSONAL.

[No title]

" IN HIS STEPS."

News
Cite
Share

IN HIS STEPS." BRIEF SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR'S LIFE. In view of the fact that it was at one time supposed that the Rev. Charles M. Sheldon, the author of the book, In His Steps," hailed from an Aberystwyth family, which supposition has not yet been entirely disproved, it may not be uninteresting to many of our readers if we give a brief sketch of his life and work. Even were the local interest absent, the story of a man who has written the book, which, it is said, has bad the largest sale of any book published since Uncle Tom's Cabin," should be good reading. There are undoubtedly faults in the book reckoned from the standpoint of literary merit; but there can be no doubt whatever as to the hold it has gained on the minds of so many of the English speaking people all over the world. It has been also translated into several other languages, Welsh amongst them, and has undoubt- edly made its influence felt in the Principality. Charles M. Sheldon was born at Wellsville, New York, on February 26, 1857, and is accordingly 42 years of age. He was, however, reared in the West, on a South Dakota farm, and it is probably to that circumstance that he owes the grand physique which he posesses. His father was a minister too, and thus no doubt had a great influence in mould- ing and shaping young Sheldon's mind. He was educated at Andover, Mass., and afterwards entered the ministry, his first pulpit being at Waterbury, Vt. He left that in 1888 to become pastor of the Second Congregational Church at Topeka, where he still is. As a result of his writings he is said to have received a number of invitations-some extremely advantageous-from other churches, but has refused them all. He is married, and has one child, a boy two years old. Mr. Sheldon's life has been so free from eventful incidents of any kind, with the exception of his writing, that it is difficult to say anything about him beyond the plain fact that he does his duty right there," as an American would say; and, after all, it is not everyone of whom this can be said. He is an extremely modest man, and dislikes being interviewed; and, by the way, when he is inter- viewed he says as little about himself as he possibly could. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about him or his writings is the immense popularity they have gained in so short a time. It was only in 1891, but eight brief years ago, that the first book-a very small venture at the time, Robert Bruce "— was published, and the book that may be said to have placed Mr. Sheldon's name on the lips of so many thousands-" In His Steps "-did not appear till 1896. During the three years between then and now that book has attained a circulation of over 2,000,000 in England alone, and has been I translated into Welsh, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Armenian, and Rus- sian. With such a huge circulation it would be sup- posed that Mr. Sheldon would be making a mint of money out of his writings, the total circulation of which is put at 6,000.000. But this is not so. He failed to copyright his earlier writings except in the United States, probably never dreaming of the immense run they would have in other parts of the world, and his income so far is said to be only a few thousand pounds. He has written twelve books, nine of which have already been published and the other three, John King's Question Class," The Miracle at Markham," and For Christ and the Church," will probably be out some time this summer being published simultaneously in England and America. Mr. Sheldon's church differs in a few particulars from the generality of churches, and there is an absence of formality. The benediction is pro- nounced while the people are sitting; often the congregation sings without the help of the organ, the pastor starting the hymn there is no set order in which prayers are said, hymns sung or sermons preached; all being done as seems most appropriate. The Church in In His Steps is not Mr. Sheldon's, although many people have thought so; the facts were evolved from the writers inner consciousness. The book has however had influence upon the members of the congregation a great many of whom have taken the pledge to try to do as Jesus would in all things. They meet at the close of communion services held during the year, six in number, relate experiences, ask ques- tions and sing and pray together. In conclusion, it may be hoped that the man who gave us In His Steps" may yet produce other works which will stir the national heart to a deeper and more Christian feeling. [The book- sellers in Great Darkgate-street, Aberystwyth, make a speciality of Mr. Sheldon's works. Excellent editions may be had at popular prices.]

MACHYNLLETH.

TO GUARDIANS AND OTHERS.

Advertising

MERIONETH COUNTY¡" COUNCIL.

COUNTY COUNCILS ASSOCIATION.

— jBORTH.

CARDIGAN.

NEBO, LLANON.

DOLGELLEY RAILWAY FACILITIES.