Rare in the complete four volume set, The Christian Library acts as a little time capsule or cultural representation of what those in the Burned Over District thought of as a "complete" Christian library . . . sort of that, "You're trapped on a desert island; you only get X number of books" assemblage. And they had good taste.
The present set, with indicative early lithographed labels and signed, belonged to important Vermont pastor and ministerial educator, Harvey Freegrace Leavitt. Born in 1796, he initially studied to be a lawyer, served briefly with the firm, Shiphers & Parker in New York, and then practiced privately for about ten years.
He had sensed a call to vocational ministry when young, and again it returned. He left his law practice, studied for the ministry, and was ordained in 1830. He pastored churches in Stratford and Vergennes, VT. Concurrently, he acted as a Member of the Corporation of Middlebury College, as well as a Fellow of the College. In 1856, his wife took charge of a Female Seminary in Vergennes, VT. Then in 1860, they both became Principals of Middlebury Female Seminary, virtually a spiritual factory for female missionaries.
The Christian Library. A Reprint of Popular Religious Works. Complete in Four Volumes. New York. Thomas George Jr. 1836.
Bound in four slender, matching 4to volumes, the contents are as follows:
The Life of John Wesley, Sometime Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. And Founder of the Methodist Societies. by Richard Watson. [102pp]
The Life of William Cowper, Esq. Compiled from His Correspondence, and Other Authentic Sources of Information: Containing Remarks on His Writings and on the Peculiarities of His Interesting Character, Never Before Published. By Thomas Taylor. [103-192pp]
The Life of the Rev. Thomas Spencer, of Liverpool. With an Appendix Containing a Selection from His Papers, and a Poem on His Death by James Montgomery. by Thomas Raffles. [193-274pp]
The Life of Philip Melancthon, Comprising an Account of the Most Important Transactions of the Reformation. by Francis Augustus Cox. [275-370pp]
Memoirs of the Late Rev. Samuel Pearce, with Extracts from Some of His Most Interesting Letters. by Andrew Fuller. [371-412pp]
Memoir of William Milne [413-416pp]
Martha: A Memorial of an Only and Beloved Sister. by Andrew Reed. [417-502pp]
Thoughts on Religion, and Other Subjects. by Blaise Pascale. A New Translation and a Memoir of His Life. by Edward Craig. [418-584pp]
A Narrative of the Visit to the American Churches, by the Deputation from the Congregational Union of England Wales. by Andrew Reed and James Mathieson. [585-781pp]
A Discourse of Natural Theology, Showing the Nature of the Evidence and the Advantages of the Study. by Henry Lord Brougham. [782-832pp]
The Christian Contemplated, in a Course of Lectures delivered in Argyle Chapel, Bath. by William Jay. [89pp]
Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of the Reverend Christian Frederick Swartz. To which is Prefixed a Sketch of the History of Christianity in India. by Hugh Pearson. [185pp]
The Marys: Or, the Beauty of Female Holiness. by Robert Philip. [44pp]
The Complete Duty of Man: Or, a System of Doctrinal and Practical Christianity. by Henry Venn. [96pp]
Christian Charity Explained: Or, the Influence of Religion upon Temper Stated, In an Exposition of the Thirteenth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. by John Angell James. [77pp]
The Family Monitor: Or, a Help to Domestic Happiness. by John Angell James. [63pp]
The Christian Father's Present to His Children. by John Angell James [82pp]
The Mental Illumination and Moral Improvement of Mankind: Or, an Inquiry into the Means by which a General Diffusion of Knowledge and Moral Principle May Be Promoted. Illustrated with Engravings. [160pp]
Sacra Privata: Or, the Private Meditations and Prayers of the Right Rev. Thomas Wilson. 29pp.
A good + set with solid bindings, spines sunned, corners rubbed and bumped; the aforementioned personal lithographed attractive labels of Leavitt in each volume, also signed. Rubber stamp to title. Generally solid and clean, lightly foxed, slight weakness at two points between signatures in volume one; volume four has a stain in upper margin for approximately half the textblock.