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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 575642 A

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

R 1932 L

PREFACE.

A WORK of this kind has long been needed in the Liberal ranks, and it is hoped THE TRUTH SEEKER COLLECTION will meet the approbation of Liberalists of all classes and grades, or, at least, that all will find much in it that will prove of interest and use.

It is desirable that Liberals should effect organizations wherever they have numbers sufficient to justify it. It is hoped the instructions and forms under this head will be all that are necessary.

Services for funerals have occupied considerable attention, as they justly deserve. A great want has been felt on all hands for something in this direction. Liberalists and Spiritualists alike feel a desire to dispense with the services of the “black-coated gentry known as priests and preachers, not only during the every-day affairs of life, but especially at the hours of death and burial.

In the collection of HYMNS a wide range of subjects has been occupied. Many selections have been 'made from hymns before printed, and a large number also have been written expressly for this COLLECTION, or at least appear here for the first time. Many of them will be found to possess merit.

It is earnestly hoped that no class of Liberals, whether Materialists or Spiritualists, will take exception because hymns are introduced that do not fully

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meet their views. There are enough for all grades of Liberals, and none ought to feel offended because others are pleased as well as themselves. Materialists and Spiritualists will of course differ upon the subject of a future existence, but it is not worth while to let unfriendly feelings be engendered in consequence. Liberals are the last class of people that should be bigoted. Let each accord to the other the same right to entertain honest views and convictions that he claims for himself. No sensible person should accept any creed or any system of belief for which he has no proof; but having found it to his satisfaction, he should be allowed the free exercise of his freedom of opinion. We assuredly can all agree upon the common ground of Human Progression and in opposition to priestcraft, bigotry and the myths and fables of the past ages of ignorance and superstition. Here we can fraternize and work in common.

It is desirable that Liberals of all kinds should hold frequent meetings, and that they should sing much more than has been the custom. Singing is a natural accomplishment, improved by art, and there are no reasons why our Christian opponents should monopolize the whole of it. Let us sing more. Let us be happy.

The RECITATIONS, it is hoped, are well chosen, and adapted to the tastes of the thoughtful and the cheerful. Many of them will be found suited to exhibitions, anniversaries, reunions and the like.

Taken as a whole, it is hoped this volume will receive a cordial reception from many friends.

D. M. B.

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