STEPPING HEAVENWARD

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss.

Stepping Heavenward was published toward the end of October, having appeared already as a serial in the Chicago Advance. The first number of the serial was printed February 4, 1869. The work was planned and the larger part of it composed during the winter and spring of 1867–8. Referring more especially to this part of it, she once said to a friend: "Every word of that book was a prayer, and seemed to come of itself. I never knew how it was written, for my heart and hands were full of something else." By "something else" she had in mind the care of little Francis. The ensuing summer the manuscript was taken with her to Dorset, carefully revised and finished before her return to the city. In revising it she had the advantage of suggestions made by her friends, Miss Warner and Miss Lyman, both of them Christian ladies of the best culture and of rare good sense.—The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss (1882).

The diary began after Katherine received a new desk and writing utensils for her sixteenth birthday. Her journal contained many thoughts about herself, life and God. She came face to face with her own selfishness, weakness and lack of spiritual interest, but struggled onward. Soon married life brought many challenges and reflections. A quote from the book: "And I think some of the best, most contrite, most useful of men and women, whose prayers prevail with God, and bring down blessings into the homes in which they dwell, often possess unlovely traits that furnish them with their best discipline." An important quote from Jean Paul Friedrich Richter is "our course heavenward is like the plan of the zealous pilgrims of old, who for every three steps forward, took one backward." Earnest Christians are sure to be pleased with the wisdom for everyday life contained in this book.—Curiosmith (2013).

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