An excerpt from the beginning of the FOREWORD:
ON the morning of October eleventh, nineteen hundred and nineteen. Dr. David Gregg, only twelve hours removed from virile geniality and mellow words, went from among those whom he had loved and with whom he had lived for a long span of years. He had wondered how it would come, that passing. Throughout an eventful and happy life he had contemplated the transition, had surveyed it with an expectation and a calm assurance which is not within the temperament of the average religious man or woman however devout. The dread of death was not in him. "He was master of his fate, captain of his soul." Well may we seek the secret.
The death of Dr. Gregg derived its inspiration from his life. With a rich and storied character, with a wit that spared not saint or sinner, with a sympathy which drew to him the stricken and the sore at heart, he was in the best sense of the word a man of the world, a scholar, a traveller, with few illusions, and the gentlest heart. He could be tender. Fears were not in his make-up. And so it came about that this great Christian was a friend and confidant not merely of the devout but of men who negatived religion entirely and of those who differed as to dogma and who practically never went to church. Dr. Gregg's power in the pulpit and his gift of administration were manifested in the various positions to which he was called. His literary talent had been manifested to tens of thousands in his books. It is not to demonstrate these things that this work has been compiled. It has been put together in order to show David Gregg, the man, - some of his inmost thoughts, - to indicate the workings of his mind, to place on record some of the facts of history, some of the great books, some of the great lives that helped to mold the activities of a vigorous mind and imagination.
Dr. Gregg, a man of the intensest private industry, wrote diligently every day in his note-book reflections and facts for his own guidance. They present a many-sided view of life, life in the past, and in the present, and in the future. His comments and his lines of thought will have an interest far outside church circles, but will also be of outstanding value to those engaged in the church ministry, particularly, perhaps, to those who are entering on that work. They give in concentrated form an idea of the reactions of a gifted brain throughout two generations. They are the more valuable because they were not intended for the public eye.
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