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(To SECOND EDITION)
HEN the author's first book for the clergy,
“Priestly Practice,” went into a second edition in less than six months after its appearance, his publishers somewhat complacently styled it "the clerical best-seller of 1914." The larger first edition of “Clerical Colloquies” was disposed of, in 1916, with equal rapidity; and, although the first edition of the present work was about twice as large as the initial issue of "Priestly Practice," the demand for another edition has come when the book is scarcely more than two months old. Orders for about one-fourth of the whole first edition were received indeed before the page-proofs of the volume were corrected,-a compliment obviously paid to the two works mentioned above rather than to the present book.
While this exceptionally rapid sale is naturally welcome to both publishers and author, the latter at least is still more gratified by the uniformly laudatory tone in which such competent critics on both sides of the Atlantic as have thus far in private letters or public print expressed their opinion of the book have spoken of its merits and its worth. The London Month is kind enough to say that the work “is characterized by the same soundness and moderation of view, the same wide reading and observation, and the same unforced humor as mark the author's previous brightly written volumes." America remarks that the author "has again made all priests his debtors,” and adds: “Father O'Neill's ideals are invariably high and eminently sensible, he talks fearlessly and plainly
when occasion requires, while on a disputed question he is sure to be moderate and open-minded.” The Rosary Magazine declares that: “Just because the author is never an extremist, this work will appeal mightily to the priest, who, finding at first time to read but one chapter, will most certainly make time to read all the others.”
Especially grateful to the author, and worthwhile to his prospective readers, is the appreciative critique with which the book has been honored in the Ecclesiastical Review, with its concluding hope, “We trust that Father O'Neill will find further matter for the composition of similar useful books for the clergy.” Over in France a work of exceptional literary distinction is “crowned” by the French Academy. In this country the equivalent of such “crowning" in so far as clerical books are concerned, may well be the discriminating praise and cordial approbation of that Sir Hubert Stanley of the American priesthood, the Rev. Dr. Heuser.