Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stepping Heavenward - Book Review

Written in 1869, this is a fictional journal of a young woman--her beginning, doubts, disobedience, growth, marriage, difficult in-laws, children, and her older days--and is still pertinent to women today.

It's good to read a book (the second time) in which the main character, at least in the main, listens to and learns from her mother and other older and wiser people. The main character has a lot of flaws, yet she wants to please God, and slowly grows. I can relate to many of her struggles, so I find it interesting and helpful. No perfect books can be found, except the Bible in its original language, but I still think this is a book worthy of five stars, or maybe four and a half.

The author, Elizabeth Prentiss, also penned the famous hymn, "More Love to Thee, O Christ."
 Quotes from the Story:
'Our course heavenward is like the plan of the zealous pilgrim of old, who for every three steps forward, took one backward.'

'The question is not whether you ever gave yourself to God, but whether you are His now.'

'She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.
    Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!' 

'This is the testimony of all the good books, sermons, hymns, and memoirs I read--that God's ways are infinitely perfect; that we are to love Him for what He is and therefore equally as much when He afflicts as when He prospers us; that there is no real happiness but in doing and suffering His will; and that this life is but a scene of probation through which we pass to the real life above.'

'People ask me how it happens that my children are all so promptly obedient and so happy. As if it chanced that some parents have such children or chanced that some have not! I am afraid it is only too true, as someone has remarked, that "this is the age of obedient parents!" What then will be the future of their children? How can they yield to God who have never been taught to yield to human authority? And how well fitted will they be to rule their own households who have never learned to rule themselves?'


Jenny said...

I really like this book - I have a Victorian copy. I need to read it again!

Eleganza Strings/ The DeLadurantey Family said...

This is one of my favorite fictional books! I am so glad you enjoyed it too.

Many Blessings-

Melissa M. said...

Yes, it's one of my favorites! It's good to hear from you, Hannah! Blessings to you and your family. :)

Lizzy said...

Oh, I LOVE this book!!! It's one of my favorites...
I've read it at least 10 times, and each time I learn something new.

Great post! :-)