Reverend Jesse Halsey
c1952 | Chicago
A blizzard swept the Dakotas for a week; fuel at the Manse was gone. The babies could be wrapped and trundled; below zero outside and a lost freezing within. All odd and ends of packing boxes and barrels had fed the rapacious kitchen stove, then it was old chairs; at last the books. Which should be the first; which kept to the last? The preacher must decide. So the story goes . . . out of the experience he determined the relative value of his books.This time it is the old preacher-teacher; he is “retiring.” Which go to the second hand store (at ten cents the volume?); which to discerning students; which to the junk man; and which absorb the thousand mile freight charge and justify shelf room in the new-old home where space is limited for a so-called “study” and lumber even in knotty seconds that would make shelves, is $150 per M!Then; What will he do when they get there and he gets there and all get “settled” if and when? Will he keep up and look ahead with the current magazines? When he has digested halfway Life and Time and The Atlantic and The New York Times (Daily AND Sunday) what time will there be left to read? (Not to say study or write.) Old sermons for an occasional Sunday when a brother is sick? He has no barrel, so maybe a new one (Query: Can a man make a new one when he is old?) At any rate he’ll try; it may be on Ruth and he will need Hastings to look up “Moab”—and other things, so Hastings must go with him; five volumes plus X and the Gospels. The other two volume set on the N.T. has gone to a former assistant.(Old Hastings what a man he was—compiling, editing the Expository Time. Yes, those old bound copies they must go through he knows right well they will never be looked at. And that shelf full of old Hibbert Journals, they are light weight paper—but heavy otherwise and represent a young preacher’s ambition to keep up with the world of thought though on an isolated mission field. They always came late; mail in winter reaches Labrador once a month at best; no radios then and no telegraph; the Titanic had been sunk a month before we heard of it; then it came by grapevine.)We pause to glance through one—Josiah Royce, L.P.? Jacks; Galsworthy Bacon of Yale on a Century of N.T. Criticism, and Jas Moffat in a review of current theological books. These and others including Mr. Balfour and Principal Carpenter. Twenty or thirty old Hibberts? Junk man; old paper, or future use???