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Twelve Tests of Character by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Harry Emerson Fosdick was one of the most eminent and often controversial of the preachers of the first half of the twentieth century. Published by Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London. Copyright, 1923, by The International Committee of Young Men’s Christian Associations. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


These essays on practical religion and right living were written because the editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal offered his large circle of readers as an audience. Their serial nature also is occasionally indicated as in the eleventh article, which appeared in November and which commemorates Thanksgiving Day. Except as I have retained in the book the original form of articles which editorial necessity compressed when they were published in the Journal, I have left the essays practically as they first were printed.

The papers are an endeavor to stress some fundamental tests of character which our new generation is tempted to forget. With many overhead schemes for the world’s salvation, everything rests back on integrity and driving power in personal character. "You cannot carve rotten wood," says a Chinese proverb. Nor can you carve decrepit and decayed character into any economic system or scheme of government that will work happiness for men. It is an old emphasis, but it is indispensable, and just now we may well get back to it.

Harry Emerson Fosdick.

New York, October 1, 1923.


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