Boston, February 19th, 1877
It is not expected that the work will fall into the hands of many outside of those in some way acquainted and in sympathy with the loved friend of whom it speaks, and whose simple desire in reading the book will be to know him better - to know all that can be known of the man and his work. To all such the interest in the subject of the memoir will lead them to overlook its faults. To all others, it can only be said that no claim is made for the book, except that it is a loving and faithful attempt to truthfully narrate what could be recalled from memory, and gathered from all reliable sources, of the life of Mr. Bliss. Much could undoubtedly have been profitably omitted, and no one could feel more keenly than the writer that much could profitably be added to make a complete picture of this variously-=gifted, large-hearted, consecrated Christian man. What is presented will seem to his earest friends but fragments of glass, though which will be caught glimpses of the man they knew. That is all that it seems to the writer.
All collections, so far as known, are for the same definite purpose. The estate of Mr. Bliss is in the hand of an executor, who is under legal responsibility to administer for the benefit solely of the heirs-at-law, the minor children. Whatever may be realized from the railroad company, from insurance, from copyright interests, must be kept and accounted for to the minor children when of age. It will thus be seen that while a fair provision is made for the boys, other objects, dear to the heart of both Mr. and Mrs. Bliss, are left wholly unprovided for. Mr. Bliss left a will which stipulated that $200 a year should be paid to his mother; but in probating the will it was ruled that, as he had changed this clause since the will was dated, and the change was without attestation, the original clause, which was $100 a year, was all that could be allowed. In addition to this mother, there were sisters and nephews who were constant recipients of his assistance, and for whom he had plans of future aid that would have been realized to them had he lived.
This statement is not made as the basis of any appeal for a continuation of contributions. No solicitations are made that the book should be bought as an act of charitable donation. The facts are stated to justify the publication of the book as giving friends who desire the privilege, the opportunity of creating a fund to be used in carrying out in some measure the plans of Mr. Bliss for his family. By assignment with the publishers, all copyright profits will be paid over to Rev. E.P. Goodwin, H.G. Spafford, and D.W. Whittle, as Trustees.
Acknowledgements and thanks are hereby tendered to the friends who have kindly assisted in the preparation of this book, by furnishing letters of Mr. Bliss and giving incidents connected with his life and work.
The obligations that the writer and all friends are under to Messrs. John Church and Co., Mr. Bliss's publishers, and the owners of the copyrights upon the words and music of his songs and hymns, for permitting without cost the use of the words and music compiled in this work, and the contributions of Mr. Bliss from the Song Messenger, are hereby gratefully acknowledged.
The composers, whose chapter of songs, as a memorial to their loved brother and companion in labor, constitutes so attractive and valuable a feature of the memoirs, are cordially remembered for the cheerful assent they have rendered to the request made for their contributions.
That God may add His blessing, and that His children who read this book may be quickened in spiritual life, and that some unsaved one may be led to the acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ by a word or sentence here read and applied by the Spirit of God, is the highest ambition and sincere prayer of the writer.
Chicago, Feb. 19th, 1877