I am a Charles Dickens fan. I have been for years. I haven’t read all of his novels yet, but I hope to do so before I depart planet Earth. I just finished reading, “The Old Curiosity Shop.”
During his lifetime, he was the most famous writer in all of Europe and America. He had a gift of being able to create such memorable characters. He is considered by many to be the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works have never gone out of print.
He toured America in 1842 and 1867, giving two-hour public readings of his works to sold-out venues. His contemporary fans included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain and the brilliant Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky.
But it wasn’t the books that he wrote or his great fame that was the most important, lasting thing about Dickens. In my opinion, here is the most important thing about him. He wrote these words in his will:
“I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children humbly to try and guide themselves by the teaching of the New Testament in its broad spirit . . .”
More than his novels, more than his characters, this is what is forever. This is eternal.
Charles Dickens understood that. Do we?
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