Do you remember some of the stories you read as a young child? Do you remember the stories written ages ago when the world was a little purer in some ways? Salem Ridge Press founder, Daniel Mills, does despite his young age. He read many of those books while he was homeschooled growing up not so long ago. His parents saw the goodness in many of those books that are now out of print and very difficult to find. Now he works to republish many of those old books, so our children can learn from them and cherish them as well.
There was certain richness to those stories of old. They captured the essence of an age long gone. Values were taught in those stories that could make godly men and women of boys and girls. It is hard to find those kinds of things in many of the books written today. I received three of the books republished by Salem Ridge Press. One was an old favorite of mine back when I was about six or seven years old. It was called Mary Jane- Her Book which is such a simple title for a delightful book. I am nearly fifty years old, and while reading this book, the memories flashed in brilliant color. I could so easily recall many of the protagonist’s adventures because the story was so richly told as the child learned so many of life’s valuable lessons along the way. Many of the books I read today regardless of the good information or lessons they teach are forgotten within a few months. The rich detail is just not there.
I also remember the loving times of looking at those illustrations in the old books though they were just black and white line drawings and so few in any particular selection. It was very expensive to add illustrations back then and color printing was not yet available. Artists learned well to put clarity and emotion into those illustrations. One picture was full of life that I could use to dream about for hours.
Yes, I think the Salem Ridge Press founder is absolutely right. Many of those old books deserve to be republished during these times. His company has published more than eighteen books including the Emma Leslie Church History Series since its beginning in 2005 with many more to come. Mr. Mills uses Philippians 4:8 as the foundational philosophy behind his republishing company. He believes that what we read matters and is a major factor in the development of character. While choosing many titles which may or may not be explicitly Christian, his basis for choice of titles is “fitting the qualifications outlined in the Bible”.
In printing books written in the distant past, cultural values are not always presented as we wish. Man has made many mistakes throughout history and during such times man didn’t often see the err of his ways. Therefore, some books may present some issues such as slavery as a mere statement of fact or even in somewhat of a positive light. Parents can look at those titles individually and evaluate them as they choose. However, as Christ didn’t immediately condemn slavery during His time on earth and even told the slave to be content in his situation though we know that He did deplore the institution, I still feel the books deserve to be republished and should be used as ways to discuss the sins of man as a reality and as evidence of our need for the Savior.
Salem Ridge Press, www.salemridgepress.com, is doing a great mission in providing these books once again for the enjoyment of our future generations. Let us support this mission as this generation is in definite need of books that truly teach godliness.

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