THE reader must indulge me with what I cannot help saying, that I have felt the joy of a son in telling the achievements and chronicling the virtues of Father Hecker. I loved him with the sacred fire of holy kinship, and love him still—only the more that lapse of time has deepened by experience, inner and outer, the sense of truth and of purity he ever communicated to me in life, and courage and fidelity to conscience. I feel it to be honor enough and joy enough for a life-time that I am his first biographer, though but a late born child and of merit entirely insignificant. The literary work is, indeed, but of home-made quality, yet it serves to hold together what is the heaven-made wisdom of a great teacher of men. It will be found that Father Hecker has three words in this book to my one, though all my words I tried to make his. His journals, letters, and recorded sayings are the edifice into which I introduce the reader, and my words are the hinges and latchets of its doors. I am glad of this, for it pleases me to dedicate my good will and my poor work to swinging open the doors of that new House of God that Isaac Hecker was to me, and that I trust he will be to many.