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American Tract Society

Introducing this Major Project

The American Tract Society was founded on May 11, 1825 for a specific purpose:

To make Jesus Christ known in His redeeming grace and to promote the interests of vital godliness and sound morality, by the circulation of Religious Tracts, calculated to receive the approbation of all Evangelical Christians (from the ATS Statement of Purpose, 1825).

Three trends motivated the founders of American Tract, a diverse group of evangelical religious leaders from various denominations, to form the Society--a spiritual trend, a geographic trend, and a social trend:

First, the Second Great Awakening of the late 1700s swept across much of America, giving many Christians a deeper interest in Christian missions and motivating many of them to more aggressively share their faith with others. This new exuberance resulted in many Bible societies and gospel tract ministries being founded from 1800 to 1825. By 1825, some Christians thought that consolidation of some of these various groups was needed.

Second, the United States was expanding rapidly geographically. After the Missouri Compromise in 1820, Maine and Missouri were added to bring the total states to twenty-four. Florida was annexed in 1819. Oregon Country was jointly occupied with Great Britain. How could the gospel be taken across a land that was growing so quickly?

Third, the prospects of a new life in a new land brought millions of immigrants to America in the early 1800s. Between 1800 and 1820 alone, the population of the US swelled from 5,300,000 to 7,250,000. The new land act passed in 1820 reduced the price of land to $1.25 an acre. Ever increasing multitudes needed to know about Jesus Christ.

All of these factors combined to bring about the birth of the American Tract Society, an organization that could efficiently and effectively share the gospel message of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ with the many US citizens flung across our vast nation.

Tracts varied from 4 to 48 pages in length and were written by men such as John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Alleine, Archibald Alexander, J.W. Alexander, John Flavel, John Witherspoon, John Newton, Robert Hall, James Hervey, Richard Cecil, John Owen, Philip Doddridge, Timothy Dwight, Richard Baxter, Isaac Watts, Legh Richmond, Thomas Goodwin, Gardiner Spring, William Cowper, Edward Payson, Ashbel Green, Andrew Fuller, Benjamin Rush, Cesar Malan and many more.

Solid Ground Christian Books is seeking to bring these 194 gems back to the 21st century for several reasons:

  1. These tracts were written before the day of decisionism, and thus avoids that terrible error.
  2. These tracts were owned by God in the conversion and sanctification of multitudes the world over.
  3. These tracts were written in a language that can be understood by the common man or woman.
  4. These tracts were written by those of doctrinal and moral integrity with no thought of personal gain.
  5. These tracts are brief enough for use in Family Worship, Personal Devotions, Christian School & Sunday School.

Our goal is to bring the first six volumes back before Christmas 2007 for use during the coming year. This would be a great gift to purchase for the Church Library, for your pastor and for your own personal or family library.

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Various Authors

The American Tract Society began to publish the very best of evangelical Christian Literature in the early years of the 19th century. They not only produced books from men like John Owen, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards and many, many more but they also were faithful to produce Tracts of various sizes (between 4 and 48 pages) which addressed such topics as-






- WALKING BY FAITH by Andrew Fuller,

- AN ADDRESS TO SEAMAN by Edward Payson



- THE WELL-SPENT DAY by Philip Doddridge,

- GROWTH IN GRACE by Rev. Thomas Goodwin

- A Preservative against the Sins and Follies of Childhood and Youth by Isaac Watts


- THE PROGRESS OF GRACE; in three letters to a friend by John Newton

"The American Tract Society publications are of enduring and superlative quality. They represent the cream of the best writers in the Reformed world from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, such as John Flavel, Jonathan Edwards, and Archibald Alexander. Almost without exception, these tracts, which range from four to forty-eight pages each and cover a remarkable variety of subjects, interface biblical, doctrinal, and experiential material in practically helpful ways. Having often perused these volumes in my own study with considerable profit for nearly four decades, I am so grateful to SGCB for bringing them back into print again. Here is truly a case where 'the old is better'!" - Dr. Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"The early publications of the American Tract Society are as valuable as they are varied. The individual pieces were written by well-seasoned Christians and abound in sweet seasoning for the soul. Something here for everyone."- Dr. Robert P. Martin, Pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington and Editor of Reformed Baptist Theological Review

"The collected tracts are a veritable treasure chest of good sound doctrine from the greatest proclaimers of gospel truth the church has had for the last 300 years. You would be doing your soul a tremendous dis-service if you fail to obtain these gems!" - Dr. Don Kistler, founder of Soli Deo Gloria and now Northampton Publications

"My study of ministry during the 1800's has caused me to love these ministers and their writings. The American Tract Society took theses stories, sermons and messages and published them into a format that gospel messengers could take to the harvest field. Though small,these tracts contain more meat of the word and truth than books many times their size." - John A. Wega, Executive Director, U.S. Christian Commission-Civil War Museum Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

VOLUMES ONE - SIX: Tracts 1 - 194 (50% OFF)
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VOLUME ONE: Tracts 1 - 33
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VOLUME TWO: Tracts 34 - 66
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VOLUME THREE: Tracts 67 - 93
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VOLUME FOUR: Tracts 94 - 127
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VOLUME FIVE: Tracts 128 - 155
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VOLUME SIX: Tracts 156 - 194
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THE POWER OF FAITH: Exemplified in the Life and Writings of Isabella Graham
Isabella Graham, Edited by Divie & Joanna Bethune

"Here is the moving story of a woman who knew her God. Men and women, young and old, will find inspiration in the life of Isabella Graham. You will have a hard time putting this book down. From her loss of her husband when she was but thirty-one, to her subsequent poverty, to her labors in teaching young women and finding work for the poor, Mrs. Graham exemplified sweet submission and diligent service to the Lord. May God use this book to raise up many other people of similar Christlikeness!" -Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"This a fine book for Christian women of all ages. Isabella Graham began to walk with the Lord in her youth and continued to do so in young adulthood, through the years of middle age, and on into old age, experiencing, along the way, many sorrows and joys as a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. The record of her journey, in this memoir of her life and writings, is a testimony to the marvelous grace of God. It shows us how he cares for his own, works all things together for their good, and comforts as well as sends grief. Above all, it shows us what great things he can do through a woman who is deeply devoted both to him and to his service." - David Campbell, Pastor of Grace Baptist of Carlisle, PA

"What a delight to become acquainted with Isabella Graham! She was a wise, godly, solid-gold Christian woman, who in the midst of much suffering lived a life of faith in her God." -Sara Leone, author of "Her Husband's Crown" by Banner of Truth

The Power of Faith Exemplified in the Life and Writings of the late Mrs. Isabella Graham

An Introduction to a New Generation by Sara Leone

"Recently an elderly couple in our church gave my husband a number of beautiful old books. Among them I discovered a memoir of Isabella Graham. It has been delightful to become acquainted with Isabella Graham.

As older women are to teach the younger women, Isabella Graham (1742-1814) is one of those Christian women who will be a safe guide for us in our life of faith. I say this because of her evident close walk with the Lord, her saturation in the Word of God, and her constantly pointing others to Christ.

Isabella Graham lived out her faith in the midst of much suffering. Widowed at the age of 31 with three young daughters and a son on the way, she was cast upon the Lord, took hold of God's promises to the widow, and never let go. Mrs. Graham was single-minded throughout her life in her overarching desire and prayer for the salvation of her children and grandchildren. Nothing else mattered but that they knew and loved the Lord. Nothing. 'My only concern and prayer to God for them is, that they may be early taught to love God and serve him. I am equally indifferent what station of life they may occupy, whether they swim in affluence or earn their daily bread' (p. 49). Can we as mothers say the same?

Here was a woman who left her homeland of Scotland for America where she perceived the church of Christ would flourish. Why her determination to move? She desired that her children could be settled there. It was for her children's spiritual good.

Do you know what it is to yearn after a prodigal son? From her own sad experience, she carefully and tenderly offers advice for those suffering the death of a wayward child for whom they had prayed - trust and hope in God.

Isabella Graham knew how to abound and how to suffer loss. At one point in her widowhood, the family was reduced to eating porridge and potatoes. Reflecting on those impoverished days, Isabella Graham later wrote to a friend undergoing suffering, 'O, what sweet meals have I and my children made on hot potatoes, nicely boiled and cracked, with salt - not merely content, but they tasted good and savory. There are peculiar pleasures in a life of that kind. You shall yet sing of it.' (p. 302) In spite of their poverty, she enjoyed peace with God and contentment.

To support her little family, Isabella, who, in God's providence, had been more highly educated than was usual in those days, opened schools for young ladies. She had a tender, loving manner with the young. In later life her former students spoke highly of her godly influence on their lives. Indeed she was 'a mother in Israel' (Judges 5:7).

How does the world remember Isabella Graham? She is remembered as a philanthropist in an age of limited safety nets. A widow herself of modest means, she served as the first directress of the Female Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children, she help start an orphanage and a Bible society, she supported the first missionary society in New York, and she visited the poorest of the poor including newly-arrived immigrant families and female prisoners. Her faith in beginning endeavors with slender means is exemplary. In spite of limited funds, she moved ahead with the projects, trusting the Lord to provide the rest. And He did!

Isabella Graham's biography is interspersed with her own writings either from her devotional exercises ('prayer journal'), or her letters often written to younger friends. Isabella Graham's prayers are soaked in Scripture and evidence a deep hunger for God. Having a strong grasp of orthodox Christianity (her favorite authors were John Owen, William Romaine, and John Newton) she could hold her own against rising liberalism and also faithfully explain biblical doctrine to others. I highly commend to you the reading of this book about Isabella Graham, 'whose faith follow, considering the outcome of [her] conduct.' - Sara Leone


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THE TRACT PRIMER: First Lessons in Sound Doctrine for Young Children
The American Tract Society

This remarkable book packs more into 104 pages than can be imagined. Intended for very young children who are just beginning to read it contains material that will lay a solid foundation in the heart of every child trained by it. It is the perfect tool for homeschooling moms who want to teach their children sound doctrine as they are teaching them to read.

We are including a scanned page that will give you an idea of just two pages of the content within the covers of this wonderful little book from the early part of the 19th century.

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THE CHRISTIAN'S PRESENT FOR ALL SEASONS: Containing Devotional Thoughts of Eminent Divines
Joseph Hall, Isaac Watts, John Owen, Richard Sibbes, John Flavel, Jonathan Edwards, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, William Jay and More

An Introductory Essay on "Devotion" by William B. Sprague sets the stage for a rich devotional journey from Joseph Hall to William Jay. This volume was published in 1866 by The American Tract Society and it contains dozens and dozens of brief devotional exercises to stimulate the brethren to love and good works. The contributors to this volume are a veritable who's who in evangelical circles from the Puritan era to the mid-nineteenth century.

W.B. Sprague concluded his Introductory Essay with these words: "Among the many excellent works adapted especially to help the Christian in his devotions, this book holds a prominent place. The Compiler seems to have ranged through almost the whole field of devotional literature, and to have gathered up all the brightest gems that came in his way; and so successful has he been that one may open the book at random, as often as he will, and will never find his eye resting upon anything that he can afford to pass over, or that does not supply the elements of rich devotional thought. It is difficult to say which is most to be admired, the Compiler's good judgment and taste, or his extraordinary patience in research, that has brought to us the heavenly thoughts of so many saints and sages. This is truly a beautiful compilation of DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS."

D.A. Harsha, the Editor, said the following in his Preface: "It is more than ten years since the preparation of the present volume was commenced. During all this time, the selection of these beautiful passages has been slowly but steadily carried on. The work was undertaken in connection with the editing of a Library of Christian Authors, embracing Memoirs of Eminent Divines, and their choice works--a series whose preparation is not yet completed. In performing this long and arduous labor, and while carefully perusing the works of our best authors, from the 17th century to the present time, passages in each author, which the editor regarded as among the finest specimens of devotional and practical writing, were selected for the present volume. In this manner have these 'calm and holy thoughts' of those who have shone as stars in the firmament of the Christian Church, been brought together; and it is believed that in the following pages will be found some of the choicest gems of English sacred literature--gems which 'within small compass, and in purest gold, will preserve their lustre for ages.'"

"We sometimes sing the opening lines of Psalm 63 with these words:

'GOD is my great desire

His face I seek the first

To him my heart and soul aspire

For him I thirst.'

This book of devotions by such eminent saints makes it irresistible because the fervent desires of our hearts for GOD Triune must be fed." - Erroll Hulse

"This is sweet food from savory writers. Perfect for the breakfast table, the bedside, the bathroom, red lights, or anywhere else where a minute or two can be redeemed for your soul's nourishment." - Dr. Robert Martin, Pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle and Editor of Reformed Baptist Theological Review

"A quick scan of the table of contents makes clear that this book could be referred to as the hall of fame of devotional literature. Theological depth and practical application define the writings of men like John Flavel, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Matthew Henry and the rest of the authors of this book. This book would make a wonderful gift for any occasion of the year. The recipient of such a gift would have a library in one volume of some of the greatest minds in Christian history. This book would be useful in leading family worship because it would expose your family to classic reformed theology in a devotional format. Buy this book in bulk, keep a copy for yourself and pass down the truth by giving your remaining copies away." - Ray Rhodes, Jr. is President of Nourished in the Word Ministries and author of two Solid Ground Books, "Family Worship for the Reformation Season" and "Family Worship for the Christmas Season."

"In a day of time-sensitivity when every minute and hour seems to be at a premium, the leisure our forebears had for reading seems a pipe-dream for most of God's people. What is the solution? We need better stewardship of our time, for starters. But also we need books like this one that distill the riches of eminent divines from the past and give them to us in succinct packages that will stay with us through the day and week.I am glad to see this marvellous collection reprinted by Solid Ground Christian Books." - Dr. Michael Haykin

One book notice said, "A collection of the holiest aspirations of the holiest men."

This is a 572 page Large Paperback Volume




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A Gift Book for Christians
David A. Harsha

This book was published in 1856 and includes the following four gems:





This is the perfect companion to the book edited and revised by Harsha and entitled THE CHRISTIAN'S PRESENT FOR ALL SEASONS: Devotional Thoughts by Eminent Divines.

View the contents of Heavenly Token at http://www.gracegems.org/BOOKS/David%20Harsha%20books.htm

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