Boston: Published by Otis Clapp, 1859. Third edition. Square 12mo, original brown cloth, gilt lettering, 96 pages. Some nibbling to the cloth along the rear joint; a bit frayed at the head and foot of the spine; a little light dust soiling and scattered foxing; a very good copy. Item #19389
First published in 1837, a children’s book for Swedenborgian Sunday School; in addition to the expected Bible lessons on behavior, encomia on the printing press as a boon to missionaries, etc., Wilkins includes much on the curious cosmology of the New Church: “The planet Jupiter is the next in our system, and there too the people live a heavenly life. Their earth is fruitful, and full of inhabitants, who have no desires beyond the necessaries of life. . . . The manners of these people, Swedenborg tells us, were inexpressibly sweet, and their countenances always smiling. They have a peculiar way of walking. They bend forward, and spread out their hands, almost like persons swimming, and appear to help themselves along with their hands. Their houses are low, and constructed of wood; but within they are coated over with bark, of a pale blue color.” One is tempted of course to shoehorn the work into an early juvenile interplanetary tale. Contemporary pencil juvenile gift inscription to the front free endpaper.