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Safed the Sage, the famous parable-telling creation of William Eleazar Barton, emerges to dispense poignant portions of worldly wisdom.
For the author, parables are an underappreciated method of tutoring others in morality, of introducing the comparisons and contrasts of life and its events, that they gain a grounding in dealing with affairs wisely and with discernment. For William Barton, gaining this insight via anecdotes is a stepping down to reflecting the condition of the heavenly kingdoms spoken about in the Christian lore.
The origin of the Safed the Sage series ? which went on to span several books, that together had millions of readers in the USA and elsewhere ? is explained. Barton set about writing a modern take on old parables, wherein a man and wife travelling the country relate stories as they journey around by rail, steamboat or otherwise.