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highest wisdom, it is too early to assert. Miss Martineau sees some things through the medium of her own political and religious views, of course, but is an honest chronicler. The style is not the purest historic.
For example the commencement of the 5th chapter: "More dissensions in the cabinet !” We do not apprehend the necessity of parading Lord Eldon's profanity as on page 42.
This volume, like the previous two, is beautiful in paper and letter press. A fourth volume nearly ready, will complete this work. 14. — Poems. By EDNA DEAN PROCTOR. New York: Hurd &
Houghton. Boston: E. P. Dutton & Co. 1866.
Tuis elegant little volume contains sixty-nine pages of “National Poems," and seventy-nine of "Miscellaneous." Among the former are "The Stripes and Stars,” “The Grave of Lincoln," "The Slave Sale," etc. These were written evidently when the pressure of the great conflict was on the heart of the nation, and are full of high toned patriotism, sounding out in stirring numbers. Among the miscellaneous poems are some of great beauty. Indeed we think there are very few that are not. We have marked “Heart-Deaths,” “The Blue Bird," " Take Heart," and "The Priest and 1.” We should like “Trust” better, if the writer would tell us a little more clearly why she is not afraid of dying.” The absence of the distinct Christian sentiment when the writer seems close to it, is the defect of these really beautiful poems. 15.—Lucy Arlyn. By J. T. TROWBRIDGE. 12mo. Boston : Tick
nor & Fields. 1866.
The vigor of Mr. Trowbridge's style, the vivacity, and at times the beauty of his conceptions, are undeniable. He has a strong sense of the charms and the sublimities of nature, of which his descriptions of mountain and forest scenery, under the varying aspects of the day and the seasons, furnish good illustrations. He seizes the bold features of questionable and bad men and women with a firm grasp, and gives them a rough sort of charcoal sketching with much effect. Nor is he insensible to the finer shades of human nature, though we think him not specially happy in their delineation. In this story there is small room for the quiet inovements of the purest goodness. It is a tale of excitements and adventures which must be worked out, if at all, by machinery of a much higher pressure than that.
It is not a wholesome story in its total impression. It shows up the folly of being foolish, and the wickedness of being wicked, plainly enough ; but it is not very plain, after all, that the author re
pudiates the cause of the thick coming troubles of most of the people here brought together. He makes much sport of the absurdities of spiritualistic phenomena which are the marplot of his tale; but if we rightly understand page 519, he endorses the new religion thus anuounced and wituessed as being essentially true. He brings several of its prophets to sufficiently bad ends. Yet he seems to stand sponsor for the mission” which even they had taken up in the name of humanity's salvation. He has some good sentiments about the need of individual regeneration in order to the reformation of society; but we do not see a very straight road to it laid down on this chart. In our judgment, about as good guides as he is likely to find to lead on this social renovation, are supplied by his Christina and Guy Bannington; and what they effected is not hopeful as a prophecy in this direction. The book is gusty, turbid, spasmodic, with considerably greater evidences of literary power than of fitness to conduct troubled, yearning souls, into the paths of peace. It satisfies our moral sense less than our artistic taste, in both of which lights we hold it to be open to grave exceptions.
Its single volume contains three unsuccessful love affairs, one secret marriage, two seductions, several robberies, some swearing, two murders, three other violent deaths, and a variety of unclassified rascalities, male and female, offset by a scant measure of either "the bold or the mild virtues.” We confess our inability to discover the utility of this style of literary creation. True as it may be to the life of sin which misleads and pollutes society, is its picturing forth in this way likely to make society any better? Mr. Trowbridge has a rising reputation, specially as a Boston author. We feel a strong personal desire that he should give us something much superior to any of his productions thus far: we think he is capable of this.
judgme the bar Talvel
16.- A Commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes. By the Rev.
LOYAL YOUNG, D. D., Pastor of the Presbyterian church of Butler, Pa. With Introductory notices, by the Rev. A. T. McGill, D. D., Professor in Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Rev. M. W. JACOBUS, D. D., Professor in the Western Theological Seminary, Pa. Philadelphia : Presbyterian Board of Publication. 1866.
This is a new attempt to do a work admitted to be of very great difficulty. How great the difficulty is, appears from the fact that after all the learned labor which has been expended upon the Book of Ecclesiastes, men of profound scholarship and earnest religious spirit, still differ so widely as to its meaning. It is not even decided (among the doctors) who was its author. Dr. Young is
Dr. Young is very confi
dent that it was Solomon, and brings strong reasons to support the opinion. But Moses Stuart argued at much length in the Introduction to his critical and very learned Commentary, to establish the point that the book was written by a later writer. He was supported in this view by not a few great names, as Grotius, Eichhorn, Dr. Wette, Rosenmuller, Gesenius, Hengstenberg, etc.
Dr. Young supposes that Solomon had an editor, who prefixed the first and second verses, as a kind of title page, and the last seven as a conclusion. He regards the third verse, being the first as the book came from the hand of Solomon, as the text, and gives what he regards as the key to the book in the following sentence :
“Keeping in view that the Book of Ecclesiastes is a treatise on the question, what profit is there in this life if there is no other ? and that this question is preparatory to the great doctrine of a future life and a future judgment, which Solomon eventually declares, we find the difficulties of the book cleared up. We find a freshness and beauty about it that is truly enchanting. The enigmas and riddles of the book are all solved, and the treatise stands out prominentman argument for a God, for immortality, for a future reward.”
Whether we are able to agree entirely with Dr. Young or not, this central idea imparts a deep interest to his work. It is rich in scriptural thought and illustration, and will furnish valuable aid to the preacher, as well as to the private student of the Word of God.
The plan embraces first, an "Analysis of Ecclesiastes at one view," then "The Words of the Preacher," in paragraph form, and thirdly the Commentary. In this main portion of the book, Dr. Young gives, chapter by chapter, Contents, Analysis, Exposition, and Suggested Remarks. The suggested remarks are very discriminating and pertinent, and will be found of peculiar value to young preachers, if read, not for immediate pulpit preparation, as no such book should be, but for enlargement and elevation of the mind and heart.
The volume is very beautifully got up, of clear, attractive page, making it most pleasant to read.
17.-Snow-Bound. A Winter Idyl. By John GREENLEAF WHIT
Boston : Ticknor & Fields. 1866. We are so much delighted with this last of Whittier's things, that we distrust our fitness to write a potice of it. Yet we are confident that if we could expand our notice into an article, we could justify our high opinion of the poem.
We had no sooner read it once, than we found it necessary to read it a second time; and have put it with "Evangeline" and "Enoch Arden," to be read again and again. Something of the charm we find in it may be due to the fact of our
familiarity with the scenes it so widely portrays, beginning with
... "that brief December day," its portents of the coming storm, the "nightly chores” at the farm-house and the barn, with the grand blazing, crackling fire in the old fire place so ample, and the peculiar wildness of the night without, followed, next morning, by the strange spectacle of a buried world ; but we shall be much disappointed if this “Winter Idyl” does not prove to be the favorite production of Whittier's muse. What more than that magaificent snow-storm the poem portrays, is indicated in the simple and touching dedication,
To the Memory of the Household it describes, this Poem is dedicated by the Author." Very exquisitely done are
“ These Flemish Pictures of old days," and we are persuaded that the reception which awaits them will far transcend the modest author's anticipation, so beautifully recorded in the closing lines, of favor from those to whom his descriptions bring back the memories of their own early days:
“And thanks untraced to lips unknown
18.-The Poets and Poetry of the Hebrews. By J. WESLEY CAHART,
D. D. 12mo. New York: Sheldon & Co. 1865.
The author's purpose is not critical, but popularly instructive. His idea was happy—to give a series of parochial lectures on this topic so full of attractive points to cultivated literary tastes, and so suggestive of important religious truth. He has brought his theme into yet closer sympathy with his readers, by weaving the biographical and historical threads of the subject into the discourses, giving a sketch of the author, the occasion, the various accessories of the poems which he introduces, thus adding much to the power and beauty of these citations. He writes in a flowing and exuberant style, with much poetic feeling, and a deeply Christian spirit. Generally, his quotations from uninspired authors, which are frequent, are well chosen. We should dissent from his endorsement of Horsley, that what are
called the “maledictory” psalms are not to be taken in the imperative but the declarative sense. The best of the more recent exegetes does not sustain this view; nor does the true theological sense require this easing-off. Nor do we like the opinion that Solomon died an apostate from God. His case is confessedly obscure ; but not enough so to extinguish all hope of resuscitated grace. We welcome this volume as a hearty tribute to the surpassing beauty and value of the Scriptures, and as a good example to be followed by our pastors for putting their congregations into a fuller possession of the varied treasures of the Bible.
19.-Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church. Ordered by the General
Assembly. 8vo. Philadelphia : Presbyterian Board of Publication. 1866.
SEVENTY chants, and less than five hundred and fifty hymns, with appropriate music, make up this collection, the editorial and mechanical execution of which are alike creditable to the venerable church whose imprint it bears. The division of psalms and hymns is abandoned. The poetry is of the substantial quality of our older sacred lyrics, for the most part, though we see a mingling of modern names in the index. The music seems, to a rapid inspection, of a kind which will stand the severe test of frequent use. We think the day of mammoth hymn-books is going by. This is enough for all the demands of public worship. Is the hope of a uniform manual of psalmody in our churches never to be realized? We can hardly think that any one would say that it is not desirable.
20.--Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates. A Story of Life in Holland. By M. E. DODGE, author of the “ Irvington Stories.” Illustrated by Darley & Nast. 12mo. New York : James O’Kane, 1866.
A SUCCESSFUL effort is here made to weave a pleasant and useful narrative for children, of about equal parts of story and travel. The , story is natural, interesting and of good moral tone. The sketches of scenery, character, customs and life among the Hollanders, are skilfully and tastefully wrought, taking the reader through the choice districts of a remarkable country in a way to leave valuable instruction in the young mind, as well as useful impressions on the heart. This is a good vein to work in juvenile literature; and this volume is one of its better specimens.