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21.–Little Foxes. By CHRISTOPHER CROWFIELD, Author of "House
and Home Papers.” Boston : Ticknor & Fields. 1866.
THESE “ prelections" are republished from the Atlantic Monthly, where they appeared some two or three years since. They exhibit the characteristic excellencies of the author, are sparkling, witty and eminently readable. They describe with caustic pen some of the common evils which afflict the social life of our poor fallen humanity, the little foxes spoiling the vines, and they prescribe simple and easy methods of catching the same little foxes, and putting them out. They make small account–indeed no account at all-of the sad truth that sin has deranged all things under the sun, and that only a divine remedy can be of much avail. But these sprightly papers have defects of another character. The pictures are exaggerated. There is no relief. They are painful, almost excruciating to contemplate, as pictures. And they are not true, in the exaggerated form, except in occasional and extreme cases which are utterly beyond hope of cure or relief. We suppose that most young men call their affianced 56
angels” and all that, in the dreamy period of courtship, and girls love to listen to it, though they do not quite believe it, and say to themselves, "Ah ! poor fellow, he will find out different to that by and by!” We are much inclined to believe, too, that, as a general rule, the real and substantial joys of married life are felt to be far more valuable than the mild moonshine and balmy zephyrs of the season of courtship. We believe that it is altogether probable that the blushing damsel, looking so like a fairy, and listening under the trysting tree to the airy nothings of the man she loves, will make him a good sensible wife, soothing his sorrows, helping to bear his burdens, and will have no wish to exchange the sober realities of her home for that misty, dreamy, delirious past.
We never care to read through an account of a “shocking accident,” or "barbarous treatment !" it lacerates our feelings. Neither do we believe that persons who find a pleasure in such things are remarkable for fine sensibility, a large humanity, or the highest moral
We object to Mrs. Stowe's pictures on the same ground. If there are just such scenes as she describes, we have no wish to see them painted so minutely, nor do we believe any good can come of it. The aim is good, but would not the author be a little more in harmony with her own philosophy, if her pictures were more after the style of Titian, and less after that of Spagnoletto?
22.-Orthophony': or The cultivation of the Voice in Elocution.
Manual of Elementary Exercises, adapted to Dr. Rush's "Philosophy of the Human Voice," and the System of Vocal Culture introduced by Mr. James E. Murdoch. Designed as an Introduction to Russell's "American Elocutionist.” Compiled by WILLIAM RusSELL, Author of “Lessons in Enunciation," etc. With a Supplement on Purity of Tone, by G. J. WEBB, Prof. Boston Academy of Music. Twenty Seventh Edition. Boston : Ticknor & Fields. 1866.
A RATHER long title-page to an exceedingly valuable book. We give it at length in the hope that it will be read, and that many will be induced to get the volume, and to read and inwardly digest that. All public speakers should have it, and use it every day. The sure result would be, a very great improvement of the voice, in the compass, depth, richness, flexibility, and a marvelously increased facility in speaking, by which we mean that a man could talk a long ime with pleasure to others and little fatigue to himself. There would be at the same time, a decided enlargement of the lungs and hest, with corresponding improvement of the health and the best ossible safeguard against consumption. Thus we have proved more han we asserted; that this book on elocution is good not only for public speakers, but for all who would have a full chest, a clear, rich, flexible voice, and good health. Our young ladies could not do a better thing than get this book and use it every day, for fullness of form, rosy complexion, and improvement in conversation. We are glad to see it has reached the twenty seventh edition, and hope soon to see the hundred and twenty seventh.
23.- Lectures on Pastoral Theology. By Enock Pond, D.D., Profes
sor in the Theological Seminary, Bangor. Andover: Warren F. Draper, Publisher.
The tendency of ministerial effort in New England has of late been especially directed toward the pulpit, as the sphere of intellectual, rather than toward the parish, as the sphere of social and spiritual power. Indeed, in no particular have young ministers been more deficient than in knowledge of this subject of pastoral theology. Many of those who hold the position of professors in this department, have been mere theorists. Never having been pastors, they have not known how to speak of the practical difficulties of pastoral work, and young ministers have gone among a new people without experience, and without counsel ; so that a young ministry is almost inevitably full of ignorance and blunders.
This treatise of Dr. Pond's covers most, if not all, of the important topics upon this subject, which need to be discussed. It is written in a clear, straight forward, unpretending style, and is eminently common-sense and practical in its suggestions. In treating of revivals Dr. Pond is moderate in his views, attempting to avoid extreme radicalism on the one hand, and extreme conservatism on the other. For example, on page 150, he
“Between these two extremes, and at a wide remove from either, there is a medium ground, on which the faithful minister will place himself, and where he may labor in promoting revivals with great success. Knowing that God works by means, and by appropriate means, he attaches a high and sacred importance to the means of grace. He labors to understand the truths and motives of the Gospel. . . . He studies the character of those whose salvation he seeks. . . . At the same time, he feels that he is a 'worker together with God,' and his whole trust and dependence are placed upon Him. He desires above all things to secure his co-operation and blessing."
And so in giving directions to inquirers, Dr. Pond would neither reiterate, “Repent !” por “Employ the means of grace !" but would seek to discover how the Holy Spirit was working, and direct the inquirer in accordance with His suggestions.
Now that we have such a text-book as this, practical, evangelical, American, let it be introduced into our theological seminaries, and let young ministers, be made masters of it, and the churches will have occasion for gratitude.
24.–St. Martin's Summer. By ANNE H. M. BREWSTER. Boston :
Ticknor & Fields. 1866.
UNDER the form of a residence, with a couple of female friends in the South of Europe, the author gives us a sympathetic and appreciative picture of life and society in that ever fascinating region of the world. Naples is the centre of her observations and studies, which are surcharged with antiquarian, historical, musical, classical, artistic lore and sentiment. There is romance in it, and sightseeing; but it is not a novel or a book of travel. Much of it is a conversazione broken off and renewed to suit the convenience of its highly cultured participants. Some of these interlocutors show a remarkable literary memory: but we have known a few prodigies of this kind who seemed to have nearly the whole round of ancient and modern authorship at their tongue's end. There is valuable information in it, and an exuberance of delicate, sensitive, passion
ate description and criticism, all swimming in the delicious gold and purple of that lotos-land
“A beaker full of the warm South." A good deal of practical shrewdness gives point to what else might diffuse itself into a dreamy transcendentalism. The thin vein of Romanism which here and there shows itself, will hardly do more than excite a smile among the unbelievers. This book shows much labor, not always concealing the tool-marks, and will make a pleasant summer day's companion.
25.—The Hebrew Lawgiver. By John M. LOWRIE, D.D. 2 vols.
Philadelphia : Presbyterian Board of Publication. 1865.
The author has made a careful study of his subject in the direction of biographical exposition and religious edification, taking the biblical text for his guide. He attempts no critical work in this field, further than a popular statement of the general ground on which the authenticity of the Mosaic books is rested. In his somewhat extended preface, he tells us that his volumes were written before the beginning of the Colenso debate, into which he does not enter. He very minutely follows out the Pentateuchal history, bestowing much labor upon the leading topics involved. For the purposes which it contemplates, the work is useful. Its style is clear and direct. But what a magical power true genius can throw into language, Ruskin's descriptions of the death and burial of Aaron and Moses will show to any one who will read his glowing pages in conjunction with the chapters here devoted to these events.
26.- War of the Rebellion : or Scylla and Charybdis. Consisting of
observations upon the Causes, Course and Consequences of the late Civil War in the United States. By H. S. FOOTE. 12mo. New York: Harper & Brothers. Boston : Williams & Co. 1866.
This book outlines the politics of the country for the last thirty years, and a perusal of it deepens our conviction of the depravity of man, specially of profound politicians. It gives much side light, and from a new quarter, on the causes of the Rebellion, showing that the Union had been in serious danger for several years before the war.
The style is poor, much of it shuffling, more like that of the politician than of the statesman, yet the book is very readable from its sketchy character, touching the heads of great events and persons. It gives us a look at the Rebellion through Southern eyes, which is not unprofitable, and draws on our sympathies for the many whom the few led and forced so blindly into the
VOL. VI. --NO, XXXII.
awful conflict. The work seems to be a candid one, and should
State. A Treatise for the times by the author of the Apocatastasis.
This is a book of five chapters : The Church : The Common-
HAGUE, D.D., Author of "Home Life," "Guide to Conversation on the New Testament," etc. A new, revised, enlarged, and improved edition. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1865. [Second notice.]
This volume contains eleven essays, of which the first is on Christianity and Statesmanship, and the last on Christianity and Slavery. The first, based on an exposition of the Second Psalm, is a development and illustration of the fact that statesmanship has been almost uniformly hostile to Christianity. We think the author attributes altogether too much importance to this opposition in its relation to the comparatively limited progress which Christianity has made hitherto. He is equally at fault, as we judge, in the broad assertion that "There is ample ground for the position that the great reason of the limitation that has been set to the progress of Christianity, is to be found in that union of Church and State, which is a chief element of the grand apostasy.” This position is hardly sustained by the history of Christianity in New England during the last two centuries and a half, where no such union has existed, as compared with the religious condition of England for the same period, from which our fathers were driven'out by the persecutions of the state church, and where that proud and intolerant Establishment is still impregnable. An anti-Christian statesmanship and an unscriptural ecclesiastical establishment are only some of the manifold forms assumed by the universal and deep seated opposition of the world to Jesus Christ.
The last essay, on Christianity and Slavery, which is very elabo