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as a mother with her sick child. There is
Contemporary Portraits. By E. de Pressensé, D.D., Author of Jesus Christ: His Times, Life and Work,'etc. Translated by Annie Harwood-Holmden. London: Hodder and Stoughton.-This book is, in our view, the finest production of Pressense's genius and manifestation of his intellectual and spiritual personality which has yet appeared. The Portraits are those of Thiers, Strauss compared with Voltaire, Arnaud de l'Ariège, Dupanloup, Adolphe Monod, Vinet, Verny and Robert
We have, besides these, two important essays, on the Antecedents of the Vatican Council, and the Culturkampf in Germany. The illustrious Frenchman and the great Swiss thinker are drawn, in great measure, from personal recollection. The charming sketch of Adolphe Monod is the most interesting and the most edifying; that on Verny and Robertson the most intellectually powerful. Pressensé's strong personal sympathy and affinity with Robertson leads him to over-estimate the theological value of his writings. Pressensé is too unguarded in praising what he vaguely calls the spirit of free enquiry,' which too often practically means the setting up of the divinations of genius and the impulses of sensibility above the authoritative pronouncements of Divine Revelation. He admits, however, imperfections in Robertson's theology, and rightly attributes them to a reaction from the narrowness and harshness of the Evangelical party in the Church of England. The Christian spirit and the intellectual quality of the book are of a high order.
The Englishman's Bible: How he Got it, and Why he Keeps it. By the Rev. J. Boyes, M.A. London: Wesleyan Conference Office.-We have read this modest but well-written book with deep interest. It contains a graphic epitome of the story of our English Bible, which will rivet the attention of the reader. The distinctive work of the various Reformers and Translators is well handled, the help or hindrance of the respective English monarchs fairly stated, and the general characteristics of translations and editions so depicted as to aid the memory without burdening it. The book is correct, without being critical; adequate, but not too erudite. The historical facts and anecdotes are chosen with good judgment and add much to the efficiency of the work. The opening chapters upon the early traditions of British Christianity and the Saxon translations, contain matter of much interest; whilst chapters
Vol. V. Edited by Dr. H. Sinclair Paterson. London: Richard D. Dickin son. 1879.-Never since its commencement has a number of this Review been published which has not contained one or two articles of a very high character, and the greater number of its papers have generally been well worth reading. Though now and then it has an article by an English author which appears to have been contributed directly to its pages, it is in the main avowedly a compilation from American and Continental sources. tions are judiciously made from a very The selecwide field, and the new editor, Dr. Paterson, wisely indicates the periodical from which each is taken. The volume for 1879 is fully equal to the best of its predecessors. We cannot criticize its sixty articles in detail; we mention one or two, however, to give the reader some idea of the contents of this goodly volume. Perhaps the foremost place, at any rate on account of its celebrity, belongs to Professor Tait's forceful reply to Mr. J. A. Froude's articles on Science and Theology. Professor Tait asks, 'Does humanity require a new Revelation?' and boldly answers, No. The Professor's exposure of Mr. Froude's logical fallacies and scientific ignorance is superb, though, perhaps, some of his own rather headlong statements are open to criticism. We should rejoice if the agree ment between the leaders of science and the leaders of theology were as complete as he supposes it to be. Various aspects of the conflict between religion and science (as too frequently taught from high places) are discussed in this volume. several papers dealing with the argument There are from design by President Porter and others, and a notable examination of Huxley's Hume, by President McCosh. We should also mention an acute article on Thought the Great Reality, by Professor Wynn. The controversy on the Future State claims its fair share of space, but all the essays fall more or less short of the highest standard; Mr. Smith's review of Eternal Hope is, perhaps, the best. Professor Lacroix discourses of Ethics; the Rev. Alfred Cave criticizes Kuenen's Religion of Israel at great length and with much ability; and we have a serviceable investigation by Dr. Aikman of the use of the words Elohim and Jehovah in Genesis ;
and a suggestive Note on Galatians iii. 16, by Professor Gardiner. Of course, we cannot approve everything that so many writers of such various schools have contribated to this volume, but we can conscientiously recommend Dickinson's Quarterly to readers of theology.
An Illustrated Commentary on the Gospel according to St. John. By Lyman Abbott, D.D. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1879.-The Preface states that this Commentary addresses itself to 'Clergymen, Christian parents, Sundayschool Teachers, Bible-women, Laypreachers'; and it aims to give the results rather than the processes of scholarship, the conclusions rather than the controversies of scholars.' It is, of course, a compilation; direct quotations are numerous, and even when the comment is expressed in Dr. Abbott's own words, he is summarizing the results of somewhat wide reading. The book is obviously not designed for scholars; but it meets very fairly the needs of those for whom it is designed. It is fuller than Dr. Whedon's, but by no means so fresh. Dr. Abbott has done his work conscientiously and carefully, and has spared no pains to make his Commentary complete. It is very suitable for family use and reference, and for the great body of Christian workers of all denominations.' As its title informs us, it lays great stress upon its illustrations : these are numerous and helpful to the understanding of the text. It is an American reprint, with the American spelling and grammar uncorrected.
Miracle no Mystery; or, The Old Testament Miracles Considered in their Eridential Character. By an English Presbyter. London: James Nisbet and Co. 1879.-The object of this treatise is to prove that no wonderful work of God ought to be called a miracle unless it has an evidential character; and the underlying thought is that, so considered, miracles are not mysterious, but exactly what might have been anticipated; that, indeed, 'mystery' is an inappropriate description of them because they are revelations of God. It might be desirable to restrict the term 'miracle' to such a use, but it has acquired a wider connotation, which it could not easily be deprived of. But we doubt if it is expedient or exact to separate 'miracles' from other manifestations of Divine power after so rigid a fashion as our author proposes. The definition of a miracle as the intersection of a lower course of nature by a higher' has its obvious defects, but it must not be lightly thrown aside as worthless. The
fact is, miracles have two aspects apart from their use as illustrations of truth; but an English Presbyter' sees only one of them, and advises us to shut our eyes to the other. This we cannot consent to do; because, first, it would be shutting our eyes to truth; second, it would be utterly useless, as we could not deprive miracles of a characteristic which belongs to them; and, third, it would throw religion out of harmony with science, which declares the reign of law. Nevertheless, the book does good service by calling attention to a fact which is in some danger of being overlooked nowadays that miracles were primarily evidential. The comments upon individual miracles are always sensible, sometimes very fresh and suggestive. The author writes clearly and succinctly.
The Masque Torn Off. By T. De Witt Talmage, D.D. London: Richard D. Dickinson. 1879.-By 'masque,' Dr. Talmage means mask-not a species of stageplay, but a cover for the face. He describes his visits to the haunts of vice in New York, in a forceful and vivid, but coarse and sensational style. He denounces iniquity with an invective that certainly has vigour in it, however it may lack polish. How far a Minister of the Gospel is justified in painting physical sin from the pulpit, is a moot point. Assuredly, however, Dr. Talmage has stretched propriety very nearly, if not quite, to its breaking strain. Whatever one may think of the taste of the sermons, no one can doubt their earnestness, or the courage of the Preacher. This volume is by no means suitable for general reading, but there are classes of sinners to whom its perusal might be a permanent benefit; and Ministers in large towns may find its exposures useful in stimulating them to greater exertions to save the victims of godless gaiety.
British Rule in South Africa. Illustrated in the Story of Kama and his Tribe, and of the War in Zululand. By the Rev. W. Clifford Holden. London: Published for the Author at the Wesleyan Conference Office.-The name of Kama has been so frequently brought before the Methodist public that we are all familiar with portions of his history. It is important that our readers should master the account of Kama's position, and that of his son and successor, given by our author. In his relations with the Colonial Government, to some extent, more largely in relation to his own people, Kama had to learn that they who will live godly shall suffer persecution.' With regard to the British authorities, however, it is only fair to say that they had but scanty means of
testing the accuracy of reports which in the time of Kama II. were falsely brought to them. Unprincipled men desired his land, the tales they brought had a degree of coherence, and it did not appear unreasonable to suspect treachery and cunning. At this pass the unlettered Christian Kaffirs found the advantage of their Missionary's knowledge of the dangers and difficulties on both sides. The pastoral crook was wielded to defend as well as to guide. With the building of the Kama Memorial Chapel ends the troubled season; and let us hope that scenes as idyllic as the gathering of the Kaffir school children may be repeated in this Christian settlement. The chapters on the war in Zululand are historically very valuable; they may be described as a running comment on the war. The history is given in quotations from newspapers, but not without necessary emendations. These the closer personal knowledge of the author and the cooler criticism of events have enabled him to supply. The facts will repay careful study, and the perusal of this little work will assist every one to form a judgment for himself.
Scenes from Transatlantic Life. By the Rev. Henry Bleby. London: Wesleyan Mission-House.-The chief narrative in this book, Vicissitudes of a Lowly Life, equals, if it does not exceed in thrilling interest, any previous production of the author's pen. The tale required no ornament, and it is clearly told, with the truth and power that so varied a history merits. Slavery is a thing of the past, but it is well to learn how hideous a curse it was, even to the free-born coloured man.
The Kingswood and Grove Quarterly. Nos. 1. and 2.-Following the example of many of the great public Schools, the Kingswood and Grove lads have issued a magazine which represents the interests of the Schools for Ministers' sons. The two numbers already published show a considerable amount of talent, and will be interesting to all' old boys.' We heartily wish our new contemporary a long life and a wide circulation.
The World of Moral and Religious Anecdote. Fifth Thousand.-The World of Anecdote. Fourth Thousand. By E. Paxton Hood. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1879.-A very handy edition of these well-known treasuries of anecdote and illustration. Mr. Hood has gathered together a number of very interesting stories, but some few do not commend themselves to our taste; and in the first-named volume there are now and then anecdotes
the moral' or 'religious' bearing of which it would be hard to see.
Mary Ashton. A True Story of Eighty Years Ago. London: Wesleyan Conference Office.
The Lancasters and their Friends. London: Elliot Stock.-Mrs. Fitzgerald is an authoress of real power. Her simple, easy style is just suited to the requirements of intelligent children. Mary Ashton is a well-told story, all the better for being true, and will make an admirable little rewardbook for Sunday scholars. The Lancasters, first published several years ago, is now issued in a cheaper form. It is a thor oughly Methodist story.
The School of Grace. By W. H. M. H. Aitken, M.A. London: Shaw and Co.It is not a common thing to find united in one man a singular capacity for the work of an Evangelist and a large measure of the gift of teaching; but the volume before us, apart from Mr. Aitken's established fame both as a teacher and Preacher, proves that he possesses both these rare gifts. We have here a practical exposition of Titus ii. 11-14. The subject is thoroughly treated. The epiphany of grace and the negative and positive subjects and objects of its teaching are distinctly dealt with. One thing will be clear to all who give the book the thoughtful perusal that it deserves that the grace of God is meant to accomplish far more for its recipients than most Christians realize; that the object of grace is not merely to save our souls but to teach and purify us.
The Congregational Psalmist. Fourth Section. Tunes for Children's Worship. Edited by Henry Allon, D.D. London: Hodder and Stoughton.-Dr. Allon's se lection strikes us as being not only suit. able for its avowed object, to which it is admirably adapted, but also for another, not so well met by any that we know of -Family Worship. It comprises a great variety of lively, interesting tunes of the kind that sound prettiest from children's lips, as well as a considerable proportion of the simple but grave type, known as psalm-tunes. By a universal agreement, those who arrange for Children's Anniversaries choose, for the most part, tunes abounding in crotchets and quavers, pos sibly because children have not breath enough for more sustained notes. children do sing slower and graver tunes very prettily, and their instinctive favouritism often coincides with the more deliberate choice of adults.
In regard to tunes for popular hymns, Dr. Allon has exercised a discretion for
the most part wise, in some cases adhering to, and in others rejecting, the general favourite, and in only a few cases have we any reason to differ from him. The hymn, 'There is a fountain filled with blood,' finds, we think, better expression in the popular tune Fountain than in the one Dr. Allon bas selected. Perhaps, if we were as familiar with the latter, composed by Dr. Gauntlett, as we are with the former, we should like it best. In our judgment, also, the children's hymn beginning 'My days are gliding swiftly by,' goes better to the usual tune Shining Shore, than to Succoth, the one chosen by Dr. Allon.
Where tunes are altered, it will be found, with a few exceptions, that they are improved. We should very much have preferred the tune Evan to have been written in the ordinary time, with one long note and two short ones. Dr. Allon, by making all the notes of equal length, has marred its effectiveness and taken away the picturesque from it.
A somewhat novel and most commendable feature in the book is found in the directions for the expression of each tune. Instead of using the technical terms, Allegro, Andante, etc., he has translated them into plain English. The words lively, slow, grace, are much more exactly understood than their equivalents in a foreign tongue; and, coming from a man of proverbially good taste, will be all the more appreciated.
We should like to put in a plea for inserting the whole of each hymn instead of the first verse only. The increased bulk would not be equal to that of a separate hymn-book and tune-book, and its advantage to performers and singers would be considerable.
In clearness of type and in the generally substantial character of the book it excels as much as in other respects, and is well worth the attention of those who have to conduct Children's or Family Worship.
The Saint and his Saviour. By C. H. Spurgeon. London: Hodder and Stoughton.-This volume sets forth, in Mr. Spurgeon's tenderest and most persuasive style, the preciousness of the Saviour's work for and in us. It will be very helpful to a large class of readers, though we miss the strong, homely, pointed reasoning which forms such a striking feature of the author's sermons.
The Difficulties of the Soul. By the Rev. W. Hay M. H. Aitken, M. A. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1880.-Few men are better qualified than Mr. Aitken, by wide evangelistic experience, to write about the difficulties which beset the path of those seeking salvation. This little book
is primarily intended to suggest to Ministers the best way of meeting the objections which unbelief and the enemy of souls raise to the Gospel message; but it is also intended for the guidance of the spiritually perplexed. For either purpose it is very valuable. Young Ministers especially will find it helpful in pointing out the most suitable method of dealing with the perverse ingenuity which the sincerely penitent so often display when they are urged to the act of simple faith which makes the great change possible. There are a few points ou which we are disposed to differ from Mr. Aitken, and it would be easy to reply to his good-natured, and perhaps not altogether undeserved reflections upon Methodist teaching; but his book is, in the main, so thoroughly good that criticism may well be silent.
Biblical Things Not Generally Known. Second Series. London: Elliot Stock.We have already favourably noticed the First Series of Biblical Things. The volume before us contains many curious and interesting illustrations and explanations which cannot but prove helpful to all intelligent Bible readers. We still think a more systematic arrangement of details desirable, and are at a loss to understand the advantage of placing in juxtaposition such heterogeneous items as Melchisedec' and Ancient Ink.'
China's Millions. London: Morgan and Scott.
The Illustrated Missionary News. London: S. W. Partridge and Co.
The Indian Female Evangelist. London: James Nisbet and Co.-We are glad to call attention to these excellent Missionary serials. The first pleads as earnestly as ever for China's heathen millions, and gives a most encouraging account of the evangelistic tours undertaken by the agents of the Inland Mission; and of ' Women's Work in the Villages.' The various interesting details concerning districts but recently explored, and the excellent maps and illustrations, will go far towards tempting to a perusal of the volume those who have hitherto been indifferent to its main subject.
The second is a valuable and admirably illustrated repertory of anecdotes, dealing mainly with the Missionary work of the past year.
The third eloquently urges the claims of the noble Zenana Mission-an enterprise which cannot fail to commend itself especially to Christian women.
Little Cousins. By Brenda.-Judy.Only Five. London: Shaw and Co.Three delightful books for very little children, being simple, prettily-told stories of child-life. The profuse and well-drawn pictures add greatly to the charm of the volumes. The two former are decidedly more pointed and interesting than the last.
IN the death of Mrs. SAMUEL WOOLMER, of Wellington, Somerset, occurred one of those solemnly-mysterious events which fill a Church with sorrowful surprise. From her girlhood she had been connected with the Methodist Society; but it was not till about twenty years ago that she definitely entered into the enjoyment of personal union with Christ. This she attributed to the instrumentality of the Rev. Joseph Chapman. Of the change then produced in her she wrote: I have felt within the last few days a degree of peace to which I was before a stranger; it is only when I lay all my reasonings aside, put self entirely out of sight, and look by faith alone at Jesus, that I realize anything like happiness. I try to venture just as I am on the Atonement.'
The whole of her subsequent life demonstrated the genuineness of the saving work at that time accomplished in her, as the following testimonies will go to prove. Of her influence and usefulness as a Leader, one, who for many years met with her, writes: She seemed inspired; her deep sympathy with each of her members will ever be fresh in my memory. So eager was she to lead the seeking and sorrowing ones of her Class to Jesus, that she would weep and plead with and for them almost as though the distress were her very own.'
Another friend, who had long and very intimate acquaintance with Mrs. Woolmer, writes: She never spoke an unkind word of any one.'
Naturally of an amiable and cheerful disposition, religion superadded a charm to her character which, with her intelligence and refinement, gave her attractiveness and influence, especially among the young, in recommending the joys of consecration to the service of God. The effect of her piety on her social relationships may be ascertained from her own words: 'Did not Jesus solace Himself in the society of friends? A dreary pilgrimage would ours be without some earthly ones to love. The love of God expands the heart and makes us love our friends more dearly.'
Not the least beautiful feature of her character was her devotion to her venerable father, Mr. Daniel Oliver, for many years a widower. She continued until the last at his right hand; and the fidelity, selfsacrifice, readiness and zeal with which she assisted and sustained him in the discharge of the various offices he held in the Church, will ever be gratefully remembered.
Her fatal illness was protracted and painful, and exceedingly trying, because of the alternations of recovery and relapse which wearyingly exercised the mind with hopes, budding and then blighted, of ultimate restoration. For herself she was not anxious to live; but for the sake of those she loved, especially her aged and enfeebled father, and for the Church of her choice, of which she was to so great an extent the stay in Wellington, she desired to be spared. Yet, throughout her five months' wasting and suffering she preserved the cheerful submissiveness of true Christian faith; so that those who visited her during that season were as much delighted with the passive graces developed by suffering as by those which adorned her active service in the Church.
The end came when little expected. Mrs. Woolmer had sufficiently improved to allow of her being removed to London, to the house of her brother-in-law, the Rev. Theophilus Woolmer. But after a restful night and hearty breakfast she was seized, on August 29th, 1877, with apoplexy, and in a few hours passed away.
She is gone! but there is following a retinue of souls whose salvation she has been instrumental in securing or promoting.
The writer of this sketch was intimately acquainted with Mrs. Woolmer during the last three years of her life, and had many opportunities of observing her in the several positions she gracefully filled; and the result has been to enrich his recollection with memories of a truly Christian lady, a trusty co-worker and a faithful and wise counsellor. J. L. B.
HAZELL, WATSON, AND VINEY, PRINTERS, LONDON AND AYLESBURY.