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historic buildings and localities of Scotland. The literary part of the book is very good, and abounds with apt quotations from poets and prose writers. The volume is profusely illustrated, and will make a capital giftbook for Christmas and New Year's time.
James Montgomery: Christian Poet and Philanthropist. By Jabez Marrat. London: Wesleyan Conference Office.—This short, lively and accurate account of one who 'touched his golden harp while yet on earth he lingered,' should be in every Sunday-school library. A great debt of gratitude is due to the man who wrote such pieces as The World Before the Flood, The Grace, Pelican Island, etc., etc.; not to mention the exquisite hymns, in which so many rejoicing Christians express their heartfelt devotion before the throne. No fewer than fourteen of these are in our own Hymn-Book.
This little book is well illustrated; and those of us who know the scenes and knew Montgomery, can testify to the truthfulness of the pictorial as well as the literary portion of the work.
A Homiletic Encyclopædia; or, Illustrations in Theology and Morals. Handbook of Practical Divinity and a Commentary on Holy Scripture. Selected and Arranged by R. A. Bertram. London: R. D. Dickinson.-This is the best book of the kind we have yet seen. A bulky volume of eight hundred and fortythree double-columned pages, closely but clearly printed; it is amply indexed both topically and textually, and conveniently arranged on the alphabetical plan. Almost every conceivable subject for sermon or for moral essay, from Adversity' to 'Worship,' finds here a place and a suggestive subdivision. The extracts are culled from writers of almost every denomination and school of thought. The compiler, however, seems to have little taste for, or slight acquaintance with, the literature of Methodism, Mr. Wiseman being the only Wesleyan writer whose name we have found here. But there is no index of authors: this, perhaps, may be felt an inconvenience. On the other hand, some choice sentiments have been drawn from secular sources, such as Household Words and Longfellow. Excerpts are produced from most of the well-known religious writers, Anglican, Puritan, British and American; and some little-read divines, such as Dowman, Salter and Erskine, have been consulted with advantage. Some of the most striking illustrations, generally as just as they are startling, come from America. Mr. Beecher contributes most of all: some of
the happiest and aptest, and some of the most forced and far-fetched; some of the most instructive and some of the most misleading, more than one being in the very teeth of the text he professes to explain. The book would be a prodigy of a commonplace book, if there were nothing commonplace in it; but there is a wonderfully small proportion of the stale and dull. Preachers and students with small libraries will find this a serviceable book. Of course, all such works have their dangers as well as their advantages: the true utility of the book is as a guide and stimulus to thought, not as a substitute for it.
History of the Methodist Church within the Territories Embraced in the late Conference of Eastern British America, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Bermuda. By T. Watson Smith, of the Nova Scotia Conference. Volume I. Halifax, N.S. Methodist Book-Room. This closelyprinted volume of nearly five hundred pages is designed as the first moiety of a complete history. Its author hopes that the sale will justify the issue of the second half, and in that hope we cordially concur. Mr. Smith writes in a plain, clear style, intent only upon telling his story fully. This rugged simplicity and directness of manner has a charm which grows upon a reader, and it allows time to concentrate his whole attention upon the narrative. The history of Methodism in Eastern British America was worth the writing. It forms a noble chapter in the record of our Church. For stern steadfastness, for heroic patience, for dauntless courage, for self-sacrificing zeal, for evangelistic fervour, for loyal devotion to the Church of their choice, the early Methodist Preachers in Eastern British America deserve to stand side by side with the foremost of their brethren at home or on the Mission-field; and Methodist laymen were their worthy fellow-helpers. Mr. Smith pursues his subject into every possible detail. We have a biography of every Minister and every prominent layman who had any connection, however brief, with Methodism in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Lower Provinces; and we are faithfully told of failure and apostasy. Mr. Smith has written an interesting and profitable, if rather lengthy book. The work is evidently intended chiefly for circulation in the Colonies, or we should speak of the absolute necessity of a map for the due understanding of the narrative. Printed and published in Halifax, N.S., it generally, though not invariably, follows the American orthography, and sometimes employs expressions that grate on English ears. It is a pity
that our British Colonies across the Atlantic adopt the hideous fashions in spelling of the United States rather than the more ancient and elegant, and we will add more correct, modes of the mother-country.
The Events of the Non-Catholic Period of the Church, as set forth in the Acts of the Apostles. Reviewed in a Series of Expository Lectures. By W. Blackley, M.A., Chaplain to the late and present Viscount Hill, and late Vicar of Stanton, Salop. London: S. Harris and Co.-PreCatholic would have been a happier designation of the important period of Church History covered by these lectures,-that which stretches from the Ascension to the admission of the Gentiles into the Church. Without pretension to elegance of style, or even regard for strict accuracy of expression, Mr. Blackley has produced a book marked by fervid piety, and acute and independent rather than profound and consistent thinking. He is evidently a close and subtle student of the Greek Testament, and a few of his deviations from the Authorized Version are decided emendations, and the rest, being almost always grammatically admissible,even when forced and untenable, are generally worth looking at, and seldom to be summarily dismissed. The great flaw of the book does not fully betray itself till near the close. Mr. Blackley holds a very peculiar and, in our view, very arbitrary, quasi-Quakerish view of the Sacraments, especially of Baptism, of which our limits will not allow the investigation. He has expounded these views in three pamphlets. It is very plain from this volume that Mr. Blackley has been a Wesleyan-Methodist. He quotes nothing with such frequency, felicity and force as the Hymn-Book. We are glad that the representation of the noble family of Hill, so honourably associated with both the secular and the religious history of England for the last hundred years, have chosen for their Chaplain a man bubbling over with the zeal of olden Methodism.
Boston Monday Lectures. Marriage, with Preludes on Current Events. By J. Cook. London: R. D. Dickinson. 1879.-Persons interested in Marriage (and who is not?) will be pleased to learn, from Mr. Cook, the possibility of a time coming when no fundamentally unhappy marriages will occur; and also what are the conditions upon which they may be avoided even now. One of his great merits is that, whilst he derives the authority for his teaching from Scripture, his arguments in favour thereof are based upon a strictly scientific line of human observation. According to him, the central pillar of marriage is the existence of a supreme
affection between two; and that this is a natural foundation he proves most successfully by appealing to typical examples from the heathen world.
With the wisdom of the serpent, and not without the harmlessness of the dove, he insists on the necessity for sternly testing the depth of such affection; and so suitable are the methods proposed, that we commend them in all earnestness to those who intend entering on the holy estate. As a natural check to hasty marriage, Mr. Cook is in favour of stringent divorce laws, and considers that they promote morality and domestic happiness. Strange to say, he finds the strongest proof for this thoroughly Scriptural position in the observations of the infidel Hume, whose opinion was that, under the prospect of an easy separation, many frivolous quarrels would soon be inflamed into the most deadly hatred. But whatever obstacles a wholesome process of testing may place in the way of union, against all such as arise from social pride and absurd expensiveness of living he hurls the thunderbolts of his eloquence with crushing effect.
Some portions of the Lectures are decidedly entertaining, most parts are instructive and clear, the summaries being especially remarkable for their logical order and tremendous conclusiveness, and with so much to admire we have all the more regret for the few blemishes that are to be found. If Mr. Cook would but simplify the construction of his sentences and cease from Carlyle in the choice of his epithets, we should feel heartily thankful to him; and we hope he will, in his next edition, replace such expressions as the 'dust-pillars of leprosy,' 'gaunt, fiendish sand-pillars,' and others, by more appropriate combina tions.
Orators and Oratory. By W. Matthews LL.D. From the Seventh American Edition. London: Hamilton, Adams and Co.-Though not, throughout, well written, this is an entertaining and useful book. Anecdotes and quotations from the famous British and Irish orators are familiar to wellread Englishmen, but the general reader will, on perusing this work, become much better acquainted with most of the great American orators, forensic and political. Some remarkably acute transatlantic criticisms on our own Parliamentary orators occur in these pages. Pulpit orators occupy the smallest space, Whitefield, Hall and Chalmers alone being described, though Mr. Beecher is alluded to. Any one who wishes to make the best of his power as a public speaker will find in this book many useful hints and much sound advice, provided always that he does not allow him
self to be tempted to affect the orator. The most valuable chapter in the book is the last: A Plea for Oratorical Culture. Many Preachers might read it with advantage, and lay to heart some of its questions; for example: Is it necessary that the majority of public speakers should' read the hymns, without feeling, grace or appreciation, as the clerk of a legislative assembly might properly read a bill, or as a lawyer's clerk might read the inventory of a bankrupt's assets?"
Where are the Dead? By D. J. White, Vicar of West Butterwick, Rotherham. Lincoln: James Williamson.-A little tract putting popularly the argument for an intermediate state into which believers as well as unbelievers enter at death. It takes no notice, however, of the arguments on the other side of the question.
The Homiletic Quarterly. Vol. III. London: R. D. Dickinson. 1879.-It is impossible to criticise the multifarious contents of this volume. It opens with a 'Clerical Symposium' on the question: 'How far can Men of Different Theological Opinions Unite in Religious Fellowship ?' The writers are Dr. Macgregor, Messrs. J. Radford Thomson, Edward White, Joseph Hammond (Vicar of Pontefract), Dr. Angus, Dr. Peabody (Harvard University) and Mr. Burrows. A second Symposium on: 'Are Church Creeds compatible with Mental Freedom and with the Best Welfare of Divine Truth?' is conducted by Dr. Van Oosterzee, Dr. Luthardt, the Rev. C. J. Elliott, Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Milligan. The names themselves are sufficient proof that the questions are well discussed. The Rev. W. Hudson contribates Homiletic Notes on the Acts of the Apostles, and the Rev. W. L. Watkinson similar notes on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Canon Farrar, Drs. Bruce, Gloag, Lindsay Alexander, Morison, Blaikie, the Rev. J. A. Beet, etc., etc., write Biblical Expositions -nearly, if not quite, all of them worth reading, and some attaining a very high standard. We regret that so much space is occupied by Sermonic Outlines and similar matter, which, even from able hands, have much less value for the student than expositions. The Homiletic Quarterly steadily improves, and deserves its large circulation.
Marion's Story; or, 'Softly all My Years. London: Hodder and Stoughton. -A touching story for young women, and one that is likely to do good. Those who wish to help those who are peculiarly exposed to temptation would do well to buy and circulate the book.
The Conversation in the Wesleyan Conference, Birmingham, on the State of the Work of God. (Revised by the Speakers.) Price One Penny. London: Wesleyan Conference Office.-We are thankful that God has put it into the heart of an earnest worker to get these remarkable speeches reprinted in a compact, attractive and cheap form. In this Conversation our true position as a Church was brought out. Neither the causes for thankfulness nor humiliation were ignored; and, best of all, the true means of attaining and maintaining spiritual prosperity were pointed out. It was clearly shown that we do not need a change of organization, but a deeper spiritual life and more active spiritual power to vitalize the excellent machinery which we already possess. This little pamphlet should be in the hands of all who feel the least concern about the prosperity of our Zion. We trust many will follow the good example of a few laymen in two of our London Circuits, who have bought a sufficient number of copies to give one to each member of the Societies in their Circuits.
The Wesleyan-Methodist Kalendar for 1880.
The Methodist and General Desk Diary for 1880.
The Wesleyan-Methodist Pocket-Book for 1880. London: Wesleyan Conference Office.-These well-known and popular annuals will hardly need recommending to our readers. We would, however, call the attention of the Ministers to the very excellent edition of the Pocket-Book, specially adapted for their use. It includes in addition to the matter contained in the other edition, A Digest of the Marriage Laws, Visiting Lists, pages for Connexional Subscriptions and Collections, etc., etc. Indeed, everything, we believe, that a Minister requires in a pocket-book.
Order and Form of Business Directed by the Conference to be Transacted in the May and September Meetings of District Committees. London: Wesleyan Conference Office. 1879.-This manual has been prepared with the greatest care, and contains the results of our Connexional legislation, so far as they concern the District Committees, to the present time. The copious quotations from the Minutes whilst they increase the bulk of the book, add very greatly to its value. Indeed, every one who wishes to take part intelligently in the business of the District Committees will find it absolutely indispensable.
The Lilyvale Club, and its Doings. By E. A. Johnson, D.D. London: Wesleyan
Conference Office.-This is one of the very best children's books we have ever seen. The story of boys' amusements, occupations and interests are described in a most charmingly interesting style. But the cream of the book is the natural, straightforward narrative of boys' conversion and Christian life. Parents who long for their sons' best welfare, and teachers who wish for their scholars' highest progress, could hardly find a better book to put into the hands of their charges.
The Biblical Museum. Old Testament. Vols. II. to V. Leviticus to Job. By James Comper Gray. London: Elliot Stock. 1879.-Mr. Gray's plan has been several times described in this Magazine. These volumes are very like their predecessors. We can easily conceive that men with scanty libraries and scantier leisure would set a high value on them. There is little fault to find with the explanatory notes, except their brevity; the homiletic analyses affixed to the texts are selected from an extensive field and are of varying merit, rarely objectionable, often very farfetched.
The anecdotes and illustrations
are sometimes apposite and helpful, sometimes absurdly wide of the mark, expounding the sacred words not a whit. Mr. Gray must have a gigantic commonplace book; he reveals its stores for his readers' benefit; and a big commonplace-book is frequently very serviceable.
The Preacher's Homiletical Commentary. Minor Prophets. By the Rev. J. Wolfendale. London: R. D. Dickinson. -The contents of this volume are very unequal, much that is stale and flat being placed side by side with much that is weighty and valuable.
critical notes are short, but sound; the bulk of the Commentary is homiletical. Preachers and commentators are quoted in great number. On the Minor Prophets. the best expositions are from Pusey, the most pungent homiletic remarks are from Spurgeon. Mr. Wolfendale is not always accurate, as when he mistakes Niebuhr, the traveller, for his son Niebuhr, the historian.' Maurice's Prophets and Kings might with advantage have been quoted more largely on Amos and Nahum. volume will be found very helpful to Preachers and teachers with small libraries.
A Homiletical Commentary on the Book of Psalms. Vol. II. By B. W. Jones, J. W. Burn and George Barlow. London: R.D. Dickinson.-This Commentary, being by three different hands, is very unequal. The work lacks homogeneity. Mr. Burn has done his part admirably (Psalms
CX.-cxx.). He evinces a rare faculty of homiletic exposition. The freshness and force with which he shows the bearing of anciently revealed verities on the present state of modern thought, his analytic keenness and the almost epigrammatic terseness of his style,give a real value to his Commentary. He also lays recent secular literature under contribution for the elucidation of revealed truth. We are sorry, however, that in expounding Psalm cxix., he should have ignored the affluent and philosophical Manton in favour of such a comparatively "'prentice-hand' as Barnes. But his own thought is too plenteous to allow of much quotation. Sometimes we come on an uncouth phrase, such as the use of the word 'lose,' in a strange sense: the works of God 'lose' us in wonder. Mr. Barlow's few pages contain some good notes, the best being taken from Mr. Robinson's Caravan and Temple. The rest of the volume is comparatively commonplace, except the critical Introductions to the various Psalms, which are almost always well-selected.
Memoirs of Charlotte S. S. Berger. By the Rev. J. Holland Brown. London: Marlborough and Co.
The Saint of God in Service and Suffering. By the Rev. S. Weaver. Manchester: Tubbs and Brook.-The former of these volumes, the greater part of which originally appeared in the pages of this Magazine, is a very choice biography of a character of rare sanctity. Miss Berger was remarkable, not only for her gifts, but for the fidelity and earnestness with which her talents were employed. The brief, simple record, told chiefly in her own words, is eminently calculated to quicken the spiritual life of the thoughtful reader. It should be read by all who love to descry and emulate the true spirit of early Methodism.
The latter is also a touching memorial of a noble worker and sufferer in God's kingdom.
The Herald of Mercy. Vol. for 1879. London: Morgan and Scott.-This is one of the most attractive as well as effective magazines of a purely evangelistic nature we have ever seen. The fulness of God's mercy, the blessedness of accepting and the danger of rejecting it, are most strikingly set forth by narrative, appeal, illustration and poetry. The pictures are admirable.
Seppel; or, The Burning of the Synagogue at Munich. By Gustar Nieritz. London: Hodder and Stoughton.-A thrilling story of the sufferings of the Jews
preached to Children. By John H. Norton, Rector of Christ Church, Louisville, Kentucky. London: R. D. DickinOR, 1879.-This is a capital huntingground for anecdotes; but we trust those who appropriate them will make a better use of them than Mr. Norton does. His wealth of stories is greater than he knows how to manage; but we are glad the collection has been published, as other preachers to children may be glad of them.
Poor Papa! A New American Story. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1879 -The story tells how two little motherless children, Jack and Bessie, were left in the care of their father, after two or three years of wild life at a farmhouse; how they plagued him and their governess with their tricks, innocent and mischievous; and how at last he found them a very suitable mother-in-law. The story will provoke many a smile; but the Helen's Babies vein is pretty nearly worked out.
The Siege of Vienna-The Young Carpenters of Freiberg-Adventures in Western Africa-Phil's Champions-John Smith, and other Stories-Sunnyside School. Edinburgh: William Oliphant
and Co.-The first two of the abovenamed volumes are well-rendered translations of first-rate German stories. There is a fine religious vein in them, though the glories of war are too much dwelt on. The middle two are very tame and meaningless, though harmless. The two last are excellent little books. There is great freshness and point in the story of John Smith.
William O'Bryan, Founder of the Bible Christians. By S. L. Thorne, Bradford.-No doubt this will prove interesting to the members of the religious sect which O'Bryan founded. It is, however, so one-sided in its statements, which are advanced without attempted proof or explanatory detail, that it is almost valueless as an historical account of the secession he inaugurated.
Blackie's Comprehensive School Series: The Complete Primer-First ReaderSecond Reader-Third Reader. London: Blackie and Son. 1879.-These four little school-books are strongly and suitably bound, graduated on a sensible plan, illustrated with attractive and wellexecuted wood-engravings. Little children will enjoy reading their simple stories. Their moral tone is excellent; they contain spelling enough, and questions on the reading-lessons to teach little children to think. Better books of their sort are nowhere to be found.
ANNIE STYLES became a member of the Wesleyan Society, at Tysoe, in the Kineton Circuit, in December, 1864. She was brought to God under the ministry of the Rev. T. Champness, who was then the Superintendent of the Circuit. When a child she thought seriously of serving and loving God, but not until the above period did she yield herself to God by faith, and become His adopted child. Her disposition was naturally amiable and attractive, and this, sanctified by grace, made her useful both in social life and as a worker in God's Church.
For several years she was a useful and much-beloved Sunday-school Teacher, and also played the harmonium in the chapel.
In certain Circuit organizations in which the special help of the ladies was required she cheerfully cooperated, and her connection with the Lord's work was not severed until the 'silver cord was loosed,' and her happy spirit returned to God. Great prostration preceded her death, but Ler sick-room was filled with glory; and
MR. WILLIAM RAPP, of Norton, near Malton, was converted to God at the age of fifteen. He was living at that time on the Wolds, near Driffield, where a gracious revival of religion took place, which resulted in the conversion of many souls.
William was then a servant at a farmhouse; and it is worthy of remark that a member of the family took a deep interest in his spiritual state, and did much to secure his attendance at the means of grace. While yet a young man he removed to Malton, and at once joined the WesleyanMethodist Society. Being lively, earnest and thoughtful, he soon became useful in the Church, and after awhile was appointed the Leader of a Class. This was about the year 1823 or 1824. He held the office of Class-Leader for more than fifty