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with. Such a one will take thee | depths of earth, like a light shinback to Nazareth itself; thou ing in great darkness.”—Thomas wilt see the splendor of heaven Carlile, Sartor Resartus, p. 246. spring forth from the humblest
(We hold it to be the duty of an Editor either to give an early notice of the books sent to him for remark, or to return them at once to the Publisher. It is unjust to praise worthless books; it is robbery to retain unnoticed ones.)
OLD TRUTH AND MODERN SPECULATIONS. By J. ROBERTSON, D.D.
Glasgow. Second Edition. London: Wm. Oliphant and Co.
The work consists of three parts: the first comprising discussions on The Folly of Atheism, The Incredibility of Pantheism, The True God, and The Unreasonableness of Unbelief. The second part-discussions on the Evil of Sin, The Atonement, The Work of the Spirit, The Moral Influence of Christianity, The Functions of Faith, and The Two Representatives : and the third part discussions on The Constitution and Office of the Church, The Second Advent, and The Heart's State. It will be seen that the subjects of this book belong to the most vital of the themes that challenge human reflection, and also to that class which the active sceptical intelligence of our Country is continually projecting into the current of religious thought. The author examines the Old and the New with a keen eye, a tolerably fair judgment, and a soberly orthodox spirit. There is so much dry thinking, and theological statement here, that a few flashes of genial humor, or poetic sentiment would have been a great relief. On the whole the book is very valuable, and we heartily commend it to those whose proclivities are towards modern speculations.
CHAMBERS' ENCYCLOPEDIA. A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge
for the People. Illustrated with Maps and numerous Engrav.
ings. Vol. I. London: W. and R. Chambers, 47, Paternoster Row. This is the first volume of one of the greatest and most useful literary undertakings to which even the popularly educational and the famously enterprizing House of CHAMBERS has ever set itself about. Having already called the attention of our readers to the high merits by which it is proposed to distinguish this Encyclopædia from all others extant, it is only needful for us to add that we regard this first volume as a satisfactory assurance that the promises in the prospectus will be realized to the utmost extent. We are truly glad that the publishers have renounced their intention of giving little more than a translation of the Conversations-Lexicon of the Germans; and that they have resolved upon merely adopting that celebrated work as a model, and appropriating only so much of its contents as would reach the present stage of English intelligence, and as would prove truly serviceable to the English mind. We shall watch the progress of this great work with much interest, and call the attention of our readers to it as the volumes successively appear. Meanwhile, we heartily recommend it to our large and growing circle of cleric readers as one of the most useful works they could place on their shelves. He who examines this first volume will discover excellencies that will urge him, at almost any sacrifice, to make himself possessor of the whole work.
THE LIFE OF CHRIST IN ITS TRUE HUMANITY. An Argument from
Reason and Scripture for the Absolute Deity and Perfect
THE office of Reason, in reference to Revelation, the Nature and Object of the Mission of Christ consonant to Reason, the Evidences of the Deity of Christ, the Distinction of the Divine and Human Nature. The nature, extent and results of the atonement, and the practical results arising out of the views presented on the subject are the leading themes of this volume. As the author is an intelligent layman--for his arguments are addressed not ad clerium, but ad populum,his language is happily free from theological technicalities and professional modes of discussion, and thus far more intelligible to the common understanding and attractive to the common mind. We thoroughly sympathize with the author on this point when he says in relation to Christianity,—“That considering that it presents its claims to the whole human family, that it interweaves, or should interweave, itself with every thought of our heart and every action of our life, it is surely desirable that our conversation and writing upon it should harmonize as far as possible with the ordinary forms of language and not be in a jargon known only to the initiated.” The discussion is carried on throughout in a clear language, a convincing force, and a spirit of devoutness, catholicity, and candor.
SACRAMENTAL ADDRESSES AND MEDITATIONS. By the late Rev.
HENRY BELFRAGE, D.D., Falkirk. Sixth Edition. Complete in one volume. Edinburgh : Wm. Oliphant and Co.
For some years these valuable Sacramental Addresses have been out of print, and we are truly glad to receive in one handsome volume the one hundred addresses which in the previous editions occupied two volumes. As to the addresses themselves our opinion goes a great way with the judgment expressed concerning them by the late Professor BALMER, of Berwick.-" These addresses are characterized by extraordinary variety and richness, and what was hardly to be expected in combination with these qualities, by great appropriate. ness. If the expression may be allowed, they are redolent with love and salvation ; they breathe the atmosphere of the Redeemer's longsufferings, and of the glory that followed.” Ministers by catching something of the holy fire that in them, and the sweet key-notes of redemptive thought which ring in every page, can scarcely fail to be assisted in their endeavor to form for themselves suitable addresses on sacramental occasions.
THE PILGRIM Psalms: An exposition of the Songs of Degrees.
Psalms cxx.—cxxxiv. By the Rev. N. M'MICHAEL, D.D. Dumferline, Professor of the History of Doctrine to the United Presbyterian Church. Edinburgh: Wm. Oliphant and Co.
The Songs of Degrees ! What are they? Take the author's remarks on the question :—“There is considerable diversity of opinion with reference to the origin and meaning of the title, Songs of Degrees ;literally, Songs of Ascent. It is a favorite notion of the Jews, that they were sung on the Temple stairs, which led up from the women's court to that of the men ; and that each was sung on a different step, (fifteen it is said in number) until the highest was reached. Luther derived the name from the elevated place occupied by the singers and musical performers. Hence he calls them songs in high chorus, from the lofty position of the orchestra. It is supposed by some that they were a kind of marching songs, sung by the Hebrews on their return from Babylon. This was their Anabasis, their going up to Judea. According to a fourth class, this name was given them because they were sung by the Pilgrims when they went up to Jeru. salem at their annual festivals, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. The last opinion is the most probable ; but it is not incon. sistent with the idea, that some of an earlier date would be sung by the captives on their journey from the land of idols !
They are em phatically PILGRIM PSALMs.” And as such M'Michael treats them in these sixteen expository discourses,—discourses which have the grasp of a powerful mind, the spirit of a catholic christian, and the directness of a practical man.
ALPHA AND OMEGA, OR, A SERIES OF CHRISTIAN STUDIES.
GEORGE GILFILLAN, Minister of the Gospel, Dundee. In two Vols. London : Arthur Hall, Virtue and Co.
The main subject discussed, in these two beautiful volumes are :the solitary God inheriting Eternity, the angelic revolt, the creation, the fall of man, the wickedness of the antediluvian world, the flood, Abraham and Sodom's evil day, Jacob and his family, Israel and Judah, the prophetic protest, the first advent, the apostolic age, the scripture account of the ire of christianity and the consummation. The author tells us that he has by no means aimed at anything like a full, exhaustive, or systematic, treatment of the many topics occuring in this vast field. His object has been to draw an outline of the progress of God's work and of the development of divine truth.
Mr. Gilfillan's style of thought and expression is so thoroughly individual and well-known, that it would be superfluous for us to attempt to represent it to our readers. The great fault in our talented author consists in the opulence of that imaginative faculty which so few preachers or religious writers possess, and the lack of which makes their productions so unattractive and monotonous. He could spare fifty per cent. of this rare article to the common-place preachers and writers of the age, without any injury to himself and with im. mense advantage to them, His path of thought runs through a forest of glowing imagery, and is sometimes lost amidst the dark shadows of its foliage. We sincerely believe, however, that some of the sublimest utterances in the English language are to be found in Mr. Gilfillan's works, and that were they collected together in a volume, they would gain by a comparison with Henry Beecher's “Life Thoughts."
AFTER MANY DAYS : A Tale of Social Reform. By SENECA SMITH.
London : W. Tweedie, 336, Strand, London. We shall let the author himself indicate the plan and purpose of this book :—“I have”-says he “undertaken a narrative of human weakness in temptation, of fearful falls from virtue, of ultimate redemption. To many it will occur, that themes 80 sublime should be handled with funeral sadness, and to such, my indulgence in the comic vein may appear a violation of good taste—if nothing more. But I prefer to invest my characters and incidents with the motley which is the common wear of human life—that strange yet universal garb in which the mournful and the gay, the tragic and the grotesque, so constantly intermingle.” As a book to interest,—to work on every passion of the soul, touching in turn all the strings that lie between the two poles of the heart,-merriment and sadness, it has but few equals. And as a book for true usefulness in the great cause of social reform, it can scarcely have a superior. It will do more, when it is read, to destroy the demon of intemperance than thousands of such harangues of those teetotal orators that we have been sometimes unfortunate enough to hear.
THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD. A Story founded on Facts. By the Author of Blenham, &c. London : Arthur Hall, Virtue, & Co. This is a good story. The characters are for the most part exquisitely drawn, the spirit is that of broad philanthropy, and enlightened godliness, and the lessons all are generally of an ennobling character. SERMONS by John ANGELL JAMES. Edited by his son.
Vol. III. London : Hamilton, Adams, & Co. We are glad to receive this volume, and to find that this work is so well executed and progressing so rapidly. The volume contains some of the best sermons of one of the most eminent preachers of our age. The FOUR TEMPERAMENTS : Contemplations on Luke ix. 51–62. By FREDERICK ARNAT, Minister of the Parochial Church, Berlin. Translated from the German. London : Thickbroom, Brothers. This is an ingenious little book. The author endeavors to show that the four great temperaments of the human race, the choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and melancholic, are represented in the passage which he expounds. John who would “command fire from Heaven,” represents the choleric. The man who said “I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest,” represents the sanguine. He who said “Let me first go and bury my father,” represents the phlegmatic. And he who said “Suffer me to go and bid them farewell which are at home in my house,” represents the melancholic. The little book will amply repay perusal.
ERRATA.-Page 325, (foot-note), for ingenuous read ingenious.