« НазадПродовжити »
which he reminds the clergy of their privilege and their duty to be in the forefront of the battle-line of temperance.
President Harper's addresses * to THE HIGHER LIFE. university students have many By Harper.
qualities which are admirable, and
others which no believer in a fixed Christian creed can approve. Dr. Harper is a strong, earnest, and sincere man, heartily holding to religion as he sees it, and honestly desirous to do good to others. His moral counsels, admonitions, and warnings are simple and straightforward, his tone is natural, his language without pretence. He deals candidly with difficulties, and does not close his eyes to obstacles, drawbacks, and doubts in the Christian life. But when he comes to creed, a Catholic must part company with him. For the learned doctor is of opinion that the day of priesthoods, of final dogmas, and irreformable theologies is over. He says this respectfully, it is true, but decisively for all that. He believes that an unchangeable standard of orthodoxy is logically impossible, and that each man's mind and conscience are the supreme seat of religious authority. This is the modern development of non-Catholic Christianity, of course, and we have ceased to be astonished at hearing it stated. This is not the place for the refutation of such an opinion, and we shall not delay upon it. It is a logical outcome of the denial of Christ's Divinity. If our Lord is God, his word must be irrevocably fixed and forever immutable; but because belief in his deity has so widely disappeared, he is regarded not as the end, but as only the beginning of the religious life of mankind.
One thing Dr. Harper says which is encouraging. That is, that religion is not decreasing in our greater universities. Denominationalism, he admits, is on the wane among advanced students, but belief in God is striking deeper root than during the preceding generation, and there is a notable growth in the conviction that the higher life of man must be based upon the character and teachings of Christ. We trust that this is so. For if the intellectual leaders of the country retain so much of the religious sense as these two convictions imply, we need not fear that ultimately the American people will grow out to the full stature of the truth of God.
* Religion and the Higher Life. By William Rainey Harper. Chicago: The Chicago University Press.
Father Lucas' conferences * to CONFERENCES TO BOYS, the Stonyhurst boys are simple, By Father Lucas. straightforward, earnest talks which must have done good to those who heard them, and will do, we trust, still greater good to the larger circle that will read them. This collection contains thirty-one brief sermons on the chief duties of the Christian life—prayer, penance, the thought of God, vocation, resistance to temptation, etc. Admirable as we found them in substance, there is a deficiency in them which we regret. Not much is said of duty, conscience, interior and personal spiritual power, and the sacred idea of honor as applied to the religious side of life. So far as we can see this omission is very common in our spiritual literature, and it is a fatal omission. In a country like England or America the whole tendency of civil and social life makes for the deepening of individual responsibility. Men are free, and the anchor that holds freedom back from the current of license is the sense of duty. So deep down in the heart of every freeman lies a love of duty, and a conviction that through duty leads the way of salvation. And when this persuasion is supernaturalized and religion is brought out of the region of mere observance, and into the region of individual honor, it gains a power of appeal that is as efficacious as it is noble. Let us have in our Catholic books and in our Catholic preaching vastly more about conscience, religious fidelity, and spiritual manliness. Those who are familiar with the MORAL EDUCATION. philosophy of the author of Moral By Griggs. Education,t will scarcely need to be told that his latest book says very little, either good or bad, on the subject of revealed religion; and, nevertheless, religion is a force of immense significance and value in the process of moral training. Taken as the utterance of a writer concerned exclusively with the non-religious aspect of the question, the volume is one which well deserves to be considered by all who are interested, theoretically or practically, in the educational problems confronting the present generation. It should do something to elevate the standards, to clarify the ideals, and to stimulate
• In the Morning of Life: Considerations and Meditations for Boys. By Rev. Herbert Lucas, S.J. St. Louis: B. Herder. t Moral Education. By Edward Howard Griggs. New York: B. W. Huebsch.
the moral enthusiasm of those who depend on bright and hopeful thoughts for their inspiration; though it falls essentially short of being a substitute for the tried and efficient influences upon which the Christian world has relied in the course of its struggles toward spiritual greatness. This consideration apart, much that is good may be claimed for the book. The author has pretty well covered the literature of popular pedagogy, and, to his credit be it said, he gives careful references and a most satisfactory bibliography. He writes with beauty and almost invariably with marked clearness; he develops very instructively and applies to the work of ethical formation the leading results of modern educational investigation. Sometimes, it is true, he pushes an idea a little too hard and displays a tendency to forget counter considerations; and to one who has pondered the big problems of philosophy long and earnestly, the readiness of Mr. Griggs' answers will suggest a Auency which is akin to lightness; but on the whole it must be said that the book before us is really a good one to read and that it should do much to assist the thoughtful mother or the earnest teacher in the accomplishment of their sacred duties. It will hardly exercise a harmful influence on any one's faith, and it may serve to remind many believers that they do wiong in letting slip those opportunities of using the laws of nature, which the real educator reckons among his most precious resources.
s that the
Fourteen sermons preached in the SERMONS.
English College of St. Edmund,
between the years 1847 and 1904, have just been published.* Many of the preachers are names that have lived and will live in history : Cardinals Wiseman, Manning, and Vaughan, Bishops Ullathorne and Hedley, Canon Oakeley, and some others of less repute. Like most sermoncollections, this one contains discourses good and discourses middling. We do not propose to designate the division in greater detail. Let it be enough to say that as the literature of homiletics stands at the present time, this volume has a fair share of meritorious work. The subjects of the sermons are such high and useful topics as: The Christian Vocation, The Holy Ghost, and—but here a glance at the title page discloses that all the others are on St. Edmund, or else have to do with the opening of Provincial Synods and the burial of local celebrities, matters which cannot fail to interest any one who has ever been a student at St. Edmund's.
* Sermons Preached in St. Edmund's College Chapel on Various Occasions. With an Introduction by Most Rev. Francis Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster. Collected and Arranged by Edwin Burton, Vice-President. New York: Benziger Brothers.
More absorbing than the most PATHFINDERS OF thrilling romance of imaginary THE WEST.
heroes is Agnes C. Laut's PathBy Laut.
finders of the West.* It tells the
story of the men who discovered and explored the great Northwest. First among the explorers of the land west of the Mississippi the author places Pierre Radisson, claiming precedence for him over Marquette, Joliet, and La Salle. These names have been so long associated with the discovery and exploration of the great Northwest that this championship of the almost unknown Radisson and Groseillers comes with almost iconolastic significance. The discovery of an account of Radisson's voyages, written by himself, the authenticity of which has been generally admitted by scholars, has induced the author to popularize the story of his life in the West and rescue his name from oblivion. Miss Laut's book, or rather the substance of it which appeared first in magazine form, has given rise to considerable controversy and some antagonism. If the discovered manuscript be authentic, and if Radisson be credited with speaking the truth, there seems no reason why Miss Laut should not be congratulated upon her effort to write history true. Surely the work in this country of the Jesuits has been monumental enough to lose nothing by this late acknowledgment of our debt to Pierre Radisson.
Directors of souls are probably agreed that “spiritual despondency” is not a disease that is alarmingly prevalent among the masses of the people. We are given to over-confidence rather than to despair. But none the less it is certain that among the comparatively few who try genuinely to make progress in the spiritual life there are many who, sooner or later, meet with this chief difficulty of the pious, a tendency, or even a fixed habit of soul, to disbelieve in the possibility of achieving anything like success in the struggle for perfection.
+ Pathfinders of the West. By Agnes C. Laut. New York: The Macmillan Company.
To such as these, the first part of Father Garesché's volume will doubtless be helpful.
Others, that is those who have never experienced this dreadful tendency of mind, and who consequently will scarcely appreciate the importance of the author's words on the subject of despair, may pass quickly to his very helpful chapters on temptation. They may read with especial comfort the chapter on the means of recognizing whether or not one has consented to temptation, a very clear and very encouraging statement of the usual teaching on the matter.
The Divine Fire,t by May Sinclair, is unmistakably the work of an unusually gifted writer, and one does not hesitate to pronounce this book literature. The story is of a young London Cockney who begins life in his father's secondhand bookshop, and who finally becomes one of the great poets of bis time-not an extraordinary theme for a story, and yet one which offers opportunity for a great book. May Sinclair, who. ever she may be, has developed her story with admirable skill and sustained power. A keen understanding, an ethical interpretation, and a lyric style have combined to produce one of the noblest, most inspiring, and absorbing books we have read in years.
The Bell in the Fog t takes its name from the initial story of the volume. Some of the tales in the book are entirely new, and others appeared previously in magazines. From a Catholic standpoint the simplicity of the peasants mentioned in the volume as living on the estates of the Count of Croisac, and whose dead were disturbed by the roar and rumble of the new steam-railway is, to say the least, rather far-fetched. We have no doubt, however, that the author had a real foundation, on which, by her vivid imagination, she has built up these interesting but rather uncanny series of events. The dominant note of the book is—uncanny. The stories, needless to say, are told by one who can tell them well, but they are the result of introspection rather than of observation. The volume has a certain charm of interest, and, although in places weird and unsatisfactory, will hold the average reader to the end.
* Spiritual Despondency and Temptations. By Rev. P. J. Michel, S.J. Translated from the French by Rev. F. P. Garesché, S.J. New York: Benziger Brothers.
+ The Divine Fire. By May Sinclair. New York: Henry Holt & Co.