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up with sentimental trilling, much of which would have been equally appropriate in any other place. The winding up of the tale is also coarse and vulgar, befitting rather the ease than the skill of the author. The horrible deaths of Moreton and Charlotte Hay, disappoint the reader, and do no credit to Mr. James's invention. Their schemes ought to have been counterplotted, and in the hands of a master, would have been. The most serious objection, however, respects the frequent use of profane language, which, however appropriate to the persons using it, is out of place in such a work. It is not necessary to the elucidation of character, and throws no light on the progress of the tale. An author who avows so much respect to the moralities of life, will do well to keep his pages free from such pollutions.
Epitome of Alison's History of Europe, from the commencement of the
French Revolution in 1789 to the Restoration of the Bourbons in 1815.
London and Edinburgh: Blackwood and Sons. MR. Alison's History of Europe is amongst the few works of the present day which will go down to posterity. It is written with great ability, displays considerable research, and evinces an earnest and confiding spirit. As such, though differing greatly from the author on many iinportant points, we strongly recommend it to the attentive perusal of all advanced readers. Those who have time to compare the versions of different authors, will defraud themselves, if they do not examine so masterly a work. The case, however, is different with the volume before us. It is intended for the use of schools and young persons, and we feel great difficulty in recommending it. The light in which many events and characters are exbibited by Mr. Alison, differs materially from what we deem correct, and we there. fore hesitate to make his work a text-book for our schools. Our youths have been greatly injured by this process already, and we shrink from extending the evil. We are accustomed to talk much about the susceptibility of the young mind, and then, with strange fatuity, we subject it to the false impressions made by a class of works which, however attractive in style, or affluent in research, lend themselves to the propagation of one-sided and erroneous views.
Memoirs of the Rev. John Smith, Missionary to Demerara. By Edwin
Angel Wallbridge. With a Preface. By the Rev. W. G. Bar
rett. 8vo. London: Charles Gilpin. We had intended to present our readers with a somewhat extended account of this interesting volume, but circumstances beyond our control, prevent our doing so this month. We must, therefore, for the present, content ourselves with barely announcing its publication, and shall endeavour in our December number to do it justice. In the mean time, it has our most hearty good wishes.
Hours of Recreation ; a Collection of Poems, written to the Age of
Twenty-one. By Charles S. Middleton, London : Jobn R. Smith.
1848. We confess to not being impartial judges of this little volume, for the manly modest preface has disarmed criticism. The author tells us, in no complaining tone, nor in arrest of judgment, that he is young, engaged in a laborious occupation, with failing health,-and that this collection is published in the hope of raising himself something above bis present position, before sickness becomes too deeply rooted to be removed.' Tbere are, then, anxious hopes clinging to its reception. We trust they may be more than realized. The author has written much graceful, pleasing verse, and there is, throughout, a purity of thought, and a gentle tenderness of disposition, which, combined with much quiet love for the beautiful, will make many of his pieces very suitable for moments of weariness, when loftier lines are felt to be too great for our mood, and we seek songs which
'Have power to quiet The restless pulse of care.'
The Closing Scene ; or, Christianity and Infidelity Contrasted in the Last
Hours of Remarkable Persons. By the Author of The Bishop's
Daughter,' etc. London: Longman and Co. 1848. This is a very striking and useful volume. It presents a great variety of death-bed histories, tending to show that opinions wbich it may be convenient to live by, are wretched supports in death. The idea is good; the selection of examples is judicious; and the treatment of the solemn subject is more calm and reverential than books of the kind usually exhibit.
A Dream of Reform. By Henry J. Forrest. London: John Chap
The author following (to quote his own somewhat curious arrangement) Plato, Bacon, Sir Thomas More, and Douglas Jerrold, has here embodied, in the sketch of an imaginary country, his ideas of a model state of society. On many points he has discovered great sympathy with the victims of our crying social evils, and is evidently a man of kindly dispositions; but he is more at home in point. ing out the rotten places lying patent to every one's observation in things as they are, than in suggesting remedies. Government is to do everything. No man is to be allowed to possess more than a certain amount of property, and ignorance and sin are to be counteracted by an education on phrenological principles, and a religion which is diluted Deism.
The History of Barbados : comprising a Geographical and Statistical
Account of the Island ; a Sketch of the Historical Events since the Settlement, and an Account of the Geology and Natural Productions.
By Sir Robert H. Schomburgk, Ph. D. London: Longman and Co. We quote the entire title of this bulky volume, as it exhibits fully its valuable contents. So far as we have examined the book, we can give it the highest commendation, as a perfect encyclopædia de omni scibili about Barbados. The author has done his work with true German industry, and has produced a volume of local history, which, in the qualities of laborious research, and abundance of information, has never been surpassed.
On Dreams, in their Mental and Moral Aspects, etc. Two Essays. By
John Sheppard. London: Jackson and Walford. The purpose of these Essays is to show that the phenomena of dreams afford arguments for the existence of spirit, for a separate state, and for a particular providence. The tone of the volume is admirable ; probabilities are never tortured into certainties, and there is no appearance of the dogmatism which is the besetting sin of the advocates of views, known to be unusual, and suspected to be unpopular. The abundant citations of cases, the fair, moderate conclusions established from them, and the marks of a ripe and cultivated mind on every page, make this a valuable contribution to the literature of a difficult subject.
Halyburton's Memoirs. With a Sketch of His Times.
to the Revolution. By the Rev. Thomas M.Crie. 2 vols. The Revivals of the Eighteenth Century, with Sermons by Whitefield.
By Rev. D. M.Farlan, D.D. London and Edinburgh : John
Johnston. THESE four volumes are perfect marvels of cheapness. They are well got up, run to about 300 pages each, and are published in cloth. The Free Church Publication Committee deserve success in such an undertaking. The works are all pervaded by a certain family likeness, although the subjects are very different. Haly burton is a piece of rich autobiography. M.Crie's Sketches are graphic, lively specimens of popular history. The Revivals of the Eighteenth Cen. tury furnish an interesting account of a very remarkable time.
Though especially calculated for Scotland, their devotion to Presbyterianism does not unfit them for England, while the manly, bracing tone of religion which pervades them, might be copied with benefit by some of our authors, who seem to imagine that the meaning of piety is its strictly etymological one-softness.
The Young Man's Home, or the Penitent Returned. A Narrative of the
Present Day. By the Rev. Richard Cobbold. London: Saun
ders and Oiley. 1848. We do not know how much of this volume is fact, and how much fiction. Considered simply as a narrative of a wasted life and its repentant close, intended to teach that the end of profligate mirth is heaviness, we give it our commendation ; but if it is to be tried as a literary creation, we must confess it is not a successful effort. With perfect freedom from tricks of style or incident-a mercy in these days—there is yet a prevailing feebleness. It never takes bold of us. One could lay it down at any time without feeling the least anxiety to get back to it again. Nor is this want of power compensated by any remarkable play of fancy or delicacy of observation, by any power of sketching character, or grasp of thought. Simple and touching sometimes, the simplicity is not always separated from childishness, nor the pathos from sentimentalism. The reverend author appears in gown, and preaches rather too undisguisedly. We are sorry to see another trace of the clergyman, where a grievous step in the young hero's downward progress is his learning to like 'dissent and dissension'— his licentious disposition to join any fools who were but untrammelled Freethinkers, Independents, and enemies to the Church of England. We were not aware that dissenters gained many adherents amongst fox-bunting squires and gay Oxford men, such as the hero of this volume is.
Vital Christianity: Essays and Discourses on the Religions of Man and
the Religion of God. By Alexander Vinet, D.D., Professor of Theology in Lausanne. Translated, with an Introduction, by Robert Turnbull, Pastor of the Harvard Street Church, Boston.
pp. 316. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark. London: Hamilton & Co. PROFESSOR VINET (whom Dr. Merle D'Aubigné has described as the Chalmers of Switzerland) is very favourably known in this country through his admirable work on · The profession of personal conviction, in connexion with church-establishments. He has done good and great service in France and Switzerland, both as a defender of evan. gelical religion, and as an opponent of the union of church and state. The present work, as the translator observes, is 'addressed particularly to that large class of cultivated minds who have some prepossessions in favour of Christianity, but who, from the influence of latent scepticism, do not yield their hearts to its direct and all. controlling influence. This circumstance stamps upon it a peculiar character. It has rendered it at once profound and practical.' The author discusses a great number of most important topics, with acuteness and power, and in a style of vivacious eloquence that interests and warms while it instructs. We sincerely hope that this antidote to scepticism and formality will find its way into the circles where they are exerting so powerfully benumbing and enervating an influence.
The History of Rome; from the Earliest Times to the Fall of the Empire.
London : Religious Tracı Society. It must be a very difficult thing to write good historical school books. Il, on the one band, the young reader's taste is consulted by a sufficiently large admixture of stories,' the history becomes nothing but a collection of episodes. If, on the other, the perspective of events is attended to, and prominence is given to the important ones, without consideration of their being interesting, history is declared dry. Then the necessity for compression brings crowds of names in such quick succession, that the pupil has no time to attach any idea to each, and consequently forgets them all. The author of this volume has very successfully combatted these difficulties. His book displays research, judgment, consideration of the kind of readers he may expect, considerable power of graphic narration, and, above all, Christian principle. We wish it all success.
Letters in Vindication of Dissent, by Mr. Towgood, being Replies to
Three Letters and lwo Defences of those Letiers. By the Rev. Mr.
Wbite. pp. 180. Oldbam: John Hurst. • Towgood's Letters' are well known. They were very celebrated in their day, and have not, by any means, lost their worth. His objections to the established church chiefly respect it as a churchand alhough the question of establishments has, to a great extent, pushed these into the background, they are of a kind and a strength io demand attention. We should advise the extensive circulation of • Towgood's Letters,' along with publications dealing with the more general subject of the union of church and state.
The Lads of the Factory; with Friendly Hints on their Dutics and Dan
gers. London: Religious Tract Society. The design of this little work is to teach and enforce moral and religious lessons by example. The class whose welfare is contemplated is a very important and very exposed one. The instruction here communicated, in the form of scenes and characters from real life,' possesses general adaptation to their circuinstances and wants.
A Brief Commentary on the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalo
nians. By the Rev. Alexander S. Patterson). pp. 126. Edin
burgh: T. and T. Clark. London: Hamilton and Co. We see no particular reason for the publication of this work. It is just such an one as any evangelical minister or layman might write.
The sentiments are sound, the style simple, the tendency to promote piety; but these, we imagine, are not sufficient qualifications for theological works in the present day, and least of all for commentaries.