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13. Poems of the Orient. By Bayard Taylor. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1855. 12mo. pp. 203.
It is no small merit that these poems fully deserve the title which they bear; for they seem to the reader the natural inspiration of Eastern climes. “ The yellow moon—rising large
Above the Desert's dusky maze”— and all the scenery which his verse displays, is vividly marked upon our imagination. Nor is there wanting a deeper purpose to the writer, when he tells us in “L'Envoi ”.
“ For not to any race or any clime
Is the completed sphere of life revealed;
Must pitch his tent on any a distant field.
But through the world he walks to open day,
Which, when united, form the perfect ray."
G. H. B.
14. Memoir of Rev. James M. Cook. By Theodore D. Cook. Boston: James M. Usher. 1854. 12mo. pp. 430.
A very full biography of one of the most earnest, active, and efficient preachers in the Universalist ministry. The Rev. James Monroe Cook was distinguished by his zeal and devotedness in the cause of religious truth, by his indefatigable labors and ready self-sacrifice as a pastor, and by the ardor of his eloquence in the pulpit. Cut off at the age of forty-eight, while his power and usefulness were increasing faster perhaps than ever before, he still left abundant monuments of his faithfulness and ability, in the good work that he had accomplished in the several fields of his ministry,—especially in Western New York, in Providence, R. I., and in the city of Baltimore. We are glad to see the record of his life and ministry laid before the public, that those who did not know him personally may at least share in the influences of his example. By it, “he, being dead, yet speaketh.”
15. Day-Dreams by a Butterfly. In Nine Parts, &c. &c. Kingston, C. W. (Canada-West.] 1854. 12mo. pp. 156.
A revery, in verse, on the various phases of Nature, as seen by the uninstructed eye, and also as presented by the Sciences, and by the different systems of speculative Philosophy. We think that the work lacks clearness and continuity of thought, and that the author was unfortunate in the form which he chose for his verse.
16. General History of the Christian Religion and Church: from the German of Dr. Augustus Neander. Translated from the last Edition. By Joseph Torrey, Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy in the University of Vermont, &c. &c. Volume Fifth : comprising the Sixth Volume of the Original. (Eleventh Part of the Whole Work.) Published from the Posthumous Papers, by K. F. Th. Sci eider. First American Edition. Boston: Published by Crocker & Brewster. 1854. 8vo. pp. xxv. 415.
This last volume of Dr. Neander's great work occupies the period from Boniface viii., A. D. 1300, to the beginning of the Reformation under Luther. The lamented author did not live to prepare it for the
press. This was done, after his death, by one of his devoted admirers, K. F. Th. Schneider, who had assisted him in the preparation of his former volumes, and who was thoroughly familiar with his views and with his manner. In some of the chapters before us, we find obvious marks of the imperfect state in which the author left them, though the German editor has done all that he could with justice do to supply the deficiencies of an unfinished manuscript. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, however, the present volume is by no means the least valuable of the sett. The topics it embraces are of the highest interest to students whether of religious or of general history. The new developement of ecclesiastical power under Boniface viii., the great Schism in the Papacy, the Reforms attempted by Wicklif and his followers in England, and by Huss, Jerome, and others, in Bohemia, the ineffectual movements towards a general Reformation in the Catholic Church itself, especially by the Councils of Pisa and Constance,—these are the stirring events of the period here embraced.
Neander's History of the Christian Religion and Church is now closed, -closed at the period to which he had been aiming, for a quarter of a century, to bring it, but which he reached only through a long struggle with other daily avocations, with failing health, and with growing blindness. It is affecting to read, in Schneider's Preface, that, checked and disabled by these embarrassments, Neander
once and again had even entertained the thought of bringing his work to a close in the form of a compendium ; but strong attachment to the labor of his life, ever breaking forth afresh, and the hope that he might perhaps yet recover the use of his eye-sight, constantly brought him back again to the extremely painful and yet dearly beloved continuation of the task he had begun.
Prof. Torrey's task, in this work, is also now closed, we trust under happier circumstances. He has secured to himself a widely extended reputation as a skilful translator, and a consciousness of having conferred a great favor on the thinkers both of America and of Britain. While we render thanks to him for the service he has done, we ought not to overlook the enterprizing Publishers who took on themselves the pecuniary liability of issuing so heavy a work.
17. The Lands of the Saracen: or, Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain. By Bayard Taylor. New York: G. P. Putnam & Co., 10 Park Place. 1855. 12mo. pp. 451.
The chapters which make up this volume were originally published in the New York Tribune in a series of letters, in which form they may have fallen under the eye of the reader. We read them as they appeared from time to time with satisfaction and profit, but confess we were not aware of their superior value until we met with them in the finely printed and firmly bound volume under notice. What has delighted and we may even say surprised us most of all is, the perfect truthfulness with which all the statements and descriptions are made. There is no attempt at the rhetorical for effect—things are presented just as they are. Sentimental passages, expressive of feelings which one is supposed to possess in certain situations, but which no one ever realizes on the spot, do not flow from the pen of Bayard Taylor. Our first introduction to the author was in his celebrated “ Views. A-Foot,” published in 1846. The extensive sale of these volumes, and especially the continual demand for them, (a new edition bas been recently issued,) show their superiority in the popular estimate over the ordinary works of travel. But these stirring volumes should not be cited as authority. The style is too flowing, and some of their statements are a little wide of the mark. But neither of these charges can in truth be brought against his later works. He is not only one of the most readable of authors, but adds to this the somewhat rare virtue--that of a perfectly reliable traveller.
18. Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament. Messrs. Jewett & Co. have issued other volumes from the prolific pen of Dr. Cumming of London, than those which have already been announced in these pages. We invite the particular attention of our brethren to Scripture Readings on Matthew and Mark. They are books of decided merit, and though not free from the theological bias of the Church to which Dr. C. belongs, are catholic in spirit, and will fully reward any intelligent person for a careful reading. His remarks on baptism (pp. 15–17 of work on Matt.) are very suggestive and seemingly scriptural. 19.
The Rose-Bud; a Love Gift for Young Hearts, for 1855. Edited by Mrs. C. A. Soule. Boston: A. Tompkins and B. B. Mussey & Co. 1855. 12mo: pp. 168.
A very pleasant Juvenile work. People often speak of the moral influence which works of this kind exert; in the present case we can say that it is of the most salutary kind. It seems to us, however, that we need some other epithet, or else that we need to have the epithet “moral,” in this connection, so explained as to be generally understood to embrace what relates particularly to the temper.
“ The Rose-Bud” is certainly written in a spirit that can not fail to cherish an amiable, affectionate, and trustful disposition in its young readers; it seems to breathe forth the very air of sweetness, as the rose is redolent of its peculiar fragrance.
20. The Illustrated Natural History. By the Rev. J. G. Wood, M.A. With 450 original designs, by William Harvey. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1854.
The peculiarity which recommends this book as preferable to others on the same general subject, is in its accuracy of information, its systematic arrangement, its simplicity and brevity of treatmentin a word, its adaptation to the wants and comprehension of the mass of readers. It abounds in illustrations; and its typographical execution does credit to the American press.
21. The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, for the year 1855. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co.
It is difficult to enumerate the merits of this work, so various is the information scattered over its three hundred and fifty pages. We can only say, in general terms, that whatever relates to the affairs of the general and the State governments of this country, the States of Europe, railroad statistics, astronomical discoveries and observations, the calendar phenomena, &c., &c., is given with an amplitude of detail such as can be found in no other publication. It would take pages to enumerate even the different kinds of knowledge presented in the American Almanac. It is what it purports to be, a repository of useful knowledge.
We are obliged, by want of space, to postpone to our next No. notices of several publications that we have received, among which are the following:
22. The Elements of Intellectual Philosophy. By Francis Wayland, President of Brown University, and Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co. &c. 1854. 12mo. pp. 426.
23. The Christian Household. Embracing the Christian Home, Husband, Wife, Father, Mother, Child, Brother, and Sister. By George S. Weaver, Author of “ Lectures on Mental Science,” Hopes and Helps for the Young,” “Moral Antipodes,” etc. etc. Boston : A. Tompkins and B. B. Mussey & Co. 1854. 12mo. pp. 160.
24. Practical Christian Socialism: a Conversational Exposition of the True System of Human Society; in Three Parts, viz: 1. Fundamental Principles. 2. Constitutional Polity. 3. Superiority to other Systems. By Adin Ballou, &c. &c. Hopedale: Published by the Author. New York: Fowlers & Wells. 1854. 8vo. pp. 655.
The Great Moral Conflict. The Divine Character Vindicated. A Review of some of the Principal Features of the Rev. Dr. E. Beecher's recent Work, entitled: “The Conflict of Ages; or, The Great Debate on the Moral Relations of God and Man." By Moses Ballou, &c. &c. Redfield, &c. New York, 1854. 12mo. pp. 412.
We have been much pleased with the character of this volume in almost every respect. It would be aside from our purpose to enter into a regular critique of the work, but we wish to mention some of its general features. It appears to have been written throughout in the feeling of respect, and on the principle of honor. So far as we discover, it has none of those faults that are so common in controversies, we mean censoriousness on the one hand, and parade of affected candor on the other hand, with adroit appeals to prejudices on all hands, as a running accompaniment. It is equally free from every thing like carping, never falls into the vice of smart pettifogging, nor attempts to take advantage of an opponent's words, or in any way to put a strain upon his meaning. It is as manly in its mode of treatment, as it is thorough in its execution. The most of these, it may be thought, are but negative excellences. Yet if they are so, they are still worthy of note and commendation, on account of their rareness. The work is distinguished also by excellences of a more positive kind. Elevated above the level of petty and narrow conceits, its positions are taken on those broad and plain common-sense grounds which the reason and conscience of man are universally obliged to recognize; and its argumentation, while it is conducted with a scope of view that reaches around to the horizon, is illustrated with clearness of thought, expressed with seriousness, and is brought home with great force. All these are marked character. istics of the work in general, and especially of that part of it which relates directly to the question of Universal Sal. vation. We need not attempt to give a synopsis of its argument. It is sufficient to say that the great principles of honor and of natural justice, which Dr. Beecher had so