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ed by D. M. Reese, A. M., M. D.
New York: A. S. Barnes &
4. THE ORTHOEPIST. By James H. Martin. New York: A. S.
Barnes & Co.
5. INTRODUCTORY LESSONS IN READING AND ELOCUTION : IN TWO
PARTS. BY R. G. Parker and J. C. Zachos. New York: A. S. Barncs & Co.
The above works belong to the National Series of School Books, published by the Messrs. Barnes and Co., of New York. Our time and space require us to notice these excellent books in a group, instead of separately and in detail as we could wish. The attention of that part of the public, most interested in the department to which they belong, is called to them in this general way. The series has already been introduced into many of the best Schools and Academies, and where the books have been tried and examined thoroughly, a satisfactory report has been given in their favor. There are yet many places, however, where these books might, with great profit all around, be made to take the place of inadequate and poorly arranged text books.
Public attention is waking up to the importance of providing for schools proper implements in the way of text-books. The time was, when it mattered very little, what kind of a book was put into the hands of a child. Almost every pupil in the school had a different kind of a book from all others. The teacher had to do the best he could, but there were no classes then. We remember very well the book our grandfather put into our hands when first we had to bring a “ reading book " to school. It might as well have been the Koran, or Blackstone, or De Bello Gallico, for all we were benefitted by it. Sanscrit, or Hebrew, or Choctaw, would have been nearly as intelligible. And then, how all the boys and even the teacher, too, laughed at our book! But those times are past, and now a better day for schools and school boys, has taken their place.
We had designed to make special reference, if possible, to the full and complete Speaker ; to the invaluable Companion, that every man should have acquaintance with ; to the Orthoepist, and to the merits of the other books above named, severally, as they deserve. But teachers and parents and others concerned in this matter, may be left to form their own opinions, now that their attention has been called to the National Series.
THE LIFE AND LABORS OF ST. AUGUSTINE. Translated from the
German of Dr. Philip Schaft, Professor of Theology at Mercersburg, Pa., by the Rev. T. C. Porter. New York: J. C. Riker,
1854. pp. 150. 12mo. Tue LIFE OF ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY, DUCHESS OF THURIN
GIA, by the Count De Montalembert, Peer of France. Translated by Mary Hackett. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co., pp. 427. 12mo.
For sale by Shryock, Reed, & Co., Chambersburg. The first of these volumes is likely to recommend itself to the favorable attention of many at this time, from the high reputation its author is coming to have with the public generally by his History of the Apostolic Church. It is characterized by the same happy qualities of method and style, which appear to so much advantage in that truly masterly performance; and breathes throughout the same fresh and generous spirit. The translator also has done his part well. The work is every way fitted to become popular; and it is for popular use more particularly that it professes to be published. “It is not offered to the public," the translator tells us, “as a complete monograph ; it is designed for the general reader rather than the scholar--to give a condensed picture of the life and labors of that eminent saint, who alone, of all the ancient Fathers, stood high in favor with the Reformers of the Sixteenth Century, and exerted a mighty influence over them, as well as over the preceding generations.”
Montalembert's Life of St. Elizabeth is in every way an interesting and beautiful work. It comes to us from the pen of one, who is justly admired as a statesman and scholar throughout the civilized world. Its subject is invested with a religious significance, not often surpassed in the lives of the saints. It serves at the same time to shed much light on the character of the period to which it belongs, the beginning of the thirteenth century, that age of disorder and darkness, in many respects, which was yet so eminently again the age of faith and heroic consecration to the service of Christ and his Church. In this view the work has a much wider aim than that of a mere isolated sketch of Christian biography. It is so constructed as to be in fact a most important contribution to the general history of the period to which St. Elizabeth of Hungary belongs. For this purpose, the distinguished author has prefixed to the Life of the Saint, an admirable Introduction, presenting a graphic and comprehensive picture of the Christian world during the half century preceding her time. “It has been felt,” he tells us, “ that even the purely profane history of
an age, so important for the destinies of mankind, might gain much in depth, and in accuracy, from particular researches on the object of the most fervent faith and dearest affections of the men of those times. We may venture to say, that in the history of the middle
there are few biographies so well adapted to carry out that view, as the history of St. Elizabeth.” So on the other hand, a sketch of her age
is required to make intelligible this particular history itself. “Not only is it that her destiny, her family and her name, are connected more or less with a host of the events of those times, but that her character is so analogous to what the world then saw on a grander scale, that it becomes indispensably necessary for the reader to recall, as he goes along, the principal features of the social state wherein her name holds such a distinguished place." To its theme, thus happily chosen and broadly apprehended, the literary cxecution of the work may be said to do full justice. It is written in a strain of active sympathy with the spirit of the life it describes, and breathes throughout a tone of believing and loving enthusiasm in its favor, which tells with happy effect on the form and style of the whole book. It is beautiful, considered simply as a work of art. “There is a winning charm,” as the Preface to the Translation says, “a soft, poetic halo, around the whole narrative, that is in admirable keeping with the life and character of the charming princess, whose brief mortal career it chroni. cles;" and altogether, “it is a work of such rare merit, in its kind, that wherever it goes it will be sure to make friends and admirers for itself, and requires not a word of commendation.”
N. AN INDEX TO PERIODICAL LITERATURE. By Wm. Fred. Poole,
A. M., Librarian of the Boston Mercantile Library Association.
New York : Charles B. Norton, Publisher. 1853. 8 vo. pp. 521. Few things could impress the mind more fully with the richness, extent and variety of the Periodical Literature of the present day than such a book as this. It concentrates, as it were, within the angle of vision, a wide and variegated field, teeming with the products of one of the most intellectually active periods the world has ever seen. Periodical Literature is indeed one of the great facts of the
and though as a laboratory of thought and a store-house of knowledge, it is open to criticism on the score of necessitating crudeness and superficiality, yet we think these drawbacks are more than counterbalanced by its advantages, especially in the way of reaching the masses of the people; and at all even whatever may be said for or against it, it is undoubtedly the great channel through which the age is putting forth its mental activity. No where else are the great questions of the day more earnestly discussed, or its great problems pushed nearer to solution. No other single agency commands such a galaxy of talent. The list of contributors to the Reviews and other Periodicals of England and this country, comprises almost every name of distinguished eminence in literature, theology or science. In view of these facts the compilation of a work like that before us was truly a public good, and was most urgently demanded. It was a Herculean task. Nothing could have accomplished it, with anything like accuracy, but the most indefatigable perseverance. It is purely an Index, alphabetically arranged, of the subjects treated in all the leading periodicals, English and American, from the beginning of the century down to January, 1852. To those who live within the vi. cinity of large libraries, where periodical literature has accumulated largely, or who possess an accumulation of it, such a manual will be invaluable. By its aid the examination of any subject of general interest can be pursued through its tortuous windings amid every hue and shade of thought, and amid the various and conflicting schools” of opinion, of one of which almost every great periodical is an organ. If we take up the book and look for any leading subject, in which men now feel an interest, such as Religion, Education, Geology, Poetry, Missions, Railroads, &c.; or great names, such as Plato, Luther, Byron, Cromwell, &c., we find several pages covered with the mere list of articles written on each by various pens and in various periodicals. Where it could be done the names of the writers are given.
A word, however, we have of abatement. Of course, without the next thing to omniscience, a work like this could not be made perfect, or entirely free from inaccuracies. Our own unpretending, and yet, we would modestly say, valuable “Review,” has been entirely omitted in the author's list, and our neighbor, the “Evangelical,” has been put down as published at “Mercersburgh.” This was a little annoying; but in answer to a private letter the author assures us that it was because he could not ascertain, after much inquiry, where sets of these “Reviews” could be obtained, and succeeded in obtaining nothing more than the table of contents of the first volume of the “ Evangelical.” All this, we are promised, will be rectified in a future edition. We take the liberty to quote from his letter.
“ I have undertaken the task of indexing periodicals as a pure labor of love. It has employed a good share of my time for six years. I have not received as yet the first cent of pecuniary remuneration, while on the other hand I have expended for books, literary assistance, &c., sever
al hundred dollars. I have no expectation that I shall receive from the sales of this edition, more than my
expenses upon it. Under these circumstancesconsidering that my labors are of immense advantage to the proprietors of periodicals,-one house in this city freely admitting that my work has raised the value of their stock $1000-it seems but simple justice that editors and proprietors of periodicals should furnish me with their publications. Several editors have already sent me their sets. It is not only necessary that I should have the volumes themselves to secure accuracy in indexing in the first place, but I need them near me for constant reference.'
It is proposed in a future edition to give an historical account of the leading periodicals, comprising their origin, editors, prominent contributors, peculiar views in literature, politics, religion, &c, in which account it is hoped the “Mercersburg” will have a chapter. C. THE MISSION OF THE COMFORTER, with Notes. By Charles Julius
Hare, A. M. Boston : Gould & Lincoln. 1854. 12mo. pp. 498. This is certainly a very peaceable and evangelical, almost Baxterian title of a book, and the reader would hardly suspect that beneath it were concealed the weapons of polemical war. It is, nevertheless, a bold, unsparing, and withal, highly valuable contribution to controversial literature. In the five sermons, however, which it contains, its controversial character-which is after all the most effective mode of controversy—is limited to the straight forward and powerful statement and enforcement of gospel truth, always in view, it is true, of certain erroneous tendencies.. In the Notes the author deals the weapons more directly against acknowledged adversaries, Romanism and Tractarianism on the one hand, and Rationalism on the other. Archdeacon Hare belongs to that evangelical and somewhat modern party in the Church of England, distinguished for their zeal and spirituality, who have been deeply influenced by the thinking of Coleridge and the better class of German theologians, and who yet blend harmoniously with such thinking, and assert vigorously, the great central truths of spiritual religion. In the work before us he puts forth and elucidates in a masterly manner, comprehensive and timely views of the work of the Holy Spirit, and the great doctrine of faith in Christ as the ground of salvation. The style is characterised by great freshness and vigor, and abounds in original and suggestive thought. The book has a few peculiarities which will not suit American Christianity, but we are truly glad of its republication in this country.