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[We bold 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.]
THE REVIEWER'S CANON
THE WORKS OF HENRY SMITH; with Life of the Author. By Thomas
FULLER, B.D. Vol. I. Edinburgh: James Nichol. London:
James Nisbet and Co. But little is known of this old divine. “What is true of the river Nilus," says Thomas Fuller, his quaint biographer, “that its fountain is hid and obscure, but its fall or influx into the midland sea eminently known, is applicable to many learned men, the places of whose birth generally are either wholly concealed, or at the best uncertain, whilst the place of their death is made remarkable. For as few did take notice of their coming out of their attiring-house, so their well acting on the stage commanded all eyes to observe their returning thereunto.”
It appears, however, that our author was born at Withcok, Leicestershire, and that he was of gentle extraction and born to affluence. He was educated in the University of Oxford, and there filled himself with that learning which in due time he poured out to others. Having finished his education, he accepted a lectureship at St. Clement Danes, without Temple Bar. Although his judgment was far from going with all pertaining to the Anglican Church, he loved peace, and united in affection with those from whom in opinion he dissented. In his day he was called the silver-tongued preacher, and chimed with the melody of speech similar to that of St. Chrysostom. His church was always crowded, and he played upon his congregation as a master musician upon his harp. He died of consumption about the year 1600. He was a voluminous author. Many of his discourses were printed surrepti
iously from shorthand notes. These, however, in self defence and for the sake of his literary reputation, he afterwards published himself. It is stated that his public sermons became a family book in his own day. Judging from the discourses in this volume, he appears to have been remarkably free from the affectations that greatly disfigured the pulpit productions of his own time. He was too earnest to play th panster or the polemic. If he had not the logic of Goodwin or the pathos of Brookes, he had a spiritual insight into truth as piercing as either, and a power of presenting what he saw with remarkable vividness and effect. We class this volume amongst the best sermonic productions of the preachers of olden times.
A COMMENTARY ON THE WHOLE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. By
WILLIAM GOUGE, D.D. Vol. II. Edinburgh: James Nichol.
London: James Nisbet and Co. Dublin : G. Herbert. In the last volume of the HOMILIST, page 238, our readers will find a brief sketch of the author of this volume and our judgment upon his productions. This volume completes his work on the Hebrews, which was his masterpiece, and which is considered to contain the substance of his public ministry, which was one of great brilliancy and influence. Critically, of course, these volumes are below the mark. Since the author's days, nay, within the last twenty years, biblical criticism and Jewish archæology have made wondrous advances. But in the power of seizing and lucidly exhibiting in condense suggestiveness the great ideas of a text the work is equal to most of the best of modern times. It is strictly a homiletic exposition. On every page there are seeds of
St. Paul: His LIFE AND MINISTRY TO THE END OF HIS THIRD
MISSIONARY JOURNEY. By T. BINNEY. London: James Nisbet
and Co., 21, Berners Street. This volume contains a course of lectures, which the distinguished author delivered to the young men of his congregation. In matter they are not exhaustive, but suggestive; in style they are not rhetorics but conversational; and in effect upon the reader, they are interesting, refreshing, and stimulating in the highest degree. Though the author goes not as minutely into the circumstances of Paul's adventurous life, nor as critically into the phraseologies, either of himself, his biographer, of his friends, or of his foes, as Conybeare and Howson, he, nevertheless, sketches the incidents with a remarkable accuracy, hits out the meaning of utterances with a stroke, seizes the leading idea, disrobes it of its old costume, detaches it from its old relations, and holds it forth a powerfully living lesson to modern men. Indeed no book has ever brought Paul so near to English intelligence and consciousness.
SIMPLE TRUTH: Spoken to Working Men. By NORMAN MACLEOD,
D.D. Alexander Strahan, 56, Ludgate-hill, London. This is a small volume of sermons, the subjects are “The Wonder of Indifference not Saved,” “Publicans and Sinners hearing Christ,', “ The Love of Christ for Sinners," "The Story of the Prodigal Son," “The Gadarene Demoniac," "The Home Mission Work of Christians,'' “Prayer,” “Principles of Christian Toleration,” “The End of the Year.” We need scarcely characterize the author's treatment of
these subjects. His well-known catholicity of soul, force of intellect, and literary aptitudes are too well-known for this.
ANIMAL SAGACITY. Edited by Mrs. S. C. HALL. London: S. W.
Partridge, 9, Paternoster-row. This book is valuable in many respects. The well-authenticated anecdotes which it contains concerning the sagacity, kindness, and fidelity of the lower animals—the exquisite pictorial illustrations, in which the various creatures appear to live and move before you—the paper, type, binding, and the general getting up, and withal the grand purpose and tendency of the whole, namely, to impress the young mind with the duty of kindness to animals, constitute this volume one of the best Christmas presents for the young.
THE CHILDREN'S PRIZE. Edited by J. ERSKINE CLARKE, M.A.,
London: William Macintosh, 24, Paternoster-row. We are glad to find from this volume, that our old friend, the Rev. Erskine Clarke, continues his incomparable literary ministry to the young. This volume, which abounds with interesting and useful anecdotes, and with stirring pictorial illustrations, is equal, if not superior to any of its predecessors, which we have not failed from time to time to commend with all heartiness to the friends of the young for general distribution.
A BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY, DESIGNED AS AN ILLUS
TRATIVE COMMENTARY ON THE SACRED SCRIPTURES. By SAMUEL
GREEN. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster-row. A work that has sold to the amount of sixteen thousand copies, must have a fame and a merit, rendering it to some extent independent of any word of introduction or commendation to society. This is a pocket theological dictionary, and an admirable assistant to Sundayschool teachers.
Tax BIBLE REMEMBRANCER. By Rev. INGRAM COBBIN, M.A. Illus
trated with Maps and Engravings. London: William Tegg. This little work is intended to assist the memory in treasuring up the Word of God. It includes, amongst numerous useful articles, a Scripture numeration, an alphabetical index to the Psalms, improved readings, a key to the Promises, an analysis to the whole Bible, and is illustrated with maps and engravings. It is an admirable little book.
Short Notices. THE SUNDAY SCHOLAR'S ANNUAL. London : Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row. This annual contains stories and ballads written by able authors, and is illustrated with twelve full-paged wood engravings by eminent artists. It cannot fail to interest children.THE STORY OF LITTLE ALFRED. By D. F. E. London: S. W. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row. This is another beautiful and wholesome tale for children.- -CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Music. Weighhouse Chapel Series. Nos. III, V., VII., XII. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder, 27, Paternoster Row. Here are the four parts, treble, alto, tenor and bass, of the well-known Weigh-house series of Congregational Church Music.- -LIFE: WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH it ? An Address to Young Men. By Rev. WILLIAM GUEST, F.G.S. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder, 27, Paternoster Row. This is a vigorous and thoroughly healthy address to young men.- Who IS YOUR Priest? A Word for the Times. London: S. W. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row.This is multum in parro. It says all that can be well said on the question of priest, and that in a few very small pages.
A HOMIL Y
A Ritualistic Church a Foolish Church.
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you ?”—Gal. ii. 1.
E hear very much--perhaps too much-in the present day of the various parties into which the Church is divided. Setting aside
all other denominations, we have, within the pale of the Church of England only, High Church, Low Church, Slow Church, and Broad Church-each standing as far apart as Conformity and Dissent in their most antagonistic phases. For the first of these we have to propose a new name-a name sanctioned by apostolic precedent, and more truly descriptive than any of those usually applied to it-the bewitched, the enchanted, or, perhaps, best of all, The "Foolish" Church.
True, we are scarcely warranted in calling it a “Church" at all, as the Apostle described its creed as a perversion of the Gospel : "another Gospel which is not another," and denounced it as heretical, though ministered by any-even by" an angel from heaven." He is, in fact, describing just what a Church ought not to be; and yet, strange to say, the Negation is accepted as a Model. This foolish Church is essentially and pre-eminently “after men;" it was received from men, claiming an hereditary sanctity and power, observing days and months and times and years, turning back