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Plays such fantastic tricks before
high heaven, As make the angels weep.” “ Could great men thunder As Jove himself does, Jove would
ne'er be quiet: For every pelting, petty officer Would use his heaven
thunder." “Pity is the virtue of the law; And none but tyrants use it
cruelly." “ The quality of mercy is not
strain'd; It droppeth as the gentle rain
from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is
twice blest. It blesseth Him that gives, and
Him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest:
it becomes The throned monarch better than
His sceptre shows the force of
temporal power, The attribute
and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and
fear of kings. But mercy is above this sceptred
sway : It is enthroned in the hearts of
kings : It is an attribute of God Himself: And earthly power doth then
show likest God's When mercy seasons justice." “ Who from crimes would
pardon'd be, In mercy should set others free." “How should men hope for
mercy, showing none ?" “We do pray for mercy, And that same prayer doth teach
us all to render The deeds of mercy.”
[We hold 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 HOLY BIBLE. With ILLUSTRATIONS BY GUSTAVE DORÉ. Part I.
London : Cassell, Petter, & Galpin. The peculiar attractions of this edition of the Bible are, beautiful execution and material, very large and elegant type, a broad and ample page, and illustrations which are graphic, powerful, and magnificent. The last feature is of course the most prominent and imposing. The splendid genius of Gustave Doré imparts a charm and majesty to everything it touches and we were therefore quite prepared to find here many fascinating and wonderful effects as the result of its efforts to illustrate the wondrous scenes of the most wonderful of volumes. Even the cynical pedantry of certain selfconstituted judges of “High Art,” must admit that all reasonable expectations have been completely realised in the productions before us; and candid minds will cheerfully testify that their anticipations of what the great artist would do are all surpassed as they look at what he has done. We have never beheld illustrations which gave 80 much reality and life to Bible story. Visions and events, long known to the intellect, seem to be recalled from the ages to be reenacted before us, and appear to pass before the eye as in a sublime drama. In the representation of all the varied scenes, the delicate conception, brilliant fancy, and vivid imagination of the artist have been equal to their task. The work is in all respects a great success, and a most valuable addition to the attractions of any home.
MOORE'S IRISH MELODIES. LALLA Rooku; NATIONAL AIRS; LEGEND
ARY BALLADS, Songs, &c. With a MEMOIR BY J. F. WALLER,
LL.D. London: Wm. Mackenzie. This is the best edition of Moore's poems which has been published. In every mechanical and artistic respect it is as near to perfection as a book can be. A splendid embossed cover of green and gold encloses, on superb paper, a profusion of the choicest illustrations of the conceptions of the poet, together with a judicious, copious, and entertaining sketch of his life and works by Dr. J. F. Waller. The magnificence of the publication admits of nothing but admiration and praise. The character of all Moore's poetry is a different matter, and one as to which uniformity of opinion is not needed or expected. In a hearty appreciation of the genius of the poet, and in a love for many of his exquisite lyrics now inseparably woven into our literature, there must, however, always be a ground of common agreement amongst the lovers of the beautiful. And for this reason, as Lord Russell has observed, that “the world, so long as it can be moved by sympathy, and exalted by fancy, will not willingly let die the tender strains and pathetic fires of a true poet." After a searching trial, by fair and unfair criticism, the best of Moore's poems—SO tender in feeling and so musical in cadence— live amongst us, with a great popularity- a popularity which is destined to increase, and which, as regards many of them, deserves, to endure perpetually. Whoever is desirous of purchasing Moore's poems, and at the same time wishes to place with them upon the drawing-room table a literary and artistic gem, which all the products of the kind and of the season cannot surpass, will thank us for directing his attention to this charming volume.
THE REPUBLIC OF Plato. Translated into English, with an Analysis
and Notes, by JOHN LLEWELYN DAVIES, M.A., and DAVID JAMES VAUGHAN, M.A. Third Edition. London and Cambridge: Mac
millan & Co. Our indignation at the malignant wickedness, often causes us to over-estimate the ultimate importance of, unjust criticism. We cannot too often remember what Lord Macaulay calls “that fine apothegm of Bentley,” that “no man was ever written down except by himself.” The works of Plato are a splendid example of the impotence of time, or opposition, to crush a true book. The works of some great men have been kept alive by their biographers, as in Dr. Johnson's case. Of Plato's life we do not possess sufficient facts to enable us to realise his personality, much less to interest us in him as a man; nor are there any extraneous accessories which have contributed to his fame. We must conclude that it is the inherent Forth of his works alone which has preserved them for twenty-three centuries, and which now necessitates their production in a translated and popular form. The edition of Plato's masterpiece, “The Republic,” which Messrs. Macmillan have just issued as one of their excellent and portable “Golden Treasury Series,” is the result of the joint labours of two well-known scholars, J. Llewelyn Davies, M.A., and David James Vaughan, M.A., late Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. Their names will at once suggest the fidelity and accuracy with which they have translated into English, and the careful industry with which the volume has been prepared and furnished with its copious "notes”; and the value of its condensed yet interesting "introduction,” and discriminating and clear "analysis.” It is convenient in size, chaste in appearance, and in all respects admirable and commendable for what is outside and what is within.
POSSIBILITIES OF CREATION; OR, WHAT THE WORLD MIGHT HAVE
Brex.-A BOOK OF FANCIES. London : Simpkin and Marshall. This book is a remarkable one, and its object is noble. Its speciality is that its author deals "' with things as they might have been, instead of discussing them exclusively as they are.” In order to make us appreciate more highly the wonderful power and benevolence of God, he indicates, with great learning and skill, what the phenomena of Nature might have been under the direction of a malevolent tormentor or arbitrary despot. The wonderful wisdom of the Creator is shown in a variety of instances, in which it is demonstrated that the powers of no single element in nature, as Dr. Faraday says, “could be modified without destroying the harmonies and involving in one Common ruin the economy of the World.” His love of speculation conducts the author over ground where any other than a first-class
man would be, or have the appearance of being, irreverent, or even impious. But a skill which is splendid, a delicacy which is always keen, and a judgment which is never at fault, enable him to steer clear of such charges, and even suspicions, and to pursue his original, bold, and impressive arguments to their full limits without even the faintest obscuration of the pure, humble, and Christian spirit which prompts them. The style, or rather, we should say, the styles of the book-for it has many—are most fascinating. Pages of light and playful speculation give place to close reasoning and calm narration, and these again are succeeded by those in which is a brilliant and sustained eloquence which is equal to the best efforts of the greatest masters. Facts, some amusing, others striking, and many the result of much research, are plentifully scattered over the leaves, so that there is something to satisfy all tastes. We believe the work is calculated to do a large measure of service. The author, whose name does not transpire, is evidently a man of ripe scholarship, refined feeling, and conspicuous ability. We shall be disappointed if his wonderful and excellent book does not make a powerful impression.
Micah, THE PRIEST-MAKER. A Handbook on Ritualism.
By T. BINNEY. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder. The ritualistic section of what is called the Church of England is, perhaps, for the present hour the most influential, and that in a way unintentional on its own part. It does not aim to awaken thought, nor is its ministry potent in this direction. But during the past few months it has set the best minds of England a-thinking. Whilst there is sad lack of suggestiveness in its pulpit, its upholsterings, tailorings, millineries, jewelleries, and theatricals, have, by their glaring incongruity with the Christianity of the Gospel, broken the mental monotony of the Protestant world, and set its preachers and writers to work. Sermons, tracts, pamphlets, volumes are flowing from the press, and force their way to the table of reviewers. Whilst many of these productions are so one-sided, unphilosophic, and acrimonious, as to render them utterly unworthy of notice, there are others that reflect the highest credit on the intellect, catholic spirit, and literary ability of their authors. At the head of these we place the volume before us. Mr. Binney treats the subject as an able philosopher, an impartial judge, an unbigoted Christian, and an accomplished author. It is the book on the subject. We have seen nothing as good, and we expect nothing better.
A HOMIL Y
The “Letter” and the “Spirit” in the
Ministry of Christianity.
“Able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”—2 Cor. ii. 6.
HIS chapter teaches that the grand subject of all
true religious teaching in these last ages of the world is Christianity, called in the text the "New
Testament.” The New Testament means God's revelation through Christ, in contradistinction to his revelation through Moses. These two forms of divine communication are, in the context, brought into comparison, and several points of contrast emerge into prominence. Though both are admitted to be "glorious,” the latter is shown to be more glorious" for many reasons. The one is the dispensation of "righteousness," the other of "condemnation;" the one is permanent, remaining unchauged amid the revolution of ages ; the other is “done away,” and the one so opens the spiritual faculties that the mind can look at it " with open face;” the other, through the prejudices of the Jewish people was concealed by a “veil." Judaism was enwrapped in haziness, Christianity comes out in sunshine.
See HOMILIST, vol. ii., second series, p. 421.