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LESSONS FOR MAIDENS, WIVES, AND MOTHERS.
ties of the case." " Lessons for Maidens, Wives, and Mothers” cannot be too highly commended as one of the first contributions to the special department of Christian literature the want of which has been spoken of above. If it is an admitted axiom that good biographies more or less aid in the formation of character, whether of men or women, it may be said that those of them which are of a biblical or religious description are most to be welcomed and turned to profitable account. “Knowing the value of an example as a medium for conveying instruction and enforcing exhortations, whether of an encouraging or admonitory nature, the author has chosen as his theme some of the more prominent women of Scripture. He believes these will be found no less suitable to his purpose from their having lived in other ages and in other times. Whatsoever written aforetime, whether of precept, or promise, or history, or example, was written for our instruction. The women of Old and New Testament times are types of women in our own and every country and age. Circumstances differ; but under all circumstances, human nature, in its fundamental principles, its inner working, its motives and springs of action, its dangers and its duties, is essentially the same."
Of the truth of this last statement of our author there can be no dispute; and the selection he has made from the gallery of portraits contained in the various books of the Bible, to enforce the particular spiritual truths sought to be conveyed, is very judicious and beautiful. Commencing with our first mother, “Eve-the Tempted,” in the description of whom the right definition of the word “help meet” is excellently given, and in which the subject of the temptation of the first woman is turned to good account to speak of the temptations which befall so many of her daughters, the reader is introduced to the second division of the opening biography, entitled “Eve—the Fallen,” telling of the sorrowful results of Eve's sin both upon herself and upon others.
From woman in her fallen and de
graded state, to woman under the Christian dispensation, lifted from the dust and placed by Christ's redeeming power where she was left by the Creator's hand at first, an help meet to man, we willingly turn to contemplate the character of “Lydia—the Restored,” the first convert to the gospel in Europe, whom Mr. Landels next selects, because her history brings out the points on which he wishes to dwell, better perhaps than any other individual case. These are a comparison between the Philippi of that time and the London of to-day; under what circumstances religious feeling may be fostered; the case of Lydia a striking example of how God fulfils the desire of the earnest seeker after salvation; the salutary influence of a godly woman; of the character of woman when influenced by the Saviour's love; and, lastly, the dignity with which religion invests her. This is a most delightful sketch; and all the points just given are capitally elucidated and illustrated. To these chapters succeed “Rebekah—a Pattern and a Beacon"-from which limited space this month prevents us making an extract as we should wish to do, but to which we hope to return next month; and “Ruth—the Affectionate Daughter," a beautiful model for the daughters of the present age, treated with peculiar truth and delicacy. That very favourite description of the virtuous wife in Prov. xxxi., it will readily be supposed, does not_escape our author's consideration. The character of this exemplary woman is made the vehicle for many wise and thoughtful remarks, closing with a fitting eulogium and the expression of a hope that the study of such a model will help towards the cultivation of the qualities specially extolled. " Jochebed and Hannah-the Godly Mother,” parents of two of the most distinguished men in Old Testament history, are next treated of; and here Mr. Landels takes the opportunity to refer to the special denomination to which he belongs, and in some degree to defend it from the charge of nondedication of its children to the Lord from the fact of their not being baptized
in infancy. Into the discussion of this question, as well as of the obligations devolving on parents to baptize their children, it would be unpleasant here to enter; and indeed this portion of “ Lessons for Maidens, Wives, and Mothers »
may be lightly passed over by those whose views on this important subject are different from those of the author. With the exception thus particularized, this chapter is all that could be desired. “ The Little Captive Maid—the Christian Domestic" succeeds; and this brings us to the four chapters which conclude the volume : “Martha—the Active Christian,” “Mary -the Contemplative Christian,” “Dorcas—the
Philanthropic Christian," 6. Phæbe—the Servant of the Church." Each of these is handled in Mr. Landels' best manner, and is most
interestingly put before the reader, all leading points being judiciously and happily dwelt upon; while the finer traits in each of the characters of these Christian women are beautifully brought out.
As we have said, pressure on our space has prevented our making extracts from the volume; but we hope to atone for this next month, by setting before our readers a favourable specimen of the author's style. Meanwhile we may add that no more handsome giftbook could be put into the hands of either of the three classes whom Mr. Landels has aptly chosen for the title of his book; and in the matter of typography and illustration (the volume contains six capital engravings) there is nothing to be desired.
Both are excellent.
SHORT CRITICAL NOTICES.
SURE OF HEAVEN; A BOOK FOR THE
DOUBTING AND ANXIOUS. By Thomas Mills. London: Elliot Stock.
The well-known manual of Newman Hall, “Come to Jesus," and the equally famous “ Anxious Inquirer,” are recalled to mind by & perusal of this admirable treatise on the foundations of our holy faith, and the reasons, drawn from Holy Writ, which should induce the believer to rely confidently on the promises of his Saviour. Its style is pre-eminently clear and simple, and free from those theological technicalities which perplex the less educated reader, while sufficiently earnest and intellectual to attract those of higher culture. Addressing the seeker after rest and assured faith, the author says:
My aim is to show to you the hindrances to your attainment of full assurance; to enable you thoroughly to examine and resolve every doubt as to your eternal safety; and to aid you in the endeavour to unfold the simple and saying “truth as it is in Jesus,' before your own mind, so that you may clearly understand it and receive it in your heart.” This worthy aim the
writer ably fulfils; and, under three heads,—“Can I be Sure of Heaven?” 6. What is Full Assurance ?” and “ How can I be Sure of Heaven ?"-he meets and boldly combats nearly all the doubts and fears that beset the timid follower of Christ, leading him forward to those Delectable Mountains whence he can obtain a glimpse of the Celestial City. Each of the foregoing important questions is discussed under a series of sub-headings, materially aiding the reader to a clear view of the subjects treated of. Mr. Mills appears to entertain sound opinions on the verities of our holy religion; and we can recommend his book as well fitted for those whose confidence in the support and love of the Saviour towards His servants is wavering and weak. The teacher will find in it much that he can draw upon with advantage in addressing his young charge; and as a gift to a pupil leaving a school or neighbourhood it would be found very appropriate. The mechanical execution of the volume is creditable; the adornments of tasteful binding being added to clear letterpress and good paper.
THE YOUNG MAN SETTING OUT IN LIFE.
By William Guest, F.G.S. Second Edition. Hodder & Stoughton.
These four very eloquent and ably conceived addresses, on so important a subject as the setting out in life of a young man, should be read and re-read by those for whom they have been specially prepared. Mr. Guest offers them to the various members of the Young Men's Christian Associations in the United Kingdom and America. We heartily wish it were possible for every young man in the two nations and indeed in the world—to be induced to sit down and thoughtfully digest their contents. The strength and manhood of the present generation would be vastly the gainers. The language of the author is earnest, fervid, and heartstirring ; while the sensible and valuable counsels imparted through it are full of the wisest and ripest experience. The young man who possesses this volume need never want a sympathising and judicious adviser. The lecture on “ Sceptical Doubts" is specially deserving of study at the present time, when more than one pitfall is laid to entrap the young and inexperienced. The getting up of the book is both original and chaste, and does credit to the publishers.
possess a copy of the book the advantage is offered, in this new edition, of some special additional articles from such well-known writers as Principal Tulloch, Dean Alford, Rev. H. Allon, Rev. Dr. Cooke, Rev. Dr. Ferguson, Rev. Dr. Smith, and Rev. Dr. Aikman. Two papers also have been contributed by the Rev. H. W. Beecher, and the Rev. J. Ustick, United States; and the poetical section of the volume has likewise been enriched by some very beautiful pieces by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Archbishop Trench, Dean Alford, J. Guthrie, G. Donald, Southey, Gottfried Hoffman, Albert Knapp, and others. A pretty title-page, capitally engraved on steel, after a design by the eminent German painter Kaulbach, is also another of the many distinguishing excellences of the present edition. TOSSED ON THE WAVES. A Story of
Young Life. By EDWIN HODDER.
There is a freshness and attractiveness about all Mr. Hodder's books, which only those who have perused the productions of this well-known and practised writer can best appreciate. In the present story both the eye and pen of an artist are evidenced ; and, as regards the very important desideratum
-but too often overlooked by caterers for the intellectual tastes of boys—the inculcation of sound moral principles, the author is as happy as “ Tossed on the Waves " contains but little plot, but it abounds with most delightful word-pictures, which possess as absorbing an interest as any problem of fiction, for the solution of which patience on the part of the reader and à certain number of pages of printed matter are required. The portraits in the volume are all admirably sketched; and we hardly know which to point to as really the most excellent. Of one thing however we are sure; viz., that the boy into whose hands “ Tossed on the Waves” is placed will have much reason to congratulate himself.
The book is indeed both interesting in matter and attractive in appearance; and, as a Christmas present, can have
WORDS OF COMFORT FOR PARENTS BE
REAVED OF LITTLE CHILDREN. Edited by William Logan. Fifth Edition. Nisbet.
The hearty commendation bestowed by us on the first edition of these " Words of Comfort for Bereaved Parents,”-of which it has been well said by an able writer and distinguished Christian pastor that heart-stricken parents could better afford to want the
Pilgrim's Progress" than Mr. Logan's clever compilation-will be readily called to mind by many of our readers. The great merits of the work have already been widely recognised. The number of editions so soon exhausted is proof of this ; and we have little doubt many further will follow each other in rapid succession. To those who do not yet
few compeers we think during the
Two Sides. By M. H. Edinburgh:
Oh, papa, how snug it is here ! ” said Daisy. “Yes,' said the others ; * the cold winter nights are the pleasantest of all.' “Yes, they are pleasant to all those who have warm fires and comfortable rooms,' said Mr. Ramsay ; ' but we must not forget that there is another side to the picture.'' These words form part of the conversation of a happy Scottish family, seated in front of a drawing-room fire in a northern residence; and in them is contained the key to this very capital Christmas story for children. The curiosity evinced by little Violet to see other side of the picture,” how the gratification of that curiosity came about, and what a splendid, practical lesson of “ love to our neighbour” was conveyed by means of it, we must leave young readers to find out for themselves. We can only say that the story is told in that most interesting style which distinguishes all “ M. H.” 's tales for children, and which is certain to secure their attention. Young people should be made acquainted with little Nellie, Davie, Violet, Daisy, and Cousin Claude ; and on this account we recommend this pretty book to the notice of teachers, parents, and all others interested in the instruction and entertainment of little folk. RE-UNION OF CHRISTIAN FRIENDS and
their Infant Children in the Heavenly Kingdom. By William Anderson, LL.D. To which is prefixed a Pastoral Letter on the occasion of the Death of his young and latterly only remaining Son. Hamilton, Adams & Co. Glasgow : Robertson.
Dr. Anderson did well to republish this very beautiful discourse on the reunion of Christian friends in the heavenly kingdom. Beside the immediate circle cognisant of the author's great ability in conveying words of hope and consolation home to the hearts of
his hearers or readers, there are very
BIBLE. By M. H. Edinburgh:
“ Richard Blake and his Little Green Bible" is a sequel to the “ Story of a Red Velvet Bible ;” and the story has been written, as the author tells us, at the request of many readers of the latter, who were desirous to know what became of the Bible purchased by the servantgirl. The adventures of Richard Blake and his green Bible, and how mighty an instrument for good the latter was destined to become, cannot fail to excite the interest of little people, and indeed help to induce them to set a greater value on their own, let us hope, treasured copy of God's word.
The story is well contrived, and is naturally and artistically told; and the surroundings of the volume are in excellent taste. TOPICS FOR TEACHERS. Section 1.
Nature. By James Comper Gray,
So highly do we estimate this remarkably original and striking work, the first part of which is now before us, that we hope from month to month to be enabled to note its successful progress. It is intended to embrace all "matters of interest in the word of God relating to biblical science, history, geography, biography, morals, and religion," and will be illustrated by numerous engray
ings and a series of coloured maps. With regard to these various subjects the author himself will be the fittest exponent of the plan upon which he has proceeded. “Each of these topics will consist of some biblical subject--such as a natural object or historical character -around which will be grouped the whole of the most important Scripture references, scientific facts, historical incidents, etc., connected with it, and followed by suitable moral and religious suggestions, as hints for practical use ; so that a teacher taking up any subject for class preparation will here find all the information that he needs upon it, whether from the word of God or from secular writings." The first instalment before us is full of promise, and indeed can hardly fail to be highly appreciated by Sabbath-school teachers. The labour and care which have been bestowed upon the preparation of the work are specially noticeable; while the learning and Scripture research evidenced on every page are not less remarkable than the simplicity of the arrangement adopted. The work has our warm recommendation, and our readers cannot do better than order a copy and judge for themselves.
Hiding Place, and Room in it for
This is not only an excellent summary -based on the Times reports it should be mentioned—of the recent lamentable accident at Abergele, but a powerful appeal to the thoughtless to remember the insecurity and uncertainty of this our mortal life. No more solemn text than the great railway disaster, we think, could be chosen for such a theme: no more terrible warning, calling on us to obey the injunction “ Be ye also ready." The price of the book (ld.) should help to swell its circulation.
This Day Month. By the Rev. P. B.
Power, M.A. Macintosh.
“ This Day Month” is a clever sketch, in Mr. Power's best manner. It contains more than one wholesome truth which should be taken to heart by servants; and indeed mistresses would probably benefit by a perusal of the publication. In many of our sabbath classes for girls copies of “ This Day Month” should be distributed.
THE NEW LEAF: WHAT WILL YOU WRITE
ON IT? A Tale for the New Year.
We can hardly doubt of an extensive sale for this well written and daintily got up booklet. It is creditable alike to author and printer; and the very striking allegory introduced, on which to hang some thoughtful words of exhortation with reference to the coming year, is both interesting and instructive. The little book is fraught with wise words and good counsel for all into whose hands the year 1869 will soon put a
new leaf." WE SPEND OUR YEARS AS A TALE THAT
IS TOLD. For the New Year. By the author of Is it Nothing to You, all Ye that pass by ?”
etc., etc. Macintosh.
Some excellent words of exhortation for the new year, published at a penny. “We Spend our Years as a Tale that is Told” will be found serviceable to those who may wish to address, either directly or indirectly, old or young people on the solemn truth which at this season of the year, more than at others, is apt to rise to our minds—that, prepared or unprepared, we are
nearer our graves. NEGLECTED VINEYARDS. By the author
of " Words of Consolation and Coun-
WILL CHRIST RETURN TO REIGN UPON
THE EARTH ? Elliot Stock.
A concise discussion of a very important question, well deserving the attention of those who take an interest in a matter upon which much difference of opinion exists amongst the best divines.
A VOICE FROM ABERGELE ; or, BE YE
ALSO READY. By the author of "The