Page images

wealth, than which perhaps none have presented so many attractions to the more sober order of fiction writers; but there are few of these latter of whom it can so truly be said that they have been successful in the way of giving real word-pictures of the period as of the author of the book before us. The volume implies various and considerable reading, devoted to the most stirring period of our history, a period when those principles of civil and religious liberty which are the glory of our constitution were first implanted in the minds of legislators. We will not take from the interest of the story by venturing on an outline of it; we may say, however, that it is given in the shape of "recollections" and of extracts from diaries of persons who figure in it. Although told in this way, the interest of the reader is well kept up. The two leading personages the book are a worthy Puritan soldier, and a young Royalist maiden, mutually attached, the latter of whom is being cared for by members of the family of the former. The vicissitudes these young people, politically and nearly religiously opposed to each other, go through, as well as the adventures of others holding subordinate places in the story, form the vehicle for the relation of various historical episodes and incidents of the Cromwellian era, and for much other interesting matter supplied by the author's extensive reading. The death of Charles I., the shooting of Trooper Lockyer during the Fifth Monarchy outbreak, the figures of the Protector, Baxter, George Fox, are some of the most vivid pictures of the book. A portion of the story lies for a short time across the Channel; and here we have some agreeable sketches of the French court, with its hollowness and absurd etiquette. The other “ side of the sea” fills up the concluding chapters. As may be imagined, this is the future home of the two persons in the story in whom the reader has been most interested; and they sail for it about half a century after the Mayflower has started. We have been greatly pleased with this book: it is a thoroughly good one. graphy and binding are excellent.


CHAMP DE MARS. By the author of - The Standard of the Cross among the Flags of the Nations.” Nisbet.

There is no book of the season with which we have been so much taken as with the one before us, entitled the “ Standard of the Cross ; ” and yet, excellent as it is, we do not like to notice it in full. The reader asks, Why? Our reply is, We cannot mention all the good things contained in it. Devoted to chronicling a vast amount of evangelistic effort in the great city of Paris during the recent Exhibition in the Champ de Mars, it is a noble record, possessing the greatest interest to all—to Sundayschool teachers especially. We would advise each of our readers to secure a copy of the work. Merely stating that it is a companion volume to “ The Standard of the Cross among the Flags of the Nations,” published from the hands of the same author in 1862, and that we have nothing but praise to offer in regard to it, we refer the reader to a few selections from it, which we have ventured to place in another part of the present Treasury (see page 58). The book is handsomely got up, and, in addition to good typography, has the attractive feature of unusually pretty initial letters, and quaint old head-pieces to chapters. Visitors to the Paris Exhibition will remember an odd-looking erection, the “Kiosque des Publications Populaires :” of this there is an illustration in the front of the volume.

[ocr errors]


SOUTHERN AFRICA. By Robert Moffat.

The writer of this most interesting missionary volume offers it to the Churches of his country as an humble contribution to their stock of knowledge relative to heathen lands. The Churches of the Rev. Robert Moffat's country have accepted his volume gratefully and with a high appreciation of its worth : the words " thirtieth thousand” on the title-page testify to the truth of our assertion. Every one interested in mission work should possess a copy : the

The typo



price is but a shilling, and the amount of matter offered in return (with some capital illustrations let it be added parenthetically) is really immense. ROSAMOND LEICESTER; OR, THE TRUE

HEROINE. By H. A. H. Macintosh.

The perusal of this volume has been most disappointing to us; nor, in fact, might we have expected much else, after readirg a few of the opening pages. The story would seem to bear the impress of more than one hand; otherwise we cannot account for the strange intermixture of serious, thoughtful language with passages full of trifling puerility. It may possibly be said the characters are drawn from life ; but speakers of the language we have last mentioned are unworthy of being noticed in a production of the kind before us. The gist of the story consists merely in the rejection of an ineligible suitor for a young lady's hand and the reception of a more worthy individual in his place. The latter is a conventionally drawn clergyman, the introduction of whom cannot but suggest a charge against the writer of want of originality. Parts of the book are not without some degree of merit; perhaps, had it been cut down to one half its dimensions, a great deal of the irrelevant and feeble conversation omitted, and the whole submitted to careful revision, we might have had a higher estimate of the “ True Heroine." SILVER LAKE; OR, LOST IN THE SNOW,

By R. M. Ballantyne. Jackson, Walford and Hodder.

This is an exciting Indian story, reprinted from the pages of that favourite monthly Merry and Wise. The author is tolerably well known to most young folk, and in this particular volume treats of life on the American borderland of savagedom. Of Roy and Nellie, and their adventures among the redskins and beside the borders of the Silver Lake, and of the immense amount of foresters' lore and hunters' experiences contained in the book, we cannot now stop to speak. Suffice it to say that there is much entertaining food here for young people, to many of whom the story

will be of “breathless interest." The
getting up of the volume is very credit-
able to the publishers. Of the illustra-
tions we would rather not speak.

With a Practical Essay on Marriage.
By John Campbell, D.D. Snow.

The late Dr. Campbell here discusses from a Nonconformist point of view the subject of youthful Church fellowship; and, so far as we have examined the book, the subject is handled in a sound, evangelical way. The three leading points upon which stress is laid are (1) The assertion and maintenance of the supreme and absolute authority of Christ in His Church; (2) The assertion and maintenance of the Scripture doctrine of the spiritual nature and objects of Christian fellowship; (3) The assertion and maintenance of the duty of a scriptural administration of Gospel ordi.

The book is written with all the vigour and earnestness characteristic of the late doctor's style, which may be designated as somewhat Johnsonian. He was an eminent man in his own sect of Christians; and, whatever were his failings, he was the stern opponent of all attempts to undermine the foundations of our holy faith, and an honest supporter of every effort to diffuse knowledge, religious and secular, amongst his fellow-men. JACOB MOUNSEY; OR, THE SCHOLAR IN

FOUR SCHOOLS. By the Rev. J. H. Charteris, M.A. Glasgow : McCallum.

This is a new year's gift-book, issued by the Glasgow Sunday-school Union, having an illuminated cover and a number of very fair illustrations. It gives an outline of the experiences of a boy passing through the four schools, Common School, Sabbath-school, School of Life, and—most important of all—the School of Christ. It will prove interesting to the class for whom it is intended. THE MOTHERS' FRIEND. 1867. Jackson,

Walford and Hodder.

To help mothers to teach their children how to live and how to die is the

[ocr errors]

object of The Mothers' Friend. The annual volume of this capital little publication is before us, and, if anything, presents us with yet further proof of good progress being made towards the object desired to be attained.

CATECHISM, that is to say, an Instruction to be Learned of every Person before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop. Hatchard & Co.

This edition of the Catechism should be in the hands of all those who are preparing for confirmation. The texts are admirably arranged. The little book is worthy of a cloth cover, which would not have added much to its present cost (fourpence). THE PILGRIM MAIDEN—THE STARLESS


Morgan & Chase.

These little books contain each a narrative in verse, which in our opinion might better have been told in plain, honest prose. No doubt the writer's intentions are excellent; but, with SO many admirable models as exist in our day, we cannot excuse some defects of versification that appear in “J. L. H.”'s productions. The metre too often “hobbles,” and false rhymes are too frequent, such as “ dear” and “her,' path and “faith,” etc. The publishers and printers have our praise for the manner in which they have got up these little effusions.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


DEATH AND SLEEP. With the in- will men commend me as their friend timacy and openness of brothers, together and benefactor. Oh what joy to do good walked through the earth the angel of unseen and privately! How happy are sleep and the angel of death. Evening we, the invisible messengers of the good drew near; they lay down upon a hill Spirit! How beautiful our silent vocanot far from the dwellings of men. tion!” Thus spake the joyous angel A melancholy stillness reigned around; of sleep. Upon him the angel of death even the vesper bell sounded not in looked with silent sadness, and a tear, the distant village. Still and silent such as the immortals weep, entered his as was their manner, both these large dark eye. beneficent spirits were locked in cordial 6 Alas !” said he, “ that I cannot, embrace; and now it was night. Then like you, rejoice with joyful thanks. arose the angel of sleep from his The earth calls me her enemy, and the mossy couch, and scattered with his destroyer of her joy." left hand the invisible seeds of slumber. "O my brother,” replied the angel The evening wind bore them to the of sleep, “will not the good upon quiet dwelling of the weary peasant. awakening recognise in thee a friend and Immediately sweet sleep encircled the benefactor, and gratefully bless thee? inhabitants of the rural cottages, from Are we not brothers and messengers of the old man who walks with a staff to one Father ?” the infant in the cradle. The sick Thus he spake, when the eye of the forgot his pain, the mourner his sorrow, death-angel glistened, and the fraternal the poor their care. All eyes were spirits tenderly embraced each other.* closed. After thus finishing his business, the beneficent angel of sleep lay down again with his more serious THE HANGING GARDENS OF NITOCRIS. brother.

-We descended from the great mound, When the morning light appeared, he and made for those lesser mounds cried out with joyous innocence, “Now which are supposed to be the site of the

* Translated from the German,

hanging gardens of Nitocris and Semiramis. In one spot-the only thing we saw in the shape of a building in a state of ruin—was a mass of vitrified brickwork, piercing the old soil and débris of centuries, angle upward. The bricks were square, of large size and beautiful make; the angles of some clear and sharp, as if the brick bad but left the kiln yesterday, instead of nearly twice two thousand years ago. Turning into a little hollow way between the mounds, we came suddenly upon the colossal stone lion. Time with its leaden hand had knocked away all the sharp angles of the statue. The features of the lion are completely obliterated, as are also those of the prostrate form that lies so helpless, so utterly and wholly human, beneath the upraised paw of the king of beasts.

The group presents itself to the eye, owing to the wear of old time, much in the appearance of those yast blocks of Carrara marble which the bold chisel of Michael Angelo struck into, and then, at the point that the shapeless marble had begun to

the merest “abozzo ” of the great sculptor's idea, the block was suddenly abandoned and left as a wonder and a puzzle to future ages : so does this group of the lion and the man now bear an unfinished, unwrought appearance; but you cannot look at it a moment and not instantly avow the mightily embodied. This dark colossal statue, which may once have stood under the gorgeous roof of a temple, and before which the queenly Semiramis, proud and supremely beautiful, may once have bowed, stands now canopied by the grandest of canopies certainly-high heaven-but never noticed but by the wind that sweeps moaning over it, and the jackals that yelp around as they hold high revel over the bones of some camel who has been good enough to die in the vicinity.Blackwood's Magazine.

the falling of the dew? Who was ever stunned by the solar eclipse? So it is with the august phenomenon of a change of heart. So far as we know, it is the most radical change a human spirit can experience. It is a revolutionary change. Disembodiment by death, morally estimated, is not so profound. Still a change of heart is not an unnatural change. It is not necessarily even destructive of self-possession. God employs in it an instrument exquisitely adjusted to the mind of man as an intelligent and free being. Truth may act in it with an equipoise of forces as tranquil as that of gravitation in the orbits of the stars.

No, it is not of necessity a tumultuous experience to which God calls us when He invites us to be saved. By what emblem have the Scriptures expressed the person of the Holy Ghost ? Is it an eagle? 66 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending like a dove." “ Come,” is the select language of inspiration; "come, and I will give you”—what? a shock, the rack, a swoon ? No; “I will give

Come, and ye shall find"-what? struggle, terror, torture ? No; ye shall find—"peace.” " Come ye -come who? “Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”



BALM OF GILEAD.—Jeremiah asks, “ Is there no balm in Gilead ? is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered ?" What is this balm of Gilead ?

The Balm, or Balsam tree, which flourished in the Holy Land, was much esteemed in ancient times for its healing qualities (Jer. viii. 22). It is a precious and very fragrant gum, obtained by cutting the stem of the tree; and was very valuable in healing wounds. It was used both as a medicine and as & cosmetic for beautifying the complexion. It was also used for anointing kings at their coronation. Pliny, the ancient historian, says of it: " To all other odours whatever the balsam is preferred,

WORK OF THE SPIRIT.-The mightiest forces in the universe are silent forces. Who ever heard the budding of an oak? Who was ever deafened by

[blocks in formation]

Mother, watch the little hand

Picking berries by the way, Making houses in the sand,

Tossing up the fragrant hay. Never dare the question ask, “Why to me the weary task?” These same little hands may prove Messengers of light and love.

Mother, watch the little tongue

Prating eloquent and wild ; What is said and what is sung

By the joyous, happy child. Catch the word while yet unspoken, Stop the vow before 'tis broken; This same tongue may yet proclaim Blessings in the Saviour's name.

ALONE I walked the ocean strand;
A pearly shell was in my hand;
I stooped and wrote upon the sand

My name—the year—the day.
As onward from the spot I passed,
One lingering look behind I cast;
A wave came rolling high and fast,

And washed my lines away.
And so, methought, 'twill shortly be
With every mark on earth from me;
A wave of dark oblívion's sea

Will sweep across the place
Where I have trod the sandy shore
Of time, and been to be no more,-
Of me, my day, the name I bore,

To leave nor track nor trace. And yet, with Him who counts the

sands And holds the waters in His hands, I know a lasting record stands

Inscribed against my name, Of all this mortal part hath wrought, Of all this thinking soul has thought, And from these fleeting moments caught,

For glory or for shame.

Mother, watch the little heart

Beating soft and warm for you; Wholesome lessons now impart;

Keep, oh keep that young heart true! Extricating every weed, Sowing good and precious seed, Harvest rich you then may see Ripen for eternity.

« PreviousContinue »