The books of the week have run very much in classes. The only two of promise are Mrs. Henry Duberly's Journal of the War, a lady's view of the campaign, and Dr. Guthrie's Sermons on "the Gospel in Ezekiel." The two volumes of verse, however, have each a sound about them, which further examination may discover to be the substance as well as the sem- blance of poetry.
Journal kept during the Russian War, from the Departure of the Army from England in April 1854 to the Fall of Sebastopol. By Mrs. Henry Duberly.
The Gospel in Ezekiel, illustrated in a series of Discourses. By the Reverend Thomas Guthrie, D.D. ; Author of " Pleas for Ragged Schools."
Poems. By William Parkinson, M.A., Rector of Langenhoe, Essex, and late Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge.
Poems. By Sheldon Chadwick.
Three books are on religious subjects. The Difficulties of Belief, by the Reverend T. It. Birks is in the main an attempt to solve the origin of evil, or more truly the coexistence of evil with the attributes of the benevo- lence of God. That this is not accomplished by the narrative of the Fall, seems felt by Mr. Birks, because the fall of man did not originate evil, Sa- tan having existed before ; nor were its evil consequences apparently limit- ed to man, according to the Mosaic account of creation. The best mode of meeting the difficulty is by faith—the inscrutable character of " the secret counsels of God." Any other course, in a religious sense, will probably be unsuccessful. At all events, the logical " difficulties" do not seem overcome by Mr. Birks ; while the effects of his arguments are overlaid by the sermon- izing character of his discussions.
The object of God Revealed in the Process of Creation is to pass beyond the common treatises of natural theology, • (which aim at proving the exis- tence of God,) by connecting a moral character with intelligent design. Mr. Walker has the further object of proving revelation by the process of crea- tion, or of connecting Christianity and the natural world. The book ap-
pears to be American ; and a previous work of the author is said to have had very extensive circulation and produced great effects. Did we not know how little of intellectual or literary merit satisfies a certain class of religion- ists, we should have doubted the facts.
The Internal History of German Protestantism was originally pub- lished in The Church and School Magazine for Saxony, and it still retains some of the character which the periodical form of publication generally im- parts. The history is not so much a narrative as a very well connected se- ries of sketches of philosophers and others who have influenced the mind of Germany for a hundred years past; a notice of great historical events work- ing to the same effect ; and an exposition of the different theories, or views, or dogmas, or whatever else they may be called, which were the result of philosophy, public actions, and the national character. The book is not, as the translator admits, without its German peculiarities ; but it has a good deal of curious matter, and possesses a good deal of interest in parts, though less perhaps in a religious than a literary view. It was worth translating.
The Difficulties of Belief, in connexion with the Creation and Fall. By Rawson Birks, M.A., Rector of Kelshall, Herts, formerly Fellow of Trinity College ; Author of "The Life of the Reverend E. Bickers- teth."
God Revealed in the Process of Creation, and by the Manifestation of the Lord Jesus. By James B. Walker, Author of " The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."
Internal History of German Protestantism, since the Middle of Last Century. By Ch. Fred. Aug. Kalmis, D.D. Professor of Theology in the University of Leipzig. Translated from the German, by the Reverend Theodore Meyer, Hebrew Tutor in the New College, Edin- burgh.
Of the five fictions before us, Zaidee is familiar to many of the reading public as having been originally published in Blackwood's Magazine. Jeanne de Vaudreuil is an elegant and serious tale, translated from the French. The substance of Christian Melville is that of the old Church and State tract, when profligacy and Radicalism were associated with Infidelity. In these days, Radicalism, under another name, is the fashion ; so the pro- fligacy is limited to Infidelity. In this budlike story, Mr. Forsyth, who perverts Halbert the brother of Christian, and almost marries her younger sister, is finally converted by his victim Halbert Melville, who himself becomes a clergyman. Description and reflection rather dominate over nar- rative, and the whole is pitched in a very high key.
Helen Leeson and lify are both American novels; the former imported, the latter seemingly a London reprint. Helen Leeson, with its "Peep at New York Society," is but a so-so affair. Its story is founded upon an exaggeration of the plot of the Lady of Lyons, without the excuse that the social effervescence of the French Revolution furnished the dramatist. The picture of manners, either in New York or elsewhere, is literal, almost flat. Lily is a much superior work, though not very original in its leading idea. The view of Southern manners and Southern life is good ; the glimpse given of Southern morale and the domestic tragedies they may lead to is tragic. Neither Uncle Tom's Cabin, nor Mrs. Gore's sketches of May Fair or of foreign profligacy, exhibit anything so bad ; and if Lily is true, they combine both in the Slave States. It should be said, however, that some of the characters rather smack of the conventionalism of fiction- lets ; and some of the profligacy may be an import.
Zaidee : a Romance. By Margaret Oliphant. In three volumes.
Jeanne Be Vaudreuil; or Reconciliation. Translated from the French. Christian Melville. By the Author of "Matthew Paxton."
Helen Leeson : a Peep at New York Society.
Lily : a Novel. By the Author of "The Busy Moments of an Idle Woman."
A number of season gift-books have reached us, though not of a re- markable kind either in literature or illustration. The most original is The Spirit of the Holly ; wherein family unions are brought about through some imaginary influence of a sprig of Christmas. The tale is twofold ; one part leading to the recovery of a young woman stolen when a child ; the other to the reconciliation of a fashionable couple, and the reform of the wife from heartlessness and vanity. The story is not at all safe from criti- cism, but it is readable.
The Great Wonders of the World is a letterpress account, with accom- panying illustrations of a sufficient character, of the most remarkable structures or ruins, with a few statues, from "the Pyramids to the Crystal Palace." The selection is catholic, ranging through Chinese, Hindoo, Egyp- tian, Classic, Gothic, Moorish, Russian, and modern art. The "restoration" of the Olympian Jupiter of Phidias had been as well away.
The Philosophy and Mirth United forms a collection of riddles, mostly original and mostly in verse, with a good many wood-cut illustrations. In point of verse the article is superior to the general run of charade poetry. Of the riddle we are no judge, but some of the puzzles in this book seem instructive to resolve—the biographical melange, for example.
A Treasury of Pleasure-Books is a series of well-known nursery tales—as the House that Jack Built—very copiously illustrated. Harry's Picture- Colour Book contains children's tales ; with double plates in one compart- ment, the upper one coloured, the lower plain, for children to colour as per direction.
The Spirit of the Holly. By Mrs. Octavius Freire Owen, Author of the "Heroines of History.'
The Great Wonders of the World, from the Pyramids to the Crystal Palace. Drawn from various authorities, by Frederick Skill; and en- graved by James Cooper. With Illustrative Descriptions, written and compiled by Arthur C. Wigan.
Philosophy and Mirth, united by Pen and Pencil. Original Charades, Enigmas, and Puzzles, for Winter Evenings. With forty-four beauti- sful Illustrations.
A Treasury of Pleasure-Books for Young People. Illustrated with one hundred and sixty-eight Pictures by eminent Artists.
Harry's Picture-Colour Book. Illustrated with eight large coloured Engravings, eight plain copies, for colouring, and numerous small Wood-cuts.
Besides the above, we have nearly a dozen shilling " indestructible " children's books, or collections of short tales, from Messrs. Low and Son. But the enumeration of such titles is less for the literary page than the ad- vertising column.
A Bird's-Bye View of India, with Extracts from a Journal kept in the Provinces, Nepaul, &c. By Sir Erskine Perry, M.P., late Chief Justice of Bombay. The " Bird's-Eye View " was originally intended as a lecture, after the current fashion, to the Devonport constituents of the late Chief Justice of Bombay. The object was to "convey as accurate an idea of the outside of India, of that which first strikes the eye of a traveller," as the author could manage. The reader gets in fact a geographical view of India in the large
sense of geography,—the vegetable and animal productions, the habits, cha- racter, institutions, history, &c., of the people, as well as the physical fea- tures of their land. The Journal is a day-by-day account of travelling occurrences that took place during du extensive tour from -Bombay to Nepaul and thence to Calcutta, interspersed with frequent remarks. Au amiable feeling and the spirit of an actual observer are the most marked characteristics of the little book.
The .Emigrant's Home ; or How to Settle. By William II. G. Kings- ton, Esq. This little volume contains a picture of various modes of settlement in South Australia, in the form of a framework describing the different fortunes of different emigrants who go out in the same ship. It has the defect of most didactic stories ; persons will not be found so flexible or occurrences so apt and fortunate as they are represented in the fiction.
A Statistic View of the Population, the Religions, and the Languages of Europe, Transcaucasia, and Turkey in Asia, in 1855. By E. ltavenstein.
Three maps with letterpress. One map exhibits the density of population by depth of shading ; two maps mark the distribution of religion and na- tionalities by means of colour. They are accompanied by tables with expla- natory remarks. Thu statistics are not very numerous or rare, and they owe their value to their application.
The War in the Crimea : Substance of a Discourse delivered to the Members of the Worsley Literary Institution. By the Earl of Elles- mere.
Harold the Last of the Saxon Kings. By Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Bart., M.P.
The Battle of the Alma ; a National Ballad. By John Wm. Fletcher, Author of "Tryphena and other Poems," &a Second edition.
The Family Friend, 1855.
The Army and Militia Almanack and Handbook, for the Year 1856. Edited by J. H. Stocqueler, Esq., Author of " The Military Encyclo- pmdia," &c. &c.
[Mr. Stocqueler's almanack is strictly a professional work ; the information being all of a practical character, from the qualifications requisite to obtain a commission, which opens the more general matter, to the regulations re- specting foreign orders and medals, which close it. The only paper of a general nature is the Military History of the Year, and perhaps the tabular view of the Regiments in the -British Army,—history at a glance.]
Morton's New Farmers' Almanack, for 1856. By John C. Morton, Editor of the "Agricultural Gazette," &c.
[This appears to be a new agricultural alinanack, with the usual farming directions. The chief novelty is papers on the treatment of animals under disease, a summary of agricultural progress, an index to agricultural lite- rature, and a list of agricultural societies, with some hints for subjects of disc ussion .]
The Literary and Scientific Alnianack, for 1856. By J. W. G. Gulch, M.R.C.S.L., late Foreign Service Queen's Messenger. The editor of this emporium of scientific or practically useful information can, it seems, find little that is new to add to it : nor is there and thing new to say of it, for recommendation is not new.
Past and Present Policy of the Bank of ,England: the Banking Acts of 1894-'45; or Free Trade in Banking. By an Old Banker.
Free Trade versus Life Assurance ; with Notes. By " Investigator."
Education for Working Men : an Address delivered in the Town-hall of Cam- bridge, on the evening of October 29, 1855. By the Reverend Harvey Good- win, M.A., late Fellow of Oonville and Caius College, Minister of St. Edward's, Cambridge, and Hulsean Lecturer.
On Personal.and Domestic Hygiine ; show- ing the value of Sanitary Laws. Ad- dressed especially to the Working Classes. By Lionel J. Beale, Sur- geon ; Author of " The Laws of Health," Common &NM versus Honmeopathy. By Samuel linaggs, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, Licen- tiate of the Apothecaries Company ; Author of " The Plea of Insanity in Criminal Cases."
Why Nat l a Plea for a Free Public Li- brary and Museum in the City of Lon- don, established without Taxation. A Letter addressed to the Right Honour. able the Lord Mayor. By Charles Reed, F.S.A.
Paul : an Idea, not a Fad. By a Master of Arts, formerly of Balliol of the Uni- versity of Oxford.
Mr. John Disbar; Fowles ; or the Ante- cedents, as a Promoter and Director of Foreign Mining Companies, of an Ad- ministrative Reformer. By Christo- pher Richardson, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn.