19 AUGUST 1865, Page 21

Biographies of the Kings of Judah. Twelve Lectures. By James

Augustus Hessey, D.C.L., Head Master of Merchant Taylors' School.

(Rivington.)—The writer says of these lectures, that some of them, printed for private perusal only, were found to "supply a want which had been often experienced of a book appropriate for Sunday reading," and were thought likely to be useful in other ways. Hence this volume, which may very well serve the purpose first indicated, but whose "other ways" of being useful do not seem very apparent. There is no novelty of thought or treatment ; each king is ticketed off with a moral label of rather a conventional kind, as, for instance, "Rehoboam, or the re- sult of an idle word," " Joash, or ingratitude ;" and "upon the diffi- culties, whether of chronology or of authorship, the writer has not thought it necessary to enter." "He holds these books (i. e., Kings and Chronicles), whensoever written, and by whomsoever put together, to be part of the inspired word of God, and the difficulties by no means in- superable to the candid and patient student." He leaves the latter, however, entirely to his own resources, and we think that it is open to question whether this is the sort of book that the public expects from the Head Master of Merchant Taylors' School and Preacher to the Hon. Society of Gray's Inn. In fact we have too great a respect for Dr. Hessey not to expect more from him.