20 AUGUST 1881, Page 21

In the Beginning. By R. H. Sandys, MA. (Pickering and

Co)— We wish Mr. Sandys had given us a few words by way of preface, as a clue to the drift and purpose of his book, which we really mast confess ourselves unable to divine. The title does not help us mach, though on the title-page he explains it to mean, "Remarks on certain modern views of creation," from which, of course, we infer that he interds his book to be an attack on Darwinism and theories of evolution. With the conclusion at which he ultimately arrives, that he finds an "Eternal Mind to be the creator and ruler of all things in heaven and earth," we have, of course, no quarrel ; but as to his process, to us it seems made out of a heap of disconnected, discursive, and often very obscure reflections, in a clumsy, grotesque style, in which we fancy we detect an imitation, or rather, a mimicry of Carlyle. Here is a specimen ; one will surely suffice. "The theory of selection" is de- scribed as a "little carnival between the two heavinesses of the doubt of the past and the dread of the future." This is Carlylese with a vengeance. "The Sabbath," we are delighted to hear, "has been ob- served in the remotest lands far beyond the memory of man." We begin to see why Mr. Sandys calls his bock "In the Beginning." As for Plato, "could anybody prove anything to Plato ?" No wonder poor Mr. Matthew Arnold is trampled under foot, after being sar- castically described as "a fearless and brilliant writer." But what shall we say of Mr. Sandys ? Well, he is quite beyond us. But, as he seems a man of some learning, be might have his Greek quota- tions accentuated.