22 OCTOBER 1937, Page 34

ST. PETER By Francis Underhill, D.D.

The Bishop-designate of Bath and Wells has produced in , Sr. Peter (Cen- tenary Press, 7s. 6d.) a very full and readable study of one of the most significant of Christian characters. Few things encourage the ordinary and faulty Christian so much as the fact that the greatest religion upon earth has done some of its mightiest works by means of obviously imperfect characters. Neither. St. Peter nor St. Paul can have appeared to their contemporaries to possess many of the attributes of holiness ; and of the two, Peter, the disloyal friend, seems a less probable ornament for the Church than Paul, the honest and fanatical persecutor. The story of these two men, even in the fragmentary form in which we possess it, is a standing reproach to our superficial estimates of human personality. As regards the Prince of the Apostles, Dr. Underhill's book will help many readers to revise that estimate and appreciate the paradox by which Chriit called the most apparently unstable of his fol- lowers a " rocky man." The book is moderately conservative in the use which it makes of the New Testament, and justifies its various positions by quotations from such modern theo- logians as the Bishop of Derby and the late Canon Streeter. An outstanding merit is the evident knowledge of Palestinian life and scenery which per- vades the whole .work,:and which gives a - freslv and living quality . to its descriptions of Gospel scenes.