24 JULY 1869, Page 22


The British Quarterly. July. (Hodder and Stoughton.)—The politi- cal article, on "Mr. Gladstone's Statesmanship and the House of Lords," is spirited, but not wholly in good taste. The Bishop of Peterborough is an able man, who, it may be said without overmuch credulity, is probably sincere in his convictions, who has certainly shown a liberality in theology from which the reviewer in the British Quarterly might learn very much; he made, as most men allow, a splendid oration on the Irish Church Bill in the sensa in which all the prepossessions of his life bound him to speak, and it is gross injustice, not to speak of want of courtesy, to talk of his speech as "the merry episcopal antics of bran new episcopal attorneys, craftily selected at the eleventh hour in the cause of naked injustice and a wicked ascendancy." There is something of the same tone, though not so offensively displayed, in an article of interest, or which anyhow gives an account of an interesting book of Dr. Halley's, Nonconformity in Lancashire. The question of establishments is not settled in the way which the writer is pleased to assume ; on the contrary, it is still quite open. We, for instance, are prepared to argue on the other side, and fancy that we have something to say. Apart from this, however, the article itself is well worth reading. We pointed out some time ago, in a review of Mr. Skeats' History of the Free Churches of England, that a very interesting book might be made out of the history of particular Nonconformist communities. This is one of the things which Dr. Halley has done, and the reviewer has the merit of fully appreciating his labours. The article on the discoveries of the spectroscope is, of course, interesting ; that on "The Condition of Englishwomen in the Middle Ages," though showing plenty of research, strikes us as being a little too much tinged with couleur de rose. The review of "Contempor- ary Literature" is, as we commonly find to be the case, admirably done.