30 JUNE 1866, Page 23

The Home Life. By J. Baldwin Brown, B.A. (Smith. and

Elder.)— This is a remarkable volume. A volume of sermons, it is true, but such that are almost models of what sermons should he, and of what if they were, men would go to hear them as readily as to the gallery of the House of Commons on the night of a groat debate. For they relate to the business of life, and are replete with discriminative counsel itt reference to it. Breathing the purest spirituality, they are also full of practical 'wisdom; entirely Christian, they yet recognize the fact that much that passes for Christianity is but the outgrowth of human faney and the residuum of human controversy. Addressed as they wore to- a body of Congregationalists, the author has naturally nnch to say on the subject of Puritanism, and shows himself fully alive to the good that ite substance effected in past times, and ta the mischief that, its shadow is working amongst ourselves. He pleads for Christian freedom; his lead- ing idea is that Christianity is a healthy development of the whole nature after the pattern of ha divine Author, and net a religion of ro- atrictioas ad. prohibitions. "The restraint that is learnt in freedom,"" he writes, "is the only restraint that has any living force in it." He works out this idea through all the relations of home end social life, and all who dada difficulty in " making the best of both 'worlds" will find help and comfort in his book. It will be especially- useful to. two -classes-4o those by whom offences come in 'the matter of artificial sins. and objectless austerities, and to those who, in the reaction from 'undue discipline, are in danger of passing the limits of temparanoe and self- control. We -have one caution to give readers ; they had better post- pone the perusal of the first sermon until they have discovered how much wisdom and beauty of thought there is in the rest of the book.. For in that sermon Mr. Brown in considering the .aetualities and pos- sibilities of woman, and, under the fascination of the salijeot yields to tbe temptation that evidently besets him, but against which he is generally on his guard,—a tendency to excess in rhetoric.