5 MAY 1894, Page 26

Centenary History of the South Place Society. By Moncure D.

Conway, M.A. (Williams and Norgate.)—This is an interesting record of a place with many associations, not the less interesting because it tells us how very far it has moved away from its first standing-point. The founders of the chapel believed something ; little seems to be left but a vague religious sentiment. Prayer has ceased to be offered ; "devotional readings " were substi- tuted for it ; but " devotional readings " that have not the spirit of prayer in them cannot be easy to find. There is something in the complaint of a Mr. H. N. Barnett, who ministered in the chapel, not very successfully, for a few years :—" It is urged against me that I preached all about Christ and never about Socrates." Mr. Conway himself succeeded this gentleman, and "was inclined to give up the Christian name." This certainly does not surprise us. There is much that is kindly and generous in what Mr. Con- way writes ; nor do we deny th'at there are those who may be benefited by this teaching of a faith that "centres everywhere." But it is not a gospel for common life.