14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 23

Contemporary Portraits. By E. de Pressense, D.D. Translated by Annie

Harwood Holmden. (Hodder and Stoughton.)—The most interesting of these "portraits " are those in which the writer makes us acquainted with the internal history of French Protestant- ism during the present century, especially his essay on the life and work of Adolphe Monod. Monod's preaching was in no way inferior to the best that has ever come from the French pulpit. Even Massillon and Bourdaloue do not surpass him. The glow of his eloquence remains, in a most unusual degree, in his sermons, as we read them. The history of Monod's relation to the Protestant Church of France brings us into the midst of the most important religious questions of the day. For this reason, it will deserve to be studied, and not the less by those who, with ourselves, do not accept the views which the great preacher maintained, and which his biographer approves. Vinet, also a great preacher, was, as a theologian and thinker, superior to Monod, and furnishes the subject of a most instructive article ; while in that which follows, the com- parison of 'Verney and Robertson, all lovers of liberal theology in England will feel a special interest. They will find in M. de Pres- sense an able, candid, and sympathetic narrator. His own views fall into the background—sometimes we could wish to see them more fully stated—but he expounds his subject with the utmost fullness and honesty. We must also mention an excellent sketch of Bishop Dupanlonp. What could be better put and more significantly true than this ?—" He was tormented by self-contradictions, which he never succeeded in reconciling ; and it is this which gives him sometimes an appearance of insincerity. In reality, he does not deserve the imputation; it was his position that was false, not himself."