22 JULY 1905, Page 21

The Child and Religion. Edited by Thomas Stephens, M.A. (Williams

and Norgate. 9s.)—This is a volume of the!" Crown Theological Library," and contains eleven essays by various prominent theologians. These are of a very varied interest. The subject has indeed many aspects. There are the Children's Eucharists, though the school which favours these celebrations has no representative among the eleven contributors to the volume ; and at the other end of the scale there is Professor J. Cynddylan Jones with his views on the "Conversion of Children." Rabbi A. A. Green has something worth hearing to tell us about the place of children in the religious system of the Jews. (It is interesting to note that there is a revolt against the exclusive " masculinity " of Jewish public worship, and that the service at which the boys recite the Blessing is in liberal synagogues supplemented by a similar celebration by the girls.) Then Dr. Hill has a paper on " The Baptists and the Children," and does his best for what seems a weak point in the Baptist theory. Dr. Horton discusses " The Religious Training of Children in the Free Churches," and Canon Henson the same subject from the Church of England standpoint. The discrepancies of opinion appear to be, and probably are, very wide. Yet, after all, there is much agreement. Professor Jones tells us, for instance, that "conversion in the growing lads and maidens is an essential condition of their salvation," while Mr. James Adderley, quoted in the preface, declares that "conversion is not necessary for those who are leading the converted life." The practical danger is that the youths or maidens, while waiting for some definite sign of this necessary change, may grow careless or desperate, or that, on the other side, they may rest content with a formalism which does not imply any real perception of spiritual things.