30 DECEMBER 1882, Page 23

The contents of the December number of the Month aro

very varied there being ten articles in all, exclusive of reviews and "Literary Record." There is, happily, not too much Catholic theology in it, nor of the most controversial description, although the critic of " Natural Religion " goes so far as to describe its author as "a char- latan." The articles on "A Recent Pilgrimage to Mecca," " From Gibraltar to Oran," " Reuter, and the Development of Telegraphy," and " The Warriors of the Sea," are very readable. The Rev. Thomas Harper gives, under the title of "A Worthy Son of the Scotch Soil," a very eulogistic notice of the late Daniel Macmillan. But he might have avoided contrasting him so harshly with Thomas Carlyle.

The volume for 1882 of Life and Work (David Douglas, Edinburgh), a parish magazine, published under the supervision of a committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is now before us. In variety and readability of contents, it is a decided improvement upon preceding volumes ; and to judge from the names of the con- tributors, seems to be supported by the more eminent of the clergy of the Church of Scotland, and of all sections. Among the non-clerical writers in this volume are Principal Shairp, of St. Andrews, Miss Sarah Ty tler, Mrs. L. B. Walford, and the author of "Johnnie Gibb, of Gushetnouk." The sketches given by the last, under the title of "Isaac Ronald, the Dominie," are redolent of Scotch character and religion. The sermons in Life and Work are pointed, free from thee- logical or sectarian bias or bitterness, and commendably short. The illustrations are excellent, and, indeed, the only weak point of this magazine, as it is of most magazines, is the verso.

Messrs. Ward, Lock, and Co. have sent us Past I. of an edition de lure of the Waverley Novels. They have wisely begun with Ivanhoe, which lends itself so readily to the purposes of picturesque and romantic illustration. The beginning is a very promising one, too, so far as paper, type, and engravings are concerned. The landscapes are good, and we are favourably impressed with the portraits of Rowena and Brian do Bois Gilbert. Ivanhoe is surely rather fat-faced, even for a Saxon hero, and has too much of the air of Mr. W. S. Gilbert's comfortable "three-penny 'bus young man."

The new issues of those admirable compendia of useful information Whitaker's Almanack and the British Almanack and Companion, are now before us. Whitaker, for 1888, contains sixteen pages of new matter, including special articles on the Tractarian Controversy and the Salvation Army, and a complete list of the recipients of the Victoria Cross. In giving newspaper offices in London, why does the editor omit the local habitations of such of our con- temporaries as the Economist and the Academy ? Among the essays in elle British Almanac, those on "Progress in Australia," "Electric Lighting," "Fish-culture," and " The British Museum;" deserve special commendation. The abstracts of important Acts of Perlin- ment will be found of great use. The editor has omitted from his list of Scotch Colleges the new one established in Dundee, and which is on the same footing and of the same character as the Mason College, Birmingham, and the Firth College, Sheffield. We have also received the Clergyman's and Service almanacks, equally useful in different ways ; the Freemason's Calendar, &e.