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Reviews and Notices.
The Exercise of Faith: a book for Doubters. By the late Rev. Miles Mahan, D.D. (London : Palmer.) This is a treatise which should be studied widely and carefully. But unfortunately the English edition is not presented to us in an attractive or convenient form. The pages are large and the type small, and neither chapter nor subject are marked at the top of the page, whereas, since it consists very largely of comments on isolated passages of Scripture, the editor would have done well to have resorted to the old method of summarizing the contents in the margin, so as to make reference as easy as possible.
Dr. Mahan is of course known to many as the author of a singularly interesting History of the Early Church. He was further a man of very warm sympathies and clear understanding, and the volume before us was composed with the view of helping some with whom he was brought in contact, to see through the fallacious arguments by which Roman Catholic controversialists are constantly endeavouring to entrap unskilled debaters. The thesis which he set himself especially to combat is that the Catholic Christian ought to test what he reads in Holy Scripture by appeal to a living teacher. Against this view, equally as against its Protestant contradictory or opposite, Dr. Mahan, with all sound Anglican theologians, maintains that we must check (not Scripture itself indeed) but our interpretation of Scripture, as well as the views of individual teachers, by appeals to the voice of the entire Church as expressed in her Creeds and in the writings of her most approved theologians of early times. And it is the especial characteristic of this treatise that the author not only weighs the question historically, but shows also that the mode of proof just referred to is such as to commend itself to our acceptance on all moral grounds. Argument after argument is culled from Roman writers and shown to be inconclusive and improbable. It will be fair to the author to give one example, and it shall be this.
“Mr. Newman argues, against the natural inference from the slight regard shown to Papal decisions, first by the Eastern Bishops in the controversy with regard to the time of keeping Easter, afterwards by Cyprian and others, and finally, (when the Papal claims reached their acme,) by the whole Oriental Church, that no Empire establishes itself without resistance and rebellions. This is true of human despotisms, which invariably grow by a chain of successive usurpations. But in all divinely-appointed Governments the first governors are those whose sway is most absolute, and their powers most clearly defined and universally acknowledged. Thus Moses and Aaron governed more absolutely and with clearer evidence of Divine authority than any of their successors. The Apostles likewise had no indefinite or vaguely comprehended authority. The early Bishops, as is abundantly shown in their writings, were not slow in comprehending the nature of their authority or in defining it to the comprehension of others. It is the Papal Infallibility alone, (the most necessary to be clearly understood of all others on the Roman theory, as upon the submission to it the very exercise of faith depends,) which required ages to make it clear, which during all the fearful controversies of the first ages was only half understood, and which at last was no sooner asserted in a distinct and unquestionable form than half Christendom rejected it as the very harbinger of Antichrist.”
The Life of Prayer, (Masters,) by the Rev. W. H. Hutchings, Sub-Warden of the House of Mercy, Clewer, has been brought into its present very complete shape from a series of Lectures delivered by the Author in All Saints' Church, Margaret Street. We doubt if any more valuable treatise has appeared in recent times ; for though, as the subject-matter implies, it is essentially practical, it could not have been written by any one who was not a good theologian. In order to the composition of a devotional work it is needful that a writer should have some experience in the guidance of souls, should be thoroughly familiar with Holy Scripture, and also should have some acquaintance with writers of scientific theology, such as S. Augustine and S. Thomas Aquinas. All these qualifications are possessed in full measure by Mr. Hutchings, and the result is a work which will certainly live for many a generation. The book is divided into six chapters,-on the Nature of Prayer, the Necessity of Prayer, Objections to Prayer, Conditions of Prayer, Mental Prayer, and Vocal Prayer.
A History of the Crusades, by the Rev. W. E. Dutton, with a Preface by the Rev. William Denton, M.A. (Hodges, London.) In this concise and clearly written work the author has done justice to a fascinating subject -historic truth is proverbially difficult of attainment, but it must always be so in an especial manner where the religious element pervades the subject, and the records of the past are coloured by the theological views of the historians. This is, of course, eminently the case in respect to the Crusades, but Mr. Dutton has conscientiously laboured to arrive at a true comprehension of all the circumstances connected with that great movement, and in this effort he has been very successful. The sympathy with which, as a sincere member of the Church Catholic, he cannot fail to regard the promoters of the Crusades does not render him blind to their failings, or to the admixture of human motives with the holy purpose of these religious wars. Mr. Denton's Preface is also valuable, as it points out how much many countries, including England, are indebted to the Crusades for their present wellbeing.
A very pretty little book as to its external appearance and its internal contents is the Legend of S. Christopher and other Poems, by Mary E. Shipley. (William Poole, London.) The versification is easy and graceful, and the poems both in subject matter and style give evidence of a cultivated and devotional mind.
The Sunday Scholar's Companion for 1877 (Church of England Sunday School Institute, Bridge Street, London) is a goodly volume of very various contents, both amusing and instructive, which with its numerous excellent illustrations will certainly gain it a welcome with the young people for whom
it is intended. Generally speaking Church principles are fairly enunciated throughout the book, but we regret to see that in the leading serial tale “When we were Boys,” (otherwise a good one,) there is a very defective exposition of the nature of Confirmation.
Jewel Stories, by Minnie Young, (William Poole, London,) are a set of bright little stories ingeniously founded, each one, upon the history of a different gem, and no doubt will be found amusing by school-girls, for whom they seem to be intended. We trust, however, that there are not many young ladies who would be so foolishly attracted by trinkets as the heroines of these tales are supposed to be.
It is no surprise that among the many Hymnals which have lately appeared The Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer, with accompanying Tunes, (London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington,) should have found favour with some. It would be strange, if in a book like the present, containing over 500 tunes-varying in style and character from ancient chorales to American Revival songs—there was not something to be found meeting the requirements of most people. Considering the almost ceaseless flow of new verses from the pen of the poet, and not being of opinion that the same words must always necessarily be sung to the same music, we are not inclined to find fault with composers for giving us from time to time fresh melodies, or the same melodies reharmonised. It seems to us to be no question of hard and fast rules, but, to a great extent, to be one of taste only. Though a book with which the name of such an able and devout musician as the late Dr. Dykes is associated must always have its value, we think that in many instances the music is not at all happily chosen ; and while we admire amongst others such tunes as Nos. 16, 273, 274, 337 (1), 425, and approve of some of the adaptations from the great masters, (Beethoven, Mozart, &c.,) there is much in the volume before us from which we entirely dissent. If, however, these Songs shall be the means of kindling the spirit of a truer devotion-for this, we take it, is the end of all Church Music-in the hearts of God's servants to make them worship and serve Him the better, the editor will have done a good work. The book is beautifully printed, and upon the whole we recommend it.
The Irish Church Society has now converted its “Journal” from a quarterly to a monthly periodical. The articles which it contains are generally of a very high order, and are worthy of a wide circulation on this side of S. George's Channel. The Journal is published by Ponsonby and Cornish of Dublin, at the price of only one penny.
Mr. Dunwell has completed his Commentary on the Four Gospels, (Clowes and Son,) in fifteen parts. And he is certainly entitled to the credit of having put forth the most complete work on the subject which exists in our language. We trust that he may be well repaid for the great labour and risk that he has incurred.
Correspondence. [The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of the Correspondents.]
To the Editor of the Churchman's Companion.
how pure, loved, venerated, how far
reaching his example! the other how THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF GIRLS.
far removed from God, from love, faith, SIR,-I think you will agree with me and fear, and even from this world's that the true end of education is to draw standard of morality! The latter stands out, in holiness and in wisdom, the three- out a fearful warning against the nafold faculties of man's inner being. The tural results of an education wholly semoral part of human nature is not less cular in its work and in its end. important than the intellectual. The The consideration of this will, it is affections, the will, and the intellect of hoped, show how unfounded is the fear man form that portion of his being with which some have that the religious elewhich education has to do. It fails in ment in education, the chastening of the completeness if any of these distinct affections, and directing of the will, leadfaculties be neglected, e.g. if the mind ing both up to God as the true End of be cultivated without regard to the affec- man's being, is opposed to, or in any tions and the will, for these, equally with degree lessens, the cultivation of the the mind, have been implanted in man mind in purely secular knowledge. The by Almighty God for His honour, praise, deep devotion of the author of the and glory, and for the welfare of our “ Christian Year" did not hinder his fellow-men. The true work therefore gaining a double first at an unusually of education is not the mere acquisition early age, or Henry Martyn in winning of knowledge, but the cultivation of the the senior-wranglership, but rather, we moral and intellectual faculties of our believe, are the mental powers invigobeing, whereby we are prepared to fulfil rated and stimulated to higher efforts the duties of this life, having God as and steady perseverance by the conquest the End and supreme Object of all our of merely selfish aims and the frequent endeavours. Secular education is there- thought of man's splendid destiny. No fore unnatural, incomplete. By a forced secular knowledge can take the place of cultivation of the mind, to the exclusion the principles of Christian Faith and and sacrifice of the equally high inte- practice, or supply their necessity, for rests of the affections and the will—and these alone can give education its real this at a period of life when all the fa- and abiding value. All must grow up culties of man lie most open and re- together, the whole faculties of the child ceptive–the youth of both sexes are must be cultivated, drawn out, if it is to launched into the world, sooner or later, grow up to the true measure and end upon their own responsibility, with its Divinely-given existence. Spirit, mental powers keenly whetted, yet with soul, and body must each be cared for, unchastened affections and an undisci- fitted to fulfil the Will of God in time, plined will. What wonder if the result and to live with Him in the life everof such education be disastrous beyond lasting. Hence Religion, (by this we all expectation? “What wilt thou do mean Christian Faith and Practice,) in the end thereof?" Contrast the must be no subordinate or neglected youthful days of the saintly author of element of education, but the basis upon the Christian Year" with those of John which all else must rest and have its Stuart Mill—the one how near to God, being. Divine truth purifies, strengthens,
in the whole school failed. In the theory of music and in drawing the success was less marked."
I must explain that I have no pecuniary interest in this school, but I have been anxious to give expression to my approbation of the system pursued in it. -Yours, &c., An OXFORD PRIEST.
MOVEABLE TEXTS FOR DECORATIONS.
SIR,-In a church in Surrey, amongst the decorations, a text has been placed, so arranged that the letters may be changed to form a different text for every season of the Church's year. The board, seven inches deep, is covered with Turkey red. At the top and bottom is a groove in which letters, made of straw paper gummed on stiff cardboard, are slipped. Each letter is quite separate, and has a margin of cardboard half an inch deep top and bottom, which slides under the groove and holds the letter in its place. A good supply of letters is all that is needed to form any variety of texts in succession on the same board. Any further information will be gladly given by Miss FITZROY, S. George's Bank, East Moulsey.
and prepares the affections, the will, and the mind for temptations yet unthought of, knowledge yet unlearned. Let the intellect alone be cultivated, and the result will be knowledge without love, purity, faith, obedience,
“an age of light, Light without love glares on the aching
sight.” I have made these preliminary remarks in order to draw attention to the education given at S. Anne's School, Rewley, Oxford, to daughters of clergy and professional men, which rests upon this threefold basis, and the marked success which attended the examination held before Christmas by the Oxford and Cambridge syndicate, affords abundant evidence that the result is entirely satisfactory. I subjoin the account given of it in the “Guardian” of January 2, 1878.
"The University of Cambridge has for some years appointed a syndicate for the examination of girls' schools. The University of Oxford has moved later in the field, and confines its attention only to endowed schools, or to schools which, being in the hands of trustees, cannot be considered mere commercial speculations. S. Anne's School, Res Oxford, (founded in 1850 by the Rev. Thomas Chamberlain, the venerated Vicar of S. Thomas the Martyr, Oxford,) which has recently been transferred to spacious premises in Wellington Square, has the merit of being almost the first school to invite the inspection of the whole system of education by the board bearing academical authority, and preeminently calculated to form a sound, critical judgment on the results attained. On Thursday week, at the school, a few of its friends met to hear the first report. The principal examiner reported that the work throughout the school was well done—bestowing especial commendation upon the papers on Church history, geography, French and English grammar. In the first division three-fourths obtained first classes. The second division alone had three first classes. Two only
Possibly this may not be a new idea, but if it is, it is worth spreading, and it would be well adapted for our foreign Mission Churches.
APPEAL FOR MR. CAFFIN'S CHURCH.
SIR,-I beg to acknowledge with many thanks the following contributions from the readers of your Magazine, -viz. E. C. 0., 2s. 6d. ; for the Holy Place, a thank-offering, (Lynn,) 1s.; Mr. W. T. Hyatt, 2s. 6d. ; Mr. J. B. Edwards, 10s.; with best wishes but very small help, (Folkestone,) 2s. ; Editor of the Churchman's Companion, 10s.; and that is all.
of your readers give me further and more substantial help? A hundred and twenty-eight half-crowns would enable me to carry out what I wish to do for the sanctuary of my Church, S. Mary's, Ripple. Are there a hundred and twenty-eight of good-will” to be found among the readers of this who would give of their