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Review of Books.
LETTERS selected from the Correspondence of Helen
Plumptre. Author of "Scripture Stories,” &c.—Nisbet.
It is not often that we meet with such devotedness of the heart to God, so deep an appreciation, so close an appropriation of spiritual things, as marked the character of this beloved servant of Christ. Minding the things of the Spirit was her constant employ; and, keeping her eye ever fixed on the high standard of scriptural perfection, she lived under a perpetual sense of her own short-coming, where the holiest who are still cumbered with flesh ever must come short ; so that the extreme of self-abasing humility was the fruit of her living faith. Nothing was farther from her mind than the future publication of these letters, which are the confidential breathings of a soul filled with the love of God to connexions doubly endeared, by nature and by grace. We have no need to repeat here our personal
sentiments on the publication of private documents : we have only to express the reverential affection which the perusal of these letters must needs excite in the bosom of a Christian towards the writer, and to wish that there were very many more resembling her to be found in every family throughout the land.
THE NURSERY GOVERNESS. By the Author of “ The Week.”-Seeleys.
This is a little book on a subject, alas ! too often considered as of minor importance. We have frequently been pained, yea, shocked, at the light appreciation of these most solemn duties, too manifest on the part of many who are willing to rush in where even angels might fear to tread ; seeing what is the nature, and what the object of the work to be undertaken. Nor less painful is it to contemplate the very great laxity of some mothers, in catering for the intellectual supply that the opening minds of their little ones demand, combined as it ought to be with a spiritual sowing on which, so far as human means go, the harvest of approaching eternity may depend. We are greatly rejoiced to have it in our power to recommend a work excellently adapted to awaken both parties to a sense of their great responsibilities before God. Some short time since, we gave a chapter from this little work, then in its progress through the press, with permission of those who had the privilege of affording it; and many of our readers will no doubt have been struck by the graphic description of what resulted from the too successful exertions of a young nursery governess, under the superintendence of an injudicious mother. The whole book is full of sound sense ; and its spiritual tone is most decided ; most uncompromising. We like it greatly, and hope to see it very useful.
ENGLAND IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY;
or, A History of the reigns of the House of Stuart.Religious Tract Society.
Every day brings with it some new proof that we are gradually falling into the old track trodden by our fathers two centuries since, which leads to the deep shadows of Popish darkness. Parliament takes the lead ; the ruling powers of the national church look on, if not with complacent acquiescence yet at least with cold indifference, while the country recedes more and more from the principles of the Reformation. The press bears a most actively important part, helping on the evil in all its departments, from the weighty historical or theological volume, to the artfully contrived nursery tale, or four-paged tract. In the first-named department, we have Miss Agnes Strickland, doing the work of the enemy most effectually, poisoning the minds of thousands among the upper classes of female readers, with perversions of history, and most false colourings, artistically enough applied, rendering the foulest of persecuting enemies of Christ's people as angels of light, and throwing a disfiguring disguise over the characters of those who most effectually wrought to establish true religion among us. We are always very thankful for any help in rescuing our national history from such hands; and this volume is, through
out, evidently written for the express purpose of separating the precious from the vile, and of placing in a true, because a scriptural light, the moving causes of events with which we are all conversant, and of which we seem to be recklessly hastening on a disastrous repetition. It is written in plain language, occasionally strong ; and with much decision of opinion. “Words smoother than oil ” are the characteristic of a different school. There are some interesting illustrations of ancient buildings &c. interspersed. The book is altogether English.
EVENINGS IN THE LAND OF UZ. Short Ex
positions on the Book of Job; arranged for Family Reading. By Mrs. Henry Van Hagen, Author of “ Walks and Scenes in Judea, Galilee,” &c. With Introductory pages by Isaac Taylor, Esq. Second Edition, revised, corrected, and enlarged.Robinson.
We noticed, somewhat briefly, the first edition of this sweet book ; and now we hail with much pleasure the appearance of a second. It is so purely and deeply spiritual, so full of consolation to the sorrowing, encouragement to the tempted, and refreshment to the fainting believer. In no part of the Holy Scriptures does the gospel shine more brightly forth than in the beautiful history of Job; and these expositions are the work of one who is truly blessed with eyes that see what God has there recorded for the benefit of His poor children, and with skill to divide the portion among them.
LILIE DUNBAR ; or, The Irish Wedding. A Tole
founded on facts-Oldham.
A BRIEF story, but one that deserves to be well pondered. Its object is to show how utterly valueless is mere nominal Protestantism as a safeguard against the inducements, under various forms, by which the spirit of apostacy will assail the weak. The various members of a family, successively and quietly lapsing, under the influence of persuasions against which they had no fixed, scriptural principle to advance, present but too true a picture of what is now going on throughout every part of this betrayed Empire ; and the exhibition is no less well-timed than faithful. The evident agreement among all leading men, Whig and Tory, whichsoever may be in power, to give all possible weight and advantage to Popery, must operate widely in swelling the ranks of the enemy. Already has the ominous infatuation spread beyond the boundaries that no one would have supposed it could ever pass; and we witness the monstrous anomaly of an eminent Evangelical Clergyman of the Protestant Establishment standing forth to advocate the placing of the revenues of the sister Church in Ireland in the hands of Rome's priesthood ; arming them at once with tenfold influence to overawe, and tenfold means to bribe the humbler Protestant community in Ireland. The little book now before us is defective : it does not place in a sufficiently strong light the soul-destroying character of the Apostacy, but as shewing the natural process of a gradual falling away, it is valuable.