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Somaj is carefully discussed; and its principal founders and supporters, Rammohun Roy, Nath Tagore, Keshub Chunder Sen, and Protap Chunder Mozoomdar, are worthily and largely commended. The Count thinks the Christian missionaries hope against hope, when the poor success they have had is understood ; and he quotes the opinion of the English bishops in India in their united letter of May, 1874, to the English clergy: “There is nothing," they say, “which confirms the opinion that the heart of the people has been largely touched or their conscience seriously affected. There has not been any progress made in the direction of the Christian faith. There has been rather a state of stagnation."
The Count thinks that, as the missionaries become more thoroughly acquainted with the religions which they are attempting to uproot, the more they will accept many of the principles which they contain, and modify their present methods of instruction; and he maintains that "the only point by which Christianity can impress itself upon the Hindus is its moral and humane side. Now, Christianity reduced to this element is represented fully only by the modern Unitarians; that is to say, by Brahminism under an English name.”
The résumé and conclusion of the work is written with a fervid spirit. We wish we had room to give it a full translation. There is no space for even an outline. “ If any one should inquire what modern criticism has not been able to shake in the domain of the super-sensible," says the Count, “he would find little besides these four axioms :
"1. The positive existence of a transcendent Reality, which reveals itself in the consciousness, but which surpasses all definition.
“2. Our constant state of dependence upon this Reality in which we live and move and are.
“3. The certainty that it manifests its action by fixed and general laws.
“4. A bond of some sort between this action and the tendency which bears us on to act well.”
There are a few errors respecting the evolution and results of Unitarianism in the United States, but not of sufficient importance to detract from the general accuracy of the writer. The work is an important popular contribution to the history of religious evolution.
Poems by Jones Very. With an Introductory Memoir by
William P. Andrews. Boston: Houghton, Miffin & Co. 1883.
A few exquisite bits of devout poetry in Unitarian hymnbooks are all that the world for the most part knows of the singular genius and lofty, spiritual insight of the author of this little volume, whose poems published almost a half century ago have long been out of print. The friends of Mr. Very have done well, now after his death, to give them to the world anew, together with some account of their production, and of this author's uneventful but profoundly interesting course. It showed the permanence of the mystic type, the appearance in the New England of this century, and amid the rationalist airs of Harvard, of this rapt, medieval pietist, this ideal Greek tutor who walked and talked with his pupils in high, spiritual converse, and was so carnest for their religious life that he returned their corrected college exercises with devout sonnets written on the backs. The failure of his health which followed, and perhaps in part occasioned his intense mental exaltation, narrowed and sequestered a career which, in other times and with a larger endowment of active will and practical force in these, would have been phenomenal, perhaps, as that of Madam Guion or of Chunder Sen. The tenderness and forbearance of his friends doubtless prevented his mind from falling into permanent insanity; but the too intense flame of his inspiration was early burned out, though the primal ideal and conviction seem to have remained to the end, as did the tender devoutness of his spirit. And, even as to those few productive years,
be said of the man, the poet cannot be denied; and the piety is calm and sane, though too solitary and intense for wide discipleship or perhaps appreciation. Of its genuineness and the rare beauty of some of its manifestations, and of the character and life it dominated, there can be no question. Solitary and absorbed, and thoroughly dissatisfied with the conventional standards and ends of society, Jones Very was as true to his peculiar religious insight as Thoreau to his gospel of nature. Each was a partial and erratic development; and it was the benignant mission of the sounder and more universal genius of Emerson to recognize and further each by his sympathy and assistance, while he was taken captive by the idiosyncrasies of neither. Some of the most interesting portions of this memoir are citations from the contemporary records in which Mr. Emerson relates his conversations with the poet, and his impressions of him,
Christian Charity in the Ancient Church. By Dr. Geraril Uhl
horn, Abbot of Loccum. Translated from the German, with the author's sanction. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1883. $2.50).
In his earlier work on the conflict of Christianity and Heathenism, Dr. Uhlhorn had already given the public in brief the results of his careful study of the new spirit of charity born into the world with the advent of Christianity; and our readers will remember the striking and luminous chapter in which those results are stated. That chapter is expanded into a volume in the work we have now before us, and its ampler statement and more copious illustrations and full citation of authorities are now for the first time made accessible in an English dress. The statement is clear and distinct, and, for the most part, wholly dispassionate and fair. That the author writes with a strong sense of the contrast between the heathen world and the Christian leaven that came in to modify, and in important respects transform it, does not prevent him from making careful discriminations, and giving his readers the shadows and exaggerations that mar the wonderful beauty of the picture of early Christian brotherhood and compassion.
The book opens with a graphic historical picture of the condition of the Roman world in regard to the spirit of charity at the advent of Christianity, the wretched condition of poverty and dependence in “a world without love,"— a picture that recalls vividly, and justifies in this respect, the remarkable stanzas of Mr. Matthew Arnold in “ Obermann, Once More”:
“Stout was its arm, each thew and bone
Seemed puissant and alive, —
And so it could not thrive."
The second part traces the growth and administration of this spirit of Christian ch:rity through the period of conflict with the dominant heathenism, and the third portrays its working and various organization after its nominal though still partial triumph. The relations of the Church to industry; its methods of organized relief; its teaching as to wealth, dress, marriage, slavery, alms, sanctuary; the spirit in which it founded asylums, hospitals, schools, monasteries,-- all are here exhibited; and the large degree in which the Church, under its great bishops, became a refuge for the oppressed of all classes in the wild ages during which northern barbarism was destroying the more corrupt and cruel rule of the decayed Roman civilization is clearly made manifest. “The Church could not save the old world; but she sat at its death-bed with help and comfort, and lighted up its last hours with such an evening glory as the old world had never known in the times of its greatest prosperity." The limitations and abuses of these new institutions and agencies are also carefully portrayed, and the rise of the institutional and ecclesiastical spirit, which stiffened and dwarfed the Christian charity of the Middle Ages until the Reformation brought a great though as yet partial influx of its earlier spirit.
The representations concerning property and industry in the Apostolic Church are far saner, we believe, and more nearly veritable, than those we sometimes hear of late ; and the wise and discriminative administration of charity is shown to have been far different from that system of pampering mendicancy and encouraging improvidence which some recent critics of the social ethics of the New Testament describe. Dr. Uhlhorn well points out that an apostle who frequently and urgently enjoins “ working with the hands as the alternative of stealing and idling," and as the means of charity and honorable living, and who makes tents that he may preach the gospel and not be burdensome, cannot justly be said to ignore or despise the “industrial virtues," or to teach an ideal of the kingdom of heaven which does not require earthly diligence and fidelity, because he also held, as every system of ethics must hold, the possession of property a peril, tending to become a wickedness, unless regarded as a stewardship for humanity and the good ends of civilization, which are but the modern translation of Paul's and Christ's phrase, “ kingdom of God.”
The service of monasticism in organizing industry and pre
serving learning, as well as in furnishing a refuge for human misery, is also shown; and the contrast between Eastern and Western monasticism in these respects is clearly portrayed. Kadesh-Barnea: The Story of a Hunt for it, including Studies
of the Route of the Exodus. By H. Clay Trumbull, D.D., editor of the Sunday School Times. New York: Charles Scribner's Sone.
Many a minister will think it "love's labor lost," this large octavo volume, the thorough study of a mere geographical puzzle, besides the peril of running the gauntlet of a hostile Arab tribe. Kadesh-Barnea was not a station on any Roman road, not even an ordinary pilgrim's rest on the way from Sinai to Jerusalem, not even a fortified city like its neighbor, Petra. Nor did any Christian army ever force through this well-watered spot into Palestine. It was simply the many years' encampment of the Exodites on their flight from Egypt, - a fertile, pleasant, fruitful hiding-place for a multitude. And, against Edward Robinson and many other authorities, Dr. Trumbull follows John Rowlands in fixing Kadesh-Barnea west, a little north of Petra : first, by the similarity of its name, Kades to Kadesh; second, by its fitness of condition for subsistence of a multitude in a space of six miles by ten of pasture; last, by its handiness to Syria, by several easy roads. It hardly seems needful that so small a subject, one not having any important relation with other points, not even being a part of Palestine proper, should be encumbered with sueh an array of learning, especially as many maps already give this location on the thirty-first parallel of latitude, in a region almost inaccessible through Arab jealousy, and visited hy no travellers but this clergyman for many years. Truro, Cape Cod: or, Landmarks and Seamarks. By Shebnah
Rich, Member of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society. Boston: D. Lothrop & Co.
The history of a sea-faring town in New England is in some sort a history of all the world, since sailors come and go and mingle with all peoples, bringing something of their products and of their lore to temper the intense provincialism which still subsists in such a community. This book at once exhibits and illustrates the cosmopolitan and the provincial interest referred to. It is discursive to a degree, crammed with observations and quotations of various sorts, often of the remotest connection with the topic in hand, yet showing wide reading and intelligence. It is the temptation of an author with his first book to
F. W. 8.