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Mr. Buckingham conducted with so much ability. We need not say that the materials are moulded by a hand that writes a pure, vigorous English style. The author is proverbial for his keenness as a critic of language, and his correctness as a writer. The details of his childhood are very touching, and are told with genuine feeling. The picture of his desolate home, the abject poverty that reigned in it, the occasional charities that kept the family from actual starvation, and his widowed mother's religious trust and daily prayers, in which some verse of a pious hymn was always quoted, would seem a little exaggerated if found in one of Dickens' novels; and yet we cannot doubt its literal truth. It is the glory of our country that its most influential characters frequently start out from a background as dark as that. May these books find a wide welcome! K.
35. The men of the Time, or Sketches of Living Notables, in all departments of literature and life. Redfield. New York : 1852. 12mo. pp. 564.
This is a Biographical Dictionary of our contemporaries, who have risen to any distinction in any career. We need not point out the value of such a work. It is obvious. It is often extremely difficult to find out any thing about the early influences that helped to mould the authors of the day that we are most familiar with. We found, for instance, in this book an account of Carlyle's early life that was entirely new to us. Of course, such a work, at least in its first edition, cannot be expected to be complete. But it is very full, and seems to have been prepared with great pains and faithfulness. K.
36. The History of the United States of America, from the adoption of the Federal Constitution to the end of the Sixteenth Congress. By Richard Hildreth. In three volumes. Volume 3. New York: Harper & Brothers. 8vo. pp. 739.
This is the sixth volume of the whole work, and the closing one. It is devoted to the administrations of Madison and Monroe. Of course we are not competent to pronounce any judgement upon its claims to fairness and accuracy. The author will hardly live to know the final standing of his work. For another generation at least must elapse before party feelings and interests that now obscure or color every competent critic's vision will fade away. One thing is certain ; Mr. Hildreth has written a History of his country which no student can afford to be without.
K. 37. Hebrew Lyrical History; or select Psalms, arranged in the order of the events to which they relate. With Introductions and Notes. By Thomas Bulfinch. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co. New York: C. S. Francis & Co. 1853.
We do not know how to commend this volume any more warmly than to give its title. A peculiar interest is added to the Psalms when we read them as vivid illustrations of the circumstances of a past age, interpreting facts of history through devout personal emotions. This book is no hasty production. Its author has used the slow judgment and taste of years in its compilation. Forty-six of the Psalms do not appear, the editor seeing no way of working them easily into the structure of his plan. The book is beautifully printed, and the introductions and notes are simple, short and pertinent. K.
38. Cornelius Nepos, with Notes, Historical and Explanatory. By Charles Anthon, LL. D. &c., &c. New York: Harper & Brothers, &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 396.
This is by far the most thoroughly prepared edition that we have ever seen, of Nepos, for the use of schools. Its great excellence lies in its ample philological notes. These explain all the idiomatic constructions of the Latin, as they occur in the text, bring out the precise force of particular words and phrases, and, in short, introduce the learner to the spirit of the language, as well as to an acquaintance with its forms. Other notes are interspersed, to elucidate historical references, and to correct the blunders of Nepos.
39. The Institutes of Algebra. Being the First Part of a course of Mathematics, designed for the use of Schools, Academies, and Colleges. By Gerardus Beckman Docharty, LL. D., Professor of Mathematics in the New York Free Academy. New York: Harper & Brothers, &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 275.
On a cursory examination, Dr. Docharty's book appears to be very systematic, clear, and distinguished by the simplicity of its treatment. We should think it a valuable contribution to the list of class-books.
40. Philip Doddridge, his Life and Labors. A Centenary Memorial. By John Stoughton, author of “Spiritual Heroes,” etc. With an Introductory Chapter, by James G. Miall, from the "Footsteps of our Forefathers." Boston: Gould & Lincoln, &c. 1853. 12mo. pp. 222.
Biographical writing has been greatly improved, within the last quarter of a century. Instead of being confined to the old form of regular narrative, interspersed with eulogy at the proper junctures, and closed with a set description of character, the aim now is to place the readers amid the circumstances and influences in which the person grew up and acted, and to reproduce him as a living man, rather than to show him as a preserved subject. It would be a curious inquiry to trace out the origin and progress of this method. Did it arise before the appearance of the Waverly Novels? How much has Carlyle contributed to its prevalence? We have not space here nor, indeed, are we prepared, to go into the investigation. In the work before us, Mr. Stoughton has followed this improved method. With a good degree of success, he has removed the veil of a century, and restored to us Dr. Doddridge, as he lived, and acted, and shed his influence abroad, in his own times. Though the doctrines recognized are moderately Calvinistic, we recommend the book for the beautiful and impressive example it presents.
41. Lectures to Young Men, on Various Important Subjects. By Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn, L. I. Twenty-second Thousand. Boston: John P. Jewett, &c., &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 251.
One of the most fearless, thorough-dealing, home-spoken series of addresses, that ever came before the public. Its naked plainness and unflinching directness, sometimes dismay us,—so unequivocally does it lay open even those vices which an effeminate delicacy would, at the most, only hint at by distant innuendos, or give up in despair. But its treatment is healthful; and nobody can read its pages, without feeling that the treatment, which at times almost shocks a natural reserve, has nevertheless imparted moral strength. Let our young men read these Lectures. 42. Harper's New Monthly Magazine. No. xxxi. December, 1852.
This Number of the most popular periodical of the kind, is the beginning of a new volume. It is to remind our readers of this fact, that we notice the work ; for there can be no occasion to commend a publication, of which more than a hundred thousand copies circulate, every month. The Illustrated articles on Palestine, Parisian life, History of Bonaparte, &c., are not only interesting, but valuable also for the knowledge they impart. Above all, we would direct attention to the very weighty suggestions that may usually be found in the “Editor's Table."
43. The Personal Adventures of “Our own Correspondent" in Italy. Showing how an active Campaigner can find good quarters when other men lie in the fields ; good dinners while many are halfstarved; and good wine, though the King's staff be reduced to halfrations. By Michael Burke Honan, &c. New York: Harper & Brothers, &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 428.
44. The Macrocosm and Microcosm; or, the Universe Without and the Universe Within; being an unfolding of the Plan of Creation and the Correspondence of Truths, both in the World of Sense and the World of Soul. In two parts. By William Fishbough. Part I. The Macrocosm; or, the Universe Without, &c., &c. New York: Fowlers & Wells, &c. 1852. 12mo. pp. 259.
Memoirs of Chalmers.
open hearer views oak," ungiant, with
Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Chalmers, D. D., LL. D. By his Son-in-law, the Rev. Wm. Hanna, LL. D. 4 Volumes. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1852.
THOMAS CHALMERS is to be recognized among great men, and to be studied as such. No matter when or where such a man lived; no matter what were the sectional lines, or party limits, within which he operated; no matter what class it is that sets up special claims to his greatness, and grows proud under his shadow, he is a character worthy of perpetual regard by all parties and sects.
At first sight, Chalmers was a cumberous giant, with energies all folded up, with heart of oak, “ unused to the melting mood;" but, at nearer view, he was a most genial soul, with heart "open to the whole noon of nature;" impetuous and impulsive, yet tender and affectionate ; decided, yet tolerant; with an earnestness that was as contagious as the enthusiasm of a Peter the Hermit. The review of his life, as we closed his Memoirs, affected us like the passing of the locomotive with the swift flying train, when we are walking by the side of the road, and all we know for the moment is, that an engine has passed, and that “a cloud of witnesses” of its power passed with it.
These Memoirs come from a relative, a member of the “ Evangelical” party, and a defender of the Free-Church movement, and, of course, are to be received as giving the more favorable portraiture of what Chalmers was. But in the letters which could not be marred by omissions or alterations, and in the copious extracts from his jour. nals, the man is sufficiently opened to view. One fact will loom up every where, and that is, conscious of impetuous feelings and strong passions, Chalmers could bring his energy to bear on any thing better than on these to restrain and subdue. His journals, and other writings of the more private nature, abound with allusions to his
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humiliation in view of the evils of temper and rudeness of manner into which he had been plunged, by his want of power to shut the door so that the commotion in his breast should not be known. He goes into mourning over the small and the great; but we cannot refrain from the opinion, that silent meditation is better than writing a record of our feelings, when we would subdue an overmastering passion. " If I write on in this way much longer," said Walter Scott, “ I shall write down my resolution that needs to be written up." He was in great grief, and the only method by which writing could help him, would be to write on consoling topics, instead of recording his lamentations over a great loss; and thus he would have lifted himself, by degrees, to the height of Christian resignation and hope. We are confident, that the favorite method of dissecting one's self, and recording all discoveries in one's own moral anatomy, helps few in the way of Christian endeavor. It cultivates an ease of confession, a freeness in telling all that is bad in thought and deed, that places the man in a false light before himself, as well as before those who come into possession of this spiritual mapping, and religious biography is made a more melancholy thing than it ought to be.
Our space will not afford us room for any thing like a complete outline of the contents of these four volumes of Memoirs, and we must content ourself with such a review as may give the reader an idea of Chalmers' character, without entering into details. To be successful in this, is to set forth a man who, from the dullest childhood, so far as study was concerned, became a most enthusiastic and diligent scholar in youth and early manhood; and from that low estimate of the ministry, which imagined five days out of the seven might be given to other pursuits, rose to that conception of its importance, which made the most diligent and continuous effort none too much for duty and satisfaction.
Chalmers was the sixth child of a family of fourteen children, of humble parentage, and was born in the little seaport town of Anstruther, in Fifeshire, Scotland, March 17, 1780. He seems to have caught a sight of his future profession very early, as he was seen, when a very little boy, preaching to a single auditor with great vigor, and