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any book yet published in our language.” The author further remarks, that it has been his aim in respect to Watts' Psalms, “not to throw away a single stanza of superior merit," while “whole Psalms, of inferior and prosaic character,” and which are rarely if ever sung, “have been omitted” and others substituted in their places.
“The Hymns," says our author, “ have been selected from the productions of the best writers of this species of poetry in our language.” For the purpose of making his work as perfect as possible, he claims to have spent much time and labor in examining the best editions of the productions referred to, and to have made only such alterations and omissions as were imperatively demanded by a due regard to the principles of his compilation. The Hymns are arranged according to a proper succession of subjects in an order which is not only intelligible, but perspicuous; and the volume is accompanied with a complete Index of the first lines, and also one of subjects, which is as nearly perfect as it could well be made.
We do not hesitate to express our opinion as decidedly favorable to the claims of this book, and recommend it to the attention of pastors and the leaders of choirs, as worthy of their examination. We have marked a few errors in the printing, and would advise the author, in bringing out another edition, to look well to his proof-sheets.
6.-A Treatise on Domestic Economy, for the Use of Young La
dies at Home, and at School. By Miss Catherine E. Beecher, late Principal of the Hartford Female Seminary.
Boston: Marsh, Capen, Lyon & Webb. 1841. pp. 465. Miss Beecher makes a respectful apology for appearing before the public on a subject for which, in the judgment of her friends, she possesses peculiar qualifications. It may be remarked also that our author has entered upon her work with a feeling of deep earnestness, and, as we believe, with a sincere desire to make her experience, and extensive observation and study, available for the best good of the rising generation of American women. It is no fancy-work which she has undertaken. As a sensible woman and a Christian, she has set herself about doing good; and has written a book which all judicious mothers and female instructors will be glad to put into the hands of their daughters and pupils. It is on the whole a very
sensible book. It contains, it is true, a great many things which are familiar to our best housekeepers, and in respect to which every “wise woman,” who “buildeth ber house,” has instructed her daughters. But even these things may be read with profit, as they tend to confirm the lessons of the well-instructed, while, to multitudes of young ladies whose domestic education has been neglected, they may be found indispensable to their due preparation for the duties and responsibilities of domestic life; and much of what our author communicates in this volume has been derived from a wider field of inquiry than has been accessible to most mothers and teachers, and will be found instructive to all. Some may complain that she has gone too minutely into the details of little matters, such as keeping a clean handkerchief when nursing the sick, wetting the lip of the vial in dropping medicine, etc. etc.; but these little matters are not without their importance, and it is well for our daughters to be reminded of the minutest things, which may contribute to the perfection of their preparation for all the duties of those future domestic circles of which they are destined to be the centres, either of attraction or repulsion. We may add also that the scientific part of this work is communicated in a plain and intelligible form, and several anatomical illustrations are added which are suited to impress the lessons which it inculcates on the subjects of Physiology and the care of health. As a whole, we commend the work to mothers and daughters, as eminently fitted to be useful.
7.--Ancient Spanish Ballads ; Historical and Romantic. Trans
lated, with Notes, by J. G. Lockhart, Esg. A New Edition Revised ; with an Introductory Essay on the Origin, Antiquity, Character and Influence of the Ancient Ballads of Spain ; and an Analytical Account, with specimens of the Romance of the Cid. New-York: Wiley & Put
1842. pp. 272, 8vo. This beautiful volume is introduced by the following adver. tisement: "In reproducing the English version of the Ancient Spanish Ballads, it may be proper to observe that the late London edition has been strictly followed, no departure whatever being made from Mr. Lockhart's text. To add to the interest of the volume, the spirited article from the Edinburgh Review is given by way of Preliminary Essay; an analytical account of the Romance of the Cid, etc.; and at the end has been placed a Bibliographical List, prepared for the present edition, of the books containing the original Ballads, and of writings pertaining to the whole subject."
This work, then, is brought before the American public in
its most perfect form. The Preliminary Essay, from the Edinburgh, fills thirty-four pages of the volume, and is not only valuable in itself, but may be regarded as indispensable to the right understanding of the subjects and imagery of the Ballads. It sketches in a lively and brilliant manner the history of Spain and of Spanish literature up to the sixteenth century, when the oldest of these ballads were published, though the date of their composition cannot now be ascertained. They are here presented in an English dress, and are better fitted to let the reader into the real spirit of the times which produced them than any other form of history. To the ballads of rude and struggling nations must we go for the most instructive lessons of anthropology which the world has produced; and the ballads of Spain, mingling in their composition the brilliancy of Arabian imagination with the flowers of Castilian romance, are especially worthy of study. “They are now rendered indigenous,” says the writer of the Preliminary Essay; "transplanted by the genius of Mr. Lockhart, they have taken deep root and flourish in our harder climate ; and in truth the soil is congenial. Their manly tone of liberty and independence, their reflective and somewhat saddened turn, their sincere religious character, their sterling loyalty, patriotism and love of country never will find a truer echo than in honest English hearts."
8.-Fragments from the German Prose Writers. Translated by
Sarah Austin ; with Biographical Sketches of the Arthors. New-York: D. Appleton & Co. 1841. pp.
365. This is an elegant reprint of an English publication of deserved popularity. Mrs. Austin has been known for several years, in this country as well as in Great Britain, as an accomplished translator of German. She has succeeded, -as few have done, -in detaching the conceptions of genius and the researches of learning from their original drapery, and clothing them in chaste and truthful English. These “Fragments” have been taken from a great variety of writers, with little unity of plan, but with genuine taste, and an earnest desire to honor a people that she greatly admires. Not a few of them are exceedingly beautiful,-gems of rare lustre, and worthy to be numbered among things that will never die. They will do much to correct the erroneous impressions of some in respect to the literature of Germany. Many have supposed that this country has been fruitful, hitherto, of nothing but dreamy metaphysics, lifeless pedantry, or “romantic horrors.” But these "Fragments" will show that the Germans have imagination, taste, eloquence, a childlike love of nature, with no common power of painting her in all her phases. We are not sure, however, that others may not be led by the perusal of these extracts to place too high an estimate on the treasures of German literature. It was long ago thought to be a singular mode of selling a house for the owner to carry about a brick as a sample. But that would be much safer than to test the literature of a people by a few excerpts. For one brick, though it must give but a faint idea of the entire building, will resemble every other brick in the edifice.
But one selection of thought or taste may have no fellow in all that remains; nay, it may sparkle with pure and pleasing brilliancy, while every thing else is distorted and repulsive. We are constrained to say that this is true, to a lamentable extent, of some of the writers in this volume. We have no wish to see their works made known to American readers except in “fragments.”
9.-The Biblical Cabinet ; or Hermeneutical, Exegetical and
Philological Library. Volume XXVII. Edinburgh:
Thomas Clark. 1840. pp. 352. The nature and design of the Biblical Cabinet are already familiar to our readers. It is a work of undoubted merit, and deserves to be encouraged in this country as well as in Great Britain. The present volume is devoted to the Mineralogy and Botany of the Bible, by E. F. C. Rosenmüller, D. D. It is a translation from the German, with additional notes, by T. G. Repp and Rev. N. Morren. The original forms a part of Rosenmüller's Biblische Naturgeschichte, being the first half of the fourth volume of his Handbuch der biblischen Alterthumskunde, --a work of which a portion has already appeared in the Biblical Cabinet, under the title of “ The Biblical Geography of Central Asia.” The topics discussed in this volume disclose its character. They are as follows: Earth, Earths, and other Mineral Substances; Stones and Rocks ; Precious Stones; Metals; Plants in General,- their constituents, life and classification ; Grain and Leguminous Plants; Kitchen Vegetables and Garden Plants used for food; Plants growing wild, Flowers and Shrubs; Plants from which odorous Resins and Oils are prepared; Flax and Cotton ; Marsh Plants; Thorns and Thistles; Vines; Trees; Manna. It is unnecessary to speak of the importance of these subjects to the Biblical student.
10.-An Inquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity and
Worship of the Primitive Church, that flourished within the first three hundred years after Christ; faithfully collected out of the Fathers and extant writings of those ages. By Peter King, Lord High Chancellor of England. With an Introduction by the American Editor. New-York: Published by G. Lane & P. P. Sanford, for the Methodist Episcopal Church. 1841. pp. 300.
The publication of this treatise has been followed by very important results. It led to the overthrow of the strong high-church prejudices of John Wesley, and thus prepared the way for the distinct organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. In his journal for January 20, 1746, he says: “I read over Lord King's account of the primitive church. In spite of the vehement prejudice of my education, I was ready to believe that this was a fair and impartial draught; but if so it would follow that bishops and presbyters are (essentially) of one order, and that originally every Chris. tian congregation was a church independent on all others." He wrote to Dr. Coke and others in this country, September 10, 1784 : “ Lord King's account of the primitive church convinced me, many years ago, that bishops and presbyters are the same order, and consequently have the same right to ordain."
Lord King was the nephew of John Locke, by whose advice he was sent to the University of Leyden. At that time his attention was directed to the study of theology. He was only twenty-two years of age when the first part of the following “Inquiry' was published. On his return from Leyden he became a student in the Inner Temple, and soon rose to eminence in his profession. He retained his fondness for theology, however, and published his History of the Apostles' Creed in 1702. On the accession of George I., he was appointed Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; in 1725 he received the Great Seal, which he resigned in 1733,-just before his death.
The design of the author in this treatise is to set forth the constitution, discipline, unity and worship of the church as they existed in the first three centuries. He shows great familiarity with the writings of that period, and presents the results of his “Inquiry” with candor and precision. It would be easy to point out occasional inaccuracies ; but his most im. portant conclusions are not to be shaken.