« PredošláPokračovať »
wlien we commend to them these “Memoirs" as the best extant, and as likely to continue the standard for years to come.
Glimpses of Fifty Years. An Autobiograplıy of an American Woman. By
FRANCES E. WILLARD: Written by order of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Introduction by Hannah WuITA SMITH. 8vo, pp. 701,
Chicago: H. J. Smith & Co. Thomas Carlyle says that the chief topics of conversation are biography and autobiography. If the conversation is centrifugal, it relates to others; if centripetal, it relates to ourselves. When one comes to consider how much of the temporal life is absorbed with human interests, and that even the vast outside world exists possibly for man, it is not strange that books, papers, all literature and history, seem but the reflection of human character in its various phases of development. Whether one shall turn autobiographer, or commit the delicate task of unveiling one's hidden life, with its springs of motion, its secret aims and ambitions, and its governing impulses and weaknesses, to other hands, is a question that cannot be decided in every case in the same way.
The biographer, supposed to be unaffected by those inalienable feelings and intuitions that characterize the subject of his memoir, is generally regarded as better fitted to portray the character of another than himself; but his work, never so well perforined, may be wanting in that personal impres. sion or atmosphere of selfhood that exalts autobiography into one of the most pleasing forms of literature. The autobiographer, rigid in selfrestraint and resolved to trespass upon no propriety in self-revelation, will yet unfold the inner life, or those potential forces that have gorerned it, without being aware that in the very effort to conceal something the revelation made is all the clearer and surer. Miss Willard, at the instance of others, becomes an autobiographer, detailing her nearly fifty years of life with circumstantiality, delicacy, and such a tine sense of discrimination as to place the reader en rapport with herself and the great enterprises which she represents.
She divides her life into seven periods of unequal length, commencing with childhood, which soon merges into girlhood; but those early days, with their interesting details, are soon forgotten in the larger history she makes for herself as teacher, traveler, temperance advocate, and organizer, and especially as moral and political reformer in the interest of her own sex. It cannot be said that she omits what ought to be mentioned, though the volume has been pared from twelve hundred to seven hundred pages, or thirt she narrates what ought to be omitted; for, designing to be complete, she is not verbose, and, writing within prescribed limits, she is not too condensed. In this liberal sense the book is more than an autobiography, for it gives us inside views of schools, indicates the infirmities of the m:chinery of political parties, and discloses the working plans and difficulties of the moral and political movements with which she is connected. As we trip along in our reading we frequently emerge from the individual life into the self-sacrificing example of a collaborator, or the activity of a gigantic movement for the repression of popular evils and the installation of rightcousness in the land. It is this disposition of the author to bury herself in the great movements of the age that lifts her book above the ordinary range of autobiography and gives it an enduring historic value. Though a leading figure in reforms she does not claim too much for herself, but generously recognizes the co-operative influence of her associates and of the sisterhood of the Churches. It is a book that reformers, ministers, teachers, and philanthropists should read with care, and bear from its pages the enthusiasm and energy that inspire the life of the author and reformer-Miss Willard.
Deaconesses in Europe and their Lessons for America. By JANE M. BANCROFT,
Ph.D. With an Introduction by Edward G. ANDREWS, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 12mo, pp. 261. New York: Hunt & Eaton.
Cincinnati: Cranston & Stowe. Price, cloth, $1. Deaconesses, Ancient and Modern. By Rev. HENRY WHEELER, Author of The
Memory of the Just; Methodisin and the Temperance Reformation; Rays of Light in the Valley of Sorrow, etc. 12mo, pp. 315. New York: Hunt & Eaton. Cin
cinnati: Cranston & Stowe. Price, cloth, $1 25. Apparently we have here two books on the same subject, but they are very far from being the same books; and as we study them we see that the points of divergence are so many, and the plan of each author so different from that of the other, that one book may be said to supplement the other, and, therefore, both are necessary.
Mr. Wheeler's chief view-point the scriptural history and teaching of the order or function of the deaconess, with brief notices of the work of the order, as revived in modern times in Germany, England, and the United States. Searching first the Old Testament for glimpses of woman's official work, he finds prophetesses in Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, and Huldah, and bases thereupon the conclusion that from the earliest times woman's partnership in the divine calling was indicated. In dealing with New Testament examples he is more explicit, because the material is more abundant, and the order of deaconesses is evidently in existence. He goes carefully through the gospels and the epistles, using the facts they furnish in proof of his general position, and details the work, character, and persecutions of the ancient sisterhood, with the final decline and disappearance of the order as originally instituted. While in other re«pects Mr. Wheeler's work is valuable and attractive, we must commend it in particular for its discriminating study of the New Testament and the special and forcible presentation of the standing of the deaconess in the apostolic Church. This is the beginning, and no one can fully understand the subject who does not follow the author in his careful analysis of New Testament teachings on this ancient institution.
Dr. Bancroft's view-point is Church history, or the order of deaconesses which, commencing in the apostolic times, reappeared in the Western Church, then declined, then revived in the twelfth century, and with intermissions continued to the present day. The book covers the history of the ord«r from the apostles to the action in 1988 of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, recognizing it as one of our mechanical agencies for the propagation of the Gospel. As history alone the book is in advance of all others of its kind, and should be consulted for facts bearing upon the subject. In her searchings she found deaconesses among the Waldenses, the Mennonites, and Moravians, and through. out Germany and the continent. Much of this history has never been written before, so it comes forth not only as new matter, but as a part of the great unwritten history of the work of Christian women in the Church. Fliedner is honored as the restorer of the order in modern times, and much attention is given to the institutions at Kaiserswerth, with notices of Sisterhoods at St. Loup, Zürich, and Gallneukirchen.
Deaconesses have also appeared in France, England, Scotland, and the United States—their homes and the character of their work being particularly described. Among the German Methodists in Frankfort, Hamburg, and Berlin, deaconesses have been the collaborators of the pastors, and quite as efficient in the results they have achieved. The author considers the order in the United States, not only in the Methodist Episcopal Church but in other Churches, showing that the time has arrived, according to the legislative connection of the Churches, for the employment of this class of workers in every Christian field. She closes the book with meeting objections and offering some wise suggestions. The book is historical in contents, philosophical in its sweep of the field, and is indispensable to those who would understand what the order has been and what its possibilities are for the future. Dr. Bancroft has the reputation of being a charming writer, and this book strengthens the general opinion. Not the least important section of the book is the graceful introduction of Bishop Andrews, who takes a fitting interest in the prosperity of the order in this city and in the country.
Constitutional Government in Spain. A Sketch. By J. L. M. CURRY, LL.D., Late
Minister of the United States in Spain. 12mo, 222. New York: Harper &
Brothers. Price, cloth, $1. Notwithstanding the supremacy of monarchical authority in Europe the constitutional idea has not been without advocates, and some nations have now and then resorted to it as a refuge from the ills of oppression and the condition of a larger prosperity. Unhappily many of these experiments have ended in failure, the people who were most anxious for a change in the political structure being willing, if not anxious, after a time, to return to the old form of government, illustrating the thought that constitutional government depends for its efficiency and perpetuity, not upon the constitution, but upon the people who administer it. Minister Curry has succinctly traced the history of constitutional government in Spain, quoting the constitutions of 1812, 1837, 1845, 1869, and 1876, each illustrating in its way an advance in political ideas and religious freedom and finally establishing a republic which, however, was overthrown by the very forces that instituted it. Perhaps Spain is the most difficult country in Europe for the experiment of self-government, but it is interesting
to note that with all the obstacles to its triumph definite progress has been made in liberal sentiment and in the hopes of the Republican party. This book is instructive along the single line of the growth of the constitutional principle.
The Leading Facts of French History. By D. H. MOSTGOMERY. 12mo, pp. 321.
Boston: Ginn & Co. Price, cloth, $1 12. The book fulfills its title. It is not a comprehensive history of France, but a vivid characterization of the principal events, standing out singly or in co-ordination, that has given the country an honored place among nations and a prominent influence in determining the map of Europe. We read of Celtic, Roman, and German influence in the composition of the people, and a certain native volatility and self-assertion in all their national movements and struggles from the time of Charlemagne to the rise of the last republic. Of course the Napoleonic prestige is noted with fullness, and its relation to the internal affairs of France, as well as the larger problems of the Continent, is depicted in the language of statesmanship. The French claim too much when, according to Guizot, they insist that “there is hardly any great idea, hardly any great principle of civilization, which has not had to pass through France in order to be disserninated;" but he who studies this book, with its maps and chronological tables, will conclude that France is a great country, and that the French are a mighty, people. The writer has done good work both in the composition and the arrangement of the book, and it will be read when larger volumes will be undisturbed.
The Nineteenth century. A History. The Times of Queen Victoria, etc. By
ROBERT MACKENZIE. 12mo, pp. 472. London and New York: T. Nelson &
Sons. It was a hazardous undertaking for the author to attempt to compress the significant events and results of the present marvelous century in a single book of but ordinary size; but by careful elimination of the incidental, and keeping his eye on the main tendencies of history, he has furnished a splendid résumé of what has been accomplished since his queen ascended the throne. England naturally comes in for the fullest notice; but other European nations and distant America are not overlooked in his search for signs of progress in civilization during the period he covers. Our country, with its industries, its educational and religious organizations, its wars, and political methods and form of government, is allotted twenty pages; but, taking the author's view as to general results, we read of mechanical inventions and improvements, of developed industrial resources and economies, of the redress of social and political wrongs, and of great movements for the elevation of the masses in all lands. In this general view he describes the colonial strength of Great Britain, depicts the military armaments of the nations, surveys the historical decadence of the pa pacy, touches upon the unique position of Turkey, and announces the progress of liberty in the world. The arrangement of the book is admirable, and its style is winning.
George Washington. By HENRY CABOT LODGE. In two volumes. 12mo, pp. 341,
399. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, cloth, $2 50. The Washington literature of the year is extensive, but these volumes are so satisfactory in contents, arrangement, and general impression, that the reader can afford to dispense with many others if he obtain these. Mr. Lodge's plan of his work is not broad, but it is on this account that it surpasses the more pretentious treatises on the life and character of Washington. The first volume is confined to the social and domestic facts of the hero, with an attempteri elaboration of his military career from the time he took command until peace was secured at Yorktown. In this volume, therefore, we have the man and the general. The second volume is devoted to the consideration of Washington as a patriot and civil officer, or his relation to the establishment of republican government in the New World. While the internal affairs of the new government are faithfully portrayed, the author excels in his description of our foreign relations under the first presidency, and exalts the statesmanship and heroism not only of one man, but of the fathers of the republic. As these books are not wanting in a chaste and vigorous style, and as they are founded on trustworthy data, they are cordially commended to students of patriotic literature.
Studies in the South and West. With Comments on Canada. By CHARLES DUD
LEY WARNER. Author of Their Pilgrimage, etc. 12mo, pp. 484. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Not every person is fitted intelligently to travel. He may fly over the country and see nothing, or, seeing all things, may not see them scientifically, philosophically, or religiously. Mr. Warner, with his welldeveloped power of observation and fine sense of discrimination was a wellequipped traveler, and has turned to good account his careful and correct deductions of his journey by publishing them in the book now before us. Twice he visited the South, describing its social conditions, unveiling the “ Acadian land" in its simplicity, and with statistics and other arguments showing its great possibilities in the future. Speaking of the inertia that has settled upon Kentucky, he does not wholly attribute it to slavery, but to its geographical position and the laws of trade that carried prosperity beyond its borders. He discusses quite freely economic and social questions in the North as he studied them in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago, and several large cities of the more prosperous States. It is a book of facts, figures, opinions, suggestions, and pleasant and most enticing descriptions.
The History of Scotland. By Rev. JAMES MACKENZIE. 12mo, pp. 664. London
and New York: T. Nelson & Sons.
Scotland's share in general political history is by no means meager, nor is the recital of its struggles and achievements from the Reformation to the Revolution a dull or uninspiring task. Historians have expanded the record of the country of Bruce and Scott, and rescued even the uninter