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The Grammar School Reader. By WILLIAM D. SWAN. Boston: Little & Brown. 1844. 12mo. pp. 248.
The American Common School Reader and Speaker. By JOHN GOLDSBURY, A. M., and WILLIAM RUSSELL. Boston: C. Tappan. 1844. 12mo. pp. 428.
The Common School Grammar. By JOHN GOLDSBURY, A. M. Sixth edition. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 1845. 12mo. pp. 94. Aids to English Composition. By RICHARD GREEN PARKER. Boston: R. S. Davis. 1844. 12mo. pp. 418.
THESE works seem well adapted to assist both teacher and pupil. Mr. Swan's "Reader" consists of judiciously selected pieces, interesting to the young, easy of comprehension, abounding in touching sentiments, and full of moral instruction. Each reading lesson is preceded by a table, intended as an exercise in pronunciation. These tables consist of words containing the elementary sounds, both singly and combined, and are so complete and so well arranged, that nothing but neglect, on the part of the teacher, can prevent the docile learner from acquiring a correct and forcible pronunciation. We regret, however, that the compiler has omitted to give the authors of his selections. This defect, we trust, will be supplied in future editions.
The design of the "American Common School Reader and Speaker," is more comprehensive than that of the work first mentioned. It aims to teach, not only correct pronunciation, but also the higher graces of reading and speaking. The rules given are quite useful, the exemplifications appropriate, and the notation will afford the learner very important assistance. But the selections for reading and speaking, we think, are too exclusively American. We deprecate that narrow spirit, which estimates poetry or other fine writing by the geography of its parentage. However, we commend the work to the favor of teachers and school committees.
Mr. Goldsbury's "Grammar" is essentially the same as Murray's. A few modifications have been made, and some good interrogatory directions for parsing have been given, which are, perhaps, improvements on the original. It has the merit of conciseness, and will be found a good text-book, when studied under the guidance of a competent teacher.
"Aids to Composition," by Mr. Parker, will afford valuable assistance to all classes of pupils, to instructors, and indeed to almost every one who may have occasion to express his thoughts in written language. Properly used, it will render what is usually a disagreeable task to the beginner, a pleasing and instructive exercise. It contains directions for all sorts of things pertaining to composition, from the folding of a billet to the writing of a forensic oration, from acrostics to heroic poems. We hope that this work will be extensively introduced into our institutions
of learning, and that a few lessons will be taken from its pages by some of our speech-makers and poetasters. We notice that on page 35" Messiah" is included among the "names of appellations of the Deity which should begin with a capital letter." If Mr. Parker considers Messiah one of the titles of the Supreme Being, we presume that it was through inadvertence that he brought Trinitarian theology into a book designed for common use in our schools.
An Elementary Treatise on Arithmetic. By THOMAS HILL. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 1845. 12mo. pp. 85.
THE author of this work is unquestionably a mathematician, but viewed as an elementary treatise, the book is liable, as we think, to some objections, partly on account of its obscurity, and yet more on account of its inaccuracies. As an example of the latter fault, in Article 37, the author says, "if in any proportion each ratio be multiplied by the consequent of the other, etc.; but he evidently means, if both terms of each ratio, etc. Take his language as it stands, and the conclusion, that the products would bear the same ratio to the same number, is untrue. Again, in article 126, "the product of all these terms is called the greatest common measure." This is erroneous. It should have been, The product of all these factors, etc. Also, in Article 59, contrary to what is stated, it is not necessary that the figures assumed should read as a number "6 greater " than the divisor; it is sufficient that they read at least as great. The expressions, "logically the multiplicand," "logical divisor," etc., although metaphysically correct, we believe, will be unmeaning to most students, for whom the treatise is designed. On the whole, we are confident that the author is capable of producing a better work, and we cannot but beg him to re-write his book, taking for models Bourdon and Lacroix.
Eternal Salvation not dependent on Correctness of Belief. A Sermon, preached at Essex-Street Chapel, London, on Wednesday, May 29th, 1844, being the Nineteenth Anniversary of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association. By WILLIAM GASKELL, M. A. London. 1844. 8vo. pp. 27. Walter Bernard. A Wesleyan Methodist's Inquiries as to the Object of the Sufferings of Christ. Second edition. London. 1844. 12mo. pp. 80.
WE notice these publications together as coming from our Unitar an brethren across the water, though in other respects they have little in common, except that both well fulfil their de
sign. Mr. Gaskell's discourse shows a clear apprehension of his subject, and well sustained and conclusive reasoning. It is lamentable, that at this time of day it should be found necessary to enter into any argument in defence of the great principle, that our eternal salvation cannot depend on the belief of any particular creed or set of opinions. Yet so it is, and while the principle needs defenders we hope that it may always find as able ones as Mr. Gaskell.
"Walter Bernard," written mostly in the form of dialogue, and in an agreeable, though unpretending style, well describes the difficulties which present themselves to a thoughtful mind in regard to the popular doctrine of the object of the sufferings of Christ, and offers what we conceive to be a correct statement of their purpose. We can recommend it as fitted for circulation among those, who might be repelled by more formal treatises. One of its prominent merits is the plain common sense view it takes of the subject to which it relates.
The Stay and the Staff taken away. A Discourse occasioned by the Death of the Hon. William Prescott, LL. D., delivered in the Church on Church Green, December 15, 1844. By ALEXANDER YOUNG Boston: Little & Brown. 1844. 8vo. pp. 34.
A Discourse on the Twentieth Anniversary of his Ordination, delivered in the Church on Church Green, January 19, 1845. By ALEXANDER YOUNG. Boston Little & Brown. 1845. Svo. pp. 33. The Character and Claims of Sea-faring Men. A Sermon. By ORVILLE DEWEY. New York. 1845. 8vo. Pp. 19. Church and State; or the Privileges and Duties of an American Citizen. A Discourse delivered in the First Independent Church, on Thanksgiving Day, December 12, 1844. By GEORGE W. BURNAP. Baltimore. 1844. 8vo. pp. 24. The Responsibleness of American Citizenship. A Sermon preached on occasion of the "Anti-Rent" Disturbances, Sunday, December 22, 1844. By HENRY F. HARRINGTON, Minister of the First Unitarian Church in Albany. Albany. 1845. 8vo. pp. 23.
The Relations and Duties of the Rich to the Poor. A Sermon delivered in behalf of the Warren Street Chapel at the Ninth Anniversary of the Opening of the Building, January 26, 1845. By Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON. Boston. 1845.
8vo. pp. 15.
MR. YOUNG has given us some biographical discourses before, and in this species of writing we think he excels. He is a diligent collector of facts, which he brings together in a way to il
lustrate the life, progress, and character of the individual, and his portraits are always distinct. In his discourse on Judge Prescott he proceeds to give a record of the more prominent incidents in the life of the deceased, and speaks of his intellectual qualities and private and social worth and influence, in language of warm, but we believe not too heightened, eulogy. — The Anniversary Discourse by the same author contains a general review of his ministry under the heads of preaching, which he places first in importance, -pastoral duties, and the Sunday school. The first head he treats at greatest length, describing the character of his preaching and the course he has pursued in regard to the exciting topics of the day. The changes in the society are noticed and a few statistics are given. - Dr. Dewey very graphically describes the singular position, and peculiar character of seamen, - their wandering life, their hardships, and "sad isolation;" he urges their claims to sympathy, but with no common-place argument and in no hackneyed phrase. We have seldom met with a fresher or more touching appeal. Mr. Burnap in his usual vigorous style points out the evils which have originated in the connexion of Church and State; he thinks that the tendencies of the age are becoming every day more unfavorable to outward organizations; the pure and spiritual principles of Christianity are developing themselves; and he concludes by speaking of our dangers, responsibilities and duties as a free people. — Mr. Harrington's discourse on the "Anti-rent" difficulties is an animated performance, indicating a high tone of moral principle, aiming to rouse public sentiment to the necessity of maintaining law and order, and calling attention to the dangers of insubordination, anarchy and the effervescence of the popular passions. Mr. Huntington describes the qualities which are better than wealth, speaks of the connexion between the rich and poor, and the obligation of the former to bring around the latter, and especially the young, Christian instruction and Christian influences; which is the object of the institution, in behalf of which his very appropriate and animating discourse was prepared,
The Dependence of the Fine Arts for Encouragement, in a
A Letter from the TreasPendleton, Esq., Virginia. 8vo. pp. 23.
The Oregon Question. Substance of a Lecture before the Mercantile Library Association, delivered January 22, 1845. By WILLIAM STURGIS. Boston: Jordan, Swift & Wiley. 1845. 8vo. pp. 32.
History of the Humane Society of Massachusetts. Prepared by the direction of the TRUSTEES. Boston. 1845. 8vo. Pp. 95.
The Chimes. A Goblin Story of some Bells that rang an Old Year out and a New Year in. By CHARLES DICKENS. New York. 1845.
An Expose, in two Parts.
Part first, containing a concise general View of the Holy Bible. Part second, containing a brief Description of the Rise, Progress, general Tendency, and eventual Fall of the Mammoth Cistern. By AMOS HIGBY, JR. Martinsburgh, [N. Y.] 1843. 8vo. pp. 106. Colonization and Missions. A Historical Examination of the State of Society in Western Africa, as formed by Paganism and Muhammedanism, Slavery, the Slave Trade and Piracy, and of the Remedial Influence of Colonization and Missions. By JOSEPH TRACY, Secretary of the American Colonization Society. Boston. 1844. 8vo. pp. 40. Remarks upon the Controversy between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of South Carolina. By a FRIEND TO THE UNION. Boston: Crosby & Nichols. 1845. 8vo.
MR. CARY'S Lecture on the Fine Arts contains many useful suggestions, presented in a clear style. His Letter on the Lowell manufactures, if read, as it deserves to be, will correct many erroneous impressions. Mr. Sturgis's Lecture on the Oregon Territory affords valuable information, and sound discussion.The pamphlet on the Humane Society will give many pleasant facts to other readers than the members of the Society. - Dickens's "Chimes" has less humor, and perhaps less pathos, than most of his stories; yet it has moved us deeply, and we hope many in England have felt its power. - Mr. Higby's "Expose is one of those obscure and tedious, yet not unimportant pamphlets, in which a mind struggling out of the bondage of creeds, but with few external helps, endeavors to express its as yet almost chaotic theology. The "Great Mammoth Cistern" is the "system of divinity, superintended by divines, or Doctors of Divinity, having for its head a Godhead, or Triune God or a Supreme Deity." -Mr. Tracy's pamphlet is full of information carefully collected and well digested. We recommend its perusal to every one either interested in or prejudiced against African Colonization. The writer of the last pamphlet on our list deprecates any rupture between the sister States involved in the present controversy.