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Fifthly, that the book is a didactic poem, in the form of a dialogue between Job and his three friends, with a prosaic narrative for an introduction, and another prosaic narrative for a conclusion. In this place Mr. B. gives us a pretty full and lucid account of the peculiar characteristics of Hebrew poetry; and likewise describes the economy of this poem, or its distribution into parts, and the manner in which the discussion was carried on, (pp. 38 —77.) Sixthly, he briefly maintains the canonicity and inspiration of the book, (pp. 77–84.) Seventhly, he exhibits a general view of the patriarchal religion, or that religion which prevailed in the times of Job, and anterior to the days of Moses, (pp. 84–99.) Eighthly, he describes the state of human learning in the times of Job, or the attainments the world had then made in the various sciences and arts, (pp. 99–114.) And lastly, he gives us a pretty ample list of versions and expositions of the book, ancient and modern, with brief remarks on their character and value as exegetical helps, (pp. 115–126.) On all these topics, Mr. B. has shown himself well acquainted with the arguments and hypotheses of the principal writers who preceded him, and has manifested a soundness and independence of judgment which do him credit. The new translation, which is thrown into an Appendix to the second volume, is a respectable performance, and well expresses the exact meaning of the original as it is explained in the notes. Had it been placed beneath or beside the common version, which occupies the top of the pages, over the commentary, it would have facilitated the comparing of the two versions, and would have helped to throw light on the exposition of the book. It was probably placed by itself at the end of the work, that it might be read
independently, and might more easily be consulted by clergymen who may wish to quote from it.
The notes are, as the title-page correctly states, exegetical, illustrative and practical. The exegetical remarks are for the most part, concise statements of the results to which different interpreters have arrived, brief notices of the grounds of those results, and the judgment of the author as to their merits. In a few instances the author advances new interpretations of his own. He gives us no protracted philological discussions, but he often mentions the parallel use of a Hebrew word or phrase in other parts of the Bible. The illustrative remarks are more full, more varied in character, and more frequently original. The illustrations from passages in the pagan writers, Latin, Greek and Oriental, though occurring in all the more learned commentaries, are not always very appropriate; yet some of them are so, and are very properly inserted in this work. The illustrations derived from a knowledge of the human heart, or from the knowledge of the trials and conflicts of the human soul in this imperfect state, which a faithful pastor has the best opportunity to acquire, are every where introduced with the happiest effect. Such illustrations may sometimes be too protracted, or may run into a kind of disquisition on points of experimental religion; but they are always pertinent, and can not fail to interest the pious reader. The practical remarks are generally introduced at the close of chapters and speeches, and are very judicious. They are suggested by the subject, and are seldom so protracted as to become tedious.
After this detailed account of the work, we scarcely need to say that we regard it as a valuable book for parish ministers, and for all intelligent Christians who are able to possess it.
Elements of Geometry, on the basis of Dr. Brewster's Legendre, to which is added a book on Proportion, with notes and illustrations, adapted to the improved methods of instruction in schools and academies. By JAMEs B. Thomson, A. M. New Haven, Durrie & Peck; Philadelphia, Smith & Peck.
WE regard it as most auspicious to the interests of general education, that the elements of the higher branches of knowledge, such as were formerly supposed to belong exclusively to colleges and academies, are making their way into our common schools. We well remember the time, when the entire catalogue of studies taught in our village schools, consisted of spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Lessons in reading and spelling were the great burden of the day; penmanship received in quantity, what it lacked in method and rule; and arithmetic seldom unveiled its mysteries further than the rule of three. Indeed this meagre list of studies remained in our schools, long after the noble school fund began to scatter its treasures over this favored commonwealth. A better state of things, we trust, is beginning to prevail, even in Connecticut. New York, however, has of late exhibited a degree of energy and zeal, in elevating the standard of common school education, which threatens to leave the New England states far behind. The excellent system of supervision she has adopted, and the determination she evinces, to make every village school an “academy,” or something better, authorizes the expectation, that her rising youth will form one of the most enlightened and best educated communities on earth. Besides the simple elements of knowledge before mentioned, her plan embraces, among other things, English grammar, geography, algebra, geometry
and trigonometry, chemistry, natural philosophy and astronomy; history, political economy, and rhetoric, By these elevated and intellectual studies, the mind of the pupil is so much improved, and his capacity so much enlarged, that a comparative. ly small portion of his time, will serve to perfect him in those humbler rudiments, which formerly constituted the sum of a common school education. We hold it to be the duty of our pastors, to regard this subject with special interest; to acquaint themselves with the new books that are prepared for the use of schools; to examine them critically, in regard both to their literary merits and their moral tendency; and to use their influence, with just and careful discrimination, to have the best books placed in the hands of the children and youth of their charge. As it is at present, far too great a propor. tion of this influence is wielded by booksellers and their agents; the gift of a book to the teacher or the
school-committee, has, it is found, .
at once instructive and easy; instructive, by containing a choice selection of the most important truths, and easy, by appearing in a simple dress, and adapted by happy illustrations, to the apprehension and taste of the learner. Mr. Thomson, in his abridgment of Day's Algebra, exhibited that union of the thorough scholar with the experienced instructor, upon which we lay so great a stress; and we think he has evinced these qualities in the preparation of the present work on geometry. We earnestly desire to see this subject studied, not only in our academies, but in all our common schools. No study so well as geometry, disciplines the youthful mind, at once enlarging its capacities, and strengthening its faculties; while it enriches the understanding with principles of great value, preparatory to the practical branches of mathematics, as trigonometry and surveying, or to the ennobling studies of natural philosophy and astronomy. Nor is geometry, in the easy form in which it is here presented, a subject at all unsuited to the capacities of the pupils of our common schools. Accompanied, as the propositions usually are, by figures which exhibit truth to the eye, they often awaken in young minds a higher interest than the more abstract conceptions of arithmetic and algebra. We have known a boy of nine years of age, acquire a good knowledge of the first four books of Euclid; and we have found nothing better suited, than geometry, to the taste and capacities of young ladies, due care being taken to prevent the tendency, too often indulged, to make the lessons a mere matter of memory, instead of a vigorous exercise of the intellectual powers.
The Art of Elocution, exemplified in a systematic course of exercises. By HENRY N. DAY, Professor of Sacred Rhetoric in the Western
Reserve College. New Haven, published by A. H. Maltby. Price 75 cents.
Dr. Rush's treatise on the Human Voice, must sooner or later produce an entire change in the mode of teaching elocution. The analysis is so strict, and the fact disclosed so important to the practical elocutionist, that nothing but the difficulty of fully understanding the work, and reducing its principles to practice, has prevented it from creating an entire revolution in this science. The work before us will contribute materially, we hope, to bring the results of Dr. Rush's inquiries within the reach of the great body of intelligent teachers. Prof. Day has gone over the subject with much care, and endeavored to form an art where Dr. Rush had created a science. He has laid open briefly, but clearly, the great facts relating to the voice, in connection with a series of exercises, designed to give the pupil a perfect command of the organs of speech, and a clear conception of what he actually does with his voice, in expressing the various modifications of thought and feeling. Such a course of exercises is admirably adapted to break up the dull, inarticulate, mechanical mode of speaking, formed by so many in early life, and perpetuated by the hurried and declamatory style of speaking prevalent in most schools. We are not sure that his readers will be able to follow Prof. Day at once into every part of his treatise, especially that part which relates to the waves; but his explanations are far more clear and practical than those of any writer we know of, who has attempted to lay open the subject so fully; and we do trust that much good will result from a general circulation of this work among teachers. It will give definite views on many subjects, which were wrapt in mystery till Dr. Rush commenced his investigations, and which are still very imperfectly understood by many who think themselves acquainted with the general principles of his treatise. Prof. Day, however, has examined for himself. He has not trusted to the dicta of any man. He has seen reason to differ from Dr. Rush on some minor points, and has given the subject a very thorough and searching examination in all its material parts—we mean the subject of training the voice. There is another and very broad field into which he has not attempted to enter, viz. the principles which guide us, expressing thought and feeling by modifications of the voice; in other words, “what determines the place of the emphasis, the kind of slide,”&c. This he leaves to the taste and judgment of the reader, expecting that if he is perfect master of the organ he will use it substantially right, under the impulse of excited feeling. A treatise on this subject, however, is greatly needed—a philosophical inquiry into the subject of emphasis in its various and extended relations.
The Young Speaker : An introduction to the United States Speaker; designed to furnish erercises in both Reading and Speaking, for pupils between the ages of sir and fourteen ; comprising selections in prose, poetry and dialogue, and a variety of figures illustrating principles of position and gesture. By John E. Lovell, formerly instructor in the Mount Pleasant Classical Institution, Amherst, Mass. ; and author of the United States Speaker, Rhetorical Dialogues, &c. Published by Durrie & Peck. New Haven, 1845.
AN examination of this work has left in our minds a high opinion of its excellence. It comes into existence as a competitor for public favor with a multitude of works, designed, and in many cases admirably adapted, to accomplish the same
end; yet it seems to us it can not fail of an encouraging measure of success. The third part and onward, we find the most novel and interesting portion of the volume. The lessons consist of very short extracts in prose or poetry adapted to prompt a natural gesticulation, each piece being accompanied with a figure exhibiting the speaker in a graceful attitude, and illustrating some appropriate gesture. These figures seem likely to impress the imagination of pupils more strongly even than the example of their teachers. It can hardly be feared, that the gestures can pass from their minds or cease to be models of practice in future life.
Statutes of the State of Connecticut, and additional laws to 1844, reduced to questions and answers, for the use of schools and families. By WILLIAM B. WEDGwood, A. M. Published by Gurdon Robins. Hartford, 1844.
This work is recommended by Thomas S. Williams, Chief Justice of Connecticut, and by other gentlemen of the bar, better qualified than ourselves, to judge both of the correctness of the compilation and of the importance of such a work as a text-book in our primary schools, and as a book of reference for the community at large. We cheerfully express our concurrence in the views of these gentlemen, and hope for the work a wide circulation, believing it can not be made familiar to the public, without preventing much inadvertent crime, and securing a more efficient administration of justice, through the intelligent cooperation of the people with the officers of the law. We think, however, the work is susceptible of improvement by the addition of a few subjects, now wholly omitted, such as nuisances, frauds and breaches of trust, than which no topics are of more practical consequence.
Lectures on Church Government, containing Objections to the Episcopal Scheme, delivered in the Theological Seminary, Andover, Aug. 1843. By LEONARD Woods, D. D., Professor of Christian Theology. New York; published by Turner and Hayden, Feb. 1844, pp. 198, 12mo.
We have here a plain common sense view of the Episcopal controversy, drawn up in the author's usual discursive, but kind and temperate manner, with no parade of learning, and no attempts at original or profound discussion. The spirit of the work is excellent; and the humble, anxious inquirer, who wishes to satisfy his own conscience on the subject, will find the work suited to meet his wants.
THE AMERICAN Journal of SciENCE AND ARTs.
BEING desirous to contribute our aid to sustain this important national work, and with a view to extend its patronage and influence, we have obtained from the senior editor the following historical statement of facts and prospective plan for the Journal after 1845.
In our next number we shall call the attention of our readers again to the claims of this national work on the American public.—ED.
To the Editor of the New Englander.
Dear Sir, The American Journal of Science and Arts was projected upon the plan of one volume per annum of 400 pages, in quarterly numbers, the first of which appeared in July, 1818.
At the end of the year, these limits were found to be too narrow, while the receipts proved insufficient to pay the expenses; this seemed to forbid an enlargement of the plan, and the work was relinquished by the publishers. The editor, reluctant to give it up, hazarded the extension
to two volumes a year, but much valuable time was lost by delays and by temporary arrangements with dif. ferent publishers. Eight years had elapsed, and eleven volumes had been published, before the editor, in 1827, assumed the entire responsibility of the work, both in its pecuniary and scientific interests. Thirty sev. en volumes have since been added, making forty eight,” in twenty six years. Death and vicissitudes have removed most of the original subscribers, and although many new recruits have been obtained, their numbers and the existing resources are inadequate to the exigencies of the service. The American Journal has never changed its title, its editor or its plan; this can not be said of any other Journal of Science in the English language; and it is believed that in age it is not surpassed by any work having a similar object. A noble band of contributors, chiefly gratuitous laborers in the cause, have aided it from the beginning to the present time, and without their help the editor could not have sustained the work; although, since July, 1838, and during the publication of the last fifteen volumes, he has been effectually assisted by one trained by himself, but of whose merits he is precluded from naming any thing except his zeal and fidelity. Plan and future prospects of the Journal.—Inder volume.—The forty eighth volume will, in regular course, be finished in April, and the forty ninth in October, 1845. The want of a general index has long been felt, and it is proposed that the fiftieth volume shall be devoted to that object. It will form an extra bill at the regular rate of the Journal, and will be sent to all the subscribers who do not distinctly express their dissent, by a direct communication to the editors.
* Including the volume now in the press.