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“ Rise and Progress of Universities.” The Catholic reading world is thoroughly well acquainted with them, and we need not speak of their interest and importance.
They are succeeded by two magnificent essays on the Northmen and Normans in England and Ireland," which appeared in the two numbers of the “ Rambler” edited by F. Newman. They are probably much less familiar to Catholic readers, than those last mentioned ; but we think them on the whole even superior. They lead us keenly to regret the fact, that the series was never completed.
The volume closes with two dissertations of very inferior interest, first published when the author was a Protestant.
Directorium Asceticum ; or, Guide to the Spiritual Life. By Jou BAPTIST
SCARAMELLI, S. J. Translated and edited at S. Beuno's College. Vol. IV.
excellent English edition of Scaramelli's most useful manual of asceticism, we have great satisfaction in noticing its concluding volume. The first three parts or treatises of the original work, with which correspond the first three volumes of the English translation, are taken up, as we need scarcely remind the reader, with what may be called the preliminaries of Christian perfection. The consideration of the moral virtues, of the vices and the passions of human nature, and of the various means of acquiring the former and getting rid of the latter-in a word, of all that belongs to what the scholastics would call the material side of perfection-is merely introductory to the treatment of the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. These are the Christian virtues properly so called ; in which essential perfection is found. This concluding volume, therefore, has a lofty theme; and, although the author treats it in his usual practical and catechetical way, it does not fail to impress the attentive reader with its grandeur. If we wished to name a portion of the volume in which he is eminently successful, we should point to the treatise on the Love of Conformity. This noble and fundamental aspect of charity is treated with a fulness and clearness such as we expect from F. Scaramelli, and at the same time with an eloquence and unction which he does not so uniformly exhibit.
We are bound to say that in this volume there are slips and errors, which seem to show that both translator and editor have been somewhat remiss in their work. We do not refer to mere clerical mistakes, although there are one or two of these that make nonsense of the passages in which they occur : as, for instance, the substitution of " seriously" for "curiously” in page 39; and the omission by which it is said that a person who falls into mortal sin has grace and charity, instead of “has lost" grace, &c. (p. 142). And perhaps, in times like these, when Church history is so carefully canvassed, the translator should have declined to follow his author in canonizing Eusebius of
Cæsarea (p. 96). But the following sentence has suffered a derangement which can hardly be the result of a slip of the pen : .... it is one and the selfsame good which charity possesses by union with hope, although hope aspires to the good sought for, but as yet from afar” (p. 94). What the author really says is this : “.... it is one and the same good that charity possesses by union, and that hope aspires to afar off.” The sentence immediately following is even more hopelessly distorted ; and a sentence a few lines higher up, about Fénélon's error in the matter of disinterested love, is not English, or even sense.
The volume contains a very complete series of skeletons of sermons, such as was given in the second volume. These, and the copious index at the end, will add very much to the usefulness of an admirable manual.
Pax : Monastic Gleanings. No. I. The Rule of Our Most IIoly Father
S. Benedict, &c. Translated by a Monk of S. Augustine's Monastery,
gious life, or increase the sense of its value, should be welcomed among us. And this, not only for our own advantage, but for the sake of those outside the Church who are just now striving and toiling at many kinds of imitative monastic establishments, and making sacrifices by doing so which must win them a reward. It has often been observed that S. Benedict's Rule would suffice to govern a kingdom, and the vast armies of his children might indeed have formed no inconsiderable state. “ Like another Moses,” says S. Oddo, “God chose him to lay down the statutes of the Monastic Rule," and every one of these statutes is marked by wisdom and a special largeness which distinguishes the Benedictine Rule with a majestic benignity peculiar · to itself.
“We intend, therefore," says the Prologue, “ to establish a school for God's service, wherein we trust we shall set down nothing harsh or over-burthensome. But should anything be laid down with seeming harshness in accordance with the biddings of justice and reason, either for the keeping up of charity or for the rooting out of our vices, let not thy fear cause thee to fly at once from the path of salvation, whose beginning must needs be strait. But as we go onward in holiness and faith, we begin, with expanded hearts and an unspeakable sweetness of love, to run in the way of God's commandments ; we forsake His guidance no more, but persevere till death in the monastery under His leadership, and so become partakers of His kingdom.” (p. 9.)
“C'oncerning the old and the children,” S. Benedict's distinctive largeness is very beautiful :
“ Their weakness must at all times be taken into account, neither must the strictness of the Rule be at all kept to as regardeth their food ; but lec a kind forethought be used with them, and let them take their meals earlier than the regular hour.” (p. 93.)
With guests, who are to“ be welcomed as Christ Himself," the Abbot is even to break his fast for their sakes, unless it be a solemn fasting day." (p. 123.)
It would have added to the interest of this valuable little translation, if a very short summary of S. Benedict's life had been given, with the dates, places, and chief leading points, and the greatest and present extent of the Benedictine foundations. A certain repetition of actual knowledge is always useful, for it is often either forgotten or has never been acquired.
Sancti Alphonsi Doctoris Officium Parrum : Novena and Little Office in
honour of S. Alphonsus Liguori, &c. &c. Washbourne. 1872. TERY little need be said by us as to the benefits of spreading a devotion
to to welcome the publication of a separate Office and Novena in his honour, to be used by those who have been accustomed for years to arouse or sustain their devotion by his Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, or Way of Salvation. The Novena will be particularly acceptable to all who frequent the churches, or have profited by the retreats of the Redemptorist Fathers, whose zeal and great experience of the habits, and temptations, and struggles of the poor, have earned them such eminent success in large towns.
There are several deficiencies in the volume which might be supplied in a second edition. We should have liked the Office printed in English as well as in Latin in a double column, especially as a little trouble would have given a pleasing translation of the popular and devotional hymns. It is a pity also to return to the defective and foreign “You" instead of “Thou” in invocation, and in at least one instance we find—what was often the case in former days of Catholic publications--the confusion of the two, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
love You,-never permit me to become an apostate from Thee.” (p. 70.) • Equal carelessness is shown in correcting the press in the next page
“ Hail ! Christ's own chosen servant,
Hail ! rose of fairest hue,
All bright with Heavenly due” (dew). We feel the more inclined to be merciless on this point, because, as Mr. Washbourne spares no pains in the admirable type, paper, and general “ get-up” of his books, he should deal severely with his writers and compositors, in order to secure the full co-operation he deserves.
Thoughts on some Passages of Holy Scripture, dc. &c. Edited by John
EDWARD BOWDEN, Priest of the Oratory of S. P. Neri. Burns & Oates. 1872.
number, we return to it to point out other of its merits, and first, that it exactly answers to its name, and therefore fulfils its object. It neither preaches nor dogmatizes; it lays before the reader a number of thoughts leading to thoughtfulness, which are exceedingly fruitful and pleasant to take in hand one after another, and consider at leisure. We greet this little book with the more pleasure, seeing in it signs of hope for an increase of such studies among cultivated and reflecting laymen. There is an intense want of purely scriptural books of devotion among us, which, without ponderous learning, or at great array of the bones and skeletons, or what may be called, in brief, the anatomy of religion, should clothe scriptural story, characters, and types in affectionate, simple language, and raise up a deeper and wider taste among us for studying and making them our own. Newton continually put a thought before him to work out and see what became of it, in this way sounding the depths of some great scientific truth which in his day had never been approached; and if such a course has been found of essential service in intellectual knowledge, what might we not hope from a more widlely-spread habit of taking some word of the Word of Life” and bringing out of it for ourselves some of the riches it contains ? “ The Good Shepherd” and “the Prodigal Son” are good instances of what might occur to many good, thoughtful Christians in this simple kind of meditation. “See My Hands and My Feet," again, though less fully carried out, suggests food for the meditation of many weeks. There is no doubt whatever that these “ 'Thoughts,' which Father Bowden has done well in giving to the public, may be a means of teaching many people to meditate who would never to the end of their lives be able to make the preludes, and points, and other additions of S. Ignatius's method. We are a little sorry that Father Bowden has not carried his editorship to the length of changing some of the foreign wording of this excellent little book : “ adorable goodness” might surely have been better rendered (not translated) by“ marvellous” or “unspeakable”; “ Paradise anticipated" by “a foretaste of Heaven”; “ God deigns to offer us " by “vouchsafes to offer us”; “Christ our Model” by "Christ our Pattern,” &c. We sincerely hope that many books of this kind may be spread among us.
Great Truths in Little Words. By the Rev. FATHER Rawes, 0. S. C.
Third edition. Burns & Oates.
ROBABLY many people have often been reminded of Father Faber's
books while listening to Father Rawes : and there is much in these little lectures, or instructions, which brings Father Faber before us. There are the orderliness and method in distributing the subject, the rapid, vivid sketch of multiplied detail, and the exceeding clearness with which the given truth is set out, going to a certain depth and not beyond, which makes any of the subjects handled attractive and popular, while they are full of in. tion and interest. Take, for instance, the opening passage of “M which is an excellent example of his style :
“The Kingdom of Grace is the city of God, which is set amidst the darkness; and the Kingdom of Glory is the city of God, which is set above the darkness for evermore. In a very true sense these two cities of God are one ; and both are Jerusalem, the city of His love ; both are the abode of His Angels, His Saints, His scrvants; both are flooded and filled with the brightness of His throne.
"Blessed are they who keep His commandments and do His will : blessed are they who always in purity and innocence of heart tread the courts of His house with His Saints and Angels ...... No words can express the utter desolation of souls that are lost in mortal sin. For them the sun shines not; the flowers grow not ; the rain falls not. They listen neither to the voice of creation nor the whispers of grace ; spring and summer, autumn and winter, come and go, but these souls hear not their message; what is far worse, Advent and Lent, Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, pass by unbeeded; they are clothed in their darkness, wrapt in their grave-clothes, fettered with chains far stronger than steel.” (pp. 13-14.)
Or again :
“ Protestantism is the dethroning of Jesus, and the denial of the revelation of God. It is the rising up of the human will agninst the Divine will ; and it is caused by the pride of man's natural heart rebelling against the humbling doctrines of the Gospel.” (p. 31.)
Or again, in this beautiful passage from “the Name of Jesus” :
“ This is what He did for us, and how did He do it? Rama, and Egypt, and Gethsemane, and Calvary, and the Garden Tomb give the answer to the question. A lonely Wanderer, weary, and hungry, and thirsty, went up and down the world, seeking for the lost, gathering them into His love, carrying
em His Arms, bringing them into His House. A Face so venerable, so careworn, so full of love as His, had never been seen among men. A Presence so majestic and yet so tender had never before sent a thrill through human hearts. He seems to look into all faces with a wistful, pleading look, a look of Divine compassion, and Divine tenderness, and inexpressible love. And still He says to tach, 'I am a houseless Wanderer in this great city, will you give Me a shelter for the night? The storm is breaking upon Me, and the darkness covers Me, and a burning agony dries My Heart up with thirst, will you be to Me a hiding-place from the storm? Will you be to Me as a river of water, as a covert from the whirlwind and the rain'? Thus pleadingly He speaks as He looks into each face, and goes on His weary way despised and rejected of men.'” (pp. 116-117.)
No one can deny that “great truths” treated in this way, instinct with love and devotion, clothed in the pure, genuine English of Father Rawes's style, must do good to every one who takes up the book, and we are delighted to see that a third edition of it has been called for.
Sermons by the Fathers of the Congregation of S. Paul the Apostle, New
York. Vol. VI. The Catholic Publication House. 1871.
THIS sixth rolume of the Sermons of the Paulists fully sustains the cha
clear, practical sermons in this country for spiritual reading among ordinary