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Reviews of Books

The World Beautiful, by Lilian Whiting. It has been said of John Bunyan that he is "the divinity in Shakespeare," and in like manner I would say of Lilian Whiting, she is the divinity in Emerson. She has all the grace and charm of Emerson in an increased measure, without the cold intellectuality, and abstruse profundity of thought. She brings all that is best in Emerson down to everyday life, presenting ethical truth in such a sweet and persuasive form as to render it accessible to and acceptable by a wide variety of minds, being easily followed and understood, whilst at the same time dealing with deep and abiding truths. In The World Beautiful, she is inspiring to a remarkable degree, so much so that those people who are inclined to "get below the mark" would do well to keep it by them as a spiritual tonic. In this respect, the following brief quotation will be sufficient to show its value:—"Worry is a state of spiritual corrosion. A trouble either can be remedied, or it cannot. If it can be, then set about it; if it cannot be, dismiss it from consciousness, or bear it so bravely that it may become transfigured to a blessing." There is a sweetness and charm and strength about the whole book that renders it unique, and written by a woman, there are portions of it that are of great value to women; though, of course, not exclusively so. The extract which we reprint from this work on another page of this journal, will give our readers an idea of its nature.

The Power of Silence, by Horatio W. Dresser. This is a book for the student rather than the casual reader. It is a metaphysical and philosophical work of high value, yet at the same time has an eminently practical basis, and rarely goes beyond actual human experience into pure speculation. In the chapter on "The Meaning of Suffering," readers of The Light of Reason will find an able and profound explanation of our position in regard to the Law in its relation to suffering, and the chapters on "Adjustment to Life," and "Self-Help," are amongst some of the best expositions in new thought literature.

What All the World's a-Seeking, by Ralph Waldo Trine. Some of our friends have declared that they prefer this work to In Tune with the Infinite; we, however, whilst considering it as an inferior work, from an ethical point of view, to In Tune with the Infinite cannot but regard it as a beautiful and valuable addition to the "New Literature," and a work worthy in all respects of the pen of Ralph Waldo Trine. For inspiring thought and simplicity of diction, it certainly, of all his works, ranks next to his masterpiece.

The Symphony of Life, A Series of Constructive Sketches, by Henry Wood. Broad charity, sane philosophy, and lofty yet practical idealism, are the most prominently marked features of this work. Of the 300 beautifully printed pages, every one of them is full of ripe thought, admirably expressed. Spiritual evolution, the cause and nature of disease, and the meaning of evil, are among some of the subjects treated, and so comprehensive is the work that it constitutes an ethical and philosophical library in itself.

Education, by Arthur St. John. Published by C. W. Daniel, 5, Water Lane, London, E.C. A pamphlet of sixteen pages dealing entirely with the education of children from the social standpoint.

Face to Face With Christ, by Albert Broadbent. This is not a theological work, but is distinctively ethical, and is entirely free from any approach to sectarianism. The example and teachings of Jesus are applied, in their moral beauty and simplicity, to individual conduct, and each of the three sections of the book: 1. Contentment, 2. The White Flower of a Blameless Life, and 3. The Finding of Christ, is complete in itself. The quality of the contents may be judged from the following quotations:—"A man that will not do well in his present place because he wants to be higher, is neither fit to be where he is, nor yet above it; he is already too high." "There is no royal road to goodness. To attain to this fair possession we have all to practice it; we have to cease doing evil, and learn to do well." The tone of the book is so good, that we have purchased the remaining fifty copies of the current edition in order to supply our readers.

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James Allen

James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.

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