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Reviews of Books

The Will to be Well By Charles Brodie Patterson. In this work, the author (who is justly regarded as one of the most prominent spirits in the New Thought movement) explains in beautiful and simple language the reality of man's spiritual nature, and the powers and possibilities that attend his spiritual unfoldment. The following quotation from the Preface will give some idea of the nature and purpose of the book:—"In the mind of man there is the dawning of a new and vital fact that the authority of law is resident in his own life; that health, strength and happiness, as conditions of mind and body, must be made manifest through conscious effort on his part by the use of spiritual qualities and mind faculties; that through the indwelling spirit his mind must be quickened and renewed, and his body strengthened and made whole." There are nineteen sections in the book, each of which is complete in itself and all combined form a perfect and harmonious whole. The first section deals with "What the New Thought stands for," and in defining the underlying principles of this movement the author says;—"The New Thought teaches that we should live from the center of life outward; that we should recognize the power of God working within us to will and to do. There should be such an outflow of faith and love and hope from the soul into the mind of man that his thought would really become transfigured, his body transformed" In "The Law of Attraction" is shown how souls similarly constituted attract each other, and how the soul attracts to itself the conditions which are needful for its development. Other sections are: "Mental Influences," "The Mission of Jesus," " Man—Past, Present and Future," etc., and the book deals not merely with man's bodily health, but with his complete unfoldment and salvation.

Fate Mastered—Destiny Fulfilled. By W. J. Colville. This is one of Messrs. Bell & Sons' prettily bound Life and Light series of books. The author has earned world-wide fame both as lecturer and author, and in this little work he is not only pleasant and entertaining, he is extremely pointed and pithy. Fate and Free-will are discoursed upon with a masterly brevity, and his quotations, many of which are from remote sources, are happily and effectively introduced. The purpose of the book is to show men that it is possible to become absolutely master of all conditions. I should like to make numerous quotations from this work, but a few brief ones must suffice. He says, in the first chapter, dealing entirely with Fate, "The only safeguard to take in daily life is to embrace gladly whatever may come, and mentally exclaim, I need this experience or I should not get it; but I need to conquer it; and most positively do I refuse to let it conquer me." Again, "In our daily conduct with one another, nothing so impoverishes us and disfigures life as the habit of incessant fault-finding." "Let us not repine at ailments, or fight against them, but resolutely set to work to find the way out of them by rising above them." "We can never make progress by grumbling, or by fighting what really needs surmounting." There are three chapters in the book; the second deals with "Interior Force—Its Practical Evolution," and the last with "Thought as a Shield." The following are the concluding words of the book:—"In all difficulties let us consult the oracle within, and we shall increasingly prove the truth of the magnificent saying, 'In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'"

The Greatest Thing Ever Known. By Ralph Waldo Trine. We presume that this author needs no introduction to our readers, the majority of whom are doubtless familiar with his masterpiece, In Tune with the Infinite, and whose works are rapidly becoming household treasures the world over. In the work under notice he points the way, with the unique simplicity which is his most prominent characteristic as a writer, to conscious union with the Divine by a process of self-illumination. The teachings of Jesus are rather extensively dealt with, and receive at his hands a new interpretation and power, and one chapter consists almost entirely of quotations from that eminent ethical philosopher, Fichte. The following quotation will give the reader some idea of the general tone and purpose of the book:—"Redeemed from the bondage of the senses through which alone sin comes, and born into the heavenly state, into life eternal, is everyone who comes into the same relations with the Father, and hence into the same realization of his Oneness with the Father's Life that Jesus came into."

Character-Building: Thought Power. This is another of Trine's helpful books. Its theme is the power that resides in controlled and well directed thought, to build up strength and nobility of character, and as a result to live an ideal life of usefulness and purpose. Lovers of The Light of Reason will find this book helpful and attractive. [Site note: This book was later added to Trine's book What All The World's A-Seeking.]

See our advertisement pages. We are preparing to stock a number of "New Thought" and other helpful and inspiring works, announcements of which will appear in The Light of Reason in order that we may supply our readers direct.

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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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