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Reviews of Books

The Essential Unity, by Wallace Ritchie, and published, by him at Radnor Drive, Liscard, Cheshire, is a lucidly-written ethical work dealing with the essential element necessary to the acquirement of true success. The book is divided into four parts, viz.:—(1) Introductory; (2) What is Success?; (3) The Unit; and (4) The Acquirement. In the second part, the author shows the difference between a mere surface success and that deeply-rooted and abiding success which springs from the possession and practice of an inner soul-quality. In the third part he very clearly and methodically elucidates The Essential Unit, and shows, by striking analogies and illustrations, in what it really consists. He concludes by saying, "A great soul is that which constitutes the Essential Unit." He, however, plainly shows that by "greatness of soul" he does not mean greatness of talent, but fullness of spirit, a soul abounding with goodwill, which not merely attracts happiness and success, but is happiness and success, and radiates and lives in those conditions. In the fourth part, the writer shows how this "Essential Unit" may be acquired, and the instructions and admonitions laid down are (very practical and pointed, and their value and helpfulness is of the highest kind. I feel impelled to make the following somewhat lengthy quotation from that portion of this section of his book, wherein he tries to show that justice and mercy are not antagonistic, but are really one. He says: "Every mental effort, and every deed in which it finds expression, has an exactly corresponding effect upon the soul. Each time I am guilty of a mistaken thought or perform an action which is contrary to spiritual law, my soul is diminished. Each time I think something or do something which is in harmony with the Divine attributes, my soul is enlarged. Clear as anything is it, in conformity with this, that every error must bring its own punishment, and every rightness its own reward. And clear also is it that, as the gain or loss of soul is in precise proportion to the extent of the goodness or badness of the thought, the extent of the reward or punishment must be in exact correspondence with the degree of truth or falsity originated by, and consisting in, the thought. This constitutes Justice." Appreciative readers of The Light of Reason will find The Essential Unit a valuable book.

Cain: a Poem, by Winifred A. Cook. Henry Young and Sons, Booksellers, 12, South Castle Street, Liverpool. Those of our readers who have been delighted with the poems of Miss Cook which have appeared in our pages, will be interested in knowing that she has now published a number of her poems in volume form. The leading poem, "Cain," occupies about one-half of the book, and is written in musical blank verse. It is the Bible story of Cain and Abel imaginatively dealt with, and enlarged in accordance with the license of poetry. The second half of the book is a collection of short poems of much sweetness and beauty, some of which have appeared in The Light of Reason.

St. Paul by Rev. Rowland W. Corbet. Published by Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, London, E.C. Stiff boards. A thoughtful, theological, and somewhat mystical work on the life and teachings of St. Paul, this book will prove interesting and helpful for those Christians who are continually searching the letter of Scripture for deeper interpretations.

The Goal of the Universe; or, The Travail of the World's Saviour, by S. W. Koelle, Ph. D. Published by Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, London, E.C. In this learned and elaborate work of nearly 400 large pages of closely-printed matter, the author discourses on the character and mission of Jesus, the Nature of God, the eternal import of the Bible teachings, and the meaning of the leading doctrines of the Established Church. It is pre-eminently a book for the intellectual Churchman.

Francis of Assissi, by W. P. Swainson. Published by C. W. Daniel, 5, Water Lane, Ludgate Hill, London, EC. Those of our readers who are attracted to all that is sweet and lovable and true in human nature should not fail to get this little pamphlet. The life of St. Francis is always fresh and beautiful, and cannot be told too often. It appeals to all that is noble in the human heart.

Life and Food, by A. Haig, M.D. Published by John Bale, Sons and Danielsson, Ltd., Oxford Street, Loudon, W. This is a pamphlet of some value, seeing that it is written by a man of wide It experience, and one who has experimented considerably. lt deals with various food-values, and the kind and quantity of food to be taken for the maintenance of health.

Theoretical Astrology, by H. S. Green. Published by L. N. Fowler and Co., 7, Imperial Arcade, London, E.C. This is a suggestive little booklet of philosophical theories concerning astrology. It is well written and well printed.

Buddhism and Science, by Dr. R. Ernest; The Will in Buddhism, by Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids, M.A.; The Four Noble Truths; Animism and Law; and On the Culture of the Mind, by Ananda Maitriya, are five pamphlets on Buddhistic teaching and doctrines, and will well repay a perusal, especially by those who are seeking for the underlying unity in all religions. They are published by the Buddhasasana Samagania, Rangoon.

Vedanta and Theosophy, by G. Krishna Sastri, and published at the "Theosophist Office," Adyar, Madras, price not given, is a paper-covered booklet of 51 pages, dealing learnedly with portions of the Vedanta philosophy.

The Children's Cross, by C. A. Eccles. Published by Clarke, 58, Sackville Street, Manchester. This is a highly-interesting story about children, but the whole tone of the book is above the child-mind. It is more suitable for youth than childhood.

Psychic Essays, by Arthur F. Melton. Publisher, A. F. Melchers, Charleston, S.C., U.S.A., This pamphlet contains some fine thoughts on "Life," "Soul," "Selfishness," etc., and there is enclosed with if an original and well-expressed piece entitled "Psycho-Physics."

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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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