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Reviews of Books

Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography, by Henry Wood. The gifted writer has here given to the world a work of great originality and practical utility. In it he enunciates, and graphically illustrates by whole-page word-pictures, a system of "ideal suggestion" for the cure of disease and the eradication of inharmonious conditions, which, though grounded upon deep spiritual Truths, is simple and easily grasped. For those who are just beginning to awaken spiritually, it cannot fail to prove of great value in helping them to create spiritual suggestions in themselves by which to overcome downward tendencies. His method is widely distinguished from self-hypnotism, and is, in reality, the outward presentation of an inward process that is continually going on in the souls of those who aspire to wholeness of life, and the author points out that his word-pictures are merely "aids during the educational unfoldment of the concentrative faculty." He deals with the mental causation and cure of disease, but points out that "the overcoming of disease is not the chief and primary object in the aspiration to spiritual consciousness," but the attainment of divine Life.

Studies in the Thought World, by Henry Wood, is a work consisting of twenty-two spiritual essays on man in his relation to external nature, the universe, and his fellow-men. In his preface the author says: "All Truth which is above the plane of the intellect should be accepted, not upon external authority, but just in the measure that it receives the full sanction of the inner 'Guide,' or spiritual intuition of the individual. To aid in and point out the law of the development of this supernal faculty to his readers is the writer's earnest desire and effort." There is a great beauty and charm about the essays, and we should like to quote freely from them had we the space. The following are the titles of a few of the essays:—"The Divinity of Nature," "Our Relations To Environment," "The Dynamics of Mind," "The Education of Thought," "The Subconscious Mind," "The Psychology of Crime."

Helps to Right Living, by Katherine H. Newcomb. This is a collection of fifty-two short, pithy, inspiring articles which are full of spiritual vitality. They are as sweet and fresh as new-mown hay, and so simple that all can enter freely into them. Yet they are studded with strong and beautiful thoughts. The author says, "I have felt every word I have written," and the truth of this statement is evident in the book itself, for there is life in every line. The following are some of the subjects treated: "Happiness in Events," "Difficulties," "Tranquility," "Superiority to Conditions," "Complaints," "Soul-Completeness," "Being and Doing." All the articles have a direct bearing upon daily life, and the book should be secured by those who require sweet spiritual sustenance rather than difficult mental problems.

Spiritual Consciousness, by Frank H. Sprague. This is a philosophical work of great power and depth. The author deals with states of consciousness, and he belongs to the new school of thinkers who work from the spiritual basis. To him the invisible realities are of primary importance, as is seen by the following quotation:—-"We see outwardly just what we are outwardly conditioned to see by reason of the status of our own consciousness: and if we could see otherwise, it must be primarily, through the cultivation of a different quality or degree of consciousness, rather than through the substitution of different external conditions." The section on "Christianity" is particularly fine, and should be carefully studied by those who are looking for a more universal interpretation of the mission of Jesus than at present obtains in the multitude of creeds.

All's Right With the World, by Charles B. Newcomb. The forty-five ethical articles of which this book consists, though of unequal merit, are strong, pure, and thought-compelling. A lofty optimism characterizes the work, and the author has reached that blessed state of consciousness wherein he sees the beneficent hand of the Divine Law in all occurrences. His style is epigrammatic and Emersonian, and every page bristles with vigorous thought, highly condensed, and elegantly expressed. The following are a few thoughts taken casually from the pages:—"Knowledge leaves no plac for hope or fear"; "Truth can work us no harm, and the soul is not easily deceived"; "Life should be as simple and easy to us all as it is to the bee or flower"; "Small annoyances are the seeds of disease"; "Circumstances have their rise within us—always."

Discovery of a Lost Trail, by Charles B. Newcomb. The author here deals with the Lost Trail of Truth, and the book is designed to aid the reader to regain the Trail, and to once more enter into full possession of his lost spiritual power and life. It is one of the most beautiful of books. In his preface the author says:— "There is nothing new in this book. It is a simple study of that strange and beautiful thing which we call life. It contains only a few familiar signboards that have helped some bewildered travelers to find their way in paths that seemed mountainous and difficult." Joy, gladness, and confidence pervade the book, which is concluded with this grand thought: "The hour will chime when all humanity shall know the law of harmony—when every note in every chord shall find its part in the sublime oratorio of universal life."

Realities of Life; Thoughts From the Teaching of Rev. H. R. Haweis, compiled by Jessie M. Oliver. Artistically bound in cloth. This is a compilation of short extracts (in every one of which is contained some beautiful, encouraging or sustaining thought), from the writings of the Rev. H, R. Haweis. The book can be opened at any page with profit, and we can confidently recommend it to our readers for casual perusal.

Edward Carpenter. The Man and His Message. Published by the author, T. Swan, 33, Albany Street, Beswick, Manchester. This is a booklet of nearly forty pages, in paper covers, and is printed in clear, readable type, on excellent paper. Two half-tone portraits of Edward Carpenter, representing him in 1887 and 1900, appear in the book, which is divided into four parts dealing respectively with "The Man," "His Philosophy," "His Message to the Individual," and "His Message to Society." The author takes the position neither of a critic nor a reviewer, but that of an ardent disciple of the man of whom he writes, and an unqualified admirer of his works. He says of him: "Edward Carpenter combines the scientist's faculty of accurate observation, the depth of the philosopher, with the insight and power of expression of the poet. Such a combination is seldom found in one man." He quotes freely from Carpenter's works, and many of the extracts are extremely beautiful, and reveal a rare soul. Here are a few:—"Do not hurry: have faith." "Do not fear; do not be discouraged by the tiny insolences of people. For yourself, be only careful that you are true." "Is your experience hard to bear? yet remember that never again perhaps in all your days will you have another chance of the same. Do not fly the lesson, but have a care that you master it while you have the opportunity? As a terse introductory to the life and works of Edward Carpenter the book is excellent. It is well written, and well worth a careful reading.

The Purpose in the Creation of the World, By H. E. Butler. The Esoteric Fraternity, Applegate, Cal. U.S.A. In this pamphlet of twenty nine pages, the author treats, in the course of three chapters, the subject of Creation and its purpose in the life of man. He works from a Scriptural basis, but ultimately leads up to the illuminating power of the Spirit in the soul of the individual. The book is a brief and well-thought-out study of a profound subject.

The "Treasury" Booklets. Those of our readers who take an interest in poetry, will find in these booklets admirable compilations of short, sweet pieces from poets hitherto little known to the public, with the exception of Whittier. They are elegantly produced, and are as follows: Rose's Diary and Other Poems, by Henry Septimus Sutton; A "Festus" Treasury, selected from the poem of "Festus" by Phillip James Bailey; A Mackenzie Bell Treasury, and A Whittier Treasury. The latter is compiled by the Countess of Portsmouth, the three former by Albert Broadbent, 19, Oxford Street, Manchester, who is the publisher.

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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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