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Corinthians of whom St. Paul said that many were weak and sickly among them, and many slept, because they received the Holy Communion unworthily, "not discerning the Lord's Body."

The Gospel words of institution are the plainest and most straight-forward words ever spoken, and plain Christians in all ages have taken them on their face value. Why should any Christian minister wish to confuse them with explanations which explain away the very heart of the mystery? One is reminded of some words about a rose-tree by Prof. L. P. Jacks in his essay entitled, "The Bitter Cry of the Plain Man," in "The Alchemy of Thought." The plain man thus addresses the philosophers:

"Outside our window we see a rose-bush. One of you informs us that the rose-bush is 'a construction of the mind'; another that it is 'a group of sense-impressions'; another that it is 'a projected idea'. Now, if any such-like 'interpretation' of the rose-bush is true, it seems certain that the rose-bush is playing us a trick. We take the rose-bush for just what it declares itself to be, and this does not bear the slightest resemblance to ‘a construction of the mind' or to anything of that kind."

Successors of Peter

"PETER Sat by the Fire Warming Himself" is the title of

the leading article in the February Atlantic. It is by the Rev. Joseph H. Odell. It professes to be a red-hot arraignment of all the Christian ministers of the country for being silent during the invasion of Belgium, and for not taking the moral and prophetic leadership throughout the present crisis. The writer claims that all the indignant and prophetic utterances during this present war have come from laymen, such as Alfred Noyes, Donald Hankey, H. G. Wells, John Masefield and Frank H. Simonds.

On hearing such charges one instinctively turns to the pages which give the "Who's Who" of contributors, and finds that Mr. Odell lives in Troy, New York. One wonders whether that

is the explanation of his having heard no great pulpit utterances on the issues of the war; or whether it is because he is a Congregationalist. We had supposed that most of the clergy everywhere had been preaching about the war almost to the exclusion of the Gospel. Or perhaps Mr. Odell has not for several years heard anyone preach but himself. We are sure that he might have heard many stirring and patriotic sermons in Troy and from Congregational pulpits everywhere.

Surely Mr. Odell could not expect the clergy generally to neglect their spiritual duties in order to write articles for the ATLANTIC and other magazines, when so many brilliant and moving articles and books were being written by Christian laymen. Why should not the laity speak out? They are part of the Church, as well as the clergy. That most of the Hebrew prophets were laymen is no reflection upon the priesthood of the Jewish Church.

It seems as though we had been sufeited with this sort of sophomoric criticism of the clergy and the Church for everything that happens or does not happen in the world.

"Every religion is good, every religion is true to him who in his due caution and conscience believes it. There is but one bad religion, that of a man who professes a faith which he does not believe; but the good religion may be, and often is, corrupted by the wretched and wicked prejudices which admit a difference of opinion as a cause of hatred." Daniel O'Connell.


Back to Christ: By the Right Rev. Charles Fiske, D.D., LL.D., Bishop Coadjutor of Central New York. Longmans, Green & Co., $1.00 net.

This is an admirable book. Bishop Fiske began with the title and ended with the last word, exactly the book to put into the hands of the "nominal Churchman" of every imaginable kind. In other words, he has written for the majority of the members of the Episcopal Church exactly the book they need in the judgment of such pastors as are not nominal priests. The point of view of the writer is that of one who has never forgotten the lay point of view, and who possesses a keen understanding of exactly what people will read. There is not a line that is not "readable" pointed, clear, and telling.

The only adverse criticism which one is moved to make after finishing the book is that the Bishop is gravely mistaken when he asserts in the opening sentence of the brief preface that "there is nothing original in this book." It is original from one end to the other, in the matter of treatment. The reviewer can point out with a good grace that all that could be meant by the author's disavowal is that the subject matter is not original with him. But this would be true of almost any book which is orthodox. The more perfect the orthodoxy, in these latter days, the less original the material.

The first strategic move was the selection of the title. This has been used over and over again as the watchword of the propagandists of "recovery and restatement," of the gospel. Here it is used in quite another way. It connotes the desirability of beginning with the "old, old story" of Jesus and His love for mankind, with which story the book opens, in a pure appeal to the kindliness which is inherent in the normal human being. From this appeal which makes even a sophisticated reader feel anew the wonder and beauty of our Lord's motives and divine condescension, His sweetness and power, His authoritative and satisfying doctrine,all which should do much to secure somewhat of personal loyalty and sense of allegiance, the reader is led farther into the feeling and conviction that there is a corporate life which he must be stone. not to desire to share with others who have been touched by that life and that message. In other words, the Church as she is, ideally,

and can be in actuality, is very winningly presented. Then the writer goes on to lead his reader into agreement with him that this good thing may and must be shared with those who are without its influence, that the Church "was not established merely to hold the believer but to save the world."

The book is very well arranged progressively. The first four chapters deal with the Beauty of Christ's Life; the next four with the Romance of His Religion, the next two with Forgotten Truths of His Teaching; the last five with Practical Applications of His Gospel.

The book is well-rounded and balanced. It is not, for example, a series of anything like academic studies; but, although its statements and conclusions are those of a sound scholar, its appeal is to the religiously "plain" man or woman. It is not lacking in spirituality, indeed it might be described as a vehicle for simple, spiritual values; nevertheless it would appeal to the most hardened wordling as readily as to one of advanced piety. There is nothing hackneyed in the book, its presentation is fresh, its style limpid; yet it is far from being a re-hash done in an arm chair.

But perhaps the feature of this book which should make it appeal most strongly to Catholic Christians within the Church as well as to the other types of truly earnest and pious souls who love the Church and are very anxious for it to have a cogent message to the present age of upheaval and readjustment, and who have an eye open to the blessed day "when the men come home" is just this: that the last part,-the endeavor to show that the Church can and must save the world,-is based upon really adequate and sound premises and obviously promulgated by one who speaks from a point of view at once orthodox, spiritual, and practical. A comparison, and not at all a losing one, at once suggests itself with the Rev. Walter Carey's notable books along the same lines. Would that it might become a "best seller" among just the kind of people who make "best sellers" possible!

H. S. W.

Modern Man and His Forerunners. A Short Study of the Human Species, Living and Extinct. By H. G. F. Spurrell, M. A., M. B., B. Ch. Oxon. London, G. Bell and Sons Ltd., 1917.

This book is a scholarly attempt to reexamine the accepted views regarding man, in the light of the recent accumulation of new knowledge in the realm of anthropology. The writer seems to

think it is fairly well established that the human race is about two hundred thousand years old. Among the various species of man which were distributed widely over the world at a remote period in geologic antiquity, the Neanderthal species became dominant and developed a culture. We do not know why it became extinct. Various races, of which the best known is the Cro-Magnon race, attained to a considerable degree of culture before the last ice age. After that age the races which form the basis of the world's present population began to establish themselves in the places which they occupy to-day.

The writer discusses in a most interesting way the ebb and flow of civilization during the historic age. He holds that civilization depends upon slavery. That is, the more intelligent few must be able to exploit the less intelligent many, so as to make the many do things that otherwise they would not know how to do nor care to do, and to carry out the designs of the wise and intelligent portion of the race which otherwise would remain unfulfilled. With the advent of democracy, slavery gradually diminishes, until finally the unintelligent many become dominant and then civilization crumbles.

The last chapter, on "Man at the Present Day" contains one of the most powerful arraignments of the civilization of the present day that we have ever read. The writer's conclusion is that the world civilization of to-day has all the signs which have marked decay in local civilizations of the past; but that the immediate future cannot be foretold.

S. P. D.

The Challenge of the Present Crisis. By Harry Emerson Fosdick. The Association Press, New York, 1918.

This little book deals with the question whether the present crisis of the world is to be met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair. The writer chooses the former horn of the dilemma. Chief among the reasons he gives is that this is the first war that has made men widely say that Christianity is a failure. This is an indication that we are now nearer than ever to having a victory for Christian ideals. Then follows a section on "An Appreciation of Force," and another on "The Limitations of Force." Nothing but religion is equal to the task of ridding the world of the curse of militarism. Dr. Fosdick is evidently a pacifist at

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