The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

Volume 14, 1903, pgs. 795-799

Short Prayers, compiled by Lucy H. M. Soulsby (Longmans, d. net.). We are greatly indebted to Miss Soulsby for these short prayers, of which she says, "it is thought they may be useful to beginners or to those who find help in occasionally changing their accustomed book for a shorter frame-work of settled prayers, so as to use more words of their own." Most of us would probably be content to sit in the seat of the "beginner," and find wings for our soul in these devout aspirations, as practical as they are spiritual. We are told that they are a net-work of phrases from many sources, but there is a modern glow about many of the phrases which should have, we think, a certain use in recommending the little book to young people who have just been confirmed; for the young like the thought of their own time, and it is good when it comes to them enriched and mellowed by being blended with the musings of many holy souls who have gone before. What a haunting phrase is this for example of Jeremy Taylor's, "That I may taste the deliciousness of my employment." The little book contains morning prayers, evening prayers, prayers for Holy Communion, a prayer for the first Sunday in each month, suggestions for self-examination, and for intercession and thanksgiving. Miss Soulsby has helped us greatly by her several volumes of Stray Thoughts, each full of wisdom and suggestion, but we think this little manual for the way is peculiarly helpful and useful. The author's tract, Sunday (2d.), does not commend itself to us so much. It is written to help young people to steer a course between the Scylla and Charybdis of the conflicting views concerning the keeping of Sunday. It seems to us that perhaps the author concedes too much to the modern temper; though, if so, we know it is with the hope and strong effort to save by concession some leisure of mind for the occupations of Sunday.

The Works of Charles Lamb (Newnes Thin Paper Classics, 3s. 6d.) Messrs. Newnes have put into our hands a treasure trove in this dainty and delightful volume. It is good to turn the pages and see the beloved Essays set out in a worthy and generous type; good, too, to excavate for buried treasures among the less familiar writings—the plays, poems, miscellaneous essays and what not. The reader dives and delves with the certainty of turning up things as gemlike as the "Elia" series, and if he comes to the conclusion that the vox populi has after all pronounced the final verdict, if Lamb himself cannot match elsewhere the delicate grace and whimsical gaiety of the Essays, yet no lover of Charles Lamb would willingly be without the thousand touches of his sweetness, some of which appear in his least considered trifles. We are grateful to the editors of other editions which are even now appearing. No labour of appreciation and discrimination can be thrown away upon this author; but Lamb is a companion for highways and byways and garden seats, and we doubt if any other will take the place of this charming pocket edition with its interesting portrait and its dainty green leather binding.

Women's Vacation Term for Biblical Study.

[We have been requested to publish this report of the work of the Women's Vacation Term for Biblical Study. We do so with particular pleasure. The conclusions arrived at will be comforting to our readers, who will, no doubt, also be glad to possess, in the list of books recommended, suggestions for the small library of Divinity which no cultivated home should be without.—Ed.]

A Three weeks' Vacation Term for Biblical study for women was held at Cambridge this summer from July 25th to August 13th. It has long been felt, by some of those who are most anxious for women's education, that while the standard of attainment for women teachers has gone up in classics, mathematics, science, history and modern languages, the standard of Biblical knowledge has, if anything, declined. The Bible teaching in many secondary schools has been reduced to the dry bones of a commentary, with the conviction that if the commentary were in any degree departed from, the teacher would probably either get out of her own depth or be hauled over the coals by an aggrieved parent; and as most of the best teachers were unwilling to teach a subject which they had not specially studied, it has often happened that Scripture was assigned to any inexperienced teacher who would take it.

Some, to whom Biblical study is a real and valuable branch of learning, resolved to endeavour to improve its status by a new departure. The credit of the inception of the attempt is due to Miss Margaret Benson, and Miss Creighton, the secretary, was indefatigable in promoting its success. By the kindness of the authorities of Newnham College, the Old Hall was thrown open for three weeks for the reception of women-students, and the dining-hall of Sidgwick Hall for the lectures. Some students preferred Cambridge lodgings, and some enjoyed the hospitality of Girton; but all were allowed to use the delightful grounds at Newnham, and to read in the Old Hall reading room, provided by the kindness of the lecturers and their friends with most of the books recommended for study. None can speak too highly of the kindness and care with which their comfort was looked after by Miss Alice Gardner. Over 150 students, between the ages of 20 and 60, attended the whole or a part of the course, and all were so keen and enthusiastic that if, as is hope, a similar course should be provided next year at Oxford, it is certain that those who can do so will welcome a repetition of the experience.

Owing to the mature years of the students, there was no necessity on the part of their teachers to economize the fact that historical and literary criticism has shown us various facts about the Bible in a new light, and it was a great gain and satisfaction to many of us to be told definitely which of the conclusions of Higher Criticism were considered by all critics to be soundly established. The lines on which the Biblical lectures were given were those of the sound and moderate school of Higher Critics—the school which we associate with the names of Driver and Sanday—as opposed to the more extreme writers of the Encyclopaedia Biblica. No one who attended them could fail to feel that they silenced the misgivings which have for many years haunted the minds of many religious women—that if they knew more, they might come to believe less. We learnt from our lecturers that if fuller knowledge altered our views of dates, or relegated certain facts before regarded as historical to the region of tradition, it only brought out into fuller prominence the incomparableness of the truths of Christianity.

Nine courses of four lectures each were delivered by the lecturers (from both Universities) whose names are appended, and connected with each course was a conversation class, where students could ask questions and state their difficulties and get solutions. There were also several single lectures, given by M. Naville, Mrs. Lewis, Professor Gwatckin, and others, and we shall all remember gratefully the "extra" lecture on teaching religion to children given us by Mr. Kennett.

Some idea of the work done in the three weeks may be given by the following list of the different courses and of the books recommended for the study of the subjects, most of which were available in the Old Hall reading-room:—

Course I. Old Testament Religion as illustrated by the Psalter, Dr. Kirkpatrick, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity.

Modern Criticism and the Preaching of the Old Testament, G. A. Smith; Old Testament in the Jewish church (Lecture VII.), Robertson Smith; Old Testament Theology (Chapter XXVII.—XXIX.), Schultz; Aspects of the Old Testament, Ottley; Religion of the Ancient Hebrews (Hibbert Lectures), Montefiore; The Praises of Israel, Davidson; The Origin of The Psalter, Cheyne; The Witness of the Psalms to Christ, Archbishop Alexander; Sacred Poetry of Early Religions (in The Gifts of Civilization, and published separately), Dean church; Commentary on the Psalms, Kirkpatrick; Eschatology: Hebrew, Jewish and Christian, Charles.

Course II. The Christology of the Old Testament, Dr. Swete, Regius Professor of Divinity.

Westcott on the Gospel and Epistles of St. John, and on Hebrews; Lightfoot on Philippians and Colossians; Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, articles on Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, John the Apostle, Paul the Apostle; Theology of the New Testament, G. B. Stevens; Doctrine of the Person of Christ, Dorner; Doctrine of the Incarnation, Ottley; teaching of Jesus, Wendt; New Testament Theology, Beyshlag; What is Christianity? Harnack; First Interpreters of Jesus, Gilbert.

Course III. Isaiah xl.—lxvi. Dr. Barnes, Hulsean Professor of Divinity.

Isaiah: His Life and Times, pages 133-212, Driver; Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, article on Isaiah; Isaiah (Expositors' Bible), Vol II, G. A. Smith; Prophecies of Isaiah, Vol. II., Cheyne; Commentary on Isaiah, Delitzsch; Doctrine of the Prophets, Kirkpatrick.

Course IV. The Pre-Exilic Prophets, Rev. R. H. Kennett, Queen's College, Cambridge.

Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, Driver; The Prophets of Israel, Robertson Smith; The Doctrine of the Prophets, Kirkpatrick; The Book of the Twelve Prophets, G. A. Smith; The Hebrew Prophets, Ottley; Isaiah: His Life and Times, Driver; Isaiah (Cambridge Bible for Schools), Skinner; Isaiah (Expositors' Bible, Vol. I.), G. A. Smith; Jeremiah (Pulpit Commentary), Cheyne; Jeremiah: His Life and Times, Cheyne; Jeremiah (Cambridge Bible for Schools), Skeane; Ezekiel (Cambridge Bible for Schools), Davidson; Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, articles on Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Ezekiel.

Course V. The Synoptic Gospels, Mr. F. C. Burkitt, Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Study of the Gospels, Dean of Westminster; The Common Tradition of the Synoptic Gospels, pp 2-147, Abbott and Rushbrooke; Hos on Synopticae, Hawkins; Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, Article on Gospels; Historic View of the New Testament, P. Gardner; Contentio Veritaas, Allen; Two Lecture on the Gospels, Burkitt; Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott; The Gospels in the Second Century, Sunday; Composition of the Four Gospels, Wright.

Course VI. New Testament Times, Dr. Stanton, Ely Professor of Divinity.

History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus, Schurer; A History of New Testament Times, Hausrath; La Palestine au temps du Jesus Christ, Stapfer; Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Edersheim; Introduction of the Study of the Gospels, Chapters I. and II., Westcott; Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, article on Jesus Christ; Jesus de Nazareth, Pt. I., Reville; History of Jesus of Nazara, Vol. I., Pt. I., Kelm.

Course VII. Genesis and Exodus, Rev. C. F. Burney, St. John's College Oxford.

The World before Abraham, Mitchell; The Ancient East (tran. by Hutchinson), articles by Zimmeru—Biblical and Babylonian Genesis, Jeremias, Heaven and Hell amongst the Babylonians; Code of Khammurabi, Johns; The Early Narratives of Genesis, Ryle; Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, Driver; Old Testament History, Wade; The Documents of the Hexateuch, Addis; Genesis Critically and Exegetically Expounded, Dillman; Genesis, Wade; Authority and Archeology, Sacred and Profane, edited by Hogarth, article by Driver.

Course VIII. Epistle to Romans, Dr. Agar Beet, Wesleyan College, Richmond.

The Epistle to the Romans in the original Greek or in the English Revised Version.

Course IX. Philosophy of Religion, Dr. Rashdall, New College, Oxford.

Principles of Human Knowledge, Bishop Berkeley; Study of Religion, Martineau; Personality Human and Divine, Illingworth; Philosophy of the Christian Religion, Fairfairu; Philosophy and Development of Religion, Pfleiderer; Naturalism and Agnosticism, James Ward.

Proofread by Leslie Noelani Laurio, September 2008