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venir and Sentiment of the Orient,” and the Rev. Gradgrind's “ Facts of the Holy Land.”
Being humorous, “ Ninety Days' Worth of Europe" is free from that pestilent habit into which so many travellers' reports fall, of scolding or fuming about annoyances and vexations. We are not here treated to the usual laments over their extortion of candles and shillings, or that wretched bill of fare, or the other uncomfortable bed. The humor continually crops out in some quaint thought or criticism, some naive way of looking at things and people, some queer association, some amusing description. It enlivens the book, and, throughout, makes it so fresh and brisk, that writer nor reader ever nods. It makes the chapter on Ireland, in particular, very funny and very vivid. It puts the droll expe. rience with Killishandra folks, as well in the most real and truthful way as in a most laughable light.
The short time, putting the traveller to his speed in order to make the most of it, may have, Rarey-fashion, made him show his good points. At any rate, we are informed, all along, with his deft, handy way of using the time, his shiftiness, if there be such a word, the opposite of shiftlessness. He seems never taken unawares and at disadvantage, but always bearing in mind the injunction-"If you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna." Here is the reason why his ninety days of Europe were so well worth while. A less shifty and slower-moulded man would not, in that brief space, have brought so much to pass. A tithe of it would be more than hundreds bring back, who go abroad and spend ten times as many good days and good dollars, too. We remember one of these travelled gentry who went to Dresden, but could not, for the life of him, tell if he had seen the Sistine Madonna. Mr. Hale is up all the time, takes care of the minutes, the hours then caring for themselves, seizes every chance, takes every hint of an opportunity, and snubs circumstance in the most cavalier and charming fashion. It pours hard and is pitch dark, but, with a jaunting car and a tipsy guide's aid, he finds John Foster's cabin ; the Calais steamer glides off and leaves him fumbling distractedly after the necessary permit to depart, but he leaps on board from the end of a shaky plank and goes on to Dover; in London, only twenty minutes to accomplish three miles, two furlongs, seven rods to the railroad station ; but he and the cabman triumph over fate and time, and the thing is done. His journey may be sometimes disagreeably obvious, but his quickness of mind and ready decision, what Carlyle calls the double, are also and most agreeably apparent.
As the humor of the book makes it cheerful and entertaining, the common-sense and clear-sightedness of it make it full of valuable information and instruction. No detail of the proportions of St. Peter's ever gave us so clear a notion of its size, as the statament here, that if Aladdin's genie could bring the great thing from Rome to Boston Common, it would just fit the space between Park street mall and the Frog Pond. The glimpse of English university life is a mere aggravation. It is good, but discontents one because there is no more than a glimpse. The way is admirably described, which the British Museum has for the convenience of the readers and students of its eighty thousand books of reference and its other treasures. It makes one look forward longingly to the time when public and society libraries this side the water will be stocked and managed with like magnificence. Mr. Hale rejoices, again and again, in the administrative faculty of the French, and gives a fine instance of it in his explanation of how the Protestant churches in Paris order ecclesiastical matters. We hope to see the rules for "les fidèles," which he quotes in this connection, taken from his pages and posted in the church porches of all the faithful in New England. So much ritual decorum our Puritanism ought to bear, and can. The book is stocked with, emphatically, pieces of information, bits of knowledge, which every one going abroad would be glad to own, but which travellers are the last to give.
Without some notice of galleries and works of art in Europe, a book of travel there would be like the play with Hamlet's part left out. In this, the art-talk is independent, sensible and unobtrusive,—therefore, of the good sort. But how sorry we are to be taken down in our expectation of the civic sculpture, and street statues abroad. It is averred that they are, on the whole, quite like ours. It is to be hoped, then, that the horses wear blinders. We are glad of the information about the painted Venus. It certainly puts a different complexion on Gibbon's theory, though not on his statue, to know that the color is not for the sake of life-likeness, but simply to warm up the cold white of the marble. But we have seen that done here effectively by letting the light through a carnation-tinted screen. And then the blue iris of the eye? “Why, it is affectations." Seeing, doubtless, might be believing in this thing. But all are not lucky like pastor Paris to whom Venus came, or pastor Hale who went to her. Mr. Story's Cleopatra is here much more satisfactorily set before us than in Hawthorne’s romance. We hope, in all sincerity but with some fear, that the opinion expressed of it, as being nearer the glory of antique sculpture than most modern statues, will prove well-grounded in its eminent merit. But the book of sculpture seems closed, if not sealed for all time, with those elder masters, true lords of the art, whose names are forgot, but their works forever memorable. Advice is given to go through the galleries, marking those paintings which seem choice, and then by the catalogue finding out the artists. The reward follows, Mr. Hale says, of discovering that you have hit just the great pictures and the highest names. He believes, then, with Goethe, who, in his autobiography, says that when he started on his Italian journey, he cleared his mind of all traditions and conventions, and brought it to the great works untrammelled. Such "maiden meditation, fancy free" may answer for those who look with an aptitude of eyesight and insight, and with preparation of careful culture. But the “silly multitude” must be guided in the right way. How many a traveller, left to his own devices, has slipped into folly, and then put the misadventure into print,—by scouting the judgment of centuries, and setting up the canon of his own passing impression of art or of some of its works. To the tourist, still let Murray be safe guide, wise philosopher and valued friend; but the right of private judgment be reserved to those who own it by antecedent right of thought and study,
But, in fine and in one word, simplicity is the capital merit of the book. As we read, we have the genial talk of a friend. The dedication of it, then, is fitly to a "circle of friends." Only we are sure that, for its genuine, simple spirit and way, it will make friends, and the circle of readers be larger and better pleased, than the preface, with the very audacity of modesty, pretends to hope or believe in.
The Existence of Moral Evil not Incompatible with Divine
Few problems have more deeply engaged the serious consideration of thinking Christians, and the solution of none, perhaps, has been attended with greater difficulty, than that of the existence of Sin, or Moral Evil, under the perfect government of an infinitely wise, powerful and beneficent Being. That God has instituted a moral government in the earth is no less a deduction of reason than a fact of revelation. That this government and all the laws pertaining to it are perfect, is inferred, not only from the absolute perfection of Him by whom it was instituted, but from the perfection of the government and laws pertaining to the material universe. Here all is absolute perfection. Through revolving ages and cycles this government and these laws have controlled all worlds, and every particle of matter of which the immense whole is composed. Not one of its laws has been, or ever can be, successfully resisted or thwarted in its operation. Its proposed results, as far as we know, or can know, have all been attained ; and while time shall continue to roll its unwearying rounds, such must be the operations and results of this government and its laws. And can it be supposed that the moral government of the Most High is less perfect ? Has the Almighty instituted such a perfect government over mere inanimate matter, and left the vast empire of intellect, the universe of mind, without a government and laws equally perfect and efficient? The thought is preposterous.
How, then, it is demanded, could sin enter the world ? How could moral evil obtain a foothold in the earth? And why, under the perfect administration of the divine government, does it continue its ravages in the world, bringing “death and all our woe,” alienating man from his beneficent Creator, filling the earth with violence, and extending its baleful influence to all the habitations of the children of men? Could not the Almighty have prevented its introduction ? And has He not sufficient power to expel it from the earth? or wholly to stay its ravages among mankind ? How, then, can its introduction, continued existence, and direful consequences in the world, be reconciled with the perfection of the Divine government, and the infinite goodness of God ?
Of the various theories with regard to the origin and present existence of moral evil, prevalent in the world, it will be necessary to notice but two, viz:—that which attributes its introduction and perpetuation directly to God, as the efficient cause of all things ; and that which maintains that it came into the world, and continues to exist, not in accordance with, but in opposition to the will of God, though permitted by him. The first may be termed, for the sake of perspicuity, the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty, and the second that of Human Agency. These two theories, apparently contradictory, are undoubtedly both true, to a very great extent; and were our powers of comprehension sufficiently expanded, or were the advocates of each to employ only such language, in their arguments and illustrations of their favorite view, as should be understood in precisely the same sense by each, apparent contradictions would unquestionably disappear; and we should be able at once to discover a perfect agreement and beautiful harmony between them. But such, as yet, are not the facts; and we must continue to regard them, in some manner, and to some extent, as differing theories.
According to the first-named of the foregoing theories, God ordained, from all eternity, the existence of sin, and consequently all the guilt, condemnation and suffering resulting from it. For long ages past it has been contended, and extensively believed in the Christian world, that evil is an ultimate end in the purpose of God; that it will be endless in duration; that its existence and endless perpetuation are necessary to secure the highest glory of God, which, it has been believed, is his object in all his works, and all his dealings with subordinate beings, and constitutes the highest possible good of the universe. That this theory of the existence and final result of evil is reconcilable with the infinite goodness of God, which extends to all worlds and all beings whom he has created, is a principle too preposterous to claim any serious consideration ; and one which, at this day, can find but very few advocates in the Christian church.