By St Alphonsus M. Liguori. Paperback. 404 pages. It will be seen that the following Manual of Devotion consists of a series of chapters or instructions upon important points of Christian teaching, which are called “Considerations.”These Considerations are written for the purpose of pricking or of wounding the conscience, it may be in many points, that so it may be thoroughly aroused and awakened; of exciting, that is, compunction of the soul, real remorse of conscience for past as well as for present coldness and dryness. It must be a very hard heart, indeed, which is not moved by these “Considerations”so touchingly simple are they, so plain, and so wholly true. They deal with such doctrines and facts as have an universal application, which admit of no dispute, and which are always confirmed by some passage from Holy Scripture. It must be allowed, on all hands, that it is necessary for the soul to be aroused to feel its own needs, to regard its own wounds, that so it may be directed to a source where these needs can be supplied, and these wounds be healed. One great aim of this Treatise, is to arouse, as well as to direct the mind, to lead it to consider its own wants, and to seek by prayer to have those wants supplied. The book is essentially a guide to prayer. It represents, from its beginning to its end, the continual outpouring of heart before God; an outpouring that is of times expressed in the very same words which imply, at the same time, a new phase of thought. Regarded as a Manual of Mental Prayer, each of these “Considerations” has a technical and special signification. They treat of life and death, of the value of time, of the mercy of God, of the habit of sin, of the general and particular judgments, of the love of God, of the Holy Communion, and of kindred subjects equally important. The “Consideration,”as here used, implies far more than a mere inquiry. Its equivalents, the Italian Consideration, and the Latin Consideration, do not fully express its particular meaning in this Treatise, where it stands for a reflectional meditation. It calls into play the exercise of the memory, which puts together all the circumstances of the subject under notice; it excites the imagination, which represents, as in a picture, all such circumstances, bringing them vividly before the mind’s eye; and, lastly, it urges the will so to fix and detain these things in the soul, that, by its own effort, it may unite itself with the will of God, so that God’s will and the will of man may become one.