Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/513

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LITERARY NOTICES.

mental faculties he should be liable to be cast out of his communion as an heretical culprit? What right had they, or what right has any man, to assume that a statement of doctrine at any time is final, and to enslave themselves to its life-long acceptance? This question is one for theological students, and if the decisions at Kingston, Princeton, and Aberdeen, are to be taken as indicating the authorized policy of the orthodox world, the young man who contemplates entering that field of labor should make up his mind whether he is prepared to cut himself off from the spirit of the age, to abjure the pursuit of truth, and sink into the office of a mere passive repeater of cut-and-dried formulas, prescribed to him by the powers to which he contracts allegiance. He must understand that the less he can have to do with science the safer it will be for him. Its spirit will rebuke him at every step. He will have, more-over, to learn that theological science, so called, is a misnomer and a mockery. Where the scientific element enters, movement begins, and progress ensues. It implies intellectual activity, free questioning, escape from error, and advance to new conclusions, and upon all this, from present indications, there remains the interdict of theological authority, paralyzing free thought, just as it did centuries ago.

 

 

We print an essay of Dr. Cones, the naturalist, which will sufficiently vindicate scientific men from the imputation of not doing honor to the regal faculty of imagination. No brain-cracked poet could go further in rhapsodical glorification of the image-making power of the mind than this devotee of observation and induction. What more can be asked to disprove the alleged arrogance of scientists, and to establish their character for humility, than for one of their eminent representatives to go over into the midst of the guardians of all that is most exalted and ennobling in intellectual effort, and say to them, "One excellent and most useful purpose which the imagination subserves at the hands of the gifted few whom the higher development of this faculty makes leaders of thought, and watchful guardians of human progress, is, to put men of science on their proper level, and to teach them to know their place?" Various queries might arise at this point, but as the doctor evidently went over to the literary society to unbend, and have a frolic of fantasy in their direction, he probably thought it not worth while to take his logic along, and spoil the fun. And so nothing remains but to improve his wholesome lesson.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

The Cyclopedia of Education: A Dictionary of Information for the Use of Teachers, School-Officers, Parents, and Others. Edited by Henry Kiddle and Alexander J. Schem. Pp. 868. Price (cloth), $5. (Sold by subscription.) New York: E. Steiger,

It is a curious fact that, while the educated class in England and this country have been for a hundred years making cyclopædias on all sorts of subjects for other people, they have only just now succeeded in getting one for themselves. Lawyers, doctors, clergymen, architects, engineers, and farmers, all have their alphabetical summaries of special knowledge for ready reference, until such works have long since come to be indispensable; but only this year have we first got a cyclopædia of education in the English language that will give teachers, school-boards, and all interested in the subject, available and easy command of the wide range of information which bears upon the vocation of instructor. The explanation of this tardiness is not obvious, for no subject is more amenable to this mode of treatment, and certainly none more imperatively requires it. But it does not much matter how long the work was delayed, now that the want has been so adequately and admirably supplied by the work before us. The editors have been equal to their formidable task,