Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/642

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624
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

stop half-way, and, having taken latitudinarian ground in regard to the extent of true religious influences, why should he not complete the work of rationalization by recognizing the religious element as a necessary and indestructible part of the constitution of human nature?

The question of the agencies by which man has been civilized or failed to become so, and which determine his present advancement or retrogression, involves forces which do not belong to an imaginary sphere of mystical caprice, but to the orderly course of natural things which it is the proper office of Science to explore. The religious agency must submit to this ordeal, and be dispassionately studied in its laws of action in connection with and in the same way as all the other agencies which enter into the great result, and which are just as divinely ordained as that to which theologians are wont to ascribe everything, and of which they claim to be the special guardians. President Seelye reechoes the old assumption, although in a manner which shows how far his law of decay has already taken effect upon orthodoxy under the liberalizing influence of Science. But if the reader desires to obtain a better idea of the progress that the scientific method has really made in its application to the study of civilization, and to contrast its results with those of preceding methods, let him carefully read the opening article of the magazine in his hand.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Nomisma; or, Legal Tender. By Henri Cernuschi. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Price, $1.25.

This book contains the testimony given by M. Cernuschi, the well-known French bi-metallist, before the United States Monetary Commission in February last, together with several of his essays reprinted from other sources. Although the work of an ardent advocate of a double standard, defending his views with ability, the book is not one which would afford much comfort to the silver party of this country. We commend it to them for perusal; they will find well stated the extent of the mischief which would come from the adoption of the double standard by the United States, unless a similar step be taken by all commercial nations. From it also the greenback-men might learn that a prime essential of good money is that its issue be an automatic issue which no one can control something independent of human agency and this, of course, is an attribute that paper-money can never possess. As to the merits of a bi-metallic system, if it could be made universal if the same ratio between gold and silver, and the same mint laws, could be established the world over it is a question upon which a great deal is to be said on both sides, and certainly M. Cernuschi puts his side of the case very strongly. But we cannot help thinking that, practically, it is of about as much importance to us as a question of lunar politics. The prospect of England, for example, abandoning the single gold standard is too remote for this phase of the question to be taken into present account. It is an interesting economic speculation, and nothing more.

It may be added that M. Cernuschi proposes to make silver just as good as gold for all purposes of money; worth just as much. He has, therefore, little in common with our silver-men: they would cease to care about the "dollar of our fathers" if it were made as good as gold; they want it only because it is worth less, and can be made the means of forcing a composition upon their creditors at something less than one hundred cents.

Scientific Basis of Delusions. By G. M. Beard, M. D. Pp. 47. New York: Putnam's Sons. Price, 50 cents.

The author, in the introduction to this little work, tells us that it is preliminary to a work on the Philosophy of Delusions, which will aim to unfold in detail the phenomena of the Involuntary Life, including Trance, and to give practical suggestions for the reconstruction of the principles of evidence in their application to history and