Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/580

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ronment. But it is manifest, on a moment's consideration, that corporeality may exist under very divergent conditions. It is not at all improbable that substances of a refractory nature might be so mixed with other substances, known or unknown to us, as to be capable of enduring vastly greater vicissitudes of heat and cold than is possible with terrestrial organisms. . . . There may be intelligences corporealized after some concept not involving the processes of ingestion, assimilation, and reproduction. Such bodies would not require daily food and warmth. They might be lost in the abysses of the ocean, or laid up on a stormy cliff through the tempests of an Arctic winter, or plunged in a volcano for a hundred years, and yet retain consciousness and thought. It is conceivable. Why might not psychic natures be enshrined in indestructible flint and platinum? These substances are no further from the nature of intelligence than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and lime."

"General Cosmogony " is the title of Part III, which consists of a short chapter on the condition of the fixed stars and nebulæ, with some general considerations on the whole system. "Evolution of Cosmogonic Doctrine" occupies the rest of the volume. In these concluding chapters the growth of man's view of the universe is traced from the partial conceptions of the Greek philosophers to the comprehensive system of modern astronomers. The theories of Kepler, Descartes, Leibnitz, Swedenborg, and Thomas Wright, are described briefly, and that of Kant is given with some detail. Then follow the views of Lambert, Sir William Herschel, and Laplace, and a brief "Systematic Résumé of Opinions."

Man a Creative First Cause: Two Discourses delivered at Concord, Mass., July, 1882. By Rowland G. Hazard, LL. D. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 112.

In this instructive little volume we have a compact and very lucid restatement of the leading philosophical views of its veteran author, which were several years ago developed in an extended form in his more elaborate works. Mr. Hazard is well known as a man of original and versatile thought, and has dealt with a considerable variety of subjects, practical as well as theoretical, in his various publications; but he will probably be best known in the future by his comprehensive metaphysical treatise entitled "On the Freedom of the Mind in Willing." The origin of this work is, on various accounts, so interesting and significant, that it should not be forgotten.

The celebrated Dr. William Ellery Channing, whose reputation is world-wide as a gifted preacher, a discriminating philanthropist, and as the father of American liberal theology, is understood to have been in a somewhat unsettled state of mind upon what may be regarded as the logic of the old free-will controversy. He is said to have "confessed to an incapacity to form any satisfactory philosophical theory and defense of that moral freedom in which he devoutly and earnestly believed." Dissatisfied with all that had been written upon the problem, and confessedly unable himself to cope with its difficulties, and at the same time holding inflexibly by the doctrine of mental liberty in volition, he was very naturally solicitous to see the question handled by some powerful intellect, qualified for the research, and who could put the proofs of man's moral liberty on a firmer basis than they had hitherto occupied. But who was to be found competent to enter upon this formidable task? Learned scholars were sufficiently abundant. The colleges turned out their annual multitude of men who had been long steeped in recondite studies; whose intellects had been disciplined and sharpened by those marvelous instrumentalities destined from the foundations of the world "for the perpetual training of the minds of the later generations," the dead languages, but Dr. Channing did not find his man in this class. In his celebrated essay on "Self-Culture," there occurs the following passage: "I have known a man of vigorous intellect who "had enjoyed few advantages of early education, whose mind was almost engrossed by the details of an extensive business, who composed a book of much originality of thought in steam-boats, on horseback, while visiting distant customers."

The book here referred to was entitled "Language: an Essay," and was written forty-seven years ago by Mr. Hazard. Dr.