Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/139

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lessons, fundamental ideas and principles are developed inductively, and then formulated into simple and concise statements; each definition, for example, is preceded by a problem that asks for it, making it thus something suggested by what has gone before, rather than an arbitrary statement, the meaning of which is to be found out by subsequent application. Further on, definitions appear at the beginning of subjects, and principles are deduced from the solutions of characteristic examples. And, still later, propositions are first enunciated and then logically proved. Thus the pupil is led by easy transition from the more elementary forms of reasoning to pure mathematical demonstration. Examples have been carefully selected both to be worked at sight and for written work, while long and pointless examples have been generally avoided. Factoring is treated with considerable fullness.

Essays on God and Man; or, a Philosophical Inquiry into the Principles of Religion. By the Rev. Henry Truro Bray, Boonville, Mo. St. Louis: NixonJones Printing Company. Pp. 270. Price, $2.

The author, who is an Episcopal clergyman, assumes that "men are everywhere drifting away from the old beliefs"; that the intellect of the world has "lost all faith in the Church of the past"; and declares that in his own experience he hardly ever finds a man who believes unqualifiedly the doctrines of the pulpit. Yet he has faith in the reality and permanence of religion, whose essence has been overlaid by glosses and superstition. In this book he hopes "in a measure to lead his readers to discriminate between the evanescent and permanent, between the temporal and the eternal; and to know that while they may doubt and reject the evanescent, the local, or the temporal, they should not and may not reject the permanent, the universal, or the eternal." He lays down as embodying the faith of the scientific world the propositions that "there is an infinite intelligence whom we call God; man is by nature a religious being; every religion has in it a nucleus of truth; no religion is exclusively true, or founded upon an exclusively divine revelation." And he attempts to show that religion is useful and natural; that its essentials are one; that God's revelation is universal and continuous; that God has been no more mindful of one race than of another, and is immanent in the universe, especially in intelligences; and "that our Bible, as the other Bibles of the world, is, in the higher sense, but the history of the attempts of the people to express the impressions made on the mind by God immanent in nature." He further seeks to discriminate between what is divine and what is human in religion, and to show that man may reasonably expect a future life.

The Constants of Nature. Part I—A Table OF Specific Gravity for Solids and Liquids. By Frank Wigglesworth Clarke. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 409.

The author published, in 1872, through the Smithsonian Institution, a "Table of Specific Gravities, Boiling-Points, and Melting-Points for Solids and Liquids," which Prof. Henry made the first part of a work he was contemplating under the title of "The Constants of Nature." Other parts were contributed by Prof. Clarke, and one part by Prof. G. F. Becker. The present volume is in effect a new edition of Part I, revised, rearranged, and brought down as nearly as possible to the date of printing. The tables are, however, modified by the omission of boiling and melting points, except when those data seem essential to the proper identification of a compound, that want being supplied by Prof. Carnelley's tables. The tables contain the specific gravities of 5,227 distinct substances, and 14,465 separate determinations.

Entomology for Beginners. By A. S. Packard. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 367. Price, $1.40.

This work, the author of which is an eminent naturalist, is intended for the use of young folks, fruit-growers, farmers, and gardeners. While amateurs and dilettant entomologists may find useful hints in it, "the needs of those who wish to make a serious study of these animals have not been overlooked, and it is hoped that the book will be of some service in leading such students to pay more attention to the modes of life, transformations, and structure of insects than has yet been done in this country." Promi-