Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/577

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LITERARY NOTICES.

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��in the accompanying plates. An interesting chapter in the history of fish-culture is the record of several attempts at Transplanting Lobsters to the Pacific Coast, by Richard Rathbun. The volume contains also sev- eral shorter papers.

The New Religion : A Gospel of Love. By E. W. Gray. Chicago : Thome Publish- ing Co. Pp 423.

The New Religion unfolded in these pages is an exposition of the doctrine of Christ that love is the law of life. The author holds that the introduction of this motive of growth differentiates the Christian faith from all antecedent beliefs. The Egyptian, Brah- man, Buddhist, Greek, Roman, and Jew are spurred on by fear under inexorable law " the gods of the old religion are not gods of sympathy and love."

In judging Christianity it must not be confounded with any parasitic "ism." Su- perstition must be stripped away, the dog- mas of Church fathers and apostles disre- garded until the teaching of Christ himself is reached. This is found to be greatly at variance with the commonly accepted notions of Christianity. " The practice of going into public for the express purpose of prayer and worship has no sanction in the New Relig- ion," neither has a paid priesthood, nor pub- lic worship as such. The Church is over- grown with externalism which saps its life. Educational ministries are, however, pro- ductive of good, and the public meeting of the people beneficial for instruction. An- other ecclesiastical excrescence is the undue value of organization. For the first two hundred years, Christians did without church or creed, " and it may well be doubted whether both the organization and the creed have helped more than they have hurt Christi- anity." Dr. Gray believes that Jesus was not God and man, but God-man, and his explana- tion of the Christ-nature is at least ingenious. He asks whether the domain of animated ex- istence may not be extended, and suggests that, " for a specific and expressed purpose, an addition of another order of being was made." Christ was sui generis, a new va- riety. The transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension are received in their entirety as rev- elations of spiritual existence. The author holds that " if we accept Christianity at all,

VOL. XXXIX. 10

��we must accept what is called the super- natural." Miracles are not contrary to the laws of Nature, but transcend them, and may be in agreement with laws still unknown.

Dogmas of later date than the creed are not gently entertained. " An instantaneous transformation of character " is " one of the chief postulates of the New Religion." This is effected not by faith, or redeeming blood, but by the compelling love of Christ. Dr. Gray points out that Christ teaches plainly a new and positive morality : " Do good to them that hate you " ; " Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth." He insists that these directions are practical and oblig- atory for all Christians. Statistics are cited to show that one church controls $150,000,- 000 of property ; another, twice this amount ; and he dryly observes, " There is no scarcity . . . but the scarcity of love the virtue of the second commandment." The author is never consciously evasive, but direct, as well as reverent in his search for truth.

The Psychology of Attention. By Th. Ribot, Professor of Comparative and Experimental Psychology at the College de France. The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago. Pp. 121. Price, 75 cents.

This little work is devoted exclusively to an investigation of the mechanism of atten- tion. The subject is divided into two dis- tinct forms. The one, which is spontaneous and natural the true primitive and funda- mental form of attention has been neglected by psychologists ; while the other, which the author calls voluntary, is but an imitation, a result of training and education. It is de- rived wholly from spontaneous attention, and yet it is the only form to which psycholo- gists have given much consideration. In this volume Prof. Ribot goes to the root of the matter in the emotional states of ani- mals and young children ; and he holds that it is only by a study of its primitive form that we can reach an intelligible explanation of the higher forms of attention.

In his chapter upon spontaneous atten- tion, the author discusses its physical mani- festations : vaso-motory phenomena, motory phenomena, or phenomena of expression ; ex- plains that its supposed effects are really its constitutive elements, that it is only the sub- jective aspect of the physical manifestations

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