Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/725

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LITERARY NOTICES.

as it seems susceptible of description, assumes the form of an inquiry into the probability of there having been any relationship between the developments of primitive Old World and of aboriginal New World civilization. The first essay, which gives its title to the book, embraces a critical inquiry into the origin of Plato's story of Atlantis — which is left in the great philosopher's imagination — a discussion of the legends that have been current on the subject, a presentation of scientific evidence as being decisive against such a land having ever existed; and the conclusion — while the admission is made and even the belief is avowed that the Phoenicians may have visited America, and evidences of their presence here may yet be found — that ancient American civilization was native. In the next essay, the discovery of America by the Northmen and their attempts at colonization are accepted and discussed as established facts. The essay on Trade and Commerce in the Stone Age concerns the whole world, while the evidences of trade relations between different parts of America are considered in it in full. The conclusion is expressed that the exceptional aptitude of skilled workmen was recognized and brought into use for the general benefit, and co-operation and the division of labor were known at a very early stage in the development of primitive mechanical art; that materials for manufacture were transported from remote localities, and the exchange of products was facilitated by professional traders. The native origin of American civilization is again taken up in the essay on Pre-Aryan American Man. The succeeding essay is concerning the Æsthetic Faculty in Aboriginal Races; and in the following one the Huron Iroquois are presented as a typical American race. In the paper on Hybridity and Heredity the idea, fostered by Morton, of an approximation of the Anglo-American to the red Indian type is rejected; and an interesting speculation is suggested of the future of the colored race in this country, which, left free, as it now is, to enjoy the healthful social relations of a civilized community, and protected by prejudice from any large intermixture with the white race, will survive distinct. In the last paper, on Relative Racial Brain-weight and Size, the conclusion is reached that in the remarkably exceptional characteristics established by the study of certain Peruvian crania, "we have as marked an indication of a distinctive race-character as anything hitherto noticed in anthropology."

Creation of the Bible. By Rev. Myron Adams. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price, $1.50.

The author of this book is a Congregational clergyman, and he has given an excellent summary of the results of the "higher criticism." He follows Kuenen and Wellhausen, chiefly, in his views of Israelite history, beginning with the prophecies of the eighth century b. c. as a basis, and working back to the origin of the nation and forward to the introduction of Christianity. He thinks that Genesis is largely mythical, and was not composed till the Babylonish exile. He rejects the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and ascribes its composition to several authors between the sixth and eighth centuries b. c. The creation of the Bible, in fact, began with Ezra, the scribe, after the Babylonish exile. Prior to that time the sacred books of the Jews were lightly esteemed, and were tossed from pillar to post, but Ezra and his associates gathered them into a canon. The prophecies are the earliest and most reliable books of the Bible. The older parts of Genesis are products of oral tradition. The Levitical law and priesthood were not established in Israel until after the exile. Amos was the first prophet, Hosea came next, Joel and Malachi about two and a half centuries later. Isaiah wrote the first part of the book bearing his name, but the latter part was written by an unknown prophet of the exile. One of the most interesting chapters of the book is that entitled "From Gods to Gods," in which Mr. Adams shows that Israelite monotheism was developed from fetichism and idolatry. The prophets were the originators of monotheism in Israel, not Abraham, as is popularly supposed. The prophets also attacked the bloody sacrifices of the people. Human sacrifice was often practiced, even as late as Micah's time, for he protested against it. Jephthah offered his daughter in sacrifice to Jehovah; Samuel hewed Agag into pieces "before Jehovah"; and Abraham was tempted to sacrifice Isaac.

The books of Job and Daniel are "fictitious." They are not false, but they are