Popular Science Monthly/Volume 18/February 1881/Literary Notices
|←Editor's Table||Popular Science Monthly Volume 18 February 1881 (1881)
Scotch Sermons, 1880. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp .346. Price, $1.25.
This book is a surprise, and as gratifying as it is unexpected. Its title is anything but inviting. Of all branches of literature sermons are generally and justly pronounced the dullest, and of the class of sermons, everybody would expect to find the Scotch the driest. This is what sharpened surprise and produced actual astonishment when we looked into this unpromising volume. We have been accustomed to regard Scotch Presbyterianism as the narrowest and most intolerant and intractable form of Calvinistic orthodoxy, which would be the very last to yield to the liberalizing tendencies of the time, but we have been much mistaken. The mechanical law that action and reaction are equal and opposite seems to hold rigorously in the theological sphere, so that the counter-impulse now displayed in the Scottish Church is, perhaps, more vigorous comprehensive, and fruitful than is to be found in any other religious body.
This volume, dedicated to Dean Stanley, consists of twenty-three sermons, preached by various men, located in various places, and all clergymen of the Church of Scotland. Its editorship is anonymous, but its editor declares that it "has originated in the wish to gather together a few specimens of a style of teaching which increasingly prevails among the clergy of the Scottish Church. It docs not claim to represent either the full extent of that teaching or the range of subjects on which, in their public ministrations, its authors are in the habit of discoursing. It may, however, serve to indicate a growing tendency and to show the direction in which thought is moving. It is the work of those whose hope for the future lies not in alterations of ecclesiastical organization, but in a profounder apprehension of the essential ideas of Christianity; and especially in the growth within the Church of such a method of presenting them as shall show that they are equally adapted to the needs of humanity and in harmony with the results of critical and scientific research."
There is, of course, considerable inequality in these productions, coming as they do from such diverse sources, but they are all of a superior character, and there are a unity and a harmony in the views advanced which show that the liberalizing movement in the Scottish Church is broad, consistent, well defined, and well matured. The writers treat their respective topics independently, but with a remarkable concurrence of opinion, which shows that the more expanded views are the result less of any effort at agreement than of an unconscious growth of rational conviction.
But these sermons are not less remarkable for their free and catholic spirit and advanced principles than for the intellectual power which various of them evince in dealing with the present phases of religious thought. They are not the mere impatient protests of men chafing under the influence of an outworn system, but they are philosophical in temper, constructive and conservative in tendency, and evince a masterly grasp of the questions that are now tasking the best minds of the age. There is no timidity, no panic about imperiled faiths, and the old errors are repudiated with decision, but without harshness or bitterness. It is ably shown how religion is the gainer by being freed from the false beliefs that have been so long associated with it, and so widely mistaken for it.
These sermons are, moreover, remarkably free from that jealous antagonism to Science which in these days characterizes so much of our mediocre literature of theology. Science is neither fiercely denounced as leading to materialism, nor coldly complimented and left to go her ways. Her results are cordially accepted as a great revelation of truth, and of truth which is also of the highest religious importance. Instead of shrinking with horror at the scientific doctrine of development as something which threatens to sweep away all religion, these clear-sighted men recognize that this doctrine is at the basis of religion itself. They understand that all stereotyped faiths and fixed creeds are doomed to be left be- hind, while the spirit that animated them must assume new forms under a widened and advancing religious experience. It is certainly a most remarkable result that out of the Scottish Church, in 1880, should come this weighty proclamation to the religious world, that the great law of continuity and evolution, as unfolded and established by modern science, is to become a foundation and bulwark of religious faith in the fu- ture. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
We should be glad to reprint half these sermons in the "Monthly," but, as this is impossible, we give a few passages illustra- tive of the standpoint of the book. The Very Rev. John Caird, Principal of the Uni- versity of Glasgow, has the first discourse, on " Corporate Immortality," which is an able plea for interest in " The things of this life " as opposed to the overshadowing claims of another world. He says:
It needs little reflection to perceive that the whole order of things in which we live is con- stracted not on the principle that we are sent into this world merely to prepare for another, or that the paramount aim and etfort of every man should be to make ready for death and an unknown existence beyond the grave. On the contrary, in our own nature and iu the system of things to which we belong, everything seems to be devised on the principle that our interest in the world and human affairs is not to termi- nate at death. It is not, as false moralists would have us believe, a mere illusion, a proof only of the folly and vanity of man that we do not and can not feel and act as if we were to have no concern with this world the moment we quit it. It is not a mere irrational impulse that moves us, when, in the acquisition of knowledge, In the labors of the statesman and legislator, in the bouses we build, the trees we plant, the books we write, the works of art we create, the schemes of social amelioration m'c devise, the educational institutions we organize and improve, we act otherwise than we should do if our interest in all earthly affairs were in a few brief years to come to an end. It is not due to a universal mistake that we work for a thousand endi*, the accomplishment of which we shall not live to see; that the passions we feel are more intense, the efforts we put forth immeasurably greater, than if we were soon and for ever to have done withit all. Even the desire of posthumous fame, which has been the theme of a thousand sar- casms and satirical moralizing?, the passion that impels us to do deeds and create works which men will be thinking of and honoring when we are gone, does not rest on a mere trick
of false association, which your clever psychclo- gist can explain so deftly, but is the silent, in- eradicable testimony of our nature to the share we have in the undying life of humanity.
Does any one press on me the thought that, say what you will of the future, death to each of us is near, and no ulterior hope can quell the nearer anxiety as to what is to become of us, and how we are to prepare for that fast-ap- proaching, inevitable hour? Then, I answer finally that, to whatever world death introduce you, the best conceivable preparation for it is to labor for the highest good of the world in which you live. Be the change which death brings what it may, he who has spent his life in trying to make this world better can never be unpre- pared for another. If heaven is for the pure and holy,if that which makes men good isthatwhich best qualifies for heaven, what better discipline in goodness can we conceive for a human spirit, what more calculated to elicit and develop its highest affections and energies, than to live and labor for our brother's welfare? To find our deepest joy, not in the delights of sense, nor in the gratification of personal ambition, nor even in the serene pursuits of culture and science, nay, not even in seeking the safety of our own souls, but in striving for the highest good of those who are dear to our Father in heaven, and the moral and spiritual redemption of that world for which the Sou of God lived and died say, can a nobler school of goodness be discovered than this? Where shall love and sympathy and beneficence find ampler training, or patience, i courage, dauntless devotion, nobler opportuni- I ties of exercise than in the war with evil?
I The Rev. Dr. Ferguson, of Strathblane, has a powerful discourse on " Law and Mir- acle," in which he says:
Christianity, then, is no rigid system of dog- ma, or of ecclesiastical forms elaborated long ago and incapable of growth or change. It is rather a living organism, drawing nourishment to itself from every side, and affected by the life- pulsations of every age. Look, for instance, what a vast difference between Christianity in the first and in the nineteenth century! Then it was struggling for existence between Judaism on the one hand and paganism on the other; now it has conquered its position, and extorts recognititm at least from its bitterest opponents. It has revolutionized the whole structure of so- ciety, and formed manners and customs and habits of thought.
Of the effects produced by this habit of sift- ing and winnowing which goes on in history, we have a good example in the doctiine of mir- acle. In our own day that doctrine does not oc- cupy the prominent position it formerly had. It has fallen into the background, and lost its apol- ogetic value; but, at the same time, its actual relations to the circle of Christian truth have been made clear. In the course of last century, on the contrai-y, the sharpest attacks which Christianity had to sustain were directed against this side. The contest raged round the credibil- ity or incredibility of miracle, as if the whole of revelation depended upon the issue. In reality, however, no vital point of revelation was endan- gered. It was an affair of outposts altogether, and the work so energetically assaulted and de- feuded had little importance for the citadel in the rear. Neither the philosopher who argued against nor the divine who contended for miracle was dealing with the essence of Christianity, and the complete triumph of either would have made little change. At the worst, a dogma of the Church would have been overthrown; but the dogmas of the Church and the religion of Christ are not synonymous terms.
In enumerating the various causes which have produced a new " climate of opinion " iu relation to miracles, Dr. Ferguson says:
First of all, there is the scientific conception of the universality of law. This may truly be said to be the revelation of our own age, not in the sense that it was unknown to our predeces- sors, but that in the present day the conception has been eo extended and generalized as to dwarf its former proportions. It has passed out of the laboratory of science into the common possession of men, and is now one of the great truths 80 firmly established that they become truisms. We never stop to re.ason about them, and, were any one rash enough to call them iu question, we should not give him even a patient hearing. Moreover, the idea of law is not to be confined to the material world, with its inde- structible treasury of force. It must be carried over into the world of minrl, and be seen at work there also, not indeed with the rigidity of physical law, but within the large limits which freedom of thought and action demands. It is to he traced in the advance of civilization, in the development of history, in the growth of reli- gion, in relations such as those between morals and art, between society and government, be- tween national life and literature. Now, it is not difflcult to see how such a conception must indispose men under its influence to look favor- ably upon miracle. In the idea of order every- where supreme, calm, eternal, there is a sub- limity which fills their imagination and stimu- lates their intellect. Any interruption of its uniform course, any breach of continuity, would be a blemish in the picture, and not an addition- al charm would be, indeed, a positive pain to thought, and, instead of disposing the mind to reverence, would fill it with confusion and doubt.
The Rev. Professor Knight, of St. An- drews, has a sermon of great interest and moment on " The Continuity and Develop- ment of Religion," in which he says:
It does not, therefore, follow that, if we can explain the origin of a particular belief by trac- ing its parentage, and finding that it has sprung from inferior elements, the validity of the belief itself is in the slightest degree imperiled. Nay, it is indisputable that, if the human mind has
grown at all, its religious convictions like everything else belonging to it must have changed. Our remote ancestors could not pos- sibly have had the same religion as ourselves, any more than they could have had the same physiognomy, the same social customs, or the same language. Thus, the intuitions of subse- quent ages must necessarily have become keen- er and clearer, at once more rational and more spiritual, than the instincts of primeval days; the clearness, the intelligence, and the spiritual- ity being due to a vast number of conspiring causes. And, if the opinions and the practices of the race thus change, the change is due to no accident or caprice, but to the ordinary pro- cesses of natural law. It can not be otherwise; because, since no human belief springs up mi- raculously, none can be maintained in the form in which it arises for any length of lime. Thus, the "increasing purpose" of the ages must in- evitably bring to the front fresh modifications of belief. If our theologies have all grown out of something very different, why should we fear their continued growth? Why should any ra- tional theist dread the future expansion of the- istic belief? If it has grown, it must continue to grow, and many of its existing phases must disappear. The controversies of our time are tlie phases of its evolution. But is it now so very perfect that we would wish it to remain stationary at its present point 01 development? That its present phases should be permanent? May we not rather rejoice that " these all shall wax old as a garment," and that, "as a vesture, they shall be changed"; while the Object of which they are the interpretation, or which they try to represent endures, and of its immortality there shall be no end? It may even be affirmed that one of the best features in every human be- lief is its elasticity; that one si^n of its vitality is its amenability to change. Were it irrevoca- bly fixed, it would have some secret affinity with death and the grave. Paradoxical, therefore, as it may seem, if religion he among the things that can not be shaken, it must change. Its forms must die that its spirit may live; and the condition of the permanence of the latter is the perpetual vicissitude of the former. Curious it is that some of its most ardent advocates can not recognize it under a new dress, that even its disciples misconstrue it when it changes its raiment. They think it a foe if it is differently appareled. But how often in all human contro- versy the combatants are merely speaking dif- ferent dialects while they mean the same thing 1 But, granting that the opinion of the world is an organic whole, that all human conviction with its present variety and complexity has grown out of very lowly roots, and that our most sacred beliefs have emerged from others that are differ- ent, a further and a far more important ques- tion lies behind this admission. It is this: How are we to interpret the whole series from begin- ning to end? It is not enough to say that there has been progress; what meaning are we to at- tach to the term procress? Are we to think of it as simple succession and accumulation, the mere addition of new links to a chain of development? We know that men "rise on step- ping-stones of their dead selves to higiier ihinijs," and that the "iudlvidual withers, while the race is more and more"; but do the individ- uals and their beliefs only resemble beads wliich have been strung,' on a thread of endles^sly devel- oping succession? What has the race been do- ing during all this onward process of develop- ment? And has it at every stage been the victim of continuous illusion? Or has it all the while been in the closest contact with Reality, a reality which it partially understands, and in- terprets to good purpose? In other words, is the history of religious ideas merely the record of attempts made by men to project their own image outward, to throw their thought around an impalpable object which it has never yet been able to grasp? Or is it the story of successive efforts, more and more successful, to explain a reality which transcends it, but to which it stands in a definite and ascertainable relation? Do the gropings of experience in the matters of religion record a long and weary search, with no discovery rewarding it? Or are they the ef- forts of humau apprehension to realize the di- vine, to get at the " lastclearelements of things," with disclosure at every stage, and a steady ap- proach to the goal which is continually sought and approximately reached? I think it is past controversy that if the religions education of the human race has been a purely subjective process, if it has been merely an upward ten- dency of aspiration, it is now no nearer its goal than ever it was. If we can only approach the Infinite by the journeyings of finite thought or throuiih sii;h8 and cries of aspiration, the jour- ney that way is endless, and the end is nowhere visible. But may we not find the object every- where? May not the discovery have been ns continuou? as the search, and the two be simul- taneous now? I think that we may affirm that the human race has lived in the light of a never- ceasina: apocalypse, growing clearer through the ages, but never absent from the world since the first age began.
Modern Thinkers: Principally upon Social Science. What they Think, and why. By Van Buren Denslow, LL. D. With an Introduction by Robert tt. Ingersoll. With Eicht Portraits. Chicago: Bel- ford, Clark & Co. Pp. 384.
This volume consists of a series of brief personal sketches of several of the leading thinkers of modern times, together with critical disquisitions on their labors, influ- ence, and character. The thinkers selected for study are all of the aggressive or revo- lutionary type, and they were chosen further- more because of the more or less intimate bearing of their advanced ideas on the sub- ject of social science. Three Englishmen, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, and Her-
bert Spencer; two Frenchmen, August Comte and Charles Fourier; a Swede, Emanuel Swedeiiborg; a German, Ernst Haeckel; and an American, Thomas Paine are the characters selected for examina- tion.
The author has a brief preface explain- ing the origin of his book, and offering some preliminary suggestions regarding its method and purpose. The essays were written for the "Chicago Times," and at the suggestion of its editor they were first published in that newspaper. The intelli- gent interest elicited by them has induced the author to bring them out in this more permanent form. It was an excellent idea, and does credit to the editorial sagacity and liberality of Mr. Storey. People are un- doubtedly more and more confining them- selves to the reading furnished by news- papers, and we see no reason why, under the pretext that their business is the promulga- tion of news, the daily press should confine itself exclusively to the scattering of in- formation on ephemeral and frivolous sub- jects.
Colonel Robert J. Ingersoll contributes a spicy introduction to the volume, briefly presenting his views of the various charac- ters it deals with, and pointedly reillustrat- ing his well-known anti-theological position. In this, however, he is in entire harmony with the spirit of the volume, which is char- acterized throughout by hostility to every- thing theological, and abounds in unsparing invectives against the Church, the priest- hood, and the Christian gospel. The work is written in a free, vivacious, and some- what dashing style, and is eminently read- able. The mode of treating the subjects is independent, sensational, and bold. Much of its exposition is instructive, evincing good preparation; and much of it will be unsatisfactory to those who prize deliber- ate and unprejudiced work. As a piece of manufacture, the volume itself is no credit to Chicago.
The essay that has most interested us is on the American subject, Thomas Paine, whom the author regards as the " represent- ative critic, destroyer, and revolutionist of
his period He was gifted, as no man ever
was before or since, with the fatal and un- happy faculty of suppressing the good and exaggerating the ill in the men upon whose conduct he was called to comment, and in the institutions he aimed to overturn." Dr. Denslow makes out a specious case for Paine as the author of the " Letters of Ju- nius"; but Mr. Ingersoll interposes to pro- tect the great freethinker against this scan- dalous imputation, and protests that Paine "was neither a coward, a calumniator, nor a sneak," and he gives a few reasons that are weighty against the hypothesis that Paine was the author of these celebra'ted letters.
Dr. Denslow maintains, with more show of reason, that he wrote the " Declaration of Independence," and Mr. Ingersoll is in- clined to think that this claim is well found- ed. Decisive reasons are given why Jef- ferson could not have been its author, and there is much forcible evidence that Paine was the only man who could have done it. The following passages will afford a good illustration of our author's manner of deal- ing with his topics, and also sum up his es- timate of Mr. Paine:
But, enough i The Declaratiou of ludepen- dence must hereafter be construed as a fabric whose warp and woof were Thomas Paine's. It was admirably adapted, as a revolutionary pro- nunciamiento, to Are the colonial heart to a war for separation which, though placed on utterly inadequate and untenable grounds by that Dec- laration, yet had good grounds which are not mentioned in it. Those were, simply, that not having any of the materials for an aristocracy in this country, we could not coalesce into one government with Great Britain, whose govern- ment was aristocratic. If we had been permit- ted to elect members to her House of Commons, what should we have sent to her House of Lords? The alleged grievance of taxation to reimburse the British Treasury for expenses incurred in our defense was in no sense a money grievance. The money having been expended for our bene- fit, it was our duty to pay it. There could sure- ly be no duty resting on Londoners or York- shiremen to pay the expenses of Montgomery's march to Quebec or Braddock's to Pittsburgh. The real difficulty was, that we needed a sov- ereign government, and could not be admitted into the British one, because that was aristo- cratic and we had no aristocracy. This was not a grievance, but it was a good cause for na- tional separation. The Declaration, like many popular documents, substituted sentiment for sense, passion for wisdom, fiction and rhetoric for history and fact, concealed the double mer- its of the case and helped on the war, in the same way that the stupidity of George III did. |
We may now fairly estimate Thomas Paine ] in his two most marked characters, as a master 1
of rhetorical invective and as a revolutionist; for, after attributing to him the authorship both of "Junius" and of the Declaration of Indepen- dence, as well as "Common Sense," "The Cri- sis," and ' The Rights of Man," he still subsides into the category of brilliant sensational agita- tors endowed with a considerable force of pro- phetic insight, who fell far short of the qualifica- tions essential to a statesman, or even of the ap- preciation of what statesmanship is. There can be no statesmanship without cool-headed can- dor, judicial calmness, capacity for guarded, just, and moderate statement, which will bear the test of time, perfect fairness toward adver- saries, gratitude toward supporters, and a capa- city for harmonizing adverse or conflicting ele- ments by practicing, in non-essentials, unity, and in essentials, charity. Webster, Clay, Cal- houn, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, and Franklin possessed these qualities, but Paine, the scathing and withering accuser, lacked them all. If it be a galling and unbearable tyr- anny for a conscientious man, with a tongue that has an infinite capacity for accusation, and none for pardon, to go about, like a section of the day of judgment, applying to every one who stands in his way such exacting and ideal testa and standards of virtue that human nature, which seems very tolerable to those who are looking at it without the blasting motive, is foredoomed by it to certain damnation and in- famy, then Paine was a species of moral tyrant, always demanding the impossible of others. Notwithstanding his profession and belief that he was an apostle of freedom, Paine's funda- mental belief in politics was that the govern- ment was always wrong, that it was inherently an evil; that the less there was of it the better, but that, however reduced in dimensions, what- ever should be left of it would still be bad by reason of its being government. It was as wrong when vested in Washington as in George III, and he had good reason to know that it was as wrong when wielded by Robespierre as when presided over by Louis XVI. On the contrary, Paine imag- ined that the aggregated ignorance and incapaci- ty of all the vast unskilled millions who had been pushed out of the work of government by the superior force and cunning of those in power were the actual repository of political wisdom and purity. The iceberg needed only turning over. He began with the creed, which he re- tained to his death, that government was not an affViir of skill, but merely of honesty; not a problem of difficulty, but merely of good inten- tions. Holding these views, it followed that if it could in some way be got out of the hands of the skilled and interested few who were edu- cated to it, and had made a profit out of it, into the hands of the unskilled and disinterested masses, who were not educated to it. and who, he assumed, would not seek to make a profit out of it, then good government would be perfectly secured. The inverted iceberg would bloom into an enchanted island, melodious with the songs of biids and mellifluous with the scent of floners. It did not occur to him that the hereditary principle in government might supply permanency, nationality, and non-partisan- ehip to the executive, while an elected execu- tive would always be the mere chief of a party and never the head of a nation; or that the bungliui? charlatanism of the unskilled democ- racy^might result iu misgovernment, waste, des- potism, and passionate folly. So little did he comprehend both sides of the question, that, in The Eights of Man," he predicted that within ten years the monarchical and aristocratic prin- ciples would have disappeared from all enlight- ened governments of Europe. The instant his supposed government of the people had got un- der way in America, Paine immediately saw iu it an oligarchy in power, new in personality, but not materially different in meanness and avarice.
The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism. By Epes Sargent. Boston: Colby & Rich. Pp. 372. Price, $1.50. This work, copyrighted in 1880, has but just appeared, but siace its publication its versatile author has passed away. Mr. Sargent was bom in 1812, studied in Har- vard College, and early became an editor in Boston. He pursued this vocation awhile in New York, and then again resumed it in Boston. He edited various popular "Speak- ers" "Readers," and rhetorical books for the schools, and wrote many plays both comi- cal and tragical. He also wrote "Life of Henry Clay," a volume of poems, an aboli- tion book,"and " Arctic Adventures." That he should have dipped into spiritualism was but natural with his love of diversified lit- erary occupation; and so, a dozen years ago, he printed " Planchette, or the Despair of Science," and closed his career with the pro- duction of the volume now before us.
As was to be expected, the work is one of considerable literary merit, well digested, attractively written, and made lively by a pervading spirit of criticism. If we may be allowed the paradoxical suggestion, Mr. Sar- gent goes the " whole hog " in spiritualism. He believes it all, sticks at nothing, and slash- es right and left at everybody who objects to it. He claims to be on the winning side, and says that in the last forty years spirit- ualism has gained twenty million adherents. One would think that with this he might "rest and be thankful," but it does not satisfy him. It seems that, among these twenty million believers, the scientific men generally are not to be found, and it is this fact which caused Mr. Sargent to write his book. He thinks the twenty million
people of all sorts, who need not be further characterized, are right, and that the scien- tific men the sole class whose business it is to search out the truths of nature are wrong; and it is his object to show that spiritualism has just as much a valid scien- tific foundation as any of the recognized and established branches of science. We shall not undertake to answer his arguments, if such they may be called, but will only ob- serve, as we have repeatedly done before in this connection, that the most fundamental of all distinctions is confused throughout the work. The supernatural, or that w^hich by its very term is above and beyond nature, is mixed up and confounded with nature itself, and spiritualism is declared to be " a purely natural fact." Yet, if this doctrine had twenty times twenty million adherents, science could not accept it, because it takes for its object of investigation the natural as opposed to the supernatural. In so far as alleged " spiritualism " involves human phe- nomena, it is of course within the purview of science, and scientific men will be cer- tain to take these phenomena up in their own way and in their own time. But they must be allowed to mark out their own work, and the problem as presented by the twenty million does not come in a shape suitable to be dealt with by rigorous scientific methods. The men of science begin by doubting, and cultivating this state of mind as a virtue; they continue to doubt until evidence extorts acquiescence, while assent even then goes no further than to things regarded as actual- ly proved; the " twenty million," on the contrary, begin by believing, hold this state of mind to be a virtue, and go on believing without much perplexing themselves over questions of evidence. To them the phrase "the scientific basis of the super-scientific " would involve no contradiction.
Progress and Poverty; an Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy. By Henry George. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 512. Cheap edition, with a new preface, in paper cover. Price, 75 cents.
We are glad to announce the appearance of a cheap popular edition of this suggestive book, by which it will be made accessible to many who could not have secured it in its previous form. We are happy to note, further, that it has proved a very cousid- erable success. Four editions have been called for in this country; the Germans are printing a translation in parts; it is dis- cussed in French and Italian periodicals; and an English edition is in preparation. The work is everywhere looked upon as an important contribution to political economy, and as an eloquent and vigorous discussion of imminent social problems. It is a whole- some sign of the growing liberality of the times that a work should be so cordially re- ceived and highly appreciated, while at the same time there is general and decisive dis- sent from its main conclusions. It is read and enjoyed for its humane spirit and the novelty and independence of its views; but we do not observe that Mr. George makes disciples who endorse his leading and dis- tinctive doctrines. It is, however, admitted that he has contributed to the elucidation of political economy by his adverse criticism of prevailing opinions on that subject; and it is certainly no small merit to have done something for the advancement of this in- quiry, and the clearing up of important economical questions.
Medical Heresies historically consid- ered. A Series of Critical Essays on the Origin and Evolution of Sectarian iledi- ' cine, embracing a Special Sketch and Re- view of Homoeopathy, Past and Present. By GoxsALvo C. Smythe, A. M., M. D., Professor of the Practice of Medicine, Central College of Physicians and Sur- geons, Indianapolis. Philadelphia: Pres- ley Blakiston. Pp. 228. Price, |1.25.
It was not the author's object in this volume to write a history of medicine, but simply to sketch the rise and fall of the different schools, sects, or systems of medi- cine, from the earliest historical period down to some of the more prominent heresies of the present day. The author writes with brevity, and does not enter into the consid- eration of the contemporaneous systems of philosophy or theology with which medicine in former times has been strangely and in- consistently commingled. All topics are also avoided which are merely of interest to the medical antiquarian. The author says in his preface: "My second object is to furnish the regular profession with some much-needed
information in regard to homoeopathy. Few busy practitioners have the time or inclina- tion to investigate the claims of this school, and, although they are brought iu contact with it daily, know little or nothing of its real principles. I have presented the principles of this school fairly, quoting the exact words of its founders at the expense of some repe- tition, in order that I might not be accused of misrepresentation. The discussion of these principles has been conducted from a scientific standpoint, and without ridicule, thus showing of what homoeopathy consisted originally; and by quotations from the cur- rent literature of the school, with discussions thereon, showing what it is now. It is con- fidently believed that the condensed infor- mation contained in this little book will not be altogether without interest to the pro- fession."
Passages from the Prose Writings op Matthew Arnold. New York: Mac- millan & Co. Pp. 333. Price, $1.50.
Not only will the admirers of Matthew Arnold be gratified by this varied collection of his best utterances, but many, who are not familiar with or do not possess his works, will be glad of a representative vol- ume like this, in which they can get some acquaintance with the thought of the emi- nent modern apostle of the gospel of "sweetness and light." The selections are systematic, being arranged under the heads of I. Literature; II. Politics and Society; and III. Philosophy and Religion; and they have been collected with good judgment, and will prove very suggestive and gratify- ing to all cultivated readers.
The Jocrnal of Physiology. Edited by Michael Foster, M. D., F. R. S., of Trin- ity College, Cambridge. Assisted in England by Drs. Gamgee, Rutherford, and Burdon-Sanderson; and in the Uni- ted States by Drs. Bowditch, Martin, and Wood. New York: Macmillan & Co. No. 1, Vol. III.
We call renewed attention to this ad- mirable periodical, the only one in English thoroughly devoted to original physiologi- cal research. The progress in the arts of physiological experimentation and the un- tiring assiduity of the laborers in this field are fruitful of important results which are both of general interest as extensions of scientific knowledge and of special moment to all the well-qualified members of the medical profession. The publication de- serves to be liberally sustained.
Thk Beautiful and the Sublime. An Anal- ysis of these Emotions, and a Determi- nation of the Objectivity of Beauty. By John Steinfort Kedney. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 214. Price, $1.25.
This is not a text -book on aesthetics, but an attempt to deal with the underlying philosophy of the subject. Physical sci- ence, metaphysics, and theology profess to be no more dealt with than is necessary for the author's logical purpose. His chief claims are on the psychologic and the ethic side, and there he thinks he has made ad- ditions to the treatment of the subject. He does not attempt to deal formally with art or art criticism, but holds that his views may be carried out in application to the several departments of architecture, sculp- ture, painting, music, literature, oratory, poetry, and histrionics. The author mod- estly says in his preface: "While my treatise is intended, primarily, as a contri- bution to the philosophy of the science, I have endeavored to cast it in such form and style as to interest all intelligent readers, who, if they are patient over some parts of the work, may find it, elsewhere, and on the whole, compensatory."
A New School Physiology. By Richard J. Dunglison, A.m., M. D. 119 En- gravings. Philadelphia: Porter k Coates. Pp. 314. Price, 81.50.
This school-book has several things to commend it: it is neatly printed, it is ele- gantly illustrated, it carries an eminent name on its title-page as author, and is, consequently, we have no doubt, trust- worthy in its statements; if, therefore, the publishers can not make a good thing out of it, it will be their fault. The drawback of the book is, that its author seems to know only physiology, while some knowledge of the growing mind is necessary to make a good book of science for educational pur- poses. It is a question-and-answer book "of the old type," to be learned by memory by young people. As this class embraces
pupils of all grades, the book is suited to no special grade, and will be equally used to begin with, to continue with, and to finish with. This will be again favorable to its sale, but unfits it for intelligent educational use.
Diphtheria: Its Cause, Nature, and Treat- . ment. By RoLLiN R. Gregg, M. D. Pp. 137. Price, $1.50.
On the title-page of this book is printed the following, which are probably funda- mental propositions maintained in the vol- ume: "Spherical Bacteria, or Micrococci of Diphtheria, shown to be only Molecular Granules of Fibrin. Rod -like Bacteria, Bacterian termo, shown to be Molecular Granules of Fibrin, united into Fibrils, or fine thread-like prolongations."
The book is one that it belongs to the medical profession to judge of.
Cases treated by the Lister Method. Report- ed to the Portland Clinical Society by Frederick H. Gerrish, M.D. Portland, 1880. Pp. 15.
The Anarchist. Socialistic-Revolutionary Re- view. Edited and publishd by Dr. Nathan Ganz. Boston, January, 1881. Monthly. Pp. %i. 60 cents a year.
Vennor's Almanac and Weather Record for 1880-81. New York: American News Compa- ny. Pp. 84. 25 cents.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sci- ences. Vol. I. Nos. 11, 12, March, and No. 13, April. 1880. New York: Published for the Acad- emy.
The Constitution of the Tartrates of Anti- mony. By Professor F. W. Clarke and Helena Stallo. Reprint from "American ChemicalJour- nal." Pp. 13.
Reports of the Iowa Weather Service for the Twelve Months of 1S78. and January, Feb- ruary, March, and April, 1879. By Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs. Des Moines, 1880.
Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by Georsje Grove, D. C. L. Part XII, Palestrina to Plain" Song. London and New York: Mac- millau & Co. 1880. Issued in quarterly parts, at $1.
Report on the Culture of the Sugar-Beet and the Manufacture of Sugar therefrom in France and the United States. By William McMurtrie, Ph D. Washington: Government Priuting-Of- flce. 1880. With Maps. Pp. 294.
A Treatise on the Injurious and Beneficial Insects found on the Orange-Trees of Florida. By William H. Ashmead. Jacksonville, Fla. 1S80. Illustrated. Pp. 78.
The Food of Fishes. By S. A. Forbes. Re- print from Bulletin No. 3. Illustrated. State Laboratory of Natural History. Pp. 60.
On the Present Condition of Musical Pitch in Boston and Vicinity. By Charles R. Cross and William T. Miller. Reprint from the " Amer- ican Journal of Otology," October, 1880. Pp. 16.
The Coming Revelation: Its Principles. St. Louis, 1878. Pp. 40. The Abdominal Method of Singing and Breathing as a Cause of Female Weakness. By Clifton E. Wins, M.D. Boston. Pp. 8.
Abridgment of the Nautical Almanac for 1881. By Riggs & Brother, Philadelphia. Pp. 150. 25 cents.
The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota. Eighth Annual Report, for 1879. By N. H. Winchell. Illustrated. St. Paul, 1880. Pp. 183.
Drainage for Health, or Easy Lessons in Sanitary Science. By Joseph Wilson, M.D. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1881. Pp. 68. $1.
Report of the United States Fish Commissioner for 1878. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1880. Pp. 988.
Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages. With Words. Phrases, and Sentences to be collected. By J. W. Powell. Washington: Government Printing-Office. With Maps. 1880. Pp. 328.
James Smithson and his Bequest. By William J. Rhees. Washington: Published by the Smithsonian Institution. Illustrated. 1880. Pp. 159.
Sketches and Reminiscences of the Radical Club of Chestnut Street, Boston. Edited by Mrs. John T. Sargent. Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co. 1880. Pp. 418. $2.
The Logic of Christian Evidences. By G. Frederick Wright. Andover: Warren F. Draper. 1880. Pp. 312. $1.50.
Extracts from Chordal's Letter. American Machinists' Publishing Company. New York, 1880. Pp. 320. $1.50.
Elementary Projection Drawing. By S. Edward Warren, C.E. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Twenty-four Plates. 1880. Pp. 162. $1.50.
A Text-Book of Elementary Mechanics. By Edward S. Dana. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1881. Pp. 291. $1.50.
The Young Folks' Cyclopædia of Persons and Places. Illustrated. By John D, Champlin, Jr. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1881. Pp. 936. $3.50.