Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/118

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108
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Huxley of being a "propagator of atheism." Now, though these charges are launched from the Episcopal throne of Western New York, they are nevertheless not true. Bishop Coxe says, "I bear a divine commission." Then he has a divine commission to bear false witness. His accusation is simply a baseless calumny, and in none of his communications does he offer a shadow of proof to substantiate the charge. Prof. Huxley has never avowed himself an atheist, and has never advocated the doctrine, but on the contrary he has distinctly condemned it and declared it to be an absurd doctrine. Bishop Coxe says he is "a propagator of atheism," but where is the proof? There are such people as avowed atheists, and there is a party of them in England that labors to propagate the belief. Bradlaugh is one of their chiefs, who boasted that he is the only man who ever ran for Parliament on the issue of being an atheist. Prof. Huxley has never had anything to do with this party, and is no more in sympathy with it than is Bishop Coxe. If Prof. Huxley has propagated atheism, he must have done it some time, some-where, and somehow, and there must be evidence of it. Has the bishop any better source of information than other people? If not, then he has lent himself to a false accusation. He quotes Scripture copiously in defense of his course, and cites from St. John the following passage: "Many deceivers are entering into the world. Look to your-selves . . . receive them not into your house." But, who are the deceivers, if not those who mislead people by untruthful statements? The utmost defense that Bishop Coxe can make is, that he has heard Prof. Huxley called an atheist, or that he infers from his books that he holds atheistic opinions; but is a man to be stripped of his character, and loaded with opprobrious epithets, and are all good Christians to be invited to slam their doors in his face, because of mere idle rumors and inferential constructions of his writings, both of which are contradicted by his explicit averments? The Bishop of Western New York should migrate to Rome, where he properly belongs, at the earliest opportunity.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Talks about Labor, and concerning the Evolution of Justice between the Laborers and the Capitalists. By J. N. Larned. Pp. 150. Price, $1.50. D. Appleton & Co., 1876.

This book is the result of an able effort to analyze the present relations of capital and labor, and to point out the directions whence future improvement in those relations must come. It has not the pretensions of an exhaustive treatise; nevertheless it is a study of the whole subject, and reaches to large conclusions. It is conceded on all sides that, as between laborers and capitalists, grave problems have to be settled before their relations can be adjusted to the higher notions of justice now pressing on the minds of men. The men with capital, and those without it, but with capabilities for work, must be in constant cooperation, the terms of which are determined by complex facts. The fairness or unfairness of these terms bears closely on our social life, and is an index to the quality of our civilization. We cannot turn away from them, relying entirely for their amelioration on the operation of forces beyond human control. The social philosophy imbued with the spirit of science tells us that the institutions of social life develop only in obedience to irresistible currents of educated feeling and opinion.

Without stopping to consider this thorny question, it may safely be said that prevailing mental and moral conceptions are a factor of intense importance in determining the forms of social action, and, as they pass from lower to higher states, a corresponding improvement occurs in everything upon which they act. With equal safety we may assume that this progress in our conceptions is in no way more promoted than by that activity of mind which