Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/139

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131
LITERARY NOTICES.

examined by nations, for it presents very varied phases in different countries, according as it has been modified by the character and circumstances of their people and by their history. Everywhere, however, India is looked to as the land of its origin; and it is in India that its oldest and most important books are found. Mr. Davids has, therefore, very properly selected India as the country in which to consider it for the elucidation of its fundamental principles. His lectures, which were delivered on the Hibbert foundation, consider, first, "The Places of Buddhism in the Development of Religious Thought," under which head the author reviews the condition of India at the time of the introduction of Buddhism, the effect the new religion had on that condition, and the influence the condition exerted upon the shape it eventually took; and, afterward, the "Pali Pitakas," or the principal books of Buddhism—the Buddhist theory of Karma, or what takes the place, with a striking difference, of the Christian idea of the future life; the "Buddhist Lives of the Buddha"; "Gotama's Order," or the rules that were laid down by the founder of the religion himself; and "The Later Forms of Buddhism," which are immense in their variety. Among the lessons to be derived from the study, Mr. Davids points out that "the knowledge of what man has been in distant times, in far off lands, under the influence of ideas which at first sight seem to us so strange, will strengthen within us that reverence, sympathy, and love, which must follow on a realization of the mysterious complexity of being, past, present, and to come, that is wrapped up in every human life."

Bacteria. By Dr. Ferdinand Cohn. Translated by Charles S. Dolley. Rochester, New York. Pp. 30, with a Plate.

The title of this paper and the name of its author commend it without any further words. We need notice especially only the translator's statement of one of his objects in offering it, which is, to set the example of publishing scientific books in cheap editions, as is done abroad. The plate of illustrations consists of figures that were drawn by Dr. Cohn himself for "The Microscopical Journal."

Beliefs about Man. By M. J. Savage. Boston: George H. Ellis. Pp. 130. Price, $1.50.

This work, a complement to a previously published volume on "Belief in God," embraces the substance of a number of regular Sunday-morning sermons on the nature, origin, and destiny of man, in which were also considered some of the problems, such as those of sin and salvation and of free-will, which have troubled him during all the ages. The points brought out may be summed up in brief, that "man is the animal that has learned to think of himself, to think of right, to think of God, and has ended by thinking that he is a son of God"; that the doctrine of evolution has no relation to theism or atheism; that the doctrine of necessity, as distinguished from free-will, "gives us motive power, gives us a way to work, gives us confidence that our work will "not be without its appropriate results"; that the forces, the powers, that are at work in human nature today do not need uprootal or change, but only instruction, guidance, self-control; that the perfect city of God is to begin here; that the absolute conditions of progress are freedom and knowledge; and that death is not the end, but may be simply the fitting for "that other, higher life, that we may trust surrounds us everywhere now, and of which, even today, unknowingly, we are a part."

Transactions of the Medical Association of Georgia. Thirty-second Annual Session, 1881. Edited by Dr. A. Sibley Campbell. M. D., Secretary. Augusta, Georgia: Pp. 314. Price, $1; by mail, $1.05

This volume includes the papers which were read at the meeting of the association whose proceedings it records; which papers pertain to appropriate subjects in medical and surgical treatment, and are based upon material drawn chiefly from cases in the practice of their authors. The one, perhaps, of most general interest is that of Dr. R. J. Nunn, on "Female Diseases, the Result of Errors in Habit and Hygiene during Childhood and Puberty." Illustrations are given where the matter calls for them. The necrology of members of the association who died during the year is followed by a number of biographies of physicians previously