Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/430

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multiply descriptions of the various species. If my younger readers will try and become familiar with the types selected, either alive in zoölogical gardens or preserved in good museums, they will, I hope, acquire a very fair idea of the main branches of the Backboned Family."

This acceptance of the evolution stand-point, this tracing of the stream of life along the great course of terrestrial changes, this marking of the epochs of advancing organization in the ascending movement, and this tracing of genetic relationships, all concur in giving a new and impressive significance to the idea of unity in the great scheme of life, and give to natural history a new element of almost romantic interest. Miss Buckley has given attractiveness to the subject by her wealth of information, the clearness and simplicity of her descriptions, and she has heightened the effect by the skillfully conceived and finely executed illustrations with which the volume is filled.

Herbert Spencer on the Americans, and the Americans on Herbert Spencer. Being a Full Report of Mr. Spencer's Interview, and of the Proceedings at the Farewell Banquet. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 96. Price, ten cents, or $5 per hundred.

This pamphlet contains the most for the money of anything that can be found in the market. It has been carefully prepared, so as to be entirely correct and authentic. The newspaper reports were defective and incomplete. The revised addresses of Hon. William M. Evarts, Mr. Spencer, Professor W. G. Sumner, Mr. Carl Schurz, Professor O. C. Marsh, Mr. John Fiske, and Rev. Henry Ward Beecher are given in full; and to these are added the unspoken speeches of Mr. E. L. Youmans, Mr. Lester F. Ward, and Mr. E. R. Leland, together with all the letters sent to the committee, and which have not before been published. The document is weighty with important thought that can not fail to dispel much prejudice, and every one who cares for the dissemination of truth should send on his five dollars and get a hundred to distribute among his neighbors. They will be sure to appreciate the favor.

Unity Pulpit. Sermons of M. J. Savage. Vol. IV. No. 9. Herbert Spencer: his Influence on Religion and Morality. Published weekly. Boston: George H. Ellis. Price, $1.50 a year, or six cents single copy.

There is no more encouraging sign of the times than the indications we see that the pulpit is beginning to yield to the spirit of progress. As science slowly advances in the reformation of knowledge, bringing new subjects under the influence of its method, regenerating the ideals of mankind, and making truth the supreme object of quest and devotion, it is, of course, impossible for the pulpit to remain unaffected by the general movement. The highest victory of evolution will be to transform the biased preacher into the unbiased teacher. The pulpit, as we have inherited it, is becoming more and more anomalous in these times. It is the place that has been sacredly protected from the competitions of inquiry. Everywhere else error goes merely for what it is worth, and must take its chances in the open conflicts of discussion, but in the pulpit error is consecrated. It is the bulwark of tradition. Beliefs that are outgrown and abandoned everywhere else find refuge in the pulpit. The preacher is the expositor of ancient creeds, the leader of a sect, a rhetorical homilist, anything except an independent seeker after truth. The virtue of the pulpit is submissive faith, its crime freethinking. This characterization, of course, applies more to the past than to the present, but it is still too extensively true. There is, however, a silent, insidious, but inevitable change going on in a great number of pulpits that is loosening ancient prejudices, undermining past bigotries, softening theological asperities, and tending to a larger liberality in all religious matters. The position of the clergyman in a time of transition like the present is difficult, and, if he be a deeply conscientious as well as a clear-sighted man, is often painful. But many of them are learning how to meet the emergency, to yield gracefully that which must go, and to accept cordially that which must unavoidably come. Some pulpits, indeed, and their number is increasing, are already free. Their occupants are content to be simply teachers, and have liberated themselves from all trammels that tend to