Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/431

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hinder the promulgation of truth. The doctrine of evolution will certainly sweep away a large amount of old belief that has hitherto been venerated by its religious associations, but in various qualified forms the essential truth of that doctrine is already acknowledged in many pulpits where it is sure, as time goes on, to yield its liberalizing fruits.

Unity pulpit, in Boston, occupied by the Rev. Minot J. Savage, has long been emancipated from those restraints of dogma which hinder the acceptance of the great truths established by science. Mr. Savage has met the new questions of the time without hesitation and with a cordial welcome, holding that neither will a sound morality be weakened nor pure religion suffer through the extensions of science and the enlargement of the domain of truth. He maintains rather that a more authoritative ethics and more ennobling religious conceptions must be the inevitable result of that progress of thought which now finds its highest expression in the evolution philosophy. Unity pulpit at any rate is free, and its occupant is unable to perceive why in his sphere of inquiry he should not have exactly the same liberty of investigation that is exercised by every member of the National Academy of Sciences. His last sermon, now before us, is devoted to Herbert Spencer, and to an estimate of his influence on religion and morality. It certainly can not be said that the pulpit has hitherto sinned in the way of neglecting this representative thinker; but the utterance of Mr. Savage differs so widely from what we have been accustomed to hear from the lips of clergymen, that we have pleasure in quoting its opening passages:

A quiet, modest unassuming gentleman, with no assumption of greatness, with no air of pretense, with not the slightest approach to an appearance of patronage toward those who may be considered as less noted or great than himself, has been for the last two or three months seeking rest and refreshment here in America. Heard in public but once, seen in private only by a few, the country has still felt that a great man was here, a man like those to whom Emerson refers when he says, "A great man is himself an occasion." We have all felt this presence, and noted some indication of it now and then. For, when he has chosen to utter himself concerning the impressions that have been made upon him in this country, the whole nation has listened as though something were being said that was worthy of attention. The newspapers have caught it up; and all the leading organs for the expression of public opinion have commented on it, recognizing the fact that here at least was something not to be passed by in silence. This man, to whom we have been so ready to listen, has during the last quarter of a century wrought a work that, I think I may say, without exaggeration, has no parallel in the history of human thought. He has so wrought himself into the very fiber, the warp and woof of this modern world, that I can say of him, what can be said of no other man living, and what has never been said of any man who has ever lived: he has made himself so vital a part of science, of philosophy, of education, of the science of government, of sociology, of ethics, of religion—he has so mastered and entered into the possession of all these great realms of human thought and human life, which in their totality almost make up what is meant by life itself, that to-day no serious and intelligent thinker can discuss any important question pertaining to any one of these departments without being compelled to reckon with Herbert Spencer. You can not discuss science, you can not discuss philosophy, you can not discuss education, politics, society, and the laws that underlie them, you can not discuss ethics, you can not touch the subject of religion, without either agreeing with or differing from this quiet scholar. And to have wrought himself so intimately and so essentially into the very life of the world—this, I say, is an achievement unparalleled in the history of human thought. I care not in which department you pick up a book to-day, you will find that the writer, if he comprehends his theme, is either working along the lines which Herbert Spencer has laid out, or else he is telling the world why he does not do so. He does not ignore him—he can not ignore him. About a week ago, it was my privilege and pleasure to join one or two hundred gentlemen in giving Mr. Spencer a public dinner in New York, on the eve of his departure. It was something striking and wonderful to see there the leading men of the nation in all departments of thought and culture, sitting at his feet and acknowledging his supremacy.

A Practical Treatise on Hernia. By Joseph H. Warren, M. D. Second and revised edition. With Illustrations. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co. Pp. 428. Price, $5.

The author of this book is widely known as a successful practitioner and writer on hernia and kindred affections, and his aim has been to make this a trustworthy work of reference on the subject. The first edition was received in the most favorable manner by the profession; the present new edition has been improved with all the advantages that further studies and