Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/527

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dispensable. If we consider in this connection that America consumes at present a great part of the gold with which it formerly inundated the European markets, we are led to believe that the national economists, Dr. Süss, Robert Giffen, P. Rogers, Patterson Williamson (Liverpool), and others, are not altogether wrong in ascribing the great periodically occurring commercial crises to the want of gold, the sole legal circulating medium. Commercial crises are like fever; after convalescence a certain equilibrium is re-established, soon to be destroyed again, however, and new elements gather, finally producing another crisis. Since America at present spends alone ten million dollars annually for gold and art productions, and, besides this, has reserved a large capital for speculating purposes, while its gold production is decreasing, it may be logically established that the gold for commercial purposes must constantly diminish, and financial crises will recur in ever-shortening intervals.—Fortschritt der Zeit.




In estimating the importance of the new work by the author of "Ecce Homo," it will help us to pass shortly in review the religious history of the last thirty years. We shall better understand the nature of the epoch in which we are living, and be able to appreciate how far the author of "Natural Religion" is justified in offering what appears at first sight a one-sided eirenicon. In my review I will begin from the year 1850, not only because it is a convenient starting-point as the half-century, but because it is marked by the publication of Tennyson's "In Memoriam," a poem which, in its own day, appeared to many people, like Pope's "Essay on Man" a century before, a convincing answer to the cavils of free-thinkers. That its influence even at the time was overrated will appear certain, when we consider the group of works among which it appeared. In the same year were published Carlyle's "Latter-Day Pamphlets," containing protests so often repeated by the prophet-voice of the nineteenth century against the current state of thought in politics and religion; "Phases of Faith," by the younger of the two gifted brothers, of whom the elder took refuge in the Church of Rome, the other in an extreme form of skepticism, as the logical result of Protestantism. Next year came Carlyle's "Life of John Sterling," revealing the hollowness of Coleridge's religious compromises; and Greg's epoch-making work, finally revealing for scientific minds the small basis of the