Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/258

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248
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which the superstructure of modern civilization is built; and the man who would take part in it should study science, and, if he can, advance it for its own sake and not for its applications. Ignorance may walk in the path lighted by advancing knowledge, but she is unable to follow when science passes her, for, like the foolish virgin, she has no oil in her lamp.

An established truth in science is like the constitution of an atom in matter—something so fixed in the order of things that it has become independent of further dangers in the struggle for existence. The sum of such truths forms the intellectual treasure which descends to each generation in hereditary succession. Though the discoverer of a new truth is a benefactor to humanity, he can give little to futurity in comparison with the wealth of knowledge which he inherited from the past. We, in our generation, should appreciate and use our great possessions:

"For mo your tributary stores combine,
Creation's heir; the world, the world is mine."

[Concluded.]

 

THE UNIFORMITY OF NATURE.
By THE BISHOP OF CARLISLE.

THE chief interest felt by readers of the reminiscence of a meeting of the Metaphysical Society, contained in the August number of this review, will probably be found in the striking and really remarkable record of the discussion of a difficult subject by such men as we there find, and under such conditions as are there described. Whatever the subject of discussion, such a symposium so felicitously saved from oblivion could not fail to secure attention and much gratitude to the able chiel who took notes and printed it. But in truth the subject discussed is as interesting as the company who discussed it; and to the writer of the present paper has so proved itself, not only on general grounds, but also because the view which seems to him to be chiefly worthy of consideration, as being the most true and the most luminous, does not appear to have presented itself to the mind of any one of the speakers, or at all events not to have been expressed clearly.

The discussion, as reported, labors under the great defect that there was no preliminary attempt to define the meaning of the phrase which formed the subject of the argument. Yet the "unformity of Nature" is an expression which does not carry upon its front one clear meaning, and one clear meaning only, and therefore needs definition if the truth of any proposition supposed to be implied by it is either to