Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/474

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460
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

If any so-called religion takes away from this great saying of Micah, I think it wantonly mutilates, while, if it adds thereto, I think it obscures, the perfect ideal of religion.

But what extent of knowledge, what acuteness of scientific criticism, can touch this, if any one possessed of knowledge or acuteness could be absurd enough to make the attempt? Will the progress of research prove that justice is worthless, and mercy hateful; will it ever soften the bitter contrast between our actions and our aspirations; or show us the bounds of the universe, and bid us say. Go to, now we comprehend the infinite?

A faculty of wrath lay in those ancient Israelites, and surely the prophet's staff would have made swift acquaintance with the head of the scholar who had asked Micah whether, peradventure, the Lord further required of him an implicit belief in the accuracy of the cosmogony of Genesis!

What we are usually pleased to call religion nowadays is, for the most part, Hellenized Judaism; and, not unfrequently, the Hellenic element carries with it a mighty remnant of old-world paganism and a great infusion of the worst and weakest products of Greek scientific speculation; while fragments of Persian and Babylonian, or rather Accadian, mythology burden the Judaic contribution to the common stock.

The antagonism of science is not to religion, but to the heathen survivals and the bad philosophy under which religion herself is often well-nigh crushed. And, for my part, I trust that this antagonism will never cease; but that, to the end of time, true Science will continue to fulfill one of her most beneficent functions, that of relieving men from the burden of false science which is imposed upon them in the name of religion.

This is the work that M. Réville and men such as he are doing for us; this is the work which his opponents are endeavoring, consciously or unconsciously, to hinder.—Nineteenth Century.

 

RECENT EXPERIMENTS IN STATE TAXATION.
By HENRY JAMES TEN EYCK.

TO growl is the privilege of the tax-payer. To secure the entire amount of the necessary revenue with the smallest growl is the aim of the legislator. Probably there is no more unpopular official than the tax-gatherer. Among persons of property the idea seems to prevail that taxation is a kind of robbery which is to be evaded if possible. It is true that the public treasury has often been filled simply that thieves might plunder it, or that worthless citizens might be supported