Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/130

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nized as supreme throughout the sphere of the phenomenal, and when the distractions of theology become unbearable, it will then be found that Mr. Spencer has proved that science, so far from being its destroyer, is itself the promoter of the profoundest faith, while the central truth of all religion is saved to humanity. Malignant zealots will probably continue to secrete their vitriolic criticism, as, if stopped, they would probably die of their own acridities; but there are not wanting indications that many religious men of candor and discernment are already recognizing the claims of Mr. Spencer's system upon the serious consideration of their class. For example, a late number of the Nonconformist, the organ of the English dissenters, and an orthodox paper of high influence, says of Spencer: "He is not an idealist, nor is he a materialist. Like Goethe, he believes that man is not born to solve the problem which the universe presents." Yet the writer holds his views to be of very great importance, and speaks of it as "an importance, in our opinion, so great, that the future, not only of English philosophy, but of practical theology, will be determined by its acceptance or rejection."

As for ourselves, differing widely from Mr. Godwin in his estimate of Spencer's system of philosophy, we record our opinion that, as it becomes more fully known, it will be recognized as an unequalled performance in its rigorous conformity to scientific method, and as the first grand alliance of science and philosophy; that it will exert an all-reconciling influence upon the chaos of doctrine; that, while based upon progress, it will prove powerfully conservative, and will leave all other systems behind in its value for guidance, both to the individual and the state. We believe that the time is not greatly distant when even theologians will seek it as a shelter against the rising tide of "materialism" and "atheism;" and, finally, we predict that, if Mr. Spencer lives to complete his "Principles of Sociology," with the accompanying tabular scheme of "Descriptive Sociology," that which Mr. Godwin says is now only a "hope" will become an assured and authoritative science—which is certainly one of the most imminent desiderata of civilization.



Education in Japan. A Series of Letters Addressed by Prominent Americans to Arinori Mori. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1873. 255 pages.

And now Japan comes forward to confound the theories of publicists, and give a new problem to political philosophers. An ancient Oriental nation, with a history stretching over 2,500 years, and claiming the oldest dynasty in the world, containing 34,000,000 people, and which has long been shut out from the world by its exclusive system, now throws open its gates to intercourse with other nations, and raises the great question as to how it may best acquire the highest benefits of civilization. Its youths are sent away to be educated (there are some 300 in this country), and learned foreigners are sent for, that the modern arts and sciences may be acquired, and there are even indications that this proud and exclusive people meditate a change of language, and the adoption of English in place of their native speech. The Japanese envoy at Washington, Mr. Arinori Mori, a liberal and well-educated young gentleman twenty seven years of age, has addressed a circular letter to a large number of the distinguished men of this country, asking their views and advice as to how the Japanese can best gain the advantages of education, free commerce, and enlightened industry, and best improve the social, moral, and physical condition of the Japanese people. The present volume embodies the replies which he received from Presidents Woolsey, Stearns, Hopkins, McCosh, Eliot, Profs. Seelye, Henry, Murray, Northrup, Whitney, the Bev. O. Perinchief, and the Honorables G. S. Bout-