Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/495

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

terrific force of a boomerang. Society would necessarily divide at once into two general classes: on the one hand the decent, the industrious, and the patriotic, those who had not seared their souls with sin, and who preferred good to evil; on the other, those who were unable to abandon their evil ways even under the penalty of publicity, and who would be left to herd by themselves and prey upon one another. Thus would heaven and hell be set up already on the earth. For the world is what man makes it.

And herein is seen the solution of that great mystery of the union of soul and body, apparently so incongruous, so hurtful. In no other way could the soul be forced to make choice between good and evil, and at the same time be left free and independent in its choice behind an impenetrable mask—two essentials for the formation of character. What shall be the shame and anguish of that soul which has abused this great opportunity, which has chosen to debase itself, in that great day when hypocrisy shall naught avail, when we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known! Now, wheat and tares grow together, and tares imagine themselves as good as wheat; for falleth not the rain on the just and on the unjust? But in the great winnowing-day tares shall learn that they are tares and trash. The remorse of the inebriate or opium fiend is the punishment of him who has wrecked his body merely; what shall be the remorse of him who discovers too late that he has wrecked his soul, and forever! That will be eternal punishment.


By W. H. SMITH, M. D., Ph. D.

THE present is an age of scientific research, and in this is found the characteristic feature of the existing civilization. The ancients were our equals, if not superiors, in literature, but no nation of antiquity could for one moment compare with us in scientific achievements. In this respect ours differs from all the ages of the past. The laws of Nature have been investigated, discoveries made, and in a multiplicity of ways her forces employed to do the bidding of man.

Passing by the more familiar results of such researches applied in the form of inventions on every hand to some not so patent, it may be remarked that science has accomplished and is accomplishing the difficult task of prolonging the period of human life. This comes through the study of physiology, sanitation, and medicine, the result of which has been, as shown by Dr. Jarvis, in a