Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/258

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mon people; and the 'liberal' pulpit is becoming fervent and attractive in its efforts to show how the Gospel can be and should be accommodated to Spencerianism, and how this system furnishes the best philosophy of religion. Practically, therefore, it is not to be ignored and pooh-poohed, or treated with indifference by the evangelicals, as some of them affect to do. Never was thought so active as it is to-day, and never was there so large a number of great and cultured and eminently virtuous and dispassionate minds who doubt or disbelieve the existence of a personal Deity. Whither are these facts pointing?"

The author thus explains the origin of his work:

"This book was at first designed only as a brief essay, as a private discussion with a friend, and it originated as follows: Conversing with Prof. B., of —— Theological Seminary, I asserted that the orthodox do not understand their opponents, that in the present state of philosophy Evolution can be rigidly maintained and triumphantly vindicated against all the assaults of Theism, and that the latter will have to adopt an entirely new method of defense and attack; and, as the professor disputed this, I promised to prove it in a short article, which now turns out to be a book. The object, therefore, of this volume is complex—first, to show to the orthodox that they stand on slippery places, that their philosophy and logic can afford them no legitimate aid and comfort; second, to show to the quasi-evolutionists that there is no medium between atheism, or non-theism, and the rejection of their own principles of science and philosophy; third, to show to the thorough naturalistic evolutionists that there is at least one man among the orthodox who thoroughly understands them—knows them better even than they know themselves—and who grants them all their principles, better expounded, and admits their legitimate consequences; and, fourth, that therefore the author must accept not only these principles, but also these consequences, unless he can furnish a new philosophy which shall use these acknowledged principles in combination with others, and thus attain other, or, rather, higher results. This the author believes to be possible, and that he is called to attempt it."

In conclusion, Mr. Gill says:

"We by no means consider the doctrine of Evolution, even in the most advanced philosophical state in which it has been presented, to be an all-comprehending philosophical ultimatum. We hold that it is just in its conclusions from its premises, and that its premises are indisputable. But there are broader and profounder truths yet undeveloped, which are partially and falsely discerned, and ignored or rejected; truths which, when fully expounded in their legitimate connections, will show that Evolution, instead of being the ultimate philosophy of the universe as it now appears, is infinitely subordinate; and these truths will introduce and demonstrate an infinitely sublimer theory, which will comprise Evolution as a vast temple comprises each cf its most miniature figures, or as the material universe comprises each of its countless atoms.

"The theory of Evolution contains a body of facts, of deductions, of inductions, and of generalizations, so irrefragably true that, though they may be subsequently covered by further discoveries of facts and by deductions and inferences and broader generalizations, they cannot be overthrown; or, in other words, they may be absorbed, but cannot be refuted. We propose to cover and absorb them....

"The absolute unity of the known universe is no longer to be questioned, and as now conceived it precludes a personal Deity and our personal immortality. Now the great problem is: Can we expound this unity so as to prove a personal Deity and our personal immortality? With emphasis I answer—Yes."

Animal Mechanism. A Treatise on Terrestrial and Aërial Locomotion. By E. J. Marey, Professor of the College of France. Profusely illustrated. 283 pages. Price $1.75. D. Appleton & Co. No. XI. International Scientific Series.

The author of the present work, it is well known, stands at the head of those physiologists who have investigated the mechanism of animal dynamics; indeed, we may almost say that he has made the subject his own. By the originality of his conceptions, the ingenuity of his constructions, the skill of his analysis, and the perseverance of his investigations, he has surpassed all others in the power of unraveling the complex and intricate movements of animated beings. We last month gave an exemplification of his method in the case of human locomotion, and in the present number of the Monthly we continue the