Popular Science Monthly/Volume 39/August 1891/Literary Notices
Gospel Criticism and Historical Christianity. By the Rev. Orello Cone, D. D. Putnams. Price, $1.75.
Never before was greater interest taken in religious problems. The Bible is the storm-center of modern philosophical, scientific, and historical discussions. The questions raised are of fundamental importance. They do not affect minor details only, but the very essence of the faith. The Bible used to be considered a book sui generis, whose statements must not be doubted and criticised, but must be accepted without question. Now it is asked: Who wrote the Scriptures? When were they written? Are they true? Manifestly, until these questions are answered it is wholly impertinent to ask us to accept these writings as inspired authorities. Nor are we willing to take the mere word of the Church on this subject, for the Church has made so many mistakes that its guidance can not be blindly accepted. We must be given facts and reasons upon which to rest our faith, and so biblical criticism has arisen. It is a modern product—not more than a hundred years old but, like the other modern sciences, it is most important. It does not aim to destroy religion or the Bible, but rather to free them from superstition, and make them more credible, attractive, and influential. This is certainly the object of the book under review. Dr. Cone is well known as the President of Buchtel College, Akron, Ohio, and brings to the study of his subject a ripe scholarship, a chastened judgment, and a reverent spirit. He gives us the results of the best German criticism of the Scriptures in a most readable form. First of all, in a criticism of the text of the Gospels, he shows that "these writings were exposed to the fortune which has attended all the literary productions of ancient times; that the autographs were early lost , that the text was corrupted and interpolated; that a considerable time elapsed between their composition and the appearance of careful and accurate quotations of them, during which the changes to which the text was subjected are indeterminable; that, however, alterations, corruptions, and interpolations have not, in all probability, materially affected their essential, historical contents—that is, their accounts of the great teachings of Jesus and their representation of his life and character." One of the most important chapters is the second, which discusses the canon of the New Testament. Our author finds no evidence in the writings of the earliest Christian fathers—Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Hermas, Polycarp, Papias, Justin Martyr, and others to justify the conclusion that the Gospels were considered by them as of exclusive authority. On the contrary, these writings, "after having remained unnamed and undistinguished in the mass of early Christian literature for about a hundred years, are found to have made their way by the beginning of the third century to a general recognition in the Church as exclusive historical sources of the life and teachings of Jesus." This conclusion is of immense importance, especially when it is remembered that the canon was not established by a careful critical examination of testimonies, but the Gospels were accepted simply on the evidence of a very uncertain tradition. In the third chapter, Dr. Cone deals with "the synoptic problem." The question is, Why do the first three Gospels contain so much matter that is exactly the same in all of them, while each of them, nevertheless, has much that is peculiar to itself? Several hypotheses have been framed to solve the problem: (1) It is held that the later writers copied from the earlier; (2) all drew from a common written source, or an original Gospel; (3) a fixed oral tradition was the primitive source. Our author thinks there are insuperable objections to all these theories. The eminent German critic Schleiermacher sought to explain the synoptic phenomena by the assumption of several sources, embracing only parts of the history, which were variously combined by the three writers of the Gospels. Mark and the Aramaic Logia of Jesus, which Matthew is said to have written, were among these sources. Hence our present Gospels of Matthew and Luke were largely derived from these sources. Dr. Cone adopts this view. He says: "The logia source written by Matthew and understood according to Schleiermacher's interpretation of Papias and the priority of Mark, which may be regarded as an incontestable conclusion of recent gospel criticism, furnish the key to the solution of the problem of the relation of the synoptic Gospels." Mark, according to this view, wrote his Gospel "in the last years of the sixties," probably at Rome, from notes on St. Peter's sermon, the logia by Matthew, and oral tradition. We can only partially indorse this opinion. We doubt whether Mark furnished as much of the materials of our present Gospel as our author thinks; but his view of Matthew we may safely adopt. The Logia of Jesus, which Papias says Matthew wrote in Aramaic, the Gospel of Mark, and oral tradition doubtless constituted the substrata of our present Gospel, which was written in Greek some time between a. d. 70 and 100. Dr. Cone says that the Gospel, as it now stands, contains legendary matter. "Such are probably the accounts of the birth and infancy of Jesus, the details of the temptation in the desert, the episode of Peter's walking on the water, the story of the piece of money to be found in the mouth of a fish, the rending of the veil of the temple, the resurrection of the saints at the time of the crucifixion, and the corruption of the guard placed at the tomb." The author accepts the traditional authorship of Luke's Gospel, holding that it was written by St. Paul's companion about a. d. 90. We can not subscribe to this opinion, for neither the external nor the internal evidence seems to us to justify it. Luke probably furnished the substrata of the Acts and the third Gospel (both were written by the same person), which were subsequently wrought up into their present shape by a friend of Theophilus. The prologue to this Gospel, which Dr. Cone somewhat unaccountably ascribes to the hand that composed the rest of the book, differs from it entirely in its style, and is generally believed to have been added to the Gospel by a late redacteur. The work is composite in its character and the product of several hands. Davidson's view of this Gospel is more satisfactory than that of Dr. Cone.
The authorship of the fourth Gospel is the pons asinorum of biblical criticism. The man who holds that St. John the Apostle wrote it is ipso facto excluded from philosophical critics, and placed among the special pleaders for traditionalism. Both the external and the internal evidences are overwhelmingly against the Johannine authorship of the book. No tradition ascribes it to the apostle for a century after he is supposed to have written it, and this late tradition is wholly untrustworthy. There is no adequate evidence to show that it was in existence before Justin Martyr's day, a. d. 140. But, above all, the style, the theology, and the general character of the Gospel make it impossible to accept it as the work of John. It is rather the mystic musing of a Philonic philosopher, who may have belonged to the Ephesian school, and have got fragments of the apostle's teaching and woven them into his work during the first quarter of the second century. Dr. Cone nowhere shows more critical ability and philosophic insight and discrimination than in his cautious yet masterful discussion of the Johannine problem. He concludes that "the problem of the authorship of the fourth Gospel is not one to be solved offhand by radical criticism, or to be pronounced upon ex cathedra by conservative dogmatism. If the external evidences are indecisive of its early origin (and he thinks they are); if from internal grounds we can not regard it as the work of an apostle; if it plainly has a composite character—then the unbiased critic may still be just to the ancient tradition of the Ephesian Church and to the profound spiritual sayings of the Gospel in holding that, while on any hypothesis of its origin many critical problems remain unsolved, there is at least a strong probability for a Johannine nucleus in the book, for frequent 'words of the Lord,' handed down from the apostle without connection, probably, and without a historical setting, which have in this remarkable work found a literary embodiment in the midst of much mysticism, it is true, and overlaid by Greek-Christian, second-century speculations, but distinguishable from these by their unique quality and surprising originality."
After discussing, with much clearness and satisfaction, the eschatology of the Gospels, Baur's celebrated " tendency-theory" of their composition, and the use their writers made of the Old Testament, the author considers the very important question, What is the historical value of the Gospels if the modern critical view of them be accepted? Are the foundations of Christianity sapped when these documents are shown to be ordinary human productions, with more or less error in them? The tyro in biblical criticism can alone take this superficial view of the case. Prof. Huxley well says, "The rule of common sense is, prima facie, to trust a witness in all matters in which neither his self-interest, his passions, his prejudices, nor that love of the marvelous, which is inherent to a greater or less degree in all mankind, are concerned." Any thoughtful student of the Gospels can apply this rule in separating the chaff from the grain in these writings, and Dr. Cone does it admirably. According to him, the logia by Matthew, which probably constitute the substance of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt, v-vii) and other such aphoristic sayings of Jesus, the parables, and the greater part of Mark, form the substrata of the Gospel history, and may be fully accepted. "In the midst of all the chaotic elements which the flood of oral tradition rolled along," he says, "is clearly discernible a historical grouping of salient facts—the appearance of the Baptist, the Galilean ministry of Jesus, the healings, the teachings, the travels with the disciples, the gathering multi tudes, the conflicts, Cæsarea Philippi, the fateful journey to Jerusalem, Gethsemane, the trial and tragedy, the consternation of the little flock, and the mysterious birth of a great hope."
Criticism, therefore, "establishes the kernel of the history of Jesus in an inexpugnable position. It does not exclude God from history, but finds it no wonder that, since he has designs to work out in man, exceptional manifestations of his revealing spirit should betimes appear."
We consider this book one of the very best contributions which rational thought has made to biblical criticism. The style is clear and fluent, the arguments are cogent, the conclusions conservative, the spirit reverential, and the whole result reassuring. The radical critics may learn from it soberness, and the timid conservatives may find in it assurance and confidence. The book should have a wide reading among all those who are interested in the religious palingenesis now taking place in our midst.
Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission. Vol. VIII, for 1888. Marshall McDonald, Commissioner. Washington: United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Pp. 494, quarto.
Twelve special papers form the contents of this volume, some of them having popular and commercial interest, while the rest can be made use of only by zoölogists. The first paper reports the Explorations of the Fishing Grounds of Alaska, Washington Territory, and Oregon during 1888, by the United States Fish Commission steamer Albatross, and is compiled from the accounts of Lieutenant-Commander Z. L. Tanner, commanding the Albatross; Mr. C. H. Townsend, naturalist; and Mr. A. B. Alexander, fishery expert, of the expedition. The results of hydrographic work, dredgings, and trials for fish at a great many places are given. Codfish were found often in abundance, and halibut, flounders, black cod, and rock-fish were also taken, besides some useless as food. The paper contains also information in regard to facilities for taking and marketing fish on the Pacific coast. Three full-page illustrations show the method of drying salmon practiced by the Alaska Indians; two more show the kind of sod houses occupied by the natives; there is a distant view of three captured sealing-vessels and a near view of one of them, and others, besides three folded charts. This paper is followed by an account of Explorations of the Alleghany Region and Western Indiana, by Prof. David Starr Jordan, which we have noticed separately. Some practical Suggestions for improving Fishing Vessels, illustrated with plans, are contributed by J. W. Collins. There is an account of The Sturgeons and Sturgeon Industries of the Eastern Coast of the United States, including the making of caviare, by John A. Ryder, accompanied by twenty-three plates. Over a hundred pages are occupied by A Review of the Serranidæ, by David Starr Jordan and Carl H. Eigenman. The family of Serranidæ includes the various species of salt-water perch and bass, and other important food-fishes. Ten species are represented in the accompanying plates. An interesting chapter in the history of fish-culture is the record of several attempts at Transplanting Lobsters to the Pacific Coast, by Richard Rathbun. The volume contains also several shorter papers.
The New Religion: A Gospel of Love. By E. W. Gray. Chicago: Thorne Publishing Co. Pp 423.
The New Religion unfolded in these pages is an exposition of the doctrine of Christ that love is the law of life. The author holds that the introduction of this motive of growth differentiates the Christian faith from all antecedent beliefs. The Egyptian, Brahman, Buddhist, Greek, Roman, and Jew are spurred on by fear under inexorable law—"the gods of the old religion are not gods of sympathy and love."
In judging Christianity it must not be confounded with any parasitic "ism." Superstition must be stripped away, the dogmas of Church fathers and apostles disregarded until the teaching of Christ himself is reached. This is found to be greatly at variance with the commonly accepted notions of Christianity. "The practice of going into public for the express purpose of prayer and worship has no sanction in the New Religion," neither has a paid priesthood, nor public worship as such. The Church is overgrown with externalism which saps its life. Educational ministries are, however, productive of good, and the public meeting of the people beneficial for instruction. Another ecclesiastical excrescence is the undue value of organization. For the first two hundred years, Christians did without church or creed, "and it may well be doubted whether both the organization and the creed have helped more than they have hurt Christianity." Dr. Gray believes that Jesus was not God and man, but God-man, and his explanation of the Christ-nature is at least ingenious. He asks whether the domain of animated existence may not be extended, and suggests that, "for a specific and expressed purpose, an addition of another order of being was made." Christ was sui generis, a new variety. The transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension are received in their entirety as revelations of spiritual existence. The author holds that "if we accept Christianity at all, we must accept what is called the supernatural." Miracles are not contrary to the laws of Nature, but transcend them, and may be in agreement with laws still unknown.
Dogmas of later date than the creed are not gently entertained. "An instantaneous transformation of character" is "one of the chief postulates of the New Religion." This is effected not by faith, or redeeming blood, but by the compelling love of Christ. Dr. Gray points out that Christ teaches plainly a new and positive morality: "Do good to them that hate you"; "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth." He insists that these directions are practical and obligatory for all Christians. Statistics are cited to show that one church controls $150,000,000 of property; another, twice this amount; and he dryly observes, "There is no scarcity . . . but the scarcity of love—the virtue of the second commandment." The author is never consciously evasive, but direct, as well as reverent in his search for truth.
The Psychology of Attention. By Th. Ribot, Professor of Comparative and Experimental Psychology at the College de France. The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago. Pp. 121. Price, 75 cents.
This little work is devoted exclusively to an investigation of the mechanism of attention. The subject is divided into two distinct forms. The one, which is spontaneous and natural—the true primitive and fundamental form of attention—has been neglected by psychologists; while the other, which the author calls voluntary, is but an imitation, a result of training and education. It is derived wholly from spontaneous attention, and yet it is the only form to which psychologists have given much consideration. In this volume Prof. Ribot goes to the root of the matter in the emotional states of animals and young children; and he holds that it is only by a study of its primitive form that we can reach an intelligible explanation of the higher forms of attention.
In his chapter upon spontaneous attention, the author discusses its physical manifestations: vaso-motory phenomena, motory phenomena, or phenomena of expression; explains that its supposed effects are really its constitutive elements, that it is only the subjective aspect of the physical manifestations expressing it. He treats also of that exaggeration of spontaneous attention known as surprise or astonishment. The chapter upon voluntary attention makes up the greater portion of the volume. The study of natural attention enables him to inquire into the genesis and mechanism of voluntary attention, and to arrive at some comprehension of it. He concludes the chapter with the statement that attention in no respect resembles an independent activity; that it is bound up with perfectly determined physical conditions, that it acts only through the latter, and is dependent on the same. The last chapter treats of morbid states of attention. The name of the author is a guarantee that the work is both interesting and instructive.
A System of Inorganic Chemistry. By William Ramsay, F. R. S., Professor of Chemistry in University College, London. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 700. Price, $4.50.
The word "System" in the above title has especial significance. It indicates that the treatise to which it is applied is characterized by a methodical arrangement. Taking the periodic classification of the elements as a basis, the author has undertaken to bring into the field of inorganic chemistry an orderly arrangement similar to that which has prevailed for more than twenty years among the compounds of carbon. This, he says, owing to traditional and commercial influences, has not been done before in any book written in English. After a short historical introduction the elements are considered in order, and within a moderate compass. Next their compounds with the halogens are taken up. The author names as a defect of many previous books the ignoring of the double halides, except in a few special instances; accordingly, he has taken pains to have these compounds well represented. The oxides, sulphides, selenides, and tellurides follow next, "double oxides, such as sulphates, for example, being considered among the compounds of the simple oxides with the oxides of other elements." Other features of previous books which Prof. Ramsay has aimed to avoid are magnifying the difference and obscuring the relationship between acid hydroxides and basic hydroxides, neglecting the borides, nitrides, etc., and giving pre-eminence to methods of preparing compounds which are of commercial utility over other methods which have fully as much scientific importance. After the account of the oxides, a few chapters are occupied with the borides, carbides, and silicides, and the nitrides, phosphides, arsenides, and antimonides; and in these the organo-metallic compounds, the double compounds of ammonia, and the cyanides are considered; while a short account is given of alloys and amalgams. "The chemistry of the rare earths, which must at present be relegated to a suspense account, is treated along with spectrum analysis in a special chapter; and the systematic portion of the book concludes with an account of the periodic table." The concluding part of the volume deals with manufacturing processes, which are so grouped that substances generally manufactured under one roof are treated together. In regard to the adaptability of his system to teaching the author says: "Having used it for four years, I am perfectly satisfied with the results. For the student, memory work is lightened; for the teacher, the long, tedious description of metals and their salts is avoided; and I have found that the student's interest is retained, owing to the fact that all the 'fire-works' are not displayed at the beginning of the course, but are distributed pretty evenly throughout."
The Iron Ores of Minnesota. By N. H. Winchell (State Geologist) and H. V. Winchell. Minneapolis: The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota. Pp. 430.
This extended and practical book is due to a State law directing the Geologist to make examinations and reports in regard to economic products. The first part of the volume describes the distribution and geology of the iron ores of Minnesota so far as they are known. These comprise magnetites, hematites, and some limonites. Next the methods of exploration and mining that are employed in the State are described, and accounts are given of the principal mines. There is a chapter on the facilities for transporting and marketing the Minnesota ores, another on the origin of the deposits described in the first part of the report, and a bibliography of the origin of iron ores, which occupies seventy-five pages. The volume contains also lists of mining companies and of leases of mineral lands, the mining laws of Minnesota, a glossary of mining and geological terms, etc. There are several colored plates showing microscopic sections of minerals, and other plates showing plans of mines, the general appearance of certain rocks, and the mining machinery made by various manufacturers, and there are several folded maps.
Mechanism and Personality. By Francis A. Shoup, D. D. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 343. Price, $1.30.
By his sub-title the author describes this work as "an outline of philosophy in the light of the latest scientific research." Philosophy has not been so much affected by any movement in all the centuries of its history as it has by the activity of scientific thought in the last two or three generations, and this book is designed to inform the general reader as to what modification metaphysics has undergone in consequence of the scientific upheaval. "It is quite natural," says Dr. Shoup, "that they who are once taken with the experimental method should think they have no time, and show so plainly that they have no patience with the old hair-splitting, foggy metaphysic. And yet it will hardly do to cast contempt upon the old thinkers. The seductive path of positive science leads off into regions of speculative thought at numberless points; and if Science does not already know that she is caught in the toils of Metaphysics, it is only because she does not yet fully recognize her contact with the ultimate." In the early part of the volume Dr. Shoup sketches the latest results of physiological research upon the human mechanism in its relation to the psychic powers. He then devotes a chapter to the chasm between mechanism and consciousness, in which he states that the so-called scientific opinion that matter is the cause of mind is really unscientific and is not held by the leading men of science. He quotes against materialism Tyndall, Huxley, Spencer, Maudsley, Du Bois-Reymond, and Pasteur—all explicitly. Passing to the consideration of personality in its psychical aspect, Dr. Shoup treats each of the mental faculties in succession, closing with a discussion of ethical feeling, and a consideration of the infinite personality. The author states that the metaphysics of his work is in the main the Lotzian phase of Kant. The style of the book is attractive, and the author evidently has the too uncommon ability to appreciate the work of both metaphysicians and scientists.
The Report of the State Mineralogist of California, William Irelan, Jr., for 1890, is a large octavo volume, which contains, besides the general report of the mineralogist, a large number of special reports on the several counties of the State, prepared by assistants in the field, and other special papers. Among the latter papers are an account of the asphaltum mine of Ventura Asphalt Company, by E. W. Hilgard; Lead Smelting, with figures of apparatus, by F. C. von Petersdorff; Location of Mines, by R. P. Hammond, Jr.; Quicksilver Mining, by J. B. Randol; Mining of Gold Ores in California, by J. H. Hammond; Pico Cañon Oil-fields, by Edward North; and Auriferous Beach-sands, by Dr. H. De Groot. The volume is illustrated by diagrams and photographic views, and is accompanied by six folded geological maps.
The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences for November, 1890, being Numbers 9 to 12 of Vol. V, contain some two hundred pages, which are wholly devoted to Coleopterological Notices, second part, by Thomas L. Casey. A plate accompanies the text. The Transactions of the Academy for October, 1890, comprise the proceedings at four meetings, and abstracts of papers by Dr. John I. Northrop on The Geology of the Bahamas, by Dr. H. T. Vulte on the analysis of grains and cereals, and by Dr. H. Carrington Bolton on musical sand in the Hawaiian Islands and in California.
Volume XII of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science covers the twenty-second and twenty-third annual meetings of the Academy. The volume contains a large number of papers, most of them brief, dealing with a wide variety of scientific topics. Among the most important are two by Prof. F. H. Snow, describing his very successful operations in disseminating contagious disease among chinch-bugs. Another useful paper, by George E. Curtis, shows the utter untrustworthiness of the weather predictions, made for a year ahead, by a local weather prophet. Some other topics treated are Artesian Wells in Kansas, Cements manufactured in Kansas, Notes on Gophers, and the Manufacture of Binding-twine.
A service has been done to persons interested in forestry by the publication of Insects injurious to Forest and Shade Trees, by Prof. Alpheus S. Packard, being the fifth report of the IT. S. Entomological Commission (Department of Agriculture, Washington). The volume has 957 pages, and its contents are arranged under the names of trees. The body of the work is introduced by a chapter of general information, which includes descriptions of various insecticides, and of mean3 for applying them to trees. The text is illustrated with 306 cuts and 40 plates, some of the latter being colored. There are separate indexes of insects, of plants, and of authors quoted.
A sketch of what has been done toward inventing a practical air-ship is given in the lecture on Aerial Navigation, by O. Chanute, C. E., reprinted from The Railroad and Engineering Journal as a pamphlet. Mr. Chanute sketches the progress in ballooning since the time of Montgolfier, and describes also the attempts that have been made to construct mechanical flying machines. He believes that dirigible balloons, which have already attained a speed of fourteen miles an hour, will before long be driven at the rate of twenty-five to thirty miles, and says that much greater speeds may, perhaps, be attained eventually with aëroplanes.
Bulletin No. 19 of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey is a report by Ensign J. C. Drake on The Sounds and Estuaries of Georgia, with reference to oyster culture. It embodies an examination of all the waters under the jurisdiction of the State of Georgia in which oysters grow naturally, or in which they probably could be made to grow. The extent of each body of water is given, the character of its currents and its bottom, the area of any existing oyster-beds in it, and the density of the water. Seven large folded charts accompany the text.
The Zoölogical Articles contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica by E. Ray Lankester have been reprinted in a volume with kindred articles by eminent specialists, which are also taken from the Encyclopædia (Scribners, $5). Dr. Lankester states, in the preface, that the purpose of the volume is to make these monographs readily accessible to university students. His own articles are those on protozoa, hydrozoa, mollusca, polyzoa, and vertebrata; the others are, Sponges, by Prof. Sollas; Planarians, by Prof, von Graff; Nemcrtines, by Prof. Habrecht; Rotif era, by Prof. Bourne; and Tunicata, by Prof. Herdman. These together form a treatise on a considerable section of the animal kingdom. In the reprint a few errors have been corrected, and some notes and illustrations have been added.
The Transactions of the Iowa State Medical Society, for 1890, contains the proceedings of the thirty-eighth annual session of the society, held in April, 1890, and a large number of papers presented at that meeting, with the discussions upon them. A subject of popular interest, treated in one of these papers, is pension examinations, the burden of the paper being a complaint that examining surgeons are required to perform several hours of professional labor for one or two dollars. The address of the president was on the question, Should persons who have inherited disease detrimental to society and the State be allowed to marry? the negative side being taken.
Johnson's comprehensive treatise on Surveying (Wiley), first published in 1886, has reached its seventh edition. Some changes have been made each time a new edition has appeared, and this issue contains a great many. To the part on surveying instruments have been added descriptions and cuts of the architect's level and several other instruments; the table of magnetic declination formulæ has been replaced with the new table of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey; the isogonic chart of the United States has been redrawn and brought down to 1890; the chapter on land-surveying has been recast, and considerable new matter concerning monuments and the rules governing the resurvey of lands has been added; the description of the U. S. Land Surveys has been rewritten and expanded; a method of running out parallels of latitude, with suitable tables, has been added; also, tables and descriptions by which an observation for azimuth may be made on Polaris at any hour; and a description of Porro's telescope has been inserted in the chapter on topographical surveying.
In the Report of the Smithsonian Institution, for 1889, the secretary states that the Records of Scientific Progress in each of several branches of science, which the Institution has published for some years, have been discontinued. In place of these there will be published "memoirs of a special interest and permanent value, which have already appeared elsewhere, and which are sufficiently untechnical to be readily apprehended by readers fairly representative of the intelligent and educated class among the constituents of the members of Congress, by whom they are chiefly distributed. Among the subjects treated in such papers appended to this report are, Hertz's researches on electrical oscillations, progress of meteorology and of anthropology in 1889, national scientific institutions at Berlin, movements of the earth's crust, geographical latitude, last steps in the genealogy of man, time-keeping in Greece and Rome, the life-work of Pasteur, and memoirs of Fleischer and Kirchhoff.
An Address on behalf of the Indians has been issued by representatives of the Religious Society of Friends for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware (Friends' Bookstore, Philadelphia). Its object is to show that our troubles with the Indians of late years have been due to aggressions of frontier whites upon the Indians, and to faithless and neglectful treatment by the officers of the War Department and the Indian Bureau. The address is temperate and dignified in tone, and its statements are supported by extracts from Government reports, the words of intelligent Indian chiefs, and the testimony of persons who have worked among the Indians.
A little volume of "essays against superstition" has been published by E. C. Kenney, under the title Ghosts, Devils, Angels, and Sun Gods (the author, Truxton, New York, 25 cents). He explains the origin of beliefs in supernatural beings among primitive men, and shows that many of these myths have persisted in more or less changed forms to the present day. He interprets the story of the Garden of Eden and that of the Deluge on a natural basis, draws a parallel between Gautama and Jesus Christ, and discusses the fatal number thirteen and the mystic three. The closing chapter is an arraignment of sectarian control over education. The book is temperate in tone, and is in agreement with the results of modern investigation.
For the first time in its history the Report on Medical Education, issued by the Illinois State Board of Health, embraces the medical institutions of the whole world. This is a feature that will be an assistance to medical boards that have to determine the value and validity of a medical diploma. As regards medical education in the United States, the report shows the marked changes for the better that have taken place in the past ten years, and it is seen that more progress will be made within the next two years. The report shows a marked increase in requirements as to preliminary education during the year 1890. It shows also that the movement for four years' study and three courses of lectures is an assured success, and a list is given of the colleges that have adopted or will soon adopt the requirements of longer terms of study.
Plain Talks on Electricity and Batteries, by Horatio R. Bigelow, M. D. (Blakiston), is a manual for physicians, describing the medical use of electricity, and the instruments and apparatus employed in this branch of therapeutics. Various forms of electrical machines, meters, and electrodes are figured, and the names of the makers are given. There are also figures showing the mode of applying electricity to various parts of the body.
A monograph on The Modern Antipyretics has been published by Isaac Ott, M. D. (E. D. Vogel, Easton, Pa.). It embraces a discussion of the nature of fever, a description of the chemical character and the physiological action of pyridin, quinolin, kairin, and thallin, a statement of the therapeutic action of each of the known antipyretics, and some observations on the value of antithermics in typhoid fever.
A pamphlet giving a brief history of The Patent System of the United States has been published by Levin H. Campbell (the author, Washington, 50 cents). Mr. Campbell introduces his subject with a chapter on the early English patent system, and goes on to tell of the appearance of the system in the American colonies, and the changes in organization and practice that it has undergone in the past century.
The English Series, by W. H. Maxwell, has been completed by the publication of Advanced Lessons in English Grammar (American Book Company, 60 cents). This book is designed for a high-school or the last two years of a grammar-school course, and besides its use as a text-book it is intended to be available for reference when difficulties are met with in composition exercises, or in the critical study of literature. The first three chapters give a bird's-eye view of the parts of speech and of the construction of the English sentence. The usual divisions of English grammar are then taken up in succession. Etymology is defined as treating of the classification, inflection, and formation of words. The chapter given to the last of these topics includes lists of English, Latin, and Greek affixes, and models for word-analysis. There is a chapter on Economy of Attention, based on Herbert Spencer's Philosophy of Style, which contains certain things that can not well be placed elsewhere. The author is Superintendent of Public Instruction in Brooklyn.
The method adopted by David Salmon, the author of Longman's Primary-School Grammar (Longman's, 35 cents), is that of "making children familiar first with the thing, then with the name." Accordingly, the child is first required to pick out all names of persons in a given series of sentences, and the other requirements of the first exercise are: "Give the names of ten boys; ten girls; ten persons whom you know; ten persons about whom you have read." After ten similar exercises on nouns of different sorts the first definition is given to be learned. The author says that he has made his definitions so that young children can understand them although in doing so he has made some of them unsatisfactory to a logician.