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potent symbol --- could never have been an observation; but it is an ideal construction from very precise observations, and is found to express them with sufficient accuracy to be accepted as their rational equivalent.'
Accordingly he avows his belief that empirical science, metaphysics and religion may be reconciled. “Religion will continue to regulate the evolution" of humanity; " but to do this in the coming ages it must occupy a position similar to the one it occupied in the past, and express the highest thought of the time, as that thought widens with the ever-growing experience.”
It will be seen that his method of harmonizing metaphysics and theology with empirical science is by eliminating from them all that is essential and distinctive, and thus reducing them to empirical science. His theory of knowledge, therefore, is simply this, that empirical science, consisting only of sensible experience or its transformations, constitutes all the knowledge possible to man. Thus it does not differ in principle from the phenomenalism of Comte, which empirical scientists generally reject as a theory of knowledge too narrow for the constitution of empirical science itself. And as to solving the great problems of life and mind, the confronting of which the human reason can never escape, the author is as far from it as any phenomenalist who has preceded him.
PilgriN MEMORIES IN THE Birth-COUNTRIES OF CHRISTIANITY.* -“ “ The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.” Mr. John S. Stuart-Giennie is just the man spoken of by the Psalmist. He not only says in his heart “ There is no God;" he proclaims it to a long benighted world, in a book, with transcendent scorn of the superstitious souls who think they see in the universe a creative intelligence and will. Souls, did we say? Nay, in his theory, there are no souls; "all mental action whatever is but an aspect of a certain mechanical action ; every feeling, every thought, every desire or volition implying, rather than being a consequence of, certain molecular motions and mechanical changes."
Having given this verdict on Mr. Stuart-Glennie's Pilgrim Memories, we need not say much more; yet if any reader of ours would see how stupendous is the folly which attempts to “dispense with the hypothesis of a Creator,” we commend to him the study of this pretentious volume. Such is its impudence of unwarranted assumption and assertion-such its audacity of misrepresentation—such the insolence of its invective against the Bible, against Christ, and against "an almighty Creator-God”that the author's self-conceit would be simply wonderful but for the thought, “There is more hope of a fool than of him." He understands the universe. By his new idea of causation—a discovery which he describes as “an advance from the conception of one-sided determination to that of mental determination ”—all mysteries are solved. By his acceptance of “that great inductive generalization which defines Evolution as the change from homogeneity to heterogeneity, from comparative simplicity to comparative complexity,” the supernatural is expelled. Great is Evolution (with a capital E), and Mr. Stuart-Glennie is one of its prophets.
* Pilgrim Memories, or Travel and Discussion in the Birth-Countries of Christianity with the late Henry Thomas Buckle. By John S. STUART-GLENNIE, M.A., Barrister at Law. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1875.
Does evolution explain all things? How then, most "learned Theban,” is the evolution to be explained ? The phenomena of nature are in some sort explained when we analyze them, and classify them, and find the laws to which they are conformed. But whence are those laws ? Generalize them as we may, the question remains. Whence are they? “() fools and slow of heart to believe !" Know ye not that a law of nature traced to its last analysis is of all miracles the greatest--the most significant of the Creative Mind and Will ?
HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL.
PROFESSOR GILLETT'S HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. -Among the latest labors of the lamented Professor Gillett, was the task of revising his History of the Presbyterian Church, in order to divest it of its character as a “New School ” version of a story on which “Old School ” Presbyterians put a different construction. In its revised form, that history has been accepted and is now published by the Board of Publication of the reunited Presbyterian organization. Professor McGill, of the Princeton Seminary, certified that he, by request of the author and of the
* History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. By Rev. E. H. GILLETT, D.D., Author of " The Life and Times of John Huss," " The Moral System,” “God in Human Thought," &c., &c. Revised edition. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication.
Board of Publication, performed the office of censor“ with a view to suggest alterations which the late reunion has made proper;" and that the author, as well as the official "editor,” manifested “the utmost readiness to expunge anything like a partisan tinge, and to render the work unexceptionable to the whole church.” He gives his cheerful testimony “that candor, amity, and a truthloving heart have conceded everything that Old School' men could reasonably ask in this revision."
We observe that this “ revised edition” is printed from the old plates; and the necessary “changes and modifications of statement" seem not to bave involved, in any instance, the recasting of one stereotype page. We are glad that a work which exhibits so faithfully the origin and the genius of American Presbyterianism is thus commended, officially, to all Presbyteriaus.
HISTORICAL SCENES FROM THE OLD JEsuit Missions. * _ Those who have been acquainted with the collection of the “ Letters" of the Jesuit Missionaries, written between 1650 and 1750, and published some years ago in France in forty seven volumes, know what a mass of interesting and valuable information is there to be found respecting the early missions of the Society of Jesus in all parts of the world. Bishop Kip of California has rendered the public a good service by making a selection, from this great work, of fourteen of the "Letters,” and furnishing an English translation. He has added, also, brief explanatory notes. Among the most interesting of his selections, is an account of the early Jesuit missionary operations in Lower California in 1702. Other letters describe the“ Monasteries of Mt. Lebanon," in 1721; the “Knights of Malta," in 1711; the “Grecian Isles," in 1711; the “Court of China,” in 1773; the “Trials of a Hudson Bay Missionary," in 1694; “Explorations in the Delta," in 1712; the “Monasteries in the Thebaid Desert," in 1716; the “ Paraguay Mission,” in 1726; and the “ Earthquake at Lima,” in 1746. The eighth selection is from a letter of a “Father Fauque,” in which he gives an account of the ravages of a Rhode Island privateer, “Prince Charles of Lorraine," on the coast of South America during the “old French war” in 1745. It appears that the ship was commanded by Captain Simeon Potter, a native of New England,” and that it
* Historical Scenes from the Old Jesuit Missions. By the Right Rev. WM. INGRAHAM KIP, D.D., LL.D. New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Co. 12mo,
was “ fitted out to cruise with a commission from Williems Guéene, Governor of Rodelan.” Bishop Kip has ascertained, by inquiry, that some of the silver articles taken at that time “from Oyapoc,” still remain in Rhode Island in the possession of the descendants of the gallant privateersman.
MADAME RÉCAMIER AND HER FRIENDS.* -- We only give expression to a feeling which must be very general, when we say that there is great reason for thankfulness that Madame Lenormant has been induced to supplement the “ Memoirs” of her aunt, by this new book. Perhaps we can in no way better characterize the position in French society of this remarkable woman, than by saying that any sketch, however short, of the lives of a score of such men as Chauteaubriand, Matthieu de Montmorency, Ballanche, Ampère, will always be considered incomplete which does not make mention of the fact that they were her friends. There was a charm about her which did not depend alone on her beauty, but was based on real worth, and a benevolence, and a kindly feeling which seemed to prompt every thought. But while she attracted almost universal admiration, she confined her friendship to a select few. Mme. Lenormant says: “ As members of a secret society recognize their brethren by certain signs, so natures of a high moral order are prompt to understand each other, and open their ranks to those who resemble them.” Mme. Récamier said herself: “ There is a certain taste in perfect friendship, to which commonplace characters cannot attain.” It was for this reason that a warm attachment sprang up on the very day of their first meeting between Mme. Récamier and Ampère. He was only twenty years old, and she twenty-seven years older, but such was the “ exquisite delicacy of his soul, the generous enthusiasm of his aspirations, and the rectitude of his intentions," that at once he was admitted to her fire-side on the footing of a son and brother; and for thirty years was as one of her family. Among the charming episodes in this book, some of the most interesting are in connection with this friendship. In 1823, Ampère was one of a select party who accompanied Mine. Récamier to Rome. A charming picture is given of their manner of living. They travelled by slow stages. “ During the mid-day halt, as well as in the evening, they talked of what they had seen, they read
* Madame Récamier and her Friends. From the French of Madame Lenormant. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 12mo, pp. 281. VOL. XXXV.
aloud to each other, or Ballanche and Ampère earnestly discussed methods of history and philosophy. Mme. Recamier had the wonderful faculty of instantly transforming the meanest chamber of a way-side inn, and giving it an air of elegance; a cloth thrown over a table, books and flowers arranged upon it, a muslin coverlet spread upon the bed, and her own distinguished air and inimitable grace, transported every one as by enchantment into the realm of poetry.” The book is particularly valuable for the letters of Mme. Recamier herself which it contains.
We are allowed to see how it was that this attractive woman succeeded so well in saying kind things in a kind way. Writing her usual letter to Ampère, with difficulty, from Naples, after having been sick in bed for five days, she tells him how uncomfortable she has been, and adds: “Only the fear lest you might be uneasy gives me strength for it. I prefer that you should be alarmed on the score of my health, rather than my friendship;" and again, when Ampère was about to return to Paris from Bonn, where he had been studying in the University with Niebuhr, she wrote: “Hasten to animate by your narrations our poor salon at the Abbaye, which you have been pleased to call your patrie." In some respects, we think that this book is even more full of interest than the Memoirs.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF Mrs. FLETCHER.* --The husband of Mrs. Fletcher was, during a long life, a prominent Whig advocate of the city of Edinburgh, who was an intimate friend of all the celebrities who made that famous capital of Scotland such a centre of political and literary interest throughout the reign of George III. He died in 1828, at the age of eighty-two; and his widow survived him thirty years. Her friends of many different nationalities all speak of her with enthusiasm as a representative Scotchwoman of the highest culture and attractiveness. The following, which is only one of many references to her which we find in the book, gives a pleasing picture of her when she was sixty years of age. “Her appearance is so engaging that the mere looking at her is itself a pleasure. In her youth she was brilliantly beautiful. She retains so much symmetry of feature, so much fine expression of countenance, and so much grace of deportment, such a gentlewomanliness of manner, with such an
* Autobiography of Mrs. Fletcher. With Letters and other Family Memorials. Edited by a survivor of her family. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 12mo, pp. 376.