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LITERARY NOTICES.

within law, and the communion in all things. In Part I. the author traces out the law of unity in plants, in the limbs of vertebrate animals, in the appendant organs of invertebrate animals, in the skull and vertebral column, in the relations of plants and animals, and of organic and inorganic forms. In Part II. he advances to dynamical and mental phenomena, and traces the unity of physical forces, of vital and physical motion, and of the phenomena of instinct, memory, imagination, volition, and intelligence, and closes with an exemplification of it in the personal, social, and religious life of man. In his preface, the author states that it has been his object to place himself in opposition to the materialistic spirit of the age.

History of Opinions on the Scripture Doctrine of Retribution. By Edward Beecher, D. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 334: Price, $1.25.

This is a book, of great theological erudition, on the question of the punishment of human beings after death. The unsettled state of opinion on this subject induced Dr. Beecher to take it up and do something to bring about a better agreement among those who believe in future punishment, but diner as to its duration; and, to those who regard such an inquiry as important, the volume will prove interesting. Dr. Beecher says: "The main interest centres on the question, 'What is the doom of the wicked?' This has fixed the attention of the world upon the import of a single word, aionios." It seems strange that the question of the eternal doom of immortal beings should be left so uncertain for mankind as to hang upon the interpretation of a Greek word, so that we must look to the philologists to ascertain what is to be our fate through eternity.

Vital Magnetism: Its Power over Disease. By Frederick T. Parson. New York: Adams, Victor & Co. Pp. 230. Price, $1.25.

By vital magnetism the author of this book, of course, means animal magnetism, and this term has been applied to a class of obscure and irregular effects exhibited by, or induced in, the nervous system, and also to an art of treating certain diseases. The author of the work claims that this country is very much behind Europe in the cultivation of this branch of the healing art, and his work is offered to supply a want to the medical profession arising from this backwardness of the subject, and to furnish evidence of the extent of its European development. The book has been compiled with excellent judgment, and gives account of a large number of cases, chiefly European, which are full of medical interest. It is due to the author to say that (though a Magnetic Physician) he is more modest than the standard ethics of the profession requires, for he neither parades his own cases, nor does he announce the street and number, or even the city, where he is to be found.

What there is in animal magnetism, or vital magnetism, that deserves attention as a method of treating disease, we cannot pretend to say; but those interested will find this book very suitable, as a presentation of its claims, and the evidences of its utility. There is, probably, something in it, and there may be much in it that the medical profession will yet have to recognize; but we advise the cultivators of the method to get rid of the term magnetism as quickly as possible, for it is both fanciful and misleading. The fact is, the thing referred to is not magnetism. It is claimed that there are certain effects produced by movements upon the human body, in certain directions, which effects are reversible by reversing the movements. This very naturally suggests analogies to magnets, which are charged and discharged in similar ways, but it no more proves the body to be a magnet than his method of grinding food proves man to be a grist-mill. The danger of such analogies is, that they are always apt to be carried too far. The author quotes approvingly the words of Dr. Ashburner as follows: "Man is a magnet. He has, like all other magnets, poles and equators. But, being a magnetic machine of very complex structure, his magnetic apparatus is divided into many parts. The brain is the chief magnet, and the trunk and extremities are separate magnets, having intimate relations with the chief source of magnetism. We infer from these facts, what is the truth, that the normal currents take a normal course from the brain to the caudal extremities."