The death of Dr. Bellows, so unexpected, and while yet apparently in the full vigor of his remarkable powers, is not only a painful shock to his numerous friends, but will he widely felt as a public calamity. He has been for many years prominent and influential in the management of important philanthropic movements, and he has also been the virtual head of perhaps the most cultivated, and certainly the most liberal, of the religious denominations of the country. We have no design here to give any account of his life and labors, the task having been already well performed by the newspaper press. But there was one aspect of his mental character to which it may be proper for us to bear testimony.
Dr. Bellows was a man of great independence of thought, and, though practically the leader of a religious sect, and profoundly interested in maintaining and extending its organizations, he was yet deeply interested in the most radical tendencies of inquiry. He sympathized with the spirit of thorough-going research in every field of investigation, with an assured faith that, so long as truth is earnestly sought, the results must always be beneficent and valuable. In a very recent conversation with him, he spoke of having read with great pleasure, and a very considerable degree of accord, the new work of Renan, "Marcus Aurelius," the last of that author's series on the "Origins of Christianity." He also referred to Spencer's "Data of Ethics," which he had carefully read at the time of its appearance, and expressed much interest in the author's further elucidation of the subject. He said, in substance: "I accept that work as a very important contribution to ethical science, and I am fundamentally in agreement with it. There are parts of it that need further clearing up, and that I could better appreciate if I were more familiar with the scientific evidence of the doctrine of evolution. But Spencer's main position, that morality must be grounded in nature, and its principles confirmed by an extending knowledge of nature, it seems to me, is impregnable; and he has certainly gone far toward constructing a stable basis of ethical doctrine."
We mention these facts to show that Dr. Bellows did not share the alarm felt by many at the progress of rationalism; that he was hospitable to advanced opinions, even in his own sphere of thought, and welcomed and prized them as hopeful indications of a sound and healthful progress in the higher departments of philosophic inquiry.
Uranometria of the Southern Heavens. Brightness and Position of Every Fixed Star down to the Seventh Magnitude, within One Hundred Degrees of the South Pole. By Benjamin Apthorp Gould. With an Atlas. Buenos Ayres: Paul Emile Conti. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 383. Price, $20.
In the excellent sketch of Dr. Gould which we publish, a reference will be found to his recent contributions to the astronomy of the southern hemisphere. At the invitation of the Argentine Republic he established and assumed charge of the observatory at Cordova in 1870, and took with him from this country four assistants to aid in carrying out the grand project of fixing the positions and grades of brightness of all the southern stars visible to the naked eye at his station. The work thus taken up was an extension to the southern heavens of the system of observations made by Argelander, of Bonn, upon the northern heavens, and published in 1843 in his celebrated "Uranometria Nova." The work of Argelander represents 3,256 stars from the first to the sixth magnitude, which are to be seen above the horizon of Bonn. Dr. Gould's problem was to extend this enumeration over the whole southern sky, keeping accurately to Argelander's standard. But the extraordinary transparency of the southern atmosphere makes visible grades of stars which can not be seen in the North;