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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/646

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

reprint, as soon as I find out what they are, etc., etc." This was on the 23d of January, 1860. On the 22d of May of the same year, Mr. Darwin wrote acknowledging "a very pleasant remittance of £22" ($110), and adding, "If you have any further communication to the Appletons, pray express my acknowledgments for their generosity; for it is generosity, in my opinion." While Darwin and Gray were corresponding concerning the interests of the book and the reviews of it—favorable and adverse—in American periodicals, our civil war broke out; and we have, on the 5th of June, 1861, the expression:

"I never knew the newspapers so profoundly interesting. North America does not do England justice; I have not seen or heard of a soul who is not with the North. Some few, and I am one of them, even wish to God, though at the loss of millions of lives, that the North would proclaim a crusade against slavery. In the long run, a million horrid deaths would be amply repaid in the cause of humanity. What wonderful times we live in! Massachusetts seems to show noble enthusiasm. Great God! how I should like to see the greatest curse on earth—slavery—abolished!" In September Darwin said, "If abolition does follow with your victory, the whole world will look brighter in my eyes, and in many eyes."

Professor John Fiske, whose "Cosmic Philosophy," and Professor Morse, whose address on "What American Scientists have done for Evolution," he read with interest; and Professor Marsh, whose "Odontornithes" he regarded as having "afforded the best support to the theory of evolution which has appeared within the last twenty years," were other American scientific correspondents.

Mr. Darwin was not inclined to make public statements respecting his religious views, because he felt that a man's religion is an essentially private matter concerning himself alone, and because he thought that a man ought not to publish on a subject to which he had not given special and continuous thought.

In his twentieth year he had determined to become a clergyman, with full acceptance in his mind of the doctrines of the Church of England. While on the Beagle his faith in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures was regarded as something remarkable; but it was gradually surrendered in the face of his critical reflections, though very unwillingly, and disbelief creeping over his mind at a rate so slow as to give no distress, became at last complete. At a later period he was doubtful respecting the existence of a personal God; but, as he wrote in 1879, he was never an atheist in the sense of denying such existence, but considered that the term agnostic would be the more correct designation of his state of mind. He acknowledged to Miss Julia Wedgwood that the result of his reflections respecting design in Nature had been a maze, and that "where one would most expect design—viz., in the structure of a sentient being—the more I think on the subject, the less I see proof of design." He wrote to Mrs. Boole in 1866, "It has