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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

at least that, in a broad way, he knows what to expect, and does not look for grapes from thorns or figs from thistles. He sees cause and effect, action and reaction everywhere, not like some specialists in certain selected spheres exclusively. He believes in orderly progress, knowing that great processes of development can not be very materially hastened.

In the field of education the views derived from the general theory of evolution have been found of the very greatest value; and were education to-day free from the trammels of politics, and were it commanding—as, but for its connection with the state, it would command—the best thoughts and the best energies of a host of freely competing educators, the improvement in educational methods directly due to the new views would be most conspicuous.

The evolutionary philosophy is a practical one, and it is to-day on trial; its principles are more or less penetrating and permeating the community; and the more they do so, the more they are confirmed by experience, and be-come impressed on the mental habits of individuals. Of what competing philosophy can the same be said? It is to this growing experience of the race, therefore, that appeal must be made if the validity of the general theory is to be questioned.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

The Evolution of Man and Christianity. By the Rev. Howard MacQueary. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 410.

The assertion of Prof. Le Conte, which furnished the motive, as the author avers, for this book, that we are on the eve of the greatest change in traditional views that has taken place since the birth of Christianity—a change involving a reconstruction of Christian theology—is verified by events which have taken place during the current year in the official centers of the most orthodox Protestant bodies. The debate in the Congregational churches about future probation; the creed revision which has been resolved upon by the Northern Presbyterian Church; the provision by the English Presbyterian Church of a place for those who believe in the evolution and extreme antiquity of man; and the retention of Professors Dods and Bruce by the Free Church of Scotland after their persistent avowals of doctrines far more novel to the Calvinistic theology than those for which Prof. Robertson Smith was deposed seven years ago, are signs the meaning of which can not be mistaken. The right to criticise the Bible as any other book is criticised; to investigate phenomena regarded by the Church as supernatural in the same way that ordinary phenomena are examined; and to probe the foundations of Christian faith to the bottom, has asserted itself there and has commanded a hearing. Modern theology can hardly be blamed for the existence of errors which were ingrafted upon it during the ages of darkness and ignorance; but it ought to have been more prompt to recognize these errors and correct them, rather than by cherishing them till their absurdity was universally seen to have given temporary advantages to the enemies of Christianity. Professing, as it does, to seek the truth as science is doing, it should welcome every effort to make the truth more clear; and even mistaken searchings for truth are better than persistent adherence to what has been proved false. Science, the friend and devotee of truth, can never do more than establish and make more accessible to men the truth in religion; and it is behaving as the truest ally of religion when it throws the light of a better and more exact knowledge upon dogmas that were conceived by men when their sources of information were scanty and imperfect or did not exist.

The author of The Evolution of Man and Christianity is a clergyman of apparently good standing in the Protestant Episcopal Church. He goes further in the criticism and analysis of doctrine than any other author who has written from within the Church. He believes that a recasting of theological thought is necessary to meet the advance that has been made in physical science, which is destined profoundly to modify our idea of miracles; biblical criticism, which has cast new views on the origin and character of the sacred books; and the social