Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/435

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
421
LITERARY NOTICES.

rules for gas piping, hints on the choice of fixtures, burners, globes and globe-holders, on the management of gas, and on the reduction of high gas bills. It also tells how to read a gas meter, how to search for a leak, and how not to search for it, and gives the advantages of cooking and heating by gas, certain historical facts, etc. Its treatment of these and other topics included in its scope is full, clear, and free from technicalities, and, while it is doubtless valuable to all who have to do with gas and gas appliances, it is especially needed by the user of gas, who has little chance to pick up the knowledge it contains in any other way.

A progressive course of Mechanical Drawing, arranged by Walter K. Palmer, has been issued (Charles B. Palmer, Columbus, 0., 80 cents). It comprises projection drawing, isometric and oblique drawing, and the making of working drawings. The successive principles are stated briefly, and the student is expected to verify them with the aid of explanations and illustrations by the teacher. No drawings are shown and as few figures as possible are used, as it is expected that the teacher will supply what is needed to clear up individual difficulties. What shall be drawn under the head of working drawings is left altogether with the teacher. A liberal number of review questions is provided.

A series of newspaper letters under the title Joint-metallism, by Anson Phelps Stokes, has been published in the Questions of the Day series (Putnam, 75 cents). Mr. Stokes describes "joint-metallism" as "a plan by which gold and silver together, at ratios always based on their relative market values, may be made the metallic basis of a sound, honest, self-regulating, and permanent currency, without frequent recoinage and without danger of one metal driving out the other." In brief, his plan consists in the use of a new silver coin equal in weight to a fivedollar gold piece, which may he named "a standard." The Secretary of the Treasury shall determine at the beginning of each month what whole number of "standards" comes nearest to the value of a five-dollar gold piece, and any payment of ten dollars or over may be made half in gold and half in "standards," at the current ratio fixed by him. This mode of payment shall not apply to debts contracted earlier than six months after the passage of the act authorizing the use of the new coin.

What may be described briefly as a popular account of modern biblical criticism is presented by Joseph Henry Crooker under the title The New Bible and its New Uses (Ellis). Mr. Crooker shows very clearly how the present Bible has been constructed—by combining two or more versions of the same events, by writing down oral traditions, by mingling history with legend, by writing in prophecies after the event, and by adding various tributes of reverent fancy. He points out numerous errors and contradictions in the Bible, and shows how the Old Testament is misquoted in the New. Having thus demonstrated that the Bible is not the message of an omniscient Deity, he proceeds to show that it does not itself claim to be such. The statements of Jesus concerning the Old Testament writings were those of a man with the limited knowledge of his time. Mr. Crooker does not here raise any doubt that Jesus really said the things that he is reported to have said. Regarding the Scriptures in this light gives us in effect a "new Bible," and the author devotes a closing chapter to a discussion of the proper use of the renovated book. He says that it will be a great gain for humanity to have the surviving misuses of the Bible stopped, as many others have been already. This book must no longer be held superior to reason. But it will not therefore die. To quote from his closing paragraph: "When the bondage of a literal, a textual, and a dogmatic use of Scripture ceases, then we shall rejoice in a use of the Bible that allows reason and sentiment free scope. It is a joy to read the Bible as we would any other book, feeling that no dogmatist is near to club us if we doubt, and no roaring hell yawning for us if we reject a text here and there." The author makes numerous references to modern authorities for support and amplification of his statements.

The Manual of Topographic Methods, published by Henry Gannett, Chief Topographer, as Volume XXII of the Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey, is intended to present a description of the topographical work, instruments, and methods used by the Geological Survey, primarily for