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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/578

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the strongest-minded thinkers of the time, religiously and devoutly inclined, expressing his anxiety about subjects that need not have troubled him at all if he had been permitted to read his Bible without thinking of things that really belong outside of it, but are taught us all in childhood as gospel truth. The spirit in which his pages are penned, he says, "is not that of agnosticism, if agnosticism imports despair of spiritual truth, but that of free and hopeful inquiry, the way for which it is necessary to clear by removing the wreck of that upon which we can found our faith no more. To resign untenable arguments for a belief is not to resign the belief, while a belief bound up with untenable arguments will share their fate." Three of the five essays in the book have appeared in periodicals; the others are new in print in their present shape. In the first, which gives its name to the book, the works of Drummond, Kidd, and Balfour relating to man, his origin and destiny, are reviewed. In the second, The Church and the Old Testament, the authenticity of the Old Testament is questioned. The other essays relate to the doctrine of another life, the miraculous element in Christianity, and morality and theism. While theologians have done harm with their hard-and-fast interpretations "essential to salvation," evidence that is added to and never contradicted with every new season's explorations in the Orient shows that the critics whom Mr. Smith seems inclined to follow have egregiously erred in the ground and method of their attacks on the authenticity of the books of the Old Testament. These explorations show that those books reflect the very life and spirit of the times to which they relate, and must have been contemporary with them or compiled from contemporary documents, giving in the cosmogonies, etc., the earliest traditions of mankind, and in the historical statements references to facts concerning which other evidence has been or is likely to be at any time found.


GENERAL NOTICES.

The life and work of Pasteur have been affectionately and appreciatively described from the familiar and the French point of view in M. Vallery Radot's Histolre d'un Savant par un Ignorant and in M. Duclaux's Histoire d'un Esprit, and from a more purely scientific point by Mr. Roux in his article on L'Œuvre Médical de Pasteur. Now, Dr. and Mrs. Percy Frankland[1] acknowledging indebtedness to all these authors, present the subject from the point of view of English students of science. Their purpose is to extend and make more universal the general world's acquaintance with the great master and the methods through which his wonderful discoveries were made. His achievements, they say, "are so interwoven with the circumstances by which our daily life is surrounded, that it is all but impossible to find any one who is not directly or indirectly concerned with some part or other of his great life work." The authors make a straightforward, clear, and attractive presentation of the early life and studies and successive researches by means of which Pasteur achieved the highest point of scientific fame and won the right to be regarded as one of the world's greatest benefactors. A full account is given of the organization and methods of the Institut Pasteur and of the work of Pasteur's associates there and of his students.

The chief aim of Mr. Clark's Laboratory Manual of Practical Botany, we are informed by the publishers,[2] is not to find the names of flowers, but to gain some real knowledge


  1. Pasteur. By Percy Frankland and Mrs. Percy Frankland. New York: The Macmillan Company (Century Science Series). Pp. 234. Price, $1.25.
  2. A Laboratory Manual of Practical Botany. By Charles H. Clark. American Book Company. Pp. 271. Price, 93 cents.