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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

words from one of the most learned and religiously earnest divines of our time. What do they imply? Two things inevitably: first, the abandonment to Science of those cosmological problems over which Theology has hitherto claimed a divine right; and, second, the surrender to critical investigation of the nature and source of those narratives which have been hitherto so implicitly trusted. Dean Stanley is far from being alone in his views; they are shared by many other eminent clergymen who recognize that the Mosaic account of the Creation is without authority; and yet no part of Dr. Draper's celebrated book on the "Conflict between Religion and Science" has been so bitterly denounced by theologians as his remarks on the authenticity of the Pentateuch. He ventured a bold prophecy that the originals of the legends of the creation, the garden of Eden, the development of Eve from one of the ribs of Adam, the fall of man, the Tower of Babel, and the confusion of tongues, would be discovered in the clay libraries of the revived Mesopotamian palaces, as that of the Deluge had been; and, already, though only a few weeks have elapsed, it appears that they have been so found. How are they to be interpreted? When the legend of the Deluge was discovered by Mr. Smith, the agent of the London Telegraph newspaper, in these cuneiform tablets, it was hailed with triumph by biblical scholars, who looked upon it as a wonderful and unexpected testimony vouchsafed to these later days in behalf of the story of Genesis and the authenticity of the Pentateuch. It was supposed that the universal deluge had now been proved to have taken place. But another and very different view of the case has emerged, which is, that these legends, instead of being corroborative testimonials of the Pentateuch narration, are rather the originals from which it was derived. Into the question thus opened, although of great interest, we do not enter, but may say that, if this view proves the correct one, Assyrian explorers will hereafter be at a discount. Their discoveries will be classed with those of astronomers, geologists, and anthropologists. The theologians will find in them matter for merriment; and the digger into the mounds of the Tigris must get ready to be denounced as an atheist.

And yet Dean Stanley's sermon inspires us with hope that a better day is dawning. In the highest ecclesiastical ranks—and remembering the flowers that were laid on the coffin—in the highest political ranks, there is arising a spirit of liberality which more than sympathizes with the life of those great and good men, who, like Sir Charles Lyell, do not hesitate to encounter the prejudices and ignorance of their contemporaries for the sake of the truth, who invest its pursuit with the sanctity of a religious duty, and consider practical piety to consist, not in the noisy clamor for dogmas about which the human race will never agree, but in a submissive study of the revelation of Nature, and a courageous declaration of what they find in its records.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Nature and Life. Facts and Doctrines relating to the Constitution of Matter, the New Dynamics, and the Philosophy of Nature. By Fernand Papillon. Translated from the second French edition, by A. R. Macdonough, Esq. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 363 pages. Price, $2.00.

The readers of The Popular Science Monthly cannot fail to learn with pleasure that the complete essays of this gifted young author are now accessible in a single compact volume to the American public. Several of Papillon's masterly articles have appeared in our pages, and they awakened so deep an interest in the subjects considered, and were read with so much admiration, that it was felt to be important that all his principal papers should be reproduced in a separate issue. Of the charac-