sistence of matter—weight—is annihilated and created by distance and proximity to the earth.
Physical science relates only to the limited and conditioned, because its proofs are limited. The unlimited—persistent—is beyond the realm of physical sense and experimental proof. Hence, only abstract, ideal force persists, and is known to persist, not from our experiences with perceived forces, but only because mind, heredity, and mental experiences, evolve the conception of ultimate, absolute principles, and forbid the conception of their annihilation.
Proper discrimination, exactly expressed, between perceptions of the finite and conditioned, and conceptions of the persistent and absolute, rids science from the odium of materialism, and other fallacies, and makes the persistence of force not a new theory, but what it was ever conceived to be—the principle of potency—causality—an attribute of the ever-existing I Am.
Alleged infallibility of spectrum analysis of suns and nebulæ, billions of miles distant, when, for terrestrial use, the Director of the United States Mint says, "it cannot be trusted," shows the present tendency to sacrifice logical mental conceptions to mere physical sense.
Religious superstitions, in their conflict with science, will not succumb to sophistry: but, let scientific, physical facts be fortified with careful experimental verification, and hypotheses with pure logic, and give mind, though it be "discerned in matter," its fair share of the universe, and both superstitious bigotry and fallacious dogmas will surely disappear.
|Tenafly, N.J., February 20, 1875.|
DR. DRAPER has reason for gratitude to his friends, and doubly so to his enemies. He wrote a bold book upon a subject never before separately treated, and by a large portion of the press it has been received with favor as a valuable and important contribution to the serious thought of the time. The interest in the subject, the reputation of its author, and the cordial commendation of many critics, were certain to secure the work a fair measure of success; but, on the other hand, a considerable number of writers were enraged by it, and, with the usual folly of passion, have execrated it into about thrice the circulation that it would otherwise have had. It is to be hoped they will learn that things are often overruled, in this world, to ends not contemplated by their contrivers. This, however, lends no excuse to bad practices, and those who have unscrupulously attacked Dr. Draper's work are to be held to account for it, just the same as if they had not overreached themselves in the result aimed at.
The honest and intelligent criticism of his book will, no doubt, be respected by its author, and objections to its reasonings and conclusions will probably be taken into careful consideration; while, if convinced of their validity, he may be expected to indicate it in future editions of the volume. But by a very considerable portion of the religious press, and by many secular journals, the editors of which know where to flatter and where to abuse, with a view to brisk sales, the book has been vehemently denounced. Scribner's Monthly, for example, published in March an admirable article on the "Indecencies of Criticism," and the same number contained a "criticism". of Dr. Draper's work, illustrating them so perfectly as to raise the suspicion that such was its design. The frothy invective that has been copiously poured out under the name of criticism is, of course, not worth noticing; nor shall we trouble ourselves with the various petty objec-