Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

which no law could prevent. For even in the Divine economy one evil is sometimes permitted to prevent a greater.

Such arguments as those we have noticed do another injury to the cause of temperance. They divert men's minds from the true remedies. Whatever tends niost to improve the moral state of society will do most to renuove the evil. Exiucation will have its results in raising the people above this degrading vice. Yet it is not so much de. ticiency of knowledge as lack of principle that causes the evil ; and this nothing can adequately supply but religion. "All other bonds are external, and are little able to bear the strain of these appetites. This only can with certainty control them. Yet we do not say that religion is the only direct means that should be used. Everything should be done that can, either directly or indirectly, contribute to so desirable an object as teniperance.

We hope the publication before us will not be without its use. The cases of intoxication and its victims, described in the poem, and represented in the numerous illustrations, are sufficient to excite disgust and oppress the heart with sadness; and the scenes of comfort and happiness connected with temperance forn a pleasing and encouraging contrast. May they both help to promote the same desirable consummation !

THE RELATION OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS TO INORGANIC MATTER, AND ON

THE INTERACTION OF THE VITAL AND PHYSICAL FORCES. A Lecture, Introductory to a Course of Physiology, by J. BELL PETTIGREW, M.D., F.R.S., etc., Lecturer on Physiology at the School of Medicine, Sur

geons' Hall, Edinburgh. Tais lecture, which appeared in the Lancet of November 15th, and which want of space prevented us from noticing last month, discusses a subject of the first importance, and fearlessly introduces the question, whether Nature is the work of an intelligent Being or the result of accidental causes. The lecture is more especially interesting to us from one of the authorities it introduces on the side of Divine Causation. As the lecturer not only contrasts our author's views with those of one of the modern schools of philosophy, but compares them with those of the ancients, it will be necess ry to quote an introductory passage :

"In ancient Greece it was customary to regard all matter as consisting of four elements -viz. earth, air, fire, and water. The elements now, owing to the rapid advance to chemistry and the judicious use of spectrum analysis in the hands of Bunsen and Kirchoff, amount to sixty-five.

“Thales believed that the secret of life was to be found in the water; Anaximenes was of opinion it resided in the air ; Pythagoras traced it to heat, and Xenophon of the earth. Hippocrates went further, and asserted that prois (Nature) presided over and controlled all the actions of the body. According to him, Nature assimilated what was good for the body, and rejected what was bad. Plato, still more daring, attributed a soul to man, consisting of three parts--namely, the knowing or cognitive faculty, reated in the head ; the passions, placed in the breast ; and the appetites, confined to the belly. Aristotle entertained similar views. The soul, in Aristotle's opinion, was the vital energy or power which animated all organic bodies. Thus, with him, there was a vegetative soul for plants, a sentient soul for animals, and a rational soul for man.1 Plato and Aristotle, with a weird wisdom, drew a broad line of demarcation between matter, life, and spirit. Democritus and Epicurus, who believed in none of these things, regarded the body as an accidental aggregation of stray particles, variously grouped, and consequently discharging dissimilar functions. In Democritus and Epicurus we behold the materialist of modern times ; in Plato and Aristotle the imma. terialist.

" It is exceedingly interesting and, I will add, exceedingly instructive to trace those ancient doctrines rising gradually from matter to life and from life to spirit or soul, but I will not tax your patience; suffice it to say, that the ground originally: occupied by Plato and Aristotle on the one hand, and by Democritus and Epicurus on the other, is vigorously maintained by two rival schools of inodern philosophers. Thus there are those who attribute everything that exists to a spiritual agency, or what is the same thing, a divine power; while there are others who persistently maintain that the universe and all it contains is due to an accidental assemblage of parts mutually

Strictly speaking, Aristotle held that man, while possessing, in common with the brutos, a yux'í, possesscd also a Trevua, or rational principle.

[ocr errors]

1

acting and reacting upon each other. Newton and Swedenborg, e.g. support the former view, and Haeckel and Tyndall the latter. These four philosophers equally assume the existence of matter for their systems of the universe, but there is this fundamental difference between them : Newton and Swedenborg attribute the disposal, arrangement, and movements of matter directly to divine interposition and agency ; whereas Haeckel and Tyndall refer everything to a power inhering in the matter itself. In other worris, Newton and Swedenborg admit that matter, once created and placed in certain conditions, will obey certain laws; they, however, deny that matter can accomplish anything of itself, which is the position defended by Haeckel and Tyndall.

'Newton's conception of the universe is very grand. He pictures a mighty chaos, matter without form in the illimitable void. He then represents it as assuming shape and falling into positiou by the force of gravitation and under divine guidance. The assuming of shape is the origin and order of movement. By motion thus produced the universe becomes gradually perfected; the relative size, distances, and niovements of its several parts can be accurately ascertained. Newton never loses sight of a first cause. Thus, speaking of the formation of the sun and fixed stars, he says : 'I do not think (this) explicable by mere natural canses, but am forced to ascribe it to the council and contrivance of a voluntary agent.' Numerous other passages of a like tenor might be cited from this author. 2

“Swedenborg, in like manner, when descanting of gravitation, attributes the disposal of matter to divine agency. He says that nothing can be truly known of the visible world without a knowledge of the invisible, for the visible world is a world only of effects, while the invisible or spiritual is a world of causes.3

“ Haeckel gives a very different and not over-cheering account of the Creation. It is too long to quote on the present occasion, but I may state briefly that he refers not only the origin of the primitive cell, but also that of the young earth, to condensation and rind-formation. He does not recognise a First Cause. He says : ' The homo. geneous, viscid, plasma substance, which singly and alone formed the bodies of the first organisms, and even at this day quite alone forms them in the case of the moneres or simplest amoebic forms, is analogous to the tenacious and viscid planetary substance which contains the elements and substance of the young earth, as well as of the other glowing world bodies. In both cases the form of the creation happened, not ihrough the capricious interference of a personal Creator, but through the original power of matter fashioning itself. Attraction and repulsion, centripetal force and centrifugal force, condensation and rarefaction of the material particles, are the only creative powers which at this point lay the foundations of the complicated structure of creation.'+ Thus speaks and writes Haeckel. His system is not more intelligible for having excluded the divine agency. It is principally remarkable for bringing us face to face with the hydra-headed, myriad-handed protoplasm, and with the primitive cell, regarding which we have heard so much in recent times. Haeckel, it will be observed, holds extreme evolutionist views, According to him, matter does everything of itself and for itself.

“Tyndall is equally extravagant in his opinions. In the region beyond the microscope limit, he says, the poles of the atoms are arranged-that tendency is given to their powers; so that when the poles and powers lave free action, and proper stimulus in a suitable environment, they determine first the germ and afterwards the complete organism.

“ From the foregoing it will be evident that philosophers are diametrically opposed to each other as to the constitution of the universe : one sect attributing everything to divine agency and to law and order impressed upon all matter, whether living or dead, from the first; the other believing that inatter of itself can account for the universe and all it contains. Both sets of philosophers, however--and this is the point with which we as physiologists have to do-equally believe in matter and force."

As the lecture also discusses the subject of spontaneous generation we may have something further to say upon it in our next.

1 “From the time when Newton discovered, by analysing the motions of the planets on mechanical principles, that every particle of ponderable matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force varying inversely as the square of the distance, astronomers have been able, in virtue of that one law of gravitation, to calculate with the greatest accuracy the inovements of the planets to the remotest part and the most distant future, given only the posttion, velocity, and mass of each body of our system at any one time.”

2 Newtoni opera omnia, p. 430. London, 1782.
3 Life of Suredenborg. r. 17. New York, 1854.
* Hacckel, Natürliche schipfungs Geschichte. Berlin, 1863.

6

Miscellaneous.

EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE. — The an- he trusted that one of the efects of tle nual meeting of this important union of meeting that night would be to revive Christians of different denominations was the spirit of union and to advance the this year held in New York. Many dele- usefulness of the Evangelical Alliance. gates from Europe were present, and all In America there was a craving after the meetings were numerously attended. union, which was, to his mind, most Some progress is being made towards beautiful. They had a passionate love union, if we may judge by an address of for it, and pursued it as the grand object the Dean of Canterbury (Dr. Smith), in which shone before them." which " he showed the consistency of Position of Ministers.--"Whatever," Christian union with denominational says Mr. M Millan, “the Americans do distinctions, and explained that diversity with their money, they are exceedingly in opinion was not only an inevitable careful in supporting religious instituincident of our imperfect state, but also tions and the Christian ministry.” Exessential to 'progress.” The Dean also amples of the salaries of ministers are acted on his convictions, by joining with given, rising from £300 to £1200 per the ministers of other denominations in annum. What now is expected of the administering the sacrament of the Holy minister in return for his stipend ? Mr. Supper in a Presbyterian church-an act Carvel Williams shall tell us :-“lt which has greatly offended many of his seems to be a maxim with American Episcopal brethren. Since the close of Christians that their ministers ought to the meetings of this Alliance, and the think for themselves, and to say exactly return of the menubers who had visited what they think. Their language is it from England, two important public not, ‘We pay you handsomely, and we meetings of welcome have been held in expect you to do our bidding, to say as London. The first of these was arranged we say, and think as we think ;' but it by the London Congregational Union in is exactly the contrary. The American the Weigh-house Chapel

. The second churches expect their ministers to devoto was held in Exeter Hall, and was pre- all their mental powers to their service, sided over by Lord Ebury, the President or rather to the service of Christ. They of the Evangelical Alliance. From the expect him not only to be regular and addresses delivered at these meetings punctual in the conduct of ordinary serwe select some features of Christian vices and the doing of church work, but life and character in America.

they expect their minister to be a teacher American Love of Christian Union.— -and a theological teacher. They say, On this subject Dr. Stoughton, at the If our minister do not teach us, he is meeting at Exeter Hall, remarked—“In of no use to us.' They further believe America there seemed to be a far greater that religion must be in harmony with desire for union than existed in this the knowledge and sentiment of the country. There were, of course, con. times. In fact, deadness and stagnation tentions and strifes among religious seem to be two things of which the people, but there did not seem to be the Americans have a great dread, in reli. same warfare between denomination and gion as well as in everything else. denomination that existed here. He did Sermons and Serrices.- * There is a not want to cast the slightest reflection growing idea,” says Mr. M‘Millan, “in upon some of his Christian brethren in the churches of Massachusetts, which this country, but there were many of idea will in time find its way to England, them full of Christian sympathy who did that two services on the Lord's Day in not thoroughly sympathise with the rest the pulpit are too many. In Dr. Adam's of their brethren in their cravings after church, at Boston, there is a morning union. There were some of them who service, to which the pastor gives his looked upon it as a weakness. That was entire strength. The members in the not the current feeling in America, nor evening meet in what they call their was it the feeling of his own heart. It chapel - a building attached to the was not the feeling that brought the church—and there they conduct a Bible Evangelical Alliance into existence, and service. The pastor presides, and gives

a

[ocr errors]

IN

ter.”

his view of the passage or chapter, and strength in Germany. Bishop Reinlay brethren of experience and ability kins, whom they have appointed to the also express their views, and thus, from oversight of their churches, has been so many minds coming together, they adopted as a Catholic bishop by the think that they get more benefit from Government. At their annual Cor ress that Bible service than they get from the held at Constance in the month of Sepsermon in the morning."

tember last, the chairman, Von Schulte,

Lave the following account of the number SWEDENBORG.-At a recent meeting of adherents to this movement :-“Al. of the members of the "Whitby Young together the statement of the bishop's Men's Christian Association," à paper pastoral, that ‘over 50,000 Catholics of was read by a Mr. Thomas Bland on Germany' had elected him, was within “Religion," in the course of which he is bounds, and it was quite certain that the reported to have said : “As represented number of decided Old Catholics in the by the various sects, religion failed to Empire would be better reckoned at fulfil his idea of what it should be. The 200,000. The Church was now in posses. practice of many of the sects was bigoted, sion of about 100 parishes, if they could intolerant, and uncharitable, and quite only get the priests to occupy them.” inconsistent with the sublime principles of true religion. He advanced several REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCH opinions, and approved of them, held by AMERICA.—Bishop Cummins and seven the Unitarians and the Swedenbor- other clergymen have held a nieeting gians, more particularly those relating and formally set up a new religious body to future punishment held by the late on the basis of belief in the Holy Scrip

tures of the Old and New Testaments as

the Word of God and the sole rule of Mysticism. — Under the title of "Mys- faith and practice; in the Creed comticism, Scepticism, Dogmatism, and monly called the Apostles' Creed ; in Rationalism," the Church of England the divine institution of the Sacraments Magazine publishes a paper by the Rev. of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and Edward Geoghegan, M.A., incumbent in the Doctrines of Grace substantially of Bardsea. All these phases of opinion as they are set forth in the Thirty-nine are regarded, when rightly exercised, as Articles of Religion. This Church reelements in the formation of Christian cognises and adheres to Episcopacy, not character, but as liable to abuse by their as of divine right, but as a very ancient exclusive and abnormal development. and desirable form of church polity. It In describing the abuse of Mysticism, retains a liturgy which shall not be the author falls into the common error imperative or repressive of freedom in respecting Swedenborg, whom he intro- prayer, and accepts the Book of Common duces and dismisses in the following sen- Prayer as it was revised, proposed, anil tence :-"In the writings of Baron Swe. recommended for use by the General denborg, also, may be seen examples of Convention of the Protestant Episcopal the errors into which Mysticism may Church A.D. 1785, reserving full liberty fall, when it is not duly controlled by to alter, abridge, enlarge, and aniend the other faculties.” What are the errors the same, as may seem most conducive into which Swedenborg has fallen is not to the edification of the people, "prostated ; and as an example of the exclu. vided that the substance of the faith be sive development of one feature of cha- kept entire.” The Church condemns racter only, no selection could be more and rejects the following erroneous and mistaken. A man of universal know. strange doctrines as contrary to God's ledge, in whom every faculty and power Word :- 1st, That the Church of Christ of the mind was wisely and proportion. exists only in one order or form of eccleately developed, and by whom all these siastical polity. 2ndly, That Christian powers were constantly exercised, cannot ministers are priests in another sense be truthfully presented as an example of than that in which all helievers are Mysticism, as Mysticism is commonly royal priesthood." 3rdly, That the Lord's understood.

table is an altar on which an oblation of

the body and blood of Christ is offered OLD Catholics. — This lody of sece- anew to the Father. 4thly, That the ders from the Papacy coutinues to gain presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper

[ocr errors]

6

on

is a presence in the elements of bread Captain Bufham, who generously paid and winė. 6thly, That regeneration is all the local expenses of the lectures and inseparably connected with baptism. services. Since leaving Barnsley I have Bishop Cummius stated that he had the visited Shetlield, preaching twice on names of twenty-five ministers who were Sunday the 23rd November, and deliverready to join the new movement, and ing two lectures on week evenings. The who would do so as soon as parishes services and lectures were well attended ; could be found for them. Rules were our own friends manifestly regarded the adopted for the admission of members visit as both pleasant and useful. On and ministers from other Christian the occasion of the first lecture, a gentlecommunities into connection with the man, a Secularist, who has written a church, and Dr. Cheney elected as a reply to Mr. Finch's tract on the ‘Existsecond bishop, his consecration having ence of God,' was present, and asked since taken place.

several questions, especially in relation

to the apparent contradictions in the ITALY.–We have received the follow• letter of the Word. This same gentleing letter from a correspondent respect. man also attended the second lecture, ing the Nuova Epoca, which is advertised when he was so far gratified by what he our wrapper.

This publication, heard, as to second (in an approving which has just entered on its third speech) a vote of thanks to the lecturer. year, is very ably edited by Professor What he had heard, he said, was so difScocia, and is an excellent New Church ferent from what he expected to hearmissionary, and considering the great on " the Scripture way of Salvation,' difficulty of obtaining adinittance for that the questions he had thought of diil “ new lights” among the Roman Ca- not apply. He observed that the printholic or indifferent and often sceptic ciples of Swedenborg were very little Italian populations, it is fairly success- known. ful. Its circulation is steadily increas- “ From Sheffield I proceeded to Rad. ing, there being now 300 subscribers in cliffe, where I preached on the morning Italy, and the effort only needs a little of Sunday, November 30th, and thence support by us in England to make it the to Besses o’-th’- Barn, where I preached means of extended usefulness. A very in the afternoon : both services were pleasing fact is that the Nuova Epoca well attended. After the afternoon sernumbers among its constant and appre. vice a committee meeting was held, to ciative readers persons from all ranks consider the question of appointing a and professions, even Roman Catholic permanent leader, when it was concluded priests, medical men, lawyers, etc., and that the Society, with the promised aid that it tinds access at public institutions of the Conference Fund, is pecuniarily and libraries throughout the kingdom. in a position to justify such a step. Their Professor Scocia is a very able man, room is very eligible, and I consider the whose heart is in the work. He has field one which might be undertaken, already translated into Italian the “New with every prospect of success, by a young Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine," man who could for a time accept a small the "Heaven and Hell," and the “Di. salary, say £80 a year, and who has de vine Providence," the latter work being termined to devote his life to ministerial now in the press, and intended to be work. I sincerely hope that one will published in the course of next month. be found, and that the Church will be Let us support him in his work. It will strengthened by such an appointment. give me much pleasure to receive sub- During my stay at Radcliffe I proceeded scriptions and donations, which I will to Bacup, where I gave two week-evening acknowledge and forward. -- JOSEPH lectures; these were fairly, though not GALLICO, 4 Lawford Road, Kentish largely attended. This visit was sug. Town, London.

gested to my mind by the circumstance

of a newspaper discussion being now in NATIONAL MISSIONARY INSTITUTION. progress between our friend Mr. J. R. - The following letter from the National Boyle and 'A Primitive Baptist.' I Missionary was unayoidably omitted last thought that a thoughtful presentation inonth :-“ Dear Sir,-You will most of our views, quite apart from the discus. likely have received an account of my sion, Inight be useful, and I hope it was. visit to Barnsley from our good friend I next proceeded to Middl. sboro.on

[ocr errors]

a

« VorigeDoorgaan »