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and powers, the Church may have made known the manifold wisdom of God.
We feel that we have been led into too wide a discussion of this topic. It arises, however, from the intense interest we feel in it. The dawn of physical science was the dawn of an intellectual reformation, nearly coincident in time with the religious one. And we are most strongly imbued with the conviction, that as a discipline to the mind, as furnishing it with the highest and most blessed contemplations at once beneficial to the imagination and the heart,-it should be the prominent study; but its connexion with moral and religious truth must never be forgotten.
Before any particular inquiry upon the merits of the work which is introduced at the head of this article, let us ascertain how far our previous remarks apply to it. We extract almost the only allusion to the connexion between science and our moral and religious feelings, which we can find in Mrs. Somerville's treatise.
“Science, regarded as the pursuit of truth, which can only be attained by patient and unprejudiced investigation, wherein nothing is too great to be attempted, nothing so minute as to be justly disregarded, must ever afford occupation of consummate interest and subject of elevated meditation. The contemplation of the works of creation elevates the mind to the admiration of whatever is great and noble; accomplishing the object of all study,--which, in the elegant language of Sir James Mackintosh,
is to inspire the love of truth, of wisdom, of beauty, especially of goodness, the highest beauty, and of that supreme and eternal Mind, wbich contains all truth and wisdom, all beauty and goodness. By the love or delightful contemplation and pursuit of these transcendent aims, for their own sake only, the mind of man is raised from low and perishable objects, and prepared for those high destinies which are appointed for all those who are capable of theni.'
“ The heavens afford the most sublime subject of study which can be derived from science. The magnitude and splendour of the objects, the inconceivable rapidity with which they move, and the enormous distances between them, impress the mind with some notion of the energy that maintains them in their motions with a durability to which we can see no limit. Equally conspicuous is the goodness of the great First Cause, in having endowed man with faculties by which he can not only appreciate the magnificence of His works, but trace, with precision, the operation of his laws; use the globe he inbabits as a base wherewith to measure the magnitude and distance of the sun and planets, and make the diameter of the earth's orbit the first step of a scale by which he may ascend to the starry firmament. Such pursuits, while they ennoble the mind, at the same time inculcate humility, by showing that there is a barrier which no energy, mental or physical, can ever enable us to pass : that however profoundly we may penetrate the depths of space, there still remain innumerable systems, compared with which those apparently so vast must
dwindle into insignificance, or even become invisible; and that not only man, but the globe he inhabits,-nay, the whole system of which it forms so small a part,- might be annihilated, and its extinction be unperceived in the immensity of creation.”—p. 2—4.
The following beautiful passages occur in Sir John Herschel's first chapter of his Introductory Discourse; which we cannot forbear to quote, since they breathe so much of the spirit we have been attempting to inculcate :
“ Independent of the pleasures of fancy and imagination, and social converse, man is constituted a speculative being; he contemplates the world, and the objects around him, not with a passive, indifferent gaze, as a set of phenomena in which he has no further interest than as they affect his immediate situation, and can be rendered subservient to his comfort, but as a system disposed with order and design. He approves and feels the highest admiration for the harmony of its parts, the skill and efficiency of its contrivances. Some of these which he can best trace and understand be attempts to imitate, and finds that to a certain extent, though rudely and imperfectly, he can succeed,-in others, that although he can comprehend the nature of the contrivance, he is totally destitute of all means of imitation ; -while in others, again, and those evidently the most important, though he sees the effect produced, yet the means by which it is done are alike beyond his knowledge and his control. Thus he is led to the conception of a Power and an Intelligence superior to his own, and adequate to the production and maintenance of all that he sees in nature,
,-a Power and Intelligence to which he may well apply the term infinite, since he not only sees no actual limit to the instances in which they are manifested, but finds, on the contrary, that the farther he inquires, and the wider his sphere of observation extends, they continually open upon him in increasing abundance; and that as the study of one prepares him to understand and appreciate another, refinement follows on refinement, wonder on wonder, till his faculties become bewildered in adıniration, and his intellect falls back on itself in utter hopelessness of arriving at an end."--p. 4.
And again :
" Nothing, then, can be more unfounded than the objection which has been taken, in limine, by persons, well meaning perhaps, certainly narrow-minded, against the study of natural pbilosophy, and indeed against all science, that it fosters in its cultivators an undue and overweening self-conceit, leads them to doubt the immortality of the soul, and to scoff at revealed religion. Its natural effect, we may confidently assert, on every well constituted mind is and must be the direct contrary. No doubt, the testimony of natural reason, on whatever exercised, must of necessity stop short of those truths which it is the object of revelation to make known; but, while it places the existence and principal attributes of a Deity on such grounds as to render doubt absurd and atheism ridiculous, it unquestionably opposes no natural or necessary obstacle to further progress : on the contrary, by cherishing as a vital principle an unbounded spirit of inquiry, and ardency of expectation, it unfetters the mind
NO. XXXI.-JULY, 1834.
from prejudices of every kind, and leaves it open and free to every impression of a big her nature which it is susceptible of receiving, guarding only against enthusiasm and self-deception by a habit of strict investigation, but encouraging rather than suppressing, every thing that can offer a prospect or a hope beyond the present obscure and unsatisfactory state.”-p:7, 8.
A great portion of Mr. Whewell's valuable and interesting work, which we reviewed in a previous Number, is occupied upon the religious views that are suggested by physical science.
We are happy to find that he fully agrees with the sentiments which introduce this article, and that he supports us in our opinion relative to the lack of religious thought in our philosophical treatises. The extracts, however, which we have given from Mrs. Somerville and Sir John Herschel must be sufficient. Now, surely, if these great objects distinguish natural philosophy, her professors are bound to strive to promote them : not by a few, very few, casual reniarks in their treatises, as if to propitiate the favour of a religious reader; but by reiterated and glowing allusions. Why should not our scientific works be impregnated with such sentiments? They would not unseasonably divert the atten
rather by keeping the same topics before the mind, and yet varying the aspect in which they are contemplated, would they appropriately recommend, illustrate, and even dignify them.
But to dismiss this train of observation, and specially consider the work before us.-We can conscientiously agree with other periodicals, in according to Mrs. Somerville the highest praise for profound philosophical research in her treatise. It bears the stamp of genuineness. She has evidently worked out the formulæ, and by experimental observation confirmed the theories for herself. This book is not the compilation of one who has merely read other volumes, and with the parade of abstruse science, plagiarised from each of them. We rose from its perusal with the conviction, that in this department she must be the first woman of her age. Yet we question if it is not very inferior to her previous volume on the Mechanism of the Heavens. As purporting familiarly to unfold the connexion of the physical sciences, it has disappointed us. If obviousness of method be necessary to lucidness, then certainly this work has but few claims to it. Whilst reading it, we were repeatedly looking for some chapter of contents, (which, strange to say, there is not,) by which, as from some map of roads, we might detect our locality: the attention thus became divided between the immediate chapter and its dependance on its predecessors.
Inasmuch as the physical sciences occupy distinct departments for investigating the laws which regulate a creation that may
said to be their common property,—it is clear there must be a very essential connexion between them. Astronomy, for instance, would be imperfect, if it were not enriched with the contributions of the science of optics : and so the science of optics is under similar obligations to astronomy. The laws of light guide us in our calculations upon the place and movement of the heavenly bodies, and they in return illustrate and unfold to us its velocity. Before we can fully understand the laws which govern the water that refreshes us, we must know those which regulate the atmosphere we inhale. The oblivion of any one of the physical sciences would most seriously injure all the rest. They are the sisterhood of the muses : the withdrawal of one would induce general discordance.
It is Mrs. Somerville's object fully to establish this doctrine. As far as we can gather, (for in truth she has made no definite announcement of it,) the fact that the law of gravitation is common to all the sciences, is the principle of their connexion, The following paragraph--the last in the volume—may be viewed as a recapitulation of her previous argument:
“ It thus appears that the theory of dynamics, founded upon terrestrial phenomena, is indispensible for acquiring a knowledge of the revolutions of the celestial bodies and their reciprocal influences. The motions of the satellites are affected by the forms of their primaries, and the figures of the planets themselves depend upon their rotations. The symmetry of their internal structure proves the stability of these rotatory motions, and the immutability of the length of the day, wbich furnishes an invariable standard of time; and the actual size of the terrestrial spheroid affords the means of ascertaining the dimensions of the solar system, and provides an invariable foundation for a system of weights and measures. The mutual attraction of the celestial bodies disturbs the fluids at their surfaces, whence the theory of the tides and the oscillations of the atmosphere. The density and elasticity of the air, varying with every alternation of temperature, lead to the consideration of barometrical changes, the measurement of heights, and capillary attraction; and the doctrine of sound, including the theory of music, is to be referred to the small undulations of the aërial medium. A knowledge of the action of matter upon light is requisite for tracing the curved path of its rays through the atmosphere, by which the true places of distant objects are determined, whether in the heavens or on the earth. By this we learn the nature and properties of the sunbeam, the mode of its propagation through the etherial Auid, or in the interior of material bodies, and the origin of colour. By the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, the velocity of light is ascertained, and that velocity, in the aberration of the fixed stars, furnishes the only direct proof of the real motion of the earth. The effects of the invisible rays of light are immediately connected with chemical action; and heat, forming a part of the solar ray, so essential to animated and inanimated existence, whether considered as invisible light or as a distinct quality, is too
important an agent in the economy of creation not to hold a principal place in the order of pbysical science. Whence follows its distribution over the surface of the globe, its power on the geological convulsions of our planet, its influence on the atmosphere and on climate, and its effects on vegetable and animal life, evinced in the localities of organized beings on the earth, in the waters, and in the air. The connexion of heat with electrical phenomena, and the electricity of the atmosphere, together with all its energetic effects, its identity with magnetism and the phenomena of terrestrial polarity, can only be understood from the theories of these invisible agents, and are probably principal causes of chemical affinities. Innumerable instances might be given in illustration of the immediate connexion of the physical sciences, most of which are united still more closely by the common bond of analysis which is daily extending its empire, and will ultimately embrace almost every subject in nature in its formulæ.
“These formulæ, emblematic of Omniscience, condense into a few symbols the immutable laws of the universe. This mighty instrument of human power itself originates in the primitive constitution of the human mind, and rests upon a few fundamental axioms which have eternally existed in Him who implanted them in the breast of man when He created him after His own image."-pp. 411-414.
In separately considering these subjects, Mrs. Somerville has advanced the latest improvements and discoveries, We think her chapters upon the identity of electricity and magnetism particularly interesting. Yet we cannot with perfect honesty recommend the volume. As a book of reference to the most lately ascertained conclusions it may be useful; but certainly to the beginner in science it would be perfectly unintelligible, and as a digest for one more advanced it is incomplete.
ART. VIII.---Jacobite Memoirs of the Rebellion of 1745. Edited
from the Right Reverend Robert Forbes, A.M., Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church, by Robert Chambers, Author of “ Traditions of Edinburgh," &c. London: Longman and Co.
Edinburgh: Chambers. 1854. The history of this book is extremely interesting, and realizes many of those fictions which have been devised by ingenious men for drawing attention to works otherwise not likely to attract notice. Bishop Forbes, one of the Episcopal clergymen at Leith, was, with the greater number of his brethren, warmly attached to the interests of the house of Stuart; and, accordingly, when Prince Charles Edward, in September, 1745, descended from the Highlands, he joined a small party of friends, who advanced to the · neighbourhood of Stirling, in order to pay their respects to the representative of him whom they were still inclined to honour as their sovereign. Mr. Forbes and four of his companions were