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PUBLISHED QUARTERLY-IN JANUARY, APRIL, JULY, AND OCTOBER.
Rev. George Hill.
Rev. J. P. McLean.
Rev, O. D. Miller.
Jane L. Patterson.
EBENEZER FISHER, D.D.
By GEORGE H. EMERSON, D.D.
WITH FINE STEEL ENGRAVING.
Childhood and Youth.- Led towards the Ministry.- Enters the Ministry. - The Salem Pastorate- The Essex Ministerial Circle.- The Pastorate at South Dedham.- The Universalist Movement.- First Efforts to Found a Theological School. The Theological School Established. - The Call to Canton.- Dark Days.- A Crisis.- The War Crisis.Minor Crises.- Within the School. Without the School. Within the Home. Friends of the Institution.- Closing Years.- "Last of Earth." -Tributes.- Analysis of Character.
I. Monumental Address: Rev. E. L. Longer.
II. Memorial Address :
Bound in fine Cloth binding, with bevelied boards. Price, $1, postage paid. With Gilt Edges, $1.25. No discount from these prices except to Agents.
Universalism of the Lord's Prayer.
By JOHN G. ADAMS, D.D.
This work bears a new title, and one claiming the attention of the Christian public. It asserts THE UNIVERSALISM of the Lord's Prayer; that this Petition taught by Christ to his followers, and now accepted as his teaching in all Christian churches, affirms emphatically the great truths of the Divine Fatherhood, the Brotherhood of the human race, the reign of holiness over sin, and the final reconciliation of all souls to God the Father through Christ the Son. The practical teachings of the Prayer are recognized as of the highest spiritual interest to all who seek acquaintance with them.
12mo., 132 pages. Finely bound in cloth. Sole at the very low price of 50 cents per copy, postage paid. Orders solicited.
UNIVERSALIST PUBLISHING HOUSE,
Natural Iaw. An Essay on Ethics. By Edith Simcox. English and Foreign Philosophical Library, Vol. IV. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co. 1877.
The conflict between the natural and the metaphysical and theological theories of the universe, beginning on the narrower field of material phenomena and laws, has at length overspread the entire domain of known existence. The questions on which the most intense interest is concentrated are, whether human life is essentially different from the life of the lower animals; whether morality and religion cannot be explained as purely natural developments from inferior conditions of existence; whether all the phenomena, commonly considered to be phenomena of mind and spirit, do not properly come under natural law, so as not to be different in their origin and nature from material things; and finally, whether all existence may not be rationally accounted for without a supersensible force or cause.
The purely scientific side of the question is stated in the affirmation that the modifications of which human beings are conscious in themselves are subject to law in the same sense as the modifications of unconscious natural objects, and may become in the same way matter of positive and exact knowledge. And it is further affirmed that unless human acts and sufferances are subject to law in the same sense as the regular modifications of natural objects, they cannot become matter of knowledge. As the animal eye, it is said, is made by the action of the light which it perceives upon specially organized matter, so the animal mind is made by the perceptions it registers through a still higher development of the vital mechanism. But even if we allow that the adaptation of the eye to light is to be explained by the supposition that iight made the eye, and ask no questions as to how the matter referred to came to be "specially organized," and whether such special organization does not imply a design that the eye should result,
NEW SERIES. VOL. XVJI
the inquiry can hardly be forborne how mind can be made by registering perceptions, since it must be assumed to exist before it can have perceptions to register. And if mind is antecedent in existence to perception, there can be no formula of the law of perception which does not take into account something besides the vital mechanism, that is to say, the mental energy which determines the perceptions. Accordingly since mind is something more than a machine for registering impressions, and since the movement of its forces of passion and will are incapable of calculation, it is evident in what sense its modifications cannot be said to be subject to law like those of material objects. But it cannot be allowed that mind is therefore not an object of knowledge. We can and do know it to the extent that we are able to observe its modifications. We know that it is not mechanical in its operations, that it possesses active and prolific energies, and that far from having any resemblance to, or being dominated by, material things, it imposes its native forms of thought on their phenomena, and opposes its will to their mightiest forces.
If we look only at the constant relations which exist among phenomena and formulate our experience of this recurring constancy, we arrive at the scientific definition of law-“A statement of the constant relations posited by the nature of things."1 This definition, however, is not strictly scientific, if we are to understand that science takes nothing for granted, save that things can be known, for it is assumed that law is posited by the nature of things, that is, that the "constant relations" follow necessarily from the nature of the things related, which assumes the question in debate by affirming that law originates in the things in which it is found. The definition of Montesquieu is open to the same objection, "Les loix sont les rapports nécessaires qui dérivent de la nature des choses," where the words "derived from the nature of things" state a theory. of the origin of law. A better definition from the point of view of phenomena would be, the constant relations which are found to exist among things in accordance with their nature.
1 Natural Law, p. 6.
This merely external view is, however, inadequate. Law means not simply constant relations as such, but constant relations of a certain kind. And the question may properly be raised whether beings capable of observing phenomenal relations of things would ever acquire the notion of law. But to men, who are obliged to observe nature according to necessary forms of thought, some phenomena convey other meanings and revelations, so that they do not stop with an observation of the constant relations of things, but, impelled by a certain intellectual necessity, they put an interpretation on these relations, and this interpretation is their idea of law.
There belongs, then, to the the notion of law, 1. Order, an adjustment of things in certain regular courses- the opposite of confusion and anarchy. We should not give the name of law to relations of things, however constant, unless we saw order in them. 2. Design, the adaptation of means to ends, the subjection of phenomenal order to a higher order of purpose. When we apply the name of law to the phenomena of gravitation, we designate by this term more than a tendency of matter, we imply a tendency to a result that is one of many conceivable results which might have accrued under a different constitution of things. The moment this defiuite result is thought of as distinct from all other conceivable results, it is necessarily brought under the notion of choice, in other words, is conceived as a final cause. It does not help the case to say that the law is so-and-so because of the consti tution of things, and that if this had been different, the law would have been otherwise. The constitution of things is the law, and if the law implics the aiming at a definite result, the constitution of things implies a constitutor. 3. There belongs also to the idea of law the notion that it is imposed. A law without a subject is inconceivable, and a subject can only be thought of as passive, subjected to a dominating force. Hence it does not answer to the idea of law to speak of a thing as originating its own law, as at once lawgiver and subject. The etymology of the word "law" (from the root to lay) corresponds with the idea, which has always prevailed, that it is a