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that or infidelity. But supposing such a case, what then? How could it affect at all the credit of the general position itself which might thus be given up in despair, any farther than it would be of such force against the cause of Protestantism as a whole. To all whose confidence in this remained unshaken, there could be no reason why it should not be defended and maintained from the churchly and historical position still, as well as from any other. Nay, it would continue just as certain as before, that if it is to be upheld at all, it can be on this ground only, and on no other; as here alone is to be found any show of real and sure terra firma for Protestant faith, as distinguished from Protestant unbelief. Whatever may come of this, there is no better or more available position certainly on which to fall back in its rear. On no other hypothesis, is it possible for an intelligent Protestantism, which still clings to the mysteries of the Christian faith as this stood in the beginning, to find any true rest for the sole of its foot. To say that the cause cannot stand here, is simply to say that it cannot stand anywhere; and to admit in fact, if not in so many words, that to keep out of the Catholic Church we must cast ourselves headlong into the cold embrace of infidelity. God forbid, that we should ever be willing to do that.
Nor need it be feared on the part of the German Reformed Church, that she will not be able to maintain herself in the general position she has taken, over against the noise and tumult of her enemies. If only she continue true to herself, calm, firm, united and resolute, in the prosecution of her own quiet course, as to a truly wonderful extent has been the case thus far, she has nothing to fear. The only hope of this late Dutch crusade has been, that its agitation might lead to serious strife and division in the Church itself. Having failed in that bad
purpose, its impotency serves now but to show the inward force and power of the cause which it has been attempted to overthrow in such insidious style. It is much indeed, simply to have met this heavy onset from abroad without harm. The Church by means of it, knows herself better, and is stronger than before. It has become more plain than ever that she feels and understands the true nature of her position, and is not to be forced out of it by foreign interference in any form. It may as well be understood all round; the German Reformed Church is neither Puritan, nor American Lutheran, nor American Dutch, and has no mind to become anything of the sort at present, but much mind rather to follow what she takes to be the truth in a different and more “excellent way.” Her bent as a denomination, in this respect, is fixed. Revolution for her now here, would be as the collapse of death. The law of her prosperity within, and her whole significance without, are alike staked upon the constancy with which she may adhere to her own course. In this lies her only real strength; shorn of which, she must soon be known as one of the poorest and weakest among sects.
J. W. N. Mercersburg, Pa.
Art. IV.-THE TRUE RELATION OF CHEMISTRY TO PHYSIOLOGY.
The progress of science, in modern times, has been such as to astonish every one viewing it from a stand-point outside of itself, while those actively engaged in effecting this progressive movement, seem hardly aware of the greåt discoveries which attend their daily labors. If an argument were needed to prove the progressive character of the human mind,-an idea which indeed is implanted in that mind by the Creator and dimly foreshadowed in the law which provides for the development of all organic creation from the germ to full maturity,if such an argument be needed, the wonderful progress of science would go far to supply the deficiency. The law of progress applies to all creation : with the animal it perishes with the death of the individual ; with man it does not die, in two senses,-in the one, it continues in another world, (so far as the immortal part is concerned) though, with more rapidity, hastening on to the attainment of greater and still greater good, or greater and still greater ill;—in the other, it lives on earth in the works he leaves behind him, the character of which depends greatly on the age in which he has lived and whose wants have called forth the relative faculties of mind necessary to minister effectually to them.
The wants of any particular age thus give direction to the mental labors of its great men, and as these are theoretical or practical, warlike or pacific, we find that the great works peculiar to the age are philosophical or practical, abounding in refinements of the art of war, or in the more harmonious and peaceful evidences of philanthrophy. With all this, however, it seems that, in the course of humanity on earth, there has been predominant since its very beginning an onward tendency towards a fuller development of its faculties and the productions of those fruits of mind, which afford perennial evidence of the greatness of its Creator. This onward tendency may seem at times to be retarded in various ways, and retrogression rather than progression to take place. During such intervals, strength is gained, which pushes on then with a vigor much increased by the delay. The progress has been not unaptly compared to that of a spiral where the curve, it is true, seems to return to the point from whence it started, but in fact is all the while advancing onward from that point.
Now in the spiral-progressive development of the human mind, different divisions of human knowledge, at different periods of time, seem almost exclusively to claim the attention of the race. This predominance does not take place blindly, but in obedience also to regular laws, which require that certain points should be fully elucidated before we are prepared for the attentive and serious consideration of others. There is thus a logical order, which marks the course of human investigation, not only in each particular individual, but in mankind as a whole,—an order, which is carried out most beautifully in the history of the attainment of knowledge, and which, when violated, results in the production of baseless theories and crude opinions, to be overturned by the more thorough investigations of after days. We see a practical exemplification of this, in the results attained by the Alchemy of the Middle Ages, when the attention of a few was turned to the cultivation of science, before the necessary preparation had been made for its proper study. But it must also be remarked that even a violation of such a logical order, though not resulting in the formation of theories likely to stand, yet it affords much that may be used when the proper time arrives for the investigation of these theories. Thus the results of these alchemical investigations have not all stood the stern tests of time, but many truths have been derived from them, and when incorporated with the knowledge of after times, they have greatly aided in the formation of more perfect theories.
The course of preparation, prior to the nineteenth century, prepared the way for the more thorough investigation of the arcana of science; and with the way thus laid open for this purpose, the student has attained a knowledge altogether peculiar to his own day, and made the century pre-eminent for the investigation of nature and her laws. That such pre-eminence has resulted from a utilitarian tendency of the race can hardly be said with justice, since the two are rather coincident than occupying the relation of cause and effect. We should rather say, in the development of human knowledge it had become necessary that such investigations should take place, since the domain of pure thought, cultivated for centuries, and the polemics of medieval theology and philosophy studied fully in their ever-varying aspect,--had enlarged man's views of himself and the world around him, and compelled him, after he had followed the mental and spiritual interpretation of the oracular Pyode OswToy, to turn attention to its physical meaning,—to study the mysteries of his own organism and that of other beings likewise endowed with life, the world in which he lived and the laws which govern it.
Such studies were, at first, mere gropings in the dark without one glimmer of light to direct his path. As time progressed, facts, isolated it is true, but nevertheless facts, were apprehended and a position assigned them in the store-house of memory, until at length the lamp of truth lighting up his path, he found these facts evidences of the existence of laws, and the harmonious proportions of system were given to the results of his labors. Physiology, and physical science, with its various subdivisions, gradually acquired the dignity of sciences. They have since been enriched by the labors of thousands toiling with a sincere desire to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge.
These two divisions of knowledge are of the greatest utility to each other,—so great indeed as effectually to prevent a knowledge of the one, where there is entire ignorance of the other. They are mutually explanatory. The physical sciences require a knowledge of physiology to aid to any conclusion as to the forms, matter is found to possess in organic structure, and the Physiologist labors in vain if he is not possessed of a certain amount of knowledge which the physical sciences can give him.
In every living being, must be recognized the consummate wisdom of the Creator, who has seen fit to ordain a certain harmonious adaptation of means to ends; and since this adaptation presents itself with unerring accuracy in each species, we have styled it law,—that is an expression of His will with regard to that particular species. In the words of an English physiologist :* “ These laws are framed by man as expressions or descriptions of the slight glimpses he possesses of the plan according to which the Creator sees fit to operate in the natural world. Thus understood, the use of the term law can be, in no way, supposed to imply, that the Deity stands in any other relation to the phenomena of the universe than as their direct and constantly operating cause.
In man, both mentally and physically, there seems to be a concentration of all the wonders of creation, which the ancient philosopher, though far too ignorant to understand, considered of so much importance that he called him a Microcosm moving in the Macrocosm,-a little world, embodying all the wonders and mysteries of the great world around him. With this little world, in its physical relations, the science of physiology is
Carpenter's Introduc. to Hum. Phys.