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Wilson, and Mr. Lushington's ' Italian Freedom,' are magazine articles high above the average in thought and style."
The first article on the 19th of November is devoted to a review of Charles Darwin's new Darwin's' On work 'On the Origin of Species by Means of thSpeciS,n'0f Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life':— "Naturalists of the highest eminence are thoroughly satisfied that each species of animal —all that flies, and walks, and creeps, and wades—has been independently created; and the majority of naturalists have agreed with Linnaeus in supposing that all the individuals propagated from one stock have certain distinguishing characters in common, which will never vary, and which have remained the same since the creation of each species. Mr. Darwin, on the contrary, believes that'the innumerable species, genera, and families of organic beings with which this world is peopled, have all descended, each within its own class or group, from common parents, and have all been modified in the course of descent! To his mind, 'it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of an individual.' 'I believe,'
says Mr. Darwin,'that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number. Analogy would lead us one step further—namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended
from some one prototype.'
"A man of imaginative power might most attractively depict the grand yet simple and direct issues of such a theory. Here are a vast variety of forms of life, most wonderfully coadapted, most closely connected, most richly adorned, yet they are all 'the lineal descendants of those which lived before the Silurian epoch; and one may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world. Hence, we may look with some confidence to a secure future of equally inappreciable length. And as Natural Selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend
to progress towards perfection.' After all,
this book is but an abstract:—it is the pilot balloon to a greater machine. Probably it is designed to show which way the wind blows. The larger work is nearly finished, but it will demand two or three more years for completion. Health, labour, and observations are wanting for a while, but in due season we hope to see the work 'with references and authorities for the several statements.' We should offer remarks on some important topics but that our author says, 'A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of the question; and this cannot possibly be here done.' Meanwhile Mr. Darwin anticipates small favour from many of the older and more eminent naturalists; his hopes chiefly rest on the young, and, as he would say, the unshackled. 'A few naturalists,' he observes, 'endowed with much flexibility of mind, who have already begun to doubt on the immutability of species, may be influenced by this volume; but I look with confidence to the future, to young and rising naturalists who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality.'"
An account of the history of the founding The British and progress of the British and Foreign BibleFSocifty.Bible Society is also given on the 19th of November in a review of 'The History of the British and Foreign Bible Society,' by the Rev. George Browne. The Athenaum says: —"At the close of the last century Wales was in a frightful state of ignorance and ; spiritual destitution. Frequently not more than ten people who could read were to be found in a whole parish; and the only Bible to be met
with in a district was one subscribed for by a
number of families, which went from hand to
hand among the hill people, and remained at
each house for a fixed term, when it was read
aloud on certain evenings by the fortunate
few who could decipher it. Mrs. Beavan Mrs. Bamm's
had left ten thousand pounds for the establish- legacy
ment and maintenance of'circulating schools';
but since 1783 the legacy had been allowed to
fall into abeyance, owing to legal difficulties,
and there seemed no chance for the Welsh
peasant on this side. The Christian Knowledge The Christian
Society, too, founded in 1698, certainly did what Society.86
it could, and distributed a few Bibles here and
there among the people; still the spiritual and
moral darkness was very great, and called for
immediate aid. Deeply impressed by the urgent
nature of their great needs, the Rev. Thomas The Rev.
Charles,'the Apostolic Charles of Bala,' as he Charles.
was called, a man thoroughly imbued with the
missionary and Wesleyan spirit, bethought him
of establishing a Bible Society, similar in principle
to the Religious Tract Society already working;
and, after taking counsel with certain practical
men, the scheme was adopted, and on the 7th of
March, 1804, the British and Foreign Bible
Society was definitely founded. On that day
it held its first meeting at the London Tavern,
Bishopsgate Street, when 300 persons attended, and 700/. were subscribed.
"The Bible Society has not had many troubles to encounter, but once it came near to shipwreck and dissolution on a question of orthodoxy and The the Apocrypha. The Apocryphal books have controversy. always been much venerated by the Romish Church, which, at the Council of Trent, declared them 'sacred and canonical,' and 'to be received and reverenced with the same sentiments of piety and respect' as the other Scriptures. Our own orthodox Episcopalian Church also received and venerated these books; but the Scotch Kirk, and almost all denominations of Dissenters, have set their faces dead against them. We ourselves heard a leading dissenting preacher of the day, not long ago, stigmatize them in his sermon as 'damnable.' When the Bible Society was formed, it omitted the Apocrypha from its issues : as Mr. Browne says emphatically, and in italics, 'No edition of the English Scriptures, adopted and issued by the Bible Society, has ever contained the Apocrypha! This omission did no harm at home, but when the attention of the Protestants abroad was called to the fact, a storm arose which had well-nigh ruined all. At first the Society allowed the foreign communities to judge for themselves, and to have their Bibles with the Apocryphal books inter