Imágenes de páginas


the bosom of the Father " to seek fact is thus elicited. It is plain and to save that which was lost.” that Wesley's theology was not, But then, Wesley, like Christ and like so much of the current theology, His apostles, was superficial enough the result of a personal mental to hold that a minister of Christ proclivity. No divine has ever might publicly deprecate “ever- more strictly confined himself to lasting damnation,” without resort- the written oracles of God. Mr. ing to an esoteric reservation or a Davies pays a just tribute to his non-natural sense.

self-denial and self-control in another The second proof of Wesley's direction : “ From his youth onspiritual superficiality is “the ex- ward he kept his heel down firmly cessively logical or rationalistic bent on sensual appetite.” But he also of his mind.” It must be confessed kept his heel down just as firmly that the appending the termination on those intellectual idiosyncrasies, istic to the more obvious word excesses, which, like “fleshly lusts rational, or the substituting the word war against the soul.” rationalistic for the more obvious But spiritual superficiality and synonyme of " logical,” ratiocinative, incapacity are ascribed to John gives an exquisite piquancy to Wesley, and it is pronounced that the statement. There seems a dash 56 a genius for godliness' of sensationalism in the attributing precisely what Wesley had not."* excessive rationalisticism to the One naturally asks, What are the foremost preacher of repentance and censor's own ideas of spirituality and assurance which the eighteenth “godliness.” He surely is not using century produced.

the former word in its ordinary, its Yet this pronouncement will much New Testament sense; not in the better bear looking into than some sense in which it is usually employed other of Mr. Davies' dicta. For it in the “Contemporary Review,” is not the theology of Wesley, but not the sense in which he him" the bias of his mind” which is self uses it when he attributes

rationalistic. The to Methodism success in training theology of Wesley, while purely the converted in the spiritual rational, is the very opposite of life,” (P. 115,) and to Methorationalistic. That the bent of his dists “splendid spiritual energy. mind was excessively rationalistic, in (P. 136.) For the quality to which other words, that he had to struggle the terms “spiritual” and “godliagainst an all but invincible ten- ness are in this passage applied dency to demand the wrong sort of is something quite incompatible evidence for spiritual facts, he was with an absorbing desire to save himself conscious, he himself con

own soul and the souls of as fessed. But he did struggle against many other men as possible.” It them. He had the good sense to

is rather puzzling to the average see that it was

an internecine intelligence when a writer uses the struggle. He did not fawn upon same word on the same page in his doubts, and foster them, and widely divergent senses. And this is fancy that they made a man of him. not the only instance in which one By an act of heroic intellectual self- requires a glossary of the Daviesian denial, he abandoned his favourite study, mathematics, because he found

* The italics are the reviewer's own, that his mental bias in that direction

Mr. Arnold had recognised in Wesley “ a was excessive. And a very valuable genius for godliness."

described as

one's "


dialect. Taking the critic's purely Barclay's Apology that solemn arbitrary and glaringly unscrip- trifle.' We must assume that the tural notion of spirituality and critic, having met with this quotagodliness, we should accept the tion in Mr. Tyerman's first volume, charge against Wesley, as in reality (P. 489,) never thought of asking the highest praise. But, it seems, whether this was all that Wesley Wesley's “superficiality ” was also ever said about Barclay's remarkable "intellectual :” Moreover, he was production, and that he never met "mechanically unintelligent." The with Wesley's careful and candid dictum that Wesley was, in any critique of it. (Works, Vol. X. Pp. way, unintelligent is so contrary 177-188.) to the judgment of his contem- Assuredly“ Barclay's Apology”is poraries, even the most competent no “trifle,” as Wesley in an obiter amongst them, such as Samuel dictum once called it. Yet it is Johnson, and to that of his former to understand, even without reading critics; such a blunt upsetting of all Wesley's deferential, though searchformer judgments, that of Roberting, analysis of the book, why Southey amongst the rest; so dar- its great excellencies should, in his ingly contradictory to the evidence estimate, seem vastly outweighed by of the fourteen volumes of Wesley's its still greater defects. And we extant Works, not to name his freely adnit that it has real excelhymns and Histories, and to his lencies of which Wesley did not success as an organizer and adminis- take sufficient note. Its looseness trator, is such an affront to the Uni- of expression, its Romish confusion versity which deemed him worthy of of justification with sanctification, its choicest honours ; in short, is its setting up of the individual, so hopelessly inscrutable, as to especially Robert Barclay, above compel the conclusion that our the Bible, its arbitrary, arrogant critic's notions of intelligence are as thrusting aside of Baptism and the arbitrary and as undefined as his Lord's Supper, and substitution for conceptions of spirituality and god- them of stated sitting together in liness. If he had written' mechani- silence as the one essential rite of cally intelligent,' there would have Christianity, its branding, as a kind been much more plausibility, though of obscene paganism, all punctuality not very much more profundity, in in religious the pronouncement. We are quite

worship, ready to admit that Wesley, a mas- and preaching which man sets about ter of logic, was himself some- at his own appointment, which times, though very rarely, mastered he can begin and end at his pleasure by his “ excessively logical bent; .. but superstitious will-worship, and that he was not duly apprecia- and abominable idolatries! all this tive of the “mystical" (Mr. Davies was very offensive to a man of Weswould doubtless say "spiritual") ley's habits of thought, action and writers mentioned by the critic- expression. In like manner, the William Law and Barclay-and of unscriptural and misleading specuJacob Behmen their common master. lations of William Law made

In support of his assertion that Wesley indifferent to the oak-like Wesley's “ literary preferences strength and majesty of his style; were stamped with a common-place while Behmen's evolution of God character,” his censor deems it suffi- and of the universe from the eternal cient to say that Wesley “ called relations of nothing and number, bu


shocked the great logician as to referred to below, "I think the rock render him unsusceptible of the on which I had the nearest made penetrative beauty of Behmen's shipwreck of the faith was the allegorizing expositions. Wesley writings of the mystics." was a theologian, not a theosophist, But his real judgment on Mystiand his theology was of the western, cism is to be found in the letter to not the oriental type-real, dialectic, his elder brother, and in the preface sometimes hard. Yet, after all,

to his “ Extract of the Life of Wesley had a strong sympathy with Madame Guion;" literally mysticism, as is shown in some of extract of not from. (Works, Vol. his hymns, notably, Hymn 261. In XIV. P. 275, etc.) But in religion philosophy he had a decided inclina- he shrunk from mistiness as from tion to a kind of Coleridgean ideal- miasma. On this very subject he ism. See, for example, his fifty-first wisely writes :-“At all hazards sermon, on “ The Good Steward.” keep to the plain, practical, written

In fact, his was one of those word of God;” (Journal I., 376 ;) large, round, sympathetic natures and again, “ I desire nothing, I will which unless well poised, as his accept of nothing, but the common happily was, and kept steady by faith and common salvation; and I strong sense and deep spiritual want you, my dear sister, to be experience, are liable to perilous only just such a common Christian extremes on either hand. Hence as Jenny Cooper was.” (Letter to he confesses that his religious dan- Miss Loxdale, Works, Vol. XIII. gers lay even more in the direction

P. 127.) of mysticism than in that of mathematics. He writes, in a letter Tyerman, Vol. I. Pp. 133, 134.

(To be concluded.)


BY THE REV. W. H. DALLINGER, F.R.M.8. MR. CROOKES has been working On placing a lighted candle or quietly and persistently in order to other source of luminosity near, the accumulate facts and test the whole horizontal cross, with the pith properties of his remarkable dis- discs, is caused to revolve with a covery on the motive power of light. rapidity increasing with the intensity The nature of the discovery and

of the light. The latest results the little apparatus by which it was obtained with this remarkable little demonstrated, have both been de- instrument have just been given, by scribed in this Magazine; it is enough

the discoverer of its principle, at now to remind the reader that in a the Royal Institution. All the small glass bulb there is pivoted, physical forces render their action with exquisite delicacy, a cross of perceptible by the production of very fine glass working horizontally; motion, Indeed, the more at the ends of the arms of which are search the operations of nature the fixed pith discs. These are black more profoundly are we impressed on one side and white on the other. with her restless intensity of work. The bulb is made into an absolute Mr. Crookes' discovery is only one vacuum by a most perfect apparatus. more proof added to the many


which modern investigation has sup- of a filament of glass, brought into plied of the constant and intense action against an iron weight of onemolecular and atomic activity of hundredth of a grain. The wholo matter. But it is a very remark- was made to act in vacuo. Thus able one; for no evidence had ever the power of the light to twist the before been given of the power of glass against the action of the light to produce motion. It was gravity of the minute weight first discovered by him, through enabled the mechanical force of the perplexing fact, that the light the impact of light to be directly of a candle would attract an arm


By this means it was of pith suspended in an imperfect found that the push of a beam of vacuum, but repel a similar arm light coming from a candle six suspended in a very perfect one inches off amounted to .00162 of a produced by a Sprengel air-pump. grain. By calculation it was estiThis led to the construction of the mated that the pressure of sunlight Radiometer,—the name given to his on the earth was not less than two new instrument,—and by it he had hundred-weight per acre, fifty-seven found that the propelling force of tons to the square mile, and three light was far stronger than had been thousand millions of tons upon the supposed. At first he made the radi- whole earth ; and this action is in ometers so delicate that the whole direct opposition to the action of moving parts weighed not more than gravity. a quarter of a grain ; thinking that This is undoubtedly a great gain only such delicate apparatus could be to science. At once its value in affected by the power of the light-optics, astronomy and meteorology beam. This was soon shown to be a are dimly seen ; but what its future mistake, and he now makes them may be cannot be divined.

Yet heavy enough to carry little mag- the result as it now stands must nets. One was shown which was so deeply impress us. How gigantic large that it required ten discs of pith are the operations of nature, even to carry round one magnet. Outside where we suppose absolute inactivity! ! the bulb of this instrument was a The universe is magnetic arm which was attracted area of activity. Not an atom in it every time one pole of the magnet | knows of rest! The crust of the inside the bulb came near it. This earth-unchanging as it seems—is disturbance of the outside magnet perpetually moving, the sea level every time the inner one had revolved

is constantly changing. The earth once, was made to convey impulses to revolves upon its axis, and it rolls a telegraphic instrument, by means in its yearly path about the sun. of which a series of dots made upon The sun, with the earth and all the a slip of paper told the number of planets, sweeps through the anrevolutions in a second of time- known depths of space apparently to

any other given time-unit. a point in the constellation Hercules. Thus we have an instrument cap- Every “fixed” star is rushing able of recording its own action, through the abysms of space and of measuring accurately the with inconceivable swiftness. Fifty intensity of any given light. But thousand years ago the great Bear refined as this instrument is, one a starry cross.

The very far more delicate for this purpose nebulæ are moving not only like has been devised by Mr. Crookes. the stars through the ocean of It depends upon the force of torsion but their own gaseous masses are





space, ,


seething and disturbed; or twisted by in length 21,770 such atoms would unknown agents into mighty spirals, lie end to end; so that in a drop of rings and tortuous clouds. Every water the gobooth of an inch in molecule of matter in the whole size there would be 2,000 moleuniverse is swinging to and fro, cules; and in the same quantity every particle of ether in space is of albumen 520 such molecules. in vibration. Light is one kind Thus in order to see the ultimate of motion—demonstrated by Mr. particles of water or albumen it Crookes' discovery even to ordinary would be necessary to use a magvision,-heat is another, electricity, nifying power from 500 to 2,000 magnetism, sound and so forth are times greater than the greatest we others. Every human sense is the now command ! But if we could result of motion ; every perception, get this, it would be useless, beevery thought, involves molecular

cause the wave-lengths of light are action in brain and nerve as servants too large to admit of its use. of the mind. Every chemical change Upon this basis, if we suppose throughout the universe, and every the germinal vesicle-in which the mutation involving birth, death, embryo takes its rise—to be growth or decay carry with them

of an inch in size, it contains so not only the motion we see,


many ultimate particles that if molecular and atomic motions beside, these were to be lost from the that almost overwhelm the mind.

vesicle at the rate of one each A paper of great value-partly

second of time, they would not investigation and partly speculation be exhausted for seventeen years. -has just been read before the While if the whole ovum be takenRoyal Microscopical Society by its a sphere of both of an inch in President, which must enhance the

diameter,-if the destruction of its power of these thoughts. It is, in ultimate molecules took place at fact, a calculation of the probable the same rate, they would not be size of the ultimate atoms of matter. exhausted in less than five thousand He first argues from data, furnished

six hundred years. These calculaby theoretical optics and practical tions are to a large extent of investigation, that the limit of visi

course based on hypotheses, but bility of any object has been reached

they have basis enough in fact to by the modern microscope, and that make them indicative of the the finest line, or the smallest atom marvellous minuteness of nature's visible, must be at least 100 booth operations, and their absolute perof an inch. Now, what is the re- fection : insomuch as the perfection lation of this to the ultimate atoms of the mass depends upon the perof which matter is supposed to be fection of the molecule. composed ? It is by means of the Another remarkable and

pregvarious properties of gases that a nant discovery is that of the inprobable reply can be given. This fluence which light exerts upon the problem has been attacked by three element selenium. The effect of Physicists of great mathematical

light upon solids, even in modern power; and the mean or average science, has been confined to phoof their results is that in the

tography and phosphorescent salts. 1000000000th of a cubic inch of a per- The deportment of the latter is very fect gas there are 50,260,000,000,000 remarkable. Possessed of no selfatoms. That is to say,

that in a luminous power, they are capable space the one-thousandth of an inch of emitting a luminous glow in

« AnteriorContinuar »