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one exposed at the sea-level. When did John Tyndall make the experiment? And if he has done, let the honour be given to him who must have made the experiment before him, and very much more effectually. But what does such an experiment teach? Simply this, that the heat-rays from the sun pass through space without loss. And certainly not that an atmosphere does not modify such rays. And therefore Mr. Glaisher, who made the experiments, says, “ From these experiments we may infer that the heat-rays from the sun pass through space without loss, and become effective only where wanted, and in proportion to the density of the atmosphere or the amount of water present through which they pass; and if so, the proportion of heat received at Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn may be the same as that received at the Earth, if the constituents of their atmosphere be the same as that of the Earth, and greater if the density be greater ; so that the effective solar heat at Jupiter and Saturn may be greater than at either the inferior planets Mercury or Venus, notwithstanding their far greater distance from the sun.” Pray, what is the difference between this deduction and what Swedenborg told, without experiment, and a hundred years before, to the Mercurians ?
The Selenites next get their share of criticism. But as Swedenborg had “ his reason convinced” about how inhabitants might live upon our moon, and as Mr. Proctor offers little or no objection to it, they may be safely left to “possess their extraordinary breathing apparatus,” or better, perhaps, to future physical revelations. What is known of the moon is far from satisfactory,
Jupiter is next passed in review, and it is surprising that Mr. Proctor does not denounce to the utmost of his ability the inhabitation of this planet, seeing that he has so much confidence in the apparent revelations of the spectrum analysis. But he has not a word to say about its physical condition. There are two or three pages occupied with a discussion about “a favourite idea that giants exist in the larger orbs, and pigmies in the smaller," and a curious calculation about the strength of men on planets of different densities, which makes one think that Mr. Proctor had forgotten the Patagonians near the south, and the Esquimaux near the north, of the Earth. It would be curious to see how his calculations account for the existence of these widelydiffering races on the same globe, before they are applied to find out the height of the inhabitants of Jupiter and Mercury. And it is equally curious that “the favourite idea" is applied to Swedenborg, seeing that he nowhere states that there are either “ giants or pigmies” on either Jupiter or Mercury.
Saturn in his turn is reached. Here Swedenborg is supposed to be completely undone. He speaks of this planet " as being the farthest distant from the sun." Would Mr. Proctor have Swedenborg say that which he did not know? He does not say that he was told this; he says it simply of his own knowledge, and therefore why twit about spirits and angels in the matter? But could he not be told of the existence of planets that men then knew nothing about? The language which Mr. Proctor uses on this point seems to indicate that if Sweden
borg had really intercourse with spirits and angels, it would have been an easy thing for them to have told him of the existence of worlds in our solar system which he knew nothing of. If it were easy, those who think so should show how. The fact of a Divine Personal Existence and of an eternal life beyond this world,
other things, cannot be discovered by natural research. “No man by searching can find out God.” What can be discovered by research is not revealed. To deprive men of the power and privilege of natural research, would be to deprive them of one of the highest pleasures belonging to human life. Seek, and ye shall find” has more than one signification. And men may behold another instance of the Divine bounty if they are willing to believe that what cannot be discovered by research has been fully revealed. Desire to know is the receptacle of all knowledge with
And where there is no desire there is no disappointment. Suspicion impels desire for knowledge, and as Swedenborg had no grounds in his time to suspect that there were other planets in the solar system besides those he knew of, he could have had no desire to learn if there were any other; and as far as providence of knowledge was concerned, they could be found in the proper way and at the proper time. But it seems impossible that a knowledge of the fact that human beings do live on the planets, could have been made known satisfactorily in any other way than in the one Swedenborg indicates. Mr. Proctor thinks that the discovery of planets "would have been a noble opportunity for establishing the truth of Swedenborgian doctrines."
This sentiment shows how little he knows of those doctrines. They have ample practical evidence of their truth without that. And what establishment of truth would the discovery have made ? Swedenborg has been able to discover inhabitants on other planets, and to make it known. Who believes it when it is made known? And who has endeavoured with all his skill and learning to falsify the revelation? Does he remember that miracles were not performed at a certain place because of unbelief? One would think, reasoning with Mr. Proctor, that this was the place where miracles ought to have been performed. But the offences against the facts of science, with regard to Saturn, do not end here. The amount of light which Saturn receives, and his system of rings and moons, are beautifully and, doubtless to a large extent, truthfully described. But let it not for a moment be imagined that all that is stated is true. Little is known, excepting inferentially, of the amount of light which Saturn actually receives, or rather, how the force which produces light works its result at that distance from the sun. It has been shown above how it is possible for Saturn to realize as much heat from the sun as Mercury, and it may yet be shown how it is possible that as much light may
be realized there too. Then it is said that the rings “are known not to be solid bodies.” The language of Swedenborg is that it does not appear as a belt, but only as somewhat whitish, like snow in the heaven in various directions,” that is, not saying it is solid. continues Mr. Proctor, “it is made up of closely-crowded small moons.” If moons are not solid bodies, what are they? But he will have some
difficulty in convincing most practical astronomers that the rings consist of innumerable moons crowded together. However, that the rings cast shadows on the planet no one doubts, and it is questionable whether Swedenborg was ignorant of that fact. It is admitted that the inhabitants did not tell him of the effects of those shadows; and the absence of the information weakens what he has said ; but then what he has said agrees with other facts, namely, that “ a Saturnian correspondingly placed would get reflected sunlight from the ring system both by day and by night.”
The latest professed discovery is also put forth against a statement of Swedenborg's. He says:
“It is well known to the learned world that
every star is a sun in its place, remaining fixed like the sun of our earth.” But Mr. Proctor says that it has been discoverd “that Sirius or Vega rush through space with a velocity of thirty or forty miles in every second of time.” Well, if they do, there is no more difficulty in spiritually reaching the inhabitants of the planets of those suns than there would be in reaching any planet in our own system. Both are declared to be in motion. The only difference is distance. . And natural distance does not, according to Swedenborg, affect spiritual communication. But apart from this altogether, and although it has just been declared at the Meeting of the British Association, by its learned President, “that the discovery of Huggins, that some of the fixed stars are moving towards, and others receding from, our system, has been fully confirmed by a careful series of observations lately made by Mr. Christie in the Observatory at Greenwich, from observing the relative position of two delicate lines of light in the field of the telescope,” yet there are equally startling facts that stand in the way of admitting even the “confirmation." Has it been ascertained beyond the shadow of a doubt that nothing excepting the approach and recession of a source of light can cause a change in the spectrum of two delicare lines of light? These are variable stars; and is all known of them that can be? For if some stars are really approaching us and others receding from us at the rate indicated, what becomes of all the doctrine and deductions therefrom, known as the precession of the equinoxes? The precession itself may not be interfered with by the proper motion of the stars, but the relative position of the stars deduced therefrom may be.
Mr. Proctor states the rate of this proper motion at thirty or forty miles per second, that is, at the rate of nearly two thousand millions of miles per annum.
Where then are the constellations that shone around our earth in the time of Job ? Of what value are our star maps of a hundred years ago ? Upon what basis have the present positions of the stars from old catalogues been deduced ? In the year 1870 Mr. Proctor published a New Star Atlas." In this atlas he states on page 17 : “ The precession arrows marked in on the latitude parallels serve to present the effects of precession much more intelligibly than any plan hitherto used. One can, at once by means of these arrows, tell the true place among the stars of any object whose R. A. and dec. (or N. P. D.) are given for any date, even a hundred years before or after the date of the map.” Now, did Mr. Proctor take the proper motion of the stars into account when he constructed his star maps? If not, then in a while they who use them will be all at sea. It may be replied that the ratio or difference between the proper motion of the stars, and the amount of displacement in consequence of their enormous distance, is so immense, that practically this motion, though so fleet as hardly to be conceived of, need not be considered in calculating the apparent positions of the stars. But the difficulty does not end here. If the rates of the proper movements of the stars have been calculated, it must have been done from some place at rest. If A be leaving B at the same rate that C is approaching B, this common rate can only be ascertained by supposing B to be at rest. Or if A be leaving B at a slower or a quicker rate than C is approaching B, this difference of rates of motion can only he calculated also by supposing B to be at rest. If this be true, and the stars have the proper motion attributed to them, our sun is at rest whilst all the other stars or suns are in motion! Does this seem reasonable or not? Such are a few of the difficulties which arise in the way of believing in the alleged discovery of the proper motions of the stars. Well might the Duke of Argyle say, in proposing a vote of thanks to Professor Andrews for his address, “there was a great tendency to let speculation outrun knowledge." But this reply will not be complete without showing how extremes seem to meet in Mr. Proctor's mind. In the commencement of his article he says : " Whether this turn of mind” (the scientific) “is inherent, or the result of training, it certainly leads men of science to be more exacting in considering the value of evidence than any men, except, perhaps, lawyers.” He who writes this, concludes what he has to say on a subject of world-wide importance, in the following rhapsody :-"In that mysterious ether which occupies all space” (what! even Newton's Vaccuum ?1) messages are at all times travelling by which the history of every orb is constantly recorded. No world, however remote or insignificant; no period, however distant, but has its history thus continually proclaimed in everwidening waves. Nay, by these waves the future is constantly indicated. For as the waves which permeate the ether could only be situated as they actually are at any moment through past processes, each one of which is consequently indicated by these ethereal waves, so also there can be but one series of events in the future as the sequel of the relations actually indicated by the ethereal undulations. These therefore speak as definitely and distinctly of the future as of the past. Could we but rid us of the gross habiliments of the flesh, all knowledge of the past and future would be within our power." Any ordinary mind will exclaim, What does all this mean! Surely, this is “exact” language with a vengeance. Truth is never in a hurry; it can abide its time; and the day is fast approaching when revealed and discovered law shall meet together, and bless the truly intellectual mind with everlasting joy.
1 This once " imagined” vaccuum is now proved not to exist. Swedenborg taught that the doctrine of a vaccuum was a fallacy.
THE TURKISH ATROCITIES.
During the war between France and Germany, we took occasion more than once to point out the cruel inconsistency of professedly Christian nations being unable to settle, in some cases at least, their differences except by the dreadful arbitrament of the sword; and of these nations, even in time of peace, maintaining immense and costly armaments for the purpose of being prepared to meet each other in the field. We consider it desirable to bring this subject, when the occasion seems so suitable, before the minds of our readers, as members of the New Church, that the scenes of carnage, and the sorrow and misery which they bring to the homes of the bereaved, may sink deeper into their hearts, and produce a still deeper abhorrence of the detestable and utterly unchristian character of war.
Yet, lamentable as the very fact of war between Christian nations undoubtedly is, there are some redeeming qualities which it presents, compared with the wars both of barbarous and civilized peoples who have not enjoyed the light of Christianity. The engines of destruction are far more powerful than in former times, and killing is now not only an art, but a science. Yet, while the great aim is the greatest possible injury to the greatest possible number, there is far less cruelty and excess which result from the unrestrained exercise of the fierce and brutal passions. Non-combatants are left uninjured, and women and children are protected. However fiercely armies may contend in the field, humanity is exercised after a conflict to enemies as well as friends. So much at least has Christianity done to soften the horrors
But when we turn to the Turkish war, if war it can be called, which has been going on for the last few months, Christian warfare seems noble and humane. The contest with Servia may be spoken of by the name of war. In Bulgaria it has been simply a massacre.
In both States Turkish ferocity has been fearfully exhibited; but in Bulgaria all the worst passions of the human heart have been let loose, and have been glutted without stint and without pity. Fire and sword have carried desolation and death wherever the Turk has conquered. Nor is indiscriminate desolation and slaughter the worst of the evils that have been inflicted on disarmed and defenceless populations. The lust of the Turkish soldiery has been more insatiable than their bloodthirsty ferocity. Theirs has been pre-eminently a war against women, not so much of death as of degradation. Their easy conquests, more properly their brutal massacres, have always been followed by the whole surviving female population, without distinction of matron and maiden, mother and daughter, being subjected, even in the presence of husbands and fathers, to one common fate, worse than death and more cruel than hell; for even in the regions of darkness no such horrors are permitted. It is to be remembered that the people thus murdered and outraged are not Turks and Mahometans, but Sclavs and Christians. They are subjects of