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But whatever we think of them, we have ample materials for an independent judgment of the circumstances in which the miracles were originally performed.
V. We had designed to offer a brief notice of the state in which our author would leave the evidences of our religion, and the general system of our faith. Our limits, however, compel us to curtail what might be presented on this subject. In the book before us we have very little to assist us here, but it is easy to see that the evidences on which such a system relies will authorize but few positive principles. The opponents of evangelical religion seldom venture to present us with a complete theology, and when they do so the result is usually their best confutation. Our author informs us that a disbelief of miracles in the physical world need have no influence upon our faith in spiritual miracles; that is, those influences of the Divine Spirit which reveal truth to the soul. Such operations being more congenial, as he believes, to the spiritual nature of mind than external miracles to the constitution of the natural world, he thinks are just so much more credible. Why they are more congenial he does not inform us, and we find it hard to conceive. We are only partially enlightened on this point by the labors of his coadjutors of the same school in the more recent “Essays and Reviews." There we learn, what some hints in the present work led us to suspect, that these supernatural influences are in no very obvious sense extraordinary or supernatural at all. “ Miracles," he says, “are doctrines to be received by faith." If we ask on what evidence, we have no answer. How, when the Holy Spirit reveals truth to our inward spirit, are we to know that it is truth? By its own internal evidence? This will not be very convincing, except where truth is suggested by natural religion; and men's power to recognize truth by its own light is often so feeble that such an evidence can never be relied upon as very effective. The moment we go beyond these we come to a region where we must have facts. Whether Jesus is divine, whether he died for our sins as an atoning sacrifice, whether he rose again and now sits at the right hand of God, whether he will answer prayer, and pardon all that come unto him, on their repentance and faith, are matters not to be reasoned out and believed on their internal beauty and consistency alone. We can have no satisfactory evidence of their truth, but from some announcement of the mind of God respecting them. Such an announcement must have proof that it is from heaven. Merely to suggest them to our minds by revelation, and to make us understand them, does not prove them to be facts. And yet this revelation to faith is all that Professor Powell and his school give us. Closely examined, this is simply inspiration ; but alas ! when we get to a distinct understanding of what is meant by this inspiration, these miracles for faith turn out to be an entirely natural thing under a supernatural name. We have long been familiar with this trick of rationalism, but we were not at first on our guard against it in a clergyman of the Church of England. This inspiration is simply an elevation of genius, an exaltation of human faculties. But how can this reveal and accredit any new truth not discoverable by human reason? Evidently it cannot, and we come to the humiliating fact, that the Christianity of this new Oxford school has no doctrines beyond human discovery. Professor Powell intimates that it would lose nothing very essential if all the historical facts of the Christian system were lost. Indeed! and what is Christianity without these historical facts? Without a historical birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, what becomes of a Saviour, an atonement, and our fellowship with him? This new attempt only demonstrates once more that the removal of the miraculous from the Christian system is tantamount to a reduction of that system to a religion of nature. The only novelty about it is, the effort to substitute a seeming supernaturalism in the spiritual nature of man for one more intelligible in the world of sense. The result is, what its authors call “ Ideology," but what their exulting friends at Westminster denominate a “provisional system,” preparatory to their own more developed “ Neo-Christianity.” It is sad to witness such a process. A Bible whose historical facts can be interpreted in an “ideal sense,” according to their “antecedent probability” and the “inspiration ” of its readers, will not serve an exalted purpose in the future “Education of the race.” We wonder that a Church like that of the English establishment could have any attractions, except in its emoluments, for men of such principles. Honest John Sterling in such circumstances would have said, “Adieu, o Church ! thy road lies that way, mine this.” But
these clergymen accept of Articles in a non-natural sense which our author once denounced, hold possession of the most responsible positions in an orthodox Church, and hope to lead that Church itself into their own path, “whither is abundantly obscure, but whence is very plain.”
Art. II.-ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC CURRENTS.*
[BY LUCIEN DUBOIS, FROM THE FRENCH.]
Currents and Changes of the Atmosphere and the Sea. By M.
FELIX JULIEN, Lieutenant in the Navy, and formerly a Pupil of the Polytechnic School. One volume, 8vo. Paris : Lacroix &
Baudry. 1860. The earth floats in the midst of a covering of gas and vapor, according to some, about thirty-seven miles, and others sixtytwo miles in depth; a true atmospheric ocean, of which the changes and storms yield in no respect to those of the ocean, to which they have very close relations. It is at the bottom of this immense aerial sea that men and other animals exist, just as the fishes live in the waters.
Although the fostering care of the Creator placed his cradle in privileged places, man must have been early astonished at the spectacle that the various atmospheric changes presented; changes, of which without doubt he was at first an astonished witness, and of which, more than once, he has been the victim. The contrast between these changes and the general harmony
* The following article, with its sequel, which will appear in our July number, translated from "Le Correspondant," while nominally a review of a work by M. FELIX JULIEN, Lieutenant in the French Navy, is in effect a masterly statement of the theories as to Atmospheric and Oceanic Currents advanced by our countryman, Lieutenant M. F. MAURY, Superintendent of the National Observatory at Washington. Lieutenant Maury's work on the “Physical Geography of the Sea " has excited more attention, both in America and Europe, than any other scientific work issued within the last fifteen years. A new edition, entirely rewritten and greatly enlarged, has recently been published simultaneously in New York and London. It contains all the results of the extended series of observations carried on under the superintendence of Lieutenant Maury, brought down to the latest period.-ED.
of the universe was not long in arresting his attention. But for a long time he only saw in these phenomena the effect of blind forces, and could not assign them to any other cause than the caprice of nature. What did we know even yesterday? What know we to-day? By turns Galileo, Bacon, Vossius, and, in later times, Halley, d'Alembert, and Chevalier Coudraye, the least known of all, endeavored to resolve the problem; but too often, instead of having recourse to observations, which alone could give the clue, they demanded an impossible solution from futile mathematical abstractions. So that, excepting the trade-winds, and the monsoons, which are only the periodic reversions of the trades, the winds continued to be considered essentially irregular.
At last a man has arisen who, fortified by his own experience, and above all by an abiding faith in the harmony of creation, has resolutely applied himself to the research of the mysterious laws that govern nature, and has attempted to demonstrate the regularity of two things regarded heretofore as the types of inconstancy and change, namely, the winds and the waves. This man, whom posterity will regard as one of the glories of the American Navy, and whose name, but yesterday almost unknown to us, will become more and more celebrated, is—the reader has already named him—Lieutenant Maury. Enrolling all the navies of civilized nations in both continents under the peaceful flag of science, Maury has made himself, for some years, the center of information received from all parts of the world. From this enormous mass of observations, made in all latitudes, and discussed in an international scientific congress held at Brussels in August, 1853, the learned American meteorologist, with the sagacity that only belongs to genius, has formed, as two grand syntheses, his theory of oceanic currents and his very ingenious system of the direction of the winds.
Our readers will understand that we cannot, in these pages, set forth as a whole this double theory, of which a thousand details surround the entire subject of their ingenious system. We will content ourselves with sketching the principal features, drawing aid from the most recent and most reliable works on meteorology, and especially from the book of M. Julien, which is the latest resumé and one of the most complete with which we are acquainted.
I. ATMOSPHERIC CURRENTS.
It is known that the atmosphere is divided, from one pole to the other, into at least nine distinct and parallel zones, four of currents, and five of calms or capricious breezes. The latter, 30 or 40 in breadth, are the equatorial, the two tropical, and the two polar zones. The four zones of currents, or of winds, are the four intermediate zones; that is to say, the two that extend north and south from the tropical calms to the polar calms
—this is the region of free or prevailing winds—and the two that separate the equatorial calms from the tropical calmsthis is the region of the trades, of which the free winds are only the continuation and, as it were, the prolongation.*
Do these different zones form regions separate and distinct ? In other words, do the zones of calms arise as impassable barriers before the zones of currents, preventing between these all communication, all interchange of gas and vapor, as was so long believed ? Such was the problem to be resolved, a problem intricate and delicate.
On looking at the map of the world, Maury was struck with this singular fact—that nearly all the large rivers of the world arose in the northern hemisphere, although the oceanic surface, and, of course, evaporation, was much less than in the southern hemisphere.
How could this surprising fact be explained except by supposing a continual exchange of moisture between the two hemispheres, and that, too, in despite of the zones of calms ?
The observation of facts was not long in giving reason to this bold hypothesis. From these facts we will choose the two following as being the most conclusive. The analysis of the air taken from all latitudes proves it to be identical in constituent particles everywhere, notwithstanding the very different conditions of cold and heat; an evident proof that there are incessant ways of communication between the different zones of the atmosphere. The second fact is still more striking : the showers of dust which have been so often observed at Genoa,
* The free winds of our hemisphere blow from S. W. to N. E., those of the western hemisphere from N. W. to S. E.; the trades of the north blow from N. E. to S. W., those of the south from S. E. to N. W. The free winds of the north aro the prolongation of the trades of the south, and the free winds of the south are the continuation of the trade-winds of the north.