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first congregation was his smallest, and from that time the audiences have increased in size, until now they fill the church, and are as large as those attendant upon Dr. Thomas' preaching. The three small classes have increased to sixteen, and the prayermeetings double in attendance, and the whole spiritual growth of the church such as never before in its history. The membership also has increased, and is more closely associated with the church work. The finances of a church are generally an indication of the success of a pastor. After the fire in 1871, Centenary Church had a debt of $10,000, and this gradually increased untii, in 1880, the bonded debt was $14,000, and the floating debt $2,000, making a total debt of $16,000 to confront the new pastor; and part of this debt, it is said, was $500 of Dr. Thomas' salary. Dr. George at once went to work, and in less than ten months had money subscribed to pay off this entire debt, and now, practically, the church is free from debt-something never known in her history before. When he returned [from Europe) a week ago, the people did not wait for the trustees to arrange for a reception, but took it upon themselves, and gave the pastor such a greeting as could only come from those who loved him as a friend and a teacher.
There is no church in the city to-day doing a greater or better work than Centenary, and none more closely united. Dr. George is quiet and unostentatious, never catering to the public, and moving in the way he considers the path of duty. The “InterOcean” believes in justice to all men, and takes this opportunity to set the facts before the public in their true light, that it may be known that Centenary Church did not cease to exist when Dr. Thomas organized the People's Church.
Receiving this as a truthful representation of the Centenary Church and its recent history, it is conclusively shown: first, that the blessing of God rests upon the Church's vindication of her doctrinal purity; second, that the unscriptural heresies of a popular preacher are far more likely “to sink the Church,” than her intelligent fidelity to recognized doctrinal standards as the best attainable expositions of revealed truth; third, that contending “earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints,” in the spirit and power of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the surest means of promoting the Church's prosperity; fourth, that the Church can better spare her most eloquent sons than tolerate their violations of solemn ordination vows; and fifth, that this exciting instance in a long line of precedents is an additional reason for the zealous and loving preservation of the truth as it is in Jesus, and as it is understood by the continuous documentary consensus of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Art. IV.-THE BEGINNING OF LIFE.
The phrase, “Beginning of Life” in the world-system, is an old and trite one, and presents an unsolved and perplexing problem ; yet it seems as fresh and attractive to the men. of. to-day as it did to those of the nineteenth century before our era. In fact, it appeals too strongly to our intellectual curiosity ever to be dropped out of the lines of human thought. There have been hopes and expressed beliefs that the advances in biological science, especially in embryology, would soon or later bring us to the threshold of life, so that man could understand the initial life-growths, and put them into statements of cause and effect, phrase them in formulated interactions of matter and force, just as one can state the laws of chemical reaction. The aim and the hope have been to put the genesis of life in the same scientific status with the baking of bread and the formation of water and limestone. Agassiz seemed to believe that the now closed gates of life would yet stand ajar under the persistent pressure of scientific investigation. He says :* “ The time has come when scientific truth must be woven into the common life of the world ; for we have reached the point where the results of science touch the very problem of existence, and all men listen for the solving of that mystery. · When it will come, and how, none can say; but this much is certain, that all our researches are leading up to that question, and mankind will never rest until it is answered.” But, both from the nature of the problem and from the limits of scientific thought, we are compelled to the belief that the mystery of initial life will never be solved; that there will be for us no formulated statement of the interactions of the vital and other forces, bringing the fact (for it is a fact, a thing done, like other facts in natural processes) of the beginning of life within scientific limits, such as we have in the tabulated interactions of matter and force in the known methods of mechanical equivalents and chemical reactions. And one of the purposes of this article is to give some reasons for this belief.
To help explain the origin of life, some draw analogies between the merely chemical and the organic movements; as when
* "Methods of Study in Natural History," p. 42.
they compare the sudden starts of crystallization in a liquid with the quick conversion of nutrient matter into living tissue by the bioplasts of that tissue, as if an analogy was a solution, and as though the marvelous dynamic flow of organic force was only the overflow of chemical rills. Others
Others compare the birth of the first of a series with the birth of an individual in that series; thus trying to make a derivative birth-life explain the mystery of the introduction of life into the world ; as if reproduction in kind was the same thing as primal origination; as if the organic natural links of a genetic connection between the individuals of a species was the same thing as the origin of the species. And yet others—and notably Bain, and Tyndall also, inferentially—have sought for a partial solution of the problem of organic existence in a new definition of matter. The proposed new definition represents matter as a “double-faced,” a doubly endowed something having a physical and a spiritual side, an upper and a lower side--the lower side with its inertia, color, gravity, and other physical qualities; the higher with its spontaneity and other spiritual qualities. They would thus put a spiritual potency and promise into the nebulous mist of the primordial world-dust, so as to be able, after a measure. less reach of time, to take out of it a planetary surface film of vegetable and animal life, even though ages of fiery molten matter lie between the putting in and the taking out. And they do this in the face of the established fact, that no forms of life have ever been known to survive a heat much less than that which belongs to molten rock. But with the aid of all these analogies and suggestions, the method of life's origin is still a problem unsolved. Not only the origination, but also the reproduction of life, presents a like mystery. Even the advances of science, which take us from the complex adult organism backward through the embryonic stages of growth to the structureless ovarian egg, beyond which the microscope has no range of vision, and beyond which the scalpel has no point of touch, nor the crucible any chemic tests, are no advances toward an explanation of this mystery of life. Yet in spite of repeated and inevitable failures, philosophic thought will brood intensely over the life-problem, trying to put the links of causal connection between the facts and phases of the process by which the life principle weaves an organism with perfect functions out
of the functionless ovarian egg. The problem, ever present since the beginning of the race, but never solved, is to-day as fresh as ever; and the scientific imagination will project the known modes of motion of physical forces into the changes of living matter, so as to picture the tissue-weaving of organic life under modes of mechanical and molecular action. But just as none of the operations within the range of what we call natural can explain the existence and the properties of atoms in chemistry, so nothing within the known range of chemical and mechanical actions can explain the beginning of life. The existence of atoms, and that of organic life, are both births of finite being, are both to be taken as specific outcomes of Divine energy; as breaks of a supernatural intervention, which will be forever outside of the imitations of the laboratory, outside of the formulas and laws that hold the inathematical and mechanical interactions of inatter and force. Not the most profoundly cultivated imagination, playing ever so precisely according to the known modes of molecular mechanical action, can ever picture how the creative energy of the Supreme Will had its outcome in new forms of existence. The beginning of life lies outside of the domain of science, out of the reach of the swiftest, surest imagination, save under the form of vague analogies; and analogies are not solutions, for the reason that the original passage from the inorganic to the organic was rather an abrupt than a transitional one by insensible gradations.
But this persistent quest for the origin of life is not irrational, for as soon as the human faculties are sufficiently developed, this topic comes up with an original freshness. It is somcwhat like the search for perpetual motion, but with this difference: that in the search along the lines of causation you are at last stopped, not by the impossible, but by the hidden.
To the question: Whence is the vital force derived, and what is its relation to the other forces of nature? Prof. Le Conte, speaking for himself and for many physiologists,* says: “The answer of modern science to this question is: It is derived from the lower forces of nature; it is correlated with chemical and physical forces; in all cases vital force is produced by decomposition; animals derive their vital force from the decomposi
*“Popular Science Monthly," December, 1873.
tion of their food and their tissues.” Now, in the name of well-established results in science, and in the clear light of that insight of reason which demands that every change must have an adequate cause, we deny this theory of the origin of life, and at the same time deny the correlation of vital and chemical forces. For correlation is a technical term in science, and denotes the mutual convertibility, the interchangeability, of forces. Not simply their relationship, but something more; thus, heat may disappear and electricity appear in its place; this may disappear in giving rise to chemical action, which in its turn generates heat. This mutual convertibility of heat, electricity, and chemical affinity, is well understood by the phrase, correlation of physical forces.
Now, closely connected with the persistent efforts to bridge the chasm between the living and the not-living by means of an interchanging play of chemical and vital forms, that is, to. substitute a general molecular mechanism for a special lifeforce, is the attempt to reduce all the physical forces to the unity of a mutual convertibility. And if all of the seemingly diverse physical forces are ultimately reducible to one force, or are simply diverse forms of manifestation of one all-energizing force, then are we pretty far on our way toward the identity of the chemical and vital forces. But, in fact, we know of no wilder dream in the domain of science than the imaginative belief that all the forms of physical energy are capable of mutual conversion ; excepting, of course, that still wilder dream, that will-force on the one hand and the attraction of gravity.on the other, with all the other forces that lie between or alongside, are all capable of mutual conversion, both quantitative and qualitative.
But diversity of forces, not oneness, is the speech of nature. There is no correlation of all the physical forces. The force of gravity is transmitted into no other; it never plays back and forth with heat, light, or electricity, as these do with each other. A stone falling to the earth has an arrest of motion and a development of heat, but gravity suffers no change with that increment of heat. When, according to the nebular hypothesis, the matter of the sun and planets was a condensing nebulous mist, gravity was there, but distinct from the atomic forces; when the matter had condensed into a cooling surface