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NOTES * QUERIES
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF
HISTORY, FOLK-LORE, MATHEMATICS,
MYSTICS, ART, SCICNCE, Etc.
“ The one thing in the world of value is the active Soul.”—EMERSON,
MANCHESTER, N. H.
“ From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
This universal frame began ;
“ In fields of air he writes his name,
And treads the chambers of the sky;
That quivers in the realms on high.
He moves in greatness and in grace ;
Links realm to realm, and race to race.”—Chas. Sprague
“ A voice within us speaks that startling word,
'Man, thou shalt never die!' Celestial voices
VOL. XIV. 1896. “ Science has penetrated the constitution of nature, and unrolled the mysterious pages of its history, and started again many, as yet, unanswered questions in respect to the mutual relations of matter and spirit, of nature and of God.”—Noah Porter.
“ Science is teaching man to know and reverence truth, and to believe that only as far as he knows and loves it, he lives worthily on earth, and vindicates the dignity of his spirit.”-Moses Harvey.
To gather up fragments of literature, to glean from the writings of the past the thoughts of the intellect, and to cull them and again disseminate the same is indeed a pleasant recreation. Yet, the human mind is so various in its tastes and phases, it is not always easy to satisfy all the readers. One thinks too much space is given to speculations, to theories, and to idealistic visions ; while another delights in the speculative, and the idealistic. To answer one correspondent; who asks, “ Where do you locate God?” we call to mind a similar question which Figuier answers to his imaginary friend :
“ And so you wish to know, my dear Theophilus, where I locate God. I locate him in the center of the universe, or, in better phrase, of all the stars that make the universe, and which, borne onward in a common movement, gravitate together around this focus,"
Pascal is credited with as saying that “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” The Sohar inverts the figure of speech, and says, “ God is a circle whose circumference is everywhere and the center is nowhere."
While the definiteness of the answer might not satisfy the inquirer, yet it is about as clear as the exact science can geometrize the Deity, for Plato says “ God perpetually geometrizes.''
We think this volume contains more questions than any previous voluines on many of the unsolved problems of the sciences, astronomical and metaphysical, which shows that among its readers are a class of thinkers, investigators, and intelligent persons.
There has been quite a large number of questions in the several volumes of this serial bearing upon religions, sacred books, quotations from the Bible, and arcane literature, and some objections have been expressed to some, on religious topics. We must say we are in search
of more light, which is also the province of this monthly, a miscellany, and, therefore, we include all proper inquiries. Max Müller says :
"A comparison of all the religions of the world, in which none can claim a privileged position, will no doubt seem to many dangerous and reprehensible, because ignoring that peculiar reverence which everybody, down to the mere fetich worshiper, feels for his own relig. ion, and for his own god. Let me say, then, at once, that I myself have shared these misgivings, but that I have tried to overcome them, because I would not and could not allow myself to surrender either what I hold to be the truth, or what I hold still dearer than truth, the right of testing truth. Nor do I regret it. I do not say that the science of religion is all gain. No, it entails losses, and losses of many things which we hold dear. But this I will say, that, as far as my humble judgment goes, it does not entail the loss of anything that is essential to true religion, and that, if we strike the balance honestly, the gain is immeasurably greater than the loss.”
We may say here that these volumes contain ideas, phrases, and even whole paragraphs that have been taken froin the writings of others, and in most instances, such' have been acknowledged in some form. Many hours have been spent in research for answers to some questions, and in most cases the answers have been found while in other cases the answers have been stumbled upon ; but the search has been pleasant and profitable.
Another feature has been adopted in the more recent volumes of this periodical, and that is to append to the answers more or less of literature pertaining to the subjects under consideration, whether old or new. This gives the readers an opportunity to procure additional information, and has saved much correspondence especially on obtaining of the more recent works, but the older books mentioned have brought us many inquiries for further data and contents.
The volumes contain such a variety of subjects in all departments. of literature that it seems necessary to make seyeral supplementary indexes, to books, quotations, first lines, sentiments, etc., that do not find a place in the general index.
NOTES AND QUERIES now circulates in nearly all foreign countries and brings us exchanges from many nations, and in several languages. We return our kind thanks for the many friendly notices received at their hands. We shall endeavor to reciprocate all such favors.
S. C. & L. M. GOULD, PUBLISHERS, MANCHESTER, N. H., December, 1896.