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boundlessness of the universe, whose confines appear ever to retreat before our finite minds, strikes us no less with awe when, prying into the starry crowd of heaven, we find new worlds revealed to us by every increase in the power of the telescope, than when the microscope discloses to us in a drop of water, or an atom of dust, new worlds of life and animation, or the remains of such as have passed away.

Whilst the tendency to push systematic investigation in every direction enables the individual mind of man to bring all the power of which he is capable to bear on the specialities of his study, and enables a greater number of labourers to take part in the universal work, it may be feared that that consciousness of its unity which must pervade the whole of Science, if it is not to lose its last and highest point of sight, may suffer. It has occasionally been given to rare intellects and the highest genius, to follow the various sciences in their divergent roads, and yet to preserve that point of sight from which alone their totality can be contemplated and directed. Yet how rare is

Tendency to Create New Sciences. 117 the appearance of such gifted intellects ! and if they be found at intervals, they remain still single individuals, with all the imperfections of human nature.

The only mode of supplying with any certainty this want, is to be sought in the combination of men of science representing all the specialities, and working together for the common object of preserving that unity and presiding over that general direction. This has been to some extent done in many countries by the establishment of Academies embracing the whole range of the Sciences, whether physical or metaphysical, historical or political.


WE hear it said, the prosecution of statistical inquiry leads necessarily to Pantheism and the destruction of true religion, as it deprives, in man's estimation, the Almighty of His power of free selfdetermination, making His world a mere machine, working according to a general pre-arranged

scheme, the parts of which are capable of mathematical measurement, and the scheme itself of numerical expression; that it leads to fatalism, and therefore deprives man of his dignity, of his virtue and morality, as it would prove him to be a mere wheel in this machine, incapable of exercising a free choice of action, but predestined to fulfil a given task and to run a prescribed course, whether for good or for evil.

These are grave accusations, and would be terrible indeed if they were true. But are they true ?

Is the power of God destroyed or diminished by the discovery of the fact that the earth requires 365 revolutions upon its own axis to every revolution round the sun, giving us so many days to our year, and that the moon changes thirteen times during that period ; that the tide changes every six hours; that water boils at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit; that the nightingale sings only in April and May; that all birds lay eggs; that 105 boys are born to every 100 girls ? Or is man a less free agent because it has been ascertained that a generation lasts about Freedom of Human Will.


forty years ; that there are annually put in at the post-office the same number of letters on which the writers had forgotten to place any address; that the number of crimes committed under the same local, national, and social conditions is constant; that the full-grown man ceases to find amusement in the sports of the child ?


The building in which we are assembled, and the wonderful collection of those treasures of art, as you so justly term them, which it displays, reflect the highest credit upon you. They must strike the beholder with grateful admiration, not only of the wealth and spirit of enterprise of this courtry, but also of that generous feeling of mutual confidence and goodwill between the different classes of society within it, of which it affords so gratifying a proof.

We behold a feast which the rich, and they who have, set before those to whom fortune has denied the higher luxuries of life—bringing forth from the innermost recesses of their private dwellings, and entrusting to your care, their choicest and most cherished treasures, in order to gratify the nation at large : and this, too, unhesitatingly, at your mere request, satisfied that your plans were disinterested and well matured, and that they had the good of the country for their object.

This is a gratifying sight, and blessed is the country in which it is witnessed. But not less so is the fact, which has shown itself in this as in other instances, that the great and noble of the land look to their Sovereign to head and lead them in such patriotic undertakings; and when they see that the Sovereign has come forward to give her countenance and assistance to the work, that they feel it a pleasure to co-operate with her and not to leave her without their support-emulating thus, in works of peace, the chivalric spirit which animated their forefathers in the warlike times of old.

You have done well not to aim at a mere accumulation of works of art, and objects of

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