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The Inquirer.

QUESTIONS REQUIRING ANSWERS.

346. In Sydney Smith's essay on Counsel for Prisoners, he mentions & judge then living who never sentenced a prisoner to death without first giving profound attention to all the circumstances of the case in retirement, and seeking direction of God. Who was this judge?-S. S.

347. What is the best course to be pursued by one who desires to become fully equipped for the sacred ministry, who has all his time at his own disposal, who will not spare any pains to attain his object, but who suffers continually from wandering thoughts and idle speculations ?--NECESSITAS.

348. Would you be kind enough to inform me where I could get, and the probable price of, The History of Sacred Metres”?-A. C.

349. Would some kind reader inform me where I may procure one copy of the Scriptures in French, and another in German, and the price? Also name a work or two, in either language, suitable for sabbath reading, where procurable, with price, &c.-FRANCOGERMAN.

350. How does the cryophorus act? -S. S.

351. Would any of your readers furnish the names of public writers authentically known to be, or to have been, unable, either from nervousness or other infirmity, or over-consciousness, to speak in public?—R. D. R.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. 338. The following notice of Dr. D'Aubigné's new work on the “ History of the Reformation in Europe in the time of Calvin," has been issued by the Messrs. Longman, in explanation of the new work by the Genevese theologian, and may satisfy “S. S." pro tem., viz. :

-"A comparison of the nations which have received the Reformation of Luther

with those who adhere to that of Calvin (as Switzerland, Holland, England, Scotland, &c.), shows that the latter have been more firm in their faith, and more active in the propagation of the Gospel, while they have carried out more fully the development of social life, especially in all that relates to constitutional liberty. This distinction has been carefully brought out by Dr. D'Aubigné in his new work on the Reformation, the first and second volumes of which will appear in the present autumn. He has devoted a part of these two forthcoming volumes to Geneva, the centre of the new phase of the Reformation, as Wittemberg had been to that of Luther. The struggles of the first Huguenots in this city, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, to maintain their independeace and their ancient freedom, may be said to have initiated the Reformation. Geneva was the first ecclesiastical principality in Europe which fell to make way for liberty, as Rome will be the last. The energy of the freemen of Geneva recalls the heroic times of the old republies; and the fate of those who fell martyrs for freedom teems with human interest. In another part of the work, the author narrates the history of the Reformation in France during Calvin's sojourn in that country, from 1525 to 1536, in which year he went to Geneva. The character of Calvin has been hitherto very imperfectly understood; and after the lapse of three centuries, the time seems come that the great reformer of Geneva should cease to be regarded solely as a cold theologian--that we should appreciate him as a man of warm heart, kindly feelings, and estimable personal character. The forthcoming work throws, it is believed, a new light on bis conversion, which is not less striking than that of Luther, and on his first years of Christian

activity, of which few, even to the princes and doctors of Germany. It present time, know the most interesting is proved by official documents, that circumstances. The author has availed Francis, notorious for his worldliness himself of documents recently discovered, and his persecution of the Reformed and is thus able, for instance, to give Christians, was at that time ready to the celebrated discourse which Calvin follow the example of his friend Henry wrote at the age of twenty-four, and VIII. of England, and actually subwhich was read by the rector of the mitted to the Sorbonne, at Paris, & University of Paris in 1533, at the confession of faith nearly approaching opening of the university year, when to that of Augsburg. On all these it is well known that both the rector and points, and on several collateral topics Calvin were obliged to flee from Paris. of enduring historical interest, it is

" Other subjects, which have not yet believed that Dr. D'Aubigné's forthreceived a satisfactory explanation, are coming volumes will afford abundant placed in a clear light; and among proof of much successful research."these inay be specified the relations of S. N. Francisl . of France with the Protestant |

The Societies' Section.

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH.

At the first meeting of the Royal, dames of the celebrities of literary and Society of Edinburgh for the present scientific history urges us to give place session, the following interesting par- to the following extracts from the ticulars regarding the history and elder report of his able and excellent inaumembers of this ancient association gural address:were given inter alia in an opening * Guided by an interesting passage in address delivered by James David the life of Lord Kaimes, it would appear Forbes, D.C.L., Principal of the United that the germ of the Royal Society was College of St. Salvador and St. Leonard, to be found in the Rankenian Club, in the city of St. Andrews, one of the instituted in 1716 for literary social vice-presidents of the society, and a meetings, and which had the unusual gentleman of extensive reputation as duration (for such associations) of an author on scientitic subjects. He is almost sixty years. That expired in the youngest son of Sir William Forbes, 1774, and numbered many eminent Bart., of Pitsligo, was born 1809, called men among its members; but no publito the bar 1830, elected Professor of cations were known to have proceeded Natural Philosophy in the Univer from this club. Contemporary in part sity of Edinburgh (at which he had with it was the Society for the Improvestudied) in 1833, and succeeded Sir ment of Medical Knowledge, instituted David Brewster as Principal, the office in 1731. The six volumes of Transache now holds, in 1859. He is the tions, however, which terminated in author of the Dissertation on Mathe 1744, gave no clue to the construction matics and Physics in the eighth edition of the society, and little was known of of the Encyclopædia Britannica, its office-bearers, excepting that the " Travels in the Alps," "Norway and secretary was the first Professor Monro, its Glaciers,” &c., &c. The general who was a large contributor to its able interest of his remarks in recalling the papers, from the publication of which

the wide-spread reputation of the sirable in the working of associations Edinburgh Medical School might be such as the Royal Society, and how far dated.” Principal Forbes then adverted such changes are safe and prudent. to the Philosophical Society of Edin “The Florentine Academy was an excelburgh, which published volumes in lent type of what a physical association 1754, 1756, and 1771, and of which of the seventeenth century was and the second Professor Monro and David ought to have been. The members Hume were for some time secretaries. collected apparatus, they had a labo“ The Philosophical was the immediate | ratory, they furnished funds for these, parent of the Royal Society, which took and the associated philosophers, who its rise in a meeting of the Professors were select in number, met to witness of the University on the proposition of the experiments, and to argue upon Principal Robertson, towards the end the conclusions to be deduced from of 1782, and the last survivor of the them. The Royal Society of London, original body was Sir William Miller, as well as the lesser societies from which Lord Glenlee, who died in 1846, in his it sprung, took a precisely similar ninety-first year. The society started course. They had a paid operator, and at once into vigorous existence. The editor of their Transactions, and they members were divided between science remitted to individual members or small and literature, giving 101 to the former, committees to try experiments, and to and 114 to the latter. The earliest report the results to a succeeding meet. period of the society was marked by ing. This seemed to be the most perThe efficiency of the literary department, fect constitution of a society for invesand the first two volumes showed a tigating nature which they could well substantial if not a precise equality in imagine. It bore a close analogy to the extent of the published contribu the Philosophical College' of Bacon tions devoted to literature and to -- to Solomon's House in the allegory science. In less than twenty years, of the New Atlantis,' which was however-indeed, in little more than generally believed to have been really ten-the activity of the literary class an antecedent, in the way of suggeswas sepeibly impaired, for the great tion, to the formation of the Royal men of letters who lent the weight of Society of London ; but it was now their names to the society hardly main less practicable because of the large tained its reputation by their pens. numbers of persons belonging to such From the paucity or absence of literary societies—the minute subdivisions into papers, the distinction between the two which the sciences are now split renclasses had almost entirely disappeared; dering the perfect comprehension of but notwithstanding this, the form of a one science alone almost the occupation literary class, baving presidents, vice of a life, and the fact that, nowadays, presidents, and a special secretary, was the hard work of science was not done continued down till 1827, when, from by men in their collective capacity as no other cause tban the want of com associations. We rarely find even two munications by literary men, it was philosophers engaged in a common abandoned. But that was no reason investigation. Another cause," he went why the substantially literary character on to say, " is the alteration of domestic of the society should not be restored, habits in some important particulars, as they were all most anxious to see it; Most of the older societies commenced but that could only be by the individual in clubs, which met at taverns, in conefforts of the literary gentlemen' who formity with the all but universal ought to compose that class." The usage of the period. The PhilosoPrincipal then proceeded to consider phical Club' met in 1649 at the Bull's what changes the progress of science Head, in Cheapside; and the germ of or of society rendered necessary or de- | the Royal Society of Edinburgh was a club meeting at Rapken's Tavern. All its popularity (which could scarcely this is past and gone. The Drydens, increase) has been maintained with the Addisons, and the Johnsons of our little if any diminution for sixty years. day hold forth no longer at Will's or But in fulfilling its own task of inthe Mitre. If a more domestic, we are structing intelligent persons in the certainly a less clubbable'generation. latest results of scientific discovery, The effect tells even upon our literary often from the very mouths of the disand scientific undertakings. The clubs coverers themselves, it has deprived of of modern London are rather institu one great attraction the meetings of tions for the luxurious accommodation the Royal Society, the great fountain of individuals, than for social inter and source whence such knowledge course; and the attempt of Sir H. Davy naturally flows. Similar influences and others to combine them in any have prevailed in Edinburgh, to the · degree with literary conversation, in diminution of the attendance in this the case of the Athenæum, proved a place. Those who can look back to the total failure. An analogous influence audiences assembled in this room from is found in the vast expansion of intel twenty-five to thirty years ago, when lectual intercourse through the means ordinary scientific papers were read, of the press, and in the filtering of know will corroborate my testimony as to the ledge of all kinds-of scientific know change which less than even one geneledge, perhaps, especially-through ration has brought about. The social the widely extended system of popular spirit of coming together for common lectures. In these two features of tbe objects, self-improvement in the first age we find sufficient reasons alone to place, and the charm of a periodical (a account for much of the social change fortnigbtly) meeting with like-minded to which we have referred. News persons (seldom, perhaps, met with in the papers, magazines, and ephemeral lite interval), counteracted the tendency to rature of every kind supplant the oral criticize, and the intolerance of hearing intercommunication characteristic of something read not immediately or the days of clubs. A man takes home directly interesting to the hearer. with him to his fireside the gossip, the Were I to enumerate the names of that jokes, the discoveries, the discussions, large band of our fellow-citizens, our grave or gay, of the day. And in mat professors, our distinguished lawyers, ters of science it is somewhat the same. our country gentlemen, and mere Much he finds of all that is most occupy amateurs, who, meeting after meeting, ing the thoughts of able men pursuing used to occupy almost the same indinatural knowledge set down in the vidual places on these benches, so that pages of the periodicals. Nothing of their loss or absence could in a moment importance can be communicated to a have been noticed, I should recall to society which does not soon become many even now present the different matter of public notoriety through such | phase in this respect which the Society channels. But still wider is the influ of Edinburgh presented then from now. ence of those popular discourses or lec- | Let me jast name almost at hazard a tures, which now practically supply to | few of those whose images live in my many persons of general information, memory as I now address you, as but not professed students, the intellece among those who as a rule attended, tual interest formerly sought in the and as a rare exception were absent. meetings of our learned societies, and I There was the ever-animated, zealous, believe I might add, in the case of and punctual president, Sir Thomas Edinburgb, in some measure from our Brisbane; the polite and decorous Dr. university courses also. The Royal Hope ; the indefatigable, unassuming Institution of London commenced this | Lord Greenock ; the sagacious Dr. system with splendid advantages, and ' Abercrombie; the lively, unresting Sir

George Mackenzie; the hospitable Pro- | Adie ; and the conscientious, modest fessor Russell (whose academic sappers astronomer, Mr. Henderson: there were are not even now forgotten); the bene also the ingenious Sir John Robison ; ficent, large-minded Dr. Alison; the the frank and manly Dr. Graham; the kindly, genial Professor Wallace, close quiet, humorous, and ornithological to whom usually sat Mr. James Jardine, Mr. James Wilson; the encyclopædic with his finely-chiselled features and Dr. Traill; and the shrewd and wellintellectual forehead; the accurate Mr. read, but reserved Mr. W. A. Caddell."

Our Collegiate Course;

OR, AIDS TO SELF-CULTURE.

“QUR Collegiate Course” has been considerable good results. Though the carried on during the year 1862, as questions proposed were few in number an interesting and valuable experi monthly, they were yet searching, and, ment. It has not been attended with what is of far greater value, were, in so much apparent, though with much! general, such as to require, or at any more real success, than we anticipated. rate afford, opportunity and inducement The numbers entered on our books for research. Many of the students as students by no means indicate the saw this and acted upon it-others, actual receivers of benefit from the unfortunately, saw this, and shrank examination papers set in these pages. from the toilsome task. We were Many who were unwilling or unable to sorry to notice some active-minded inbind themselves to the regular and dividuals thus take their hand from the statutory performance of the require. plough upon which they had placed it, ments of the several classes, have had and, startled by apparent difficulties, their thoughts and their reading directed turn from “Qar Collegiate Course" into a somewhat systematic train, and with a hesitant step and a look of dishave been enabled to test their own comfort, as if anxious to go on, and powers by answering, or attempting to yet afraid of being overtasked. A little answer, the queries contained in the more confidence in our sympathy might brief pages allotted to this department have spared them the self-conscious Others, who did not publicly join our humiliation. The competition to which student lists, formed themselves into our students are exposed is not such mutual improvement parties, and used as to wound the self-love of any one. the questions set as the groundwork of The secret of the personality of each their studies and readings; while a few, student is safe with us-indeed, in who shrunk from the actual competition some instances, only the nom de plume of the registration, still tested their i was known to the conductor of a class, knowledge by our prescribed tasks, and the name itself and the address being thus gained some profit by the publi- ; only in the matriculation-book of the cation of those tentative questionings. ! projector and general manager of the Thus far they have been beneficial in a ! scheme. The relative progress of each subsidiary sense, and to an end beyond student was carefully marked, and in the immediate sphere of our calculation. some cases it will be observed by those Within that sphere, however, the as who have consulted the register, that signed studies have been productive of greater actual progress has been made

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