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ASTROLOGY AND THE PRESS.
must they conclude of the poor Editor's integrity and critical acumen ? Will they be satisfied that, instead of so "refuting astrology," the Editor displays the weakness of handing over his opponent to the law; and intimates that astrology, instead of a GRAND TRUTH, should be treated as “roguery and vagabondage?” Even if, for the argument's sake, the law be admitted to have forbidden its practice—which, as a fact, is utterly denied—that cannot in anywise disprove the truth of its doctrines or the reality of its principles, but only proves that if these be true, the said law is a very wicked law, and both cruel and tyrannical. Might not these readers of the Atheneum quote the Editor's own words, page 1207, and say, “ No amount of negative reasoning can upset a single well-observed fact?" and may they not think that if Zadkiel have observed facts for a quarter of a century in confirmation of astrology, as he has declared, and the Editor has observed no facts to disprove them, he has no right to assert that he “believes that Zadkiel imposed on himself before he tried to impose on others ?” May they not add, moreover, that the Editor is the person who imposed on himself, by treating astrology as false, and denying astral influence, without any such process of induction as would be for a moment received by himself, as a critic, in any other matter of science or philosophy, or, indeed, in any thing else under the sun ?
As the hieroglyphic for 1848 has been mentioned by these editors, we here reprint it for examination by the reader.
The reader will judge whether the tri-color flag in the hand of a crowned skeleton, and the Gallic cock exulting, standing on
REVIEW_THE POETRY OF SCIENCE.
the hour-glass, a type of the king's time of power being run out, be “a glance” at the event. Also, whether the armed man, holding the scroll shewing the Sun and Moon in Libra, pointing the sword to his own person, shewed that the armed men would turn their swords against each other. And whether the Pope's tiara being placed on the earth foreshewed that the Pope's power should come to an end. These events are those which will mark 1848 in the page of history; and we submit that they were very distinctly pointed at many months in advance. Let it be remembered, too, that a hieroglyphic does not profess to be a picture of future events, but merely a type to indicate their features.
The Poetry of SCIENCE, or Studies of the Physical Phenomena
of Nature. By RoberT HUNT. Reeve & Co.
This work comes very à propos to the commencement of our critical labours; and, as it may be regarded as a fair and lucid exposé of the results of the achievements of modern science, we shall refer to it extensively; and if out of their own mouths we are forced to condemn our professed " lovers of truth,” why the fault lies not with us, but is to be discovered in the one-sided principle upon which our men of science choose to make their researches. If they will explore the recesses of Nature's secrets, guided by the deceitful glare of prejudice, they must take the consequences. They cannot complain if we expose their fallacies, for they are considered as the salt of the earth; and we have a right, therefore, to shew that they have, for want of the light of truth, mistaken for genuine brilliants the mere rubbish of crystallized liquids, which dissolve into vapours on the first exposure to the test of examination. Let them adopt the fair and honest course that Bacon recommends ; let them experiments;" but, at the same time, cast out of the alembics of their minds all their preconceived notions that the philosophers of old knew nothing, because they had not formed acquaintance with the jumble of geological phraseology and the barbarous lists of jaw-breaking terms now mis-called “science.” examine fairly and honestly the doctrines of the immortal Ptolemy (adopted as they have been by the oriental philosophers of all nations), which teach that there is a certain and never failing connexion between the angles under which the sun, moon,
Let them 22
REVIEW-THE POETRY OF SCIENCE.
planets, are observed, and the state of the atmosphere. Let them examine whether, or not, vast earthquakes and extensive pestilences do really follow on the heels of great eclipses, if at the time there be also conjunctions or oppositions of the superior planets. And if they find that, when the planets are stationary, the flux of light from them, being more permanent on this globe, produces a derangement of the magnetic action universally, let them honestly confess that they have scoffed at the idea of such planetary action without once having thought of examining into the facts—to the eternal disgrace of the present race of philosophers.
But to our author. This work of Mr. Hunt's is written in a free and familiar style, and with as much of religious reverence as we might expect to find from a mind too prone, by habit, to refer every thing to natural laws, and, therefore, to doubt as to any thing like spiritual interference in the phenomena of nature. There is, however, an apparent honesty of intention about Mr. Hunt, which, if he were free from the shackles of office, might qualify him to shake off his early prejudices and enter on an examination of astral influences. We do not despair, in fact, some day, of hearing that Mr. Hunt has examined astrology, and, if he do, he must adopt its principles, which alone can satisfy the craving he evinces for a farther acquaintance with causes. The author's introductory observations mention "some great universal principle beyond our knowledge;" which must, therefore, extend to the stars, or how could it be “universal ?" “Our knowledge” signifies the knowledge of Mr. Hunt's colabourers in the dark caves of philosophy; for we can tell him that this "principle” is not beyond the knowledge of the astral philosopher, who by its aid reads in the motions of the stars those wondrous effects which by this principle they produce.
Speaking of motion, gravitation, heat, light, electricity, and chemical force, the author is compelled to cry out as follows:
“These powers are only known to us by their effects; we only detect their action by their operations upon matter; and although we regard the several phenomena which we bave discovered as the manifestations of different principles, it is possible they may be but modifications of some one universal power, of which these are but a few of its modes of action."
As regards electricity this is not strictly true, for we can both see and feel the electric fluid when it is excited up to the point of luminous appearance; and we may say as much of light, for there is no reason to believe that light flows from the sun as such; but there is A SUBSTANCE which flows from the sun, and which, when it impinges on a planet, affects the eyes of animals
REVIEW-THE POETRY OF SCIENCE.
in such a manner as to render them conscious of its existence, and which effect has been termed Light. If this substance, when it flows from the sun, were already in a luminous condition, we should perceive it in its passage through the fields of space.
What Mr. Hunt means by one universal power” is what we conceive to be the bond that combines all the bodies of a solar system, and compels them to operate one on another; so that if a straight line can be drawn from the earth to the sun and the planet Saturn, the fluxes of this “universal power," or ethereal fluid, as we prefer to name it, are returned directly back from the two planets to the source of those fluxes in the sun. Thus must they needs produce a different effect on each planet's atmosphere in going and returning from what they would if carried off at an angle of reflection equal to that of incidence. We say that the particles, or molecules, of this fluid, so thrown back on others like themselves, must derange the atmosphere of both planets. And thus we see the reason why the electrical condition of our atmosphere on such occasions is abnormal, and why the magnets shew that the magnetic currents cease to flow in their usual manner. And thus it is that the temperature and pressure of the atmosphere become affected, and that vapours arise, rain abounds, and tempests are let loose upon the earth and ocean.
In speaking, in his 8th chapter, on the effects of the sun's rays, termed actinism, our author says,—
“We now know that it is impossible to expose any body, simple or compound, to the sun's rays without its being influenced by this chemical and molecular-disturbing power. To take our examples from inorganic nature, the granite rock, which presents its uplifted head in firmness to the driving storm, the stones which genius has framed into forms of architectural beauty, or the metal which is intended to commemorate the great acts of man, and which, in the human form, proclaim the hero's deeds and the artist's talents, are all alike destructively acted upon during the hours of sunshine; and, but for provisions of Nature no less wonderful, would soon perish under the delicate touch of the most subtile of the agencies of the universe." We ask Mr. Hunt whether these same solar
ese same solar rays, that produce so much powerful influence when they fall direct upon any body whatever, are likely to lose all their power when reflected? If rays from the sun fall
upon the planet Mars when at its nearest position to the earth, 34,700,000 miles, they must be reflected to this earth in three minutes. Are we to suppose that they lose all their wondrous power, and that they fall upon the same bodies which were before so "destructively acted upon” quite innocuously? A very small portion of a solar ray, passed through a prism, is found to magnetize a needle when placed within its direction; yet millions of rays from the same sun
Mars * Blackwood's Magazine for December 1848 says, that Lady Hester Stanhope foretold Lamartine's recent elevation and the Revolution in France by “cabalistic" and astronomical processes. Now she made these predictions merely, as Mr. Oxley would, by the mathematics of astral science.
REVIEW-GEM OF THE ASTRAL SCIENCES.
every instant of time, and are constantly returned to this earth in a very few minutes; and millions of rays fall
the moon and come thence to us in one second of time; and is it reasonable to doubt that they do affect this earth? Those from the moon, we know, do act upon the salts of silver; and why should we hesitate to believe that those from each of the planets have their several missions to perform ? This, however, constitutes that PLANETARY INFLUENCE so much dreaded by our philosophers, who have committed themselves to its denial before they investigated the facts. Alas! they are destined to be defeated, for O magna vis veritatis !
We shall return to Mr. Hunt's work.
The GEM OF THE ASTRAL SCIENCES, or Mathematics of Ce
lestial Philosophy. By Thomas OXLEY, Esq., C.E. Simpkin and Marshall.
We are glad to see a new edition, and a much improved one, of Mr. Oxley's celebrated work on Planispheres. This work will do much for the science of genethliacal astrology, as it will enable many sterling young minds to examine for themselves the doctrines of astral influence, without so much labour as has hitherto been necessary.
It may even lead some of the editors of the day to see whether there be not more in our philosophy than their day dreams of " cabalistic”* folly have led them to imagine. This work contains every thing required, (and, indeed, perhaps more than the young student can require) for working out a nativity by projection; and we cordially recommend it to the attention of our readers, as a masterly production. cannot, however, allow Mr. Oxley's doctrine as to the anticipating and retarding of primary directions to pass current, without our most decided condemnation. Our author says, p. 177,
“ If he (the student) comes within six months, or even a year in some cases, he ought to be satisfied, seeing that there are many secondary causes which will produce an anticipation or retarding of the primary direction.”
The result of a quarter of a century of rigid examination of nativities, during which many thousands have gone through our