A HISTORY OF THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE WITH THEOLOGY IN CHRISTENDOM, by ANDREW DICKSON WHITE.
A HISTORY OF THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE WITH THEOLOGY IN CHRISTENDOM,
by ANDREW DICKSON WHITE.
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A HISTORY OF THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE WITH THEOLOGY IN CHRISTENDOM
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
LL.D. (YALE), L.H.D. (COLUMBIA), PH.DR. (JENA)
LATE PRESIDENT AND PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY
TWO VOLUMES COMBINED
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
To the Memory of
I DEDICATE THIS BOOK.
Thoughts that great hearts once broke for, we
Breathe cheaply in the common air.--LOWELL
Dicipulus est prioris posterior dies.--PUBLIUS SYRUS
Truth is the daughter of Time.--BACON
The Truth shall make you free.--ST. JOHN, viii, 32.
MY book is ready for the printer, and as I begin this
preface my eye lights upon the crowd of Russian peasants
at work on the Neva under my windows. With pick and
shovel they are letting the rays of the April sun into the
great ice barrier which binds together the modern quays
and the old granite fortress where lie the bones of the
This barrier is already weakened; it is widely decayed,
in many places thin, and everywhere treacherous; but it is,
as a whole, so broad, so crystallized about old boulders, so
imbedded in shallows, so wedged into crannies on either
shore, that it is a great danger. The waters from thousands
of swollen streamlets above are pressing behind it;
wreckage and refuse are piling up against it; every one
knows that it must yield. But there is danger that it may
resist the pressure too long and break suddenly, wrenching
even the granite quays from their foundations, bringing
desolation to a vast population, and leaving, after the
subsidence of the flood, a widespread residue of slime, a
fertile breeding-bed for the germs of disease.
But the patient _mujiks_ are doing the right thing. The
barrier, exposed more and more to the warmth of spring
by the scores of channels they are making, will break away
gradually, and the river will flow on beneficent and beautiful.
My work in this book is like that of the Russian _mujik_
on the Neva. I simply try to aid in letting the light of
historical truth into that decaying mass of outworn thought
which attaches the modern world to mediaeval conceptions
of Christianity, and which still lingers among us--a most
serious barrier to religion and morals, and a menace to the
whole normal evolution of society.
For behind this barrier also the flood is rapidly rising
--the flood of increased knowledge and new thought; and
this barrier also, though honeycombed and in many places
thin, creates a danger--danger of a sudden breaking away,
distressing and calamitous, sweeping before it not only
out worn creeds and noxious dogmas, but cherished principles
and ideals, and even wrenching out most precious religious
and moral foundations of the whole social and political fabric.
My hope is to aid--even if it be but a little--in the
gradual and healthful dissolving away of this mass of
unreason, that the stream of "religion pure and undefiled"
may flow on broad and clear, a blessing to humanity.
And now a few words regarding the evolution of this book.
It is something over a quarter of a century since I
labored with Ezra Cornell in founding the university which
bears his honored name.
Our purpose was to establish in the State of New York
an institution for advanced instruction and research, in
which science, pure and applied, should have an equal place
with literature; in which the study of literature, ancient
and modern, should be emancipated as much as possible
from pedantry; and which should be free from various
useless trammels and vicious methods which at that period
hampered many, if not most, of the American universities
We had especially determined that the institution should
be under the control of no political party and of no single
religious sect, and with Mr. Cornell's approval I embodied
stringent provisions to this effect in the charter.
It had certainly never entered into the mind of either
of us that in all this we were doing anything irreligious or
unchristian. Mr. Cornell was reared a member of the Society
of Friends; he had from his fortune liberally aided
every form of Christian effort which he found going on about
him, and among the permanent trustees of the public library
which he had already founded, he had named all the clergymen
of the town--Catholic and Protestant. As for myself,
I had been bred a churchman, had recently been elected a
trustee of one church college, and a professor in another;
those nearest and dearest to me were devoutly religious;
and, if I may be allowed to speak of a matter so personal to
my self, my most cherished friendships were among deeply
religious men and women, and my greatest sources of enjoyment
were ecclesiastical architecture, religious music, and
the more devout forms of poetry. So, far from wishing to
injure Christianity, we both hoped to promote it; but we
did not confound religion with sectarianism, and we saw in
the sectarian character of American colleges and universities
as a whole, a reason for the poverty of the advanced instruction
then given in so many of them.
It required no great acuteness to see that a system of
control which, in selecting a Professor of Mathematics or
Language or Rhetoric or Physics or Chemistry, asked first
and above all to what sect or even to what wing or branch of
a sect he belonged, could hardly do much to advance the
moral, religious, or intellectual development of mankind.
The reasons for the new foundation seemed to us, then,
so cogent that we expected the co-operation of all good
citizens, and anticipated no opposition from any source.
As I look back across the intervening years, I know not
whether to be more astonished or amused at our simplicity.
Opposition began at once. In the State Legislature it
confronted us at every turn, and it was soon in full blaze
throughout the State--from the good Protestant bishop
who proclaimed that all professors should be in holy orders,
since to the Church alone was given the command, "Go,
teach all nations," to the zealous priest who published a
charge that Goldwin Smith--a profoundly Christian scholar
--had come to Cornell in order to inculcate the "infidelity
of the _Westminster Review_"; and from the eminent divine
who went from city to city, denouncing the "atheistic and
pantheistic tendencies" of the proposed education, to the
perfervid minister who informed a denominational synod
that Agassiz, the last great opponent of Darwin, and a devout
theist, was "preaching Darwinism and atheism" in
the new institution.
As the struggle deepened, as hostile resolutions were
introduced into various ecclesiastical bodies, as honored
clergymen solemnly warned their flocks first against the
"atheism," then against the "infidelity," and finally against
the "indifferentism" of the university, as devoted pastors
endeavoured to dissuade young men from matriculation, I
took the defensive, and, in answer to various attacks from
pulpits and religious newspapers, attempted to allay the
fears of the public. "Sweet reasonableness" was fully tried.
There was established and endowed in the university perhaps
the most effective Christian pulpit, and one of the most
vigorous branches of the Christian Association, then in the
United States; but all this did nothing to ward off the attack.
The clause in the charter of the university forbidding
it to give predominance to the doctrines of any sect,
and above all the fact that much prominence was given to
instruction in various branches of science, seemed to prevent
all compromise, and it soon became clear that to stand on
the defensive only made matters worse. Then it was that
there was borne in upon me a sense of the real difficulty--
the antagonism between the theological and scientific view
of the universe and of education in relation to it; therefore
it was that, having been invited to deliver a lecture in
the great hall of the Cooper Institute at New York, I took
as my subject _The Battlefields of Science_, maintaining this
thesis which follows:
_In all modern history, interference with science in the supposed
interest of religion, no matter how conscientious such
interference may have been, has resulted in the direst evils both
to religion and science, and invariably; and, on the other hand,
all untrammeled scientific investigation, no matter how dangerous
to religion some of its stages may have seemed for the time
to be, has invariably resulted in the highest good both of religion
The lecture was next day published in the _New York
Tribune_ at the request of Horace Greeley, its editor,
who was also one of the Cornell University trustees. As
a result of this widespread publication and of sundry attacks
which it elicited, I was asked to maintain my thesis
before various university associations and literary clubs;
and I shall always remember with gratitude that among
those who stood by me and presented me on the lecture
platform with words of approval and cheer was my revered
instructor, the Rev. Dr. Theodore Dwight Woolsey, at
that time President of Yale College.
My lecture grew--first into a couple of magazine articles,
and then into a little book called _The Warfare of Science_,
for which, when republished in England, Prof. John Tyndall
wrote a preface.
Sundry translations of this little book were published,
but the most curious thing in its history is the fact that a
very friendly introduction to the Swedish translation was
written by a Lutheran bishop.
Meanwhile Prof. John W. Draper published his book on
_The Conflict between Science and Religion_, a work of great
ability, which, as I then thought, ended the matter, so far
as my giving it further attention was concerned.
But two things led me to keep on developing my own
work in this field: First, I had become deeply interested
in it, and could not refrain from directing my observation
and study to it; secondly, much as I admired Draper's
treatment of the questions involved, his point of view and
mode of looking at history were different from mine.
He regarded the struggle as one between Science and
Religion. I believed then, and am convinced now, that it
was a struggle between Science and Dogmatic Theology.
More and more I saw that it was the conflict between
two epochs in the evolution of human thought--the
theological and the scientific.
So I kept on, and from time to time published _New
Chapters in the Warfare of Science_ as magazine articles in
_The Popular Science Monthly_. This was done under many
difficulties. For twenty years, as President of Cornell
University and Professor of History in that institution, I was
immersed in the work of its early development. Besides this,
I could not hold myself entirely aloof from public affairs,
and was three times sent by the Government of the United
States to do public duty abroad: first as a commissioner
to Santo Domingo, in 1870; afterward as minister to Germany,
in 1879; finally, as minister to Russia, in 1892; and
was also called upon by the State of New York to do
considerable labor in connection with international exhibitions
at Philadelphia and at Paris. I was also obliged from time
to time to throw off by travel the effects of overwork.
The variety of residence and occupation arising from
these causes may perhaps explain some peculiarities in this
book which might otherwise puzzle my reader.
While these journeyings have enabled me to collect materials
over a very wide range--in the New World, from
Quebec to Santo Domingo and from Boston to Mexico,
San Francisco, and Seattle, and in the Old World from
Trondhjem to Cairo and from St. Petersburg to Palermo--
they have often obliged me to write under circumstances
not very favorable: sometimes on an Atlantic steamer,
sometimes on a Nile boat, and not only in my own library
at Cornell, but in those of Berlin, Helsingfors, Munich,
Florence, and the British Museum. This fact will explain to the
benevolent reader not only the citation of different editions
of the same authority in different chapters, but some
iterations which in the steady quiet of my own library would
not have been made.
It has been my constant endeavour to write for the general
reader, avoiding scholastic and technical terms as much as
possible and stating the truth simply as it presents itself to me.
That errors of omission and commission will be found
here and there is probable--nay, certain; but the substance
of the book will, I believe, be found fully true. I am
encouraged in this belief by the fact that, of the three bitter
attacks which this work in its earlier form has already
encountered, one was purely declamatory, objurgatory, and
hortatory, and the others based upon ignorance of facts easily
And here I must express my thanks to those who have
aided me. First and above all to my former student and
dear friend, Prof. George Lincoln Burr, of Cornell University,
to whose contributions, suggestions, criticisms, and
cautions I am most deeply indebted; also to my friends
U. G. Weatherly, formerly Travelling Fellow of Cornell, and
now Assistant Professor in the University of Indiana,--Prof.
and Mrs. Earl Barnes and Prof. William H. Hudson, of Stanford
University,--and Prof. E. P. Evans, formerly of the
University of Michigan, but now of Munich, for extensive
aid in researches upon the lines I have indicated to them,
but which I could never have prosecuted without their
co-operation. In libraries at home and abroad they have
all worked for me most effectively, and I am deeply grateful
This book is presented as a sort of _Festschrift_--a tribute
to Cornell University as it enters the second quarter-century
of its existence, and probably my last tribute.
The ideas for which so bitter a struggle was made at its
foundation have triumphed. Its faculty, numbering over
one hundred and, fifty; its students, numbering but little
short of two thousand; its noble buildings and equipment;
the munificent gifts, now amounting to millions of dollars,
which it has received from public-spirited men and women;
the evidences of public confidence on all sides; and, above
all, the adoption of its cardinal principles and main features
by various institutions of learning in other States, show this
abundantly. But there has been a triumph far greater and
wider. Everywhere among the leading modern nations the
same general tendency is seen. During the quarter-century
just past the control of public instruction, not only in America
but in the leading nations of Europe, has passed more
and more from the clergy to the laity. Not only are the
presidents of the larger universities in the United States,
with but one or two exceptions, laymen, but the same thing
is seen in the old European strongholds of metaphysical
theology. At my first visit to Oxford and Cambridge, forty
years ago, they were entirely under ecclesiastical control.
Now, all this is changed. An eminent member of the present
British Government has recently said, "A candidate for
high university position is handicapped by holy orders." I
refer to this with not the slightest feeling of hostility
toward the clergy, for I have none; among them are many of
my dearest friends; no one honours their proper work more
than I; but the above fact is simply noted as proving the
continuance of that evolution which I have endeavoured to
describe in this series of monographs--an evolution, indeed,
in which the warfare of Theology against Science has been
one of the most active and powerful agents. My belief is
that in the field left to them--their proper field--the clergy
will more and more, as they cease to struggle against scientific
methods and conclusions, do work even nobler and more
beautiful than anything they have heretofore done. And
this is saying much. My conviction is that Science, though
it has evidently conquered Dogmatic Theology based on
biblical texts and ancient modes of thought, will go hand in
hand with Religion; and that, although theological control
will continue to diminish, Religion, as seen in the recognition
of "a Power in the universe, not ourselves, which makes for
righteousness," and in the love of God and of our neighbor,
will steadily grow stronger and stronger, not only in the
American institutions of learning but in the world at large.
Thus may the declaration of Micah as to the requirements
of Jehovah, the definition by St. James of "pure religion
and undefiled," and, above all, the precepts and ideals of the
blessed Founder of Christianity himself, be brought to bear
more and more effectively on mankind.
I close this preface some days after its first lines were
written. The sun of spring has done its work on the Neva;
the great river flows tranquilly on, a blessing and a joy; the
_mujiks_ are forgotten.
A. D. W.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, ST. PETERSBURG,
P. S.--Owing to a wish to give more thorough revision
to some parts of my work, it has been withheld from the
press until the present date.
A. D. W.
CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHACA, N. Y.,
August 15, 1895.
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
FROM CREATION TO EVOLUTION.
I. The Visible Universe.
Ancient and medieval views regarding the manner of creation
Regarding the matter of creation
Regarding the time of creation
Regarding the date of creation
Regarding the Creator
Regarding light and darkness
Rise of the conception of an evolution: among the Chaldeans,
The Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans
Its survival through the Middle Ages, despite the disfavour of
Its development in modern times.--The nebular hypothesis and
its struggle with theology
The idea of evolution at last victorious
Our sacred books themselves an illustration of its truth
The true reconciliation of Science and Theology
II. Theological Teachings regarding the Animals and Man.
Ancient and medieval representations of the creation of man
Literal acceptance of the book of Genesis by the Christian
By the Reformers
By modern theologians, Catholic and Protestant
Theological reasoning as to the divisions of the animal
The Physiologus, the Bestiaries, the Exempila
Beginnings of sceptical observation
Development of a scientific method in the study of Nature
Breaking down of the theological theory of creation
III. Theological and Scientific Theories of an Evolution in Animated Nature.
Ideas of evolution among the ancients
In the early Church
In the medieval Church
Development of these ideas from the sixteenth to the
The work of De Maillet
Contributions to the theory of evolution at the close of the
The work of Treviranus and Lamarck
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Cuvier
Development of the theory up to the middle of the nineteenth
The contributions of Darwin and Wallace
The opposition of Agassiz
IV. The Final Effort of Theology.
Attacks on Darwin and his theories in England
Formation of sacro-scientific organizations to combat the
theory of evolution
The attack in France
Conversion of Lyell to the theory of evolution
The attack on Darwin's Descent of Man
Difference between this and the former attack
Hostility to Darwinism in America
Change in the tone of the controversy.--Attempts at compromise
Dying-out of opposition to evolution
Last outbursts of theological hostility
Final victory of evolution
I. The Form of the Earth.
Primitive conception of the earth as flat
In Chaldea and Egypt
Among the Hebrews
Evolution, among the Greeks, of the idea of its sphericity
Opposition of the early Church
Evolution of a sacred theory, drawn from the Bible
Its completion by Cosmas Indicopleustes
Its influence on Christian thought
Survival of the idea of the earth's sphericity--its acceptance
by Isidore and Bede
Its struggle and final victory
II. The Delineation of the Earth.
Belief of every ancient people that its own central place was
the centre of the earth
Hebrew conviction that the earth's centre was at Jerusalem
Acceptance of this view by Christianity
Influence of other Hebrew conceptions--Gog and Magog, the
"four winds," the waters "on an heap"
III. The Inhabitants of the Earth.
The idea of antipodes
Its opposition by the Christian Church--Gregory Nazianzen,
Lactantius, Basil, Ambrose, Augustine, Procopius of Gaza,
Virgil of Salzburg's assertion of it in the eighth century
Its revival by William of Conches and Albert the Great in the
Surrender of it by Nicolas d'Oresme
Fate of Peter of Abano and Cecco d' Ascoli
Timidity of Pierre d'Ailly and Tostatus
Theological hindrance of Columbus
Pope Alexander VI's demarcation line
Cautious conservatism.of Gregory Reysch
Magellan and the victory of science
IV. The Size of the Earth.
Scientific attempts at measuring the earth
The sacred solution of the problem
Fortunate influence of the blunder upon Columbus
V. The Character of the Earth's Surface.
Servetus and the charge of denying the fertility of Judea
Contrast between the theological and the religious spirit in
their effects on science
I. The Old Sacred Theory of the Universe.
The early Church's conviction of the uselessness of astronomy
The growth of a sacred theory--Origen, the Gnostics,
Philastrius, Cosmas, Isidore
The geocentric, or Ptolemaic, theory its origin, and its
acceptance by the Christian world
Development of the new sacred system of astronomy--the
pseudo-Dionysius, Peter Lombard. Thomas Aquinas
Its popularization by Dante
Its persistence to modern times
II. The Heliocentric Theory.
Its rise among the Greeks--Pythagoras, Philolaus, Aristarchus
Its suppression by the charge of blasphemy
Its loss from sight for six hundred Years, then for a thousand
Its revival by Nicholas de Cusa and Nicholas Copernicus
Its toleration as a hypothesis
Its prohibition as soon as Galileo teaches it as a truth
Consequent timidity of scholars--Acosta, Apian
Protestantism not less zealous in opposition than
Melanchthon, Calvin, Turretin
This opposition especially persistent in England--Hutchinson,
Pike, Horne, Horsley, Forbes, Owen, Wesley
Resulting interferences with freedom of teaching
Giordano Bruno's boldness and his fate
The truth demonstrated by the telescope of Galileo
III. The War upon Galileo.
Concentration of the war on this new champion
The first attack
Fresh attacks--Elci, Busaeus, Caccini, Lorini, Bellarmin
Use of epithets
Attempts to entrap Galileo
His summons before the Inquisition at Rome
The injunction to silence, and the condemnation of the theory
of the earth's motion,
The work of Copernicus placed on the Index
Renewed attacks upon Galileo--Inchofer, Fromundus
IV. Victory of the Church over Galileo
Publication of his Dialogo,
Hostility of Pope Urban VIII
Galileo's second trial by the Inquisition
Later persecution of him
Measures to complete the destruction of the Copernican theory
Persecution of Galileo's memory
Protestant hostility to the new astronomy and its champions
V. Results of the Victory over Galileo.
Rejoicings of churchmen over the victory
The silencing of Descartes
Persecution of Campanella and of Kepler
Persistence and victory of science
Dilemma of the theologians
Vain attempts to postpone the surrender
VI. The Retreat of the Church after its Victory over Galileo.
The easy path for the Protestant theologians
The difficulties of the older Church.--The papal infallibility
fully committed against the Copernican theory
Attempts at evasion--first plea: that Galileo was condemned
not for affirming the earth's motion, but for supporting
it from Scripture
Its easy refutation
Second plea: that he was condemned not for heresy, but for
Folly of this assertion
Third plea: that it was all a quarrel between Aristotelian
professors and those favouring the experimental method
Fourth plea: that the condemnation of Galileo was "provisory"
Fifth plea: that he was no more a victim of Catholics than of
Efforts to blacken Galileo's character
Efforts to suppress the documents of his trial
Sixth plea: that the popes as popes had never condemned his
Its confutation from their own mouths
Abandonment of the contention by honest Catholics
Two efforts at compromise--Newman, De Bonald
Effect of all this on thinking men
The fault not in Catholicism more than in Protestantism--not
in religion, but in theology
FROM "SIGNS AND WONDERS" TO LAW IN THE HEAVENS.
I. The Theological View.
Early beliefs as to comets, meteors, and eclipses
Their inheritance by Jews and Christians
The belief regarding comets especially harmful as a source of
Its transmission through the Middle Ages
Its culmination under Pope Calixtus III
Beginnings of scepticism--Coperuicus, Paracelsus, Scaliger
Firmness of theologians, Catholicand Protestant, in its
II. Theological Efforts to crush the Scientific View.
The effort through the universities.--The effort through the
Heerbrand at Tubingen and Dieterich at Marburg
Maestlin at Heidelberg
Buttner, Vossius, Torreblanca, Fromundus
Father Augustin de Angelis at Rome
Reinzer at Linz
Celichius at Magdeburg
Conrad Dieterich's sermon at Ulm
Erni and others in Switzerland
Echoes from New England--Danforth, Morton, Increase Mather
III. The Invasion of Scepticism.
Rationalism of Cotton Mather, and its cause
Blaise de Vigenere
Bekker, Lubienitzky, Pierre Petit
The scientific movement beneath all this
IV. Theological Efforts at Compromise.--The Final Victory of
The admission that some comets are supralunar
Difference between scientific and theological reasoning
Development of the reasoning of Tycho and Kepler--Cassini,
Hevel, Doerfel, Bernouilli, Newton
Completion of the victory by Halley and Clairaut
Survivals of the superstition--Joseph de Maistre, Forster
The theories of Whiston and Burnet, and their influence in
The superstition ended in America by the lectures of Winthrop
Helpful influence of John Wesley
Effects of the victory
FROM GENESIS TO GEOLOGY.
I. Growth of Theological Explanations
Germs of geological truth among the Greeks and Romans
Attitude of the Church toward science
Geological theories of the early theologians
Attitude of the schoolmen
Contributions of the Arabian schools
Theories of the earlier Protestants
Influence of the revival of learning
II. Efforts to Suppress the Scientific View.
Revival of scientific methods
Buffon and the Sorbonne
Beringer's treatise on fossils
Protestant opposition to the new geology---the works of
Burnet, Whiston, Wesley, Clark, Watson, Arnold, Cockburn,
III. The First Great Effort of Compromise, based on the Flood of
The theory that fossils were produced by the Deluge
Its acceptance by both Catholics and Protestants--Luther,
Calmet Burnet, Whiston, Woodward, Mazurier, Torrubia,
Voltaire's theory of fossils
Vain efforts of enlightened churchmen in behalf of the
Steady progress of science--the work of Cuvier and Brongniart
Granvile Penn's opposition
The defection of Buckland and Lyell to the scientific side
Surrender of the theologians
Remnants of the old belief
Death-blow given to the traditional theory of the Deluge by
the discovery of the Chaldean accounts
Results of the theological opposition to science
IV. Final Efforts at Compromise--The Victory of Scienee complete.
Efforts of Carl von Raumer, Wagner, and others
The new testimony of the caves and beds of drift as to the
antiquity of man
Gosse's effort to save the literal interpretation of Genesis
Efforts of Continental theologians
Gladstone's attempt at a compromise
Its demolition by Huxley
By Canon Driver
Dean Stanley on the reconciliation of Science and Scripture
THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN, EGYPTOLOGY, AND ASSYRIOLOGY.
I. The Sacred Chronology.
Two fields in which Science has gained a definite victory over
Opinious of the Church fathers on the antiquity of man
The chronology of Isidore
Of the medieval Jewish scholars
The views of the Reformers on the antiquity of man
Of the Roman Church
Of Archbishop Usher
Influence of Egyptology on the belief in man's antiquity
La Peyrere's theory of the Pre-Adamites
Opposition in England to the new chronology
II. The New Chronology.
Influence of the new science of Egyptology on biblical
Manetho's history of Egypt and the new chronology derived from
Evidence of the antiquity of man furnished by the monuments of
By her art
By her science
By other elements of civilization
By the remains found in the bed of the Nile
Evidence furnished by the study of Assyriology
THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN AND PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY.
I. The Thunder-stones.
Early beliefs regarding "thunder-stones"
Theories of Mercati and Tollius regarding them
Their identification with the implements of prehistoric man
Remains of man found in caverns
Unfavourable influence on scientific activity of the political
conditions of the early part of the nineteenth century
Change effected by the French Revolution of to
Rallying of the reactionary clerical influence against science
II. The Flint Weapons and Implements.
Boucher de Perthes's contributions to the knowledge of
His conclusions confirmed by Lyell and others
Cave explorations of Lartet and Christy
Evidence of man's existence furnished by rude carvings
Cave explorations in the British Islands
Evidence of man's existence in the Drift period
In the early Quaternary and in the Tertiary periods
THE "FALL OF MAN" AND ANTHROPOLOGY.
The two antagonistic views regarding the life of man on the earth
The theory of "the Fall" among ancient peoples
Inheritance of this view by the Christian Church
Appearance among the Greeks and Romans of the theory of a rise of man
Its disappearance during the Middle Ages
Its development since the seventeenth century
The first blow at the doctrine of "the Fall" comes from geology
Influence of anthropology on the belief in this doctrine
The finding of human skulls in Quaternary deposits
Results obtained from the comparative study of the remains of
Discovery of human remains in shell-heaps on the shores of the
Indications of the upward direction of man's development
Mr. Southall's attack on the theory of man's antiquity
An answer to it
Discovery of prehistoric human remains in Egypt
Hamard's attack on the new scientific conclusions
The survival of prehistoric implements in religious rites
Strength of the argument against the theory of "the Fall of Man"
THE "FALL OF MAN" AND ETHNOLOGY.
The beginnings of the science of Comparative Ethnology
Its testimony to the upward tendency of man from low beginning
Theological efforts to break its force--De Maistre and De
Bonald Whately's attempt
The attempt of the Duke of Argyll
Evidence of man's upward tendency derived from Comparative
From Comparative Literature and Folklore
From Comparative Ethnography
THE "FALL OF MAN" AND HISTORY.
Proof of progress given by the history of art
Proofs from general history
Development of civilization even under unfavourable
circumstances to, Advancement even through catastrophes
and the decay of civilizations
Progress not confined to man's material condition
Theological struggle against the new scientific view
Persecution of prof. Winchell
Of Dr. Woodrow
Other interferences with freedom of teaching
The great harm thus done to religion
Rise of a better spirit
The service rendered to religion by Anthropology
FROM "THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR" TO METEOROLOGY.
I. Growth of a Theological Theory.
The beliefs of classical antiquity regarding storms, thunder,
Development of a sacred science of meteorology by the fathers of
Theories of Cosmas Indicopleustes
Of Isidore of Seville
Of Rabanus Maurus
Rational views of Honorius of Autun
Orthodox theories of John of San Geminiano
Attempt of Albert the Great to reconcile the speculations of
Aristotle with the theological views
The monkish encyclopedists
Theories regarding the rainbow and the causes of storms
Meteorological phenomena attributed to the Almighty
II. Diabolical Agency in Storms.
Meteorological phenomena attributed to the devil--"the prince
of the power of the air"
Propagation of this belief by the medieval theologians
Its transmission to both Catholics and Protestants--Eck,
The great work of Delrio
The employment of prayer against "the powers of the air"
Of fetiches and processions
Of consecrated church bells
III. The Agency of Witches.
The fearful results of the witch superstition
Its growth out of the doctrine of evil agency in atmospheric
Archbishop Agobard's futile attempt to dispel it
Its sanction by the popes
Its support by confessions extracted by torture
Part taken in the persecution by Dominicans and Jesuits
Opponents of the witch theory--Pomponatius, Paracelsus,
Agrippa of Nettesheim
Jean Bodin's defence of the superstition
Fate of Cornelius Loos
Of Dietrich Flade
Efforts of Spee to stem the persecution
His posthumous influence
Upholders of the orthodox view--Bishop Binsfeld, Remigius
Vain protests of Wier
Persecution of Bekker for opposing the popular belief
Effect of the Reformation in deepening the superstition
The persecution in Great Britain and America
Development of a scientific view of the heavens
Final efforts to revive the old belief
IV. Franklin's Lightning-Rod.
Franklin's experiments witlh the kite
Their effect on the old belief
Efforts at compromise between the scientific and theological
Successful use of the lightning-rod
Religious scruples against it in America
Victory of the scientific theory
This victory exemplified in the case of the church of the
monastery of Lerins
In the case of Dr. Moorhouse
In the case of the Missouri droughts
FROM MAGIC TO CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS.
I. The Supremacy of Magic.
Primitive tendency to belief in magic
The Greek conception of natura laws
Influence of Plato and Aristotle on the growth of science
Effect of the establishment of Christianity on the development
of the physical sciences
The revival of thought in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
Albert the Great
Vincent of Beauvais
Roger Bacon's beginning of the experimental method brought to
The belief that science is futile gives place to the belief
that it is dangerous
The two kinds of magic
Rarity of persecution for magic before the Christian era
The Christian theory of devils
Constantine's laws against magic
Increasing terror of magic and witchcraft
Papal enactments against them
Persistence of the belief in magic
Its effect on the development of science
Opposition of secular rulers to science
John Baptist Porta
The opposition to scientific societies in italy
The effort to turn all thought from science to religion
The development of mystic theology
Its harmful influence on science
Mixture of theological with scientific speculation
This shown in the case of Melanchthon
In that of Francis Bacon
Theological theory of gases
Growth of a scientific theory
Basil Valentine and his contributions to chemistry
Triumph of the scientific theory
II. The Triumph of Chemistry and Physics.
New epoch in chemistry begun by Boyle
Attitude of the mob toward science
Effect on science of the reaction following the French
Development of chemistry since the middle of the nineteenth
Development of physics
Modern opposition to science in Catholic countries
Attack on scientific education in France
Revolt against the subordination of education to science
Effect of the International Exhibition of ii at London
Of the endowment of State colleges in America by the Morrill
Act of 1862
The results to religion
FROM MIRACLES TO MEDICINE.
I. THE EARLY AND SACRED THEORIES OF DISEASE.
Naturalness of the idea of supernatural intervention in causing
and curing disease
Prevalence of this idea in ancient civilizations
Beginnings of a scientific theory of medicine
The twofold influence of Christianity on the healing art
II. GROWTH OF LEGENDS OF HEALING.--THE LIFE OF XAVIER AS A TYPICAL EXAMPLE.
Growth of legends of miracles about the lives of great benefactors
Sketch of Xavier's career
Absence of miraculous accounts in his writings and those of his
Direct evidence that Xavier wrought no miracles
Growth of legends of miracles as shown in the early biographies
As shown in the canonization proceedings
Naturalness of these legends
III. THE MEDIAEVAL MIRACLES OF HEALING CHECK MEDICAL SCIENCE.
Character of the testimony regarding miracles
Connection of mediaeval with pagan miracles
Their basis of fact
Various kinds of miraculous cures
Atmosphere of supernaturalism thrown about all cures
Influence of this atmosphere on medical science
IV. THE ATTRIBUTION OF DISEASE TO SATANIC INFLUENCE.--
"PASTORAL MEDICINE" CHECKS SCIENTIFIC EFFORT.
Theological theory as to the cause of disease
Influence of self-interest on "pastoral medicine"
Development of fetichism at Cologne and elsewhere
Other developments of fetich cure
V. THEOLOGICAL OPPOSITION TO ANATOMICAL STUDIES.
Medieval belief in the unlawfulness of meddling with the bodies
of the dead
Dissection objected to on the ground that "the Church abhors
the shedding of blood"
The decree of Boniface VIII and its results
VI. NEW BEGINNINGS OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.
Scanty development of medical science in the Church
Among Jews and Mohammedans
Promotion of medical science by various Christian laymen of
the Middle Ages
By rare men of science
By various ecclesiastics
VII. THEOLOGICAL DISCOURAGEMENT OF MEDICINE.
Opposition to seeking cure from disease by natural means
Requirement of ecclesiastical advice before undertaking
Charge of magic and Mohammedanism against men of science
Effect of ecclesiastical opposition to medicine
The doctrine of signatures
The doctrine of exorcism
Theological opposition to surgery
Development of miracle and fetich cures
Fashion in pious cures
Medicinal properties of sacred places
Theological argument in favour of miraculous cures
Prejudice against Jewish physicians
VIII. FETICH CURES UNDER PROTESTANTISM.--THE ROYAL TOUCH.
Luther's theory of disease
The royal touch
Cures wrought by Charles II
By James II
By William III
By Queen Anne
By Louis XIV
Universal acceptance of these miracles
IX. THE SCIENTIFIC STRUGGLE FOR ANATOMY.
Occasional encouragement of medical science in the Middle Ages
New impulse given by the revival of learning and the age of discovery
Paracelsus and Mundinus
Vesalius, the founder of the modem science of anatomy.--His
career and fate
X. THEOLOGICAL OPPOSITION TO INOCULATION, VACCINATION,
AND THE USE OF ANAESTHETICS.
Theological opposition to inoculation in Europe
Theological opposition to vaccination
Recent hostility to vaccination in England
In Canada, during the smallpox epidemic
Theological opposition to the use of cocaine
To the use of quinine
Theological opposition to the Use of anesthetics
XI. FINAL BREAKING AWAY OF THE THEOLOGICAL THEORY IN MEDICINE.
Changes incorporated in the American Book of Common Prayer
Effect on the theological view of the growing knowledge of the
relation between imagination and medicine
Effect of the discoveries in hypnotism
Relation between ascertained truth and the "ages of faith"
FROM FETICH TO HYGIENE.
I. THE THEOLOGICAL VIEW OF EPIDEMICS AND SANITATION.
The recurrence of great pestilences
Their early ascription to the wrath or malice of unseen powers
Their real cause want of hygienic precaution
Theological apotheosis of filth
Sanction given to the sacred theory of pestilence by Pope
Gregory the Great
Modes of propitiating the higher powers
Modes of thwarting the powers of evil
Persecution of the Jews as Satan's emissaries
Persecution of witches as Satan's emissaries
Case of the Untori at Milan
New developments of fetichism.--The blood of St. Januarius at Naples
Appearance of better methods in Italy.--In Spain
II. GRADUAL DECAY OF THEOLOGICAL VIEWS REGARDING SANITATION.
Comparative freedom of England from persecutions for
plague-bringing, in spite of her wretched sanitary condition
Aid sought mainly through church services
Effects of the great fire in London
The jail fever
The work of John Howard
Plagues in the American colonies
In France.--The great plague at Marseilles
Persistence of the old methods in Austria
III. THE TRIUMPH OF SANITARY SCIENCE.
Difficulty of reconciling the theological theory of
pestilences with accumulating facts
Curious approaches to a right theory
The law governing the relation of theology to disease
Recent victories of hygiene in all countries
In England.---Chadwick and his fellows
IV. THE RELATION OF SANITARY SCIENCE TO RELIGION.
The process of sanitary science not at the cost of religion
Illustration from the policy of Napoleon III in France
Effect of proper sanitation on epidemics in the United States
Change in the attitude of the Church toward the cause and cure
FROM "DEMONIACAL POSSESSION" TO INSANITY.
I. THEOLOGICAL IDEAS OF LUNACY AND ITS TREATMENT.
The struggle for the scientific treatment of the insane
The primitive ascription of insanity to evil spirits
Better Greek and Roman theories--madness a disease
The Christian Church accepts the demoniacal theory of insanity
Yet for a time uses mild methods for the insane
Growth of the practice of punishing the indwelling demon
Two sources whence better things might have been hoped.--The
reasons of their futility
The growth of exorcism
Use of whipping and torture
The part of art and literature in making vivid to the common
mind the idea of diabolic activity
The effects of religious processions as a cure for mental disease
Exorcism of animals possessed of demons
Belief in the transformation of human beings into animals
The doctrine of demoniacal possession in the Reformed Church
II. BEGINNINGS OF A HEALTHFUL SCEPTICISM.
Rivalry between Catholics and Protestants in the casting out
Increased belief in witchcraft during the period following the
Increase of insanity during the witch persecutions
Attitude of physicians toward witchcraft
Religious hallucinations of the insane
Theories as to the modes of diabolic entrance into the possessed
Influence of monastic life on the development of insanity
Protests against the theological view of insanity--Wier, Montaigue
Last struggles of the old superstition
III. THE FINAL STRUGGLE AND VICTORY OF SCIENCE.--PINEL AND TUKE.
Influence of French philosophy on the belief in demoniacal possession
Reactionary influence of John Wesley
Progress of scientific ideas in Prussia
In South Germany
General indifference toward the sufferings of madmen
The beginnings of a more humane treatment
Jean Baptiste Pinel
Improvement in the treatment of the insane in England.--William Tuke
The place of Pinel and Tuke in history
FROM DIABOLISM TO HYSTERIA.
I. THE EPIDEMICS OF "POSSESSION."
Survival of the belief in diabolic activity as the cause of
Epidemics of hysteria in classical times
In the Middle Ages
The dancing mania
Inability of science during the fifteenth century to cope with
Cases of possession brought within the scope of medical
research during the sixteenth century
Dying-out of this form of mental disease in northern Europe
Epidemics of hysteria in the convents
The case of Martha Brossier
Revival in France of belief in diabolic influence
The Ursulines of Loudun and Urbain Grandier
Possession among the Huguenots
In New England.--The Salem witch persecution
At Paris.--Alleged miracles at the grave of Archdeacon Paris
In Germany.--Case of Maria Renata Sanger
More recent outbreaks
II. BEGINNINGS OF HELPFUL SCEPTICISM.
Outbreaks of hysteria in factories and hospitals
In places of religious excitement
The case at Morzine
Similar cases among Protestants and in Africa
III. THEOLOGICAL "RESTATEMENTS."--FINAL TRIUMPH OF THE SCIENTIFIC
VIEW AND METHODS.
Successful dealings of medical science with mental diseases
Attempts to give a scientific turn to the theory of diabolic
agency in disease
Last great demonstration of the old belief in England
Final triumph of science in the latter half of the present century
Last echoes of the old belief
FROM BABEL TO COMPARATIVE PHILOLOGY.
I. THE SACRED THEORY IN ITS FIRST FORM.
Difference of the history of Comparative Philology from that
of other sciences as regards the attitude of theologians
Curiosity of early man regarding the origin, the primitive
form, and the diversity of language
The Hebrew answer to these questions
The legend of the Tower of Babel
The real reason for the building of towers by the Chaldeans
and the causes of their ruin
Other legends of a confusion of tongues
Influence upon Christendom of the Hebrew legends
Lucretius's theory of the origin of language
The teachings of the Church fathers on this subject
The controversy as to the divine origin of the Hebrew vowel points
Attitude of the reformers toward this question
Of Catholic scholars.--Marini
Capellus and his adversaries
The treatise of Danzius
II. THE SACRED THEORY OF LANGUAGE IN ITS SECOND FORM.
Theological theory that Hebrew was the primitive tongue,
This theory supported by all Christian scholars until the
beginning of the eighteenth century
Diasent of Prideaux and Cotton Mather
Apparent strength of the sacred theory of language
III. BREAKING DOWN OF THE THEOLOGICAL VIEW.
Reason for the Church's ready acceptance of the conclusions of
Beginnings of a scientific theory of language
The collections of Catharine the Great, of Hervas, and of Adelung
Chaotic period in philology between Leibnitz and the beginning
of the study of Sanskrit
Illustration from the successive editions of the Encyclopaedia
IV. TRIUMPH OF THE NEW SCIENCE.
Effect of the discovery of Sanskrit on the old theory
Attempts to discredit the new learning
General acceptance of the new theory
Destruction of the belief that all created things were first
named by Adam
Of the belief in the divine origin of letters
Attempts in England to support the old theory of language
Progress of philological science in France
In Great Britain
Recent absurd attempts to prove Hebrew the primitive tongue
Gradual disappearance of the old theories regarding the origin
of speech and writing
Full acceptance of the new theories by all Christian scholars
The result to religion, and to the Bible
FROM THE DEAD SEA LEGENDS TO COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY,
I. THE GROWTH OF EXPLANATORY TRANSFORMATION MYTHS.
Growth of myths to account for remarkable appearances in
Nature--mountains. rocks, curiously marked stones, fossils,
products of volcanicaction
Myths of the transformation of living beings into natural objects
Development of the science of Comparative Mythology
II. MEDIAEVAL GROWTH OF THE DEAD SEA LEGENDS.
Description of the Dead Sea
Impression made by its peculiar features on the early dwellers
Reasons for selecting the Dead Sea myths for study
Naturalness of the growth of legend regarding the salt region
Universal belief in these legends
Concurrent testimony of early and mediaeval writers, Jewish and
Christian, respecting the existence of Lot's wife as a "pillar
of salt," and of the other wonders of the Dead Sea
Discrepancies in the various accounts and theological
explanations of them
Theological arguments respecting the statue of Lot's wife
Growth of the legend in the sixteenth century
III. POST-REFORMATION CULMINATION OF THE DEAD SEA
LEGENDS.--BEGINNINGS OF A HEALTHFUL SCEPTICISM.
Popularization of the older legends at the Reformation
Growth of new myths among scholars
Signs of scepticism among travellers near the end of the
Effort of Quaresmio to check this tendency
Of Eugene Roger
Influence of these teachings
Renewed scepticism--the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Efforts of Briemle and Masius in support of the old myths
The travels of Mariti and of Volney
Influence of scientific thought on the Dead Sea legends during
the eighteenth century
Reactionary efforts of Chateaubriand
Investigations of the naturalist Seetzen
Of Dr. Robinson
The expedition of Lieutenant Lynch
The investigations of De Saulcy
Of the Duc de Luynes.--Lartet's report
Summary of the investigations of the nineteenth
IV. THEOLOGICAL EFFORTS AT COMPROMISE.--
TRIUMPH OF THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW.
Attempts to reconcile scientific facts with the Dead Sea legends
Van de Velde's investigations of the Dead Sea region
Mgr. Mislin's protests against the growing rationalism
The work of Schaff and Osborn
Acceptance of the scientific view by leaders in the Church
Dr. Geikie's ascription of the myths to the Arabs
Mgr. Haussmann de Wandelburg and.his rejection of the scientific view
Service of theologians to religion in accepting the conclusions
of silence in this field
FROM LEVITICUS TO POLITICAL ECONOMY
I. ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF HOSTILITY TO LOANS AT INTEREST.
Universal belief in the sin of loaning money at interest
The taking of interest among the Greeks and Romans
Opposition of leaders of thought, especially Aristotle
Condemnation of the practice by the Old and New Testaments
By the Church fathers
In ecclesiastical and secular legislation
Exception sometimes made in behalf of the Jews
Hostility of the pulpit
Of the canon law
Evil results of the prohibition of loans at interest
Efforts to induce the Church to change her position
Theological evasions of the rule
Attitude of the Reformers toward the taking of interest
Struggle in England for recognition of the right to accept interest
Invention of a distinction between usury and interest
II. RETREAT OF THE CHURCH, PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC.
Sir Robert Filmer's attack on the old doctrine
Retreat of the Protestant Church in Holland
In Germany and America
Difficulties in the way of compromise in the Catholic Church
Failure of such attempts in France
Theoretical condemnation of usury in Italy
Disregard of all restrictions in practice
Attempts of Escobar and Liguori to reconcile the taking of
interest with the teachings of the Church
Montesquieu's attack on the old theory
Encyclical of Benedict XIV permitting the taking of interest
Similar decision of the Inquisition at Rome
Final retreat of the Catholic Church
Curious dealings of theology with public economy in other fields
FROM THE DIVINE ORACLES TO THE HIGHER CRITICISM.
I. THE OLDER INTERPRETATION.
Character of the great sacred books of the world
General laws governing the development and influence of sacred
literature.--The law of its origin
Legends concerning the Septuagint
The law of wills and causes
The law of inerrancy
Hostility to the revision of King James's translation of the Bible
The law of unity
Working of these laws seen in the great rabbinical schools
The law of allegorical interpretation
Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria
Occult significance of numbers
Hilary of Poitiers and Jerome
Gregory the Great
Vain attempts to check the flood of allegorical interpretations
Methods of modern criticism for the first time employed by Lorenzo Valla
Influence of the Reformation on the belief in the infallibility
of the sacred books.--Luther and Melanchthon
Development of scholasticism in the Reformed Church
Catholic belief in the inspiration of the Vulgate
Opposition in Russia to the revision of the Slavonic Scriptures
Sir Isaac Newton as a commentator
Scriptural interpretation at the beginning of the eighteenth century
II. BEGINNINGS OF SCIENTIFIC INTERPRETATION.
Theological beliefs regarding the Pentateuch
The book of Genesis
Doubt thrown on the sacred theory by Aben Ezra
By Carlstadt and Maes
Influence of the discovery that the Isidorian Decretals were forgeries
That the writings ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagite were serious
Hobbes and La Peyrere
Progress of biblical criticism in France.--Richard Simon
Eichhorn's application of the "higher criticism" to biblical research
Opposition to the higher criticism in Germany
Vatke and Reuss
III. THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF SCIENTIFIC INTERPRETATION.
Progress of the higher criticism in Germany and Holland
Opposition to it in England
At the University of Oxford
Niebuhr and Arnold
Thirlwall and Grote
The publication of Essays and Reviews, and the storm raised by book
IV. THE CLOSING STRUGGLE.
Colenso's work on the Pentateuch
The persecution of him
Bishop Wilberforce's part in it
Results of Colenso's work
Sanday's Bampton Lectures
Keble College and Lux Mundi
Progress of biblical criticism among the dissenters
In the Roman Catholic Church
The encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII
In America.--Theodore Parker
Apparent strength of the old theory of inspiration
Real strength of the new movement
V. VICTORY OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY METHODS.
Confirmation of the conclusions of the higher criticism by
Assyriology and Egyptology
Light thrown upon Hebrew religion by the translation of the
sacred books of the East
The influence of Persian thought.--The work of the Rev. Dr. Mills
The influence of Indian thought.--Light thrown by the study of
Brahmanism and Buddhism
The work of Fathers Huc and Gabet
Discovery that Buddha himself had been canonized as a Christian saint
Similarity between the ideas and legends of Buddhism and those
The application of the higher criticism to the New Testament
The English "Revised Version" of Studies on the formation of
the canon of Scripture
Recognition of the laws governing its development
Change in the spirit of the controversy over the higher criticism
VI. RECONSTRUCTIVE FORCE OF SCIENTIFIC CRITICISM.
Development of a scientific atmosphere during the last three centuries
Action of modern science in reconstruction of religious truth
Change wrought by it in the conception of a sacred literature
Of the Divine Power.--Of man.---Of the world at large
Of our Bible
I. THE VISIBLE UNIVERSE.
AMONG those masses of cathedral sculpture which preserve so much of
medieval theology, one frequently recurring group is noteworthy for
its presentment of a time-honoured doctrine regarding the origin of
The Almighty, in human form, sits benignly, making the sun, moon,
and stars, and hanging them from the solid firmament which supports
the "heaven above" and overarches the "earth beneath."
The furrows of thought on the Creator's brow show that in this work
he is obliged to contrive; the knotted muscles upon his arms show
that he is obliged to toil; naturally, then, the sculptors and
painters of the medieval and early modern period frequently
represented him as the writers whose conceptions they embodied had
done--as, on the seventh day, weary after thought and toil,
enjoying well-earned repose and the plaudits of the hosts of heaven.
In these thought-fossils of the cathedrals, and in other
revelations of the same idea through sculpture, painting,
glass-staining, mosaic work, and engraving, during the Middle Ages
and the two centuries following, culminated a belief which had been
developed through thousands of years, and which has determined the
world's thought until our own time.
Its beginnings lie far back in human history; we find them among
the early records of nearly all the great civilizations, and they
hold a most prominent place in the various sacred books of the
world. In nearly all of them is revealed the conception of a
Creator of whom man is an imperfect image, and who literally and
directly created the visible universe with his hands and fingers.
Among these theories, of especial interest to us are those which
controlled theological thought in Chaldea. The Assyrian
inscriptions which have been recently recovered and given to the
English-speaking peoples by Layard, George Smith, Sayce, and
others, show that in the ancient religions of Chaldea and Babylonia
there was elaborated a narrative of the creation which, in its most
important features, must have been the source of that in our own
sacred books. It has now become perfectly clear that from the same
sources which inspired the accounts of the creation of the universe
among the Chaldeo-Babylonian, the Assyrian, the Phoenician, and
other ancient civilizations came the ideas which hold so prominent
a place in the sacred books of the Hebrews. In the two accounts
imperfectly fused together in Genesis, and also in the account of
which we have indications in the book of Job and in the Proverbs,
there, is presented, often with the greatest sublimity, the same
early conception of the Creator and of the creation--the
conception, so natural in the childhood of civilization, of a
Creator who is an enlarged human being working literally with his
own hands, and of a creation which is "the work of his fingers." To
supplement this view there was developed the belief in this Creator
as one who, having
. . . "from his ample palm
Launched forth the rolling planets into space."
sits on high, enthroned "upon the circle of the heavens,"
perpetually controlling and directing them.
From this idea of creation was evolved in time a somewhat nobler
view. Ancient thinkers, and especially, as is now found, in Egypt,
suggested that the main agency in creation was not the hands and
fingers of the Creator, but his _voice_. Hence was mingled with the
earlier, cruder belief regarding the origin of the earth and
heavenly bodies by the Almighty the more impressive idea that "he
spake and they were made"--that they were brought into existence
by his _word_.
Among the early fathers of the Church this general view of creation
became fundamental; they impressed upon Christendom more and more
strongly the belief that the universe was created in a perfectly
literal sense by the hands or voice of God. Here and there sundry
theologians of larger mind attempted to give a more spiritual view
regarding some parts of the creative work, and of these were St.
Gregory of Nyssa and St. Augustine. Ready as they were to accept
the literal text of Scripture, they revolted against the conception
of an actual creation of the universe by the hands and fingers of
a Supreme Being, and in this they were followed by Bede and a few
others; but the more material conceptions prevailed, and we find
these taking shape not only in the sculptures and mosaics and
stained glass of cathedrals, and in the illuminations of missals
and psalters, but later, at the close of the Middle Ages, in the
pictured Bibles and in general literature.
Into the Anglo-Saxon mind this ancient material conception of the
creation was riveted by two poets whose works appealed especially
to the deeper religious feelings. In the seventh century Caedmon
paraphrased the account given in Genesis, bringing out this
material conception in the most literal form; and a thousand years
later Milton developed out of the various statements in the Old
Testament, mingled with a theology regarding "the creative Word"
which had been drawn from the New, his description of the creation
by the second person in the Trinity, than which nothing could be
more literal and material:
"He took the golden compasses, prepared
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe and all created things.
One foot he centred, and the other turned
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said, `Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds:
This be thy just circumference, O world!'"
So much for the orthodox view of the _manner_ of creation.
The next point developed in this theologic evolution had reference
to the _matter_ of which the universe was made, and it was decided by
an overwhelming majority that no material substance existed before
the creation of the material universe--that "God created everything
out of nothing." Some venturesome thinkers, basing their reasoning
upon the first verses of Genesis, hinted at a different
view--namely, that the mass, "without form and void," existed
before the universe; but this doctrine was soon swept out of sight.
The vast majority of the fathers were explicit on this point.
Tertullian especially was very severe against those who took any
other view than that generally accepted as orthodox: he declared
that, if there had been any pre-existing matter out of which the
world was formed, Scripture would have mentioned it; that by not
mentioning it God has given us a clear proof that there was no such
thing; and, after a manner not unknown in other theological
controversies, he threatens Hermogenes, who takes the opposite
view, with the woe which impends on all who add to or take away
from the written word."
St. Augustine, who showed signs of a belief in a pre-existence of
matter, made his peace with the prevailing belief by the simple
reasoning that, "although the world has been made of some material,
that very same material must have been made out of nothing."
In the wake of these great men the universal Church steadily
followed. The Fourth Lateran Council declared that God created
everything out of nothing; and at the present hour the vast
majority of the faithful--whether Catholic or Protestant--are
taught the same doctrine; on this point the syllabus of Pius IX and
the Westminster Catechism fully agree.
Having thus disposed of the manner and matter of creation, the next
subject taken up by theologians was the _time_ required for the
Here came a difficulty. The first of the two accounts given in
Genesis extended the creative operation through six days, each of
an evening and a morning, with much explicit detail regarding the
progress made in each. But the second account spoke of "_the day_"
in which "the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." The
explicitness of the first account and its naturalness to the minds
of the great mass of early theologians gave it at first a decided
advantage; but Jewish thinkers, like Philo, and Christian thinkers,
like Origen, forming higher conceptions of the Creator and his
work, were not content with this, and by them was launched upon the
troubled sea of Christian theology the idea that the creation was
instantaneous, this idea being strengthened not only by the second
of the Genesis legends, but by the great text, "He spake, and it
was done; he commanded, and it stood fast"--or, as it appears in
the Vulgate and in most translations, "He spake, and they were
made; he commanded, and they were created."
As a result, it began to be held that the safe and proper course
was to believe literally _both_ statements; that in some mysterious
manner God created the universe in six days, and yet brought it all
into existence in a moment. In spite of the outcries of sundry
great theologians, like Ephrem Syrus, that the universe was created
in exactly six days of twenty-four hours each, this compromise was
promoted by St. Athanasius and St. Basil in the East, and by St.
Augustine and St. Hilary in the West.
Serious difficulties were found in reconciling these two views,
which to the natural mind seem absolutely contradictory; but by
ingenious manipulation of texts, by dexterous play upon phrases,
and by the abundant use of metaphysics to dissolve away facts, a
reconciliation was effected, and men came at least to believe that
they believed in a creation of the universe instantaneous and at
the same time extended through six days.
Some of the efforts to reconcile these two accounts were so
fruitful as to deserve especial record. The fathers, Eastern and
Western, developed out of the double account in Genesis, and the
indications in the Psalms, the Proverbs, and the book of Job, a
vast mass of sacred science bearing upon this point. As regards the
whole work of creation, stress was laid upon certain occult powers
in numerals. Philo Judaeus, while believing in an instantaneous
creation, had also declared that the world was created in six days
because "of all numbers six is the most productive"; he had
explained the creation of the heavenly bodies on the fourth day by
"the harmony of the number four"; of the animals on the fifth day
by the five senses; of man on the sixth day by the same virtues in
the number six which had caused it to be set as a limit to the
creative work; and, greatest of all, the rest on the seventh day by
the vast mass of mysterious virtues in the number seven.
St. Jerome held that the reason why God did not pronounce the work
of the second day "good" is to be found in the fact that there is
something essentially evil in the number two, and this was echoed
centuries afterward, afar off in Britain, by Bede.
St. Augustine brought this view to bear upon the Church in the
following statement: "There are three classes of numbers--the more
than perfect, the perfect, and the less than perfect, according as
the sum of them is greater than, equal to, or less than the
original number. Six is the first perfect number: wherefore we must
not say that six is a perfect number because God finished all his
works in six days, but that God finished all his works in six days
because six is a perfect number."
Reasoning of this sort echoed along through the mediaeval Church
until a year after the discovery of America, when the _Nuremberg
Chronicle_ re-echoed it as follows: "The creation of things is
explained by the number six, the parts of which, one, two, and
three, assume the form of a triangle."
This view of the creation of the universe as instantaneous and also
as in six days, each made up of an evening and a morning, became
virtually universal. Peter Lombard and Hugo of St. Victor,
authorities of Vast weight, gave it their sanction in the twelfth
century, and impressed it for ages upon the mind of the Church.
Both these lines of speculation--as to the creation of everything
out of nothing, and the reconciling of the instantaneous creation
of the universe with its creation in six days--were still further
developed by other great thinkers of the Middle Ages.
St. Hilary of Poictiers reconciled the two conceptions as follows:
"For, although according to Moses there is an appearance of regular
order in the fixing of the firmament, the laying bare of the dry
land, the gathering together of the waters, the formation of the
heavenly bodies, and the arising of living things from land and
water, yet the creation of the heavens, earth, and other elements
is seen to be the work of a single moment."
St. Thomas Aquinas drew from St. Augustine a subtle distinction
which for ages eased the difficulties in the case: he taught in
effect that God created the substance of things in a moment, but
gave to the work of separating, shaping, and adorning this
creation, six days.
The early reformers accepted and developed the same view, and
Luther especially showed himself equal to the occasion. With his
usual boldness he declared, first, that Moses "spoke properly and
plainly, and neither allegorically nor figuratively," and that
therefore "the world with all creatures was created in six days."
And he then goes on to show how, by a great miracle, the whole
creation was also instantaneous.
Melanchthon also insisted that the universe was created out of
nothing and in a mysterious way, both in an instant and in six
days, citing the text: "He spake, and they were made."
Calvin opposed the idea of an instantaneous creation, and laid
especial stress on the creation in six days: having called
attention to the fact that the biblical chronology shows the world
to be not quite six thousand years old and that it is now near its
end, he says that "creation was extended through six days that it
might not be tedious for us to occupy the whole of life in the
consideration of it."
Peter Martyr clinched the matter by declaring: "So important is it
to comprehend the work of creation that we see the creed of the
Church take this as its starting point. Were this article taken
away there would be no original sin, the promise of Christ would
become void, and all the vital force of our religion would be
destroyed." The Westminster divines in drawing up their Confession
of Faith specially laid it down as necessary to believe that all
things visible and invisible were created not only out of nothing
but in exactly six days.
Nor were the Roman divines less strenuous than the Protestant
reformers regarding the necessity of holding closely to the
so-called Mosaic account of creation. As late as the middle of the
eighteenth century, when Buffon attempted to state simple
geological truths, the theological faculty of the Sorbonne forced
him to make and to publish a most ignominious recantation which
ended with these words: "I abandon everything in my book respecting
the formation of the earth, and generally all which may be Contrary
to the narrative of Moses."
Theologians, having thus settled the manner of the creation, the
matter used in it, and the time required for it, now exerted
themselves to fix its _date_.
The long series of efforts by the greatest minds in the Church,
from Eusebius to Archbishop Usher, to settle this point are
presented in another chapter. Suffice it here that the general
conclusion arrived at by an overwhelming majority of the most
competent students of the biblical accounts was that the date of
creation was, in round numbers, four thousand years before our era;
and in the seventeenth century, in his great work, Dr. John
Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and one
of the most eminent Hebrew scholars of his time, declared, as the
result of his most profound and exhaustive study of the Scriptures,
that "heaven and earth, centre and circumference, were created all
together, in the same instant, and clouds full of water," and that
"this work took place and man was created by the Trinity on October
23, 4004 B. C., at nine o'clock in the morning."
Here was, indeed, a triumph of Lactantius's method, the result of
hundreds of years of biblical study and theological thought since
Bede in the eighth century, and Vincent of Beauvais in the
thirteenth, had declared that creation must have taken place in the
spring. Yet, alas! within two centuries after Lightfoot's great
biblical demonstration as to the exact hour of creation, it was
discovered that at that hour an exceedingly cultivated people,
enjoying all the fruits of a highly developed civilization, had
long been swarming in the great cities of Egypt, and that other
nations hardly less advanced had at that time reached a high
development in Asia.
But, strange as it may seem, even after theologians had thus
settled the manner of creation, the matter employed in it, the time
required for it, and the exact date of it, there remained virtually
unsettled the first and greatest question of all; and this was
nothing less than the question, WHO actually created the universe?
Various theories more or less nebulous, but all centred in texts of
Scripture, had swept through the mind of the Church. By some
theologians it was held virtually that the actual creative agent
was the third person of the Trinity, who, in the opening words of
our sublime creation poem, "moved upon the face of the waters." By
others it was held that the actual Creator was the second person of
the Trinity, in behalf of whose agency many texts were cited from
the New Testament. Others held that the actual Creator was the
first person, and this view was embodied in the two great formulas
known as the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, which explicitly assigned
the work to "God the Father Almighty" Maker of heaven and earth."
Others, finding a deep meaning in the words "Let _us_ make," ascribed
in Genesis to the Creator, held that the entire Trinity directly
created all things; and still others, by curious metaphysical
processes, seemed to arrive at the idea that peculiar combinations
of two persons of the Trinity achieved the creation.
In all this there would seem to be considerable courage in view of
the fearful condemnations launched in the Athanasian Creed against
all who should "confound the persons" or "divide the substance of
These various stages in the evolution of scholastic theology were
also embodied in sacred art, and especially in cathedral sculpture,
in glass-staining, in mosaic working, and in missal painting.
The creative Being is thus represented sometimes as the third
person of the Trinity, in the form of a dove brooding over chaos;
sometimes as the second person, and therefore a youth; sometimes as
the first person, and therefore fatherly and venerable; sometimes
as the first and second persons, one being venerable and the other
youthful; and sometimes as three persons, one venerable and one
youthful, both wearing papal crowns, and each holding in his lips
a tip of the wing of the dove, which thus seems to proceed from
both and to be suspended between them.
Nor was this the most complete development of the medieval idea.
The Creator was sometimes represented with a single body, but with
three faces, thus showing that Christian belief had in some pious
minds gone through substantially the same cycle which an earlier
form of belief had made ages before in India, when the Supreme
Being was represented with one body but with the three faces of
Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.
But at the beginning of the modern period the older view in its
primitive Jewish form was impressed upon Christians by the most
mighty genius in art the world has known; for in 1512, after four
years of Titanic labour, Michael Angelo uncovered his frescoes
within the vault of the Sistine Chapel.
They had been executed by the command and under the sanction of the
ruling Pope, Julius II, to represent the conception of Christian
theology then dominant, and they remain to-day in all their majesty
to show the highest point ever attained by the older thought upon
the origin of the visible universe.
In the midst of the expanse of heaven the Almighty Father--the
first person of the Trinity--in human form, august and venerable,
attended by angels and upborne by mighty winds, sweeps over the
abyss, and, moving through successive compartments of the great
vault, accomplishes the work of the creative days. With a simple
gesture he divides the light from the darkness, rears on high the
solid firmament, gathers together beneath it the seas, or summons
into existence the sun, moon, and planets, and sets them circling
about the earth.
In this sublime work culminated the thought of thousands of years;
the strongest minds accepted it or pretended to accept it, and
nearly two centuries later this conception, in accordance with the
first of the two accounts given in Genesis, was especially enforced
by Bossuet, and received a new lease of life in the Church, both
Catholic and Protestant.
But to these discussions was added yet another, which, beginning in
the early days of the Church, was handed down the ages until it had
died out among the theologians of our own time.
In the first of the biblical accounts light is created and the
distinction between day and night thereby made on the first day,
while the sun and moon are not created until the fourth day. Masses
of profound theological and pseudo-scientific reasoning have been
developed to account for this--masses so great that for ages they
have obscured the simple fact that the original text is a precious
revelation to us of one of the most ancient of recorded
beliefs--the belief that light and darkness are entities
independent of the heavenly bodies, and that the sun, moon, and
stars exist not merely to increase light but to "divide the day
from the night, to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and
for years," and "to rule the day and the night."
Of this belief we find survivals among the early fathers, and
especially in St. Ambrose. In his work on creation he tells us: "We
must remember that the light of day is one thing and the light of
the sun, moon, and stars another--the sun by his rays appearing to
add lustre to the daylight. For before sunrise the day dawns, but
is not in full refulgence, for the sun adds still further to its
splendour." This idea became one of the "treasures of sacred
knowledge committed to the Church," and was faithfully received by
the Middle Ages. The medieval mysteries and miracle plays give
curious evidences of this: In a performance of the creation, when
God separates light from darkness, the stage direction is, "Now a
painted cloth is to be exhibited, one half black and the other half
white." It was also given more permanent form. In the mosaics of
San Marco at Venice, in the frescoes of the Baptistery at Florence
and of the Church of St. Francis at Assisi, and in the altar
carving at Salerno, we find a striking realization of it--the
Creator placing in the heavens two disks or living figures of equal
size, each suitably coloured or inscribed to show that one
represents light and the other darkness. This conception was
without doubt that of the person or persons who compiled from the
Chaldean and other earlier statements the accounts of the creation
in the first of our sacred books.
Thus, down to a period almost within living memory, it was held,
virtually "always, everywhere, and by all," that the universe, as
we now see it, was created literally and directly by the voice or
hands of the Almighty, or by both--out of nothing--in an instant
or in six days, or in both--about four thousand years before the
Christian era--and for the convenience of the dwellers upon the
earth, which was at the base and foundation of the whole structure.
But there had been implanted along through the ages germs of
another growth in human thinking, some of them even as early as the
Babylonian period. In the Assyrian inscriptions we find recorded
the Chaldeo-Babylonian idea of _an evolution_ of the universe out of
the primeval flood or "great deep," and of the animal creation out
of the earth and sea. This idea, recast, partially at least, into
monotheistic form, passed naturally into the sacred books of the
neighbours and pupils of the Chaldeans--the Hebrews; but its growth
in Christendom afterward was checked, as we shall hereafter find,
by the more powerful influence of other inherited statements which
appealed more intelligibly to the mind of the Church.
Striking, also, was the effect of this idea as rewrought by the
early Ionian philosophers, to whom it was probably transmitted from
the Chaldeans through the Phoenicians. In the minds of Ionians like
Anaximander and Anaximenes it was most clearly developed: the first
of these conceiving of the visible universe as the result of
processes of evolution, and the latter pressing further the same
mode of reasoning, and dwelling on agencies in cosmic development
recognised in modern science.
This general idea of evolution in Nature thus took strong hold upon
Greek thought and was developed in many ways, some ingenious, some
perverse. Plato, indeed, withstood it; but Aristotle sometimes
developed it in a manner which reminds us of modern views.
Among the Romans Lucretius caught much from it, extending the
evolutionary process virtually to all things.
In the early Church, as we have seen, the idea of a creation
direct, material, and by means like those used by man, was
all-powerful for the exclusion of conceptions based on evolution.
From the more simple and crude of the views of creation given in
the Babylonian legends, and thence incorporated into Genesis, rose
the stream of orthodox thought on the subject, which grew into a
flood and swept on through the Middle Ages and into modern times.
Yet here and there in the midst of this flood were high grounds of
thought held by strong men. Scotus Erigena and Duns Scotus, among
the schoolmen, bewildered though they were, had caught some rays of
this ancient light, and passed on to their successors, in modified
form, doctrines of an evolutionary process in the universe.
In the latter half of the sixteenth century these evolutionary
theories seemed to take more definite form in the mind of Giordano
Bruno, who evidently divined the fundamental idea of what is now
known as the "nebular hypothesis"; but with his murder by the
Inquisition at Rome this idea seemed utterly to
disappear--dissipated by the flames which in 1600 consumed his body
on the Campo dei Fiori.
Yet within the two centuries divided by Bruno's death the world was
led into a new realm of thought in which an evolution theory of the
visible universe was sure to be rapidly developed. For there came,
one after the other, five of the greatest men our race has
produced--Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton--and
when their work was done the old theological conception of the
universe was gone. "The spacious firmament on high"--"the
crystalline spheres"--the Almighty enthroned upon "the circle of
the heavens," and with his own lands, or with angels as his agents,
keeping sun, moon, and planets in motion for the benefit of the
earth, opening and closing the "windows of heaven," letting down
upon the earth the "waters above the firmament," "setting his bow
in the cloud," hanging out "signs and wonders," hurling comets,
"casting forth lightnings" to scare the wicked, and "shaking the
earth" in his wrath: all this had disappeared.
These five men had given a new divine revelation to the world; and
through the last, Newton, had come a vast new conception, destined
to be fatal to the old theory of creation, for he had shown
throughout the universe, in place of almighty caprice,
all-pervading law. The bitter opposition of theology to the first
four of these men is well known; but the fact is not so widely
known that Newton, in spite of his deeply religious spirit, was
also strongly opposed. It was vigorously urged against him that by
his statement of the law of gravitation he "took from God that
direct action on his works so constantly ascribed to him in
Scripture and transferred it to material mechanism," and that he
"substituted gravitation for Providence." But, more than this,
these men gave a new basis for the theory of evolution as
distinguished from the theory of creation.
Especially worthy of note is it that the great work of Descartes,
erroneous as many of its deductions were, and, in view of the lack
of physical knowledge in his time, must be, had done much to weaken
the old conception. His theory of a universe brought out of
all-pervading matter, wrought into orderly arrangement by movements
in accordance with physical laws--though it was but a provisional
hypothesis--had done much to draw men's minds from the old
theological view of creation; it was an example of intellectual
honesty arriving at errors, but thereby aiding the advent of
truths. Crippled though Descartes was by his almost morbid fear of
the Church, this part of his work was no small factor in bringing
in that attitude of mind which led to a reception of the thoughts
of more unfettered thinkers.
Thirty years later came, in England, an effort of a different sort,
but with a similar result. In 1678 Ralph Cudworth published his
_Intellectual System of the Universe_. To this day he remains, in
breadth of scholarship, in strength of thought, in tolerance, and
in honesty, one of the greatest glories of the English Church, and
his work was worthy of him. He purposed to build a fortress which
should protect Christianity against all dangerous theories of the
universe, ancient or modern. The foundations of the structure were
laid with old thoughts thrown often into new and striking forms;
but, as the superstructure arose more and more into view, while
genius marked every part of it, features appeared which gave the
rigidly orthodox serious misgivings. From the old theories of
direct personal action on the universe by the Almighty he broke
utterly. He dwelt on the action of law, rejected the continuous
exercise of miraculous intervention, pointed out the fact that in
the natural world there are "errors" and "bungles," and argued
vigorously in favour of the origin and maintenance of the universe
as a slow and gradual development of Nature in obedience to an
inward principle. The Balaks of seventeenth-century orthodoxy might
well condemn this honest Balaam.
Toward the end of the next century a still more profound genius,
Immanuel Kant, presented the nebular theory, giving it, in the
light of Newton's great utterances, a consistency which it never
before had; and about the same time Laplace gave it yet greater
strength by mathematical reasonings of wonderful power and extent,
thus implanting firmly in modern thought the idea that our own
solar system and others--suns, planets, satellites, and their
various movements, distances, and magnitudes--necessarily result
from the obedience of nebulous masses to natural laws.
Throughout the theological world there was an outcry at once
against "atheism," and war raged fiercely. Herschel and others
pointed out many nebulous patches apparently gaseous. They showed
by physical and mathematical demonstrations that the hypothesis
accounted for the great body of facts, and, despite clamour, were
gaining ground, when the improved telescopes resolved some of the
patches of nebulous matter into multitudes of stars. The opponents
of the nebular hypothesis were overjoyed; they now sang paans to
astronomy, because, as they said, it had proved the truth of
Scripture. They had jumped to the conclusion that all nebula must
be alike; that, if _some_ are made up of systems of stars, _all_ must
be so made up; that none can be masses of attenuated gaseous
matter, because some are not.
Science halted for a time. The accepted doctrine became this: that
the only reason why all the nebula are not resolved into distinct
stars is that our telescopes are not sufficiently powerful. But in
time came the discovery of the spectroscope and spectrum analysis,
and thence Fraunhofer's discovery that the spectrum of an ignited
gaseous body is non-continuous, with interrupting lines; and
Draper's discovery that the spectrum of an ignited solid is
continuous, with no interrupting lines. And now the spectroscope
was turned upon the nebula, and many of them were found to be
gaseous. Here, then, was ground for the inference that in these
nebulous masses at different stages of condensation--some
apparently mere pitches of mist, some with luminous centres--we
have the process of development actually going on, and observations
like those of Lord Rosse and Arrest gave yet further confirmation
to this view. Then came the great contribution of the nineteenth
century to physics, aiding to explain important parts of the vast
process by the mechanical theory of heat.
Again the nebular hypothesis came forth stronger than ever, and
about 1850 the beautiful experiment of Plateau on the rotation of
a fluid globe came in apparently to illustrate if not to confirm
it. Even so determined a defender of orthodoxy as Mr. Gladstone at
last acknowledged some form of a nebular hypothesis as probably true.
Here, too, was exhibited that form of surrendering theological
views to science under the claim that science concurs with
theology, which we have seen in so many other fields; and, as
typical, an example may be given, which, however restricted in its
scope, throws light on the process by which such surrenders are
obtained. A few years since one of the most noted professors of
chemistry in the city of New York, under the auspices of one of its
most fashionable churches, gave a lecture which, as was claimed in
the public prints and in placards posted in the streets, was to
show that science supports the theory of creation given in the
sacred books ascribed to Moses. A large audience assembled, and a
brilliant series of elementary experiments with oxygen, hydrogen,
and carbonic acid was concluded by the Plateau demonstration. It
was beautifully made. As the coloured globule of oil, representing
the earth, was revolved in a transparent medium of equal density,
as it became flattened at the poles, as rings then broke forth from
it and revolved about it, and, finally, as some of these rings
broke into satellites, which for a moment continued to circle about
the central mass, the audience, as well they might, rose and burst
into rapturous applause.
Thereupon a well-to-do citizen arose and moved the thanks of the
audience to the eminent professor for "this perfect demonstration
of the exact and literal conformity of the statements given in Holy
Scripture with the latest results of science." The motion was
carried unanimously and with applause, and the audience dispersed,
feeling that a great service had been rendered to orthodoxy.
What this incident exhibited on a small scale has been seen
elsewhere with more distinguished actors and on a broader stage.
Scores of theologians, chief among whom of late, in zeal if not in
knowledge, has been Mr. Gladstone, have endeavoured to "reconcile"
the two accounts in Genesis with each other and with the truths
regarding the origin of the universe gained by astronomy, geology,
geography, physics, and chemistry. The result has been recently
stated by an eminent theologian, the Hulsean Professor of Divinity
at the University of Cambridge. He declares, "No attempt at
reconciling genesis with the exacting requirements of modern
sciences has ever been known to succeed without entailing a degree
of special pleading or forced interpretation to which, in such a
question, we should be wise to have no recourse."
The revelations of another group of sciences, though sometimes
bitterly opposed and sometimes "reconciled" by theologians, have
finally set the whole question at rest. First, there have come the
biblical critics--earnest Christian scholars, working for the sake
of truth--and these have revealed beyond the shadow of a reasonable
doubt the existence of at least two distinct accounts of creation
in our book of Genesis, which can sometimes be forced to agree, but
which are generally absolutely at variance with each other. These
scholars have further shown the two accounts to be not the
cunningly devised fables of priestcraft, but evidently fragments of
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