brings forward an angel to make the usual orthodox answers. Later, Milton seems to lean to

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brings forward an angel to make the usual orthodox answers. Later, Milton seems to lean toward the Copernican theory, for, referring to the earth, he says: "Or she from west her silent course advance With inoffensive pace, that spinning sleeps On her soft axle, while she faces even And bears thee soft with the smooth air along." English orthodoxy continued to assert itself. In 1724 John Hutchinson, professor at Cambridge, published his _Moses' Principia_, a system of philosophy in which he sought to build up a complete physical system of the universe from the Bible. In this he assaulted the Newtonian theory as "atheistic," and led the way for similar attacks by such Church teachers as Horne, Duncan Forbes, and Jones of Nayland. But one far greater than these involved himself in this view. That same limitation of his reason by the simple statements of Scripture which led John Wesley to declare that, "unless witchcraft is true, nothing in the Bible is true," led him, while giving up the Ptolemaic theory and accepting in a general way the Copernican, to suspect the demonstrations of Newton. Happily, his inborn nobility of character lifted him above any bitterness or persecuting spirit, or any imposition of doctrinal tests which could prevent those who came after him from finding their way to the truth. But in the midst of this vast expanse of theologic error signs of right reason began to appear, both in England and America. Noteworthy is it that Cotton Mather, bitter as was his orthodoxy regarding witchcraft, accepted, in 1721, the modern astronomy fully, with all its consequences. In the following year came an even more striking evidence that the new scientific ideas were making their way in England. In 1722 Thomas Burnet published the sixth edition of his _Sacred Theory of the Earth_. In this he argues, as usual, to establish the scriptural doctrine of the earth's stability; but in his preface he sounds a remarkable warning. He mentions the great mistake into which St. Augustine led the Church regarding the doctrine of the antipodes, and says, "If within a few years or in the next generation it should prove as certain and demonstrable that the earth is moved, as it is now that there are antipodes, those that have been zealous against it, and engaged the Scripture in the controversy, would have the same reason to repent of their forwardness that St. Augustine would now, if he were still alive." Fortunately, too, Protestantism had no such power to oppose the development of the Copernican ideas as the older Church had enjoyed. Yet there were some things in its warfare against science even more indefensible. In 1772 the famous English expedition for scientific discovery sailed from England under Captain Cook. Greatest by far of all the scientific authorities chosen to accompany it was Dr. Priestley. Sir Joseph Banks had especially invited him. But the clergy of Oxford and Cambridge interfered. Priestley was considered unsound in his views of the Trinity; it was evidently suspected that this might vitiate his astronomical observations; he was rejected, and the expedition crippled. The orthodox view of astronomy lingered on in other branches of the Protestant Church. In Germany even Leibnitz attacked the Newtonian theory of gravitation on theological grounds, though he found some little consolation in thinking that it might be used to support the Lutheran doctrine of consubstantiation. In Holland the Calvinistic Church was at first strenuous against the whole new system, but we possess a comical proof that Calvinism even in its strongholds was powerless against it; for in 1642 Blaer published at Amsterdam his book on the use of globes, and, in order to be on the safe side, devoted one part of his work to the Ptolemaic and the other to the Copernican scheme, leaving the benevolent reader to take his choice.[150] Nor have efforts to renew the battle in the Protestant Church been wanting in these latter days. The attempt in the Church of England, in 1864, to fetter science, which was brought to ridicule by Herschel, Bowring, and De Morgan; the assemblage of Lutheran clergy at Berlin, in 1868, to protest against "science falsely so called," are examples of these. Fortunately, to the latter came Pastor Knak, and his denunciations of the Copernican theory as absolutely incompatible with a belief in the Bible, dissolved the whole assemblage in ridicule. In its recent dealings with modern astronomy the wisdom of the Catholic Church in the more civilized countries has prevented its yielding to some astounding errors into which one part of the Protestant Church has fallen heedlessly. Though various leaders in the older Church have committed the absurd error of allowing a text-book and sundry review articles to appear which grossly misstate the Galileo episode, with the certainty of ultimately undermining confidence in her teachings among her more thoughtful young men, she has kept clear of the folly of continuing to tie her instruction, and the acceptance of our sacred books, to an adoption of the Ptolemaic theory. Not so with American Lutheranism. In 1873 was published in St. Louis, at the publishing house of the Lutheran Synod of Missouri, a work entitled _Astromomische Unterredung_, the author being well known as a late president of a Lutheran Teachers' Seminary. No attack on the whole modern system of astronomy could be more bitter. On the first page of the introduction the author, after stating the two theories, asks, "Which is right?" and says: "It would be very simple to me which is right, if it were only a question of human import. But the wise and truthful God has expressed himself on this matter in the Bible. The entire Holy Scripture settles the question that the earth is the principal body (_Hauptkorper_) of the universe, that it stands fixed, and that sun and moon only serve to light it." The author then goes on to show from Scripture the folly, not only of Copernicus and Newton, but of a long line of great astronomers in more recent times. He declares: "Let no one understand me as inquiring first where truth is to be found--in the Bible or with the astronomers. No; I know that beforehand--that my God never lies, never makes a mistake; out of his mouth comes only truth, when he speaks of the structure of the universe, of the earth, sun, moon, and stars.... "Because the truth of the Holy Scripture is involved in this, therefore the above question is of the highest importance to me.... Scientists and others lean upon the miserable reed (_Rohrstab_) that God teaches only the order of salvation, but not the order of the universe." Very noteworthy is the fact that this late survival of an ancient belief based upon text-worship is found, not in the teachings of any zealous priest of the mother Church, but in those of an eminent professor in that branch of Protestantism which claims special enlightenment.[151] Nor has the warfare against the dead champions of science been carried on by the older Church alone. On the 10th of May, 1859, Alexander von Humboldt was buried. His labours had been among the glories of the century, and his funeral was one of the most imposing that Berlin had ever seen. Among those who honoured themselves by their presence was the prince regent, afterward the Emperor William I; but of the clergy it was observed that none were present save the officiating clergyman and a few regarded as unorthodox.[152] V. RESULTS OF THE VICTORY OVER GALILEO. We return now to the sequel of the Galileo case. Having gained their victory over Galileo, living and dead, having used it to scare into submission the professors of astronomy throughout Europe, conscientious churchmen exulted. Loud was their rejoicing that the "heresy," the "infidelity" the "atheism" involved in believing that the earth revolves about its axis and moves around the sun had been crushed by the great tribunal of the Church, acting in strict obedience to the expressed will of one Pope and the written order of another. As we have seen, all books teaching this hated belief were put upon the _Index_ of books forbidden to Christians, and that _Index_ was prefaced by a bull enforcing this condemnation upon the consciences of the faithful throughout the world, and signed by the reigning Pope. The losses to the world during this complete triumph of theology were even more serious than at first appears: one must especially be mentioned. There was then in Europe one of the greatest thinkers ever given to mankind--Rene Descartes. Mistaken though many of his reasonings were, they bore a rich fruitage of truth. He had already done a vast work. His theory of vortices--assuming a uniform material regulated by physical laws--as the beginning of the visible universe, though it was but a provisional hypothesis, had ended the whole old theory of the heavens with the vaulted firmament and the direction of the planetary movements by angels, which even Kepler had allowed. The scientific warriors had stirred new life in him, and he was working over and summing up in his mighty mind all the researches of his time. The result would have made an epoch in history. His aim was to combine all knowledge and thought into a _Treatise on the World_, and in view of this he gave eleven years to the study of anatomy alone. But the fate of Galileo robbed him of all hope, of all courage; the battle seemed lost; he gave up his great plan forever.[153] But ere long it was seen that this triumph of the Church was in reality a prodigious defeat. From all sides came proofs that Copernicus and Galileo were right; and although Pope Urban and the inquisition held Galileo in strict seclusion, forbidding him even to _speak_ regarding the double motion of the earth; and although this condemnation of "all books which affirm the motion of the earth" was kept on the _Index_; and although the papal bull still bound the _Index_ and the condemnations in it on the consciences of the faithful; and although colleges and universities under Church control were compelled to teach the old doctrine--it was seen by clear-sighted men everywhere that this victory of the Church was a disaster to the victors. New champions pressed on. Campanella, full of vagaries as he was, wrote his _Apology for Galileo_, though for that and other heresies, religious, and political, he seven times underwent torture. And Kepler comes: he leads science on to greater victories. Copernicus, great as he was, could not disentangle scientific reasoning entirely from the theological bias: the doctrines of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas as to the necessary superiority of the circle had vitiated the minor features of his system, and left breaches in it through which the enemy was not slow to enter; but Kepler sees these errors, and by wonderful genius and vigour he gives to the world the three laws which bear his name, and this fortress of science is complete. He thinks and speaks as one inspired. His battle is severe. He is solemnly warned by the Protestant Consistory of Stuttgart "not to throw Christ's kingdom into confusion with his silly fancies," and as solemnly ordered to "bring his theory of the world into harmony with Scripture": he is sometimes abused, sometimes ridiculed, sometimes imprisoned. Protestants in Styria and Wurtemberg, Catholics in Austria and Bohemia, press upon him but Newton, Halley, Bradley, and other great astronomers follow, and to science remains the victory.[154] Yet this did not end the war. During the seventeenth century, in France, after all the splendid proofs added by Kepler, no one dared openly teach the Copernican theory, and Cassini, the great astronomer, never declared for it. In 1672 the Jesuit Father Riccioli declared that there were precisely forty-nine arguments for the Copernican theory and seventy-seven against it. Even after the beginning of the eighteenth century--long after the demonstrations of Sir Isaac Newton--Bossuet, the great Bishop of Meaux, the foremost theologian that France has ever produced, declared it contrary to Scripture. Nor did matters seem to improve rapidly during that century. In England, John Hutchinson, as we have seen, published in 1724 his _Moses' Principia_ maintaining that the Hebrew Scriptures are a perfect system of natural philosophy, and are opposed to the Newtonian system of gravitation; and, as we have also seen, he was followed by a long list of noted men in the Church. In France, two eminent mathematicians published in 1748 an edition of Newton's _Principia_; but, in order to avert ecclesiastical censure, they felt obliged to prefix to it a statement absolutely false. Three years later, Boscovich, the great mathematician of the Jesuits, used these words: "As for me, full of respect for the Holy Scriptures and the decree of the Holy Inquisition, I regard the earth as immovable; nevertheless, for simplicity in explanation I will argue as if the earth moves; for it is proved that of the two hypotheses the appearances favour this idea." In Germany, especially in the Protestant part of it, the war was even more bitter, and it lasted through the first half of the eighteenth century. Eminent Lutheran doctors of divinity flooded the country with treatises to prove that the Copernican theory could not be reconciled with Scripture. In the theological seminaries and in many of the universities where clerical influence was strong they seemed to sweep all before them; and yet at the middle of the century we find some of the clearest-headed of them aware of the fact that their cause was lost.[155] In 1757 the most enlightened perhaps in the whole line of the popes, Benedict XIV, took up the matter, and the Congregation of the _Index_ secretly allowed the ideas of Copernicus to be tolerated. Yet in 1765 Lalande, the great French astronomer, tried in vain at Rome to induce the authorities to remove Galileo's works from the _Index_. Even at a date far within our own nineteenth century the authorities of many universities in Catholic Europe, and especially those in Spain, excluded the Newtonian system. In 1771 the greatest of them all, the University of Salamanca, being urged to teach physical science, refused, making answer as follows: "Newton teaches nothing that would make a good logician or metaphysician; and Gassendi and Descartes do not agree so well with revealed truth as Aristotle does." Vengeance upon the dead also has continued far into our own century. On the 5th of May, 1829, a great multitude assembled at Warsaw to honour the memory of Copernicus and to unveil Thorwaldsen's statue of him. Copernicus had lived a pious, Christian life; he had been beloved for unostentatious Christian charity; with his religious belief no fault had ever been found; he was a canon of the Church at Frauenberg, and over his grave had been written the most touching of Christian epitaphs. Naturally, then, the people expected a religious service; all was understood to be arranged for it; the procession marched to the church and waited. The hour passed, and no priest appeared; none could be induced to appear. Copernicus, gentle, charitable, pious, one of the noblest gifts of God to religion as well as to science, was evidently still under the ban. Five years after that, his book was still standing on the _Index_ of books prohibited to Christians. The edition of the _Index_ published in 1819 was as inexorable toward the works of Copernicus and Galileo as its predecessors had been; but in the year 182O came a crisis. Canon Settele, Professor of Astronomy at Rome, had written an elementary book in which the Copernican system was taken for granted. The Master of the Sacred Palace, Anfossi, as censor of the press, refused to allow the book to be printed unless Settele revised his work and treated the Copernican theory as merely a hypothesis. On this Settele appealed to Pope Pius VII, and the Pope referred the matter to the Congregation of the Holy Office. At last, on the 16th of August, 182O, it was decided that Settele might teach the Copernican system as established, and this decision was approved by the Pope. This aroused considerable discussion, but finally, on the 11th of September, 1822, the cardinals of the Holy Inquisition graciously agreed that "the printing and publication of works treating of the motion of the earth and the stability of the sun, in accordance with the general opinion of modern astronomers, is permitted at Rome." This decree was ratified by Pius VII, but it was not until thirteen years later, in 1835, that there was issued an edition of the _Index_ from which the condemnation of works defending the double motion of the earth was left out. This was not a moment too soon, for, as if the previous proofs had not been sufficient, each of the motions of the earth was now absolutely demonstrated anew, so as to be recognised by the ordinary observer. The parallax of fixed stars, shown by Bessel as well as other noted astronomers in 1838, clinched forever the doctrine of the revolution of the earth around the sun, and in 1851 the great experiment of Foucault with the pendulum showed to the human eye the earth in motion around its own axis. To make the matter complete, this experiment was publicly made in one of the churches at Rome by the eminent astronomer, Father Secchi, of the Jesuits, in 1852--just two hundred and twenty years after the Jesuits had done so much to secure Galileo's condemnation.[157] VI. THE RETREAT OF THE CHURCH AFTER ITS VICTORY OVER GALILEO. Any history of the victory of astronomical science over dogmatic theology would be incomplete without some account of the retreat made by the Church from all its former positions in the Galileo case. The retreat of the Protestant theologians was not difficult. A little skilful warping of Scripture, a little skilful use of that time-honoured phrase, attributed to Cardinal Baronius, that the Bible is given to teach us, not how the heavens go, but how men go to heaven, and a free use of explosive rhetoric against the pursuing army of scientists, sufficed. But in the older Church it was far less easy. The retreat of the sacro-scientific army of Church apologists lasted through two centuries. In spite of all that has been said by these apologists, there no longer remains the shadow of a doubt that the papal infallibility was committed fully and irrevocably against the double revolution of the earth. As the documents of Galileo's trial now published show, Paul V, in 1616, pushed on with all his might the condemnation of Galileo and of the works of Copernicus and of all others teaching the motion of the earth around its own axis and around the sun. So, too, in the condemnation of Galileo in 1633, and in all the proceedings which led up to it and which followed it, Urban VIII was the central figure. Without his sanction no action could have been taken. True, the Pope did not formally sign the decree against the Copernican theory _then_; but this came later, In 1664 Alexander VII prefixed to the _Index_ containing the condemnations of the works of Copernicus and Galileo and "all books which affirm the motion of the earth" a papal bull signed by himself, binding the contents of the _Index_ upon the consciences of the faithful. This bull confirmed and approved in express terms, finally, decisively, and infallibly, the condemnation of "all books teaching the movement of the earth and the stability of the sun."[158] The position of the mother Church had been thus made especially difficult; and the first important move in retreat by the apologists was the statement that Galileo was condemned, not because he affirmed the motion of the earth, but because he supported it from Scripture. There was a slight appearance of truth in this. Undoubtedly, Galileo's letters to Castelli and the grand. duchess, in which he attempted to show that his astronomical doctrines were not opposed to Scripture, gave a new stir to religious bigotry. For a considerable time, then, this quibble served its purpose; even a hundred and fifty years after Galileo's condemnation it was renewed by the Protestant Mallet du Pan, in his wish to gain favour from the older Church. But nothing can be more absurd, in the light of the original documents recently brought out of the Vatican archives, than to make this contention now. The letters of Galileo to Castelli and the Grand-Duchess were not published until after the condemnation; and, although the Archbishop of Pisa had endeavoured to use them against him, they were but casually mentioned in 1616, and entirely left out of view in 1633. What was condemned in 1616 by the Sacred Congregation held in the presence of Pope Paul V, as "_absurd, false in theology, and heretical, because absolutely contrary to Holy Scripture_, "was the proposition that "_the sun is the centre about which the earth revolves_"; and what was condemned as "_absurd, false in philosophy, and from a theologic point of view, at least, opposed to the true faith_," was the proposition that "_the earth is not the centre of the universe and immovable, but has a diurnal motion_." And again, what Galileo was made, by express order of Pope Urban, and by the action of the Inquisition under threat of torture, to abjure in 1633, was "_the error and heresy of the movement of the earth_." What the _Index_ condemned under sanction of the bull issued by Alexander VII in 1664 was, "_all books teaching the movement of the earth and the stability of the sun_." What the _Index_, prefaced by papal bulls, infallibly binding its contents upon the consciences of the faithful, for nearly two hundred years steadily condemned was, "_all books which affirm the motion of the earth_." Not one of these condemnations was directed against Galileo "for reconciling his ideas with Scripture."[160] Having been dislodged from this point, the Church apologists sought cover under the statement that Galileo was condemned not for heresy, but for contumacy and want of respect toward the Pope. There was a slight chance, also, for this quibble: no doubt Urban VIII, one of the haughtiest of pontiffs, was induced by Galileo's enemies to think that he had been treated with some lack of proper etiquette: first, by Galileo's adhesion to his own doctrines after his condemnation in 1616; and, next, by his supposed reference in the _Dialogue_ of 1632 to the arguments which the Pope had used against him. But it would seem to be a very poor service rendered to the doctrine of papal infallibility to claim that a decision so immense in its consequences could be influenced by the personal resentment of the reigning pontiff. Again, as to the first point, the very language of the various sentences shows the folly of this assertion; for these sentences speak always of "heresy" and never of "contumacy." As to the last point, the display of the original documents settled that forever. They show Galileo from first to last as most submissive toward the Pope, and patient under the papal arguments and exactions. He had, indeed, expressed his anger at times against his traducers; but to hold this the cause of the judgment against him is to degrade the whole proceedings, and to convict Paul V, Urban VIII, Bellarmin, the other theologians, and the Inquisition, of direct falsehood, since they assigned entirely different reasons for their conduct. From this position, therefore, the assailants retreated.[161] The next rally was made about the statement that the persecution of Galileo was the result of a quarrel between Aristotelian professors on one side and professors favouring the experimental method on the other. But this position was attacked and carried by a very simple statement. If the divine guidance of the Church is such that it can be dragged into a professorial squabble, and made the tool of a faction in bringing about a most disastrous condemnation of a proved truth, how did the Church at that time differ from any human organization sunk into decrepitude, managed nominally by simpletons, but really by schemers? If that argument be true, the condition of the Church was even worse than its enemies have declared it; and amid the jeers of an unfeeling world the apologists sought new shelter. The next point at which a stand was made was the assertion that the condemnation of Galileo was "provisory"; but this proved a more treacherous shelter than the others. The wording of the decree of condemnation itself is a sufficient answer to this claim. When doctrines have been solemnly declared, as those of Galileo were solemnly declared under sanction of the highest authority in the Church, "contrary to the sacred Scriptures," "opposed to the true faith," and "false and absurd in theology and philosophy"--to say that such declarations are "provisory" is to say that the truth held by the Church is not immutable; from this, then, the apologists retreated.[161b] Still another contention was made, in some respects more curious than any other: it was, mainly, that Galileo "was no more a victim of Catholics than of Protestants; for they more than the Catholic theologians impelled the Pope to the action taken."[162] But if Protestantism could force the papal hand in a matter of this magnitude, involving vast questions of belief and far-reaching questions of policy, what becomes of "inerrancy"--of special protection and guidance of the papal authority in matters of faith? While this retreat from position to position was going on, there was a constant discharge of small-arms, in the shape of innuendoes, hints, and sophistries: every effort was made to blacken Galileo's private character: the irregularities of his early life were dragged forth, and stress was even laid upon breaches of etiquette; but this succeeded so poorly that even as far back as 1850 it was thought necessary to cover the retreat by some more careful strategy. This new strategy is instructive. The original documents of the Galileo trial had been brought during the Napoleonic conquests to Paris; but in 1846 they were returned to Rome by the French Government, on the express pledge by the papal authorities that they should be published. In 1850, after many delays on various pretexts, the long-expected publication appeared. The personage charged with presenting them to the world was Monsignor Marini. This ecclesiastic was of a kind which has too often afflicted both the Church and the world at large. Despite the solemn promise of the papal court, the wily Marini became the instrument of the Roman authorities in evading the promise. By suppressing a document here, and interpolating a statement there, he managed to give plausible standing-ground for nearly every important sophistry ever broached to save the infallibility of the Church and destroy the reputation of Galileo. He it was who supported the idea that Galileo was "condemned not for heresy, but for contumacy." The first effect of Monsignor Marini's book seemed useful in covering the retreat of the Church apologists. Aided by him, such vigorous writers as Ward were able to throw up temporary intrenchments between the Roman authorities and the indignation of the world. But some time later came an investigator very different from Monsignor Marini. This was a Frenchman, M. L'Epinois. Like Marini, L'Epinois was devoted to the Church; but, unlike Marini, he could not lie. Having obtained access in 1867 to the Galileo documents at the Vatican, he published several of the most important, without suppression or pious-fraudulent manipulation. This made all the intrenchments based upon Marini's statements untenable. Another retreat had to be made. And now came the most desperate effort of all. The apologetic army, reviving an idea which the popes and the Church had spurned for centuries, declared that the popes _as popes_ had never condemned the doctrines of Copernicus and Galileo; that they had condemned them as men simply; that therefore the Church had never been committed to them; that the condemnation was made by the cardinals of the inquisition and index; and that the Pope had evidently been restrained by interposition of Providence from signing their condemnation. Nothing could show the desperation of the retreating party better than jugglery like this. The fact is, that in the official account of the condemnation by Bellarmin, in 1616, he declares distinctly that he makes this condemnation "in the name of His Holiness the Pope."[163] Again, from Pope Urban downward, among the Church authorities of the seventeenth century the decision was always acknowledged to be made by the Pope and the Church. Urban VIII spoke of that of 1616 as made by Pope Paul V and the Church, and of that of 1633 as made by himself and the Church. Pope Alexander VII in 1664, in his bull _Speculatores_, solemnly sanctioned the condemnation of all books affirming the earth's movement.[163b] When Gassendi attempted to raise the point that the decision against Copernicus and Galileo was not sanctioned by the Church as such, an eminent theological authority, Father Lecazre, rector of the College of Dijon, publicly contradicted him, and declared that it "was not certain cardinals, but the supreme authority of the Church," that had condemned Galileo; and to this statement the Pope and other Church authorities gave consent either openly or by silence. When Descartes and others attempted to raise the same point, they were treated with contempt. Father Castelli, who had devoted himself to Galileo, and knew to his cost just what the condemnation meant and who made it, takes it for granted, in his letter to the papal authorities, that it was made by the Church. Cardinal Querenghi, in his letters; the ambassador Guicciardini, in his dispatches; Polacco, in his refutation; the historian Viviani, in his biography of Galileo--all writing under Church inspection and approval at the time, took the view that the Pope and the Church condemned Galileo, and this was never denied at Rome. The Inquisition itself, backed by the greatest theologian of the time (Bellarmin), took the same view. Not only does he declare that he makes the condemnation "in the name of His Holiness the Pope," but we have the Roman _Index_, containing the condemnation for nearly two hundred years, prefaced by a solemn bull of the reigning Pope binding this condemnation on the consciences of the whole Church, and declaring year after year that "all books which affirm the motion of the earth" are damnable. To attempt to face all this, added to the fact that Galileo was required to abjure "the heresy of the movement of the earth" by written order of the Pope, was soon seen to be impossible. Against the assertion that the Pope was not responsible we have all this mass of testimony, and the bull of Alexander VII in 1664.[164] This contention, then, was at last utterly given up by honest Catholics themselves. In 1870 a Roman Catholic clergy man in England, the Rev. Mr. Roberts, evidently thinking that the time had come to tell the truth, published a book entitled _The Pontifical Decrees against the Earth's Movement_, and in this exhibited the incontrovertible evidences that the papacy had committed itself and its infallibility fully against the movement of the earth. This Catholic clergyman showed from the original record that Pope Paul V, in 1616, had presided over the tribunal condemning the doctrine of the earth's movement, and ordering Galileo to give up the opinion. He showed that Pope Urban VIII, in 1633, pressed on, directed, and promulgated the final condemnation, making himself in all these ways responsible for it. And, finally, he showed that Pope Alexander VII, in 1664, by his bull--_Speculatores domus Israel_--attached to the _Index_, condemning "all books which affirm the motion of the earth," had absolutely pledged the papal infallibility against the earth's movement. He also confessed that under the rules laid down by the highest authorities in the Church, and especially by Sixtus V and Pius IX, there was no escape from this conclusion. Various theologians attempted to evade the force of the argument. Some, like Dr. Ward and Bouix, took refuge in verbal niceties; some, like Dr. Jeremiah Murphy, comforted themselves with declamation. The only result was, that in 1885 came another edition of the Rev. Mr. Roberts's work, even more cogent than the first; and, besides this, an essay by that eminent Catholic, St. George Mivart, acknowledging the Rev. Mr. Roberts's position to be impregnable, and declaring virtually that the Almighty allowed Pope and Church to fall into complete error regarding the Copernican theory, in order to teach them that science lies outside their province, and that the true priesthood of scientific truth rests with scientific investigators alone.[166] In spite, then, of all casuistry and special pleading, this sturdy honesty ended the controversy among Catholics themselves, so far as fair-minded men are concerned. In recalling it at this day there stand out from its later phases two efforts at compromise especially instructive, as showing the embarrassment of militant theology in the nineteenth century. The first of these was made by John Henry Newman in the days when he was hovering between the Anglican and Roman Churches. In one of his sermons before the University of Oxford he spoke as follows: "Scripture says that the sun moves and the earth is stationary, and science that the earth moves and the sun is comparatively at rest. How can we determine which of these opposite statements is the very truth till we know what motion is? If our idea of motion is but an accidental result of our present senses, neither proposition is true and both are true: neither true philosophically; both true for certain practical purposes in the system in which they are respectively found." In all anti-theological literature there is no utterance more hopelessly skeptical. And for what were the youth of Oxford led into such bottomless depths of disbelief as to any real existence of truth or any real foundation for it? Simply to save an outworn system of interpretation into which the gifted preacher happened to be born. The other utterance was suggested by De Bonald and developed in the _Dublin Review_, as is understood, by one of Newman's associates. This argument was nothing less than an attempt to retreat under the charge of deception against the Almighty himself. It is as follows: "But it may well be doubted whether the Church did retard the progress of scientific truth. What retarded it was the circumstance that God has thought fit to express many texts of Scripture in words which have every appearance of denying the earth's motion. But it is God who did this, not the Church; and, moreover, since he saw fit so to act as to retard the progress of scientific truth, it would be little to her discredit, even if it were true, that she had followed his example." This argument, like Mr. Gosse's famous attempt to reconcile geology to Genesis--by supposing that for some inscrutable purpose God deliberately deceived the thinking world by giving to the earth all the appearances of development through long periods of time, while really creating it in six days, each of an evening and a morning--seems only to have awakened the amazed pity of thinking men. This, like the argument of Newman, was a last desperate effort of Anglican and Roman divines to save something from the wreckage of dogmatic theology.[167] All these well-meaning defenders of the faith but wrought into the hearts of great numbers of thinking men the idea that there is a necessary antagonism between science and religion. Like the landsman who lashes himself to the anchor of the sinking ship, they simply attached Christianity by the strongest cords of logic which they could spin to these mistaken ideas in science, and, could they have had their way, the advance of knowledge would have ingulfed both together. On the other hand, what had science done for religion? Simply this: Copernicus, escaping persecution only by death; Giordano Bruno, burned alive as a monster of impiety; Galileo, imprisoned and humiliated as the worst of misbelievers; Kepler, accused of "throwing Christ's kingdom into confusion with his silly fancies"; Newton, bitterly attacked for "dethroning Providence," gave to religion stronger foundations and more ennobling conceptions. Under the old system, that princely astronomer, Alphonso of Castile, seeing the inadequacy of the Ptolemaic theory, yet knowing no other, startled Europe with the blasphemy that, if he had been present at creation, he could have suggested a better order of the heavenly bodies. Under the new system, Kepler, filled with a religious spirit, exclaimed, "I do think the thoughts of God." The difference in religious spirit between these two men marks the conquest made in this long struggle by Science for Religion.[168] Nothing is more unjust than to cast especial blame for all this resistance to science upon the Roman Church. The Protestant Church, though rarely able to be so severe, has been more blameworthy. The persecution of Galileo and his compeers by the older Church was mainly at the beginning of the seventeenth century; the persecution of Robertson Smith, and Winchell, and Woodrow, and Toy, and the young professors at Beyrout, by various Protestant authorities, was near the end of the nineteenth century. Those earlier persecutions by Catholicism were strictly in accordance with principles held at that time by all religionists, Catholic and Protestant, throughout the world; these later persecutions by Protestants were in defiance of principles which all Protestants to-day hold or pretend to hold, and none make louder claim to hold them than the very sects which persecuted these eminent Christian men of our day, men whose crime was that they were intelligent enough to accept the science of their time, and honest enough to acknowledge it. Most unjustly, then, would Protestantism taunt Catholicism for excluding knowledge of astronomical truths from European Catholic universities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while real knowledge of geological and biological and anthropological truth is denied or pitifully diluted in so many American Protestant colleges and universities in the nineteenth century. Nor has Protestantism the right to point with scorn to the Catholic _Index_, and to lay stress on the fact that nearly every really important book in the last three centuries has been forbidden by it, so long as young men in so many American Protestant universities and colleges are nursed with "ecclesiastical pap" rather than with real thought, and directed to the works of "solemnly constituted impostors," or to sundry "approved courses of reading," while they are studiously kept aloof from such leaders in modern thought as Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, Draper, and Lecky. It may indeed be justly claimed by Protestantism that some of the former strongholds of her bigotry have become liberalized; but, on the other hand, Catholicism can point to the fact that Pope Leo XIII, now happily reigning, has made a noble change as regards open dealing with documents. The days of Monsignor Marini, it may be hoped, are gone. The Vatican Library, with its masses of historical material, has been thrown open to Protestant and Catholic scholars alike, and this privilege has been freely used by men representing all shades of religious thought. As to the older errors, the whole civilized world was at fault, Protestant as well as Catholic. It was not the fault of religion; it was the fault of that short-sighted linking of theological dogmas to scriptural texts which, in utter defiance of the words and works of the Blessed Founder of Christianity, narrow-minded, loud-voiced men are ever prone to substitute for religion. Justly is it said by one of the most eminent among contemporary Anglican divines, that "it is because they have mistaken the dawn for a conflagration that theologians have so often been foes of light."[170] CHAPTER IV. FROM "SIGNS AND WONDERS" TO LAW IN THE HEAVENS. I. THE THEOLOGICAL VIEW. FEW things in the evolution of astronomy are more suggestive than the struggle between the theological and the scientific doctrine regarding comets--the passage from the conception of them as fire-balls flung by an angry God for the purpose of scaring a wicked world, to a recognition of them as natural in origin and obedient to law in movement. Hardly anything throws a more vivid light upon the danger of wresting texts of Scripture to preserve ideas which observation and thought have superseded, and upon the folly of arraying ecclesiastical power against scientific discovery.[171] Out of the ancient world had come a mass of beliefs regarding comets, meteors, and eclipses; all these were held to be signs displayed from heaven for the warning of mankind. Stars and meteors were generally thought to presage happy events, especially the births of gods, heroes, and great men. So firmly rooted was this idea that we constantly find among the ancient nations traditions of lights in the heavens preceding the birth of persons of note. The sacred books of India show that the births of Crishna and of Buddha were announced by such heavenly lights.[171b] The sacred books of China tell of similar appearances at the births of Yu, the founder of the first dynasty, and of the inspired sage, Lao-tse. According to the Jewish legends, a star appeared at the birth of Moses, and was seen by the Magi of Egpyt, who informed the king; and when Abraham was born an unusual star appeared in the east. The Greeks and Romans cherished similar traditions. A heavenly light accompanied the birth of AEsculapius, and the births of various Caesars were heralded in like manner.[172] The same conception entered into our Christian sacred books. Of all the legends which grew in such luxuriance and beauty about the cradle of Jesus of Nazareth, none appeals more directly to the highest poetic feeling than that given by one of the evangelists, in which a star, rising in the east, conducted the wise men to the manger where the Galilean peasant-child--the Hope of Mankind, the Light of the World--was lying in poverty and helplessness. Among the Mohammedans we have a curious example of the same tendency toward a kindly interpretation of stars and meteors, in the belief of certain Mohammedan teachers that meteoric showers are caused by good angels hurling missiles to drive evil angels out of the sky. Eclipses were regarded in a very different light, being supposed to express the distress of Nature at earthly calamities. The Greeks believed that darkness overshadowed the earth at the deaths of Prometheus, Atreus, Hercules, AEsculapius, and Alexander the Great. The Roman legends held that at the death of Romulus there was darkness for six hours. In the history of the Caesars occur portents of all three kinds; for at the death of Julius the earth was shrouded in darkness, the birth of Augustus was heralded by a star, and the downfall of Nero by a comet. So, too, in one of the Christian legends clustering about the crucifixion, darkness overspread the earth from the sixth to the ninth hour. Neither the silence regarding it of the only evangelist who claims to have been present, nor the fact that observers like Seneca and Pliny, who, though they carefully described much less striking occurrences of the same sort and in more remote regions, failed to note any such darkness even in Judea, have availed to shake faith in an account so true to the highest poetic instincts of humanity. This view of the relations between Nature and man continued among both Jews and Christians. According to Jewish tradition, darkness overspread the earth for three days when the books of the Law were profaned by translation into Greek. Tertullian thought an eclipse an evidence of God's wrath against unbelievers. Nor has this mode of thinking ceased in modern times. A similar claim was made at the execution of Charles I; and Increase Mather thought an eclipse in Massachusetts an evidence of the grief of Nature at the death of President Chauncey, of Harvard College. Archbishop Sandys expected eclipses to be the final tokens of woe at the destruction of the world, and traces of this feeling have come down to our own time. The quaint story of the Connecticut statesman who, when his associates in the General Assembly were alarmed by an eclipse of the sun, and thought it the beginning of the Day of Judgment, quietly ordered in candles, that he might in any case be found doing his duty, marks probably the last noteworthy appearance of the old belief in any civilized nation.[173] In these beliefs regarding meteors and eclipses there was little calculated to do harm by arousing that superstitious terror which is the worst breeding-bed of cruelty. Far otherwise was it with the belief regarding comets. During many centuries it gave rise to the direst superstition and fanaticism. The Chaldeans alone among the ancient peoples generally regarded comets without fear, and thought them bodies wandering as harmless as fishes in the sea; the Pythagoreans alone among philosophers seem to have had a vague idea of them as bodies returning at fixed periods of time; and in all antiquity, so far as is known, one man alone, Seneca, had the scientific instinct and prophetic inspiration to give this idea definite shape, and to declare that the time would come when comets would be found to move in accordance with natural law. Here and there a few strong men rose above the prevailing superstition. The Emperor Vespasian tried to laugh it down, and insisted that a certain comet in his time could not betoken his death, because it was hairy, and he bald; but such scoffing produced little permanent effect, and the prophecy of Seneca was soon forgotten. These and similar isolated utterances could not stand against the mass of opinion which upheld the doctrine that comets are "signs and wonders."[174] The belief that every comet is a ball of fire flung from the right hand of an angry God to warn the grovelling dwellers of earth was received into the early Church, transmitted through the Middle Ages to the Reformation period, and in its transmission was made all the more precious by supposed textual proofs from Scripture. The great fathers of the Church committed themselves unreservedly to it. In the third century Origen, perhaps the most influential of the earlier fathers of the universal Church in all questions between science and faith, insisted that comets indicate catastrophes and the downfall of empires and worlds. Bede, so justly revered by the English Church, declared in the eighth century. that "comets portend revolutions of kingdoms, pestilence, war, winds, or heat"; and John of Damascus, his eminent contemporary in the Eastern Church, took the same view. Rabanus Maurus, the great teacher of Europe in the ninth century, an authority throughout the Middle Ages, adopted Bede's opinion fully. St. Thomas Aquinas, the great light of the universal Church in the thirteenth century, whose works the Pope now reigning commends as the centre and source of all university instruction, accepted and handed down the same opinion. The sainted Albert the Great, the most noted genius of the medieval Church in natural science, received and developed this theory. These men and those who followed them founded upon scriptural texts and theological reasonings a system that for seventeen centuries defied every advance of thought.[175] The main evils thence arising were three: the paralysis of self-help, the arousing of fanaticism, and the strengthening of ecclesiastical and political tyranny. The first two of these evils--the paralysis of self-help and the arousing of fanaticism--are evident throughout all these ages. At the appearance of a comet we constantly see all Christendom, from pope to peasant, instead of striving to avert war by wise statesmanship, instead of striving to avert pestilence by observation and reason, instead of striving to avert famine by skilful economy, whining before fetiches, trying to bribe them to remove these signs of God's wrath, and planning to wreak this supposed wrath of God upon misbelievers. As to the third of these evils--the strengthening of ecclesiastical and civil despotism--examples appear on every side. It was natural that hierarchs and monarchs whose births were announced by stars, or whose deaths were announced by comets, should regard themselves as far above the common herd, and should be so regarded by mankind; passive obedience was thus strengthened, and the most monstrous assumptions of authority were considered simply as manifestations of the Divine will. Shakespeare makes Calphurnia say to Caesar: "When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes." Galeazzo, the tyrant of Milan, expressing satisfaction on his deathbed that his approaching end was of such importance as to be heralded by a comet, is but a type of many thus encouraged to prey upon mankind; and Charles V, one of the most powerful monarchs the world has known, abdicating under fear of the comet of 1556, taking refuge in the monastery of San Yuste, and giving up the best of his vast realms to such a scribbling bigot as Philip II, furnishes an example even more striking.[176] But for the retention of this belief there was a moral cause. Myriads of good men in the Christian Church down to a recent period saw in the appearance of comets not merely an exhibition of "signs in the heavens" foretold in Scripture, but also Divine warnings of vast value to humanity as incentives to repentance and improvement of life-warnings, indeed, so precious that they could not be spared without danger to the moral government of the world. And this belief in the portentous character of comets as an essential part of the Divine government, being, as it was thought, in full accord with Scripture, was made for centuries a source of terror to humanity. To say nothing of examples in the earlier periods, comets in the tenth century especially increased the distress of all Europe. In the middle of the eleventh century a comet was thought to accompany the death of Edward the Confessor and to presage the Norman conquest; the traveller in France to-day may see this belief as it was then wrought into the Bayeux tapestry.[177] Nearly every decade of years throughout the Middle Ages saw Europe plunged into alarm by appearances of this sort, but the culmination seems to have been reached in 1456. At that time the Turks, after a long effort, had made good their footing in Europe. A large statesmanship or generalship might have kept them out; but, while different religious factions were disputing over petty shades of dogma, they had advanced, had taken Constantinople, and were evidently securing their foothold. Now came the full bloom of this superstition. A comet appeared. The Pope of that period, Calixtus III, though a man of more than ordinary ability, was saturated with the ideas of his time. Alarmed at this monster, if we are to believe the contemporary historian, this infallible head of the Church solemnly "decreed several days of prayer for the averting of the wrath of God, that whatever calamity impended might be turned from the Christians and against the Turks." And, that all might join daily in this petition, there was then established that midday Angelus which has ever since called good Catholics to prayer against the powers of evil. Then, too, was incorporated into a litany the plea, "From the Turk and the comet, good Lord, deliver us." Never was papal intercession less effective; for the Turk has held Constantinople from that day to this, while the obstinate comet, being that now known under the name of Halley, has returned imperturbably at short periods ever since.[177b] But the superstition went still further. It became more and more incorporated into what was considered "scriptural science" and "sound learning." The encyclopedic summaries, in which the science of the Middle Ages and the Reformation period took form, furnish abundant proofs of this. Yet scientific observation was slowly undermining this structure. The inspired prophecy of Seneca had not been forgotten. Even as far back as the ninth century, in the midst of the sacred learning so abundant at the court of Charlemagne and his successors, we find a scholar protesting against the accepted doctrine. In the thirteenth century we have a mild question by Albert the Great as to the supposed influence of comets upon individuals; but the prevailing theological current was too strong, and he finally yielded to it in this as in so many other things. So, too, in the sixteenth century, we have Copernicus refusing to accept the usual theory, Paracelsus writing to Zwingli against it, and Julius Caesar Scaliger denouncing it as "ridiculous folly."[178] At first this scepticism only aroused the horror of theologians and increased the vigour of ecclesiastics; both asserted the theological theory of comets all the more strenuously as based on scriptural truth. During the sixteenth century France felt the influence of one of her greatest men on the side of this superstition. Jean Bodin, so far before his time in political theories, was only thoroughly abreast of it in religious theories: the same reverence for the mere letter of Scripture which made him so fatally powerful in supporting the witchcraft delusion, led him to support this theological theory of comets--but with a difference: he thought them the souls of men, wandering in space, bringing famine, pestilence, and war. Not less strong was the same superstition in England. Based upon mediaeval theology, it outlived the revival of learning. From a multitude of examples a few may be selected as typical. Early in the sixteenth century Polydore Virgil, an ecclesiastic of the unreformed Church, alludes, in his _English History_, to the presage of the death of the Emperor Constantine by a comet as to a simple matter of fact; and in his work on prodigies he pushes this superstition to its most extreme point, exhibiting comets as preceding almost every form of calamity. In 1532, just at the transition period from the old Church to the new, Cranmer, paving the way to his archbishopric, writes from Germany to Henry VIII, and says of the comet then visible: "What strange things these tokens do signify to come hereafter, God knoweth; for they do not lightly appear but against some great matter." Twenty years later Bishop Latimer, in an Advent sermon, speaks of eclipses, rings about the sun, and the like, as signs of the approaching end of the world.[179] In 1580, under Queen Elizabeth, there was set forth an "order of prayer to avert God's wrath from us, threatened by the late terrible earthquake, to be used in all parish churches." In connection with this there was also commended to the faithful "a godly admonition for the time present"; and among the things referred to as evidence of God's wrath are comets, eclipses, and falls of snow. This view held sway in the Church of England during Elizabeth's whole reign and far into the Stuart period: Strype, the ecclesiastical annalist, gives ample evidence of this, and among the more curious examples is the surmise that the comet of 1572 was a token of Divine wrath provoked by the St. Bartholomew massacre. As to the Stuart period, Archbishop Spottiswoode seems to have been active in carrying the superstition from the sixteenth century to the seventeenth, and Archbishop Bramhall cites Scripture in support of it. Rather curiously, while the diary of Archbishop Laud shows so much superstition regarding dreams as portents, it shows little or none regarding comets; but Bishop Jeremy Taylor, strong as he was, evidently favoured the usual view. John Howe, the eminent Nonconformist divine in the latter part of the century, seems to have regarded the comet superstition as almost a fundamental article of belief; he laments the total neglect of comets and portents generally, declaring that this neglect betokens want of reverence for the Ruler of the world; he expresses contempt for scientific inquiry regarding comets, insists that they may be natural bodies and yet supernatural portents, and ends by saying, "I conceive it very safe to suppose that some very considerable thing, either in the way of judgment or mercy, may ensue, according as the cry of persevering wickedness or of penitential prayer is more or less loud at that time."[180] The Reformed Church of Scotland supported the superstition just as strongly. John Knox saw in comets tokens of the wrath of Heaven; other authorities considered them "a warning to the king to extirpate the Papists"; and as late as 1680, after Halley had won his victory, comets were announced on high authority in the Scottish Church to be "prodigies of great judgment on these lands for our sins, for never was the Lord more provoked by a people." While such was the view of the clergy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the laity generally accepted it as a matter of course, Among the great leaders in literature there was at least general acquiescence in it. Both Shakespeare and Milton recognise it, whether they fully accept it or not. Shakespeare makes the Duke of Bedford, lamenting at the bier of Henry V, say: "Comets, importing change of time and states, Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky; And with them scourge the bad revolting stars, That have consented unto Henry's death." Milton, speaking of Satan preparing for combat, says: "On the other side, Incensed with indignation, Satan stood. Unterrified, and like a comet burned, That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge In the arctic sky, and from its horrid hair Shakes pestilence and war." We do indeed find that in some minds the discoveries of Tycho Brahe and Kepler begin to take effect, for, in 1621, Burton in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_ alludes to them as changing public opinion somewhat regarding comets; and, just hefore the middle of the century, Sir Thomas Browne expresses a doubt whether comets produce such terrible effects, "since it is found that many of them are above the moon."[181] Yet even as late as the last years of the seventeenth century we have English authors of much power battling for this supposed scriptural view and among the natural and typical results we find, in 1682, Ralph Thoresby, a Fellow of the Royal Society, terrified at the comet of that year, and writing in his diary the following passage: "Lord, fit us for whatever changes it may portend; for, though I am not ignorant that such meteors proceed from natural causes, yet are they frequently also the presages of imminent calamities." Interesting is it to note here that this was Halley's comet, and that Halley was at this very moment making those scientific studies upon it which were to free the civilized world forever from such terrors as distressed Thoresby. The belief in comets as warnings against sin was especially one of those held "always, everywhere, and by all," and by Eastern Christians as well as by Western. One of the most striking scenes in the history of the Eastern Church is that which took place at the condemnation of Nikon, the great Patriarch of Moscow. Turning toward his judges, he pointed to a comet then blazing in the sky, and said, "God's besom shall sweep you all away!" Of all countries in western Europe, it was in Germany and German Switzerland that this superstition took strongest hold. That same depth of religious feeling which produced in those countries the most terrible growth of witchcraft persecution, brought superstition to its highest development regarding comets. No country suffered more from it in the Middle Ages. At the Reformation Luther declared strongly in favour of it. In one of his Advent sermons he said, "The heathen write that the comet may arise from natural causes, but God creates not one that does not foretoken a sure calamity." Again he said, "Whatever moves in the heaven in an unusual way is certainly a sign of God's wrath." And sometimes, yielding to another phase of his belief, he declared them works of the devil, and declaimed against them as "harlot stars."[182] Melanchthon, too, in various letters refers to comets as heralds of Heaven's wrath, classing them, with evil conjunctions of the planets and abortive births, among the "signs" referred to in Scripture. Zwingli, boldest of the greater Reformers in shaking off traditional beliefs, could not shake off this, and insisted that the comet of 1531 betokened calamity. Arietus, a leading Protestant theologian, declared, "The heavens are given us not merely for our pleasure, but also as a warning of the wrath of God for the correction of our lives." Lavater insisted that comets are signs of death or calamity, and cited proofs from Scripture. Catholic and Protestant strove together for the glory of this doctrine. It was maintained with especial vigour by Fromundus, the eminent professor and Doctor of Theology at the Catholic University of Louvain, who so strongly opposed the Copernican system; at the beginning of the seventeenth century, even so gifted an astronomer as Kepler yielded somewhat to the belief; and near the end of that century Voigt declared that the comet of 1618 clearly presaged the downfall of the Turkish Empire, and he stigmatized as "atheists and Epicureans" all who did not believe comets to be God's warnings.[183] II. THEOLOGICAL EFFORTS TO CRUSH THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW. Out of this belief was developed a great series of efforts to maintain the theological view of comets, and to put down forever the scientific view. These efforts may be divided into two classes: those directed toward learned men and scholars, through the universities, and those directed toward the people at large, through the pulpits. As to the first of these, that learned men and scholars might be kept in the paths of "sacred science" and "sound learning," especial pains was taken to keep all knowledge of the scientific view of comets as far as possible from students in the universities. Even to the end of the seventeenth century the oath generally required of professors of astronomy over a large part of Europe prevented their teaching that comets are heavenly bodies obedient to law. Efforts just as earnest were made to fasten into students' minds the theological theory. Two or three examples out of many may serve as types. First of these may be named the teaching of Jacob Heerbrand, professor at the University of Tubingen, who in 1577 illustrated the moral value of comets by comparing the Almighty sending a comet, to the judge laying the executioner's sword on the table between himself and the criminal in a court of justice; and, again, to the father or schoolmaster displaying the rod before naughty children. A little later we have another churchman of great importance in that region, Schickhart, head pastor and superintendent at Goppingen, preaching and publishing a comet sermon, in which he denounces those who stare at such warnings of God without heeding them, and compares them to "calves gaping at a new barn door." Still later, at the end of the seventeenth century, we find Conrad Dieterich, director of studies at the University of Marburg, denouncing all scientific investigation of comets as impious, and insisting that they are only to be regarded as "signs and wonders."[184] The results of this ecclesiastical pressure upon science in the universities were painfully shown during generation after generation, as regards both professors and students; and examples may be given typical of its effects upon each of these two classes. The first of these is the case of Michael Maestlin. He was by birth a Swabian Protestant, was educated at Tubingen as a pupil of Apian, and, after a period of travel, was settled as deacon in the little parish of Backnang, when the comet of 1577 gave him an occasion to apply his astronomical studies. His minute and accurate observation of it is to this day one of the wonders of science. It seems almost impossible that so much could be accomplished by the naked eye. His observations agreed with those of Tycho Brahe, and won for Maestlin the professorship of astronomy in the University of Heidelberg. No man had so clearly proved the supralunar position of a comet, or shown so conclusively that its motion was not erratic, but regular. The young astronomer, though Apian's pupil, was an avowed Copernican and the destined master and friend of Kepler. Yet, in the treatise embodying his observations, he felt it necessary to save his reputation for orthodoxy by calling the comet a "new and horrible prodigy," and by giving a chapter of "conjectures on the signification of the present comet," in which he proves from history that this variety of comet betokens peace, but peace purchased by a bloody victory. That he really believed in this theological theory seems impossible; the very fact that his observations had settled the supralunar character and regular motion of comets proves this. It was a humiliation only to be compared to that of Osiander when he wrote his grovelling preface to the great book of Copernicus. Maestlin had his reward: when, a few years, later his old teacher, Apian, was driven from his chair at Tubingen for refusing to sign the _Lutheran Concord-Book_, Maestlin was elected to his place. Not less striking was the effect of this theological pressure upon the minds of students. Noteworthy as an example of this is the book of the Leipsic lawyer, Buttner. From no less than eighty-six biblical texts he proves the Almighty's purpose of using the heavenly bodies for the instruction of men as to future events, and then proceeds to frame exhaustive tables, from which, the time and place of the comet's first appearance being known, its signification can be deduced. This manual he gave forth as a triumph of religious science, under the name of the _Comet Hour-Book_.[185] The same devotion to the portent theory is found in the universities of Protestant Holland. Striking is it to see in the sixteenth century, after Tycho Brahe's discovery, the Dutch theologian, Gerard Vossius, Professor of Theology and Eloquence at Leyden, lending his great weight to the superstition. "The history of all times," he says, "shows comets to be the messengers of misfortune. It does not follow that they are endowed with intelligence, but that there is a deity who makes use of them to call the human race to repentance." Though familiar with the works of Tycho Brahe, he finds it "hard to believe" that all comets are ethereal, and adduces several historical examples of sublunary ones. Nor was this attempt to hold back university teaching to the old view of comets confined to Protestants. The Roman Church was, if possible, more strenuous in the same effort. A few examples will serve as types, representing the orthodox teaching at the great centres of Catholic theology. One of these is seen in Spain. The eminent jurist Torreblanca was recognised as a controlling authority in all the universities of Spain, and from these he swayed in the seventeenth century the thought of Catholic Europe, especially as to witchcraft and the occult powers in Nature. He lays down the old cometary superstition as one of the foundations of orthodox teaching: Begging the question, after the fashion of his time, he argues that comets can not be stars, because new stars always betoken good, while comets betoken evil. The same teaching was given in the Catholic universities of the Netherlands. Fromundus, at Louvain, the enemy of Galileo, steadily continued his crusade against all cometary heresy.[186] But a still more striking case is seen in Italy. The reverend Father Augustin de Angelis, rector of the Clementine College at Rome, as late as 1673, after the new cometary theory had been placed beyond reasonable doubt, and even while Newton was working out its final demonstration, published a third edition of his _Lectures on Meteorology_. It was dedicated to the Cardinal of Hesse, and bore the express sanction of the Master of the Sacred Palace at Rome and of the head of the religious order to which De Angelis belonged. This work deserves careful analysis, not only as representing the highest and most approved university teaching of the time at the centre of Roman Catholic Christendom, but still more because it represents that attempt to make a compromise between theology and science, or rather the attempt to confiscate science to the uses of theology, which we so constantly find whenever the triumph of science in any field has become inevitable. As to the scientific element in this compromise, De Angelis holds, in his general introduction regarding meteorology, that the main material cause of comets is "exhalation," and says, "If this exhalation is thick and sticky, it blazes into a comet." And again he returns to the same view, saying that "one form of exhalation is dense, hence easily inflammable and long retentive of fire, from which sort are especially generated comets." But it is in his third lecture that he takes up comets specially, and his discussion of them is extended through the fourth, fifth, and sixth lectures. Having given in detail the opinions of various theologians and philosophers, he declares his own in the form of two conclusions. The first of these is that "comets are not heavenly bodies, but originate in the earth's atmosphere below the moon; for everything heavenly is eternal and incorruptible, but comets have a beginning and ending--_ergo_, comets can not be heavenly bodies." This, we may observe, is levelled at the observations and reasonings of Tycho Brahe and Kepler, and is a very good illustration of the scholastic and mediaeval method--the method which blots out an ascertained fact by means of a metaphysical formula. His second conclusion is that "comets are of elemental and sublunary nature; for they are an exhalation hot and dry, fatty and well condensed, inflammable and kindled in the uppermost regions of the air." He then goes on to answer sundry objections to this mixture of metaphysics and science, and among other things declares that "the fatty, sticky material of a comet may be kindled from sparks falling from fiery heavenly bodies or from a thunderholt"; and, again, that the thick, fatty, sticky quality of the comet holds its tail in shape, and that, so far are comets from having their paths beyond the, moon's orbit, as Tycho Brahe and Kepler thought, he himself in 1618 saw "a bearded comet so near the summit of Vesuvius that it almost seemed to touch it." As to sorts and qualities of comets, he accepts Aristotle's view, and divides them into bearded and tailed.[187] He goes on into long disquisitions upon their colours, forms, and motions. Under this latter head he again plunges deep into a sea of metaphysical considerations, and does not reappear until he brings up his compromise in the opinion that their movement is as yet uncertain and not understood, but that, if we must account definitely for it, we must say that it is effected by angels especially assigned to this service by Divine Providence. But, while proposing this compromise between science and theology as to the origin and movement of comets, he will hear to none as regards their mission as "signs and wonders" and presages of evil. He draws up a careful table of these evils, arranging them in the following order. Drought, wind, earthquake, tempest, famine, pestilence, war, and, to clinch the matter, declares that the comet observed by him in 1618 brought not only war, famine, pestilence, and earthquake, but also a general volcanic eruption, "which would have destroyed Naples, had not the blood of the invincible martyr Januarius withstood it." It will be observed, even from this sketch, that, while the learned Father Augustin thus comes infallibly to the mediaeval conclusion, he does so very largely by scientific and essentially modern processes, giving unwonted prominence to observation, and at times twisting scientific observation into the strand with his metaphysics. The observations and methods of his science are sometimes shrewd, sometimes comical. Good examples of the latter sort are such as his observing that the comet stood very near the summit of Vesuvius, and his reasoning that its tail was kept in place by its stickiness. But observations and reasonings of this sort are always the first homage paid by theology to science as the end of their struggle approaches.[188] Equally striking is an example seen a little later in another part of Europe; and it is the more noteworthy because Halley and Newton had already fully established the modern scientific theory. Just at the close of the seventeenth century the Jesuit Reinzer, professor at Linz, put forth his _Meteorologia Philosophico-Politica_, in which all natural phenomena received both a physical and a moral interpretation. It was profusely and elaborately illustrated, and on account of its instructive contents was in 1712 translated into German for the unlearned reader. The comet receives, of course, great attention. "It appears," says Reinzer, "only then in the heavens when the latter punish the earth, and through it [the comet] not only predict but bring to pass all sorts of calamity.... And, to that end, its tail serves for a rod, its hair for weapons and arrows, its light for a threat, and its heat for a sign of anger and vengeance." Its warnings are threefold: (1) "Comets, generated in the air, betoken _naturally_ drought, wind, earthquake, famine, and pestilence." (2) "Comets can indirectly, in view of their material, betoken wars, tumults, and the death of princes; for, being hot and dry, they bring the moistnesses [_Feuchtigkeiten_] in the human body to an extraordinary heat and dryness, increasing the gall; and, since the emotions depend on the temperament and condition of the body, men are through this change driven to violent deeds, quarrels, disputes, and finally to arms: especially is this the result with princes, who are more delicate and also more arrogant than other men, and whose moistnesses are more liable to inflammation of this sort, inasmuch as they live in luxury and seldom restrain themselves from those things which in such a dry state of the heavens are especially injurious." (3) "All comets, whatever prophetic significance they may have naturally in and of themselves, are yet principally, according to the Divine pleasure, heralds of the death of great princes, of war, and of other such great calamities; and this is known and proved, first of all, from the words of Christ himself: `Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.'"[189] While such pains was taken to keep the more highly educated classes in the "paths of scriptural science and sound learning; at the universities, equal efforts were made to preserve the cometary orthodoxy of the people at large by means of the pulpits. Out of the mass of sermons for this purpose which were widely circulated I will select just two as typical, and they are worthy of careful study as showing some special dangers of applying theological methods to scientific facts. In the second half of the sixteenth century the recognised capital of orthodox Lutheranism was Magdeburg, and in the region tributary to this metropolis no Church official held a more prominent station than the "Superintendent," or Lutheran bishop, of the neighbouring Altmark. It was this dignitary, Andreas Celichius by name, who at Magdeburg, in 1578, gave to the press his _Theological Reminder of the New Comet_. After deprecating as blasphemous the attempt of Aristotle to explain the phenomenon otherwise than as a supernatural warning from God to sinful man, he assures his hearers that "whoever would know the comet's real source and nature must not merely gape and stare at the scientific theory that it is an earthy, greasy, tough, and sticky vapour and mist, rising into the upper air and set ablaze by the celestial heat." Far more important for them is it to know what this vaponr is. It is really, in the opinion of Celichius, nothing more or less than "the thick smoke of human sins, rising every day, every hour, every moment, full of stench and horror, before the face of God, and becoming gradually so thick as to form a comet, with curled and plaited tresses, which at last is kindled by the hot and fiery anger of the Supreme Heavenly Judge." He adds that it is probably only through the prayers and tears of Christ that this blazing monument of human depravity becomes visible to mortals. In support of this theory, he urges the "coming up before God" of the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah and of Nineveh, and especially the words of the prophet regarding Babylon, "Her stench and rottenness is come up before me." That the anger of God can produce the conflagration without any intervention of Nature is proved from the Psalms, "He sendeth out his word and melteth them." From the position of the comet, its course, and the direction of its tail he augurs especially the near approach of the judgment day, though it may also betoken, as usual, famine, pestilence, and war. "Yet even in these days," he mourns, "there are people reckless and giddy enough to pay no heed to such celestial warnings, and these even cite in their own defence the injunction of Jeremiah not to fear signs in the heavens." This idea he explodes, and shows that good and orthodox Christians, while not superstitious like the heathen, know well "that God is not bound to his creation and the ordinary course of Nature, but must often, especially in these last dregs of the world, resort to irregular means to display his anger at human guilt."[191] The other typical case occurred in the following century and in another part of Germany. Conrad Dieterich was, during the first half of the seventeenth century, a Lutheran ecclesiastic of the highest authority. His ability as a theologian had made him Archdeacon of Marburg, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Studies at the University of Giessen, and "Superintendent," or Lutheran bishop, in southwestern Germany. In the year 162O, on the second Sunday in Advent, in the great Cathedral of Ulm, he developed the orthodox doctrine of comets in a sermon, taking up the questions: 1. What are comets? 2. What do they indicate? 3. What have we to do with their significance? This sermon marks an epoch. Delivered in that stronghold of German Protestantism and by a prelate of the highest standing, it was immediately printed, prefaced by three laudatory poems from different men of note, and sent forth to drive back the scientific, or, as it was called, the "godless," view of comets. The preface shows that Dieterich was sincerely alarmed by the tendency to regard comets as natural appearances. His text was taken from the twenty-fifth verse of the twenty-first chapter of St. Luke: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring." As to what comets are, he cites a multitude of philosophers, and, finding that they differ among themselves, he uses a form of argument not uncommon from that day to this, declaring that this difference of opinion proves that there is no solution of the problem save in revelation, and insisting that comets are "signs especially sent by the Almighty to warn the earth." An additional proof of this he finds in the forms of comets. One, he says, took the form of a trumpet; another, of a spear; another of a goat; another, of a torch; another, of a sword; another, of an arrow; another, of a sabre; still another, of a bare arm. From these forms of comets he infers that we may divine their purpose. As to their creation, he quotes John of Damascus and other early Church authorities in behalf of the idea that each comet is a star newly created at the Divine command, out of nothing, and that it indicates the wrath of God. As to their purpose, having quoted largely from the Bible and from Luther, he winds up by insisting that, as God can make nothing in vain, comets must have some distinct object; then, from Isaiah and Joel among the prophets, from Matthew, Mark, and Luke among the evangelists, from Origen and John Chrysostom among the fathers, from Luther and Melanchthon among the Reformers, he draws various texts more or less conclusive to prove that comets indicate evil and only evil; and he cites Luther's Advent sermon to the effect that, though comets may arise in the course of Nature, they are still signs of evil to mankind. In answer to the theory of sundry naturalists that comets are made up of "a certain fiery, warm, sulphurous, saltpetery, sticky fog," he declaims: "Our sins, our sins: they are the fiery heated vapours, the thick, sticky, sulphurous clouds which rise from the earth toward heaven before God." Throughout the sermon Dieterich pours contempt over all men who simply investigate comets as natural objects, calls special attention to a comet then in the heavens resembling a long broom or bundle of rods, and declares that he and his hearers can only consider it rightly "when we see standing before us our Lord God in heaven as an angry father with a rod for his children." In answer to the question what comets signify, he commits himself entirely to the idea that they indicate the wrath of God, and therefore calamities of every sort. Page after page is filled with the records of evils following comets. Beginning with the creation of the world, he insists that the first comet brought on the deluge of Noah, and cites a mass of authorities, ranging from Moses and Isaiah to Albert the Great and Melanchthon, in support of the view that comets precede earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilences, and every form of evil. He makes some parade of astronomical knowledge as to the greatness of the sun and moon, but relapses soon into his old line of argument. Imploring his audience not to be led away from the well-established belief of Christendom and the principles of their fathers, he comes back to his old assertion, insists that "our sins are the inflammable material of which comets are made," and winds up with a most earnest appeal to the Almighty to spare his people.[193] Similar efforts from the pulpit were provoked by the great comet of 1680. Typical among these was the effort in Switzerland of Pastor Heinrich Erni, who, from the Cathedral of Zurich, sent a circular letter to the clergy of that region showing the connection of the eleventh and twelfth verses of the first chapter of Jeremiah with the comet, giving notice that at his suggestion the authorities had proclaimed a solemn fast, and exhorting the clergy to preach earnestly on the subject of this warning. Nor were the interpreters of the comet's message content with simple prose. At the appearance of the comet of 1618, Grasser and Gross, pastors and doctors of theology at Basle, put forth a collection of doggerel rhymes to fasten the orthodox theory into the minds of school-children and peasants. One of these may be translated: "I am a Rod in God's right hand threatening the German and foreign land." Others for a similar purpose taught: "Eight things there be a Comet brings, When it on high doth horrid range: Wind, Famine, Plague, and Death to Kings, War, Earthquakes, Floods, and Direful Change." Great ingenuity was shown in meeting the advance of science, in the universities and schools, with new texts of Scripture; and Stephen Spleiss, Rector of the Gymnasium at Schaffhausen, got great credit by teaching that in the vision of Jeremiah the "almond rod" was a tailed comet, and the "seething pot" a bearded one.[194] It can be easily understood that such authoritative utterances as that of Dieterich must have produced a great effect throughout Protestant Christendom; and in due time we see their working in New England. That same tendency to provincialism, which, save at rare intervals, has been the bane of Massachusetts thought from that day to this, appeared; and in 1664 we find Samuel Danforth arguing from the Bible that "comets are portentous signals of great and notable changes," and arguing from history that they "have been many times heralds of wrath to a secure and impenitent world." He cites especially the comet of 1652, which appeared just before Mr. Cotton's sickness and disappeared after his death. Morton also, in his _Memorial_ recording the death of John Putnam, alludes to the comet of 1662 as "a very signal testimony that God had then removed a bright star and a shining light out of the heaven of his Church here into celestial glory above." Again he speaks of another comet, insisting that "it was no fiery meteor caused by exhalation, but it was sent immediately by God to awaken the secure world," and goes on to show how in that year "it pleased God to smite the fruits of the earth--namely, the wheat in special--with blasting and mildew, whereby much of it was spoiled and became profitable for nothing, and much of it worth little, being light and empty. This was looked upon by the judicious and conscientious of the land as a speaking providence against the unthankfulness of many,... as also against voluptuousness and abuse of the good creatures of God by licentiousness in drinking and fashions in apparel, for the obtaining whereof a great part of the principal grain was oftentimes unnecessarily expended." But in 1680 a stronger than either of these seized upon the doctrine and wielded it with power. Increase Mather, so open always to ideas from Europe, and always so powerful for good or evil in the colonies, preached his sermon on "Heaven's Alarm to the World,... wherein is shown that fearful sights and signs in the heavens are the presages of great calamities at hand." The texts were taken from the book of Revelation: "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning, as it were a lamp," and "Behold, the third woe cometh quickly." In this, as in various other sermons, he supports the theological cometary theory fully. He insists that "we are fallen into the dregs of time," and that the day of judgment is evidently approaching. He explains away the words of Jeremiah--"Be not dismayed at signs in the heavens"--and shows that comets have been forerunners of nearly every form of evil. Having done full justice to evils thus presaged in scriptural times, he begins a similar display in modern history by citing blazing stars which foretold the invasions of Goths, Huns, Saracens, and Turks, and warns gainsayers by citing the example of Vespasian, who, after ridiculing a comet, soon died. The general shape and appearance of comets, he thinks, betoken their purpose, and he cites Tertullian to prove them "God's sharp razors on mankind, whereby he doth poll, and his scythe whereby he doth shear down multitudes of sinful creatures." At last, rising to a fearful height, he declares: "For the Lord hath fired his beacon in the heavens among the stars of God there; the fearful sight is not yet out of sight. The warning piece of heaven is going off. Now, then, if the Lord discharge his murdering pieces from on high, and men be found in their sins unfit for death, their blood shall be upon them." And again, in an agony of supplication, he cries out: "Do we see the sword blazing over us? Let it put us upon crying to God, that the judgment be diverted and not return upon us again so speedily.... Doth God threaten our very heavens? O pray unto him, that he would not take away stars and send comets to succeed them."[195] Two years later, in August, 1682, he followed this with another sermon on "The Latter Sign," "wherein is showed that the voice of God in signal providences, especially when repeated and iterated, ought to be hearkened unto." Here, too, of course, the comet comes in for a large share of attention. But his tone is less sure: even in the midst of all his arguments appears an evident misgiving. The thoughts of Newton in science and Bayle in philosophy were evidently tending to accomplish the prophecy of Seneca. Mather's alarm at this is clear. His natural tendency is to uphold the idea that a comet is simply a fire-ball flung from the hand of an avenging God at a guilty world, but he evidently feels obliged to yield something to the scientific spirit; hence, in the _Discourse concerning Comets_, published in 1683, he declares: "There are those who think that, inasmuch as comets may be supposed to proceed from natural causes, there is no speaking voice of Heaven in them beyond what is to be said of all other works of God. But certain it is that many things which may happen according to the course of Nature are portentous signs of Divine anger and prognostics of great evils hastening upon the world." He then notices the eclipse of August, 1672, and adds: "That year the college was eclipsed by the death of the learned president there, worthy Mr. Chauncey and two colonies--namely, Massachusetts and Plymouth--by the death of two governors, who died within a twelvemonth after.... Shall, then, such mighty works of God as comets are be insignificant things?"[196] III. THE INVASION OF SCEPTICISM. Vigorous as Mather's argument is, we see scepticism regarding "signs" continuing to invade the public mind; and, in spite of his threatenings, about twenty years after we find a remarkable evidence of this progress in the fact that this scepticism has seized upon no less a personage than that colossus of orthodoxy, his thrice illustrious son, Cotton Mather himself; and him we find, in 1726, despite the arguments of his father, declaring in his _Manuductio_: "Perhaps there may be some need for me to caution you against being dismayed at the signs of the heavens, or having any superstitious fancies upon eclipses and the like.... I am willing that you be apprehensive of nothing portentous in blazing stars. For my part, I know not whether all our worlds, and even the sun itself, may not fare the better for them."[197] Curiously enough, for this scientific scepticism in Cotton Mather there was a cause identical with that which had developed superstition in the mind of his father. The same provincial tendency to receive implicitly any new European fashion in thinking or speech wrought upon both, plunging one into superstition and drawing the other out of it. European thought, which New England followed, had at last broken away in great measure from the theological view of comets as signs and wonders. The germ of this emancipating influence was mainly in the great utterance of Seneca; and we find in nearly every century some evidence that this germ was still alive. This life became more and more evident after the Reformation period, even though theologians in every Church did their best to destroy it. The first series of attacks on the old theological doctrine were mainly founded in philosophic reasoning. As early as the first half of the sixteenth century we hear Julius Caesar Scaliger protesting against the cometary superstition as "ridiculous folly."[197b] Of more real importance was the treatise of Blaise de Vigenere, published at Paris in 1578. In this little book various statements regarding comets as signs of wrath or causes of evils are given, and then followed by a very gentle and quiet discussion, usually tending to develop that healthful scepticism which is the parent of investigation. A fair example of his mode of treating the subject is seen in his dealing with a bit of "sacred science." This was simply that "comets menace princes and kings with death because they live more delicately than other people; and, therefore, the air thickened and corrupted by a comet would be naturally more injurious to them than to common folk who live on coarser food." To this De Vigenere answers that there are very many persons who live on food as delicate as that enjoyed by princes and kings, and yet receive no harm from comets. He then goes on to show that many of the greatest monarchs in history have met death without any comet to herald it. In the same year thoughtful scepticism of a similar sort found an advocate in another part of Europe. Thomas Erastus, the learned and devout professor of medicine at Heidelberg, put forth a letter dealing in the plainest terms with the superstition. He argued especially that there could be no natural connection between the comet and pestilence, since the burning of an exhalation must tend to purify rather than to infect the air. In the following year the eloquent Hungarian divine Dudith published a letter in which the theological theory was handled even more shrewdly. for he argued that, if comets were caused by the sins of mortals, they would never be absent from the sky. But these utterances were for the time brushed aside by the theological leaders of thought as shallow or impious. In the seventeenth century able arguments against the superstition, on general grounds, began to be multiplied. In Holland, Balthasar Bekker opposed this, as he opposed the witchcraft delusion, on general philosophic grounds; and Lubienitzky wrote in a compromising spirit to prove that comets were as often followed by good as by evil events. In France, Pierre Petit, formerly geographer of Louis XIII, and an intimate friend of Descartes, addressed to the young Louis XIV a vehement protest against the superstition, basing his arguments not on astronomy, but on common sense. A very effective part of the little treatise was devoted to answering the authority of the fathers of the early Church. To do this, he simplv reminded his readers that St. Augustine and St. John Damascenus had also opposed the doctrine of the antipodes. The book did good service in France, and was translated in Germany a few years later.[199] All these were denounced as infidels and heretics, yet none the less did they set men at thinking, and prepare the way for a far greater genius; for toward the end of the same century the philosophic attack was taken up by Pierre Bayle, and in the whole series of philosophic champions he is chief. While professor at the University of Sedan he had observed the alarm caused by the comet of 1680, and he now brought all his reasoning powers to bear upon it. Thoughts deep and witty he poured out in volume after volume. Catholics and Protestants were alike scandalized. Catholic France spurned him, and Jurieu, the great Reformed divine, called his cometary views "atheism," and tried hard to have Protestant Holland condemn him. Though Bayle did not touch immediately the mass of mankind, he wrought with power upon men who gave themselves the trouble of thinking. It was indeed unfortunate for the Church that theologians, instead of taking the initiative in this matter, left it to Bayle; for, in tearing down the pretended scriptural doctrine of comets, he tore down much else: of all men in his time, no one so thoroughly prepared the way for Voltaire. Bayle's whole argument is rooted in the prophecy of Seneca. He declares: "Comets are bodies subject to the ordinary law of Nature, and not prodigies amenable to no law." He shows historically that there is no reason to regard comets as portents of earthly evils. As to the fact that such evils occur after the passage of comets across the sky, he compares the person believing that comets cause these evils to a woman looking out of a window into a Paris street and believing that the carriages pass because she looks out. As to the accomplishment of some predictions, he cites the shrewd saying of Henry IV, to the effect that "the public will remember one prediction that comes true better than all the rest that have proved false." Finally, he sums up by saying: "The more we study man, the more does it appear that pride is his ruling passion, and that he affects grandeur even in his misery. Mean and perishable creature that he is, he has been able to persuade men that he can not die without disturbing the whole course of Nature and obliging the heavens to put themselves to fresh expense. In order to light his funeral pomp. Foolish and ridiculous vanity! If we had a just idea of the universe, we should soon comprehend that the death or birth of a prince is too insignificant a matter to stir the heavens."[200] This great philosophic champion of right reason was followed by a literary champion hardly less famous; for Fontenelle now gave to the French theatre his play of _The Comet_, and a point of capital importance in France was made by rendering the army of ignorance ridiculous.[200b] Such was the line of philosophic and literary attack, as developed from Scaliger to Fontenelle. But beneath and in the midst of all of it, from first to last, giving firmness, strength, and new sources of vitality to it, was the steady development of scientific effort; and to the series of great men who patiently wrought and thought out the truth by scientific methods through all these centuries belong the honours of the victory. For generations men in various parts of the world had been making careful observations on these strange bodies. As far back as the time when Luther and Melanchthon and Zwingli were plunged into alarm by various comets from 1531 to 1539, Peter Apian kept his head sufficiently cool to make scientific notes of their paths through the heavens. A little later, when the great comet of 1556 scared popes, emperors, and reformers alike, such men as Fabricius at Vienna and Heller at Nuremberg quietly observed its path. In vain did men like Dieterich and Heerbrand and Celich from various parts of Germany denounce such observations and investigations as impious; they were steadily continued, and in 1577 came the first which led to the distinct foundation of the modern doctrine. In that year appeared a comet which again plunged Europe into alarm. In every European country this alarm was strong, but in Germany strongest of all. The churches were filled with terror-stricken multitudes. Celich preaching at Magdeburg was echoed by Heerbrand preaching at Tubingen, and both these from thousands of other pulpits, Catholic and Protestant, throughout Europe. In the midst of all this din and outcry a few men quietly but steadily observed the monster; and Tycho Brahe announced, as the result, that its path lay farther from the earth than the orbit of the moon. Another great astronomical genius, Kepler, confirmed this. This distinct beginning of the new doctrine was bitterly opposed by theologians; they denounced it as one of the evil results of that scientific meddling with the designs of Providence against which they had so long declaimed in pulpits and professors' chairs; they even brought forward some astronomers ambitious or wrong-headed enough to testify that Tycho and Kepler were in error[201] Nothing could be more natural than such opposition; for this simple announcement by Tycho Brahe began a new era. It shook the very foundation of cometary superstition. The Aristotelian view, developed by the theologians, was that what lies within the moon's orbit appertains to the earth and is essentially transitory and evil, while what lies beyond it belongs to the heavens and is permanent, regular, and pure. Tycho Brahe and Kepler, therefore, having by means of scientific observation and thought taken comets out of the category of meteors and appearances in the neighbourhood of the earth, and placed them among the heavenly bodies, dealt a blow at the very foundations of the theological argument, and gave a great impulse to the idea that comets are themselves heavenly bodies moving regularly and in obedience to law. IV. THEOLOGICAL EFFORTS AT COMPROMISE.--THE FINAL VICTORY OF SCIENCE. Attempts were now made to compromise. It was declared that, while some comets were doubtless supralunar, some must be sublunar. But this admission was no less fatal on another account. During many centuries the theory favoured by the Church had been, as we have seen, that the earth was surrounded by hollow spheres, concentric and transparent, forming a number of glassy strata incasing one another "like the different coatings of an onion," and that each of these in its movement about the earth carries one or more of the heavenly bodies. Some maintained that these spheres were crystal;


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