תמונות בעמוד

every instance of apparent discrepancy between Scripture and Science shall have met with an explanation. It requires only, that so many instances of the successful removal of difficulties, which at one time appeared to be insurmountable, should be adduced, as to assure the mind under new perplexities, that there is every reason to believe that in time these also will vanish. The primary object of the treatise is, not to solve present difficulties, but to create confidence in the mind, while in perplexity regarding them, that all will in the end be right, and that the harmony of Scripture and Science cannot really be broken, though it may for a time seem to be disturbed. In point of fact, however, I know of no alleged or apparent discrepancy between Scripture and Science which cannot be met by a decisive or at least satisfactory answer. The chief examples I have brought together in the following pages, and have made them the groundwork of my argument. Had I known of any existing unanswered difficulty, I should now have brought it forward as an illustration of the use of my principle. If, for example, the sweeping announcement of M. Bunsen and Mr. Leonard Horner, that the age of the human many

thousands of years older than the Scripture narrative makes it, or the same from the pen

of Sir Charles Lyell, in his work on the Antiquity of Man, or the hypothesis that the descent of the human race is not to be reckoned from Adam, but, as Mr. Darwin and Professor Huxley conjecture, from some primitive monad, the progenitor of all plants and animals, could not yet be met, I should have produced it,—not, as in the present edition, doing homage

race is

to my argument, but as an example of the principle I have set forth, that we should wait, fortified by the experience of the past, and by an immovable belief in the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and feel assured that time would turn objections into proofs, and discrepancy into harmony.

The result, therefore, of my treatise, beyond its direct object to inspire confidence for the future, brings out this,—that, notwithstanding the assertions of certain writers, nothing has been produced and established which is really contradictory to the statements of Holy. Scripture. Guesses and crude speculations have been substituted for facts, and what has been in these instances called Science is not worthy of the name. Deeply conscious of the goodness and truth of our cause, we can afford to smile at, and forgive, such rough and unpolished shafts as the following, aimed at us, who maintain and defend the integrity and inspiration of God's Holy Word :

—Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules. ...

Orthodoxy is the Bourbon of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget. . Philosophers may, now and then, be stirred to momentary wrath by the unnecessary obstacles with which the ignorant, or the malicious, encumber, if they cannot bar, the difficult path [of the progress of discovery].'

We are convinced indeed, that, in the annals of Science, there is no class which stands more prominently forward in supplying leaders of scientific thought and of scientific discovery, than the defenders of the Sacred Volume, against whom these bitter words are uttered. We cannot, however, with the same composure, overlook and forget the ignorance and irreverence which shock our ears by representing any part of the Holy Scriptures as merely “the imaginations current among the rude inhabitants of Palestine.

We pity from our hearts the men who regard what they call the cosmogony of the semi-barbarous Hebrew,' as 'the incubus of the philosopher and the opprobrium of the orthodox ;'* for they deeply injure their own minds by holding such views, help to bewilder and mislead the young and the enquiring by throwing among them these sentiments broad-cast in their writings; and they cut themselves off from enjoyments, intellectual and spiritual, of which we would see them participate as well as ourselves.

These quotations are from a book published in 1870.





THE Book of Nature and the Word of God emanate from the same infallible Author, and therefore cannot be at variance. But man is a fallible interpreter ; and by mistaking one or both of these Divine Records, he forces them too often into unnatural conflict.

Reason, when combined with a humble mind and a patient spirit, is man's highest endowment. By it he can scale the heavens, and unravel the mysterious ties which unite matter to matter in all its combinations; and can trace the secret and silent operation of its laws. Thus furnished, he can weigh and appreciate the claims of truth, as revealed from heaven or produced from the evolutions of the human mind; and can reject the evil and choose the good. But, , deprived of these valuable accessories, this noble gift is converted into a snare, and too often hurries him to conclusions from which he is afterwards compelled to retrace his steps.

It is my intention to bring together in this First Part of my treatise a number of Examples, gathered from the history of Science, which show how needless are the fears entertained at the present day by many excellent persons in their holy jealousy for the Sacred Volume, in which their highest hopes are centred ; as it has already, in so many instances, triumphantly emerged from conflicts, as severe as any in which it may now or hereafter be engaged.

In some instances, positive errors in the interpretation of the phenomena of nature, and in others ignorance of the facts of nature, have led to the imposing upon Scripture a meaning, which the correction of these errors on the one hand, and the

iscovery of new facts on the other, have proved to be false. As true Science has advanced, Scripture, so' far as it touches upon natural phenomena, has received new illustrations. False interpretations have been detected and corrected. The language of Scripture has been found to be in no case opposed to truth. It in no case stoops to the errors and prejudices of men, even in things natural, although it adopts the language of men and its usages. It speaks on such matters as man would speak to man in every-day life, in the times of greatest scientific light. It selects no particular epoch of discovery for the choice of its phraseology; but it speaks, as the most scientific amongst us speak, in the ordinary intercourse of life, in conformity with the usages of language-namely, according to appearances.

The Examples, above referred to, I shall class under three heads. The first class arose from the progress of discovery sweeping away long-standing notions regarding the nature of the canopy above us, the existence of antipodes, and the form and stability of the earth. As Science put these things in their


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