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back to the fundamental cause of the difference of opinion. To argue about the Mosaic Hexaemeron with one who had no clear and definite idea of what the Christian means by " God created the world," would be as mistaken as to endeavour to prove the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the sacrament to one who does not acknowledge Christ as God and man.
NATURAL SCIENCE AND FAITH ARE NOT OPPOSED.
It was in consequence of an inconceivable misunderstanding of the real facts, that forty years ago a famous German thinker, Schleiermacher, wrote to a younger friend, the theologian Liicke, in the following terms: "Looking at the present state of natural science, which is becoming more and more an all-embracing cosmogony, what do you forbode in the future, not only for our theology, but for our evangelical Christianity? . . . I fear that we shall have to learn to give up many things which many are accustomed to think of as inseparably bound up with the essence of Christianity. I will not speak of the six days, but how long will the idea of the creation as it is usually believed hold out against the power of a cosmogony constructed from irrefragable scientific combinations? What is to happen then? As for me I shall not see that time, but shall have gone to my rest; but you, and the men of your age, what will you do ?"1
The words in which the spies sent by Moses into the promised land reported what they had seen have been quoted as a parallel to this timid speech. "Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great. . . . We be not
1 Theologuche Studien und Kritiken von Ullmann and Umbreit, 1829, p. 489.
able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land through which we have gone to search it is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come out of the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."1
Nevertheless the children of Israel conquered the land which God had given them for a possession, for God was with them. If we are sure that God is with us also, and that His Church is built on an immoveable rock, we need not fear lest her doctrine should not stand before the giants of natural science, and besides there need be no conflict between them; hitherto we have every reason to assume that theologians and men of science can exist peaceably beside one another. Natural science cannot call in question the theological view of the creation, about which Schleiermacher was apprehensive. Whatever may be the objections to the theological doctrines that the visible world is not from all eternity, and that it came into existence through the will of God, these objections, as I have shown in my last lecture, cannot proceed from natural science. Kurtz says with truth, "The man of science who imagines, or would persuade others, that the result of his scientific inquiries has been to make him disbelieve the Biblical account of creation, is deceiving himself.
1 Num. xiii. 28 seq. See Heng9tenberg!8 Ev. Kirchen u. Ztg. 1830, p. 394.
It is not his science which is in fault, but his philosophy." The astronomer Lalande says that he has searched the whole heaven but has not found God; but that is not the fault of astronomy. "Astronomy may observe the heavenly bodies and their separate phases and developments, and by this means may possibly be able to explain their origin and 'the successive stages through which they have passed till they reached their present state, but it will never venture to decide whether the primary matter and forces with which it starts are eternal or were created in time; whether the combination of this matter and these forces which formed the heavenly bodies was fortuitous, or if it was governed and guided by a higher personal will."1 No doubt the man of science is in great danger of losing sight of the first and highest cause in his examination and observation of secondary causes; just as the anatomist may be tempted to forget the soul in his examination of the organism of the human body. But if the man of science becomes a disbeliever in revelation, and the anatomist becomes a materialist, it is not their science which leads to this, but false speculations in other branches of knowledge; and their appeal to scientific conclusions to prove their philosophical errors is just as explicable, but also just as wrong, as the doubt which disbelievers in miracles and prophecy cast upon the authenticity and credibility of the Biblical books.
"If the attitude of science towards religion is indifferent, or even hostile," says Deutinger, "it is so, not because science and religion are incompatible, but
1 Bibel und Astronomic, pp. 12, 298.
because science has abandoned her own true principles, or has not yet recognised them. There is a great error involved in saying that the two cannot exist together. He who says, In order to know we must give up belief, in order to believe we must give up knowledge, has an equally erroneous idea of both belief and knowledge. If science contradicts religion, it is not owing to scientific accuracy, but to the want of it. It is not science which contends against religion, but ignorance, an unscientific spirit."1 This holds good of natural science. Our inquiries will show that we may believe not only the fact of creation, but everything which the Bible teaches concerning the creation and primaeval history, and this without ever controverting any of the assured results of natural science.
We may express this conviction the more confidently because we know by experience that it is possible to be a very thorough and zealous man of science, and also a believing Christian. Noble examples of this are not wanting either in ancient or modern times among Protestants and Catholics.*
The Franciscan Roger Bacon, in the 13 th century, one of the most eminent representatives of science in the Middle Ages, was at all events a faithful Christian, whatever we may think of his philosophical and theological system. His namesake in the 16th century, Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, is not quite so blameless; but natural science had not made him an unbeliever, as is clear from his well-known saying that a superficial
1 Renan und das Wunder, pp. 53, 54.
* Cf. Hettinger, Apologie, i. 1, p. 202. Berger, fiTaturvristenschaft, Glaube, Schule. Frankf. 1864.