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prize it to the full extent of its value. Let us bring to the enquiry a large and generous spirit, suited to the glad tidings of the Gospel, the conscious security of the Church of God, and, above all, the example of Him, who admired the “lilies of the field.” Let us have the kind and joyful recognition of whatsoever things are true, and whatsoever things are lovely, and it will be found that the established facts of science, and the most brilliant discoveries in natural history, will only tend to make us join in the chorus of the Psalmist, when he beheld the boundless horizon of God's immeasurable glory, and gave vent to the irrepressible language of his heart,"O Lord, how manifold are Thy works. In wisdom hast Thou made them all. The earth is full of Thy riches.”
Wherever, and, whenever this minor admiration be refused, we may rest assured that in that mind narrowness of temper, or, policy, has been sinfully allowed to interfere with the genuine and nobler workings of the Spirit of Grace.
We should never forget that the testimony of the Scripture itself
goes to prove that the gross corruptions of God's ancient people were, in some degree, traceable to the fact that “they regarded not the Works of the Lord, nor the operat ons of His hands." They gave themselves up to sensuality, and degraded themselves* at a time when they ought to have been more than ordinarily sensible of the Divine goodness. And, although we freely admit that the study of Nature, of itself, cannot bind back the soul to its Almighty Maker, there is no doubt whatever that it has a wonderful influence in civilising, and refining the grosser elements of our mortal clay, while it begets an elevation of thought, which may prepare us to wait for the more valuable disclosures of that loving Father, who alone can satisfy the longings and yearnings of the heart. When we study Nature, with the lamp of Divine revelation in our hands, and the spirit of prayer in our hearts, we cannot go seriously astray. Nature, under such circumstances, never deceives us.
* Isaiah i.
It is only when men of half ignorance, and half conceit, presume to dogmatise on the unsolved problems of Creation that danger is likely to arise. The true student of physical science is always unassuming, because he is always conscious of the difficulties which surround him. Men like Faraday, and Newton, contrast favourably with La Place, and the ingenious speculators of his school. It is easy to understand how the natural bias of our fallen nature may receive additional impetus by unsanctified knowledge in the direction opposite to God. Mere knowledge “puffeth up." There is a glorious era yet in store for the renewed man, when the intellect, and the emotions, will be so evenly balanced that we shall not be in danger of giving too much thought, and too little feeling, to the contemplation of the works of God. Every true lover of Nature must, more or less, sympathise with the great Swedish Naturalist, when, bewildered, as it were, with excess of feeling, he went down on his knees and thanked God for having allowed him to see an English moor covered with broom in full blossom. * How many thousands, annually, are permitted to behold a similar sight without, perhaps, the faintest trace of gratitude, or, praise ? If men could only see the endless beauty and variety, which on every side surround them, they would find even in the despised weed, “ a body of Divinity,” which has no place in the dusty, and worm-eaten volumes of the Greek and Latin fathers ! Students of theology, whose minds are often diseased by over-study, would find an agreeable and instructive variety of labour, if they were, occasionally, to go forth, hammer in hand, and examine the silent stones of witness on some mountain range, or, wander among the wild flowers in quiet haunts, and there, "consider the lilies, how they grow "-or, better still, take up the scalpel, and trace out the exquisite arrangements of the wise Master Builder, in the fearfully, and wonderfully constructed framework of our earthly tabernacle. While
thus following the footprints of the Creator, they would meet, at every step, the purest pleasures. They would find “tongues in trees, sermons in stones, books in the running brooks, and good in everything.”
Happily, the day is gone by when an apology is necessary for the study of Natural Science in connection with Religion. The time was, however, when a reference even to the Bridgewater Treatise of Chalmers, was hardly safe before an audience of a certain exclusive caste of thought. It may not be out of place to mention, that there are persons still living in Scotland who can remember the attack that was directed by a certain section of the clergy against the introduction of winnowing machines. These worthy men professed to believe that the use of machinery in husbandry was contrary to the Divine judgment originally passed upon our fallen race. In consequence of this, the unhallowed soubriquet of “ Devil's windmills " was affixed to the new inventions, because they were supposed to be chiefly aimed at the abolition of the original decree, in favour of manual labour
pure and simple. The Author was in Edinburgh, when the controversy about Chloroform was carried on, by some of the clergy on the one hand, and the late Sir James Simpson on the other. From pulpit, platform, and press, arguments were brought to bear against this merciful anæsthetic, and its
alleged heretical advocate. In self-defence, the Professor undertook to justify his conduct. He met these clergymen on their own ground-the Bible—and the subsequent success of this almost Divine remedy has triumphantly vindicated the application of science, and refuted the crude absurdity of calling it “a godless innovation.”
To go further back, we come upon the somewhat similar misfortunes of poor Ambrose Pare, the medical Monk, who first suggested the use of ligatures in taking up an artery, instead of the old-fashioned, and barbarous, custom of the actual cautery, and boiling pitch! The leaders of religious opinion, falsely so called, would not hear of such an alteration, and, accordingly, Ambrose Pare had to experience the penalty attached to every one who ventures, without permission, to wander beyond the trodden path !
These are a few instances, out of many, of the narrowness of mind, and prejudice founded upon ignorance, which men, sometimes, exhibit when they attempt to resist the progress of true science, by calling its patrons by hard names, and heaping upon them shallow and injurious imputations. Such treatment renders the expression of opinion a somewhat dangerous, if not, an expensive luxury. How differently St. Paul acted. He stood aloof from all paltry hindrances. His eye was clear, and large, and single. He looked around him with the