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using the term theology' às synonymous with religion,' 1 and that, whether we seek, with the theologians, to discover the will of God in the book of his word, or, with the men of science, in the book of his works (volumen operum Dei), I submit that there cannot be any ultimate conflict of real results. For, however numerous may be systems of theology, we can only believe in one Divine Will ; and, however we may define our idea of the dominion of Deity on earth, whether by the theological phrase, · Arbitrary Supernatural Will,' or by the scientific term, 'Invariable Natural Law,' ? if the teachings of theology and science be found in opposition, there must be human error on the one side or the other.
Science, then, it will be observed, is founded upon enquiry, whilst theology is founded upon authority. Science takes for its basis human experience. Theology certain principles, accepted as supernaturally revealed, and which it must therefore be impious to question. In the one, it is the spirit of doubt; in the other, the
1 Theology is not Religion itself; it is men's thoughts about Religion. There is but one Religion, though many Theologies.' Theodore Parker, Discourse on Matters pertaining to Religion, chap, iv., ' Idea of Religion.'
Theology and Religion are two wholly different things. Religion may exist without a theology at all.'—Morell's Hist. of Speculative Philosophy, vol. i. Appendix. · Theology strictly (or as used in the text) is the deductive or logical exposition of Religion (regarding Religion as embraced by revelation), so far as it admits of such an exposition.— Theology,' Penny Cyclopædia.
Theology probably bears a somewhat similar relation to Religion that Astrology bore to Astronomy, and Alchemy to Chemistry.
· Note C, p. 51.
spirit of belief, that is the animating principle. Theology regarding belief as a virtue, whereas science encourages doubt, or scepticism, as an invaluable intellectual quality, or mental attitude, that compels the mind to withhold belief until it is satisfied with proof. Theology being founded on belief, gives us faith. Science, being founded.on enquiry, gives us knowledge; a distinction not without a difference--for,' says the logical Chillingworth, faith is not knowledge, no more than three is four .... for he that knows, believes, and something more; but he that believes many times doth not know ; nay, if he doth barely and merely believe, he doth never know.'2 In Science, originality is the parent of discovery, and therefore a merit; in Theology it is the parent of heresy, and therefore a reproach.3 · The abstract distinctions I have been pointing out will be more clearly apprehended by means of the two following illustrations :
The Natural Law, or the Supernatural Will, whichever, it be, that regulates or causes changes in the weather, has not as yet been sufficiently studied to állow our knowledge of such changes being reduced to scientific treatment. The theological theory attributes them to the arbitrary inscrútable will of the Deity. It is not possible, therefore, for the agriculturist to arrange his operations of seed sowing, manuring, or rotation of crops, so as to be at all certain that these shall, in their future growth, become influenced by such an amount of rain and sunshine as he may know by experience are necessary for their mature development. His forecast of the weather may prove utterly fallacious, and his crops be in danger of perishing, for lack or superabundance of those essential agents, heat and moisture. The theory being theological, the only remedy to be resorted to is theological also; and the state of the weather being believed to depend upon the arbitrary will of the Deity, prayer is offered up to induce the Almighty to alter or dispose his will in accordance with the farmer's necessities, so that we may receive the fruits of the earth in due season ; ' and it is probably within the personal experience of some of you to have heard such prayers uttered with earnest devotion in your several churches.'1
: 1.Men who desire to learn,' said Aristotle, 'must first learn to doubt; for science is only the solution of doubts.' . ... 'In every case science welcomes scrutiny and scepticism.' (G. H. Lewes's Aristotle, pp. 38, 40.) "The truth is, we intend and propose the art of doubting properly.' Nos vero non acatalepsiam, sed eucatalepsiam meditamur et proponimus.'--Nov. Org., lib. i., aph. 126.
2 Chillingworth's Religion of Protestants, &c., chap. vi. vol. ii. p. 316, ed. Oxford, 1838, Chillingworth's Works.' See also on this distinction J. S. Mill's Exam. of Sir W. Hamilton's Philosophy, chap. v., 'Belief without Knowledge.'
3 Antiquity is a mark of truth, and novelty is a mark of error in religion.'--Harold Browne's (Bishop of Ely) Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, p. 177, 3rd ed., where the context shows that by Religion is meant Theology.
Now the scientific theory considers that the weather, like other natural phenomena, is really regulated, not by arbitrary inscrutable will, but by invariable, discoverable law,2 and that our present ignorance upon the subject must, sooner or later, be dissipated by the dis
i Note D., p. 59. 2 Leslie's Natural Philosophy, p. 405 ; Dr. Whewell's Bridgewater Treatise ; Snow Harris, Brit. Assoc. Rep. for 1844, p. 241.
covery of such law; and that, when our knowledge of the weather has thus come to be a portion of scientific knowledge, science will be able to guide and protect the agriculturist, in reference to the future state of the weather, with as much certainty as it now guides and protects the mariner, in reference to the future depth of the water, which will be found at a given time, in the port for which his vessel may be bound.
How science is enabled to do this shall be the subject of my second illustration.
Sir Isaac Newton discovered that all the various portions of matter, of which the mind can acquire knowledge, are imbued with the power of attracting one another ;1 and this power has now been so extensively verified, as to be susceptible of the following precise expression—viz. “Every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force directly proportioned to the mass of the attracting particle, and inversely to the square of the distance between them.'? The size of the earth has been ascer
· Newton's Principia, book i. pro. 17, 75. The argument in this immortal work proceeds by showing first the apparently provisional character of the law of gravitation from a superficial consideration of the lunar orbit (as a circle described with an average mean velocity), and then elevating it to the rank of a general and primordial relation by proving its applicability to the state of existing nature in all its circumstances.--Newton's Principia, by Lord Brougham ; Dissertations to Paley's Natural Theology, vol. ii.; Sir J. Herschel's Astronomy (446), 3rd ed., 1850. · 2 Sir J. Herschel's Astronomy (445).
‘Every doubt which has been raised with regard to the universality and accuracy of the law of gravitation has ended in confirming the rule.'-Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, vol. i. p. 257, 2nd ed., · Establishment of Universal Gravitation.'.
tained by science. The mass and distance of our moon have, by like means, been measured, and the scientific application to these bodies of Newton's great law has shown, that the rising and falling of the water at the mouths of rivers and along sea coasts, so familiarly known to you as the tides, are mainly owing to the attraction exerted by the moon on the earth's surface, whereby the fluid water is drawn away from those parts which lie at the greatest distance from the moon's influence, and is drawn up, in a heap as it were, on those parts which lie vertically under, or nearest to, the moon, forming thereby respectively high and low tides. But science has also succeeded in measuring the enormous relative size of our sun, and its immense relative distance from the earth, and has thus been able to ascertain precisely the amount of attraction which the sun exerts upon the earth's surface; and science, having also calculated the respective motions of the earth and moon, can foretell
i Centripetal tides. The link between celestial and terrestrial physics ;' the celestial explanation of a great terrestrial phenomenon.' On this interesting subject of 'The Tides,' see Elements of Physics, by Neil Arnott, M.D., F.R.S., 6th ed., 1865, Longmans, vol. i.; On Astronomy, The Tides (1309); Sir. J. Herschel's Astronomy (752), p. 497, 3rd ed.; and article “Waves and Tides' (Prof. Airy), Penny Cyclopædia; and Mrs. Somerville's Connexion of the Physical Sciences, sec. xiii.
Sir W. R. Grove, in his admirable Discourse on Continuity (Longmans, 1867), has ventured upon a prediction to the effect that Saturn's ring may eventually be the means of our discovering how our solar system developed itself. I will venture upon an analogous assertion, viz., That a generally diffused knowledge of the causes of the tides, not simply as fact, but as the philosophy of fact, would in itself be sufficient to banish superstition from the face of educated society.