Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/757
SCIENCE FROM THE PULPIT.
from the pulpit. If the young student of theology has had a rigid scientific training, it will prove of great advantage to him in the future. Leading minds in the Church recognize that, if the materialism arising from the spread of scientific ideas, received at second hand and fondled until they have deadened religious faith, is to be combated successfully, it must be attacked by men who are not mere superficial readers, who get up their knowledge of science as they would the history of the Reformation. There is a type of character at the present day which is seen in almost every community. The men constituting it, with the most superficial knowledge of science, have their own views upon the causes of natural phenomena. They believe in animal magnetism—in the connection of electricity with every thing that fails to be explained by any other agent. They speculate upon the constitution of suns and comets. Said one of this class to the writer lately: "Do you believe that the sun is heat? You are wrong if you do. I believe that it is electricity." The minister must deal with this type, with sound knowledge. An omnivorous reader, a village wiseacre in science, may easily have, in these days, a little sect of his own in a community. The minister, therefore, cannot ignore science, if he would reach all hearts. Yet an illogical and incomplete treatment of Nature's laws, and wrong deductions and false applications, will be quickly criticised by men who, however much they like to have hypotheses of their own, are harsh and critical to those of their minister.
Let us see what the training is which is to enable our young divinity students to successfully combat the modern scientific materialism. We shall take the catalogues of four leading divinity schools—the schools at Andover, Harvard University, Yale, and Princeton:
At Andover, the junior year is devoted to the study of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, systematic theology, homiletics, church history, and elocution; the middle year is devoted to systematic theology, the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, church history, and elocution; the senior year is devoted to church history, homiletics, Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, pastoral theology, and elocution.
In addition to the regular course of instruction, special courses of lectures are delivered by eminent clergymen on foreign missions, home missions, and Congregationalism.
At the Harvard Divinity School the course consists of the following:
Hebrew Language; principles of criticism and interpretation; the literature, canon, and exegesis of the Old and New Testaments; biblical archaeology and geography; natural religion, and the evidences of revealed religion; the philosophy of religion; systematic theology; philosophical and Christian ethics; the ethnic religions, and the creeds of Christendom; ecclesiastical history, and the history of Christian doctrine; church polity and administration.