Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/629

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NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

Both the scientific and theological world remained silent; there was nothing more to be said.

This being the case, Mr. Gladstone's wonderful fabric of coincidences between the "great fourfold division" in Genesis and the facts ascertained by geology fell of themselves. Professor Huxley's blow had shattered the central proposition—the key-stone of the supporting arch—and the last great fortress of the opponents of unfettered scientific investigation was in ruins.

But, in opposition to this attempt by a layman, we may put a noble utterance by a clergyman who has probably done more to save what is essential in Christianity among English-speaking people than any other ecclesiastic of his time. The late Dean of Westminster, Dr. Arthur Stanley, was widely known and beloved on both continents. In his memorial sermon after the funeral of Sir Charles Lyell he said: "It is now clear to diligent students of the Bible that the first and second chapters of Genesis contain two narratives of the creation side by side, differing from each other in almost every particular of time and place and order. It is well known that, when the science of geology first arose, it was involved in endless schemes of attempted reconciliation with the letter of Scripture. There was, there are perhaps still, two modes of reconciliation of Scripture and science, which have been each in their day attempted, and each has totally and deservedly failed. One is the endeavor to wrest the words of the Bible from their natural meaning and force it to speak the language of science." And again, speaking of the earliest known example, which was the interpolation of the word "not" in Leviticus xi, 6, he continues: "This is the earliest instance of the falsification of Scripture to meet the demands of science; and it has been followed in later times by the various efforts which have been made to twist the earlier chapters of the book of Genesis into apparent agreement with the last results of geology—representing days not to be days, morning and evening not to be morning and evening, the Deluge not to be the Deluge, and the ark not to be the ark."

After a statement like this we may fitly ask: Which is the more likely to strengthen Christianity for its work in the twentieth century which we are now about to enter—a large, manly, honest, fearless utterance like this of Arthur Stanley, or hair-splitting efforts, bearing in their every line the germs of failure, like that made by Mr. Gladstone?

The world is finding that the scientific revelation of creation is ever more and more in accordance with worthy conceptions of that great Power working in and through the universe. More and more it is seen that inspiration has never ceased, and that its prophets and priests are not those who work to fit the letter of its older literature to the needs of dogmas and sects, but those who patiently,