Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/239

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225
"COWARDLY AGNOSTICISM."

it. If such are the present fruits, what may not the harvest be when justice shall be done to this Science?”

Christian Science claims to be the Science of sciences; it takes up without hesitation the challenge, “The true science of mind-cure must explain all the phenomena of mental healing” and voluntarily lays itself under the further obligation to account for all mental and all supposed material phenomena whatever. It is this, and all of this, or it is nothing. Aut omnis, aut nullus, is the motto on its shield, is its word to humanity. Though the brow of divine Science is star-encircled, its feet are upon the earth, and health, harmony, and holiness are the gifts it brings to men.

 

"COWARDLY AGNOSTICISM."[1]

A WORD WITH PROF. HUXLEY.

By W. H. MALLOCK.

I WELCOME the discussion which, in this review and else-where, has been lately revived in earnest as to the issue between positive science and theology. I especially welcome Prof. Huxley's recent contribution to it, to which presently I propose to refer in detail. In that contribution—an article with the title "Agnosticism," which appeared a month or two since in "The Nineteenth Century"—I shall point out things which will probably startle the public, the author himself included, in case he cares to attend to them.

Before going further, however, let me ask and answer this question. If Prof. Huxley should tell us that he does not believe in God, why should we think the statement, as coming from him, worthy of an attention which we certainly should not give it if made by a person less distinguished than himself? The answer to this question is as follows: We should think Prof. Huxley's statement worth considering for two reasons: Firstly, he speaks as a man pre-eminently well acquainted with certain classes of facts. Secondly, he speaks as a man eminent, if not pre-eminent, for the vigor and honesty with which he has faced these facts, and drawn certain conclusions from them. Accordingly, when he sums up for us the main conclusions of science, he speaks not in his own name, but in the name of the physical universe, as modern science has thus far apprehended it; and similarly, when from these conclusions he reasons about religion, the bulk of the argu-

  1. The Bishop of Peterborough departed so far from his customary courtesy and self-respect as to speak of 'cowardly agnosticism.'"—Prof. Huxley, "Nineteenth Century," February, 1889, p. 170, and "Popular Science Monthly," April, 1889, p. 751.