Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/618

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
600
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

later Van de Velde found it utterly washed away; and that a few years later Palmer found there "a statue bearing a striking resemblance to an Arab woman with a child in her arms." Thus ended the last great demonstration thus far on the side of sacred science—the last retreating shot from the theological rear-guard.

It is but just to say that a very great share in the honor of the victory of science in this field is due to men trained as theologians. It would naturally be so, since few others have devoted themselves to direct labor in it; yet great honor is none the less due to such men as Reland, Mariti, Robinson, Smith, Schaff, Stanley, and Tristram.

They have rendered even a greater service to religion than to science, for they have made a beginning, at least, of doing away with that enforced belief in myths as history which has become a most serious danger to Christianity.

For the worst enemy of Christianity could wish nothing more than that its main leaders should prove or insist that it can not be adopted save by those who accept, as historical, statements which enlightened men throughout the world know to be mythical. The result of such a demonstration would only be more and more to make thinking people inside the church dissemblers, and thinking people outside, scoffers.

Far better is it to welcome the aid of science, in the conviction that all truth is one, and, in the light of this truth, to allow theology and science to work together in the steady evolution of religion and morality.

The revelations made by the sciences which most directly deal with the history of man all converge in the truth that during the earlier stages of this evolution moral and spiritual teachings must be inclosed in myth, legend, and parable. "The Master" felt this when he gave to the poor peasants about him—and so to the world—his simple and beautiful illustrations. In making this truth clear, science will give to religion far more than it will take away, for it will throw new life and light into all sacred literature.

 


 
The origin of the Malays is traced by Dr. B. Hagen to the highlands of west Sumatra, whence the peoples extended slowly eastward; the first movement being probably by the races that are now to be found only in the interior of the great islands. These "aborigines" of the islands crushed out a population already in possession, as remains of which the negritos may be taken. The Malays in the narrower sense occupying Sumatra, Malacca, and north Borneo, are to be regarded as the last emigration from this center, which occurred between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries a. d. Crosses and mixtures arose with the Indians and Chinese, who have been long in intercourse with the archipelago, and in less measure also with the Arabs. For this reason we must not expect to find the pure racial type, especially not in the coast population.