Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/596

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tine seemed inclined to yield a little in regard to the sphericity of the earth, but he fought the idea that men exist on the other side of it, saying that "Scripture speaks of no such descendants of Adam." He insists that men could not be allowed by the Almighty to live there, since if they did they could not see Christ at his second coming descending through the air. But his most cogent appeal, one which we find echoed from theologian to theologian during a thousand years afterward, is to the nineteenth Psalm, and to its confirmation in the Epistle to the Romans; to the words, "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." He dwells with great force on the fact that St. Paul based one of his most powerful arguments upon this declaration regarding the preachers of the gospel, declaring even more explicitly that "verily their sound went into all the earth, their words unto the ends of the world." Henceforth we find it constantly declared that, as those preachers did not go to the antipodes, no antipodes can exist; and therefore that the supporters of this geographical doctrine "give the lie direct to King David and to St. Paul, and therefore to the Holy Ghost." Augustine taught the whole world for over a thousand years that as there was no preaching of the gospel on the opposite side of the earth, there could be no human beings there.

The great authority of Augustine and the cogency of his scriptural argument held the Church, as a rule, firmly against the doctrine of the antipodes; yet that the doctrine continued to have life is shown by the fact that in the sixth century Procopius of Gaza attacks it with a tremendous argument. He declares that if there be men on the other side of the earth, Christ must have come to save them; and, therefore, that there must have been there, as necessary preliminaries to his coming, a duplicate Eden, Adam, Serpent, and Deluge.

Cosmas Indicopleustes also attacked the doctrine with especial bitterness, citing a passage from St. Luke to prove that antipodes are theologically impossible.

At the end of the sixth century comes a man from whom much might be expected—St. Isidore of Seville. He had pondered over ancient thought in science, and, as we have seen, had dared proclaim his belief in the sphericity of the earth; but with that he stopped. As to the antipodes, the authority of the Psalmist, St. Paul, and St. Augustine silences him; he shuns the whole question as unlawful, subjects reason to faith, and declares that men can not and ought not to exist on opposite sides of the earth.[1]

  1. For the opinions of Basil, Ambrose, and others, see Leeky, History of Rationalism in Europe, New York, 1812, vol. i, p. 279, note. Also Letronne, in Revue des Deux Mondes, March, 1834. For Lactantius, see citations already given. For St. Augustine's opinion, see the Civ. Dei, xvi, 9, where this great father of the Church shows that the existence of the