Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/870

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intellect, even of the same order, may be able to mirror the whole past and the whole future; if the universe is peopled by a medium of such a nature that a magnetic needle on the earth answers to a commotion in the sun, an omnipresent agent is also conceivable; if our insignificant knowledge gives us some influence over events, practical omniscience may confer indefinably greater power." Thus the principle of scientific naturalism of this age "leads not to the denial of the existence of any supernature, but simply to the denial of the validity of the evidence adduced in favor of this or of that extant form of supernaturalism." The author here employs the words "supernature" and "supernaturalism" in their popular sense, but to him the term "Nature" covers the totality of what is. The world of psychical phenomena appears to him as much a part of Nature as the world of physical phenomena; and he is unable to perceive any reason for cutting the world into two halves, one natural and one supernatural. As all of the world's classics have been put to the test of scientific criticism and dissection, Prof. Huxley sees no reason why the Bible should escape the same treatment; and these essays, as our readers may recollect, discuss certain features of the biblical narrative from the point of view of scientific and experimental criticism. The author lays down a body of "established truths," which he specifies, to something like which theological speculations will have to accommodate themselves. These "truths" are irreconcilable with the biblical cosmogony, anthropology, and theodicy, but they are no less inconsistent with Voltairism and kindred systems. But Prof. Huxley is no enemy of the Bible. It appears to him that "if there is anybody more objectionable than the orthodox bibliolater it is the heterodox Philistine, who can discover in a literature which, in some respects has no superior, nothing but a subject for scoffing and an occasion for the display of his conceited ignorance of the debt he owes to former generations." Twenty-two years ago he pleaded for the use of the Bible as an instrument of popular education, but laid stress upon the necessity of placing the instruction in lay hands. He finds the further merit in the Bible that both Testaments "have been the great instigators of revolt against the worst forms of clerical and political despotism." While not believing that the highest biblical ideal is exclusive of others or needs no supplement, he does believe that "the human race is not yet, possibly may never be, in a position to dispense with it."

Christian Anthropology. By Rev. John Thein. With an Introduction by Prof. Charles G. Herbermann, Ph. D., LL. D. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benziger Brothers. Pp. 576.

The author of this work is pastor of St, Martin's Roman Catholic Church, Liverpool, Ohio. Prof. Herbermann sets forth in his introduction that "the Church has taught for ages that between the truths of revelation and the truths of science there can be no conflict. The Vatican Council has solemnly repeated this teaching. On the other hand, some men famed for scientific learning and some famed for unscientific bluster proclaim that between faith and science no reconciliation is possible. Educated Catholics may well ask, How are such assertions possible? Still, it is not hard to find the explanation. If we could ascertain at once what are the truths of science and what are the truths of revelation, their comparison would end the controversy. But what are the truths of science?" Inquiring, the professor finds not the truths, but scientific opinion of what they are, vacillating and not wholly agreed. On the other hand, "we look to the Church to tell us what are revealed truths. . . . When the Church has spoken, we know what revealed truth is. But there are hundreds of opinions on dogma and morals which the Church has neither approved nor condemned, and thousands of biblical texts the meaning of which she has not defined." As it is not easy to find the truths of science or of revelation in every case, it is difficult to compare them with one another. When doctrines seem to be in conflict, it is well to inquire whether they have been established as truths by the Church on the one side or by science on the other; and it is not necessary to be troubled about conflict till this has been made to appear. Nevertheless, there are apparent conflicts, and "some scientific oracles" are doing their best with them to assail the dogmas of the Church. While the priests are informed only respecting one side, "difficulties, arguments