Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/425

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411
EDITOR'S TABLE.

teaching institution, it is prepared to do full justice to the claims of science, instead of making science bend to the requirements of a stereotyped creed. The reverend Principal Grant, of Kingston, Ontario, one of the chief speakers on the occasion in question, expressed himself as follows: "The people are beginning to care less and less for controversial divinity. . . . All colleges now profess to study the Bible scientifically, and the churches therefore must accept conclusions arrived at in accordance with canons of universal validity, or perish morally in the presence of the scientifically educated world. Science is marching on irresistibly because there is no sectarianism in science. There can be none, because reason is one." The Rev. Dr. Burwash, President of Victoria College (Methodist), which is also affiliated with Toronto University, spoke with equal boldness. "For my own part," he said, "I have long since ceased to lecture on polemical theology, and have adopted the historical methods of comparative theology, striving from the center of union of all our doctrines to work out into a more perfect grasp of truth than could ever be possible from within the Chinese wall of our own 'ism.' There are men who think that in religion the scientific spirit has no place, and that the dogmatic must reign supreme. . . . What is the scientific spirit? It is the simple, honest desire to get at the truth. It is the candid willingness to accept the truth wherever we find it, and no matter how it may cross our preconceived opinion. Has it come to this that our creeds are more precious than the truth, that we must shut our eyes lest the blazing light of the nineteenth century should reveal some imperfection in the form, or even in the matter, of our historic creeds?"

Principal Grant is a Presbyterian, Dr. Burwash is a Methodist, but both are on the highroad of modern thought; that is to say, both believe in the efficacy of the scientific method for the discovery of truth, and are prepared to accept whatever conclusions a right use of reason may establish. We must congratulate the Canadian public on the support they give to such men, and the liberty they allow them to speak out the best thought that is in them. It is needless to say that the fearless attitude of mind which these two college presidents display is the only safe one for religious teachers. Young men will give them their confidence and yield to their influence, if they see that they are dealing honestly with them, and trying to open their minds to the.truth, not to close them against the truth. There has been too much of the latter in times past, and indeed there is too much yet; but a better day is dawning in the educational world, and there is reason to hope that before very long the old strife between theology and science will have worn itself out. In that day science will be left free to discover truth in any and every field of investigation; while religion, inheriting all of value that theology ever possessed, will not only survive, but have its recognized and assured position, as the inextinguishable tendency of man's moral nature to worship the Source of all law, and to shelter itself in the belief in an Infinite Righteousness.


FOOD FOR THE GULLIBLE.

Thibet is a very distant and inaccessible country, and therefore we may expect very remarkable things to happen in it. It is, as we know, the classic land of occultism, the favorite habitat of mahatmas and the most convenient place from which to slide into the astral plane. There the enlightened ones read minds just as easily as we plodding Westerns the gigantic lettering on our dead walls, pick up knowledge of all kinds by a simple effort of volition, and not only profess a contempt for time and place but practically prove to the satisfaction of the well-disposed that, so far as they are con-