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"the general subject of the Lectures, I desire to be:

"The relation of the Bible to any of the Science*, as Geography, Geology, History, and Ethnology, the ■vindication of the inspiration and authenticity of the Bible, against attacks made on scientific grounds, and the relation of the facts and truths contained in the Word of God, to the principles, methods and aims of any of the Sciencea

"Upon one or more of these topics a course of ten public Lectures shall be given at least once in two or three years, by a Lecturer, ordinarily to be chosen two years in advance of the time for delivering of the Lectures.

"The appointment of the Lecturer shall be by the concurrent action of the Founder of the Lectureship, during his life, the Board of Directors, and the faculty of said Seminary.


"The funds shall be securely invested, and the interest of the same shall be devoted to the payment of the Lecturer, and to the publication of the Lectures within a year after the delivery of the same.

"The copyright of the Lectures shall be vested in the Seminary."

(Signed) Samuel F. B. Mouse.


The aim of the present volume is to indicate the measure of harmony traceable between recent advances in sciehce7 and the fundamental characteristics of religious thought, and the extent to which harmony is possible. This attempt has been made in the hope of contributing towards a better understanding of the relative positions of scientists and theologians, thereby aiding the formation of public opinion on questions appearing to involve serious antagonism.

The plan followed is to bring under review the great fields of scientific inquiry, advancing from unorganized existence to Man; to present the most recent results of research in these separate fields, without extending to minute details; as far as possible, to allow scientific observers to state results in their own words; and then to examine carefully the reasonings deduced from ascertained facts, and the bearing of facts and inferences on religious thought.

The general result is that marked modifications of thought concerning the structure and order of the universe have arisen on account of scientific discoveries, to be accepted by theologians, as by all thinkers; that the bearing of these modifications on religious conceptions has been greatly mistaken by many scientific observers; and that it must be held clear by scientists and theologians alike, that while scientific methods are reliable within their own spheres, science can bear no testimony, and can offer no criticism, as to the supernatural, inasmuch as science is only an explanation of ascertained facts by recognition of natural law. In accordance with this last statement, it is maintained, that science does not reach, far less deal with, the problem concerning the origin of Nature, the solution of which can be found only by transcending Nature, that is, by recognizing the supernatural.

In the course followed I believe the purpose of the eminent Physicist who founded the lecture, has been rigidly kept in view.

I desire here to express to the President and Professors of Union Theological Seminary, my sense of their great kindness while I delivered the course of lectures in New York, and specially for so arranging as to allow of including the full course within eight lectures,—a form which has been retained in publication.

I have also to express my thanks for the kind manner in which these lectures were received in Edinburgh, where, with the exception of the two first, the course was, by request, redelivered.

H. C.


January j/rt, rSS/.



Conditions Of The Inqutbt.

Advantages resulting from recent advances in physical sci-
ence—Advance does not unsettle the whole mass of con-
viction—Eeligion and science agree in seeking a rational
basis, and both present a body of harmonized conceptions
—Diversity of view is to be expected in both spheres—
Needless anxiety as to alleged conflict between science and
religion—The first requisite is to trace the boundaries of
the two departments of thought—Description of religion,
natural and revealed—Description of science, its method
and sphere—Common starting ground for both—Each
supplies inducement for seeking a harmony



Value of the lessons from past failures—Discussions as to

"spontaneous generation"—Range of experiments and

mode of conducting them—Difficulties in excluding ger-

minal forms, and in determining the temperature at which

their destruction was ensured—Hopefulness awakened by

earlier investigations—Acknowledged failure as the result

of more rigid tests—Conclusions of Pasteur, Roberts, Tyn-

dall—Close of the discussion as maintained by Bastian—

Dr. Draper's '' History of the Conflict between Religion and

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