Science And The Bible. Number II -- By: James D. Dana

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 013:51 (Jul 1856)
Article: Science And The Bible. Number II
Author: James D. Dana


Science And The Bible. Number II

With Further Remarks On “The Six Days Of Creation” Of Prof. Tayler Lewis1

James D. Dana

“Is religion, then, so false to God as to avert its face from science? Is the church willing to declare a divorce of this holy marriage tie? Can she afford to renounce the external proofs of a God having sympathy with man? Dare she excommunicate science, and answer, at the judgment, for the souls which are thus reluctantly compelled to infidelity? We reject the authority of the blind scribes and pharisees who have hidden themselves from the light of Heaven under such a darkness of bigotry. We claim our just rights and our share in the church. The man of science is a man, and knows sin as much as other men, and equally with other men he needs the salvation of the gospel. We acknowledge that the revelations of the physical world are addressed to the head, and do not minister to the wants of the heart; we acknowledge that science has no authority to interfere with the Scriptures and perplex the holy writ with forced and impossible constructions of language. This admission does not derogate from the dignity of science; and we claim that the sanctity of the Bible is equally undisturbed by the denial that it was endowed with authority over the truths of physical science. But we, nevertheless, as sons of men, claim our share in its messages of forgiveness, and will not be hindered of our inheritance by the unintelligible technicalities of sectarianism; as children, we kneel to the church and implore its sustenance, and entreat the constant aid and countenance of those great and good men who are its faithful servants and its surest support, whose presence and cheering

sympathies are a perpetual benediction, and among whom shine the brightest lights of science as well as of religion. Moreover, as scientific men, we need the Bible to strengthen and confirm our faith in a supreme intellectual Power, to assure us that we are not imposing our forms of thought upon a fortuitous combination of dislocated atoms, but that we may study His works humbly, hopefully, and trusting that the treasury is not yet exhausted, but that there is still left an infinite vein of spiritual ore to be worked by American intellect.”

Such are the words, rather the devout thoughts of Science, as expressed by Prof. Peirce of Cambridge, in his Address, in 1854, before the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and there were few among his hearers on that occasion, who did not cordially respond to them. He spoke with earnestness; for, if there is any charge against science, fitted to stir t...

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