The Bearing Of Modern Scientific Theories On The Fundamental Truths Of Religion -- By: Andrew P. Peabody

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 021:84 (Oct 1864)
Article: The Bearing Of Modern Scientific Theories On The Fundamental Truths Of Religion
Author: Andrew P. Peabody

The Bearing Of Modern Scientific Theories On The
Fundamental Truths Of Religion1

Andrew P. Peabody

Gentlemen of the Delphic and Pithonian Societies; though I visit your University for the first time, it is not with the heart of a stranger. Our American colleges are, in mutual sympathy and helpfulness, a close confederation; and as a member of one academic body I deem myself a citizen of every other. Moreover, I must the more earnestly crave a friendly reception here, on the ground on which the people of Tyre and Sidon desired peace with Herod, “because their country was nourished by the king’s country.” Among the books which I always keep at hand for daily consultation is the voluminous Commentary on the New Testament which comes from your Professor of Greek,2 —a work derived, indeed, from a German original, but so completely overlaid and incrusted with a dense deposit of Genesee scholarship as hardly to permit us to say that it is alter et idem, so much more and better has it become in its American guise. Nor can I forget that, as an editor, I have repeatedly fed my public with supplies furnished by your venerable Professor of Chemistry,3 who at the same time, by his genial correspondence, has taught me to love him as he is loved by you all.

I give you joy on the progress, prosperity, and fair fame of your University — infant in years alone; mature in its capacity of service to the cause of learning and piety.

I would especially congratulate you on the foremost place

which this institution has already attained among our colleges, as to affluent and extended means for the cultivation of that department of natural science which comprehends the genesis, types, and primeval history of all the rest. This department seems likely to be the Armageddon — the final battle-field — in the conflict with infidelity; and if so, it will be honored as the field of triumph for him, of whom the divine prophecy has gone forth, “He must reign.” The danger is not that of the mere rejection of Christianity, but of the repudiation of a personal God in the name of science, and the setting up in his stead of the vague, formless conception of Pantheism, whose terms are mere euphemisms by which the fool who says in his heart, “There is no God,” seeks to say the same thing a little more decently with his lips.

As appropriate to an occasion like the present, and as made timely by certain specific tendencies of the cosmological sciences at the present moment, I have chosen for my subj...

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