Science And Christ -- By: William W. Kinsley
BSac 50:199 (July 1893) p. 519
Science And Christ
By following out an entirely different line of inquiry, I find that this self-same necessity for the coming of a God-man becomes manifest, and that science thus witnesses a second time, and with added emphasis, to the reasonableness of the Christian’s creed.
There is no theme of such universal interest about which there is so much confusion of thought as that of the nature of real liberty and the conditions of its maintenance. There is a multitude of forces of widely different orders at work in the world. We cannot see them, and we know absolutely nothing of their real nature, and are made aware of their existence only by certain effects produced on matter. Experiment has disclosed that under certain conditions there follow certain effects. Both are uniform and unchangeable. The forces lie inert and hidden until the precise conditions are reached, and then work unswervingly in accordance with certain pre-established laws of their being. To set a force free, then, is simply to fulfil certain conditions, and thus remove whatever hinders it from rendering in its thus awakened energy an implicit obedience to the laws established over it. We cannot free it from such laws, and it manifests neither power nor disposition to free itself, to mould matter into any different form or for any different purpose than that prescribed in its divine commission. Between the particles of water, for example, we can discover no cohesive attraction or but the slightest; yet remove a given amount of heat that now holds this force bound and hidden, and it will spring
BSac 50:199 (July 1893) p. 520
at once into full activity, and the water will become a block of solid ice. Another force, and a marvellous one, also makes its appearance. Those particles not only cohere but are arranged in set patterns along predetermined lines of symmetry, forming geometrical figures of great beauty and exactness. In the forms of snowflakes we recognize a divine fineness of touch and flawless finish. The crystalline architect just as often as its delicate frost-palaces are torn down will build them again untiringly after precisely the same models and under precisely the same conditions, so prompt is its obedience to law, so unswerving its fidelity to the plans and specifications entrusted to it by the Great Master Builder.
Pass that water as vapor through a heated tube of platinum, and the water will be at once resolved into its original hydrogen and oxygen gases, and another force still, one of repulsion, will bound into being, and so titanic is it you will fail to crowd the infinitesimal atoms of these gases together again though you apply twenty tons’ pressure to the square inch. But touch them with fire,...
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