CHAP. VII - Religious Difficulties  pp. 125-155

Religious Difficulties

By David Brewster

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It is as injurious to the interests of religion, as it is degrading to those of science, when the votaries of either place them in a state of mutual antagonism. A mere inference or a theory in science, however probable, must ever give way to a truth revealed; but a scientific truth must be maintained, however contradictory it may appear to the most cherished doctrines of religion. In freely discussing the subject of a plurality of worlds, there can be no collision between Reason and Revelation. Christians, timid and ill-informed, have, at different periods, refused to accept of certain results of science, which, instead of being adverse to their faith, have been its best auxiliaries; and infidel writers, taking advantage of this weakness have vainly arrayed the discoveries and inferences of astronomy against the fundamental doctrines of Scripture. This unseemly controversy, which once raged respecting the motion of the Earth and the stability of the Sun, and more recently in reference to the doctrines and theories of geology, terminated, as it always must do, in favour of science. Truths physical have an origin as divine as truths religious. In the time of Galileo they triumphed over the casuistry and secular power of the Church; and in our own day the incontrovertible truths of primeval life have won as noble a victory over the errors of a speculative theology, and a false interpretation of the word of God.