Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/753

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rian Church declare that "the method of procedure to destroy evolution by the majority in the Church is vicious and suicidal," and that "logical dynamite has been used to put out a supposed fire in the upper stories of our house, and all the family in the house at that." Wisely, too, did he refer to the majority as "sowing in the fields of the Church the thorns of its errors, and cumbering its path with the débris and ruin of its own folly."

To these recent cases may be added the expulsion of Prof. Toy from teaching under ecclesiastical control at Louisville, and his election to a far more influential chair at Harvard University; the driving out from the American College at Beyrout of the young professors who accepted evolution as probable, and the rise of one of them at least, Mr. Nimr, to a far more commanding position than that which he left—the control of three leading journals at Cairo; the driving out of Robertson Smith from his position at Edinburgh, and his reception into the far more important and influential professorship at the English University of Cambridge; and multitudes of similar cases. From the days when Cotton Mather drove out Henry Dunster, the first President of Harvard College, for "falling into the briers of Antipedobaptism" until now, the same spirit is shown in all such attempts. In each we have generally on one side a body of the older theologians who, since their youth, have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, sundry professors who do not wish to rewrite their lectures, and a mass of unthinking ecclesiastical persons of little or no importance save in making up a retrograde majority in an ecclesiastical tribunal; on the other side we have as generally the thinking, open-minded, devoted men who have listened to the revelation of their own time, as well as of times past, and who are evidently thinking the future thought of the world.

Here we have survivals of that same oppression of thought by theology which has cost the modern world so dear; the system which forced great numbers of professors, under penalty of deprivation, to teach that the sun and planets revolve about the earth; that comets are fire-balls flung by an angry God at a wicked world; that insanity is diabolic possession; that anatomical investigation of the human frame is sin against the Holy Ghost; that chemistry leads to sorcery; that taking interest for money is forbidden by Scripture; that Geology must conform to ancient Hebrew poetry. From the same source came in Austria the rule of the "Immaculate Oath," under which university professors, long before the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined by the Church, were obliged to swear to their belief in that dogma before they were permitted to teach even Arithmetic or Geometry: in England, the denunciation of inoculation against smallpox; in Scotland, the protests against using chloroform in child-