couraged or perverted by the dominant orthodoxy. Whoever studied Nature studied it either openly to find illustrations of the sacred text, useful in the "saving of souls," or secretly to gain the aid of occult powers, useful in securing personal advantage. Great men like Bede, Isidore of Seville, Rabanus Maurus, accepted the scriptural standard of science, and used it as a means of Christian edification. The views of Bede and Isidor on kindred subjects have been shown in former chapters; and typical of the view taken by Rabanus is the fact that in his great work on the Universe there are only two chapters which seem directly or indirectly to recognize even the beginnings of a real philosophy of Nature. A multitude of less-known men found warrant in Scripture for magic applied to less worthy purposes.
But after the thousand years to which the Church, upon supposed scriptural warrant, had lengthened out the term of the earth's existence had passed, "the end of all things" seemed further off than ever; and in the thirteenth century, owing to causes which need not be dwelt upon here, came a great revival of thought, so that the forces of theology and of science seemed arrayed for a contest. On one side came a revival of religious fervor, and to this day the works of the cathedral-builders mark its depth and strength; on the other side came a new spirit of inquiry incarnate in a line of powerful thinkers.
First among these was Albert of Bollstadt, better known as Albert the Great, the most renowned scholar of his time. Fettered though he was by the methods sanctioned in the Church, dark as was all about him, he had conceived ideas of better methods and aims; his eye pierced the mists of scholasticism; he saw the light, and sought to draw the world toward it. He stands among the great pioneers of physical and natural science; he aided in giving foundations to botany and chemistry; he rose above his time and struck a heavy blow at those who opposed the possibility of human life on opposite sides of the earth; he noted the influence of mountains, seas, and forests upon races and products, so that Humboldt justly finds in his works the germs of physical geography as a comprehensive science.
But the old system of deducing scientific truth from scriptural texts was renewed in the development of scholastic theology,
- As typical examples, see the utterances of Eusebius and Lactantius regarding astronomers given in the chapter on Astronomy. For a summary of Rabanus Maurus's doctrine of physics, see Heller, Geschichte der Physik, vol. i, pp. 172 et seq. For Bede and Isidore, see the earlier chapters of this work. For an excellent statement regarding the application of scriptural standards to scientific research in the middle ages, see Kretschmer, Die physische Erdkunde im Christlichen Mittelalter, pp. 5 et seq. For the distinctions in magic recognized in the mediæval Church, see the long catalogue of various sorts given in the Abbe Migne's Encyclopedic Theologique, third series, article "Magie."