Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 7.djvu/90

This page has been validated.

Well! this God is also the God of Christians. That the God of Christians is something more does not affect this fact. Nature, according to all systems of Christian theology, is God's ordinance. Whether with science you stop short at Nature, or with theology believe in a God who is the author of Nature, in either case Nature is divine, for it is either God or the work of God. This whole domain is common to science and theology. When theology says, Let us give up the wisdom of men and listen to the voice of God, and when science says. Let us give up human authority and hollow a priori knowledge and listen to Nature, they are agreed to the whole extent of the narrower proposition, i. e., theology ought to admit all that science says, though science admits only a part of what theology says. Theology cannot say the laws of Nature are not divine; all it can say is, they are not the most important of the divine laws. Perhaps not, but they gain an importance from the fact that they are laws upon which all can agree. Making the largest allowance for discoveries, about which science may be too confident, there remains a vast mass of natural knowledge which no one questions. This to the Christian is so much knowledge about God, and he ought to rejoice quite as much as the man of science at the rigorous method by which it has been separated from the human prejudice and hasty ingenuity, and delusive rhetoric or poetry, which might have adulterated it. By this means we have been enabled to hear a voice which is unmistakably God's. And if it seems to be God speaking about matters not of the greatest importance, still perhaps it may be as well to listen. So much, at least, reverence seems to dictate; and, if it did not, the urgent necessity for more agreement on fundamental questions would dictate it imperiously.

This train of thought will be followed a little further in future numbers of this magazine.—Macmillan's Magazine.



THE most distinguished sanitarians of the age have established the fact that our modern cities are mostly so located that public health depends much less upon climate and position than upon rational conditions and modes of life. Enforced cleanliness, and the progress of sanitary works in cities, are followed by an enhanced vitality and elasticity of mind still more than by longevity of the inhabitants. Among sanitary works, improved pavements are classed along with sewerage, water-closets, and water-supply under pressure; since it is a prime condition of public hygiene that every