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any two cosmical theories could possibly be. He suggested a totally different theory, in which the sun is not only the centre of the solar system, but the source whence all the planets were drawn! Instead of the sun being fed with meteors to keep it from burning out, Mr. Brayley's theory makes the sun, in rotating rapidly on its axis, throw off meteoric bodies; and thus he argues the earth and other planets were most probably created! I have no intention of going further into this speculation here. I mention the fact of its having been brought forward, and that in the Royal Society, in the presence of Professor Tyndall, and of Newton's successor in the Lucasian chair, without a word being uttered against it. This forces us, I say, naturally, to ask this question, What is now our knowledge, our "science,” of the sun or Cosmos ? Mr. Brayley's views, of course, are entirely opposed to every part of the “Principia” and all that was dreamt of in Newton's philosophy. Professor Thomson's theory destroyed the possibility of the sun being the theoretical centre of the solar system, if universal gravitation had anything like a plausible foundation. But apart from that argument, which some people may not trust themselves to admit, any boy can see that Professor Thomson's and Mr. Brayley's theories are flat contradictions of one another, even as speculations; and then we are bound to ask, Upon what extraordinary data of facts or principles can such conflicting theories be based ?

That existing societies do not trouble themselves to compare and contrast, and so to reject as unscientific such contradictory hypotheses, or one or other of them, is simply true. The transactions of the Royal Society—and no other need be named-bear witness to the truth of this averment. And that to do so—as proposed in the third object of the Victoria Institute—would tend to the advantage and real advancement of true science, I think will scarcely be disputed. The Science of Sciences, in fact, is the proper co-relation of all the various sciences into one grand and consistent Philosophy, which will be the interpretation of the nature of things as ordained by the one true God; and it does not require to be argued that each science should at least be consistent with itself. True lovers of Science, and all lovers of Truth, must surely unite in one desire to harmonize the conflicting elements of human speculations; and the members of the Victoria Institute may reasonably hope, that when this is done it will be found, that the highest human wisdom will be in accordance with the Wisdom of the One God, Who has created all things very good.

CIRCULAR, MAY 24, 1865.



London, 24th May, 1865. It is proposed to found a new Philosophical Society for Great Britain, to be composed of Members or Fellows and Associates who are professedly Christians, and the great object of which will be to defend revealed truth from “the oppositions of science, falsely so called.”

In the words of a recent author, “those who believe the Christian religion to be true and to rest upon rational grounds, and who consider that the only proper mode of propagating the truth is by proving it to be true, and of opposing error by disproving it, cannot help the burden this places upon them.”—“We are suffering from the consequences of a culpable stagnation of thought, or from having failed to investigate fully and fairly, but rigidly, all the facts and arguments from time to time put forth as truths newly discovered by science and as being contradictory to the Scriptures.”

It is in order that this may now be done thoroughly, that the institution of a new Society for this express purpose is proposed. It will be of great advantage to real Science, and has become a necessity for the Christian religion.

It will therefore be the duty of this Society to enter upon controversies of the day, and to give a hearing and encouragement to all who are willing to battle with the “oppositions of science,” in order to reduce its pretensions to their real value.

There is no existing scientific body that fulfils these ends. At the present time, the only thing almost that is considered a fair subject for question and free opposition from every quarter, in all such societies, is Revealed Truth. There is by no means an equal freedom allowed in questioning what is called “ Established Science."

At the Anthropological Society of London, on May 16th, Bishop Colenso spoke of “the facts of Geology” as disproving the Scriptures ; as if he had really not been aware, that at the last meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (at which he was present), all these lately assumed foundation “facts” of Geology were publicly given up as untenable and disproved by Sir Charles Lyell in his Address, which Bishop Colenso actually heard delivered. Along with this now abandoned Geology, all the cosmological notions which Mr. C. W. Goodwin, in “ Essays and Reviews," boasted of as being “ certainly established science,” contrary to "the Mosaic Cosmogony," have vanished like a dream.

It will be the business of the new Philosophical Institution to recognize no human science as “established,” but to examine philosophically and freely, all that has passed as science, or is put forward as science, by individuals or in other societies ; whilst its members, having accepted Christianity as the revealed truth of God, will defend that truth against all mere human theories by subjecting them to the most rigid tests and criticisms. In fact, the Society will be organized for the purpose of applying to "science” somewhat of that vigilance to detect its errors, contradictions, and fallacies which has been freely enough exercised in our day upon the statements of the Scriptures and of Christian doctrine, by those who accept, without the least examination and with an almost absolute credulity, all that passes for science.

Such a Society will doubtless succeed. Its head-quarters will be in London, but it will soon boast of corresponding branches throughout the whole country. Similar societies will be established on the Continent and throughout the world, thus affording facilities for individual and combined co-operation, and also for reproducing each other's most important publications.

The battle between the Scriptures and Science will then be fairly fought, -not any longer with all the organization on one side. Truth is great, and it will prevail! Papers will be read before the Society, discussing the most important questions of philosophy and science, without limit as to the subjects, except that those will be especially considered and have a preference that appear to touch adversely the bases of the Christian faith. Free discussion will be allowed. The discussions will be reported verbatim, and published in the Society's journal, probably in combination with a new review, to be called The Christian - Philosophy Review, in which a fair account will be given of all important new publications, especially those bearing upon general philosophy, morals, and religion. A Library and Reading-room will also hereafter be established in connection with the Society

It is proposed that the Society shall be incorporated, and hereafter obtain a Royal Charter ; that Her Majesty shall be requested to become its first Patron, and that it be called The Victoria Institute, to commemorate its inauguration in her most gracious Majesty's reign. That it shall confer a medal annually upon some writer who has distinguished himself in refuting false philosophy, or exposing the fallacies of so-called science--this medal to be called, with her Majesty's permission, the Victoria Medal. Also that the Prince of Wales be requested to become its first Vice-Patron and Honorary President.

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*** Be good enough to circulate this paper among your friends who are likely to take an interest in what is proposed. What nobler pursuit can man engage in, than in trying to discover truth by the philosophic study of God's works of creation; and in what respect can Christians better employ themselves than in discovering ever fresh proofs and confirmation of the revelations contained in the Holy Scriptures? Those who may not be able to take a prominent part, as Feilows or Members of the Victoria Institute, may join as Associates (ladies being eligible), and thus aid the good work as subscribers, receiving in return the Society's Journal and other privileges



(Pp. 10, 11, 12, 14.)

1. Since this pamphlet was originally written and published, Dr. Colenso has returned to Natal, and he has there repeated the same statements he made in England “as to the science of geology flatly contradicting Scripture.” In doing so (if the newspaper reports are to be relied on), he referred to Dr. Temple as having publicly declared the same thing while preaching in St. Paul's cathedral. I am almost certain that I am correct in saying (p. 10) that he also said this when preaching in Whitehall Chapel ; so that it would appear to be his habit to go about preaching what is only calculated to discredit the Scriptures among the ill-informed and those who, apparently like himself, have learnt nothing as to the changes that have taken place in the conclusions of the most eminent geologists since the Essays and Reviews were published.

2. In addition, therefore, to the citations already given in the text, from Sir Charles Lyell's Address as President of the British Association at Bath in 1864, I now cite the following passages from the Anniversary Address of Mr. Hamilton, the President of the Geological Society of London, delivered in February, 1865, which ought, as a matter of common literary decency, to stop this constant "preaching" that anything worthy of the name of geological “science” has contradicted or upset the Scriptures. He said :

“Recent investigations have upset the ancient theories, that all the highest points consisted of crystalline rocks, and that no sedimentary rocks formed high mountains. Again it was formerly supposed” (and relied on as "certain science" in the “Essays and Reviews"] "that the crystalline rocks, particularly granite, owed their origin to igneous action. Now it is well known that these granites are chiefly arranged in layers. The granite passes into gneiss, and the gneiss into mica-schist and talc-schist; and this is again closely connected with the green and grey slates; and it is well known that many of these rocks, formerly considered as plutonic, are really metamorphosed rocks.”

3. Now, in making this citation, I am not saying whether Mr. Hamilton's views are right or wrong, or whether I agree with him or not. I quote him as an “authority,” like Sir Charles Lyell, speaking ex cathedra scientiæ to a scientific body, and declaring that what was called geological science as to granite, for instance, when the “ Essays and Reviews” were written, is no longer regarded as science in the Geological Society of London, whatever it may be in the pulpits where Dr. Temple preaches, or among the Zulus at Natal ; but, on the contrary, is itself now " upset.” If Mr. Hamilton is wrong in his views as to the granites being “chiefly arrranged in layers," and stratified-if

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that is meant, then that will only still further show how very uncertain, after all, even the quasi “facts” of science sometimes are, as well as the scientific “ theories” that thus get upset by fresh investigations. Mr. Evan Hopkins, in reference to these words of Mr. Hamilton, says :-“The primary crystalline rocks are formed in parallel vertical bands, not stratified, but divided in plates like crystals.

The distinction that exists between the semi-crystalline vertical bands of the primary series, and the stratified sedimentary rocks, is not yet fully recognized."*

4. As Mr. Hopkins was one of the first, if not, rather, the very first geologist who disputed the “plutonic," or dry-heat origin of the granites, in the first edition of his valuable and interesting work, which was written in South America so far back as 1837–38, and published in London in 1843, he is entitled to a deferential hearing upon this cognate point. But my object throughout this pamphlet, and with reference to all the questions of science alluded to in it, is not to show that this or that has been “established” in any case, but to show how scientific opinions have changed, and that further investigations are necessary before we can boast we have got hold of any real science at all. I find it necessary to say this much, as one or two gentlemen have managed to persuade themselves that I have necessarily adopted the opinions expressed in some of the citations and references in the text (which might or might not be true, and yet be of no consequence), but which is not really warranted by the language I have used, and not at all necessary for my argument. I have quoted recognized authorities in science against Bishop Colenso, Dr. Temple, and Mr. Goodwin ; and I have quoted men whose views in science were despised, and who were refused a hearing at one time, but whose views are now accepted, as so far correct, by such authorities.

5. I go on, therefore, to make one more citation from Mr. Hamilton's Address, with reference to other changes in geological views :

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“We are daily becoming more convinced that no real natural breaks exist between the Faunas and the Floras of what we are accustomed to call geological periods. . We learn now that those forms of animal life which roamed over the surface of the earth before man came to exercise dominion over them, were not, as was at one time supposed, destroyed before his arrival, but continued to coexist with him, until the time came when they were to make way for other forms, more suited to the new conditions of life and to his requirements."

This, it will be observed, bears upon the remarks in the text (p. 12), made in allusion to Sir Charles Lyell's "Antiquity of Man." But, again, I beg leave to say I am not adopting Mr. Hamilton's opinions any more than Sir Charles Lyell's upon this point. Were I to express my own opinion, I would venture to say that, though I hold it to be clearly proved (as now acknowledged by these eminent geologists) that man was contemporaneous with animals at one time supposed to have been destroyed ages before his “arrival" on the scene

* Geology and Terrestrial Magnetism. By Evan Hopkins, C.E., F.G.S., 3rd Ed., with a new Introduction and Appendix, &c., p. vii. (London: Taylor & Francis, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, 1865.)

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