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Religion and Science

To whatever page of the world's history we turn we are forcibly struck by that deep-rooted desire among thinking men and women, underlying all external differences of creed and opinion, to fathom those truths bearing directly on man's vital relation to the universe. If we trace this thread of truth in its course amid superstition and gross ignorance we discover it has been the motor power in releasing the great masses from slavery and the subtle devices of ignorance, leaving in its train nobler races capable of ameliorating the struggle for existence. It was not till the nineteenth century that the great era of light burst on Europe, thanks to the great philosophy of Herbert Spencer and others, when the laity seemed to suddenly realize what invaluable truths Nature could reveal to her students, if only they would diligently consider her meanings embodied in glorious works. This naturally gave a great impetus to the cause of Science, which hitherto had only been embraced by the few—many looking on askance, wrongly imagining that the new doctrine would destroy the old. What bitter controversies would have been spared if men would only realize that the foundations of Truth cannot be shaken, much less violated, by a careful study of natural science. It is to Nature we must look for those hidden truths which no books can teach, and no man however learned can impart to another. What inexplicable longings rise when we contemplate the heavens on a starry night. The "soul" then is so completely in ascendance over the "body" that mysterious, indefinable, awe-inspiring feeling steals over our whole being, and takes entire possession for a time, thus proving in an unmistakable manner that this life with its hopes and fears is not the end of our cherished ambitions, but merely a preparatory school for a higher and purer life than were otherwise possible without being tried by temptations and suffering.

Religion has no cause to fear Science. That which is true must prove itself to be so, sooner or later. Truth cannot lie dormant, and although perhaps imprisoned amid ignorance, its sacred flame must in the end triumph. Milton truly says "Truth is as impossible to be soiled by an outward touch as the sunbeam."

Science, is not, and cannot be, antagonistic to Religion. What innumerable benefits might be reaped if the two joined hands in raging unceasing war against those social and moral evils, which so oppress mankind and mar all progress.

Science with her important discoveries, so beneficial to medical research, while Religion on the other hand, with her doctrine of universal brotherhood, truly recognizing above all that suffering and sin are instrumental in drawing the soul nearer to perfection; would undoubtedly be a great power towards the realization of Tennyson's beautiful dream of the Old Year ringing out the "old forms of party strife," the sin, the misery, and the "narrowing lust of gold," while the New Year is ringing in universal peace, the innate love of truth and purity, and the "common love of good" or in other words the proclamation of the "Christ that is to be."

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Nellie McNevin Rogers

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