The Relations Between Religion and Science eBook

Frederick Temple
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about The Relations Between Religion and Science.
But the first receivers of the message, to whom the revelation was new, and, as must have often happened and we actually know did happen, to whom it was hard to reconcile that revelation with previous teaching, how sure were they to need some other and outer evidence that it really came from God.  The supernatural in the form of miracles can never be the highest kind of evidence, can never stand alone as evidence; but it seems to have been needed for the first reception.  And there seem to be minds that need it still, and to all it is a help to find that reasonable ground can be shown for holding that such evidence was originally given.

Revelation, in short, takes a higher stand than belongs to all other teaching, and except for its having taken that higher stand it does not appear that the highest teaching would have been possible.  To look back afterwards and say that we find a development or an evolution is easy.  And at first sight it seems to follow that, being an evolution, it may well be no more than the outcome of the working of the natural forces.  But look closer and you see the undeniable fact that all these developments by the working of natural forces have perished.  Not Socrates, nor Plato, nor Aristotle, nor the Stoics, nor Philo have been able to lay hold of mankind, nor have their moral systems in any large degree satisfied our spiritual faculty.  Revelation, and revelation alone, has taught us; and it is from the teaching of revelation that men have obtained the very knowledge which some now use to show that there was no need of revelation.  That altruism which is now to displace the command of God is nothing but the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount robbed of its heavenly power, robbed of the great doctrine which underlies the whole sermon.  For that doctrine is the Fatherhood of God which has been shown most especially in this, that from the beginning He has never forgotten His children.

LECTURE VI.

APPARENT COLLISION BETWEEN RELIGION AND THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION.

Evolution examined.  The formation of the habitable world.  The formation of the creatures which inhabit it.  Transmission of characteristics.  Variations perpetually introduced.  Natural selection.  On the other side, life not yet accounted for by Evolution.  Cause of variations not yet examined.  Moral Law incapable of being evolved.  Account given in Genesis not at variance with doctrine of Evolution.  Evolution of man not inconsistent with dignity of humanity.

LECTURE VI.

APPARENT COLLISION BETWEEN RELIGION AND THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION.

     ’Know ye that the Lord He is God:  it is He that hath made us, and
     not we ourselves.’ Psalm c. 3.

Religion is rooted in our spiritual nature and its fundamental truths are as independent of experience for their hold on our consciences as the truths of mathematics for their hold on our reason.

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The Relations Between Religion and Science from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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