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examination, the better and nobler will your lives become. If your lives are to be what they should be, you must make a hard fight for it. But realising clearly the difference between what you are thinking and saying and doing, and what you ought to be thinking and saying and doing, is more than half the battle. Evil is wrought by want of thought more than by want of heart. By far the larger proportion of the misery and wickedness in the world is due to the fact that people will not reflect, will not remember that they have come to years of discretion. Do you therefore remember it to-day, and resolve that you will remember it all the days of your life. Remember that you are grown up! That is text and sermon all in one; or if you would like it in Scriptural language,— there are some people, you know, who think that a text ought always to be taken out of the Bible, —well I can give you one even shorter than my own—" be men."
Science and Religion.
"What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."— Matt. xix. 6.
T WISH to speak to you this morning about the so-called conflict between science and religion. I want to explain to you that what is thus erroneously described is really the conflict between science and a certain low form of theology. I want to show you that between true religion and genuine science there never has been, and never can be, any incompatibility.
I had better begin by explaining terms. Science, you know, means knowledge,—systematised, classified knowledge. Very frequently the word science is taken as standing for the physical sciences exclusively. It is so understood, of course, whenever it is regarded as something different from theology. For theology is itself a science; it is a classification of our knowledge, or supposed knowledge, of God. Theology, therefore, is no more religion than any other science is religion. It is impossible to overestimate the mischief which has arisen from confounding theology with religion. There are no two things in the universe more different. Theology is a science, religion is an art. Theology is theory, religion is practice. Theology is concerned with the intellect, religion with the heart. Theology is formulated knowledge, religion is a mode of life. It has been commonly, almost universally, assumed that an eminent theologian must be an eminent example of piety. But we might just as well imagine that, because a man was an expert in physiology, he must have a fine physique. A theologian is not as such religious, is not necessarily religious, any more than an astronomer or a chemist. A theologian may be a worse man than an atheist. There is no more connection between the knowledge of theology and the practice of religion than between the knowledge of geography and the possession of a landed estate. So that even if science and theology were always and necessarily in conflict, it would not follow that there was any incompatibility between science and religion.
But further, I must point out to you that there are two kinds of theology, and it is only with one of these that physical science ever conflicts. There is, in the first place, a stagnant theology, which assumes that all is known which ever can be known regarding the nature of God and the methods of His working, and which objects to any discoveries not provided for in its own cut-and-dried little system. This was the theology which prevailed during the middle ages, and between which and physical science the conflict was very fierce. In fact the theologians, when they had the chance, were in the habit of literally roasting the scientists. There is however another theology, which is not stagnant but progressive, which is not opposed to science but which is itself strictly scientific. This rational, progressive, scientific theology recognises the fact that, as truth is infinite, it can never be at any given time more than partially known. This theology is always open to the reception of new ideas, and can therefore never come into conflict with any scientific truths. The rational theologian thankfully accepts the discoveries of the physicists, as valuable additions to the knowledge of God. For the physical scientist is concerned, though he may not himself realise the fact, with divine revelation. There could be no such thing as science at all unless nature were a revelation of mind. Consider. Science, according to Bacon's well-known phrase, is " the interpretation of nature." To interpret is to explain, and nothing can be explained which is not in itself rational. Nature is interpretable, because she has an intelligent constitution; and to say that her constitution is intelligent, is to say that she is dominated and suffused by thought. Thought can only grasp what is the outcome of thought. Eeason can only comprehend what is reasonable. You cannot explain the conduct of a fool; you cannot interpret the actions of a lunatic. They are chaotic, irregular, contradictory, meaningless, absurd. It is only in proportion to a man's intelligence that his actions bear an intelligible relation to one another. Similarly if nature were merely a fortuitous concurrence of atoms—an irrational system destitute of thought— there would be no possibility of knowledge; she would lack the coherency which only thought can supply. The atoms would be constantly rushing aimlessly about, we could never discover what they were after, we could never foresee what would happen next. Even supposing they had by chance produced such a world as this, no reliance could be placed on them. At any moment they might do something which they had never done before. At any moment the earth might vanish from beneath our feet, or in ten thousand other ways the prevailing arrangements might be suddenly reversed. There