Saturday, February 07, 2009

08Nov1864, An Excellent Lecture

CHATSWORTH, November 8th, 1864.
—I looked through a precious book full of Rubens, Vandyck, and Rembrandt sketches and copid a nice big horse's head. Instead of Butler, Fred finished to me a very thoughtful, earnest, and, I think, excellent lecture by the Bishop of London, given before a scientific institution at Edinburgh, on Science and Theology, which I had begun to myself. I believe no one doubts the Bishop to be a profoundly religious man, and so his words on such a subject have great weight ; I hope I am not wrong or rash in finding much comfort in them, as to all the present difficulties and alarms. I think I can feel strong faith that God will ever reveal the Truth to those that love it, and seek humbly either in His Works or His Word ; and that what seems perplexing and contradictory ought not to be put aside, but carefully looked into, in the hope—the certainty—that "what He does, we may not know now, but we shall know hereafter." And if people will only keep vividly in mind the consciousness of their own imperfect knowledge, I think no apparent contradictions need much move them. If only one could hope that all enquiries would be made in an honest and good heart, and that people would keep their footing on the Rock ! But this is the terrible danger, that men will abuse the reason given them to guide them, making it an infallible rule. Whereas it can at best only accompany us a little way, and then leave us with a Higher Guide, to pierce into infinite things.

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