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Science and the Sciences

 Brownson’s Quarterly Review

There are many Catholics, and very good Catholics too, we learn from the New York Tablet, who care very little for the objections to our faith drawn from the discoveries, or alleged discoveries, and inductions of modern science, especially the science of geology, and regard it as a waste of time even to listen to them. There can be, they say, no conflict, if both are true, between faith and science. We know our faith is from God, and that it is true, and therefore that whatever science conflicts with it is false science, and should be dismissed without ceremony, as an impudent pretender. There is, no doubt, truth in this argument, and we might justly content ourselves with it if we had to deal only with sciolists and cavillers, or if all Catholics were good and staunch Catholics like those described by The Tablet; if there were no weak Catholics; if there were no non-Catholics; if Catholics had no interest in science and owed no duties to civilization; in only the whole needed a physician; or if charity were a vice or weakness, and not a Christian virtue. The argument is conclusive for all those who care nothing for science or civilization, for human intelligence and social well-being, and whose faith having been entertained without reason, no reason can disturb; but these Catholics, however numerous and respectable they may be, are not all the world, nor all who are Catholics, and their wants are not the only wants to be consulted. The argument, in point of fact, is more appropriate in the mouth of a boasting Pharisee, or an arrogant scribe, than in the mouth of a docile, modest, humble, and truth-loving Christian. It is far better fitted to raise doubts in the minds of thoughtful men, than it is to remove them, and far more likely to repel the cultivators of science from the church, than it is to keep or draw them within her fold.

The argument is, also, one that can be retorted, and used with as much practical effect against faith as against science. There can, if both are true, be no conflict between science and faith. We know our science is true, and therefore that your faith, so far as conflicts with it, is a false faith, an impudent pretender. It will be difficult to persuade the man of science that the argument is not as valid for him as it is for you, or even to satisfy all who are inside of the church that it is not a fair retort. Few Catholics, we apprehend, can see their faith clearly contradicted by the alleged discoveries and inductions of science without being more or less disturbed; and many, we know, have been led to abandon their faith by objections drawn from the sciences, which they had no scientific means of refuting. In both Catholic and non-Catholic countries, we find the sons of believing fathers and devout mothers, brought up in the Catholic faith, trained in Catholic schools trained by priests and religious, who yet, as they go out into the world, abandon their childhood’s faith, the faith of their fathers, and fall into the ranks of its most bitter and determined enemies. It is idle to attempt to deny or to conceal the fact, for all the world knows it; and useless to attempt to explain it away by attributing it to perverse inclination, to licentiousness, or to any species of moral depravity, for they are not seldom the most innocent, the most ingenuous, the most gifted, and the most noble-minded of our youth. Science, or what passes for science, is, and for a long time has been extra ecclesiam, and in its spirit and tendency contra ecclesiam. The public opinion of the scientific world is against us, and carries away not a few of our own children, and prevents those not in the church from ever listening to our argument in her favor.

It is certainly true that scenic does not and never can conflict with the revelation of God, and whenever an apparent conflict arises we must always conclude that either what is alleged as science is not science, but the opinion and conjectures of scientific men; or what passes for faith is, after all, only the opinion or conjectures of theologians. Personally we feel no uneasiness on the subject, because we have brought our faith and science into harmony, and know that what science, so far as science it is, contradicts, is not faith, but opinion; not the teaching of the church, but the opinions of the schools, or the constructions put upon the word of God by fallible men. Yet it is well to bear in mind that the certainty of faith neither objectively nor subjectively surpasses the certainty of science. Men have been able to deny the true faith, which they have once believed; no man ever denies or abandons what he sees and knows to be scientifically true. The believer who finds his science contradicting his faith, yields his faith rather than his science; for, in such a case, to continue to believe would be to cease to reason, would be to deny the very intellect, without which not even faith would be possible.

Then, again, we must bear in mind that, though faith and science can never be in contradiction, yet much that passes for faith may be in contradiction with science, and much that passes for science may be in contradiction with faith. This contradiction, indeed, affects neither what is really faith nor what is really science, but in minds not sufficiently instructed to draw sharply, on the one hand, the line between what is faith and what is only theological opinion, and, on the other, between what is science and what is only the opinion or conjecture of scientific men, it has the inevitable effect of creating, on the one side, a prejudice against science and, on the other, a prejudice against faith. Hence the good Catholics, of whom the Tablet speaks, are really opposed to all scientific investigations, to all exercise of reason, and seek their only natural support for faith in ignorance and pious affection. It is therefore that the church comes to be looked upon as the enemy of intelligence, as in some sense an institution for the perpetuation of ignorance and diffusion of general stupidity. She thus loses her hold on the intelligence of the age, on a large portion of the free, independent, ingenuous, and cultivated young men, even in her own communion, and fails almost entirely to command the respect or the attention of a similar class brought up in heterodoxy or unbelief. Therefore it is that the modern world has lapsed into unbelief, and remains outside of the church and bitterly prejudiced against her.

We owe it to the generous and noble youth growing up in the church, and who, as things go, are sure one of these days of being found among her enemies, to these immortal souls whom our Lord hath redeemed "with his precious blood, to show them that we are constantly telling them is true, namely, that science never is and never can be in conflict with faith; that there really is no conflict between what we are required by our church to receive as the word of God, or hold as divine faith, and real science, whether physical or metaphysical, whether ethical or historical. We must not simply say there is none, but we must show it, and enable them to see and know that there is none; not merely assert it ex cathedra, and consign to the flames of hell all who do not believe us, but prove that what we assert is true, either by showing scientifically that what is alleged as science is not science, or by showing theologically that what science contradicts is not any part of faith, or any thing we are required to receive as divine revelation, but is simply the opinion, the honest opinion it may be, of fallible men. We must make ourselves masters of science, not simply as it was before the flood, or as it was in the ages of barbarism, but as it is now, as held by the recognized masters of today, and thus gain the ability to meet the scientific on their own ground. We must not, in order to save their faith, discourage our youth from cultivating either science or the sciences, or content ourselves with merely declaiming against them modern science as anti-Catholic, as infidel, and with refuting it with a condemnation pronounced by authority against it, or declaring it contra fidem. We must go further, and meet scientifically, with superior science, and refute it, where it errs, on scientific principles, by scientific reasons.

It is not enough to show that what passes for science is on contradiction with systems constructed by eminent theologians, which have widely obtained in the church, and which are still held by multitudes in her communion without censure or reproof; for theologians, even the most eminent, are men and fallible as all men are, and it is well known that there are opinions in the church which are not the opinions of the church, - sententiae in ecclesia, not sententiae ecclesiae. We must either show theologically that what is contradicted is not of the faith, and has never been taught as of faith by the church in her official teaching, or scientifically that what contradicts is not science, or no just induction from the real facts in the case. We owe this to those whom the writer in The Tablet would probably call weak Catholics, bad Catholics, or no Catholics at all, though nominally in the church. There are many such, and we who are strong must endeavor to strengthen them. It will not do for us, if we would secure the approbation of our Lord, to congratulate ourselves that we are free from their infirmities, and to give them the cold shoulder because they are not such as we are, or with sublime self-complacency tell them they must believe or be damned. We must love them, and help them, especially since the greater part of their difficulties are created by us.

We owe this also to the heterodox and the unbelieving outside of the church. They are men as well as we, and God assumed their nature as well as ours. He died for them as well as for us, and he is as much glorified in their salvation as in our own. Be it they are sick, but they who are sick, not they who are whole, need the physician. Our Lord seeks their recovery, for he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance; and there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need not repentance. Charity is a Christian, a divine virtue, for Deus charitas est, God is charity or love. Charity is also a comprehensive virtue, embracing God and man in its affection. If it begins at home, it does not end there, nor is it, as too many seem to imagine, confined to the household of faith. Our Lord dies for sinners; while we were yet sinners and his enemies, he loved us, and gave his life for us. Superb contempt for or even cold indifference to those who are out of the way may comport with the Pharisee, who says, "Stand aside, I am holier than thou;" but not with the Christian, who knows that it is by no merit of his own that he has been called while others have been left behind. The Scribes and Pharisees are hardly less rife in the church than they were in the synagogue; and now, as in the time of our Lord, they hold places of honor and influence. They are regarded as the flower of Catholics, and to pass for good Catholics amongst men, we must be like them. Yet our faith was not given us solely for our own benefit, nor to be wrapped up in a clean napkin, and buried in the earth. We, who fancy heaven was made for us alone, and thank God that we are not like these poor perplexed, doubting, heterodox, infidel sinners outside of the church, and look down on them with sovereign contempt from the heights of our spiritual pride, should bear in mind that we are answerable for all who are kept out of the way of salvation by the public opinion that has grown up in modern times hostile to the church of God. That public opinion grew up and remains uncorrected through our fault. All the world, a few centuries back, was Catholic, public opinion was Catholic, power and all the means of social influence were in the hands of Catholics; Catholics had the control of education, the universities, the schools, the colleges; they had the mastery of the scientific mind, and were the leaders in all that pertains to civilization. How, save through our fault, could a public opinion grow up hostile to us, or the conviction obtain that the church is hostile to science, and unfavorable to civilization?

There can be no question that Catholics have lost the vantage-ground they once held, and lost it through their own fault. To a fearful extent, they have failed to comprehend their mission, and proved unfaithful to their trust. They have incurred the reproach of our Lord, that of failing to "discern the signs of the times." They have in their practice too often confounded the human with the divine, and done evil by endeavoring to give to political institutions and scientific theories and opinions of an ignorant and semi-barbarous age the stability and immutability which belong only to the church of God, or to the Catholic faith. Faith is stable, invariable, permanent; opinion is fickle, variable, transitory. But we have held on to opinions in the church and associated with faith, though confessedly human, and staked as far as possible, the Catholic cause on their maintenance. When advancing science assails them we cry out infidelity, and instead of calmly reexamining them, and modifying them as demanded by the new light thrown on them by the investigations and discoveries of the scientific, we declaim against the arrogant pretensions of the cultivators of science, and get off any number of wise saws against the uncertainty of science, the weakness of human reason, and the folly and sin of setting up its conclusions above the word of God, forgetting that what we are defending is itself only human opinion in the church, not the divine faith the church teaches. Hence is created a public opinion hostile to the church, and which, as against her, is unjust, and wholly unwarranted. This hostile public opinion, a mere prejudice as against the church, and yet not wholly unfounded as against Catholics, tends to keep the heterodox and unbelieving out of the way of salvation, and to deprive them of the divine light of the gospel. It is our duty to correct that public opinion, and to remove that prejudice for which we are ourselves answerable, not by words only, but by deeds; not by showing what the church did for civilization in the barbarous ages that followed the downfall of the Graeco-Roman civilization, but by proving practically that we are today the real friends of science; that if we reject any of the alleged facts or conclusions of modern science, we do it by a superior scientific knowledge, and for scientific reasons, which the scientific world must hear and respect. We must beat the heterodox and unbelieving on their own ground, with their own weapons. We must be more scientific than they, and more perfect masters of the sciences.

We owe this, finally, to science itself. We must not suppose because we have the revelation of the eternal things of God, are Catholic believers, and seeking eternal rest in heaven, that we are withdrawn from the affairs of this world, and that we have no concern with society and its interests, or with science and civilization. God has not made it necessary that the great majority of mankind should be heretics or infidels in order to take care of the earth, and leave us believers free to devote ourselves solely to ascetic exercises and the salvation of our souls. This world has its place in the Christian economy, and is God’s world, not Satan’s. The earth, according to the Copernican system, is one of the celestial bodies. Natural society is not our end, but it is as necessary to it as the cosmos is to palingenesia. Civilization is initial religion. Science is an essential element of civilization, which is the supremacy of faith and knowledge, of intelligence and love, over ignorance, rudeness, barbarism, and superstition. If we as Catholics have no duties to civilization, pray, tell us who have? If we are not bound to labor for its progress, who is? If we neglect modern civilization, what right have we to stand and declaim against it as heretical or infidel? If we denounce science, or refuse to cultivate it, what right have we to complain that it becomes our enemy instead of our friend and ally? If the spirit of the writer in The Tablet were to become universal in the church, and all the world were to become Catholics, society would come to a stand-still, nay, would cease to exist; science would cease to be cultivated; the arts would perish; there would be an end to human development; and the human race would sink into the lowest form of barbarism and savagism, giving a most terrible significance to the oportet haereses esse.

It is of the last importance that Catholics should learn, or should practically remember, that Catholicity embraces both religion and civilization; for Catholics are the only people who can give to civilization its normal development and really aid its progress. They and they alone have in their faith the true divine ideal in its integrity and universality, the real system of the universe, the dialectic key to the reconciliation of all opposites, even Creator and creature. Since Catholics have ceased to take the lead in science and civilization there has been everywhere except in the purely material order, or in the simple accumulation of material facts, a decided deterioration. There has been a great enfeeblement of character, a terrible loss of elevated principle and high moral aims. Modern civilization, in the higher, nobler, and more comprehensive sense of the word, has not advanced, and has in many respects fallen below what it was in the ancient gentile world. It is every day becoming more pagan and less Christian. It wants Christian baptism, Christian instruction, the infusion of Christian life. Of all people in the world, then, we Catholics are the most blameworthy, if we neglect science, or the sciences on which civilization more immediately depends. We have no excuse; the world can be saved only by the faith which we, and we alone, have in its unity and integrity, and God will demand a strict reckoning of us for the use we make of it. A terrible judgment awaits us.

Nevertheless, though we urge upon Catholics the duty of laboring for the continuous progress of civilization, and of making themselves able to meet and master the scientific on their own special ground, yet we are far from accepting as science all that passes for science, or from conceding that there has been in our times any thing like that wonderful progress in science or the sciences, which is very generally asserted. Modern cultivators of science have pushed their investigations far into the material order, and amassed a considerable body of tolerably well ascertained facts in the history of the globe and its inhabitants, but these facts, though of great value to science, indispensable to it, of you will, are not themselves science. Science does not consist in the simple observation of facts and inductions therefrom; but in their explanation and coordination under the dialectic law of the universe, which has not been done, and cannot be done on the so-called Baconian method, the method modern science boasts of adopting and rigidly following. That method is that of observation and induction, - a good method for investigating nature, when one has science to start with, but a very bad method when one is without science, and is groping his way in the dark to science. Lord Bacon, was, no doubt, right when he maintained that the sciences cannot be constructed a priori, but we have not found that anybody maintained the contrary. His secret of restoring and augmenting the sciences was an open secret before as well as since he wrote. In all the sciences there is a contingent element, and that element can nowhere be learned or ascertained except by the method of experience, or of observation, experiment, and induction. We can successfully cultivate the sciences by no other method. But the sciences so-called are not in themselves science, and from them alone we never do and never can attain to science. Hence we find that the most rigid disciples of Lord Bacon usually proceed by way of a preliminary hypothesis which directs their investigations, and which controls their experiments. Their experiments are all for the purpose of confirming or exploding some hypothesis or preconceived theory. They cannot, if they would, do otherwise, for the sciences demand science as the condition of their construction, and in the absence of science, apodictic science, we mean, the human mind must resort to hypothesis.

The error of our men of science is not in adopting the Baconian method, but in adopting it as an exclusive method, and in attempting by it alone to attain science. That method begins by the study of phenomena, and gives us at best only an arbitrary classification of appearances. But the simple study and classification of phenomena is not science, for the excellent reason that nothing exists as pure phenomenon or appearance. Appearance without something that appears is nothing, a sheer nullity. There is no phenomenon without its noumenon, no appearance without that which appears, no particular without the universal, no mimesis without methexis, no individual without the genus or species, no universe without God; and Kant, after Leibnitz, the greatest of the German philosophers, has proved once for all that the second series of terms can never, either by way of deduction or induction, be rationally concluded from the first; that neither by way of deduction nor of induction is God obtainable from the universe, the methexic from the mimetic, the universal from the particular, the noumenon from the phenomenon. This is the real significance of that little understood and much misunderstood work, the Critik der reinen Vernunft. The two terms must be given as they exist, not analytically, but synthetically. God, indeed, is complete in himself, and in no sense dependent in order to be in the universe, but even he can be known to us only in synthesis with the universe, united to him by his creative act. He cannot be concluded from the universe, for the universe is from him, not he from it. To attempt to obtain by logical deduction or induction the noumenon from the phenomenon, the universal from the particular, God from the universe, is to attempt to get something, from nothing, and to plunge at last into pure nihilism. To reverse the method, and to attempt to conclude logically the phenomenon from the noumenon, the contingent from the necessary, the universe from God, is to confound creature and creator, the contingent and the necessary, the empirical and the ideal, to deny creation, and to fall into pantheism. And hence all modern science so called tends inevitably either to pantheism or to nihilism.

Here is the grand difficulty. We can construct the sciences on a scientific basis neither a priori, nor a posteriori alone, because in all the sciences there are both contingent and ideal necessary elements. The true scientific method combines in a real synthesis the two methods. Either is objectionable when taken exclusively, and each is good when adopted in connection with the other. The sciences cannot be constructed without science, - the science of the ideal, or philosophy, nor without careful observation of contingent facts. The fault of modern science is in separating, - not simply distinguishing, but separating, - in its method the contingent from the necessary, the empirical from the ideal, or the mimetic from the methexic, and hence its inductions and generalizations are nothing but unscientific and arbitrary classifications of phenomena or particulars. Our complaint of the modern cultivators of science, whether in or out of the church, is that they have no philosophy, as our pretended philosophers have no theology. It is our complaint of the modern world itself. Our age has no philosophy, and having no philosophy it has no genuine science. We have separated the sciences from philosophy, that is, from science, and philosophy from theology, reason from revelation, and have therefore been compelled to attempt the construction of science and the sciences empirically, by the study and classification of particulars. We have thus eliminated from the science we study every ideal or non-contingent element, and attempted to explain the universe with the contingent alone, without God or his creative act, as may be seen in the Cosmos of Alexander von Humboldt, and in the positivism of Auguste Comte.

All truth is in relation. All things exist in the real synthesis instituted by the creative act of God, and nothing can be truly seen, observed, and known except in the real relations, or the relations in which it actually exists. Even what we call facts, cannot be understood, or represented, cannot be seen, as they are, detached from these relations, taken in detail, and studied in their isolation, because as isolated, detached, they are no facts at all. Hence the science of geology, zoology, physiology, philology, ethnology, ethics, or history can never be completed and mastered as a separate and detached science. Each of these sciences, to be successfully studied, must be studied in its real relations, and not one of them can deserve the name of science, if constructed by the effort to rise from the particular to the universal. We must begin with the real beginning, the creative act of God, and descend from the whole to the parts. No matter what science we are studying, the human mind must operate as it is, use its synthetic light, - as blended in one light, the light derived from immediate idea, intuition, or a priori reason, supernatural revelation, and experience, or observation and induction. Not that in matters of science the mind must blindly submit to either revelation or philosophy as an extrinsic or foreign authority, restraining its freedom, or prohibiting it from using its own eyes, and following its own inherent constitution and laws; but that to operate freely and scientifically, according to the intrinsic laws of intelligence, it must avail itself of all the light with which it is furnished, - all the means of grasping the universe as a whole and in its parts at its command.

What we insist upon is that the human mind never has its normal action when compelled by false or exclusive theories to operate with only a small portion of the light furnished it. We found not science on revelation, but we maintain that it is impossible to attain to the true system of the universe without the light of revelation. We demand the free normal action of reason, but reason never does and never can have its free normal action, when left to itself alone, with no aid from the revealed word of God. In all that is contingent, reason has need of experience, observation, experiment, investigation; but with these alone, we can never rise above the empirical, or attain to scientific results. Reason cannot operate without principles, and these must be given it a priori; for if it cannot operate without principles, it cannot without principles engage in the search after principles. In the superintelligible order, on which the intelligible order depends, and without which it would not and could not be, supernatural revelation must supply the want of direct intuition and sensible apprehension. Ideal science, - philosophy, - and revelation are both necessary to the successful cultivation of the sciences; and the reason why the sciences make so little real progress, why they are so uncertain, and why they are received with so much distrust by metaphysicians and theologians, is that the men who cultivate them insist on cultivating them as separate and independent sciences, and will accept no aid from philosophy or from faith. Descartes ruined philosophy when he separated it from theology, and made it a creation of reason isolated from faith; Bacon ruined the sciences as sciences, when he separated them from philosophy or ideal science and made them purely empirical. Facts or one side of facts may have been examined, and the scientific men of today have no doubt, in their possession a larger mass of materials for the construction of the sciences, than had their predecessors, but they have less science than had the great medieval doctors and professors. St. Thomas had more science than Sir Charles Lyell, or Professor Owen. The recent work of Sir Charles on the Antiquity of Man, as well as that of Darwin on the Origin of Species, shows not the progress, but the deterioration of science. The same thing is shown by Agassiz in his elaborate essay on Classification, and by the trouble naturalists have to settle the proper classification of man. The naturalists are unwearied in their investigations, and shrink from no sacrifice to advance their respective sciences, but we meet not one of their works that does not prove that they have lost the true key to the scientific sense of the universe. They are men whose ability, whose labors we respect; they do all that men can do with their method; they do much for which we are grateful to them, and we are by no means among those who detract from their merits, or denounce them as the enemies of religion; but we must tell them that they will never, in the way they proceed, attain to the science to which their lives are so generously devoted. Civilization separated from religion, science separated from revelation, reason separated from faith, can never flourish, and under this separation, though men may fancy they are still believers on one side of the soul, society goes to ruin, and a gross materialism, pure selfishness becomes predominant, as we have seen and still see, especially in Great Britain and the United States, who, though they have been for some time at the head of modern civilization, which has collapsed in our civil war, are hardly up to the level of the ancient Graeco-Roman world.

Yet we are not asserting revelation as a foreign authority, or insisting that the naturalists, or physicists, are in their own departments to bow to the dicta of the metaphysicians. We would impose no fetters on reason, no trammels on science, for the assertion of revelation as a trammel on reason, or philosophy as a restraint on science, would be to assert that very separation we complain of, that very divorce of religion and civilization which Bacon and Descartes so successfully inaugurated, and from which all modern society now suffers. What we assert is the synthesis of religion and civilization, of revelation and science, of faith and reason. The human mind operates in all, and operates freely, according to its own intrinsic laws. Faith does not restrain reason in matters of science; does not say to it, Thus far, but no further; but bids it use all the light it has, and aids it to go further than by its own light it could go. We are not contending that reason should cease to be reason, or that reason should close her eyes, fold her hands, and fetter her feet, but that she keep both of her eyes open, and use both of her hands, and both of her feet. We do not wish her to extinguish her own light and envelop herself in darkness, in order to see by the light of revelation. If to attain to true science reason needs immediate intuition of principles and the supernatural revelation of the superintelligible, it is reason that receives and uses them. In the field of science as distinguished from that of faith, revelation is adjutative rather than imperative. Its light and that of reason coalesce and shine as one light. The naturalist studies man, for instance, as an animal, and can give no scientific account of him, and is at a loss how or where to class him, whether in a distinct order of animals by himself, or in the family of baboons. This must be so, because man is not a pure animal, and cannot be classed as such. We know from revelation that he is composed of body and soul, or body and spirit, and that the animal is him is the animal transformed. The animal when separated from the soul or spirit is not a living, but a dead animal. Take this fact from revelation, not as a dogma, unless you please, but as a theorem, and you will find all the facts you can observe in the case harmonize with it, and tend to confirm it. So universally, in every department of science. The key to the scientific classification and explanation of the phenomena of nature is in the superintelligible, and is furnished only by supernatural revelation.

It is because revelation places the mind in the true position, or gives it the true point of departure, for the study of nature, and enables the naturalists or physicists to pursue their investigations scientifically, according to a rule, not at random, that we so strenuously urge upon Catholics the duty of taking the sciences into their own hands. They and they only can cultivate them scientifically, for they and they only have the revelation of God in its unity and integrity, and occupy a position from which they universe can be seen as it is. At present, the men of science pursue one and the same method, whether in or out of the church, and there is in the minds of Catholics themselves a fatal schism between their faith and their science. Catholics are in the sciences followers of the Baconian method, and forego all the advantages their faith and their superior theological science give them. They follow the lead of non-Catholics, and seldom surpass them, seldom equal them. Hence both in and out of the church the sciences are un-Catholic, and, in fact, anti-Catholic. For this reason the more believing and devout among Catholics either neglect them or declaim against them. But let Catholics themselves study the sciences in the light of their own faith and their higher theology, and conquer by their superior science, the mastery of the scientific world, and they would speedily place the sciences on a scientific track, and make them friends and allies of religion, never again to be enlisted on the side of its enemies. Our faith is of no use to the sciences even if cultivated by Catholics, if these Catholics pursue in their cultivation a non-Catholic or exclusive method. What we must do is to combine our faith and science, unite, without confounding them in our method, the light of revelation and the light of reason. Were we to do this as did the Greek and Latin fathers, and as did the more eminent medieval doctors and professors, we could soon, with the vast body of facts or materials accumulated by modern students and at our disposal, heal the deplorable schism between faith and reason, revelation and science; reunite what should never have been separated, and render civilization really Catholic. We could place the public opinion of the civilized world once more on the side of the church, and our youth would grow up believers, and demand reasons for not believing instead as now of demanding reasons for believing. This is an end worthy of the noblest and most earnest efforts of Catholics. Let them not, we pray them, lose sight of it.


for July, 1863