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most illustrious contemporary,) to the prison of the unholy Office of the Inquisition for having maintained that the earth moves round its own axis;* and even Bacon himself-he who had nobly and eloquently said, that I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind,' +-escaped not the bigoted attacks of the school-divines, who attempted to cry down his philosophical writings, by falsely asserting that they favoured atheism. I

• See Drinkwater's Life of Galileo, ch, xiii., published in the Library of Useful Knowledge.

+ Bacon's Works, vol. 1, p. 53.

1 Osborn's Works, p. 446, (tenth edition.) The passage from which we learn this fact is too interesting not to be given in the words of the anthor, who was a contemporary observer :—Sir Walter Raleigh was the first (as I have heard) that ventured to tack about, and sail aloof from the beaten track of the schools; who, upon the discovery of so apparent an error, as a torrid zone, intended to proceed in an inquisition after more solid truths, till the meditation of some, whose livelihood lay in hammering shrines for this superannuated study,

For the original source of such prejudices as these, we must look into that peculiar system of theoretic or speculative divinity which formerly prevailed. The scholastic philosophy, whose origin and character have recently been so ably and ingeniously investigated and explained by Dr. Hampden, was the acknowledged system of the Church, and soon stamped its metaphysical character upon theology, which became the master science. The Trivium and Quadrivium of the schools * were studied in sub

possessed queen Elizabeth, that such doctrine was against God no less than her Father's honour, whose faith (if he owned any) was grounded upon school-divinity: whereupon she chid him, who was (by his own confession) ever after branded with the title of an Atheist, though a known asserter of God and Providence. A like censure fell to the share of venerable Bacon till overbalanced by a greater weight of glory from strangers: nor could desert, and the name of the English Jewel, given Selden beyond sea, free him from a like imputation at home.'-Francis Osborn's Works,

P. 446.

* The Trivium was a term invented to express the

servience to this system; and all science having been thus incorporated with theology, the notion arose, that nothing could be true in any science that was not accordant with the received interpretation of Scripture, whether literal or hypothetical.*

“If the scriptures,' said sir Humphry Davy, are to be literally interpreted, and systems of science found in them, Gallileo Gallilei merited his persecution, and we ought still to believe that the sun turns round the earth.'+ And we would add, that those who seek for systems of geology, for instance, in the Genesis of

three sciences that were first learned in the schools, viz., Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic; and the schools in which these sciences alone were taught were called Triviales. The Quadrivium comprehended the four mathematical sciences, viz., Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, and Astronomy.—Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, vol. 2, p. 251, note; and see Dr. Hampden's Scholastic Philosophy, p. 63.

* Hampden's Scholastic Philosophy, p. 302, note.

+ Sir H. Davy's Consolations in Travel, p. 141. See some judicious remarks on this subject by Archbishop Whately, Lectures on Political Economy, pp. 30–36.

Moses, are not consistent with themselves, when they acknowledge (as all rational people do acknowledge) the truth of the Copernican system. In the one case, they are guided by a just rule of construction, which, in the other, they reject.

It deserves to be mentioned, as an interesting fact which hereafter will be recorded in the history of science, that, in the year 1818, Pius VII., a pontiff alike distinguished for his liberality and love of knowledge, procured a repeal of the edicts against Galileo and the Copernican system. He assembled the congregation; and the late cardinal Toriozzi, assessor of the Sacred Office, proposed that they should wipe off this scandal from the church.' The repeal was carried, with the dissentient voice of one Dominican only.*

• Lyell's Principles of Geology, vol. 1, p. 99, note, (third edit.) 'Long before this time,' says Mr. Lyell,

the Newtonian theory had been taught in the Sapienza, and all Catholic universities in Europe, (with the exception, I am told, of Salamanca ;) but it was always re

Another hindrance to the advancement of science has arisen from the habits and regulations of universities and other academical societies. These bodies were the great external means by which that sterile scholastic philosophy was cherished and matured which converted theology and physical science into a subtle system of abstract terms.* Chained down to the dogmas of particular authors, reason submitted to authority; and if any one dared to assert the liberty of thinking for himself, he was branded as an atheist; and perhaps, like Roger Bacon,-one of the most illustrious names in the early annals of science,—dragged from his studious cell into

quired of professors, in deference to the decrees of the church, to use the term hypothesis, instead of theory. They now speak of the Copernican theory.

* Hampden's Scholastic Philosophy, pp. 9, 86, and passim. In physical science,' says Dr. Hampden, .it has been admitted, that conclusions from abstract terms are no valid indications of facts in nature. May we hope, that the time will come, when the like will be as fully and practically admitted in Theology!'- Ib., p. 56.

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