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there is good marble. The oxygen turns both its bonds to the metal, and there is crumbling quick-lime. The atom is known only as the center of a certain chemical activity. Deprived of all chemical activity matter must cease to exist in any form known to man. Take away this .conserving force
"The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
What we call the indestructibility of matter, actually is the persisting activity of chemical force.
What we know of the atom of carbon, as it migrates from a compound in the air, to a set of compounds in the green leaf and to a series of unions in the blood of animal life, thence returning again to its first place in the atmosphere, what we know of it is, that it is a center of chemical energy acting in swift response to other chemical centers, with multiplied changes of result. Indeed what we predict of this atom of carbon in the latest hypotheses of stereo-chemistry is but this, a center of chemical force, acting at once in four directions equidistant from each other, so that these lines of action coincide with the four solid angles of a tetrahedron.
As we continue, secondly, to follow the workings of the forces which make and unmake matter, the more we study them the farther they lead us beyond visible and tangible objects. Our studies of chemical action lead us to inquire of the supposed ether of physical science.
Consider, if you will, any chemical reaction in the labora tory. In its results it is simple, exact, invariable, true to conditions every time, true in weight and volume and power. But in its causes, it leads us, step by step, to the most etherial,
Not to go
and immeasurable existence conceived by science. to a laboratory, stop and think of that chemical reaction going on before everybody every day on the hearth, the burning of coal. We figure the weight of oxygen to one of carbon true to the second decimal, perhaps to the third. We declare the number of horse-power from one ton of coal, and the load of a running train verifies the rule. Yet when we inquire into the nature of that chemical force whereby one atom of carbon unites with two of oxygen, we are led to predicate something very near to the substance of a spiritual body. When we reach toward the cause of matter we approach the realm of the soul.
The world hears much of evolution, from the studies of the biologist, with a general vague impression, partly true, that mind is developed out of life, and life out of matter. Back of this development and along with it, there is another evolution, shown by the studies of the chemist, that matter is developed out of force, and force is generated by mind. It is a just conclusion that such creative mind is infinite in person, wisdom and love.
This conclusion is derived from studies, thirdly, of the unerring order found in chemical action, and the unvarying beneficence of creation. It is a classical inscription of old world laboratories, "God has ordered all things in exact measure and weight." The periodic harmonies of matter in its chemical structure speak to the mind of the chemist, as the beauties of the face of nature speak to the soul of the artist. Creation is for man in this, that he is capable of hearing its voices.
All the chemical activities render service to man. The fertilizing reactions in the soil, the combinations of food in the living body, the renewing of tissue material in muscle and nerve, the storage of coal and petroleum to do the work of the
artizan, the ministry, or nature under the strivings of art, all are provided to nourish and to instruct the soul of man.
To study the methods of creation, in recognition of the Creator, is to gain religious instruction. This a privilege of the chemical student, whatever be his order of chemical studies. It may be an analytical study, to find what are the parts in combination. The analysis may be qualitative, for the identification of parts, or quantitative, for the ratio of mass of each part. As a masterpiece of literary art may be dissected with gentle care, to find the division lines between groups of the artistic elements, so a proximate analysis may be conducted in the laboratory to reveal the groupings of the atoms within the molecule. As, again, a work of literature may be torn asunder to its ultimate residues by the critic to find only how much of each part has been taken in the composition, so the chemist resorts to the combustion furnace for an ultimate analysis and quantitative results. In any case, whether in literature or in chemistry, it is the highest purpose of the study to show forth the plan of the author. And so when the chemist investigates by a synthetic method, it may be said in a figure of speech that he makes a compound, but it is not really true. It is not he who makes. It is the utmost of the chemist to be a witness of the method in which the compound is made by the Creator, when His forces are liberated through the agency of man. The crystal of a synthetic laboratory product is as much a piece of Divine Creation as can be any crystal found in a grotto just opened by the explorer. The greatest chemical skill cannot alter an atomic mass by any fraction of its weight, nor can it effect so much as the slightest variation in any chemical constant To be a learner is the utmost of human knowledge. To liberate the creative forces and make way for them is the utmost of
human skill. In synthesis or in analysis, the highest purpose of the student is the same, to find out the order of creation, in "the things that are made.” If his spirit be reverent, he may expect to be taught of God.
This is not a claim that all the studies of chemistry shall be directed to religious ends in the distinct sense here intended. There are studies that should be secular, for the times due to the daily life of people. And there are studies, that should be sacred, for the interests of immortality.
Still less is this a claim that science, such as chemistry, is a full revelation of God, sufficient for the heart and the life of God has spoken "at sundry times and in diverse manners' to his children. All truth leads to God, some truths the
God's truth as it is in material creation, is in constant reference throughout the bible. When Paul as an evangelist was preaching Christ in terms the soonest to touch the consciences of his hearers he besought them to turn "unto the living God, which made heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all living things that are therein," quoting from the Psalmist who adds "which keepeth truth forever." All the attributes of God are shown forth in the face of nature. "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the Heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth into the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.”
HOW HAS BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH MODIFIED CHRISTIAN CONCEPTIONS?
prof. v. M. SPALDING.
Delivered February 28, 1892.
The question proposed for our consideration assumes that within recent years Christian conceptions have in some way undergone modification, and that biological study has had more or less to do with this.
If this is true it is a most important fact, for one's conceptions of truth, whether well grounded or not, constitute the truth for him, and the religious conceptions of any person cannot be permanently changed without affecting both character and conduct.
The independent study of such a question, therefore, takes on a deeply serious aspect, and the more so since it can hardly be doubted that some such changes as those assumed are actually taking place, and that, furthermore, one cannot discuss a subject of this kind fully and frankly without in some measure contributing to the very changes of sentiment that, whether to be welcomed or deplored, are, at all events, of momentous con
I should not have proposed to myself such a task as this, but since it has been laid upon me I shall, with a deep sense of responsibility, enter upon it. It must be clearly understood, however, that the elements of the problem are not all given, and that some of the factors involve individual judgment, a