2. In the capacity of the human mind for knowing God and certain of these relations; and
3. In the provision of means by which God is brought into actual contact with the mind, or in other words, in the provision of a revelation.
Any particular science is possible only when three conditions combine, namely, the actual existence of the object with which the science deals, the subjective capacity of the human mind to know that object, and the provision of definite means by which the object is brought into contact with the mind. We may illustrate the conditions of theology from selenology ? the science, not of ?lunar politics,? which John Stuart Mill thought so vain a pursuit, but of lunar physics. Selenology has three conditions: 1. the objective existence of the moon; 2. the subjective capacity of the human mind to know the moon; and 3. the provision of some means (e. g.. the eye and the telescope) by which the gulf between man and the moon is bridged over, and by which the mind can come into actual cognizance of the facts with regard to the moon.
1. In the existence of a God who has relations to the universe ? It has been objected, indeed, that since God and these relations are objects apprehended only by faith, they are not proper objects of knowledge or subjects for science. We reply:
A. Faith is knowledge, and a higher sort of knowledge ? Physical science also rests upon faith ? faith in our own existence, in the existence of a world objective and external to us, and in the existence of other persons than ourselves; faith in our primitive convictions, such as space, time, cause, substance, design, right; faith in the trustworthiness of our faculties and in the testimony of our fellow men. But physical science is not thereby invalidated, because this faith, though unlike sense ? perception or logical demonstration, is yet a cognitive act of the reason, and may be defined as certitude with respect to matters in which verification is unattainable.
The objection to theology thus mentioned and answered is expressed in the words of Sir William Hamilton, Metaphysics, 44, 531 ? ?Faith ? belief ? is the organ by which we apprehend what is beyond our knowledge.? But science is knowledge, and what is beyond our knowledge cannot be matter for science. Pres. E. C. Robinson says well, that knowledge and faith cannot be severed from one another, like bulkheads in a ship, the first of which may be crushed in, while the second still keeps the vessel afloat. The mind is one, ? ?it cannot be cut in two with a hatchet.? Faith
Was this article helpful?