Previous Index Next
Page 68
(previous) (Page 000068) (next)
 
68 FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

Mr. Mozley concedes that it would be no great result
for miracles to be accepted by the ignorant and superstitious,
“because it is easy to satisfy those who do not inquire.”
But he does consider it “ a great result” that they have
been accepted by the educated. In what sense educated ?
Like those statesmen, jurists, and church dignitaries whose
education was unable to save them from the frightful errors
glanced at above? Not even in this sense; for the great
mass of Mr. Mozley’s educated people had no legal training,
and must have been absolutely defenceless against delusions
which could set even that training at naught. Like nine-
tenths of our clergy at the present day, they were versed in
the literature of Greece, Rome, and Judea ; but as regards
a knowledge of Nature, which is here the One thing needful,
they were “ noble savages,” and nothing more. In the
case of miracles, then, it behooves us to understand the
weight of the negative, before we assign a value to the
positive; to comprehend the protest of Nature before we
attempt to measure, with it, the assertions of men. We
have only to Open our eyes to see what honest, and even
intellectual, men and women are capable of in the way of
evidence in this nineteenth century of the Christian era,
and in latitude fifty-two degrees north. The experience
thus gained ought, I imagine, to influence our opinion
regarding the testimony of people inhabiting a sunnier
clime, with a richer imagination, and without a particle of
that restraint which the discoveries of physical science have
imposed upon mankind.

witchcraft was unquestionable; ‘for first, the Scriptures had affirmed so
much; and secondly, the wisdom of all nations had provided laws against
such persons, which is an argument of their confidence of such a crime.’
Sir Thomas Browne, who was a great physician as well as a great writer,
was called as a witness, and swore" that he was clearly of Opinion that
the persons were bewitched.’ ”-—Lecky’s History of Rationalism, v01. i.
p. 120.

Previous Index Next