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SCIENTIFIC USE OF THE IMAGINATION. 157

to utter; and they invite, if they do not challenge,.men of
the most decided opinions to state and stand by those Opin-
ions in open court. Let the hardiest theory be stated only
in the language current among gentlemen, and theylook it
in the face; smiting the theory, if they do not like it, not
with theologic fulmination, but with honest secular strength.
With the country clergy I am told the case is different. It
is right that I should say this, because the clergy of Lon-
don have' more than once offered me the chance of meeting
them in open, honorable discussion.

Two or three years ago, in an ancient London College,
I listened to such a discussion at the end of a remarkable
lecture by a very remarkable man. Three or four hundred
clergymen were present at the lecture. The orator began
with the civilization of Egypt in the time of Joseph;
pointing out that the very perfect organization of the
kingdom, and the possession of chariots, in one of which
Joseph rode, indicated a long antecedent period of civili-
zation. He then passed on to the mud of the Nile, its
rate of augmentation, its present thickness, and the re-
mains of human handiwork found therein; thence to the
rocks which bound the Nile valley, and which teem with
organic remains. Thus in his own clear and admirable
Way he caused the idea of the world’s age to expand itself
indefinitely before the mind of his audience, and he con-
trasted this with the age usually assigned to the world.
During his discourse he seemed to be swimming against
the stream; he manifestly thought that he was opposing
a general conviction. He expected resistance; so did I.
But it was all a mistake: there was no adverse current,
no opposing conviction, no resistance, merely here and
there a half-humorous, but unsuccessful attempt to entan-
gle him in his talk. The meeting agreed with all that
had been said regarding the antiquity of the earth and of
its life. They had, indeed, known it all long ago, and

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