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Brabant; he was treacherously decoyed from his asylum in the English House, and imprisoned in the Castle of Vilvorde. It is pleasant to find evidence that the English government had no part in the transaction; the laws against heresy had evidently been broken by Tyndale, and it was only necessary for some bigoted Papist to bring the accusation, and to place the offender within their grasp; the interposition of Cromwell was absolutely in vain. In the Castle of Vilvorde he languished for sixteen months. An original letter to the governor of the castle, the only document in Tyndale's handwriting known to exist, has recently been discovered in the archives of the Council of Brabant. The illustrious prisoner requests that, if he is to remain there during the winter, he may be supplied with warmer clothing from that which had been seized with his other property at his apprehension, that he may have a candle in the evening, and, above all, that he may be permitted to have his Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Grammar, and Hebrew Dictionary. It is a letter worthy of Tyndale; pathetic in its unconscious and heroic manliness, and justifies Mr. Demaus' eloquent comparison with the letter of the aged Apostle of the Gentiles, " sending for his cloak and his books, but especially the parchments, to defend him against the damp and the tedium of his gloomy Mamertine dungeon.”
So, with his Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Grammar, and Hebrew Dictionary, Tyndale, face to face with death, worked at the task to which he had devoted his life, until the sentence he had looked for so long was pronounced and executed. Bound to the stake, with faggots piled around him, but with the merciful cord around his neck, he cried with a loud voice his last prayer for his country, “ Lord, open the King of England's eyes !" then the cord was tightened, and Tyndale's heroic spirit was dismissed ; immediately the faggots were kindled, and the ashes of the worn and feeble body were soon mingled with the embers of the funeral pile, unrecognised save by Him who shall raise it up at the last day.
It was little more than twelve years since Tyndale left his native land, not seeking wealth or pleasure, nor avoiding persecution and danger, but determined to undertake a work for which there was no place in England. In exile and poverty, and often in hunger and cold, he had devoted his life to the production of the English Bible. His other works, powerful as they were in their influence upon his contemporaries, have passed away, but the work for which he had unequalled qualification, and doubtless a special vocation
the dismisse cord was" Tord, opied with
from God, is yet mighty among the nation that he loved. The truth itself, in all its grace and power, we owe to God the Holy Ghost; the form we owe to Evangelists and Apostles, who wrote as they were moved by Him; but no mean office was entrusted to him who constructed that clear, crystalline medium, through which the light and truth have reached the English race.
As was said at the outset of this article, it is not possible to write a perfect biography of William Tyndale. The history of his daily life, his domestic habits, his intercourse with Continental Protestants, and his correspondence with England, has almost entirely disappeared. But the book before us presents the most complete and the most trustworthy record which is now attainable. It embodies the results of careful and conscientious research, and of rare critical discrimination; it rectifies the errors and misapprehensions of other biographers, with the uniform result of placing the subject of the narrative at a still higher eminence among his fellowlabourers in the Reformation in England; and it affords a most valuable contribution to the history of the English Bible.
ART. III.—The Higher Ministry of Nature, viewed in the
Light of Modern Science, and as an Aid to Advanced
atient achille the us for
Every thoughtful mind, instructed in the aspects of modern scientific speculation, and solicitous for the safety of moral and religious truth, must desire the spread of sound scientific knowledge. The recent achievements of science are so fascinating, nay, romantic, that they must needs become matters of popular interest. Their poetry, their cosmical catholicity, their almost superhuman results, invest them with a perpetual charm for all who think. But it is undeniable that a clear knowledge of the principles of science, and a consequent appreciation of the true relations of current discovery, is not possessed generally by even the most cultured classes. Hence a bare statement of formula or fact, although expressing the sublimest discovery, would, to the masses, have neither beauty nor force. To have meaning for them, it must be correlated to theory, strung upon hypothesis. This work, of necessity, fell into the hands of the speculatists in science; and thence have arisen the complexities of prevailing thought. We by no means imply dishonesty of purpose, we have strong reason to believe in the sincerity of these teachers ; but we nevertheless urge that the manner in which hypothesis is made to wed fact, can be received only by those to whom, in their integrity, the data of modern science are unknown. The surest correction of these heretical speculations is a rigid knowledge of the facts; for it is not what science discloses, but the philosophy of its votaries, that threatens the foundation of religious belief.
Science proper is the exact interpretation of phenomena. It has no concern for the harmony or discord of these with the canons of either metaphysics or theology, much less with efforts to prove harmony impossible. Its work is to grasp and accumulate the facts of the universe until they axiomatically group themselves into inevitable “ laws." Nature thus discloses her own meaning, and mind perceives, does not
The Author's Claims.
tell bless this has reflectedre limite Whemselves the test
invent, the correlations of phenomena. But profound and eager students of Nature, not content with interpreting to us the latest utterance of their great instructor, interpolate, tell us what they think the following sentences will be. Doubtless this has been done at times with a splendid penetration that has reflected the utmost glory upon the human intellect. Nay, there are limits within which it is invaluable. But to the audience outside themselves, which scientific men seek to reach, the interpolation and the text should be distinguished. Their separate values should be frankly given, and the suppositions should relate to sequence, not to phenomena-to laws, not to facts. But this is too much lost sight of in the brilliant speculations of our day. Data real and data hypothetical are placed side by side. There is no attempt at distinction, and the whole are marshalled at the dictates of a philosophy by means of which science negatives the possibility of all but itself! It becomes, therefore, the duty of the Christian philosopher to separate the known from the hypothetical, the real from the ideal; to disarm the ruthless theoriser, by enabling the thoughtful and truthseeking to distinguish between what Nature has disclosed and what is merely the invention of imaginative minds; to front fearlessly the latest triumphs of research, prepared to show that these disclose profounder lessons than the highest science can reach; that Nature has a “higher ministry," without which, even after science has drawn from it its latest truth, it would be devoid of its noblest meaning. This is the object of the book before us. A timely, and, in many senses, a rich contribution to the mental necessities of our times, it is the work of a mind comprehensive in its grasp, deep in its sympathy with nature, and strong in its love of truth. Its scope is broad, embracing the physical, the metaphysical, and the metaphysiological, in their most advanced and completed forms, comprising, on the one hand, the largest questions possible to thought, and, on the other, the minutest details of the latest research. The reasoning is clear and strong; and the style, although occasionally florid, is in the main graceful and pure.
The author takes up his position under circumstances that entitle him to a fair and impartial hearing on either side. He is known to science as a writer on geological subjects whose contributions deserve the highest respect, while his right to be heard by theologians is manifest in the conservative, yet purely philosophical, spirit in which theology is treated.
With the earlier chapters we are not so immediately concerned. They conduct us naturally to the essence of the theme, reminding us of the fleeting nature of human life and experience in comparison with the enduring nature of the universe. Hence the importance of learning to the utmost what Nature has the power to teach. It is urged that Nature's ministry is twofold,-a lower and a higher, a utilitarian and an ethical. By the one she “subserves our present individual and collective interests, makes highly civilised man what he now is, and promises to make him more than he now is, and place him on the highest eminence of physical attainments."* By the other, “She serves us as a handmaid to religion, and becomes our servant in showing herself to be the servant of God.” It is confessed that they are intimately linked, but we prefer to consider that Nature has no ministry but the higher; that in her affluent response to man's personal needs, and in her aids to his physical elevation, as well as in her appeals to his highest mental nature, her ministry is one. It is selfishness that has broken the rhythm and unity of her teaching. Man has luxuriated in her boundless beneficence to him, until his mind's eye has become dull to the gentler breathings, which, through his intellect, were meant to link him with the Mind from whence all being sprang.
To those who are eager to exclude the Deity from the universe because He eludes their method, because they cannot find Him as they find an absorption-band in a stellar spectrum, of course Nature has no ministry but what is brute, no beauty that is real. But this is not philosophy, for it ignores the mental characteristics of the philosopher! It generalises with some of the largest facts omitted. It is content wholly to omit the consciousness of humanity, and to treat with contempt the necessary laws of thought. Mind everywhere is conscious of the ethical in Nature, otherwise the largest proportion of its meaning is lost. To what end the sublimity, the majesty, the glory of nature ? Whence the unuttered perfection of its minutiæ, and the boundless magnificence of its whole? If Nature makes no appeal to mind, why are the purest displays of her beauty within its reach, yet defiantly and for ever beyond the grasp of unaided human vision? Why has the invisible crystal such entrancing grace of form ? To what end the chasing on a diatom which it requires our highest optical aids to discover? Why