The Puzzled Cleric
From the Earth Review, July 1895
By “ ICONOCLAST”
The PUZZLED CLERIC depicted in our illustration shows the quandary thousands of his calling, as well as many other sincere people unexpectedly find themselves in after expending their time in schools and colleges poring over mind staggering- literature to imbibe the numerous ASSUMPTIONS which originate in and ramify from MODERN THEORETICAL SCIENCE (so-called).
We advise all who are in this unenviable position to courageously climb back to the MOUNTAINS of COMMON-SENSE and resolutely keep to the track which leads away to the right towards TRUTH, where they will discover the solidly constructed BRIDGE of ZETETICISM, by which the ABYSS of DOUBT and INFIDELITY can be easily overcome without fear or perplexity.
Many superficial thinkers may be inclined to doubt the position of the Puzzled Cleric, but those who have passed through the general course of education, especially that of the Higher Grade, will admit that it cannot be successfully carried out without a large amount of THE MODERN THEORETICAL SCIENCE being imbibed, and in such an insidious manner that it is almost impossible for anyone destined to become an expounder of REVELATION to be otherwise than biased by his THEORETICAL SCIENCE training; but putting aside for the moment this particular phase of the subject and viewing it from a purely secular point, we have good authority from one of Modern Theoretical Science’s most admired and be-lauded champions, which is condemnatory of this falsely so-called SCIENCE, we allude to Professor HUXLEY, who has candidly said, “ True science is connected knowledge; connection between its conclusions and their first principles must be capable o f demonstration, that it (True Science) differs in nothing from common knowledge, save its accuracy and constant testing and verification, that it sees FA C T S as they are, or at any rate without the distortion of prejudice, and reasons from them (the FACTS) in accordance with the dictates of sound judgment. TRUE SCIENCE IS SIMPLY COMMON SENSE AT IT’S BEST, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.” To condense the above, we may say, true SCIENCE is positive in its character. This question therefore remains for all of us, viz. :— Is there any really positive character in MODERN THEORETICAL SCIENCE ? After patiently investigating in every COSMOGRAPHICAL, ASTRONOMICAL and GEOLOGICAL direction, we are compelled to answer in the negative, as we find and PROVE this so-called SCIENCE nothing more than a mass of groundless ASSUMPTION and SUPPOSITION.
We will now take another glance at The Puzzled Cleric, and also think of those in a like position , quibble or sophisticate as he or they may, the bridging of the ABYSS of DOUBT and INFIDELITY, from the MODERN THEORETICAL SCIENTIFIC ground, by any amount of WARPED INTERPRETATIONS or “ HIGHER CRITICISM ” so-called, is as impossible as attempting to bridge the ATLANTIC with a cob-web ; so called Right Reverend Fathers, Doctors of Divinity and Theology, with Professors “ galore,” have (honestly in many cases) attempted times out of number, to accomplish the business, with the results, that many have candidly owned themselves beaten outright, while others have sunk abashed into the Abyss of Doubt and Infidelity ; and yet with all this, to as much as hint dissent from the original and generally accepted THEORETICAL PREMISS (viz. THE GLOBULARITY OF THE WORLD) of Modern Theoretical Science, is sufficient to raise a sneer in some, and make even those who openly call themselves Christians, put their tongues in their cheeks, or at most, secretly pity what they are pleased to call THE IGNORANCE OF THE DISSEN TER S, and then complacently walk off to their various PLACES OF WORSHIP like so many infallible oracles or popes, with their Bibles (which contain THE TRUEST SCIENCE extant, but which they do not virtually believe in) tucked tightly under their arms, and their robes of sanctity and self satisfaction wrapped around them, as much as to say, “ thank God we are not as other men are ! ”
We again analogise to Mr. Foote for the use of his admirable suggestion.— Iconoclast.