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The pbotogmph covers the region between R. A. OIi. 34m. 0». and R. A.
Oh. 40m. 4l8. Declination between 39" 47 2 and 41" 37''2 North.

The photograph was taken witli the 20-incli ReHector on October 17th, 1895,
between sidereal time 23h. 19m. and Oil. 49ui., with an exposure of the plate
during ninety minutes. Photographed by Dr. Isaac Robekts, F.R.S., and
i*<ir>rr>r]iippH with his kind Dermission.




Captain W. USBORNE MOORE (Royal Navy)




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PlBf AOB • - - - . • Tii

Tbb Unitibsb- - B - - - • 1

Thx Eabzh, and Somb Aspbots or Evolution 88


Thb Ghbistian Bbubf and Obkbds .... 87

Thb Jbwish Canon ...... 134

Thb Nbw Tbstambnt Canon - - - - • 196

Faith and Human Nbbds ..... 25^

Obnbraii Conolubionb ..... 298

Indbz -' - - - 363

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In the following pages the author has attempted to consider
the evidence for and against the finality of the Christian
faith, a dogma repeatedly insisted upon by the priests of
all branches of the Catholic Church ; noting specially the
testimony for the Fall of Adam, and the Divinity and Ascen-
sion of Jesus Christ ; incidentally, that for the Virgin Birth
and Resurrection ; and generally, that for the infallibility
of the Bible and the alleged importance of Man. Judging
by the daily journals, there would seem to be some difference
of opinion in England, Germany, and France as to how
much Christian dogma, if any, should be forced upon the
mii\ds of the young. The new life given to sectarian
teaching by the Education Bills of 1902 and 1908, which
saved the Church schools from extinction, and struck a
mortal blow at an essential feature in the School Board
system; and the legislation in an opposite direction in
France; have caused the subject to become one of the
greatest interest to all who believe in the gradual progress
of the human race as a whole, and the Western nations in

It must be apparent to those who have given thought to
the subject that the progress of physical discovery has pro-
foundly altered the mental attitude of the majority of
intelligent Christians of the Reformed Church to the
religion which they profess; and that, judging by the

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analogy of the past, this attitude will, as time rolls oiii
change to suoh a degree as to be onreoognisable from that
adopted by their forefathers of even the middle of last
oentory. It has been the self-imposed task of many
thoughtful lay minds to attempt to arrest the progress of
this ohange by endeavouring to reconcile the teachings of
science with the records of Jewish history and of Chris-
tianity. The late Mr. Gladstone, Professor Henry
Drummondi and others, have given addresses and written
treatises which have proved to their own satisfaction that
Spiritual Law and Natural Law are akin, and that there is
nothing in the Jewish Canon, nor in the Gospels and the
Epistles, which cannot be accepted together with the latest
acquired knowledge of the earth and the universe.

On the other hand, Professors Huxley, Goldwin Smith,
and other able writers, have not hesitated to express
scepticism as to the accuracy of the alleged sacred writings;
to draw attention to their unscientific earmarks; and to
declare, in unmistakeable terms, disagreement with the
popular view as to their inspired or supernatural character.

In the front page of a certain well-known Sunday journal
there is the following motto, '' What should they know of
England who only England know?" This is a very
pertinent inquiry; for nothing is more sure than this —
that if we compare two people equally well-read and as like
in general ability as it is possible for two human beings to
be, one of whom has travelled outside his own country, and
the other who has all his life remained at home, we shall
find the traveller has the better judgment of the two ; and
this truth is not confined in its scope to judgment about
simply earthly matters, nor to mere physical peregrinations
of the globe. The soundest theologians are not those who

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have spent the best part of their lives within the four walls
of their libraries. The inquiry might also be made with
advantage, '' What do they know of religion who have not
studied the constitution of the universe, and journeyed in
imagination through the infinite realms of glorious Ught
around this puny earth ? "

The following elementary notes have been collected by a
seaman whose duties have taken him to many parts of the
world, who has watched the worship of other nations beside
his own, who has been forced to acquaint himself in outline
with the principal features of the starry host, and who has
come to consider the various creeds ot the Christian nations,
with a view of forming an opinion as to how far they are
in harmony with the admitted facts of the Cosmos,

He was brought up in- the strictest evangelical school,
and his bias has always been towards the faith of his child-
hood. Where he has parted from this &ith it has been
with no little reluctance, and only because he became
slowly convinced that the beliefs and creeds of primitive
Christians were not in accord — ^indeed, in many respects
were wholly at variance — ^with our more extended know-
ledge of the present day. It is possible that his notes may
be of use to others who hesitate to subscribe to creeds
which their education renders it impossible for them to
entirely believe. No new fact will be found in the following
pages ; but it is hoped that the arrangement of known facts
side by side with the Articles of the Christian &ith may
assist in some small measure to clear the ground for profit-
able discussion in the future, when these problems so vitally
important to our race will doubtless be treated by others
who have some pretensions to literary skill.

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The author wishes to leoord his thanks to Miss Agnes
Gierke, P.B.A.S.; Professor G. H. Darwin, P.B.S. ; Pro-
fessor H. H. Tomer, F.B.S. ; Dr. Isaao Boberts, F.B.S. ;
Dr. W. W. Ireland, and Dr. Beattie Crozier, for kind per-
mission to quoto freely from their writings ; and to Mr.
F. E. Golenso for permission to quoto from the works of
the lato distinguished Bishop of Natal.

Amongst many works consulted, he has found it advisable
to make brief extracts from the following. Permission to
do so has been courteously accorded to him by the editors
and publishers named : —

The Tkna; Mivftrt-Vaaghan oorrespondenoe, eto:~The Bditor.

EncyclopcBdia Britanniea :— A. & 0. Black.

Lux Mundi ; The Start (Newoomb) :— John Murray.

Nineteenth CerUury Magasine : - The Editor.

Fortnightly Review :— The Editor.

The Record .-—The Editor.

Antt, Beei, and Watpt (Lubbock); Origin of Human Reaeon
(Mivart); A Sketch of Jewish Hittory (Clodd) :— Eegan Paul,
Trench, Trfibner, & Co.

EcceHomo (Seeley) ; Oueeeee at the Riddle of Existence (Goldwin
Smith) ; Bible in the Church (Westoott) ; Science and Hebrew
Tradition and Science and Christian Tradition (Huxley) :—
Macmillan & C?o.

Judiza and Her Rulers (Bramston) i—Sodety for Promoting Chris-
tian Knowledge.

The Wonderful Century (Wallace) :— Swan Sonnnenschein & Co.

International lAbrary of Famous Literature (Vol. Vn., Farrar) :—
The Orolier Society.

The Blot upon the Brain (Ireland) :— Bell & Bradfute.

The Atonement (Magee) : - Cafl8ell <& Co.

TheRiddle of the l7nli;m0(Haeckel):— Watts <S;Co.,forBationali8t
Press Association.

Leisure Hour (account of Krakatoa) :— The Editor.

The Unknown (Camille Flammarion), copyright 1900 ; The Story
of Nineteenth-Century Science (Henry Smith Williams), copy-
right 1901 :— Harper Brothers, New York.

Acknowledgment should also be made to Messrs.

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Longmans, Qreen, & Go. for permission to quote from
The Foundations of Belief (Bight Hon. A. J. Balfour), Other
Worlde than Ours (Proctor), The Story of Creation (Clodd),
and T%d DivinUy of our Lord (Liddon).

8, Western Parade, Southsea,
December, 1908.

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Page 8, line 19. For " 8 days 12 hoars/' read ** 8 hoars 11

Page 16, line 14. For " 1 day 16 hoars," read *' 4 hoars 5

Page 280, line 28. For " bat a mysterions verse is added,'* read
** and the mysterions verse is also to be fonnd."

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Ghapteb I.

The San— Its size, mass, and volmne— Apparent waste of energy—
The solar system— Dr. Wallace's graphical description — The Earth
and the other planets — The Asteroids — ^Eros — The Comets — The
orbit of Neptune — ^If filled with the sun's light, how it would appear
from the nearest known fixed star— The Stars— The Kebuls—
Their number in the visible universe — ^Bank of the Sun among
the stars— Its comparative insignificance— Oanopus and Aroturus—
Distances of the stars — ^Nearest known star — Translation of the
Solar system through space — Speed of the stars — Other Universes
probable — Clusters of stars — Double stars — ^Probable minimum
number of planets in the visible universe — The Milky Way —
Variable stars— Temporary stars— Nova Persei— Dark Nebula —
Professor H. H. Turner's deductions — ^Professor Pickering's Class
II. of Variables- Mira Ceti— ^ Argus— Variables, Classes III., IV.,
V. — ^Algol — ^Remarkable star p Lyras — Our ignorance of dead or
dying stars — ^Birth of Star systems — ^Nebula theory of Laplace-
Sir Norman Lockyer's view — Nebula in Andromeda — Mr. Isaac
Boberts's photographs and observations — Globular clusters of stars
— w Centauri — Father Secchi's &Ye classes of stars — The Sun one
of Type n. — The most perfect sun known is Vega — Matter changes
its form, but there is no known limit to the amount — No bounds to
Time or to Space — Infinite littleness of the Earth— Insignificance
of Man.

Our small system is governed by the Sun, which is a
baming sphere of metal 862,900 miles in diameter.
Its photosphere or luminous shell is probably composed
of gases in a firm state of compression, and its
chromosphere or atmosphere, of glowing gases, prin-
cipally hydrogen, from which leap forth gigantic
flames impelled from below by electric agency to a
height sometimes of a quarter of a million of miles.

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About 40 of the metals detected in an examination
of the sun are also to be found on the earth. The
energy of the sun is chiefly due to his slow contrac-
tion, but he is probably largely fed by the numerous
meteorites which collide in their numerous inter-
secting orbits, and fall upon his surface. The spots
which appear with fairly regular periodicity on the
face of the sun, and which are probably caused by
electric storms in its interior, enable the time of
revolution on its axis to be determined at about
27 days. The spots are sometimes very numerous,
over twenty having been seen on the face of the sun at
one time. They are often of great size. One has
been recorded (according to Miss Agnes Gierke,
F.B.A.S.) as having an area of 2,600 millions of
square miles; and another has been observed which
had a diameter of 148i^ thousand miles.

The Zodiacal light and the Corona are, in all
probability, primarily due to infinite swarms of
meteorites approaching or receding from their peri-
helion, and reduced to the incandescent state.

Some idea of the size of the sun may be gained by
realising that, if all the planets were absorbed in it,
they would cause no perceptible addition to its size :
if the earth were so situated that its centre corre-
sponded with the centre of the sun, the moon would
then be inside and only a little more than half-way
towards its surface : if a railway train could be run
round the sun at the rate of 80 miles an hour, 9 years
would be occupied in the journey. Its volume exceeds
that of the earth 1| millions of times, and that of all
its attendant planets 600 times : its mass is 765 times
greater than that of all the planets combined, and is
816,000 times greater than that of the earth.

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The surface temperature of the sun is over 8,000°
C.» 2,000 times more than that of red-hot iron. All
but a small fraction of the solar energy is radiated
into space. The whole of the planets and their
satellites together do not intercept more than about
the 200-millionth part, and the earth does not receive
more than about the 2,000-millionth part, of his rays.
This apparent waste is one of the most remarkable
facts in the universe, and is of itself suggestive of the
possibility of an unseen world.

Eight planets and a very large number of smaller
bodies revolve round the sun in elliptical orbits
during various periods of time; the nearest planet
occupying 88 days in its round, and the furthest
yet known 165 years. The nearest is Mercury,
which has a mean distance from the sun of 86
millions of miles: the farthest yet discovered is
Neptune, whose mean distance is 2,746 millions of
miles. Light takes 8 days 12 hours in travelling from
one end of Neptune's orbit to the other.

In addition to the planets, their satellites and the
asteroids, there are many comets which obey the
gravitation of the sun and return to perihelion at
certain stated times, with orbits of various descrip-
tions. Some have been sensibly influenced by Jupiter
and Saturn, so as to materially shorten their distance
at aphelion. Others speed away into space, and do
not return for 76 years or more. There is good
reason to believe that the space occupied by the
Solar system is full of groups of meteorites also main-
taining orbits more or less regular, more densely
packed between the earth and the sun than in the
region occupied by the four largest planets.

Dr. A. B. Wallace, the distinguished naturalist, in

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his work, The Wonderful Century (p- 101, edition 1898),
thus described the vast distances which separate the
planets : —

<< The eight major planets are so remote from each
other that, if we represent the solar system as an
open plain 2^ miles in diameter, our earth will in
due proportion be shown by a pea, Mars by a large
pin's head, Jupiter by an orange, and Neptune on the
extreme outer edge by a largish plum. From any
one of them the nearest would be invisible to us
unless brilliantly illuminated; and, however smooth
and open was the plain, we might walk across it again
and again in every direction, and, with the exception
of the two-foot ball in the centre representing the
sun, we should probably declare it to be absolutely

'' But the study of the long-despised and misunder-
stood meteorites and falling stars has entirely changed
our conceptions of that portion of the universe of
which our sun is the centre. We are now led to
regard it as more nearly approaching a plenum than
a vacuum* We know tiiat it is everywhere full of
what may be termed planetary and meteoric life — ^full
of solid moving bodies forming systems of various
sizes and complexities from the vast mass of Jupiter
with its five moons to some of the minor planets a
few miles in diameter, and just large enough to
become visible by reflected light; and aga^n down-
ward, of all lesser dimensions to the mere dust-grains
which only become visible when the friction on
entering our atmosphere with the great velocities due
to their planetary motion round the sun ignites and
sometimes, perhaps, dissipates them."

If we continue on the scale, here laid down by

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Dr. Wallace, of 2f miles for the length of the solar
system, we must place the nearest known fixed
star at a distance of 12,000 miles (half of the
earth's circumference), from which enormous propor-
tionate distance the solar system would sink to the
insignificant size of a mere point.

The earth describes its orbit round the sun at a
mean distance of 98 millions of miles; it revolves
on its axis at the rate of 1,000 miles an hour, and
travels in its orbit 1} millions of miles each day.
There is another movement of its poles, exceedingly
slow, but one which has materially affected its past
history, as it will its distant future. The poles
describe a small circle (or more probably an ellipse)
in the heavens in the long period of 26,868 years ;
causing the precession of the equinoxes, and
gradually changing the comparative climates of the
northern and southern hemispheres. It is this move-
ment of the poles which causes the northern winter to
occur now at perihelion, and which over 12,000 years
ago caused it to occur in aphelion and helped
to produce the glacial epoch, which has been the
theme of so much discussion among astronomers and

Our earth has a density 6i^ times greater than
water. It is therefore heavier than stone, but not so
heavy as iron, its weight being about 6,000 trillions of
tons. Its difiuneter is 7,926 miles, and it is slightly
flattened at the poles.

The moon is distant from the earth 288,818 miles,
and is 2,160 miles in diameter, a little over two-thirds
that of the planet Mercury. Its volume is one forty-
ninth, its density is more than one-half, but its mass
only one-eightieth that of the eairth: the dienrity

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nearly equals that of Marsi Professor G. H. Darwin
has shown {The Tide$, p. 264) that it was once a part
of our planet, and was thrown off in fragments, which
afterwards consolidated. About one-half of our
satellite has never been seen by human eyes: that
portion which is visible exhibits a rugged waterless
surface covered by some large basins, many high
mountains, and extinct craters of great depth. It has
no atmosphere, and is a sterile picture constantly
before us as an object-lesson of what our earth may
some day become.

The earth is exceeded in size by four of the planets
— viz., Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — all of
which are probably in a more or less incandescent
stage^ for they give out more light than is possible by
mere reflection from the sun. They are probably
developing into worlds ; and in countless ages to come
will be the abode of life.

The largest planet is Jupiter. It surpasses the rest
so greatly that the combined mass of all together
would barely exceed two-fifths of its mass : it exceeds
the earth alone, in mass, 800 times ; and in volume,
1,288 times. Jupiter is 85,000 miles in diameter — a
measurement over ten times greater than that of the
earth, and about one-tenth that of the diameter of the
sun. It is much flattened at the poles, the diameter
between them being 6,000 miles less than the
equatorial diameter.

From such observations as have been made, it
seems probable that the condition of Jupiter is more
like that of the sun than that of the earth. Its
density is much the same as that of the sun, and only
one-fourth that of the earth. Its surface is covered
with belts of varying number, breadth, and uniformity ;

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and a remarkable spot has frequently been seen near
its equator which somewhat resembles the spots seen
on the face of the sun. Its equator is inclined to its
orbit a little over 8^ so there can be no appreciable
seasonal changes. The revolution on its axis occupies
9 hours 66 minutes ; its mean distance from the sun
is 475^ millions of miles : and it makes one complete
orbital revolution in about twelve years.

Jupiter is attended by five satellites, three of which
are larger than our moon, and the fourth nearly as

The most beautiful object in the solar system,
indeed in the heavens as we see them with a telescope
of moderate power, is the planet Saturn, which is
78,000 miles in diameter at its equator and girdled by
a magnificent series of concentric rings. The rings
appear to be separated into three distinct divisions.
Counting from the equator, first comes the dark ring ;
then the broad bright ring; then a gap known as
'' Cassini's division "; finally the outer and narrow
bright ring. The plane of the rings is coincident with
the plane of the equator, and they are probably not
more than 800 miles deep. The interior diameter of
the dark ring, which is 10,000 miles from the planet,
is 98,000 miles; that of the bright rings 111,000
miles ; and the exterior diameter of the bright rings is
169,000 miles. The space taken up by the whole
planet and rings is, therefore, double as much as the
giant Jupiter. The rings are composed of an
indefinite number of unconnected particles, probably
meteoric stones, revolving round the planet with
different velocities, according to their respective
distances : the inner (dark) ring is transparent (see

Online LibraryWilliam Usborne MooreThe cosmos and the creeds: elementary notes on the alleged finality of the ... → online text (page 1 of 28)