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    CHAPTER XII. THE STUDY OF SCIENCE

    THE third feature of Daniel’s education is that he understood science. This was but the complement of the second, as the second was the complement of the first. Wisdom, knowledge, and science were these three. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord; this is the beginning of knowledge. Daniel was “skilful in all wisdom;” he was skilful in the fear of the Lord. This being the beginning of knowledge, Daniel had proceeded from this beginning to its complement,—he had observed facts and studied things, and so had become “cunning in knowledge;” and from this, in turn, he had proceeded to its complement, and had classified and systematized his knowledge, and so understood science.PBE 100.1

    This is the divine order in education: first, the fear of the Lord; secondly, knowledge; thirdly, science. First, the fear of the Lord as the beginning and the basis of all knowledge; secondly, knowledge, acquired from the careful observation of facts and the diligent study of things, in the light and from the basis of the certainty of truth; and thirdly, science, as the result of this knowledge classified and systematized.PBE 100.2

    But where did Daniel or his teachers find any formulated science or any guide to science which might be used as a study in school or as a material part of general education?—Without hesitation it can be said, and truly said, that all this had been matter of common knowledge in Israel for hundreds of years, and at least the principles of it were found in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible of that time.PBE 100.3

    Solomon lived and taught four hundred years before Daniel’s school days. Solomon “was wiser than all men.” And what Solomon knew was not kept to himself, locked up in his own understanding; but he taught it to the people. He taught it, too, to all the people; he popularized it. It was so plain and simple that the common people could understand it.PBE 101.1

    Solomon thoroughly understood what is now called botany, and zoology, and ornithology, and entomology, and ichthyology, and meteorology. For “he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall;” and that is called “botany.” “He spake also of beasts;” and that is called “zoology.” He spake also “of fowl;” and that is called “ornithology.” He spake “of creeping things;” and that is called “entomology.” He spake “of fishes;” and that is called “ichthyology.” He spake of the course of the wind in “his circuits,” of the clouds and the rain: and that is “meteorology.” Solomon knew more of all these sciences than any man to-day knows of any one of them. And he taught them to all the people; for “he spake” of them all. 1 Kings 4:33 Ecclesiastes 1:6, 7; 11:3, 4.PBE 101.2

    We do not say that Solomon taught “botany” as such, not “zoology” as such, nor “ornithology,” nor “entomology,” nor “ichthyology,” nor “meteorology.” We do not say that he taught “science” at all, as it is taught to-day, nor as it is suggested in these big words; that is, science in the abstract. He did not speak of “botany;” he “spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.” He did not speak of “zoology;” “he spake of beasts.” He did not speak of ornithology;” he spake of fowl. He did not speak “entomology;” he spake of “creeping things.” He did not speak of “ichthyology;” he spake “of fishes.” He did not speak of “meteorology;” he spake of the wind in “his circuits,” and the returning of “all the rivers” from the sea to the place whence they came to “run into the sea.”PBE 101.3

    That is, he did not give learned and high-sounding discourses on these subjects; he spake of the things themselves. The very flowers themselves were studied, and discoursed upon; not the flower plucked off, and torn to pieces, and each piece designated by an almost unpronounceable term, and that perhaps in a foreign language,—not this, but the flowers as they grew, in garden, field, or forest, just as God caused them to grow, clothed with living beauty. And the lesson which God teaches by each flower was learned from the flower as it stood: for instance, the lovely little violet growing demurely among the grasses. Likewise also the beasts, the birds, the creeping things, and the fishes were studied and discoursed upon as they were, alive and before his eyes and the eyes of those to whom “he spake.” For Solomon acquired his learning by giving his “heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven.” And as he learned, so he taught.PBE 102.1

    Such is the way in which science was taught and learned in Israel, where the fear of the Lord was the beginning of all knowledge, the guide in all study, and the basis of all science. It was the study of things, rather than a study about things. And that is just the difference to-day that there is between the right and the wrong way of studying science. The right way is to study things; the wrong way is to study about things. By studying this right way, the student learns always something; whereas, by studying the wrong way, he learns only about something. The right way gives him practical knowledge; the wrong way gives him but abstract theories, which he has not the gumption to reduce to practise.PBE 103.1

    Now this genuine science which was taught by Solomon remained with the nation after Solomon had died. Much of it was written out, and so was accessible to both teachers and students. And above all, the lessons were ever before them in the beasts and the birds, the creeping things and the fishes, in the trees and the flowers, in sky and sea, in the sunshine and the rain, in the wind and the cloud.PBE 103.2

    We know that it is commonly supposed that “the Jews did not understand science;” that it was only the heathen that had attained to that. The fallacy of such a view is clearly seen by the fact that although at the time when Daniel was carried away captive, Babylon is supposed by these same persons to have stood at the head of the world in scientific attainments, yet when these four young Jews were examined there after three years of study,“in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Daniel 1:20. These magicians, astrologers, etc., were the scientists of Babylon. Some of them had been the teachers in the school of Babylon, where Daniel was obliged to go and study. Yet when examination day came, Daniel and his companions proved to be ten times better informed than all of them. No man in this world could ever teach ten times more than he knew. Therefore it is certain that Daniel and his brethren did not obtain from those teachers their great knowledge. They obtained it from their own Scriptures, under the teaching of the Spirit of God. In other words, they continued in Babylon the same system of study that they had formerly used in the college in Jerusalem; and, in all that was really knowledge in the Babylonian studies, this gave them ten times the advantage of even their teachers there.PBE 103.3

    Another illustration of the worse than fallacy of this supposition that the Jews did not understand science, while the heathen did, is the fact that in the books to-day, and in standard school-books, too, it is printed and taught that Anaximander, a Greek, invented the sun-dial about 550 B. C., while the sun-dial was in use in Jerusalem in the reign of Ahaz, nearly two hundred years before that. Isaiah 38:82 2 Kings 20:11; 16:1.PBE 104.1

    It is possible that to the belated Greeks, Anaximander’s sun-dial was a new invention altogether, and” a great scientific discovery;” but for our part, we refuse to believe the books which teach that the sun-dial was invented by Anaximander or anybody else two hundred years after it was in common use by the Jews in Jerusalem. The truth is that among the Jews only, was known the purest and truest science that was known in the world down at least to the time of Daniel. And when there shall be found again schools that will teach science as it was taught in the school where Daniel learned, there will be found again Daniels in science—even young men who will know ten times as much as even the teachers in schools where the fear of the Lord is not counted as having any connection with science.PBE 105.1

    No greater mistake has ever been made, no greater loss has ever been incurred, neither by the church nor by the world—and it has been made by both—than the mistake that has been made in separating the fear of the Lord. religion—from science.PBE 105.2

    The church, when she ruled the world, held that the fear of the Lord was a matter altogether apart, and had no relation to the observation of facts and the study of things; and so, that religion had nothing to do with science. Consequently, the most “pious” ones, the “saints,” turned away from facts and things, shut themselves up in cloisters and cells, or set themselves on the tops of pillars, gave themselves up to “divine meditation,” and spent their time in “worshiping” by trying how many times they could bow or prostrate themselves in an hour; or else in drawing finespun distinctions in doctrine, and expounding hair-splitting theories in theology, and then arraigning and hunting as “heretics” all who would not espouse their particular distinction when they themselves could not clearly state it. Then as the number of theological distinctions was increased, “heresies,” of course, multiplied. As heresies multiplied, councils were held to set straight the “heretics.” In setting straight the heretics, the councils were obliged authoritatively to interpret the Word of God. Different councils interpreted it differently. Appeals were lodged with the bishop of Rome as the chief bishop of “Christendom.” And thus it came about that the bishop of Rome became the oracle through whom alone the Word of God could come rightly interpreted, not only to the church, but even to science. Thus was developed the infallibility of “the church,” which was but the infallibility of the bishop of Rome as the chief voice in “the church;” for wherever is lodged the authoritative interpretation of the Word of God, or the claim of it, there lies infallibility or the claim of it.PBE 105.3

    The world, on the other hand, of course held that the fear of the Lord was a matter altogether apart, and had no relation to the observation of facts and the study of things; and so held that religion had “nothing to do with science.”PBE 106.1

    Thus originated the conflict between religion and science. This conflict has always continued on the part of the world. But since the Reformation, there has been an effort on the part of the church to connect religion and science. However, in this effort, “science,“ as the world had developed it, was taken as the standard, and the fear of the Lord—religion—was made to conform to it. But this “science” had been built up without the fear of God, and in many cases in direct antagonism to it. And when this was accepted by the church as the standard to which the fear of the Lord must conform, and by which the fear of the Lord must be gauged, this was to make “science,” and even science falsely so called, the beginning of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord the end; instead of the fear of the Lord being the beginning, and science—true science—the end. Science was made the head, and the fear of the Lord the tail. And thus the Word of God, by which alone the fear of the Lord can be acquired, was made, even by the church, subordinate to human, and even antagonistic, “science;” the Word of the Lord must be interpreted by this human and antagonistic “science:” and so infidels and atheists, through this science to which the church deferred, became the oracles through whom alone the Word of God could come rightly interpreted even to the church. And thus is fast developing the infallibility of “science,” which, when finished, will be but the infallibility of the dictum of the chief voice in science, speaking ex cathedra.PBE 106.2

    The everlasting truth is that genuine religion and genuine science are inseparable. Neither with Solomon nor with Daniel was there ever any conflict between religion and science. With neither of these was there ever even any variance between religion and science: so that with neither of them was there ever any accommodation, any more than any conflict, between religion and science. With both of these men, science was what it always is—the complement of religion.PBE 107.1

    True science is the complement of true religion,—and it is only the complement; it is never the essence. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and it is only the beginning. It is not intended to be anything but the beginning of knowledge. Therefore he who does not take the fear of the Lord, and use it for the acquirement of knowledge, makes an infinite mistake. And he who takes the fear of the Lord, and uses it for the acquirement of knowledge, and yet stops short of having his knowledge attain to the grade and character of science, just so far frustrates the real object of his receiving the fear of God to begin with. He who receives that which is the beginning of science, is bound by that very thing, so far as in him lies, to go on and attain the end of that of which he has received the beginning.PBE 108.1

    And thus with the fear of the Lord as the beginning of science, and science as the inseparable adjunct of the fear of the Lord; with the Word of God as the means of knowing the fear of God, and this same Word as the basis of all science; with the Holy Spirit of God as the great teacher and the only interpreter of the Word of God; true religion and true science will be united, one and inseparable, now and forever: and infallibility will rest where it belongs,—with God, the Author of both true religion and true science.PBE 108.2

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