True science and true religion are twin-sisters, and the separation of either from the other is sure to prove the death of both. Science prospers exactly in proportion as it is religious; and religion flourishes in exact proportion to the scientific depth and firmness of its basis. The great deeds of philosophers have been less the fruit of their intellect than of the direction of that intellect by an eminently religious tone of mind. Truth has yielded herself rather to heir patience, their love, their single-heartedness, and their self-denial, than to their logical acumen. And all the reformations in religion–all the steps by which the creeds you hold have been brought to that comparative purity and truth in which you justly glory–have been due essentially to the growth of the scientific spirit, to the ever-increasing confidence of the intellect in itself — and its incessantly repeated refusals to bow down blindly to what it had discovered to be mere idols, any more. It is above all things needful for you, working men, to note these truths. For with the limited time, and the limited means for study at your disposal, you run the risk of flying to one of two extremes–bigoted orthodoxy, or conceited scepticism.
Lecture, “Science and Religion” (Dec 1858)
Quoted in The Government School of Mines, The Builder (Jan 1859). Quoted in Herbert Spencer, Education: Intellectual, Moral, Physical, ch. 1 (1860)
Added on 24-Jan-14 | Last updated 24-Jan-14
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