Woodrow from his post Happily he was at the same time professor in the

Woodrow from his post happily he was at the same time

This preview shows page 210 - 211 out of 525 pages.

charge of the institution, the delegates from the various synods raised a storm of orthodoxy and drove Dr. Woodrow from his post. Happily, he was at the same time professor in the University of South Carolina in the same city of Columbia, and from his chair in that institution he continued to teach natural science with[[@VolumePage: 1, 318]] the approval of the great majority of thinking men in that region; hence, the only effect of the attempt to crush him was, that his position was made higher, respect for him deeper, and his reputation wider. In spite of attempts by the more orthodox to prevent students of the theological seminary from attending his lectures at the university, they persisted in hearing him; indeed, the reputation of heresy seemed to enhance his influence. It should be borne in mind that the professor thus treated had been one of the most respected and beloved university instructors in the South during more than a quarter of a century, and that he was turned out of his position with no opportunity for careful defence, and, indeed, without even the formality of a trial. Well did an eminent but thoughtful divine of the Southern Presbyterian Church declare that "the method of procedure to destroy evolution by the majority in the Church is vicious and suicidal," and that "logical dynamite has been used to put out a supposed fire in the upper stories of our house, and all the family in the house at that." Wisely, too, did he refer to the majority as "sowing in the fields of the Church the thorns of its errors, and cumbering its path with the débris and ruin of its own folly." To these recent cases may be added the expulsion of Prof. Toy from teaching under ecclesiastical control at Louisville, and his election to a far more influential chair at Harvard University; the driving out from the American College at Beyrout of the young professors who accepted evolution as probable, and the rise of one of them, Mr. Nimr, to a far more commanding position than that which he left—the control of three leading journals at Cairo; the driving out of Robertson Smith from his position at Edinburgh, and his reception into the far more important and influential professorship at the English University of Cambridge; and multitudes of similar cases. From the days when Henry Dunster, the first President of Harvard College, was driven from his presidency, as Cotton Mather said, for "falling into the briers of Antipedobaptism" until now, the same spirit is shown in all such attempts. In each we have generally, on one side, a body of older theologians, who since their youth have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, sundry pro[[@VolumePage: 1, 319]]fessors who do not wish to rewrite their lectures, and a mass of unthinking ecclesiastical persons of little or no importance save in making up a retrograde majority in an ecclesiastical tribunal; on the other side we have as generally the thinking, open-minded, devoted men who have listened to the revelation of their own time as well as of times past, and who are evidently thinking the future thought of the world.
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