The Great Scientist

Archbishop Ullathorne in his book Endowments of Man sounds the alarm: “We have now whole schools of men who, after rejecting both God and their own souls in the name of philosophy, have proclaimed to the world that life is nothing but hopeless bitterness and misery. Thus fearfully have they proved by experience what the wise have taught without experience.”

He then calls upon us to look objectively at the facts and to ask ourselves this question: “Why do we boast our science, and pride ourselves on our skill? God is the one great Metaphysician, who creates and illuminates all spirits. God is the great Theologian, from whose light and truth all theology descends. God is the divine Astronomer, who orders the heavenly bodies and sets them in their movements. God is the Geometrician, who gave to all things their number, weight, and measure. He is the Geologist, who framed the earth on its rocky foundations; the Botanist, who planted the woods and shrubs with their flowers and fruits; the Naturalist, who constructed the animal world; the Physiologist, who formed the body of man with all its functions; the Biologist, who gives life to all that lives.”

“After men have toiled long, and often failed, they find out some little of His science, some lower manifestations of His wisdom, some partial examples of His operations, and then boast of them as their own. God is the sublime Architect of the universe, and the Artist of all the beauty that is seen in the world, drawing all its colours from the one simple element of His created light. All that human artists can do is to imitate His work, and to combine their imitations after a human measure.”

In his Ecclesiastical Discourses, Ullathorne draws a distinction between sacred wisdom and profane learning, and offers this advice: “Be more intent on sacred wisdom than on profane learning, though that is not to be neglected; and know that its seat is in the heart more than in the head.”

Quotations from Michael F. Glancey, Characteristics From the Writings of Archbishop Ullathorne (London: Burns & Oates, 1889).

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