Religious Items

In an article in the (Unitarian) Christian Register a writer says: "What is there material in algebra, in geometry? We see the principles of these sciences reflected in everything that is material, but they are just as distinct from the reflecting matter as the sunlight is form the mirror which reflects it. Should you proceed in the study of analytical geometry, you would get to a point where your mind seems to get lost, and no graphical representation can come to your help. In algebra you will find formulas expressing in an abstract way truths of the most complicated nature. And never anything material will be found in all these most wonderful branches of human learning, these mathematical branches which disclose to us the way to the understanding of the material universe. Remember that mathematics alone guided the two astronomers, Leverrier and Adams, when, after long calculations, they foretold the place in the heavens where the new planet would be found about which Sir John Herschel had said the memorable words: 'We see it as Columbus saw America from the shores of Spain. Its movements have been felt along the far-reaching line of our analysis with a certainty hardly inferior to ocular demonstration. And, when the telescope was pointed in that direction, the planet was found which mathematics had discovered. The field of these sciences is nothing but a field of discovery in which man is led only by his intuition,—by nothing material."

In an article headed "Was this the Tower of Babel?" the Independent says: "The eminent French savant, De Mely, gave recently before an audience at the Paris Academiedes Inscriptions, information based on a newly discovered manuscript written by a Greek traveler named Harpocration, who shows the condition of a remarkable tower in the year 355 A.D. This document contains the description of a Chaldee temple which Harpocration visited, and of which he gives accurate measurements. The identity of the temple with the Birs-Nimrud, or the 'Tower of Babel,' he claims, cannot be doubted, and this is the oldest important account. The tower was renovated in the days of Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century B.C., and this king reports in the inscription he caused to be made that the tower had been erected forty-two generations before his time. Thanks to the reports of Harpocration, we now know that as late as the fourth century this temple was still a place of worship, although it ceased to be such some time before 380. The tower was ninety-four kilometers from Ctesiphon, south of Babylon."

March 21, 1901

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