Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty to perfection?
We hope for the reconciliation of science and faith. At present the struggle continues in undiminished intensity. A strict philosophical justification of faith is hard to find, and the intellect of man is always failing in the attempt to show the reasonableness of religious emotion. But whether religion can be logically justified or not, it lives. The questioning and the believing instinct, the faculty of criticism, and the faculty of faith, are equally ineradicable, and yet, apparently, essentially irreconciliable. Are we driven to the sad alternative of believing without any justification of reason, or of suffering reason to lead us into the grey twilight of unbelief? Both these tendencies of human thought and feeling are represented in the Old Testament. The moral difficulty of the universe is that which weighed upon the Jew. There were those who broke their minds against problems of providence, and could not comprehend how the good should be afflicted, and the bad be suffered to erect himself in pride of place, and one fate to befall all the children of men. Among the Greeks the speculative instinct was strong, and the religious instinct feeble, and there we find theories of the universe in plenty, physical and theological, theistic, pantheistic, atheistic. Something is to be learned from the constant inability of philosophy to arrive at a consistent and satisfactory theory of the universe. The long outcome of philosophical speculation is not simply the rejection of the religious theory of the universe, it is the rejection of all theories upon a subject which is too vast and too complicated for human thought. When the materialistic philosophy of our day bids us confine ourselves to phenomena, it does not deny the existence of that which it proclaims itself unable to comprehend. There is a point where physics and metaphysics touch, and when that is reached, men are involved in mysteries not less blinding than those of religion itself. The nature of God is not the only unintelligible thing in the world. If we are told that through physical science is no path to God, it is of the greatest importance to show that physical science, pressed with her own ultimate problems, cannot help admissions which make room for, and even point to, the thought of Him. If philosophy shrinks from the affirmations of theism, and will own no more than a possibility, what can be more necessary than to point out that the philosophic method is not the one by which God can be surely approached? We have been accustomed to speak of God as the Eternal, the Omnipresent, the Omnipotent, the Absolute, the Infinite. These are wide words, and, taken at their widest essentially unintelligible to us, for the very reason that their opposites accurately describe the limitations of our own nature. Still, we put into them as much meaning as we can, and make of them the most that the extent of our knowledge and the force of our imagination will permit.
(C. Beard, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?