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all the solid and mathematical reasons I could adduce he had no reply to give but, · Terra autem in æternum stabit, quia terra autem in æternum stat,' — But the earth shall stand for ever, because the earth for ever stands, -as the Scripture teaches.' Thus discoursing, we reached the palace of the Holy Office. This palace lies on the western side of the magnificent church of St. Peter. The Commissary immediately presented me to my Lord Vitrici, the Assessor ; with whom I found two Dominican Friars. They civilly intimated that I must produce my reasons in full Congregation (of the Cardinals managing the affairs of the Inquisition), and said that I should have opportunity of pleading for myself in the event of being considered guilty. On the Thursday following I was presented to the Congregation, and there endeavoured to establish my proofs; but, unhappily for me, the proofs were not understood; and, try what I could, it was beyond my power to make the Congregation understand them. With outbursts of zeal, quite irrelevant to the matter in hand, they tried to convince me of the scandal I had caused, and harped upon passage of Scripture in proof of my offence. Meanwhile a scriptural reason occurred to me, and I alleged it, but with little success.
I said that it seemed to me that certain expressions occur in the Bible that agree with ancient belief concerning astronomical sciences, and that perhaps the passage in Job (xxxvii. 18) may be of this kind, where it is said by Elihu that the heavens are solid, and polished like a mirror of brass. It is evident that here he speaks according to the system of Ptolemy, which modern philosophy and right reason demonstrate to be absurd. And then, if so great stress is laid on the standing still of the sun at the word of Joshua, to show that the sun moves, it is but fair to pay some regard also to this passage where it is said that the heavens are many, each one like a polished mirror. The conclusion to me seemed very just; but it was always evaded, and I got no other answer than a shrug of the shoulders, the usual refuge of one whose only persuasion is that of prejudice, or preconceived opinion. “At last, as a true Catholic, I was obliged to retract my opinion, and, by way of penalty, my Dialogue was prohibited; and after five months I was dismissed from Rome, and as the pestilence was then raging in Florence, with generous pity, the house of the dearest friend I had in Siena, Mgr. Archbishop Piccolomini, was appointed to be my prison; and in his most gentlemanly conversation I experienced so great delight and satisfaction that here I resumed my studies, arrived at, and demonstrated most of my mechanical conclusions concerning the resistance of solids, and some other speculations.
“After about five months, when the pestilence had ceased in my native place, in the beginning of December in the present year, 1633, His Holiness permitted me to dwell within the narrow limits of that house I love so well, in the freedom of the open country. I therefore returned to the village of Ballosguardo, and thence to Arcetri ; where I still am, breathing the salubrious air, not far from my own dear Florence. Farewell."*
This is the most authentic account of the arrest, the trial, and the silencing of Galileo; and it requires one or two observations.
1. Romanists will tell us that he was dealt very gently with, and not imprisoned. The fact is, that he was compelled to submit to the humiliation of openly denying his convictions, and of suppressing his chief work, the Dialogue, and was then confined within the liberties (to borrow an appropriate phrase) of a country-house near Florence. This was imprisonment at large, with exclusion from the society of all whose pursuits and tastes were similar to his own. He ended his days in an involuntary solitude that must have been painfully oppressive; a treatment, we should say, so hard that none of those gentlemen would be content to undergo the like.
2. Although it is certain that astronomy is not to be learnt from the Bible, which was not written to teach the rudiments of natural science, it is no less to be insisted on
• Tiraboschi, Storia della Letteratura Italiana. Tom. viii., p. 175.
that astronomical truths are not contradicted by the words of inspiration.
The passage cited by the Inquisitor (Eccles. i. 4) from the Vulgate, “ Terra autem in æternum stat,” has no relation whatever to the question between him and the astronomer, as any one may see by referring to the entire verse, better translated in our English Bible: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh : but the earth abideth for ever.” The contrast is between generations dying and the world abiding ; without any allusion whatever to the cosmical phenomena. But the Commissary must have quoted the verse following, which speaks of the sun rising and setting, as we still do without any intention of contradicting an established truth of nature, there being no form of language more appropriate. And as for the passage of Job, the Vulgate is not true to the Hebrew, which says nothing of brass; nor does the Vulgate itself speak of polishing either. These are quite extraneous ideas, and whenever the word of God is appealed to without a due knowledge of the text quoted, and through the medium of an imperfect version, or under the colour of an arbitrary gloss, mere listeners may suppose that the philosophy of the Bible is false,—that the inspired writers were mistaken : and as for Galileo and his persecutors, we must perceive that neither was he competent to expound Scripture, nor were they. In the present day it enters not into the thoughts of any educated and intelligent person that the Old Testament teaches a central immobility of the earth, and a revolution of the sun around it, any more than does the common language of mankind intend it; for learned or unlearned, the ploughboy or the astronomer, all speak of sunrise and sunset: no one intends to affirm what every one understands to be untrue.
A SISTER'S MISSION.
(Concluded from page 106.) As usual, he was assisted into his room; then left for a short time, and again Louisa returned to arrange what he required for the night. Leaning over his pillow, she asked, with trembling, “Shall I pray with you, Marius ?” His look of scorn, as she imagined, and the sarcastic curl of his lips, as he turned away his head, was indeed poor encouragement to the fearful and shrinking one beside him. “Pray with me! Louisa had better pray for herself.” “ Yes, my dear Marius, I feel that I ought indeed to pray for myself; but if you will allow me, it will not hurt you. I will not ask a question, nor require a word from you.” “Well, you may if you like; but don't be long." She kneeled down, but felt as a very fool : she could say nothing as she would have done. She tried to say to her Father, God, just what she wished her brother to feel. She told Him of that brother's danger, and his need of mercy as a sinner, on the very verge of the grave, and close to eternal death, unless Jesus interposed. She asked that he might feel so deeply his need of a Saviour as not to rest day or night till he felt that Jesus had died for him; that he might not know peace until pardoned. She pleaded hard that true sorrow for sin might be granted, right views and right feelings given, and that the light of eternity might give true colouring to all around. She sought earnestly the Holy Spirit's teaching, that her dear brother might be made wise unto salvation before it was too late. In that hour a load was lessened that was becoming too heavy, and a calm followed to which she had long been a stranger.
For some time previous, concern for Marius's state had greatly depressed his sister's spirits ; so much so, that he noticed it, and, she thought, manifested an unwillingness for her to sit much with him.
She one day asked if it were not so. He said she was evidently absorbed with some internal care; that her presence would do him harm, but for his usual good spirits. She thought he would divine the cause of this bitter uneasiness of heart, and that he knew her heaviest sorrow was for him, though he would not seem to acknowledge it ; and, again, she hardly knew what to think, circumstances were so often contradictory. He frequently showed suspicion, and could not brook the idea of being watched.
In endeavouring to lead him to Jesus, Louisa felt that she had not always held out the highest motives to her brother.
She recollected reading that Matthew Henry was first induced to read the word of God from a desire to please his mother. God blessed him in it; and Louisa appealed to his love for his mother, trusting that for her sake, until a higher motive influenced him, he would seek heaven. Graciously condescending is the Saviour to the weakness and ignorance of His creatures. He reads the heart's desires, and knows the motives from which actions spring. Marius had a highly-cultivated taste; and, though not feeling equal to do it as she would, Louisa did her best imperceptibly to lead him to Christ in a way suiting his intellectual habits. This was difficult to an inexperienced girl. His jealousy could not just yet bear with even a suggestion from her as to the reading. There was the haughty temper at work, which made it seem to him humiliating that a younger sister should dictate in this respect.
Looking round one evening for a book, she took up a volume of Chalmers; expressing a wish he would hear the Astronomical Lectures. He objected immediately, and said he preferred making his own choice; she read too plaintively to please him. However, days of joy were dawning. His mind henceforth was gradually, and very evidently, undergoing a gracious change; but excessive natural reserve kept him silent on the best things.
Louisa, on one occasion, read him South's sermon on “the Friendship of Christ.” It is sweetly touching, and she was so wrought upon, that she ceased; and, raising her eyes, met those of Marius intently fixed upon her. He said, with energy, “ Louisa, go on.”
The first Sunday in April he was taken considerably worse, and appeared to be dying : fainting succeeded to fainting, until he was removed to bed, It was about twelve o'clock, and all had retired to rest, when his sister took a seat near him. · She had an open Testament in her hand; and when he inquired what book she was reading, she told him, and