We live in and form part of a system of things of immense diversity and perplexity, which we call Nature; and it is a matter of the deepest interest to all of us that we should form just conceptions of the constitution of that system and of its past history. With relation to this universe, man is, in extent, little more than a mathematical point; in duration but a fleeting shadow; he is a mere reed shaken in the winds of force. But, as Pascal long ago remarked, although a mere reed, he is a thinking reed; and in virtue of that wonderful capacity of thought, he has the power of framing for himself a symbolic conception of the universe, which, although doubtless highly imperfect and inadequate as a picture of the great whole, is yet sufficient to serve him as a chart for the guidance of his practical affairs.
Thomas Henry Huxley PC, FRS (1825-1895) was an English biologist. He was instrumental in developing scientific education in Britain, and fought against the more extreme versions of religious tradition. He had little schooling, and taught himself almost everything he knew. Remarkably, he became perhaps the finest comparative anatomist of the second half of the nineteenth century. He worked first on invertebrates, clarifying the relationships between groups that were previously little understood. Later, he worked more on vertebrates, especially on the relationship between man and the apes. Another of his important conclusions was that birds evolved from dinosaurs, namely, small carnivorous theropods. This view is widely held today. The tendency has been for this fine anatomical work to be overshadowed by his energetic controversial activity in favour of evolution, and by his extensive public work on scientific education, both of which had significant effect on society in Britain and elsewhere.
Henry Drummond was a Scottish evangelist, writer, Professor of the natural sciences and lecturer. His ability to analyze a subject and then communicate his findings allowed him to reach people and help them discover new avenues to grow their faith. A Life for A Life and Other Addresses were delivered at the Students' Conference in Northfield, 1893. It sometimes happens that a man, in giving to the world the truths that have most influenced his life, unconsciously writes the truest kind of a character sketch. This was so in the case of Henry Drummond, and no words of mine can better describe his life or character than those in which he has presented to us, "The Greatest Thing in the World." Some men take an occasional journey into the thirteenth of 1 Corinthians, but Henry Drummond was a man who lived there constantly, appropriating its blessings and exemplifying its teachings. As you read what he terms the analysis of love, you find that all its ingredients were interwoven into his daily life, making him one of the most lovable men I have ever known. D. L. MOODY.
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