Friday, November 28, 2008

Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864). He was an honored physicist, chemist and geologist. In 1818, he founded and edited the American Journal of Science and Arts. Silliman was an original member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1863. He published his research on the potential uses of crude oil in Silliman Report, 1855, which made significant contributions and influence in establishing the American oil industry. The mineral Sillimanite (a form of aluminum silicate, Al2SiO5 is named for him.

Silliman was profoundly influenced by President Timothy Dwight of Yale. Professor Silliman wrote of the atmosphere on the Yale campus during the tenure of President Dwight.

“It would delight your heart to see how the trophies of the cross are multiplied in this institution. Yale College is a little temple: prayer and praise seem to be the delight of the greater part of the students.”

Silliman made the statements which follow:

“The relation of geology, as well as astronomy, to the Bible, when both are well understood, is that of perfect harmony. The Bible nowhere limits the age of the globe, while its chronology assigns a recent origin to the human race; and geology not only confirms that the Genesis presents a true statement of the progress of the terrestrial arrangements, and of the introduction of living beings in the order in which their fossil remains are found entombed in the strata.”

“The Word and the works of God cannot conflict, and the more they are studied the more perfect will their harmony appear.”

Silliman concluded his course of college lectures on June 13, 1885.

“Thus, O Almighty God, hast Thou led me on in mercy almost to the close of a long life…For myself, in the evening of my life, may I be every day ready to die, trusting in Thy mercy through the Redeemer of men; and if power and opportunity to be useful are still continued to me, may I have a disposition, as well as ability, to honor Thee, and to benefit my fellow men.”

“For my salvation I depend entirely upon the Redeemer. In the sight of God I have no merits of my own, and feel deeply that if I am saved it will be of grace and not of works. I have none to offer that are worthy of Thine acceptance. And now, my Heavenly Father, I implore Thy blessing upon my dear children and their children, and upon the faithful and devoted companion whom Thou hast in mercy given me.”

“I implore it, also, for the precious youth who are about to go into the world. Bless them all in time and eternity through Christ our Lord and Redeemer.”

No comments: