Friday, November 28, 2008

Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873). Maury was a scientist and the pioneer hydrographer known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas.” While serving in the Navy; He charted the sea and wind currents. Maury was the founder of modern hydrography and oceanography. He was Professor of Meteorology at the Virginia Military Institute. The following remarks are from his book Physical Geography of the Sea published in 1855.

“I have always found in my scientific studies, that, when I could get the Bible to say anything on the subject it afforded me a firm platform to stand upon, and a round in the ladder by which I could safely ascend.”

“As our knowledge of nature and her laws has increased, so has our knowledge of many passages of the Bible improved.”

“The Bible called the earth “the round world,” yet for ages it was the most damnable heresy for Christian men to say that the world is round; and, finally, sailors circumnavigated the globe, and proved the Bible to be right, and saved Christian men of science from the stake.”

“And as for the general system of circulation which I have been so long endeavoring to describe, the Bible tells it all in a single sentence: “The wind goeth toward the South and returneth again to his circuits.”

A verse from Psalm 8 is engraved on Maury’s tombstone at the U.S.Naval Academy. It is the verse which inspired him.

“Whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.”

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