SCHEME OF PREHISTORIC TIMES. 29
as Iberians, they took possession of the Spanish peninsula and extended their conquests over Italy, Gaul, Sardinia, Corsica and the British Islands. The Iberians, in turn, were dispossessed by immigrations, first, of Hamitic Pelasgians, and, afterward, of Aryan Illyrians and Ligurians. In our times, all that remains of them is the little nation of Basques in the north of Spain and the south of France ; while the troglodyte stone folk have retreated along the track of the retreating glaciers, to the borders of the Arctic ocean and are represented in Europe by the Mongolian Finns and Lapps.
This scheme of prehistoric times, embracing only a few conjectural features, weaves in all the facts of history and science. If it traverses old opinions, we need not mourn. New truths are better than old errors. Fact is worth more than opinion. Certainty is more desirable than confidence. Progressive knowledge implies much unlearning. The loss of a belief, like the death of a friend, seems a bereavement ; but a false belief is only an enemy in a friend's cloak. It is only truth which is divine ; and, if we embrace an error, we shall not find it ratified in the oracles of divine truth. We who hold to the valid inspiration of the sacred records may feel assured that nothing will be found affirmed therein which collides with the final verdict of intelligence. Nor has the color of the first man any concern with a simple religious faith. If our creed embodies a dogma which enunciates what is really a conclusion, true or false, based on scientific evidence—that is, evidence brought to light by observation and research—that may be exscinded as an excrescence. All such subjects are to be settled by scientific investigation—not by councils of the church. Ecclesiastical faith has had a sorry experience in the attempt to sanctify popular opinions. A faith that has had to surrender the geocentric theory and the denial of antipodes, and of the high geological antiquity of the world, should have learned to discriminate between religious faiths and scientific opinions. Religious faith is more enduring than granite. Scientific opinion is uncertain; it may endure like granite, or vanish like a summer cloud. Religious faith is simple, pure and incorruptible; scientific opinion is a compound of all things corruptible and incorruptible. Let us not adulterate pure faith with