James C. Maxwell on Science & Christ

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (http://nobelists.net; also see http://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/issue/view/3)

SIR JAMES CLERK MAXWELL (1831-1879), founder of Statistical Thermodynamics

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1997): “James Clerk Maxwell is regarded by most modern physicists as the scientist of the 19th century who had the greatest influence on 20th-century physics; he is ranked with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for the fundamental nature of his contributions.”

1. “Almighty God, who hast created man in Thine own image, and made him a living soul that he might seek after Thee and have dominion over Thy creatures, teach us to study the works of Thy hands that we may subdue the earth to our use, and strengthen our reason for Thy service; and so to receive Thy blessed Word, that we may believe on Him whom Thou hast sent to give us the knowledge of salvation and the remission of our sins. All which we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Maxwell, as cited in Bowden 1998, 288; and in Williams and Mulfinger 1974, 487).

2. “I think the more we enter together into Christ’s work He will have the more room to work His work in us. For He always desires us to be one that He may be one with us. Our worship is social, and Christ will be wherever two or three are gathered together in His name.” (Maxwell, as cited in Campbell and Garnett 1882, 312).

3. “I think men of science as well as other men need to learn from Christ, and I think Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable of.” (Maxwell, as cited in Campbell and Garnett 1882, 404-405).

4. In a letter to his wife (December 1873), Maxwell wrote: “I am always with you in spirit, but there is One who is nearer to you and to me than we ever can be to each other, and it is only through Him and in Him that we can ever really get to know each other. Let us try to realise the great mystery in Ephesians V., and then we shall be in our right position with respect to the world outside, the men and women whom Christ came to save from their sins.” (Maxwell, as cited in Campbell and Garnett 1882, 387).

5. In a letter to his wife (June 23, 1864), Maxwell wrote: “Think what God has determined to do to all those who submit themselves to His righteousness and are willing to receive His gift. They are to be conformed to the image of His Son, and when that is fulfilled, and God sees that they are conformed to the image of Christ, there can be no more condemnation, for this is the praise which God Himself gives, whose judgment is just.” (Maxwell, as cited in Campbell and Garnett 1882, 338-339).