13. Galileo and Copernicus destroyed the old cosmogonies. Astronomical knowledge advanced: it could not retrograde. History records the difficulties these men of genius had to encounter through prejudice, especially through the sectarian spirit of the times, which was interested in the maintenance of errors upon which the priesthood had founded beliefs considered unchangeable. The invention of an optical instrument has been the means of destroying the trelliswork of the beliefs of many thousands of years. Nothing could prevail against a truth which could be demonstrated to man’s vision. Thanks to the art of printing, the public gained a knowledge of the new ideas; and while some recognize their truth, and took part in the struggle for truth, it soon became necessary to combat, not simply a few individuals, but general opinion, which would take its part in the contest for truth.
How grand the universe is compared with the narrow proportions our forefathers assigned to it! How sublime God’s work when we see its accomplishment according to the laws of nature! But only with the aid of time, and the affords and devotion of men of genius, were the sealed eyes opened, and the bandage of ignorance removed.