'The author of this pamphlet can assert from the authority of experience that, after the satisfactory discharge of his parish duties, a minister may enjoy five days in the week of uninterrupted leisure for the prosecution of any science.' So wrote Thomas Chalmers in 1805, having been ordained two years before to minister the Gospel in Kilmany, Fife, and having continued to give lectures in chemistry and mathematics in St. Andrews.
Twenty years after, when these words were slung in his teeth, Dr. Chalmers acknowledged his error and said, 'And what, sir, are the objects of mathematical science? Magnitude and the proportions of magnitude. But then, sir, I had forgotten two magnitudes. I thought not of the littleness of time. I recklessly thought not of the greatness of eternity.'
(Ps. 103. 15-17; Isa. 40. 6-8; 1 John 2. 17)