ERASMUS DARWIN (1731-1802), English man of science and poet, was born at Elton, in Nottinghamshire, on the 12th of December 1731.
His grasp of the procedure by which the man of science manipulated his particular concrete problems was admirable.
When we recollect the empiricist starting-point of science, it is curious to observe with what vehemence the average man of science now rejects free will.
So well was his position as a leading man of science now established that in 1854 he was appointed professor of chemistry and dean of the Faculte des Sciences at Lille.
He possesses the cool temperament of the man of science rather than the fervid Godward aspiration of the mystic proper; and the speculative impulse which lies at the root of this form of thought is almost entirely absent from his writings.
In the 16th century we find faith cures recorded of Luther and other reformers, in the next century of the Baptists, Quakers and other Puritan sects, and in the 18th century the faith healing of the Methodists in this country was paralleled by Pietism in Germany, which drew into its ranks so distinguished a man of science as Stahl (1660-1734) In the 19th century Prince Hohenlohe-WaldenburgSchillingsfiirst, canon of Grosswardein, was a famous healer on the continent; the Mormons and Irvingites were prominent among English-speaking peoples; in the last quarter of the 19th century faith healing became popular in London, and Bethshan homes were opened in 1881, and since then it has found many adherents in England.
He was a man of science - one who by the vigorous study of his subject matter sought from that subjectmatter itself to deduce laws.