All the Light Here Comes from Above

ebook The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock

By Robert T. McMaster

cover image of All the Light Here Comes from Above

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EDWARD HITCHCOCK was not the only star in the firmament of American science and philosophy in the nineteenth century, but he was certainly one of the brightest. Raised among the wheat and rye fields of Deerfield, Massachusetts, he was expected to pursue a farmer's life, but early on he developed a "strong relish" for science. In his teens he adopted his father's orthodox Christian faith and began studying for the ministry. By age twenty-five he had set a dual path for his life, science and religion.

Although Hitchcock's career as a pastor would be brief, preaching and spreading the Gospel would remain his highest calling. Nevertheless, his scientific impulses could never be denied, his spiritual life could not deflect him from the pursuit of scientific truth. In that respect he was perhaps unique for his time – and for today – for he saw no conflict between science and religion. "When rightly interpreted and understood," he wrote, "they will appear in perfect unison."

In All the Light Here Comes from Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock, Massachusetts author Robert T. McMaster brings Edward Hitchcock to life, revealing the humanity of the man with dignity, charm, and humor. Relying largely on Hitchcock's own words from his letters, notes, and other unpublished manuscripts, McMaster presents an intimate view of Edward Hitchcock, his scientific achievements, his theological writings, as well as his battles with powerful personal demons that threatened him at every turn.

All the Light Here Comes from Above