By considering the apparent contradictions that one man may encapsulate in a lifetime, Rev. Ernest Baker encouraged us to seek out the whole truth in any topic we look at. Joseph Priestly spoke of the need to show compassion to our fellow man, yet was called to task for the lack of compassion to animals he experimented on. He was a man of reason, yet believed in miracles; his was not a cold-hearted rationalist, but rather someone in awe of nature’s grandeur. His was an example of the need to look at the real nature of the world, admitting the whole truth of science, rather than simply using only that part of science that satisfies our world view.
We need great souls to inspire, guide and teach us, to show us that we do not know ‘it’ all, even when we think we do. Rev. Baker ended with a quote by R.M. Rilke, in a letter to a young poet, considering the importance of trusting in Nature: “And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”