Maxwell was a mathematician, philosopher and physicist who lived from 1831-1879. He developed a set of mathmatical formulas that every electrical engineer knows as “Maxwell’s Equations”. His work with electromagnetism is considered one of the greatest works of physics in the 19th century. His deductions about light were groundbreaking as well:
“Maxwell’s quantitative explanation of light as an electromagnetic wave is considered one of the great triumphs of 19th-century physics. (Actually, Michael Faraday had postulated a similar picture of light in 1846, but had not been able to give a quantitative description or predict the velocity.) Moreover, it laid the foundation for many future developments in physics, such as special relativity and its unification of electric and magnetic fields as a single tensor quantity.”
Maxwell was homeschooled as a young boy by his mother. His father was Presbyterian and his mother was Anglican. His mother died when he was 8 years old. His Christian faith only deepened as he went through his life. Here are a few quotes that I found from him:
“I think that men of science as well as other men need to learn from Christ, and I think that Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that this view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable of.”
“Happy is the man who can recognize in the work of Today a connected portion of the work of life, and an embodiment of the work of Eternity.”
“The more we enter into Christ’s work He will have more room to work His work in us. For He always desires us to be one with us. Our worship is social, and Christ will be where two or three are gathered together in His name.”
“Teach us to study the work of Thy hands that we may subdue the earth to our uses, and strengthen our reason for Thy service; and so rescue Thy blessed Word, that we may believe on Him whom Thou hast sent to give us the knowledge of salvation and the remission of our sins.”
“… I have the capacity of being more wicked than any example that man could set me, and … if I escape, it is only by God’s grace helping me to get rid of myself, partially in science, more completely in society, -but not perfectly except by committing myself to God …”
When I read about people like Maxwell it makes me sad that modern science holds religion in such contempt. Maxwell saw perfect cohesion between his creator and the world around him. So much good is left on the table when one or the other is villified. He could confidently write a paper about the true structure of Saturn’s rings being made up of small solid objects(he was right by the way) and turn around and write a hymn like this:
Through the creatures Thou hast made
Show the brightness of Thy glory.
Be eternal truth displayed
In their substance transitory.
Till green earth and ocean hoary,
Massy rock and tender blade,
Tell the same unending story:
We are truth in form arrayed.
Teach me thus Thy works to read,
That my faith,– new strength accruing–
May from world to world proceed,
Wisdom’s fruitful search pursuing
Till, thy truth my mind imbuing,
I proclaim the eternal Creed –
Oft the glorious theme renewing,
God our Lord is God indeed.
–James Clerk Maxwell