March 25, 1855
"We here are busy about 'The Plurality of Worlds.' Mrs. B____ has lent me Sir David Brewster's Answer, which I like far better, but object to his making the dwellers in the heavenly orbs men, or very nearly so. I believe every orb has its own peculiar race, though I am inclined to believe all have a general resemblance to the human nature, now in union with the Divine . . . ."
In 1855 intelligent men and women debated the existence of life on the other planets of our solar system. Some even believed the sun had inhabitants shielded from its heat by a protective layer of some sort.
Sir David Brewster was asked by the editor of the North British Review to review the essay Of the Plurality of Worlds by William Whewell (1794-1866). Expecting to find sentiments similar to his own, Brewster was surprised to find that "under a title calculated to mislead the public, the author had made an elaborate attack upon opinions consecrated, as I had thought, by Reason and Revelation." Brewster's review expanded into a 278-page rebuttal, More Worlds than One, the Creed of the Philosopher and the Hope of the Christian.
Scientific and religious beliefs were closely intertwined, and men of science were almost as likely to support their views by the Bible as by scientific instruments. FR's interests included all areas of science, particularly astronomy, and so she followed the news of all astronomical discoveries and theories.
Both the books mentioned above are available to read online free.