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mena it fails to explain, and on account of certain other phenomena which seem actually to conflict with that theory. We have seen that though the laws of nature are constant, yet some of the conditions which determine specific change may be exceptionally absent at the present epoch of the world's history; also that it is not only possible, but highly probable, that an internal power or tendency is an important if not the main agent in producing the manifestation of new species on the scene of realized existence, and that in any case, from the facts of homology, innate internal powers to the full as mysterious must be accepted, whether they act in specific origination or not. Besides all this, we have seen that it is probable that the action of this innate power is stimulated, evoked, and determined by external conditions, and also that the same external conditions, in the shape of "Natural Selection," play an important part in the evolutionary process: and finally, it has been affirmed that the view here advocated, while it is supported by the facts on which Darwinism rests, is not open to the objections and difficulties which oppose themselves to the reception of “Natural Selection" as the exclusive or even as the main agent in the successive and orderly evolution of organic forms in the genesis of species.
THEOLOGY AND EVOLUTION.
Prejudices on the subject. "Creation" sometimes denied from prejudice. The Unknowable. Mr. Herbert Spencer's objections to theism; to creation.—Meanings of term "creation."-Confusion from not distinguishing between "primary" and "derivative" creation.— Mr. Darwin's objections.-Bearing of Christianity on the theory of evolution. Supposed opposition, the result of a mi conception.-Theological authority not opposed to evolution -St. Augustin.--St. Thomas Aquinas. Certain consequences of want of flexibility of mind. -Reason and imagination.-The first cause and demonstration.-Parallel between Christianity and natural theology.—What evolution of species is.-Professor Agassiz.-Innate powers must be recognized.—Bearing of evolution on religious belief.-Professor Huxley.-Professor Owen. -Mr. Wallace. Mr. Darwin.—A priori conception of Divine action.-Origin of Man.-Absolute creation and dogma.-Mr. Wallace's view.-A supernatural origin for man's body not necessary.-Two orders of being in man.-Two modes of origin.-Harmony of the physical, hyperphysical, and supernatural.-Reconciliation of science and religion as regards evolution. Conclusion.
THE special "Darwinian Theory" and that of an evolutionary process neither excessively minute nor fortuitous having now been considered, it is time to turn to the important question, whether both or either of these conceptions may have any bearing, and if any, what, upon Christian belief?
Some readers will consider such an inquiry to be a work of supererogation. Seeing clearly themselves the absurdity
of prevalent popular views, and the shallowness of popular objections, they may be impatient of any discussion on the subject. But it is submitted that there are many minds worthy of the highest esteem and of every consideration, which have regarded the subject hitherto almost exclusively from one point of view; that there are some persons who are opposed to the progress (in their own minds or in that of their children or dependants) of physical scientific truth -the natural revelation-through a mistaken estimate of its religious bearings, while there are others who are zealous in its promotion from a precisely similar error. For the sake of both these the author may be pardoned for entering upon some elementary matters relating to the question whether evolution or Darwinism have any, and if any, what, bearing on theology?
There are at least two classes of men who will doubtless assert that they have a very important and highly significant bearing upon it.
One of these classes consists of persons zealous for religion indeed, but who identify orthodoxy with their own private interpretation of Scripture or with narrow opinions in which they have been brought up-opinions doubtless widely spread, but at the same time destitute of any distinct and authoritative sanction on the part of the Christian Church.
The other class is made up of men hostile to religion, and who are glad to make use of any and every argument which they think may possibly be available against it.
Some individuals within this latter class may not believe in the existence of God, but may yet abstain from publicly avowing their absence of belief, contenting themselves with denials of "creation" and "design," though these denials
are really consequences of their negative attitude of mind respecting the most important and fundamental of all beliefs.
Without a distinct belief in a personal God it is impossible to have any religion worthy of the name, and no one can at the same time accept the Christian religion and deny the dogma of creation.
"I believe in God," "the Creator of Heaven and Earth," the first clauses of the Apostles' Creed, formally commit those who accept them to the assertion of this belief. If, therefore, any theory of physical science really conflicts with such an authoritative statement, its importance to Christians is unquestionable.
As, however, "creation" forms a part of "revelation," and as "revelation" appeals for its acceptance to "reason," which has to prepare a basis for it by an intelligent acceptance of theism on purely rational grounds, it is necessary to start with a few words as to the reasonableness of belief in God, which indeed are less superfluous than some readers may imagine; "a few words," because this is not the place where the argument can be drawn out, but only certain suggestions offered in reply to some modern objections.
No better example perhaps can be taken, as a type of this negative position, than a passage in Mr. Herbert Spencer's "First Principles."1 That author constantly speaks of the "ultimate cause of things" as "the Unknowable," a term singularly unfortunate, and, as Mr. James Martineau has pointed out, even self-contradictory; for that entity, the
1 See 2nd edition, p. 113.
2 "Essays, Philosophical and Theological," Trübner and Co., First Series, 1866, p. 190. "Every relative disability may be read two ways. A disqualification in the nature of thought for knowing x is, from the other side, a
knowledge of the existence of which presses itself ever more and more upon the cultivated intellect, cannot be the unknown, still less the unknowable, because we certainly know it, in that we know for certain that it exists. Nay more, to predicate incognoscibility of it, is even an actual knowledge of the mode of its existence. Mr. Herbert Spencer says: "The consciousness of an Inscrutable Power manifested to us through all phenomena has been growing ever clearer; and must eventually be freed from its imperfections. The certainty that on the one hand such a Power exists, while on the other hand its nature transcends intuition, and is beyond imagination, is the certainty towards which intelligence has from the first been progressing." One would think that the familiar and accepted word "the Inscrutable" (which is in this passage actually employed, and to which no theologian would object) would have been a far better term than "the Unknowable." The above extract has, however, such a disqualification in the nature of x from being known. To say then that the First Cause is wholly removed from our apprehension is not simply a disclaimer of faculty on our part: it is a charge of inability against the First Cause too. The dictum about it is this: 'It is a Being that may exist out of knowledge, but that is precluded from entering within the sphere of knowledge.' We are told in one breath that this Being must be in every sense 'perfect, complete, total-including in itself all power, and transcending all law' (p. 38); and in another that this perfect and omnipotent One is totally incapable of revealing any one of an infinite store of attributes. Need we point out the contradictions which this position involves? If you abide by it, you deny the Absolute and Infinite in the very act of affirming it, for, in debarring the First Cause from self-revelation, you impose a limit on its nature. And in the very act of declaring the First Cause incognizable, you do not permit it to remain unknown. For that only is unknown of which you can neither affirm nor deny any predicate: here you deny the power of self-disclosure to the 'Absolute,' of which therefore something is known ;-viz., that nothing can be known!"
1 Loc. cit. p. 108.