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Vous avez une manière si aimable d'annoncer les plus mauvaises nouvelles, qu'elles perdent par là de leurs désagrémens. So wrote, de haut en bas, the Duchess of York to Beau Brummell, sixty or seventy years back; and so write I, de bas en haut, to the two very eminent champions who have in the Nineteenth Century of December entered appearances on behalf of Dr. Réville's Prolégomènes, with a decisiveness of tone, at all events, which admits of no mistake: Professor Huxley and Professor Max Müller. My first duty is to acknowledge in both cases the abundant courtesy and indulgence with which I am personally treated. And my first thought is that, where even disagreement is made in a manner pleasant, it will be a duty to search and see if there be any points of agreement or approximation, which will be more pleasant still. This indulgence and courtesy deserves in the case of Professor Huxley a special warmth of acknowledgment, because, while thus more than liberal to the individual, he has for the class of Reconcilers, in which he places me, an unconcealed and unmeasured scorn. These are they who impose upon man a burden of false science in the name of religion, who dictate as a Divine command 'aa implicit belief in the cosmogony of Genesis;' and who'stir unwisdom and fanaticism to their depths.' 2 Judgments so severe should surely be supported by citation or other evidence, for which I look in vain. To some they might suggest the Life, by Jesse. Revised edition, i. 260.

2 Nineteenth Century, December 1885, pp. 859, 860.

VOL. XIX.-No. 107.


idea that Passion may sometimes unawares intrude even within the precincts of the temple of Science. But I admit that a great master of his art may well be provoked, when he finds his materials tumbled about by incapable hands, and may mistake for irreverence what is only want of skill.

While acknowledging the great courtesy with which Professor Huxley treats his antagonist individually, and while simply listening to his denunciations of the Reconcilers as one listens to distant thunders, with a sort of sense that after all they will do no great harm, I must presume to animadvert with considerable freedom upon his method; upon the sweeping character of his advocacy; upon his perceptible exaggeration of points in controversy; upon his mode of dealing with authorities; and upon the curious fallacy of substitution by which he enables himself to found the widest proscriptions of the claim of the Book of Genesis to contain a Divine record upon a reasoned impeachment of its scientific accuracy in, as I shall show, a single particular.

As to the first of these topics, nothing can be more equitable than Professor Huxley's intention to intervene as a science proctor' in that part of the debate raised by M. Réville, to which he proposes to restrict his observations' (N. C. p. 849). This is the part on which he proposes in his first page to report as a student-and every reader will inwardly add, as one of the most eminent among all students of natural science. Now this is not the cosmogonical On Genesis i. 1-19, containing

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part of the account in Genesis. the cosmogony, he does not report as an expert, but refers us (p. 859) to those who are specially conversant with the sciences involved;' adding his opinion about their opinion. Yet in his second page, without making any reference to this broad distinction, he at once forgets the just limitation of his first, and our proctor for science' pronounces on M. Réville's estimate, not of the fourfold succession in the stratification of the earth, but of the account of the Creation given in the Book of Genesis,' that its terms are as 'respectful as in his judgment they are just' (ibid.). Thus the proctorship for science, justly assumed for matters within his province as a student, is rather hastily extended to matters which he himself declares to be beyond it. In truth it will appear, that as there are many roads to heaven with one ending, so, provided only a man arrives at the conclusion that the great Proem of Genesis lends no support to the argument for Revelation, it does not much matter how he gets there. For in this 'just' account of the Creation I have shown that M. Réville supports his accusation of scientific error by three particulars (N. C. p. 639): that in the first he contradicts the judgment of scholars on the sense of the original; in the second he both misquotes (by inadvertence) the terms of the text, and overlooks the distinction made so palpable (if not earlier) half a century ago, by

the work of Dr. Buckland,3 between bara and asa; while the third proceeds on the assumption that there could be no light to produce vegetation, except light derived from a visible sun. These three charges constitute the head and front of M. Réville's indictment against the cosmogony; and the fatal flaws in them, without any notice or defence, are now all taken under the mantle of our science proctor, who returns to the charge at the close of his article (p. 859), and again dismisses with comprehensive honour as wise and moderate ' what he had ushered in as reverent and just. So much for the sweeping, undiscriminating character of an advocacy which, in a scientific writer, we might perhaps have expected to be carefully limited and defined.

I take next the exaggeration which appears to me to mark unhappily Professor Huxley's method. Under this head I include all needless multiplication of points of controversy, whether in the form of overstating differences, or understating agreements, with an adversary.

As I have lived for more than half a century in an atmosphere of contention, my stock of controversial fire has perhaps become abnormally low; while Professor Huxley, who has been inhabiting the Elysian regions of science, the edita doctrinâ sapientum templa serena, may be enjoying all the freshness of an unjaded appetite. Certainly one of the lessons life has taught me is, that where there is known to be a common object, the pursuit of truth, there should also be a studious desire to interpret the adversary in the best sense his words will fairly bear; to avoid whatever widens the breach; and to make the most of whatever tends to narrow it. These I hold to be part of the laws of knightly tournament.

I do not, therefore, fully understand why Professor Huxley makes it a matter of objection to me that, in rebuking a writer who had treated evolution wholesale as a novelty in the world, I cited a few old instances of moral and historical evolution only, and did not extend my front by examining Indian sages and the founders of Greek philosophy (N. C. p. 854). Nor why, when I have spoken of physical evolution as of a thing to me most acceptable, but not yet in its rigour (to my knowledge) proved (N. C. p. 705), we have only the rather niggardly acknowledgment that I have made the most oblique admissions of a possible value' (N. C. p. 854). Thus it is when agreement. is threatened, but far otherwise when differences are to be blazoned. When I have spoken of the succession of orders in the most general terms only, this is declared a sharply divided succession in which the last species of one cannot overlap the first species of another (p. 857). When I have pleaded on simple grounds of reasoning for the supposition of a substantial correspondence between Genesis i. and science

• Bridgewater Treatise, vol. i. pp. 19-28. Chap. i.: 'Consistency of Geological Discoveries with Sacred History.' 4 Lucr. ii. 8.

(N. C. p. 696), have waived all question of a verbal inspiration, all question whether the whole of the statements can now be made good (N. C. p. 694), I am treated as one of those who impose in the name of religion' as a divine requisition an implicit belief in the accuracy of the cosmogony of Genesis,' and who deserve to have their heads broken in consequence (N. C. p. 860).

I have urged nothing in the name of religion.' I have sought to adduce probable evidence that a guidance more than human lies within the great Proem of the Book of Genesis (N. C. p. 694), just as I might adduce probable evidence to show that Francis did or did not write Junius, that William the Third was or was not responsible for the massacre of Glencoe; I have expressly excepted detail (p. 696), and have stated (N. C. p. 687) that in my inquiry 'the authority of Scripture cannot be alleged in proof of a primitive revelation' (N. C. p. 687). I object to all these exaggerations of charge, as savouring of the spirit of the Inquisition, and as restraints on literary freedom.

My next observation as to the Professor's method refers to his treatment of authorities.

In one passage (N. C. p. 851) Mr. Huxley expresses his regret that I have not named my authority for the statement made concerning the fourfold succession, in order that he might have transferred his attentions from myself to a new delinquent. Now, published works are (as I may show) a fair subject for reference. But as to pointing out any person who might have favoured me with his views in private correspondence, I own that I should have some scruple in handing him over to be pilloried as a Reconciler, and to be pelted with charges of unwisdom and fanaticism, which I myself, from long use, am perfectly content to bear.

I did refer to three great and famous names: those of Cuvier, Sir John Herschel, and Whewell (N. C. p. 697). Mr. Huxley speaks of me as having quoted them in support of my case on the fourfold succession; and at the same time notices that I admitted Cuvier not to be a recent authority, which in geology proper is, I believe, nearly equivalent to saying he is, for particulars, no authority at all. This recital is singularly inaccurate. I cited them (N. C. p. 697), not with reference to the fourfold succession, but generally for the general accordance of the Mosaic cosmogony with the results of modern inquiry' (ibid.), and particularly in connection with the nebular hypothesis. It is the cosmogony (Gen. i. 1-19), not the fourfold succession, which was the sole object of Réville's attack, and the main object of my defence; and which is the largest portion of the whole subject. Will Mr. Huxley venture to say that Cuvier is an unavailable authority, or that Herschel and Whewell are other than great and venerable names, with reference to the cosmogony? Yet he has quietly set them aside without notice; and they with many

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