« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
in his own language, some of his own repetitions must be given also, in order to leave no doubt as to precisely what he said and did not say. It will probably be a long while before the dispute over the theory that he advocated will cease, but there is certainly no excuse. for a difference of opinion with regard to the language that he used, and the meaning he attached to it. That language and that meaning will be found in these pages. Darwinism stated by its opponents is one thing, Darwinism stated by Darwin himself will be found to be quite another thing, for, to use his own exclamation, "great is the power of steady misrepresentation !"
The order followed in the arrangement of these extracts is not that of the books, but the one naturally suggested by our plan, which is designed to conduct the reader through the vegetable up to the animal kingdom, and up from the lowest to the highest animal, man, "the wonder and glory of the universe."
The references are to the American edition of Darwin's works published by D. Appleton & Co., New York.
It is no part of our purpose to discuss the theory expounded here, but we can not refrain from joining in the general expression of admiration for its illustrious expounder. Lord Derby says, "He was one of half a dozen men of this century who will be remembered a century hence"; and yet his friends were "more impressed with the dignified simplicity of his nature than by the great work he had done." Professor Huxley
compares him to Socrates in wisdom and humility; and there could be no better authority than Mr. A. R. Wallace for the statement that "there are none to stand beside him as equals in the whole domain of science." He has been extolled, since his death, by a host of religious leaders in press and pulpit (some of whose utterances will be found on another page), and we concur with them in the opinion that science never had a champion whose temper and behavior were more nearly in accord with the practical injunctions of the Christian religion. Whatever we or any one may think of Darwin's scientific theories, no one can gainsay the value of his personal example, and few can be so prejudiced as to resist the fascination that will always be felt at the mention of his name.
NEW YORK, February 1, 1884.
INTRODUCTORY PASSAGES QUOTED BY DARWIN IN HIS "ORIGIN OF SPECIES."
"BUT with regard to the material world, we can at least go so far as this-we can perceive that events are brought about not by insulated interpositions of divine power, exerted in each particular case, but by the establishment of general laws."-WHEWELL: Bridgewater Treatise.
"The only distinct meaning of the word 'natural' is stated, fixed, or settled; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelligent agent to render it so, i. e., to effect it continually or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it for once."-BUTLER: Analogy of Revealed. Religion.
"To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both."-BACON: Advancement of Learning.
DARWIN AND HIS THEORIES FROM A RELIGIOUS POINT OF VIEW.
"Surely in such a man lived that true charity which is the very essence of the true spirit of Christ."-Canon PROTHERO.
"The moral lesson of his life is perhaps even more valuable than is the grand discovery which he has stamped on the world's history."- The Observer (London).
"Darwin's writings may be searched in vain for an irreverent or unbelieving word."-The Church Review.
"The doctrine of evolution with which Darwin's name would always be associated lent itself at least as readily to the old promise of God as to more modern but less complete explanations of the universe."-Canon BARRY.
"The fundamental doctrine of the theist is left precisely as it The belief in the great Creator and Ruler of the Universe is, as we have seen, confessed by the author of these doctrines. The grounds remain untouched of faith in the personal Deity who is in intimate relation with individual souls, who is their guide and helper in life, and who can be trusted in regard to the great hereafter."-The Church Quarterly Review.
"It appears impossible to overrate the gain we have won in the stupendous majesty of this (Darwin's) idea of the Creator and creation."-Sunday-School Chronicle.
"It is certain that Mr. Darwin's books contain a marvelous store of patiently accumulated and most interesting facts. Those facts seem to point in the direction of the belief that the Great Spirit of the Universe has wrought slowly and with infinite patience, through innumerable ages, rather than by abrupt interven
viii DARWIN FROM A RELIGIOUS POINT OF VIEW.
tion and by means of great catastrophes, in the production of the results, in the animate and inanimate world, which now offer to the student of nature boundless scope for observation and inquiry." -The Christian World.
“Let us see, in the funeral honors paid within these holy precincts to our greatest naturalist, a happy trophy of the reconciliation between faith and science.”—The Guardian.
"That there is some truth in the theory of evolution, however, most scientists, including those of Christian faith, believe, and Mr. Darwin certainly has done much to make the facts plain; but no scientific principle established by him ever has undermined any truth of the Gospel."-The Congregationalist.
"Christian believers are found among the ranks of evolutionists without apparent prejudice to their faith. Professor Mivart, the zoologist; Professor Asa Gray, the botanist; Professor Le Conte and Professor Winchell, the geologists, may be named as among these.-The Presbyterian.
"In all his simple and noble life Mr. Darwin was influenced by the profoundly religious conviction that nothing was beneath the earnest study of man which had been worthy of the mighty hand of God."-Canon FARRAR.
"He has not one word to say against religion; . . . by-and-by it may be seen that he has done much to put religious faith as well as scientific knowledge on a higher plane.”—Independent.
"A celebrated author and divine has written to me that 'he has gradually learned to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that he created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws."—Origin of Species, page 422.
“I am at the head of a college where to declare against it [evolution] would perplex my best students. They would ask me which to give up, science or the Bible. It is but the evolution of Genesis when each 'brings forth after its kind.' Science tells the same story. But what is the limit of the fixedness of the law? I believe that the evolution of new species is a question in science, and not of religion. It should be left to scientific men." -President McCosн.