« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
into inter-entering tubes; to collect and com-
This banishing God from the world is simply intolerable, and, blessed be his name, impossible. An absent God who does nothing is, to us, no God. Christ brings God constantly near He said to his disciples, " Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; which have neither store-house nor barn; and God feedeth them; how much better are ye than the fowls. And which of you by taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much
more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith." "And seek ye not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things." It may be said that Christ did not teach science. True, but He taught truth; and science, so called, when it comes in conflict with truth, is what man is when he comes in conflict with God.
The advocates of these extreme opinions protest against being considered irreligious. Herbert Spencer says, that his doctrine of an inscrutable, unintelligent, unknown force, as the cause of all things, is a much more religious doctrine than that of a personal, intelligent, and voluntary Being of infinite power and goodness. Matthew Arnold holds that an unconscious "power which makes for right," is a higher idea of God than the Jehovah of the Bible. Christ says, God is a Spirit. Holbach thought that he made a great advance on that definition, when he said, God is motion.
The third method of accounting for the contrivances manifested in the organs of plants and animals, is that which refers them to the blind operation of natural causes. They are
not due to the continued coöperation and control of the divine mind, nor to the original purpose of God in the constitution of the universe. This is the doctrine of the Materialists, and to this doctrine, we are sorry to say, Mr. Darwin, although himself a theist, has given in his adhesion. It is on this account the Materialists almost deify him.
From what has been said, it appears that Darwinism includes three distinct elements. First, evolution; or the assumption that all organic forms, vegetable and animal, have been evolved or developed from one, or a few, primordial living germs; second, that this evolution has been effected by natural selection, or the survival of the fittest; and third, and by far the most important and only distinctive element of his theory, that this natural selection is without design, being conducted by unintelligent physical causes. Neither the first nor the second of these elements constitute Darwinism; nor do the two combined. As to the first, namely, evolution, Mr. Darwin himself, in the historical sketch prefixed to the fifth edition of his "Origin of Species," says, that Lamarck, in 1811 and more fully in 1815, taught that all species, including man, are
descended from other species." He refers to some six or eight other scientists, as teaching the same doctrine. This idea of Evolution was prominently presented and elaborated in the "Vestiges of Creation," first published in 1844. Ulrici, Professor in the University of Halle, Germany, in his work "Gott und die Natur," says that the doctrine of evolution took no hold on the minds of scientific men, but was positively rejected by the most eminent physiologists, among whom he mentions J. Müller, R. Wagner, Bischoff, Hoffmann, and others.1 The Rev. George Henslow, Lecturer on Botany at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, himself a pronounced evolutionist, says the theories of Lamarck and of the "Vestiges of Creation" have given place to that of Mr. Darwin; "and there are not wanting many symptoms of decay in the acceptance even of his. Not only has he considerably modified his views in later editions of the 'Origin of Species,' distinctly expressing the opinion that he attributed too great influence to natural selection, but even men of science, Owen, Huxley, and at least in its application
1 Gott und die Natur. Von D. Hermann Ulrici. Zweite Auflage. Leipzig, 1866, p. 394.
to man, Wallace himself, —are either opposed to it in great measure, or else give it but a qualified assent. Thus, it has been the fate of all theories of the development of living things to lapse into oblivion. Evolution itself, however, will stand the same. We find in the "Transactions of the Victoria Institute," a still more decided repudiation of Darwinism on the part of Mr. Henslow. He there says: "I do not believe in Darwin's theory; and have endeavored to refute it by showing its utter impossibility." He defines Evolution by saying, "It supposes all animals and plants that exist now, or have ever existed, to have been produced through laws of generation from preēxisting animals and plants respectively; that affinity amongst organic beings implies, or is due to community of descent; and that the degree of affinity between organisms is in proportion to their nearness of generation, or, at least, to the persistence of common characters, they being the products of originally the same parentage." A man, therefore, may be an
1 The Theory of Evolution of Living Things and the Application of the Principles of Evolution to Religion. By Rev. George Henslow, M. A., F. L. S., F. G. S. London, 1873, pp. 27, 28.
2 Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute, or Philosophical Society of Great Britain. Vol. iv. London, 1870, p. 278. 8 Evolution and Religion, p. 29.