I. This hateful doctrine—so repugnant to reason, religion, and common sense—saps all sense of manliness and self-respect. It sets its votaries adrift upon the ocean—the charterless and illimitable ocean of scepticism. It inverts the order of nature, and presents a perfect caricature of physical science. It, in short, inculcates the abominable doctrine that man is only a developed baboon.
But we have no desire to misrepresent it in our words. We shall, therefore, tell our readers what a powerful thinker, and even admirer, of Darwin says regarding it: "Those who believe in the Darwinian theory of Evolution, measure the distance which man has travelled, according to that grand hypothesis, from the monad to the saint and the philosopher."
In these degenerate days, one hears it constantly reiterated that "the soul cannot exist without the body." This odious tenet is a logical deduction of Evolution—which is only a very coarse reproduction of the old school of Epicurus. Evolution is arrant Materialism. Now, what is the teaching of the Materialistic school "of science, falsely so called?"
Let Greg respond : "Mind, thought may be merely a state or operation of the physical brain—the soul has no existence whatever—it is only a finer function or development of the reason." Accordingly, the disciples of Dar-win, Huxley and Bain are perfectly consistent in caricaturing well-meaning men of the stamp and colossal proportions of Sir William Hamilton, who had the audacity to put this little motto on the title page of his edition of Dr. Reid's Philosophy:—
On earth there is nothing great but Man,
In man there is nothing great but mind.
II. Evolution has a peculiar fascination to rude, ignorant, and degenerate communities. The earliest sciolists of Greek science luxuriated in this crude sort of speculation. page 2 The Pre-Socratic School of Philosophy started, like these infant schools—shall we call them schools?—of Australasia, with Materialism; but the Greek mind did not rest there. Dissertations on the properties of matter, and ingenious manipulation of the primordial elements, to wit, fire, air, earth, and water, failed to satisfy the ardent curiosity, and the yearning thirst after knowledge, of the speculative Greeks of that pre-historic period. Even before the advent of Socrates upon the theatre of Greece, all sane men had discovered for themselves that Materialism and its complex Evolutions began and ended in blank Atheism of the coarsest sort, and without even one redeeming feature to console the drooping souls of its infatuated votaries.
III. Victor Cousin—a Peer of France, and a philosopher who laboured for the prolonged period of fifty years to stem the tide of Materialism in France—has abundantly proved in his admirable lectures the baneful influences of Evolution. Sir William Hamilton—the ripest scholar that Great Britain has produced in this century—out of a generous impulse of gratitude dedicated his erudite edition of Scottish Philosophy to that veteran and illustrious French Philosopher. If we go back to that learned seventeenth century, we shall find the celebrated Primate of England—the eloquent and great Dr.. Tillotson—solemnly declaring that the votaries of Materialism "degenerate into beasts and devils, wallowing in abominable and filthy lust."
As are men's ideals, so are their aims. In Scripture phraseology, "If we sow to the flesh, of the flesh we shall "reap corruption."
Again, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Men do not gather grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles. A corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit." A man who regards himself in the light of a developed ape, and who can trace, or fondly loves to trace, his ancestry back to the fetid, reeking and seething dunghill of Epicurus and Lucretius, is not likely to be transported out of himself in the heroic enterprises of gods and God-like men. The journey from a monad to a man may be a large one, but it is surely a dirty, inglorious, irrational, and singularly irreligious career.
The doctrine that inculcates that, at first, the worm, the lion and man sprung from the tepid womb of the earth, is surely atheistic, essentially degrading, decidedly anti-Christian, and even subversive of every form of natural religion, and laughs to scorn the being of God, the immortality page 3 of the soul, and future rewards and punishments in another and eternal state of existence.
IV. The most curious feature in the history of Evolution is the fact of ministers of religion gravely attempting to reconcile its hideous deformities with the beauties of the Christian faith. The fall of man, taught alike in Pagan and Christian religion, has no place in the creed of the Evolutionist. The preacher feels this anachronism, and sets about to evade this difficulty by having recourse to a very disreputable and gratuitous assumption which has not one grain of reason, religion, or authority—human or divine—to support it.
To deny the fall of man is to ignore the plan of redemption, and to fly in the face of the doctrine of the Christian scheme of substitution and reconciliation. The preacher cannot do this and remain in his pulpit, and eat the loaves and fishes of office. Hence, he flies to a disingenuous quibble. He will say that man ascended from a monad to a responsible being, according to the law of Evolution, and thereafter fell from the lofty pinnacle of evolutionary splendour; Alas! in religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules, and frowning Mars;
Who, inward searched, have livers white as milk?
And these assume but Valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. . . . .
V. The relation of the soul to God is altogether beyond the proper sphere of science. Science deals with material objects and proceeds on the basis of observation and experience. It collects materials and draws deductions therefrom. It analyses and then synthetises its own notions. It proceeds by the inductive law and attains to certain generalisations. From a vast aggregation of analogous particulars, it rises to the conception of species, and it classifies these into generic conceptions. But all along, its speculations are purely physical; it must not, and indeed cannot, be allowed to transcend its own peculiar sphere, and launch into the regions of metaphysical ideas. For lack of understanding this cardinal distinction between science and metaphysics, many writers have fallen into the vortex of page 4 Materialism. Hence Evolutionists not only come into direct antagonism to Christianity, but they fall into sheer Atheism. Evolution can never lead us into Theism. Even vulgarised Christians and spurious apologists of Christianity confound Theism with Atheism. "Christians in general," says Professor F. W. Newman, have been absurdly apt to confound Deists or Theists with Atheists. "The problem of discovering or discerning that a Divine Mind exists is one thing; the problem of judging what are the qualities of that Mind is another. We argue from what we know within ourselves, to what we are to believe concerning the Most High. This is the metaphysical argument. By mere material observation you cannot discover a Divine Mind—nay, you cannot in this way discover a human mind. This is the materialistic argument. External nature treated as alone the men of science choose to treat it, does not reveal a holy and perfect God. In speculating on the moral qualities of the Divine Mind, we reason primarily from the qualities of our own mind; not from external nature. The most decisive proof of the existence of a Divine Mind with Socrates and Cicero is derived directly from contemplating the human mind itself. Anatomy will not reveal that a brain can think, nor that the brain of a man is nobler than that of an ape; but knowing beforehand the superiority of the man to the ape, we are taught what structure and what convolutions belong to the nobler brain." Had our amateur lecturers on Evolution and Christianity been able to read with intelligence the dialogues of Plato in Greek, and the philosophical disquisitions of Cicero in Latin, we should have been spared the infliction of their crude notions and imperfectly digested speculations. Such men are incapable of seeing that science and theology revolve in altogether different, but not contradictory spheres of operation. Physics and metaphysics are essentially distinct the one from the other. But vulgar and unphilosophical minds cannot draw the line of complete demarcation.
VI. The Baconian philosophy, applied to religion, is the pregnant mother of Atheism. As a guide to scientific pursuits, it has been prolific of singularly beneficent results in every department of external nature. The present century is very remarkable for our progress in material civilization. As Greg truly says: "More has been done, richer and more prolific discoveries have been made, grander achievements have been realised, in the course of the seventy years of our page 5 own life-time than in all the previous life-time of the race." Gas, railways, steamers, telegraphs, newspapers, manufactures, and inventions generally. "All those contrivances which oil the wheels and promote the comfort of daily life, have been concentrated into the present century."
Mammon is the god of the nineteenth century; Minerva has been discrowned and disrobed and cast out of our utilitarian shrine. Everything is measured in the balance of the bank.
We live too fast and cannot afford to think. Men of severe reflection are constrained to admit that in real mental greatness, we have not exceeded, if even we have equalled, the men who flourished upwards of 2,000 years ago, in the age of Pericles. This is allowed to have been "the culminating point of human intelligence." Where can we find sages, seers, and great men generally, like Homer, Sophocles, Æschylus, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, &c.? In sculpture and painting even, where are our Phidias or Praxiteles? Again, look at the Roman era—notably the Augustan age. Where is our Cicero, Virgil, Horace, &c.? Yet these were simply imitators of Greece. The seventeenth century did certaintly produce a great crop of mind. None of them, however, equalled the Greek sages. But has this century a Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, Barrow, Taylor, Hooker, or Tillotson to boast of? Clearly not.
Even the cold-hearted Deists, but elegant scholars of the eighteenth century, are not equalled by the Materialists of the nineteenth century. In one respect, however, our Evolutionists imitate the men of the eighteenth century, just as those followed in the footsteps of the Epicurean philosophers. Both profess to believe in a God; at least they do not openly and offensively deny the possible existence of the Divine Nature. But they give the Deity almost next to nothing to do. Like the supreme God of Greece and Rome, he is bound fast in the iron grasp of fate, or his own inexorable and unbending laws. Epicurus, to escape the charge of Atheism, and consequent prosecution for impiety, asserted, indeed, the existence of the popular gods, but held that they were too happy in the enjoyment of their own felicity to trouble themselves, or even to ruffle their divine tranquility, by exercising any providence over the affairs of men.
That I am not misrepresenting the Greek Sage of Pleasure, any one conversant with Cicero's treatise on The Nature of the Gods, will easily admit. Our modern Epicu- page 6 reans, our coarse-grained and illiterate Evolutionists—who cannot produce even one great man in their camp—adopt precisely the same attitude towards Christianity, and even towards Theism or Deism, that Epicurus held in respect to the pagan deities of his own age and times.
VII. The conflict between religion and science is as old as the hills. And it will endure so long as man is a depraved and corrupt creature. All truly great men are essentially religious; for religion is ingrained in the very essence of all great souls. The fool, says the royal bard, has said in his heart, that there is no God. He does not really think so, but he wishes there was no Higher Power.
All Evolutionists are Atheists, practically and theoretically; they blaspheme and insult the Majesty on High. The celebrated Archbishop Tillotson says, "The Atheists, who will not believe that there is a God who made the world, can yet swallow things ten times harder to be believed; as that either the world was eternal of itself, or the matter of it, and that the parts of this matter being in perpetual motion, did, after infinite trials and attempts, at last happen to settle in this order in which we now are; that is, that this admirable frame of the world, which hath all the characters upon it of deep wisdom and contrivance, was made merely by chance, and without direction and design of any intelligent author." This is the vague doctrine of Democritus, and notably of Epicurus, and the whole servile and ignoble brood of Evolutionists downwards.
But what is more contemptible than Atheism? "It wants," as Tillotson says, "a stable foundation; it centres nowhere but in the denial of God and religion, and yet substitutes no principle, no tenable and constituent scheme of things in the place of them." It is a doctrine of negation, of feebleness, and of irresolution. It levels man beneath the brute creation.
VIII. Know thyself, reverence thyself, were cardinal precepts of Greek philosophy. Fear God is the foundation of religion. All these principles are trampled under foot by the idiotic gabblers and scribblers of Evolution. To trace our ancestry back to the ape, and even to the primordial, potential and pregnant germ of the dung-hill is degrading, God-blaspheming, and man-dishonouring. Evolutionists know nothing of the depths of the riches of the human mind, of the mysteries of the human soul, of the relation of man to God, and of the awful reverence with which we ought to approach, in conscious converse, the Almighty page 7 Creator, Preserver and Governor of the Universe. All manner of sin, said Christ, shall be forgiven to men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven. And what is this blasphemy? Is it not quenching the intuitions of the soul, the monitions of the conscience, the voice of God in man? Man is, as Young said, a terrestrial god. To degrade him to the position of an ape is a foul libel upon the Deity. "Human nature," said the great and eloquent Tillotson, "is conscious to itself of its own weakness and insufficiency, and of its necessary dependence upon something without itself for happiness, and therefore In great extremity and distress, the Atheist himself hath naturally recourse to Him; and he who denied and rejected Him in prosperity clings to Him in adversity, as his only support and present help in time of trouble. And this is a sure indication that these men, after all their endeavours to impose upon themselves, have not been able wholly to extinguish in their minds the belief of God and His goodness; nay it is a sign, that at the bottom of their hearts they have a firm persuasion of His goodness, when, after all their insolent defiance of Him, they have the confidence to apply themselves to Him for mercy and help in time of need; and, therefore, our hearts ought to rise with indignation against those who go about to persuade the belief of a thing so prejudicial to our interest, and to take away the light of our eyes and the breath of our nostrils, and to rob us of all the comfort and support which the belief of an Infinite Power, conducted by Infinite Wisdom and Goodness, is apt to offer to mankind."
IX. How fearfully the human mind has degenerated since the days of Socrates! To rise from the study of Greek philosophy and peruse the coarse and crude treaties of modern Evolutionists, is like abandoning milk and honey for gall and wormwood. The ancient theories of natural and moral philosophy were beautiful, elevating, and replete with mental nourishment. Their dissertations on the Chief Good, the summum bonum, and their disquisitions on the nature of the soul, were characterised "with great sharpness of wit, and reasoning, and set off with art and eloquence. Theywere great searchers after wisdom and knowledge." Varro, according to Budgell, "reckons up no less than two hundred and eighty-eight different opinions upon this subject; and another, called Lucian, after having given us a long catalogue of the notions of several philosophers, endeavours to show the absurdity of all of them, without establishing page 8 any theory of his own. As nothing is more natural than for every one to desire to be happy, it is not to he wondered at that the wisest men in all ages have spent so much time to discover what happiness is, and wherein it chiefly consists." Strabo asserts that they had no less than eight hundred different opinions, or rather shades of opinion, regarding the chief good. All their deliverances savoured of ripe thought and dialectical subtlety. They sharpened the intellect, purified the affections, and calmed the passions, and administered food for the ever-craving soul of man.
Can the same be said of the stupid reveries, fantastic dreams, and idiotic visions, and senseless crotchets of modern Evolutionists. Do we not close our ears to their odious tenets? Do we not, in fact, close their books with a feeling of sensitive abhorrence?
X. The Hebrew Bible and the Greek philosophy teach us that we are descended from God. The Fall of man finds its exact counterpart in the Age of Gold. Each successive generation fondly clings to the idea of a primeval innocence and glory. All great men, from Plato to Carlyle, are, more or less, laudatores temporis acti. A man conscious of a great ancestry and fortified with a becoming sense of his own native worth, and looking forward to a glorious destiny, can be recognised by his very gait. As Lavater says, "Actions, looks, words, steps, form the alphabet by which you may spell character."
But a man, conscious that he is only a single step removed from the African gorilla, moves along, oppressed with a recumbent feeling of conscious baseness. His optic nerves, like those of a pig, are so constructed that he cannot elevate his admiring eyes to the heavens. Science, as our contention is, deals exclusively with material objects, more or less subtile. But even philosophy itself, as a great writer has elegantly phrased it, "Can in only one way become truly popular—that which Socrates tried, and which centuries afterwards was perfected in the Gospels,—that which tells men of their divine origin and destiny, of their heavenly duties and calling. This comes home to men's hearts and bosoms, and, instead of puffing them up, humbles them. But to be efficient, this should flow down straight from a higher sphere. Even in its Socratic form, it was supported by those higher principles, which we find set forth with such power and beauty by Plato. In Christian philosophy, on the other hand, the ladder has come down from heaven, and the angels are continually descending and ascending page 9 along it." In the mouth of an Evolutionist, God, virtue, truth, falsehood, energy and determination are the jargon of the veriest fool. He is a beast buried in self, and cannot comprehend the nature of piety, charity and disinterestedness. Without lofty ideals and noble aspirations men degenerate even beneath the beasts of the field. Well, truly, and philosophically, does Jacobi ask, "What is there in man so worthy of honor and reverence as this,—that he is capable of contemplating something higher than his own reason, more sublime than the whole universe: that Spirit which alone is self-subsistent, from which all truth proceeds, without which is no truth?"
Who descant the most glibly on the vagaries of Evolution? Who indulge so shamelessly in the cant of science? Who scoff at religion, sneer at virtue, and deny immortality so barefacedly and so flippantly? Certainly not men of genius; for, as Tully tells us, these ideas "take the deepest" root, and are most discoverable in the greatest geniuses and "most exalted souls."
Only the vicious, the vile, the shallow and the foolish insult humanity with such blasphemous, illiterate, unphilosophical and irreligious lucubrations.
XI. This stupendous universe, this glorious system of' things, we never can fully comprehend. It is high as heaven,—what can we know? and deeper than hell,—what can we do? The oriental and royal sage, who turned his attention to the study of this gigantic problem, and who wrote upon multifarious topics, from the hysop on the wall to the cedar of Lebanon, declared that it was insoluble, and even a wise man, though he laboured to find it out, yet could not be able to discover it. Nature, however, forces upon us the stern conviction that there is a God. This is axiomatic. Hear what Cicero says,—"Omnibus enim innatum est et "quasi insculptum in animo esse deos." And again, still more pointedly, he declares, "Esse igitur deos est ita perspicuum ut, qui neget id, viz existimem eum sanae menis."
So patent was this to the Pagan mind that Epicurus himself durst not openly profess Atheism. Tully says of him, "Video Epicurum videri nonnudllis, ne caderet in offensionem Athenisium, reliquisse deos verbis, sustulisse re." Precisely so. What else do the Evolutionists do? They own that there is a God in words, but they have demolished Him in actual fact. Nominal Theists, but practical Atheists, are all the upholder's of the ape theory page 10 Well wrote Ennius of such men—if men they can be called—"Simla turpissima bestia quam similis nobis!"
Such beastly doctrine undermines reverence, the foundation of morality, and every religion. It takes away, effectually, the providence of God towards men. Who can respect, or revere, or adore, the lazy and indolent deities of Epicurus? Who can feel the pulsation of love, and gratitude, and devotion to the God of the Evolutionists?
Of the votaries of this ignoble science, we are prepared to say what the Roman orator affirmed of Epicurus, "Epicurus vero extraxit religionem radicitus ex animis hominum quum sustulit et opem et gratiam diis iwmortalibus."
The dance of atoms is a fool's word. The primordial germ of the Evolutionist is a madman's dream. Even the very origin and conception of motion arise internally, not externally. It is purely a mental idea. Plato himself, the god of philosophers, affirms this most explicity. "Hunc autem motum," says Cicero, "ponit esse in solis animis, ab iisque putat principium motus esse, ductum."
The materialistic Evolutionist has not even a peg to hang a rational argument upon in favour of his grotesque and impious doctrine. Stupid worm! try to raise your eyes to the blue vault of heaven on a clear winter night, and then reflect on what you have beheld, and own your own profound ignorance and impiety, and break forth into Young's ejaculation,—
What involution! what extent! what swarms
Of worlds that laugh at earth ' immensely great!
Immensely distant from each other's spheres;
What, then, the wondrous space through which they roll,
At once it quite engulphs all human thought;
'Tis comprehension's absolute defeat.
Say, does not such a stupendous scene strike awe into your soul? Do you not feel your own littleness, and greatness at the same time? Do you not seem to hear a voice calling upon you to "wait the great teacher death, and God "adore?" The rolling ocean, the spangled heavens, and the pictured earth all aloud pronounce that there is a God. As the great Bard of Melancholy says:—
This prospect vast, what is it?—weigh'd aright,
'Tis natures's system of divinity,
And every student of the night inspires.
'Tis elder Scripture, writ by God's own hand :
Scripture authentic! uncorrupt by man.
page 11 One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine,
And light us deep into the Deity;
How boundless in magnificence and might!
O what a confluence of ethereal fires,
From urns unnumbered, down the steep of heaven,
Streams to a point, and centres in my sight!
Nor tarries there; I feel it at my heart;
My heart, at once it humbles and exalts;
Lays it in dust, and calls it to the skies.
XII. The Miltonic primeval man—based, as it unquestionably is, on Biblical tradition—is immeasurably superior to the quasi-scientific man. The one is divine, the other is brutish; the one fills the soul with rapture, the other with loathing. The primeval pair of Paradise partake of the lustrous resplendence, and superhuman graces of the golden age.
For contemplation he, and valour formed!
For sweetness she, and soft attractive grace.
The man of Evolution is of the earth, earthy : the man of philosophy and of religion is verily a God incarnate. When we survey his divine proportions, do we not burst forth in Young's song?
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful is man.
He has, indeed, the frailty of a man, but he has, also, the security of a God.
The woman of Evolution is loathsome to look upon : but of the Eve of Paradise, as of the Venus of Paphos, we involuntarily and passionately say:—
Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love
Do we not turn away from an Australian savage, or American squaw with disgust? And yet, though terribly degraded, we recognise there the human traces of fallen glory. But a beautiful woman, a perfect model nobly planned, is, indeed, as the American philosopher says, a picture that drives the beholder nobly mad. Behold a Demosthenes, calmly and eloquently addressing the Athenians, or a Paul, on Mars Hill, or a Tully gracefully stretching forth his hand when about to deliver an oration, and tell me whether such a spectacle does not kindle your soul into a divine flame of devotion, that shall consume away the dross and dregs of your sensuous speculations of Evolution?page 12
There is, indeed, a sort of Evolution, moral and material, in which we, too, heartily believe. Divine Providence evolves good out of evil, virtue from vice, and order out of confusion. Light is evolved out of darkness, day from night, minutes from moments, hours from minutes, days from hours, weeks from days, months from weeks, and the crowning year from the months. The eternal God is for ever bringing to pass such beautiful, beneficent and rational evolutions, throughout His infinite domain. But that a baboon has ever yet developed into a man of reason and resolve, no sane mind will ever giant.
XIII. It cannot be too frequently and urgently pressed upon the acceptance of men, that science deals exclusively with external nature in its ever varying phenomena. Whence substance itself originated we cannot ontologically demonstrate. Here we are truly in the nebulous region of hypotheses. Again, metaphysics deals exclusively with mind and its ideas. Consciousness is the Bible of the metaphysician and of the Theist also. Ontologically, we can no more determine the real nature of the mind, any more than we can apprehend the essence of the Deity. We feel the existence of both and accept them as apodictical, and reason from the manifestations—the conscious manifestations of the one to those of the other.
Intellectually, morally, and spiritually we are created in the image of God, and not anthropologically By the ladder of knowledge—virtue and devotion—we emerge from the sensible and approximate to the supersensible. By faith, hope, and love we rise, as on eagle's wings to the True, the Good, and the Fair. Well does Shelley say, "Ask him who" loves what is life? Ask him who adores what is God?" Such intuitions and emotions are too sacred and too great for utterance. So true is it,—
Devotion wafts the mind above,
But heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought;
A ray of Him who formed the whole;
A glory circling round the soul.
To seek God in the sensible regions of science, in the sties of the Epicurean, and in the fantastic schemes of the Evolutionists is verily to seek the living among the dead. This is the high road to scepticism, and finally to Atheism; for materialism leads to scepticism, and plunges its votary in the stygian gloom, and Cimmerian darkness of absolute page 13 Atheism. The gulph between the lowest type of man, and the highest type of animal is so deep that it cannot be filled, and so wide that it cannot be spanned. The great Puritan fully felt this, and hence Milton's singularly significant utterance,—
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true love consists; love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath its seat
In reason, and is judicious, is the scale
By which to heavenly love thou may' st ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.
Perpetual intercourse with sensual men—men whose god is gold—has a tendency to degrade man and to demoralise his noble nature. Even his leisure hour speculations are turbid emanations of the worldly spring from which they flow. As Colton says,—"A Newton or a Shakespeare, deprived of kindred minds, and born amongst savages—savages had died." Hence the great attractions which the materialistic speculations in the regions of Evolution have for the ignorant, the selfish, the ignoble, and the profane. Bad men do not like to retain God in their thoughts. As the sublime Hebrew poet-king sang some three thousand years ago:—
The wicked through his pride of face,
On God he doth not call;
And in the counsels of his heart,
The Lord is not at all.
To the grovelling praters on Evolution we would earnestly address the cutting and well-merited, the sarcastic and characteristic couplet of Persius:—
O souls in whom no heavenly fire is found,
Fat minds, and ever grovelling on the ground.
An assembly of magpies, chattering upon politics or Evolution, is one of the most detestable spectacles under God's earnest sky. The true philosopher—the man worthy of honour and reverence—as Jacobi says, is he, who "capable of contemplating something higher than his own reason, more sublime than the universe: that Spirit which alone is self-subsistent, from which all truth proceeds, without which is no truth."
Such contemplations swell the bosom with delight, en-large the heart, expand the mind, ennoble the conscience, inspire devotion, and elevate the soul on the Platonic wings of philosophy in the quest of man's supreme and self-satisfy- page 14 ing bliss, and perennial felicity. The philosophy which fails of this summum bonum is emphatically vain as vanity.
XIV. The eminent scholar of Tarsus—the disciple of Gamaliel, the learned persecutor of Christianity, the brave apostle of the Gentiles, the philosopher who had imbibed copiously from the Stoic well of Tarsus—became, after his conversion to the religion of Christ, such a devoted propagator of the new Faith, and such an enemy to the diluted tenets of the Greek philosophy—notably the Epicurean and Stoic—that he earnestly exhorted his beloved Timothy to divert his attention from the schools of philosophy, and, above all, "O, Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called : which some professing have erred concerning the faith."
This is a glorious example for all the accredited ministers of Christendom. If Paul dissuaded the earliest teachers of Christianity from dabbling in the wranglings of the schools of Greek thought, what, think ye, would he have said to the Christian teachers of the 19th century who turn their pulpits into platforms for the propagation of an entirely new gospel—a gospel at variance with reason, religion, and even philosophy. The ancient schools of philosophy inculcated maxims respectable indeed, when compared with the ineffably silly, coarse, and illiterate jargon of modern evolutionists. We would earnestly recommend to the pastors of Christendom the attitude assumed by the Father of Philosophy towards the sophists of his day. And, by the way, those same sophists were great men as contrasted with the teachers of Evolution. Socrates brought philosophy from the clouds—from the nebulous regions of negation and mysticism down to the plain paths of common sense and everyday life. Let Christian ministers do the same, and let them turn away with loathing from the profane and vain babbling of men of corrupt hearts and uncultivated minds, and graceless souls. Their business is, as Wesley said, to save souls, and to uphold the Faith once delivered to the saints. As Socrates practically told each of the sophists, so every minister should, by his living example and doctrine, tell every captious babbler of the tenets of Evolution :—
On life, on morals, be thy thoughts employed,
Leave to the schools their atoms and their void.
Such idiotic wrangling and vain jangling, and foolish gabbling, and illiterate scribbling, do not tend towards moral purification, mental refinement, and rational devotion, and sublime adoration of Almighty God.
XV. Why the Darwinian theory has such attractive fascinations for the masses of mankind—more particularly in these primitive settlements of the South Pacific—requires no great depth of penetration to discover. Troubled and polluted streams cannot, as the bard said, a hallowed spring afford. Men of low aims and selfish propensities find a kindred pleasure in the sties of Epicurus. In colonial societies notably, "material objects and interests must predominate over those intellectual and moral ones which dignify man as motives to action." Indeed, in this materialistic age of superficial aims and terrestrial motives, education, as a practical writer says, "of an ordinary kind may be widely diffused—reading, writing, and useful acquirements may be imparted to all the population,—and yet education may be very defective and uninfiuential, and may lose in depth what it gains in breadth." This is the characteristic, par excellence, of the 19th, as contrasted with the 17th century. As the English sage said of Scotland, we may now predicate of all countries: "Every" man has a mouthful, but no man has a bellyful." The argumentum ad ventrem is the potent spring of human activity. The argurnentum ad intellectum is practically ignored, and almost driven into the shade of deep forgetfulness. Religion itself is degraded into the office of the policeman. The priest has lost his sacred character, and his utterances carry neither respect nor reverence. The teacher at the altar must pander to his flock, and fling an occasional sop to Cerberus if he means to retain his office, and maintain the means of subsistence. But, after all, the masses can never, even under the most favored conditions of outward circumstances, be able to follow the reasonings of philosophy, and the sublime ratiocinations of theology. Abstract notions of virtue, of duty, and of religion are not sufficiently substantial for the common sense apprehensions of humanity. Hence, periodical incarnations of virtue and of religion are the powerful level's to elevate human nature to a higher and holier platform of life and action. Cato and Christ were magnets of influence to their respective ages, and country. Plato and Cicero reasoned magniloquently on virtue, but exercised little influence upon practical conduct. No man discoursed more beautifully and sublimely page 16 on the nature of virtue than Tully, and yet no man acted in adversity more ignominiously and cowardly than the self-styled Father of his country. No great teacher ever conformed his life so faithfully to his precepts as Jesus did. Hence the spell of his example, and the magical influence of his name over mankind. Virtue and religion in him shone forth in resplendent glory and power. Christianity silenced the schools and abashed the speculations of philosophers. It came forth, like the sun, from the darkness of night, and dissipated the cobwebs of speculation regarding duty and the chief good, and caused vice to hide its diminished head, and, by the practice of hypocrisy, at least, to do outward homage to virtue. The powerful influence of Christianity in its first crusade against a world lying in iniquity, and carried away with the unsubstantial illusions of speculation, has been eloquently depicted by Lord Macaulay in the following singularly remarkable passage:—"God, the uncreated, the incomprehensible, the invisible, attracted few worshippers. A philosopher might admire so noble a conception, but the crowd turned away in disgust from words which presented no image to their minds. It was before the Deity embodied in a human form, walking among men, partaking of their infirmities, leaning on their bosoms, weeping over their graves, slumbering in the manger, bleeding on the cross,—that the prejudices of the Synagogue, and the doubts of the Academy, and the pride of the Portico, and the fasces of the Lictor, and the swords of thirty Legions, were humbled in the dust." This is not only philosophical, but it is also strictly historical. Hence, we see that what Carlyle has so quaintly, and even grotesquely, preached to the world in his books—notably in his lectures on Hero Worship—is substantially correct in almost every particular. Hero Worship can never grow old, and can never die. Erasmus was a greater scholar than Luther. But Erasmus could never have precipitated the Reformation of the 16th century. Luther, on the other hand, came forth from his cell, and thundered forth, as from the mouth of Behemoth, the convictions which he had elaborated for himself in his study, and backed them up with his own living example, and thus appealed to the more generous instincts of humanity, and, in due time, truth prevailed over error.
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