The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 31
Second letter on evolution:— — Evolution as it Exists in Paganmythology and in the Traditional Theology of the Christian Churches
Second letter on evolution:—
Evolution as it Exists in Paganmythology and in the Traditional Theology of the Christian Churches.
Sir,—All the idol Images of the Hindoos show at the most superficial glance, that all living creatures are in progress, under the law of evolution, from the mollusc upward to the perfection which is attained in their god, Juggernaut. These images represent the cockle floating on the water with a head resembling that of the human in its features. The frog, the lizard, the serpent, the dog and the cat, all show a gradual evelopment verging more or less into the human form: either from the head downwards, or from the extremities upwards. We find Moluch, the idol of the Canaanites, fully developed as man; except his head, which is that of an ox, the only relique left of his former nature from which he descended. The Egyptian hieroglyphics as we find them presented by the priests of Zoan and Memphis, these all show the continual migration of souls as they passed through the various species of the animal creation, till they at last became perfect in their god, the ox. And later among the Greeks we find the same process of evolution indicated by Cicero and Plato in the Tusculan Questions, "whether by the immortality of the soul, man would eventually become a god." Concerning this, however, they attained to no greater certainty, page 12 and their theory, and its feasibleness produced no more conviction, than that of Mr. Darwin and his followers of the nineteenth century. The assertion is not a groundless one when I say that a traditional theology of our day has produced the same results, in regard to evolution and retrogression, as did the pagan mythology of former ages, in proof of which I will adduce the following examples. The diabolos, who at the beginning was a man, and that just such a man as any other, i.e., in his physical organization and moral attributes, has by evolution become the devil. We mean the man Cain, as it is evident in John viii. 33, where Jesus says of him, "That the diabolos at the beginning was a murderous man and a liar." Jesus said this in reference to Cain, as being the first murderous man and the first liar as reported in the Bible: and that he was at the beginning. For when he had slain his brother, and God asked him, "Where is thy brother?" he told the first lie reported in the Bible, when he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And it was by this double act of murder and lying, Jesus applies the epithet "diabolos" to him. And thus we are able to explain, why Jesus speaks of Cain under the surname of the diabolos in the past tense, "he was," because the aforesaid diabolos (Cain) did not exist when Jesus said this: Cain being then dead more than 3000 years, though his race of diaboloses still existed in the murderous Jews of that day, of whom Jesus said, "That they were of their father, the diabolos," and who had already determined to murder him. Thus by evolution this identical Cain was transformed, according to a traditional theology into that orthodox and formidable devil, both omnipresent and omniscient, by which attributes he is enabled to perform several offices at the same time, as to torment immortal spirit men in hell, and at the same time roam about in the world to incite men to rebel against God, as also entering into them to give them the fits, cause lunacy, &c., and also omniscient, because he is required to know all the known languages of man, whereby he is enabled to put evil thoughts into their hearts, and blasphemies into their mouths. It must also be by evolution he became immortal and invulnerable, so that he may sport himself unhurt in the flames of fire and brimstone, in the traditional bell of the churches, like a duck in the water. These are a few of the changes which evolution has wrought in the moral nature of Cain, who by murder and lying, is called the "murderous" man, which adjective Jesus changes into "diabolos." In like manner also has his physical nature under-gone a most astonishing change. For in all traditional works of theology we find him depicted as an almost indescribable mongrel retrogressing backward from man through the ape, as his ape's tail, and the patches of ape's hair on his skin, indicate. His face, though it has still some resemblance to that of man, shows already certain features of the he—goat, the horns of which have developed to perfection. And his cloven deer feet also indicate that his bodily form will soon be swallowed up by that encroaching beastly form through which he has to pass in his retrogression through the mollusc into the sperma, or little sea weed. This consummated, there will be no more devil. These are facts as we find them attested by thousands of the greatest and most orthodox traditional theologians within these last fourteen centuries, which no Darwinian theorists will be bold enough to contradict. The soliloquy, cogitations, reasonings, page 13 lusts, and desires of Eve, allegorically described as the serpent in the garden of Eden, were by a traditional theology developed into the dragon of the desert, Satan, the diabolos, till at last it also became the before-described devil. And thus we find that by a pagan mythology, and later by Christian tradition, falsely called theology, man's physical and moral nature as well as moral evil have all by development or retrogression become the devil.
By the same process of traditional theology, volens or nolens, the metamorphosis of certain localities of our globe has been brought about. As for instance Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom, or Tophet (the fire oven) of the Jews, a locality near Jerusalem, which had been made a place of abomination, the receptacle for dead beasts and the offal of the city, was by evolution changed into hell and the bottomless pit. 2000 years ago we find this valley situated about 2000 feet above the level of the sea. 500 years later we find it orthodoxically described by the name of hell, somewhere in the midst of the earth. And 1000 years later the most in orthodox divines of England asserted with that it had become a bottomless pit. 2600 years ago Esaias describes this locality, and men then behold it, and could see all the abominations what was going on in it, how men of it in the rotting and consuming by fire of the evildoers who had sinned against the law, calling it a loathsome sight to all men. But now it has become the orthodox hell, or bottomless pit of theology, full of living ghost-men, with myriads of infuriated orthodox devils who tournament them with fire and brimstone. And evolution has also provided these devils with ruling princes over them, viz., Beelzebub, the chief idol of the Philistines, and the great Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar, these have in their turn also been metamorphosed by a traditional theology into princes of the devil, and located in this new hell or bottomless pit. There is nothing new under the sun. Darwin's theory of evolution and retrogression is as old as we have any record by pagan mythology or Christian tradition. Let all men be warned in the investigation of the question of evolution, be it pro or con, and not take the views on human nature of a pagan mythology, or of a traditional theology, as if such expressed the teachings of Scripture. Ere men can by their researches and discoveries overthrow any position supposed to be taken by Scripture, let them well see to it and examine whether it is really taken by Scripture, or only fathered upon it by men who have learned their theology only from Zoroaster, Minos, Plato, and Aristotle. All such mythologic and traditional figments have to be wholly discarded iii the investigation of the evolution question, and Holy Writ has to be made the sole criterion, as to the clashing with it, or how far it can be made to harmonize it. Witchcraft was at a time held not only an indisputable fact, but was actually considered as an essential part of orthodoxy inseparable from religion, so much so, that laws were enacted to put witches to death, and thousands of orthodox priests every Sunday offered up public prayers to God, "to deliver them from witches and being be—witched," while now-a-days, the idea of it is thought too absurd even for a nursery tale. The enforcement of the traditional dogmas was held formerly as the most necessary safeguard of the church and state, and it was held that without it men would become barbarians. Experience has, however, proved that the concession of liberty of conscience has brought the civilization page 14 of man to such a degree of perfection, under which arts, sciences, and trade flourish, as to convince every man of plain sense, that the good old laws by which uniformity was enforced served no other purpose but that of making men wretched barbarians—such as history informs us they were during the dark ages—and such as they are now found to be in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, &c. Let us strip revealed religion of all the on growths of the traditional dogmas which are only a cancer and disgrace to it, and alas! are too often mistaken for true religion, and we have not the least fear that scientific researches and revealed religion will ever come into collision—if they do it can only be in appearance, but never in reality, and that only for a short time. True, evolution does change the traditional creeds of men almost in every century, as also the means men make use of to disseminate these creeds. These we see by evolution often changed in a year. The church built for worship is changed by it into a grog shop. We have a proof of it in this town: five years ago there was a place of worship, but evolution changed it in succession into an auction shop, a store, and last of all into a butcher's shop. At one time it supplied food for immortal souls, but now food only for the mortal body.
J. A. Richter.Waikiwi,