Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    June 11, 1885

    “‘Evolution’ and Evolution” The Signs of the Times 11, 23, pp. 356, 357.

    IN view of the fact that not only Henry Ward Beecher and Dr. McCosh but almost all of the acknowledged scientific teachers, not only in the United States, but in Europe, are avowed evolutionists, it may be of interest, and perhaps of value, for us to notice briefly what evolution really is, and what is its manifest tendency. Some time ago the Independent presented the following list of evolutionists:—SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.1

    “Of all the younger brood of working naturalists whom Agassiz educated, every one—Morse, Shaler, Verrill, Niles, Hyatt, Scudder, Putnam, even his own son—has accepted evolution. Every one of the Harvard professors whose departments have to do with biology—Gray, Whitney, A. Agassiz, Hagen, Goodale, Shaler, James, Farlow, and Faxon—is an evolutionist, and man’s physical structure they regard as no real exception to the law. They are all theists, we believe; all conservative men. They do not all believe that Darwinism—that is, natural selection—is a sufficient theory of evolution; they may incline to Wallace’s view, but they accept evolution. It is not much taught; it is rather taken for granted. At Johns Hopkins University, which aims to be the most advanced in the country, nothing but evolution is held or taught [italics ours]. In the excellent University of Pennsylvania all the biological professors are evolutionists,—Professors Leidy and Allen in Comparative Anatomy, Professor Rathrock in Botany, and Professor Lesley in Geology. We might mention Michigan University, Cornell, Dartmouth, or Bowdoin; but what is the use of going father? It would only be the same story. There ca scarcely an exception be found. Wherever there is a working naturalist, he is sure to be an evolutionist. We made an inquiry of two ex-presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. One wrote us, in reply: ‘My impression is that there is no biologist of repute nowadays who does not accept, in some form or other, the doctrine of derivation in time, whatever be the precise form in which they suppose the evolution to have occurred.’ His successor replied, ‘Almost without exception, the working naturalists in this country believe in evolution.... In England and Germany the belief in evolution is almost universal among the active workers in biology. In France the belief is less general, but is rapidly gaining ground.... I should regard a teacher of science who denied the truth of evolution, as being as incompetent as one who doubted the Copernican theory.’ We challenge the Observer to find three working naturalists of repute in the United States, or two (it can find one in Canada) that are not evolutionists. And where a man believes in evolution, it goes without saying that the law holds as to man’s physical structure.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.2

    In this article, however, we do not propose a complete analysis of evolution, but only an examination of the leading phase, and of its manifest tendency; and that is, as stated by Mr. James Sully, joint author with Prof. T. H. Huxley, of the Article Evolution in “Encyclopedia Britannica,” ninth edition, this:—SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.3

    It is clear that the doctrine of evolution is directly antagonistic to that of creation. Just as the biological doctrine of the transmutation of species is opposed to that of special creations, so the idea of evolution, as applied to the formation of the world as a whole, is opposed to that of a direct creative volition.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.4

    In view of this statement of the highest authority on the subject of evolution, is it not equally clear that these professors of Harvard, and Yale, and Brown, and Bowdoin, and Amherst, and Princeton, and Cornell, and Johns Hopkins, and Michigan, and Pennsylvania Universities, and the teachers of science in England, Germany, France, and the United States, and those who accept their teaching, are all in direct antagonism to the Bible? For whatever else the Bible might be held to teach, it assuredly does teach this one thing, that God created all things.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.5

    And it is purposely that we write “Bible,” instead of “Genesis” alone; for it is not alone the testimony of Genesis, but of the whole Book, that “God created all things.” “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.... And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth.” Genesis 1:1, 21. “So God created man.” Genesis 1:27. “And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created.” Genesis 6:7. “God created man upon the earth.” Deuteronomy 4:32. “Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens,” etc. Isaiah 42:5. “I have made the earth and created man upon it.” Isaiah 45:12. “Hath not one God created us?” Malachi 2:10. Now the words of Christ (Mark 13:19), “For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time.” Of man he says (Mark 10:6), “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.” God “created all things by Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 3:9. “By him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible.” Colossians 1:16. “Thou hast created all things.” Revelation 4:11; also Revelation 10:6; 14:7. So just as surely as evolution is “directly antagonistic to the doctrine of creation,” so surely are those who hold to evolution placed “directly antagonistic” to the Bible. And this will plainly appear from their own words as we proceed.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.6

    Because the disciples of Darwin have pressed his theories into service as facts, evolution has come to be considered (and not improperly) as almost, if not entirely, synonymous with Darwinism. Yet there is a distinction claimed, and this claimed distinction it is which has given rise to the two kinds of evolution suggested in our heading. It is stated as follows by the Independent of January 8, 1880:—SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.7

    “In the first place let it be clearly understood that evolution, or development, is not synonymous with Darwinism. A man may be an evolutionist and not be a Darwinian. Let us explain.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.8

    “The doctrine of evolution is this: That all the existing forms of animal and vegetable life have been produced through the process of successive birth and generation from original vital germs. This is all. The doctrine of evolution does not assert how the first germs came, whether by God’s special creation, or by the unaided action of law out of inanimate matter. Nor does the doctrine of evolution assert how or why, whether rapidly or gradually, under what laws or what providence, the evolution has proceeded as it has. These are theories of evolution, which are brought forward to account for its operation; but they are not the doctrine of evolution itself. The doctrine of evolution is opposed to the doctrine of creationism; and it teaches simply that living and extinct species of animals and plants were not directly created out of dead matter by the fiat of God, but were produced by birth out of plants and animals previously existing.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.9

    “Now, Darwinism—properly so called—is not evolution, but a theory or hypothesis of evolution. It has become confused in the unscholarly popular mind with evolution, because it was the way in which Charles Darwin first explained evolution. Darwinism is the theory that evolution is explained by the law of Natural Selection; i.e., a law of variation by which the young of any animal vary slightly from their parents. Those of the young whose variations help them in the struggle for existence are more likely to live and propagate their kind.... Thus, by slow gradations, and by the retention of favorable minute changes, all present life was evolved. This is one theory of evolution, and is called by Darwin’s name, ‘Natural Selection,’ or by Spencer’s name, ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ This Darwinism is not necessarily atheistic. Darwin himself allowed that life may have been started by a few created germs. But, once started, on Darwin’s theory, there is no further need of God. Law produces everything, from the diatom to the oak, from the amœba to the man. According to him, even mind, heart, conscience, are just as much the produce of physical evolution as is the physical structure itself. Given two or three germs at the beginning perhaps—or perhaps not—and given the laws which we find, then there is no more use for God, and all things have come out as we find them with none of his supervision. There may have been a God once, but law and not God is the great Creator.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.10

    Apparently, there is a great deal said here, but in reality there is very little. Let us analyze this statement, and see wherein lies the actual difference, if any, between these two statements of evolution and Darwinism.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.11

    1. Evolution says all forms of life come in successive births and generation from original germs. Darwinism says the same.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.12

    2. Evolution does not say how the first germs came. Neither does Darwinism.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.13

    3. Evolution says that living and extinct species of animals and plants were not directly created out of dead matter by the fiat of God. Darwinism says exactly the same.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.14

    4. Evolution says these were produced by birth, out of plants and animals previously existing. Darwinism is identical with it here also.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.15

    5. Darwinism holds that this birth and generation of plants and animals in succession, is according to established law. Evolution being “directly antagonistic” to creationism, how else can successive birth and generation proceed but in accord with the law universal of birth and generation? So in this also they are identical.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.16

    6. Darwinism says that the process of evolution has been very slow. The foregoing statement of evolution says that it does not assert whether the process has been rapid or gradual, but we have abundance of evidence to show that this is not correct. And we need go no farther than the editorial columns of the Independent to prove its incorrectness. In an editorial entitled “Deliver Us from Our Friends,” in December (?) 1879, appears a quotation from Wallace’s “Natural Selection,” as follows:—SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.17

    “‘We can with tolerable certainty affirm that man must have inhabited the earth a thousand centuries ago, but we cannot assert ... that there is any good evidence that he positively did not exist for a period of ten thousand centuries.’”SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.18

    And the whole tenor of the article, which is a defense of evolution, is that the evolution of man is a process of ages upon ages; and it says that the evidence that man was pre glacial, i.e., that he existed scores or hundreds of thousands of years ago, and that he was fashioned out of apes, “is so strong that it is very unsafe to deny” it.” (Italics his.)SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.19

    Again, what room has evolution to show its successions of “birth and generation” if the earth by only six thousands years old? The very language in which evolution is defined and explained, asserts that the process has been gradual. And further, if evidence were produced that the process had been rapid, it would immediately turn the scale in favor of creationism, and evolution would be destroyed. Admitting, however, that evolution makes no assertion either way, does it not make very loud demands for “hundreds,” or “thousands,” or even “tens of thousands of centuries”? If not, to say nothing of Darwin, why do Wallace, and Le Conte, and A. S. Packard, and De Quatrefages, Hughes, Evans, and all the rest, speak and write of it in no other language than such as the above? And these demands are nothing short of an assertion of the absolute poverty of evolution with less than “thousands and tens of thousands of centuries,” and therein asserts its “gradual” process, and fully agrees with Darwinism where it says: “The high antiquity of man ... is the indispensable basis for understanding his origin.”—Descent of Man, 1, p. 3.SITI June 11, 1885, page 356.20

    .7. The process “once started in Darwin’s theory there is no further need of God.” Evolution says the same, as the following from Professor Huxley shows:—SITI June 11, 1885, page 357.1

    “If all living beings have been evolved from pre-existing forms of life, it is enough that a single particle of living protoplasm should once have appeared on the globe as the result of no-matter-what agency. In the eyes of a consistent evolutionist any further independent formation of protoplasm would be sheer waste.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 357.2

    Again:—SITI June 11, 1885, page 357.3

    “But living matter once originated, there is no necessity for another origination, since the hypothesis postulates the unlimited ... modifiability of such matter.”—Encyclopedia Britannica, Article “Biology.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 357.4

    So again we see that consistent evolution and Darwinism are identical.SITI June 11, 1885, page 357.5

    It is unnecessary to pursue this line further, as everything that might be brought to bear upon the subject would simply confirm the points already made, that consistent evolution and Darwinism are essentially synonymous. The simple fact is, and is plainly shown by Mr. Sully, that to Darwin, first of all, belongs the honor of first reducing the theory of evolution to “a substantial basis of fact.” And whether in England, Germany, or the United States, evolution without Darwin is, as the phrase goes, the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. A. T. J.SITI June 11, 1885, page 357.6

    “Notes on the International Lesson. 2 Peter 1:1-11. Christian Progress” The Signs of the Times 11, 23, pp. 358, 359.

    JUNE 21—2 Peter 1:1-11

    “PRECIOUS faith.” It is of peculiar interest to notice this apostle’s use of this word “precious.” “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, ... but with the precious blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18, 19. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.... Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; ... Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” 1 Peter 2:4-7. “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7. And here he writes this letter to those who have “obtained like precious faith ... through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.1

    THUS we have presented to us the precious Son of God, given to be a precious Saviour, who redeemed us by his precious blood. Our faith in him is a precious faith, and the trial of our faith itself is precious; all more precious than gold that perisheth. Surely upon us, who believe in Christ, has come the fullness of the blessing pronounced of old upon Joseph. “Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush.” Deuteronomy 33:13-19. And added to all this “are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” Precious, precious indeed, are the gifts and promises of God.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.2

    “AND beside this, giving all diligence, add.” Now begins our part of the work. Through faith in Christ we have received, by the mercy of God, the forgiveness of sins, have been made partakers of the divine nature, and now we must begin to “work out” our “own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. God gives it to us to “add,” and while we “add,” he “multiplies” (verse 2) “grace and peace.” While we “add,” in our obedience, each Christian grace to our lives, he multiplies grace by which we may add the next. So that as before, sin reigned unto death, even so now grace reigns, through righteousness, unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.3

    “ADD to your faith.” Justification is entirely by faith without works. David “describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Romans 4:6. This righteousness is imputed because of faith, and that alone. Abraham “was strong in faith, ... and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Romans 4:20-24. But if we must be justified by faith without works, then what is the use of works? What use? Why to show the virtue of our faith, to be sure, and to maintain our justification, that is, to keep from sin, for if we sin we need justification again, and must again be justified by faith. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. Good works therefore are to maintain a righteous character before God, and because we must work out our salvation. The justification that has been obtained by faith must be retained by works. It is gotten without works, but it cannot be kept without works. Without works all faith will avail nothing. It is dead. James 2:14-26.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.4

    SO PETER says, “Add to your faith virtue.” Is your faith of any account? Is there any virtue in it? Show it by a consistent Christian course of conduct in all things. Your faith is in God, and you are to add to it the virtues of God. This is what you are called for. This is that for which he has chosen you, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.5

    ADD to virtue knowledge. “Being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10. “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all sense [margin].” Philippians 1:9. “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18. It is in his word that God has given us a knowledge of himself and of his dear Son, our Lord and Saviour. And to grow in knowledge we must study that word. There is nothing in this world that feeds, strengthens, enlarges, and enlightens the mind as does diligent study of the word of God. This is just what is commanded, Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.6

    ADD to knowledge temperance. Temperance cannot be known, much less practiced, without the knowledge of God as revealed in his word. Temperance does not consist of abstinence from strong drink alone. A person may be grossly intemperate and never touch a drop of strong drink. A person may be intemperate in drinking cold water, or in eating good food. How often it happens that persons will exert themselves till they get very hot and thirsty, then drink too much cold water; it may be only a little, yet too much; and so make themselves sick, or kill themselves outright; and all because of a lack of self-control—intemperance. Temperance is self-control. True temperance is “temperance in all things”—self-control in all things—because there is nothing that may not be carried to excess and so made an injury. “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” Romans 14:22.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.7

    ADD to temperance patience. James says: “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire.” Chap. 1:3. But it is absolutely impossible for a person who is intemperate in anything, to be patient in all things. These graces are put, by inspiration, in their proper order, and not one of them can be added out of its place. We cannot add temperance to virtue, neither can we add patience to knowledge; we cannot add godliness to faith, nor charity to godliness, leaving the other out. Each one must be added just as God has placed it. When we have added temperance (that means control your temper as well as your appetite), then we can add patience, and not till then.SITI June 11, 1885, page 358.8

    THEN to patience we can add godliness, and we cannot add it to anything but patience, and as long as we are impatient we are ungodly. Godliness is god-like-ness. It is doing as God would do. And how would he do if he were here? He would do just as he did when he was here. His name was called Immanuel, that is, God with us. “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father,” said Jesus. John 14:9. “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. “And ye are complete in him.” Verse 10. A godly life is a Christ life in the world; we are in his stead here; and we can reach godliness only through faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, and patience.SITI June 11, 1885, page 359.1

    ADD to godliness, brotherly kindness. When a person has reached this place he can fulfill the commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” and not before. Christ did this, and God commanded us to do it. And when we have added the graces that precede it, it will be a good deal easier for us all to do, because we shall then not think so much of ourselves as to render it impossible for us to love our neighbor as we do ourselves. That is the trouble with thousands of people, they cannot love their neighbor as they love themselves, because they love themselves too much. But when we follow the course mapped out by Peter here, by the time we reach brotherly kindness, we shall see so little in ourselves that is lovable that we shall have no difficulty in loving our neighbor as the commandment directs. We shall have no trouble in finding in him just as much good as is in ourselves.SITI June 11, 1885, page 359.2

    ADD to brotherly kindness charity. “And charity is the bond of perfectness.” Colossians 3:14. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” Charity loves God with all the heart and its neighbor as itself. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves.” 1 Peter 4:8.SITI June 11, 1885, page 359.3

    “FOR if these things [these things that must be added] be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” There is the whole secret of backsliding set forth in a single sentence. He that lacks these additions of the Christian virtues, will be barren and unfruitful, and will forget that he was purged from his old sins. He adds nothing, and how can God multiply to him?SITI June 11, 1885, page 359.4

    “WHEREFORE the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” There is God’s surety against our falling from grace. If we do these things, we shall never fall. But if we do not do these things, how can we stand in the great day when the towers fall?SITI June 11, 1885, page 359.5

    “FOR so [in this way, by this means] an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” There is no other way opened, there is no other means provided by which that abundant entrance can be ministered unto us. Here is our work set before us each day as it comes. We live but a day at a time, and the Lord wants us to live in to-day. “To-day if ye will hear his voice harden not your hearts.” Each morning as we arise set our faith anew upon Christ as our Saviour; then show the virtue, the worth of our faith by confessing him before men, both in our words an our lives; then study the words of God for knowledge to guide us during the day; then practice the temperance—the self-control—that is enjoined everywhere and in all things in the word of God; then add patience in all the affairs of the day; add godliness by exemplifying the life of Christ among men by doing good; add brotherly kindness in all our associations with our neighbor; and all crowned by adding sweet charity, the bond of perfectness; the love of God shed abroad in the heart, loving him with all the heart, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, thus completing the day with a well-rounded Christian character. Can it not be done one day? Can it not be done to-day? That is all the Lord asks of us. Do “these things” to-day “while it is called to-day,” and so to-day each day as God gives us opportunity to do. And we shall then never fall, but unto all such an abundant entrance will be ministered into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.SITI June 11, 1885, page 359.6

    A. T. J.

    “Political ‘Christian Ideals’” The Signs of the Times 11, 23, p. 361.

    THE Churchman in urging the need of “Christian ideals” in politics, says: “The law of sacrifice, which lies at the basis of Christianity, is the eternal law in politics also, and the truth announced by Christ is indelible, that he who would be chief must make himself a servant.” Oh, yes! And when the time comes that, to hold office in this Government, a man must accept the “Christian ideal” of the church, what masterly exemplars there will be of the law of sacrifice in politics! And how actively they will obey the truth, and make themselves servants that they may be chiefs! That is done in politics now and how much more then, when, by it, they can exemplify a “Christian ideal”! But when the law of sacrifice is followed for the sole purpose of getting into office, and when a man makes himself a servant for the express purpose of becoming chief, we have serious doubts of both the sacrifice and the servitude.SITI June 11, 1885, page 361.1

    A. T. J.

    Larger font
    Smaller font