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do, but we shall not understand it at all if we go blindly after criticism of this highly consistent and logical description. However, the Polychrome editors may do better. What makes an Englishman ill is the obviously American advertise. ment about the cry of the people and the people's right to know what nobody knows. This kind of thing is not knowledge, but opinion, and very polychrome opinion it is. No color box would contain pigments enough to print the contend. ing opinions of critics withal, if one offered a polychrome manual of criticism.
In the Rainbow Bible, as some call it, criticism offers in completest possible form its alleged results, according to latest returns from accessible counties of the critical mind up to the hour when the book went to press; but, whatever is uncertain, it is certain that these results will be modified by still later returns. Indeed, before this rainbow was finished at its latter end, the colors, not being fast colors, had run together at its beginning. By the time the last chapter was printed, the most progressive of the critics who made it would declare the book out of date in parts. In a procedure which, spite of pretensions to be scientific, is so largely speculative as overzealous innovational biblical criticism is, the conclusions are impermanent and unstable. As opinion upon each detail is likely to be affected by the accidental prepossessions, proclivities, supposed interests, or personal idiosyncrasies of the individual critic, so also is opinion liable to change even between sundown and daylight, without any alteration in known facts, simply by the peristaltic working of the critic's own mind, forcing its contents forward. The revolution of the earth gives the kaleidoscopic Polychrome a fresh turn daily, the mosaiced fragments tumble apart and fall into new arrangement. The intellectual world has more confidence in the Bible than in the iconoclasts who attempt to destroy its integrity and discredit its authority. The catalytic critics who are bent on dissolving its vital unity by means of conjecture into piecemeal original elements are guilty of a dissolute performance. Mr. Lang has written, as he says, not in the interests of orthodoxy, but in the interests of practical common sense which listens attentively, ponders cautiously, judges fairly, and then utters its verdict frankly. This virile good sense has been heard to remark reflectively that, when a professedly and properly serious business has made itself ridiculous by absurd excesses and lost its reputation for sobriety and sanity, it has committed hari-kari on the doorstep of its enemies, where its increasingly objectionable remains lie entirely at their disposal.
THE ADJUSTMENT OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS TO SCIENTIFIC
HYPOTHESES. THERE are certain theological writers to-day who seem to think that the exponents of Christian faith should hasten to adjust their lines of defense to the latest hypotheses of science and criticism, assuming that these hypotheses have come to stay, and that they are incontrovertible. This new system of apologetics is largely a surrender to distrust of the old defenses of Christianity and a retreat to grounds not nearly so defensible as those of the fathers. In this case apologetics have indeed become apologies, using the term in the common signification.
At what demand is this retreat made ? At the demand of indisputable facts that find no other explanation! No one except a materialist of the stamp of a Karl Vogtor Ernst Haeckel would dare assume such a position. We speak the truth when we say it is at the demand of hypotheses that had their birth in a purpose to get rid of the supernatural in the entire universe. The idea of the Creator has been repugnant to a certain class of thinkers, and hence they have sought to push him as far back as possible from any interposition in the ordering of the cosmos. And thus was born evolution of the genetic development type, the transmutation hypothesis, which has for its support the “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” hypotheses of Darwin. In other words, hypotheses are built upon hypotheses; and this we are told is the latest and grandest generalization of science, and the theologian with his immanent God must change his lines of defense and beat a retreat.
An otherwise excellent article in the January Revier on “Recent Phases of Thought in Apologetics” is written from this standpoint of surrender. We are given to understand that evolution is “now accepted by scientific men with substantial unanimity,” and that it "requires a modification in the form of the argument from design.” We question it. When the term "evolution” is carefully defined it will be found that many scientific men do not accept the genetic development hypothesis of Darwin, with its subsidiary hypotheses of “patural selection” and “ vival of the fittest.” Either nature shows design or it does not. That it does is clearly manifest in the perusal of Darwin's works, to say nothing of other writers who have accepted his views. Throughout their writings one will find the words "contrivance," "purpose," "adapta
' tion," :end” in the teleological sense. So design forces itself on the very language of the men who seek to get rid of it. Take the eye, for example. We are told that “a pigment fleck covering the termination of a nerve” might have begun the evolution of an eye. Who cannot see that, however it may have begun, design is not eliminated from the
perfect eye? A contrivance so perfect, so carefully adjusted to the use of the body, to light and its laws, shows design far more perfectly than any mechanism of human contrivance. Relations, adaptation of means to ends, adjustments, selection of materials that must have been intellective show design, or else the word has no meaning. But a moment’s glance at this hypothesis of a pigment cell on the end of a nerve. Is there one fact out of which such an hypothesis can be made, to say nothing of the innumerable steps between this hypothetical cell and a perfect eye? Has anyone ever watched a pigment cell at the end of a nerve on the journey to an eye? And is it for suppositions like this that we are asked to change our defense of Christianity? No accumulative amount of this kind of supposition can make a very convincing argument.
But, further along in this article we are told that the hypothesis of genetic development is built upon a series of proofs, no one of which is conclusive as an argument, but all of which taken together establish the hypothesis and make it “the great intellectual achievement of the nineteenth century.” What are these cumulative proofs ? Homology of structure, rudimentary organs, successive developments in embryo from a simple and lower type of structure to the more complex, the geological record showing an increasing complexity in the order in which life appeared upon this earth, the similarity of successive faunas and floras in the same region, and the fact that “the boundary lines of all groups recognized in zoological and botanical classification grow more indefinite with increasing knowledge." The writer is right in saying that no one of these furnishes a sufficient reason for the hypothesis. There is no one of them but admits of a rational explanation outside of the hypothesis. There is no one of them that makes a peremptory demand for such an hypothesis. The geological record is against it. If the hypothesis were true the transitional types would, beyond all computation, outnumber the fixed types. What are the facts ? Clearly defined specific boundary lines in every geological eon, as we find them to-day. Some of us remember how Professor Huxley handled the little Eohippus to develop the modern horse, and we conclude that had there been a few more constructively transitional types they would have reached equal renown with Eohippus. No, we decline to admit that the Darwinian form of evolution is 'to-day of such scientific authority that we will recede from our teleological defense of theism. Des Moines, Ia.
T. McK. STUART.
“THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CURRENT RELIGIOUS UNREST." THE article in the Review for July, 1898, bearing above title, has many excellences, as is always the case with what its author writes. But this utterance is not like most of those which fall from his pen or lips; it lacks definiteness or completeness of statement, so that one is frequently under the necessity of raising the question, “What does the author mean?"
1. In his eulogy of evolution it would have been a gratification had he informed us whether, in his opinion, evolution is in itself an ascertained fact, or a series of settled axioms based on indisputable facts, or merely “*an hypothesis not true in itself . . . for working purposes, one from which we can reach the firm ground of knowledge.” Or is it something other than either of these which justifies such extravagant praise and such complete abandonment of all preconceived theories ?
2. Are we compelled either, on the one hand, to "fight the men who are exploring for facts” along this line, or, on the other, to accept without challenge all which by them in their enthusiasm is declared proved ? Is it to be attributed to “stupidity and stubbornness” if one waits till sufficient proof has been set forth to demonstrate the truth of new philosophies? Does the exercise of the charity for which the article pleads necessitate the abandonment of all past faiths ?
3. Does this age really demand a new God, since we are informed that "the God of Moses is not our God ?” Is it necessary to the adequate explanation of the slaughter of Midian, according to the recent and approved methods of Bible interpretation, that we should discredit the statement of Num. xxv, 17, “Vex the Midianites, and smite them,” by saying, “Our God would not have allowed Moses, as the God of Moses did -so he thought-to slaughter to extinction the Midianites ?” Are there literary or other reasons for accepting the history of the avenging of Israel's beguilement and rejecting its divine authorization, when the same narrative asserts, “ The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Vex the Midianites, and smite them: For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor,” and when elsewhere the Lord says to Moses, “ Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people ?” Is the God of modern times incapable of punishing a nation ? Is divine vengeance never just ? Do men never become so vile that to extirpate them is the kindest for them and the likeliest to secure the benefit of the survivors ? How did Sodom and Gomorrah perish? Were Nadab and Abihu buried with national honors ? Did Korah and his company die in battle? How much of biblical history is to be relegated to the domain of myth ?
4. Are we at this date compelled to explain all “ progress by means of resident forces in nature" because of the “ever-widening gulf between naturalism and supernaturalism?” Is supernaturalism to be abandoned because “the supernaturalism of religion is becoming more and more obnoxious to the naturalism of science ?” Because “supernaturalism is separable from religion ” does it follow that the supernatural should be altogether eliminated from our creed ? Is Sinai a myth? Did Moses originate the Ten Commandments ? Was either the Red Sea or the Jordan divided ? Did anything out of the sphere of the natural occur in Egypt to secure the emancipation of Israel from the yoke of the Egyptians ? Or, what mean the words of Christ: “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe
not his writings, how shall ye believe my words ?” Was the Master mistaken when he affirmed, “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness," or was manna a natural product of the desert ? Surely no less is implied in the words of our author, “What we have called the supernatural is nothing more than the creation of ignorance and supersti. tion;” or in these, “There is no manifestation of the supernatural which does not find its expression in and through the natural.”
Again, Dr. Chaffee writes: “New facts, always disquieting to the unlearned, but the delight of scholars and investigators, came pouring in upon us from a study of all the natural sciences, whose teaching is that the world is ruled, not by caprice, but by law; not through miracles, but through the agency of natural forces.” This statement seems to be sufficiently definite to preclude mistake as to its meaning. A little before the place of this quotation charity seemed to require that the author should be interpreted as meaning that “law” should be so defined as to include that which is supernatural, that God had made it a law of his universe that he should be expected to arrest the operation of natural laws when the defense or enlightenment or welfare of his creatures so required; but in this quotation the antithesis of natural forces" with "caprice” and “miracles” appears to amount to an absolute and unequivocal denial of miracles under any definition. Does the author mean that when “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” this testimony to our inner self is by a “natural force" like gravitation ? Are regeneration, sanctification, glorification successive steps in a process in which we may see the operation of law—“the same law throughout infinite space, a natural law which is measurable and can be formulated . . . a substitute for the anthropomorphic arm, the arm of the Almighty which upholds all ?” Is this measurable law the author's substitute for that arm?
Or, was Christ's birth from a virgin a result of the operation of a “natural force ?” Did he cleanse the lepers, cure the blind, raise the dead, and comfort the heart of the disciples by revealing the nature of the “place” which he should “ go to prepare ” for them by the processes of “law?" And, being at last “dead and buried,” was it “natural law” which raised him from the dead to eternal triumph and a seat at the right hand of the Father Or, if these things cannot be referred to the operation of “natural law," are they also to be relegated to the domain of exploded myths, because, forsooth, science has neither microscope, nor solvent, nor scalpel with which to analyze these mysteries ?
If this scientific process is the only way to escape “the scorn of intelligence while we indulge in the feat of verifying all the myths and miracles of the Jewish Church and people," we might choose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of " science “for a season." For the “scorn of intelligence" and the “reproach of Christ” are "greater riches than the treasures” of such science as robs us of the supernatural, of a personal God who is unfettered by the