The Evolution Theory. 


1. State the Evolution Theory of man's origin, in its recent form; and show its Relation to the Argument for God's existence.

2. Show the Defects in the pretended Argument for this Descent of man by Evolution.

3. Does the Theory weaken the Teleological Argument for the Existence of Personal God?
See "Origin of Species" and "Descent of Man," by Dr. Charles Darwin, "Lay Sermons," by Dr. Thos. Huxley, "Physical Basis of Life," by Dr. Stirling, Lectures (Posthumous of Prof. Louis Agassiz, "What is Darwinism?" by Dr. Ch Hodge, "Reign of Law," by the Duke of Argyle.

Relation of Evolution To Teleological Argument.

IN the previous Lecture, I concluded the brief examination of the atheistic theory, accounting for the Universe as an eternal series, with these words:—"Genera may begin or end, but never transmute themselves into other genera." We found the fatal objections to the scheme of a self-existent, infinite series uncaused from without, in these facts:—That no immediate antecedent was adequate cause for its immediate successor:—And that the previous links in the series could not be cause; because totally absent from the rise of the sequent effect. Thus the utter fallacy was detected, which seeks to impose on our minds by the vague infinitude of the series as a whole. We were taught that no series made up solely of effects, each contingent, can, as a whole, be self-existent. Thus that evasion of the atheist quickly perished.

Obviously, if there is any expedient for resuscitating it, this must be found in the attempt to prove that the law, "Like produces Like," is not the whole explanation of the series. We have demonstrated that, by that law, it is impossible the series can be self-existent. The best hope of Atheism is, then, to attempt to prove that the Like does not produce merely the Like; that the series contains within itself a power of differentiating its effects, at least slightly. Hence materialists and atheists have been led in our day, either by deliberate design, or by a species of logical instinct, to attempt the construction of an "evolution theory." The examination of this attempt becomes necessary in order to complete the argument for God's existence, on this, the last conceivable point of attack.

No Novelty.

The evolution hypothesis is, indeed, no novelty. It is, after all its pretended modern experiments, but a revival of the "atomic theory" of the Greek atheist, Democritus, adopted by the Epicurean school. Its application to the descent of man from some lower Animal, has often been attempted, as by Lord Monboddo, who almost exactly anticipated Dr. Chas. Darwin's conclusion. In the eyes of some modern Physicists, however, it has received new plausibility from the more intelligent speculations of the Naturalist La Marck, and the "Vestiges of Creation" ascribed to Mr. Robert Chambers. But it appears in its fullest form, in the ingenious works of Dr. Chas. Darwin, "Origin of Species," and "Descent of Man." I therefore take this as the object of our inquiry.

Natural Selection and Survival.

This Naturalist thinks that he has found the law of reproduction, in Animated nature, that "Like produces Like," modified by the two laws of "natural selection" and a "survival of the fittest." By the former, nature herself, acting unintelligently, tends in all her reproductive processes, to select those copulations which are most adapted to each other by the latter, she ordains, equally without intelligence, that the fittest, or ablest progeny shall survive at the expense of the inferior. These supposed laws he illustrates by the race-varieties (certainly very striking which have been produced in genera and species whose original unity is admitted by all, through the art of the bird-fancier and stock-rearer, in breeding. The result of these laws, modifying the great law of reproduction, would be a slight differentiation of successors from predecessors, in any series in Animated nature. This difference at one step might be almost infinitesimal. This conatus of Nature towards evolution, being totally blind, and moving at haphazard, might result in nothing through a myriad of experiments, or instances, and only evolve something in advance of the antecedents, in the ten thousandth case; yet, if we postulate a time sufficiently vast, during which the law has been blindly working, the result may be the evolution of man, the highest Animal, from the lowest form of protoplasmic life.

Scheme Atheistic.

1st. The tendency of this scheme is atheistic. Some of its advocates may disclaim the consequence, and declare their recognition of a God and Creator, we hope, sincerely. But the undoubted tendency of the speculation, will be to lead its candid adherents, where Dr. Leopold Buchner has placed himself, to blank materialism and atheism. For the scheme is an attempt to evolve what theists call the creation without a Creator; and as we shall see, the bearing of the hypothesis is towards an utter obliteration of the teleological argument.

2nd. In assigning man a brute origin, it encourages common men to regard themselves as still brutes. Have brutes any religion?

3rd. The scheme ignores all substantive distinction between spirit and matter, by evolving the former out of the functions of mere Animality. But if there be no soul in man there is, practically, no religion for him.

Selection Implies Mind.

2. The favourite law of "natural selection" communicates a sophistical idea in its mere terminology, and in its scope. Selection is an attribute of free agency, and implies the intelligent choice of the one who selects. Yet, "Nature" selects for the evolutionist, and Nature is a blind force, influenced by the arbitrary winds of chance, and has no intelligence. Rather, the evolutionist's "Nature" acts (or works in a way contrary to the denotative meaning inherent in the notion of selection; nature acts without distinction or discernment, haphazardly as it were. Now, whenever we apply the idea of selection, or any other which expresses free agency, to such effects:—we know that we are speaking inaccurately and by a mere trope. How much more specious is it to ascribe the force of a permanent and regular law, selecting effects, to that which is but chance? This is but giving us metaphor, in place of induction. It is farther noted by Agassiz, that the principle of life, or cause in Animated nature, notoriously and frequently produces the same results under diverse conditions of action; and diverse results again, under the same conditions. These facts prove that it is not the species of variable cause painted by Darwin, and does not differentiate its effects by his supposed law of natural selection.

3. We have seen that the vastness of the time needed for the evolution of man from the lowest Animated form, by these laws of natural selection, working blindly and effecting at any one movement the most minute differentiations, is not only conceded, but claimed by evolutionists. Then, since the blind cause probably has made ten thousand nugatory experiments for every one that was an advance, the fossil remains of all the experiments, of the myriads of genera of failures, as well as the few genera that were successes, should be found in more immense bulk. And especially fossil Natural History should present us with the full history of both sides of the blind process; with the remains of the degraded genera, as well as the "fittest" and "surviving genera." The fossil history of the former ought to be ten thousand times the fullest! But in the presence of such a history, how preposterous would a theory of evolution appear? For, the very essence of this theory is the idea of a continual advancement and improvement in nature.

The evolution theory is inconsistent with the wide geographical diffusion of species, and especially of the higher species. If these are the results of the "survival of the fittest," under local conditions of existence and propagation, is it not unaccountable that these, and especially man, the highest species of all, should always have been found under the most diverse and general conditions, in contrasted climates? But if we pass to the lower species, such as the molluscs and crustaceans, the difficulty is as great, because they have no adequate means of locomotion to migrate from the spots where the local conditions of their development existed.

No Improvement By Selection, Save Under A Rational Providence.

4. But next; where improved race varieties have actually been developed, it may well be questioned whether the selections of the progenitors have ever been "natural," in the sense of the evolutionist. The marked instances of which Darwin makes so much use, are the result of the breeder's art:—(as the Durham cattle that is, of a rational providence. And when we surrender any individuals of the varieties to the dominion of "nature," the uniform tendency is to degradation. What more miserable specimens of cattle and swine are ever seen; what individuals less calculated for "survival" in the struggle for existence, than the neglected progeny of the marvellously developed English livestock, when left to take their chances with the indigenous stock of ill-cultivated districts? Again, many Naturalists tell us that when any incidental cause has been applied to a given species, producing variations in some individuals and their progeny, the difference is larger at first, and becomes more and more minute afterwards. The inference seems irresistible, that such variations must have fixed and narrow limits. Naturalists are familiar with the tendency of all varieties, artificially produced by the union of differing progenitors, to revert back to the type of one or other of their ancestors. Hence, all breeders of livestock recognise the tendency of their improved breeds to "fly to pieces"; and they know that nothing but the most artful vigilance in selecting parents prevents this result. Without this watchful control, the peculiarities of one or the other original varieties would re-appear in the progeny, so exaggerated, as to break up the improved type, and give them instead, a heterogeneous crowd, the individuals varying violently from each other and from the desired type, and probably inferior to either of the original varieties compounded.

Strongest Do Not Naturally Survive.

Is the "survival of the fittest" a "natural" fact? I answer; No. The natural tendency of the violences of the strongest is on the whole, to increase the hardship of the conditions under which the whole species and each individual must gain subsistence. What better instance of this law needs to be sought, than in the human species; where we always see the savage anarchy, produced by the violence of the stronger, reduce the whole tribe to poverty and destitution? Why else is it, that savages are poorer and worse provided for than civilised men? Couple this law with another:—that the most pampered individuals in any species, are not the most prolific; and we shall see that the natural tendency of Animal life is, in the general, to the survival of the inferior. Hence the average wild Pampa horse, or "mustang" pony, is far inferior to the Andalusian steed, from which he is descended. We find an emphatic confirmation of the conclusion which Hugh Miller drew from the "testimony of the rocks," that the natural tendency of the fossil genera has been to degradation and not to development.

Well does Dr. Sterling remark here:—"Natural conjecture is always equivocal, insecure and many-sided. It may be said that ancient warfare, for instance, giving victory always to the personally ablest and bravest, must have resulted in the improvement of the race. Or, that the weakest being left at home, the improvement was balanced by deterioration. Or, that the ablest were necessarily most exposed to danger. And so—according to ingenuity usque ad infinitum. Trustworthy conclusions are not possible to this method."

Argument From Hybrids.

5. I have not yet seen any reason for surrendering the rule, hitherto held by Naturalists, that in the Animal world, hybrids, if true hybrids, are infertile. The familiar instance is that of the mule. The genera asinus and equus can propagate an offspring, but that mule offspring can propagate nothing. If there are any exceptions to this law, they are completely consistent with the rule that hybrids cannot perpetuate their hybrid kind. If they have any progeny, it is either absolutely infertile; or it has itself reverted back to one of the original types. It is strange that Dr. Huxley should himself appeal to this as a valid law; when its validity is destructive of his own conclusions. In his "Lay Sermons," p. 295, when it suits his purpose to assert that natural variation has, in a given case, established a true species which is new, he appeals to the fact which is claimed:—that this new species propagated its kind; which proved it a true and permanent species. Which is to say, that hybrids cannot propagate their kind; for it is by this law it is known that they do not form permanent species. But now, if new varieties really arose from natural selection, to the extent claimed by evolutionists, must they not fall under the hybrid class too decisively, ever to propagate their type permanently?

Evolution Cannot Account For Mind.

6. This process imagined by Dr. Darwin, if it existed, would be purely an Animal one. He makes it a result of physical laws merely. Then, if there were a development by such a law, it should be the Animal instincts and bodily organs, which are developed in the higher species. But it is not so. Man is the highest, and when he is compared with other mammalia, he is a feebler beast. The young infant has far less instinct and locomotion than the young fowl. The man has less instinct, less Animal capacity, less strength, blunter senses, than the eagle, or the elephant, and less longevity than the goose. That which makes him a nobler creature is his superior intelligence with the adaptation thereto of his inferior Animal instincts. He rules other Animals and is "Lord of Creation" by his mind.

7. This, then, must also be explained by Dr. Darwin, as an evolution from instinct and Animal appetites; just as he accounts for the evolution of the human hand, from the forepaw of an ape; so all the wonders of consciousness, intellect, taste, conscience, religious belief, are to be explained as the Animal outgrowth of gregarious instincts, and habitudes cultivated through them. To any one who has the first correct idea of construing the facts of consciousness, this is simply monstrous. It of course denies the existence of any substance that thinks, distinct from Animated matter. It ignores the distinction between the instinctive and the rational motive in human actions; hence making free agency, moral responsibility, and ethical science impossible. The impossibility of this genesis is peculiarly plain in this:—that it must suppose all these psychological acts and habits gradually superinduced. There is first, in some earlier generation of men, a protoplasmic responsibility, free agency, reason, conscience, which are half, or one quarter Animal instinct still, and the rest mental! Whereas, every man who ever interpreted his own acts of soul to himself, knows intuitively, that this is the characteristic of them all; that they are contrasted with the merely Animal acts, in all their stages and in all their degrees of weakness or strength. A feeble conscience is no nearer appetite, in its intrinsic quality, than the conscience of a Washington or a Lee.

In a word:—Consciousness has her facts, as truly as physics. These facts show that man belongs to a certain genus spiritually, more even than corporeally. And that genus is consciously separated by a great gulf, from all mere Animal nature. It cannot be developed thence.

Theory Not Proved at Best.

8. The utmost which can possibly be made of the evolution theory, is that it may be a hypothesis possibly true, even after all the arguments of its friends are granted to be valid. In fact, the scheme is far short of this. The careful reader of these works will find, amidst extensive knowledge of curious facts, and abundance of fanciful ingenuity, many, yawning chasms between asserted facts and inductions; and many a substitution of the "must be" for the "may be." But when we waive this, we still find the theory unverified, and incapable of verification. One need desire no juster statement of the necessity of actual verification, in order to mature a hypothesis into a demonstration, than is given and happily illustrated by Dr. Huxley. "Lay Sermons," pp. 85, 6. Until either actual experiment or actual observation has verified the expectation of the hypothesis; and verified it in such away as to make it clear to the mind, that the expected result followed the antecedent as propter hoc and not a mere post hoc; that hypothesis, however plausible, and seemingly satisfying, is not demonstrated. But has Dr. Darwin's theory been verified in any actual case? Has any one seen the marsupial ape breed the man, in fact? The author of the scheme himself knows that verification is, in the nature of the case, impossible. The dates at which he supposes the evolutions took place, precede the earliest rational experience of man, according to his own scheme, by vast ages. The differentiations which gradually wrought it were, according to him, too slight and gradual to be contained in the memory of one dispensation of man's history. The connecting links of the process are forever lost. Hence the utmost which these Naturalists could possibly make of their hypothesis, were all their assumptions granted, would be the concession that it contained a curious possibility.

Dangerous To Morals.

These speculations are mischievous in that they present to minds already degraded, and in love with their own degradation, a pretext for their materialism, godlessness and sensuality. The scheme can never prevail generally among mankind. The self-respect, the conscience, and the consciousness of men will usually present a sufficient protest and refutation. The world will not permanently tolerate the libel and absurdity, that this wondrous creature, man, "so noble in reason, so infinite in faculties, in form and moving so express and admirable, in action so like an angel, in apprehension so like a God," is but the descendant, at long removes, of a mollusc or a tadpole!

Circumstantial Evidence Refuted By Parole.

The worthlessness of mere plausibilities concerning the origin of the universe, is yet plainer when set in contrast with that inspired testimony upon the subject, to which Revealed Theology will soon introduce us. Hypothetical evidence, even at its best estate, comes under the class of circumstantial evidence. Judicial science, stimulated to accuracy and fidelity by the prime interests of society in the rights and the life of its members, has correctly ascertained the relation between circumstantial proof and competent parole testimony. In order to rebut the word of such a witness, the circumstantial evidence must be an exclusive demonstration:—it must not only satisfy the reason that the criminal act might have been committed in the supposed way, by the supposed persons; but that it was impossible, it could have been committed in any other way. In the absence of parole testimony, every enlightened judge would instruct his jury, that the defence is entitled to try the hypothesis of the accuser by this test:—If any other hypothesis can be invented that is even purely imaginary, to which the facts granted in the circumstantial evidence can be reconciled by the defence, that is proof of invalidity in the accusing hypothesis. Let us suppose a crime committed without known eyewitnesses. The prosecutors examine every attendant circumstance minutely, and study them profoundly. They construct of them a supposition that the crime was committed in secret by A. They show that this supposition of his guilt satisfies every fact, so far as known. They reason with such ingenuity, that every mind tends to the conviction that A. must be verily guilty. But now there comes forward an honest man, who declares that he was eyewitness of the crime; and, that, of his certain knowledge, it was done by B., and not by A. On inquiry, it appears that B. was, at that time, naturally capable of the act. Then, unless the prosecutors can attack the credibility of this witness, before his word their case utterly breaks down. The ingenuity, the plausibility of their argument, is now naught. They had shown that, so far as known facts had gone, the act might have been done by A. But the witness proves that in fact it was done by B. The plausibility of the hypothesis and the ingenuity of the lawyers are no less:—but they are utterly superseded by direct testimony of an eyewitness. I take this pains to illustrate to you this principle of evidence, because it is usually so utterly ignored by Naturalists, and so neglected even by Theologians. I assert that the analogy is perfect between the case supposed and the pretended evolution argument. Does Revelation bring in the testimony of the divine Eyewitness, because actual Agent, of the genesis of the universe? Is Revelation sustained as a credible witness by its literary, its internal, its moral, its prophetical, its miraculous evidences? Then even though the evolution hypothesis were scientifically probable, in the light of all known and physical facts and laws, it must yield before this competent witness. Does that theory claim that, naturally speaking, organisms might have been hence produced? God, the Agent, tells us that, in point of fact, they were otherwise produced. As Omnipotence is an agency confessedly competent to any effect whatsoever, if the witness is credible, the debate is ended.

Is Our Teleological Argument Lost?

I shall conclude this Lecture by adverting to a consequence which many of Dr. Darwin's followers draw from his scheme; which is really the most important feature connected with it. Dr. Huxley declares that the "Origin of Species" gives the death-blow to that great teleological argument for the existence of God, which has commanded the assent of all the common sense and all the true philosophy of the human race. He quotes Prof. Kolliker, of Germany, as saying that though Darwin retains the teleological conception, it is shown by his own researches to be a mistaken one. Says the German savant, "Varieties arise irrespectively of the notion of purpose of utility, according to the general laws of nature; and may be either useful or hurtful, or indifferent." It must be admitted these men interpret the bearings of the evolution theory aright; [and that it does bear against the impregnable evidences of design in God's creation; is a clear proof of its falsehood]. According to this scheme physical causation is blind; but it hits a lucky adaptation here and there, without knowing or meaning it, by mere chance, and in virtue of such an infinity of hap-hazard trials that it is impossible to miss all the time. Such is the immediate, though blind, result of Nature's tendency to ceaseless variations of structure. Now, when (rarely she happens to hit a favourable variation, the better adaptation of that organism to the conditions of existence enables it to survive and to propagate its type more numerously, where others perish. Where now is the proof of intelligence and design in such a fortuitous adaptation? Mr. Herbert Spencer argues that it is mere "anthropomorphism," for us to undertake to interpret nature teleologically. When we adapt anything to an end, we, of course, design and contrive. But when we therefore assume that the Great Unknowable works by such thoughts, we are as absurd as though the watch [in the well-known illustration of Dr. Paley] becoming somewhat endowed with consciousness, should conclude that the consciousness of its Unknown Cause must consist of a set of ticking and motions of springs and cogs, because such only are its own functions. Some of these writers dwell much upon the supposed error of our mixing the question of "final causes" with that of efficient causes, in our investigation of nature. They claim that Lord Bacon, in his De Augmentis, sustains this condemnation. This is erroneous. He does disapprove the mixing of the question of final cause with the search after the physical cause. He points out that the former belongs to Metaphysics, the latter to Physics. Let the question be, for instance:—"Why do hairs grow around the eyebrows?" There are two meanings in this "Why." If it asks the final cause, the answer is:—"For the protection of the precious and tender organ beneath the brow." If it asks the physical cause, Lord Bacon's answer is:—that a follicular structure of that patch of skin "breedeth a pious growth." He clearly asserts, in his Metaphysic, that inquiries after the final cause are proper; and he was emphatically a believer in the teleological argument, as was Newton, with every other great mind of those ages.

Is Our Argument Suspicious Because Anthropomorphic?

Let us clear the way for the exposure of the sophisms stated above, by looking at Spencer's objection to the anthropomorphism of our Natural Theology. He would have us believe that it is all vicious, because founded on the groundless postulate that our thought and contrivance are the model for the mind of God. He would illustrate this, as we saw, by supposing the watch, in Paley's illustration, "to have a consciousness," etc. This simile betrays his sophistry at once. The supposition is impossible! If the watch could have a consciousness, it would not be a material machine, but a rational spirit:—and then there would be no absurdity whatever in its likening its own rational consciousness to that of its rational cause. When complaint is made that all our Natural Theology is "anthropomorphic," what is this but a complaint that our knowledge is human? If I am to have any knowledge, it must be my knowledge:—that is, the knowledge of me, a man; and so, knowledge, according to the forms of human intelligence. All knowledge must then be anthropomorphic, in order to be human knowledge. To complain of any branch of man's knowledge on this score, is to demand that he shall know nothing! This, indeed, is verified by Mr. Herbert Spencer, who teaches, on the above ground, that God is only to be conceived of and honoured as "The Unknowable"; and who forbids us to ascribe any definite attribute, or offer any specific service to Him, lest we should insult Him by making Him altogether such an one as ourselves. I may remark, in passing, that this is equally preposterous in logic, and practically atheistic. The mind only knows substance from properties:—if the essentia of an object of thought be absolutely unknown, its esse will certainly be more unknown. And how can one be more completely "without God in the world," than he who only knows of a divine Being, to whom he dares not ascribe any attribute, towards whom he dares not entertain any definite feeling, and to whom he dares not offer any service?

But why should our knowledge of a higher spiritual being be suspected, as untrustworthy, because it is anthropomorphic? It can only be, because it is suspected that this knowledge is transformed, in becoming ours. But now, let it be supposed that the great First Cause created our spirits "in his likeness, after his image," and the ground of suspicion is removed. Then it follows that in thinking "anthropomorphically," we are thinking like God:—because God formed us to think like himself. Our conceptions of the divine will then be only limited, not transformed, in passing into our kindred, but finite, minds:—they remain valid, as far as they reach. But it may be said:—This is the very question:—whether a Creator did form our spirits after the likeness of His own? The theists must not assume it at the onset as proved. Very true; and their opponents shall not be allowed to assume the opposite as proved—they shall not "beg the question" any more than we do. But when our inquiries in Natural Theology lead us to the conclusion that in this respect "we are God's offspring," then He is no longer the "Unknown God." And especially when Revealed Theology presents us the εαων του θεου ορατου in the "man Christ Jesus," the difficulty is completely solved.

Chance Cannot Evolve Design.

To support the teleological argument farther against this philosophy of blind chance, I remark, first:—that it is in no sense less unreasonable than the old pagan theory, which referred all the skilful adjustments of creation to a "fortuitous concourse of atoms." This is indeed the same wretched philosophy:—revamped and refurbished, which excited the sarcasm and scorn of Socrates, and was contemptuously discarded by the educated pagan mind. It is impossible to persuade the common sense of mankind, that blind chance, whose sole attribute is chaotic disorder, is the source of the admirable order of this universal κοσμος. Something does not come out of nothing. Our opponents would ask us; since blind chance may, amidst its infinite multitudes of experiments, happen upon any result whatsoever, why may it not sometimes happen upon some results wearing the aspect of orderly adaptation? My answer is, that the question puts the case falsely. Sometimes! No! Always. The fact to be accounted for is; that Nature's results always have an orderly adaptation. I press again this crushing question:—How is it that in every one of Nature's results, in every organ of every organised creature which is extant, either in living or in fossil natural History, if the structure is comprehended by us, we see some orderly adaptation? Where are Nature's failures? Where the vast remains of the infinity of her haphazard, orderless results? On the evolution theory, they should be a myriad times as numerous as those which possessed orderly adaptation. But in fact, none are found, save a few which are apparent exceptions, because, and only because, we have not yet knowledge enough to comprehend them. Through every grade of fossil life, if we are able at all to understand the creature whose remains we inspect, we perceive an admirable adjustment to the conditions of its existence. This is as true of the least developed, as of the most perfect. The genus may be now totally extinct:—because the appropriate conditions of its existence have wholly passed away in the progress of changes upon the earth's surface; but while those conditions existed, they were beautifully appropriate to the genus. So, if there is any structure in any existing creature, whose orderly adaptation to an end is not seen, it is only because we do not yet understand enough. Such is the conclusion of true science. Anatomists before Dr. Harvey saw the valvular membranes in the arteries and veins, opening opposite ways. That great man assumed, in the spirit of true science, that they must have their orderly adaptation; and this postulate led him to the grand discovery of the circulation of the blood. Such is the postulate of true, modest science still, as to every structure:—it is the pole-star of sound induction. And once more:—Contrivance to an end is not limited to organic life reproducing after its kind—the department where the evolutionist finds his pretext of "natural selection." The permanent inorganic masses also disclose the teleological argument, just as clearly as the organic. Sun, moon and stars do not propagate any day! Contrivance is as obvious in the planetary motions and the tides of ocean, as in the eye of the Animal. "The undevout Astronomer is mad." Commodore Maury, in his immortal works, has shown us as beautiful a system of adaptations in the wastes of the atmosphere and its currents, as the Natural Historian finds in the realms of life.

Who Designed the Susceptibility To Evolve?

Second:—I remark that if the theory of the evolutionist were all conceded, the argument from designed adaptation would not be abolished, but only removed one step backward. If we are mistaken in believing that God made every living creature that moveth after its kind:—if the higher kinds were in fact all developed from the lowest; then the question recurs:—Who planned and adjusted these wondrous powers of development? Who endowed the cell-organs of the first living protoplasm with all this fitness for evolution into the numerous and varied wonders of Animal life and function, so diversified, yet all orderly adaptations? There is a wonder of creative wisdom and power, at least equal to that of the Mosaic genesis. That this point is justly taken, appears hence:—Those philosophers who concede (as I conceive, very unphilosophically and unnecessarily the theory of "creation by law," do not deem that they have thereby weakened the teleological argument in the least. It appears again, in the language of evolutionists themselves:—When they unfold what they suppose to be the results of this system, they utter the words "beautiful contrivance of nature," "wise adjustment" and such like, involuntarily. This is the testimony of their own reason, uttered in spite of a perverse and shallow theory.

In fine; when we examine any of these pretended results of fortuity, we always find that the chance-accident was only the occasion, and not the efficient cause, of that result. Says one of the evolutionists:—a hurricane may transplant a tree so as to secure its growth. The wind may happen to drop a sapling, which the torrent had torn up, with its roots downward, (they forming the heavier end into a chasm in the earth, which the same hurricane makes by uprooting a forest tree. But I ask:—Who ordains the atmospheric laws which move hurricanes! Who regulated the law of gravity? Who endued the roots of that sapling, as its twigs are not endued, with the power of drawing nutriment from the moist earth? Did the blind hurricane do all this? Whenever they attempt to account for a result by natural selection, they tacitly avail themselves of a selected adaptation which is, in every case, à priori to the physical results. Who conferred that prior adaptation and power? "If they had not ploughed with our heifer, they had not found out our riddle."

You may be inclined to ask, why it is that I, who assuredly believe this speculation of recent evolutionists will prove as short-lived as it is shallow, introduce a discussion of it into this venerable and stable science of theology? My reply is:—that "Darwinism" happens just now to be the current manifestation, which the fashion of the day gives to the permanent anti-theistic tendency in sinful man. As long as men do not like to retain God in their knowledge, the objection to the argument for His existence will reappear in some form. And the forms will all be found cognate. This recent evolution theory verges every year nearer to the pagan atomic theory. In discussing it under its existing aspect, I seek to give you guidance which you will find ad rem, in your dealing with the unbelieving minds of our own day. But I have also given you, in substance, principles which will be applicable to any phase of the anti-theistic argument.