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scientific view human power decreases as we descend the stream of the past, and it is never at so low an ebb as when we have reached the source of the stream. Primitive man is man in his least powerful state ; it is man without scientific knowledge, without philosophic thought, without reflective reason, without the strength of virtue.
It would seem at first sight as if these two views were utterly irreconcilable-as if the ideal of man demanded by the doctrine of evolution were the diametrical opposite of that ideal presented by the old faith. Evolution implies by its very definition that there is something which requires to be perfected : if we are asked to believe that man was perfect at the beginning, where shall we find room for any further evolving of his nature? But let us look deeper at the doctrine of the old faith. Does it teach that man was perfect at the beginning? A moment's reflection will convince us that it is not so. The picture of primeval man as given in the Book of Genesis is not the picture of a perfect being, but of a perfectly innocent being. It is the picture of one who is potentially virtuous and actually harmless. It will be seen that such an innocence is perfectly compatible with a very primitive condition as regards the secular knowledge of this world. So far is the Book of Genesis from identifying the life of human innocence with a life of scientific knowledge or of philosophic thought, that it is not afraid to assign the birth of such knowledge and of such thought to the period immediately succeeding the death of human innocence. That which is a fall in the moral sphere is represented as a rise in the sphere of intellectual evolution — "the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” It is broadly declared that not from the unfallen but from the fallen humanity proceeded the earliest discoveries in science and in art. Tubal-cain becomes the instructor of artificers in brass and iron. Jubal becomes the inventor of musical instruments. Enoch, the son of Cain, becomes the builder of the first city. Lamech, a descendant of the same degenerate race, is represented as giving an impulse to the spirit of poetry. Any form of knowledge is intellectually higher than simple innocence, and the knowledge of the difference between good and evil is not unphilosophically described as having exerted a quickening influence on the life of the intellectual powers. Nay, those who accept the old faith need not go beyond the testimony of their own Scriptures in order to find the proof that the first Adam was not the climax of humanity; for St Paul himself has sharply distinguished between the perfection of a mere negative innocence, and the
perfection of a life which has triumphed through suffering. “The first Adam was made a living soul; the second was made a quickening spirit.”
With the life of the primitive man began the possibility of a life of morality. In the preceding spheres of creation, morality was impossible. What rendered it impossible was the absence of dualism in the life of the creature, which really implied an absence of choice. The animal had no struggle in its nature, because the animal had only one life ;1 there was no room in its being for contrary or divergent motives. But when man came into the world, there came into the world for the first time a being who had two lives within him. He had an earlier and a more primitive life which connected him with the beast of the field—a life whose basis was the dust of the ground out of which he was taken. But besides this life man had a later and a higher one. Over the dust of the ground there had been breathed that Divine Spirit which had transformed the physical into the mental, and had caused the creature of the earth to become a living soul. Here, then, was a dualism, a double consciousness, a possible struggle of motives. For the first time it became a possibility that a creature of the world should at one and the same moment be exposed to the influence of
1 The Divine Force only acted upon it from without ; it was not inbreathed.
two alternatives, and that which was originally a possibility became in the sequel an actual fact. Man—the highest product of creation-just because he had in him the elements of two worlds, was made a theatre of conflict. The two worlds that were within him each entered upon a struggle for the possession of his soul. That lower sphere, that dust of the earth which bound him to the animal nature, became within his heart a constantly downward impulse, tempting him to follow the life of the animal and to concentrate his whole being on the acquisition of personal gain. That higher life, on the other hand, with which the Divine breath had inspired him, became an impulse ever tending in an opposite and upward direction, prompting him to seek the fulness of his joy in a source not accessible to the life of the animalin the union and communion with that primal Force whose breath had constituted the true dignity of his being.
The primitive innocence of man was broken by the mere fact of this choice, but we cannot agree with Augustine that in the view of the writer of Genesis the choice was the beginning of his fall. In itself it was a rise, and might have resulted in the transition from innocence into conscious virtue. It is quite certain, at all events, that conscious virtue could not have been attainable by any other method than a presentation of the alternatives of good and evil. The power to choose was in itself a step in the direction of evolutionary progress; it brought the highest product of creation nearer to the ideal of the second Adam, to the measure of the stature of the perfect man. Let us pursue, however, the narrative of Genesis, in so far as it relates to the subject in hand. The result of man's choice was in the meantime adverse to himself and detrimental to his fortunes. The solicitations of the animal world obtained the mastery over the solicitations of the higher and spiritual world, and man fell. He fell back from that stage of development which he had reached by the inbreathing of the Divine Spirit, and which had thereby become a natural and normal phase of his being; he took a new departure from a place lower down in the scale of creation, and nearer to his primitive origin in the dust of the ground. We presume it will not be questioned that in a system of evolution such a fall was possible. In point of fact, the evolution of the universe as exhibited by modern science reveals myriads of such falls. Evolution is a progress over the whole mass, but it is a progress which is reached not by successive advances, but by movements of alternate advance and regress. There are multitudes of cases in which we witness the spectacle of a development downwards. We see in whole races what we often behold in individual human families—a law of