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of the universe. The immortal life which the man possesses is not a new creation ; it is the impartation of something already in existence. The immortality of the human soul is the immortality of God. Man has in him the germ of eternal life, simply because he has in him the breath of that Divine Life which makes him a living soul.
It may be said that we have here sacrificed to the doctrine of evolution a belief of the popular mind. We may be told that in giving such an interpretation to the statement of Genesis we have denied the soul's natural immortality. This, however, is a mistake. We do not deny the natural immortality of the soul by saying that its immortal life is based on its union with the life of God. We hold, on the contrary, that man apart from God occupies an unnatural position, and that he only rises to his true nature when he realises his union with the Divine. We hold that immortality was only natural to man when the breath of the Divine Life had been breathed into his nostrils, and that the moment this breath was withdrawn immortality became unnatural to him. This is clearly the representation of those Scriptures which embody the old faith. Eternal life is henceforth represented only as “the gift of God.” As long as the breath of the Divine Spirit was within the spirit of man, he held immortality by right—that is to say, by nature. But when the breath of the Divine Spirit passed outside of him, he could thenceforth receive immortality only as a favour from without. We understand the statement of Genesis to be this : Unfallen man had the seed of immortality in himself; he possessed it as a part of his nature. As yet, however, he possessed it only spontaneously, and, as it were, unconsciously. He imbibed the breath of the Divine Spirit as the plant imbibes the breath of the natural day—that is to say, without realising the wealth of his possession. In order to make him realise it, it was necessary that he should choose it; and in order that he should choose it, it was necessary that his innocence should be destroyed. The moment the alternatives of good and evil are presented to a human soul, the innocence of that soul must pass away. The passing away of the innocence, however, may be either a spiritual elevation or a spiritual degradation. There are two ways in which a soul may get rid of its innocence: it may rise from it, or it may fall from it. In either case there will be an intellectual advancement; because the death of innocence in itself always implies the advent of knowledge. Man, therefore, in order that his innocence might be broken, was called to choose between the alternatives of good and evil—between the life of that Divine Spirit which constituted the immortal seed within him, and the life of that dust of the ground which
formed the basis of his material constitution. He chose the latter, and thereby he placed himself outside the influence of the immortal principle. His nature became like the nature of his predecessors—a constitution liable to death. It did not follow from this that he had henceforth no hope of a future existence; what did follow was, that if he should receive a future existence it must come to him as a gift and not as a right. The seed of immortality was no longer in himself—in other words, it was no longer natural to him. In accepting the dust of the ground in preference to the breath of the Divine Life, he had himself become unnatural, had fallen beneath that stage of development which ought to have been his normal starting-point, had touched again the confines of the animal world.
Let us now see at what stage we have arrived in the evolution of the world. We have come to the end of one period of evolution, and we have reached the beginning of a new and a different period. The creation of man marks the climax and the close of the development of nature ; the fall of man marks the beginning and the foundation of the development of mind. With the creation of man the evolution of physical life, so far as we have any record on the subject, came to an end ; God rested. We have no evidence whatever that since the opening of the human period there has in the world of physical life been any operation of the evolution principle. We are aware, indeed, that many, in the absence of evidence, hold the continuance of that principle as a matter of scientific faith; but what is simply a matter of scientific faith cannot yet be regarded as even a scientific hypothesis. Sir John Lubbock, in a recent address to the British Association, stated that it was a popular misconception to imagine that the evolutionist held the. Darwinian principle to be in operation now. He was ready to admit that the species animal and the species man were now distinct, and that an impassable gulf stretched between them. We do not quote his words, but simply his thought, and that only from memory; but the admission made such an impression on us at the time, that we do not think we can have mistaken his meaning. If, then, an authority like Sir John Lubbock can regard the original process of physical evolution as a process which is now suspended, we may take it for granted that there is not in existence a fragment of evidence to support the belief in its continuance, and that the verdict of the Book of Genesis remains unreversed,—“God rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made."
But if the principle of evolution concludes one stage of its development in the creation of man, it enters on a second and higher stage in his fall. The fall of man may be regarded as the birth of his intellectual nature, not because it was a fall, but because it was an end to his life of innocence. The same intellectual birth would of course have been equally produced by his rise, or, in other words, by the conquest of his first temptation. As it was, the one compensating feature in the fall was the fact that the destruction of man's innocence did actually introduce him into an intellectual world—a world in which the distinctions of good and evil were no longer concealed by a life of spontaneity, but where the spontaneous had given place to the conscious, and the conscious had become the source of a deliberate choice. From this stage, therefore, dates the beginning of a new evolutionary development--a development in which the agent is no longer material but spiritual, an evolution in which the goal is no longer the perfection of the structure but the maturity of consciousness. Man is to begin the course of his upward progress from the lowest step of the mental ladder, and is to regain by suffering and by struggle that height from which he has fallen. He has to conquer again the ground which he has lost, and to plant once more within his heart the seed of immortality. His last state is to be nobler than his first, inasmuch as it is to be won by conquest. It is no more to be inherited as a merely natural possession; it is to be possessed anew by struggle, and to be made natural