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old faith which sees in the history of this world the revelation of an infinite Will? If nothing can be produced without the contact of the Inscrutable, if everything which is produced is brought forth in progressive stages of excellence, how can we avoid the conclusion that the power which is called the Inscrutable has itself been emptying out more and more of its own being in order to manifest more and more of its highest glory? And if we should be constrained to come to that conclusion, how can we any longer believe that there is an incompatibility between the Christian miracle of the incarnation and the evolutionary miracle of inscrutable manifestation ?
We wish now to direct attention to a point which does not appear to us to have hitherto received notice. It has been customary in theological works to institute a comparison between the representation given of the first Adam in the Book of Genesis, and the representation given of the second in the New Testament. That comparison has sometimes taken the form of a historical parallel, oftener still of a historical contrast. But there is one aspect in which, so far as known to us, it has never yet been presented—the analogy of the two representations as regards the subject of evolution. The first Adam is distinctly described in the Book of Genesis as having had a certain relation to the evolutions of life which had preceded him; the second Adam is distinctly described in the New Testament as having occupied an analogous position. In a work of the present order, whose plan is not theological but scientific, this latter form of comparison is the only one which can have any significance; but it is so pertinent to the present subject, and so illustrative of our view of evolution in general, that we shall offer no apology for devoting a few moments to its elucidation.
It will be remembered that, as we pointed out in a previous chapter, the formation of the first Adam, or primitive man, is described in the Book of Genesis as a double creation; there is an earlier and a later stratum of his being. The earlier or lower stratum is depicted as a creation not rising above the other forms of physical life, except in degree. “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.” We have said that if any scientist should insist on finding a missing link between the present nature of man and the nature of the animal next to him in intelligence, this representation of the Book of Genesis will give him not only the right to seek for such a link, but the suggestion of where it is to be found. The writer of that narrative distinctly suggests that between the highest of the acknowledged animals and the creature which was inspired by the breath of God, there was interposed a form of existence intermediate in character, overtopping the physical life
of the one without yet attaining the spiritual life of the other. We cannot tell, indeed, whether we are to understand the interposition of an interval of time between the man who was made of the dust of the ground and the man who was constituted by the breath of the Divine Spirit; nor does it matter for our present purpose whether we do or do not suppose such an interval. The point is, that, in the view of the Book of Genesis, the man who was constituted by the breath of the Divine Spirit was superinduced upon the man who was formed from the dust of the ground. That living soul which emanated from the breath of God did not come to an untenanted organism ; it came to an organism which was already tenanted by a lower life, and this life it had to take up and appropriate. The living breath of God had to descend upon the world as it found it. It did not supersede the previous stages of evolution in the sense of annulling or expunging them ; it planted itself on the latest step of that ascending stair which had risen from the germ-cell of the faintest life, to the being of him who, although still dust of the ground, had in him already the prophecy of the coming God. It is not too much, therefore, to say, that when the breath of the Divine Spirit incarnated itself in the life of man, it took up all the imperfections of that life, nay, all the imperfections of all those previous stages of evolution of which the creature formed from the dust was but the consummation and the crown. We cannot say that it bore the sins of the world, because we cannot affirm that the world as yet had any sin: to make it possible for the world to have sin, the Divine Spirit itself had first to come. There can be no sin where there is no higher principle to resist, and that higher principle is only given in the life of God. But although we cannot say that the Divine Spirit in the first Adam had to bear the sins of the primitive man, we can say that as a mere matter of evolution it had to bear his imperfection. In descending on the creature whose origin was the dust of the ground, it became heir to a lower nature than itself-a nature whose contact involved the beginning of a struggle in the Divine life, just as surely as it involved the beginning of a struggle in the human. The rest of God was of necessity broken almost immediately after it was begun. It was not possible that the Divine breath should come into contact with the dust of the ground, without initiating by that contact a struggle for survival ; and it was not possible that in that struggle for survival the Divine should not suffer equally with the human.
We have already pointed out that, in the view of Genesis, the fall of man produced a putting asunder of the two elements which God had joined together; the breath of the Divine Spirit ceased to
be a power moving from within, and man returned to his original constitution — the dust of the ground. We have pointed out, at the same time, that it was no mere return. In resuming his old place in creation, he resumed it under vastly different auspices. To be the highest manifestation of the physical dust did not involve any sin ; it was simply an absence of holiness, involved in the fact that the process of evolution had not reached its utmost possibility of development. But to be a recipient of the Divine breath, and then to fall back again into the physical dust, was a moral degradation; it was no longer simply an absence of holiness, it was the importation into the world of a new agency-sin. We say a new agency, not a new element. In point of fact, sin did not introduce a new element into the world; the animal life in which it imprisoned man was just that normal life which had constituted the nature of his being previous to the outpouring of the Divine Spirit. But when he returned to it, while he received the same possession so far as outward elements were concerned, he received a totally different possession in idea. As long as he was dust of the ground by nature, his position was natural to him; when he became dust of the ground by choice, his position was unnatural to him—it was sin in him. The origin of moral evil involved no new creation on the part of God;