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by personal appropriation. The first Adam was perfect without suffering, and when suffering came he fell; the second Adam is to be perfect through suffering, and mightiest in the hour of his tribulation. • It is no part of the province of this work to trace the different steps in the development of this second and higher evolution, any more than it was a part of its province to trace the development of the first and lower one. In point of fact we have not attempted to trace the first. We have made no effort to exhibit the ascending gradations of the evolution principle, or to mark those shades of transition by which one phase of physical structure has passed into another. To do so would have been to write a philosophy of evolution, than which nothing is further from our present purpose. In treating of the primitive man, we have been brought for a moment on historic ground; but this has been merely incidental. The sole aim which we have in view is to answer the question whether the old faith can live with the new—whether the fact that nature does work by evolution is inimical to those doctrines which have hitherto constituted the religious belief of the most civilised and elevated of mankind. We shall therefore avoid all efforts to follow the development of the mental evolution, as we have avoided all attempts to trace the progress of the physical one, and shall confine ourselves again purely to the question with which we have here specially to do. We have now arrived at a new phase of that question. We have seen that in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments there is virtually, though not formally, sketched out a plan of human development-a plan by which the spirit of man regains possession by conquest of what originally he had held only by right of birth. If the truth of that plan be conceded, it is clear that there must have been in the process the operation of a higher agent than the human soul : the very existence of such a plan presupposes the existence of a Divine Providence. The question, therefore, which now opens before us is this : Is the doctrine of evolution consistent with the doctrine of Providence? We must inquire whether that view of nature which the principle of evolution implies is compatible with that view of God which the spirit of religion demands; whether a universe whose parts on every side are bound together by the links of an iron chain, is consistent with the action and the superintendence of a great benevolent Power whose aim through all the manifestations of nature is the development of the living soul. A consideration of this subject must be reserved for the next chapter.



WE have now arrived at that part of the subject which immediately concerns us as living beingsHow are we to think of God as related to ourselves? It is, after all, a matter of comparatively little importance whether the Divine Power acted immediately or mediately in the creation of the physical world or in the generation of the first forms of life; but it is a matter of vast practical importance whether we can think of this Divine Power as at present active in the universe, and whether we can see in His action the tendency towards the accomplishment of a definite and a benevolent plan. It is on this question that one of the greatest scientific difficulties has seemed to present itself. Nowhere has the conception of nature introduced by evolution appeared more unfavourable to the old faith than in its attitude towards the doctrine of a Divine Providence; and as this is a vital matter involving ultimately the choice between faith and atheism, it becomes incumbent on us carefully to examine whether the modern doctrine of evolution is really so adverse to the old view of Providence as on the surface it appears to be.

Let us first endeavour to ascertain where lies the supposed incompatibility between the modern doctrine of evolution and the old belief in a providential guidance. Perhaps we shall best reach this knowledge by considering in the first instance where the incompatibility does not lie, as this is a point on which there is a very prevalent misconception. It is frequently said, for example, that the unity of nature which is taught by modern science is incompatible with the continuous action of a Power that transcends nature. This statement is directly contrary to the averment of science itself. We have seen that, in the evolutionary system taught by Mr Herbert Spencer, the main factor in the process is just a Force or Power that transcends nature, and that without the continued action of that Force or Power there could be no possible action of any other agent. With such an admission from the lips of the most pronounced representative of evolution, it would surely be the wildest folly to assert that the unity of physical nature is a barrier to our ancient belief in the possible co-operation of a Power that transcends nature. Again, it is sometimes said that the establishment of the modern doctrine of evolution has destroyed the possibility of a teleology-in other words, has made it impossible for men any longer to believe that this world is presided over by a Divine purpose and plan. This statement is also contrary to the fact. The most advanced evolutionist in existence never has affirmed, and never shall affirm, that evolution is incompatible with design. It is not too much to say that if the existence of God were visibly demonstrated, and we were called upon to conjecture beforehand with developed faculties what the mode of His providential action would be, we would unanimously select evolution as that method the most dignified and seemingly the most worthy of the Divine. It is the merest truism to affirm that a power which acts continuously and according to law, must always be a higher object of reverence than a power which acts impulsively and without regard to law. With such an instinctive conviction in the heart of human nature, it would be contrary to all reason to assert that the establishment of the doctrine of evolution would render impossible our belief in a providential plan.

The barrier which, in the view of modern science, seems to exist between the doctrine of evolution and the doctrine of a designing Providence, is of a different nature from either of these.

i Spencer speaks of “the naturally revealed end toward which the Power manifested throughout evolution works.” – Data of Ethics, 8 62. Huxley also admits that evolution is not incompatible with “ a higher teleology."


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