And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.—Acts 4.32.

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EVOLUTION.

Excerpted from:

THE

REFORMATION ADVOCATE.

VOL. I.

DECEMBER, 1876.

NO. 12.

Evolution and development are words which are now used in a peculiar and restricted sense by a few scholars of this age, who propose to furnish a more rational and satisfactory account of the origin of the universe, than we have in the Bible. They are unquestionably learned men, but they are not known as godly men. Darwin, Huxley, and others of their school, evidently prefer to be recognized as scientists. They lecture and write as if they were the men, and wisdom would die with them. [Job 12.2.] Their prototypes were familiarly know to the apostle Paul—“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Rom. 1.22. The Holy Spirit has sufficiently forewarned gospel ministers of this class of public teachers. We say ministers, for private Christians are not commonly endangered by such insane speculations, unless their immediate teachers be infected. Whether the theories of these speculators assume the form of atheism, materialism, or any other phrase of irrationality—even degenerating, like David Hume, into a questioning of self-existence—the humble Christian still knows whom he has believed. He knows also that there have been always, since man’s apostacy from God, such things as “vain philosophy” and “oppositions of science falsely so-called.” Col. 2.8; 1 Tim. 6.20. “It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” 1 Cor. 1.19,20. These are some of Paul’s {354} challenges to the scientists of every age; the solemn interrogatories of one, who, aside from his inspiration, was the peer of any scholar of any age.

As the Jewish rabbis were infected with the pagan philosophy, so some of our modern doctors of divinity begin to give signs of wavering before the onslaughts of our modern champions of the new theory of cosmogony and evolution. Too many are shaken in mind, and are in danger of being moved away from the hope of the gospel, by the pretentious speculations of those who “do not like to retain God in their knowledge;” who “desire not the knowledge of his ways.” And if in the time of Noah, “every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually;” are we to be surprised by any “depths of Satan” under the full development of the great Anti-christ? Assuredly God’s people have been seasonably and sufficiently forewarned of the appearance in our time of “three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.” Rev. 16.13.

The scientists of the present day are the mouth-piece of the ‘dragon,’ not being formally the organs or oracles of either church or state; yet all the three agencies are "the spirits of devils" acting in concert. These sublime speculators and transcendental blasphemers, attempt to prove the existence of an effect without an adequate cause—without any cause! And yet more wonderful, they demand our belief in a ceaseless and endless succession of effects without a cause, by what they are pleased to call evolution or development!! But they have not told the learned world where or how they discovered the atom or entity, from which so many and wonderful effects have been hitherto evolved. Their theory of the universe, proceeds upon the assumption that their imaginary entity is necessarily-existent. Then, if necessarily-existent, it must be eternal; and so, we arrive at the conclusion of pagan wisdom—the eternity of matter, of the universe! Thus, like their prototypes, "they worship and serve the creature more (rather) than the Creator." Rom. 1.25.

These wise men after the flesh, have no conception of that "faith which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;" nor have they yet learned the "first principles of the oracles of God," that the Bible takes for granted {355} man’s knowledge of God’s being, and then begins with instructing him respecting the origin of the material and moral universe—including himself. Gen. 1. The inspired record of creation with which the sacred volume opens, is the only authentic and rational account of the origin of all things. "By faith we understand (not comprehend) that the things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear," Heb. 11.3. "By the word of God the heavens were of old…. by the same word are they kept in store," 2 Peter 3.5,7.

In matters of literature and philosophy, perhaps few men now living are more competent to measure the intellectual power and literary culture of others, than Thomas Carlyle. He "calls Darwin an atheist of very little intelligence." Doubtless this witness is true of Darwin and all other atheists, whether speculative or practical. God says to such—"Understand, ye brutish among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be wise?" Often has it been noticed, that wicked men who "set their mouth against the heavens" in time of prosperity and peace, are the first to cry for mercy—for help, when danger threatens, or death is apprehended as imminent—thus betraying their want of faith in their own baseless theories. Hence it follows, that there is not a sincere atheist among wicked men or devils (James 2.19.); their faith in God suffices to cause both classes to tremble before him, Dan. 5.6,9.

For babes in Christ, we present the following breast-work of simple construction. It has proved a brazen wall since the fall of Adam, impervious to all the atheistic fiery darts of the wicked. And although since the days of John Locke, metaphysicians of a certain school have affected to triumph in the supposed fact, "That the doctrine of innate ideas has been long since exploded;" we beg leave to suggest that human nature must first be exploded. "There is a spirit in man," Job 32.8; in which are (notitiae insitae) certain intuitions, connate and ineradicable. Among these is invariably found what has been called by different names; as, "God’s deputy, a rule ruled, a moral sense;" but most commonly, conscience. Now, the brazen wall which we recommend to the Christian, learned or unlearned, is simply this:—Man has a conscience; but conscience infers accountability to a superior; that superior is God. Against this bulwark of defence, "the gates of hell shall not prevail." {356}

Covenanters, however, are in much more danger from a different species of evolution, a development which has been in progress among themselves—a progress quite visible during the past half century. It is our purpose, with a concurring providence, hereafter to trace this sad development to its operating causes.