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then Christianity, with its miracles and doctrines and histories, and its awful doctrine of consequences, has vanished altogether. That opinion is widely extended, I believe, in England. Now, let me say a word on that subject. It is a matter of immense importance. The idea is popularly held, and held by many with the most wonderful confidence, that it has now been proved that all the narrative in the book of Genesis. respecting Adam and Eve must be exploded; in fact, there has been a dead set on Adam and Eve. The murder of Abel by his brother Cain was nothing to this recent murderous resolution to get rid of our first parents; and many of these gentlemen seem to imagine that they have thoroughly accomplished this feat. How has it been accomplished ? They think that they have discovered that the existing human race did not commence some few thousands of years ago, but has lived for scores of thousands of years; and before that time they think they have discovered that the human race descended from the gorillas, and that those gorillas lived before the glacial period, which lasted for about 200,000 years, and that those fearful monsters forced their way through that icy time, and dodging the glaciers here and there, or swimming through the icy ocean, found always a footing somewhere on a continent or an island, and at length gradually became mankind. This is so interesting a subject that I cannot refrain from making you acquainted with a most delightful revelation in the September number of the Fortnightly Review. Mr. John Morley, in resigning the editorship of that remark. able magazine, has left us the legacy of a family picture of our real ancestors from the pencil of Mr. Grant Allen. You shall hear it, and then choose between this gentleman and Adam and Eve. Mr. Grant Allen says, “ By the epoch of the mid-Miocene deposits”-never mind what they are—"the monkey tribe had once more presumably subdivided itself into two or three minor groups, one of which was that of the anthropoid apes”—the apes that were like men—" while another was that of the supposed man-like animal, who manufactured the earliest known split-flints. The anthropoid apes remained true to the old semiarboreal habits of the race, and retained their four hands. The manlike animal apparently took to the low-lying and open plains, perhaps hid in caves; and, though probably still in part frugivorous, eked out his livelihood by hunting. We may not unjustifiably picture him to ourselves as a tall and hairy creature ”—not having yet shaken off his furry coat and tail—" more or less erect, but with a slouching gait, black-faced, and whiskered with prominent prognathous muzzle, and large, pointed canine teeth, those of each jaw fitting into an interspace in the opposite row. These teeth, as Mr. Darwin suggests, were used in the combats of the males. His forehead was, no doubt, low and retreating, with bony bosses underlying the shaggy eyebrows, which gave him a fierce expression, something like that of the gorilla. But already, in all likelihood, he had learned to walk habitually erect, and had begun to develop a human pelvis, as well as to carry his head more straight upon his shoulders. That some such an animal must then have existed seems to me an inevitable corollary from the general principles of evolution.” That is the new Gospel, you understand ; that is science ; and if you wish to be scientific people, that is what you must believe, instead of the narrative of Adam and Eve.
Now, what I affirm is that that is not yet science. That has not yet been proved. These are speculations of scientific men; but they are speculations that have not yet been proved, and, therefore, are not science. Now, in proof of that, let me present you with the recent words of one of the most illustrious scientific men of our countryProfessor Stokes of Cambridge. That gentleman occupies the chair of Sir Isaac Newton in Mathematics, and is Secretary to the Royal Society. He is a man before whose opinion scientific Europe bends its head, and he is a man of the most earnest character, as well as learning. From his position of Secretary to the Royal Society, Mr. Stokes is constantly living in close communication with the leading scientific men in London in all departments, and ought to be able to say what those scientific men regard in the main as proved, and what they only regard as opinion. Now, you shall hear what Professor Stokes writes on this very subject. He says, and I received this only yesterday :-" There is one point in which I think theology is more deeply involved, and respecting which it becomes a serious question, whether there is any real scientific evidence in opposition to what seems at least to be the teaching of Revelation. I allude to the creation of man. In the account of the creation it is authoritatively stated that man was separately created in the image of God, whatever that may imply; nor is this a point in which, by a wide licence of interpretation, we might say the language was merely figurative; that we can afford to understand it so, for Scripture was not given to teach us science. Our whole ideas respecting the nature of sin and the character of God are, it seems to me, profoundly affected according as we take the statement of Scripture straightforwardly, which implies that man was created with special powers and privileges, and in a state of innocence from which he fell, or, as we suppose, that man came to be what he is by degrees, by a vast number of variations, from some lower order of animals, accomparied by a correspondingly continuous variation in his mental or moral condition. On this latter supposition God is made to be responsible for his present moral condition, which is but the natural outgrowth of the mode of His creation. As regards the lower animals, little change would apparently be made from a theological point of view ; but the creation of man, and his condition of creation, are not confined to the account given in Genesis; they are dealt with at length in connection with the scheme of redemption by St. Paul, and more briefly referred to by our Lord Himself in connection with the question of marriage. Now, against these statements, so express, so closely bound up with man's highest aspirations, what evidence have we to adduce on the side of science ? Why, nothing more than an hypothesis of continuous transmutation, incapable of experimental investigation, and making such demands upon our imagination as to stagger at least the uninitiated.” Well, then, the gentlemen who boldly say that science has settled the question of the antiquity of man and his origin in the animal races, must be answered by this, that that question is not at all settled, that scientific men as high in the scale as any do not regard it as proved, but regard the supposition with horror, and as without any evidence whatever.
May I add one word on the method of inquiry by which some attempt to ascertain truth, preferring to explain away recent fact by speculations
on ancient times, rather than to judge of God's methods in remote antiquity by what He has done in later ages. There are gentlemen so constructed as to say to themselves, “ We care nothing about what is said to have happened in recent ages; we care nothing about the alleged evidence of a Divine revelation within the last few thousand years ; we care nothing about what you call the evidence' for the resurrection of Christ, for the miracles of Christ, for the miracles of His aposties, for the supernatural spread of Christianity : what we are anxious to ascertain is what took place in the most ancient times among the anthropoid apes ; and if we can settle the family history of those anthropoid apes, we will soon settle also the claims of your apostles and prophets and of Jesus Christ.” Now, that is an unreasonable method of study. Let us begin to study what is nearest to ourselves, and be very sure that no discovery of flints, or bones, or jawbones, of men, or asses, found in any cave of the world, or in any stratum of the rocks, can possibly upset the bistoric fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If a man were to tell me that he had discovered a flint or a bone in the alluvium of the Tiber, by which he was ready to prove that there was no reality in the usurpation and assassination of Julius Cæsar, I should answer that that was a settled fact depending on evidence near at hand, and as to any interpretation he might put on a piece of pottery, that was quite beside the mark. Just so with regard to questions relating to the origin of mankind. We have evidence close at hand of the evidence of this wonderful revelation of God recorded in the sacred Scriptures. This evidence runs throughout the whole history of the world. It is recorded in the Bible, which contains one connected system of prophecy partly fulfilled and partly unfulfilled, and, above all, contains that mighty appeal of God to the inner nature of man of every country and every age which is capable of transforming the vilest and most abandoned savage into a man and : son of God. Shall I set this wonderful revelation on one side, and determine to pay no attention to the record of St. John, that honest recorder of what he saw in the life and death of Jesus, while I study the manners of that ape who began to have an upright “ pelvis" and a “prognathous muzzle," honoured as the ancestor of Mr. John Morley ?
Lastly, there is one other influence at work tending to promote unbe. lief, and that I venture to describe as the spirit of intolerant orthodoxy. If you wish for proof of this statement, look at Italy, look at Rome. There sits the intolerant orthodoxy of the Papacy enthroned, surrounded by twenty-seven millions of Italians, more than one-half of whom are sceptics. This is the inevitable result of a system of religion which discourages free inquiry. Or, again, look at Oxford. Oxford during our
. , lifetime has been the principal seat of an attempt to re-impose the sacerdotal sway upon the English people. See what it has resulted in. In Oxford itself sceptics are swarming; throughout the country, scepticism has received one of its chief impulses from this attempt of the priesthood to interpose between man and his Maker. And I venture to say that in those sects of the Nonconformists which are chiefly under the sway of an organised ministry, which is always, I think, inimical to human freedom-in those sects and denominations of Christendom which are most under the sway of an organised hierarchy there is always the greatest danger of unbelief. If you wish the English people to be believers, you must permit doubt, you must allow questioning, you must allow earnest inquiry, and you must allow some contradiction of the ancient orthodoxies of the nation. We have outgrown some of them. Our fathers were excellent men, but not omniscient. Can we honestly say that amongst ourselves—amongst the Independent churches-can we say that the spirit of earnest investigation of Divine truth is always welcomed by the authorities amongst us? I think it is more welcome than in almost any other party in Protestant Christendom. I myself am a living example of the wonderful toleration of Congregationalism. But still there is room for improvement. It is one thing to be tolerant of other men's inquiries; it is quite another thing to be disposed for inquiry for yourself, and until this spirit of earnest and fresh study of the sacred Scriptures rises in the midst of us and burns as an unquenchable fire in our breasts, I do not think that even Independents will exercise the full influence that they might exercise upon the future religious destinies of England. We want, above all things, carnest study, exact knowledge, and free thought, a freedom that shall be governed by the Spirit of God. It is this which will save the English commovalty and the English labouring multitudes from secularism and unbelief. I earnestly hope that some may be found here to-night who, acknowledging that they have not hitherto studied as they should have studied those wonderful records of the redeeming mercy, will take courage from the words I have uttered, to go home and open their Bibles afresh, and perhaps date the commencement of new convictions and a loftier life from the meeting of the Congregational Union at Bristol, in the year 1882.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE UNSAVED.
I. The Doctrine of the Old Testament. " In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die.”—Gen. ii. 17 Vargin). EFORE entering upon the important and very solemn subject which
I propose to bring before the readers of the Rainbow-how readily does the pen trace that long-familiar word !-it may be well, and it will at least be candid, if I indicate my own position in relation to it as briefly as may be. For many years, as those long acquainted with this Magazine are well aware, I have been the earnest, however feeble, advocate of the doctrine of “ Conditional Immortality," or, as I prefer much to call it, “ Life only in Christ.” of late years, however, I have been led, as the result of prolonged study of the great problem of human destiny, to incline strongly to what is called “the larger hope," and perhaps those best acquainted with my present opinions would be disposed to class me with Universalists. But if I am a Universalist, I am at all events a Universalist with reservations; and one of those reservations is, that I seo strong grounds for admitting, from my study of Scripture as well as my experience of human nature, that there may be some—I feel a blessed persuasion that their number will be relatively very small—who will finally count themselves anworthy of everlasting life,” and, having exhausted all the resources of Divine mercy, leave the Infinite Love no alternative but to destroy them for ever, as a curse to the universe and to themselves. It will thus be seen, I trust, that I am quite in a position to approach the consideration of the question before us in good faith, a point on which some doubt has been expressed in consequence of the unfortunate ambiguousness of an expression in my letter in the October number of the Rainbow. The question to be decided, if decided it can be, is simply this,--Do the Scriptures teach the resurrection of the unsaved, or do they not? And the strength and validity of any arguments which can be adduced, pro and con, are not in the least affected by the other, and totally distinct, question, Will the number of those finally lost be-as I am disposed to think-very few; or will they constitute-as I have heard some believers in Conditional Immortality maintain—the large majority of the human race ?
Without further preamble, then, let us proceed to the consideration of our subject. For the sake both of convenience and clearness I shall state wbat I wish to say in the form of a few distinct and precise propositions, which I shall be prepared to defend further should I be called upon to do so.
PROPOSITION I.— The Scriptures of the Old Testament do not contain one distinct assertion of the bodily resurrection of the unsaved. The only apparent exception is found in the words of Daniel xii. 2: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” But even this exception is only apparent, for Dr. Tregelles – an unexceptionable authority, not only on the score of scholarship but as singularly free from all suspicion of heretical bias—with many other Hebrew scholars, translates the verse thus: “ And many from among the sleepers of the dust shall awake; these (who awake) shall be unto everlasting life; but those (the rest of the dead, those who do not awake) shall be unto shame and everlasting contempt." And he adds, “The word which in our Authorized Version is twice rendered some' is never repeated in any other passage in the Hebrew Bible, in the sense of taking up distributively any general class which has been previously mentioned ; this is enough, I think, to warrant our applying its first occurrence here to the whole of the many who awake, and the second to the mass of the sleepers who do not awake at this time."* And the correctness of this interpretation of the passage is confirmed: (1) By the fact that it is the interpretation given by the most eminent Jewish commentators ; and (2), that the internal evidence of the passage proves that it is a prophecy of the First Resurrection.
1. As regards the first point, the famous Aben Ezra, in his commentary on this chapter, quotes Rabbi Saadias Gaon as declaring that “those who awake shall be (appointed) to everlasting life, and those who awake not shall be (doomed) to shame and everlasting contempt.” The words of Gaon himself are, “ This is the resurrection of the dead of Israel, whose lot is to eternal life, and those who shall not awake are the
* "Remarks on the Prophetic Visions of Daniel," p. 174.