"We had hoped that after the repeated failures to find the missing link in the chain of evolution the advocates of that theory would be less bold and positive in their assertions. True science is always cautious in its statements. Its teachings are supposed to be based on determinate and well-ascertained facts. Otherwise it ceases to be science and becomes mere speculation. These remarks have been suggested by the following extract from the Chicago Inter-Ocean:
"'The International Congress of Zoology, in session at Cambridge, England, during the current week, was remarkable for a fascinating paper by Professor Haeckel on the world's present knowledge of the descent of man. He did not hesitate to declare that science has now established the absolute certainty that man has descended through various stages of evolution from the lowest form of animal life during a period estimated at 1,000,000,000 years. This knowledge, which must now be accepted as the crowning achievement of science during the nineteenth century, was won through recent discoveries of fossil remains in Java, Madagascar, and Australia, and is made still more complete evidence by available proof of discoveries wherewith Darwin's name is most commonly associated.'
"Professor Haeckel is known to be a Darwin of the Darwinites. Indeed, in some of his views upon his pet theory he has gone far beyond Darwin himself. Why does he seek for proofs of the doctrine of evolution in such remote and widely-separated regions as Java, Madagascar, and Australia, instead of the original centers of population? Besides, Professor Haeckel must have known that the evidences he adduces from certain fossil remains in Madagascar and Australia have been demonstrated to be utterly unreliable. What particular find he refers to in Java we do not know; but take it for granted that it is worthless as the rest. The fact is, the evolutionists have been so pushed to find that 'missing link,' without which their whole system falls to the ground as incomplete and insupportable, that they have been ready to snatch at anything which would seem in the remotest manner to connect the broken series.
"The Professor evidently intends to allow himself ample time to work out his progressive developments from a protoplasm to an ape, and from an ape to a man. He assumes a round billion of years. We say assumes it, for every one must see that it is sheer assumption. Why not say five billions instead? There is no geological table by which he could fix the time at one billion of years. When science thus goes out of the domain of exact truth, we have a right to question its statements and its calculations. We don't know where Professor Haeckel got his arithmetic, and he does not know himself. When he declares, and does not 'hesitate' to declare, that 'science has now established the absolute certainty that man has descended through various stages of evolution from the lowest form of animal life during a period estimated at one billion of years,' we demand proof; but the proof is not forthcoming. The declaration is about as satisfactory and sensible as the silly reply that Aaron made to Moses when the latter questioned him about the golden calf. He said: 'I cast the gold in the fire, and there came out this calf.' So the evolutionists would have us believe that all these wonderful things in nature just 'came out' of themselves entirely apart from divine agency.
"Which is the more rational theory, that all things were made by Him 'who is before all things and by whom all things consist,' or that things just evolved of their own free will and accord? Which is worthier of our credence, [R3008 : page 147] that 'God made man in His own image and after His own likeness,' or that man developed out of an animal of the Simian species?
"Evolutionists admit that man is the final product of the series. If so, why is it that the fossil remains of the animal connecting man with his ancestral ape cannot be found? It would be the latest fossil, and should be most easily found. O, where is the living link, if the fossil cannot be found? Echo answers, Where?"
"There has arisen a class of preachers, who are proclaiming a social gospel, a scientific gospel, a literary gospel, a reformatory gospel. The cry appears to be, Anything to get rid of the Old Gospel, which 'the orthodox religion' upholds and preaches. All kinds of political reforms are initiated; critical theories in theology are ventilated; the newest industrial formations are given currency; and the thought and effort are centered upon the material, intellectual, and moral improvement of earth. It is no wonder that in the enthusiasm kindled over these and other efforts for human amelioration, there is considerable diversion from 'the orthodox religion;' but it has [R3008 : page 148] a staying and conquering power, and it will always have myriads in this and the oncoming ages to heed its teachings as a message from God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It would be a magnificent thing if all would turn away from the siren voices which lure away from the Old Gospel of salvation through personal repentance of sin, faith in Christ as the only Redeemer of mankind, and holy living, or through a renovated soul and life by the transforming grace of the Holy Ghost; but where any prefer to pass it by as of no account at such a time as this, the responsibility rests with them, not with those who press it upon the mind and heart of old and young. A conceited age may think it has a different message than that which the Son of God has given it, but the Christian religion, which has done so much for all classes and conditions in the past, will ever vindicate its right to exist, and will work out the purposes for which God gave it until latest periods."
He was being examined on a chapter from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, where the Apostle speaks about Adam. The examiner asked Mr. Noll what he thought about Adam, and he said he did not think Adam was a historical character, but rather a myth. The ministers, or at least many of the older ones, began to move uneasily in their seats.
It was here the trouble began, but this was not the only point of doctrine on which the candidate had shown himself "unsound." When he was examined on the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah he boldly asserted that the prophetic sayings there referred to the Hebrew people, not to Christ, as a majority of the ministers would have it.
He was rejected by a majority vote after considerable discussion; but the account says further that the Rev. Dr. Gregg of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church was a visitor at the meeting, and remarked: "This young man would have been received with a hurrah in the Brooklyn Presbytery. We do things differently there."
How evident it is to every observing mind that "the faith once delivered unto the saints" is becoming more and more scarce in Babylon;—and properly it is becoming more and more precious to those who have it to the extent that they are able to "give to them that ask it a reason for the hope that is within them." Harken to the inspired advice, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong!"—I Cor. 16:13.
"The Elizabeth, N.J., Presbytery yesterday granted a license to preach to one of the applicants who had expressed his disbelief in the story of Adam and Eve, although he still adhered to his conviction that the story was merely 'allegorical.' He will be ordained for foreign mission duty.
"With the sanction of so eminent a religious body to sustain us we may now all freely admit that we no longer consider Adam and Eve our first parents, but regard them as wholly mythical personages. This will be a sad loss to literature and art, but it will relieve the human race from a sense of long-standing injustice."
Baltimore, Md., April 13.—Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, of Chicago, delivered a lecture at the Har Sinai Temple here today, which took the breath of most of his listeners, despite the fact that it is the most liberal congregation in the city. In his sermon Dr. Hirsch said:
"Think of God as you may, so long as you have the proper conception of man you are in harmony with Judaism. Even if Moses never existed, if the ten commandments did not come from Sinai—and I don't believe they did—Judaism still lives.
"The Bible is literature; it is mythology. It did not come from heaven in a mechanical way. A new Bible has come forth, strangely different from what our fathers loved. The old idea is a God who holds in one hand a club and in the other a stick of candy. This God was man. He has been dethroned. Our soul needs a God who is superior to man."
Yes, truly a great falling away from the faith is in progress amongst all nationalities—especially among the "wise" and "learned." This poor Rabbi is no more to be blamed than Christian ministers who are taking the same position. No wonder, then, that leading ministers join in dedicating Jewish synagogues and Rabbis in dedicating Christian churches. It is only a "ceremony" anyway—to impress and please the common people.
Evidently, however, the secret of nearly all the rebellion against the Bible is the result of a lack of knowledge of God and his plan and his Book. How thankful we should be for the opening of the eyes of our understanding, which alone keeps us firm and secure when all around is shaking! Well did the Lord foretell the blindness coming upon the "learned" and worldly-wise and of the blinded followers of the blind leaders. "My people are destroyed [dumbfounded] for lack of knowledge."—Hos. 4:6; Isa. 29:14.
If you look at the map of Europe you will see in Russia a Czar with a million armed men that he can use as he pleases. A million rifles, or five million, if reserves are called upon, the Czar can aim this way or that as a child aims its bow and arrow. In Germany a vigorous young man, controlled partially by custom, common sense and the fear of the Social-Democratic party, has another million of armed men to play with. In Italy, in Austria, in Spain, you find monarchical figureheads directing huge bodies of armed men. If you look superficially at these great armies, you will say that they are a permanent menace to liberty. You will say to yourself: "How can kings be destroyed when such power is in their control?"
As a matter of fact, the greatest DANGER TO KINGS lies in the work that is done by these great standing armies. Apparently, they mean security for the monarchical idea. In reality, they mean education of the people, the spreading of radicalism, and rebellion against the claims of birth and money.
The German army system captures the yellow-haired peasant of Wurtemburg. He is dull of speech, slow in thought, kind-hearted, simple, reconciled to his own inferiority, ready to pull off his felt hat at the sight of livery worn by the servant of the great. This peasant is taken to Berlin or Frankfort. If he is slow at drill he is slapped in the face, kicked, ridiculed. He is compelled to hold himself for hours in a certain rigid position. He learns that he is entirely at the mercy of a whipper snapper in a lieutenant's uniform. He bitterly hates his own degradation and those responsible for it. During his hours of rest he meets and talks with another soldier, perhaps the orderly on duty at the officer's casino, who drags the lieutenant to a narrow lounge behind the curtains when the lieutenant is too drunk to stand up. Or he meets the young soldier from the city, the intelligent Jew with five hundred years of independent thinking behind him, or the non-commissioned officer, who sticks in the army because he takes pleasure in making socialists out of country recruits.
That humble peasant arrived from Wurtemburg believing himself of less importance than the dog of a country nobleman, [R3009 : page 149] and looking upon the German Emperor as the abstract equal and the concrete superior of Providence itself. At the end of his five army years the German peasant is transformed sometimes into a man of force, oftener into one with a supply of revolutionary catch phrases that make him dangerous because he has not brains enough to assimilate them.
Millions of such simple-minded peasants are changing into radicals and socialists all over Europe. The far-reaching arm of enforced military service leaves no quiet, peaceful, title-fearing corner in any of the empires. Every young man as he reaches maturity has the veneration for rank kicked out of him, and the knowledge of HOW TO FIGHT kicked into him. This is a serious thing for the kings. It means their ultimate undoing.
Already they are finding this out in Belgium, where the King is afraid of his own troups, knowing that their sympathies are with the striking men and women in the streets, and not with him, or his preposterous pretensions, or his spending of public money on ballet dancers in the Paris opera.—N.Y. Journal.