For instance, whilst telling us that Africa was the cradle of mankind from which by evolution various races advancing have spread over the earth; and while hunting in that field for a claimed "missing link" between the "least developed" of mankind and the monkey, they unthinkingly blurt out a completely different story.
In an article on Irrigation, Prof. A. W. Hadley now gives it as his opinion that Africa once had a wonderful civilization, whose "stupendous" plans and perfect "technical details" were so grand that "later efforts are paled into insignificance." If thousands of years have brought degradation to the inhabitants of Africa, does not this down the Evolution theory and exalt the Bible teaching of a fall? We quote from Prof. Hadley's article as follows:—
"The ancient period has to do with that accomplished during the reign of the Pharaohs, kings of Egypt who ruled 4,000 years ago, and carried out irrigation plans so bold in conception and colossal in execution that modern works are dwarfed into practical insignificance.
"Recently discovered ancient writings and subsequent investigation by scientific explorers reveal substantial evidence to the effect that the famous six cataracts of the Nile between Assouan and Khartoum are not, as had been supposed for ages, mere works of Nature, but are, instead, the ruins of gigantic works of man, who constructed them for irrigation, power and navigation purposes.
If this be true, then is Egyptian irrigation, like its civilization and literature, but another of the "Lost Arts of the Ancients;" for so stupendous were the plans and so perfectly were the technical details of engineering carried out that later efforts paled into insignificance.
"For hundreds of miles over the barren wastes on either side of the Nile, where history tells us there once flourished populous cities, can now be found the traces of great canals extending northward to the Mediterranean and, in fact, radiating over the entire Soudan. These are found to lead to the vicinity of the several cataracts where the gigantic blocks of granite which form them extend for more than a mile across the river and are visible at low Nile. Furthermore, these blocks are of a peculiar formation of granite, totally unlike any other rock in the vicinity, and found only built up in this way at the several cataracts.
"As additional writings are discovered and exploration progresses the evidence continues to grow until we are now practically convinced that immense areas in the great Soudan, with its miles of trackless, sun-scorched waste, were once under the most intensive cultivation, and the support of a vast population.
"Who may say but that the surviving ruins of the pyramids, temples and tombs were but at the elevated gateway to such a region, and that there now lies hidden beneath hundreds of feet of silently shifting sand the graveyard of an empire, with its cities, towns and hamlets and its one-time fertile valleys; but with its inhabitants destroyed or scattered panic-stricken or degenerate to the four corners of the Earth?"
We every now and then hear of some great scholar who has spoken or written things which have shaken the faith of many. Then we note announcements that his arguments have been met and refuted by some other professor: that Christian faith is saved, &c. The fact of the matter is that so much confusion reigns on theological questions in the minds of many that they know not what they are discussing. They will not look at the Truth, but will, without reading, denounce it on the strength of some one's opposition. They are blind and dote on things they do not comprehend.
For illustration, Prof. Haeckel, a German scholar, has been whacking away at all revealed religion in a publication, "The Riddle of the Universe." Because he attacked openly "Orthodoxy" could understand him and concluded it should be frightened because he so intimated. At once a champion is found in the person [R3713 : page 36] of "Sir Oliver Lodge, D.Sc., F.R.S., LL.D.," whose array of titles implies worldly wisdom. He declares that he can refute Haeckel. "Orthodoxy" grasps the suggestion with joy! not because Orthodoxy knows what he will say or cares much, but because he says he is on her side and he has influence and titles.
"In view of the world-wide circulation of Prof. Haeckel's attack on the fundamentals of the Christian Faith—for that is what his "Riddle of the Universe" amounts to—the publication of Sir Oliver Lodge's reply is a matter of the first importance to all Christians, especially preachers and teachers."
With such indorsement what spiritual wisdom might we not expect. From among other unchristian and unscriptural presentations we quote below some extracts which, going out thus labeled "Orthodox," will no doubt do far more harm than Prof. Haeckel's nonsense, more plainly labeled infidelity. Thus it is everywhere: professors and ministers are posing as defenders of Orthodoxy who, most decidedly, are unbelievers in the fundamentals of Christianity.
"I believe that the universe is struggling up towards something, and that we are agents, that God does not work without agents. We have to lend Him a helping hand; certain things will not be done on this planet unless we do them. We have the power to help and the power to refuse help or even to hinder."
Sir Oliver Lodge's vague ideas respecting a Nature God may be guessed from his statement following. He is wholly adverse to the Bible teaching of man's creation in God's image, his fall through sin, his redemption by the sacrifice of Christ and his hope of resurrection to more than was lost by obedience to the Redeemer when his Kingdom comes. We quote:—
"I will just tell you the speculations that I have had reason to make on this subject, and I would recommend you to read Myers' two volumes on Human Personality. It is all wrapped up in that "subliminal self" notion—that "we are greater than we know," as one of the poets puts it; that not the whole of us is incarnated at any one time. If we are persistent and do not go out of existence, it follows that in some sense we never came into existence. The idea that we have persisted in the past and must persist in the future is as old as Plato—there is nothing new in it; it seems to me that at birth a bit of that large self was incarnated, and then as the body grew and could hold more, more and more as it were leaked into it—sometimes more, sometimes less. When more of it leaks into the body and displays itself here, we say, "There is a great man;" when only a little, a very little, we say, "He is not all there." We are none of us quite "all there," and when this body is worn out we rejoin the big lump, so to speak, and then another bit will be incarnated at another time, and so on. You may call that a suggestion of reincarnation, though it is not exactly that. The same individual John Smith will not appear again as William Jones, but it may be that different bits of that large lump will associate themselves with matter for a time for the training which it appears can only so be got—a kind of peculiar training that appears to be got by living on a planet, and utilizing material particles which we pick up out of this planet, obtained from beef and mutton and cabbages. We walk about for a time and utilize the things we find here, then we go back, and I should think it is very likely that another portion of us is incarnated, perhaps a bit of the same, perhaps a portion wholly different. Perhaps when a child dies in infancy and goes back it will have another chance. But I am not now talking science, I am talking speculation, but it is based on those facts which you find elaborated in Myers' book—the facts of abnormal memory, multiple personality, trance states, unusual phenomena altogether, not by any means thoroughly understood, and yet which must be studied if we are to throw light upon this great problem."