Science halted for a time. The accepted doctrine became this: that the only reason why all

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Science halted for a time. The accepted doctrine became this: that the only reason why all the nebula are not resolved into distinct stars is that our telescopes are not sufficiently powerful. But in time came the discovery of the spectroscope and spectrum analysis, and thence Fraunhofer's discovery that the spectrum of an ignited gaseous body is non-continuous, with interrupting lines; and Draper's discovery that the spectrum of an ignited solid is continuous, with no interrupting lines. And now the spectroscope was turned upon the nebula, and many of them were found to be gaseous. Here, then, was ground for the inference that in these nebulous masses at different stages of condensation--some apparently mere pitches of mist, some with luminous centres--we have the process of development actually going on, and observations like those of Lord Rosse and Arrest gave yet further confirmation to this view. Then came the great contribution of the nineteenth century to physics, aiding to explain important parts of the vast process by the mechanical theory of heat. Again the nebular hypothesis came forth stronger than ever, and about 1850 the beautiful experiment of Plateau on the rotation of a fluid globe came in apparently to illustrate if not to confirm it. Even so determined a defender of orthodoxy as Mr. Gladstone at last acknowledged some form of a nebular hypothesis as probably true. Here, too, was exhibited that form of surrendering theological views to science under the claim that science concurs with theology, which we have seen in so many other fields; and, as typical, an example may be given, which, however restricted in its scope, throws light on the process by which such surrenders are obtained. A few years since one of the most noted professors of chemistry in the city of New York, under the auspices of one of its most fashionable churches, gave a lecture which, as was claimed in the public prints and in placards posted in the streets, was to show that science supports the theory of creation given in the sacred books ascribed to Moses. A large audience assembled, and a brilliant series of elementary experiments with oxygen, hydrogen, and carbonic acid was concluded by the Plateau demonstration. It was beautifully made. As the coloured globule of oil, representing the earth, was revolved in a transparent medium of equal density, as it became flattened at the poles, as rings then broke forth from it and revolved about it, and, finally, as some of these rings broke into satellites, which for a moment continued to circle about the central mass, the audience, as well they might, rose and burst into rapturous applause. Thereupon a well-to-do citizen arose and moved the thanks of the audience to the eminent professor for "this perfect demonstration of the exact and literal conformity of the statements given in Holy Scripture with the latest results of science." The motion was carried unanimously and with applause, and the audience dispersed, feeling that a great service had been rendered to orthodoxy. _Sancta simplicitas!_ What this incident exhibited on a small scale has been seen elsewhere with more distinguished actors and on a broader stage. Scores of theologians, chief among whom of late, in zeal if not in knowledge, has been Mr. Gladstone, have endeavoured to "reconcile" the two accounts in Genesis with each other and with the truths regarding the origin of the universe gained by astronomy, geology, geography, physics, and chemistry. The result has been recently stated by an eminent theologian, the Hulsean Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He declares, "No attempt at reconciling genesis with the exacting requirements of modern sciences has ever been known to succeed without entailing a degree of special pleading or forced interpretation to which, in such a question, we should be wise to have no recourse."[19] The revelations of another group of sciences, though sometimes bitterly opposed and sometimes "reconciled" by theologians, have finally set the whole question at rest. First, there have come the biblical critics--earnest Christian scholars, working for the sake of truth--and these have revealed beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt the existence of at least two distinct accounts of creation in our book of Genesis, which can sometimes be forced to agree, but which are generally absolutely at variance with each other. These scholars have further shown the two accounts to be not the cunningly devised fables of priestcraft, but evidently fragments of earlier legends, myths, and theologies, accepted in good faith and brought together for the noblest of purposes by those who put in order the first of our sacred books. Next have come the archaeologists and philologists, the devoted students of ancient monuments and records; of these are such as Rawlinson, George Smith, Sayce, Oppert, Jensen, Schrader, Delitzsch, and a phalanx of similarly devoted scholars, who have deciphered a multitude of ancient texts, especially the inscriptions found in the great library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh, and have discovered therein an account of the origin of the world identical in its most important features with the later accounts in our own book of Genesis. These men have had the courage to point out these facts and to connect them with the truth that these Chaldean and Babylonian myths, legends, and theories were far earlier than those of the Hebrews, which so strikingly resemble them, and which we have in our sacred books; and they have also shown us how natural it was that the Jewish accounts of the creation should have been obtained at that remote period when the earliest Hebrews were among the Chaldeans, and how the great Hebrew poetic accounts of creation were drawn either from the sacred traditions of these earlier peoples or from antecedent sources common to various ancient nations. In a summary which for profound thought and fearless integrity does honour not only to himself but to the great position which he holds, the Rev. Dr. Driver, Professor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church at Oxford, has recently stated the case fully and fairly. Having pointed out the fact that the Hebrews were one people out of many who thought upon the origin of the universe, he says that they "framed theories to account for the beginnings of the earth and man"; that "they either did this for themselves or borrowed those of their neighbours"; that "of the theories current in Assyria and Phoenicia fragments have been preserved, and these exhibit points of resemblance with the biblical narrative sufficient to warrant the inference that both are derived from the same cycle of tradition." After giving some extracts from the Chaldean creation tablets he says: "In the light of these facts it is difficult to resist the conclusion that the biblical narrative is drawn from the same source as these other records. The biblical historians, it is plain, derived their materials from the best human sources available.... The materials which with other nations were combined into the crudest physical theories or associated with a grotesque polytheism were vivified and transformed by the inspired genius of the Hebrew historians, and adapted to become the vehicle of profound religious truth." Not less honourable to the sister university and to himself is the statement recently made by the Rev. Dr. Ryle, Hulsean Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. He says that to suppose that a Christian "must either renounce his confidence in the achievements of scientific research or abandon his faith in Scripture is a monstrous perversion of Christian freedom." He declares: "The old position is no longer tenable; a new position has to be taken up at once, prayerfully chosen, and hopefully held." He then goes on to compare the Hebrew story of creation with the earlier stories developed among kindred peoples, and especially with the pre-existing Assyro-Babylonian cosmogony, and shows that they are from the same source. He points out that any attempt to explain particular features of the story into harmony with the modern scientific ideas necessitates "a non-natural" interpretation; but he says that, if we adopt a natural interpretation, "we shall consider that the Hebrew description of the visible universe is unscientific as judged by modern standards, and that it shares the limitations of the imperfect knowledge of the age at which it was committed to writing." Regarding the account in Genesis of man's physical origin, he says that it "is expressed in the simple terms of prehistoric legend, of unscientific pictorial description." In these statements and in a multitude of others made by eminent Christian investigators in other countries is indicated what the victory is which has now been fully won over the older theology. Thus, from the Assyrian researches as well as from other sources, it has come to be acknowledged by the most eminent scholars at the leading seats of Christian learning that the accounts of creation with which for nearly two thousand years all scientific discoveries have had to be "reconciled"--the accounts which blocked the way of Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and Laplace--were simply transcribed or evolved from a mass of myths and legends largely derived by the Hebrews from their ancient relations with Chaldea, rewrought in a monotheistic sense, imperfectly welded together, and then thrown into poetic forms in the sacred books which we have inherited. On one hand, then, we have the various groups of men devoted to the physical sciences all converging toward the proofs that the universe, as we at present know it, is the result of an evolutionary process--that is, of the gradual working of physical laws upon an early condition of matter; on the other hand, we have other great groups of men devoted to historical, philological, and archaeological science whose researches all converge toward the conclusion that our sacred accounts of creation were the result of an evolution from an early chaos of rude opinion. The great body of theologians who have so long resisted the conclusions of the men of science have claimed to be fighting especially for "the truth of Scripture," and their final answer to the simple conclusions of science regarding the evolution of the material universe has been the cry, "The Bible is true." And they are right--though in a sense nobler than they have dreamed. Science, while conquering them, has found in our Scriptures a far nobler truth than that literal historical exactness for which theologians have so long and so vainly contended. More and more as we consider the results of the long struggle in this field we are brought to the conclusion that the inestimable value of the great sacred books of the world is found in their revelation of the steady striving of our race after higher conceptions, beliefs, and aspirations, both in morals and religion. Unfolding and exhibiting this long-continued effort, each of the great sacred books of the world is precious, and all, in the highest sense, are true. Not one of them, indeed, conforms to the measure of what mankind has now reached in historical and scientific truth; to make a claim to such conformity is folly, for it simply exposes those who make it and the books for which it is made to loss of their just influence. That to which the great sacred books of the world conform, and our own most of all, is the evolution of the highest conceptions, beliefs, and aspirations of our race from its childhood through the great turning-points in its history. Herein lies the truth of all bibles, and especially of our own. Of vast value they indeed often are as a record of historical outward fact; recent researches in the East are constantly increasing this value; but it is not for this that we prize them most: they are eminently precious, not as a record of outward fact, but as a mirror of the evolving heart, mind, and soul of man. They are true because they have been developed in accordance with the laws governing the evolution of truth in human history, and because in poem, chronicle, code, legend, myth, apologue, or parable they reflect this development of what is best in the onward march of humanity. To say that they are not true is as if one should say that a flower or a tree or a planet is not true; to scoff at them is to scoff at the law of the universe. In welding together into noble form, whether in the book of Genesis, or in the Psalms, or in the book of Job, or elsewhere, the great conceptions of men acting under earlier inspiration, whether in Egypt, or Chaldea, or India, or Persia, the compilers of our sacred books have given to humanity a possession ever becoming more and more precious; and modern science, in substituting a new heaven and a new earth for the old--the reign of law for the reign of caprice, and the idea of evolution for that of creation--has added and is steadily adding a new revelation divinely inspired. In the light of these two evolutions, then--one of the visible universe, the other of a sacred creation-legend--science and theology, if the master minds in both are wise, may at last be reconciled. A great step in this reconciliation was recently seen at the main centre of theological thought among English-speaking people, when, in the collection of essays entitled _Lux Mundi_, emanating from the college established in these latter days as a fortress of orthodoxy at Oxford, the legendary character of the creation accounts in our sacred books was acknowledged, and when the Archbishop of Canterbury asked, "May not the Holy Spirit at times have made use of myth and legend?"[24] II. THEOLOGICAL TEACHINGS REGARDING THE ANIMALS AND MAN. IN one of the windows of the cathedral at Ulm a mediaeval glass-stainer has represented the Almighty as busily engaged in creating the animals, and there has just left the divine hands an elephant fully accoutred, with armour, harness, and housings, ready-for war. Similar representations appear in illuminated manuscripts and even in early printed books, and, as the culmination of the whole, the Almighty is shown as fashioning the first man from a hillock of clay and extracting from his side, with evident effort, the first woman. This view of the general process of creation had come from far, appearing under varying forms in various ancient cosmogonies. In the Egyptian temples at Philae and Denderah may still be seen representations of the Nile gods modelling lumps of clay into men, and a similar work is ascribed in the Assyrian tablets to the gods of Babylonia. Passing into our own sacred books, these ideas became the starting point of a vast new development of theology[25] The fathers of the Church generally received each of the two conflicting creation legends in Genesis literally, and then, having done their best to reconcile them with each other and to mould them together, made them the final test of thought upon the universe and all things therein. At the beginning of the fourth century Lactantius struck the key-note of this mode of subordinating all other things in the study of creation to the literal text of Scripture, and he enforces his view of the creation of man by a bit of philology, saying the final being created "is called man because he is made from the ground--_homo ex humo_." In the second half of the same century this view as to the literal acceptance of the sacred text was reasserted by St. Ambrose, who, in his work on the creation, declared that "Moses opened his mouth and poured forth what God had said to him." But a greater than either of them fastened this idea into the Christian theologies. St. Augustine, preparing his _Commentary on the Book of Genesis_, laid down in one famous sentence the law which has lasted in the Church until our own time: "Nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture, since greater is that authority than all the powers of the human mind." The vigour of the sentence in its original Latin carried it ringing down the centuries: "_Major est Scripturae auctoritas quam omnis humani ingenii capacitas_." Through the mediaeval period, in spite of a revolt led by no other than St. Augustine himself, and followed by a series of influential churchmen, contending, as we shall hereafter see, for a modification of the accepted view of creation, this phrase held the minds of men firmly. The great Dominican encyclopaedist, Vincent of Beauvais, in his _Mirror of Nature_, while mixing ideas brought from Aristotle with a theory drawn from the Bible, stood firmly by the first of the accounts given in Genesis, and assigned the special virtue of the number six as a reason why all things were created in six days; and in the later Middle Ages that eminent authority, Cardinal d' Ailly, accepted everything regarding creation in the sacred books literally. Only a faint dissent is seen in Gregory Reisch, another authority of this later period, who, while giving, in his book on the beginning of things, a full length woodcut showing the Almighty in the act of extracting Eve from Adam's side, with all the rest of new-formed Nature in the background, leans in his writings, like St. Augustine, toward a belief in the pre-existence of matter. At the Reformation the vast authority of Luther was thrown in favour of the literal acceptance of Scripture as the main source of natural science. The allegorical and mystical interpretations of earlier theologians he utterly rejected. "Why," he asks, "should Moses use allegory when he is not speaking of allegorical creatures or of an allegorical world, but of real creatures and of a visible world, which can be seen, felt, and grasped? Moses calls things by their right names, as we ought to do.... I hold that the animals took their being at once upon the word of God, as did also the fishes in the sea." Not less explicit in his adherence to the literal account of creation given in Genesis was Calvin. He warns those who, by taking another view than his own, "basely insult the Creator, to expect a judge who will annihilate them." He insists that all species of animals were created in six days, each made up of an evening and a morning, and that no new species has ever appeared since. He dwells on the production of birds from the water as resting upon certain warrant of Scripture, but adds, "If the question is to be argued on physical grounds, we know that water is more akin to air than the earth is." As to difficulties in the scriptural account of creation, he tells us that God "wished by these to give proofs of his power which should fill us with astonishment." The controlling minds in the Roman Church steadfastly held this view. In the seventeenth century Bossuet threw his vast authority in its favour, and in his _Discourse on Universal History_, which has remained the foundation not only of theological but of general historical teaching in France down to the present republic, we find him calling attention to what he regards as the culminating act of creation, and asserting that, literally, for the creation of man earth was used, and "the finger of God applied to corruptible matter." The Protestant world held this idea no less persistently. In the seventeenth century Dr. John Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the great rabbinical scholar of his time, attempted to reconcile the two main legends in Genesis by saying that of the "clean sort of beasts there were seven of every kind created, three couples for breeding and the odd one for Adam's sacrifice on his fall, which God foresaw"; and that of unclean beasts only one couple was created. So literal was this whole conception of the work of creation that in these days it can scarcely be imagined. The Almighty was represented in theological literature, in the pictured Bibles, and in works of art generally, as a sort of enlarged and venerable Nuremberg toymaker. At times the accounts in Genesis were illustrated with even more literal exactness; thus, in connection with a well-known passage in the sacred text, the Creator was shown as a tailor, seated, needle in hand, diligently sewing together skins of beasts into coats for Adam and Eve. Such representations presented no difficulties to the docile minds of the Middle Ages and the Reformation period; and in the same spirit, when the discovery of fossils began to provoke thought, these were declared to be "models of his works approved or rejected by the great Artificer," "outlines of future creations," "sports of Nature," or "objects placed in the strata to bring to naught human curiosity"; and this kind of explanation lingered on until in our own time an eminent naturalist, in his anxiety to save the literal account in Genesis, has urged that Jehovah tilted and twisted the strata, scattered the fossils through them, scratched the glacial furrows upon them, spread over them the marks of erosion by water, and set Niagara pouring--all in an instant--thus mystifying the world "for some inscrutable purpose, but for his own glory."[28] The next important development of theological reasoning had regard to the _divisions_ of the animal kingdom. Naturally, one of the first divisions which struck the inquiring mind was that between useful and noxious creatures, and the question therefore occurred, How could a good God create tigers and serpents, thorns and thistles? The answer was found in theological considerations upon _sin_. To man's first disobedience all woes were due. Great men for eighteen hundred years developed the theory that before Adam's disobedience there was no death, and therefore neither ferocity nor venom. Some typical utterances in the evolution of this doctrine are worthy of a passing glance. St. Augustine expressly confirmed and emphasized the view that the vegetable as well as the animal kingdom was cursed on account of man's sin. Two hundred years later this utterance had been echoed on from father to father of the Church until it was caught by Bede; he declared that before man's fall animals were harmless, but were made poisonous or hurtful by Adam's sin, and he said, "Thus fierce and poisonous animals were created for terrifying man (because God foresaw that he would sin), in order that he might be made aware of the final punishment of hell." In the twelfth century this view was incorporated by Peter Lombard into his great theological work, the _Sentences_, which became a text-book of theology through the middle ages. He affirmed that "no created things would have been hurtful to man had he not sinned; they became hurtful for the sake of terrifying and punishing vice or of proving and perfecting virtue; they were created harmless, and on account of sin became hurtful." This theological theory regarding animals was brought out in the eighteenth century with great force by John Wesley. He declared that before Adam's sin "none of these attempted to devour or in any wise hurt one another"; "the spider was as harmless as the fly, and did not lie in wait for blood." Not only Wesley, but the eminent Dr. Adam Clarke and Dr. Richard Watson, whose ideas had the very greatest weight among the English Dissenters, and even among leading thinkers in the Established Church, held firmly to this theory; so that not until, in our own time, geology revealed the remains of vast multitudes of carnivorous creatures, many of them with half-digested remains of other animals in their stomachs, all extinct long ages before the appearance of man upon earth, was a victory won by science over theology in this field. A curious development of this doctrine was seen in the belief drawn by sundry old commentators from the condemnation of the serpent in Genesis--a belief, indeed, perfectly natural, since it was evidently that of the original writers of the account preserved in the first of our sacred books. This belief was that, until the tempting serpent was cursed by the Almighty, all serpents stood erect, walked, and talked. This belief was handed down the ages as part of "the sacred deposit of the faith" until Watson, the most prolific writer of the evangelical reform in the eighteenth century and the standard theologian of the evangelical party, declared: "We have no reason at all to believe that the animal had a serpentine form in any mode or degree until its transformation; that he was then degraded to a reptile to go upon his belly imports, on the contrary, an entire loss and alteration of the original form." Here, again, was a ripe result of the theologic method diligently pursued by the strongest thinkers in the Church during nearly two thousand years; but this "sacred deposit" also faded away when the geologists found abundant remains of fossil serpents dating from periods long before the appearance of man. Troublesome questions also arose among theologians regarding animals classed as "superfluous." St. Augustine was especially exercised thereby. He says: "I confess I am ignorant why mice and frogs were created, or flies and worms.... All creatures are either useful, hurtful, or superfluous to us.... As for the hurtful creatures, we are either punished, or disciplined, or terrified by them, so that we may not cherish and love this life." As to the "superfluous animals," he says, "Although they are not necessary for our service, yet the whole design of the universe is thereby completed and finished." Luther, who followed St. Augustine in so many other matters, declined to follow him fully in this. To him a fly was not merely superfluous, it was noxious--sent by the devil to vex him when reading. Another subject which gave rise to much searching of Scripture and long trains of theological reasoning was the difference between the creation of man and that of other living beings. Great stress was laid by theologians, from St. Basil and St. Augustine to St. Thomas Aquinas and Bossuet, and from Luther to Wesley, on the radical distinction indicated in Genesis, God having created man "in his own image." What this statement meant was seen in the light of the later biblical statement that "Adam begat Seth in his own likeness, after his image." In view of this and of well-known texts incorporated from older creation legends into the Hebrew sacred books it came to be widely held that, while man was directly moulded and fashioned separately by the Creator's hand, the animals generally were evoked in numbers from the earth and sea by the Creator's voice. A question now arose naturally as to the _distinctions of species_ among animals. The Vast majority of theologians agreed in representing all animals as created "in the beginning," and named by Adam, preserved in the ark, and continued ever afterward under exactly the same species. This belief ripened into a dogma. Like so many other dogmas in the Church, Catholic and Protestant, its real origins are to be found rather in pagan philosophy than in the Christian Scriptures; it came far more from Plato and Aristotle than from Moses and St. Paul. But this was not considered: more and more it became necessary to believe that each and every difference of species was impressed by the Creator "in the beginning," and that no change had taken place or could have taken place since. Some difficulties arose here and there as zoology progressed and revealed ever-increasing numbers of species; but through the Middle Ages, and indeed long after the Reformation, these difficulties were easily surmounted by making the ark of Noah larger and larger, and especially by holding that there had been a human error in regard to its measurement.[31] But naturally there was developed among both ecclesiastics and laymen a human desire to go beyond these special points in the history of animated beings--a desire to know what the creation really _is_. Current legends, stories, and travellers' observations, poor as they were, tended powerfully to stimulate curiosity in this field. Three centuries before the Christian era Aristotle had made the first really great attempt to satisfy this curiosity, and had begun a development of studies in natural history which remains one of the leading achievements in the story of our race. But the feeling which we have already seen so strong in the early Church--that all study of Nature was futile in view of the approaching end of the world--indicated so clearly in the New Testament and voiced so powerfully by Lactantius and St. Augustine--held back this current of thought for many centuries. Still, the better tendency in humanity continued to assert itself. There was, indeed, an influence coming from the Hebrew Scriptures themselves which wrought powerfully to this end; for, in spite of all that Lactantius or St. Augustine might say as to the futility of any study of Nature, the grand utterances in the Psalms regarding the beauties and wonders of creation, in all the glow of the truest poetry, ennobled the study even among those whom logic drew away from it. But, as a matter of course, in the early Church and throughout the Middle Ages all such studies were cast in a theologic mould. Without some purpose of biblical illustration or spiritual edification they were considered futile too much prying into the secrets of Nature was very generally held to be dangerous both to body and soul; only for showing forth God's glory and his purposes in the creation were such studies praiseworthy. The great work of Aristotle was under eclipse. The early Christian thinkers gave little attention to it, and that little was devoted to transforming it into something absolutely opposed to his whole spirit and method; in place of it they developed the _Physiologus_ and the Bestiaries, mingling scriptural statements, legends of the saints, and fanciful inventions with pious intent and childlike simplicity. In place of research came authority--the authority of the Scriptures as interpreted by the _Physio Cogus_ and the Bestiaries--and these remained the principal source of thought on animated Nature for over a thousand years. Occasionally, indeed, fear was shown among the rulers in the Church, even at such poor prying into the creation as this, and in the fifth century a synod under Pope Gelasius administered a rebuke to the _Physiologus_; but the interest in Nature was too strong: the great work on _Creation_ by St. Basil had drawn from the _Physiologus_ precious illustrations of Holy Writ, and the strongest of the early popes, Gregory the Great, virtually sanctioned it. Thus was developed a sacred science of creation and of the divine purpose in Nature, which went on developing from the fourth century to the nineteenth--from St. Basil to St. Isidore of Seville, from Isidore to Vincent of Beauvais, and from Vincent to Archdeacon Paley and the Bridgewater Treatises. Like all else in the Middle Ages, this sacred science was developed purely by theological methods. Neglecting the wonders which the dissection of the commonest animals would have afforded them, these naturalists attempted to throw light into Nature by ingenious use of scriptural texts, by research among the lives of the saints, and by the plentiful application of metaphysics. Hence even such strong men as St. Isidore of Seville treasured up accounts of the unicorn and dragons mentioned in the Scriptures and of the phoenix and basilisk in profane writings. Hence such contributions to knowledge as that the basilisk kills serpents by his breath and men by his glance, that the lion when pursued effaces his tracks with the end of his tail, that the pelican nourishes her young with her own blood, that serpents lay aside their venom before drinking, that the salamander quenches fire, that the hyena can talk with shepherds, that certain birds are born of the fruit of a certain tree when it happens to fall into the water, with other masses of science equally valuable. As to the method of bringing science to bear on Scripture, the _Physiologus_ gives an example, illustrating the passage in the book of Job which speaks of the old lion perishing for lack of prey. Out of the attempt to explain an unusual Hebrew word in the text there came a curious development of error, until we find fully evolved an account of the "ant-lion," which, it gives us to understand, was the lion mentioned by Job, and it says: "As to the ant-lion, his father hath the shape of a lion, his mother that of an ant; the father liveth upon flesh and the mother upon herbs; these bring forth the ant-lion, a compound of both and in part like to either; for his fore part is like that of a lion and his hind part like that of an ant. Being thus composed, he is neither able to eat flesh like his father nor herbs like his mother, and so he perisheth." In the middle of the thirteenth century we have a triumph of this theological method in the great work of the English Franciscan Bartholomew on _The Properties of Things_. The theological method as applied to science consists largely in accepting tradition and in spinning arguments to fit it. In this field Bartholomew was a master. Having begun with the intent mainly to explain the allusions in Scripture to natural objects, he soon rises logically into a survey of all Nature. Discussing the "cockatrice" of Scripture, he tells us: "He drieth and burneth leaves with his touch, and he is of so great venom and perilous that he slayeth and wasteth him that nigheth him without tarrying; and yet the weasel overcometh him, for the biting of the weasel is death to the cockatrice. Nevertheless the biting of the cockatrice is death to the weasel if the weasel eat not rue before. And though the cockatrice be venomous without remedy while he is alive, yet he looseth all the malice when he is burnt to ashes. His ashes be accounted profitable in working of alchemy, and namely in turning and changing of metals." Bartholomew also enlightens us on the animals of Egypt, and says, "If the crocodile findeth a man by the water's brim he slayeth him, and then he weepeth over him and swalloweth him." Naturally this good Franciscan naturalist devotes much thought to the "dragons" mentioned in Scripture. He says: "The dragon is most greatest of all serpents, and oft he is drawn out of his den and riseth up into the air, and the air is moved by him, and also the sea swelleth against his venom, and he hath a crest, and reareth his tongue, and hath teeth like a saw, and hath strength, and not only in teeth but in tail, and grieveth with biting and with stinging. Whom he findeth he slayeth. Oft four or five of them fasten their tails together and rear up their heads, and sail over the sea to get good meat. Between elephants and dragons is everlasting fighting; for the dragon with his tail spanneth the elephant, and the elephant with his nose throweth down the dragon.... The cause why the dragon desireth his blood is the coldness thereof, by the which the dragon desireth to cool himself. Jerome saith that the dragon is a full thirsty beast, insomuch that he openeth his mouth against the wind to quench the burning of his thirst in that wise. Therefore, when he seeth ships in great wind he flieth against the sail to take the cold wind, and overthroweth the ship." These ideas of Friar Bartholomew spread far and struck deep into the popular mind. His book was translated into the principal languages of Europe, and was one of those most generally read during the Ages of Faith. It maintained its position nearly three hundred years; even after the invention of printing it held its own, and in the fifteenth century there were issued no less than ten editions of it in Latin, four in French, and various versions of it in Dutch, Spanish, and English. Preachers found it especially useful in illustrating the ways of God to man. It was only when the great voyages of discovery substituted ascertained fact for theological reasoning in this province that its authority was broken. The same sort of science flourished in the _Bestiaries_, which were used everywhere, and especially in the pulpits, for the edification of the faithful. In all of these, as in that compiled early in the thirteenth century by an ecclesiastic, William of Normandy, we have this lesson, borrowed from the _Physiologus_: "The lioness giveth birth to cubs which remain three days without life. Then cometh the lion, breatheth upon them, and bringeth them to life.... Thus it is that Jesus Christ during three days was deprived of life, but God the Father raised him gloriously." Pious use was constantly made of this science, especially by monkish preachers. The phoenix rising from his ashes proves the doctrine of the resurrection; the structure and mischief of monkeys proves the existence of demons; the fact that certain monkeys have no tails proves that Satan has been shorn of his glory; the weasel, which "constantly changes its place, is a type of the man estranged from the word of God, who findeth no rest." The moral treatises of the time often took the form of works on natural history, in order the more fully to exploit these religious teachings of Nature. Thus from the book _On Bees_, the Dominican Thomas of Cantimpre, we learn that "wasps persecute bees and make war on them out of natural hatred"; and these, he tells us, typify the demons who dwell in the air and with lightning and tempest assail and vex mankind--whereupon he fills a long chapter with anecdotes of such demonic warfare on mortals. In like manner his fellow-Dominican, the inquisitor Nider, in his book _The Ant Hill_, teaches us that the ants in Ethiopia, which are said to have horns and to grow so large as to look like dogs, are emblems of atrocious heretics, like Wyclif and the Hussites, who bark and bite against the truth; while the ants of India, which dig up gold out of the sand with their feet and hoard it, though they make no use of it, symbolize the fruitless toil with which the heretics dig out the gold of Holy Scripture and hoard it in their books to no purpose. This pious spirit not only pervaded science; it bloomed out in art, and especially in the cathedrals. In the gargoyles overhanging the walls, in the grotesques clambering about the towers or perched upon pinnacles, in the dragons prowling under archways or lurking in bosses of foliage, in the apocalyptic beasts carved upon the stalls of the choir, stained into the windows, wrought into the tapestries, illuminated in the letters and borders of psalters and missals, these marvels of creation suggested everywhere morals from the Physiologus, the Bestiaries, and the Exempla.[36] Here and there among men who were free from church control we have work of a better sort. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Abd Allatif made observations upon the natural history of Egypt which showed a truly scientific spirit, and the Emperor Frederick II attempted to promote a more fruitful study of Nature; but one of these men was abhorred as a Mussulman and the other as an infidel. Far more in accordance with the spirit of the time was the ecclesiastic Giraldus Cambrensis, whose book on the topography of Ireland bestows much attention upon the animals of the island, and rarely fails to make each contribute an appropriate moral. For example, he says that in Ireland "eagles live for so many ages that they seem to contend with eternity itself; so also the saints, having put off the old man and put on the new, obtain the blessed fruit of everlasting life." Again, he tells us: "Eagles often fly so high that their wings are scorched by the sun; so those who in the Holy Scriptures strive to unravel the deep and hidden secrets of the heavenly mysteries, beyond what is allowed, fall below, as if the wings of the presumptuous imaginations on which they are borne were scorched." In one of the great men of the following century appeared a gleam of healthful criticism: Albert the Great, in his work on the animals, dissents from the widespread belief that certain birds spring from trees and are nourished by the sap, and also from the theory that some are generated in the sea from decaying wood. But it required many generations for such scepticism to produce much effect, and we find among the illustrations in an edition of Mandeville published just before the Reformation not only careful accounts but pictured representations both of birds and of beasts produced in the fruit of trees.[37] This general employment of natural science for pious purposes went on after the Reformation. Luther frequently made this use of it, and his example controlled his followers. In 1612, Wolfgang Franz, Professor of Theology at Luther's university, gave to the world his sacred history of animals, which went through many editions. It contained a very ingenious classification, describing "natural dragons," which have three rows of teeth to each jaw, and he piously adds, "the principal dragon is the Devil." Near the end of the same century, Father Kircher, the great Jesuit professor at Rome, holds back the sceptical current, insists upon the orthodox view, and represents among the animals entering the ark sirens and griffins. Yet even among theologians we note here and there a sceptical spirit in natural science. Early in the same seventeenth century Eugene Roger published his _Travels in Palestine_. As regards the utterances of Scripture he is soundly orthodox: he prefaces his work with a map showing, among other important points referred to in biblical history, the place where Samson slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, the cavern which Adam and Eve inhabited after their expulsion from paradise, the spot where Balaam's ass spoke, the place where Jacob wrestled with the angel, the steep place down which the swine possessed of devils plunged into the sea, the position of the salt statue which was once Lot's wife, the place at sea where Jonah was swallowed by the whale, and "the exact spot where St. Peter caught one hundred and fifty-three fishes." As to natural history, he describes and discusses with great theological acuteness the basilisk. He tells us that the animal is about a foot and a half long, is shaped like a crocodile, and kills people with a single glance. The one which he saw was dead, fortunately for him, since in the time of Pope Leo IV--as he tells us--one appeared in Rome and killed many people by merely looking at them; but the Pope destroyed it with his prayers and the sign of the cross. He informs us that Providence has wisely and mercifully protected man by requiring the monster to cry aloud two or three times whenever it leaves its den, and that the divine wisdom in creation is also shown by the fact that the monster is obliged to look its victim in the eye, and at a certain fixed distance, before its glance can penetrate the victim's brain and so pass to his heart. He also gives a reason for supposing that the same divine mercy has provided that the crowing of a cock will kill the basilisk. Yet even in this good and credulous missionary we see the influence of Bacon and the dawn of experimental science; for, having been told many stories regarding the salamander, he secured one, placed it alive upon the burning coals, and reports to us that the legends concerning its power to live in the fire are untrue. He also tried experiments with the chameleon, and found that the stories told of it were to be received with much allowance: while, then, he locks up his judgment whenever he discusses the letter of Scripture, he uses his mind in other things much after the modern method. In the second half of the same century Hottinger, in his _Theological Examination of the History of Creation_, breaks from the belief in the phoenix; but his scepticism is carefully kept within the limits imposed by Scripture. He avows his doubts, first, "because God created the animals in couples, while the phoenix is represented as a single, unmated creature"; secondly, "because Noah, when he entered the ark, brought the animals in by sevens, while there were never so many individuals of the phoenix species" thirdly, because "no man is known who dares assert that he has ever seen this bird"; fourthly, because "those who assert there is a phoenix differ among themselves." In view of these attacks on the salamander and the phoenix, we are not surprised to find, before the end of the century, scepticism regarding the basilisk: the eminent Prof. Kirchmaier, at the University of Wittenberg, treats phoenix and basilisk alike as old wives' fables. As to the phoenix, he denies its existence, not only because Noah took no such bird into the ark, but also because, as he pithily remarks, "birds come from eggs, not from ashes." But the unicorn he can not resign, nor will he even concede that the unicorn is a rhinoceros; he appeals to Job and to Marco Polo to prove that this animal, as usually conceived, really exists, and says, "Who would not fear to deny the existence of the unicorn, since Holy Scripture names him with distinct praises?" As to the other great animals mentioned in Scripture, he is so rationalistic as to admit that behemoth was an elephant and leviathan a whale. But these germs of a fruitful scepticism grew, and we soon find Dannhauer going a step further and declaring his disbelief even in the unicorn, insisting that it was a rhinoceros--only that and nothing more. Still, the main current continued strongly theological. In 1712 Samuel Bochart published his great work upon the animals of Holy Scripture. As showing its spirit we may take the titles of the chapters on the horse: "Chapter VI. Of the Hebrew Name of the Horse." "Chapter VII. Of the Colours of the Six Horses in Zechariah." "Chapter VIII. Of the Horses in Job." "Chapter IX. Of Solomon's Horses, and of the Texts wherein the Writers praise the Excellence of Horses." "Chapter X. Of the Consecrated Horses of the Sun." Among the other titles of chapters are such as: Of Balaam's Ass; Of the Thousand Philistines slain by Samson with the Jawbone of an Ass; Of the Golden Calves of Aaron and Jeroboam; Of the Bleating, Milk, Wool, External and Internal Parts of Sheep mentioned in Scripture; Of Notable Things told regarding Lions in Scripture; Of Noah's Dove and of the Dove which appeared at Christ's Baptism. Mixed up in the book, with the principal mass drawn from Scripture, were many facts and reasonings taken from investigations by naturalists; but all were permeated by the theological spirit.[40] The inquiry into Nature having thus been pursued nearly two thousand years theologically, we find by the middle of the sixteenth century some promising beginnings of a different method--the method of inquiry into Nature scientifically--the method which seeks not plausibilities but facts. At that time Edward Wotton led the way in England and Conrad Gesner on the Continent, by observations widely extended, carefully noted, and thoughtfully classified. This better method of interrogating Nature soon led to the formation of societies for the same purpose. In 1560 was founded an Academy for the Study of Nature at Naples, but theologians, becoming alarmed, suppressed it, and for nearly one hundred years there was no new combined effort of that sort, until in 1645 began the meetings in London of what was afterward the Royal Society. Then came the Academy of Sciences in France, and the Accademia del Cimento in Italy; others followed in all parts of the world, and a great new movement was begun. Theologians soon saw a danger in this movement. In Italy, Prince Leopold de' Medici, a protector of the Florentine Academy, was bribed with a cardinal's hat to neglect it, and from the days of Urban VIII to Pius IX a similar spirit was there shown. In France, there were frequent ecclesiastical interferences, of which Buffon's humiliation for stating a simple scientific truth was a noted example. In England, Protestantism was at first hardly more favourable toward the Royal Society, and the great Dr. South denounced it in his sermons as irreligious. Fortunately, one thing prevented an open breach between theology and science: while new investigators had mainly given up the medieval method so dear to the Church, they had very generally retained the conception of direct creation and of design throughout creation--a design having as its main purpose the profit, instruction, enjoyment, and amusement of man. On this the naturally opposing tendencies of theology and science were compromised. Science, while somewhat freed from its old limitations, became the handmaid of theology in illustrating the doctrine of creative design, and always with apparent deference to the Chaldean and other ancient myths and legends embodied in the Hebrew sacred books. About the middle of the seventeenth century came a great victory of the scientific over the theologic method. At that time Francesco Redi published the results of his inquiries into the doctrine of spontaneous generation. For ages a widely accepted doctrine had been that water, filth, and carrion had received power from the Creator to generate worms, insects, and a multitude of the smaller animals; and this doctrine had been especially welcomed by St. Augustine and many of the fathers, since it relieved the Almighty of making, Adam of naming, and Noah of living in the ark with these innumerable despised species. But to this fallacy Redi put an end. By researches which could not be gainsaid, he showed that every one of these animals came from an egg; each, therefore, must be the lineal descendant of an animal created, named, and preserved from "the beginning." Similar work went on in England, but under more distinctly theological limitations. In the same seventeenth century a very famous and popular English book was published by the naturalist John Ray, a fellow of the Royal Society, who produced a number of works on plants, fishes, and birds; but the most widely read of all was entitled _The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of Creation_. Between the years 1691 and 1827 it passed through nearly twenty editions. Ray argued the goodness and wisdom of God from the adaptation of the animals not only to man's uses but to their own lives and surroundings. In the first years of the eighteenth century Dr. Nehemiah Grew, of the Royal Society, published his _Cosmologia Sacra_ to refute anti-scriptural opinions by producing evidences of creative design. Discussing "the ends of Providence," he says, "A crane, which is scurvy meat, lays but two eggs in the year, but a pheasant and partridge, both excellent meat, lay and hatch fifteen or twenty." He points to the fact that "those of value which lay few at a time sit the oftener, as the woodcock and the dove." He breaks decidedly from the doctrine that noxious things in Nature are caused by sin, and shows that they, too, are useful; that, "if nettles sting, it is to secure an excellent medicine for children and cattle"; that, "if the bramble hurts man, it makes all the better hedge"; and that, "if it chances to prick the owner, it tears the thief." "Weasels, kites, and other hurtful animals induce us to watchfulness; thistles and moles, to good husbandry; lice oblige us to cleanliness in our bodies, spiders in our houses, and the moth in our clothes." This very optimistic view, triumphing over the theological theory of noxious animals and plants as effects of sin, which prevailed with so much force from St. Augustine to Wesley, was developed into nobler form during the century by various thinkers, and especially by Archdeacon Paley, whose _Natural Theology_ exercised a powerful influence down to recent times. The same tendency appeared in other countries, though various philosophers showed weak points in the argument, and Goethe made sport of it in a noted verse, praising the forethought of the Creator in foreordaining the cork tree to furnish stoppers for wine-bottles. Shortly before the middle of the nineteenth century the main movement culminated in the _Bridgewater Treatises_. Pursuant to the will of the eighth Earl of Bridgewater, the President of the Royal Society selected eight persons, each to receive a thousand pounds sterling for writing and publishing a treatise on the "power, wisdom, and goodness of God, as manifested in the creation." Of these, the leading essays in regard to animated Nature were those of Thomas Chalmers, on _The Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Condition of Man_; of Sir Charles Bell, on _The Hand as evincing Design_; of Roget, on _Animal and Vegetable Physiology with reference to Natural Theology_; and of Kirby, on _The Habits and Instincts of Animals with reference to Natural Theology_. Besides these there were treatises by Whewell, Buckland, Kidd, and Prout. The work was well done. It was a marked advance on all that had appeared before, in matter, method, and spirit. Looking back upon it now we can see that it was provisional, but that it was none the less fruitful in truth, and we may well remember Darwin's remark on the stimulating effect of mistaken _theories_, as compared with the sterilizing effect of mistaken _observations_: mistaken observations lead men astray, mistaken theories suggest true theories. An effort made in so noble a spirit certainly does not deserve the ridicule that, in our own day, has sometimes been lavished upon it. Curiously, indeed, one of the most contemptuous of these criticisms has been recently made by one of the most strenuous defenders of orthodoxy. No less eminent a standard-bearer of the faith than the Rev. Prof. Zoeckler says of this movement to demonstrate creative purpose and design, and of the men who took part in it, "The earth appeared in their representation of it like a great clothing shop and soup kitchen, and God as a glorified rationalistic professor." Such a statement as this is far from just to the conceptions of such men as Butler, Paley, and Chalmers, no matter how fully the thinking world has now outlived them.[44] But, noble as the work of these men was, the foundation of fact on which they reared it became evidently more and more insecure. For as far back as the seventeenth century acute theologians had begun to discern difficulties more serious than any that had before confronted them. More and more it was seen that the number of different species was far greater than the world had hitherto imagined. Greater and greater had become the old difficulty in conceiving that, of these innumerable species, each had been specially created by the Almighty hand; that each had been brought before Adam by the Almighty to be named; and that each, in couples or in sevens, had been gathered by Noah into the ark. But the difficulties thus suggested were as nothing compared to those raised by the _distribution_ of animals. Even in the first days of the Church this had aroused serious thought, and above all in the great mind of St. Augustine. In his _City of God_ he had stated the difficulty as follows: "But there is a question about all these kinds of beasts, which are neither tamed by man, nor spring from the earth like frogs, such as wolves and others of that sort,... as to how they could find their way to the islands after that flood which destroyed every living thing not preserved in the ark.... Some, indeed, might be thought to reach islands by swimming, in case these were very near; but some islands are so remote from continental lands that it does not seem possible that any creature could reach them by swimming. It is not an incredible thing, either, that some animals may have been captured by men and taken with them to those lands which they intended to inhabit, in order that they might have the pleasure of hunting; and it can not be denied that the transfer may have been accomplished through the agency of angels, commanded or allowed to perform this labour by God." But this difficulty had now assumed a magnitude of which St. Augustine never dreamed. Most powerful of all agencies to increase it were the voyages of Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, and other navigators of the period of discovery. Still more serious did it become as the great islands of the southern seas were explored. Every navigator brought home tidings of new species of animals and of races of men living in parts of the world where the theologians, relying on the statement of St. Paul that the gospel had gone into all lands, had for ages declared there could be none; until finally it overtaxed even the theological imagination to conceive of angels, in obedience to the divine command, distributing the various animals over the earth, dropping the megatherium in South America, the archeopteryx in Europe, the ornithorhynchus in Australia, and the opossum in North America. The first striking evidence of this new difficulty was shown by the eminent Jesuit missionary, Joseph Acosta. In his _Natural and Moral History of the Indies_, published in 1590, he proved himself honest and lucid. Though entangled in most of the older scriptural views, he broke away from many; but the distribution of animals gave him great trouble. Having shown the futility of St. Augustine's other explanations, he quaintly asks: "Who can imagine that in so long a voyage men woulde take the paines to carrie Foxes to Peru, especially that kinde they call `Acias,' which is the filthiest I have seene? Who woulde likewise say that they have carried Tygers and Lyons? Truly it were a thing worthy the laughing at to thinke so. It was sufficient, yea, very much, for men driven against their willes by tempest, in so long and unknowne a voyage, to escape with their owne lives, without busying themselves to carrie Woolves and Foxes, and to nourish them at sea." It was under the impression made by this new array of facts that in 1667 Abraham Milius published at Geneva his book on _The Origin of Animals and the Migration of Peoples_. This book shows, like that of Acosta, the shock and strain to which the discovery of America subjected the received theological scheme of things. It was issued with the special approbation of the Bishop of Salzburg, and it indicates the possibility that a solution of the whole trouble may be found in the text, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind." Milius goes on to show that the ancient philosophers agree with Moses, and that "the earth and the waters, and especially the heat of the sun and of the genial sky, together with that slimy and putrid quality which seems to be inherent in the soil, may furnish the origin for fishes, terrestrial animals, and birds." On the other hand, he is very severe against those who imagine that man can have had the same origin with animals. But the subject with which Milius especially grapples is the _distribution_ of animals. He is greatly exercised by the many species found in America and in remote islands of the ocean--species entirely unknown in the other continents--and of course he is especially troubled by the fact that these species existing in those exceedingly remote parts of the earth do not exist in the neighbourhood of Mount Ararat. He confesses that to explain the distribution of animals is the most difficult part of the problem. If it be urged that birds could reach America by flying and fishes by swimming, he asks, "What of the beasts which neither fly nor swim?" Yet even as to the birds he asks, "Is there not an infinite variety of winged creatures who fly so slowly and heavily, and have such a horror of the water, that they would not even dare trust themselves to fly over a wide river?" As to fishes, he says, "They are very averse to wandering from their native waters," and he shows that there are now reported many species of American and East Indian fishes entirely unknown on the other continents, whose presence, therefore, can not be explained by any theory of natural dispersion. Of those who suggest that land animals may have been dispersed over the earth by the direct agency of man for his use or pleasure he asks: "Who would like to get different sorts of lions, bears, tigers, and other ferocious and noxious creatures on board ship? who would trust himself with them? and who would wish to plant colonies of such creatures in new, desirable lands?" His conclusion is that plants and animals take their origin in the lands wherein they are found; an opinion which he supports by quoting from the two narrations in Genesis passages which imply generative force in earth and water. But in the eighteenth century matters had become even worse for the theological view. To meet the difficulty the eminent Benedictine, Dom Calmet, in his _Commentary_, expressed the belief that all the species of a genus had; originally formed one species, and he dwelt on this view as one which enabled him to explain the possibility of gathering all animals into the ark. This idea, dangerous as it was to the fabric of orthodoxy, and involving a profound separation from the general doctrine of the Church, seems to have been abroad among thinking men, for we find in the latter half of the same century even Linnaeus inclining to consider it. It was time, indeed, that some new theological theory be evolved; the great Linnaeus himself, in spite of his famous declaration favouring the fixity of species, had dealt a death-blow to the old theory. In his _Systema Naturae_, published in the middle of the eighteenth century, he had enumerated four thousand species of animals, and the difficulties involved in the naming of each of them by Adam and in bringing them together in the ark appeared to all thinking men more and more insurmountable. What was more embarrassing, the number of distinct species went on increasing rapidly, indeed enormously, until, as an eminent zoological authority of our own time has declared, "for every one of the species enumerated by Linnaeus, more than fifty kinds are known to the naturalist of to-day, and the number of species still unknown doubtless far exceeds the list of those recorded." Already there were premonitions of the strain made upon Scripture by requiring a hundred and sixty distinct miraculous interventions of the Creator to produce the hundred and sixty species of land shells found in the little island of Madeira alone, and fourteen hundred distinct interventions to produce the actual number of distinct species of a single well-known shell. Ever more and more difficult, too, became the question of the geographical distribution of animals. As new explorations were made in various parts of the world, this danger to the theological view went on increasing. The sloths in South America suggested painful questions: How could animals so sluggish have got away from the neighbourhood of Mount Ararat so completely and have travelled so far? The explorations in Australia and neighbouring islands made matters still worse, for there was found in those regions a whole realm of animals differing widely from those of other parts of the earth. The problem before the strict theologians became, for example, how to explain the fact that the kangaroo can have been in the ark and be now only found in Australia: his saltatory powers are indeed great, but how could he by any series of leaps have sprung across the intervening mountains, plains, and oceans to that remote continent? and, if the theory were adopted that at some period a causeway extended across the vast chasm separating Australia from the nearest mainland, why did not lions, tigers, camels, and camelopards force or find their way across it? The theological theory, therefore, had by the end of the eighteenth century gone to pieces. The wiser theologians waited; the unwise indulged in exhortations to "root out the wicked heart of unbelief," in denunciation of "science falsely so called," and in frantic declarations that "the Bible is true"--by which they meant that the limited understanding of it which they had happened to inherit is true. By the middle of the nineteenth century the whole theological theory of creation--though still preached everywhere as a matter of form--was clearly seen by all thinking men to be hopelessly lost: such strong men as Cardinal Wiseman in the Roman Church, Dean Buckland in the Anglican, and Hugh Miller in the Scottish Church, made heroic efforts to save something from it, but all to no purpose. That sturdy Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon honesty, which is the best legacy of the Middle Ages to Christendom, asserted itself in the old strongholds of theological thought, the universities. Neither the powerful logic of Bishop Butler nor the nimble reasoning of Archdeacon Paley availed. Just as the line of astronomical thinkers from Copernicus to Newton had destroyed the old astronomy, in which the earth was the centre, and the Almighty sitting above the firmament the agent in moving the heavenly bodies about it with his own hands, so now a race of biological thinkers had destroyed the old idea of a Creator minutely contriving and fashioning all animals to suit the needs and purposes of man. They had developed a system of a very different sort, and this we shall next consider.[49] III. THEOLOGICAL AND SCIENTIFIC THEORIES, OF AN EVOLUTION IN ANIMATED NATURE. WE have seen, thus far, how there came into the thinking of mankind upon the visible universe and its inhabitants the idea of a creation virtually instantaneous and complete, and of a Creator in human form with human attributes, who spoke matter into existence literally by the exercise of his throat and lips, or shaped and placed it with his hands and fingers. We have seen that this view came from far; that it existed in the Chaldaeo-Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations, and probably in others of the earliest date known to us; that its main features passed thence into the sacred books of the Hebrews and then into the early Christian Church, by whose theologians it was developed through the Middle Ages and maintained during the modern period. But, while this idea was thus developed by a succession of noble and thoughtful men through thousands of years, another conception, to all appearance equally ancient, was developed, sometimes in antagonism to it, sometimes mingled with it--the conception of all living beings as wholly or in part the result of a growth process--of an evolution. This idea, in various forms, became a powerful factor in nearly all the greater ancient theologies and philosophies. For very widespread among the early peoples who attained to much thinking power was a conception that, in obedience to the divine fiat, a watery chaos produced the earth, and that the sea and land gave birth to their inhabitants. This is clearly seen in those records of Chaldaeo-Babylonian thought deciphered in these latter years, to which reference has already been made. In these we have a watery chaos which, under divine action, brings forth the earth and its inhabitants; first the sea animals and then the land animals--the latter being separated into three kinds, substantially as recorded afterward in the Hebrew accounts. At the various stages in the work the Chaldean Creator pronounces it "beautiful," just as the Hebrew Creator in our own later account pronounces it "good." In both accounts there is placed over the whole creation a solid, concave firmament; in both, light is created first, and the heavenly bodies are afterward placed "for signs and for seasons"; in both, the number seven is especially sacred, giving rise to a sacred division of time and to much else. It may be added that, with many other features in the Hebrew legends evidently drawn from the Chaldean, the account of the creation in each is followed by a legend regarding "the fall of man" and a deluge, many details of which clearly passed in slightly modified form from the Chaldean into the Hebrew accounts. It would have been a miracle indeed if these primitive conceptions, wrought out with so much poetic vigour in that earlier civilization on the Tigris and Euphrates, had failed to influence the Hebrews, who during the most plastic periods of their development were under the tutelage of their Chaldean neighbours. Since the researches of Layard, George Smith, Oppert, Schrader, Jensen, Sayce, and their compeers, there is no longer a reasonable doubt that this ancient view of the world, elaborated if not originated in that earlier civilization, came thence as a legacy to the Hebrews, who wrought it in a somewhat disjointed but mainly monotheistic form into the poetic whole which forms one of the most precious treasures of ancient thought preserved in the book of Genesis. Thus it was that, while the idea of a simple material creation literally by the hands and fingers or voice of the Creator became, as we have seen, the starting-point of a powerful stream of theological thought, and while this stream was swollen from age to age by contributions from the fathers, doctors, and learned divines of the Church, Catholic and Protestant, there was poured into it this lesser current, always discernible and at times clearly separated from it--a current of belief in a process of evolution. The Rev. Prof. Sayce, of Oxford, than whom no English-speaking scholar carries more weight in a matter of this kind, has recently declared his belief that the Chaldaeo-Babylonian theory was the undoubted source of the similar theory propounded by the Ionic philosopher Anaximander--the Greek thinkers deriving this view from the Babylonians through the Phoenicians; he also allows that from the same source its main features were adopted into both the accounts given in the first of our sacred books, and in this general view the most eminent Christian Assyriologists concur. It is true that these sacred accounts of ours contradict each other. In that part of the first or Elohistic account given in the first chapter of Genesis the _waters_ bring forth fishes, marine animals, and birds (Genesis, i, 20); but in that part of the second or Jehovistic account given in the second chapter of Genesis both the land animals and birds are declared to have been created not out of the water, but "_out of the ground_" (Genesis, ii, 19). The dialectic skill of the fathers was easily equal to explaining away this contradiction; but the old current of thought, strengthened by both these legends, arrested their attention, and, passing through the minds of a succession of the greatest men of the Church, influenced theological opinion deeply, if not widely, for ages, in favour of an evolution theory. But there was still another ancient source of evolution ideas. Thoughtful men of the early civilizations which were developed along the great rivers in the warmer regions of the earth noted how the sun-god as he rose in his fullest might caused the water and the rich soil to teem with the lesser forms of life. In Egypt, especially, men saw how under this divine power the Nile slime brought forth "creeping things innumerable." Hence mainly this ancient belief that the animals and man were produced by lifeless matter at the divine command, "in the beginning," was supplemented by the idea that some of the lesser animals, especially the insects, were produced by a later evolution, being evoked after the original creation from various sources, but chiefly from matter in a state of decay. This crude, early view aided doubtless in giving germs of a better evolution theory to the early Greeks. Anaximander, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and, greatest of all, Aristotle, as we have seen, developed them, making their way at times by guesses toward truths since established by observation. Aristotle especially, both by speculation and observation, arrived at some results which, had Greek freedom of thought continued, might have brought the world long since to its present plane of biological knowledge; for he reached something like the modern idea of a succession of higher organizations from lower, and made the fruitful suggestion of "a perfecting principle" in Nature. With the coming in of Christian theology this tendency toward a yet truer theory of evolution was mainly stopped, but the old crude view remained, and as a typical example of it we may note the opinion of St. Basil the Great in the fourth century. Discussing the work of creation, he declares that, at the command of God, "the waters were gifted with productive power"; "from slime and muddy places frogs, flies, and gnats came into being"; and he finally declares that the same voice which gave this energy and quality of productiveness to earth and water shall be similarly efficacious until the end of the world. St. Gregory of Nyssa held a similar view. This idea of these great fathers of the Eastern Church took even stronger hold on the great father of the Western Church. For St. Augustine, so fettered usually by the letter of the sacred text, broke from his own famous doctrine as to the acceptance of Scripture and spurned the generally received belief of a creative process like that by which a toymaker brings into existence a box of playthings. In his great treatise on _Genesis_ he says: "To suppose that God formed man from the dust with bodily hands is very childish.... God neither formed man with bodily hands nor did he breathe upon him with throat and lips." St. Augustine then suggests the adoption of the old emanation or evolution theory, shows that "certain very small animals may not have been created on the fifth and sixth days, but may have originated later from putrefying matter." argues that, even if this be so, God is still their creator, dwells upon such a potential creation as involved in the actual creation, and speaks of animals "whose numbers the after-time unfolded." In his great treatise on the _Trinity_--the work to which he devoted the best thirty years of his life--we find the full growth of this opinion. He develops at length the view that in the creation of living beings there was something like a growth--that God is the ultimate author, but works through secondary causes; and finally argues that certain substances are endowed by God with the power of producing certain classes of plants and animals.[53] This idea of a development by secondary causes apart from the original creation was helped in its growth by a theological exigency. More and more, as the organic world was observed, the vast multitude of petty animals, winged creatures, and "creeping things" was felt to be a strain upon the sacred narrative. More and more it became difficult to reconcile the dignity of the Almighty with his work in bringing each of these creatures before Adam to be named; or to reconcile the human limitations of Adam with his work in naming "every living creature"; or to reconcile the dimensions of Noah's ark with the space required for preserving all of them, and the food of all sorts necessary for their sustenance, whether they were admitted by twos, as stated in one scriptural account, or by sevens, as stated in the other. The inadequate size of the ark gave especial trouble. Origen had dealt with it by suggesting that the cubit was Six times greater than had been supposed. Bede explained Noah's ability to complete so large a vessel by supposing that he worked upon it during a hundred years; and, as to the provision of food taken into it, he declared that there was no need of a supply for more than one day, since God could throw the animals into a deep sleep or otherwise miraculously make one day's supply sufficient; he also lessened the strain on faith still more by diminishing the number of animals taken into the ark--supporting his view upon Augustine's theory of the later development of insects out of carrion. Doubtless this theological necessity was among the main reasons which led St. Isidore of Seville, in the seventh century, to incorporate this theory, supported by St. Basil and St. Augustine, into his great encyclopedic work which gave materials for thought on God and Nature to so many generations. He familiarized the theological world still further with the doctrine of secondary creation, giving such examples of it as that "bees are generated from decomposed veal, beetles from horseflesh, grasshoppers from mules, scorpions from crabs," and, in order to give still stronger force to the idea of such transformations, he dwells on the biblical account of Nebuchadnezzar, which appears to have taken strong hold upon medieval thought in science, and he declares that other human beings had been changed into animals, especially into swine, wolves, and owls. This doctrine of after-creations went on gathering strength until, in the twelfth century, Peter Lombard, in his theological summary, _The Sentences_, so powerful in moulding the thought of the Church, emphasized the distinction between animals which spring from carrion and those which are created from earth and water; the former he holds to have been created "potentially" the latter "actually." In the century following, this idea was taken up by St. Thomas Aquinas and virtually received from him its final form. In the _Summa_, which remains the greatest work of medieval thought, he accepts the idea that certain animals spring from the decaying bodies of plants and animals, and declares that they are produced by the creative word of God either actually or virtually. He develops this view by saying, "Nothing was made by God, after the six days of creation, absolutely new, but it was in some sense included in the work of the six days"; and that "even new species, if any appear, have existed before in certain native properties, just as animals are produced from putrefaction." The distinction thus developed between creation "causally" or "potentially," and "materially" or "formally," was made much of by commentators afterward. Cornelius a Lapide spread it by saying that certain animals were created not "absolutely," but only "derivatively," and this thought was still further developed three centuries later by Augustinus Eugubinus, who tells us that, after the first creative energy had called forth land and water, light was made by the Almighty, the instrument of all future creation, and that the light called everything into existence. All this "science falsely so called," so sedulously developed by the master minds of the Church, and yet so futile that we might almost suppose that the great apostle, in a glow of prophetic vision, had foreseen it in his famous condemnation, seems at this distance very harmless indeed; yet, to many guardians of the "sacred deposit of doctrine " in the Church, even so slight a departure from the main current of thought seemed dangerous. It appeared to them like pressing the doctrine of secondary causes to a perilous extent; and about the beginning of the seventeenth century we have the eminent Spanish Jesuit and theologian Suarez denouncing it, and declaring St. Augustine a heretic for his share in it. But there was little danger to the older idea just then; the main theological tendency was so strong that the world kept on as of old. Biblical theology continued to spin its own webs out of its own bowels, and all the lesser theological flies continued to be entangled in them; yet here and there stronger thinkers broke loose from this entanglement and helped somewhat to disentangle others.[56] At the close of the Middle Ages, in spite of the devotion of the Reformed Church to the letter of Scripture, the revival of learning and the great voyages gave an atmosphere in which better thinking on the problems of Nature began to gain strength. On all sides, in every field, men were making discoveries which caused the general theological view to appear more and more inadequate. First of those who should be mentioned with reverence as beginning to develop again that current of Greek thought which the system drawn from our sacred books by the fathers and doctors of the Church had interrupted for more than a thousand years, was Giordano Bruno. His utterances were indeed vague and enigmatical, but this fault may well be forgiven him, for he saw but too clearly what must be his reward for any more open statements. His reward indeed came--even for his faulty utterances--when, toward the end of the nineteenth century, thoughtful men from all parts of the world united in erecting his statue on the spot where he had been burned by the Roman Inquisition nearly three hundred years before. After Bruno's death, during the first half of the seventeenth century, Descartes seemed about to take the leadership of human thought: his theories, however superseded now, gave a great impulse to investigation then. His genius in promoting an evolution doctrine as regards the mechanical formation of the solar system was great, and his mode of thought strengthened the current of evolutionary doctrine generally; but his constant dread of persecution, both from Catholics and Protestants, led him steadily to veil his thoughts and even to suppress them. The execution of Bruno had occurred in his childhood, and in the midst of his Career he had watched the Galileo struggle in all its stages. He had seen his own works condemned by university after university under the direction of theologians, and placed upon the Roman _Index_. Although he gave new and striking arguments to prove the existence of God, and humbled himself before the Jesuits, he was condemned by Catholics and Protestants alike. Since Roger Bacon, perhaps, no great thinker had been so completely abased and thwarted by theological oppression. Near the close of the same century another great thinker, Leibnitz, though not propounding any full doctrine on evolution, gave it an impulse by suggesting a view contrary to the sacrosanct belief in the immutability of species--that is, to the pious doctrine that every species in the animal kingdom now exists as it left the hands of the Creator, the naming process by Adam, and the door of Noah's ark. His punishment at the hands of the Church came a few years later, when, in 1712, the Jesuits defeated his attempt to found an Academy of Science at Vienna. The imperial authorities covered him with honours, but the priests--ruling in the confessionals and pulpits--would not allow him the privilege of aiding his fellow-men to ascertain God's truths revealed in Nature. Spinoza, Hume, and Kant may also be mentioned as among those whose thinking, even when mistaken, might have done much to aid in the development of a truer theory had not the theologic atmosphere of their times been so unpropitious; but a few years after Leibnitz's death came in France a thinker in natural science of much less influence than any of these, who made a decided step forward. Early in the eighteenth century Benoist de Maillet, a man of the world, but a wide observer and close thinker upon Nature, began meditating especially upon the origin of animal forms, and was led into the idea of the transformation of species and so into a theory of evolution, which in some important respects anticipated modern ideas. He definitely, though at times absurdly, conceived the production of existing species by the modification of their predecessors, and he plainly accepted one of the fundamental maxims of modern geology--that the structure of the globe must be studied in the light of the present course of Nature. But he fell between two ranks of adversaries. On one side, the Church authorities denounced him as a freethinker; on the other, Voltaire ridiculed him as a devotee. Feeling that his greatest danger was from the orthodox theologians, De Maillet endeavoured to protect himself by disguising his name in the title of his book, and by so wording its preface and dedication that, if persecuted, he could declare it a mere sport of fancy; he therefore announced it as the reverie of a Hindu sage imparted to a Christian missionary. But this strategy availed nothing: he had allowed his Hindu sage to suggest that the days of creation named in Genesis might be long periods of time; and this, with other ideas of equally fearful import, was fatal. Though the book was in type in 1735, it was not published till 1748--three years after his death. On the other hand, the heterodox theology of Voltaire was also aroused; and, as De Maillet had seen in the presence of fossils on high mountains a proof that these mountains were once below the sea, Voltaire, recognising in this an argument for the deluge of Noah, ridiculed the new thinker without mercy. Unfortunately, some of De Maillet's vagaries lent themselves admirably to Voltaire's sarcasm; better material for it could hardly be conceived than the theory, seriously proposed, that the first human being was born of a mermaid. Hence it was that, between these two extremes of theology, De Maillet received no recognition until, very recently, the greatest men of science in England and France have united in giving him his due. But his work was not lost, even in his own day; Robinet and Bonnet pushed forward victoriously on helpful lines. In the second half of the eighteenth century a great barrier was thrown across this current--the authority of Linnaeus. He was the most eminent naturalist of his time, a wide observer, a close thinker; but the atmosphere in which he lived and moved and had his being was saturated with biblical theology, and this permeated all his thinking. He who visits the tomb of Linnaeus to-day, entering the beautiful cathedral of Upsala by its southern porch, sees above it, wrought in stone, the Hebrew legend of creation. In a series of medallions, the Almighty--in human form--accomplishes the work of each creative day. In due order he puts in place the solid firmament with the waters above it, the sun, moon, and stars within it, the beasts, birds, and plants below it, and finishes his task by taking man out of a little hillock of "the earth beneath," and woman out of man's side. Doubtless Linnaeus, as he went to his devotions, often smiled at this childlike portrayal. Yet he was never able to break away from the idea it embodied. At times, in face of the difficulties which beset the orthodox theory, he ventured to favour some slight concessions. Toward the end of his life he timidly advanced the hypothesis that all the species of one genus constituted at the creation one species; and from the last edition of his _Systema Naturae_ he quietly left out the strongly orthodox statement of the fixity of each species, which he had insisted upon in his earlier works. But he made no adequate declaration. What he might expect if he openly and decidedly sanctioned a newer view he learned to his cost; warnings came speedily both from the Catholic and Protestant sides. At a time when eminent prelates of the older Church were eulogizing debauched princes like Louis XV, and using the unspeakably obscene casuistry of the Jesuit Sanchez in the education of the priesthood as to the relations of men to women, the modesty of the Church authorities was so shocked by Linnaeus's proofs of a sexual system in plants that for many years his writings were prohibited in the Papal States and in various other parts of Europe where clerical authority was strong enough to resist the new scientific current. Not until 1773 did one of the more broad-minded cardinals --Zelanda--succeed in gaining permission that Prof. Minasi should discuss the Linnaean system at Rome. And Protestantism was quite as oppressive. In a letter to Eloius, Linnaeus tells of the rebuke given to science by one of the great Lutheran prelates of Sweden, Bishop Svedberg. From various parts of Europe detailed statements had been sent to the Royal Academy of Science that water had been turned into blood, and well-meaning ecclesiastics had seen in this an indication of the wrath of God, certainly against the regions in which these miracles had occurred and possibly against the whole world. A miracle of this sort appearing in Sweden, Linnaeus looked into it carefully and found that the reddening of the water was caused by dense masses of minute insects. News of this explanation having reached the bishop, he took the field against it; he denounced this scientific discovery as "a Satanic abyss" (_abyssum Satanae_), and declared "The reddening of the water is _not_ natural," and "when God allows such a miracle to take place Satan endeavours, and so do his ungodly, self-reliant, self-sufficient, and worldly tools, to make it signify nothing." In face of this onslaught Linnaeus retreated; he tells his correspondent that "it is difficult to say anything in this matter," and shields himself under the statement "It is certainly a miracle that so many millions of creatures can be so suddenly propagated," and "it shows undoubtedly the all-wise power of the Infinite." The great naturalist, grown old and worn with labours for science, could no longer resist the contemporary theology; he settled into obedience to it, and while the modification of his early orthodox view was, as we have seen, quietly imbedded in the final edition of his great work, he made no special effort to impress it upon the world. To all appearance he continued to adhere to the doctrine that all existing species had been created by the Almighty "in the beginning," and that since "the beginning" no new species had appeared. Yet even his great authority could not arrest the swelling tide; more and more vast became the number of species, more and more incomprehensible under the old theory became the newly ascertained facts in geographical distribution, more and more it was felt that the universe and animated beings had come into existence by some process other than a special creation "in the beginning," and the question was constantly pressing, "By _what_ process?" Throughout the whole of the eighteenth century one man was at work on natural history who might have contributed much toward an answer to this question: this man was Buffon. His powers of research and thought were remarkable, and his gift in presenting results of research and thought showed genius. He had caught the idea of an evolution in Nature by the variation of species, and was likely to make a great advance with it; but he, too, was made to feel the power of theology. As long as he gave pleasing descriptions of animals the Church petted him, but when he began to deduce truths of philosophical import the batteries of the Sorbonne were opened upon him; he was made to know that "the sacred deposit of truth committed to the Church" was, that "in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth" and that "all things were made at the beginning of the world." For his simple statement of truths in natural science which are to-day truisms, he was, as we have seen, dragged forth by the theological faculty, forced to recant publicly, and to print his recantation. In this he announced, "I abandon everything in my book respecting the formation of the earth, and generally all which may be contrary to the narrative of Moses."[62] But all this triumph of the Chaldeo-Babylonian creation legends which the Church had inherited availed but little. For about the end of the eighteenth century fruitful suggestions and even clear presentations of this or that part of a large evolutionary doctrine came thick and fast, and from the most divergent quarters. Especially remarkable were those which came from Erasmus Darwin in England, from Maupertuis in France, from Oken in Switzerland, and from Herder, and, most brilliantly of all, from Goethe in Germany. Two men among these thinkers must be especially mentioned--Treviranus in Germany and Lamarck in France; each independently of the other drew the world more completely than ever before in this direction. From Treviranus came, in 1802, his work on biology, and in this he gave forth the idea that from forms of life originally simple had arisen all higher organizations by gradual development; that every living feature has a capacity for receiving modifications of its structure from external influences; and that no species had become really extinct, but that each had passed into some other species. From Lamarck came about the same time his _Researches_, and a little later his _Zoological Philosophy_, which introduced a new factor into the process of evolution--the action of the animal itself in its efforts toward a development to suit new needs--and he gave as his principal conclusions the following: 1. Life tends to increase the volume of each living body and of all its parts up to a limit determined by its own necessities. 2. New wants in animals give rise to new organs. 3. The development of these organs is in proportion to their employment. 4. New developments may be transmitted to offspring. His well-known examples to illustrate these views, such as that of successive generations of giraffes lengthening their necks by stretching them to gather high-growing foliage, and of successive generations of kangaroos lengthening and strengthening their hind legs by the necessity of keeping themselves erect while jumping, provoked laughter, but the very comicality of these illustrations aided to fasten his main conclusion in men's memories. In both these statements, imperfect as they were, great truths were embodied--truths which were sure to grow. Lamarck's declaration, especially, that the development of organs is in ratio to their employment, and his indications of the reproduction in progeny of what is gained or lost in parents by the influence of circumstances, entered as a most effective force into the development of the evolution theory. The next great successor in the apostolate of this idea of the universe was Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. As early as 1795 he had begun to form a theory that species are various modifications of the same type, and this theory he developed, testing it at various stages as Nature was more and more displayed to him. It fell to his lot to bear the brunt in a struggle against heavy odds which lasted many years. For the man who now took up the warfare, avowedly for science but unconsciously for theology, was the foremost naturalist then living--Cuvier. His scientific eminence was deserved; the highest honours of his own and other countries were given him, and he bore them worthily. An Imperial Councillor under Napoleon; President of the Council of Public Instruction and Chancellor of the University under the restored Bourbons; Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, a Peer of France, Minister of the Interior, and President of the Council of State under Louis Philippe; he was eminent in all these capacities, and yet the dignity given by such high administrative positions was as nothing compared to his leadership in natural science. Science throughout the world acknowledged in him its chief contemporary ornament, and to this hour his fame rightly continues. But there was in him, as in Linnaeus, a survival of certain theological ways of looking at the universe and certain theological conceptions of a plan of creation; it must be said, too, that while his temperament made him distrust new hypotheses, of which he had seen so many born and die, his environment as a great functionary of state, honoured, admired, almost adored by the greatest, not only in the state but in the Church, his solicitude lest science should receive some detriment by openly resisting the Church, which had recaptured Europe after the French Revolution, and had made of its enemies its footstool--all these considerations led him to oppose the new theory. Amid the plaudits, then, of the foremost church-men he threw across the path of the evolution doctrines the whole mass of his authority in favour of the old theory of catastrophic changes and special creations. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire stoutly withstood him, braving non-recognition, ill-treatment, and ridicule. Treviranus, afar off in his mathematical lecture-room at Bremen, seemed simply forgotten. But the current of evolutionary thought could not thus be checked: dammed up for a time, it broke out in new channels and in ways and places least expected; turned away from France, it appeared especially in England, where great paleontologists and geologists arose whose work culminated in that of Lyell. Specialists throughout all the world now became more vigorous than ever, gathering facts and thinking upon them in a way which caused the special creation theory to shrink more and more. Broader and more full became these various rivulets, soon to unite in one great stream of thought. In 1813 Dr. Wells developed a theory of evolution by natural selection to account for varieties in the human race. About 182O Dean Herbert, eminent as an authority in horticulture, avowed his conviction that species are but fixed varieties. In 1831 Patrick Matthews stumbled upon and stated the main doctrine of natural selection in evolution; and others here and there, in Europe and America, caught an inkling of it. But no one outside of a circle apparently uninfluential cared for these things: the Church was serene: on the Continent it had obtained reactionary control of courts, cabinets, and universities; in England, Dean Cockburn was denouncing Mary Somerville and the geologists to the delight of churchmen; and the Rev. Mellor Brown was doing the same thing for the edification of dissenters. In America the mild suggestions of Silliman and his compeers were met by the protestations of the Andover theologians headed by Moses Stuart. Neither of the great English universities, as a rule, took any notice of the innovators save by sneers. To this current of thought there was joined a new element when, in 1844, Robert Chambers published his _Vestiges of Creation_. The book was attractive and was widely read. In Chambers's view the several series of animated beings, from the simplest and oldest up to the highest and most recent, were the result of two distinct impulses, each given once and for all time by the Creator. The first of these was an impulse imparted to forms of life, lifting them gradually through higher grades; the second was an impulse tending to modify organic substances in accordance with external circumstances; in fact, the doctrine of the book was evolution tempered by miracle--a stretching out of the creative act through all time--a pious version of Lamarck. Two results followed, one mirth-provoking, the other leading to serious thought. The amusing result was that the theologians were greatly alarmed by the book: it was loudly insisted that it promoted atheism. Looking back along the line of thought which has since been developed, one feels that the older theologians ought to have put up thanksgivings for Chambers's theory, and prayers that it might prove true. The more serious result was that it accustomed men's minds to a belief in evolution as in some form possible or even probable. In this way it was provisionally of service. Eight years later Herbert Spencer published an essay contrasting the theories of creation and evolution--reasoning with great force in favour of the latter, showing that species had undoubtedly been modified by circumstances; but still only few and chosen men saw the significance of all these lines of reasoning which had been converging during so many years toward one conclusion. On July 1, 1858, there were read before the Linnaean Society at London two papers--one presented by Charles Darwin, the other by Alfred Russel Wallace--and with the reading of these papers the doctrine of evolution by natural selection was born. Then and there a fatal breach was made in the great theological barrier of the continued fixity of species since the creation. The story of these papers the scientific world knows by heart: how Charles Darwin, having been sent to the University of Cambridge to fit him for the Anglican priesthood, left it in 1831 to go upon the scientific expedition of the Beagle; how for five years he studied with wonderful vigour and acuteness the problems of life as revealed on land and at sea--among volcanoes and coral reefs, in forests and on the sands, from the tropics to the arctic regions; how, in the Cape Verde and the Galapagos Islands, and in Brazil, Patagonia, and Australia he interrogated Nature with matchless persistency and skill; how he returned unheralded, quietly settled down to his work, and soon set the world thinking over its first published results, such as his book on _Coral Reefs,_ and the monograph on the _Cirripedia_; and, finally, how he presented his paper, and followed it up with treatises which made him one of the great leaders in the history of human thought. The scientific world realizes, too, more and more, the power of character shown by Darwin in all this great career; the faculty of silence, the reserve of strength seen in keeping his great thought--his idea of evolution by natural selection--under silent study and meditation for nearly twenty years, giving no hint of it to the world at large, but working in every field to secure proofs or disproofs, and accumulating masses of precious material for the solution of the questions involved. To one man only did he reveal his thought--to Dr. Joseph Hooker, to whom in 1844, under the seal of secrecy, he gave a summary of his conclusions. Not until fourteen years later occurred the event which showed him that the fulness of time had come--the letter from Alfred Russel Wallace, to whom, in brilliant researches during the decade from 1848 to 1858, in Brazil and in the Malay Archipelago, the same truth of evolution by natural selection had been revealed. Among the proofs that scientific study does no injury to the more delicate shades of sentiment is the well-known story of this letter. With it Wallace sent Darwin a memoir, asking him to present it to the Linnaean Society: on examining it, Darwin found that Wallace had independently arrived at conclusions similar to his own--possibly had deprived him of fame; but Darwin was loyal to his friend, and his friend remained ever loyal to him. He publicly presented the paper from Wallace, with his own conclusions; and the date of this presentation--July 1, 1858--separates two epochs in the history, not merely of natural science, but of human thought. In the following year, 1859, came the first instalment of his work in its fuller development--his book on _The Origin of Species_. In this book one at least of the main secrets at the heart of the evolutionary process, which had baffled the long line of investigators and philosophers from the days of Aristotle, was more broadly revealed. The effective mechanism of evolution was shown at


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