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How Much Of The Doctrine Of Evolution Beecher Believes

How Much Of The Doctrine Of Evolution Beecher Believes image
Parent Issue
Day
1
Month
June
Year
1883
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

"Many men, who believe inchurches, say that it is a matter of grave doubt whether all natural phenomeni cannot bc accounted for by secondary causes. They read the works of Darwin, Spen eer, Huxley, Tyudall and others. These writers have a clear style, and thcir utterances are frank and manly, not in the littlo sugared cooky style of religious discussion. I admire these wnters. I have read theni for years and years. Forty years ago I was inoculated with the doctrine of evolution. I found it in the Bible, and after scientific men accepted it I gladly accepted it. I hold it to-day more, strongly than ever. I believe it will give Christianity more power than it has ever had. and more volume. But I do not accept all the grand principies of writers on evolution. The age ia much indebted to Herbert Spencer for his study and presentation of the wbolc history of creation. On certain deep and subtlo principies I differ with Mm, and not more in anything than in regard to agnosticism, I ' do think God is knowable, with proper limitaüons. If things in this world are ovolved f rom f oregoing elemente, where did the forcé come from ? Or the elementa themselves? If a type can be tiaced back to the lowest form, where did that first form come from? Did natural law produce itself ? Is nothing more powerful than somethino-? "It is not th same to ask wliere God ?ame from. All material phenomena iiave causes, but in the región above matter the law is not the same. The w of cause aud effect is in our cogni:ion, and we must think that a creativo !orce caused material things to be aa hey are. Mueh difficulty "has arisen :rom the overpositiveness of theology. [te teachers qverleap the bonds of the Scriptures. They have been supremely egotistical in their knowledge. Theology is voyaging from the iceuerg of the north to the. warmer waters of thesouth. The sacred Scriptures are modest as comparecí to theology. They present God ns unknown and unknowable. No man can bound God. Such knowledge s not possible to him. The scope and rrandeur of God cannot be grasped by the limited faculties of man. The animal devrlopment is iirst bodily and hen cerebral. The eyo of an eagle is far boyond tho eye of "tho man, but his mind is far lower. Tho lion is far stronger than man but does not know as much. But man as an animal Í3 first developed. In brain development there are both inferior and superior developments. The lower animáis can only be trained in a very narrow limit. The dog cannot be tanght anything about )OTrder or tho bird just 'shot. A horso s sagacious, but ask hitu what he would do in a time of dynamite revoluion and he would say, 'neigh,1 and cantor offto the wilderness. "There is an impassable gulf between he lower animáis' and man. In the luman family there are grades, and the ; menor in man or other animáis cannot undorstand the superior. It is the samo as to man and the power above him. He cannot understand. If we are told God is infinite wc can onlv know that he is, but we cannot know what infinite is. Some men we find with the power of knowing and seoing thirtgs f ar beyond ordinary power. This power gives just a faint and remoto conception of üod's power. All tbe powers of men must be with a far wider scope in God Himself, with wonderful i -adiancy of taste, love and grace. It gives such a magniUidinous idea of God that no man can grasp it as cognizable. In any large sense God is unknowable. No man can sai! round Him. It is not to be expected that men should know Him as they know each other. All of the problems of the mind cannot be wrought down to the tests of tho senses. By obedience to God, He mar become personally known as far as oui faculties admit. We are going toward the full and perfect knowledge, in the light, glory, honor and love of the world beyond, where we will be forerei with the Lord."

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Subjects
Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat