Philadelphia: The Judson Press 1920
June 20, 1920
Baptist Fundamentals, Being Address delivered at the Pre—Convention Conference at Buffalo, June 21 and 22, 1920.
The Bible at the Center of the Modern University
The first verse of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” reads like a perfect creation. There is no hint of fiery nebulosity. “The heaven” and “the earth” have clearly defined meanings in the Pentateuch.
The inspired comment upon it in Isaiah 45:18 informs us that God “formed the earth and made it: he established it: he created it NOT WASTE; he formed it to be inhabited.”
“The heaven” remained perfect, but “the earth,” by some power not revealed, was wrecked. Mr. Anstey. Author of ” The Romance of Chronology,” insits that the Hebrew word rendered “was” in the Authorized Version must be translated became. ” The earth BECAME without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Other authorities admit that it may be thus translated. The first three verses give us an epitome of the whole Bible:
1. Construction: God’s perfect creations.
2. Destruction: The wreck of God’s perfect creations.
3. Reconstruction: Restoration of order out of chaos
Redemption is reconstruction, restoring man to the perfect character in the image of God which sin has wrecked. And the means used in reconstruction, material and spiritual, is God’s Word: “God said, Let there be light”; and when ever God speaks, there is light. ” God divided the light from the darkness” ; and this dividing of light from darkness will continue until at last there will be only two worlds, one of light and the other of darkness. ” God called the light day, and the darkness he called night.” “And God called the firmament heaven.” The Bible is God’s dictionary of definitions, and its authority is the highest. When God defines sin, salvation, heaven, hell, or any other subject, it is wise to accept his definition as final. He knows.
Mature Product First
” God say, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind.” It is plain that the mature product comes first. The herb yields the seed; not the seed the herb. The tree yields the fruit; not the fruit the tree.
” And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and let the fowl fly above the earth.” As in the vegetable, so in the animal kingdom, the mature product comes first, not the life germ producing the living creature, but the living creature that has the life germ. Not the egg that produces the fowl, but the fowl that produces the egg. This is economy of miracle. If the germ of animal or egg of fowl comes first, then there must be a series of many miracles to produce the mature product without the fostering care of motherhood. But if the mature product comes first, reproduction takes place by natural law. No further miracle is needed. We will not pause to view this in relation to present—day science. Of that later. What appears now is that the Genesis record places the mature product first, whatever its relation to modern “science.”
A Perfect Civilization
It is also evident that in the moral and social world the perfect comes first. In the second chapter of Genesis is the highest type of civilization this world has ever seen. There is a perfect man and a perfect woman. And there can be no perfect society unless there be perfect individuals.
There is for this perfect man and perfect woman perfect environment. “God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the an whom he had formed.” They are in the midst of fertility, beauty, and plenty.
There is perfect employment. “God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there he put the man whom he had formed.” They are in the midst of fertility, beauty, and plenty.
There is perfect rest. “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” Here is industry exerting itself in the cultivation of the beautiful and the useful, an ideal condition.
There is perfect rest. ” God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. ” One day’s rest in seven is the need of man’s body and mind. The fifth day and the tenth have been tried, but they do not meet man’s physical and moral need. He is built for one day’s rest in seven.
There is perfect law, for God himself is the law giver. ” The Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it ” This invests him with the dignity of moral responsibility.
There is perfect love in the marriage of one man and one woman. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” It is not said that the woman shall leave all and cleave to her husband. It is taken for granted that she will do that. But the husband leaves all for her. She has preeminence in the realm of love, and even a suffragette ought to be satisfied with that.
Has any civilization on earth given woman a higher position than that? Verily not.
There is perfect life. In the material, mental, moral, and spiritual realm all things are good. There is no disease or death. Perfect life of body and soul prevails.
A civilization of perfect character, perfect environment, perfect employment, perfect rest, perfect law, perfect love, and perfect life has never been surpassed in the history of the world.
The Wreck of God’s Perfect Order
But there comes a change. A powerful personality, who may have had something to do with wrecking the perfect earth at first, comes on the scene. Speaking to those who had been listening to God’s Word, he first calls in question the fact of revelation; ” Yea, hath God said?” ” Are you sure that God has spoken at all? Does God speak directly to his creatures? Is there such a thing as revelation from God?” Satan puts an interrogation—point after the fact of revelation; and the fact that he continues to do so is clear proof that the personality who operated in Eden is at work in the world today. And when the reply is given, “God hath said,” he calls in question the truth of revelation. “Thou shalt not surely die.” “Such a revelation is too severe. It savors of cruelty. A God of love could not have said it; or if he did, we have a right to reject it. It violates our inner consciousness.” Another proof that the personality in Eden is active in the world today.
Then he goes a step farther and offers knowledge as a substitute for revelation. “God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be open, and ye shall be as gods, KNOWING.” “Reject God?s revelation, or act independently of it, and you sphere of knowledge will be enlarged. Now you know only good; then you shall know good and evil.” This enlargement of knowledge marks the difference between heaven and earth, if not between heaven and hell. In heaven they know only the good; in hell only the evil; on earth good and evil. A desire to know the evil as well as the good has wrecked the character of many a young man in a few weeks after he has come from the pure atmosphere of a Christian home in the country to the great city with its monstrous mixture of good and evil.
Some of our educational institutions do not hesitate to offer to students in lecture and textbook the evil as well as the good. At the commencement of a theological seminary, I heard the baccalaureate speaker say that seminaries ought to keep on their faculties at least on heretical professor, so that the students may learn the other side. That is, one professor at least should be permitted to play the part of Satan by calling in question or denying the revelation from God, so that the students may know the evil as the good. Another proof that the personality in Eden still lives, and has to do with the preparation of baccalaureate addresses.
By questioning the fact of revelation and then denying the truth of revelation with an offer of knowledge as a substitute for obedience and a further appeal to the physical nature, a “tree good for food,” to the esthetic nature, “pleasant to the eyes,” and to the intellectual nature, “to make one wise,” Satan succeeds in wrecking God’s perfection civilization. Sin enters “with all its woe.” Man is bought down to Satan’s level. “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle. Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” And if Satan can induce us to call in question the fact of revelation, deny the truth of revelation, and accept knowledge as a substitute for revelation through our physical, esthetic, or intellectual natures, he will bring us down to the dirt level with himself, and give us a diet of dust earthiness instead of the manna which comes from heaven. He would thus make us crawl with him in the dust of low desire rater than look up and wait upon the Lord, that we may “mount up with wings as eagles, run, and not be weary, walk, and not faint.”
The Conflict of the Ages
As I stood on a hilltop near Geneva, Switzerland, and looked down upon the confluence of the Rhone and the Arve, I could but think of these chapters of Genesis. The Rhone flows out of Lake Geneva as pure as crystal, while the Arve comes tumbling down from the Alps turbid with the many impurities it has gathered. As soon as the two rivers meet, there begins a conflict between mud and crystal; and after a few miles, the muddy Arve has gained the victory; the whole river is turbid. The first two chapters of Genesis are like Rhone, clear as crystal, flowing from the great lake of God?s power, wisdom, and love. There is no trace of sin. But the third chapter is like the muddy Arve flowing into this crystal river. There begins at once the conflict between mud and crystal till the mud of sin, through Satan?s subtle temptations, gains the victory, and the whole river has been muddy ever since.
The river is very muddy when Cain murders his brother in a religious quarrel (no falling upward here), and goes out from the presence of God ever afterward to ignore him and to found a civilization without God or altar. He builds a city, na dit may have been magnificent in its architecture. But God has no place in it. There is education bordering on a university curriculum, but God is also excluded from that. Professor Jabal teaches agriculture and sends out many cattlemen who live in the fields with their herds. It was a civilization like that which still exists in portions of Western America, far removed from barbarism. Professor Jabal gave himself to music, and from him went out a great musical family skilled in handling harp and organ. Professor Tubal—Cain was a great metallurgist, “an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.” It is an age of agriculuture, music, and metal, but of moral degeneracy. Polygamy begins. “Lamech took unto himself two wives” and murdered two men on account of them. He is the first polygamist, and the second recorded murderer.
But the crystal water is still in conflict with the mud. Along the line of Seth, whom Eve recognized as a spiritual successor to Abel, there continued a civilization which recognized God and called upon his name. The altar occupies a prominent place. We have in Genesis five the genealogy of these worshipers from Seth to Noah, in which is another Enoch, who did something better than give a name to a city. He walked with God. Noah also reacted the same eminence. But the Arve of the godless civilization of Cain soon flows into the Rhone of the civilization of Seth, and gain pollutes its waters. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of al which they chose.” The result was a race of giants, “mighty men,” “men or renown,” who filled the earth with wickedness, so degenerate that God was compelled to clear the earth of them, that he might start again a pure civilization with the altar and the family at its center. The student of history is startled by the fact that the vitation of the true by the false results in strength with violence. Constantine by uniting the Christian Church with the Pagan State filled the world with a violence which drenched the centuries with the blood of martyrs. It made the Spanish Inquisition and many a kindred cabal of persecution.
In 1620 there landed on Plymouth Rock a little company of men and women who were chased from their homes in England by the violent spirit of this unholy alliance. In the hold of the “Mayflower” they wrote a compact which had in it two phrases, “for the common good,” and “just and equal laws,” which have been mighty factors in fostering the spirit of democracy and the love of justice among the American people.
When I was in Old Boston, England, I went to the Guild Hall where are the prison cells in which John Bradford, William Brewster, and others were incarcerated. I requested the janitor to shut me in one of the cells, that I might sit in the dark on the hard stone seat and meditate upon the “Mayflower” and what the little vessel with its Puritan passengers meant to the world. My mind flew across the Atlantic to the museum at Plymouth in which are John Alden’s well—born Bible and the cradle in which little Peregrine White, the baby born on the “Mayflower,” was rocked. Near by is the pot in which the pilgrims cooked their common dinners, and beside it, the long flint—lock gun of Miles Standish, the only soldier in the company. Here are the four pillars of the American commonwealth, the Bible, the home, the pot, and the gun. As I sat in the narrow cell, I saw the “Mayflower” still sailing across the ocean of time with all the nations on earth trying to get on board. And then I saw here multiplied a hundredfold crossing the Atlantic with three hundred thousand soldiers every month, still carrying the open Bible, the Christian home, the pot, and the gun, that all the nations of the earth may now enjoy the liberty which the Pilgrim Fathers braved the perils of the ocean to secure.
Then I saw another ship landing at Jamestown, Va., with a civilization on board which approved of human slavery without thought of “just and equal laws” or “the common good.” The “Plymouth Rock” and “Jamestown” civilizations were again like the confluence of the Rhone and the Arve, mud and crystal in conflict; and the mud at length prevailed. The spirit of slavery mastered New England. In the Old South Church, Boston, is still preserved the gallery under the belfry in which the slaves sat during the Sunday services. But finally the Plymouth Rock civilization was victorious, and since 1865 there have been no slaves under the American flag. Today “Old Glory” has the new glory of having delivered little Cuba from her strong oppressor and of having joined with Great Britain and her allies in defending the weak against the aggression of the strong. The same spirit has led to the victory of prohibition over the oppressive powers of the drink traffic in America, and now seeks to drive this enslaver of man from the face of the earth.
Genesis of “Evolution”
Let us trace this modern conflict between the weak and their oppressors back to its source. The Greek philosophers, between 700 and 300 B.C., were, with one exception, evolutionists. Thales, of Miletus, taught that water was the primordial germ. Heraclitus believed that fire originated all things, and Pythagoras, the mathematician, was confident that number somehow brought life and form into existence. Plato, the greatest of all Greek philosophers, did not agree with his compeers. He believed that man began equal with the gods, and the beasts were degenerated men, contending that the monkey came down from man and not man up form the monkey. And Plato had the weight of evidence on his side even without a revelation, for any one with eyes in his head can see that there is more tendency in men to become monkeys than in monkeys to become men.
Darwin and Malthus
Charles Darwin, in his university course, caught the vision of the Greek philosophers and, rejecting the theory of Plato, became an ardent advocate o f the hypothesis that everything was evolved from beneath; that life originated with germinal, embryonic beginnings; that in nature there is perpetual war, which is called “the struggle for existence,” the strong and fit destroying the weak and unfit, and thus causing everything to move upward. Darwin did not get his idea of perpetual warfare in nature from the Greek philosophers, who were more benevolent in their thinking. They believed that all life and form were evolved from beneath by quiet forces; but they did not give the strong the scientific right to destroy the weak. Darwin confesses in his autobiography that he received this suggestion from Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus, and Anglican clergyman, who died in 1834, when Darwin was twenty—five years old. I do not know that Darwin ever met Malthus, but he was careful reader of his books, and in his autobiography admits that he was indebted to Malthus for the suggestion. Malthus taught that man increases with geometrical ratio, while food supply increases with only arithmetical ratio. Therefore wars and pestilences are necessary, that the surplus population may be killed off, in order that the remainder may survive.
A little clear thinking makes it clear that Malthus was wrong. Man does not increase with geometrical ratio, while food does increase “some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundredfold.” But Darwin was deceived by the plausible reasoning of Malthus, and made this mistake one of the foundation—stones of his scientific system. It is a libel upon a benevolent God, who has provided enough for man and beast without demanding that the strong shall kill the weak. The fact that dolphins chase flying—fish for food, and that some animals are intended for the food of others does not prove that in nature there is perpetual warfare, but rather the contrary. It is a benevolent provision that some animals should be intended as food for others, so that the strong may subsist without a struggle with their equals for existence. Read George Paulin’s books, “No Struggle for Existence,” “No Natural Selection,” and you will see proof enough that there is no struggle for existence even among carnivorous animals, a benevolent God having provided a kinder method of preventing their dangerous increase.
Of course, we are all evolutionist in the sense of Mark 4: 28, “First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Everybody knows that the embryo or germ in plant and animal develops by growth into the mature product.
But evolutionary processes have no history. The growth of embryo or germ into mature product, as we see it, simply suggests to the imagination a similar process which, it is claimed by evolutionists, took place in the abysmal past. No one has ever observed it and its history, therefore, cannot be written. If, however, life began on earth with immature embryonic beginnings and evolved through countless ages into the mature product, it must have done so in obedience to the same laws which govern the development of the immature embryo as we see it develop today, and must be subject to the same limitations. Bear this in mind, for it is a fact of great importance.
Now, though I confess a repugnance to the idea that an ape or an orang—outange was my ancestor, I have been willing to accept the humiliating fact, if proved; but the more I have investigated, the more thoroughly I have been convinced that, if I am to be an evolutionist and thus keep up with the modern academic drift, I must refuse to let the gray matter of my brain work, while I permit others to do my thinking for me and accept their authority, not because of the reasons they give for their theory, but solely because of their eminence in the literary and educational world. But there are insurmountable difficulties in the way of my permitting eminence to decide this matter for me.
Facts Against Evolution
1. Immature, embryonic life is never reproductive. An embryo never multiplies into an embryo. Eggs do not hatch eggs. Wheat does not reproduce itself into wheat. Babies do not bear babies. Apples do not multiply into apples. Only the mature product can produce an embryo or germ. This is true even in the lowest stratum of life. The cell becomes mature before it articulates another cell.
Indeed, an embryo does not produce the mature product, though it develops into it. The mature product is simply a full—grown embryo. The microscope reveals a symmetrical oak in the acorn. But the mature product may bring into being what did not exist before as a living organism.
It is not a question as to which came first, the embryo or the mature product, the egg or the eagle. If the egg was created first, with the possibilities, under certain conditions, of hatchling into an eagle in a few days, that is not an evolution; that is direct creation. Evolution demands that the egg shall come into existence and throught millions of years evolve into an eagle.
If now, I am to be an evolutionist, I must believe that immature embryonic life came into existence millions of years ago, and continued to exist through the countless ages required for its development without the power of reproduction. An absurdity, which calls for great scientific credulity.
2. Immature, embryonic life is unimprovable. The evolutionary theory demands that things shal move upward. There must be improvement. But immature embryonic life can be improved only by improving the mature product. If you would secure better eggs, you mut make better hens. “To touch protoplasmic life is to destroy it.” Seek to improve the quality of an egg by working directly upon it, and see the result! Darwin experimented with pigeons; but if he experimented with pigeons’ eggs in any decided manner he doubtless had his hands a basket of rotten eggs. “A good tree bringeth forth good fruit,: and the only way to get good fruit is to make the tree good. It is a universal fact that the only way to improve the quality of embryo or germ is to improve the mature product that yields it. If, therefore, I am to be an evolutionist, I must believe that immature embryonic life came into existence millions of years ago and continued to exist through successive ages without the power of reproduction and continued to improve without the power of improvement. A twofold absurdity, which amounts to an impossibility in a healthy mind.
3.Embryos and germs are easily destroyed. To exist at all, they must be carefully guarded, and nature makes provision for this. But no such provision has been or can be made for the preservation of embryos or germs through thousands of years. I thought there was one exception in the grains of wheat found with the mummies of Egypt, which, after four thousand years, germinated and produced wheat, though four thousand years is but the tick of a clock in the chronology of evolution, but Doctor Kyle, the distinguished archeologist, tells me that there is no exception, for it has been proved that the wheat found with Egyptian mummies was in the straw which the workman used in packing them for shipment. A member of the British Association recently said that, if the embryonic life had been introduced into the chaos of this earth, as it is said to have been introduced, it could not have survived. The evolutionary hypothesis demands that embryonic life was introduced in the midst of chaotic conditions and was preserved through succeeding ages. My difficulties increase, for if I am to be an evolutionist, I must believe that immature embryonic life came into existence millions of years ago, and continued to exist through successive ages without the power of reproduction, continued to improve without the power of improvement, and continued to be preserved without the power of preservation. A threefold absurdity, which no healthy mind can admit.
There are two things lacking which are essential to the evolutionary theory: SPONTANEOUS GENERATION AND TRANSMUTATION OF SPECIES. Professor Tyndall said that he could see “the promise and potency of life in matter.” But he saw no such thing. As he looked at matter, he really saw the promise of potency of death. There is no promise and potency of putrefaction. In wood or stone there is no promise and potency of life, but of disintegration into rottenness and dust. No scientist of any repute claims that life has really originated from lifeless matter. Naturalistic evolution which ignores God has no explanation of the origin of life. And theistic evolution which admits that God must have created matter and introduced life can give no good reason why a God who introduces one kind of life into suitable environment, should not introduce another kind of life under similar fitting conditions.
The claim that one species of living things in plants or animals develops into another species has no facts in nature to support it. “After its kind,” as in the first chapter of Genesis, is universal law. When one species unites with another, the result is a hybrid which is sterile, so that stubborn mule stands in the path of evolutionist and will not let him pass on his way of error.
5. Evolution, whether naturalistic, theistic, atheistic, or Christian, is pagan in origin and spirit. The Bible, which is the text—book of Christianity, teaches that God created the mature product first and left this mature product to reproduce itself by natural law. As we have seen this is economy of miracle, while the beginning of all life in immature embryonic form is forbidden by the scientific fact that embryonic life is never reproductive, it is unimprovable, and unpreservable.
One of the most pathetic bits of biography in existence is the effect of this pagan teaching and the atmosphere it produced in Darwin himself. In early life Darwin was a believer in the Bible as the word of God, and he believed that God answered prayer. In his later life he confesses with regret that he had lost all taste for poetry, music, painting, and religion. But to the last he was fond of the habits of worms. He wrote the best book on worms ever penned. He glorifies the little creatures as benefactors of mankind none too much. It is all true. But what I insist upon is that any theory or atmosphere which effaces all taste for music, painting, and religion, while it makes one revel in studying the habits of worms, has something the matter with it; and, when we observe that the effect of the theory in others is to drag them down from the spiritual to the natural, from the realm of music, poetry, painting, and religion to the realm of the worm as it works in the dirt and dark, we are driven to the conclusion that there is something in this pagan theory which drags us down into the mud, and robs us of the clearer vision and purer atmosphere of the higher spiritual realms.
6.Evolution with its ’struggle for existence’ and ’survival of the fittest,’ which gives the strong and fit the scientific right to destroy the weak and unfit, is responsible for the oppression and destruction of the weak and unfit by the strong and fit. It has fostered autocratic class distinctions and is no friend to the democracy which stands for the protection of the weak against the oppression of the strong. The greatest war in history, which has drenched the world with blood and covered it with human bones, can be traced to this source. IF the strong and fit have the scientific right to destroy the weak and unfit, that human progress may be promoted, then might is right, and Germany should not be criticized for acting upon this principle.
Nietzsche, the neurotic German philosopher, hypnotized the German mind with his pagan brute philosophy. ’The ’weak and the botched,’ said he, ’shall perish; first principle of humanity. And they ought to be helped to perish. What is more harmful than any vice? Practical sympathy with the botched and weak’Christianity.’ ’If what I publish be true,’ he wrote to an invalid woman, ’a feeble woman like you would have no right to exist.’
’Christianity,’ he said again, ’ is the greatest of all conceivable corruptions, the one immortal blemish of mankind.’ And he hated it because of its sympathy with the weak and botched. He glorified his ideal German ’blond beast’ and gave to the world a ’superman,’ one—third brute, one—third devil, and one—third philosopher. Under the spell of his daring brutality, Germany adopted the motto, ’Corsica had conquered Galilee.’ Nietzsche?s philosophy of beastliness has its roots in the evolutionary assumption that the strong and fit in the struggle for existence, have the scientific right to destroy the weak and unfit. Under the spell of Nietzsche?s ’superman’ there come into the brain of the Kaiser the vision of a supernation, a national brute, devil and philosopher, with the scientific right to destroy all weaker nations and erect his throne upon their ruins. One Sunday morning, four months after the war began, I spoke something like this from the Metropolitan Tabernacle pulpit in London; and, after the service a gentleman with military bearing appeared in the vestry and said: ’I am a German, brought into London on a captured ship; and why I have not been interned I do not know; but I have an intimation that I shall be interned next week, and before I go I would like to give you a piece of my mind., You have said that this terrible war was due to Darwinian evolution, and I believe it. I hope I am a Christian. I love Jesus Christ and believe the Bible, but my wife and daughter have had their faith wrecked by Nietzsche and his pagan gang. But what I want to say to you is that we Germans got Darwinism from England. We took it from you and worked it out to its legitimate consequences. So, when you mention it again, speak softly, for you are really getting back what you sent.’ I could not deny it. Back of this war and responsibility for it is Darwin’s pagan teaching that the strong and fit have the scientific right to destroy the weak and unfit.
England and France
This suggests the fact that France gave to Germany her first lessons in the destructive higher criticism of the Bible. IT was Jean Astruc, a learned, dissolute French physician, of Marseilles, who first suggested that Genesis had two authors. Doctor Eichhorn, of Germany, took Astruc’s suggestion as a clue and announced that he had discovered many authors. Thus began a movement which has done more to discredit the Bible than any other movement of modern times. The scientist of Germany took Darwinism from England with its struggle for existence, giving the strong and fit the scientific right to destroy the weak and unfit, and gave to the politicians in infernal dictum that might is right, while the German theologians took from Jean Astruc his composite—authorshiop—of—Genesis theory and worked it out to the discrediting of the Bible as a revelation from God. Thus England and France sent to Germany the forces which gave her a ’kultur’ that robbed her of her Christian faith and plunged her into the bottomless pit of national degradation. Through Darwin and Astruc England and France let loose a flock of scientific and theological vultures which put their talons into the vitals of academic thinking and ethics in Germany, destroying faith in the Bible, and vitiating the spiritual life of the people. Strengthened by their feasts upon Germany’s vitals, these ferocious birds returned to England to wreck the Christianity founded upon the Bible, which has been the glory of English history and which broke the fetters of papal superstition that for centuries retarded the progress of France.
It was hoped that this world war, with its unutterable horrors, would open the eyes of the educators of England and France to the wreck of faith and character which their scientific and theological dreamers had wrought; but, instead of that, the religious, liberal leaders of England and France, realizing that their rationalistic theories and their books based upon them are in danger, are reasserting with nervous haste their destructive teachings. While victory on the side of liberty and humanity has checked, if not destroyed, German militarism, it remains for those who believe and love the Bible to mobilize and fight the battle for the truth which has given to the world its passion for liberty and humanity.
Darwin and Lincoln
It is an interesting fact that Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day, February 12, 1809, and in the lives of these two men continue the battle between mud and crystal. Darwin, born into an environment of wealth, through the teachings of Greek philosophers and of Malthus became the champion of the strong and fit against the weak and unfit. Abraham Lincoln, born into an environment of poverty and struggle, became the champion of the weak against the strong. He believed that the weakest and worst have the right of existence with fair treatment, and that the strong and fit, instead of destroying and weak and unfit, should be their protectors and benefactors. When he saw a negro woman in a New Orleans slave—market auctioned off to a rich slave—owner, he said, ’ If I ever get a chance to strike that thing, I will hit it hard.’ And he did hit it hard, when he led the movement which resulted in the abolition of slaver under the American flag.
Let us turn again to Genesis and trace the crystal river of faith in the coming Messiah in conflict with the mud of unbelief. In the curse upon the serpent there is a promise that the seed of the woman (not man) shall bruise his head. Of course, we know who the serpent is: ’that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan’ (Rev. 20:2). But do not think of Satan as Doré painted him, with horns, hoofs, bats’ wings, and forked tail. Such a monster could tempt no one, except to run and get out of his way. Paul declares that Satan in this age is transformed as a messenger of light. His mission is to give light, historic light, scientific light, all kinds of light, if by any means he may satisfy the world with light without Him who is the light of the world. Satan would have our colleges, universities, seminaries, and churches blazing centers of light without Him who is the light of the world. Satan world have our colleges, universities, seminaries, and churches blazing centers of light without the Light, Christ Jesus, as atoning Saviour. And Satan wishes his ministers to be minister of righteousness. His favorite is the ethical minister who preached a high standard of morality and humanity, urging people to be good and to do good without salvation thought the atoning blood of Christ.
One of the great needs of the Christian Church today is a university with the Bible at its center as the standard of all truth, religious, moral, historic, and scientific, and the Lord Jesus Christ preeminent in the realm of knowledge as in all other realms. The Bible, ’the Impregnable Rock of Scripture,’ as Gladstone called it, is the only book in which its religion, ethics, history, and science, are always and everywhere up to date. You have doubtless heard of the ’scientific morgue’ in Paris, a rather gruesome place, where dead scientific theories are laid out for inspection. Most of them died under twenty—five years of age. Almost every theory I studied in college is in the scientific morgue. But the Bible is not there and never will be. Its statements have frequently been denied by the high authorities, but time has always proved that the Bible is right.
The Bible mentions Sargon, king of Assyria; but the historians, in the absence of all mention of Sargon in secular history, refused to accept its testimony, until the pick and shovel unearthed not only the date and deeds of Sargon’s reign, but the ruins of his palace. So you see the Bible was twenty—five hundred years ahead of the historians.
Wellhausen said that the five kings in Genesis fourteen were fictitious characters born in the writer’s imagination, but now through the ministry of the pick and shovel again it has been discovered that the date of Arioch’s reign is ’the one certain starting—point of ancient history.’ The Bible is again more than four thousand years ahead of the historian.
When Job wrote, ’He stretcheth out the north over empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing,’ eh was three thousand years ahead of the astronomers. And when Job wrote again, ’God understandeth the way thereof, to make a weight for the winds,’ he was thousands of years ahead of the scientists who, until comparatively recent times, taught that air was without weight, not suspecting that it pressed more than fourteen pounds upon every square inch.
And no the facts of science against the fancies of all scientific romancers, ancient and modern, are confirming the teachings of Moses and the dim vision of Plato that man began perfect and was wrecked by sin.
In some universities that theological schools are clustered about the halls of history, philosophy, and science. It is time that the order should be reversed. Let the Bible school with teachers who believe in the infallible Book and gave Christ preeminence in all realms, be at the center with the halls of history, philosophy, and science clustered about it. Let the Sun, and not the earthy, be the center of God’s solar system of truth.
In Genesis 6: 14 we are told that God commanded Noah to make an ark, and ’pitch it within and without with pitch.’ And the Hebrew scholar is almost startled to find, as he reads Leviticus, that the Hebrew word translated ’pitch’ in this verse is rendered ’atonement’ all through Leviticus. It was the pitch which made the are seaworthy, keeping out the waters of judgment and keeping in Noah and his family. So the atoning blood of Christ it is, which keeps out the waters of judgment and keeps in the subjects of grace.
And all through the Bible we can trace the Messianic idea which grows fuller and fuller until it finds complete fulfillment in the ’Lamb as it had been slain standing in the midst of the throne.’ ’The Lamb as it had been slain’ standing suggests life from the dead, and standing in the midst of the throne suggests royalty. It is the risen, living Christ with the marks of the cross upon him who gives us paradise restored. The perfect civilization in Eden with its perfect environment, perfect employment, perfect rest, perfect law, perfect love, and perfect life, has been restored.
All hail the power of Jesus’ name;
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem
(Ye men of the schools, colleges, and seminaries, and universities)
AND CROWN HIM LORD OF ALL!