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Fifth Series, Volume XL.
No. 2001.- October 28, 1882.
s From Beginning,
CONTENTS. 1. NATURAL SELECTION AND NATURAL THEOLOGY,
Contemporary Review, . II. No New THING. Part VII.,
Cornhill Magazine, III. GEORGE Eliot's CHILDREN, .
Macmillan's Magazine, IV. THE CURE'S SISTER,
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AT EVENTIDE. I saw the sunlight glinting down,
OFTTIMES when all the storm-vexed day Where the tall trees stood gaunt and brown. The sullen clouds have ceaseless passed,
And winds have wailed as if to pray
For peace at last;
Aside the gloom of cloud is pressed,
And the soft eve is full of light,
And quiet rest.
Which cloudlike hide the heavenly light,
With sombre night,
Awaits a calm and peaceful eve. I heard the river's ceaseless song,
Then sorrow shall be overpast; Sweeping fir-crested hills among.
Then fear shall cease, and struggles leave The chirpings of each lingering bird
God's peace at last.
A. J. P. That braves the angry North, I heard. And a fresh yearning woke and cried, A voice of Love unsatisfied; And all the lovely autumn day,
DREAMS. In burning tears seemed blurred away.
A DREAM flew out of the ivory gate To wood and glen, to hill and plain,
And came to me when night was late. For Nature's balm I asked, in vain.
My love drew near with the proud sad eyes
And the fathomless look of soft surprise. Then I said, low and suddenly, “God keep my darling safe for me.
I slept in peace through the summer night
As I dreamed of her eyes and their depth of SUSAN K. PHILLIPS.
light. Macmillan's Magazine.
A dream came out from the gate of horn
We rushed through the dawn at a headlong
speed; O MAID, that, far from town's tumultuous strife, When I reached my love the sun shone bright, Leadest a country life!
And I found her dead in the morning light. Beneath the healthy blue,
WALTER HERRIES POLLOCK. Amidst the smiling green,
Thy form is oftenest seen.
Under the starry light,
LIFT THINE EYES.
O TROUBLED Soul of inine! lift up thine eyes
Unto the mountains mighty and serene.
Full strangely chequered hath their fortune The whistling ploughman, with his brawny
And they have suffered veriest agonies.
And ofttimes still the tyrant tempest lies
Heavy upon thenı ; with the thunder they
Do wrestle. Yet of fear and of dismay And see the flutter of thy garments white
Nothing they know, still rising to the skies. Just vanish out of sight.
With many a thousand battles are they scarred ;
The foods have broken on each helmless O come, sweet nymph, and make a home with head; me,
Yet for all this, their beauty is not marred, And happy shalt thou be;
Nor in their hearts are they discomfited. Though humble is my cot,
Still they endure, whatever whirlwinds roll And small my garden-plot,
Around, — still glorious they endure, my soul ! The larger landscape, that my neighbors own,
JOHN W. HÁLES.
Hindscarth Cairn, August 30th,
From The Contemporary Review. true domain. A great deal conventionally NATURAL SELECTION AND NATURAL passes under the name, which is no more THEOLOGY.
science than bricks and timber are It would be a sorry spectacle to behold building. It is art, - the art of making a posse of scientific agnostics, fired with science. The facts patiently accumulated, zeal against superstition, arming them. accurately analyzed and recorded, on selves with the costly implements of sci- which, step by step, scientific inductions entific research to make a furious onset are raised, are the precious materials of on Westminster Abbey; piling the treas. science; but they are not science. The ures of museums in an incendiary heap, keen eye of the naturalist, the adroit and flinging choice fossils, microscopes, and sensitive finger of the operator ; the inelectrical apparatus through the windows; sight, imagination, and ready invention or employing a twenty-foot reflector as a which mark the man of scientific genius battering-ram. Whatever temporary dam- from the mere plodder, and enable him to age the venerable building might suffer, it look behind the veil before he persuades is certain that the injury would be much nature herself to lift it: these are admirmore serious to the interests of science, able, invaluable, indispensable to the and to the assailants themselves.
progress of science. But they are not Grotesque as this supposition may be, science. Theories and hypotheses the we are compelled to witness a really more shelves on which we pack and label our lamentable and surprising spectacle, when facts, the luggage-vans in which we forthose rich results of modern science ward them on their journey — are among which are the wonder and lustre of our the most useful implements of scientific age, and those bold theories which are discovery. But they are not science. the feelers which science puts out into Above all, the dicta of individual scienthe unknown future, are employed by tists, how eminent soever, are not science. writers of cultured ability, not to deepen To claim for what at best can but rank as men's reverence and feed and quicken pious opinions” the authority of infalliwhat is noblest in man's nature, but to ble dogma, is both disloyal to truth and blind his intellect in its heavenward gaze, perilous to intellectual freedom. and loosen his grasp on the unseen, the For, be it remembered, liberty of eternal, the divine.
thought - a phrase which often stands A class of thinkers have arisen, not for much liberty but little thought – is inendowed with any overplus of modesty, consistent with science. Where science who (so far as their writings enable us to begins liberty ends. Any one is at lib. judge) value science chiefly as a weapon erty either to think that two ultimate with which to assail religion. A plain- atoms of matter can occupy the same spoken protest (it seems to me) is needed, space, or to think that they are impene. in the name of science as truly as in the trable, mutually excluding one another. name of religion, against this perversion This liberty results from our present ig. of its triumphs and its authority to a puro norance. But no one is at liberty to pose utterly alien from its true spirit. For think that the angles of a plane triangle the lessons of science are yet more pre can be less than two right angles, or that cious than her gifts. She has given us they can be greater; because we certainly much and has more in store. But her know them to be equal. Liberty of gifts would be bought too dear if the thought is not even the path, of which price were the impoverishment of our science is the goal. It is simply the spiritual nature and bankruptcy of faith. throwing down of all hedges and walls,
Cultivators of science, I take leave to and banishment of all threatening notices, think professors and amateurs alike- watch-dogs, patrols, and man-traps, whereare doing not a little to loosen its author- by our right to explore the waste was ity, and especially to imperil if not destroy limited ; so that we are free to make our its educational value, by negiecting to own path as the stars guide us.
But we draw the boundary line sharply round its' take our own risk of bogs and precipices.
may unlock the fetters of tradition, any sane man by asking him which he and start us, with its sharp spur deep in chooses; we feel that such language our heart, in quest of truth. But it might be justifiable - even praiseworthy guides us no step of the way; and in pres. regarding a question of practical moence of ascertained truth it expires. The rality, but that is grievously out of place freedom of inquiry, and of provisional in the region of abstract truth. When, belief or disbelief, which is the condition again, encouraged by such an example, of honestly working out a scientific de- the writer of what purports to be a scienduction or induction, becomes irrational tific exposition of Darwinism not only when once the result is known. Much tells his readers that if they don't agree nonsense about intellectual liberty might with him it is because they are weakhave been spared, if people would bear in minded, but declares that if he is mis. mind the obvious fact that free thought taken the blame lies with the Creator for and science are mutually inconsistent. having so constructed the universe as to The one supposes the absence of the mislead him, we feel that would be well other. Hence the immense importance if he could be made to understand that of not anticipating science by erecting he has sinned as much against the laws into dogma the theories, conjectures, or of scientific argument as against those of personal opinions of scientific leaders. decency.
When, for example, we are told in a Akin to these unwholesome and illegithandbook of physical geography that imate methods of dealing with scientific “We now know" that the primitive an. thought for purposes outside the scope of cestors of the present human race led for science, is the device of representing the thousands of years the life of wild beasts defenders of either natural or revealed in the forests, the opinion of certain an- theology as living in a state of hysterical thropologists is illegitimately presented terror at the march of science. They are to the learner as an integral part of the supposed to "shriek” at each fresh beam body of established fact. The grounds of light, and to wink all the harder, like of this opinion (such as they are) ought bats into whose cave the unwelcome sun to be fairly stated; and, at the same time, is peering. The “shrieks” are, in fact, the learner ought to be made aware, that as imaginary as the danger. Nothing is the most ancient human remains yet dis- nore peacefully certain than that truth covered present a sorm and development can never war with truth. There was a of skull utterly inconsistent with the no- teacher, more than eighteen hundred tion that the possessors of those skulls years ago, who said to the students in lived the life of monkeys. Were such his school, “ Ye shall know the truth, and an opinion unanimously voted by a pan. the truth shall make you free.” Those anthropological congress, it would not who reckon themselves his disciples thereby be constituted a part of science. should be the last men to dread the ad. It would still be competent to any in-vance of truth in any possible direction. structed person to say: “Your opinion Rather, they may well believe that the seems to me at variance with the facts.” lowliest truth is akin to the highest. And if his protest were simply looted Even the story of an earthworm's life, down as a piece of intolerable presump- truly told, may teach lessons of divine tion in the face of such a phalanx of ex- philosophy. perts, science would no more sanction Protest, however, counts for little. It such an assertion of authority than it may even do mischief, if it be misintersanctioned the burning of Giordano Bruno preted as the refuge of those who have or the dogma of papal infallibility. been silenced in argament, as beaten
When, again, an eminent professor is players are wont to accuse their antagoquoted as saying, with reference to the nists of unfair play. It may be replied hypothesis of organic evolution : “Choose to the charge of profaning and degrading your hypothesis; I have chosen mine; science, that to explode falsehood is to and I will not run the risk of insulting aid truth; and that since all truth is akin,
'to get rid of religious superstition must formation of each species, may have been prove helpful to the progress of science the actual creative process? This ques. The science of the present is legitimately tion we shall have to ask presently. A employed in the interest of the science of broader view of the whole field first inthe future. It is needful, therefore, for vites our attention. No more woful mis. the sake alike of science and of faith, conception of the fundamental idea of seriously to examine the arguments by natural theology could be put into words which it is sought to array the one against than is contained in the assertion that the other. Have they any real claim to the facts supposed to prove supernatural philosophic depth and scientific accuracy, design are “covered” by the theories of or is their intrinsic weakness equal to organic evolution and natural selection. their irreverent audacity?
It would be uncourteous to call it a dis. The weapons mainly relied on in the play of stupendous ignorance; but the present assault upon the foundations of cleverest man is practically ignorant on Datural theology are the theories of or any point on which he will not take the ganic evolution and natural selection. trouble to think. Truth, disdains the feeEvolution is supposed to explain the de- ble grasp of self-confident nonchalance. velopment of the existing state of things The word "adaptation " stands for one from its physical antecedents, and those grand department of the evidence of de. again from the chain of earlier antece- sign in nature; but only one. Choice, dents, reaching back to the primordial and suiting of means to ends, are the existence of matter and form. Natural most familiar and legible of all the marks selection is supposed to explain how, in of the presence of mind and will. But the organic world, evolution may have there are other marks as convincing been spontaneous and automatic. The e. g., calculation, foresight, order, intellitwo together, it is confidently asserted, gible law, beauty, benevolent purpose. enable us to dispense with the hiypothesis Adaptation of organism to environ. of a Creator. In the words of the able ment
is an ambiguous and cursory writer before quoted, who states the case phrase, "covering the facts” in more very clearly, natural selection "offers to senses than one – disguising rather than our acceptance a scientific explanation of describing; because the adaptation is not the numberless cases of apparent design single, but multifold. If "environment” which we everywhere meet in organic be taken in the wide sense of the univernature. For as all these cases of appar. sal conditions of life (as heat, light, grave ent design consist only in the adaptation ity, cohesive attraction, chemical action, which is slown by organisms to their en-change of seasons, and of day and night, vironment, it is obvious that the facts are with numberless others), then one organcovered by the theory of natural selection ism is no more adapted to this environ. no less completely than they are covered ment than another. Without such adaptaby the theory of intelligent design. . . . tion, common to all living beings, but The whole question, as between natural actually existent only in individuals, life selection and supernatural design resolves would not be possible. Clearly, of such itself into this - were all the species of adaptation, natural selection neither takes plants and animals separately created, or nor gives any account. But if by "enwere they slowly evolved ? For if they vironment” be meant the immediate sur. were specially created, the evidence of roundings of each plant or animal (as supernatural design remains unrefuted climate, soil, food, and facilities for proand irrefutable; whereas, if they were curing it, presence or absence of noxious slowly evolved, that evidence has been influences, and so forth), we find a very utterly and forever destroyed."
elastic scale of adaptation, from that It is astonishing that a writer of keen thorough health and vigor in which the intelligence could pen this last sentence creature is perfectly developed, to that without asking himself, Is it not possible stunted, sickly growth which may fitly be that slow evolution, and not independent called a "struggle for life.” The fitness