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evil, absolutely untouched. Paley contents himself with subsequently adding that: “Of the origin of evil no universal solution has been discovered.” It is quite obvious that he did not take those first three chapters of Genesis literally.
Some of his ideas are curious. Thus he thinks it better for animals to devour one another, as they thus escape death by disease or decay; and indignantly asks the question, “Is it, then, to see the world filled with drooping, superannuated, half-starved, helpless and unhelped animals, that you would alter the present system of pursuit and prey ?” He adds: “But, to do justice to the question, the system of animal destruction ought always to be considered in strict connection with another property of animal nature, viz., superfecundity. They are countervailing qualities. One subsists by the correction of the other.” Possibly if the Rev. Paley could have been changed for half-a-minute by a beneficent Providence into a mouse pursued by a cat, he would have seen things differently.
Dean Farrar, in his recent work on The Bible: its Meaning and Supremacy, assures us that: “ the moral lessons taught us by nature and by science are absolutely accordant with the moral lessons of holy writ.” Like Paley and others, he takes the optimistic view that there is so much happiness in nature that we can afford to shut our eyes to any contradictions such as pain, misery, etc. He does not attempt, however, like Paley, to prove his case.
Drummond, in his Ascent of Man, has, comparatively recently, attempted to make evolution orthodox. But even he, as Goldwin Smith remarks, is obliged to admit that “a price, a price in pain, and assuredly a very terrible price,” has been paid for the evolution of the world, and that natural selection by no means invariably works in the direction of progress. To quote Goldwin Smith again : “ The phenomena of parasites and entozoa, with the needless torments which they inflict, appear irreconcilable with any optimistic theory of the direction of suffering and destruction to a paramount and compensating end.” “Evolution clearly is not moral,” he tells us. “There is nothing moral in the struggle for existence, or in natural selection.”
In quoting Goldwin Smith I have left the apologists, and now proceed to a consideration of the opinions of some eminent men, who are certainly not affected by any religious bias, though, as human beings, they probably suffer from mental bias of some kind.
The opinion of Sir S. Baker I consider of importance, as he had passed the best years of his life in the pursuit of wild animals, and studying nature in wild countries. There is no indecision in his expression of opinion. He tells us, in Wild Beasts and their Ways, that Nature's Law Is an irresistible law of Force, by which the strong predominate and the weak must suffer. In every direction we see a struggle for existence : the empty stomach must be filled, therefore one species devours the other. It is a system of terrorism from the beginning to the end. The fowl destroys the worm, the hawk destroys the fowl, the cat destroys the hawk, the dog kills the cat, the leopard kills the dog, the lion kills the leopard, and the lion is slain by man. Man appears upon the scene of general destruction as the greatest of all destroyers, as he alone in creation wars against his own species. We hear of love and pity, and Christian charity: we see torpedoes and hellish inventions * of incredible power to destroy our fellow-creatures. ... Those countries which command respect in the councils of the world are the possessors of the big battalions. “Force,” the great law of Nature, will assert its power and rule.
*"The loss of the Spaniards is believed to have been heavy, as squads of men were seen to be blown to pieces by shells.”—Dalziel's Telegram, 1st June, 1898.
Speaking of the pleasure that a view of Nature gives, he says:-“Although we know that one species preys upon another, we do not feel it, as the painful scenes are not apparent.” After describing the attack made by fungi, by seeds and by insects on a dead or dying tree, he adds
These are among the changes that prove the rule of superior force throughout every portion of the earth; and in every drop of water that is sufficiently impure to have generated animalcules. In that one drop the microscope will show the monsters of the tiny ocean, invisible to the naked eye; but the strong are devouring the weak, as the rotifera swallow down the helpless victims in unresisting shoals. There is in the ferocious instincts of the microscopic insect the same fury of attack as in the cruel shark, although unseen by the unaided human eye. The spider emulates the fisherman in the construction of its net—both guided by natural laws, reason, instinct, and desire to catch and kill something that will enable it to subsist.
Sir S. Baker concludes his book with the advice to the student of nature in wild countries, “ to secure the force beforehand on his side,” and recommends as a trusty companion “a double-barrelled •577 rifle, to burn 6 drachms of powder, with a bullet of pure lead 650 grains.” “ This professional adviser," he adds, “ will confirm him in the theory that the law of Force will always govern the world.”
Another writer whose views are worthy of attention, though it must be conceded that he carries his pessimism too far, is the late Mr. Winwood Read. In his Martyrdom of Man he thus declaims :
But it is when we open the Book of Nature—that book inscribed in blood and tears: it is when we study the laws regulating life, the laws productive of development, that we see plainly how illusive is this theory that God is Love. In all things there is cruel, profligate waste. Of all the animals that are born a few only can survive: and it is owing to this law that development takes place. The law of murder is the law of growth. ... It is useless to say that pain has its benevolence, that massacre has its mercy. Why is it so ordained that bad should be the raw material of good ? Pain is not less pain because it is useful; murder is not less murder because it is conducive to development.
Sir Samuel Baker’s belief that “Force rules the world” is also the conviction of a man well known in the political world-Lord Dufferin. In his speech at Belfast, in Oct., 1896, he thus expressed it :
And now I come to the second conviction which has been borne in upon me during my long contact with the outside world, and it is that-in spite of Christianity, civilization; in spite of humanitarian philosophies, the triumphs of scientific knowledge;, in spite of the lessons of history and the bitter experiences of the more recent past—force and not right is the dominant factor in human affairs : and that no nation's independence or possessions are safe for a moment unless she can guard them with her own right hand.
That last expression reminds us of the “mailed fist," of which the German emperor recently spoke; and then our thoughts naturally tend in the direction of China, and the European powers who are willing to wound her but afraid to strike each other.
When we consider that there is probably not a single nation in the world that does not occupy its territories by virtue of the victories in war won by its ancestors, Lord Dufferin's speech simply means that the struggle for existence among nations still continues.
The quotations that I have given you would be incomplete without some addition from the late Prof. Huxley's writings. Probably no man ever lived with a more sincere love of the Truth than he; and to his vast knowledge of physical science, which has never been questioned, he added a surprisingly large acquaintance with literature in general, and the history of religions in particular. He has been denounced by some as an opponent of Christianity,
but to my mind unjustly. He was a fierce opponent of a priori reasoning, and always ready to assail what he considered the dogmas of a priesthood.
In his essay on “Mr. Gladstone and Genesis,” Prof. Huxley says: “The saying that'strife is father and king of all” (Tónemos Tartwv Név Tatýp fotí návtwu & Basinsus), ascribed to Heraclitus, would be a not inappropriate motto for the Origin of Species.
Again, in his essay on “Evolution and Ethics," he mentions the Stoic explanation of the phenomena of existence, and points out that it supposed the existence of “a material world-soul, decked out with all the attributes of ideal divinity: not merely with infinite power and transcendent wisdom, but with absolute goodness." He then goes on to say (p. 23) :
If the Cosmos is the effect of an immanent, omnipotent, and infinitely beneficent cause, the existence in it of real evil, still less of necessarily inherent evil, is plainly inadmissible. Yet the universal experience of mankind testified then, as now, that whether we look within us or without us, evil stares us in the face on all sides; that if anything is real, pain, and sorrow, and wrong, are realities. ... That there is a “soul of good in things evil” is unquestionable; nor will any wise man deny the disciplinary value of pain and sorrow. But these considerations do not help us to see why the immense multitude of irresponsible, sentient beings, which cannot profit by such discipline, should suffer; nor why, among the endless possi. bilities open to omnipotence—that of sinless, happy existence among the rest—the actuality in which sin and misery abound should be that selected. Surely it is mere cheap rhetoric to call arguments which have never yet been answered by even the meekest and the least rational of optimists suggestions of the pride of reason.
Prof. Huxley is not a pessimist like Winwood Read, nor an optimist like Paley. He held, as he tells us, “ that the world is neither so good nor so bad as it conceivably might be," and " that those who have failed to experience