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The Menace Of Evolution

The Menace Of Evolution poster

(An address given at the Second World Conference on Christian Fundamentals, May 20, 1920. Not revised by author).

“God said.” —Genesis 1:3

“Yea, hath God said?” —Genesis 3:1

“In the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb as it had been slain.” —Revelation 5:6

The first verse of Genesis reads like a perfect order, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” There is no nebulosity about that. The heaven and the earth were clearly understood, and God made both of them perfect. The earth became without form and void.

Dr. Anstey, in his fascinating book, “The Romance of Chronology,” insists that that Hebrew word must be translated “became;” other scholars admit it may be thus translated. The heaven remained perfect, the earth became without form and void. We have the divine commentary upon it in the 45th of Isaiah and the 18th verse, in which we are told that God created the earth—not void—it was made perfect. Then came the wreck, brought about by some agency unrevealed, and out of this wreck God begins the reconstruction.

The first three verses give us an index to the whole Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” construction; “The earth became without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” destruction; “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. God said, Let there be light and there was light,” reconstruction. All through the Bible are these three facts before us, construction by an infinitely wise God, destruction by the power of evil, and reconstruction—redemption is reconstruction.

You will notice in the first chapter it was done by the word of God. God said, “Let there be light,” and whenever God has spoken there is light. God divided the light from the darkness, and that work of division will continue until by and by there will be just two worlds, one of darkness and one of light. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night, and this book is a dictionary of definitions. When God defines a thing that is final. When He defines sin and salvation, heaven and hell, let us accept it as true, for He knows.

As we read into this first chapter we see that everything is perfect,—the mature product comes first. God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass and herb yielding seed,”—not the seed yielding the grass and herb. “Let the fruit tree bring forth fruit,” not the fruit bring forth the tree. The tree is known by the fruit and not the fruit by the tree. God said, “Let the waters bring forth living creatures,”—not the embryo shall grow into living creatures. God said, “Let the fowl fly in the firmament of heaven,”—not let the egg be created out of which shall hatch the fowl that shall fly in the heaven.

Whatever relation that may bear to science, that is the revelation of the first chapter of Genesis, that God created the mature product first. God said, Let us make man in our image,” so in the image of God he was created, and that is an “economy of miracle” if you want economy of miracle. If, by a fiat of God, the mature product is created first then reproduction comes by a natural process, by a natural law; but if the germ of the immature embryo comes first, then there must be miracle after miracle,—the development without the fostering care of motherhood.

Let that rest for a few moments. The fact remains that the mature product comes first in the book of Genesis. As you go into the second chapter you find the perfect society and perfect order in the moral and spiritual world,—a perfect man and a perfect woman. You cannot make perfect society without perfect individuals. A perfect man and a perfect woman in a perfect environment in a garden, suggestive of beauty and fertility and plenty. A perfect man and a perfect woman with a perfect environment, and perfect industry, set there to cultivate only the good and the useful, with perfect rest (one day in seven, fitting the needs of the human body and soul. Other days have been tried, but they will not work), with a perfect law (God is a lawgiver and His law is perfect), with perfect love (marriage of one man and one woman).

A woman had the highest place in that civilization ever attained. “A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife,” God said. We are not told that the wife shall leave her father and mother and cleave unto the husband. It is taken for granted, I suppose, she will do that anyhow; but the man is to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife. Woman is given pre-eminence in the realm of affection, and even a suffragette ought to be satisfied with that.

A perfect man and a perfect woman with perfect environment, perfect industry, perfect rest, perfect law, perfect love, with perfect life. There is no disease, there is no sin, there is no pain. I submit that that is the highest type of civilization this world has ever seen. It could not be higher perfection in every department of society. God, the Creator of it, has completed the perfect heaven and Earth, and now comes in the force that destroys, “Yea, hath God said.”

Revelation Questioned

Eleven times in the first chapter, “God said,” “God said,” “God said,” and then Satan comes with the question, “Hath God said?” Does God speak to His creatures? Is there a revelation from God? Does He speak directly to us out of His own infinitely wise mind and warm loving heart? Calling in question first of all the fact of revelation,—and that has been the devil’s diplomacy ever since. If he can get into our minds a doubt as to the fact of revelation he has accomplished his purpose. It will appear as we go forward that the great dark mission of this modern (linked with the ancient) evolutionary movement is to throw doubt upon the fact that God ever speaks to us from above, to lead souls to believe that the only message we can get is from beneath.

After Eve has replied, “God hath said,” then Satan goes a step further and denies the truth of revelation, “Ye shall not surely die.” “It is too severe. If God has said it we have a right to reject it. We will measure it by our own inner consciousness and decide whether this revelation of God is to be accepted or rejected.” Then he goes a step further still. Having called in question the fact of revelation and then denied the truth of revelation, he offers knowledge as a substitute for revelation: “Do what God has told you not to do and ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil.”

The difference between heaven and Earth, if not between heaven and hell, is that in heaven they know the good, on Earth we know good and evil, and in hell it may be only evil. Satan offers knowledge as a substitute for revelation, and he has been doing it ever since. The greatest movement of that kind that has ever gone forward in the earth is the evolutionary movement, offering knowledge in every department as a substitute for the revelation from God, that which comes up from beneath to be taken instead of that which comes spoken from above or the teaching which comes to us directly from God.

The sin that follows is indescribable, and the suffering with it. “Because thou hast done this thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” That came to Satan, and that comes to everyone who accepts his program. From the erect, upright, Godlike position he comes down to the dust in which he goes, and eats the dust instead of the manna that falls from heaven. Then came the curse upon woman, the multiplying of her sorrows, and the curse upon men, the multiplying of his burdens and his toil. I repeat it, whoever accepts the program of Satan, calling in question the fact of revelation, and denying the truth of revelation, and accepting knowledge as a substitute from revelation, and yielding to the physical and the aesthetic and the intellectual rather than obedience to God’s revelation, he will come down to the dust and he will crawl in the dust, and he will eat dust and be satisfied with dust instead of the manna that God sends.

The Sin Line vs. The Godly

As I stood on the top of a hill outside the city of Geneva, a friend pointed to the confluence of the Rhone and the Arve. The Rhone comes out of Lake Geneva as pure as crystal. The Arve comes tumbling down the Alps full of mud and impurities, and when the muddy Arve runs into the crystal Rhone there begins the battle between mud and crystal, and you can trace that battle line for two and one-half miles until by and by the whole river is made muddy. It is something like the first three chapters of Genesis. The first two are just as pure as the water that flows from beneath God’s throne, there is no trace of sin. In the third chapter the muddy Arve has come in. Sin has entered, through yielding to Satan’s suggestion of the knowledge without obedience, and the battle between the mud and the crystal begins. All down the ages that conflict has raged between the mud from beneath and the crystal of God’s revelation. The river has been made very turbid and muddy in man’s heart and life. A brother kills a brother in a religious quarrel (not much falling upward, that), and all along this muddy line we can trace a civilization without God, without an altar.

Cain went out from the presence of the Lord; that is, he determined to have nothing more to do with God. No revelation for him! No communications for him! He was going to carve out a civilization and a destiny independent of God. The first thing he did was to build a city and name it after his son Enoch. So far as we know, it was a magnificent city with beautiful architecture, the Word does not exclude that thought. He founds a civilization of a rather high order, almost a university curriculum. There is professor Jabal (let us call him), at the head of the Agricultural Department in this university. He raised a great family of men who gave themselves to cattle raising and the open air, a civilization akin to that of the western plains of today, and far removed from barbarism. Then we have professor Jubal at the head of the Musical Department. He raised a great family of students and friends trained for handling the harp and organ. I think it meant something to have the degree of Doctor of Music from Professor Jubal in that day. Then there is Professor Tubal-cain, “an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.” He is at the head of the Department of Metallurgy. City building, cattle raising, music with harp and organ, metallurgy—nothing said about the stone age. I read between the lines that whatever there was of a stone age came after the people became ignorant, wicked, and lazy and did not want to take the time to work in brass and iron, or just gave it up because of their shiftlessness.

We haven’t time to enter into that. What is perfectly clear is that there arose along this muddy current, in conflict with the Christian, a high type of worldly civilization made up of city building, cattle raising, art, agriculture, music, and metallurgy, far removed from barbarism, even at the beginning when sin had entered and done its terrible work. Side by side with this there is the crystal of the line of Seth, “they called upon the name of the Lord;” or, as it might be translated, “they were called by the name of the Lord.”

They worshipped God, they had an altar. Unlike Cain, they refused to turn their backs upon God. But the two mingled. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair,” and it seems to me (though I may be mistaken) that that is the plainest interpretation of it, that those “sons of God” cannot refer to the angels, because the angels, we are told, never get married. These sons of God, those in the line of Seth, called by the name of the Lord, mingled with the muddy element about them, and as a result, another type of civilization with mighty men, giants, but wicked men, came into existence, and the world was filled with violence.

The Origin Of Life

It really startles the student of history to notice that the vitiation of the good by the bad results in wickedness. Constantine determined to unite the Christian church with the pagan state and he succeeded. As a result, giants in those days, to be sure, but giants of wickedness, and the world was filled with violence. Out of it came the Spanish Inquisition and other institutions that killed martyrs by the hundred thousand.

Let us trace a little further this muddy current in conflict with the Christian. Between 700 and 300 years B.C. there developed among the Greek philosophers what we would call the Darwinism of that day. Thales of Miletus taught that the primordial germ was water, and all life and form came out of water. Heraclitus taught that the primordial germ was fire, and all life and form came out of fire. Pythagoras, the great mathematician, taught that the primordial germ (whatever he meant by it) was number, and out of number came all life and form. There was just one exception, the biggest and brainiest of the lot, if not bigger than all the rest put together, and that was Plato.

Plato differed with his compeers. He caught a dim vision of the truth as he studied things about him, almost the vision of the first chapter of Genesis. He taught that man began equal with the gods, and that beasts are degenerate men, that the ape, the orang-outang and the monkey are degenerate men, not that man came up from the beast, but the beast came down from man. I am firmly convinced that Plato had the weight of the argument on his side. There is immensely more a tendency in men to become monkeys than in monkeys to become men. We have seen men become beasts, but you have never seen a beast become a man and bow the knee and worship.

Charles Darwin, in his university course, caught a vision of those Greek philosophers and rejecting the position of Plato, he took sides with the rest. He taught that everything came from fungi, that germinal embryonic life was first, and that out of this immature embryonic life all life has been developed. He wrote two books, “The Descent of Man,” and “The Origin of Species.” Eight hundred times in those two books he uses the phrase, or its equivalent, “We may well suppose;” and after Darwin has “well supposed” a thing about three times he begins to build upon it as a good enough scientific foundation, though he himself was startled by the lengths to which his own theories went in accepting his conjecture.

Now I confess to some repugnance to having descended from the ape or the monkey. If I did and you will prove it, I am willing to confess it with all the humiliation that it might imply, but I am frank enough to confess I would rather come from a higher source, for then there is apt to be a gravitation upward, back to that source. I am going to give you some of the scientific reasons why I have not been able to accept evolution as the explanation of nature. You older people who may not be interested in this rather dry reasoning, you go to sleep, and we will wake you up at the proper time. I want to talk to these young men and young women who are in the public schools where this thing is taught, and in our colleges and universities where it is exploited almost universally. I can be assured that they will not go to sleep, for they are interested in this.

It does not matter whether the egg or the eagle or the hen came first. If God created an egg capable of hatching under certain conditions of heat after a few days into a hen or an eagle, that is not evolution, that is direct creation. Evolution demands that the egg shall have been created millions of years ago, and through long successive ages, beginning as an embryo at first, it develops into the eagle. That is what evolution demands, and Darwinism really asserts. The law that governs the development of the embryo here must of course have governed the development of the embryo away back yonder. Evolution has no history, it is all in the abysmal past, not an evolutionary fact can be quoted.

We look at the workings of life around us, and we see how it develops, first the blade, then the stalk, then the full corn in the ear. Everybody believes in that sort of development, but the scientist imagines that because that is the case here, the germ must have begun away back yonder, the same processes carried on through the countless ages, millions and millions of years, and of course therefore the same law must prevail.

Immaturity Lacks Power Of Reproduction

The first insurmountable difficulty is this: immature embryonic life is never reproductive. Embryos do not multiply into embryos, eggs do not hatch eggs. Where I live it takes a fully mature hen to produce an egg. Apples do not multiply into apples, it takes a tree; wheat does not multiply into wheat, it takes the stalk and the flower and the maturity. Even in the lowest realm of the cell, the cell has to become mature before it articulates.

I heard Dr. W.L. Poteat, in an address the other day, President of Wake Forest College, say that he had seen through the microscope hundreds of times the multiplication of cell life. He told us that the baby cell never multiplied. It is impossible to reproduce the cell in this lowest realm of life until it becomes mature. I repeat it and emphasize it, that immature germinal embryonic life is never under any condition reproductive.

If I am to be an evolutionist what must I believe? That this immature embryonic life came into existence millions of years ago and was developed so gradually that you cannot see it in history, without the power of reproduction; an absurdity on its face, that this immature embryonic life came into existence in the abysmal bast, and went through long stages of existence without the power of reproduction.

A second fact,—immature embryonic life is unimprovable, you cannot improve a germ by working directly upon it. If you want better eggs you must make better hens; if you want better fruit you must make better trees. Mr. Darwin did experiment with pigeons to a large extent, but if he ever experimented with pigeons’ eggs he had a basket of rotten eggs on hand a short time after. If you do not believe it, try it, try to improve an egg by working on it directly—impossible. I thought there were one or two exceptions, but I find on investigation that that is not true. Then what do you call upon me to believe? That this immature embryonic life began in the abysmal past and continued without the power of reproduction, and continued to improve without the power of improvement.

My! You do not expect anybody with grey matter in his brain to accept that? That is the requisite of evolution, that it should continue to improve, and as an embryo it has no power of improvement.

A third fact is just as plain, that immature embryonic life is unpreservable. I know that nature provides for its preservation and very carefully provides for a short period, but a member of the British Association said several years ago in London, that if embryonic life had come into existence in the chaos of the past, when we claimed that it did it could not have existed as an embryo two weeks.

I thought there was one exception to this. I had heard of wheat or corn found in the mummies of Egypt, that for four thousand years had been planted, and germinated and brought forth a crop. I have used it as an illustration in my sermons, and was a trifle fond of it. I made the statement that four thousand years is but the tick of a clock in the chronology of evolution, but I thought to be perfectly honest I ought to make that exception. After a lecture last summer, Professor Kyle, the most eminent archaeologist on this continent, I think, came up at the close and said, “The only trouble about your wheat story is that it is not true. I do not like to destroy one of your good illustrations, but no scientist now will claim that as true. The only wheat that ever germinated that came out of the mummy was the wheat that was in the straw used by the workmen in wrapping the things when they sent them over to America.” So I have to lay aside even that exception.

Now what do you compel me to believe if I am to be an evolutionist? That immature embryonic life came into existence millions of years ago, continued to exist without the power of reproduction, continued to improve without the power of improvement, continued to be preserved without the power of preservation. You do not expect a man with any grey matter in his brain, outside a lunatic asylum, to accept such a proposition as that.

Fourth, two insurmountable obstacles to evolution, there never has been spontaneous generation (all scientists admit that that has not been accomplished), and there never has been the transmutation of one species into another. I remember what Professor Tyndall said, “I see in dead matter the promise and potency of life,” but he saw no such thing. He saw in dead matter the promise and potency of death; he saw in a corpse the promise and potency of putrefaction; he saw in wood and iron and stone the promise and potency of disintegration. He had to put into it from his imagination what he saw.

Whenever one species mingles with another (of course there can be the mingling of varieties, but when one distinct species mingles with another the result is a hybrid and that is sterile, and the old stubborn mule stands in the path of the evolutionist and will not let him pass on in his way of error).

My fifth objection to it has already been named, that it is pagan in origin and spirit, and in its pagan opposition to the Bible it has asserted itself all down the ages, and began to assert itself most emphatically in the writings of Darwin and his followers. One of the saddest pieces of biography in all literature is the autobiography of Charles Darwin. He admits that in his early life he believed the Bible, he prayed, he worshipped, and in his old age he had lost all taste for music, poetry, painting, and religion. But even in his latter day he wrote the best book on worms ever penned by mortal man. He gives us many interesting facts about those lowly creatures of the mud. He had a taste for the habits of worms up to the very last, and I am not blaming him for that, it is a useful book in the hands of the farmer; but I insist that any atmospher [sic] or spirit that will cause a man to lose all taste for poetry, music, painting, and religion, while it keeps up the taste for the habits of worms, has something the matter with it, as sure as you live. And when I find that the study of this very thing in our universities, our colleges, by our literary men has brought them down from the high spiritual realm suggested by poetry, music, painting, and religion to the material realm of the mud and the worm that burrows in it, down to the dust in which it crawls, then the theory startles me and makes me stop and think. Men in high position give up the revelation of God and all spiritual experience and even spiritual philosophies, while they wallow in the dust and crawl in the mud with the worm at their feet. Upon Darwin it had that effect, and upon hundreds and thousands of others.

I have been trying to find out where Darwin got his theory. These old Greek philosophers believed that things came up from the mud by life force, by gentle quiet means. Darwin taught that they came up with a struggle, “the struggle for existence,” it was called; and because he saw the dolphins chasing flying fish he concluded that everything in nature is in battle, and the strong win, and in the long run conquer the weak and the unfit, and build themselves up on the ruins. I have tried to find where he got it. I think I succeeded. A man named Malthus, Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus, an Anglican clergyman and a voluminous writer, died in 1834 when Darwin was just twenty-five years old. I have not been able to prove that Darwin ever met Malthus, but I can prove that in his biography he records the fact that he got his suggestion from Malthus. The struggle for existence, this natural selection, the survival of the fittest, whatever you may call it, all of the same category, he got from Malthus.

What did Malthus teach? That man multiplies by geometrical ration very rapidly; that food supply multiplies by arithmetical ration, very much more slowly, and because man multiplies so much more rapidly than food supply, therefore there must be wars and famines and pestilences to kill off the surplus, that the rest of us may live.

If Malthus had let the grey matter in his brain work for three minutes, he would have known that is not true, that man does not multiply by geometrical ration (guinea pigs seemingly multiply so fast), while food supply does multiply some thirty, some sixty and some an hundred fold; and the benevolent God has supplied a plenty for all His creatures. But for the sin and selfishness of men, everyone would have as much as he needs. So you see Darwin built his theory upon a mistake of this Anglican clergyman; the foundation of it is false.

Their theory of long successive ages in geology I haven’t time to discuss this afternoon. I would like to refer to three books of George McCready Price, a scientist of the Western Coast, his first book, “The Principles or Fundamentals of Geology,” his second book, “God’s Two Books,” his third book, entitled, “Q.E.D.,” Quod Erat Demonstrandum. In this book he piles up proof upon proof that all this talk about long geological ages is false, and that no reputable scientist of today will risk his reputation by asserting that he can tell what rocks are old and what are new, and what fossils are old and what fossils are new, they have gotten so mixed up, topsy-turvy, all in pi that nobody can tell. I leave that with you to study up. You read from Sir Wm. Dawson, President of McGill University in Canada, and you will find proof piled upon proof again that savage man is the wreck of primitive man, that man began perfect with God, and all the proof, aside from the wild fancies of scientists borrowed from pagan sources, is that man began perfect and sin has brought about degeneration.

Read a book written by George Paulin, published by Scribner, entitled, “No Struggle for Existence, No Natural Selection,” and you will find proof upon proof again that even in the carnivorous world among tigers and hyenas there is no struggle for existence, and the fact that God has created some animals as food for others is a proof in favor of that fact, so that there may be no battle for existence between equals.

But the great objection, the one that just now interests us more than everything else, is that Darwin’s theory of struggle for existence is a dagger at the heart of civil and religious liberty. If it be true that the strong and the fit have the scientific right to destroy the weak and the unfit and build themselves up upon the wreck of what they have destroyed, then might is right, and Germany ought not to be criticized for acting upon that motto. I repeat it, if the strong and the fit have the scientific right to destroy the weak and the unfit, as evolution admits, might is right.

In Germany there arose a man by the name Nietzsche. The rumor was prevalent that he spent the last ten years of his life in a lunatic asylum, but he wrote books that captivated the German mind. Nietzsche’s book is the German soldier’s Bible, and I am sorry to say, two millions of them have been sold in Russia and hundreds of thousands in France. I want to read what he says: “The weak and the botched shall perish as part of humanity, and they ought to be helped to perish. What is more harmful than any vice?” he continues. Practical sympathy with the botched and the weak, namely, 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 goes on to say, “is the greatest of all conceivable corruptions, the one immortal blemish of mankind.” He bases that saying upon the fact that Christianity tries to help the weak and the botched that “ought to perish and should be helped to perish.”

He gave us the superman we heard so much about before the war. He delighted in calling his brother German “the magnificent blond beast.” His effort was to turn that beast into a giant that could destroy the botched and weak beasts. I have tried to get into my cranium what Nietzsche meant by the superman, and the nearest I can get is this, and I think it is true—one-third brute, one-third devil, and one-third university professor (with my apologies to every university man who may be present.) You know what I mean. Brute, devil, enthroned in academic vogue and in university authority, brute and devil worked out.

I said something like that from the Metropolitan Tabernacle pulpit in London one Sunday morning, and there was a German present. He appeared in the study afterward, he straightened himself up (and that was four months after the war began) and said, “I am a German, sir.”

“What! You are a German?” I exclaimed. I thought about calling the police.

“Yes,” he said, “I am a German, and I am a military German. I was brought in here on a captured ship, and why I have not been interned I do not know.” That shows how loose they were at first about it over there. However, they got tight about it at last, for they would not let me slip out of London without police permission for two years.

“I am going to be interned,” he said, “I have an intimation next week. I have heard you preach for five Sundays, and heard what you said this morning about Nietzsche and his gang, and I would like to give you a piece of my mind.” That grew interesting, and I said, “I would like to have a piece of your mind more than some other pieces I can think of, so go ahead.”

“What you said about Germany is true, and what you said about Darwinian evolution being back of this terrible war is true. ‘Might is right,’ rests upon that theory of Darwin that the strong and the fit have the scientific right to destroy the weak and the unfit. Nietzsche got the people to believing that Corsica had conquered Galilee and ought to conquer, and the Sermon on the Mount was rubbish to be cast on the dung-hill, and Christianity, because it favored the salvation of the botched and the weak ought to be rejected. Yes sir, you are right; but what I want to say to you is this. I am a Christian,” and his lip trembled as he said, “I love the Lord Jesus, and I believe the Bible just as you do. My wife and daughter have had their faith wrecked by Nietzsche’s pagan gang, and I would like for you to pray for them that their faith might be restored. But my message to you is this, the next time you mention it talk softly, because we got Darwinism from England. We took it and worked it out patiently to its legitimate consequences. We took the whole of it. We hatched the eggs of your fowl birds, and sent them back here to pollute your feasts.” And I could not deny it.

Then I remembered, as I meditated on it that night, that Germany got higher Criticism from France. The first man who suggested two authors of Genesis, the Jehovist and the Elohist (as if the same writer could not use two names for God), was Jean Astruc, a learned dissolute physician of the city of Marseilles. Dr. Eichorn read Jean Astruc’s book giving the two authors theory, and he went on to conjecture that there might be ten or fifteen or twenty authors of the Pentateuch. Thus began a movement that has done more to discredit the Bible than all other movements of modern times put together in the academic world.

Now notice what has come. England sent Darwinism to Germany, that infernal dictum that the strong and the fit have the scientific right to destroy the weak and the unfit. There came into the disordered brain of the Kaiser a vision of the super-nation, strong and fit having the scientific right to destroy all weaker nations, unfit because they are weak and build itself up on their wreck. Thus England sent Darwinism to Germany, and France sent the destructive Higher Criticism, and they united in destroying the sense of God in the German mind, to a large extent wiping out the Decalogue, harking the people back to Thor and Odin, the pagan gods of ancient times. The forces that Jean Astruc and Darwin generated went to Germany and formed themselves into one black cloud, and came back over France and England with lightning and thunderbolts that struck the people, and as a result, in this world twelve millions of men were killed. We need to bear that in mind.

And do you know that Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day, the 12th of February, 1809? A mother in England, standing on rich carpet in the midst of fine furniture, held her baby in her arms, born into a surrounding of luxury; not of great wealth, but I think it is safe to say, of luxury. That baby grew into a man in sympathy with autocracy, with the class against the mass, believing that the strong and the fit had the scientific right to help the world to destroy the weak and the unfit.

Yonder in a western cabin on a dirt floor, a mother stands with a baby in her arms, and that babe grew up amid the struggle of poverty and the burdens of it. When I was in New Orleans the other day, I tried to find the old slave market where young Abe Lincoln stood and saw the slave girl auctioned off, when he said, “If I ever get a chance to hit that thing I will hit it hard.” And he did.

That battle of mud and crystal, yes, the battle between autocracy and democracy, has been going on and is going on, and evolution stands on the side of the strong, the autocratic, the class against the mass, the weak and the struggling. Abe Lincoln believed that the botched and the weak had a right to live, and the strong and the fit ought to help them to live and not to destroy them. The Lord Jesus Christ believed that the weakest and the worst and the vilest and the lowest ought to be lifted up by the touch from above. The forces from the mud on one side, and the touch of God from above on the other, that is the conflict.

The Atonement

Now just a glimpse at my last text, which I want you to remember if you forget much else. “In the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb as it had been slain.” Take the sixth chapter of Genesis and look at the fourteenth verse, and you will find there that God ordered Noah to make an ark, and pitched it within and without with pitch. It startles the Hebrew student when he gets into Leviticus to find that the very Hebrew word translated “pitch” all through Leviticus, is translated “atonement.” The Hebrews delighted to think in pictures.

Here is the ark, completed, but not seaworthy. To make it seaworthy and safe it must be pitched within and without with pitch, and when God shut the door, and Noah and his family went inside, the waters of death on the outside beat upon it, but not a drop got through because it was pitched within and without with pitch. There is a figure of the atoning merit of Jesus Christ. When we have accepted Him as our Saviour, our sin-bearer, His merit encircles us and all the waters of judgment beating from without can never reach us. We are shut in, and all of that has been shut out.

The conflict is going on between these forces, the mud from beneath and the touch of God through the atoning blood from above, and to everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour, as Redeemer, as the vicarious atonement, the mud will be turned sooner or later into crystal.

“The Lamb as it had been slain, in the midst of the throne,” describes the millennial reign and the foretaste of heaven. If you want heaven, do not try to go there. Enthrone Christ, the Lamb that was slain, but standing, showing that He is now alive. He became dead and is alive. Enthrone the Christ that was slain, the risen Christ with the marks of the cross upon Him, in your heart and life, and you have settled every difficulty for you for time and for eternity.

If we could induce everybody on this earth to enthrone the Christ that was slain, in their hearts and lives we would not have to take them to heaven, heaven would come to them. You do not have to go to heaven, with Christ enthroned you have heaven come to you. If you give Him the crown, and give Him the sceptre, and give Him the throne you can have heaven in a London fog.