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state. A ghostly perennial existence in clover would be poor atonement to the myriads of herbivorous animals which have been devoured by carnivores. And are the ghosts of carnivores to be doomed for all eternity to kennels where there shall be neither a bone to gnaw nor a drop of water to quench their thirst, for doing with their mild herbivorous victims as they were evidently constructed to do? Increased perfection of progeny can never requite ancestors, unless future generations can, in Chinese fashion, pay their debts to the past. The animal world is a gladiator's show, in which the strongest, swiftest, and cunningest coine off victorious. The spectators need not bend down their thumb, for the great Edile who has furnished the show has decreed that no quarter shall be given. The governor of the world is no John Howard. The only consolation Professor Huxley can give us is to bid us abandon the vain optimism of the old theology, rest as contented as we can under the consulship of Ormuzd and Ahriman, and gather courage from the thought that with proper manhood we might face even worse conditions.* With a Not-John Howard on the throne of the world, we must just make the best of it, take our pleasures and our pains which befall us without regard to our moral desert, straining after no very lofty ideal, and the morrow will surely come that may bring us release in a sleep that shall know no waking. The ill-natured despair of the traditionalist is followed by the smile, half sad, half comical, of the man of science in the presence of an inexplicable mystery. Let Ormuzd and Ahriman rage as they like without As for him, he will cook his victuals by the fireside as long as food and fuel last. This total surrender of the eminent biologist surely reveals an extraordinary state of mind in one whose intellectual instincts must be of the strongest. But despair is the keynote of the time. No theologian has seriously attempted yet to reconcile his creed with fact.* The traditionalists have tried to shift the blame from themselves and fact, and put it on the back of science. The scientist despairs of solving the riddle of existence in any way that will meet the deeper demands of the human spirit; so he advises men to put on an apron and busy themselves about their house affairs. And our Tennysons and Arnolds have wailed in melodious verse over the weariness and the mystery of the days of man on the earth.
* So Mr John Morley, On Compromise, p. 108, speaks of "the strength and coherency that follow strict acceptance of the worst, when the worst is after all the best within reach."
* When this was written the author had not read Dr Matheson's Can the Old Faith Live with the New ? or his The Psalmist and the Scientist.
It is almost the universal belief that Charles Darwin placed the imprimatur of science upon this hopeless dualism. The law of natural selection is supposed by Professor Huxley himself to place the sentient world under the government of a nonmoral intellectual principle indifferent to moral desert. Darwin has set his seal upon the misery of the sentient world, and there is no hope of any redress unless behind the veil. It is passing strange, if a nature so calm and loving as Charles Darwin's, in a career almost unique for quiet, cheerful, successful industry in the face of difficulties before which any less self-forgetful spirit would have quailed, has only after all accomplished the scientific demonstration of the darkness of the world's destiny There was singularly little trace of that darkness in his own sunny nature. He looked upon the sentient world he loved so well with an eye undimmed by a single tear. Although there was not much light from above to relieve the gloom of night as he drew near his final rest, there was a light and peace within that enabled him calmly to await whatever the Great Being, in whom with most good men he firmly believed, might decree for him. He knew of no revelation but that revelation of nature, which Professor Huxley thinks is, as interpreted by Darwin, a message of doubt and despair. If that were so, how could he have so cheerfully committed his destiny to the disposal of the God of Nature ? The Life and Letters of Darwin might alone suffice to induce a reconsideration of the momentous problem. It would be one of the strangest enigmas of life, if one who was the essence of goodness has made to the world the saddest announcement it ever received by spoken or written word. Let us close our ears to the din about Darwin, and go to the Master himself.
THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.
“How have those exquisite adaptations of one part of the organization to another part, and to the conditions of life, and of one organic being to another organic being, been perfected ? Everywhere throughout the organic world there are beautiful adaptations. How do varieties become ultimately converted into good and distinct species, differing far more from each other than do the varieties of the same species ? Again, how do genera, groups of species, differing from each other more than do groups of the same genus, arise ?” Such questions as these were not raised for the first time by Darwin; others before him had been stirred to ask, Could the beautiful gradations of nature, which lend themselves so readily to classification by the naturalist, be due to special creative acts in which no law can be traced ? The scientific habit of mind could not advance many steps beyond its infancy without postulating a more satisfying ex