Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
that they should receive, and that can be given. Not a few of our readers who have studied our answers to the objections urged by the Modernist, Dr. Potter, against the infallibility of the Bible, in his debate with Dr. Stratton, the Fundamentalist, Dec. 20, 1923, have spoken and written to us asking that we consider Mr. Darrow's difficulties with the Bible. We are pleased to accede to these requests, the more so, because we believe that most skeptics are made so through the creedal errors which are falsely claimed to be the Bible's teachings, the fumbling efforts of their defenders and the unhappy translations of our Biblical versions on some of these points. This is true of a number of the points involved in Mr. Darrow's difficulties. Accordingly, we will take up these in the spirit of helpfulness and not in a partisan or controversial spirit. And we trust that a blessing will come to the heads and hearts of all who will read these lines.
Mr. Darrow's first difficulty concerns the story of Jonah and the great fish that swallowed him. He did not get a chance to state what we believe are his main objections to this story—those usually given by skeptics: (1) that a whale's throat is too small to swallow a man and (2) that a man could not have lived three days in the belly of a great fish. On the first point several remarks may fittingly be made. In Jonah 1: 17 the Hebrew reads, a great fish, not a whale. The Septuagint's translation of this expression into Greek is, a great ketos, which last word is the one used in Matt. 12: 40 in the Greek and is translated into English by the word whale. Greek lexicographers, e.g., Lidell and Scott, Thayer, etc., define the word as: any sea monster, huge fish, like whales, sharks, dolphins, tunnies, etc. Accordingly, this word in Matt. 12: 40 should have been translated great or huge fish, as in Jonah 1: 17. Even if it were rendered whale, in the absence of a specific statement to that effect,
it should not be inferred that it was a whale of the kind whose throat is too small to swallow a man; because the spermaceti whale, for instance, which has been found in the Mediterranean, has a throat large enough to receive a man. But this great fish might have been a huge shark, some of which have been known to swallow a man. One of such sharks—sixty feet in length—was washed ashore near Sidon in 1877, whose carcass Dr. Thompson, the celebrated author of the three-volume work, The Land And The Book, the most popular work on Palestine, sought to get for his college at Beirut, Syria. Some of the Mediterranean sharks, e.g., the white sharks, have only cutting teeth, and therefore have no choice except to swallow their prey whole or to cut off a portion, since they cannot hold their prey or swallow it piecemeal. Mr. Mueller, a most trustworthy naturalist, tells of an experience in the Mediterranean in 1758 on the part of a sailor who was seized by a shark, which had him already in its throat when the immediate shot of a whale gun struck it and forced it to disgorge the man alive. The sailor later traveled over Europe exhibiting this huge fish. A great fish captured near Miami, Fla., a few years ago, had within its stomach another fish weighing 1500 pounds. This great sea monster is still on exhibition. It has been shown in various cities, and seen by thousands of people. Its picture showing its large mouth was shown in newspapers throughout the country. This shows that this objection to Jonah and the great fish does not hold.
The second objection—that a man cannot live three days in the belly of a fish—is based upon the denial of the reality of miracles. We sympathize with those who cannot bring themselves to believe in the miraculous. They miss much necessary for peace of heart and mind. Certainly the creation and the maintenance of the universe in its orderly arrangement, its movements, the relations of its parts, etc., are by far greater
miracles than any others mentioned in the Bible; yet all must admit their reality. Why then might not lesser miracles be wrought? Perhaps when the object of Jonah's being swallowed and of his being preserved alive three days in the belly of the sea monster and of his deliverance therefrom is understood, the reasonableness of this purpose will make the miracle seem unobjectionable. Jesus clearly teaches (Matt. 12: 40) that in this transaction a prophetic type of His death and resurrection was furnished by Jonah. It was in part this type that enabled our Lord to know that he would be put to death, and then be raised on the third day, as it in part enabled St. Paul to state that Christ arose the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15: 4). The death and resurrection of Christ are the central facts of the Bible; and we should therefore expect them to be referred to in all seven lines of Scriptural thought, i.e., in its doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types. And the story of Jonah and the great fish is one of the types to teach Jesus' death and resurrection. While, apart from this purpose, this story may seem ridiculous to the skeptic; to the Christian it is, as a typical prophecy of Christ's death and resurrection, a strong proof of the Bible as being a Divine revelation, since such a prophecy is evidently Divinely inspired. At any rate, a candid consideration of this fact should make the story lose its objectionableness to a skeptic.
Mr. Darrow's second difficulty with the Bible is based on Joshua's prayer and its answer as these have been translated by the Authorized Version (Josh. 10: 12, 13). He is not at all to be censured for having difficulty with the thought conveyed by this translation, for as it reads it plainly teaches an untruth. But this raises the question of the correctness of the translation of these verses, and as a student of the Hebrew we unhesitatingly charge the A. V. with mistranslating
several words in these verses and, as a result, with giving a wholly erroneous impression of what was prayed for, and what was given in answer to the prayer. The words translated "sun," "moon," "stand still," and "whole," should have been translated, "sunlight," "moonlight," "be inactive," and "perfect," respectively. The following is offered as a correct translation of these verses: "Sunlight be inactive on Gibeon and moonlight [be inactive] in the valley of Ajalon. And the sunlight was inactive and the moonlight stood [inactive] until the nation took vengeance on its enemies. Is not this written in the book of the Righteous? And the sunlight stayed in the midheavens [remained in the atmosphere above the clouds from which the great hail was falling] and did not hasten to come [from the midheavens upon the surface of the mountain] as on a perfect day." So far the corrected translation with a few bracketed comments.
Our answer to Mr. Darrow's difficulty on this point is, therefore, the following: It was the sunlight that Joshua desired not to shine on Gibeon; for he knew that the sun itself never had been nor could be on that mountain, but that its light had been and could be there. It was the moonlight that Joshua desired not to shine in the valley of Ajalon; for he knew that the moon itself never had been nor could be in that valley, but that its light had been and could be there. The facts of the case make plain Joshua's meaning: The hail falling upon, confounding and killing the Amorites was so dense as to darken during the day the entire mountain and at night the entire valley where the Amorites successively were; and Joshua desired that condition to be continued, because thereby the foe was being overthrown. And for that he prayed. In effect his prayer was this: "O Lord, continue to cause the hail to fall in such dense masses upon Thy and our enemies as to darken the mountain by day and the valley by night, and thus overthrow Thy and our
enemies." In other words, if the hail would fall so densely upon the Amorites as to shut off the sunlight by day and the moonlight by night during the day and night of that battle, the Amorites would surely be completely overthrown; and for that Joshua prayed and his prayer was granted. In the poetic form with which the prayer was uttered, he tersely stated the accompanying phenomena and not the desired cause and effect—the great hail and the overthrow of the Amorites. The several unhappy translations above corrected have occasioned the widespread misunderstanding of this passage. Again we call attention to the last part of verse 13. It should read: So the sunlight stayed in the midheavens and hastened not to come [upon Mt. Gibeon] as on a perfect day. See Young's and Rotherham's translations. Additional to this and the correction above made on sunlight and moonlight, we would add the remark that the Hebrew word dum translated in the A. V. "stand still," primarily means to be silent and secondarily to be inactive. Joshua wanted the sunlight (not the sun) and the moonlight (not the moon) to be inactive that day so far as lighting up Mt. Gibeon and the valley of Ajalon was concerned, because that was the accompaniment of the dense masses of hail falling on the Amorites, which dense falling of hail he wished continued, until the enemy was overthrown. He did not desire the sun and the moon themselves to cease in their course that day, as so many, like Mr. Darrow, deceived thereto by the above mentioned mistranslations, have assumed. There is, therefore, no conflict between the Bible and Science on Joshua's dark day. But, on the other hand, Mr. Darrow and like thinkers are, on account of the mistranslations above pointed out, absolved from all censure; and by the above corrections of the translation the Bible and Science are shown to be in full harmony on this point. What a pity that the translators blundered so greatly! The Bible sometimes has to be saved
from its friends—in this case, its translators; for Truth is often wounded in the house of its friends.
The third difficulty that Mr. Darrow has with the Bible is its teaching on the length of time the human family has been on earth. According to the Biblical chronology, Adam was created Oct., 4129 B. C., or about 6067 years ago. Mr. Darrow thinks the human family is much more ancient than this; and in proof of his opinion he cites the civilizations of China, Babylon and Egypt, which according to not a few archeologists and historians reach back to nearly 6000 B. C. On this point we believe we can offer some suggestions that will bring the chronology of these nations into substantial harmony with that of the Bible, so far as man's antiquity is concerned. Let us take up the Egyptian record. Egyptologists have unearthed many genealogical and historical tablets giving lists of what are considered to be those of Egypt's rulers. These lists, to the perplexity of the ablest Egyptologists, vary greatly in the number of rulers that they give. Most of the lists contain the names of gods and demigods among these rulers. But one of these tablets, and that the most reliable of all of them—the Abydos tablet—omits the mention of the gods and demigods, and gives those whom the Egyptians supposed to be the human Pharaohs only. The Abydos tablet most remarkably confirms the Bible genealogies as given in Genesis 4 and 5. Comparing this list with the lists in the other tablets, we find that they substantially agree with the first ten Pharaohs given in the Abydos tablet. Thereafter the larger lists give a number of names of gods and demigods omitted in the Abydos tablet. Directly following these they next give the names that immediately follow the first ten in the Abydos tablet.
The first twenty Pharaohs in these tablets (omitting those of the gods and demigods in the non-Abydosian tablets) are most interesting; for they, in so far as they agree with the Abydos tablet, correspond exactly with
the twenty men introduced in the Genesis record up to and including Noah. It will be recalled that Adam and his firstborn descendants by and including Cain up to Jabal, who must have perished in the flood, since he is the last one of Cain's descendants named, number exactly ten; while Abel and Seth and the latter's firstborn descendants up to and including Noah number ten. The Abydos tablet gives these twenty persons their Egyptian names: first in the order of Adam and Cain and the latter's firstborn descendants, and then in the order of Abel and Seth and the latter's firstborn descendants up to and including Noah. Thus Adam under the name of Mena is called Pharaoh I. Noah under the name of Norfu is called Pharaoh XX. The gods and demigods are introduced in the other tablets after Jabal, Cain's last firstborn descendant, who in the tablets is called Kakan. This is just the Biblical time and place for them to appear; for these gods were the angels—"sons of God"—who just before the flood married women and by them generated the giants—the demigods (Gen. 6: 2-4; Jude 6, 7). We have treated in detail of these angels and their giant sons in H. E. '21, 5, 6, to which we refer our readers for these details. Pharaoh XXI is Ham, Hebrew Cham, called in the tablets Chamu and Chufu. Remembering that Ham's, not Shem's or Japheth's, descendants settled in Egypt, Ham is just the one that we should expect to appear in this list of so-called Pharaohs after Norfu—Noah.
There are some other interesting items in the Abydos tablet: Mena's (Adam's) wife is Shesh (Hebrew, Isha) meaning woman. Pharaoh II is called Teta—Khent, meaning guilty one in allusion to Cain's guilt of Abel's blood. The tablet portion for Abel represents him as the non-resistant one. The Abydos tablet was made by Seti I, who is supposed to have been the Pharaoh that had Joseph as his prime minister. Seti I had a shaft sunk 60 feet deep through solid rock. At that depth his masons cut out the stair case on which
the Abydos tablet was then inscribed. An exact copy of it is in the British Museum. This tablet is highly confirmatory of the Biblical chronology, if we keep in mind that, like the Bible, it gives two contemporaneous lines of genealogy, first one and then the other, to a completion. This would require us to count 1656, and not over 3300 years, from Mena (Adam) to Norfu (Noah) and the flood. Reducing the longest Egyptian chronology for this period into half its length, as required by this consideration, and then omitting the chronology of the gods and demigods—for these were also contemporaneous with the two genealogies involved, we find that the Egyptian chronology as given in the Abydos tablet, and as compared with the other tablets, and the Biblical chronology are substantially alike for the time before the flood. We may further add that the Babylonian, Chinese and Indian records, from which certain archeologists claim notices of persons living from 6000 years before Christ onward, have the same fault of counting as successive genealogical lists or dynasties those that were in fact contemporaneous, even as certain Egyptologists have done with the Abydos and other tablets. The fact that the Bible introduces the two genealogies involved separately, but does not require that their chronology be given as successive, but as contemporaneous, proves that it is reasonable to do this with the names in the Abydos tablet. The above considerations prove that reasonably we may harmonize the Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese and Indian chronologies with that of the Bible, which assigns the period of about 6067 years to the human family's stay on earth thus far. Thus the most reliable tablet of Heathen antiquity corroborates substantially the Bible chronology.
Before leaving this point it will not be amiss to call our readers' attention to the fact that there are really no chronological notices given in the Egyptian chronologies previous to the eighteenth dynasty, which flourished
from the end of Joseph's time until about Moses' time. Egyptologists have had to guess on the chronology previous to that dynasty. The following table will show how the greatest of them differ in their guesses of the date for Mena, the first so-called Pharaoh, who was really not a Pharaoh—rather he was Adam, but the Egyptians claimed him as a Pharaoh. These guesses were made before 1912, when the above identification of the first 20 names of the Abydos tablet was made with the 20 names of the two
genealogical trees of Gen. 4 and 5.
Mariette and Lenormant 5004 B. C.
Brugsch and Budge 4400 "
Lepsius 3892 "
Bunsen (earlier view) 3623 "
Bunsen (later view) 3059 "
Breasted 3400 "
Stewart Poole 2717 "
G. Wilkinson 2691 "
G. Rawlinson 2350 "
We need only add that the greatest archeologists and historians are as divergent in their views on the antiquity of the Babylonians, Chinese and Indians. Surely the clear chronology of the Bible should not be set aside by such divergent guesses as prevail among the ablest archeologists and historians. Let its deniers first bring forth agreed certainties, if they would have us accept their theories. In the meantime we do well to disregard them, since they are admittedly guessing.
Mr. Darrow finds another difficulty in the Bible claim that there was a flood that covered the earth. Yet he mentions a thing that implies the fact that there was such a flood—the Glacial Age. The glaciers were caused by the freezing of the flood waters north of the temperate zone. The best scientific opinion is favorable to the flood's actuality, and that along the lines laid down in the Bible. We refer to the Vailian theory of a canopy of water that surrounded our
earth, as Saturn's rings surround Saturn, and as Jupiter's watery canopies surround it. This is in harmony with the Bible, which speaks of God separating the waters on the earth from those above the earth by the expanse (whose place is taken by our present atmosphere), improperly translated in the A. V. by the word firmament (Gen. 1: 7). In fact there were many of these canopies—seven in all— around our earth, held off by the heat and motion of the primeval earth at varying distances, dependent on their density. Each of these fell to the earth at the end of its age-day, and these successively formed the strata of the earth on top of the original igneous mass now represented in the granite formed from the molten mass, when all its carbon was burned out. These seven strata are very plainly seen in immense layers in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado river. The last of these canopies was of pure water (the heavier minerals, etc., being in the various lower canopies according to their varying weights) and fell to the earth in the deluge of Noah's day. All ancient nations have preserved accounts of this flood, which accounts, however differing in details, agree substantially with the Biblical flood.
There are certain facts that necessitate the acceptance of a sudden flood covering the earth. The following will show this: With a canopy of water surrounding this earth, the earth itself would be a huge hot-house with evenness of temperature everywhere, making the climate at the poles the same as that at the equator. Thus the same vegetation would be found at the poles as would be found at the equator. How do we know this? Because huge mammoths, antelopes, etc., have been found in frozen Siberia embedded in the fields of ice—glaciers—with undigested grass in their stomachs. These while grazing in the far North were suddenly overwhelmed by the flood's descending waters, which quickly froze. The resultant ice or glaciers held them for millenniums in their secure
embrace until lately they were discovered and gave us the factual proof of the flood's reality. Geology tells the same tale, according to the testimony of such eminent Geologists as Dawson, Dana, Wright, etc. Thus the Bible, the history of all ancient nations, the Glacial Age, Zoological finds in frozen Siberia and Geology, all prove the reality of the flood; and the Valian theory gives it a scientific explanation.
The fact of a universal flood will enable us to assist Mr. Darrow out of his difficulty with the confusion of languages at the time of the Tower of Babel. According to the real Bible chronology, Noah's flood occurred 24732472 B. C. This is just about where the Abydos tablet, compared with the Bible, would place it. All accounts of the flood preserved by the ancient nations speak of but one family as rescued from the flood by a specially constructed ship. Accordingly, there was but one language brought over to this side of the flood, even if more than one had been previously used, which is doubtful. But the historical features of all ancient nations, as separate and distinct from one another, become chronological and reliable as such only at a period later than 2472 B. C. This fact would imply that nations as such came into existence only after the flood, even as the Bible teaches. We must, therefore, look for the rise of various languages as synchronous with the rise of various nations. Hence this must be looked for about the time of the building of the Tower of Babel, in Nimrod's days (Gen. 10: 8-12; 11: 1-9), about 2400 B. C. Thus the facts of the case put the origin of the nations from one family and thus the rise of national languages where the Bible teaches both came into being.
The confusion of languages was a fact; but additionally it was a Divinely arranged occurrence for prophetic purposes, which when seen makes the confusion of languages a reasonable thing to accept. In this picture we understand Nimrod to type Satan; the
city of Babel, the present evil world; the tower, a false religion—Papal Churchianity; the pride of the people in building the tower, the pride of papal sectarianism in developing their system; the expectation of the people of safety from another flood in building this tower, the expectation of papists that they had a refuge against the curse in their system; the one language of the tower builders, the papal creed; the confusion of tongues, the creedal confusion of the sectarian systems that papal errors and wrongs have occasioned to rise—the conflicting theories of Protestant creeds. The inability of the Babelites to understand one another types the inability of the holders of each creed to appreciate the contrary teachings of other creeds. Thus viewed, the confusion of languages at Babel was wrought by God as a miracle to prophesy the confusion of creedists as a result of papal perversions. This prophetic character of the event is the Divine attestation of its truthfulness.
Mr. Darrow finds difficulty with the Bible teaching of the age of this earth. Mr. Darrow is right in objecting to the teaching that the earth and its creatures were made in six days of 24 hours each, as many of the creeds unfortunately and erroneously teach. Since the sun and moon did not shine through the earth's canopies until the fourth creative day, evidently the days and nights implied in the previously mentioned three mornings and evenings could not have been days and nights of our kind. On the contrary, we understand that the six creative days were each of 7000 years' duration. Our reason for this is that the seventh day, following the six creative days, is a period of 7000 years, and therefore by parity of reasoning the preceding six days must each have been of 7000 years also. Before proving this proposition from the Bible, we will note how the Hebrew word yom (day) and the Greek word hemera (day) are in the Bible used to designate varying periods of time: such as a
period of twelve hours (John 11: 9), of 24 hours (Num. 13: 25), of 40 years (Ps. 95: 8, 9), of 1845 years, i.e., the Jewish Age, from Jacob's death to Jesus' death (Rom. 10: 20), of the Gospel Age, which has lasted over 1900 years (2 Cor. 6: 2; Heb. 3: 14), of the Millennial Age—1000 years (Is. 11: 10; 25: 9) and of the entire creative period (Gen. 2: 4). We frequently use the word day in ordinary English to designate periods of many years, as the day of Caesar, of Napoleon, of Washington, of Lincoln, etc. Thus we see that the Bible uses the word day to designate periods and ages as well as a time of twelve or twenty-four hours.
In the following way we prove that each of the six creative days was a period of 7000 years: The seventh day, the day on which God rests, is a period of 7000 years. St. Paul in Heb. 4: 4 says that on the seventh day God rested from His creative works as respects man. In verse 5 he shows that God's rest was unbrokenly continuing unto and in his day. In verse 7 he shows that this rest covers the entire Gospel Age; and therefore it extends to our own day, over 6000 years from its beginning. During the Millennium, into which we have already entered, God will continue to rest; for Christ will then work for Him toward humanity, while He rests. It will be only at the end of the Millennium, after having subdued all things unto Himself, that the Son will deliver up the Kingdom to God. Then God working again toward man, His rest will be ended. Hence the rest day—the seventh day—of God is a period of 7000 years. But this seventh day of rest is spoken of as a day in the same connection as the six creative days are (Gen. 1: 32: 3). Thus they must be days in the same sense as the seventh—each of 7000 years' duration. Such periods permit of sufficient time for all the changes, deposits of strata, formation of fossils, etc., that Geology, etc., have brought to our attention. Geology, by
its seven geological ages, corroborates the seven periods since the original creation of the heavens, and earth, which of course were in existence before the first creative day began, but how long before we cannot tell. It is one of the secret things on which we will do well to refrain from speculation, since speculation, is guessing.
Mr. Darrow has another difficulty: Eve's creation from a rib of Adam. Almighty power in making of one blood all human beings (Acts 17: 26) could, of course, easily create Eve from a rib of Adam, as well as out of any other part of his body, since to be flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, she had to be made out of some part of his flesh and bones (Gen. 2: 23). This unusual thing will become reasonable when we understand that by this act God gave a typical prophecy of how from Christ's humanity and spirit the Church would be formed. We are familiar with the fact that the Bible uses Adam and Eve as types of Christ and the Church (1 Cor. 15: 45; 2 Cor. 11: 2, 3; Eph. 5: 31, 32; Gen. 2: 23, 24). The following will show this in type and antitype: Adam types Jesus; Eve types the Church. Adam had no real helpmate before Eve's creation; neither does Jesus before the Church's creation. Adam was put into a deep sleep preparatory to Eve's creation. Jesus was put into the sleep of death preparatory to the Church's creation. As from the sleeping Adam were taken a rib and some flesh for the creation of Eve; so from the dead human Jesus were the life-rights and the right to life taken to justify the Church to life; and the transformation of the rib and flesh into Eve corresponds to the transformation of certain justified human beings into the Divine Bride of Christ, the sinless Second Eve who, united to the sinless Second Adam, will with Him in the Millennium regenerate (Matt. 19: 28) the race in righteousness and life, in contrast with the sinful Adam and Eve generating the race in sin and death. So viewed, instead
of Eve's being formed from a rib and some flesh of Adam being ridiculous, it is a beautiful prophecy of one of the most glorious of all Biblical truths.
Where Cain got his wife likewise troubles Mr. Darrow. This question is very easy to answer: He got her from his father's family; for he married one of his sisters. We are told in Gen. 5: 4 that Adam begat sons and daughters. When the latter were begotten we do not know since the Bible, as usual in the case of daughters, does not say; but we do know that Cain married one of these; because the Bible teaches that all men came from one blood—Adam's (Acts 17: 26; Rom. 5: 12, 15-19; 1 Cor. 15: 22). Mr. Darrow's difficulty on this point arises from a misunderstanding of the language of Gen. 4: 16, 17: "And Cain went out from the presence [favor] of Jehovah and dwelt in the land of Nod [Hebrew for wandering] on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch." This language is understood by Mr. Darrow to mean that Cain went into a far distant country, and there became acquainted with a woman whom he never before saw and married her and by her became a father. This is not the sense of the passage. The passage does not say that he became acquainted in the land of Nod with a woman and there married her. He took his wife with him from his and her father's home to the land of Nod. While there he knew her in the sense of cohabiting with her, and from this act she conceived and bore a son. The word "know" among the Hebrews very frequently was used to mean cohabit, and the connection clearly proves that such is its sense here. The following are some passages that use the word in this sense: Gen. 4: 1, 25; 24: 16; 38: 26; 1 Sam. 1: 19; Judges 19: 25; 1 Kings 1: 4; Luke 1: 34; etc. One may object that it is unhealthy to marry a sister. To this we agree in so far as concerns the present fallen condition of humanity; but such was not the case before human blood and
health were so much corrupted as they have become. Early in human history the blood and health were very much better than now, evidenced by the longevity of the antediluvians. In view of the above cited facts, it is evident that there is no difficulty in answering the question as to where Cain got his wife.
Further, Mr. Darrow experiences difficulty with Eve's temptation by the serpent. In explanation we would say that it was not really the literal serpent that tempted Eve. It was Satan who spoke through the serpent, even as he now speaks through mediums, for Satan was the speaker and deceived Eve, even as Jesus, Paul and John teach—Gen. 3: 4, 5; John 8: 44; 2 Cor. 11: 3; Rev. 20: 2, 3, 7.
Next, Mr. Darrow is troubled about the curse placed on the serpent, as though it had previously walked on its tail, and after the curse crawled on its belly and consumed more or less dust (Gen. 3: 1-14). His difficulty is due to his misunderstanding what is meant by the serpent. It is Satan. Through introducing sin into the world he can no more stand erect in the true nobility of a righteous character like other sons of God—the good angels; but he grovels— crawls—in things low, degraded and degrading, and appropriates them to himself, to his continually increasing degradation. Thus does he figuratively crawl and eat dust. The literal serpent was used by Satan, "that old serpent" (so called because of deceitfully using the literal serpent as a medium through which he spoke and acted), and is not at all meant in Gen. 3: 15. We will quote the passage and briefly explain it in brackets: "I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed [Satan's human servants] and her seed [Christ and the Church— Rom. 16: 20]; it shall bruise thy head [destroy thee], and thou shalt bruise his heel [by opposition and persecution make the Faithful figuratively limp, inflict a not vital injury, but not destroy them]."
Then, too, Mr. Darrow finds difficulty with the part of the curse placed on woman: sorrow, multiplication of conception, sufferings in child birth, and the husband's headship over her, often expressing itself in tyranny. At least it must be admitted that these evils are a fact in the average woman's experience. The curse upon the earth has more or less embrutened men, and from the severities of nature and man's hardness of heart have these evils mainly come upon womankind. Had she not in Eve sinned, sin would not have come, and she would have enjoyed paradise continually, even as the man also would have done. But sin caused the loss of the state of innocence and paradise and caused justice to drive them into the untoward—cursed— earth, where the severities of nature effected in man and woman such changes as have made her suffer the above-cited evils, even as man has had to suffer his peculiar part of the curse—heavy labor. The facts—dire as they are— prove God's statement to be true.
Finally, Mr. Darrow seems to have difficulty in the rainbow first appearing after the flood. This difficulty is readily explained. Before the last earth canopy, which consisted of water, was precipitated on the earth, rain had never fallen; because no clouds could form under this canopy. The Bible tells us that the earth was made moist by a mist arising from the earth, which had many underground streams, lakes and seas, whose beds, drained, made many of our caves (Gen. 2: 6). In some cases these huge reservoirs reached the surface and formed streams (Gen. 2: 10). When, however, the canopy of water engirdling the earth broke and precipitated itself on the earth in Noah's flood, the sun could produce clouds by its direct heat acting on the water, and as a result rain was made possible. And when for the first time the sun's rays struck the descending rain at the proper angle with man's sight, man for the first time saw a rainbow. It is also easy from
these facts to see how the first rainbow was a pledge that the earth would never again suffer a universal deluge: Its presence was a proof that there was no more a canopy of water engirdling the earth, and therefore it could not precipitate itself upon the earth in a universal flood. This fact, combined with that of the earth's traveling around its orbit, also accounts for the variation of the seasons, etc., as long as the earth lasts.—Gen. 8: 21, 22; 9: 8-17.
We have finished our brief review of the difficulties that Mr. Darrow and many others have with the Bible. Our review is now too long to take up at this time his views on evolution, which we will later do. We have found his difficulties in nearly every case to be based upon a misunderstanding, which we trust we have been enabled by the Lord's grace to clear up. We trust this study will prove a blessing to many who have difficulties with the Bible. We desire to assure these dear troubled souls that there is help for them out of these difficulties; for the Bible rightly understood is the best science, the noblest instruction and the clearest truth.
We have studied atheism as the first false view of God; and now we proceed to a study of materialism as the second false view of God. Atheism and materialism are really twins; for in almost all cases materialists, like atheists, deny the existence of a God. All strict materialists are avowed atheists. The exceptions to this rule are the few materialists who deify the universe as such, and give the worship of admiration to the laws, order, beauty, sublimity and power that are manifest in nature as a whole. But there is a marked distinction between atheism and materialism when they are contrasted; for atheism is an exceedingly crude and superficial denial of God's existence, while materialism is from the intellectual standpoint a keen-witted attempt philosophically and scientifically to account for the universe and its contents on the sole basis of matter and its inherent forces. Hence few
thinkers espouse atheism as distinct from materialism, while many of the educated and scientific for the last 80 years have espoused materialism, though during the last twenty-five years a distinct reaction has set in against this theory. Philosophical and scientific materialism usually in our day takes on the form of evolution, though Darwin was not a strict materialist, believing that a Creator started the first and lowest forms of life; but most of his disciples have disbelieved this; but as a theory, without the thought of evolution, it existed from the days of the ancient Greek philosophers, e.g., the Epicureans and Skeptics. And in all times, those who have lived the life of the flesh only, the life of the senses only, the life for this earth only, have been practical, even if not theoretical, materialists.
But, one may ask, what is meant by materialism? In answer, we might say that it is the theory that reduces all existing things to matter and its inherent forces. It denies the existence of any substances other than matter. To it matter alone is substance, and substance is that which is tangible to one or more of our five senses. It therefore denies the existence of things intangible to sense. Hence to the materialist spiritual substances do not exist. The thorough—going materialist claims that by matter and its inherent forces he can explain the origin, development and present state of all nature, including animal existence and powers; but, as we will see, this claim breaks down at every turn and leaves unsolved the very problems that materialism sets out to explain. Modern materialism is a reaction against the excessive idealism that prevailed in philosophy, especially in Germany, during the first five decades of the nineteenth century. As a testimony to the correctness of the above definition and brief explanation of materialism, we quote the word of Wilhelm Strecker, one of the foremost of modern materialists. He says: "That which distinguishes materialism from every other view of the world is that it traces
all being and all events in the world [universe] to matter and the forces inherent in matter, and denies the existence and operation of any power outside of nature. All events are, according to materialism, the necessary effects of definite causes; and this necessity exists, not only in our thinking, but is founded in the things themselves. Even life and the phenomena of consciousness materialism regards as but phenomena of matter which appear under given conditions—which, however, are not certainly known—and which will cease with the conditions that attended them." "According to this view all events in the world come to pass in accordance to eternally valid and inflexible laws which cannot be abolished or changed by any arbitrary will [not even by the will of a God] but to whose might all will is subject." So far Strecker, whose explanation of his theory is clear.
Materialism, in its strict form, is therefore in striking contrast with Christianity. It deprecates the idea of God and denies His existence, ridicules faith as superstition, denies a Divine revelation, free will and moral responsibility, claiming that all act as they must, forced thereto by physical causes, and estimating virtue and vice as of equal worth or worthlessness. Of course, this theory disallows a personal hereafter, affirming that the only eternal life that man can have is by propagation or by the elements of his body entering food substances and becoming through assimilation parts of others' bodies. Spirit substances and beings, of course, cannot, according to this theory, exist. Some materialists, recoiling from some of these teachings, have introduced elements contradictory of materialism into their theory of materialism; but, of course, in so doing they have contradicted the theory itself.
We now proceed to a refutation of this theory, which is today in the scientific world the most prevailing one. Our first argument against it is that it fails of its professed purpose, i.e., to explain all being and