DARWIN DIED A CHRISTIAN (1809 - 1882)
TO commemorate the 100th anniversary of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, the following extracts were reproduced from Dr. Oswald J. Smith's book, The Challenge of Life.
It may surprise students of evolution who do not know, to learn that in the closing days of his life Darwin returned to his faith in the Bible. Many a man, as he approaches the end, and consequently comes more consciously into the presence of God and Eternity, has regretted both his views and his conduct. Such a one was Darwin.
The story is told by Lady Hope of Northfield, England, a wonderful Christian woman who was often at his bedside before he died. She herself writes it, and not only is it interesting, it is most enlightening. Here it is in her own words:.
It was on one of those glorious autumn afternoons that we some times enjoy in England, when I was asked to go in and sit with the well known Professor, Charles Darwin. He was almost bedridden for some time before he died. I used to feel when I saw him that his fine presence would make a grand picture for our Royal Academy; but never did I think so more than on this particular occasion... His noble forehead and fine features seemed to be lit with pleasure as I entered the room. He waved his hand toward the window as he pointed out the scene beyond, while in the other hand he held an open Bible, which he was always studying.
"What are you reading now?"I asked as I was seated by his bedside.
"Hebrews", he answered "still Hebrews. The Royal Book, I call it."
I made some allusion to the strong opinion expressed by many persons on the history of the Creation, its grandeur, and then their treatment of the earlier Chapters of the Book of Genesis. He seemed greatly distressed, his fingers twitched nervously, and a look of agony came over his face as he said,
"I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment, the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them."
He suddenly said,
"'I have a summer house in the garden which holds about thirty people ... Tomorrow afternoon I would like the servants on the place, some tenants and a few of the neighbours, to gather there. Will you speak to them?"
"What shall I speak about?" I asked.
"Christ Jesus!" he replied in a clear, emphatic voice - adding in a lower tone, "and His Salvation. Is not that the best theme?"
The wonderful look of brightness and animation on his face as he said this, I shall never forget ...How I wish I could have made a picture of the fine old man and his beautiful surroundings on that memorable day!
WAS THERE EVER A MORE DRAMATIC SCENE? DARWIN, ENTHUSIAST FOR THE BIBLE!
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