Letter From Professor Lewis -- By: Anonymous
BSac 13:50 (April 1856) p. 471
Letter From Professor Lewis
Union College, Schenectady, February 25,1856
Editors of the Bibliotheca Sacra: — In a late article in your columns, by Prof. Dana, of Yale College, I am charged with teaching, as a “prominent point,” “that man’s physical nature (to use the Professor’s own expression), was brought forth through the parturitive powers of the earth.” I am charged with being “pretty well agreed “with the Vestiges of Creation; with teaching “naturalism,” in a “huge self-existent nature,” in the sense of a nature independent of God; with ignorance of the Scriptures on some of the most obvious points; with teaching, in general, an “infidel philosophy,” (p. 91; ) and this is accompanied by an expression of pain, on the part of the reviewer, that such infidel philosophy should have emanated from such a source.
These charges are odious ones, and are of a nature to bring upon me the theological hatred. On general considerations of justice, I might claim the right of reply; but my relation to the Bibliotheca Sacra, as an instructed reader and subscriber, as a friend who has done what he could to promote its interests, and as a repeated contributor to its pages, makes it, at least, proper that I should ask permission to deny those charges, and in the briefest possible space, show their falsity.
To the first charge I reply, that the book reviewed, teaches the direct contrary doctrine. A hypothetical argument is employed, the connection of which with the main discussion it would take too much space here to show. In that argument the position is taken that if the Scriptures had clearly taught it, there is nothing monstrous or incredible in the idea that the human body might have been a growth, through natural laws and processes originated by God and quickened by him to higher developments. The hypothetical view being carried on for a few pages, it is then distinctly stated, page 251, as follows:
“Such might be our reasoning if we had no more in the Scriptural account of the human origin than is presented in the words and expressions on which we have been commenting. The declarations, ‘He made,’ ‘He created,’ ‘He formed from the earth’ might be interpreted in consistency with a long as well as a short, a mediate as well as an immediate process, an instantaneous production as well as a slow natural growth through the operation of natural law. The chart has no dates, the picture no shading, from which we can make the estimate of intervening distances. But there is another part of the account which it is not easy to reconcile with such an
BSac 13:50 (April 1856) p. 472
idea. We refer again
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