Drummond’s “Ascent Of Man” -- By: Francis D. Kelsey
BSac 52:206 (April 1895) p. 351
Drummond’s “Ascent Of Man”
This latest work by Professor Drummond has already passed through several editions, and is being read by thousands of thoughtful youth.
Several combined causes account for his phenomenal success. He is bright, spicy, rhetorical, illustrative, clear, and a master in the art of put-
BSac 52:206 (April 1895) p. 352
ting things. The subject-matter treats of the two most vital questions of the age—biological science and religion; not the religion of shibboleths and sibboleths, theories and Hebrew manuscripts, but a vital religion of every-day experience. He stands beside thinking young students who are debating between the two roads, the one leading to materialism, and the other to theistic philosophy. The earnest student fears to trust the mere scientist; he has been warned against the specialist as an unsafe guide, and yet this is a scientific age. He also knows that religion has power and value, and the tearing down of religion means the letting loose of nihilistic and anarchistic forces upon society. In such an hour Professor Drummond stands by the student’s side and in words of consummate skill, in phraseology of the latest scientific theories, points him to the “Everlasting Father and the Prince of peace” He assures him that he may run even in the advance ranks of the most progressive scientists, and yet need not join the cohorts of infidels in an anarchistic attack upon revealed religion. This is no small gain.
Some one asks, Is Professor Drummond’s book a permanent contribution to human knowledge? It is too soon to answer, but Christians should hold him in grateful remembrance for his remarkable power in persuading young students to wait awhile ere they throw away personal faith in religion. His example of personal faith at the same time that he is an ardent believer in most advanced evolution theories is of great value in staying the tides. He in his own person is an illustration, that, despite the hue and cry of blatant infidels, the scientific doctrine of evolution does not read God out of his universe, but is a mere modus operandi of his marvellous workmanship.
In 1736 the thinking of the world had long been arrogated by infidels to themselves; religious foundations seemed to have sunk beneath authority and logic; intellect looked disdainfully upon piety as weak, ignorant, blind. What chance had a student in the universities of the world in those days? Bishop Butler in the above-mentioned year published a modest little volume which proved an epoch-making book. Men said, and still say, He proved nothing; analogy is no proof. But he turned the tide, and showed students how they ...
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