Charles Darwin- “The Believer”
Dr. Oswald J. Smith
It may surprised students of evolution who do not know, to learn that in the closing days of his life, Charles Darwin returned to his faith in the Bible.
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 more enlightening.
“He was reading from Hebrews—he called it the Royal Book. I made some allusions to the strong opinions expressed by many persons on this history of the Creation, its grandeur and then their treatment of the last 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.
Tomorrow afternoon, I should like the servants and a few neighbours to gather in the summer house. Will you speak to them?”
“What shall I speak about?” I asked.
“Jesus Christ!” he replied, “and his salvation. Is not that the best theme? And then I want you to sing some hymns. The wonderful look of brightness on his face I will never forget, for he added, “If you take the meeting at three o’clock this window will be open and you will know that I am joining in with the singing.”
Was there ever a more dramatic scene? The very soul of tragedy is here exposed to us! Darwin, enthusiast for the Bible, speaking with glowing enthusiasm about the ’grandeur of the Book’ reminded of that modern evolutionary movement in theology which, linked with skeptical criticism, has become a blight in all the churches and has destroyed biblical faith in multitudes– Darwin, with a look of agony, deploring it all and declaring, “I was a young man with unformed ideas.”
What an overwhelming criticism: “The unformed ideas” of the young man are the basis of modern evolutionary theology!