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the imperfect to the more perfect, and that, therefore, the highest and most perfect of the visible creatures would naturally close the series. It may be also pointed out that man, as the Fourth Lateran Council declares, is the link between the purely spiritual beings which were created in the beginning, and the material beings whose creation was finished on the sixth day. But the main point is that on which S. Gregory of Nyssa lays stress in the following words: "It would not have been fitting had the ruler existed before his subjects; on the contrary, the king must appear after his dominion had been prepared for him. And for this reason man was created last, not as if he were insignificant, and therefore created at the end of everything, but because he was to rule as a king over his subjects as soon as he was created."1
The existence of the earthly creatures for the sake of man, for his service and use, is, as I have already observed, one of the four religious truths which it is the object of the Mosaic Hexaemeron to convey to us. It is here expressed in the verses in which God names man as the ruler of the whole earth, and specially lays stress on the fact that although the vegetable world is not given to man alone, but to the animals also for food, the animals, on the other hand, are appointed for his service and use.
And here I may remove an objection which has been made against Genesis by some men of science. It is not clearly connected with the other objections which I shall discuss later all together, and as you will shortly see, it can be shown to be a pure mis
1 De opif. hom. c. 2.
understanding. The Bible teaches, it is said, that death came into the world through the sin of Adam: further, it says expressly that vegetable food was originally assigned to both man and beast. But the remains of primaeval animals which we find buried in the geological strata, show that even in the primaeval world animals devoured each other; for instance, the great saurians were beasts of prey, they lived principally on fish; their petrified excrements, the so-called coprolites, prove their great voracity, and contain recognisable remains of animal food. Besides this, unmistakeable marks of disease have been found on the bones of primaeval animals. "Thus evident are the proofs," says Oersted, "that bodily ills, destruction, disease, and death are older than the fall." "No resistance of faith," says Karl Vogt, addressing theologians, "no pious salto mortale will avail to remove this stumblingblock which lies in your way: death has existed from the beginning."1 W. E. Hartpole Lecky goes so far as to say that "to more scientific minds the most important effect of geology has been that it has conclusively disproved the belief that death was the result of disobedience in Paradise, and has proved countless congenial beliefs to be erroneous; that it has proved that countless ages before man trod this earth death raged and revelled among its occupants. To deny this," he says, "is now impossible; to admit it is to abandon one of the root doctrines of the past."2 Frohschammer also lays great stress on this point.3
1 Cf. Delitzsch, Genesis, p. 104.
* History of the Rise and Injluence of Rationalism in Europe, vol. i. 279. 5 Das Christenthum, p. 104 seq., 238 seq. (cf. Theol. Lii.-Bl. 1868, p. 195).
We may fearlessly admit that carnivorous animals existed before the fall, and that animals died and were killed, without thereby contradicting one single passage in the Bible, or being obliged to give up the Christian doctrine of the fall and its consequences. By the doctrine that death came into the world by the sin of Adam, Holy Scripture only means to teach us that through sin man has lost the gift of bodily immortality, which had been granted to him The teaching of the Bible, therefore, is that man would not have died had Adam not sinned; but nowhere does it teach that immortality and exemption from suffering were originally given to the animals also. But Frohschammer's assertion, that "if the animals were subject to physical evils and death from the beginning, man who bears within him the same matter, the same chemical, physical, and organic forces and laws, cannot be exempt from this legitimate course of nature," and that, "scientifically speaking, there is hardly any alternative but to accept suffering, disease, and death for man from the beginning," is entirely arbitrary; for natural science is not in a position to prove that the body of man, which by nature was liable to disease and death, could not have been preserved from disease and death by a supernatural act of God. No doubt the sayings in Genesis, that God had made man to rule over the animals, and had given him the plants for food, and had also "given every green herb for meat" to all the animals, have been explained by many exegetes as meaning that God had originally assigned vegetable food to both man and
Similarly Pozzy, La mart et le P4che", Revue theologique (Montauban 1876), ii. 364.
beast. But so far is this opinion from being universal, that S. Thomas Aquinas does not hesitate to say that it is unreasonable to hold that the beasts which are now carnivorous had originally lived on vegetable food.1 We need not enter into the question whether God originally intended man only to eat vegetable food, although the exegete may unhesitatingly deny this also. But with regard to the animals, we may reconcile the opinion of S. Thomas Aquinas with the words, "to every beast," etc., by supposing that God gave the plants and herbs for meat to the animal world in general, but not to each kind of animal. Karl Vogt's stumbling-block does not lie in the way of the Bible, but at most in the way of those exegetes who hold the other opinion.2 They may remove it; to us it is of no importance.
1 q. 96, a. 1, ad 2. Cf. Pianciani, Erliiutenmgen, p. 211. Cosmogonia, p. 445. Kurtz, p. 404. S. Augustine speaks doubtfully on this point. Retr. i. 10. 2. In the Op. imperf. c. Jul. i. 3. c. 147, he says of Paradise (therefore not of the animal world before the fall in general): Si beatitudinem loci illius Christiano cogitaretur affectu, nec bestias ibi morituras fuisse crederetis sicut nec saevituras, sed hominibus mirabili mansuetudine subditas, nec pastum de alternis mortibus quffisituras, sed communia, sicut scriptum est, cum hominibus alimenta sumtura, Aut si eas ultima senecta dissolveret, ut sola ibi nature humana vitam possideret eeternam, cur non credamus, quod auferrentur de paradiso morituriB vel inde sensu imminentis mortis exirent, ne mors cuiquam viventi in loco vitae illius eveniret?
s E.g. Hengstenberg, Christologie, ii. 138 (" Where there was as yet no Cain, there was no Hon"), and also apparently Delitzsch, System der Christlichen Apologetik, Leipzig 1869, p. 148 seq. For the right view, see Vosen, Das Christenthum, p. 747.
EXPLANATION OF THE SECOND CHAPTER OF GENESIS.
"So God created man in His own image . . . male and female created He them." This is all that is told us in the Hexaemeron about the manner of the creation of man. "Man" here does not mean the individual, but the genus; for after God has said, " Let us make man," He adds at once, "and let them, have dominion." The words, " male and female created He them," signify that God created mankind in different sexes. The extraordinary theory held by certain Jewish interpreters, and also by a few ancient and modern philosophers,1 that the first man was originally created by God androgynus, is not only unsupported, but directly contradicted by this verse. If Moses had said, "God created man in His own image . . . male and female created He him," this might leave room for the idea that God had created the first man as man and woman in one person; but even this mode of expression would not oblige us to assume it, for in Hebrew the singular "haadam " may have the collective meaning "men," and after such a collective noun the pronoun may be in the singular or the plural. But as Moses did not make use of the singular, which would have been
1 Biihme, Oetinger, Bader, Pabst, Hamberger, Ennemoser, de Paravey (Annales dephUos. chrA. vi. S. t. 2. 1871, p. 405).