페이지 이미지
PDF

has devoted a separate treatise of considerable bulk to the discussion of all the problems which arise out of the account of the Creation which is given in the Book of Genesis. And it is a matter of wonderment to me that Mr. Mivart, who somewhat sharply reproves “Mr. Darwin and others” for not acquainting themselves with the true teachings of his Church, should allow himself to be indebted to a heretic like myself for a knowledge of the existence of that “ Tractatus de opere sex Dierum,” in which the learned Father, of whom he justly speaks, as “an authority widely venerated, and whose orthodoxy has never been questioned,” directly opposes all those opinions for which Mr. Mivart claims the shelter of his authority. In the tenth and eleventh chapters of the first book of this treatise, Suarez inquires in what sense the word “day,” as employed in the first chapter of Genesis, is to be taken. He discusses the views of Philo and of Augustin on this question, and rejects them. He suggests that the approval of their allegorising interpretations by St. Thomas Aquinas, merely arose out of St. Thomas's modesty, and his desire not to seem openly to controvert St. Augustin—“voluisse Divus Thomas

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

pro sua modestia subterfugere vim argumenti potius quam aperte Augustinum inconstantiæ arguere."

Finally, Suarez decides that the writer of Genesis meant that the term * day " should be taken in its natural sense ; and he winds up the discussion with the very just and matural remark that “it is not probable that God, in inspiring Moses to write a history of the Creation which was to be believed by ordinary people, would have made him use language, the true meaming of which it is hard to discover, and still harder to believe.” 1

And in chapter xii. 3, Suarez further observes.—

** Ratio enim retinendi veram significationem diei naturalis est illa communis, quod verba Scripturæ non sunt ad metaphoras transferenda, nisi vel necessitas cogit, vel ex ipsa scriptura constet, et maximè in historica narratione et ad instructionem fidei pertinente: sed hæc ratio non minus cogitadintelligendum propriè dierum numerum, quam diei qualitatem, quia non Minus uno Modo quAM ALio DE8truitum sinceritAs, Imo et venitas mistomae. Secundo hoc valde confirmantalia Scripturæ loca, in quibus hi sex dies tanquam veri, et inter se distincti commemorantur, ut Exod. 20 dicitur, Sex diebus operabis et facies omnia opera tua, septimo autcm die Sabbatum Domini Dei

1 *Propterhæc ergo sententiailla Augustiniet propter nimiam obscuritatem et subtilitatem ejus difficilis creditu est: quia verisimile non est Deum inspirasse Moysi, ut historiam de creatione mundi ad fidem totius populi adeo necessariam per nomina dierum explicaret, quorum significatio vix inveniri et difficillime ab aliquo credi posset.” (Loc. cit. Lib. I. cap. xi. 42.)

[graphic]

two est. Et infra: Sea, enim diebus fecit Dominus cælum et terram et mare et omnia quae in eis sunt, et idem repetitur in cap. 31. In quibus locis sermonis proprietas colligipotest tum ex æquiparatione, nam cum dicitur: sea, diebus operabis, propriissime intelligitur : tum quia non est verisimile, potuisse populum intelligere verbailla in alio sensu, et e contrario incredibile est, Deum in suis praeceptis tradendis illis verbis ad populum fuisse loquutum, quibus deciperetur, falsum sensum concipiendo, si Deus non per sex veros dies opera sua fecisset.”

These passages leave no doubt that this great doctor of the Catholic Church, of unchallenged authority and unspotted orthodoxy, not only declares it to be Catholic doctrine that the work of creation took place in the space of six natural days; but that he warmly repudiates, as inconsistent with our knowledge of the Divine attributes, the supposition that the language which Catholic faith requires the believer to hold that God inspired, was used in any other sense than that which He knew it would convey to the minds of those to whom it was addressed.

And I think that in this repudiation Father Suarez will have the sympathy of every man of common uprightness, to whom it is certainly “incredible” that the Almighty should have acted in a manner which He would esteem dishonest and base in a man.

But the belief that the universe was created in six natural days is hopelessly inconsistent with the doctrine of evolution, in so far as it applies to the stars and planetary bodies; and it can be made to agree with a belief in the evolution of living beings only by the supposition that the plants and animals, which are said to have been created on the third, fifth, and sixth days, were merely the primordial forms, or rudiments, out of which existing plants and animals have been evolved; so that, on these days, plants and animals were not created actually, but only potentially. The latter view is that held by Mr. Mivart, who follows St. Augustin, and implies that he has the sanction of Suarez. But, in point of fact, the latter great light of orthodoxy takes no small pains to give the most explicit and direct contradiction to all such imaginations, as the following passages prove. In the first place, as regards plants, Suarez discusses the problem —

[graphic]

“Quomodo herba virens et castera vegetabilia hoc [tertio) die fuerint producta.”

“Praecipua enim difficultashic est, quam attingit Div. Thomas 1, par. qu. 69, art. 2, an haec productio plantarum hoc die facta intelligenda sit de productione ipsarum in proprio esse actualiet formali (ut sic rem explicerem) vel de productione tantum in semineetin potentia. Nam Divus Augustinuslibro quinto Genes. ad liter cap. 4 et 5 et libro 8, cap. 3, posteriorem partem tradit, dicens, terram in hoc die accepisse virtutem germinandi omnia vegetabilia quasi concepto omnium illorum semine, non tamen statim vegetabilia omnia produxisse. Quod primosuadet verbis illis capitis secundi. In die quofecit Deus coelum et terram et

* Loc. cit. Lib. II. cap. vii. et viii. 1, 32, 35.

[graphic]

omne virgultum agri priusquam germinaret. Quomodo enim potuerunt virgulta fieri antequam terra germinaret nisi quia causaliter prius et quasi in radice, seu in semine facta sunt, et postea in actu producta ? Secundo confirmari potest, quia verbum illud germinet terra optimè exponitur potestativè ut sic dicam, id est accipiat terra vim germinandi. Sicut in eodem capite dicitur crescite et multiplicamini. Tertio potest confirmari, quia actualis productio vegetabilium non tam ad opus creationis, quam ad opus propagationis pertinet, quod postea factum est. Et hanc sententiam sequitur Eucherius lib. 1, in Gen. cap. 11, et illi faveat Glossa, interli. Hugo, et Lyran. dum verbum germinet dicto modo exponunt. NIHILοMINUs coNTRARIA sENTENTIA TENENDA Est : sciLicET, produxissE DeuM hoc DIE HERBAM, ARBoRES, ET ALIA VEGETABILIA ACTU IN PRopnIA sPECIE ET NATURA. Haec est communis sententia Patrum.— Basil. homil. 5; Exaemer. Ambros, lib. 3 ; Exaemer. cap. 8, 11, et 16 ; Chrysost. homil. 5 in Gen. Damascene. lib. 2 de Fid. cap. 10 ; Theodor. Cyrilli. Bedæ, Glossæ ordinariæ et aliorum in Gen. Et idem sentit Divus Thomas, supra, solvens argumenta Augustini, quamvis propter reverentiam ejus quasi problematicè semper procedat. Denique idem sentiunt omnes qui in his operibus veram successionem et temporalem distinctionem agnoscant.”

Secondly, with respect to animals, Suarez is no less decided :—

** De animalium ratione carentium productione quinto et serto die facta.* “32. Primo ergo nobis certum sit hæc animantia non in virtute tantum aut in semine, sed actu, et in seipsis, facta fuisse his diebus in quibus faeta narrantur. Quanquam Augustinus lib. 3, Gen. ad liter. cap. 5 in sua persistens sententia contrarium sentire videatur.**

But Suarez proceeds to refute Augustin's

* Loc. cit. Lib. II. cap. vii. et viii. 1, 32, 35.

[graphic]
« 이전계속 »