|Lady Hope's Visit With Charles Darwin|
Lady Hope's Visit With Charles Darwin
Voices from the Edge of Eternity
Compiled by John Myers,
Published by Voice Publications
It may surprise many students of evolution to learn that in the closing days of his life, Charles Darwin returned to his faith in the Bible.
The following account is told by Lady Hope, of Northfield, England, a wonderful Christian woman who was often at his bedside before he died.
It was one of those glorious autumn afternoons that we sometimes enjoy in England when I was asked to go in and sit with Charles Darwin. I used to feel, when I saw him, that his fine presence would make a grand picture for our Royal Academy, but never did I think so more strongly than on this particular occasion.
He was sitting up in bed, propped up by pillows, gazing out on a far-stretching scene of woods and corn fields which glowed in the light of a marvelous sunset.
His features lit up with pleasure as I entered the room. He waved his hand toward the window as he pointed out the beautiful sunset scene beyond. In his other hand he held an open Bible, which he was always studying.
"What are you reading now?" I asked.
"Hebrews," he answered 'The Royal Book' I call it."
Then as he placed his fingers on certain passages, he commented on them.
I made some allusion to the strong opinions expressed by many on the history of the Creation, and then their treatment of the earlier chapters of the book of Genesis. He seemed 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 about everything. To my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them."
Then he paused, and after a few more sentences on the holiness of God and "the grandeur of this Book," looking tenderly at the Bible which he was holding all the time, he said:
"I have a summer house in the garden which holds about thirty people. It is over there (pointing through the open window). I want you very much to speak there. I know you read the Bible in the villages. Tomorrow afternoon I should like the servants on the place, some tenants, and a few neighbors to gather there. Will you speak to them?"
"What shall I speak about?" I asked.
"Christ Jesus," he replied in a clear, emphatic voice -- adding in a lower tone, "and His Salvation. Is not that the best theme? Then I want you to sing some hymns with them. You lead on your small instrument, do you not?"
The look of brightness on his face, as he said this, I shall never forget; for he added: "If you make the meeting at three o'clock,
this window will be open, and you will know that I am joining in with the singing."
What a dramatic scene! Here we see the very soul of Darwin exposed to us in the last years of his life. What a different picture from the young Darwin! Speaking about the Bible, he uses the expression, 'The grandeur of this Book', revealing his love and respect for the Holy Bible. And when he is reminded of the then newly-awakened evolutionary movement in theology and its accompanying 'higher criticism,' which destroyed the Biblical faith of multitudes, he responds with a look of agony which clearly expresses how he deplored the mistakes of his younger years.
His statement, "I was a young man with unformed ideas" clearly reveals that he, himself no longer believed in those theories of evolution . . . if he indeed ever had!
This glimpse into Charles Darwin's final days on this Earth, was
retold by Missionary-Author, Gwen Shaw, in her outstanding book
on Dislodging Evil Spirits, Breaking the Curse and Restoring God's
Blessing Upon the Land, entitled,
REDEEMING THE LAND -- which can be obtained through Amazon.com
or from the publisher,
Engeltal Press, P.O. Box 447
Jasper, Arkansas, 72641 USA