"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church F.E.A.S.T Ministries
A. The story has been told, and tracts and books have been printed, concerning a supposed deathbed renunciation of evolution by Darwin.
1. Shortly after Darwins death, Lady Hope addressed a gathering of young men and women at the educational establishment founded by the evangelist Dwight L. Moody at Northfield, Massachusetts.
2. She claimed to have visited Darwin on his deathbed while he was reading the Epistle to the Hebrews.
3. He asked for the local Sunday school to sing in a summerhouse on the grounds, and confessed: "How I wish I had not expressed my theory of evolution as I have done." He went on to say that his statements on evolution were "unformed ideas" that he bitterly regretted.
4. She claimed that he asked her to gather a congregation together because he "would like to speak to them of Christ Jesus and His salvation, being in state where he was eagerly savoring the heavenly anticipation of bliss."
5. Other accounts state that he urged her to come to preach on Jesus Christ to his servants and neighbors in his summer-house, so that he could hear the hymns through the window.
B. With Moodys encouragement, Lady Hopes story was printed in the Boston _Watchman Examiner.
1. The story spread, and the claims were republished as late as October 1955 in the _Reformation Review_ and in the _Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland_ in February 1957.
2. One source for Lady Hopes supposed quotations of Darwin is "Down, the Home of the Darwins: The Story of a House and the People Who Lived There" by Sir Hedley Atkins KBE, published by Phillimore for the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1974.
I. Who Was Lady Hope?
A. Lady Hope was a religious crusader dedicated to abolishing the iniquities of drink. (She was not a nurse that attended to Charles Darwin.)
B. She was born Elizabeth Cotton.
1. She and her father, General Sir Arthur Cotton, began as religious temperance crusaders in Kent.
2. She married Admiral Sir James Hope, who shared her views.
3. She thus became Lady Hope of Carriden.
C. Lady Hope seems to have gained entry to the Darwin house on at least one occasion, but more than one is not certain.
1. Darwins family was very protective of his privacy and frail health.
2. Most likely what gained her admission was Darwins unwillingness to refuse her noble status.
D. She first told her story in 1915 at a religious retreat in Massachusetts.
1. The Darwin family, T. H. Huxley, and others were called upon to address its likelihood --- which all members of the Darwin family and several friends repeated denied.
2. In addition, there has never been any corroborating historical evidence of any kind to support the story of Lady Hope.
II. Charles Darwins Daughter, Henrietta, Refutes The Story.
A. After the story had been revived in 1922, Henrietta stated in the _Christian_ for February 23, 1922, page 12, in an article titled: "Charles Darwins Death-Bed: Story of Conversion Denied," by Mrs. R.B. Litchfield.
"I was present at his deathbed, Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief. He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier. We think the story of his conversion was fabricated in the U.S.A. ..... The whole story has no foundation whatever."
B. More details on the spread of this story and its rebuttal may be found in the book "The Survival of Charles Darwin: a Biography of a Man and an Idea" by Ronald W. Clark, published by Weidenfield & Nicholson, 1985.
III. Charles Darwin Called Christianity a "Damnable Doctrine"!
A. Darwin was an agnostic who did not like what he referred to as the arrogance of much of the established religions.
B. It was in the context that Christianity demanded that all unbelievers (including Darwins father and many of his own friends) be eternally punished, that he referred to Christianity as a "damnable doctrine".
C. Because Emma and the family were unwilling to stir up more controversy over religion, they excluded from his Autobiography all anti-religious statements.
IV. Christians Have Enough Scientific Evidence For Creation And Against Evolution Without Resorting To Stories Which Can Not Be Verified!
If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
Prayer Request Personal E-Mail Questions
Copyright © 1977-2003, F.E.A.S.T. Ministries, Travis Case, Irving, Texas