126 History of Wake Forest College
at a disadvantage since all the program was in charge of the other
party, which used to the full the advantage thus afforded. The fight
was to be lost or won in an address by President Poteat. This was well
staged. It was set for the close of the exercises of the evening session
of the second day. The expectant congregation was led in prayer for
the schools by the beloved and trusted Dr. T. J. Taylor of Warrenton
in a most tender and effective way. Then Dr. R. T. Vann presented
President Poteat. "It was a tense moment," said the editor of the
Biblical Recorder, "when Dr. Poteat faced that great congregation....
No one knew what turn the discussion would take or what might
follow. It was perfectly plain to all that Dr. Poteat felt the gravity of
the situation."
It was a well executed and well delivered address; the word
evolution was not so much as mentioned; the teaching of truth was
defended, but the ignorance of chemists, biologists, teachers of
physics and psychology, on the great fundamentals was the subject of
a long and carefully prepared exposition. After dismissing the
scientists the speaker, calling the fear of truth a form of infidelity,
pointed to Christ, who said, I am the Truth, and exhorted his hearers,
with several Scriptural texts, to welcome Truth, "for Truth is
sovereign." Then enveloping his thought with ever deeper mysticism,
in closing this section he declared that the scientist in his laboratory
seeking some light on the mystery of life is inspired by the word of
Truth as he quotes the Scripture: "The invisible things of God are
clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even
His everlasting power and divinity."
All this came near the close of his speech. In point of fact the
speech as a whole was an apologia, a confession of faith, and
exposition of the speaker's own religious experiences and the prin-
ciples on which they were based. As the attack had been on him in
person his defense was a personal defense; he came forward with a
New Testament in his hand. His introduction, being an epitome of the
whole speech, is given here
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