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Although Henry Drummond's Natural Law in the Spiritual World (1883) is frequently cited by historians in relation to the impact of evolutionary theories on the Victorian churches, attention has not been paid to the audiences of working-class men in Glasgow for whom the papers were originally constructed. By drawing upon the notebook in which the author sketched out the series of addresses, in addition to materials relating to the interpretative habits of these audiences; I am able to consider the text as a work of practical apologetics rather than as a contribution to elite intellectual debate. This paper promises to open up new lines of enquiry with regard to the materials with which working-class audiences attempted to construct their own interpretations of contemporary scientific and religious issues. It also highlights Drummond's hitherto unrecognized use of specific practices of biblical exegesis and his debt to the work of the anatomist Richard Owen which, by keeping different forms of life distinct, and explaining organization as the effect of life already present, allowed the author to visualize the process of descent in terms of an inherent tendency to change in line with the unfolding of a pre-existing plan.