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assume some cause, and try whether its laws, as known to us, would lead to the effect witnessed ; and this is the method pursued by our author. But, in order to render this conclusive, we must show,—which is not done in the present case,—that no other hypothesis could have led to the result. Thus, to pursue the illustration above, the observer might deduce the motions before him from the action of steam upon the machinery; but since the laws of hydrostatic pressure or atmospheric equillibrium would equally account for the phenomena, no reliance could be placed upon such a deduction as having detected the actual, operative cause.
The difficulties here presented are, however, trivial in comparison with those which he must encounter who, with such an instrument, undertakes to estimate the influence of the vast variety of circumstances which operate upon the moral and intellectual character, many of which are most probably unknown to us, if if they do not lie beyond the reach of our faculties. A subject so intricate, requiring for a single step in its solution all the resources and all the calm impartiality of philosophy, is manifestly beyond the reach of him who has a side to advocate in the political contests of the day, and who enters upon the investigation in the dogmatic, illiberal spirit of a partisan.
Another most important part of the deductive process, without which, it has been well characterized, as but little better than guess work, is the verification by the application of its conclusions to the explanation of analagous phenomena. Without this we can never be certain that we have given their due weight to all the circumstances, and that the combination of those which we have included will uniformly be followed by the effect, a condition required by the very definition of cause. Yet of this essential requisite our author has neglected to furnish a single instance, and consequently cannot fairly claim our faith for his theories. If his reasoning be correct, however, and it be true that the breathing of impure air is a cause of intellectual inferiority, the inhabitants of large cities, particularly those who, sleeping oftentimes eight or ten in a small room, breathe quite as deleterious air as the negro does, should be less intelligent than similar classes in the country, a conclusion directly the reverse of the fact. If the quantity of oxygen taken into the lungs
exercised an influence upon the mental faculties, how does he explain the fact that the intellect of the victim of consumption, one of whose lungs, and perhaps a large portion of the other, has been wasted by disease, and whose capacity for oxygenating the blood has been insomuch impaired, should oftentimes exhibit an unwonted brilliancy just previous to being extinguished forever? But do we know enough of the connection between the mind and the brain to authorize the assertion that a cause operating upon the latter would affect the former pro tanto? While we are satisfied of the existence of some connection between the two, we are equally convinced of our ignorance of its true nature, and consequently of the utter futility of any á priori reasonings in regard to it.
But what does the author mean, when in one sentence he tells us that this desire to breathe impure air is a law of the negro's being, and almost immediately afterwards that it is in forcibly counteracting this law that we render him a service for which he cannot be too grateful ? Is it then our mission to counteract the will of God, to improve upon his work? The absurdity, not to speak of the blasphemy, of such a proposition, can require no demonstration. That we can counteract this disposition on the part of the negro, with benefit rather than inconvenience to him, is sufficient proof to our minds that, in the cases in which it may be observed, it is a mere habit and not a physiological law. The political doctrine, then, which he would deduce from his theory, and for which it seems principally to have been constructed, utterly fails to find in it any support.
But we know not which most to wonder at in its statement, the impotence of the Almighty or the folly of man. God has made the negro a breather of carbonic acid in order to fit him for that state of slavery for which he was intended, and to extinguish in him any aspirations for freedom ; and we, all of whose interests are bound up in the success of this design, are, strange to say, in the daily habit of counteracting it, and forcing upon him the elements of rebellion. Fortunately, however, the Doctor's science furnishes some relief for the apprehensions which might well be excited by this last consideration. Should the negro at any time evince an unruly disposition, we have but to revert to the physiological laws of his being
for the remedy, which, deduced as it is from those laws, and applied directly to the cause of the infirmity, cannot fail to prove efficacious. We have but to put his head in a bag, and all will be well. There, breathing carbonic acid, he will return to his normal state of submissiveness. We are only surprised that the Doctor did not add this to that unique list of negro diseases which forcibly calls to mind the remarks of a French philosopher upon this: “Néologisme pedantesque qui sert sé souvent à dissimuler le vide rèel des idées, en imposant des noms étranges á des sciences qui n'existent pas ou á des caracters superficiellement concus."
We have hitherto assumed that the negro has an antipathy to fresh air, and that when not supplied with a blanket by which he may exclude it when asleep, he will even turn upon his face to effect the instinctive purpose.
We have now to record our simple dissent to this proposition. With ample means of observation, we have never noticed the fact, as a general one, but have, on the contrary, often seen negroes asleep with the sun pouring his rays directly in their faces, which were entirely uncovered. Doubtless our readers have all observed the same fact, and indeed so often have we heard it remarked, that we can only account for its having escaped the attention of the author by the natural obtuseness of theorists to any facts which may militate against their speculations.
We have thus examined and exposed the logical defects of this theory, and if in so doing we have wearied the reader with the statement of elementary truths, we have only to plead the necessity under which we were laid by the apparent ignorance, or at least palpable neglect of them, by our author. To follow him into all the absurdities into which it leads him,-to test the accuracy of the analogy drawn between the physiological condition of the adult negro and the white infant, which would probably assimilate the infant negro to some of the lower classes of monkeys,—to question the correctness of that mode of treating infants, which has been abandoned even by old women for the last thirty years, would extend this article beyond the limits prescribed for it, and may safely be left, after what has been said, to the intelligence of the reader. We pass, then, with some hesitation we confess, to the examination of the argument, which, with more than theo
logical boldness, he draws from the Bible in support of the proposition that the negro is a slave by nature. We must say that the history of Astronomy and Geology has greatly shaken our faith in arguments drawn from that source upon scientific questions, and we cannot but deprecate its introduction into such discussions. If, when it is related that the sun and moon stood still at the command of Joshua, we are to understand that it was the earth which stayed its course; if, when we are told that the Lord created the heavens and the earth, and all that in them is, in six days, we are to interpret it as meaning an indefinite number of ages, we cannot see what aid science is to derive from a book which can only be correctly interpreted by means of its discoveries. To adduce a passage in support of a theory by which we interpret it, is manifestly reasuning in a circle; it is merely proving the theory by the theory itself. Yet this is precisely what the author does in his comments upon the remarkable prophecy in Genesis ix. 27. Ignoring the 26th verse, which, however, according to all rules of interpretation, ought to have been viewed in connection with the 27th, he interprets this latter by his theory, and then brings it forward as evidence in support of that theory. He assumes Canaan to have been a negro, in order to explain the prophecy, and then adduces the prophecy thus explained to prove that Canaan was a negro. Can anything be more illogical than this?
We do not intend to enter upon the labyrinthian and utterly unprofitable discussion to which the scriptural genealogy of nations has given rise, but merely propose to present a few of those well attested and universally admitted facts which, while they sweep away every vestige of this theory, so forcibly exemplify the weakness of mere etymo logical reasonings, and the extreme danger of relying upon them to the exclusion of all else. That the reader may the better be able to judge of this matter, we place the verses before him.
25. And he said, cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26. And he said, blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant."
They certainly possess one of the characteristics of prophecy, since their meaning, nay, even their grammatical construction, is still a matter of much discussion among theologians, the determination of which must, most probably, be left to the future course of events. Many contend that the pronoun in the 27th verse refers to God, and that it was God, and not Japheth, who was to dwell in the tents of Shem; and so do some versions have it. Adopting, however, the common reading, we venture to affirm that any man, whose mind was not distorted by pre-conceived fancies, would declare that the order of the events shadowed forth in these verses, if we are to regard them as prophetical, is, that Canaan was to be the servant of Shem, and to pass into the power of Japheth only by the latter coming to dwell in the tents of the former. Now we would ask, if the negro was ever the slave of the Indi
Did we find him in the tents of Shem? “From history we learn that the descendants of Canaan settled in Africa, and are the present Ethiopians, or black race of men; that Shein occupied Asia, and Japheth the north of Europe.”
From what history, pray, was this information obtained ? Not from the Bible, surely, for that book uniformly speaks of Canaan in a manner utterly irreconcileable with any other location than Syria and Palestine, and accordingly that has always been given to it.*
Ham,” says Dr. Hales," signifies burnt or black, and this name was peculiarly significant of the regions allotted to his family. To the Cushites, or children of his eldest son Cush, were allotted the hot southern regions of Asia, along the coasts of the Persian Gulf, Susiana or Chusistan, Arabia, &c. , to the sons of Canaan, Palestine and Syria ; to the sons of Misraim, Egypt and Libya in Africa." +
In the time of Joshua, we find Canaan used as synonymous with the promised land, and the Canaanites were conquered and reduced to slavery by bim when the Jews took possession of their heritage. Calmet, in commenting on Joshua xi. 3, says, that the Canaanites on the west
* Gen. xii. 6 ; Levit. xviii. 3; Joshua v. 1, ix. 1, xiv. 1 ; Judges iii. 5 and 6. We might add many more were it at all necessary to do so.
† We have taken this from Dr. Adam Clarke's Commentary on Genesis ix. 25, so that it has the sanction of two distinguished theologians.