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human races; it is another link in the chain of brotherhood which encircles the children of men.
3. The Scriptures further contend, that all nations of the earth descend from one primitive pair. This is a principle of the highest moral and practical moment in the system of Biblical theology; it is one of the corner-stones of the whole edifice; for it establishes the UNITY OF THE HUMAN FAMILIES; it teaches that the aim and end of mankind, which is universal brotherhood in the love of God, is no new, no unattain. able principle; that it is only a return to the primordial idea of the Creator, and to the original state of the newly-formed earth. It is as important and vital as the two other unities which the Bible proclaims, the unity of God, and the unity of the world with all its starry hosts; it is the fountain and source of all duties which man owes to man, and nation to nation; it fills us with a proper moral horror against the idea that there are some classes born for slavery, whilst others are destined to govern — a notion by which even the most civilized nations of antiquity disgraced their philosophy; it is, in a word, the only guarantee, as it is the root, of those admirable social laws and precepts which constitute a chief part of the Scriptures. Now the ethnographic inquiries have established the fact, that if the human race does not descend from ONE pair, it certainly belongs to ONE SPECIES. The former supposition has been doubted by many intelligent and competent scholars; and a plurality of first parents, brought forth in the different centres of creation, seems to be more and more extensively adopted. But the latter hypothesis is now raised beyond the sphere of uncertainty; it has almost the weight of unimpeachable truth. It has been sanctioned by the nearly unanimous opinions of the greatest natural philosophers of this and the preceding century.
There are, indeed, black and white races; and it appears to be a law, that the less perfect the type the deeper the colour. But it is now generally acknowledged, that colour is no fundamental characteristic. Those inhabitants of Hindostan, who are of one descent, contain groups of people of almost all shades of colour; some Negro nations of Africa, as the Jolofs and Kafirs, possess features and limbs not inferior in elegance to those of Europeans; Arab and Jewish families, settled in Northern Africa became black like the natives; Negro infants acquire their deep black colour only after exposure for some time to the atmosphere; the face and hands are always of deeper huc than the parts of the body protected by clothing; true whites are sometimes born among the Negroes; and an Arab couple, living in the valley of the Jordan, became the parents of perfectly black children. The skin and the hair are, in their physiological nature, very analogous formations; for the hairs are but skin tubularly prolonged; and yet we find all possible varieties of the colour of the hair among the same tribe, and often in the same family. Although there are races with a facial line nearly vertical, and others with the same line greatly inclined, there are individuals who display every possible degree between these differences; it is, therefore, impossible to draw the line of separation, if they are not all from a common origin. The influence of climate, the mode of living, ease or hardship, the quality of food, of dwellings and clothing, cleanliness, civilisation, the operation of the mind, and general habits, are sufficient to explain the differences in the various tribes, from the Caucasians down to the Negroes; even with regard to the anatomical structure, which, in general, refers only to some not fundamental modifications of form. Nor does the variety of languages contradict the unity of the human race; though all tongues have been classified in groups or families, they seem reducible to one primitive idiom; every progress in the comparative study of languages brings to light new analogics in the structure and in the grammatical forms, and affinities of the roots and terms; even the languages of the new continents do not seem to be excepted from this general resemblance. The human race might, in consequence of its wide diffusion, exhibit similar modifications to those, which single species of animals, if dispersed and domesticated, show with regard to their colour, integument, structure of limbs, proportional size of parts, their general animal economy, and the instincts, habits, and powers. But we cannot refrain from quoting the observations of a man, who has surveyed the vast field of the natural sciences at once with the minuteness of an analyst and the comprehensiveness of a philosopher, and who has, with singular learning and industry, summed up almost the whole enormous range of this branch of literature. Alexander von Humboldt remarks: “Whilst attention was exclusively directed to the extremes’ of colour and form, the result of the first vivid impressions derived from the senses was a tendency to view these differences as characteristics, not of mere varieties, but of originally distinct species. The permanence of certain types, in the midst of the most opposite influences, especially of climate, appeared to favour this view, notwithstanding the shortness of the time to which the historical evidence applied. But, in my opinion, more powerful reasons lend their weight to the other side of the question, and corroborate the unity of the human race. I refer to the many intermediate gradations of the tint of the skin and the form of the skull, which have been made known to us by the rapid progress of geographical science in modern times; to the analogies derived from the history of varieties, both domesticated and wild; and to the positive observations collected respecting the limits of fecundity in hybrids. The greater part of the sup. posed contrasts, to which so much weight was formerly assigned, have disappeared before the laborious investigations of Tiedemann on the brain of Negroes and of Europeans, and the anatomical researches of Vrolik and Weber.” If we add to these external analogies the inward resemblance of all tribes of man; if we consider, that almost all, from the civilised European to the savage inhabitant of Madagascar and the South Sea Islands, are conscious of a supreme government, and are capable of understanding the bliss of virtue and the torment of crime; that all feel the necessity of penetrating through the vestibule of time to the realms of eternity, and there to seek reward for the good and punishment for the wicked — that all try to express, by the medium of language, the cravings of their hearts, and the thoughts of their mind; if, in a word, we consider, that all which is essential and characteristic in man, in his superiority over the brute creation, is equally found, though in different degrees of development, among the various nations most distant in local habitation, and most differing in external appearance:-we shall cease to doubt that all men form one species, and that all are descended, at least, from a kindred ancestry ; we shall willingly admit, that it is impossible to divide the human families in distinct races with clearly definable criteria;' and we shall allow our minds more unrestrictedly to indulge in the beatifying promise of a time, when all the nations of the earth will form one fraternal community, linked together by the same religion and by that exalted humanity which is the unfailing result of an enlightened knowledge of God. If, therefore, the arguments in favour of a plurality of first ancestors should even be considerably increased, and raise this opinion to a perfect certainty, the beautiful doctrine of the Bible would not be endangered or overthrown; the idea of an indestructible unity of mankind would remain; all would yet be the children of one eternal Father, and all would possess the same general qualities. From the physical unity we should rise to the higher internal relationship; and if all are not the bodily descendants of Adam, all bear alike the spiritual image of the Creator.
But it is our duty to advert to another opinion regarding the origin of man. Were we to weigh it by the intrinsic force of its arguments, it would scarcely deserve a serious notice; but it is, unfortunately, making so rapid progress, that it is impossible to overlook it; and the spirit of our age is peculiarly favourable to its pernicious propagation.
| The classification of Blumenbach in like all the others, been found unsatisfive races, of Pritchard in seven, having, factory.
It is a very old physical doctrine, that all organic beings, both plants and animals, were produced directly by the earth itself, in virtue of its innate properties; this was called the “ free creative power of matter”; for the earth was believed to enclose, from the beginning, the hidden seeds of all organic life. Now it is asserted, that, in precisely the same manner, men were created in all parts of the globe, wherever the earth was sufficiently advanced in its component parts to furnish the materials for the human organism; and wherever the earth was capable of producing men, it was necessitated to do so. If the naturalists had stopped at this point, it would have been difficult to refute them conclusively; for they appeal to facts which lie entirely beyond human experience and human speculation. But they did not think fit to stop there. They asserted, that there is no difference between chemical processes and organic life; that it is, therefore, not impossible to bring forth organic beings by chemical forces; and they exultingly pointed to an insect of a not very inferior order, called Acarus Crossii, which was ostensibly produced in that way. This instance was proclaimed as a clear illustration of the origin of man, who, it was contended, was formed at a time when the earth's surface still possessed the elements for the spontaneous working of similar chemical processes. But even this theory was not deemed sufficient; it was but the starting-point for other more adventurous and more audacious conjectures, the detestable consequences of which strike at the very root of human existence. It was asserted, that all organic beings, with their various classes, orders, and types, are literally the lineal descendants of each other; that the first step in the creation of life upon our planet was a chemico-electric operation, by which simple germinal vesicles were produced; that then the lower organization always produced the next higher form, in the same manner as the butterfly emerges from the larva, or the beetle from the wornils, or the frog from the fish-like tadpole; till at last man was born in due and regular succession; that, for instance, the fishes are the ancestors of the reptiles; which, in their turn, are the progenitors of the birds; and so on, till the Labyrinthodon or Cheirotherium, that massive Batrachian, which left its hand-like footprints in the New Red Sandstone, became the parent of man! This is the glorious origin of our race! this is the noble ancestry of which man has to boast! His pedigree ascends to the beetle and the shell-fish; his relationship comprises all the fishes of the sea, and all the beasts of the forest! A Batrachian (or, according to older naturalists, a monkey) is the father of man, of whom the greatest bard exclaimed, in enraptured admiration : “ How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God!"! And those philosophers even hold out the hope that man will, in the course of time, become the parent of a higher order of beings, whenever it happens that the fætus is retained and developed in the mother's womb beyond the present period of its secret genesis; just as, by a mere modification of the embryonic progress, which it is in the power of the adult animals to effect, a working-bee or a queen may be produced; or as oats, if sown at the usual time, kept cropped down during summer and autumn, and allowed to remain over winter, are said to become rye at the close of the ensuing
According to some champions of this theory, Hindostan was the first seat of the human race; and the reason which they assign will no longer surprise us: because we must expect man to have originated where the highest species of monkeys (quadrumana) are to be found, which is unquestionably in the Indian archipelago”! And they teach that, as the monkeys are the parents of the Negroes, or the lowest type of men, so the Negroes became, by the principle of development, the ancestors of the next higher, or the Malayan, race; till, in the same gradation, the highest, or Carr
'Hamlet, ii. 2
casian, tribes were produced: so that mankind itself has passed through stages similar to those which mark the progress of the various orders of animals! And lest we omit any important point in this sublime theory, we add, that this is but a very small portion of the metamorphoses which we have undergone. The organisation of man, it is said, gradually passes throngh conditions of, generally speaking, a fish, a reptile, a bird, and the lower mammalia, before it attains its specific maturity; and at one of the last stages of his fætal career, he exhibits one characteristic of the perfect ape; that, especially, his brain resembles successively that of an adult fish, a reptile, of birds, of the mammalia, after which it is at last developed into the brain of man. For it is asserted as a general principle, that each animal passes, in the course of its germinal history, through a series of changes resembling the permanent forms, first of the various orders inferior to it in the entire scale, and then of its own order.
But all facts rise with a thousand-fold voice against that theory; the relationship between the present and the extinct creatures can in no instance be proved; there are no genealogies of development; there is no direct lineage, nothing like parental descent.
It cannot be surprising, that such premises led to the most monstrous conclusions; that a school has been formed which not only renewed the system of the heathen Epicureans, but carried it out in its most revolting consequences; that it is most clamorously asserted, that the world was formed through itself by atoms, or “ monads," working upon each other by the aid of chance; that man is a developed animal; his thoughts are the product of oxidised coal and phosphorescent fat; his will depends on the swelling of the fibres, and the contact of the different substances of the brain; and his sentiments are the movements of the electric currents in the nerves; that the notions of God, soul, virtue, conscience, immortality, and the like, are illusory products of the changes of matter in the brain; crime and murder are the consequence of a deception, and of the dislocation of a brain-fibre. Therefore, the greatest regard for criminals is demanded; for those of them who are not victims of erroneous social conditions, are the prey of some unfortunate tendencies which they have inherited from nature; so that malefactors must be sent to hospitals and asylums, and not to prisons and workhouses; the judge is to be entirely superseded by the physician; theft, and calumny, and fraud, do not come before the tribunal of morality, but are to be cured by physic and medicines; and even murder is no atrocious crime, but an unhappy mistake, which it would be absurd and cruel to visit with punishment. In such perversion of notions we must tremble for the safety of society. The very essence and nature of man are denied; and his consciousness itself is declared a phantom and a dream! The happiness of man and the order of the universe are crushed in one vast and fearful ruin. Every sympathetic feeling is a weakness, and all enthusiasm is infatuation; hope and faith are the offspring of credulous indolence; and soon, alas! love will follow into the same awful abyss ! ?
And what is Providence? or how does it work? “The individual is to the Author of nature a consideration of inferior moment. Everywhere we see the arrangements for the species perfect; the individual is left, as it were, to take his chance amidst the melée of the various laws affecting him. If he be found inferiorly endowed, or ill befalls him, there was, at least, no partiality against him. The system has the fairness of a lottery, in which every one has the like chance of drawing the prize." This is the dreary and awful result of that materialistic philosophy which, in order to secure the glory of the race, abandons the individuals to despair and to chance, and hurls all into a ghastly precipice of misery and wretchedness, eren the scanty number of those not
? See the works of Carl Vogt, Burmeister, Moleschott, Gruson, Czolbe, Buechner, Lamarck, Maillet, and “ Ves
tiges of the Natural History of Creation,” pp. 146–278, 297, 380.
excepted, who, by their superior organisation, are favoured “ to draw the prize." What consolations has that wisdom to offer to the “ blanks,” who so urgently need them? What will support and encourage them to bear the endless toils of existence, to maintain the serenity of the mind, and, in spite of temptations and hardships, to persevere in the path of virtue? It is not sufficient for man that God is the Creator ; he requires also a Providence; he demands the free interposition of a moral agency; he will be certain, not only of the grandeur of God, but of His lore; he draws courage and hope only from the conviction that an all-seeing eye explores the heart, regards virtue, and inflicts deserved castigation on vice; he can strive after perfection only when he knows that there is greater happiness in wisdom than in worldly prudence; and that external success is not the true test of human worth. Let no philosopher, in the conceit of an artificial fortitude, call this weakness; even he will frequently shudder at the chilling greatness of his doctrines; even he will often be overwhelmed by unspeakable wretchedness, from which not his death-spreading theory, but the returning conviction of an immutable moral order, can alone relieve him.- Nature is certainly a work of art, but the Artist is greater than His work; it is but a part of the emanation of His mind. The world is founded on eternal laws; but within the universal necessity ample scope is preserved to the liberty of man. It is, indeed, added by some, that there is a system of mercy and grace behind the screen of nature, which is to make up for all casualties endured here; but the more determined votaries of that school have ridiculed the idea of an after-life; and they could not consistently but reject it; for, on the one hand, their notions regarding the close connection between man and the brute creation would oblige them to accord immortality to the animals also; and, on the other hand, their conviction that a soul cannot exist without being associated with matter, excludes the idea of life after the dissolution of the body.
In that theory is nothing but death, corruption, and annihilation; but as long as one human mind feels an aspiration beyond the dust on which the foot treads, that theory is a falsehood and a lie, even if it should have every microscope and the whole chemical apparatus in its favour; the conviction which comes from within; which has lived in the human race for millenniums as an imperishable property; which has from a faint dawn risen to greater and greater brilliancy; which has given birth to all religions and to all philosophies; which is the invisible anchor to which every uncorrupted soul instinctively clings — this internal conviction is a thousand and a million times more irresistible than all analysis and all demonstration: for the spirit cannot be analysed, and the superhuman truths mock human demonstration. It is true that every function is tied to an organ, without which the function is impossible; but the individual parts are animated by an invisible bond, by a power which converts the mechanism into an organism; and a free manifestation of the will, independent of the parts, and emanating from that organic life, is required to more and to direct the organs of reflection and of feeling, and to cause the functions of the nervous system. And, as it is impossible to deny the function of the intellect, as every one must confess that man displays a mental life, he necessarily has a corresponding organ – he has a mind and a soul. But the converse of that axiom, viz., that every organ must always and unavoidably exercise a function, is erroneous; it is false in point of fact, and would theoretically turn man into a piece of machinery, which, once put in motion, must always and perpetually continue the same movements. Thus the wild strife about the relation between “power and matter,” which, like a furious war-cry, sounds through the camps of science, is at once silenced. Honour, and duty, and faith, and love, have moved millions to defy death and torture; to these millions, certainly, the Divine was an all-powerful, a sacred reality; and, indeed, they are the true representatives of the human family. The study of nature cannot destroy, but must enhance and fortify, the idea of the godly attributes of man; it cannot lead to the idolatrous deification of