Page images
PDF
EPUB

flint and stone; also in ancient peat-beds, and at the bottom of various lakes. The character and probable origin of these remains will be considered at length in a subsequent chapter. * ..

It will be sufficient here to observe that the fact that all historical traces of these people are lost, – in other words, that they are pre-historic, — is, in the circumstances, no proof of a remote antiquity. Historic times in France, Germany, and Britain go but a little way back of Julius Cæsar. Even if we carry them as far as to the founding of Rome, B. C. 753, we have left a period of some twenty-five hundred years subsequent to the flood — a period amply sufficient for the rise, decay, and extinction of numerous nations, without having left even a name to indicate their origin or affinities.

It will be shown further that the most diligent explorers into the subject of these ancient remains are clearly of opinion that the people to whom they belonged were of Celtic origin, a branch of the great Aryan or Indo-European family, which confessedly were among the latest to leave the primeval seats of emigration in Asia. · The conclusion, then, to which Ethnology brings us, is in accordance with that derived from her sister sciences. So far as she can trace the origin and

* Infra, p. 320.

affinities of all, whether historic or unhistoric nations, she refers them to Central Asia and the family of Noah, and of course brings them into harmony with the chronology of that event. Where she can not trace that origin, she still leaves all the probabilities pointing the same way. She allows ample time, in the period since the flood, for all the migrations and developments required by the hypothesis of such a common descent, and, what is equally significant, she affords not one fact, nor even one reasonable probability, which is in the least inconsistent with it. CHAPTER VIII.

THE ARGUMENT FROM PHYSIOLOGY.

Differences in existing Races of Men urged to prove a Plurality

of Origin. — This Doctrine first advanced by La Peyrère. — Espoused by Infidel Writers. — Its supposed Bearings on Slavery. — Agassiz's Theory of Natural Provinces. — And of Unity of Species. — Estimate of this Theory. – I. It is a mere Theory. — II. No Inconsistency of known Facts with the Bible Narrative. — The Case of Cain and his Wife. — The Diversities among Races. — 1. Man is of a single Species, having same Physical and Mental Characteristics. – The single Head of the Animal Kingdom. – Intermixture of Races futile. — Unity of Species proves Unity of Origin. — 2. Similar Changes now taking place. — 3. Similar Changes among other Animals. – III. The Theory contrary to Analogy in other Departments of Creation. — IV. Opposed by Theological and Moral Science. — Conclusion.

THE preceding chapter was devoted to the argument from Ethnology, in what may be denominated its historical department. It is necessary, in view of objections which have been raised, to consider the same subject further under its physiological aspect.

We have argued the recent origin of man on earth from the fact that all known nations and families have descended from Noah, and therefore must come within the range of the Noachian chronology. But, apart from the historical evidence of such descent, it is urged, from a study of man as he now is, the diversities of his form, size, color, physiognomy, etc., that existing races could not have had a common origin. It is claimed that this diversity requires, and that the Scriptures themselves virtually warrant, the belief that beside Adam and his descendants, there has been at least one, perhaps several, other original stocks of the human family, older than that of Adam ; that the Scripture account of the creation does not include these, being designed to refer only to that branch to which the Jews, and the white races generally, belonged; and therefore that we are at liberty to assign to this elder branch or branches any supposable antiquity which modern scientific discoveries may require.

This doctrine of the plurality of the human species was first advanced by La Peyrère, a French writer, in a work published in 1655. The ground on which he professed to base it was the Bible itself, which, he maintained, gaye clear intimations of a nonAdamite race. The principal passage he adduced in support of this theory was that which speaks of Cain, after he received sentence for his crime, going out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelling in the land of Nod, marrying a wife there, and building a city. (Gen. iv. 16, 17.) In the preceding verses, also, when complaining of his sentence, he says, " I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me;” in consequence of which " the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” La Peyrère argued from these passages that there were, at that time; other men beside the family of Adam, which then consisted of only three persons; and that these other men, or this other race, must have been previously created. They were, he thought, the ancestors of the Gentiles, while Adam was the ancestor of the Jewish race, with whose creation and history the Bible is mainly occupied. .

The distinguished writer * from whom I derive this account says that La Peyrère was in no sense a free thinker (n'est nullement un libre penseur). "He was a theologian, a believer, who admits as true all that is in the Bible, and miracles in particular. . . . He always finds in the book which serves him as a guide some reason to support his interpretation. In a word, we find throughout, in

* Quatrefages, Introduction, pp. 7, 8. .'

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »