The Victoria Institute
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ON CIVILIZATION, MORAL AND MATERIAL
By James Reddie, Esq.
(Journal of 1872-73 -- pages 3 to 43)
1. THIS paper is supplementary to three former Essays by the author, bearing upon the same subject. The first was a paper "On Anthropological Desiderata," read before the Anthropological Society of London in February, 1864;* the second was published in the Ethnological Journal for October, 1865, with the title, "Man, Savage and Civilized : an Appeal to Facts;" and the third was the first paper I had the honour of reading before the victoria institute, in our first session in July, 1866,H "On the various Theories of Man's Past and Present Condition," the greater portion of which Paper was subsequently read in the Ethnological Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at Nottingham, in August, 1864.
2. In all these Essays my object was to rebut and refute the notion that man could either have been created in a low and almost brutal condition, like what we now find him to be among the lowest and most ignorant savage races; or that he could ever have been transmuted from some kind of monkey or other beast, by natural selection or any other natural process, into man. In the first of these papers I said: "Apart from the physiological objections (which seem to be insuperable) to the theory of transmutation, the grand issue to be decided by anthropologians will mainly depend upon what we can discover, as to whether savage man can civilize himself or not. If not, there simply cannot be a doubt that the ' primitive man' was neither a savage nor his ancestor an ape. And, apart from theories altogether, the existence of mankind, both in a civilized and savage condition, naturally suggests to us the inquiry: To which of these distinctive classes did the primitive man probably belong?" This showed that I was quite prepared to discuss this question with reference to existing facts, and not to press too hardly upon the Darwinians to justify their extravagant speculations as to man's origin, which go beyond all our knowledge and experience of the facts of the animal creation and of human nature. I also then said: " Before this question can be satisfactorily answered, however, or even discussed with advantage, it seems necessary to arrive at some definite understanding as to the meaning of the word civilization with reference to anthropological considerations."
3. It is to supply this desideratum I now write. But I have also another object - a pledge to fulfil - which I must endeavour at the same time to accomplish; and that is, to reply to a Paper by Sir John Lubbock on the same subject. His Paper I heard read in the Ethnological Society of London on 26th November, 1867, and by his courtesy I have since been furnished with a copy of it. It was afterwards read by him at the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Dundee, and in the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Its title is: " On the Origin of Civilization and the Primitive Condition of Man," which well describes the drift both of his Paper and of mine. We both agree, and every thoughtful person must feel, that it is not enough to say, with M. Guizot, that " civilization is a fact:" we require to know its probable origin, i. e., we want to know what kind of a being the primitive man really was. On that point, however, the distinguished baronet and myself are diametrically opposed. He is a professed Darwinian, and does not believe in the special creation of man, but thinks he was developed by some imaginary process, which the Darwinians, nevertheless, call " natural," from a monkey, first into some nondescript and undiscovered animal between an ape and a man, and from that into a savage, something like those we know do now exist, of the very lowest grade. On the contrary I believe that " God created man in His own image," " upright," " very good "; and that savages are degenerate and degraded but remote descendants of superior ancestors.
4. According to Sir John Lubbock, therefore, the origin of civilization is savagery. He thinks that man, little better than a brute originally, has raised himself from that low and savage condition to a state of civilization and superiority; and that it is the tendency of mankind thus to rise. I hold diametrically the reverse of all this : I believe that man was originally perfect, " made a little lower than the angels," and has fallen from that state of moral elevation; that civilization owes its existence to this original superiority of man, to the remains of it in the oldest civilized races, and to its revival and recovery in those races which had degenerated; and that unfortunately it is rather the tendency of mankind to degenerate and to fall from better to worse, than to rise and elevate themselves from a savage or barbarous condition.
5. Now I contend, that apart altogether from what is revealed in Holy Scripture as to man's creation and his fall, the view I maintain is the only one consistent with all our experience, with all our positive knowledge of mankind, with all the history of the past that can be relied on, and with all the unquestionable facts of nature with which we are acquainted. I contend, further, that the view entertained by Sir John Lubbock is in the teeth of all such facts and history and knowledge and experience: that the arguments with which he supports his view are weak and illogical; and that he has shrunk besides from looking all the facts in the face, and from meeting arguments which he was aware had been advanced upon the other side. I, moreover, allege that the few and meagre facts he does adduce as telling in his favour, are in reality against him, even taking them as they are stated by himself.
6. This is no question, then, for a compromise, or one as to which there need be any doubt. One side is fairly entitled to claim the victory, and to have it honestly awarded. The problem has but one solution, patent to the common sense of mankind. So much so, indeed, that it appears to me that the modern archaeological pursuit after some fancied missing link between men and brutes, with the view of achieving for civilized man a savage and pithecoid ancestry, can only be regarded as the temporary aberration of a mind-strained errant science or insane philosophy, but which, of course, very naturally thinks all the world mad, or blind and dull, except itself. Not that it wants altogether some kind of foundation. Even Don Quixote did not originate knight-errantry; nor was his extravagance without some kind of precedent. He only " bettered his instruction." And so do the modern Darwinians. Before the present transmutation champions entered the field, we had the Vestiges of an unknown knight traversing " creation," and his theory of " evolution with design." There was also, before him, the ancestral Darwin, with " the loves of the plants" upon his banner; Lamarck with a duck's feet reversed and the goose's neck displayed, stretched out to the dimensions of a swan's; and the crack-brained Lord Monboddo exhibiting his sedentary monkeys rubbing off their tails, and (like Professor Huxley in our own day) even proud of this new-found ancestry. Their theories and reasonings have passed away; and we could not expect to have just the same abandoned ideas all over again, without some formal alterations, in addition to furbishing up the old weapons and armour. For as Mr. Gathorne Hardy said in the House of Commons last month :--
" Scientific men arise with new so-called discoveries, which, are done away afterwards by others, while these in their turn are swept away ; but when these new discoveries become old and new ones arise, these men do not say, ' What fools we have been'; nor do they ever apologize for their errors, based upon the discoveries which have so completely failed to support them."*
And so, Mr. Charles Darwin and Mr. Alfred Wallace, in reviving the theory of transmutation, declare they have found out that all existing forms of living beings are but results of a so-called "law of natural selection." And every philosopher who has "fallen in love " with this new scientific damsel, compassionating her " struggle for existence," like a true knight-errant " loves and rides away," of course to the maiden's rescue in her youthful difficulties. First, Mr. Darwin himself, trembling for the safety of this Dulcinea of his own fancy, gallops off somewhat unexpectedly, his lance a little out of rest, and protected with a " braw an' new"* shield, which bears upon it the ominous new-fangled motto " Pangenesis." While close upon his heels comes scampering fast his black and doughty squire, Professor Huxley, with arms, carbon - the modern for "sable," - a nettle vert, barbed and seeded; for Supporters-Dexter, a demi-man couped and affrontée sa.; sinister, a monkey rampant, with tail nyllée, hands and feet counter-changed, "all ppr."; and waving wildly to and fro over all the flora and fauna of the globe, a long new-painted banner, with an endless scroll, inscribed with the single word "Protoplasm." Sir John Lubbock next enters the lists; but he does not follow the old-fashioned modes of warfare. He bears no shield nor banner, and appears chiefly to rely for victory in his wager of battle, on behalf of the evolution of civilized men out of apes and savages, upon a heavy supply of chipped flints, carried in large saddle-bags, and a remarkable kind of boomerang, which appears but a home-made and unskilled copy of the very effective weapon of the aboriginal savages of Australia.
7. It is with Sir John Lubbock we have now chiefly to do. Let us, therefore, proceed to the consideration of his paper. He thus opens the question:--
" Side by side with the different opinions whether man constitutes one of many species, there are two opposite views as to the primitive condition of the first men, or first beings worthy to be so called.
" Many writers have considered that man was at first a mere savage, and that our history has on the whole been a steady progress towards civilization, though at times, and at some times for centuries, some races have been stationary, or even have retrograded. Other authors, of no less eminence, have taken a diametrically opposite view. According to them, man was, from the commencement, pretty much what he is at present; if possible, even more ignorant of the arts and sciences than now, but with mental qualities not inferior to our own. Savages they consider to be the degenerate descendants of far superior ancestors."
8. It will be observed that Sir John but slightly glances at the " missing link " between men and apes, in the allusion which, he makes " to the primitive condition of the first men, or beings worthy to be so called;" and he only ventures to join issue upon the somewhat less monstrous proposition, " that man was at first a mere savage." This at least evidences some discretion; but it cannot be regarded as, in the best sense, very valorous, if we consider that Sir John Lubbock not long ago avowed himself " an humble disciple of Mr. Darwin's," and " ventured to claim for that gentleman's theory, that it is the only one which accounted in any way for the origin of man; for" (he adds) " all the other theories were, in his judgment, no theories at all, but simply confessions of ignorance, and did not carry those definite ideas to the mind which were conveyed by the theory of Mr. Darwin." *
9. Such were Sir John Lubbock's words at Nottingham on 25th August, 1866, when I read my paper " On the various Theories of Man's Past and Present Condition." In it I had said : " The difficulties of Darwinism begin long before we have got to man," - inasmuch " as Darwinism begins with a human infant which had not human parents. But long before we arrive at that development under this theory, we are forced to ask, in our endeavour to realize what it professes to explain, ' How possibly the first young mammal was nourished in its struggle for existence, if its immediate progenitor was not a mammal?' " Nay, " passing over that, with all other difficulties which lie against Darwinism long before we come to its application to the origin of man," I also pointed out, that " to this physiological difficulty there is added one that is psychological; for, even if we see no difficulty as to the physical rearing and training of the first human baby which some favoured ape brought forth, we are forced to ask the transmutationist to favour us with some hint of the educational secret by which monkeys trained and elevated their progeny into men, when we ourselves are scarcely able, with all our enlightenment and educational efforts, to prevent our masses falling back to a state rather akin to that of monkeys and brutes."
10. Apparently Sir John Lubbock had intended to clear away and explain all these difficulties, by the " definite ideas " which he then professed Darwinism conveyed to his mind. But unfortunately he has failed to do so. He has not even attempted it. And as he had heard my challenge, and seemed boldly to take it up, I can but attribute the subsequent oozing away of his courage to the pithy remarks of the late venerable President of the Ethnological Society, Mr. John Crawfurd, who thus delivered himself immediately after Sir John Lubbock had spoken upon the occasion referred to. Mr. Crawfurd said -
" For his part he could not believe one word of Darwin's theory. . . . It was a surprising thing to him that men of talent should nail themselves to such a belief. Man, it was said, was derived from a monkey. From what monkey? (Laughter.) There were two or three hundred kinds of monkeys, and the biggest monkey, namely, the gorilla, was the biggest brute. (Laughter.) Then there were monkeys with tails, and monkeys without tails, but curiously enough those which had no tails, and were consequently most like man, were the stupidest of all. (Laughter.)"
11. In Sir John Lubbock's paper, read just a year after this, we need not wonder that he did not risk breaking a lance for any of these monkeys. They may be considered as laughed off the field; or, in racing parlance, as " scratched" by Sir John himself. So let us now proceed to witness the fight he does essay to make on behalf of his supposed ancestral savages. In the first place I must point out that he does not state very accurately the views of his opponents. He says, " according to them, man was, from the commencement, pretty much what he is at present; if possible, even more ignorant of the arts and sciences than now, but with mental qualities not inferior to our own." The words I have emphasised by italics do not express opinions that could be entertained by any one who gives the matter five minutes' thought. At all events, those who believe that man was created " upright" and " very good," do not believe he was from the commencement pretty much what he is at present. And no one can imagine that man could possibly when first created be anything else than totally ignorant of all arts and sciences, which are human inventions and discoveries that could only be arrived at in time by his ingenuity and experience. We must believe and know, with Solomon, that although " God created man upright," man himself must " have searched out his many inventions."* And in these words we have a hint of the important distinction I wish you hereafter to consider, between " moral and material civilization," as expressed in the title of this paper. Sir John, however, I doubt not, had no intention of mis-stating his opponents' case; and he correctly adds, " Savages they consider to be the degenerate descendants of far superior ancestors."
12. I have already said that the eminent baronet's mode of literary warfare is not quite knightly. Having thus stated the issues, he straightway chooses for his adversary the deceased Archbishop Whately! This he does upon the plea, that " of the recent supporters of the theory " he opposes, " the late Archbishop of Dublin was amongst the most eminent." Which may be very true; but then, after all, according to the true proverb, " a living dog is better than a dead lion." And it seems not a little absurd to witness the living young Sir John Lubbock thus interrogating with an air of triumph the departed great Church dignitary:--
"What kind of monument would the Archbishop accept as proving that the people which made it had been originally savage? that they had raised themselves, and never been influenced by strangers of a superior race? "
Getting no answer, of course, he a little afterwards declares that the late great logician's " argument, if good at all, is good against his own view," and "like an Australian boomerang, which recoils upon its owner." Thus, in a breath, we have Whately's logic quoted at a lamentable discount, and an equally unheard-of character given to the Australian boomerang, which even the Australian savages themselves would only grin at and repudiate. Even savages know better than to use a weapon " which recoils upon its owner"! To give the very lowest and darkest races their due, at least they know how to fight!
13. Before quitting this incidental point - and since the dead Archbishop cannot reply to his living cross-questioner - let me observe, that in the boomerang we have just such a " monument " as proves that the Australian's ancestors were superior to the present race, that is, if we suppose the boomerang to be an Australian invention. For the present race, though they know how to form it by tradition, and know its use, are incapable of inventing anything of the kind or of understanding the principle of its action, which appears to have even puzzled Sir John Lubbock, and which perhaps few of our own mathematicians or scientific mechanics could satisfactorily explain. Either this, or the old aborigines of Australia had former communications with some higher race, from whom they obtained the boomerang (which is said to be recognized upon Egyptian sculptures); and either hypothesis tells utterly against Sir John Lubbock's theory of savage self-advancement. Sir John does not attempt to account for the boomerang upon his own hypothesis. He will never be able to do so; but at least he ought to try, and not be content with misunderstanding its use, and giving it an undeserved character, analogous to his denunciation of Dr. Whately's logic.
14. Here is another passage of arms between the living knight and the eminent but deceased logician. Sir John says:--
" In another passage, Archbishop Whately quotes with approbation a passage from President Smith, of the college of New Jersey, who says that man, 'cast out an orphan of nature, naked and helpless, into the savage forest, must have perished before he could have learned how to supply his most immediate and urgent wants. Suppose him to have been created, or to have started into being, one knows not how, in the full strength of his bodily powers, how long must it have been before he could have known the proper use of his limbs, or how to apply them to climb the tree,' &c., &c. Exactly the same, however, [adds Sir John] might be said of the gorilla or the chimpanzee, which certainly are not the degraded descendants of civilized ancestors."
15. Now here we have a questionable and carelessly constructed argument quoted at third hand, but to say the least, quite as questionably and carelessly answered. One can gather the meaning of the argument quoted by the late Archbishop, even as it is cited by Sir John Lubbock. But it contains an odd mixture of ideas. If we believe man to have been created, then we should not speak of him as " starting into being, one knows not how." That is the language of the other side; and no end of absurdities may follow the imaginary deductions from such an unrealized conception. If such language were advanced as regards anything else than modern science, it would be characterized as downright nonsense. Again, if the first man was created " in the full strength of his bodily powers," he would also - unless he was merely an idiot, or some nondescript, non-intelligent being, with neither the reason of a man nor the instinct of a brute - have soon "known the proper use of his limbs." It is the easiest thing in the world to select such ill-conceived arguments as these, culled from an author who is out of the way and cannot explain them, in order to show how inconclusive they are. But in fact Sir John Lubbock actually quotes these lame arguments in order to borrow them, and he even adds to their lameness. He thinks it enough to argue in reply, " Exactly the same, however, might be said of the gorilla or the chimpanzee, which certainly are not the degraded descendants of civilized ancestors." The " same " might, indeed, " be said," but could only be foolishly said, of men and monkeys. But no man who claims to be rational is entitled to say that even a gorilla or chimpanzee may have " started into being one knows not how." It would be far less irrational to conceive that a stone or any other inanimate thing could have started into being without a Creator, - for that is the meaning of the phrase," one knows not how." Only crass ignorance or rank superstition could ever entertain such a notion:-it is worthy only of the old idolators of stocks and stones! Reasoning and enlightened man has always known that all the phenomena of nature must have had an uncaused First Cause. To go back from that, is to take the first step downwards towards ignorant savagery. But when we perceive that there must have been a first creation of all things by an invisible and eternal Deity, then all these conjectural difficulties vanish. Admit creation and Deity, however, and the " same things" cannot with any truth be said of the supposed first man and the first gorilla. Low in the animal scale as the gorilla is, it still has-like all other animals-what we call " instinct," by which it is enabled to live and supply its own wants. It is even " perfect" in its way, and it does not lose its instinct, though it does not acquire any others or advance. Man is not in the least like this. And if he is supposed, for argument's sake, to have been created in a low and savage condition, with little or no enlightenment or rational understanding -which is what the late Archbishop and President Smith were arguing,-then, not having the instinct of an animal, " if cast out helpless and naked," thus, " into the savage forest, he must doubtless have perished before he could have learned to supply his most immediate and urgent wants." But for the sake of argument let us even suppose that man in such circumstances might have survived, and then consider, what are the facts or other grounds for supposing he could have elevated himself and emerged from such an abject condition.
16. I now propose to state these facts and arguments as advanced by Sir John Lubbock. When his Paper was announced I made a point of being present in the Ethnological Society when it was read; and being then invited by the President, Mr. Crawfurd, to speak, I felt obliged to tell the author that I was disappointed he had not attempted to answer my arguments; and I then pledged myself to select his strongest points and reply to them in writing, and more fully than I could then do vivâ voce. I then observed, that in such a large question it was of no practical use for him or for me to go wandering over the whole history of the world, past and present, to gather a few doubtful facts here and there, that might serve to support our own views, and to disregard all other facts that would tell in a different direction, or-as he had also done-to ignore all the strongest arguments he had heard advanced upon the other side.
17. Sir John Lubbock says:-
" Firstly, I will endeavour to show that there are indications of progress even among savages;
" Secondly, that among the most civilized nations there are traces of original barbarism."
But before proceeding to attempt to establish either of these propositions, he introduces some illustrations which he thinks serve to support another proposition which he assumes to be true; namely, that it is improbable that any race of men would be likely to abandon or forget pursuits or arts which they or their ancestors once found useful or had known. Now I venture to think that that proposition is very far from undeniable; but, even granting it, I think we shall find, that the illustrations given by Sir John do not support it.
18. He says:-
" The Archbishop supposes that men were, from the beginning, herdsmen and cultivators, but we know the Australians, North and South Americans, and several other more or less savage races, living in countries eminently suited to our domestic animals and to the cultivation of cereals, were yet entirely ignorant both of the one and the other."
Then he argues that
"Were the present colonists of America or Australia to fall into such a state of barbarism, we should still find in those countries herds of wild cattle descended from those imported ; and even if these were exterminated, still we should find their remains, whereas we know that not a single bone of the ox or of the domestic sheep has been found either in Australia* or in America."
* But let me ask, are there any sedimentary strata in Australia in which any bones whatever have been found? (Vide Mr. Hopkins's paper, Journ. of Trans, of Vict. Inst., vol. ii. p. 11.) And mart, Sir John argues here that this negative evidence is conclusive. The bones of these animals have not been found; ergo, they never existed there. And yet he, Sir Charles Lyell, and Mr. Darwin, in the absence of any bones of the " missing link," between man and apes, notwithstanding argue that as they may be found, so they believe in their probable existence !!
The confusion of thought here is literally amazing. He speaks of the present colonists, but evidently of future herds of wild cattle; and while he uses the words that these " wild cattle" would be descendants from tame ones "imported," he forgets that all his argument topples down, if we but suppose the first civilized colonists to degenerate before such cattle were imported into the country. He seems to have no idea of colonization except of some Utopian kind, in which the colonists would always be able to take and always take with them the domestic animals and cereals to which they had been accustomed. It might of course be very desirable to have such systematic colonization, in which the colonists would take with them every art and industry and all their domestic animals and plants to some other clime; but the thing we might almost say has never happened ! " Colonists," moreover, did not originally migrate per saltum, or sail as now, from the north temperate to the south temperate zone. In the absence of the art of navigation, they went naturally by slow degrees farther and farther south; they had to pass through the tropics ; and the introduction of cereals and domestic animals eminently suited for Australia, and even for North as well as South America, was not only as a matter of fact, but (as far as we know) necessarily gradual and subsequent to the original human colonization. But " colonization " itself is not the original kind of migration by which we can suppose the primitive men were dispersed over the face of the earth. Colonization, so to say, is a civilized mode of " dispersion"; but even to accomplish it, we know that explorers must go first, and sometimes no " colonists " ever follow. But even when they do, we also know - especially the more distant the colony - that with all our modern appliances for transport, which no ancient people could possibly have possessed, the cereals and domestic animals of the mother-country are only by very slow degrees introduced, with more or less success, and sometimes very long after the colonization has taken place.
19. Sir John goes on:--
" The same argument applies to the horse, as the first horse of South America does not belong to the domestic race."
"What the precise intended value of the word "as" is, which I have italicised in this quotation, I confess I cannot perceive. Whately, could he now speak, would I think easily show that it involves a non sequitur, even were Sir John right in his "fact" as to the horse of the Pampas. But I believe he is egregiously wrong, and at issue with all scientific men. Let me contrast both his facts and arguments with a citation from the admirable work of the late Professor Waitz of Marburg :--
"A nomadic pastoral life cannot be considered as an advance compared with a fishing or hunting life. The Hottentots were in possession of numerous flocks and herds when the Europeans first visited their country ; and the Kaffirs are a pastoral people to this day. Cattle-breeding does not necessarily lead to a settled life, though it is compatible with it, and renders it more secure if combined with agriculture. It is on this combination that progressive civilization depends ; separately they effect but little. Here it may be right to mention that in the whole of America, Peru alone, at an early period, had domesticated animals, namely, the llama and alpaca, whilst of edible plants it possessed the potato and the quinoa. With the exception of Peru, pastoral life could not prevail in the New World, the want of which, as Humboldt has shown, exercised a decisive influence on the civilization of the inhabitants. The dog was much used as a beast of burden, and its influence on the mode of life of the natives was unimportant. Even the horse, which the Europeans introduced into the Northern and Southern Continent, has proved ineffectual in America as a means of civilization; showing plainly that the effect produced by the most important domestic animals depends on the mode of life and the degree of cultivation which the people had then already acquired. The buffalo chase without the horse must be more difficult and less productive, as the buffaloes are gregarious, and swiftness is more requisite than craft. Little apt for breeding in general, the American has not used the horse for such a purpose : he catches it according to his requirements, so that this animal merely contributed in inducing him to continue a hunting life." *
20. As a translation of Professor Waitz's valuable work on Anthropology was published in London in 1863, and Sir John Lubbock's essay was written in 1867, I cannot account for his ignoring such writing as this, and such an author, and choosing a work of Dr. Whately's to which to reply. I have never seen Dr. Whately's book, and in all the discussions on this subject in which I have taken part from 1863, I never even heard Whately's name once mentioned till Sir John Lubbock exhumed him for his antagonist. The study of anthropology can scarcely be said to have existed when Dr. Whately wrote, compared with what it has since become ; and I find from Sir John Lubbock's Paper that the late Archbishop's arguments only occur in some incidental chapters in a work on Political Economy '
21. Had Sir John been able to show that " a single bone of the horse " had been discovered in South America in strata of greater antiquity than its discovery by Columbus, he then. might have upset the facts and arguments of the distinguished Marburg Professor of Philosophy. But he apparently admits that " not a single bone has been found "; although he tags on to this, the irrelevant and erroneous statement, preceded by the equally irrelevant " as," that the " first horse of South America does not belong to the domestic race " !
22. Though it lengthens this paper, I must make allusion to one or two other of Sir John Lubbock's illustrations. He says:--
" Moreover, this argument applies to several other arts and instruments. I will mention only two, though several others might be brought forward.
* Waitz: Introd. to Anthrop., pp. 337, 338. (London : Longmans, 1863.
The art of spinning and the use of the bow are quite unknown to many races of savages, and yet would hardly be likely to have been abandoned when once known."
This is surely extraordinary reasoning. It assumes that all the people of a race know all their arts; and that arts may be preserved without the means of perpetuating them. Spinning, for instance, was, for I can scarcely now say is, known in this country; but it was not necessarily known to every family; and migrations from our people might have taken place, and no doubt have actually taken place, of persons among whom spinning was quite unknown. But supposing they did know it once, but that the place to which they went did not furnish them with flax or other material for spinning, How soon would the art be forgotten? Why it is even all but forgotten among ourselves in its primitive form. And so, of the bow. A tribe who once knew its use might be driven out or migrate voluntarily from their native soil. They might go in peace, or have no necessity for the bow in the place in which they sojourned, or which they " colonized "; and if so, the use of the bow, - and in a few generations and with further dispersions, the very memory of it, - might easily perish. Unless it has been lately introduced as an amusement, I venture to say the British colonists both of America and Australia carried no specimens or even memories of the bow, once very well known in these islands, along with them. Tens of thousands of our people now know nothing of the bow, though of course its memory is preserved by means of books and a literature, which did not however exist among the primitive races and in the primeval times with which our argument is concerned.
23. But these are not the worst of Sir John Lubbock's arguments in support of this view. He further says :--
" The mental condition of savages seems also to me to speak strongly against the ' degrading' theory. Not only do the religions of the low races appear to be indigenous, but according to almost universal testimony, - that of merchants, philosophers, naval men, and missionaries alike, - there are many races of men who are altogether destitute of a religion. The cases are, perhaps, less numerous than they are asserted to be ; but some of them rest on good evidence."
The recklessness of the statement here made is extreme. What is first called " almost universal testimony," emphasised with the parenthesis that this means, that the testimony " of merchants, philosophers, naval men and missionaries alike," is to the effect that many races of men have no religion, - immediately is qualified and dwindles down to this, that perhaps only some races are in that condition. Sir John very sensibly questions some of the modern testimony on this subject (and I may observe all the ancient testimony is the other way*) ; but then, why first cite it as testimony? He frankly lets out, however, how he feels the evidence ought to go ! for he adds:--
" Yet I feel it difficult to believe that any people, which once possessed a religion, would ever entirely lose it."
All religions, it is to be observed, are here merely put on a level; and he continues:--
" Religion appeals so strongly to the hopes and fears of men, it takes so deep a hold on most minds, it is so great a consolation in times of sorrow and sickness, that I can hardly think any nation would ever abandon it altogether. Moreover, it produces a race of men who are interested in maintaining its influence and authority. Where, therefore, we find a race which is now ignorant of religion, I cannot but assume that it has always been so."
I have not time upon this occasion to argue against this astounding assumption. I believe it will be felt to be contrary to the experience of all who hear me, even as regards true religion, whether respecting themselves, their children, or their less-instructed neighbours. If Sir John Lubbock's experience is otherwise, and as he argues, he is certainly to be envied, unless he is under some strange delusion. He does not seem even to know of a " party " in our day who are eager to exclude the teaching of religion from the rising generation.
24. But I must ask, Are all religions alike? Do corrupt religions afford " consolation in times of sorrow and sickness"? Do they appeal "to the hopes of men"? And do all even who have been taught Christian doctrine, which does all this, desire to maintain it? Has Sir John Lubbock not heard of M. Comte, and the "Positive Philosophy"? Here, in this Institute, we have heard Mr. Austin Holyoake declare that he was taught Christianity by a pious Calvinistic mother. He is now an Atheist. Were he and his brother and Mr. Bradlaugh to migrate to some unoccupied region, would they not endeavour to abandon all teaching of religion? And what of its abandonment through sheer ignorance? What was discovered by Parliamentary inquiry about thirty years ago in our mining districts? What, in short, is in every man's experience round about, who studies his fellow-men? Does it justify Sir John Lubbock's assumption, or utterly refute it? I am sure I need scarcely reply, that it refutes it altogether. So I now pass on to his quasi facts in support of his views.
25. He says :--
" I will now proceed to mention a few cases in which some improvement does appear to have taken place. [1.] According to MacGillivray, the Australians of Port Essington, who, like all their fellow-countrymen, had formerly bark canoes only, have now completely abandoned them for others hollowed out of the trunk of a tree, which they buy from the Malays. [2.] The inhabitants of the Andaman Islands have recently introduced outriggers. [3.] The Bachapins, when visited by Burchell, had just commenced working iron. [4.] According to Burton, the Wajiji negroes have recently learned to make brass. [5.] In Tahiti, when visited by Capt. Cook, the largest morai, or burial-place, was that erected by the reigning Queen. The Tahitians also had then very recently abandoned the habit of cannibalism. [6.] Moreover, there are certain facts which speak for themselves. Some of the North American tribes cultivated the maize. Now the maize is a North American plant; and we have here, therefore, clear evidence of a step in advance made by these tribes. [7.] Again the Peruvians had domesticated the llama. Those who believe in the diversity of species of men, may endeavour to maintain that the Peruvians had domestic llamas from the beginning. . . . [8.] The bark-cloth of the the Polynesians is another case in point. [9.] Another very strong case is the boomerang of the Australians. This weapon is known to no other race of men - with one doubtful exception. We cannot look on it as a relic of primeval civilization, or it would not now be confined to one race only. The Australians cannot have learnt it from any civilized visitors for the same reason. It is, therefore, as it seems to me, exactly the case we want, and a clear proof of a step in advance, - a small one if you like, but still a step made by a people whom Archbishop Whately would certainly admit to be true savages."
26. But now having got Lack to the boomerang and " exactly the case
we want," according to Sir John Lubbock, let us consider what is the true
value of all those quasi facts, or instances of savage advancement.
The proposition Sir John Lubbock had to establish is, that savages can
civilize themselves, or, as he says, have actually made some steps towards
improvement without instruction or example from higher races, ab extra.
Now let us go over his examples and arguments in support of this. Their
utter weakness will be manifest already to all who read this paper, merely
from the words I have put in italics:--
(1.) The Australians of Port Essington buy improved canoes from the Malays; therefore they have advanced of themselves!
(2.) The Andamans have recently introduced outriggers. "Recently," - after I know not how many millions of years of prior existence, Sir John Lubbock's philosophy would assign to them. But he does not say they have introduced outriggers before they had been visited again and again by races superior to themselves.
(3.) So the Bachapins had "just commenced " working iron. He does not tell us if without instruction ; though
(4.) He does distinctly say the Wajiji had " recently learned to make brass."
(5.) I do not see the force of the statement as to the Queen's " largest morai " in Tahiti; and the " very recent abandonment of cannibalism " is left also unexplained. We may remember, however, recent instances in New Zealand, after cannibalism as we had imagined had been " abandoned," of its being reverted to upon occasion with considerable gusto. And as human flesh is not wholesome food, and " does not agree " with those who eat it, I am not surprised to find its consumption may vary and be easily given up for a time ; but this can scarcely be regarded as any proof of a decided step from savagery.
(6.) " There are certain facts which speak for themselves. Some of the North American tribes cultivated the maize. Now the maize is a North American plant; and we have here, therefore, clear evidence of a step in advance made by these tribes." I would not weaken this easy-going argument by the least modification of the words. But, suppose we put the same facts, granting them, in this way:--The maize is a North American plant; - The first wanderers on American soil, accustomed to the cultivation of other cereals, found the maize indigenous and cultivated it; - Some of the descendants of these wanderers retained this knowledge and habit; - Others driven away to the forest or less genial regions, and subsisting chiefly by the chase, had no means of continuing the cultivation of the maize, and after a time lost the memory of its usefulness. -- Is not this the more natural supposition, or, to say the least, is not the one argument as good as the other? " Nay, as the maize is a North American plant," and if advancement among savages is the rule, why should not all the North American tribes have cultivated it? Sir John does not hazard a reason. He does not seem even to have thought of this !
(7.) " The Peruvians had domesticated the llama." Let me ask,is not the llama " domestic " by nature? Has any wild animal everbeen domesticated? It is very questionable ;* and this is a pointSir John Lubbock does not discuss. I have omitted an admissionwhich he here imagines the deceased Archbishop of Dublin wouldmake - saying, he " is sure " that the Archbishop would have made it! I can only say I am not sure; and that I must deprecate discussing in this way, ad libitum, the imputed opinions of a greatthinker not now alive !
(8.) Then as to the bark-cloth of the Polynesians, I find no argument to answer. It is not even asserted to be a "recent'' invention of the modern Polynesians. May it not be a traditional art-relic of their forefathers, and tell the other way?
(9.) And, once more, as to the boomerang. "We cannot" (says Sir John) " look on it as a relic of primeval civilization, or it would not now be confined to one race only." This argument betrays the source of all Sir John Lubbock's false reasoning throughout. By " civilization" he only conceives " material civilization"; - he evidently imagines that those who believe that man must have been created in an elevated condition, " upright " and very good, also think he was created with a knowledge of all the arts and sciences! In fact he has not only been crushing a deceased logician of eminence, but belabouring a huge man of straw ! It is almost the story of Don Quixote's windmills and wine-bags over again! The least amount of calmness and common sense dispels the illusions. As already argued (' 13), the present Australian savages are incapable of inventing the boomerang. According to Sir John it has been invented by previous Australian aborigines. Surely the inevitable ergo is, that the ancestors of the present aborigines were superior to them. And if so, the Australian savages, as we now know them, are a " degraded " race. If there be another possible conclusion, I shall be glad if Sir John Lubbock will be good enough to state it.
27. Among the strong points he advances in support of his second proposition, that there are traces of original barbarism among the more civilized races, is the existence of " the traces of a stone age even in Palestine and in Syria, Egypt and India." But, granting this, there is the simple explanation, that to extract metals from the ore is not an obvious art or easy process, whereas stones are everywhere ready and at hand, and are easily converted into instruments by chipping and rubbing. It is most natural, therefore, especially for purposes of warfare, that slings and stones should have preceded bows and arrows, the long-bow the cross-bow, and the cross-bow the musket and rifle. But men might be quite as elevated morally and mentally while using the sling or the bow, as afterwards when using fire-arms. If " civilization " merely meant the outward development of all arts and sciences, it would be downright madness to apply the word to the primitive races of mankind. But that is not its meaning. It primarily and properly signifies an enlightened mental condition and pure morals or " good manners " among mankind.
28. Sir John Lubbock to some extent seems to feel this, for he next discusses the estimate of female virtue and the ideas of marriage among savages. I do not follow his arguments, however, as to this, because they are so weak as to be scarcely tangible. But here is his own summary of them :--
" Thus we can trace up, among races in different degrees of civilization, every step, from the treatment of woman as a mere chattel, to the sacred idea of matrimony as it exists among ourselves ; and we find clear evidence that the gradual change has been one of progress and not degradation."
I cannot agree with this. And I fear the great change introduced by Christianity in this respect - of which Sir John Lubbock takes no notice - is scarcely now maintained. We need not point to Mormonism in illustration of a tendency to which Sir John Lubbock simply shut his eyes; we can also find laxity enough in the present day very much nearer home.
29. Sir John next glances at arbitrary customs as proving unity of descent, and discusses at length an argument from the universality of certain superstitions connected with sneezing, advanced by the witty Judge Halliburton in the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science. Sir John then goes on, in opposition :--
"To justify such a conclusion, the custom must be demonstrably arbitrary. The belief that two and two make four, the division of the year into twelve months, and similar coincidences, of course, prove nothing: but I very much doubt the existence of any universal, or even general, custom of a clearly arbitrary character." [The italics are mine.]
Strangely enough while thus writing, Sir John has himself actually named one such world-wide arbitrary custom, which in his eager pleading he overlooks. " The division of the year into twelve months " is purely arbitrary. There are thirteen months (or moons) in the year ; and yet the division into twelve is " universal," wherever there are traces of civilization. The custom is " demonstrably arbitrary" and "therefore it justifies and proves the conclusion " Sir John disputes!
30. In connection with that artificial and arbitrary division the year, we have a cognate instance and a much more remarkable one of pure arbitrariness, in the mapping of the starry firmament into constellations of stars, grouped in connection with the imaginary figures of men and animals, and divided into the twelve signs of the zodiac. And this purely arbitrary custom is common to all the whole world where there is the least knowledge of astronomy retained. It is absolutely universal - common to Egypt, Assyria, Greece, China, India, Mexico ; - the figures, too, employed are almost everywhere identical, though in Central America there is most divergence in the actual figures - the least remains of this manifestly common tradition. As the sole or most probable key to this marvellous universal tradition and evidence of the common origin and antiquity of civilization, I must be content here to refer to the remarkable book named Mazzaroth, or the Constellations, by the late Miss Frances Rolleston of Keswick,* to which I have more than once already referred in our discussions in this Institute.
31. Having now replied to Sir John Lubbock, I proceed to reconsider the subject briefly, in a somewhat more systematic manner. I take for my hypothesis and foundation of my argument, what has been revealed to us in Holy Scripture : that the Maker of all things is God; that all things animate and in animate were created by Him, distinct as they are, and not evolved out of one another, - the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that in them is; - every plant of the field and all herbs; every fish and every fowl; every beast of the field and creeping thing; each after its kind ; and last of all man, made "in the image of God," "upright," and "very good," like all God's other works. But it would be wrong to say that those who believe this, do so merely because it purports to be revealed. It is believed by them, also, because it commends itself to their conscience and understanding. Whether they could have arrived at the same conviction apart from revelation matters not, if so be they can now justify their faith by reason. In what follows here, all will be made to depend upon reason and analogies from nature ; but it would be simply absurd and not very honest not to admit at the outset that our hypothesis is taken from the first book of Moses.
32. On the other hand we have another hypothesis to consider, which has been more than once broached to mankind, but which in its latest form comes before us from Mr. Charles Darwin, the eminent living naturalist. His theory is that man was not created, and that other animals and plants were not created distinctively as they now are, but were evolved from some primary creation - for the theory is not professedly Atheistic - of a few forms, or of one, into which life was first breathed by the Creator. The majority of men however understand this to be an Atheistic or a Pantheistic hypothesis; but some, and some even in this Institute, have taken other grounds, and consider it quite consistent with what is revealed of creation in Genesis. Be that also as it may, I reject the evolution theory, not merely because I consider it inconsistent with revelation ; but because I find it to be improbable, irrational, and contrary to all the analogies and all our knowledge of nature.
33. Thus, then, the one theory comes before us as stated in the Scriptures, which purport to be the Word of God, on the authority of Moses. The other, as professedly found out in the world of nature, that is, as exhibited in the Works of God, on the authority of Mr. Darwin. I place the two thus in antithesis plainly, that all may understand the issues ; not in order to prejudice the subject. Henceforth in this discussion, I desire to let both stand upon a level, and to bring both to the same common tests of reason, probability, analogy, and fact. Fiat justitia, ruat caelum! One may say this, as I do, with all reverence, without any apprehension that either the sky will fall, or that heavenly truth is in the least danger.
34. Darwinism, then, or " the law of natural selection," appears to me, ab initio, to be out of joint and at issue with all nature. It begins, merely with the things that have life, - unlike the more thorough evolution theories of the ancients, who began the world itself with an egg. Sir John Lubbock says it is " the only theory that accounts for the origin of man " ; but man, as well as all other living beings, animal or vegetable, depend upon inanimate things for their subsistence ; and unless our theory can account for the origin of all things it is valueless. Mr. Darwin speaks of " this planet cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity," whilst " endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved." But what as to the origin of this "fixed law of gravity," and of " this planet" itself, and of the air, and water, earth and fire, - taking either this ancient rude division of the elements, or their sixty-four chemical constituents, as discovered in modern times, - Are they evolved - fire from air, air from water, water from earth, or vice versa, or either from gravity? Or is carbon evolved from hydrogen, hydrogen from oxygen, oxygen from nitrogen, and so on through all the gaseous elements of the world? If not, - and what chemist or natural philosopher but would laugh at such an idea of the constitution of natural things ; - if each of these elements has its nature or distinctive character, and measure and weight, - Is it natural or rational a priori to imagine, when we come to living beings, that they have a heterogeneous constitution, diiferent from that of the other things by which they are actually nourished and kept alive? - that originally they all were muddled into one, and have evolved themselves into their present distinctive characteristics ?
35. As rational and reasoning beings we must reject this, as at least à priori utterly improbable. But, of course, if we have à posteriori proof to the contrary, we shall be quite prepared to reconsider the matter. At present, however, the whole Darwinian theory, as the analogous theory of Lucretius was, is merely an a priori and unproved hypothesis ; and so far, the à priori argu-ment is against solution. It is not even alleged by those who bold this theory, that gravitation, electricity, light, heat, cold, gases, air water, earths or metals, were probably evolved one out of another. Only animals and plants! and not even them out of pre-existing elements, without the first breathing of life " by the creator into a few forms or into one."* I am aware this passage has been removed from its place in the first edition of The Origin of Species by Mr. Darwin, - but I believe he has not ventured to expunge it altogether; and in point of fact I do fairly state the case : he has not, like the ancient evolutionists, professed to evolve the whole world of being from an atom or egg.
36. Well then, my next argument is, that we cannot, as rational beings and natural philosophers, adopt an incongruous hypothesis, which would thus place the animate and inanimate world of being at issue. We must, therefore, reject Darwinism, with reference to the special subject now under consideration. And besides, I am not bound to argue here* against it further, in detail, inasmuch as Sir John Lubbock does not make the least attempt to break a lance in its favour.
37. I proceed, therefore, upon the other hypothesis, that just as the inanimate elements were not evolved out of one another, but always had the distinctive nature and characteristics they now have, ever since they had existence, - so the flora and fauna of creation have not been evolved, but have always had the distinctive characteristics they now have. But to save time I must pass altogether from plants to animals, - man being an animal, and as our search is for the closest natural analogies as to the original probable constitution of man.
38. As regards the inferior animals, therefore, what do we find, apart from quixotic speculation?
" Just as there is no evolution, or 'progress,' or 'future,' for rocks, or metals, for trees or herbs or flowers, there is none for birds, insects, fishes, or quadrupeds. There are no essential changes in their constitution or character. What they ever were, they are, and ever shall be while they exist, so far as we have reason to believe. Insect architecture has not progressed or retrograded, like the architecture of man's invention. Each kind of bee builds its own peculiar kind of cells; they never learn or copy from one another; nor do spiders ever copy from or work like bees. The nautilus of today has made no discovery in ocean navigation unknown to its ancient prototypes. Animal instinct is perfect in its sphere: it cannot be improved and it never deteriorates. Such is nature and its laws. But man is not subject to like conditions."H
39. " Not subject to like conditions! " - then where, it may be asked, is the analogy? To this I reply, that analogy does not mean identity ; and that I by no means wish to place man and the inferior animals in all respects upon a level. That would be quite as unnatural, it seems to me, as to evolve the one out of the other. The proposition I desire to establish from analogy is this - the probable original perfection of man, from the perfection we find in the rest of the animate creation. It is neither my argument nor that of those whom I oppose, that man is now what he was originally. The question therefore is - having rejected the " evolution theory " for all living as well as for all inanimate nature - In what condition and with what character did man probably come from the hands of his Creator ? He evidently somehow has changed, and he changes his character before our very eyes ; while the inferior animals do not so change, and apparently never have changed. If we found the mason-bee or carpenter-bee copying from one another, or endeavouring to rival the construction of the cells of the hive-bee, or the latter making the least advance or fresh discovery from generation to generation ; then we might by analogy reason that man had in like manner advanced from an inferior primitive state. But, it may be replied, that if man has not advanced he has degenerated ; and that this destroys the analogy between him and the other animals whose instincts and character thus remain unaltered. No doubt whatever it does. The analogy breaks off, and becomes an antithesis whenever we admit that man has changed. But that is not the question. We only desire to establish by analogy what was his probable original condition.
40. What I argue is, that as all nature has a beauty and perfection and fitness of its own, exhibited in every element, and in every plant, and every animal, save man ; we are bound from analogy to conclude, - man being now the exception to that rule, - that originally there was no such exception. We are bound from all analogy to argue, that as the ant, the bee, the spider, the beaver, the elephant, the dog, have each their peculiar and marvellous instincts and intelligence adapted to their nature and place in creation, so that man when originally created would surely in like manner come perfect from the hand of his Creator, with an intelligence and enlightened reason adapted to his superior place in the creation. If not, we should have a solecism in nature: in other words, it is unnatural and irrational to come to such a strange conclusion. But it is not only contrary to all we do know of nature, but it is derogatory to our conception of the character of the Creator, to conclude that He made man less perfect than the inferior creatures.
41. That man is now a solecism in the creation is, alas! too true. Here is a picture of his present condition, which I drew six years ago :--
" Nature is not for him a sufficient guide. He has no perfect instincts.
Nature does not even clothe him, as it does the birds and beasts. His birth brings with it pain and sorrow and sickness unknown to the lower creation.
His period of utter helplessness as an infant and child is long and protracted. If not carefully trained and taught and elevated, he degenerates.
By his wilful acts he may demoralize himself, and often does, even after he has been taught and practised better things. By his knowledge and reason and manifest superiority, he can subdue the earth, make the very elements subserve him, and has dominion over all other creatures. And yet he may, and often does, sink below the very brutes, through folly, intemperance and evil lusts. He wars with his own species, commits crimes so abominable that other men cannot name or think of them without a shudder; and he brings upon himself diseases and inflictions utterly unknown to the lower order of creatures that live instinctively under nature's laws."
"If men point to civilization as the means of undoing these lamentable evils in man's condition, they must be reminded that civilization (in the ordinary sense) affords no effectual remedy. "While it advances mankind, it often is the means also of their greater debasement. Our very present anxieties as to man's condition, have all been intensified, from the evils that have obtruded themselves upon us on every side, in the very midst of all our enlightenment and material civilization." Besides we must remember that " civilization may not only advance but may become stationary or even retrograde, and that moral amelioration by no means accompanies all material development; that civilizations which once existed have afterwards disappeared ; that nations which have risen may fall." *
42. This brings us once more to the consideration of the difference between moral and material civilization. We are accustomed to the Latin poet's words:--
" Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros."
But there is a reflex interpretation of this sentiment that runs in our heads, as if it meant that it is the fine arts that soften the manners. For instance, a writer in the Times a few weeks ago, lamented the absence in modern Greece of " the ingenuous arts which mollify manners and do not suffer them to be savage." And there is some truth in this way of putting it, - there is a humanizing reaction of arts and of outward refinement upon men's minds and manners ; but it is a reaction. The direct influence is the other way. The gentle and refined soul first gives rise to the arts, and in fact creates them. Yet by habit we usually speak as if civilization only meant an artificial condition of things or an acquaintance more or less with the arts and conveniences of life. It will be seen that this idea runs through the whole of Sir John Lubbock's argument. It is, however, quite a mistake ; for, of course, in that sense, the primitive man, however perfect, nay the very angels themselves, could not be regarded as " civilized." But the word " civilization" has a proper and historical sense, besides this merely vulgar and conventional signification. It was primarily used as characterizing the inhabitants of cities, in contradistinction to the rude and unpolished boors or savages of the country plains or forests. The result of men's association in cities and communities was naturally progress in industrial arts and other inventions, attended with more polished and gentler manners, or moral elevation. Whereas the original dwellers in the country were huntsmen and freebooters. But in thus speaking, we are really reversing the order of things, and confounding cause and effect. It is truer to say, that the persons of milder and gentler disposition naturally associated together forming peaceful communities, and building towns for their mutual protection and in order to pursue industrial arts ; while those of a wilder disposition naturally separated and followed the chase, and thus acquired the habits of nomades or wanderers, degenerating occasionally into utter savagery. But, at any rate, there is not a doubt that the proper and natural meaning of the word " civilized " has reference to the moral characteristics of men, and not to the material adjuncts of civilization. And so, when a man, however outwardly civilized by the accidents of birth and association, commits some gross atrocity, we even now apply to him naturally the epithet " savage." Or again, take this description of the condition of parts of Greece at the present day, from a leading article in the Times of 16th May last, by way of illustration:--
"Where the first principles of society are wanting in a country, where law is an alien and civilization merely skin-deep, what can we expect to see in Greece but a land where there is neither agriculture nor trade, simply because the right of property is insecure and life itself uncertain ? There are no roads, and consequently no means to dispose of local produce, and, to sum up all in the words of a great moralist, ' There are no arts, no letters, no society, and, what is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.'"
43. But besides disregard of law and moral rectitude, and of the life and property of others, there is a still more potent source of the corruption of manners, which is perhaps the primary cause of all such lawlessness, and that is false religion. For religion underlies morals. So in Sir Henry Bulwer's speech on the Greek massacres, as reported in the Times of the 20th of May, we have this passage :--
"You see the assassin, his hands dripping with the blood of his innocent victim, visits his priest, and returns with perfect cordiality the recognition of him who directs his conscience."
There was too much of this very same thing in the Middle Ages in this country and throughout all Christendom. There is the same thing now in Ireland and in Italy and elsewhere under similar influences:--Savagery and blood-guiltiness in the midst of Civilization, more shocking and more culpable in such circumstances than are the blind inhumanities of heathen savagedom !
44. But I must now sum up my conclusions briefly, leaving many of my propositions to stand by themselves without much further argument. First, then, I say that moral civilization is the only true civilization, and the only lasting foundation even for the highest material civilization. Secondly, I regard the bases of true moral civilization to be a right faith in God, with right notions of His holiness, justice, truth, and mercy. Thirdly, after that comes a knowledge of nature, or science, which is the basis of art; for " knowledge is power ; " and what we call material civilization is its product. But after all, I might have given a shorter summary. I seem only to have expressed in other words two proverbs of Solomon: - the first - " The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to depart from evil that is understanding; " the other - " Righteousness exalteth a nation ; but sin is a reproach to any people."
45. When false notions of Deity take the place of true, we have then more or less of superstition, descending to the grossest idolatries and the fetish-worship of savages. The result of such corruption of religion is moral corruption, and civilization becomes more and more corrupt, or is superseded by barbarism and savagery. Nations and races sink under all such influences, instead of being " exalted." We may take the whole history of the world, ancient and modern, and we shall find these canons exemplified. We may apply them even to families and individuals, and to the stages of our own moral history, and we shall find them to be generally and essentially true. And we should always remember, that in earlier ages, when traditions were mostly oral, and writing either not invented or but in rare use, the descent of a segregated family or tribe would often be most rapid, and the total loss of almost all traditions inevitable in a few generations.
46. Once more I must give a summary of conclusions, with occasionally but brief arguments. I deny evolution or development, either of the material elements one into another, or of dead matter into living things, or of plants into animals, or of the inferior animals into one another, or into man. While admitting variations and changes in living things within the limits of their kind and respective natures, 1 deny that such changes are developments upwards. They are rather the reverse. As Professor Dawson said in an admirable lecture on the Primitive Vegetation, delivered in the Royal Institution on May 27, " the first plants of a particular kind are, in fact, the noblest and grandest specimens," being brought forth as it were, when the material elements were in their pristine strength and richness ; " while even when they differ from cognate plants now existing, they are, nevertheless, all more or less upon a common principle or plan, that enables us to understand their character from our knowledge of their existing representatives, and to see that there is but one intelligent plan of creation throughout the whole." And so it is with the inferior animals, as Hugh Miller, long ago pointed out, in his Footprints of the Creator. I conclude from analogy, therefore, that so it was also with man.
47. But how would the first man be endowed, according to this analogy ? I reply, First, with the knowledge of God, for without it his existence would have been merely a puzzle. Second, with wisdom and understanding, or a rational mind of the highest conceivable powers, for man is a reasonable being. Third, I venture to think he would also be endowed with a gift of natural language, by which to think and speak. I quite admit that this is supposing that what I have called "natural language" was given to man supernaturally. But so was his very being. Creation is necessarily supernatural. Things properly are only " natural" after they and their nature exist. But a gift of this kind, suitable to a new-created, perfect, and reasonable man, appears to me to be a necessity for his nature ; and, after all, it is in strict analogy with the endowments of the inferior animals. They are supernaturally endowed with natural instincts. I say supernaturally endowed, because their instincts are not acquired by any natural process, or by teaching or education. They are literally supernatural gifts.
48. Now, take this hypothesis as regards man's creation and his primitive condition; and suppose that male and female were created, thus perfect and thus endowed; and we have then an intelligible first proposition by which we can understand the whole future history of the human race. Without it, all is dark, unintelligible, and irrational. Man as an infant could not be naturally without human parents. If so created, as an infant, he could not have lived; or even were that possible, could only have lived untaught, ignorant, dumb, - unless we further suppose there had been a series of supernatural methods of nursing, training, and teaching him. Of course the grown man could not have been naturally either, unless he had first been a child. But, in fact, there is less of supernaturalism, less of the miraculous, in supposing him to have been created as a man, than as an infant. It appears to me the only rational supposition. I am therefore constrained to believe it; just as I am to believe in the existence of God, because it is impossible to believe that the things which appear around us exist without a Cause which is unseen.
49. But man is not now thus perfect, as we have assumed him to have been originally. And does this not destroy our argument and analogy? Not at all. We have other analogies and facts as to our nature and history to appeal to. We have plenty of instances of men once comparatively elevated sinking into degradation through vice, intemperance and other evil lusts. And though men may deny the existence of the first created man, or Adam; the coming of the Second Adam, "the Lord from Heaven," or the beginning of " the new creation," is an event in human history that is not very remote. Christianity is a fact, just as " civilization is a fact; " and the history of modern civilization is little else than the history of Christianity.
50. He must be a poor anthropologist who would attempt to pursue " the noblest study of mankind" and leave out of consideration their religions. Now mark not only what Christianity has done and still is doing for humanity ; mark also its theory of man's origin and history and destiny, as propounded by its Divine Author. Its theory of the past is precisely what I have advocated, - that also of the old Hebrew Scriptures. Christ came as a " Restorer," and He made the true criterion of pure social life that which, He tells us, was "in the beginning," when " God created man, male and female," and of " these twain made one flesh." If, then, Sir John Lubbock desires the highest idea or theory of marriage, he has it in Christ's own words. But it is a theory not compatible with man's origin in a low and grovelling condition as a development out of some brute. According to Christ the perfect idea was first, and had its origin in God's own plan and man's creation. There is not a doubt, as all Christian moralists admit, that marriage is the foundation of society and therefore of civilized life. After the relaxation of the primitive law of God among the Jews, and the corruption of their morals, the burden of the old prophets was a constant cry against impurity, and the re-proclamation of the original sanctity of marriage, based upon the same high theory of its being a perfect union or oneness. And, " Wherefore one? " asks the prophet Malachi; * to which he also gives this reply : " That there might be a godly seed " or progeny, as the guarantee of a proper education " in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ; " - that is, in order to secure a true civilization.
51. Christ came also as "the Healer of the nations," and "to take away the sin of the world." Stretched out upon the cross of Calvary, He offered himself a Holy Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. He died ; but the grave could not hold Him ! He ascended into heaven, to receive gifts of grace for man ; and He ever lives at God's right hand to make continual intercession for the weary and heavy laden with sin, and to give pardon to the penitent! And all for what general purpose? For the regeneration of humanity ; for the restoration, to all who will, of that uprightness and original perfection we have lost, - to accomplish, that is, in the very highest sense, nothing less than our civilization.
52. But the process of amelioration is moral. Man's will is not forcibly constrained, and the knowledge of God's truth must be handed down. Hence Christ's command to His first Apostles "to go and teach all nations."Hence the paramount importance of education. Hence the imperative obligation, upon all who have received the truth to teach the Truth. Hence the shameful disgrace to those who might have prevented it, when a people are either taught error, or left to "perish through lack of knowledge." "The times of men's ignorance" God now no longer winks at. And in days like these, when "knowledge is increased," when "men run to and fro," and the printing press speaks silently to millions through the eye, when the ear cannot be reached; all ignorance and all false teaching become doubly culpable, if we might have prevented the one or may have disseminated the other.
53. And yet, as we too well know, though Christ came and sowed the good seed of truth and purity in the world once more, an enemy hath also sowed tares. Evil and essential savagery cannot quite be rooted out from among us, with all our superior knowledge and all our modern civilization. We need not go to Africa, Australia, New Zealand or the Andaman Islands, for instances of human degradation. We need not to go far back in history or to pre-historic times, to hunt for the probable origin of human debasement. It is round about us here in England, and in our own day. We need not refer to Troppman and France, or to modern Greece, for recent instances of savage brutality. Nor even to pretentious Rome for a still more sickening picture of general moral corruption, so shocking that the writer in the Guardian newspaper who lately portrayed it, could not venture to write his account in plain English for the general eye, but veiled it in the sadly appropriate language of the Roman Church. We need but to look at home, - to Middlesex, to Buckinghamshire, to Westminster Hall, to Bow Street, - and to the English newspapers for a year or a single month, to understand how man can corrupt and debase himself, and to know what is the probable origin of human barbarism and savagery. Facilis descensus Averni! Even the heathen knew how easy it is for man to degenerate.
54. What, on the other hand, is the remedy, that can alone prevent the general debasement of society? The revival of better things ; the recalling of man to duty, aided by timely education, and by the protection of wise laws, founded upon Christian Truth ; for that is " the salt of the earth," which preserves it from utter corruption. But if Christianity is mainly concerned with the teaching of the higher truths which are of the essence of moral civilization, it is an utter mistake to suppose that it is in the least degree inimical to civilization in its outward material development. There have been fanatical interpreters of Scripture who, with a text and a doctrine misunderstood and exaggerated, have taught that Christianity requires the social life to be what we could only call a kind of milder savagedom. But the age is now infested with a still more pernicious class of teachers, namely those who, rejecting Christianity altogether and disbelieving the Holy Scriptures, nevertheless also set themselves up as Bible interpreters. They pervert what Christianity teaches, in order to clear the ground for their own philosophies, although all that is. good in the latter are merely barefaced plagiarisms from the teaching of Christ and the Scriptures. They pretend that Christianity is adverse to human advancement, and to the material progress which they chiefly identify with civilization.
55. Christianity has been vindicated from such slanders more than once already in the Victoria Institute, especially by Dr. Irons and Mr. Row.* Let me do it once more very briefly, by analogy, in keeping with the other arguments of this paper. We have God's holiness and righteousness proclaimed in His Holy Word and by our reason and the still small voice of conscience within us. But we have also the varied beauties of His outward creation exhibited to our eyes in all His works, in the glory of the heavens above and throughout this beauteous earth. In Christianity we have something analogous in the actual development of the fine arts in Christendom, in the revival of letters, and in the history of European civilization. But the gifts and teaching of nature and of grace may be alike perverted, abused and misapplied. There was no reproach, however, implied as regards the gorgeousness of the king's apparel, when our Lord declared that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as superbly as the flowers of the field. Men did not know the marvellous literalness of this truth when it was taught by Christ. By the microscope we now understand it. When St. Peter teaches woman that the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is the true adorning of the gentler sex, he is not forbidding all outward adorning of the plaiting of hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel. He is only telling them how unimportant or even paltry these are in themselves, and that they are at best but vain and ephemeral, while the other is incorruptible. When Christ tells us that the world will be engaged in the last days, and when He comes again, precisely " as in the days of Noah," when " they bought and sold and planted and builded," He is not condemning these employments, He is only condemning the careless godlessness of men and their want of true faith. To labour is the primary condition now of man's existence here. Without building and planting and commerce, how could "the state of the world be maintained?" Without architecture, gardening, sculpture, painting, the working in gold and silver, and the fine arts generally, (including even the curious working of gorgeous apparel and of ornaments,) as well as the more ordinary employments in the building of houses, agriculture, manufactures, and all the commoner works of necessity for man's comfort and even for his protection against the elements, - how many thousands or millions of individuals in every city and state would be left without honest labour and the means of subsistence? Some utilitarians are always thoughtlessly exclaiming, when they see some grand temple or church, or some ornamental monument erected in loving memory of departed worth and goodness, What a waste is here! Why not rather build a hospital? The answer to this may be brief. Were no such works undertaken to give various classes of men an elevating and honest employment, we should doubtless require to be constantly building hospitals ! But after a time we should be unable to do that; for to neglect the culture of the peaceful arts of civilization, would be to take a retrograde step towards savagery, and would speedily extend among us both the idleness and poverty, with all their concomitant evils, of which we have only too much experience already.
56. This sketch would be incomplete, even as an outline, were I not to notice another great fact in man's history. The Reformation is also a fact, as much as is Civilization, or even as Christianity itself. We know what its fruits have hitherto been in the history of the world. It revived literature, gave a new birth to science and mechanical invention ; and it has given to this country a glorious pre-eminence among the nations, for nobleness, generosity, freedom, and the general purity of social life. If we are not without our errors, we at least acknowledge them, and do not attempt to brazen them out with a lie. We mourn our lapses, our shortcomings, our unnecessary divisions, and we gladly recognize a growing "unity of spirit" and of charity among Protestant Christians. Let us go on then in this good work ; ever again and again reforming ourselves, according to the purest primitive forms. Let us neither depart from the faith, nor dare to heap upon it human corruptions. For we may be assured of this, that the advancement of true Christianity is identical with that of Civilization, - of Civilization, both Moral and Material.
The CHAIRMAN.--I am sure we have listened with great interest to Mr. Reddie's exceedingly able paper, and I have no doubt that the discussion upon it will be very instructive and serviceable to us all.
Rev. J.H. TITCOMB.--I rise with diffidence, the more so because some years ago I have the honour of reading a paper before the Institute, "On the Antiquity of Civilization," and the discussion that followed was most interesting. But let me begin by quoting a passage from Professor Max Muller, and I think it will fully bear out what Mr. Reddie has so well set forth in this paper; namely, that man in his primeval state, totally apart from material civilization, had that which was mentally and morally to be called true civilization. Max Muller says :--
"More and more the image of man, in whatever clime we meet him, rises before us noble and pure from the very beginning. As far as we can trace back the footsteps of man, even on the lowest strata of history, we see that the Divine gift of a sound humanity emerging slowly from the depths of an animal brutality can never be maintained again."
That is the opinion of Professor Max Muller, no mean authority, especially in the department of which he is pre-eminently a master. The paper which we have had the pleasure of hearing most properly distinguishes between moral and material civilization, and I fully concur with Mr. Reddie in saying that that is the exact point at which Sir John Lubbock makes the radical mistake of his argument. And it is a mistake which is universally made on this interesting and important topic. Civilization is taken in some fictitious sense to be necessarily tied up with the later centuries of the world's history, and with those advances in the Arts and in the habits of life which are more or less identified with the word in our ordinary language. Civilization, as Mr. Reddie has shown, is sufficiently subserved if the being that possesses it is intelligent, clean, moral, honest, and honourable, even though he may have but little of the material elements of human progress about him. The question is whether, with such a starting-point of mental and moral civilization as we now predicate, a platform is not provided for man from which he necessarily evolves material civilization; - whether he, being originally not savage, but mentally and morally civilized, was in a state from which material civilization might be evolved. With regard to Sir John Lubbock's remarks as to the existence of a stone age antecedent to the metal age, I would say that that is not only consistent with the declarations of the Word of God, but it is not in itself in the least degree a proof that such a condition indicated a want of civilization, or even of material civilization. There is a remarkable passage in the book of Joshua which indicates the co-existence of civilization with a stone age. Joshua was told, " Make ye sharp knives," and in the margin we have " knives of flints ;" from which you see that there was a stone age existing with a metal age, and the existence of a stone age really is no proof that there was not in some sense a metal age remote or near. But putting that aside, I would point out that Sir John Lubbock may be right in saying that all Archæological and Ethical Science shows that the human race has greatly progressed from that state called the stone age, and yet, for all that, the stone age might not have been an uncivilized age. What have we in Scripture? I will not quote the words, but there were seven generations between Adam and the man who first invented metals. First there was Adam, then Cain, then Enoch, then Irad, then Mehujael, then Methusael, then Lamech, and then Tubal-cain. There were, therefore, seven distinct generations, which would give you more than two centuries at our rate of longevity, but at a higher rate it would give you a much longer period. At all events the Scriptures show that the human race had existed for more than 200 years in a stone age without the invention of metals ; but that does not prove that in the period between Adam and Tubal-cain there was nothing but savagery. There is no need to suppose that, because the Scriptures prove otherwise. The pastoral character of Abel, the keeper of sheep, is anything but a savage one. But it is most important that we should see how the Scriptures are reconcilable with the existence of a universal stone age. If Adam was formed materially and morally in the image of God, he may have fallen in both respects from that original image; but he took with him from Eden a sufficient amount of that high intellect with which he had been created, to enable his descendants in seven generations to evolve material civilization, so that musical instruments and working in brass and iron could be produced. I conceive that savagery has arisen out of a condition of things in which races similar to those separated from the rest had lost the remnants of the intelligence which they possessed at the time of separation, and so gradually sank down into degradation. I do think that the clear line of demarcation which Mr. Reddie has drawn between the conditions of civilization, as a starting-point, is the very crux of the whole question ; we solve the difficulty in this way ; and we then have a lever to work with, and all the elements and conditions of success for the whole argument. I believe with Archbishop Whately that the races which have fallen into a state of savagery never recover themselves. They fall into that condition which in the human body is represented by weakness, or want of recuperative power, when it is only by applying external medicines that it can regain the strength it has lost; so savage races need the external forces of superior races to be inoculated with their knowledge and wisdom ; and it is only in that way that they can recover. That accounts for the outriggers of the Andamans, and evidences the progress they have made ; not as Sir John Lubbock argues, from internal or self-evolved sources, but ah extra. I look upon this paper as a valuable contribution towards our proceedings, and I trust the discussion may henceforth be continued in a different direction. I take much pleasure in the whole subject, for it is one of the highest importance in the present day, connected as it is with the antiquity of the human race and with that important question of ethnology in which Sir John Lubbock takes so deep an interest, and upon which he is now producing a new work. I trust that this paper will make us think more on the subject, and enable us to come better armed than we now are whenever we may have to discuss this subject again. (Cheers.)
Dr. E. Haughton. -- I think our thanks are due to Mr. Reddie not only for the valuable nature of his paper, but also for the moral courage he has shown in attacking such an adversary as Sir John Lubbock. (Hear, hear.) I have satisfied myself that Sir John Lubbock is one of the most cautious writers of that school which the Victoria Institute is specially engaged in opposing. In his work on Primitive Man he does not commit himself to many things which can be laid hold of, but there is a very objectionable tone pervading it, and I look upon him not only as a very dangerous writer, butas one whom it is difficult to meet. I think, however, that Mr. Reddie has shown him to be wrong on many points. There is much in this paper withwhich I cordially agree, some with which I do not. For instance, in the26th Section the author says :--
" And as human flesh is not wholesome food, and 'does not agree' with those who eat it, I am not surprised to find its consumption may vary, and be easily given up for a time; but this can scarcely be regarded as any proof of a decided step from savagery."
Now, when a race of men, who have been in the habit of eating one another, give up that habit, I must say that it is a decided step from savagery. I can hardly think that such a habit would be given up because of human flesh being " unwholesome." Cannibalism has been given up amongst the inhabitants of New Zealand, and it is said that those who have given it up consider it a gross insult to have it said that they would be capable of returning to it. No doubt that result has been brought about by the contact and influence of superior civilized Christian races.* Then in the same paragraph :--
"Let me ask, is not the llama 'domestic' by nature? Has any wild animal ever been domesticated?"
As soon as we domesticate an animal, the assumption is that it never was wild, and it becomes impossible to prove it either way, but the presumption ought to be more in favour of original wildness than original domestication. Another point in the paper to which I wish refer to is one which has frequently been before us - I mean Darwinism ; but no allusion, that I am aware of, has ever yet been made to the fact that what is called Darwinism did not originate with Darwin. Mr. Reddie has, however, given a kind of hint of that in his 32nd Section, where he says :--
" On the other hand, we have another hypothesis to consider, which has been more than once broached to mankind, but which in its latest form comes before us from Mr. Charles Darwin, the eminent living naturalist. His theory is that man was not created ; and that other animals and plants were not created distinctively as they now are, but were evolved from some primary creation - for the theory is not professedly Atheistic - of a few forms, or of one, into which life was first breathed by the Creator."
Now this identical theory was published at least nine years before Darwin did so, by a Dr. M. Freke, of Dublin, in his work on " Organism." His theory was this, that all living creatures " were evolved from some primary creation of a few forms, or of one, into which life was first breathed by the Creator."
The Chairman. -- I understand that the leading theory of Darwin is the theory of natural selection. That which you have fixed upon is common to many authors besides Darwin.
Dr. Haughton. -- Perhaps I have not stated Dr. Freke's theory so fully as I ought. He considered that there was a primitive molecule, if you will, or one perhaps more, atoms, from which all the rest of creation was successively evolved. I need scarce add that I do not desire to support this theory.
Rev. C. Graham. -- I do not rise to offer any opposition to the paper, but to express my agreement with its principles and reasoning. There are, however, one or two little things upon which I should like to say a word. Here is a quotation which Mr. Reddie has taken from Sir John Lubbock:--
" Where, therefore, we find a race which is now ignorant of religion, I cannot but assume that it has always been so."
Now Mr. Moffatt found, in Southern Africa, certain races which were ignorant of Religion; but among some of the old men he found still in use the word "Morimo," which had been used by their forefathers to describe God, or the Great Spirit, but to which those who then used it attached no definite idea whatever. Here is another quotation from Sir John Lubbock :--
" The cases are perhaps less numerous than they are asserted to be, but according to almost universal testimony - that of merchants, philosophers, naval men, and missionaries alike - there are many races of men who are altogether destitute of a religion."
It was generally believed in this country in the last generation that the natives of New South Wales had no distinct idea of the being of a God. But I have talked to one who spent twenty-three years amongst them, and he found that as a general rule they had a distinct idea of the being of a God, and some of them even gave the name which they said was generally applied to the one that they believed to be God, who lived up in the sky, and who, when they heard thunder, they believed to be engaged in conflict with his enemies. My friend endeavoured to reform them, and teach them Christianity, but he was much struck by this fact, that whenever it thundered they were particular to manifest by various noises their sympathy with their " Mika," or God. That is a fact of very great moment. It is in direct contradiction to that statement made by Sir John Lubbock, and I think we shall find, after all, that there are very few races of men on record who have not the idea of a Supreme Being. (Hear, hear.) Now if we go for a moment to the question of polytheism I think it is quite clear that in the early ages of the world there was a general belief in the unity of God and a general conviction, that we express by monotheism. The early Fathers of the Church, in contending with the polytheists, quoted their own poets and their own philosophers against them. Lactantius speaks of the unity of the Greeks and Romans as proving the fact of the unity of God, and Aristotle was quoted to show that there was one presiding mind which governed all things. Plato confirmed the testimony, and Cicero also believed that there was one supreme God. Any one who looks at Ovid's Metamorphoses will see that he affirms that God, and the better Nature, as he calls it, reduced the chaos to order.
In the testimony of St. Paul we find the same truth. We find the apostle quoting the words of Aretus and Cleanthes : " For we are also His offspring," and he builds up the argument : " Forasmuch as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver or stone, graven by art and man's device." Paul plies the intelligent Athenians with the acknowledgment of their own poets that we are the offspring of God. Now whence was that idea derived? I think it is quite clear that the knowledge of the unity of God was derived from the patriarchs. Methuselah was contemporaneous for two hundred years with Adam ; and Shem was contemporaneous with Methuselah for one hundred years, and with Abraham for one hundred and forty-eight years, according to what we regard as our best chronology, and it is quite obvious that the knowledge of creation and all that we regard as truth revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis, was easily transmitted to Abraham, and very well known by all the contemporaries of Abraham. It is quite clear that there is a perfect harmony between the statements of Holy Scripture and what we find acknowledged even by the Poets and Philosophers of Greece and Rome. There is just one other point, with regard to the decline and fall of the great nations of antiquity - Why is it that all the great nations of antiquity have passed away? Why is it that Babylon has gone? Why is it that the Medo-Persian empire, the Grecian empire, and the Roman empire have gone? Why is it that the glory of Egypt has passed away? All the ancient nationalities have perished - even the Jews themselves, with their high civilization, both moral and material, are all scattered over the face of the earth. Why is this? Because of the fact of the universal degeneracy and the tendency of man to degenerate. The whole history of the nationalities of the world establishes the great principle that the tendency of man is to degenerate. It appears to me that the whole matter rests on the surest foundations, and the theory which we have to meet is very futile, and has not a single sound pillar to rest upon. (Cheers.)
The Chairman. -- There is a visitor present who is very well acquainted with the history of those primeval ages to which reference has been made. Dr. Michell is practically and scientifically acquainted with the subject, and we shall be very glad if he will address a few words to us. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. W. D. Michell. -- I will only say a few words in reference to the first Stone Age of which Sir John Lubbock speaks, and will only speak of an inquiry which occupied me for six or seven years, the results of which I thought it necessary to place before the British Association at Exeter. I admit there may be nothing very self-laudatory, yet when reasoning it is often very conclusive to be able to prove a negative : and seeing that the schools of Theology and the Scientific schools of Germany, France, and England were accepting the first Stone Age - the Palæolithic of Lyell and Lubbock - as an absolute truth and as the proofs and evidences of an important stage in man's development, I came to look upon the matter as rather a serious question which ought to be taken up. The question was a very simple one. It was, _" Are these stones which have been found, and which have been made so much of, remarkable as giving genuine indications of human workmanship, or are they altogether natural?" It was, however, a question which required much examination ; and what was the result? I challenged the opinion of chemists and mineralogists, divesting it for the moment of all the archæological and all the geological arguments. Here were certain Stones produced - take the beautiful collection in the Stone museum at Salisbury as an example - the question was, Were they so many actual proofs of the great antiquity of man, going back to the period of the Drift, which is unquestionably a period long ages ago. Were these specimens so produced authentic or not? After a long course of examination, extending over the valleys of England and France and of other countries, we could only come to the conclusion that these stones were naturally formed. I will tell you the mode in which we arrived at that conclusion. These stones are peculiar, and at first sight you would say, " They are artificially produced;" but when you see a graduated series of them, from the rough boulder slightly chipped, up to the very finest specimen, what is the result? Why, that they are only natural productions. There is the javelin-stone type, as well as those of the oval form or pattern ; but they are found universally in every quarter of the world, and everywhere with the same typical form, on the mountain-tops, in the valley-beds, in the soil of the arable fields, along the coast of North Devon and Cornwall, and on Salisbury Plain. You can pick them up in these districts over an area of thirty miles, and they are of exactly the same form, whether found in the valleys of England, on the mountains of Lebanon, Syria, Arabia, or in the north of Europe ; everywhere the same type is followed exactly. Of course the answer is, " They were made on the same plan everywhere :" but can we reason in that way, throwing overboard the fact that the very nature and chemical properties of the stone will naturally produce that form? Why should we bring in the savage? It seems to me that such a course is to abandon common sense or argument altogether. All these stones, flint chips, knives more especially, as I have already said, are typical in form, not only in their size and gradations, but even in their surface-markings. You can pick them up in London, indeed all through the valley of the Thames, and their form is the same as when you get them out of the Drift: they correspond exactly. They are, therefore, nothing more than natural stone curiosities. I have challenged chemists and mineralogists on the point, and I know that a large proportion of the mineralogists agree with me. This shows how cautious theologians ought to be before they accept new facts and dovetail them in with their reasonings. They ought to be sure as to what is really going on, and how much depends upon it. (Hear, hear.) The same thing applies to Darwinism. For myself, though I am not an able student of the theory, I see nothing in Darwinism but mere hypothesis, with nothing to support it. There is nothing that I know of as a naturalist which can account for and bridge over those terrible cataclysms and great breaks in animal forms, with which we are acquainted. No doubt Mr. Darwin has done an immense amount of good in showing us the wonderful improvements that may be made in species, but he might have got a great deal of his information by going among the midland counties where many people could have shown him the wonderful power of breeding in altering and modifying species. That only shows the immense power and plasticity to be found within the species, but there is not an atom of evidence, as yet produced, to prove Darwin's own theory. I have heard Mr. Reddie's paper with very great pleasure, and I agree with the distinction he draws between material and moral civilization. They are quite different things and ought not to be mingled together. Unfortunately the term " civilization " is seldom defined in such an argument, and the word is used so diversely and in so many different ways by different men, that we are bound to have a definition before we can form any opinion upon it.
The Chairman. -- I should like to ask you whether you have paid any attention to the facts and records in relation to the theory of a metal age. Have you investigated that at all?
Mr. W. D. Michell. -- Merely cursorily as an archaeologist, but I cannot say that I should like to give an opinion upon it now. I can say, however, with confidence that I have examined the first Stone Age since Sir Charles Lyell's publications, and have paid very great attention to it. There is really nothing in the so-called flint implements of the first Stone Age (the Palæolithic of Lyell and Lubbock), whether javelins or spearheads, ovals, flint knives, or any other typical forms of these, but a number of lithological curiosities formed according to the very nature and structure of flint. (Hear, hear.)
Rev. C. A. Row. -- In the Darwinian theory there is a most important point overlooked, and that is the enormous gap that there must be even between the last stage of the animal and the first stage of the man, where the one turns into the other. The animal is essentially unprogressive, while the very idea of a man gives us a notion of a great degree of progression and capability for advancement. Between the animal ancestor and the first human child, we know that there must have been a great gap. Animals move as it were in a very limited sphere, while man has in himself great, I had almost said indefinite, power of progression and advancement. Now this is a most important point, which has been very much overlooked. Our friends are in the habit of appealing to what we may call the dark ages, of which we have no historical records. In those ages you may theorize for ever on the few small historical memorials which remain. But why not view the question by the light of actual existing history? If we do that, it is quite plain it does not afford us the smallest foundation for believing that man is capable of advancing from an animal, as these theorists assert. Has man within the historical period increased in mental power or in bodily structure to such an extent as to lead us to believe that he is progressing towards a development into some higher being? (Hear, hear.) So far as I am aware, there is not an atom of evidence to induce us to believe that within the last 3,000 years man's body has improved in its actual type ; and so far as history bears its testimony, it is plain that man's mental power has not increased. Here conies in the distinction which has been so well laid down between man's material, and his moral and mental civilization. Of course material civilization is capable of large progression, because each generation takes up the discoveries which have been already made, and improves upon them. But no such thing occurs in mental or moral civilization. Our present degree of mental power, as shown by the present condition of man, does not exceed what it was 2,400 years ago. I apprehend that there is no community of human beings who have produced such an enormous quantity of great men in proportion to their number as the people inhabiting the small state of Athens. When we consider the number of great minds produced by a population of 20,000 Athenian citizens, we may well say that that population has produced far more great men than any similar population on the face of the globe. This is a strong indication that men have not made any progress towards developing themselves into beings of a higher mental power. If we survey the question still further, the argument is quite conclusive. Look at the general growth of nations in their civilization. So far as I have studied ancient history, I believe that mankind have developed their national civilization in a sort of ideal type. As an instance let me quote the Egyptian civilization, which was developed after a certain peculiar type, and when that type was realised the civilization stood still for some time, and afterwards made a retrogressive movement; and if you make the inquiry, you will find that this has been the fate of all the chief nations of the earth. The Assyrian nation would not be so good an instance, because it was destroyed by foreign conquest; but take the Chinese and the Hindoos as an example. It is evident that their civilizations formed themselves on a certain type, and after they had realized that type it became to a certain extent stationary, and then retrogressed to its present form. Take the nation of Greece, in which civilization developed itself on the highest possible type of beauty, in poetry, in the fine arts, and in philosophy. If you look into the history of Greece, you will find that that development went on by slow and gradual changes until it realized a certain ideal. It then remained stationary for 200 or 300 years, and ultimately a retrogression set in. Perhaps it will be said that the modern Greeks are not the lineal descendants of the ancient Greeks. This is true to some extent, but you may trace the movement through a long succession of ages, and that is perhaps the most remarkable example that has ever appeared among mankind. You can easily apply the same principle to the Roman empire ; but it would only be to go over the same ground. If any one will look into the history of these ancient nations, he will find that the principles I have laid down are substantially correct in every instance. Christianity in its action upon moral life has had a very remarkable influence, especially when embraced by young races. It did not impart fresh principles of civilization into either the old expiring Greek or Roman races ;* but how long it prolonged their national existence I am not prepared to say. But look at Christianity as embraced by the modern nations of Europe. There is no such tendency to decay in the civilization of those nations, as was always found in the civilization of the ancient nations prior to the birth of Christianity. Take, as an example, the French nation. It has passed through a very long period of history, and through a very great degree of corruption ; so that we might almost compare it with the Roman empire. But when that corruption set in in the Roman empire it never stopped, but the empire sank lower and lower until it expired with its civilization. France has been subject, to great reactions, and a terrific explosion took place in the French Revolution; but the principle of Christianity has been powerful enough to prevent the nation from expiring, and to set it going again with fresh national life. Look at Germany, with a national life extending over 1,500 years ; but yet there is not the least tendency to retrogression. Christianity, as embraced by the great Germanic races and the other nations of Europe, has tended to counteract the tendency towards national decay. (Cheers.)
The Chairman. -- I have seldom listened to a paper with a stronger feeling of satisfaction and gratitude to the author than I have experienced on the present occasion. (Hear.) The paper is so unassailable in its general course of reasoning, and so complete in its general argument, that there is very little to oppose in it, and scarcely anything to add. Sir John Lubbock's arguments have been excellently met by Mr. Reddie to-night, and perhaps it may not be improper to mention that they have elsewhere been admirably met, so far as their general tendency is concerned, by the Duke of Argyll in his excellent book on Primeval Man, which contains a mine of searching thought and philosophical suggestion. There is only one thing in this paper in regard to which it appears to me that there is some room for doubt, if I rightly apprehend Mr. Reddie's argument. I have not been able to conclude that even savage races are utterly without the power of limited advancement ; but I believe that the range within which advancement is possible for them is exceedingly limited. I can hardly believe that any race of men could be so completely unmanned as to lose all power of combination for improvement, not in respect of moral or spiritual civilization, but in respect of a certain low-class material civilization ; I believe it will be found by a careful examination of the records and traditions of such material civilization as we ourselves have had access to, that there may be certain steps of progress for these races within certain very narrow limits. At the same time I cannot imagine that there can be anything whatever in this admission which is really in favour of Sir John Lubbock's argument, for I think the limits of that improvement are very small and very rigidly defined ; that just for the want of a moral inspiration and of a spiritual nobility ; just for the want of a revelation of light from without, a race has fallen down to the natural level of what we may call a mere animal, so far as man can ever become a mere animal; and having fallen down to that level, they can just creep on and advance within very narrow limits up to a certain point, but they can never get beyond that point. I think that just thus far some modification may be necessary of the statement that all barbarous races are in a continual condition either of progressive decay and corruption or of stand-still. With regard to the question of the stone and metal age, Mr. Michell has given us some testimony which deserves to be very carefully and respectfully considered; but supposing we take the other view, I do not myself think that the fact of the existence of these stone implements proves that you must give to the existing human family a pedigree so degraded as that which some writers think the stone age tends to make probable. You must take into account the circumstances in which those races were placed which used such humble instruments, as has been done by Canon Kingsley in a little work called Madam How and Lady Why, which is one of the best and most Christian books of philosophy I have seen for some time. If you take into account the circumstances in which those races were, for them to have made such implements, for their aid and assistance, that of itself puts an immense and immeasurable distance between them and those supposed ancestors of theirs of whom some writers speak. Then there is another thing that I wonder no one has referred to to-night. I always feel ready to ask those who hold such views as those I have spoken of, " How is it that the process of development is, so far as we know, in the historical period, utterly and everywhere at an end ? How is it that we do not see and cannot trace the steps by which the simiæ are advancing until they come to the condition of men ? How is it, if this were so in the olden time, that all existing physiology goes to prove that it cannot and will not ever be so again?" (Hear, hear.) I do not think it agrees with the theory of development and progress to suppose that the powers of nature and the forces of the universe are slower and feebler now than they were in older and bygone ages. If they advanced in the past, why do they not do so now? If they performed such miracles in those ages which are beyond us, how is it they do not perform immensely greater miracles now? - for, according to the hypothesis with which we have to deal to-night, if the progress did go on from age to age and from generation to generation, the forces ought to gather strength as they proceed, and there ought to be greater miracles of expansion and development occurring continually now than ever did occur in those pre-historic times. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Row. -- I suppose they would say that the historic time is too short.
The Chairman. -- But I do not think there is anything at all in that, because it has lasted some thousands of years, and there should be at least some traceable marks of progress which ought to be becoming more patent, more rapid, more powerful, and more swift from age to age. But we need not be at all alarmed in regard to this theory, for we all remember when positivism was beginning to make itself known twenty-five years ago, we were told that the development of religious conviction among the race had been, and could not but have been, first, fetishism, then polytheism, then monotheism, then, at a time of great enlightenment, pantheism, and in the final consummate days positivism. But when men came to look at the facts of the case and to bore back through the early strata of history, they found that this pretence was utterly against all the evidence and facts of the case. The simple history of the development of the Brahmin religion utterly exploded, to all candid and well-informed people, the dream of which Theodore Parker and others in America had made so much some years ago. Looking at that Brahminical development, as it was to be seen at the time of the Aryan dispersion and a little before, we trace it through the Vedic hymns and literature, and we see that it was an elemental worship, which had nothing in the form of definite polytheism in it at all. The lie is, therefore, given to all these theories, and their supposed facts are exploded and dissipated. Just so we may expect that it will be in the case of those who hold the theory that from some strange and unimaginable degradation in the past the perfection of the present has arisen. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Reddie. -- I have to thank you all for the kindly way in which you have received this paper. As to the questionable point, whether some advancement might not be made by savages, I must state that this paper is supplemental to three others which I have had the honour of reading before the Institute, and to the very able and interesting paper of Mr. Titcomb, - not to mention some by other contributors - all of which have appeared in our Journal of Transactions. I therefore did not again go over the ground which had already been covered ; but in one of my former papers I quoted a passage on the subject from Professor Waitz's work, in which he points out that you can hardly get the savages to advance if you try : they seem to have no disposition to do so. But even if they did advance in the slight degree which our chairman has supposed, that would still not be advancement out of savagery into civilization, and it is upon that one point that the whole argument turns. I wrote this paper very hurriedly, and I had not time to refer to various authorities that I might otherwise have quoted, and I forgot, that in addition to Professor Dawson's testimony, we have Mr. Howard's valuable examination of the Darwinian theory (published, not under Mr. Howard's name, but as written by a Graduate of the University of Cambridge), besides similar testimony from Professor Rouse and Professor Goubert. This shows that the geological facts are against Darwinism. One remark I intended to make on the point taken up by Mr. Titcomb with regard to the stone age. We know that stones are easily got, and that metals are difficult to discover and work ; but at the same time we must not assent too much to the existence of a stone age. The probable contemporaneousness of metal and stone implements has, I think, been almost admitted by Sir John Lubbock himself, and we must remember that all metals would disappear through chemical action, and rust away, while stones would be left as tangible testimony. However, Mr. Michell, and his coadjutor in the south of England, Mr. N. Whitley, the Secretary of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, have done much to explode the stone age theory so far as it relates to the Drift. There is one thing which Mr. Michell did not state to you. He told you that these implements were found all over the country, but he did not tell you in what numbers. There are absolutely acres of them. I was one of the first to point out that these stones might have been used to throw from slings ; but if the whole world had been populated twice as extensively, and if all the people had done nothing but throw stones at each other, there would not have been more of these stones than there are. (Laughter.) As to Dr. Haughton, he seemed to doubt whether human flesh was or was not wholesome food. I was referring to Mr. Pritchard's testimony in a memoir read before the Anthropological Society, which showed that this food did invariably disagree with those who ate it, and then they had to go to the medicine-man. Then as to the domestication of wild animals, Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, who is one of the best of living authorities on the subject, has said that he did not think a wild animal or plant had ever become domesticated. If Dr. Haughton can give us a case to the contrary, I will confess myself wrong. As to Dr. Freke's anticipation of Darwinism, the distinctive point of Darwinism is the theory of natural selection, which I have already shown to be as old as Lucretius. Even the modern protoplasm is not new, for the old theorists had a protoplasm from which everything was made out of mud. Mr. Graham's remarks are very valuable, but I have touched upon them in previous papers. The whole evidence is in favour of Mr. Graham and against Sir John Lubbock. With regard to Mr. Row's observation as to the great gap between men and animals - supposing the Darwinian theory to be true - the question has been discussed, and the Darwinians are very ingenious upon it. Mr. Wallace, the alter ego of Mr. Darwin, discussed the question before the Anthropological Society, and said that as man had reached such a high condition the law of natural selection did not apply to him.
The Chairman. -- But does it not apply in the case of the monkey, which is developed into man? (Laughter.)
Mr. Reddie. -- It ceased after man was developed ; and I remember a pertinent remark of Dr. Hunt's on the occasion I have alluded to. He said what a poor natural law it must be, if it was such that a man could thus entirely upset it. (Laughter.) It is contrary to all our notions of a natural law. As to the superiority of the Greeks to all other peoples, I should be inclined to question that. We have had the Greek literature well preserved for us ; but if we had had the Sanscrit and older literature as well preserved, perhaps we might have found as large a proportion of able writers.
Mr. Row. -- I said in any population of equal size.
Mr. Reddie. -- Well, if we had the same means of judging, the result might be the same. It has already been shown that three-fourths of the myths of the Greek historians were really copies from older works, and I would give credit to their originators as having the highest intellect. I would not even concede that there was not as great a proportion of intellectual power among the Hebrews as amongst the Greeks ; and most certainly we must so conclude if entitled to reckon the wonderful poetry and precepts of the Holy Scriptures as we would estimate the merits of any other book. I have now only to thank you again for the kind attention which you have given to my paper and your very lenient criticism.
The Meeting was then adjourned.