Creation Science Information & Links!

Journal of the Transactions of
The  Victoria  Institute
(Selected Articles) -

By the Rev. J. H. Titcomb, M.A., M.V.I.
(Journal of 1870-71 -- pages 3 to 25)

THE early history of civilization is so completely pre-historic, that our only pathway of research into it is through the somewhat entangled mazes of archeological remains, of language, and of mythology. The evidences supplied out of these materials are, it must be frankly owned, somewhat indirect ; as, however, they are only to be drawn from such materials, we must make the best of them.

To the purely Christian student there is, no doubt, another source of authority, furnishing him with more direct and positive evidence; for it seems scarcely possible to read the Word of God in faith, without coming to the conclusion that a knowledge of musical instruments, and of all kinds of workmanship in brass and iron, was perfectly common in the world before the days of Noah.* Indeed, how could the ark have been built according to its recorded dimensions, without an extended knowledge of the arts which belong to civilization? Again, how could Cain have "tilled the earth," or Adam have "dressed the garden and kept it," without mechanical contrivances of some kind? The horticultural and agricultural operations indicated by these terms are without any specific meaning, if Adam or Cain had nothing to dig up the soil with, but their fingers or the branches of trees. This, however, is not the main line of evidence which I propose to take up in the present paper; for although the resting on that ground alone may be very satisfactory and grateful to the devout student of Scripture, yet it lacks that basis of scientific and philosophic thought, which it is now necessary to stand upon in view of free inquiry, and to reconcile which with Scripture, is, I believe, one of the first as well as wisest objects of our Institute.

Let us look around upon the earth, therefore, apart from any records of divine revelation, and examine the conditions of mankind, in regard to moral and intellectual culture. On the one side we behold races both ancient and modern, possessed of refinement and civilization; on the other side, races, both ancient and modern, marked by manifest barbarism. The question is, which condition of things is entitled to priority? Have primeval barbarous races worked up their way to civilization by successive stages of progress? Or, have races which were primevally civilized and refined, dropped, through successive stages of degradation, into a state of barbarism? A solution of this difficult problem is one of the most interesting and important topics that can be presented to us. So much so, that anything which tends to throw light upon it becomes valuable.

For my own part, I think I see evidence of a scientific character in favour of the second of these theories. Let me introduce it without further preface, by pointing out to you existing races, amongst whom a higher level of civilization than that which they now possess was once undoubtedly apparent ; races which, though they may not have dropped into actual savageness, have nevertheless,--even within the historical period--greatly deteriorated, and degenerated. We may instance some of the Dutch colonists in the South of Africa, Take for example the Vee-boers, or Graziers, the most uncivilized of the European settlers in the Cape districts ;--often individually possessing as many as 5,000 acres, yet living in hovels fit only for savages. Of these huts, or hovels, the leading features are, "a clay floor" (in the pits of which are splashes of sour milk, or mud)--" a roof open to the thatch," -" a square hole or two in the wall for windows,"--" and an old rug or blanket separating the sleeping apartment." As for furniture, its inventory is--"a large chest, which serves as a table at home or a seat in a waggon,"--" a few rickety stools with bottoms of the thongs of sheepskins,"--" a bedstead or two of the same fashion,"--" an iron pot and a few dishes." Meanwhile the children of these people run wild among the Hottentots; and outside their wretched dwellings lie heaped up accumulations of cattle-dung, which they seldom, if ever, care to remove.*

Our argument, in this case, is from the less to the greater. We say, if the representatives of a civilized and refined people in Europe, by thus being cut off from contact with civilization in a strange land, can thus deteriorate and degenerate; and if this degradation can take place within the history of our own times;--how much more likely were similar and far more exaggerated results to take place in earlier periods of the world's history, when civilized races were separated from their parent stocks, and left to struggle on in isolated seclusion among difficulties of climate and nature, without any incentives to self-respect, and without any external aids to the recovery of their forfeited inheritance?

Other causes have produced similar effects, such as long and devastating wars, and chronic periods of civil discord. This has been the case with Abyssinia, the present state of which is savage compared with its condition in ancient times, when Axum, its capital city, was filled with obelisks having Greek inscriptions, and bore evident marks of a fair civilization. Gibbon tells us that, in the sixth century, the vessels of Abyssima traded to the island of Ceylon, while seven kingdoms obeyed its king.† And that, when the Roman emperor Justinian sought an alliance with the Abyssinian monarch, his ambassador was received by him in all the trappings of state, being covered with gold chains, collars, and bracelets, richly adorned with pearls and precious stones.‡ Contrast this with the modern condition of the country. The accounts given of it by Bruce show the rudest barbarism. He describes murders and executions as frequent. He seldom went out without seeing dead bodies in the street, left to be devoured by dogs and hyænas. While raw flesh was the favourite food of the inhabitants, which they ate with the blood still warm in the veins. Nor is the state of the country under the modern Emperor Theodore one whit better; if possible, rather worse. "His troops," to use an expression of Dr. Krapf's, "are like an immense band of tinkers." His towns are a mere collection of reed and mud cabins.

Here, then, is the existence of a race which has visibly degenerated within the historic period. I say a race; for, although the ancient Ethiopic and the subsequent Amharic kingdoms were in some respects distinct, their ethnological unity is sufficiently traced, both by the affinities existing in their languages, and by the fact that both of these are far more Semitic than African.*

Our argument, therefore, is once more from the less to the greater. We say--if a nation can thus be shown to have fallen in its civilization, and to have become so deteriorated and degraded that it has lost all order of government, and every mark of morality and self-respect--although, throughout this process of disintegration, it has been sufficiently near to countries in a high state of civilization for all purposes of self-improvement; how much more is it likely that tribes which, in pre-historic times were civilized, should have gradually dropped down into barbarism, when they fell into fierce and bloody conflicts among themselves, and occupied positions in which they may have had no close contact with other tribes superior to themselves.

This argument is the more forcible because it is impossible to state the converse. Our opponents cannot show that any savage races have now risen up towards real civilization within the historic period; unless, indeed, they have been instru-

* Many other minor instances might be enumerated. Some of the Snake Indians of North America have become degraded into far deeper barbarism than they displayed a hundred years ago, by the tyranny of the Blackfeet tribe, who, obtaining guns from the Hudson's Bay Company, shot numbers of them down, took away their hunting-grounds, and have driven them to live among the hills, without huts or houses, where they now subsist on roots of the earth, under the name of Digger Indians. Then there are the Bakalahari tribe in South Africa, mentioned by Dr. Living-stone, who are degenerated Bechuanas; once having possessed large herds of cattle, but now reduced to a struggle for bare existence. mentally renovated by means of colonization, or missionary effort, like the Sandwich Islanders and New Zealanders. The issue has often been raised on the one side, and has never been fairly met on the other.

Our preliminary position, therefore, in this controversy stands thus. As far as any testimony is to be gamed from the facts which have been recorded, either by our own experience or by authentic history, races once civilized have a natural tendency to deterioration and barbarism, whenever they are separated from the rest of mankind, and are left to the debasing influence of their own evil passions; while races, once thoroughly degraded and rendered savage, have a natural tendency when left to themselves to remain so; seldom, if ever, showing symptoms of self-culture, or advancing to civilization.

Hence, simply reasoning upon the condition of pre-historic times, from facts which come within the range of actual experience and history, it seems far more logical to conclude that primeval man was first civilized, and afterwards became degraded, than that he should have been originally savage, and have subsequently become self-elevated. We are quite willing to allow that this reasoning is only in the direction of what is probable. It is not positive and decisive. In a complex question of this sort, however, where all the evidences under review are necessarily imperfect, we must be content with a general balance of probabilities. Let us now see how these arguments from probability run, when we leave the course of authentic history, and get among antiquarian remains, and mythological or traditional beliefs.

We are sometimes pointed to the discovery of flint implements fashioned by man, which have been found lying with the bones of extinct animals in gravel beds and caverns, as well as to other evidences of human antiquity; all of which, it is alleged, stand in immediate connection with primeval barbarism.

But this conclusion is by no means necessary. For, putting aside the question of excessive antiquity, which it is not my purpose in this place to discuss, the mere fact of our discovering such extremely pre-historic remnants of barbarism carries along with it no necessary negation of a contemporaneous epoch of civilization. Have we not a stone age still existing in this the 19th century of our Christian era? Are not flint implements and stone weapons now synchronous in Polynesia and other parts of the world, with the highest forms of civilization in Europe and elsewhere? Have we not therefore, a perfect right to argue that, inasmuch as the present co-existence of civilization and barbarism furnishes us with no positive evidence touching which of the two was primeval, so the past co-existence of these in any age, however remote, can just as little settle the question?

That civilized races lived upon the earth long before the dawn of authentic secular history, no one can doubt. Lepsius found hieroglyphic signs of the stylus and inkstand on Egyptian monuments of the 4th dynasty of Manetho,* which, though it can scarcely be reckoned as coming within the range of authentic history, represents a period in Egypt coëval with the time of Abraham. It may be quite true that this old Egyptian empire, the, mere existence of which (apart from Scripture) we only know through monuments, and lists of royal names preserved in fragments of lost literature, together with traditions handed down to us from the Greeks, was preceded by a lower state of civilization. We are quite willing to believe, on the authority of Herodotus, that Menes, who stands first in Manetho's list of dynasties, founded the empire by a consolidation of inferior sovereignties, when the Delta and Thebaid were independent provinces, and the state of society was much more imperfect than it became afterwards. This, however, is no proof that the previous inhabitants of Egypt were uncivilized. If we are to judge of that by the late discoveries of enterprising travellers in Chaldea, Bashan, and Nineveh, we have no reason for believing that the nearer we draw to a remote antiquity, the further we are removed from civilization. On the contrary, the recent excavations at Mugheir, conducted by Mr. Loftus and Mr. Taylor, have brought to light the name of Urukh, king of Ur, of the Chaldees, whose temples were gigantic in size, with their angles facing the cardinal points, indicating science as well as civilization; and whose reign is placed by Rawlinson before the time of Abraham. How singular that modern research should thus be in harmony with ancient Greek tradition; which, so far from placing inferior races of men at the beginning of the world's history, traces back chronology from an iron age to a brazen one, from brazen to silver, and from silver to golden! (Hesiod.) Granting that this is both poetry and mythology; yet how strongly does it confirm our own conclusions ! If the original races of mankind had raised themselves up from a state of barbarism and misery to one of luxury and civilization, is it not likely that a tradition of this kind would have been preserved ? Human nature is much more prone to self-exaltation than self-depression. The fact, therefore, that not only has no such tradition been handed down to us, but that one of the wisest and most polished nations of antiquity has given us a tradition of the very opposite character, ought not to be without its weight, when we consider the modern theories of an uncivilized origin of man.

Before quitting this part of the subject I may be allowed, perhaps, to refer to certain archæological remains still existing in certain places. Those of Egypt and the giant cities of Bashan have been already alluded to. To these might be added the splendid remains found in Ceylon, Central America, and even the islands of Polynesia. I am fully aware that as a mere question of antiquity these latter ruins bear little comparison with the former. They show, however, that there is a tendency in the human family, under certain conditions of existence, to fall from civilization. The great tanks of Ceylon, for example, and the ruined city of Anarájapura belonged to an age when its native princes were enabled to lavish untold wealth upon edifices of religion, to subsidize mercenary armies, and to fit out expeditions for foreign conquest--not improbably in the times of Solomon. Excepting the lake Mœris, in Egypt, no similar constructions formed by any race, whether ancient or modern, exceed in colossal magnitude the Tanks of Ceylon.* The architectural remains of Central America are no less suggestive of the fact that many of our earliest records of past epochs stand connected with civilization rather than the opposite, as may easily be seen by consulting Mr. Stephens's Travels in Yucatan. Polynesia, too, would tell the same tale; as Mr. Ellis shows in his Polynesian Researches. To give only one instance : Easter Island abounds in the remains of once magnificent structures, erected of stones cut and laid together with the greatest precision. The summits are often crowned with colossal statues, some not far from 30 feet high and 9 feet in diameter. †

But let us proceed to another branch of evidence. I spoke just now of the Greek tradition of a Golden Age. It reminds me of a vast field of mythological inquiry, the details of which are in every respect most interesting, particularly that department of it which shows the manner in which monotheism underlies every system of idolatry.

This is very striking, and affords one of the strongest presumptive arguments, that the nearer we draw to the primitive condition of man, the clearer and more highly intellectual were his conceptions of Deity. Aristotle, in one place, draws this contrast between the dark polytheism of his own day and the purer knowledge of older races. He observes :--

It has been handed down to us from very ancient times that the stars are gods, besides that Supreme Deity which contains the whole nature. But all other things were fabulously added, for the better persuasion of the multitude, and for the utility of human life and political ends, to keep men in obedience to civil laws--as, for example, that these gods are of human form or like to animals.*

When Plato, therefore, called the Deity " the Architect of the World," the "Creator of nature," "The first God ;"-- when Pythagoras spoke of Him as "All in All," "Light of all powers," " The beginning of all things ";--and when Thales declared, "God is the oldest of all things, because He is Himself unmade," † we are not to regard these sayings as sudden flashes of genius, or as gradual developments of truth unknown to preceding ages. On the contrary, they cropped up among the perversions of later heathenism, just like granite peaks among the ranges of more modern rocks, testifying of an underlying basis of truth, which savoured much more of primeval civilization than barbarism.

The same great fact may be traced in the mythology of ancient Egypt. The nature of the idolatry which marked the monumental era of that country is too well known to be noted. They worshipped monkeys, beetles, and crocodiles. Yet Plutarch, in his book upon Isis and Osiris, alludes more plainly to an underlying and earlier national belief in one Supreme God. He says, " The end of all the religious rites and mysteries of the goddess Isis was the knowledge of that First God who is the Lord of all things." Speaking also of the worship of the crocodile, he shows that at first it was merely meant to be symbolical of this one Supreme and Invisible God; because the Egyptians believed the crocodile to be the only animal living in the water, which, by having its eyes covered with a thin transparent membrane, could lie still beneath the surface, capable of seeing, yet itself invisible,--" a faculty," says he, "which belongs only to the first God--to see all things, Himself not being seen."‡ This is extremely interesting, and shows how the purer and more refined faith preceded the later and more degraded.

Pass from Egypt to India, the idolatry of which is extravagrant to the last degree, and whose ritual is a complete subversion of common sense. Retire, however, for a few moments behind the comparatively modern forms of Hindoo mythology, and enter into some of its more primitive recesses. Look for example, into the ancient Vedas; and observe in how much more pure and refined an atmosphere of thought you at once begin to stand. Everywhere throughout these sacred books there is a distinct acknowledgment of one Supreme God, whom they style Brahm; describing Him and invoking Him in terms of almost inspired wisdom. Take one description of Him as a specimen of many,--

Perfect truth, perfect happiness, without equal, immortal, absolute unity, whom neither speech can describe nor mind comprehend, all-pervading, all-transcending, delighted with His own boundless intelligence, not limited to space or time ; without feet, moving swiftly ; without hands, grasping all worlds ; without ears, understanding all; without cause, the first of all causes.*

After this quotation I need say nothing more. Sounding out like a voice of holy protest against the grotesque and hideous idolatry of more modern Brahminism, does it not speak to us, from the remote ages of the past, of primitive truth and primeval civilization, rather than of rude and savage barbarism?

The same conclusion is forced upon us, whether we will or not, in reference to the ancient empire of China. We have every reason to believe that before the introduction of Buddhism into China, that country was comparatively free from idolatry There exists for instance, a very ancient Chinese work entitled Pokootoo, which extends to sixteen large Chinese volumes, containing several hundred pictures (copies of many of which I have seen myself)_pictures of vases, jugs, bottles, of the Shang, Chow, and Han dynasties, comprehending a period of 1784 years B.C. Now, it is very remarkable that out of nine hundred illustrations of such vessels, no small portion of which were expressly intended to be used upon the temple altars, there is not found one which contains any idolatrous mark. This fact is in beautiful harmony with the testimony of Martinius who wrote a learned history of China and who tells us that during that long period "they used neither images nor figures to excite the devotion of the people; because, as the deity was everywhere present, it was impossible by any external image, properly to represent Him to man's senses." Bellamy, too, in his History of all Religions, tells us that the ancient Chinese divided their sacred book, Shuking, into five parts; in one of which God is described as "Independent, Almighty, a Being who knows all things, the secrets of the hearts not being hidden from Him." (p. 134.) It is plain, therefore, that in China, no less than in India, Egypt, and Greece, the earliest forms of heathen mythology and philosophy were the purest. Thus we have a cumulative proof going on among the oldest of the known nations, that the nearer we draw to the fountains of primeval life, the closer we come to times of mental culture; and that, so far from arriving at an aboriginal state of savageness, the probability is increased of our approaching step by step towards a state of primitive civilization.

If we pass from the old world to the American continent, we find exactly the same state of things. Pure primitive monotheism underlies all its mythological creeds. Even in, ancient Mexico, where thirteen principal and two hundred inferior gods were worshipped, under images of the most fantastic shape, and with a ritual of superstitious cruelty, the Spaniards found a Being recognized, named Teotl, who was regarded as " invisible, incorporeal, one God, of perfection and purity, from whom springs life and thought."* In Peru the same divine unity was worshipped under the name of Varichocha, "the soul of the universe,"--whose assigned attributes were no less lofty than those given to the Indian Brahm, or Egyptian Kneph. He was called " Supreme." They seldom mentioned his name, and then with the greatest reverence; they built him no temples, and offered him no sacrifices, for they worshipped him in their hearts, and regarded him as the unknown God.† In Central America and Yucatan, the same supreme deity existed under the name of Stunah Ku, or Hunab Ku, " God of Gods"--" the incorporeal origin of all things ."‡ It would also seem that this abstract idea of a supreme unity existed among the totally savage, as well as semi-civilized nations of America. Thus, among the Auricanians, he was called Pillan, a word derived from Pilli, the soul. He was termed "the Great Being," "the Soul of Creation," "the Omnipotent, Eternal, Infinite."§ The Californians worshipped him under the name of Niparaya, "the Creator and Sustainer of all things." I might easily enlarge the enumeration if it were necessary; but this form of my argument has been sufficiently maintained. I therefore now pass on to another line of evidence; viz., Language. I will not insist upon the fact that all our present European languages, with the exception of a few, are cognate with the ancient Sanscrit, the richest and most polished of all languages : a fact which proves that the farther we go back chronologically in that direction, the more scholarly and scientific were the modes of speech then in use. I say, I will not insist upon this; for, in the first place, it is too well known to need comment ; and, in the next place, it does not recede far enough chronologically to meet the full conditions of the problem to be solved. Europe appears to have been covered by a race, preceding the invasion of it by the Kelts; a race, which finds one of its clearest exponents in the Biscayans of the north of Spain. It will be more to the point, therefore, if we examine the Basque language, with a view to test ethnologically the condition of, perhaps, the earliest inhabitants of Europe. This language, says M. de Ponceau,-- stands single and alone of its kind, surrounded by idioms whose modem construction bears no kind of analogy to it. Like the bones of the mammoth, and the relics of unknown races which have perished, it remains a monument of the destruction produced by a succession of ages.

What, then, is its character? There are some languages like the Greek, and its sister Sanskrit, which bear internal evidences of having been perfected, if not originated, among races in a high state of civilization;--languages, I mean which are not only rich in their vocabulary, but flexible powerful, and scientific in their grammatical constructions.

How different those just named, for example, when compared with the Tartar family of languages, which evidently originated in a low state of civilization; being simple in structure, deficient in inflexions, scanty in conjunctions and conjugations, and without auxiliary verbs.*

Not such was the old Iberian, as represented to us now by the modern Basque. Of this language, M. de Ponceau says, "It is highly artificial in its forms, and so compounded as to express many ideas at the same time." The two auxiliary verbs "I am" and "I have," are thrown into such a profusion of forms that every relative idea connected with a verb can be expressed together. It abounds also in inflexions of infinite variety.

Reverting then to the metaphor before used, we put together these linguistic bones of an extinct age, and discovering in them strength combined with grace - and simplicity united to complex variety,--we infer that they belong to a race which was marked, at some time or other, by a high state of mental culture. So far we enter upon prehistoric ground. But, instead of approximating towards barbarism, we see in it far greater evidences of primeval civilization.

This conclusion may, at first sight, appear to be invalidated by the fact, that races, at present savage, speak languages of the same complex character. It may be urged, that if barbarous tribes now use these forms of speech, the fact of their having been used in pre-historic times can in no way prove that such pre-historic races were not equally savage. But such a conclusion is wholly gratuitous; for we may just as easily, and far more fairly, urge this circumstance in favour of the view that savage races which employ complex and scientifically constructed languages, prove themselves thereby to be degenerate descendants of civilized ancestors from whom these languages originated.

Take, for example, those extremely complicated and artificial forms of grammatical construction which prevail more or less throughout all the American languages, from the Esquimaux to the Patagonians, but of which that spoken by the Delaware, or Lenni-Lenappe Indians, presents the most remarkable proofs. The synthetic form is familiar to us both in the Latin and the English; as "nolo" which is put for "non volo," or "never" for "not ever." But these languages are polysynthetic; containing a variety of compounds which are made up of small fragments of single words; such compounds being again mutilated or contracted in order to form other aggregate words. Prichard says, "The extent to which this method of agglutination is carried in their idioms is much greater than is known in any language of the old continent, unless the Iberian be excepted." Take a specimen of it. The Lenni-Lenappe Indians express by one word, the phrase, " Come with the canoe, and take us across the river." This word is " nadholineen " ; which may be thus analyzed. Nad from the word naten, " to fetch" ; hol is put for a mochol, " a canoe "; ineen is the verbal termination meaning "us." The simple ideas expressed by these fragments of words are fetch--in canoe--us; but its usual acceptation is " come and fetch us across the river in a canoe." Thus a whole sentence is first thrown by agglutination into this polysynthetic form ; but this complication is not enough, for after thus being coined into a verb, it is then subjected to further changes by being conjugated through all the moods and tenses, which are very numerous : for example, nad-hol-a-wall is the third person, singular number indi-cative mood; present tense, passive voice, "he is fetched over the river in a canoe."*

Other specimens of complicated inflexions might be adduced from the Greenland language, in which the multiplicity of the governed by the verb produces twenty-seven forms for every tense of the indicative mood. Matarpa, he takes it away; mattarpet, thou takest it away ; mattarpattit, he takes it away from thee; mattarpagit, I take it away from thee. In the preterite of the same verb, mattara, he has taken it away; mattaratit, he has taken it away from thee.† "Almost everywhere in the New World," says Baron Humboldt, "we recognize a multiplicity of forms and tenses in the verb, an ingenious method of indicating beforehand, either by the inflexion of the personal pronouns which form the terminations of the verb, or by an intercalated suffix, the nature and the relations of its object and its subject, and of distinguishing whether the object be animate or inanimate, of the masculine or feminine gender, simple or in complex number." ‡ It has been well observed that languages of this kind are more like those formed by philosophers in their closets than by savages. How, indeed, is it possible for us to assign even the most remote probability to the theory, that such refined and super-complicated tongues originated among wild and barbarous tribes ? Is it agreeable with common sense? Would any man capable of analyzing language scientifically arrive at a conclusion like this, if he were left to an unbiassed judgment? It is not that I wish to press my own conclusions beyond the proper limits of self-assurance ; but I venture to say that if these facts were placed before any jury of twelve unbiassed men, their unanimous verdict would be, that language of this kind spoken by savages remains among them only as a bequest and relic of ancestral superiority.

This conclusion is worth more than it seems; for although, at first sight, there does not appear to be much connection between primeval man and even the most remote ancestors of the present American races ; yet, upon the principle that, in successive migrations of mankind from an original centre that wave of population which went forth first would be pushed furthest, this people may not unlikely be among the best surviving specimens of the very earliest period of the world, That period we believe to have been an epoch of primary civilization; by which term, however--let it be understood --I do not mean an epoch of refined and perfected knowledge like our own, in which art and science are laying all nature under tribute to promote the happiness and serve the interests of mankind. This high state of knowledge has been only reached by a long course of gradual development, and is, no doubt, much in advance of anything that ever belonged to primeval man. But that is no reason why man's original condition should have been savage. On the contrary, the whole balance of probability (apart from Scripture testimony) lies on the side of its having been one of considerable culture;--of culture, at all events, sufficient as a starting-point for civilization, because capable of providing for the necessary wants of nature, and of transmitting to posterity a primary knowledge of the arts which regulate the laws of human progress.

Yet, while man's possession of civilization was in this way capable of development, we hold it to have been equally liable to deterioration--of deterioration, moreover, which, when it fell beyond a certain point, left him without any power of self-recovery. In this respect I would compare the civilization of man to the physical constitution of his body. For as the human body, when exhausted beyond a certain limit of weakness can never rally without some external means of renovation, so when the civilization of a race falls beyond a certain limit of mental and moral debasement, it is left without any recuperative power; and unless aided by some foreign nation superior to itself, will continue degraded in barbarism to the end of time. We see in some of the most debased races, trifling relics of this past civilization; as in the iron-smelting in Sumatra, the manufacture of pottery in the Fiji Islands, and the boomerang in Australia. Yet, in spite of such reminiscences of better days, these barbarians are in themselves hopelessly degraded.

But I must add no more. Many fresh thoughts flash like rays of light upon the picture, and tempt us to go wandering forward. But the limits of my paper have been reached. I will detain you no longer, I have offered you these observations as a small contribution towards the solution of a most important problem. I trust they will not be without their due share of weight and influence among our opponents. I desire no less that they may have been interesting and profitable to ourselves.

Captain fishbourne.--As a sailor, it may be thought I ought to make some remarks on the Ark ; though the allusion to it in the Paper is but cursory, there is still sufficient to indicate that very extraordinary knowledge and intelligence was displayed in its production, since no large vessels were built at that time and her dimensions remain the greatest of any ship ever built; that is, taking, as I doubt not correctly, the scriptural cubit at 25 inches. It is impossible to believe that either the form, the size, or mode of construction of the ark could have been arrived at by any tentative process. It is equally difficult to conceive that without special instruments and special teaching, especially if they had not possessed iron, and the knowledge of working it, Noah could have selected, and have fashioned and put together effectively such masses of timber as were indispensable ; nor without special teaching have provided for the carrying safely its peculiar cargo. The author of the paper has mentioned the interesting fact in reference to the oldest monuments of China and India, that they are without idolatrous emblems; this is also true of the oldest of the Pyramids; the argument from which is, that the builders possessed the knowledge of the patriarchs, and, therefore, a revelation of, and true estimate of the character of the living God. It is an interesting fact, hardly sufficiently remarked on, that in all these nations, however degraded, there are sacrifices, with traditions of the Fall and of the Flood, and that it is only as civilization progressed, that these truths, partially obscured, were eliminated. A singular fact mentioned by Mr. Titcomb, is found in the high estimate which the Hindoos form of Brahm. You will find from written publications and in conversation, that a great proportion of men in the present day have not half so high or correct an idea of God as that which those Indians possess.

Rev. C. A. Row.--Although I think the general reasoning of Mr. Titcomb's paper is exceedingly plausible, and although the conclusions seem to be fairly drawn, I must confess I feel considerable difficulty in accepting them, so far as regards the use of a very complicated language by a very barbarous people. We know that when a civilized people become degraded, the language which they use suffers a degradation with the degradation of the people. Let us take Latin, for example. The Latin of the fourth century is very much degraded as compared with that of the Augustan age, the minds of the people having no doubt undergone a great deterioration since that time. In the case of the Greek language you find the same thing. The modern Greeks are much degraded, as compared with their ancestors, and their language also has degenerated. The difficulty, then, which arises in my mind is this : Suppose the American Indians originally had the language and the condition of a high state of civilization, and in the course of ages they got to their present state of savagedom ; it seems to me that their language must bear within it very strong marks of the gradual progress to savagedom. That seems to me to be a very strong point. These American languages, it seems, are highly complicated in form, and such as one would suppose could only have been evolved in a high state of civilization ; but I want to know whether they do not bear some traces in their structure of the gradual degradation which we find accompanies the gradual degradation of a people. I quite agree with Mr. Titcomb, that all ancient history bears testimony to the very high origin of civilization. I do not see a trace in ancient history of a gradual advance from barbarism, and it seems to me that the theory which would elevate man from an original condition of barbarism, would involve an immense number of miracles especially as the progress of civilization was manifested at a very early period. But supposing man to have started from a high state of civilization, how are we to account for his subsequent degradation in so many instances? Suppose he was created with very high and exalted views of religion, and so on ; I want to know under what law of human nature the degradation we find manifested in history has been distinctly brought about.

The Egyptians have been referred to, and there can be no doubt that Egyptian civilization reached a very high standard at an early period, and it would be impossible to suppose that it sprung from original barbarism. But when I loot at Egyptian theology, I find an extensively complicated system, which, if we suppose it arose from savagedom, or the want of civilization, must have taken an immense number of years to have evolved from, such a condition. On the other hand, if it arose from a corrupt or degraded civilization, it must have taken a considerable period of time to have produced such a degradation. I admit that the degradation of religion and morality follows a much more rapid law of progress than anything else, but I am fully persuaded by history, that it does take a long period to effect so very great a change. The case of India has been referred to, and we are introduced to the writings of the Hindoos. But I want to know at what period the Pantheism of India originated. The religion of India, and all the oriental religions, were based on Pantheism. Now, Pantheism is a very great degradation from any pure form of religion, and must have taken a very long period to have arrived ; for I am satisfied that the religions of the historical period have undergone a very slow process of change. Take the state of religion and morality in the age of the Homeric poems, and again in the time of Pericles, and I do not think it had undergone any process of improvement in the interval. The progress of change is exceedingly slow in the course of history, until you come to the history of Christianity, which, being supernatural, is removed from the catalogue. Take Judaism : I apprehend it took from the Mosaic period to the Captivity to raise up a proper conception of monarchy. The elaboration of a religious system is a slow process, and that being so, and admitting the early date of civilization, we are led into this difficulty, that it requires a very considerable interval of time during which the various religious systems were elaborating.

Rev. Mr. White.--I would merely ask, is it not a fallacy to suppose that a complicated language implies a high degree of civilization? Where you find a language with many inflexions, and a complicated grammar, is it not rather a mark of defectiveness in, instead of excess of, civilization? If it is true that a complicated grammar and numerous inflexions prove a high degree of civilization, then our own language is a very great anomaly, because no language that has yet arisen has more completely thrown away its inflexions and diminished the number of its grammatical forms.

Rev. A. de la Mare.--Reference has been made to the deterioration both of the Latin and Greek languages within a definite period of time--say three or four centuries. But while we have means of testing that deteriora-tion, I do not think we have any means of testing what Mr. Titcomb has brought before us, for we have no literature extant of the languages he has referred to and which might enable us to trace their improvement or deteri-oration To call upon him to explain that more fully, therefore, is asking for that which the circumstances of the case will not admit of. With regard to the complexity of a barbarous language, it does not seem to me that it is to be argued that therefore the people who use it have not had civilized ancestors. The argument might turn the other way, and, could we trace it, we might find that the language had been even more complex originally than it is in the state in which we now find it. With regard to the question of moral deterioration, I quite grant what has been said with respect to it, that it does take a considerable time to effect such deterioration ; but I think there is an element which ought to be considered in relation to that point, which has not been mentioned at all in the discussion of the question. We have, as a starting-point, the fall of man; and taking that into consideration, I think it disposes of all the rest that has been urged. (Cheers.)

Rev. C. A. Row.--What I meant on that point was, that I should like to see it accurately traced according to the laws of history, and not upon any theory.

Mr. Newton.--With regard to the archaeological remains which have been spoken of as existing in Central America, I should like to mention that they are all, so far as we know, the production of slaves. Although they were the production of slaves, it is very likely that there was a very superior race who had the slaves under their control, and that would indicate early civilization and early barbarism concurrently. This is a difficulty which must be disposed of; and then there is another, that at a very early period it was as much as a man could do to raise his food and provide his own clothing ; and unless a certain number were kept on very short allowance, there would be no extra labour that could be applied to those enormous works of which we now see the remains. We live under a very different state of things now, when we can make a machine produce as much work as a thousand men. In ancient civilization I think we are bound to conclude that all the gigantic works of ancient history were the result of slave labour.

Rev. C. A. Row.--I am informed by a friend that at the Paris Exhibition, among a quantity of ancient remains, is shown a painting, or something of the sort, dating from pre-historic times. I do not know whether it is a painting or not, but it contains figures - the figures of several pre-historic animals. I should like to hear somebody explain what is the historical value of such a painting or representation

The CHAIRMAN.--I heard that there was such a thing in the Exhibition, but I think its authenticity is rather doubtful; at least it ought to have a careful inquiry and investigation. Since Sir Charles Lyell has been converted by Darwin, we find one school of geologists -- the Anti-cataclysmal School -- desirous of producing all the evidence they can of the antiquity of man. Man's contemporaneousness with the extinct animals, which has been rejected by geologists for so many years, has now been generally accepted and received. I think the sketch or sketches which have been shown in the Paris Exhibition, require considerable confirmation; but I believe there have been discovered in America the remains of some extinct animal--the mastodon, I understand--and underneath those remains were found cinders, together with arrow-heads and other instruments of human, manufacture. At the time of the discovery, however, and owing to the opinions which then prevailed among geologists, the evidence of this, to use a vulgar phrase, was "burked" and laid aside. I think the whole tendency of modern discovery goes to prove that many animals, which were considered to have existed long before the creation of man, really did exist within the human period. I believe the tendency of modern discovery has been to carry back the history of man into geological periods, in which the existence of man was never previously dreamed of. But whether these things are to carry us up to the enormous periods which geologists are now maintaining, is altogether a different matter--

Rev. C. A. Row.--My friend mentioned that in the objects I have referred to in the Paris Exhibition there were several small figures of pre-Adamite animals. He had them in his hands, and his own opinion is that they were genuine. His opinion is worth something, for he is an authority upon such matters.

The Chairman .--I think there is strong evidence of probability in favour of those figures, but the whole thing requires sifting. By itself it would have very little weight; but it is combined with a vast number of other facts which go to prove that man has lived contemporaneously with the mammoth and the mastodon, and many other animals which have been considered as long anterior to the creation of man. Returning now to the subject immediately before us, I think that nothing I have heard has controverted the main position taken up in this paper, viz., that man did not rise from a savage state by long and slow and almost imperceptible degrees, into a state of civilization ; but that there was in the beginning a high state of civilization, from which all history and tradition points out man to have originated. "We have "been asked, no doubt pertinently, how then we are to account for the rapid degeneration from civilization, which must have happened to certain races. I think, however, that that point was fully accounted for by what was pointed out by Mr. De La Mare--that it is only the revelation of Holy Scripture which throws the slightest amount of light upon a very important historical fact. The fall of man, and consequent deterioration of man's spiritual nature, is the only thing which will account for the very rapid demoralization into which man can fall. To discover how rapid that process may be, we have no need to go among the tribes of India, the barbarians of America, or the low state of barbarism existing in Australia ; we need go no farther than our own highly civilized and Christian lands, where those men and women who have been allowed for a short time to follow the natural tendencies of the human mind, and the natural tendency to degeneration existing in the human heart, have sunk, when without the influence of Revelation, into the lowest type of humanity In order to see how rapid human degeneration may be, we have only to go into our own prisons to find people existing in the depths of a barbarism quite equal to that which you find in any other part of the world. This degeneration is not merely a historical thing ; it is a fact within our own experience. On the other hand, we find without the existence of a spiritual religion -without the existence of a highly spiritual form of the Christian religion-how difficult it is to raise those people who are in a state of degradation, up to a high point of civilization ; but when those same men, barbarians of our own country, are brought under such an influence, we see how rapidly even the most degraded and degenerate of our race may be raised to a pitch of intellectual superiority, I may say ; for we may go into the poorest cottage, inhabited by men or women exceedingly unlearned in everything but their Bible, and yet find them able to teach us certain things which we knew not before-far higher truths than were taught by the sages of Greece and Rome, and rising to a far higher appreciation of the Deity than you find in ancient documents or in the books of the Vedas.

It is all very well for Max Muller and others to pick out certain gems from the old oriental literature; but they are but a few seeds of grain winnowed from an extensive amount of chaff. I was recently speaking to an eminent professor of Cambridge, well acquainted with modern Hebrew literature, the literature of the Talmud, the more recent, the post-Christian literature of the Jews. We were speaking of that recent article on the Talmud, in the Quarterly Review, which is extremely popular just now, and contains a number of magnificent passages from Jewish writings, collected together for the purpose of showing us that the Jews before our Saviour had as high an appreciation of morality as the writers of the New Testament. But most of the gems there given us are from a literature written many years after the promulgation of Christianity, and after the Jews had had the advantage of the teaching of the New Testament ; and yet it is taken as a proof that all we have in the New Testament was derived from ancient Jewish tradition ! I said to my friend, that I did not pretend to be a Hebrew scholar, and that my knowledge of Jewish literature had been altogether derived from translations, but I have waded through translations of the Talmud and other specimens of Jewish writing, and I found it the most uninteresting and absurd stuff imaginable. I asked my friend's opinion as to the article upon the Talmud, and he said it consisted of a very little wheat taken out of a vast quantity of chaff, but when winnowed and collected together in that way, it appears very wonderful indeed. One of the main things upon which we pride ourselves in the present day, is the great and rapid advance we have made in science and civilization. But so far as metaphysics and the knowledge of mental philosophy are concerned, I think the ancient Greeks were quite equal as sophists and reasoners to any of the men of the present generation. Since the days of Bacon, however, we have had a new mode of investigating science. We have investigated the facts of nature, and paid attention to them, rather than to the theories to be deduced from them.

Take an instance in point. Without knowing anything of electricity or magnetism --in point of fact our most skilful scientific men know very little about either as yet--you have only to discover that a current of electricity sent along a wire will turn a magnetic needle in one direction, and that another current, sent in an opposite direction, will turn it in another way ; these facts being known, you can construct an electric telegraph. Why, an Indian, a Chinese or a Japanese, who knows these things, is quite as capable of making-telegraphic instruments as we are ourselves. We think we are so trans-cendantly superior to the men of the past in our civilization, but in all the true essentials of civilization, in all its highest fruits, go where you will into the Biblical record--take Abraham, and his wife and children, for instance--and you will find them as highly civilized as any people among ourselves. We find them far superior in their state of civilization even to the inhabitants of what is called the unchanging East. Although the East is called unchanging, its inhabitants have degenerated in civilization wherever Mahommedanism has obtained the ascendancy. We not only find that, but we find that, under the same circumstances, other portions of the human race would remain very much in the same condition. I was recently reading an account of China, written by a medical man, who describes the Tartar tribes coming into China from the steppes ; and as you read the description, the scene is one so familiar, that you can almost fancy you are reading an account of Abraham coming up into Egypt with all his camels. In Atkinson's works you will find barbarism and civilization combined together; nomadic races, possessing a high degree of civilization, and possessing a great deal of material wealth, but still living in that nomadic state in which Abraham lived when he went up into Egypt. -- I do not think the difficulties which have been raised in this discussion with regard to language are so strong as might be supposed. Supposing we admit them to be objections, I think they still tend to favour the main argument of Mr. Titcomb's paper. We are taught that our own language in its present state has been derived from the Sanskrit and other cognate languages. If we were to enter into modern theories as to the formation of language, we must admit that our language, powerful and useful as it is, capable of expressing the highest spiritual truths, capable of discussing all the philosophy of the past in the strongest and clearest terms and all the achievements of modern science--instead of being improved has degenerated. We have lost all our inflexions: all the verbs have got into an antediluvian state, if I may so call it; we have dropped all the suffixes of our verbs : we have not even approached the state of agglutination! It may be that language has a tendency to pass through revolutions : I can hardly understand how any savage race, being in a state of barbarism, and supposing that race always was in a state of barbarism--for that is the point I want to fix your attention upon--I can hardly understand how any such race could evolve such a system of language as many barbarous races possess-- a system such as we, with all our modern notions of the history ana structure of language, could hardly elaborate in the study. The same sort of thing has been pointed out with regard to the Chinese language. Archbishop Wilkins proposed a universal language, not phonetic, but ideographic --an idea suggested by the analogy of the mathematical, chemical, and astronomical symbols ; we know that the most complicated problems connected with the integral and differential calculus, for instance, can be read by the people of all nations. He conceived the idea, then, of inventing an ideographic language ; but, had he been acquainted with the Chinese language, he would have found one which had been in use for many generations, probably the oldest of the languages we have.

All these things tend to prove that man has not originated from a state of barbarism, and then risen to civilization; but that, wherever man has been found in a state of barbarism, it is barbarism arising from, degenerated civilization. This is confirmed by the fact that we find no traces of any people possessing a literature and having any knowledge of their past history who have not some tradition amongst them of their having been raised from barbarism by a people more civilized than themselves. The Greeks admitted that they were taught by the Egyptians and Indians, and you find the same thing among the Mexicans. There is another curious thing which ought to be pointed out. Many of what we would suppose to have been the most extraordinary inventions of modern times have an antiquity which goes beyond all historical knowledge. For instance, the discovery of the compass goes beyond all historical recollection in China, The use of a needle suspended by a thread for guiding men across the steppes of Tartary has been known to be in existence in China beyond the date of all historical testimony. A great deal has been said with regard to the stone age, the bronze age, and the iron age, as havincr been successive stages in the progress of civilization. But, as Mr. Titcomb has pointed out, we have the same things contemporaneously now, and because they are found, it is not at all a proof that one was anterior to the other. The art of obtaining iron from the ore -- requiring a considerable knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy -- dates back beyond all historical knowledge. It has existed time out of mind. In the interior of Africa, only a few hundred miles from Cape, men have been found doing in miniature all our most complex metallurgical processes for the production of iron, to obtain iron from the ore. Again, the art of converting iron into steel has been known time out of mind. This is one of the most recondite things in the whole range of chemistry, scarcely understood yet -- The art of submitting two substances to an intense heat, and incorporating them in order to produce another substance diffferent from either of the other two -- this has been known in India time out of mind. It may be asked, How, then, do you account for the fact that while all this has been known throughout Asia and Africa, it should never have penetrated into America? In answer just suppose this case for a moment:-- Suppose fifty or sixty English sailors, born and brought up in a purely agricultural district, were shipwrecked on a desert island. How many of them would have the most remote idea, in the first place, that the ore which they might find contained iron, or if they knew that, how many of them would know how to extract the iron from the ore? Consider this case and you will see how rapidly knowledge once acquired may be lost and never recovered by a people. Another remarkable thing is the universal acquaintance of all the races of the old world with the cereals and the mode of cultivating them. This is a most remarkable thing. Where will you find wild wheat or rice capable of being cultivated into the grain we now possess? Where do you find the great staple food of the whole world growing indigenous? Botanists admit you cannot find them anywhere, or, if instances are given, they are extremely doubtful and nowhere abundant, and we feel almost certain that unless man cultivated these cereals with the care with which he does, our "staff of life " would soon go out of his hand. All these things point back to a remote period of civilization, when man was already acquainted with several things which we now conceive to be the products of human thought, human science, and human invention. (Cheers.)

Rev. J. H. Titcomb.--From the discussion which has taken place, I find that there are three principal objections to my paper. The first consists mainly in the length of time which we must postulate in order to attain to that state of moral and religious degradation to which certain races have arrived. With regard to religious degradation, I think the objection cannot have much weight when we bear in mind the short space of time which has sufficed for the rise and spread of Mormonism, than which it is impossible for the human mind to conceive anything more outrageous, absurd, and degraded. The rapidity with which men have been found to embrace Mormonism presents a fair type of what one may conceive might have happened in the earlier periods of the world's history, when various races were more entirely cut off from each other than are even the Mormons at Salt Lake from all connection with their fellow-men. I might mention another instance to bear out my view, in the case of the origin of a certain sect in Germany at the break-up of the Papacy at the period of the Reformation, and again in France at the time of the Revolution, when the mind of man ran into the wildest extravagances, and when a certain sect arose known by the name of Adamites, the very fundamental theory of their association being that everybody should go about in a state of nature ! Such a notion indicates a total and utter degradation of religious feeling and sentiment, and shows, I think, that such degradation does not require any great lapse of time for its completion at all. But if the objection requires a still further answer, I would say, take the state of society in a part of England, in the county of Cornwall, in that period of the eighteenth century before Wesley arose, whose ministry was so purifying and elevating to the miners and wreckers of the coast of Cornwall. I would undertake to say that if we had the evidence of a committee of the House of Commons upon the moral degradation which existed amongst that race of men previous to their elevation through the sanctifying influence of religion, we should have a record of facts which would make our hair stand on end, and of a nature impossible to speak of in the presence of ladies. Conceiving that to be possibly true for the moment--and I believe it could be thoroughly substantiated

We have in the present historical period the picture of a body of miners existing deep in the bowels of the earth, without the blessings of Revelation, and closely approaching the condition of the utter seclusion of the savage races of man from their parent stocks. You have in the one case, then, almost as large an amount of moral degradation traceable as in the other. It is hardly necessary, therefore, to postulate long periods of time for that degradation. Another objection made to my paper has been on the score of language. The gentleman who made the objection says that language degenerates with races. I quite admit that there is no use in attempting to bolster up an argument if it will not stand, and I should be the last person to make such an attempt. I only wish my arguments to be tried on their merits, with the sole object of eliciting that which is true. American languages have been referred to. Now, it should be borne in mind that American languages are distinguished by two main features : the one is their tendency to agglutination, and the other their complicated grammatical construction. My friend asks, seeing that Latin in process of time degenerated with the decay of people, and became unworthy of its ancestry, how was it that the native American languages could be preserved by savage races, and should not be rather degraded languages than cultivated and refined? I am quite willing to admit that there has been deterioration, and that that deterioration is found existing in agglutination of words; but I think the traces of the civilization which belonged to the older languages have been faithfully preserved in their grammatical construction. You must be extremely careful to distinguish between these two branches--agglutination and grammatical construction. Max Muller himself says that agglutination indicates a low rather than a high state of language ; but that is nothing to the purpose. You can easily conceive the American languages not being agglutinated before in their earlier history, but still having the same complicated grammatical construction. The agglutination exhibited in the American languages, then, shall represent your part of the argument; the complicated grammatical construction represents mine ; and therefore, while your view may be a true one--and I do not at all deny it--I may be equally correct in maintaining mine--

The Chairman.--I can give you an instance of the truth of both these views in our own country. When I was in Yorkshire, in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, I found the process of agglutination going on with great force, as in such a phrase as "on t'road," for "on the road." At the same time that this agglutination goes on, a complicated grammatical construction may be retained. Among those very people, old Saxon verbs with the old Saxon terminations are still retained; as in the verb "to lig," for "to lie;" "liggin on a bank," for instance, instead of "lying on a bank." That I think is a very good example of the argument.

Rev. J. H. Titcomb.--It is also contended against my paper, that because English and Greek, and all the Indo-European family of languages, have a tendency to become simplified rather than to get complicated by time, as compared with the older Sanskrit, that therefore the refining and purifying influences of civilization in America should have made the American languages more simple rather than complicated. I answer, Max Muller has so devoted himself to the Aryan branch of philology, that I do not think he has sufficiently grasped the thought, that it must be with languages as it is with habits and customs and other things--you must allow for different races different kinds of genius. In the whole of the Aryan languages, stretching from India to Iceland, you have a tendency to simplify--that is the genius of race. But that is no reason why the Mongolian family should not have a different genius, and their genius, even in civilization, may have a complicating tendency. That is quite conceivable, and is as much in accordance with the rules of common sense as any other theory. The objection raised by Mr. Newton is urged on another ground. He finds a difficulty in the existence of slavery in these primitive times. He says, with reference to certain archeological remains in Central Africa, We know they were made by slaves, ergo, there must have been barbarism side by side with civilization. That proves that barbarism is as old as civilization ; ergo, your paper is wrong. But I contend that slavery has no kind of connection of necessity with barbarism. The Greek slaves were not barbarians, neither were the Israelites in Egypt. The opinion of those who have studied the monuments of Egypt, and who are competent to speak on the point, is that most of those monuments were the work of Israelitish slaves. In the monuments dating as far back as the fourth century, there are figures of slaves at work, and they are represented, not as of the black or negro race, but with regular Jewish faces and features.

Slaves may exist side by side with civilization, but not necessarily as barbarians. They are degraded, it is true, because conquered ; and I can conceive the Mexicans taking hold of a conquered race and reducing them to a state of bondage, without their being in a state of savagedom. If that is true of the Egyptians and the Israelites, it may be true of the Mexicans, and of old races contemporaneous with the Aztecs. --I have now disposed of all the objections which have been raised against my paper, but I have been rather disappointed that there should be so few. I anticipated more, and, with your permission, if I have not already wearied you, I will raise a few myself, and endeavour to answer them. Nothing has been said to-night with respect to the argument deduced from Monotheism. I expected some one would have said it is in vain to appeal to any underlying substratum of religious belief on the side of Monotheism, as that would prove nothing, because it is only a natural instinct of the human mind to worship a pure spirit, and that it is only, à priori, to be expected in all parts of the world side by side with idolatry. But we have evidence to the contrary. For instance, the Kaffirs stand out exceptionally in Africa as being without idols, and as worshipping a pure spirit. You cannot show of the Bushmen and the Hottentots that they have any notion of a pure spirit. Another objection has also struck me. Granting that races now savage have fallen from a state of civilization, that does not prove they were aboriginally civilized, but only that they have fallen back into their original state of barbarism. It may be that in their present state they have only fallen back to that from which they originated, like domesticated plants and animals, which, when left without cultivation, revert to their original types of wildness. This argument may do very well for wild animals "because all their improvement is confessedly ab extra. As they never raised themselves, so, when their artificial supports are withdrawn, they naturally drop back again to their original level. Indeed, they often drop lower than their original level.

For example: the European swine, first carried by the Spaniards, in 1509, to the island of Cubagua, at that time celebrated for its pearl fishery, degenerated into a monstrous race, with toes which were half a span in length. Our analogy is of the latter kind. Just as the domesticated swine of Europe did, in this instance, fall below the natural level of the wild hog of America, so our present savage races represent a lower level of mankind than that which was originally their standpoint. One analogy is as fair and good as another. But the truth is that neither is compatible with the facts of the case, for wild beasts do not become raised by their own unaided powers--it is not by development, but by the tuition of a superior order of beings ; whereas man rises in civilization by the cultivation of his own natural powers, both mental and moral. Granting this, then all true analogy between the cases must fail. When man raised himself up to the civilization of ancient Greece and Rome, it was only by a progressive cultivation of his physical, mental, and moral nature. Correspondingly, when man fell to the level of the Digger Indians in America (supposing them, to have had a civilization previously, which is our present platform of argument) it must have been by a progressive deterioration of his physical, mental and moral nature. The question we have to decide is this--Whether the starting-point of man's development toward 19th century civilization was like the condition of Digger Indians in America, so that he may be considered to have raised himself from the extreme lowest point to the extreme highest ; or was it somewhere intermediate between the two, from which central point some races have risen higher and others fallen lower, merely by the cultivation or non-cultivation of their natural resources ? In contending for the latter point, we have by far the larger induction of facts in our favour, drawn from the analogy of contemporaneous history. These facts and analogies are so plain and perspicuous, that I honestly confess, if there were no Bible in existence, I should still hold my own opinions as the result of simple scientific inquiry. I will conclude, if you will allow me, by reading a passage from Max Muller :--" 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 and sober intellect belonged to him from the very first, and the idea of a humanity emerging slowly from the depths of an animal brutality can never be maintained again." (Cheers.)

The Meeting was then adjourned.

GO TO MAIN:  Victoria Institute
JTVI Articles