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or to distinguish a sheep from a goat, or to defend his fruits or crops from the cut-worm, the weevil, or the curculio, without a very thorough acquaintance with Zoology. And when, in the single department of Entomology, there are already found more species than man can number, what can be the great use, either practically or even philosophically, of adding one new bug to the number? If one had collected specimens of all the bugs in the world, and invented or stored in his memory a learned Greek name for each ; or even had every individual bug been brought to him as soon as it was born, and all duly classified, and arranged in glittering files ; it is difficult to see how much the wiser he would be for such a treasure, a thorough and minute acquaintance with which he could not gain were he to live to the good old age of Methuselah, nor convey the details to the world in as many volumes as are contained in the National Library of Paris. Nor is it easy to see to what purpose all this knowledge could be turned, even if it were once acquired and recorded. Certain selections and general views might be scientifically of use, but the measureless mass of particulars must surely frighten any but a most devout amateur of bugs.
It may be suggested, ---leaving for the moment the argument of utility, and returning to that of inherent dignity, that the leaf, the pebble, or the insect, is a work of God; the word a work of man. But is the former any more truly a work of God than the latter? The former is a work of God through the formative processes of natural law or of animal life; the latter is a work of God through the higher laws which regulate the development of intellectual and moral life. If the word were a mere arbitrary product of human ingenuity, there might be more pertinency in the suggestion; but while it is no such arbitrary product, but is either the original and immediate creature and gist of God, or the normal, natural, and necessary offspring and result of the mental constitution and physical organization of man, the force of such a suggestion is utterly annihilated. As well might the human infant be arranged, as a work of man, side by side with the automaton, and thus unceremoniously placed below the bug or the calf.
That the history of a word in the development of its forms and its significance is connected with mental rather than with merely physical processes, — the same being processes, still, not of ingenious contrivance or of arbitrary volition or convention, but in the highest sense natural and subject to profound and harmonious laws, — is surely no detraction from its character or diminution of its dignity as a work of God. And that character and dignity are rather enhanced than impaired by the fact that such a development is not a mere instinctive development, but is connected with and modified by the profoundest movements of a conscious mind, made itself after the image of God, and whose laws of evolution and action are of higher interest and dignity and importance, as a subject of human study, than those pertaining to any other, even the grandest, works of the Creator's power, so far as those works are subject to our cognizance. Indeed, human language may be considered not so much the offspring, or the organ of communication, as the embodiment, the proper manifestation, of the human soul. It reveals to us all we know of other human souls, and probably all, or nearly all, that each of us knows of his own. Certain it is that, so far as experience can serve to determine the fact, we could not suppose human consciousness to be developed to any great extent in its intellectual or moral character, whether in the race or in the individual, without the development and the use of language. Language itself is a far greater work than any of the great works which it contains. The man who would argue down logic, and talk language into disrepute as meaningless, or at least conveying no definite and certain sense, may be left to contend with his own shadow. He will most effectually demolish his own forces.
Physical science has penetrated the heavens, we may say literally, to inconceivable depths, and determined with amazing precision the motions and the mechanism of the systems of bodies which roll in order through the vast expanse ; and, what is more amazing still, she has found those motions and that mechanism to be in exact accordance in many cases with the prophetic anticipations of human reason, and always with the mathematical laws and principles which form a portion of its essential constitution. She has penetrated the crust of the earth with her divining rod, and, disinterring generation after generation of organisms that, one after another, have possessed the lordship of this terrestrial sphere, and, one after another,
not merely as individuals, but as entire species, have been consigned to death and sepulchred in the solid rock, she has opened to us a vista of ages in the history of the creation as vast as the vista of distances revealed by astronomy in the immensity of space. She has analyzed all the forms of matter organized and unorganized, and reduced them, provisionally at least, to their simple elements. She has traced out and systematized the laws of the imponderable agencies on which depend the motions and the changes of the visible universe. She has studied the organization of crystal and shell, of plant, tree, and flower, of fish and reptile, beast and bird. And from this lofty position, to what point shall she next essay to climb ? What shall be the climax of her ascent, — the apex of her magnificent system?
She is already beginning to answer these questions. She is at length becoming more and more conscious that man is her highest study. The physiology of the human frame, — the natural history of the human race in space and time, — occupies more and more intently the minds of scientific men, as the highest problem of scientific research, whose solution is to constitute the crowning triumph of scientific success in the merely physical department. But to the completion of their history, the study of human language must furnish a most important and indispensable aid. The part which philological investigations have begun to occupy among the objects of scientific expeditions, as well as in the doings of scientific associations, is a most significant fact.
The question of the specific unity of mankind is daily assuming more and more prominence in the researches and discussions of scientific men and scientific bodies. This unity may be regarded as physiological, psychological, or genealogical.
And first, in regard to the physiological unity. Considering merely the structure, configuration, and aspect of the human body, does man constitute one species, according to the principles of classification assumed in Natural History ? This is the physiological question, — a question for the most part of scientific convenience and consistency, rather than of objective reality.
Here it may be observed in the first place, that the affirmative answer to this question must in itself be more grateful to the philosophical mind than the negative. The mind instinctively grasps at unity ; in science as well as in theology, it is burdened and pained by a heterogeneous multiplicity and variety. The goal of the scientific spirit, in its minutest analysis and widest inductions, is unity. It knows no higher gratification than to reduce diverse and discordant phenomena under one general law or harmonious principle. It takes no pleasure either in splintering to pieces, or in jostling together. It rejoices in analysis; but only because that analysis is to be followed by a higher synthesis, in more rigid classifications and more comprehensive unities. If, therefore, the idea of the unity of mankind must be abandoned, none can abandon it with greater reluctance than the man of a truly philosophical spirit.
In the second place; if there be more than one species of men, then, how many? And here, if we seek for any thing more than vague generalities adapted to popular convenience, if we demand any thing like a scientific arrangement and rigid classification, the answer must be exceedingly difficult, not to say impossible. One can hardly see how, in consistency with the principles on which the former question was answered in the negative, we can hope to reach any thing definite unless we go boldly on to an almost perfect individualization, or at least to the establishing of specific differences on physiological grounds, even where authentic history demonstrates a genealogical unity.
In the third place; after all attempts at distinguishing and defining species among men, the antecedent idea and assumption of some sort of unity remains invincibly behind, - a unity which, though it be called merely generic, is of far greater moment than the specific varieties thus established, a unity inalienably fixed in the human consciousness, and by it universally affirmed, - a unity attested by such words as human, mankind, philanthropy, - a unity, we say, so palpably manisest, so much more palpably manifest than any marks of diversity, that all men in all times have unhesitatingly recognized it; and even science herself, though she may deny it, must needs begin with its assumption, and acknowledge herself to be engaged in dividing a unity into parts, instead of performing her higher and proper office of grouping and connecting parts into a whole. VOL. LXXIII. NO. 152.
Yet it is not to be disguised that there exists in the minds of distinguished scientific men a growing tendency to doubt or deny that mankind constitute physiologically but one species. Some have undertaken to answer the oth question, that of plurality, and, applying to its solution the same criteria and principles on which their denial of the unity was founded, they have assigned, some two, some three, some eleven, and some, yet more consistently, fifteen or more, as the number of species into which humanity is to be distributed. But it is surely odd enough that Virey, who is content with a bipartite division, should assign as specific characters, among others, that the first division has the use of written laws and a condition of civilization more or less advanced ;” while the second has “the natural habit of nudity, a limited understanding, and a civilization always imperfect.”
From which it will seem to follow, among other things, that we, of the so much lauded Anglo-Saxon race, belong — at least so far as these characteristics are grounds of distinction — to a different species from that to
which our forefathers belonged when they lived in a habit of comparative nudity, and in a state of extremely imperfect civilization, and were destitute not only of written laws, but even of written language. In like manner, the republicans of Liberia have, at least for a time, made a physiological leap from the lower to the higher species. And such transitions in one or the other direction seem to have taken place, and seem likely to take place, very frequently in the course of human history.
That such theories of the diversity of human species may be entertained by men not only of high scientific attainments, but of pure and honest minds, of high religious character and Christian faith, we are not disposed for a moment to question, or even to doubt. And we believe that great harm is done to religion, to morality, and to intellectual integrity, as well as to science, when those who have scarcely waited to comprehend the terms in which such theories are expressed, and who know nothing at all of the grounds on which they are based, instantly seize upon them, and, skillessly and witlessly comparing them with the received interpretation of the Bible, forthwith declare them, together with all who hold them, tainted with sheer infidelity. But on the other hand, we