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PREFATORY REMARKS.

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* The first man and his place in creation! Poh!' says our positive friend. Why look back to the beginning and not be content to see what we can see-man as he is just before us? If you desire a poetical subject, do not choose the first man, nor the last—they are already disposed of; but propound to us your philosophy of man as a commercial animal, or how any of us can improve our capital with the least loss of credit, and time; then we will learn at your feet till we get the whole lesson by heart. But as to the first man, what need we know about him? We have had enough of him and more had better not be written ; it must be either the old story over again, or else the invention of a new and therefore a false one,-in either case, as Mahomet said of the old world library, useless. If you mean Adam, we are told in plain terms who he was, why he was, where he was, and what came of him. For my part I have done with him, and now only wish to find the best place for myself.'

Very well, you believe the old story; remain undisturbed in the repose of your faith then, 0 happy

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man without doubt! But, as rational belief implies reasons for believing, you would be but consistent in sympathising with others, who, in lack of your faith, may be in want of your reasons, or such, perhaps, as this book is intended in a measure to furnish. There will be no invention in it, and but small speculation. It will probably be easier to read than to write, and what is not plain to the understanding in one place may become so in another, the chapters being contrived with a view to avoid the tedious formality of laboured and systematic argumentation. By thus distributing the matter in a manner and with a plan to admit of a few repetitions of thought and expression in new connection, some points of importance may be the better elucidated and enforced.

As the faces of our friends would be more pleasing in a homely light than in the intense glare of the pure electric flame, so the aspect of an argument often appears more clearly in familiar than in refined language. The dry light of mere logic is often more brilliant in appearance than useful in effect, and a truth, like a gem, is usually seen best in the simplest setting.

Without the restraint of exact system, we prefer freely to reason on human nature in general, that we may the better conceive the character and position of the first man, not, however, without an eye to the demand of our positive friend, who wishes to find the best place for himself, a discovery not possible until he knows his own nature in respect to this life, as well as to some

thing beyond his commercial interests, and the comforts of his position as a Sunday Christian, quite at home in this world all the days of the week. If we learn that the right place for any man is the best he can find, and if we discover in the midst of our disquisitions how best to attain that desirable end, any amount of labour involved in our enquiry will be counterbalanced by its interest; reader and writer will share in both the profit and the pleasure; the writer, indeed, having already a reward in the refreshment and the joy of writing, with such a good hope of being useful to the reader.

But is a book on this subject really wanted ? Yes, certainly, if anybody is likely to become the least the better for it. Those who have formed their opinion on the subject, with faith or without, will probably be indifferent to this book, or despise it, or at least remain of the same opinion still. Others, to whom the matter is new, may be assisted to see their way to a wholesome decision; and since the origin of man will continue to be a theme more or less brought out to view in all the fast coming speculations, scientific or otherwise, perchance there may be a voice as unto him that hears,' from some thoughts in this volume, by which life's path may become less perilous and more profitable to the neophyte of science. But yet, does any one need to be instructed as to the first man? Yes, again undoubtedly, for we know too little either of him or ourselves, and the less of ourselves for thinking so little of him and his essential difference from any brute, and also from any man whọ hears not the voice of his Maker.

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Some men,

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Most men believe there was a first man. however, strange to say, seem not to receive this as a necessary fact, and are unwilling, in consequence of their extreme impartiality, as philosophers, to credit the assertion that their ancestry terminates in a first human pair. Neither their own consciousness, nor the probability of such an origin, is sufficient to convince them that there must have been a first man and woman, created as such, who, as a reasonable matter of course, occupied their appropriate place in creation. Thinking that reason necessitated at least that amount of faith, we asked a friend Do you object to the title of this volume ?' Alas! up started our contradictory friend, the poles of whose mind are both negative or repellent, and declared every word of the title an assumption of the most preposterous kind, 'For,' said he, "where is the proof there ever was a first man, or even a creation in which he could have a place ?' This friend is himself a curious fact, an evolutionist, or something of that sort, but consistent enough, since, according to his creed-and a very straggling, startling creed it is--what we call man is, at the best, only an odd extension of the physical qualities common to all animals, and may recur, in his offspring at least, to the place of anthropoid apes, and so on back to primordials. In short, as man, according to this notion, had no final cause or creation, and is not distinct from a brute, he cannot be said to have either beginning or end as a man; so, to speak of the first man and his place in creation is unscientific! Doubtless,

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