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Observer, Aug. 1, 71,
'natural selection' has been rather injured than promoted; and we confess to a feeling of surprise that the case put before us is not stronger, since we had anticipated the production of far more telling and significant details from Mr. Darwin's biological treasurehouse.
A great part of the work may be dismissed, as beside the point- as a mere elaborate aud profuse statement of the obvious fact, which no one denies, that man is an animal, and has all the essential properties of a highly-organized one. Along with this truth, however, we find the assumption that he is no more than an animal—an assumption which is necessarily implied in Mr. Darwin's distinct assertion that there is no difference of kind, but merely one of degree, between man's mental faculties and those of brutes.
We have endeavoured to show that this is distinctly untrue. We maintain that while there is no need to abandon the received position that man is truly an animal, he is yet the only rational one known to us, and that his rationality constitutes a fundamental distinction-one of kind and not of degree. The estimate we have formed of man's position differs, therefore, most widely from that of Mr. Darwin.
Mr. Darwin's remarks, before referred to, concerning the difference between the instincts of the coccus (or scale insect) and those of the ant—and the bearing of that difference on their zoological position (as both members of the class insecta) and on that of man-exhibit truly his misapprehension as to the true significance of man's mental powers. For, in the first place, zoological classification is morphological. That is to say it is a classification based upon for and structure-upon the number and shape of the several parts of animals, and not upon what those parts do, the consideration of which belongs to phisiology. This being the case we not only may, but should, in the field of zoology neglect all questions of diversities of instinct or mental power, equally with every other power, as is evidenced by the location of the bat and the.porpoise in the same class, mammalia, and the parrot and the tortoise in the larger group, sauropsida.
Looking, therefore, at man with regard to his bodily structure, we not only may, but should reckon him as a member of the class mammalia, and even (we believe) consider him as the representative of a mere family of the first order of that class. But all men are not zoologists ; and even zoologists must, outside their science, consider man in his totality, and not merely from the point of view of anatomy.
If, then, we are right in our confident assertion that man's mental faculties are different in kind from those of brutes, and if he is, as we maintain, the only rational animal ; then, is man, as a whole, to be spoken of by preference from the point of view of his animality, or from the point of view of his rationality ? Surely, from the latter, and if 80, we must consider not structure, but action.
Now Mr. Darwin seems to concede that a difference in kind would justify the placing of man in a distinct kingdom, ('Descent of Man, vol. i., p. 186), inasmuch as he says & difference in degree does not so justify; and we have no hesitation in affirming (with Mr. Darwin) that between the instinctive powers of the coccus and the ant there is but a difference of degree, and that, therefore, they do belong to the same kingdom; but we contend it is quite otherwise with man. Mr. Darwin, doubtless, admits that all the wonderful actions of ants are mere modifications of instinct. But if it were not so if the piercing of tunnels beneath rivers, &c., were evidences of their possession of reason, then, far from agreeing with Mr. Darwin we should say that ants, also, are rational animals, and that, while considered from the anatomical stand-point they would be insects, from that of their rationality they would rank together with man in a kingdom apart of rational animals. Really, however, there is no tittle of evidence that ants possess the reflective self-conscious, deliberate faculty; while the perfection of their instincts is a powerful argument against the need of attributing a rudiment of rationality to any brute whatever.
We seem, then, to have Mr. Darwin ou our side when we affirm that animals possessed of mental faculties, distinct in kind, should be placed in a kingdom apart. And man possesses such a distinction.
Is this, however, all that can be said for the dignity of his position ? Is he merely one division of the visible universe, co-ordinate with the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms ?
It would be so if he were intelligent and no more. If he could observe the facts of his own existence, investigate the co-existences and succession of phenomena, but all the time remain like the other parts of the visible universe, a mere floating unit in the stream of time, incapable of one act of free self-determination, or one voluntary moral aspiration after an ideal of absolute goodness. This, however, is far from being the case. Man is not merely an intellectual animal, but he is, also, a free moral agent, and, as such -and with the infinite future such freedom opens out before him-differs from all the rest of the visible universe, by a distinction so profound that none of those which separate other visible beings is comparable with it. The gulf which lies between his.
Observer, Aug. 1, n.
being, as a whole, and that of the highest brute, marks off, vastly, more than a mere kingdom of material beings; and man, so considered, differs far more from an elephant or a gorilla than do those from the dust of the earth on which they tread.
Thus, then, in our judgment, the author of the Descent of Man' has utterly failed in the only part of his work which is really important. Mr. Darwin's errors are mainly due to a radically false metaphysical system in which he seems (like so many other physicists) to have become entangled. Without a sound philosophical basis, however, no satisfactory scientific superstructure can ever be reared ; and if Mr. Darwin's failure should lead to an increase of philosophic culture on the part of physicists, we may therein find some consolation for the injurious effects which his work is likely to produce on too many of our half-educated classes. We sincerely trust Mr. Darwin may yet live to furnish us with another work, which, while enriching physical science, shall not, with needless opposition, set at nought the first principles of both philosophy and religion.”
To those who desire more on this interesting topic we commend the Quarterly Review.
family Room .
CHARITY AT HOME.
“ CHARITY begins at home." Do Lord Gower, “is a native of this you know what is the meaning of county, and much respected by some that well-worn sentence? You use gentlemen who are trustees of a it too frequently as an excuse for charity-school.” Dear, sweet charity! parsimony. You are asked for a How we moderns have transformed contribution towards the relief of the her! To think that she should have starving French peasants, or to the anything to do with those pinchedestablishment of a school for the blue,cold, serge-gowned, white-capped poor. "No," say you,
that will charity girls ! not do with me; I have my own However, here it is before us, house to look to. Charity begins written as plainly as ever it was, a at hume.'” So it does. Charity law, though not understood; the for home; alms-giving for abroad. essence of wisdom, though passed A charity boy is by no means so by; obliterated by age and ignorance, designated in the true sense; he is just as the names on the tombs in an alms-boy publicly educated, as all the church yard are allowed to be our children will probably be in a covered with mosses and lichens, and hundred years ; but certainly, in his hour by hour and day by day the yellow leggings and muffin cap, he is encroaching hands of Time and not a child of affection. Charity, Nature are allowed to veilour frailties, caritas, as we have often explained, our follies, our virtues—if we have is quite another thing. It means any-and our names. dear, sweet, kind and soft-hearted CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. affection, dearness, sweetness in life. The true meaning of that mystic Chaucer uses it in the right way- line is that you, our readers of all “But to speken of her conscience,
ages and both sexes, should do all
it is there you should show your But in a few hundred years the word changed its significance; and we cleverness. There it is that you
kindness good-humour, your fun and now see it used, in Murphy's Life should play the fine gentleman and
. of Johnson, in the sense which, to be doubly polite, there where you some ears, is odious. “ Mr. Samuel Johnson (author of London, a satire,
are seen only by your own kith and
kin. and some poetical pieces),” says
Observer, Aug. 1, '71
A COMMON MISTAKE. MANY a man seems to regard the page in sleep. Or, if he be not household duties of the wife as not weary enough for that, he seizes his to be compared for a moment with hat and rushes for the reading those which engross his attention. room, or, more probably, for the He expects, if business has perplexed lounging place where such as he or made him anxious, to have his do congregate ; there he lingers wife's sympathy when he comes till the noise of the closing shutters home at night, but never imagines warns him to leave. He goes home that during the day anything could at last, because he can go nowhere have occurred to trouble that wife. else. Meanwhile the wife has, with He returns from his workshop or a heavy heart and tired step, got the counting-room soured, perhaps, by little ones into bed, and, as best she some bad bargain, annoyed by a could, has worn away the long hours stupid workman or unreasonable em- of the evening in silence and loneployer, morose from some ill-spoken liness. word, and expects to be received with Should a thought of his selfishness smiles ; it matters not how surly or injustice cross the mind of the may be his looks, his wife must be, husband, he responds with ready in countenance, in word, all sweet- self-complacency, "I require relaxaness and amiability. He may have tion, and must see my friends." The no pleasant word, may take his place night is witness of the same or moodily at the table, but his wife's greater lack of sympathy. Perhaps words must be affectionate, and his the baby is not well, and is restless. wife's looks full only of gladness. But that is not his business. It matWhat, he thinks, has she to trouble ters not that the poor pale wife has her ?
And this when the poor wife had the child in her arms through has, through a long and weary day, the long day—a day's work with a been toiling with family work and sick babe, one of the weariest of vexatious care till her head is aching, mortal toils—he must not be disand foot, and hand, and heart are turbed. I have known such a hussore with the worry. The tea is dis- band provide a distant sleeping patched silently, very likely with apartment that he might not be dissombre complaints over the trials he turbed, and lie snoring in leaden has had during the day, or the bad- unconsciousness while à frail wife, ness of the times; and then the with swollen eyes, and limbs that evening paper is taken in hand and almost refused to obey an iron will, pored over until the very advertise was walking to and fro with his ments are devoured, or the reader's child. face is bowed upon the crumpled
WHERE WAS LITTLE HARRY ? “ Ose winter evening I called slipped away unnoticed, and the upon a friend, and being shown into nurse was summoned to inquire for a brilliantly-lighted and well fur- him. Still he was not to be found. nished apartment, found her absorb- Surprised at the little anxiety she ed in the contents of a new and betrayed, I soon withdrew. Wbere valuable work. After scme conver
Passing a crowd of boys sation I inquired for little Harry,' at the corner of the street, I was her only child, a beautiful boy of shocked with the oaths that came
She confessed that he had | from a little fellow whose rich dress
Observer, Aug. 1, '71.
though sadly soiled, contrasted poisoning the impulses of his heart strangely with that of most of his at a fountain deadly corrupt, through comrades ; as he turned his head to the neglect of a mother, and she a the gas light, I saw it was little professing Christian. Harry.'
Christian parents, where are your Here was the child for whom children at night?” every earthly advantage was in store,
THE MAN OF SORROWS.
There is no beauty in His marred face,
Intelligence of Churches, &4. NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE.-We have for the E. Evans. The church has recently passed last nine weeks been favoured with the through a very heavy ordeal, which tried presence of our much esteemed brother, us so severely that our courage drooped
and seemed almost ready to fail under it; we arrive at the city of Habitation. We but the visit of Bro. E. was exceedingly are now obliged to leave our meeting room, opportune; and tended greatly to strengthen our landlord having given us notice to quit. and confirm us. Too much can scarcely be We have decided to erect a plain and said of his valuable services, he has gained a commodious room, the cost of which will place in every heart. His judicious counsel, not exceed £160. We have arranged to gentle admonitions, and truly christian secure £100 ourselves without extraneous teaching, bave done much to build us up aid ; and should any of the readers of in the faith we love, and to unite us more the E. 0. desire to aid us, such aid will closely to each other in the one great bond be thankfully received.
We have purof union. The time he has been with us chased a site and expect to commence has indeed been a season of reviving and operations in a week or two. Any friend refreshing to our weary souls, a time to be wishing to communicate with us on this long remembered by us. Notwithstanding matter, will please address his communicathe various things which have conspired tion to JOHN REA, Sea View Works, Spittal, against our gaining a large audience at the Berwick-on-Tweed. preaching services, his labour has been P.S.--Anyone wishing for further infor. blessed to the salvation of souls. The mation as to the work here, can gigantic strike of the engineers is universal municate with Ed. Evans, Derby; or in the district, and its influence is very with John Aitkin, 14, Craigie Terrace, depressing. The small-pox has been rife Newington, Edinburgh. in this and neighbouring towns, and the
BROMLEY, KENT.—A few Christians summer nights are unfavourable to gaining an audience; still our number of hearers meet here every first day of the week to
Twelve since he came has more than trebled itself. attend to Christ's institutions. Six have been added to our fellowshiip, to this town, sorely against my own will,
I had to remove from London three by immersion and three formerly but now I am content, for I believe the immersed. A great interest has been excited in the minds of his hearers. We are
Lord's hand was in it. After wandering anticipating more additions and feel confi. about for a few Lord's-days, from one dent that if he could have remained longer chapel to another, we began to break bread
Since large results would follow. We feel that at home-my wife, son and self. the Master is in our midst, guiding our three, and four others, formerly baptized,
then by God's blessing I have baptized humble efforts and blessing them. O that He may abide with us to our journey's end, Lord's-day at the house of Bro. Carpenter,
have been added to us. We meet every until we reach our Father's house on bigh. We hope and plead that this important and No. 4, South Street, at three o'clock, p.m. populous district will meet with considera- for worship, and at half-past six p.m. for tion by the brethren who assemble at the preaching the Gospel. Lord's-day, July 9, annual gathering. It would be sad indeed, a few of the friends that meet at Hildenbro
near Tunbridge, paid us a visit. if when the harvest is ripe it should not be gathered for want of competent labour- Hitchcock, of Hildenbro', and Steele, from ers, and, knowing that the desire of the London, addressed the meeting, and a saints is for the extension of Messiah's pleasant and profitable one we had.
JOHN CORRIE. kingdom and the salvation of precious souls, we are hopeful that when the time LEICESTER.—During the last month a arrives our plea will be remembered by series of interesting meetings have been them.
R. H. held in Leicester. On Saturday evening SPITTAL.—Since our last report of the a tea meeting took place in the Chapel, work here, two have been immersed into Crafton Street, to take leave of Bro. T. the Saviour's death, who are now walking in Thompson, who was then on the eve of newness of life. Another whose mind was removing to Birmingham for training, in enlightened while Bro. Evans was with us, is order, after a time, to take the field as an now ready to put on Christ in His own evangelist. Several speakers addressed the appointed way. We are glad to report our meeting after tea, all of whom gave the meetings continue well attended. We highest possible testimony to the general have been left to ourselves for nearly two worth of the brother about to leave them, months, and the interest has never slacken- and each regretted the loss the church ed. How sweet and refreshing it is to would sustain. A suitable gift of books meet according to the ancient order, to was presented; the Sunday School having strive to be conformed to the will of our at a previous meeting, in like manner, given Lord and Master in everything, to hear His him a handsome writing desk. The esteem voice and follow Him. 'It is our sincere of his employer and fellow workmen had desire that He who has guided our feet also been indicated by the present of a into the good old paths, will still be with watch and another useful token thereof. us, and keep us walking therein, until On Lord's-day afternoon the Gospel was