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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 and 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 form 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 a 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 on 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, '71.
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.
CHARITY AT HOME.
county, and much respected by some gentlemen who are trustees of a charity-school." Dear, sweet charity! How we moderns have transformed her! To think that she should have anything to do with those pinchedblue, cold, serge-gowned, white-capped charity girls!
"CHARITY begins at home." Do | Lord Gower, "is a native of this you know what is the meaning of that well-worn sentence? You use it too frequently as an excuse for parsimony. You are asked for a contribution towards the relief of the starving French peasants, or to the establishment of a school for the poor. "No," say you, "that will not do with me; I have my own house to look to. " Charity begins at home."" So it does. Charity for home; alms-giving for abroad. A charity boy is by no means so designated in the true sense; he is an alms-boy publicly educated, as all our children will probably be in a hundred years; but certainly, in his yellow leggings and muffin cap, he is not a child of affection. Charity, caritas, as we have often explained, is quite another thing. It means dear, sweet, kind and soft-hearted affection, dearness, sweetness in life. Chaucer uses it in the right way
"But to speken of her conscience, She was so charitable and so pitous, She wolde wepe if that she saw a mous Caughte in a trappe, if it were ded or bledde." But in a few hundred years the word changed its significance; and we now see it used, in Murphy's Life of Johnson, in the sense which, to some ears, is odious. "Mr. Samuel Johnson (author of London, a satire, and some poetical pieces)," says
However, here it is before us, written as plainly as ever it was, a law, though not understood; the essence of wisdom, though passed by; obliterated by age and ignorance, just as the names on the tombs in the church yard are allowed to be covered with mosses and lichens, and hour by hour and day by day the encroaching hands of Time and Nature are allowed to veil our frailties, our follies, our virtues-if we have any—and our names.
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.
The true meaning of that mystic line is that you, our readers of all ages and both sexes, should do all you can to make your homes happy; it is there you should show your cleverness. There it is that you kindness good-humour, your fun and be doubly polite, there where you should play the fine gentleman and are seen only by your own kith and kin. Chris. Stand.
Observer, Aug. 1, '71
A COMMON MISTAKE.
MANY a man seems to regard the household duties of the wife as not to be compared for a moment with those which engross his attention. He expects, if business has perplexed or made him anxious, to have his wife's sympathy when he comes home at night, but never imagines that during the day anything could have occurred to trouble that wife. He returns from his workshop or counting-room soured, perhaps, by some bad bargain, annoyed by a stupid workman or unreasonable employer, morose from some ill-spoken word, and expects to be received with smiles; it matters not how surly may be his looks, his wife must be, in countenance, in word, all sweetness and amiability. He may have no pleasant word, may take his place moodily at the table, but his wife's words must be affectionate, and his wife's looks full only of gladness. What, he thinks, has she to trouble her? And this when the poor wife has, through a long and weary day, been toiling with family work and vexatious care till her head is aching, and foot, and hand, and heart are sore with the worry. The tea is dispatched silently, very likely with sombre complaints over the trials he has had during the day, or the badness of the times; and then the evening paper is taken in hand and pored over until the very advertisements are devoured, or the reader's face is bowed upon the crumpled
page in sleep. Or, if he be not weary enough for that, he seizes his hat and rushes for the reading room, or, more probably, for the lounging place where such as he do congregate; there he lingers till the noise of the closing shutters warns him to leave. He goes home at last, because he can go nowhere else. Meanwhile the wife has, with a heavy heart and tired step, got the little ones into bed, and, as best she could, has worn away the long hours of the evening in silence and loneliness.
Should a thought of his selfishness or injustice cross the mind of the husband, he responds with ready self-complacency, "I require relaxation, and must see my friends." The night is witness of the same or greater lack of sympathy. Perhaps the baby is not well, and is restless. But that is not his business. It matters not that the poor pale wife has had the child in her arms through the long day-a day's work with a sick babe, one of the weariest of mortal toils-he must not be disturbed. I have known such a husband provide a distant sleeping apartment that he might not be disturbed, and lie snoring in leaden unconsciousness while a frail wife, with swollen eyes, and limbs that almost refused to obey an iron will, was walking to and fro with his child.
WHERE WAS LITTLE HARRY?
"ONE winter evening I called upon a friend, and being shown into a brilliantly-lighted and well furnished apartment, found her absorbed in the contents of a new and valuable work. After scme conversation I inquired for 'little Harry,' her only child, a beautiful boy of
She confessed that he had
slipped away unnoticed, and the nurse was summoned to inquire for him.
Still he was not to be found. Surprised at the little anxiety she betrayed, I soon withdrew. Where was he? Passing a crowd of boys at the corner of the street, I was shocked with the oaths that came from a little fellow whose rich dress
though sadly soiled, contrasted strangely with that of most of his comrades; as he turned his head to the gas light, I saw it was little Harry.'
Here was the child for whom every earthly advantage was in store,
Observer, Aug. 1, '71.
poisoning the impulses of his heart. at a fountain deadly corrupt, through the neglect of a mother, and she a professing Christian.
Christian parents, where are your children at night?"
THE MAN OF SORROWS.
There is no beauty in His marred face,
The foxes have their holes, the bird its nest,
The crown of thorns, that pierced His noble brow,
Intelligence of Churches, &q
NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE.-We have for the last nine weeks been favoured with the presence of our much esteemed brother,
E. Evans. The church has recently passed through a very heavy ordeal, which tried us so severely that our courage drooped
Observer, Aug. 1, '71.
and seemed almost ready to fail under it; but the visit of Bro. E. was exceedingly opportune; and tended greatly to strengthen and confirm us. Too much can scarcely be said of his valuable services, he has gained a place in every heart. His judicious counsel, gentle admonitions, and truly christian teaching, have done much to build us up in the faith we love, and to unite us more closely to each other in the one great bond of union. The time he has been with us has indeed been a season of reviving and refreshing to our weary souls, a time to be long remembered by us. Notwithstanding the various things which have conspired against our gaining a large audience at the Spreaching services, his labour has been blessed to the salvation of souls. The
gigantic strike of the engineers is universal in the district, and its influence is very depressing. The small-pox has been rife in this and neighbouring towns, and the summer nights are unfavourable to gaining an audience; still our number of hearers since he came has more than trebled itself. Six have been added to our fellowship, three by immersion and three formerly immersed. A great interest has been excited in the minds of his hearers. We are
anticipating more additions and feel confident that if he could have remained longer large results would follow. We feel that the Master is in our midst, guiding our humble efforts and blessing them. O that He may abide with us to our journey's end, until we reach our Father's house on high. We hope and plead that this important and populous district will meet with consideration by the brethren who assemble at the annual gathering. It would be sad indeed, if when the harvest is ripe it should not be gathered for want of competent labourers, and, knowing that the desire of the saints is for the extension of Messiah's kingdom and the salvation of precious souls, we are hopeful that when the time arrives our plea will be remembered by
SPITTAL. Since our last report of the work here, two have been immersed into the Saviour's death, who are now walking in newness of life. Another whose mind was enlightened while Bro. Evans was with us, is now ready to put on Christ in His own appointed way. We are glad to report our meetings continue well attended. We have been left to ourselves for nearly two months, and the interest has never slackened. How sweet and refreshing it is to meet according to the ancient order, to strive to be conformed to the will of our Lord and Master in everything, to hear His voice and follow Him. It is our sincere desire that He who has guided our feet into the good old paths, will still be with us, and keep us walking therein, until
we arrive at the city of Habitation. We are now obliged to leave our meeting room, our landlord having given us notice to quit. We have decided to erect a plain and commodious room, the cost of which will not exceed £160. We have arranged to secure £100 ourselves without extraneous aid; and should any of the readers of the E. O. desire to aid us, such aid will be thankfully received. We have purchased a site and expect to commence operations in a week or two. Any friend wishing to communicate with us on this matter, will please address his communication to JOHN REA, Sea View Works, Spittal, Berwick-on-Tweed.
P.S.--Anyone wishing for further information as to the work here, can communicate with Ed. Evans, Derby; or with John Aitkin, 14, Craigie Terrace, Newington, Edinburgh.
BROMLEY, KENT.—A few Christians meet here every first day of the week to Twelve attend to Christ's institutions. months ago
I had to remove from London.
to this town, sorely against my own will, but now I am content, for I believe the Lord's hand was in it. After wandering about for a few Lord's-days, from chapel to another, we began to break bread at home-my wife, son and self. three, and four others, formerly baptized, then by God's blessing I have baptized Lord's-day at the house of Bro. Carpenter, have been added to us. We meet every No. 4, South Street, at three o'clock, p.m. for worship, and at half-past six p.m. for preaching the Gospel. Lord's-day, July 9, a few of the friends that meet at Hildenbro' near Tunbridge, paid us a visit. Hitchcock, of Hildenbro', and Steele, from London, addressed the meeting, and a pleasant and profitable one we had.
LEICESTER.-During the last month a series of interesting meetings have been held in Leicester. On Saturday evening a tea meeting took place in the Chapel, Crafton Street, to take leave of Bro. T. Thompson, who was then on the eve of removing to Birmingham for training, in order, after a time, to take the field as an evangelist. Several speakers addressed the meeting after tea, all of whom gave the highest possible testimony to the general worth of the brother about to leave them, and each regretted the loss the church would sustain. A suitable gift of books was presented; the Sunday School having at a previous meeting, in like manner, given him a handsome writing desk. The esteem of his employer and fellow workmen had also been indicated by the present of a watch and another useful token thereof. On Lord's-day afternoon the Gospel was