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These gradations and modifications of the parts constituting a general type may be represented by one of three suppositions:-First, that the structure is what we see because that portion of the general type, and that state of the organ or constituent part of the type was selected as suitable for the life of the creature; Secondly, that the structure has become what it is by degradation from a fuller type through the reduction or suppression of certain parts by want of exercise of their functions; Thirdly, that the typical structure is incompletely manifested because some of the functions have been unexercised, and the organs which belong to them consequently remain undeveloped.
Each of these views may be thought to be so far founded on observation of nature as to be allowed in an hypothesis for comparison with more observations. The choice between them can only be justified by reference to phenomena, which by their number, consistency and critical character, may furnish a basis for sound judgment. Without such reference a choice no doubt will be often made, but it can then be little better than prejudice, and must be expected to differ in different persons, according to the previous training of their minds. It is consoling to believe that each may be connected, indeed will be connected, by minds accustomed
To look through Nature up to Nature's God,
with reverential thoughts of the GREAT MAKER. No sincere inquirer for truth will be likely to expect success in the search,
unde queat res quæque creari,
Et quo quæque modo fiant, operâ sine Divōm;
and no one who has advanced so far in Philosophy as to have thought of one thing in relation to another will ever be satisfied with Laws which had no Author, Works which had no Maker, Co-ordinations which had no Designer. In this as in other cases,
An undevout philosopher is mad.
SYSTEM OF LIFE COEVAL WITH MAN.
The Living creation then, as we see it, is found to exist only in a fabric of certain sorts and certain combinations of matter, in the presence of the atmosphere, subject to continual loss and restoration of parts, suffering death in every individual, and renewed by birth of other individuals; adapted to the elements of water, land, and air; limited by temperature and physical conditions; called into being at certain points of origin, and spread over certain areas of occupation.
Thus the visible creation presents itself as a cal
culated whole; the parts co-ordinated; the conditions adjusted; the origin defined; and a long duration secured. Looking at it in this aspect we may conceive it to be all of one age—the result of one act of power and wisdom,-the expression of one' will at one epoch of time, and in this sense employ for the whole the term, Creation, which admits of no explanation in human language, because it refers to an act of God's power, transcending all human thought and experience.
How completely the life of to-day represents the life of the earliest historic times, in the same countries, may be ascertained by the slightest examination of the books, sculptures and buried skeletons, which speak of those times. The Swallows, whose twittering disturbed Anacreon, still break the slumbers of the luxurious poets of our day, and still excite the wonder of naturalists by their long flight to Memphis1; the Ibis still wanders by Egyptian rivers; Philomela still charms us with her song of love; still clang the Cranes, and soar aloft the Eagles; still dance in air the summer-loving Flies as in the days of Homer; and still the Polypus and Sponge, and all the inhabitants of the sea, exhibit in the Mediterranean the peculiar properties noticed in them by Aristotle. Various as are the races of
1 Anac. 12. 33.
horses, dogs, and cattle now, they seem to have been as various in the earlier times, and associated then as now with particular tracts of country and families of mankind1; nor even in regard to man do we find much change in the African, Caucasian, or Mongolian races, which seem to have been from remote antiquity separate, and still are distinguishable by the characters assigned to them in the pages of Ammianus Marcellinus and Herodotus, and in the ancient sculptures of Egypt.
The interval of time which has elapsed since the present races of created life came into being cannot be known by any kind of research practicable for mankind, unless Geology can solve the problem. As far as human experience goes-a few thousand years there appears too little change in individual character, or in the combination of the whole series, to furnish any data for inferences touching the epoch of the 'creation.' If we are able to say these races of plants and animals were not eternal, nor the earliest of created things, but had predecessors and a date of origin, it is not Zoology, nor History, nor Tradition which tells us so; but Geology, which, agreeing with the authority of Scripture in the late date of man, and the races of beings associated with him, adds its own testimony of Pre-adamitic beings. Oppian. KTNHг. 1. 116.
If we take as the first of the problems to be examined on this subject, that which seems the most likely to be answered on satisfactory evidence, viz. the geological antiquity of the human race, we find clear though incomplete testimony leading to a sure and definite conclusion. Man and the works of man have been preserved in natural repositories of higher antiquity than all the mausoleums, and tumuli, and Úπоyaîa; in caverns, peat-bogs, lacustrine and riversediments, which derived their characteristic features from the operation of physical conditions long since passed away. Thus deep in the sediments of many of our British valleys left by the rivers in some earlier period, we find the canoe of the primitive inhabitant, hollowed by fire and rude stone chisels from the trunk of the native oak. In Caverns near Swansea, and near Narbonne, skeletons of the early people have been found; in those of Kent's hole and Brixham and Sicily, and deep in the gravel of Amiens and Abbeville, the flint instruments which served for rude workmen in wood, rude diggers of the ground, or rude warriors in the field. According to such observations as we can make these facts can only be explained by supposing a long period of time to have elapsed since their occurrence. To heap twenty or more feet of sediment over the buried canoes by the ordinary operation of a river like the Yorkshire