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must be entirely useless to the animals that possess them, delights in the new idea that gives a perfect rationale of what had previously seemed an inexplicable superfluity. And the Embryologist, who carries back his studies to the earliest phases of Development, and follows out the grand law of Von Baer, "from the general to the special,” in the evolution of every separate type, finds the extension of that law from the individual to the whole succession of Organic Life, impart to his soul a feeling of grandeur, like that which the Physical philosopher of two hundred years ago must have experienced when he came to recognise the full significance of Newton's law of Universal Gravitation.
I find myself quite unable to understand why the doctrine of Organic Evolution should have been stigmatised as Atheistic. We have before us the every-day fact of the " evolution" of Plants and Animals of every type from germparticles of a common simplicity; and, scientifically speaking, we must assign to each of these germs a determinate capacity for a particular mode of development, in virtue of which one evolves itself under certain conditions into a Zoophyte, and another (not originally distinguishable from it) into a Man. But if we do not, in so describing the process, set aside the Creator-any more than in scientifically describing the selfformation of a crystal-why should we be charged with doing so, if we attribute to the primordial germ that capacity for a particular course of development, in virtue of which it has evolved the whole succession of forms that has ultimately proceeded from it,-these forms constantly becoming more complex in organisation and more elevated in the scale of being? Attach what weight we may to the physical causes which have brought about this Evolution, I cannot see how it is possible to conceive of any but a Moral Cause for the endowments that made the primordial germ susceptible of their action. And of a beginning, we have even clearer evidence in the Organic than in the Inorganic world; since
it may be accounted as certain that there could have been no Life upon our globe, until its surface had so far cooled down that water could remain as a liquid in its depressions. And in the so-called laws of Organic Evolution,I see nothing but the orderly and continuous working-out of the original Intelligent Design.
There are some, however, who feel no difficulty in accepting the doctrine of Evolution as regards the Animal and Vegetable Creation generally, but nevertheless cannot bring themselves to believe that it is equally applicable to Man; whose place in Nature, it is contended, is psychically so far above that of the creatures which most nearly approach him physically, as to justify his being placed on a different platform. Now, I recognise to its fullest extent the weight of this objection; for whilst freely admitting (as the result of my own life-long study of Comparative Psychology) the possession, by many among the higher animals, of reasoning powers and moral attributes which are of the same kind as those of Man, however much below his in degree, I hold firmly to the conviction that Man, in his condition of fullest development, is essentially distinguished from them all, first, by his possession of a selfdirecting power, and second, by his capacity for unlimited progress. “The soul," says Francis Newman, "is that part of our nature which is in relation with the Infinite ;" and I do not know what better definition could be given of it.. And I should regard the possession of this "soul" as fully justifying the exemption claimed for Man, if it could be shown to be something distinctly added-on, at any given moment of his existence, to his previous capacities. The very contrary, however, is the fact, as I hope now to satisfy
Every human infant born into the world, began its existence nine months previously in the condition of a "jelly-speck," not to be distinguished by any recognisable
characters from what we may suppose to have been the primordial germ of the Animal World in general. This first evolves itself into an aggregate of cells, corresponding with that which represents a higher stage of Protozoic life; and long before it shows any trace of the Vertebrate type of organisation, this aggregate shapes itself into a gastrula or primitive stomach-the common possession, at this stage, of all animals that rise above the protozoic condition, which is permanently represented in the Zoophyte. It is in a certain spot of the wall of this gastrula, that the foundation is laid, in all Vertebrate embryos, of that which is to become the brain and spinal cord, with its bony investment; and this primitive trace" of what is to constitute the essential part of the Human organism, does not differ in any essential particular from that of a Fish, a Frog, a Bird, or any ordinary Mammal. So, the early development of the Circulating and Respiratory apparatuses proceeds upon a plan common to all Vertebrates; even the early Human embryo possessing the gill-arches which are to sprout into gills in Fishes and Amphibia, though they afterwards disappear in Man (as in Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals) with the deve lopment of the lungs and the diversion of the blood-circulation into them. When, in the progress of development, the distinctively Mammalian type comes to present itself, there is still nothing distinctive of Man; in fact, the general configuration of the body is shaped out, and most of the principal organs have shown their characteristic structure, before the embryo presents any feature by which it could be certainly distinguished as human. And I may specially notice the fact that the cerebrum, whose great size and complexity of structure constitute Man's most important differential character, is evolved as a sort of offset from the chain of Sense-ganglia, which is the real basis of the brain in all Vertebrates, and continues to represent it in Insects; that it at first presents the small relative size
and simple organisation which we find permanently retained in the Kangaroo or Rabbit; that, as embryonic life advances, it comes more to resemble the brain of a Dog or Cat, and then that of a Monkey, the distinctly Human type manifesting itself last. This is marked, not only in the backward as well as forward extension of the cerebral hemispheres, but in the number and depth of the convolutions which extend the surface of their outer ganglionic layer, and bring it into closer relation with the capillary blood-vessels, on whose supply of oxygenated blood its whole subsequent activity is dependent.
Now, I cannot suppose any one of you to be ignorant of the fact, that the Human infant at its entrance into the world is de facto a mere automaton-its life-movements for some time being of a purely "reflex" character, such as may be carried on without even any exercise of conscious
And for long after the child has begun to receive and register sensory impressions, has learned to understand articulate speech, and is acquiring knowledge of ideas as well as of objects of sense, any parent who attentively compares its psychical manifestations with' those of an intelligent Dog will recognise the close correspondence between them. The uncontrolled dominance of impulses to action shows itself in both alike; and in the training of one, as of the other, we have to make our appeal to the strongest motive. But the time comes when we can fix the attention of the Human child on the motive which he knows ought to prevail; and in proportion as he acquires, by habitual effort, the power of regulating the exercise of his intellectual powers, and of controlling the action of his moral and emotional forces, in that proportion does he become responsible for his conduct, and capable of further self-elevation.
Thus, then, it is a simple matter of fact, revealed by continuous observation of the history of the Human indi
vidual, that the very highest grade of humanity is only attained by a process of continuous evolution from the very lowest and simplest. For while his bodily evolution takes place in accordance with the plan common to the whole Animal Creation, the same is equally true of his psychical. The infantile condition is the same in all races of Mankind, and child-nature presents itself everywhere under an aspect essentially the same; but whilst in some races an arrest of development causes that nature to be retained through the whole of life, others present an ascending series of stages, that culminate in what we regard as the highest products of mental and moral culture. But even among the races which as a whole are most advanced, we find not individuals only, but grievously large numbers, in whom a bad heredity and depraved surroundings have tended to foster the lower animal nature at the expense of that which is distinctively human; and thus to rear a set of creatures which are morally far nearer akin to the brute, than they are to more elevated types of humanity. In these degraded outcasts we have the true types of fallen man; but it is now coming to be generally recognised by scientific men, that the early history of the Race generally, as now revealed by the study of its primeval conditions, has been one of upward progress; and that the time required to bring it up to the capacity for recording its doings, even by picture-writing, must be measured by thousands-not of years—but of centuries.
If, then, we have to trace back our own ancestry to a primeval type now represented by races whose limited capacity makes them incapable of receiving any culture much higher than their own (save through an education prolonged through many generations), why should we shrink from attributing to these last the ancestry to which their bodily and mental organisation distinctly points? And why should we assume, in the case of Man, a special creative exertion