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PART II.—ANTHROPOLOGY. HAVING considered the doctrines which concern the nature of God and his relation to the world, we come now to those which concern man; his origin, nature, primitive state, probation, and apostasy ; which last subject includes the question as to the nature of sin ; and the effects of Adam's first sin upon himself and upon his posterity. These subjects constitute the department of Anthropology
ORIGIN OF MAN.
§ 1. Scriptural Doctrine. The Scriptural account of the origin of man is contained in Genesis i. 26, 27, “ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him ; male and female created He them.” And Gen. ï. 7, " And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Two things are included in this account; first that man's body was formed by the immediate intervention of God. It did not grow; nor was it produced by any process of development. Secondly, the soul was derived from God. He breathed into man " the breath of life,” that is, that life which constituted him a man, a living creature bearing the image of God.
Many have inferred from this language that the soul is an emanation from the divine essence ; particula spiritus divini in corpore inclusa. This idea was strenuously resisted by the Christian
fathers, and rejected by the Church, as inconsistent with the nature of God. It assumes that the divine essence is capable of division ; that his essence can be communicated without his attributes, and that it can be degraded as the souls of fallen men are degraded. (See Delitzsch's “ Biblical Psychology” in T. and T. Clark's “ Foreign Library,” and Auberlen in Herzog's “ Encyclopädie,” article “ Geist der Menschen.”)
§ 2. Anti-Scriptural Theories. Heathen Doctrine of Spontaneous Generation. The Scriptural doctrine is opposed to the doctrine held by many of the ancients, that man is a spontaneous production of the earth. Many of them claimed to be γηγενείς, αυτόχθονες, terrigend. The earth was assumed to be pregnant with the germs of all living organisms, which were quickened into life under favourable circumstances; or it was regarded as instinct with a productive life to which is to be referred the origin of all the plants and animals living on its surface. To this primitive doctrine of antiquity, modern philosophy and science, in some of their forms, have returned. Those who deny the existence of a personal God, distinct from the world, must of course deny the doctrine of a creation ex nihilo and consequently of the creation of man. The theological view as to the origin of man, says Strauss, “ rejects the standpoint of natural philosophy and of science in general. These do not admit of the immediate intervention of divine causation. God created man, not as such, or, quatenus infinitus est, sed quatenus per elementa nascentis telluris explicatur.' This is the view which the Greek and Roman philosophers, in a very crude form indeed, presented, and against which the fathers of the Christian Church earnestly contended, but which is now the unanimous judgment of natural science as well as of philosophy." 1 To the objection that the earth no longer spontaneously produces men and irrational animals, it is answered that many things happened formerly that do not happen in the present state of the world. To the still more obvious objection that an infant man must have perished without a mother's care, it is answered that the infant floated in the ocean of its birth, enveloped in a covering, until it reached the development of a child two years old; or it is said that philosophy can only establish the general fact as to the way in which the human race originated, but cannot be required to explain all the details.
1 Dogmatik, vol. i. p. 680.
Modern Doctrine of Spontaneous Generation.. Although Strauss greatly exaggerates when he says that men of science in our day are unanimous in supporting the doctrine of spontaneous generation, it is undoubtedly true that a large class of naturalists, especially on the continent of Europe, are in favour of that doctrine. Professor Huxley, in his discourse on the “ Physical Basis of Life," lends to it the whole weight of his authority. He does not indeed expressly teach that dead matter becomes active without being subject to the influence of previous living matter ; but his whole paper is designed to show that life is the result of the peculiar arrangement of the molecules of matter. His doctrine is that “the matter of life is composed of ordinary matter, differing from it only in the manner in which its atoms are aggregated.”! “ If the properties of water," he says, “may be properly said to result from the nature and disposition of its component molecules, I can find no intelligible ground for refusing to say that the properties of protoplasm result from the nature and disposition of its molecules.” 3 In his address before the British Association, he says that if he could look back far enough into the past he should expect to see “ the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter.” And although that address is devoted to showing that spontaneous generation, or Abiogenesis, as it is called, has never been proved, he says, “I must carefully guard myself against the supposition that I intend to suggest that no such thing as Abiogenesis has ever taken place in the past or ever will take place in the future. With organic chemistry, molecular physics, and physiology yet in their infancy, and every day making prodigious strides, I think it would be the height of presumption for any man to say that the conditions under which matter assumes the properties we call vital,' may not some day be artificially brought together.”3 All this supposes that life is the product of physical causes ; that all that is requisite for its production is “ to bring together” the necessary conditions.
Mr. Mivart, while opposing Mr. Darwin's theory, not only maintains that the doctrine of evolution is “ far from any necessary opposition to the most orthodox theology,” but adds that “the same may be said of spontaneous generation.” 4 As chemists have
1 Lay Sermons and Addresses, London, 1870, p. 144. 2 Ibid. p. 151. 8 Athenaeum, September 17, 1870, p. 376. 4 Genesis of Species, by St. George Mivart, F. R. S. p. 266.
succeeded in producing urea, which is an animal product, he thinks it not unreasonable that they may produce a fish.
But while there is a class of naturalists who maintain the doctrine of spontaneous generation, the great body even of those who are the most advanced admit that omne vivum ex vivo, so far as science yet knows, is an established law of nature. To demonstrate this is the object of Professor Huxley's important address just referred to, delivered before the British Association in September, 1870. Two hundred years ago, he tells us, it was commonly taken for granted that the insects which made their appearance in decaying animal and vegetable substances were spontaneously produced. Redi, however, an Italian naturalist, about the middle of the seventeenth century, proved that if such decaying matter were protected by a piece of gauze admitting the air but excluding flies, no such insects made their appearance. “ Thus, the hypothesis that living matter always arises by the agency of preëxisting living matter, took definite shape ; and had henceforward a right to be considered and a claim to be refuted, in each particular case, before the production of living matter in any other way could be admitted by careful reasoners.”1 This conclusion has been more and more definitely settled by all the investigations and experiments which have been prosecuted from that day to this. It has been proved that even the infusorial animalcules, which the most powerful microscopes are necessary to detect, never make their appearance when all preëxisting living germs have been carefully excluded. These experiments, prosecuted on the very verge of nonentity, having for their subject-matter things so minute as to render it doubtful whether they were anything or nothing, and still more uncertain whether they were living or dead, are reviewed in chronological order by Professor Huxley, and the conclusion to which they lead fully established. This is confirmed by daily experience. Meat, vegetables, and fruits are preserved to the extent of hundreds of tons every year. “ The matters to be preserved are well boiled in a tin case provided with a small hole, and this hole is soldered up when all the air in the case has been replaced by steam. By this method they may be kept. for years, without putrefying, fermenting, or getting mouldy. Now this is not because oxygen is escluded, inasmuch as it is now proved that free oxygen is not necessary for either fermentation or putrefaction. It is not because
1 Atheneum, September 17, 1870, p. 374.
2 What Dr. Charlton Bastian, who contested the conclusions of Professor Huxley, took to be living organisins, turned out to be nothing but minute follicles of glass.