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when Naturalists observe a close agreement in numerous small details of habits, tastes, and dispositions between two or more domestic races, they use this fact as an argument that all are descended from a common progenitor who was thus endowed."

The anatomical structure and physical constitution of man point decidedly to the unity of the race: in all nations the skin is alike in structure; there is the same general coincidence in respect to the age at which manhood is attained, and to the period in which life begins to decline; all races are subject to similar diseases, modified by climatic influences; and the length of life is, on an average, the same under similar conditions of existence.2

The variety of languages, also, was once adduced as an argument against the unity of the descent of the human race. But the best philologists living admit that "no conclusion adverse to the monogenistic doctrine can be drawn from the diversities of speech now existing, or that are known to have existed at any past time." "Nothing," Nothing," says Max Müller, "necessitates the admission of different independent beginnings for the material, or formal elements and grammatical structure of the Turanian, Semitic, and Aryan branches of speech."4 The same conclusion is reached by Professor W. S. Whiting who, while disclaiming for linguistic

1 The Descent of Man, Part I., Ch. VII.

2Cf. Brocklesby, Elements of Physical Geography, p. 147. G. P. Fisher, Outlines of Univer. History.

4 Lectures on Language, 1st Series, p. 340.

5 Life and Growth of Languages, p. 267.

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science the power to prove that the human race in the beginning formed one society, says that it is

even more demonstrable,” and that it can “never prove the variety of human races and origins."

Lastly, the apparent isolation of our American continent from the inhabited portions of the earth, was once considered a formidable objection against the unity of the human family. This error has had but a brief reign, and the objection has long ceased to be seriously entertained by persons of ordinary intelligence. A more familar acquaintance with our globe has shown that our continent is not so far removed from populated countries, as was supposed; and instances are given, by Captain Cook and other navigators, of families in their canoes having been driven by stress of weather from one land to another, a distance of two hundred, and even eight hundred miles. Similar accidents might suffice to transport canoes across the Behring Strait from Asia to North America, or even from Sierra Leone in Africa, to Cape St. Roque in South America. In 1872, a Japanese junk went ashore in Alaska with three live natives on board. Twenty of the crew had perished from hunger. Fifty years ago, a like accident occurred to a Chinese vessel that had drifted ashore to the mouth of the Columbia river with living men on board. Now, it is well known that the junks used at present by the eastern nations are no improvement on those of a thousand years ago.



1 Cf. Lyell, Principles of Geology, Vol. II., p. 472 et seq.

We are warranted, therefore, in concluding that neither the difference in color and in the anatomical construction of the human frame, nor the diversity of languages, nor the alleged difficulty in accounting for the original settlement of the American continent, can afford any justification for affirming the plurality of the human species. The dictates of common sense, not to speak of the paramount claims of the inspired Volume, compel us to adhere to the Mosaic narrative, which the cumulative investigations of every succeeding age serve only to corroborate.

Nor are those modern scientists a whit less obscure in regard to our future destiny than in regard to our origin. They have not, any more than the ancient philosophers, a single ray of light to throw across the impenetrable veil that darkens the horizon of the tomb. “Whence come we? whither go we?asks Mr. Tyndall. “The question dies without an answer, without even an echo, upon the infinite shores of the unknown. ... Having exhausted physics and reached its very rim, the real mystery stills looms up beyond us. We have, in fact, made no step toward its solution. And thus it will ever loom even beyond the bourne of knowledge, compelling the philosophies of successive ages to confess that

“We are such stuff As dreams are made of, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.'".

1 Belfast Address.





Let us now go with Nicodemus to the Divine Founder of the Christian religion, and ask Him for light on these vital questions. "Master, we know that Thou art come a Teacher from God.": "Thou art the way, the truth, and the life." Thou art the light of the world. He that followeth Thee walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Thou art "a light for the illumination of the Gentiles, and for the glory of Thy people, Israel." Thou didst inspire the Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Law, and the Apostles and Evangelists of the New. Tell us, then, of God, of the world around us, and of ourselves.


How satisfactory is the answer! How clear and luminous are the pages of Holy Writ regarding God and man and the universe compared with the gropings of Gentile writers! The Christian religion proclaims truths that satisfy the highest aspirations

1 John III.
2 Ibid., VIII.

8 Luke II.


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of the human intellect, and gratify the legitimate cravings of the human heart. The youth furnished with a correct knowledge of his catechism—that admirable compendium of Revelation-has solved the most momentous questions that ever engrossed the mind of man. He has acquired a knowledge of truths that have baffled the investigation of the most profound philosophers of Pagan antiquity, and even of modern scientists who discard the light of Revelation.

The Christian religion gives us a sublime and beautiful idea of God and His attributes. It tells us of a God essentially one: “Hear, O Israel, the

: Lord thy God is one God;" a God self-existing, living from eternity unto eternity. It tells us of a God who created all things by His power, who governs all things by His wisdom, whose superintending providence watches over the affairs of nations and of men, who numbers the hairs of our head, and without whom not even a bird falls to the ground. It reveals to us a God infinitely beautiful, the perfect ideal of all created beauty, infinitely holy, infinitely just, merciful, and beneficent. This exalted conception of the Supreme Being, so consonant to our reason, is in striking contrast with the low, grovelling, and sensual attributes ascribed by the Pagans to their divinities.

The knowledge that the Christian religion gives us of God and His attributes, is not of an abstruse

1 Mark XII.

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