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5. Twelve Lectures on the Connexion between Science and Revealed Religion. Delivered in Rome, by Nicholas WiseMan, D. D. 2 Vols. London, 1836.
A Story is told in one of Marryatt's novels of a clerical abolitionist who handed round his hat to a ship's company just paid off, at the same time presenting each of the sailors with a little print representing a negro kneeling in chains with uplifted hands and saying, "Am I not a man and a brother?" One of the tars, having spelled out the inscription, came up to the philanthropist and demanded, "Do you mean to insinuate that this black rascal is really my brother?" "Undoubtedly," replied the friend of humanity. "Then take that, and that," retorted the sailor, as he cut short a further appeal to his fraternal feelings by knocking down the hatchway the man who had so grossly insulted him.
The slight difference of opinion here exhibited illustrates in a homely manner a more important controversy which, for many years carried on in the scientific world and handled, as well in this as in other periodicals, is now, by the publication of the great work at the head of our list, fairly before the American public— the question of the Unity of the Human Race. This phrase has gradually become a conventional term to express the idea that all mankind are descended from a single pair, once for all created in a single spot.
That there should be any doubt upon a point so plain may surprise some persons; for, although the ancients with one voice (unless the Jews are an exception—a question to be considered presently,) assigned diverse origins to different nations, the belief that all mankind are descended from Adam and Eve is so general throughout Christendom, that it may be called universal. To it we are indebted for one of the sallies of Beatrice, in "Much ado about nothing."
"Leonardo. Well, niece, I hope to see you fitted one day with a husband.
"Beatrice. No, uncle, I'll none; Adam's sons are my brethren and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred."
The very word mankind or man-kinned, meaning the whole human family, testifies to the popular notion.
Of late years, however, the unity of the human race has begun to be questioned, and Morton, Agassiz, Van Amringe, Hamilton, Smith, Burke, Knox, Caldwell, Jacquinot, Hombrou, Giebel, Vivcy, Bory de St. Vincent, Desmoulins, Broc, Klemm and Zeune on the one hand, and Pritchard, Latham, Wiseman, Badiman, Smyth, Johnes, Bunsen, Serres, De Salles, Klee, Buchez, &c., on the other, have discussed the matter with the greatest learning and acuteness. The quarrel is a very pretty quarrel as it stands, and, as Sir Roger De Coverly and Lord Eldon used prudently to observe, "a great deal may be said on both sides." So complicated indeed is the problem, and so dependent for its solution upon a due consideration of Biblical hermenutics, comparative philology, history, comparative anatomy, archaeology and other (mostly modern) sciences having little connection one with another, that writers on ethnology have usually confined themselves to one branch of the subject. This remark (with the exception that the comparison of languages is, to a great extent, omitted) does not apply to Nott and Gliddon's "Types of Mankind," an elaborate work, which, as will be seen, takes up the different branches in turn.
Stimulated by the appearance of this remarkable book, we have thought it might not be unwelcome to such of the readers of the Southern Quarterly Review as have not kept pace with the inquiries which have recently thrown light on this interesting subject, to be presented with a resume (necessarily brief) of the chief arguments for and against the Unity of the Human Race. As the advocates of the unity doctrine were in possession of the ground before the battle was delivered, it will, perhaps, be the most regular to hear them first, and while it will not be conceded on which side the balance of evidence appears to lie, an endeavor will be made to state the case of both plaintiff and defendant with perfect fairness.
The principal arguments in favor of a descent of all men from a single pair may be reduced to three, viz: those drawn from Scripture, from philology, and from the phenomena of hybridity. And
First, The argument drawn from the Bible.
The strongest texts are the following, being the only ones cited by Dr. Bachman in his controversy with Morton : *
"And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she is the mother of all living." Gen. iii, 20.
"And the sons of Noah that went out of the Ark were Shem, Ham and Japhet: and Ham is the father of Canaan; these are the three sons of Noah, and of them was the whole earth overspread. Gen. ix., 18,19.
"God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the whole earth, and hath determined the bounds of their habitation." Acta xvii, 26.
To these may be added the following:
"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor. xv, 22.
"The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." 1 Cor. xv, 45.
The bare enunciation of these passages, especially taken in connection with the wide spread belief that certain vital doctrines of orthodox theology are based upon the descent of all mankind from a single "federal head" is sufficient with many to settle the question without further inquiry. The lesson of the primer that
"In Adam's fall
confirmed by the deliberate judgment of after years that this doctrine is implied throughout the sacred volume is not to be lightly shaken by the vague reasonings of (it may be) an infidel philosophy. "All the races of men who are interested in Christ and his gospel are, and must be of Adamic origin, seed and blood. All to whom that gospel is to be sent must, of necessity, be of the same stock. And hence, as it is expressly commanded to preach this gospel to every creature in all the world, all must be of the same original Adamic family and origin."f
* Charleston Medical Journal, vol. 5, p. 508.