Imagens das páginas

vagabond on the earth, and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore, whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven fold. And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived and bare Enoch; and he builded a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch." Gen. iv-13-17.

By whom was Cain afraid of being slain? Was it by any one of Adam's household, his own kindred ? No, certainly; had he dreaded them, his most promising scheme of escape and safety would have been to fly to a remote region, to which his own kindred (if, indeed, he had any besides his parents) had not yet spread and peopled it. His fear, therefore, did not fasten on any of them, among whom he was resident, but on strangers, into the midst of whom he was about to be driven.

A part of the difficulty is obviated by following Michaelis' version of the words in Italics : “Alles was mich antrift," everything, i. e., every wild beast which meets me, &c. But this translation is unsupported by any other authority. It is, besides, one which makes the answer of Jehovah incomprehensible; for by what mark could brute beasts be taught not to attack Cain? And what sevenfold vengeance could God take on them?

But, although the sacred writings here seem pretty clearly to intimate the existence of other families besides that of Adam, yet the one with which Cain allied himself must have been located comparatively near, “in the land of Nod* on the east of Eden.” The book of Genesis nowhere concerns itself with the outlying varieties of man; it makes no mention of Negroes, Chinese, American Indians, nor, in fact, after the deluge (a catastrophe confined, according to the admission of orthodox geologists, to a limited region) of any race save the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japhet. But these descendants, as given at length in the tenth chapter of Genesis, have often, and nowhere in a more luminous and convincing manner than in “Types of Mankind," been shown to consist only of the inhabitants of a circumscribed

* Supposed to be the land of the Hindus, or Hinood as they are still called by the Arabs. See “Types of Mankind," p. 637.

tract of country around Chaldea. The seventy-nine names in that valuable chart, with the exception of Noah, Shem, Ham, Japhet and Nimrod, are clearly personifications of countries, nations, tribes or cities, all of which can be located on the map. Mr. Gliddon's paraphrase is as follows: “Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah (Cessation), Shem (yellow races), Ham (swarthy races), and Japhet (white races); unto them were sons born after the deluge. The affiliations of Japhet (white races ), Crimea and Caucasus and Media and Ionia and Pontus and Moschia and Thrace. * * * * * And the affiliations of Ham (swarthy races), Dark Arabia and Egyptians and Barbary and Canaan. * * * * * And to Shem (yellow races) also there was issue: he is the father of all the affiliation of the Yonderes; brother of Japhet, the elder. Affiliations of Shem (yellow races), Elymais and Chaldean Orfa and Lydia and Aramea.”* To these three races, the Egyptians, as they came to extend their conquests up the Nile, added a fourth, the Negroes, who appear on the monuments in their appropriate color, side by side with the other three. But to the writer of tenth Genesis they were certainly unknown.

3. That other sciences besides Ethnology were, in their infancy, fiercely attacked on theological grounds, which are now not only received without dispute, but are admitted to be in perfect accordance with the Scriptures. .

When Galileo proclaimed that the sun stood still and the earth moved, a very natural opposition and (for that day) persecution was excited against him. Good men sincerely believed the Bible to teach that the earth is the centre of the universe; in form an extended plain, having ends and four corners; that heaven is a solid crystal † arch, firmament or welkin above it, with the stars set in, like lamps; and hell or hades, a dark cavern beneath. Nor were they slow in bringing forward Scripture texts as least as positive and far more numerous than those mentioned above, in their favor. The new science, if accepted, would, thought the theologians of the seventh century, overthrow the very foundations of the Christian religion. These fears were natural, but were they justified by the event? On the contrary, to-day the doctrines of Galileo are unquestioned throughout Christendom, and yet the Bible is none the less reverenced.

* Nott & Gliddon's Types of Mankind, p. 553.

p“ The idea of a crystalline vault of heaven was handed down to the middle ages by the fathers of the Church, who believed the firmament to consist of seven to ten glassy strata, incasing one another like the different coatings of an onion. This supposition still keeps ground in some of the monasteries of Southern Europe, where I was greatly surprised to hear a venerable prelate express an opinion in reference to the fall of ærolites at Aigle, which at

In more recent times, Geology has passed, only more rapidly, through the same phases, in its relation to Theology, as did Astronomy two centuries ago. It, too, was loudly decried at first, as infidel and subversive of the Bible; but the result of the contest, of which, during the present century, this science has been the battle-ground, is no longer uncertain. Geology has been studied by the clergy themselves, and two grand positions are now conceded by candid inquirers, such as Pye Smith in England and Hitchcock in America, viz: an epoch of creation indefinitely remote in the pre-adamite ages, and the fact that Noah's flood is insufficient to account for existing fossils, but was probably a local phenomena, confined to a part of Asia. It is true that the ignorant, and even persons of good general education, but who are behind the age on this question, retain the old-fashioned ideas on these subjects. Still the question is no less definitely settled for future generations than that of the circulation of the blood, of which it is said that no surgeon, at the time of its discovery, over forty years of age, but died an unbeliever in Harvey's theory.

The fact is, that while (partly owing to the nature of the Hebrew language) the first chapter of Genesis is not a scientific account of the creation, it is so wonderfully true in substance and so clearly the nearest approximation to absolute truth which was possible in teaching infant, barbarous man, that no theory but

that time formed a subject of considerable interest, that the bodies we called meteoric stones, with vitrified crusts, were not portions of the fallen stone itself, but simply fragments of the crystal vault shattered by it in its fall." Humboldt's Cosmos, vol. 3, p. 169.

that of inspiration is competent to account for it. Astronomy and Geology only modify certain theories of the literal interpretation of the Scriptures, at the same time that they come powerfully to the aid of religion by elevating man's conceptions of the Deity, and by disclosing to him such changes on the globe as no power and wisdom but those of an infinite Creator could produce.

Not to allude to the history of other sciences, the above two examples are full of instruction applicable to the case of Ethnology. They teach that while modern science, in its majestic march, treads no step backward, it is dangerous and damaging to the cause of religion itself to make the truth of any private interpretation of the Scriptures the article of a standing or falling" Bible. They show that Christianity, however it may be rashly staked on the correctness of such interpretations by friends more zealous than wise, has nothing to fear, but everything to gain, from truth, scientific or other. .

Such is the line of defence (a sound one, as we think) generally adopted in answer to the argument drawn from the Holy Scriptures. The exception consists of the work at the head of our list, of which, on other points, we shall have to speak in high terms, but which occasionally adopts a flippant tone in alluding to the Bible, which is offensive to the devout believer, objectionable in every point of view, and not only uncalled for, but calculated to prevent that impartial consideration of the subject which tends to elicit truth. "Types of Mankind” takes the ground, particularly in the chapter headed “Archæological introduction to the tenth chapter of Genesis," that the Bible is not an inspired book-a point which we cannot discuss here, as it is not only out of place in this journal, but it has nothing to do with the matter in hand. In fact, if it had been possible to discuss the question in this article without any allusion to Theology, that course would have been preferred; but the Biblical argument lies at the very threshold of the subject, and must be met.

Second. Another argument in favor of the Unity of the Human Race has been drawn from the study of LANGUAGES or Philology. This is necessarily somewhat abstruse, as well as difficult of condensation within the limits of a paper such as this; but it may be briefly stated thus. Although, at a hasty glance over our globe, nations seemed to be more divided by languages than by almost any other peculiarity, except color, yet, the more languages are studied on philosophical principles, the more their differences tend to disappear, and their radical unity to become more manifest.

It has long been known that the Hebrew, the Syro-Chaldaic and the Arabic tongues form but one family, diverse from all other known languages. To this group the name of SEMITIC has been given.

But modern research has discovered another family much more remarkable, and has clearly demonstrated that one speech, essentially so called, pervades, even to this day, a considerable portion of Asia and nearly all Europe, and, stretching across a broad sweep from Ceylon to Iceland, unites, in a bond of relationship, nations separated by the intervention of centuries and the distance of half the globe, professing the most irreconcilable religions, possessing the most dissimilar institutions, and bearing but a slight resemblance in physiognomy and even colour. This language, or rather family of languages, has received the name of Indo-Germanic or INDO-EUROPEAN; its great members are the Sanskrit or ancient and sacred language of India, the Persian, Teutonic, Slavonian, Greek, Latin and Celtic dialects.

"By the analysis of the Sanskrit pronouns, the elements of those existing in all the other languages are cleared of their anomalies; the verb substantive, which in Latin is composed of fragments referable to two distinct roots, in the Sanskrit finds both existing in regular form; the Greek conjugations, with all their complicated machinery of middle voice, augments and reduplications, are here found and illustrated in a variety of ways, which a few years ago would have appeared chimerical. Even our own language may sometimes receive light from the study of distant members of our family. Where, for instance, are we to seek the root of our comparative better? Certainly not in its positive good, nor in the Teutonic dialects in which the same anomaly exists. But in the Persian we have precisely the same comparative behter, with exactly the same signification, regularly formed from its positive beh, good, just as we have in the same language badter, worse from bad.” *

Many words of simple import and primary necessity run through the entire family, and consequently must be considered as aborigi

* Wiseman's Lectures, vol. 1, p. 44.

« AnteriorContinuar »