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Title: Pioneers of Evolution from Thales to Huxley - With an Intermediate Chapter on the Causes of Arrest of the Movement
Author: Clodd, Edward
Language: English
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[Illustration: C. Darwin]


PIONEERS OF EVOLUTION FROM THALES TO HUXLEY

With an Intermediate Chapter on the Causes of Arrest of the Movement

by

EDWARD CLODD

President of the Folk-Lore Society
Author of the Childhood of the World,
The Story of Creation,
The Story of Primitive Man, etc.

With Portraits



New York
D. Appleton and Company
1897

Copyright, 1897,
by D. Appleton and Company.



  To MY BELOVED

  A. A. L.

  WHOSE FELLOWSHIP AND HELP

  HAVE SWEETENED LIFE.



PREFACE.


This book needs only brief introduction. It attempts to tell the story
of the origin of the Evolution idea in Ionia, and, after long arrest,
of the revival of that idea in modern times, when its profound and
permanent influence on thought in all directions, and, therefore, on
human relations and conduct, is apparent.

Between birth and revival there were the centuries of suspended
animation, when the nepenthe of dogma drugged the reason; the Church
teaching, and the laity mechanically accepting, the sufficiency of the
Scriptures and of the General Councils to decide on matters which lie
outside the domain of both. Hence the necessity for particularizing the
causes which actively arrested advance in knowledge for sixteen hundred
years.

In indicating the parts severally played in the Renascence of Evolution
by a small group of illustrious men, the writer, through the courtesy of
Mr. Herbert Spencer, has been permitted to see the original documents
which show that the theory of Evolution as a whole; i. e., as dealing
with the non-living, as well as with the living, contents of the
Universe, was formulated by Mr. Spencer in the year preceding the
publication of the Origin of Species.

  ROSEMONT, TUFNELL PARK, LONDON, N.,
    _14th December, 1896_.



CONTENTS.


                        PART I.
                                                         PAGE
  PIONEERS OF EVOLUTION FROM THALES TO LUCRETIUS--B. C.
        600-A. D. 50                                        1


                        PART II.

  THE ARREST OF INQUIRY--A. D. 50-A. D. 1600.

    1. FROM THE EARLY CHRISTIAN PERIOD TO THE TIME
        OF AUGUSTINE--A. D. 50-A. D. 400                    37

    2. FROM AUGUSTINE TO LORD BACON--A. D. 400-A. D. 1600   73


                        PART III.

  THE RENASCENCE OF SCIENCE--A. D. 1600 ONWARD              99


                        PART IV.

  MODERN EVOLUTION--

    1. DARWIN AND WALLACE                                  126

    2. HERBERT SPENCER                                     175

    3. THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY                                 201

  INDEX                                                    267



  "Nature, which governs the whole, will soon change all things which
  thou seest, and out of their substance will make other things, and
  again other things from the substance of them, in order that the
  world may be ever new."
                                     _Marcus Aurelius_, vii, 25.



PIONEERS OF EVOLUTION.



_PART I._

PIONEERS OF EVOLUTION FROM THALES TO LUCRETIUS.

B. C. 600-A. D. 50.

  "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but
    having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them."--HEBREWS
    xi. 13.


"One event is always the son of another, and we must never forget the
parentage," said a Bechuana chief to Casalis the missionary. The
barbarian philosopher spoke wiser than he knew, for in his words lay
that doctrine of continuity and unity which is the creed of modern
science. They are a suitable text to the discourse of this chapter, the
design of which is to bring out what the brilliancy of present-day
discoveries tends to throw into shadow, namely, the antiquity of the
ideas of which those discoveries are the result. Although the Theory of
Evolution, as we define it, is new, the speculations which made it
possible are, at least, twenty-five centuries old. Indeed, it is not
practicable, since the remote past yields no documents, to fix their
beginnings. Moreover, charged, as they are, with many crudities, they
are not detachable from the barbaric conceptions of the Universe which
are the philosophies of past, and the legends of present, times.

Fontenelle, a writer of the last century, shrewdly remarked that "all
nations made the astounding part of their myths while they were savage,
and retained them from custom and religious conservatism." For, as
Walter Bagehot argues in his brilliant little book on Physics and
Politics, and as all anthropological research goes to prove, the lower
races are non-progressive both through fear and instinct. And the
majority of the members of higher races have not escaped from the
operation of the same causes. Hence the persistence of coarse and
grotesque elements in speculations wherein man has made gradual approach
to the truth of things; hence, too--the like phenomena having to be
interpreted--the similarity of the explanation of them. And as primitive
myth embodies primitive theology, primitive morals, and primitive
science, the history of beliefs shows how few there be who have escaped
from the tyranny of that authority and sanctity with which the lapse of
time invests old ideas.

Dissatisfaction is a necessary condition of progress; and
dissatisfaction involves opposition. As Grant Allen puts it, in one
of his most felicitous poems:

    If systems that be are the order of God,
    Revolt is a part of the order.

Hence a stage in the history of certain peoples when, in questioning
what is commonly accepted, intellectual freedom is born. Such a stage
was markedly reached whenever, for example, an individual here and there
challenged the current belief about the beginnings and nature of things,
beliefs held because they were taught, not because their correspondence
with fact had been examined.

A pioneer (French, _pionnier_; Italian, _pedone_; from Latin _pedes_)
is, literally, a foot-soldier; one who goes before an army to clear the
road of obstructions. Hence the application of the term to men who are
in the van of any new movement; hence its special fitness in the present
connection, as designating men whose speculations cut a pathway through
jungles of myth and legend to the realities of things. The Pioneers of
Evolution--the first on record to doubt the truth of the theory of
special creation, whether as the work of departmental gods or of one
Supreme Deity, matters not--lived in Greece about the time already
mentioned; six centuries before Christ. Not in the early stages of the
Evolution idea, in the Greece limited, as now, to a rugged peninsula in
the southeastern corner of Europe and to the surrounding islands, but in
the Greece which then included Ionia, on the opposite seaboard of Asia
Minor.

From times beyond memory or record, the islands of the Ægean had been
the nurseries of culture and adventure. Thence the maritime inhabitants
had spread themselves both east and west, feeding the spirit of inquiry,
and imbibing influences from older civilizations, notably of Egypt and
Chaldæa. But, mix as they might with other peoples, the Greeks never
lost their own strongly marked individuality, and, in imparting what
they had acquired or discovered to younger peoples, that is, younger in
culture, they stamped it with an impress all their own.

At the later period with which we are dealing, refugees from the
Peloponnesus, who would not submit to the Dorian yoke, had been long
settled in Ionia. To what extent they had been influenced by contact
with their neighbours is a question which, even were it easy to answer,
need not occupy us here. Certain it is that trade and travel had widened
their intellectual horizon, and although India lay too remote to touch
them closely (if that incurious, dreamy East had touched them, it would
have taught them nothing), there was Babylonia with her star-watchers,
and Egypt with her land-surveyors. From the one, these Ionians probably
gained knowledge of certain periodic movements of some of the heavenly
bodies; and from the other, a few rules of mensuration, perchance a
little crude science. But this is conjecture. For all the rest that she
evolved, and with which she enriched the world, ancient Greece is in
debt to none.

While the Oriental shrunk from quest after causes, looking, as Professor
Butcher aptly remarks in his Aspects of the Greek Genius, on "each fresh
gain of earth as so much robbery of heaven," the Greek eagerly sought
for the law governing the facts around him. And in Ionia was born the
idea foreign to the East, but which has become the starting-point of all
subsequent scientific inquiry--the idea that Nature works by fixed laws.
Sir Henry Maine said that "except the blind forces of Nature, nothing
moves which is not Greek in its origin," and we feel how hard it is to
avoid exaggeration when speaking of the heritage bequeathed by Greece as
the giver of every fruitful, quickening idea which has developed human
faculty on all sides, and enriched every province of life. Amid
serious defects of character, as craftiness, avariciousness, and
unscrupulousness, the Greeks had the redeeming grace of pursuit after
knowledge which naught could baffle (Plato, Republic, vol. iv, p. 435),
and that healthy outlook on things which saved them from morbid
introspection. There arose among them no Simeon Stylites to mount
his profitless pillar; no filth-ingrained fakir to waste life in
contemplating the tip of his nose; no schoolman to idly speculate how
many angels could dance upon a needle's point; or to debate such fatuous
questions as the language which the saints in heaven will speak after
the Last Judgment.

In his excellent and cautious survey of Early Greek Philosophy, which we
mainly follow in this section, Professor Burnet says that the real
advance made by the Ionians was through their "leaving off telling
tales. They gave up the hopeless task of describing what was when as yet
there was nothing, and asked instead what all things really are now."
For the early notions of the Greeks about nature, being an inheritance
from their barbaric ancestors, were embodied in myths and legends
bearing strong resemblance to those found among the uncivilized tribes
of Polynesia and elsewhere in our day. For example, the old nature-myth
of Cronus separating heaven and earth by the mutilation of Uranus occurs
among Chinese, Japanese, and Maoris, and among the ancient Hindus and
Egyptians.

The earliest school of scientific speculation was at Miletus, the most
flourishing city of Ionia. Thales, whose name heads the list of the
"Seven Sages," was its founder. As with other noted philosophers of this
and later periods, neither the exact date of his birth nor of his death
are known, but the sixth century before Christ may be held to cover the
period when he "flourished."

That "nothing comes into being out of nothing, and that nothing passes
away into nothing," was the conviction with which he and those who
followed him started on their quest. All around was change; everything
always becoming something else; "all in motion like streams." There must
be that which is the vehicle of all the changes, and of all the motions
which produce them. _What_, therefore, was this permanent and primary
substance? in other words, of what is the world made? And Thales,
perhaps through observing that it could become vaporous, liquid,
and solid in turn; perhaps--if, as tradition records, he visited
Egypt--through watching the wonder-working, life-giving Nile; perhaps as
doubtless sharing the current belief in an ocean-washed earth, said that
the primary substance was WATER. Anaximander, his friend and pupil,
disagreeing with what seemed to him a too concrete answer, argued, in
more abstract fashion, that "the material cause and first element of
things was the Infinite." This material cause, which he was the first
thus to name, "is neither water nor any other of what are now called the
_elements_" (we quote from Theophrastus, the famous pupil of Aristotle,
born at Eresus in Lesbos, 371 B. C.). Perhaps, following Professor
Burnet's able guidance through the complexities of definitions, the term
BOUNDLESS best expresses the "one eternal, indestructible substance out
of which everything arises, and into which everything once more
returns"; in other words, the exhaustless stock of matter from which the
waste of existence is being continually made good.

Anaximander was the first to assert the origin of life from the
non-living, i. e., "the moist element as it was evaporated by the sun,"
and to speak of man as "like another animal, namely, a fish, in the
beginning." This looks well-nigh akin to prevision of the mutability of
species, and of what modern biology has proved concerning the marine
ancestry of the highest animals, although it is one of many ancient
speculations as to the origin of life in slimy matter. And when
Anaximander adds that "while other animals quickly find food for
themselves, man alone requires a prolonged period of suckling," he
anticipates the modern explanation of the origin of the rudimentary
family through the development of the social instincts and affections.
The lengthening of the period of infancy involves dependence on the
parents, and evolves the sympathy which lies at the base of social
relations. (Cf. Fiske's Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, vol. ii, pp. 344,
360.)

In dealing with speculations so remote, we have to guard against reading
modern meanings into writings produced in ages whose limitations of
knowledge were serious, and whose temper and standpoint are wholly alien
to our own. For example, shrewd as are some of the guesses made by
Anaximander, we find him describing the sun as "a ring twenty-eight
times the size of the earth, like a cartwheel with the felloe hollow and
full of fire, showing the fire at a certain point, as if through the
nozzle of a pair of bellows." And if he made some approach to truer
ideas of the earth's shape as "convex and round," the world of his day,
as in the days of Homer, thought of it as flat and as floating on the
all-surrounding water. The Ionian philosophers lacked not insight, but
the scientific method of starting with working hypotheses, or of
observation before theory, was as yet unborn.

In this brief survey of the subject there will be no advantage in
detailing the various speculations which followed on the heels of those
of Thales and Anaximander, since these varied only in non-essentials;
or, like that of Pythagoras and his school, which Zeller regards as
the outcome of the teachings of Anaximander, were purely abstract and
fanciful. As is well known, the Pythagoreans, whose philosophy was
ethical as well as cosmical, held that all things are made of numbers,
each of which they believed had its special character and property. A
belief in such symbols as entities seems impossible to us, but its
existence in early thought is conceivable when, as Aristotle says, they
were "not separated from the objects of sense." Even in the present
day, among the eccentric people who still believe in the modern sham
agnosticism, known as theosophy, and in astrology, we find the delusion
that numbers possess inherent magic or mystic virtues. So far as the
ancients are concerned, "consider," as Mr. Benn remarks in his Greek
Philosophers (vol. i, p. 12), "the lively emotions excited at a time
when multiplication and division, squaring and cubing, the rule of
three, the construction and equivalence of figures, with all their
manifold applications to industry, commerce, fine arts, and tactics,
were just as strange and wonderful as electrical phenomena are to us ...
and we shall cease to wonder that a mere form of thought, a lifeless
abstraction, should once have been regarded as the solution of every
problem; the cause of all existence; or that these speculations were
more than once revived in after ages."

Xenophanes of Colophon, one of the twelve Ionian cities of Asia Minor,
deserves, however, a passing reference. He, with Parmenides and Zeno,
are the chief representatives of the Eleatic school, so named from
the city in southwestern Italy where a Greek colony had settled. The
tendency of that school was toward metaphysical theories. He was the
first known observer to detect the value of fossils as evidences of the
action of water, but his chief claim to notice rests on the fact that,
passing beyond the purely physical speculations of the Ionian school, he
denied the idea of a primary substance, and theorized about the nature
and actions of superhuman beings. Living at a time when there was a
revival of old and gross superstitions to which the vulgar had recourse
when fears of invasions arose, he dared to attack the old and persistent
ideas about the gods, as in the following sentences from the fragments
of his writings:

"Homer and Hesiod have ascribed to the gods all things that are a shame
and a disgrace among men, theft and adulteries and deception of one
another."

"There never was nor will be a man who has clear certainty as to what I
say about the gods and about all things; for even if he does chance to
say what is right, yet he himself does not know that it is so. But all
are free to guess."

"Mortals think that the gods were born as they are, and have senses and
a voice and body like their own. So the Ethiopians make their gods black
and snub-nosed; the Thracians give theirs red hair and blue eyes."

"There is one god, the greatest among gods and men, unlike mortals both
in mind and body."

Had such heresies been spoken in Athens, where the effects of a
religious revival were still in force, the "secular arm" of the archons
would probably have made short work of Xenophanes. But in Elea, or in
whatever other colony he may have lived, "the gods were left to take
care of themselves."

Greater than the philosophers yet named is Heraclitus of Ephesus,
nicknamed "the dark," from the obscurity of his style. His original
writings have shared the fate of most documents of antiquity, and exist,
like many of these, only in fragments preserved in the works of other
authors. Many of his aphorisms are indeed dark sayings, but those that
yield their meaning are full of truth and suggestiveness. As for
example:

"The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears."

"You will not find out the boundaries of soul by travelling in any
direction."

"Man is kindled and put out like a light in the nighttime."

"Man's character is his fate."

But these have special value as keys to his philosophy:

"You cannot step twice into the same rivers; for fresh waters are ever
flowing in upon you."

"Homer was wrong in saying: 'Would that strife might perish from among
gods and men!' He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of
the universe; for, if his prayer were heard, all things would pass
away."

Flux or movement, says Heraclitus, is the all-pervading law of things,
and in the opposition of forces, by which things are kept going, there
is underlying harmony. Still on the quest after the primary substance
whose manifestations are so various, he found it in FIRE, since "the
quantity of it in a flame burning steadily appears to remain the same;
the flames seems to be what we call a 'thing.' And yet the substance of
it is continually changing. It is always passing away in smoke, and its
place is always being taken by fresh matter from the fuel that feeds it.
This is just what we want. If we regard the world as an 'ever-living
fire'--'this order, which is the same in all things, and which no one of
gods or men has made'--we can understand how fire is always becoming all
things, while all things are always returning to it." And as is the
world, so is man, made up, like it, both soul and body, of the fire, the
water, and the earth. We are and are not the same for two consecutive
moments; "the fire in us is perpetually becoming water, and the water
earth, but as the opposite process goes on simultaneously we appear to
remain the same."

As speculation advanced, it became more and more applied to details,
theories of the beginnings of life being followed by theories of the
origin of its various forms. This is a feature of the philosophy of
Empedocles, who flourished in the fifth century B. C. The advance of
Persia westward had led to migrations of Greeks to the south of Italy
and Sicily, and it was at Agrigentum, in that island, that Empedocles
was born about 490. He has an honoured place among the earliest who
supplanted _guesses_ about the world by _inquiry_ into the world itself.
Many legends are told of his magic arts, one of which, it will be
remembered, Matthew Arnold makes an occasion of some fine reflections in
his poem Empedocles in Etna. The philosopher was said to have brought
back to life a woman who apparently had been dead for thirty days. As he
ascends the mountain, Pausanias of Gela, with an address to whom the
poem of Empedocles opens, would fain have his curiosity slaked as to
this and other marvels reported of him:

    Ask not the latest news of the last miracle,
    Ask not what days and nights
    In trance Pantheia lay,
    But ask how thou such sights
    May'st see without dismay;
    Ask what most helps when known, thou son of Anchitus.

His speculations about things, like those of Parmenides before him and
of Lucretius after him, are set down in verse. From the remains of his
Poem on Nature we learn that he conceived "the four roots of all things"
to be FIRE, AIR, EARTH, and WATER. They are "fools, lacking far-reaching
thoughts, who deem that what before was not comes into being, or that
aught can perish and be utterly destroyed." Therefore the "roots" or
elements are eternal and indestructible. They are acted upon by two
forces, which are also material, LOVE and STRIFE; the one a uniting
agent, the other a disrupting agent. From the four roots, thus operated
upon, arise "the colours and forms" of living things; trees first, both
male and female, then fragmentary parts of animals, heads without necks,
and "eyes that strayed up and down in want of a forehead," which,
combined together, produced monstrous forms. These, lacking power to
propagate, perished, and were replaced by "whole-natured" but sexless
"forms" which "arose from the earth," and which, as Strife gained the
upper hand, became male and female. Herein, amidst much fantastic
speculation, would appear to be the germ of the modern theory that the
unadapted become extinct, and that only the adapted survive. Nature
kills off her failures to make room for her successes.

Anaxagoras, who was a contemporary of Empedocles, interests us because
he was the first philosopher to repair to Athens, and the first sufferer
for truth's sake of whom we have record in Greek annals. Because he
taught that the sun was a red-hot stone, and that the moon had plains
and ravines in it, he was put upon his trial, and but for the influence
of his friend, the famous Pericles, might have suffered death.
Speculations, however bold they be, pass unheeded till they collide
with the popular creed, and in thus attacking the gods, attack a
seemingly divinely settled order. Athens then, and long after, while
indifferent about natural science, was, under the influence of the
revival referred to above, actively hostile to free thinking. The
opinions of Anaxagoras struck at the existence of the gods and emptied
Olympus. If the sky was but an air-filled space, what became of Zeus? if
the sun was only a fiery ball, what became of Apollo? Mr. Grote says
(History of Greece, vol. i, p. 466) that "in the view of the early
Greek, the description of the sun, as given in a modern astronomical
treatise, would have appeared not merely absurd, but repulsive and
impious; even in later times, Anaxagoras and other astronomers incurred
the charge of blasphemy for dispersonifying Hēlios." Of Socrates, who
was himself condemned to death for impiety in denying old gods and
introducing new ones, the same authority writes: "Physics and astronomy,
in his opinion, belonged to the divine class of phenomena, in which
human research was insane, fruitless, and impious." So Demos and his
"betters" clung, as the majority still cling, to the myths of their
forefathers. They repaired to the oracles, and watched for the will of
the gods in signs and omens.

In his philosophy Anaxagoras held that there was a portion of everything
in everything, and that things are variously mixed in infinite numbers
of seeds, each after its kind. From these, through the action of an
external cause, called NOUS, which also is material, although the
"thinnest of all things and the purest," and "has power over all
things," there arose plants and animals. It is probable, as Professor
Burnet remarks, "that Anaxagoras substituted NOUS, still conceived as a
body, for the LOVE and STRIFE of Empedocles simply because he wished to
retain the old Ionic doctrine of a substance that 'knows' all things,
and to identify this with the new theory of a substance that 'moves' all
things."

Thus far speculation has run largely on the origin of life forms, but
now we find revival of speculation about the nature of things generally,
and the formulation of a theory which links Greek cosmology with early
nineteenth-century science with Dalton's ATOMIC THEORY. Democritus
of Abdera, who was born about 460 B. C., has the credit of having
elaborated an atomic theory, but probably he only further developed what
Leucippus had taught before him. Of this last-named philosopher nothing
whatever is known; indeed, his existence has been doubted, but it counts
for something that Aristotle gives him the credit of the discovery, and
that Theophrastus, in the first book of his Opinions, wrote of Leucippus
as follows: "He assumed innumerable and ever-moving elements, namely,
the atoms. And he made their forms infinite in number, since there
was no reason why they should be of one kind rather than another, and
because he saw that there was unceasing becoming and change in things.
He held, further, that _what is_ is no more real than _what is not_,
and that both are alike causes of the things that come into being; for
he laid down that the substance of the atoms was compact and full, and
he called them _what is_, while they moved in the void which he called
_what is not_, but affirmed to be just as real as _what is_." Thus did
"he answer the question that Thales had been the first to ask."

Postponing further reference to this theory until the great name of
Lucretius, its Roman exponent, is reached, we find a genuine scientific
method making its first start in the person of Aristotle. This
remarkable man, the founder of the experimental school, and the Father
of Natural History, was born 384 B. C. at Stagira in Macedonia. In his
eighteenth year he left his native place for Athens, where he became a
pupil of Plato. Disappointed, as it is thought, at not succeeding his
master in the Academy, he removed to Mytilene in the island of Lesbos,
where he received an invitation from Philip of Macedon to become tutor
to his son, the famous Alexander the Great. When Alexander went on his
expedition to Asia, Aristotle returned to Athens, teaching in the
"school" which his genius raised to the first rank. There he wrote the
greater part of his works, the completion of some of which was stopped
by his death at Chalcis in 322. The range of his studies was boundless,
but in this brief notice we must limit our survey--and the more so
because Aristotle's speculations outside natural history abound in
errors--to his pioneer work in organic evolution. Here, in the one
possible method of reaching the truth, theory follows observation.
Stagira lay on the Strymonic gulf, and a boyhood spent by the seashore
gave Aristotle ample opportunity for noting the variations, and withal
gradations, between marine plants and animals, among which last-named it
should be noted as proof of his insight that he was keen enough to
include sponges. Here was laid the foundation of a classification of
life-forms on which all corresponding attempts were based. Then, he
saw, as none other before him had seen, and as none after him saw for
centuries, the force of heredity, that still unsolved problem of
biology. Speaking broadly of his teaching, the details of which would
fill pages, its main features are (1) His insistence on observation. In
his History of Animals he says "we must not accept a general principle
from logic only, but must prove its application to each fact. For it is
in facts that we must seek general principles, and these must always
accord with facts. Experience furnishes the particular facts from which
induction is the pathway to general laws." (2) His rejection of chance
and assertion of law, not, following a common error, of law personified
as cause, but as the term by which we express the fact that certain
phenomena always occur in a certain order. In his Physics Aristotle says
that "Jupiter rains not that corn may be increased, but from necessity.
Similarly, if some one's corn is destroyed by rain, it does not rain
for this purpose, but as an accidental circumstance. It does not appear
to be from fortune or chance that it frequently rains in winter, but
from necessity." (3) On the question of the origin of life-forms he was
nearest of all to its modern solution, setting forth the necessity "that
germs should have been first produced, and not immediately animals; and
that soft mass which first subsisted was the germ. In plants, also,
there is purpose, but it is less distinct; and this shows that plants
were produced in the same manner as animals, not by chance, as by the
union of olives with grape vines. Similarly, it may be argued, that
there should be an accidental generation of the germs of things, but he
who asserts this subverts Nature herself, for Nature produces those
things which, being continually moved by a certain principle contained
in themselves, arrive at a certain end." In the eagerness of theologians
to discover proof of a belief in one God among the old philosophers, the
references made by Aristotle to a "perfecting principle," an "efficient
cause," a "prime mover," and so forth, have been too readily construed
as denoting a monotheistic creed which, reminding us of the "one god"
of Xenophanes, is also akin to the Personal God of Christianity. "The
Stagirite," as Mr. Benn remarks (Greek Philosophers, vol. i, p. 312),
"agrees with Catholic theism, and he agrees with the First Article of
the English Church, though not with the Pentateuch, in saying that God
is without parts or passions, but there his agreement ceases. Excluding
such a thing as divine interference with all Nature, his theology, of
course, excludes the possibility of revelation, inspiration, miracles,
and grace." He is a being who does not interest himself in human
affairs.

But, differ as the commentators may as to Aristotle's meaning, his
assumed place in the orthodox line led, as will be seen hereafter, to
the acceptance of his philosophy by Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, in the
fourth century, and by other Fathers of the Church, so that the mediæval
theories of the Bible, blended with Aristotle, represent the sum of
knowledge held as sufficient until the discoveries of Copernicus in the
sixteenth century upset the Ptolemaic theory with its fixed earth and
system of cycles and epicycles in which the heavenly bodies moved. He
thereby upset very much besides. Like Anaximander and others, Aristotle
believed in spontaneous generation, although only in the case of certain
animals, as of eels from the mud of ponds, and of insects from putrid
matter. However, in this, both Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, and many
men of science down to the latter part of the seventeenth century,
followed him. For example, Van Helmont, an experimental chemist of that
period, gave a recipe for making fleas; and another scholar showed
himself on a level with the unlettered rustics of to-day, who believe
that eels are produced from horse hairs thrown into a pond.

Of deeper interest, as marking Aristotle's prevision, is his
anticipation of what is known as Epigenesis, or the theory of the
development of the germ into the adult form among the higher individuals
through the union of the fertilizing powers of the male and female
organs. This theory, which was proved by the researches of Harvey, the
discoverer of the circulation of the blood, and is accepted by all
biologists to-day, was opposed by Malpighi, an Italian physician, born
in 1628, the year in which Harvey published his great discovery, and by
other prominent men of science down to the last century. Malpighi and
his school contended that the perfect animal is already "preformed" in
the germ; for example, the hen's egg, before fecundation, containing an
excessively minute, but complete, chick. It therefore followed that in
any germ the germs of all subsequent offspring must be contained, and
in the application of this "box-within-box" theory its defenders even
computed the number of human germs concentrated in the ovary of mother
Eve, estimating these at two hundred thousand millions!

When the "preformation" theory was revived by Bonnet and others
in the eighteenth century, Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles
Darwin, passed the following shrewd criticism on it: "Many ingenious
philosophers have found so great difficulty in conceiving the manner of
reproduction in animals that they have supposed all the numerous progeny
to have existed in miniature in the animal originally created. This
idea, besides its being unsupported by any analogy we are acquainted
with, ascribes a greater continuity to organized matter than we can
readily admit. These embryons ... must possess a greater degree of
minuteness than that which was ascribed to the devils who tempted St.
Anthony, of whom twenty thousand were said to have been able to dance
a saraband on the point of a needle without the least incommoding each
other."

Although no theistic element could be extracted by the theologians
of the early Christian Church from the systems of Empedocles and
Democritus, thereby securing them a share in the influence exercised by
the great Stagirite, they were formative powers in Greek philosophy,
and, moreover, have "come by their own" in these latter days. Their
chief representative in what is known as the Post-Aristotelian period is
Epicurus, who was born at Samos, 342 B. C. As with Zeno, the founder of
the Stoic school, his teaching has been perverted, so that his name has
become loosely identified with indulgence in gross and sensual living.
He saw in pleasure the highest happiness, and therefore advocated the
pursuit of pleasure to attain happiness, but he did not thereby mean the
pursuit of the unworthy. Rather did he counsel the following after pure,
high, and noble aims, whereby alone a man could have peace of mind. It
is not hard to see that in the minds of men of low ideals the tendency
towards passivity which lurked in such teaching would aid their sliding
into the pursuit of mere animal enjoyment; hence the gross and limited
association of the term Epicurean. Epicurus accepted the theory of
Leucippus, and applied it all round. The _fainéant_ gods, who dwell
serenely indifferent to human affairs, and about whom men should
therefore have no dread; all things, whether dead or living, even
the ideas that enter the mind; are alike composed of atoms. He also
accepted the theory broached by Empedocles as to the survival of fit and
capable forms after life had arrived at these through the processes of
spontaneous generation and the production of monstrosities. Adopting the
physical speculations of these forerunners, he made them the vehicle of
didactic and ethical philosophies which inspired the production of the
wonderful poem of Lucretius.

Between this great Roman and Epicurus--a period of some two
centuries--there is no name of sufficient prominence to warrant
attention. The decline of Greece had culminated in her conquest by the
semi-barbarian Mummius, and in her consequent addition to the provinces
of the Roman Empire. What life lingered in her philosophy within her own
borders expired with the loss of freedom, and the work done by the
Pioneers of Evolution in Greece was to be resumed elsewhere. In the
few years of the pre-Christian period that remained the teaching of
Empedocles, and of Epicurus as the mouthpiece of the atomic theory, was
revived by Lucretius in his De Rerum Natura. Of that remarkable man but
little is recorded, and the record is untrustworthy. He was probably
born 99 B. C., and died--by his own hand, Jerome says, but of this there
is no proof--in his forty-fourth year. It is difficult, taking up his
wonderful poem, to resist the temptation to make copious extracts
from it, since, even through the vehicle of Mr. Munro's exquisite
translation, it is probably little known to the general reader in these
evil days of snippety literature. But the temptation must be resisted,
save in moderate degree.

With the dignity which his high mission inspires, Lucretius appeals to
us in the threefold character of teacher, reformer, and poet. "First, by
reason of the greatness of my argument, and because I set the mind free
from the close-drawn bonds of superstition; and next because, on so dark
a theme, I compose such lucid verse, touching every point with the grace
of poesy." As a teacher he expounds the doctrines of Epicurus concerning
life and nature; as a reformer he attacks superstition; as a poet he
informs both the atomic philosophy and its moral application with
harmonious and beautiful verse swayed by a fervour that is akin to
religious emotion.

Discussing at the outset various theories of origins, and dismissing
these, notably that which asserts that things came from nothing--"for if
so, any kind might be born of anything, nothing would require seed,"
Lucretius proceeds to expound the teaching of Leucippus and other
atomists as to the constitution of things by particles of matter ruled
in their movements by unvarying laws. This theory he works all round,
explaining the processes by which the atoms unite to carry on the birth,
growth, and decay of things, the variety of which is due to variety of
form of the atoms and to differences in modes of their combination; the
combinations being determined by the affinities or properties of the
atoms themselves, "since it is absolutely decreed what each thing can
and what it cannot do by the conditions of Nature." Change is the law of
the universe; what is, will perish, but only to reappear in another
form. Death is "the only immortal"; and it is that and what may follow
it which are the chief tormentors of men. "This terror of the soul,
therefore, and this darkness, must be dispelled, not by the rays of
the sun or the bright shafts of day, but by the outward aspect and
harmonious plan of Nature." Lucretius explains that the soul, which he
places in the centre of the breast, is also formed of very minute atoms
of heat, wind, calm air, and a finer essence, the proportions of which
determine the character of both men and animals. It dies with the body,
in support of which statement Lucretius advances seventeen arguments, so
determined is he to "deliver those who through fear of death are all
their lifetime subject to bondage."

These themes fill the first three books. In the fourth he grapples with
the mental problems of sensation and conception, and explains the origin
of belief in immortality as due to ghosts and apparitions which appear
in dreams. "When sleep has prostrated the body, for no other reason
does the mind's intelligence wake, except because the very same images
provoke our minds which provoke them when we are awake, and to such a
degree that we seem without a doubt to perceive him whom life has left,
and death and earth gotten hold of. This Nature constrains to come to
pass because all the senses of the body are then hampered and at rest
throughout the limbs, and cannot refute the unreal by real things."

In the fifth book Lucretius deals with origins--of the sun, the moon,
the earth (which he held to be flat, denying the existence of the
antipodes); of life and its development; and of civilization. In
all this he excludes design, explaining everything as produced and
maintained by natural agents, "the masses, suddenly brought together,
became the rudiments of earth, sea, and heaven, and the race of living
things." He believed in the successive appearance of plants and animals,
but in their arising separately and directly out of the earth, "under
the influence of rain and the heat of the sun," thus repeating the old
speculations of the emergence of life from slime, "wherefore the earth
with good title has gotten and keeps the name of mother." He did not
adopt Empedocles's theory of the "four roots of all things," and
he will have none of the monsters--the hippogriffs, chimeras, and
centaurs--which form a part of the scheme of that philosopher. These,
he says, "have never existed," thus showing himself far in advance of
ages when unicorns, dragons, and such-like fabled beasts were seriously
believed to exist. In one respect, more discerning than Aristotle, he
accepts the doctrine of the survival of the fittest as taught by the
sage of Agrigentum. For he argues that since upon "the increase of some
Nature set a ban, so that they could not reach the coveted flower of
age, nor find food, nor be united in marriage," ... "many races of
living things have died out, and been unable to beget and continue
their breed." Lucretius speaks of Empedocles in terms scarcely less
exaggerated than those which he applied to Epicurus. The latter is
"a god" "who first found out that plan of life which is now termed
wisdom, and who by tried skill rescued life from such great billows
and such thick darkness and moored it in so perfect a calm and in so
brilliant a light, ... he cleared men's breasts with truth-telling
precepts, and fixed a limit to lust and fear, and explained what was the
chief good which we all strive to reach." As to Empedocles, "that great
country (Sicily) seems to have held within it nothing more glorious than
this man, nothing more holy, marvellous, and dear. The verses, too, of
this godlike genius cry with a loud voice, and make known his great
discoveries, so that he seems scarcely born of a mortal stock."

Continuing his speculations on the development of living things,
Lucretius strikes out in bolder and original vein. The past history of
man, he says, lies in no heroic or golden age, but in one of struggle
out of savagery. Only when "children, by their coaxing ways, easily
broke down the proud temper of their fathers," did there arise the
family ties out of which the wider social bond has grown, and softening
and civilizing agencies begin their fair offices. In his battle for food
and shelter, "man's first arms were hands, nails and teeth and stones
and boughs broken off from the forests, and flame and fire, as soon
as they had become known. Afterward the force of iron and copper was
discovered, and the use of copper was known before that of iron, as its
nature is easier to work, and it is found in greater quantity. With
copper they would labour the soil of the earth and stir up the billows
of war.... Then by slow steps the sword of iron gained ground and the
make of the copper sickle became a byword, and with iron they began to
plough through the earth's soil, and the struggles of wavering man were
rendered equal." As to language, "Nature impelled them to utter the
various sounds of the tongue, and use struck out the names of things."
Thus does Lucretius point the road along which physical and mental
evolution have since travelled, and make the whole story subordinate to
the high purpose of his poem in deliverance of the beings whose career
he thus traces from superstition. Man "seeing the system of heaven and
the different seasons of the years could not find out by what causes
this was done, and sought refuge in handing over all things to the gods
and supposing all things to be guided by their nod." Then, in the sixth
and last book, the completion of which would seem to have been arrested
by his death, Lucretius explains the "law of winds and storms," of
earthquakes and volcanic outbursts, which men "foolishly lay to the
charge of the gods," who thereby make known their anger.

          So, loath to suffer mute,
          We, peopling the void air,
          Make Gods to whom to impute
          The ills we ought to bear;
    With God and Fate to rail at, suffering easily.

And what a motley crowd of gods they were on whose caprice or
indifference he pours his vials of anger and contempt! The tolerant
pantheon of Rome gave welcome to any foreign deity with respectable
credentials; to Cybele, the Great Mother, imported in the shape of a
rough-hewn stone with pomp and rejoicings from Phrygia 204 B. C.; to
Isis, welcomed from Egypt; to Herakles, Demeter, Asklepios, and many
another god from Greece. But these were dismissed from a man's thought
when the prayer or sacrifice to them had been offered at the due season.
They had less influence on the Roman's life than the crowd of native
godlings who were thinly disguised fetiches, and who controlled every
action of the day. For the minor gods survive the changes in the
pantheon of every race. Of the Greek peasant of to-day Mr. Rennel Rodd
testifies, in his Custom and Lore of Modern Greece, that much as he
would shudder at the accusation of any taint of paganism, the ruling of
the Fates is more immediately real to him than divine omnipotence. Mr.
Tozer confirms this in his Highlands of Turkey. He says: "It is rather
the minor deities and those associated with man's ordinary life that
have escaped the brunt of the storm, and returned to live in a dim
twilight of popular belief." In India, Sir Alfred Lyall tells us that,
"even the supreme triad of Hindu allegory, which represents the almighty
powers of creation, preservation, and destruction, have long ceased to
preside actively over any such corresponding distribution of functions."
Like limited monarchs, they reign, but do not govern. They are
superseded by the ever-increasing crowd of godlings whose influence
is personal and special, as shown by Mr. Crooke in his instructive
Introduction to the Popular Religion and Folk-lore of Northern India.

The old Roman catalogue of spiritual beings, abstractions as they
were, who guarded life in minute detail, is a long one. From the
_indigitamenta_, as such lists are called, we learn that no less than
forty-three were concerned with the actions of a child. When the farmer
asked Mother Earth for a good harvest, the prayer would not avail unless
he also invoked "the spirit of breaking up the land and the spirit of
ploughing it crosswise; the spirit of furrowing and the spirit of
ploughing in the seed; and the spirit of harrowing; the spirit of
weeding and the spirit of reaping; the spirit of carrying corn to the
barn; and the spirit of bringing it out again." The country, moreover,
swarmed with Chaldæan astrologers and casters of nativities; with
Etruscan haruspices full of "childish lightning-lore," who foretold
events from the entrails of sacrificed animals; while in competition
with these there was the State-supported college of augurs to divine the
will of the gods by the cries and direction of the flight of birds. Well
might the satirist of such a time say that the "place was so densely
populated with gods as to leave hardly room for the men."

It will be seen that the justification for including Lucretius among the
Pioneers of Evolution lies in his two signal and momentous contributions
to the science of man; namely, the primitive savagery of the human race,
and the origin of the belief in a soul and a future life. Concerning the
first, anthropological research, in its vast accumulation of materials
during the last sixty years, has done little more than fill in the
outline which the insight of Lucretius enabled him to sketch. As to the
second, he anticipates, well-nigh in detail, the ghost-theory of the
origin of belief in spirits generally which Herbert Spencer and Dr.
Tylor, following the lines laid down by Hume and Turgot (see p. 255),
have formulated and sustained by an enormous mass of evidence. The
credit thus due to Lucretius for the original ideas in his majestic
poem--Greek in conception and Roman in execution--has been obscured in
the general eclipse which that poem suffered for centuries through its
anti-theological spirit. Grinding at the same philosophical mill,
Aristotle, because of the theism assumed to be involved in his
"perfecting principle," was cited as "a pillar of the faith" by the
Fathers and Schoolmen; while Lucretius, because of his denial of design,
was "anathema maranatha." Only in these days, when the far-reaching
effects of the theory of evolution, supported by observation in every
branch of inquiry, are apparent, are the merits of Lucretius as an
original seer, more than as an expounder of the teachings of Empedocles
and Epicurus, made clear.

                 *       *       *       *       *

Standing well-nigh on the threshold of the Christian era, we may pause
to ask what is the sum of the speculation into the causes and nature of
things which, begun in Ionia (with impulse more or less slight from the
East, in the sixth century before Christ), by Thales, ceased, for many
centuries, in the poem of Lucretius, thus covering an active period of
about five hundred years. The caution not to see in these speculations
more than an approximate approach to modern theories must be kept in
mind.

1. There is a primary substance which abides amidst the general flux of
things.

_All modern research tends to show that the various combinations of
matter are formed of some _prima materia_. But its ultimate nature
remains unknown._

2. Out of nothing comes nothing.

_Modern science knows nothing of a beginning, and, moreover, holds
it to be unthinkable. In this it stands in direct opposition to the
theological dogma that God created the universe out of nothing; a dogma
still accepted by the majority of Protestants and binding on Roman
Catholics. For the doctrine of the Church of Rome thereon, as expressed
in the Canons of the Vatican Council, is as follows: "If any one
confesses not that the world and all things which are contained in it,
both spiritual and mental, have been, in their whole substance, produced
by God out of nothing; or shall say that God created, not by His free
will from all necessity, but by a necessity equal to the necessity
whereby He loves Himself, or shall deny that the world was made for the
glory of God: let him be anathema."_

3. The primary substance is indestructible.

_The modern doctrine of the Conservation of Energy teaches that both
matter and motion can neither be created nor destroyed._

4. The universe is made up of indivisible particles called atoms, whose
manifold combinations, ruled by unalterable affinities, result in the
variety of things.

_With modifications based on chemical as well as mechanical changes
among the atoms, this theory of Leucippus and Democritus is confirmed.
(But recent experiments and discoveries show that reconstruction of
chemical theories as to the properties of the atom may happen.)_

5. Change is the law of things, and is brought about by the play of
opposing forces.

_Modern science explains the changes in phenomena as due to the
antagonism of repelling and attracting modes of motion; when the latter
overcome the former, equilibrium will be reached, and the present state
of things will come to an end._

6. Water is a necessary condition of life.

_Therefore life had its beginnings in water; a theory wholly indorsed by
modern biology._

7. Life arose out of non-living matter.

_Although modern biology leaves the origin of life as an insoluble
problem, it supports the theory of fundamental continuity between the
inorganic and the organic._

8. Plants came before animals: the higher organisms are of separate sex,
and appeared subsequent to the lower.

_Generally confirmed by modern biology, but with qualification as to the
undefined borderland between the lowest plants and the lowest animals.
And, of course, it recognises a continuity in the order and succession
of life which was not grasped by the Greeks. Aristotle and others before
him believed that some of the higher forms sprang from slimy matter
direct._

9. Adverse conditions cause the extinction of some organisms, thus
leaving room for those better fitted.

_Herein lay the crude germ of the modern doctrine of the "survival of
the fittest."_

10. Man was the last to appear, and his primitive state was one of
savagery. His first tools and weapons were of stone; then, after the
discovery of metals, of copper; and, following that, of iron. His body
and soul are alike compounded of atoms, and the soul is extinguished at
death.

_The science of Prehistoric Archæology confirms the theory of man's slow
passage from barbarism to civilization; and the science of Comparative
Psychology declares that the evidence of his immortality is neither
stronger nor weaker than the evidence of the immortality of the lower
animals._

                 *       *       *       *       *

Such, in very broad outline, is the legacy of suggestive theories
bequeathed by the Ionian school and its successors, theories which fell
into the rear when Athens became a centre of intellectual life in which
discussion passed from the physical to those ethical problems which lie
outside the range of this survey. Although Aristotle, by his prolonged
and careful observations, forms a conspicuous exception, the fact abides
that insight, rather than experiment, ruled Greek speculation, the
fantastic guesses of parts of which themselves evidence the survival of
the crude and false ideas about earth and sky long prevailing. The more
wonderful is it, therefore, that so much therein points the way along
which inquiry travelled after its subsequent long arrest; and the more
apparent is it that nothing in science or art, and but little in
theological speculations, at least among us Westerns, can be understood
without reference to Greece.


TABLE.

  ------------+-------------+-----------+-------------------------------
              |             |Approximate|
      NAME.   |    Place.   |   date    |           Speciality.
              |             |   B. C.   |
  ------------+-------------+-----------+-------------------------------
  Thales.     |Miletus      |    600    |Cosmological }
              | (Ionia).    |           | Theory as to}
              |             |           | the Primary } Water.
              |             |           | Substance   }
  Anaximander.|    "        |    570    |    "          the Boundless.
  Anaximenes. |    "        |    500    |    "          Air.
  Pythagoras. |Samos (near  |    500    |    "          Numbers:
              | the Ionian  |           |              "a Cosmos built
              | coast).     |           |               up of
              |             |           |               geometrical
              |             |           |               figures,"
              |             |           |               or (Grote,
              |             |           |               Plato, i, 12)
              |             |           |               "generated
              |             |           |               out of number."
  Xenophanes. |Colophon     |    500    |              Founder of the
              | (Ionia).    |           |               Eleatic school.
  Heraclitus. |Ephesus      |    500    |    "         Fire.
              | (Ionia).    |           |
  Empedocles. |Agrigentum   |    450    |    "         Fire, Air, Earth,
              | (Sicily).   |           |               and Water:
              |             |           |               ruled by Love
              |             |           |               and Strife.
  Anaxagoras. |Clazomenae   |    450    |              Nous.
              | (Ionia).    |           |
  Leucippus   |             |           |
  Democritus. |Abdera       |    460    |Formulators of the Atomic
              | (Thrace).   |           | Theory.
  Aristotle.  |Stagira      |    350    |Naturalist.
              | (Macedonia).|           |
  Epicurus.   |Samos.       |    300    |Expounder of the Atomic
              |             |           | Theory and Ethical
              |             |           | Philosopher.
  Lucretius.  |Rome.        |     50    |Interpreter of Epicurus and
              |             |           | Empedocles: the first
              |             |           | Anthropologist.
  ------------+-------------+-----------+-------------------------------



_Part II._

THE ARREST OF INQUIRY.

A. D. 50-A. D. 400.


1. _From the Early Christian Period to the Time of Augustine._

  "A revealed dogma is always opposed to the free research that may
    contradict it. The result of science is not to banish the divine
    altogether, but ever to place it at a greater distance from the
    world of particular facts in which men once believed they saw
    it."--RENAN, Essay on Islamism and Science.

A detailed account of the rise and progress of the Christian religion is
not within the scope of this book. But as that religion, more especially
in the elaborated theological form which it ultimately assumed, became
the chief barrier to the development of Greek ideas; except, as has been
remarked, in the degree that these were represented by Aristotle, and
brought into harmony with it; a short survey of its origin and early
stages is necessary to the continuity of our story.

The history of that great movement is told according to the bias of the
writers. They explain its rapid diffusion and its ultimate triumph over
Paganism as due either to its Divine origin and guidance; or to the
favourable conditions of the time of its early propagation, and to that
wise adaptation to circumstances which linked its fortunes with those
of the progressive peoples of Western Europe. In the judgment of every
unofficial narrator, this latter explanation best accords with the facts
of history, and with the natural causes which largely determine success
or failure. The most partisan advocates of its supernatural, and
therefore special, character have to show reason why the fortunes of the
Christian religion have varied like those of other great religions, both
older and younger than it; why, like Buddhism, it has been ousted from
the country in which it rose; and why, in competition with Brahmanism,
as Sir Alfred Lyall testifies in his Asiatic Studies (p. 110), and with
Mohammedanism in Africa, it has less success than these in the mission
fields where it comes into rivalry with them. Riven into wrangling
sects from an early period of its history, it has, while exercising a
beneficent influence in turbulent and lawless ages, brought not "peace
on earth, but a sword." It has been the cause of undying hate, of bloody
wars, and of persecutions between parties and nations, whose animosity
seems the deeper when stirred by matters which are incapable of proof.
As Montaigne says, "Nothing is so firmly believed as that which
is least known." To bring the Christian religion, or, rather, its
manifold forms, from the purest spiritualistic to such degraded type
as exists, for example, in Abyssinia, within the operation of the law
which governs development, and which, therefore, includes partial and
local corruption; is to make its history as clear as it is profoundly
instructive; while, to demand for it an origin and character different
in kind from other religions, is to import confusion into the story of
mankind, and to raise a swarm of artificial difficulties. "If," as John
Morley observes in his criticism of Turgot's dissertation upon The
Advantages that the Establishment of Christianity has conferred upon the
Human Race (Miscell., vol. ii, p. 90), "there had been in the Christian
idea the mysterious self-sowing quality so constantly claimed for it,
how came it that in the Eastern part of the Empire it was as powerless
for spiritual or moral regeneration as it was for political health and
vitality; while in the Western part it became the organ of the most
important of all the past transformations of the civilized world? Is not
the difference to be explained by the difference in the surrounding
medium, and what is the effect of such an explanation upon the
supernatural claims of the Christian idea?" Its inclusion as one of
other modes, varying only in degree, by which man has progressed from
the "ape and tiger" stage to the highest ideals of the race, makes clear
what concerns us here, namely, its attitude toward secular knowledge,
and the consequent serious arrest of that knowledge. That a religion
which its followers claim to be of supernatural origin, and secured from
error by the perpetual guidance of a Holy Spirit, should have opposed
inquiry into matters the faculty for investigating which lay within
human power and province; that it should actually have put to death
those who dared thus to inquire, and to make known what they had
discovered; is a problem which its advocates may settle among
themselves. It is no problem to those who take the opposite view.

In outlining the history of Christianity stress will be here laid only
upon those elements which caused it to be an arresting force in man's
intellectual development, and, therefore, in his spiritual emancipation
from terrors begotten of ignorance. It does not fall within our survey
to speak of that primary element in it which was before all dogma, and
which may survive when dogma has become only a matter of antiquarian
interest. That element, born of emotion, which, as a crowd of kindred
examples show, incarnates, and then deifies the object of its worship,
was the belief in the manifestation of the divine through the human
Jesus who had borne men's griefs, carried their sorrows, and offered
rest to the weary and heavy-laden. For no religion--and here Evolution
comes in as witness--can take root which does not adapt itself to, and
answer some need of, the heart of man. Hence the importance of study of
the history of all religions.

Evolution knows only one heresy--the denial of continuity. Recognising
the present as the outcome of the past, it searches after origins. It
knows that both that which revolts us in man's spiritual history has,
alike with that which attracts, its place, its necessary place, in the
development of ideas, and is, therefore, capable of explanation from
its roots upward. For this age is sympathetic, not flippant. It looks
with no favour on criticism that is only destructive, or on ridicule or
ribaldry as modes of attack on current beliefs. Hence we have the modern
science of comparative theology, with its Hibbert Lectures, and Gifford
Lectures, which are critical and constructive; as opposed to Bampton
Lectures, Boyle and Hulse Lectures, which are apologetic, the speaker
holding an official brief. Of the Boyle Lecturers, Collings the "Deist"
caustically said that nobody doubted the existence of the Deity till
they set to work to prove it. Religions are no longer treated as true or
false, as inventions of priests or of divine origin, but as the product
of man's intellectual speculations, however crude or coarse; and of his
spiritual needs, no matter in what repulsive form they are satisfied.
For "proofs" and "evidences" we have substituted explanations.

Nevertheless, so strong, often so bitter, are the feelings aroused over
the most temperate discussion of the origin of Christianity that it
remains necessary to repeat that to explain is not to attack, and that
to narrate is not to apportion blame, for no religion can do aught than
reflect the temper of the age in which it flourishes.

Let us now summarize certain occurrences which, although familiar
enough, must be repeated for the clear understanding of their effects.

Some sixty years after the death of Lucretius there happened, in the
subsequent belief of millions of mankind, an event for which all that
had gone before in the history of this planet is said to have been a
preparation. In the fulness of time the Omnipotent maker and ruler of a
universe to which no boundaries can be set by human thought, sent to
this earth-speck no less a person than His Eternal Son. He was said to
have been born, not by the natural processes of generation, but to have
been incarnated in the womb of a virgin, retaining his divine nature
while subjecting it to human limitations. This he had done that he
might, as sinless man, become an expiatory sacrifice to offended deity,
and to the requirements of divine justice, for the sins which the human
race had committed since the transgression of Adam and Eve, or which men
yet to be born might commit.

The "miraculous" birth of Jesus took place at Nazareth in Galilee, in
the reign of Cæsar Augustus, about 750 A. U. C., as the Romans reckoned
time. Tradition afterward fixed his birthday on the 25th December,
which, curiously enough, although, perhaps, explaining the choice, was
the day dedicated to the sun-god Mithra, an Oriental deity to whom
altars had been raised and sacrifices performed, with rites of baptisms
of blood, in hospitable Rome.

Jesus is said to have lived in the obscurity of his native mountain
village till his thirtieth year. Except one doubtful story of his going
to Jerusalem with his parents when he was twelve years old, nothing is
recorded in the various biographies of him between his birth and his
appearance as a public teacher. Probably he followed his father's trade
as a carpenter. The event that seems to have called him from home was
the preaching of an enthusiastic ascetic named John the Baptist. At his
hands Jesus submitted to the baptismal rite, and then entered on his
career, wandering from place to place. The fragments of his discourses,
which have survived in the short biographies known as the Gospels, show
him to have been gifted with a simple, winning style, and his sermons,
brightened by happy illustration or striking parable, went home to the
hearts of his hearers. Women, often of the outcast class, were drawn
to him by the sympathy which attracted even more than his teaching.
Among a people to whom the unvarying order of Nature was an idea
wholly foreign--for Greek speculations had not penetrated into
Palestine--stories of miracle-working found easy credit, falling in, as
they did, with popular belief in the constant intervention of deity.
Thus, to the reports of what Jesus taught were added those of the
wonders which he had wrought, from feeding thousands of folk with a few
loaves of bread to raising the dead to life. His itinerant mission
secured him a few devoted followers from various towns and villages,
while the effect of success upon himself was to heighten his own
conception of the importance of his work. The skill of the Romans in
fusing together subject races had failed them in the case of the Jews,
whose belief in their special place in the world as the "chosen people"
never forsook them. Nor had their misfortunes weakened their belief that
the Messiah predicted by their prophets would appear to deliver them,
and plant their feet on the neck of the hated conqueror. This hope,
as became a pious Jew, Jesus shared, but it set him brooding on
some nobler, because more spiritual, conception of it than his
fellow-countrymen nurtured. Finally, it led him to the belief, fostered
by the ambition of his nearer disciples, which was, however, material in
its hopes, that he was the spiritual Messiah. In that faith he repaired
to Jerusalem at the time of the Passover feast when the city was crowded
with devotees, that he might, before the chief priests and elders, make
his appeal to the nation. According to the story, his daring in clearing
the holy temple of money-changers and traders led to his appearance
before the Sanhedrin, the highest judicial council; his plainness of
speech raised the fury of the sects; and when, dreaming of a purer
faith, he spoke ominous words about the destruction of the temple, the
charge of blasphemy was laid against him. His guilt was made clear to
his judges when, answering a question of the high priest, he declared
himself to be the Messiah. This, involving claim to kingship over the
Jews, and therefore rebellion against the Empire, was made the plea of
haling him before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, for trial. Pilate,
looking upon the whole affair as a local _émeute_, was disinclined to
severity, but nothing short of the death of Jesus as a blasphemer
(although his chief offence appears to have been his disclaimer of
earthly sovereignty) would satisfy the angry mob. Amidst their taunts
and jeers he was taken to a place named Calvary, and there put to death
by the torturing process of crucifixion, or, the particular mode not
being clear, of transfixion on a stake.

This tragic event, on which, as is still widely held, hang the destinies
of mankind to the end of time, attracted no attention outside Judæa. In
the Roman eye, cold, contemptuous, and practical, it was but the
execution of a troublesome fanatic who had embroiled himself with his
fellow-countrymen, and added the crime of sedition to the folly of
blasphemy. Pilate himself passed on, without more ado, to the next duty.
Tradition, anxious to prove that retribution followed his criminal act,
as it was judged in after-time to be, tells how he flung himself in
remorse from the mountain known as Pilatus, which overlooks the lake of
Lucerne. With truer insight, a striking modern story, L'Etui de Nacre,
by Anatole France, makes Pilate, on his retirement to Sicily in old age,
thus refer to the incident in conversation with a Roman friend who had
loved a Jewish maiden.

  "A few months after I had lost sight of her I heard by accident that
  she had joined a small party of men and women who were following a
  young Galilean miracle-worker. His name was Jesus, he came from
  Nazareth, and he was crucified for I don't know what crime. Pontius,
  do you remember this man? Pontius Pilate knit his brow, and put his
  hand to his forehead like one who is searching his memory; then
  after a few moments of silence: 'Jesus,' murmured he, 'Jesus of
  Nazareth. No, I don't remember him.'"

On the third day after his death, Jesus is said to have risen from the
grave, and appeared to a faithful few of his disciples. On the fortieth
day after his resurrection he is said to have ascended to heaven. Both
these statements rest on the authority of the biographies which were
compiled some years after his death. Jesus wrote nothing himself;
therefore the "brethren," as his intimate followers called one another,
had no other sacred books than those of the Old Testament. They believed
that Jesus was the Messiah predicted in Daniel and some of the
apocryphal writings, and they cherished certain "logia" or sayings of
his which formed the basis of the first three Gospels. The earliest of
these, that bearing the name of Mark, probably took the shape in which
we have it (some spurious verses at the end excepted) about 70 A. D.
The fourth Gospel, which tradition attributes to John, is generally
believed to be half a century later than Mark. It seems likely that the
importance of collecting the words of Jesus into any permanent form did
not occur to those who had heard them, because the belief in his speedy
return was all-powerful among them, and their life and attitude toward
everything was shaped accordingly.

Without sacred books, priesthood, or organization, these earliest
disciples, whom the fate of their leader had driven into hiding for a
time, gathered themselves into groups for communion and worship. "In
the church of Jerusalem," says Selden in his Table Talk (xiv), "the
Christians were but another sect of Jews that did believe the Messias
was come." From that sacred city there went forth preachers of this
simple doctrine through the lands where Greek-speaking Jews, known as
those of the Dispersion, had been long settled. These formed a very
important element in the Roman Empire, being scattered from Asia Minor
to Egypt, and thence in all the lands washed by the Mediterranean. As
their racial isolation and national hopes made them the least contented
among the subject-peoples, a series of tolerant measures securing them
certain privileges, subject to loyal behaviour, had been prudently
granted by their Roman masters. The new teaching spread from Antioch to
Alexandria and Rome. But early in the onward career of the movement a
division broke out among the immediate disciples of Jesus which ended in
lasting rupture. A distinguished convert had been won to the faith in
the person of the Apostle Paul. He is the real founder of Christianity
as a more or less systematized creed, and all the development of dogma
which followed are integral parts of the structure raised by him. He
converted it from a local religion into a widespread faith. This came
about, at the start, through his defeat of the narrower section headed
by Peter, who would have compelled all non-Jewish converts to submit to
the rite of circumcision.

The unity of the Empire gave Christianity its chance. Through the
connection of Eurasia from the Euphrates to the Atlantic by magnificent
roads, communication between peoples followed the lines of least
resistance. Happily for the future of Christianity, the early
missionaries travelled westward, in the wake of the dispersed Jews,
along the Mediterranean seaboard, and thus its fortunes became
identified with the civilizing portion of mankind. Had they travelled
eastward, it might have been blended with Buddhism, or, as its Gnostic
phases show, become merged in Oriental mysticism. The story of progress
ran smoothly till A. D. 64, when we first hear of the "Christians"--for
by such name they had become known--in "profane" history, as it was once
oddly called. Tacitus, writing many years after the event, tells how on
the night of the 18th July, in the sixty-fourth year of our era, a
fierce fire broke out in Rome, causing the destruction of magnificent
buildings raised by Augustus, and of priceless works of Greek art.
Suspicion fell on Nero, and he, as has been suggested, was instigated by
his wife Poppaea Sabina, an unscrupulous woman, and, according to some
authorities, a convert to Judaism, "to put an end to the common talk, by
imputing the fire to others, visiting, with a refinement of punishment,
those detestable criminals who went by the name of Christians. The
author of that denomination was Christus, who had been executed in the
time of Tiberius, by the procurator, Pontius Pilate." Tacitus goes on
to describe Christianity as "a pestilent superstition," and its
adherents as guilty of "hatred to the human race." The indictment, on
the face of it, seems strange, but it has an explanation, although the
Christians were brutally murdered on the charge of arson, and not of
superstition. So far as religious persecution went, they suffered this
first at the hands of Jews, the Empire intervening to protect them.
Broadly speaking, the Roman note was toleration. Throughout the
Empire religion was a national affair, because it began and ended
with the preservation of the State. Thereupon it was the binding
duty--_religio_--of every citizen to pay due honour to the protecting
gods on whose favour the safety of the State depended. That done, a man
might believe what he chose. Polytheism is, from its nature, easy-going
and tolerant; so long as there was no open opposition to the authorized
public worship, the worshipper could explain it any way he chose. In
Greece a man "might believe or disbelieve that the Mysteries taught the
doctrine of immortality; the essential thing was that he should duly
sacrifice his pig." In Rome, that vast Cosmopolis, "the ordinary pagan
did not care two straws whether his neighbour worshipped twenty gods or
twenty-one." Why should he care?

Now, against all this, the Christians set their faces sternly, and the
result was to make them regarded as anti-patriotic and anti-social.
Their success among the lower classes had been rapid. Christianity
levelled all distinctions: it welcomed the master and his slave, the
outcast and the pure: it treated woman as the spiritual equal of man: it
held out to each the hope of a future life. Thus far, all was to the
good, although the old Mithraic religion had done well-nigh as much. But
Christianity held aloof from the common social life, putting itself out
of touch with the manifold activity of Rome. It sought to apply certain
maxims of Jesus literally; it discouraged marriage, it brought disunion
into family life; it counselled avoidance of service in the army or
acceptance of any public office. This general attitude was wholly due to
the belief that with the return of Jesus, the end of the world was
at hand. For Jesus had foretold his second coming, and the earliest
epistles of the apostles bade the faithful prepare for it. Here there
was no continuing city; citizenship was in heaven, for the kingdom of
Christ was not of this world. Therefore to give thought to the earthly
and fleeting was folly and impiety, for who would care to heap up
wealth, to strive for place or to pursue pleasure, or to search after
what men called "wisdom," when these imperilled the soul, and blocked
the way to heaven?

The prejudice created by this belief, expressed in such direct action as
refusal to worship the guardian gods and the "genius" of the Emperor,
was deepened by ugly, although baseless, rumours as to the cruel and
immoral things done by the Christians at their secret meetings. And so
it came to pass that Tacitus spoke of Christianity in the terms quoted;
that Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius (who refers to it only once in his
Meditations) dismissed it with a scornful phrase; that the common people
called it atheistic; and that, finally, it became a proscribed and
persecuted religion.

Further than this there is no need to pursue its career until, with
wholly changed fortunes, we meet it as a tolerated religion under a
so-called Christian Emperor. The object in tracing it thus far is to
indicate how enthusiasts, thus filled with an anti-worldly spirit, would
become and remain an arresting force against the advance of inquiry and,
therefore, of knowledge; and how, as their religion gathered power, and
itself became worldly in policy, it would the more strongly assert
supremacy over the reason. For intellectual activity would lead to
inquiry into the claims and authority of the Church, and inquiry,
therefore, was the thing to be proscribed. Then, too, the committal of
the floating biographies of Jesus to written form, and their grouping,
with the letters of the apostles, into one more or less complete
collection, to be afterward called the New Testament (a collection held
to embrace, as the theory of inspiration became formulated, all that it
is needful for man to know), would create a further barrier against
intellectual activity. Then, as Christianity came into nearer touch with
the enfeebled remnants of Greek philosophy, and with other foreign
influences shaping its dogmas, discussions about the person of Christ
became active. The simple fluent creed of the early Christians took
rigid form in the subtleties of the Nicene Creed, and as "Very God of
Very God" the final appeal was, logically, to the words of Jesus. Hence
another barrier against inquiry.

Conflict has never arisen on the ethical sayings of Jesus, which, making
allowance for the impracticableness of a few, place him high among the
sages of antiquity. Comparing their teaching with his, it is easy to
group together maxims which do not yield to the more famous examples in
the Sermon on the Mount as guides to conduct, or as inspiration to high
ideals. The "golden rule" is anticipated by Plato's "Thou shalt not take
that which is mine, and may I do to others as I would that they should
do to me" (Jowett's translation, v, p. 483). And it is paralleled by
Isocrates, a contemporary of Plato, in those words spoken by the King
Nicocles when addressing his governors, "You should be to others what
you think I should be to you." But if there was nothing new in what
Jesus taught, there was freshness in the method. Conflict is waged only
over statements the nature and limits of which might be expected from
the place and age when they were delivered. They who hold that Jesus was
God the Son Eternal, and therefore incapable of error, may reconcile, as
best they can with this, his belief in the mischievous delusions of his
time. If they say that so much of this as may be reported in the records
of his life are spurious, they throw the whole contents of the gospels
into the melting-pot of criticism.

Taking the narratives as we have them, documents stamped with the
hall-mark of the centuries, "declaring," as a body of clergymen
proclaimed recently, "incontrovertibly the actual historical truth in
all records, both of past events, and of the delivery of predictions to
be thereafter fulfilled," we learn that Jesus accepted the accuracy of
the sacred writings of his people; that he spoke of Moses as the author
of the Pentateuch; that he referred to its legends as dealing with
historical persons, and as reporting actual events. All these beliefs
are refuted by the critical scholarship of to-day. We need not go to
Germany for the verdict; it is indorsed by eminent Hebraists, officials
of the Church of England. Canon Driver, Professor of Hebrew at Oxford,
says that "like other people, the Jews formed theories to account for
the beginnings of the earth and man"; that "they either did this for
themselves, or borrowed from their neighbours," and that "of the
theories current in Assyria and Phoenicia fragments have been preserved
which exhibit parts of resemblance to the Bible narratives sufficient to
warrant the inference that both are derived from the same cycle of
traditions." If, therefore, the cosmogonic and other legends are
inspired, so must also the common original of these and their
corresponding stories be inspired. The matter might be pursued through
the patriarchal age to the eve of the Exodus, showing that, here also,
the mythical element is dominant; the existence of Abraham himself
dissolving in the solution of the "higher criticism." As to the
Pentateuch, the larger number of scholars place its composition, in the
form in which we have it--older documents being blended therein--about
the sixth and fifth centuries B. C.

Jesus spoke of the earth as if it were flat, and the most important
among the heavenly bodies. Knowledge of the active speculations that
went on centuries before his time on the Ionian seaboard; prevision of
what secrets men would wrest from the stars centuries hence--of neither
did he dream. That Homer and Virgil had sung; that Plato had discoursed;
that Buddha had founded a religion with which his, when Western activity
met Eastern passivity, would vainly compete; these, and aught else that
had moved the great world without, were unknown to the Syrian teacher.

Jesus believed in an arch-fiend, who was permitted by Omnipotence, the
Omnipotence against which he had rebelled, to set loose countless
numbers of evil spirits to work havoc on men and animals. Jesus also
believed in a hell of eternal torment for the wicked; and in a heaven of
unending happiness for the good. There is no surer index of the
intellectual stage of any people than the degree in which belief in the
supernatural, and, especially in the activity of supernatural agents,
rules their lives. The lower we descend, the more detailed and familiar
is the assumption of knowledge of the behaviour of these agents, and of
the nature of the places they come from or haunt. Of this, mediæval
speculations on demonology, and modern books of anthropology, supply any
number of examples. Here we are concerned only with the momentous fact
that belief in demoniacal activity pervades the New Testament from
beginning to end, and, therefore, gave the warrant for the unspeakable
cruelties with which that belief has stained the annals of Christendom.
John Wesley was consistent when he wrote that "Giving up the belief in
witchcraft was in effect giving up the Bible," and it may be added that
giving up belief in the devil is giving up belief in the atonement--the
central doctrine of the Christian faith. To this the early Christians
would have subscribed: so, also, would the great Augustine, who said
that "nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture,
since greater is that authority than all the powers of the human mind";
so would all who have followed him in ancient confessions of the faith.
It is only the amorphous form of that faith which, lingering on, anæmic
and boneless, denies by evasion.

But they who abandon belief in maleficent demons and in witches; as
also, for this follows, in beneficent agents, as angels; land themselves
in serious dilemma. For to this are such committed. If Jesus, who came
"that he might destroy the works of the devil," and who is reported,
among other proofs of his divine ministry, to have cast out demons from
"possessed" human beings, and, in one case, to have permitted a crowd of
the infernal agents to enter into a herd of swine; if he verily believed
that he actually did these things; and if it be true that the belief is
a superstition limited to the ignorant or barbaric mind; _what value can
be attached to any statement that Jesus is reported to have made about a
spiritual world_?

Here then (1) in the attitude of the early Christians toward all mundane
affairs as of no moment compared with those affecting their souls'
salvation; (2) in the assumed authority of Scripture as a full
revelation of both earthly and heavenly things; and (3) in the assumed
infallibility of the words of Jesus reported therein; we have three
factors which suffice to explain why the great movement toward discovery
of the orderly relations of phenomena was arrested for centuries, and
theories of capricious government of the universe sheltered and upheld.

While, as has been said, the unity of the Empire secured Christianity
its fortunate start; the multiform elements of which the Empire was made
up--philosophic and pagan--being gradually absorbed by Christianity,
secured it acceptance among the different subject-peoples. The break up
of the Empire secured its supremacy.

The absorption of foreign ideas and practices by Christianity, largely
through the influence of Hellenic Jews, was an added cause of arrest of
inquiry. The adoption of pagan rites and customs, resting, as these
did, on a bedrock of barbarism, dragged it to a lower level. The
intrusion of philosophic subtleties led to terms being mistaken for
explanations: as Gibbon says, "the pride of the professors and of their
disciples was satisfied with the science of words." The inchoate and
mobile character of Christianity during the first three centuries gave
both influences--pagan and philosophic--their opportunity. For long
years the converts scattered throughout the Empire were linked together,
in more or less regular federation, by the acknowledgment of Christ as
Lord, and by the expectation of his second coming. There was no official
priesthood, only overseers--"episkopoi"--for social purposes, who made
no claims to apostolic succession; no formulated set of doctrines; no
Apostles' Creed; no dogmas of baptismal regeneration or of the real
presence; no worship or apotheosis of Mary as the Mother of God; no
worship of saints or relics.

_On the philosophic side_, it was the Greek influence in the person of
the more educated converts that shaped the dogmas of the Church and
sought to blend them with the occult and mysterious elements in Oriental
systems, of which modern "Theosophy" is the tenuous parody. That old
Greek habit of asking questions, of seeking to reach the reason of
things, which, as has been seen, gave the great impulse to scientific
inquiry, was as active as ever. Appeals to the Old Testament touched not
the Greek as they did the Jewish Christian, and the Canon of the New
Testament was as yet unsettled. Strange as it may seem in view of the
assumed divine origin of the Gospels and Epistles, human judgment took
upon itself to decide which of them were, and which were not, an
integral part of supernatural revelation. The ultimate verdict, so far
as the Western Church was concerned, was delivered by the Council of
Carthage in the early part of the fifth century. There arose a school of
Apologists, founders of theology, who, to quote Gibbon, "equipped the
Christian religion for the conquest of the Roman world by changing it
into a philosophy, attested by Revelation. They mingled together the
metaphysics of Platonism, the doctrine of the Logos, which came from the
Stoics, morality partly Platonic, partly Stoic, methods of argument and
interpretation learnt from Philo, with the pregnant maxims of Jesus and
the religious language of the Christian congregations." Thus the road
was opened for additions to dogmatic theology, doctrines of the Trinity,
of the Virgin Birth, and whatever else could be inferentially extracted
from the Scriptures, and blended with foreign ideas. The growing
complexity of creed called for interpretation of it, and this obviously
fell to the overseers or bishops, chosen for their special gifts of "the
grace of the truth." These met, as occasion required, to discuss
subjects affecting the faith and discipline of the several groups. Among
such, precedence, as a matter of course, would be accorded to the
overseer of the most important Christian society in the Empire; and
hence the prominence and authority, from an early period, of the bishop
of Rome. In the simple and business-like act of his election as chairman
of the gatherings lay the germ of the audacious and preposterous claims
of the Papacy.

_On the pagan side_, the course of development is not so easily traced.
To determine when and where this or that custom or rite arose is now
impossible; indeed, we may say, without exaggeration, that it never
arose at all, because the conditions for its adoption were present
throughout in human tendencies. The first Christian disciples were Jews:
and the ritual which they followed was the direct outcome of ideas
common to all barbaric religions, so that certain of the pagan rites and
ceremonies with which they came in contact in all parts of the Empire
fitted in with custom, tradition, and desire. And this applies, with
stronger force, to the converts scattered from Edessa, east of the
Euphrates, to the Empire's westernmost limits in Britain. Moreover, we
know that a policy of adaptation and conciliation wisely governed the
ruling minds of the Church, in whom, stripped of all the verbiage about
them as semi-inspired successors of the apostles, there was deep-seated
superstition. Paganism might, in its turn, be suppressed by Imperial
edict, but it had too much in common with the later forms of
Christianity not to survive in fact, however changed in name.

It may be taken as a truism that in the ceremonies of the higher
religions there are no inventions, only survivals. This fact sent
thinkers like Hobbes, and dealers in literary antiquities of the type of
Burton, Bishop Newton, and, notablest of all, Conyers Middleton, on the
search after parallels, which have received astonishing confirmation in
our day. Burton sees the mimicry of the "arch-deceiver in the strange
sacraments, the priests, and the sacrifices," as the Romanist
missionaries to Tibet saw the same diabolical parody of their rites in
Buddhist temples. But Hobbes, with the sagacity which might be expected
of him, recognises the continuity of ideas: "_mutato nomine tantum_;
Venus and Cupid (Hobbes might have added Isis and Horus) appearing as
'the Virgin Mary and her Sonne,' and the Αποθέωσις of the Heathen
surviving in the Canonization of Saints. The carrying of the Popes 'by
Switzers under a Canopie' is a 'Relique of the Divine Honours given to
Cæsar'; the carriage of Images in _Procession_ 'a Relique of the Greeks
and Romans.' ... 'The Heathen had also their _Aqua Lustralis_, that is
to say, _Holy Water_. The Church of Rome imitates them also in their
_Holy Dayes_. They had their _Bacchanalia_, and we have our _Wakes_
answering to them; They their _Saturnalia_, and we our Carnevalls and
Shrove-tuesdays liberty of Servants; They their Procession of Priapus,
we our fetching-in, erection, and dancing about _May-Poles_; and Dancing
is one kind of worship; They had their Procession called _Ambarvalia_,
and we our Procession about the Fields in the _Rogation week_.'"

Middleton examined the matter on the spot, and in his celebrated Letter
from Rome gives numerous examples of "an exact CONFORMITY between POPERY
and PAGANISM." Since few read his book now-a-days, some of these may be
cited, because their presence goes far to explain why the conglomerate
religion which Christianity had become was proof against ideas spurned
alike by pagans and ecclesiastics. Visiting the place for classical
study, and "not to notice the fopperies and ridiculous ceremonies of the
present Religion," Middleton soon found himself "still in old Heathen
Rome," with its rituals of primitive Paganism, as if handed down by an
uninterrupted succession from the priests of old to the priests of new
Rome. The "smoak of the incense" in the churches transports him to the
temple of the Paphian Venus described by Virgil (Æneid, I, 420); the
surpliced boy waiting on the priest with the thurible reminds him of
sculptures on ancient bas-reliefs representing heathen sacrifice, with a
white-clad attendant on a priest holding a little chest or box in his
hand. The use of holy water suggests numerous parallels. At the entrance
to Pagan temples stood vases of holy liquid, a mixture of salt and
common water; and, on bas-reliefs, the aspergillum or brush for the
ceremony of sprinkling is carved. In the annual festival of the
benediction of horses, when the animals were sent to the convent of St.
Anthony to be sprinkled (Middleton had his own horses thus blest "for
about eighteenpence of our money") there is the survival of a ceremony
in the Circensian games. In the lamps and wax candles before the shrines
of the Madonna and Saints he is reminded of a passage in Herodotus as to
the use of lights in the Egyptian temples, while we know that lamps to
the Madonna took the place of those before the images of the Lares,
whose chapels stood at the corners of the streets. The Synod of Elviri
(305 A. D.) forbade the lighting of wax candles during the day in
cemeteries lest the spirits of the saints should be disquieted, but the
custom was too deeply rooted to be abolished. As for votive offerings,
Middleton truly says that "no one _custom of antiquity_ is so frequently
mentioned by all their writers" ... "but the most common of all
_offerings_ were _pictures_ representing the history of the miraculous
cure or deliverance vouchsafed upon the vow of the donor." Of which
offerings, the _blessed Virgin_ is so sure always to carry off the
greatest share, that it may be truly said of her what _Juvenal_ says of
the _Goddess Isis_, whose religion was at that time in the greatest
vogue in _Rome_, that the "_painters got their livelihood out of her_."
Middleton tells the story from Cicero which, not without covert
sympathy, Montaigne quotes in his Essay on Prognostications. Diagoras,
surnamed the Atheist, being found one day in a temple, was thus
addressed by a friend: "You, who think the gods take no care of human
affairs, do not you see here by this number of pictures how many people,
for the sake of their vows, have been saved in storms at sea, and got
safe into harbour?" "Yes," answered Diagoras, "I see how it is; for
those are never painted who happen to be drowned." There is nothing new
under the sun. Horace (Odes, Bk. I, v) tells of the shipwrecked sailor
who hung up his clothes as a thank-offering in the temple of the sea-god
who had preserved him; Polydorus Vergilius, who lived in the early part
of the sixteenth century, that is, some 1,500 years after Horace,
describes the classic custom of _ex voto_ offerings at length, while
Pennant the antiquary, describing the well of Saint Winifred in
Flintshire in the last century, tells of the votive offerings, in the
shape of crutches and other objects, which were hung about it. To this
day the store is receiving additions. The sick crowd thither as of old
they crowded into the temples of Æsculapius and Serapis; mothers bring
their sick children as in Imperial Rome they took them to the Temple of
Romulus and Remus. A draught of water from the basin near the bath, or a
plunge in the bath itself, is followed by prayers at the altar of the
chapel which incloses the well. When the saint's feast-day is held, the
afflicted gather to kiss the reliquary that holds her bones. Perhaps one
of the most pathetic sights in Catholic churches, especially in
out-of-the-way villages, is the altars on which are hung votive
offerings, rude daubs depicting the disease or danger from which the
worshipper has been delivered.

As to the images, tricked out in curious robes and gewgaws, Middleton
"could not help recollecting the picture which old Homer draws of _Q.
Hecuba of Troy_, prostrating herself before the _miraculous Image of
Pallas_," while his wonder at the Loretto image of the "Queen of Heaven"
with "a face as black as a Negus" reminds him of the reference in Baruch
to the idols black with the "perpetual smoak of lamps and incense." In
his Hibbert Lectures Professor Rhys refers to churches dedicated to
Notre Dame in virtue of legends of discovery of images of the Virgin on
the spot. These were usually of wood, which had turned black in the
soil. Such a black "Madonna" was found near Grenoble, in the commune of
La Zouche. Then, in the titles of the new deities, Middleton correctly
sees those of the old. The Queen of Heaven reminds him of Astarte or
Mylitta; the Divine Mother of the Magna Mater, the "great mother" of
Oriental cults. In other attributes of Mary, lineal descendant of Isis,
there survive those of Venus, Lucina, Cybele, or Maria. He gives amusing
examples of myths and misreadings through which certain "saints" have a
place in the Roman Calendar. He apparently knew nothing of the strange
confusion by which Buddha appears therein under the title of Saint
Josaphat; but he tells how, by misinterpretation of a boundary stone,
Proefectus Viarum, an overseer of highways, became S. Viar; how S.
Veronica secured canonization through a blunder over the words Vera
Icon: still more droll, how hagiology includes both a mountain and a
mantle!

The marks of hands or feet on rocks, said to be made by the apparition
of some saint or angel, call to mind "the impression of Hercules' feet
on a stone in Scythia"; the picture of the Virgin, which came from
heaven, suggests the descent of Numa's shield "from the clouds"; that of
the weeping Madonna the statue of Apollo, which Livy says wept for
three successive days and nights; while the periodical miracle of the
liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius is obviously paralleled in
the incidents named by Horace on his journey to Brundusium, when the
priests of the temple at Gnatia sought to persuade him that "the
frankincense used to dissolve and melt miraculously without the help of
fire" (Sat., v, 97-100).

Middleton, and those of his school, thought that they were near primary
formations when they struck on these suggestive classic or pagan
parallels to Christian belief and custom. But in truth they had probed
a comparatively recent layer; since, far beneath, lay the unsuspected
prehistoric deposits of barbaric ideas which are coincident with,
and composed of, man's earliest speculations about himself and his
surroundings. When, however, we borrow an illustration from geology, it
must be remembered that our divisions, like those into which the strata
of the globe are separated, are artificial. There is no real detachment.
The difference between former and present methods of research is
that nowadays we have gone further down for discovery of the common
materials of which barbaric, pagan, and civilized ideas are compounded.
They arise in the comparison which exists in the savage mind between the
living and the non-living, and in the attribution of like qualities to
things superficially resembling one another; hence belief in their
efficacy, which takes active form in what may be generally termed magic.
For example, the rite of baptism is explained when we connect it with
barbaric lustrations and water-worship generally; as also that of the
Eucharist by reference to sacrificial feasts in honour of the gods;
feasts at which they were held to be both the eaters and the eaten.
Middleton, himself a clergyman, shows perplexity when watching the
elevation of the host at mass. He lacked that knowledge of the origin of
sacramental rites which study of barbaric customs has since supplied.
In Mr. Frazer's Golden Bough, the "central idea" of which is "the
conception of the slain god," he shows at what an early stage in his
speculations man formulated the conception of deity incarnated in
himself, or in plant or animal, and as afterward slain, both the
incarnation and the death being for the benefit of mankind. The god is
his own sacrifice, and in perhaps the most striking form, as insisted
upon by Mr. Frazer, he is, as corn-spirit, killed in the person of his
representative; the passage in this mode of incarnation to the custom
of eating bread sacramentally being obvious. The fundamental idea of
this sacramental act, as the mass of examples collected by Mr. Frazer
further goes to show, is that by eating a thing its physical and mental
qualities are acquired. So the barbaric mind reasons, and extends the
notion to all beings. To quote Mr. Frazer: "By eating the body of the
god he shares in the god's attributes and powers. And when the god is a
corn-god, the corn is his proper body; when he is a vine-god, the juice
of the grape is his blood; and so by eating the bread and drinking the
wine the worshipper partakes of the real body and blood of his god. Thus
the drinking of wine in the rites of a vine-god like Dionysus is not an
act of revelry; it is a solemn sacrament." It is, perhaps, needless to
point out that the same explanation applies to the rites attaching to
Demeter, or to add what further parallels are suggested in the belief
that Dionysus was slain, rose again, and descended into Hades to bring
up his mother Semele from the dead. This, however, by the way. What
has to be emphasized is, that in the quotation just given we have
transubstantiation clearly anticipated as the barbaric idea of eating
the god. In proof of the underlying continuity of that idea two
witnesses--Catholic and Protestant--may be cited.

The Church of Rome, and in this the Greek Church is at one therewith,
thus defines the term transubstantiation in the Canon of the Council of
Trent:

  "If any one shall say that in the most holy sacrament of the
  Eucharist there remains the substance of bread and wine together
  with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny
  that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the
  bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the
  blood, the species of bread and wine alone remaining--which
  conversion the Catholic Church most fittingly calls
  Transubstantiation--let him be anathema."

The Church of England, through the medium of a letter to a well-known
newspaper, the British Weekly (29th August, 1895), supplies the
following illustration of the position of its "High" section, and this,
it is interesting to note, from the church of which Mr. Gladstone's son
is rector, and in which the distinguished statesman himself often reads
the lessons:

  "A few Sundays ago--8 o'clock celebration of Holy Communion. Rector,
  officiating minister (Hawarden Church).

  "When the point was reached for the communicants to partake, cards
  containing a hymn to be sung after Communion were distributed among
  the congregation. This hymn opened with the following couplet:--

      Jesu, mighty Saviour,
      Thou art _in_ us now.

  And my attention was arrested by an asterisk referring to a
  footnote. The word 'in,' in the second line, was printed in italics,
  and the note intimated that those who had _not_ communicated should
  sing '_with_' instead of '_in_,' i. e. those who had taken the
  consecrated elements to sing 'Thou art _in_ us now,' and those who
  had not, to sing 'Thou art _with_ us now.'"

Whether, therefore, the cult be barbaric or civilized, we find theory
and practice identical. The god is eaten so that the communicant thereby
becomes a "partaker of the divine nature."

In the gestures denoting _sacerdotal benediction_ we have probably an
old form of averting the evil eye; in the act of _breathing_ on a bishop
at the service of consecration there was the survival of belief in
transference of spiritual qualities, the soul being, as language
evidences, well-nigh universally identified with breath. The modern
spiritualist who describes apparitions as having the "consistency of
cigar-smoke," is one with the Congo negroes who leave the house of
the dead unswept for a time lest the dust should injure the delicate
substance of the ghost. The inhaling of the last breath of the dying
Roman by his nearest kinsman has parallel in the breathing of the risen
Jesus on his disciples that they might receive the Holy Ghost (John xx,
22). In the offering of _prayers for the dead_; in the _canonization_
and _intercession_ of _saints_; in the _prayers_ and _offerings_ at the
_shrines of the Virgin_ and _saints_, and at the _graves of martyrs_;
there are the manifold forms of that great cult of the departed which is
found throughout the world. To this may be linked the _belief in
angels_, whether good or bad, or guardian, because the element common to
the whole is animistic, the peopling of the heavens above, as well as
the earth beneath, with an innumerable company of spiritual beings
influencing the destinies of men. Well might Jews and Moslems reproach
the Christians, as they did down to the eighth century, with having
filled the world with more gods than they had overthrown in the pagan
temples; while we have Erasmus, in his Encomium Moriae, when reciting
the names and functions of saints, adding that "as many things as we
wish, so many gods have we made." Closely related to this group of
beliefs is the _adoration of relics_, the vitality of which has springs
too deep in human nature to be wholly abolished, whether we carry about
us a lock from the hair of some dead loved one, or read of the fragments
of saints or martyrs which lie beneath every Catholic altar, or of the
skull-bones of his ancestor which the savage carries about with him as a
charm. Then there is the long list of _church festivals_, the reference
of which to pagan prototypes is but one step toward their ultimate
explanation in nature-worship; there are the _processions_ which are the
successors of Corybantic frenzies, and, more remotely, of savage dances
and other forms of excitation; there is that now somewhat casual belief
in the _Second Advent_ which is a member of the widespread group wherein
human hopes fix eyes on the return of long-sleeping heroes; of Arthur
and Olger Dansk, of Väinämöinen and Quetzalcoatl, of Charlemagne and
Barbarossa, of the lost Marko of Servia and the lost King Sebastian. We
speak of it as "casual," because among the two hundred and eighty-odd
sects scheduled in Whitaker's Almanack the curious in such inquiries
will note only three distinctive bodies of Adventists.

All changes in popular belief have been, and, practically, remain
superficial; the old animism pervades the higher creeds. In our own
island, for example, the Celtic and pre-Celtic paganism remained
unleavened by the old Roman religion. The legions took back to Rome the
gods which they brought with them. The names of Mithra and Serapis occur
on numerous tablets, the worship of the one--that "Sol invictus" whose
birthday at the winter solstice became (see p. 42) the anniversary
of the birth of Christ--had ranged as far west as South Wales and
Northumberland; while the foundations of a temple to the other have been
unearthed at York. The chief Celtic gods, in virtue of common attributes
as elemental nature-deities, were identified with certain _dii majores_
of the Roman pantheon, and the _deae matres_ equated with the gracious
or malevolent spirits of the indigenous faith. But the old names were
not displaced. Neither did the earlier Christian missionaries effect any
organic change in popular beliefs, while, during the submergence of
Christianity under waves of barbaric invasion, there were infused into
the old religion kindred elements from oversea which gave it yet more
vigorous life. The eagle penetration of Gibbon detected this persistent
element at work when he described the sequel to the futile efforts of
Theodosius to extirpate paganism. The ancestor worship which lay at the
core of much of it took shape among the Christianized pagans in the
worship of martyrs and in the scramble after their relics. The bodies of
prophets and apostles were discovered by the strangest coincidences, and
transported to the churches by the Tiber and the Bosphorus, and although
the supply of these more important remains was soon exhausted, there
was no limit to the production of relics of their person or belongings,
as of filings from the chains of S. Peter, and from the gridiron of S.
Lawrence. The catacombs yielded any number of the bodies of martyrs, and
Rome became a huge manufactory to meet the demands for wonder-working
relics from every part of Christendom. A sceptical feeling might be
aroused at the claims of a dozen abbeys to possession of the veritable
crown of thorns wherewith the majesty of the suffering Christ was
mocked, but it was silenced before the numerous fragments of his cross,
since ingenuity has computed that this must have contained at least one
hundred and eighty million cubic millemetres, whereas the total cubic
volume of all the known relics is but five millions. "It must," remarks
Gibbon (Decline and Fall, end of chap. xxviii), "ingeniously be
confessed that the ministers of the Catholic Church imitated the profane
model which they were impotent to destroy. The most respectable bishops
had persuaded themselves that the ignorant rustics would more cheerfully
renounce the superstitions of paganism if they found some resemblance,
some compensation, in the bosom of Christianity. The religion of
Constantine achieved, in less than a century, the final conquest of the
Roman Empire, but the victors themselves were insensibly subdued by the
arts of their vanquished rivals."

Enough has been said on a topic to which prominence has been given
because it brings into fuller relief the fact that in a religion for
which its apologists claim divine origin and guidance "to the end of
the world" we have the same intrusion of the rites and customs of
lower cults which marks other advanced faiths. Hence, science and
superstition being deadly foes, the explanation of that hostile
attitude toward inquiry and that dread of its results which marked
Christianity down to modern times. While the intrusion of corrupting
elements presents difficulties which the theory of the supernatural
history of Christianity alone creates, it accords with all that might
be predicted of a religion whose success was due to its early escape
from the narrow confines of Judaism; and to its fortunate contact with
the enterprising peoples to whom the civilization of Europe and the
New World is due.


2. _From Augustine to Lord Bacon._

A. D. 400-A. D. 1600.

The foregoing slight outline of the causes which operated for centuries
against the freedom of the human mind will render it needless to follow
the history of the development of Christian polity and dogma--the
temporalizing of the one, and the crystallizing of the other. Yet one
prominent actor in that history demands a brief notice, because of the
influence which his teaching wielded from the fifth to the fifteenth
centuries. The annals of the churches in Africa, along whose northern
shores Christianity had spread early and rapidly, yield notable names,
but none so distinguished as that of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo from 395
to 430 A. D. This greatest of the Fathers of the Church sought, as has
been remarked already, to bring the system of Aristotle, the greatest of
ancient naturalists, into line with Christian theology. His range of
study was well-nigh as wide as that of the famous Stagirite, but we are
here concerned only with so much of it as bears on an attempt to graft
the development theory on the dogma of special creation. Augustine,
accepting the Old Testament cosmogony as a revelation, believed
that the world was created out of nothing, but, this initial paradox
accepted, he argued that God had endowed matter with certain powers of
self-development which left free the operation of natural causes in the
production of plants and animals. With this, however, as already noted,
he held, with preceding philosophers and with his fellow-theologians,
the doctrine of spontaneous generation. It explained to him the
existence of apparently purposeless creatures, as flies, frogs, mice,
etc. "Certain very small animals," he says, "may not have been created
on the fifth and sixth days, but may have originated later from
putrefying matter." Not till the seventeenth century did the experiments
of Redi refute a doctrine which had held part of the biological field
for above two thousand years, and which still has adherents. Of course
Augustine, as do modern Catholic biologists, excepted man from the
operation of secondary causes, and held that his soul was created by
the direct intervention of the Creator. Augustine's concessions are,
therefore, more seeming than real, and, moreover, we find him denying
the existence of the antipodes on the ground that Scripture is silent
about them, and also, that if God had placed any races there, they could
not see Christ descending at his second coming. To Augustine the air was
full of devils who are the cause of "all diseases of Christians." In
other words, he was not ahead of the illusions of his age. Then, too, he
shows that allegorizing spirit which was manifest in Greece a thousand
years earlier; the spirit which reads hidden meanings in Homer, in
Horace, and in Omar Khayyám; and which, in the hands of present-day
Gnostics, mostly fantastic or illiterate cabalists, converts the plain
narratives of Old and New Testaments into vehicles of mysterious types
and esoteric symbols. It is in such allegorical vein that Augustine
explains the outside and inside pitching of the ark as typifying the
safety of the Church from the leaking-in of heresy; while the ghastly
application of symbolical exegetics is seen in his citation of the words
of Jesus, "Compel them to come in," as a Divine warrant for the
slaughter of heretics.

We shall meet with no other such commanding figure in Church history
till nine hundred years have passed, when Thomas Aquinas, the "Angel of
the Schools," appears, but although that period marks no advance of the
Church from her central position, it witnessed changes in her fortune
through the intrusion of a strange people into her territory and
sanctuaries.

                 *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps there are few events in history more impressive than the
conversion of the wild and ignorant Arab tribes of the seventh century
from stone-worship to monotheism. The series of conquests which followed
had also, as an indirect and unforeseen result, effects of vast
importance in the revival and spread of Greek culture from the Tigris to
the Guadalquivir. It is not easy, neither does the inquiry fall within
our present purpose, to discover the special impulses which led
Mohammed, the leader of the movement, to preach a new faith whose one
creed, stripped of all subtleties, was the unity of God. Large numbers
of Jews and Christians had settled in Arabia long before his time, and
he had become acquainted with the narrowness of the one, and with the
causes of the wranglings of the other, riven, as these last-named were,
into sects quarrelling over the nature of the Person of Christ. These,
and the fetichism of his fellow-countrymen, may, perhaps, have impelled
him to start a crusade the mandate for which he, in fanatic impulse,
believed came from heaven. The result is well known. The hitherto
untamed nomads became the eager instruments of the prophet. Under his
leadership, and that of the able Khalifs who succeeded him, the flag of
Islam was carried from East to West, till within one hundred years of
the flight of Mohammed from Mecca (622 A. D.) it waved from the Indian
Ocean to the Atlantic. With the conquest of Syria there was achieved
one of the greatest and most momentous of triumphs in the capture of
Jerusalem, and the seizure of sites sanctified to Christians by
association with the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Only a few years before (614 A. D.), the holy city had been taken by
Chosroes; the sacred buildings raised over the venerated tomb had been
burned, and the cross--a spurious relic--carried off by the Persian
king. These places have been, as it were, the cockpit of Christendom
from the time of the siege of Jerusalem under Titus to that of the
Crimean war, when blood was spilt like water in a conflict stirred by
squabbles between Latin and Greek Christians over possession of the key
of the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. In the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre these sectaries are still kept from flying at one another's
throats by the muskets of Mohammedan soldiers.

The Arabian conquest of Persia followed that of Syria. The turn of Egypt
soon came, the city of Alexandria being taken in 640, seven years after
the prophets' death. Since the loss of Greek freedom, and the decay of
intellectual life at Athens, that renowned place had become, notably
under the Ptolemies, the chief home of science and philosophy. Through
the propagandism of Christianity among the Hellenized Jews, of whom, as
of Greeks, large numbers had settled there, it was also the birthplace
of dogmatic theology, and, therefore, the fountain whence welled the
controversies whose logomachies were the gossip of the streets of
Constantinople and the cause of bloody persecution. After a few years'
pause, the Saracens (Ar., _sharkiin_, orientals) resumed their
conquering march. They captured and burnt Carthage, another famous
centre of Christianity, and then crossed over to Spain. In "the fair and
fertile isle of Andalusia" the Gothic king Roderick was aroused from his
luxurious life in Toledo to lead his army in gallant, but vain, attempt
to repel the infidel invaders. So rapid was their advance that in six
years they had subdued the whole of Spain, the north and northwestern
portions excepted, for the hardy Basque mountaineers maintained their
independence against the Arabs, as they had maintained it against Celt,
Roman, and Goth. Only before the walls of Tours did the invaders meet
with a rebuff from Charles Martel and his Franks, which arrested their
advance in Western Europe; as, in a more momentous defeat before
Constantinople by Leo III. in 718, fourteen years earlier, the torrent
of Mohammedan conquest was first checked.

Enough, however, of Saracenic wars and their destructive work, which, if
tradition lies not, included the burning of the remnants of the vast
Alexandrian library. "A revealed dogma is always opposed to the free
research that may contradict it," and Islam has ever been a worse foe to
science than Christianity. Its association, as a religion, with the
renaissance of knowledge, was as wholly accidental as the story of it is
interesting.

Under the Sassanian kings, Persia had become an active centre of
intellectual life, reaching the climax of its Augustan age in the reign
of Chosroes. Jew, Greek, and Christian alike had welcome at his court,
and translations of the writings of the Indian sages completed the
eclecticism of that enlightened monarch. Then came the ruthless Arab,
and philosophy and science were eclipsed. But with the advent of the
Abbaside Khalifs, who number the famous Haroun al-Raschid among them,
there came revival of the widest toleration, and consequent return of
intellectual activity. Baghdad arose as the seat of empire. Situated on
the high road of Oriental commerce, along which travelled foreign ideas
and foreign culture, that city became also the Oxford of her time.
Arabic was the language of the conquerors, and into that poetic, but
unphilosophic, tongue, Greek philosophy and science were rendered. Under
the rule of those Khalifs, says Renan, "nontolerant, nonreluctant
persecutors," free thought developed; the _Motecallenim_ or "disputants"
held debates, where all religions were examined in the light of reason.
Aristotle, Euclid, Galen, and Ptolemy were text-books in the colleges,
the repute of whose teachers brought to Baghdad and Naishapur (dear to
lovers of "old" Khayyám) students westward from Spain, and eastward from
Transoxiana.

"Arab" philosophy, therefore, is only a name. It has been well
described as "a system of Greek thought expressed in a Semitic tongue;
and modified by Oriental influences called into existence by the
patronage of the more liberal princes, and kept alive by the zeal of a
small band of thinkers." In the main, it began and ended with the study
of Aristotle, commentaries on whom became the chief work of scholars, at
whose head stands the great name of Averroes. Through these--a handful
of Jews and Moslems--knowledge of Greek science, of astronomy, algebra,
chemistry, and medicine, was carried into Western Europe. By the latter
half of the tenth century, one hundred and fifty years after the
translation of Aristotle into Arabic, Spain had become no mean rival of
Baghdad and Cairo. Schools were founded; colleges to which the Girton
girls of the period could repair to learn mathematics and history were
set up by lady principals; manufactures and agriculture were encouraged;
and lovely and stately palaces and mosques beautified Seville, Cordova,
Toledo, and Granada, which last-named city the far-famed Alhâmra or Red
Fortress still overlooks. Seven hundred years before there was a public
lamp in London, and when Paris was a town of swampy roadways bordered
by windowless dwellings, Cordova had miles of well-lighted, well-paved
streets; and the constant use of the bath by the "infidel" contrasted
with the saintly filth and rags which were the pride of flesh-mortifying
devotees and the outward and odorous signs of their religion. The pages
of our dictionaries evidence in familiar mathematical and chemical
terms; in the names of the principal "fixed" stars; and in the words
"admiral" and "chemise"; the influence of the "Arab" in science, war,
and dress.

It forms no part of our story to tell how feuds between rival dynasties
and rival sects of Islam, becoming more acute as time went on, enabled
Christianity to recover lost ground, and, in the capture of Granada in
1492, to put an end to Moorish rule in Spain. Before that event, a
knowledge of Greek philosophy had been diffused through Christendom by
the translation of the works of Avicenna, Averroes, and other scholars,
into Latin. That was about the middle of the twelfth century, when
Aristotle, who had been translated into Arabic some three centuries
earlier, also appeared in Latin dress. The detachment of any branch of
knowledge from theology being a thing undreamed of, the deep reverence
in which the Stagirite was held by his Arabian commentators ultimately
led to his becoming "suspect" by the Christians, since that which
approved itself to the followers of Mohammed must, _ipso facto_, be
condemned by the followers of Jesus. Hence came reaction, and recourse
to the Scriptures as sole guide to secular as well as sacred knowledge;
recourse to a method which, as Hallam says, "had not untied a single
knot, or added one unequivocal truth to the domain of philosophy."

So far as the scanty records tell (for we may never know how much was
suppressed, or fell into oblivion, under ecclesiastical frowns and
threats; nor how many thinkers toiled in secret and in dread), none
seemed possessed either of courage or desire to supplement the revealed
word by examination into things themselves. To supplant it was not
dreamed of. But, in the middle of the thirteenth century, one notable
exception occurred in the person of Roger Bacon, sometimes called Friar
Bacon in virtue of his belonging to the order of Franciscans. He was
born in 1214 at Ilchester, in Somerset, whence he afterward removed to
Oxford, and thence to Paris. That this remarkable and many-sided man,
classic and Arabic scholar, mathematician, and natural philosopher,
has not a more recognised place in the annals of science is strange,
although it is, perhaps, partly explained by the fact that his writings
were not reissued for more than three centuries after his death. He has
been credited with a number of inventions, his title to which is however
doubtful, although the doubt in nowise impairs the greatness of his
name. He shared the current belief in alchemy, but made a number of
experiments in chemistry pointing to his knowledge of the properties of
the various gases, and of the components of gunpowder. If he did not
invent spectacles, or the microscope and telescope, he was skilled in
optics, and knew the principles on which those instruments are made,
as the following extract from his Opus Majus shows: "We can place
transparent bodies in such a form and position between our eyes and
other objects that the rays shall be refracted and bent toward any place
we please, so that we shall see the object near at hand, or at a
distance, under any angle we please; and thus from an incredible
distance we may read the smallest letters, and may number the smallest
particles of sand, by reason of the greatness of the angle under which
they appear." He knew the "wisdom of the ancients" in the cataloguing of
the stars, and suggested a reform of the calendar--following the then
unknown poet-astronomer of Naishapur. But he believed in astrology, that
bastard science which from remotest times had ruled the life of man, and
which has no small number of votaries among ourselves to this day. Roger
Bacon's abiding title to fame rests, however, on his insistence on
the necessity of experiment, and his enforcement of this precept by
practice. As a mathematician he laid stress on the application of this
"first of all the sciences"; indeed, as "preceding all others, and as
disposing us to them." His experiments, both from their nature and the
seclusion in which they were made, laid him open to the charge of black
magic, in other words, of being in league with the devil. This, in the
hands of a theology thus "possessed," became an instrument of awful
torture to mankind. Roger Bacon's denial of magic only aggravated his
crime, since in ecclesiastical ears, this was tantamount to a denial of
the activity, nay more, of the very existence of Satan. So, despite
certain encouragement in his scientific work from an old friend who
afterward became Pope Clement IV., for whose information he wrote his
Opus Majus, he was, on the death of that potentate, thrown into prison,
whence tradition says he emerged, after ten years, only to die.

The theories of mediæval schoolmen--a monotonous record of unprogressive
ideas--need not be scheduled here, the more so as we approach the period
of discoveries momentous in their ultimate effect upon opinions which
now possess only the value attaching to the history of discredited
conceptions of the universe. Commerce, more than scientific curiosity,
gave the impetus to the discovery that the earth is a globe. Trade with
the East was divided between Genoa and Venice. These cities were rivals,
and the Genoese, alarmed at the growing success of the Venetians,
resolved to try to reach India from the west. Their schemes were
justified by reports of land indications brought by seamen who had
passed through the "Pillars of Hercules" to the Atlantic. The sequel is
well known. Columbus, after clerical opposition, and rebuffs from other
states, "offering," as Mr. Payne says, in his excellent History of
America, "though he knew it not, the New World in exchange for three
ships and provisions for twelve months," finally secured the support of
the Spanish king, and sailed from Cadiz on the 3d of August, 1492. On
11th of October he sighted the fringes of the New World, and believing
that he had sailed from Spain to India, gave the name West Indies to the
island-group. America itself had been discovered by roving Norsemen five
hundred years before, but the fact was buried in Icelandic tradition.
Following Columbus, Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese, set sail in 1497, and
taking a southerly course, doubled the Cape of Good Hope. Twenty-two
years later, Ferdinand Magellan started on a voyage more famous than
that of Columbus, since his ambition was to sail round the world, and
thus complete the chain of proof against the theory of its flatness. For
"though the Church hath evermore from Holy Writ affirmed that the earth
should be a widespread plain bordered by the waters, yet he comforted
himself when he considered that in the eclipses of the moon the shadow
cast of the earth is round; and as is the shadow, such, in like manner,
is the substance." Doubling Cape Horn through the straits that bear his
name, Magellan entered the vast ocean whose calm surface caused him to
call it the Pacific, and after terrible sufferings, he reached the
Ladrone Islands where, either at the hands of a mutinous crew, or of
savages, he was killed. His chief lieutenant, Sebastian d'Eleano,
continued the voyage, and after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, brought
the San Vittoria--name of happy omen--to anchor at St. Lucar, near
Seville, on 7th of September, 1522. Brought, too, the story of a
circumnavigated globe, and of new groups of stars never seen under
northern skies.

The scene shifts, for the time being, from the earth to the heavens. The
Church had barely recovered from the blow struck at her authority on
matters of secular knowledge, when another dealt, and that by an
ecclesiastic, Copernicus, Canon of Frauenburg, in Prussia. But before
pursuing this, some reference to the revolt against the Church of Rome,
which is the great event of the sixteenth century, is necessary, if only
to inquire whether the movement known as the Reformation justified its
name as freeing the intellect from theological thraldom. Far-reaching as
were the areas which it covered and the effects which it wrought, its
quarrel with the Church of Rome was not because of that Church's
attitude toward freedom of thought. On the Continent it was a protest of
nobler minds against the corruptions fostered by the Papacy; in England,
it was personal and political in origin, securing popular support by its
anti-sacerdotal character, and its appeal to national irritation against
foreign control. But, both here and abroad, it sought mending rather
than ending; "not to vary in any jot from the faith Catholic." It
disputed the claim of the Church to be the sole interpreter of
Scripture, and contended that such interpretation was the right and duty
of the individual. But it would not admit the right of the individual to
call in question the authority of the Bible itself: to that book alone
must a man go for knowledge of things temporal as of things spiritual.
So that the Reformation was but an exchange of fetters, or, as Huxley
happily puts it, the scraping of a little rust off the chains which
still bound the mind. "Learning perished where Luther reigned," said
Erasmus, and in proof of it we find the Reformer agreeing with his
coadjutor, Melanchthon, in permitting no tampering with the written
Word. Copernicus notwithstanding, they had no doubt that the earth was
fixed and that sun and stars travelled round it, because the Bible said
so. Peter Martyr, one of the early Lutheran converts, in his Commentary
on Genesis, declared that wrong opinions about the creation as narrated
in that book would render valueless all the promises of Christ. Wherein
he spoke truly. As for the schoolmen, Luther called them "locusts,
caterpillars, frogs, and lice." Reason he denounced as the "arch whore"
and the "devil's bride," Aristotle is a "prince of darkness, horrid
impostor, public and professed liar, beast, and twice execrable."
Consistently enough, Luther believed vehemently in a personal devil, and
in witches; "I would myself burn them," he says, "even as it is written
in the Bible that the priests stoned offenders." To him demoniacal
possession was a fact clear as noonday: idiocy, lunacy, epilepsy and all
other mental and nervous disorders were due to it. Hence, a movement
whose intent appeared to be the freeing of the human spirit riveted more
tightly the bolts that imprisoned it; arresting the physical explanation
of mental diseases and that curative treatment of them which is one of
the countless services of science to suffering mankind. To Luther, the
descent of Christ into hell, which modern research has shown to be a
variant of an Orphic legend of the underworld, was a real event, Jesus
going thither that he might conquer Satan in a hand-to-hand struggle.

Therefore, freedom of thought, as we define it, had the bitterest foe in
Luther, although, in his condemnation of "works," and his fanatical
dogma of man's "justification by faith alone," which made him reject the
Epistle of James as one "of straw," and as unworthy of a place in the
Canon, he unwittingly drove in the thin end of the rationalist wedge.
The Reformers had hedged the canonical books with theories of verbal
inspiration which extended even to the punctuation of the sentences.
They thus rendered intelligent study of the Bible impossible, and did
grievous injury to a collection of writings of vast historical value,
and of abiding interest as records of man's primitive speculations and
spiritual development. But Luther's application of the right of private
judgment to the omission or addition of this or that book into a canon
which had been closed by a Council of the Church, surrendered the whole
position, since there was no telling where the thing might stop.

Copernicus waited full thirty years before he ventured to make his
theory public. The Ptolemaic system, which assumed a fixed earth with
sun, moon, and stars revolving above it, had held the field for about
fourteen hundred years. It accorded with Scripture; it was adopted
by the Church; and, moreover, it was confirmed by the senses, the
correction of which still remains, and will long remain, a condition of
intellectual advance. Little wonder is it, then, that Copernicus
hesitated to broach a theory thus supported, or that, when published, it
was put forth in tentative form as a possible explanation more in accord
with the phenomena. A preface, presumably by a friendly hand, commended
the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies to Pope Paul III. It urged that
"as in previous times others had been allowed the privilege of feigning
what circles they chose in order to explain the phenomena," Copernicus
"had conceived that he might take the liberty of trying whether, on the
supposition of the earth's motion, it was possible to find better
explanations than the ancient ones of the revolutions of the celestial
orbs." A copy of the book was placed in the hands of its author only a
few hours before his death on 23d of May, 1543.

This "upstart astrologer," this "fool who wishes to reverse the entire
science of astronomy," for "sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua
commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth"--these are Luther's
words--was, therefore, beyond the grip of the Holy Inquisition. But a
substitute was forthcoming. Giordano Bruno, a Dominican monk, had added
to certain heterodox beliefs the heresy of Copernicanism, which he
publicly taught from Oxford to Venice. For these cumulative crimes he
was imprisoned and, after two years, condemned to be put to death
"as mercifully as possible and without the shedding of his blood," a
Catholic euphemism for burning a man alive. The murder was committed in
Rome on 17th of February, 1600.

The year 1543 marks an epoch in biology as in astronomy. As shown in the
researches of Galen, an Alexandrian physician of the second century,
there had been no difficulty in studying the structure of the lower
animals, but, fortified both by tradition and by prejudice, the Church
refused to permit dissection of the human body, and in the latter part
of the thirteenth century, Boniface VIII. issued a Bull of the major
excommunication against offenders. Prohibition, as usual, led to
evasion, and Vesalius, Professor of Anatomy in Padua University,
resorted to various devices to procure "subjects," the bodies of
criminals being easiest to obtain. The end justified the means, as he
was able to correct certain errors of Galen, and to give the _quietus_
to the old legend, based upon the myth of the creation of Eve, that man
has one rib less than woman. This was among the discoveries announced in
his De Corporis Humani Fabrica, published when he was only twenty-eight
years of age. The book fell under the ban of the Church because Vesalius
gave no support to the belief in an indestructible bone, nucleus of the
resurrection body, in man. The belief had, no doubt, near relation to
that of the Jews in the _os sacru_, and may remind us of Descartes'
fanciful location of the soul in the minute cone-like part of the brain
known as the _conarium_, or pineal gland. On some baseless charge of
attempting the dissection of a living subject, the Inquisition haled
Vesalius to prison, and would have put him to death "as mercifully as
possible," but for the intervention of King Charles V. of Spain, to
whom Vesalius had been physician. Returning in October, 1564, from a
pilgrimage taken, presumably, as atonement for his alleged offence, he
was shipwrecked on the coast of Zante, and died of exhaustion.

While the heretical character and tendencies of discoveries in astronomy
and anatomy awoke active opposition from the Church, the work of men of
the type of Gesner, the eminent Swiss naturalist, and of Caesalpino,
professor of botany at Padua, passed unquestioned. No dogma was
endangered by the classification of plants and animals. But when a
couple of generations after the death of Copernicus had passed, the
Inquisition found a second victim in the famous Galileo, who was born at
Pisa in 1564. After spending some years in mechanical and mathematical
pursuits, he began a series of observations in confirmation of the
Copernican theory, of the truth of which he had been convinced in early
life. With the aid of a rude telescope, made by his own hands, he
discovered the satellites of Jupiter; the moon-like phases of Venus and
Mars; mountains and valleys in the moon; spots on the sun's disk; and
the countless stars which composed the luminous band known as the Milky
Way. Nought occurred to disturb his observations till, in a work on the
Solar Spots, he explained the movements of the earth and of the heavenly
bodies according to Copernicus. On the appearance of that book the
authorities contented themselves with a caution to the author. But
action followed his supplemental Dialogue on the Copernican and
Ptolemaic Systems. Through that convenient medium which the title
implies, Galileo makes the defender of the Copernican theory an easy
victor, and for this he was brought before the Inquisition in 1633.
After a tedious trial, and threats of "rigorous personal examination,"
a euphemism for "torture," he was, despite the plea--too specious to
deceive--that he had merely put the _pros_ and _cons_ as between the
rival theories, condemned to abjure all that he had taught. There is a
story, probably fictitious, since it was first told in 1789, that when
the old man rose from his knees, he muttered his conviction that the
earth moves, in the words "e pur si muove." As a sample of the arguments
used by the ecclesiastics when they substituted, as rare exception, the
pen for the faggot, the reasoning advanced by one Sizzi against the
existence of Jupiter's moons, may be cited. "There are seven windows
given to animals in the domicile of the head, through which the air is
admitted to the tabernacle of the body, viz.: two nostrils, two eyes,
two ears, and one mouth. So, in the heavens, as in a macrocosm, or
great world, there are two favourable stars, Jupiter and Venus; two
unpropitious, Mars and Saturn; two luminaries, the sun and moon, and
Mercury alone undecided and indifferent. From these and many other
phenomena of Nature, which it were tedious to enumerate, we gather that
the number of planets is necessarily seven. Moreover, the satellites are
invisible to the naked eye, and, therefore, can exercise no influence
over the earth, and would, of course, be useless; and, therefore, do not
exist."

In this brief summary of the attitude of the Church toward science, it
is not possible, and if it were so, it is not needful, to refer in
detail to the contributions of the more speculative philosophers, who,
although they made no discoveries, advocated those methods of research
and directions of inquiry which made the discoveries possible. Among
these a prominent name is that of Lord Bacon, whose system of
philosophy, known as the Inductive, proceeds from the collection,
examination and comparison of any group of connected facts to the
relation of them to some general principle. The universal is thus
explained by the particular. But the inductive method was no invention
of Bacon's; wherever observation or testing of a thing preceded
speculation about it, as with his greater namesake, there the Baconian
system had its application. Lord Bacon, moreover, undervalued Greek
science; he argued against the Copernican theory; and either knew
nothing of, or ignored, Harvey's momentous discovery of the circulation
of the blood. A more illustrious name than his is that of René
Descartes, a man who combined theory with observation; "one who," in
Huxley's words, "saw that the discoveries of Galileo meant that the
remotest parts of the universe were governed by mechanical laws, while
those of Harvey meant that the same laws presided over the operations of
that portion of the world which is nearest to us, namely, our own bodily
frame." The greatness of this man, a good Catholic, whom the Jesuits
charged with Atheism, has no mean tribute in his influence on an equally
remarkable man, Benedict Spinoza. Spinoza reduced the Cartesian analysis
of phenomena into God, mind and matter to one phenomenon, namely, God,
of whom matter and spirit, extension and thought, are but attributes.
His short life fell within the longer span of Newton's, whose strange
subjection to the theological influences of his age is seen in this
immortal interpreter of the laws of the universe wasting his later
years on an attempt to interpret unfulfilled prophecy. These and others,
as Locke, Leibnitz, Herder, and Schelling, like the great Hebrew leader,
had glimpses of a goodly land which they were not themselves to enter.
But, perhaps, in the roll of illustrious men to whom prevision came,
none have better claim to everlasting remembrance than Immanuel Kant.
For in his Theory of the Heavens, published in 1755, he anticipates that
hypothesis of the origin of the present universe which, associated with
the succeeding names of Laplace and Herschel, has, under corrections
furnished by modern physics, common acceptance among us. Then, as shown
in the following extract, Kant foresees the theory of the development of
life from formless stuff to the highest types: "It is desirable to
examine the great domain of organized beings by means of a methodical
comparative anatomy, in order to discover whether we may not find in
them something resembling a system, and that too in connection with
their mode of generation, so that we may not be compelled to stop short
with a mere consideration of forms as they are--which gives no insight
into their generation--and need not despair of gaining a full insight
into this department of Nature. The agreement of so many kinds of
animals in a certain common plan of structure, which seems to be visible
not only in their skeletons, but also in the arrangement of the other
parts--so that a wonderfully simple typical form, by the shortening or
lengthening of some parts, and by the suppression and development of
others, might be able to produce an immense variety of species--gives us
a ray of hope, though feeble, that here perhaps some results may be
obtained, by the application of the principle of the mechanism of
Nature; without which, in fact, no science can exist. This analogy of
forms (in so far as they seem to have been produced in accordance with
a common prototype, notwithstanding their great variety) strengthens
the supposition that they have an actual blood-relationship, due to
derivation from a common parent; a supposition which is arrived at by
observation of the graduated approximation of one class of animals to
another, beginning with the one in which the principle of purposiveness
seems to be most conspicuous, namely, man, and extending down to the
polyps, and from these even down to mosses and lichens, and arriving
finally at raw matter, the lowest stage of Nature observable by us. From
this raw matter and its forces, the whole apparatus of Nature seems to
have been derived according to mechanical laws (such as those which
resulted in the production of crystals); yet this apparatus, as seen in
organic beings, is so incomprehensible to us, that we feel ourselves
compelled to conceive for it a different principle. But it would seem
that the archæologist of Nature is at liberty to regard the great
Family of creatures (for as a Family we must conceive it, if the
above-mentioned continuous and connected relationship has a real
foundation) as having sprung from their immediate results of her
earliest revolutions, judging from all the laws of their mechanisms
known to or conjectured by him."

In our arrival at the age of these seers, we feel the play of a freer,
purer air; a lull in the miasmatic currents that bring intolerance on
their wings. The tolerance that approaches is due to no surrender of its
main position by dogmatic theology, but to that larger perception of the
variety and complexity of life, ignorance of, or wilful blindness to,
which is the secret of the survival of rigid opinion. The demonstration
of the earth's roundness; the discovery of America; the growing
conception of inter-relation between the lowest and the highest
life-forms; the slow but sure acceptance of the Copernican theory; and,
above all, the idea of a Cosmos, an unbroken order, to which every
advance in knowledge contributes, justified and fostered the free play
of the intellect. Foreign as yet, however, to the minds of widest
breadth, was the conception of the inclusion of MAN himself in the
universal order. Duality--Nature overruled by supernature--was the
unaltered note; the supernature as part of Nature a thing undreamed of.
Nor could it be otherwise while the belief in diabolical agencies still
held the field, sending wretched victims to the stake on the evidence of
conscientious witnesses, and with the concurrence of humane judges.
Animism, the root of all personification, whether of good or evil, had
lost none of its essential character, and but little of its vigour.

"I flatter myself," says Hume, in the opening words of the essay upon
Miracles, in his Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, "that I have
discovered an argument of a like nature (he is referring to Archbishop
Tillotson's argument on Transubstantiation) which, if just, will,
with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kind of
superstitious delusion, and, consequently, will be useful as long as the
world endures." Hume certainly did not overrate the force of the blow
which he dealt at supernaturalism, one of a series of attacks which, in
France and Britain, carried the war into the camp of the enemy, and
changed its tactics from aggressive to defensive. But none the less is
it true that the "superstitious delusions" against which he planted his
logical artillery were killed neither by argument nor by evidence.
Delusion and error do not perish by controversial warfare. They perish
under the slow and silent operation of changes to which they are unable
to adapt themselves. The atmosphere is altered: the organism can neither
respond nor respire; therefore, it dies. Thus, save where lurks the
ignorance which is its breath of life, has wholly perished belief in
witchcraft; thus, too, is slowly perishing belief in miracles, and, with
this, belief in the miraculous events, the incarnation, resurrection,
and ascension of Jesus, on which the fundamental tenets of Christianity
are based, and in which lies so largely the secret of its long hostility
to knowledge.



_PART III._

THE RENASCENCE OF SCIENCE.

A. D. 1600 ONWARDS.

  "Though science, like Nature, may be driven out with a fork,
    ecclesiastical or other, yet she surely comes back again."--HUXLEY,
    Prologue to Collected Essays, vol. v.


The exercise of a more tolerant spirit, to which reference has been
made, had its limits. It is true that Dr. South, a famous divine,
denounced the Royal Society (founded 1645) as an irreligious body;
although a Dr. Wallis, one of the first members, especially declared
that "matters of theology" were "precluded": the business being "to
discourse and consider of philosophical inquiries and such as related
thereunto; as Physick, Anatomy, Geometry, Astronomy, Navigation,
Staticks, Magneticks, Chymicks, and Natural Experiments; with the
state of these studies, and their cultivation at home and abroad."
Regardless of South and such as agreed with him, Torricelli worked at
hydrodynamics, and discovered the principle of the barometer; Boyle
inquired into the law of the compressibility of gases; Malpighi examined
minute life-forms and the structure of organs under the microscope; Ray
and Willughby classified plants and animals; Newton theorized on the
nature of light; and Roemer measured its speed; Halley estimated the
sun's distance, predicted the return of comets, and observed the
transits of Venus and Mercury; Hunter dissected specimens, and laid the
foundations of the science of comparative anatomy; and many another
illustrious worker contributed to the world's stock of knowledge
"without let or hindrance," for in all this "matters of theology were
precluded."

But the old spirit of resistance was aroused when, after a long lapse of
time, inquiry was revived in a branch of science which, it will be
noticed, has no distinct place in the subjects dealt with by the Royal
Society at the start. That science was Geology; a science destined, in
its ultimate scope, to prove a far more powerful dissolvent of dogma
than any of its compeers.

It seems strange that the discovery of the earth's true shape and
movements was not sooner followed by investigation into her contents,
but the old ideas of special creation remained unaffected by these and
other discoveries, and the more or less detailed account of the process
of creation furnished in the book of Genesis sufficed to arrest
curiosity. In the various departments of the inorganic universe the
earth was the last to become subject of scientific research; as in study
of the organic universe, man excluded himself till science compelled his
inclusion.

After more than two thousand years, the Ionian philosophers "come to
their own" again. Xenophanes of Colophon has been referred to as
arriving, five centuries B. C., at a true explanation of the imprints of
plants and animals in rocks. Pythagoras, who lived before him, may, if
Ovid, writing near the Christian era, is to be trusted, have reached
some sound conclusions about the action of water in the changes of land
and sea areas. But we are on surer ground when we meet the geographer
Strabo, who lived in the reign of Augustus. Describing the countries in
which he travelled, he notes their various features, and explains the
causes of earthquakes and allied phenomena. Then eleven hundred years
pass before we find any explanation of like rational character supplied.
This was furnished by the Arabian philosopher, Avicenna, whose theory of
the origin of mountains is the more marvellous when we remember what
intellectual darkness surrounded him. He says that "mountains may be due
to two different causes. Either they are effects of upheavals of the
crust of the earth, such as might occur during a violent earthquake, or
they are the effect of water, which, cutting for itself a new route, has
denuded the valleys, the strata being of different kinds, some soft,
some hard. The winds and waters disintegrate the one, but leave the
other intact. Most of the eminences of the earth have had this latter
origin. It would require a long period of time for all such changes to
be accomplished, during which the mountains themselves might be somewhat
diminished in size. But that water has been the main cause of these
effects is proved by the existence of fossil remains of aquatic and
other animals on many mountains" (cf. Osborn's From the Greeks to
Darwin, p. 76). A similar explanation of fossils was given by the
engineer-artist Leonardo de Vinci in the fifteenth century, and by the
potter Bernard Palissy, in the sixteenth century; but thence onward,
for more than a hundred years, the earth was as a sealed book to man.
The earlier chapters of its history, once reopened, have never been
closed again. Varied as were the theories of the causes which wrought
manifold changes on its surface, they agreed in demanding a far longer
time-history than the Church was willing to allow. If the reasoning of
the geologists was sound, the narrative in Genesis was a myth. Hence
the renewal of struggle between the Christian Church and Science,
waged, at first, over the six days of the Creation.

Here and there, in bygone days, a sceptical voice had been raised in
denial of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Such was that of La
Peyrère who, in 1655, published an instalment of a work in which he
anticipated what is nowadays accepted, but what then was akin to
blasphemy to utter. For not only does he doubt whether Moses had any
hand in the writings attributed to him: he rejects the orthodox view of
suffering and death as the penalties of Adam's disobedience; and gives
rationalistic interpretation of the appearance of the star of Bethlehem,
and of the darkness at the Crucifixion. But La Peyrère became a Roman
Catholic, and, of course, recanted his opinions. Then, nearer the time
when controversy on the historical character of the Scriptures was
becoming active, one Astruc, a French physician, suggested, in a work
published in 1753, that Moses may have used older materials in his
compilation of the earlier parts of the Pentateuch.

But, practically, the five books included under that name, were believed
to have been written by Moses under divine authority. The statement in
Genesis that God made the universe and its contents, both living and
non-living, in six days of twenty-four hours each, was explicit. Thus
interpreted, as their plain meaning warranted, Archbishop Usher made his
famous calculation as to the time elapsing between the creation and the
birth of Christ. Dr. White, in his important Warfare of Science with
Theology, gives an amusing example of the application of Usher's method
in detail. A seventeenth century divine, Dr. Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor
of Cambridge University, computed that "man was created by the Trinity
on 23d October, 4004 B. C., at nine o'clock in the morning." The same
theologian, who, by the way, was a very eminent Hebrew scholar,
following the interpretation of the great Fathers of the Church,
"declared, as the result of profound and exhaustive study of the
Scriptures, that 'heaven and earth, centre and circumference, and clouds
full of water, were created all together, in the same instant.'"

The story of the Deluge was held to furnish sufficing explanation of the
organic remains yielded by the rocks, but failing this, a multitude of
fantastic theories were at hand to explain the fossils. They were said
to be due to a "formative quality" in the soil; to its "plastic virtue";
to a "lapidific juice"; to the "fermentation of fatty matter"; to "the
influence of the heavenly bodies," or, as the late eminent naturalist,
Philip Gosse, seriously suggested in his whimsical book Omphalos: an
Attempt to untie the Geological Knot, they were but simulacra wherewith
a mocking Deity rebuked the curiosity of man. Every explanation, save
the right and obvious one, had its defenders, because it was essential
to support some theory to rebut the evidence supplied by remains of
animals as to the existence of death in the world before the fall of
Adam. Otherwise, the statements in the Old Testament, on which the
Pauline reasoning rested, were baseless, and to discredit these was
to undermine the authority of the Scriptures from Genesis to the
Apocalypse. No wonder, therefore, that theology was up in arms, or that
it saw in geology a deadlier foe than astronomy had seemed to be in ages
past. The Sorbonne, or Faculty of Theology, in Paris burnt the books of
the geologists, banished their authors, and, in the case of Buffon, the
famous naturalist, condemned him to retract the awful heresy, which was
declared "contrary to the creed of the Church," contained in these
words: "The waters of the sea have produced the mountains and valleys
of the land; the waters of the heavens, reducing all to a level, will at
last deliver the whole land over to the sea, and the sea successively
prevailing over the land, will leave dry new continents like those which
we inhabit." So the old man repeated the submission of Galileo, and
published his recantation: "I declare that I had no intention to
contradict the text of Scripture; that I believe most firmly all therein
related about the creation, both as to order of time and matter of fact.
I abandon everything in my book respecting the formation of the earth,
and generally all which may be contrary to the narrative of Moses." That
was in the year 1751.

If the English theologians could not deliver heretics of the type of
Buffon to the secular arm, they used all the means that denunciation
supplied for delivering them over to Satan. Epithets were hurled at
them; arguments drawn from a world accursed of God levelled at them.
Saint Jerome, living in the fourth century, had pointed to the cracked
and crumpled rocks as proof of divine anger: now Wesley and others saw
in "sin the moral cause of earthquakes, whatever their natural cause
might be," since before Adam's transgression, no convulsions or
eruptions ruffled the calm of Paradise. Meanwhile, the probing of the
earth's crust went on; revealing, amidst all the seeming confusion of
distorted and metamorphosed rocks, an unvarying sequence of strata, and
of the fossils imbedded in them. Different causes were assigned for the
vast changes ranging over vast periods; one school believing in the
action of volcanic and such like catastrophic agents; another in
the action of aqueous agents, seeing, more consistently, in present
operations the explanation of the causes of past changes. But there
was no diversity of opinion concerning the extension of the earth's
time-history and life-history to millions on millions of years.

So, when this was to be no longer resisted, theologians sought some
basis of compromise on such non-fundamental points as the six days of
creation. It was suggested that perhaps these did not mean the seventh
part of a week, but periods, or eons, or something equally elastic; and
that if the Mosaic narrative was regarded as a poetic revelation of the
general succession of phenomena, beginning with the development of order
out of chaos, and ending with the creation of man, Scripture would be
found to have anticipated or revealed what science confirms. It was
impossible, so theologians argued, that there could be aught else than
harmony between the divine works and the writings which were assumed to
be of divine origin. Science could not contradict revelation, and
whatever seemed contradictory was due to misapprehension either of the
natural fact, or to misreading of the written word. But although the
story of the creation might be clothed, as so exalted and moving a theme
warranted, in poetic form, that of the fall of Adam and of the drowning
of his descendants, eight persons excepted, must be taken in all its
appalling literalness. Confirmation of the Deluge story was found in
the fossil shells on high mountain tops; while as for the giants of
antediluvian times, there were the huge bones in proof. Some of these
relics of mastodon and mammoth were actually hung up in churches as
evidence that "there were giants in those days"! Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
tells of one Henrion, who published a book in 1718 giving the height of
Adam as one hundred and twenty-three feet nine inches, and of Eve as
one hundred and eighteen feet nine inches, Noah being of rather less
stature. But to parley with science is fatal to theology. Moreover,
arguments which involve the cause they support in ridicule may be left
to refute themselves. And while theology was hesitating, as in the
amusing example supplied by Dr. William Smith's Dictionary of the Bible
(published in 1863) wherein the reader, turning up the article "Deluge,"
is referred to "Flood," and thence to "Noah"; archæology produced the
Chaldæan original of the legend whence the story of the flood is
derived. With candour as commendable as it is rare, the Reverend
Professor Driver, from whom quotation has been made already, admits that
"read without prejudice or bias, the narrative of Genesis i. creates an
impression at variance with the facts revealed by science"; all efforts
at reconciliation being only "different modes of obliterating the
characteristic features of Genesis, and of reading into it a view which
it does not express."

While the ground in favour of the literal interpretation of Genesis was
being contested, an invading force, that had been gathering strength
with the years, was advancing in the shape of the science of Biology.
The workers therein fall into two classes: the one, represented by
Linnaeus and his school, applied themselves to the classifying and
naming of plants and animals; the other, represented by Cuvier and his
school, examined into structure and function. Anatomy made clear the
machinery: physiology the work which it did, and the conditions under
which the work was done. Then, through comparison of corresponding
organs and their functions in various life-forms, came growing
perception of their unity. But only to a few came gleams of that unity
as proof of common descent of plant and animal, for, save in scattered
hints of inter-relation between species, which occur from the time of
Lord Bacon onward, the theory of their immutability was dominant until
forty years ago.

Four men form the chief vanguard of the biological movement. "Modern
classificatory method and nomenclature have largely grown out of the
work of Linnaeus; the modern conception of biology, as a science, and
of its relation to climatology, geography, and geology, are as largely
rooted in the labours of Buffon; comparative anatomy and palæontology
owe a vast debt to Cuvier's results; while invertebrate zoology and the
revival of the idea of Evolution are intimately dependent on the results
of the work of Lamarck. In other words, the main results of biology up
to the early years of this century are to be found in, or spring out of,
the works of these men."

Linnaeus, son of a Lutheran pastor, born at Roeshult, in Sweden, in
1707, had barely passed his twenty-fifth year before laying the
ground-plan of the system of classification which bears his name, a
system which advance in knowledge has since modified. Based on external
resemblances, its formulation was possible only to a mind intent on
minute and accurate detail, and less observant of general principles. In
brief, the work of Linnaeus was constructive, not interpretative. Hence,
perhaps, conjoined to the theological ideas then current, the reason
why the larger question of the fixity of species entered not into his
purview. To him each plant and animal retained the impress of the
Creative hand that had shaped it "in the beginning," and, throughout
his working life, he departed but slightly from the plan with which he
started, namely, "reckoning as many species as issued in pairs" from the
Almighty fiat.

Not so Buffon, born on his father's estate in Burgundy in the same year
as Linnaeus, whom he survived ten years, dying in 1788. His opinions,
clashing as they did with orthodox creeds, were given in a tentative,
questioning fashion, so that where ecclesiastical censure fell, retreat
was easier. As has been seen in his submission to the Sorbonne, he was
not of the stuff of which martyrs are made. Perhaps he felt that the
ultimate victory of his opinions was sufficiently assured to make
self-sacrifice needless. But, under cover of pretence at inquiry, his
convictions are clear enough. He was no believer in the permanent
stability of species, and noted, as warrant of this, the otherwise
unexplained presence of aborted or rudimentary structures. For example,
he says, "the pig does not appear to have been formed upon an original,
special, and perfect plan, since it is a compound of other animals; it
has evidently useless parts, or rather, parts of which it cannot make
any use, toes, all the bones of which are perfectly formed, and which,
nevertheless, are of no service to it. Nature is far from subjecting
herself to final causes in the formation of her creatures." Then,
further, as showing his convictions on the non-fixity of species, he
says, how many of them, "being perfected or degenerated by the great
changes in land and sea, by the favours or disfavours of Nature, by
food, by the prolonged influences of climate, contrary or favourable,
are no longer what they formerly were." But he writes with an eye on the
Sorbonne when, hinting at a possible common ancestor of horse and ass,
and of ape and man, he slyly adds that since the Bible teaches the
contrary, the thing cannot be. Thus he attacked covertly; by adit, not
by direct assault; and to those who read between the lines there was
given a key wherewith to unlock the door to the solution of many
biological problems. Buffon, consequently, was the most stimulating and
suggestive naturalist of the eighteenth century. There comes between him
and Lamarck, both in order of time and sequence of ideas, Erasmus
Darwin, the distinguished grandfather of Charles Darwin.

Born at Eton, near Newark, in 1731, he walked the hospitals at London
and Edinburgh, and settled, for some years, at Lichfield, ultimately
removing to Derby. Since Lucretius, no scientific writer had put his
cosmogonic speculations into verse until Dr. Darwin made the heroic
metre, in which stereotyped form the poetry of his time was cast, the
vehicle of rhetorical descriptions of the amours of flowers and the
evolution of the thumb. The Loves of the Plants, ridiculed in the Loves
of the Triangles in the Anti-Jacobin, is not to be named in the same
breath, for stateliness of diction, and majesty of movement, as the De
rerum Natura. But both the prose work Zoonomia and the poem The Temple
of Nature (published after the author's death in 1802) have claim
to notice as the matured expression of conclusions at which the
clear-sighted, thoughtful, and withal, eccentric doctor had arrived in
the closing years of his life. Krause's Life and Study of the Works of
Erasmus Darwin supplies an excellent outline of the contents of books
which are now rarely taken down from the shelves, and makes clear that
their author had the root of the matter in him. His observations and
reading, for the influence of Buffon and others is apparent in his
writings, led him to reject the current belief in the separate creation
of species. He saw that this theory wholly failed to account for the
existence of abnormal forms, of adaptations of the structure of organs
to their work, of gradations between living things, and other features
inconsistent with the doctrine of "let lions be, and there were lions."
His shrewd comment on the preformation notion of development has been
quoted (p. 20). The substance of his argument in support of a "physical
basis of life" is as follows: "When we revolve in our minds the
metamorphosis of animals, as from the tadpole to the frog; secondly, the
changes produced by artificial cultivation, as in the breeds of horses,
dogs, and sheep; thirdly, the changes produced by conditions of climate
and of season, as in the sheep of warm climates being covered with hair
instead of wool, and the hares and partridges of northern climates
becoming white in winter; when, further, we observe the changes of
structure produced by habit, as seen especially by men of different
occupations; or the changes produced by artificial mutilation and
prenatal influences, as in the crossing of species and production of
monsters; fourth, when we observe the essential unity of plan in all
warm-blooded animals--we are led to conclude that they have been alike
produced from a similar living filament." The concluding words of this
extract make remarkable approach to the modern theory of the origin of
life in the complex jelly-like protoplasm, or, as some call it, nuclein
or nucleoplasm. And, on this, Erasmus Darwin further remarks: "As the
earth and ocean were probably peopled with vegetable productions long
before the existence of animals, and many families of these animals long
before other animals of them, shall we conjecture that one and the same
kind of living filament is and has been the cause of all organic life?"
Nor does he make any exception to this law of organic development. He
quotes Buffon and Helvetius to the effect--"that many features in the
anatomy of man point to a former quadrupedal position, and indicate that
he is not yet fully adapted to the erect position; that, further, man
may have arisen from a single family of monkeys, in which, accidentally,
the opposing muscle brought the thumb against the tips of the fingers,
and that this muscle gradually increased in size by use in successive
generations." While we who live in these days of fuller knowledge
of agents of variation may detect the _minus_ in all foregoing
speculations, our interest is increased in the thought of their near
approach to the cardinal discovery. And a rapid run through the later
writings of Dr. Darwin shows that there is scarcely a side of the great
theory of Evolution which has escaped his notice or suggestive comment.
Grant Allen, in his excellent little monograph on Charles Darwin, says
that the theory of "natural selection was the only cardinal one in the
evolutionary system on which Erasmus Darwin did not actually forestall
his more famous and greater namesake. For its full perception, the
discovery of Malthus had to be collated with the speculations of
Buffon."

In the Historical Sketch on the Progress of Opinion on the Origin of
Species, which Darwin prefixed to his book, he refers to Lamarck as "the
first man whose conclusions on the subject excited much attention;"
rendering "the eminent service of arousing attention to the probability
of all change in the organic, as well as in the inorganic world, being
the result of law, and not of miraculous interposition." Lamarck was
born at Bezantin, in Picardy, in 1744. Intended for the Church, he
chose the army, but an injury resulting from a practical joke cut short
his career as a soldier. He then became a banker's clerk, in which
occupation he secured leisure for his favourite pursuit of natural
history. Through Buffon's influence he procured a civil appointment,
and ultimately became a colleague of Cuvier and Geoffroy St. Hilaire in
the Museum of Natural History at Paris. Of Cuvier it will here suffice
to say that he remained to the end of his life a believer in special
creation, or, what amounts to the same thing, a series of special
creations which, he held, followed the catastrophic annihilations
of prior plants and animals. Although orthodox by conviction, his
researches told against his tenets, because his important work in the
reconstruction of skeletons of long extinct animals laid the foundation
of palæontology.

To Lamarck, says Haeckel, "will always belong the immortal glory of
having for the first time worked out the Theory of Descent as an
independent scientific theory of the first order, and as the
philosophical foundation of the whole science of Biology." He taught
that in the beginnings of life only the very simplest and lowest
animals and plants came into existence; those of more complex structure
developing from these; man himself being descended from ape-like
mammals. For the Aristotelian mechanical figure of life as a ladder,
with its detached steps, he substituted the more appropriate figure of
a tree, as an inter-related organism. He argued that the course of the
earth's development, and also of all life upon it, was continuous, and
not interrupted by violent revolutions. In this he followed Buffon and
Hutton. Buffon, in his Theory of the Earth, argues that "in order to
understand what had taken place in the past, or what will happen in the
future, we have but to observe what is going on in the present." This
is the keynote of modern geology. "Life," adds Lamarck, "is a purely
physical phenomenon. All its phenomena depend on mechanical, physical,
and chemical causes which are inherent in the nature of matter itself."
He believed in a form of spontaneous generation. Rejecting Buffon's
theory of the direct action of the surroundings as agents of change in
living things, he sums up the causes of organic evolution in the
following propositions:

1. Life tends by its inherent forces to increase the volume of each
living body and of all its parts up to a limit determined by its own
needs.

2. New wants in animals give rise to new movements which produce organs.

3. The development of these organs is in proportion to their employment.

4. New developments are transmitted to offspring.

The second and third propositions were illustrated by examples which
have, with good reason, provoked ridicule. Lamarck accounts for the long
neck of the giraffe by that organ being continually stretched out to
reach the leaves at the tree-tops; for the long tongue of the ant-eater
or the woodpecker by these creatures protruding it to get at food in
channel or crevice; for the webbed feet of aquatic animals by the
outstretching of the membranes between the toes in swimming; and for the
erect position of man by the constant efforts of his ape-like ancestors
to keep upright. The legless condition of the serpent which, in the
legend of the Garden of Eden, is accounted for on moral grounds, is
thus explained by Lamarck: "Snakes sprang from reptiles with four
extremities, but having taken up the habit of moving along the earth and
concealing themselves among bushes, their bodies, owing to repeated
efforts to elongate themselves and to pass through narrow spaces, have
acquired a considerable length out of all proportion to their width.
Since long feet would have been very useless, and short feet would have
been incapable of moving their bodies, there resulted a cessation of use
of these parts, which has finally caused them to totally disappear,
although they were originally part of the plan of organization in these
animals." The discovery of an efficient cause of modifications, which
Lamarck refers to the efforts of the creatures themselves, has placed
his speculations in the museum of biological curiosities; but sharp
controversy rages to-day over the question raised in Lamarck's fourth
proposition, namely, the transmission of characters acquired by the
parent during its lifetime to the offspring. This burning question
between Weismann and his opponents, involving the serious problem of
heredity, will remain unsettled till a long series of observations
supply material for judgment.

Lamarck, poor, neglected, and blind in his old age, died in 1829. Both
Cuvier, who ridiculed him, and Goethe, who never heard of him, passed
away three years later. The year following his death, when Darwin was an
undergraduate at Cambridge, Lyell published his Principles of Geology,
a work destined to assist in paving the way for the removal of one
difficulty attending the solution of the theory of the origin of
species, namely, the vast period of time for the life-history of
the globe which that theory demands. As Lyell, however, was then a
believer--although, like a few others of his time, of wavering type--in
the fixity of species, he had other aims in view than those to which his
book contributed. But he wrote with an open mind, not being, as Herbert
Spencer says of Hugh Miller, "a theologian studying geology." Following
the theories of uniformity of action laid down by Hutton, by Buffon, and
by that industrious surveyor, William Smith, who travelled the length
and breadth of England, mapping out the sequence of the rocks, and
tabulating the fossils special to each stratum, Lyell demonstrated in
detail that the formation and features of the earth's crust are
explained by the operation of causes still active. He was one among
others, each working independently at different branches of research;
each, unwittingly, collecting evidence which would help to demolish old
ideas, and support new theories.

A year after the Principles of Geology appeared, there crept unnoticed
into the world a treatise, by one Patrick Matthew, on Naval Timber and
Arboriculture, under which unexciting title Darwin's theory was
anticipated. Of this, however, as of a still earlier anticipation, more
presently. About this period Von Baer, in examining the embryos of
animals, showed that creatures so unlike one another in their adult
state as fishes, lizards, lions, and men, resemble one another so
closely in the earlier stages of their development that no differences
can be detected between them. But Von Baer was himself anticipated by
Meckel, who wrote as follows in 1811: "There is no good physiologist who
has not been struck, incidentally, by the observation that the original
form of all organisms is one and the same, and that out of this one
form, all, the lowest as well as the highest, are developed in such a
manner that the latter pass through the permanent forms of the former as
transitory stages" (Osborn's From the Greeks to Darwin, p. 212). In
botany Conrad Sprengel, who belongs to the eighteenth century, had shown
the work effected by insects in the fertilization of plants. Following
his researches, Robert Brown made clear the mode of the development of
plants, and Sir William Hooker traced their habits and geographical
distribution. Von Mohl discovered that material basis of both plant and
animal which he named "protoplasm." In 1844, nine years before Von Mohl
told the story of the building-up of life from a seemingly structureless
jelly, a book appeared which critics of the time charged with "poisoning
the fountains of science, and sapping the foundations of religion." This
was the once famous Vestiges of Creation, acknowledged after his death
as the work of Robert Chambers, in which the origin and movements of the
solar system were explained as determined by uniform laws, themselves
the expression of Divine power. Organisms, "from the simplest and
oldest, up to the highest and most recent," were the result of an
"inherent impulse imparted by the Almighty both to advance them from the
several grades and modify their structure as circumstances required."
Although now referred to only as "marking time" in the history of the
theory of Evolution, the book created a sensation which died away only
some years after its publication. Darwin remarks upon it in his
Historical Sketch that although displaying "in the earlier editions
little accurate knowledge and a great want of scientific knowledge, it
did excellent service in this country in calling attention to the
subject, in removing prejudice, and in thus preparing the ground for the
reception of analogous views."

Three years after the Vestiges, there was, although none then knew it,
or knowing the fact, would have admitted it, more "sapping of the
foundations" of orthodox belief, when M. Boucher de Perthes exhibited
some rudely-shaped flint implements which had been found at intervals in
hitherto undisturbed deposits of sand and gravel--old river beds--in the
Somme valley, near Abbeville, in Picardy. For these rough stone tools
and weapons, being of human workmanship, evidenced the existence of
savage races of men in Europe in a dim and dateless past, and went far
to refute the theories of his paradisiacal state on that memorable "23
October, 4004 B. C.," when, according to Dr. Lightfoot's reckoning (see
p. 103), Adam was created. While the pickaxe, in disturbing flint knives
and spearheads, that had lain for countless ages, was disturbing much
besides, English and German philosophers were formulating the imposing
theory which, under the name of the Conservation of Energy, makes clear
the indestructibility of both matter and motion. Then, to complete the
work of preparation effected by the discoveries now briefly outlined,
there appeared, in a now defunct newspaper, the Leader, in its issue of
20th of March, 1852, an article by Herbert Spencer on the Development
Hypothesis, in which the following striking passage occurs: "Those who
cavalierly reject the Theory of Evolution, as not adequately supported
by facts, seem quite to forget that their own theory is supported by no
facts at all. Like the majority of men who are born to a given belief,
they demand the most rigorous proof of any adverse belief, but assume
that their own needs none. Here we find, scattered over the globe,
vegetable and animal organisms numbering, of the one kind (according to
Humboldt) some 320,000 species, and of the other, some 2,000,000 species
(see Carpenter); and if to these we add the numbers of animal and
vegetable species that have become extinct, we may safely estimate the
number of species that have existed, and are existing, on the earth, at
not less than _ten millions_. Well, which is the most rational theory
about these ten millions of species? Is it most likely that there have
been ten millions of special creations? or is it most likely that by
continual modifications, due to change of circumstances, ten millions of
varieties have been produced, as varieties are being produced still?...
Even could the supporters of the Development Hypothesis merely show
that the origination of species by the process of modification is
conceivable, they would be in a better position than their opponents.
But they can do much more than this. They can show that the process of
modification has effected, and is effecting, decided changes in all
organisms subject to modifying influences.... They can show that in
successive generations these changes continue, until ultimately the new
conditions become the natural ones. They can show that in cultivated
plants, domesticated animals, and in the several races of men, such
alterations have taken place. They can show that the degrees of
difference so produced are often, as in dogs, greater than those on
which distinctions of species are in other cases founded. They can show,
too, that the changes daily taking place in ourselves--the facility that
attends long practice, and the loss of aptitude that begins when
practice ceases--the strengthening of passions habitually gratified, and
the weakening of those habitually curbed--the development of every
faculty, bodily, moral, or intellectual, according to the use made of
it--are all explicable on this same principle. And thus they can show
that throughout all organic nature there is at work a modifying
influence of the kind they assign as the cause of these specific
differences; an influence which, though slow in its action, does, in
time, if the circumstances demand it, produce marked changes--an
influence which, to all appearance, would produce in the millions of
years, and under the great varieties of condition which geological
records imply, any amount of change."

This quotation shows, as perhaps no other reference might show, how, by
the middle of the present century, science was trembling on the verge of
discovery of that "modifying influence" of which Mr. Spencer speaks.
That discovery made clear how all that had preceded it not only
contributed thereto, but gained a significance and value which, apart
from it, could not have been secured. When the relation of the several
parts to the whole became manifest, each fell into its place like the
pieces of a child's puzzle map.


LEADING MEN OF SCIENCE.

A. D. 800 TO A. D. 1800.

  --------------------+-----------------+------+------------------------
                      | Place and date  |      |
         NAME.        |    of birth.    | Died.|       Speciality.
  --------------------+-----------------+------+------------------------
  Geber (Djafer).     |Mesopotamia,     | .... |Earliest known Chemist.
                      |  830.           |      |
  Avicenna (Ibu Sina).|Bokhara, 980.    | 1037 |Expositor of Aristotle;
                      |                 |      |  Physician and
                      |                 |      |  Geologist.
  Averroes  (Ibu      |Spain, 1126.     | 1198 |Translator and
    Roshd).           |                 |      |  Commentator of
                      |                 |      |  Aristotle.
  Roger Bacon.        |Ilchester, 1214. | 1292 |First English
                      |                 |      |  Experimentalist.
  Christopher         |Genoa, 1445.     | 1506 |Discoverer of America,
    Columbus.         |                 |      |  1492.
  Vasco de Gama.      |Sines, 1469.     | 1525 |Sailed round the South
                      |(Portugal.)      |      |  of Africa, 1497.
  Ferdinand Magellan. |Ville de         | 1521 |Circumnavigator of
                      |  Sabroza, 1470. |      |  the Globe, 1519.
  Nicholas Copernicus.|Thorn, 1473.     | 1543 |Discoverer of the Sun
                      |(Prussia.)       |      |  as the Centre of our
                      |                 |      |  System.
  Andreas Vesalius.   |Brussels, 1514.  | 1564 |Human Anatomist.
  Conrad Gesner.      |Zurich, 1516.    | 1565 |Classification of
                      |                 |      |  Plants and Animals.
  Andrew Caesalpino.  |Arezzo, 1519.    | 1603 |Comparative Botanist.
                      |(Tuscany.)       |      |
  Tycho Brahe.        |Knudstrup,       | 1601 |Collector of
                      |  1546.          |      |  Astronomical Data.
                      |(Sweden.)        |      |
  Giordano Bruno.     |Nola, 1550.      | 1600 |Expounder of the
                      |                 |      |  Copernican System
                      |                 |      |  and Philosopher.
  Francis, Lord Bacon.|London, 1561.    | 1626 |Expounder of the
                      |                 |      |  Inductive Philosophy.
  Galileo Galilei.    |Pisa, 1564.      | 1642 |Numerous Astronomical
                      |                 |      |  Discoveries.
  Johann Kepler.      |Würtemburg,      | 1630 |Discoverer of the
                      |  1571.          |      |  Three Laws of
                      |                 |      |  Planetary Movements.
  Thomas Hobbes.      |Malmesbury,      | 1679 |One of the Founders
                      |  1588.          |      |  of Modern Ethics.
  René Descartes.     |La Haye, 1596.   | 1650 |Resolution of all
                      |(Touraine.)      |      |  Phenomena into Terms
                      |                 |      |  of Matter and Motion.
                      |                 |      |  (Dualism.)
  Benedict Spinoza.   |Amsterdam,       | 1677 |Resolution of all
                      |  1632.          |      |  Phenomena into Terms
                      |                 |      |  of Substance=God.
                      |                 |      |  (Monism.)
  John Locke.         |Wrington, 1632.  | 1704 |Moral Philosopher.
                      |(Somerset.)      |      |
  Gottfrid Wilhelm    |Leipsic, 1646.   | 1716 |Philosopher and
    Leibnitz.         |                 |      |  Mathematician.
  Sir Isaac Newton.   |Woolsthorpe,     | 1727 |Expounder of the Law
                      |  1642.          |      |  of Gravitation.
                      |(Lincoln.)       |      |
  Edmund Halley.      |London, 1656.    | 1741 |Astronomer.
  David Hartley.      |Illingworth,     | 1757 |Psychology of Man.
                      |  1705.          |      |
  Carl von Linnaeus.  |Roeshult, 1707.  | 1778 |Systematic Botany and
                      |(Sweden.)        |      |  Zoology.
  Count de Buffon.    |Burgundy,        | 1788 |Contributions from
                      |  1707.          |      |  Biology toward Theory
                      |                 |      |  of Evolution and
                      |                 |      |  Geology.
  David Hume.         |Edinburgh,       | 1776 |Philosophy of the
                      |                 |      |  Anti-supernatural;
                      |  1711.          |      |  all Science Converging
                      |                 |      |  in Man.
  Immanuel Kant.      |Königsberg,      | 1804 |Formulator of the
                      |  1724.          |      |  Nebular Theory.
  James Hutton.       |Edinburgh,       | 1797 |Geologist:
                      |  1726.          |      |  Uniformitarian.
  Erasmus Darwin.     |Elton, 1731.     | 1802 |(_See_ BUFFON.)
                      |(Lincolnshire.)  |      |
  Sir William         |Hanover, 1738.   | 1822 |Astronomer.
    Herschel.         |                 |      |
  Jean Baptiste       |Bazantium,       | 1829 |Biologist: Contributions
    Lamarck.          |  1744.          |      |  against fixity
                      |                 |      |  of Species.
  Marquis de Laplace. |Beaumont-en-Ange,| 1827 |Expounder of the
                      |  1749.          |      |  Nebular Theory.
  Conrad Sprengel.    |Pomerania,       | 1833 |Botanist.
                      |  1766.          |      |
  John Dalton.        |Eaglesfield,     | 1844 |Formulator of the
                      |  1767.          |      |  Modern Atomic
                      |(Cumberland.)    |      |  Theory.
  Baron Cuvier.       |Montbeliard,     | 1832 |Palæontologist and
                      |  1769.          |      |  Anatomist.
  Geoff. St. Hilaire. |Etampes, 1772.   | 1844 |Zoologist.
  Alexander von       | Berlin, 1769.   | 1859 |Explorer.
    Humboldt.         |                 |      |
  William Smith.      |Churchill, 1769. | 1840 |Geologist: mapped
                      |(Oxon.)          |      |  Strata of Great
                      |                 |      |  Britain.
  Boucher de Perthes. |1788.            | 1868 |Discoverer of Evidences
                      |                 |      |  of Man's
                      |                 |      |  Antiquity.
  Sir William Hooker. |Norwich, 1785.   | 1865 |Botanist.
  Sir Charles Lyell.  |Kinnordy,        | 1875 |Geologist: developed
                      |  1797.          |      |  Hutton's Theory.
                      |(Forfarshire.)   |      |
  Ernst von Baer.     |Esthonia, 1792.  | 1876 |Embryologist: Law of
                      |                 |      |  Organic Development.
  Sir Richard Owen.   |Lancaster, 1804. | 1892 |Palæontologist.
  Hugo von Mohl.      |Germany, 1805.   | 1872 |Discoverer of
                      |                 |      |  Protoplasm.
  Theodor Schwann.    |Neuss, 1810.     | 1882 |Founder of the Cell
                      |(Prussia.)       |      |  Theory.
  Hermann von         |Potsdam, 1821.   | 1894 |Formulator of the
    Helmholtz.        |                 |      |  Doctrine of the
                      |                 |      |  Conservation of
                      |                 |      |  Energy.
  --------------------+-----------------+------+------------------------



_PART IV._

MODERN EVOLUTION.


1. _Darwin and Wallace._

  We have to deal with Man as a product of Evolution; with Society as
  a product of Evolution; and with Moral Phenomena as products of
  Evolution.--HERBERT SPENCER, Principles of Ethics, § 193.

CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN (the second name was rarely used by him) was born
at Shrewsbury on the 12th of February, 1809. He came of a long line of
Lincolnshire yeomen, whose forbears spelt the name variously, as Darwen,
Derwent, and Darwynne, perhaps deriving it from the river of kindred
name. His father was a kindly, prosperous doctor, of sufficient
scientific reputation to secure his election into the Royal Society,
although that coveted honour was then more easily obtained than now. Of
the more famous grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, the reminder suffices that
both his prose and poetry were vehicles of suggestive speculations on
the development of life-forms. Dealing with bald facts and dates for
clearance of what follows, it may be added that Charles Darwin was
educated at the Grammar School of his native town; that he passed thence
to Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities; was occupied as volunteer
naturalist on board the Beagle from December, 1831, till October,
1836; that he published his epoch-making Origin of Species in November,
1859; and that he was buried by the side of Sir Isaac Newton in
Westminster Abbey on the 26th of April, 1882.

[Illustration: Alfred R. Wallace]

As with not a few other men of "light and leading," neither school nor
university did much for him, nor did his boyhood give indication of
future greatness. In his answers to the series of questions addressed to
various scientific men in 1873 by his distinguished cousin, Francis
Galton, he says: "I consider that all I have learnt of any value has
been self-taught," and he adds that his education fostered no methods of
observation or reasoning. Of the Shrewsbury Grammar School, where, after
the death of his mother (daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the celebrated
potter), in his ninth year, he was placed as a boarder till his
sixteenth year, he tells us, in the modest and candid Autobiography
printed in the Life and Letters, "nothing could have been worse for the
development of my mind." All that he was taught were the classics, and
a little ancient geography and history; no mathematics, and no modern
languages. Happily, he had inherited a taste for natural history and for
collecting, his spoils including not only shells and plants, but also
coins and seals. When the fact that he helped his brother in chemical
experiments became known to Dr. Butler, the head-master, that desiccated
pedagogue publicly rebuked him "for wasting time on such useless
subjects." Then his father, angry at finding that he was doing no good
at school, reproved him for caring for nothing but shooting, dogs, and
rat-catching, and declared that he would be a disgrace to the family! He
sent him to Edinburgh University with his brother to study medicine, but
Darwin found the dulness of the lectures intolerable, and the sight of
blood sickened him, as it did his father. Although the effect of the
"incredibly" dry lectures on geology made him--the future Secretary of
the Geological Society!--vow never to read a book on the science, or in
any way study it, his interest in biological subjects grew, and its
first fruits were shown in a paper read before the Plinian Society at
Edinburgh in 1826, in which he reported his discovery that the so-called
ova of _Flustra_, or the sea-mat, were larvæ.

But his father had to accept the fact that Darwin disliked the idea of
being a doctor, and fearing that he would degenerate into an idle
sporting man, proposed that he should become a clergyman! Darwin says
upon this:--

  I asked for some time to consider, as from what little I had heard
  or thought on the subject I had scruples about declaring my belief
  in all the dogmas of the Church of England, though otherwise I liked
  the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with
  care Pearson on the Creed, and a few other books on divinity; and,
  as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of
  every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our creed must
  be fully accepted. Considering how fiercely I have been attacked by
  the orthodox, it seems ludicrous that I once intended to be a
  clergyman. Nor was this intention and my father's wish ever
  formally given up, but died a natural death when, on leaving
  Cambridge, I joined the Beagle as naturalist. If the phrenologists
  are to be trusted, I was well fitted in one respect to be a
  clergyman. A few years ago the secretaries of a German psychological
  society asked me earnestly by letter for a photograph of myself; and
  some time afterwards I received the proceedings of one of the
  meetings, in which it seemed that the shape of my head had been the
  subject of a public discussion, and one of the speakers declared
  that I had the bump of reverence developed enough for ten priests.

The result was that early in 1828 Darwin went to Cambridge, the three
years spent at which were "time wasted, as far as the academical studies
were concerned." His passion for shooting and hunting led him into
a sporting, card-playing, drinking company, but science was his
redemption. No pursuit gave him so much pleasure as collecting beetles,
of his zeal in which the following is an example: "One day, on tearing
off some old bark, I saw two rare beetles, and seized one in each hand;
then I saw a third and new kind, which I could not bear to lose, so I
popped the one which I held in my right hand into my mouth. Alas! it
ejected some intensely acrid fluid, which burnt my tongue so that I was
forced to spit the beetle out, which was lost, as was the third one."

Happily for his future career, and therefore for the interests of
science, Darwin became intimate with men like Whewell, Henslow, and
Sedgwick, while the reading of Humboldt's Personal Narrative, and of Sir
John Herschel's Introduction to Natural Philosophy, stirred up in him
"a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble
structure of Natural Science." The vow to eschew geology was quickly
broken when he came under the spell of Sedgwick's influence, but it
was the friendship of Henslow that determined his after career, and
prevented him from becoming the "Rev. Charles Darwin." For on his return
from a geological tour in Wales with Sedgwick he found a letter from
Henslow awaiting him, the purport of which is in the following
extract:--

"I have been asked by Peacock (Lowndean Professor of Astronomy at
Cambridge) to recommend him a naturalist as companion to Captain
Fitz-Roy, employed by Government to survey the southern extremity of
America. I have stated that I consider you to be the best-qualified
person I know of who is likely to undertake such a situation."

In connection with this the following memorandum from Darwin's
pocket-book of 1831 is of interest:--"Returned to Shrewsbury at end of
August. Refused offer of voyage."

This refusal was given at the instance of his father, who objected
to the scheme as "wild and unsettling, and as disreputable to his
character as a clergyman"; but he soon yielded on the advice of his
brother-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood, and on Darwin's plea that he "should
be deuced clever to spend more than his allowance whilst on board the
Beagle." On this his father answered with a smile, "But they tell me
you are very clever." It is amusing to find that Darwin narrowly escaped
being rejected by Fitz-Roy, who, as a disciple of Lavater, doubted
whether a man with such a nose as Darwin's "could possess sufficient
energy and determination for the voyage."

The details of that voyage, the first of the two memorable events in
Darwin's otherwise unadventurous life, are set down in delightful
narrative in his Naturalist's Voyage Round the World, and it will
suffice to quote a passage from the autobiography bearing on the
significance of the materials collected during his five years' absence.

  During the voyage of the Beagle I had been deeply impressed by
  discovering in the Pampean formation great fossil animals covered
  with armour like that on the existing armadillos; secondly, by the
  manner in which closely allied animals replace one another in
  proceeding southwards over the continent; and thirdly, by the South
  American character of most of the productions of the Galapagos
  Archipelago, and more especially by the manner in which they differ
  slightly on each island of the group, none of the islands appearing
  to be very ancient in a geological sense. It was evident that such
  facts as these, as well as many others, could only be explained on
  the supposition that species gradually became modified; and the
  subject haunted me. But it was equally evident that "none of the
  evolutionary theories then current in the scientific world" could
  account for the innumerable cases in which organisms of every kind
  are beautifully adapted to their habits of life.... I had always
  been much struck by such adaptations, and until these could be
  explained, it seemed to me almost useless to endeavour to prove by
  indirect evidence that species have been modified.... In October,
  1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic
  inquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and
  being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which
  everywhere goes on, from long-continued observations of the habits
  of plants and animals, it at once struck me that under these
  circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and
  unfavourable ones destroyed. The result of this would be the
  formation of new species.

Shortly after his return he settled in London, prepared his journal and
manuscripts of observations for publication, and opened, he says, under
date of July, 1837, "my first note-book for facts in relation to the
origin of species, about which I had long reflected, and never ceased
working for the next twenty years." He acted for two years as one of the
honorary secretaries of the Geological Society, which brought him into
close relations with Lyell, and, as his health then allowed him to go
into society, he saw a good deal of prominent literary and scientific
contemporaries.

In the autumn of 1842, two years and eight months after his marriage
with his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood, who died in October last (1896),
Darwin removed from London, the air and social demands of which were
alike unsuited to his health, and finally fixed upon a house in the
secluded village of Down, near Beckenham, where he spent the rest of his
days. Henceforth the life of Darwin is merged in the books in which,
from time to time, he gave the result of his long years of patient
observation and inquiry, from the epoch-making Origin to the monograph
on earthworms. With bad health, apparently due to gouty tendencies
aggravated by chronic sea-sickness during his voyage; with nights that
never gave unbroken sleep; and days that were never passed without
prostrating pain; he might well have felt justified in doing nothing
whatever. But he was saved from the accursed monotony of a wealthy
invalid's life by his insatiate delight in searching for that solution
of the problem of the mutability of species which time would not fail to
bring. In this, he tells us, he forgot his "daily discomfort," and thus
was delivered from morbid introspection.

Darwin worked at his rough notes on the variation of animals and plants
under domestication, adding facts collected by "printed enquiries, by
conversations with skilful breeders and gardeners, and by extensive
reading," gleams of light coming till he says that he is "almost
convinced that species are not (it is like confessing a murder)
immutable." But he was still groping in the dark as to the application
of selection to wild plants and animals, until, as remarked above, the
chance reading of Malthus suggested a working theory. A brief sketch of
this theory, written out in pencil in 1842, was elaborated in 1844 into
an essay of two hundred and thirty pages. The importance attached to
this was shown in a letter which Darwin then addressed to his wife,
charging her, in the event of his death, to apply £400 to the expense of
publication. He also named certain competent men from whom an editor
might be chosen, preference being given to Sir Charles (then Mr. Lyell,
at whose advice Darwin began to write out his views on a scale three or
four times as extensive as that in which they appeared in the Origin of
Species.) Their publication in an abstract form was hastened by the
receipt, in June, 1858, of a paper, containing "exactly the same
theory," from Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace at Ternate in the Moluccas. This
reference to that distinguished explorer, will, before the story of the
coincident discovery is further told, fitly introduce a sketch of his
career.

ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE was born at Usk, in Monmouthshire, on the 8th of
January, 1823. He was educated at Hereford Grammar School, and in his
fourteenth year began the study of land-surveying and architecture under
an elder brother. Quick-witted and observing, he studied a great deal
more on his own account in his journeyings over England and Wales,
the results of which abide in the wide range of subjects--scientific,
political, and social--engaging his active pen from early manhood to the
present day.

About 1844 he exchanged the theodolite for the ferule, and became
English master in the Collegiate School at Leicester, in which town he
found a congenial friend in the person of his future fellow-traveller,
Henry Walter Bates. Bates was then employed in his father's hosiery
warehouse, from which he escaped, as often as the long working hours
then prevailing allowed, into the fields with his collecting-box. Both
schoolmaster and shopman were ardent naturalists, Mr. Wallace, as he
tells us, being at that time "chiefly interested in botany," but he
afterward took up his friend's favourite pursuit of entomology. The
writer, when preparing his memoir of Bates (which prefaces a reprint of
the first edition of the delightful Naturalist on the Amazons), learned
from Mr. Wallace that in early life he did not keep letters from Bates
and other correspondents. But, fortunately, among Bates's papers, there
was a bundle of interesting letters from Wallace written between June,
1845, and October, 1847, from Neath, in South Wales, to which town he
had removed. In one of these, dated the 9th of November, 1845, Wallace
asks Bates if he had read the Vestiges of the Natural History of
Creation, and a subsequent letter indicates that Bates had not formed a
favourable opinion of the book. A later letter is interesting as
conveying an estimate of Darwin. "I first," Wallace says, "read Darwin's
Journal three or four years back, and have lately re-read it. As the
journal of a scientific traveller, it is second only to Humboldt's
Personal Narrative; as a work of general interest, perhaps supporter to
it. He is an ardent admirer and most able supporter of Mr. Lyell's
views. His style of writing I very much admire, so free from all labour,
affectation, or egotism, yet so full of interest and original thought."

But, of still greater moment, is a letter in which Wallace tells Bates
that he begins "to feel dissatisfied with a mere local collection. I
should like to take some one family to study thoroughly, principally
with a view to the theory of the origin of species." The two friends had
often discussed schemes for going abroad to explore some virgin region,
nor could their scanty means prevent the fulfilment of a scheme which
has enriched both science and the literature of travel. The choice of
country to explore was settled by Wallace's perusal of a little book
entitled A Voyage up the River Amazons, including a Residence in Pará,
by W. H. Edwards, an American tourist, published in Murray's Family
Library, in 1847. In the autumn of that year Wallace proposed a joint
expedition to the river Amazons for the purpose of exploring the Natural
History of its banks; the plan being to make a collection of objects,
dispose of the duplicates in London to pay expenses, and gather facts,
as Mr. Wallace expressed it in one of his letters, "towards solving the
problem of the origin of species."

The choice was a happy one, for, except by the German zoologist Von
Spix, and the botanist Von Martius in 1817-20, and subsequently by Count
de Castelnau, no exploration of a region so rich and interesting to the
biologist had been attempted. Early in 1848 Bates and Wallace met in
London to study South American animals and plants in the principal
collections, and afterward went to Chatsworth to gain information about
orchids, which they proposed to collect in the moist tropical forests
and send home.

On 26th of April, 1848, they embarked at Liverpool in a barque of only
192 tons burden, one of the few ships then trading to Pará, to which
seaport of the Amazons region a swift passage, "straight as an arrow,"
brought them on 28th of May.

The travellers soon settled in a _rocinha_, or country-house, a mile and
half from Pará, and close to the forest, which came down to their doors.
Like other towns along the Amazons, Pará stands on ground cleared from
the forest that stretches, a well-nigh pathless jungle of luxuriant
primeval vegetation, two thousand miles inland. In that paradise of the
naturalist, the collectors gathered consignments which met with ready
sale in London, and thus spent a couple of years in pursuits moderately
remunerative and wholly pleasurable, till, on reaching Barra, at the
mouth of the Rio Negro, one thousand miles from Pará, in March, 1850,
Bates and Wallace, who was accompanied by his younger brother, parted
company, "finding it more convenient to explore separate districts and
collect independently." Wallace took the northern parts and tributaries
of the Amazons, and Bates kept to the main stream, which, from the
direction it seems to take at the fork of the Rio Negro, is called the
Upper Amazons or the Solimoens. Different in character and climatic
conditions from the Lower Amazons, it flows through a "vast plain about
a thousand miles in length, and five hundred or six hundred miles in
breadth covered with one uniform, lofty, impervious, and humid forest."
Bates stayed in the country till June, 1859, but Wallace left in 1852,
and in the following year published an account of his journey under the
title of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro. That book was written
under the serious disadvantage of the destruction of the greater part of
the notes and specimens by the burning of the ship in which Mr. Wallace
took passage on his homeward voyage. That it remains one of the select
company of works of travel for which demand is continuous is evidenced
in a reprint which appeared in 1891. If it affords few hints of the
author's bent of mind toward the question of the origin of species, it
shows what interest was being aroused within him over the allied subject
of the geographical distribution of plants and animals which Mr. Wallace
was to make so markedly his own.

In 1854 he sailed for the Malay Archipelago, where nearly eight years
were spent in exploring the region from Sumatra to New Guinea. The large
and varied outcome of that labour was embodied in numerous papers
communicated to learned societies and scientific journals, and in a
series of delightful books from The Malay Archipelago, first published
in 1869, to Island Life, published in 1880. Among the minor results
of his extensive travels--for all else that Wallace did pales before
the great discovery which links his name with Darwin's--was the
establishment of a line, known as "Wallace's," which divides the Malay
Archipelago into two main groups, "Indo-Malaysia and Austro-Malaysia,
marked by distinct species and groups of animals." That line runs
through a deep channel separating the islands of Bali and Lombok; the
plants and animals on which, although but fifteen miles of water
separate them, differ from each other even more than do the islands of
Great Britain and Japan. "A similar line, but somewhat farther east,
divides on the whole the Malay from the Papuan races of man."

Among the more fugitive contributions which mark Mr. Wallace's approach
to a solution of the problem in quest of which he and Bates went to the
Amazons is a paper On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of
New Species, published in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
1855. In this he shows that some form of evolution of one species from
another is needed to explain the geological and geographical facts of
which examples are given.

In the interesting preface to the reprint of the famous paper On the
Tendencies of Varieties to depart Indefinitely from the Original Type,
Mr. Wallace recites the several researches which he made in quest of
that "form" till, when lying ill with fever at Ternate, in February,
1858, something led him to think of the "positive checks" described by
Malthus in his Essay on Population, a book which he had read some years
before. Oddly enough, therefore, the honours lie with the maligned
Haileybury Reverend Professor of Political Economy in furnishing both
Darwin and Wallace with the clue. The "positive checks"--war, disease,
famine--Wallace felt must act even more effectively on the lower animals
than on man, because of their more rapid rate of multiplication. And he
tells us, in the prefatory note to a reprint of his paper, "there
suddenly flashed on me the _idea_ of the survival of the fittest, and in
the two hours that elapsed before my ague fit was over I had thought out
the whole of the theory, and in the two succeeding evenings wrote it out
in full and sent it by the next post to Mr. Darwin," asking him, if he
thought well of the essay, to send it to Lyell. This Darwin did with the
following remarks: "Your words have come true with a vengeance--that I
should be forestalled.... I never saw a more striking coincidence; if
Wallace had my MS. sketch written out in 1842, he could not have made a
better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as heads of my chapters.
Please return me the MS., which he does not say he wishes me to
publish; but I shall, of course, at once write and offer to send to
any journal. So all my originality, whatever it may amount to, will be
smashed, though my book, if it will ever have any value, will not be
deteriorated, as all the labour consists in the application of the
theory." Darwin came out well in this business. For to have hit upon a
theory which interprets so large a question as the origin and causes of
modification of life-forms; to keep on turning it over and over again in
the mind for twenty long years; to spend the working hours of every day
in collection and verification of facts for and against it; and then to
have another man launching a "bolt from the blue" in the shape of a
paper with exactly the same theory, might well disturb even a
philosopher of Darwin's serenity.

However, both Hooker and Lyell had read his sketch a dozen years before,
and it was arranged by them, not as considering claims of priority,
which have too often been occasion of unworthy wrangling, but in the
"interests of science generally," that an abstract of Darwin's
manuscript should be read with Wallace's paper at a meeting of the
Linnæan Society on the 1st of July, 1858. The full title of the joint
communication was On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties, and on
the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Selection. Sir
Joseph Hooker, describing the gathering, says that "the interest excited
was intense, but the subject was too novel and too ominous for the old
school to enter the lists before armouring. After the meeting it was
talked over with bated breath. Lyell's approval, and perhaps, in a small
way mine, as his lieutenant in the affair, rather overawed the Fellows,
who would otherwise have flown out against the doctrine. We had, too,
the vantage ground of being familiar with the authors and their theme."
Nothing can deprive Mr. Wallace of the honour due to him as the
co-originator of the theory, which, regarded in its application to the
origin, history, and destiny of man, involves the most momentous changes
in belief, and there may be fitly quoted here his own modest and,
doubtless, correct, assessment of limitations which in no wise
invalidate his high claims. In the Preface to his Contributions to the
Theory of Natural Selection (1870), Mr. Wallace says the book will prove
that he both saw at the time the value and scope of the law which he had
discovered, and has since been able to apply to some purpose in a few
original lines of investigation. "But," he adds, "here my claims cease.
I have felt all my life, and I still feel, the most sincere satisfaction
that Mr. Darwin had been at work long before me, and that it was not
left for me to attempt to write the Origin of Species. I have long since
measured my own strength, and know full well that it would be quite
unequal to that task. Far abler men than myself may confess that they
have not that untiring patience in accumulating, and that wonderful
skill in using, large masses of facts of the most varied kind--that wide
and accurate physiological knowledge--that acuteness in devising and
skill in carrying out experiments, and that admirable style of
composition at once clear, persuasive, and judicial--qualities which, in
their harmonious combination, mark out Mr. Darwin as the man, perhaps of
all men now living, best fitted for the great work he has undertaken
and accomplished."

In a letter to Wallace dated 20th April, 1870, Darwin says, "There has
never been passed on me, or, indeed, on any one, a higher eulogium than
yours. I wish that I fully deserved it. Your modesty and candour are
very far from new to me. I hope it is a satisfaction to you to
reflect--and very few things in my life have been more satisfactory to
me--that we have never felt any jealousy towards each other, though in
one sense rivals. I believe I can say this of myself with truth, and I
am absolutely sure it is true of you."

                 *       *       *       *       *

But on one question, and that round which discussion still rages, the
friends were poles asunder. There had been correspondence between them
as to the bearing of the theory of natural selection on man, and in
April, 1869, Darwin wrote, "As you expected, I differ grievously from
you, and I am very sorry for it. I can see no necessity for calling in
an additional and proximate cause in regard to man." In the fifteenth
chapter of his comprehensive book on Darwinism, Wallace admits the
action of natural selection in man's physical structure. This structure
classes him among the vertebrates; the mode of human suckling classes
him among the mammals; his blood, his muscles, and his nerves, the
structure of his heart with its veins and arteries, his lungs and his
whole respiratory and circulatory systems, all closely correspond to
those of other mammals, and are often almost identical with them. He
possesses the same number of limbs, terminating in the same number of
digits, as belong fundamentally to the mammals. His senses are identical
with theirs, and his organs of sense are the same in number and occupy
the same relative position. Every detail of structure which is common to
the mammalia as a class is found also in man, while he differs from
them only in such ways and degrees as the various species or groups of
mammals differ from each other. He is, like them, begotten by sexual
conjugation; like them, developed from a fertilized egg, and in his
embryonic condition passes through stages recapitulating the variety of
enormously remote ancestors of whom he is the perfected descendant.
Full-grown, he appears as most nearly allied to the anthropoid or
man-like apes; so much does his skeleton resemble theirs that, comparing
him with the chimpanzee, we find, with very few exceptions, bone for
bone, differing only in size, arrangement, and proportion.

Mr. Wallace, therefore, rejected the idea of man's special creation "as
being entirely unsupported by facts, as well as in the highest degree
improbable." _But he would not allow that natural selection explains the
origin of man's spiritual and intellectual nature._ These, he argues,
"must have had another origin, and for this origin we can only find an
adequate cause in the unseen universe of Spirit." More detailed
treatment of this argument will be given further on; here reference is
made to it as furnishing the explanation why Mr. Wallace kept not his
"first estate," and dropped out of the ranks of Pioneers of Evolution.
Many subjects, as hinted above, have occupied his facile pen--land
nationalization, causes of depression in trade, labourers' allotments,
vaccination, _et hoc genus omne_; showing, at least, the prominence
which all social matters occupy in the minds of the leading exponents of
the theory of Evolution. For of this, as will be seen, both Herbert
Spencer and Huxley supply cogent examples in their application of that
theory to human interests. But it is as a defender, although on lines of
his own not wholly orthodox, of supernaturalism, with attendant beliefs
in miracles and the grosser forms of spiritualism, that Mr. Wallace
appears in the character of opponent to the inclusion of man's psychical
nature as a product of Evolution.

The arresting influence of these views when backed by honest, sincere,
and eminent men of the type of Mr. Wallace, and when also supported by
several prominent men of science, renders it desirable to show that
modern psychism is but savage animism "writ large," and wholly
explicable on the theory of continuity. In his book on Miracles and
Modern Spiritualism, of which a revised edition, with chapters on
Apparitions and Phantasms, was issued in 1895, Mr. Wallace contends that
"Spiritualism, if true, furnishes such proofs of the existence of
ethereal beings and of their power to act upon matter, as must
revolutionise philosophy. It demonstrates the actuality of forms of
matter and modes of being before inconceivable; it demonstrates mind
without brain, and intelligence disconnected from what we know as the
material body; and it thus cuts away all presumption against our
continued existence after the physical body is disorganised and
dissolved. Yet more, it demonstrates, as completely as the fact can be
demonstrated, that the so-called dead are still alive; that our friends
are still with us, though unseen, and guide and strengthen us when,
owing to absence of proper conditions, they cannot make their presence
known. It thus furnishes a _proof_ of a future life which so many crave,
and for want of which so many live and die in anxious doubt, so many in
positive disbelief. It substitutes a definite, real, and practical
conviction for a vague, theoretical, and unsatisfying faith. It
furnishes actual knowledge on a matter of vital importance to all men,
and as to which the wisest men and most advanced thinkers have held, and
still hold, that no knowledge was attainable."

This claim, this tremendous claim, on behalf of the phenomena of
spiritualism to supply an answer to "the question of questions; the
ascertainment of man's relation to the universe of things; whence our
race has come; to what goal we are tending," rests on the assumption
with which Mr. Wallace starts, "Spiritualism, _if true_."

The essay from which the above passages are quoted is preceded by
references in detail to a considerable number of cases of "the
appearance of preterhuman or spiritual beings," the evidence of which
"is as good and definite as it is possible for any evidence of any fact
to be." These ghost-stories, contrasted with the full-flavoured eerie
tales of old, are feebly monotonous. The apparatus of the medium is
limited: the phenomena are largely of the "horse-play" order. Through
the whole series we vainly seek for some ennobling and exalting
conception of a life beyond, some glimpses "behind the veil," only to
find that the shades are but diluted or vulgarized parodies of
ourselves; or that "the filthy are filthy still," like the departed
bargee whose "communicating intelligence" (we quote from a recent book
on spiritualism entitled The Great Secret) was as coarse-mouthed as when
in the flesh. In considering, if it be deemed worth while, the evidence
of genuineness of the occurrences, we are thrown, not on the honesty,
but on the competency of the witnesses. The most eminent among these
show themselves persons of undisciplined emotions. The distinguished
physicist, Professor Oliver Lodge, who has been described to the writer
by an intimate friend of the Professor as "longing to believe
something," argues that in dealing with psychical phenomena, a hazy,
muzzy state of mind is better than a mind "keenly awake" and "on the
spot" (see Address to the Society for Psychical Research, Proceedings,
part xxvi, pp. 14, 15). With this may be compared a Mohammedan receipt
for summoning spirits given in Klunzinger's Upper Egypt (p. 386): "Fast
seven days in a lonely place, and take incense with you. Read a chapter
1001 times from the Koran. That is the secret, and you will see
indescribable wonders; drums will be beaten beside you, and flags
hoisted over your head, and you will see spirits." Thus have the dreamy
Oriental Moslem and the self-hypnotized Western professor met together
to elicit truth from trance.

Concerning the competence of Mr. Wallace himself to weigh, unbiassed,
the evidence which comes before him, it suffices to cite the case of
Eusapia Paladino, a Neapolitan "medium," who, in the words of one of
her most ardent dupes, became "the unexpected instrument of driving
conviction as to the reality of psychical manifestations by the
invisible into the minds of many scientists." A number of distinguished
savants testified to the genuineness of the woman's performances in
Professor Richet's cottage on the Ile Roubant in the autumn of 1893. It
was the serious and complete conviction of all of them (Lodge, Richet,
Ochorowicz, and others) that "on no single occasion during the
occurrence of an event recorded by them was a hand of Eusapia's
free to execute any trick whatever." Mr. Maskelyne, such testimony
notwithstanding, declared that the whole business was "the sorriest of
trickeries," and, to the credit of the Society for Psychical Research,
it undertook the expense of bringing Eusapia to England for the purpose
of testing the genuineness of her doings. She was taken to a house in
Cambridge, and detected as a vulgar impostor. Yet Mr. Wallace, in the
new edition of his Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, describes all the
phenomena occurring at Professor Richet's house as "not explicable
as the result of any known physical causes," and, in a subsequent
explanatory letter to the Daily Chronicle of 24th of January, 1896,
expresses the opinion that "the Cambridge experiments, so far as they
are recorded, only prove that Eusapia _might_ have deceived, not that
she actually and _consciously_ did so." The integrity of Mr. Wallace is
not to be doubted, but what becomes of his competence to judge when
prejudice blinds itself to facts? Spiritualism, _if true_, demonstrates
this and that about the unseen; but spiritualism, _proved to be untrue_,
lacks half the dexterity of an astute conjurer, and the whole of
his honesty. Every scientific man recognises the doctrine of the
Conservation of Energy as a fundamental canon. But with those who regard
the phenomena of Spiritualism as "not explicable" except by supernatural
causes, it would seem that that doctrine, as also the not unimportant
conditions of Time and Space, count for nothing. When we read their
reports of the behaviour of mediums who project (of course, in the dark)
"abnormal temporary prolongations" like pseudopodia, we should feel
alike depressed and confounded were there not abundant proofs what
wholly untrustworthy observers scientific specialists can be outside
their own domain. As the writer has remarked elsewhere, minds of this
type must be built in water-tight compartments. They show how, even in
the higher culture, the force of a dominant idea may suspend or
narcotize the reason and judgment, and contribute to the rise and spread
of another of the epidemic delusions of which history supplies warning
examples.

They also show that man's senses have been his arch-deceivers, and his
preconceptions their abettors, throughout human history; that advance
has been possible only as he has escaped through the discipline of the
intellect from the illusive impressions about phenomena which the senses
convey. Upon this matter the words of the late Dr. Carpenter may be
quoted, words the more weighty because they are the utterance of a man
whose philosophy was influenced by deep religious convictions: "With
every disposition to accept facts when I could once clearly satisfy
myself that they were facts, I have had to come to the conclusion that
whenever I have been permitted to employ such tests as I should employ
in any scientific investigation, there was either intentional deception
on the part of interested persons, or else self-deception on the part
of persons who were very sober-minded and rational upon all ordinary
affairs of life." He adds further: "It has been my business lately to
inquire into the mental condition of some of the individuals who have
reported the most remarkable occurrences. I cannot--it would not be
fair--say all I could with regard to that mental condition; but I can
only say this, that it all fits in perfectly well with the result of my
previous studies upon the subject, viz., that there is nothing too
strange to be believed by those who have once surrendered their judgment
to the extent of accepting as credible things which common sense tells
us are entirely incredible."

The fact abides that the great mass of supernatural beliefs which have
persisted from the lower culture till now, and which are still held by
an overwhelming majority of civilized mankind, are referable to causes
concomitant with man's mental development: causes operative throughout
his history. The low intellectual environment of his barbaric past
was constant for thousands of years, and his adaptation thereto was
complete. The intrusion of the scientific method in its application to
man disturbed that equilibrium. But this, as yet, only superficially.
Like the foraminifera that persist in the ocean depths, the great
majority of mankind have remained, but slightly, if at all, modified;
thus illustrating the truth of the doctrine of evolution in their
psychical history. (For that doctrine does not imply all-round
continuous advance. "Let us never forget," Mr. Spencer says in Social
Statics, "that the law is--adaptation to circumstances, be they what
they may.") Therefore the superstitions that still dominate the life of
man, even in so-called civilized centres, are no stumbling-blocks to
us. They are supports along the path of inquiry, because we account for
their persistence. Thought and feeling have a common base, because man
is a unit, not a duality. But the exercise of the one has been active
from the beginnings of his history--indeed we know not at what point
backward we can classify it as human or quasi-human--while the other,
speaking comparatively, has but recently been called into play. So far
as its influence on the modern World goes, may we not say that it began
at least in the domain of scientific naturalism with the Ionian
philosophers? Emotionally, we are hundreds of thousands of years old;
rationally, we are embryos.

In other words, man wondered countless ages before he reasoned; because
feeling travels along the line of least resistance, while thought, or
the challenge by inquiry--therefore the assumption that there may be two
sides to a question--must pursue a path obstructed by the dominance of
custom, the force of imitation, and the strength of prejudice and fear.
It is here that anthropology, notably that psychical branch of it
comprehended under folk-lore, takes up the cue from the momentous
doctrine of heredity; explains the persistence of the primitive; and
the causes of man's tardy escape from the illusions of the senses,
and the general conservatism of human nature. "Born into life! in
vain, Opinions, those or these, unalter'd to retain the obstinate
mind decrees," as in the striking illustration cited in Heine's
Travel-Pictures. "A few years ago Bullock dug up an ancient stone idol
in Mexico, and the next day he found that it had been crowned during
the night with flowers. And yet the Spaniard had exterminated the old
Mexican religion with fire and sword, and for three centuries had been
engaged in ploughing and harrowing their minds and implanting the
seed of Christianity." The causes of error and delusion, and of
the spiritual nightmares of olden time, being made clear, there is
begotten a generous sympathy with that which empirical notions of
human nature attributed to wilfulness or to man's fall from a high
estate. Superstitions which are the outcome of ignorance can only
awaken pity. Where the corrective of knowledge is absent, we see that
it could not be otherwise. Where that corrective is present, but
either perverted or not exercised, pity is supplanted by blame. In
either case, we learn that the art of life largely consists in that
control of the emotions and that diversion of them into wholesome
channels, which the intellect, braced with the latest knowledge, can
alone effect.

Therefore, discarding theories of revelation, spiritual illumination,
and other assumed supra-mundane sources of knowledge, sufficing causes
of abnormal mental phenomena are found in abnormal working of the mental
apparatus. The investigation of hallucinations (Lat. _alucinor_, to
wander in mind) leaves no doubt that they are the effect of a morbid
condition of that intricate, delicately poised structure, the nervous
system, under which objects are seen and sensations felt when no
corresponding impression has been made through the medium of the senses.
When the nervous system is out of gear, voices, whether divine or of the
dead, may be heard; and actual figures may be seen. A mental image
becomes a visual image; an imagined pain a real pain, as the great
physiologist, John Hunter, testified when he said, "I am confident that
I can fix my attention to any part until I have a sensation in that
part." Shakespere portrays the like condition when Macbeth attempts to
clutch the dagger wherewith to stab Duncan:

                   There's no such thing;
    It is the bloody business which informs
    Thus to mine eyes.

This abnormal state, which sees things having no existence outside the
"mind's eye," is no respecter of persons; the savage and the civilized
are alike its victims. It may be organic or functional. Organic, when
disease is present; functional, through excessive fatigue, lack of food
or sleep, or derangement of the digestive system, causing the patient,
as Hood says, "to think he's pious when he's only bilious." Under such
conditions, hallucinations of all sorts possess the mind; hallucinations
from which the true peptic, who, as Carlyle says, "has no system," is
delivered. Only the mentally anæmic, the emotionally overwrought, the
unbalanced, and the epileptic, are the victims, whether of the lofty
illusions of august visions such as carried Saint Paul, Saint Theresa,
and Joan of Arc, into the presence of the holiest; or hallucination of
drowned cat, thin and "dripping with water," born of the disordered
nerves of Mrs. Gordon Jones. To quote from Dr. Gower's Bowman Lecture
(Nature, 4th July, 1895) on Subjective Visual Sensations, such as
accompany fits, when, e. g., sensations of sight occur without the
retina being stimulated:

  The spectra perceived before epileptic fits vary widely. They may be
  stars or sparks, spherical luminous bodies, or mere flashes of
  light, white or coloured, still or in movement. Often they are more
  elaborate, distinct visions of faces, persons, objects, places. They
  may be combined with sensations from the other special senses, as
  with hearing and smell. In one case a warning, constant for years,
  began with thumping in the chest ascending to the head, where it
  became a beating sound. Then two lights appeared, advancing nearer
  with a pulsating motion. Suddenly these disappeared and were
  replaced by the figure of an old woman in a red cloak, always the
  same, who offered the patient something that had the smell of
  Tonquin beans, and then he lost consciousness. Such warnings may be
  called psychovisual sensations. The psychical element may be very
  strong, as in one woman whose fits were preceded by a sudden
  distinct vision of London in ruins, the river Thames emptied to
  receive the rubbish, and she the only survivor of the inhabitants.

Had a man of lesser renown and mental calibre than Mr. Wallace thrown
the weight of his testimony into the scales in favour of spiritualism,
there would have been neither necessity nor excuse for this digression.
But both these pleas prevail when we find the co-formulator of the
Darwinian theory among mediums and their dupes. The respectful
attention which his words command: the tremendous claims which he makes
on behalf of the phenomena at _séances_ as proving the existence of soul
apart from body after death, and as revealing the conditions under which
it lives, have made incumbent the foregoing attempt to indicate what
other explanation is given of those phenomena, showing how these fall in
with all we know of man's tendencies to imperfect observation and
self-deception, and with all that history tells of the persistence of
animistic ideas.

A salutary lesson on the use and misuse of the imagination is thus
taught. That which, under wholesome restraint, is the initiative and
incentive of inquiry, of enterprise, and of noble ideas; unrestricted,
leads the dreamer and the enthusiast into ingulfing quicksands of
illusions and delusions. Hence the necessity of curbing a faculty so
that in unison with reason, it works toward definite ends within the
domain, marking man's limits of service. As Dr. Maudsley reminds us in
his sane and sober book on Natural Causes and Supernatural Seeming, "not
by standing out of Nature in the ecstasy of a rapt and over-strained
idealism of any sort, but by large and close and faithful converse with
Nature and human nature in all their moods, aspects, and relations, is
the solid basis of fruitful ideas and the soundest mental development
laid. The endeavour to stimulate and strain any mental function to an
activity beyond the reach and need of a physical correlate in external
nature, and to give it an independent value, is certainly an endeavour
to go directly contrary to the sober and salutary method by which solid
human development has taken place in the past, and is taking place in
the present."

                 *       *       *       *       *

The story of Darwin's work must now be resumed. Shortly after the
Linnæan meeting, he prepared a series of chapters which, always regarded
by him as an "Abstract," ultimately took book form, and was published,
under the title of the Origin of Species, on the 24th of November, 1859.

The story of the reception of the work is admirably told by Huxley in
the chapter which he contributed to Darwin's Life and Letters, and it
may be commended as useful reading to a generation which, drinking-in
Darwinism from its birth, will not readily understand how such storm and
outcry as rent the air, both in scientific as well as clerical quarters,
could have been raised. "In fact," says Huxley, "the contrast between
the present condition of public opinion upon the Darwinian question;
between the estimation in which Darwin's views are now held in the
scientific world; between the acquiescence, or, at least, quiescence, of
the theologian of the self-respecting order at the present day, and the
outburst of antagonism on all sides in 1858-59, when the new theory
respecting the origin of species first became known to the older
generation to which I belong, is so startling that, except for
documentary evidence, I should be sometimes inclined to think my
memories dreams." The like reflection arises when we consider the
indifference with which books of the most daring and revolutionary
character, both in theology and morals, are treated nowadays, in
contrast to the uproar which greeted such a _brutum fulmen_ as Essays
and Reviews. As for Colenso's Pentateuch, and books of its type,
orthodoxy has long taken them to its bosom.

So far as the larger number of naturalists, and of the intelligent
public who followed their lead, were concerned, there was an absolutely
open mind on the question of the mutation of species. There had been,
as the foregoing sections of this book have shown, a long time of
preparation and speculation. We certainly find the keynote of Evolution
in Heraclitus, and more than two thousand years after his time Herbert
Spencer, above all men, had removed it from the empirical stage, and
placed it on a base broad as the facts which supported it. But it needed
the leaven of the human and personal to stir it into life, and touch
man in his various interests; and not all that Mr. Spencer had done
in application of the theory of development to social questions and
institutions could avail much till Darwin's theory gave it practical
shape. Dissertations on the passage of the "homogeneous to the
heterogeneous"; explanations of the theory of the evolution of complex
sidereal systems out of diffused vapours of seemingly simple texture,
interested people only in a vague and wondering fashion. But when Darwin
illustrated the theory of the modification of life-forms by familiar
examples gathered from his own experiments and observations, and from
intercourse with breeders of pigeons, horses, and dogs, this went to
men's "business and bosoms," and if the vulgar interpreted Darwinism,
as some, who should know better, interpret it even now, as explaining
man's descent from a monkey, or how a bear became a whale by taking to
swimming, the thoughtful accepted it as a master-key unlocking not the
mystery of origins or of causes of variations, but the mystery of the
ceaselessly-acting agent which, operating on favourable variations, has
brought about myriads of species from simple forms.

As Huxley reminds us in the passage quoted above, the attitude of the
clergy toward the theory of Evolution has undergone an astounding
change. Dr. Whewell remarked that every great discovery in science has
had to pass through three stages. First, people said, "It is absurd";
then they said, "It is contrary to the Bible"; finally, they said, "We
always knew that it was so." Thus it has been with Evolution. It is
calmly discussed; even claimed as a "defender of the faith," at Church
Congresses nowadays. It was not so in the sixties. Here and there a
single voice was raised in qualified sympathy--Charles Kingsley showed
more than this--but both in the Old and the New World the "drum
ecclesiastic" was beaten. Cardinal Manning declared Darwinism to be a
"brutal philosophy, to wit, there is no God and the ape is our Adam."
Protestant and Catholic agreed in condemning it as "an attempt to
dethrone God"; as "a huge imposture," as "tending to produce disbelief
of the Bible," and "to do away with all idea of God," as "turning the
Creator out of doors." Such are fair samples to be culled from the
anthology of invective which was the staple content of nearly every
"criticism." Occasionally some parody of reasoning appears when the
"argument" is advanced that there is "a simpler explanation of the
presence of these strange forms among the works of God in the fall of
Adam," but even this pseudo-concession to logic is rare; and one divine
had no hesitation in predicting the fate of Darwin and his followers in
the world to come. "If," said a Dr. Duffield in the Princeton Review,
"the development theory of the origin of man shall, in a little while,
take the place--as doubtless it will--with other exploded scientific
speculations, then they who accept it with its proper logical
consequences will, in the life to come, have their portion with those
who in this life 'know not God and obey not the Gospel of His Son.'" But
the most notable attack came from Samuel Wilberforce, then Bishop of
Oxford, in the Quarterly Review of July, 1860. "It is," said Huxley, in
his review of Haeckel's Evolution of Man, "a production which should be
bound in good stout calf, or better, asses' skin, by the curious
book-collector, together with Brougham's attack on the undulatory
theory of light when it was first propounded by Young." The bishop
declared "the principle of natural selection to be absolutely
incompatible with the word of God" and as "contradicting the revealed
relations of creation to its Creator." If by "revealed relations" and
the "word of God" the Bible is intended, the evolutionist is in
agreement with the bishop. But, at this time of day, it seems scarcely
worth while to shake the dust off articles which have gone the way of
all purely controversial matter, and justification for reference to them
lies only in the fact that the contest between the biologists and the
bishops is not yet ended.

In contrast to all this, and in evidence of the compromise by which
theology is vainly striving to justify itself, are these vague sentences
from Archdeacon Wilson's address at the Church Congress at Shrewsbury in
the autumn of 1896: "It is scarcely too much to say that the Theistic
Evolutionist cannot be otherwise than a practical Trinitarian, and
cannot find a difficulty in the Incarnation or in the doctrine of the
Holy Spirit." "Christian doctrine, apart from the statement of
historical facts, is the attempt to create out of Christ's teaching, a
philosophy of life which shall satisfy these needs (i. e., the needs of
humanity), and it will therefore remain the same in substance. But the
form in which that doctrine will be presented must change with man's
intellectual environment. The bearing of Evolution on Christian
doctrine is, therefore, in a word, to modify, not the doctrine, but the
form in which it is expressed."

Postponing the story of the famous debate between Wilberforce and
Huxley, the reception accorded to the Origin of Species by Darwin's
scientific contemporaries may be noted. Herbert Spencer's position, as
will be shown later on, was already distinctive: he was a Darwinian
before Darwin. Hooker, Huxley,--who said that he was prepared to go to
the stake, if needs be, in support of some parts of the book,--Bates,
and Lubbock were immediate converts; so were Asa Gray and Lyell, but
with reservations, for Lyell, whose creed was Unitarian, never wholly
accepted the inclusion of man, "body, soul, and spirit," as the outcome
of natural selection. Henslow and Pictet went one mile, but refused to
go twain; Agassiz, Murray, and Harvey would have none of the new heresy;
neither would Adam Sedgwick, who wrote a long protest to Darwin, couched
in loving terms, and ending with the hope that "we shall meet in
heaven." The attitude of Owen, if apparently neutral or tentative in
open conversation, was, as an anonymous critic, deadly hostile. Although
it is not included in the list of his writings given in the Life by his
grandson, he is known to have been the author of the critique on the
Origin of Species in the Edinburgh Review of April, 1860.

At the outset of the article he speaks of Darwin's "seduction" of
"several, perhaps the majority of our younger naturalists" by the
homoeopathic form of the transmutation of species presented to them
under the phrase of natural selection.... "Owen has long stated his
belief that some pre-ordained law or secondary cause is operative in
bringing about the change ... we therefore regard the painstaking and
minute comparison by Cuvier of the osteological and every other
character that could be tested in the mummified ibis, cat, or crocodile
with those of species living in his time; and the equally philosophical
investigation of the polyps operating at an interval of thirty thousand
years in the building-up of coral reefs by the profound palæontologist
of Neuchâtel (Agassiz is here referred to), as of far truer value in
reference to the inductive determination of the question of the origin
of species than the speculations of Demailler, Buffon, Lamarck,
'Vestiges,' Baden Powell, or Darwin" (p. 532).

Entangled in the meshes of this theory of a "pre-ordained law," which
seems to bear some relation to Aristotle's "perfecting principle," and
is in close alliance with the teaching of the great Cuvier, at whose
feet Owen had sat, he remained to the end of his life a type of arrested
development. While the Church cited him as an authority against the
Darwinian theory, especially in its application to man's descent, there
remained in the memory of his brother savants his lack of candour in
never withdrawing the statement made by him, and demonstrated by Huxley
as untrue, that the "hippocampus minor" in the human brain is absent
from the brain of the ape.

As for the reception of the book abroad, the French savants were
somewhat coy, but the Germans, with Haeckel at their head, were
enthusiastic. Darwin had, like all prophets, more honour in other
countries than in his own, Evolution being rechristened _Darwinismus_.
Translation after translation of the Origin followed apace, and the
personal interest that gathered round the central idea led to the
perusal of the book by people who had never before opened a scientific
treatise. Punch seized on it as subject of caricature; and writers of
light verse found welcome material for "chaff" which the winds of
oblivion have blown away, a stanza here and there surviving, as in Mr.
Courthope's Aristophanic lines:

    Eggs were laid as before, but each time more and more varieties
        struggled and bred,
    Till one end of the scale dropped its ancestor's tail, and the other
        got rid of his head.
    From the bill, in brief words, were developed the Birds, unless our
        tame pigeons and ducks lie;
    From the tail and hind legs, in the second-laid eggs, the apes.--and
        Professor Huxley!

Heeding neither squib, satire, nor sermon, Darwin, in the quiet of his
Kentish home, went on rearranging old materials, collecting new
materials, and verifying both, the outcome of this being his works on
the Fertilization of Orchids and the Variation of Plants and Animals
under Domestication, published in 1862 and 1867 respectively. Between
these dates Huxley's Man's Place in Nature--logical supplement to the
Origin of Species--appeared. But of this more anon.

Meanwhile, as already named, Mr. Patrick Matthew had in the Gardener's
Chronicle of 7th April, 1860, drawn attention to an appendix to his book
on Naval Timber and Arboriculture published in 1831, in which he
anticipated Darwin and Wallace's theory as follows:

"The self-regulating adaptive disposition of organised life may, in
part, be traced to the extreme fecundity of Nature, who, as before
stated, has in all the varieties of her offspring a prolific power much
beyond (in many cases a thousandfold) what is necessary to fill up
the vacancies caused by senile decay. As the field of existence is
limited and pre-occupied, it is only the hardier, more robust,
better-suited-to-circumstance individuals, who are able to struggle
forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they
have superior adaptation and greater power of occupancy than any other
kind; the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely
destroyed. This principle is in constant action; it regulates the
colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in
each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or
protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of
climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence,
and support; whose capacities and instincts can best regulate the
physical energies to self-advantage according to circumstances--in such
immense waste of primary and youthful life those only come to maturity
from the strict ordeal by which Nature tests their adaptation to
her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind by
reproduction" (pp. 384, 385).

While speaking of difficulty in understanding some passages in Mr.
Matthew's appendix, Darwin says that "the full force of the principle of
natural selection" is there, and, in referring to it in a letter to
Lyell, he adds that "one may be excused in not having discovered the
fact in a work on Naval Timber!"

Five years after this, another pre-Darwinian was unearthed, and, like
Patrick Matthew, in unsuspected company. Dr. W. C. Wells read a paper
before the Royal Society in 1813 on a White Female Part of whose Skin
resembles that of a Negro, but this was not published till 1818, when it
formed part of a volume including the author's famous Two Essays upon
Dew and Single Vision. In his Historical Sketch Darwin says that Wells
"distinctly recognises the principle of natural selection, and this is
the first recognition which has been indicated; but he applies it only
to the races of man, and to certain characters alone.... Of the
accidental varieties of man, which would occur among the first few and
scattered inhabitants of the middle regions of Africa, some one would be
better fitted than the others to bear the diseases of the country. This
race would consequently multiply, while the others would decrease; not
only from their inability to sustain the attacks of disease, but from
their incapacity of contending with their more vigorous neighbours."

When the simplicity of the long-hidden solution is brought home, we can
understand Huxley's reflection on mastering the central idea of the
Origin: "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!" Twelve years
elapsed before Darwin followed up his world-shaking book with the
Descent of Man. But the ground had been prepared for its reception in
the decade between 1860 and 1870. Quoting Grant Allen's able summary of
the advance of the theory of Evolution in his Charles Darwin: "One by
one the few scientific men who still held out were overborne by
the weight of evidence. Geology kept supplying fresh instances of
transitional forms; the progress of research in unexplored countries
kept adding to our knowledge of existing intermediate species and
varieties. During those ten years, Herbert Spencer published his First
Principles, his Biology, and the remodelled form of his Psychology;
Huxley brought out Man's Place in Nature, the Lectures on Comparative
Anatomy, and the Introduction to the Classification of Animals; Wallace
produced his Malay Archipelago and his Contributions to the Theory of
Natural Selection (Bates, we may here add to Mr. Allen's list, published
his paper on Mimicry in 1861, and his Naturalist on the Amazons in
1863); and Galton wrote his admirable work on Hereditary Genius, of
which his own family is so remarkable an instance. Tyndall and Lewes had
long since signified their warm adhesion. At Oxford, Rolleston was
bringing up a fresh generation of young biologists in the new faith; at
Cambridge, Darwin's old university, a whole school of brilliant and
accurate physiologists was beginning to make itself both felt and heard.
In the domain of anthropology, Tylor was welcoming the assistance of the
new ideas, while Lubbock was engaged on his kindred investigations into
the Origin of Civilization and the Primitive Condition of Man. All
these diverse lines of thought both showed the widespread influence of
Darwin's first great work, and led up to the preparation of his second,
in which he dealt with the history and development of the human race.
And what was thus true of England was equally true of the civilized
world, regarded as a whole: everywhere the great evolutionary movement
was well in progress, everywhere the impulse sent forth from the quiet
Kentish home was permeating and quickening the entire pulse of
intelligent humanity."

The Origin of Species, as we have seen, was intended as a rough draft or
preliminary outline of the theory of natural selection. The materials
which Darwin had collected in support of that theory being enormous, the
several books which followed between 1859 and 1881, the year before his
death, were expansions of hints and parts of the pioneer book. The last
to appear was that treating of The Formation of Vegetable Mould through
the Action of Worms. It embodied the results of experiments which had
been carried on for more than forty years, since, as far back as 1837,
Darwin read a paper on the subject before the Geological Society.
Reference to it recalls a story, characteristic of Darwin's innate
modesty, told to the writer by the present John Murray. Darwin called on
the elder Murray (presumably some time in 1880), and after fumbling in
his coat-tail pocket, drew out a packet, which he handed to Murray with
the timidity of an unfledged author submitting his first manuscript. "I
have brought you," he said, "a little thing of mine on the action of
worms on soil," and then paused as if in doubt whether Murray would care
to run the risk of bringing out the book! One story leads to another,
and our second relates to the burial of Darwin in Westminster Abbey.
Among the signatures of members of Parliament, requesting Dean Bradley's
consent to Darwin's interment there, was that of Mr. Richard B. Martin,
partner in the well-known bank of that name, trading under the sign of
the "Grasshopper." In his history of this old institution Mr. John B.
Martin prints the following letter, which was received on the 27th of
April, 1882, the day after Darwin's funeral.--

  SIRS--We have this day drawn a check for the sum of £280, which
  closes our account with your firm. Our reasons for thus closing an
  account opened so very many years ago are of so exceptional a kind
  that we are quite prepared to find that they are deemed wholly
  inadequate to the result.... They are entirely the presence of Mr.
  R. B. Martin at Westminster Abbey, not merely as giving sanction to
  the same as an individual, but appearing as one of the deputation
  from a Society which has especially become the indorser and
  sustainer of Mr. Darwin's theories.
                                                      ---- & Co.

The accordance of a resting-place to Darwin's remains among England's
illustrious dead in that Valhalla, was an irenicon from Theology to one
whose theories, pushed to their logical issues, have done more than any
other to undermine the supernatural assumptions on which it is built.
Not that Darwin was a man of aggressive type. If he speaks on the high
matters round which, like planet tethered to sun, the spirit of man
revolves by irresistible attraction, it is with hesitating voice and
with no deep emotion. A man of placid temper, in whom the observing
faculties were stronger than the reflective, he was content to collect
and co-ordinate facts, leaving to others the work of pointing out their
significance, and adjusting them, as best they could, to this or that
theory. It would be unjust to say of him what John Morley says of
Voltaire, that "he had no ear for the finer vibrations of the spiritual
voice," but we know from his own confessions, what limitations hemmed in
his emotional nature. The Life and Letters tells us that he was glad,
after the more serious work and correspondence of the day were over, to
listen to novels, for which he had a great love so long as they ended
happily, and contained "some person whom one can thoroughly love, if a
pretty woman, so much the better." But strangely enough, he lost all
pleasure in music, art, and poetry after thirty. When at school he
enjoyed Thomson, Byron, and Scott; Shelley gave him intense delight, and
he was fond of Shakespeare, especially the historical plays; but in his
old age he found him "so intolerably dull that it nauseated me."

  This curious and lamentable loss of the higher æsthetic tastes
  is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels
  (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and
  essays on all sorts of subjects, interest me as much as ever they
  did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding
  general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should
  have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone on which the
  higher tastes depend I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more
  highly organised or better constituted than mine would not, I
  suppose, have thus suffered; and, if I had to live my life again, I
  would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music
  at least once every week, for perhaps the parts of my brain now
  atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of
  these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious
  to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by
  enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

It is often said that a man's religion concerns himself only. So far as
the value of the majority of people's opinions on such high matters
goes, this is true; but it is a shallow saying when applied to men whose
words carry weight, or whose discoveries cause us to ask what is their
bearing on the larger questions of human relations and destinies to
which past ages have given answers that no longer satisfy us, or that
are not compatible with the facts discovered. Whatever silence Darwin
maintained in his books as to his religious opinions, intelligent
readers would see that unaggressive as was the mode of presentments of
his theory, it undermined current beliefs in special providence,
with its special creations and contrivances, and therefore in the
intermittent interference of a deity; thus excluding that supernatural
action of which miracles are the decaying stock evidence.

Nor could they fail to ask whether the theory of natural selection by
"descent with modification" was to apply to the human species. And when
Darwin, already anticipated in this application by his more daring
disciples, Professors Huxley and Haeckel, published his Descent of
Man, with its outspoken chapter on the origin of conscience and
the development of belief in spiritual beings, a belief subject to
periodical revision as knowledge increased, it was obvious that the
bottom was knocked out of all traditional dogmas of man's fall and
redemption, of human sin and divine forgiveness. Therefore, what Darwin
himself believed was a matter of moment. His answers to inquiries which
were made public during his lifetime told us that while the varying
circumstances and modes of life caused his judgment to often fluctuate,
and that while he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the
existence of a God, "I think," he says, "that generally (and more and
more as I grow older) but not always, an agnostic would be the most
correct description of my state of mind." The chapter on Religion,
although a part of the autobiography, is printed separately in the Life
and Letters. As the following quotation shows, it is interesting as
detailing a few of the steps by which Darwin reached that suspensive
stage.

  Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember
  being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though
  themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable
  authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of
  the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this
  time--i. e., 1836 to 1839--to see that the Old Testament was no more
  to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question,
  then, continually rose before my mind, and would not be banished--is
  it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos
  he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva,
  etc., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This
  appeared to me utterly incredible.

  By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite
  to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity
  is supported--and that the more we know of the fixed laws of Nature
  the more incredible do miracles become--that the men at that time
  were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible
  by us, that the Gospels can not be proved to have been written
  simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important
  details, far too important, as it seems to me, to be admitted as the
  usual inaccuracies of eye-witnesses: by such reflections as these,
  which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they
  influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a
  divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread
  over large portions of the earth like wildfire had some weight with
  me.

  But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this,
  for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of
  old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being
  discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most
  striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it
  more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to
  invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief
  crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The
  rate was so slow that I felt no distress.

  Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God
  until a considerably later period of my life, I will here give the
  vague conclusions to which I have been driven. The old argument from
  design in Nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so
  conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been
  discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful
  hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent
  being, like the hinge of a door by a man. There seems to be no more
  design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of
  natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. But I
  have discussed this subject at the end of my book on the Variation
  of Domesticated Animals and Plants, and the argument there given has
  never, as far as I can see, been answered.

Without doubt, the influence of the conclusions deducible from the
theory of Evolution are fatal to belief in the supernatural. When we say
the supernatural, we mean that great body of assumptions out of which
are constructed all theologies, the essential element in these being the
intimate relation between spiritual beings, of whom certain qualities
are predicated, and man. These beings have no longer any place in the
effective belief of intelligent and unprejudiced men, because they are
found to have no correspondence with the ascertained operations of
Nature.

[Illustration: Herbert Spencer]


2. _Herbert Spencer._

Contact with many "sorts and conditions of men" brings home the need of
ceaselessly dinning into their ears the fact that _Darwin's theory deals
only with the evolution of plants and animals from a common ancestry.
It is not concerned with the origin of life itself, nor with those
conditions preceding life which are covered by the general term_,
Inorganic Evolution. Therefore, it forms but a very small part of the
general theory of the origin of the earth and other bodies, "as the sand
by the seashore innumerable," that fill the infinite spaces.

We have seen that speculation about the universe had its rise in Ionia.
After centuries of discouragement, prohibition, and, sometimes, actual
persecution, it was revived, to advance, without further serious arrest,
some three hundred years ago. A survey of the history of philosophies of
the origin of the cosmos from the time of the renascence of inquiry,
shows that the great Immanuel Kant has not had his due. As remarked
already, he appears to have been the first to put into shape what is
known as the nebular theory. In his General Natural History and Theory
of the Celestial Bodies; or an Attempt to Account for the Constitution
and the Mechanical Origin of the Universe upon Newtonian Principles,
published in 1775, he "pictures to himself the universe as once an
infinite expansion of formless and diffused matter. At one point of this
he supposes a single centre of attraction set up, and shows how this
must result in the development of a prodigious central body, surrounded
by systems of solar and planetary worlds in all stages of development.
In vivid language he depicts the great world-maelstrom, widening the
margins of its prodigious eddy in the slow progress of millions of
ages, gradually reclaiming more and more of the molecular waste, and
converting chaos into cosmos. But what is gained at the margin is lost
in the centre; the attractions of the central systems bring their
constituents together, which then, by the heat evolved, are converted
once more into molecular chaos. Thus the worlds that are lie between
the ruins of the worlds that have been and the chaotic materials of the
worlds that shall be; and in spite of all waste and destruction, Cosmos
is extending his borders at the expense of Chaos."

Kant's speculations were confirmed by the celebrated mathematician,
Laplace. He showed that the "rings" rotate in the same direction as the
central body from which they were cast off; sun, planets, and moons
(those of Uranus excepted) moving in a common direction, and almost in
the same plane. The probability that these harmonious movements are the
effects of like causes he calculated as 200,000 billions to one.

The observations of the famous astronomer, Sir William Herschel, which
resulted in the discovery of binary or double stars, of star-clusters,
and cloud-like nebulæ (as that term implies) were further confirmations
of Kant's theory. And such modifications in this as have been made
by subsequent advance in knowledge, notably by the doctrine of the
Conservation of Energy (the hypothesis of Kant and Laplace being based
on gravitation alone), affect not the general theory of the origin
of the heavenly bodies from seemingly formless, unstable, and
highly-diffused matter. The assumption of primitive unstableness and
unlikeness squares with the unequal distribution of matter; with the
movements of its masses in different directions, and at different rates;
and with the ceaseless redistribution of matter and motion. For all
changes of states are due to the rearrangement of the atoms of which
matter is made up, resulting in the evolution of the seeming like into
the actual unlike; of the simple into the more and more complex,
till--speaking of the only planet of whose life-history we can have
knowledge--with the cooling of the earth to a temperature permitting of
the evolution of living matter, the highest complexity is reached in
the infinitely diverse forms of plants and animals. Therefore, as our
knowledge of matter is limited to the changes of which we assume it to
be the vehicle, it would seem that science reduces the Universe to the
intelligible concept of Motion.

Since the great discovery by Kirchoff, in 1859, of the meaning of the
dark lines that cross the refracted sun-rays, the spectroscope has come
as powerful evidence in support of the nebular theory, while the
photographic plate is a scarcely less important witness. The one has
demonstrated that many nebulæ, once thought to be star-clusters, are
masses of glowing hydrogen and nitrogen gases; that, to quote the
striking communication made by the highest authority on the subject, Dr.
Huggins, in his Presidential Address to the British Association, 1891,
"in the part of the heavens within our ken, the stars still in the early
and middle stages of evolution exceed greatly in number those which
appear to be in an advanced condition of condensation." The other,
recording infallible vibrations on a sensitive plate, and securing
accurate registration of the impressions, reveals, as in Dr. Roberts's
grand photograph of the nebula in Andromeda, a central mass round which
are distinct rings of luminous matter, these being separated from the
main body by dark rifts or spaces. To quote Dr. Huggins once more, "We
seem to have presented to us some stage of cosmical Evolution on a
gigantic scale."

The great fact that lies at the back of all these confirmations of the
nebular theory is the fundamental identity of the stuff of which the
universe is made; a fact which entered into the prevision of the Ionian
cosmologists. Dr. Huggins says that "if the whole earth were heated to
the temperature of the sun, its spectrum would resemble very closely the
solar spectrum."

In referring to this, there may be carrying of "owls to Athens," but
that re-statements may sometimes be needful has illustration in Lord
Salisbury's Presidential Address to the British Association, 1894,
wherein the assumed absence of oxygen and nitrogen in the sun's spectrum
is adduced as an argument against the theory of the common origin of the
bodies of the solar system. Speaking of the predominant proportion of
oxygen in the solid and liquid substances of the earth, and of the
predominance of nitrogen in our atmosphere, his lordship asked, "if the
earth be a detached bit whisked off the mass of the sun, as cosmogonists
love to tell us, how comes it that, in leaving the sun, we cleaned him
out so completely of his nitrogen and oxygen that not a trace of these
gases remains behind to be discovered even by the searching vision of
the spectroscope?" If Lord Salisbury had consulted Dr. Huggins, or some
foreign astronomer of equal rank, as Dunér or Scheiner, he would not
have put a question exposing his ignorance, and unmasking his prejudice.
These authorities would have told him that when a mixture of the
incandescent vapours of the metals and metalloids (or non-metallic
elementary substances, to which class both oxygen and nitrogen belong),
or their compounds, is examined with the spectroscope, the spectra of
the metalloids always yield before that of the metals. Hence the absence
of the lines of oxygen and other metalloids, carbon and silicon
excepted, among the vast crowd of lines in the solar spectrum. Then,
too, in extreme states of rarefaction of the sun's absorbing layer, the
absorption of the oxygen is too small to be sensible to us.

"While the genesis of the Solar System, and of countless other systems
like it, is thus rendered comprehensible, the ultimate mystery continues
as great as ever. The problem of existence is not solved: it is simply
removed further back. The Nebular Hypothesis throws no light on the
origin of diffused matter; and diffused matter as much needs accounting
for as concrete matter. The genesis of an atom is not easier to conceive
than the genesis of a planet. Nay, indeed, so far from making the
universe a less mystery than before, it makes it a greater mystery.
Creation by manufacture is a much lower thing than creation by
evolution. A man can put together a machine; but he cannot make a
machine develop itself. The ingenious artisan, able as some have been so
far to imitate vitality as to produce a mechanical pianoforte player,
may in some sort conceive how, by greater skill, a complete man might be
artificially produced; but he is unable to conceive how such a complex
organism gradually arises out of a minute structureless germ. That our
harmonious universe once existed potentially as formless diffuse matter,
and has slowly grown into its present organized state, is a far more
astonishing fact than would have been its formation after the artificial
method vulgarly supposed. Those who hold it legitimate to argue from
phenomena to noumena, may rightly contend that the Nebular Hypothesis
implies a First Cause as much transcending 'the mechanical God of Paley'
as does the fetish of the savage."

This quotation is from an essay on the Nebular Hypothesis, which
appeared in the Westminster Review of July, 1858, and which must,
therefore, have been written before the eventful date of the reading
of Darwin and Wallace's memorable paper before the Linnæan Society.
The author of that essay is Mr. Herbert Spencer, and the foregoing
extract from it may fitly preface a brief account of his life-work in
co-ordinating the manifold branches of knowledge into a synthetic whole.
In erecting a complete theory of Evolution on a purely scientific
basis "his profound and vigorous writings," to quote Huxley, "embody
the spirit of Descartes in the knowledge of our own day." Laying the
foundation of his massive structure in early manhood, Mr. Spencer has
had the rare satisfaction of placing the topmost stone on the building
which his brain devised and his hand upreared. While the sheets of this
little book are being passed for press, there arrives the third volume
of the Principles of Sociology, which completes Mr. Spencer's Synthetic
Philosophy. In the preface to this, the venerable author says:

"On looking back over the six-and-thirty years which I have passed since
the Synthetic Philosophy was commenced, I am surprised at my audacity
in undertaking it, and still more surprised by its completion. In 1860
my small resources had been nearly all frittered away in writing and
publishing books which did not repay their expenses; and I was suffering
under a chronic disorder, caused by overtax of brain in 1855, which,
wholly disabling me for eighteen months, thereafter limited my work to
three hours a day, and usually to less. How insane my project must have
seemed to onlookers, may be judged from the fact that before the first
chapter of the first volume was finished, one of my nervous breakdowns
obliged me to desist.

"But imprudent courses do not always fail. Sometimes a forlorn hope
is justified by the event. Though, along with other deterrents, many
relapses, now lasting for weeks, now for months, and once for years,
often made me despair of reaching the end, yet at length the end is
reached. Doubtless in earlier years some exultation would have resulted;
but as age creeps on feelings weaken, and now my chief pleasure is in my
emancipation. Still there is satisfaction in the consciousness that
losses, discouragements, and shattered health have not prevented me
from fulfilling the purpose of my life."

These words recall a parallel invited by Gibbon's record of his
feelings on the completion of his immortal work, when walking under the
acacias of his garden at Lausanne, he pondered on the "recovery of his
freedom, and perhaps the establishment of his fame," but with a "sober
melancholy" at the thought that "he had taken an everlasting leave of an
old and agreeable companion."

HERBERT SPENCER, spiritual descendant--_longo intervallo_--of Heraclitus
and Lucretius, was born at Derby on the 27th of April, 1820. His father
was a schoolmaster; a man of scientific tastes, and, it is interesting
to note, secretary of the Derby Philosophical Association founded by
Erasmus Darwin. In Mr. Spencer's book on Education there are hints of
his inheritance of the father's bent as an observer and lover of Nature
in the remark that, "whoever has not in youth collected plants and
insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedgerows
can assume." He was articled in his seventeenth year to a railway
engineer, and followed that profession until he was twenty-five. During
this period he wrote various papers for the Civil Engineers' and
Architects' Journal, and, what is of importance to note, a series of
letters to the Nonconformist in 1842 on The Proper Sphere of Government
(republished as a pamphlet in 1844), in which "the only point of
community with the general doctrine of Evolution is a belief in the
modifiability of human nature through adaptation to conditions, and a
consequent belief in human progression." After giving up engineering,
Mr. Spencer joined the staff of the Economist, and while thus employed,
published, in 1850, his first important book, Social Statics, or the
Conditions essential to Human Happiness specified, and the first of
them developed. In a footnote to the later editions of this work Mr.
Spencer points out a brace of paragraphs in the chapter on General
Considerations in which "may be seen the first step toward the general
doctrine of Evolution. After referring to the analogy between the
subdivision of labour, which goes on in human society as it advances;
and the gradual diminution in the number of like parts and the
multiplication of unlike parts which are observable in the higher
animals; Mr. Spencer says:

"Now, just the same coalescence of like parts and separation of unlike
ones--just the same increasing subdivision of function--takes place in
the development of society. The earliest social organisms consist almost
wholly of repetitions of one element. Every man is a warrior, hunter,
fisherman, builder, agriculturist, toolmaker. Each portion of the
community performs the same duties with every other portion; much as
each slice of the polyp's body is alike stomach, muscle, skin, and
lungs. Even the chiefs, in whom a tendency towards separateness of
function first appears, still retain their similarity to the rest in
economic respects. The next stage is distinguished by a segregation of
these social units into a few distinct classes--warriors, priests, and
slaves. A further advance is seen in the sundering of the labourers into
different castes, having special occupations, as among the Hindoos. And,
without further illustration, the reader will at once perceive, that
from these inferior types of society up to our own complicated and more
perfect one, the progress has ever been of the same nature. While he
will also perceive that this coalescence of like parts, as seen in the
concentration of particular manufactures in particular districts, and
this separation of agents having separate functions, as seen in the more
and more minute division of labour, are still going on.

"Thus do we find, not only that the analogy between a society and a
living creature is borne out to a degree quite unsuspected by those who
commonly draw it, but also that the same definition of life applies to
both. This union of many men into one community--this increasing mutual
dependence of units which were originally independent--this formation of
a whole consisting of unlike parts--this growth of an organism, of which
one portion cannot be injured without the rest feeling it--may all be
generalized under the law of individuation. The development of society,
as well as the development of man and the development of life generally,
may be described as a tendency to individuate--_to become a thing_. And
rightly interpreted, the manifold forms of progress going on around us
are uniformly significant of this tendency."

_Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto_: "I am a man and nothing
human is foreign to me." This oft-quoted saying of the old farmer in the
Self-Tormentor of Terence might be affixed as motto to Herbert Spencer's
writings from the tractate on the Proper Sphere of Government to the
concluding volume of the Principles of Sociology. For thought of human
interests everywhere pervades them; social and ethical questions are
kept in the van throughout. Philosophy is brought from her high seat to
mix in the sweet amenities of home, in the discipline of camp, in the
rivalry of market; and linked to conduct. Conduct is defined as "acts
adjusted to ends," the perfecting of the adjustment being the highest
aim, so that "the greatest totality of life in self, in offspring, and
in fellow-men" is secured, the limit of evolution of conduct not being
reached, "until, beyond avoidance of direct and indirect injuries to
others, there are spontaneous efforts to further the welfare of others."
Emerson puts this ideal into crisp form when he speaks of the time in
which a man shall care more that he wrongs not his neighbour than that
his neighbour wrongs him; then will his "market-cart become a chariot of
the sun."

That humanity is the pivot round which Mr. Spencer's philosophic system
revolves is seen in the earliest Essays, and notably in his making
mental evolution the subject of the first instalment of his Synthetic
Philosophy. For, in the Principles of Psychology, published in 1855, he
limits feeling or consciousness to animals possessing a nervous system,
and traces its beginnings in the "blurred, undetermined feeling
answering to a single pulsation or shock" (as for example, to go no
lower down the life-scale, in the medusa or jelly-fish), to its highest
form as self-consciousness, or knowing that we know, in man. This
dominant element in Mr. Spencer's philosophy secures it a life and
permanence which, had it been restricted to explaining the mechanics of
the inorganic universe, it could never have possessed. It has been
observed how the Darwinian theory aroused attention in all quarters
because it touched human interests on every side. And, although less
obvious to the multitude, the Synthetic Philosophy, dealing with all
cosmic processes as purely mechanical problems, interprets "the
phenomena of life (excluding the question of its origin), mind, and
society, in terms of matter and motion." Anticipating the levelling
of epithets against such apparent materializing of mental phenomena
involved in that method, Spencer remarks on the dismay with which men,
who have not risen above the vulgar conception which unites with matter
the contemptuous epithets "gross" and "brute," regard the proposal to
reduce the phenomena of Life, of Mind, and of Society, to a level which
they think so degraded. "Whoever remembers that the forms of existence
which the uncultivated speak of with so much scorn, are shown by the
man of science to be the more marvellous in their attributes the more
they are investigated, and are also proved to be in their ultimate
natures absolutely incomprehensible--as absolutely incomprehensible
as sensation, or the conscious something which perceives it--whoever
clearly recognises this truth, will see that the course proposed does
not imply a degradation of the so-called higher, but an elevation of
the so-called lower. Perceiving, as he will, that the Materialist
and Spiritualist controversy is a mere war of words,--in which the
disputants are equally absurd, each thinking that he understands that
which it is impossible for any man to understand,--he will perceive how
utterly groundless is the fear referred to. Being fully convinced that
no matter what nomenclature is used, the ultimate mystery must remain
the same, he will be as ready to formulate all phenomena in terms of
Matter, Motion, and Force, as in any other terms; and will rather indeed
anticipate, that only in a doctrine which recognises the Unknown Cause
as co-extensive with all orders of phenomena, can there be a consistent
Religion, or a consistent Philosophy."

This is clear enough; yet such is the crass density of some objectors
that eighteen years after the above was written, Mr. Spencer, in
answering criticisms on First Principles, had to rebut the charge that
he believed matter to consist of "space-occupying units, having shape
and measurement."

The Principles of Psychology was both preceded and followed by a series
of essays in which the process of change from the "homogeneous to the
heterogeneous," i. e., from the seeming like to the actual unlike, was
expounded. Mr. Spencer tells us that in 1852 he first became acquainted
with Von Baer's Law of Development, or the changes undergone in each
living thing, from the general to the special, during its advance
from the embryonic to the fully-formed state. That law confirmed the
prevision indicated in the passages quoted above from Social Statics,
and impressed him as one of the three doctrines which are indispensable
elements of the general theory of Evolution. The other two are the
Correlation of the Physical Forces, or the transformation of different
modes of motion into other modes of motion, as of heat or light into
electricity, and so forth, in Proteus-like fashion; and the Conservation
of Energy, or the indestructibility of matter and motion, whatever
changes or transformations these may undergo.

In permitting the quotation of the useful abstract of the Synthetic
Philosophy which, originally drawn up for the late Professor Youmans,
was imbodied in a letter to the Athenæum of 22d of July, 1882, Mr.
Spencer was good enough to volunteer the following details to the
writer:--

"You are probably aware that the conception set forth in that abstract
was reached by slow steps during many years. These steps occurred as
follows:--

  1850. Social Statics: especially chapter General Considerations.
            (Higher human Evolution.)

  1852. March. Development Hypothesis, in the Leader. (Evolution of
            species, _vid. ante_, p. 111.)

  1852. April. Theory of Population, etc., in Westminster Review.
            (Higher human Evolution.)

  1854. July. The Genesis of Science in British Quarterly Review.
            (Intellectual Evolution.)

  1855. July. Principles of Psychology. (Mental Evolution in general.)

  1857. April. Progress: its Law and Cause: Westminster Review.
            (Evolution at large.)

  1857. April. Ultimate Laws of Physiology. National Review. (Another
            factor of Evolution at large.)

"From these last two Essays came the inception of the Synthetic
Philosophy. The first programme of it was drawn up in January, 1858." ...

When seeing Mr. Spencer on the subject of this letter, he took the
further trouble to point out certain passages in the essays originally
comprised in the one volume edition of 1858 which contain germinal ideas
of his synthesis. That they are his selection will add to the interest
and value of their quotation, revealing, as perchance they may, a
fragment of the autobiography which it is an open secret Mr. Spencer
has written.

"That Law, Religion, and Manners are thus related--that their respective
kinds of operation come under one generalisation--that they have in
certain contrasted characteristics of men a common support and a common
danger--will, however, be most clearly seen on discovering that they
have a common origin. Little as from present appearances we should
suppose it, we shall yet find that at first, the control of religion,
the control of laws, and the control of manners, were all one control.
However incredible it may now seem, we believe it to be demonstrable
that the rules of etiquette, the provisions of the statute-book, and the
commands of the decalogue, have grown from the same root. If we go far
back enough into the ages of primeval Fetishism, it becomes manifest
that originally Deity, Chief, and Master of the Ceremonies were
identical" (Essays, vol. i, 1883 edition; Manners and Fashion, p. 65).

"Scientific advance is as much from the special to the general as from
the general to the special. Quite in harmony with this we find to be the
admissions that the sciences are as branches of one trunk, and that they
were at first cultivated simultaneously; and this becomes the more
marked on finding, as we have done, not only that the sciences have
a common root, but that science in general has a common root with
language, classification, reasoning, art; that throughout civilisation
these have advanced together, acting and reacting on each other just
as the separate sciences have done; and that thus the development of
intelligence in all its divisions and subdivisions has conformed to this
same law to which we have shown the sciences conform" (Ib. The Genesis
of Science, pp. 191, 192).

(In correspondence with this, recognising that the same method has to be
adopted in all inquiry, whether we deal with the body or the mind, the
following may be quoted from Hume's Treatise on Human Nature.

"'Tis evident that all the sciences have a relation, greater or less,
to human nature; and that, however wide any of them may seem to run
from it, they still return back by one passage or another. Even
_Mathematics_, _Natural Philosophy_, and _Natural Religion_ are in some
measure dependent on the science of MAN, since they lie under the
cognisance of men, and are judged of by their powers and qualities.)

"The analogy between individual organisms and the social organisms
is one that has in all ages forced itself on the attention of the
observant.... While it is becoming clear that there are no such special
parallelisms between the constituent parts of a man and those of a
nation, as have been thought to exist, it is also becoming clear that
the general principles of development and structure displayed in all
organised bodies are displayed in societies also. The fundamental
characteristic both of societies and of living creatures is, that they
consist of mutually dependent parts; and it would seem that this
involves a community of various other characteristics.... Meanwhile, if
any such correspondence exists, it is clear that Biology and Sociology
will more or less interpret each other.

"One of the positions we have endeavoured to establish is, that
in animals the process of development is carried on, not by
differentiations only, but by subordinate integrations. Now in the
social organism we may see the same duality of process; and further, it
is to be observed that the integrations are of the same three kinds.
Thus we have integrations that arise from the simple growth of adjacent
parts that perform like functions; as, for instance, the coalescence of
Manchester with its calico-weaving suburbs. We have other integrations
that arise when, out of several places producing a particular commodity,
one monopolises more and more of the business, and leaves the rest to
dwindle; as witness the growth of the Yorkshire cloth districts at the
expense of those in the west of England.... And we have yet those
other integrations that result from the actual approximation of the
similarly-occupied parts, whence results such facts as the concentration
of publishers in Paternoster Row, of lawyers in the Temple and
neighbourhood, of corn merchants about Mark Lane, of civil engineers in
Great George Street, of bankers in the centre of the city" (Essays,
vol. iii, 1878 edition; Transcendental Physiology, pp. 414-416).

But, divested of technicalities, and summarized in words to be
"understanded of the people," the following quotation from the Essay on
Progress: Its Law and Cause, gives the gist of the Synthetic Philosophy:

"We believe we have shown beyond question that that which the German
physiologists (Von Baer, Wolff, and others) have found to be the law of
organic development (as of a seed into a tree, and of an egg into an
animal), is the law of all development. The advance from the simple to
the complex, through a process of successive differentiations (i. e.,
the appearance of differences in the parts of a seemingly like
substance), is seen alike in the earliest changes of the Universe to
which we can reason our way back; and in the earlier changes which we
can inductively establish; it is seen in the geologic and climatic
evolution of the Earth, and of every single organism on its surface; it
is seen in the evolution of Humanity, whether contemplated in the
civilised individual, or in the aggregation of races; it is seen in the
evolution of Society in respect alike of its political, its religious,
and its economical organisation; and it is seen in the evolution of all
those endless concrete and abstract products of human activity which
constitute the environment of our daily life. From the remotest past
which Science can fathom, up to the novelties of yesterday, that in
which Progress essentially consists, is the transformation of the
homogeneous into the heterogeneous" (Essays, vol. i, 1883, p. 30).

To this may fitly follow the "succinct statement of the cardinal
principles developed in the successive works," which Mr. Spencer, as
named above, prepared for Professor Youmans.

1. Throughout the universe in general and in detail there is an
unceasing redistribution of matter and motion.

2. This redistribution constitutes evolution when there is a predominant
integration of matter and dissipation of motion, and constitutes
dissolution when there is a predominant absorption of motion and
disintegration of matter.

3. Evolution is simple when the process of integration, or the formation
of a coherent aggregate, proceeds uncomplicated by other processes.

4. Evolution is compound, when along with this primary change from an
incoherent to a coherent state, there go on secondary changes due to
differences in the circumstances of the different parts of the
aggregate.

5. These secondary changes constitute a transformation of the
homogeneous into the heterogeneous--a transformation which, like the
first, is exhibited in the universe as a whole and in all (or nearly
all) its details; in the aggregate of stars and nebulæ; in the planetary
system; in the earth as an inorganic mass; in each organism, vegetal or
animal (Von Baer's law otherwise expressed); in the aggregate of
organisms throughout geologic time; in the mind; in society; in all
products of social activity.

6. The process of integration, acting locally as well as generally,
combines with the process of differentiation to render this change
not simply from homogeneity to heterogeneity, but from an indefinite
homogeneity to a definite heterogeneity; and this trait of increasing
definiteness, which accompanies the trait of increasing heterogeneity,
is, like it, exhibited in the totality of things and in all its
divisions and subdivisions down to the minutest.

7. Along with this redistribution of the matter composing any evolving
aggregate there goes on a redistribution of the retained motion of its
components in relation to one another; this also becomes, step by step,
more definitely heterogeneous.

8. In the absence of a homogeneity that is infinite and absolute, that
redistribution, of which evolution is one phase, is inevitable. The
causes which necessitate it are these--

9. The instability of the homogeneous, which is consequent upon the
different exposures of the different parts of any limited aggregate to
incident forces.

The transformations hence resulting are--

10. The multiplication of effects. Every mass and part of a mass on
which a force falls subdivides and differentiates that force, which
thereupon proceeds to work a variety of changes; and each of these
becomes the parent of similarly-multiplying changes; the multiplication
of them becoming greater in proportion as the aggregate becomes more
heterogeneous. And these two causes of increasing differentiations are
furthered by--

11. Segregation, which is a process tending ever to separate unlike
units and to bring together like units--so serving continually to
sharpen, or make definite, differentiations otherwise caused.

12. Equilibration is the final result of these transformations which an
evolving aggregate undergoes. The changes go on until there is reached
an equilibrium between the forces which all parts of the aggregate are
exposed to and the forces these parts oppose to them.

Equilibration may pass through a transition stage of balanced motions
(as in a planetary system) or of balanced functions (as in a living
body) on the way to ultimate equilibrium; but the state of rest in
inorganic bodies, or death in organic bodies, is the necessary limit of
the changes constituting evolution.

13. Dissolution is the counter-change which sooner or later every
evolved aggregate undergoes. Remaining exposed to surrounding forces
that are unequilibrated, each aggregate is ever liable to be dissipated
by the increase, gradual or sudden, of its contained motion; and
its dissipation, quickly undergone by bodies lately animate, and
slowly undergone by inanimate masses, remains to be undergone at an
indefinitely remote period by each planetary and stellar mass, which
since an indefinitely distant period in the past has been slowly
evolving; the cycle of its transformations being thus completed.

14. This rhythm of evolution and dissolution, completing itself
during short periods in small aggregates, and in the vast aggregates
distributed through space completing itself in periods immeasurable by
human thought, is, so far as we can see, universal and eternal--each
alternating phase of the process predominating now in this region of
space and now in that, as local conditions determine.

15. All these phenomena, from their great features down to their
minutest details, are necessary results of the persistence of force
under its forms of matter and motion. Given these as distributed through
space, and their quantities being unchangeable, either by increase or
decrease, there inevitably result the continuous redistributions
distinguishable as evolution and dissolution, as well as all these
special traits above enumerated.

16. That which persists unchanging in quantity, but ever changing in
form, under these sensible appearances which the universe presents
to us, transcends human knowledge and conception--is an unknown and
unknowable power, which we are obliged to recognise as without limit in
space and without beginning or end in time.

All that is comprised in the dozen volumes which, exclusive of the minor
works and the Sociological Tables, form the great body of the Synthetic
Philosophy, is the expansion of this abstract. The general lines
laid down in that Philosophy have become a permanent way along which
investigation will continue to travel. The revisions which may be called
for will not affect it fundamentally, being limited to details, more
especially in the settlement of the relative functions of individuals
and communities, and cognate questions. Into these we cannot enter here.
Suffice it, that to those who have the rare possession of sound mental
peptics, no more nutritive diet can be recommended than is supplied by
First Principles and the works in which its theses are developed. For
those who, blessed with good digestion, lack leisure, there is provided
in a convenient volume the excellent epitome which Mr. Howard Collins
has prepared.

The prospectus of the then proposed issue of the series of works which,
beginning with First Principles, ends with the Principles of Sociology
(1862-1896), was issued by Mr. Spencer in March, 1860. Through his
courtesy the writer has seen the documents which prove that the first
draft of that prospectus was written out on the 6th of January, 1858,
and that it was the occasion of an interesting correspondence between
Mr. Spencer and his father--mainly in the form of questions from the
latter--during that month. The record of these facts is of some moment
as evidencing that the scheme of the Synthetic Philosophy took definite
shape in 1857. Therefore, the Theory of Evolution, dealing with the
universe _as a whole_, was formulated some months before the publication
of the Darwin-Wallace paper, in which only _organic evolution_ was
discussed. The Origin of Species, as the outcome of that paper, showed
that the action of natural selection is a sufficing cause for the
production of new life-forms, and thus knocked the bottom out of the old
belief in special creation.

The general doctrine of Evolution, however, is not so vitally related to
that of natural selection that the two stand or fall together. The
evidence as to the connection between the succession of past life-forms
which, regard being had to the well-nigh obliterated record, has been
supplied by the fossil-yielding rocks; and the evidence as to the
unbroken development of the highest plants and animals from the lowest
which more and more confirms the theory of Von Baer; alike furnish a
body of testimony placing the doctrine of Organic Evolution on a
foundation that can never be shaken. And, firm as that, stands the
doctrine of Inorganic Evolution upon the support given by modern science
to the speculations of Immanuel Kant.

There is the more need for laying stress on this because recent
discussions, revealing divided opinions among biologists as to the
sufficiency of natural selection as a cause of all modifications in the
structure of living things, lead timid or half-informed minds to hope
that the doctrine of Evolution may yet turn out not to be true. It is in
such stratum of intelligence that there lurks the feeling, whenever
some old inscription or monument verifying statements in the Bible is
discovered, that the infallibility of that book has further proof. For
example, until the present year, not a single confirmatory piece of
evidence as to the story of the Exodus was forthcoming from Egypt
itself. Even the inscription which has come to light does not, in the
judgment of such an expert as Dr. Flinders Petrie, supply the exact
confirmation desired. But let that irrefragable witness appear, and
while the historian will welcome it as evidence of the sojourn of the
Israelites in Egypt, thus throwing light on the movements of races, and
adding to the historical value of the Pentateuch; the average orthodox
believer will feel a vague sort of satisfaction that the foundations of
his belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation are somehow strengthened.

[Illustration: T. H. Huxley]


3. _Thomas Henry Huxley._

THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY was born at Ealing, on the 4th of May, 1825.
Montaigne tells us that he was "borne between eleven of the clock and
noone," and, with like quaint precision, Huxley gives the hour of his
birth as "about eight o'clock in the morning." Speaking of his first
Christian name, he humorously said that, by curious chance, his parents
chose that of the particular apostle with whom, as the doubting member
of the twelve, he had always felt most sympathy.

Concerning his father, who was "one of the masters in a large
semi-public school" (the father of Herbert Spencer, it will be
remembered, was also a schoolmaster), Huxley has little to say in the
slight autobiographical sketch reprinted as an introduction to the first
volume of the Collected Essays. On that side, he tells us, he could find
hardly any trace in himself, except a certain faculty for drawing, and
a certain hotness of temper. "Physically and mentally," he was the son
of his mother, "a slender brunette, of an emotional and energetic
temperament." His school training was brief and profitless; his tastes
were mechanical, and but for lack of means, he would have started life
in the same profession which Herbert Spencer followed till he forsook
Messrs. Fox's office for journalism. So, with a certain shrinking from
anatomical work, Huxley studied medicine for a time under a relative,
and in his seventeenth year entered the Charing Cross Hospital School as
a student. In those days there was no instruction in physics, and only
in such branch of chemistry as dealt with the nature of drugs. _Non
multa, sed multum_, and what was lacking in breadth was, perhaps, gained
in thoroughness. Huxley had as excellent a teacher in Wharton Jones as
the latter had a promising pupil in Huxley, and in working with the
microscope, the evidence of that came in his discovery of a certain
root-sheath in the hair, which has since then been known as "Huxley's
layer."

Up to the time of his studentship, he had been left, intellectually,
altogether to his own devices. He tells us that he was a voracious and
omnivorous reader, "a dreamer and speculator of the first water, well
endowed with that splendid courage in attacking any and every subject
which is the blessed compensation of youth and inexperience." Among
the books and essays that impressed him were Guizot's History of
Civilization; and Sir William Hamilton's essay On the Philosophy of the
Unconditioned which he accidentally came upon in an odd volume of the
Edinburgh Review. This, he adds, was "devoured with avidity," and it
stamped upon his mind the strong conviction "that on even the most
solemn and important of questions, men are apt to take cunning phrases
for answers; and that the limitation of our faculties, in a great number
of cases, renders real answers to such questions, not merely actually
impossible, but theoretically inconceivable." Thus, before he was out of
his teens, the philosophy that ruled his life-teaching was taking
definite shape.

In 1845, he won his M. B. London with honours in anatomy and physiology,
and after a few months' practice at the East End, applied, at the
instance of his senior fellow-student, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph
Fayrer, for an appointment in the medical service of the Navy. At the
end of two months he was fortunate enough to be entered on the books of
Nelson's old ship, the Victory, for duty at Haslar Hospital. His
official chief was the famous Arctic Explorer, Sir John Richardson,
through whose recommendation he was appointed, seven months later,
assistant surgeon of the Rattlesnake. That ship, commanded by Captain
Owen Stanley, was commissioned to survey the intricate passage within
the Barrier Reef skirting the eastern shores of Australia, and to
explore the sea lying between the northern end of that reef and New
Guinea. It was the best apprenticeship to what was eventually the work
of Huxley's life--the solution of biological problems and the indication
of their far-reaching significance. Darwin and Hooker had passed through
a like marine curriculum. The former served as naturalist on board the
Beagle when she sailed on her voyage round the world in 1831; the latter
as assistant-surgeon on board the Erebus on her Antarctic Expedition in
1839. Fortune was to bring the three shoulder to shoulder when the
battle against the theory of the immutability of species was fought.

During his four-years' absence Huxley, in whom the biologist dominated
the doctor, made observations on the various marine animals collected.
These he sent home to the Linnæan Society in vain hope of acceptance.
A more elaborate paper to the Royal Society, communicated through
the Bishop of Norwich (author of a book on birds, and father of Dean
Stanley), secured the coveted honour of publication, and on Huxley's
return in 1850 a "huge packet of separate copies" awaited him. It dealt
with the anatomy and affinities of the Medusæ, and the original research
which it evidenced justified his election in 1851 to the fellowship of
the society whose presidential chair he was in after years to adorn.
He would seem to have won the blue ribbon of science _per saltum_.
Probably, so far as their biological value is concerned, nothing that
he did subsequently has surpassed his contributions to scientific
literature at that period; but if his services to knowledge had been
limited to the class of work which they represent, he would have
remained only a distinguished specialist. Further recognition of his
well-won position came in the award of the society's royal medal. But
fellowships and medals keep no wolf from the door, and Huxley was a poor
man. After vain attempts to obtain, first, a professorship of physiology
in England, and then a chair of natural history at Toronto (Tyndall was
at the same time an unsuccessful candidate for the chair of physics in
the same university), a settled position was secured by Sir Henry de
la Beche's offer of the professorship of palæontology and of the
lectureship on natural history in the Royal School of Mines, vacated
by Edward Forbes. That was in 1854. Between that date and the time of
his return Huxley had contributed a number of valuable papers on the
structure of the invertebrates, and on histology, or the science of
tissues. But these, while adding to his established qualifications for
a scientific appointment, demand no detailed reference here. With both
chairs there was united the curatorship of the fossil collections in
the Museum of Practical Geology, and these, with the inspectorship of
salmon fisheries, which office he accepted in 1881, complete the list of
Huxley's more important public appointments. He surrendered them all in
1885, having reached the age at which, as he jocosely remarked to the
writer, "Every scientific man ought to be poleaxed." Perhaps he dreaded
the conservatism of attitude, the non-receptivity to new ideas, which
often accompany old age. But for himself such fears were needless. He
was never of robust constitution; in addition to the lasting effects
of an illness in boyhood, Carlyle's "accursed Hag," dyspepsia, which
troubled both Darwin and Bates for the rest of their lives after their
return from abroad, troubled him. Therefore, considerations of health
mainly prompted the surrender of his varied official responsibilities,
the loyal discharge of which met with becoming recognition in the grant
of a pension. This secured a modest competence in the evening of life
to one who had never been wealthy, and who had never coveted wealth. To
Huxley may fitly be applied what Faraday said of himself, that he had
"no time to make money." And yet, to his abiding discredit, the present
editor of Punch allowed his theological animus, which had already been
shown in abortive attempts in the pages of that "facetious" journal to
appraise a Roman Catholic biologist at the expense of Huxley, to further
degrade itself by affixing the letters "L. S. D." to his name in a
character-sketch.

His public life may be said to date from 1854. The duties which he then
undertook included the delivery of a course of lectures to working men
every alternate year. Some of these--models of their kind--have been
reissued in the Collected Essays. Among the most notable are those on
Our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature. At the
outset of his public career lecturing was as distasteful to him as in
earlier years the trouble of writing was detestable. But mother wit and
"needs must" trained him in a short time to win the ear of an audience.
One evening in 1852 he made his début at the Royal Institution, and the
next day he received a letter charging him with every possible fault
that a lecturer could commit--ungraceful stoop, awkwardness in use of
hands, mumbling of words, or dropping them down the shirt front. The
lesson was timely, and its effect salutary. Huxley was fond of telling
this story, and it is worth recording--if but as encouragement to
stammerers who have something to say--at what price he "bought this
freedom" which held an audience spellbound. How he thus held it in
later years they will remember who in the packed theatre of the Royal
Institution listened on the evening of Friday, 9th of April, 1880, to
his lecture On the Coming of Age of the Origin of Species.

In 1856 Huxley visited the glaciers of the Alps with Tyndall, the result
appearing in their joint authorship of a paper on Glacial Phenomena in
the Philosophical Transactions of the following year. But this was a
rare interlude. What time could be wrested from daily routine was given
to the study of invertebrate and vertebrate morphology, palæontology,
and ethnology, familiarity with which was no mean equipment for the
conflict soon to rage round these seemingly pacific materials when
their deep import was declared. The outcome of such varied industry is
apparent to the student of scientific memoirs. But a recital of the
titles of papers contributed to these, as e. g., On Ceratodus,
Hyperodapedon Gordoni, Hypsilophodon, Telerpeton, and so forth, will not
here tend to edification. The original and elaborate investigations
which they embody have had recognition in the degrees and medals
which decorated the illustrious author. But it is not by these that
Huxley's renown as one of the most richly-endowed and widely-cultured
personalities of the Victorian era will endure. They might sink into
the oblivion which buries most purely technical work without in any
way affecting that foremost place which he fills in the ranks of
philosophical biologists both as clear-headed thinker and luminous
interpreter.

In this high function the publication of the Origin of Species gave
him his opportunity. That was in 1859. As with Hooker and Bates, his
experiences as a traveller, and, more than this, his penetrating inquiry
into significances and relations, prepared his mind for acceptance of
the theory of descent with modification of living forms from one stock.
Hence the mutability, as against the old theory of the fixity, of
species.

In the chapter On the Reception of the Origin of Species, which Huxley
contributed to Darwin's Life and Letters, he gives an interesting
account of his attitude toward that burning question. He says--

                 *       *       *       *       *

"I think that I must have read the Vestiges (see p. 119) before I left
England in 1846, but if I did the book made very little impression upon
me, and I was not brought into serious contact with the 'species'
question until after 1850. At that time I had long done with the
Pentateuchal cosmogony which had been impressed upon my childish
understanding as Divine truth with all the authority of parents and
instructors, and from which it had cost me many a struggle to get free.
But my mind was unbiassed in respect of any doctrine which presented
itself if it professed to be based on purely philosophical and
scientific reasoning.... I had not then and I have not now the smallest
_a priori_ objection to raise to the account of the creation of animals
and plants given in Paradise Lost, in which Milton so vividly embodies
the natural sense of Genesis. Far be it from me to say that it is untrue
because it is impossible. I confine myself to what must be regarded as a
modest and reasonable request for some particle of evidence that the
existing species of animals and plants did originate in that way as a
condition of my belief in a statement which appears to me to be highly
improbable....

"And by way of being perfectly fair, I had exactly the same answer to
give to the evolutionists of 1851-58. Within the ranks of the biologists
of that time I met with nobody, except Dr. Grant, of University College,
who had a word to say for Evolution, and his advocacy was not calculated
to advance the cause. Outside these ranks the only person known to me
whose knowledge and capacity compelled respect, and who was at the same
time a thoroughgoing evolutionist, was Mr. Herbert Spencer, whose
acquaintance I made, I think, in 1852, and then entered into the bonds
of a friendship which I am happy to think has known no interruption.
Many and prolonged were the battles we fought on this topic. But even my
friend's rare dialectic skill and copiousness of apt illustration could
not drive me from my agnostic position. I took my stand upon two
grounds: firstly, that up to that time the evidence in favour of
transmutation was wholly insufficient; and secondly, that no suggestion
respecting the causes of the transmutation assumed which had been made
was in any way adequate to explain the phenomena. Looking back at the
state of knowledge at that time, I really do not see that any other
conclusion was justifiable.

"As I have already said, I imagine that most of those of my
contemporaries who thought seriously about the matter were very
much in my own state of mind--inclined to say to both Mosaists and
Evolutionists 'A plague on both your houses!' and disposed to turn aside
from an interminable and apparently fruitless discussion to labour in
the fertile fields of ascertainable fact. And I may therefore further
suppose that the publication of the Darwin and Wallace papers in 1858,
and still more that of the Origin in 1859, had the effect upon them of
the flash of light, which to a man who has lost himself in a dark night
suddenly reveals a road which, whether it takes him straight home or
not, certainly goes his way. That which we were looking for and could
not find was a hypothesis respecting the origin of known organic forms
which assumed the operation of no causes but such as could be proved to
be actually at work. We wanted, not to pin our faith to that or any
other speculation, but to get hold of clear and definite conceptions
which could be brought face to face with facts, and have their validity
tested. The Origin provided us with the working hypothesis we sought.
Moreover, it did the immense service of freeing us for ever from the
dilemma--refuse to accept the creation hypothesis, and what have you to
propose that can be accepted by any cautious reasoner? In 1857 I had no
answer ready, and I do not think that any one else had. A year later
we reproached ourselves with dulness for being perplexed by such an
inquiry. My reflection, when I first made myself master of the central
idea of the Origin was 'How extremely stupid not to have thought of
that!' I suppose that Columbus's companions said much the same when he
made the egg stand on end. The facts of variability, of the struggle for
existence, of adaptation to conditions, were notorious enough, but none
of us had suspected that the road to the heart of the species problem
lay through them, until Darwin and Wallace dispelled the darkness, and
the beacon-fire of the Origin guided the benighted."

But the disciple soon outstripped the master. As was said of Luther in
relation to Erasmus, Huxley hatched the egg that Darwin laid. For in the
Origin of Species the theory was not pushed to its obvious conclusion:
Darwin only hinted that it "would throw much light on the origin of
man and his history." His silence, as he candidly tells us in the
Introduction to the Descent of Man, was due to a desire "not to add to
the prejudices against his views." No such hesitancy kept Huxley silent.
In the spirit of Plato's Laws, he followed the argument whithersoever it
led. In 1860 he delivered a course of lectures to working-men On the
Relations of Man to the Lower Animals, and in 1862, a couple of lectures
on the same subject at the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution.
The important and significant feature of these discourses was the
demonstration that no cerebral barrier divides man from apes; that
the attempt to draw a psychical distinction between him and the lower
animals is futile; and that "even the highest faculties of feeling and
of intellect begin to germinate in lower forms of life." The lectures
were published in 1863 in a volume entitled Evidence as to Man's Place
in Nature; and it was with pride warranted by the results of subsequent
researches that Huxley, in a letter to the writer, thus refers to the
book when arranging for its reissue among the Collected Essays--

  I was looking through Man's Place in Nature the other day. I do not
  think there is a word I need delete, nor anything I need add, except
  in confirmation and extension of the doctrine there laid down. That
  is great good fortune for a book thirty years old, and one that a
  very shrewd friend of mine implored me not to publish, as it would
  certainly ruin all my prospects.

The sparse annotations to the whole series of reprinted matter show that
the like permanence attends all his writings. And yet, true workman,
with ideal ever lying ahead, as he was, he remarked to the writer that
never did a book come hot from the press, but he wished that he could
suppress it and rewrite it.

But before dealing with the momentous issues raised in Man's Place in
Nature, we must return to 1860. For that was the "Sturm und Drang"
period. Then, at Oxford, "home of lost causes," as Matthew Arnold
apostrophizes her in the Preface to his Essays in Criticism, was fought,
on Saturday, 30th of June, a memorable duel between biologist and
bishop; perhaps in its issues, more memorable than the historic
discussion on the traditional doctrine of special creation between
Cuvier and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in the French Academy in 1830.

Both Huxley and Wilberforce were doughty champions. The scene of combat,
the Museum Library, was crammed to suffocation. Fainting women were
carried out. There had been "words" between Owen and Huxley on the
previous Thursday. Owen contended that there were certain fundamental
differences between the brains of man and apes. Huxley met this with
"direct and unqualified contradiction," and pledged himself to "justify
that unusual procedure elsewhere." No wonder that the atmosphere was
electric. The bishop was up to time. Declamation usurped the vacant
place of argument in his speech, and the declamation became acrid. He
finished his harangue by asking Huxley whether he was related by his
grandfather's or grandmother's side to an ape. "The Lord hath delivered
him into my hands," whispered Huxley to a friend at his side, as he rose
to reply. After setting his opponent an example in demonstrating his
case by evidence which, although refuting Owen, evoked no admission of
error from him then or ever after, Huxley referred to the personal
remark of Wilberforce. And this is what he said--

  I asserted, and I repeat, that a man has no reason to be ashamed of
  having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I
  should feel shame in recalling, it would be a _man_, a man of
  restless and versatile intellect, who, not content with an equivocal
  success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific
  questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure
  them by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his
  hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions, and
  skilled appeals to religious prejudice.

Perhaps the best comment on a piece of what is now ancient history is to
quote the admissions made by Lord Salisbury--a rigid High Churchman--in
his presidential address to the British Association in this same city of
Oxford in 1894--

  Few now are found to doubt that animals separated by differences far
  exceeding those that distinguish what we know as species have yet
  descended from common ancestors.... Darwin has, as a matter of fact,
  disposed of the doctrine of the immutability of species.

Few, also, are now found to doubt not only that doctrine, but also the
doctrine that all life-forms have a common origin; plants and animals
being alike built-up of matter which is identical in character. This
doctrine, to-day a commonplace of biology, was, thirty years ago, rank
heresy, since it seemed to reduce the soul of man to the level of his
biliary duct. Hence the Oxford storm was but a capful of wind compared
with that which raged round Huxley's lecture on The Physical Basis of
Life delivered, thus aggravating the offence, on a "Sabbath" evening in
Edinburgh in 1868. People had settled down, with more or less vague
understanding of the matter, into quiescent acceptance of Darwinism. And
now their somnolence was rudely shaken by this Southron troubler of
Israel, with his production of a bottle of solution of smelling salts,
and a pinch or two of other ingredients, which represented the
elementary substances entering into the composition of every living
thing from a jelly-speck to man. Well might the removal of the stopper
to that bottle take their breath away! Microscopists, philosophers
"so-called," and clerics alike raised the cry of "gross materialism,"
never pausing to read Huxley's anticipatory answer to the baseless
charge, an answer repeated again and again in his writings, as in the
essay of Descartes' Discourse touching the method of using one's reason
rightly, and in his Hume. In season and out of season he never wearies
in insisting that there is nothing in the doctrine inconsistent with the
purest idealism. "All the phenomena of Nature are, in their ultimate
analysis, known to us only as facts of consciousness." The cyclone thus
raised travelled westward on the heels of Tyndall, when in 1874 he
asserted the fundamental identity of the organic and inorganic; dashing,
as his Celtic blood stirred him, the statements with a touch of poetry
in the famous phrase that "the genius of Newton was potential in the
fires of the sun."

The ancient belief in "spontaneous generation," which Redi's experiments
upset, was the subject of Huxley's Presidential Address to the British
Association in 1870. But while he showed how subsequent investigation
confirmed the doctrine of Abiogenesis, or the non-production of living
from dead matter, he made this statement in support of Tyndall's creed
as to the fundamental unity of the vital and the non-vital.

"Looking back through the prodigious vista of the past, I find no record
of the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of
forming a definite conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance.
Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter, and
needs strong foundations. To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of
evidence, that I have any belief as to the mode in which the existing
forms of life have originated, would be using words in a wrong sense.
But expectation is permissible where belief is not; and if it were given
to me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the
still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and
chemical conditions which it can no more see again than a man can recall
his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living
protoplasm from non-living matter. I should expect to see it appear
under forms of great simplicity, endowed, like existing fungi, with the
power of determining the formation of new protoplasm from such matters
as ammonium carbonates, oxalates, and tartrates, alkaline and earthy
phosphates, and water, without the aid of light. That is the expectation
to which analogical reasoning leads me; but I beg you once more to
recollect that I have no right to call my opinion anything but an act of
philosophical faith."

Huxley was the Apostle Paul of the Darwinian movement, and one main
result of his active propagandism was to so effectively prepare the way
for the reception of the profounder issues involved in the theory of the
origin of species, that the publication of Darwin's Descent of Man in
1871 created mild excitement. And the weight of his support is the
greater because he never omitted to lay stress on the obscurity which
still hides the causes of variation which, it must be kept in mind,
natural selection cannot bring about, and on which it can only act. He
insists on the non-implication of the larger theory with its subordinate
parts, or with the fate of them. The "doctrine of Evolution is a
generalisation of certain facts which may be observed by any one who
will take the necessary trouble." The facts are those which biologists
class under the heads of Embryology and Palæontology, to the conclusions
from which "all future philosophical and theological speculations will
have to accommodate themselves."

That is the direction of the revolution to which the publication of
Man's Place in Nature gave impetus; and it is in the all-round
application of the theory of man's descent that Huxley stands foremost,
both as leader and lawgiver. Mr. Spencer has never shrunk from
controversy, but he has not forsaken the study for the arena, and hence
his influence, great and abiding as it is, has been less direct and
personal than that of his comrade, "ever a fighter," who, in Browning's
words, "marched breast forward." Man's Place in Nature was the first of
a series of deliverances upon the most serious questions that can occupy
the mind; and its successors, the brilliant monograph on Hume, published
in 1879, and the Romanes Lecture on Evolution and Ethics, delivered at
Oxford, 18th of May, 1893, are but expansions of the thesis laid down in
that wonderful little volume; wonderful in the prevision which fills it,
and in the justification which it has received from all subsequent
research, notably in psychology.

If the propositions therein maintained are unshaken, then there is no
possible reconciliation between Evolution and Theology, and all the
smooth sayings in attempted harmonies between the two, of which
Professor Drummond's Ascent of Man is a type, and in speeches at Church
Congresses of which that delivered by Archdeacon Wilson (see p. 161) is
a type, do but hypnotize the "light half-believers of our casual
creeds." To some there are "signs of the times" which point to
approaching acquiescence in the sentiment of Ovid, paralleled by a
famous passage in Gibbon, that "the existence of the gods is a matter of
public policy, and we must believe it accordingly." It looks like the
prelude to surrender of what is the cardinal dogma of Christianity when
we read in the Archdeacon's address that "the theory of Evolution is
indeed fatal to certain _quasi_-mythological doctrines of the Atonement
which once prevailed, but it is in harmony with its spirit." For those
doctrines, as the Venerable apologist may learn from the evidence in
Frazer's Golden Bough (chap. iii, _passim_), are wholly mythological,
because barbaric. But, in truth, there is not a dogma of Christendom,
not a foundation on which the dogma rests, that Evolution does not
traverse. The Church of England adopts "as thoroughly to be received
and believed," the three ancient creeds, known as the Apostles', the
Athanasian, and the Nicene. There is not a sentence in any one of these
which finds confirmation; and only a sentence or two that find neither
confirmation nor contradiction, in Evolution.

The question, on which reams of paper have been wasted, lies in a
nutshell. The statements in the Creeds profess to have warrant in the
direct words of the Bible; or in inferences drawn from those words, as
defined by the Councils of the Church. The decisions of these Councils
represent the opinion of the majority of fallible men composing those
assemblies, and no number of fallible parts can make an infallible
whole. As Selden quaintly puts it (Table Talk, xxx, Councils), "they
talk (but blasphemously enough) that the Holy Ghost is president of
their General Councils, when the truth is the odd man is still the Holy
Ghost." With this same "odd man" rested the decision as to what books
should be included or excluded from the collection on which the Church
bases its authority and formulates its creeds. So, in the last result,
both sets of questions are settled by a human tribunal employing a
circular argument. But, dismissing this for the moment, let us see to
what issues the controversy is narrowed, to quote Huxley's words
(written in 1871), by "the spontaneous retreat of the enemy from
nine-tenths of the territory which he occupied ten years ago."

The battle has no longer to be fought over the question of the
fundamental identity of the physical structure of man and of the
anthropoid apes. The most enlightened Protestant divines accept this as
proven; and not a few Catholic divines are adopting an attitude toward
it which is only the prelude to surrender. Matters must have moved apace
in the Church which Huxley, backed by history, describes as "that
vigorous and consistent enemy of the highest intellectual, moral, and
social life of mankind," to permit the Roman Catholic Professor of
Physics in the University of Notre Dame, America, to parley as follows:

"Granting that future researches in palæontology, anthropology, and
biology, shall demonstrate beyond doubt that man is genetically related
to the inferior animals, and we have seen how far scientists are from
such a demonstration (?), there will not be, even in such an improbable
event, the slightest ground for imagining that then, at last, the
conclusions of science are hopelessly at variance with the declarations
of the sacred text, or the authorised teachings of the Church of Christ.
All that would logically follow from the demonstration of the animal
origin of man, would be a modification of the traditional view regarding
the origin of the body of our first ancestor. We should be obliged to
revise the interpretation that has usually been given to the words of
Scripture which refer to the formation of Adam's body, and read these
words in the sense which Evolution demands, a sense which, as we have
seen, may be attributed to the words of the inspired record, without
either distorting the meaning of terms, or in any way doing violence to
the text" (Evolution and Dogma. By the Reverend J. A. Zahm, Ph. D.,
C.S.C., pp. 364, 365).

Upon this suggested revision of writings which are claimed as forming
part of a divine revelation, one of the highest authorities, Francisco
Suarez, thus refers, in his Tractatus de Opere sex Dierum, to the
elastic interpretation given in his time to the "days" in the first
chapter of Genesis. "It is not probable that God, in inspiring Moses to
write a history of the Creation, which was to be believed by ordinary
people, would have made him use language the true meaning of which it
was hard to discover, and still harder to believe." Three centuries have
passed since these wise words were penned, and the reproof which they
convey is as much needed now as then.

In near connection with the question of man's origin is that of his
antiquity. The existence of his remains, rare as they are everywhere, in
deposits older than the Pleistocene or Quaternary Epoch is not proven.
This applies to the remarkable fragments found by Dr. Dubois in Java,
the character of which, in the judgment of several palæontologists,
indicates the nearest approach between man and ape hitherto discovered.
But the evidence of the physical relation of these two being conclusive,
the exact place of man in the earth's time-record is rendered of
subordinate importance.

The theologians have come to their last ditch in contesting that the
mental differences between man and the lower animals are fundamental,
being differences of kind, and therefore that no gradual process from
the mental faculties of the one to those of the other has taken place.
This struggle against the application of the theory of Evolution to
man's intellectual and spiritual nature will be long and stubborn. It
is a matter of life and death to the theologian to show that he has in
revelation, and in the world-wide belief of mankind in spiritual
existences without, and in a spirit or soul within, evidence of the
supernatural. The evolutionist has no such corresponding deep concern.
When the argument against him is adduced from the Bible, he can only
challenge the ground on which that book is cited as divine authority, or
as an authority at all. Granting, for the sake of argument, that a
revelation has been made, the writings purporting to contain it must
comply with the twofold condition attaching to it, namely, that it makes
known matters which the human mind could not, unaided, have found out;
and that it embodies those matters in language as to the meaning of
which there can be no doubt whatever. If there be any sacred books which
comply with these conditions, they have yet to be discovered.

When the argument against the evolutionist is drawn from human
testimony, he does not dispute the existence of the belief in a soul and
in all the accompanying apparatus of the supernatural; but he calls in
the anthropologist to explain how these arose in the barbaric mind.

Meanwhile, let us summarize the evidence which points to the psychical
unity between man and the lower life-forms. As stated on p. 187, Mr.
Herbert Spencer traces the gradual evolution of consciousness from "the
blurred, indeterminate feeling which responds to a single nerve
pulsation or shock." There is no trace of a nervous system in the
simplest organisms, but this counts for little, because there are also
no traces of a mouth, or a stomach, or limbs. In these seemingly
structureless creatures every part does everything. The amoeba eats and
drinks, digests and excretes, manifests "irritability," that is,
responds to the various stimuli of its surroundings, and multiplies,
without possessing special organs for these various functions. Division
of labour arises at a slightly higher stage, when rudimentary organs
appear; the development of function and organ going on simultaneously.

Speaking broadly, the functions of living things are threefold: they
feed; they reproduce; they respond to their "environment," and it is
this last-named function--communication with surroundings--which is the
special work of the nervous system. It was an old Greek maxim that "a
man may once say a thing as he would have said it: he cannot say it
twice." This is the warrant for transferring a few sentences on the
origin of the nerves from my Story of Creation. They are but a meagre
abstract of Mr. Spencer's long, but luminous exposition of the subject.

"As every part of an organism is made up of cells, and as the functions
govern the form of the cells, the origin of nerves must be due to a
modification in cell shape and arrangement, whereby certain tracts or
fibres of communication between the body and its surroundings are
established.

"But what excited that modification? The all-surrounding medium, without
which no life had been, which determined its limits, and _touches_ it at
every point with its throbs and vibrations. In the beginnings of a
primitive layer or skin manifested by creatures a stage above the
lowest, unlikenesses would arise, and certain parts, by reason of their
finer structure, would be the more readily stimulated by, and the more
quickly responsive to, the ceaseless action of the surroundings, the
result being that an extra sensitiveness along the lines of least
resistance would be set up in those more delicate parts. These,
developing, like all things else, by use, would become more and more the
selected paths of the impulses, leading, as the molecular waves thrilled
them, to structural changes or modification into nerve-cells, and
nerve-fibres, of increasing complexity as we ascend the scale of life.
The entire nervous system, with its connections; the brain and all the
subtle mechanism with which it controls the body; the organs of the
senses alike begin as sacs formed by infoldings of the primitive outer
skin."

Biologists are agreed that a certain stage in the organization of the
nervous system--the germs of which, we saw, are visible in the quivering
of an amoeba, and probably in plants as well as animals--must be reached
before consciousness is manifest. Obscurity still hangs round the stage
at which mere irritability passes into sensibility, but so long as the
continuity of development is clear, the gradations are of lesser
importance. And, for the present purpose, there is no need to descend
far in the life-scale; if the psychical connection between man and the
mammals immediately beneath him is proven, the connection of the mammals
with the lowest invertebrate may be assumed as also established.
Speaking only of vertebrates, the brain being, whether in fish or man,
the organ of mental phenomena, how far does its structure support or
destroy the theory of mental continuity? In Man's Place in Nature, and
its invaluable supplement, the second part of the monograph on Hume,
this subject is expounded by Huxley with his usual clearness. In the
older book he traces the gradual modification of brain in the series of
backboned animals. He points out that the brain of a fish is very small
compared with the spinal cord into which it is continued, that in
reptiles the mass of brain, relatively to the spinal cord, is larger,
and still larger in birds, until among the lowest mammals, as the
opossums and kangaroos, the brain is so increased in proportion as to be
extremely different from that of fish, bird, or reptile. Between these
marsupials and the highest or placental mammals, there occurs "the
greatest leap anywhere made by Nature in her brain work." Then follows
this important statement in favour of continuity.

"As if to demonstrate, by a striking example, the impossibility of
erecting any cerebral barrier between man and the apes, Nature has
provided us, in the latter animals, with an almost complete series of
gradations from brains little higher than that of a Rodent to brains
little lower than that of Man." After giving technical descriptions
in proof of this, and laying special stress on the presence of the
structure known as the "hippocampus minor" in the brain of man as well
as of the ape--in the denial of which Owen cut such a sorry figure,
Huxley adds:

"So far as cerebral structure goes, therefore, it is clear that Man
differs less from the Chimpanzee or the Orang than these do even
from the Monkeys, and that the difference between the brains of the
Chimpanzee and of Man is almost insignificant when compared with that
between the Chimpanzee brain and that of a Lemur.... Thus, whatever
system of organs be studied, the comparison of their modifications in
the ape series leads to one and the same result,--that the structural
differences which separate Man from the Gorilla and the Chimpanzee are
not so great as those which separate the Gorilla from the lower apes.
But in enunciating this important truth I must guard myself against a
form of misunderstanding which is very prevalent ... that the structural
differences between man and even the highest apes are small and
insignificant. Let me then distinctly assert, on the contrary, that they
are great and significant; that every bone of a Gorilla bears marks by
which it might be distinguished from the corresponding bone of a Man;
and that, in the present creation, at any rate, no intermediate link
bridges over the gap between _Homo_ and _Troglodytes_. It would be no
less wrong than absurd to deny the existence of this chasm; but it is at
least equally wrong and absurd to exaggerate its magnitude, and, resting
on the admitted fact of its existence, to refuse to inquire whether it
is wide or narrow. Remember, if you will, that there is no existing link
between Man and the Gorilla, but do not forget that there is a no less
sharp line of demarcation, a no less complete absence of any traditional
form, between the Gorilla and the Orang, or the Orang and the Gibbon."

The brains of man and ape being fundamentally the same in structure, it
follows that the functions which they perform are fundamentally the
same. The large array of facts mustered by a series of careful observers
prove how futile is the argument which, in his pride of birth, man
advances against psychical continuity. Vain is the search after boundary
lines between reflex action and instinct, and between instinct and
reason. Barriers there are between man and brute, for articulate speech
and the consequent power to transmit experiences has set up these, and
they remain impassable. "The potentialities of language, as the vocal
symbol of thought, lay in the faculty of modulating and articulating the
voice. The potentialities of writing, as the visual symbol of thought,
lay in the hand that could draw, and in the mimetic tendency which we
know was gratified by drawing as far back as the days of Quaternary man"
(Huxley's Essays on Controverted Questions, p. 47). But these specially
human characteristics are no sufficing warrant for denying that the
sensations, emotions, thoughts, and volitions of man vary in kind from
those of the lower creation. "The essential resemblances in all points
of structure and function, so far as they can be studied, between the
nervous system of man and that of the dog, leave no reasonable doubt
that the processes which go on in the one are just like those which take
place in the other. In the dog, there can be no doubt that the nervous
matter which lies between the retina and the muscles undergoes a series
of changes, precisely analogous to those which, in the man, give rise
to sensation, a train of thought, and volition." This passage occurs
in Huxley's Reply to Mr. Darwin's Critics, which appeared in the
Contemporary Review, 1871, and it may be supplemented by a quotation
from the chapter on The Mental Phenomena of Animals in his Hume. "It
seems hard to assign any good reason for denying to the higher animals
any mental state or process in which the employment of the vocal or
visual symbols of which language is composed is not involved; and
comparative psychology confirms the position in relation to the rest of
the animal world assigned to man by comparative anatomy. As comparative
anatomy is easily able to show that, physically, man is but the last
term of a long series of forms, which lead, by slow gradations, from the
highest mammal to the almost formless speck of living protoplasm, which
lies on the shadowy boundary between animal and vegetable life; so,
comparative psychology, though but a young science, and far short of her
elder sister's growth, points to the same conclusion."

Within recent years the psychologists are doing remarkable work in
attacking the problem of the mechanics of mental operations, and already
in Europe and America some thirty laboratories have been started for
experimental work. The subject is somewhat abstruse for detailed
reference here, and it must suffice to say that the psychologist,
beginning with observations upon himself, measuring, for example, "the
degree of sensibility of his own eye to luminous irritations, or of his
own skin to pricking, passes on to like inquiry into the numerical
relations between the energy of the stimuli of light, sound, and so
forth, and the energy of the sensations which they arouse in the
nerve-channels." An excellent summary, with references to the newest
authorities on the subject, is given by Prince Kropotkin in the
Nineteenth Century of August, 1896.

All this, to the superficial onlooker, seems rank materialism. But we
cannot think without a brain any more than we can see without eyes, and
any inquiry into the operation of the organ of thought must run on the
same lines as inquiry into the operations of any other organ of the
body. And the inquiry leaves us at the point whence we began in so
far as any light is thrown on the connection between the molecular
vibrations in nerve-tissue and the mental processes of which they are
the indispensable accompaniment. Changes take place in some of the
thousands of millions of brain-cells in every thought that we think, and
in every emotion that we feel, but the nexus remains an impenetrable
mystery. Nevertheless, if we may not say that the brain secretes thought
as we say that the liver secretes bile, we may also not say that the
mind is detachable from the nervous system, and that it is an entity
independent of it. Were it this, not only would it stand outside the
ordinary conditions of development, but it would also maintain the
equilibrium which a dose of narcotics or of alcohol, or which starvation
and gorging alike rapidly upset.

In his posthumous essay On the Immortality of the Soul, Hume says:
"Matter and spirit are at bottom equally unknown, and we cannot
determine what qualities inhere in the one or in the other." That is the
conclusion to which the wisest come. And in the ultimate correlation of
the physical and psychical lies the hope of arrival at that terminus
of unity which was the dream of the ancient Greeks, and to which all
inquiry makes approach. How, in these matters, philosophy is at one, is
again seen in Huxley's admission that "in respect of the great problems
of philosophy, the post-Darwinian generation is, in one sense, exactly
where the præ-Darwinian generations were. They remain insoluble. But the
present generation has the advantage of being better provided with the
means of freeing itself from the tyranny of certain sham solutions."

Science explains, and, in explaining, dissipates the pseudo-mysteries by
which man, in his myth-making stage, when conception of the order of the
universe was yet unborn, accounted for everything. But she may borrow
the Apostle's words, "Behold! I show you a mystery," and give to them a
profounder meaning as she confesses that the origin and ultimate destiny
of matter and motion; the causes which determine the behaviour of atoms,
whether they are arranged in the lovely and varying forms which mark
their crystals, or whether they are quivering with the life which is
common to the amoeba and the man; the conversion of the inorganic into
the organic by the green plant, and the relation between nerve-changes
and consciousness; are all impenetrable mysteries.

In his speech on the commemoration of the jubilee of his Professorship
in the University of Glasgow last year, Lord Kelvin said, "I know no
more of electric and magnetic force, or of the relation between ether,
electricity, and ponderable matter, or of chemical affinity than I knew
and tried to teach my students of natural philosophy fifty years ago in
my first session as professor."

This recognition of limitations will content those who seek not "after a
sign". For others, that search will continue to have encouragement not
only from the theologian, but from the pseudo-scientific who have
travelled some distance with the Pioneers of Evolution, but who refuse
to follow them further. In each of these there is present the
"theological bias" whose varied forms are skilfully analyzed by Mr.
Spencer in his chapter under that heading in the Study of Sociology.
This explains the attitude of various groups which are severally
represented by Mr. St. George Mivart, and the late Dr. W. B. Carpenter;
by Professor Sir Geo. G. Stokes, and Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace. The
first-named is a Roman Catholic; the second was a Unitarian; the third
is an orthodox Churchman, and the fourth, as already seen, is a
Spiritualist. In his Genesis of Species, Mr. Mivart contends that "man's
body was evolved from pre-existing material (symbolised by the term
'dust of the earth'), and was therefore only derivatively created,
i. e., by the operation of secondary laws," but that "his soul, on the
other hand, was created in quite a different way ... by the direct
action of the Almighty (symbolised by the term breathing)," p. 325. In
his Mental Physiology, Dr. Carpenter postulates an Ego or Will which
presides over, without sharing in, the causally determined action of the
other mental functions and their correlated bodily processes; "an entity
which does not depend for its existence on any play of physical or vital
forces, but which makes these forces subservient to its determinations"
(p. 27). Professor Mivart actually cites St. Augustine and Cardinal
Newman as authorities in support of his theory of the special creation
of the soul. He might with equal effect subpoena Dr. Joseph Parker or
General Booth as authorities. Dr. Carpenter argued as became a good
Unitarian. In his Gifford Lectures on Natural Theology, Professor Stokes
asserts, drawing "on sources of information which lie beyond man's
natural powers," in other words, appealing to the Bible, that God made
man immortal and upright, and endowed him with freedom of the will. As,
without the exercise of this, man would have been as a mere automaton,
he was exposed to the temptation of the devil, and fell. Thereby he
became "subject to death like the lower animals," and by the "natural
effect of heredity," transmitted the taint of sin to his offspring. The
eternal life thus forfeited was restored by the voluntary sacrifice of
Christ, but can be secured only to those who have faith in him. This
doctrine, which is no novel one, is known as "conditional immortality."
Professor Stokes attaches "no value to the belief in a future life by
metaphysical arguments founded on the supposed nature of the soul
itself," and he admits that the purely psychic theory which would
discard the body altogether in regard to the process of thought is beset
by very great difficulties. So he once more has recourse to "sources of
information which lie beyond man's natural powers." Following up certain
distinctions between "soul" and "spirit" drawn by the Apostle Paul in
his tripartite division of man, Professor Stokes, somewhat in keeping
with Dr. Carpenter, assumes an "Ego, which, on the one hand, is not
to be identified with thought, which may exist while thought is in
abeyance, and which may, with the future body of which the Christian
religion speaks, be the medium of continuity of thought.... What
the nature of this body might be we do not know; but we are pretty
distinctly informed that it would be something very different from that
of our present body, very different in its properties and functions, and
yet no less our own than our present body." "Words, words, words," as
Hamlet says.

Reference has been made in some fulness to Mr. Wallace's limitations of
the theory of natural selection in the case of man's mental faculties.
We must now pursue this somewhat in detail, reminding the reader of Mr.
Wallace's admission that, "provisionally, the laws of variation and
natural selection ... may have brought about, first, that perfection of
bodily structure in which man is so far above all other animals, and, in
co-ordination with it, the larger and more developed brain by means of
which he has been able to subject the whole animal and vegetable
kingdoms to his service." But, although Mr. Wallace rejects the theory
of man's special creation as "being entirely unsupported by facts, as
well as in the highest degree improbable," he contends that it does not
necessarily follow that "his mental nature, even though developed _pari
passu_ with his physical structure, has been developed by the same
agencies." Then, by the introduction of a physical analogy which is no
analogy at all, he suggests that the agent by which man was upraised
into a kingdom apart bears like relation to natural selection as the
glacial epoch bears to the ordinary agents of denudation and other
changes in producing new effects which, though continuous with preceding
effects, were not due to the same causes.

Applying this "argument" (drawn from natural causes), as Mr. Wallace
names it, "to the case of man's intellectual and moral nature," he
contends that such special faculties as the mathematical, musical, and
artistic (is this faculty to be denied the nest-decorating bower bird?),
and the high moral qualities which have given the martyr his constancy,
the patriot his devotion, and the philanthropist his unselfishness, are
due to a "spiritual essence or nature, superadded to the animal nature
of man." We are not told at what stage in man's development this was
inserted; whether, once and for all, in "primitive" man, with
potentiality of transmission through Palæolithic folk to all succeeding
generations; or whether there is special infusion of a "spiritual
essence" into every human being at birth.

Any perplexity that might arise at the line thus taken by Mr. Wallace
vanishes before the fact, already enlarged upon, that the author of the
Malay Archipelago and Island Life has written a book on Miracles and
Modern Spiritualism in defence of both. The explanation lies in that
duality of mind which, in one compartment, ranks Mr. Wallace foremost
among naturalists, and, in the other compartment, places him among the
most credulous of Spiritualists.

Despite this, Mr. Wallace has claims to a respectful hearing and to
serious reply. Fortunately, he would appear to furnish the refutation to
his own argument in the following paragraph from his delightful
Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection:

"From the time when the social and sympathetic feelings came into
operation and the intellectual and moral faculties became fairly
developed, man would cease to be influenced by natural selection in
his physical form and structure. As an animal he would remain almost
stationary, the changes in the surrounding universe ceasing to produce
in him that powerful modifying effect which they exercise on other
parts of the organic world. But, from the moment that the form of his
body became stationary, his mind would become subject to those very
influences from which his body had escaped; every slight variation in
his mental and moral nature which should enable him better to guard
against adverse circumstances and combine for mutual comfort and
protection would be preserved and accumulated; the better and higher
specimens of our race would therefore increase and spread, the lower and
more brutal would give way and successively die out, and that rapid
advancement of mental organisation would occur which has raised the very
lowest races of man so far above the brutes (although differing so
little from some of them in physical structure), and, in conjunction
with scarcely perceptible modifications of form, has developed the
wonderful intellect of the European races" (pp. 316, 317, Second
Edition, 1871).

This argument has suggestive illustration in the fifth chapter of the
Origin of Species. Mr. Darwin there refers to a remark to the following
effect made by Mr. Waterhouse: "_A part developed in any species in an
extraordinary degree or manner in comparison with the same part in
allied species tends to be highly variable._" This applies only where
there is unusual development. "Thus, the wing of a bat is a most
abnormal structure in the class of mammals; but the rule would not apply
here, because the whole group of bats possesses wings; it would apply
only if some one species had wings developed in a remarkable manner in
comparison with the other species of the same genus." And when this
exceptional development of any part or organ occurs, we may conclude
that the modification has arisen since the period when the several
species branched off from the common progenitor of the genus; and this
period will seldom be very remote, as species rarely endure for more
than one geological period.

How completely this applies to man, the latest product of organic
evolution. The brain is that part or organ in him which has been
developed "in an extraordinary degree, in comparison with the same part"
in other Primates, and which has become _highly variable_. Whatever may
have been the favouring causes which secured his immediate progenitors
such modification of brain as advanced him in intelligence over "allied
species," the fact abides that in this lies the explanation of their
after-history; the arrest of the one, the unlimited progress of the
other. Increasing intelligence at work through vast periods of time
originated and developed those social conditions which alone made
possible that progress which, in its most advanced degree, but a small
proportion of the race has reached. For in this question of mental
differences the contrast is not between man and ape, but between man
savage and civilized; between the incapacity of the one to count beyond
his fingers, and the capacity of the other to calculate an eclipse of
the sun or a transit of Venus. It would therefore seem that Mr.
Wallace should introduce his "spiritual essence, or nature," in the
intermediate, and not in the initial stage.

As answer to Mr. Wallace's argument that in their large and
well-developed brains, savages "possess an organ quite disproportioned
to their requirements," Huxley cites Wallace's own remarks in his paper
on Instinct in Man and Animals as to the considerable demands made by
the needs of the lower races on their observing faculties which call
into play no mean exercise of brain function.

"Add to this," Huxley says, "the knowledge which a savage is obliged to
gain of the properties of plants, of the characters and habits of
animals, and of the minute indications by which their course is
discoverable; consider that even an Australian can make excellent
baskets and nets, and neatly fitted and beautifully balanced spears;
that he learns to use these so as to be able to transfix a quartern loaf
at sixty yards; and that very often, as in the case of the American
Indians, the language of a savage exhibits complexities which a
well-trained European finds it difficult to master; consider that every
time a savage tracks his game, he employs a minuteness of observation,
and an accuracy of inductive and deductive reasoning which, applied to
other matters, would assure some reputation, and I think one need ask no
further why he possesses such a fair supply of brains."... But Mr.
Wallace's objection "applies quite as strongly to the lower animals.
Surely a wolf must have too much brain, or else how is it that a dog,
with only the same quantity and form of brain, is able to develop such
singular intelligence? The wolf stands to the dog in the same relation
as the savage to the man; and therefore, if Mr. Wallace's doctrine holds
good, a higher power must have superintended the breeding up of wolves
from some inferior stock, in order to prepare them to become dogs"
(Critiques and Addresses, p. 293).

After all is said, perhaps the effective refutation of the belief in a
spiritual entity superadded in man is found in the explanation of the
origin of that belief which anthropology supplies.

The theory of the origin and growth of the belief in souls and spiritual
beings generally, and in a future life, which has been put into coherent
form by Spencer and Tylor, is based upon an enormous mass of evidence
gathered by travellers among existing barbaric peoples; evidence
agreeing in character with that which results from investigations into
beliefs of past races in varying stages of culture. Only brief reference
to it here is necessary, but the merest outline suffices to show
from what obvious phenomena the conception of a soul was derived, a
conception of which all subsequent forms are but elaborated copies. As
in other matters, crude analogies have guided the barbaric mind in its
ideas about spirits and their behaviour. A man falls asleep and dreams
certain things; on waking, he believes that these things actually
happened; and he therefore concludes that the dead who came to him or to
whom he went in his dreams, are alive; that the friend or foe whom he
knows to be far away, but with whom he feasted or fought in dreamland,
came to him. He sees another man fall into a swoon or trance that may
lay him seemingly lifeless for hours or even days; he himself may be
attacked by deranging fevers and see visions stranger than those which
a healthy person sees; shadows of himself and of objects, both living
and not living, follow or precede him and lengthen or shorten in the
withdrawing or advancing light; the still water throws back images of
himself; the hillsides resound with mocking echoes of his words and of
sounds around him; and it is these and allied phenomena which have given
rise to the notion of "another self," to use Mr. Spencer's convenient
term, or of a number of selves that are sometimes outside the man and
sometimes inside him, as to which the barbaric mind is never sure.
Outside him, however, when the man is sleeping, so that he must not be
awakened, lest this "other self" be hindered from returning; or when he
is sick, or in the toils of the medicine-man, who may hold the "other
self" in his power, as in the curious soul-trap of the Polynesians--a
series of cocoa-nut rings--in which the sorcerer makes believe to catch
and detain the soul of an offender or sick person. When Dr. Catat and
his companions, MM. Maistre and Foucart were exploring the "Bara"
country on the west coast of Madagascar the people suddenly became
hostile. On the previous day the travellers, not without difficulty,
had photographed the royal family, and now found themselves accused of
taking the souls of the natives with the object of selling them when
they returned to France. Denial was of no avail; following the custom of
the Malagasays, they were compelled to catch the souls, which were then
put into a casket, and ordered by Dr. Catat to return to their
respective owners (Times, 24th March, 1891).

Although the difference presented by such phenomena and by death is
that it is abiding, while they are temporary, to the barbaric mind the
difference is in degree, and not in kind. True, the "other self" has
left the body, and will never return to it; but it exists, for it
appears in dreams and hallucinations, and therefore is believed to
revisit its ancient haunts, as well as to tarry often near the exposed
or buried body. The nebulous theories which identified the soul with
breath, and shadow, and reflection, slowly condensed into theories of
semi-substantiality still charged with ethereal conceptions, resulting
in the curious amalgam which, in the minds of cultivated persons,
whenever they strive to envisage the idea, represents the disembodied
soul.

Therefore, in vain may we seek for points of difference in our
comparison of primitive ideas of the origin and nature of the soul with
the later ideas. The copious literature to which these have given birth
is represented in the bibliography appended to Mr. Alger's work on
Theories of a Future Life, by 4977 books, exclusive of many published
since his list was compiled. Save in refinement of detail such as a
higher culture secures, what is there to choose between the four souls
of the Hidatsa Indians, the two souls of the Gold Coast natives, and the
tripartite division of man by Rabbis, Platonists, and Paulinists, which
are but the savage other-self "writ large"? Their common source is in
man's general animistic interpretation of Nature, which is a _vera
causa_, superseding the need for the assumptions of which Mr. Wallace's
is a type. As an excellent illustration of what is meant by animism, we
may cite what Mr. Everard im Thurn has to say about the Indians of
Guiana, who are, presumably, a good many steps removed from so-called
"primitive" man. "The Indian does not see any sharp line of distinction
such as we see between man and other animals, between one kind of animal
and another, or between animals--man included--and inanimate objects. On
the contrary, to the Indian all objects, animate and inanimate, seem
exactly of the same nature, except that they differ in the accident of
bodily form. Every object in the whole world is a being, consisting of
a body and spirit, and differs from every other object in no respect
except that of bodily form, and in the greater or lesser degree of brute
power and brute cunning consequent on the difference of bodily form and
bodily habits. Our next step, therefore, is to note that animals, other
than men, and even inanimate objects, have spirits which differ not at
all in kind from those of men."

The importance of the evidence gathered by anthropology in support of
man's inclusion in the general theory of evolution is ever becoming
more manifest. For it has brought witness to continuity in organic
development at the point where a break has been assumed, and driven home
the fact that if Evolution operates anywhere, it operates everywhere.
And operates, too, in such a way that every part co-operates in the
discharge of a universal process. Hence it meets the divisions which
mark opposition to it by the transcendent power of unity.

Until the past half-century, man excepted himself, save in crude and
superficial fashion, from that investigation which, for long periods,
he has made into the earth beneath him and the heavens above him. This
tardy inquiry into the history of his own kind, and its place in the
order and succession of life, as well as its relation to the lower
animals, between whom and itself, as has been shown, the barbaric mind
sees much in common, is due, so far as Christendom is concerned (and
the like cause applies, _mutatis mutandis_, in non-Christian civilized
communities), to the subjection of the intellect to pre-conceived
theories based on the authority accorded to ancient legends about man.
These legends, invested with the sanctity with which time endows the
past, finally became integral parts of sacred literatures, to question
which was as superfluous as it was impious. Thus it has come to pass
that the only being competent to inquire into his own antecedents has
looked at his history through the distorting prism of a mythopoeic past!

Perhaps, in the long run, the gain has exceeded the loss. For, in the
precedence of study of other sciences more remote from man's "business
and bosom," there has been rendered possible a more dispassionate
treatment of matters charged with profounder issues. Since the Church,
however she may conveniently ignore the fact as concession after
concession is wrung from her, has never slackened in jealousy of the
advance of secular knowledge, it was well for human progress that those
subjects of inquiry which affected orthodox views only indirectly were
first prosecuted. The brilliant discoveries in astronomy, to which the
Copernican theory gave impetus, although they displaced the earth from
its assumed supremacy among the bodies in space, did not apparently
affect the doctrine of the supremacy of man as the centre of Divine
intervention, as the creature for whom the great scheme of redemption
had been formulated "in the counsels of the Trinity," and the tragedy of
the self-sacrifice of God the Son enacted on earth. The surrender or
negation of any fundamental dogma of Christian theology was not involved
in the abandonment of the statement in the Bible as to the dominant
position of the earth in relation to the sun and other self-luminous
stars. To our own time the increase of knowledge concerning the myriads
of sidereal systems which revolve through space is not held to be
destructive of those dogmas, but held, rather, to supply material for
speculation as to the probable extension of Divine paternal government
throughout the universe. And, although, as coming nearer home, with
consequent greater chance of intrusion of elements of friction, the like
applies to the discoveries of geology. Apart from intellectual apathy,
which explains much, the impact of these discoveries on traditional
beliefs was softened by the buffers which a moderating spirit of
criticism interposed in the shape of superficial "reconciliations"
emptying the old cosmogony of all its poetry, and therefore of its value
as a key to primitive ideas, and converting it into bastard science.
Thus a temporary, because artificial, unity, was set up. But with the
evidence supplied by study of the ancient life whose remains are
imbedded in the fossil-yielding strata, that unity is shivered. In a
Scripture that "cannot be broken" there was read the story of conflict
and death æons before man appeared. Between this record, and that which
spoke of pain and death as the consequences of man's disobedience to the
frivolous prohibition of an anthropomorphic God, there is no possible
reconciliation.

To the evidence from fossiliferous beds was added evidence from old
river-gravels and limestone caverns. The relics extracted from the
stalagmitic deposits in Kent's Hole, near Torquay, had lain unheeded
for some years save as "curios," when M. Boucher des Perthes saw in the
worked flints of a somewhat rougher type which he found mingled with the
bones of rhinoceroses, cave-bears, mammoths, or woolly-haired elephants,
and other mammals in the "drift" or gravel-pits of Abbeville, in
Picardy, the proofs of man's primitive savagery, so far as Western
Europe was concerned. The presence of these rudely-chipped flints had
been noticed by M. de Perthes in 1839, but he could not persuade savants
to admit that human hands had shaped them, until these doubting Thomases
saw for themselves like implements _in situ_ at a depth of seventeen
feet from the original surface of the ground. That was in 1858: a year
before the publication of the Origin of Species. Similar materials have
been unearthed from every part of the globe habitable once or inhabited
now. They confirm the speculations of Lucretius as to a universal
makeshift with stone, bone, horn, and such-like accessible or pliable
substances during the ages that preceded the discovery of metals.
Therefore, the existence of a Stone Age at one period or another where
now an Age of Iron (following an Age of Bronze) prevails, is an
established canon of archæological science. From this follows the
inference that man's primitive condition was that which corresponds to
the lowest type extant, the Australian and Papuan; that the further back
inquiry is pushed such culture as exists is found to have been preceded
by barbarism; and that the savage races of to-day represent not a
degradation to which man, as the result of a fall from primeval purity
and Eden-like ease, has sunk, but a condition out of which all races
above the savage have emerged.

While Prehistoric Archæology, with its enormous mass of _material_
remains gathered from "dens and caves of the earth," from primitive
work-shops, from rude tombs and temples, thus adds its testimony to the
"great cloud of witnesses"; _immaterial_ remains, potent as embodying
the thought of man, are brought by the twin sciences of Comparative
Mythology and Folklore, and Comparative Theology--remains of paramount
value, because existing to this day in hitherto unsuspected form, as
survivals in beliefs and rites and customs. Readers of Tylor's Primitive
Culture, with its wealth of facts and their significance; and of Lyall's
Asiatic Studies, wherein is described the making of myths to this day in
the heart of India; need not be told how the slow zigzag advance of man
in material things has its parallel in the stages of his intellectual
and spiritual advance all the world over; from the lower animism to
the higher conception of deity; from bewildering guesses to assuring
certainties. To this mode of progress no civilized people has been the
exception, as notably in the case of the Hebrews, was once thought--"the
correspondence between the old Israelitic and other archaic forms of
theology extending to details."

While, therefore, the discoveries of astronomers and geologists have
been disintegrating agencies upon old beliefs, the discoveries classed
under the general term Anthropological are acting as more powerful
solvents on every opinion of the past. Showing on what mythical
foundation the story of the fall of man rests, Anthropology has utterly
demolished the _raison d'être_ of the doctrine of his redemption--the
keystone of the fabric. It has penetrated the mists of antiquity, and
traced the myth of a forfeited Paradise, of the Creation, the Deluge,
and other legends, to their birthplaces in the valley of the Euphrates
or the uplands of Persia; legends whose earliest inscribed records are
on Accadian tablets, or in the scriptures of Zarathustra. It has in the
spirit of the commended Bereans, "searched" those and other scriptures,
finding therein legends of founders of ancient faiths cognate to those
which in the course of the centuries gathered round Jesus of Nazareth;
it has collated the rites and ceremonies of many a barbaric theology
with those of old-world religions--Brahmanic, Buddhistic, Christian--and
found only such differences between them as are referable to the higher
or the lower culture. For the history of superstitions is included in
the history of beliefs; the superstitions being the germ-plasm of
which all beliefs above the lowest are the modified products. Belief
incarnates itself in word or act. In the one we have the charm, the
invocation, and the dogma; in the other the ritual and ceremony. "A
ritual system," Professor Robertson Smith remarks, "must always remain
materialistic, even if its materialism is disguised under the cloak of
mysticism." And it is with the incarnated ideas, uninfluenced by
the particular creed in connection with which it finds them, that
anthropology deals. Its method is that of biology. Without bias, without
assumptions of relative truth or falsity, the anthropologist searches
into origins, traces variations, compares and classifies, and relates
the several families to one ordinal group. He must be what was said of
Dante, "a theologian to whom no dogma is foreign." Unfortunately, this
method, whose application to the physical sciences is unchallenged, is,
when applied to beliefs, regarded as one of attack, instead of being one
of explanation. But this should not deter; and if in analyzing a belief
we kill a superstition, this does but show what mortality lay at its
core. For error cannot survive dissection. Moreover, as John Morley puts
it, "to tamper with veracity is to tamper with the vital force of human
progress." Therefore, delivering impartial judgment, the verdict of
anthropology upon the whole matter is that the claims of Christian
theologians to a special and divine origin of their religion are refuted
by the accordant evidence of the latest utterances of a science whose
main concern is with the origin, nature, and destiny of man.

The extension of the comparative method to the various products of
man's intellectual and spiritual nature is the logical sequence to the
adoption of that method throughout every department of the universe. Of
course it starts with the assumption of differences in things, else it
would be superfluous. But it equally starts with the assumption of
resemblances, and in every case it has brought out the fact that the
differences are superficial, and that the resemblances are fundamental.

All this bears closely on Huxley's work. The impulse thereto has come
largely from the evidence focussed in Man's Place in Nature, evidence of
which the material of the writings of his later years is the expansion.
The cultivation of intellect and character had always been a favourite
theme with him, and the interest was widened when the passing of Mr.
Forster's Elementary Education Act in 1870 brought the problem of
popular culture to the front. The wave of enthusiasm carried a group of
distinguished liberal candidates to the polls, and Huxley was elected a
member of the School Board for London. Then, although in not so acute a
form as now, the religious difficulty was the sole cause of any serious
division, and Huxley's attitude therein puzzled a good many people
because he advocated the retention of the Bible in the schools. Those
who should have known him better thought that he was (to quote from one
of his letters to the writer) "a hypocrite, or simply a fool." "But," he
adds, "my meaning was that the mass of the people should not be deprived
of the one great literature which is open to them, nor shut out from
the perception of its place in the whole past history of civilised
mankind." He lamented, as every thoughtful person must lament, the
decay of Bible reading in this generation, while, at the same time, he
advocated the more strenuously its detachment from the glosses and
theological inferences which do irreparable injury to a literature whose
value cannot be overrated.

For Huxley was well read in history, and therefore he would not trust
the clergy as interpreters of the Bible. After repeating in the Prologue
to his Essays on Controverted Questions what he had said about the book
in his article on the School Boards in Critiques and Addresses, he adds,
"I laid stress on the necessity of placing such instruction in lay
hands; in the hope and belief that it would thus gradually accommodate
itself to the coming changes of opinion; that the theology and the
legend would drop more and more out of sight, while the perennially
interesting historical, literary, and ethical contents would come more
and more into view."

Subsequent events have justified neither the hope nor the belief. Had
Huxley lived to see that all the sectaries, while quarrelling as to the
particular dogmas which may be deduced from the Bible, agree in refusing
to use it other than as an instrument for the teaching of dogma, he
would probably have come to see that the only solution in the interests
of the young, is its exclusion from the schools. Never has any
collection of writings, whose miscellaneous, unequal, and often
disconnected character is obscured by the common title "Bible" which
covers them, had such need for deliverance from the so-called
"believers" in it. Its value is only to be realized in the degree that
theories of its inspiration are abandoned. Then only is it possible to
treat it like any other literature of the kind; to discriminate between
the coarse and barbaric features which evidence the humanness of its
origin, and the loftier features of its later portions which also
evidence how it falls into line with other witnesses of man's gradual
ethical and spiritual development.

Huxley's breadth of view, his sympathy with every branch of culture, his
advocacy of literary in unison with scientific training, fitted him
supremely for the work of the School Board, but its demands were too
severe on a man never physically strong, and he was forced to resign.
However, he was thereby set free for other work, which could be only
effectively done by exchanging the arena for the study. The earliest
important outcome of that relief was the monograph on Hume, published in
1879, and the latest was the Romanes lecture on Evolution and Ethics,
which was delivered in the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford on the 18th of
May, 1893. Between the two lie a valuable series of papers dealing with
the Evolution of Theology and cognate subjects. In all these we have the
application of the theory of Evolution to the explanation of the origin
of beliefs and of the basis of morals. To quote the saying attributed to
Leibnitz, both Spencer and Huxley, and all who follow them, care for
"science only because it enables them to speak with authority in
philosophy and religion." In a letter to the writer, wherein Huxley
refers to his retirement from official life, he says:--

  I was so ill that I thought with Hamlet, "the rest is silence." But
  my wiry constitution has unexpectedly weathered the storm, and I
  have every reason to believe that with renunciation of the devil and
  all his works (i. e., public speaking, dining, and being dined,
  etc.) my faculties may be unimpaired for a good spell yet. And
  whether my lease is long or short, I mean to devote them to the work
  I began in the paper on the Evolution of Theology.

That essay was first published in two sections in the Nineteenth
Century, 1886, and was the sequel to the eighth chapter of his Hume. The
Romanes Lecture supplemented the last chapter of that book. All these
are accessible enough to render superfluous any abstract of their
contents. But the tribute due to David Hume, who may well-nigh claim
place among the few but fit company of Pioneers, warrants reference
to his anticipation of accepted theories of the origin of belief in
spiritual beings in his Natural History of Religion, published in 1757.
He says: "There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all
beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object those qualities
with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are
intimately conscious.... The _unknown causes_ which continually employ
their thought, appearing always in the same aspect, are all apprehended
to be of the same kind or species. Nor is it long before we ascribe to
them thought, and reason, and passion, and sometimes even the limbs and
figures of men, in order to bring them nearer to a resemblance with
ourselves." In his address to the Sorbonne on The Successive Advances of
the Human Mind, delivered in 1750, Turgot expresses the same idea,
touching, as John Morley says in his essay on that statesman, "the root
of most of the wrong thinking that has been as a manacle to science."

The foregoing, and passages of a like order, are made by Huxley the text
of his elaborations of the several stages of theological evolution, the
one note of all of which is the continuity of belief in supernatural
intervention. But more important than the decay of that belief which is
the prelude to decay of belief in deity itself as commonly defined, is
the resulting transfer of the foundation of morals, in other words, of
motives to conduct, from a theological to a social base. Theology is not
morality; indeed, it is, too often, immorality. It is concerned with
man's relations to the gods in whom he believes; while morals are
concerned with man's relations to his fellows. The one looks heavenward,
wondering what dues shall be paid the gods to win their smiles or ward
off their frowns. In old Rome _sanctitas_ or holiness, was, according to
Cicero, "the knowledge of the rites which had to be performed." These
done, the gods were expected to do their part. So in new Rome, when the
Catholic has attended mass, his share in the contract is ended. Worship
and sacrifice, as mere acts toward supernatural beings, may be
consonant with any number of lapses in conduct. Morality, on the other
hand, looks earthward, and is prompted to action solely by what is
due from a man to his fellow-men, or from his fellow-men to him. Its
foundation therefore is not in supernatural beliefs, but in social
instincts. All sin is thus resolved into an anti-social act: a wrong
done by man to man.

This is not merely readjustment; it is revolution. For it is the
rejection of theology with its appeals to human obligation to deity, and
to man's hopes of future reward or fears of future punishment; and it is
the acceptance of wholly secular motives as incentives to right action.
Those motives, having their foundation in the physical, mental, and
moral results of our deeds, rest on a stable basis. No longer interlaced
with the unstable theological, they neither abide nor perish with it.
And one redeeming feature of our time is that the churches are beginning
to see this, and to be effected by it. John Morley caustically remarks
that "the efforts of the heterodox have taught them to be better
Christians than they were a hundred years ago." Certain extremists
excepted, they are keeping dogma in the background, and are laying
stress on the socialism which it is contended was at the heart of the
teaching of Jesus. Wisely, if not very consistently, they are seeking
alliance with the liberal movements whose aim is the "abolition of
privilege." The liberal theologians, in the face of the varying ethical
standards which mark the Old Testament and the New, no longer insist on
the absoluteness of moral codes, and so fall into line with the
evolutionist in his theory of their relativeness. For society in its
advance from lower to higher conceptions of duty, completely reverses
its ethics, looking back with horror on that which was once permitted
and unquestioned.

It is with this checking of "the ape and tiger," and this fostering of
the "angel" in man, that Huxley dealt in his Romanes Lecture. There was
much unintelligent, and some wilful, misunderstanding of his argument,
else a prominent Catholic biologist would hardly have welcomed it as a
possible prelude to Huxley's submission to the Church. Yet the reasoning
was clear enough, and in no wise contravened the application of
Evolution to morals. Huxley showed that Evolution is both _cosmical_ and
_ethical_. _Cosmic Evolution_ has resulted in the universe with its
non-living and living contents, and since, dealing with the conditions
which obtain on our planet, there is not sufficient elbow-room or food
for all the offspring of living things, the result is a furious
struggle in which the strong win and transmit their advantages to their
descendants. Nature is wholly selfish; the race is to the swift, and the
battle to the strong.

But there are limits set to that struggle by man in the substitution,
also within limits, of social progress for cosmic progress. In this
_Ethical Evolution_ selfishness is so far checked as to permit groups
of human beings to live together in amity, recognising certain common
rights, which restrain the self-regarding impulses. For, in the words of
Marcus Aurelius, "that which is not good for the swarm is not good for
the bee" (Med., vi, 54). Huxley aptly likens this counter-process to the
action of a gardener in dealing with a piece of waste ground. He stamps
out the weeds, and plants fragrant flowers and useful fruits. But he
must not relax his efforts, otherwise the weeds will return, and the
untended plants will be choked and perish. So in conduct. For the common
weal, in which the unit shares, thus blending the selfish and the
unselfish motives, men check their natural impulses. The emotions and
affections which they share with the lower social animals, only in
higher degree, are co-operative, and largely help the development of
family, tribal, and national life. But once we let these be weakened,
and society becomes a bear-garden. Force being the dominant factor in
life, the struggle for existence revives in all its primitive violence,
and atavism asserts its power. Therefore, although he do the best that
in him lies, man can only set limits to that struggle, for the ethical
process is an integral part of the cosmic powers, "just as the
'governor' in a steam-engine is part of the mechanism of the engine."
As with society, so with its units: there is no truce in the contest.
Dr. Plimmer, an eminent bacteriologist, describes to the writer the
action of a kind of yeast upon a species of Daphnia, or water-flea.
Metschnikoff observed that these yeast-cells, which enter with the
animal's food, penetrate the intestines, and get into the tissues. They
are there seized upon by the leukocytes, which gather round the invaders
in larger fashion, as if seemingly endowed with consciousness, so
marvellous is the strategy. If they win, the Daphnia recovers; if they
lose, it dies. "In a similar manner in ourselves certain leukocytes
(phagocytes) accumulate at any point of invasion, and pick up the living
bacteria," and in the success or failure of their attack lies the fate
of man. Which things are fact as well as allegory; and time is on the
side of the bacteria. For as our life is but a temporary arrest of the
universal movement toward dissolution, so naught in our actions can
arrest the destiny of our kind. Huxley thus puts it in the concluding
sentences of his Preface--written in July, 1894, one year before his
death--to the reissue of Evolution and Ethics:

"That man, as a 'political animal,' is susceptible of a vast amount of
improvement, by education, by instruction, and by the application of his
intelligence to the adaptation of the conditions of life to his higher
needs, I entertain not the slightest doubt. But, so long as he remains
liable to error, intellectual or moral; so long as he is compelled to
be perpetually on guard against the cosmic forces, whose ends are not
his ends, without and within himself; so long as he is haunted by
inexpugnable memories and hopeless aspirations; so long as the
recognition of his intellectual limitations forces him to acknowledge
his incapacity to penetrate the mystery of existence; the prospect of
attaining untroubled happiness, or of a state which can, even remotely,
deserve the title of perfection, appears to me to be as misleading an
illusion as ever was dangled before the eyes of poor humanity. And there
have been many of them. That which lies before the human race is a
constant struggle to maintain and improve, in opposition to the State of
Nature, the State of Art of an organised polity; in which, and by which,
man may develop a worthy civilisation, capable of maintaining and
constantly improving itself, until the evolution of our globe shall have
entered so far upon its downward course that the cosmic process resumes
its sway; and, once more, the State of Nature prevails over the surface
of our planet."

But only those of low ideals would seek in this impermanence of things
excuse for inaction; or worse, for self-indulgence. The world will last
a very long time yet, and afford scope for battle against the wrongs
done by man to man. Even were it and ourselves to perish to-morrow, our
duty is clear while the chance of doing it may be ours. Clifford,--dead
before his prime, before the rich promise of his genius had its full
fruitage,--speaking of the inevitable end of the earth "and all the
consciousness of men" reminds us, in his essay on The First and Last
Catastrophe, that we are helped in facing the fact "by the words of
Spinoza: 'The free man thinks of nothing so little as of death, and his
wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.'" "Our interest,"
Clifford adds, "lies with so much of the past as may serve to guide our
actions in the present, and to intensify our pious allegiance to the
fathers who have gone before us and the brethren who are with us; and
our interest lies with so much of the future as we may hope will be
appreciably affected by our good actions now. Do I seem to say, 'Let us
eat and drink, for to-morrow we die?' Far from it; on the contrary I
say, 'Let us take hands and help, for this day we are alive together.'"

Evolution and Ethics was Huxley's last important deliverance, since the
completion of his reply to Mr. Balfour's "quaintly entitled" Foundations
of Belief was arrested by his death on the 30th of June, 1895.

In looking through the Collected Essays, which represent his
non-technical contributions to knowledge, there may be regret that
throughout his life circumstances were against his doing any piece of
long-sustained work, such as that which, for example, the affluence and
patience of Darwin permitted him to do. But until Huxley's later years,
and, indeed, through broken health to the end, his work outside
official demands had to be done fitfully and piecemeal, or not at all.
Notwithstanding this, it has the unity which is inspired by a central
idea. The application of the theory of evolution all round imparts a
quality of relation to subjects seemingly diverse. And this comes out
clearly and strongly in the more orderly arrangement of the material in
the new issue of Collected Essays.

These show what an omnivorous reader he was; how well equipped in
classics, theology, and general literature, in addition to subjects
distinctly his own. He sympathized with every branch of culture. As
contrasted with physical science, he said, "Nothing would grieve me more
than to see literary training other than a very prominent branch of
education." One corner of his library was filled with a strange company
of antiquated books of orthodox type; this he called "the condemned
cell." When looking at the "strange bedfellows" that slept on the
shelves, the writer asked Huxley what author had most influenced a style
whose clearness and vigour, nevertheless, seems unborrowed; and he at
once named the masculine and pellucid Leviathan of Hobbes. He had the
happy faculty of rapidly assimilating what he read; of clearly grasping
an opponent's standpoint; and what is a man's salvation nowadays,
freedom from that curse of specialism which kills all sense of
proportion, and reduces its slave to the level of the machine-hand
that spends his life in making the heads of screws. He believed in
"scepticism as the highest duty, and in blind faith as the one
unpardonable sin." "And," he adds, "it cannot be otherwise, for every
great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection
of authority, the cherishing of the keenest scepticism, the annihilation
of the spirit of blind faith; and the most ardent votary of science
holds his firmest convictions, not because the men he most venerates
holds them; not because their verity is testified by portents and
wonders; but because his experience teaches him that whenever he chooses
to bring these convictions into contact with their primary source,
Nature--whenever he thinks fit to test them by appealing to experiment
and to observation--Nature will confirm them. The man of science has
learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification."
Therefore he nursed no illusions; would not say that he knew when he did
not or could not know, and bidding us follow the evidence whithersoever
it leads us, remains the surest-footed guide of our time. Such
leadership is his, since he has gone on "from strength to strength." The
changes in the attitude of man toward momentous questions which new
evidence and the _zeit-geist_ have effected, have been approaches to the
position taken by Huxley since he first caught the public ear. His deep
religious feeling kept him in sympathetic touch with his fellows. Ever
present to him was "that consciousness of the limitation of man, that
sense of an open secret which he cannot penetrate, in which lies the
essence of all religion." In one of his replies to a prominent exponent
of the Comtian philosophy, that "incongruous mixture of bad science with
eviscerated papistry," as he calls it, Huxley protests against the idea
that the teaching of science is wholly negative.

  I venture, he says, to count it an improbable suggestion that any
  one who has graduated in all the faculties of human relationships;
  who has taken his share in all the deep joys and deeper anxieties
  which cling about them, who has felt the burden of young lives
  entrusted to his care, and has stood alone with his dead before the
  abyss of the Eternal--has never had a thought beyond negative
  criticism.

That is the Agnostic position as he defined it; an attitude, not a
creed; and if he refused to affirm, he equally refused to deny.

                 *       *       *       *       *

Thus have the Pioneers of Evolution, clear-sighted and sure-footed, led
us by ways undreamed-of at the start to a goal undreamed-of by the
earliest among them. To have halted on the route when the graver
difficulties of the road began would have made the journey futile, and
have left their followers in the wilds. Evolution, applied to everything
up to man, but stopping at the stage when he appears, would have
remained a fascinating study, but would not have become a guiding
philosophy of life. It is in the extension of its processes as
explanation of all that appertains to mankind that its abiding value
consists. That extension was inevitable. The old theologies of civilized
races, useful in their day, because answering, however imperfectly, to
permanent needs of human nature, no longer suffice. Their dogmas are
traced as the lineal descendants of barbaric conceptions; their ritual
is becoming an archæological curiosity. They have no answer to the
questions propounded by the growing intelligence of our time; neither
can they satisfy the emotions which they but feebly discipline. Their
place is being slowly, but surely, and more effectively, filled by a
theory which, interpreting the "mighty sum of things," substitutes clear
conceptions of unbroken order and relation between phenomena, in place
of hazy conceptions of intermittent interferences; a theory which gives
more than it takes away. For if men are deprived of belief in the
pseudo-mysteries coined in a pre-scientific age, their wonder is
fed, and their inquiry is stimulated, by the consciousness of the
impenetrable mysteries of the Universe.



INDEX


  Abdera, 16.
  Abiogenesis, 216.
  Abraham, 54.
  Adam, fall of, 104.
  ---- stature of, 107.
  Advent, the Second, 50, 70.
  Ægean, the, 3.
  Agassiz, 162.
  Agrigentum, 13.
  Air as primary substance, 13.
  Alexander the Great, 17.
  Alexandria, conquest of, 77.
  ---- philosophical schools of, 77.
  Allegorical method, 75.
  Allen, Grant, 2, 113, 167.
  Amazons, river, 136.
  America, discovery of, 84.
  Amoeba, the, 224.
  Anatomy, comparative, 230.
  ---- human, 90.
  Anaxagoras, 14.
  Anaximander, 7, 20.
  Ancestor-worship, 70.
  Andromeda, nebula in, 178.
  Angels, belief in, 69.
  Animism, 69, 97, 244, 255.
  Anthropology and belief in the soul, 241.
  ---- and dogmas of the Fall and the Redemption, 247, 250.
  ---- and man's place in Evolution, 245.
  Antioch, 47.
  Ape and man, brain of, 227.
  ---- general relation of, 228.
  Aquinas, Thomas, 20, 75.
  Arab conquest, 76.
  ---- philosophy, 79.
  Arch-fiend, 54.
  Aristotle, 17-19, 20, 32, 35, 36, 74, 80, 81, 87, 163.
  Arnold, Matthew, 13, 213.
  Ascent of Man, Drummond's, 219.
  Asklepios, 29.
  Astruc, Dr., 103.
  Athens, intellectual decay in, 35, 77.
  ---- persecution in, 14.
  ---- religious revival in, 11.
  Atomic theory, 16.
  Atonement, doctrine of the, and
  Anthropology, 250.
  Augurs, 31.
  Augustine, St., 20, 55, 74.
  Augustus, Cæsar, 42, 48.
  Aurelius, Marcus, 51, 259.
  Averroes, 80.
  Avicenna, 101.

  Bacon, Lord, 93, 108.
  Bacon, Roger, 82.
  Bacteria and leukocytes, 260.
  Bagehot, Mr., 2.
  Baghdad, 79.
  Balfour, A. J., 262.
  Baptism, origin of rite of, 66.
  Bates, H. W., 134, 136, 162, 167, 208.
  Beagle, voyage of the, 131.
  Benn, A. W., 9, 19.
  Bible, Dictionary of the, 107.
  Biology, advance in study of, 108.
  Black magic, 83.
  Body and mind, mystery of connection between, 231.
  Bone, resurrection, 90.
  Bonnet, Charles, 21.
  "Boundless," the, 7.
  Breathing, symbolism of, 69.
  Bruno, Giordano, 89.
  Buddha, 64.
  Buffon, place of, in theory of Evolution, 110.
  ---- submission to the Sorbonne, 104.
  Burnet, Prof., 5, 7, 16.
  Burton's Anatomy, 60.
  Butcher, Prof., 4.

  Caesalpino, 91.
  Cairo, 80.
  Canon of the Bible, 58, 88.
  Carpenter, Dr., 150, 233.
  Carthage, 78.
  ---- Council of, 58.
  Casalis, Mr., 1.
  Catat, Dr., 242.
  Celtic religion, 70.
  Chaldæa, 4.
  Chambers, Robert, 119.
  Charles Martel, 78.
  Chosroes, 77, 79.
  Christianity and Anthropology, 251.
  ---- anti-social nature of, 50.
  ---- causes of success of, 48, 56.
  ---- opposition to inquiry, 40.
  ---- origin of, 37.
  ---- pagan elements in, 59-73.
  ---- philosophic elements in, 57.
  ---- polytheism of, 69.
  ---- varying fortunes of, 38.
  Christians, persecution of, 49.
  Church Congress and Evolution, 159, 219.
  Circumnavigation of the globe, 85.
  Clifford, Prof., 261.
  Collings, 41.
  Colophon, 9.
  Columbus, Christopher, 84.
  Communion at Hawarden Church, 68.
  Comtism, 264.
  Conduct, bases of, 186, 254.
  Consciousness, evolution of, 187, 224.
  ---- self-, 187.
  Conservation of energy, 33, 120, 149, 177.
  Copernicus, 20, 86.
  Cordova, 80.
  Correlation of forces, 189.
  Cosmic Evolution, 258.
  Councils, general, 220.
  Courthope, W. J., 164.
  Creation, days of, 103, 106.
  Credulity of the learned, 148.
  Creeds, 52, 220.
  Criticism of religions, features of modern, 40.
  Cronus, myth of, 56.
  Crooke, Mr., 30.
  Cross, relics of the, 72.
  Crown of thorns, 72.
  Cuvier, 114, 117, 163.
  ---- and Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 214.
  Cybele, 29.

  Dalton, John, 16, 125.
  Daphnia, Dr. Plimmer on, 260.
  Darwin, Charles, 126-134, 157-175.
  ---- Life and Letters of, 127, 157.
  ---- religious belief of, 173.
  ---- Erasmus, 21, 111.
  Days of creation, 102, 106.
  De Gama, Vasco, 85.
  Deluge, 104, 107, 250.
  Demeter, 29, 67.
  Democritus, 16, 22, 33.
  Demons, 55, 75, 87.
  De Perthes, Boucher, 120, 248.
  De Rerum Natura, 24.
  Descartes, 91, 94, 216.
  Descent into Hell, 88.
  Descent of Man, 167, 172, 218.
  Development, law of, 189.
  Devil, 54, 83.
  De Vinci, Leonardo, 102.
  Diagoras, 63.
  Dictionary of the Bible, 107.
  Dionysus, 67.
  Dispersion of the Jews, 56, 77.
  Dogma and Evolution, 220.
  Driver, Rev. Canon, 53, 107.
  Dubois, Dr., 222.
  Dunér, Professor, 179.

  Earth as "element," 13.
  ---- Greek notions about the, 6, 8.
  Education and dogma, 253.
  Egypt, 4, 6, 7.
  ---- conquest of, 77.
  Eleatic school, 10.
  Elviri, Synod of, 62.
  Embryology, 118, 218.
  Empedocles, 13, 22, 27.
  Ephesus, 11.
  Epictetus, 51.
  Epicurus, 22, 27.
  Epigenesis, 21.
  Ethical Evolution, 259.
  Etruscan haruspices, 31.
  Eve, stature of, 107.
  Evil eye, 69.
  Evolution and dogma, 220.
  ---- cosmic, 258.
  ---- ethical, 258.
  ---- inclusion of man in, 245.
  ---- inorganic, 175.
  ---- organic, 200.
  Evolution and Ethics, Huxley on, 219, 254.

  Fall, doctrine of the, and anthropology, 247.
  Fire, as primary substance, 12.
  First Principles, 167, 188.
  Fiske, Professor, 8.
  Flint implements, 248.
  Folk-lore, value of study of, 249.
  Fontenelle, 2.
  Fossils, theories about, 104.
  Frazer, J. G., 66, 220.

  Galen, 90.
  Galileo, discoveries and persecution of, 91.
  Geology, effect of study of, 100.
  ---- revival of study of, 100.
  ---- principles of, 117.
  Gesner, 91.
  Gibbon, 57, 58, 72, 219.
  Gladstone, Mr., 68.
  Gnosticism, 48.
  Gods in Rome, 29.
  Golden Bough, The, 66, 220.
  Gospels, origin of, 46.
  Gosse, P. H., 104.
  Gower, Dr., 155.
  Granada, 80.
  Greece, 3.
  ---- conquest and intellectual decline of, 23.
  Greek philosophers, Table of, 36.
  Greeks, early conception of earth by, 6, 8.
  ---- search of, for the primary substance, 6.
  Grote, 15.

  Haeckel, 115, 164.
  Hallucinations, 153.
  Haroun al-Raschid, 79.
  Hartley, 124.
  Haruspices, 31.
  Harvey, William, 21, 93.
  Hawarden Church, Communion at, 68.
  Heine's Travel-Pictures, 153.
  Hellenized Jews, 56, 77.
  Helmholtz, 125.
  Henrion, 107.
  Heraclitus, 11.
  Herakles, 29.
  Herodotus, 62.
  Herschel, Sir William, 95, 177.
  Hesiod, 10.
  Hippocampus minor, 227.
  Hobbes' Leviathan, 60, 263.
  Holy Communion, barbaric origin of rite of, 66, 68.
  Homer, 8, 10, 12, 75.
  Hooker, Sir Joseph, 141, 162.
  ----  Sir William, 119.
  Horace, 63, 75.
  Huggins, Dr. Wm., 178.
  Humanity and Evolution, 192.
  Humboldt, 121, 135.
  Hume, 97, 192, 216, 255.
  Hutton, 115.
  Huxley, 94, 157, 159, 201-266.

  Indigitamenta, 30.
  Inductive philosophy, the, 93.
  Inquisition, the, 89, 91.
  Instinct, 229.
  Ionia, 3, 4, 6, 32.
  Isis, 29, 62.

  Jerome, St., 24, 105.
  Jerusalem, early disciples of Jesus at, 47.
  ---- fall of, 77.
  ---- Jesus at, 44.
  Jesus, summary of life of, 42-46.
  ---- superstition shared by, 53-56.
  Jews, Hellenized, or of the Dispersion, 56, 77.

  Kant, 94, 175, 200.
  Kelvin, Lord, 233.
  Kent's Hole, 248.
  Khalifs, 76.
  Kirchoff, 178.
  Kropotkin, Prince, 231.

  Lamarck, 114.
  Language, 229.
  La Peyrère, 102.
  Laplace, 95, 176.
  Leading Men of Science, Table of, 123-125.
  Leibnitz, 124, 254.
  Leo III., 78.
  L'Etui de Nacre, 45.
  Leucippus, 16, 23, 33, 36.
  Leukocytes, 260.
  Life and Letters, Darwin's, 127, 157, 173.
  Lightfoot, Dr., 103, 120.
  Linnaeus, 108.
  Linnæan Society, famous meeting at, 141, 181.
  Living and non-living matter, connection between, 34, 216.
  Locke, 94.
  Lodge, Prof. Oliver, 147.
  Love as an "element," 14.
  Lubbock, Sir John, 168.
  Lucretius, 17, 23, 24-29, 41, 248.
  Luther, 87.
  Lyall, Sir Alfred, 30, 38, 249.
  Lyell, Sir Charles, 117, 134, 162.

  Madonna, 64.
  Magellan, 85.
  Maine, Sir Henry, 5.
  Malay Archipelago, 138.
  Malpighi, 21.
  Malthus on Population, 119, 133, 139.
  Man and Evolution, 97, 143, 218, 227, 236.
  ---- and ape, brain of, 227.
  ---- and ape, general structure of, 143.
  ---- antiquity of, 222.
  ---- inclusion of, in Evolution, 233.
  ---- lower animals and, 218, 227.
  ---- primitive state of, 248.
  ---- suckling, period of, 8.
  Manning, Cardinal, 160.
  Man's Place in Nature, 164, 167, 213, 218, 252.
  Marcus Aurelius, 51, 259.
  Martin, R. B., 169.
  Martyr, Peter, 87.
  Maskelyne, Mr., 148.
  Matter, indestructibility of, 33.
  ---- living and non-living, 34, 217.
  ---- mystery of, 180, 188, 216, 232.
  Matthew, Patrick, 118, 165.
  Maudsley, Dr., 156.
  Meckel, 118.
  Messiah, Jewish belief in, 44, 46.
  Metals, age of, 28, 35, 248.
  Middleton, Conyers, 60.
  Miletus, 6.
  Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, 145, 237.
  Mithra worship, 42, 50, 71.
  Mivart, Prof. St. George, 233.
  Mohammed, 76.
  Montaigne, 38, 62.
  Morality, essential nature of, 256.
  Morals and Evolution, 254.
  ---- scientific base of, 256.
  Morley, John, 39, 170, 251, 257.
  Motion, concept of, 178.
  ---- indestructibility of, 33.
  ---- mystery of, 180, 187, 216, 232.
  Mummius, 23.
  Munro, Mr., 24.
  Mysteries, Greek, 49.
  Mystery of matter, 231.
  ---- motion, 186, 187, 216, 232.
  Myth, primitive, features of, 2.

  Nebula in Andromeda, 178.
  Nebular theory, 94, 180.
  Nero, 48.
  Nervous system, disorders of the, 153.
  ---- origin of the, 225.
  New Testament, canon of, 58, 88.
  ---- origin of, 51.
  Nicene Creed, 52, 220.
  Nous of Anaxagoras, 16.
  Numbers, in primitive thought, 9.
  ---- Pythagorean theory of, 9, 36.

  Organic Evolution, 200.
  Origin of species, 142, 168, 211.
  ---- publication of, 157.
  ---- reception of, 157, 162.
  Osborn, Prof., 102, 119.
  Ovid, 219.
  Owen, Sir Richard, attitude of, towards Darwin's theory, 162, 214.
  ---- review of the Origin of Species, 162.

  Pagan elements in Christianity, 59-73.
  Paladino, Eusapia, 148.
  Palæontology, 218.
  Palissy, Bernard, 102.
  Pantheon, Roman, 29.
  Papacy, origin of the, 58.
  Paul, St., 47.
  Pausanias, 13.
  Pentateuch, 103.
  Pericles, 14.
  Persia, intellectual activity in, 79.
  Perthes, Boucher de, 120, 125, 248.
  Petrie, Prof. Flinders, 201.
  Philo, 58.
  Philosophy, synthetic, 181, 195, 199.
  Photography in Science, 178.
  Physical Basis of Life, Huxley on, 215.
  Pineal gland, theory of soul in, 91.
  Plato, 5, 52, 212.
  Polytheism, feature of, 49.
  ---- in Christianity, 71.
  Pontius Pilate, 44, 48.
  Poppaea, Sabina, 48.
  Preformation theory, 21.
  Primary substance, 33.
  ---- search after, 6.
  Protoplasm, 119.
  Psychical Research, Society for, 148.
  Psychology, experimental, 230.
  ---- Principles of, 187, 189.
  Ptolemaic System, 20, 88.
  Punch, 206.
  Pythagoras, 9.
  Pythagorean theory of numbers, 9, 36.

  Redi, experiments of, 216.
  Reformation, non-intellectual, 88.
  ---- character of the, 86.
  Relics, collection of, 71.
  ---- worship of, 70.
  Revelations, condition of, 223.
  Rhys, Professor, 64.
  Rodd, Rennell, 29.
  Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, 67.
  Rome, bishop of, 58.
  ---- fire in, 48.
  ---- gods in, 29.
  ---- polytheism of, 49.
  Royal Society, 99.

  Sacraments, barbaric origin of, 65-68.
  Saints, fictitious, 64.
  Salisbury, Lord, Presidential Address of, 179, 215.
  Samos, 22, 36.
  Sanctitas, 256.
  Saracens, 78.
  Savages, brain of, 240.
  Scheiner, Professor, 179.
  School Boards, 252.
  Schwann, Theodor, 125.
  Science, Leading men of, 123-125.
  Second Coming of Jesus, 50, 70.
  Sedgwick, 162.
  Selden, 47, 220.
  Serapis, 71.
  Sin, essence of, 257.
  Sizzi, 92.
  Smith, Professor Robertson, 250.
  ---- William (geologist), 118.
  Social Statics, 184.
  Society, evolution of, 184, 193.
  ---- modification of struggle in, 259.
  Sociology, Principles of, 186, 199.
  ---- study of, 233.
  Socrates, 15.
  Solar spectrum, lines in, 178.
  Sorbonne, the, 104, 256.
  Soul, origin of belief in, 241-245.
  ---- location of, 91.
  ---- Lucretius on location of, 25.
  Spain, intellectual advance in, 80.
  Spectroscope, the, 178.
  Spencer, Herbert, 31, 118, 121, 162, 175-201, 233, 241, 254.
  Spinoza, 94.
  Spiritualism, 145, 156.
  Spontaneous generation, 20, 74.
  Sprengel, 119, 125.
  St. Hilaire, 107, 114.
  Stagira, 17.
  Stokes, Sir G. G., 234.
  Stone, ages of, 28, 35, 248.
  Strabo, 101.
  Strife as an "element," 14.
  Struggle for life, 131, 140, 258.
  Suarez, Francisco, 222.
  Synthetic philosophy, 182.
  ---- abstract of the, 195, 199.
  ---- first draft of, 199.

  Table of Greek Philosophers, 36.
  ---- of leading men of science, 123-125.
  Tacitus, 48.
  Thales, 6, 8, 17.
  Theology and Evolution, final issue between, 223.
  Theophrastus, 7, 16.
  Theosophy, 9.
  Tozer, Mr., 30.
  Transubstantiation, origin of belief in, 67.
  Turgot, 39, 256.
  Tylor, Dr., 168, 241, 246.
  Tyndall, Professor, 205, 207, 216.

  Usher, Archbishop, 103.

  Van Helmont, 20.
  Vatican Council on Creation, 33.
  Vesalius, 90.
  Vestiges of Creation, 119, 135, 209.
  Virgin Mary, 60.
  Virgins, Black, 64.
  Visual sensations, subjective, 154.
  Von Baer, 118, 125, 189, 194, 200.
  Von Mohl, 119, 125.
  Votive offerings, 62.

  Wallace, Alfred Russel, 134-157.
  ---- as biologist, 143.
  ---- as spiritualist, 145-157.
  ---- limitation of natural selection to man's physical structure, 144,
              235-241.
  ---- theory of origin of species identical with Darwin's, 140.
  "Wallace's Line," 139.
  Water as primary substance, 7.
  Water-worship, 61, 63.
  Weismann, 117.
  Wells, Dr. W. C., 166.
  Wesley, John, 55, 105.
  Whewell, Dr., 159.
  White, Dr., 103.
  Wilberforce, Bishop, and the Origin of Species, 160.
  ---- and Huxley, 213.
  Wilson, Archdeacon, 161, 219.
  Winifred's Well, St., 63.
  Witchcraft, belief in, 55.
  ---- causes of decay of belief in, 98.
  Worms, Darwin on the Action of, 168.

  Xenophanes, 9, 19.

  Zahm, Professor, 222.
  Zeller, 9.
  Zeno, 10.


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                 *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

A few punctuation errors have been corrected silently.

The following corrections were made on the page indicated:

   10 "Then" changed to "The" (The tendency of that school)

   15 "news" changed to "new" (introducing new ones)

   36 "Anaximender" changed to "Anaximander" (TABLE)

  120 "95" changed to "103" (see p. 103)

  124 "Renè" changed to "René" (René Descartes)

  191 "Cermonies" changed to "Ceremonies" (Master of the Ceremonies)

  239 "genius" changed to "genus" (of the same genus)

  254 "Liebnitz" changed to "Leibnitz" (attributed to Leibnitz)

  259 "we" added and "we" changed to "be" (once we let these be
  weakened)

  263 "pelluccid" changed to "pellucid" (the masculine and pellucid
  Leviathan)

  271 "Linnean" changed to "Linnæan" in the index (Linnæan Society,
  famous)

  278 "enthusiams" changed to "enthusiasms" (will arouse many
  enthusiasms).

Otherwise this text has been preserved as in the original, including
archaic and inconsistent spelling and hyphenation.





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