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there, is not used in the modern sense of that word, but has the meaning of "creature." And the last passage can have no reference to the body, as that cannot be regarded, as in any sense, the image of God.
SECTION II.UNITY OF THE RACE AS A BIBLE DOCTRINE.
287. The common opinion among men who take the Bible as their standard of faith, is, that all men had a common origin, and sprang from one human pair. Some few, however, have thought differently, and at the same time have professed adherence to the Bible history. They tell us that the Bible is not decisive on this point. It seems to them that the book mentions at least two creations of men, one in chapter first, verse 26, of Genesis, and the other, in chapter second, verse seventh. Some add to this opinion, that the man created in the second instance, was to till the ground; while such was not the purpose had in view in the first creation. On the contrary, the man first made, was to have dominion over the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea —a plain indication that he and his race were to subsist by hunting and fishing, and not by cultivating the ground. And we know there have always been men of this stamp, of which our American Indians are perhaps the most remarkable example.
288. Again: if there were not other creations besides Adam and Eve, where, it is asked, did Cain get his wife? since Adam, Eve and Cain were the only persons living, according to the Bible, at the time of his marriage, and, who were the inhabitants of the city that he built? and, how could Cain fear that those who should find him would slay him, while there were yet no persons living, from whom he could expect any hostile intentions?
289. Most men, however, who take the ground of dif ferent races, or different origins of the race, do so, either with open and undisguised disregard of the Bible, or with a disregard obviously implied; and they rely for proofs of their opinion, on the wide differences there are among men, in color, form, features, &c.
290. The question that divides inquirers on this subject is not one that can be decided with as much ease and dispatch as the casual observer may suppose. The allusions in the Bible, to one origin, or more than one, are not so decisive as to remove all doubts; and the facts of nature, are not such, as to admit of being brought into harmony with the one theory or the other, without considerable discussion. It is certain that much has been written upon the subject; and yet there is, by no means, a uniformity of opinion respecting it.
291. For ourself we see no substantial reasons for relinquishing the common view of one origin of the race, both as a Bible doctrine, and as most in harmony with the facts of nature. Still we may not explain either the Bible or facts, after the common mode, nor, perhaps after any mode but our own.
Of course our purpose does not require nor permit a long continued discussion. We hope, however, to give the reader as much satisfaction, as he would be likely to find, perhaps more, than if he were to read many volumes on the subject.
292. In regard to the statements of the Bible, we remark, first, that what are called two creations, are in fact but two statements of one creation. The careful reader will not, I think, fail to perceive this. The latter passage "These are
only need be quoted to make this obvious. the generations of the heavens and the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground; and the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." ii. 4–7. The statement that there was not a man to till the ground, refers back to the period when there was yet no vegetation on the earth. At that time, there was not a man to till the ground. The period referred to, was prior to what is called the first creation. Of course the second account
is only a repetition of the first, and cannot possibly be referred to the creation of another and different race.
The language of the two passages is somewhat varied, but they are sufficiently alike to make their meaning obviously the same. To subdue the earth, in the one, and to till the ground, in the other, are sufficiently identical. And that the dominion over the animals, was not intended to indicate a particular mode of life, is proved by the fact, that the same dominion was given to Noah and his sons after the flood; and it was surely not then understood as shutting them out from the cultivation of the earth.
293. The oft repeated question; - Where did Cain get his wife, if there was no other branch of the human race but that of Adam, must be answered, as it has often been answered before; he obtained her, from among other members of the Adamic family; for though none are mentioned up to that period of the history, the general statement that "Adam had sons and daughters," without assigning them any date, allows us to place some of these in advance of the time that Cain took his wife, there being nothing to exclude this idea, but some things that seem to demand it.
294. No one can fail to perceive, that the order of time is not observed by the sacred writer, nor are all events recorded, that are presumed to have taken place. Still no one need be misled at all, who sincerely desires to understand and rightly interpret the book. It is only such as have a favorite theory support, or such as wish to bring the book into disrepute altogether, that can fail to perceive and appreciate the facts as they are. The writer, having introduced the case of Cain, continues and finishes what he has to say of that personage, his residence, his marriage, the city he built, and his posterity for six generations. He then mentions the birth of Seth, in the place of Abel, whom Cain slew. Shall we say that things are here recorded in the order they occurred, and that Adam did not have Seth till six generations of Cain had made their appearance, and most of them, perhaps, had passed away? This would be preposterous. We all understand, that having disposed of Cain and his descendants, the writer goes back, and takes up the history of Adam
where he had left it, and speaks of the birth of Seth. There is nothing against the supposition, therefore, that the birth of Seth, and of many, if not all, of Adams' other sons and daughters, occurred before Cain took his wife. Add to this that Seth was to fill the place of Abel, and as such, there may have been some reason for the fears of Cain lest that brother might avenge the murderous act that had taken the life of Abel.
295. Let another thing be noticed. Cain was to be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and yet the next thing we hear of him is, that he had a son and built a city. How could his sentence have been fulfilled, unless a considerable time elapsed, between the first and last of these events? While Cain was leading a fugitive and vagabond life, therefore, the "sons and daughters" of Adam might have become sufficiently numerous to have allowed him a fair opportunity for choosing a companion and bringing together inhabitants for the city that he built. Nor does it follow from this view, that Cain married his sister, though it does follow that some one or more of his brothers did; and as there was no law or custom to prevent such a union, as at a later day, the occurrence was not an unnatural and an improper one.
SECTION III.-UNITY OF THE RACE ON NATURAL GRounds.
296. The reasons for concluding that men had more than one origin, are quite as unsatisfactory on natural, as on Bible grounds. That the extremes of the race are widely separated, is certain; but the difference and shades of difference are so gradual, advancing from one extreme to the other, that no one can point out the dividing line that separates the different branches of the human family. Hence, as might be expected, there is very little uniformity of opinion, as to the number of races, some giving us three, some five, and some a larger number.
297. The plan of dividing men into different races, so as to favor the idea that they did not emanate from one parentage, is liable to serious objections on another account. There is no mark of difference that does not admit of infinite modifications. If it be the shape of the
head, there is every variety of form, from the upright forehead of the most intelligent and refined European, to the receding slope of the most ignorant and debased negro. If the hair is made the test, there is no less variety in this particular. Or if the thickness of the lips, or the prominent cheek bones, or the projecting heels, be chosen to mark the difference, there will be found the same difficulty; since the extremes of difference have infinite intervening modifications. There is the same difficulty here, that there is in dividing men into saints and sinners; for, though you can speak of them under these designations, having reference to persons widely separated in respect to character, yet the shades of character are so numerous, and run into each other so imperceptibly, that no point can be fixed upon, where a distinct line of separation can be drawn. The same is true of color. From the lightest to the darkest, there is a gradation so imperceptible, that no place can be selected, which, more than any other, can be regarded as the dividing line. We may divide men into races on the ground of intelligence, or character, as well as on the ground of color; and how, in such a case, shall we decide the number of races? The truth is, there are insuperable difficulties in the way of dividing men into races, many or few, by any clear and distinct indications, on any grounds that have yet been assumed.
298. Again, we know that what we call the races may mix; and the offspring of this union will possess, to a limited extent, the peculiarities of both races. We know they are thus mixed all over the world; and it is possible to conceive of them as being much more completely amalgamated than they are at present. And if this can be conceived of as possible, may not the converse of this be conceived of with equal consistency, in which case the races thus mixed would become again separated, and regain all the marked peculiarities they had at first?
If this be good reasoning, then it follows that all branches of the human family, may have proceeded from a common parentage, having a combination of the characteristics that are now seen more prominently in the different tribes and races that emanated therefrom.