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given forth no certain sound on the immorality of this glaring abuseof this crying wrong? We respect you-we listen to your teachings -we magnify your office: let us have your advocacy-your aid; so shall there be between us and you a heartier sympathy-a deeper respect.

We have done. We have pointed out where lies the blame. All that is required to remove it is co-operation with us-activity in our sacred cause the proclamation of the truth-the reiteration of the the rights and dignity of man.


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The Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation consists partly of descriptive details, embracing a variety of topics-astronomy, geology, zoology, and physiology,-and partly of speculations regarding the phenomena of creation; such, for example, as "the origin of the animated tribes," and "the development of the vegetable and animal kingdoms." Although

the work is thus divisible into two parts, the descriptive and the speculative, yet the whole of it is so pervaded and interwoven with theory, and the actual facts of physical science are so intermingled with mere hypothesis, that the entire production assumes the character of one of those historical romances, so prolific of late years, in which truth and fiction are so intimately blended together that the exact knowledge of the cultivated mind is required to disentangle the one from the other.

It is a principle object with the author to show that in the organic creation, animal and vegetable, there was observed a gradation from simple to complex. The following extract embodies these views :—

"In pursuing the progress of the development of both plants and animals upon the globe, we have seen an advance, in both cases, from simple to higher forms of organization. Amongst plants, we have first sea-weeds, afterwards land plants; and amongst these the simpler (cellular and cryptogamic) before the more complex. In the department of zoology we see, first, traces all but certain of infusoria; then polypiaria, crinoidea, and some humble forms of the articulata and mollusca; afterwards higher forms of the mollusca ; and it appears that these existed for ages before there were any higher types of being. The first step forward gives fishes, the humblest class of the vertebrata; and, moreover, the earliest fishes partake of the character of the lower sub-kingdom, the articulata. Afterwards come land animals, of which the first are reptiles, universally allowed to be the type next in advance from fishes, and to be connected with these by the links of an insensible gradation. From reptiles we advance to birds, and thence to mammalia, which are commenced by marsupialia, acknowledgedly low forms in their class. That there is thus a progress of some kind, the most superficial glance at the geological history is sufficient to convince us. Indeed the doctrine of the gradation of animal forms has received a remarkable support from the discoveries of this science, as several types formerly wanting to a completion of the series have been found in a fossil state."

The author, after endeavouring to establish this position, proceeds to explain how, according to his views, the successive development above sketched out was accomplished; or, in other words, how, in the ascending scale, the higher tribes were produced. Perhaps the paragraph subjoined will suffice to convey to our readers the author's hypothesis :

"The idea, then, which I form of the progress of organic life upon our earth-and the hypothesis is applicable to all similar theatres of vital being-is that the simplest and most primitive type, under a law to which that of like-production is subordinate, gave birth to the type next above it; that this again produced the next higher, and so on to the very highest, the stages of advance being in all cases very small-namely, from one species only to another : so that the phenomenon has always been of a simple and modest character."

Thus it is inferred that at some particular epoch of the world's existence individuals of a lower species produced individuals of the class next above it; that, for example, a fish produced a reptile, a reptile a bird, and a bird a mammal.

A third and favourite view discussed in these pages is that all the varied phenomena of nature, physical and organic, intellectual and moral, are dependent not upon any direct or immediate interposition of the Deity, but upon certain fixed and general laws, impressed by God upon the universe in the first or primeval act of creation, and including within themselves a provision not only for the production and regulation of all that has hitherto occurred, but likewise for every event which at present latent within the womb of time is designed hereafter to become developed into activity. A summary of this idea is thus expressed:

"Thus the whole is complete on one principle. The masses of space are formed by law; law makes them in due time theatres of existence for plants and animals; sensation, disposition, intellect, are all in like manner developed and sustained in action by law. It is most interesting to observe into how small a field the whole of the mysteries of nature

thus ultimately resolve themselves. The inorganic has been thought to have one final comprehensive law, GRAVITATION. The organic, the other great department of mundane things, rests in like manner on one law, and that is DEVELOPMENT. Nor may even these be after all twain, but only branches of one still more comprehensive law, the expression of a unity, flowing immediately from the One who is First and Last."

In addition to these, which constitute the leading principles contended for, there are sundry other speculations, which are as so many episodes introduced into the main argument, which our space will not allow us to notice.

It is hardly necessary we should point out to the readers of this paper that the conclusions just stated are opposed to received opinion both in science and revelation; and although we have neither the inclination nor the right to inquire into the religious belief of the author, yet we are required, by a duty which admits of no compromise, to affirm that the whole work, unaccompanied as it is by a single disclaimer to the contrary, indicates the sentiments of the philosophical deist rather than of the Christian believer. If we should by this avowal of our impressions have done any injustice to the talented writer, we shall with thankfulness correct the misapprehension into which we may have fallen.

Such then being the momentous interests involved in this theory of creation, we have a just right to inquire do the facts and arguments adduced by the writer support the conclusions drawn from them. To this question we may answer in simple truth that neither the facts nor the arguments are sufficient to establish any one of the peculiar hypotheses embodied in the work before us. This negation would be borne out by an appeal to the existing knowledge in all the branches of science involved in the inquiry: but, inasmuch as the author has entered more minutely in the way of illustration into zoology, comparative anatomy, and development, it will be desirable to consider in the first place the evidences really afforded by these interesting divisions of natural science.

Zoology distinctly proves, what the author asserts, that there is a regular gradation in the animal kingdom; that, with some few exceptions, probably dependent upon the incompleteness of our knowledge, and still more upon certain species having become, like the ichthyosaurus, the sivatherium, the dinornis, and the dodo, extinct, there are no abrupt transitions— the links formed by the several tribes of animals constituting one continuous whole without break or interruption; and therefore that although, when remote members of the zoological scale are contrasted with each other, wide differences are observed between them, yet, when the allied genera, and still more when kindred species, are compared together, the modifications of structure are so slight that it may even become a matter of difficulty to decide whether the diversity of organization indicates a specific separation or merely amounts to what naturalists term a variety. The writer places considerable importance upon the existence of several curious sub-links, such as the ornithorhynchus, which serve even more intimately to blend together several families of the animal creation. These are the facts of zoology: the author's inference from them is that there is no insuperable barrier separating species from species, but that, if the conditions or circumstances are favourable, an animal of a lower species might generate an offspring with the properties of the species just above it; that "a fish mother might thus develop a reptile heart, or a reptile mother develop a mammal one;" that favourable conditions "would suffice in a goose to give its progeny the body of a rat and produce the ornithorhynchus, or might give the progeny of an ornithorhynchus the mouth and

feet of a true rodent, and thus complete at two stages the passage from the aves to the mammalia;" that, in fine, conditions being propitious enabled in some remote epoch an orang outang to procreate a human being; and that, thus setting aside with presumptuous pride and daring the Divine narrative which recounts that "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," we should rather attribute to the monkey tribe the origin of our race. The author, when he has thus climbed to the top of the tree, seems to have some misgivings as to the climax he has attained; and therefore endeavours to show that, although "the idea that any of the lower animals have been concerned in any way with the origin of man might, when the circumstances were first presented to the mind, appear degrading, yet that, "knowing this fact familiarly and beyond contradiction, a healthy and natural mind finds no difficulty in regarding it complacently." This kind of argument reminds one of Voltaire's pithy comment upon the miraculous promenade of St. Denis after the trifling operation of losing his head, C'est le premier pas qui coûte.

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The work before us has attained a considerable part of its prestige, because it has been conceived by the reading public that, whatever may be thought of the theories it embodies, the author is deeply versed equally in the material details and in the general laws of science, an impression, however, which is opposed by the concurrent testimony of those who are really versed in the great truths of astronomy, zoology, and physiology. Although it may be difficult, or rather impossible, to convey to the general reader the conviction of the utter fallacy of the outré doctrines propounded in these Vestiges, yet a few remarks will indicate in some degree the value of the groundwork upon which they rest. And, if we would apply the test of Voltaire, and seek to have the first step in the process elucidated, we might ask the author how an oviparous animal like the fish, which deposits its eggs, and can therefore exert no influence upon their further development, is enabled by its control over the embryo to "develop a reptile heart;" or, again, how an animal like a bird, wanting those special organs the mammary glands, without the agency of which we affirm that no new-born mammal can maintain an extra-uterine life, could nourish its assumed progeny; or, to adduce the 'author's own instance, how could the parent goose suckle the young rat. If the learned author had not quoted, by a somewhat ominous choice, the sacred bird of the capitol, we should have conjectured that he had in his thoughts the columbida, which, according to schoolboy authority,-and this in the present case we hold to be the most plausible authority, -do furnish pigeon's milk. As we have become entangled among the natatores and monotremata, we beg to suggest to the writer that, in his twentieth edition, it would be well to correct the error into which he has fallen in this the third, respecting the affinities of the ornithorhynchus, which, notwithstanding it has a bill like a duck and web feet like a goose, is more allied in its typical organization to the class reptilia than, as he avers, to that of aves. Now, is it not a preposterous thing that a writer, who has ventured into the highest branches of philosophic anatomy and physiology, and who is hailed by the public judgment as a kind of incarnation of modern science in so many of its phases, should in the short space of seven lines† commit the egregious errors we have noticed, and which would expose him * See the figures of Man and the Orang Outang. + See Vestiges, third edition, p. 224.

to the lash of any well-educated medical-student in this metropolis? It would be no answer to the objections we have urged, to contend that in the imaginary transition from species to species, the laws were different then to what they are now; nature, or rather nature's God, act by laws which know no change, and as we now are certain that the young of mammalia require to be suckled as a condition of their existence, so it must have been when they were first created.

But, to proceed, this theory of one species generating another is not only opposed to all experience-a thing in itself of great weight, but it is more especially incompatible with the mode of procedure by which it is clear nature is regulated in the matter of specific limitation. So far from one species being permitted to run into another, in obedience to the varying influence of external circumstances, which never perpetuates more than varieties, the most rigorous limits are set up, and the most efficient means are provided, to prevent any new form of animal life being perpetuated we allude of course to the well-known fact that hybrids are infertile. The cause of this sterility has been investigated by Professor Waguer, and, in the case of birds, it seems to be connected with an absence or imperfect development of the spermatozoa. There are indeed some few instances of mules breeding; but the very exception proves the rule, for offspring is only produced when the pairing takes place with a perfect individual, and then the young return to the original fixed type. Similar results have been observed in the case of plants-the difficulties which are opposed to the reproduction of hybrids being so insuperable that, as M. de Candolle remarks, all such intermediate breeds tend incessantly to extinction. It thus appears that evidence of every kind is opposed to the author's hypothesis; and in the face of the exact researches of such men as we have named, passages like the following, which are fair specimens of a large part of the argumentative portion of the work, will carry little or no weight:—

"Perhaps even the transition from species to species does still take place in some of the obscurer fields of creation, or under extraordinary casualties, though science professes to have no such facts on record."

And again :

"The lengthening of the legs of our common pig, when left to breed in the wilderness; the change from the lean, bare dog of Turkey, to the short, thick, well-furred dog of Siberia; the metamorphosis of the round, plump form of the Englishman, in a second generation, into the raw, wiry New Englander, are all transitions not less wonderful, in our age of comparatively (time-) uniform conditions, than was one of the passages between the cetacean and the pachyderm at a time when, probably, the part of the globe where the phenomenon took place was for the first time the scene of a physical fact of no less importance than the formation of rivers! These phenomena are of one character in their effects, the difference being only in degree."

In this latter passage mere varieties are placed in the same category with species-nay, even with genera and orders; but we think, to say nothing of scientific objections, that the common sense of mankind will teach them there is something more than a "difference in degree" between the relationship of John Bull and his brother Jonathan, and that of a whale and a pig.

We believe that the writer of the Vestiges does not lay claim to any very great originality either in the way of discovery or of research; however this may be, the theory of a successive perfectioning from the most simple to the most perfect species, in virtue of certain powers inherent in the animals themselves, has nothing of novelty in it, a similar speculation

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