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“Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto."
We live at a time which has been variously characterized as the iron, or a progressive, or an investigating age. Railways, and our mail-clad navy, the many ologies of the day, together with the curiosity of human nature in general, and of the present generation in particular, afford undeniable proof of this fact.
The most interesting, and at the same time the most instructive ology, which the ingenuity of man has yet discovered, is that which is commonly known as the “ Development Theory.” By this wondrous specimen of Science and Art Bishop Colenso has twisted Moses, the great Lawgiver of the Jews, into a German myth—Cardinal Wiseman has shown that there is no difference between the colours White and Black if it so please “ the Hierarchical Church,”—Dr. Newman has proved how naturally Primitive Christianity has been transmuted into Roman Idiosyncrasies.
But the most charming results of this • Development Theory” are to be seen in respect to the now-admitted genealogy of our illustrious selves, though the savants of the present day are not quite agreed with the ancient Philosophers as to the exact starting point of the Origin of Man. If Lepidus, the Roman Triumvir, appears to advocate a mineral origin, when maintaining that the scaly monsters of the Nile were created by
the action of the sun
upon that muddy stream, and the learned author of the “Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,” has most logically proved that his brains once belonged to a fish; on the other hand, the most distinguished advocate of the “Origin of Species,” the famous Dr. Darwin, jun., gives the preference to the vegetable World, and selects the primeval fungus as our veritable and venerable grandpapa.
Last, but not least, Professor Huxley has succeeded in proving, by an all but perfect chain of evidence (only one link being missing), that our progenitors sprung
neither from a mineral nor a vegetable origin—that they were formerly not crocodiles but monkeys, and that Man could claim no higher title than
* When Professor Kirchhoff, of Heidelburg, by means of his chemical researches, detected iron in the constitution of the sun, a worthy farmer of Silesia wrote to thank him for the discovery, as it quite confirmed the opinion which he had long entertained of the uselessness of manuring the fields, since the earth obtained the necessary alkalies from the iron in the sunbeam.