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fore do not exist. Besides, as well the Jews and other ancient nations, as modern Europeans, have adopted the division of the week into seven days, and have named them from the seven planets; now, if we increase the number of planets, this whole system falls to the ground.'
A young German, Horky, declared his determination to die rather than to “concede his four new planets” (the Satellites and Jupiter) “to that Italian !" But having offended Kepler, that true philosopher would not pardon him until he had compelled him to look through a telescope, and to confess that he saw Jupiter's Satellites !” The penance, as Nichol says, must have been severe !*
Another instance of the dread of truth is found in the history of Linguistic science. The common origin of the whole human race, as taught by the Mosaic history, had been supposed to be confirmed by the striking analogies among the different languages of the earth, showing that they all, however unlike, might still be traced to a common source, in the one primitive tongue, While research was confined to the Shemitic and Indo-European families of languages, little difficulty was felt, save that it was impossible, even here, to fix upon any language, which could sustain even this parental relation. But, when the investigation was extended somewhat widely beyond the two families of languages just named, “each day," in the words of Dr. Wiseman,
seemed to discover a new language, independent of all previously known, and, therefore, to increase the difficulty of reconciling appearances with the narrative of Moses. And, indeed, one writert has, within a few years, published a work in which he denies the history of the dispersion, as given by Moses, and the inspiration of the historical narratives of Scripture." I
And, not only did difficulties arise in consequence of the investigation having been thus extended to a great number of exceedingly dissociable languages; but men had also learned to be more scrupulous in their habits of investigation, so that "no affinity could be admitted between two languages, which would not stand a very rigid test.” “It would appear,” says Wise
" man, “that the further the search proceeded, the more dangerously it would trespass upon the forbidden ground of inspired history. An uneasiness on this head is clearly discernible in the works of an author, who, towards the close of the last century, went far beyond all his forerunners in laborious research, and in amassing materials for this interesting science.
This was a Jesuit, Don Lorenzo Hervas y Pandura. At every step of his inquiries," he seems to fear that the study he is pursuing may be
Nichol's “Phenomena and Order of the Solar System," p. 50-2. New York, 1843. + The Marquis de Fortie d'Urban-Essai sur l'Origine de l'Ecriture. Paris. 1832. # Wiseman's Lectures on Science and Revealed Religion, p. 24. Andover, 1837.
turned to the prejudice of revelation. - He evidently labors under a great anxiety to prove the contrary: he opens some of his works, and concludes others, with long and elaborate dissertations on this subject.”
Thus we see, that it was not merely that the infidel boasted that he had shown the falsehood of the Scriptures, and the fallaсу of their claim to be received as a revelation from God, but the zealous Christian also feared that he should discover facts inconsistent with the doctrines of his religion,--not that he should fall into error whose effects would be injurious, but that he should discover truth, which it would be dangerous to believe, and which yet he could not reject nor evade.
Dr. Wiseman further remarks, that" at the close of the last century, the numberless languages gradually discovered, seemed to render the probabilities of mankind having originally possessed a common tongue, much smaller than before; while the dissolution of certain adınitted connexions and analogies among those previously known, seemed to deny all proof, from comparative philology, of their having separated from a common stock. Every new discovery only served to increase this perplexity; and our science must,at that time, have presented to a religious observer, the appearance of a study daily receding from sound doctrine, and giving encouragement to rash speculations, and dangerous conjecture. The innumerable dialects of the Aborigines of America occasioned, if possible, still greater alarm. Dr. Wiseman assures us, that he has been a witness to such anxiety on this subject, in persons of great learning and good understanding, that they refused credit to Humboldt's assertions regarding the number of American languages, rather than admit what they deemed an almost insuperable objection to the Scripture narrative." The unbelievers, however, took a shorter method of solving this problem, by asserting that “America has its own population, independent of that in the older continent."
Thus, this science apparently threatened to annihilate the sacred narrative, and establish itself on its ruins. Yet, even then, there was no just ground of alarm. It is true, that the confirmation, which had been supposed to be given to the Mosaic history, by the study of language, was taken away; and that study seemed to give evidence on the other side. But that confirmation had resulted from a false assumption, and, of course, was of no value; while the apparent opposition resulted, as we shall see, from a misunderstanding of the teachings of the science, of which men had, as yet, listened only to the preliminary instructions. Students had been, hitherto, almost wholly occupied in removing previous errors, without having advanced far enough to discover positive truth. But, in this very process of removing error, truth began to be discovered.
The “ first rise” of the study of languages indeed "seemed fitter to inspire alarm than confidence, insomuch as it broke asunder the great bond anciently supposed to hold them all together; then, for a time, it went on, still further severing and dismembering; consequently, to all appearance, ever widening the breach between itself and sacred history, and seeming to be directly at variance with the soundest truths.” But, as the study advanced, “the affinities, which had formerly been but vaguely seen, between languages separated, in their origin, by history and geography, began now to appear definite and certain. It was now found that new and most important connexions existed among languages, so as to combine, in large provinces or groups, the idioms of nations, whom no other research would have shown to be mutually related. (Wiseman, p. 31.) New affinities were discovered where least expected; till, by degrees, many languages began to be grouped and classified in large families acknowledged to have a common origin.” Further inquiries continually extended this generalization, or rather concentration, by bringing new, and before supposed independent languages, under one or another of the groups already formed ; and, not only so, but the most generic groups themselves were shown to have most remarkable affinities with one another-affinities existing in the most essential characteristics of each language. And, by these last discoveries, ethnographers were led to the conclusion, not only, that these "languages were originally united in one," but that "the separation between them must have been occasioned hy some violent, unusual, and active force, sufficient to account, at once, for the resemblances and the differences. (p. 67.)
It is satisfactory to be able to mention the names of so many of the later and most scientific philologists of Europe, who have been led by the study of this science, to the full conviction, that all languages are to be considered as dialects of one now lost. Among those who have come to this conclusion, are Klaproth, Balbi, Abel-Remusat, the Academy of St. Petersburgh, F. Schlegel, W. A. Schlegel, Humboldt, Herder and Niebuhr. Nor were these all blinded by desire to defend the Scriptural narrative. For some of them, as Klaproth and Herder, do not pretend to place any confident reliance upon the assertions of Moses; one of them, (Klaproth) regarding the account of the confusion of tongues, as, like many other things in the writings of Western Asia, only a story, suggested by the significant name of Babylon; while the oiher (Herder) regards the history of Babel as a “poetical fragment in the Oriental style.” What danger now can be feared from the study of a science, which leads such mien, who have no regard for ihe Scriptures, to believe the very facts asserted in the Bible?
Nearly related to the preceding, was a difficulty suggested by the natural history of our race. Not only the great diversity of languages, but the remarkable variety of form and color, have given occasion to doubt the original unity of the human species. It has been said, that if men really descended from a common origin, there could not have been so great diversity in their appearance---a diversity exhibiting itself not only in the color and other external features, but in the anatomical structure. On this ground, therefore, the Scriptural account of the origin of man has been impeached.
It might be a fair question, and one which, if it were necessary, we should be perfectly willing to meet, whether, if the existence of the eleven distinct races of the human species of Desmoulins, or of the fifteen of another author* were fully proved, the Scriptural account might not still be perfectly correct. Even then, there would be no need of making an issue between science and the Bible; but we might suffer science to determine what she could, and we not only need not give ourselves any uneasiness, lest she should contradict the statements of revelation; but we should at least, on this subject, feel no difficulty in showing how the Scriptural account might be perfectly consistent with the teachings of science.
But there is, as we shall see, no need of going into this investigation. For, by proceeding to the scientific investigation, “as if the testimony of the Sacred Scripture were altogether indifferent” as to its results; “by the deeper study of that very science, which has engendered the objection,” that science is shown to be perfectly consistent with the Scriptural view, and so to add another proof of the perfect truth and accuracy of the Scriptures.
The most extended and rigid investigation has led to the conclusion, that the present condition and appearance of the human race can, in no way, be so satisfactorily accounted for, as on the supposition of a single original stock. And it may not be out
a of place to remark, that what was not fully settled by this science, or by the science of language alone, seemed, however, to be placed almost beyond the possibility of a doubt, by comparing and combining the results of the two.
Thus, the language of the ancient Egyptians seems to be entirely diverse from the Semitic and the Indo-European families of languages. Michaelis remarks that "the Coptic and the Hebrew have not the slightest original affinity.” And Professor Vater decides, that the supposition of a common origin, or of a family relation between these languages cannot be supported. Dr. Prichard also affirms, that "the native and original vocabulary of the Coptic speech is entirely diverse from that of the Indo-European dialects.''*
* M. Bory de St. Vincent.
Yet there is such resemblance between the customs and the manners, the religion, institutions and traditions” of the Egyptians and the Hindoos, as gives strong evidence of some near relationship, which subsisted between these nations in the first ages of the world—in fact, of an original identity of race: the diversity of language alone opposing.” Must we not, then, conclude, with Prichard, that " no difference of human idioms will afford proof of original diversity of race; and that the Egyptians and Hindoos may have had common ancestors, from whom they derived their characteristic traits of resemblance. ?!!
While, moreover, the Egyptians approach thus nearly to the Hindoos, in customs, institutions, and physical characteristics, and are so widely different in language, their language has striking affinities with the languages of other nations of Africa, from whom they are exceedingly different in manners and physical traits. Thus, it would appear, that, if similarity of habits and of physical structure be proof of common origin, these nations, whose languages are utterly unlike, must belong to the same race; and, if, on the other hand, similarity of language determines, that nations belong to the same race, then, from the same stock, must be descended men of entirely different form, color, features and habits; and, consequently, the extremest differences of language, or of physical structure, can form no objection to the doctrine of the unity of the human race. From this science then, revelation has, evidently, nothing to fear; and indeed her statements cannot but receive confirmation from its thorough study, and the more full confirmation, in proportion as the study is more thorough.
It is, perhaps, not out of place to remark here, that these three sciences, which we have mentioned, do not stand in the same relation to the sacred writings, with whose doctrines, nevertheless, they have been perfectly consonant. The first mentioned, Astronomy, shows no discrepancy from the sense of the Scriptures, when rightly understood ; the two ethnographic sciences, moreover, in the state in which we have considered them, go to show, that we have rightly understood the Scriptures on those points in the history of man, to which these sciences relate. Nay, without the evidence furnished by these sciences, it has been thought by many, that there would be strong reasons for doubting the correctness of our interpretation of the Mosaic record in respect to the creation of man.7 * Physical History of Mankind, i. 208.
† It was our intention, in discussing the relations of ethnography to the Bible, to give, as nearly as possible, the actual position of the questions at issue at the time of their greatest interest. The result was, as has been said, a confirmation of the opinion commonly received, and supposed to be sustained by the Mosaic record.