« السابقةمتابعة »
ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
WM. R. PETERS,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
By the Rev. Prof. L. P. Hickok,
6. Kendrick's Greek Introduc-
16. Smyth's Ecclesiastical Cate-
SECOND SERIES, NO. XI.—WHOLE NO. XLIII.'
THE PRIMITIVE STATE OF MANKIND.
An attempt to prove that the original or most ancient condition of the human family was CIVILIZED, and not savage.
By Philip Lindsley, D. D., President of the University of Nashville, Tenneereo:
[Continued from Vol. IV., page 298.]
I HAVE said that it can be proved from REASON, SCRIPTURE, and HISTORY, that the primitive state of the human race was civilized. I have shown how reason, prior to any investigation of facts, confirms the position, and how unreasonable is every other hypothesis. I have exhibited the scriptural account of man's creation; and exposed the absurdity of supposing that he could have proceeded from the hand of an infinitely wise, good and powerful Being, mature in his corporeal faculties, and yet destitute of mental furniture, or deficient in wisdom and intellect. Or, in other words, that he should have been formed only a full-grown infant; and, in that helpless condition, have been left by his Creator to grope his way in this new world, friendless, ignorant, unprotected-without a guide or instructor to aid in the gradual development of his rational powers, and in the attainment of that knowledge and skill which his situation imperiously demanded from the beginning; and without which he must either soon have perished,
SECOND SERIES, VOL. VI. NO. I.
or remained forever in a degraded and brutish condition. I have shown that Scripture, so far from countenancing any such representation of his original state and character, does directly and most clearly contradict it. I have rapidly sketched his early history, and brought under review the several facts recorded by the pen of inspiration calculated to illustrate this dark period of human society,-extending from the creation to the deluge. I have followed the same safe and infallible guide, from this second commencement of our wayward race, to the building of the tower of Babel: and in all this progress through the lapse and the revolutions of nearly eighteen centuries, we have discovered no trace of savage life upon the earth.
All the data with which we are furnished, and all the analogical reasoning which these data suggest go to the establishment of the proposition, that man existed from the beginning in a state of civilization, with very many, if not all, of the arts and improvements which usually distinguish and adorn such a state; and that he continued in this state down to the period just specified. I have also shown it to be highly probable that, soon after the dispersion of mankind from the fruitful plains of Shinar, they began in many places to degenerate; that, while the arts flourished and extended along the banks of the Tigris, the Euphrates and the Nile-upon the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea—in the intermediate and adjacent countries—and perhaps far into India and the East-they were either totally or nearly lost by the numerous colonies which migrated, under inauspicious circumstances, into more barren, ungenial and inhospitable climes, especially where all future intercourse between the colonies and the parent stock was rendered difficult or impracticable. I have shown how easy it is for men to degenerate into savages ;— that this is a very natural process and of frequent occurrence;that we everywhere behold families and individuals, even in the midst of the most refined society, and within sight of our proudest institutions of science and noblest monuments of art, ignorant, degraded and removed but a single step from the savage of the wilderness; that it requires the constant care and studious discipline of parents and teachers for many years, to train up children to habits of industry, good order and common civility of deportment,-to make them respectable farmers, mechanics and tradesmen; much more to imbue their minds with science and literature, to qualify them for distinction and