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tiveness of conscience; and as to its higher conception, no more than an amiable self-deception. The idea of God itself, and the desire to worship Him, are both converted into delusions. Spirituality is thus got rid of effectually; there is neither a place for the supernatural, nor any need of it.
Not only does the acceptance of Darwinianism thus impoverish mankind as to spiritual things, it is most difficult to see in it any real foundation for what must be regarded as the facts of man's moral nature. Allowing the theory to be true, one wishes to know the origin of man's sense of duty and accountability, of his conscience, and of his conviction of moral freedom. Further, one asks whether there can then be any such thing at all as a standard of morality? With this view, one painfully contemplates “the most ancient progenitors in the kingdom of the Vertebrata, at which we are able to obtain an obscure glance,” and from which Mr. Darwin so laboriously traces our descent, if happily to discern the possible beginnings of our human moral sense. Here is the portrait of man's first animate ancestor, according to Mr. Darwin :-The Class Tunicata, says Dr. H. Alleyn Nicholson, "includes a class of animals not at all familiarly known, and mostly of small size. They are often called Ascidians (agkos, a wine-skin), from the resemblance which many of them exhibit in shape to a two-necked jar or bottle. The two orifices in the outer leathery case or "test' of the Tunicata lead into the interior of the animal, and are used for the admission and expulsion of sea-water; and by their means the animal both breathes and obtains food.”—This "jellyfish,” says Mr. Darwin, is “an invertebrate, hermaphrodite, marinecreature, permanently attached to a support.” The larvæ of these Ascidians somewhat resemble tadpoles in shape. These tadpoles, it has been recently discovered, " are related to the Vertebrata in their manner of development, in the relative position of their nervous system, and in possessing a structure closely like the chorda dorsalis of vertebrate animals.” Now, can anything be clearer ? These larvæ formed the beginnings of the Vertebrata ; some fortunate individuals among them developing into creatures with true and permanent backbones ; while their less fortunate sister-brothers relapsed back into Ascidians, and so remained. The lucky and progressive specimens developed into fishes like the Lancelot, these into the Ganoids, these into amphibious creatures, and thus mammals were produced. Having thus arrived at an altogether new class of forms, only a few speculative jumps are required to carry us to the Lemurs, and another saltation
brings us to the Simiadæ. What then is easier than to see that these “ branched off into the two great stems, the New World, and the Old World monkeys?” It might have been doubtful to which of these stems man's origin should be traced, but, happily for the theorizers, help is at hand, and a disease is the new bridge by which we pass to reach solid speculative ground. Man is a creature liable to catarrh : old world monkeys are also subject to the same disease : ergo, man “must have sprung” from the old world stem, the “ Catarrhine monkeys.” Here, as in so many others passages in Mr. Darwin's book, the reader must accept such reasoning as satisfactory and irrefutable logic! So, it is conclusive that “at a remote period,” possibly in some “large island” and in “a warm climate,” from a species of these catarrhine monkeys, man, the wonder and glory of the universe, proceeded!
At what step of this protracted process did man attain his moral sense, and when did conscience first begin to exist ?
Mr. Darwin attempts to find the initiament of the moral sense in the social instincts of animals. Of course, cases are not lacking in which animals evince sympathy for and interest in, as well as perform services for one another. The social instincts have reached their highest development in man, because of man's reason, and because of his reason having enabled him to invent language, thus extending the range of his intercourse with his fellows, as well as enabling him to think concerning these instincts. Hence Mr. Darwin says:-“ Any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well developed, or nearly as well developed, as in man.” The argument is peculiar:—“As soon as the mental faculties had become highly developed, images of all past actions and motives would be constantly passing through the brain; and that feeling of dissatisfaction which invariably results from any unsatisfied instinct would arise, as often as it was perceived that the enduring and always present social instinct had yielded to some other instinct, at the time stronger, but neither enduring in its nature, nor leaving behind a very vivid impression.” In this way “the good of the community” would come to be thought of, and indeed to be sought; and from the idea of what is “good for the community,” there would gradually develop the idea of what is “good,” abstractedly considered. In this fashion, we are led to understand that the human notion of goodness is only the intellectual result of such a sympathy
as exists between gregarious animals, or such as has been exhibited between horses and dogs.
So far, however, from there being anything like an absolute standard of right and wrong, Mr. Darwin declares that he does not wish “ to maintain that every strictly social animal, if its intellectual and social faculties were to become as active and as highly developed as man, would acquire exactly the same moral sense as ours.” He furnishes a striking instance of what he means. “If men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can scarcely be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering." That is to say, the sole reason why fratricide and infanticide are regarded by man as abominable and unnatural offences, is because of the conditions and circumstances in which he has been placed ; there is no absolute wrong in such actions ; there is no absolute right which would condemn them. This is to undermine the very foundations of morality; to make man an earth-problem left to grapple with problems of earth, with no higher sense of duty than he can extract for himself from his “conditions of life.” This throws down all the barriers of moral obligation, as well as fails utterly to account for the authority which men accord to the dictate of the moral sense. How Mr. Darwin can quote Kant's fine words, in connection with his theory as to the evolution of the moral sense is incomprehensible. Says Kant:—“Duty! wondrous thought, that workest neither by fond insinuation, flattery, 11or by any threat, but merely by holding up thy naked law in the soul, and so extorting for thyself always reverence, if not always obedience; before whom all appetites are dumb, however secretly they rebel.” But the social instincts are only social appetites, working alone by means of pleasure or pain ; the pleasure of gratification, or the pain of dissatisfaction ; and the mystery becomes only more mysterious how man himself has erected one class of appetites, his social instincts, into a “naked law in the soul,” with authority enough to silence all other appetites, “ however secretly they rebel.” To say that the moral sense is nothing more than one class of appetites subordinating all the rest, is to abolish the moral sense, and not to explain it.
I can conceive of nothing so fatal and revolutionary as such a doctrine of the moral sense. Could ever such an hypothesis be firmly rooted in the minds of the masses of this, or of any country, society would be impossible. Crowded together as men are in most countries of the old world, the rapid multiplication of their species renders their struggle for existence an increasingly arduous conflict. Seriously to convince men that they sprang from brutes; that their reason is nothing more than developed instinct ; that there is no such thing as absolute right and wrong ; that their moral sense is only the creature of their social appetites, regulated according to their conditions of life; that there is in reality no other accountability than to the community; that conscience is only an inherited faculty, modified through many generations out of a consciousness of pleasure or of pain in respect of certain actions ; that there is no truth in religion, and that there is no life after death, would result in subverting the very foundations of society. Brutal appetites would then demand brutal gratifications, without impediment or restraint. Many who now form the orderly class would then ally themselves with the class of disorder; the inequalities of social position, and the unequal distribution of wealth, with the intellectual gratifications, the æsthetic delights, and the social pleasures which wealth affords to its privileged and responsible possessors, would even more bitterly than at present incense the masses, and breed continual revolutions : the many would no longer consent to labour incessantly, while the few should reap the profits ; they would naturally decline to repress their appetites, in order that the few might invent new wants, so as to discover new gratifications; life would cease to be safe, female honour to be respected, and property to be secure. If “ Thou shalt not steal” is nothing more than the outgrowth of a social instinct, it is easy to understand the position of those French economists, who declare that “ to hold property is to rob society.” One thing is certain, even as an hypothesis, a large community could not exist, if crowded into a comparatively small tract of territory, which denied religious sanction and authority to the moral sense. It is beyond dispute that no such community, so denying the religious authority of the moral sense, ever did exist. Infidelity may be easily possible to a few educated thinkers, or even to a minority of a community ; gross ignorance and superstition are not incompatible with social order ; but a religious faith of some kind has ever been indispensable to the permanence of society : a community in which all were disbelievers in God, in immortality, and in the religious obligation of the moral sense, would not last through two generations. What was true of Babylon, Egypt, Idumea, and the Jews, is likewise true of all nations, when the “sun” of the love of goodness is darkened, when the “moon" of faith is perverted, when the “stars” of religious knowledges fall to the earth of sensuality and selfish indulgence, the doom of that nation has been uttered ; the destructive agencies seething in its midst will overbalance the conservative restrictions; the spasm of revolution will burst the belt of constituted authority, and at once disrupted from within, as well as assailed from without, it will add to the list of ruined empires and kingdoms which have fallen, because they violated the necessary laws of national existence, and became a solemn warning to the world. What is true of a nation is so true, only because the same truth is also applicable to each individual comprised in the nation ; inasmuch as the condition of a community is only the aggregate of the conditions of all its parts, or members. The only difference is that a dozen motives operate on individual thinkers to induce them to repress appetites, or to conceal them, and to refuse to follow out in practice admitted premises to their logical conclusions; while in a community, the thinkers form one class, and the men who labour to realize their conclusions form another, and the latter class may know nothing of the subtle sophistications and limitations by which the speculators justify their thinking one set of doctrines to be true, while acting as though another and contrary set of doctrines were true. Hence, I do not pretend to say that holding a pernicious doctrine as to the moral sense does necessarily corrupt those who accept it; but I do affirm that the practical tendency of such a conviction, if generally held, would be to undermine morality, and make society impossible.
We may, therefore, wisely turn away from contemplating such dangerous and baseless speculations, in order to study the real relationship between man and the animal kingdom, as set forth in the writings of Swedenborg.
J. H. (To be continued.)
THE VISIBLE AND THE INVISIBLE CHURCH.
It is one of the interesting and instructive characteristics of the New Church that every truth is a link in the chain that depends from the throne of God, and connects the creation, in all its degrees, with its Creator. The Church is visible and invisible, because in every being and every thing there is a visible and an invisible part. This distinction is universal in creation, because it exists in Him from whom the Creation had its birth. In the Divine Being there are Esse and