Page images
PDF
EPUB

may believe, where the iniquity which he hated has no place, and the righteousness which he loved is pure and perfect.*

A chief pillar of our community has fallen! Oh! how many pillars have fallen here within a few years-in the College, and in professional and industrial life! May God give to our men in early and middle age, wisdom, fidelity, strength, and grace to be pillars in their places. May they imitate the virtues of him whom we mourn to-day, especially his devotion to the right; and may they make their devotion to the right thorough and consistent, comprehending their relations to God as well as to men.

*Mr. Baldwin was married in 1820, to Emily Perkins, daughter of Enoch and Anna (Pitkin) Perkins, of Hartford. They have had nine children, of whom four, two sons and two daughters, survive, viz: George William, a Yale graduate of the class of 1853, settled in the practice of the law at Worcester, Mass., but at present in the army; Simeon Eben, graduated at Yale College in 1861, and now preparing himself to follow his father's profession in New Haven; Elizabeth Wooster, married to Prof. William D. Whitney of Yale College; and Henrietta Perkins, married to Dwight Foster, Esq., of Worcester, Mass. Their two eldest sons, Edward Law and Roger Sherman, both graduated at Yale College, and educated to the practice of the law, died in early manhood. The others, two sons and a daughter, died in childhood.

ARTICLE V.-ON MAN'S ZOOLOGICAL POSITION.

[ocr errors]

MAN, zoologically considered, is closely related to the other Mammals or quadrupeds. There is almost a complete identity with the monkey, cat, or dog, in the number and arrangement of the bones and muscles, the main difference being in their form; and to the highest of the Quadrumana or monkey tribe, the resemblance is striking even in form, the fore-limbs terminating in hands, as in man--the mother taking its young literally to its breasts-the skull approximating to the human shape, etc. And, as to the observable characteristics of the brain, man differs from the highest Quadrumana less than the highest Quadrumana differ from the lowest. Although the only species gifted with speech, there is but little in the structure of the throat indicative of this characteristic; and if his hind-limbs are furnished with feet, and not, like those of the monkeys, with hands, yet the two kinds of organs are very similar, the main difference being, that the inner finger is opposable to the others in the hand, and not in the foot. The resemblances to the Quadrumana are so strongly marked, that some of the most eminent zoologists of America, Britain, and Europe-underrating certain zoological distinctions, and overlooking others-place man in the same group with these species, adopting for the group the name of Primates.

Regarded from a higher point of view, the distinction between man and other animals is immeasurably great. There is something in man which impels to indefinite progress; and with increasing energy, after adult size is reached-the period when all other species cease progress. There is something, which renders him capable of contemplating the phenomena of nature, and of looking through facts to principles; something, which can find joy in truth and goodness; something, by means of which moral distinctions are perceived, and moral obligations felt; something, whence come thoughts of a life after death, and longings for happiness which earth cannot

supply. This element, wholly distinct from anything regarded as of a psychical or intellectual nature in the mere animal, is a spiritual one—that, through which, man bears God's image. It is the spirit in man which suggests a sense of dependence on a Power above; which makes man a moral being, and renders the Infinite Spirit a possible source to him of moral strength and development; and which prompts him to approach the Spirit on high with words and rites of devotion. For only spirit can commune with spirit, or comprehend the revelations. of a spiritual being. Only a nature partaking thus of the infinite can have thoughts or desires that reach into the infinite or indefinite future.

These high characteristics of man place a long interval between him and the brute. But the zoologist still claims, that in zoological classification, structure should be regarded; and if pointed to man's higher nature as the true basis in the case of this highest of the species, he only turns away from the scientific ignorance (or what he thinks such) that makes the suggestion, resting himself upon the undoubted fact, that man belongs to the Animal kingdom; and among animals is a Vertebrate; and among Vertebrates, is a species of the class of Mammals. He will say yet further, that if there is no important zoological character separating him from the Quadrumana, he is of that group, and so, by the act of the Creator; and if he admits, as he may, the fact of a spiritual element in man, he will assert that it is united to a structure that is quadrumanous in type or kind.

*

The thought of such a relation is repugnant to man. The belief in it tends in some to bear down the mind towards materialism. It fosters "development-theories" making the transition from ancient monkeys to man, through natural changes or developments in the course of past time, seem easy. Or falling short of these results, it may lead, by a seemingly

* Vertebrates are those animal species that have an internal jointed skeleton, as fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The vertebral column or back-bone is the fundamental part of the skeleton; the joints of it are called vertebræ. Mam-. mals are those Vertebrates which suckle their young; that is, all ordinary quadru peds as well as man.

natural inference, to the conclusion, that with oneness of structural type there is also oneness of intellectual and moral qualities, and that the difference is one only of degree. Whatever the tendencies of such a belief, the relation, if a true one, must be admitted; but they may well urge us to consider long and carefully whether the relation be true, or whether there be not structural characteristics that leave no question of man's independent position in the class of Mammals. There is no degradation implied in a relation to this class, whose grand characteristic (see the preceding note) has in man both an educational and a moral purpose; but there is one, of a most repulsive character, in the alleged affinity to the Quadrumana. It is not sufficient, in order to establish this separation on zoological grounds from the Quadrumana, that distinctions be pointed out,―as those of the brain, urged by Professor Owen, or those of the limbs, (man having two hands and the Quadrumana four), referred to in Cuvier's classification. It is essential that the distinctions should be based on principles that are elsewhere a guide in defining zoological groups; and the more fundamental these principles, the more authoritative the criterion; if also marking grade or rank, they are still more satisfactory.

The following is one such authoritative criterion, proving man's title to an independent position. It is the origin of the most distinctive structural characteristics of the species.

Man is alone among Mammals in having the fore-limbs with. drawn from the locomotive series, and transferred to the cephalic series. The fore-limbs in him serve primarily the purposes of the head, and are not for locomotion. Their uses are, first, the inferior, depending on the demands of the appetite satisfied through the mouth, (uses that are united to the locomotive in the monkeys and some other quadrupeds); second, the superior, depending on the demands of the mind and soul. a very large anterior portion of the body is thus turned over to the service of the head, so that the posterior or gastric portion of the animal reaches in man its minimum.

Here, then, is a degree of cephalization of the body-that is, of subordination of its members and structure to head-usesOL. XXII.

19

which separates man widely from other animals, placing him, literally, alone.

The erect form of man's structure is involved in this cephal ization of the system. In consequence of it, the body is placed directly beneath the brain, or the subordinating power, with no part posterior to it,-and on two feet, the smallest possible number in an animal. Aristotle recognized the grand fact when he separated man as a Dipod (or two-footed species) from the Tetrapods (or quadrupeds).

This principle has that deep foundation in zoological life required to give it authoritative importance. The following are examples from the distinctions between the three divisions or orders of Crustaceans*-divisions recognized by all writers on this class of animals. In the second of these orders, there are seven pairs of legs or locomotive organs, but in the first or highest, only five; and this smaller number in the highest order is due to a transfer of two out of the seven pairs to the cephalic series, that is, to the organs of the mouth. In the highest group, consequently, the head is made to absorb or combine a much larger proportion of the segments of the body than in the lower group. Again, in the third or lowest order of Crustaceans, the mouth-organs, or those of the cephalic series, are still less numerous than in the second. In fact, throughout this class, even under the several subdivisions themselves, the principle is everywhere illustrated, that, with rise in rank there is a higher cephalization of the system. There is not, in all cases, a transfer of members forward with rise in grade; but there is, at least, a concentration and a perfecting of the anterior portion of the body and its members, and, in connection, an abbreviation of its posterior (or gastric and caudal) portion. The principle is exemplified in other classes, and also in the development of animals from the embryo, as might be variously illustrated. Its fundamental importance in the system of animal life cannot be questioned.

When, then, in a group like that of Mammals, in which two is the prevailing number of pairs of locomotive organs, there is

The class of Crustaceans includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, and like species.

« PreviousContinue »