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and prophets , were destined to exert an immediate inflqenpe . The question , therefore , as we conceive it , stands disencumbered of any liability to endanger the interests of revelation . Its deter * - mination , if it ever can be determined by physiology or history , involves , in our judgment , consequences for more important and interesting in a moral and social , than in a simply theQlogipok point of view . The most sacred duties of man to matt W ^ founded on the fraternal relation between them—on the clear and
distinct recognition of their common nature . Admit an original distinction of races , and how will it be e $ sy to show that there are not in those different races differences of capacity and organization , which entitle one , by a natural superiority , to hold another in subjection ? Voltaire himself , with all his zeal for the rights of humanity , has helped us to this conclusion : — L * a narture / says he , * & subordonne a ce principe ( un principe qui differencie les hommes ) ces diffisrents degres de genie et ces caracteres des nations , qu ' on voit si rarement changer . C ' est pax la que les Negres sont les esclaves des autres homines . Qa les achete sur les cdtes d'Afrique comme des betes ; et les
multitudes de ces noirs transplants dans nos Colonies d'Ame ' rique servent un tres petit nombre d'Europ ^ ans * . ' We must confess , therefore , that , from our deep sympathy with human nature in all its forms , our wish is , to believe to the very letter , that glorious declaration of the apostle , * that God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth . *
But we know how presumptuous it is to determine , a priori , what must be best in the purposes of infinite wisdom ; and would rather wait to see , from evidence afforded , what is true , convinced that whatever is true , must also be wisest and best . Wherever truth shows itself , there is a revelation of the Infinite Mind ; and we trust that the time is approaching , when this will be universally acknowledged—and when the discussion of questions , on which important consequences depend , will be no longer embarrassed by the bigotry either of scepticism or of credulity .
Having established , on what appear to him sufficient grounds , an identity of origin and species in the whole human race , Herder proceeds to develop the gradual progress of society , in accordance with this fundamental principle . He shows that the sensitive organization of man varies with the influence of climate ; but that everywhere , in tribes the most unlike each other , there isf &n use
of the organs of sense appropriate to man , which leads him on- * ward to the moral ends of his being . The imagination , and that more practical function of the intellect which 19 exercised upon the necessities of existence , in like manner assume among all nations a development , that corresponds to the climate and the exigencies of their physical condition ; and this development is
* Essai sur les Moeurs , tome 6 , p . 149 . The same sentiment is still more strongly expressed in the Resum 6 de VHistoric , tome 8 , p . 187 .
The Philosophy of the History of Mankind . $ J
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1832, page 91, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1806/page/19/