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This thought of man as the crown and masterpiece of creation—the goal of its developments—finds the most varied expression in writers of different schools. I cite a few illustrative instances.

Kant finds man to be “ not merely like all organised beings, an end of nature, but also here on earth the last end of nature, in reference to whom all other natural things constitute a system of ends.”—Kritik d. Urtheilskraft, p. 280 (Erd. ed.).

It is the key-thought of Herder’s Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte, that man is the connecting link between two worlds; on the one hand, the highest of nature’s products, crowning its ascent from plant to animal, and front lower to higher grades of animal life, till finally it rests in him; and, on the other, the starting-point of a new order of spiritual existences. “All is bound together in nature; one condition strives towards another, and prepares the way for it. If, therefore, man closes the chain of terrestrial organisations as its highest and last member, he likewise begins, just on that account, the chain of a higher order of creatures, as the lowest member of it; and thus is probably the middle-link between two systems of creation, intimately connected with each other.”—Ideen, Bk. v. 6.

It is virtually Herder’s thought which Dr. H. Stirling reproduces when he says: “There is a rise from object to object. The plant is above the stone, and the animal above the plant. But man is the most perfect result. His supremacy is assured. He alone of all living creatures is erect; and he is erect by reason of the Divinity within him whose office it is to know, to think, and to consider. All other animals are but incomplete, imperfect, dwarf, beside man.”—Phil. and Theol. p. 137.

That man is the apex of the evolutionary movement is, of course, recognised by all, though not necessarily with acknowledgment of final cause. Professor Huxley, in his Man’s Place in Nature, says: “In view of the intimate relations between man and the rest of the living world, and between the forces exerted by the latter and all other forces, I can see no excuse for doubting that all are co-ordinated forms of Nature’s great progression from the formless to the formed, from the inorganic to the organic, from blind force to conscious intellect and will” (p. 108); and Professor Tyndall, in his Belfast Address, describing how in the Primates the evolution of intellect and the evolution of tactual appendages go hand in hand, says: “Man crowns the edifice here.” And Mr. Wallace regards man as not only placed “apart, as the head and culminating point of the grand series of organic nature, but as in some degree a new order of being.”—Nat. Selection, pp. 351, 352.

Mr. Fiske may he quoted, who says suggestively: “The doctrine of evolution, by exhibiting the development of the highest spiritual 429human qualities as the goal toward which God’s creative work has from the outset been tending, replaces Man in his old position of headship in the universe, even as in the days of Dante and Thomas Aquinas. That which the pre-Copernican astronomy naively thought to do by placing the home of Man in the centre of the physical universe, the Darwinian biology profoundly accomplishes by exhibiting Man as the terminal fact in that stupendous process of evolution whereby things have come to be what they are. In the deepest sense it is as true as it ever was held to be, that the world was made for Man, and that the bringing forth in him of those qualities which we call highest and holiest is the final cause of creation.”—Idea of God, Introd. pp. 20, 21. Cf. also the chapters on “Man’s Place in Nature as affected by Darwinism,” and “On the Earth there will never be a Higher Creature than Man” in his Man’s Destiny (1890).

I quote further only the following sentences from Kaftan: “The end of nature, of its history and its development, can be sought only in humanity, in the fact that ‘man is the crown of the creation.’ We men can find or discover nothing in the whole world environing us which can be put in comparison with man and his spiritual life, still less which surpasses him. . . . We must on this account form the idea of an end of the natural development, and then what scientific knowledge offers in particulars advances to meet this thought. For this idea would have no support if it were not upheld by the conviction of an end pertaining to man and to his history. That the development of the natural world has its end in man, becomes a rational thought, first of all, when I can speak in turn of an end to which the world of humanity itself has regard.”—Wahrheit, etc., p. 418.

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