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THE PLACE OF CONSCIENCE IN EVOLUTION.

self;" "I am born to pursue my own happiness;" "The whole world is mine to occupy, plunder, and rule over, so far as I find a power within me to do it and to prevent others." He was, in short, the incarnation of perfect selfishness. No one, of course, supposes that these "thoughts" amounted to anything more than vague impressions in the minds of the first men, till they grew into positive convictions under the fostering power of progressive and multiplied experiences. All that seems certain is, that there was an era in the history of man when there was added to his nascent conscience that sense of physical or necessary obligation expressed in our word "must." If he was to avoid destruction, it was borne in upon his mind that he "must" act in such and such a way; his perception of right, that is, of his claim to existence, demanded of him a certain course of action (hardly yet perhaps of conduct), and demanded it in the most brief and imperative fashion. In this stage of human life, before men entered into social relations, we can plainly discern that aspect of conscience which we have described by the word "instantaneous," and which has seemed to so many minds independent of, and prior to, any social experiences. We do but reproduce this ancient fashion of our race when, putting aside all opposing considerations, and refusing to listen to arguments based upon expediency or advantage, we say peremptorily and decisively, "I owe it to myself to do this at once."

3. The Family Stage. The phenomena of primeval family life are so obscure, so varied, and so complicated by institutions like polygamy and polyandry, that in making even the most general and apparently common-sense observations we are obliged to express ourselves with caution and reserve. One indubitable fact, however, stands out impressively amid all the chaos, and affords us a sufficient standpoint for indicating the precise growth of conscience at this stage of its existence. I mean, of course, the maternal care of offspring. It was from this deeply-rooted instinct that men first learned to transfer to the beings whom they loved, and whose helpless weakness appealed to them for protection, the same rights which they claimed for themselves. But however important and indeed enormous is the step thus made in the evolution of conscience, we must beware of making too much of it at this stage of its growth. For the first parents, even when preserving* and protecting their children, could only regard their children's rights as part of their own, which they were entitled to defend against all opposing forces; nor could they possibly have imagined that their children had any rights as against themselves. Still, when every deduction has been made, the fact remains that the sense of an obligation due to others besides ourselves, and perhaps too from ourselves, became part of the human consciousness, and men learned that if they wished to do well unto themselves they must make efforts of care and protection for the life and for the welfare of others. All the earlier annals of our race seem to show that this consideration for others, even those dearest to