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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A being, consisting of a rational soul and organical body. By some he is defined thus: "He is the head of the animal creation; a being who feels, reflects, thinks, contrives, and acts; who has the power of changing his place upon the earth at pleasure; who possesses the faculty of communicating his thoughts by means of speech, and who has dominion over all other creatures on the face of the earth."

We shall here present the reader with a brief account of his formation, species, and different state.

1. His formation. Man was made last of all the creatures, being the chief and master-piece of the whole creation on earth. He is a compendium of the creation, and therefore is sometimes called a microcosm, a little world, the world in miniature; something of the vegetable, animal, and rational world meet in him; spirit and matter; yea, heaven and earth centre in him; he is the bond that connects them both together. The constituent and essential parts of man created by God are two; body and soul. The one was made out of the dust; the other was breathed into him. The body is formed with the greatest precision and exactness: every muscle, vein, artery, yea, the least fibre, in its proper place; all in just proportion and symmetry, in subserviency to the use of each other, and for the good of the whole, Psalms 139:14 . It is also made erect, to distinguish it from the four-footed animals, who look downward to the earth. Man was made to look upward to the heavens, to contemplate them, and the glory of God, displayed in them; to look up to God, to worship and adore him. In the Greek language, man has his name from turning and looking upwards. The soul is the other part of man, which is a substance of subsistence: it is not an accident, or quality, inherent in a subject: but capable of subsisting without the body. It is a spiritual substance, immaterial, immortal.


2. Man, different species of.

According to Linnxus and Buffon, there are six different species among mankind.

1. The first are those under the Polar regions, and comprehend the Laplanders, the Esquimaux Indians, the Samoied tartars, the inhabitants of Nova Zembla, Borandians, the Greenlanders, and the people of Kamtschatka. The visage of men in these countries is large and broad; the nose flat and short; the eyes of a yellowish brown, inclining to blackness; the cheek-bones extremely high; the mouth large; the lips thick, and turning outwards; the voice thin, and squeaking; and the skin a dark grey colour. They are short in stature, the generality being about four feet high, and the tallest not more than five. They are ignorant, stupid and superstitious.

2. The second are the Tartar race, comprehending the Chinese and the Japanese. Their countenances are broad and wrinkled, even in youth; their noses short and flat; their eyes little, cheek-bones high, teeth large, complexions olive, and the hair black.

3. The third are the southern Asiastics, or inhabitants of India. These are of a slender shape, long straight black hair, and generally Roman noses. They are slothful, submissive, cowardly, and effeminate.

4. The negroes of Africa constitute the fourth striking variety in the human species. They are of a black colour, having downy soft hair, short and black; their beards often turn grey, and sometimes white; their noses are flat and short; their lips thick, and their teeth of an ivory whiteness. These have been till of late the unhappy wretches who have been torn from their families, friends, and native lands, and consigned for life to misery, toil, and bondage; and that by the wise, polished, and the Christian inhabitants of Europe, and above all by the monsters of England!!

5. The natives of America are the fifth race of men: they are of a copper colour, with black thick straight hair, flat noses, high cheek-bones, and small eyes.

6. The Europeans may be considered as the sixth and last variety of the human kind, whose features we need not describe. The English are considered as the fairest. 3. Man, different states of.

The state of man has been divided into fourfold: his primitive state; fallen state; gracious state; and future state.

1. His state of innocence.

God, it is said, made man upright, Ecclesiastes 7:29 . without any imperfection, corruption, or principle of corruption in his body or soul; with light in his understanding, holiness in his will, and purity in his affection. This constituted his original righteousness, which was universal, both with respect to the subject of it, the whole man, and the object of it, the whole law. Being thus in a state of holiness, he was necessarily in a state of happiness. He was a very glorious creature, the favourite of heaven, the lord of the world, possessing perfect tranquillity in his own breast, and immortal. Yet he was not without law; for to the law of nature, which was impressed on his heart, God super-added a positive law, not to eat of the forbidden fruit, Genesis 2:17 . under the penalty of death natural , spiritual, and eternal. Had he obeyed this law, he might have had reason to expect that he would not only have had the continuance of his natural and spiritual life, but have been transported to the upper paradise.

2. His fall.

Man's righteousness, however, though universal, was not immutable, as the event has proved. How long he lived in a state of innocence cannot easily be ascertained, yet most suppose it was but a short time. The positive law which God gave him he broke, by eating the forbidden fruit. The consequence of this evil act was, that man lost the chief good: his nature was corrupted; his powers depraved, his body subject to corruption, his soul exposed to misery, his posterity all involved in ruin, subject to eternal condemnation, and for ever incapable to restore themselves to the favour of God, to obey his commands perfectly, and to satisfy his justice, Galatians 3:1-29 : Romans 5:1-21 : Genesis 3:1-24 : Ephesians 2:1-22 : Romans 3:1-31 : passim.


3. His recovery.

Although man has fallen by his iniquity, yet he is not left finally to perish. The divine Being, foreseeing the fall, in infinite love and mercy made provision for his relief. Jesus Christ, according to the divine purpose, came in the fulness of time to be his Saviour, and by virtue of his sufferings, all who believe are justified from the curse of the law. By the influences of the Holy Spirit he is regenerated, united to Christ by faith, and sanctified. True believers, therefore, live a life of dependence on the promises; of regularity and obedience to God's word; of holy joy and peace; and have a hope full of immortality.

4. His future state.

As it respects the impenitent, it is a state of separation from God, and eternal punishment, Matthew 25:46 . But the righteous shall rise to glory, honour, and everlasting joy. To the former, death will be the introduction to misery; to the latter, it will be the admission to felicity. All will be tried in the judgment-day, and sentence pronounced accordingly. The wicked will be driven away in his wickedness, and the righteous be saved with an everlasting salvation. But as these subjects are treated on elsewhere, we refer the reader to the articles, GRACE, HEAVEN, HELL, SIN.

Hartley's Observations on Man; Boston's Fourfold State; Kaimes's Sketches of the History of Man; Locke on Und. Reid on the Active and Intellectual Powers of Man; Wollaston's Religion of Nature; Harris's Philosophical Arrangements.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Man'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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