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pursues that particular path chalked out for him by nature, without repining or envying the lot of his neighbour,
The unwieldy Whale in the Greenland seas, the numerous herds of Elephants which graze the extensive regions betwixt the river Senegal and the Cape of Good Hope ; and the gigantic Ostrich of the sandy borders of Egypt and Palestine, roam as much at large as the winged insect that flits from flower to flower, or the invisible Animalcule which swims in the liquid drop.--The Polar Bear of the Artic Circle, wrapt up in his shaggy covering, the Er: nine of Siberia in his furry mantle, and the WaterFowl with her thick-set oily feathers, no doubt feel as comfortable as the Barbary Cow, almost naked, the Rhinoceros, sheltered from the tropical heats by his coatof-mail, or the monstrous Hippopotamus (the Behemoth of JOB) when he retires to cool himself at the bottom of the African riverst.--Those abhorred insects, which feed upon ordure, or still more loathsome that riot in putrefaction, we have reason to believe, feed as deliciously as the Racoon on his West-Indian sweets, or pampered Lapdog froin the hand of its mistress.---And if the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, we have no reason to suppose but the former feel as happy when they have formed their habitations at a convenient distance from the lien-roost, and the latter, when from their lofty situations they can behold the fowler at a distance, as the flocks and herds which graze our fields, or the domestic fuwls which partake of our care and bounty. By this wise and
upon fruits and roots; others can partake of bark and leaves; a third put up with the soft herbage of the meadow ; while a fourth are content with the very refuse of our fields and garders.
† All animals have a covering of some sort or other ; but how ad. mirable is the contrivance by which the nature of the clothing is made to vary, according to the season of the year, the difference of the climate, or element they live in.
happy arrangement, the harmony of the Universe is preserved, and the prodigious multitude of Earth's numerous tenants enabled to exist without disorder or confusion.
But if we attend to the internal structure of these wonderfully complicated and intricately woven machines, called ANIMALS, we will still find more reason to admire and adore that INCOMPREHENSIBLE BEING, whose omnipotent fiat brought them all into existence. No wonder that GALEN, at the sight of a human skele.. ton, should relinquish his former atheistical thoughts; and, that the Psalmist, on the contemplation of his material strncture, should exclaim :' “I am fearfully and wonderfully made ;'? but the greater surprise is, that so many skeletons of animals and animated wonders can be beheld. with so much indifference by that creature to whom God has given reflection for the wisest of purposes ; for to what purpose can the thoughts of man be better applied than to the contemplation of the DEITY through the medium of his works
“What variety of springs, what forces, and what mechanical motions (says BUFFON.) are enclosed in this smalli part of matter which composes the body of an animal ! What properties, what harmony, and what correspondence between the various parts! How many combinations, ar: rangements, causes, effects and principles, conspire to complete one end ;-and another writer observes : “ In the single ounce of matter which composes the body of a Sparrow, we see all the instruments necessary for eating, for digestion, for respiration, for seeing, for hearing, for smelling, for walking, for flying, for the performance of every animal function, and of every motion. All the parts of the complicated machine are perfectly appropriated, com-pletely adapted to their respective uses ; and all disposed ! with the most exact organization.”. All this is very true, 0 3
but would not the wonder have been still more augmented, had the specimen been taken from among those little curiosities of the Western Hemisphere, called Hummingbirds ; with the addition, that its beak is pointed like a needle, its claws not thicker than a common pin ; that its nest is about half an inch deep, its egg about the size of a small pea; and that, nevertheless, this diminutive bird is adorned with a plumage of the richest hues, and covered with a down that makes it resemble a velvet flower* : But indeed, the structure of the smallest insect, or minutest anj. mal, in the creation of God, carries along with it the most indisputable evidence of a Divine original; namely, that it is beyond the possibility of art to imitate, or the utmost stretch of human ingenuity to comprehend !
MOTION is one distinguishing characterestic of the Animal from the Vegetable Kingdom of nature, and this pe- . culiarity will be found to be absolutely necessary; for if the food or nutriment of animals is not brought to them as to plants, by means of roots or other conductors, they must needs go in search of it; and how wisely are they furnisbed with instruments for the purpose, some in the form of limbs, some of wings, some of fins, and some of the
reptile tribe are enabled to move by the disposition of the muscles and fibres of their bodies ; but what would this power of motion and means of performing it have signified, had these creatures been left to grope in the dark, without ability to distinguish the good from the bad;
"To shun their poison, and to choose their food." Might they not as well bave remained to perish at the spot which gave them birth, as to have strayed only to get their frames shattered by every intervening obstacle; or
Upon the head of the Humming-bird is a black tuft of incompar. able beauty; the breast is of a rose colour, its belly white as milk, the back, wings, and tail are grey, with a border resembling silver, and as if streaked with gold of the brightest hue!
the vital spark extinguished by mistaking the baneful plant for the wholesome herb. To remedy such evils, however, Nature, or rather the God of Nature, (for in this sense I wish always to be understood), has not only provided thom with senses, but has taken the utmost precaution to guard from external injury these wonderful pieces of exquisite skill*, as well as that seat of all sensation, from whence the ramifications of the nerves take their rise.
Without breathing, to put the wheel in motion at the cistern, no animal could exist, and how admirably situated and guarded also are the organs of respiration, and that: mysterious mouement “ that faints not, neither is weary," but by night and by day, asleep or awake, in motion or at rest, beats in unremitting pulsations, with greater regularity than a watch, in the breast of some animals for 60, in some 70, and in others upwards of 100 yearst. I might also notice the admirable structure and wise disposition of the other parts in the animal economy, but this would be inconsistent with my present limits and design ; I must, bowever, observe on the whole, that each will be found most conveniently situated for its respective uses, and formed in the wisest manner for its various
* What a curious and wonderful piece of mechanism is the human Eye, so admirably contrived with its various coats, muscles, vessels, humours, nerves, and rețina, for the purposes of vision? - How excel jent its situation for the use it was designed, and how safely guarded by the projecting eye-brows and watchful eyelashes, ever on the aJert, from external injury? The Ear, too, is a most wonderful structure, contrived by its ridges and hollows to gather and concentrate sounds till they strike on the transparent membrane that forms the Surface of the drum, although deeply lodged that it may also be preServed from outward accident.-fhese are strange pieces of mechanism indeed! and is it not natural to conclude, “He that planted the eor shall be not bear 2-be that formed the eye shall be not see?
# If the brain (which is the seat of sensation and the fountain of the animal spirits) is environed round with such a hard, thick, and topgh substance as the skull, the heart and lungs are wisely placed in the centre of the body, and encompassed by a double fence of bones or ribs, muscles, and skin.
while nothing is awanting to render the structure complete, there is nothing superfluous or made in vain. The feelers of the Butterfly are no less essential to her well-being, than the proboscis of the Elephant; and the leg of the Fly can no more say to its wing, than the eye of the Human Body to its hand, “ I have no need of thee."!
But if the right consideration of the structure of animals as well as the wise provision made for their lodge ment and subsistence, must convince the most sceptical that all are the doings of a Being infinite in power, and fearful in working; and inspire the religious philosopher with such sentiments as David expressed when contemplating the formation of the human frame ; must we not also adopt such language as he made use of on another occasion, and say, when reflecting on the manner in which these creatures are reproduced, and the wonders of that pro-creative power by which a continued succession is kept up; Thine eyes saw them when they were made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lower places of the earth. Whether they come into the world in the shape of animals completely formed, or through the medium of eggs, still the business of generation must remain a mystery, and be reckoned amongst the number of the dark things of God!
· The provision for keeping the number of living creatures within due limits, is no less remarkable than that for: bringing them into being. The most formidable monsters are thinly scattered, or confined to particular spots*. ! Long-lived animals are observed to have few young at a time; while those of the greatest utility, or such as are: used for animal food, abound in every climate, and the short in duration are uncommonly prolific !
The * The destructive Tiger is not very conmon, and the greatest ren. dezvous of this blood-thirsty animal is said to be a sort of insulated situation, the Sunderbunds or Woody-islands at the mouth of the Ganges in India.