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THE

SCHOOL LIBRARY.

PUBLISHED UNDER THE SANCTION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS

VOL. II.

PALEY'S NATURAL THEOLOGY,

WITH ADDITIONS FROM
LORD BROUGHAM, AND SIR CHARLES BELL,

LIFE AND PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR, AND NUMEROUS
OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS.

THE WHOLE NEWLY ARRANGED AND ADAPTED TO THE SCHOOL LIBRARY,
BY ELISHA BARTLETT, M.D.

IN TWO VOLS. VOL. 1.

BOSTON:

MARSH, CAPEN, LYON, AND WEBB.
1839.

 

NATURAL THEOLOGY.

 

 

CHAPTER 1.

STATE OF THE ARGUMENT.

IN crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there, I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever ; nor would it, per-haps, be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer.

But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired bow the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for any thing I knew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? why is it not as admissible in the second case as in the first ? For this reason, and for no other, viz., that, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e. g., that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day ; that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it. To reckon tip a few of the plainest of these parts, and of their offices, all tending to one result. We see a cylindrical box containing a coiled, elastic spring, which, by its endeavor to relax itself, turns round the box. We next observe a flexible chain (artificially wrought for the sake of flexure) communicating the action of the spring from the box to the fusee. We then find a series of wheels, the teeth of which catch in, and apply to, each other, conducting the motion from the fusee to the balance, and from the balance to the pointer, and, at the same time, by the size and shape of those wheels, so regulating that motion as to terminate in causing an index, by an equable and measured progression, to pass over a given space in a, given time. We take notice that the wheels are made of brass' in order to keep them from rust; the springs of steel, no other metal being so elastic; that over the face of the watch there is placed a glass, a material employed in no other part of the work, but in the room of which, if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not be seen without opening the case. This mechanism being observed, (it requires indeed an examination of the instrument,

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and perhaps some previous knowledge of the subject, to perceive and understand it; but being once, as we have said, observed and understood,) the inference, we think, is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker : that there must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use.

I. Nor would it, I apprehend, weaken the conclusion, that we had never known an artist capable of making one; that we were altogether incapable of executing such a piece of workmanship ourselves, or of understanding in what is true of some exquisite remains of ancient art, of some lost arts, and, to the generality of mankind, of the more curious productions of modern manufacture. Does one man in a million know how oval frames are turned? Ignorance of this kind exalts our opinion of the unseen and unknown but raises no doubt in our minds of the existence and agency of such an artist, at some former time, and in some place or other. Nor can I perceive that it varies at all the inference, whether the question arise concerning a human agent, or concerning an agent of a different species, or an agent possessing, in some respects, a different nature.

II Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong, or that it seldom

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went exactly right. The purpose of the machinery, the design, and the designer, might be evident, and, in the case supposed, would be evident, in whatever way we accounted for the irregularity of the movement, or whether we could account for it or not. It is not necessary that a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made : still less necessary, where the only question is whether it were made with any design at all.

III. Nor, thirdly, would it bring any uncertainty into the argument , if there were a few parts of the watch, concerning which we could not discover, or had not yet discovered, in what manner they conduced to the general effect ; or even some parts, concerning which we could not ascertain whether they conduced to that effect in any manner whatever. For, as to the first branch of the case, if by the loss, or disorder, or decay of the parts in question, the movement of the watch were found in fact to be stopped, or disturbed, or retarded, no doubt would remain in our minds as to the utility or intention of these parts, although we should be unable to investigate the manner according to which, or the connexion by which, the ultimate effect depended upon their action or assistance ; and the more complex is the machine, the, more likely is this obscurity to arise. Then, as to the second thing supposed, namely, that there were parts he might be spared without prejudice to the movement to the watch, and that we bad proved this by experiment, these superfluous parts, even if we were completely assured that they were such, would not vacate the reasoning which we bad instituted concerning other parts. The indication of contrivance remained, with respect to them, nearly as it was before.

IV. Nor, fourthly, would any man in his senses think the existence of the watch, with its various machinery, accounted for, by being told that it was one out of many possible combinations of material forms; that whatever he had found in the place where lie found the watch, must have contained some internal configuration or other ; and that this configuration might be the structure now exhibited, viz., of the works of a watch, as well as a different structure.

 

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V. Nor, fifthly, would it yield his inquiry more satisfaction, to be answered, that there existed in things a principle of order, which had disposed the parts of the watch into their present form and situation. He never knew a watch made by the principle of order ; nor can he even form to himself an idea of what is meant by a principle of order, distinct from the intelligence of the watchmaker.

VI. Sixthly, be would be surprised to hear that the mechanism of the watch was no proof of contrivance, only a motive to induce the mind to think so :

VII. And not less surprised to be informed, that the watch in his band was nothing more than the result of the laws of metallic nature. It is a perversion of language to assign any law as the efficient, operative cause of any thing. A law presupposes an agent ; for it is only the mode according to which an agent proceeds : it implies a power ; for it is the order according to which that power acts. Without this agent, without this power, which are both distinct from itself, the law does nothing, is nothing. The expression, "the law of metallic nature," may sound strange and harsh to a philosophic ear ; but it seems quite as justifiable as some others which are more familiar to him, such as "the law of vegetable nature," "the law of animal nature," or, indeed, as "the law of nature" in general, when assigned as the cause of phenomena, in exclusion of agency and power, or when it is substituted into the place of these.

 

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VIII. Neither, lastly, would our observer be driven out of his conclusion, or from his confidence in its truth, by being told that he knew nothing at all about the matter. He knows enough for his argument : be knows the utility of the end : he knows the subserviency and adaptation of the means to the end. These points being known, his ignorance of other points, his doubts concerning other points, affect not the certainty of his reasoning. The consciousness of knowing little need not beget a distrust of that which he does know.

 

CHAPTER II

STATE OF THE ARGUMENT, CONTINUED.

SUPPOSE, in the next place, that the person who found the watch, should, after some time, discover that, in ad-dition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing, in the course of its movement, another watch like itself, (the thing is conceivable ;) that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts, a mould, for instance, or a
complex adjustment of lathes, files, and other tools, evi-dently separately calculated for this purpose ; let us inquire what effect ought such a discovery to have upon his former conclusion.

I The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive, in this new observation, nothing but nothing but an additional reason for doing what lie bad already done,-for referring the construction of the watch to design, and to supreme art. If that construction without this property, or, which is the same thing, before this

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property had been noticed, proved intention and art to have been employed about it, still more strong would the roof appear, when he came to the knowledge of this further property, the crown and perfection of all the rest.

II. He would reflect, that, though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch which was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair,--the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use. With respect to these, the first watch was no cause at all to the second ; in no such sense as this was it the author of the constitution and order, either of the parts which the new watch contained, or of the parts by the aid and instrumentality of which it was produced. We might possibly say, but with great latitude of expression, that a stream of water ground corn ; but no latitude of expression would allow us to say, no stretch of conjecture could lead us to think, that the stream of water built the mill, though it were too ancient for us to know who the builder was. What the stream of water does in the affair is neither more nor less than this ; by the application of an unintelligent impulse to a mechanism previously arranged, arranged independently of it, and arranged by intelligence, all effect is produced, viz., the corn is ground. But the effect results from the arrangement. The force of the strain cannot be said to be the cause or author of the effect, still less of the arrangement. Understanding and plan in the formation of the mill were not the less necessary for any share which the water has in grinding the corn ; yet is this share the same as that which the watch would have contributed to the production of the new watch, upon the supposition assumed in the last section. Therefore,

III. Though it be now no longer probable that the individual watch which our observer bad found was made immediately by the hand of an artificer, yet doth not this alteration in anywise affect the inference, that an artificer had been originally employed and concerned in the production

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The argument from design remains as it was. Marks of design and contrivance are no more accounted for now than they were before. In the same thing, we may ask for the cause of different properties. We may ask for the cause of the color of a body, of its hardness, of its heat ; and these causes may be all different. We are now asking for the cause of that subserviency to a use, that relation to an end, which we have remarked in the watch before us. No answer is given to this question, by telling us that a preceding watch produced it. There cannot be design without a designer ; contrivance without a contriver ; order without choice ; arrangement, without any thing capable of arranging ; subserviency and relation to a purpose, without that which could intend a purpose ; means suitable to an end, and executing their office in accomplishing that end, without the end ever having been contemplated, or the means accommodated to it. Arrangement, disposition of parts, subserviency of means to an end, relation of instruments to a use, imply the presence of intelligence and mind. No one, therefore, can rationally believe, that the insensible, inanimate watch, from which the watch before us issued, was the proper cause of the mechanism we so much admire in it;--could be truly said to have constructed the instrument, disposed its parts, assigned their office, determined their order, action, and mutual dependency, combined their several motions into one result, and that also a result connected with the utilities of other beings. All these properties, therefore, are as much unaccounted for as they were before.

IV. Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty further back, i. e., by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch, that from a former, and so on indefinitely. Our going back ever so far, brings us no nearer to the least degree of satisfaction upon the subject. Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver. A designing mind is neither supplied by this supposition, nor dispensed with. If the difficulty were diminished, the further we went back, by going back indefinitely we might exhaust it. And this

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is the only case to which this sort of reasoning applies. Where there is a tendency, or, as we increase the number of terms, a continual approach towards a limit, there, by supposing the number of terms to be what is called infinite, we may conceive the limit to be attained; but where there is no such tendency or approach, nothing is effected by lengthening the series. There is no difference, as to the point in question, (whatever there may be as to many points,) between one series and another; between a series which is finite, and a series which is infinite. A chain, composed of ail infinite number of links, can no more support itself than a chain composed of a finite number of links. And of this we are assured, (though we never can have tried the experiment,) because, by increasing the number of links, from tell, for instance, to a hundred, from a hundred to a thousand, &c., we make not the smallest approach, we observe not the smallest tendency, towards self-support. There is no difference, in this respect, (yet there may be a great difference in several respects,) between a chain of a greater or less length, between one chain and another, between one that is finite and one that is infinite. This very much resembles the case before us. The machine which we are inspecting, demonstrates, by its construction, contrivance and design. Contrivance must have bad a contriver; design, a designer; whether the machine immediately proceed from mother machine or not. That circumstance alters not the case. That other machine may, in like manner, have proceeded from a former machine : nor does that alter the case; the contrivancy must have had a contriver. That former one from one preceding it : no alteration still; a contriver is still necessary. No tendency is perceived, no approach towards a diminution of this necessity. It is the same with any and every succession of these machines; a succession of ten, of a hundred, of a thousand; with one series, as with another; a series which is finite, as with a series which is infinite. In whatever other respects they may differ, in this they do not. In

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all, equally) contrivance and design are unaccounted for,

The question is not, simply, How came the first watch into existence ? which question, it may be pretended, is done away by supposing the series of watches thus produced from one another to have been infinite, and consequently to have had no such first, for which it was necessary to provide a cause. This, perhaps, would have been nearly the state of the question, if nothing had been before us but an unorganized, unmechanized substance, without mark or indication of contrivance. It might be difficult to show that such substance could not have existed from eternity, either in succession, (if it were possible, which I think it is not, for unorganized bodies to spring from one another,) or by individual perpetuity. But that is not the question now. To suppose it to be so, is to suppose that made no difference whether he had found a watch or a stone. As it is, the metaphysics of that question have no place : for, in the watch which we are examining, are seen contrivance, design; an end, a purpose; means for the end, adaptation to the purpose. And the question, which irresistibly presses upon Our thoughts, is, Whence this contrivance and design? The thing required, is, the intending mind, the adapted hand, the intelligence by which that hand was directed. This question, this demand, is not shaken off, by increasing a number or succession of substances, destitute of these properties; nor the more, by increasing that number to infinity. If it be said, that, upon the supposition of one watch being produced from another in the course of that other's movements, and by means of the mechanism within it, we have a cause for the watch in my hand, viz., the watch from which it proceeded,-- deny, that for the design, the contrivance, the suitableness of means to an end, the adaptation of instruments to a use, (all which we discover in the watch,) we have any cause whatever. It is in vain, therefore, to assign a series of such causes, or to allege that a series may be carried back to infinity, for I do not admit that we have yet any cause at all for the phenomena, still less in any series of causes either

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finite or infinite. Here is contrivance, but no contriver; of design, but no designer.

V Our observer would further also reflect, that the maker of the watch before him was, in truth and reality, the maker of every watch produced from it : there being no difference (except that the latter manifests a more exquisite kill) between the making of another watch his own hands, by the mediation of files, lathes, chisels, &c., and the disposing, fixing, and inserting of these instruments, or of others equivalent to them, in the body of the watch already made, in such a manner, as to form a new watch in the course of the movements which he had given to the old one. It is only working by one set of tools instead of another.

The conclusion, which the first examination of the watch, of its works, construction, and movement, suggested, was, that it must have had, for the cause and author of that construction, an artificer who understood its mechanism and designed its use. This conclusion is invincible. A second examination presents us with a new discovery. The watch is found, in the course of its movement, to produce another watch similar to itself; and not only so, but we perceive in it a system or organization, separately calculated for that purpose. What effect would this discovery have, or ought it to have, upon our former inference ? What, as hath already been said, but to increase, beyond measure, our admiration of the skill which had been employed in the formation of such a machine? Or shall it, instead of this, all at once turn us round to an opposite conclusion, viz., that no art or skill whatever has been concerned in the business, although all other evidences of art and skill remain as they were, and this last and supreme piece of art be now be added to the rest ? Can this be maintained without absurdity ? Yet this is atheism.

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III. One atheistic way of replying to our observations upon the works of Nature, and to the proofs of a Deity which we think that we perceive in them, is to tell us, that all which we see must necessarily have bad some form, and that it might as well be its present form as any other. Let us now apply this answer to the eye, as we 'did before to the watch. Something or other must have occupied that place in the animal's head ; must have filled up, we will say, that socket: we will say, also, that it must have been of that sort of substance which we call animal substance, as flesh, bone, membrane, or cartilage, &c. But that it should have been an eye, knowing as we do what an eye comprehends, viz., that it should have consisted, first, of a series of transparent lenses (very different, by the by, even in their substance, from the opaque materials of which the rest of the body is, in general at least, composed ; and with which the whole of its surface, this single portion of it excepted, is covered :) secondly, of a black cloth or canvass (the only membrane of the body which is black) spread out behind these lenses, so as to receive the image formed by pencils of light transmitted through them ; and placed at the precise geometrical distance, at which, and at which alone, a distinct image could be formed, namely, at the concourse of the refracted rays : thirdly, of a large nerve communicating between this membrane and the brain ; without which, the action of light upon the membrane, however modified by the organ, would be lost to the purposes of sensation that this fortunate conformation of parts should have been the lot, not of one individual out of many thousand individuals, like the great prize in the lottery, or like some singularity in nature, but the happy chance of a whole species : nor of one species out of many thousand species, with which we are acquainted, but of by far the greatest number of all that exist; and that under varieties, not

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casual or capricious, but, bearing marks of being suited to their respective exigencies :--that all this should have taken place, merely because something must have occupied these points on every animal's forehead ; or, that all this should be thought to be accounted for by the short answer, that "whatever was there must have had some form or other," is too absurd to be made more so by any argumentation. We are not contented with this answer ; we find no satisfaction in it, by way of accounting for appearances of organization, far short of those of the eye, such as we observe in fossil shells, petrified bones, or other substances which bear the vestiges of animal or vegetable recrements, but which, either in respect to utility, or of the situation in which they are discovered, may seem accidental enough. It is no way of accounting even for these things, to say that the stone, for instance, which is shown to us, (supposing the question to be concerning a petrifaction,) must have contained some internal conformation or other. Nor does it mend the answer to add, with respect to the singularity of the conformation, that, after the event it is no longer to be computed what the chances were against it. This is always to be computed when the question is, whether a useful or imitative conformation be the produce of chance or not : I desire no greater certainly, in reasoning than that by which chance is excluded from the present disposition of the natural world. Universal experience is against it. What does chance ever do for us? In the human body, for instance, chance, i. e., the operation of causes without design, may produce a wen, a wart, a mole, a pimple, but never, in eye. Amongst inanimate substances, a clod, a pebble, a liquid drop might be ; but never was a watch, a telescope, an organized body of any kind, answering a valuable purpose by a complicated mechanism, the effect of chance.* In no assignable instance hath such a thing existed without intention somewhere.

(Note is Broughm, not Paley--IMPORTANT, however--SR)
* There in a great inaccuracy, and indeed a very unphilosophical and superficial view of the subject in these observations upon chance. Chance is merely an abridged form of expressing our ignorance of the cause or preceding event to which any given event may be traced; and nothing can be more inaccurate, or indeed more productive of serious errors in this very branch of science, than to speak of chance, as a substantive thing or power. To take the most obvious instance : we say, in common parlance, that the dice being shaken together, it is a matter of chance what faces they will turn up ; but if we could accurately observe their position in the box before the slinking, file direction of the force applied, its quantity, the number of turns of the box, and the curve in which the motion wag made, the manner of stopping the motion, and the line in which the dice were thrown out, the faces turned up would be a matter of certain prediction, after a sufficient number of experiments had been made to correct the theory. It is only because we take no heed of all these things, that we are ignorant what will be the event; and the darkness in which we are, respecting the circumstances which regulate it, is called by tile name of chance. Nor is it correct to say, that this or any thing else is done without design. All we can mean by the expression is, that our design steps short at a certain point, and leaves the laws of Nature to guide the rest of the operation. But such a position is manifestly quite inapplicable to the operations of Nature.

Equally inaccurate is it, if not more go, to speak of a wen or a pimple, &c., as the result of any cause in the least degree different from that which produced the eye. These are possibly always, certainly sometimes, diseases ; but they are the result of contrivance as clearly as the eye itself. The functions of the animal system, though acting in an unusual manner, yet acting according to rule, produce those phenomena. Indeed one of them, a pimple, is, in part at least, the result of the provision made for restoring the interrupted continuity of the skin, by a slight suppuration from which the granulation, or production of new animal fibre, takes place. The like remark applies to the cages of a clod, a pebble, or liquid drop, also put in this passage. We have already adverted to the first two, in a former note ; the formation of a drop, is, in truth, one of the phenomena of gravitation, and a very remarkable one.-ENG. ED.

 

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IV. There is another answer which has the same ef-fect as the resolving of things into chance ; which answer would persuade us to believe, that the eye, the animal to which it belongs, every other animal, every plant, indeed every organized body which we see, are only so many out of the possible varieties and combinations of being which the lapse of infinite ages has brought into existence; that the present world is the relic of that variety; millions of other bodily forms and other species having perished, being, by the defect of their constitution, incapable of preservation, or of continuance by generation. Now there is no foundation whatever for this conjecture in any thing which we observe in the works of Nature ; no such experiments are going on at present ; no such energy operates as that which is here supposed, and which should be

 

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constantly pushing into existence new varieties of beings. Nor are there any appearances to support an opinion, that every possible combination of vegetable or animal structure has formerly been tried. Multitudes of conforma-tions, both of vegetables and animals, may be conceived capable. Of existence and succession, which yet do not exist. Perhaps almost as many forms of plants might have found in the fields as figures of plants can be delineated upon paper. A countless variety of animals might have existed which do not exist. Upon the supposition here stated, we should see unicorns and mermaids, sylphs and centaurs, the fancies of painters, and the fables of poets, realized by examples. Or, if it be alleged that these may transgress the bounds of possible life and propagation, we might at least have nations of human beings without nails upon their fingers, with more or fewer fingers and toes than ten, some with one eye, others with one ear, with one nostril, or without the sense of smelling at all. All these, and a thousand other imaginable varieties, might live and propagate. We may modify any one species many different ways, all consistent with life, and with the actions necessary to preservation, although affording different degrees of convenience and enjoyment to the animal. And if we carry these modifications through the different species which are known to subsist, their number would be incalculable. No reason can be given why, if these deperdits ever existed, they have now disappeared. Yet, if all possible existences have been tried, they must have formed part of the catalogue.

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But, moreover, the division of organized substances into animals and vegetables, and the distribution and sub-distribution of each into genera and species, which distribution is not an arbitrary act of the mind, but founded in the order which prevails in external nature, appear to me to contradict the supposition of the present world being the remains of an indefinite variety of existences ; of a variety which rejects all plan. The hypothesis teaches, that every possible variety of being hath, at one time or other, found its way into existence, (by what cause or in what manner is not said,) and that those which were badly formed perished ; but how or why those which survived should be cast, as we see that plants and animals are cast, into regular classes, the hypothesis does not explain ; or rather the hypothesis is inconsistent with this phenomenon.

The hypothesis, indeed, is hardly deserving of the consideration which we have given to it. What should we think of a man who, because we had never ourselves seen watches, telescopes, stocking-mills, steam-engines, &c. made, knew not how they were made, nor could prove by testimony when they were made, or by whom, would have us believe that these machines, -instead of deriving their curious structure from the thought and design of their inventors and contrivers, in truth derive them from no other origin than this : viz., that a mass of metals and other materials having run, when melted, into all possible figures, and combined themselves in all possible forms, and shapes, and proportions, these things which we see are what were left from the accident, as best worth preserving, and, as such, are become the remaining stock of a magazine, which, at one time or other, has by this means contained every mechanism, useful and useless, convenient

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and inconvenient, into which such like materials could be thrown? I cannot distinguish the hypothesis, as applied to the works of Nature, from this solution, which no one would accept, as applied to a collection of machines.

V. To the marks of contrivance discoverable in animal bodies, and to the argument deduced from them in proof of design and of a designing Creator, this turn is sometimes attempted to be given, namely, that the parts were not intended for the use, but that the use arose out of the parts.

This distinction is intelligible. A cabinet-maker rubs his mahogany with fish-skin; yet it would be too much to assert that the skin of the dog-fish was made rough and granulated on purpose for the polishing of wood, and the use of cabinet-makers. Therefore the distinction is intelligible. But I think that there is very little place for it in the works of Nature. When roundly and generally affirmed of them, as it bath sometimes been, it amounts to such another stretch of assertion, as it would be to say, that all the implements of the cabinet-maker's workshop, as well as his fish-skin, were substances accidentally configured, which he had picked up and converted to his use ; that his adzes, saws, planes, and gimlets, were not made, as we suppose, to hew, cut, smooth, shape out, or bore wood with ; but that, these things being made, no matter with what design, or whether with any, the cabinetmaker perceived that they were applicable to his purpose, and turned them to account.

But, again. So far as this solution is attempted to be applied to those parts of animals, the action of which does not depend upon the will of the animal, it is fraught with still more evident absurdity. Is it possible to believe that the eye was formed without any regard to vision ; that it was the animal itself which found out that, though formed with no such intention, it would serve to see with; and that the use of the eye as an organ of sight resulted from this discovery, and the animal's application of it? The same question may be asked of the ear ; the same of all the senses. None of the senses fundamentally depend upon the election of the animal ; consequently, neither upon his sagacity nor his experience. It is the impression which objects

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makes upon them that constitutes their use. Under that impression he is passive. He may bring objects to the sense, or within its reach ; he may select these objects; but over the impression itself lie has no power, or very little ; and that properly is the sense.

Secondly ; there are many parts of animal bodies which seem to depend upon the will of the animal in a greater degree than the senses do, and yet with respect to which this solution is equally unsatisfactory. If we apply the solution to the human body, for instance, it forms itself into questions upon which no reasonable mind can doubt; such as, whether the teeth were made expressly for the mastication of food, the feet for walking, the hands for holding ? or whether, these things being as they are, being in fact in the animal's possession, his own ingenuity taught him that they were convertible to these purposes, though no such purposes were contemplated in their formation ?

All that there is of the appearance of reason in this way of considering the subject, is, that, in some cases, the organization seems to determine the habits of the animal, and its choice to a particular mode of life ; which, in a certain sense, may be called "the use arising out of the part." Now, to all the instances in which there is any place for this suggestion, it may be replied, that the organization determines the animal to habits beneficial and salutary to itself ; and that this effect would not be seen so regularly to

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follow, if the several organizations did not bear a concerted, and contrived relation to the substance by which the animal was surrounded. They would, otherwise, be capacities without objects ; powers without employment. The web-foot determines, you say, the duck to swim; but what would that avail, if there were no water to swim in? The strong hooked bill and sharp talons of one spe-cies of bird determine it to prey upon animals ; the soft straight bill and weak claws of another species determine it to pick up seeds : but neither determination could take effect in providing for the sustenance of the birds, If animal bodies and vegetable seeds did not lie within their reach. The peculiar conformation of the bill and tongue and claws of file woodpecker determines that bird to search for his food amongst the insects lodged behind the bark or in the wood of decayed trees ; but what would this profit him if there were no decayed trees,
no insects lodged tinder their bark, or in their trunk ? The proboscis with which the bee is furnished determines him to seek for honey : but what would that signify, if flowers supplied none ? Faculties thrown down upon animals at random, and without reference to the objects amidst which they are placed, would not produce to them the serves and benefits which we see : and if there be that reference, then there is intention.

Lastly ; the solution fails, entirely, when applied to plants. The parts of plants answer their uses without my concurrence from the will or choice of the plant.

V I. Others have chosen to refer every thing to a principle of order in Nature. A principle of order is the word but what is meant, by a principle of order, as different from an intelligent Creator, has not been explained either by definition or example ; and, without such explanation, it should seine to be a mere substitution of words for reasons, names for causes. Order itself is only the adaptation of means to an end : by a principle of order, therefore, can only signify the mind and intention which so adapts them. Or, were it capable of being explained in any other sense, is there any experience, any analogy, to sustain it ? Was a watch ever produced by a principle

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of order ? and why might not a watch, be so produced, as well as an eye ?

Furthermore, a principle of order, acting blindly and without choice, is negatived by the observation that or-der is not universal, which it would be, if it issued from a constant and necessary principle; nor indiscriminate, which it would be if it issued from unintelligent principle. Where order is wanted, there we find it: where order is not wanted, i.e., where, if it prevailed, it would be useless, there do we not find it. In the structure of the eye, (for we adhere to our example, ) in the figure and position of its parts, the most exact order is maintained. In the forms of rocks and mountains, in the lines which bound the coasts of continents and islands, in the shape of bays and promontories, no order whatever is perceived because it would have been superfluous. No useful purpose would have arisen from moulding rocks and mountains into regular solids, bounding the channel of the ocean by geometrical curves; or from the map of the world resembling a table of diagrams in Euclid's Elements or Simpson's Conic Sections.

CHAPTER XVIII.

INSTINCTS.

THE order may not be very obvious by which I place instincts next to relations. But I consider them as a species of relation. They contribute, along with the animal organization, to a joint effect, in which view they are related to that organization. In many cases, they refer from one animal to another animal; and, when this is the case, become strictly relations in a second point of view.

An INSTINCT is a propensity prior to experience, and independent of instruction. We contend, that it is by instinct that the sexes of animals seek each other ; that animals cherish their offspring ; that the young quadruped is directed to the teat of its dam ; that birds build their nests, and brood with so much patience upon their eggs ; that insects, which do not sit upon their eggs, deposit them in those particular situations, in which the Young when hatched find their appropriate food ; that it is instinct which carries the salmon, and some other fish, out of the sea into rivers, for the purpose of shedding their spawn in fresh water.

We may select out of this catalogue the incubation of

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eggs. I entertain no doubt, but that a couple of sparrows hatched in an oven, and kept separate from the rest of their species, would proceed as other sparrows do, in every office which related to the production and preservation of their brood. Assuming this fact," the thing is inexplicable upon any other hypothesis than that of an instinct, impressed upon the constitution of the animal. For, first, what should induce the female bird to prepare a nest before she lays her eggs ? It is in vain to suppose her to be possessed of the faculty of reasoning ; for no reasoning will reach the case. The fullness or distension which she might feel in a particular part of the body, from the growth and solidity of the egg within her, could not possibly inform her that she was about to produce something which, when produced, was to be preserved and taken care of. Prior to experience there was nothing to lead to this inference, or to this suspicion. The analogy was all against it ; for, in every other instance, what issued from the body was cast out and rejected.

But, secondly, let us suppose the egg to be produced into day.; how should birds know that their eggs contain their young? There is nothing either in the aspect or in die internal composition of an egg, which could lead

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even the most daring imagination to conjecture, that it was hereafter to turn out from under its shell a living, perfect bird the form of the egg bears not the rudiments of a resemblance to that of the bird. Inspecting its contents, we find still less reason, if possible, to look for the result which actually takes place. If we should go so far as, from the appearance of order and distinction in the disposition of the liquid substances which we noticed in the egg, to guess, that it might be designed for the abode and nutriment of an animal, (which would be a very bold hypothesis,) we should expect a tadpole dabbling in the slime, much more than a dry, winged, feathered creature ; a compound of parts and properties, impossible to be used in a state of confinement in the egg, and bearing no conceivable relation, either in quality or material, to any thing observed in it. From the white of an egg, would any one look for the feather of a goldfinch ? or expect from a simple ' uniform mucilage, the most 'complicated of all machines, the most diversified of all collections of substances ? Nor would the process of incubation, for some time at least, led us to suspect the event. Who that saw red streaks shooting in the fine membrane which divides the white from the yolk, would suppose that these were about to become bones and limbs ? Who that espied two discolored points, first making their appearance in the cicatrix, would have bad the courage to predict, that these points were to grow into the heart and head of a bird? It is difficult to strip the mind of its experience. It is difficult to resuscitate surprise, when familiarity has once laid the sentiment asleep. But, could we forget all that we know, and which our sparrows never knew, about oviparous generation could we divest ourselves of every information but what we derived from reasoning upon the appearances or quality discovered in the objects presented to us--I am convinced, that Harlequin coming out of an egg upon the stage, is not more astonishing to a child, than the hatching of a chicken, both would be, and ought to be, to a philosopher.

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But admit the sparrow by some means to know, that within that egg was concealed the principle of a future bird: from what chemist was she to learn, that warmth was necessary to bring it to maturity, or that the degree of warmth imparted by the temperature of her own body, was the degree required?

To suppose, therefore, that the female bird acts in this process from a sagacity and reason of her own, is to suppose her to arrive at conclusions which there are no premises to justify. If our sparrow, sitting upon her eggs, expect young sparrows to come out of them, she forms, I will venture to say, a wild and extravagant expectation, in opposition to present appearances and to probability. She must have penetrated into the order of Nature further than any faculties of ours will carry us ; and it hath been well observed, that this deep sagacity, if it be sagacity, subsists in conjunction with great stupidity, even in relation to the same subject. "A chemical operation," says Addison, "could not be followed with greater art or diligence, than is seen in hatching a chicken ; yet is the process carried on, without the least glimmering of thought or common sense. The hen will mistake a piece of chalk for an egg is insensible of the increase or diminution of their number-does not distinguish between her own and those of another species is frightened when her supposititious breed of ducklings take the water."

But it will be said, that what reason could not do for the bird, observation, or instruction, or tradition might. Now if it be true that a couple of sparrows, brought up

 

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from the first in a state of separation from all other birds, would build their nest, and brood upon their eggs, then there is an end of this solution. What can be the traditionary knowledge of a chicken, hatched in an oven?

Of young birds taken in their nests, a few species breed when kept in cages ; and they which do so, build their nests nearly in the same manner as in the wild state, and sit upon their eggs. This is sufficient to prove an instinct, without having recourse to experiments upon birds hatched by artificial heat, and deprived from their birth of all communication with their species ; for we can hardly bring ourselves to believe, that the parent bird informed her unfledged pupil of the history of her gestation, her timely preparation of a nest, her exclusion of the eggs, her long incubation, and of the joyfull eruption at last of her expected offspring : all which the bird in the cage must have learnt in her infancy, if we resolve her conduct into institution.

Unless we will rather suppose that she remembers her own escape from the egg had attentively observed the conformation of the nest in which she was nurtured and had treasured up her remarks for future imitation ; which is not only extremely improbable (for who that sees a brood of callow birds in their nest can believe that they are taking a plan of their habitation ?) but leaves unac-counted for one principal part of the difficulty, "the pre-paration of the nest before the laying of the egg." This she could not gain from observation in her infancy.

It is remarkable also, that the hen sits upon eggs which she has laid without any communication with the male, and which are, therefore, necessarily unfruitful. That secret she is not let into. Yet if incubation had been a subject of instruction or of tradition, it should see in that this distinction would have formed part of the lesson : whereas the instinct of Nature is calculated for a state of nature the exception here alluded to, taking place chiefly, if not solely, amongst domesticated fowls, in which Nature is forced out of her course.

 

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I crave leave to transcribe into this place what I have said upon this subject in my Moral Philosophy :

"When God created the human species, either He wished their happiness, or He wished their misery, or He was indifferent and unconcerned about either.

"If He bad wished our misery, He might have made sure of his purpose, by forming our senses to be so many sores and pains to us, as they are now instruments of gratification and enjoyment; or by placing us amidst objects so ill suited to our perceptions, as to have continually offended us, instead of ministering to our refreshment and delight. He might have made, for example, every thing we tasted, bitter; every thing we saw, loathsome every thing we touched, a sting; every smell, a stench and every sound, a discord.

"If He bad been indifferent about our happiness or misery, we must impute to our good fortune (as all design by this supposition is excluded) both the capacity of our senses to receive pleasure, and the supply of external objects fitted to produce it.

"But either of these, and still more both of them, being too much to be attributed to accident, nothing remains but the first supposition, that God, when He created the human species, wished their happiness ; and made for them the provision which he has made, with that view and for that purpose.

The same argument may be proposed in different terms ; thus : Contrivance proves design ; and the predominant tendency of the contrivance indicates the disposition of the designer. The world abounds with contrivances ; and all the contrivances which we are acquainted with, are directed to beneficial purposes. Evil, no doubt, exists ; but is never, that we can perceive, the object of contrivance. Teeth are contrived to eat, not to ache ; their aching now and then, is incidental to the contrivance, perhaps inseparable from it: or even, if you will, let

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is not the object of it. This is a distinction which well deserves to be attended to. In describing implements of husbandry, you would hardly say of the sickle, that it is made to cut the reaper's hand: though from the construction of the instrument, and the manner of using it, this mischief often follows. But if you had occasion to describe instruments of torture, or execution, this engine, you would say, is to extend the sinews ; this to dislocate e joints ; this to break the bones ; this to scorch the soles of the feet. Here, pain and misery are the very objects of the contrivance. Now, nothing of this sort is to be found in the works of Nature. We never discover a train of contrivance to bring about an evil purpose. No anatomist ever discovered a system of organization, calculated to produce pain and disease ; or, in explaining the parts of the human body, ever said, this is to irritate ; this to inflame ; this duct is to convey the gravel to the kidneys ; this gland to secrete the humor which forms the gout : if by chance he come at a part of which he knows not the use, the most he can say is, that it is useless ; no one ever suspects that it is put there to incommode, to annoy, or to torment."

The TWO CASES which appear to me to have the most difficulty in them, as forming the most of the appearance of exception to the representation here given, are those of venomous animals and of animals preying upon one ,another. These properties of animals, wherever they are found, must, I think, be referred to design ; because there is, in all cases of the first, and in most cases of the of the second, an express and distinct organization provided for the producing of them. Under the first head, the fangs of vipers, the stings of wasps and scorpions, are as clearly intended for their purpose, as any animal structure is for any purpose the most incontestably beneficial. And the same thing must under the second head, be acknowledged of the talons and beaks of birds, of the tusks, teeth, and claws of beasts of prey; of the shark's mouth, of the spider's web, and of numberless weapons of offense belonging to different tribes of voracious insects. We cannot therefore, avoid the difficulty by saying, that the effect

 

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was not intended. The only question open to us is, whether it be ultimately evil. From the confessed and felt imperfection of our knowledge, we ought to presume, that there may be consequences of this economy which are hidden from us : from the benevolence which pervades the general designs of Nature, we ought also to presume, that these consequences, if they could enter into our calculation, would turn the balance on the favorable side. Both these I contend to be reasonable presumptions. Not reasonable presumptions, if these two cases were the only cases which Nature presented to our observation ; but reasonable presumptions under the reflection, that the cases in question are combined with a multitude of intentions, all proceeding from the same Author, and all, except these, directed to ends of undisputed utility. Of the vindication, however, of this economy, which we are able to assign, such as most extenuate the difficulty are the following.

'With respect to venomous bites and stings, it may be observed,

1. That, the animal itself being regarded, the faculty complained of is good ; being conducive, in all cases, to the defense of the animal ; in some cases, to the subduing of its prey ; and in some, probably, to the killing of it, when caught, by a mortal wound, inflicted in the passage to the stomach, which may be no less merciful to the victim, than salutary to the devourer. In the viper, for instance, the poisonous fang may do that which, in other animals of prey, is done by the crush of the teeth. Frogs and mice :might be swallowed alive without it.

2. But it will be said, that this provision, when it comes to the case of bites, deadly even to human bodies, and to those of large quadrupeds, is greatly overdone ; that it, might have fulfilled its use, and yet have been much less deleterious than it is. Now I believe the case of bites which produce death in large animals (of stings I think there are none) to be very few. The experiments of the Abbe Fontana, which were numerous, go strongly to the proof of this point. He found that it required the action of five exasperated vipers to kill a dog of a moderate size;

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but that to the killing of a mouse, or a frog, a single bite was sufficient; which agrees with the use which we assign to the faculty. The Abbe seemed to be of opinion, that the bite even of the rattlesnake, would not usually be mortal; allowing, however, that in certain particularly unfortunate cases, as when the puncture had touched some very tender part, pricked a principal nerve, for instance, or, as it is said, some more considerable lymphatic vessel, death might speedily ensue.

3. It has been, I think, very justly remarked, concerning serpents, that, whilst only a few species possess the venomous property, that property guards the whole tribe. The most innocuous snake is avoided with as much care :as a viper. Now the terror with which large animals regard this class of reptiles is its protection ; and this terror founded on the formidable revenge, which a few of the number, compared with the whole, are capable of taking. The species of serpents, described by Linnaeus, amount to two hundred and eighteen, of which thirty two only are poisonous.

4. It seems to me, that animal constitutions are provided, not only for each element, but for each state of the elements, i. e., for every climate, and for every temperature ; and that part of the mischief complained of, arises from animals (the human animal most especially) occupying situations upon the earth which do not belong to them, nor were ever intended for their habitation. The folly and wickedness of mankind, and necessities proceeding from these causes, have driven multitudes of the species to seek a refuge amongst burning sands, whilst countries, blessed with hospitable skies, and with the most fertile soils, remain almost without a human tenant. We invade the territories of wild beasts and venomous reptiles, and than complain, that we are infested by their bites and stings. Some accounts of Africa place this observation in a strong point of view. "The deserts," says Adanson, "are entirely barren, except where they are found to produce serpents ; and in such quantities, that some extensive plains are almost entirely covered with them." These are the natures appropriated to the situation. Let them

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enjoy their existence ; let them have their country. Surface enough will be left to man, though his numbers were increased a hundred-fold, and left to him, where he might live exempt from these annoyances.

The SECOND CASE, vis., that of animals devouring one another, furnishes a consideration of much larger extent. To judge whether, as a general provision, this can be deemed an evil, even so far as we understand its consequences, which, probably, is a partial understanding, the following reflections are fit to be attended to.

I. Immortality upon this earth is out of the question. Without death there could be no generation, no sexes, no parental relation, i. e., as things are constituted, no animal happiness. The particular duration of life, assigned to different animals, can form no part of the objection ; because, whatever that duration be, whilst it remains finite and limited, it may always be asked, why it is no longer. The natural age of different animals varies,-from a single day to a century of years. No account can be given of this ; nor could any be given, whatever other proportion of life had obtained amongst them.

The term then of life, in different animals, being the same as it is, the question is, what mode of taking it away is the best even for the animal itself.

Now, according to the established order of Nature,

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(which we must suppose to prevail, or we cannot reason at all upon the subject,) the three methods by which life is usually put an end to, are, acute diseases, decay, and violence. The simple and natural life of brutes is not often visited by acute distempers ; nor could it be deemed an improvement of their lot, if it were. Lot it be considered, therefore, in what a condition of suffering and misery a brute animal is placed, which is left to perish by decay. In human sickness or infirmity, there is the assistance of man's rational fellow-creatures ; if not to alleviate his pains, at least to minister to his necessities ; and to supply thee of his own activity. A brute, in his wild and natural state, does every thing for himself. When his strength, therefore, or his speed, or his limbs, or his senses fail him, he is delivered over, either to absolute famine, or to the protracted wretchedness of a life slowly wasted, by the scarcity of food. Is it, then, to see the world filled with drooping, superannuated, half-starved, helpless, and unhelped animals, that you would alter the present system of pursuit and prey ?

2. Which system is also, to them, the spring of motion and activity on both sides. The pursuit of its prey forms the employment, and appears to constitute the pleasure, of a considerable part of the animal creation. The using of the means of defense, or flight, or precaution, forms also the business of another part. And even of this latter tribe, we have no reason to suppose, that their happiness is much molested by their fears. Their danger exists continually ; and in some cases the seem to be so far sensible of it, as to provide, in die best manner they can, against it but it is only when the attack is actually made upon them, that they appear to suffer from it. To contemplate the insecurity of their condition with anxiety and dread, requires a degree of reflection which (happily for themselves) they do not possess. A hare, notwithstanding the num-ber of its dangers and its enemies, is as playful an animal as any other.

3. But, to do justice to the question, the system of animal destruction ought always to be considered in strict connexion with another property of animal nature, viz.,

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super fecundity. They are countervailing qualities. One subsists by the correction of the other. In treating, therefore, of the subject under this view, (which is, I believe, the true one,) our business will be, first, to point out the advantages which are gained by the powers in nature of a superabundant multiplication ; and then to show, that these advantages are so many reasons for appointing that system of national hostilities, which we are endeavoring to account for.

In almost all cases, Nature produces her supplies with profusion. A single codfish spawns, in one season, a greater number of eggs than all the inhabitants of England amount to. A thousand other instances of prolific gen-eration might be stated, which, though not equal to this, would carry on the increase of the species with a rapidity which outruns calculation, and to an immeasurable extent.
The advantages of such a constitution are two : -first that it tends to keep the world always full, : whilst, secondly, it allows the proportion between the several species of animals to be differently modified, as different purposes
require, or as different situations may afford for them room and food. Where this vast fecundity meets with a vacan-cy fitted to receive the species, there it operates with its whole effect ; there it pours in its numbers and replenishes the waste. We complain of what we call the exorbitant multiplication of some troublesome insects ; not reflecting g, that large portions of nature might be left void without it',
If the accounts of travelers may be depended upon, immense tracts of forests in North America would be nearly, lost to sensitive existence, if it were not for gnats. "In the thinly inhabited regions of America, in which the waters stagnate and the climate is warm, the whole air is filled with crowds of these insects." Thus it is, that where we looked for solitude and deathlike silence, we meet with animation, activity, enjoyment;. with a busy, a happy, and a peopled world. Again; hosts of mice are reckoned amongst the plagues of the northeast part of Europe; whereas vast plains in Siberia, as we learn from good authority, would be lifeless without them. The Caspian deserts are converted, by their presence, into crowds

 

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of warrens. Between the Volga and the Yaik, and in the country of Hyreania, the ground, says Pallas, is in many places covered with little hills, raised by the earth cast out in forming the burrows. Do we so envy these blissful abodes, as to pronounce the fecundity by which they are supplied with inhabitants to be an evil ; a subject of complaint, and not of praise ? Further ; by virtue of this same super fecundity, what we term destruction becomes, almost instantly, the parent of. life. What we call blights, are oftentimes legions of animated beings, claiming their portion in the bounty of Nature. What corrupts the produce of the earth to us, prepares it for them. And it is by means of their rapid multiplication, that they take possession of their pasture ; a slow propagation would not meet the opportunity.

But in conjunction with the occasional use of this fruitfulness, we observe, also, that it allows the proportion between the several species of animals to be differently modified, as different purposes of utility may require. When the forests of America come to be cleared, and the swamps drained, our gnats will give place to other inhabitants. If the population of Europe should spread to the north and the east, the mice will retire before the husband man and the shepherd, and yield their station to herds and flocks. In what concerns the human species, it may be a part of the scheme of Providence, that the earth should be inhabited by a shifting, or perhaps a circulating population. In this economy, it is possible that there may be the following advantages: When old countries are become exceedingly corrupt, simpler modes of life, purer morals, and better institutions, may rise up in new ones ; whilst fresh soils reward the cultivator with more plentiful returns. Thus the different portions of the globe come into use, in succession, as the residence of man ; and, in his absence, entertain. other guests, which, by their sudden multiplication, fill the chasm. In domesticated animals, we find the effect of their fecundity to be, that we can always command numbers; we can always have as many of any particular species as we please, or as we can support. Nor do we complain of its excess ; it being much

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easy to regulate abundance, than to supply scarcity. But then this super fecundity, though of great occasional use and importance, exceeds the ordinary capacity of Nature to receive or support its progeny. All superabundance supposes destruction, or must, destroy itself. Perhaps there is no species of terrestrial animals whatever, which would not overrun the earth, if it were permitted to mul-tiply in perfect safety ; or of fish, which would not fill the ocean : at least, if any single species were left to their natural increase, without disturbance or restraint, the food of other species would be exhausted by their maintenance. It is necessary, therefore, that the effects of such prolific faculties be curtailed. In conjunction with other checks and limits, all subservient to the same purpose, are the thinnings which take place among animals, by their action upon one another. In some instances, we ourselves ex-actly, the use of these hostilities. One species, very directly, the use of these hostilities. One species of insects rids us, of another species ; or reduces their ranks. A third species, perhaps, keeps the second within bounds ; and birds or lizards are a fence against the inordinate increase, by which even these last might infest us. In other, more numerous, and possibly more important instances, this disposition of things, although less necessary or useful to us, and of course less observed by us, may be necessary and useful to certain other species;' or even for the preventing of the loss of certain species from the universe a misfortune which seems to be studiously guarded against. Though there may be the appearance of failure in some of the details of Nature works, in her great purposes there never are. Her species never fail. The provision which was originally made for continuing the replenishment of the world, has proved itself to be effectual through a long succession of ages.

What further shows, that the system of destruction amongst animals, holds an express relation to the system of fecundity,--that they are parts indeed of one compensatory scheme,--is, that in each species the fecundity bears a proportion to the smallness of the animal, to weakness, to the shortness of its natural term of life, to the dangers and enemies by which it is surrounded.

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An elephant produces but one calf; a butterfly lays six hundred eggs. Birds of prey seldom produce more than two eggs; the sparrow tribe, and the duck tribe, frequently sit upon a dozen. In the rivers, we meet with a thousand minnows for one pike; in the sea, a million of herrings for a single shark. Compensation obtains throughout. De-fenselessness and devastation are repaired by fecundity.

We have dwelt the longer on these considerations, because the subject to which they apply, namely, that of animals devouring one another, forms the chief, if not the only instance, in the works of the Deity, of an economy, stamped by marks of design, in which the character of utility can be called in question. The case of venomous animals is of much inferior consequence to the case of and, in some degree, is also included wider it. To cases, it is probable that many more reasons belong, than those of which we are in possession.

Our FIRST PROPOSITION, and that which we have hitherto been defending, was, "that, in a vast plurality of instances, in which contrivance is perceived, the design of the contrivance is beneficial."

Our SECOND PROPOSITION is, "that the Deity has d pleasure to animal sensations, beyond what was necessary for any other purpose, or when the purpose, far as it was necessary , might have been effected by
operation of pain.

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Of bodily pain, the principal observation, no that which we have already made, and already dwelt upon, viz., " that it is seldom the object of contrivance; that when it is so, the contrivance rests ultimately in good."

To which, however, may be added, that the annexing of pain to the means of destruction is a salutary provision ; inasmuch as it teaches vigilance and caution ; both gives notice of danger, and excites those endeavors which way be necessary to preservation. The evil consequence, which sometimes arises from the want of that timely intimation of danger which pain gives, is known to the inhabitants of cold countries by the example of frost-bitten limbs, I have conversed with patients, who had lost toes and fingers by this cause. They have in general told me, that they were totally unconscious of any local uneasiness at the time. Some I have heard declare, that, whilst they were about their employment, neither their situation nor the state of the air was unpleasant. They felt no pain ; they suspected no mischief ; till, by the application. of warmth, they discovered, too late, the fatal injury which some of their extremities bad suffered. I say, that this shows the use of pain, and that we stand in need of such a monitor. I believe, also, that the use extends further that we suppose, or can now trace; that to disagreeable sensations we, and all animals, owe, or have owed, many habits of action which are salutary, but which are become so familiar, as not easily to be referred to their origin.

 

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maybe violent and frequent ; but it is seldom both violent and long-continued: and its pauses and intermissions become positive pleasures. It has the power of shedding a satisfaction over intervals of ease, which, I believe, few enjoyments exceed. A man resting from a fit of the stone or gout, is, for the time, in possession of feelings which undisturbed health cannot impart. They may be dearly bought, but still they are to be set against the price. And, indeed, it depends upon the duration and urgency of the whether they be dearly bought or not. I am far being sure, that a man is not a gainer by suffering a moderate interruption of bodily ease, for a couple of hours out of the four-and-twenty. Two very common observations favor this opinion : one is, that remissions of pain call forth, from those who experience them, stronger expressions of satisfaction and of gratitude, towards both the Author and the instruments of their relief, than are excited by advantages of any other kind : the second is, that the spirits of sick men do not sink in proportion to the acuteness of their sufferings ; but rather appear to be roused and supported, not by pain, but by the high degree of comfort which they derive from its cessation, or even its subsidency, whenever that occurs : and which they taste with a relish, that diffuses some portion of mental complacency over the whole of that mixed state of sensations in which disease has placed them.

In connexion with bodily pain may be considered bodily disease, whether painful or not. Few diseases are fatal. I have before me the account of a dispensary in the neighborhood, which states six years' experience as follows

 

Admitted . . . . . . . 6,420
Cured . . . . . . . . 5,476
Dead . . . . . . . . 234

And this. I suppose nearly to agree with what other similar institutions exhibit. Now, in all these cases, some disorder must have been felt, or the patients would not have, applied for a remedy ; yet we see how large a proportion of the maladies, which were brought forward, have either yielded to proper treatment, or, what is more probable, ceased of their own accord. We owe these

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frequent recoveries, and, where recovery does not take place, this patience, of the human constitution under many of the distempers by which it is visited, to two benefactions of our nature. One is, that she works within certain limits ; allows of a certain latitude, within which health may be preserved, and within the confines of which it only suffers a graduated diminution. Different quantities of food, different degrees of exercise, different portions of sleep, different states of the atmosphere, are compatible with the possession of health. So likewise it is with the secretions and excretions, with many internal functions of the body, and with the state, probably, of most of its internal organs. They may vary considerably, not only without destroying life, but without occasioning any high degree of inconveniency. The other property of our nature, to which we are still more beholden, is its constant endeavor to restore itself, when disordered, to its regular course. The fluids of the body appear to possess a power of separating and expelling any noxious substance which may have mixed itself with them. This they do, in eruptive fevers, by a kind of despumation, as Sydenham calls it, analogous, in some measure, to the intestine action by which fermenting liquors work the yest to the surface. The solids, on their part, when their action is obstructed, not only resume that action, as soon as the obstruction is removed, but they struggle with the impediment. They take an action as near to the true one, as the difficulty and the disorganization with which they have to contend will allow of.

Of mortal diseases, the great use is to reconcile us to death. The horror of death proves the value of life. But it is in the power of disease to abate, or even extinguish, this horror; which it does in a wonderful manner, and, oftentimes, by a mild and imperceptible gradation. Every man who has been placed in a situation to observe it, is surprised with the change which has been wrought in himself, when he compares the view which he entertains of death upon a sick-bed, with the heart-sinking dismay, with which he should some time ago have met it, in health. There is no similitude between the sensations of

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a man led to execution, and the calm expiring of a patient at the close of his disease. Death to him is only the last of a long train of changes; in his progress through which, it is possible that he may experience no shocks or sudden transitions.

Death itself, as a mode of removal and of succession, is so connected with the whole order of our animal world, that almost every thing in that world must be changed, to be able to do without it, It may seem likewise impossible to separate the fear of death from the enjoyment of life, or the perception of that fear from rational natures. Brutes are, in a great measure, delivered from an anxiety on this account, by the inferiority of their faculties ; or rather, they seem to be armed with the apprehension of death just sufficiently to put them upon the means of preservation, and no further. But would a human being wish to purchase this immunity at the expense of those mental powers which enable him to look forward to the future ?

Death implies separation : and the loss of those whom we love must necessarily, so far as we can conceive, be accompanied with pain. To the brute creation, Nature seems to have stepped in with some secret provision for their relief, under tile rupture of their attachments. In their instincts towards their offspring, and of their off-spring to them, I have often been surprised to observe how ardently they love, and how soon they forget. The pertinacity of human sorrow (upon which time also, at length, lays its softening hand) is probably, therefore, in some manner connected with the qualities of our rational or moral nature. One thing however is clear, viz., that it is better that we should possess affections, the sources of so many virtues, and so many joys, although they be exposed to the incidents of life, as well as the interruptions of mortality, than, by the want of them, be reduced to a state of selfishness, apathy, and quietism.

Of other external evils, (still confining ourselves to what are called physical or natural evils,) a considerable part come within the scope of the following observation : -The great principle of human satisfaction is engagement

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It is a most just distinction, which the late Mr. Tucker has dwelt upon so largely in his works, between pleasures in which we are passive, and pleasures in which
we are active. And, I believe, every attentive observer of human life will assent to his position, that, however grateful the sensations may occasionally be in which we are passive, it is not these, but the latter class of our pleasures, which constitute satisfaction ; which supply that regular stream of moderate and miscellaneous enjoyments, in which happiness, as distinguished from voluptuousness, consists. Now for rational occupation, which is, in other words for the very material of contented existence, there would be no place left, if either the things with which we bad to do were absolutely impracticable to our endeavors, or if they were too obedient to our uses. A world, furnished with advantages on one side, and beset with difficulties, wants, and inconveniencies on the other, is the proper abode of free, rational, and active natures, being the fittest to stimulate and exercise their faculties. The very refractoriness of the objects they have to deal with, contributes to this purpose. A world in which nothing, depended upon ourselves, however it might have suited an imaginary race of beings, would not have suited mankind. Their skill, prudence, industry ; their various arts and their best attainments, from the application of which they draw, if not their highest, their most permanent gratification's, would be insignificant, if things could be either moulded by our volitions, or, of their own accord, conformed themselves to our views and wishes. Now it is in this refractoriness, that we discern the seed and principle of physical evil, as far as it arises from that which is external to us.

Civil evils, or the evils of civil life, are much more

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easily disposed of, than physical evils : because they are, in truth, of much less magnitude ; and also because they result, by a kind of necessity, not only from the constitution of our nature, but from a part of that constitution which no one would wish to see altered. The case is this : Mankind will, in every country, breed up to a certain point of distress. That point may be different in different countries or ages, according to the established usages of life in each. It will also shift upon the scale, so as to admit of a greater or less number of inhabitants, according as the quantity of provision, which is either produced in the country, or supplied to it from other countries, may happen to vary. But there must always be such a point, and the species will always breed up to it. The order of generation proceeds by something like a geometrical progression. The increase of provision, under circumstances even the most advantageous, can only assume the form of an arithmetic series. Whence it follows, that the population will always overtake the provision, will pass beyond the line of plenty, and will continue to increase till checked by the difficulty of procuring subsistence. Such difficulty, therefore, along with its attendant circumstances, must be found in every old country; and these circumstances constitute what we call poverty, which necessarily imposes labor, servitude, restraint.

It seems impossible to people a country with inhabitants who shall be all easy in circumstances. For suppose the thing to be done, there would be such marrying and giving in marriage amongst them, as would in a few years change the face of affairs entirely: i. e., as would increase the consumption of those articles which supplied the natural or habitual wants of the country, to such a degree of scarcity, as must leave the greatest part of the inhabitants unable to procure them without toilsome endeavors; or out of the different kinds of these articles, to procure an kind except that which was most easily produced. And this, in fact, describes the condition of the mass of the community in all countries : a condition unavoidably,

 

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as it should seem, resulting from the provision which is in the human, in common with all animal constitutions, for the perpetuity and multiplication of the species.

It need not, however, dishearten any endeavors for the public service, to know that population naturally treads upon the heels of improvement- If the condition of a people be meliorated, the consequence will be, either that the mean happiness will be increased, or a greater number partake of it; or, which is most likely to happen, that both effects will take place together. There may be limits fixed by Nature to both ; but they are limits not yet attained, nor even approached, in any country of the world.

And when we speak of limits at all, we have respect only to provisions for animal wants. There are sources, and means, and auxiliaries, and augmentations of human happiness, communicable without restriction of numbers as capable of being possessed by a thousand persons as by one. Such are those which flow from a mild, contrasted with a tyrannic government, whether civil or domestic ; those which spring from religion ; those which grow out of a sense of security ; those which depend upon habits of virtue, sobriety, moderation, order ; those, lastly, which are found in the possession of well-directed tastes and desires, compared with the dominion of tormenting, pernicious, contradictory, unsatisfied, and unsatisfiable passions.

The, distinctions of civil life, are apt enough to be regarded as evils by those who sit under them; but, in my opinion, with very little reason.

In the first place, the advantages which the higher conditions of life are supposed to confer, bear no proportion in value to the advantages, which are bestowed by Nature. The gifts of Nature always surpass the gifts of fortune. How much, for example, is activity better than attendance ; beauty than dress ; appetite, digestion, and tranquil bowels, than all the studies of cookery, or than the most costly compilation of forced or far-fetched dainties !

Nature has a strong tendency to equalization. Habit, the instrument of Nature, is a great leveler; the familiarity

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which it induces, taking off the edge both of our pleasures and our sufferings. Indulgences which are habitual, keep us in ease, and cannot be carried much further. So that, with respect to the gratifications of which the senses are capable, the difference is by no means proportionable to the apparatus. Nay, so far as superfluity generates fastidiousness, the difference is on the wrong side.

It is not necessary to contend, that the advantages derived from wealth are none, (under due regulations they are certainly considerable,) but that they are not greater

greater than they ought to be. Money is the sweetener of human toil ; the substitute for coercion ; the reconciler of labor with liberty. It is, moreover, the stimulant of enterprise in all projects and undertakings, as well as of diligence in the most beneficial arts and employments.

Now, did affluence, when possessed, contribute nothing to happiness, or nothing beyond the mere supply of necessaries, and the secret should come to be discovered, we might be in danger of losing great part of the uses, which are at present derived to us, through this important medium. Not only would the tranquillity of social life be put in peril, by the want of a motive to attach men to their private concerns ; but the satisfaction which all men receive from success in their respective occupations, which collectively constitutes the great mass of human comfort, would be done away in its very principle.

With respect to station, as it is distinguished from riches, whether it confer authority over others, or be in-vested with honors which apply solely to sentiment and imagination, the truth is that what is gained by rising through the ranks of life, is not more than sufficient to draw forth the exertions of those who are engaged in the pursuits which lead to advancement, and which, in general, are such as ought to be encouraged. Distinctions of this sort, are subjects much more of competition than of enjoyment, and in that competition their use consists. It is not, as bath been rightly observed, by what the Lord Mayor feels in his coach, but by what the apprentice feels, who gazes at him, that the public is served.

 

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