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which they apprehend the presence and perceive the actions of a few objects, that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and observation turn within a very narrow circle. But as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know every thing in which he resides, infinite space gives room to infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to omniscience.
Were the soul separate from the body, and with one glance or thought should start beyond the bounds of the creation, should it for millions of years continue its progress through infinite space with the same activity, it would still find itself within the embrace of its Creator, and encompassed round with the immensity of the Godhead. While we are in the body, he is not less present with us because he is concealed from us. "Oh that I knew where I might find him? (says Job). Behold I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him : on the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him : he hideth himself on the right hand that I cannot see him. In short, reason as well as revelation assure us, that he cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding he is undiscovered by
In this consideration of God Almighty's omnipresence and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanishes. He cannot but regard every: thing that has being, especially such of his creatures, who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occasion; for as it is imposa
sible he should overlook any of his creatures ; so we may be confident that he regards, with an eye of mercy, those who endeavour to recommend themselves to his notice, and in unfeigned humility of heart think themselves unworthy that he should be mindful of them.
PROVIDENCE PROVED FROM ANIMAL INSTINCT.
I must confess I am infinitely delighted with those speculations of nature which are to be made in a country life; and as my reading has very much lain among books of natural history, I cannot forbear recollecting, upon this occasion, the several remarks which I have met with in authors, and comparing them with what falls under my own observation; the arguments for Providence, drawn from the natural history of animals, being, in my opinion, demonstrative.
The make of every kind of animal is different from that of every other kind ; and yet there is not the least turn in the muscles or twist in the fibres of any one, which does not render them more proper for that particular animal's way of life, than any other cast or texture of them would have been.
The most violent appetites in all creatures are lust and hunger: the first is a perpetual call upon them to propagate their kind; the latter to preserve themselves.
It is astonishing to consider the different degrees of care that descend from the parent of the
young, so far as is absolutely necessary for the leaving a posterity. Some creatures cast their eggs as chance directs them, and think of them no further, as insects, and several kind of fish: others, of a nicer frame, find out proper beds to deposit them in, and there leave them, as the serpent, the crocodile, and ostrich: others hatch their eggs and tend the birth, until it is able to shift for it
What can we call the principle, which directs every different kind of bird to observe a particular plan in the structure of its nest, and directs all of the same species to work after the same model? It cannot be imitation ; for though you hatch a crow under a hen, and never let it see any of the works of its own kind, the nest it makes shall be the same, to the laying of a stick, with all the nest of the same species. It cannot be reason; for were animals endued with it to as great a degree as a man, their buildings would be as different as ours, according to the different conveniences that they would propose to themselves. · Is it not remarkable, that the same temper of weather which raises this general warmth in ani. mals, should cover the trees with leaves, and the fields with grass, for their security and concealment, and produce such infinite swarms of insects for the support and sustenance of their respective broods?
Is it not wonderful, that the love of the parent should be so violent while it lasts, and that it should last no longer than is necessary for the preservation of the young ?
The violence of this natural love is exemplified
by a very barbarous experiment; which I shall quote at length, as I find it in an excellent author, and hope my readers will pardon the mentioning such an instance of cruelty, because there is nothing can so effectually show the strength of that principle in animals of which I am here speaking. "A person, who was well skilled in
dissections, opened a bitch, and as she lay in the . most exquisite torture, offered her one of her
young puppies, which she immediately fell a licking; and for the time seemed insensible of her pain: on the removal she kept her eye fixed on it, and began a wailing sort of cry, which seemed rather to proceed from the loss of her young one, than the sense of her own torments.'
But notwithstanding this natural love in brutes is much more violent and intense than in rational creatures, Providence has taken care that it should be no longer troublesome to the parent than it is useful to the young : for so soon as the wants of the latter cease, the mother withdraws her fondness, and leaves them to provide for themselves : and, what is a very remarkable circumstance in this part of instinct, we find that the love of the parent may be lengthened out beyond its usual time, if the preservation of the species requires it; as we may see in birds that drive away their young, as soon as they are able to get their livelihood, but continue to feed them, if they are tied to the nest, or confined within a cage, or by any other means appear to be out of a condition of supplying their own necessities.'
This natural love is not observed in animals to ascend from the young to the parent, which is not at all necessary for the continuance of the species : nor indeed in reasonable creatures does it rise in any proportion, as it spreads itself downwards; for in all family affection, we find protection granted, and favours bestowed are greater motives to love and tenderness, than safety, benefits, or life received.
One would wonder to hear sceptical men disputing for the reason of animals, and telling us it is only our pride and prejudices that will not allow them the use of that faculty.
Reason shows itself in all occurrences of life; whereas the brute makes no discovery of such a talent, but what immediately regards his own preservation, or the continuance of his species. Animals in their generation are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass. Take a brute out of his instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of understanding.–To use an instance that comes often under observation : • With what caution does the hen provide herself a nest in places unfrequented and free from noise and disturbance! When she has laid her eggs in such a manner that she can cover them, what care does she take in turning them frequently, that all parts may partake of the vital warmth! When she leaves them to provide for her necessary sustenance, how punctually does she return before they have time to cool, and become incapable of producing an animal! In the summer you see her giving herself greater freedoms, and quitting her care for above two hours together; but in winter, when the rigour of the season would