網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Lungs have likewise been denied to insects. But, as Tespiration is necessary to every creature, and as it is carried on by meins of lungs, which are found in all the other animals, we cannot doubt but insects have them likewise. They are riot of the same si4er nor the same structure in all creatures; and those of insects are larger, in proportion, than those of other animals. This organ is formed in all, of little vesicles, connected with one another. The in enters by the trachea, and goes out at the fame place. Insects likewise have a trachea, which terminates in their lungs, but it is not of the fame structure with that in other animals.. In these last, it is formed of many cartilaginous rings; in insects it is nothing but skin, which can be dilated or contracted with ease. The lungs of other animals have branches, which,, from the vena cava, disperse themselves through the substance of the lungs, in many smaller branches. Insects have the fame, and by means of these, the air is distributed to all their members; /

In most insects, the intestines are a little different from those in the other animals^ The minuteness of their bodies will not admit of so great a number. Accordingly, in many'we find nothing but a tube, extending from the mouth to the vent, as may be seen in such as are transparent; It would appear, however, that, with respect to the great gut, it is not in all of the fame figure, for the excrements of some caterpillars are round, or cylindrical, and those of others have five furrows. This could not happen but from the structure of the rectum, which is the mould that gives the fæces their figure.

Round this long tube, are many flender fibres, which answer the purpose of veins and windpipe.

Bees have, towards the extremity of the abdomen Y a

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

they deposite the honey which they have collected from flowers.

In (he last place, it is to be remarked, that the females have an ovarium. This organ seems formed df a mass of fibres7 which undoubtedly are veins.

What I have now observed, with regard both tothe external and internal parts of insects, proclaims,, in the most explicit manner, the wisdom, and infinite power of the Creator. Wbea we assist at the dissection of any of the larger animals, with what admiration does net the fight affect us! the different members, their figure, the muscles, the arteries, the veins,, the lungs, the nerves, the bowels every thing surprises and astonilhe?, for every where we discover the great and the wonderful; but the bulk of these animals is sufficient to contain such a variety of parts, and we are not surprised that they mould find room* there. What then ought to be our surprise, when, in dissecting the minuter insects, such as we are able to dissect, we discover the lame members, the fame parts as in the most enormous quadtuped! What display of greatness, of wisdom, and power, in such a heap of parts, all equally perfect, and comprised info small a space! Should the moll skilful artificer attempt to work on the same design, he might perhaps imitate the external parts of the larger insects; but how would he faiK in forming the small- internal" organs! Could he give his machine the power of spontaneous motion! Could he communicate to it the power of propagating its like? All this is beyond the power ©f the most able workman, and can be performed, only by that infinite wisdom and power, which is the attribute of the Creator alonej the first and sole cause o£ all existences* ,

[ocr errors]

We shall be the more convinced of this truth, if we observe the wonderful order and arrangement of so many parts. In the animals, different from insects, the head, the eyes, the forehead, the mouth, the teeth, the tongue, the brealt, the belly, the feet, Achave each a particular place assigned them c is it not the fame in insects? A few worms alone are destitute of breast and feet. But not only are the members situated in the places most convenient for them; the fame arrangement is observable, in the different parts of which each of these members is composed. Does not an order' Ib perfect announce, that the author of it is a being infinitely wife? If this regularity were observable only in some of'his creatures, if the propriety of it were donbtful in others, there would be some appearance of reason, in suspecting, that the wisdom of the Creator was not perfect; but it is universol and invariable: it is seen in the disposition of the members in man and quadrupeds; in the feathers of birds; in the flowers of plants; and in all the parts, both external and internal, of the most loathsome insects.

But the diversity observable in all these members, js a circumstance not less worthy of admiration.— Though their number is vast, yet there is not one that resembles another; they ail differ, either in figure, in dimensions, or in some other character. How boundless must tfiat imagination be, which, could form the plan of so many different parts, and dispose them all in such perfect regularity! When we enter a town, in which ail the houses are disposed in such a manner as to form one regular plan, we naturally conclude, that fonle person superintended the building of the town, who had judgment to pba it, and power to restrain the inclination of individuals from building every one according to his fancy. If, notwithstanding the regularity of each particular Y 2 edifice* eaifice, it should be observed, that they differed very much from one another, we would not fail to conclude, that the architect was possessed of an inventive genius, capable of imagining many plans, subordinate and subservient to the general design. But how great is the difference, between the most perfect arrangement of a town, and that of the members of the smallest • insect! How inferior is the genius which can, with a diversity in the parts, preserve the unity of the whole, only in a single thing, to that which can do so always, and in a multitude of different designs! The tormer exercises fancy and taste only, in the construction of a town, the other exerts beth, a million of times, in the structure of an infinity of thq most different objects. An artist, who devises various figures for the embellishment of his work, exercises his imagination, and discovers genius; and, if he executes what he has conceived, he then shews, that he is possessed, at the fame time, both of power a id freedom. But how great is the distance between the most perfect imagination of the ablest artificer, in beautifying his performance, and that which the Creator hath displayed in decorating insects! Surely the deduction from these reflections is clear and natural, that insects have been formed by a Being, supremely free, infinitely wise, and all-powerful.

The diversity which I haye remarked in the numbers of insects does not in the least prevent them from, possessing the most perfect harmony and proportion. We fee plainly that the body, the head, the legs, the wings of each species have been made for one another ; and destined to fprm one whole. None of thtse limbs interrupt the motion of another; on th: contrary, they co operate together, and thus facilitate the transportation of the who'e from place to place. The internal organs are for .ned in such a way as to distribute the food easily to every part of the body. We find all the vessels necessary for the secretion and distribution of the nutritive juices, and for the excretion of what is superfluous, which would otherwise prove hurtful. Can all this be the effect of blind chance? Is it possible that any thinking being can harbour, so extravagant a thought ? Is it not more agreeable to reason to attribute the cause of a structure so wonderful to a being infinitely wise, and infinitely powerful ? What other, not absolutely perfect, could fabricate a machine which displays so many characters of wisdom and power? What other could have bestowed on each insect that exact quantity and proportion of members that are necessary to fit it for the manner of life it is destined to? How could chance give feet to those that run and wings to those that fly, and have to seek their food at the top of the highest trees ? How does it happen that chance never mistakes on this head? We find constantly, and without exception, that those insects which are obliged to seek their food in distant places, have the organs pf sight and smell so keen and delicate as to discover that food afar off; but the sensibility of these organs would be useless to them without the power of motion: and accordingly they are furnished with wings fit to carry them to a distance. Those which are obliged to creep into openings in the ground, have their bodies adapted to the purpose, by being furnished with an oil which facilitates their passage: and they have the apparatus proper for opening it, if it should be hard. Those which live in more solid substances, as firm earth, roots, wood, &c. have likewise what is necessary for their way of life; their skin and wings are so hard as not to be injured by attrition'. We must therefore return to our first conclusion: A Iking all powerful and all-wife is the Creator and Preserver of insects. This is the only way in which we can sufficiently account for all these wonderful phænomena,

-CHAP. III.

« 上一頁繼續 »