« 上一頁繼續 »
all the othen by means oy to every crear infects.
gs have likewise been denied to insects. But, as respiration is necessary to every creature, and as it is carried on by means of lungs, which are found in all the other animals, we cannot doubt but insects have them likewise. They are not of the fame size, 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 air enters by the trachea, and goes out at the same place. Infects likewise have a trachea, which terminates in their lungs, but it is not of the same 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 same, and by means of these, the air is distributed to all their members.
In most insects, the intestiñes 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 inouth 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 same figure, for the excrements of some caterpillars are round, or cylindrical, and those of ou thers 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
a reservoir, which other insects have not. In this they deposite the honey which they have collected from flowers.
In the last place, it is to be remarked, that the fes males have an ovarium. This organ seems formed of a mass of fibres, which undoubtedly are veins.
What I have now observed, with regard both to the external and internal parts of infects, proclaims, in the most explicit manner, the wildom, and infinite power of the Creator. When we affit at the dis-, fertion of any of the larger animals, with what admiration does not the fight affect us! the different mem. bers, their figure, the muscles, the arteries, the veins, the lungs, the nerves, the bowels, every thing fur. prises and astonishes, for every where we discover the great and the wonderful ; but the bulk of these ani. mals is sufficient to contain such a variety of parts, and we are not furprised that they should find room there. What then ought to be our surprise, when, in diffecting the minuter insects, fuch as we are able to diflect, we discover the fame members, the fame parts as in the most enormous quadruped! What display of greatness, of wisdom, and power, in such a heap of parts, all equally perfect, and comprised in fö small a fpace! Should the most fkilful artificer aitempt to work on the fame deîgn, he might perhaps imitate the external parts of the larger insects; but how would he fail, in forming the small internat 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 of the most able workman, and can be performed, only by that infinite wisdom and power, which is the attribute of the Creator alone; the first and fole cause of all existences.
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 congue, the breait, the belly, the feet, &c. have each a particular place assigned them: is it not the same in infects? A few worms alone are destitute of breast and feet. But not only are the miembers situated in the places most convenient for them; the fame arrangement is oblervable, in the different parts of which each of these members is composed. Does not an order fo perfect announce, that the author of it is a being infinitely wise? 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 perfe&; but it is universal and invariable: it is seen in the dispoñtion of the members in man and quadrupeus; 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 obseryable in all these members, is a circumstance not less worthy of admiration. Though their number is vast, yet there is not onę that resembles another; they all differ, either in figure, in dimensions, or in some other character. How boundless must that 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 all the houses are disposed in such a manner as to form one rezular plan, we naturally conclude, that fonie person superintended the building of the town, who had judgment to plan it, and power to restrain ihe inclination of indivi. duals from building every one according to his fancy. If, notwithstanding the regularity of each particular Y
editicea ecifice, it should be observed, that they differed very much from one another, we would not fail to con. clude, that the architect was posselied 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 infect! 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 conttruction of a town, the other exerts both, a mil. lion of times, in the structure of an infinity of the molt different objects. An artist, who devises vari. ous figures for the embellishment of his work, exer. ciles his imagination, and discovers genius; and, if he executes wha: he has conceived, he then shews, that he is poflefled, at the same time, both of power ad freedom. But how great is the distance between the most perfect imagination of the ableit artificer, in beautifying his performance, and that which the Creatur liath displayed in decorating insects! Surely the deduction from these reflections is clear and natural, that insects have been formed by a Being, su. premely free, infinitely wise, and all-powerful.
The diversity which I have 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 ano. ther; and destined to form one whole. None of these limbs interrupt the motion of another ; on the contrary, they co operate together, and thus facilitate the transportation of the who'e from place to place. The internal organs are formed in such a way as to distribute the food easily to every part of
the CO? How can those that highest to
the body. We find all the vessels necessary for the secretion and distribution of the rutritive 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 fo 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 infect that exact quantity and proportion of members that are necessary to fit it for the manner of life it is deitined 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 frees? How does it. happen that chance never mistakes on this head? We find constantly, and without exception, that those in. sects which are obliged to seek their food in distant places, have the organs of fight and smell fo 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 facili. ţates their passage: and they have the apparatus proper for opening it, if it should be hard. Those which live in more folid 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 re. turn to our first conclusion : A Being all powerful and all-wise is the Creator and Preserver of insects. This is the only way in which we can sufficiently account for all these wonderful phænomena,
-'CH A P. III.