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first established. Vegetables have continued to preserve and multiply themselves By their feed, and insects by their eggs. Can we doubt then that God included insects in the number of those animals to which he gave his benediction after he had created them? The command to encrease, to multiply and replenish the earth, was given to them no less than to the other species of living creatures- And if it was given to them, must they not be subject to the same laws, and perpetuate themselves in the fame manner?
If we attend to the foregoing reasoning we shall be easily persuaded that insects possess all the parts necessary for generation; that there is among them different sexes; that they pair, and that they enjoy all the necessary organs for the formation and preservation of their ova. To these I add another observation, which is, that if Insects were ingendered in the manner contended for by those antient Philosophers, we should every day see new species. The action of the Sun on plants and putrid substances is not so uniform bftt it would often vary' its products, and it would therefore be astonishing if we did not every day see legions of unknown Insects.
But let not these reflections on the origin of insects be regarded with contempt. It is of more importance than at first sight it seems, to be acquainted with the source of multiplication is these little animals. After we are once convinced that they produce themselves by natural means, inseparable from their species, we can declare war against the ancients, we can combat their adherents, and refute those ideas which they have promulgated at the expence of the glory of the Creator. If insects arose from putrefaction, fermented by the heat of the Sun, the fame thing might be the cafe with other Animals and even with mankind*
The The one is not more impossible than the other; pay there would be a necessity that the thing should actually happen in order to preserve uniformity in the economy of nature. The partisans of the system however, cannot bring a singleprobable fact to shew that the first man was formed either by a concourse of atoms, or by the heat of the Sun. How than can they pretend to assign such an origin to Insects whose organs and structure are not less admirable than those of the human body? But we have said enough to convince any reasonable mind that creation is the work of a power different from any thing that falls under the observation of our senses. This truth is obvious to the slightest reflection, to wit, that all animals at present existing have descended by regukr generation from those which originally received from the hand of God, their figure,-their form, their parts, their life and their faculties.
Definition Of An Insect.
Jn oTder to give an accurate description of insects we ought to be intimately acquainted with them; but we are so short sighted, our intellects are so limited, that in general we only fee objects by halves. A little knowledge costs us an infinite deal of labour, and sometimes the subjects we endeavour to get acquainted with present unsurmountable obstacles to our research. This is the cafe with insects, so that E 2 while while we confine ourselves to describe their external parts, it is but just that allowance should be made for our defects.
There is a strong analogy between insects and plants. The latter originate from a feed which is nothing but a husk in which plants, however large they may be when grown, are found entire: Insects issue from an egg enveloped in jts shell, which encloses them in all their proportions. Plants grow daily by the accession of alimentary particles; inr sects are developed, swell and increase by means of a nutritive juice. Piants at first put forth a stem, and afterwards cloathe themselves with leaves j insects begin by appearing in the farm of a worm, and then acquire wings. The leaves of plants are full of nerves, which diyide into a multitude of ramifications; the wings of insects haye likewise a vast number of similar nerve?. Leaves differ from one another in form, and i;i the sinuations of their margin; wings, likewise are varied by their configuration, and by the manner in which their extremities are indented. Plants push out flower-buds. Infects become Nymphs and Chrysalids. As those buds after having flowered give fruit in their maturity; nymphs and chrysalids after a certain time produce perfect insects, Lastly, as fruits contain the feeds proper for perpeT mating the species of plant which produces them, insects when arrived at their state of perfection carry also within them the feed from which similar infects are to be generated.
Notwithstanding this striking conformity between plants and insects, the latter must not be ranged in, the class of vegetables. They are an order of beings higher in the scale than plants, and we cannot hesitate in classing them with animals. 'One of our chief reasons for placing them in this rank is- their being capable of voluntary motion, whereas plants are rooted to one spot. They have a power of going in search of food at their pleasure; but vegetables can only draw theirs from the spot on which they are placed.
Let it be attended to in general that God hath so restrained the operations of nature that, of the three kingdoms of w hich it is composed, none of them can encroach on the rights of another. We never sea animals become plants, nor plants degenerate into foflils. All maintain the rank which the Creator hath assigned them without being able to quit it, It is remarkable, however, that the' matter of which these three kingdoms are composed is the fame, and that it differs only in the arrangement which the wisdom of God hath thought proper to give it. The; Scriptures do not suffer us to be ignorant of what that matter is. "The earth was without form and f void, and the spirit of God moved on the face of
the waters." Gen. 1. 2. These then are the principles of which God composed the three kingdoms of nature. Of the elements of earth and water, are produced minerals, plants and animals of every kind. Of the combinations which the Creator made of th.se, we see grow, the herb bearing seed, the *• fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind; the mas' ving creature, that hath life, and fowl that fly af* bove the earth in the open firmament of Heaven^ i* and every living creature that moveth." We may go farther, and fay that all things originate from, water, since the sacred writers have assured us that the earth was composed of it, by the poWer of the Creator. "He commanded the waters under the Hea"vens to be gathered together unto one place, and the W dry land to appear; and it was so, and God called "the dryland earth." 1 The earth, says St Peter, y. rose out of the water, and it subsists in the water «* by the word of God." The consequence to be drawn from this is, that the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature differ from one ano'her only accidentally. Indeed it may be said that minerals are only fixed vegetables; that vegetables are volatile minerals and fixed animals; lastly that animals are volatile vegetables that can transport themselves from one place to another according as they have occasion. The whole of these bodies luster continual changes; vegetables serve for food to animals, and are converted by digestion into the substance of the animal which they nourish. This animal dies and returns to the kingdom of fossils since it is changed into earth, and then rises again in the form of a vegetable. Minerals likewise serve for the food of plants. Vapours exhale from the bosom of the earth, which insinuating themselves through the roots of vegetables, centribute to their growth j and in this way minerals become plants.
These continual transformations evidently shew that the matter of which the three kingdoms are com-i posed is the fame. But this is still more sensibly per** ceived in the dissolution of these bodies. Every thing that exists is composed of the same matter into which if resolves itself; this is a principle that is not contested. What we find then in the dissolution of bodies ought to pass for the matter of which they are composed. Now according to this idea we shall find that plants and animals are formed of water and of earth; for, in the dissolution which takes place daily in these bodies, they at first resolve themselves into water by the corruption of their particles, and when that humidity is evaporated there remains nothing but a mass of earth. But further we may venture to affirm that it would be imposible by art to" dispose minerals to undergo the first effects of this dissolu