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maintain that the plague is owing to indisposition in the human body, caused by worms ; yet I do not deny but that a vast quantity of insects may give rise to the plague or other similar diseases. Histo. ry is full of such relations, and, as able philosophers' have found the thing probable, I consider it as very possible. Indeed, when that innumerable multitude of enemies has perished and covered the earth with carcases, it is natural to suppose that there will issue from them certain volatile particles which being dispersed through the air, enter into our bodies by ref piration, and disturb their economy.
CTS CA US
OF THE INJURIES WHICH INSECTS CAUSE TO O.
INSECTS do not only make war on other insects, as we see those that are most useful to man,such as bees, preyed upon by wasps and hornets, but cattle are also exposed to their afsaulis. Incessantly attacked by these insatiable creatures, the larger animals receive wounds from their sting, which penetrate to the blood. Some attach themselves to the orifice of the wound and fuck the liquor which diftils from it; others are not content with a single fting, but infli& the wound several times. . Such is that sort of fly whose dart is. strong enough to pierce the skin of these animals. There it introduces its eggs, which cause those strange G g 2 .
tumours formerly supposed, by superstition, to be the effect of forcery.
Beasts likewise nourish in their bowels insects of several sorts. Few people are ignorant thac horses which feed in meadows swallow worms while they brouze the grass. These pretty much resemble the feed of a gourd, except that their body is intersect. ed with rings by which they can shorten or extend themselves : they attach themselves strongly to the superior orifice of the stomach of the animal, and move, only to mix with the aliment. Dogs, bem fides these gourd-shaped worms, have likewise ano. ther kind, which are so flender, that a great number of them together have the appearance of a clue of thread. Cattle in general are very much affected by worms; they lose their flesh, and often die in spite of The most efficacious remedies. Another poison con. cealed under the grass, is a sort of bug called Bupestris by Pliny, which makes the body of the animal swallowing it swell till it burst. To avoid repetition, I shall not here mention any thing of the diseases which leeches cause in animals when swallowed with their drink; and I shall conclude with observing that the mortality in sheep, a circumstance so interesting to the proprietor and to the shepherd, and which too often deceives the vigilance of the one, and the skill of the other, proceeds most frequently from insects which devour the liver of these animals to such a degree, that the destruction of that part neceffarily causes the death of the aninial.
CH A P. IV..
CH A P. IV.
THE DEVASTATIONS MADE BY INSECTS ARE SO. MANY MARKS OF THE POWER, THE JUSTICE, THE WISDOM, AND EVEN OF THE GOODNESS or God.
Of all the reflections I have hitherto made, none have been aimed so much åt atheism as those I propose to introduce in this chapter. I do not doubt but I shall offend its partizans; but if they will for a little unloose the bandage with which they voluntari. ly blind themselves, and deign for a moment to hear me without prejudice, I do not despair of thew. ing them truths which they have hitherto been ig. norant of. I know that truths are odious to them, and that with them obftinacy is set against reason; however I shall venture to speak to them in its fav. our. Those who acknowledge the Scripture as a book containing the facred deposit of the word of God are struck with admiration at the thought of the prodigious number of animals which the power of God collected in the ark. The infidel laughs at this and treats it as a fable: but he does not consider that things equally surprising happen every day under our eyes : do we not fee for instance, that certain kinds of insects, after having collected in myriads, fometimes pass over seas, and cause famine and desolation in distant lands? What principle leads them thither?
Is it reason or instinct ? Be it either the one of the other, I ask the atheist from whence they have received it? If he proceeds step by step it is impossible but he must remount to the supreme cause whence this principle, whatever it may be, originally derives its own existence, But let us go a little farther; these insects, not withstanding their feeble constitution, carry their depredations into a country affording but a moderate harvest, while they spare another which promised them a much more abundant foil. What is the cause of this election ? Is it determined by judgement; or by chance ? Neither one nor the other can be attributed to insects, because they are in. capable of judgement, and becaufe they act only from à cause determinate and necessary. But once more, what is that cause ? It is that which hath bestowed existence on all beings visible and invisible : it is God according to the man of reason; it is chance according to the atheist. I wish much that one of those subline geniuses who doubt of every thing; é. ven of their own existence; would tell me what is chance. 'It is nothing but a name devoid of sense, a word signifying nothing, a term to cover ignorance, a chimerical being to which is attributed what belongs solely to the powerful Architect of the universe. Atheisis accuse us of weakness; but have we not greater reason in this case to treat them as madmen, who adopt the doubtful for the probable, falfhood for truch, impossibility for reality? Is it then degra. ding to acknowledge a God? Is it dangerous to serve him? Is it dishonourable to humanity to be. lieve that he is the creator of mankind? Is it to despoil ourselves of our rights to confess that we are indebt. ed to him for every thing? Is it to rank ourselves with the brutes to allow that it is he who has forin. ed them? It is the province of reafon to answer these questions; and if I appeal to conscience I am mistaken, if it would not declare openly that the
wounds inflicted on us by insects either on our bodies or on the goods we poffefs, proceed from an Almighty hand which knows when to strike, and which cures when it sees fit. What a sname is it for man that the vilest animals of the earth should teach him to remember God, and to respect his
The justice of the supreme being displays itself in the punishment of the crimes of a whole nation. He excites against them voracious enemies which swal. low up all expectations from the fruits of the earth. This is founded on the authority of Scripture. A. mong other maledictions with which the deity threatned the Israelites if they disobeyed his voice, this is not one of the least; DEUT. xxviii. 38." Thou shalt carry much feed out into the field, but shalt gather little in; for the locuit shall consume it."? Such in effé&t was the instrument he made use of to punish the iniqui. ties of that people. loel i. 5. " The locuft hath eaten what the palmer-worm hath left ; and that which the locust hath left, hath the canker.worm eaa ten; and that which the canker worm hath left, bath the caterpillar eaten.” This chastisement was as real as the threat had been positive : but as famine awaited the crime, plenty fucceeded repentance; loel ii. 25. 26. “I will restore to you the years that the locụst hath eaten, the canker-worm and the caterpillar and the palmer-worm, my great army which I fent among you. And ye shall eat in pienty.” Of the different plagues with which God visited the Jews, thiswas always one of the most considerable. When the armies and the chiefs trangreffed his commands, he sent a. gainst them a host of foes which human power was totally unable to resist. “ I have smitten you with blasting and mildew ; when your gardens and your vineyards, and your figtrees, and your olive trees increased the palıner-worm devoured them. Amos iv. 9.