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author whatever. It is well known that some, aster having distinguished insects into several classes, have divided their work into as many parts as there are different species. Others have been content to give their observations just as they occurred without any other arrangment then chance suggested. I mail begin by making an exact and general division of insects; after which I shall treat in detail of their parts and qualities, instead of confining myself to a mere Natural history, and I will endeavour to dispose my readers to attribute to God, all those miracles that I shall lay before them.
But a compleat history of insects, must not be expected here; the thing is impossible. How is such an amazing number of small animals to be investigated? How many swim on the surface of the sea, or lurk at the bottom of the deep that we can form no idea of; who can tell the number of those that swarm in the bottom of rivers, in marshes and stagnant waters, and which never appear on the surface? How many unknown insects may there not be in those countries into which no traveller has hitherto entered ? So true is the remark of the son of Sirach!" The diversity ** of animals, is one of the most incredible and won"derful works of the Creator. However much we "may speak of them, we shall never declare them all. "Many things are hidden, greater than those we "know, and we have only seen a part of his works."
INSECTO - THEOLOGY;
C HyA P. L
There is nothing in the universe which does no^ owe its existence to some cause different from the universe itself. To this cause must be attributed the different forms of things, and their existence in one* form, rather than in another. This cannot be denied,' without obliging us to maintain, that every thing in nature, sprang from nothing. But to what would such an absurd opinion lead? Surely to two contradictions equally palpable. The first, that nothing had produced something at the very time when it was not what it was necessary it mould be, in order to its producing j the latter that some one thing had produced itself; which supposes it to have existed before its own formation.
, D * AY
As Insects make a part of those bodies that compose the universe, they are subjected, in common with every other, to this general law. 1 hey have a principle of existence distinct from themselves, a principle from which they receive their nature and form, and which retains them constantly in that very form, though it is eafy to conceive that they mijht have had a different one. For in the fame way as a painter, who works from fancy, may represent Insects whose possible existence is only imaginary, and animals of uncommon shapes; grasshoppers for instance, like thole in the Apocalypse, with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the teeth of a lion, the tail of a scorpion, or any thing still more incongruous which his imagination can suggest; in the same way might the insects which exist in nature have received from the creative principle a form, different from that they actually have, and which distinguishes them from every other living Creature.
Now the question is to know what this principle is, which hath formed insects such as they are; whether it resides originally in themselves, or if it emanates from some extrinsic power. It cannot be said to reside in themselves; in that case they would be the authors and masters of their own existence; they might change their form a-t pleasure,-they could also make themselves immutable and immortak But far from possessing this independance they are so subjected to the laws cf their species, that a flea can never produce a wasp, nor a bee a grasshopper; that the parts they are composed os grow impotent through use, change and perish; and that if by any -accident they lose a limb they cannot repair that loss,by giving themselves another.
We are acquainted only with two orders of substances, one material, the other immaterial. The material
ferial substance, being in the same circumstances with insects, is not the cause of its own existence, and cannot bestow it on any thing whatever. For the truth of this I appeal to experience. The man of most: exalted endowments in the class of material beings, whatever intelligence and industry, he may be possessed of cannot create the smallest insect. But if matter is not the principle which gives these existence, can we say that they have received it from the second sort of substances called immaterial? By no means; for immaterial substances have only a very limited power, but an insinite power is necessary to draw any thing out of nothing; consequently no created being can be the creative principle of insects, consequently likewise, in order to sind this principle, we must ascend to a supreme being who exists by his own energy, vwho cannot cease to exist, who is permanent, immutable, and who includes in himself the cause of all things, in a word to that being whom we know under the name of God.
It is also this great Being whom the Scripture points out to us, as the general cause of every thing that exists. "Lift up your eyes on high, and be"hold who hath created these things, that bringeth "out their host by number: he calleth them all by "names, by the greatness of his might, for that he
"is strong in power, not one faileth." "Lord,
"thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth, "and the sea, and all that in them is."
Insects are hot excepted from this general law; "God, fays Moses, commanded the earth to produce "living creatures after their kind, cattle, creeping "things, and beasts after their kind." Is not God then the author of Insects as well as of ether animals?