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ber is not small. However, that my readers may made more fully acquainted with this part ot' the subject I (hall detail in this chapter, what my own observation, as well as the writings of various authors erf" reputation have taught me with regard to the number of species included in each of the classes under which they 1 have arranged infects.
By this means, it will be easy to form an estimare by calculation of the prodigious numbers which must be generated annually.
The species of aquatic vermes without feet, which are known to me amount to - 18 Sea stars, - - - 105
Vermes, not aquatic^ - 37
Insects with two feet, * ,-2
six feetj - - 69
eight feet, • 99
ten feet, * - *4
twelve feet, - 1
fourteen feet, • 6,
above sixteen feet, ■» 26s
According to the division I have made
Those of insects with four such wings, - 69
The sum total of these numbers is, - 765
Now let us take a single female of each of these 765 species, and let us suppose that she anually gives birth to ten insects of her kind, which cannot surely be
an an exaggerated supposition, firce great numbers of those animals lay eggs by hundreds; the 765 sema'es would produce the sirst year 7,650, the second 70, Jjoq, th; third 765,000, and so progressively.
Observe,that among the insects without wings which I have just enumerated, I have made no mention of maggots, caterpillars, aplvdes ,&c. which transform themselves into winged insects. How many other sott6 of insects might not be found in different authors unknown .to me, or whom I have not,an opportunity of consulting! might not my calculation be insinitely encreased by 'hose that live in uninhabited countries, at the bottom of rivers, lakes and seas? If all these were known, surely we would sind their numbers almost insinite.
But if all these insects multiplied every year ac. cording to the proportion ilated above, and that this took place, without interruption, for sive or six years, what a prodigious number would not there then be in the world! What frightsul devastations would they not occasion 1 The ravages which a single army cf locusts commits, astonishes and alarms us; but with what astonishment and alarm would we not be effected, were we to behold the mischies's which many hundred armies of insects, of different species, would occasion, as numerous, and as dreadful as locusts!
The number of animals which this terraqueous globe of ours's capable of sustaining, is determined by the extent of its surface. If in one year they wore to multiply to twice or three times their usual number, the productions of the earth, proportioned to its surface, not being sufficient to maintain them, they would either die of hunger, or prey upon one another. In order to prevent such an inconvenience, God hath wisely set bounds to the lise and multiplication of ani
G % malsi mals, Those which live long are not prolific, so that the earth is not incommoded with their species. But it is otherwise with those whose lives are short. Accordingly insects which live but for a short time, produce .multitudes of young. This numerous multiplication is likewise necessary for them, as many of their eggs perish by the injuries of the weather, and many serve for food, to other animals. So wife an ordination prevents the earth from being desolated by a greater number of animals than it can maintain, and preserves a just proportion amongst its various inhabitants.
It is not without justice, that the Scriptures give to God the title of Lord of Hosts. He is the Sovereign of legions of angels, of the armies of Heaven; of* that multitude of birds which it has been supposed exceed five hundred species; of the fishes of the sea, and of the waters, of which one thousand different species are known, and of those tribes of animals and serpents, the species of which amount to one hundred and fifty. However numerous these armies may be, those of the different species of insects do not yield to them in that respect. "Lift up your eyes on high, "and behold who haih created these things, that tl bringeth out their host by number: he cal"leth them all by names, by the greatness of his ** might, for that he is strong in power, not one V faileth." Isa. Xl. 26.
God has not manifested his power only in the creation of this almost infinite multitude of insects, and other animals, but his wisdom is also conspicuous. We have observed that a too great multiplication would desolate the earth, which would not then be, able 10 maintain them; hut he has ordered it so that, there is al wars a jult proportion, never too many nor too few. Without this wife provision we mi^ht from tiiae to time lose ce; tain species of animals while
others pthcrs might multiply to such a degree as to become really hurtful. Can a balance so equal, and in which we discover so much wisdom be the work of blind chance? Surely not: what is left to chance is never fixed, never ■ regular. But here we behold a constant and invariable proportion which can be nothing but the effect of a design premeditated, and of a plan executed by an all wise „and an almighty power. C H A P. V.
How many means has not the God of armies in store for chastising the human race! All his legions are ready to fly at his command to execute his orders. To mention only the army of infects, how many means can he not employ to humble the pride of weak mortals! These noxious creatures sometimes attack the greatest monarchs on their thrones, they desolate our fields, infest our houses, and lead famine and death in their train. 1 hough necessary to a certain degree, their excess is always pernicious. We should be in perpetual fear, did not we know that the Being who regulates their fecundity, loves us, and will not permit them to multiply beyond their proper bounds. We must not however flatter ourselves too much. "All things work together "for good to the godly) but to sinners they are turn"ed into evil. Fire, and hail, and famine and death, "all these were created for vengeance; the teeth of "wiid beasts and scorpions, serpents and the sword, f punishing the wicked to destruction. They rejoice ** in his commandment, and are ready upon earth, f when need is, and when his time is come, to obey
his word." Ecclesiasticus xxxix. 27. &c.
Of The Respiration Of Insects.
^eshratton is that action of the lungs by which, the air enters the bodies of animals and is expelled again' without intermission. It is one of the most: important functions of animal life, and without which no creature could subsist ; accordingly we find that every thing which lives respires, or performs some function nearly approaching to respiration. It was the necessity of this continual mo'ion which determined the Creator to form in living creatures, (hose admirable organs which perfqrm it. It is the fame necessity too which makes us generally confound respiration with life, and consider these things as so strictly combined that they can never exist apart. It is not merely in common language, that these two terms are considered as fynonimous; the Scripture itself often uses them indifferently, Moses, meaning to indicate the destruction of al| animals by the waters of the deluge, fays that "all "flesh died that moved upon the eatth, both of "fowl and of cattle, and of beast, and of every "thing that creepeth upon the earth, and of every • man ; all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, "of all that was in the dry land died." Gen, vii. 2i,2 2. David also expresses himself in the same manner, speaking of the death of animals; "if thou takest away their breath, they die and re«« turn to their dust." Psal. civ. 29. St Paul,