ePub 版

Every one knows that mites and maggots are found in cheese. They are seen in the skins of dead beasts, and in their flesh, where large flies iay their eggs, which afterwards change into an animal like that which lajd them. Although insects are not fond of fat or oily substances, they sometimes howeyer loage in bacon, which haih lost some of its fat by being lmoaked. Lastly, it is but too well known that moths lodge in cloth, in paper, and in books.

How admirable is the providence of God [ He hath not only provided a habitation for man, but with infinite wildom hath likewise taken care to furnish, for every lpecies of animal he hath created, a suitable and appropriate place. They are all devoid' of reason, and yet there is not one of them that is not endowed with a natural instinct which leads it to inhabit the places destined for it, where it finds the food which best agrees with it. Can ire be surprised at this? He who has endowed •hern with this instinct is the fame, " who hath 'planted the Cedars of Lebanon, where the . 'birds make their nests, who hath given the fir 'tree as an house for the stork, the high hills as a ;t refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the

"conies. Ps. civ. 17,18. At his command

"doth the eagle mount up and make her nest on "high, she dwelleth, and abideth on the rock, from f' whence she seeketh the prey; for her eyes behold "afar off." Jon. xxxix. 27,29. "God doth V great things which we cannot comprehend, he "makes the beasts go into dens, and remain in their t* places." Job. Xxxvij. 5. 8.

What inference ought we to draw from this paterpal care which providence hath taken to provide a habitation for all its creatures? It is very plain. If pod hath provided with so much goodness for the


wants of the smallest infect, and furnished it with a lodging convenient for it, ought we to fear that he ,will neglect or abandon us? Are we not of more value than these little creatures? Should it happen, that on account of our perseverance in the faith we fliould be exposed to persecution, and that those who persecute us, should force us to fly from our country, cur houses and our homes, the Lord of the Universe will provide a place for us to retire to. Of this we have lately had an example in the persons of the Saltzburghers. These poor people, being driven fro'm their habitations for the fake of the gospel, have not wandered hither and thither without knowing how to provide for themselves. The Lord of heaven and earth made them find an asylum in many places, even in the bosom of America. Different sovereigns took pleasure in affording a retreat to people whom their cruel country had expelled. Should the persecution be so violent as to present no alternative between losing life and renouncing the gospel, let us not hesitate. Let us continue firm in the faith; persuaded that our body alone will return to the dull, but that our souls, redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, will be received into those (everlasting habitations which God hath prepared for the faithful after death. 'In my Father's house,' faith Jesus

* Christ to his disciples,' are many mansions: had it f not been so, I would have told you; I go to pre.* pare a place for you; and when I am gone and 'have prepared a place for you, I will come again, f and take you with me, that where I am, there you

* may be also.' John Xiv. 2,3.

May we not likewise infer, from what has been said of the spermatic animals of which man is formed, and of that multitude of insects which live on us both within and without, how ill it becomes us to be proud? A creature whichperhaps derives itsoriginsrom

an an insect so small as not be discoverable by our senses, and which serves as food to such myriads of others, cannot be too humble or too sensible of its own wrerchtdnels. Worms make as it were a part of ourselves; they enter our bodies with the firlt food we take, even in the womb, and from the common mother os' all mankind, have perpetuated themselves continually from generation to generation. At our birth wearenot delivered from them; the milk and other aliments we take are impregnated with th^m. They insinuate themselves into our bodies, which become for them a*» fort of moving house where they grow, and feed, and multiply. As God has made no new creation, these insects must undoubtedly have been formed at the beginning of the world; but I will not fay that they were created to inhabit man. If they were, God has endowed them with the qualities necessary for living in our bodies without hurt to us, or inconvenience to themselves. The food destined for them is perhaps a superfluity, the abundance of which would be hurtful to man. At any ra'e, God does nothing without a reason; and if he meant that animals should live within us, we must believe that they are necessary for our welfare. This we are sure of, that they are so deeply rooted in our bodies that the species has been preserved there from the beginningof the world without perilhing or being incommoded by the place they inhabit. Thus do wretched mortals carry in their bosom, millions of enemies ready to devour their bodies the moment the foul quits them. None are excepted from this general law, they no more respect the carcase of a lord, A prince or a' king, than the lowest of the human race. Kings may defend themselves against the attacks of their" enemies by opposing formidable armies ; but can they resist those legions of infects! And who after this, does not feel his own wretchedness? Who will not exclaim with one ol the friends cf Job?" The

"moon "moon and the stars are not pure in the fight of* "God; how then can he be clean that is born of a "woman ? man that is a worm, and the son of man "that is but a worm r" Job Xxv. 4-6.


Of The Motions Of Insects.

It is worthy of admiration that the faculty of motion is diversisied in as many disserent ways as it hath' pleased God to create beings. The course of the Sun and the Moon, and Stars is sixed and invariable ; the Sea has its motion of flux and reflux in a manner peculiar to itself; and all animals have "in general one fort of motion proper to their species and adapted to their wants. Some move in a straight line$ others like lizards proceed in a winding line. The motion of snails is very flow, they glide along almost imperceptibly by gluing their body to the ground on which they creep, by means of a flimy liquor they are abundantly provided witn. Frogs move in a singular manner, and can leap to a great distance by means of their hind legs. The little green frogs called GraiJJets by the French, -creep with ease along the' most polished sursaces, and sind a sort of steps where We can scarcely perceive the smallest roughness. The manner in which serpents advance is very remarkable} they have neither wings nor legs to help


their motion ; they move however at pleasure, sometimes quick, sometimes flow. The rings of the hinder part of their body contrasting those of the fore part dart forward, and draw after them the rest os the body. What agility do not fishes discover in their various movements? They swim to every side with equal facility, darting sometimes upwards and sometimes downwards with the velocity of lightning. The wings of birds support them in the air in which, they move in all directions and cleave it with the greatest rapidity. The mole, blind and without a guide, makes itself a road under ground. This vast variety, which is observable in the motions of different species of animals, has appeared so remarkable to many authors, that they have thought it worthy of their particular attention } but as they have hot entered at large upon the motion of insects, I hope it will not be useless to take some notice of it here* and to impart my observations on the subject to the readen

The motion of insects varies according to the element they inhabit. Those which live in water move in one way; and those which continue always on land in another. Besides, each species has a motion peculiar to itself. In the water some swim in a straight line, moving their head alternately to the right or left side, while their tail keeps a corefponding but opposite.motion, and thus the animal always preserves the figure of the letter S. This is the cafe with the larvae of the common gnat. Others swim from one side to another, advancing sometimes in a straight line, sometimes describing a circle or some other curve. Thus Swammerdam observed three different ways of swimming in the. Monoculus Pulex, first in a right line like a fish; secondly, by an irregular motion like the flight of a sparrow, and thirdly by a sort of tumbling like some pigeons. Some spring in the . • .' M water

« 上一頁繼續 »