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no example, that I know of, among other animals. Let us suppose, that, in ten days after conceprion, the fætus of a bitch has only attained the size of a pea: that a pea is equal to five hundred grains of land, and that a grain of sand is a million of times larger than the feminal animal of the dog, as Leewenhoek himself affirms, in his letter of the 13th July, 1685, Edit. 1696; we shall find, by calculating on thele data, that this fætus has become, in ten days, five hundred millions of times larger than it was. Such an astonishing growth will appear the more singular, that there is here no unformed mass of matter, increasing by an external accretion of parts; but, that it is, according to the same author, an organized body, with a stomach, intestines, and other parts, which 'enter into the conformation of our body, and each of which, like it, grows by intus-susception.
But, if the spermatic animals grow with such celerity in the uterus, is it not, in the fifth place, very strange, that they should not grow in the femen, although they are there immersed in their native substance, which nourishes them, and preserves their life? By what miracle does it happen, that an animal, which, in the uterus, can become, in ten days, five hundred millions of times larger than it was, cannot grow in the semen, however long it may remain there. Does not a circumstance, so incomprehensible, lead one to believe, that the animalcule and the fætus, are beings of a very different kind, and that the one, by no means proceeds from the other?
In the fixth place, it appears strange, that of so many hundred millions of animalcules, which, it is faid, enter at one time into the matrix of the larger terrestrial animals, there ihould be only one or two, or at most seven or eight, according to the species which become fætuses there. If the fætus proceeded from the fperniatic worm, we should naturally expect to find in the matrix, some days after copulation, a vast number of fætuses. But we find no such thing. All chat are found, are merely the small number of such as are destined to become perfect animals. According 10 the idea of Leewenhoek, who denies the existence of an ovarium, we cannot account for an event so little agreeable to nature, except, in supposing, that among those myriads of animalcules, there are only a few that have received the faculty of existing, or, that in the uterus, there are but few places proper for receiving and fostering those little beings: we
must likewise suppose, that these places are exceedingly small, otherwise we must believe, that a single place would be fufficient for a great number, at least for a certain time. Those who imagine, that the fætus of all animals proceeds from an egg, are likewise at a loss to extricate themselves from this difficulty. Some take it for granted, that after the egg is detached, as they pretend, from the ovariuin, and has fallen into the matrix, there is a very narrow aperture in it, at the place by which it adhered to the ovarium; that this aperture is ihut by a valve, which permits the entrance of the spermatic worms: that these worms, by a natural instinct, endeavour to enter by the aperture; that, when one has got in, its tail presses upon the valve, and Thuts the entrance against the rest, and, that this is the reafon, why there is only a single fætus in each egg, and that such a multitude of animalcula produce fo few fætuses. But all this requires another supposition, contrary to experience, namely, that the egg, which, they say, has fallen into the matrix, must be so small, that a worm, a million of times less than a grain of sand, cannot extend itfelf in it, its whole length ; for, without suppoing this, its tail could not press against the valve, and keep it shut. Now, it is very certain, that these bodies, which are taken for the eggs of the ovarium, are of a very discernible bulk, and infinite. ly exceed that of the animalcula in question. Others pretend, that the semen rises in vapour in the matrix, and that this vapour, being loaded with animalculas, penetrates to the ovarium, through the Fallopean tube; that at this time, the pores of the eggs ready for fecundation, are so open, that they permit the entrance of the animalcul:s; that one accordingly does enter, keeps itfelf there, and grows; that afterwards, the egg, become thereby heavier, detaches itself by its own weight from the ovary, and falls down into the matrix. But, must not this explanation appear exceedingly forced, when we reflect, that before it can be admitted, we must suppose, contrary to all probability, that although all the pores of the egg are open, there enters but a single animalcule; or that, if many enter, only one of them grows there?
There is something very singular in all this; and an opinion, destitute of proofs, and which, in order to be supported, must have recourse to vague and forced suppositions, is nog likely to gain ground.
dy exceed that of are of a very difcernible taken for the eggs
Let us reflect further in the seventh place, on the con. duct which this opinion obliges us to afcribe to the Creator. It presupposes that this omniscient being, in order to produce a single perfect animal, has been obliged to form so many hundred thousand imperfect beings that the number is inconceivable. Does such a conduct correspond to that which we fee reign in the other operations of nature, where all things tend to their ultimate perfection by the most direct, the simplest and shortest course?
I know that the ways of God are not as our ways; that it would be culpable temerity to condemn his works because they are not conformable to our ideas, and that tho? we do not comprehend the reasons which may have indu. ced the supreme Being to act in such a particular manner, we ought not to be the less convinced that these reasons have been conformable to his infinite wisdom. If therefore it were demonstrated, that generation takes place in the manner which Leewenhoeck and his followers pretend, far from impugning, I thould consider it as the strongest proof poflible that the ihing was so. But I know likewise on the other hand, that when on the strength of our own weak reason, we would attempt to account for the operations of nature, the relpect we owe the Creator fhould render us careful not to attribute to him a conduct which we can suppose unfuitable to the ideas we have of his adorable wifo.17; and in this view I think the system in question faulty..
It will perhaps be objected to me, that what I here condemn as a fault in the Syitem of Leewenhoeck we have nevertheless very frequent examples of in plants, which produce incomparably more feeds than are necessary for the pref:rvation of their species, and of which a great part perishes without having contributed to this purpose. But if we bestow a little attention we shall find that this exam. ple has no relation to the present case. For besides that there is no proportion between the number of spermatic worms which are produced in a single animal, and that of the feeds produced by the most fertile plants, the feeds of vegetables are not destined merely for the preferyation of the species, they are likewise destined for the nourishment of animals. They make the principal part of the food of man, and of the greater part of the food of birds ; this is a fact we know, but we do not see how the prodigious number of animalcules, which
perill in the uterus, can be of the fame use there. Add to this, that as plants have not the power of Towing their feeds in the earth, and that thus after they are thed, many of them perilh for wint of being sown, it was necessary that plants fhould produce a quantity of feed sufficient to make up for this loss; besides we may say that it any feeds perish, this hapo pens only by accident. There is hardly any feed which, when thrown into the ground, does not produce a plant ; but it is quite otherwise with fpermatic worms. If they perith it is by neceffity, and of co many hundreds of millions which enter into the place said to be destined to receive them, there are only a few which, according to the lyítem of Leeuwenhoeck, can become large animals.
Toall these difficulties which regard animals in general, there are others which respect man in particular. It is allowed that the animalcules, of which it is pretended man is formed, are living, animated beings. I ask what is the nature of the foul which animates them? Is it the soul of a brute ? Is it a soul endowed with reason? If it be the soul of a brute, then is man composed of three distinct principles, a body, the soul of a brute, and a foul endowed with reason. This is what I suppose the advocates for the system of Leeuwenhoeck will not admit, and which would indeed be an opinia on too singular to be admitted without proof or foundation. But if it is a rational foul, and the same which animates our bodies, as Leeuwenhoeck makes no difficulty in averring; can we conceive, that in order to form our bodiy, the least noble part of us, God created so many' myriads of ration, al souls, all except one or two destined to destruction ? Would that accord with the notions we entertain of his infi. nite wisdom? I shall be told perhaps, that while these souls reside in the animalcuies, they have not yet acquired reaa son, and that they do not acquire it but by degrees from the knowledge the man receives as he grows up; at least it is thus that a disciple of Wolfius would reason. But this would not remove all the difficulty. The foul of the animalcule would always be ellentially the same with that of man ; it would always be a soul capable of receiving the perception of objects as they should be preferited to it, and of reflecting on those objects. All the difference would be, that in the body of the animalcule thole ohjcts would be presented to it fewer in number and more obicurely; but this defect, which proceeds from the condition and imperfection of the body
in which it is found, does not diminish the intrinsic value of the soul, which would always be capable of reason, and in this respect a being very superior to inatter. This is not all; thote fouls being endowed with reason, or at least capable of reason, and the same which animates us, they would also be immortal. What would be their condition after this life? A Protestant might find in the fatisfaction of Christ, and in the divine mercy, a means of salvation : but what would those of the Church of Rome do with them? According to the principles of their doctrine, they would deprive of eternal happiness, and banith to a place similar to what they call the Limbus of the Fathers, those which had r?ceived existence in the body of some one of their religion; for to save them is impossible, as they have not been baptized. And for those who have had the mistortune to be placed in persons born out of the bosom of this Church, I have no doubt but they would damn them without redemption. Here then for a member of the Church of Rome who should adopt the fyftem of Leeuwenhoeck, the number of the Reprobate, who have never known good nor ill, becomes a thousand million of times greater than that of thole who have become so by their own crimes; and yet the number of the Blefied is not encrcafed by a fingle individual. What a horrible idea! and how little it accords with the sentiment which we ought to entertain of the goodness, mercy, and even justice of the Being of beings ! I believe if Mr Andri had confider:d this when he wrote in favour of Leeuwenhoeck's system, the pen would have fallen from his hand and he would have fuppreffed that part of his work. Since then the system we have been examining seems to be founded merely on corjecture without any proof; that it appears repkure with difficulties, and contrary to probabi. lity ; that it is derogatory to the ideas we ought to entertain of the perfections of the divine majeity, I think we may reasonably refuse to adopt it; or at least not till fome folid proofs have been adduced in its support. In the mean time, the discovery of the animalcules we have been talking of, furnishes us with a noble opportunity of admiring the wonders of the Creator, who has thus formed the Jarger animals, not only to serve the final purposes of their deitination, but to be, without knowing it, as so many worlds people with an infinite multitude of inhabitants.