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Saturday, O&ober 25
Inde Hominum pecudumque genus, vitæque
volantum, Et que marmoreo fert monftra fub equore pontus.
HOUGH there is a great
deal of Pleasure in contemT oplating the material World,
by which I mean that Sy
Item of Bodies into which Nature has so curiously wrought the Mass of dead Matter, with the several Relations which those Bodies bear to one another; there is still, methinks. iometning more wonderful and surprizing in Contemplations on the World of Life, by which I mean all those Animals with which every part of the Universe is furnished. The material World is only the Shell of the Universe: The World of Life are its Inhabitants,
IF we consider these parts of the material World which lie the nearest to us, and are therefore subject to our
Obfervations and Enquiries, it is amazing to consider the Infinity of Animals with which it is stocked. Every part of Matter is peopled : Every green Leaf fwarms with Inhabitants. There is scarce a single Humour in the Body of a Man, or of any other Animal, in which our Glasses do not discover My riads of living Creatures. The Surface of Animals is also covered with other Animals, which are in the same manner dhe Bafis of other Animals that live upon it; inay, we find in the most folia Bodies, as in Marble it self, innumerable Cells and Cavities that are crouded with such imperceptible Inhabitants, as are too little for the naked Eye to dif cover. On the other hand, if we look into the more bulky parts of Nature, we see the Seas, Lakes and Rivers teeming with numberlefs kinds of living Creatures: We find every Mountain and Marsh, Wilderness and Wood, plentifully ftocked with Birds and Beafts, and every part of Matter affording proper Neceffaries and Conveniencies for the Livelihood of Multitude's which inhabit it.
THE Author of the Plurality - of Worlds drawsa very good Argument from C4
this Confideration, for the peopling of every Planet ; as indeed it seems very probable from the Analogy of Reason, that if no part of Matter, which we are acquainted with, lies waste and ufeless, those great Bodies which are at fuch a distance from us should not be desart and unpeopled, but rather that they should be furnished with Beings adapt. ed to their respective Situations.
EXISTENCE is a Blessing to those Beings only which are endowed with Perception, and is in a manner thrown away upon dead matter, any further than as it is subservient to Beo, ings which are conscious of their Exi. Atence. Accordingly we find, from the Bodies which lic under our Observatie. on, that Matter is only made as the Ba. fis and Support of Animals, and there is no more of the one, than what is necessary for the Existence of the other.
INFINITE Goodness is of so communicative a nature, that it seems to delight in the conferring of Existence upon every degree of perceptive Being. As this is a Speculation, which I have often pursued with great pleasure to my self, I shall enlarge farther upon
it, by considering that part of the Scale of Beings which comes within our Knowledge.
THERE are some living Creatures which are raised but just above dead Matter. To mention only that Species of Shell-fish, which are formed in the Fashion of a Cone, that grow to the Surface of several Rocks, and immediately die upon their being severed from the place where they grow. There are many other Creatures but one remove from these, which have no other Sense besides that of Feeling and Tatte. Others have still an additional one of Hearing; others of Smell, and others of Sight. It is wonderful to observe, by what a gradual Progress the World of Life advances through a prodigious Variety of Species, before a Creature is formed that is compleat in all its Senses; and even among these there is such a different degree of Perfection in the Senses which one Animal enjoys beyond what appears in another, that though the Sense in different Animals be distinguished by the same common Denomination, it seems almost of a different Nature. If after this we look into the several inward Perfections of Cunning
and Sagacity, or what we generally call Inftinct, we find them rifing after the same manner, imperceptibly one above another, and receiving additional Improvements, according to the Species in which they are implanted. This Progress in Nature is to very gradual, that the most perfect of an inferior Species comes very near to the most imperfect of that which is immediately above it.
THE exuberant and overflowing Goodness of the Supreme Being, whose Mercy extends to all his Works, is plainly seen, as I have before hinted, from his having made so very little Matter, at least what falls within our knowledge, that does not fwarm with Life: Nor is his Goodness lefs seen in the Diversity, than in the Multitude of living Creatures. Had he only made one Species of Animals, none of the rest would have enjoyed the Happiness of Existence ; he has, therefore, specified in his Creation every degree of Life, every Capacity of Being. The whole Chasm in Nature, from a Plant to a Man, is filled up with diverse kinds of Creatures, rising one over another, by such a gentle and cafy Ascent, that the