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young, so far as is absolutely necessary for the leaving a posterity. Some creatures cast their eggs as chance directs them, and think of them no further, as insects, and several kind of fish: others, of a nicer frame, find out proper beds to deposit them in, and there leave them, as the serpent, the crocodile, and ostrich: others hatch their eggs and tend the birth, until it is able to shift for itself.
What can we call the principle, which directs every different kind of bird to observe a particular plan in the structure of its nest, and directs all of the same species to work after the same model? It cannot be imitation; for though you hatch a crow under a hen, and never let it see any of the works of its own kind, the nest it makes shall be the same, to the laying of a stick, with all the nest of the same species. It cannot be reason; for were animals endued with it to as great a degree as a man, their buildings would be as different as ours, according to the different conveniences that they would propose to themselves.
Is it not remarkable, that the same temper of weather which raises this general warmth in animals, should cover the trees with leaves, and the fields with grass, for their security and concealment, and produce such infinite swarms of insects for the support and sustenance of their respective broods?
Is it not wonderful, that the love of the parent should be so violent while it lasts, and that it should last no longer than is necessary for the preservation of the young?
The violence of this natural love is exemplified
by a very barbarous experiment; which I shall quote at length, as I find it in an excellent author, and hope my readers will pardon the mentioning such an instance of cruelty, because there is nothing can so effectually show the strength of that principle in animals of which I am here speaking. 'A person, who was well skilled in dissections, opened a bitch, and as she lay in the most exquisite torture, offered her one of her young puppies, which she immediately fell a licking; and for the time seemed insensible of her pain: on the removal she kept her eye fixed on it, and began a wailing sort of cry, which seemed rather to proceed from the loss of her young one, than the sense of her own torments.'
But notwithstanding this natural love in brutes is much more violent and intense than in rational creatures, Providence has taken care that it should be no longer troublesome to the parent than it is useful to the young for so soon as the wants of the latter cease, the mother withdraws her fondness, and leaves them to provide for themselves: and, what is a very remarkable circumstance in this part of instinct, we find that the love of the parent may be lengthened out beyond its usual time, if the preservation of the species requires it; as we may see in birds that drive away their young, as soon as they are able to get their livelihood, but continue to feed them, if they are tied to the nest, or confined within a cage, or by any other means appear to be out of a condition of supplying their own necessities.
This natural love is not observed in animals to ascend from the young to the parent, which is not
at all necessary for the continuance of the species: nor indeed in reasonable creatures does it rise in any proportion, as it spreads itself downwards; for in all family affection, we find protection granted, and favours bestowed are greater motives to love and tenderness, than safety, benefits, or life received.
One would wonder to hear sceptical men disputing for the reason of animals, and telling us it is only our pride and prejudices that will not allow them the use of that faculty.
Reason shows itself in all occurrences of life; whereas the brute makes no discovery of such a talent, but what immediately regards his own preservation, or the continuance of his species. Animals in their generation are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass. Take a brute out of his instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of understanding.-To use an instance that comes often under observation:
With what caution does the hen provide herself a nest in places unfrequented and free from noise and disturbance! When she has laid her eggs in such a manner that she can cover them, what care does she take in turning them frequently, that all parts may partake of the vital warmth! When she leaves them to provide for her necessary sustenance, how punctually does she return before they have time to cool, and become incapable of producing an animal! In the summer you see her giving herself greater freedoms, and quitting her care for above two hours together ; but in winter, when the rigour of the season would
chill the principles of life, and destroy the young one, she grows more assiduous in her attendance, and stops away but half the time. When the birth approaches, with how much nicety and attention does she help the chick to break its prison! Not to take notice of her covering it from the injuries of the weather, providing it proper nourishment, and teaching it to help itself; not to mention her forsaking the nest if, after the usual time of reckoning, the young one does not make its.appearance. A chymical operation could not be followed with greater art or diligence, than is seen in the hatching of a chick; though there are many other birds that show an infinitely greater sagacity in all the fore-mentioned particulars.
But at the same time the hen, that has all this seeming ingenuity (which is indeed absolutely necessary for the propagation of the species), considered in other respects, is without the least glimmerings of thought or common sense. She mistakes a piece of chalk for an egg, and sits upon it in the same manner: she is insensible of any increase or diminution in the number of those she lays: she does not distinguish between her own, and those of another species; and when the birth appears of never so different a bird, will cherish it for her own. In all these circumstances, which do not carry an immediate regard to the subsistence of herself or her species, she is a very idiot.
There is not, in my opinion, any thing more mysterious in nature, than this instinct in animals, which thus rises above reason, and falls infinitely short of it. It cannot be accounted for by
any properties in matter, and at the same time works after so odd a manner, that one cannot think it the faculty of an intellectual being. For my own part, I look upon it as upon the principle of gravitation in bodies, which is not to be explained by any known qualities inherent in the bodies themselves, nor from any laws of mechanism, but, according to the best notions of the greatest philosophers, is an immediate impression from the first Mover, and the divine energy acting in the creatures. Spectator.
GOD'S GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD AS CERTAIN AS HIS CREATING IT.
To acknowledge a deity, and yet suppose, as some of the heathen philosophers pretended to do, that he is altogether unconcerned either in the creation or government of the world, is owning him in words, and disowning him in reality. In like manner, to confess that God made the world, and all things therein, and at the same time deny his care and providence over it, is, in effect, maintaining a God without divine attributes. It is maintaining inconsistent opinions, and separating things essentially united. As sure as there is a God, so sure it is that he must be supremely wise, and infinitely good. But to create a world, and then leave it to itself, and all the confusion conse-. quent thereupon, is a conduct impossible to be reconciled with either of those perfections. If our clearest ideas are to be trusted, there would be no wisdom, no goodness at all in such a proce