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ciently prostrate ourselves and fall down before our Maker, when we consider that ineffable goodness and wisdom which contrived this Existence for finite natures ? What must be the overflowings of that good-will, which prompted our Creator to adapt Existence to Beings, in whom it is not necessary ? Especially when we consider that he himself was before in the complere poffeffion of Existence, and of happiness, and in the full enjoyment of Eternity. What man can think of himself as called out and separated from nothing, of his being made a conscious, a reasonable and happy creature, in short, of being taken in as a sharer of his Exiftence and a kind of partner in Eternity, without being swallowed up in wonder, in praise, in adoration! It is indeed a thought too big for the mind of man, and rather to be entertained in the secrecy of devotion, and in the silence of the soul, than to be expreffed by words. The Supreme Being has not given us powers or faculties sufficient to excol and magnify such unutterable goodness..
It is however some comfort to us, that we shall be always doing what we shall be never able to do, and that a work which cannot be finished, will however be the work of an eternity: 3 SECT.
SECTION II. The Power and Wisdom of GOD in
... the CREATION.. .
Inde hominum pecudumque genus, vitæque volantum,
material world, by which I mean that system of bodies into which Nature has fo curiously wrought the mass of dead matter, with the several relations which those bodies bear' to one another ; there is still, methinks, something more wonderful and surprising 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.
Az If we consider those parts of the ma
terial world which lie the nearest to us, and are therefore subject to our observations 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 swarms 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 myriads of living creatures. The surface of animals is also covered with other animals, which are in the same. manner the basis of other animals, that live upon it; nay, we find in the most folid bodies, as in marble itself, innumerable cells and cavities that are crouded with such imperceptible inhabitants, as are too little for the naked eye to discover. On the other hand, if we look into the more bulky parts of nature, we fee the feas, lakes and rivers teeming with numberlefs kinds of living creatures : We find every mountain and marsh, wilderness and wood, plentifully stocked with birds and beasts, and every part of matter affording proper necessaries and conveniencies for the livelihood of multitudes which inhabit it..
The author of the Plurality of Worlds draws a very good argument from this consideration, 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 useless, those great bodies which are at such a distance from us should not be desart and unpeopled, but rather that they should be furnished with Beings adapted 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 fubservient to Beings which are conscious of their existence. Accordingly we find, from the bodies which lie under our observation, that matter is only, made as the basis and support of animals, and that
there is no more of the. one, than what 1 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 purG2
sued with great pleasure to myself, 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 fenfe besides that of feeling and taste. 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 form'd that is complete in all its fenses; and even among these there is such a different degree of perfection in the fenfe which one animal enjoys beyond what appears in another, that though the sense in different animals be distinguished by the fame common denomination, it feems almost of a different nature. If after this we look into the several inward perfec