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investigate, what ends he proposed to himself in his actings about his creatures. The ground on which the Epicureans have rejected final causes has been disallowed by the philosophers of almost all other sects; and some have written sufficient confutations of it, which therefore I shall here forbear to insist on; though some things I shall upon occasion observe, that may help, if not suffice, to discredit so unreasonable an opinion. But the Cartesian argument has been so prevalent among many learned and ingenious men, that it will be worth while (if it be but to excite better pens) to spend some time in the consideration of it.
I shall beg leave to premise a distinction, which, though novel, I shall venture to employ, because it comprises and distinguishes 'some things, which I think ought neither to be overlooked nor confounded.
I conceive, then, that when we speak of the ends which re, or rather the author of nature, is said to have in things corporeal, one of these four things may be signified; or, if you like that expression better, the end designed by nature may be fourfold:
First, there may be some grand and general ends of the whole world; such as the exercising and displaying the creator's immense power and admirable wisdom ; the communication of his goodness, and the admiration and thanks due to him from his intelligent creatures, for these his divine excellencies,
whose productions manifest his glory. And these ends, because they regard the creation of the whole universe, I call the universal ends of God, or nature.
Secondly, in a somewhat more restrained sense, there may be ends designed in the number, fabric, placing, and ways of moving the great masses of matter, that for their bulks or qualities, are considerable parts of the world; since it is very probable, that these bodies, such as the sun, moon, and fixed stars, and the terraqueous globe, and perhaps each of its two chief parts, the rarth and the sea, were so framed and placed, as not only to be capable of persevering in their own present state, but also, as was most conducive to the universal ends of creation, and the good of the whole world, whereof they are notable parts. Upon which accounts, these ends may, for distinction's sake, be called cosmical or systematical, as regarding the symmetry of the great system of the world.
There is a third sort of ends, that do more peculiarly concern the parts of animals, (and probably plants too) which are those ; that the particular parts of animals are destinated to and for the welfare of the whole animal himself, as he is an entire and distinct system of organized parts, destinated to preserve himself and propagate his species, upon such a theatre (as the nd, water, or air,) as his structure and circumstances determine him to act his part on, And these ends, to discriminate them from others, may be called animal ends.
Fourthly and lastly, there is another sort of ends which, because they relate particularly to man, may for brevity's sake, be called human ends; which are those that are aimed at by nature, where she is said to frame animals and vegetables, and other of her productions, for the use of man. And these ends themselves may be distinguished into mental, that relate to his mind; and corporeal, that relate to his body, not only as he is an animal, framed like other animals, for his own preservation, and the propagation of his species (mankind); but also as he is framed for dominion over other animals and works of : nature, and fitted to make them subservient to the destinations, that one may suppose to have been made of them to his service and benefit.
To come now to the thing itself, whereas Monsieur Des Cartes objects, that it is a presumption for man to pretend to be able to investigate the ends that the omniscient God proposed to himself in the making of his creatures; I consider by way of answer,
that there are two very differing ways, wherein a man may pretend to know the ends of God in his visible works; for he may either pretend to know only some of God's ends in some of his works; or he may pretend to know all bis ends. He that arrogates to himself to discover God's'ends in this latter sense, will scarce be ex
cused from a high presumption, and no less a folly, from the reason lately intimated in the Cartesian objection. But to pretend to know God's ends in the former sense, is not a presumption; but rather to take notice of them is a duty. For there are some things in nature so curiously contrived, and so exquisitely fitted for certain operations aud uses, that it seems little less than blindness in him, that acknowledges with the Cartesians, a most wise author of things, not to conclude, that though they may have been designed for other (and perhaps higher) uses, yet they were designed for this use. As he, that sees the admirable fabric of the coats, humours, and muscles of the eyes, and how excellently all the parts are adapted to the making up of an organ of vision, can scarce forbear to believe, that the author of nature intended it should serve the animal to which it belongs, to see with. The Epicureans, indeed, that believe the world to have been produced but by the casual concourse of atoms, without the intervention of any intelligent being, may have a kind of excuse, whereof other philosophers are destitute, that acknowledge a deity, if not also a providence. For the very supposition, for instance, that a man's eyes were made by chance, argues, that they need have no relation to a designing agent; and the use that a man makes of them, may be either casual too, or at least may be an effect
of his knowledge, not of nature's. But when, upon the anatomical dissection of the optical consideration of a human eye, we use it as exquisitely fitted to be an organ of sight, as the best artificer in the world could have framed a little engine, purposely and mainly designed for the use of seeing; it is very harsh and incongruous to say, that an artificer, who is too intelligent either to do things by chance, or to make a curious piece of workmanship, without knowing what uses it is fit for, should not design it for an use to which it is most fit.
He further illustrates this idea in the following manner :
Suppose that a countryman, being in a clear day brought into the garden of some famous mathematician, should see there one of those curious gnomonic instruments that shew at once the place of the sun in the zodiac, his declination from the equator, the day of the month, the length of the day, &c. It would, indeed, be presumption in him, being unacquainted with the mathematical disciplines, and the several intentions of the artist, to pretend or think himself able to discover all the ends for which so curious and elaborate a piece was framed. But when he sees it furnished with a style, with horary lines and numbers, and, in short, with all the requisites of a sun-dial, and manifestly perceives the