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he enjoys in the warm sun-beams his grub-like existence. Thus the mishapen form of his feet is a benefit to him. From the peculiarity of their structure, the tender animal cannot support himself on their balls, but only on the convexity of his claws; on which as on the wheels of a waggon, he shoves himself slowly and commodiously along. His six and forty ribs, the like of which no other quadruped possesses, form a long vault for his storehouse of provisions, and are the ossified rings of a voracious leaf-bag of a grub."*
To the preceding may be added a few similar observations on the mole, a creature whose form and structure are admirably suited to its mode of life. "What more palpable argument of Providence than the mole?" says Cardan, cited by Dr. More, "Her body is so exactly fitted to her manner of life; for her dwelling being under ground where nothing is to be seen, nature has so obscurely provided her with an organ of sight, that naturalists have doubted whether she have any eyes at all or not; but for amends, she has very eminently conferred upon her what she is capable of for defence and warning of danger; for she is exceedingly quick of hearing. And then we see to what purpose are her short tail and short legs, but broad fore-feet armed with sharp claws; she so swiftly working herself under ground and making her way so fast in the earth, as they that
* See Herder's Philosophy of Man, Vol. 1. Book 3.
behold it cannot but admire it. Her legs are short,
that she need dig no more than will serve the mere thickness of her body; and her fore feet are broad, that she may scoop away much earth at a time; and little or no tail she has, because she courses not on the ground, like the rat or mouse of whose kindred she is, but lives under the earth, and digs herself a dwelling there. And she making her way, through so thick an element, which will not yield easily, it had been dangerous to have drawn so long a train behind her; for her enemy might fall upon her rear, and fetch her out, before she had completed or got full possession of her works."
Boyle remarks pretty correctly, that although the mole is not totally blind, she has scarcely sight enough to distinguish particular objects. It is supposed that her eye is so constructed as to give her the idea of light and nothing else, and that this idea or sensation is probably painful to the animal. Hence when she comes into broad day she might be in danger of being taken, unless she were thus affected by a light striking upon her eye, and immediately warning her to bury herself in her proper element. More sight would be useless to her, as none at all might be fatal ?*
There would be no end of physiological facts and reasonings, tending to prove the intelligence and design displayed in the formation and habits of the
* Spectator, Vol. 2. No. 120.
lower animals. All the writings upon natural theology, as it is called, abound in such observations; and there is scarcely a single animal, whose nature and habits are at all known, that might not afford an obvious illustration.
OF THE INSTINCTS IN MAN.
THE examples, which have been hitherto selected, afford some tolerable notion of the views and ground intended to be taken in the following reasonings. Whether we regard the form and internal structure of the lower animals, physiologically, or their acts and general economy, physically, we have the clearest evidence that their instinctive actions are regulated by the most perfect intelligence. And because means are so wonderfully adapted to their ends, we are compelled to suppose that these actions are not entirely under their own direction; but, as all are perfect in their kinds, and all conspire, (every individual in its limited sphere) with astonishing, unerring precision, to one great end, the support and continuance, and order of the outward creation,-we must conclude, that the whole are governed by a power infinite in wisdom, working in them by its energy, through the instrumentality of their respective organs.
And, again, we are necessitated to conclude, that however human sagacity may have succeeded, in a few obvious instances, in explaining the relation of the structure of any organ to its outward use, yet there is not an animal act in the creation which does not involve the supposition of an ultimate cause, mysterious and inexplicable.
Nay, we are warranted in determining, from analogy, if we look at the simple law of gravitation, as well as from the constitution and frame of the human mind, (which always bewilders itself in attempting to comprehend the abstract relation of physical cause and effect,) that the theory of these animal instinctive operations never can be clearly discovered to the natural human understanding.
But, before I proceed, it may be proper for me to prepare the ground-work a little better for further observation, by noticing in this place, a few of those simple instinctive operations which belong to Man himself;-operations, which, being of paramount importance to the individual welfare of the human creature, notwithstanding he is dignified by his rational powers, have not been entrusted to Reason, we may safely presume, because of its insufficiency to the several offices.
Hence, we cannot wonder that Man should be unable to comprehend in the Brute, what is going forward in his own system, as darkly and mysteriously, as respects his own conception or knowledge of the operation, (perhaps it may be said, as independently),