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only by the wisest philosophers among heathens, but by the holy prophets of God; who frequently harp on this string, and make sweetest melody thereon ; exciting both in themselves and others, pious thoughts and holy devotions therewith ; strengthening their faith in God; advancing their reverence toward him; quickening and inflaming their love of him; magnifying his glory and praise thereby; by the consideration, I say, of those wonderful effects discernible in nature, or appearing to us in this visible world. And if ever to imitate them herein were necessary, it seems to be so now, when a pretence to natural knowlege, and acquaintance with these things, hath been so much abused to the promoting of atheism and irreligion ; when that instrument which was chiefly designed, and is of itself most apt, to bring all reasonable creatures to the knowlege, and to the veneration of their Maker, hath (in a method most preposterous and uunatural) been perverted to contrary ends and effects. To the preventing and removing which abuse, as every man should contribute what he can, so let me be allowed to endeavor somewhat toward it, by representing briefly what my meditation did suggest, serving to declare that (as the prophet asserts, or implies in the words I read) even in this visible world there are manifest tokens, or footsteps, by which we may discover it to be the work, or product, of one Being, incomprehensibly wise, powerful, and good ; to whom, consequently, we must owe the highest respect and love, all possible worship and service. Of these footsteps, or signs, there be innumerably many, which, singly taken, do discover such perfections to be concerned in the production of them; the relation of several to each other do more strongly and plainly confirm the same; the connection and correspondence of all together doth still add force and evidence thereto, each attesting to the existence of those perfections, all conspiring to declare them concentred and united in one Cause and Being.

I. View we first, singly, those things, which are most familiar and obvious to our senses, (for only some such I mean to consider, such as any man awake, and in his senses, without any study or skill more than ordinary, without being a deep philosopher or a curious virtuoso, may with an easy attention observe and discern ;) view we such objects, I say; for instance, first, those plants we every day do see, smell, and taste : Hare not that number, that figure, that order, that temperament, that whole contexture and contemperation of parts we discern in them, a manifest relation to those operations they perform ? Were not such organs so fashioned, and so situated, and so tempered, and in all respects so fitted, some of them in order to the successive propagation of them, (that they might in kind never fail or perish, but in that respect become as it were immortal ;) some in regard to their present nutrition and maintenance, (that the individuals themselves might not, before their due period of subsistence run through, be spent, or destroyed ;) some for shelter and defence against all sort of causes prejudicial to either of those continuances in being respectively; to omit those, which serve for grace and ornament? (Do not, I say, the seed most evidently respect the propagation of the kind; the root the drawing of nourishment, the nervous filaments the conveyance of that; the skin or bark, the keeping all together close and safe; the husks and shells, preservation of the seed; the leaves, defence of the fruit ?) That such a constitution of parts is admirably fit for such purposes, we cannot be so stupid as not to perceive; we cannot but observe it necessary, for that by detraction, or altering any of them, we obstruct those effects. Whence then, I inquire, could that fitness proceed ? from chance, or casual motions of matter? But is it not repugnant to the name and nature of chance, that any thing regular or constant should arise from it ? that by it causes vastly many in number and different in quality, (such as are the ingredients into the frame of the least organ in a plant,) should not once, not sometimes, not often only, but always, in one continual unaltered method concur to the same end and effect, (to the same useful end, to the same handsome effect ?) Are not confusion, disparity, deformity, unaccountable change and variety, the proper issues of chance ?* It is Aristotle's discourse : • That one or two things,' saith be, 'should happen to be in the same manner, is not unreasonable to suppose ; but that all things should conspire by chance, it looks like a fiction to conceive : what is universal and perpetual cannot result from

Cic. de Nat. Deor. 2. Arist. Pol, vii. 4.

chance.' We can only,' saith he again, 'with good reason assert, or suppose such causes of things, as we see generally or frequently to occur.” Now did we ever observe (or ever any man through the whole course of times) any new thing like or comparable to any of these, to spring up casually? Do we not with admiration regard (as a thing very rare and unaccountable) in other pieces of matter any gross resemblance to these, that seemeth to arise from contingent motions and occurrences of bodies? If chance hath formerly produced such things, how comes it, that it doth not sometime now produce the like; whence becomes it for so many ages altogether impotent and idle ? Is it not the same kind of cause ? hath it not the same instruments to work with, and the same materials to work on? The truth is, as it doth not now, so it did not, it could not ever produce such effects; such effects are plainly improper and incongruous to such a cause : chance never writ a legible book ; chance never built a fair house ; chance never drew a neat picture ; it never did


of these things, nor ever will; nor can be without absurdity supposed able to do them; which yet are works very gross and rude, very easy and feasible, as it were, in comparison to the production of a flower or a tree. It is not therefore reasonable to ascribe those things to chance: to what then ? will you say, to necessity? If you do, you do only alter the phrase ; for necessary causality (as applicable to this case, and taken without relation to some wisdom or counsel that established it) is but another name for chance; they both are but several terms denoting blindness and unadvisedness in action; both must imply a fortuitous determination of causes, acting without design or rule. A fortuitous determination, I say; for motions of matter, not guided by art or counsel, must be in their rise fortuitous, (insomuch as that according to the nature of the thing there is no repugnance, and we may easily conceive it possible that the matter might have been moved otherwise; there being therein no principle originally determining it to this more than to that sort of motion ;) and the same motions in their process must be determinate, because in their subject there is no principle, whereby it can alter its course.

* Arist. de Cælo, ii. 8.

The same effect therefore of this kind, if necessary, is casual as to its original, and in that respect may be said to come from chance ; if casual, is necessary

in the


thence be said to proceed from necessity. And although we should suppose the beginning of these causes in their action, or motion, to be eternal, it were all one; for whether

or yesterday, or from eternity, infers no difference (except the entangling our minds, and incumbering the case with impertinent circumstances) as to our purpose ; not the circumstance of the time, but the quality of the cause being only here considerable; the same causes (abstracting from all counsel ordering them) being alike apt or inept yesterday as to-day, always as sometimes, from all eternity as at any set time, to produce such effects. Neither can we therefore reasonably attribute the effects we speak of to necessity; except only to such an hypothetical necessity, as implies a determination from causes acting by will and understanding ; of such a necessity matter is very susceptive; being perfectly obedient to art directing it with competent force; as on the other hand we find it by reason and experience altogether unapt, without such direction, of itself (that is, either necessarily or contingently) to come into any regular form, or to pursue any constant course; it being, as we see, shattered into particles innumerable, different in size, shape, and motion, according to all variety more than imaginable; thence only fit in their proceedings to cross and confound each other : the determination therefore of such causes as these to such ends and effects, can be only the result of wisdom, art, and counsel; which alone (accompanied with sufficient power) can digest things, void of understanding, into handsome order, can direct them unto fit uses, can preserve them in a constant tenor of action ; these effects must therefore, I say, proceed from wisdom, and that no mean one, but such as greatly surpasses our comprehension, joined with a power equally great: for to digest bodies so very many, so very fine and subtile, so divers in motion and tendency, that they shall never hinder or disturb one another, but always conspire to the same design, is a performance exceedingly beyond our capacity to reach how it could be contrived or accomplished; all the endeavors of our deepest skill and most laborious industry cannot arrive to the producing of any work not extremely inferior to any of these, not in comparison very simple and base; neither can our wits serve to devise, nor our sense to direct, nor our hand to execute any work, in any degree like to those. So that it was but faintly, though truly, said of him in Cicero, concerning things of this kind; • Nature's powerful sagacity no skill, no hand, po artist can follow by imitation.'


And if we have reason to acknowlege so much wisdom and power discovered in one plant, and the same consequently multiplied in so many thousands of divers kinds; how much more may we discern them in any one animal, in all of them ? the parts of whom in unconceivable variety, in delicate minuteness, ia exquisiteness of shape, position, and temper, do indeed so far exceed the other, as they appear designed to functions far more various and more noble; the enumeration of a few whereof, obvious to our sense, in some one living creature, together with conjectures about their manner of operation and their use, how much industry of man hath it employed; how many volumes hath it filled, and how many more may it do, without detecting a ten thousandth part of what is there most obvious and easy ; without piercing near the depth of that wisdom, which formed so curious a piece ? So much however is palpably manifest, that each of these so many organs was designed, and fitted on purpose to that chief use, or operation, we see it to perform ; this, of them to continue the kind ; that, to preserve the individuum ; this, to discern what is necessary, convenient, or pleasant to the creature, or what is dangerous, offensive, or destructive thereto; that, to pursue or embrace, to decline or shun it; this, to enjoy what is procured of good ; that, to remove what is hurtful or useless, or to guard from mischief and injury; that each one is furnished with such apt instruments, suitable to its particular needs, appetites, capacities, stations, is most apparent; and I must therefore here ask again, (and that with more advantage,) whence this could proceed; whence all these parts came to be fashioned and suited; all of them so necessary, or so convenient, that none without the imperfection and the prejudice of the creature, some not without its destruction, be wanting? who shaped and tempered those hidden subtile springs of life, sense, imagination, memory, passion; who im


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