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work of destruction, and impel them to attack and devour without pity, those amongst the weaker animals, that were likely to increase in a degree hurtful to the general welfare, thus fulfilling his great purpose of generally maintaining those relative proportions, as to number, of individual species, that would be most conducive to the health and mutual advantage of all parts of the system of our globe.
This too is the place to consider another circumstance connected with the appointment by Providence of certain animals to certain ends. There are, as must be evident to every one who thinks or observes at all, large numbers of the animal kingdom, which, considered in their individual capacities, may be regarded as positively injurious to man; and seem to have been created with a view to his punishment, either in his person or property. Of this description are those predatory tribes of which I have just spoken: but I here mean, more particularly, to advert to those personal pests, that not only attempt to derive their nutriment from him by occasionally sucking his blood when he comes in their way, as the flea, the horse-fly, and others, but those that make a settlement upon him or within him, selecting his body for their dwelling as well as their food, and thus infesting him with a double Besides those insects of a disreputable name' which, under more than one form, inhabit his person externally ; and those that, burying themselves in his flesh, annoy him and produce cutaneous diseases,' a whole host of others attack him internally, and sometimes fatally. Can we believe that man, in his pristine state of glory, and beauty, and dignity, could be the receptacle and the prey of these unclean and disgusting creatures ? This is surely altogether incredible, I had almost said impossible. And we must either believe, with Le Clerc and Bonnet, that all those worms now infesting our intestines existed in Adam before his fall, only under the form of eggs, which did not hatch till after that sad event: or that these eggs were dispersed in the air, in the water, and in various aliments, and so were ready to hatch when they met with their destined habitation : or, as some parasites are found in the earth, or the water, as well as in the human species, that they are in general formed for living in different stations :: or, lastly, that they were created subsequently to the fall of Adam, not immediately or all at once, but when occasions called for such expressions of the divine displeasure.
With respect to the first of these hypotheses,
1 Pediculi. ? Sarcoptes Scabiei, Pulex penetrans, &c. 3 Lumbricus.
4 Gordius aquaticus. 5 See Introd. to Ent. iv. 229.
it seems to me very improbable for this reason, that it supposes the first pair to have in them the germes of all these animal pests, which although, before the fall, they were restrained from germination, after that event, were left to the ordinary action of physical laws, so that then every one of these scourges must have inhabited them and preyed upon them. Fallen indeed they were from glory and grace, but who can think that all the accumulated evils that their sin introduced into the world fell with concentrated violence upon their own heads, that all the various ills that flesh is heir to were experienced by them in their own persons before they were divided, some to
to one and some to another, amongst their posterity? It is scarcely to be supposed that any single individual, from that time to this, was subject to the annoyance of every one of these animals, and it seems incredible that Adam and Eve had experience of them all.
That they had their existence originally either as germes or as perfect animals in the air, the earth, or the waters, and were taken in by man with his food, with respect to some species may, perhaps, be true. The earth-worm is often voided by children, and some other that infest animals are found in the water, but of those that are appropriated to man internally, none have as yet been found, except that just
mentioned, in any other habitation. Linné indeed assigns an aquatic origin to the fluke, the ascarides, and the tape-worm, but he seems to have adopted this opinion upon very slight grounds. Bonnet very justly asks, with respect to the last of these animals, which Linné states he found once in a kind of ochre. “M. Linné is the only one that has made this discovery, now it is certain that if tape-worms existed out of the body of man and other animals, would it be possible, after the numerous researches that naturalists of every country have made in a variety of places, both in the earth and the water, none should ever meet with that insect?”1 All Helminthologists seem now to be of opinion that the sole natural habitation of these animals is that in which they are usually found, the human viscera.
We now come to the last hypothesis, that these animals were created subsequently to the fall : a single instance from Scripture of such a creation will be sufficient to render it probable that others may have taken place when occasions called for such expressions of Divine displeasure. Every one is aware that God by the wonderworking rod of Moses converted all the dust of Egypt into some punitive animal or genus of animals, for they attacked man and beast, concerning the kind of which interpreters differ ; but this does not affect the question, it is evident that here is an instance of the creation of an animal in great numbers, and what is worthy of particular observation, that this animal was not afterwards again annihilated as the frogs, and others were. What has evidently been done once under circumstances that required it, though not recorded, may have been repeated, and thus all the punitive species in question may have been produced.
1 Euvr. iji. 138.
This is given merely as an hypothesis, to account for the existence of these animals, without doing violence to probability ; and rather in accordance with the word of God, than controverting any thing delivered therein--and if it excites a discussion that may throw new light upon the subject, which ever way the question is determined, I shall be well pleased-my object being rather to elicit truth, than to uphold opinion.
Another inquiry also suggests itself with respect to the original animal creation. Are any of those animals with which God peopled the earth, air, and waters, preparatory to the creation of man, now extinct? The answer to this question will principally depend upon that to another. Did any alteration take place in the climate and pro
i See Appendix, note 6.