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animal creation, are likely to meet with more universal attention, to be more generally comprehended, to make a deeper and more lasting impression upon the mind, to direct the heart more fervently and devotedly to the maker and giver of these interesting beings, than those which are drawn from more abstruse sources, though really more elevated and sublime.

The history of the animal kingdom naturally commences with the creation of animals, and the great events preparatory to it, for when the ALMIGHTY CREATOR, in his wisdom, and by the word of his power, had first brought into being, and afterwards set in order, the heavens and the earth; had caused the latter to bring forth grass, and herb, and tree, and then had placed his sun in the former, that by constant irradiations of light and heat from that central fountain, the life, and motion, which the first MOVER had begun by the incubation of his Spirit, and which now manifested itself in the vegetable kingdom, might be maintained till it had run its destined course. When all things were thus prepared, his next care was to people and enliven the earth with a different and higher class of beings, in whom—to organization, and life, and growth, and reproductive powers,—might be added sensation and voluntary motion. Unpeopled by ani


i See Appendix, note 1.

mals, the verdant earth in all its primitive and untarnished beauty, though inlaid with flowers exhibiting, in endless variety, every mixture and shade of colour that can glad the sight; though fanned by gales breathing Sabean odours, to gratify the scent; though tempting the appetite by delicious fruits of every flavour, still would be a scene without the breath of life. No motions would be seen but of the passing clouds, of the fluctuating waters, and the waving boughs; no voice heard but of the elements.

Was a single pair placed in this paradise, though at first it would seem that there was gratification for every sense, and joy would possess the heart, and admiration fill the soul with pleasure; yet after the novelty of the spectacle had ceased, and the effect of its first impression was obliterated, a void would soon be felt, something more would seem wanting to animate the otherwise lovely scene; a longing would arise in the mind for some beings, varying in form and magnitude, furnished with organs that would enable them to traverse and enliven the lower regions of the atmosphere, others that might course over the earth's surface, and others that could win their easy way through its waters, so that all, by their numbers, and the variety of their motions, might exhibit a striking and interesting contrast to the fixed and unconscious vitality of the vegetable kingdom,

But it was not the will of the beneficent Creator to leave such a blank and blot in his creation; before he created man in his own image, and enthroned him king of the new-made world, he decreed that his dominion also should be an image of his own, over innumerable creatures of every form and grade, each in its place entrusted with a peculiar office and function, and furnished with organs adapted to its work, contributing to its own and the general welfare; so that all should operate, “though each in different sort and manner,” 10 accomplish the great plan of an All-wise Providence.

What was the precise order of creation in the animal kingdom is no where clearly revealed in Holy Scripture; and we can only conjecture, since the most perfect animal, and he who alone belonged to the spiritual and invisible world by his soul, as well as by his body to the visible, was created the last, that the progress was from those that were at the foot of the scale to those that were at the summit. We are told, indeed, in general terms, that on the fifth day, at the divine bidding, the waters, hitherto barren and untenanted, produced abundantly the moving creuture that hath life,and fowl to traverse the firmament. In an instant, in obedience to that quickening word, by the operation of Almighty Power, and under the guidance of infinite Wisdom and Goodness, the boundless ocean with all its tributary streams became prolific, and brought forth by myriads, in endless and strange diversity, its destined offspring, beginning, perhaps, with the viewless animalcule or the senseless polype, half animal and half plant, and ending with the half fish and half quadruped, cetaceans, and their kindred monsters. Nor was the Ocean prolific of aquatic animals alone, and those whose habitation was the restless world of waters, with all its streams, its caves, and its abysses, it also gave birth to all the winged and feathered tribes ---from the brilliant humming bird to the mighty eagle and the giant vulture -- that people and enliven the atmospheric sea, and make it the field of their excursions. The animals created on this day were destined to dwell or move, independent of the earth, in a fluid medium of greater or less tenuity, and for that purpose were fitted with appropriate and peculiar organs, in one case both for respiration and locomotion, in the other for locomotion only.

Again the word of power was spoken,—“ Let the earth bring forth,and instantly the various tribes of quadrupeds issued from her teeming womb, varying infinitely in size, from the minute harvest-mouse’ to the giant bulk of the elephant and hippopotamus; then also the earth-born reptiles, whether four-footed, six-footed, eight-footed, or many-footed, started into life, and connected the terrestrial tribes with those produced from the waters. In the majority of these, the fins of the fishes and cetaceans, and the wings of the birds, were replaced by legs best fitted for motion on the theatre on which they were to act their part, and to fulfil the will of their Creator.

| See Appendix, note 2.

2 Mus messorius.

The earth was now completely furnished and decorated to receive her destined king and master. The sun, the moon, and the stars were shedding their kindly influences upon her; she and her fellow planets had commenced their annual and diurnal revolutions; the plants and flowers, her first born progeny,

had sprung out of her bosom, and covered her with verdure and beauty; and the fruit and forest trees flourishing in all their glory of leaf, blossom, and fruit, were ready to minister to the support, comfort, and enjoyment of their future lord : the sea, the air, the earth, were each filled with their appropriate inhabitants, and throughout the whole creation was beauty, and grace, and life, and motion, and joy, and jubilee. But still, in the midst of all this

apparent glory and activity of vegetable and animal life in the new created world, there was not a single being endued with reason and understanding; one that could elevate its thought above the glorious and wonderful spectacle to the great Author of it, or acknowledge and adore its Creator.

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