mechanism, and designed its use.

This conclusion is invincible. A second examination presents us with a new discovery. The watch is found, in the course of its movement, to produce another' watch, similar to itself; and not only so, but we perceive in it a system of organization, separately calculated for that purpose. What effect would this discovery have, or ought it to have, upon our former inference? What, as hath already been said, but to increase, beyond measure, our admiration of the skill, which had been employed in the formation of such a machine? Or shall it, instead of this, all at once turn us round to an opposite conclusion, viz. that no art or skill whatever has been concerned in the business, although all other evidences of art and skill remain as they were, and this last and supreme piece of art be now added to the rest? Can this be maintained without absurdity? Yet this is atheism.



This is atheism; for every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design,

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which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater and more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation. I mean that the contrivances of nature surpass the contrivances of art, in the complexity, subtility, and curiosity of the mechanism; and still more, if possible, do they go beyond them in number and variety; yet, in a multitude of cases, are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less evidently accommodated to their end, or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity.

I know no better method of introducing so large a subject, than that of comparing a single thing with a single thing; an eye, for example, with a telescope. As far as the examination of the instrument

there is

precisely the same proof that the eye was made for vision, as there is that the telescope was made for assisting it. They are

They are made upon the same principles; both being adjusted to the laws by which the transmission and refraction of rays of light are regulated. I speak not of the origin of the laws themselves; but such laws being fixed, the construction, in both cases, is adapted to them. For instance; these laws require, in order to

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produce the same effect, that the rays.of light, in passing from water into the eye, should be refracted by a more convex surface, than when it passes out of air into the


Accordingly we find that the eye of a fish, in that part of it called the crystalline lens, is much rounder than the


of terrestrial ani. mals. What plainer manifestation of design can there be than this difference? What could a mathematical-instrument-maker have done more, to show his knowledge of his principle, his application of that knowledge, his suiting of his means to his end; I will not say to display the compass or excellence of his skill and art, for in these all comparison is indecorous, but to testify counsel, choice, consideration, purpose?

To some it may appear a difference sufficient to destroy all similitude between the


and the telescope, that the one is a perceiving or gan, the other an unperceiving instrument. The fact is, that they are both instruments. And, as to the mechanism, at least as to mechanism being employed, and even as to the kind of it, this circumstance varies not the analogy at all. For observe, what the constitution of the eye is. It is necessary, in order to produce distinct vision, that an image or picture of the object be formed at the bottom of the eye.

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Whence this necessity arises, or how the pic-
ture is connected with the sensation, or con-
tributes to it, it may be difficult, nay we will
confess, if you please, impossible for us to
search out. But the present question is not
concerned in the inquiry. It may
that, in this, and in other instances, we trace
mechanical contrivance a certain way; and
that then we come to something which is not
mechanical, or which is inscrutable. But
this affects not the certainty of our investiga-
tion, as far as we have gone. The difference

between an animal and an automatic statue, 1 consists in this,-that, in the animal, we trạce

the mechanism to a certain point, and then
we are stopped; either the mechanism becom-
ing too subtile for our discerment, or some-
thing else beside the known laws of mechan-
ism taking place; whereas, in the automaton,
for the comparatively few motions of which
it is capable, we trace the mechanism through-
out. But, up to the limit, the reasoning is
as clear and certain in the one case, as in the
other. In the example before us, it is a mat-
ter of certainty, because it is a matter which
experience and observation demonstrate, that
the formation of an image at the bottom of


necessary to perfect vision. The image itself can be shown: Whatever affects


the distinctness of the image, affects the distinctness of the vision. The formation then of such an image being necessary (no matter: how) to the sense of sight, and to the exercise of that sense, the apparatus by which it is formed is constructed and put together, not only with infinitely more art, but upon the self-same principles of art, as in the telescope or the camera obscura. The perception arising from the image may be laid out of the question; for the production of the image, these are instruments of the same kind. The end is the same; the means are the same. The purpose in both is alike; the contrivance for accomplishing that purpose is in both alike. The lenses of the telescope, and the humours of the eye, bear a complete resem : blance to one another, in their figure, their position, and in their power over the rays

of light, viz. in bringing each pencil to a point at the right distance from the lens; namely, in the eye, at the exact place where the membrane is spread to receive it. How is it

possible, under circumstances of such close affinity, and under the operation of equal evidence, to exclude contrivance from the one; yet to acknowledge the proof of contrivance having been employed, as the plainest and clearest of all propositions, in the other??

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