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which the tendons are tied down at the angles of the joints, could, by no possibility, be formed by the motion or exercise of the tendons themselves; by any appetency exciting . these parts into action; or by any tendency arising therefrom. The tendency is all the other way; the comatus in constant opposition to them. Length of time does not help the case at all, but the reverse. The valves also in the blood-vessels, could never be formed in the manner which our theorist proposes. The blood, in its right and natural course, has no tendency to form them. When obstructed or refluent, it has the contrary. These parts could not grow out of their use, though they had eternity to grow in. The senses of animals appear to me altogether incapable of receiving the explanation of their origin which this theory affords. Including under the word “sense” the organ and the perception, we have no account of either. How will our philosopher get at vision, or make an eye? How should the blind animal affect sight, of which blind animals, we know, have neither conception nor desire? Affecting it, by what operation of its will, by what endeavour to see, could it so determine the fluids of its body, as to inchoate the formation of an eye? or, suppose the eye form
ed, would the perception follow * The same of the other senses. And this objection holds its force, ascribe what you will to the hand of time, to the power of habit, to changes too slow to be observed by man, or brought within any comparison which he is able to make of past things with the present: concede what you please to these arbitrary and unattested suppositions, how will they help you? Here is no inception. No laws, no course, no powers of nature which prevail at present, nor any analogous to these, would give commencement to a new sense. And it is in vain to inquire, how that might proceed, which could never begin. I think the senses to be the most inconsistent with the hypothesis before us, of any part of the animal frame. But other parts are sufficiently so. The solution does not apply to the parts of animals, which have little in them of motion. If we could suppose joints and muscles to be gradually formed by action and exercise, what action or exercise could form a skull, or fill it with brains? No effort of the animal could determine the clothing of its skin. What conatus could give prickles to the porcupine or hedgehog, or to the sheep its fleece: In the last place; What do these appeten
cies mean when applied to plants? I am not able to give a signification to the term, which can be transferred from animals to plants; or which is common to both. Yet a no less successful organization is found in plants, than what obtains in animals. A solution is wanted for one, as well as the other.
Upon the whole; after all the schemes and struggles of a reluctant philosophy, the necessary resort is to a Deity. The marks of design are too strong to be gotten over. Design must have had a designer. That designer must have been a person. That person is GoD.
OF THE NATURAL ATTRIBUTES OF THE DEITY.
It is an immense conclusion, that there is a God ; a perceiving, intelligent, designing, Being ; at the head of creation, and from whose will it proceeded. The attributes of such a Being, suppose his reality to be proved, must be adequate to the magnitude, extent, and multiplicity of his operations: which are not only vast beyond comparison
with those performed by any other power, but, so far as respects our conceptions of them, infinite, because they are unlimited on all sides. Yet the contemplation of a nature so exalted, however surely we arrive at the proof of its existence, overwhelms our faculties. The mind feels its powers sink under the subject. One consequence of which is, that from painful abstraction the thoughts seek relief in sensible images. Whence may be deduced the ancient, and almost universal propensity to idolatrous substitutions. They
are the resources of a labouring imagination.
False religions usually fall in with the natural propensity; true religions, or such as have derived themselves from the true, resist it. - - * It is one of the advantages of the revelations which we acknowledge, that, whilst they reject idolatry with its many pernicious accompaniments, they introduce the Deity to human apprehension, under an idea more personal, more determinate, more within its compass, than the theology of nature can do. And this they do by representing him exclusively under the relation in which he stands to ourselves; and, for the most part, under some precise character, resulting from that relation, or from the history of his providences. Which method suits the span of our intellects much better than the universality which enters into the idea of God, as deduced from the views of nature. When, therefore, these répresentations are well founded in point of authority (for all depends upon that), they afford a condescension to the state of our faculties, of which, they who have most reflected on the subject, will be the first to acknowledge the want and the value. Nevertheless, if we be careful to imitate the documents of our religion, by confining our explanations to what concerns ourselves, and do not affect more precision in our ideas than the subject allows of, the several terms which are employed to denote the attributes of the Deity, may be made, even in natural religion, to bear a sense consistent with truth and reason, and not surpassing our comprehension. These terms are: Omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternity, self-existence, necessary existence, spirituality. “Omnipotence,” “omniscience,” “infinite” power, “infinite” knowledge, are superlatives; expressing our conception of these attributes in the strongest and most elevated terms which language supplies. We ascribe