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mate. Her will cannot alter it, or change a single feather of the chick. She can neither foresee nor determine of which sex her brood shall be, or how many of either: yet the thing produced shall be, from the first, very different in its make, according to the sex which it bears. So far, therefore, from adapt. ing the means, she is not beforehand apprised of the effect. If there be concealed within that smooth shell a provision and a preparation for the production and nourishment of a new animal, they are not of her providing or preparing: if there be contrivance, it is none of hers. Although, therefore, there be the difference of life and perceptivity between the animal and the plant, it is a difference which enters not into the account. It is a foreign circumstance. It is a difference of properties not employed. The animal function and the vegetable function are alike destitute of any design which can operate upon the form of the thing produced. The plant has no design in producing the seed, no comprehension of the nature or use of what it produces: the bird with respect to its egg, is not above the plant with respect to its seed. Neither the one nor the other bears that sort of relation to what proceeds from them, which a joiner does to the chair which he makes. Now a
cause, which bears this relation to the effect, is what we want, in order to account for the suitableness of means to an end, the fitness and fitting of one thing to another; and this cause the parent plant or animal does not supply. It is further observable concerning the propagation of plants and animals, that the apparatus employed exhibits no resemblance to the thing produced; in this respect holding an analogy with instruments and tools of art. The filaments, antherae, and stigmata of flowers, bear no more resemblance to the young plant, or even to the seed, which is formed by their intervention, than a chisel or a plane does to a table or chair. What then are the filaments, antherae, and stigmata of plants, but instruments strictly so called? . III. We may advance from animals which bring forth eggs, to animals which bring forth their young alive; and of this latter class, from the lowest to the highest; from
irrational to rational life, from brutes to the
human species; without perceiving, as we proceed, any alteration whatever in the terms of the comparison. The rational animal does not produce its offspring with more certainty or success than the irrational animal: a man
than a quadruped, a quadruped than a bird; nor (for we may follow the gradation through its whole scale) a bird than a plant; nor a plant than a watch, a piece of dead mechanism, would do, upon the supposition which has already so often been repeated. Rationality therefore has nothing to do in the business. If an account must be given of the contrivance which we observe ; if it be demanded, whence arose either the contrivance by which the young animal is produced, or the contrivance manifested in the young animal itself, it is not from the reason of the parent that any such account can be drawn. He is the cause of his offspring, in the same sense as that in which a gardener is the cause of the tulip which grows upon his parterre, and in no other. We admire the flower ; we examine the plant; we perceive the conduciveness of many of its parts to their end and office: we observe a provision for its nourishment, growth, protection, and fecundity; but we never think of the gardener in all this. We attribute nothing of this to his agency; yet it may still be true, that without the gardener, we should not have had the tulip : just so it is with the succession of animals even of the highest order. For the contriv
rent is not that contriver. His consciousness decides that question. He is in total ignorance why that which is produced took its present form rather than any other. It is for
him only to be astonished by the effect. We
can no more look therefore to the intelligence of the parent animal for what we are in search of, a cause of relation, and of subserviency of parts to their use, which relation and subserviency we see in the procreated body, than we can refer the internal conformation of an acorn to the intelligence of the oak from which it dropped, or the structure of the watch to the intelligence of the watch which produced it; there being no difference, as far as argument is concerned, between an intelligence which is not exerted, and an intelligence which does not exist,
APPLICATION of THE ARGUMENT con TINUED.
EveRY observation which was made in our first chapter, concerning the watch, may be repeated with strict propriety, concerning the eye; concerning animals; concerning plants; concerning, indeed, all the organized parts of the works of nature. As,
I. When we are inquiring simply after the eristence of an intelligent Creator, imperfection, inaccuracy, liability to disorder, occasional irregularities, may subsist in a considerable degree, without inducing any doubt into the question: just as a watch may frequently go wrong, seldom perhaps exactly right, may be faulty in some parts, defective in some, without the smallest ground of sus
picion from thence arising that it was not a .
watch; not made ; or not made for the purpose ascribed to it. When faults are pointed out, and when a question is started concerning the skill of the artist, or dexterity with which the work is executed, then indeed, in order to defend these qualities from accusation, we must be able, either to expose some intractableness and imperfection in the materials, or point out some invincible difficulty in the execution, into which imperfection and difficulty the matter of complaint may be resolved; or if we cannot do this, we must adduce such specimens of consummate art and contrivance, proceeding from the same hand, as may convince the inquirer, of the existence, in the case before him, of impediments like those which we have mentioned, although, what from the nature of the case is very likely to happen, they be unknown and