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have a different way of thinking. We court distinction. That I don't quarrel with: but we can see nothing but what has distinction to recommend it. This necessarily contracts our view of the Creator's beneficence within a narrow compass; and most unjustly. It is in those things which are so common as to be no distinction, that the amplitude of the divine benignity is perceived.
But pain, no doubt, and privations, exist, in numerous instances, and to a degree, which, collectively, would be very great, if they were compared with any other thing than with the mass of animal fruition. For the application, therefore, of our proposition to that mixed state of things which these exceptions induce, two rules are necessary, and both, I think, just and fair rules. One is, that we regard those effects alone which are accompanied with proofs of intention: The other, that, when we cannot resolve all appearances into benevolence of design, we make the few give place to the many; the little to the great; that we take our judgement from a large and decided preponderancy, if there be one.
I crave leave to transcribe into this place, what I have faid upon this subject in my 2 K 2 Moral Moral Philosophy. '* When God created the human species, either he wished their happiness, or he wished their misery, or he was indifferent and unconcerned about either.
*' If he had wished our misery, he might have made sure of his purpose, by forming our senses to be so many sores and pains to us, as they are now instruments of gratification and enjoyment; or by placing us amidst objects, so ill suited to our perceptions, as to have continually offended us, instead of ministering to our refreshment and delight. He might have made, for example, every thing we tasted bitter; every thing we faw loathsome; every thing we touched a sting; every smell a stench; and every sound a discord.
"If he had been indifferent about our happiness or misery, we must impute to our good fortune (as all designs by this supposition is excluded) both the capacity of our senses to receive pleasure, and the supply of external objects fitted to produce it.
"But either of these, and still more both of them, being too much to be attributed to accident, nothing remains but the first supposition, that God, when he created the human pecies, wished their happiness; and made for
them them the provision which he has made, with that view, and for that purpose.
"The fame argument may be proposed in different terms, thus: Contrivance proves design; and the predominant tendency of the contrivance indicates the disposition of the designer. The world abounds with contrivances j and all the contrivances which we are acquainted with, are directed to beneficial purposes. Evil no doubt exists; but is never, that we can perceive, the object of contrivance. Teeth are contrived to eat, not to ache; their aching now and then is incidental to the contrivance, perhaps inseparable from it: or even, if you will, let it be called a desect in the contrivance; but it is not the object of it. This is a distinction which well deserves to be attended to. In describing implements of husbandry, you would hardly fay of the sickle, that it is made to cut the reaper's hand, though, from the construction of the instrument, and the manner of using it, this mischief often follows. But if you had occasion to describe instruments of torture or execution, This engine, you would fay, is to extend the sinews; this to dislocate the joints; this to break the bones; this to scorch the 2K 3 soles soles of the feet. Here pain and misery are the very objects of the contrivance. Now, nothing of this sort is to be found in the works of nature. We never discover a train of contrivance to bring about an evil purpose. "No anatomist ever discovered a system of organization, calculated to produce pain and disease; or, in explaining the parts of the human body, ever faid, This is to irritate; this to inflame; this duct is to convey the gravel to the kidneys; this gland to secrete the humour which forms the gout: if by chance he come at a part of which he knows not the use, the most he can fay is, that it is useless; no one ever suspects that it is put there to incommode, to annoy, or to torment."
The two cases which appear to me to have the most of difficulty in them, as forming the most of the appearance of exception to the representation here given, are those of venomous animals, and of animals preying upon one another. These properties of animals, whereever they are found, must, I think, be referred to design; because there is, in all cases of the first, and in most cases of the second, an express aud distinct organization provided for the producing of them. Under the first head,
the the fangs of vipers, the stings of wasps and scorpions, are as clearly intended for their purpose, as any animal structure is for any purpose the most incontestably beneficial. And the fame thing must, under the second head, be acknowledged of the talons and beaks of birds, of the tusks, teeth, and claws of beasts of prey, of the mark's mouth, of the spider's web, and of numberless weapons of offence belonging to different tribes of voracious insects. We cannot, therefore, avoid the difficulty by faying, that the effect was not intended. The only question open to us is, whether it be ultimately evil. From the confessed and selt impersection of our knowledge, we ought to presume, that there may be consequences of this œconomy which are hidden from us: from the benevolence which pervades the general designs of nature, we ought also to presume, that these consequences, if they could enter into our calculation, would turn the balance on the favorable fide. Both these I contend to be reasonable presumptions. Not reasonable presimptions, if these two cases were the only cases which nature presented to our observation; but reasonableprcsumptionsunder the reflection, that the cafes in question are com2 K 4 bin ed