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would have considered himself the most miserable of beings.—It is but by being exposed to the fury of a raging storm when the ocean is convulsed into a tempest that, we know the pleasures, or can contemplate the beauties of the mighty deep in a calm:—but by being cozened and deceived by a pretended friend that, we know there is such a thing as a true friend, and how to value him:--but by feeling the distresses created by poverty that, we can estimate properly the comforts of plenty: --but by feeling the craving and ravenous appetite of hunger that, we can appreciate or relish our ordinary food :—but by being subject, and occasionally overcome with sickness that, we can know the blessings of health: - but by solitary confinement in prison, or as a slave that, we know how to value liberty. It is, in short, but by comparison that, we know, or can distinguish between right and wrong, or evil from good. Many such like contrasts reconcile us to our present condition in life, and enable us to go through the world rejoicing
Some harg and some drown, some run to despair,
Brutes are by many counted void of reason, which is not the case, as we have, and shall farther prove to a demonstration, in the course of the present work. They are also counted incapable of religion, i. e. of serving or giving glory unto God their maker; this is incorrect: for we are told by the prophet Isaiah xli11.20, The beasts of the field, the dragons and the owls shall honour God. And the divinely inspired David, Psalms cxlvii. 10, calls upon the Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl, to praise the Lord.
Chrysostom, also, says, The true worship of God consisteth in spirit and truth.-Do not therefore, the winged tenants of the air, when they rise from their dewy bed at early dawn, and listlessly float through the blue æther on downy pinion, address their first song of thanksgiving and praise to the glory of the author of their existence? And, do not their evening mattins spring from the same sourse of faith and love?
The subtil serpent had his moral rules :
And Dr. Young says,
Were we to analyze the best works of many of those who carry about with them the human form, we would find them destituie of what which characterizes the christian and virtuous person: and if put into the scale of gratitude and love with those of many of the brute species, we would find the balance
preponderate in favour of the latter.
Philosophers have been much puzzled about the essential characteristics of brutes, by which they may be distinguished from
Some define a bruie to be an animal not risible, or a living creature incapable of laughter; others call them mute animals. The Peripatctics allowed them a sensitive power, but denied them a rational one. The Platonists allowed them reason and understanding, though in a degree less pure and refined than that of man. Lactantius allows every thing to brutes which men have, except a sense of religion, and even this has been ascribed to them by some.
Descartes maintained that, brutes are mere inanimate machines, absolutely destitate not only of reason but of all thought and perception, and that all their actions are only consequences of the exquisite mechanism of their bodies. This system, however, is much old r than Descartes; it was borrowed by him from
Gomez Pereira, a Spanish physician, who employed thirty years in composing a treatise which he entitled Antoniana Margarita, from the Christian names of his father and mother. It was published in 1451: but his opinion had not the honour of gaining partizans, or even being refuted; so that it died with him. Even Pereira seens not to have been the inventor of this notion; something like it having been held by some of the ancients, as we find from Pluiarch and St. Augustin. Others who rejected Cartesian hypothesis, have maintained that brutes are endowed with a soul essentially inferior to that of men; and to this soul some have allowed immortality, others not. And, lastly, in a treatise published by one Bougeant a Jesuit, entitled,
“ A philosophical amusement on the language of beasts,” he affirms that they are animated by e il spirits or devils.
The opinion of Descartes was probably invented, or at least adopted by him, to defeat two great objections: one against the immortality of the souls of brutes, if they were allowed to have any; the others against the goodness of God, in suffering creatures who had never sinned, to be subject to so many miseries. The arguments in favour of it may be siaied as follows: 1. It is certain, that *
number of human actions are merely mechanical : because they are done imperceptibly to the agent, and without any direction from the will; which are to be ascribed to the impression of objects and the primordial disposition af the machine, wherein the influence of the soul has no share; of which number are all habits of the body acquired from the reiteration of certain actions. In all such circumstances, human beings are no better than automata. 2. There are some natural movements so involuntary that we cannot restrain them: for example, that admirable mechanism ever on the watch to preserve an equilibrium, when we stoop, bend, or incline our bodies in any way, and when we walk
upon a narrow plank. 3. The natural liking for, and antipathy against certain objects, which in children precede the power of knowing them, and which sometimes in grown persons triumph over all the efforts of reason; are all phenomena to be accounted for from the wonderful mechanism of the body, and are so many cogent proofs of that irresistable influence which objects have on the human frame. 4. Every one knows how much our passions depend on the degree of motion into which the blood is put, and the reciprocal impressions caused by the animal