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belief that maggots and flies breed in putrefied carcasses, and particularly bees come from oxen, and hornets from horses, and scorpions from crab-fish, &c., all this is now found to be fable and mistake. That sagacious and learned naturalist, Francisco Redi, made innumerable trials with the putrid flesh of all sorts of beasts and fowls, and fishes and serpents, with corrupted cheese, and herbs, and fruits, and even insects themselves; and he constantly found, that all those kinds of putrefaction did only afford a nest and aliment for the eggs and young of those insects that he admitted to come there, but produced no animal of themselves by a spontaneous formation : for, when he suffered those things to putrefy in hermetically sealed glasses, and vessels close covered with paper-and not only so, lest the exclusion of the air might be supposed to hinder the experiment, but in vessels covered with fine lawn, so as to admit the air and keep out the insects—no living thing was ever produced there, though he exposed them to the action of the sun, in the warm climate of Florence, and in the kindest season of the year. Even flies crushed and corrupted, when enclosed in such vessels, did never procreate a new fly, though there, if in any case, one would have expected that

And when the vessels were open, and the insects had free access to the aliment within them, he diligently observed that no other species were produced but of such as he saw go in and feed, and deposit their eggs there, which they would readily do in all putrefaction, even in a mucilage of bruised spiders, where worms were soon hatched out of such eggs, and quickly changed into flies of the same kind with their parents. And was not that a surprising transformation indeed, if, according to the vulgar opinion, those dead and corrupted spiders spontaneously changed into flies ? And thus far we are obliged to the diligence of Redi; from whence we may conclude, that no dead flesh, nor herbs, nor other putrefied bodies, nor anything that hath not then actually either a vege


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table or animal life, can produce any insect. And if we should allow, as he did, that every animal and plant doth naturally breed and nourish by its substance some peculiar insect, yet the Atheist could make no advantage of this concession as to a like origination of mankind. For surely it is beyond even an Atheist's credulity and impudence, to affirm that the first men might proceed out of the galls and tumours of leaves of trees, as some maggots and flies are supposed to do now; or might grow upon trees, as the story goes about barnacles; or perhaps might be the parasites of some vast prodigious animals, whose species is now extinct. But though we suppose him guilty of such an extravagant folly, he will only shift the difficulty, and not wholly remove it; for we shall still expect an account of the spontaneous formation of those mountainous kind of animals and men-bearing trees. And as to the worms that are bred in the intestines and other inward parts of living creatures, their production is not material to our present inquiry, till some Atheist do affirm, that his own ancestors had such an original. I say, if we should allow this concession of Redi, it would do no service to our adversaries: but even here also they are defeated by the happy curiosity of Malpighi and others, who observed and discovered, that each of those tumours and excrescences of plants, out of which generally issues a fly or a worm, are at first made by such insects, which wound the tender buds with a long hollow trunk, and deposit an egg in the hole with a sharp corroding liquor, which causeth a swelling in the leaf, and so closeth the orifice: and within this tumour the worm is hatched, and receives its aliment, till it hath eat its way through.

And then, as to the vulgar opinion, that frogs are made in the clouds, and brought down by the rains, it may be thus easily refuted: for at that very instant, when they are supposed to descend, you may find, by dissection, their stomachs full of meat newly gathered or partially digested ; so that they had lurked before in the day-time in holes and bushes and

grass, and were then invited abroad by the freshness of a shower. And by this time we may understand, what credit and authority those old stories ought to have about the monstrous productions in Egypt after the inundation of the Nile, of mice and frogs and serpents, half flesh and half mud; nay, of the legs, and arms, and other limbs of men, et quicquid Groecia mendax; altogether as true as what is seriously related by Helmont, that foul linen, stopped in a vessel that hath wheat in it, will in twenty-one days time turn the wheat into mice: which one may guess to have been the philosophy and information of some housewife, who had not so carefully covered her wheat but that the mice could come at it, and were there taken napping, just when they had made an end of their cheer. Corn is so innocent from this calumny of breeding of mice, that it doth not produce the very weevils that live in it and consume it; the whole course of whose generation and periodical changes hath been curiously observed and described by the ingenious Lewenhoeck. And, moreover, that we may deprive the Atheist of all hopes and pretensions of argument from this baffled opinion of equivocal insects, we will acquaint him from the most accurate observations of Swammerdam, that even the supposed change of worms into flies is no real transmutation; but that most of those members, which at last become visible to the eye, are existent at the beginning, artificially complicated together, and covered with membranes and tunicles, which are afterwards stript off and laid aside: and all the rest of that process is no more surprising than the eruption of horns in some brutes, or of teeth and beard in men at certain periods of age.

And as we have established our assertion of the seminal production of all kinds of animals, so likewise we affirm, that the meanest plant cannot be raised without seed by any formative power residing in the soil. To which assertion we are



encouraged, first, from the known seeds of all vegetables, one or two only excepted, that are left to future discovery; which seeds, by the help of microscopes, are all found to be real and perfect plants, with leaves and trunk curiously folded up and enclosed in the cortex ; nay, one single grain of wheat, or barley, or rye, shall contain four or five distinct plants under one common tunicle ; a very convincing argument of the providence and goodness of God, that those vegetables, that were appointed to be the chief sustenance of mankind, should have that multiplied fecundity above any others. And, secondly, by that famous experiment of Malpighi, who a long time enclosed a quantity of earth in a vessel, secured by a fine cloth from the small imperceptible seeds of plants that are blown about with the winds; and had this success of his curiosity, to be the first happy discoverer of this noble and important truth, that no species of plants can be produced out of earth without a pre-existent seed; and consequently they were all created and raised at the beginning of things by the Almighty Gardener, God blessed for ever. And, lastly, as to those various and elegant shells, that are dug up in continents, and embodied in stones and rocks at a vast distance from any sea ; which this Atheist may possibly allege for an instance of a plastic faculty of nature; it is now generally agreed by the most diligent inquirers about them, that they are no sportful productions of the soil, as was formerly believed, but that all did once belong to real and living fishes; since each of them exactly resembles some shell of the seas, both in its outward lineaments, and inward texture, and specific gravity, and all other properties : which, therefore, are so far from being subservient to Atheists in their audacious attempts against God and religion, that they rather afford an experimental confirmation of the universal deluge.

And thus we have competently shewn, that every species of living creatures, every small insect, and even the herbs of the


field, give a casting vote against Atheism, and declare the necessity of a supernatural formation. If the earth in its first constitution had been left to itself, what horrid deformity and desolation had for ever overspread its face ! Not one living inhabitant would be found on all its spacious surface; not so much as a worm in the bowels of it, nor one single fish in the vast bosom of the sea; not a mantle of grass or moss to cover and conceal the nakedness of nature. An eternal sterility must have possessed the world, where all things had been fixed and fastened everlastingly with the adamantine chains of specific gravity; if the Almighty had not spoken and said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after its kind ; and it was so." It was God that then created the first seminal forms of all animals and vegetables, that “commanded the waters to bring forth abundantly,” and “the earth to produce living creatures after their kind;" that “made man in his own image after his own likeness ;” that by the efficacy of his first blessing made “ him be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth ;" by whose alone power and conservation “we all live, and move, and have our being."

The Placing of our Planet.

Let us consider the particular situation of our earth, and its distance from the sun. It is now placed so conveniently, that plants thrive and flourish in it, and animals live; this is matter of fact, and beyond all dispute. But how came it to pass at the beginning, that the earth moved in its present orb? We have shewn before, that if gravity and a projected motion be fitly proportioned, any planet would freely revolve at any assignable distance within the space of the whole system. Was it mere chance then, or divine counsel and choice, that constituted the earth in its present situation ? To know this, we

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