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present age, can look through a whole planetary system; consider it in its weight, number, and measure ; and draw from it as many demonstrations of infinite power and wisdom, as a more confined understanding is able to deduce from the system of a human body.
But to return to our speculations on anatomy. I shall here consider the fabric and texture of the bodies of animals in one particular view ; which, in my opinion, shews the hand of a thinking and all-wise Being in their formation, with the evidence of a thousand demonstrations. I think we may lay this down as an incontested principle, that chance never acts in a perpetual uniformity and consistence with itself. If one should always fling the same number with ten thousand dice, or see every throw just five times less, or five times more in number than the throw which immediately preceded it; who would not imagine there is some invisible power which directs the cast ? this is the proceeding which we find in the operations of nature. Every kind of animal is diversified by different magnitudes, each of which gives rise to a different species. Let a man trace the dog or lion kind, and he will observe how many of the works of nature are pub. lished, if I may use the expression, in a variety of editions. If we look into the reptile world, or into those different kinds of animals that fill the element of water, we meet with the same repetitions among several species, that differ very little from one another, but in size and bulk. You find the same creature that is drawn at large, copied out in several proportions, and ending in miniature. It would be tedious to produce instances of this regular conduct in Providence, as it would be superfluous to those who are versed in the natural history of animals. The magnificent harmony of the universe is such, that we may observe innumerable divisions running upon the same ground. I might also extend this speculation to the dead parts of nature, in which we may find matter disposed into many similar systems, as well in our survey of stars and planets, as of stones, vegetables, and other sublunary parts of the creation. In a word, Providence has shewn the richness of its goodness and wisdom, not only in the production of many original species, but in the multiplicity of descants' which it has made on every original species in particular.
But to pursue this thought still further : every living creature, considered in itself, has many very complicated parts, that are exact copies of some other parts which it possesses, and which are complicated in the same manner. One Eye would have been sufficient for the subsistence and preservation of an animal; but, in order to better his condition, we see another placed with a mathematical exactness in the same most advantageous situation, and in every particular of the same size and texture. Is it possible for chance to be thus delicate and uniform in her operations ? Should a million of dice turn up twice together in the same number, the wonder would be nothing in comparison with this. But when we see this similitude and resemblance in the arm, the hand, the fingers; when we see one half of the body entirely correspond with the other, in all those minute strokes, without which a man might have very well subsisted ; nay, when we often see a single part repeated a hundred times in the same body, notwithstanding it consists of the most intricate weaving of numberless fibres, and these parts differing
still in magnitude, as the convenience of their particular situaition requires ; sure a man must have a strange cast of under
standing, who does not discover the finger of God in so wonderful a work. These duplicates in those parts of the body, without which a man might have very well subsisted, though not so well as with them, are a plain demonstration of an all-wise con.
Meant perhaps for descents, progress downwards.—Johnson.—G.
triver; as those more numerous copyings, which are found among the vessels of the same body, are evident demonstrations that they could not be the work of chance. This argument receives additional strength, if we apply it to every animal and insect within our knowledge, as well as to those numberless living creatures that are objects too minute for a buman eye: and if we consider how the several species in the whole world of life resemble one another in very many particulars, so far as is convenient for their respective states of existence; it is much more probable that an hundred million of dice should be casually thrown a hundred million of times in the same number, than that the body of any single animal should be produced by the fortuitous concourse of matter. And that the like chance should arise in innumerable instances, requires a degree of credulity that is not under the direction of common sense. We may carry this consideration yet further, if we reflect on the two sexes in every living species, with their resemblances to each other, and those particular distinctions that were necessary for the keeping up of this great world of life.
There are many more demonstrations of a Supreme Being, and of his transcendent wisdom, power, and goodness, in the for. mation of the body of a living creature, for which I refer my reader to other writings, particularly to the sixth book of the poem, entitled Creation, where the anatomy of the human body is described with great perspicuity and elegance. I have been particular on the thought which runs through this Speculation, because I have not seen it enlarged upon by others.
No. 547. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27.
Si vulnus tibi monstratâ radice vel berba
Hor. 2 Ep. ii. 149.
It is very difficult to praise a man without putting him out of countenance. My following correspondent has found out this uncommon art, and, together with his friends, has celebrated some of my Speculations after such a concealed but diverting manner, that if any of my readers think I am to blame in publishing my own commendations, they will allow I should have deserved their censure as much, had I suppressed the humour in which they are conveyed to me.
“Sir, "I am often in a private assembly of wits of both sexes, w'ere we generally descant upon your speculations, or upon the subjects on which you have treated. We were last Tuesday talking of those two volumes which you have lately published. Some were commending one of your papers, and some another; and there was scarce a single person in the company that had not a favourite speculation. Upon this a man of wit and learning told us, he thought it would not be amiss if we paid the Spectator the same compliment that is often made in our public prints to Sir William Read, Dr. Grant, Mr. Moor, the apothecary, and other eminent physicians, where it is usual for the patients to
publish the cures which have been made upon them, and the sev. eral distempers under which they laboured. The proposal took,' and the lady where we visited having the two last volumes in large paper interleaved for her own private use, ordered them to be brought down, and laid in the window, whither every one in the company retired, and writ down a particular advertisement in the style and phrase of the like ingenious compositions which we frequently meet with at the end of our newspapers. When we had finished our work, we read them with a great deal of mirth at the fire-side, and agreed, nemine contradicente, to get them transcribed, and sent to the Spectator. The gentleman who made the proposal entered the following advertisement before the title-page, after which the rest succeeded in order.
“Remedium efficax et universum ; or, an effectual remedy adapted to all capacities; shewing how any person may cure himself of ill-nature, pride, party.spleen, or any other distemper inci. dent to the human system, with an easy way to know when the infection is upon him. This panacea is as innocent as bread, agreeable to the taste, and requires no confinement. It has not its equal in the universe, as abundance of the nobility and gentry throughout the kingdom have experienced.
“ N. B. No family ought to be without it."
Over the two Spectators on Jealousy, being the two first in the
third volume. “I William Crazy, aged threescore and seven, having been for several years afflicted with uneasy doubts, fears, and vapours, occasioned by the youth and beauty of Mary my wife, aged
* See Tatler with notes, vol. vi., No. 224, p. 60 and note; p. 478, et passim, an account of Sir William Read: also Tatler, vol. ii., No. 55, note on Dr. Grant: and Gentleman's Magazine, March 1787, p. 195.-C.