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him, I form fome kind of acquaintance with them, and enjoy a kind of dominion over every inhabitant of the globe.
Shall we be permitted to form an idea of what might be the natural knowledge of ADAM? did he ftare at the Sun, as ignorant of his effects? did he difregard the filver Moon? Rather, let us suppose, that he well knew the importance and magnificence of the folar light, the ferenity and coolness of the Queen of Heaven; nor was he perhaps uninformed of those remoter, yet neighbour worlds, the planets, or undelighted with the luftre of the star-befpangled firmament. Certainly, we must admit his intimate acquaintance with himself, and the regions of his immediate dominion: The air, the light, the water, the earth, were fo many divifions of his kingdom, and alternately engaged his attention. He faw HIMSELF the only rational creature' moving upon the earth; endowed with faculties capable of very extensive comprehenfion, intelligent, and exact. Around him were the quadrupeds of various bulk; from that unwieldy mountain of flesh, the elephant, to the most diminutive: poffeffing an infinite variety of diversified qualities; courage and valour, fagacity and cunning, wif dom and prudence, strength and perfeverance; diftributed among them, not by chance, but in exact proportion; not united in one clafs, to the deprivation of others, but fo regulated as to prevent both fcarcity and monopoly. The feathered fowl delighted him with their ingenuity in the conftructions of their habitations, with their melody in the
verdant grove, with their gay and sprightly plumage. The infect tribes excited his curious inspection, and shewed in miniature the vivacity of the moft fplendid decorations; even the (now) reptile ferpent had his many attractions, his vivid fpots, his variegated fcales, and peculiar fubtlety "above every creature of the field;" nor was the vegetable world lefs important to him: the arbour which composed his dwelling, the trees which furrounded his habitation, those from whence he gathered his fuftenance, could not but be familiar to his remark. The various fruits, of fragrant fmell, of fimple tafte, of poignant relish; the various leaves, broad or narrow, downy or fmooth; the flowers, whofe odour refreshed his fpirits, and regaled his smell, while they delighted his fight, and charmed his view, by their beauty and variety. What might be his knowledge of the inhabitants of the waters, we know not: We find them well deferving our investigation.
What forbids us from endeavouring to be as wife as ADAM? The pleasures arising from this wisdom may perhaps be diminished, but are by no means deftroyed; they yet remain, as among the natural, fo among the most confi derable, enjoyments of mankind; they are our purest pleafures, and, in regard to advantage, we have fome (and very forcible) reafons for the ftudy now, which existed not in the ftate of innocence; for now many brute animals are deftructive; thefe we mult learn to avoid, to conquer, or to tame: many trees are poifonous, many fruits deadly, many plants noxious, thefe we must learn to distinguish,
left our food become fatal, and left we mistake difeafe for health. We must now avoid the infect, unless we are certain it has no fting; we must forbear the flower, unless we are sure its fragrance is not injurious; not only fo, but the phenomena which furround our earth, the air, the meteors, are not as they were originally: we know ftorms and tempefts by experience; thunder and lightning, the rolling billows, the mountainous furge; and we also wish to inquire into their causes, and into their properties.
By the experiments of our predeceffors, by the labours of many intelligent men, we are enabled to give reasonable anfwers to queftions on these subjects, and to acquire a competent knowledge of the operations of nature; not, indeed, that we pretend ability to account for all, or to develope every mystery of nature: we admit that much remains hitherto unexplored, much that never will be explored. It is high as heaven, what can we do; deep as hell, what can we know.' Yet, from this our inevitable and infuperable ignorance, we will take occafion to acknowledge the greatness of the universal Author, and to confess our own humble abilities. We are not yet difembodied fpirits, we are not yet immortals at liberty, but furrounded by numerous wants, and tenants of tabernacles
Come then, my friends, to whom knowledge opens her copious stores, to whom liberal Nature offers her choiceft treafures, come, and, like rationals, enjoy rational fatisfaction; inspect the glorious Sun, the lucid Moon, or "kindle your
"devotion at the Stars." Secure from the war of elements, investigate their caufes; for us the ftorm fhall roll, the thunder burst, the lightnings flash; for us the waves shall roar, the yawning abyfs foam; the volcano fhall emit fulphureous smoke, and flames as from Hell; earth too fhall tremble, while we feel in fafety its percuffions, and stand unmoved amidst a falling world.
Or, if inclined for diverfion, we will indulge the ludicrous; will applaud the cunning of the fox, or smile at the grin of the baboon, or laugh at the grimaces of the monkey; will accompany their robberies, and enjoy the joke of a fruit-stealing expedition. For leffons of domestic life we will admire the industry of the beaver, or the anxiety of the hen over her callow brood; we will visit the laborious bee, and taste the fweets of honeft diligence; we will pluck the blushing rose, and gather every flower of the spring; we will crush the luscious berry, and quaff the blood of the grape, without disguft, without repletion, without inebriety.
We may often learn rational information; birds who, to secure their nefts, hang them on the extreme leaves of trees, or those, who make the rock their aerie, fhall teach us prudence, and the half-reasoning elephant shall raise our admiration. Not fatisfied with this, we will turn inwards our inspection, and when we there discover principles and qualities fuperior to any bestowed elsewhere, it fhall excite our wishes, our refolutions, our endeavours, to correfpondent dignity of fentiment and deportment.