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The figure of an organic body, is generally regular. The trunk of a tree, its branches, and their ramifications, are nearly round, and form a series regularly decreasing from the trunk to the finallest fibre : uniformity is no where more remarkable than in the leaves, which, in the same species, have all the same colour, size, and shape : the feeds and fruits are all regular figures, approaching for the most part to the globular form. Hence a plant, especially of the larger kind, with its trunk, branches, foliage, and fruit, is a delightful object.
In an animal, the trunk, which is much larger .than the other parts, occupies a chief place: its shape, like that of the stem of plants, is nearly round; a figure which of all is the most agreeable : its two sides are precisely similar : several of the under parts go off in pairs; and the two individuals of each pair are accurately uniform : the single parts are placed in the middle: the limbs, bearing a certain proportion to the trunk, serve to support it, and to give it a proper eleva
upon one extremity are disposed the neck and head, in the direction of the trunk: the head being the chief part, possesses with great propriety the chief place. Hence, the beauty of the whole figure, is the result of many equal and proportional parts orderly disposed; and the smallest variation in number, equality, proportion, or order, never fails to produce a perception of ugliness and deformity. U 4
Nature in no particular seems more profuse of ornament, than in the beautiful colouring of her works. The flowers of plants, the furs of beasts, and the feathers of birds, vie with each other in the beauty of their colours, which in lustre as well as in harmony are beyond the power of imitation. Of all natural appearances, the colouring of the human face is the most exquisite: it is the strongest instance of the ineffable art of nature, in adapting and proportioning its colours to the magnitude, figure, and position, of the parts. In a word, colour seems to live in nature only, and to languish under the finest touches of art.
When we examine the internal structure of a plant or animal, a wonderful subtilty of mechanism is display'd. Man, in his niechanical operations, is confined to the surface of bodies; but the operations of nature are exerted through the whole substance, so as to reach even the elementary parts. Thus the body of an animal, and of a plant, are composed of certain great vessels; these of finaller; and these again of still smaller, without end, so far as we can discover. This power of diffusing mechanism through the most intimate parts, is peculiar to nature; and distinguishes her operations, most reinarkably, from every work of art. Such texture, continued from the grosser parts to the most minute, preserves all along the strictest regularity: the fibres of plants are a bundle of cylindric canals, lying
in the same direction, and parallel, or nearly pai rallel to each other: in some instances, a most
accurate arrangement of parts is discovered, as in onions, formed of concentric coats one within another to the very centre. An animal body is still more admirable, in the disposition of its internal parts, and in their order and fymmetry: there is not a bone, a muscle, a blood-vessel, a nerve, that hath not one corresponding to it on the opposite side; and the same order is carried through the most minute parts: the lungs are composed of two parts, which are disposed upon the sides of the thorax; and the kidneys, in a lower situation, have a position not less orderly: as to the parts that are single, the heart is advantageously situated nigh the middle : the liver, stomach, and spleen, are disposed in the upper region of the abdomen, about the same height: the bladder is placed in the middle of the body; as well as the intestinal canal, which fills the whole cavity by its convolutions.
The mechanical power of nature, not confined to small bodies, reacheth equally those of the greatest size; witness the bodies that compofe the solar system, which, however large, are weighed, measured, and subjected to certain laws, with the utmost accuracy.
Their places round the sun, with their distances, are determined by a precise rule, corresponding to their quantities of matter. The superior dignity of the central body, in respect of its bulk, and lucid appearance; is suited to the place it occupies. The globular figure of these bodies, is not only in itself beautiful, but is above all others fitted for regular motion. Each planet revolves about its own axis in a given time; and each moves round the sun, in an orbit nearly circular, and in a time proportioned to its distance. Their velocities, directed by an established law, are perpetually changing, by regular accelerations and retardations. In fine, the great variety of regular appearances, joined with the beauty of the system itself, cannot fail to produce the highest delight in every one who is sensible of design, power, or beauty.
Nature hath a wonderful power of connecting fyítems with each other, and of propagating that connection through all her works. Thus the constituent parts of a plant, the roots, the stem, the branches, the leaves, the fruit, are really different fystems, united by a mutual dependence on each other : in an animal, the lymphatic and lacteal ducts, the blood-vessels and nerves, the muscles and glands, the bones and cartilages, the membranes and viscera, with the other organs, form distinct systems, which are united into one whole. There are, at the same time, other connections less intimate ; every plant is joined to the earth by its roots; it requires rain and dews to furnish it with juices, and it requires heat to preserve these juices in fluidity and motion: every animal, by its gravity, is connected with the earth, with the element in which it breathes, and with the sun, by deriving from it cherishing and enlivening heat : the earth furnisheth aliment to plants, these to animals, and these again to other animals, in a long train of dependence: that the earth is part of a greater system, comprehending many bodies mutually attracting each other, and gravitating all toward one common centre, is now thoroughly explo, red. Such a regular and uniform series of connections, propagated through so great a number of beings, and through such wide spaces, is wonderful: and our wonder must increafe, when we observe these connections propagated from the minutest atoms to bodies of the most enormous size, and widely diffused, so as that we can neither perceive their beginning nor their end. That these connections are not confined within our own planetary system, is certain ; they are diffused over spaces still more remote, where new bodies and systems rise to our view, without end. All space is filled with the works of God, which are conducted by one plan, to answer unerringly one great end.
But the most wonderful connection of all, though not the most conspicuous, is that of our internal frame with the works of nature : man is obviously fitted for contemplating these works, because in this contemplation he has great delight. The works of nature are remarkable in their uniformity not less than in their variety ;