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the air for birds; providing likewise for their continuation and increase.

The antients compared the world to an egg: And the operation of the spirit upon it, they conceived to be a kind of incubation; which, by its genial warmth gradually diffused through it, raised a gentle fermentation in it, which matured its feveral productions: But this is no more than a kind of illuftration. The philosophy of this part of nature, is what we cannot pretend to have any knowledge of, fo as to be able to trace out the laws relating to the production of animal life, and fpirit which are quite out of our cognizance,

One animal there was of a nobler kind, furnished with higher endowments, than all the reft, and favoured with a peculiar prerogative. His formation is referved for laft, to crown the whole: He is defcribed as being made in the image and likeness of God himself, and is invefted with the property and dominion of the whole creation.

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Thus the heavens, and the earth were finished, and all the host of them*. God faw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good +.

I fhall finish this chapter with fome reflections, which M. Montefquieu makes

at the entrance of his celebrated work on the spirit of laws; which are no less applicable to the fucceeding parts of this treatise. "The world, though formed by the motion of matter, and void of understanding, fubfifts nevertheless through fo long a fucceffion of ages.: Its motions therefore muft certainly be directed by invariable laws. And could we imagine another world; it must also have conftant rules, or muft inevitably perith. Thus the creation, which feems an arbitrary act, fup

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*Gen. ii. I. This chapter feems to have been tranfpofed. The three firft verfes are the conclufion of the hiftory contained in the first chapter. Then follows (ver. 4.) what looks like an extract, which Mofes, as far as fuited his purpose, had preserved out of some former account; but which is greatly perplexed.

+ Genefis, i. 31.

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pofeth

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pofeth laws as invariable, as those of the fatality of the atheists. It would be abfurd' to fay, that the Creator might govern the world without thofe rules; fince without them it could not fubfift.

These rules are a fixt and invariable relation. In bodies moved, the motion is received, increased, diminished, loft, according to the relations of the quantity of matter and velocity."

We may add, That the laws, by which the world is governed, must have been framed at the first formation of it: And if it is governed by laws, it probably was made according to certain laws likewise; and that the fame laws, which were obferved in its creation, were continued, except with regard to a change of circumftances, in the government of it likewife.

CHAP.

CHAP. IL

OF THE PRIMEVAL, AND PARADISIACAL STATE OF THE EARTH.

TH

HE great Architect of the univerfe having, upon a review of his work, expreffed his complacency in it; and having feen with approbation, how the whole was fitted for its defigned end; and all the parts, adapted to the feveral ufes they were made for; as nothing could come out of the hands of the all-wife Creator, that would not fully answer his purpofe in creat ing it this earth must have been admirably well contrived, and very completely furnished, for the reception and fuftenance of its future inhabitants.

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God made man upright, in perfect innocence and fimplicity; without the least blemish or imperfection, natural or moral. It is probable therefore, as Mr. Whifton obferves, "That before any good, or bad actions of creatures; when every thing was juft as the wisdom of God was pleased to appoint-When each creature was complete and perfect in its kind; and so suited to the most complete and perfect state of external nature-It is highly probable, that the outward world, or every fuch state of external nature, was even, uniform, and regular; as was the temper and difpofition of each creature, that was to be placed therein; and as properly fuited to all their neceffities, and conveniences, as was poffible, and reasonable to be expected. Such a state, it is natural to believe, obtained through the universe, till fucceeding changes in the living and rational, required proportionable ones in the inanimate and corporeal world *."

* Mr. Whifton's Theory of the Earth, p. 115.

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