Page images

(with which I conclude,) / will praise thee, for I am fearfully and •wonderfully made} marvellous are thy Works, and that my Soul knoweth right -well.

Having thus made what (considering the Copiousness and Excellence of the Subject,) may be called a very brief Survey of Man, and seen such admirable Marks of the divine Design and Art j let us next take a transient View of the other inferiour Creatures -s and begin with Quadrupeds.

[graphic][table][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][graphic][merged small]

jal , jiAbrti


^Survey of Quadrupeds.


Of their Trone Posture.


jN taking a View of this Part of the Animal World, so far as the Structure of their Bodies is conformable to that of Man, I shall pass them by, and only take notice of some Peculiarities in them, which are plain Indications of Design, and the Divine Superintendence and Management. And, 1. The most visible apparent Variation is the Prone Posture of their Body: Concerning which, I shall take notice only of two Things, the Parts ministring thereto, and the Use and Benefit thereof.

I. As for the Parts, 'tis observable, that in all these Creatures, the Legs are made exactly conformable to this Posture, as those in Man are to his erect Posture: And what is farther observable also, is, that the Legs and Feet are always admirably suited to the Motion and Exercises of each Animal: In some they are made for Strength only,

to to support a vast, unwieldy Body (a); in others they arc made for Agility and Swiftness (£), in some they are made fat only Walking and Running, in others for that j and Swimming too (a)-, in others for Walkingand Digging {d)i and in others for. Walking and Flying (e): In some they are made more lax and weak, for the plainer Lands j in others rigid, stiff, and less flexible (/), for traversing


(a) The Elephant being a Creatureof prodigious Weighs, the largest of all Animals; Pliny faith, hath its Legs accordingly made of an immense Strength, like Pillars, rather than' Legs.

(6) Deer, Hares, and other Creatures, remarkable for Swiftness, have their! Legs accordingly slender, but withal strong, and every way adapted to their Swiftness.

(c) Thus the Feet of the Otter are made, the Toes being all conjoined with Membranes, as the Feet of Geese and Ducks are. And in Swimming, it is observable, that when the Foot goes forward in the Water, the Toes are close; bat.when backward, they ate spread out, whereby they more'forcibly strike the Water, and drive themselves forward. The fame may be observed also in Ducks and Geese, t/r.

. Of the Castor or Beaver, the Trend Academists siy, The Str/tf'lurc es the Feet Wm very extraordinary, and sufficiently demonstrated, that Nature hath designed this Animal to live in, the Water, as well as us on Land. For although it had fault Feet, like Terrestrial Animals, yet the hindmost seemed more proper to swim than walk with, the Five Toes es which they were campos'd, being joined together like those os a Goose by U Membrane, which serves this Animal to swim with. But tht fore ones were made otherwise; for there was no Membrane which held those Toes joined together: And this was requisitefor the Conveniency of this Animal, -which ufeth them as Hands like a Squirrel, when he tats. Memoirs for a Nat. Hist, of Animals, tag. 84.

(d) The Mole's Feet are a remarkable Instance. \x )rj \

(«) The Wings of the Bat are a prodigious Deviation from Nature's ordinary Way. So 'tis in the Virginian Squirrel, wjhose Skinis extended between the Fore-Legs and its Rody. (/) Of the Legs of the Elk, the French Academists fay, Although some Authors resort, that there are Elks in Monrovia,


And now I might here add a Survey of the excellent Contrivances of the Parts ministring to this Posture of the four-footed Animals, the admirable Structure of the Bones (*"), the Joints and Muscles j their various Sizes and Strength; their commodious Lodgment and Situation, the nice Æquipoise of the Body, with a great deal more to the fame

Inirpose. But I should be tedious to insist minutey upon such Particulars, and besides, I have given a Touch upon these Kinds of Things, when I spake of Man.

Passing by therefore many Things of this Kind, that might deserve Remark, I shall only consider some of the Parts of Quadrupeds, differing from what is found in Man (*), and which are manifest Works of Design.

vr v'J

(i) It is a singular Provision Nature hath made for the Strength of the Lion, if that be true, which GaUn faith is reported of its Bones being not hollow (as in other Animals) but solid: Which Report he thus far confirms, that most of the Bones are so; and that those in the Legs, andfomeother Parts, have only a small and obscure Cavity in them. Vid. Galen, de Us. Part. L. n. C. r8.

(k) These Sorts of Differences in the Mechanism os Animals, upon the Score of the Position of their Bodies, occur so often, that it would be no mean Service to Anatomy ■ < ■ if any one would give us a Hi/lory of those Variations of the Parts of Animals, which spring from the different Postures of their Bodits. Drake Anat. V. t. B. i. c. 17.

. .' ~ ..\ i ■' * ...


.?. ,i. 1

• , . . . :.) . 1H snii

« PreviousContinue »