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in many particulars, will not let us doubt that they had the same original.” This is good reasoning. It is evident that the nature of the fowl is different from the nature of the beasts, and there is amplest cause for believing that their creation was altogether different. They were not created on the same day ; and they are, throughout the Scriptures, carefully distinguished from them. Those, to which they are nearest in similitude, are the fishes; and the only two remaining elements, from one of which it is possible they should have been made, are the water, from which the fishes were made, and the air. There is no authority for suggesting their creation from the latter; we have, therefore, but the former left to us; and, when the Scriptures tell us that they were made of it, why should we not believe the statement ? It is indeed true, that in the nineteenth verse of the second chapter, there is that which appears to contradict it, but which is in fact no contradiction at all. It is there said—“Out of the ground the Lord formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” It is not intended that we should infer from. hence, that the fowl were formed from the earth, or the dust of the ground; but that both the beasts and the fowl, respectively, were formed out of that substance which God created in the beginning; and they are so joined together in the repetition of the account of creation to avoid confusion of sentence: these two only are mentioned by name, because these two only were brought unto Adam : the fishes could not have been brought unto him: if they could have been brought, we should have had, either them and the fowl named together as of the same origin, or, probably, the whole three united in creation, the beasts, the fishes, and the fowl, as the beasts and the fowl are now united; but, as it was, the beasts and the fowl are mentioned in general terms as to their creation : they are stated to have been made from the ground, the substance of the world; the particular matter having been already demonstrated, it was not necessary to repeat it. The concluding part of the verse says “ Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." He gave names to all beings; he discriminated their properties; but it was not possible to bring before him other than the beasts and the fowl; the fishes could not be moved from their element. As to those who would urge, that the fowls were made from a composition of water and earth, I hold the idea to be altogether futile, and no more than mere fancy; as invented, or suggested, in order to get rid of an apparent difficulty. The case after all, must be made to rest on the right interpretation of the words of Moses ; and when, as I have said, the weight of testimony is in favour of the present version, it we are bound to receive. I shall mention another opinion which has been holden, and I do mention it because it has been holden, and not because I conceive it to have any force; and that is, that there being two kinds of fowl, one aquatic, and the other terrene; the one was formed from the earth, and the other from the water: Moses, however, speaks of the whole kind of fowl under one head; he makes no distinction; and why should we make any? The fowl are said to have been brought forth with the fishes, from the waters; and it is added, that they were so brought forth that they might “fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” If they had been brought forth from the earth, they could not have flown above it. They are afterwards commanded to “ multiply in the earth.” The sacred Historian states the fact of creation, giving a reason why these were created from a different element from that in which they were principally to reside, and to draw their food, and to have their purpose. The nature of the water is not very dissimilar to that of the air; and from the former they drew their lightness, and each other property which enabled them to move in the latter. To these arguments, let us add this one-whatever was formed from the earth exclusively, must come under the general description of terrestrial animals ; and it is not so in this instance.
Wonderful was this, as was every part of creation; and our awe of Him, by whom it was brought about, cannot be too reverential and deep. These beings were made with all the admirable qualities of which we now see them to be possessed and to be adorned with; whatever power, whatever instinct, whatever clothing—it was at that time appointed, and yet continues, and shall continue, until God's purpose in the creation be fulfilled, and it be advanced unto its grand consummation: all was excellently appointed and adapted, both to the seeking and obtaining of food and sustenance, and to protection and safeguard, each from the attack of other. The least of them is provided with means for avoidance of the aggression of the largest. There is no seeming deficiency which is not made up by some supplying quality. The non-possession of magnitude and strength, is compensated by subtilty and swiftness : the absence of that which gives force to the blow by intensity of penetration. The smallest has, thus, the power of defending itself against its most powerful adversary, and, on occasion, of annoying it in its turn. The fowl, to whom was appointed the capacity of conveying themselves through the air, are furnished with wings, as proper to bear them on that element; the fishes—with fins, enabling them to swim in the water, and to pass with rapidity through it, and the water-fowl—with feet and beaks so formed and arranged as to enable them to dive under the waters, and yet at the same time to be protected against the inconveniences of cold. Whoever looks into the form and structure of these animals, will find abundant reason to praise the Creator for the many and marvellous contrivances by which the means and defences wherewith He has provided them are disposed and maintained—their pliability, their readiness for instant use or action, the constant supply of nourishment for them which is contained, as in a reservoir, within themselves. If,
as regarding fishes, we cast our observation on the impenetrability by the water of the scale, or the unceasing supply of the oil, which, while it gives warmth and life, protects it, also, from any injurious influence of the water; if we examine their shape, which, from the formation of it, is well calculated for gliding through the fluid ; if, the flexibility of their muscles, which gives, too, as much strength as agility; if their fins, which regulate all their motions, and preserve their balance, how are we compelled to admire! Again, let us look for a moment to the fowls of the air, especially in that particular quality by which they are enabled to bear themselves above. Their wings are so situated as to present “ two levers, which keep the body in a just poise; at the same time they perform the function of oars, which, by bearing on the element that resists them, advance the body in a contrary direction: the tail is a counterpoise to the head and neck, and serves the bird instead of a rudder, whilst he rows with his wings; but this rudder is not only instrumental in preserving the equilibrium of the flight; it likewise enables the bird to rise, descend, and turn, where it pleases, for, as soon as the tail is directed to one point, the head turns to the opposite quarter'.” See their plumage; the skill with which it is formed ; the usefulness to which it is applied ; the adaptation of the various parts to their respective purposes.
1 Nature Displayed.