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There is nothing concerning them which is not contrived in wisdom and goodness.
When God had, in this manner, and with these properties, made these creatures, He “ blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.” The power of production, which had been thus temporarily bestowed on the sea, was, now that the design of that grant was accomplished, taken from it; and, in lieu thereof, as a means of future creation, and in order to a perpetual succession, the power of propagation was imparted to the beings which had been produced
The truth of this account of creation is evident, if but from hence: these beings in analysis, are dissolvible into the several substances of which the waters are composed, and the waters have no longer the power of producing them. Those substances cannot now unite; nor can any extraneous action upon the waters, whether of the wind, or of the sun, create animal life out of them. The truth of the Mosaic History is, I say, well evidenced hereby. All have continued from that time to the present; and unchanged in any part of their structure or properties. Omnipotent wisdom is visible. This is a remark, applying to creation in general, animal and vegetable. God ordained it so to be, throughout perpetual generations; and each kind is thus essentially propagated. The divine blessing was now vouchsafed, commanding the inhabitants of the waters to be fruitful therein, to multiply, and to fill the waters; and the fowl also, whose origin was of the waters, were endued with the power or property of continuing their kind, without necessity of recourse to the waters, as the parental spring; they were commanded to multiply in the earth ; and we may observe, however many of them fix their habitations by the sides of rivers, and however they deposit their eggs, and produce their young ones, near unto, or almost within them, yet do they more properly belong to the earth. The attraction of some of them to the waters, is a proof of their origin from the waters; it is a connection, in origin, of the fishes of the sea with the fowls of the air; it is a link, by which the two general kinds are united; and may without stretch of conjecture, have been so designed. It was necessary to produce the fowls from the water, that they might possess a nature which should capacitate them for flying in the air, and holding it as their proper territory, if we may use such an expression as descriptive of their peculiar habits. If they had been produced from the earth, their attraction would have been to the earth, and they would have sought to it as their parent; but, it was God's intention that they should be “fowls of the air,” and therefore it was, that He commanded the waters to bring, or send them forth. They were made from that element; and the command to fly in the air, and to multiply in the earth, would prevent their again so drawing to the water, as to frustrate or interfere with his
divine contrivance, that every thing should be adapted to its appointment, and as a means to the effecting of it, God made them in their nature agreeable thereunto. He had decreed, or ordained, that the air should be peopled; and, this was his method. Creation was a regular plan : it was perfect in all its parts; and we may be sure that the methods, which divine wisdom employed, were perfectly wise, and perfectly fitted to their end.
In these doings, how much is there at which to wonder! and, truly, in what one part of creation are there not to be found subjects of wonder and praise ? None of it is without its wonders ; but, in this world beneath, if we were required to declare what is eminently wonderful, that is, what appears so to us,for, undoubtedly, each part is admirable as the other, and our feeling of wonder is greater or less, as our faculties of comprehending and discriminating may be greater or less ;-in this lower world the wonders of the ocean strike upon us with strongest effect. Its own magnificence and awfulness are much ; and, in those who rightly consider, who proceed in their investigation from effects unto causes, from servant unto master, how deep must be the fear and admiration of Him, who could contrive, who could make, who can control it! What must be His power, who could “set its bounds by a perpetual decree which it should not pass”—who can calm its waves, and allay its turbulence ! “O Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.” Looking to the inhabitants of the waters, considering the diversity of them; their sizes, from the largest to the most minute,--and there are some so minute as to be nearly invisible, their admirable properties; their natural defences against any danger of the element, in which they hold their existence; the facility and the quickness with which they move themselves ;-all impress us with wonder, and create in us an admiration of the might of that will which made and disposed them, which it is almost beyond the means of any language to declare. Behold the great whale, whose every movement causes a disturbance far and wide; and consider the small fish, which skims with somewhat of imperceptibility over the surface; and you will find either one equally wondrous: either one possesses an equal regard from its Maker; the care of His Providence is alike upon either. What is worldly magnitude, or worldly minuteness, in the eye of Infinity ? God sees not as we see. His perfectness does not admit the difference which meets our sight and judgment. “His ways are not our ways; nor are his thoughts our thoughts. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than our ways, and God's thoughts than our thoughts.” Therefore have the goodness and wisdom of His Providence attended equally upon them. Every arrangement has been made which is suitable to their respective natures, and probable wants: there is no deficiency in any point; there is nothing faulty in the original design, and nothing lacking in the care which has engaged to provide for the maintenance, safety, and well-being of all. Large as is the former, bulky and unwieldy as it may seem to us, yet is it perfect in its kind. God, in the beginning, saw that it was good, and blessed it. Its faculties are proportioned to, or made to assort with, its magnitude; there is nothing unnecessary in all that huge mass, which an unintelligent view might be induced to pronounce irregular, unsightly and clumsy: there is no apparent inconvenience which has not been foreseen, and is not counterbalanced by some exquisite contrivance and effect. If we look at the latter, we shall see, small and unworthy of attention as to a superficial inquirer it may appear, and useless as to the unwise and the ignorant of God's ways it may be deemed in its generation, that it is neither insignificant, nor unworthy of attention, nor useless in its kind; and that it is equally provided, and equally perfect in its generation. There is a purpose in every being which has sprung up at the command of God: he has not made for nought any thing which he has made. It is not to be supposed, as has been already insisted, that perfect wisdom would act, in any instance, without adequate and justifying design. The fitness of the parts of the several members of the minutest kind, may yet be made visible to the careful observer : there is a defence in activity, useful as the most potent weapon; and the exquisite point with which some of them are armed, is oftentimes sufficient against the attack of the largest and strong