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again to themselves, after having been domesticated. This principle of wildness and natural timidity is nothing else but a principle of self-preservation, which the Creator at first stamped on all animal nature, which is evident in a less or greater degree among all beasts, fowls, fishes and insects.
It is this principle of self-preservation or instinctive (though unconscious*) love of life, which God has breathed into all animals, which gives to them instinctive motives for action, and is that genial fire which impels them to obtain their food, and to flee from real or imaginary danger. Without this, no beast would have
force enough to get out of the way when threatened. - This principle is marked with deeper or fainter shades,
* Once for all in this place, I will remark, that the word con scious, or CONSCIOUSNESS, properly belongs to no species of being on the earth but the rational. It is defined by all lexicographers to signify a knowledge of what passes in one's own mind, an internal sense of guilt or innocence. This qualification is the only distinguishing mark between the brute and the man. The latter is thereby empowered to revolve subjects in his own mind in such a manner as to deduce rational conclusions from any premises conceived of, and is the only reason why he is a subject of law imposed by the Creator, and is, consequently, rendered accoun. table.
But the former, not possessing this qualification, are not, therefore, rational, and consequently are not conscious of either guilt or innocence, and therefore are not accountable to the Creator, as man is. Whatever sagacious qualifications any animal may possess, they should be ranked under the idea of instinctive powers, which falls infinitely short of a rational consciousness, and produces all those actions of which animals are capable, and is che power which determines the will of brutes, without the aid of reason or consciousness.
as deemed good to the Creator, from the fierce tiger of the Bengal woods, downward to the humming bird of a summer's morning, from thence to where animal life is lost in the sensitive plant, or the polypus of the sea. Il, at first, the principle of self-defence, manifested either by the sanguine conflict, or by speed of flight, were not implanted by the Creator, it would follow that all animals, not carnivorous, would soon have become extinct, by being devoured by such as were of the former sort ; and they also would, in their turn, have died for lack of proper food. But the defensive as well as offensive spirit, which prevails through all the ranks of animation, is nothing else but the play of nature, the wisdom of God, so that the weaker may save time to propagate their kinds before they fall a prey to sustain the other branches of animation. That such was the original design, I shall attempt to prove, by referring to the peculiar construction and facilities afforded animals to procure their food. 1. There we see the fierce panther, couched in a thicket, or hid in the thick boughs of the trees, from whence to leap upon bis victim--there the eagle pursues, on rapid wungs, the pheasant, or pounces, like a bolt from the clouds, upon the timid bare—the shark rives the briny waves, and flies, with the speed of an arrow, in pursuit of his destined food. To the lion is given a mouth armed with canine teeth, and feet with horrible claws, to seize and retain his prey ; so every creature is fitted for their several modes of life, from the mammoth, hugest of God's works, to the ephemera of a summer's day..
Perhaps, in this place, if I give an account of the mammoth, it will not displease the curious. The anianal is by naturalists named mammoth, or mega-lonyx, the whole race of which appears to be now wholly extinct, except a few skeletons which are yet remaining. The mammoth is undoubtedly a carnivorous animal, as the structure of the teeth proves, and is of an immense size. It is stated by Dr. Clark, that from a considerable part of a skeleton which he had seen and examined, It is computed that the animal to which it belonged must have been nearly twenty-five feet high, and sixty in length. The bones of one toe were entire, and upwards of three feet in length. It is argued by Dr. Clark, that the behemoth, or mammoth, was a cruel and fierce animal, and formed for tyranny and rapacity
equally lord of the floods and the mountains, its habits of motion being with fury and speed. Although naturalists have contended, some, that Job, in the Scrip. tures, his distinguished, in his description of the Behemoth, the Elephant, and others the Hippopotamus ; but the sacred description does not agree with either, because the tail of the elephant is small and slender, and that of the hippopotamus but a foot long. But the tail of the mammoth is said to be like a cedar tree. He moveth his tail like a cedar. Job 40, 17. Its teeth plainly denotes it to have been carnivorous, from the unevenness of their surface, the processes being an inch deep, which marks the creature as living on flesh. And yet it is described as feeding on grass with equal facility, and probably lived both on animal and vegetable food.
It was a many-toed animal, and perhaps of the tiger family, its strength and agility surpassing all of that race as far as its immense size seems to denote. Nothing, by swiftness, could have escaped its pursuit, the largest, strongest and swiftest quadruped that God bad formed. No power of man, (in his fallen state) or beast, could stand before him, for he was the chief of the ways of God. Job 40, 19. Creatures of this kind must have been living in the days of Job ; for the mammoth, or behemoth, is relerred to as if perfectly and commonly known.
This monster, as well as the leviathan, the water dragon, or crocodile--the hippopotamus—the unicorn, or rhinoceros—the elephant-the anaconda--the tremendous and horrible lyboya, with all lesser animals, were at the command of Adam in his innocence, and uuder his government, as his pleasure might suggest.
And that all these were thus formed in the beginning, we have only to bring as proof, that God saw that all he had made was very good. Gen. 1, 25. That every beast, with its peculiar temper and peculiar conformation, adapted to their peculiar modes of subsistence, was very good. But if we admit the notion, that when man fell from holiness by sin, that the whole animal creation underwent a change of disposition, formation and habits, it is the same as to believe that God, on the account of man's sin, uncreated what he had but a short time before pronounced very good. But if we reject this idea, and say, God did not thus change his perfect work as it respects animals, then we are driven to, believe, that sin acted as a powerful crea
tor, not only in changing the dispositions of the whole animal kingdom, but that it really altered, and gave an entire new modification to the forms of all that class of animals which are carnivorous--but that it gave them different appetites from what they had at first, and different teeth to masticate their food with, is altogether a fancy. If we attach such vast power to sin, as acting on the very museles of the brute creation, and totally subverting their primeval modifications, wliy not argue the same subverting effects generally, through all the works of God on the globe ? Why not say that ocean became land, and land became ocean, and that all trees at first were succulent; but now, by the power of sin, are hardened to that of timber, as we find them in the great forests of nature ? But that such was the effect of the fall of man upon animals, or that such a new modification took place with respect to them, is no where to be found in profane or sacred history, nor yet within the circle of human reasoning. Truly it is written, see Gen. 1, 30. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat : and it was so, Here it would seem, at first sight, that an impassable barrier is opposed to my views respecting the primitive food of animals; but a little attention will give a diffen rent view. If all kinds of animals, without any excep tion, at first fed on grass, and the herbs of the fields and mountains, why then did not sin have on all the same effect, if lions, tigers, eagles, fishes, and all that are now carnivorous, fed op herbs before man sidnud?