. DISQJJISITION I. ON THE CHAIN OF UNIVERSAL BEING. TH E farther we inquire into the works of our great Creator, the more evident marks we Jhall difcover of his infinite wifdom and power, and perhaps in none more remarkable, than in. that wonderful chain of Beings, B with 3 with which this terreftrial globe is furnifhed rifing above each ether, from the fenfelefs clod, to the brighteft genius of human kind, in which, tho s the chain itfelf is fuf- fkiently vifible, the links, which compofe it, are fo minute, and fo finely ...
. DISQJJISITION I. ON THE CHAIN OF UNIVERSAL BEING. TH E farther we inquire into the works of our great Creator, the more evident marks we Jhall difcover of his infinite wifdom and power, and perhaps in none more remarkable, than in. that wonderful chain of Beings, B with 3 with which this terreftrial globe is furnifhed rifing above each ether, from the fenfelefs clod, to the brighteft genius of human kind, in which, tho s the chain itfelf is fuf- fkiently vifible, the links, which compofe it, are fo minute, and fo finely wrought, that they are quite imperceptible to our eyes. The various qualities, with which thefe various Beings are endued, we per- ceive without difficulty, but the boundaries of thofe qualities, which form this chain of fubordination, are fo mixed, that where one ends, and the next begins, we are unable to difcover. The manner by which this is performed, is a fubject well worthy of our confideration, tho I do a J I do not remember to have feen it much confidered but on an accu- rate examination appears to be this. Jn order to diffufe all poflible happinefs, God has been pleafed to fill this earth with innumerable orders of Beings, fuperior to each other in proportion to the qualities, and faculties which he has thought them to proper to beftow upon mere matter he has given extenfion, folidity, and gravity to plants, vegetation i to animals, life and in- ftinct i and to man, reafon each of which fuperior qualities augments the excellence, and dignity of the pofiefTor, and places him higher in the fcale of univerfal exiftence. In all thefe, it is remarkable, that he has not formed this necefTaryv and -beautiful fubordination, by placing Beings of quite different naturesabove each other, but by granting fpjpe additional quality to each fuperior order, in conjunction with all thofe poffefled by their inferiors fo that, tho they rife above each other in excellence, by means of thefe additional qualities, one mode of exiftence is common to them all, without which they never could have coalefced in one uniform and regular fyftem, Thus, for inftance, in plants we find all the qualities of mere mat- ter, the only order below them, folidity, extenfion, and gravity, with the addition of vegetation in ani- mals, all the properties of matter, together. 5 together with the vegetation of plants, to which is added, life, and inftinft and in man we find all the properties of matter, the vege- tation of plants, the life and inftindt of animals, to all which is fuper- added reafon. That man is endued with thefe properties of all inferior orders, will plainly appear by a flight ex- amination of his compofition j his body is material, and has all the properties of mere matter, folidity, -extenfion, and gravity -, it is alfo veiledwith the quality of plants, that is, a power of vegetation, which it inceffantly exercifes without any or confentof his it is knowledge, fown, grows up, expands, comes to maturity, withers and dies, like B all
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