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· Minifry of Sorcerers or Phantoms. These wicked Spie rits are those whom the Scripture calls the Powers of Darkness, or the Powers of the Air. God, with the others, makes Millions of Beasts of all kinds, which serve for the several Uses of Man, which fill the Universe, and cause the Wisdom and Omnipotence of the Creator to be admired: By that means, I can easily conceive hou, on the one hand, the Devils can tempt us; and, on the other, how Beasts can think, know, have Sentiments, and a spiritual Soul, without any way striking at the Do&trines of Religion. I am no longer surprized to see them have Dexterity, Forecast, Memory, and Fudgment. I should rather have occasion to wonder at their having no more, since their Soul, very likely, is more perfect than ours: But I discover the Reason of this ; it is because in Beasts as well as in ourselves, the Operations of the Mind, are dependent on the material Organs of the Machine to which it is united; and these Organs being grofjer and less perfect in Beasts than in us, it follows, that the Knowledge, the Thoughts, and the other spiritual Operations of Beasts, muft of course be less perfeet than ours : And if these proud Spirits know their own dismal State, what an Humiliation must it be to them, thus to see themselves redrced to the Condition of Beasts! But, whether they know it or no, fo dhameful a Degradation is still, with regard to them, that primary Effect of the Divine Vengeance I just mentioned, it is an anticipated Hell. Page 17. Having mentioned the Prejudices against this · Hypothesis, fiuch as particularly the Pleasure which People of Sense and Religion take in Beasts and Birds, espea cially all sorts of domestic Animals; he proceeds : Do we love Brafts for thcir own. Sakes? No. As they are alto
gether gether Strangers to human Society, they can have no other Appointment, but that of being useful and amusing: And what care we, whether it be a Devil, or any other Creature, that serves and amuses us? The Thought of it, far from shocking, pleases me mightily. I with Gratis tude admire the Goodness of the Creator, who gave me too mäny little Devils to serve and amuse me. If I am told, that these poor Devils are doomed to suffer eternal Tortures, I admire God's Decrees, but I have no Manner of Share' in this dreadful Sentence ; I leave the Exe- · cution of it to the Sovereign Judge; and, notwithstanding this, I live with my little Devils, as I do with a Multitude of People, of whom Religion informs me, that a great Number Mall be damned But the Cure of a Preo" judice is not to be effected in a Moment, it is done by Time and Reflection; give me leave then lightly to touch upon this Difficulty, in order to observe a very important Thing to you.
Persuaded as we are, that Beasts have Intelligence, have we not all of us a thousand times pitied them, for the exceffive Evils, which the Majority of them are exposed to, and in reality suffer? How unhappy is the Condition of Horses, we are apt to say, seeing a Horse, whom an unmerciful Carman is murdering with Blows ! How miserable is a Dog, whom they are breaking for Hunting ! How dismal is the Fate of Beasts living in Woods; they are perpetually exposed to the Injuries of the Weather, always seized with Apprehensions of becoming the Prey of Hunters, or of some wilder Animal, for ever obliged, after long Fatigue, to look out for some poor infipid Food, often suffering cruel Hunger, and subject moreover to. Illness and Death! If Men are subject to a Multitude of Miseries that overzuhelm them, Religion
acquaints us with the Reason of it, viz. their being born Sinners : But what Crimes can Beasts have committed by Birth, to be subject to Evils so very cruel? What are we then to think (p. 19.) of the horrible Excesses of Miseries undergone by Beasts? Miferies, indeed, far greater than those of Men. This is in any other Syftem an incomprehensible Mystery ; whereas nothing is more easy to be conceived from the System I propose. The rebellious Spirits deserve a Punishment still more rigorous, and happy it is for them that their Punishment is deferred; in a Word, God's Goodness is vindicated; Man himself is justified: For what Right can we have without Necesity, and often in the way of mere Diversions to take away the Life of Millions of Beasts, if God had not authorized us so to do? And Beasts being as sensible as ourselves. of Pain and Death, how could a just and merciful God have given Man that Privilege, if they were not so many guilty Victims of the Divine Vengeance ?
But hear Nill something more convincing, and of greater Consequence : Beasts, by Nature, are extremely vicious. We know well that they never fin, because they are not. free; but this is the only Conditiòn wanting to make them Sinners. The voracious Birds and Beasts of Prey are cruel : Many Infeets of one and the fame Species devour each other. Cats are perfidious and ungrateful, Monkeys are mischievous, Dogs are envious. All Beasts in general are jealous and revengeful to Excess ; not to mention many other Vices we observe in them; and at the same time that they are by Nature fo very vicious, they have, say we, neither the Liberty, nor any Helps, to resift the Bias that hurries them into so many bad Astions. They are, according to the Schools, recesitated
-CREATION: 213 to do Evil, to disconcert the general Order, to commit whatever is in Nature most contrary to the Notion we have of natural Justice, and to the Principles of Virtue. What Monsters are these, in a World originally created for Order and Justice to reign in? This is, in good part, what formerly perfuaded the Manicheans, that there were of Neceflity two Orders of Things, one good, and the other bad; and that Beasts were not the Work of the good Principle. A monstrous Error! But how then fall we believe that Beasts came out of the Hands of their Creator with qualities so very strange? If Man is so very wicked and corrupt, it is because he has himself through Sin perverted the happy Nature God had given him at his Formation. Of two Things then we must say one : Either that God has taken Delight in making Beasts fo vicioks as they are, and of giving us in them Models of what is most shameful in the World; or that they have, like Man, original Sin, which has perverted their primitive Nature.
The first of these Propositions finds very difficult Access to the Mind, and is an express Contradiction to the Holy Scriptures; which say, that whatever came out of God's Hands, at the Time of the Creation of the World, was good, yea, very good. What Good can there be in a Monkey's being so very mischievous, a Dog so full of Envy, a Cat so malicious ? But ther many Authors have pretended, that Beasts, before Man's Fall, were different from what they are now; and that it was in order to punish Man, that they are rendered so wicked: But this Opinion is a mere Supposition, of which there is not the least Footstep in Holy Scripture. It is a pitiful Subterfuge to elude a real Difficulty; this at most might be said of the Beasts, with whom Man has a sort of CorrespondP 3
ence, but not at all of the Birds, Fishes, and Infects, which have no Manner of Relation to him. We muft then have recourse to the second Proposition, That the Nature of Beasts has, like that of Man, been corrupted by fome original Sin : Another Hypothesis, void of Foundation, and equally inconsistent with Reason and Religion, in all the Systems which have been hitherto espoused concerning the Soul of Beasis. What Party are we to take? Why, admit of my System, and all is explained, The Souls of Beasts are refractory Spirits, which have made themselves, guilty towards God. The Sin in Beasts is no original Sin, it is a personal Crime, which has corrupted and perverted their Nature in its whole SubAtance; hence all the Vices and Corruption we observe in them, though they can be no longer criminal, because God, by irrecoverably reprobating them, has, at the same time, divested them of their Liberty. • You have here, Madam, a full View of our Aus thor's Hypothesis, the rest being nothing but Flourifh and Trifle, idle Answers to idle Objections, upon a Supposition that his Scheme is demonstrably certain. And is it not a choice one, to answer so many Purposes, and solve so many Difficulties in Philosophy and Scripture, and reconcile so many apparent Contradictions in Reason and Religion ! Does not your very Heart recoil at the monstrous Thought? Can you view it in any Light without Abhorrence and Aversion. It was a juft Censure of a very great Man upon Des Cartes's Philosophy, that if he were at a lofs for Reasons to oppose his Doctrine, that Brutes were mere Machines; this alone would be a sufficient Proof to himself, that it was making a Jeft of so great a Part of the Creation : But this Author has exceeded