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Divine Intelligence exemplified IN THE SITUATION, DISVEGETABLES.
For the Bee.
"Roll up your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flow'rs,
I HAVE been frequently surprised, (says the elegant and fanciful Rousseau in his Emilius,) and sometimes fhocked, in the reading of Nieuwenthiet.-What a presumption was it to sit down to make a book of those wonders of nature that display the wisdom of their author? Had his book been as big as the whole world, he would not have exhausted his subject; and no sooner do we enter into the minutia of things, than the greatest wonder of all escapes us : that is, the harmony and connection of the whole.
This objection to the religious philosophy of natural history, I have often considered, without thinking it applicable to a judicious inquiry into the manifestation of divine intelligence and goodness in the works of nature. Rafhly to determine the finality of causes, is to be reprobated, as inconsistent with that humility, which ought to check a weak and ignorant creature, in exploring the administration of his Creator; but when the harmony and connection, and benefit, of all that we can see, is considered, and that the result is found to increase our confidence in the wisdom and goodness of providence, to tranquilize our hearts, and to enlighten our understandings, I can conceive no study more suitable to a rational and virtuous being, wishing to be afsimilated to the supreme Pattern of wisdom and benevolence.
I have no occasion for any longer introduction, or more laboured apology; for I declare, what I am now about to write, is intended for ingenious young men, incorrupted by false gloomy philosophy, and for that charming sex, whose interests, reputation, and happiness, has so often employed my pen in this chaste and instructive Miscellany.
I seek not to surprise with paradoxes, to perplex with enigmas, or to dazzle with eloquence and wit.
I seek rather to fortify the citadels of the unfortunate, to adorn the asylums of the feeling heart, and to administer comforts that are fit to gild the dark mansions of adversity, and to prune the soaring wings of petulant prosperity.
These are objects worthy of the true philosopher, the good citizen, and, what is best of all, of the Christian philanthropist ; and I expect to be uninterrupted.
All nature is full of order, and of adaption, of animation and motion. It is continually changing, and yet ever true to its original forms. This is the will of the Creator and governor, and it is full of wisdom and benevolence.
Whenever we explore the surface of this planet, we find it teeming with productions in infinite plenty and unknown variety.
To human ingenuity these productions are increased beyond all temporary estimate.
The heavens, the earth, and the waters, are rendered subservient to man's welfare, and to his power, by the pre-eminency of his rational endowments, and by their cultivation.
By the action of light, and the acid of the air, on the absorbent and predominant parts of vegetables, the livery of nature below, is rendered mild, bland, and beau
tiful, green, and refreshing to the eye. Above, gay, bright, and exhilerating.
Plants that are esculent and wholesome, are pre-eminently abundant, grateful to smell, and pleasing to the sight.
The deleterious and poisonous, are in their aspect lurid, in their smell heavy and nauseous, as well as in their taste; as the hemlocks, the henbanes, and the whole family of noxious vegetables.
On the coasts of the sea, when the fogs, and salt air, and salt food, produce scurvy, we find the kail and the scurvy grafs, with every natural antiseptic, suited to the
In the torrid regions of the earth, where the violence of heat relaxes the stomach, and superinduces bilious disorders, nature has placed a redundancy of strong aromatics and styptics. Spices abound, and are greedily devoured, from a concomitant instinct of the inhabitants.
Atmospherical air is spoilt by frequent inhalation, and nature has made growing vegetables restorers of its salutiferous qualities.
The great Franklin told me, that no places of residence, where mephitic air was bred by stagnant circumstances, could be comfortably inhabitable without the neighbourhood of forests; and that no where in America were the people found to be more healthful, than in such vicinities.
Vulneraries and medicaments are provided every where among growing vegetables, for every tribe of animals ; and they are sought for instinctively by the various species. Man, by his domestication, loses his instincts, in this respect, and requires the direction of physiological investigation to remedy the defect.
While I am engaged in these agreeable reflections, I stumble on a beautiful original letter, from Foliaceus Probus, to Ascanius Agricola, with which I fhall conclude this fhort essay.
"FOLIACEUS TO ASCANIUS SENDS HEALTH,
"This is accompanied with a parcel of seeds of true rhubarb, as rheum palmatum, that you formerly requested.
"I wish they may produce a rich crop, attended with every salutary effect; and that every one who is worked upon by their beneficial influence, may, at the very instant of their operation, pray a thousand blessings on my friend Ascanius, for having liberally, and largely, cultivated so useful a plant.
"People, blest with piety and ingenuity, have observed, that every country produces such herbs as are proper remedies for the distempers arising from the climate.
"There is here a new reason for admiring the dispensations of providence; that when new vices have produced new disorders in the human frame, human industry can also rear new plants for their cure.
"While the inhabitants of Albion lived on haggies*, and singed sheep heads, rhubarb grew only in the country where men fed on horse flesh. But since we have learnt from S. Britain, to use gravy, and butter sauces with every thing we eat, and that we feed much on the two French dishes, Je ne sçai quoi, and Qu'est ce que cesty indulgent heaven has blest us with the growth of rhubarb.
"I have long had a malicious design upon your mutton; and in four weeks, or in eight weeks hence, I may put
*Fried meat, made of the entrails of a fheep, with meal inclosed in the bag, and boiled i a pot. An old Scottish standard dif
my intentions in execution. I mention these times, because then will be the full of the moon, by which I am much regulated in my motions during winter; so that though I have no occasion for rhubarb, I may need a little hellebore.
"66 Writing on this commencement of another year, would be unpardonable to forget the wishes of the season to Ascanius and his Aurelia; and that the irrapta copula may continue as long as they can enjoy human life, is the sincere with of
On the Kalends of January, from my seat at Tuber fhine. S
SLIGHT SKETCH OF THE SEAT OF THE PRESENT WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS.
As the French may be expected to make their principal exertions during the present campaign, on the United Provinces, it will be agreeable to most of our readers to be made acquainted with the state and circumstances of them. With that view, a map is now preparing, and will be given as soon as it can be engraved. In the mean time the following slight notices of the southern parts of the United Provinces may prove acceptable.
Antwerp will probably be employed by Dumourier, as a place of arms during his operations in Holland. This city was for many centuries the capital of the whole Low Countries, while that was the most wealthy and the most powerful state in Europe. It was at that time the most opulent city in Europe, and the most noted emporium of the universe; its merchants were wealthy; its buildings magnificent; its manufactures flourishing; its trade unbounded. Lowes Guicciardia, who described it about the year 1425, and who had seen all the other most cele