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who may desire to accompany their perusal of the Reason Why with observations of Nature, reminding them that what the animal does, and how it is organized for doing it, are the valuable points in the history of an animal, be it of what class, order, family, genus, or species it may; and to find out how the functions and the organization vary together, as we pass from species to species, is the desirable point in the comparison of one with another.
It is not alone in Zoological Gardens or Museums that the study of this interesting science may be pursued. True, we cannot observe the ostrich in the desert, the tiger in the jungle, the rliinoceros in the karroos, the hippopotamus in the swamp, nor the whale in the Arctic seas ; but in our native woods, fields, gardens, and waters, we may every day find living illustrations of the handy work of God, equally worthy of the observing eye and the contemplative mind.
The Author begs it to be understood that the limits of this volume, and the abundant matter supplied by the higher orders of animal life, left no space for the interesting facts of Entomology. It is probable that at some future time a volume may be added to the Reason Why Series, in which that branch of Natural History will be fully treated. The Author cannot do better than conclude this brief introduction by quoting from the British Quarterly Review some admirable sentiments perfectly relevant to the contents of the volume, and, indeed, to the REASON WHY Series :
“ The argument from design, as commonly presented, is cumulative. It is an induction from a multitude of particulars. Every science furnishes its quota of materials, and every fresh step in discovery, if it cannot make the conclusion more certain, adds new splendour to the illustrations of it. Every being with which we are conversant,--every limb and fragment of every being,- every atom composing those fragments—is found to bear on it the stamp of purpose,--the very autograph of mind. It is a means or an end, or both means and end.
“ But the argument does not rest here. Innumerable particular instances irresistibly indicate mind as the agency at work in theuniverse. Starting from this conclusion, the argument takes a. wider and loftier range ; and on a contemplation of the combined phenomena of nature, the conclusion is irresistible, that all is the work of one mind. Harmony and analogy pervade nature. Part answers to part, SO as inevitably to suggest the belief of a mighty whole. Many subordinate purposes are found combining as means to the fulfilment of some higher purpose. As each being ascends in the scale of creation, it is seen multiplying its points of analogy and harmony with the rest of nature ; absorbing into itself a greater number of subordinate purposes, and rendering them subservient to its own ends. The question cannot but arise, where does this progression reach its limit? Are the harmonies which so widely obtain in nature, after all, but partial, to be supplanted on a wider acquaintance by discord or utter independence; or do not all the parts of nature, numberless and widely scattered as they are, constitute one vast and accordant whole ?
“These widely and subtilly interwoven analogies and correspondences, and this scale of purpose, narrowing as it ascends, do they not clearly indicate that the whole is built upon one plan, and pervaded by a single purpose—tékoskvpLÁTatov—to which all the rest are subordinate, and in which creation finds its unity, destiny, and reason?
“And if so, What is that purpose ? This stupendous universe cannot be a mere disjointed maze of particular contrivance,-a labyrinth of worlds leading nowither,-a boundless temple, without altar, service, or in-dwelling Deity. The purpose we are in search of must exist ; and nowhere can it be conceived to exist but in the "Creator. The depth saith, 'It is not in me.' The heavens declare not their own, but their Maker's glory ; ‘for all are his servants. All lower ranks of being look up to man; but man himself looks up, demanding by the entire constitution of his being, some end beyond and above himself, and is by nature a worshipper. And when his ear is opened to hear the response given to his questionings by the very loftiest ranks of spiritual creatures, that response is one echoed from every region and limit of the material universe,- Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and praise ; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.'”
CONSULTED AND QUOTED IN THE
REASON WHY NATURAL
WHY NATURAL HISTORY.
Bailey's Habits of the Fish.
of a Naturalist.
Goodness of God.
ness of God.
Laurence's Lectures on Comparative
MARSUPIALIA (Pouch Animals)
III. AVES (Birds).
IV. REPTILIA (REPTILES).