Your most Sincere Friend and Servant,
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No. 543. Saturday, November 22, 1712. Addison.
’—Facies non omnibus
Nec diversa tamen—’
Those who were skillful in Anatomy among the Ancients, concluded from the outward and inward Make of an Human Body, that it was the Work of a Being transcendently Wise and Powerful. As the World grew more enlightened in this Art, their Discoveries gave them fresh Opportunities of admiring the Conduct of Providence in the Formation of an Human Body. Galen was converted by his Dissections, and could not but own a Supreme Being upon a Survey of this his Handy-work. There were, indeed, many Parts of which the old Anatomists did not know the certain Use; but as they saw that most of those which they examined were adapted with admirable Art to their several Functions, they did not question but those, whose Uses they could not determine, were contrived with the same Wisdom for respective Ends and Purposes. Since the Circulation of the Blood has been found out, and many other great Discoveries have been made by our modern Anatomists, we see new Wonders in the Human Frame, and discern several important Uses for those Parts, which Uses the Ancients knew nothing of. In short, the Body of Man is such a Subject as stands the utmost Test of Examination. Though it appears formed with the nicest Wisdom, upon the most superficial Survey of it, it still mends upon the Search, and produces our Surprize and Amazement in proportion as we pry into it. What I have here said of an Human Body, may be applied to the Body of every Animal which has been the Subject of Anatomical Observations.
The Body of an Animal is an Object adequate to our Senses. It is a particular System of Providence, that lies in a narrow Compass. The Eye is able to command it, and by successive Enquiries can search into all its Parts. Could the Body of the whole Earth, or indeed the whole Universe, be thus submitted to the Examination of our Senses, were it not too big and disproportioned for our Enquiries, too unwieldy for the Management of the Eye and Hand, there is no question but it would appear to us as curious and well-contrived a Frame as that of an Human Body. We should see the same Concatenation and Subserviency, the same Necessity and Usefulness, the same Beauty and Harmony in all and every of its Parts, as what we discover in the Body of every single Animal.