And give new wonders to the beam of day;
Till, link by link with step aspiring trod,
You climb from NATURE to the throne of GOD.
—So saw the Patriarch with admiring eyes 55
From earth to heaven a golden ladder rise;
Involv’d in clouds the mystic scale ascends,
And brutes and angels crowd the distant ends.
TRIN. COL. CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 1, 1794.
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REFERENCES TO THE WORK.
Botanic Garden. Part I.
Line 1. Canto I. l. 105. —— 3. —— IV. l. 402. —— 4. —— I. l. 140. —— 5. —— III. l. 401. —— 8. —— IV. l. 452. —— 9. —— I. l. 14.
—— 12. Sect. XIII. —— 13. —— XXXIX. 4. 1. —— 18. —— XVI. 2. and XXXVIII. —— 26. —— XVI. 4. —— 30. —— XVI. 4. —— 36. —— XVI. 6. —— 38. —— III. and VII. —— 43. —— X. —— 44. —— XVIII. 17. —— 45. —— XVII. 3. 7. —— 47. —— XVIII. 8. —— 50. —— XXXIX. 4. 8. —— 51. —— XXXIX the Motto. —— 54. —— XXXIX. 8.
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The purport of the following pages is an endeavour to reduce the facts belonging to ANIMAL LIFE into classes, orders, genera, and species; and, by comparing them with each other, to unravel the theory of diseases. It happened, perhaps unfortunately for the inquirers into the knowledge of diseases, that other sciences had received improvement previous to their own; whence, instead of comparing the properties belonging to animated nature with each other, they, idly ingenious, busied themselves in attempting to explain the laws of life by those of mechanism and chemistry; they considered the body as an hydraulic machine, and the fluids as passing through a series of chemical changes, forgetting that animation was its essential characteristic.
The great CREATOR of all things has infinitely diversified the works of his hands, but has at the same time stamped a certain similitude on the features of nature, that demonstrates to us, that the whole is one family of one parent. On this similitude is founded all rational analogy; which, so long as it is concerned in comparing the essential properties of bodies, leads us to many and important discoveries; but when with licentious activity it links together objects, otherwise discordant, by some fanciful similitude; it may indeed collect ornaments for wit and poetry, but philosophy and truth recoil from its combinations.