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whom the care of them" may be entrusted, to defence from injury by 'strangers, to proper. shelter from the severity of the seasons, or from the attacks of other animals of prey.
Under the head of cruelties may be compres hended-all those unnecessary mutilations, made merely under a notion of rendering them more sightly in the ideas of the owner, by which pain is inflicted in the operation, and much inconvenience suffered for the remainder of the life of the animal.
It is not sufficient, in these, or in any cases of cruelty, for any one to say, that the animal is his own, and he may do what he pleases with it. It is not his own. It is a trust committed to his care by the Great Creator of all, who claims them as His, when he says, “ all the beasts of the forest are mine, and so are the cattle upon a thousand hills: I know all the fowls upon the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are in my sight;" (PSALM 1. 10, 11.) and the man will have to account to Him for the care which he has taken of it. When Balaam smote in anger the beast upon which he rode, he might as well have urged its being his own; but the animal was endowed miraculously with a voice to remonstrate, and the angel rebuked him, and the prophet acknowledged that he had sinned. This miraculous voice speaks as the voice of God in behalf of the dumb, in every country and in every age.
II. The second particular of which I proposed to treat was instruction, or discipline; what is, in many instances, styled breaking. Animals were intended for our use, and, by whatever means they were to have been brought to this in a more perfectistate, in this our fallen world, with their natures corrupt, as well as man's, much discipline is often necessary to bring them to it: the horse and the ass must be brought to bear the bit, the ox his yokė, and the dog to know what is allowable for him and what is not. The means by which these are to be accomplished are to be a due mixture of kindness and severity. Kindness in the general, a well-placed severity when needed. As, in the education of children, it is possible, by sparing the rod, to spoil the child, (Prov. xiii. 24.; xxii. 15.; xxiii. 13, 14.; xxix. 15.) so may animals be spoiled in their education, for want of proper correction. “The fear of you, and the dread of you,” (Gen. ix. 2.) was imposed, by the Great Creator and Governor, upon beast towards man, when he committed them into his hands after the flood. But an exhortation rather to restrain than to exert. severity is what is now most needed. And, it may be affirmed, in general, that gentleness and patience are the great requisites in the
discipline of animals, as well as of children and of men.
And, while we are gentle with them, we must teach them to be gentle too. The practice of mankind is too much the other way. Instead of endeavouring to make animals dwell in “harmony and family accord,” (CowPER'S Task, b. vi. 1. 379.) they are generally set against each other, and man delights to see them worry and tear, rather than “lie down together” in love and happiness.
In this view of the subject, it deserves our consideration, how far those amusements may " be lawful, which consist in making animals pursue, and worry, and destroy one another? None of them can be followed without a mixture of cruelty, properly so called. Are they, then, proper for those, who are the creatures of a benignant Creator, and redeemed by a
loving Saviour, and whose ruling principle is commanded to be LOVE?
It may be said, indeed, it is said, -that, constituted as the world now is, with many animals not rendering service to man, but interfering with his rights and his comforts, it is necessary and lawful to destroy them. The defence is, certainly, in great measure, true; and the destroying them lawful: but it will admit of great variation as to the manner of it. To take life, even from the obnoxious, should give us concern, rather than be a cause of exultation and pleasure; and it should be the endeavour of every one to give the least degree of pain to the sufferer, whenever he is obliged to put to death, and to show no satisfaction, no triumph in the act. The amiable poet, whom I have twice before quoted in these discourses, seems to draw the true line