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on this difficult and distressing question. He says,
I would not enter on my list of friends, (Though grac'd with polish'd manners and fine sense, Yet wanting sensibility, the man Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm. An inadvertent step may crush the snail That crawls at ev'ning in the public path; But he that has humanity, forewarn'd, Will tread aside, and let the reptile live. The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight, And charg'd, perhaps, with venom, that intrudes, , A visitor unwelcome, into scenes . Sacred to neatness and repose-th' alcove, The chamber, or refectory—may die: A necessary act incurs no blame. Not so, when, held within their proper bounds, And guiltless of offence, they range the air, . Or take their pastime in the spacious field: There they are privileged; and he that bunts Or harms them there, is guilty of a wrong,
Who, when he form’d, design'd them an abode.
Task, b. vi, 1. 560_-587.
III. Before we proceed to the subject of food, it may be observed, that God has not entrusted the providing his animals with clothing to the care, the generosity, and the mercy of man. “They are provided by Him," says an excellent writer “On the Duty of Mercy and Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals," " with better and more durable garments than all the art of man can furnish them with. In this they have the advantage of us: and if they were as capable of pride as men are, they would put this endowment and array of nature into the balance, as more than a counterpoise to Solomon in all his glory. For let a man be ever so well dressed, his clothes are but the covering of his shame, and artificial supplies for natural defects. Every ornament he wears to grace his person, is a tacit acknowledgment, that, without that ornament; he would be less beautiful and amiable; and that, in himself, he. is so imperfect, that he stands in need of in-vented ornaments to set him off. And even his necessary clothes are either taken from the ground which the cattle tread under their feet, or else are borrowed skins, borrowed feathers, or borrowed hair. The creatures, which we despise, wore them, before we had them, and could call them their own; whilst we are glad to be their heirs, and to wear them at second hand, when they have left them off: nor even then can we apply them to our use and service, without much contrivance and preparation. But to the brutes their clothes are suitable to
their wants; they are the endowments of Nam ture, and the gifts of God. And well for them it is, that” God "has, in this instance, been so bountiful and indulgent towards them; for, if many of the cattle were as ill clothed, as they are too often ill fed and hard wrought, they would be wretched creatures indeed.” (PRIMATT'S DISSERTATION, page 148-150.) The same may be said of habitation: “The lions”-“lay them down in their dens, (Psalm civ. 21, 22.) and “the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests ;" shelter more convenient and comfortable to them than man could provide, had he the heart to set about it, for them.
We proceed, then, to the subject of food. God, who created all things, assigned, at the beginning its proper food to every thing, giving every kind of sustenance richly to be enjoyed. (1 Tim. vi. 17.), At the fall, man
was condemned to eat his food in the sweat of his brow." Yet still “the eyes of all wait upon” God, that he may give them “ meat in due season,” (See Psalm exly. 15.) and the generality of creatures “neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, yet our heavenly Father feedeth them.” (Matt. vi. 26.) Surely, then, those who assist man to sow and reap, and to gather for him into his barns, who, as it were, bear the greater part of “the burden and heat of the day" for him, or afford their sustenance for him, or in any way contribute to his wellbeing and comfort, have a superior claim to be well-provided for: it is with beast, as well as with man, “the labourer is worthy of his hire.” (LUKE X. 7.; 1 Tim. v. 18.)
A provision of proper and wholesome food is, therefore, the right of the beast; and, not only a bare - sufficiency, but a liberal supply, in imitation of the Great Master, who “open