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fecurity of the Seed, whilst it hangs upon the Plant; but after it is mature and fillen upon the Earth, for the stercoration of the Soil, and promotion of the growth, though not the first gerinination of the Seminal Plant. Hence (as * Petriis de Crefcentiis tells us Husbandmen to make thir Vines bear,
or Agric. h 2: manure them with Vine-leaves, or the Husks of exprest Grapes, and they observe those to be the most fruitful, which are so manured with their own : Which Observation true also in all other Trees and Herbs. But besides this use of the Pulp or Pericarpiun, for the guard and benefit of the Seed, it ferves alo' so by a secondary intention of Nature in inany Fruits for the Food and Sustenance of Man and other Animals. - Another thing worthy the noting in Seeds, and argumentative of Providence and Design, is that pappose Plumage growing upon the tops of some of them, whereby they are capable of beįng wafted with the Wind, and by that means scatter'd and disseminated far and wide.
Furthermore, inoft Seeds having in them a Seminal Plant perfectly form’d, as the Young . is in the Womb of Animals, the elegant Complication thereof in some Species is a very pleasant and admirable Spectacle ; so that no Man that hath a Soul in him can imagine or believe it was so form'd and folded up without Wifdom and Providence. But of this I have spoken alread
Lastly, The immense smalness of fome Seeds, not to be seen by the naked Eye, so that the number of Seeds produced at once in fome one Plant ; as for example, Reedmáce [Tipha Pata lustris] Harts-Tongue, and many sorts of Ferns, may amount to a Million, is a convincing Argument of the infinite Understanding and Art of the Former of them.
And it is remarkable that such Mosjes as grow upon Walls, the Roofs of Houses and other high places, have Seeds so excessively small, that when shaken out of their Vessels they appear like Vapour or Smoke, so that they mayeither ascend of themselves, or by an easie impulse of the Wind be rais'd up to the tops of Houses, Walls or Rocks: And we need not wonder how the Mosses got thither, or imagine they sprung up spontaneously there.
I might alto take notice of many other particulars concerning Vegetables, as First, That because they are design’d for the Food of Animals, therefore Nature hath taken more extraordinary Care, and made more abundant Provision for their propagation and encrease, so that they are multiplied and propagated not only by the Seed, but many also by the Root, producing Off-sets or creeping under Ground, inany by Strings or Wires running above Ground, as Strawberry and the like, fome by Slips or Cuttings, and some by several of these Ways. And for the security of such Species as are produc'd only by Seed, it hath endued all Seed with a lasting Vitality, that so if by reason of
excessive cold, or drought, or any other accident, it happen not to germinate the first Year, it will continue its foecundity, I do not say two or three, nor six or seven, but even twenty or thirty Years; and when the Impediment is removd, the Earth in fit case, and the Season proper, spring up, bear Fruit, and continue its Species. Hence it is that Plants are sometiines loft for a while in places where they formerly abounded; and again, after some Years, appear new : loft either because the Springs were not proper for their germination, or because the Land was fallow'd, or because plenty of Weeds or other Herbs prevented their coming up, and the like : and appearing again when these [mpediments are remov’d. Secondly, That some sorts of Plants, as Vines, all sorts of Pulle, Hops, Briony, all Pomiferous Herbs, Pumpions, Melons, Gourds, Cucumbers, and divers other species, that are weak and unable to raise or support themselves, are either endued with a faculty of twining about others that are near, or else furnith'd with Claspers and Tendrils, whereby, as it were with Hands, they catch hold of them, and so ramping upon Trées, Shrubs, Hedges or Poles, they mount up to a great height, and secure themselves and their Fruit. Thirdly, That others are arm'd with Prickles and Thorns, to secure them from the browsing of Beasts, as also to shelter others that grow under them. Moreover they are. hereby render'd very useful to Man, as if deure to inake both Quick and Dead
Hedges and Fences. The great Naturalift Pliny hath given an ingenious Account of the Providence and Design of Nature in thus arming and fencing them in these Words. Inde (speaking of Nature) excogitavit aliquas aspectu bispidas, tačtu truces, ut tantùm non vocem ipfiüs Naturæ fingentis illas, rationemque reddentis exaudire videamur, ne se depascat avida quadrupes, ne procaces manus rapiant, ne negle&ta veftigia obterant, ne infidens ales infringat ; his muniendo aculeis telifque armando, remediis ut Salva ac tuta fint. Itd boc quoque quod in iis odimus boininum causd excogitatum eft.
It is worthy the noting, That Wheat which is the best sort of Grain, of which the purest, most savory and wholesome Bread is made, is patient of both Extreams, heat and cold, growing and bringing its Seed to maturity, not only in temperate Countries, but also on one hand in the Cold and Northern, viz. Scotland, Denmark, &c. on the other, in the hottest and most Southerly, as Egypt, Barbary, Mauritania, the East-Indies, Guinea, Madagascar, &c. scarce refusing any Climate.
Nor is it less observable, and not to be commemorated without Acknowledgment of the Divine Benignity to us, that (as Pliny rightly notes) nothing is more fruitful than Wheat, Quod ei natura (faith he) [rectius naturæ Parens] tribuit, quòd eo maximè hoininem alit, utpote cùm è modio, fi & aptum folum, quale in Byzacio Africæ campo centeni quinquaginta modii reddentur. Misit ex eo loco Divo Augusto procu
rator ejus ex uno grano (vix credible diktu) 400 paucis minus germina : Mifit & Neroni similiter 360 flipulas ex uno grano. “ Which fertility cc Nature (he should have said, the Author of Nature) hàth confer'd upon it, because it feeds “ Man chiefly with it. One Bushel, if sown “ in a fit and proper Soil, such as is Byzacium, " a Field of Africa, yielding 150 of annual “ encrease ; Augustus's Procurator fent him “ from that place 400 within a few Blades • springing from the fanie Grain: And to Ne" ro were sent thence 360. If Pliny a Heathen could make this fertility of Wheat argumentative of the Bounty of God to Man, making such plentiful Provision for him of that which is of inost pleasant taste and wholesom nourishment, surely it ought not to be pasled over by us Christians without notice taking and thanksgiving.. .
As for the Signatures of Plants or the Notes impressed upon thein as Indices of their Virtues, tho' * some lay great stress upon *.Dr. More them, accounting them strong Ar- Ancid. I. 2. c. guments to prove that some Un: 6. * derstanding Principle is the highest Original of the Works of Nature ; as indeed they were, could it certainly be inade appear that there were such marks designedly set upon them ; because all that I find mention'd and collected by Authors seem to me to be rather fancied by Men, than design’d by Nature to signifie or point out any such Vertues or Qualities as they would make us believe. I have elsewhere, I think