Page images

ries to convey the Blood thither? It would (one might rationally think) be more likely, that as in the Abdomen of every Animal, so here there should have been fome lacteal Veins form’d, beginning from the Placenta or Cotyledons, which concuring in one common duétus, should at last empty themselves into the Veno cava. Secondly, I have observed in a Calf, the Umbilical Vessels to terminate in certain Bodies divided into a multitude of carneous papillæ, as I may fo call them, which are receivd into so many Sockets of the Cotiledons growing on the Womb; which carneous papilla, may without force or laceration be drawn out of those Sockets. Now these papilla do well resemble the Arista or radiž of a Filhes Gills, and very probably have the fame use to take in the Air. So that the maternal Blood which flows to the Cotyledons, and, encircles these papilla, cominunicates by them to the Blood of the Fætus, the Air wherewith it self is impregnate ; as the Water flowing about the carneous radii of the Fishes Gills doth the Air that is lodg’d therein to them. Thirdly, That the maternal Blood flows most copiously to the Placenta uterina in Woinen, is manifest from the great Hemorrhagy that succeeds the separation thereof at the Birth. Fourthly, After the Stomach and Intestines, are form'd, the Fætus seems to take in its whole nourishment by the Mouth; there being always found in the Stomach of a Calf, plenty of the Liquor containd in the Amnios wherein he swims, and faces in his Intestines, and abun



dance of Urine in the Allantoides. So that the Foetus in the Womb doth live as it were the life of a Filh. Lastly, Why else should there be fuch an instant necessity of Respiration fo foon as ever the Fætus is fallen off from the Womb

I know that if the Fætus be taken out of the Womb inclos'd in the Secundines, it will continue to live, and the Blood to circulate for a considerable time, as Dr. Harvey observes. The reason whereof I conceive to be, because the Blood still circulates through the Cotyledons or Placenta, which are now expos’d to the open Air, and so from thence receives sufficient supplies thereof, to continue its , gentle Motion, and feed the vital Flame. But when upon exclusion of the Young the Umbilical Vessels are broken, and no more Air is receiv'd that

way the Plástick Nature, to preferve, the Life of the Aniinal, fpeedily raises the Lungs, and draws into them Air in great abundance, which causes a sudden and mighty ačcension in the Blood'; to the inaintenance whereof a far greater quantity of Air is requisite, than would ferve to feed the mild and languid Flame beforé. This way we' may give a facile and very

bable Account of it, to 'wit, because receiving '110' more Communications of Air from its Dam or Mother, it must needs have a speedy Supply from without, or else extinguish and die for want of it ; being not able to live long


er without Air at its first Birth, than it can do afterward.

Upon this occasion give me leave to difcourse a little concerning the Air's insinuating, it self into the Water. I lay therefore, That the Air, at least that part of it which is the Aliment of Fire, and Fewel of the vital Flame in Animals, easily penetrates the Body of Water expos’d to it, and diffufeth it self through every part of it. Hence it is that we find Filla in subterráneous Rivers, and foffil Fish in the Earth it felf; which can no inore live withqut Air there than in the open Waters : Hence the Miners, when they come once at Water, are out of all danger of Damps. You'll say, How gets the Air into the Water in Subterraneous Rivers, and into the Earth to the fossil Fishes ? I answer, The same way that the Water doth : which I suppose to be by its upper Superficies; the Water descending by Pores and Passages that there it finds into Chinks and Veins, and a by confluence of inany of them by degrees swelling into a Stream, the Air accompanies and follows it by a constant succession. As for fossil Fishes, some make their way into the Earth up the Veins of Water opening into the Banks of Rivers, where they lie till they grow so great that they cannot return: In which Veins they find Air enough to serve their turn, needing not much by season that they lie still, and move but little Others in times of Floods are left in the Meadows, and with the Water fink into the Earth


[ocr errors]

at some Holes and Pores that the Water sinds or makes, by which also they are supplied with Air. The reason why the Miners are out of danger of Damps when they come to Water, I conceive is, because then presently the Air that stagnated in'the Shaft sinks into the Water, and fresh Air descends and succeeds, and so there is a circulation ; in the same inanner as by the finking of an Air-shaft the Air hath liberty to circulate, and carry out the Steams both of the Miners Breath and the Damps, which would otherwise stagnate there. Indeed, though there were no Damps, yet the nitrous part of the Air being spent and consum'd by the breathing of the Miners, the remaining part would be render'd altogether unfit for Respiration, unless new and fresh Air could succeed.

And here methinks appears a Necessity of bringing in the Agency of fome Super-intendent intelligent Being, be it a Plastick Nature, or what you will. For what else should put the Diaphragm, and all the Muscles serving to Respiration, in motion all of a sudden fo foon as ever the Fætus is brought forth? Why could they not have rested as well as they did in the Womb? What aileth them that they must needs beftir themselves to get in Air to maintain the Creatures Life? Why could they not patiently suffer it to die? That the Air of it self could not rush in, is clear; for that on the contrary there is requir’d some force to remove the incumbent Air, and make room for the External to enter. You will say, the Spirits do at this time flow to the Organs of Respiration, the Diaphragm and other Muscles which concur to that Action, and inove them. But what rouses, the Spirits which were quiescent during the continuance of the Fætus in the Womb ? Here is no appearing Impellent but the external Air, the Body suffering no change but of Place, out of its close and warm Prison into the open and cool Air. But how or why that should have such an influence upon the Spirits, as to drive them into those Muscles electively, I am not subtil enough to discern. As for the Respiration of the Chick in the Egg, I suppose the Air not only to be included in the White, but also to be supply'd through the Shell and Membranes.

Thirdly, Water is one part, and that not the least of our Sustenance, and that affords the greatest share of Matter in all Productions, being not (as it exists in the World) a fimple and unmix'd Body, but containing in it the Principles or minute component Particles of all Bodies. To speak nothing of those inferior Uses of Washing and Bathing, dressing and preparing Victuals. But if we shall consider the great Concepticula and Congregations of Water, and the distribution of it all over the dry Land in Springs and Rivers, there will occur abundant Arguments of Wisdom and Understanding. The Sea, what infinite Variety of Fishes doth it nourish! Pfal. 104. 25. In the Verse next to my Text; The Earth is full of thy Riches : So is this great and wide Sea, wherein are things


« PreviousContinue »