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MAN CONSIDERED AS AN ORGANIZED BEING.
1. Man is an organized being, and subject to the organic laws. An organized being, as was formerly noticed, is one which derives its existence from a previously existing organized being, which subsists on food, which grows, attains maturity, decays, and dies. The first law, then, that must be obeyed, to render an organized being perfect in its kind, is, that the germ, from which it springs, shall be complete in all its parts, and sound in its whole constitution.
2. If we sow an acorn in which some vital part has been destroyed altogether, the seedling plant, and the full grown oak, if it ever attain to maturity, will be deficient in the lineaments which are wanting in the embryo root; if we sow an acorn entire in its parts, but only half ripened, or damaged in its whole texture by damp or other causes, the seedling oak will be feeble, and will probably die early.
3. A similar law holds in regard to man. A second organic law is, that the organized being, the moment it is ushered into life, and so long as it continues to live, must be supplied with food, light, air, and every other physical element requisite for its support, in due quantity, and of the kind best suited to its particular constitution. Obedience to this law is rewarded with å vigorous and healthy development of its powers, and, in animals, with a pleasing consciousness of existence, and aptitude for the performance of their natural functions ; disobedience is punished with feebleness, stinted growth, general imperfection, or early death.
4. A third organic law, applicable to man, is, that he shall duly exercise his organs, this condition being an indispensable prerequisite of health. The reward of obedience to this law is enjoyment in the very act of exercising the functions, pleasing consciousness of existence, and the acquisition of numberless gratifications and advantages, of which labor, or the exercise of our powers, is the procuring means; disobedience is punished with derangement and sluggishness of the functions, with general uneasiness or positive pain, and with the denial of gratification to numerous faculties.
1. What is an organized being? What is the first law to be obeyed to make an organized being perfect in its kind ?
2. Give some examples.
3. Does a similar law exist in regard to man? What is the second organic law mentioned? What are the rewards of obedience and disobedience to this law ? : 4. What is a third organic law? What are the rewards of obedience and dig. obedience to this law ?
5. Without attempting to expound minutely the organic structure of man, or to trace in detail its adaptation to his external condition, I shall offer some observations in support of the proposition, that the due exercise of the osseous, muscular, and nervous systems, under guidance of intellect and moral sentiment, and in accordance with the physical laws, contribute to human enjoyment; and the neglect of this exercise, or abuse of it, by carrying it to excess, or by conducting it in opposition to the moral, intellectual, or physical laws, is punished with pain.
6. The earth is endowed with the capability of producing an ample supply of food, provided we expend muscular and nervous energy in its cultivation; while, in most climates, it refuses to produce, if we withhold this labor and allow it to lie waste. Further, the Creator has presented us with timber, metal, wool, and countless materials, which, by means of muscular power, may be converted into dwelling-places, clothing, and all the luxuries of life.
7. The fertility of the earth, and the demands of the body for food and clothing, are so benevolently adapted to each other that, with rational restraint on population, a few hours' labor each day from every individual capable of working would suffice to furnish all with every commodity that could really add to enjoyment. “It has been computed,” says Dr. Franklin, “by some political arithmetician, that if every man and woman would work for four hours each day on something useful, that labor would be sufficient to procure all the necessaries and comforts of life, want and misery would be banished out of the world, and the rest of the twenty-four hours might be leisure and pleasure."
5. What does the author here intend to prove ?
6. What is here said of the earth? What has the Creator given us for the employment of our muscular energies ?
7. What is said in relation to supply and want? What is necessary that all may have the comforts of life?
8. In the tropical regions of the globe, where a high atmospheric temperature diminishes the quantum of muscular energy, the fertility and productiveness of the soil are increased in a like proportion, so that less labor suffices. Less labor, also, is required to provide habitations and raiment. In the colder latitudes, muscular energy is greatly increased, and there much higher demands are made upon it: the earth is more sterile, and the piercing frosts render necessary a thicker covering for the body.
9. Further, the food afforded by the soil in each climate appears to be adapted to the maintenance of the organic constitution of the people in health, and to the supply of the muscular energy necessary for the particular wants of tho situation. In the Arctic regions no farinaceous food ripens; but on the question being put to Dr. Richardson, how he, accustomed to the bread and vegetables of the temperate regions, was able to endure the pure animal diet, which formed his only support on his expedition to the shores of the Polar Sea along with Captain Franklin, he replied, that the effect of the extreme dry cold to which he and his companions were constantly exposed -living, as they did, in the open air—was to produce a desire for the most stimulating food they could obtain.
10. That bread in such a climate was not only not desired, but comparatively impotent, as an article of diet; that pure animal food, and the fatter the better, was the only sustenance that maintained the tone of the corporeal system; but that when it was abundant (and the quantity required was much greater than in milder latitudes), a delightful vigor and buoyancy of mind and body were enjoyed, that rendered life highly agreeable.
8. What is peculiar to warm climates? What is said of cold climates, and of muscular energies there?
9. What is said of the adaptation of food, of soil, and constitution of any place to the people who inhabit that place ? How Dr. Richardson account for persons from temperate climates being able to endure the pure animal diet of the Polar regions ?
10. What is said of the appetite in very cold climates ? Is more food required in cold latitudes than in warm?
11. Now, in beautiful harmony with these wants of the human frame, these regions abound, during the summer, in countless herds of deer, in rabbits, partridges, ducks, and, in short, every sort of game, and also in fish; and the flesh of these, dried, constitutes delicious food in winter, when the earth is wrapped in one wide mantle of snow. Among the Greenlanders, and other Esquimaux tribes, nothing is so much relished as the fat of the whale, the seal, or the walrus : a tallow candle and a draught of train-oil are regarded as dainties; while a piece of bread is spit out with strong indications of disgust.
12. In Scotland, the climate is moist and moderately cold; the greater part of the surface is mountainous, and well adapted for rearing sheep and cattle ; while a certain portion consists of fertile plains, fitted for raising farinaceous food. If the same law holds in this country, the diet of the people should consist of animal and farinaceous food, the former predominating. And on such food, accordingly, the Scotsman thrives best. As we proceed to warmer latitudes, to France for instance, we find the soil and temperature less congenial to sheep and cattle, but more favorable to corn and wine ; and the Frenchman flourishes in health on less of animal food than would be requisite to preserve the Scottish Highlander, in the recesses of his mountains, in a strong and alert condition.
13. The plains of Hindoostan are too hot for the extensive rearing of the sheep and the ox, but produce rice and vegetable spices in prodigious abundance; and the native is healthy, vigorous, and active, when supplied with rice and curry, and becomes sick when obliged to live chiefly on animal diet. He is
11. What food are cold regions supplied with? What food is most relished by the Greenlanders and Esquimaux Indians ?
12. What is said of the diet and appetite of the Scots and French ? 13. What is said of Hindoostan ?
supplied with less muscular energy by this species of food; but his soil and climate require far less laborious exertion to maintain him in comfort than those of Britain, Germany, or Russia.
14. So far, then, the external world appears to be wisely and benevolently adapted to the organic system of man; that is, to his nutrition, and to the development and exercise of his corporeal organs. The natural law appears to be, that every one who desires to enjoy the pleasures of health, must expend in labor the energy which the Creator has infused into his limbs. A wide choice is left to man, as to the mode in which he shall exercise his nervous and muscular systems. The laborer, for example, digs the ground, and the squire engages in the chase; both pursuits exercise the body.
15. The penalty for neglecting this law is imperfect digestion and disturbed sleep, debility, bodily and mental lassitude, and, if carried to a certain length, confirmed bad health and early death. The penalty for over-exerting these systems is exhaustion, mental incapacity, the desire of strong artificial stimulants (such as ardent spirits), general insensibility, grossness of feeling and perception, with disease and shortened life.
16. Society has not recognized this law; and, in consequence, the higher orders despise labor and suffer the first penalty, while the lower orders are oppressed with toil and undergo the second. The penalties serve to provide motives for obedience to the law; and whenever it is recognized, and the consequences are discovered to be inevitable, men will no longer shun labor as painful and ignominious, but resort to it as a source of pleasure and advantage.
14. How is the world in which man lives adapted to his nature? Has man the power of choosing how he shall exercise his nervous and muscular systems ?
15. What are the penalties of neglecting the law of exercise ? What of overexertion ? 16. Does society regard these laws ? What are the advantages of labor ?