351. Those who believe in a Divine operation in all the details of nature, are able by very many things they see in nature to confirm themselves in favor of the Divine, as fully as others confirm themselves in favor of nature, yea, more fully. For those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine give attention to the wonders which are displayed in the production both of plants and animals. In the production of plants, how out of a little seed cast into the ground there goes forth a root, and by means of the root a stem, and branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits in succession, even to new seeds; just as if the seed knew the order of succession, or the process by which it is to renew itself. Can any reasonable person think that the sun, which is mere fire, has this knowledge, or that it is able to empower its heat and light to effect these results, or is able to fashion these wonderful things in plants, and to contemplate use? Any man of elevated reason who sees and weighs these things, cannot think otherwise than that they come from Him who has infinite reason, that is, from God. Those who acknowledge the Divine also see and think this, but those who do not acknowledge the Divine do not see or think this because they do not wish to; thus they sink their rational into the sensual, which draws all its ideas from the lumen which is proper to the bodily senses and which confirms their illusions, saying, Do you not see the sun effecting these things by its heat and light? What is a thing that you do not see? Is it anything?
Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine give attention to the wonders which are displayed in the production of animals; to mention here only, in reference to eggs, how the chick in its seed or beginning lies hidden therein, with everything requisite till it is hatched, also with everything pertaining to its subsequent development, until it becomes a bird or winged thing of the same form as its parent. And if one observes the living form, it is such as to fill any one with astonishment who thinks deeply, seeing that in the minutest as in the largest living creatures, even in the invisible, as in the visible, there are the organs of sense, namely, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; and organs of motion which are muscles, for they fly and walk; also viscera surrounding the heart and lungs, which are set in action by brains. That even the commonest insects enjoy such organisms is shown in their anatomy as described by some writers, and especially by Swammerdam, in his Biblia Naturae. Those who ascribe everything to nature, see all these things, but they merely perceive that they exist, and say that nature produces them. They say this because they have turned their minds away from thinking about the Divine; and those who have done this are unable, when they see the wonderful things in nature, to think rationally, still less spiritually; but they think sensually and materially; and then they think in nature from nature, and not above nature, just as those do who are in hell. They differ from beasts only in having the power to think rationally, that is, in being able to understand, and therefore to think otherwise, if they choose.