Man is the most noble creature, and the most dignified in all this lower world; and God has appointed the lower creatures to minister to his use and his delight. As one has observed, the air is his aviary, the sea and rivers his fishponds, the valleys his granaries, and the mountains his magazine. The first of these affords man creatures for nourishment, while the other affords metals for perfection.
The animals were created for the support of the life of man, and the herbs, the dews, and the rain for the same purpose; there is not the most despicable thing in the whole creation but is endowed with a nature to contribute something for our welfare, either as food to nourish us when we are healthy, as medicine to cure us when we are distempered, as a garment to clothe us when we are naked and arm us against the cold of the season, as a refreshment when we are weary, or as a delight when we are sad. All serve for necessity or ornament, either to spread our tables, beautify our dwellings, furnish our closets, or store our wardrobes. "The whole earth is full of His riches" (Psalm 104:24).
Stephen Charnock, Discourses Upon the Existence and Attributes of God, Vol. 2, pp. 250-251:
2. God richly furnished the world for man. He did not only erect a stately palace for his habitation, but provided all kind of furniture as a mark of his goodness, for the entertainment of his creature, man: he arched over his habitation with a bespangled heaven, and floored it with a solid earth, and spread a curious wrought tapestry upon the ground where he was to tread, and seemed to sweep all the rubbish of the chaos to the two uninhabitable poles. When at the first creation of the matter the waters covered the earth, aud rendered it uninhabitable for man, God drained them into the proper channels he had founded for them, and set a bound that they might not pass over, that they turn not again to "cover the earth" (Gen i. 9.) They fled and hasted away to their proper stations (Ps. civ. 7-9), as if they were ambitious to deny their own nature, and content themselves with an imprisonment for the convenient habitation of Him who was to be appointed Lord of the world. He hath set up standing lights in the heaven, to direct our motion, and to regulate the seasons: the sun was created, that man might see to "go forth to his labor" (Ps. civ. 22, 23): both sun and moon, though set in the heaven, were formed to "give light" on the earth (Gen. i. 15, 17). The air is his aviary, the sea and rivers his fish-ponds, the valleys his granary, the mountains his magazine; the fist afford man creatures for nourishment, the other metals for perfection: the animals were created for the support of the life of man; the herbs of the ground were provided for the maintenance of their lives; and gentle dews, and moistening showers, and, in some places, slimy floods appointed to render the earth fruitful, and capable to offer man and beast what was fit for their nourishment. He hath peopled every element with a variety of creatures both for necessity and delight; all furnished with useful qualities for the service of man. There is not the most despicable thing in the whole creation but it is endued with a nature to contribute something for our welfare: either as food to nourish us when we are healthful; or as medicine to cure us when we are distempered; or as a garment to clothe us when we are naked, and arm us against the cold of the season; or as a refreshment when we are weary; or as a delight when we are sad: all serve for necessity or ornament, either to spread our table, beautify our dwellings, furnish our closets, or store our wardrobes (Ps. civ. 24): "The whole earth is full of his riches." Nothing but by the rich goodness of God is exquisitely accommodated, in the numerous brood of things, immediately or mediately for the use of man; all, in the issue, conspire together to render the world a delightful residence for man; and, therefore, all the living creatures were brought by God to attend upon man after his creation, to receive a mark of his dominion over them, by the " imposition of their names" (Gen. ii. 19, 20). He did not only give variety of senses to man, but provided variety of delightful objects in the world for every sense; the beauties of light and colors for our eye, the harmony of sounds for our ear, the fragrancy of odors for our nostrils, and a delicious sweetness for our palates: some have qualities to pleasure; all, everything, a quality to pleasure, one or other: he doth not only present those things to our view, as rich men do in ostentation their goods, he makes us the enjoyers as well as the spectators, and gives us the use as well as the sight; and, therefore, he hath not only given us the sight, but the knowledge of them: he hath set up a sun in the heavens, to expose their outward beauty and conveniences to our sight; and the candle of the Lord is in us, to expose their inward qualities and conveniences to our knowledge, that we might serve ourselves of, and rejoice in, all this furniture wherewith he hath garnished the world, and have wherewithal to employ the inquisitiveness of our reason, as well as gratify the pleasures of our sense; and, particularly, God provided for innocent man a delightful mansion-house, a place of more special beauty and curiosity, the garden of Eden, a delightful paradise, a model of the beauties and pleasures of another world, wherein he had placed whatsoever might contribute to the felicity of a rational and animal life, the life of a creature composed of mire and dust, of sense and reason (Gen. ii. 9). Besides the other delicacies consigned, in that place, to the use of man, there was a tree of life provided to maintain his being, and nothing denied, in the whole compass of that territory, but one tree, that of the knowledge of good and evil, which was no mark of an ill-will in his Creator to im, but a reserve of God's absolute sovereignty, and a trial of man's voluntary obedience. What blur was it to the goodness of God, to reserve one tree for his own propriety, when he had given to man, in all the rest, such numerous marks of his rich bounty and goodness? What Israel, after man's fall, enjoyed sensibly, Nehemiah calls "great goodness" (Neh. ix. 25). How inexpressible, then, was that goodness manifested to innocent man, when so small a part of it, indulged to the Israelites after the curse upon the ground, is called, as truly it merits, such great goodness! How can we pass through any part of this great city, and cast our eyes upon the well-furnished shops, stored with all kinds of commodities, without reflections upon this goodness of God starting up before our eyes in such varieties, and plainly telling us that he hath accommodated all things for our use, suited things, both to supply our need, content a reasonable curiosity, and delight us in our aims at, and passage to, our supreme end!