« ElőzőTovább »
In the prosecution of that arduous and hitherto almost unattempted theme which the late President of the Royal Society has, by your Lordship's recommendation, assigned to me, I have derived greater aid from the views and reasonings of Bishop Butler, than I have been able to find besides, in the whole range of our existent
With this powerful aid I commenced the high investigation to which your Lordship has called me. To imagine that I have completed it, would be to forget at once the fulness of the Creation, and the finitude of the Creature. Whatever the department of Nature may be which we explore, in quest of evidence for the perfections of its Author, there is no inquirer, though even of the most transcendent powers, who shall ever attain the satisfaction of having traversed the whole length and breadth of the land. He will have but entered and proceeded a certain way, within the margin
of a territory, whose riches are inexhaus
That your Lordship may long continue, by your zeal and talents and lofty erudition, to sustain the honours, and to promote the vital good, of our Religious Establishments in this Empire, is the fervent desire and prayer of,
and obedient Servant,
EdinBURGH, May 13, 1833.
THE Series of Treatises, of which the present is one, is published under the following circumstances:—
The RIGHT Honour ABLE and REVEREND FRANCIS HENRY, EARL of BRIDGEwATER, died in the month of February, 1829; and by his last Will and Testament, bearing date the 25th of February, 1825, he directed certain Trustees therein named to invest in the public funds the sum of Eight Thousand Pounds sterling; this sum, with the accruing dividends thereon, to be held at the disposal of the President, for the time being, of the Royal Society of London, to be paid to the person or persons nominated by him. The Testator further directed, that the person or persons selected by the said President should be appointed to write, print, and publish, one thousand copies of a work On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation ; illustrating such work by all reasonable arguments—as for instance the variety and formation of God’s creatures in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms ; the effect of digestion, and thereby of conversion; the construction of the hand of man, and an infinite variety of other arguments ; as also by discoveries, ancient and modern, in arts, sciences, and the whole extent of literature. He desired, moreover, that the profits arising from the sale of the works so published should be paid to the authors of the works.
The late President of the Royal Society, Davies Gilbert, Esq., requested the assistance of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and of the Bishop of London, in determining upon the best mode of carrying into effect the intentions of the Testator. Acting with their advice, and with the concurrence of a nobleman immediately connected with the deceased, Mr. Davies Gilbert appointed the following eight gentlemen to write separate Treatises on the different branches of the subject as here stated:—
THOMAS CHALMERS, D. D. LL.D.
PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH.
ON THE POWER, WISDOM, AND GOODNESS OF GOD,
JOHN KIDD, M.D. F.R.S. REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
ON THE ADAPTATION OF EXTERNAL NATURE TO THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF MAN.
THE REV. WILLIAM WHEWELL, M. A. F.R.S.
ASTRONOMY AND GENERAL PHYSICS CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO NATURAL THEOLOGY.
THE HAND : ITS MECHANISM AND WITAL ENDOWMENTS AS EVINCING DESIGN.
PETER MARK ROGET, M.D.
FELLOW OF AND SECRETARY TO THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
ON ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE PHYSIOLOGY.