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PREFACE.

The following pages were written under the impression, that the visible manifestations of the attributes of the Deity are too frequently overlooked by Christians in their views of the great objects of Religion, and in the worship they offer to the Father of their spirits ; and are intended to show, that the Teachers of Religion, in imparting instruction either to the old or to the young, ought to embrace a wider range of illustration, in reference to Divine subjects, than that to which they are usually confined.

Throughout the whole of the discussions contained in this work, the Author has pursued his own train of thought; and, in so doing, he trusts that he has been enabled to render some of his illustrations more interesting to the young and untutored mind, than if he had adhered rigidly to the sentiments of others, and to the technical language of science. The sketches of the different sciences are not mere extracts or compilations, but are, for the most part, original composition in which it has been his main object to embody as many facts as his

limits would permit-in order to excite the inquiring mind to further investigations into the different departments of physical science.

It is presumed, that no Christian reader will for once imagine, that the views illustrated in this work are intended to be substituted in place of the peculiar revelations of the Bible. The object of the volume is to illustrate the harmony which subsists between the system of Nature and the system of Revelation; and to show, that the manifestations of God in the material universe ought to be blended with our views of the facts and doctrines recorded in the volume of Inspiration.

It is taken for granted, throughout the whole range of the following illustrations, that the Scriptures contain a Revelation from Heaven; and, under a firm belief of this important truth, the Author has embellished his work with frequent quotations from the energetic and sublime language of this Sacred Book. It would, therefore, be unfair in'any critic, who entertains doubts on this point, to find fault with such quotations, or with the allusions to Bible-phraseology which occur, unless they can be shown to be introduced without judgment or discrimination.

The Author has carefully revised every portion of the present Edition, and introduced a variety of corrections and modifications.

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He has likewise introduced additional matter, to the extent of between 40 and 50 pages, and also several illustrative engravings. In its present form, the Author trusts, that independently of the moral reflections it contains, it will be found to comprise popular descriptions of a greater number of scientific facts, than is to be found in any other yolume of the same size.

Various topics, originally intended to be illustrated, have been unavoidably omitted. Some of these are stated in the last paragraph of Chapter IV. the illustration of which, in combination with other kindred topics, would fill a volume of nearly the same size as the present. This subject (for which the Author has abundance of materials) will be prosecuted in another Volume, under the title of THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION; and will comprise, among many other subjects of discussion, illustrations of the moral relation of intelligent beings to their Creator, and to one another—the physical and rational grounds of those moral laws which the Deity has promulgated—the views which science affords of the incessant energies of Creating Power, and of the grand and multifarious objects over which Divine Providence presides—the relation of science to a future state, and of the aids which the discoveries of science afford, for enabling us to form a conception of the perpetual im

provement of the celestial inhabitants in knowledge and felicity. These subjects will be illustrated by a variety of interesting details of facts, in relation to the system of nature, the history of nations, and the moral state of Christian and general society.

Perth, December, 1824.

CONTENTS.

OF THE NATURAL ATTRIBUTES OF THE DEITY.

SECT. 1. On the RELATION of the NATURAL ATTRIBUTES of

Deity to RELIGION,

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The Christian Religion founded on the Natural Attributes of

God. His Power as interesting a subject as his Mercy-
illustrated.-Evils which arise from imperfect conceptions
of Divine Power.-Defects in the Instructions of Christian
Teachers.

Sources of Illustration.

Secr. 2. Illustration of the OMNIPOTENCE of the Deity, ... 34

(1) The immense quantity of Matter in the universe.—Mode

of acquiring the most comprehensive conception of the

bulk of the Earth-its variety of scenery—its mass of solid

matter.-Magnitude of the bodies which compose the So-

lar System.-Magnitude and number of the Stars.- Proce-

dure of the mind in acquiring the most impressive concep-

tions of such august objects-Reflections.—(2) Rapid Mo-

tions of the Celestial Bodies.How we acquire the ideas

of relative velocities--weight of the Earth-Immense phy-

sical forces-Grandeur of the motion of Saturn-Immense

number of bodies impelled through the heavens-Reflec-

tions.-(3) Immense spaces which surround the heavenly

bodies-Reflections.- Popular illustration of the Motions

of the Earth and Heavens.-Extract from Dr. Ridgley.

Universe intended to adumbrate the Attributes of God, and

make a sublime impression on created beings. MORAL

EFFECTS of such contemplations. Humility. Folly of

pride-low rank of man in the scale of being. Reverence

and veneration --Reason why mankind feel so little venera-

tion of God-How it may be increased - The Deity un-

searchable-Hope in the prospect of futurity-Resurrec-

tion-Scenes of Eternity.

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