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THOMAS DICK, LL.D.
AN ESSAY ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIETY, THE PHILOSOPHY
THE CONNEXION OP
SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY
BY THOMAS DICK,
ttTRnx Or A VARIETY Or LITERARY AlrD SCIENTIFIC COMMOnir 1TIOV*
PREFACE TO THIS EDITION.
The following pages were written under the impression that the visible manifestations or 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 thar. if he had adhered rigidly to the sentiments of others, and to the technical language of science. The sketehes 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 imbody as many facts as his limits would permit—in order to excite the inquiring mind to farther 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 ot 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 wouid, 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 editk n, and introduced a variety of corrections and modifications. He has likewise introduced additional matter, to the extent of between 20 and 30 pages, and also