« PreviousContinue »
the insuperable difficulty of employing language which may wear the appearance of adulation ; or of not expressing half the feelings of a heart deeply penetrated with a sense of your Lordship’s friendship. I prefer the latter alternative; at the hazard of being charged by others with not duly appreciating the uniform kindness which I have ever received from your Lordship.
Permit me then, my Lord, simply to inscribe to you this volume, as a small testimony of affectionate esteem and regard; and with the expression of a hope, that your Lordship's simplicity of purpose may be as fully appreciated by the world, as it must be by those who have the happiness of knowing you most intimately; and that God, in his infinite mercy, would graciously long spare your
valuable life as a nursing father to his Church,
With great respect,
Affectionate and devoted Servant,
Farnham, February 10, 1830.
The subject of the following pages was originally suggested to the Author, by a highlyvalued friend, as one on which his pen might be usefully employed, in endeavouring to remove some of those misconceptions which seem to place the pursuits of the Christian, in opposition to the researches of science; a spectral imagining, which can alone maintain its supposed existence, so long as it can be invested with the undefined character that will be communicated by the darkness of ignorance, or by the twilight of information, but which must vanish before the full-born day of knowledge :--for Christianity and true science can never be opposed ;-and it
be fearlessly said, that the investigations of the latter, if conducted in a spirit of inquiry after truth, will always serve to explain and confirm the former; although they will also dissipate the mistakes of some of its most valuable professors.
The idea thus suggested to the Author was acted upon, and from this arose a series of communications to the “Christian Observer," during the course of the past year. These Essays are now collected into one volume, and are presented to the Public, with various corrections, and additional illustrations, in the hope that they may prove acceptable to a larger class of readers; and that they may be useful in undermining the wall of prejudice, which has been just alluded to: their Author most sincerely and fervently prays, that they may prove the means of widening the
agency of real religion, by contracting the limits of the prejudices against its influence.
It is perhaps a little extraordinary, that a work undertaken with this view, should have