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LONDON:
H. G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

1862.

KD 15298

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

LONDON: BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND

CHARLES JAMES,

LORD BISHOP OF LONDON.

MY LORD,

I owe it to you that I was selected for the task attempted in the following pages, a distinction which I feel to be honourable; and on this account alone I should have a peculiar pleasure in dedicating the work to your Lordship. I do so with additional gratification on another account: the Treatise has been written within the walls of the College of which your Lordship was formerly a resident member, and its merits, if it have any, are mainly due to the spirit and habits of the place. The society is always pleased and proud to recollect that a person of the eminent talents and high character of your Lordship is one of its members; and I am persuaded that any effort in the cause of letters and religion coming from that quarter, will have for you an interest beyond what it would otherwise possess.

The subject proposed to me was limited; my prescribed object is to lead the friends of religion to look with confidence

and pleasure on the progress of the physical sciences, by showing how admirably every advance in our knowledge of the universe harmonizes with the belief of a most wise and good God. To do this effectually may be, I trust, a useful labour. Yet, I feel most deeply, what I would take this occasion to express, that this, and all that the speculator concerning Natural Theology can do, is utterly insufficient for the great ends of Religion; namely, for the purpose of reforming men's lives, of purifying and elevating their characters, of preparing them for a more exalted state of being. It is the need of something fitted to do this, which gives to Religion its vast and incomparable importance; and this can, I well know, be achieved only by that Revealed Religion of which we are ministers, but on which the plan of the present work did not allow me to dwell.

That Divine Providence may prosper the labours of your Lordship and of all who are joined with you in the task of maintaining and promoting this Religion, is, my Lord, the earnest wish and prayer of

Your very faithful

and much obliged Servant,

WILLIAM WHEWELL.

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,

Feb. 25, 1833.

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