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instructive; and their relation to each other indicates that unity of counsel which presided in the formation of the world. The atmosphere, for example, though invisible, connects distant and dissimilar parts of the system, and combines them for the accomplishment of beneficial purposes. Without it no animal could live, no plant grow, no light shine, and no sound be heard; all would be sterility, desolation, and silence. But the earth is fitted up as a pleasant habitation for many sentient creatures. Man is its noblest inhabitant; and, in order to understand the plan of the Almighty with regard to him, it is necessary to attend to his character and condition. He is a rational, immortal, and accountable being, in a course of education for a higher stage of existence. He is subject to trials; and those trials have been eagerly seized, and plausibly urged, as inconsistent with the attributes of a benevolent Creator. The structure of the earth, the qualities of some of the inferior animals, and the vices and miseries of mankind, have been favourite arguments among infidels. To meet and answer the sceptical conclusions which have been drawn from these facts is the design of a considerable portion of the following work; but we trust its limits will not be considered as exceeding its importance.
After an attentive examination of the phenomena, we may not be able to explain every diffieulty ; but we are not left in doubt and uncertainty, for God has favoured us with an explicit revelation of his will in the Holy Scriptures. The Gospel is closely allied to Natural Religion, and its accordance with the appearances of the world, and the constitution of the human mind, is a proof of their common origin. It brightens our prospects under the trials of life, and gives clearer and more comprehensive views of faith and duty than the volume of Creation affords. There are many valuable works on evangelical truth in common circulation; and therefore, instead of enlarging on this part of the subject, the Author has satisfied himself with giving a general view of the evidences of divine revelation, of its harmony with the intimations of nature, and of the duties of piety and obedience to which it leads. In delivering his pages to the Public, he indulges the hope, that the serious consideration of the whole may, under the blessing of God, help to confirm the faith, comfort the heart, and encourage the pious exertions of those who love the truth, and desire to obey it.