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OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF THE DEITY,
AbdiTIONAL NoTES, ORIGINAL AND SELECTED, FOR THIS EDITION,
CINCINNATI; GEORGE S. BLANCHARD.
18 5 5.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
SEVERAL years since the publishers of this valuable and very popular work engaged the services of Dr. John Ware, of this city, to prepare an improved edition, by the addition of forty elegant pages of the illustrations of Paxton, with references to the same in the text; extensive notes, original and selected; a vocabulary of scientific terms, etc.; with a view of adapting it more perfectly to the wants of our colleges and schools, so as thereby to increase its circulation and usefulness.
The sale, with these additions and improvements, has been gradually on the increase, until it has become very generally introduced into our best schools and colleges throughout the country; and having passed through some forty or more editions, the publishers found the plates, by constant use, very much worn, and in some cases imperfect. They have consequently procured an entirely new and beautiful set of illustrations, which, with other improvements, render the work all that can be desired, and in view of which they anticipate a wider and still more extensive sale of the work.
BosTON, January, 1854.
SEP 15, 1915
J.P. 7 of PREFACE
REVISED AMERICAN EDITION.
THE present edition of the Natural Theology of Dr. Paley was undertaken witn the view of making this admirable work more extensively useful than it could ever be under the form in which it has been usually circulated. A great proportion of those who have read it must have sensi bly felt the disadvantage under which they labor in comprehending the descriptions; and of course the arguments of the author, from the want of a knowledge of the subjects to which they relate. No man could so well supply the want of this knowledge, by clearness of statement and description, as Dr. Paley; and it is probable that few other writers would have made a book so intelligible, which relates to subjects remote from common observation, without the aid of plates and illustrations. Still it must be imperfectly comprehended in many important parts, except by those acquainted with the sciences from which his illustrations are drawn. Enough it is true may be understood by all, to carry them along with the argument, and produce a general conviction of its truth. But the conceptions even of professional readers would be much more clear, definite, and satisfactory, were the description aided by visible representations.
It was the original design of the publishers to have merely attached the plates and references of Paxton, which have been published in England and in this country in a separate volume, to the text of Dr. Paley. It was, however, suggested to them that the value of their edition might be increased by the addition of Notes, and they had made arrangements for this purpose and were going on with the work, when Mr. Paxton’s edition of the Natural Theology fell into their hands, containing, beside the plates, a considerable number of Notes. From these Notes a selection has been made of such as seemed most valuable and interesting. A number of Notes have also been made up of quotations from the excellent treatise of Mr. Charles Bell on Animal Mechanics, published in the Library of Useful Knowledge; a tract which cannot be too highly recommended to the perusal of those who take pleasure in studying the indications of a wise and benevolent Providence in the works of creation.
A few additional Notes have also been subjoined, which have not been before published.