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1815

District of Massachusetts, to wit:

District Clerk's Office. (L.s.] Be it remembered, That on the fourth day of August, A. D.

1815, and in the fortieth year of the independence of the United States of America, William Collier of the said district has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit :-" The Chris. tian Philosopher; a collection of the best discoveries in nature, with religious improvements. By Cotton Mather, D. D. F. R. S. The style made easy and familiar.” In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;" and also to an act entitled, “an act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by secu.ing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”

WM. S. SHAW, { of Massachusetts.

s Clerk of the District

TO MR. THOMAS HOLLIS,

MERCHANT IN LONDON.

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SIR, the learned author of the ensuing treatise, has already dif. fused his name and reputation in a great variety of useful works ; by which the better part of mankind do sufficiently know him to be in labours more abundant. The reader will find in this trea. tise, a collection from writers of the first and best character, both in our own and other nations; and every observation improved to the ends of devotion and practice. The remarks that the author gives, are so mingled with the discoveries that he has brought to. gether, that as it shows us with what spirit he has pursued his inquiries into the wonders of the universe, so it is both an instruction and a pattern to a serious mind. He has generally drawn into his application, all that the Bible saith upon the several subjects : and thus he lays open the two great books of God, nature and Scripture. In this way, our curiosity is not only entertained, but sanctified; the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are seen, and improved to the glory of Him whose they are.

Your surprising generosity to the Academy in New England, has made this dedication more proper to you than any

other

person. Such a beneficence is an argument how thoroughly you desire that the doctrines of the Gospel, and the purity of discipline, may be transmitted to future generations. And certainly, it is the noblest, and the most divine application of your charity, when by it you are a fellow-helper to the truth. This is given to those from whom you can have no expectation of recompense; but as it is all done to the Lord, and not to men, so by him it will be remembered at the resurrection of the just. You know bow much it is against my temper to give flattering words, and I am convinced that it is against yours to receive them. But I have reason to think, that the reverend Author, and the whole country where God has placed him, will believe this dedication well directed, to the best of all their benefactors. This administration of service is abundant, by many thanksgivings to God, (whilst by this ministration, they glorify God for your professed subjection to the Gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution to them and to all men) and by their prayer

I have no more to add, but the apostle's wish, that your faith may grow exceedingly, and your charity daily abound ; that whatever you do, may be done faithfully to the brethren, and to stran. gers.

for you.

I am, Sir, your sincere friend, and obedient servant,

THO. BRADBURY.

LONDON, Sept. 22, 1720.

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THE

INTRODUCTION.

THE essays now before us will demonstrate, that philosophy is no enemy, but a very great incentive to religion ; and they will exhibit that philosophical religion, which will carry with it'a most sensible character, and victorious evidence of a reasonable service. "Glory to God in the highest, and good will towards men,” animated and exercised; and a spirit of devotion and of charity inflamed, in such methods as are offered in these essays, cannot but be attended with more benefits, than any pen describe or mind conceive.

In the dispositions and resolutions of piety thus enkindled, man, with unutterable satisfaction answers the grand end of his being, which is, to glorify God. He discharges also the office of a priest for the creation, under the influences of an admirable Saviour, and therein asserts and assures his title to that priesthood, to which the blessedness of the future state will very much consist in being advanced. The whole world is indeed a temple of God, built and fitted by that Almighty architect; and in this temple, every one, affecting himself with the occasions for it, will speak of his glory. He will also rise into that superior way of thinking and of living, which the wisest of men will choose to take ; with which the more polite part of mankind, and the honourable of the earth, will esteem it no dishonour for them to be acquainted. Upon that passage occurring in the best of books, “Ye sons of the mighty, ascribe

to the Lord glory and strength; it is a gloss and a hint of Munster, which carries with it a cogency; there is nothing so great and so magnificent, which does not subserve the praise and glory of God, its Creator. Behold, a religion, which will be found without controversy ; a religion, which will challenge all possible regards from the high, as well as the low, among the people; I will resume the term, a philosophical religion, and yet how evangelical !

In prosecuting this intention, and in intro. ducing almost every article of it, the reader will continually find some author or other quoted. This constant method of quoting, it is to be hoped, will not be censured, as proceeding from an anibition to make a show oflearning; and that Austin's reproach of Julian may not be applied to it. “Who is there, that reads, or hears your works, and is not terrified at the sound of the great names, it contains ? should he be unlearned as many are, would he not suppose you a prodigy, to understand them yourself ?” Nor will there be discernible any spice of the impertinent vanity, which La Bruyere hath so well satirized : “Her. illus will always cite, whether he speaks or writes. He makes the prince of philosophers to say, that wine inebriates; and the Roman orator, that water temperates it. If he talks of morality, it is not he, but the divine Plato, who affirms, that virtue is amiable, and vice odious. The most common and trivial things, which he himself is able to think of, are ascribed by him to Latin and Greek authors.” But in these quotations, there has been proposed, first, a due gratitude to those, who have been my instructers; and indeed, something

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