By Thomas Chalmers
In 1817 the Scottish mathematician and churchman Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), who was once later invited to put in writing one of many Bridgewater Treatises (also reissued during this sequence) released this e-book, in keeping with weekday sermons preached via him in Glasgow. His major goal is to refute the 'infidel' argument that as the earth and humanity are such insignificant components of the universe, God - if he existed - wouldn't care approximately them. although, he's additionally addressing the 'narrow and illiberal professors' who 'take an alarm' on the suggestion of philosophy instead of incorporating technological know-how into their Christian preaching. Chalmers writes from the perspective of an admirer of technology and sleek astronomy. despite the fact that, he additionally argues that ask yourself on the beauty of construction or even acknowledging it as God's paintings isn't adequate, and really ethical Christian existence is vital for salvation.
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These are great numbers, and great calculations, and the mind feels its own impotency in attempting to grasp them. We can state them in words. We can exhibit them in figures. We can demonstrate them by the powers of a most rigid and infallible geometry. But no human fancy can summon up a lively or an adequate conception—can roam in its ideal flight over this immeasurable largeness—can take in this mighty space in all its grandeur, and in all its immensity—can sweep the outer boundaries of such a creation—or lift itself up to the majesty of that great and invisible arm, on which all is suspended.
They have never, in thought, entered that closet which was the scene of his patient and profound exercises— nor have they gone along with him, as he gave his silent hours to the labours of the midnight oil, and plied that unwearied task, to which the 62 charm of lofty contemplation had allured him— nor have they accompanied him through all the workings of that wonderful mind, from which, as from the recesses of a laboratory, there came forth such gleams and processes of thought as shed an effulgency over the whole amplitude of nature.
The planets are all attached to the sun; and, in circling around him, they do homage to that influence which binds them to perpetual attendance on this great luminary. But the other stars do not own his dominion. They do not circle around him* To all common observation, they remain immoveable; and each, like the independent 35 sovereign of his own territory, appears to occupy the same inflexible position in the regions of immensity. What can we make of them ? Shall we take our adventurous flight to explore these dark and untravelled dominions?