E E R R Α Τ Α.

Page 18. line 10. for highest, read, lightest.

20. 1. 13. for reative, r. creative.
26. 1. 3. dele comma after spirits.
107. 1. 8. for fence, r. fence.
129. 1. 22. for fidereal, r. sideral.
142. l. ult. for terram r. terras,
255.1, 8. r. that when it did.

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E A R T Η.



E have had two different theories

of the earth, the productions of two countrymen of our own; both ingenia ous; both admired for the time; and both, I think, fallen into disrepute, and now generally exploded; because they were founded on hypotheses, neither of which had


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very probable foundation in nature of
reason, nor much countenance from scrip-
ture ; to say no more of them.
These two celebrated writers led the

way to several others, both at home and abroad; who set themselves likewise to excogitate hypotheses concerning the system of the earth; which have all equally proved the shortness of our line to fathom the great abyss of the Creator's works; which, to mere human abilities, are unsearchable, and whose ways are past finding out.

The present attempt hath this to plead in its behalf, that it is not built upon hypothesis, but stands on much surer grounds, the unerring word of God: Whether the superstructure doth in any measure correspond with the foundation, or whether it be only mere hay and stubble, the reader will judge.

The most certain knowledge of nature is most affuredly to be learned from the Author of nature, if he hath made any discom veries of this kind,

This he hath not professedly done: He hath not thought fit any where to deliver a regular system of the philosophy of nature. But he hath done what we may presume is better ; what is more adequate to our understandings; and what they may better, and with better success, be employed upon : He hath given us a general history of the , principal phenomena and revolutions of nature. The divine wisdom hath, in this respect, acquainted us, in his holy word, with many important facts, which we could never otherwise have attained to the knowledge of; and he hath incidentally interspersed many intimations in it, concerning the past, and even future state of the earth, which convey much real knowledge; and hath left us to make proper im. provements upon the whole.

It is an excellent observation of Dr. Bura, net's, “ That it wasnever the design of providence to give such particular explications of natural things as should make us idle, or the use of reason unnecessary; but on the contrary, by delivering great concluB 2


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