Bridgewater Treatises

Bridgewater Treatises.

The last Earl of Bridgewater (who died in 1829), by his will, dated February 25, 1825, left £8000 to be at the disposal of the president of the Royal Society of London, to be paid to the person or persons nominated by him to write, print, and publish 1000 copies of a work " On the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, as manifested in the creation; illustrating such work by all reasonable arguments, as, for instance, the variety and formation of God's creatures in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, the effect of digestion, the construction of the hand of man, and an infinite variety of other arguments; as also by discoveries, ancient and modern, in arts, sciences, and the whole extent of literature." He also desired that the profits arising from the sale of the works so published should be paid to the authors of the works. The then president of the Royal Society, Davies Gilbert, requested the assistance of the Archbishop of Canterbury and of the Bishop of London in determining on the best mode of carrying into effect the intentions of the testator. Acting with their advice, he appointed eight gentlemen to write separate treatises on the different branches of the subject, which treatises have been published, and are as follows: 1. By the Rev. Thomas Chalmers, D.D., The Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man (Glasgow, 1839, 2 vols. 8vo). 2. By John Kidd, M.D., The Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man (Lond. 1837, 8vo). 3. By the Rev. William Whewell, Astronomy and General Physics considered with Reference to Natural Theology (Lond. 1839, 8vo). 4. By Sir Charles Bell, The Hand, its Mechanism and Vital Endowments, as evincing Design (Lond. 1837, 8vo). 5. By Peter Mark Roget, M.D., Animal and Vegetable Physiology, considered with Reference to Natural Theology (Lond. 1840, 2 vols. 8vo). 6. By the Rev. Dr. Buckland, On Geology and Mineralogy (Lond. 1837, 2 vols. 8vo). 7. By the Rev. William Kirby, On the History, Habits, and Instincts of Animals (Lond. 1835, 2 vols. 8vo). 8. By William Prout, M.D., Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Function of Digestion, considered with Reference to Natural Theology (Lond. 1834, 8vo). All these treatises have been reprinted in a cheaper form as a portion of Bohn's "Standard Library," and the most of them had before this been republished in America (Phila. 7 vols. 8vo). A German translation of them has been published at Stuttgart (1836-1838, 9 vols.),

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