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NATURAL AND DIVINE
STUDY OF THE INDUCTIVE PHILOSOPHY
SUBSERVIENT TO THEOLOGY.
THE Rev. BADEN POWELL, M.A., F.R.S., F.G.S.
OF ORIEL COLLEGE,
SAVILIAN PROFESSOR OF GEOMETRY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
RIGHT REV. EDWARD STANLEY, D.D.
MY DEAR LORD,
In availing myself of your Lordship’s permission to dedicate to you the ensuing volume, I am desirous briefly to refer to the grounds on which I made the request, more especially because I feel assured that it is in the very same spirit that that request has been complied with.
The right use and just value of physical science in connexion with the evidences and illustration of religious truth, are topics always demanding serious attention, but more especially in an age like the present, abounding with false pretensions on the one hand; and opposing prejudices on the other. Amid such errors and perversions it is a matter of particular satisfaction when the advocates of reason and truth find their efforts approved and encouraged by those whose situation in the Church silences all cavils; and in no instance is this more gratifying than when those who are now in the position to confer that sanction have themselves previously been labourers in the diffusion and enlargement of the knowledge of nature.
Your Lordship's sentiments on this important subject have been sufficiently evinced, were it only by the part you have taken in that vast Association of British Science which is now yearly exciting so general and powerful an interest in physical pursuits, and by the zeal with which you have there upheld the religious application of true philosophy, -and asserted the revelation of God in the volume of nature as our best guide to the manifestation of Him in the pages of inspiration.
It was from such considerations, that, being engaged in a work having the same great object in view, I was naturally led to look to your Lordship’s name as that which above all others would be most appropriately prefixed to it, and most powerfully assist in promoting the important end to which it is designed to be subservient.
OXFORD, December 13, 1837.