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The series of Treatises, of which the present is one, is published under the following circumstances :
The Right HONOURABLE and Reverend Francis Henry, Earl of BRIDGEWATER, died in the month of February, 1829 ; and by his last Will and Testament, bearing date the 25th of February, 1825, he directed certain Trustees therein named to invest in the public funds the sum of Eight thousand pounds sterling; this sum, with the accruing dividends thereon, to be held at the disposal of the President, for the tiine being, of the Royal Society of London, to be paid to the person or persons nominated by him. The Testator further directed, that the person or persons selected by the said President should be appointed to write, print, and publish one thousand copies of a work on the Pouer, 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, and thereby of conversion ; 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 desired, moreover, that the profits arising from the sale of the works so published should be paid to the authors of the works.
The late President of the Royal Society, Davies Gilbert, Esq. requested the assistance of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and of the Bishop of London, in determining upon the best mode of carrying into effect the intentions of the Testator. Acting with their advice, and with the concurrence of a nobleman immediately connected with the deceased, Mr. Davies Gilbert appointed the following eight gentlemen to write separate Treatises on the different branches of the subject, as here stated :
THE REV. THOMAS CHALMERS, D. D.
PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH.
ON THE ADAPTATION OF EXTERNAL NATURE TO THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL
CONSTITUTION OF MAN.
JOHN KIDD, M. D. F. R. S.
REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
ON THE ADAPTATION OF EXTERNAL NATURE TO THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF MAN.
THE REV. WILLIAM WHEWELL, M. A. F. R. S.
FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
SIR CHARLES BELL, K. H. F. R. S.
PETER MARK ROGET, M. D.
ON ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE PHYSIOLOGY.
THE REV. WILLIAM BUCKLAND, D. D. F. R. S.
ON GEOLOGY AND MINERALOGY.
THE REV. WILLIAM KIRBY, M. A. F. R. S.
WILLIAM PROUT, M. D. F. R. S.
His Royal HIGHNESS THE Duke of Sussex, President of the Royal Society, having desired that no unnecessary delay should take place in the publication of the above-mentioned treatises, they will appear at short intervals, as they are ready for publication.
ADAPTATION OF EXTERNAL NATURE
PHYSICAL CONDITION OF MAN.
The Physical Condition of Man.
When Hamlet, in contemplating the grandeur of creation, breaks forth into that sublime apostrophe on man—"How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!”—who does not feel elated by the description ? who does not feel conscious of its truth?
Nor is its truth the less admissible, because the poet, in concentrating the powers of his imagination on the excellences of that work of creation which bears the stamp of the Creator's image, has omitted to present to our view the reverse of the impression, the frailty nainely of our fallen nature: for although, on moral and religious considerations, each individual is bound habitually to take the one view in conjunction with the other; in a simple philosophical contemplation of human nature we are not precluded by any reasonable barrier, from taking such a partial view of the subject as the occasion may suggest.
In the present instance, indeed, I am strictly called upon to consider, not the moral, but the physical condition of man: and to examine how far the state of ecternal nature is adapted to that condition; whether we regard the provisions made for the supply of man's wants, either natural or acquired; or those which are made for the